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

WARNING: Please read the first four 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…”.

Last time, things picked up for the nWo. After kicking Shawn Michaels out of the group, the nWo started to assert their dominance on RAW under the reigns of World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan and RAW general manager Eric Bischoff. Hogan had to contend with HBK’s best friend Triple H at Unforgiven and No Mercy, but the Hulkster walked out with the title still in his grasps. The group rolled into the Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series, with Hogan, Big Show and Kevin Nash representing the nWo. But returning to the WWE in the Elimination Chamber match would be Shawn Michaels, who was able to pull off on hell of a comeback to win the World Title. Needless to say, the nWo have just suffered a huge loss.

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Hollywood Hogan would come out on RAW and address the losses of the nWo at Survivor Series. On RAW, he would do a similar deal that Wade Barrett did after Nexus lost at Summerslam. He would give an ultimatum to everyone in the group. Big Show finds out he’s been booked in a inter-promotional match against a SmackDown! guy for Armageddon. If he doesn’t win that match, he’s out of the group. Knowing the heat between Scott Hall and X-Pac from Part 4, Hogan tries to get everybody on the same page. Therefore, it’s announced that Nash, Hall and X-Pac will team up in a six man tag team match against Kane, Rob Van Dam and Triple H. If they don’t get the job done, the one that gets pinned or submitted is fired. Not just fired from the nWo, but from the WWE as well. Since Bischoff and McMahon are with the nWo, this stipulation would be no problem.

Meanwhile, Hogan announces that he’s getting his rematch against Shawn Michaels for the World Title at Armageddon. X-Pac questions Hogan’s leadership in giving everybody else ultimatums for failures, when Hogan himself failed at Survivor Series too. Bischoff then agrees with X-Pac and decides that if Hogan loses at Armageddon, then he’ll face “extreme punishment”. So everybody in the group is under pressure leading into Armageddon.

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It’s revealed that Big Show’s match at Armageddon is against SmackDown!’s WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Big Show wants the title to be on the line but SmackDown! General Manager Stephanie McMahon says no. Vince eventually makes the final call. If Big Show beats Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho in a triple threat on SmackDown!, he’ll get the title shot. If Big Show loses, he’s fired from the WWE. Big Show wins due to interference from the nWo.

This is the moment where things between Hogan and McMahon begin to go south. The nWo are now interfering with SmackDown! business which Vince doesn’t like. He reluctantly gives in to Big Show’s demand but implements severe consequences for the Big Show if he loses. Vince is now getting into the nWo’s business as Hogan already had plans for the Big Show put in place. Things are starting to break down between the two.

At Armageddon, Big Show wins his match with Brock Lesnar via disqualification. Brock Lesnar gets DQ’d for using a chair and F5s him through the announce table. Show never won the title, but he didn’t lose the match either. The stipulation clearly stated that he just had to win his match. Therefore, Big Show keeps his spot in the group. In the six-man tag, Triple H’s team win against the nWo when HHH pins X-Pac. Following this match, the Outsiders lay out X-Pac. This is his last moments in this storyline.

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X-Pac left WWE a lot sooner than he does in this storyline. However, I don’t really have any big plans for him leading up to Mania yet. By the way, X-Pac would have gotten his rematch for the Intercontinental Championship on an episode of RAW before Armageddon. In case anyone was wondering why X-Pac wasn’t getting it at Armageddon.

In the main event, Hogan loses due to a botched interference by Vince McMahon. Hogan is livid that McMahon cost him his match with Michaels. The two have a huge confrontation the next night on RAW. An argument leads to McMahon revealing that Bischoff has signed Hogan to a match at the Royal Rumble. Hogan is given one more match for the World title at the Royal Rumble. If Hogan loses, he is fired for good from the WWE. The Outsiders are in the Royal Rumble and Big Show is given one more match with Brock. This time, Big Show needs to win the title or else…

So Brock Lesnar defends the WWE Championship against Big Show. This time, it’s no disqualification. So this gives the Outsiders an open invitation to go after Brock. Brock takes them all out one by one. In the end, he goes to finish off Big Show in the ring. He hits the F5 and goes for the cover. All of a sudden, the lights go out. When they come back on, Brock is out bloodied, with the nWo logo spray-painted on his back. Big Show goes for the cover and wins the WWE Championship.

