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WCW: The Doctor is In

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<p><strong>Sunday, Week 4, December 1997</strong></p><p> </p><p> It has all come down to this. </p><p> </p><p> The past two years have easily been the best in the young history of WCW, World Championship Wrestling. Long thought of as only a pet project for Ted Turner, that all changed when a bright man by the name of Eric Bischoff came in and scooped up Hogan from Vince McMahon and the WWF. Things really got rolling the moment Kevin Nash and Scott Hall came on board and the New World Order were born. Since then, WCW has been unstoppable and we've all but assured our place as the number one wrestling promotion in the world. This year has been exceedingly profitable for the company and we're looking to expand even further in the coming year.</p><p> </p><p> But changes must be made if we want to stay on top. The past year I've received countless emails from disgruntled wrestlers about the backstage environment in the company. Toxic isn't a strong enough word to describe it. Drug abuse, constant drinking, fighting and one man at the center who is letting it all fly. Bischoff has a smart mind, but he needs someone to keep him in line. I've wanted to be that man ever since Turner gave me an executive position. The problem is Ted isn't going to worry about the complaints of "small-fry" talent when the company is making us money hand over fist. It was the one thing that kept me from getting more involved with the company and helping steer it forward, until now that is.</p><p> </p><p> After months of having to sort through complaints from acts below the main event scene, I finally had a big star coming to me with a complaint. A star big enough for Ted to take notice and they were not kind with their words. Multiple incidents of people wrestling wasted and drunk, constant disrespect from the main eventers to those below them and repeated instances of these concerns being dismissed by Bischoff. It was exactly what Turner needed to hear to give me the more hands-on control I wanted.</p><p> </p><p> So, I made the drive down to DC for WCW's biggest show ever, Starrcade 97. It was going to be a big night both on screen and behind the scenes. Eric seems to already have some idea what might be coming judging by his hushed tone when we set up our afternoon meeting.</p><p> </p><p> </p><div style="text-align:center;"><img alt="nLHuQfo.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/nLHuQfo.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><p> <strong>He doesn't know the half of it. Doc Schiller is here to sort out WCW whether Eric likes it or not!</strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="48500" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>I arrived at the MCI Center and briefly watched the crew set-up the stage for the show. It looked immaculate and really put into perspective how far this company had come. This year's Starrcade seemed on track to have attendance almost double that of last year's. I made my way backstage to Eric's office. It only took a single knock before he ushered me inside.<p> </p><p> "Doctor Schiller, I'm glad you came by. It's going to be a big night." Eric said as he sat across from me, I could tell he meant it. </p><p> </p><p> "You're right about that, Eric. Also, please call me Harvey in the future. It will really help the talent if they know we're on a first name basis."</p><p> </p><p> It took a moment before what I said fully processed in Eric's head. "You're going to be sticking around then?"</p><p> </p><p> I gave a curt nod and continued, "I'm not going to mince words here, Eric. Turner's tasked me with handling the talent going forward. That means contract negotiations, disputes between performers, all of it. I know you think this is sudden, but it has been brewing for some time. Some of the complaints I've heard have been staggering and to be honest, the only reason you're still here is because Ted and I know how much you've helped this company. Now it's time for us to help you."</p><p> </p><p> "Complaints?" Eric muttered, his tone quickly changing from polite to defensive. "I swear if this has to do with Flair! He has been nothing but trouble for years now, just let the guy go." </p><p> </p><p> "The complaints are from a lot of folks, a lot of people have become fed up with the atmosphere backstage. We're in a very good spot right now, Eric. I just want to help keep it that way." Bischoff let out a long sigh, but I continued on before he could speak again. "This is a business and it needs to be run like one. We can't have constant fighting and substance abuse going on here."</p><p> </p><p> There was a long pause before Eric finally spoke up again. "So, I'm still creatively the head of this. What about Thunder? Are we still going to have to fill another two hours at the start of the year?"</p><p> </p><p> "Thunder is still going ahead, there is nothing to be done on that front the folks at TBS want it. That said, they did agree to bump Saturday Night down to an hour and Nitro will not be adding a third hour for as long as I have a say in the matter." </p><p> </p><p> Eric seemed a bit taken aback by this news, a slight grin stretching across his face. "You know, Harvey. I think I can make do with that. I want you to know this isn't going to be easy, for either of us. I have a lot of guys who are used to dealing with me. They're not all going to play nice."</p><p> </p><p> "They'll learn to adjust. Things are moving up for all of us." I offered my hand to Eric and he took it without hesitation. I'd dealt with him enough to know he wasn't going to take this lying down and he knew enough to know that my other Turner commitments would keep me from showing up on the road often. I needed someone to help keep order and make sure Eric wasn't going to go back to his old habits and I had just the guy in mind. "One last thing before I go, I have a new member I want to add to the creative team."</p><p> </p></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> </p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong><span style="font-size:24px;">WCW: The Doctor is In</span></strong></p><p><strong> </strong><strong><span style="font-size:12px;">Next Time: Starrcade 97: It's Showtime!</span></strong></p></div><p></p><p></p>
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Starrcade 97



Sunday, Week 4 December, 1997


24,000 fans in attendance at a sold out MCI Center in Washington DC.


Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan


We open with a killer promo video for Sting vs Hogan and hyping up the showdown to come in the main event. We then get shots on the jam-packed arena as our announce team hypes up the event and the numerous WCW vs NWO matches on the card tonight. (90)


WCW Cruiserweight Title: Eddie Guerrero © vs Dean Malenko

We start the evening with Cruiserweight action as Guerrero takes on a stalwart in the division in Malenko. The match was the typical excellence we've come to expect from the division as Guerrero's fast paced offense collided with Malenko's more mat-based style. It was a perfect clash of styles that saw both men gain the upper hand at various points in the contest. Malenko looked to finish it by putting Eddie in the Texas Cloverleaf but the, ever crafty, Guerrero was able to roll Malenko up for the three count and retain his title at 14:22. (73)


Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth are backstage with Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton and Vincent. In a few short minutes they will battle Ted Dibiase's WCW squad and Savage is less than impressed with team he's put together. "You got your Steiners out there waiting for a shot at the Macho Man, well you won't be getting it tonight boys. The New World Order is unbeatable and so am I brothers. Ray Traylor? He couldn't cut the muster with us and now he thinks he can stand on his own? He'll learn, just like everyone else tonight. We are for life, DIG IT!" (87)


nWo (Randy Savage, Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton) w/ Miss Elizabeth & Vincent vs Ray Traylor & The Steiner Brothers w/ Ted DiBiase

With only 12 minutes to get their spots in this quickly becomes a "play the hits" match. Traylor and Rick get their licks in but this is mainly Scott's chance to shine. He manhandles Buff and even manages to life Norton up for a few suplexes. Things change once Savage comes in however as the crowd goes nuts for the showdown between these two. Savage takes control early but it isn't long before Scott is getting the better of him too. Savage bails only coming back in to take advantage of interference from Vincent. Eventually, The Steiners fight back from the numbers game and Scott is able to put Norton away with a slightly neutered looking Frankensteiner in 11:32. The selling wasn't great but what do you expect from Norton and the Steiners. (83)


Goldberg vs Steve McMichael

Goldberg has been extremely impressive since making his debut a few months back and this was a chance for him to look dominate against an established star. Nobody will claim Mongo is a great worker but he did an admirable job here of making Goldberg look absolutely unstoppable. Mongo has to resort to a rake of the eyes just to get some offense in, but even that wouldn't last long before the former NFL star ate a Spear at 7:09. (51)


We cut to black and white as the original nWo trio of Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall hang out and talk trash on their opponents tonight. "Sting wants to hang in the rafter and cheap shot me, brother? Well, there won't be any cheap shots tonight. Sting, it is just you, me and the entire nWo and I think you can tell how that one is gonna go, dudes."

"Hey yo, Luger and Giant," Hall chimes in, "you guys think you're a real team, huh? You think you can really hang with the Outsiders? You'll learn tonight that we don't win by playing fair, we win by being smarter."

