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Everything posted by SirSmUgly

  1. The idea is solid, but Boyd had a tough time conveying annoyance or much of anything at all. I will say that the only time he's ever been able to show much of a reaction is when Cornette would shit on his suits, though. Hilarious. I could have sworn Watts namechecked the AWA specifically when he mentioned Okerlund, but yeah, maybe Watts got mixed up or I misheard. In which case, I suppose the "three men claiming to be World Champion, but only Ric Flair really is" comment is the one shot at the AWA.
  2. I genuinely don't know about Okerlund. He also said that Mantell was up North and decided it was too easy, but I didn't think Mantell had gone to WWF by this point. Watts could just be saying shit just to say it. I forgot to mention that Watts was super-angry about the Stossel/Dr. D 20/20 segment on that show and is still irate about it two weeks later. Butch Reed is not "a Hollywood actor" or "overweight pachyderm from Titan Sports," he's a real athlete, according to Watts on 4/27/85 MSW. Jim Cornette could never rant half as good as Watts. One more edit: I thought the "overweight pachyderm" comment was about King Kong Bundy, and sure enough, after the break, we see 1983 footage of rookie Dr. Death giving the business to said overweight pachyderm who ran up north to hide from real competition.
  3. It's Southern wrestling. Race is naturally intertwined into it in a way that honestly offends me way less than in other territories. I wasn't bothered by the Akbar promo - it was a FANTASTIC heel promo - but yeah, it stood out to me because it wouldn't be done today.
  4. The first WrestleMania triggered Bill Watts, and I don't mean to use that word lightly or even outside of a strict psychological meaning. The 4/13/85 MSW is quite the performance from Watts on commentary. Watts starts the show with a five-minute rant about how WrestleMania is some fraud shit, really, and actual real wrestling only happens in places like Mid-South. He's especially disgusted that they let Mr. T, a fucking ACTOR, in the ring. The AWA gets some shots fired at it when Watts makes fun of it for once letting Gene Okerlund, a fucking BACKSTAGE INTERVIEWER, in the ring at a show. NWA champion Ric Flair will be making appearances in Mid-South. He's a world champion, and really the only world champion if you think about it, unlike those frauds Hulk Hogan or Rick Martel, who are FRAUDS. OK, he doesn't mention those two by name unlike T or Okerlund, but still. Dutch Mantel, an ostensible heel, is given plaudits by Watts on commentary for the first half of his squash match victory because Mantel doesn't believe in negotiating settlements with the enemy due to his experience in 'Nam. Yeah, bomb them all for *checks notes* wanting self-determination and trying to cast out the colonizing French. Now, you think this might be hypocrisy because usually Watts loves the idea of freedom in self-determination. However, Watts is clear that he's not for self-determination when we go to war! When we mobilize, who gives a FUCK what anyone else wants? Then he laments the young Americans who don't understand how bombing people who don't fit neatly into a U.S. hegemonic worldview is good, actually. It's pretty wild, even for Watts! Oh yeah, and also apparently Mantel declares that it's too easy in New York and that he wants real competition in Mid-South. Everyone is saying that it's too easy in New York except for the losers who can't hack it in Mid-South *coughJYDcough*. I have completely passed over some of the other amazing shit about this show - Skandor Akbar declaring a "NO BLACKS (except Kamala)" policy in what is a somewhat bananas promo, for example, or the Roberts/Nord vs. Rock 'n Rolls match which has a finish in which Ricky gets hung in the ropes and that leads to Jake and Nord fighting off like five faces and looking like absolute KINGS even though they're supposed to be heels - but yeah, Watts on commentary was absolutely on one this show to the point of almost overshadowing it. Nothing like this show could possibly exist in 2023, and I for one am thrilled that it has been preserved for posterity.
  5. Oh man, Dok Hendrix shilling merch in a room full of posters and standees. Now that brings me back. WEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLL please buy this Bret Hart-themed fanny pack, please. We're broke, we don't have water coolers in the office anymore. Please help.
  6. You made a Wreddit-level post, which is peak internet-gonna-internet when it comes to the art of pro wrestling. Most of us have done it before. Take the L and let it go. On a totally different note, I ended up running across that old Rumblemetrics blogspot again for the first time in years, and it's still entertaining: http://rumblemetrics.blogspot.com/2012/?m=0 I am, however, miffed by this Canadian gentleperson's misunderstanding of what makes Barbarian great, and I simply assume that as a Canadian, he simply didn't watch enough JCP or WCW.
  7. Watching '85 MSW: Just put the big gold on Jake Roberts, Watts. Oddly, I think Jake's said that Watts didn't rate him, which is complete nonsense if true. The guy walks out as a heel and within the first few weeks, he gets cheers and "DDT" chants that only increase. Turn him face, but don't change his act and just let him dick around the heels. It's obvious money.
  8. Yeah, and I believe everyone says someone different won the fight.
  9. Not a fan of the new opening music on the 3/23/85 MSW. Change it back. Not a fan of Terry Taylor being the new North American Champion, which happened the episode before this one. Change it back. I am a fan of Butch Reed and John Nord having a street fight, though. Nord is pretty fun.
  10. This was true for me, but with WoS. late '70s/early '80s WoS is one of my favorite promotions ever, and I got into it when a couple of very thorough uploaders started to put it on YouTube.
  11. Because those are illegal methods of payment and southern promoters were out here keeping kayfabe, I guess. Imagine an IRS agent showing up and asking Bill Watts if he paid payroll taxes on his masked workers' salaries because he claimed to be paying the Grappler under the table on commentary, and Watts responding with I DON'T HAVE TO TELL YOU ANYTHING, TAXATION IS THEFT ANYWAY.
  12. I genuinely can't remember a moment. There's an old pic of me as a toddler wearing a Hulkamania t-shirt. As far as I can remember, I always loved pro wrestling.
  13. That'd make a great WM-to-WM yearlong story. Have a babyface you want to rocket to the top get a title shot at the World Champ heel on the RAW after WM, have it not happen for whatever reason, and then announce a rematch that the babyface never quite gets because of multiple diversions, each one becoming more violent (or more wacky, depending on the booker) than the last until there's a reveal ten months later that the heel has been dodging that title match by pulling strings, paying heels off, and even bringing in a monster heel on his own dime. That's probably a much better story in the territory times where you can bring in monsters-of-the-week from other promotions and then let them go elsewhere when their program is over.
