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Thread: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

  1. #221
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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Russo wishes he had this much dense and thorough creativity.

    Question, though: is your WCDub a result of surving the MNW in which they were never bought out by Vince or is it following his aborted plan to buy and then run it as a seperate brand? Or just something else altogether?
    Last edited by JHC; 04-18-2012 at 01:54 PM.

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Fascinating read through of your intended plans Papa, Swagger's in particular was very interesting to see how you'd planned not months, but years worth of storylines for the guy - I totally forgot about pitching you that Taylor Wilde angle.

    I'll have to do one of these for WWE: 2011 one of these days.
    Thanks Edster.

    The Swagger thing was definitely planned to happen over a long period of time, so even if this went as long as I expected it to (two years plus, game-time), it probably wouldn't have all played out anyway. I didn't want the big heel turn to happen any earlier than late 2008, so he would have close to two years as the "pure" babyface. Well, maybe a year of that would be before any character decay began to appear. As for that decay, I had a lot of little ideas to introduce "small cracks". To the point I probably would have went overboard with it and made the coming heel-turn over-obvious.

    BTW, I do highly recommend doing something like this when a project ends sooner than you had hoped. I presume its nice for the readers to see where plans were going, but I find it very cathartic as the writer/booker.

    Quote Originally Posted by JHC View Post
    Russo wishes he had this much dense and thorough creativity.

    Question, though: is your WCDub a result of surving the MNW in which they were never bought out by Vince or is it following his aborted plan to buy and then run it as a seperate brand?
    Thanks! Russo could always right a great opening chapter. He just really sucked on the follow-through, for the most part. Unless the pay-off was intended to be something on a pole...

    The "first chapter" of this project was a previous project (link can be found on the frist page) covers WCW from March of 2001, where it was purchased by Eric Bischoff and Fusient. Due to money problems, the promotion kinda flounders for a bit - not doing any worse but not really doing much better. Then its sold again in late 2002, to a private ownership group who are able to put a bit more money in and that allows WCW to begin to rebuild moreso.

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    That was a sweet epilogue especially the Swagger stuff, very interesting. Anyways, can't wait for your next project whatever it may be.

    Spoiler:


  4. #224
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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Death Dealer View Post
    That was a sweet epilogue especially the Swagger stuff, very interesting. Anyways, can't wait for your next project whatever it may be.
    Thanks Dealer.

    I've seen a few comments (not just in this thread) about possible next projects. And to be honest, I have no clue. No real clear direction where I'll go. I have a few ideas, but nothing that I've really solidified into something I want to pursue as a project. And I won't take on a project just to have one - it has to be something that really does interest me. Suffice to say, it could be a bit of a wait before there is another Big Papa Presents project going on around here.

  5. #225
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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Have to say being a huge fan of this. Shame to see it end. Having read the epliogue as well I have to say the Swagger stuff sounded awesome as did the Danielson/Styles title scene. Looking forward to part 2 of your epilogue and hopefully you find a new project that interests you just as much as the WCW Empire Series.





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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Sad to see this one go. Ah well. Great recap stuff, especially with Swagger. That's some Macho King to the tenth power level stuff. Hope to see at least one more epilogue, and as far as new projects.......maybe something with an "E" in the name? Near the beginning, mayhaps?

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
    Have to say being a huge fan of this. Shame to see it end. Having read the epliogue as well I have to say the Swagger stuff sounded awesome as did the Danielson/Styles title scene. Looking forward to part 2 of your epilogue and hopefully you find a new project that interests you just as much as the WCW Empire Series.
    Thanks Shade. I will be back at some point. Just don't know when.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Crippler View Post
    Sad to see this one go. Ah well. Great recap stuff, especially with Swagger. That's some Macho King to the tenth power level stuff. Hope to see at least one more epilogue, and as far as new projects.......maybe something with an "E" in the name? Near the beginning, mayhaps?
    Thanks Crippler. The second epilogue should be coming sometime this weekend. Close to done.

    I wouldn't hold my breath on an ECW project. Either pre-death ECW or WWECW. I quite honestly just know the ECW product intimately enough to feel I could do justice to ECW proper. It would take a great deal of research. I'm not against that by any means. But I feel like I like the idea of ECW more than the actual product itself.

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Epilogue Part 2

    AJ Styles & the Horsemen


    Styles, Storm, and Whitmer were all guys I saw as "permanent", long-term members of the Horsemen. Flair was as well, though he was already wrestling very very rarely and was more a manager than an active competitor by 2007. Far enough down the road, things could have changed with any of them except Flair, but it would have been a few years.

