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WCW A New Hope 1985

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Hit play and imagine the classic Star Wars scroll while reading this.


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A New Hope Arises


It was a dark time in professional wrestling. Wrestlemania was a huge success which meant the cartoon era was starting to sprout, and if it wasn't quashed soon, people would be doing invisible hand grenades and Darth McMahon would rule over things with an iron fist. What started as cries of anger and offense when the raids started have now settled into whimpers of despair as territories, which had ruled wrestling since before the NWA, are starting to crumble through talent drain and 1960's mindsets. Professional wrestling needed a savior. Someone who could harness all the good in pro wrestling and get rid of the bad. Cartoons are great for kids, but pro wrestling is great for everyone.


A lot of people pointed to Jim Crockett Jr. as that savior, but he succumbed to the dark side. He gave Darth McMahon that $1 million check that was used to fund a good portion of that fateful spectacle. Yes, he got JCP on TBS, but at what cost? The following months saw him fall into a depression. He lost hope in himself (or realized that Vince's team was way smarter at the non-wrestling stuff than he was) and reached the conclusion that he needed to get out now. Who could step up though? His family was all like him. The search for a savior was looking dire.


Why settle for only one savior when you can have two? Way back at the beginning of pro wrestling there was the Gold Dust Trio. You had the booker, the champ, and the enforcer, and it worked incredibly well. Hell, it can be traced all the way to Darth McMahon and his evil empire. The champ was already here in the greatest pro wrestler in the world today, Ric Flair. The only other visionary booker in the US today was here too, Dusty Rhodes. He was already making the wrestlers a ton of money so they wouldn't be mad. So, a plan was concocted in the Crockett mansion. Dusty and Ric would run the company, but they'd have to find some technical masters to improve the production.


The Plan


Dusty had a ton of ideas. Like notebooks full of ideas. The first step was to identify WWF's strengths and weaknesses. You have to know your enemy to defeat your enemy.


1. Hulk Hogan

2. Roddy Piper

3. Vince McMahon's brain

4. On USA Network almost every day of the week

5. No studio wrestling

6. Mainstream press and cache thanks to MTV and WM1


1&2 didn't matter because they had each other. 3 was going to be tough, but Dusty was going to try to make that even. 4 required a meeting with Ted Turner. Unfortunately, he didn't have space on the schedule at that time for another show, but he did agree to have a monthly event on Sunday nights to try and compete with Saturday Night's Main Event. It wasn't what they needed, but it was all they could get. 5's solution was simple. The days of cheap studio wrestling was over. They ran regular shows on Friday and Saturday anyway. It was Ric who suggested that they run them live since Vince didn't. 6 was just something they were going to have to build up to. They did hire a couple of people with experience in magazines.


That left just three pressing issues. There was a lot of dead weight on the roster and several wrestlers whose prime was a distant past. They needed new blood and to poach them from the territories before Vince did. This is where Ric's constant traveling as NWA World Champion came in handy. He had a list, and they talked to several others who were recent additions to the roster. The offers were sent, and other than one that turned them down for a booking slot, they got everyone. Oh, one of Dusty's suggestions was guaranteed contracts which wasn't a revolutionary idea but a rare thing that helped convince them. The dead weight was jobbed out a couple of times, given a nice goodbye gift, and pink-slipped. Some grumbling was voiced, but none of them were huge losses. Manny "I've got a terrible attitude" Fernandez and Superstar Billy "I've got a 29 selling score" Graham being the two you'd recognize


The second issue was what to do with David Crockett's spot on commentary. Tony had been brought in recently, but they had seen what WWF had done introducing a heelish commentator to the announce team. Honestly, everyone knew that David was only there because his brother was in charge. Bless his heart, he just wasn't all that good. They lucked out when they were doing their talent raids as one of the best voices out there wasn't on a written deal, and he was very amicable to working two nights a week instead of the hellish schedule WWF was doing. There was a ripple in the force the night that Darth McMahon found out.


The remaining issue was what to call the company. JCP made absolutely no sense with Crockett selling. NWA was hitching this to a fading star as if Vince didn't buy them out, they would have to in the next 5 years. It needed to sound big, on the level of the World Wrestling Federation. It finally hit them as they were laying out the cards for the month.


