TNA Bound For Glory 2015 Review – Prologue

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I’m going to tell everybody a story which begins all the way in 2006. In 2006, I was a wrestling fan that had started watching WWE programming just a few years earlier. However, this was a year in which I was really starting to lose interest in WWE. There were a lot of failed storylines and projects that was slowly sucking the enjoyment from watching RAW, SmackDown! and ECW. RAW was particular dominated by John Cena and the reunited DX, SmackDown! was ruled by King Booker, the “Animal” Batista and the underdog champion Rey Mysterio, and ECW was ruled by the Big Show. It was a very testing time to being a WWE fan. Have no fear though. On the Wrestling Channel in the UK, they were starting to show episodes of a wrestling show called TNA IMPACT.

I was interested, because it featured former WWE stars and even WCW legend Sting. I also noticed these new talents that were so exiting to watch that it was baffling why they weren’t signed with someone like WWE. This was the show I needed to regain my passion for wrestling. TNA was a hit. It was unique, it featured six sided rings and unbelievable talent. For me, this was a nice alternative from the “sports entertainment” of WWE.

TNA spread like wild-fire, even resulting in “TNA” being chanted during episodes of RAW. In a weird case of deja vu from the 1995 King Of The Ring, where ECW chants were bellowed out in Philadelphia, the fans were more interested in chanting the name of a “rival” wrestling company than the actual product in front of them. They might have good reason to do it. After all they chanted this during a miserable, and I mean MISERABLE, “Donald Trump” vs “Rosie O’Donnell” match.

What’s funny about this incident is that TNA and ECW are VERY similar in a lot of other aspects too. They were both innovative companies that brought a unique style of wrestling to the US. However, they both also had their issues that prevented them from reaching their full potential. ECW’s problem was a lack of funds which resulted in talent being stolen from WWF and WCW, which led to the company’s bankruptcy in 2001. The issues for TNA were more than just money…

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While I loved the company when I first started watching it and then for years after, this company was running itself into the ground. TNA initially had a simple but effective product which was really taking off like a rocket. While they signed high-profile wrestlers like Kurt Angle from time to time, the main attraction which really made it different from the WWE was the X-Division. They were the stars. Hell, they were the main-event in a few instances. However, TNA soon seemed to completely neglect what brought them to the dance to make room for… “sports entertainment.”

They had great wrestlers but the powers-that-be of TNA ultimately decided that the only way to beat WWE… was to BE WWE. It was not about being an alternative WRESTLING company. It was about purely booking from an “entertainment” standpoint. Therefore, a lot of product was heavily reliant on angles in order to advance the stories. It was a product heavily reliant on swerves which really didn’t need to be there. The use of storylines in wrestling is fine, as that’s one of the most important aspects of the wrestling business. It’s about telling a story, whether you do it in the ring or in an angle. However, the use of storylines OVER wrestling is what really damaged the product.

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It wasn’t just the decisions of creative that really dented the company. Many decisions by those actually RUNNING the company were very questionable. It’s almost that the company never realised the importance of the younger stars and put all their faith in the likes of Jeff Hardy in order to bring in the ratings. True, it wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of star power in their ranks. However, a BIT would do just fine. In 2010, with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff coming in, so did dozens of new wrestlers. When I say new, I mean old. Old former WWE, WCW or ECW stars that are now part of the NEW vision of TNA!

Trust me, I’m not knocking those stars that came in. They’re stars for a reason but a lot of these stars served zero purpose in the future of TNA. What sort of contribution were the Nasty Boys supposed to bring to TNA’s future? What was the point in bringing Orlando Jordan to TNA? Why were all the ECW originals hired, other than to set up a ECW reunion show? Just… why?

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Of course, the old dudes were not why I was still watching TNA in 2012 and 2013. During those times, the shows were actually great to watch. In the early days of this blog, TNA reviews were a common feature. The storylines improved following the implosion of Immortal but a new sense of attention to younger stars was finally introduced. Finally, stars like Bobby Roode and James Storm were able to properly develop. Those two produced quite possibly the greatest feud in TNA history. Austin Aries became a star and even became TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Bully Ray had been in wrestling for decades but at least he became a singles star in his own right. They weren’t just dependent on the older main event stars to advance the shows.

The point is, the potential was ALWAYS there for TNA to succeed. We’ll get onto the financial troubles later on but from a creative standpoint, the potential was there. They had all the means to create stars easily that didn’t need to break the bank. However, they didn’t. Not only didn’t they make the stars that they could have, they also broke the bank while they were at it. Which leads me to their financial troubles…

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As mentioned earlier, TNA have splashed a fair amount of cash during their existence. As mentioned earlier, they hired a ton of wrestlers in 2010 believing that the driving force of TNA would be the stars… from TEN YEARS AGO! However, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff’s plans with these stars was always going to fail. Not only were the stars just going to hold back the younger talent, TNA didn’t have the sufficient financial structure that could allow Bischoff, Hogan and Dixie Carter to just pluck these guys like plucking apples from a tree. According to Vince Russo he frequently warned Eric and Hogan that this was not like the days of WCW, where they could easily sign whoever they wanted. TNA’s financial structure was clearly not as great as they believed it to be.

