For the first time in a long time I am dialing it back to a past WWE feud. Following the end of the Invasion story it was unclear the direction that WWE was going to go as they tried to catch up on dream matches that could happen now that WCW was out of business. There was one person that missed everything was Triple H who was injured with a torn quad and he would miss the remainder of 2001 not returning until the first Monday Night Raw of 2002. Triple H would turn heel on the July 22 edition of Raw sparking his legendary feud with Shawn Michaels it wasn't long into his feud with HBK that he would form a Four Horseman or sorts to protect himself against Shawn Michaels.
In my opinion, the stable that would eventually become Evolution is one of if not the greatest faction in WWE history second only to Degeneration-X. The stable consisted of Randy Orton, Triple H, Batista, and Ric Flair, and for the better part of two years dominated Monday Night Raw. In the summer of 2004 though things began change as cracks formed in the group after Randy Orton did what Triple H couldn't and that was beat Chris Benoit for the World Title. The night after Orton beat Benoit he was kicked out of Evolution and immediately thrust into a feud with his former stablemates.
Though the feud was a great idea it failed in practice for many reasons namely the fact that I'm not sure Orton was ready to be a good guy right away and that maybe slowly turning him would've been a better idea. Either way we will retrace the steps of WWE creative from Summerslam 2004 to Wrestlemania 2005 and try to do it better. Think about this after the failed face run Randy went on and had the best run of his career as a heel and plus he gave The Undertaker is best match/feud since returning as The Deadman.
World War III: (November 23) Hennig is asked about Flair and all Curt says it's time to move on and he doesn't want to hear about Ric Flair anymore. During his match with Chris Benoit we hear Flair's music begin to play and Hennig looks towards the ramp and in that instance Benoit slaps on the crossface and gets Hennig to submit. Fast forward to World War 3 the New World Order is targeting Mongo, Benoit, and Malenko. Malenko is the last man standing after Mongo takes out Louie, Wallstreet, and Konnan, Benoit was ousted by Hennig from behind and Malenko took Hennig down.
November 24: The following night after World War 3 questions were around if Flair would be back at this point after teasing his return the night before. Hennig claims that Benoit only got the win last night, because Flair distracted him and can't truly can't past what happened in September. I want my title back Chris and this time your washed up leader won't help you. Benoit & Malenko come up short against Vicious and Delicious thanks to a Hennig distraction. Setting up a rematch next week for the United States championship.
December 1: Gene interviews Benoit & Mongo about the possibility of Flair returning after his song started during Benoit's match at World War 3. Benoit says we never doubted that Flair would be back and we will be waiting for him, but now my attention is set on Hennig. During the match Hennig was about to hit the plex but Flair jumps the rail out of nowhere and once Hennnig notices he looks like he has seen ghost. The match end via count-out after Hennig ran from Flair who stayed in the ring and soaked in the fans.
December 8: Show starts with highlights of Fall Brawl and then Flair closes the show appearing in the ring officially for the first time since Fall Brawl to address Hennig and the fans. Thanking them for supporting him and challenges Hennnig to a match for Starrcade inside a cage.
December 15: Hennig explains his actions again that he's been a supporting star and shared the spotlight, but he wanted to knock Flair back and take the first spot. Hennig accepts Flair's challenge for Starrcade and contends he will end Flair once and for all.
December 22: Gene is in ring with Hennig & Flair allowing both men the chance to speak for the first time face to face since Fall Brawl. Flair calls Hennig one of the best he's been in the ring with, but that he has it all backward respect can give you the spotlight just as much as notoriety can.
Starrcade: Video package highlighting the history between Hennig & Flair starting with Arn giving up his spot for Hennig then to Fall Brawl and everything in between. The Cage lowers and you can feel the tension in the arena. Flair fighting for the first time since Fall Brawl in the same match that he was injured in against the man who took him out. Flair will take the win after both men beat the crap out of each other giving fans at least one match to be happy about from Starrcade 1997.
