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Default June 2003: Road to Great American Bash



The Backstories:

Quote:
The Ties That Bind Us

-After Eddie Guerrero returned to WCW and won the Mayhem match and Rey Mysterio Jr. retained the World Heavyweight Championship against King Corino in the main event, the path to Great American Bash was set. At the start of Nitro the following night, Rey welcomed Eddie back to WCW with open arms. They talked about how they'd been both strong friends and heated rivals, but the respect had always been there. They'd had classic matches against each other in the past, but this was going to be the biggest yet, because this time they'd be fighting for the most important title in wrestling.

Corino interrupted the "mutual admiration society", as he called it, to complain that Guerrero had robbed him, and it was only because of him that his "little buddy" still had the title. This set up a main event match between Guerrero and Corino. It was a classic match, but ended in disqualification when several other members of The Empire attacked Guerrero. The beating continued after the match, until Mysterio ran in with a chair to save his friend and future challenger.

Eddie and Rey met in Piper's Pit the following week. It played out much the same as their in-ring conversation the week before. Despite Roddy bringing up events from their past like Eddie pulling Rey's mask off of his face and trying to take his mask for good, neither man took the bait. They were talking about what a great match it was going to be when the party was crashed by The Unnatural. He told them not to get ahead of themselves--because he was going to use his UFS title shot to turn the Great American Bash main event into a triple threat match!

Rey and Eddie beat his "brothers" Alexander and The Destroyer in a tag match on June 2nd, but The Unnatural wasn't concerned. After the match, he said that a lot of people were questioning why he would use his title shot for a three way instead of simply entering a one on one match. Some were calling him stupid, but it was compassion that motivated him.


Quote:
The Unnatural, 6/2/03

"The bonds of friendship are truly a wonderful thing. Friendship, true friendship, should be treasured, just as I treasure each one of my Salvation brothers. But greed and ambition all too often sever these precious bonds. You are both ambitious men, and you were set on a collision course at Great American Bash, with the most prestigious prize in this sport hanging in the balance. Could your friendship have survived such strain? You may think so, but can you truly be certain? Especially after your checkered pasts? We will never have to find out, because I have taken it upon myself to offer a solution. I will take the burden of the championship myself, and your friendship will be preserved."
Eddie and Rey did pre-taped promos on the go home show. Neither of them bought Unnatural's explanation, and both said they believed he was trying to drive a wedge between them and use it to backdoor his way to the championship. Rey said he'd been fighting against the odds his entire career, and he'd do it again this Sunday by retaining his championship against two top opponents, even if one of them was one of his best friends. Eddie talked about his frustrations at banging his head against the glass ceiling in his previous WCW tenure, and leaving and achieving great success elsewhere, but the whole time believing that his career wouldn't be complete unless he could go back to WCW and make it to the top. The Unnatural beat Kidman in the main event, and afterwards called both Rey and Eddie out to the ring. He advised them to not let the heat of the moment come between their friendship. They could take the competitive fire of wanting to be the champion, and unleash every bit of it on him. He would take it all, and it would forge him into a tougher being, a being capable of bearing the great burden that will be thrust upon him once he emerges from the Great American Bash as the new World Heavyweight Champion. Rey and Eddie, tired of listening to him, worked together to beat him down to close the show. But as Mike and I pointed out, only one of them could stand tall on Sunday.
Quote:
Brick by Brick

-Steve Austin tried to attack Goldberg again on May 19th, but this time Eric Bischoff had a small army of security in place to prevent it from happening. As Austin tried to find a way through the human wall, Bischoff took the mic to blame him for throwing The Empire off their game and ruining their carefully laid plans at Mayhem, and he promised Austin had "empirical retribution" coming his way.

Austin called out Goldberg the next week, but got Bischoff instead. Eric said he was a man of his word, and he meant it when he said he would NEVER give Austin the satisfaction of a match between he and Goldberg. But that didn't mean The Empire didn't want to make him pay for throwing them in disarray before the biggest match in their history. So no, Austin couldn't have Goldberg, but Eric would be more than happy to set up a match between he and TAKA. It wasn't what he wanted, but Austin accepted the challenge. Later in the night Sting approached him backstage to say that he knew Bischoff's MO better than most, and he knew The Empire would try and take him out when he least expected it, so he'd be more than happy to help Steve out and watch his back. Austin's response was that he works best when he can raise hell on his own, so thanks but no thanks.

On June 3rd, The Empire (minus Goldberg) jumped Austin in the ring after a squash match. He stood his ground and fought, but the numbers overcame him. TAKA really rubbed it in by posing and flexing over Austin. The group gloated about it on the 9th, but were interrupted by Austin "via satellite" from his home in Texas.