We compared TNA to ECW, but at least Paul Heyman knew that ECW was not a great position to snap up the true stars of wrestling. He had to develop them, because there was not way that he could snap up the likes of Sting, Steve Austin and The Rock from WCW and the WWF. He was as realistic as possible, because he did not have seemingly unlimited funds like WCW. You know what’s funny, is that TNA was similar to WCW in its mindset with money. They didn’t think money would be an issue but really… it was.

There’s also the foolish decisions made by TNA which they believed would turn the product. We’re not talking about the expensive contracts. We’re talking about decisions like deciding to move TNA to Monday nights and go head-to-head with RAW. They decided to start a “Monday Night War” when they were never in a million years going to beat RAW in the ratings. It’d be like if Malta ever declared war on Germany. They would also never force Vince McMahon to change up his writing in order to beat TNA. The gap was just too big for Vince to care.

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Ultimately, TNA’s failures backstage has lead to the company’s own demise. Quite honestly, this saddens me a lot. Even though I’ve not really watched the product in a few years, I still have a strong connection and appreciation for a lot of things TNA has brought to wrestling. The X-Division, at its prime, was sublime. The likes of Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, James Storm, Samoa Joe and others have provided great match after great match. We even got one of the greatest segments of all time, with Jay Lethal confronting Ric Flair in a woo-off! I’ll have so many fond memories of TNA, which is why it is sad that I might have just watched it’s final ever PPV.

So… did TNA go out with a bang or a whimper? Join me for the TRUE review of TNA Bound For Glory, and whether there were any glorious moments to be had during TNA’s possibly final hurrah!

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EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 28 – SOULED OUT 2001

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Previously on WCW EWR

We crowned a BRAND NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion. It was a triple threat match with Booker T defending the title against Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho. Booker T had been the champion ever since Bash At The Beach but his reign came to an end when Booker hit his finisher on Eddie. Jericho threw Booker out of the ring to steal the pin for himself and leave Starrcade as the new WCW Champion. Booker T is owed a rematch and would get it at Souled Out.

There were another title change that took place. Ultimo Dragon and Dean Malenko won a triple threat tag team match against the champions DDP and Arn Anderson and against Scott Steiner and Bill Goldberg. Sting battled Bret Hart, Hogan battled Raven and the stole was stolen by Jamie Noble and Jeff Hardy in a match for the Cruiserweight title.

So now we’re in the year 2001 and we’ve got quite a show in store for you….

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Pre-Show – “The Exiles” Perry Saturn, Road Dogg, Shane Helms and Lodi def. Edge, Christian Cage, Animal and Hawk

The Legion of Doom are reunited! Yes, I was able to steal Hawk from the WWF to complete the tag team. Animal might be leaving soon because he’s very unhappy. That reflected on the rating a little. However, I do want to get this tag team rocking and rolling again for one final time before he does. They were in the pre-show but I do have something special in line for them at SuperBrawl, so don’t worry. They teamed with Edge and Christian to lose to the Exiles. Shane Helms has been getting really over as of late, which has been awesome because it took him a while to get going. The heels win and the Exiles still look strong coming off this eight man tag team match.

Match 1 – AJ Styles (c) def. Curt Hennig in a Falls Count Anywhere Match to retain the WCW Television Championship

Very good opener to the show. AJ performed well as usual. This was the last match in their feud with AJ retaining the TV title once more. I was VERY tempted to put the belt on Curt but I instead kept it on AJ. Both of these men are really over and the fact that they are doing so well sits well with me! 94% overall rating! I’m very happy with this!

Match 2 – Rob Van Dam def. Steven Regal in a hardcore match

Maybe Regal should have went over because he was more over than RVD, but I gave it to Van Dam. This feuds helped both of these wrestlers out anyway. It got a 92% rating and the feud ended with a bang.

Segment 1 (3) – Interview with Diamond Dallas Page and Arn Anderson

Since they weren’t on the show, I had DDP and Arn cut a promo. To give a bit of background. DDP and Arn lost the titles at Starrcade and had their rematch on Nitro. Their rematch was interrupted by Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, who cost DDP and Arn the titles. It led to a number one contendership match between Eddie/Benoit and DDP/Arn for a tag title match at Souled Out. Ultimo and Dean made a botched interference which led to Eddie and Benoit winning. DDP is basically saying here that they don’t care who wins as the Diamond Enforcers will regain the tag titles. They said that they will be watching on intently.

Match 3 (4) – Dean Malenko (c) and Ultimo Dragon (c) def. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero w/Paul Heyman to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship

Eddie and Benoit’s morale is really low at the moment, so I think that hindered the match a little. Benoit and Dragon have had some great matches on TV and the Dragon vs Eddie feud from the year before did REALLY good ratings if I remember correctly. To see them just get an 80% was kind of disappointing. The Diamond Enforcers came out to attack Dragon and Dean after the match. They made it clear that they were gonna win the tag titles. By the way, that match will take place at SuperBrawl.

Match 4 (5) – Randy Savage def. Rowdy Roddy Piper in a tables match

I probably should have expected a 77% rating for this. Piper and Savage are quite old at this point in their careers. They got the worst rating of the show. However, they both gained overness from the feud ending. Both of them are still really over anyway so I’m not to bothered. Savage ended up getting revenge on Piper for costing him his match with Benoit at Starrcade.

