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Default September 2002: War Games Wrap-up and Hall of Champions

I stood with the rest of the boys, waiting by the curtain. Everyone started clapping enthusiastically the moment Ric Flair crossed the threshold, and I was among them. He had tears in his eyes as he accepted well wishes, handshakes and general admiration from the vast majority of the locker room. I'm pretty sure he wasn't the only one either. It was an emotional moment for everyone.

"Congrats on one hell of a career, Ric," I said as he walked by me. I held out my hand, and for a moment he just stared at it. He did eventually shake my hand, but he brushed past me as quickly as he could manage. Under the circumstances, I didn't hold it against him.

Ric isn't ready for his career to be over. He thinks he can still go inside the ring. I think differently. He can still cut a promo like few others, and he understands psychology better than any member of the active roster. But physically, he's less than a shadow of what he was in his prime. He's almost always the worst performer in his matches these days, even with opponents he'd have been carrying on his back ten years ago. Maybe it wouldn't be as big a problem in the old WCW or current WWE, where there's less focus on ring work and he could get by on reputation and charisma. But in modern WCW, my WCW, where ring work is the name of the game and we work a more physically demanding style, Ric's decline is all too noticeable.

I suppose I could've just allowed him to keep going as long as he wanted, jobbing him out to any up and coming guy we try to get over. But I honestly feel like that would be a waste. I believe he can still contribute a lot to this company, but in a non-wrestling role. He'd make a great road agent or trainer, or we could insert him as somebody's mouthpiece and let him work his magic on the microphone. I think there are any number of positions where he could be an asset for WCW, but in-ring wrestling isn't among them anymore. It was with that thought in mind that I devised this entire storyline. I thought ending his career the way we did, in the match we did and in the place we did, was a fitting send-off for Ric Flair the in-ring wrestler.

Ric is still adamant about wrestling. Even as late as earlier today he tried to talk me into changing the finish, but I wouldn't budge. I think this is for the best. Hopefully Ric will come to agree in time. I'll be giving him some time off after a final appearance on tomorrow's Nitro, and we'll see where everything stands when he gets back. I think he still believes he can talk me into letting him wrestle again, and he's hinted that if I don't, he might leave when his contract's up to continue his career somewhere else. Hopefully he doesn't try to force my hand, but we'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it.
My initial plan was for Punk to beat Jeff Hardy tonight, but Jeff complained a bit about that idea as he felt it would hurt him. He's a big part of our future and I want to keep him happy, so I changed it to the DQ finish and added the continued beatdown by Punk and Storm after the match.

Mortis was thankfully okay after RVD's botched Five Star Frog Splash, but he was pretty upset with Rob for nearly injuring him.

The returning Brian Adams' heel turn was a complete success. I've seen positive signs on some recent house shows that he and Christopher Daniels should be able to work well together in a bodyguard type role, ala Diesel and Shawn Michaels.

AJ Styles and TAKA both let me know that they thought the War Games match restricted them too much, and they'd be better in matches that rely less on brawling. They're not wrong, but this was a special scenario. I thought TAKA adjusted really well anyway, but neither of them should have to worry about being in too many brawls going forward.

In addition to saluting Flair after the show, I also praised Corino for being the star performer in the War Games match and pointed to CM Punk as a good example for going along with the last-minute booking change in his match without complaint. I'm sure DDP loved hearing me praise the guy who stole his wife, but that's personal and this is business.

I've finalized a trade with New Japan that will allow us to use Yuji Nagata in the Stu Hart Classic. Nagata is a really good technical wrestler and a main event talent for New Japan. He also spent well over a year in WCW from 1997 to 98.

War Games wasn't the only big PPV tonight. WWE also ran their September offering, Unforgiven, tonight in Texas. They continued the WWE Championship program from Summerslam. On that show Eddie Guerrero beat Hulk Hogan, but Hogan retained the title since Eddie won via count out. Eddie got his rematch in tonight's main event--and this time he pinned Hulk clean to win the title. I must have stepped into some sort of alternate universe, because Hulk Hogan putting new blood over in such a huge fashion flies in the face of everything I understand about the world. He certainly never did it for me!

The fans in Texas loved it though, especially the heavy Hispanic base. Eddie certainly deserves it, but it's not the best outcome for us in our head-to-head battle. That was a very good match, thanks to the crowd heat and Eddie's hard work, but it wasn't the best of the night. That honor belonged to the semi main event, where Kurt Angle retained the ECW title against Chris Jericho in a fantastic technical wrestling match. On the strength of those two matches, most of the early internet reports I've seen have Unforgiven as being better than War Games (but only by a razor-thin margin.) Tommy Dreamer also won the European title from Mr. Perfect on the show.

