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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

Stamford, Connecticut - 21st May, 2004

Open letter from Vince McMahon to Shane McMahon, transcribed on wwe.com

Dear Shane...

...this is your father. You would have probably found out by now even if I haven't said it, I guess you know my handwriting. As you know, you (and your sister, of course) are the heir to my legacy. Very few are lucky enough to heir something like what you'll heir one day. And no one is as lucky as you are, because you will be the one to follow... the McMahon Legacy!

However, son, I still have some (a lot) more years to live and, like every great leader, I plan on running the World Wrestling Entertainment until my death, or at least, until I am a lot more older. So, it will still take some time until you run the world of sports entertainment.

But, we are in the year of 2004 and the world is changing at a fast pace. So is professional wrestling and sports entertainment. There are fresh new faces and a load of hungry athletes trying to grab the famed brass rings that will catapult them to stardom, here in the WWE.

What you do not know, my son, is that I will give you the chance to grab the shiniest brass ring of them all, at a very young age. You are 34 years old. Three years younger than I was when I got the control of the then World Wrestling Federation. However, I feel like the time is now, and, like you have proved in the past, I feel that you will not disappoint your father, just like you will not disappoint my father, your late grandfather.

That is why I will present you with a gift. A precious one. New wrestling companies are trying to rise and aim to get the chance to compete with the World Wrestling Entertainment. Who can blame them? No one. However, we must secure our position as the number one wrestling promotion from a early standpoint. That standpoint is now, and you, Shane, will be the man to secure WWE's long future.

How? By being WWE's competition, yourself. So you are going to have your own promotion, being in the prestigious second spot. You will run it your way. And that way, you will be more than ready when you, as the natural heir, take over WWE.

If you accept this gift, prepare yourself. Plan everything. Because after Summerslam, this year, I want to have competition... from my own son. But be careful. Your promotion itself already has it's legacy: the legacy of... World Championship Wrestling.

What do you say, son?

Your father,
Vincent Kennedy McMahon Jr.

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WCW In-Ring Roster

Heavyweight Division
- Booker T - H
- Bubba Ray Dudley - H
- Carlito Colón (w/Jesús Aguilera) - H
- Chad Collyer - F
- Chris Benoit - F
- Christian (w/Tyson Tomko) - H
- D-Von Dudley - H
- Eddie Guerrero - F
- Jesús Aguilera - H
- Johnny Blaze - H
- Johnny Stamboli - F
- Mark Jindrak - H
- Matt Morgan - F
- Maven - F
- Mike Awesome - F
- Nigel McGuinness - F
- Nova - F
- Randy Orton (w/Ric Flair) - H
- Ric Flair - H
- Rob Van Dam - F
- Rodney Mack - H
- Rhyno - F
- Steven Richards - F
- Test - H
- William Regal - F

Cruiserweight Division
- Billy Kidman - F
- Chavo Guerrero Jr. (w/Chavo Guerrero Sr.) - H
- Frankie Kazarian - H
- Human Tornado [UPW] - F
- Joey Mercury - H
- Paul London - F
- Nunzio - H
- Rey Mysterio - F
- Shane Ballard [UPW] - T
- Shannon Ballard [UPW] - T
- Shannon Moore - F
- Spike Dudley - H
- Tajiri - F
- The Hurricane - F

Tag Teams and Factions
- Ballard Brothers (Shane & Shannon Ballard) [UPW] - T
- Carlito Colón & Jesús Aguilera - H
- Christian & Tyson Tomko - H
- Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von & Spike Dudley) - H
- Evolution (Randy Orton & Ric Flair) - H
- Billy Kidman & Paul London - F
- Blue World Order (Nova & Steven Richards) - F
- Rey Mysterio & Rob Van Dam - F
- The Radicalz (Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero) - F
 

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Currently following WWE, AEW, NJPW and NWA
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)

18th July 2004

Info about the date, TV shows and roster of WCW's relaunch

The relaunch of World Championship Wrestling has now, officially, its date announced. 18th August 2004. One month from today, take a note, fellow wrestling fans. That will be the day of the first episode of... Wednesday Nitro, airing on UPN. But that's not all, as Thunder will also make its return, on late night Fridays, on Spike TV, starting two days later. A third show, called Saturday Night World War will also exist, on Saturdays, also on Spike TV. However, that third TV show is scheduled to be only a four-week special.

