PWInsiderXTRA - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE



By Mark E. Mark on 10/31/2011 2:19 PM
I'm back, and it's time to flex those booking muscles like only a mark can...or like Mark E. Mark can! First, I want to say thanks to everybody who sent all the positive feedback for last week's debut column where I booked out the rest of WCW's year in 2001 if it hadn't gone out of business. This week, we're staying in WCW for another major, industry shifting event as we head back to June of 1996. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash had jumped from the WWF to WCW and presented themselves as outsiders, invading WCW in an attempt to destroy it from the inside. Eventually, Hulk Hogan turned heel and joined the group in shocking fashion, and the three of them formed the NWO, a group that would change the way professional wrestling was presented as a whole and caused the competition between the WWF and WCW to become an all-out war. The NWO angle ran for years and became the storyline WCW would come to be defined by.

But what if the NWO never happened? What if Hall & Nash never came to WCW, Hogan never turned heel, and WCW continued on as it had been? All existing storylines in WCW were completely dropped as the focus shifted to WCW vs NWO, and many of them were never resolved. Today, we'll explore what might have been if the NWO never existed...or in other words, we'll make up a whole bunch of stuff that never happened but sounds really good in Fantasy World!

Incidentally, this might turn some people off, but no Wargames this year. I know, it's one of the biggest matches of the year and we expect one every year at Fall Brawl, but that's the problem. If the Hell In A Cell PPV has taught us anything, it's that it really doesn't work to have a gimmick match that HAS to happen every year and then try to shoehorn a feud together to take advantage of it. Nothing I'm booking lends itself to doing the match, so rather than trying to cram something together just to do it, I'll hold off and maybe do it sometime in early to mid 1997 since nobody ever said it HAS to happen at Fall Brawl every year.

Anyway, on to 1996.

Ric Flair vs Macho Man Randy Savage

These two had been feuding so violently and for so long, and the feud had gotten so personal that it's insane that it never got blown off in the real world. So, this is going to be my top feud for the remainder of 1996.

When we last left off, Savage was just reinstated after Steve McMichael turned on he and Kevin Greene, so I'll have Savage ready to kill the both of them now that he's allowed to get back in the ring. He challenges them to a tag match and says he'll bring a mystery partner, but when we get to the night of the match, Savage is backstage with his father Angelo Poffo and says that tonight, he's going to keep it all in the family. The announcers, Flair and McMichael, and everyone else will think he's crazy for bringing his ancient father to come be his partner and get beat up by Flair again.

Instead, Savage brings out his brother Lanny Poffo, who really was under contract to WCW and was never used, but I'm going to use him now. Savage will spend the whole match getting beaten up and then go to make the hot tag to Lanny, who just drops off the ring apron and leaves his brother to get beaten down 2-on-1. Angelo comes out to yell at Lanny for walking out on his brother, but Lanny just knocks his old man out without even hesitating. After Flair & MicMichael beat Savage, Lanny gets a microphone and stands right over his fallen brother to cut a promo that sounds something like "I'm tired of living in your shadow, I'm bigger, stronger, more athletic, and smarter, but I've always been stuck in a corner while you got all the glory. You wouldn't help me get into WCW and wouldn't even admit that I'm your brother. There's only one man who recognized my talent, and that man is Ric Flair, and now I'm an elite player too because I'm the newest member of the Four Horsemen!"

Now comes my favorite part of the turn: Arn & Benoit come out to celebrate and everyone looks all happy, but then Lanny turns to McMichael and says "I said FOUR Horsemen. You've served your purpose." and then they beat McMichael down in a heap and dump him from the group. It's like this: Steve McMichael sucked, he was never a good wrestler or promo, but was especially atrocious at this point and was absolutely not suited to such an important spot. So, I'm correcting the mistake the previous booker made and I'm dumping Mongo.

