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Default October 2002: Road to Halloween Havoc, Part II


October 15th, 2002 (special Tuesday Night Nitro!)

From the Sun National Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey

Attendance: 8,100

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

Stu Hart Classic, Opening Round in Group D: Teddy Hart took the ring intending to honor his grandfather and continue the Hart legacy into the third generation, but Yuji Nagata had years of big-match experience under his belt. Nagata used his technical skills to ground young Teddy and finished him with a bridging backdrop suplex. (B-)

Post-match: Bobby Heenan comes to the ring to ask the loser about his state of mind after failing to make it out of the first round. Teddy looks and sounds confused, as if he can't understand how his grand visions of winning the Stu Hart Classic in his hometown of Calgary had gone so wrong. (D+)

Stu Hart Classic, Opening Round in Group D: He already has a shot at the United States title set for Halloween Havoc, but Davey Boy Smith was involved in the Classic as well. He fared better than his nephew just had, as he overpowered Ernest Miller and beat him with the running powerslam. (C)

Shane Douglas cuts a promo from the back: "Enjoy this win, Bulldog, and prepare as best you can to try and make a deep run in this tournament, because you WILL NOT be taking my United States Championship!" (B)

Billy Kidman earned a spot in a cruiserweight #1 contender's match by defeating Psychosis at War Games, while Chavo Guerrero Jr. weaseled his way into the match in American Dragon's place. He might have gotten in by nefarious means, but Chavo made the most of his opportunity and pinned Kidman with a frog splash at the end of a competitive match. (B)

In a backstage promo, DDP is far from happy about what happened last week during his Stu Hart Classic match against Shane Helms. He says that he doesn't know what Kimberly is up to, but he's getting tired of it. (B+)

American Dragon interrupts Chavo's locker room celebration and accuses him of stealing the spot that should have been his. Chavo plays innocent, saying that he was sure Dragon would be too focused on continuing on in the Stu Hart Classic to worry about regaining the Cruiserweight title at the moment, but Dragon says he doesn't believe that for a second. Christopher Daniels, with Brian Adams alongside him, stops by and taunts both men, saying that as amusing as their bickering is, neither of them have a chance against him anyway. (B-)

Stu Hart Classic, Opening Round in Group D: Rick Steiner was still nursing a bad leg after some extensive work from Booker T last week. CM Punk relentlessly exploited that weakness en route to a big win, setting the stage for a second round match against Davey Boy Smith next week. (B)

Lance Storm joins Punk in the ring to congratulate him. The two get on the mic to brag about advancing into the second round, and both said they'd have an easy time of it in their second round matches next week. They also issue a challenge to the Hardys: to make sure everyone knew who the best team was, how about they turn the big Halloween Havoc rematch into the best 2 out of 3 falls? The Hardys are quick to come out and accept the challenge. (A)

Hayabusa won a cruiserweight battle with Psychosis with the Phoenix Splash. (B)

Last week after Nitro: The Empire are throwing a party for themselves when Allison Corino interrupts. She asks "Steve" how he could possibly be happy with himself for "winning" in the tournament in such a shameful manner. He angrily tells her that she might be his sister, but he won't allow anyone to talk to him like that. She shakes her head and leaves, openly questioning how she could be related to someone like that. (B+)

Scott Steiner absolutely squashed poor young Mike Tobin. (C)

Steiner is flexing in the ring when Booker T steps out, looking angry. He holds up the official Halloween Havoc promotional poster (seen below in the show preview), which features a solo shot of Scott Steiner. "What kinda crap is that, man?!" Booker says. "I'M the champ! Where's MY poster?!" Steiner laughs and continues to flex in the ring, to Booker's great annoyance. "You ain't gonna be laughin' or posin' for any posters after I embarrass you at Halloween Havoc, sucka!" he shouts. (A)

Rey Mysterio Jr. is chatting backstage with his friend Konnan when a staff member presents a "gift" for him. Rey unwraps the packaging and finds one of the new replica Mysterio masks on sale at this one is covered in faux-blood. "See you at Halloween Havoc, Man of Mystery," says a note pinned to the mask. (B+)

Mortis and The Destroyer confront Sting and AJ Styles at an autograph signing. While they look forward to annihilating their opposition at Halloween Havoc, they don't want to wait that long. How about a tag team match next week on Nitro? Sting and Styles accept the challenge, and a big tag match is added to the go-home Nitro six days before the PPV. (A*)