Match 5 (6) – Hollywood Hogan and Sting def. Bret Hart and Raven

Hogan and Sting have decided to reunite to tackle Bret Hart and Raven together. These three all put together a great rating. The crowd reaction was really high. I think it might have been 100% for crowd reaction but I can’t remember. The match quality wasn’t so great, probably due to Hogan. However, an 85% overall is a solid rating. These four always seem to deliver in the ratings. Anyway, it spices things up to put them in a tag together. Raven always seems to get the win over Hogan so it was nice to see to good guys get a win. Overall, a thumbs up.

Match 6 (7) – Jeff Hardy def. Jamie Noble (c) in a ladder match to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship

At Starrcade, I said that the wrong man went over in the Cruiserweight title match. Here, I think I’ve rectified that wrong. Jamie was kind of losing steam as champion while Jeff was just insanely over. Therefore, I put the belt on Jeff. These two stole the show again. It did a better rating than last time which was incredible. I feel that I keep hot-shotting the title nowadays. Sometimes, it’s just out of my hands with suspensions and stuff. However, I do feel I’ve made the right call and I feel that Jeff should be champion for a while.

Match 7 (8) – Booker T def. Chris Jericho (c) via DQ in a match for the WCW Championship

I thought this was a poor rating considering it was the main event. It wasn’t too bad but it wasn’t too great either. I thought the DQ finish was necessary. What happened is that Booker was going for a Book End but Jericho was able to elbow Booker in the head to get out of it. Booker started to lose grip but Jericho kept elbowing at him. Booker eventually got out of the way and Jericho eventually elbowed the ref by mistake. The ref called for a DQ which Booker was furious about. Booker then hit the Book End on Jericho after the match, with the fans not really knowing whether Jericho’s elbow to the ref was intentional or not. Anyway, this sets up the rematch at SuperBrawl. Something big is going to happening in their rematch so check out Part 29 to see what happens…

Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo Comment On Bash At The Beach 2000

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A few days ago, a preview of the WWE’s upcoming DVD release “Monday Night War: Know Your Role” was uploaded onto YouTube. What the DVD features is a sit-down interview with Eric Bischoff. Bischoff talks about dealing with Vince Russo and talks about the famous “Bash At The Beach incident” in 2000.

For those of you that don’t know what happened in 2000, let me break it down for you. Vince Russo was a writer for WCW, signing for the company in 1999. Vince had been pushing Jeff Jarrett to a great degree, making him the WCW Champion. He began a storyline involving Jeff and Hollywood Hogan for the title. His plan was for Jeff to beat Hogan at the Bash at the Beach PPV. On the day of the PPV, Hogan activated the “creative control” clause in his contract and refused to lose the match. He believed that Vince had a lack of direction for Hogan’s character following his loss and refused to lose to Jeff. Vince therefore had Jeff lay down for Hogan, resulting in Hogan winning the belt. Hogan cut a “worked shoot” saying that “That’s why this company is in the damn shape it’s in; because of bullshit like this”, which would be the last time Hogan appeared in WCW. Vince would go on to cut a shoot promo on Hogan’s “backstage politicking” and nullified the result of the match. The finish of Jeff laying down and Hogan’s promo was apparently a work but the promo cut by Russo wasn’t. Hogan would go on to sue Russo for defamation of contract but the case got thrown out.

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However, Eric argues in this video that it was actually Vince Russo that went into business for himself that night. Eric said the finish of Hogan going over was already decided between himself, Hogan and Russo. However, on the day, Vince would change the plans which forced Hogan put his foot down, activating his creative control clause. Two ideas were apparently pitched to the head of the network. Vince’s idea of Jeff going over and Eric’s idea of Hogan going over. The president, who “had the deciding vote”, went with Bischoff’s plan. However, Vince would change the plans anyway.

It’s also interesting to note that Bischoff says that Hogan was the only one in WCW to have creative control and that he only ever used it once at Bash of the Beach. It’s interesting because Hogan said the same thing before in interviews. He also said the things Russo booked made Eric look like Steven Spielberg.

Bischoff’s comments can be seen down below…


Vince Russo responded to these claims on his YouTube channel. If you’ve ever seen the stuff Vince writes about his past dealings with WWE, WCW and TNA, he’s very defensive about this work. If you’re as dedicated and passionate as Vince was about his projects, it’s perfectly understandable. It’s hard to see things you’ve put hard work into get torn apart.

However, Vince didn’t take too kindly to Eric’s accusations. He specifically didn’t like Bischoff calling “BS” on Vince’s side of the story. Vince talked about the story at Bash at the Beach itself, in his book “How WCW Killed Vince Russo” and in a number of shoot interviews in the past. However, he now talks about the entire thing again.

Russo says that Eric was talking nonsense and that what happened at Bash at the Beach was part of the original script. Russo argues that if he did go into business for himself, that there would have been some sort of confrontation between Russo, Hogan and Bischoff. He says because there wasn’t a confrontation, it was because everybody was following the script.

Russo argues that if he had gone into business for himself, there would have been some ramifications. Since he “double-crossed” the head of the network, Vince would have probably been fired or been in some other form of trouble. Vince also talks about the legal issues that Eric claims Vince created. Vince also talks about Eric’s accusations of Vince being a bad writer.

Down below was his response to Eric’s comments…

I won’t jump to any sort of conclusion about who I think is right or wrong because frankly, it’s Eric’s word against Vince’s. All I’ll say is that it’s incredible how the Bash at the Beach thing is still being talked about after all of these years. I’m also expecting much more to come out of this story.