    The intent with Styles was to always keep him on the cusp of the main event scene. He wouldn't always be main eventing, nor always in the main event scene, but I wanted to keep him close, so that at any point, he could move right back into that role. He would always be kept strong enough to be a credible challenger for the WHT at any given point. I did not want to do like TNA has tended to and shove him all the way back down into the midcard at times, having him compete for the US title and such (unless there was a very specific storyline I was building). Styles would be "protected" to a large degree, with the intent being that if he was to be put in a world title match at any point in time, the fans would buy him as a legitimate challenger for the belt without having to do much build to get him there.

    The fourth spot that Danielson leaving would open up would likely not be filled on a "permanent" basis, at least for a long time. Beyond Swagger likely taking the spot for a time in 2008, there were some other interesting options... Bank$ could be the first black Horseman... Jericho could join for a shot period to set up some storylines going forward... Nigel McGuiness was an intriguing possibility... Perhaps Booker T to be the veteran voice. Even Rhino could come in as the monster enforcer.

    In some ways, the Horsemen should have been heels right from the start. But that didn't work with the circumstances at the time plus I think a new version of the Horsemen would get cheers off the start. I was gradually turning them heel. The whole situation with Danielson getting turfed would likely complete the switch. I believe the overall attitude and approach of the Horsemen makes being heels a bit more natural for the group. By late 2007, the group would be full-blown heels, as they end up feuding with Punk by the start of 2008.


    Samoa Joe


    After a run of dominance of over a year, Samoa Joe would suffer a bit going forward. I wasn't going to pull a TNA and have him kidnapped by ninjas or slide him into midcard obscurity. He would be used similarly to Styles - not far away from the title, even when he's not feuding for it. His feud with Rhino would likely run through the rest of 2007, though they definitely would not be facing each other at every pay per view. It would culminate in a particularly bloody and vicious match at Starrcade in December - perhaps a strap match or something similar.

    Joe would actually end up teaming with Punk on occasion through the summer and fall of 2007, as they developed an on-screen friendship built on mutual respect. That would not prevent them from facing each other when the time came for it, though. Since Joe never really did get his one-on-one rematch with Punk (unless you count the one where Rhino interfered), he would eventually get one in early 2008 once Punk had the belt again. WCW would still give fans a "trilogy" between the two, but over an extended period of time.

    I think a dominant monster is always going to suffer a bit after they lose and that aura is somewhat taken away. The desire to build up some great feuds and some new stars over 2007 and 2008 would likely keep Joe away from the world title. He would probably get involved upon occasion but not too often - since he's not likely to win it, I wouldn't want to have him losing every time he goes for the belt. As well, Joe was a guy I wanted to have spend some time in Japan on-loan. So he would disappear for several months in 2008 or maybe 2009, putting on a great run with New Japan and probably working a few shows with Pro Wrestling NOAH.


    Raven


    Raven was a guy I saw as key for WCW and even moreso than may have been apparent. Perhaps more than anyone else, things that happened with Raven the in 2003-2006 period were to set up what would happen later. A key reason I had him working the development talent in the AWA was to set up stuff with Punk, specifically the "will he leave?" stuff for 2007 where Punk was allowed to use a real situation to create an on-screen storyline. Because of their history in the AWA and his role in "making" Punk, Raven would trust Punk and convince Head Booker Lance Storm to allow Punk to run with the idea. The reason Raven got two world title reigns (short ones) was to add an extra dynamic to him going forward, specifically in the stuff with Swagger. The whole reason that The Flock splintered and divided while he was gone was to emphasize how much his leadership meant .

    After returning in June 2007, Raven would cut a promo about how he had "lost his smile" and his passion for wrestling after losing to Flair at Starrcade '06... But that he found it when he saw all the young talent in WCW, young talent who could benefit from his life experiences and mentor-ship. Raven seems a bit less heelish as he returns and unifies his Flock. He would move to a Flair-like role, where he's actually wrestling quite rarely.

    As mentioned, Raven would play a key role in the entire corruption of Jack Swagger storyline. He would manipulate Swagger to remove him from the righteous path of goodness that he began on. The end game for Raven would be nothing more than proving how much he can affect things simply through sheer force of personality and will.

    At some point, Raven would take over the Head Booker position from Storm. It would be due to Storm retiring to spend more time at home with his family. As the number two for WCW creative, Raven would simply slide forward.


    Rob Van Dam


    To be honest, I was a bit torn on bringing in Rob Van Dam. I mean, the timing would have worked with him being fired from the WWE (thought the dates may have required some adjusting) and I do like him as a performer... but I just didn't see him as a star who would be a major contender for the WHT.

