What If the Radicals Never Left WCW? – Rebooking WCW in 2000 (Souled Out)

It was January 31st, RAW. Al Sonw and Steve Blackman were taking on then tag team champions The New Age Outlaws. Out of nowhere, the camera lands on Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. A brawl broke out and the rest, as they say is history. Two of them would go on to win world championships, while another remains with the company as an agent.

But what if? What if the four men hadn’t left WCW? What if they had faith in the product, and the new booker?

Well, that’s what we’re going to look at. First and foremost let’s acknowledge that Konnan and Shane Douglas had also put in their notice but the company didn’t release them. Douglas, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner Kevin Nash and Rey Mysterio were injured while the veterans of Sting, Hulk Hogan, and Ric Flair were inactive.

So when we go into Souled Out 2000, the idea would be to promote and push the four Radicals into the spots vacated by the veterans.

But let’s make some sweeping declarations. The nWo is disbanded and Bret Hart is officially sent home. The Outsiders are taken off the air for the interim and Souled Out is designed to promote new stars.

The original plan for Souled Out 2000 was to have Jeff Jarrett and Chris Benoit in three different matches for the United States Championship. That was eventually thrown out in favor of the Billy Kidman vs. ‘three different opponents’ decision. We’re not doing that, at all.

We’re dropping The Harris Brothers, Oklahoma, Brian Knobbs, and Tank Abbott from the show, along with Kevin Nash (who was working injured).

So instead this is how we’re going to rebook Souled Out 2000 with the Radicals not just in place, but expected to stay.

First and foremost, we’re not getting rid of the Varsity Club. While Dr. Death had returned to All Japan at this point, we can add Jim Duggan, making the group a foursome with Leia Meow, Duggan, Mike Rotunda and Rick Steiner. They’re a new tag team to utilize and will open the show.

They’ll face off with Big Vito and Johnny The Bull, but they’ll drop the Mamalukes gimmick, because that is some bullshit.

Madusa will defend the Cruiserweight Championship and decrees that if she wins, the title will be open for anyone, of any gender who meets the weight requirement. Her former boyfriend, Karagias will begin a misogynistic gimmick of sorts, demeaning Madusa, and proclaiming that women aren’t as talented as men. He’ll be joined by Nitro Girl Spice, who will essentially be his verbal punching bag. He’ll demean her the worst. The purpose of course is to get him over as an entitled ass.

The Hardcore Championship will change hands prior to Souled Out, to feature Meng as champion. He’ll go into this match taking on Screaming Norman.

It’ll be announced by new WCW President Terry Funk that the Television Championship will have a title tournament to crown a new champion at SuperBrawl X. Fit Finlay, Billy Kidman, Jerry Flynn and The Wall will all be named early participants for the belt.

I’d have the Revolution split up, and focus on Shane Douglas leading a solo’s run after he recovers. Perry Saturn gets put into the Television Championship Tournament after Souled Out, while Dean Malenko gets a special feud match at the event against Masahiro Chono.

Vampiro ends up needing a tag team partner in his feud with David Flair and Crowbar and ends up getting involved with fellow luchadore La Parka. The vampire/skeleton horror vibe is a perfect combination and allows Vampiro to still associate with the Misfits.

We’ll continue the Buff Bagwell/DDP feud as is, but this will be the blow off.

As a specialty match, we’ll put six of the eight participants in the tournament in a six man match to help eat some time.

Right before the main event, Funk acknowledges that Jarrett has been stripped of the United States Championship and we’ll have an impromptu match to determine a new champion. That match will happen immediately after.

In the main event, Sid Vicious and Chris Benoit will once a gain fight for the World Title, with Arn Anderson as special guest referee.

Souled Out 2000
The Varsity Club vs. Vito/The Bull

Cruiserweight Championship
Evan Karagias vs. Madusa (c)

Hardcore Championship
Screamin’ Norman vs. Meng (c)

Mashairo Chono vs. Dean Malenko

WCW World Tag Team Championship
Vampiro and La Parka vs. Crowbar and David Flair (c)

Last Man Standing
Buff Bagwell vs. DDP (with Kimberly)

TV Title Showcase
Jerry Flynn, Billy Kidman and The Wall vs. Konnan, Perry Saturn, Fit Finlay

WCW United States Championship Match
??? vs ???

WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Chris Benoit vs. Sid Vicious

The Results:

Varsity Club vs. The former Mamelukes
– The Varsity Club stomps Big Vito into oblivion, with Johnny The Bull being the only one to get any offense. Rick Steiner and Rotunda hit a Steiner Bulldog on Vito after Jim Duggan distracts Johnny, allowing for the Club to get the win. Post match sees Vito and Johnny the Bull argue, with Disco Inferno coming down to escort the Vito to the back.

