How WCPW Should Have Booked: Joseph Conners’ Heel Turn (Part 2)
Right, so… WCPW had a very good idea that they failed to execute properly. And I can do it better…
How I Would Have Booked It
So, to start off with, we really don’t change too much. As I said, the beginning of this feud was really excellently done. Through the first month, really, the only change I would make is after Hendry steals the pinfall in their first match as a tag team, I would have a backstage segment between the two, with Conners expressing some frustration over Hendry’s actions, and The Local Hero responding, something along the lines of “Look, you already got your win last week; in fact, you got the first win in WCPW history. But I lost. I still needed my first win, so I thought you wouldn’t mind if I took this one. You’ve already established yourself as a winner here, but I still need to make my name on this roster.”
That would be important early on, because it would set up the dynamic of their partnership. Yes, Hendry is looking out for himself, but he’s not unreasonable. And it would also give Conners a reason to put up with him for so long. It would appeal to his ego and give his character a reason to understand why Hendry does all the narcissistic things that he does.
So then everything else plays out like it did in real life, until we get to Hendry’s singles match with Gracie. And this time… Hendry loses! Obviously! I mean, there’s no other logical way to do it. If it were a straight-up fight, Prospect could lose. They’re heels, they’re cowards, you have to book them kind of weak. But when they have the numbers advantage and it’s a 4-on-1 fight, you really have to give them the victory. Otherwise, they look like complete dorks.
So Gracie pins Hendry, 1-2-3, and after that, like in real life, Prospect starts to beat up The Local Hero. However, unlike in real life, this goes on for a while. Conners doesn’t rush to defend the partner he just turned his back on. Instead, he waits a good five or so minutes, until it’s gotten really brutal, and then he hits the ring. However, rather than running away from one man, Prospect swarms him. Conners tries to fight them off, and he actually does surprisingly well. Again, we can’t have our heel faction beaten by one man for no reason, but he holds them off long enough for Hendry to recover, and together the two of them chase Prospect off.
Hendry grabs a mic, but instead of thanking Conners, he starts dressing him down. He tells him “See? See what we could accomplish together? If you had only been here to have my back, I would have won my match.” Conners tries to argue, but because Hendry keeps interrupting him he finally gives up. He sits there in silence as Hendry instructs him to never abandon him again, and Conners just gets angrier and angrier this whole time.
Now in the real version, they had a dramatic change in Conners’ mannerisms. As soon as he won the title, he started just constantly licking his lips with a mad glint in his eye. It was kind of… weird. So, here, because we want a more natural transition, we’re going to have him start doing that, very subtly, after this conversation. At first, you should barely be able to notice it unless you watch him very carefully, and then we’ll just have him build and build on it each week.
The next week, James R. Kennedy, the leader of Prospect comes out; he cuts a promo and challenges our heroes to an elimination tag-team match, the three members of Prospect
vs. Team Hendry, The Local Hero and Joseph Conners. Not Grado… Again, his involvement didn’t really make sense, and it also didn’t lead to anything. It was sort of a waste of everyone’s time.
So we’ve got a 3-on-2 handicap elimination match. But, instead of Conners getting eliminated right off the bat, this time Hendry gets caught showboating, and while the referee’s distracted, two of the members of Prospect double-team him, 1-2-3, he’s out.
With Hendry pinned, he starts to think the match is over, so he starts to exit the ring area and motions for Conners to come with him. Conners is all “Um… I’m still in this fight,” and Hendry is like “No, I got pinned. We lost.” Conners interprets this as Hendry trying to steal the spotlight again, grabs Lucas Archer, the legal man for Team Prospect, and hits his Righteous Kill DDT. He covers him, the ref counts to three, Conners gets the elimination. He never takes his eyes off of Joe Hendry through all of this. He’s looking daggers at Hendry. Hendry doesn’t get it, shrugs, and leaves the ring area so Conners can finish the match.
At this point, Alex Gracie and Drake, the two remaining members of Prospect, want nothing to do with Conners. They’re both out on the ring apron arguing about which of them should get in the ring. Finally, Conners walks over to their corner, knocks one of them to the floor, grabs the other, drags him into the ring, and proceeds to just rip him apart and pin him. He then does the same thing to the final member, eliminating all three men, one after another.
