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  #1  
Unread 07-19-2016, 05:28 PM
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James Casey James Casey is offline
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Default WCW: Dangerous Territory

WCW: Dangerous Territory


Roster as of 1st April 1992

WCW World Champion
"Ravishing" Rick Rude


WCW United States Champion
“The Enforcer” Arn Anderson


WCW World Tag Team Champions
Scott Steiner and "Macho Man" Randy Savage


WCW United States Tag Team Champions
The Calgary Connection (Brian Pillman and Owen Hart)


WCW Television Champion
Mr Hughes


WCW World Six Man Tag Team Champions
The Diamond Exchange (Shawn Michaels, Vinnie Vegas and the Diamond Studd)


*

Roster

Main Event

Barry Windham - Nikita Koloff - Randy Savage - Ric Flair - Sting - Ricky Steamboat - Sting - Ultimate Warrior

Arn Anderson - Rick Rude - Steve Austin

Upper Midcard

Bret Hart - Ron Simmons - Scott Steiner

Brian Pillman - Madusa - Michael Hayes - Owen Hart - Shawn Michaels - The Diamond Studd

Midcard

Dustin Rhodes - Firebreaker Chip - Marcus Bagwell - Tracy Smothers

Brad Armstrong - Cactus Jack - Diamond Dallas Page - Mr Hughes - Richard Morton - Robert Gibson - Terence Taylor - Thomas Rich - Tim Horner - Vinnie Vegas

Lower Midcard

Chris Jericho - Lance Storm - Steve Armstrong - The Patriot - Todd Champion

Don Harris - Scotty Flamingo

Preliminary Wrestlers

Dean Malenko - The Italian Stallion - Joe Malenko - Mariko Yoshida

Johnny B. Badd - Pat Rose - Ron Harris

*

Tag Teams

The Calgary Connection: Brian Pillman and Owen Hart (w. Paul E. Dangerously/Madusa)

The Diamond Mine: The Diamond Studd and Vinnie Vegas (w. Diamond Dallas Page/Kimberly)

The Fabulous Malenkos: Dean and Joe Malenko (w. Trisa Hayes)

The Lightning Express: Scott Armstrong and Tim Horner

Loud and Proud: Scotty Flamingo and Jonny B. Badd (w. Teddy Long)

The One Percenters: Don and Ron Harris (w. Harley Race)

Scott Steiner and Randy Savage

The Special Forces: Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion

The Stocks And Shares Express: Richard Morton and Robert Gibson (w. Alexandra York)

The Thrillseekers: Chris Jericho and Lance Storm (w. Ric Flair)

The Young Pistols: Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers

*

Stables

The Dangerous Alliance: Paul E. Dangerously (manager), Madusa (Director of Covert Operations), Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, Steve Austin, Brian Pillman, Owen Hart

The York Foundation: Alexandra York (manager), Terrence Taylor, Richard Morton, Robert Gibson

The Diamond Exchange: Diamond Dallas Page (manager), Diamond Studd, Vinnie Vegas, Shawn Michaels

WCW Special Forces: The Patriot, Firebreaker Chip, Todd Champion

Last edited by James Casey : 03-23-2018 at 06:17 PM.
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Unread 07-19-2016, 05:34 PM
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Ric Flair, the limousine riding, wheeling, dealing, kiss stealing son of a gun had just got done styling and profiling in the main event, victorious once more after another challenge to his WCW – Woo! – and NWA – Woo! – World championship. His fans – his people – saluted him as he walked back up the aisle, throwing in a short strut that drew further cheers as he laughed.

Stepping through the curtains separating the fans from the backstage area, Flair’s shoulders sagged a little, the spring fading from his step.

“Rough night?”

Flair nodded, passing his title belt off to the man who’d greeted him, his best and most trusted friend, Arn Anderson.

“Eaton caught me with that legdrop, nearly ripped my head off my shoulders, I swear,” he said, rubbing his left shoulder. Having wrestled for almost twenty years, having recovered from a broken back suffered in a plane crash that could have killed him, having shed blood and broken bones on five continents... Ric Flair knew pain.

“Pinched nerve,” he muttered, as much to himself as to Arn. “Now, I need a shower, and then,” he grinned, “we go find ourselves some of Knokville’s finest ladies and show them how the Horsemen party!”

He headed to his locker room, the smile fading as he walked past Arn. The Horsemen... Once, there had been four of them – Ric and Arn, of course, but at various times Tully, Barry, Lex, Sid, even Sting had shown he could get wild when he wanted to. Now...

He shook his head as the hot water cascaded down on him, and he rubbed his shoulder. His fingers shook a little, and he balled them into a fist, squeezing them tight to still the tremor.

Now wasn’t the same as then. Even in the last few months, things had changed. Sid had left – although Ric had never thought of the big brawler as a real Horseman – Barry had drifted away, as likely to fight Flair as go drinking with him, and Tully, Lex and Sting had gone their own ways a long time ago.

He and Arn had looked into growing the Horsemen again – whether the fans loved or hated them, they certainly got a reaction – but pickings weren’t what they once were. There’d been talk of an influx of new faces, but at the same time the suits who controlled things had been talking about the need to make cuts. Flair wasn’t sure what the future held, but-

“Oh, I forgot to tell you,” Arn called from the locker room. “Herd wants to see you again.”

His head dropped, and for a moment he rested his blonde mane against the wall of the shower. Just the thought of meeting Jim Herd again made him feel numb, and the tremor spread quickly from his hands as his whole body shook. He slapped at the wheel of the shower, turning the water from hot to icy cold. He barely felt a difference.

No. Enough of that. You’re Ric Flair, damn it! Old Naitch takes whatever gets thrown at him, and deals with it – that’s the Nature Boy way!

He straightened up, relishing the sharp stab of pain in his shoulder. “What about?”

“Your contract. Again. He wants to get you signed up as soon as possible, he said.”

He turned off the shower. “Well, that doesn’t sound so bad.” Grabbing a towel he walked into the locker room, where Arn stood waiting for him. He took in the expression on his friend’s face.

“That bad, huh?”

Arn shrugged. “Let’s just say, I made a joke about the company covering the cost of your limousines, I said they ought to count as work expenses given how often you use them in your promos.”

“And?” Flair’s fingers knotted themselves in the fabric of the towel, quelling the shaking. If Arn noticed, he said nothing.

“He said that in future you might want to consider giving Hertz a call.”

“Hertz? Hertz?! Who does that jumped up idiot think he is? I’m Ric Flair, damn it!”

Arn stared at him stoically, too used to this sort of reaction to react much.

“Ric, I gotta tell you... I don’t think that’s going to be enough this time.”

*

OOC: Yep, WCW, July 1991. More on that later.

In the meantime, check out angeldelayette's Riding Out The Storms for another take on this time period, or go to the source for justtxyank's remarkable Rising Storms mod.

Last edited by James Casey : 10-14-2017 at 05:39 PM.
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Unread 07-19-2016, 06:08 PM
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Parker Stiles Parker Stiles is offline
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I'm all in. Can't wait to see what you come up with
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Unread 07-19-2016, 08:03 PM
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angeldelayette angeldelayette is offline
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First of all, thanks for the shout-out. I appreciate it. I see you're starting in July, a very tumultuous time for WCW. I cannot wait to see what occurs in the beginning of this one. Enjoyed the first post and I will be sitting in the front row.
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Unread 07-20-2016, 05:02 PM
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Thanks, guys. The turnover in WCW's roster from January-July 1991 was massive - not huge stars, necessarily, but you lose Vader, Hansen, Reed, Vicious - all guys with talent or popularity. Losing Flair on top of that... It's a big What If moment in wrestling history, even with Flair returning inside 18 months, simply because of the question of how Flair would have responded to the Dangerous Alliance, how he would have coped with the arrival of Vader, what he could have done with the title through the fall and winter... So much turned on his absence from the company in that time.

