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  #1006  
Unread 12-22-2019, 09:40 PM
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crackerjack crackerjack is offline
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Sting (c) vs. Brian Pillman – WCW World Title - I know it's WCW, and we live by and die by the babyface on the chase, but I don't think it's wise to switch here. Pillman's always felt like Option 3 in the Alliance behind Austin and Rude too

Randy Savage vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin (c) – WCW United States Title - Really tough one here, but I think I like the idea of Shawn getting a serious run with the gold

The Young Pistols vs. The Diamond Mine (c) – WCW United States Tag Team Titles Feels like an easy way to switch titles for the double champs.

Bret Hart vs. Rick Rude - Another tough one, gut says Rude.

Ricky Steamboat
vs. Terence Taylor (c) – NWA World Title
Sid VIcious and Marcus Bagwell vs. The Stocks And Shares Express (c) – NWA World Tag Team Titles
Barry Windham vs. Scott Steiner
Beat The Champ: ??? vs. Owen Hart (c) – WCW Television Title
And: Arn Anderson and Ric Flair reveal the new members of the Horsemen!
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  #1007  
Unread 12-26-2019, 04:42 AM
to4sty to4sty is offline
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Sting (c) vs. Brian Pillman – WCW World Title -
While Sting has always been better as the guy chasing the belt rather than the guy with the belt, it’s far too soon for a change, far too soon for Pillman to be Champion and I just don’t see it in general.....although when Sting does finally drop the strap I do see it being to a first time champ, be that a Hart, Austin or Pillman

Randy Savage vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin (c) – WCW United States Title -
Tough choice, but with Austin and Savage arguably being more of a World Title calibre, the multi man aspect makes it perfect for Michaels to beat Dustin (which protects both Austin and Savage) and gives the US Title to someone more at the US Level......or maybe Dustin wins before transitioning it to Scotty Steiner (who would be a great US Champ about now)


The Young Pistols vs. The Diamond Mine (c) – WCW United States Tag Team
While the Pistols make more sense as US Tag Champs, Hall and Nash won’t want to put them over, plus I see the US Titles disappearing before long anyhoo

Bret Hart vs. Rick Rude -
Bret needs this win to really start to solidify him as a top guy

Ricky Steamboat vs. Terence Taylor (c) – NWA World Title
I love the YF, but Steamboat as NWA Champ works for me

Sid VIcious and Marcus Bagwell vs. The Stocks And Shares Express (c) – NWA World Tag Team Titles
I’m not sure here.....I like the Stocks & Shares as champs and don’t really see Bagwell and Sid working well as a team.....Sid could be the deciding factor though

Barry Windham vs. Scott Steiner
Perhaps with some help of Race is looking to expand his kingdom.....a great pairing by the way

Beat The Champ: ??? vs. Owen Hart (c) – WCW Television Title
I hate to bet against the squiggles but....

And: Arn Anderson and Ric Flair reveal the new members of the Horsemen!
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  #1008  
Unread 01-18-2020, 03:18 PM
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Happy New Year!


...feels a little bit weird saying that when we're closer to February than December, I admit...


*



World Championship Wrestling presents: SuperBrawl III
Thursday, Week 4, February 1993
Your announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Paul E. Dangerously
Ring announcer: Gary Michael Cappetta
Backstage: Eric Bischoff, Patricia Robinson and Jason Hervey
Ross: Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the very best wrestling you could possibly ask for as WCW comes into your homes live on pay-per-view!

Dangerously: And because the Dangerous Alliance is the Dangerous Alliance we’re going to see Rick Rude destroy Bret Hart, Steve Austin beat three other men to retain the United States title, Owen Hart take down whatever challenger is lined up for his Television title and in the main event there’s going to be something truly beautiful as Brian Pillman becomes the WCW World champion and ends Sting’s reign of terror!

Schiavone: Reign of terror? Do you ever listen to anything that comes out of your mouth, Paul?

Dangerously: All the time, Schiavone. It’s the best way to get good commentary around here.

Ross: Be that as it may, folks, we also have Steamboat and Taylor for the NWA World title, Sid Vicious and Marcus Bagwell – that’s right! – against the Stocks And Shares Express for the NWA tag titles.

Schiavone: We also have Barry Windham tying it up with the Steiner Animal, Scott Steiner, and the Diamond Mine defending the United States tag titles against the Young Pistols.

Ross: And let’s not forget the historic announcement of the latest members of the Four Horsemen!

Schiavone: It’s going to be a big night – maybe the greatest night in the history of our sport!

Ross: You may well be right, Tony. Let’s take it down to ringside to find out who’s going to be challenging Owen Hart...



Schiavone:...it’s the Post-Soviet Superstar, Nikita Koloff!

Ross: And that’s a huge challenge for Owen Hart! Koloff may be the strongest man in WCW!

Schiavone: No smart remarks, Paul?

Dangerously: If you must know, I’m preparing a campaign of revenge against Koloff and anyone else who gets in our way – if this ambush tactic causes Owen to lose the Television title!

WCW Television Title
Nikita Koloff vs. Owen Hart (c)

Faced with the unexpected in the form of the Post-Soviet Superstar, Hart wisely bailed out of the ring to consult with Madusa. Koloff was having none of that, though – reaching through the ropes he grabbed Hart’s blonde hair and dragged him back into the ring, before hurling him right across the mat in an incredible show of strength! With no hope of overpowering his challenger, Hart had to make do with putting his speed and technique to their best use, which just about balanced the scale against the Lithuanian. Hart fell victim to a Sickle, but Madusa was in place to get her client’s foot on the bottom rope to break the count. As Koloff argued with the referee and demanded Madusa’s ejection from ringside, Hart used the top rope as a springboard to launch himself across the ring, drilling Koloff with a Missile Dropkick to snatch the three count before Koloff could recover! (B)

Dangerously: That’s five! Owen’s done it!

Schiavone: And not only is that a lot of money for this young man, but that guarantees him a shot at a title of his choice – and I wonder if that might mean a match against Steve Austin or Brian Pillman in the near future?

Dangerously: Oh please, Schiavone. You ought to know the Alliance better than that…


Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Fifi walked down the aisle to a rapturous response from the fans in attendance. Flair beamed as he soaked in the adulation, and even Anderson looked pleased at the fans’ reaction.

Flair: For too long the Horsemen have been absent from WCW – but tonight we ride again!

Anderson: The Horsemen are back, but this isn’t just about making sure the World title stays around the waist of the Nature Boy. Not this time! We both want to make sure that the Horsemen of the 1990s are as great as we were. Because we know that chances are, the way the Horsemen ride, Ric and I won’t see out this decade at the top of the pile, the way we came into it.

Flair held up a hand to forestall the crowd’s saddened reaction.

Flair: It’s 1993. We’ve got a lot of years ahead of us, and a lot of roads to ride, but we’re looking to the future, and that’s why we’ve been looking for great young talent that we can pass the reins to – when the time comes. And having taken a couple of months to scout the best talent from around the globe, without further ado please welcome the new members of the Horsemen... the Thrillseekers, Lance Storm and Chris Jericho!


The crowd cheered the arrival of the popular young duo who, like Anderson and Flair, were dressed in sharp suits, looking ready to be Horsemen.

Anderson: And! The Horsemen know talent when we see it, and during our scouting we came across a young talent with incredible technical skill – and after the show we caught him in the bar, and he had the women hanging off him. And that’s a Horseman! So please welcome the fifth Horseman... Steven Regal!