"Tough man Lex still thinks he can take out the New World Order," Nash adds, "and poor doofus Giant thinks he can lift me up for that chokeslam. Face the facts, the only reason you two are teaming up is because you couldn't get it done against Hollywood. You won't get it done tonight either because the nWo...is for for for life!" (100)


We head back to the ring as Larry Zbyszko makes his way down for his match with Eric Bischoff. We wait for over a minute before Eric finally makes appears on the ramp, accompanied by Konnan, in street clothes. "Oh Larry, you sweet imbecile. I know you were looking forward to getting your hands on me but you should really take a better look at a contract before you sign it." Eric smiles before pulling out a copy of the contract and reading from it. "In the event that Mr. Bischoff is unable to compete a competitor of his choosing may compete in his place." The crowd boos as he continues. "Now you might have noticed I'm not looking too hot tonight, looks like I've come down with the flu. I'm in no shape to wrestle, it wouldn't be fair to the fans." Eric continues mugging before revealing he has someone ready to face Larry. "The guy I found is someone you already know, he's someone who hates WCW just as much as we do and was more than happy to come here tonight to kick your ass."



Mr Wallstreet comes out to a middling reaction from the crowd, they were clearly expecting someone bigger but that's fine because bigger things are coming during the match. (67)


Larry Zbyszko vs Mr. Wallstreet w/ Eric Bischoff & Konnan

While this match was far from the most entertaining encounter of the night it was far better than the initial plan of having Eric actually wrestle. Commentary made a note of Konnan not being chosen by Bischoff to replace him in this match. Nevertheless, the duo made sure to ruin any foothold Zbyszko got over Wallstreet. Eventually, Larry went out to confront Bischoff only to be blindsided by Konnan as Wallstreet kept the ref busy. It seemed like the nWo were going to get their first win of the night when all of a sudden...



The Hitman is here! Bret makes his down to the ring and Bischoff seems under the impression that he is coming to help. The grin on his face quickly turns to terror as Hart immediately lays out Konnan and points finger at Bischoff. As Hart shouts at Eric, Wallstreet goes to intervene only to run right into Zbyszko who knocks him on his ass and rolls him back into the ring. Hart decks Bischoff as Zbyszko puts on the Guillotine Chokehold on Wallstreet winning the match in 10:10. (55)


Post-match, the crowd roars as Hitman rolls Bischoff into the ring and gestures for Larry to have a go at him. Konnan attempts to break it up only to be decked again and placed into the Sharpshooter to a huge reaction from the crowd. Bischoff gets to his feet just in time to eat a Shoulderbreaker from Zbyszko, which he sold like a champ. Larry goes to thank Bret but the Hitman has already made his way up the ramp, leaving us all to wonder what exactly his plans are in WCW. (88)


Raven and his Flock are out next as Raven grabs a mic and sits in one of the ring corners, his group of misfits surrounding the ring. "Throughout our life we are told that any obstacle we encounter can be overcome by a combination of strength and perseverance. I was never someone who was lucky enough to possess those strengths. Now, Chris Benoit? He believes himself to have a wealth of both. I admire that, so much so that I'm willing to give him a rare opportunity. Defeat three of my Flock tonight and you can get the match you crave. All you have to do is come out to accept." Benoit wastes no time coming to the ring as Raven exits and instructs Kidman to enter. (71)


Gauntlet Match: Chris Benoit vs Kidman

Raven and the rest of his flock head into the crowd to watch this battle. Benoit is clearly the more experienced of the two and while he mostly controls this match Kidman manages to get a few licks in thanks to his fast offense. Chris rallies and locks Kidman into the Crippler Crossface to finish this in 6:53. Raven shakes his head and instructs Hammer to head to the ring. (69)


Gauntlet Match: Chris Benoit vs Hammer

Hammer is less flashy but is able to take advantage of the power difference and gain an early upper hand against Benoit. Benoit manages to turn it around when he surprises Hammer with a suplex and it isn't long before he too is tapping to the Crossface in 4:50. Raven looks visibly upset at how quick that went before tapping the shoulder of Saturn and sending him out last.(64)


Gauntlet Match: Chris Benoit vs Saturn

Saturn is looking for revenge after Benoit cost him the TV title and quickly gains the advantage after avoiding a suplex attempt. Saturn works hard on the knees and uses his surprising speed to further wear out the winded Benoit. Chris would not be deterred however as he reversed a Death Valley Driver and managed to battle back. Benoit is able to land the Wild Peagus Bomb to a shocked murmur to the crowd for the power on display and win in 10:10. This was the standout match of the gauntlet as expected. (79)


Post match, Raven stands up and claps as Benoit beckons him to the ring. Raven smirks as the rest of his Flock storm the ring and begin to beat down the Crippler. Lodi, Reese and Riggs take him down after some effort as Raven comes in and lands an Evenflow DDT, posing over his new victim. (74)


The Outsiders vs The Giant & Lex Luger

These two teams are no strangers to one another, Nash and Hall are out to secure another shot at the Tag Team titles and prove they are the greatest team in WCW. The main story of this bout was Nash avoiding The Giant at all costs possible, immediately tagging out whenever the big man entered. Late in the match, Luger gets Hall up into the Torture Rack to a huge reaction before Nash comes in and breaks it up. The Giant comes in and goes for the Chokeslam only to eat a Big Boot, sending him out of the ring. Nash and Hall take advantage and double team on Luger. Eventually, Hall takes a Back Body Drop to the floor when attempting to keep The Giant off the apron and the big man gets the hot tag from Luger. Nash puts up a valiant fight, lasting longer than expected and almost managing to get The Giant up for the Jackknife before succumbing to a Chokeslam in 15:40. (83)


WCW United States Title: Curt Hennig © w/ Rick Rude vs Diamond Dallas Page w/ Kimberly Page


This wound up being the longest match on the card which was a problem with the lack of psychology on display. That said, these two guys still had a great bout. Hennig started the contest by out wrestling Page and keeping him on the defensive with his superior technical ability. When that didn't prove enough to keep DDP down Rude also got involved distracting Dallas by threatening to go after his wife. Hennig hoped to capitalize with a roll up but it didn't succeed and an infuriated Dallas retaliated with a huge Lariat. Hennig battled back and looked to win the match with a Hennig-Plex before DDP countered into the Diamond Cutter for the win in 17:56 (81)


As we prepared for the main event the commentary teams noted that several wrestlers were in the crowd eagerly preparing to watch this match. Harlem Heat with Jacqueline Moore, Rey Mysterio and WCW TV Champion Disco Inferno were all shown and looked to be rooting for Sting tonight. (63)


WCW World Heavyweight Title: Hollywood Hogan © vs Sting


Hogan came out to the ring solo, with all of his nWo teammates busy he had been forced into going it alone but the Hulkster still seemed confident. Sting's music hit but there was no sign of him on the ramp. Instead the Man Known as Sting rappelled down from the rafters behind Hollywood, prompting him to exit the ring in fright. One last mind game before the match! It is hard to say if any match could live up to the hype but things started slow for this anticipated clash. Hogan stalled for the early portion and when Sting finally forces him into the ring Hogan took advantage and poked him in the eyes. The advantage didn't last as Sting become incensed and laid into the nWo leader. Sting hit a Stinger Splash in the corner and looked to lock in the Scorpion Deathlock but was pushed into the ref by Hogan. With the ref down, Vincent and Buff Bagwell made their way to the ring. Sting was prepared though knocking Vincent off the apron and catching Buff with a Scorpion Death Drop. Hogan, meanwhile, grabbed Sting's bat and hit him with it! Sting looked out of it, the crowd boos as the ref comes to for 1...2...NO! Sting kicked out and Hogan couldn't believe it. Hogan attempted to get the jump on Sting before he can recover but it is no use. Sting pointed at the Hulkster and then nailed him with the Scorpion Death Drop for the win in 14:04. (91)


Sting celebrated with the championship as Hogan rolled out of the ring, dejected. The new champion doesn't get long to celebrate before the rest of the nWo made their way out. Nash, Hall, Hennig, Savage, Norton and Konnan join Vincent and Buff as they all look to take out Sting. But what's this!? Harlem Heat, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Disco Inferno all jumped the guardrail. The numbers game still favored the nWo until...



WOOOOO!!! Ric Flair made his way out to a huge ovation along with Lex Luger, The Giant, The Steiners, Ray Traylor and DDP. It's WCW vs nWo in a wild brawl to close the show as WCW gained the upper hand sending the nWo scurrying up the ramp with a dazed Hogan being led up the ramp by Hall and Nash. Hogan spied something before the cameras do and starts shouting. It's Sting, no longer in the ring but in the crowd as he holds the championship over his head and stared down Hogan. (94)


Overall Grade: 90

<hr noshade size=3>

And there we have the start of this diary, things went a bit differently than the original Starrcade. Since this was a big event I decided to get more detailed with it but I'll probably be a bit shorter in my future posts. Next post will be the fallout from Starrcade and a roster overview as we head into 1998 and the launch of Thunder!