  14. I'm glad that I got back to watching more Mid-South in 1985 because Jake Roberts RULES and is the best. Terry Taylor's punk ass is ducking him, it's obvious.
  15. Show #139 – 27 April 1998 "The one where there are two, two, two Nitros in one!” So, this looks like the folks running the Network took the one-hour Nitro and the two-hour Nitro and sewed them together in one continuous video, which bums me out as I wanted to watch a short show and then another, less-short show, instead of being here for over two hours because three-hour weekly shows absolutely suck. (Editor’s Note: I brainstormed, did some deep thinking, and seized upon the ingenious solution to just pause the video after the first hour of the show and come back to finish this later. I’m brilliant.) Alex Wright a) is back and b) heels it up big-time because I’m here watching a close-up of Kimberly while she skips rope, just really enjoying my life in this moment, and Wright dances out and kills the whole routine. Doug Dellinger is once again late to the ball and drags Wright away, but that’s not going to get the camera back on a jump-roping Kimberly, now is it?! FUCK The nWo music hits. I get hives. Wait, it’s Nash and Savage, so my skin doesn’t itch quite as much as if it were Hogan and Bischoff. Nash does survey time in Hall’s stead. Hall being ill all the time is a real crushing bummer for his life, obviously, but secondarily, it’s a crushing bummer for this show. I’m going to plant my flag on the nWo being more bad than good specifically when Hall’s in and out of rehab and Waltman’s off TV. Even when they added a bunch of lame dudes, Bischoff started taking more TV time, and Hogan was on top forever, that core of Hall-Nash-Waltman made things fun. Nash accepts the tag title challenge from Sting and the Giant made on the previous Thunder, then announces the nWo Wolfpac as a going concern and announces Savage as a member of said nWo chapter. Nash also relates his plans to beat up Bret Hart after Randy Savage gets done beating up Bret Hart. Savage threatens Hart for awhile; then, Nash announces another defector to the Wolfpac – it’s Konnan, who is low-key one of the most prominent social climbers in the history of WCW. Konnan runs through the catchphrases of a bunch of No Limit rappers and basically belongs in WWF right now, which as I’ve said a few times before is pretty much the story of his whole WCW run after he initially turns heel. We get a little video package/interview with Juventud Guerrera. His English has vastly improved, but I also worry that it’s not quite good enough to have him cut boilerplate face promos against the very talky, very persuasive Chris Jericho, as he does in this particular segment. Speaking of the very talky, very persuasive Jericho, he comes to the ring and insults Juvi effectively. He also makes me laugh. He then interviews that picture of Dean Malenko he’s lugging around. It’s like Clint Eastwood interviewing Ghost POTUS Obama and Ghost POTUS Obama’s chair, but funny instead of sad. Eddy Guerrero marches Chavo Jr. out to face off with the ever-boastful Jericho. Chavo comes out hot and hits a nice back suplex that gets two. Jericho gets some room by hitting a stun gun on Chavo, and what I’m loving about Jericho’s work is that, while he’s remembered for all his promos, he’s pretty great in the ring. He’s quick to get desperate, quick to celebrate a bit too much when he is on top, and always looking to create space in any way possible on the guy pressuring him in the ring. This is a very cool TV match. At one point, Jericho has Chavo in the corner, and Eddy jumps up on the apron and starts berating Chavo, pointing at him in anger. Jericho also starts berating Chavo and pointing at him in anger. The spot after that, where Chavo reverses an Irish whip into the corner and Jericho stops himself before he can run into Eddy on the apron, followed by Chavo dropkicking Jericho right into Eddy and getting 2.9 off a schoolboy, is PERFECT. If someone asked me what is an example of perfect pro wrestling, that would be one I’d show. Everything about that series of spots is so good and gets the desired effect from the very hot crowd. Chavo gets another two count, but gets caught trying to leapfrog a charging Jericho, who grabs Chavo’s legs, dumps him, and twists him into the Walls for the win. Eddy jumps in the ring and is mad at Jericho, who begs off and explains that Chavo was the one to dropkick Jericho into him. Then, Eddy slaps Chavo and Jericho and Eddy both berate him. The crowd boos lustily. I am reminded of how fun pro wrestling can be. Jericho is carrying two-to-three feuds at once and frankly, while it’s too bad that this is his peak as a complete package, it’s a heck of a peak! Buff Bagwell update – He went through surgery and his condition will be updated on the next Nitro, which is just later in this whole video, I think. Hogan, Bischoff, and Disciple are here to talk and talk and talk and talk and...anyway, I’ll refrain from the usual comments. Oh, wait, Hogan says that the Disciple can drive his truck around Van Nuys because “there are forty hobos like K-Dogg that I can pick up and they can pick my orange groves.” Well, that’s unfortunate! I mean, even if you rightly argue that he’s heeling, it’s still unfortunate! United States Champion Goldberg comes to the ring to face an actual reasonable contender for his title: Scott Norton. Norton has killed a lot of dudes. I guess it’s finally time for Goldberg to beat someone of worth and for Norton to actually use his gatekeeper status to positive effect. This match is pretty cool because it’s two beefy dudes being intense and doing shoulderblocks and stuff. Norton gets an early one count and hits a shoulderbreaker for two. It’s sort of a weird spot because Goldberg successfully hits a shoulder charge in the corner, but Norton just ignores it to catch Goldberg in that spot and hit a shoulderbreaker. Strange. Norton goes for a second shoulderbreaker, but Goldberg flips out of it and hits a spear, a Jackhammer, and there’s an audible splat. Fun stuff despite the awkward first shoulderbreaker spot. Will we finally get a response from Bret Hart tonight? Probably, but I hate it. I’m going to keep writing about how much I hate it. OK, so let me guess, he just wants to be the one to beat Hogan for the gold because he never got that chance in 1993. Am I right? Hart says part of the classic Hunter S. Thompson quote about Hollywood being a shallow money trench, but w/r/t pro wrestling. Then, he basically stalls and says he won’t say shit until he can say it directly to Hogan in the ring. So yeah, I’m probably right. Bret heels some more. I continue to hope that Bischoff gets fired soon even if that means Nash and then Russo running the show. Well, that’s the end of the first hour. We got two matches and entirely