Quote:
Steve Austin, 6/9/03

"You boys think ya done somethin' last week? That wasn't the first time Steve Austin's been beaten down, and it sure as hell won't be the last! But there ain't never been a beating I haven't gotten up from. Steve Austin's gonna tear your whole damn Empire down, brick by brick, and TAKA, it starts with you, son!"
Steve isn't used to working big matches with a heel as small as TAKA, but I think this will work out great. TAKA plays a shifty little punk heel really well.
Quote:
Is "Da Man" Still a Man?

-It was a tougher test than his usual squash, but Goldberg still came out on top against Rick Steiner on May 26th. He was about to beat his fallen opponent up further after the match, but Scott ran in and they had a stare-down that the crowd popped big for. On June 2nd Scott called Goldberg a coward and dared him to come out and fight "Freakzilla." Goldberg came out as if to answer the challenge, but King Corino held him back while Rick Steiner did the same with Scott.

Goldberg racked up another squash on the 9th, but afterwards Scott came out and taunted him, saying he didn't know you had to get a vasectomy and give your manhood up to join The Empire, and if he were still a real man he'd fight him! Goldberg made a beeline for him, but Corino was again there to restrain his stable mate. Steiner began taunting Corino, and Rick had to come down to prevent his brother from walking into a 2 on 1 situation. Corino, feeling very confident with Goldberg at his side, said The Empire could use a nice cut of the PPV revenue this Sunday and so he and Bill would be happy to meet The Steiners in one of the featured matches. Scott naturally accepted.
Quote:
Calling Your Shot

-By defeating Fit Finlay for his 10th successful TV title defense, Sean O'Haire had the option of vacating the title and challenging AJ Styles for the United States belt. The following night, he addressed the world and made his intentions known: he was NOT going to go for the US title. It hadn't been that long ago since he'd beaten a five time world champion in just two minutes, so he knew he had what it took to win the biggest prize of all. He was shooting for fifteen title defenses, and a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship!

Defense #11 came the next week when he survived the kicks and submissions of Minoru Tanaka. Now he was catching everyone's attention, and on June 2nd Shane Douglas said he wanted to ruin O'Haire's grand dreams and carve the path to the top for himself by taking his title. O'Haire came out and nodded to accept the challenge.

They met in the ring for an interview with Bobby Heenan on June 9th. It was a fairly standard interview until the end, where Douglas was clearly setting up for a cheap shot. When O'Haire saw it coming, though, Shane backed off and left the ring. He'd have to exercise that same caution on Sunday, because O'Haire had already proven his ability to bulldoze through even the toughest challengers.
Quote:
Positively Phenomenal

-AJ Styles has been making waves in WCW, and he's caught the attention of a 3-time world champion. Diamond Dallas Page did an interview on May 19th in which he said that "Phenomenal" wasn't just a fancy slogan; based on everything he'd seen, this kid really was something special! But Page wanted to step into the ring with him and test him to find out how good he really is.

During a Page victory over Psychosis the next week, Styles sat in on commentary to discuss the US title match that he'd agreed to, saying he respected DDP but he would find out that he truly is phenomenal at the Great American Bash. They both stood in the ring on June 2nd for an interview with Bobby Heenan. It was a cordial interview that ended with a handshake, but Page pulled him in and teased hitting a Diamond Cutter before letting him go with a smile. The message was clear: AJ may be the superior athlete, but Page has the experience as well as one of the most effective finishers in the game.

It was DDP's turn to watch from commentary on June 9th as AJ was victorious in a non-title match against Tony Mamaluke. Page expressed his admiration of AJ's ability throughout the match, but reminded everyone that all he needed was one chance to hit the Diamond Cutter, and if he got that chance, we'd have a new champion.
Quote:
A Hardcore Homecoming

-Bobby Roode and Ric Flair gloated about once again beating "Mr. Hardcore" Rob Van Dam at his own game by putting him through the table and eliminating him at Mayhem. RVD stepped out, and with a defeated smile he admitted they were right. They'd gotten the best of him every step of the way, and they'd done it in the kind of situations he'd used to excel. But he guaranteed that everything was going to change next week.









The "change" came in the form of Paul Heyman, who RVD revealed was the man he'd been speaking with on the phone in the weeks before Mayhem. He'd been forced to admit that he'd lost something, and Paul was going to help him find it. Heyman got on the mic to promise to help RVD get back to basics, and with that in mind, he challenged Roode to meet RVD in a hardcore rules match at the Great American Bash!

Flair and Roode came to ringside the next week to watch Van Dam in action against Fit Finlay. Flair sat on commentary and insisted they had nothing to worry about, but their faces told a different story as they watched RVD, with Heyman at his side, wrestling with an edge he'd been missing. Both sides offered their thoughts in a pre-taped promo package for the go home show. Roode and Flair again claimed to have no concern about RVD, and Flair referred to Heyman as a "fatso who came crawling to WCW and begged RVD for a job when the bingo hall closed down!", but Heyman and RVD weren't buying it. They'd seen the concern on Roode's and Flair's faces, and their worst fears would be realized when they saw just how hardcore Rob Van Dam could get!
Quote:
Divine Punishment for False Idols

-Christopher Daniels and Brian Adams dropped in on the Hardys during an autograph signing, and Daniels had a message.