World Championship Wrestling--WCW

They had been using the name for their TBS show so the name was out there. It had world in it, and the abbreviation rolled off the tongue.

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<p><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Roster--After Halloween Havoc</span></strong></span></p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Main Eventers</span></strong></p><p>


Dusty Rhodes</p><p>

Jake Roberts</p><p>

Terry Funk</p><p> </p><p>


Arn Anderson</p><p>

Harley Race</p><p>

Krusher Khrushchev (aka Barry Darsow before Demolition Smash)</p><p>

Larry Zbyszko</p><p>

Ric Flair--Figurehead</p><p>

Ted DiBiase (playing his NWA tough-as-nails with that loaded black glove character; being rich as hell is Flair's character after all)</p><p>

Tully Blanchard</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Upper Midcarders</span></strong></p><p>


Koko Ware</p><p>

Magnum T.A.</p><p>

Ricky Morton</p><p>

Rick Martel</p><p>

Ron Garvin</p><p>

Wahoo McDaniel</p><p> </p><p>


Barry Windham</p><p>

Bobby Eaton</p><p>

Ivan & Nikita Koloff</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Midcarders</span></strong></p><p>


Brett Sawyer*</p><p>

Jerry Oates</p><p>

Jimmy Valiant</p><p>

Marty Jannetty</p><p>

Robert Gibson</p><p>

Sam Houston*</p><p>

Stan Lane</p><p>

Steve Keirn</p><p>

Terry Taylor</p><p> </p><p>


Curt Hennig</p><p>

Dennis Condrey</p><p>

Mike Rotundo (again no IRS)</p><p>

Ray Apollo (the 3rd Doink irl which isn't happening here)</p><p>

Ron Bass</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Lower Midcarders</span></strong></p><p>


Pat Tanaka*</p><p>

Shawn Michaels</p><p> </p><p>


Dean Malenko</p><p>

Mark Fleming</p><p>

Scott Hall</p><p>

Shane Douglas</p><p>

Tom Pritchard</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Opener</span></strong></p><p>

Denny Brown*</p><p>

George South</p><p>

La Parka</p><p>

Owen Hart</p><p>

The Thunderfoot (a big 6'7" ish guy who was a jobber for JCP)</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Enhancements</span></strong></p><p>

Al Snow</p><p>

Tim Horner*</p><p>

* Means people I only kept because they showed up on the Hot Prospect list pre-hiring binge</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Referee</span></strong></p><p>

Dave Hebner</p><p>

Earl Hebner</p><p>

Tommy Young</p><p> </p><p>

In Rehab</p><p>

Rick Rude 3 months 2 weeks</p><p>

Big Bubba Rogers 8 months 3 weeks (for personal reasons that Tsu had pre-set)</p><p> </p><p>

Franchise Players</p><p>

1. Ric Flair</p><p>

2. Harley Race</p><p>

3. Jake Roberts (this will make sense in a minute)</p><p>

4. Dusty Rhodes</p><p>

5. Ted DiBiase</p><p> </p><p>

Next Big Things</p><p>

1. Owen Hart</p><p>

2. Scott Hall</p><p>

3. Mike Rotundo</p><p>

4. La Parka</p><p>

Arn Anderson was on this list before jumping to ME</p><p> </p><p>

Hot Prospects</p><p>

1. Owen Hart</p><p>

2. Scott Hall</p><p>

3. Shawn Michaels</p><p>

4. La Parka</p><p>

5. Curt Hennig (you can join me in being slightly disappointed by this but it's likely he's just so good now is all)</p><p> </p><p>

Talk The Talk</p><p>

1. Ric Flair</p><p>

2. Dusty Rhodes</p><p>

3. Jake Roberts</p><p>

4. I'm not telling you yet</p><p>

5. Harley Race</p><p> </p><p>

Show Stoppers</p><p>

1. Ric Flair</p><p>

2. Ted DiBiase</p><p>

3. Jake Roberts</p><p>

4. Curt Hennig</p><p>

5. Koko Ware</p><p> </p><p>

Ring Generals</p><p>

1. Ric Flair</p><p>

2. Harley Race</p><p>

3. Ted DiBiase</p><p>

4. Curt Hennig</p><p>

5. Terry Funk</p><p> </p><p>

Time Decline</p><p>

<strong>BLANK BABY!!!</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Hidden Gems</p><p>

