EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING
mdb books Nitro
Standard disclaimer 1: Fantasy booking is easier than actual booking. I completely understand this. In reworking Nitro I try to remain aware of the realities of pro wrestling in general and WCW in particular. That means not having Scott Hudson piledrive Mark Madden through the announcer's table, as fun as that would be. I try to use the same wrestlers WCW used on their actual broadcast. The few exceptions are made in cases where it seems obvious to me that the people are available and capable of the role I put them in.
Standard disclaimer 2: Until WCW starts paying me to do this, I can't bother with spit and polish. I put about two hours into this. 15 minutes into setting up the matches and the rest typing out the scenes off the top of my head as I go along. Please ignore spelling errors, words without proper capitalization, etc.
Standard disclaimer 3: I do not do this to prove how smart I am or how stupid WCW is (though many may infer just that). I do this to a) prove that WCW still has the talent to put on a good show at any point they choose if they'd just use their people effectively, with foresight and good intention and b) allow myself to go into Thunder with good thoughts toward WCW instead of simplely thinking how much Nitro sucked and how there is no reason to expect a good show from the promotion anytime in the near or distant future. All comments good and bad are welcome.
It's Nitro from Chapel Hill, NC and that means only one man can start the show, the Nature Boy Ric Flair! Flair is out with the Package and Liz. Flair knows how to cut a promo so all I have to do is explain the program tonight. Flair calls out Sid demanding a world title shot tonight. Sid comes out to answer the challenge. Lex and Liz exit the ring, Flair goads Sid into the ring. Flair starts hot with chops, Sid no sells. Flair tries punches, Sid no sells, getting mad. Flair goes into the ropes expecting to hit a kick to the leg of Sid but gets caught in a chokeslam hold. Before the move is done Lex is in with the chair. The beat down begins but Sting runs in for the save. Sting on the mic makes a challenge for a tag match tonight, Sid and him vs. Flair and Luger. Flair has a mic and answers, the people don't want to see the tag match, they want to see Ric become world champ. Before a response can be made, the Wolfpack theme plays. Commish Nash appears on the stage. Flair vs. Sid and Sting vs. Luger would be too easy. He wants to book Flair vs. Luger to get a title shot next Nitro (or Thunder) and Sting vs. Sid for the world title tonight. Flair and Luger are outraged and storm off to confront the departing Nash. Sid and Sting in the ring kind of shrug, they like a good fight, a good challenge, so they shake hands and will do the match tonight.
Rationale: No need to fight the face reaction Flair will get, so book him against a heel. Against Luger has the built in storyline that can become a thread throughout the show. Sid vs. Sting is a big enough match to hype for a main event.
Flair and Luger try to talk to Nash but Nash is in his office and he's got security to keep everyone out. Nash opens the door slightly, taunts Flair and Luger and tells them to have a good match tonight.
In the back, Gene introduces and interviews the Young Dragons. Unfortunately, the Young Dragons don't speak English and Gene doesn't speak English. Before things get too far out of control, La Parka enters the scene and provides his services as translator! Kaz is going to take out Psicosis tonight and win the cruiserweight title.
Kaz vs. Juvy- In the ring, Juvy and Psic do their thing. Out comes Kaz and his pals. Kaz wins the match, Juvy and Psic do a beat down, Young Dragons clear the ring. (ed. note: I actually don't know who the Young Dragons are, and I imagine I'm not the only one.)
Rationale: Kaz should get a chance to be cruiser champ. He's got the talent and just hasn't been used. Juvy and Psic will be the heels he overcomes to be worthy of the belt and then Juvy or Psic can take the belt from him as part of the feud.
Prince Iaukea interview. He's got a cruiser title defense on Thunder against Kaz. He's not impressed with the Young Dragons.
Outside, Jarrett and the Harris bros arrive.
Lex and Flair talk. It's obvious that Nash is trying to split them up but that trick's not going to work. Flair: 'Just let me win the match.' Lex: 'Wait, why do you get to win?' Flair: 'It's my hometown.' Lex: 'So? There's a world title shot on the line.' Flair: 'Oh come on Lex, let's not go through this again (a wink to longtime fans who remember how Lex got kicked out of the Horsemen in the 80s).' Lex: 'Look, we'll flip a coin.' Flair wins the coin toss.
