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Guest Columns

Ian Challis



Hey, man, I thought I'd try out something new here. I've written an episode of WCW Lockdown, based on Steve Harper's column from a couple of weeks ago, and I'm looking to turn it into e regular thing. I'd be grateful if you could offer your opinion on it...


And so, a new era debuts here on new WCW is born...and while this may not be my original idea, I thought I'd give it a go. Big props to Steve Harper for this excellent idea, and hopefully he'll read this and be able to pass his opinion on it. It starts tonight-me booking a weekly edition of WCW Lockdon, with pay-per-views every four or five weeks. Now I'd just like to point out that this is not going to conform to WCW's curretn timetable-Starrcade won't take place this Sunday, and the first pay per view will be in four weeks. So enjoy this new era, and please, write to me and give me your opinions-I need to know to improve the company! The address is at the bottom of the page, peeps...


1st Edition

11th December, 2000

( The show opens with a shot of various wrestlers walking through metal detectors, entering the arena for the first-ever WCW Lockdown show, in their street clothes and carrying their bags. A woman-MISS WRIGHT-stands by, watching approvingly...)

(NEW Opening credits, using a portion of Megadeth's "Crush ‘em" over former clips of Nitro. When Lockdown clips are available they will replace these ones. The camera opens as fireworks frame the stage, shooting off towards the ceiling of the arena. The set is entirely new-there is a central screen at the top of the stage, with two either side. The use of these will soon become clear-the left and right screen will show both speakers during interviews and promos, while the central screen will display a shot of the ring at all times. The ring apron is dark green, emblazoned with the WCW Lockdown logo, and the ring ropes are camouflage design. The cameras cut to the announce team at ringside, which consists of MARK MADDEN, STEVIE RAY and SCOTT HUDSON . Hudson is already ripping Madden a minute into the broadcast, and Stevie Ray is left to welcome the fans to the NEW WCW format. The entire locker room makes their way down to the ring, all the champions still carrying their belts, and all of them dressed in street clothes. Noticeable by their absences are Booker T, Goldberg, Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner, but the rest are there. Stevie tells us that Jarrett's sitting tonight out, watching at home and keeping an eye on things with his wife and two young children. All of them are talking amongst themselves as Stevie and Mark wonder aloud what is about to go down. Some unfamiliar music hits-and MISS WRIGHT enters, flanked with six security officers and carrying a mic. She is dressed in a business-like fashion, including half-moon spectacles. She politely waits for the music to be cut, then begins to speak.)

Wright: Let me be the first to welcome all of you to your NEW working environment-WCW Lockdown. I am Miss Wright, and I will be the liaison officer between you, the employees, and your employers. This, of course, also means that I will play a large part in the running of this bold new venture, from helping you with any problems to cueing lighting in the production truck. I am in charge around here from now on-if you have a problem with the way things are run, you can come to me.

Now what does that mean for you-for both the wrestlers and the fans-here tonight? I am sure that you all know of the rules and regulations that will now be enforced here at WCW, but in case you haven't been informed I shall give you the basic rundown. All of you assembled in the ring have signed new contracts with this fine company-and all have the Lockdown clause built into it. From this moment on you waive any basic human rights whenever you are present in the ring or backstage at a WCW show-YOU make the rules-and the fans make the rules. From here on in you fans will see what you want to see, and it will NOT be determined by some hotshot "booker" with an inflated ego. Ladies and gentlemen this company is going back to the very TOP.

But in order for us-for all of us-to get back to the top of the mountain we are going to have to climb back down and start afresh. That is why tonight, right here in Columbus, Ohio, we will begin a series of title tournaments to crown new champions. This does, of course, mean that all of the current champions will have to hand over the title belts.

(There is a murmur of disagreement of the wrestlers assembled in the ring. Miss Wright anticipates this and smiles to herself.)

Wright: Of course, I knew this decision would not be accepted without dissension in the ranks, as it were. I knew that you, my new employees, would not accept this wiping of the slate completely, and I have done the best to remedy that. Now I myself am not incredibly versed in the ways of professional wrestling, so I cannot be of great help in this situation. However, I have managed to persuade someone that you-that ALL of you-know very well, someone who seems happy to help in getting you adjusted to the new era. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the liaison officer between myself and the wrestling community here in WCW, I give you...Ric Flair!

(The crowd cheer as "Thus Spake Zarathustra" plays over the PA system and Ric Flair walks out from under the central screen, attired in an Armani suit and tie, with a microphone in hand. The music cuts, and he stares at the fans, a smile on his face, then lets out a "Whooo!". He slowly raises the mic to his mouth and begins to speak.)