I follow this up with a tag match pitting Flair & Lanny against Savage and a partner who would probably have to be Mongo. I really didn't want him anywhere near the feud given that I just pulled him out of the Horsemen and don't have the highest opinion of him, plus I'd have to come up with some storyline reason to do it that would probably end up being an "I was blinded by the money but I'm sorry" type of BS, but in any event he would only be there to get beat up so Savage could get the hot tag and be so hellbent on getting his hands on Flair that Lanny is able to sneak in from behind and roll Savage up to get the win.

Savage is absolutely homicidal at this point, and tries to attack Flair everywhere and any which way he can. Finally it gets to the point where JJ Dillon comes out and says that there's just too much animosity between Savage and Flair, and there's no way he can make a match between them in good conscience. However, he can give Savage his brother Lanny at Halloween Havoc. Savage beats Lanny, but then Flair runs in and attacks Savage, steals the referee's belt and uses it to hang Savage over the top rope.

JJ still refuses to make the match, but both men are entered into the 60 man battle royal at World War III and we spend weeks speculating on what will happen when they see each other there. What ends up happening is Savage runs out and attacks Flair on his way to the ring, and they brawl to the back without ever officially getting into the match. As the battle royal continues, we do split screens of the cameras following Flair and Savage as they brawl all over the building, through the back, and into the parking lot where Flair pulls a guy out of his car and commits grand theft auto to get away from Savage.

The next night, JJ Dillon comes out and says that he's had an important decision that he didn't want to have to make, but after thinking long and hard and also consulting with the WCW legal team, he's here to announce that Ric Flair will face the Macho Man Randy Savage in the main event of Starrcade. The match will be held in a cage, under I Quit rules, and will officially be the last time these two will ever face each other in a WCW ring again. It's frankly a risk to both men to even let them face off at Starrcade, and JJ did everything he could to avoid it, but this feud has to be settled and, quite frankly, Flair has been asking for it with his actions over the last several years. Also, just to ensure that there's no trouble over the next several weeks, both men are banned from live WCW events until Starrcade, and even once we get to Starrcade, they'll be strictly ordered to arrive at specific times hours apart and will be under lock and key in separate dressing rooms. In short, they are absolutely not allowed to touch under any circumstances until the bell rings to start their match at Starrcade.

With Flair and Savage at home, I spend the next several weeks hyping the HELL out of this match: this is the last time you will ever see these two men do battle, Flair has taken Savage's wife, his brother, his money, multiple World Titles, he's beaten up Savage's father, and this is Savage's last and only chance for revenge, but Flair has been a step ahead of Savage the entire time, how will Savage ever show his face again if he loses? I'll even do a promo from Flair's home where Flair says that he's had Savage's number every step of the way because he's better than Savage, Savage has never been on his level, and he's enjoyed watching Savage's life crumble around him while he's taken everything from him. He's the Nature Boy, he's walked that aisle 13 times (at that point), and he wants it all. Savage has only one thing left, and that's his pride, but Flair's going to take that too at Starrcade. I then send the cameras to try and get comments from Savage at his home, but Angelo answers the door and says now isn't a real good time. We hear Savage yelling and causing a commotion in the background, but the interviewer tries again to press for comments until Savage comes barreling out and simply says "The time for talking is over. Ric Flair, I'm going to END YOU." and slams the door shut in the cameraman's face.

Sting vs Lex Luger

By June of 1996, WCW had spent nearly nine months in a storyline where the big question was whether Sting could trust Luger, who was good to Sting but otherwise was acting like a conniving heel. Once the NWO came along, the story was dropped and they were bestest of friends, united against the threat from outside. But since that threat has been erased, now we get to book what could have happened.

Just to quickly recap: everything had been fine between them until they won the tag title from Harlem Heat when Luger used a foreign object to knock Booker T out without Sting's knowledge, then when Sting challenged the Giant for the WCW World Title at Slamboree 96, Luger was handcuffed to Jimmy Hart at ringside and accidentally (or maybe not) swung Hart's megaphone at Sting and knocked him out, costing him the match.