    My initial plan was to have a shock debut for RVD at Bash at the Beach. He would get an immediate title shot at Punk at the Great American Bash... but lose clean. There were a couple reasons behind it - one was to reinforce that succeeding in WCW was not easy, but also swerve things a bit (the idea being that fans would get wind that there was a big debut coming, which would actually be Jericho but the surprise debut of RVD would obscure that a bit). But the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. It would have meant shortening the Punk-Colt feud, plus having him lose in his first major match would have just looked like it was burying someone from the competition, even though that was not the intent. So that plan got scrapped.

    The amended plan was to bring RVD into WCW in the fall, most likely as a surprise member of Jericho's War Games team. After that, he would work a part-time schedule because of his wife, possibly moving to a full-time schedule in 2009 or 2010. There was also a possibility that I may have held off and not had Van Dam join WCW at all. He would have made a great acquisition for the AWA, so that was a possibility...


    Frankie Arion


    To start with, yes, Frankie Arion is a real wrestler. You can find videos of his matches online if you take a few minutes to search and he has some good ones. Someone brought him to my attention (and a big thanks for that) and his potential intrigued me. I like the idea of making stars out of workers who have yet to or never did get a real chance, though it can also backfire in some cases.

    The plan with Frankie was to have him go 0-63 in WCW before he finally won a match. Some guy named Kenta Kobashi started out the same way. And the intent was exactly the same - to create a fiery, "never say die" competitor who is never ever easy to defeat. And thought it might seem backward, having him lose but always fight hard does establish that. Now, I never planned to turn Arion into Kobashi... though maybe the cruiserweight division's version of Kobashi.

    The "surprise" that Low Ki had promised once Arion did win would be a tag team partner. The combination of Ki and Arion would do good things, winning the Cruiserweight tag belts in the fall of 2007. Arion would learn a ton from one of the cornerstone CW division guys and that would be a catalyst for him finding more success as a singles competitor as well. But it wouldn't last that long as Ki was going to depart WCW sometime in late 2007 or early 2008. Part of a division shake up and backstage storyline (see below).

    I had not yet decided just how far I was going to go with Arion. At the very least, he was going to be a solid mid-level cruiserweight whom would always put up a helluva fight. If the fans (okay, readers) took to him, he could go further - perhaps to the point of being a perennial CW title contender who got on PPV with reasonable frequency.


    Cruiserweights


    I was beginning to run into a slight problem with the cruiserweight division.... Too much talent. Which might seem like an odd problem to have... but it's still a problem. Especially with introducing a few new guys after the W1. It's actually why I had Frankie Kazarian leave - though I could have moved him up from the CWs as well.

    So there were going to be some changes coming. Jamie Noble was finally going to move out of the division in the summer, very likely forming a tag team with Trevor Murdoch. That would likely mean Noble would no longer being booking the division, though I had not settled on his replacement yet. Low Ki would be out of WCW by sometime in late 2007 or perhaps early 2008, as continued tensions over him working too stiff would eventually result in him getting angry and quitting. I was pretty loathe to lose Low Ki but it makes sense in a few ways. It generates a bit of roster turnover, it creates some backstage issues, and its puts another real talent out there - he could end up helping out ROH, TNA, or the AWA. Maybe all three.

    Beyond that, Fergall Devitt might move out of the division at some point in 2008. Same with Alex Shelley and Paul London. I believe that no matter how much talent you have in a division, it needs to change over time. Having talented workers like Kaz Hayashi and Rocky Romero perennially stuck in CW tag teams does seem kinda wrong... but I like those teams and switching things up for the sake of it feels... random.


    Kanyon


    Kanyon was going to become a casualty of the themes of consequences and modern/traditional. Unhappy at moving down from his spot atop the WCW card (which happened back when WCW was a bit lacking in top level talent), Kanyon continues to cause some problems backstage. But Lance Storm isn't about to push him back to main event status, so Kanyon ends up walking out on promotion. He would end up in the AWA, where he is intended as the main foil for the Hogan Renaissance, but it doesn't work out and he doesn't last that long.

    There were some interesting possibilities moving forward beyond that. I'm sure most of you readers know, but Kanyon came out of the closet in 2008, one of the few admittedly homosexual pro wrestlers. From what I've read, he felt this was held against him through his career. He was also bipolar and took his own life in 2010. I was considering the idea of having him sue WCW after he leaves, claiming his sexual orientation was held against him... but when you add in his mental health issues and his death, it's a pretty sensitive area to tread on, so I might have just left it alone after he left.

    Though similarly unhappy at being moved down the card, Booker T would stick around and probably take a backstage role as he wrestled less.