One of the reasons I rebooked it because Ric Flair was not really booked as a superstar in WCW for one reason or another. Flair wasn't booked on Starrcade 1997 originally and his feud with Hennig was rushed to a conclusion for Dallas Page to challenge Hennig for the US Title at Starrcade instead. With the changes I made we see Flair take the win in a bitter feud with Hennig after getting injured. Also Chris Benoit gets a nice rub defeating Hennig and winning the United States Title admittedly in a fluky way, but a win is a win. Check out the Starrcade 1997 card I would've booked in this time line:
WCW Cruiserweight Championship:
(c) Eddy Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio
Goldberg vs Hammer
Randy Savage, Konnan, Vincent vs Dean Malenko, Ray Traylor, Steve McMichael
WCW United States Championship:
(c) Chris Benoit vs Diamond Dallas Page vs Raven
Bret Hart guest referee:
Larry Zbyszko vs Eric Bischoff
Steel Cage Match:
Ric Flair vs Curt Hennig
Vicious & Delicious vs The Steiner Brothers
WCW World Heavyweight Title Match:
(c) Hollywood Hogan vs Sting
With the background set up we can move forward to the meat of the feud and how I would actually rebuild this story. I will also make a bit of change to the series to allow things to flow a little bit easier with reading the build then I had in the past. Let's jump right in:
September 15: The night after Fall Brawl we would see Hogan and Bischoff heap heavy praise on Curt Hennig for taking care of the Ric Flair problem. Hennig acknowledges that the Four Horsemen is officially dead with Flair out of the picture.
September 22: Hennig, Bagwell, and Norton in ring again run down the Horsemen and are interrupted by Steve McMichael who says "I'm tired of hearing you two run your mouth and want to shut you up." United States title match set for later tonight between Mongo & Curt Hennig. Hennig gets the win after Bagwell offers a distraction costing Mongo the championship.
September 29: Hennig, Bagwell, and Norton are in the ring again say they put the nail the coffin last week this time JJ Dillon interrupts. Dillon cuts the promo of his career with more emotion then anything seen from the company in years. Dillon "How dare you call the greatest combination of talent in one group dead, how dare you without a batting an eye be proud of history going away. That's the problem with people it happened let's move on a forget about it." To a point, but I would trust JJ to speak!! Chris Benoit & Mongo vs Scott Norton & Buff Bagwell announced for next week.
October 6: Scott Norton & Buff Bagwell vs Mongo & Chris Benoit. Benoit & Mongo get the win specifically McMichael earning a rematch against Curt Hennig at Halloween Havoc.
October 13 & 20: Announcers discuss the legacy of the Four Horsemen showing old footage of the first Horsemen promo and other moments from Four Horseman's past. Arn Anderson appears on October 20 saying "In the twelve year legacy of the Four Horsemen we have always been a step ahead of everyone and have never been taken out from within. For the first time we had someone turn on us before we turned on them! Hennig hear me now you will regret turning your back on the Horsemen and we aren't dead yet.
Halloween Havoc: United States Championship: (c) Curt Hennig victory against McMichael clean this time & Benoit & Malenko get the win back against Konnan & Vincent. Announcers again mention Flair, but talk from the perspective of Arn knowing more then he let's on.
October 27: Mongo, Benoit, and Malenko call out JJ Dillon & Arn Anderson to ask about Flair and see what exactly this is and if there is more going on then we can see. Arn & JJ both say "When someone knocks down Ric Flair he will always find his way back at the right time." Hennig wins again defeating Joey Maggs making it seem like a big deal even though it was an academic win.
November 3: With last being the New World Order week to rebuild things and have Four Horsemen talk now we switch and have Horsemen compete and Hennig speak. Gene interviews Hennig & Rude about Flair and Anderson "I respect Arn Anderson and JJ Dillon, but I lost respect for Flair a long time ago, because Ric Flair only cares about himself nobody else." Mongo quick win against Ice-Train, Malenko over Brad Armstrong, Benoit around a minute against Chad Fortune.