too much talking. Welcome to Nitrooooooooooooooo oh wait, we’ve done this bit already. Roanoke is still in fine form. They sure love them some live pro wrestling. Live pro wrestling is sort of a rare thing around here, though. We get another video recap of matches that already happened to set up angles that are buttressed by too much talking. We are 45 minutes into this show, minus commercials. We’ve had two short matches. I sense that we’re going to get a little preview of how unpopular wrestling becomes on weekly wrestling programs in 1999 here in 1998. Disco got his ass beat by Booker T. on the previous Thunder, so I guess the bookers figured why not have him get his ass beat by the guy trying to win Booker T.’s TV title? Anyway, Chris Benoit comes down and pretty much tears through Disco. Benoit unloads with chops and kicks and kicks and chops. Benoit is never really in trouble – did I write that sentence before? – though Benoit decides to play with his food, colloquially speaking. Wait, that also reads as familiar. Anyway, Benoit tries rolling verticals, but that’s Eddy’s specialty, so Disco escapes and gets a couple of two counts off a flurry of offense. Disco gets two off a trapped jawbreaker, and it looks nice, but that’s as close as he gets to a victory. Benoit hits a nice German Suplex and drops a flying headbutt that only gets two. Disco whips his arm up to pull his shoulder off the mat, actually, on that two-count, and Benoit grabs it and transitions into the Crippler Crossface for the victory. Well, that was certainly entertaining… There’s a Chris Jericho video package that runs down his taking of artifacts from other wrestlers. Someone noticed all the signs declaring themselves to be Jerichoholics, and according to Tony S., it was Jericho himself because he produced and paid to run this video, which cracks me up. Dean Malenko’s music plays immediately after this package, but it’s just Jericho cosplaying Malenko. Sorry, Jericho, you have far too much hair to do that. Oh no, Jericho’s got a mic: “My name is Dean Malenko **sobs** AND I WANNA GO HOOOOOOOME.” OK, that got me. I’m pretty excited about this matchup with Psicosis, who is awesome. Jericho and Psicosis then proceed to have a solid TV bout. Jericho tries to kill a headscissors by grabbing Psicosis’s legs and locking on the Walls, but Psicosis rolls through and gets, maybe not a 2.9, maybe a 2.5 or 2.7. Jericho leverages his size by hitting a stalling vertical suplex and locking on a backbreaker. Jericho tries to submit for Psicosis, but apparently Scott Dickinson isn’t buying that one. Jericho whiffs on a corner splash so that Psicosis can hit a gorgeous dive. Psicosis eats a release German in the finishing run, but is able to play possum, cut Jericho off on an Asai moonsault attempt, and hit a guillotine legdrop that gets a legit 2.9. Psicosis tries to follow up with a super Frankensteiner, but Jericho hangs on in the seated position, grabs Psicosis’s leg, and hops down and into the Walls of Jericho for the win. I’d love these two to have a longer PPV match for the gold. Barbarian/Rocco Rock is sort of WCW-ass WCW stuff, but then again, I think they wrestled each other in tags quite a bit. Does this being a singles match make this novel enough to be WCW-ass WCW? I think through this watch of Nitro, I’ve felt like there actually aren't many strange and novel Nitro matchups. I should probably be watching the tertiary shows for more of that. This is a surprisingly decent short match. Rocco trying double axehandles and failing with them before just resorting to a basement dropkick to get Barbarian down was a neat spot. Eventually, Hugh Morrus, who I didn’t even register was off TV until just now, runs down to attack Rocco, and Johnny Grunge runs down with a trash can after that so the ref is just like FUCK IT, IT’S A TAG MATCH NOW, which seems a bit of radical move for a company that usually depends on the conservative WCW Matchmaking Committee to do this sort of thing! We then get a garbage match in which Jimmy Hart takes off his belt and whips Grunge with it. That only pisses off Grunge, and basically PE tries to send Hart through the table, but Barb saves him and Morrus and Rocco go through the table. Grunge stalks Hart with a trash can, but Hart leads Grunge into Barbarian’s path; Barb hits the Kick of Fear into the trash can that Grunge is holding an inch from his face for three. OK, that was weird and fun and very WCW-ass WCW in terms of odd TV match shenanigans, if not in terms of the matchup. Billy Kidman and THA JOOOOOOOOOOCY ONE go at it next. A young lady in the crowd would like to get THA JOOOOOOCE according to her sign. Tony S. quotes that bum George Karl, what a dope that guy is, fuck George Karl, and the wrestlers in the ring have a pacey match while the commentators talk about not giving up and never surrendering and such. Kidman kills Juvi’s ten punches in the corner and hits a sit-out super-spinebuster as a counter! Nice, real nice. This match is full of solid counter-wrestling, and I can’t cover it all. Juvi gets two on a springboard crossbody after a series of counters; Juvi hits a rana after crotching Kidman on the top rope after another counter. This crowd is into Juvi because they have refined tastes, and they enjoy the Juvi Driver/450 combo that comes shortly after the rana and that gets three. Post-match, Juvi fights off a couple onrushing Flock members, but Horace Hogan and Reese get to him and maul him. Alex Wright comes dancing back out to interview with Gene Okerlund, which is a shame because Okerlund always shits on Wright’s English. Actually, Wright’s English has definitely improved since the last time Okerlund talked to him, which I’m pleased with. I don’t like it when WCW sends these dudes who are still picking up the grammar and learning American English idioms out to die and then lets Okerlund mock them besides. Wright cuts a solid boilerplate heel promo, then dances. Dellinger comes back out to drag him away, hahahahaha. Eddy Guerrero comes to the ring as Chavo seconds him. Booker T.’s his opponent, with the TV title on the line. Eddy tries to match power with Booker to start. It fails. Eddy claims that Booker surreptitiously pulled his hair, which is why he ended up getting blown away on a shoulder block. Quite the absurd claim! Mark Curtis is having fun tonight; he rolls his eyes at Eddy’s complaint, but cuts an obviously half-hearted warning about watching the hair at Booker. Then, Booker hits a spin kick and Curtis makes a pained face and works his jaw in unconscious sympathy with Eddy. Eddy gets control and does whatever he can to keep it, including finger stomps and eye pokes, but Booker explodes with a flying forearm. Book and Eddy counter, counter, counter, and Eddy ends up rolling through and scooping Book into a pinning position. He