Flair: Columbus Whooooo By God Ohio, it is great to be back bringin' WCW into your front yards! Ol' Naitch hasn't been in Columbus for quite some time, lemme tell ya, but when I got outta that taxicab this mornin', waltzed up to the hotel where I'm stayin', went up to the desk, that fine young thing sittin' behind the desk, she said "Yes sir, how can I help you?", and smiled, I just KNEW that those beautiful ladies were still right here, in Columbus!

(The crowd cheers, and Ric basks in it, then slowly begins to speak again.)

Flair: Now I know that all of you WCW fans here tonight, you didn't just pay to see any old slapped together show here, no sir, you paid to see the best in professional wrestling that there is to offer, and damn it we will deliver, whoooo! Ya see tonight is a fresh start here in WCW, it's a chance to start afresh and run this place like a rasslin' company, not the playground of some hotshot booker, not the backscratcher of some washed-up egocentric former legends, it is gonna be the home of the finest entertainment in that ring that you will see, and it gonna be the home of the people that YOU wanna see. Miss Wright, thank you once again for givin' me this opportunity here tonight, to be a part o' this history-makin' show-but you have given me a job to do and I will not disappoint ya. Guys-guys, guys, guys, I know that you guys with the titles in the ring right now, I know that you worked awful hard to wrap that gold around your waist, and I know that you are gonna have a hard time in giving them up. But as God as my witness, right here in beautiful Columbus, Ohio, whooo, I promise ya that you will have ample opportunity to get that gold back. I promise ya. Chavo, Chavo my man, I have watched you grow up here in WCW, I have seen ya become one of the best players in the game, Hell, I seen some of myself in ya sometimes. I know that you only had that belt back a while Chavo, but you will be able to get your nose back in the hunt, because you will be in the Cruiserweight title tournament, starting tonight. So come on up here, Chavo, and I swear, you'll leave here contented.

(Chavo, still looking slightly annoyed, shrugs his shoulders and removes his belt from around his waist. He jumps down from the ring apron where he is standing and walks up the ramp, then hands the belt to Flair. Flair smiles, shakes his hand, and Chavo walks back to the ring.)

Flair: Now that there is a good example of a gentleman, folks. Now onto the Perfect Event-where are you guys? Ah, there y'are. Y'know, I been watching you two over the past few weeks, notching up victories left, right and centre, using every dirty trick in the book, sneakin' wins, cheapshotting guys, and I can honestly say without a doubt that you two are two of the dirtiest players in the game. And, when that comes from me, boys, you know that that's a complement, because I am the dirtiest player in the game, and I recognise talent when I see it, whoooo! You wanna prove yourself to me more? Come up here and hand me those tag titles. Come on boys.

(Perfect Event climb out of the ring and walk up the ramp, titles in hand. Flair takes both and hands them to one of the security guards, then shakes Stasiak and Palumbo's hands. They walk back to the ring.)

Flair: Hugh? Hugh, you been a joy to watch over the past three months. You've come out here, you've done what you wanna do, and you've put on some darn good wrestling in the process. You've managed to notch up two US Titles in the meantime, Hugh, and I realise that that is no mean feat. You gotta be something special to pull that off, and believe me, Hugh, you ae something special. You got the chance to prove it again in this new era, Hugh, I promise ya. You'll get your chance.

(Captain Rection has already exited the ring and started making his way up the ramp. He hands the titles over to Flair with a smile and shakes his hand warmly, then returns to the ring.)

Flair: Now, I'm lookin' at the ring, and I know that we only got one guy to go-where is he? Where is that one guy?

(There is a slight pause as Flair seems to be scanning the ring for someone-then a siren sounds. The fan's reaction is mixed-some cheer, some boo-as Scott Steiner, still wearing the World Title around his waist, appears at the bottom of the ramp, having walked out from backstage down the side of the ramp. He has a mic in hand, and motions angrily for the music to be cut.)

Steiner: Lemme get this straight, Flair-I bust my genetic freak ass here in this hellhole of a company for two years straight, I damn near drag this place outta the toilet, I finally get to the top-where I deserve to be, standing at the top of the mountain-and now, after kicking everyone's ass, putting down everyone that you stand in front of me, now you want me to hand over this belt, now you want me to give up what I spent the last six months fightin' for?

(Flair goes to speak, but Steiner interrupts.)

Steiner: No, you shut your mouth, and you listen to what I gotta say, you buck-toothed old bastard! I spent my last three years fightin' to be accepted, fightin' against scumbag veterans like you, and I ain't about to lie down and let you screw me over one more time. Fact is, Flair, you gonna have to beat me senseless and pry this belt from my fingers before I will hand it over to you.