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In Hogan’s match, the nWo interfere again. Nash and Hall hit their finishers on Michaels when the ref is out. Hogan hits the leg drop and regains the World title. Everybody in the group are laughing as they now have both major world titles in the company. The Outsiders could also possibly win the Royal Rumble match too. This is the worst case scenario for Vince. The nWo has now completely taken over the show. Vince goes on an angry tirade backstage about how the nWo has ruined everything. Vince then stops, smiles and walks away.

In the Royal Rumble match, it’s down to six. There’s still one more man to enter the match at #30. Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle are all still there, with all of them having been in for at least 40 minutes or so up until this point. Benoit and Jericho are like #1 and #2, and Kurt comes out at like #5 or something. The Outsiders came out very late into the match. Triple H came out late too but is completely overwhelmed by the Outsiders. The Outsiders then begin casually just throwing out Benoit, Jericho and Angle over the top rope.

I know this is similar to the 2015 Royal Rumble match, when Big Show and Kane were doing the same thing. But trust me, it’ll work. It’ll work because the heel heat on the nWo is truly immense. The fans are disgusted. The Outsiders then toss out Triple H and seemingly have the Rumble won. Nash gets on the mic saying that the nWo rule the world and to “bring out the last jobber”. Then we hear Undertaker’s music hit.

Undertaker returns and is #30 in the Royal Rumble match! Taker starts to overcome Nash and Hall but then Hogan and Big Show comes out. It’s a huge beatdown on Taker when Brock Lesnar comes out for revenge. He F5s Big Show and takes out the rest. Taker then eliminates both the Outsiders to win the match. The night ends with Hogan trying to attack Lesnar but walking into an F5 instead. Brock then hoists up the World Heavyweight title and Taker hoists up the WWE title as Vince gets onto the stage and laughs. And that’s the end of the show.

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That’ll wrap things up for Part Five. This part was VERY hard to write up. I changed my mind on so many aspects of what happens in this time period. After all, the final part will be covering Wrestlemania. So it has to be really spot on, especially when The Rock, Undertaker and Steve Austin are coming back into play. So I’ll think I’ll give the WWE writers from back then a little slack! However, I think this scenario has set up a pretty good little set up for Wrestlemania 19. Brock Lesnar will be going after Hogan’s World title and Taker will be going after Big Show’s title. It’s a bit of work around as far as the brand structures are concerned but we can think of something. Vince could just proclaim a trade the next night on RAW where Brock goes to RAW and Taker goes to SmackDown! Then everything works… kind of.

But I hope you all are sticking with this and I’ve got quite a big finale set up for you next time!

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!

UPDATE: Hulk Hogan’s contract “terminated” according to WWE statement

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A big update on the news earlier that Hulk Hogan has been removed from everything WWE related.

His profile on WWE.com, his merchandise and other mentions of the Hall of Famer have been removed by the WWE, and he was no longer listed as a judge for WWE’s on-going series Tough Enough.

As I mentioned earlier, we expected a statement from WWE about the matter. And now, it appears we’ve got one.

The WWE issued the following statement about the status of Hulk Hogan, who had been signed to a WWE legends contract ever since his return to the company in 2014…

“WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”

Nothing has been mentioned as to why Hogan’s contract was “terminated” but wrestling journalist Wade Keller stated that Hogan was “apparently done with WWE,” and the statement from WWE confirms the rumours that WWE and Hogan no longer have any working relationship.

As mentioned, WWE.com prevents you from clicking on a number of pages related to the Hulkster.

For example, if you go onto his profile page at this link, “You are not authorized to access this page,” appears at the top of the screen.

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This revelation comes amid speculation of a leaked audio clip, with Hogan reportedly involved in a racial tirade.

Again, it’s important to note that WWE has yet to comment on the allegations themselves and have not yet provided a reason for the termination of Hogan’s legends contract.

Hogan’s legends contract began when Hogan rejoined the company in early 2014, in time to be the “host” for that year’s Wrestlemania XXX event.

Over time Hogan’s role with the company has developed into an ambassador-style role, being featured in a number of WWE international events worldwide.

Hogan’s also had a number of on-screen appearances for the WWE in a non-wrestling role, involved in angles with the likes of John Cena, Brock Lesnar and even celebrated his birthday live on RAW last August.

However, it’s now been officially confirmed that Hogan is no longer apart of the company, with even more probably yet to come out of this story.