puts his feet on the ropes and Chavo Jr. points it out to the ref. Eddy looks disbelievingly at Chavo and fails to see Booker Spinaroonie up behind him like it’s a monster movie. Harlem Side Kick, missile dropkick, and it’s over for Eddy. Post-match, Eddy abuses Chavo, and the fans want to see Chavo make Eddy cut that sort of treatment out right now! Bret called Savage “half-troll and half-lizard” in the first hour. I forgot to note that. I think that’s an unfair assessment of Randy Savage in general. Marty Jannetty hasn’t been fired yet?! Ooh, and he’s wrestling Saturn! Saturn is aggressive, as usual, and he combines that with his strong ring awareness to cut off Jannetty at almost every point. He wins a side kick when Jannetty tries a duckdown and traps Jannetty’s arm on an arm drag attempt and suplexes him. Jannetty gets a superkick and a fist drop in there somewhere, but Saturn quickly regains control and hits a Death Valley Driver (no Video Review) for three. It's interview time with Diamond Dallas Page. He’s still unhappy with Raven, but Raven’s buddies Sick Boy and Kidman come to the ring and announce that Raven’s not in the building, but he sent a video. The video involves Raven sitting in a dark hallway and talking about how Page’s mama didn’t love him, basically. Also, Raven’s good with any future matches since he won the one at Spring Stampede. In summary, Raven’s like, Fuck you, fuck your stinkin’ neglectful momma, no more matches between us, deuces. Page hits Sick Boy with a Diamond Cutter out of anger and Kidman runs away. OK, sure, I guess. Haha, Kidman runs back to the ring when Page leaves through the stands and is like LEMME AT ‘IM, and Chris Kanyon (not Mortis, important to note) runs in from the crowd and attacks Kidman before security smothers him. Jerry Flynn, who is one of my favorite underneath guys – weird kickboxing style, the look of a scumbag good, needs to shave his body – comes to the ring to get a fucking title shot at Goldberg?! Nonsense. Look, you could feed anyone to Goldberg, not just heels, and the crowd would be into it. At least send, like, British Bulldog out here to take the L as someone who has actually won quite a lot over the months. Or hey, Hennig! Flynn gets clipped on a jumping spin kick and falls to the mat, but the botch looks cool because Goldberg just looks at him like he’s a dope, then picks him up and double-underhook suplexes him. Spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT. Man, I wrote this a post ago, but I am not looking forward to Goldberg versus Jerry Flynn for the WCW World Championship midway through a random Nitro card (I don’t know if that specific match actually happens, but if it does, I resolve to give myself credit for calling it). We’ll get the main event for the night before we get the Bret/Hogan segment that they’ve been incessantly building to all show(s). Michael Buffer is back out here to announce the teams. He says that Konnan is representing for La Raza, and he nails the pronunciation, the consummate professional that he is. So, the nWo team is Konnan, Crush, and Scott Steiner. Some fan has a BUFF PACKS HIS STUFF sign. Not while he’s in traction, he doesn’t. He can’t reach far enough to do it. I kid because I care. So, Sting, Lex Luger, and the Giant are the nWo team’s opponents. I’m not seeing how the nWo team wins this. Anyway, this is not exactly a matchup I was fiending for, but I do think six-man tags are generally fun if at least one or two of the guys in there are interesting. Konnan is interesting, even if he’s not particularly good, and he jumps in and tries to mad dog the Giant. It’s hilarious and goes about as well as you’d expect. He keeps trying to match power with the Giant and failing; he then tries to go up top, but he’s selling a back injury from trying to overpower his very large opponent, and the Giant just meets him over there and bear hugs him. The crowd is also VERY into Luger/Scotty. They pop huge when those guys tag in and face off. Scotty tries to negotiate a pose-down, but instead, these two try each other with shoulderblocks. Luger wins definitively, and Konnan has to distract Luger so that Scotty can hit a suplex and then celebrate like early-aughts Kurt Angle after hitting it. Luger clears both Steiner and Konnan out with a clothesline, and Crush decides that it’s all not really worth it, man, it’s all good. He walks out. Vincent jumps in and gets chokeslammed, and Konnan and Scotty take their leave. Look, all I’m saying is that if the Wolfpac gets Scotty and Konnan and Hollywood gets Crush, that’s an absurd win for the Wolfpac. I mean, not even close. Bret’s back out here at the end of the show to talk to Hogan. Everything about this bums me out: Bret’s shitty theme, Bret being obviously bored by/unhappy with this impromptu heel turn, Bret not even trying that hard on the mic. It only gets worse because Hogan, Bischoff, and Disciple come to the ring to meet him. Bret basically butters Hogan up a lot so that he can challenge…no, wait, Savage comes out to fight Bret before Bret can say anything else. Oh great, Tony S. notes that Bret never got to explain himself! We get another week of speculation on what he was going to say! I can’t wait! Anyway, Savage gets beat the fuck up, show over. You know what I’m going to say about this show, so I don’t need to say it to you. I will say that I’m glad the folks at the Network stitched the two shows together because hour one was a mess, but hours two and three really balanced out all the talking in the first hour with a good match-to-gab ratio. 4 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  16. Thunder Interlude – show number fifteen – 23 April 1998 "The WCW Gang’s Bummed About Buff’s Terrible Injury” It’s Thunder time, and I regret wishing that they’d do something different with Bret Hart right now… The nWo theme makes me wince whenever it comes on at this point…I blame Hogan and Bischoff…and Disciple, I guess…They come to the ring to gloat…They spray paint the belt…Lots of pointless jibber jabber that bores the fuck out of me…You know the drill…If I weren’t doing this as a project and I was just watching from week to week, I think this is probably where I’d tap out and watch RAW live instead...I'd go back and try to catch some of the Jericho/Eddy/Chavo/Booker stuff on the replay…Which, wait a minute, I think is what I was doing IRL at this point in the past anyway…Hogan keeps blathering on, and every time he gets to what I think is finally the end of a sentence, he loops in a “because” and keeps it going…This man is making me question the utility of conjunctions…Finally, this windbag fuckhead ends the promo… Now on the outro, they show, oh no…They show thirty seconds of a Hogan promo from the previous Nitro…FUCK OFF, WCW… I regret writing this already, but I am sort of pining for