November 10: Gene announces that Chris Benoit will face Curt Hennig at World War 3 and Dean Malenko against Curt Hennig tonight non-title (Gene interviews both Benoit & Hennig during the night). Malenko comes very close to beating Hennig but comes up short in a competitive match. Hennig wins by the skin of his teeth just like Flair use to. Bagwell over Booker, T (stable win for Bagwel), Konnan quickie over Evan Karagias
November 17: Go home show for World War 3 we see NWO Lackey Louie Spicolli put in a match against Chris Benoit. Benoit wins even with Hennig at ringside and the two have a face off setting things up for World War 3 over the weekend.
Part 3 will be the final part of this series and World War 3 will be broken down next time as well due to it not just being about Hennig vs Benoit, but interaction between New World Order members and Horsemen members in the main event battle royal. Either way I have actually really enjoyed doing this type of thing again as I use to do this all the time back in the day. Flair will be returning in a big way in Part 3!!
Last week I wrote about Fall Brawl 1997 as a This Day in Wrestling History. Even though Fall Brawl was a solid event during the peak of World Championship Wrestling, I do think that the Main Event was the start of a misstep for WCW. A staple of World Championship since the mid-1980's was the War Games cage match which is a five on five match inside of two rings surrounded by a cage match. Though seeing the Four Horsemen and New World Order was a highlight of the New World Order's run in WCW. In the build to War Games we saw Arn Anderson announce his retirement and offered his spot to Hennig to join the Horsemen which was accepted.
The reason for this part is to say that I wouldn't change the build to the event or what happened at the event either, because it worked. For those who don't remember Hennig was attacked earlier on Fall Brawl, but would then join the match already in progress and would proceed to turn on the Horsemen by slamming his head into the cage door. Flair would be "severely" injured in the attack while his stablemates were handcuffed inside the cage. The fact that the revenge of Flair on Hennig wasn't made as big a deal as it should've been or playing up how much of a low blow it was that Hennig took Anderson's spot and effectively killed the Horsemen when he joined the NWO.
Overall this could've been a fantastic feud between two of the best ever, because the hot start of the feud could've laid the ground work for another intense match to pay-off at Starrcade. This is where we lay the ground work for the return of one of my favorite series on the site. We start the night after Fall Brawl on Nitro and will take this feud all the way to the MCI Center in Washington, DC. This event had Hennig vs Diamond Dallas Page for the United States Championship and didn't feature Ric Flair on the event. Soon enough we will retrace history and rewrite a rare misstep for peak of WCW.
Picking up after Survivor Series on the first Raw it is teased that Ambrose will be disciplined by Stephanie & Seth eagerly awaits the announcement. The entire show the announcement is built up, but it turns out to be a ruse with Stephanie just distracting Seth to allow Ambrose to jump him from behind and beat him down ending the show standing over him once again. The next week Stephanie talks about waiting for the right moment to get her revenge on Seth from Wrestlemania when he fought Triple H and this was the right moment. Ambrose clears up the fact that he isn't joining Stephanie or anything they just had a common enemy they wanted to take down.
The following week it is announced that Rollins & Ambrose will collide in a TLC Match with the winner gaining the number 27 entrant in the Royal Rumble. The reason for this is because we know that they play up how successful those that enter at number 27 over the years more than number 30 which is why we put that stipulation on the match. This match would be used to protect both guys this way neither have to take the fall in the match. Ambrose will get the win in the match and secure the number 27 spot at the Royal Rumble leaving Seth to still enter at number 10. The only difference this time would be Seth eliminates Ambrose getting a measure of revenge on his rival.