Moving forward: the next step I take is that we need a challenger for the Giant at Bash At The Beach, so I book Luger against Sting for a shot at the title. They're going to go into it the same as at Starrcade 95 where they say there's no heat and may the best man win, except that this time Luger "accidentally" rams Sting into the referee, then takes the opening to kick Sting low and give him a piledriver to win the match. I'll have Mean Gene confront Luger backstage to find out what the hell he was thinking out there, and Luger says something to the effect of "we said 'may the best man win', and the best man is the one who's willing to do anything to win, even if it means sacrificing his own best friend. Sorry Sting, but you've outlived your usefulness and now I'm done with you and it's on to the WCW World Title!"

Luger challenges the Giant at Bash At The Beach, and we build on their first match at the Great American Bash where Luger tried to get Giant up for the Torture Rack, only to collapse and send the Giant crashing down on top of him to set up Giant getting the win. Luger manages to get him up for the Torture Rack this time around, but Sting runs in (probably after a ref bump or something) and attacks Luger, allowing Giant to chokeslam and pin Luger a second time. Sting goes backstage and cuts a promo along the lines of "I've been the only person in WCW who's had your back for the last year, I've been trying to convince everyone that you weren't the snake they all thought you were, and it turns out you were just playing me for a dummy the entire time, and then once the time was right, you doublecrossed me to get what you want. Ask Ric Flair what happens to people who doublecross me. I'm coming for you, Lex!"

This leads to a singles match at Road Wild and Sting gets the win, but then Luger runs out to get involved in the WCW Title match between Hogan and the Giant later in the night. Sting comes out to go after Luger and the whole thing turns into a four way schmozz that leads to the referee throwing the match out. The next night on Nitro, I have Luger come out and go face to face with the Giant and say that they've had their battles and they're going to again in the future, but Hogan and Sting have been thorns in both their sides for a long time and proposes a tag match at Fall Brawl where they can take Hogan and Sting out so they can concentrate on settling things between each other. Sting and Hogan are cool with each other so there's no problems there, but now the question is whether Giant can trust Luger. This time, Luger's the one who gets doublecrossed because Sting comes in to clean house on him and Luger tries to tag out to the Giant, but the Giant walks out and leaves Luger high and dry so Sting can beat him with the Scorpion Deathlock.

Giant comes out on Nitro the night after Fall Brawl and says he's no fool, he knows Luger's M.O. and took heed of that old adage to do unto the man as he would do unto you. Luger comes out and gets in his face and demands the Giant in the ring again with the title on the line, but then Sting comes out and says "Wait a minute, I've beaten you twice in the last couple of months, I should be the one getting the title shot!" Then Hogan comes on out saying he's got unfinished business with the Giant and he deserves the title shot. JJ Dillon decides that the best way to settle this is to put the title on the line in a four way match at Halloween Havoc (the only multi-way match I'm doing all year).

In the four way, I have Giant hit a chokeslam on Sting, but Hogan attacks Giant before he can go for a cover and they brawl to the outside. Luger comes in like a shark and puts Sting in the torture rack, but Sting is out and the referee has no choice but to call for the bell and award Luger the WCW World Title. Sting obviously wants a title shot, but Luger refuses to grant him one, so Sting has to win the World War III battle royal and give Luger no choice but to face him. He does, and the match is set for Starrcade.

Hulk Hogan vs The Giant

This one is going to be really tricky and is something that's probably more along the lines of fantasy since Hogan's notorious for shooting down ideas that don't 100% appeal to him, but since we're making everything up, let's pretend Hogan has an epiphany and decides to go along with my plan. I'm going to go back to his feud with the Giant because, even though Hogan beat him in a cage match in early 1996, neither of them ever pinned the other and we're going to take care of that.

