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|#1 Posted on 8.10.02 0231.21 |
Reposted on: 8.10.09 0234.00
| --December, 2002--|
The WCW takeover was complete. Eric Bischoff used his extensive contractural powers to secure four WCW-only pay-per-views and four other joint WWE/WCW pay-per-views. WWE would have four monthly programs of their very own, meaning that each organization would be able to participate in eight pay-per-views annually.
Bischoff acquired the right to use December's Armageddon pay-per-view, changing the name to WCW Starrcade. WWE Backlash in April became WCW Spring Stampede. Vengeance in July became WCW Bash at the Beach, and September's WWE Unforgiven became WCW Fall Brawl. The joint pay-per-views would be the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, King of the Ring and Survivor Series, with WWE controlling the remaining four.
On top of that, on the previous RAW Bischoff had had Chris Jericho vacate the WWE Intercontinental Title, and Bischoff replaced it with the WCW U.S. Heavyweight Title. Jericho won the U.S. Title in a match against Jeff Hardy; on SmackDown, The Hurricane defeated Edge to win the vacant I-C Title.
On Sunday, December 1, Bischoff had a WCW talent meeting backstage several hours before Heat. He announced that the main event of Starrcade would see Rob Van Dam defending the WCW World Title against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. He also stressed, looking mostly at Austin Lee, that there would always be a place in WCW for the ambitious young blood.
Lee decided to take this as a challenge.
To open Heat, Austin Lee challenged none other than Lance Storm to meet him in the ring, and he would give Storm a shot at the WCW Ironman Title. Storm (along with Christian) had recently lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to Booker T and Goldust for the second time, and was only too happy to accept a title shot. Lee gained three overness
points for his ambitious challenge.
Just before the main-event, Lee cut a promo against Lance Storm. Lee said that his first month in WWE and WCW had been all about gaining momentum, but in this second month, he'd *really* work hard at making a name for himself. This interview was something the crowd could really relate to, and it gained Lee another two overness points-- he was now at 63!
In the Ironman Title match itself, the match was tied up at a fall apiece when Christian came out to try and help Lance Storm. But Lee ducked Christian's clothesline and it nailed Storm instead. Lee tossed Christian out of the ring and capitalized on the advantage, hitting the Degenerate Driver on Storm for the pinfall. Lee won the match, two falls to one. Post-match, Christian tried to apologize
to Storm, but Storm was far too pissed-off to listen. He slid out of the ring, grabbed a chair and nailed Christian right in the head with it, walking out in a huff.
The following night's RAW would prove to be very interesting for Lee. The Anti-Americans came out in the third segment to cut a stable interview, but as it turned out, Christian was suddenly gang-attacked and thrown out of the group. Christian turned face as a result of this attack.
Coming back from the commercial break, Christian was searching for a partner to help him get revenge on the Anti-Americans. Austin Lee came up to him and said that he'd have his back tonight-- but if Christian screwed him, he'd regret it. Christian assured Lee that he had nothing to worry about and left, leaving the WCW Ironman Champion
with a strange look on his face.
After a match between Curt Hennig and Steve Blackman, Lee and Christian came out and cut a promo against the team they'd be facing next-- Lance Storm and William Regal. The teams collided in the ring, and after a hard-fought contest, Lee set Storm up for the Degenerate Driver. In a desperation move, Storm clobbered the referee, and the obligatory screwjob took place. Test hit the ring and nailed Lee with the Watsitolla Boot while Regal had Christian occupied on the floor. The referee woke up to see Lee forced to submit to Storm's Straight Shooter, and the Anti-American team won. But they weren't done yet.
Lee and Christian were both introduced to William Regal's Power of the Punch. While they were unconscious, Christian was placed in the Straight Shooter by Storm while Regal put the Regal Stretch on Lee. The Anti-American team left victorious, leaving their opponents lying in the middle of the ring.
Lee gained a point of overness for each backstage segment with Christian, improving his rating to 65.
On the 12/8 edition of Heat, William Regal opened the event by challenging Austin Lee to defend his WCW Ironman Title in the main event. The crowd chanted “Austin Lee! Austin Lee!” as Lee made his way out to the ring. He accepted Regal's challenge, and said he looked forward to getting revenge for the punishment he endured on the previous week's RAW.