Following the Rumble we get a mixture of promos between Seth, Dean, and Heyman with Brock. This leads to Seth saying "At Wrestlemania I will slay the "Beast" but for then I need to contain a lunatic" and challenges Ambrose to a match at Elimination Chamber specifically Last Man Standing. The week before Elimination Chamber Ambrose and Rollins meet in the ring with security around them and they talk about their long history together in WWE and out of WWE and what there match on Sunday means. See I know this part will never happen, but knowing that Rollins and Dean traveled together & do have a history I'd give them the segment and them add the emotion into the match, because that's something someone who didn't live it doesn't understand.
Ambrose & Rollins would have free range to speak their minds and leave everything they can come up with in the ring verbally. Also I would have no pull apart, because every feud does and this one is too personal for it to seem like every other feud. Fact is letting these guys just work I feel like it would give them the room to be themselves. I don't know what caused their flop at TLC, but knowing WWE it is possible that micromanagement played a part. This match would be the first time that Ambrose leaving is even brought up raising the doubt during the match and adding to the story. Rollins gets the win in the match setting himself up against Brock at Mania. Following the match Dean Ambrose will grab the microphone and his eyes will well up like he's going to cry, but then he puts down the mic and walks away.
For weeks leading into Mania we will be introduced to "Mute Ambrose" as Dean it seems like he wants to explain his departure. This will lead to a sit down with Rene Young two weeks before Wrestlemania and this is what breaks Dean who during the interview just gets up and Rene looks at him gets up to and they hug each other. Confused what to think the feed cuts out and we have to wait till next week to find out what is going on. Standing in the ring Dean Ambrose says goodbye to the WWE Universe and again I would let Ambrose say whatever he wants as far as thanking the fans, but he wouldn't be able to run down the company obviously. I just think that after seven years he should be able to thank the fans on television.
For the last few weeks I have been thinking about stepping in and showing how I would book WWE, but while I still will be considering it I have decided to also breakdown one turn that happened and flopped. Last year on the night that Roman Reigns sadly announced that he was sick & would be stepping away from the ring his stable mates would break a part. Now I know that it is possible and even likely that nothing would've kept Ambrose from leaving WWE, but that doesn't mean his heel turn couldn't have been done better.
It would begin the exact way that it did on that fateful night in October with Ambrose dropping Rollins with the "Dirty Deeds" on the floor following their tag team title loss. The week after Rollins would start out the show saying "I understand why Ambrose attacked me last week, tensions were high after what happened earlier in the night. I know your sorry Dean let's just mend the fence and move on." Following a successful title defense Ambrose would appear on the stage staring at Rollins who is puzzled by the look on Dean's face.
The next week Rollins would call out his former stable mate to again give him the chance to explain his actions from two weeks ago. Following another Intercontinental Title defense in the main event the lights would go down and Ambrose would appear in the ring behind Rollins dropping him with the "Dirty Deeds" again in the middle of the ring. The microphone picks up him saying "I don't need your pity Seth" and it ends with those crazy eyes that does from time to time. Not being prepared for his one on one match against Nakamura it was made into a six man tag team match including the tag champions as well. Ambrose would cost the Raw team the win and would be yelled at by Stephanie for costing Raw all Ambrose would say is The Shield is dead.
We will continue this story at a later date and the amount of detail that I have breaking down this feud with has extended it well past the normal length for the series. Much like the Jinder edition will be back sooner then later to retell the story of how I believe Dean Ambrose's WWE heel turn should've gone down.
Picking up where we left off Jinder & The Singh's would begin their feud with The New Day following the Royal Rumble event. This would be a short feud heading to Fast Lane 2018 which was the last Smackdown exclusive event. Now even though some might think it's backward to have Jinder lose it's all a part of the plan and the bigger picture to let New Day partially because Jinder will not take the fall during the match. Heading into Wrestlemania 34 we will have Jinder enter the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and we will let him get the win and get some momentum going in his favor.