The roster is surprising for some, as it presents a distiguished division between heavyweight and cruiserweight wrestlers, as it happens in most top japanese promotions. It is being reported that the divisional split was Paul Heyman's idea, as former ECW promoter will be teaming with Shane McMahon on WCW's relaunch.
The core of the roster is the Alliance faction from 2001's Invasion. All the Alliance members (as of Survivor Series 2001) still under contract with the WWE were moved to WCW's roster. Those wrestlers are:

- Billy Kidman (alongside Paul London)
- Booker T
- Bubba Ray Dudley
- Chavo Guerrero
- Christian (alongside Tyson Tomko)
- D-Von Dudley
- Johnny Stamboli
- Mark Jindrak
- Mike Awesome
- Nunzio
- Rob Van Dam
- Rhyno
- Spike Dudley
- Steven Richards (alongside Nova)
- Tajiri
- Test
- The Hurricane
- William Regal

Besides, the current title holders of the championships that were previously WCW's property will also take part on Shane and Heyman's reboot. That means the World Heavyweight champion, the United States champion (title currently vacant) and the Cruiserweight champion will be in WCW, as said titles will be property of WCW again.
Additionally, SmackDown!'s WWE Tag Team Championship will be defended on WCW programming again (due to being held by Billy Kidman and Paul London), renamed WCW World Tag Team Championship and carrying the lineages of both the original title with the same name and itself.
These are the current champions that can end up joining WCW after Summerslam, if they retain posession of the titles.

- Chris Benoit (World Heavyweight champion)
- Rey Mysterio (Cruiserweight champion)

Finally, WCW will also feature on their roster some other WWE wrestlers (*), as well as Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) graduates (**). Last but now least, Atlanta based WCW announced a partnership with California's Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW), from which four wrestlers will arrive in WCW, one of which as a full time member of the roster (***), the rest as occasional wrestlers (****). Here they are:

- Carlito Colón**
- Chad Collyer**
- Frankie Kazarian***
- Human Tornado****
- Jesús Aguilera**
- Joey Mercury**
- Johnny Blaze (John Hennigan)**
- Matt Morgan**
- Maven*
- Nigel McGuinness**
- Rodney Mack*
- Shane Ballard****
- Shannon Ballard****
- Shannon Moore*
 

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Currently following WWE, AEW, NJPW and NWA
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

16th August 2004

Randy Orton, WCW's champion

Yesterday, we got to see Randy Orton becoming the youngest World Heavyweight champion in the history, after defeating Chris Benoit, at Summerslam. A lot of people doubted Orton's chances and were expecting a rupture of Evolution's core. Very few believed Randy Orton could become champion and, consequentially, join WCW. Yet, he sure did.

The question that followed: "after Orton's World title victory, what is in store for Evolution?" The answer is simple. They will exist in both WWE and WCW, as Ric Flair was nominated by Triple H to mentor Randy Orton at Shane and Heyman's promotion.

And... Chris Benoit? Well, rumors are that the entire WWE roster was questioned about the possibilty of jumping ship to WCW. Three important members of the in-ring roster said they'd like to join the reboot. Those three wrestlers have a huge history themselves, at the promotion from Atlanta. Those are Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and also Rey Mysterio, who lost the Cruiserweight Championship to Spike Dudley, who's also joining WCW as a result.

But that's not all, as another rising star of the WWE is on his way out to WCW. John Cena conquered the WWE United States Championship at Summerslam, after defeating Booker T. Cena will, therefore, join WCW's roster, at least temporaily, as he is scheduled to defend the title against the former champion on the first episode of Wednesday Nitro, two days from now. The rivalry between both men will get to its final chapter, in a match where the loser must leave WCW.