Quote:
Christopher Daniels, 5/26/03

"For too long, you have been allowed to represent this tag team division as false idols for these gullible fans to worship, but no longer. Your time is up, because at the Great American Bash, Brian and myself will use our Ultimate Fan Series title match to give these fans a championship team they can truly worship!"
The Hardys were watching backstage the next week as Daniels and Adams looked impressive in a win over Volador and Aguila. The two teams had a singles clash on the go home show, and it was Christopher Daniels claiming the edge for his team by beating Matt, though only after some interference from Adams.
Quote:
An Honorable Champion

-Bryan Danielson knew there was plenty of controversy surrounding his victory over Hayabusa at Mayhem. The next night on Nitro, he met with both Hayabusa and Arn Anderson in the latter's office to say that he was a fighting champion, and he wanted to give Hayabusa a rematch for the title. Arn agreed, and sanctioned a championship rematch for the Bash.

Champion and challenger teamed up against the Jung Dragons the following week, with the Dragons getting the pin on Hayabusa while Stacy Keibler distracted Danielson. Danielson apologized to Hayabusa the next week, but the Jung Dragons interrupted and Keibler rubbed the situation in both their faces by teasingly showcasing her legs. June 9th saw Hayabusa one on one against Yang. Hayashi and Keibler tried to swing things in Yang's favor, but Danielson came out to fend them off. With the coast clear, Hayabusa won the match with the Phoenix Splash.
Quote:
Heroes to the Rescue!

-Chavo Guerrero Jr. welcomed his Uncle Eddie back to Nitro, but it was clear his mind was preoccupied. When Eddie asked him what was wrong, Chavo admitted that he was afraid Salvation was going to try and pay him back for outsmarting The Destroyer and breaking up their dominant run in the Mayhem match. His fears were well-founded, because the group surrounded him in the ring the next week, with Unnatural grabbing the mic to tell him that he can be eradicated at any time they choose.

They attempted to back that up on June 2nd, but the cavalry arrived in the form of True Heroes. Later in the night, Punk explained to Chavo that they'd helped him because they had their own grudge to settle with Salvation, referencing their UFS battles with the group as well as the ambush the Monday before Mayhem. June 9th saw Lance Storm absorb lots of punishment from The Destroyer before pinning him with a beautiful cradle, but the real story came post-match. Mortis returned from his "journey", and he, Destroyer and Alexander demanded a six man tag against the Heroes and Chavo. Punk accepted the challenge on his team's behalf, so here we are. Initially I was thinking about Chavo vs. Destroyer one on one on this show, but I wanted to work the Heroes onto the card somewhere and this was a logical continuation of what they've been involved with.
Quote:
The Cocky New Kid

-Kidman came out on May 26th to provide fans with an update on the status of his partner Teddy Hart, but Brian Kendrick strolled out and told him he was wasting his breath, because nobody cared about Kidman OR Teddy now that "the greatest thing since sliced bread" had arrived on the scene. Kidman didn't appreciate that, and after a victory over Psychosis on June 2nd he challenged Kendrick to a match. Brian came out and accepted the challenge, but took things up a notch when he invited Torrie Wilson to leave with "the greatest thing since sliced bread." That set off a brawl in the ring.

Kidman got the main event spotlight against Unnatural on June 9th, putting on a great effort before the interference of Kendrick was instrumental in his defeat. This will be a big test for Brian, his first singles PPV match, but I'm hopeful he'll be up to it.


Quote:
Show Summaries:

5/19:

Notes from this show:
-Who knew Nick Patrick was a cartoonist? He entertained the boys with a caricature of Scott Steiner before the show. Thankfully for him Scott found it funny too, but he said Nick should give him more muscles next time if he wants to get it right.

-The RVD vs. David Flair pre-show match was run just to make sure there wouldn't be any problems with RVD and Paul Heyman working together. Not only were there not problems, but they worked together pretty well.

-Konnan sustained a concussion during his match with Shane Douglas. It's believed it happened after a stiff elbow to the face by Shane, who got some heat with some of the boys as a result. Fortunately it was a very mild concussion, and Konnan was cleared for action just a few days later.

-Bob Holly was here on a one night deal. He wasn't happy about putting Kendrick over. Oh well. Maybe he phoned in his performance as a result, because he seemed off his game.



5/26:

Notes from this show:
-Ric Flair apparently felt Volador snubbed him by walking by without shaking his hand, so he brought him before the wrestler's court. All was forgiven when Volador bought a round of drinks after the show.