Jinder will brag for the next few weeks about winning the battle royal heading into "The Greatest Royal Rumble." At this event he will have an even better performance then he did at the Royal Rumble by actually winning the match, because letting Jinder get the win would give the match a lot more of a purpose. Following the event once again Jinder will brag about winning his second battle royal in about a month building more and more momentum. Fast forward to the build-up to Money in the Bank we will see Jinder compete in a six-pack challenge to fight AJ Styles for the WWE Championship.
Jinder will get the win in the six-pack challenge that also included Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, and Samoa Joe. The reason for his win would be based on not only the mounting momentum that has been building but also the fact that it would give AJ Styles a new challenger which was something he desperately needed at this point after his lackluster feud with Nakamura. In the build to Money in the Bank, this is when the "Modern Day Maharaja" moniker will be added to his entrance video really pushing the nickname in promos while he wouldn't appear until the Singh Brothers would introduce him as the "Modern Day Maharaja."
At Money in the Bank, we will see Jinder get the fluke victory over AJ Styles ending his long reign as champion in my opinion. This would get a lot of heat on Jinder for defeating Styles with the help of the Singh's. The following Smackdown we will see a coronation for Jinder becoming champion and it is interrupted by AJ Styles who wants his rematch at Extreme Rules. Now the original main event from the show will stick that being Dolph against Seth in an Iron-man match due to the finish that will come for the WWE Title match. In the build, to the event the Good Brothers will get involved on AJ's side to even the odds, but AJ begs them to only show up if they are needed at the PPV. The match at Extreme Rules will end in a draw when both the Singh's & Good Brothers get involved setting up a six-man tag for Summerslam.
Overall Jinder's reign with the title will come to a close at Hell in a Cell when AJ regains the gold in a Hell in a Cell match. Even though the two-month reign may seem like Jinder would come out of it weak in my opinion the length isn't what matters rather the story that went with the reign is what counts. Not moving Jinder to Raw during the shake-up like they did would also help keep the pressure off him and make it more likely he could break through. The most important thing in my opinion though his win seemed believable because of how he did it and the Singh's become more needed as they were the reason Jinder gained the title. This does allow us to keep the same timeline with Daniel Bryan winning the title from AJ in the build-up to Survivor Series in November.
Last time I opened the annals of the WWE's past we looked at the end of the Wyatt Family from 2017 when Randy Orton broke apart the family. However, one thing that was changed in the booking of the Wyatt's split we didn't see a title victory for Jinder and his ascension up the card. Now we shift gears to how the Modern Day Maharaja would fit into my WWE. Right now I think that at the time when Jinder actually won the title we will be keeping the belt on Randy Orton instead allowing his feud with Bray Wyatt to keep the championship.
At this point I still think that Jinder should be moved to Smackdown as a way to take the pressure off of him and give him the opportunity to refocus. To start he won't appear right away as I want to take sometime to repackage his gimmick and build up some anticipation. The vignette's would start slow adding more and more each week introducing his new gimmick and nickname of the "Modern Day Maharaja." The first week we will see Jinder acting different and it will end with "This the first you've seen from the new "Modern Day Maharaja." If we move forward about a month the Singh Brothers will appear in the second to last vignette and it will then set up Jinder's re-debut at Money in the Bank against Sin Cara.
Clearly, the biggest test for Jinder would be his first feud as his new persona still grows on the audience and I think Sami would be the best pick for his first feud. The reason I'd pick Sami for this is because he is really good at invoking sympathy from the crowd and is an even better underdog. They will mostly have a television feud to allow the feud to build off PPV as oppose to forcing it on big events before it's ready. The feud will blow-off at Hell in a Cell this way Jinder can win and it won't effect Sami too much considering he will still be turning heel in the main event.
