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Join Date: May 2008
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Default February 24th, 2002: SuperBrawl XII

February 24th, 2002

From Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Michigan

Attendance: 8,500 (sell-out!)

Announce Team: "The Professor" Mike Tenay and Bret "The Hitman" Hart

Official Theme Song:

Ultimate Fan Series Opening Round: #3 Straight Edge Suckas vs. #6 Satyr's Hopeful Few (S.H.F. leads 2-1)
Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. "Sugar" Shane Helms

This was supposed to be The Destroyer against Chavo, but after his suspension Shane Helms took his place both on S.H.F. and in this match. It's not great for Awesome's standing in the company but it might have been a positive thing for this match. I told the two cruiserweights to go all out and try to deliver a great match to begin the show, and I was pleased with the result. Obviously the heat wasn't what it could have been since both guys are heels, but the action was very good. They traded big moves and near-falls back and forth, and Tenay and I played up the fact that they were fighting not just for themselves but for the good of their respective teams. In the end I stuck with the original planned outcome even with a new wrestler involved, as Helms hit the Vertebreaker to defeat Chavo and make S.H.F. the first team to advance to the Semifinals.

Grade: B

A camera man asked the Steiners and Mark Jindrak if they'd heard from Dustin Rhodes, but the answer was no. All three guys seemed rather upset about it all. Jindrak said this was the biggest opportunity of his career, and this loser wasn't even going to show up? He was fine here, but both Steiners did a good job carrying the segment. Rick talked about all the things he was going to do to Dustin if he didn't show up tonight, but Scott was at his crazy best.

"Dustin, listen up! I know you ain't got no balls just like your old man, but you better get yer (censored) to this building tonight! Battle Creek's a dump, but you're gonna come here anyway and fight like a man! 'Cause if you don't, I'm gonna wipe the whole Rhodes name off the planet! I'll take you out, I'll take your old man out, I'll take out your stupid plumber grandad if he's still alive! And after I'm done I'll walk right into the locker room at Monday Night Raw just to take your ex-wife and make her one of my freaks!"

Grade: C+

Doomsday vs. True Heroes {}

I don't think it's any secret that one of these teams is much better than the other as far as workrate goes, but I have to say that I was impressed with Brian Adams' ability to keep up with Punk and Storm. Obviously he can't move like they do or wrestle like they do, but he was fine in his role as a big powerhouse brawler. He knew his strengths and played to them, and I thought his brawling looked better than usual here and contrasted well with the more technical approach of the champions. Bryan Clark was another story. He's just nowhere near the level of Punk or Storm in the ring, and he was a real detriment to the match, Fittingly, it was Clark who took the fall after being hit with the Heroic Finish.

Grade: B

Etsuko Mita was backstage, and Mike and I revealed on commentary that she had just agreed to a contract with WCW. She had the WWWA World title with her, and Mike and I played up the heritage of it as the longest-tenured championship in the history of women's wrestling, dating all the way back to Mildred Burke in 1937. Alex Wright, Jamie Knoble and American Dragon approached her to welcome her to the WCW roster. All three claimed to be big fans of hers and said they couldn't wait to see her WCW debut. Knoble was good as he talked about how cool it was going to be for the true women's world championship to find a new home in WCW, but Wright and Dragon didn't hold up their end of the segment. Wright was supposed to mention that she was the innovator of the Death Valley Driver, but botched the name and called it the "Death Drop." Dragon wasn't much better as he delivered a few rather bland lines about the excitement Mita and the other women would bring to WCW.

After all three were done they extended their hands for her to shake, but she just looked at the three men, frowned, shook her head and walked away without giving them the time of day. We wanted to establish Etsuko as a cocky old school heel here, and I think it turned out okay considering we couldn't have her actually speak. The best thing for the women's division would be their own separate show, but that won't be an option until much later in the year. In the meantime I will gradually begin to build the women up with some limited time on Nitro and Saturday Night, and Mita will of course be a huge part of that since she's the champion.

Grade: D+

Billy Kidman (w/Torrie Wilson) vs. TAKA {} (w/Eric Bischoff)

I viewed this as the "highlight reel" match of the show, and with that in mind I told Billy and TAKA to try and deliver an all-out cruiserweight display with high spots aplenty. Prior experience suggested that both guys would do well here, and so they did. There were some amazing moments from both men, but I think the coolest might have been when Kidman caught TAKA out of mid-air on a Lionsault and drove him to the mat with a BK Bomb for a long 2-count that the fans totally bought.