the absurd nonsense of the Russo era or the sloppy booking of the Nash era…Anything but this…. Intro from commercial is…fifteen seconds of a Savage promo from Nitro… Well, look, we at least got to a match after only twelve-plus minutes of talking…And Disco’s out here, so that’s cool…And he’s getting another shot at the Television Championship tonight, so I have some hope that I’ll be entertained…Disco tries hard, but Booker’s continually one step ahead of him…We get an axe kick after only about ninety seconds…Rather than putting Disco away, Booker decides to play with his food, though, colloquially speaking…Not that it ever really puts him in danger…Disco feigns a leg injury, lures Booker in, and hits a nice jumping piledriver, but he dances instead of going for a cover…That’s about the closest he gets to a win…These fans are into it whenever someone hits an explosive move…Or a Spinaroonie…Book wins with the missile dropkick…Yep, that was certainly entertaining… Barbarian goes right at his opponent Prince Iaukea to start the match…The crowd chants for Flair for a bit…Well, uh, about that…Jimmy Hart runs a distraction to help out Barb…Let’s get Meng back on these shows, too…I miss the hell out of that dude…Iaukea realizes he’s in a fight and starts gnawing on Barb’s forehead…See, I think there’s something there in Iaukea that didn’t fully develop for whatever reason…That’s a nice little bit of escalation and mood-setting for a throwaway Thunder match…Barb destroys Iaukea’s leg and takes a limping Iaukea’s head off with the Kick of Fear for three… Outro…promo…intro…and then the nWo theme back in the arena…and Buff Bagwell is getting badly hurt tonight…Buff and Norton are out here…Rick Steiner and Lex Luger are their opponents…This match is fine in and of itself…The injury is somewhat innocuous-looking in real time…Poor Buff gets flipped over on his back so Rick can cover him and get clattered in the back by Scott Steiner…Buff is clearly hurt, as Luger and Rick both check on him and DiBiase gestures at Mark Curtis for help…Commentary doesn’t seem to notice how strange everything in the ring is as we go into break… We come back and they finally get some medical help for Buff…They show Buff get spiked against Rick in slow motion, and there ain’t shit innocuous about it there…Oof…They have to wait for the ambulance to get there to move him because, as Bobby tells us, Craig Leathers reports that Buff’s got a cervical injury… They end up showing Hogan/Savage from Nitro because they’ve got a man down in the ring who they need to transport…We see that match again, clipped…You can read the previous post on Nitro (Show #138) for a review of that sucker…Tony S. lets us know that Buff’s regaining some movement in his extremities during this review… As an aside, I think Bret coming out and being a heel or whatever when no one wants that is a harbinger for Buff coming back and turning heel almost immediately…Russo turned dudes face and heel nonsensically every show, but none of those IIRC had quite the WTF factor of Buff coming back from a serious neck injury with a lot of crowd support and turning heel again… We also have gotten snippets of Raven/DDP from Spring Stampede, including the finish…the Hulkster’s giving Leslie and Horace prominent spots on TV…hooray… They’ve cleared the ring and now we’re ready for a return to in-ring action…unfortunately, that in-ring action is a Horace Hogan/Boulder match against…Hey, Evan Karagias!...The crowd chants BORING, and, okay, I get it, but also, give the show a bit of a break in this instance…They stop the chant when Karagias hits a springboard crossbody…Evan Karagias is fun…DDP runs down and hits Horace with a Diamond Cutter…He hits Karagias with one too just because…He even drops the ref on some true scumbag shit…It all gets DDP chants, of course…He gets a mic and cuts a fiery promo in which he expresses his desire to throttle Raven… Raven comes down and feigns a fight, but walks away…Page is like WALK AWAY LIKE YOU DID FROM YOUR SISTER AND YOUR MOMMA…Some dude in the crowd yells HE SAID YOUR MOMMA, which actually enhances it…Raven finally decides to dip despite Page’s pejoratives…Page says he’s not leaving the ring, then promptly leaves the ring and hustles through the crowd…Oh, DDP… Randy Savage walks out for an interview with Tony S….His promo can be summed up as NO U, HOGAN…And also he hates Bret Hart and Roddy Piper…I have to agree with Savage that I never want to hear Bret Hart complain about getting screwed ever again...At least until he gets a vanity feud with Mr. McMahon in a decade or so…We’re getting a Savage/Bret feud about, oh, five years too late… Hype video for Goldberg beating Raven to win the United States Championship…Goldberg’s here to murk Mike Enos…Why is Mike Enos getting a shot at the secondary title in the company?...You know, I’ll probably be typing a sentence something like that quite a lot in the months ahead…It only takes about two minutes before the spear, Jackhammer, SPLAT… Ooh, weird Nitro scheduling this week…a one-hour “Monday” Nitro on early Tuesday morning, then a Tuesday night Nitro after that…And this is the last Thunder for a couple of weeks, too…the end of the NBA season and the start of the Braves season are bumping the pro wrestling around…It’s that time of year… Scott Steiner and Sting wrestle one another in the main event…I like that Scott hooks Sting’s duster over Sting’s shoulders and then starts throwing strikes…Sting makes a quick comeback…We get a hopeful update on Buff’s health/limb movement…Sting is on fire, and Scotty has to hit a low blow to get some room…Scotty doesn’t get that long to press his advantage…Sting comes back, hits a Stinger Splash, and locks on the Scorpion Deathlock…Konnan runs in and draws a DQ…A couple other B-Teamers run in…Rick Steiner runs in and chases Scotty off...The Giant comes down to help Sting and clear the rest of the ring… Sting grabs a mic…Every week, his matches end in barroom brawls…He thinks he should buy everyone a round…The drunks in Columbia cheer…Sting offers Nash a spot and runs through the dumb Arn Anderson “spot” thing…It wasn’t all that funny the first time, Stinger…Anyway, the gist of it is that he challenges the Outsiders to a tag title match against him and Giant…Holy shit, I forgot the Outsiders were the tag champs right now… Buff’s injury, besides being awful, really fucked up the booking sheet for the night…For that reason, I won’t score this one…But in general, the wrestling was good and the talking was not particularly good…I feel like a broken record here…
  17. Aw, I'm bummed that you didn't enjoy it. I loved the heck out of this thing, especially the heated opening exchange and Malenko uncharacteristically passing up a chance to win so that he could dish out more punishment, which ended up costing him in the end.