In the weeks that follow we will see Jinder take credit for opening Zayn's eyes and accepting that Kevin Owens was right all along. In the course of boos Jinder will say "Now I will select another of your favorite stars to open their eyes and turn them against you." Enter Dolph Ziggler who was in a lackluster feud with Bobby Roode at this time, but now we will try and help multiple people. Jinder will form his connection with Dolph when the Singh Brothers portray Bobby Roode during an impression segment to run down the "Glorious One."
The following week Jinder will secure a victory over Bobby thanks to the numbers advantage & the following week was suppose to be a handicap match but instead Roode gets beaten down by the Singh's, Jinder, and Dolph on Smackdown. Leading into TLC we see Kalisto join the fight and even the odds a little bit and the match is set Jinder & Dolph vs Bobby Roode & Kalisto but with the Singh's still at ringside the heels win. This leads into the final Smackdown of 2017 and a Steel Cage match between the teams again this time though Roode & Kalisto finally get the win with the Singh's at bay.
Starting on the build to the Royal Rumble, Jinder gets serious and begins to get more aggressive and focus on himself. His partnership with Dolph Ziggler is still present, but not upfront as both men are focused on the Royal Rumble. Jinder is going into the match an underdog and one of the favorites to not really last that long in the match. We reach the Rumble and I will switch his number to 4 this way we can build a little story with the "Modern Day Maharaja." During his stay in the match Jinder will eliminate 5 people over the course of 20:12 minutes in the match with his biggest elimination being New Day except for Kofi who finds his way back in and eliminates Jinder.
Though twenty minutes doesn't seem like a lot it is a vast improvement for Jinder who normally would be in and out of the match relatively fast, but we are trying to change how fans see Jinder and this helps. The changing of his perception is also the reason for the slow build to a title victory as oppose to jumping right in like the WWE did at the time. This was the main problem with his title reign that he was still percieved to be a jobber or no name by most fans which made him being WWE Champion seem like a joke.
However, if you slowly move to that it could actually be something that makes Jinder an actual star for the company instead of flash in the pan. Find out next time though, because if I keep going this will be crazy long and don't worry it will be soon and not in a month.
So for the first time in quite a while or ever I will be showing how I would handle Randy Orton's booking in 2017. For those who don't remember in 2017 Orton was booked as a member of the Wyatt Family with Bray & Luke Harper welcoming him into the family. Wyatt would win the WWE Championship and defend the title against Randy at Wrestlemania. The match was extremely underwhelming and really killed any momentum that the feud had from the start. So let's get going and see how I can change things up and make things better for the start of 2017.
To start I will not be changing the Royal Rumble winner as I do think Orton was a good choice to win the match. In my opinion giving Randy one more win and moment in the spotlight after being out of the spotlight for a few years would be a nice change. Really I would keep most everything from the Royal Rumble, but I will fast forward to the Elimination Chamber PPV the following month and change things around a little bit. Instead of seeing Bray Wyatt get the victory I would give the belt back to AJ Styles setting up a match between AJ Styles & Orton at Wrestlemania for WWE Championship. In my opinion overall this is a better match and something we haven't seen to this point as Styles & Orton haven't feuded just yet.
Now where this leaves Bray is well I would slot Bray in as a member of the Andre Battle Royal and let him win instead of Mojo Rawley, because we could do more with Bray winning then Mojo. Speaking of Mania the match between AJ & Orton would end off a distraction from Luke Harper who accidentally costs Orton the match. This opens the door for tension to begin building the right way between the Wyatt Family with Bray attempting to play the peace keeper. As we move to Backlash a rematch is set up between AJ Styles & Orton inside a cage with Randy getting the victory in this one.
The reality is that now an aura of jealousy will be introduced into an already tense situation between the Wyatt Family members. At first Bray is still playing the peace keeper but then jealousy finally gets to Bray interrupting a match finally snapping heading into Money in the Bank adding himself into the WWE Title match between Orton & Styles. Setting up the ease of a finish protecting the main feud at least for right now not letting Orton & Wyatt meet one on one. Orton will sneak the victory on Styles with the PPV ending on a confrontation between he, Wyatt, and Harper.