Last month the involvement of Torrie and Bischoff led directly to a non-finish, but after a little bit of drama and some staredowns early on, the seconds stayed out of the way for the stretch run of this match. There were some finisher teases, but the big moment came when Billy set TAKA up with an inverted suplex and went to the top rope for the shooting star press. Unfortunately for him TAKA got the knees up, and moments later he hit the Michinoku Driver and cleanly retained his title.

Grade: B

Flair came to the ring for his match, dressed to wrestle, and cut a promo on Dustin. He said that he'd wrestled Dusty Rhodes hundreds of times in his career, if not thousands. They were usually at each other's throats, and with good reason: they were polar opposites. Dusty was the common man, the American Dream, while he was the elite, the Nature Boy. But even though they'd spent years of their lives beating the hell out of each other on a nightly basis, one thing Ric always knew was that any time he had a match scheduled against Dusty Rhodes, the Dream was going to be there to give him one hell of a fight. He didn't know what Dustin's deal was, but if he inherited an ounce of his old man's courage, he would come out to the ring right now and fight him like a man!

There was a long pause with no response, and just when it seemed like no one would come out to respond, there was indeed an arrival (make that arrivals) from behind the curtain. But it wasn't Dustin who stepped onto the ramp.

Salvation (sans Destroyer, obviously) stood at the top of the ramp and delivered a message. Mortis was very good as he said that Dustin Rhodes would not return tonight to fight Ric Flair and would never return, because Dustin Rhodes was a man beyond salvation. "He was a man who refused the saving grace of Father Isaac, and so he was destroyed at Starrcade." Vampiro's time was even better; he said that the destruction of Dustin Rhodes at Starrcade should be held up as an example to the rest of the WCW locker room. "Salvation can be benevolent and noble to those honest enough to admit their faults and accept guidance, but we can also be a force of chaos and torment to those who have blinded themselves to reality." Father Isaac's performance was lacking, especially in comparison to his associates, but his was the focal point.

"Yes, Ric Flair, the rumors are true: Dustin Rhodes is no more! We shall never see his face on WCW television again! But fear not, because you will get the fight you seek tonight. We have arranged for a very special opponent for you, and I'm going to unveil him to the world right now. Ladies and gentlemen, Dustin Rhodes had to be destroyed. He had to be destroyed so he could then be reborn. I am pleased to introduce the newest member of Salvation. Say goodbye to Dustin Rhodes, and say hello to...THE UNNATURAL!"

Dustin came out in his new gimmick. He's got his face painted up somewhat similar to what he used as Goldust, but using a red and black color scheme. The character itself will be much less...flamboyant than Goldust. No sexual innuendos or homoerotic undertones; just darkness. He stood beside the other members of Salvation on the ramp and accepted the microphone when Isaac held it out to him.

"Dustin Rhodes is dead. He was a fool, too caught up in his own hubris to see that his career, his entire LIFE, was in shambles. Dustin Rhodes was a man that spent his whole life trying to prove his worth to the world: to himself, to his wife, to his father, to all the fans who idolized said father while he was too busy traveling the world to spend time with his son. None of it was ever enough. But now the man who was Dustin Rhodes has ceased to exist. Now from the ashes of Dustin Rhodes, The Unnatural has been born...and NO ONE will EVER forget the name."

Dustin's delivery was solid, and I thought he did a good job establishing his new character. The idea was for The Unnatural to be a weirder take on a pure evil incarnate type of character, and I thought the crowd reaction to it was above average in this initial segment. His heel turn was a major success as well.

Grade: B
Ultimate Fan Series Opening Round: #2 Agents of Chaos vs. #7 The League of Extraordinary Grapplers (L.O.E.G. lead 2-1)
The Unnatural (w/Father Isaac) vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

To give a little extra something to the new character, Dustin put a lot of work into bulking up in his time off. I thought it was really evident here and made him feel like a bigger deal. As for the match itself, I took Ric's physical limitations into account and had them focus on telling a story. The action might not have been the greatest, but Ric and Dustin have good chemistry together (like father, like son I guess) and Father Isaac is also a very good fit with the Unnatural character. The Unnatural wrestled a pretty physical and heelish style, choking Flair and gouging at his face, but Ric was able to put him down with a chop block to the knee and do more work on his legs in preparation for the figure four.