  18. Huh, I have a sudden urge to eat a plate of spaghetti in the bath.
  19. Raven was so compelling, and the Flock angle was, too, but they really dropped the focus on Raven as this svengali about three months in. The Flock was sadly directionless for such an interesting concept, and yeah, that's because the nWo is sucking the air out of the room when it comes to factions. The Four Horsemen got sidelined, too, even before Arn had to retire. I'm not sure that the Flock is breaking up right now; they have all this undefined internal dissension that could be very interesting if there were a narrative focus to it. As it is, it's just Raven, Saturn, and some interesting lower-midcarders doing endless run-ins on Raven matches. One of the most striking things for me on this re-watch is how utterly directionless almost every angle is under Bischoff, and that includes the main event ones, which peter out after a few months without having come to a resolution. Right now, he's got a clear bead on pushing Goldberg to the BGB, and Jericho's heel run is a heck of a bit of storytelling that will actually have a successful resolution. Eddy/Chavo goes pretty well, IIRC. I'm not sure Bisch and the committee have a bead on anything else, and that includes the nWo breakup. I cannot stress enough that WCW's use of a red-hot Bret Hart should be criminal malpractice. Someone should go to jail for this. You can call me a Hitman stan, which I totally am, but I think even considering my extreme bias toward Bret, I'm still right about this.
  20. Modern Russia is like a random 1970s dystopian film come to life. I'm sure they're also starting up death race and rollerball leagues over there.
  21. Show #138 – 20 April 1998 "The one where there are dualities, man, dualities, when it comes to new champions” We’re headed for Goldberg as U.S. Champion! We’re headed for Hogan as World Champion. ☹ All I know is the thought of Hogan as World Champion again makes me instinctively reach for a remote so I can switch over to RAW, regardless of what else is on this show. We get exclusive footage from Spring Stampede of Hogan and Disciple jumping Nash and Savage after the main event. Scott Norton comes out to yell at Hogan. OK, whatever. I genuinely don’t remember this world title switch, by the way. I obviously remembered Savage’s two WWF Championships, and I even fondly remembered his tumultuous, short WCW Championship run in 1995. I didn’t remember, however, any of the other three WCW Championships that Savage won. I’m pretty sure one of those title runs is on the Randy Savage collection, too. Nope, I remember zero about them. All I know is that each one will portend a Hogan or Flair reign shortly after, as I mentioned in the previous post. Hogan, Disciple, and and Bischoff come down for promo time, and boy, am I fucking SICK of Hogan. Go away. I’m sick of all these dudes. There is zero need for Hogan and Ed Leslie opening a flagship TV wrestling show in 1998. Hogan wants a title shot tonight, shocker. He hates Kevin Nash, too. Hogan announces that the nWo is splitting. This feels like it goes on FOREVER. Goldberg looks like he might be tweaking in the back, but that’s just him being super-intense while preparing to murder Raven. Randy Savage comes out to a decent pop. So, it’s pretty clear that the fans dig what will eventually be the Wolfpac quite a lot. Savage cuts a promo, which isn’t the worst thing in the world on its own, but wait, Savage says THAT’S THA BOMB, BROTHA, so no, it’s pretty bad. I just want a wrestling match, man. We’re fifteen minutes in. Savage claims that he didn’t want to lead the nWo; he just wanted to depose Hogan because they always beef. That’s their state in life (and death, according to Savage): beefing, or just about to beef. Savage declares that Kevin Nash is the new leader of the nWo, and Nash comes down to graciously accept that role. Nash claims that Savage will finish Hogan tonight and the crowd seems to believe that this might possibly be true. Nash promises to hand out Jackknifes like Jehovah’s Witnesses hand out Watchtowers if Disciple or Bischoff try to get involved in tonight’s match. He didn’t say exactly that, but he intimated as much. Raven cuts a promo in a dark restroom somewhere in the arena. He’s thinking that he’s going to beat Goldberg later tonight. He seems to believe that this might possibly be true. Holy fuck, now Gene Okerlund is out here to shill the hotline. Are you kidding me? We’re 23 minutes in, and there hasn’t been any wrestling. Fuck off, WCW. Wow, a wrestling match! Konnan is in the wrestling match, which might be a downer for some people, but I’m fine with that. He’s wrestling Chris Adams of all people. I find that WCW’s rep for consistently opening their shows with hot cruiserweight matches is maybe not earned. I’m pretty certain that this a truism that isn't actually true, at least as of 1998. Adams stays ahead of Konnan to start with two arm drags and a dropkick. Konnan bails, gets back in, stomps Adams’s foot, and starts in with his signature offense. Adams tries to fight back and gets two on a rollup, but he hangs himself on the ropes. Konnan follows up with a DDT and a Tequila Sunrise to end it. Goldberg is still tweaking in the back. A Nitro Party happened last week at Clemson, which explains why Kimberly and Chae weren’t around and Tayo had to carry the whole team. I hope her back is in recovery. Jimmy Hart walks the much-missed Barbarian down to face Wayne Bloom. Barbarian kills Bloom, no sells Bloom’s attempt at a comeback, and jumps Bloom when Jimmy Hart runs a distraction. Big boot, three, and sure, I like Barb a whole lot. This wasn’t his best sixty-second squash, though. Bischoff is feeling pressed by WWF right now and immediately goes to free TV title switches and shitloads of promo time, huh? Case in point, Raven cuts another outro promo from the same darkened restroom about beating Goldberg. Thirty-four minutes in, we’ve had about four minutes of work and thirty minutes of generally mediocre promos and shilling, so it’s probably for the best that they send Jericho out here to do at least one, and maybe both, of these things well for once on this how. Jericho comes down wearing Iaukea’s skirt and holding a Dean Malenko picture. He pops the picture on a stand and cuts a stupid-ass promo where he claims that Malenko is quitting wrestling, but has an interview at Harry’s Burgers in Tampa. He promises to let us know if Malenko gets the job or not. I’m not even going to Google whether or not Harry’s Burgers exists. Juventud THA JOOCY ONE Guerrera is out to maybe get some revenge for Jericho unmasking him a few months back. That angle and match was fairly well-executed, and then the whole Juvi push petered right the fuck out with a mid Konnan feud and then few, if any Nitro or Thunder matches after that. Juvi comes out and unloads on Jericho, hitting an aesthetically pleasing Frankensteiner from the top rope to Jericho standing in the ring. Jericho is getting worked and has to block a Juvi rana attempt by flinging Juvi over his head and across the ropes in desperation. Juvi fights up, but Jericho hits a lariat. Jericho celebrates after every move