Hulk Hogan Removed From Everything WWE Related

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IN an unusual story, WWE has seemingly disassociated himself with everything related to Hulk Hogan and has seemingly parted ways with the Hall Of Famer.

Every mention of Hulk Hogan has been taken down from WWE.com as well as merchandise related to the Hulkster.

It also seems that Hogan’s days as a judge for Tough Enough are over too, as he is no longer listed as a judge for the on-going series.

It what is seemingly a response to the news, Hogan tweeted this out.

The reasons for WWE’s decision are still not clear, but rumours and reports began surfacing that either an audio or video tape has been leaked onto the internet with Hogan going on a racial tirade of some sort. However, these rumours still can’t be confirmed as of right now nor can’t be confirmed as the reason for Hogan’s apparent departure from WWE. However, it’ll be interesting to see how this story develops as it does effect a number of wrestlers on the current roster. Curtis Axel, whose current gimmick is parodying Hogan as Axelmania, has had his profile picture at WWE.com changed back to his normal persona. This will likely mean that the Axelmania gimmick will be dropped, which will also see the break up of the “Mega Powers” team of Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow (who currently parodies “Macho Man” Randy Savage). Well-known wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer tweeted that the website were told to remove all references of him in this tweet below.

Again, this story only broke a few hours ago on a number of wrestling sites.

Hopefully, we’ll know more later on in the day and we may possibly get an official WWE statement addressing the situation.

How I Would Book… Wrestlemania 29 [Part 1] – The Rock vs John Cena vs CM Punk

Two years ago, a lot of us complained about the main event of Wrestlemania 29. Whether it’d be for CM Punk missing out on his Wrestlemania main event or having to see Cena vs Rock for the second time, it wasn’t exactly everybody’s cup of tea. The Rock would defend the WWE Championship against John Cena and Cena got his redemption for his loss the Great One the year before. But I want to look at is how we’d book alternative Wrestlemania main events. There a few rumored by dirtsheets and one or two I personally wanted to see. But what main events would we have liked to have seen and how would we book…. Wrestlemania 29.

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To set the stage here, here are the three big main event matches of that year’s Wrestlemania:

  • The Rock (c) vs John Cena for the WWE Championship
  • Undertaker vs CM Punk
  • Triple H vs Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Match (Triple H’s career was on the line)

The reasons why I wanted to outline these three from the get go is we’re going to go with an alternate Wrestlemania main event, then these are the three top matches we REALLY need to think about as we’re booking. If we’re talking about like adding CM Punk to the Wrestlemania main event, then we’ve obviously got to think for an alternative opponent for Undertaker at Wrestlemania. A lot easier said than done. However, we’ll get to that later on and name off the first potential Wrestlemania main event match. The Rock vs John Cena vs CM Punk in a triple threat match for the WWE Championship.

We’ll go through this one first because according to his podcast with Colt Cabana, this was the main event Punk was lobbying for to Vince. Punk will feature in a lot of main events in this particularly series and I’ll explain why? CM Punk is the reigning WWE Champion as of the start of 2013. He’s gone 400+ days with the championship and is clearly the top heel in WWE heading into his match with The Rock. This means whenever he would have lost the championship would have been special. Hell, somebody like The Rock beating Punk for the championship is special… whether we agree with it or not. So wouldn’t it have made sense for Punk to be defending the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania and given somebody a WRESTLEMANIA moment?

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However, like we mentioned before, putting Punk in the main event creates a very VERY big problem. If Punk goes onto the main event, then who could possibly wrestle the Undertaker? Punk can say that he wasn’t thrilled to lose to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania but of all the people on the roster, Punk’s quite possibly the one person who’s truly ready enough to take on the streak.

Just think, whoever faced Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29 would have had to follow up the act of his classic hell in a cell match with Triple H the year before. Who could possibly be ready enough in terms of star-power and ability to tackle that anticipation? Other than Punk, let’s look at some alternatives.

