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Default May 2002: Mayhem Wrap-up, Hall of Champions

Mayhem would go down in the books as a fantastic show. It was one of the best we'd put on, capped off with an instant classic main event. The fans, whether in the arena or on the message boards, were very positive on the show. Yet there was one topic of conversation that came up repeatedly: where was Steve Austin?

Austin had been the major story throughout the wrestling community for weeks, and the moment his WWF departure became official, everyone jumped to the conclusion that he'd join us. I'd seen all the anticipation about him debuting as one of the mystery entrants in the Mayhem match, which was why I changed my original plan and had DDP enter at #29 instead of 30. The disappointment of #30 being someone other than Austin put the heat on Corino, which was the desired reaction. But after the show, the speculation continued. Was Austin not coming in, or were we just delaying his debut?

Naturally I contacted Steve at the earliest available opportunity. He met with me and we had a nice conversation, but he indicated he wasn't ready to sign a deal. Right now he's just going to do his tour with the EWP and then reevaluate his options after that. He didn't come right out and say it, but my thinking is that he wants to keep a possible return to WWF on the table. Either that, or maybe he's gun-shy about returning to WCW after the way his career went the first time. We do have a good friendship though, and he told me that he would never forget what I did for him in 1996 and 97 in our feud that made him a star. We didn't shut the door completely on the possibility of him coming to WCW eventually. We'll wait and see the lay of the land later in the year, and if he's still available I'll give him a call and see how he's feeling.
American Dragon would've been one of the last people I ever expected to be brought before the wrestler's court, but that's exactly what happened before Mayhem. I think Dusty knows he's a good kid though, and he took it pretty easy on him.

After the show I praised RVD for the performance of the night and not complaining about dropping the title. I also gave Booker a hug and told DDP how much I admired him for having such a positive attitude and doing whatever was asked of him despite any personal issues.

Jeff Hardy gave Bryan Danielson a pat on the back and told him he was going to be a big star down the line. I agree completely.

Hall of Champions:

World Heavyweight Champion:

Booker T (5th reign)

Won: May 19th, 2002 from Rob Van Dam at Mayhem in Worcester, Massachusetts

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
Rob Van Dam: December 30th, 2001-May 19th, 2002 (140 days)
Scott Steiner: July 15th, 2001-December 30th, 3001 (168 days)
Booker T: March 26th, 2001-July 15th, 2001 (111 days)

World Women's Champion:

Etsuko Mita

Won: January 9th, 2002 against Zap I during the AJW Glass Grave Yard tour in Annaka, Japan after Aja Kong vacated the title when she left AJW
((Mita was the reigning WWWA World champion when AJW was bought out by WCW. The title was adopted into WCW with its lineage intact, and Mita was recognized as WCW's Women's World Champion.))

Previous Champions (since January 2002):

United States Heavyweight Champion:

Shane Douglas (2nd reign)

Won: April 1st, 2002 from Rey Misterio Jr. at Monday Nitro in Pikeville, Kentucky

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
Rey Misterio Jr (#2): October 14th, 2001-April 1st, 2002 (169 days)
Kanyon: August 5th, 2001-October 14th, 2001 (70 days)
Rey Misterio Jr: May 13th, 2001-August 5th, 2001 (85 days)
Booker T: March 18th, 2001-April 30th, 2001 (44 days)

Cruiserweight Champion:

AJ Styles

Won: April 21st, 2002 from TAKA at Slamboree in Tokyo, Japan

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
TAKA: December 30th, 2001-April 21st, 2002 (112 days)
Jushin Liger: August 5th, 2001-December 30th, 2001 (147 days)
Shane Helms: March 18th, 2001-August 5th, 2001 (140 days)

World Tag Team Champions:

True Heroes (Lance Storm and CM Punk)

Won: December 30th, 2001 from The Natural Born Thrillers at Starrcade in Tokyo, Japan

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
The Natural Born Thrillers (Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire): January 14th, 2001-December 30th, 2001 (351 days)

