Booking WCW in 1998

I love WCW.  I would probably rank it the greatest wrestling company of all time.  However, while 1998 had a lot of good, it also had a lot of problems and helped contribute towards the end of the company.  So, I decided I would sit down and book WCW in 1998.  Now, there are a lot of people on the roster at this point, so there probably will be people I don’t mention.  Sorry if I left out any of your favorites.

The nWo:
Okay, I would have had Sting beat Hogan clean at Starrcade 97.  However, since this is everything in 1997 happening without being changed, I can’t change the result of the match.  Also, I may be slightly off on all of the nWo members by 98, so I may be forgetting someone, but I have all the main members, so it shouldn’t matter.

So, after the controversial finish to the match at Starrcade, the world title is vacated and a rematch is made for Souled Out.  Despite nWo interference, Sting is able to defeat Hogan (clean this time) and due to the stipulation of the match, Hogan cannot challenge for the title as long as Sting is champion.  With Scott Hall getting a title match against Sting at Superbrawl, Hogan starts to drop subtle hints about Hall winning the belt then letting Hogan pin him for the belt.  While Hall & Nash are clearly disgusted with the idea, they just blow it off and ignore it.  At Superbrawl, the nWo were able to recapture the WCW World Tag Team Championships when Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton defeated the Steiner Brothers to win the belts, with Scott joining the nWo in the process.  However, Lex Luger defeated Randy Savage and Sting defeated Scott Hall to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship following botched interference from Hogan.

On the following Nitro, Hall & Nash turned on Hogan and brutally beat down on him, saying they no longer needed him.  Nash then announced himself as leader of the nWo, and that they’d be trimming the fat (I guess is the best way to put it) of the nWo.  They all kick Eric Bischoff, Randy Savage, and Curt Hennig out of the group, and told Vincent he’d have to fight for his spot.  Vincent faced Diamond Dallas Page for the United States Championship that night, with Page winning.  The nWo attack Vincent afterwards and kick him out, leaving Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton, Konnan, & Scott Steiner as the remaining nWo members.  The nWo then slowly and subtly change their name to “The Wolfpac.”

At Uncensored, the Wolfpac have major success.  Bagwell & Norton successfully defend the tag team titles against Curt Hennig & Lex Luger, Konnan defeated Juventud Guerrera, Scott Hall defeated the Giant, and even though Rick Steiner beat Scott Steiner, it was via disqualification when Scott hit him over the head with a lead pipe (at Spring Stampede, Scott beats him in a no DQ match).  In the main event, Kevin Nash defeats Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match.  Afterwards, the Wolfpac beat down on Hogan which gets all the way backstage.  Eventually, they’re able to give Hogan possibly the most brutal beatdwn in wrestling history and throw him in a trash truck to finish the Pay-Per-View.

Over the next several months, the Wolfpac are able to dominate the company, with Bagwell & Norton beating every team that challenges them.  Scott Steiner has been built as an absolute monster, with him only having tough matches on PPV (he mauls just about everyone he faces on Nitro & Thunder).  There’s not much worth mention for a while, so let’s skip ahead to Fall Brawl 1998.

A Team WCW (Sting, Chris Benoit, Diamond Dallas Page, & Goldberg) vs. Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell, & Scott Norton) in Wargames is booked, though Eric Bischoff (returning since the beatdown the Wolfpac gave him) changes the rules.  The match works the same, though now, weapons are hanging on the walls and ceiling of the cage.  The Wolfpac gain the advantage when Buff Bagwell defeats Sting on Nitro.  The day of the PPV, Goldberg is found attacked backstage and is unconscious, with doctors saying he will be unable to compete tonight.  In the match, all Wolfpac members are in the match while Sting, Benoit, & DDP are the only WCW guys in there.  Goldberg’s music hits and it’s time for him to come out, but he doesn’t.  And with the new no DQ rules for the Wargames match, Scott Hall & Konnan come down and hop in the cage to make it 6-on-3.  Eventually, HULK HOGAN (once again in the yellow gear) makes his return and comes down and enters the match! He is able to take on the Wolfpac, and just as Team WCW is gaining the upper hand, Goldberg comes out and destroys what’s left of the Wolfpac.  Goldberg pins Nash and Team WCW stands victorious.