  • Chris Jericho – To be honest, I think Jericho would have been a great opponent for the Undertaker to face for Wrestlemania 29. Jericho’s a fantastic in-ring performer and could have done a lot of great work with Taker in the build up to their match. However, the problem with Jericho is the fact that he had turned face in the summer and had come back in January as a face. A newly-face Jericho facing Undertaker, or Jericho turning heel again and facing the Undertaker, wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Him turning heel again after having just turned face or a face Jericho vs face Taker wouldn’t quite have the same impact then Jericho at his heel peak going up against the Undertaker.
  • Ryback – Ryback having been on his undefeated streak WOULD have made sense to go up against the Undertaker… had he not lost to CM Punk at Hell In A Cell. After losing to Cena as well at the Royal Rumble as well, Ryback really doesn’t look much of a threat to the Undertaker anymore. Plus, there are questions about whether Ryback could have handled a match like this at this stage of his career.
  • Sheamus – As much as I would have loved to seen a Sheamus vs Undertaker program, it did seem like it was only just recently that Sheamus turned face. Considering that had been face for 18 months as Wrestlemania rolled by, it seemed a bit early to pull the trigger on him. And now… a face vs a face at Wrestlemania would be no where near as good.
  • Randy Orton – As great a timing as this would have been to turn Randy, he’s wrestled Undertaker before at Mania. It should be someone new.
  • Mark Henry – Same reason as Orton.

So it’s really hard to think of anyone to wrestle the Undertaker if CM Punk was taken out of the match and put into the main event. Out of those, I’d go with Sheamus and just turn him despite him not being face for that long. However, let’s turn our attention back to Punk vs Rock vs Cena.

I have two different scenarios for how a triple threat match would go between these two. One of which would have Punk being the champion and one being if Rock was the champion. So let me go with the first scenario, in which CM Punk walks into Mania as the champion.

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In their match at the Royal Rumble, the first step would be to have Punk retain the championship against The Rock. It would probably be a cheap finish where Punk hits Rock with the title or something to retain. A cheap finish would give The Rock a legitimate reason for a rematch. The rematch at Elimination Chamber I would probably just drop, as Punk would simply have to retain again and it would be difficult for The Rock to make a claim for one more title match at Wrestlemania.

So after Punk retains, he begins his program with Cena. Keep in mind, Cena was booked to feud with The Shield after he won the Rumble. So it makes sense that Punk gets involved considering his previous storyline with the stable. The Shield’s six man tag team match still happens at Elimination Chamber. Punk would just have to defend the title against somebody else at the PPV. I’d say Ryback, but he’d fought Punk quite a lot by this point. So maybe Jericho and Orton would be next in line. In any situation, Punk retains. So what happens next?

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The way I see it, the night after RAW would be a big night regarding this feud. At the start of the night, Punk would come out and insult Cena face to face. The insults eventually led to Cena cashing in his Wrestlemania title match on next week’s RAW. It’s not like he can’t since he’s done this before. And we also get the epic RAW match between these two that we got in real WWE. This match ends in Punk getting himself DQ’d and retaining the championship. However, Vince McMahon would come out. I think Vince would have been back on TV at this point after Brock Lesnar’s attack on him the month before. He would come out and announce that at Wrestlemania, the WWE Championship will feature a momentous main event. He said Punk would defend the title in a triple threat match! Punk would defend the title against John Cena… and The Rock!

This leads to the match at Wrestlemania which Cena regains the title. I’ll admit, there are a few problems with this main event. Punk being added to the main event means that Undertaker is left without an opponent at Wrestlemania. This and the fact that this booking will mean The Rock will miss a month of WWE Television. However, what this does is make sure the WWE title reign of Punk ended the way a lot of us thought it should – in the main event of Wrestlemania against two elite stars like The Rock and John Cena. Cena’s champion at the end of it still and Punk gets the Wrestlemania main event he always wanted. However, The Rock losing in BOTH of his matches doesn’t do him much favors. However, before I leave, let me go through an alternative main event storyline where The Rock would be the champion…

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There’s two ways this could go down. One way would be to simply have Punk win at the Rumble in some screwy way, resulting in a rematch for Elimination Chamber where Rock would go over. Punk would invoke his rematch for Wrestlemania leading to the triple threat. However, I do have one more way which is a bit more complicated but has a much stronger effect.

Remember the Shield stipulation for the Rock vs CM Punk match at Royal Rumble? If The Shield got involved, Punk would be stripped off the title. Well, why not have the match end EXACTLY that way?

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Other than this highly anticipated match ending without a clear winner, this finish would be a huge shocker of an end to this match. The Shield would come out as both men were down. Punk would plead the Shield to back off but The Shield would ignore him. They would pull The Rock out of the ring, Powerbomb him and leave. Vince would come out and strip Punk off the title. The title would be vacated and a rematch between the two would be made for Elimination Chamber with Rock winning the title. Punk would get the opportunity to get added to the Mania match with his RAW match with Cena  (which he’d win). Thus, the triple threat is made and Cena still walks out champion.