The young Englishman walked down the aisle and joined his new colleagues in the ring, but before the group could do any more...


Race: I’d say that I hate to crash a party, but I’ve never minded spoiling your day, Ric. Now, you go ahead with your fraternity nonsense, because the Mastodon here has waited long enough. You see, we’ve been let down – Curtis Hughes, Ron Harris, Don Harris... They seemed like they walked the same path as Vader. But it’s become clear that’s not the case. So they’re gone, and in their place-

Jericho and Storm caught the attention of the other Horsemen, turning them around to the sight of...


...the Malenkos vaulting the crowd barrier, lead pipes in hand.

Race: And not just them, but someone who was too violent for the Horsemen, which seems to make him ideal for the Kingdom!


Mike Awesome emerged from backstage, joining Vader partway down the ramp, flanking Race. Awesome was toting a baseball bat in his hands, and looked about as fearsome as Vader, unarmed but masked, huge and seemingly only restrained by Race partly blocking the way to the ring.

Race: Now, you boys can go haze the new kids, or whatever you have planned. We’re going to get to work, getting our new members trained and ready to fight Vader. And if they can survive that, then anything else will be simple!

Race turned and walked up the aisle, Vader and Awesome following him, the Malenkos circling around the ring before disappearing backstage in their wake. The Horsemen, new and well-established, were left alone in the ring. Anderson looked troubled as Flair tried to rally the troops.

Dangerously: I think their celebration got cancelled.

Ross: If Flair and Anderson thought they just had to bring in some fresh blood for it all to go back to the way they’re used to, Harley Race clearly had other ideas.

Bret Hart vs. Rick Rude

Moving right along, a man who rejected the Dangerous Alliance came face-to-face with the group’s leader. The former World champion was aggressive from the off, perhaps spurred on by back-to-back defeats in recent big matches. Hart had to fight defensively, but for the Hitman it was clear that wasn’t a disadvantage – simply an alternative way of inflicting damage on Rude.

Schiavone: He’s playing rope-a-dope! And Rude’s punching himself out!

Despite Dangerously’s protestations, Rude was certainly struggling to land the killing blow – and when Hart reversed a Rude Awakening attempt into a dangerously close two count, Rude bailed out of the ring. Rather than consult with Madusa, however, he seemed ready to walk out of the match until Hart chased up the ramp and the two exchanged punches. As the referee threatened to count the two out, Hart caught Rude with a boot to the gut before delivering a piledriver on the wooden ramp, drawing gasps from the crowd as Rude was left spasming on the ramp. Hart coolly broke the referee’s count before dragging Rude back into the ring, where a Russian legsweep and an elbow drop from the second rope brought two more close falls. Rather than get frustrated, however, Hart delivered a backbreaker to further jolt Rude’s spine, before grapevining Rude’s legs and turning him over into the Sharpshooter.

Ross: And this was enough for Sting – will Hart’s version be as effective? Can Rick Rude escape?

With the hold locked in, and Hart seemingly anchored in the centre of the ring, Rude reached vainly for the ropes, for Madusa’s outstretched hands, even for the official to try and break the hold... but nothing came within reach, and with Hart twisting his legs and spine in unnatural ways, Rude had no choice but to surrender! (A)

Dangerously: No! No! No!

Ross: Yes! You may not like it, Paul, but Hart’s won!

Hart slumped to the mat, releasing Rude and showing the effect of his efforts as he could barely raise his arm even with the referee’s help. Rude seemed less effected even as he rolled to the outside, but once there he again shrugged off Madusa and stood on the ramp, hands on his head as he stared into space. He didn’t look back at the ring as Hart pushed himself upright, instead walking slowly up the ramp, shaking his head as he walked, limping heavily as he clutched at his back, leaving Madusa in his wake.

Dangerously: This is... just a temporary setback, nothing more!

*


Backstage, Sting was running through some last-minute exercises ahead of the main event, stretching to loosen up his muscles and joints.

Dangerously: I suppose he thinks he should try and keep up with Brian? Well, good luck with that!

WCW United States Tag Team Titles
The Young Pistols vs. The Diamond Mine (c)

Months after the Pistols lost the US tag titles to the Diamond Mine the two teams clashed once more – and the burgeoning confidence of both sides could be seen as they threw everything that they had against one another, bombarding one another with their biggest and best moves. Steve Armstrong was lucky to survive Snake Eyes from Vinnie Vegas, only his partner’s intervention saving the pinfall. Tracy Smothers nearly got the win himself when the Pistols caught Diamond Studd with a double Missile Dropkick, but Studd managed to hook a leg over the rope to break the count. As the official tried to get the match down to two legal men, he missed DDP climbing onto the apron and, as Armstrong lunged at him, DDP socked him with a fistful of silver dollars, dropping Armstrong like a stone. As the referee turned around, Studd covered Armstrong for the tainted – but official – pinfall to retain the titles. (B)

Ross: What a sickening result!

Schiavone: I have to agree with you, Jim. Too bad for the Pistols – but fire like that makes me think Commissioner Ventura will keep them in mind for a rematch, and soon!

*


Eric Bischoff was waiting outside the Dangerous Alliance locker room for Owen Hart, who emerged with a broad smile on his face.

Bischoff: Owen, congratulations on your victory tonight. Can I ask who you’ll be challenging with your guaranteed title shot?

Hart: You can ask, but you’re not getting an answer, not now.

Owen smirked.

Hart: That information is on a need to know basis, and right now you don’t need to know! Maybe I’ll share it tonight, maybe I’ll wait until Thursday, or maybe I’ll sit on that title shot until the moment’s right and then BANG, new champion!

Hart: But for right now? That’s between me... and the rest of the Dangerous Alliance.

NWA World Tag Team Titles
Sid Vicious and Marcus Bagwell vs. The Stocks And Shares Express (c)

Even after all this time, it’s still jarring to see Richard Morton and Robert Gibson fighting without honour – no matter how much money it may be making them! While the Express initially had some success double-teaming Bagwell, against the monstrous Sid they had no such luck, and so rattled were they that Bagwell got back in on the action, nearly taking a win with a Diving Crossbody from the top that his mentor would have approved of! With the Express on the back foot, Alexandra York’s computer seemed to suggest that discretion was the better part of valour and they walked away from the match, taking the countout loss – but keeping the titles! (B-)

Dangerously: He who learns to run away lives to fight another day.

Ross: Or to put it another way, you’ve gotta know when to fold ‘em.

Dangerously: Hey, you and I agree on something, Ross!

Ross: Excuse me while I go take a shower...

*

As the Diamond Mine celebrated their victory backstage with champagne, beautiful women and big cigars Commissioner Ventura crashed the party.

Ventura: Gentlemen, great win – you got the job done, by any means necessary, and I appreciate champions and competitors who can see beyond the obvious. But you know that titles have to be defended every month and this weekend is your last chance to defend...

Ventura pointed to the set of World tag title belts, being sported around the waists of two statuesque blonde women.

Ventura: ...those. And as it happens, I have plenty of teams queuing up to compete for them.

As Ventura turned and walked away Cactus Jack and Ultimate Warrior appeared in the doorway of the Diamond Mine locker room. Diamond Studd was quick to his feet.

Studd: What the hell do you want?

Cactus was practically bouncing up and down as he looked at the trappings of the Diamond Mine’s success.

Cactus: Is this how champions train? Looks like fun!

Warrior: Champions in name, but not in heart. The rewards of a true warrior are a harder fight tomorrow.

