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Default May 2003: Pre-Mayhem News and Notes

For the past year or more, New Japan has been treading water at best. I think our own rise to being a national player in Japan might spell doom for the lion mark, because they're a distant third to us and WWE and the Japanese fans know it. They've been demoted to Cult status, and they've also accumulated big amounts of debt. I'm under the impression that Inoki would probably sell his assets off to us if I made him an offer, but I'm not sure if that's a worthwhile purchase for us.

Amidst all that, they ran their Wrestling Dontaku show on May 11th. New champion Riki Choshu was in the semi main, where he and Osamu Nishimura beat Koji Kanemoto and Hawk in a subpar tag team match. The main event was Manabu Nakanishi and Masahiro Chono retaining the Heavyweight tag titles over Tatsumi Fujinami and Satoshi Kojima in a good match. The runaway match of the night was El Samurai beating Jushin Liger in the midcard. This was a big improvement over last month's weak show, and more in line with what their big shows have been doing recently. 'Par for the course' isn't really what they need right now though.

Unfortunately, Chris Kanyon tested positive for hard drugs. He was going to be in the Mayhem battle royal, but I made the decision to suspend him for a month and give his spot to someone else. He seemed to appreciate the tough love, because he told me he was very happy with the wake-up call and he would not let this happen again. I'd booked myself into a corner by previously ruling out several eligible replacements in "Mayhem qualifier" matches on Nitro. I could have always ignored it and slipped one of them back in, but I'd like to honor our stipulations as much as possible so they mean something. As a result I called up Brian Kendrick, who was just about ready to hit the main roster anyway, and debuted him with a win over Mike Lockwood (aka Crash Holly, who was with us for one night only) in a qualifier.

Davey Boy's contract expired. He's nowhere near being finished with his rehab, so obviously I wasn't going to continue paying him ten grand a month. We'll revisit it once he's out, but if I do bring him back it'll probably be a pay-per-appearance deal only.

Looking to boost their careers, Shane Douglas and Konnan have both bulked up and are looking more muscular. It certainly doesn't hurt Shane, but his spot was relatively secure anyway. For Konnan, though, this could make a big difference.

Some fans have been spreading around a picture of Sting taken after a show in which he looks pretty flabby. I guess it's inevitable as he enters his mid 40's, but still sad to see.

I've signed Madison Eagles, a young Australian women's wrestler who has previously worked with us as an enhancement talent, to a developmental contract. Opportunities for her to gain experience were almost nonexistent in Australia, but she'll be working plenty now that she's in 5SSW.

Devil Masami signed a 1-year contract extension.

Kimberly Page, Shawn Stasiak and Big Vito are all gone after I chose not to renew their contracts.

Lisa Maria Varon and Shelton Benjamin have both reported at our developmental territories, 5SSW and Wildside. I doubt either of them will be there very long though, because they're both pretty much ready. I've already got plans in place for Lisa on Renaissance, and I have the beginnings of an idea for Shelton that might amount to something if I can flesh them out.

Sumie Sakai and Wesna Busic have reached PPA agreements with us. They'll basically be working as enhancement talent on Renaissance.

We've signed a deal with TPS to air our events across Europe.

DDP has taken Ric Flair's son David on as a protege, which I'm sure Ric appreciates.

Nick Patrick's been looking pretty flabby, but I don't care. No one is buying a ticket or tuning in to see Nick Patrick, so as long as his refereeing isn't affected he can look as out of shape as he pleases.

His first night in WWE, Booker T opened Raw with an in-ring promo about finally making it to the big time (har har), and then he beat Ron Waterman in a so-so match. He did the exact same thing to open Smackdown the next night, this time beating Rhyno in a good match. He was nowhere to be seen on either show the following week. Maybe Vince is already tired of paying him a 20% bonus on every single show he's booked?

In addition to the wrestler and non-wrestling personality I signed away from them, WWE let a handful of their contracts expire. Ivory is an obvious one, since I decided to offer her a PPA with us afterwards. They also did not re-sign Bob Holly, Crash Holly (another obvious one after his one night appearance with us), Rikishi, The Godfather and Samu. Charles 'Godfather' Wright announced his impending retirement days later.

Molly Holly's bulked up recently. I guess it's to make her look more physically imposing and hopefully boost her career, but I feel like she's working for the wrong company if that's the case.