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Anyway, that FINALLY wraps up the Cena/Punk/Rock main event fantasy booking. Yes, I do realize how long of a post this was! There was a lot of bases to cover with this main event because there’s so many ways this could have occurred without hindering those involved too much. However, one thing is certain…

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Be sure to check out the other parts of this series by clicking down below:

  • Part Two – CM Punk (c) vs Ryback for the WWE Championship
  • Part Three – The Rock (c) vs Ryback for the WWE Championship
  • Part Four – CM Punk (c) vs Undertaker for the WWE Championship

AJ Lee’s Retirement – My Thoughts and Reactions

So on Friday night, I was pretty much ready to go to bed. I was pretty tired after a day of university work combined with the How I Would Book Brock Lesnar vs Batista blog posts (part one’s on this link and part two at this link). I was pretty much set… until I read the following tweet from @WWE themselves. And it involved one of the most important divas on the roster and one of the most “over” divas in the last five years.

The tweet read….

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I sent out a blog post following the tweet and it’s proven to be a big hit! However, I wanted to do a follow-up piece a few days later and just before RAW. The first blog post was not really intended to be a huge analysis on the story. I did make a few observations here and there but it was short and sweet just to let you guys know of the situation at the time. Now a day or so has passed and I’ve decided to do the follow-up piece that I promised you when I wrote the first one. To take a look at the situation, what we NOW know about it and where WWE and AJ goes from here….  

So as stated, the only things we had before were the tweet sent by WWE and a tweet CM Punk sent out soon afterwards…

Now with her wife involved, this tweet was inevitable. But it’s probably Punk’s first mention in a REALLY long time. Possibly since the Colt Cabana podcast back in November. Of course, it didn’t hint at anything. However, I just felt it was just a nice thing to point out. Punk leading the praises of his wife as any husband should…

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Many more have tweeted about AJ as well. Mick Foley, as usual, was very active on social media about. Heck, the Bellas broke kayfabe to send their farewells to AJ too. And considering all the things AJ have said about the Bellas on television, it’s a ture touch of professionalism and class from the Bellas.

However, it’s still not known for certain WHY AJ “retired” or what the reasons were for her departure.

Just to state the record, we’re not going to throw around the idea that WWE are hiding something or some WWE conspiracy reason for her departure. That’s not what this post is for. It’s pretty much a summary of what we know and the impact of her “retirement”.

That being said, there have been “hints” for the reasons behind her sudden departure. At least to US it was sudden. Looking back at her Wrestlemania tag team match with Paige, it could be that AJ knew she was calling it a day at WWE.

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According to a NoDQ.com article,

“Regarding AJ Lee retiring from WWE, there’s already some speculation that she knew she was leaving this week before WrestleMania 31. A colleague who watched WrestleMania 31 with me thought that AJ’s post-match celebration with Paige “seemed weird” as if AJ knew this was her last big match. The two hugged for a while and AJ told Paige she loves her, which to most people didn’t seem out of the way at the time but is interesting now. We should have more on the AJ story later tonight so stay tuned.”

To be honest, I thought the huge was a pretty weird post-match celebration… at least from a kayfabe perspective. On the RAW before, Paige and AJ got into a scuffle and according to storyline couldn’t get along. Unless AJ was pulling out some unscripted jargon, which AJ has done quite a bit in the past, then there shouldn’t really be a reason for a hug like in the context of the story. Therefore, this speculation about AJ hugging Paige being a sign that AJ knew that she was leaving makes complete sense.

Again though, this doesn’t really explain WHY she left. It just indicates that AJ had been planning this departure for some time.

Now I think the general belief is that AJ’s last year in WWE has been quite an eventful one. Coming off the departure of her husband CM Punk, AJ’s been on the receiving end of a lot of idiotic “CM Punk” chants due to her relationship with the superstar turned MMA fighter. Not really AJ’s fault, but it probably effected her attitude in and out the ring a lot. AJ’s been known for a number of off-script or “shoot” moments in 2014, particularly with her Slammys speech where she praised a lot of the NXT women. I think with her being off of TV a lot of the time to be with her husband, she herself was pretty unhappy at the company.