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Eric: I gotta say Doc, LOVED the show you put on. I think it was a perfect example of what WCW could be and should be going forward. Hell, if I do say so myself, I think that even Mr. Turner would be proud of what you've done tonight.


Doc: Oh blow it out your ass Eric.

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Starrcade 97 Fallout


"Listen brother, I'm gonna tell you guys the same thing I told Eric. I don't think Sting is ready for the belt, dude. He isn't tan, he's thin as a rail, he just isn't gonna cut it in the long run."


It was an hour before showtime when Eric interrupted my conversation to tell me about Hogan's current refusal to lose to Sting. He was clearly worried but I could tell that he also relished this opportunity to see if I could handle our biggest, and most temperamental, star. I ushered our new member of the creative team to follow me, this would be a good experience to establish my authority as well as his. 


Hearing Hogan spew his BS made my blood boil, Eric continued to claim that he had a point but I wasn't going to let him ruin this night. "Hulk listen, you've gotta trust us on this one. We've been building this up for over a year, people want to see Sting win here." I could tell Hogan wasn't buying it so I continued, "Listen, we'll keep you strong and build you back up after tonight. You'll look just as good coming out of this, I promise."


Hogan paused for what felt like an eternity. "Doc, your promises don't mean jack to me, dude. I don't really know you. I don't need 'built up' either, brother, I'm the biggest guy in the company. I just don't think I should be losing to someone who clearly isn't on my level."


"We have to figure this out, we've been working hard on this. What if we give you a rematch on Thunder, it's the first show it will be historic!"


Hogan peeped up, "Am I going to go over?"


"Well...uh..." As I attempted to find the right way to word my response my new recruit spoke up.



"We can discuss that on Tuesday." 


Hogan seemed to finally notice there was another person in the room and smiled ear to ear. "JJ?! What are you doing here, dude? I knew you were with the company again, but you're part of the team, huh?"


"I am, and listen this isn't personal, Eric is still in charge here. We're going to make sure you look good." J.J. Dillon spoke with calm and assurance, this was clearly not his first time dealing with Hogan and I was even more grateful for bringing him into my fold. "And hey, if it's alright with Doc here, we'll look into bringing Knobbs back. He's had a rough go of things since Saggs retired." 


"Brian? Yeah, I'd love to have him back in the fold." Hogan went quiet again as he mulled things over. "Listen I'll take the loss tonight, but I need one more thing from you guys."


JJ and I both gulped when we heard his final demand.


I thanked JJ and informed Eric that Hogan would be doing the finish as planned. Eric told me he was ecstatic, but I could tell he was fuming. J.J. also made an instant splash as a member of the creative team, pitching the show closing angle that went over really well. It was baffling to think that Ric Flair was almost left off the Starrcade card before we penciled that in. Either way, J.J. Dillon was the most sensible choice as my guy to keep an eye on Eric for me. He was a businessman first, just like me and he had spent almost 8 years over at the competition, which could be very useful in the future. Now I just needed to make a mental note to contact Brian Knobbs in the morning.


I also made sure to thank Mr. Wallstreet himself, Mike Rotunda, for coming out. He was here for just tonight before heading back to New Japan, where he has been working full time. As for his opponent, Larry Zbyszko was more than happy to be told he'd be going back to commentary. 


The show itself was a rousing success. Afterward, I called a locker room meeting where I informed everyone of the changes coming to the company and openly praised Sting, Hogan and DDP for their performances that night. Most of the wrestlers and staff seemed to enjoy hearing there was someone attempting to fix the atmosphere around here. Although, Nash and Hall had already left before I finished speaking and I think I spotted Buff rolling his eyes. I'll have to keep an eye on those guys.


WCW Champions


WCW World Heavyweight Champion:


Sting (#3)


Won from "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan at Starrcade on Week 4, December 1997


WCW United States Heavyweight Champion:


Diamond Dallas Page 


Won from Curt Hennig at Starrcade on Week 4, December 1997


WCW World Tag Team Champions


The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) (#6)


Won from The Outsiders at Nitro on Week 2, October 1997


WCW World Television Champion:


Disco Inferno (#2)


Won from Perry Saturn at Nitro on Week 4, December 1997


WCW Cruiserweight Champion:


Eddie Guerrero (#2)


Won from Rey Mysterio Jr. at Nitro on Week 2, November 1997



Roster Breakdown

(Faces in Black, Heels in Red)


Main Event:


Bret Hart

Diamond Dallas Page

Lex Luger

Ric Flair

Roddy Piper


The Giant


"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan

Kevin Nash

Randy Savage

Scott Hall


Upper Midcard:


Booker T

Chris Benoit

Davey Boy Smith

Ray Traylor

Rick Steiner

Scott Steiner

Stevie Ray


Buff Bagwell

Curt Hennig

Eddie Guerrero







Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Chris Jericho

Dean Malenko

Disco Inferno


Hugh Morrus

Jim Duggan

Rey Mysterio Jr.

Rick Martel

Steve "Mongo" McMichael


Alex Wright

Juventud Guerrera



Scott Norton

"Lord" Steven Regal

The Barbarian



Lower Midcard:


Ernest Miller


Johnny Grunge

Rocco Rock

Ultimo Dragon


Fit Finlay






Lanny Poffo

Lenny Lane

Prince Iaukea


La Parka



Sick Boy


Enhancement Talent:


Evan Karagias



Occasional Wrestlers:


Barry Darsow

Brad Armstrong

Dave Taylor

Ice Train

John Nord




Mike Tenay

Tony Schiavone


Color Commentators:


Larry Zbyszko


Bobby Heenan



Billy Silverman

Charles Robinson

Nick Patrick

Randy Anderson

Teddy Long


Road Agents:


Bobby Eaton

Dusty Rhodes

Harley Race

Kevin Sullivan

Paul Orndorff

Terry Taylor




Arn Anderson

Gene Okerlund

J.J. Dillon

Ted Turner


Eric Bischoff



Jacqueline Moore (Booker T and Stevie Ray)

Jim Neidhart (Davey Boy Smith)

Kimberly Page (Diamond Dallas Page)


Debra McMichael (None...?)

Elizabeth (Randy Savage)

James Vandenberg (Mortis and Wrath)

Jimmy Hart (The Barbarian and Meng)

Rick Rude (Curt Hennig)

Sonny Onoo (Alex Wright)

Vincent (Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton)


Tag Teams:


Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko

Ernest Miller & Glacier

Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray)

Lex Luger & The Giant

The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock)

The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner)


Faces of Fear (Meng & The Barbarian)

Mortis & Wrath

The Blue Bloods (Dave Taylor & "Lord" Steven Regal)

The Outsiders (Kevin Nash & Scott Hall)

Vicious and Delicious (Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton)




New World Order (Buff Bagwell, Curt Hennig, Eric Bischoff, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Konnan, Randy Savage, Rick Rude, Scott Hall, Scott Norton, Vincent)

The Flock (Hammer, Kidman, Lodi, Raven, Riggs, Saturn, Sick Boy)


Out of Action:


Brian Adams (Legal Reasons)

Chris Adams (Rehab)

Louie Spicolli (Rehab)

Syxx (Neck Nerve Damage)

The Booty Man (Uncommon Cold)



WCW Monday Nitro

Monday Week 1, January 1998


Ric Flair vs Curt Hennig


Randy Savage vs Ray Traylor


WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers © vs Vicious & Delicious


Rey Mysterio vs Juventud Guerrera


WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs "Lord" Steven Regal


Alex Wright vs Mystery Opponent


Plus: Bret Hart makes his Nirto debut and NEW WCW Champion Sting is expected to appear.


Who will be Wright's opponent? (It is someone currently listed on the active roster): 


Will Sting speak?

<hr noshade size=3>


Excellent. In what I believe was the beginning of the end for WCW, this Starrcade looks much better. Look forward to seeing where you go from here.


Yeah, that was my overall goal was to make that event feel like the first big roadblock for the nWo. Now we get to see how they attempt to bounce back from that.

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Ric Flair vs Curt Hennig


Randy Savage vs Ray Traylor


WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers © vs Vicious & Delicious


Rey Mysterio vs Juventud Guerrera


WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs "Lord" Steven Regal


Alex Wright vs Mystery Opponent


Plus: Bret Hart makes his Nirto debut and NEW WCW Champion Sting is expected to appear.