Cruiserweight Championship Match
Evan Karagias vs. Madusa(c)

– Madusa gets control of the match early on, but is tripped up by Karagias’ manager, Spice. Spice, who’s not happy with her situation, apologizes but Karagias is able to take the advantage of the situation. Asya comes out, now free of the Revolution and tries to help Madusa but Spice gets in her way. Not wanting to hit Spice, Asya can’t get past her and Karagias is able to win after hitting Madusa with the Outrageous Corkscrew. Karagias mockingly kicks dirt on Madusa as Asya gets in the ring.

Post match we see Terry Funk come down to the ring and pick Madusa up. He announces that she fought valiantly but she did lose and thus her idea for a gender neutral title won’t happen. He also announces that women shouldn’t have to compete with men to compete and announces that a Superbrawl, we’d see the first ever Women’s Title Tournament culminate to a new WCW Women’s Champion and Madusa and Asya were the first two entrants into it. The women hug as (hopefully) the fans celebrate the announcement.

Hardcore Championship Match
Screaming Norman vs. Meng(c)

– Meng beats up Norman for ten minutes. It’s a mostly comedy match but it puts over Meng as he barely takes any offense from Norman. Meng wins handily. The secondary story though is Norman establishes how tough he is, by fighting out of the Tongan Death Grip on three different occasions before succumbing to the fourth.

Mashario Chono vs. Dean Malenko
– The specialty match is done specifically to showcase the partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling, and give Malenko a high level match. I’d probably have Chono go over, but put Malenko in the U.S. title scene directly after. These are two of the best from their generations, I have no doubt this match will be amazing.

WCW World Tag Team Championship
Vampiro and La Parka vs. David Flair and Crowbar(c)

– Doing this pairing isn’t a short term idea. I really want to tap into a darker, more horror-centric tag team. These two, with the Misfits and eventually a few other assorted wrestlers with new gimmicks will be the backbone of a new gimmick. I think a lot of fans in the late 90’s and early 00’s want the darker, less optimistic gimmicks, so I think these two would be a great starting point. Obviously with that build up, and the lack of faith I have in David Flair has the new Horror Tag Team going over. La Parka drops the goofy nature of his gimmick and gets pretty dark and edgy with his look.

Last Man Standing
Buff Bagwell vs. DDP

– The eventual idea would be to see what Bagwell and Karagias can do in a tag team later in the year, but for now the idea behind this feud involved Bagwell allegedly sleeping with Kimberly. That’s good juicy drama, so we’re not going to throw it out. During the end of the match you’ll Kimberly betray DDP and leave with Bagwell, thus confirming the the drama between them was “real”. DDP would then announce he needs some time off, and that he feels betrayed by his best friends, his wife, and even the company; but not the fans. He vows when he’s in a better place that he’ll come back and be their people’s champion once again.

TV Title Showcase
Jerry Flynn, Billy Kidman and The Wall vs. Konnan, Perry Saturn, Fit Finlay

– It’s just a simple highlight match. Every wrestler hits their big moves, and looks top notch. To add a little intrigue though, Konnan will cheat to beat Kidman, thus adding some tension between the soon-to-be stable-mates.

WCW United States Championship Match
??? vs. ???

– Prior to the US title match, Funk is out and brings out the first wrestler, Dustin Rhodes. He then states that the wrestler that was booked for this match (Tank Abbott) had been let go by the company and would be replaced by the one wrestler who really showcased some surprising toughness. That wrestler is Buff Bagwell. Bagwell, now with Kimberly, comes down to face off with Rhodes who ends up taking control of the match. Bagwell is able to fight back with the help of Kimberly, but Funk ejects her. Bagwell then gets pummeled again before a clothesline drops Bagwell. Bagwell lays there, not moving, as Rhodes pauses in hesitation. The referee runs in and signals for the medics, who run down. As Rhode checks on Bagwell, Bagwell rolls Rhodes up and clutches the tights as the ref counts to three. Bagwell wins his first singles championship, and Rhodes is incensed.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Chris Benoit vs. Sid Vicious

– Similar layout to the actual version of this match, but with this some added twists. Benoit and Vicious go back and forth, with Benoit establishing his own brand of brutality. Benoit will get taken up for a chokeslam but locks in a keylock of sorts and is able to drop Sid’s arm over the top rope, applying pressure. Eventually Arn Anderson, the special guest referee, is able to break the hold but for the rest of the match Benoit beats on it with an assortment of moves and holds. The end comes when Torrie Wilson appears and tries to get in the ring. Anderson, confused, tries to eject her but only for her to not leave. While dealing with her, Shane Douglas (injured) slides in from behind and hits Benoit with the title, and pulls Vicious on top of him for the win. The trio then kick and beat on Benoit until Perry Saturn runs down. He too joins in on the attack. Malenko comes down, and stops, watching and then leaves; wanting no part in this.

Douglas becomes Sid’s mouthpiece, while Torrie becomes the manager of Perry Saturn. This will help lead into the introduction of Chris Candido and Bam Bam Bigelow under the stable name the Radical Threat.

The idea is to have two strong factions, one heel and one face, anchoring the show for a few months.

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