Prediction scores (maximum possible points: 21)

((+3 = correctly predicted Booker as next world champion))

K-Nection: 13 (+3)

Uncrewed: 12 (+3)
franticloser: 12
Larrikn: 12
The Lariat: 12

jscotty: 11 (+3)
crackerjack: 11 (+3)
evileddie10: 11 (+3)
Satyr24: 11
Warkhawk8492: 11
Purotastic: 11

Cro Cop Rules: 10 (+3)
Rateddc: 10 (+3)
Beejus: 10 (+3)
GingeyOne: 10 (+3)
michgcs: 10

smw88: 9 (+3)
Dead_Jester: 9 (+3)
chrismday: 9 (+3)
deanohbk: 9 (+3)
KnowYourEnemy: 9 (+3)
Nobby_McDonald: 9 (+3)
BHK6: 9 (+3)
cbacon87: 9
SIser187: 9

DGenerationMC: 8 (+3)
Briskout: 8
sportsfanmas: 8

Armando Payne: 7
Happy0wns: 7
Wolfman84: 7

The Lloyd: 6
Ian carlisle: 6

Kijar: 5 (+3)
LordofGustav: 5 (+3)
Standings in prediction contest after 2 shows (1 show remaining):

K-Nection: 24

Rateddc: 23
evileddie10: 23

Dead_Jester: 22
Beejus: 22
jscotty: 22

Uncrewed: 21

Satyr24: 20
KnowYourEnemy: 20
franticloser: 20
deanohbk: 20
crackerjack: 20

Happy0wns: 19
The Lariat: 19
smw88: 19
BHK6: 19

michgcs: 18
chrismday: 18

Armando Payne: 17
cbacon87: 17
Nobby_McDonald: 17

Briskout: 16
DGenerationMC: 16

Kijar: 15
sportsfanmas: 15

Wolfman84: 14
LordofGustav: 14
Warhawk8492: 14

Ian carlisle: 13
Cro Cop Rules: 13
GingeyOne: 13

Larrikn: 12

Purotastic: 11

SIser187: 9

The Lloyd: 6

There's probably more chance than usual for an error in the prediction scores, so feel free to doublecheck your totals and alert me if you think there's a mistake.

So the gameplay reason for no Austin is that he thinks WCW is too small for him. Fair enough, as he's a global icon in this mod and I'm only at Cult. Yet EWP is in the single digits in all of Europe except for Central Europe, where they're at 37 popularity. My lowest popularity anywhere in the game world is a 40 in a few regions of Europe. I'm guessing the game is set up for a worker to ignore the size requirements for touring companies? Or maybe it's because they aren't based in his home area?

Originally Posted by Armando Payne View Post
World Heavyweight Championship: Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam {}

Booker T wins by crotching RVD on the top rope as RVD goes for his Five Star Frog Splash. Then he delivers a superplex before rolling him up and putting his feet on the rope for the 3 count.
This is pretty much a spot-on combination of the world and US title match finishes.

General diary comments/questions/critiques:
Digging this. Wondering when Lex Luger will face Madusa in a Lex Express vs Monster Truck match to decide which is more powerful? (I'm only a Lex Mark thanks to OSW, I don't even dig the dude.)
Ironically, I've been going through the OSW playlist for the first time recently, generally while I'm working on this. I have a feeling my writing of Tito Santana would've been very different if I'd been watching OSW during TGAAB.

Originally Posted by Wolfman84 View Post
Is Steve Austin in decline or heat with Vince McMahon?
No heat with Vince, and I don't think he's in decline either.

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
Well it still goes a quick rate for foreign workers in your home country. It is just now it is harder for your roster to learn other languages outside of your home country. With as many shows as you have been running in Japan you might start to see some language barriers being broke there. I would check some of your guys you have had since the beginning.
Nope, nothing yet. I think I've run a half dozen shows at the most in Japan so far though.