    Dos Caras Jr


    The man now better known as Alberto Del Rio, my intent was to keep him under the mask. My thought was that it was something different, plus I could see a masked luchadore with a well-known mask being hesitant to lose the mask for WCW, given their history and because they are still below the WWE. Given his size, Caras would not be a cruiserweight but a “heavyweight”. He would be pushed moderately hard, winning the TV title a few times through late 2007 and early 2008, then perhaps the US title by mid to later 2008. One of the main purposes of having Dos Caras come in was, as I mentioned in a recap, to create a new Mexican star to help WCW break into that market to some degree. Keeping him under the mask complicates things a bit, because it becomes tougher to project emotions under the mask. It can be done and El Generico's work over the past couple of years shows how much one can babyface sell even while wearing a mask. That is essentially what I would be having Dos Caras Jr do.


    On a long enough time-scale, losing the mask in some type of on-sceen storyline is likely.

    Hellcats


    Ah, the ladies. For those without much interest in the women's rasslin, the division was never intended to be a "major" part of the promotion. At all. It would be well below the cruiserweight division in importance, as at least the CWs are certain to have at least one match every PPV, and often a couple of matches. The Hellcats would probably get a match on PPV every second or third event.

    Lacey would become the first ever Queen Hellcat as she cheats her way past Sara Del Rey in the tournament finale. She would quickly lose the title (or crown or whatever I decided to use) to SDR, who would become the monster heel Hellcat and rule the division.

    The tentative long-term plan was to basically run through several cycles of monster heel Hellcats. Sara Del Ray would be the first. Vanessa Kraven would be the second. The third would possibly Isis the Amazon, the atrociously unskilled 6'9" blond from NXT. The whole monster heel eventually being toppled is simplistic booking but I think it would be effective and engaging booking. The cycles would not simply be repeated, either. For example, I considered having Del Ray managed by Larry Sweeney. He's rude and abusive toward her and fan sympathy builds, so she turns face when she turns on him. But in response, he brings in Vanessa Kraven, the new monster heel Hellcat.

    The intent with introducing the Hellcats was to basically look to exploit a relative gap in what was being offered at the time. Similar to how TNA did with the Knockouts. TNA would have the KO's here but a much lower-profile so the opportunity would be there for WCW to offer fans something that the WWE really didn't even at that time - legitimate female wrestling. The WWE did make better use of the Diva's back in 2007-2008 than they do now, but they still used plenty of "sexy". Whereas the Hellcats division would be about talent in the ring first, then looks and character.


    The AWA


    This is another idea that I wasn't sure how far I would go with. When I decided to resurrect the AWA as the new developmental territory for WCW, it was with the idea that this would happen. There is just something nicely circular about WCW ending up back in another war that is essentially of their own creating... though less directly in this case. I don't know that Dusty's AWA would ever get to the size where they can really challenge and threaten WCW, let alone the WWE, but they would definitely try to take shots, steal talent, and so on. Hogan would help them get on national television, though it would not exactly be on a prime network or anything. The fact that both WCW and the AWA would have the same home areas would add an interesting element to the war, I think.

    Themes

    I try to work with certain themes in most of my projects. They are not always overt and plainly obvious, but they are usually there. For the first part of Empire (the first chapter, if you will), I explored the ideas of recovery using elements of addiction recovery. For this project, I wanted to explore the conflict between ideals. Particularly (as mentioned) between a traditional approach and a more modern approach. Obviously, mainly as it applies to the pro wrestling business. I don't believe that those ideals automatically conflict, but in some situations, they can and do. This was not going to be simply about “old versus young” but rather a clash of different ideals about the wrestling business. You hear or read certain stories (such as Punk apparently losing his first world title to Undertaker very quickly because he didn't want to wear a suit “like a champion should”, or young workers being considered disrespectful if they don't follow the edict of introducing themselves and shaking hands with all the veterans in the locker room when they go in for the first time) and realize that such conflict can and does happen.



    I realized that would probably be the case pretty early into my WCW planning of the first chapter. In terms of on-screen product, I was in many ways taking things backward. It would be relatively similar to the late 80s approach, both in terms of athletic in-ring style and relatively simple story-telling. There is also a pretty strong veteran presence in WCW, though that waned a bit over time. But there are a lot of young workers, especially by the 2007 jump, and many are pretty high up the card.


    The conflict would be a backstage, behind-the-scenes thing and a series of incidents rather than one long, continual tension. It would not likely bleed through on-screen much as it was not at all intended just to be an “old versus young” conflict like the New Blood versus Millionaire's Club that WCW ran back in 2000. It is something that would likely would have continued for as long as the project ran.

    Regrets
    At this point, I can really only claim two notable regrets from the combined overall Empire project. For note, neither of these is really significant enough for me to likely take another swing at WCW from this period. Not unless a somewhat different history arc for the promotion inspires me.