1. Savio Vega</p><p>

2. Jimmy Del Rey</p><p>

3. Norman Smiley</p><p>

4. Miguel Perez Jr.</p><p>

5. Tommy Rogers (of Fantastics fame)</p><p>

Sting and Ultimate Warrior have shown up on here too</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Tag Teams</span></strong></p><p>

Arn & Tully</p><p>

Midnight Express w/Jim Cornette--Dashing Dennis Condrey & Beautiful Bobby Eaton</p><p>

The Fabulous Ones--Stan Lane & Steve Keirn</p><p>

The Koloffs w/Paul Jones-Ivan & Nikita Koloff</p><p>

The New Blackjacks--Barry Windham & Ron Bass</p><p>

The Rock 'N Roll Express--Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson</p><p>

The Rockers--Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Managers</span></strong></p><p>

Baby Doll--Tully Blanchard and tons of teenage boys everywhere</p><p>

Jim Cornette--Midnight Express, Tom Pritchard, Shane Douglas</p><p>

JJ Dillon--Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Larry Z</p><p>

Paul Jones--The 3 Russians</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Announce Team</span></strong></p><p>

WCW WorldWide--Bob Caudle, Bobby Heenan, Johnny Weaver</p><p>

World Championship Wrestling--Bob Caudle, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone</p><p>

The odd man out is the interviewer.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Alliance Titles</span></strong></p><p>

NWA World Heavyweight</p><p>

Ric Flair 5-time champ Won in May 1985</p><p> </p><p>

NWA World Junior Heavyweight</p><p>

Denny Brown 2-time champ Won in Sept. 1985</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">WCW-Owned Titles</span></strong></p><p>

NWA National Heavyweight</p><p>

Curt Hennig Defeated Terry Taylor at Halloween Havoc '85</p><p> </p><p>

NWA United States Heavyweight</p><p>

Magnum T.A. 2-time champ Defeated Tully Blanchard at Halloween Havoc '85</p><p> </p><p>

NWA United States Tag Team</p><p>

Midnight Express Inaugural Champions</p><p> </p><p>

NWA World Six-Man Tag Team</p><p>

Jimmy Valiant, Rick Martel, & Koko Ware Defeated The Russians On WCW Week 3 Oct. 1985</p><p> </p><p>

NWA World Tag Team</p><p>

Rock 'N Roll Express Won in July 1985</p><p> </p><p>

NWA World Television</p><p>

Arn Anderson Defeated Dusty Rhodes at Halloween Havoc '85 (Thus the pop gain/losses)</p>

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<p>Disclaimer: This is using TsuMirren's amazing 1985 mod that starts in October. It's 1.1b not the 1.2 he's recently released because I got tired of running the same 8 shows as this is my 4th run since the 1.0 release. I've made a few changes based on that experience. WWF's 2 A shows are both 2 hours long to prevent the women's match from being the 2nd-best match killing their ratings. I've also gone through and removed almost every pre-set decline & retirement ages. Magnum isn't hitting a tree, etc (watch a Kenny death get him now <img alt=":(" data-src="//content.invisioncic.com/g322608/emoticons/frown.png.e6b571745a30fe6a6f2e918994141a47.png" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /> ). Please note that a lot of the Mod Squad mods have a ton of them pre-set (another reason I haven't downloaded 1.2 as it's about an hour to switch them all to random). This means I'm missing a small fed and several changes to ratings and pop he made though I did fix most of the face/heel settings for WWF. </p><p> </p><p>

I did boost WCW's Mid Atlantic pop up to match their South East pop instead of flipping them as 1.2 does, but it honestly doesn't matter as I'm making a ton of money so that extra 4 or 6 points is irrelevant. Both WCW shows are 2-hour A shows, and I'm doing a lot of tag teams, thus the 48-man roster. Plus, a few of the old guys are likely to hit time decline soon along with 7 or 8 guys going down to developmental as soon as one of the territories go broke. I signed all the guys with specific plans (well Oates is a jobber which is a plan of sorts) so I'm not just hiring everyone under the sun. The aforementioned one person I missed on was Kevin Sullivan as he took the Mid-South booking job. He was going to run a group with Rotundo and Apollo and feud for the 6-man tag titles. That's fouled that up a little.</p><p> </p><p>