Who will be Wright's opponent? (It is someone currently listed on the active roster): Goldberg


Will Sting speak? No

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<p><strong>Ric Flair</strong> vs Curt Hennig</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Randy Savage</strong> vs Ray Traylor</p><p> </p><p>

WCW World Tag Team Championship: <strong>The Steiner Brothers ©</strong> vs Vicious & Delicious</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Rey Mysterio</strong> vs Juventud Guerrera</p><p> </p><p>

WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs <strong>"Lord" Steven Regal</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Alex Wright vs <strong>Mystery Opponent</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Who will be Wright's opponent? (It is someone currently listed on the active roster): <strong>Goldberg</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Will Sting speak? <strong>Yes</strong></p>

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WCW Monday Nitro

Monday Week 1, January 1998


Ric Flair vs Curt Hennig


Randy Savage vs Ray Traylor


WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers © vs Vicious & Delicious


Rey Mysterio vs Juventud Guerrera


WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs "Lord" Steven Regal


Alex Wright vs Mystery Opponent


Plus: Bret Hart makes his Nirto debut and NEW WCW Champion Sting is expected to appear.


Who will be Wright's opponent? (It is someone currently listed on the active roster): Goldberg


Will Sting speak? He will not.

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Ric Flair vs Curt Hennig


Randy Savage vs Ray Traylor


WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers (c) vs Vicious & Delicious


Rey Mysterio vs Juventud Guerrera


WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs "Lord" Steven Regal


Alex Wright vs Mystery Opponent


Who will be Wright's opponent? (It is someone currently listed on the active roster): Jericho?


Will Sting speak?: Negative.

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<p>WCW Monday Nitro</p><p>

Monday Week 1, January 1998</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Ric Flair</strong> vs Curt Hennig</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Randy Savage</strong> vs Ray Traylor</p><p> </p><p>

WCW World Tag Team Championship:<strong> The Steiner Brothers</strong> © vs Vicious & Delicious</p><p> </p><p>

Rey Mysterio vs <strong>Juventud Guerrera</strong></p><p> </p><p>

WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs <strong>"Lord" Steven Regal</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Alex Wright</strong> vs Mystery Opponent</p><p> </p><p>

Plus: Bret Hart makes his Nitro debut and NEW WCW Champion Sting is expected to appear.</p><p> </p><p>

Who will be Wright's opponent? (It is someone currently listed on the active roster): Prince Iaukea</p><p> </p><p>

Will Sting speak? No</p>

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  • 3 weeks later...

First Nitro of 1998



Monday, Week 1 January, 1998


11,215 fans at a sold out Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York


Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan


Nitro opens with the announce team giving us a rundown of last night's historic Starrcade, ending with a recap of Sting's victory over "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. We move to the ring where Gene Okerlund is looking to have the first interview with the new WCW World Heavyweight champion. The Man Known as Sting's music hits and for the first time in over a year the Stinger comes down the entrance ramp, the championship hanging over his shoulder.


"Here he is ladies and gentlemen, the NEW WCW World Heavyweight champion, Sting!" The crowd goes wild as Sting enters the ring and moves past Gene to raise his title to the crowd. "Sting it's been a long road but you made your in-ring return last night and defeated one of the best in the business, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. How does it feel to strike the potential final blow to the New World Order?" Sting stares at Okerlund before pointing his bat at him. A confused Okerlund offers the microphone and Sting looks at it, considering finally addressing the WCW faithful.


"Hold it right there, brother," the nWo's music hits as Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall interrupt the segment coming out to the entrance ramp but not making any effort to head to the ring. "Mean Gene, you know I love you but the "final blow?" Come on, dude! You and everyone here knows that I had that match won until the referee got in my way." 

"Hey yo," Scott Hall chimes in, "you already know that the nWo is for, for, for life! We're not going anywhere. WCW brought their best last night and just barely won, boys we haven't even started yet."

"You know a lot of people are saying the nWo is done," Nash adds, "we've been going strong for so long you think a bump in the road is going to stop us? You think Tyson lays down after round one?"

"That's right, brother. We're heading into round two and Sting, I'm coming for what's rightfully mine." Hogan points at the belt, "Enjoy it while you can, jack, because tomorrow on the debut of WCW Thunder, I'm taking back the nWo's property."

"And hey, if Hollywood doesn't get it done you can guarantee I'll be next in line" Hall adds, referencing his World War 3 victory and future title shot. Hogan does a double take at this.

"Why wait for tomorrow, I say let's start now." Nash leads the pack as the trio start to make their way to the ring. Okerlund quickly leaves as Sting points his bat and keeps an eye on all three. 


The trio stop in their tracks when they notice the two men who have entered the ring behind Sting. Lex Luger and The Giant are here! The nWo back up to the ramp and a confused Sting turns around and recoils, pointing his bat at the duo. Luger puts his hands up while The Giant simply folds his arms. Sting takes his title and leaves the ring. It looks like the Stinger has some help, even if he doesn't want it. (94)


WCW World Tag Team Titles: The Steiner Brothers w/ Ted DiBiase vs Vicious & Delicious w/ Vincent


Looking to continue their momentum after a big victory last night, the Steiners take it to Norton and Bagwell early on here. Rick finds himself in trouble once Bagwell gets in with Buff almost scoring a win for the nWo. Once again though, the strength of Scott Steiner was too much to overcome. One Frankensteiner to Buff later and the champions retained at 10:17. Vincent protested loudly and ate a suplex afterward for his trouble. (74)


The new WCW United States champion, Diamond Dallas Page, make his way out to the ring. "New York! Last night was one of the best nights of my life, not just because of this beauty right here, but because I got to watch the New World Order get beat down. Now I'm no dummy, I know their not gonna give up like that and sooner or later they'll come knocking on my door. That's why I'm bringing out the challenge now. Send you best because I'll knock 'em down! BANG!" (89)


We head to the back as we see the nWo trio of "Hollywood" Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are shown. "A blip in the road, that's all this is." Nash starts, "we're the most dominant force in professional wrestling and we will not go down like that."

"Hey yo, Sting you want to be all mysterious and spooky. Little scary man, well it looks like you still got a problem with friends. We don't." Hall throws a toothpick at the camera.

"That's right, jack, and enjoy it while it last. Tomorrow night, WCW Thunder, I take back what is mine. Scott won't even have to use his title shot because I'll be holding the belt once again." Hall glares at Hogan for a moment before Nash breaks the silence.

"We're not going anywhere because the nWo is for, for, for, for life!" (85)


Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Juventud Guerrera 


We get some fast paced cruiserweight action as the two luchadores battle it out looking to get momentum and perhaps a future shot at the championship. This is a fast paced affair that sees each man trading momentum and showcasing a ton of high flying moves for the crowd. Mysterio eventually puts it away with a Springboard Hurricanrana in 9:31 and motions for the belt as he celebrates. (76)


Mean Gene is backstage with Ric Flair who has a few words for his match tonight against Curt Hennig. "Curt, I took you in and gave you a place among the best in the Horsemen and you decided to repay me with a knife to the back! Well, it takes more than that to put down the Nature Boy and you're gonna find that out first hand tonight. Wooo!" (77)


We go back to the ring where Sonny Onoo is with his newest client, Alex Wright. "Normally, I handle the affairs of Japanese talent as they make their way into this company but I've been given a rare opportunity with my newest client." Wright poses as Onoo laughs, "The Wunderkind has been lost for some time and I will help take him to the top. That is why I am challenging anyone to come down here tonight and try their luck." Onoo and Wright wait for a few moments until...



Goldberg is here! The fan cheer as the undefeated phenomenon makes his way down, Onoo clearly unhappy with this development. (66)


Goldberg vs Alex Wright w/ Sonny Onoo


While it was a short match with only minimum offense from him, Alex Wright actually displayed some fantastic chemistry with Goldberg here. The undefeated Goldberg kept on a roll fighting off an early attack from Wright and taking him down with a Jackhammer and improving his record to 16-0 at 4:50. (71)


For the first time ever on Monday Nitro Bret Hart is in the ring. The Hitman is here to set the record straight. "Ever since it was announced that I would be coming to WCW people have been speculating what this would lead to. Certain people suggested I join the nWo, here's the thing though. I don't like bullies and I don't like people who abuse their power, I've been screwed over by both and I'm not going to come in here and watch it happen again."


Bischoff makes his way out with a black eye, Konnan by his side as they walked into the ring. "As much as I hate to interrupt your requested mic time, I have to set the record straight. Bret, you're trying to tell the people that you oppose the New World Order but you negotiated your contract exclusively with me. You can claim you're above it, Bret but at the end of the day you wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the nWo!"