Cactus: I thought it was to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women?

Warrior: That as well. Come, Jack, there is much work to be done.

Warrior steered Cactus away as Vinnie Vegas shook his head, picking up a bottle and taking a swig.

Vegas: “Champions in heart,” pffahh. I’ll take champions-in-paycheck any day!

Barry Windham vs. Scott Steiner

Fans wanting a decisive finish were left waiting again here, but certainly not wanting for action! Renewing a rivalry that months ago focused on tag gold, Windham and Steiner tore into one another like wild dogs, both seeming to enjoy the challenge of the other. The fight spilled out of the ring and out of the official’s control, and neither man seemed willing to show any restraint, but the referee called an end to affairs when Windham swung a chair at Steiner and gave the Animal the DQ win... (B)

...although Steiner was quick to snatch up a chair of his own and the pair tried to wipe one another out before security managed to intervene, separating them even as they tried to reach one another.

Dangerously: Let them fight!

Schiavone: And put them both on the injured list? No, Commissioner Ventura won’t go for that – not unless he has the chance to make more money out of it!

*


Like Sting before him, Ricky Steamboat was intent on his last-minute training ahead of his big title match. And with his allies Sid Vicious and Marcus Bagwell still fuming over the tainted finish to their match earlier in the night, Steamboat looked extra motivated as he wound down his routine and headed to the ring.

NWA World Title
Ricky Steamboat vs. Terence Taylor (c)

From early in this match it was clear that the Stocks And Shares Express’ ‘tactical retreat’ was in Taylor’s thoughts, as the Computerised Man of the ‘90s tried to bail out of the match after Steamboat landed nearly all the offence in the opening exchanges. But the arrival of Vicious and Bagwell made it clear that escape wasn’t an option for the champion, and even when the Express tried to ambush Steamboat’s allies, that only obstructed the ramp even more. Taylor was left with no option but to fight Steamboat, and he set about the task with grim determination. With York and her laptop working overtime at ringside to try and keep strategies coming for her client, Taylor did manage to land a few good hits, but Steamboat was not to be denied, and with a Diving Crossbody from the top rope he finally managed to put Taylor down for three – and become the new NWA World champion! (B+)

Schiavone: Steamboat is the champion! The Dragon takes the gold!

Ross: And the NWA knows that it has a champion it can be proud of – and one who’ll face any and all challengers who come his way!

As the York Foundation gathered around Taylor, Bagwell and Vicious entered the ring to congratulate Steamboat. At first it seemed like they wanted to hoist him on their shoulders, but the disparity in height made that impossible, and instead Steamboat sat on the shoulders of Vicious alone, his newly-won title belt held aloft as Bagwell applauded his mentor and the fans cheered.

Ross: And it just looks right.

WCW United States Title
Randy Savage vs. Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

This was never going to pretty. Not pretty, not controlled, and not slow, either. The official wisely took the decision to stay out of the way of the four fighters, between whom the levels of hatred have ramped up significantly over the last several weeks. Even between Dustin Rhodes and Randy Savage, partners in War Games less than a year ago, the desire to become United States champion – and perhaps as importantly, take the title from Austin – had stoked the flames of rivalry. What that all meant was wild chaos, with no quarter asked and none given, no alliance lasting for more than a few moments, and some unusual teammates working together, if only temporarily. Perhaps none was stranger than Austin and Rhodes, working together late in the match to fell Michaels with a barrage of punches and clotheslines that left their fellow Texan down in one corner of the ring. The brief spell of cohesion was interrupted as Savage sprang from the top rope and levelled Rhodes with a double axehandle, however – one which left the Macho Man open to a low blow from Austin!

Dangerously: No disqualification! Austin can do whatever he wants to – and he will!

As Savage dropped to the mat, Austin hauled Rhodes upright and dropped him across the top rope with a Stun Gun. That was enough, with the added impact of Savage’s attack, to leave Rhodes down and give Austin the win – and allow him to keep his title! (A)

Ross: I have a feeling we’ll be hearing about this for some time to come...

Patricia Martin joined Austin in the ring, but before she could ask any questions Austin snatched the mic from her.

Austin: I’ll handle this. You want to know how I feel? You want to know what I think? I’ll tell you – I’m the Superstar, the greatest wrestler in WCW, the reigning United States champion and I’ll guaran-damn-tee it right now that I’m a future World champion.

Austin: The great news is that I’m still young, Trish. I’ve got a lot of time left ahead of me, I’m just way ahead of the game with how fast I’m getting things done around here.

Austin: So the way I see it, the World title comes back to the Dangerous Alliance real soon – probably tonight, when Brian takes out Sting, and if not then, well...

Austin slapped the United States title draped across his shoulder.

Austin: ...who’s about to say I’m not the number one contender after retaining my title against three other men tonight?

WCW World Title
Sting (c) vs. Brian Pillman

The Dangerous Alliance have been a thorn in Sting’s side since their formation, but so to has he been a perennial obstacle in their bid to dominate WCW. With Rick Rude defeated, it remains to be seen if any other member of the Alliance can take down the Stinger – and Pillman seemed to feel he was the one to do it. Opening at top speed, Pillman showed himself to be one of the few members of the WCW roster who may be even more athletic than the World champion. A dropkick sent Sting through the ropes, and Pillman was quick to scale the turnbuckles, diving from the second rope onto Sting on the arena floor, thousands of flashbulbs erupting as the fans in attendance captured the stunning moment.

Sting had to give everything to keep up with his challenger. He tried to work on Pillman’s legs and back, but such is Pillman’s agility and technique level that the champion found it hard to keep hold of him for long. Where he did find success, though, was in using his incredible strength to hit Pillman hard with strikes and moves.

Schiavone: He can hurt Pillman – if he can catch him!

Used to being the faster man in most matches, Sting took time to adjust to his opponent’s pace, and on several occasions Pillman came close to victory. A Shining Wizard might have done it, had Sting not landed within arm’s reach of the ropes, and while Pillman dragged him into the centre of the ring, the slight delay was enough that Sting got his shoulder up a fraction of a second before the referee counted to three. Pillman fought to remain calm, but when an attempt at a System Crash was foiled by Sting rushing the ropes and forcing Pillman to jump awkwardly clear, the challenger was slow to improvise – and Sting was able to hoist him high overhead with a military press. As Madusa covered her eyes at ringside Sting crossed the mat and launched Pillman high into the air, sending him flying over the top rope to a hard landing on the ramp, the thunderous crash echoing through the arena as fans groaned in sympathy.

Ross: Pillman looks like he’s been in a car wreck!

Dangerously: I feel like I have...

Pillman struggled to his feet, the wind clearly taken from his sails – and before he had the chance to recover Sting was airborne under his own power, hurling himself over the top rope with a flying tackle that sent Pillman sprawling once again. The impact left both men down, and somehow Pillman was the first to get back to his feet, but whatever adrenaline rush got him upright seemed to make him careless; Charging at Sting, he left himself open to a back body drop that launched him high into the air and over the top rope to another hard landing back in the ring.

Ross: That’s only a thin ring mat, folks. Believe me when I say that Brian Pillman felt all of that, and will be feeling it for days to come!