*


For once, Ric passed on the after party with Arn and the others. Instead, he retreated to his suite and ruminated over a glass of scotch. After an hour or so, he called down to reception and asked for a pack of pens and a pad of paper. If Herd was thinking Hertz, then the Nature Boy – the Man! – would show him why he deserved not just limos, but helicopters, a private jet, a fleet of 747s at his beck and call – Woo!!

The next day he strode into WCW headquarters and beamed his best smile at the receptionist.

“Clarice, I swear, you look more lovely every time I come down here.”

Clarice smiled, but said nothing. He had flirted with her almost since her first day, but she’d never risen to it.

“One of these days, Clarice, I’ll get more than a smile out of you. A laugh, maybe. I’d settle for a chuckle, or even a giggle.”

“Are you here to see Mr Herd?” she asked.

He sighed. “I am.”

“Another meeting about your contract, I suppose? Shouldn’t this be sorted out by now? You are the champion, after all.”

“Hopefully we can get it done today. Let me guess, you’d miss me if I left, right?” he said, with a smile.

“My mom certainly would,” she said. “You’re her favourite wrestler.”

Ric felt his smile freeze for a second as Clarice smiled innocently at him.

“Clarice, the Nature Boy is like Space Mountain, it may be the oldest ride in the park, but it’s still got the longest lines.”

With that, he walked past her desk and on to the executive area, where Jim Herd would be waiting with his latest contract offer.

*

Jim Herd smiled as Flair was shown into his office. Standing, he extended a hand and the two men shook briefly, before Herd showed him into a chair. A slim manila folder lay on Herd’s desktop, and Herd squared it neatly in the centre of the desk before smiling again.

“Ric, it’s good to see you. I know we’ve been going back and forth on your contract for a while, but I’m hopeful we can get something sorted soon – today, if possible.”

Ric smiled cautiously.

“Mr Herd, I’m pleased to hear that. You know that I love being here in WCW, I love being the champion, and I think it’s pretty clear that the fans still love me. I don’t want to leave.”

“I know, Ric, I know, and I have to say that from Ted Turner on down, everyone in WCW knows how much you’ve given to this company, and how it’s pretty much been built on your back.”

Ric’s smile widened a little. This was a warmer reception than he’d received in the past from the company’s chief officer.

“You’ve been, well, the man for a long time – not just for WCW, but MACW before it and the NWA as a whole. I know that Jim Crockett thinks we should just give you whatever you want!”

Herd laughed, and Flair chuckled as well. “Sounds good to me!”

“I’m sure,” Herd said. The moment of levity passed. “Ric, you have to understand where we’re coming from here. You’re the champion, and as far as I’m concerned, you’ll always have a place in WCW. I know I’m not a wrestling guy...”

He paused, searching Ric’s face for any reaction. Seeing none, he went on.

“...but I wasn’t put here to be a wrestling guy. Wrestling guys put MACW and GCW in the hole, and dug WCW deeper. Ted Turner likes wrestling – hell, Ted Turner loves wrestling – but WCW needs to make money, or at least break even. I have to decide where the budget goes.”

“Mr Herd, I hear you, I do. I’m not asking for anything out of line, I hope, but I am the World champion, and I am the biggest name in the company.”

“And you’ve held that title seven times now,” Herd replied. “I’m not talking about taking the belt off you tomorrow... but I think this could be your last run on top.”

“What do you mean?”

“Ric, I’m not sure how much longer this company can, in good conscience, rely on you being its main man. You came back from a plane crash, and that was at the start of your career – everything you’ve done since then has only added to the beating your body has taken. I’m concerned about how much time you have left and, yes, you’re the biggest name in the company... but what good is that if you have to bow out in a year without elevating at least one other person to your level?”

“Well, I-“

“The future of WCW lies with people like Sting and Lex Luger. They’ll be bringing people in through the nineties, the way you have since the seventies.”

“And where do you see me in this?”

“I asked a few of our creative guys to come up with something new for you.”

“Something new?”

“Yeah, sure. Listen, we can use a lot of ideas from the Turner Classic Movie archives – we’ve got access to a lot of great stuff. We’ve got this Kevin Nash, one of the Master Blasters, you know?”

Flair nodded.

“So, the team’s done, but he’s a big guy, like seven feet tall or something. We’re going to put this robe on him, a mask, have him come down to the ring with monkeys and stuff.”

Ric turned his head to one side, looking at Herd out of the corner of one eye.

“Monkeys?”

“That’s right. We’re going to call him ‘Oz’ – the great and powerful, right? Dorothy and the Tin Man and all that.”

“Is this before or after you have the team with the hunchbacks come out and beat everyone?”

Herd waved a hand. “That’s on the backburner for now. It’s hard finding hunchbacks who wrestle.”

“Who would’ve thought?”

“Anyway, we’re looking at some others. There’s this ‘Crow’ comic book that the company’s in talks to make a movie from. I think we can do something with that. We’re hoping to go into women’s wrestling, too. We’re looking for a redhead to be like Scarlett O’Hara, say, and we want a tough brunette to be like Ellen Ripley...”

He tailed off, seeing the look on Flair’s face.

“You don’t like it?”

“Well, ah,” Flair began, finding himself unusually short for something to say. “There are some great characters out there in movieland, I guess.”

“Right? Dusty and me, we think this could be big. And Ric, we’d like you to be one of them.”

“Me?”

“That’s right. See, we’ve got this idea to put you on your own to start off with. No Horsemen, for the first time in years, right?”

“Okay...”

“And everyone’s coming after you – Sting, Luger, the Steiners, Pillman, all chasing you, all wanting to take you down and take the title off you. Finally, one of them does – and Ric, I have to say, we want to make this a big thing for you. We want you to go out on top, right?”

“Well, yeah. If I have to go, better to go big,” Flair said, wanting to shout Herd down for even suggesting it.

“Exactly. We’re thinking Starrcade, the end of an era. Who we’re going to have go over you, I’m not sure, not yet, maybe Sting, but he’s beaten you before. We don’t need to go back to that if we can avoid it. We want to lift someone up. Maybe Luger, maybe Scott Steiner, maybe someone new, I don’t know.”

“Well, I’m glad you’ve put so much thought into this,” Ric said, before he could stop himself.

Herd shot him a look, and Ric swallowed and forced himself to calm down.

“Sorry,” he said. “It just seems like last year all over again – the Black Scorpion.”

“Ric, I won’t lie to you, the whole Scorpion thing got out of hand. We dreamed big, and it fell flat. That’s why using successful movie ideas is a sure thing, see? We know people love these characters – they made tens of millions at the box office!”

“Still, if these characters have already been in movies...”

“I know what you’re thinking. We’re not ripping these characters off, just using them as the basis for someone to come in and work with. We’ve got this other big guy coming in, guy called Haynes – you know him?”

“Billy Jack? Sure, I worked with him out in Portland a few times. He’s a pretty good worker, he could connect with the fans.”

“Right? So we’re going to put him under a hood, have him carry an axe to the ring, make him up like an executioner, just here to hurt people, kill them even. How can the fans not hate that?”