Stu Hart Classic, Opening Round in Group D: The final first round match included Hugh Morrus out to pull off the upset against last year's winner, Rob Van Dam. The action was hard-hitting and intense, and Hugh Morrus made sure that RVD would have to earn his way into the second round. But earn it he did, thanks to the Five Star Frog Splash, and it was onward to a second round match against Yuji Nagata next week. (B+)

Show Grade: B+

October 19th, 2002

From the Okayama Budokan in Okayama, Japan

Attendance: 5,600

Announce Team: Tony Schiavone and Tracy Brooks

The show opened with Devil Masami absolutely brutalizing Kaori Nakayama. It was an uncomfortable beating, and Charles Robinson jumped in to pull Masami off and stop the match when Nakayama was knocked unconscious. (C+)

Masami grabs the microphone after the match and posed a question to everyone watching: who will stop the devil? (C+)

Melissa Anderson picked up her second win in the short history of Renaissance after first pulling off that old Anderson staple Spinebuster on Sonoko Kato, and then finishing the job with a German Suplex. (C+)

Manami Toyota and Daffney are both on-hand as it is announced that Daffney will get a championship match next week on Renaissance. Toyota speaks, saying she knows she has to be wary of Daffney's wild in-ring style, the poison mist and her Banshee Knee off of the top rope, but she has no intention of losing her title in the very first defense. Daffney doesn't speak (obviously), but she sends a message by blowing her mist into the air theatrically and then cackling to herself. (C+)

Allison Corino attempted to prove that it was possible for a Corino to win a match with honor and respect. She fought well and showed plenty of spirit, but Etsuko Mita was not willing to fade into the background. The Death Valley Driver sent the former World Women's Champion back into the winner's circle. (C+)

We briefly see former Michinoku Pro referee/commentator Panch Tahara speaking to Toshiyo Yamada and Nattie Neidhart backstage. What were they talking about? Who knows? (C-)

In tonight's main event, Chigusa Nagayo took on Takako Inoue. Though Inoue still took plenty of time to primp and preen during the match, she knew this was a big match and fought aggressively, and got even more aggressive about midway through when Kyoko Inoue stepped into the aisle to observe. Nagayo took quite a beating but refused to quit, showing the heart of a legend and winning the match with the Super Freak. (B)

Post-match: Aja Kong comes into the ring and says that after thinking it over, she's realized Chigusa was right. She's taken her advice and officially signed a contract with WCW! Chigusa says she's happy to hear it and Renaissance will be that much stronger with her joining, but Kong smiles and warns her to be careful what she wishes for, because now that the true world champion is here no one on Renaissance will be safe! (C+)

Show Grade: B-


October 21st, 2002

From Eihusen Arena in Grand Island, Nebraska

Attendance: 7,500

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

Davey Boy Smith is making his way to the ring for his Stu Hart Classic match when Shane Douglas ambushes him in the aisle! Officials and other wrestlers run out to pull Douglas away, but not before he gets in several good shots on his next US title challenger. (B)

Stu Hart Classic, Second Round in Group D: Davey Boy did his best to battle on, but he was working at a disadvantage from the beginning thanks to the assault by Douglas. CM Punk made the most of it, hitting the Devil Lock DDT to become the first man into the Quarterfinal round. (B-)

Booker T is interviewed at his home in Houston as he prepares for this Sunday's title defense. He reminds everyone that he is the true main event player, and he's always been better than Scott Steiner. He beat him on the final Nitro of the Turner era to become the man who would lead WCW in its rebirth, only to have that spot stolen from him when Steiner "won" the belt in a match where Booker wasn't pinned and never gave up. But now the belt was back where it belonged, and Steiner wouldn't be stealing it from him again, not this time. (B+)

Stu Hart Classic, Second Round in Group C: Shane Helms was here thanks to an upset win over DDP where Kimberly showed up mid-match to distract her ex-husband, and the plot thickened as the former Kimberly Page accompanied him to the ring this week. DDP showed up at ringside to ask Kimberly what the heck was going on, and Helms was thrown off by his presence. That was more than enough of an opening for King Corino to hit the piledriver and win the match. (B)

A video package covers the history of the Natural Born Thrillers, as well as comments from both O'Haire and Palumbo ahead of their meeting in the Stu Hart Classic at Halloween Havoc. O'Haire promises to beat the holy hell out of the man who stabbed him in the back, while Palumbo acts unafraid of his angry former partner. He says he was always the brains of the operation and the man who made the team great, and he'll advance in the tournament while O'Haire fades into obscurity, which is where he always would have been if not for Chuck. (B+)