I stated before that if AJ felt unhappy at the company than she should have just quit and I think she’s taken up my advice. I never said that in a nasty “I don’t want AJ at this company because I hate her” way by the way. It’s just if you don’t like your job and you feel it’s making you unhappy, then why bother continue it? I admire AJ for following her heart and choosing happiness over fame if that is the case. At least that’s the reason her husband gave for leaving in the Cabana podcast. So I don’t have a problem with her leaving what’s so ever. If anything, this opens the way for the NXT divas which AJ praised in the Slammys speech. This certainly paves the way for the likes of Paige and Naomi to becoming the top favorites in WWE. And that’s awesome for the both of them, who truly deserves it.

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Now before I wrap this up, I’m going to look at a theory for AJ’s departure. By the way, the only reason I’m referring to it as a “departure” is because the chances are she’s just leaving the company. It would make sense for WWE to input a bit of damage control for a top star leaving by referring to it as a “retirement”. That’s what they did with Jim Ross. Again, I’m not suggesting that this is some WWE conspiracy or something. I’m just saying you shouldn’t take everything WWE tells you to be the 100% truth. Just because THEY say AJ’s done from in-ring competition doesn’t mean that she’ll wind up wrestling in the indies in a few months time. As a journalism student, the first thing I was told was to question… everything!

However, this notion suggested over why AJ left did need to be questioned… purely because of how daft it is!

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InQuisitr writer Patrick Frye suggested that the UFC would be in AJ’s immediate future, following her husband into the octagon. One of the smallest divas I’ve seen in WWE fighting the toughest women in the world in the realms of MMA. Patrick first writes…

“During UFC 182, CM Punk spent almost an hour talking during a Q & A session. At one point, he was asked about who he thought could also end up in the UFC over time. Perhaps giving us a hint of things to come, CM Punk said he couldn’t count out AJ Lee as a possibility. With AJ Lee leaving the WWE, the possibility seems more than just an off-the-cuff remark.

“Ronda Rousey just so happens to be a big fan of CM Punk. In fact, the first time they met in person Rousey actually fangasmed all over Punk. While it’s questionable whether AJ Lee Vs. Ronda Rousey would be a good idea based upon MMA skill (or lack thereof), you have to believe that Dana White is seeing potential dollar signs floating in the air.”

Saying Rousey is a big of Punk is a potential reason for AJ wanting to go to WWE is like me saying that because Jeremy Clarkson is a fan of Will Young, he’s gonna start performing duets with the singer and form a band with him! As great of a future that sounds,that’s obviously NOT going to happen.

Also, the potential of AJ vs Rousey is very far-fetched considering the weight differences between the two. AJ Lee weights 52kg, compared to Rousey’s 61kg. You have to be at least 57kg in order to compete in the division so a potential fight is unlikely unless AJ were to proper beef up!

I can’t necessarily RULE OUT a UFC run for AJ since I thought there was no way Punk would sign with UFC and I was proven wrong. However, the idea of Rousey vs AJ at UFC is pretty ridiculous and UFC can’t constantly be thinking of signing AJ to their women’s division. Unless they were doing to say “Screw you WWE” or just as a publicity stunt, in which case that would be pretty absurd.

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I was gonna keep going through other theories as well like marriage problems and a potential pregnancy but I’ve decided to call it a day for now. My estimation is that it’s down to simply AJ being unhappy at the company. It’s pretty hard not to be. Considering a lot of wrestlers that have left WWE nowadays seem to be leaving on sour terms, it seems to be that Punk’s description of WWE as being a very toxic working environment is pretty accurate. AJ having taken breaks from WWE a few times in the past year were probably indicators to this.

All I can say is that after four years, AJ Lee is no longer a WWE diva. To say that AJ’s career was “legendary” seems to be a little too much. I’d hardly call it a Hall Of Fame worthy run, as Joey Styles suggested. But in her time in WWE, AJ did impact the WWE divas division quite a bit. Having held the divas title for nearly a year herself, AJ’s done a pretty good job in getting people talking about the women of WWE. But with her career only lasting four years and a lot of it being clouded by affiliation with CM Punk, I don’t think her career had reached the point of legendary. I don’t think she did so much for the company that she should be bestowed this honor. Unless she were to somewhere down the road return, I don’t think she’s done enough to be considered one of the best divas of all time.I personally didn’t see her to be SUCH a strong in-ring worker.