That's when The Empire reared their heads. Bischoff, TAKA and Sytch strolled down the ramp, drawing the attention of both Flair and the referee. That allowed Candido to sneak in from the other side and lay Flair out with a fisherman buster (I think we'll start having him use that as an impact finisher to go along with his top rope leg, but we'll need to come up with a name for it.) The Empire practically gift-wrapped the win for The Unnatural, and he took it. He probably could've just pinned Flair, but instead he pulled him back up and delivered his new finisher, Unnatural Selection (an implant DDT.)

Grade: B-

We ran a short little skit backstage where Disco tried to audition for a spot in 3 Count, but they were disgusted by his outdated dancing moves and told him to get out of the '70s and join everyone in the new millennium. Both members of 3 Count were very poor here, but Evan does seem to be getting better at acting.

Grade: D
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Shane Douglas

These two put on one of the best matches of the night at Starrcade, and after continuing the feud with a six man tag last month we went forward with the rematch tonight. They had a lot to live up to after their Starrcade bout, but they not only equaled that first match, they succeeded it. This match was just a shade below the elusive A grade we've achieved only three times previously. Dallas might be past his prime physically, but even at age 45 he's still capable of greatness inside the ring. As for Douglas, he's someone I viewed as a valuable role player when I inherited the company, someone who could be a reliable and solid mid card act. His performances, particularly in this feud with DDP, have me second-guessing my original assessment. He could very well wind up as a main event player, especially if he can consistently produce matches of this quality on the PPVs.

A stealthy cheap shot gave Douglas a late advantage, but Page was able to catch his foot on a boot, spin him around and drop him with a discus clothesline. He signaled for the Diamond Cutter next, but Shane shoved him forward, causing a head-on collision between DDP and referee Nick Patrick. Patrick obviously caught the brunt of that, and with him out of the picture Douglas immediately hit DDP with a blatant low blow. Douglas smiled and went out to the floor, where he grabbed the ring bell from the timekeeper's table. Before he could return to the ring with it...

...Kimberly came running down the ramp! She came up from behind and grabbed the bell, and was able to yank it out of Shane's hands since he was caught by surprise. He turned to glare at her, pointing his finger at her and cocking the fist of his other hand. Rather than backing down, Kimberly fearlessly swung the bell at Shane's head! He didn't expect that and couldn't get his hands up in time to block it, so the bell clocked him right in the face! Kimberly dropped the bell and ran back up the ramp, so she was already gone from ringside by the time DDP (and Nick Patrick) came around. Dallas was totally unaware of all that had happened: all he saw was that Douglas was face-down on the ramp. He brought Shane back into the ring, hit the Diamond Cutter and won the match, but Mike and I were quick to wonder how he'd feel about this win after he watched the tape and saw that Kimberly had interfered despite his promise that she wouldn't.

Grade: B+

Speaking of being unhappy with outside interference, Sting scolded The Empire in the back for interfering in Ric Flair's match earlier in the night. Luger tried to calm his friend, wanting everybody on Uncrewed's Crew to stay on the same page, but Sting ignored his longtime friend's argument (good thing, because Lex's promo was borderline nonsensical anyway.)

"I'm sick and tired of this same old song and dance from you, Bischoff! I DARE you guys to actually do something by the book for a change! In fact, I'm going to make sure that it DOES happen! Later on tonight, Candido, you've got a chance to send us to the Semifinals if you can beat Jeff Hardy. I won this thing last year, and I'd love to do it again this year, but NOT if you guys are going to do it the way you've been doing it! So I'll be watching that match real close, and if anybody OTHER than Candido gets involved, they'll have to answer to me and the big black bat!"

When pleas for reason and sensibility fell on deaf ears, Bischoff agreed that no one else from Empire would interfere in the match. Candido said that he didn't need anyone's help anyway. "There's a reason I'm part of this Empire! There's a reason I'm one of the centerpieces of the next generation--the generation that's replacing you, Stinger!" Candido is developing into a better performer, but Sting was the unquestioned star of this segment.