Over the next couple of weeks Hogan one by one beats Wolfpac members Konnan, Buff Bagwell, & Scott Norton while his match with Steiner goes to a double count out.  Hogan is then prepared to face Scott Hall at Halloween Havoc, then gain his revenge on Kevin Nash.  At Halloween Havoc, the Wolfpac go 1-3 when Bagwell & Norton loose their tag titles to Rey Mysterio & Juventud Guerrera.  Konnan looses a United States Championship match to Goldberg, Scott Steiner defeats The Giant, and Hulk Hogan defeats Scott Hall.

After this, Nash decided that they need the World Heavyweight Championship to keep their power and swears he will win the World War 3 match, while Hogan also swears he will win it, wanting one last great world title run to end his career on.  At World War 3, all Wolfpac members are in World War 3, though only Nash, Steiner, & Bagwell make it to the final 20.  They are one by one eliminated, until Goldberg eventually wins.  Hogan later challenges Nash to a match at Starrcade, with the stipulation that if Nash wins, Hogan retires and if Hogan wins, the Wolfpac must disband forever.  Nash agrees to these stipulations and the match is signed on Nitro.

Bret Hart vs. Sting & Others:
While everything with the Wolfpac is going on, Sting begins feuding with Bret Hart.  Sting is angry with Hart due to his interference in the match with Hogan at Starrcade, while Bret claims he was trying to make sure Sting wans’t screwed the same way Bret was (Referring to the Montreal Screwjob).  During a match on Nitro between Sting and Scott Steiner, Bret Hart (who has become furious with Sting) comes down and takes Sting’s baseball bat and attacks Sting with it, turning heel.  This sets up a match between the two at Uncensored for the World title, which is won by Sting after he reverses the Sharpshooter into the Scorpion Death Lock.  Bret Hart continues to attack after this, though Sting eventually begins popping up in random places (under the ring, the rafters, etc.) like during his feud with the nWo.  Another match is booked between the two at Spring Stampede, this time under no disqualification rules, which ends with Bret Hart winning the championship.  They continue their feud into Slamboree, where they have what is billed as a “Final Showdown,” this time under Iron Man rules.  In the final minute, both are tied at 1-1.  Sting puts Hart in the Scorpion Death Lock and holds him in it.  Bret Hart taps at the EXACT same time the time reaches zero.  The referee decides that Hart didn’t tap before time ran out, meaning the match ended in a draw and Hart was still champ.  They have one last match at Great American Bash, this time in a steel cage, where Bret Hart is able to win the match and end his feud with Sting.

After his feud with Sting is over, Bret Hart attempts to say that there’s no contenders to face him for the title.  However, it’s announced that on the July 6 edition of Nitro, Bret Hart will defend the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against  the new WCW United States Champion: with a record of 99-0, the Undefeated Goldberg!  At the match, Goldberg dominates the first several minutes.  The only thing close to offense Hart is able to do is avoid getting hit with the spear (followed by the jackhammer).  Eventually, Goldberg attempts a spear outside the ring, but Hart ducks out of the way and Goldberg is sent charging into the steel railing.  Hart is able to take control afterwards, but unable to pin Goldberg or make him tap out.  Eventually, Hart realizes he can’t beat Goldberg and punches the referee in the jaw, getting himself disqualified.  Goldberg’s streak remains in tact (with him now being 100-0), but Hart keeps the title.

After this, Chris Benoit is named the new #1 contender following him defeated Kevin Nash at Great American Bash.  The two face each other at Bash at the Beach, where Hart once again gets himself disqualified.  However, the match is restarted with the stipulation that if Hart is disqualified, he will lose the match and title.  Hart does tap out, though the referee is unconscious.  Hart is then able to come back and beat Benoit.  Due to the controversial finish to the match, a rematch for Road Wild is made.  Bret Hart is able to win the match and retain the title.

