Souled Out’s top higlights were Chris Jericho retaining the WCW title against Booker T after getting disqualified and Jeff Hardy won the cruiserweight title in the match of the night against Jamie Noble.
Now it’s time for SuperBrawl…
Pre-Show – Ted DiBiase Announces His Retirement
This was a legitimate retiring of Ted DiBiase. I got the dreaded e-mail saying that DiBiase would be retiring in a month. It was a blow as Ted DiBiase is the most over manager in the company. He’d been managing Curt Hennig for a while and was the manager for Asbury Perfection also including Bam Bam Bigelow. It’s a huge loss. I personally don’t think that Curt Hennig will lose a great deal considering what happens to him later on in the show. However, it’s said to see Ted go. Anyway, Ted talked about how he was walking away. Ted said he’d accomplished all he’s ever wanted to accomplish in the wrestling business. It’s been an honour to manage a wrestler as great as Curt Hennig. He predicts that Curt will one day finally win the WCW Championship. However, he says it’s time to look towards the future. He announces that he’s leaving and there’s one person that he thinks will one day be the next top star. He thinks that there’s one person that’s one his way to being the greatest of all time. He says that man is AJ Styles. AJ comes out and the two hug. Ted tells AJ to shoot for the stars and whatever happens in his TV Championship defense, AJ will be a future WCW Champion as well. A touching moment as Ted passes the torch to AJ.
Match 1 – Scott Steiner def. AJ Styles (c) in a falls count anywhere match to win the WCW Television Championship
After that huge segment on the pre-show, it might seem odd to have AJ Styles drop the title to Scott Steiner. Let me explain. Firstly, AJ’s had the title for a while. I feel right now is the appropriate time for him to lose the title. I also thought that DiBiase retiring would be the perfect transition for AJ to turn his intentions to the WCW title. I had an original plan for him to hold onto the TV title up until he passes a year as champion. After this, he would vacate the belt so he could challenge whoever the WCW Champion was. That was the plan, but I changed my mind. Curt Hennig would cost AJ the belt against Steiner, leading into a future program between those two. A decent 87% rating to open the show.
Match 2 – “Diamond Enforcers” Diamond Dallas Page and Arn Anderson def. Ultimo Dragon (c) and Dean Malenko (c) in a hardcore tag team match to win the WCW Tag Team Championship
Let me explain why the Diamond Enforcers won the tag titles again. The feud between these two tag teams started at Starrcade, when Dragon and Malenko won the tag titles. In the weeks building up to this match, the overness of ALL FOUR of these men took a big hit. DDP and Arn were at 100% overness when this feud started and Dragon and Malenko were in the 90s too. Just before the match however, DDP and Arn were both at 92. Malenko and Dragon were in the 80s. That’s bad news as this feud had hurt everyone involved. I decided to put the titles on the team that was the most over and the Diamond Enforcers were more over. So DDP and Arn are now TWO-TIME tag team champions. The Diamond Enforcers did get a big boost when their feud ended though so I may be inclined to keep the titles on them for now. An 84% rating is fine.
Match 3 – Curt Hennig def. Randy Savage w/Elizabeth with Trish Stratus as the special guest referee
So the storyline for this one. Trish Stratus broke up with Perry Saturn on Nitro. Trish then began flirting with Randy Savage, with Savage starting to fall for her. Elizabeth would try to talk some sense into Savage, saying that Trish is trying to hook up with a top star like Savage to shoot straight to the top. Trish denied this which led to a few brawls on Nitro. Curt started to call Savage out, saying he could beat him any day of the week. In order to get his attention, he started to hit on Trish himself. This led to a big match at SuperBrawl with Trish Stratus as the special guest referee. Trish turned on Savage to give Curt Hennig the victory. It’s a daft little romance angle which I decided to do. This also leads to Trish Stratus replacing Ted DiBiase as Curt Hennig’s manager, which is also a plus.
Match 4 – The Giant and Rowdy Roddy Piper def. “Legion of Doom” Animal and Hawk in a steel cage match
This feud was a mistake! In my last post, I mentioned that I had signed Hawk to reunite the Legion of Doom. Animal was upset in the game so I decided to give him a rivalry so he could be used more. I put and Hawk in there against Rowdy Roddy Piper (who was annoyed because I wasn’t using him enough) and The Giant. The feud did a lot better than I thought it was going to do, but it still received the lowest rating of the night! No one really got over either and Piper’s overness took a HUGE hit. However, at least The Giant got over from it so it wasn’t all bad.
Match 5 – Jeff Hardy (c) def. Eddie Guerrero, Silvio Maldini and Rey Mysterio in a fatal four way match to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship
A good rating for the Cruiserweights. It’s a bit of a drop from the 96-97% ratings from the Jamie Noble/Jeff Hardy program but that’s usually what happens when you do fatal four ways. I was just going to do Jeff Hardy vs Eddie Guerrero for the Cruiserweight title, but I wanted to throw Rey Mysterio and Silvio Maldini into the mix too. Silvio came back from his suspension claiming to be the true Cruiserweight Champion as he was never beaten for the title (he was suspended and stripped of the title). Mysterio was thrown in there too and it provided a decent rating. Not as great as the Starrcade and Souled Out ratings but it was fine.
Match 6 – Sting def. Raven (c) to win the WCW International Championship
In the second to last match on the show, Sting beat Raven to win the WCW International Championship. I thought this was the right decision and I thought if any should have beaten Raven, it should have been Sting. This match got the second best rating of the night and the crowd were really into it. I thought this feud was awesome when I first did so I decided to do it again. So far, I’ve been getting some great results.
Match 7 – Chris Jericho (c) def. Booker T in a hardcore match to retain the WCW Championship
This was the final match in the feud between Booker and Jericho. The original plan was for Booker to regain the championship as it would tie into the final segment of this show. However, Booker’s attitude backstage has been really poor. I figured it would be safer to keep the title on Jericho and he’d only just won the title at Starrcade. This was one of the rare instances where the main event was the best match of the show! I’m happy with that.
Segment 1 – Booker T Turns Heel and Aligns With Eric Bischoff
The original plan was for Eric Bischoff to help Booker win the championship, in order to turn Booker heel. Even though Jericho ended up retaining the title, I still went with Booker turning heel at the end of the show. I do need to get some more main event heels and Booker was the best choice. I was going to have Jericho turn but that would have been predictable. Jericho’s also our top seller as far as merchandise is concerned so that would have been a costly decision to have him turn heel. So I went with Booker. And that was the end of the show.