As we recall, Hogan had been off TV for a few months before the heel turn at Bash At The Beach, but now I instead have the Giant come out the night after BATB bragging about how he's beaten everyone who's been thrown in his path. Hulk comes out and does the "you've never beaten me, brother" interview to set them up for a match at Road Wild for the title. I already talked in the last section about everything that happens in the next few months: Sting and Luger run in to cause a no contest, they do a tag match at Fall Brawl where Sting and Hogan beat Luger and Giant when Giant walks out on Luger, then they all fight over a title shot until JJ Dillon makes a four way at Halloween Havoc that Luger wins via dubious means.

So, now we're heading into World War III where both men want the win to get that title shot. Hogan clears out the entire Dungeon of Doom by himself, but the Giant dumps him and then, in the reverse of what happened the year before, Hogan pulls Giant under the ropes and all the referees see is Giant on the outside with Hogan, so they assume he went over the top and call him eliminated. Giant wants Hogan, Hogan wants that big stinky Giant, brother, and we have a match at Starrcade.

The Cruiserweight Title

This one is going to be really simple, but I'm going to have a lot of fun doing it: the Cruiserweight Title will be dominated by Dean Malenko vs Eddy Guerrero for the entire rest of the year. They had an AWESOME series of matches in ECW, and even though they wrestled a few times in WCW, they never had the same kind of feud that I really think could have made both guys as players in WCW. In fact, I'm going to completely rip off the ECW feud and just have them trade wins and trade the Cruiserweight Title back and forth, and then they'll finish the feud off with a two out of three falls match for the title at Starrcade. You'll notice that Rey Mysterio, Jr has been completely wiped out of the title picture, and that's because I would have never hired him in the first place or, if my predecessor already did, I would have dumped him. He's small now, but back in 1996 was even skinnier and less believable than he is now and would have no place in my WCW.

Chris Benoit vs Kevin Sullivan

When we last left off, Benoit and Sullivan had destroyed each other in a Falls Count Anywhere match at the Great American Bash, with Benoit getting the win and then having Arn Anderson come out to do a 2-on-1 beatdown on Sullivan after the fact. I have them do a rematch at Road Wild in a cage, only this time Sullivan has Meng come out, tear the cage door off, and destroy Benoit to give Sullivan the win.

Now the story becomes Benoit having to go through Meng to get back to Sullivan, so I do Benoit & Arn against Sullivan & Meng at Fall Brawl, and the DoD wins when Meng puts Benoit out with the Tongan Deathgrip. Meng won't let go of the hold, and Arn tries to make the save but Meng beats him into oblivion and then locks in the Deathgrip on Arn, keeping him in the hold so long that Arn ends up on the shelf with severe throat damage.

I do Benoit vs Meng at Halloween Havoc and it's been booked to look like Benoit is going to meet his doom when he faces Meng, but instead he blocks the Tongan Deathgrip and actually manages to tap Meng out to the crossface. Now Benoit vs Sullivan is signed for Starrcade, and Sullivan spends the intervening weeks throwing all the members of the Dungeon of Doom at Benoit hoping one of them will take him out. In the meantime, Benoit has an opponent of his own for Sullivan as Arn Anderson returns from injury to face Sullivan at World War III, but Sullivan gets the win in another brutal fight.

Now, with nobody left to stand in each other's way, Sullivan and Benoit will face off at Starrcade in a Last Man Standing Match.

The Tag Division

Harlem Heat were multiple time tag champs by this point, but everybody wanted the Steiners to get the title as soon as they came back to WCW in early 1996, so that's what we're going to build to at Starrcade. I'll actually match the two teams up right away at Bash At The Beach and have Harlem Heat blatantly get themselves disqualified for hitting one of the Steiners with a chair in full view of the referee, or knock the referee out, or something obviously designed to get themselves disqualified so they wouldn't lose. Since Harlem Heat wants to play dirty, we do a no DQ rematch at Road Wild and Harlem Heat retains via some subterfuge like knocking one of the Steiners out with a foreign object and getting the win.

