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Unread 04-16-2017, 05:51 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default May 2002: Pre-Mayhem News and Notes

There has been some big news over the past few weeks, but I have to start with the passing of one of the greatest of all time. The legendary Lou Thesz passed away on May 16th at the age of 86. We will be sure to pay tribute to him Sunday at Mayhem.

Gabe Sapolsky, a Paul Heyman disciple from the ECW days, has founded a new indy called Pro Wrestling IRON in the Southwest US. Apparently they're going to aim for a product similar to what you'd see in Japan.

It's official: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the man who more than likely saved Vince from going out of business a few years back, has left the company. His last appearance came on the April 22nd Raw, where he wrestled Scott Hall in the main event. They had a backstage segment between Rock and Austin and then a pre-match confrontation between Austin and Hall which set up a storyline where if Austin beat Hall he would get another title shot against Hogan, and if he didn't beat him, he had to leave the WWE. They didn't job him out, oddly enough, as the match ended in a no contest, which under the match stipulations meant he still had to leave since he failed to beat Hall. Maybe they went with the non-finish because they haven't closed the door on bringing him back and didn't want to upset him? Regardless, his match with Hall was miles better than their match at this year's Mania. This one was a legit MOTY contender, so it was a hell of a way for him to go out.

Competing with Austin's departure as the top news story is a recent defeat for Vince in the courtroom. He and the World Wildlife Fund had always uneasily shared the WWF acronym, but now the environmental group has won sole ownership of the initials. After losing his appeal, Vince has officially changed the name of his company to 'World Wrestling Entertainment' (WWE.) Part of me is tempted to start making panda jokes when I'm doing commentary on Nitro.

My "old buddy" Shawn Michaels returned to the ring for the first time since putting Steve Austin over at Wrestlemania four years ago, teaming with best friend/fellow egomaniac Triple H to lose to Jericho and Hogan in the main event of Smackdown. Hooray for him. I always knew he was faking it. Hopefully he's found his smile during his four years off. I also find it more than a bit ironic that he just so happened to return days after Austin left the company, since it's an open secret that he didn't want to pass the torch to Steve and tried to talk Vince into having him retain at that Mania and then drop the belt to Hunter. Selfish ass.

Jeff Jarrett hasn't been doing much since asking for his release last July, so I guess he decided to take matters into his own hands. He's launched a new company called NWA: Total Nonstop Action (NWA: TNA for short), based in the South East just like us. They obviously will be associated with the NWA, yet he's already announced that TNA will crown its own world champion. So what's the point of the NWA affiliation? Not like there's any prestige left in that name.

Before even hiring his first employee, Jeff declared that his new company was going to "take the fight" to the WWF. Bold words, but he's going to have an uphill climb if he wants to back them up. He hasn't said anything derogatory about us yet, and I'm content to leave him alone if that doesn't change.

Anyone who knows Jarrett probably wasn't surprised when he brought in Vince Russo as the head booker. Disappointed, but not surprised. I don't wish ill on Jeff or anything, but that's a really, really stupid decision.

In better news for the company, they were able to reach a deal with Urban America to air their big events on TV. It's not quite a nationwide broadcaster, but it should help them build some popularity and establish a fanbase in a few key regions. All of that is dependent on Russo actually writing quality shows though, so we'll see.

A handful of performers have left WCW. I let the contracts of Jim Duggan, M.I. Smooth and Miss Jones expire. Duggan and Smooth had little to no value to us. Jim was pretty good once upon a time, but he just doesn't fit what we're going for. Smooth was never much good. Jones, who had been managing Ernest Miller, didn't really bring anything to the table past being pretty.

I first brought in Chris Candido last year under a one year deal, because I wasn't sure if he had his life in order or what kind of effort I'd get out of him, and I didn't want to make a long term commitment. That year went better than I could have possibly expected, so obviously I wasn't going to let him go anywhere when his contract came due. His stock is exponentially higher than it was one year ago, and his new contract was naturally for a much higher figure as a result. He's earned it though.

Vampiro picked a fight with Mean Gene, of all people, backstage before the May 6th Nitro. What a tough guy. I fined him for his ridiculous behavior, which Gene appreciated. It annoyed Vampiro, but I'm past caring at this point. If he hadn't been right in the middle of a storyline with Chavo and American Dragon I probably would've just fired him. I think it's almost inevitable that he'll be getting fired sometime over the next few months, which is why I wrote him out of Salvation.

Mike Sanders took a nasty bump in a Nitro dark match and suffered a case of whiplash, but would be fine. Yang was less lucky; he had an awkward landing on a dive to the floor during a tag match against True Heroes on Saturday Night and broke his shoulder. That sounds worse than it is, apparently, because my medical team said he'd be ready to work again after a few weeks off. It is unfortunate for him as he was originally slotted to be one of the thirty men in the Mayhem match, but it wasn't difficult for me to replace him with another midcard talent.