Originally Posted by KnowYourEnemy View Post
General diary comments/questions/critiques:
I guess I'm in the other camp here -- I really hope you don't sign Stone Cold. I always thought that part of "the fun" of playing WCW is you don't need Austin to beat Vince, and instead, you can take him on with your own stars. Once you get Austin, WCW will crush Vince in a few months -- personally, I always find it difficult to keep writing without solid competition.
Even if I had gotten Austin right now, I'm not sure it would've turned the tide as completely as you're suggesting. The WWF is still putting on really good shows without him, and they'd still be beating me in any National Battles if we were currently in them. I'm also not sure how well he'd do in my product with its focus on performance rather than popularity, as well as its increased match danger and intensity. He'd be a massive addition for sure, but I think it'd be quite some time before I could surpass WWE even if I had him.

What I'd Do: You can edit "available areas" in-game, and much like Hogan in Japan and "The Snake" Jake Roberts in AAA during the mid-nineties [among others] have Stone Cold work abroad for one year, waiting out the time for that "big offer" in the states. You'd have to user-control a company for "one-night only" [or maybe a bit longer] to complete the signing. Then, an "even" WWF and WCW plus another company will duke it out for "Stone Cold" -- making him easily the highest paid free agent out there.
So obviously I'm not going to have the option of signing him until I hit National. I've only just upgraded my TV and PPV coverage in the USA so I'm not sure how dramatically that will increase my rate of growth, but however long it takes, we'll see what happens with him in the meantime.

Originally Posted by michgcs View Post
Manami Toyota, Alexis Laree and Melissa Anderson vs. Takako Inoue, Shinobu Kandori and Daffney
I'm sure you aren't surprised to see her here. She may be a Cheerleader, but in your diary it's me who is leading the cheers for her.

Originally Posted by The Lariat View Post
Any chance of bringing ex-ECW guys? I could see them primarily in the tag division, with Doring & Roadkill and Nova & Chetti able to do good work. Heck, York and Matthews could challenge 3 Count! Cyrus vs. Tenay!
I'm trying to refrain as much as I can from making any new signings right now, as my roster is pretty big for my size and TV time.

Originally Posted by Purotastic View Post
General diary comments/questions/critiques: Spent my day reading through this awesome journal. Keep up the good work!
Nice! Welcome!

Originally Posted by Beejus View Post
I don't know if I've ever heard of Dusty and Lou Thesz being close, but I'd be up for listening to Dusty read the phone book, so him giving a few words about the late Thesz would be a solid start.
Yeah, I have no idea if they were or not. He just seemed like the most qualified guy on my roster to talk about him, and the lineage of the NWA title seemed like the best way to draw the connection.

I realized while writing that segment that there was an angle I was meaning to do with Dusty, and I really should've done it already. Maybe I can find a way to squeeze it in soon and still make sense.

Vampiro is definitely on his way out of WCW, and him losing here will begin putting the icing on the cake, so to speak. I don't expect to see him much on Nitro in the future anymore either, likely he will be found jobbing on Worldwide I would imagine. The Chavo/Bryan feud continues to simmer nicely.
Eh, whoever's beating him will probably gain more out of it on Nitro than Saturday Night.

Good, a solid "on" night for Roddy, even if he was berating one of your potential future generation of stars. However, I could see this as a great motivation for Daniels to finally step into the ring - and I look to see him grab the Cruiser belt sooner rather than later once he does, given the promotion you've put into him.
I've been holding Daniels out largely to try and build his popularity up a bit first through angles, but it's not really working like I wanted. I think I need to throw him into the deep end pretty soon, and this angle was pretty much the beginning of that.

I kinda dig you using Melissa as Arn's niece. It makes sense, given the name. Makes me wonder if perhaps she won't have another Cousin Wrestling Anderson show up in the future...
Yeah, it just kind of popped into my head as I was trying to think up a new name for her, because as much as I like her as a performer I've always disliked the name Cheerleader Melissa. It seemed like an interesting way to do.