Ric bit his tongue, unwilling to trust whatever response was trying to force its way out of his mouth.

“And what about me? What do you have lined up for me after Starrcade?”

“Ric, when you lose the title, we want it to be seen as the passing of the torch – anointing a guy who may not be the next Ric Flair, but who the fans can trust to give as much as you have.”

Ric nodded slightly, trying not to react further to the broad smile on Herd’s face, which seemed to have arisen at the thought of Ric being moved on.

Oz, Scarlett O’Hara, an executioner...

Just... be calm, Ric. Just think about the Nature Boy. So far, this doesn’t sound so bad, so long as Naitch still gets his due!

“And after that?”

“After that, the story will be that you hit a funk; You lose faith in yourself, you stop partying, stop celebrating, stop styling and profiling.”

Herd smiled, nodding to Ric as he said it.

“And then?”

“And then we see you taking on a mentor role to a younger group – not the Nature Boy anymore, you’ll be teaching these kids how to survive and how to win, how to make the most of themselves.

“To really sell this, we want to shoot videos of you putting these kids through some pretty brutal training; Honestly, it’ll make the Roman gladiators look like the American Gladiators!”

Ric forced a smile. So far, this sounded... bearable.

“You won’t be in the ring much, of course,” Herd went on. “The focus will be on the new faces of WCW, but I know you mean a lot to this company, and we want to use that. We want to emphasise how big a change this will be for you, how big a move in your career. So it’s going to be workout gear, not suits. Gyms and workout rooms, not bars and clubs. And Ric...

“We want you to shave your hair.”

Instinctively, Ric reached up and ran a finger through his pompadour.

“It just grew back in after I cut it last year,” he said.

“It’s what will sell the storyline, Ric,” Herd replied. “The suits, the limousines, the parties... You’ve put them aside before, but this is something else. This’ll be a real ‘I am Spartacus’ moment – you putting the Nature Boy away, and moving on in your life. I figure there’ll be just this one reminder of your old life – a single diamond earring, calling back to the old days”

Ric stared at Herd blankly.

“And you... “ he paused, trying to find the air to speak when suddenly it seemed hard to draw breath. “You think this will draw money?” he asked.

“Ric, as I said, I think your days of being the main guy are coming to an end. For the good of the company, and for your good, a reduced schedule would be in everyone’s best interest.”

“Mr Herd – Jim – I...” he paused again, trying to marshal his thoughts. “I have to say, this is not what I had in mind when I came in here today. I did all of this work,” he opened the briefcase he’d brought with him, and took out his calculations, setting them on top of Herd’s desk. “I wanted to show you that I,” he paused and took another breath. “That I can still be The Man.”

Herd carefully pushed Ric’s papers to one side.

“The company will be moving in a different direction, Ric. This is the contract that WCW is ready to offer you now.”

He opened the folder and took out a sheet of paper, holding it out for Flair to take.

“If you don’t feel able to sign this deal, then we need to talk about alternative plans for how you go out.”

Ric looked at the contract, and at the numbers set out at the bottom.

“This is a contract for less than a third of what I’m making at the moment,” he said, quietly.

“For an older worker on a reduced contract, it’s a good deal,” Herd countered. “And there’s nowhere else that you can make that sort of money, Ric. You know that Vince McMahon doesn’t offer guaranteed money, even if he’d sign you.”

The two men sat and stared at each other.

‘An older worker’? The Nature Boy is like diamonds – forever!

Ric stood up, folding the contract and putting it away in his briefcase.

“I need to think about this,” he said.

“Of course. Take some time, but I need to have a decision before-“

“I know when my contract expires, damn it!” Flair snapped, before turning on his heel and walking over to the door. He paused with his hand an inch from the door, staring at his trembling fingers.

A gladiator? Shaving my head? Spartacus?

No more Nature Boy? Get out, get out now!

He stared at the door. Walking through it would lead to a world of uncertainty, of life under Vince McMahon in the cartoonish WWF, or back on the independent circuit, or going to Japan, or...

He turned around. Maybe there was one more chance.

“Mr Herd, I want to take this higher up the food chain.”

Herd stared at him, blankly.

“I’m the top man in the company, Ric. There’s no-one higher than me in WCW.”

“Yes there is, Jim: Ted Turner. And I think he’ll want to talk to us both about this situation.”

“You think that Ted Turner will want to get involved in the contract negotiations for an employee?” Herd asked. He seemed incredulous at the idea. “Ric, Mr Turner trusts me.”

“But I don’t trust you,” Ric shot back. He walked back across the room and leant on Herd’s desk, staring down at him. “Spartacus? You want me to be Spartacus? Well, Spartacus took the fight to the end, Herd, and that’s where I’m going!

“Ted Turner will see me, Herd, oh yes he will! I’m the biggest name in the company that turned Ted Turner from the owner of one little television station to the biggest name in entertainment today! You bet your ass that Ted Turner will see me. He owes me, and I’m calling that in!”

Next: Flair, Herd, Turner...

Last edited by James Casey : 10-14-2017 at 05:39 PM.
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Unread 07-24-2016, 03:18 PM
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Getting an appointment with Ted Turner was not an easy task, no matter how much he may have owed Ric Flair and WCW. His mind elsewhere, Ric’s performances in the meantime had not been up to the usual standard he set for himself. He was aware that, backstage, Herd had used his downturn in form as evidence to support his position on Flair’s future.

As he sat outside Turner’s office, Ric consoled himself with the knowledge that the World title still sat around his waist. Yes, there had been some questionable means used to retain the gold – hammering El Gigante with a steel chair to win a no-disqualification match by countout had been depressingly necessary; He simply hadn’t felt able to fight someone so much bigger and stronger than him that night – but champion he was. That, surely, counted for something.

As he waited, he leafed through that morning’s Washington Post – The dissolution of Yugoslavia still dominated the headlines, although the end of the Warsaw Pact was also above the fold, and the Iraq situation was still attracting coverage.

Ric shook his head. Some happy news would be nice.

The office door opened, and the familiar face of Ted Turner appeared.

“Ric, good to see you. Come in – let’s get this sorted now.”

Ric stood and extended his hand.

“Mr Turner, thank you for taking the time today.”

“Well, apparently you bet Jim his ass that I would, so it seems pretty serious.”

Ric set the Post down before following Turner into his office. As he did so, the date on the masthead caught his eye – July 1st.

Middle of the year. A turning point. That’s got to be an omen, right?

*

Just sitting across from Herd felt uncomfortable to Ric, who struggled to hide his displeasure for WCW’s executive even as he forced a smile onto his face for Turner’s benefit.

“Now, we seem to have ourselves a problem, Ric,” Turner began. “Jim tells me that you’re not happy with how WCW intend to use you, or the money WCW has offered you to stay with them.”

“That’s correct, Mr Turner,” Ric replied.

“Ric, within these four walls, when it’s just the three of us, you can call me Ted. We won’t get business done if you’re using four syllables when my name only has one.”

“Well, okay... Ted,” Ric replied.

“Good. Now, talk to me about your problems.”

Ric glanced at Herd, who was sat back in his chair, watching him intently. A jolt of irritation shot through his body.

This man knows business... but not the wrestling business.

That’s right! He used to run a station that showed wrestling, but the Nature Boy is wrestling, damn it!

“Mr Turner – Ted – I want to say, first off, that a lot of the boys backstage are excited about the future of WCW. You’ve put money into the company and saved it from ruin. A lot of people still have jobs because of you, sir, and I’m aware of that.”