But he would have to do it alone. Shortly before the main-event, Lee went into his locker room to take a shower. This left Christian wide open for an attack by The Anti-Americans, and they took him out with a vicious three-on-one beating. Lee came out and cut a promo against Regal just before the main event-- totally unaware that Christian had been attacked only minutes before.
Not that it made much of a difference anyway. Lee defeated Regal cleanly in the Ironman Title match, two falls to one, winning the final fall with the Degenerate Driver. Afterward, Regal was about to nail Lee with the Power of the Punch when a battered Christian ran down the aisle and smacked Regal in the head with a chair.
Lee gained an overness point for each segment he was involved in, jumping his rating to 68. He was promoted from lower-midcarder to midcarder, as well.
The following night, WCW General Manager Eric Bischoff talked to Austin Lee backstage several hours before RAW. He said that he was very impressed with Lee's outstanding work as of late. As a reward, he would be given his first official feud-- against Lance Storm.
That night on RAW, Lee cut a promo against Lance Storm to help build the feud. He then successfully defended the WCW Ironman Title against Jeff Hardy, two falls to one, winning the final fall with the Degenerate Driver. Post-match, Lance Storm hit the ring and whacked Lee with a chair. The feud between Lee and Storm continued to get hotter and hotter.
But that wouldn't be the last we'd see of those two during the night. Later in the evening, Christian had a WCW U.S. Heavyweight Title shot against Chris Jericho. Lance Storm used a chair for the second time that night, whacking Christian with it and costing him the U.S. Title. Post-match, The Thrillseekers started to gang up on Christian, but Austin Lee ran down the aisle and made the save for his new partner.
Lee opened Heat on December 15 by calling out anyone from the back who wanted to face him for an Ironman Title shot. Some unfamiliar music hit, and newcomer Scoot Andrews came out to answer the challenge! Scoot alluded to the wars he and Lee had with one another in OVW, and said that he'd waited a long time to get his hands around Lee's neck once again. Lee retorted that he was welcome to try-- any time,
any place. “How about tonight?” asked Andrews. A smile crossed Lee's face as he accepted the challenge.
The match was scheduled to take place at the end of the first hour of Heat. Before the match, Lee cut a promo on Andrews, gaining one point of overness to improve to 69. In the match, Lee took fall number one with a superkick, Andrews took the second fall with a top-rope spinning bulldog, and Lee won the decisive fall with the Degenerate
Driver. Post-match, Lee's old friend Lance Storm paid him another visit with Storm's rapidly-becoming-infamous steel chair.
Lee didn't take this lying down, however. The main-event of Heat was a surprisingly excellent match between Storm and Bubba Ray Dudley. The Bubba Cutter scored the win for Dudley, and as Bubba Ray celebrated, Austin Lee made his way to ringside. The moment Storm got up, he turned around right into the Degenerate Driver from Lee. The last image from Heat that night was Austin Lee standing over his
downed adversary with a pissed-off look on his face.
The following night on RAW, Lee and Christian were scheduled to take on Lance Storm and William Regal. Prior to the match, Lee and Christian talked trash about the opposing team and then set out to do battle. This match ended in much the same way the first match between these teams did-- Test's interference costing Lee and Christian the victory. This time, Test brought out the infamous chair and nailed Lee in the back with it, setting him up for Lance Storm's Superkick and the three-count. Post-match, Lee and Christian gained a measure of revenge as Christian wrested the chair away from Test and nailed Regal
in the head with it. The Anti-Americans retreated as Christian helped up his downed friend.
The final Heat before Starrcade commenced with Lance Storm coming out to massive heel heat from the crowd. An Ironman Title match between Storm and Lee had already been set for WCW Starrcade, but Storm challenged Lee to put the title on the line in the main event of Heat. Lee agreed, but warned Storm to be careful what he wished for, because he might get it...