Oh, and we're doing this monthly recap-style with pretty much no pictures. It's easier for me to do, and I find it is pretty easy for you to enjoy. The big monthly event will get the regular full write-up, well after Halloween Havoc as the first month is basically getting everything set up with all the new guys.</p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:14px;">The storylines</span></span></strong></p></div><p></p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Formation of the Four Horsemen</span></strong></p><p>

Obviously, this is the main feud in WCW. It had already been building up, but a swerve was thrown into the mix when Ole Anderson was the only one on the roster that revolted to the new arrangement walking out (fine, he's a jerk and I can't stand him though he got the book with Texas All-Star in my first game so I've just fired him straight away since). That was the biggest booking obstacle they faced. Who would fit as the 4th member? The other 3 members hung out with several of the new hires to see who would be fun to hang out with all the time. Several just didn't work out, but there was one man who would guarantee that they'd be booed by everyone...</p><p> </p><p>

On the face side, Dusty needed someone to challenge Ric for the World Title so he reached out to Terry Funk as the history between those two would carry the very short build-up. Ric ran his mouth for the first two weeks saying there wasn't anyone in the company who could hang with him. Dusty came out and said that he'd found someone who was chomping at the bit to return to the NWA and beat you down, and he'd be here next week. Flair got the shock of his life when Funk came out and brawled all over the ringside area. Arn and Tully carried on their respective feuds with Dusty (for the TV title) and Magnum T.A. (US title). A 6-man match was made for the following night that blew the roof off of the building and ran out of time. The last week was full of taunting and video packages selling the history of the feuds.</p><p> </p><p>

At Halloween Havoc, Dusty vs Arn went on in the middle of the show for a very specific reason. As the match progressed, Tully, Baby Doll, and Ric made their way down to ringside with JJ Dillon already there. Baby Doll and Dillon took turns distracting the ref giving Tully and Ric chances to get shots in on Dusty. Dusty finally got his comeback on the guys outside which was when Larry Z struck with a chair shot that busted Dusty open. He'd snuck down to the entryway by ringside, and when Dusty tossed Tully over the guardrail, that is when he struck. Ric and Arn rolled Dusty back into the ring for the upset. The beat down continued until Magnum T.A. and Jake Roberts came out to run them off, but Dusty looked bad.</p><p> </p><p>

Jake Roberts came out with Magnum T.A. for his match later in the night, and much to Tully's consternation, Earl Hebner let him stay. Magnum also cut a blistering promo dedicating the match to his friend Dusty. With no help coming, it was a straight-up fight, and we got the fans back happy with the mild upset as Magnum won the US Title as Magnum wrestled like a man possessed.</p><p> </p><p>

The main event in the steel cage for the World Title was the time old story between the brawler vs the technician. Flair wore Funk down after the blistering opening, and it wasn't helped by a brass knuckles shot from JJ Dillon (these are the old cages with the bigger holes in them). Funk passed out from the pain of the figure four so the champ retained.</p><p>

This storyline is only going to get hotter heading into Starrcade.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Tag Team Title scene</span></strong></p><p>

The world titles were a continuation of the feud between The Russians challenging The Rock 'N Roll Express. Lots of menacing stuff by the heels. Ricky and Robert did distract them into losing the 6-man titles which they had won from two guys that were fired and Sam Houston. The big story was Ricky and Robert announcing that Jake Roberts would be in their corner for the title match to help balance the 4-on-2 disparity. He again did his job neutralizing Paul Jones' shenanigans and brawling with Krusher at ringside when he tried to intervene. When that all failed, Nikita used the chain to knock Ricky Morton out for the DQ.</p><p> </p><p>