(Flair goes to speak again, but this time Miss Wright steps forward.)

Wright: Mr. Steiner, I realise your anger and stress at this situation, and I can understand it, believe me. But I have some ideas here tonight that I intend to put into action-and if you'd come back to my office right now, I believe we things out. I have some propositions that I think you will find very...interesting.

Steiner: Listen, I don't know who the Hell you think you are, but-

Wright: I think I'm the head of this company, Mr. Steiner, and you can be again-if you would just come to my office and discuss it.

Steiner: You wanna discuss it, lady? Okay, we'll discuss it-but don't think for one second that I'll stand by and let you screw me over. So get to your little office back there, sit behind your desk, and wait-because Big poppa Pump's gonna pay you a visit.

(Steiner's music hits again as he walks back down the alley beside the ramp. Flair turns to Miss wright, a quizzical look on his face, and the two talk as they go backstage. Scott and Mark wonder what they've just seen the start of as the wrestlers file out...)

(Ad Break)

(When we come back, Mike Tenay is standing by backstage with Booker T, who has, we are informed, just arrived. He is dressed in street clothes, and is wearing sunglasses.)

Tenay: Booker T, while nearly all of the roster has bowed down and signed the new WCW Lockdown contracts, you have not. Can you shed some light on this situation for us?

Booker T: You wanna know what I'm thinkin' Mike? I'm thinkin' "What the Hell just happened here?". I'm thinkin' "This ain't the WCW that I wanna be champion of". You know what this place is gonna be now, Mike? It's gonna be the playground o' the guys who can't can't control their emotions, of guys who are just damn dangerous to be round, and of guys who are just waitin' to stab the honest amongst us in the back. Well I tell you this, Mike-I ain't willing to be a part of-

(Booker stops talking as Ric Flair enters the picture, a happy smile on his face. Mike puts the mic to Ric's lips.)

Flair: Booker, my boy it is great to see you here tonight. Now, before you tell me your worries, before you turn your back on WCW, I want you to come with me, and me and you, we can talk about this issue, and I reckon we can come to an agreement that sees you gettin' what you want.

Booker: I'm willin' to trust you, Ric-but NO-ONE else.

(Booker walks off with Flair, and the camera cuts back to the arena where Scott informs us that's it's time for the Cruiserweight title tournament to begin. He explains that to keep a certain amount of suspense, Miss Wright has decreed that the full brackets of the tournament be held back until absolutely necessary. Kwee Wee's music hits-but it's not Kwee Wee that enters-well it is-but it isn't. Allan Funk walks out from the back, carrying a microphone and wearing a tight black shirt, a black bandanna and leather pants. He starts talking as he walks down the ramp.)

Funk: Cut that crap off the sound system right now! Y'know I was approached by a road agent two weeks ago about this whole new era, he said "Allan, it's a chance for you to step out as yourself". So I pack myself a bag of gear, MY gear, I fly out here tonight-and y'know what they say? "No, Allan, we want you to stick with the Kwee Wee character for a while, and we'll see what comes up." Well the morons who put those STUPID purple pants on me four months ago can kiss my ass, because it's Allan Funk who's standing in this ring, not Kwee Wee, and I'm gonna do whatever I want, whenever I want, because it's Lockdown time, baby. No more glitter, no more Paisley, no more pink tights-just ass-kicking.

Cruiserweight Title Tournament Quarterfinal: Allan Funk Vs. Rey Misterio Jr.: Rey rushes the ring straight off the bat and the two enter into a feeling out process, with Funk getting the upper hand after a springboard back elbow. He goes to work on Mysterio's back, hitting a sidewalk slam off the ropes, a backbreaker, and a spinebuster for three two counts in a row. He continues working the back with punches and kicks, and hits a whip into the corner, then follows up with a swinging DDT for a two count. The crowd is solidly behind Rey, and Funk is happy to settle into the bad guy role, shooting sinister smiles to them as he prepares to hit each move on Rey. A Falcon Arrow gets two, and Funk shows visible signs of annoyance. He locks on a Mexican Surfboard, stretching Rey's back, but Rey elbows him in the gut to break. Funk is winded, and Rey goes for a headscissors coming off the ropes, but Funk turns into a powerbomb. He smiles at the crowd again, and sits Rey on the top rope. Funk goes up to the second rope and prepares for a superplex, but Rey shoves him down. Funk quickly but dazedly to his feet, and Rey hits a flying huracanrana but doesn't cover. Instead he crosses to the other corner, climbs to the top and hits a moonsault bodyblock for the pin to advance at 5:02. Funk is slowly to his feet, and Rey offers his hand out of respect. Funk smiles slowly, takes it-and pulls Rey into a short powerbomb! Funk to the top rope as the crowd boos, and Kidman and Konnan are out. Kidman shoves Funk down to the mat and Konnan elbowdrops him. Rey is to his feet, and Kidman and Konnan hold Funk down for the Nutcracker Suite. Funk rolls out of the ring, clutching at his groin and shouting obscenities at the Filthy Animals, as the Animal's music plays and Stevie reminds us that Rey has advanced.