Prior to his match with Storm, Lee cut a promo to continue the feud. But this title defense would not be a successful one for “The Radical”. A Tiger Suplex scored the first pinfall for Storm, with Lee hitting a sweet senton to tie it up at one fall apiece. But in the third fall, Test cost Lee yet another victory as he hit the Watsitolla Boot
on him, allowing Storm to cover Lee for the win. Lance Storm became the new WCW Ironman Champion.
(Lee gained two overness points from his interview, improving to 71.)
The following night's WCW RAW saw yet another Lee and Christian vs. Anti-Americans tag team match. Only this time, Lee and Christian would be facing the team of Lance Storm and Test. Just before the match (which aired near the end of the first hour of RAW), Lee and Christian cut a promo against Storm and Test. Lee said it was clear to everyone watching that Storm had to be afraid of him, because he cheated to win at every possible opportunity. Lee promised to put a stop to it at Starrcade, but said that tonight, he and Christian would take care of business.
That, they did. Christian and Test beat the hell out of each other very early in the match, and they soon became a non-factor because both of them were so badly beaten. The double hot tag came, and Lee began cleaning up the ring with Lance Storm. William Regal came out with the infamous chair, intending to rob Lee of yet another victory, but it was not to be. While Regal was on the apron with the
chair, Lee Irish-whipped Storm into Regal, causing Storm to take the brunt of the chair impact. After that, a roll-up was all that was necessary for Lee to score the pinfall over his hated adversary. Post-match, an enraged William Regal was about to use the chair against Lee, but Christian ran in with a chair of his own and belted Regal with it. Lee grabbed Regal's chair, and he and Christian delivered
a thundering Conchairto to Storm. Lee and Christian left the ring, holding each other's arms high.
But later in the night, as Lee headed back to his locker room, he was swiftly and mercilessly picked apart by the Anti-Americans. Lance Storm's chair and William Regal's Power of the Punch handled Lee very decisively, and Test made the damage much worse by hurling Lee bodily through a plate-glass window. The Anti-Americans made a hasty
retreat, and EMTs soon arrived on the scene along with an irate Christian.
(Lee gained another three points of overness from the interview, improving to 74.)
Up next for Lee and Christian: WCW Starrcade, 12/29. Lee had a shot at regaining his Ironman Title from Lance Storm, while Christian had a U.S. Title match against Chris Jericho. Prior to Lee's match with Storm, he received his first-ever pay-per-view interview segment, as he ripped into Storm and declared that he would regain his WCW Ironman
Title. After an interpromotional tag-team title match, the Ironman Title match got underway.
The match was tied at a fall apiece when Chris Jericho came up onto the ring apron and nailed Lee with the steel chair. A Super Kick later, and Lance Storm had successfully retained the Ironman Title in
a match that most “experts” expected Lee to win. Post match, Christian ran in to help his partner, but he was brutally attacked by the re-united Thrillseekers.
Lee and Christian wouldn't have to wait long to gain some retribution, however. The U.S. Title match between Jericho and Christian was next, and Lee returned Jericho's favor by Degenerate Driving him when the referee was unconscious. Christian lifted Jericho back to his feet and hit the Unprettier. The referee revived and counted the pinfall,
and Christian became the new WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion.
The feud between Austin Lee and Lance Storm had been built up superbly, and it was time for the feud to end the following night on WCW RAW. Lee opened RAW by coming out to the ring and challenging Storm to a match later that night. Storm smirked. “You think you deserve a shot
at my Ironman Championship?”, Storm asked. “You had your shot last night, and you BLEW IT!”
Lee calmly replied, “Who said anything about the Ironman Championship?” Storm was confused, and said so. Lee grinned wolfishly. “This isn't an Ironman Title thing,” he explained. “This is a me-kicking-your-ass thing. Tonight, Storm, the entire world will watch as I humiliate you right here in Norfolk, Virginia!”
Storm actually smiled-- a scary thought. “Oh, that's fine”, Storm replied. “If you're in that much of a hurry to end your career, who am I to stop you? But since you challenged me, I pick the stipulations. I-Quit Match!”
Just prior to the scheduled match, Lee cut another promo against Storm. “Tonight will be the last night of our rivalry, win or lose,” Lee declared. “But Chris Jericho... don't think I'm done with you-- not by a long shot. Our fight has just begun. You had to insinuate yourself in my match last night, but when you did that you made a critical mistake. Because now I'm going to use you to ride to the
very top of WCW, where I rightfully belong.”