Interview with the nWo. It doesn't mean a damn thing what happens tonight in the World title match, at Uncensored he's taking the title. Harris brothers are indignant at the champs facing 3 Count tonight. Where are the Mamalukes hiding at? They're always running from them. Well at Uncensored there will be no hiding. There will be no running. Steel cage match at the PPV!
Gene talks with Sting and Sid. They respect each other. Nash might want to get them mad at each other, and it may work with Flair and Lex, but Sid and Sting are pros and they'll go out and have a great match and give the fans a good main event.
In the back, Kevin Nash decides that while the scheduled Evan Korageious vs. Jeff Jarrett would be a fine US title defense but Vampiro deserves a rematch for the US belt. And Evan can wrestle... the Wall! Boy pop groups suck! Now if the camera man doesn't mind, he and his nurses have some checkups to take care of, if you know what he means. And after the nurses are doing
An outraged Jeff wants to speak to the Commish. Security won't let him in.
The Wall vs. Evan - Big squash. I mean Evan just destroys the Wall. Just kidding! Wall over big and he can toss around the other two as well. Heck, you can even bring in David to attack the Wall to set up the double table spot, though I might just do regular table spots with Three Count, have David attack and get a regular chokeslam here and set up a match for Thunder where they do the double table.
Rationale: I want the Hardcore title off of 3 Count (not that I'm a big fan of the title as it is now.) The joke ain't funny. I guess really I'd have Tank Abbott win the belt from the three to start him back from the job to Sid last week, but since I gave him the Hardcore title in my fantasy booking last week, I thought I'd do something different here and go with Wall gaining the Hardcore title. I like the idea of him adding strength to the nWo but I don't think he's quite ready to be part of the group. (Of course yeah he's already better than the Harrises.)
Interview with Vampiro. What is Jeff afraid of? Hope he's not scared of Vampiro!
Vampiro vs. Jarrett - Jeff in the ring with a mic. He's not happy. He's going to get this over with and get back home to Tennessee because North Carolina sucks. (Ed note: This actually is not true. NC is a beautiful state and Tennessee is chock full of hicks.) Vampiro comes out, plays to the crowd. Staredown. Jeff hits the guitar shot. Jeff walks out. No one tells the chosen one what to do. At Uncensored he's going to get the World title.
Rationale: Well, by the end of the show it'll make sense. Keep reading! By the way, I am well aware that this first hour is a lot of talk and not much wrestling. Well this week I'm setting something up for the second hour and it takes a bit to get around to. I'd certainly make up for all this talk with lots of wrestling on Thunder! Fact is, Raw has proven that talk by the big names does better than matches anyway.
Jeff leaves the arena. He tells the Harris boys to have fun.
Ric "Don't turn to Raw" Flair makes his entrance. He talks to the fans.
Lex comes out. Lex has been having second thoughts. Maybe they should have a match and let the best man win. 'Come on Lex, you lost the coin flip. Be a man.' Lex: 'Come on Flair, be a man and lets have a match.' Flair: 'Kevin Nash set this whole thing up to get us fighting and you're going to fall for it? That's just...' sucker punch by the Nature Boy! He goes to work on the Package. Just like that Team Package has broken up. Lex plays heel, Ric plays face. Flair wins the match after 7 or 8 minutes to get the title shot. Lex goes to break the arm of Flair. Sting runs in to make the save. Lex backs off, Flair takes a look at Sting standing in front of him holding back Lex and... clips Sting! Lex and Flair start to work over Sting's leg. Figure four as Luger poses to the crowd. Flair suggests they break a leg just to do something different. Sid makes the save before they Pillmanize the leg. Flair and Luger laugh as they leave the ring. Flair: 'See you next Monday, Sid!' Security escort Lex and Flair.
Rationale: Old school fans will recognize this as a version of the classic Rhodes gets his ankle broken after trying to save Ric from the Russians, but hey, 90% of the fans today haven't been around for 5 years let alone 15. Lex vs. Flair can be a good enough match. Sting vs. Flair could be a good enough feud next month. And it serves a purpose toward the end of the show.
During the break Doug Dillinger put Lex and Ric out of the arena. 'This is my town, this is my building, you can't do that.' 'Flair, you know I can. Consider it done.' 'C'mon Lex, I know where the parties are.' (Hey you could have him show up at the Nitro party at Duke, that'd be cool. Normal I ignore those little segments, but it'd work great right here.)