(The camera cuts backstage as Steiner is seen leaving Miss Wright's office, smiling to himself. Wright herself appears at the doorway, the World Title in her hand, and she calls to Steiner.)

Wright: Go out there and advance tonight, Mr. Steiner!

(This sends the announcers into a spiral of conjecture, as they try and guess what went down between Steiner and Miss Wright, and we go to an)

(Ad Break)

(When we come back the camera is in Miss Wright's office, where she is watching videotapes of top WCW superstars, making notes and commenting to herself on them. First Lex Luger...)

Wright: Now THAT's marketability...

(Then Scott Steiner...)

Wright: I like that-hopefully he can get the job done tonight...

(Then Goldberg...)

Wright: I'll make sure I get a meeting with him...

(And finally Booker.)

Wright: Hmmm...not as marketable as hoped. Well, they can't all be gems, we'll just make sure that the right man gets the job.

(There is a knock at the door, and Mike Sanders enters.)

Wright: What can I do for you, Mr. Sanders?

Sanders; Well, first I just wanna say that I love what you guys are doing with this place, and that's the honest to God truth.

Wright: We are going to try our best. Anything else?

Sanders: Well, I realise that you've already got Ric runnin' round backstage, doing stuff for the guys, making sure all your deadlines are met, but I don't think you realise what choice you've made there.

Wright: What's your point, Mr. Sanders?

Sanders: Well Ric, he kinda lets sentimentality cloud the issue a lot of the time. He's friends with lot of boys in the back, and I think he'd rather step on your toes than their's. With all due respect to Ric, he just ain't the right man for this sorta job.

Wright: And who do you propose is, Mr. Sanders? You?

Sanders: Well you probably know this already, but I was WCW Commisioner before you took this place over, and my decisions were seen as groundbreaking and good for the company. Perhaps I could be of assistance here?

Wright: Well, I'll tell you what, Mr. Sanders, I'll let you hang around for tonight, do some paperwork for me, maybe talk to some of the guys backstage for me, and we can go from there.

(Sanders smiles.)

Sanders: You won't regret this, I give you my word.

(Cameras cut back to the arena, where the next match is about to begin.)

Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinal: Mark Jindrak & Sean O'Hare Vs. The Boogie Knights: Disqo starts against Jindrak, and immediately gets overpowered by the bigger man, as Jindrak throws him in the corner and works him over with punches and kicks. Jindrak gets some more offence in on Disqo, but Disqo manages to duck a big boot and knock Jindrak down with a dropkick, then makes the tag to Alex Wright. Wright goes to work on Jindrak, hitting a swinging neckbreaker and a springboard lariat for two nearfalls, but Jindrak catches him coming off the ropes and flapjacks him, then tags in O'Hare. He continues the run of offence for his team, hitting a heel kick, a short powerbomb and a second rope legdrop for nearfalls, then tags in Jindrak. O'Hare distracts the ref, allowing for Jindrak to hit a lowblow and cradle Wright for a nearfall. The quick tagging and cheapshots continue for another minute or so, until Wright hits a missile dropkick after blocking a superplex attempt and makes the hot tag. Disqo cleans house as Wright stands on the apron, and hits dropkicks on both opponents, knocking O'Hare (who is not the legal man) to the floor. Disqo whips Jindrak across the ring, accidentally knocking his partner to the floor, and O'Hare makes the blind tag. Disqo manages a Last Dance on Jindrak, but the ref won't count, and O'Hare springboards in with the Seanton Bomb for the pin at 6:21 to advance to the semifinals.

(Ad for WCW Sin Pay Per View, informing us that all the title tournaments will end on that night. Back to the arena for the third match of the night.)

