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.
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