Sting climbed wearily back into the ring, grabbing Pillman’s legs and grapevining them with his own. Pillman fought hard, bucking and thrashing to prevent Sting locking on the hold, but with his legs taken out from under him and his body aching, perhaps for the first time in the match Pillman found his strengths neutralised by the champion. Unable to reach the ropes or fully counter Sting’s strength, Pillman held out as long as he could as Sting turned him over, sitting back into the Scorpion Deathlock and locking Pillman down in the centre of the ring. Pillman scratched and clawed at the mat, as he pulled at his own hair and bellowed in frustration, and Sting held on, grimly, wearily... and successfully, as Pillman accepted defeat rather than allow his body to be bent completely in two! (A*)

Sting released the hold, sinking to his haunches as Pillman rolled wearily from the ring, slamming his hands on the ringside mat in frustration at the missed opportunity. As Sting rose slowly upright and raised his hands to salute the crowd, the thousands upon thousands of Stingers roared their support for their idol...

Ross: What a match! A tremendous effort from both competitors, and all credit to Brian Pillman – on another night we’d be saluting a new champion!

Dangerously: We would Ross, but them’s the breaks – and there’s always next time.


...and Owen Hart walked down the aisle.

Hart: I have to hand it to you, Stinger. I really didn’t think you’d make it past Brian. I know him better than anyone, and I thought he had your number for sure... but I guess you’re even better than I gave you credit for. And that’s great news, Sting, because the next person you’ll be defending your World title against...

Hart: ...is me!

Hart: And as great as you are, Stinger, you’ll be facing the Hart Dungeon’s greatest graduate, a Triple Crown champion here in WCW, a wrestler with all of the Dangerous Alliance’s resources behind him.

Hart: And that means your days as champion are numbered!

Sting, barely able to stand after a near half-hour war with Pillman, stared up the ramp at Hart, who was joined by Steve Austin, Madusa, and even by a limping Pillman.

Ross: Sting barely even gets to draw breath before a new challenger emerges!

Dangerously: And not just any challenger, Ross. The next World champion!

Schiavone: Well, that remains to be seen, but folks, thanks for joining us here at SuperBrawl, and we’ll see you on Saturday night!
Show rating: A*

Sting capitalised on his position as WCW figurehead to bring in an early copy of SuperBrawl Wrestling to play with the boys before the show … Given the game’s not due out until late ’94, I hope they manage to get Rick Steiner and Johnny B. Badd off the roster before then … El Tigre Blanco and Lance Storm have struck up a strong friendship ... Sting/Pillman getting an A* wasn’t exactly a massive shock. Sting now has 2 to his name in this diary, quite apart from dominating the top 100 against various members of the Dangerous Alliance and Diamond Exchange

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  #1009  
Unread 01-23-2020, 04:26 PM
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James Casey James Casey is offline
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Ric walked through the arena’s parking area, the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. A month’s worth of TV to build to Owen and Sting would write itself, and then there was the Diamond Mine’s tag title match, the start of tensions between the Horsemen and the Kingdom, and the need to crown a new Television champion.

Plus Ricky with the NWA belt. It looks good on him.

It looked better on me, but...

He stopped short, taking in the sight before him. His rental car sat on slashed tyres, the driver’s door open, the glass in its window smashed in. Wrapping a handkerchief around his hand he pushed the door further open, glancing inside the car and grimacing at the slashed seats.

“You too, huh?”

Ric turned to face Eric Bischoff, who pointed across to another vandalised car.

“Owen and Brian, too. They got a lift out of here with Austin and Rude. Apparently our cars looked nice enough that they had to have something in them. Fortunately the only thing I left in my car was a pack of gum. You?”

Ric shook his head.

“No, I’ve been doing this too long. They got nothing, just-“

He waved a hand at the car.

“I guess Hertz will cross me off their list. Who’re you with?”

“Avis, you know, ‘we try harder’?” Bischoff said. “But they’ll have to try really hard to get me on the road tonight. You’re at the Hilton, right?”

Ric nodded.

“So’s Mr Turner. He offered me a ride, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you tagged along!”

Eric smiled as he said it and Ric met the expression with one of his own, which fell away as Eric turned and started walking.

“Lead the way,” Ric said, staring at the back of Eric’s head.
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  #1010  
Unread 01-29-2020, 03:15 PM
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“Thanks again, Ted,” Ric said, as Turner’s limousine rolled up the ramp and into the night.

“I could hardly leave two of WCW’s top executives to walk back to the hotel, could I?” Turner said with a smile. He accepted a glass from Bischoff, who poured a measure of scotch into it. “Thank you, Eric.”

Ric waved away the offer of a drink and watched Bischoff pour one for himself before settling back in his seat.

“My assistant will handle things with the arena and your rental companies. There’ll be new cars waiting for you in the morning.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Yes, thanks,” Ric said, quicker than he intended. For a moment he wished he’d accepted the drink, but pushed the thought away.

I’m not Bischoff. I’ve been dealing with Ted for years. This is just another car ride in a limo, and God knows I’ve had enough of those!

“That was a great show, boys. The main event was phenomenal! I thought that Pillman was going to walk out with the title, which would have been a bold move so soon into Sting’s reign!”

“Well, we’re not afraid of bold, sir!” Bischoff said. “Hijacking the Horsemen reveal with the revamped Kingdom, well...” He looked at Ric, who had insisted on the arrangement.

Harley and I, with our new armies? This is one for the long-term fans – everything to everyone, or at least something for everyone.

Not that Bischoff gets it. He thought that the Kingdom should work its way up the card, like Vader on his own doesn’t make the whole lot of them a threat! And the Malenkos don’t need much time to get them all the way over, not as good as they are in the ring and on the mic!

“Ric?” Ric refocused on Turner, who was looking at him quizzically.

“Sorry, Ted. I was looking ahead over the next few months, making sure the long-term plans we have in place are all running in the right direction.”

“Of course,” Turner said with a smile. “As a viewer, I’ve enjoyed the long-term storytelling, but Eric says that things are changing?”

Bischoff was relaxing in his seat, savouring the glass of scotch.

“We’re not changing the approach,” Ric said, marshaling his thoughts quickly. “But the focus has to change. You can’t ride a horse too long before it breaks down, and the time is right to take Rude out of the spotlight for a spell, and let Sting be the sole focus of the hunt. That means that the Dangerous Alliance recedes a little – not completely, they’re still the number one group, but for the time being it’s Austin, Owen and Pillman. That’s not as big a threat as when they had five of the best.”

“Yes... Arn leaving the Dangerous Alliance never seemed to cause them too much concern, I must say.”

Ric resisted the urge to glance at Bischoff, who’d sided with Dusty Rhodes in a heated booking meeting on that point. Michael Hayes had eventually fallen in line with Ric and Jim Crockett, but only after Ric had outlined a proposal for the Alliance to exact revenge on Arn.

“Revenge is best served cold!”

That was some quick thinking right there. They can’t prove whether or not I forgot that point! Whoooo!

“It’s in hand, Ted. And it’ll pay off before too much longer, at the appropriate juncture, in due course, in the fullness of time.”

“When?”

“When?” Ric echoed. “Probably within the next two months,” he replied, a fraction quicker than he intended.

“Probably?”

“Yes. We have a lot planned for the spring, and I don’t want to commit right now to points that could move as we go along. Today, I think it’ll be inside two months. As we get closer, it may make more sense to move it along to the following month – or we may need to have that specific point come in sooner.”

“I see,” Turner replied. “I always had the impression that your plans were a little more... concrete.”

You try booking and competing!

I can only do it because I’m the Nature Boy!

“If you want to know where the World title will be in six months, I can tell you. The next United States champion? I know that, too. There’s always certainty, but as well there has to be room to move pieces around the board. We lost Rick Steiner to WWF, and I admit, we weren’t prepared for that. It caught us on the hop, and Ted, I don’t want to be caught on the hop again.”