Cruiserweight Title Tournament Quarterfinal: Devon Storm Vs. Billy Kidman: Kidman is accompanied by Rey Misterio Jr. The announcers explain that Storm is another "artist" who would prefer to be known by his "real name", so that he can be himself in the new environment. The match starts with a handshake between the two competitors, then the feeling out process begins, with each man matching the other at every step. Kidman eventually takes the upper hand, turning a Storm rana attempt into a hotshot, and getting two off of a following schoolboy. Storm pops back up but misses a spinkick, and Kidman hangs him over the top rope again then throws him to the floor. He follows with a tope, but Storm sidesteps it and Kidman crashes into the security barrier. Storm throws Kidman into the steps, then jumps up on the apron and follows up with a rana to the floor. Kidman seems injured, but back in the ring, Storm only gets a two count. Big swinging neckbreaker gets another nearfall, then Storm throws him to the floor again and hits a pescado. The ref checks on Kidman-and Rey sneaks in a cheapshot, then throws Storm back in the ring. Storm still gets up first, and sunset flips back into the ring for two, which leads into a series of pinning combos. Storm rolls through the last one and hits a DDT for a nearfall. Storm stays in control, hitting a headscossors of the ropes, then going to the top rope, but Rey shouts insults at him, and Storm becomes distracted, allowing Kidman to crotch him on the top. Kidman slowly climbs to the top rope-and Allan Funk is back out, punking Rey out and sending him into the steps at ringside. Kidman is distracted, but still goes for a top rope huracanrana-and Storm turns it into a superbomb in mid-air! He rolls through with a cradle, and gets the three count to advance at 4:32, as Funk slinks back to the dressing room, a smile on his face, and we go to an

(Ad Break)

(When we ome back, the camera is once again in Miss Wright's office, and Mike Sanders is by her side. Also there is Captain Rection, who is angrily protesting that he has not received an entry into the US Title Tournament.)

Wright:...I'm sorry, Mr. Rection, but we just don't think you're quite right for the US Title division.

Rection: Not right? What the Hell are you talking about? I've busted my ass for years to get where I am today-I am a two-time former US Champion! I don't care who's ass I have to kick to get that belt back-I'll do it. Don't deprive me of the opportunity to make good on my word.

Wright: I'm sorry, the entries are final. You are too cartoonish, Mr. Rection-you don't belong in the "upper card". Perhaps if you–

Rection: Don't go there, lady-I ain't changing for you, or anybody. It's taken me years to find myself here in WCW, and you're not gonna change that.

Wright: Then you'll have to make do with what you've been given. Now if you'll excuse me, this meeting is over-goodbye.

Rection: Yeah? We'll see what Ric has to say about this.

(Rection storms out, and we cut back to the arena for our next match.)

US Title Tournament Quarterfinal: Shane Douglas Vs. Konnan w/Tygress: Konnan does his usual crowd-friendly mic spiel before the match. Douglas rushes the ring and it's on quickly as the two brawl into the corner, and the ref breaks it up. Douglas jumps on him again as soon as they are separated, and the two tumble over the top rope. Konnan gets whipped into the security barricade, but rebounds with a clothesline and quickly tosses Douglas back in. Guillotine legdrop gets two for Konnan, and he whips Douglas across the ring and gets two off of a back elbow. Konnan sets him up for a suplex but Douglas blocks and delivers three rolling vertical suplexes in a row, for a very close two count. Douglas throws abuse at the crowd, allowing Konnan to get up, but Douglas puts him back down with a swinging DDT, for two. Tygress jumps on the apron-and Douglas knocks her down, then hits the Pittsburgh Plunge to Konnan-but the ref is checking on Tygress, who has tumbled to the floor. Douglas rolls out and grabs Tygress, then throws her in the ring and advances on her as the ref tells him to stop. Konnan is slowly to his feet, unsteadily, and Douglas turns and swings at him-but Konnan ducks, hits a kick to the gut and a facebuster, and motions for the Tequila Sunrise. Douglas worms his way out and grabs the ropes, and Konnan argues with the ref as he holds him back. Douglas charges at Konnan, but Konnan punches him and attempts to whip him into the ropes. Douglas reverses, sending Konnan crashing into Tygress, and catches Konnan off the ropes with the Franchiser for the three count at 4:05 to advance. Douglas celebrates, and Konnan seems injured. EMTs come to the ring as we cut to the back.

(Backstage, Captain Rection has found Flair, and is angrily telling him what had happened. Flair is attempting to calm him.)

Flair: Now, Hugh, I know I made you a promise earlier tonight, and somewhere down the road, I swear, I will make good on my word. You are the future of this company and I'll make sure that these guys calling the shots see it.

Rection: I know that, Ric, I know that, but I'm being denied my chance to prove myself in this supposed new era. I want my chance, I deserve just as much as anyone else-Hell, even more than that, I dominated the US Division for the past two months.