Sting is being put in an ambulence. He should have know better. He didn't go out there to save Flair, he was simply going after Luger. But once Sting is done with Luger at Uncensored, he's got a score to settle with Flair.
Booker vs. Cassius - Booker interviwed by Mean Gene. He's had ups and downs throughout his career. The last year has seen more downs than ups, but he will keep fighting and he will overcome. He's through wasting time on suckers like Big T and J Biggs, he's not going to start feuding with Billy Kidman over miscues in the matches, he's going to climb the ladder to the World title. Now can you dig it? The Harlem Heat music plays. Out come Heat Inc. J Biggs on the mic as they walk to the ring, 'Did I hear you call us suckas? That's slanderous, malicous, defimation of character. But don't worry, we can settle out of court, we'll settle it in the ring. By the way, "Now can you dig it?" is a trademarked slogan for Harlem Heat so I suggest you cease and desist your use.' Cassius (4x4) is the one Booker wrestles. Biggs as third announcer, Stevie and Big T as heels always getting cheap shots. Booker still gets the win and escapes a heel beatdown postmatch. Heels in the ring are flustered and challenging Booker. Booker walks off muttering to himself: 'I'm sick of this.'
Rationale: Booker needs to get angry and he needs to go over in the feud with Stevie Ray and move on with his career. This starts the angle of career vs. Harlem Heat gimmick that will settle this once and for all.
Gene in the back trying to talk to Commish Nash about what will be done for a main event now that Sting is out but no one answers the door.
Gene finally gets the nerve to open the door. No one's in there! They must have snuck out when no one was watching. Who's Sid going to fight? There's no Commish to make a decision.
Mamalukes vs. 3 Count - Trade some spots, let the Mamalukes win, here come the Harris boys, H-bombs. Nothing special here.
Rationale: The tag title match is at Uncensored. By the book squash/heel attack. Every segment can't be gems!
Sid walks in the back. Sting's not here. Flair and Lex aren't here. Nash isn't here. Jarrett isn't here? Who's going to work the match? Find out next.
Sid vs. ? - Sid on the mic. He wants to give the people a main event so he issues the open challenge to anyone in the back. Who answers? Unfamiliar music plays. It's unfamiliar because his familiar music was taken from him. It's Booker! 'Earlier tonight I said I was going to climb that ladder. Well I hear opportunity knocking, so forget the ladder, how about you defend the belt against me tonight?' Sid: 'Let's go!' Ref rings the bell. Match goes and Booker does his best to carry Sid to a good match. In the end, Booker wins the match and the title!!!
Rationale: Right now worries about ratings and buyrates can be forgotten. WCW needs to do something new at the top. I have no idea what reaction to Booker winning the belt would be to the general audience, but until Goldberg is back I don't see any reason not to give Booker a chance to hold the belt for a while.
From here: Booker gets the PPV main event rematch against Sid and wins, I don't want to make this just a hotshot title change. He also gets a DQ win on Flair, a pin on Lex, a pin on Stevie. I can book lots of fun stuff for the next few weeks, for example Disco can talk trash about he was a better TV champ than Booker and his Mamalukes are better tag champs than Harlem Heat had ever been and set up a match for WCWSN.
Nash makes the ruling that Jarrett's contract said that he would get a title match against Sid and since Sid is no longer the champ the contract is invalid. Instead he can defend the US title against Vampiro, no DQ, inside a cage. Vamp gets the title there and Jeff gets really pissed about things after that.
I could work out further lines for the rest of the cast, but really, the only important thing is to get people interested in the World title. Sid and Jarrett just don't have it. I don't think Sid vs. Booker would really do any better per se, but I think a Booker world title run could at least bring a breath of fresh air to the top of the card. He matches up well against every top contender in the fed and has shown the ability to wrestle good matches and be way over.
It occurred to me towards the 930 mark (like I said I do this off the top of my head as I go along) that it might have been better to do a double main event with Luger vs. Flair at about 940, confusion at 950 on the main event and then have Booker T step out at 955. Make it a whole last half hour segment for the two matches. I'd put the Flair vs. Lex at 900 to try to hold viewers, but I think perhaps an interview and the Jarrett/Vampiro bits might go there and have to do as best they can. I wouldn't have to rush the Flair/Luger 'alliance breakdown.' But that's all here and there.