He smiled, and Turner returned the expression, before turning to Bischoff.

“Eric was saying that there’s a challenge in booking a babyface champion.”

“There... can be,” Ric said, sensing danger. “WCW, and the Mid-Atlantic territory before it, has been a heel territory going back a lot of years. Now, if the Dangerous Alliance were in full swing they’d work great as rivals for Sting... but of course, that’s how he got the belt! So we need other challengers, and that means lining up plenty of reliable hands for him, without wiping out the credibility of the face side of the roster. It’s always a balancing act.”

“And have you considered moving into a situation where you have more than one month to build up a challenger, before moving onto the next one?”

Once again Ric resisted looking to Bischoff, from whom Ric was sure the notion had come.

“We’re considering all possibilities. And that definitely includes longer-term angles for Sting and a challenger across more than one month. Most feuds in our undercard run for longer, but for the time being I want Sting to have big wins on a regular basis. That tells the fans that he’s reliable, that he can weather the storm, and that they can get behind him. He’s not a transitional champion.”

“And does your booking team agree with you?”

No!

Hell no!

“If they agreed with me on every point, there’d be no point in them being in the meeting with me,” Ric said, with his winningest smile. He only held it for a moment, aware as Turner looked at him that the owner of the company no doubt dealt with winning smiles and shaky arguments on a daily basis. But Turner declined to press the point, possibly more down to their arriving at the hotel than anything else.

Ric settled into his room and took a long shower. As he stood under the steaming hot spray, his fingers shook a little. He balled them into a fist, squeezing them tight to still the tremor.

Two years. Two years I’ve been running this company, and when have things ever been better?

Bischoff’s just trying to jump on the bandwagon – but this one’s fuelled by gold and kamikazes, and that’s Nature Boy territory!

Ric’s head dropped, and for a moment he rested his blonde mane against the wall of the shower.

Politics. God knows I’ve played that game for a long, long time in the locker room... but in the board room? Bischoff finessed me once to get in the door. Is he going to do it again?

And if he did, would it be the worst thing?

Ric raised his head, the thought hitting him from nowhere.

I...

Well, would it?

I’m not going to give up control. I know a lot better than Bischoff does about... everything, except maybe Teen Beat magazine.

Then I guess you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself, Ric. And stop getting caught out by Bischoff! That punk’s got nothing you haven’t got, and he especially doesn’t have the stroke with the boys that the Nature Boy does. Never has, never will!

Ric shut off the shower and stepped out. Catching sight of himself in the mirror, he stared at his reflection.

Maybe there’s a wrinkle or two, but...

Still the Nature Boy! Whoooo!

Ric smiled. It wasn’t a winning smile, rather it was a baring of teeth.

Eric, this is WCW, this is the Mid-Atlantic, this is Flair country.

And in Flair country, the Nature Boy is king!
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  #1011  
Unread 01-29-2020, 04:30 PM
DHK1989 DHK1989 is offline
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I guess it wouldn't be WCW without having tension between Bischoff and Flair...
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  #1012  
Unread 02-01-2020, 04:48 PM
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The morning after the night before saw Ric arrive at the breakfast buffet at the same time as Eric, and Ric took the opportunity to greet him warmly.

“Not a morning person, Eric?” he asked, flashing a smile that could have lit up the room.

Eric glanced across the room, and then shrugged.

“I’ve never had much of an appetite for breakfast,” Eric said, setting his empty plate back on the stack and walking off without saying anything more.

Ric followed Eric’s gaze, and he smiled genuinely at the sight of Dusty sat with Turner at a table, bending the ear of the founder of TBS. Filling his plate, Ric walked over to the duo, taking his time to shake a few hands of fans who recognised him.

Dusty and Ted?

No rush. Let Ted get to know a rassler’s rassler, and appreciate what he has in the Nature Boy.

“Good morning Ted, Dusty. Do you mind if I join you?”

“Pull up a seat, Naitch! I’ve just been talking Mr Turner through the last couple of months.”

Ric frowned slightly as he sat down. Looking around, he gauged how close the other breakfasters were to the table.

“Strictly kayfabe, of course,” Dusty said, his voice lowered and a conspiratorial grin on his face.

Turner smiled into his breakfast.

“Don’t worry, Ric. Dusty’s been very discreet. It’s been a pleasure talking to him – as long as he and I have been in the same business, I’m not sure that we’ve ever had a real conversation.”

“You know, if ever you have any questions, you just need to ask, sir.”

Turner raised his glass of juice to Ric.

“Of course, but it never hurts to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the business, Ric. I’m not intended to get involved day-to-day, it’s not my place, even if there’s no National League in wrestling to say I couldn’t own and run WCW like with the Braves!”

He laughed. Dusty laughed. Ric forced a chuckle.

“Dusty’s been explaining the political side of the business to me. Of course, I knew that existed – I’ve had to deal with Vince McMahon, and there was Jim... But still, every business has its own quirks and traits, some more alike than others. This isn’t baseball, it’s not broadcasting... but the more I learn about wrestling, the more I see commonalities. I may never understand enough to be the head booker, of course, any more than I could really have managed the Braves, but it’s clear that having the right people in charge is critical.”

“And you do, sir. No-one could do Naitch’s job better than he does!”

“Thanks, Dusty,” Ric said.

“There’s no question that WCW has prospered under Ric,” Turner said. “And I’m delighted with that, and want to know how we can press on even faster, even more aggressively.”

“Like Vince did,” Dusty said.

“Just like Vince. I believe that Ric has shown he’s learned the lessons that his predecessors failed to heed. WCW is a success – and it’s done it as WCW. We rule the American airwaves and our live event business is a rousing success. The next step... Well, there we have to learn the WWF’s lessons – and avoid its mistakes!”

He downed the last of his juice, and stood up.

“Dusty, I look forward to speaking to you again in the future. Ric, I’m sure we’ll be speaking again before the week is out. Think on what I’ve said – we must strike from a position of strength, agreed?”

“Yes, that’s sensible,” Ric said. ‘Striking’ was something Turner was keen on – striking Vince, striking the WWF, striking new markets...

I don’t speak Japanese or Spanish, but sure, we can make moves.

All the more eyes on the Nature Boy! They love wrestling out there – wait’ll they get a load of the Nature Boy’s WCW!
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  #1013  
Unread 02-02-2020, 07:01 AM
to4sty to4sty is offline
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I’m glad to see a return to the backstage shenanigans (which are excellently written as always) I think I’ve mentioned it before but it was the behind the scenes narratives that initially drew me to this diary. It’s a hard dynamic to do ‘right’ (which you do, clearly) but when it’s good it adds so much depth to the overall product. Looking forward to seeing what Ol’ Naitch has planned
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  #1014  
Unread 02-04-2020, 08:21 PM
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Hyde Hill Hyde Hill is offline
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Love the backstage stuff. The more of it the better imho and you are really good at it. While you are somehow managing it any thought of cutting down the number of belts? World Champ, US Champ, TV Champ, NWA Champ, World Tag, US Tag, NWA Tag and trios. That makes 13 people in total holding gold which is a bit excessive maybe.
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  #1015  
Unread 02-15-2020, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyde Hill View Post
Love the backstage stuff. The more of it the better imho and you are really good at it. While you are somehow managing it any thought of cutting down the number of belts? World Champ, US Champ, TV Champ, NWA Champ, World Tag, US Tag, NWA Tag and trios. That makes 13 people in total holding gold which is a bit excessive maybe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by to4sty View Post
I’m glad to see a return to the backstage shenanigans (which are excellently written as always) I think I’ve mentioned it before but it was the behind the scenes narratives that initially drew me to this diary. It’s a hard dynamic to do ‘right’ (which you do, clearly) but when it’s good it adds so much depth to the overall product. Looking forward to seeing what Ol’ Naitch has planned
Thanks, both. A little more backstage before we get back to the shows. I've always enjoyed dipping behind the curtain; It's fun to explore that side of things, and I'm glad to know other enjoy it too.