“Thank you, Ric. Please, go on.”

“The problem comes from, well, I think you’ve overstepped your mark in how WCW is being managed.”

Herd sat forward in his chair, looking for all the world as though he was about to reach out and slap Flair down physically. He settled for doing so verbally.

“You’re telling Ted Turner how to do business?”

Ric ignored him, turning his attention back to Turner as his fingers gripped the arms of his chair.

“It goes without saying that a business has to make money to survive. Throwing good money after bad is a sure and certain way of killing a company, and too often in the past WCW – and MACW and GCW before it – paid money they shouldn’t have to people who didn’t deserve it, or didn’t know what to do with it. I may be the NWA champion, and I may have spent a lot of time on the road, but Georgia’s been my home for a long time, and I know who’s worth money.”

“Go on,” Turner said. He was sat behind his desk, watching Ric over folded hands. Ric glanced at Herd, who was sat back in his chair once again.

“If money’s invested wisely, it’ll reap dividends. Wrestling is no different to any other business in that regard. Every company has its own way of judging success, but generally it comes down to the number of people coming through the gate, how much money they spend, and the quality of the matches.”

“Ted...”

Turner held up a hand, stopping Ric from cutting across Herd as he spoke. “Go ahead, Jim.”

“There’s no secret that business is all about money, and the more money you make, the better the business. The biggest business in wrestling is the WWF, and what they do that no-one else does is create gimmicks and characters for the paying customer to spend money on. Look at the Ultimate Warrior, Ted, or Hulk Hogan – these guys are superheroes. Take a look at someone like Mr Perfect, or the Undertaker; Larger-than-life bad guys for the heroes to fight against. That’s what WCW needs to get in on, Ted. Maybe at the moment we’re throwing stuff against the wall to see what fits, but give it time and the fans are going to buy into it. I guarantee it.”

“Ric?”

“I’ve already said that it’s about money, but you have to have the depth to get people through the doors. They need to care about the people fighting, or they may as well go to their local dive bar on a Saturday night instead of coming to see us.

“Wrestling’s not difficult, Ted, although people try and make it so. Two guys with a reason to fight go at it, whether that’s because of a title, a woman, a grudge, a matter of honour... Whatever. If you have that, you’ve given the fans a hook... But you need the matches to make the money. The fans don’t pay for bad wrestling and crazy characters, not in this part of the world.”

“We know where they like the WWF style, Ted – up north! We should be pushing outwards, being aggressive with our marketing to get the fans hooked on our characters.”

“Like Oz? And this executioner guy? And Arachnaman was a great deal, wasn’t he – Marvel shut him down so fast I heard you got whiplash!”

Herd scowled, and Ric forced himself to settle back in his chair.

Keep it professional – this isn’t about me and Herd.

Like hell it’s not!

“Ted, we have one of the greatest minds in wrestling working as our booker, you know that. Dusty Rhodes has walked the walk, he’s talked the talk, and he’s fully on board with our plans for livening up WCW. Professional wrestling has come a long way in the last decade. The days when the only differences between ninety-five percent of wrestlers was the colour of their hair and the shade of their trunks is gone.”

“Ric?”

“The fans we play to don’t really care about outlandish gimmicks, Ted. The ‘Nature Boy’ is about as far as they’re willing to go. Spidermen and wizards and executioners... This is comic book stuff, Ted, it’s not wrestling.”

“Jim?”

“Ted, the biggest crowd in history showed up to see Andre the Giant fight Hulk Hogan for the WWF title – ninety-three thousand people! We don’t get nine thousand for Flair against Luger, or even Flair against El Gigante, not even close.”

“Ted, WrestleMania III had Hogan at the very peak of his popularity. He hasn’t drawn a crowd like that since then. The WWF moved ‘Mania this year from the Coliseum in LA to the Sports Arena – they wanted a hundred thousand through the gates, they got sixteen thousand. That’s still a big gate, but they can’t just snap their fingers and get six figures, not by a long shot.

“And to say that they made it off the back of gimmicks is to sell them short – a long way short. The fans care about the wrestlers, and their gimmicks are a part of it, but not all of it. Hulk Hogan is big and strong and looks like a superhero, sure, but he’s been the main man in the WWF for seven years. Andre’s been a star all over the world for fifteen years. That’s how they got ninety thousand into Detroit – or how they said they did, anyway. It was less than eighty thousand, but Vince McMahon wanted the world record, so ninety-three was what got called out. Still huge... but the WWF lies about a lot of things.”

He sat back, and looked over to Herd. The man had a face like thunder, and Ric sensed that it wouldn’t take much more provocation for him to lose his cool.

“Ric’s argument seems to be that we shouldn’t change, because it might take a decade to get to a position where we can draw ‘less than eighty thousand’. I think Ric’s scared because in a decade those fans won’t know or care about the ‘Nature Boy’. Ted, Dusty and I are in agreement – this company can make it big, and the best thing to do is to give the fans plenty of the old razzle-dazzle, Holywood glamour, big personalities and wild matches. Exactly what’s made Vince McMahon and the WWF the leaders in the industry.”

Ric sagged a little in his chair. I hear Herd speaking, but the words are Dusty’s...

Do it. You have to – you have to hit him, hard.

“Ted, I’ve known Dusty Rhodes for as long as I’ve been in this business. He’s a great wrestler, one of the best of all time. With Dusty, it was never what he did, but how he did it. He had natural charisma, he could talk the hind legs off a donkey, sell them back to it and get a ‘thank you’ for his trouble.

“But Dusty’s problems have always been when he’s asked to be something he’s not. He’s a showman, a carnival barker, a performer like almost no-one in wrestling. Ted, if Vince McMahon had put Dusty against Hogan, WrestleMania III wouldn’t have set a record, it would have been trying to match the records those two set.

“But you’re putting a lot of faith in a man with natural talent, a man who thinks that anyone can do what he did. Dusty’s a dreamer, an optimist, and he never sees the bad side of an idea. He rode the Dusty Finish into the ground – and then beat it long past its death, because he didn’t know anything else. The heels had to cheat, the faces had to be kept strong, there was no other way in Dusty’s mind... And now he has the money to dream even bigger – your money.

“Dusty seen the promised land, Ted. He went to work for Vince McMahon, and got stamped into the dirt... and he wants to build his own version of the WWF to show that he can do it better. Dusty’s version of the WWF has even more sizzle than McMahon’s, it has more characters, it shouts louder and it’s got a big, blonde youngster at the centre who he wants to push all the way to the top – Dustin Rhodes.”

Turner looked askance at Herd, who shrugged.

“Dustin’s a talented youngster,” Herd said. “We can’t rely on the same wrestlers for ever, Ted; We have to make our own stars, we have to introduce a new generation who the fans will be cheering for in ten years’ time.”

“I agree, but that’s got to happen organically. Dustin Rhodes has wrestled on every pay-per-view and Clash this year, and he’s won every match. No-one else that young can say that... and the kid started off the year getting punked out at the Royal Rumble in the WWF before his dad dragged him down here. He’s being treated like a star, and maybe he will be one day, but he’s not – and sooner or later, the fans are going to turn on him when they realise he’s being pushed down their throat.”

Turner looked at Herd, who shifted in his chair.

“Jim, is this true?”

“Ted, Dustin Rhodes is a great prospect, and he’s going to do big things in this business-“

“But he’s the son of Dusty Rhodes, who you told me was the best man for the position.”

“He is, yes.”