Hart’s next title defense is at Halloween Havoc 1998, where he defeats Diamond Dallas Page.  He then disappears from TV until World War 3, where he comes down to ringside during the match and helps eliminate people he feel is a threat to his title (Sting, Chris Benoit, Diamond Dallas Page, Hulk Hogan, & Kevin Nash to name a few).  However, Ric Flair then makes his return and gets into a brawl with Hart, which results in Hart loosing focus on the World War 3 match and Goldberg winning, becoming the #1 contender to the World title for Starrcade.

Goldberg is similar to what actually happened in WCW.  He continues his undefeated streak and wins his first title at Superbrawl when he beats Booker T for the Television Championship.  He continues to defend his title, mostly in squash matches, until he’s given a United States title match at Great American Bash against Raven.  Goldberg beats Raven (and completely destroys the Flock) and is named the #1 contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and will face Bret Hart on the July 6 edition of Nitro.  As said before, Goldberg dominates the majority of the match and Bret Hart gets himself disqualified, screwing Goldberg out of the title.  Afterwards, Goldberg continues to rise through the ranks and defend the US Title against just about everybody, from Wolfpac members to Diamond Dallas Page to Chris Benoit to Flock members to Eddie Guerrero, etc.  Eventually, Goldberg is entered into the World War 3 match.  As soon as the match starts, the other 19 guys Goldberg is in one of the rings with decide to all team up on Goldberg.  Goldberg eliminates most of them with absolute ease.  The only people left in that ring at the end are Scott Steiner & Goldberg, and neither are able to eliminate the other.  They eventually get into the middle ring and start brawling the entire time there, until DDP tries to eliminate them both.  Steiner is sent to the floor while Goldberg is able to hold on.  Goldberg then starts eliminating a few more people, while Bret Hart is eliminating major title contenders until he starts brawling with Ric Flair (as I mentioned before).  The final two men are Goldberg and Booker T.  They fight for a few minutes until Goldberg is able to spear him and hit the jackhammer.  Goldberg then picks him up and throws him out of the ring, leaving Goldberg alone in the ring and the #1 Contender for the World title at Starrcade, earning another match against Bret Hart after getting screwed in July.

NOTE: Goldberg was forced to cash in the United States Championship to face Bret Hart for the World title.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have changed the cruiserweights in the slightest.  Chris Jericho made an amazing heel champ, and had an epic feud with Dean Malenko.  I would have kept everything the same for them, with the exception of Kidman & Guerrera swapping the title back & forth a few times.  I would have just had Kidman win the belt and that’s it.  Then it pretty much would have stayed the same.

Rising Stars:
This is mostly for people who don’t have enough to fill their own category, but need to be mentioned.  Basically guys I’d really be pushing.  They include: Diamond Dallas Page, Chris Benoit, Raven, Booker T, & Chris Jericho

Chris Benoit:
He opens the year in a feud with Raven.  They then start feuding with DDP over his United States Championship.  Benoit doesn’t win the title, though is able to have match of the night PPV matches against the two.  Benoit eventually defeats Kevin Nash in a #1 contenders match at Great American Bash and goes on to lose to Bret Hart at Bash at the Beach and again at Road Wild.  Benoit then represents Team WCW in Wargames at Fall Brawl, where they emerged victorious.  After the United States Championship was vacated in November, Benoit entered a tournament to crown a new champ where he defeated Scott Steiner in Round 1 (via disqualification) and Booker T in Round 2, advancing to the finals at Starrcade.

Chris Jericho:
Jericho doesn’t change much.  He’s still the same entertaining heel he was in the real world, and even after loosing the Cruiserweight title, he goes on to become Television Champion.  Only here, he doesn’t drop the belt to Konnan.  When the US title is vacated, Jericho is entered into a tournament where he beats Rey Mysterio in round 1 and Sting in Round 2 (following interference from Raven), meaning he advances to the finals to face Chris Benoit for the vacant title at Starrcade.