*

As for the titles, at the moment the champions are as follows:

WCW World - Sting
WCW United States - Steve Austin
WCW World Tag + WCW US Tag - The Diamond Mine
WCW Television - Vacant
WCW Six Man - Luchamerica

NWA World - Ricky Steamboat
NWA World Tag - Stocks And Shares Express

So right now that's only 10 men holding gold! I could drop some of the titles, but I quite liked all those titles floating around in WCW in 1991/92. If I were more organised I'd probably make Main Event the NWA show... but WCW =/= organised, even on their best days!

*


“Naitch- I mean, Ric? Have you got a moment?”

Ric looked up from the thick folder that contained Ted Turner’s thoughts, comments and reactions to recent WCW developments. This had become a habit on Turner’s part after recent big shows, and each time they got fuller and heavier. Ric dutifully read everything, made notes, and politely explained to the company owner why many of his ideas wouldn’t work.

Not with what I’ve got planned, anyway. With Vince, maybe... Maybe they should team up?

Vince as a promoter with Ted Turner’s pocket book? Good luck everyone else!

“PS, sure, come on in,” Ric said, waving the former Freebird into the seat across the desk from him. “What’s on your mind?”

“Retirement,” Hayes said, dropping into the seat. He stared evenly at Ric, who looked back thoughtfully before replying.

I have to say, PS looks better than I’ve seen him recently.

In fact, I haven’t seen much of him recently – not in the bars, anyway.

“Retirement, PS? You’re a decade younger than me, bud! You can’t retire!”

“Yeah, I agree Ric, so I don’t see why you want me to go work with Kevin and Funk down in Texas.”

“Ah.”

Ric leaned back in his chair. Kevin Von Erich had floated the idea to him during their last conversation about WCW’s development territory, operating under the World Class Championship Wrestling name.

“PS, Michael, having you go down and work a spell with the kids is exactly what they need. Imagine it – you get the Cole twins and the Sampson brothers and that Matt Hardy kid and Bill Watts’ boy, and they’ve finally got the edge over the heels. The Bad Crew’s in retreat, Lawler’s kid is down, Bradshaw, Levesque, even that freaky Soultaker guy, they’re all on the ropes... Then Badstreet hits or, hell, maybe we’ll pay Lynyrd Skynyrd for the rights to use Freebird like back in the old days-“

“If you think Fritz paid for the rights, Ric, you didn’t spend much time around him.”

“No, okay, but Ted Turner won’t thank us for getting sued! So whether it’s your old music or new, you come out and rally the troops. Maybe you wrestle, maybe you’re the man behind the man, you’d work that out with Kevin and Terry – but Michael, this is your chance to have a hand directly in WCW’s future. Go down for a tour, come back in a few months, and-“

“And what? What happens when I come back, Naitch?”

Ric paused again. Hayes eyes were alight with anger – not something Ric was used to seeing.

“I worked with the Pistols. I thought that was my spell working with the future of the company. Now you want me to go down to the minor leagues? Why not just fire me?”

“Hey, now, Michael, hold on,” Ric said.

Where’s this come from? PS has never been an emotional guy, not like this!

Well, we know how to calm him down...

“Look, it’s a little early, but how about a drink?” Ric stood up and walked over to the globe in one corner of his office. Rolling back the northern hemisphere, he picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels and offered it to Hayes.

“On the rocks?”

Hayes’ hands were clasped on the arms of his chair, but the white of the knuckles faded as he relinquished his grasp.

“One, sure. But I’m serious, Ric. I’ve been working hard these last few months. I’ve cut back on my drinking and partying. I’ve been training with Smothers and Armstrong, eating better... I’m in shape, Ric. I can go!”

“PS...” Ric poured a generous measure into two glasses and dropped some ice into them. Handing one to Hayes, he sat back in his chair and took a slug, resisting pulling a face as the woody liquor passed over his palate.

He drinks this stuff for fun. I guess there’s no accounting for taste!

Which is probably what we’re going to discuss, at the core.

“Ric, let me show you what I can do. Give me a month – give me the TV title, let me have a little run. I don’t need to beat the big names, I can beat guys like Kanemoto and Quinn and all the job guys we’ve got coming in. I’m not talking about getting into a long programme with Sting, Ric. Give me until the next Clash, put Austin over me, see how it goes, that’s all I’m saying.”

Ric took another sip of his drink, which was slightly more palatable with the melting ice taking a bit of the edge off it.

“...and when you see I can still go...” went unspoken but hung heavy in the air between them.

Ric exhaled slowly. No-one understood the need to keep going better than him, to recapture the greatest feeling, time after time, night after night. No-one had captivated more crowd’s, more often, for longer, than he had.

Well, except maybe for Hogan.

And what did he have? Charisma, sure, and Vince’s marketing machine, but he didn’t do it with skill, blood and sweat – he did it with his twenty-four inch pythons and a bald spot that got bigger at the same rate his paycheck did!

Ric had worked in World Class with the Von Erichs and Freebirds. Yes, the territory had been hot – although it felt even sleazier than most once Fritz’s sons started dying – but it had only been hot for a few years, nearly a decade ago.

Michael’s day has passed. He needs to realise that.

Maybe I need to tell him!

Or...

Or... let him work it out for himself. A match with Austin? On pay-per-view? Well, it would be sink or swim – and maybe Michael’s right, and he’s getting in shape, and he can go with someone like Austin who really can go...

Ric lifted his glass and took a sip before staring at Hayes over the rim.

“When I spoke to Kevin, we didn’t have a definite time frame in mind. That angle can wait for a little while – hell, PS, you’re always going to be a big name down there, even if you make them wait for your encore!”

That clearly appealed to Hayes, who Ric knew well had held aspirations of a music career, and was still hard to keep away from the house mic on a night out.

“So, do you mean you’ll go for it?”

Ric nodded.

“Yes, we will – you and Austin, next month or the month after so you can show me what you can do, Michael. I’ll do that for you, as a favour.”

If Hayes noticed the stress on the last word, he didn’t react to it. Sitting upright in his chair, he beamed at Ric, who smiled back.

“Ric, you won’t regret this!”

“I know I won’t, Michael,” Ric said. He stood up and walked Hayes to the door, clapping him on the shoulder on the way out.

I won’t regret another member of the booking team owing me one.

Woooo!
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  #1016  
Unread 02-21-2020, 03:59 PM
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James Casey James Casey is offline
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When I started this tale back in the summer of 2016 I’d been in the same job for nearly 8 and a half years. I had lots of time on my hands, and a burning desire to go back to 1991 and make the Dangerous Alliance the greatest stable of the 1990s. Everything else was secondary, although I was curious what I might do with Cactus Jack and Owen Hart if they weren’t given an artificial ceiling/were given the chance to fly on their own.