Analyzing Vince Russo’s Thoughts On Sami Zayn

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In May 2015, Sami Zayn debuted on RAW by challenging John Cena for the US Championship at Montreal, having been introduced to the crowd by Bret Hart. It was a moment that got the crowd rocking and a lot of people were excited with the appearance of Zayn. However, not everyone was too ecstatic about it.

Now, this may all seem a bit dated as this was a few months ago. However, I wanted to write about it for a few reasons. Firstly, I never wrote about it at the time, due to university commitments. Secondly, because yesterday I listen to a lot of shoot interviews from Vince Russo. Vince Russo, love him or hate him, was writing for the WWF during it’s peak in the Attitude Era. He’s made a lot of great decisions and a lot of bad decisions. Whether he’s saying what’s on the mind of everyone or saying something that everyone disagrees with, a lot of people listen to Vince Russo. I listened to an entire speech of Vince Russo on Sami Zayn and it got me thinking about something else I’m going to be writing about soon. Something on WWE television right now.

Vince Russo talked about the RAW that Sami Zayn debuted and that particular RAW did a pretty low number. While the episode itself was critically acclaimed, Vince was not a fan of how Sami Zayn debuted on the main roster.

Vince said: “Everybody is running to the defense of the WWE, claiming that RAW was a great show on Monday night. WHY was it great in their opinion? Simply because an NXT wrestler that they all mark out for, Sami Zayn, made his surprise appearance on the WWE’s premiere show. I can only imagine when Sami got introduced by Bret Hart and came out as a surprise through the RAW entrance—to the Internet Wrestling Community is was the equivalent of Jesus himself showing up unannounced at the Sea of Galilee. But to the casual wrestling fan—nobody cared—to them this was a jobber and nothing more–so they indeed turned back to hoops.

“RAW is a television show and Sami Zayn is NOT a television star—nor—will he be anytime soon. Sami is an exceptional wrestler on a wrestling show, and the only people who care about him are those die hard wrestling fans who are looking for 5-star matches that the massive don’t give a !@#$% about.”

Shortly after he said all out that, Vince came out on his podcast for The Brand to elaborate on what he wrote on the blog. It’s 25 minutes long so if you’ve got 25 minutes to spare, it’s worth listening to the entire thing. Be sure you do too, because it’s important when understanding his entire argument.

As a wrestling writer, Vince Russo’s main concerns were ratings. He believes that even with the WWE Network and everything else, the WWE’s biggest concerns should be ratings as that will lead people to taking an interest in their other products. He believed that while Sami Zayn is an incredible wrestler, he is not going to be a draw as he lacks the character to make casual fans care about him.

Now obviously, you can see why Vince Russo would think the way that he does. Sami didn’t really have any vignettes before he came onto the show. He was never advertised like the Ascension or Fandango was. He was a total surprise. He believed when he came out, the casual audience at home would be scratching their heads thinking “Who the hell is this guy?” However, this was probably not done with the intention that Sami Zayn would shortly be coming onto the main roster. He might be when he’s all healed up again, but it was really just a surprise to get the Montreal crowd popping. Montreal always has crazy crowds when it comes to the WWE. They’ll pop for all sorts. So it helps Sami Zayn’s cause when he comes out to a huge reaction, especially when he is introduced by Bret “The Hitman” Hart of all people. The audience at home won’t be scratching their heads thinking “Who the hell is this guy?”, they’ll be thinking “This crowd is very excited for this kid. I can’t wait to see why”.

Therefore, when the crowd at home see Sami put on a terrific match with John Cena, they’ll be caught off guard. Sure, casual wrestling fans might not really care for all the technical chain grapples and stuff. However, when they see this kid fly like he does, they’ll be caught off guard. They’ll look up “Sami Zayn” on the internet, which will lead them to NXT. NXT is exclusive to the WWE Network, so the fans might think “Well I might give this a try for $9.99,” which gets the audience hooked on the whole WWE experience.

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Vince does argue that when they used vignettes for the likes of Goldust and Val Venis back in the attitude era, they were over before they were even on television. Chris Jericho was helped TREMENDOUSLY by those millennium promos when he first debuted. If you pick the right venues and put them against the right guys, you can make someone a star on their first night as people will want to keep watching to see them again. Vignettes sometimes do help when it comes to stars with over-the-top characters like Fandango, but you don’t necessarily need them to debut a star. To be honest, you sometimes don’t even need the crowd! When Brock Lesnar debuted on WWE television, he let his actions do all the speaking for him. He came in and beat four people up that were fighting in a hardcore match. Brock Lesnar did not get an incredible pop when he first debuted.

You know who else debuted like this… John Cena. Cena debuted on SmackDown! in 2002 and challenged Kurt Angle to a match. He faced the right guy to kick-off his career and he was able to put on a decent match with Kurt. Of course, Cena’s rise to the top did not happen in one night. It takes time and it’ll take time with Sami.

If Sami Zayn is promoted up to the full roster full-time when he comes back, then they pulled his debut off the right way. Being endorsed by a hall-of-famer, getting an incredible reaction from the crowd and pulling off a great performance by John Cena, there’s little that went wrong for Zayn to come to the conclusion that he will not be a draw in WWE. One bad rating does not change that.