As said before, Raven opens the year with a feud with Chris Benoit, and DDP is thrown in there for the US title.  At Spring Stampede, Raven beats Page for the US title, and beats him in a rematch the following month at Slamboree.  At Great American Bash, Raven lost the US title to Goldberg.  Now after that, I want Raven to start a feud with Sting.  And honestly, I’m not sure how to book a feud between the two.  At Halloween Havoc 1998, Sting beats Raven.  The two continue their feud into World War 3, and eventually a Raven’s Rules Match is booked between the two for Starrcade.

Diamond Dallas Page:
Page starts the year as US Champ (after beating Curt Hennig at Starrcade).  He starts feuding with Benoit & Raven for the belt, eventually loosing the belt to Raven.  He then moves into feuding with the Wolfpac (There’s also a feud teased all year between Page & Hart, though nothing happens).  Towards the end of the year, Page begins a feud with Scott Steiner, with a match between the two being booked for Starrcade.

Booker T:
Booker wins the TV title early in the year, only to lose it to Goldberg.  He then starts some mid-card feuds with several mid-carders, progressing up the card.  He eventually regains the TV Title by beating Eddie Guerrero, though looses the title to Chris Jericho.  Booker is still majorly pushed afterwards, including being one of the final two men in the World War 3 match.

Starrcade 1998:
Well, it’s took a while, but we’re up to Starrcade.  The biggest event of the year.  I’ve been building up to it the best I can, and now we’re here.  The line up is:

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Bret Hart (c) vs. Goldberg
WCW United States Championship Tournament Final: Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit*
Raven’s Rules: Sting vs. Raven
Kevin Nash vs. Hulk Hogan
Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page
WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Billy Kidman (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guerrera
Booker T vs. Eddie Guerrero
Ric Flair vs. The Giant

The show is kicked off with the Cruiserweight title match.  It’s a typical Cruiserweight match, with high flying action to get the crowd fired up.  Kidman retains his championship in a great match.   Next match is Booker T vs. Eddie Guerrero, which will have more technical wrestling than the opener.  In a very close match, Booker T wins to set up a bright 1999 for him.  The next match is Flair vs. Giant, featuring Flair’s triumphant return to Starrcade.  Flair goes over by getting Giant to tap out to the figure four.

The next match is the tournament final for the United States Championship, Chris Jericho w/Ralphus vs. Chris Benoit.  I want this to be possibly the match of the night.  It’s a typical Jericho match & Benoit match with both using their usual moves.  In the end, I’d have Benoit pin Jericho and become United States Champion.  The next match is Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Steiner, which is kind of an unofficial #1 contenders match.  Neither Page or Scott is able to win the match using their signature moves with both being able to get out of it (Scott avoiding the Diamond Cutter while Page keeps getting out of the Steiner Recliner).  Steiner wins the match after using the Frankensteiner.  After this is the Sting/Raven match, contested under Raven’s Rules.  This is a brutal match, with Raven getting the upset by hitting Sting with his baseball bat while Sting is distracted by the Flock.

The next match is Nash/Hogan, which has a ton of history behind it.  This is more of a brawl than a wrestling match.  In the end, as much as I hate to do it (since I hate Hogan), it’s the only logical way to end it.  Hogan pins Nash and disbands the Wolfpac in the process.

In the main event, Bret Hart defends the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against the undefeated Goldberg.  In a great match, Goldberg beats Bret Hart to become WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and extends his undefeated streak to 174-0.

Going into 1999:
I’ve set up a lot of questions and possible feuds going into 1999.  What happens to Nash and other Wolfpac members now that they’ve been forced to break up?  Will Hogan regain the world title, and whether he does or not, is his talk about retirement real?  And with Goldberg 174-0 and WCW World Heavyweight Champion, that leave one question: Who’s Next?

Depending on the type of reaction I get to this will depend on if I book through 1999 or not.  So, I hope you enjoyed it.  And if you didn’t, well, too bad.

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