Prediction Scores (out of a possible 17 points):

deanohbk: 12
tg01: 12

Uncrewed: 11
smw88: 11
michgcs: 11
LordofGustav: 11

Happy0wns: 10
DavidCorperial: 10
GnarlsFunk: 10
bonnie: 10

DGenerationMC: 9
Warhawk8492: 9
K-Nection: 9
sportsfanmas: 9
crackerjack: 9
Satyr24: 9
odan: 9

Ian carlisle: 8
evileddie10: 8
Destiny: 8
jscotty: 8
SIser187: 8
Dead_Jester: 8
Wolfman84: 8
chrismday: 8

Beejus: 7
Rateddc: 7
Danny_H22: 7
2Sweet: 7
KnowYourEnemy: 7
BHK6: 7
Purotastic: 7
Cro Cop Rules: 7

cbacon87: 5

Current Standings in UFS Prediction Contest after 3 shows:

Warhawk8492: 31
bonnie: 31
Satyr24: 31
Uncrewed: 31

jscotty: 30
LordofGustav: 30
smw88: 30

Purotastic: 29
chrismday: 29
Dead_Jester: 29
crackerjack: 29
deanohbk: 29

sportsfanmas: 28
odan: 28

BHK6: 27
evileddie10: 27
GnarlsFunk: 27
Happy0wns: 27

SIser187: 26
Ian carlisle: 26
DGenerationMC: 26

Rateddc: 25
Wolfman84: 25
K-Nection: 25
michgcs: 25

cbacon87: 24

Beejus: 23

shawn michaels 82: 22

The Lariat: 20

Danny H22: 18
franticloser: 18
Nobby_McDonald: 18

Kijar: 17
GingeyOne: 17
Cro Cop Rules: 17

Jackets: 15
KnowYourEnemy: 15

tg01: 12

Gravyb0y: 11

Crossface: 10
DavidCorperial: 10

Greggyb: 9
Briskout: 9

smartman: 8
Destiny: 8

2Sweet: 7

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:

"Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels

Won: September 22nd, 2002 from American Dragon at War Games in Greensboro, North Carolina

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
American Dragon: August 11th, 2002-September 22nd, 2002 (42 days)
AJ Styles: April 21st, 2002-August 11th, 2002 (112 days)
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 Television Champion:

Fit Finlay (2nd reign)

Won: July 29th, 2002 in a tournament final against Hugh Morrus at Monday Nitro in Bozeman, Montana

Previous Champions (since July 2002):

World Tag Team Champions:

The Hardys (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy)

Won: July 14th, 2002 from True Heroes at Bash at the Beach in Melbourne, Australia

Previous Champions (since March 2001):
True Heroes (Lance Storm and CM Punk): December 30th, 2001-July 14th, 2002 (196 days)
The Natural Born Thrillers (Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire): January 14th, 2001-December 30th, 2001 (351 days)

Thanks for the warm welcome back and feedback on this show! I've always thought the War Games matchtype would be a really fun one to write, and I consider this my first true chance to do so. (I did have one in my WCW 1995 diary, Let There Be War, but it was a match already locked in place when I started so I didn't have a chance to build it up. Plus it featured The Zodiac, who only ever managed to entertain me via OSW.)

I'm considering running a prediction contest for every match of the Stu Hart Classic. If I do it I'll probably keep it separate from the current ongoing contest, as six months' worth of PPVs feels like quite long enough as it is for one contest!

Anyone have any ideas on a name for the upcoming women's TV show? Keep in mind that it'll need a logo, so I'm somewhat limited in options unless I reuse an old WCW show like Main Event or Worldwide or something.

Originally Posted by DiamondKnucklez View Post
This was such a great show man, so glad to know you did not give up on this. The Jeff Hardy Vs CM Punk match was my favorite. Really excited to see you build the future of WCW around them 2. I want to predict and hope that some day them 2 get the main event at Starcade for the world championship. Hell, make it a steel cage too and it would be an historic match. Especially, if you continue to build history around them both to some day build it up. The main event was by far amazing. I really was not expecting that finish, it was crazy! The whole match had me so invested on what would happen. Im so excited to see what happens on Nitro, especially with the Stu Hart Classic. I am so pumped for Steiner Vs Booker T at Halloween Havoc, you did an amazing job building that rematch up. Your dynasty is by far my favorite man, reading your work makes me so inspired to create a WCW dynasty myself. Keep up the talented and amazing work TFC!
Well it won't be JUST them, of course. I've got a strong crew of young, talented workers who should make for a great main event nucleus down the road. But one thing that sets Punk and Jeff apart is their star quality. With both guys having shot into the 90's there, they're the primary two that could give WWE's best a run for their money. A Starrcade main event is a definite possibility in the future, but we'll see what happens.

Originally Posted by KnowYourEnemy View Post
Sir, I look forward to the debut of the newest Power Plant graduate...

The Space Mountain "I'm not Natch" Rider. He takes opponents on wonderful rides to Disney's Space Mountain. It's quite a fun experience, you should go!
Just imagine Dusty showing up to try and get to the bottom of this controversy!

Originally Posted by smartman View Post
Well, the lay-off sure didn't rust any of your skills, TFC. Epic A++++++ show. I'd guessed how the main event would end, and the location of the show clinched it. Still it was great, and now I can foresee Arn losing his job due to his actions and being replaced by Flair. Can't let the greatest on-mic performer sit un-used or just a road agent.
If anything I think it helped. After about a month off from this, I came back extremely motivated and excited for this show, and the main event in particular.

Very few of the predictors went with The Empire to win, and I'm not sure if any of them had Corino making Flair submit as the finish. So I guess you're the only one who had me figured out!
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