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 – SEASON ONE RECAP

Previously on WCW EWR….

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There’s been a war waged between the two Co-Presidents of WCW, Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff. WCW President Flair began running the show after Eric Bischoff abruptly left WCW (in the game, he was sent to rehab). However, Ric Flair would cause a huge problem between himself and other members in the locker-room. He would influence World Title matches and attack a number of wrestlers on the roster. With that, Bischoff was reinstated into power. He became Co-President of WCW and worked with Ric, but still had the majority power in the partnership. This meant he can pretty much veto any of Flair’s decision. Tensions between the two caused for one final match for 100% control to be contested at WCW Fall Brawl 2000. It would be WCW Champion Booker T, Chris Jericho, Hollywood Hogan and Sting representing Flair going up against Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Curt Henning representing Bischoff. This would be an elimination match. Randy Savage returned to the company going after the Team Bischoff members. However, Bischoff’s crew would win after a botched attack by Savage onto Jericho. With that, Flair was ousted from power and Eric Bischoff became permanent WCW President with 100% control of the company.

However, the wars in WCW will never truly be done with. Particularly with the Exiles stable running around. The group, headed by Raven, have proven to be a force to be reckoned with in WCW. Raven himself has been turned into a main eventer, becoming a two-time WCW Champion in the process. At our last PPV Fall Brawl, he recently won another championship…

The WCW United States Championship has been one of the most fiercely craved championship in the company, with some of WCW’s finest battling over the belt. When Rowdy Roddy Piper won the championship, he renamed the championship to the WCW European Championship. However, a match on Nitro would result in the title being vacated. A new championship was created at Superbrawl in it’s place called the WCW International Championship, and was won by Rob Van Dam. RVD was champion for months until Raven won the title from him at Fall Brawl. With such a prestigious title in his hands, Raven has gained back power and influence in the company for the Exiles.

The WCW Television Championship is currently held by AJ Styles, whose had some amazing matches for the title with the likes of Eddie Guerrero and Steven Regal. No doubt AJ is looking to shine in WCW. The WCW Tag Team titles are currently held by the “Diamond Enforcers” DDP and Arn Anderson, having beaten Steven Regal and Roddy Piper to win them. The Crusierweight Championship is currently held by Silvio Maldini. He’s a game-generated character that has shot up through the ranks in developmental and made instant impact by beating WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio to win the title.

The Asian Invasion stable is no longer led by Keiji Mutoh due to his loss at Fall Brawl, the Steiner System is currently headed by Scott Steiner and features rising star Jamie Noble in their ranks. Rowdy Piper and Steven Regal had a British stable alongside Fit Finlay but now it’s just them two as a tag team. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero are currently “Paul Heyman Guys” and the nWo is no longer a thing in WCW. This came after the likes of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall both left the company and Hogan turned face. And I think that’s pretty much the jist of the main storylines currently in WCW.

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To be honest, it’s not really much of a recap of the season but hopefully it does help bring everybody up to speed. Whether its those new to the blog or those coming back, I want to help you guys understand the storylines going forth. In our last PPV at “Fall Brawl“, we ended with a pretty big storyline development so it’s a crucial part of what comes next.

Do check out our latest EWR update for more details of what you can expect to see in the future.

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 22 – BASH AT THE BEACH 2000

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Previously on WCW EWR…

Booker T has been busting his ass for so many years to try and get a break in this business. Time after time though, Booker’s rise to the top has been shafted by one reason or another. However, Booker T finally earned himself the opportunity of a lifetime when he defeated Bret Hart and Chris Jericho in a triple threat match to earn a WCW Championship match at Slamboree. However, Booker would come up short in his WCW Title match with champion Raven and fellow challenger Bret Hart (Bret was interjected into the match after beating Eddie Guerrero earlier on in the evening). Booker’s performance in the triple threat impressed Ric Flair enough that he was given another shot at the title for the Great American Bash. However, Bret Hart was unhappy with this decision and attacked Booker T on Nitro. This attack ruled him out of the Great American Bash title match and Bret Hart took his place (Raven retained the title). However, Booker would not be denied and returned on the 4th of July Nitro to attack Raven and Bret Hart. It was shortly announced that Booker would finally get his one on one opportunity at Raven for the WCW Title at Bash At The Beach. Booker had his title shot. However, the plot thickens….

Bret Hart, as mentioned earlier, was put into the Great American Bash match as Booker’s replacement. However, in order to get into the match Bret agreed to a stipulation – if Bret lost, he would not get another WCW Title shot for ONE year! Despite a valiant effort, Bret came up short. Bret’s effort and desire got the applause following the match and the next night on Nitro. Bret came out sitting on a steel chair, seemingly about to quit the company. However, Hollywood Hogan came out from the back to prevent him from doing it. He got the fans to chant “We Want Bret”! Bret then embraced Hogan with a hug and declared that he was staying! Hogan and Bret began playing to the crowd, but when Hogan’s back was turned…. SMACK! Bret smacks Hogan with a chair and once again to the skull. Bret’s heel turn was finally cemented with a sickening attack to Hollywood Hogan. Bret said he knew at that moment why he needed to stay… to make sure that he would be champion next year and take out anybody that gets in his way. This eventually led to Hart vs Hogan being made for Bash At The Beach. However, with Bret’s vendetta towards Booker and intentions with the WCW Title in mind, Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff both agreed to a stipulation… the winner of that match would be the referee to the WCW World Title match later that night. Whoever wins will play a major role in the fate of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship…