As far as on-air personalities are concerned, it is known that Shane McMahon will be backstage only, at least for now. So, the on-air General Manager of WCW will be none other than Paul Heyman. As for commentators, Heyman lobbied for the voice of the former ECW, Joey Styles. In his company will be Tony Schiavone.

Full roster added to the first post.
 

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Currently following WWE, AEW, NJPW and NWA
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Discussion Starter #4

WCW Wednesday Nitro – 18/08/2004
Atlanta, Georgia, USA


:::::

1. WCW United States Championship - Loser Leaves WCW: Booker T def. John Cena

2. World War League Qualifier: Carlito Colón def. Stevie Richards

3. Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Christian & Spike Dudley def. Rey Mysterio & Rob Van Dam & The Hurricane

4. World War League Qualifier: Mike Awesome def. Mark Jindrak

5. Losers Draw Together: Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero def. Randy Orton
& Ric Flair

:::::​

Segment #1
After the traditional introduction, amplified by the fact that this was a debut show in the hometown of WCW, Paul Heyman came to the ring, to a big pop, despite being the former boss of ECW and having a bad past in WCW. Heyman gets the microphone and shouts a huge «Welcome to… W! CW!». After that, Heyman revealed he had a huge announcement: the start of the World War League! The league would be a 14-man competition, with the participants divided in two groups of seven. The winners of both groups would then meet at the first pay-per-view event following WCW’s reboot: Battle Field, at September 19th. The objective of the league? Finding out who the best heavyweight wrestling in WCW truly is.
However, two guys didn’t like the idea that much, as Randy Orton and Ric Flair got to the ring. Randy Orton, showcasing his World Heavyweight title bet, told Heyman it was insulting there’d be a need to prove who the best heavyweight wrestling in WCW and in the world is, as he had the gold to prove it. Ric Flair proceeded: “Not only is this man [Orton] the best wrassler’ in the world. Evolution is also the biggest force in professional rasslin’ TODAY! Woooo!»
Someone didn’t agree, though, and that person was former World champion, Chris Benoit. After hero’s welcome, he defended the creation of the World War League, as it will create a sense of real competition. He then added: «(…) and Randy, you are a tough kid. You beat me last Sunday, and you sure beat me fairly. But you can still learn a lot, and this league is a damn great way to prove yourself even further!»
Ric Flair cut his words short, though, retaining his previous point that Evolution has already proven to be the true dominant force, and Orton the true dominant athlete in heavyweight wrestling. After some heated words between Flair and Benoit, while Orton tried to calm down ‘The Nature Boy’ and Heyman just watched, having fun. Flair aggressively shouted: «You’re always outnumbered, Benoit! Always! You were outnumbered by Evolution in RAW, and you STILL are now, boy! Woooo! Who do ya got? Who do ya got?»
The answer: “Viva La Raza…”, Eddie Guerrero got to the ring, leaving Benoit smirking. After Eddie joined the confrontation and took verbal shots at both Orton and Flair, Paul Heyman interrupted the altercation, creating the first main event of the reboot. «It seems obvious that you guys have some… minor issues going. So tonight… it’s Randy Orton and Ric Flair… versus Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero! And the losing team will draw together in the same group of the league

Promo #1
Backstage, interviewer Stacy Keibler was met by Booker T before the opening match for the United States Championship. Short words were said by Booker, who simply claimed he will take the title away from John Cena, making his reign a three-day one, and return the precious belt to a more deserving waist. «But better than that, Stacy… I’ll get WCW rid of John Cena! Now can you dig THAT? Sucka!»

