How I Would Book… The nWo 19th Anniversary Special [2002] [Final Part]

WARNING: Please read the first five parts of this series first if you haven’t already. They will clue you up on the storyline for this particular “How I Would Book…”.

Here it is. The FINAL chapter in this nWo saga. We’ve seen the nWo shake the foundations of the WWE. With Hollywood Hogan at the helm, they’ve gone toe to toe with the WWE’s top stars. Hogan’s beaten the likes of Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and Shawn Michaels as part of his group’s domination of the company. He currently reigns as RAW’s World Heavyweight Champion while Big Show reigns as SmackDown!’s WWE Championship. Vince McMahon, who had brought in the nWo to “kill” the WWE, suddenly realizes just how dangerous the group has become. They’ve took over RAW and now they’re taking over SmackDown! Vince’s response was to bring back the Undertaker as the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble to win the match and earn a title shot. The road to Wrestlemania 19 has begun…

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The war between Vince McMahon and Hollywood Hogan is now well and truly under way. Vince McMahon is the owner of the company but Eric Bischoff still holds a considerable amount of power as RAW General Manager and as a leading member of the nWo. Bischoff reveals that the WWE would have to pay him a HUGE amount of money in order to fire him. Even if they did fire him, that wouldn’t stop Bischoff and the nWo from running rough shot over the entire company. They have the two top titles in the WWE. It really has turned into such a power struggle for Vince.

First, Vince has to find someone on the SmackDown! roster to face WWE Champion Big Show at No Way Out. There’s a lot of wrestlers to choose from but Vince feels that he needs to bring a true star back into the fold. He feels that he needs to bring back the “Great One”… The Rock. With a promise of a WWE Championship match at No Way Out, The Rock returns to the WWE as a part of the SmackDown! brand. Upon his return, The Rock’s commitment to the WWE has come into question. When he makes his big return on the SmackDown! before No Way Out, The Rock is back as a cocky Hollywood star. The Rock doesn’t really grasp the importance of his match with Big Show at No Way Out, but The Rock reassures Vince that he’ll get the job done at No Way Out.

Brock Lesnar was screwed out of the WWE Championship at No Way Out. He has a rematch clause, but Brock insists on challenging Hollywood Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship instead. Eric Bischoff decrees that Brock must beat the Outsiders in a handicap match at No Way Out in order to get his title shot at Wrestlemania. In the World Heavyweight Championship match, Shawn gets his rematch for the title against Hogan in one final encounter at No Way Out.

Brock is able to beat the Outsiders following interference from Triple H, who delivers a cross chop to both Nash and Hall after Brock pins one of them. The Rock challenges the Big Show for the WWE Championship, but the Brahama Bull is not putting any effort in. He’s constantly mocking Big Show and not taking it seriously at all. The Rock hits his finishers but does not pin Big Show and instead just gets on the mic and talks about himself. The commentators can’t believe how foolish The Rock is being and are telling The Rock to just pin him. In the end, The Rock hits a Rock Bottom and goes up to the top. He signals for an elbow drop from the top but is caught in mid-air by Big Show who pins him. The Rock is scratching his head over what’s happened but then just laughs and walks away. Hogan retains the title against Michaels with the Outsiders delivering another beatdown to the Show Stopper. Triple H makes the save, signalling the return of DX as the DX music hits to end the show.

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With No Way Out in the books, here’s all the confirmed Wrestlemania 19 matches so far…

  • Hollywood Hogan (c) vs Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • Big Show (c) vs Undertaker for the WWE Championship
  • “D-Generation X” Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs “The Outsiders” Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in a hardcore tag team match (This would be announced on the RAW after No Way Out)

The Rock appears on RAW on the night after No Way Out, claiming that a clause in his contract stated that he could choose which brand he wanted to be on after his match at No Way Out. The Rock claimed that he wanted to be on RAW and demands to be added to the World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania. He is interrupted by the return of the “Texas Rattlesnake” Stone Cold Steve Austin, who gives him the Stunner.

Austin cuts a promo the next week on RAW. He says that while he’s been away from the WWE, he watched his own matches back and realized that he wasn’t himself when he was going up against Hollywood Hogan at King of the Ring. He said he wanted vengeance against the nWo but he was not motivated enough to get the job done. That was another part of the reason why he lost to Hogan at the main event. However, he  re-played the match back and one moment stood out. It was the return of The Rock. The Rock came back at King of the Ring with the passion and the desire needed to achieve his goals. Austin talks about how he watched Big Show vs The Rock at No Way Out. Austin talked about how The Rock was pathetic in that match and that The Rock needed to remember just how important wrestling is. He challenges The Rock to a match at Wrestlemania 19. After a few declines, The Rock finally agrees to the match. The Rock states that there’s one thing that he hadn’t done… beat Austin at Wrestlemania 19. He says that he’ll get the job done at Wrestlemania and will be known as the greatest of all time.