Okay, now, I know that I said that we can’t have our heel faction lose to one man, but there are a couple of differences between what WCPW originally did and what I’m suggesting. First, Conners isn’t beating all of Prospect all at once here, he’s taking them on one at a time. And secondly, and more importantly, there’s a purpose to booking it this way, because what we’re doing is establishing Conners as a bit of a monster. We need to show that he’s taking all of this anger he feels because Hendry’s constantly disrespecting him, and channeling it. And that’s letting him to do things no one thought he was capable of.
So basically we stick with that formula for the next couple of weeks; Hendry continues to upstage Conners, and Conners acts a bit madder each time. Then, finally, we get to the main even of Stacked. Now, in the real event, Hendry came out to his own version of the Sonic the Hedgehog theme, complete with a video where he was Sonic, and Conners was Tails. We keep that. But, instead of Conners shrugging that off, as he did in real life, that video causes him to hit his breaking point. I mean, everybody hates Tails, so…
When he sees that video, Conners stops moving. He stands still as a statue with no expression on his face. But in his eyes is pure rage. Hendry gets in the ring and goes for a fist bump, like in real life, and Conners simply doesn’t move. He doesn’t turn his head. He in no way acknowledges Hendry’s existence.
Rampage and Big Damo both make their entrances, and we don’t give Big Damo a mic, because that just ends poorly. Instead, the match just starts. After all, that’s what we’re here to see. Right from the start, Joseph Conners goes on an absolute tear. He just starts laying into people, knocking them over, left and right, up and down. He is dominating this match. You can see the looks on the faces of the other three competitors, all thinking ‘What the heck is this? Where did this guy come from?’
About halfway through the match, Hendry gets knocked out down to the floor. He’s not badly hurt, but he decides to just chill down there and see how things play out. Back in the ring, there’s some back and forth, but again it’s mostly still just Joseph Conners going nuts on everyone. He’s hitting move after move, and going for pinfall after pinfall. But each time, whether he tries to pin Rampage or Big Damo, they manage to just barely kick out before three. And Conners is just getting more and more outraged at this. He starts yelling, he starts pounding the mat. Eventually, he starts intimidating the ref after each near fall.
That goes on for a few minutes, and then Joe Hendry climbs back onto the apron. But before he can re-enter the ring, Big Damo shoulder tackles him, sending him flying back to the outside, and Hendry hits his head against the barricade. He gets busted open, there’s blood everywhere. The ref goes to check on Hendry and Big Damo seizes this opportunity to keep his title. He goes out into the crowd to grab a chair. Rampage and Conners continue fighting each other, so they completely miss this. Damo returns to the ring with a chair and he tries to ram it into Conners’ head. Conners just manages to duck out of the way in time and Damo instead cracks Rampage across the skull. Damo turns around to attack Conners, but Conners surprises him, and dropkicks the chair into Damo’s face, knocking him out.
Outside, Hendry is just getting to his feet. He’s a bit dazed and bloody, but still able to keep going. Conners grabs the ref’s attention and goes for the pin on Damo.
The ref counts one. Hendry climbs to the top turnbuckle. The ref counts two. Hendry leaps, but in his dazed state he misses Conners and Damo. He instead lands on the ref, just as the ref was about to count three.
If Conners had any sanity left, he loses it here. He grabs Hendry and pulverizes him with the Righteous Kill DDT. He then gets the chair Big Damo used, and proceeds to smash Hendry with the chair, over and over again, breaking the chair on Joe Hendry’s back.
Conners throws what’s left of the chair out of the ring. He wakes up the ref. He covers Hendry. One. Two. Three. And the twitching and lip licking get even more maniacal.
So that’s how I would have booked it. I think it just makes more sense. There’s a more logical flow from one event to the next, the character motivations are easier to follow, it prevents Prospect from being completely buried for no reason, and, most of all, it avoids raising questions about why there are no disqualifications in a match that would normally have disqualifications!
How do you think I did? Tell me about it in the comments below, let me know how you would have booked this angle, and also let me know if there’s another WCPW angle you’d like me to re-book. I take requests. Well… I might take requests. If I decide to turn this into a regular thing, I might take requests. Let’s play it by ear.