    The first regret is turning things to "serious" so quickly after WCW was sold in March of 2001. Basically, the goofy booking ended at that point. Sure, there were a few dumb, egregious booking mistakes - notably the Road Warriors and reforming the NWO - but the goofy, silly, inane stuff that turned WCW into wrestle-crap legend in the 1999-2001 period was mostly gone. I regret that. The transition away from that stuff should have been more gradual. I think that would have been fun to write and it very likely would have been fun to read. That said, I don't know that the approach would have worked that well. Starting off with a fair amount of goofy, silly, and even bad stuff on-screen and then transitioning to a more serious product may have been somewhat jarring for the reader and I don't know that it would have been that effective. So in that sense, it's a regret that only goes so far.

    The second regret is a bit more substantial. Looking back at the whole of these two WCW projects, I think my biggest mistake was going through most of 2001 and 2002 with monthly recaps. To some degree, I think I burned myself out on that period. Booking WCW through that transition period isn't something I love (despite doing it in two different projects now). That was part of the reason I ended focusing a bit too much on the business side of things and less on the creative, on-screen side. Booking the likes of Goldberg, Sting, Jeff Jarrett, and Scott Steiner in 2002 only holds so much interest for me. Now given that this is a fantasy project, the obvious solution would simply be to find reasons for all those who don't interest me much to leave the promotion, resulting in a roster that I am entirely interested in. But an ideal roster in a short period of time isn't ideal to me either - it would feel too quick, unrealistic and I would quickly lose interest in the project (which I know from experience). I am a prisoner of my own designs. So I definitely should have used annual recaps for at least 2001 and maybe 2002 as well, allowing me to keep what felt like a realistic time-line for change to happen to the promotion.

    To be honest, that second regret is a factor in any potential project I look at. Even before I started the WCW Empire project, I had considered a few options. Something like TNA (from a few possible starting points) or a WWE project from a significant number of possible starting points... Any of the options I consider, I tend to come to the same conclusion - that booking at that exact starting point only interests me so far and it's the booking further on (when the roster and product have changed somewhat) that appeals. And its also that realization that makes most of these options unlikely. Not unless I find a scenario that really resounds with me.

    And that's all, folks. As always, if you have questions, ask.
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  9. #229
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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    What a great end Big P. Reading the first recap has made me want to read the first one all again after reading it just a few months ago when you restarted this. It is truly an inspiration, this whole diary from Empire to Next Chapter. I applaud this and say that it is a shame you got burnt out from this but what we have from it, is simply amazing...

    A great diary which was a brilliant read, you should be very proud....

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    As far as the goofy stuff Regal's music getting ****ed with still cracks me up.

    Spoiler:


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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Another great read.

    I would say the most interesting timelines in this post were Raven becoming head booker for WCW, and the interesting twist on Alberto Del Rio, keeping him in the mask which would probably give them some decent merchandise income.

    As for your regrets, I didn't find a problem with how serious you made the booking, the aim of the diary was to get WCW back on a good footing, not write months and months of them having the same old problems; if you used that blueprint, I think the BTB might have come off as a comedy BTB poking fun at the BS WCW used to put on. I think you started the project off great because it was a real struggle in that first year where you had such little starpower, that was something I think you really improved on in comparison to the original Empire where you brought in Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels and all the indy talent within no time. This BTB was much more realistic.

    Your second regret really intrigues me, because I'm exactly the opposite. I prefer to have to work my way through the **** talent and **** storylines and slowly evolve into the promotion I want to become. Only when everything seems 'perfect', or to a lesser extent just improved, do I run out of energy and ideas and it's a less excited product to write for.

    Congratulations on 3 great projects Papa, there's never been a greater saga of creative writing on WC, and I'm not sure we will ever see one. Enjoy your retirement, and don't stay a stranger.

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    A poster on the other site where I posted this project wanted a bit more detail on the "small three" of the AWA, TNA, and ROH. Figured it wouldn't hurt to post the below here as well, inc ase anyone was curious.

    The reason that I decided to keep all three is basically that I think there's market space for them to all survive. Perhaps not thrive, but survive. And I like the idea of an active scene of smaller promotions, as that helps develop the new talent, but gives some vets more places to work.

    The AWA was going to separate itself from the other two, at least for a time. Through later 2007 and the first part of 2008, they would do pretty well. Get on national TV, pop a couple of decent PPV buy-rates, draw some good crowds (particularly in Chicago and Minnesota), and look like they are heading for national status. But they would top out around mid- to high-level Cult (in TEW terms), then fall back pretty quick. The "Hogan Renaissance" would really be not that much different than what TNA did, except at that point, Hogan would still be able to work in the ring a bit more. He comes in to great hype, and it draws some fans for a time. But I don't think Hogan would really draw much more than a nostalgia pop so its a brief moment for the AWA. So they go back to having to build up popularity the "old fashioned" way. They end up close to where TNA would be, which is high-Regional, low-Cult range.