“Jim, you have to be able to see that’s a clear conflict of interests. I can’t have an employee showing favouritism for his son like that. The lawsuits practically write themselves!”

“Well, I can talk to Dusty-“

“No, don’t. If his first order of business was to put his son in the spotlight, I don’t need to know any more. Dusty Rhodes can’t continue as the head booker of WCW, understand?”

“Jim, Dusty’s the only one who’s got a clear vision for WCW. It could take weeks, months to find someone to take over. I have to insist. I’ll speak to him about his son, but he’s the man to take us forward. You asked me to find someone with a long-term vision, Ted, and I have: By the summer of 2001, WCW will be the biggest thing in wrestling, no, the biggest thing in entertainment!”

“If you go with Dusty, this company will be dead by the summer of 2001!” Ric snapped.

Turner looked over at him, one eyebrow raised.

“Ric?”

Ric took a deep breath. He folded his hands in his lap, trying to quell the voice in his head that was screaming at him to slap Herd down as hard as he could – with words if necessary, but fists certainly preferred.

“I’m sorry I’m not dispassionate about this, Ted, but this is the company I’ve given my life to, and I can tell you that these crazy ideas that Dusty has are going to kill it – and it’s not going to take ten years, not unless you keep financing loss after loss after loss. Dusty Rhodes will run WCW into the ground chasing after Vince McMahon. I may not know business, but I know that, and I know that you need to have a strong identity, and it needs to be your own identity.

“If WCW chases the WWF, we don’t overtake them – they have a huge lead, and we’ll be caught in their wake. We’ll look second-rate, and we’ll have every mistake magnified and every success diminished because the WWF got there first. Dusty can’t see that, and I hate saying that, because he’s my friend and I owe him a lot... but if Dusty’s plan is to copy the WWF, then he’ll kill this company.”

“And I suppose that you have someone better in mind?”

Ric stayed still for a moment, looking out of the window of Turner’s office.

Who should go in Dusty’s place? Cornie? Watts? Dangerously? Could we get Patterson?

Ignoring Herd, he instead faced Turner.

“There are some possibilities, but I’ve never had to make that call, Ted. I can give you some names, but you’ll want to ask around, take interviews... Honestly, you could do worse than call Vince McMahon and see if he has any thoughts.”

What?

Herd was out of his chair, and he slammed his fist down on the desk.

“Ted, this is going too far, I-“

Herd stopped mid-sentence, catching sight of Turner’s face as the billionaire stared pointedly at Herd’s fist.

“I’m sorry,” Herd said, standing upright and fussing with his tie. “But this is ridiculous. Why on earth would you talk to Vince McMahon about who should run WCW?”

“Because it’s in Vince’s best interests to have a strong WCW,” Flair said. “There’s space for two big promotions, and stars moving from one side to another makes for new match ups and exciting TV. He wouldn’t want us to get too big... but he knows that healthy competition is good.”

“You’ve already spoken to him,” Turner said.

“He called me this morning,” Flair replied, as Herd scowled. “He knows I’m out of contract today, and he wants me to go the WWF.”

“What did you say to him?”

“We talked about how he’d push me, and what he thought about WCW. He’s not worried about us with Dusty booking, I know that.”

“Ted-“ Herd stopped as Turner waved him into silence.

“What did Vince say he thought we should do?”

“Focus on what brought us to the dance – wrestling, real characters and keeping it simple. We’re an alternative to WWF, not its copycat.”

“Well, Ric, I’m convinced. You know this business, and so does Vince. I value your opinion highly, and his as well, and so I’m going to offer you the post of head booker of WCW.”

Ric stared blankly at Turner.

“What?” he managed.

“What?”

Herd’s fingers were white as he clutched at the arms of his chair. “You’re firing Dusty for a conflict of interest, and then putting the World champion in charge of deciding who the World champion is? Ted, this is madness!”

“Jim, I’ll thank you to remember whose name is on the door of this office – and come to that, whose name is on this company. Of course Ric will have to give up the World title if he wants to be the booker, and I’m sure he can come up with an appropriate way of managing this.”

Give up the title?

“No, Ted, I’m sorry, but this is impossible. You’re completely undermining me here, but if you must replace Dusty Rhodes, well, fine – give me time to find a replacement. Anyone but Flair – I came here today to be sure that he was going, and now you’re handing him the key to the castle? And why, because he talked to Vince McMahon?”

“Not just that,” Turner sat back in his chair. Opening a desk drawer, he took out a sheaf of paper that Ric recognised as the notes he’d written, days before. “This, too. There’re a lot of good ideas in here, and you didn’t bother to look at them, did you?”

“Well, I-“

“Or run them past your head booker? Maybe Dusty might have thought he was under threat, and he’d have been right. Honestly, Jim, I know you wanted me to understand your point of view, that Ric’s not worth the money he’s asking for... but you actually convinced he that he’s worth a lot more to WCW than you think he is.”

Herd looked from Turner to Flair and back again. His face was ashen, but he swallowed and forced himself to recover some of his cool.

“Okay, okay, I admit, I don’t ‘get’ wrestling... but Ted, neither do you. How can you know that Ric’ll make a good booker? If Dusty would favour his son, you don’t think Flair would favour his buddy Arn Anderson?”

“That’s something that would need closer monitoring, certainly, and it seems that I took my eye off the ball there with Dusty Rhodes, so I’d be watching Ric very closely indeed.”

“You... mean supervising him?”

“I do,” Turner smiled as he said it, but with the hint of a shark’s smile – there was little warmth in his eyes.

“Ted, this isn’t right. Where does that leave me?”

“Well, I guess that’s up to you. If Ric accepts my offer, he would have a lot of control and influence in WCW. Could you work alongside him?”

“No! I came here today-“

“To send him out on his shield, yes, I know. But that’s not happening, Jim. Ric stays. I have a contract ready for him to sign – not, I must say, at the rate he was asking for, but a reasonable compromise – and if you can’t work alongside him, then it seems your decision is made.” He turned to look at Ric. “Have you had time to think of your answer?”

Ric blinked for what seemed like the first time in minutes.

Give up the title, and be the booker again? I didn’t want it last time, and I don’t want it now... Do I?

Get rid of Herd, and show Turner what you can do – then bring the title home when he sees it’s meant to be around your waist! Wooo!

“Well...”
Next: WCW issues press release...

Last edited by James Casey : 10-14-2017 at 05:40 PM.
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Unread 07-24-2016, 09:47 PM
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I'm a bit disappointed that you've chosen to stay with Flair here -- I've yet to see a '91 Diary where Flair leaves like he did in real life, and have been waiting for a while for someone to start one.

Honestly, with Flair's private life and persona in full view, it's very hard for me to suspend disbelief and pretend he is a "sensible", "good guy" with the "company's best intentions" in mind. Dusty may not have been an angel, but he seemed grow and learn from his mistakes, while Flair was stuck in the same endless cycle.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 08:39 AM
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It's a fair point, but we've seen WCW without Flair in real life. That gave us a Lex Luger turn out of nowhere, a Ron Simmons push before he was ready, the Chamber of Horrors match, the Lethal Lottery... Without Flair staying, there's no reason to replace Dusty. With Dusty still in place, we still get

And as for Flair, I agree that his personal demons make him a questionable choice for booker. WCW isn't going to be perfect going forward, and it may be that some of that could be down to Flair's... lack of professionalism, shall we say.

But we shall see. Mr Turner's insisted on a booking team who we'll meet soon enough, and compared to some of them Flair looks like the very model of sobriety and sensibility.