Match #1
WCW United States Championship – Loser Leaves WCW
John Cena © vs. Booker T

Three days after their last meeting at WWE Summerslam, Cena and Booker met again, and one thing was sure: this one would be their last clash in a long time. Booker, particularly, was very aggressive, focused on taking the title away from Cena at all cost. The crowd was divided, due to Booker T being a homegrown star.
However, Cena put up a great fight. The competitive match ended due to Booker smartly pushing Cena towards the referee after escaping a F-U attempt. After the ref bump, even after suffering a Five Knuckle Shuffle, Booker managed to once again escape a F-U, hitting then Cena with a low blow, which, followed by a Scissors Kick, gave Booker the win and the title, after a slow count from the bruised ref.
Result: Booker def. Cena (9:10) via pinfall – New champion / Cena leaves WCW

Promo #2
After the match, having Booker T leave to the back with the title in his possession, John Cena slowly got to his feet. The former US champion then asked for a mic and jokingly told his WCW debut was, in fact, a return: «In case you didn’t know, I was in WCW in the past… as a movie star! That’s right, I was in Ready 2 Rumble».
He then wishes the best to WCW’s future and says goodbye to the WCW fans, «(…) but I may be back soon, you know? There’s a strong possibility that Vince gets sick of me and packs me to his son’s.»

Announcement #1
Tony Schiavone then asked for some short seconds of attention, as he had the first three names in the World War League’s line-up. Schiavone announced that Booker T and Rob Van Dam would be together in Group A, while “The Man Beast” Rhyno would be in Group B.

Match #2
World War League Qualifier
Carlito Colón (w/Jesús Aguilera) vs. Stevie Richards

This match marked the debut of Carlito Colón in big league wrestling, and he sure had a big insurance policy at the ringside. Jesús showed as physically imposing and made sure Stevie was the real underdog in the fight, by causing distractions. However, Carlito himself more than held on his own, showcasing good wrestling. He’d be successful, advancing to the World War, after a spine cracking Backstabber.
Result: Carlito def. Stevie (5:48) via pinfall

Segment #2
Following the end of the match, Carlito Colón showed his boldness by claiming to be ready to enter the war, very much like his father. He also claimed to be the future of professional wrestling, and of course, the future of World Championship Wrestling. One person seemed to dislike that. The british veteran William Regal came to the stage, telling Carlito that he surely needs «much, much more than a simple victory» to be able to claim any future bragging rights.
Paul Heyman interrupted the two before any physical altercations could exist, announcing three more names to the World War League field: Test will join Group A, while Carlito and Regal will be able to solve their differences in Group B.

Promo #3
In a video promo, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) devalued the tournament, saying they don’t give a damn about it. Their goal is different, as they aimed for the WCW World Tag Team titles: «We’re getting the belts again. Billy! Paul! Get ready, because me and D-Von are coming for those straps! And it sure will feel good to beat the crap out of you while doing so. You’ve crossed a very thin line with us. Now… you better watch your back!», Bubba said.

Match #3
Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Christian & Spike Dudley (w/Chavo Sr./Tyson Tomko) vs.
Rey Mysterio & Rob Van Dam & The Hurricane

The fast-paced match of the night. But with four cruiserweights, how could it not be? The animosity between Spike Dudley and Rey Mysterio was visible, as they’re feuding over the Cruiserweight championship, but a new feud seems to be emerging, as Christian and RVD got really heated during the bout.
At the end, the ringside confusion between Hurricane, Chavo and Spike reached its peak when Rey Mysterio flew with a high Crossbody, getting all three men hit, plus Tyson Tomko. In the ring, Christian pushed Van Dam head first into an exposed turnbuckle, following it with the Unprettier, winning the match for his team.
Result: Christian def. RVD (7:31) via pinfall

Segment #3
After the match, Christian also did his fair share of bragging. Perhaps, too fair. He extended his time a little too much while saying the World War League should be called… Christian World League (huh?). That led to Rob Van Dam hitting him with a Spinning Heel Kick, positioning him on the middle rope.
Rey Mysterio got the message and prepared for the 619, but both Spike, Chavo and Tomko got it too. However, Chavo was sent to retreat by Hurricane, Spike was also receiver of the same fate as Christian and Tomko was put in his place with a triple team Dropkick. Then! 619! Christian and Spike Dudley both ate it.