Grade: B
Bob Backlund vs. King Corino

I knew not to expect much from Backlund at this stage of his career, so I used this match to calm the crowd down and make sure they weren't too drained before we got to the big few matches at the end. Backlund and Corino were successful in doing just that, and honestly they had about as good a match as could really be hoped for with a 51-year old man involved (even though Bob is in really good shape for his age.) Backlund teased the crossface chickenwing a few times, but Corino always fought it off. He eventually hit the piledriver to win the match, which was the only outcome that made any sense.

Grade: C+
Ultimate Fan Series Opening Round: #4 The Dead Jesters vs. #5 Uncrewed's Crew (Uncrewed's Crew leads 2-1)
Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Candido (w/Tammy Sytch)

Interest was high for the first PPV match of Jeff Hardy, but this was also a huge opportunity for Candido to make an impression. I was impressed with the efforts of both men, who delivered a good match. It would've been even better if either of them had been able to take charge and hold the match psychology together, but the action was good regardless. The fans popped for Jeff's signature spots, but they also bought into Candido's near-falls, which was encouraging. He's got a ways to go before he can be viewed as a true upper card guy, but we're definitely making progress.

Candido went for his new fisherman buster finisher, but Hardy elbowed his way out of it and scored with a sitout jawbreaker. From there he went up top and hit the Swanton Bomb to win the match and force this series into a tiebreaker tomorrow night.

Grade: B

Arn and Tony chatted backstage about the return of the Clash of the Champions, which will be on PPV Sunday, March 24th, from Australia. Arn was awesome as he talked about the importance of the United States champion getting a shot at the World Heavyweight title, and Tony was funny in his own right as he said it was "sure to be one of the greatest nights in the history of our sport."

Grade: D+
Ultimate Fan Series Opening Round: #1 The K-Nections vs. #8 The Wild Cards (Wild Cards lead 2-1)
AJ Styles vs. Matt Hardy

I envisioned this as a really fun, "can you top this?" babyface match where both guys pulled out all the stops to try and come away with the win. Unfortunately neither man did very well under my all out instructions. I think they put too much pressure on themselves to try and deliver a great match, and their performances suffered for it. They're talented enough that the match still wasn't terrible by any means, but it definitely could have been much better under different circumstances.

The entire match was a back-and-forth struggle with both guys trading near falls. AJ nearly won it with a vertical suplex lift into a neckbreaker, and then Matt came a half a second away with a Splash Mountain Bomb. Hardy let out his familiar scream and went for the Twist of Fate, but AJ was able to shove him in the back. The forward momentum sent Matt chest-first into the buckles, and when he staggered back out towards the center of the ring AJ delivered the Styles Clash to guarantee a third tiebreaker tomorrow. At one point the plan was for Matt to win here and send the Wild Cards to the Semifinals, but I decided to have AJ win and extend the series. This keeps my options open as I'm still not 100% decided on how the UFS as a whole will ultimately play out, plus it's the biggest win of AJ's career thus far. Matt will be focusing mainly on teaming with his brother for the foreseeable future anyway, so this loss shouldn't really hurt him.

Grade: B-

Bobby did a short backstage interview with "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels. Nothing special or noteworthy, and pretty similar to the segments we've done so far with Daniels, with him calling himself "God's gift to the cruiserweight division." Chris did a pretty good job with his delivery, which I was impressed with considering it was his first appearance on PPV. Bobby wasn't as good though, with a couple of attempted one-liners that fell flat. The Brain is still really entertaining, but he's not as sharp as he used to be and has off-nights far more often than he ever did in WWF.

Grade: C-

Booker T vs. Rey Misterio Jr. {}

Most considered this the odds-on favorite to be the best match of the night, and with good reason. Rey and Booker are two of our very best, and in this match they showed exactly why. While Booker was trying to win the United States title as a gateway to the world title match at next month's Clash of the Champions, the sheer quality of this match was a great thing for the prestige of the US belt. For around 23 minutes these two thrilled the crowd with a back-and-forth match. Rey tried to do his usual flying attacks, but Booker did all he could to disrupt his rhythm with everything from stall tactics to power moves to brawling to downright cheap shots. He seemed to enjoy working with Rey, as he showed improved technical skills when they were on the mat and also looked better when taking to the air, which made Mike and I even more frustrated on commentary since we all knew Booker was good enough to win major championship matches straight up and didn't need to take any shortcuts.