*
Quote:

WCW Press Release – Flair re-signs, Herd moving on



World Championship Wrestling are delighted to announce that its World Champion, Ric Flair, has put pen to paper on a new long-term contract, with negotiations handled personally by Ted Turner himself.

“I’m delighted to be with WCW for the long term. I am the man, and anyone who wants to take my title from me needs to recognise that I am not going to make it easy for them, not by a long shot, Jack!

“There’s a lot of miles left in the Nature Boy’s tank, and each and every one of them is going to be used to take WCW to new and exciting places, with the Nature Boy at the front of the line! Woooo!”

In other corporate news, WCW’s Executive Vice-President Jim Herd has announced that he is moving to a new role within the Turner corporate family.

“Jim has put in a lot of hard work with WCW and earned the chance to spread his wings a little in a role he feels more comfortable in,” Ted Turner stated.

WCW can be seen on Saturday (“WCW Saturday Night”) and Sunday (“WCW Main Event”) nights on TBS and live on pay-per-view.


*

Backstage in Chicago, and Ric walked into a locker room in which the entire WCW roster had gathered.

“Nature Boy, good to see you!” Dusty Rhodes stepped forward of the crowd and took Ric’s hand, shaking it enthusiastically. He leaned closer, lowering his voice. “Mr Turner was good enough to call me himself and explain things. Ric, you have to believe me, I never wanted the head booker’s job – I just took it to take care of my boy.”

Ric glanced across the room to Dustin Rhodes, the spitting image of his father – minus fifty pounds of weight, and plus six inches of height. Ric decided that Dusty was probably telling the truth, at least, he was being truthful about wanting to protect his son. The boy had promise, but would have been cannon fodder in the WWF, where his name would have counted against him. In WCW, the Rhodes name had value and, if used properly, Dustin could be a benefit to the company for a long time.

Ric smiled at Dusty.

For a start, he can be used to keep his old man in line!

Ric looked around the locker room: The Steiner Brothers stood together, as did the Freebirds. Sting and Lex Luger stood side by side, while more recent arrivals such as Johnny B. Badd and Steve Austin stood by themselves, so far as Ric could tell.

Arn stepped forward from the centre of the crowd.

“Well, boss, what do we do now?”

Ric smiled at his old friend, and turned the beam onto the locker room as a whole.

“Now... we wrestle!”

Last edited by James Casey : 10-14-2017 at 05:41 PM.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 09:35 AM
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OOC post: So, here we are again – MAW, SWF, PSW... WCW. This is my first attempt at a real world dynasty in ten years. That short-lived run with SmackDown as a separate company from Raw was intended to see the resurrection of WCW under Teddy Long, with Booker T as its figurehead. I’ve also toyed with the idea of booking a 2001 WCW revival diary (but that’s have been done by many writers, including many better than I), or booking the InVasion so that WCW comes off better than it did in real life.

This, then, is a diary itch I’ve wanted to scratch for some time.

I’ve been a wrestling fan since the summer of 1990. The WWF was my first exposure to the world of sports entertainment, and Ultimate Warrior and Bret Hart were my first favourites (I was never a Hulk Hogan fan). But for a wrestling fan without access to Sky, the satellite TV service that was (and still is) the sole provider of WWF/E programming in the UK, I had to get my fix elsewhere.

In the early 1990s, that meant WCW – or the NWA, as it was still being billed. Weekly exposure to NWA Worldwide, which was screened in the UK months behind real life and at about 2am on a Saturday night, more or less sated my appetite for wrestling. Getting up early on a Sunday morning to watch the previous night’s broadcast was no doubt viewed as strange by my family... but I had that time to myself, and watched squash matches from the likes of Sid Vicious, Mean Mark Callous and their contemporaries. Yep, I got to watch Callous finishing prelim guys with his dreaded heart punch. What a time to be alive!

Sometime in 1991 Worldwide skipped ahead to a point where it was WCW Worldwide, and more or less caught up with America – certainly close enough for an 11 year old mark who was otherwise getting by on Apter mags and the occasional trip to his cousin’s house to watch the WWF. WCW Worldwide seemed a world away from its predecessor – better production values, more glamorous performers, and actual, genuine pay-per-view calibre matches (in the main event at least) all locked me in as a WCW fan. Seeing the formation of the Dangerous Alliance, being in on the start of Steve Austin’s big league career, watching Big Van Vader’s rampage through the WCW midcard en route to a clash with Sting, pulling for Ron Simmons as he was in the hunt for the World title, looking on in awe as Williams and Gordy decimated everyone they faced, becoming an instant (if not lasting) Marcus Alexander Bagwell fan when he stood up to the Dangerous Alliance, hating – but oddly liking – the maniacal Cactus Jack, getting strange feelings whenever Missy Hyatt or Madusa appeared on screen...

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

WCW in mid-1991 was a mess, and that all came down to a series of bad decisions made about the future of Ric Flair. This diary will see what may have happened had Flair stayed with the company.

Any diary, even a historic one aiming to stay as close as possible to reality, becomes an alternative history as soon as you pass day one. While some things will stay true to reality (I’m not missing out on booking the Dangerous Alliance!), others won’t – with Flair’s presence being the biggest difference to start with.

I’m indebted to justtxyank’s incredible Rising Storms mod, which I’ve tweaked a little for the July 1991 start date. I’ve mainly focused on the rosters of WCW and WWF to get them as accurate as possible, but a few things haven’t changed: Worker overness wouldn’t be too different from January-July with a few exceptions – the most obvious being Bret Hart, who I’ve bumped up a few points worldwide. The starting storylines are mainly those I remember running at the time; In the WWF that means Hogan/Warrior/Slaughter, Hart/Perfect, Bossman/Mountie and LOD/Nasties while the WCW storylines were... Well, I’m sure WCW was running storylines at the time.

I’ve made some changes to WCW in July 1991 to accommodate what I wanted to do with the story. Most are minor, but of note are the following:

* The biggest change is that Jesse Ventura will be with the company from early in the diary, rather than arriving in early 1992. That’s because I firmly believe that if you have the chance to write Jesse Ventura, then you should take the chance to write Jesse Ventura, McMahon! (And should anyone have an issue with that, I direct you to the words of the great man himself: Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!)
* Three workers start the game signed to WCW who weren’t there at the time. In real life two came in a little later (August/September time, I believe). I want them for the storyline they took part in, though, which wouldn’t work as well with anyone else. The other guy... Well, he was in WCW in 1991 but left in late spring when he couldn’t agree a long-term deal with the company. In this universe, let’s say that he did. In all three cases they’d have been signed by me on day one anyway.
* The York Foundation starts off with Rich, Morton and Taylor all in place, where that group wasn’t complete until August or so, but it’s too much faffing about to devote show time to putting them together when it’s a foregone conclusion in any case.
* Despite temptation to cut one of the most wretched gimmicks in wrestling history, the WCW Patriots are on the roster, and may get the new members (the ‘WCW Special Forces!’) coming in that were promised back in the day. Suggestions are welcome!
* Harley Race is managing Curtis Hughes/Mr Hughes/Big Cat/Big Cat Hughes... Will he go on to manage Lex Luger? Hmmm...
* I’ve ditched Power Hour so there’s now just Saturday Night (TBS/DSF) and Main Event (TBS/ITV) with the occasional Clash. Did WCW need 2 B-shows? Not going on the evidence.
* And I’ll mention this here because I’d rather not have everyone advising me to sign him: Chris Benoit isn’t in the game. There are arguments both ways but, simply, I don’t feel comfortable having him in the game world. He wasn’t with WCW in 1991, so he won’t be missed.