WCW Cruiserweight Champion Yoshihiro Tajiri was into his second reign as champion, having beat AJ Styles at the start of May. However, his legitimacy as champion was called into question as Tajiri had not defended the belt since the Nitro of Champions special. With Tajiri already in violation of breaking the 30 day title defense rule, Ric Flair ordered that Tajiri defend the title on the Nitro after The Great American Bash or else he would be stripped of the title. In his title defense against Rey Mysterio, the match ended in a no contest with interference from Ultimo Dragon and the Steiner System’s Jamie Noble ruining the match. Constant interferences by all four cruiserweights resulted in a fiercely contested cruiserweight division and forced Ric Flair to book a fatal four way match for the title at Bash At The Beach.

WCW Television Champion Perry Saturn and his girlfriend Trish Stratus gloated on the Nitro after the Great American Bash, after retaining the TV title against Arn Anderson. Perry declared himself the greatest TV Champion of all time and there is nobody in the near future that would take the title from him. AJ Styles, who’s considered to be the future of WCW, came out to challenge Perry. Perry would jump AJ after Trish’s distraction which would lead to Perry deciding to put the belt on the line against AJ right now! A referee comes down to the ring and asks AJ if he wants to do the match, which AJ nods to. Perry is on offense most of this match but as he goes for Death Valley Driver, AJ counters into the Styles Clash for the pinfall to win the Television Title! Perry went to Ric Flair on Thunder, demanding a rematch at Bash At The Beach. Then in came Paul Heyman and one of his clients, Eddie Guerrero. They too wanted in this match so Flair made Saturn vs Eddie with the winner going onto Bash At The Beach. With the match ending in a draw, a triple threat was made for the PPV.

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Pre-Show – Jeff Hardy def. Keiji Mutoh in a hardcore match

Jeff has been one of my secret TV projects which have worked their way up from developmental to the WCW main stage! Jeff got over pretty quickly since debuting on the main roster at the start of the year I think. This led to Keiji Mutoh demanding a match with him, which I gave him on Thunder. Mutoh would win by cheating but the match got a 91% on that show. So I booked it again for the Bash At The Beach pre-show. I’d hate to put Mutoh in the pre-show since it wasn’t too long ago that Mutoh competed for the WCW title! But since then, his overness and stock has dropped dramatically. So I had Jeff go over in the pre-show match and again, this match got 91%! Jeff’s got a bright future ahead of him I believe.

 

Match 1 – AJ Styles (c) def. Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero w/Eddie Guerrero in a triple threat match to retain the WCW Television Championship

I think Perry dropped the rating of this match a bit. If I had just left it AJ vs Eddie, then it probably would’ve been a lot better. However, I wanted to put Saturn in it to change it up a bit and technically, he has a rematch clause! So the three way happened and AJ retained. Perry’s probably out of the TV title hunt for now but there’s potential for a storyline between AJ and Eddie. Very excited for that!

 

Match 2 – “The Diamond Enforcers” Diamond Dallas Page and Arn Anderson def. Rowdy Roddy Piper (c) and Steven Regal (c) to win the WCW Tag Team Championship

NEW CHAMPS! The tag titles have changed hands once more! The team of DDP and Arn Anderson beat the “Legion” members, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Steven Regal to win the gold! The decision to have the “Diamond Enforcers” win the belts came after I put them in a tag on Nitro and I got a report saying that Arn and DDP worked well as a team. I had a good feeling about the team already but after that report, I figured that they had to go over really. Piper and Regal were still super over afterwards, so it didn’t hurt them. But Arn and DDP are the new tag team champions!

 

Match 3 – Sting def. Scott Steiner

I’d say that Sting maybe a little to early on in the card but, then again, he was opening the Great American Bash! Him and Steiner was a match-up I was really interested in doing and I felt that Steiner really needed a huge rivalry right now after losing the RVD International title feud and feuding with Ultimo Dragon. However, Sting’s going over in this one with Steiner attacking him post match. 90% so that means they’re doing something right! However, I’m shocked that they were still beaten by the Pre-Show!

 

Match 4 – Rob Van Dam (c) def. Curt Hennig to retain the WCW International Championship

RVD wins after he hits the Frog Splash for the 1, 2, 3. As simple as that… or is it? Hennig’s foot was underneath the bottom rope when the ref counted to three! Hennig pleaded with the ref after the match, but the decision stood and RVD is still your International Champion! Hennig is not a happy camper! 2nd highest rated match of the night!

 

Match 5 – Bret Hart def. Hollywood Hogan via DQ. The winner will be the special guest referee for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship match later that night.

Hogan got DQ’d after a brutal attack on Bret with the chair. Giving Bret a piece of his own medicine after Bret had attacked him with the chair after the Great American Bash. Hogan just batters Hart with the chair and several refs have to pull Hogan off! In what condition will Bret be in to referee the main event.

 

Match 6 – Yoshihiro Tajiri (c) def. Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon and Jamie Noble in a fatal four way match to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship

Tajiri retains! The original plan was for Tajiri to actually DROP the belt at this PPV! However, I saw that Tajiri’s overness was slowly increasing so I decided to have him retain the title for now and possibly build to an elimination rematch at Road Wild. That’s the plan at the moment.