This match was the perfect blend of great wrestling and character development, with Rey standing up for the prestige of the United States title as something more than a mere stepping stone, and Booker being absolutely ruthless as he continued his quest to regain the championship he believed never should have left his possession. Whether you're a fan of great ring work or engrossing characters, you couldn't help but love this match.

Booker whipped Rey off of the ropes and threw a clothesline, but Misterio ducked it and snapped off a swinging DDT. He went out to the apron and took flight with his springboard hurricanrana, but Booker dropped down onto his chest at the last moment and Rey collided with ref Charles Robinson. While Rey checked on the ref, Booker rolled out to the floor and grabbed a steel chair. He brought it back into the ring and smashed Rey across the back with it! After several more hard shots to the back he took aim at the champion's face, but Rey blocked it. Misterio wrested the chair out of Booker's hands--then jabbed him right in the ribs with it!

A shot to the back knocked Booker down, and Rey continued to batter him with the chair. Mike and I said that the repeated attacks on Nitro and now Booker introducing the chair had sent Rey over the edge and made him lose his temper. The first thing Charles Robinson saw upon regaining his wits was Misterio beating the hell out of Booker with a steel chair, so naturally he called for the bell and disqualified him. Booker wins the match, but not the title.

Grade: A

RVD was standing near the curtain, preparing to go out for his match when he was approached by the Natural Born Thrillers. Palumbo wished him well in the main event, saying that they were genuinely pulling for him to beat Scott Steiner tonight. O'Haire agreed, because if RVD won, that meant that tomorrow night on Nitro the Thrillers would beat the US champion AND the World champion in the same match! Rob showed some improved acting chops as he shrugged his shoulders and said that tomorrow was tomorrow.

"You two dudes are one tough tag team, no doubt about it. Me and Rey-Rey are gonna have our hands full tomorrow, but that's tomorrow. Tonight it's about this World Heavyweight title over my shoulder, so I think you boys should pull up a chair and watch the champ in action, because I'm about to put on the show of a lifetime in front of my hometown! Battle Creek's gonna be rocking when they see the hometown guy walk out there with the world title, and as they watch me do what only I can do, there's just three letters everybody in the crowd will be chanting: R-V-D!"

Grade: B

"Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner (w/Midajah) vs. Rob Van Dam {}

What to expect from this match? I didn't have a clue. The Starrcade match was certainly a disappointment, but then RVD went and had a great match with The Destroyer last month. Steiner got things started by attacking RVD right at the opening bell, and that set the tone for most of the match. Scott was dominant, tossing RVD all around the ring with suplexes, beating on him with strikes and doing plenty of flexing and trash talking all the while. This is pretty standard fare, but we went too far in that direction this time. Scott was too dominant for too long, and it really hurt the match. The fans were ready to cheer the hometown hero on but we didn't give them much chance to, with any signs of a comeback stuffed before it could ever really get going. It wasn't a psychology problem per se, as they did tell the story we were looking for. The story just didn't make for a very compelling match, and once again these two had a lackluster main event together.

RVD finally got a genuine comeback going, connecting with several kicks and hitting Rolling Thunder and a cartwheel moonsault for a pair of near falls. Just when the crowd was getting behind Van Dam, Steiner caught him on a spinning heel kick and turned it into a modified exploder suplex. He went for the Steiner Recliner, but RVD used his flexibility to escape the predicament and then floored him with a standing spin kick. He hopped up to the top rope, did his thumb pointing thing and jumped off for the Five Star Frog Splash!

Steiner rolled out of the way! As RVD got back up to his feet, clutching his ribs, Scotty clubbed him with a lariat right to the jaw. He pulled him up into waistlock position and attempted a German suplex, but RVD landed on his feet and seamlessly took him to the mat with a rolling prawn hold for a sudden three count.

Grade: B

Show Overall Grade: B

Credit to K-Nection once again for the poster!

Last edited by The Final Countdown : 07-26-2017 at 01:43 PM.
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