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That takes care of Austin and Rock. Now we’ve got to look at one last thing. Eric Bischoff would cut a promo on RAW taking about Vince McMahon. He calls Vince a coward and desperate for bringing back all of his big guns to take on the nWo. He tells Vince that now is the time to man up. Eric tells the story about how he challenged Vince to a fight when he was running WCW but the fight never took place. Eric now challenges Vince to a sanctioned MATCH at Wrestlemania. Eric asks Vince for a tag team match with Eric and a partner of his choosing going up against Vince and a partner of his choosing. If Eric won, he and the nWo would win 100% control of the company. If the nWo lose, they’re done. Bischoff would be fired. All the power they had would be gone and they would disband. Vince accepts. Almost immediately after Vince agrees, Eric introduces his partner… Scott Steiner.

Vince thinks that in order to fight with Bischoff, he has to fight dirty. In order to fight dirty, Vince believes he needs the dirtiest player in the game. Vince believes he needs Ric Flair. There’s still hostilities between Flair and McMahon after THEY battled for control in 2002. Ric says that he doesn’t trust Vince but will fight alongside him because he knows from his time at WCW just how dangerous the nWo are. Ric says he’ll do it with one other added stipulation… if Ric and Vince win, Ric regains control of RAW. Vince agrees and the match is set.

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So the major matches are pretty much set. Other matches on Wrestlemania would includes Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit taking on the Guerreros for the WWE Tag Team Championship from SmackDown! We’d also have Chris Jericho jump to RAW to take part in a fatal four way match for the Intercontinental Championship alongside Kane, Booker T and Rob Van Dam. Let’s just run down the card one last time..

  • Hollywood Hogan (c) vs Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • Big Show (c) vs Undertaker for the WWE Championship
  • “D-Generation X” Triple H and Shawn Michaels vs “The Outsiders” Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in a hardcore tag team match
  • Eric Bischoff and Scott Steiner vs Vince McMahon and Ric Flair for 100% control of the WWE
  • The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • Eddie Guerrero (c) and Chavo Guerrero (c) vs Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit for the WWE Tag Team Championship
  • Kane (c) vs Rob Van Dam vs Booker T vs Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship

So… WRESTLEMANIA 19!

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Before we get started, I would like to state that Hogan vs Lesnar would be the main event of the show. I’m usually a supporter of the claim that the Rumble winner should always be in the main event. However, I’m sure I’m right in saying that majority of wrestling fans would be more interested in Hogan vs Lesnar than Show vs Undertaker. Hogan vs Lesnar seems like the perfect ending to this storyline. No disrespect to Big Show and Undertaker, but surely they’d understand the importance of finale of the nWo storyline ending the show.

For the WWE Tag Team title match, the Guerreros would retain after Kurt would turn on Chris Benoit. This would spark a feud between Benoit and Angle to take place following Wrestlemania. Chris Jericho would win the Intercontinental Championship. I know this feels a bit of a step down for Jericho, considering he had his classic with Shawn Michaels in real life at the event. However, at least he’s still a champion coming out of Wrestlemania. Him and Shawn could feud later on in 2003 anyway. The Rock would beat Stone Cold Steve Austin, putting an end to one of the greatest feuds of all time. But now, let’s get to the nWo stuff.

DX would beat the Outsiders in their hardcore tag team match. I feel that DX standing tall would be the best way to end the Outsiders’ role in this storyline. The Outsiders would seem to have the advantage when former nWo member X-Pac would get involved to get revenge on the Outsiders, who turned on him at Armageddon. He would hit both Hall and Nash with chairs and depart. Hall and Nash would be throwing up the Kliq signs, begging Shawn and Triple H for forgiveness. However, DX wouldn’t be too forgiving and a super kick and sledgehammer onto Nash would give DX the victory. On RAW the next night, I’d have Triple H turn on Shawn in similar fashion to how he turned on him in real life.

Undertaker would beat Big Show to win the WWE Championship. This would be a great moment for Undertaker and for Big Show too. In title matches at Wrestlemania, Big Show usually just acts as the third wheel. It’s good to actually give him a legitimate one-on-one match between him and Undertaker. Plus, Undertaker’s streak goes on and it’s cool to see him leave Wrestlemania with the title.

Now for the tag team match with Bischoff and Steiner going up against Vince and Ric. I’d like to see a cameo with Rowdy Roddy Piper, since he did make a cameo during Hogan’s match with Vince at Wrestlemania 19 in real life! His appearance could lead to the finish. In the finish, Flair makes Bischoff tap out to the figure four leg lock. The WWE is saved! However, there’s one last match…

Hogan defends the World Title against Brock Lesnar. Hogan cuts a pre-match promo saying what happened to Bischoff doesn’t concern him. The nWo will leave one last dent in the legacy of the WWE, which will haunt Vince McMahon for generations. Hogan guarantees that he will retain the belt and says that Brock Lesnar is nothing to him. However, Brock actually beats Hogan for the title in a passing of the torch. If you want to have the Hogan turn face, simply have him shake Lesnar’s hand after the match.

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And that…. FINALLY wraps up the nWo storyline! I hoped you enjoyed all of that. It was a lot of fun to write and I hope that ending lived up to all of the build!

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!

If you have a fantasy nWo storyline of your own, tweet me on the @ArmbarExpress Twitter account! I’m interested in hearing other people’s versions of this storyline!

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