"Let me make this clear, for everyone in the nWo and for everyone in the audience tonight. I am not your friend, I didn't come here to join a war but I have no problem fighting anybody you want to send. I'm the excellence of execution and I have no problem giving you another black eye." Bret makes a move toward Bischoff but Konnan gets in the way.


"Hang on there, gringo. I'm seeing a lot of talk but how about some action, orale! You and me, Thursday night on the debut of Thunder." Bret considers it before nodding. Konnan goes for a sucker punch but the Hitman ducks and Bischoff and Konnan quickly retreat, trash talking on their way back up the ramp. (96)


We head backstage for another nWo ad, this time Randy Savage stands with Miss Elizabeth as he flexes and poses. "OH YEAH, the nWo is as strong as ever and there is no one who can stop us. WCW had one lucky day but it won't happen again. Whether it's Sting, Luger, Flair or that trash Ray Traylor we can't be stopped. Traylor, tonight I show you why the nWo will always prevail and why the Macho Man is the best in the game." (88)


Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth vs Ray Traylor


Savage took control early on but his early dominance led to Traylor hitting a big Spinebuster and making a comeback against the Macho Man. Ray looked to finish the match with his side slam dubbed the Traylor Trash but Miss Elizabeth distracted the ref. This led to Vincent making his way down to the ring and attacking Traylor from behind. Savage recovered in time for the ref to notice him going up top and hitting the elbow in 11:07. (80)


WCW World Television Title: Disco Inferno © vs "Lord" Steven Regal


Regal goes on the attack early and shows off his technical prowess by keeping Inferno down on the mat and keeping his more energetic style from being unleashed. A few minutes into the match Raven and his Flock are shown entering through the crowd and watching the match. Undeterred, Regal continues to pummel Disco until being surprised with a Swinging Neckbreaker. From there Inferno doesn't let up, even taking time to taunt Saturn who he beat for the title! Having seen enough, Saturn and Kidman hit the ring and beat on Inferno ending the match with a DQ win for the champion in 8:10. (64)


Post-match Saturn and Kidman continued beating down Inferno before Regal pulled Saturn off of the champion, incensed that he just lost his opportunity. The two men stared each other down but before they could lay a finger on each other Chris Benoit raced into the ring and immediately took down Saturn. Kidman attempted to save his ally but Benoit sent him flying with a suplex. 


Having seen enough the rest of the Flock entered the ring, prompting Regal to make his exit. The numbers game became too much as Hammer, Lodi, and Riggs put the boots to Benoit. Raven entered the ring and mocked the downed Benoit before noticing someone else heading towards the ring, steel chair in hand.



It's Dean Malenko! Chris Benoit's friend and occasional tag team partner. Malenko sends the Flock packing after a chairshot to Hammer and another to Kidman for good measure. Malenko helps Chris to his feet. It looks like Raven may have gotten more than he bargained for! (57)


Ric Flair vs Curt Hennig w/ Rick Rude


This feud stems all the way back from Hennig's betrayal at Fall Brawl and Flair is looking for his final revenge here. Before the match even officially starts Rude gets involved at ringside, grabbing Flair's robe and trying it on. The distraction proves successful as Hennig batters Flair for the early going of this match. Again proving himself the dirtiest player in the game, Flair begs off before poking Hennig in the eyes, using the underhanded tactic to deliver a series of chops to Curt's chest and begin working over the knee. Rude attempts to get involved again only for Flair to send a dazed Hennig directly into his manager. Flair seals the deal with a Figure Four and wins the match at 13:48. (78)


Post-match, Hennig and Rude attack Flair before he even has a chance to celebrate. As Flair begins to fight them off, Randy Savage makes his way out and joins in the beating. As the fans start to rain boos, and trash, down on the attackers Lex Luger and The Giant appear and start clearing house. Henning eats a chokeslam as Savage gets put into the torture rack. Before too long Nash and Hall head down and the numbers game once again favors the nWo.



Sting rappels down from the rafters and begins taking it to Nash and Hall, striking them with his bat as the Giant and Luger throw them over the top rope. Sting gives a nod to the duo before being blindsided by none other than "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. Hogan beats down on the champion as the other nWo members regroup and take out Luger, Giant and Flair. Nitro ends with Hogan posing with the title over Sting's battered body! (89)


Overall Grade: 85

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<p>Nitro Aftermath</p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="48500" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>I arrived at the arena in the early afternoon, even beating Eric into the building. I had a lot of other business to handle in Turner so normally I wouldn't be at a random Nitro. It was part of the reason I put JJ in the creative team, to keep this boat afloat when I wasn't around. Today wasn't a normal Nitro though, tonight was both the post-Starrcade edition and our first show of 1998. It was a big show in New York, an area we don't run much thanks to Vince and it was set-up for our debut taping of Thunder on TBS, which was going to be in one of the WWF's strongholds: The Boston Garden. Both shows were going to be big and I wanted to be there to ensure everything went well and to help the regime change.<p> </p><p> "Harvey, you might want to come deal with this." Eric announced about a half hour before showtime. To hear it from Eric, Konnan and Barry Darsow got into a fight in the locker room and Darsow was down and out for a bit. </p><p> </p><p> Konnan was still ranting and raving as I entered the room. Some of our medical staff were checking on Barry, who had regained consciousness. I immediately went to Barry and got his side of the story. Apparently, Konnan had been ragging on him about how little he was used on shows. Apparently what set Darsow off was when Konnan told him to "stop showing up when you know no one wants you here." </p><p> </p><p> "Come on, you can't trust what that punta, man! He's got a history of starting shit, ask anyone." I instructed Konnan to leave and get some air, I'd be speaking with him later. </p><p> </p><p> Getting the story from others, Konnan had been screaming insults at Darsow for a bit before Barry swung at him. Unfortunately for Barry, Konnan dodged and hit him back a few times. I told Darsow to rest up and skip tomorrow's show. I didn't want to admit it, but Konnan wasn't entirely wrong. We don't have much use for Barry outside of squash matches these days.</p><p> </p><p> As for Konnan, he was very vocal about his displeasure when I informed him he'd be getting a fine for his behavior. It probably wasn't going to help change his attitude any but I had to set an example, these types of things aren't going to fly with me in charge and the sooner everyone realizes it the better it will be for all of us.</p></div></blockquote><p> Nitro was another success for us, 1997 was an all around successful year for WCW, the best in our entire history and I'm hoping to make 1998 another banner year. Eric still seems concerned about the launch of Thunder and "diluting" the product with too much content, but with the roster we have the extra time can lead to some good expansion of our midcard wrestlers and give them more time to shine.  </p><p> </p><p> Before Starrcade, we came to terms on a written contract with Fit Finlay. It was honestly a bit more than I probably should spend, but I like the guy's style and he could be a solid act with some more time in front of the crowd. The WWF had made an offer to him as part of a big signing spree they went on at the end of the year and I wasn't going to let that happen.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="48500" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div><img alt="eshZzVl.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/eshZzVl.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><p> <strong>WCW Thunder</strong></p><p> Tuesday Week 1, January 1998</p><p> </p><p> <strong>WCW World Heavyweight Championship: </strong>Sting © vs "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan</p><p> </p><p> Bret Hart vs Konnan</p><p> </p><p> Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs The Flock (Saturn & Kidman)</p><p> </p><p> Davey Boy Smith vs Rick Martel </p><p> </p><p> <strong>WCW Cruiserweight Championship: </strong>Eddie Guerrero © vs Ultimo Dragon</p><p> </p><p> <strong>Plus: </strong>DDP makes a challenge and a word from Harlem Heat on their future.</p><p> </p><p> Will Harlem Heat split up?</p><p> </p></div></blockquote><p> <hr noshade size=3></p><p> Thanks to everyone who predicted for the first show. After Thunder, I'm going to be moving to doing write-ups only for PPVs which should be easier for moving things along at a decent pace. Not sure what the prize is going to be, but this first prediction contest will likely run until Spring Stampede. Here are the current standings.</p><p> </p><p> Beejus: 7</p><p> DGenerationMC: 7</p><p> Bigelow Cartwheel: 7</p><p> </p><p> crackerjack: 6</p><p> Satyr24: 6</p><p> DHK1989: 6</p><p> joshspicer: 6</p><p> </p><p> The Final Countdown: 5</p><p> </p><p> brianc2008: 4</p><p> </p><p> rkownage: 3</p><p> </p><p> Asaemon: 2</p>
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<p>WCW World Heavyweight Championship: <strong>Sting ©</strong> vs "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Bret Hart </strong>vs Konnan</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko</strong> vs The Flock (Saturn & Kidman)</p><p> </p><p>

Davey Boy Smith vs <strong>Rick Martel </strong></p><p> </p><p>

WCW Cruiserweight Championship:<strong> Eddie Guerrero ©</strong> vs Ultimo Dragon</p><p> </p><p>

Will Harlem Heat split up?: <strong>Yeah probably</strong></p>

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<p>WCW World Heavyweight Championship: <strong>Sting ©</strong> vs "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Bret Hart</strong> vs Konnan</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko</strong> vs The Flock (Saturn & Kidman)</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Davey Boy Smith</strong> vs Rick Martel </p><p> </p><p>

WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Eddie Guerrero © vs <strong>Ultimo Dragon</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Will Harlem Heat split up? <strong>Yes</strong></p>

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  • 2 weeks later...