    One idea I had for late 2008 would be to have the AWA work with TNA for some type of promotional invasion angle. Have TNA "invade" the AWA. Its well-booked off the start and with the AWA having decent TV coverage, they get some attention. It looks like it could be a hot angle to help both companies, but it ends up falling apart when they can't agree on things going forward, so there's no payoff and it just kinda ends.

    You are correct - TNA would be similar to where they were in 2003-2004. And they wouldn't grow that much. The company would be built around Jarrett, Bagwell, Jindrak, Abyss, Shane Douglas, Steve Corino, and a few others. Not really folks who will draw. The X-Division would have less available talent, so that wouldn't be a major draw either.

    There were a couple of reasons I figured TNA should still have the Knockouts. For one, it does give them something different. Up until WCW actually introduces the Hellcats, they would be the only US promotion to have a fairly serious women's division. Well them, plus SHIMMER, which is very niche. Plus, by having the KO division, it kept me from using all those talents and simply making the Hellcats a slightly modified version of them.

    ROH would be the lesser of the three. They would end up being more of a niche promotion and they wouldn't grow as they did because the available talent they made use of is mostly not available. They would probably stick to the Tri State area for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkestEarth View Post
    What a great end Big P. Reading the first recap has made me want to read the first one all again after reading it just a few months ago when you restarted this. It is truly an inspiration, this whole diary from Empire to Next Chapter. I applaud this and say that it is a shame you got burnt out from this but what we have from it, is simply amazing...

    A great diary which was a brilliant read, you should be very proud....
    Thanks DE. That means a lot. I'm just to happy to have put together something that was good enough for people to want to read. And continue reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Death Dealer View Post
    As far as the goofy stuff Regal's music getting ****ed with still cracks me up.
    Yeah, it brings a smile to my mug too. Simple yet effective. Just something about Regal trying to remain dignified and even haughty as he's walking out to "Material Girl" or "Walking on Sunshine" or "Why Can't We Be Friends?". Very fun.

    Comedy is an aspect I should try to work into the next project a bit more. I find it relatively easy to come up with ideas. I don't want to do a full comedy project, because I think making things outright funny (or trying to) can be tough. But making them just amusing... that's easier...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Another great read.

    I would say the most interesting timelines in this post were Raven becoming head booker for WCW, and the interesting twist on Alberto Del Rio, keeping him in the mask which would probably give them some decent merchandise income.

    As for your regrets, I didn't find a problem with how serious you made the booking, the aim of the diary was to get WCW back on a good footing, not write months and months of them having the same old problems; if you used that blueprint, I think the BTB might have come off as a comedy BTB poking fun at the BS WCW used to put on. I think you started the project off great because it was a real struggle in that first year where you had such little starpower, that was something I think you really improved on in comparison to the original Empire where you brought in Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels and all the indy talent within no time. This BTB was much more realistic.

    Your second regret really intrigues me, because I'm exactly the opposite. I prefer to have to work my way through the **** talent and **** storylines and slowly evolve into the promotion I want to become. Only when everything seems 'perfect', or to a lesser extent just improved, do I run out of energy and ideas and it's a less excited product to write for.

    Congratulations on 3 great projects Papa, there's never been a greater saga of creative writing on WC, and I'm not sure we will ever see one. Enjoy your retirement, and don't stay a stranger.
    Thanks Ed.

    I agree on the first regret. I don't know that the approach really would have worked for readers. And I do think this one felt a whole lot more realistic than the first WCW project. Its funny - a lot of what felt unrealistic was stuff already in the mod, yet I don't think I would have ever taken on this Empire project without having tried that first.

    With the second regret, I think it varies project to project. Most of all, it comes down to the stories I want to tell. The rise of Sean O'Haire interested me in the planning stages and turned out to be even more fun to write, yet the Jack Swagger story arc interested me more. The plight of Punk through 2007 was more intriguing to me than the antics of Steiner, Jarrett, and Bischoff. Writing about Samoa Joe smashing people seemed more fun to me than writing about Goldberg doing the same... though there might be less difference there than it seems. I knew the Four Horsemen wouldn't be returning until 2003 or later... Esentially, the stories I had planned for the 2003 and beyond period intersted moreso than what I had planned for the earlier period. That was partly compounded by my desire for WCW to experience slow growth, which kinda kept me from planning too much "good" stuff for WCW in that earlier period. In retrospect, I could have had them booking a great wrestling product week after week, but few fans are watching because the name and brand has been so devalued. That one didn't feel quite right, though...

    Oh, there will be a comeback. Maybe not soon, but there will be another Big Papa project.

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Great recaps man, can you tell me a bit more about WWE's storylines and where O'Haire and past WCW Wrestlers ended up?