Nearly 4 years later, as TEW 2020 lies in the near future, I’ve changed jobs twice and no longer have the time to write at work. My update speed has consequently slowed to a crawl, if that. One of my great assets as a writer was having the time to write every day, or close enough, and being able to keep stories spinning all the time. I no longer have that, and while I’m happier in my work than I’ve ever been, it does mean I just can’t keep this kind of story going, not with any sort of consistency when it might take me 3 months or more to write 1 month’s worth of shows.

I’m going to wrap up this story. It was always intended to run to some point 1993, although insofar as I had a definite ending in mind it lay at Starrcade with something like the Flair/Vader match revisited – my intention was never to completely deviate from history, although of course I have, so very much.

Instead this story will run through the Great American Bash in July, which gives me a few more months to tell the remaining stories and will round the story off at the two year mark. That’ll be done in a more compressed format. After writing MAW, SWF, PSW and now WCW near constantly for 13 years now, I don’t think I have any more typical weekly shows in me. So the plan is to have ‘highlight’ posts akin to the feud recap videos you get promoting big PPV matches, and the PPVs themselves will be run in full – Clashes in March and April, WrestleWar in May, another Clash in June and then the Bash in July. I’d intended to run the shows in TEW and post abbreviated writeups, but I’ve not even found the time to do that, so from here on we’re basically into epilogue territory.

What stories will get told between now and then, well... Let’s just see.
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  #1017  
Unread 02-22-2020, 03:46 AM
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Hyde Hill Hyde Hill is offline
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Thanks for all the great stories over the years James and completely understand wrapping this up.
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  #1018  
Unread 03-14-2020, 09:04 AM
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February – March: Towards Clash Of The Champions XXVII


With SuperBrawl still fresh in everyone’s minds, Owen Hart wasted little time in laying out his challenge to Sting for the WCW World title, confronting him on the next episode of Saturday Night.

“Sting, I was the runt of the litter – the youngest child, always having to run to keep up with my brothers, always having to shout twice as loud to make myself heard over Bruce or Keith or...”

He shook his head.

“No, this isn’t about them – any of them! This is about me! This is what I learned before I left elementary school: Whatever I wanted, whatever I had to achieve, I had to do it on my own through sheer force of will!

“I didn’t just survive the Hart Dungeon, Sting. I thrived! The most vicious training in the world that turned out great and diverse talents like Abdullah the Butcher, the Junkyard Dog, Jushin Liger, Roddy Piper, Greg Valentine and Superstar Bully Graham – and each and every one of my brothers. And Sting, that’s the ones that survived. You should hear the tapes... We’d set up a microphone by the door to record the screams, the track stars and boxers and football players who thought they were tough, and then one of my brothers would hook ‘em or – God help ‘em – my father would get his hands on them. And then they would break. In seconds, sometimes.”

Hart paced back and forth in the ring.

“So imagine, Sting. Imagine what happened to me when I started training. My father and seven brothers weren’t going to take it easy on me, no way. They set the bar high and wouldn’t let me leave the Dungeon until I cleared it. And I did, Sting, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t quit, no matter how long it took me. And once I graduated from the Dungeon, once I learned to beat my brothers, once I learned to survive when my father wanted to break me, then I went to Japan. Ever been to Japan to fight, Sting? Oh, I know you go there sometimes as a guest and Great Muta has a lot of respect for you so you get to fight the aces... I went into their dojo system because I wanted to be sure that I had what it took. And let’s be clear, Sting. Not one trainer in Japan respects American or Canadian wrestling, so being a graduate of the Dungeon meant nothing, which is just what I wanted. I needed them to push me hard so I knew when I excelled – and I did excel – that I did it myself, through sheer force of will. I was the first and still the only westerner to hold the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title... but now it’s time to step up to the big fights, and there’s nothing bigger than the WCW World title.”

He stared down the camera lens, seeing not the equipment, but the World champion.

“Now Sting, you know the Dangerous Alliance and how we’ve operated in the past. Maybe you’re worried about us jumping you from behind or after a match, but that won’t happen. Instead, Sting, I’m going to tonight, and tomorrow night, and every weekend between now and the Clash. I’ll do this on my terms and that means meeting you in peak condition with nothing left to chance. Too bad for you, Sting, but it means that you get to enjoy your next few weeks as champion – until we meet again at the Clash!”

Sting’s reply, given from his locker room, was more succinct.

“Owen, you have your match – but don’t think I have anything but the highest respect for you and your history. Anyone who survives the Dungeon has done more than half the wrestlers who ever set foot in the ring. And I’ve heard all about your time in Japan from Muta and Jushin Liger, so that’s not news to me. And we’ve fought, you and I, many times since you came to WCW – in singles, in tags, even in War Games. But never with the World title on the line, and I know better than most that this title makes all the difference. So yes, you have your match, and you and I will go to the well and see who walks out of the Clash with the World title. In three weeks... it’s showtime!”

True to his word Owen competed before the television cameras each time they were switched on up to the Clash, including impressive wins over El Tigre Blanco, Rey Mysterio and Barry Windham, albeit that the last of those came when Scott Steiner got involved. Sting, for his part, fought less often but still against a high calibre of opponents as he faced off against Joe Malenko, Terence Taylor and Scott Steiner – although that last match ended in chaos in part (although by no means wholly) because Windham got involved!

*



Windham and Steiner were forbidden from interacting after SuperBrawl. The ban lasted for a week when Commissioner Ventura realised that there was no keeping the two apart, and sanctioning a return match between the pair was just good business – not least because it saved on medical expenses for the security guards the duo kept hurling out of their way!

But with the return match not scheduled until the Clash, neither of the pair was prepared to be patient; Interfering in one another’s matches and cutting scathing promos on each other escalated when Steiner jumped Windham backstage, the resulting fight spilling into the arena and interrupting a tag titles match between the Diamond Mine and Thrillseekers. With the crowd unhappy about the spoiling of the contest, the Commissioner quickly emerged to confirm that the Clash rematch would be a streetfight.



“And if that doesn’t settle things between the two of you, then I’ll find something even worse but I’ll enjoy it whatever it is!”

*




With two titles to defend, and strict rules about how often they had to do so, the Diamond Mine were keen to maximise the time that they spent enjoying being champions. After putting down the Thrillseekers thanks to DDP’s interference on the last Saturday Night of February, they were quick to seek new challengers for the following week, taking on El Tigre Blanco and Konnan for both their titles on Main Event. Try though they might the giant champions struggled with their smaller foes but sheer attrition wore down Blanco and Konnan over time, even as their opponents’ speed drained their stamina. Champions and challengers seemed evenly matched, but while Team Luchamerica were backed up by the neophyte Rey Mysterio, the Diamond Mine had the more worldly DDP in their corner... and the devastating good looks of Kimberly... and Shawn Michaels vaulting the rail and laying out Mysterio with a thrust kick. With all that going on at ringside, small wonder that Konnan lost focus for a split-second – and that was more than enough for Vinnie Vegas to drill him with a big boot followed by Snake Eyes for the win!

“Hey, yo,” the Diamond Studd declared after the match. “Me and the big man have got all sorts of plans... and none of them involve playing before you guys again any time soon. You want to see the Diamond Mine in action, you go buy a WCW videotape.”

“The Studd speaks the truth,” Vegas continued. “There’s a lot of beautiful women we’ve not met yet, and a lot of drinks that need our attention, and a lot of banks that the V man needs to break. We can’t do that when we’re stooping to the level of Luchamerica or those Canadian dweebs who keep sucking up to the Faux Horsemen. So we’ve done what we’re contractually obligated to for March, and I think it’s probably time for spring break – Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, maybe Cancun... Anywhere there’s tall drinks and tall blondes, we’ll be there. And we’ll see you all next month!”

