Rebuilding WCW for 2019 Return
At one point or another, nearly every wrestling fan has considered what real competition would look like for WWE. We spend countless hours creating new Federations, Leagues or Wrestling Companies in general. KliqPod has created three or four different companies whether it be on paper, merchandise or on WWE 2K. However, there is always on constant when we think of a rebuild or building from scratch and that is WCW. No, it isn't unique or super creative but when creating competition, you want to start with a solid base. With the consideration of where WWE will be posting 2018 and that virtually anyone is up for grabs, below are the most important rebuild factors that can definitely compete with and possibly beat WWE in the ratings.
Marketing: Would you change the look and feel of WCW from what you remember? Would you change the names of the Monday and Thursday program? Hell No. There is one very powerful force in wrestling today and that is nostalgia. Think about this, would the WWE Network be as popular today if you could only watch reruns of RAW, Smackdown and Live PPV's? A lot of subscribers are watching programming from 1985-2000. So much so that lesser popular shows such as WCW Thunder and WCW Saturday Night programming is being added on a regular basis. As a matter of the logo, it would have to go back to the original from 1997. While the pre-millennium logo transformation was a modern update, nothing compares to the original and simple WCW logo. If you want to use that nostalgia factor to it's maxed you must remind people of a time where WCW reigned in the wrestling world.
Weekly and PPV Programs: Keeping Nitro and Thunder are a given, but what about PPV re-branding? Naturally, we have to consider a "big four" format to be in competition with WWE. Clash of Champions, Bash at the Beach, Halloween Havoc and Starrcade will stay. Others such as Souled Out, Uncensored, Slamboree, World War 3, Spring Stampede, SuperBrawl and Fall Brawl would also be a staple for the brand and will remove those corny and cheesy ones such as Road Wild or Hog Wild, Mayhem, Sin, Greed, and Beach Blast. Also, a potential return of BattleBowl as the companies theoretical Royal Rumble, even though WW3 is made for a three-ring battle royal that may be played out. Of course, there is a real need to introduce new PPV's into the fold. Maybe special events like Takeover or overseas shows to really boost the footprint.
Schedule as follows:
Monday - Nitro
Thursday - Thunder
January - Clash of Champions (Strong PPV to complete with Royal Rumble)
February - Souled Out (Bullet Club Event/Villain Event)
March - SuperBrawl (King of the Ring type of event)
April - Spring Stampede
May - Slamboree
June - Uncensored (Extreme Rules)
July - World War 3 (Money in the Bank)
August - Bash at the Beach
September - BattleBowl (Royal Rumble)
October - Halloween Havoc
November - Fall Brawl (Cage Themed)
December - Starrcade
We want to keep on the theme with most of these, War Games will remain with WWE but we will keep it Fall Brawl. BattleBowl will be closer to Starrcade to ensure consistency in the storyline.
One of the possible downfalls of WCW was their overuse and push of their ageing stars such as Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. So reaching out to returning stars this late in the lives of current WCW alumni is risky, but the specific use of these people is equally if not more important than their return altogether.
Booker T. There is no denying that Book can come back and probably wrestle another five matches or so. Should that happen? Absolutely not. In WWE 2K on Twitch, the KliqPodcast created a stable similar to that of the Nation of Domination, which we will get into later. Their leader none other than Booker T. Book has this amazing quality to get under the skin of people no matter how ridiculous it sounds and would be a great mouthpiece for a new stable.
Sting. I would imagine that this would be the best opportunity for Steve Borden to return to the company that he arguably built, maintained and sank with when the ship went down and while Sting is older than Booker T you can also make the argument that Book has nothing to prove but Sting does. Nothing like taking a "buckle bomb" from Seth Rollins to end your career. Sting would have to have one rivalry, not sure who with but he deserves it and to possibly win the title, only to relinquish it and retire the next Nitro would be a perfect ending to a storied career.
There are arguments for so many more, Flair, Goldberg, Steiner, Big Show, Raven, DDP, or the nWo. However, in terms of what we believe to be an important factor really only two men fit that bill, the Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time, Five Time WCW World Heavyweight Champion Booker T and WCW Captain Sting.
Where do we start, the only talent coming from WWE would be that of ones that aren't getting the push we think they deserve and those who you can see end up in WCW over time. The Indy scene is wide open and we have some theories.
WWE: To name a few, Sasha Banks, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Asuka, Bayley, Dana Brooke, Apollo Crews, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, Revival, R-Truth, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, and Tye Dillinger. You can make a case for Finn Balor but he seems WWE through and through, tough to see him leave.
The Independent Circuit:
CM Punk: The one name that always will and should come up is CM Punk. What better way to stick it to WWE than to sign a guy that wants nothing more than WWE to be buried. That, of course, would likely come with AJ Lee as a package deal which would be a huge night one or first PPV surprise.
Other major and assumed considerations, Kenny Omega, Young Bucks, or really anyone old and new from the Bullet Club. While a returning nWo wouldn't be helpful, counteracting that with the Bullet Club would hit big. Imagine Bullet Club merchandise on a large payroll, that would blow up. Hell, a Souled Out Bullet Club vs. nWo would be a hit.