Rey Mysterio Jr. cuts a backstage promo about being unafraid of The Unnatural. He says Dustin can play his mind games, but they won't distract him from--and then the lights went out. When they came back on, one of the Rey Mysterio Jr replica masks was at Rey's feet. Or to be more accurate it was only half of the mask, as it had been ripped apart. (A)

Stu Hart Classic, Second Round in Group B: Two technically skilled wrestlers met when American Dragon took on Lance Storm, and we got a clinic on the art of scientific wrestling out of it. After holds and counterholds aplenty, Storm countered an Arms Across America attempt into a modified grounded chicken wing to get the submission win. (B)

CM Punk joins Storm in the ring to celebrate both men advancing to the Quarterfinals. Punk says that just like they're taking control of this tournament, they'll re-take control of the tag team division by beating the Hardys in two straight falls on Sunday and taking their belts back. The Hardys respond from the back, with Jeff telling True Heroes not to get ahead of themselves. They still had a long road to go if they were hoping to dominate the Stu Hart Classic--and they also had a long road to go to defeat the Hardys twice in one night, especially since they'd lost both of their previous meetings. (B)

Christopher Daniels taunts Chavo Guerrero Jr. backstage, telling him he'll lose at Halloween Havoc just like his protégé lost at War Games and again tonight. Chavo responds that he's a lot smarter than "the little dragon", and he won't make the same stupid mistakes. (C)

Two Stu Hart Classic matches were previewed when AJ Styles and Sting joined forces against Salvation's Destroyer and Mortis. The Salvation duo worked together with pain and punishment in mind, but after a springboard dropkick from Styles rocked Destroyer, Sting finished the job with the Scorpion Deathdrop. (B)

The Empire are throwing a party to celebrate King Corino advancing to the Quarterfinals of the Classic, as well as Palumbo's future destruction of "dead weight O'Haire", when Teddy Hart barges into the room. Hart says that things went wrong for him and Yuji Nagata caught him by surprise, but even if he's not going to win the tournament named for his grandfather, he can still carry on the Hart legacy with a big win at Halloween Havoc. Since The Empire grabbed all the headlines by retiring Ric Flair, Teddy wants to grab the headlines for himself by beating any member of the group man enough to meet him in the ring. They laugh off the challenge, telling the kid he's "even dumber than Uncle Bret", but Bischoff agrees to let TAKA beat him up and send him back to "that frozen dump Calgary" with his tail between his legs. (B)

Scott Steiner is working out at home, lifting weights and going through a strenuous routine to prepare himself for Sunday. "Booker, I'm trainin' harder than I ever trained before! Look at me! I'm in the best shape of my whole life! So if I whipped your ass so bad you passed out BEFORE, what do you think I'm gonna do to you now?!" (B+)

Stu Hart Classic, Second Round in Group D: The main event pitted former World Champion and reigning Stu Hart Classic winner Rob Van Dam against one of the top stars in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Yuji Nagata. Between his hard strikes, effective suplexes and dangerous submission holds, Nagata showed the strength of NJPW by giving Van Dam all sorts of trouble. RVD survived several close calls, but put Yuji down with a flurry of kicks and finally put him away with the Five Star Frog Splash to set up a Quarterfinal showdown against CM Punk. (A)

Show Grade: B+

October 26th, 2002

From the Tsukisamu Dome in Sapporo, Japan

Attendance: 7,000

Announce Team: Joey Styles and Tracy Brooks

Manami Toyota cuts a promo on tonight's main event. She invites Daffney to bring her best and throw every trick she can at her, because none of it will be enough to take her title. (C)

Melissa Anderson and Nattie Neidhart are generational competitors, and they put their ingrained knowledge to use as they teamed up to defeat unsigned workers Aki Kambayashi and Yuu Yamagata. (C-)

Vignette: a chain-wielding Mayumi Ozaki reveals she's coming soon. (C+)

Takako Inoue sat beside Joey and Tracy for the next match, in which Kyoko Inoue avoided a diving headbutt from LuFisto and defeated her with a torture rack. (C-)

Perhaps she had more guts than brains, but Kaori Nakayama asked for and received a rematch with Devil Masami. The beating last week was bad; this was worse. Not content with having beaten her opponent into senselessness, Masami took her out to the floor and hit a sitout powerbomb onto the steel steps! Charles Robinson stopped the match at that point, but the damage had been done. (C)

As Nakayama is stretchered out, Masami grabs the microphone again. She calls Nakayama an embarrassment and someone who is unworthy of sharing the ring with her. "Only the best have a chance to stop the devil!" she declares. (C+)