But nevertheless, AJ was still a top diva, even at the end of her run. And good luck to her, wherever she ends up…

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 19 – SLAMBOREE 2000

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Previously on WCW EWR…

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.

SLAMB2

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!

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: TNA 2010 PART 6 – HARD JUSTICE

Previously on TNA EWR…

We crowned a new TNA World Heavyweight Champion in the “Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy, who defeated AJ Styles after Hulk Hogan got involved. However, the controversial nature of the win infuriated the former champion AJ. AJ called for Hogan to resign as TNA commissioner claiming that him, Sting and Jeff were in cahoots. Hulk responded by announcing that AJ would get his rematch for the TNA World Title on Impact!… in a LADDER MATCH! In what would be the feud-ending match, Jeff and AJ put on a clinic. However, as Jeff and AJ were getting up from a hard bump, Sting appeared out of nowhere. He pointed the baseball bat at AJ… but clobbered Jeff! AJ and the rest of the fans are in shock as Sting seems to have turned heel. Sting drops Jeff with the Scorpion Deathdrop and leaves. AJ capitalizes on this to bring down the title and regain the TNA World Title.

The next Impact, “Bad Influence” Christopher Daniels and Kazarian came out to question AJ’s legitimacy as champion. AJ responds by saying neither of them could beat him, even on his worst day. AJ would team with the NEW X-Division Champion TAKA Michinoku to lose to the duo on Impact, with Daniels getting the pin. Kaz would later beat AJ one-one-one in a non-title match. Following this, Hogan announced that AJ would defend the TNA World Title at Hard Justice against both Kaz and Daniels in a triple threat match.

Sting came out to explain his actions during the ladder match by stating that he loved TNA. It is because he loves it so much that he needs to make the tough decisions to save TNA. Sting says that Jeff winning the title following Hogan’s interference was an injustice to professional wrestling and that Jeff and Hogan had diminished the title’s prestige. As much as he didn’t like AJ, AJ was a victim of the conspiracy in TNA that revolves around Hulk Hogan being ruler of all with Jeff Hardy being the corporate champion. The champion that all the kids can rally behind, a popular “hero” that was nothing more than a corporate puppet. Sting says Jeff was one of the diseases that Hogan brought into this company, and the Stinger vows to bring him out of it. Hogan cuts him off, saying that Sting crossed the line interfering in the TNA World Title match. Hogan says Jeff is a little banged up, but he’ll be ready to fight at Hard Justice. Hogan tells Sting he will meet Jeff Hardy in the ring. Not for a match, but for a fight!

Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe have had a heck of a rivalry consisting of their matches at Slammiversary and Victory Road. However, neither match was able to determine a clear winner. Hogan decided to end it all at Hard Justice. And to make sure… Hogan was going to referee it! There will be a clear winner at Hard Justice.

So…. Hard Justice.

hardjustice

 

Pre-Show – “British Invasion” Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus def. Brother Ray and Scott Hall in a tables match

I got a 57% for this match! Alright, Scott Hall was not exactly the greatest worker back then and Magnus wasn’t much better around this time either. However, how did this match garner a 57% overall? We have four superstars that are over… at least like 70-75 over each. It’s a tables match. We have Doug Williams and Brother Ray also in the mix who can put together some pretty cool stuff. So I figured this would have been a decent tag match that would have gotten an alright rating. But somehow I ended up with 57%! I really don’t understand. I expected this to be a lot better!

 

Match 1 – “Deadly Sin” Raven (c) and Rhino (c) def. Tyler Black and Jerry Lynn to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship

I’m not sure how long this tag team of Tyler Black (a.k.a Seth Rollins) and Jerry Lynn is going to last, but I figured they would have made decent opponents for Raven and Rhino. Having said that, a 79% rating is a little annoying to me. I really wanted this to be in the 80s. I was kinda leaning towards having Black and Lynn win the belts, but they’re not really near Rhino and Raven as far as overness. Rhino/Raven are both at like 95 while Tyler and Jerry were in the 80s. So Deadly Sin retain… for now.

 

Match 2 – Kevin Nash def. Brother Devon in a First Blood match

This match ended after Brother Ray came out and accidentally blasted Devon with a chair! Devon bleed, causing the ref to ring the bell. Nash is your winner. Again, not going to be a great technical match but these two are a bit over. So… yeah.