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    I'm extremely interested in the outside world beyond WCW. This entire alternate universe intrigues me to no end. I would absolutely love to work on a mod based on this. I know we've had this talk before, and the biggest hurdle would be getting a mod to base this on from the right time period. If I were to find a mod from roughly the same period, I, just as the guy above me, would love to know any tidbits on how the rest of the wrestling world has shaped out.

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Duster View Post
    Great recaps man, can you tell me a bit more about WWE's storylines and where O'Haire and past WCW Wrestlers ended up?
    Sure.

    The arc of Sean O'Haire's time in the WWE would almost mirror that of Bill Goldberg - both in the project and in reality. He would have a decent run and be featured but he wouldn't really be pushed as heavy as he was in WCW, and he ends up leaving after about two years. Not just the WWE but the business. He would pursue interests outside wrestling - acting, TV, MMA, etc.

    In a sense, this arc was disappointing to me. Never really fun to me to build up a guy to that extent only to fantasy book him walking to away to the competition, not really being used to his full potential there, and then leaving the business. But if felt the most realistic. I obviously considered keeping him in WCW for longer, but that didn't really feel likely. A big buy with a great look who I fantasy-built into a pretty solid worker with a really good character... that would absolutely be someone the WWE would want to steal. After he left for the WWE, would he come back to WCW? Again, I wanted to, but I couldn't make it work. The ways I conceived of it, they just felt "wrong".

    I did strongly consider having O'Haire come back to WCW for some kind of short-term deal. A single feud, a match or two. That was entirely possible. I just hadn't found the right situation yet.

    As for the WWE, I can give you some info but not a lot specifically on storylines. I never bothered to fantasy book the WWE to any extent and I'm not going to do it now. The overall situation in the WWE wouldn't differ that much - they end up splitting it into two brands a bit later than they actually did (because they still have a big roster and a ton of stars), they still have two "world" titles, and they still add a third brand for developmental (NXT instead of WWECW). You would still have many of the same veteran stars - The Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, and the Big Show. You still have former mega-stars like Austin and Foley around at times, even if they really don't wrestler. You still have veteran guys like Kane, Mark Henry, and JBL kicking about. The newer stars are mostly the same guys who emerged - John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Edge, Christian, Rey Mysterio, Kennedy, Umaga... You would still have Brock Lesnar coming in, getting mega-pushed, and then walking away. Its not massively different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schaedler View Post
    I'm extremely interested in the outside world beyond WCW. This entire alternate universe intrigues me to no end. I would absolutely love to work on a mod based on this. I know we've had this talk before, and the biggest hurdle would be getting a mod to base this on from the right time period. If I were to find a mod from roughly the same period, I, just as the guy above me, would love to know any tidbits on how the rest of the wrestling world has shaped out.
    I can give some details but I can't really round out the world as a whole. I never came up with title lineages for the WWE, for example. But beyond that kind of stuff, I will help as I can.
    Last edited by Big Papa; 04-24-2012 at 09:14 PM.
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  16. #236
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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    I think the reason why the WWE didn't change much is because the talent you have is essentially the modern talent the WWE has past 2008. By that I mean, the likes of Jack Swagger, MVP and then eventually CM Punk & Daniel Bryan. Had this gone on longer, I would've been very intrigued with what would be going on in the modern WWE if guys like Punk & Bryan never rose to fame. I recall Mistico ending up going to the WWE instead of WCW, any word on whatever happened to him?

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by GOAT View Post
    I think the reason why the WWE didn't change much is because the talent you have is essentially the modern talent the WWE has past 2008. By that I mean, the likes of Jack Swagger, MVP and then eventually CM Punk & Daniel Bryan. Had this gone on longer, I would've been very intrigued with what would be going on in the modern WWE if guys like Punk & Bryan never rose to fame. I recall Mistico ending up going to the WWE instead of WCW, any word on whatever happened to him?
    Very much so... although not entirely. That's very much why I don't think the WWE would be fundamentally different. They have much of the same talent they actually did with only a few exceptions - Benoit being retired, Jericho and Banks/MVP being in WCW. And while I do have a number of guys who have had an impact on the WWE since 2008 on the WCW roster, there is still a ton of young talent that I very intentionally didn't snap up. Guys like John Morrison, The Miz, Sheamus, Santino, Kofi Kingston, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Zach Ryder, Carlito, Drew McIntyre, Ted DiBiase... I don't think they would really be hurting for young talent post-2008. To be honest, a few of those guys are favorites and I would have loved to add them to WCW. But hoarding all the young talent would not have felt realistic.