<p>WCW Thunder Debuts!</p><p> </p><p>

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<strong>Tuesday, Week 1 January, 1998</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>15,000 fans at a sold out Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Announcers: Mike Tenay, Larry Zybszko and Tony Schiavone</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Our announce team opens this debut Thunder with a rundown of the truly huge first show including one of the biggest rematches of all time as Sting defends the World Heavyweight title against "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. </p><p> </p><p>

With the rundown of the card out of the way, DDP opens the show to a huge pop from the crowd. "Boston! The US champion is in the house!" Diamond plays to the crowd before getting to the point. "Now, I know how this goes, the nWo aren't finished with me and they want what I have. Well, I'm not gonna sit around and wait for a beatdown. I'm issuing a challenge for anybody in the nWo to come out now and face me."</p><p> </p><p>

After a moment the nWo's music hits and Buff Bagwell makes his way out accompanied by Vincent. "You're talking a real big game for a guy who got lucky. Just like those cheating low lifes the Steiner Brothers! If you want a real challenge, I'll be happy to give it to you." The fan get excited for a clash between the two stars before Buff continues. "But the nWo doesn't work on your time, don't worry though my boy, Vincent, will show you a thing or two right now." Vincent seems taken aback at first before getting hyped up by Buff and deciding to head into the ring. It looks like we have our first Thunder match! <strong>(79)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>WCW United States Championship: Diamond Dallas Page © w/ Kimberly Page vs Vincent w/ Buff Bagwell</strong></p><p> </p><p>

DDP carried this match, as you would expect, and even the small portion where Vincent had offense wasn't particularly convincing. The main story of this match was Bagwell goading the champion on the outside. Even with that distraction, DDP made short work of his opponent ending the match with a Diamond Cutter in 4:38. DDP celebrated with the belt as Buff helped Vincent to the back. <strong>(70)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

We cut to the back where "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan is flexing. "Sting, you've got what I want, brother and I'm going to take it back tonight. You had a nice little run, but nobody does it better than Hollywood and everyone is going to see that tonight. The nWo and I are going to get what is ours and take over once again. Take your best shot, Stinger, because I will be standing tall at the end of the night." Hogan was masterful here and did an excellent job hyping up our big main event. <strong>(100)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Eddie Guerrero © vs Ultimo Dragon</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In another exciting Cruiserweight contest, Dragon and Guerrero go back and forth in a fast paced contest that find each man struggling for an edge. Late in the match, Eddie attempts to score the win with a roll-up while holding Dragon's tights but it isn't enough. Dragon comes back with an amazing Asai Moonsault and almost wins the title with a Dragon Sleeper. In the end, Eddie puts away Ultimo with a Frog Splash in 9:42. <strong>(79)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Post-match, "Mean" Gene Okerlund get into the ring for an interview with the champion. "Another successful defense from Eddie Guerrero here tonight, a lot of competitors are vying for that belt but who are you looking forward to facing?"</p><p> </p><p>

"Ey, let's get one thing straight no one, not a single person, in the Cruiserweight division can compare to Eddie Guerrero. I am the best and I'm going to remain the best! Who am I looking forward to facing? It doesn't matter who comes next! Mysterio, Juventud, La Parka send any or all of them and I'll still be the best." </p><p> </p><p>

As Gene prepares to wrap up the segment, Chris Jericho makes his way out with a microphone. "I hate to come out here and interrupt the champion but it feels like he might be overlooking someone in that list. I'm a 2-time champion just like you! Half the people you mentioned haven't even won before!" As Jericho continued to go on about his accolades, Rey Mysterio came out and twirled him around. The two stared down as Guerrero laughed in the ring, looks like the next challenger isn't clear quite yet. <strong>(65)</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

</strong>Davey Boy Smith heads down to the ring for his debut match, Jim Neidhart following along with a microphone in his hand. "HAHAH tonight the WCW fans get to witness one of Britain's greatest wrestlers, Davey Boy Smith! Now everyone knows the circles we run in and they think they know why we're here. Let me make it clear, we're not running with anybody. The Anvil and the Bulldog are on their own and we've got a lot left to prove." <strong>(63)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Davey Boy Smith w/ Jim Neidhart vs Rick Martel</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The match suffered a bit from the poor chemistry Neidhart had managing Bulldog. I can't say what it was exactly but Neidhart just didn't seem like a good fit with Smith despite their history together. In the ring, Martel put up a good effort but it was no use against Smith. Bulldog looked good in this first match and finished Martel off with the Running Powerslam in 5:36. <strong>(59)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

We cut to a promo video for tonight's main event detailing the story of Sting's transformation and his defeat of Hogan at Starrcade all leading to tonight's rematch. <strong>(92)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

We move backstage to what appears to be a dark and isolated part of the stadium, Raven sits in the corner as Saturn paces around. "Fate and destiny, these two things are always used as blame for the poor decisions of others. No one ever stops to think that perhaps fate and destiny are nothing more than our collective choices and that the only person we can blame for our predicaments is ourselves. Chris Benoit, I can tell that you're a man who believes in destiny. After all, you've been told you were destined for greatness your whole life. Now, you've made the decision to drag another soul into this confrontation. Know that what comes next was not fate, it was a choice. Quote the Raven, nevermore!" <strong>(76)</strong></p><p>


Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs The Flock (Saturn & Kidman)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Raven and the rest of his Flock watch from the crowd. Saturn has a bone to pick with both men but relishes the opportunity to face Benoit right out of the gate. Saturn's raw power was on display here as he learned from their last encounter and was able to break free from Benoit's attempted German Suplex. From there the match became a clash of styles as Saturn and Kidman used their respective strength and speed to take it to their foes. Saturn looked to finish the match with a Death Valley Driver on Benoit until...</p><p> </p><p>

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Disco Inferno comes out and taunts Saturn with his TV title. Benoit slips free and finally nails the German Suplex. Kidman tags in and is soon abandoned when Inferno heads to ringside and Saturn chases after him. Benoit manages to slow Kidman's speed and lock in the Crossface for the win in 9:22. Post-match, Raven and the Flock surround the ring but decide to collect Kidman and leave. Leaving the duo to celebrate this victory. <strong>(77)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Harlem Heat are out next with Jacqueline Moore to address their future as rumors mount about Booker T wanting to break out on his own. "A lot of people have been asking 'what is next for Harlem Heat?'" Booker T begins, pausing for the fans cheering to die down. "Everybody knows we are one of the all-time greatest when it comes to tag teams and the question becomes...how good could we be solo? Well, before we figure that out my brother Stevie and I want to go out on top, sucka." </p><p>

Stevie takes the mic to make his brother's point extremely clear. "We want those belts one more time. Steiners, we're looking at you!"</p><p> </p><p>

It doesn't take long for the Steiner Brothers to make their way out, flanked by their manager, Ted DiBiase. "Now normally, I'd tell someone asking for a shot to go and earn it. But I talked with Scott and Rick and they're ready whenever you are. How about Monday night? You free?" The crowd pops as Harlem Heat accepts and we have a huge tag team match set for the next Nitro. <strong>(75)</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>

</strong>We head to another nWo ad with Nash and Hall in the back. "Hey yo, you better believe we've got Hollywood's back tonight." Hall begins, "Sting, you think your little silent act intimidates us? Nothing intimidates the New World Order. Just remember, I've got a title shot in waiting if you manage to sneak away with that belt tonight."</p><p>