 

Match 3 – Matt Morgan def. Mr Anderson in a Street Fight

Morgan goes over after hitting a blue-print through the chair into Anderson. I’d hate to have Anderson jobbing out in these feuds but Morgan was wanting a bit of a push so I put him over. Anderson had a temper tantrum afterwards. Not really sure what’s going to happen with him!

 

Match 4 – Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett def. Bobby Lashley and Abyss in a Steel Cage match

I have no idea how this match was worse than Morgan/Anderson and Devon/Nash. I love this game, but this match should have gotten a MUCH better rating. Lethal and Jarrett go over after Lethal hits the elbow drop from the top. A big OMG moment to end the short feud between these two. I really want to push Lethal, which is why they went over. Lethal is still pretty much over, so I did what I set out to do with him. Even if he is no longer the X-Division Champion, I think Lethal is ready to step it up to the big time!

 

Angle 1 (5) – Sting Pillmanizes Jeff Hardy

Again… NO idea why this segment was not rewarded a better mark. These two are insanely over right now and pillmanizing segments normally get great ratings on this game. Jeff Hardy called out Sting and the Stinger showed up on the stage. The two start to brawl up there and it spills out into the crowd. They have a couple of cool spots and then Jeff throws Sting over the barricade. Sting blasts Jeff with a number of chair shots on the outside. He grabs a second chair and performs the conchairto onto Jeff. Sting leaves when Jeff gets up with assistance of the ropes. Sting knocks him goofy and wraps the chair around Jeff’s leg. He jumps of the turnbuckle, pillmanizing Jeff Hardy.

 

Match 5 – “Beer Money Inc” Bobby Roode and James Storm def. “Motor City Machine Guns” Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley in a No Disqualification match to become number one contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Championship

I’m giving these four great talents the means to do pretty much anything! In the feud-ending match, Roode and Storm won in the No DQ match. The tag team match types are very limited in this game which is why it’s another No DQ match. If it was possible, this would have been 2 out of 3 falls. I was expecting this to be in the 90s but it was not to be. Maybe the rest of the show caused it to be down-graded a bit. I’m very sure. But Roode and Storm go over… I have big plans for these two.

 

Match 6 – Kurt Angle def. Samoa Joe with Hulk Hogan as the guest referee

Angle finally wins the feud with Joe. At the end, Angle hits the Angle Slam from the top. He crawls to make the cover and Hogan counts to three. Joe’s foot was under the bottom rope though. Joe gets pissed at Hogan and spits in his face post-match. Not exactly the way either man wanted the feud to end really. Again… a controversial finish. Perhaps in the future…

 

Match 7 – AJ Styles (c) def. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in a triple threat match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

How on earth did this do worse than Matt Morgan vs Mr Anderson? How? It’s AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in a triple threat! If you were to ask me what I thought was the best triple threat match I’ve ever watched, I’d tell it was Styles, Daniels and Samoa Joe at Unbreakable 2005. Two of those guys have been feuding with each other for years. Ironman matches, last man standing matches… Daniels and AJ have INSANE chemistry together. You throw Kaz into the mix, who’s had great matches with both of them in the past, you’ve got a heck of a triple threat match. But yet this game thinks that this match was WORSE than Anderson vs Morgan? AJ is 100 overness, Daniels is in the 90s and Kaz is just behind him. So how did they get that bad of a rating? GOD!

 

I don’t think I’ve been ever this disgruntled at writing an EWR post. I mean I love EWR to death. I  play it all the time. But PPVs like this drive me up the wall. I have to admit, I put on a lot of shit matches on this PPV. Devon vs Nash isn’t exactly the biggest appealing match in the world. But surely the overness of these guys make up for in ring work? In the WCW series, crowd reaction was my saving grace when it came to booking the likes of Hogan and Ric Flair. The match quality for these two in a match was DREADFUL but the fans were into them! I figured that would work here for a couple of matches but it wasn’t to be.

Before I do more stuff on the TNA series, I do have a WCW PPV in the books that I will be blogging about before the end of the week I believe. It is Souled Out… 2000! We started in 1998 and now we’re in 2000 of WCW. I think you’re going to like this PPV! It takes place just a couple of weeks before Starrcade and I did a lot better than I was expecting! I’m might just keep going back and forth from one game to another from now one but I’ll let you know in a future update post. Be sure to check out that…

In the mean time, give this PPV a rating below, check out the other posts on the blog, comment, share, all that jazz. Have a great day EWR fans!