This dynasty is going to be pretty different to my previous ones. I’m not intending to spend days writing up shows, which is what happened with SWF and, to some extent, PSW despite my efforts to cut them down. Each TV show will have a screenshot and a kayfabeish summary underneath; That way you get to see what happens, and I get to put across the key points without feeling obliged to spend time on a Diamond Studd squash match.

Chances are the PPV/Clash shows will get more attention, but even there I’m not going to dwell too much. Promo of the night, match of the night... maybe a little more, maybe not.

I do want this to be somewhat interactive. The readers will be given the chance to input on booking decisions occasionally, with a couple coming up in the first few weeks – at least one of which I suspect will be very popular.

Beyond that, if someone catches fire in-game, I’ll try and give them a push rather than be stuck solely on re-treading the path to WrestleWar ’92 (peak WCW, for me – at leqsat until the now). If someone clicks with the readers, they’ll probably get some added exposure, too. We may find that the York Foundation gets a bigger push than they did in real life (Terry Taylor was a huge missed opportunity, I feel), that the Dangerous Alliance could fizzle and burn or that Big Van Vader’s domination of WCW only goes as far as bringing him and Bam Bam Bigelow in as a tag team. Who knows? That’s the fun part of any diary – they’re all different.

And, being back in time and moving to the real world, I’m unable to rely on the Cornellverse tropes or modern WWE memes. It may be twenty-five years ago (twenty-five!), but this is now fresh territory.

And on that note...


WCW Saturday Night
Bobby Eaton vs. Ric Flair – non-title
Sting and Lex Luger vs. The Hardliners
Junkyard Dog vs. Black Blood
Robert Gibson and Dustin Rhodes vs. Thomas Rich and Terrence Taylor
The Patriots vs. The Freebirds – non-title
Brian Pillman vs. Jack Victory
Plus: The Danger Zone with Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, and the York Foundation will be in attendance!

Last edited by James Casey : 10-14-2017 at 05:41 PM.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 11:08 AM
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This might be a little more difficult for myself, rather than for others. Rather than spend my time focusing on who I think will win, I am going to put in my predictions for who I hope will win.

Bobby Eaton vs. Ric Flair – non-title
While I might be one of the biggest Ric Flair fans in fandom, a win for Beautiful Bobby would catapult him into the World title picture. He is one of the most underused and underrated wrestlers in the business.

Sting and Lex Luger vs. The Hardliners
One of the specific matches that I think I might actually be picking the right winner. LOL.

Junkyard Dog vs. Black Blood
Sorry, JYD, but I love the Black Blood character.

Robert Gibson and Dustin Rhodes vs. Thomas Rich and Terrence Taylor
It's the York Foundation! Need I say more?

The Patriots vs. The Freebirds – non-title
I never really got behind the WCW Patriots. But I do wonder just what will happen with them.

Brian Pillman vs. Jack Victory
Victory could possibly find some wins in the tag team ranks but not in a singles match and not against Brian Pillman.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:03 PM
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Bobby Eaton vs. Ric Flair – non-title
Sting and Lex Luger vs. The Hardliners
Junkyard Dog vs. Black Blood
Robert Gibson and Dustin Rhodes vs. Thomas Rich and Terrence Taylor
The Patriots vs. The Freebirds – non-title
Brian Pillman vs. Jack Victory

Last edited by KnowYourEnemy : 07-26-2016 at 04:59 PM.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 02:11 PM
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Bobby Eaton vs. Ric Flair – non-title
Sting and Lex Luger vs. The Hardliners
Junkyard Dog vs. Black Blood
Robert Gibson and Dustin Rhodes vs. Thomas Rich and Terrence Taylor
The Patriots vs. The Freebirds – non-title
Brian Pillman vs. Jack Victory
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Unread 07-26-2016, 05:46 PM
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Ric Flair - It'll take someone pretty huge for Flair to lose to them, while he has the book especially.
Sting and Luger - The top faces of the company won't be dropping many matches.
JYD - Though Jack Blood is way more interesting.
Gibson and Rhodes - Look at that second name right there. Yeah.
Freebirds - This match will suck.
Brian Pillman - Quick win for Flyin' Brian.
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Unread 07-27-2016, 03:05 AM
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World Championship Wrestling presents: Saturday Night
Saturday, Week 1, July 1991

Segment of the night – The Danger Zone, featuring Ric Flair and Arn Anderson

Dangerously: Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul E. Dangerously and I am the greatest manager in the history of WCW and professional wrestling. Currently, I am between clients – there are very few wrestlers worthy of my services, and my time is worth far too much money to waste it on the likes of a Tom Zenk or a Ron Simmons.

Dangerously: However, while I continue my review of available talent, I intend to use the Danger Zone to provide each and every one of you with insight the likes of which you will not get from the likes of Lance Russell and Gordon Solie. I will ask the tough questions, I will get the answers that I deserve, and because I am a wonderful human being, and because WCW are paying me, you can share in the benefits.

Dangerously: So please welcome tonight’s guests, the founding members of the Four Horsemen, Arn Anderson and the WCW World champion, Ric Flair!

The fans, already hostile from Paul E’s opening monologue, rained down boos on the Horsemen duo as they entered the ring.

Flair: Paul E, thank you for having us.

Dangerously: Always a pleasure to host the real World champion – and Mr Anderson, if I may say, you are looking in particularly good shape tonight.

Anderson: Thank you, Paul, and that’s because I have an announcement to make... later.

Dangerously: Well, I can’t wait, but let’s start at the beginning and the question on everyone’s lips: Are you scouting for new members of the Four Horsemen?

Flair: Hahaha, Paul, let me tell you something, the Horsemen are eternal – like diamonds and Ric Flair. When the time comes, the Four Horsemen will ride again... Will that be sooner, or will it be later? Believe me, you’ll know it when you see it. Whooo!

Dangerously: Whooo indeed. Can you give any indication of who on the current roster could be a potential candidate for Horsemen membership? Might you invite Barry Windham back into the fold?

Anderson stepped forward.

Anderson: Barry, Ric and I have a long history together. Right now, he’s doing his thing and we’re doing ours. So long as our paths don’t cross, we’re happy for him to have all the success in the world, but he knows how the Horsemen work – it’s all about gold, and if he tries to take away the World title from Ric, or stops me from scoring gold, then there’ll be problems between us. And the Horsemen only deal with problems in one way: Permanently.

Dangerously: Now, you’ve touched on something I wanted to ask you about – gold. Arn Anderson in WCW without gold around your waist... That just seems wrong, somehow. Could there be a challenge from you to one of our champions tonight?

Anderson: Paul, you want to be careful – you’re so sharp, you might cut yourself. But you’re right. Me and gold, we get on well together, so yeah, my announcement is this – Lex Luger, that United States title has been around your waist for a long time. Too long. Take a good look it, cherish your last few moments with it, because soon it’s going to be around my waist.

Dangerously: A big announcement indeed! I know I’d pay to see Luger against Anderson for the United States title – but I don’t have to! They pay me!

Flair: They may pay you, Paul, but they come for me, and for all the talk of the Nature Boy being on his way out – look where I am! In the centre of the ring, with the World title around my waist and my best friend in the world by my side. They keep lining up to take a shot at the Nature Boy, and I keep knocking them right back down! Sting, Lex Luger, El Gigante and tonight Bobby Eaton; Great wrestlers, all of them, but you are looking at el numero uno, the crème de la crème, the crowned king, the reigning World champion, the one, the only, Ric Flair! Whoooo!