"Everyone seems to forget that before Sting came along the nWo were the most dominant group in wrestling history. Well, history is written by the victors and we're walking out the winners tonight." Nash and Hall look at one another and smirk. "We'll see you out there, champ." Nash pushes the camera away as the two leave. <strong>(90)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Bret Hart vs Konnan w/ Eric Bischoff</strong></p><p> </p><p>

While Bret has Konnan beat in the technical aspects of this bout, he proves to be a worthy challenger to Hart with his tenacity and willingness to cheat at any available opportunity. Raking the eyes, low blows and even a roll up with a hold on the tights, all these moves are used to frustrate Hart and give Konnan openings. The Hitman continued to rally though which angered Bischoff at ringside. Eric eventually climbs onto the top rope to distract the ref, but this backfired with Hart sending Konnan into Bischoff. After that, the Sharpshooter puts the match to bed in 13:29. <strong>(81)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

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Post-match, Hart celebrates his victory before Curt Hennig enters the ring and immediately goes to takes Bret out with a chop block to the knee. Hennig lays boots to Hart before hitting a Hennig-Plex on him. Bischoff enters and gloats as he raises Hennig's hand, it looks like an old foe has a bone to pick with the Hitman. <strong>(90)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting © vs "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan w/ Kevin Nash & Scott Hall</strong></p><p> </p><p>

The numbers game definitely favors the nWo tonight as Hogan is flanked the other original members of the group. While the fans are into this huge rematch its clear that the action is a little less involved in this one. Hogan spends a vast majority of this outing stalling and once the bout finally gets going Sting's momentum is constantly stalled by Nash and Hall. The final minutes of the match find Hogan missing a Legdrop and falling prey to an onslaught of offense from Sting. Sting sets Hogan up in the corner for the Stinger Splash only for Hogan to be pulled away by Nash. Hall then blatantly hits Sting in front of the ref and the DQ is called in favor of Sting in 14:56. <strong>(83)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Hall looks taken aback, apparently not realizing the ref was in sight when nailing Sting. It doesn't take long for Nash to snap him back into it as the two begin attacking Sting. Hogan eventually comes in and pulls Hall off the beatdown, the two argue for a bit before Lex Luger and The Giant head out. As the two take it to Nash and Hogan, Sting reenters with his bat and nails Hall with it. Savage attempts to come in and give his men the advantage but gets put into the Torture Rack for his trouble. The show closes with Sting holding his belt high as he reluctantly celebrates with his two potential allies. <strong>(94)</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<span style="font-size:18px;">Overall Grade: 88</span></p><p><span style="font-size:18px;">


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<p>Thunder Aftermath</p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="48500" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>"Listen Doc, I'm happy you're trying to do this. I'm just not convinced he's going to listen to you." Roddy Piper said as we waited for the other party in this meeting to arrive. I had heard about the tensions between Hot Rod and Kevin Nash stemming from a backstage skirmish months ago. Eric has told me it was best to leave it alone, but Roddy had informed me that Nash was still going on about the incident and had been making the backstage area hard for him. So, I set up this meeting between the two to attempt to settle the issue.<p> </p><p> Eventually, Nash made his way into my office, fifteen minutes later than the time I set. "Hey boss or do I call you 'Doc?'" The big man eyed Piper as he took a seat. "What's this all about?"</p><p> </p><p> "I called you both in because I've been told there is some lingering tension between you two and I want to clear the air. I'm not going to tolerate anyone in backstage being made to feel inferior or less than. We all have a job to do here."</p><p> </p><p> The silence was palpable until Nash decided to speak up. "Well, I guess you'd have to ask Roddy here if he's got a problem. I don't have a problem with him."</p><p> </p><p> "Bullshit," Piper snapped back, "You've been trying to get me out of your hair since our disagreement." I attempted to keep things civil but that comment seemed to set off Nash.</p><p> </p><p> "Disagreement? That's what you call trying to swipe my leg out from under me? I'd be willing to let it go, but you just don't seem to be able to." </p><p> </p><p> Piper shot up from his seat and Nash followed suit. I quickly got up in an attempt to get between the two but it looked like Piper decided another fight was a bad idea.</p><p> </p><p> "You know what I think?" Nash added as Piper moved back to his seat. "I've heard there's been a guy talking directly to Doc here about what has been happening backstage and I think I have a good idea who that is now."</p><p> </p><p> I attempted to interject but Piper beat me to it. "What are you ****ing going on about? Give me a break, you think I'd go whining to the boss? That sounds more your speed, big man."</p><p> </p><p> Nash closed the distance and got into Piper's face. I quickly jumped between the two, despite being much smaller. "Maybe we should end the meeting here, yeah?" The two men nodded as Nash went for the door.</p><p> </p><p> "Do me a favor, Doc. Don't get me in a room with this guy again." The door slammed behind Nash as he left. I sighed and sat back down in my chair.</p><p> </p><p> "I told you it wouldn't work."</p></div></blockquote><p> Despite the mishap between Piper and Nash, the debut of Thunder was an all around success. TBS informed me that they were very happy with the new program and the moving of Saturday Night to an hour has mitigated some of the costs for the show. With the launch of Thunder and the extra workload on Mike Tenay and Tony Schiavone, I hired Scott Hudson and Michael Hayes (no Dok Hendrix here,) to be the new commentary team for Saturday Night. So far they seem like a good fit and Hayes has even inquired about potentially doing some agent work if we need it.</p><p> </p><p> On the in-ring side, we've signed Brian Knobbs back to the company. This was mainly a favor to Hogan for losing the title, but I'm hoping we can find something for the, now solo, Nasty Boy. We also signed a non-exclusive deal with Jushin Thunder Liger. He's wrestled for us before and is one of the very best in the world. He'll be great to have when he isn't busy with New Japan.</p><p> </p><p> As for our competition, WWF recently signed a ton of talent to boost their midcard. Al Snow, Norman Smiley, Samu, One Man Gang, Jacques Rougeau, Tracy Smothers, Johnny Ace, Julio Torres and Pat Tanaka have all signed with the company recently. The only wrestler on our radar was Snow and even then, I wasn't planning on hiring him anytime soon. </p><p> </p><p> <hr noshade size=3></p><p> As you can see my decision to try and meddle with the relationship between Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper went...poorly. Thanks to all who predicted the debut of Thunder! Going forward, I'll be posting recaps for PPVs and doing a rundown of the big feuds heading into those shows. So, look forward to a preview of Souled Out '98 next post.</p><p> </p><p> <strong>Thunder Prediction Scores:</strong></p><p> </p><p> Satyr24 - 6</p><p> rkownage - 6</p><p> </p><p> The Final Countdown - 5 </p><p> Ry guy 64 - 5</p><p> </p><p> Asaemon - 4</p><p> joshspicer - 4 </p><p> DHK1989 - 4 </p><p> </p><p> Beejus - 3</p><p> </p><p> <strong>Overall Standings:</strong></p><p> </p><p> Satyr24 - 12</p><p> </p><p> The Final Countdown - 10</p><p> joshspicer - 10</p><p> DHK1989 - 10</p><p> Beejus - 10</p><p> </p><p> rkownage - 9</p><p> </p><p> DGenerationMC - 7</p><p> Bigelow Cartwheel - 7</p><p> </p><p> crackerjack - 6</p><p> Asaemon - 6</p><p> </p><p> Ry guy 64 - 5</p><p> </p><p> brianc2008 - 4</p>
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Road to Souled Out 1998



WCW/nWO Souled Out '98

Tensions in the Order

Following Hollywood Hulk Hogan's DQ loss to Sting on the debut episode of Thunder, questions began to arise about Scott Hall's true intentions. Hall claimed that he was unaware of the referee being in view when he struck Sting, but Hogan didn't buy it believing he wanted to get his own shot at the WCW title. Kevin Nash, meanwhile, backed up his long-time friend and tag team partner, much to Hogan's anger. Spurred on by Hogan's outrage, Hall announced that he would be using his World War 3 title shot at Souled Out.


Elsewhere, Sting has remained silent, preferring to do his talking in the ring. Battling back against attempts from the nWo to soften him up with help from his new found allies, Lex Luger and The Giant. While both admit they also haven't heard from Sting, Luger has vouched for him as a man capable of finally helping end the nWo. Sting has also brought in the mind games to mess with Hall and Nash. Watching their match on the Week 3 Nitro from the rafters and sending a bat to Hall's dressing room.


Hall and Nash were finally able to get the jump on Sting on the Week 3 Thunder thanks to Luger and Giant being occupied. With his allies also busy at the show, will the Stinger be able to hold off the nWo on his own?


