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!!