The United States Tag Titles were debuted because if you can't keep booking RnR vs Midnights every month for eternity, you just give them both titles. The feud kicked off when Jim Cornette said that they should just be handed those pretty title belts or anyone from anywhere in the US of A could come on down and challenge them for the belts. Their challenge was answered by the 4th best tag team on the planet today, The Fabulous Ones (I'm insulting either the Freebirds or Road Warriors take your pick for 3rd). After being told to go back to Beale Street, they proceeded to chase the heels out of the ring running for their lives much to the ring rats' delight. Cornette did most of the work gaining the heat for the feud. He also was the deciding factor in the title match. Well, his famed tennis racquet was as he nailed Steve Keirn with it as Beautiful Bobby got the pin in the great opening match of Halloween Havoc.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Legends Feud</span></strong></p><p>

You had two living legends that are nearing the finish line of their careers in Wahoo McDaniel and Harley Race. Ron Garvin is getting there too. The entire point of this feud is to build up the 4th member, Ted DiBiase. The whole focus was on which two guys were the tougher team as they were all known for either hands of stone, a loaded black glove, and two of the legit tough guys in the sport. The black glove won out on the final WCW when Ted hit Ron Garvin knocking the man out. That set up an all-out wild brawl as the four men beat the hell out of each other for 12 minutes before a Race headbutt finished it off on Garvin again.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">The National Title Feud</span></strong></p><p>

Terry Taylor held the belt at the start of the month, and I have high hopes for him. However, the talent influx left him woefully behind. This title is going to be Curt Hennig's for a while. He carried the interview part, but he was still the cowardly heel as he brought his AWA buddy Scott Hall with him. The big man helped him out in a couple of fights and interfered in the title match to ensure Curt's victory.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Rockers vs The New Blackjacks</span></strong></p><p>

This was basically to get them established with the fans and build towards getting them into the title hunts. One side is very anti-pretty boy, and they've made it known that they're going to beat all of them ugly. The other side is quite happy with the ring rats and some pretty darn good tag team wrestling.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:14px;">Monthly Recap</span></span></strong></p><p> </p><p>

Made a $520,000 profit</p><p> </p><p>

Pop in the US is </p><p>

GL-61 MA-75 MS-57 MW-34 NE-29 NW-34 SE-75 SW-34 TS-32</p><p>

I gained 6 in Great Lakes and 7 in Mid South where both shows air. 3 in Mid Atlantic and South East, and 4 in the other regions with the exception of 6 in Tri-State which must be from spillover.</p><p> </p><p>

The US is at 83 economy and 90 wrestling and both are rising giving me that sweet, sweet 0.9 per show pop gain in most regions. Sadly, Mid South was the only region I could add to WorldWide. PPV is a work-in-progress as there is only one option, but they won't give me a good timeslot yet. As long as I don't need the money, I'll just stick with the kayfabe Turner gave us that timeslot every month. Even though WWF still runs SNME on PPV.</p><p> </p><p>

<strong><span style="text-decoration:underline;">News and Notes</span></strong></p><p>

AWA has hit Cult. Their first two big signings are Adrian Adonis and Dino Bravo. I'm terrified. <img alt=":p" data-src="//content.invisioncic.com/g322608/emoticons/tongue.png.ceb643b2956793497cef30b0e944be28.png" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> </p><p>

WWF's big event Saturday Night's Main Event was a financial success as 40,000 people attended to see Hogan pin the Anvil in a 93 rated main event. Tito retained the Intercontinental title against The Spoiler. Bold move by Darth McMahon to not have Piper, Steamboat, Orndorff, and Savage wrestle though Piper's Pit had Steamboat on it. It got a 79 rating which was well below what Havoc got. They barely had any pop gain for the month either. In a panic move, he had Hogan lose to Bob Orton Jr. via DQ at the most recent Prime Time Wrestling.</p><p> </p><p>

WCCW isn't close to hitting Cult. The Central States is looking to be the first territory to die off as they're barely in the black after a month and a week. Not sure if that's where I want the developmental territory. Definitely no talent there I want to poach.</p><p> </p><p>

Oh, and yes, I poached Bobby Heenan. I literally had no other option. He's the only one with a Color rating above 80 that isn't an active wrestler or on a written deal somewhere. Cornette was close, but that would have made even less sense. David was hampering almost every important angle and match and Weaver is set to an announcer-only contract so I couldn't use his mid-60's color. Sorry if that offends you. I hope everyone will take the time to enjoy this. I'm shooting for updates once a week then the monthly event.</p>

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