I thought you were talking about the Machine Gun at first, but now it occurs to me you're probably referring to KENNEDDY........KENNEDDY! (I wouldn't expect to see him show up here, to be honest. He's more sports entertainer than wrestler.)

It's too bad you can't mark an angle as a comedy segment in TEW, because that would have been hilarious to see. Especially with Gene at the end of it, too. It's kinda too bad you're writing him out, but in 2002, he doesn't have a whole lot to give to WCW. And with TEW the way it is, you can't really put him on any sort of media show (like the WWE did with Confidential) so he is a victim of circumstances in this situation. But.... how are they going to drive to the US?!
I probably wasn't clear enough on this. I was GOING to let Gene's contract expire; it literally got all the way down to the final day to begin negotiations. Then I decided on a whim that I should make the driver of the bus an actual character Lex can interact with, and the idea of using Gene in the role seemed good. Hiring an old man to drive him around the country (the world?!) on a crappy old school bus with a crummy DIY stars & stripes paint job is what the Flex Express is all about, baby! So yeah, the role will be a regular one, so Gene is signed to an extension and will be sticking around for awhile.

I'm kind of debating whether I'm going to address the logistics of driving a school bus across an ocean. I think it would be funny to have Heenan or somebody ask him about it, and just have Lex totally no sell it. "What do you mean? We made great time! I have 4% body fat, YEAH!"

Good thing Arn had those other guys just sitting around backstage in their wrestling gear!
Every wrestler worth his salt knows you always bring your gear with you!

I got yelled at by "The Franchise"! *squeee*
Badge of honor.

Time for Mayhem. Davey made for a good surprise entrant. I like this TKO rule, which almost seems designed for someone like Awesome to just look like a beast.
Yep, that was part of it. The other part was just me wanting to have another option for some variety instead of writing up 29 pins/submissions in one match. It allows me to get a bit more creative in spots, like when Cash tried to attack DDP on the ramp and got KTFO'D with a Diamond Cutter.

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
It was either that pic or him wearing the stupid devil horns and I hate those
NEVER use a picture of him with the devil horns. I hated those things with a fiery passion.

As far as how Mayhem went I loved reading that! I knew you would excel at writing that because I knew you would enjoy writing about the diverse eliminations other then just top rope eliminations.
It took me a bit to get used to it, but it definitely gave me more room to work with. The biggest drawback was probably my feeling that I needed to be more protective of eliminating people too quickly, since they were getting pinned/submitted/TKOed rather than simply being thrown over the top rope. The active field subsequently got a bit more bloated than I'd prefer at times.

I'm glad RVD could deliver as his last night as champ though! I'm curious if you were testing the psychology limits after the update that Adam did and that is the grade you received.
Not really. The difference is pretty obvious though. I would bet that the RVD/Steiner match from Starrcade would've been better than this if the psych penalty worked the same way back then.

Originally Posted by michgcs View Post
Was certainly rooting for Punk or Corino when things went down to our final four. Sucks that DDP went over but I guess it's good to have a big name to add some prestige to the match. Sucks that there's no Austin considering (I think?) he's a three-time Royal Rumble winner by this point. I'm sure all will be explained in your round-up post
Punk's obviously got a full plate at the moment. Corino could've been a legit option, but I wouldn't have wanted to put him against heel Booker at the moment. Initially my plan for the first Mayhem match was for Booker to win it and then win the title next month at GAB, but I decided to move things up. I'm not really sure if Austin would've won it even if I'd signed him. I never put much thought into it because I already knew he wasn't coming in.

Originally Posted by Armando Payne View Post
I think I only got like 3 predictions right, surprised Steve Austin never showed up, surprised Davey Boy Smith showed up considering he's dead an' all. (He died the day before Mayhem so yeah let's have a Zombie be part of the roster, good.) Surprised DDP Won. A whole bunch of surprises, eh?
In reality maybe, but he's alive and well in Heart and Soul, brother! (As is WCW itself.)
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