Way back at Uncensored, Bret Hart won a number one contendership match to earn a WCW Title Shot. Raven’s title defense with Hart on Thunder ended in controversial circumstances when Chris Jericho came out to attack Raven, causing Hart to be disqualified. Bret responded by attacking Raven during the World Title match at Spring Stampede, causing Jericho to lose. Both Canadians got mad and the two brawled at the end, turning Spring Stampede to Canadian Stampede! The next night on Nitro, Bret Hart and Jericho both demanded rematches for the WCW Title while Booker T threw his name into the mix as well. Ric Flair settled things by booking a number one contendership triple threat that same night. Jericho was taken out of the ball game by an interfering Chris Benoit leaving Bret and Booker. Bret had Booker down for the three count when the ref was distracted because of this. Booker then rolled up Bret as the ref turned around, getting the pin and earning the title match at Slamboree.
Bret went on a huge tirade, claiming that he was screwed and that Booker didn’t deserve to be in the main event of Slamboree. Bret and Booker were at odds when teaming against Raven and his stable the Exiles. The two eventually brawled on Nitro with Raven looking on with a smile at his face. Bret truly believed that he was worthy of a title shot. Therefore, Eric Bischoff put Bret Hart in a match at Slamboree with the winner getting added to the title match later that night. It would be Bret Hart one-on-one… with Eddie Guerrero!
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho had to deal with Chris Benoit and his newest advocate Paul Heyman before getting back in the title hunt. Heyman declared his vendetta against Jericho for jumping ship from ECW to the WCW, saying that Jericho believed ECW was a wasteland and left when he got his first tastes of the bright-lights and moved to WCW to become a superstar. Heyman says while Benoit jumped from ECW to WCW as well, the biggest difference is that Chris Benoit moved to WCW to test is wrestling ability against the very best wrestlers in the world. Jericho’s main reason was because ECW wasn’t good enough for him and he was more concerned with becoming a huge-time star and being a fan favorite. Heyman suggests that Jericho on his best day couldn’t lay a candle to the Rapid Wolverine CHRIS BENOIT! Jericho responded by challenging Benoit to a match at Slamboree which Heyman accepted.
Speaking of Paul Heyman and Paul Heyman guys, the REIGNING, DEFENDING WCW INTERNATIONAL CHAMPION Rob Van Dam was watching on at this conflict between Paul Heyman and ex Paul Heyman guys like Chris Jericho and Ultimo Dragon a few months back. RVD question Heyman about whether he was going to turn on him, but Heyman insisted he wouldn’t and had RVD’s best interests in heart. Heyman wasn’t lying as multiple title defenses against both Bam Bam Bigelow and Curt Hennig were saved by interferences from Paul Heyman and Eddie Guerrero. However, a tag team match between Eddie/RVD and Hennig/Bigelow ended with a miscommunication between Eddie and RVD which cost them the match. RVD asked Heyman if the two of them could just separate for now as he focuses on his International Title reign which Heyman unwillingly agrees to.
Speaking of the WCW International Championship,as mentioned “Asbury Perfection” Curt Hennig and Bam Bam Bigelow seemed to separate following the events from Spring Stampede as they targeted the WCW International Championship. However, during a tables match between Bigelow and Goldberg, Goldberg speared Asbury Perfection’s manager Ted DiBiase through a table taking him out. The two were united in their manager’s hardship as they seeked to take out Goldberg. RVD had Goldberg’s back, but it was then announced that at Slamboree, RVD would defend the International Title against Goldberg, Bigelow and Hennig in a fatal four way match!
At the start of the month, AJ Styles defended the WCW Cruiserweight Championship against the Asian Invasion’s Yoshihiro Tajiri. With help from stable mate Kensuke Sasaki, Tajiri won the championship ending the longest cruiserweight championship reign in this series so far. AJ was understandably pissed which led to Ric Flair booking AJ vs Sasaki at Slamboree.
Also, Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio defeated Rowdy Roddy Piper and Steven Regal in a non-title match to earn a tag team title match at the PPV, Keiji Mutoh and the new Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri targeted Hulk Hogan and Sting and Scott Steiner attacked Ultimo Dragon after Dragon prevented him from winning the International title in a triple threat match.