WCW Hotline Show Notes
Jimmy Garvin was having too good a time partying to join the Freebirds for their scheduled six-man tag match against El Gigante and the Patriots – it didn’t stop Michael Hayes and Badstreet beating the Patriots, though, with a little bit of Freebird guile to thank!

Do you think Sting, Lex Luger or El Gigante will appreciate Ric Flair’s words? I don’t!

Could the York Foundation really have the edge over their opponents? It’s the 1990s, and it seems like computers are everywhere! Maybe Alexandra York is onto something – but you have to feel sorry for Robert Gibson. Ms. York, incidentally, predicted victory in under 9:21 – and Taylor and Rich got the job done in 8:31. Credit Alexandra York and her laptop for shaving 50 seconds off the time!

A great effort from Bobby Eaton in taking the fight to Ric Flair. Eaton’s making a strong case to be considered WCW’s breakout star of 1991. Better luck next time?

Larry Zbyszko had some interesting words for Barry Windham backstage – something about a possible alliance, if I heard correctly?
Show rating: C+

Next: The booking team meets...


OOC: Photobucket seems to be shrinking the show results - should be 1200 wide. Not sure how to change that...


Last edited by James Casey : 10-14-2017 at 05:46 PM.
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James Casey James Casey is offline
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I wanted to get this up fairly quick, as this is something I've not tried before, and which I'm excited about for this dynasty.

Here's how this is going to work. You guys are going to help run this game as part of the booking team. Certain decisions will be mine, but other times I'll just be one voice among - I hope - many.

At the end of each meeting of the booking team you'll be given a choice to make, and I'd like your input. The decisions may relate to match outcomes, signings, gimmicks... Whatever. But they'll all affect how the game plays out, to some degree.

Let me have your opinions by PM or here in the diary. Hopefully we'll get enough differing views to have some cool decisions getting made.

And given what Ric's been tasked to do by Ted Turner, I figured that we should start with quite a big one, and two choices for you to make.

*


The booking team on... the WCW World title



The big gold belt lay in the centre of the table. Dusty reached out and stroked it fondly. The others stared at it reverently.

Ric looked around the room, taking in the booking committee in its current form – Dusty Rhodes, Michael Hayes, Mike Graham and Jim Crockett stared back him. Ric’s own gaze shifted momentarily to the latest copy of the Wrestling Observer, which was covering the latest in the WWF steroid scandal.

Keep your game face on! You’re the boss, and they know it! They’re here for ideas only – they’re not going to tell the Nature Boy what to do!

“Gentlemen, we have a problem,” he began. “The WCW World title is currently around my waist, and that’s a situation that can’t be allowed to stand for much longer. We need a successor.”

“You’re, ah, giving this up, Ric?” Hayes asked, gesturing at the title belt.

“Never willingly, but all good things have to come to end – except for the Nature Boy, of course,” Ric replied, flashing a smile to try and lighten the mood. Dusty was a former champion, the others had been around it many times over the years, but each of them was affected just by being in its vicinity.

“Just to be clear, we’re only talking about the WCW title, is that right?” Crockett asked.

“Yes, the NWA does its own thing. If they agree with us about the champion, it’ll switch too, but I may end up being NWA champion and not WCW champion.”

“How do we play that on TV?” Hayes asked.

“If there’s a split, I could be working the territories again... What’s left of them.”

“So, why do you need our help, Ric?” Crockett asked.

“We need to choose someone to take the WCW title from me.”

Hayes raised his hand immediately.

“Yes?”

“Oh, I’m volunteering,” Hayes said. Ric and Dusty laughed, as Hayes grinned broadly.

“That wouldn’t resolve the conflict of interest,” Ric replied.

We could do worse. And better. But worse.

“I was looking over Herd’s notes for if I didn’t re-sign. He was going to put Lex against Barry at the Bash.”

Dusty shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

“We had to scramble, Ric,” he said. “Luger’s US champion, and Barry...”

“Barry’s a good hand,” Ric allowed. “But not in the running under normal circumstances right now.”

“So, Lex?” Crockett asked.

“Could be. He’s put in his time, but...” Ric paused. He looked around the others.

“Can we go with Lex in a few weeks?” he asked. “I’ve not been feuding with him, and just handing over the title out of the blue... There needs to be a chase, right?”

“Ric, you and Lex have been going at it for years. If anyone can take you down out of the blue without it seeming forced, it’s him.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Ric replied. “Any other ideas?”

“How about Sting?” Hayes asked. “The fans would love to have him on top again.”

Ric frowned.

“The title only came off Sting a few months ago. I’d rather he have a longer chase before giving it back to him.”

“When do you need to decide by?” Crockett asked.

“The Bash is soon. I know Mr Turner doesn’t want me holding the title for too much longer, and that’s the next pay-per-view.”

“Um,” Graham said. Everyone turned to look at him, and he flushed brightly. “That is, I mean...”

“Go ahead, Mike,” Ric said.

“You didn’t take the title off Sting on pay-per-view. It was a house show. That option is still there – or give people a shock and switch it on TV. It’d shake things up, and make people believe anything is possible.”

“The kid’s got a point, Naitch,” Hayes said. “Maybe there’s not time to build something for the Bash, so you throw out an open challenge. Have someone like Pillman or Eaton take it, and you squeak out the win, or even have it go to a draw. A close performance worked to put Sting over a couple of years back.”

“Good point,” Ric said. “It’s not a decision we need to make today, but I’d like to have some sort of clear idea for next time I speak to Mr Turner. I don’t think I can justify keeping it past Halloween Havoc, which is almost four months away.”

“What about Koloff?” Dusty asked.

“Koloff?” Ric replied, staring blankly at him.

“The boy’s got the look, he’s got the moves... He can’t talk all that good, but we’ve got lots of people who can talk, Ric. The Soviet Union’s already lost Lithuania, so Nikita can make a big deal about being independent, about being the first post-Communist star. Maybe we can put him with Paul E as his agent, or have Harley mentor him... I don’t know, just throwing something out there, Ric,” he said, a little defensively.

“It’s good, Dusty, I want ideas, I don’t care how out there they are – I need to hear from different voices. Koloff... I’ve never seen him as a long-term champion, but maybe I need to reconsider. God knows Dangerously could sell snow to Eskimos, so he could sell Koloff as a threat.”

He sat back thoughtfully in his chair.

“In fact, I’m open to ideas about anyone. We’ll come back to this, gentlemen, but now we need to move on to Sunday’s show...”
You decide! Ric Flair must drop the WCW World title. Will his successor be...
...the United States champion, Lex Luger?
...the man called Sting?
...the post-Soviet superstar Nikita Koloff
...an unexpected name?

And when will he lose the belt?
At the Great American Bash on 14th July
At the Clash of the Champions XVI: Summer Sizzler on 14th August
At Clash of the Champions XVII: Fall Brawl on 21st September
At Halloween Havoc on 28th October
On an episode of WCW Saturday Night

*

WCW Main Event
Brian Pillman vs. Barry Windham
The Italian Stallion vs. The Diamond Studd
El Gigante vs. Jimmy Garvin
The Patriots vs. The Hardliners
PN News vs. Mr Hughes
Tom Zenk vs. Pat Rose
Plus: WCW Television champion Steve Austin will be in action


Last edited by James Casey : 10-14-2017 at 05:49 PM.
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