Aja Kong is backstage, and she says the outcome of the next match doesn't matter. Whether it's Manami Toyota or Daffney who holds the "red belt" at the end of the night, the only REAL champion is her. Chigusa Nagayo approaches and suggests that Kong watch the main event closely, because if she wants to prove she's the best in the world, eventually she'll need to take on whoever holds that championship. (B-)

This was far and away the biggest match in the career of Daffney, stepping into the ring across from the woman widely regarded as the best female wrestler in the world, with the World Championship on the line. Daffney's unorthodox and wild attacks helped to negate some of Toyota's skill and experience. Manami was very cautious of the poison mist, but after a neckbreaker Daffney went to the top rope for the other big weapon in her arsenal, the Banshee Knee. Toyota cut her off and hit a double underhook superplex to notch her first title defense. (B)

Show Grade: B-


Fan Scorecard:

World Heavyweight Championship: "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner vs. Booker T {©}

2/3 Falls for the World Tag Team Championship: True Heroes vs. The Hardys {©}

United States Heavyweight Championship: Davey Boy Smith vs. Shane Douglas {©}

Cruiserweight Championship: Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels {©}

Stu Hart Classic, Second Round in Group A: Sting vs. Mortis

Stu Hart Classic, Second Round in Group A: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. The Unnatural

Stu Hart Classic, Second Round in Group B: AJ Styles vs. The Destroyer

Stu Hart Classic, Second Round in Group C: Sean O'Haire vs. Chuck Palumbo

Teddy Hart vs. TAKA

What will be match of the night?

How many championships will change hands?

General diary comments/questions/critiques:

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
That hidden gems list is pretty promosing
It's a pretty strong one (well, aside from Nova. ) I don't really want to sign Cena though. Obviously we know what he became, but in trying to play this as Bret, that doesn't feel like a signing he'd make. His brawling stat's okay, but pretty much all other in-ring stats are mediocre at best and poor at worst. Omega, Generico and Steen are all guys I fully expect to sign eventually. I just don't want to rush it. Unfortunately Generico and Steen aren't signed anywhere and aren't getting booked on any independent shows, so I may need to sign them and throw them in developmental soon so they don't stagnate.

Originally Posted by Kijar View Post
Not a problem, lots of predictions and such so I only had to read a few shows, just wish I hadn't missed predictions myself. Very very very glad this is still running though. Flair's sendoff was special, well done. Also enjoying Renaissance a lot more than I initially expected, big fan of Melissa and I think you use her very well here. Good call with giving Alison her brother's surname, and I can't wait to see what's next.
I'm glad to hear from people who are enjoying Renaissance, especially those who weren't really looking forward to it!

Originally Posted by smartman View Post
Has it been 6 (or is it 9) months yet? They have to wait that long before offering just like the player does, don't they? Though it is entirely likely that either their roster was big enough already or they signed a replacement for him so don't need to sign him. It's not like they're being pushed in a National Battle where they'd need his 1,000ish rating. Hopefully, TFC can get him when he hits National soon because he'd be well worth going broke for.
I think we've either just hit or are just about to hit six months since he left WWE, so maybe they'll try and bring him back soon.

I'd handily lose a national battle even with Austin being added to replace #5 on the list (Jeff Hardy). If only Dwayne would just go off to Hollywood....

I don't think signing Austin would put me in any real danger of losing money, actually, as I'm very financially stable. I'm pretty sure the only month I've ever lost money was last month, and that's only because of the millions I used to open up my women's developmental fed in Japan.

Originally Posted by KnowYourEnemy View Post
Honestly, I'd rather see him sign with a national or near national level company in Japan or possibly Mexico -- like what Hogan did in '93 or '94.

TFC could run the company long for a few nights, pick up Austin and then give the reigns back to the CPU.
If he won't sign with me as a cult promotion, would he sign with anyone below national? Thus far he's only signed touring contracts (with really freaking small promotions, no less, so I'm guessing tours are an exception.)

New Japan are the only company other than WWE at National, so I could hop in and try to get him signed up there if the mood strikes me. It would definitely give them a big weapon against NOAH and AJPW (and WWE.)

Originally Posted by Briskout View Post
Actually that's not what happened. When I reloaded the save to pre-WrestleMania all the other negotiations were still pending, but Austin's for some reason wasn't. TFC and I talked about it privately. Crazy situation!
Yeah, it was a really weird incident. Not like it's hurt WWE any though, and it actually creates a bit of interesting drama in the game world I think--you guys never know if you might suddenly hear glass shatter!

ALSO: TFC so glad you're sticking it through. Just caught up. Good stuff man. It makes me want to try and salvage my 2001 game, which I ended up playing into August of 2002... So we'll see?
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