-Goldberg and Rick Steiner didn't do well together at all. It's a good thing I didn't put that match in the main event, which I did consider.

-"Kendrick's definitely connecting with the fans as a cocky heel. Keep it going." -CM Punk

-"You just got the good Guerrerrerrero, so why are you still bookin' the one nobody cares about?" -Scott Steiner



6/2:

Notes from this show:
-Mike Awesome and TAKA kept things interesting before the show by setting up a poker tournament. Lance Storm won; apparently his poker face is fantastic.

-Mark Jindrak bruised his pectoral muscle during his match with Chavo. He could have worked through it, but I sent him home for a couple of weeks to heal up fully.

-Yang's gimmick is getting stale. He needs a change to fit better with what Hayashi is currently doing.

-We completed Chavo Guerrero's face turn on this show, and the fans reacted really well to it.

-The Unnatural came up with a new catchphrase in the show-closing angle, and it should boost his future promos even further.

-"I like what Kendrick's doing. He might be a big time heel some day." -Jeff Hardy



6/9:

Notes from this show:
-Rey Mysterio Jr. brought in a Playstation 2 and played games with a lot of the younger guys before the show. It's nice to see he hasn't gotten a big head and distanced himself from the locker room after getting his big push.

-"I don't think the fans are ever going to care about Cash. He just doesn't have it." -Dustin Rhodes

-"Why're you still usin' those wannabe dancing kids? Shannon especially; ain't nobody gonna pay to see a pretty boy with a girl's name!" -Scott Steiner


Quote:

Fan Scorecard:

World Heavyweight Championship: Eddie Guerrero vs. The Unnatural vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. {}

The Steiner Brothers vs. Goldberg and King Corino

"The Hellraiser" Steve Austin vs. TAKA

United States Heavyweight Championship: Diamond Dallas Page vs. "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles {}

World Television Championship: Shane Douglas vs. Sean O'Haire {}

World Tag Team Championship: "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels and Brian Adams vs. The Hardys {}

Cruiserweight Championship: Hayabusa vs. "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson {}

Hardcore Rules: Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Roode

True Heroes and Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Salvation

Billy Kidman vs. Brian Kendrick

What will be match of the night?

How many championships will change hands?

TIEBREAKER: How long is the main event? (minutes and seconds)

General diary comments/questions/critiques:





Should I be looking at creating my own broadcaster any time soon? I've read that it's more expensive to incrementally raise the size of your broadcaster rather than doing it all at once, so my natural thought was to wait until I could justify going Enormous in the entire world. That would cost over $100 million more than I currently have though, so it sounds like a pipe dream. Should I just wait until I hit the 'break even' level (which I'm already past everywhere except for Canada), start with something smaller and gradually increase it as time goes on and I hopefully have more money to spend?

And another one: if a worker can't increase in size, is it a good idea to ask them to go down instead? Will that see the same potential star quality benefits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KnowYourEnemy View Post
Maybe Vince could make a deal with Inoki... sounds like both have something the other guy wants. Are we still considering that?

I'm not saying that the AI will manage it perfectly, but I'm saying split correctly, they won't feel the need to cut half the New Japan roster. Gotta spread evenly those guys with no pop in the US.
Maybe they wouldn't cut them all, but they'd all slot in as enhancement talent. I speak from experience there, because that's what happens any time I bring in one of the Japanese guys on a loan. Maybe the very best like a Misawa or somebody like that would autopush as a lower midcarder, but I kind of doubt it even for him.

For now I think I'm content to just leave New Japan alone and see if they can turn themselves around. Perhaps I'll limit them to not being able to rise above cult, because hitting national when they have negative relationships with both me and WWE is a recipe for disaster for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Nection View Post
Also I see RVD has reclaimed his spot in Japan lol. I bet Vince is furious now that he is actually losing national battles.
Yeah, unfortunately I think O'Haire's surge was short-lived. It looks like that win over Booker pushed him past his overness cap, at least in Japan, and now it's gone back down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartman View Post
Dang, what the hell has Vince been doing to poor Eddie that he doesn't even hit #5 spot for you on the US list? What are his SQ and Pop in the US? It is great that you've now taken control of the battle. Now, it is on to win the war!
Eddie's never going to sniff my top 5 for national battle purposes. His popularity is pretty good, though ideally he'll be able to gain at least 3-5 more points before he caps out. Star quality is a different story though. I tallied up all my active wrestlers (male and female) with higher star quality than Eddie, and I believe it finished at 26.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinnikuniverse View Post
I know it's off-topic, but I hope we get at least the prediction card before the other get american bash: the super bowl!

Speaking of which, anybody here making their predictions?
I beat it by three days, so yes!

I'd love to see the Eagles win, but I don't expect it.
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