Lee backed up his words in his I-Quit match with Storm, which ended their feud. A very violent match was anticipated, and that's just what everyone got-- and a four-star match, to boot. Towards the end of the match, Lance Storm tried to use the steel chair, but Lee anticipated the attack and kicked it right into Storm's face. Three German Suplexes followed, capped off by the Crimson Cloverleaf.
Lee tightened the hold in very well, and refused to let Storm get anywhere close to the ropes. The Canadian had no choice to submit, giving the final victory to Austin Lee. Lee gained nine points of overness from the feud ending, and Storm himself gained three despite the loss.
But that wouldn't be the last we'd see of Lee that night. The semi-main event was a match between Booker T and Chris Jericho. Booker gained the victory cleanly. Post-match, Lee ran into the ring and hit the Degenerate Driver on Jericho, striking a blow in their blossoming rivalry. Austin Lee's 2002 year ended him doing the “C'mon, baby!” pose on Chris Jericho's unconscious form.
At the end of the night, Lee's overness was 81, and he had become one of the fastest-over rookies in WWE/WCW history. The year 2003 would hold yet more promise for Lee...
--Brief Recap, December 2002--
Austin Lee spent most of the month of December feuding with Lance Storm over the WCW Ironman Title. Christian accidentally cost Storm his first match against Lee, and was kicked out of the Anti-Americans for his failure. Christian went on to team with Lee, and the two of them
feuded against the Anti-Americans together. The Anti-Americans traded victories with the Lee/Christian team, and along the way Lee lost the WCW Ironman Title to Storm. At Starrcade, Lee failed to regain the Ironman Title because of Chris Jericho's interference, but Lee defeated Storm in an I-Quit match the following night to win the feud and begin a feud against Jericho.
He gained 23 points of overness in December, going from 58 to 81, and jumped from lower-midcarder to midcarder.
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|#2 Posted on 8.10.02 1244.32 |
Reposted on: 8.10.09 1252.51
| Not bad.|
I've put down EWR until 2.0 because, let's be honest, how easy is it to play a game like this when non-compatable updates come out once every two weeks?
I think there is room for more creative diaries like this. It's much better than the majority on the EWR message board.
Thanks for the good read.
For next: 252301
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA
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|#3 Posted on 8.10.02 1432.58 |
Reposted on: 8.10.09 1435.53
| Well, thanks for your kind words, they're very much appreciated.|
If you haven't already, I suggest you check out the first part of the journal (October-November) which right now's about halfway down the page. It'll help you understand how Lee got to this point where he's feuding with some top dudes.
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|AIM: || ||#4 Posted on 8.10.02 1607.04 |
Reposted on: 8.10.09 1611.42
| Both journals have been extremely well done.|
I'm actually doing something quite similar (in the booking, not the journalling) with Nova on Smackdown. My biggest problem has been with keeping guys active and healthy to feud with him.
He was feuding with Knoble, but then Knoble took a bad bump in his ladder match with Misterio and went out for 12 months. Then he was feuding with Chavo, and Chavo checked himself into rehab. I'm beggining to think that Nova is cursed, but aside from Rey, he's my most over cruiser, so I guess I'll keep trying to find a feud where he doesn't kill someone (though not litterally, see Kane/HHH).
Actually my hottest feuds have all been over on RAW. Jericho/Christian was hot for a PPV (Jericho joined the UnAmericans but a few months later he turned face after Shawn Michaels and HHH attacked him and The Unamericans kicked him out, starting this feud). Then he feuded with HHH going into WrestleMania (hahahaha, take THAT Hunter!). Right now, Jericho has the World title, but is in a tag feud with RVD against HHH/Shawn Michaels. To spur on the feud, I reformed DX (with the worst roster EVER, I know: HHH, HBK, Big Show, Nash, Rhyno, but they were the guys who had nothing better to do (though Rhyno just beat Kane to become the I.C. Champ) so they mostly run in and cost people matches and Show/Nash are a tag team, so it all works out).
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