 

Match 7 – Chris Jericho def. Chris Benoit w/Paul Heyman

Jericho and Benoit once again earn Match Of The Night, with Jericho picking up the win. Benoit and Jericho have SO much chemistry and I’m glad that I’m now able to have them feud with each other. Since Benoit won their match at Slamboree, Jericho goes over here.

 

Match 8 – Booker T def. Raven (c) with Bret Hart as the special guest referee to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

Bret tried to screw Booker T out of the victory, but Hogan came out to attack Bret some more after their match earlier on. After dropping the Leg Drop, Hogan put on the ref shirt. Raven went for the Evenflow DDT but Booker countered for his new finisher The Book End for the win! BOOKER T IS THE NEW WCW CHAMPION! The boyhood dream as come true!

 

What a way to cap off Bash At The Beach. Just like the Bash At The Beach 2000 in real-life, Booker T walks out the WCW Champion! Ironically, Hollywood Hogan was the one that helped him win the belt! By god! I’ve been waiting for so long to do this but at last, Booker is on top of the world. We hope you enjoyed Bash At The Beach!

NOTE: Don’t forget to check my latest EWR update at this link! Just to recap all of the WCW EWR we’ve been doing as of late… which has been a lot. To tell you about what’s coming up! And if this is the first time you’ve clicked onto the blog and this series, a FULL LIST of all the EWR WCW PPVs I’ve done including the Nitro of Champions special!

 

 

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 PART 15 – SOULED OUT 2000

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Previously on WCW…

Chris Jericho was the reigning WCW World Champion. He defeated Raven on Nitro to win the title for the first time and has defended the title against the likes of Sting, Randy Savage and Scott Steiner on PPV. But now, he’s facing challenge from the leader of the Asian Invasion… Keiji Mutoh. Jericho retained at Starrcade, but how long will Jericho’s reign last? He faces his toughest task yet as not only does he have to contend with the Japanese wrestling legend, but his match at Souled Out is an elimination fatal four way match also involving Raven and Bret Hart.

The dream team of Hollywood Hogan and Sting defeated Bam Bam Bigelow and Curt Hennig to become the NEW WCW Tag Team champions, ending the 162 day title reign of Asbury Perfection. Needless to say, the former champions are not pleased and with manager Ted DiBiase, declare their intention to invoke their rematch clause for Souled Out. Asbury Perfection are out to prove that their tag title loss was nothing more than a fluke, but they’ll have to beat two of the greatest wrestlers of all time to do it…

WCW President Ric Flair’s attack on Scott Steiner as the special referee cost Big Poppa Pump his WCW Title match against Chris Jericho at World War 3. Steiner attacked Flair on the Thunder afterwards, but DDP came out to Flair’s aid. Steiner began having problems with the King of Bada-Bing, which led to Steiner and his new group “The Steiner System” attacking DDP. This led to a match at Starrcade, which DDP won. Steiner was steemed at this loss and a rematch was made for Souled Out. However, Flair informed Steiner that if he lost… he would be fired!

A number one contenders match was made the Thunder after Starrcade, with the winner getting a WCW Championship match the next week. It would be Ultimo Dragon, managed by Paul Heyman, going up against Eddie Guerrero. This is a heck of a match. Dragon goes for the win but as the ref is down, Heyman turns on his client to help Eddie Guerrero win. Paul Heyman announced himself as the newest advocate for the next WCW Champion, Eddie Guerrero. However, Dragon’s music distracted Eddie during his title match, which Jericho took advantage off for the win. Ultimo Dragon vs Eddie Guerrero was made for Souled Out.

 

By the way, a couple of other pointers before Souled Out. There was only like two weeks in between these PPVs but a lot happened as I begun a lot of new feuds….

  • Roddy Piper has renamed the WCW United States Championship the WCW EUROPEAN title and is defending that belt tonight against RVD.
  • RVD and Paul Heyman have not parted ways yet, even though Paul Heyman turned heel on his other client, Ultimo Dragon. I might have RVD get to him later, but right now RVD’s got business with Piper and his faction, Legion.

As for the Steiner System group that was mentioned earlier on, this group consists of the following people…

  • Scott Steiner, who obviously is the leader.
  • Jamie Noble, who was just recently called up from my developmental territory – which is actually called NXT!
  • Charlie and Russ, the Haas Brothers. These two were also in developmental and will be like the Bashams of this group. Like how the Bashams were to JBL’s cabinet.

The whole point of this group is to elevate the guys that were called up from developmental. They for some reason are elevated much more quickly when they got on the main roster when they’re in a stable. Tajiri and Kensuke Sasaki were two examples. I think the only developmental guy that got super over that WASN’T a part of a stable was AJ Styles (who’s currently the WCW Cruiserweight Champion). Pretty much… this is kinda like Seth Rollins alongside his stooges – Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble… how ironic Noble’s a part of this group! Noble’s actually getting really over at the moment! I think it won’t be long before he’s in the right position to challenge and potentially BEAT AJ for the Cruiserweight title! Hail developmental guys!

Rick Steiner maybe added to the group down the line, but I haven’t really decided yet. Who knows who might join the Steiner System.

Anyway, WCW is BACK! Time for Souled Out!