After that second match, the Steiners are going to be really mad and want another rematch, but Harlem Heat will continue ducking them and say that, since they beat the Steiners within the context of the rules at Road Wild, they go back to the bottom of the ladder and need to work their way back up by beating every team Harlem Heat has beaten since they won the title. So, for the next several months we have the Steiners go through Public Enemy, the Nasty Boys, the Blue Bloods, the American Males and, if I can get ahold of them to come back in and do the shot, the Road Warriors.

It's now November and the Steiners want their title shot, but Harlem Heat says there's one team they forgot about, and they bring Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater out of mothballs to face them at World War III. The Steiners spend the entire match squashing them, but then Stevie Ray slips in and knocks one of the Steiners out from behind and puts Buck or Slater on top and then clears out while the referee turns around and counts three. Harlem Heat hightails it to the back while pointing and laughing at the Steiners, but then the Steiners get ahold of them later that night in the World War III battle royal and DESTROY them before tossing them both out in the opening minutes of the match.

Harlem Heat comes out the next night and says it doesn't matter what the Steiners did to them in the battle royal, because they lost to Buck & Slater and therefore do not deserve a title shot. Buck & Slater come out with big smiles on their faces to collect the money it turns out Harlem Heat was paying them to keep the Steiners away from the title, but then the Steiners come running out and leave all four of them laying and steal the money. The Steiners say that Buck & Slater will only get their money if they face them right there tonight, and if the Steiners win, they'll get their title shot. Harlem Heat tries to say hell no, you lost and that's that, but then Slater & Buck get in Harlem Heat's faces and inform them that if they don't get their money, they'll take it out of Harlem Heat's hides. Harlem Heat grudginly accept, and the Steiners beat Buck & Slater in about a minute and get their title shot at Starrcade. Harlem Heat, being the gentlemen they are, come to the ring and chew out Buck & Slater before laying them out and then looking into the camera and yelling that this is what's going to happen to the Steiners at Starrcade.

Diamond Dallas Page vs Lord Steven Regal

This is going to be a US Title vs TV Title feud and, very simply, is to get rid of the TV Title. I appreciate its history, but all the titles in both companies were being regularly defended on TV, so the TV Title really had no meaning anymore other than to make the holder a clear low level champion. In my book (and since this is my book), that means it has to go.

DDP follows up his Battlebowl win by beating Konnan for the US Title, and then cuts a promo on Nitro talking about his success story of winning the US Title, winning Battlebowl, winning 13.6 million dollars, and even being recognized worldwide as the greatest TV Champion of all time...definitely better than that English guy who has it now. The next week after a successful title defense, Regal responds by saying that DDP has accomplished everything he has because of luck, and while he was living on the streets and playing scratch off games to have enough money to eat, he's been defending the TV Title all over the world against wrestlers who would eat DDP for breakfast.

The war of words will go on for several weeks, with both of them sitting in on commentary to critique each other's matches, maybe have them try to one up each other by beating the other's top contenders (like have Regal beat Konnan and have DDP beat Finlay), and eventually JJ Dillon will decide that Starrcade would be the perfect opportunity to determine who the better champion really is, so it's going to be DDP vs Regal with both titles on the line at Starrcade.


It's time for the big blowoff show! Here's what we've got booked for Starrcade 1996:

-Cage Match, I Quit Rules: Ric Flair vs Macho Man Randy Savage in their final match ever in WCW
-WCW World Title: Lex Luger (c) vs Sting
-Hulk Hogan vs The Giant
-Last Man Standing: Kevin Sullivan vs Chris Benoit
-World Tag Team Title: Harlem Heat (c) vs The Steiners
-US Title vs TV Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs Lord Steven Regal
-Cruiserweight Title, 2/3 Falls: Dean Malenko (c) vs Eddy Guerrero
-J-Crown Title: Ultimo Dragon vs Chris Jericho

We'll kick the show off with the match for the J-Crown, and it wasn't enough to warrant its own section above, but basically I bring Ultimo Dragon in with the J-Crown and have him defending it against WCW guys for several weeks leading into this show, and he goes over Jericho clean. Next up, I do the US Title vs TV Title match and put DDP over with the Diamond Cutter to win both titles. Next is the Cruiserweight Title, I have them both get one fall apiece and then start running against the time limit like in their final ECW match, except this time Malenko will catch Eddy with a rollup with about ten seconds left to get the win. After the match, Ultimo comes out to confront Malenko, who gets a mic and tells Ultimo that his eight titles don't mean as much as his one, and if he wants to put himself to the test, he'll face him anytime and anyplace.