    Mistico was indeed going to sign with the WWE and he would find much more success than he did as Sin Cara in reality. A big feud with Rey Mysterio leading to a WM match was likely. One possibility I toyed with was having Mistico replace Mysterio for the most part, leading to Mysterio returning to WCW in about 2009 for "one last run". I was not entirely sold on the idea and I wanted to explore potential storylines before I committed to it. But it was certainly an option.

    In addition to the thought of Mysterio "coming home", there were a few WCW guys I had considered having jump ship at some point. Some roster turnover over time makes sense, and the WWE is still the bigger promotion. I can obviously see guys like Banks (aka MVP) being of serious interest to the WWE. So there could be some movement that direction over time. Not something I had put any sort of time-frame on yet but just some possibilities I was mulling for "down the road".

    Regarding the WWE, I do think they would move toward PG as they actually did. I considered not having them do it, but I like the thought that it makes the WWE somewhat vulnerable. I don't think it would topple the McMahon empire, but it could allow WCW to close the gap a bit. As long-time WWE fans in that 25-40 year old demographic who may have grown up on the Monday Night Wars and some of whom might be barely aware WCW still exists might be willing to give it more of a chance if the WWE makes the kids the clear target demographic as they have. WCW could benefit simply from being a legitimate alternative for the actual wrestling fans, much like TNA could if they didn't suck (sorry TNA fans).
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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Here's a question. I don't recall you ever stating what day Nitro airs and what timeslot they are in during this second project. I think I recall them being Tuesdays in the first part, but on your info page you state Break Out as airing on Tuesdays. So, was WCW going to head to head with WWE by this time? If they were, were they successful at all? If not, when was Nitro aired, and when did you plan on taking them head to head with Raw? What were your plans as far as a Monday Night Wars 2?

    And here's a suggestion for your next project. Take WWE, or TNA out of this universe, and say do your little time skips forward a few years to make the product more of your own, and start a project on that. I think it'd be offly interesting to see you do a Diary on WWE out of this writing style.

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Schaedler View Post
    Here's a question. I don't recall you ever stating what day Nitro airs and what timeslot they are in during this second project. I think I recall them being Tuesdays in the first part, but on your info page you state Break Out as airing on Tuesdays. So, was WCW going to head to head with WWE by this time? If they were, were they successful at all? If not, when was Nitro aired, and when did you plan on taking them head to head with Raw? What were your plans as far as a Monday Night Wars 2?

    And here's a suggestion for your next project. Take WWE, or TNA out of this universe, and say do your little time skips forward a few years to make the product more of your own, and start a project on that. I think it'd be offly interesting to see you do a Diary on WWE out of this writing style.
    I thought I had it on the front page, but apparently I never finished filling out all the TV details. It would be on Spike TV Wednesday night at 9pm EST. A bit later than ideal. Not quite prime-time but a pretty good time slot. I will have to double-check by data at home to make sure (I keep everything in a spreadsheet) but that rings correct.

    Never intended to have WCW move back to Monday nights. Nor to try to reignite the war with the WWE. When WCW kicked off the war back in 1994, it was because both Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff were relatively-obsessed with taking down the WWF and becoming the #1 promotion in America, if not the world. When they launched Nitro in 1995, they went head-to-head against the WWF because they had nothing to lose. If they failed, they were no worse off. It suceeded in large part because they were able to present something different (live, PPV-caliber matches, big surprises) and essentially changed the formula for wrestling on TV in North America. By the mid-00s, WCW would have a lot to lose by taking on the WWE again and they can't really change the formula again (at least in any way I can conceive of). So they would be setting off a war they really can't win.

    I could see WCW still trying to find a way to topple the WWE from their perch if there was still the "we must be #1" amibition that drove them back in the early 90s. The same ambition that drives TNA today. But ambiton can be a liability just as much as an asset, and I think taking on the WWE when you really aren't in a strong position to win the fight is a poor decision. I justified this in the narrative with the idea that many within WCW management were content to focus on their own product rather than the position of the competition. There are endless examples I can point to where one product is not the most popular or profitable in its given business line, but that it is or can be generally seen as a superior product despite that. WCW could justifiable view its product as a better wrestling product compared to that of the WWE by this period. Perhaps not as an overall entertainment product, but in terms of in-ring only, then yes. Not as an absolute or inarguable way, but in the eyes of many. Given that, I think many in management would be content to continue to churn out a quality product, generate a profit, and focus on themselves rather than externally.

    I still haven't put muc (okay, any) real thought into a next project. Staying in this alternate reality in some form is possible. Whether its going beyond what I've already booked in WCW or maybe taking a swing at the WWE for this period. More than anything else, its about the potential stories for a given scenario to grab me and make me want to tell them. As of yet, nothing has grabbed me. But I'm no rush.

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    Re: WCW Empire 2007: The Next Chapter

    Itd be interesting to see this project picked back up. Still to this day my all time favorite.

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