Samoa Joe is leaving Zero-One behind to sign an exclusive contract with Michinoku Pro. As a result the NWA World Tag Team titles, which he'd won with Kendo Ka Shin in February, have been vacated. Joe is someone I've had my eye on, and if I'd known Michinoku Pro was attempting to lock him down to a written deal I might have acted. I guess it's not the worst thing though. He's still young, and I'll keep an eye on his progress during his time in M-Pro.

NOAH's 'Silver Explodes' show took place on May 15th. Akira Taue retained the GHC Heavyweight title against Yoshinari Ogawa in a good main event, but they were thoroughly outshined by the semi main event, where Jun Akiyama beat Kenta Kobashi in a MOTYC. The show would have come across very differently if those two matches had been flipped, but as it was this was at the same level as their last PPV, meaning it was well below their usual standard.

TNA held their latest event, 'Adrenaline Rush', on April 29th. The best thing on the show was Frankie Kazarian beating BJ Whitmer in the semi main. The main event was once again devoted to Mantaur, who retained the TNA World title over former NWA champion Matt Sydal in a match that was better than it had any right to be. This was their best show since December, but it could be so much better if they let guys like Sydal and Jarrett headline without having to try and carry freaking Mantaur, who is one of the worst workers on their roster.

Great Britain Hardcore (GBH) ran their last show in April and officially announced they're done. Another "extreme" promotion bites the dust.

Taking a break from writing Mayhem to get this up. I wrote the opening match, then got impatient and skipped ahead to start on the Mayhem match itself. #15 just came in, so I figured that was as good a place as any to take a break and post this update.

So I've been mulling something recently. I feel like it's somewhat silly for WWE to have both the WWE and ECW titles as main event belts with their current setup, so I've been leaning towards temporarily taking control of them to turn Smackdown into ECW and institute a brand split. I was going to set up the rosters myself, but I thought it might be a good idea to offer this as a prediction prize for the current contest, with one person drafting for Raw and another for ECW. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
General diary comments/questions/critiques: Loving how you are keeping Bill away from Austin until a certain big deal PPV in the future
Didn't you hear Easy E? We're NEVER going to see that match!

(Watch one of them suffer a career-ending injury, and we really DON'T see it ever.)

Poor Book I almost feel bad for him if he wasn't such a traitor lol.
Don't feel bad for him. Bret bent over backwards to appease him every time he complained about a loss. The least he could do was help give Big Sean and Knoble a rub on his way out. Not like I had him job to Lash Leroux or something.

I really did not see you officially indoctrinating Jamie Knoble. I could have sworn you would have had him fight his way out eventually.

I'm putting all my eggs in the Eddie basket so I hope it is him.
I can't wait for you guys to see the BIG signing!

Originally Posted by michgcs View Post
World Tag Team Championship: Made in Italy vs. The Hardys {}
You might have to split up the Hardys for the sake of the tag division. M.I.A.'s still not in their league... and so are the rest of the teams?
Excluding the Steiners, who are a part-time team (and just failed in their shot last month anyway), the only team at or near the Hardys' level in popularity is True Heroes. But per the stipulation of their Starrcade match, those two teams CANNOT square off again until next Starrcade at the absolute earliest...

General diary comments/questions/critiques:
Gotta admit, I wasn't too keen on the new format when it started, but it fits your writing style and it makes the month that much easier/faster so that's a huge plus. It also makes the flow of your plans and stories better, IMO
It really does make getting through my two weekly shows so much easier. And I completely agree with the bolded too. All in all, I'm really liking it so far.

Originally Posted by Danny_H22 View Post
The new format is growing on me actually. Well done dude
Glad to hear it!

Originally Posted by smartman View Post
Sting: "Sure, I'll be Goldberg's first victim. It's at Mayhem so I'll be able to bring my baseball bat and use that, right?"

Bret: "No, that's just the name of the PPV and Royal Rumble rip-off match. So, no you can't use the bat."

Sting: "But the name of the PPV is Mayhem, surely the fans will expect it..."

Bret: "No! He'll likely grab it and end your career too (which I should be doing soon)."
His best bet is to track Goldberg down in a desert in the middle of nowhere and hit him with a shovel!

Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
As long as they don't fight for custody of Dominic in a ladder match I'm fine with that feud

I'm randomly reminded of some kid (or at least I hope it was a kid), who I guess didn't fully understand how wrestling works, saying they didn't understand why people were so sad about Eddie dying after all the horrible things he'd done to Rey and his family.
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