Heading into Battleground we have a tag team match set between Orton/Rowan vs Harper/Wyatt. Now I know that some might wonder why Rowan wouldn't be with Harper & Wyatt well that's where this match comes in. Rowan will turn on Randy during the match joining forces with Harper & Wyatt fully brining the original Wyatt family back together. In the build to Summerslam we will see Harper & Rowan win the Tag Team titles and get them distracted during the show with Wyatt facing Orton for the WWE Title. Wyatt will get the win and capture his first WWE Title and gives the Wyatt Family there chance to be a dominate faction for the first time in WWE.
Moving to Hell in a Cell, I will not be holding the match that fans might think we would hold because it would be interesting to see a six man tag match with Orton, & New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) vs Wyatt Family. This would add another wrinkle to the never ending feud and allows Harper & Rowan to branch off with their own feud to have the Tag Titles and WWE Championship spotlighted. We have reached Survivor Series were Orton & Wyatt will finally meet once again for the WWE Title. Orton will get the win regaining the title, but in the end will turn heel and hit the RKO on the floor writing Bray off television for a few months. This would set up a Wrestlemania match between these two in 2018 where Bray would get the win and finally hold the WWE Title for a solid reign.
I know in this time line there is no Jinder Mahal title reign, but I really hate it when the company hot potatoes the World Title and that's why I changed the booking the way I did, and in my opinion giving Randy an extra reign and Bray two reigns is better outlook then one for Jinder. However, I didn't forget about him as his chance could be coming soon just wait and see.
At Starrcade 1996 we saw the culmination of the first mini feud in the NWO age with the newly christened Hollywood Hogan against his former rival Roddy Piper, but in different roles. This match is pointed out by fans because something seems to missing as the WCW Title wasn't on the line. Piper would win the match using the sleeper hold, but this time around we will be looking at what it would've been like if Piper took the title in this match. Now I know that based on the image of WCW at this time Piper would've never won the title, but then again with Hogan being champion would it be that hard to believe.
Starting at Starrcade Piper would capture the World Title leaving the biggest event of the year on an interesting note, because we would have a new World Champion. On Nitro the next day the feud continues between Piper & Hogan, but with a twist this time around as The Giant brings up his guaranteed title shot from World War III. This brings some tension within the ranks of the NWO and Giant getting Hogan's face, but Piper would arrive to play up the tension within the ranks. It is announced that on first edition of Nitro in 1997 Hogan will get rematch for the World Title. This rematch would end with The Giant costing Hogan his title shot to get him out of the way and get his fair title shot.
The actions of The Giant though would get him removed from the New World Order. Giant is bringing up his place in the company and how the previous generation have held him back; now he begins to refer to himself as a "lone wolf." Now in keeping with reality DDP would start his feud with the NWO on the same night he did in real life to begin grooming him to take Piper's spot.
At Sold Out in January a masked man would cost Giant for the WCW World Title raising the question who was under the mask. This draws the focus away from Piper and places it on The Giant and the mask man as well as Dallas Page's ascension up the card. In the build to Superbrawl we see Piper issue an open challenge to anyone who has never won a World Title before and the challenge is accepted by Arn Anderson. The build for this match would be more of a classic approach to allow this match to be different then the other matches set for the show.
Following Superbrawl and another successful title defense for Piper we find out that he has a new #1 contender and it is Hulk Hogan. At the event Hogan would defeat The Giant to become Piper's next challenger setting up their match at Uncensored. This brings things full circle and allows us to keep the plan set for Starrcade with the face-off between Hogan and Sting still in the works. After a short title reign Hogan would defeat Piper for the World Title and the feud with Sting would officially be set in motion tonight with Starrcade in the in spotlight. Though this doesn't change much it does breath a little bit of fresh air into the WCW product heading into 1997.