Flair: I can't change what they've already done, Hugh, I wish I could but I can't. I promise ya, you'll get some sort of gold opportunity in the near future. And tonight, I'll give you a chance to prove yourself-I'll get you a match tonight, and you can go out there, kick some ass, and show these guys what they're passing over. Just you wait-you can show ‘em.

(The camera cuts back to the arena as Mark tells us it's time for the next match, while Konnan is still being helped by EMTs. He seems to determined to walk out on his own, as Kanyon's music hits and he walks to the ring, apparently for the next match. He takes a mic from ringside and starts to cut a promo, but the EMTs quietly ask him to wait while Konnan is helped out. Kanyon ignores them, and goes to speak again, and they interrupt again-so Kanyon puts the mic down and goes to help Konnan out of the ring-but grabs him at the last second and Kanyon Kuts him! The fans boo Kanyon bigtime as he rolls the severely injured Konnan out of the ring and shouts at the EMTs to "Get him the Hell outta here-I been off of TV for too long, this is MY airtime!". Konnan is stretchered out, and the next match gets underway.)

US Title Tournament Quarterfinal: Kanyon Vs. Lance Storm: Storm is now using Bret Hart's old music as his theme. He walks slowly to the ring, and climbs in then stands in his corner as the bell rings, awaiting Kanyon's first move. Kanyon rushes him and Storm sidesteps him, throwing him into the corner and droptoeholding him out. Kanyon slows up and the two have a stalemate again. Kanyon again makes the first move, going for a clothesline, and Storm again counters, going for an armdrag, but Kanyon rolls through it and hits one of his own, and the feeling out process begins. The two exchange side headlocks and headscissors, and Kanyon-who is massively over as a heel thanks to his actions before the match-manages a bodyslam to takes control, then hits a succession of legdrops for a nearfall. Storm manages to rollthrough the pin into on of his own for two, and Kanyon pops straight up and clotheslines him down. Storm pops up and gets hiptossed twice, then a third sends him to the floor. Kanyon follows with a pescado, but Storm sidesteps it, and Kanyon goes headfirst into the floor. Kanyon up dazedly, and Storm rushes him, but Kanyon backdrops him into the ringpost, then legsweeps him into the steps. He tosses Storm back into the ring for two. He stands Storm up, and gets a heel kick to the back of the head, then waits for Storm to stand up and hits a dropkick, then climbs to the top and hits a missile dropkick, for a nearfall. Kanyon keeps the advantage for the next few minutes, and starts to concentrate on Storms's ribs, chopping him in the corner and putting on an abdominal stretch, grabbing the ropes for extra leverage, gaining more heel heat. This is not to say that Storm is over as a face-rather, all the crowd heat is negative for Kanyon. Sorm manages to hiptoss his way out of it, but gets caught with a knee to the ribs coming off the ropes, giving Kanyon another nearfall. Kanyon sends Storm chest-first into the corner and goes for a rollup-but Storm rolls through, managing to hook on the Maple Leaf! Kanyon screams with pain, but will not give up, and Storm has to release the hold, as pulling back on the leg is stretching his injured ribs. Kanyon up slowly, and Storm hits a jawjacker, then swings at Kanyon-and gets caught with the Kanyon Kutter! Kanyon showboats then goes for the pin, but Storm just barely gets his shoulder up! Kanyon can't believe it, and he argues with the ref but goes for another Kutter-and Storm shoves him into the ropes, then picks him up and delivers a cradle piledriver! It also gets a two-count, just as close as Kanyon's, and Storm is just as pissed off about it as Kanyon was. Kanyon gets up and swings at Storm, and Storm puts him down with an armbar, then goes back to the Maple Leaf! He holds on as Kanyon almost makes the ropes, but Storm drags him back into the centre of the ring-and Bam Bam Bigelow is out from the back, climbing up on the apron. The ref tells him to get down as Kanyon taps to the Maple Leaf, and Storm foolishly lets it go, leaving Kanyon lying in the centre of the ring. Storm whirls the ref around and shoves him back into the centre of the ring-and Bam Bam grabs Storm's head, hanging him over the top rope! Kanyon pops up as Storm staggers backward, and he whirls Storm around and delivers another Kanyon Kutter, then sucks it up and hooks the leg to get the three count and advance at 11:47. Bam Bam backs off into the dressing room as Kanyon limps after him. Storm rolls out of the ring and strides angrily over to the announce position as Madden talks about his loss, and he can be heard to yell at all three announcers-"New era my ass! You put this message across to the viewing public-starting next week, all this BS that goes on here, all the screwjob, that's gonna stop!"-then he stomps off to the dressing room, leaving the announcer speechless, as we go to an

(Ad Break)

(When we come back, the camera is once again backstage, as Mike Sanders appears to be fetching Miss Wright a cup of coffee. He pours out a mug, turns to leave-and Reno approaches him.)