Promo #4
Backstage, Randy Orton and, well, specially Ric Flair threw some shade at Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. The 16-time World champion said that Benoit and Eddie should be smart enough not to «get in the nerves of the Nature Boy-eh! Woooo!», proceeding then to compare his own accolades with any of the accolades of Benoit and Eddie, saying the duo is a level below.
Randy Orton also stuck it to Benoit, claiming that the handshake following both men’s match at WWE Summerslam simply meant that he respected the Rabid Wolverine’s efforts. «Nothing… else.»

Match #4
World War League Qualifier
Mark Jindrak vs. Mike Awesome

This one… was short. Before the match, after both wrestlers were already in the ring, the blue chipper Jindrak claimed to be a safe bet for anyone who puts his money on him entering the tournament and, one day, wearing world title gold. He then proceeded to take a dig at Mike Awesome himself, remembering fans of his ‘Fat Chick Thrilla’ persona in WCW. Uh, bad choice.
Awesome knocked him off his feet with a huge Lariat as soon as the bell rung and beat the kid up all over the ring and ringside as well, before finishing him off with his famed Awesome Bomb.
Result: Awesome def. Jindrak (2:12) via pinfall

Segment #5
«Oh my god!», Joey Styles exclaimed. Then, the commentator announced three more participants for the World War League, revealing that none other that the 2-time G1 Climax winner Kensuke Sasaki would join Group B as a guest.
The bomb, however, came after he revealed Mike Awesome’s participation in Group A… alongside Masato Tanaka! The Japanese, former ECW champion and big-time rival of Mike Awesome then appeared in the stage, daring him to meet him at the ramp. Awesome came speeding, and the duo threw fired punches at each other before the security crew separated both.

Match #5
Losers Draw Together
Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero vs. Randy Orton & Ric Flair

The bar was high. On one side, the determined duo of Benoit and Eddie, trying to teach a lesson to the cocky duo of youngster Randy Orton and the veteran Ric Flair. On the other side, the scams and tricks of the two dirtiest players in the game, although Orton seemed to be way more toned down in that matter.
The few times Orton showed some cockiness by provoking the technical duo, he paid for it with some open-handed slaps and stiff strikes, pummeling the champion. Ric Flair, though, didn’t know how to stop, reaching as far as to spit in Eddie’s face, near the ending. Eddie then leveled him with the Three… well, Two Amigos. The third one was reserved for Randy Orton, who tried to save his partner.
The tag was then made, and after some furious double teaming aiming at Flair, Benoit locked in the Crippler Crossface. The World champion tried to stop Benoit but was sent out of the ring by Eddie Guerrero. Benoit then put some more pressure at the hold. A screaming Ric Flair had no choice but to tap out.
Result: Benoit def. Flair (11:37) via submission

Segment #6
To end the first episode of Wednesday Nitro, Paul Heyman got to the stage while Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero were making their way out and celebrating. WCW’s General Manager completed the line-up of World War League. Christian and Chris Benoit will complete group A. As for the Group B, Eddie Guerrero and both Evolution members, Randy Orton and Ric Flair were announced.
In the ring, the feeling was tense. Ric Flair got angry at Randy Orton, blaming him for the loss due to not being successful in saving him and even slapping him. Randy boiled and probably contemplated hitting his mentor. He didn’t, though, but there was no love lost during the moment, as Orton simply grabbed the World title and left the ring, raising the belt and leaving to the back while being observed by Flair.

:::::

WCW World War League - Participants

Group A
Booker T
Chris Benoit
Christian
Masato Tanaka [Japan]
Mike Awesome
Rob Van Dam
Test

Group B
Carlito Colón
Eddie Guerrero
Kensuke Sasaki [Japan]
Randy Orton
Rhyno
Ric Flair
William Regal
 
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