A Mega Assist

Lex Luger and The Giant have been on a tear since their victory over the Outsiders at Starrcade. Outside of Sting, nobody else has been as successful with warding off the threat of the nWo as this powerful team. Looking to keep that momentum going, Luger called out Randy Savage and challenged him to face the duo in a match. Savage declined and instead offered to face Luger himself on the Week 2 Thunder, winning the contest after The Giant was distracted by Konnan and Scott Norton. Despite the loss, the duo gained a measure of revenge when The Giant defeated Scott Norton on the following Nitro and Savage looked to be in trouble until he received some unexpected backup.


Hollywood Hulk Hogan rushed the ring and helped his former partner, delivering a legdrop to The Giant and announcing to the world that the Mega Powers were back! Feeling betrayed by the other original members of the nWo, Hogan told Savage that he was "the only one left I can trust." Savage accepted Hogan's offer to officially get the team back together and challenged Luger and the Giant to a match.


In the promos since, Hogan has taken to calling out The Giant, stating that he didn't need to play second fiddle to anyone. Luger, meanwhile, has claimed that Hogan is trying to get in their heads assuring the Giant that he is not the boss of him and that they can banish the nWo together.


An Old Rivalry Reignited

Bret Hart's arrival to WCW caused huge waves throughout the roster, none bigger than with the nWo, who have a bone to pick after Hart punched Eric Bischoff in the face at Starrcade. Hart has stated that he doesn't have a specific problem with the nWo themselves, but that he does have an issue with Bischoff's constant abuse of power. "I've dealt with one tyrannical boss, I don't need another." Luckily for Bischoff, there is one man in the nWo who knows exactly how Bret Hart ticks.


Curt Hennig says he has known Hart for years and has wrestled him enough to know how to defeat him. This was enough to convince Bischoff to make the match official for Souled Out, adding a new chapter to the long rivalry between these men. Hennig and his manager, Rick Rude, have managed to beat down the Hitman on two separate occasions, targeting the legs. Despite this, Hart states that he is still good to go and will show the world that he is still "The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be."


Interrupted Opportunity

Harlem Heat had made it clear that they wanted one final run with the tag team titles before officially moving on to singles careers. The Steiners were more than accommodating giving the team a shot on the Week 2 Nitro only for the match to be thrown out after interference from Jimmy Hart and his Faces of Fear. Meng and The Barbarian showed an incredible display of power, taking out all four men and making it clear that they wanted the belts. 


The Steiners were eager to get revenge but Harlem Heat were quick to mention they were screwed over too. They wanted a crack at the Faces and a chance for another shot. Unfortunately, the match between the Face of Fear and Harlem Heat on the Week 3 Thunder broke down once again with Jimmy Hart managing to get his man, Meng, into the ring just before the count of 10. Against Ted DiBiase's wishes, the Steiners announced that they would take on both teams in a triple threat match. Ensuring that no disqualifications or count outs will ensue and that whoever wins will be the rightful champions.


Proving Your Worth

Since winning the United States title at Starrcade, Diamond Dallas Page has been on a quest to prove that his win was no fluke, calling out any member of the nWo to face him. Buff Bagwell has answered that challenge by being a thorn in Dallas' side, showing up to watch his matches and interrupting his promo time but never agreeing to a match. DDP finally had enough on the Week 3 Nitro, showing up after Buff's win over Ernest Miller and hitting a Diamond Cutter as he celebrated. Buff was incensed and finally decided to accept a match with the champion. The games look to be over and Buff promised he would bring his best to Souled Out.


My Rules, My Way

Chris Benoit had earned himself a 1 on 1 match with Raven after enduring a gauntlet match at Starrcade, but the mysterious leader of the Flock was in no hurry to come face to face with Benoit. While Chris had received backup from his friend, Dean Malenko, the numbers were still firmly in The Flock's favor. Something the duo would discover when they were attacked on the Week 2 Thunder by the entirety of the Flock. Satisfied with the beating Raven held the unconscious form of Benoit in his arms as he promised that more punishment would come at Souled Out when the two would face off in a RAVEN'S RULES match! Benoit seemed unconcerned telling Raven he would soon discover "how rabid I can get." No Disqaulifications, No Count-Outs and any weapon imaginable allowed, things are going to get brutal!


One Last Chance

After defeating Chris Jericho in a thrilling match on the Week 2 Nitro, Rey Mysterio staked his claim at Eddie Guerrero's Cruiserweight championship. After Guerrero's quick defense against Lenny Lane on the following Thunder, the two got face to face reigniting their rivalry. Eddie claims that Rey got lucky once and it won't happen again. He made an offer to Mysterio that whoever loses this match will not receive another shot as long as the winner is champion. Mysterio agreed promising to finally defeat his rival.


Challengers on All Sides

Since taking advantage of a distraction and defeating Saturn in December, Disco Inferno has managed to hang on to the Television title by the skin of his teeth. Disco managed to retain the title against Alex Wright on the Week 3 Nitro despite interference from both Saturn and Lord Steven Regal, who had been embarrassed by him already. Dean Malenko came out to attack Saturn and further break things down. Disco's luck might have run out as he now faces three other opponents in a four corners match for his title.


Who's Next?


Goldberg has defeated everyone put before him and doesn't look to be stopping at Souled Out. The, now solo, Brian Knobbs has won two matches since returning and said he is not afraid of Goldberg and is aiming to show him how to "get nasty." The two are on a collision and only one will remain undefeated.


<hr noshade size=3>


Goldberg fractured his jaw after the Week 2 Thunder causing him to miss the following Nitro. He was good to go the next day though and seems to be in fine shape now.


Dusty Rhodes seems to have developed a bond with Curt Hennig. It isn't too surprising as Dusty is a very positive presence in the locker room. I've heard he has done a lot of sticking up from me with the folks who are less than happy by my new role.


I've been informed that Konnan continues to be a negative presence in the locker room with a constantly sour demeanor. I had a stern conversation with him about this but he shrugged it off. There appears to be some lingering tension currently.


WCW/nWo Souled Out

Sunday Week 3, January 1998


WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting © vs Scott Hall


The Mega Powers vs Lex Luger & The Giant


Bret Hart vs Curt Hennig


WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers © vs The Faces of Fear vs Harlem Heat


WCW United States Championship: Diamond Dallas Page © vs Buff Bagwell


Raven's Rules: Raven vs Chris Benoit


WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Eddie Guerrero © vs Rey Mysterio Jr.


WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs Lord Steven Regal vs Saturn vs Dean Malenko


Goldberg vs Brian Knobbs


How many championships will change hands?


What will be match of the night?


Who, if anyone, will accompany Sting to the ring?

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WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting © vs Scott Hall


The Mega Powers vs Lex Luger & The Giant


Bret Hart vs Curt Hennig


WCW World Tag Team Championship: The Steiner Brothers © vs The Faces of Fear vs Harlem Heat


WCW United States Championship: Diamond Dallas Page © vs Buff Bagwell


Raven's Rules: Raven vs Chris Benoit


WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Eddie Guerrero © vs Rey Mysterio Jr.


WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs Lord Steven Regal vs Saturn vs Dean Malenko


Goldberg vs Brian Knobbs


How many championships will change hands?: 2


What will be match of the night?: Eddie vs. Rey


Who, if anyone, will accompany Sting to the ring?: Bret Hart

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<p>WCW World Heavyweight Championship: <strong>Sting ©</strong> vs Scott Hall</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>The Mega Powers</strong> vs Lex Luger & The Giant</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Bret Hart</strong> vs Curt Hennig</p><p> </p><p>

WCW World Tag Team Championship: <strong>The Steiner Brothers ©</strong> vs The Faces of Fear vs Harlem Heat</p><p> </p><p>

WCW United States Championship: <strong>Diamond Dallas Page ©</strong> vs Buff Bagwell</p><p> </p><p>

Raven's Rules: Raven vs <strong>Chris Benoit</strong></p><p> </p><p>

WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Eddie Guerrero © vs <strong>Rey Mysterio Jr.</strong></p><p> </p><p>

WCW World Television Championship: Disco Inferno © vs <strong>Lord Steven Regal</strong> vs Saturn vs Dean Malenko</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Goldberg</strong> vs Brian Knobbs</p><p> </p><p>

How many championships will change hands? <strong>Two</strong></p><p> </p><p>

What will be match of the night? <strong>Hart vs Hennig</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Who, if anyone, will accompany Sting to the ring? <strong>Bret Hart</strong></p>

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