Reno: Yo, Mike, it's good to see you got yourself a role in this whole new era thing.

Mike: Yeah, you just wait, I'll be back in my old commish spot, I promise ya-and I'll let all of you in for the party!

Reno: Well, that's what I wanted to ask ya, man. I know you just got this opportunity and all, and....

Mike: Yeah? Shoot.

Reno: Well, I was wondering if you could kinda get me a spot in the US Title Tournament, y'know? I mean, I am a former Hardcore Champion.

Mike: Well, I hate to tell ya, but that don't mean shit anymore, Reno. I tell ya what, though, gimme a week, maybe two, and I'll see if I can slot your name in there somewhere. Okay?

Reno: Sure thing. Don't let me down, man.

Mike: I won't. Now come on-Shawn and Chuck are on.

(The cameras cut back to the arena for the next match.)

Tag Team Title Tournament Quarterfinal: Jung Dragons w/Leia Meiow Vs. Perfect Event: Palumbo has brought the Lex Flexor with him for the first time in a long time, now that the Natural Born Thrillaz have apparently been disbanded. Stasiak starts against Yang, and muscles him into the corner, then poses. Yang rushes him and gets armdragged, but he rolls through and hits a kick to the head then an enzuiguri, and makes a quick tag to Kaz, who comes in with a springboard dropkick for two. Kaz whips him into the ropes, then droptoeholds him into the second rope and follows up with a charge. Yang sticks in a legdrop across the back of Stasiak's head, and Stasiak falls backward into the centre of the ring, where Kaz gets two off of a standing senton. Kaz runs off the ropes but gets flapjacked by Stasiak, who then pulls him into a TKO neckbreaker and makes the tag to Palumbo, who poses after coming in. He waits for Kaz to stand up and knocks him down with a big boot, then another then whips him into the ropes and gets a powerslam for two. Kaz comes off the ropes with a flying headscissors, but Palumbo pops straight back up and shoulderblocks Kaz in mid-air as he jumps at him. A sidewalk slam gets two and Palumbo makes the tag to Stasiak. He hits an impressive press slam, which gets two, then tags Palumbo back in. The offence and quick tags continue for a few minutes, until Palumbo goes upstairs and Kaz dropkicks the ropes, then hits a top rope huracanrana. Both men make the tag, and Stasiak eats a dropkick to the face from Yang, then gets knocked to the floor by another. Kaz and Yang go to work on Palumbo as the ref checks on Stasiak and administers a count, and the Dragons whip Palumbo into a huracanrana from Leia Meiow! Palumbo flies to the floor and Kaz hits a pescado to knock him down, while Yang throws Stasiak back in the ring. A springboard legdrop gets two for Yang as Palumbo whips Kaz into the ringsteps. Meiow jumps on his back-and Palumbo throws her off, then cracks her with the Lex Flexor! Yang baseball slides him-and Stasiak sneaks up behind him, hitting a slop drop for the pin at 6:13 to advance. Yang and Kaz help Meiow to the back as the Perfect Event bask in the heel heat.

(We cut to backstage, where Pamela Paulschock is standing with Kanyon, who is smiling broadly, but wincing from the pain in his ankle.)

Pamela: Kanyon, you have just become a semifinalist in the US Title Tournament. Now that you're getting the chance you finally deserve, how do you feel?

Kanyon: First things first, Pamela, I just wanna say that you have one of the finest pairs of dirty pillows I have EVER seen. Having said that, your speaking skills are poorly lacking, so please, give the microphone to someone who knows what he's doing.

(He takes the mic from Pamela, who exits the picture, visible upset. Kanyon shakes his head and smiles, then turns back to the camera.)

Kanyon: Now that that unpleasantness is out of the way, let's get to the more important stuff-and that's the fact that li'l old me, the guy who's been toiling around working my ass off for YEARS, is gonna be your next US Champion. Now there are two schools of thought on that subject, and I will be happy to–

(Kanyon doesn't get a chance to finish, as Kidman cracks him from behind with a trash can, and Rey Misterio Jr. soon follows. The two throw him into the metal backdrop and continue to stomp him-until Bam Bam Bigelow once again appears on the scene with a trash can of his own, levelling Kidman with it and slamming Rey's head into the metal. Kanyon is slowly to his feet as Bam Bam backs away, nodding to himself.)

Bam Bam: I got your back...jack.