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Pre-Show – Jushin Thunder Liger and Kensuke Sasaki def. Arn Anderson and Animal, Edge and Christian Cage and  Steven Regal and Fit Finlay in an Elimination Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match

I always like doing fatal four way tags! I nice little way to give people air time and potential get them over. Guys like Edge and Christian Cage. I’m kinda annoyed that Edge and Christian aren’t as over as they should be, because in real-life they were super-over in the WWF at this point! Rest assured, I do have a plan to get them over and it’s going to take a while to properly execute it! Liger and Sasaki were representing the Asian Invasion, Steven Regal and Fit Finlay were representing Legion, and Animal and Arn Anderson has had problems with the Asian Invasion in the past. In the end, Liger and Sasaki went over after beating Edge and Christian at the end.

 

Match 1 – Rowdy Roddy Piper (c) def. Rob Van Dam to retain the WCW European Championship

Piper went over by cheating to beat RVD. I’m very happy with the 88% rating. The fans were really into this feud a lot more than what I was expecting.

 

Match 2 – AJ Styles (c) def. Rey Mysterio and Yoshihiro Tajiri in a triple threat match to retain the WCW Crusierweight Championship

The crusierweights doing wonders for me as usual! Not as great as the Piper/RVD match but I don’t care! These three are HUGE favorites of mine. I know a lot of you think that I’m somebody into big guys like Ryback and Scott Steiner, but the truth is I have such a soft spot for crusierweights! I always wished they brought back the Crusierweight title in WWE. Not to plug WhatCulture or anything, but I did an article for them on the cruiserweight division a year or two ago about this that you can check out here.

 

Match 3 – Perry Saturn (c) vs Chris Benoit for the WCW Television Championship went to a time-limit draw. If Chris Benoit couldn’t beat Perry Saturn in 5 minutes, Saturn retained the title.

A rare DRAW in one of my PPVs. Benoit had been beating Perry Saturn cleanly over and over on Thunder in such a short amount of time that Perry challenged Benoit to a five minute challenge at Souled Out. Benoit had five minutes to be Perry Saturn for the WCW TV title, or Saturn would retain. As Benoit had Saturn locked in the crossface, Trish Stratus came down to the ring to distract the ref. This meant that the ref would miss Saturn tapping on to the crossface. The time eventually expired and Saturn retains. There’s actually no way to book a match to go five minutes long. You can in the TEW booking game (which a lot of people recommend) but not on EWR unfortunately. But we can always just make pretend 😉

 

Match 4 – Booker T def. Randy Savage

Randy Savage beat Booker T on Thunder this past-week after grabbing the tights of Booker. A rematch was booked for Souled Out, where Booker picked up the HUGE win over the legendary Macho Man! The highest rated match on the show so far! 89%!

 

Match 5 – Hollywood Hogan (c) and Sting (c) def. Curt Hennig and Bam Bam Bigelow via DQ to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship

Asbury Perfection’s manager Ted DiBiase was caught smacking Hogan with the brass knuckles, causing for Bigelow and Hennig to get DQ’d. Hogan and Sting retain their newly won titles, but how long can this dream team hold onto the belts?

 

Match 6 – Scott Steiner def. Diamond Dallas Page

Steiner got revenge for the loss at Starrcade after The Giant came out to deliver the chokeslam to DDP when the ref was distracted by the Steiner System, giving Steiner the victory. Steiner and Giant shake hands after the match, confirming that The Giant is the newest member to the Steiner System group! You could say that this was a… GIANT coup for Big Poppa Pump!………….

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I’m now £1 out of pocket. Just had to go there….

 

Match 7 – Ultimo Dragon def. Eddie Guerrero via DQ

I’d hate to do TWO DQ finishes on the same PPVs but for this one, it was really need for the story. The other one was just done to avoid having Asbury Perfection jobbing out clean twice. Eddie and Dragon had the best match of the night. Eddie did all he could to put the Dragon away, but Ultimo was still not going down. Paul Heyman eventually smacked Dragon with the chair for the disqualification. Eddie proceeded to do a post-match beatdown in which he delivered multiple chair shots and then hit a brainbuster on Ultimo onto a chair! A pretty dangerous spot now that I think about it! 93% rating! Fantastic results with this feud already!

 

Match 8 – Chris Jericho def. Keiji Mutoh, Raven and Bret Hart in a fatal four way elimination match to retain the WCW World Championship

Jericho eliminated Mutoh right away in this one. This is like the six pack challenge match at Night Of Champions 2010, when Jericho was eliminated in a minute by Orton. Ironically here though, JERICHO is the one that quickly eliminates someone! Him, Bret and Raven go at it for a while until Raven eliminated Bret after a Evenflow DDT onto the chair. It comes down to Raven and Jericho. It’s a hell of a final two but in the end, Jericho prevails and retains his title. I was really considering having Raven win the belt, but I felt that would take away from the Jericho/Mutoh which is about the WCW Title. Jericho retains but Mutoh’s not going to be happy about that quick elimination!

 

89% overall PPV Rating… according to the game. How do you guys rate my booking for this PPV? Vote on the poll, leave a comment or tweet @TomRobinson5199 to give your thoughts on WCW Souled Out 2000! Should I have put Raven over? What feuds do you want to see on this game? Tweet or comment with your thoughts, and it may just be a reality!