Cody Rhodes: One of the biggest points to the Bullet Club would be the introduction of Cody Rhodes. Now I have gone on record stating that Cody isnt as good as people make him out to be, but the history with Dusty Rhodes in WCW would make Cody one of the biggest acquisitions. It is pretty clear on how to book the Bullet Club into WCW, but how can we repackage the WWE Talent...keep reading!
The biggest question is how to book these with the knowledge of above. WWE is the biggest company to exist in wrestling and won't be easy to compete with. From a story perspective how to we execute alongside WWE?
Commentary and Announcer: An introduction of former WCW commentary legend Tony Schiavone and former WCW and TNA commentator Mike Tenay would be a great start to get a hot crowd. Also, the potential of a former announcer WWE or TNA would be just fine. The team has to be strong enough to stand on their name but also invoke that natural nostalgia.
Opening Segment: Cody Rhodes opening up Nitro as the NWA Champion would create a huge pop and buzz with the fans. It has to be in a fashion similar to that of Wrestlemania 30 and how it opened up with Hogan, Stone Cold and the Rock. Bring in Flair, and Sting to back Cody up on his feelings and emotions of the first segment would create an emotional investment from the start. With Cody announcing the main event match open challenge for the NWA Championship would get the fans hyped enough to stay through the two hours.
First Match: Women's division match to qualify for the new WCW Women's Championship. Miss Mercedes (Sasha Banks) vs Davina Rose (Bayley) would be an amazing kick-off match. We can only think back to NXT Takeover Brooklyn and consider the possibility of how good this match can be putting Miss Mercedes as a heel vs Davina Rose and her face roll.
Over the course of the night Apollo, (Apollo Crews) King Creed (Kofi) and Truth (R-Truth) would eventually all get pulled aside by Booker T with closed-door conversations. Other considerations for the show would be lightweight (Cruiserweight) matches with guys Shawn Spears (Tye Dillinger) and a returning Juventud Guerrera, as well as qualifying matches for championships.
We also consider introducing the Young Bucks with Eric Bischoff returning and acting as surprise team manager. Kenta (Hideo Itami) and Asuka walking in backstage from a limo and the graphic on the screen of a tweet from Kenny Omega subliminally calling out CM Punk.
Main Event: Cody vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NWA Championship. There really isn't anything that needs to be said about this match. It is a win for all of us already. However, the finish is where it gets interesting. WCW can bring in Cody as a face but turn him after this match with the aide of the Young Bucks and Eric Bischoff to form the new nWo.
World War 3 in July which is more of a Money in the Bank PPV would be a great way to really kick off the rivalries and introduce both the Nation of Truth and the newly formed nWo. There is no need to have the teams clash here because there is another stable in the mix that will be more of an intermediary to the overall stable scene but also have individuals flourish outside of the stable to counterbalance the product.
First Match: This has to really set the tone of the night similar to what the first Nitro would be. A Tag Team Championship match seems like the right place. The Resurgence (The Revival) vs. Young Bucks for the WCW Tag Titles would be a good start, call it a 30-minute match to get the collective juices flowing.
Ladder Match: To crown a new #1 contender we need depth at the roster level and we haven't really scratched that surface yet, but let's consider at least 4 that can be inserted into this match. Kenny Omega, Apollo, Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens), and Robert Roode. There has to be a few swerves here to really sell the next chapter of each individual, let's start with Apollo. He is set to begin his new stable with Booker but the stable really above everyone else and against the agenda of the powers that be. Roode, Omega and Steen will take it outside leaving Apollo in there by himself about to ascend. He begins and Booker walks out to silently shake his head. Apollo walks out and spits in the face of Tenay and walks off with Booker leaving 3. They tear the house down and Omega gets a ridiculous advantage to get the briefcase. Enter CM Punk to push Omega off the ladder with Kevin Steen picking up the victory.
Main Event: A rematch of the Nitro main event weeks ago between Shinsuke and Cody Rhodes just a pure talent bout back and forth no clear advantage either way. Until nWo music hits and the Young Bucks with Bischoff come out to assist Cody in the win over Nakamura. During the victory, Booker, Truth, Apollo and King Creed all come out to lay the beat down on the newly formed nWo. Afterwards, they raise their fist in the sky similar to the Nation of Domination but then put both hands in the air similar to a surrender. This new stable, the Nation of Truth, is a play on the former Nation of Domination but tuned to the beat today's society where power is abused frequently.
Eventually, you can pull others from WWE Sami Zayn, Uso's, Sanity, Finn Balor as previously discussed including some good signings from the present Mae Young Classic. WCW must maintain and develop a steady stream of talent to survive and compete.
Really all of this isn't to put WWE out of business or hurt the WWE, this is to make WWE better. Generation X and early millennials constantly crave the days when the competition was heavy that elevated the product, we were all the ultimate winners of those times and it would be a much-needed boost. What do you think about the rebuild so far? What would you do, bring back WCW or start a new company, and how would you book it?
As always comment below!