True to their word, the Diamond Mine wouldn’t compete in WCW again until April... but they did find time to put in a brief appearance late in March, as WCW Saturday Night aired from Fort Lauderdale. As Shawn Michaels clashed with Dustin Rhodes to determine Steve Austin’s opponent for the upcoming Clash, Vegas and Studd were seen in the crowd. Clearing an entire front row for themselves, their drinks and their female companions, Vegas and Studd cheered loudly for Michaels. Somehow drowning out the pro-Rhodes crowd on their own, the duo clearly irritated the young Texan and this time it was Rhodes that lost focus, leaving him open to a savate kick from Michaels that gave the Rough Diamond the win.

“Austin, this time it’s just me and you,” Michaels said. “And when you take away all the other distractions you’re left with nothing but pure Shawn Michaels. And as anyone who knows will tell you, that’s too much for anyone to handle!”

*





The new Horsemen had their thunder stolen at SuperBrawl by the debut of the new Kingdom. Never one to willingly let the spotlight fall on anyone else, Ric Flair led the Horsemen into their new era at full volume, bawling out Harley Race and his charges at every turn.

“I put you out to grass a decade ago, Harley! Take the hint and stay out of my way; It’s best for everyone!”

The Kingdom seemed to disagree.

With the momentum of the Horsemen behind them the Thrillseekers were chosen to challenge the Diamond Mine for the WCW tag titles, but the Malenko brothers interfered in the match and took out Lance Storm, leaving Chris Jericho along against the two 300lb champions, with predictable results. As February turned into March the Kingdom seemed to be one step ahead of the Horsemen, several times catching the least experienced member Steven Regal unawares. With the Clash on the horizon Regal seemed to be smartening up a little... but that just meant that Big Van Vader and Mike Awesome ambushed Arn Anderson in the parking garage on Main Event just a few days from the Clash.

“This is a man’s sport, Ric,” Race declared as the Kingdom’s heavyweights tore Anderson apart. “You thought that you could bring in boys and survive, that the Nature Boy and the Enforcer could teach the next generation and maybe extend your own careers while you’re at it. But the only lessons worth learning are hard ones! We’ll teach your boys those lessons as long as you pretend they deserve the same stage as my warriors. And if you and Arn keep up the pretense, then we’ll keep teaching you the same lessons as well!”

Eventually Commissioner Ventura ordered a match between the two sides at the Clash. As the worst-injured parties Anderson and the Thrillseekers stepped up for the Horsemen; For the Kingdom, Vader and the Malenkos were chosen as their side’s representatives.

“A super heavyweight destroyer and two technical perfectionists,” Race smirked. “And you’re sending two children and, I’ll grant you, a great wrestler. Honestly, Ric, you may have took the World title from me but I think I hit you harder than either of us ever suspected.”

But rather than Flair it was Anderson who responded for the Horsemen.

“Harley, you think this is a game? You think this is about our egos? We know who we are, and what we’re doing. We’re not chasing some shiny gold crown to make out like we’re still on top of the mountain – we know our place, we know what we can do... And we can still do a lot, Harley. We can do as much as anyone, and more than most. And at the Clash you’ll see that not only can we do a lot, but we know talent when we see it. The Horsemen has always been a collective, a gathering of the best talent in the business. Maybe this year we’ve gone younger than before... but do you think we’d discredit the memories of Tully, of Ole, of JJ by bringing in kids for the sake of having kids around? Stop and think, Harley – really think. Did we bring in Regal, Jericho and Storm because it makes us feel young... or because they’re good enough to run with the best that WCW has? I know why we chose them, and at the Clash, so will you!”

*





The Clash would also see a pair of rematches from SuperBrawl III, with the NWA World and World tag titles on the line as members of the York Foundation fought for the gold. While the Stocks And Shares Express would be defending once more against Sid Vicious and Marcus Bagwell, Ricky Steamboat would be trying to hold off the challenge of former NWA World champion Terence Taylor.

Steamboat was clear in his pre-match message to Taylor:

“Terry, for months now we’ve been hearing you call yourself the Computerised Man of the 90s, but all that York’s laptop seems to tell you to do is cheat and run away. When I took the NWA title from you I out these ten pounds of gold back in the hands of a proud fighting champion, and here they’re going to stay!”

Alexandra York spoke for her charges:

“Two matches, two titles, and two irrefutable calculations of how to walk out of the Clash with the gold around my clients’ waists. Form in wrestling is temporary – as transient as the rise and fall of the stock markets, but just as the York Foundation has made thousands on short-selling falling stocks, so will we make money by betting that you will be the ones that crash this Thursday night!”

*



Not for the first time the WCW Television title moved like a hot potato in the run up to the Clash; Terence Taylor rebounded from his loss of the NWA World title to claim the vacant strap and defended it twice, but lost it to Marcus Bagwell in an interference-filled contest. Bagwell didn’t manage even a single defence as Robert Eaton claimed the gold with the help of Alexandra York’s laptop.

Eaton was able to hold off Bagwell in a rematch, but a Sid Vicious chokeslam ended his reign – albeit that Konnan was the unwitting beneficiary. The Cuban’s inaugural singles reign was a short one, as Dean Malenko claimed the title the following week with the assistance of his brother. But that victory only attracted the attention of the Thrillseekers – no fans of the Malenkos to start with – and Jericho and Storm cost Malenko the title the following night as Michael Hayes won the belt. And so it was the Freebird who carried the Television title into Clash of the Champions XXVII...

*
WCW Clash Of The Champions XXVII
Sting (c) vs. Owen Hart – WCW World Title
Barry Windham vs. Scott Steiner – Streetfight
Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin (c) – WCW United States Title
Arn Anderson and The Thrillseekers vs. Big Van Vader and The Malenkos
Michael Hayes (c) vs. ??? – WCW Television Title
Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Terence Taylor – NWA World Title
Sid Vicious and Marcus Bagwell vs. The Stocks And Shares Express (c) – NWA World Tag Team Titles

Last edited by James Casey : 03-14-2020 at 09:40 AM.
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  #1019  
Unread 03-14-2020, 10:35 AM
Hyde Hill's Avatar
Hyde Hill Hyde Hill is offline
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WCW Clash Of The Champions XXVII
Sting (c) vs. Owen Hart – WCW World Title
Barry Windham vs. Scott Steiner – Streetfight
Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin (c) – WCW United States Title
Arn Anderson and The Thrillseekers vs. Big Van Vader and The Malenkos
Michael Hayes (c) vs. ??? – WCW Television Title
Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Terence Taylor – NWA World Title
Sid Vicious and Marcus Bagwell vs. The Stocks And Shares Express (c) – NWA World Tag Team Titles
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  #1020  
Unread 03-14-2020, 11:38 AM
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joshbrady91 joshbrady91 is offline
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Posts: 796
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WCW Clash Of The Champions XXVII
Sting (c) vs. Owen Hart – WCW World Title
Barry Windham vs. Scott Steiner – Streetfight
Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin (c) – WCW United States Title
Arn Anderson and The Thrillseekers vs. Big Van Vader and The Malenkos
Michael Hayes (c) vs. ??? – WCW Television Title
Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Terence Taylor – NWA World Title
Sid Vicious and Marcus Bagwell vs. The Stocks And Shares Express (c) – NWA World Tag Team Titles
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