We move on to the Last Man Standing match with Sullivan and Benoit, and this is going to be another brutal fight that's along the same lines as everything else they've done in their previous wars. Both men keep going until Sullivan sets up two tables in the ring and he tries to suplex Benoit off the top rope through them, but Benoit reverses and they both go crashing through the table. Benoit makes it up at 8, Sullivan is unable to answer the count, and Benoit emerges victorious.

Tag Team Title time, as Harlem Heat have finally been backed into a corner and have to face the Steiners after running from them all year. Even at this point, they have a plan to tip the odds in their favor: they attack the Steiners on their way to the ring and handcuff Rick to the guardrail in the entranceway, well back from the ring. They spend the entire match working Scott over, and Scott manages to hold his own and start a couple of false comebacks, but ends up being overwhelmed since he's by himself. Rick is furiously trying to get free from the handcuffs, tries to get the fans on the other side of the rail to help him, and even tries to pull the guardrail with him, but simply can't get free until late in the match when Buck & Slater come out with bolt cutters and cut the chain on the handcuffs, freeing Rick to finally get down to the ring. He tries to get in, but the referee holds him back and orders him to his corner. Scott still gets cut off several times before finally making the hot tag and Rick comes in and cleans house. It's all Steiners from this point on as they beat Harlem Heat to finally reclaim the WCW World Tag Team Title.

The next two matches are really simple: first, Hulk Hogan wrestles the Giant and it's the typical Hogan match, Giant works him over and hits the chokeslam, Hogan kicks out and Hulks up, big boot, slam, legdrop and Hogan wins again and gets to beat up Jimmy Hart afterward. Also, Giant hasn't been pinned by this point so Hogan also gets to hand him his first loss, which will hopefully make him more open to the idea of being third from the top. In the semi main event, Sting beats Lex Luger for the WCW World Title and again, pretty formulaic stuff. We'll build on the match where Luger turned heel and he kicks Sting low again and hits the piledriver, but the ref got bumped and isn't able to make the count. He goes for the Torture Rack, but Sting blocks and gets Luger in the Scorpion Deathlock. The referee comes to as Luger gives it up, and Sting is your new WCW World Champion.

Finally, we come to the long awaited main event as Ric Flair and the Macho Man do battle for the final time. I do a long, dramatic pause before introducing Flair, then another pause before introducing Savage, and then I really milk the tension of them not being able to touch each other until the bell rings by having them stare each other down for the better part of thirty seconds before the bell rings and Savage begins destroying Flair. Savage just annihilates him, and Flair blades within the first minute and gets no offense in as Savage just pummels him, chokes him, and slams him into the cage over and over. Flair finally manages to slow Savage down by using Savage's momentum to ram him into the cage and starts working the leg to set up for the figure four. He slaps it on and yells at Savage to quit, but Savage fights his way out and begins mounting a comeback. He goes for the top rope elbow, but Lanny comes running out and climbs the cage to go after his brother. Savage manages to fight him off and comes off the top, but the distractions gave Elizabeth time to slip her shoe to Flair and he hits Savage with it on the way down. Yes, I'm bringing back the hated women's shoe as a foreign object, but see where I'm going with it.