I agreed to let New Japan book Luger and Buff Bagwell on a few of their shows in exchange for borrowing Hawk for that brief Road Warriors reunion. They've yet to capitalize on the instant classics that Lex will be sure to put on for them, but apparently Buff really got into it with Jinsei Shinzaki (formerly Hakushi in the WWF, who I had some pretty good matches with) when he was over for the NJPW's 'Glory of History' show last month. Whatever happened has caused some real bad blood there, but it shouldn't matter much since they work for different companies anyway.

Jamie Knoble tweaked his neck during his match against Alan Funk taped for Saturday Night during our May 12th taping. It's only a minor injury and honestly he could've worked through it, but I gave him a week off as a precaution. He'll unfortunately miss the Mayhem PPV as a result.

Arn Anderson passed the news on to me that Ric Flair has divorced his second wife, Elizabeth, after almost twenty years of marriage. This is not David's mother; he is from Ric's first marriage. Ric and Elizabeth do have two younger kids, Ashley and Reid. Hopefully the family doesn't take it too hard.

NJPW ran their annual Wrestling Dontaku show on May 12th. Fujinami retained the IWGP title over Masahiro Chono in a main event that was okay, but not nearly as good as you'd have expected given the reputation of both guys. Koji Kanemoto over Super J and Taiyo Kea retaining the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title against Minoru Tanaka were tied for match of the night. It was a solid show all things considered, but it wasn't one of New Japan's stronger recent efforts. They may be feeling the sting of losing Keiji Mutoh to All Japan.

NOAH put on 'Silver Explodes' on May 16th. Akira Taue retained the GHC title over Hideki Hosaka in a solid main event, but they were outshined by the semi main featuring Misawa and Yoshinari Ogawa teaming to beat Wild II (Takeshi Morishima and Takeshi Rikio). It was slightly better than New Japan's Wrestling Dontaku show, but still not as good as the shows NOAH was putting on when Misawa was headlining as champion.

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
Well I was bored this morning!
Nice work as usual. Surely this is the first TEW loading screen to ever feature Judy Bagwell!

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
General diary comments/questions/critiques: Love how your women's division is unfolding. I'm kind of shocked that some of your Japanese workers still don't know English yet (or at least enough to come off as passable)?
I seemed to remember reading that it had been made a lot tougher and more realistic to learn foreign languages in TEW2016, so I didn't really pay much attention to it beyond when I first hired them. But after your comment I looked, and all of the Japanese workers on the main roster now speak fluent English except for Toshiyo Yamada, who is passable. Guess it wasn't overhauled after all.

I can tell through your writing that you have been disappointed with RVD's performances and are probably looking to pull the title off of him.
Is that how it's coming across? I was disappointed by his matches with Steiner, but his main events have been pretty good outside of that. It sucked that he was really off of his game at Slamboree and probably held the match back from a solid A grade, but I can't really complain too hard about an 88 rating for a face/face match.

Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
World Heavyweight Championship: Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam {}
-The build up of Booker as a heel has been fantastic.
The funny thing is I wasn't planning on turning him heel. The storyline just sort of evolved that way organically.

United States Heavyweight Championship: Chuck Palumbo vs. Shane Douglas {}
-Douglas is on the roll of his life at the moment and it won't be derailed by Palumbo
Shane has been a real standout in this dynasty for sure.

Originally Posted by Cro Cop Rules View Post
Fan Scorecard:

World Heavyweight Championship: Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam {}
I love Booker, and you have made him the most dynamic character in this dynasty. Even though it would be interesting to see Booker deal with the fallout of the loss (Broken Booker anyone? ), I think it's time to give him the belt.
Brother Rushay, I knew you'd come!

(Thank you Wikipedia! )

United States Heavyweight Championship: Chuck Palumbo vs. Shane Douglas {}
I can see a triple threat with both members of the NBT getting a shot against the Franchise. Also, if you do bring Austin in, I would love to see a program between Austin and Douglas. Imagine the promos!
Dueling promos between Stone Cold and The Franchise would be fire.

Hayabusa vs. Evan Karagis vs. Shannon Moore
It's so cool to see Hayabusa here.
I think so too! I saw him sitting there after NJPW bought out FMW, and I thought it would be fun to bring him in. It's nice that in this universe he didn't suffer that horrific career-ending injury in late 2001.

Originally Posted by Larrikn View Post
Just finished reading the backlog!

quick question was it ever revealed who was being teased to be brought in "straight to TV" at the start of 2002? was it Arns free agent? perhaps i missed them in my binge haha
If you're referring to the "One hour before Starrcade" teaser, that was for the Hardys. Technically it was for Jeff, since he signed the day of Starrcade and Matt signed a few days later.

Last edited by The Final Countdown : 08-26-2017 at 10:31 PM.
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