Pre-Show – Perry Saturn (c) wins a 10 Man Battle Royal to retain the WCW Television Championship
Entrants: Perry Saturn, Rick Steiner, The Giant, Jamie Noble, Chavo Guerrero, Buff Bagwell, Disco Inferno, Jushin Thunder Liger, Jim Neidhart and Konnan
Wow, this battle royal got a bad rating! The reason I decided to do a battle royal was because I had no idea who to book Perry Saturn against at the PPV. The original plan was Perry Saturn to defend the title on the pre-show against Disco Inferno! Then I changed it to Konnan, and then I considered throwing in Jushin Thunder Liger and making it a three way. So in the end, I figured throw the top 10 over guys NOT on the card already into a battle royal to try to elevate all of them! Instead, all it did was make the title lose image! I think in this game, the more wrestlers you use in a match, the more downgraded your match becomes. Even if you did like a fatal four way between CM Punk, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and Austin Aries. The overness or one factor of one of those guys that were considerably lower than the rest could hurt the match quality. Me having 10 men fight it out doesn’t help me a lot! Battle Royals, Royal Rumbles and Survivor Series matches don’t get that good grades on this game! Not a great choice for a pre-show! Still… could be worse.
Match 1 – Bret Hart def. Eddie Guerrero w/Paul Heyman. The winner was entered into the WCW World Heavyweight Championship match later that night.
Bret goes over. I’m truly amazed that this didn’t get a higher rating. These two aren’t feuding or anything, but there both incredibly gifted in-ring performers and their stats in this game are high. It wasn’t a bad rating, but I expected a lot more. But anyway, Bret competes in the main event later on.
Match 2 – Rowdy Roddy Piper (c) and Steven Regal (c) def. Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship
OK, if Piper/Regal vs Ultimo Dragon and AJ Styles from last month was 92%, how was the rating for this one magically dropped down to 75%? It’s not like Dean and Mysterio were leagues below Dragon and Styles in overness. If anything, I think both teams were around the same. They’re both around the same in skill, so why the bad rating? Tough critic here! Regal and Piper retains after fellow Legion member Fit Finlay interfered, Tag titles lost image though… crap.
Match 3 – Ultimo Dragon def. Scott Steiner
OK, I sort of understand why this one was not in the 90s or something. Steiner and Dragon’s styles don’t really click and I think Steiner mentioned this to me afterwards (in the game, not in real-life!). However, the crowd interest was insanely high! The WCW Universe are full of Dragonites and Freaks! Next time RAW is on… #Dragonite will be trending worldwide!
Match 4 – Hollywood Hogan and Sting def. Yoshihiro Tajiri and Keiji Mutoh
I sort of get this rating too. Hogan, Sting and Mutoh are all really old. They can’t go nearly as well as they used to. Mutoh did get the 98% rating with Chris Jericho at Starrcade. However, I believe that was mostly down to Jericho’s who is white-hot in this game. Mutoh was helped by a great worker, but up against the likes of Sting and Hogan it’s difficult for him to deliver the good. Sting and Mutoh maybe would work, but Hogan just ruins it. Tajiri’s probably the best worker in this match but he’d probably be too quick for Hogan and Sting to keep up. Sting and Hogan go over.
Match 5 – Rob Van Dam (c) def. Bam Bam Bigelow, Curt Hennig and Bill Goldberg in a fatal four way match to retain the WCW International Championship
I think ranking this the same as Hogan/Sting vs Mutoh/Tajiri was a bit unfair. RVD and Hennig work well together ALL the time. Bigelow and Goldberg work well together most of the time. So surely a fatal four way would be an awesome idea? Instead all it did was devalue the title. Hmm, I this maybe a running thing…
Match 6 – Kensuke Sasaki def. AJ Styles
Yeah. AJ and Sasaki got the second highest rankings of the night! I just wish it was a bit higher. 😦 Awesome work between these two though. I’m glad these two are feuding!
Match 7 – Chris Benoit w/Paul Heyman def. Chris Jericho
Benoit beats Jericho after interference from Paul Heyman. You just know these two can work well together. Pretty much a safe bet for high ratings. Benoit gained overness from this match after beating the former champion Chris Jericho. It’s a shame this wasn’t in the 90s either. This critic was clearly watching the wrong Slamboree!
Match 8 – Raven (c) def. Booker T and Bret Hart in a triple threat match to retained the WCW World Championship
Raven retains. He was always going to retain. Booker winning the title at the end of his feud with Raven is a huge possibility. But there’s no need for Booker to win the title at this early age. A true underdog is always knocked down before he gets back up. So because Booker’s not won the title tonight, doesn’t mean he’s not going to! Watch this space!