Flair goes for the figure four again, but Savage kicks Flair off and sends him crashing headfirst into the cage and both men are out. Lanny tries to climb the cage again, but Angelo Poffo comes out of the back and yells at Lanny to get down from there. Lanny drops back to the floor and goes to hit his dad again, but Steve McMichael suddenly comes running out of the back and lays Lanny out with a chair, and then Poffo bends down and slaps his son in the face for good measure. Arn Anderson comes out and goes after McMichael, but McMichael takes him out as well with a football tackle. Keeping it simple for Mongo.

Now with Lanny completely neutralized, both men start coming to and Flair tries to hit Savage with the shoe again, but Savage ducks and nails Flair, causing him to drop the shoe, then he picks it up and brutalizes Flair with it, gouging it into the cut on his forehead and causing Flair to bleed an even bigger gusher. This is supposed to tease the Magnum-Tully finish, but instead Savage drops the shoe and goes up and hits the top rope elbow, then does it again, then goes all the way to the top of the cage and comes off of there with a third flying elbow, then he takes the women's shoe and grinds the heel into Flair's groin and Flair quits almost immediately. The referee calls for the bell, but Savage continues jamming the heel of the shoe into Flair's nether regions and almost gets the decision reversed, but finally lets Flair go and he celebrates his long awaited victory with Angelo and McMichael as Flair is left an unconscious, bloody mess in the middle of the ring.

Setting up 1997

Well, those were much more satisfying endings to those loose ends, wouldn't you say? Just like last week, I've set a few things up for the following year.

First, as you may or may not have noticed, Chris Benoit (who really has been a babyface all year) was the only Horseman who didn't get involved in the Flair-Savage main event. This leads to Flair being off TV for a few weeks to recuperate from the cage match, but then he comes back and confronts Benoit about his absence, saying he thinks Benoit forgot what it means to be a Horseman. Benoit will respond that Flair was supposed to face Savage by himself, one on one, to decide the better man and he shouldn't have needed the Horsemen's help to do it, and if he did, then maybe he's not The Man like he used to be. This obviously leads to Benoit getting beat up and kicked out of the Horsemen, and he's going to work a feud with Flair in the early part of 1997 and would most likely get the US Title at some point later in the year.

Speaking of the Horsemen, I'm going to put Arn & Lanny together as a team and do a shock title change where they beat the Steiners sometime in January, maybe even on their first title defense, and clean to boot. Arn took a backseat for most of 1996 and I want to give him a more prominent spot going forward, and also want to do more with Lanny. I think it would really be a surprising move since the Steiners had such a long road to the title only to lose it right away, but there's a whole bunch of storyline directions you can go with them before bringing them full circle and getting the title back to start a proper reign.

On the World Title, the big match I'm going to build to at Starrcade 1997 is going to be Sting vs Hogan, except obviously presented very differently than it was at the real Starrcade 1997, and I'll probably divert Hogan into a feud with Luger for a while before starting the Hogan-Sting program. Malenko and Ultimo Dragon are going to do the Cruiserweight Title vs J-Crown feud, but it probably won't be much more than what it was in real life, and then Malenko winds up back with the Cruiserweight title and will go about his business going forward.

Getting to the Dungeon of Doom, I purposely booked Meng to be a monster in the Benoit-Sullivan feud because I'm going to split him off at some point and turn him face, and do a feud with him and the Giant where Meng is the only guy who can straight up kick the crap out of the Giant. Giant will lose that feud, then screw up again somehow (probably lose a title match) to give Sullivan a reason to call him a loser and slap him around until Giant snaps and lays him out, leaving the DoD. I'll also put Savage in the feud and one other person, and this will build to the Wargames match I skipped at Fall Brawl which will now probably happen as the main event of the Great American Bash. That fourth babyface might be McMichael, but I'm really going to have to do a 911 job with him so I don't expose him for being as bad as he is, and certainly nothing high profile like being a member of the Horsemen, but being a face in the crowd in a Wargames match might not be beyond him.

So there you have it! I'm not quite decided yet on what to do for the third edition of Bookerman's Corner, but if you have any suggestions for BC#3 or comments on this edition, drop me a line at Thanks for reading, and I'll see you all soon!