(Kanyon smiles to himself as Bam Bam backs of into the shadows, and the camera cuts back to the arena.)

General Rection Vs. Jim Duggan: Rection doesn't seem too happy about Flair's choice of opponent for him, but nonetheless he charges the ring with enthusiasm and lays into Duggan with right hands. Duggan sent into the ropes and backdropped, and Rection knocks him straight over again when he gets to his feet. Legdrop gets two, but Morrus pulls Duggan up to break the count. Duggan into the ropes, and a powerslam gets two for Rection, then a pair of elbowdrops gets another nearfall. Duggan manages an eye rake-his first offence-but his following swing misses and Rection hits a neckbreaker for two. Rection drills Duggan with a German suplex, then climbs to the top rope and delivers the No Laughing Matter moonsault for the pin at 2:22. Rection gets his hand raised, and we cut to the back again...)

(Where Goldberg is passing through the metal detector at the entrance of the arena. We see Mike Sanders approaching him, but before anything can come of it, we cut to an)

(Ad Break)

(When we come back footage is played of Sanders leading Goldberg into Miss Wright's office, as the announcers once again speculate just what Miss Wright is up to. We cut back to the arena, for the night's main event.)

(Scott Steiner's music hits as the former World Champion makes his way to the ring with Midasya. He climbs in the ring and takes the mic from David Penzer shoves him out of the ring, then calls for the music to be cut.)

Steiner: So WCW is entering into a whole new era, huh, with new champions for this modern age, new rules, even new ringropes, new everything. Well the more I think about it the more that seems like a bunch of BS. Y'see I been kicking ass up and down the board in this company for years on end and I seen more new eras come and go than the new testament, and Big Poppa Pump ain't gonna be felled by some asshole in a suit wielding a pen. So all o' the guys who think that the Big Bad Booty Daddy is a loose cannon in the new and improved WCW can get down on their knees and kiss my ass, and tonight I'm gonna take the first step back to regaining my WCW World Title.

(Steiner throws the mic down as the announcers speculate on who Steiner's opponent is going to be, then some familiar music hits-starting with a loud exclamation-"I'm the Greatest!"...)

Main Event, WCW World Title Tournament Quarterfinal: Scott Steiner w/Midasya Vs. The Cat w/Miss Jones: The announcers talk about how it seems as though Steiner has been given a slightly easier than expected opponent for his quarterfinal matchup as Steiner muscles Cat into the corner and pounds away on him. The ref breaks it up and Steiner clotheslines Cat as he walks out of the corner, then elbowdrops him for a two count. The Cat gets to his feet and ducks a Steinerline, then hits a spinning kick to Steiner's pecs that seems to rock him slightly. Cat runs at him-and gets caught with a belly-to-belly that lands him awkwardly on his neck, which gets a nearfall for Steiner. Cat whipped into the ropes and backdropped, but Steiner demonstrates his pushup skills rather than pin him-and Cat gets the Barry Horowitz rollup for a two count. Steiner retaliates with a knee to the gut and a vertical suplex, then a falling headbutt to the neck. Cat clutches at his neck and shoulder in pain, which was obviously injured on the belly-to-belly suplex from earlier. Steiner stands Cat up and knocks him down, then whips him into the corner and presses him on the way out-but Cat slides out, comes off the ropes-and gets caught with a low blow and a DDT for two. Midasya jumps on the apron to protest the call-and Miss Jones pulls her off the apron! The two women argue on the outside as Steiner continues to dominate Cat in the ring, including his rolling belly-to-belly out of the corner for a two count. Delayed neckbreaker on Cat gets another nearfall, and Midasya knocks Miss Jones' head off with a clothesline on the floor. Steiner stops to applaud Midasya as the Cat crawls slowly across the ring, and Steiner turns back to him-and takes a low blow. Cat dazedly to his feet as Midasya continues to pummel Miss Jones on the floor, and Cat hits the Feliner on Steiner-for two, as Steiner presses Cat off of him with authority. Another clothesline puts Cat on his back, and Steiner locks in the Steiner Recliner-but the ref is shouting at Midasya to lay off of Miss Jones. Steiner releases the hold and spins the referee around to face him, then ducks a clothesline from the Cat-and plants him on the back of the neck with a release Dragon suplex. He flexes, then pins Cat at 5:17 to advance. Midasya tosses Miss Jones in the ring as Steiner continues posing-and Steiner breaks off from celebrating to drill Miss Jones with another Dragon suplex! His music hits again as the crowd boo and the credits appear at the bottom of the screen, but just before black out, we cut backstage once more....)

(As Goldberg exits Miss Wright's office, nodding to himself...)

Ian Challis

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