and immediately gets punished for it; Juvi ducks his springboard dropkick and goes to the air, getting two off a springboard back kick. He gets 2.9 off a DDT. I’ve bought into the idea that Juvi might win this thing because of his energy, but Jericho blocks a rana attempt and maneuvers Juvi into a Lion Tamer. Juvi, who never gives up except for that one time in the mask vs. title match, hangs on for a long time in this move and tries to turn it, but passes out in the attempt. Jericho celebrates like this: OH GOD, I KILLED JUVI *fake sobbing*. Hey, this match was the first thing I’ve liked on this show. Yep, Goldberg is tweaked as FUCK backstage. Seriously, dude is giving off Ultimate Warrior vibes with all the snarling. We start hour number two with Buffer introducing the Raven/Goldberg U.S. Championship match. Raven wanders out alone, no Flock members at his side. Goldberg also wanders out alone unless you count the general air of inevitability in this arena as his companion. Buffer announces Goldberg’s weight and hometown as UNKNOWN, which doesn’t seem right. Who wrote that card for him? Raven lays the belt down in the center of the ring as a challenge to Goldberg, then decides to try and unload early, but shockingly, Goldberg endures it and starts flinging Raven into the railing at ringside. This is a Raven’s Rules match, mind you, which honestly is not great for Raven since any other heel would maybe just get himself disqualified if he were in trouble. Goldberg hits a roundhouse kick and the commentary desk is HYPED about it. Raven smartly grabs a chair and swings for the fences when Goldberg follows up. Raven barely gets two after hitting a drop toehold that smacks Goldberg’s head into the chair. He tries to keep Goldberg down by sinking in a chinlock that is more choke than chinlock; when Goldberg works back to his feet, Raven hits a lariat that just pisses the big man off. Goldberg responds with a spear, which is when the Flock runs in. Goldberg dispatches them, no-sells a stop sign shot in the process, and Jackhammers Reese. Raven tries to leave through the crowd, and a bunch of plants toss Raven back over the guardrail to meet his end. We get another spear, a Jackhammer on the stop sign, and that is one of the better SPLATS I’ve seen. Now that was some dope pro wrestling! Ultimo Dragon is coming off a win at Spring Stampede; his opponent, La Parka, is coming off a loss at that same show. Parka is very focused on turning his fortunes around and goes right at Dragon, hitting a Space Flying Tiger Drop. Oops, no, he shoos Dragon out of his way so he can dance before they lock up. My bad. I’m a big fan of Dragon’s go-go-go style, and as someone who is often not a fan of that style, I’ve tried to think about why. I think it’s because a lot of those go-go-go styles are predicated mostly around dives and high-impact moves that used to be finishers but that now get one-counts. For example, I recently saw a clip of an AEW match in which Pentagon and Orange Cassidy traded multiple Canadian Destroyers in a row. I’m not saying those two don’t know how to work because, as awful a bit of professional wrestling as I thought it was, it was the right type of work for the crowd, which thought it was amazing. I believe that crowd has awful taste in pro wrestling and values utter video game nonsense over anything decent about the pro graps. The point, though, is that Dragon certainly hits pacey dives and impact moves, but also strikes and even working multiple holds on the mat, transitioning from one to the other to try and find his opponent’s pressure point. That’s interesting to me, and it feels like movement for something other than the sake of working a match that looks straight out of the WWE All-Stars game. It feels like a guy using his pace to try out as many strategies as he can to win the match or set up for a match-winning move down the road. I ended up writing about what I like about Dragon’s ring work and omitted a lot of this match, but note that Parka’s love of dancing gets him into trouble yet again. He dances multiple times and Dragon immediately uses it as a way to counter Parka’s control each time. Parka is only saved by outside forces; Eddy Guerrero drags Chavo out and forces him to shove Dragon from the top rope while the ref isn’t looking. Chavo does what Eddy orders, and Parka follows up with a somersault body press for the three-count. Hey, if this gets me more Chavo/Dragon, I’m into it. Those two have really wonderful chemistry together. Chris Benoit still can’t quite acquire any gold in WCW, even though at this point, I wouldn’t blink an eye if he somehow won the big gold. They’ve really built this guy as a machine a la Meng or Scott Norton, but he’s younger and has the feel of a guy who's on the rise rather than one who is leveling out at upper-card gatekeeper. Curt Hennig comes to the ring to wrestle Benoit; Rick Rude boots Tenay off commentary. Tony S. tries to ask about which side Hennig and Rude are taking in this whole nWo split, but Rude deflects. In the ring, Hennig can’t deflect any of Benoit’s strikes. Benoit goes to town on him and attacks Hennig’s right knee, which is packing a brace. Hennig only gets control when Benoit stops to yell a challenge at Rude, the latter of whom leaves the desk. Hennig finds a way to dump Benoit outside so Rude can attack; Benoit once again struggles to control his rage and gets caught for it. Hennig immediately tries a Perfect Plex, but Benoit reverses it into a Crippler Crossface. Rude jumps in, drawing a DQ win for Benoit. We get a two-on-one beatdown until Booker T. jogs out and runs the nWo members off. Booker doesn’t stick around to get shoved again, so Benoit chases him down instead. Benoit demands that Booker stop helping him out. Book tries to play it off, but Benoit grabs him, Booker starts throwing punches and Benoit responds. I must note that this show improved exponentially when a) there were more wrestling matches and b) all the midcarders and upper-midcarders who aren’t involved in feuds with nWo members got involved. Just as I say that, Gene Okerlund calls Roddy Piper to the ring for an interview. Well, all good things must end. OK, here we go. Cheap pop attempt: Denver Broncos mention. Cheap pop attempt: University of Colorado mention. Gene pop culture mention: Kathy Bates. Piper surprisingly didn’t call anyone RuPaul or Pee-Wee Herman or Dennis Rodman. This was a mediocre promo, but it was passable for late-era Piper. Basically, he’s still commish (I forgot about this), and Savage/Hogan for the gold tonight is no disqualification, which sure seems to benefit Hogan no matter how much Piper thinks it benefits Savage. I guess Saturn and Hammer are still mad at each other from when Hammer got involved in Saturn’s mini-feud with Goldberg against Saturn’s request. They run at each other in the aisle and start brawling, and I think to myself that I wish there was more focus on Raven’s Flock falling apart. Or, if it’s not falling apart, the psychology of Raven’s Flock and its inability to show cohesiveness for very long. This is a pretty good brawl, though Hammer has inconsistent strikes. Maybe it’s just that they look weak as soon as the producer goes to close-up. Hammer hits a nice flapjack to get out of a jam, but he’s been beaten down and takes too long to try a corner splash. A Saturn lariat spills them both outside, where they bash one another into the rails and the stairs. Saturn targets Hammer’s wrist, smashing it between the steps and the post, and both men end up brawling back up the aisle and earning themselves a double-countout. The bell doesn’t stop these fellas, though, and they whale away on one another into the break. Public Enemy is still in WCW as of April 1998! I see they’ve put their names on their table so that no one accidentally takes it. I love the idea that you have to go beyond, say, putting your name on your tuna salad in the community fridge so that no one eats it here in WCW. You’d better mark your tables and chairs, too. Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell are their opponents tonight and they enter and do the spot that someone GIF’d either way earlier in this thread or in the WWE Network Convo thread where they both jump in front of one another to pose and then argue about it. It’s hilarious, and I love this tag team, and I’m bummed that Buff is about to be seriously injured in another couple of days. Buff and Grunge have a dance/pose off, and Buff does the funniest fucking cabbage patch ever. The look on this dummy’s face cracks me up. Buff is the best. Well, except at heel control segments, but I repeat myself. Luckily, he’s protected by being in a tag team, and Scotty Steiner is an exceptional tag worker, so I enjoy their control segment. Rocco tries a sleeper hold, but Scotty spins him around front and hits a belly-to-belly in a creative spot. As I’ve written before, Buff at least does the little stuff like jawing at the ref and stuff. PE finally makes a comeback and gets a pop when they clear the ring and Grunge signals that he wants to put someone through a table. They try a team table sandwich splash (that’s my name for it), but Buff is able to roll away and put Rocco back in the ring, where Scotty locks on the Steiner Recl—no, wait, Buff wants to get a win with the Blockbuster. Scotty, who couldn’t stand his partner Rick winning a match with a bulldog two months ago, finds it in himself to graciously step out of the way and let Buff hit his move for the win. Then they point at one another’s giant muscles in celebration. Psicosis has actually been doing pretty well in the W/L column lately, so it makes sense that he gets a TV title shot tonight. Rick Fuller, who I didn’t know was still in the company? No. Psicosis? Yes, that makes sense. Booker’s still amped from tangling with Benoit earlier in the night and gets right up in Psicosis’s face. Heenan exhorts Tony S. to understand that the TV title time limit is a rule made by the WCW Committee, and therefore, there is no logical reason to insult an athlete who tries to work the time limit in the defense of their title and their bank account. If I clipped this video and put it on YouTube, I’d title it something like BOBBY HEENAN **DESTROYS** TONY SCHIAVONE ABOUT THE TV TITLE TIME LIMIT to get the clicks. Tony S. calls Heenan “turnbuckle breath” because he’s hurt. Sorry, buddy, Heenan DESTROYED you. Booker uses his size and leverage to either grind down Psicosis in holds or to hit Psicosis with power moves, including a series of lariats. The last one of those sends Psicosis outside. Booker continues to hammer Psicosis outside and finds the camera to say BENOIT, THIS GONNA BE YOU, SUCKA, and maybe that little lapse in concentration explains why Psicosis is up and on the attack as soon as Book rolls him in the ring. Psicosis hits a basement dropkick to Booker’s knee and then a top-rope spinning back kick that gets two. Psicosis tries a surfboard, but doesn’t have the size to keep Booker down. Back to standing, Psicosis survives an exchange with a chop block to that same knee. The issue for Psicosis is that he doesn’t have the size or power to stay on top for long. Booker fights back and hits a side slam, but whiffs on a kneedrop. Psicosis goes back to the knee, wrapping it around a pole. Psicosis works the knee some more, but then goes to a chinlock, which he doesn’t have the size to work. Booker gets back up again, hits a nasty flapjack, follows up with a flying forearm, and hits a pancake. Once he Spinaroonies up after the pancake, it’s pretty clearly over for Psicosis. Axe kick, missile dropkick, and it’s lights out. Solid TV match, as really all of them outside of the first have been tonight. Unfortunately, that consistently solid match record is coming to an end because Lex Luger versus Crush is our next matchup. Tony S. has been reasserting that WCW and the nWo are the two biggest and most important wrestling companies in the country an awful lot lately, like more than usual. I wonder what could have spurred that? Honestly, Luger feels more and more in a holding pattern as a worker now, too. I would gladly argue that for a year’s period between 1996 and 1997, from about September to September, Luger was an excellent worker. Now? He’s coasting most nights, and with the way he’s been directionless for the last few months, I can’t blame him. Crush has just about one good move, which is the impressive gorilla press slam, so that is a neat part of this. The Torture Rack is also a neat move. I guess maybe there’s more Luger offense than normal, a bit more energy from Luger than usual on television, and Vincent and Konnan get racked on run-ins, so it’s a better match than I expected. Luger uses the metal forearm for the win. Wow, Buffer’s back out here 22 minutes before the end of the show. I didn’t expect the title match to get this much time. Of course, it could be ten minutes of wrestling and twelve minutes of ga-ga and chatter. Hogan grabs a mic and threatens to run Savage over with his car after beating him tonight. It’s okay, you can stop fucking talking, Hogan. The Disciple is total nonsense. Ed Leslie grew a beard and suddenly hits Stone Cold Stunners that kill everyone dead. Fuck off. I was watching the BatB 2000 episode of Dark Side of the Ring, and I think having watched so much Hogan and Bischoff lately threw me out of whack because I spent about that whole show agreeing with and believing serial dipshit liar Vince Russo. Randy Savage is out with the gold. I do realize that we’re getting to the end of the road with Savage, and it’s got me feeling a little sad. Savage will be gone, come back as an immobile, abusive misogynist, and then be gone again. I just watched the last match Savage was ever in, which is on an early TNA PPV, and Savage comes out at the end of the match, gets the creakiest flash pin I’ve ever seen in my life as his only move, and that’s it. I’ve decided that I would be glad to put up with rappin’ Macho Man awkwardly using AAVE slang if only he could have the working knees and hips to put in good matches from the end of 1998 through like 2001 or 2002 or something. This man should have got an honorary WM match in which he beats the shit out of Vince McMahon just like Hart and Hogan got. The match itself is what you’d expect. Hogan dominates early with weak offense. There are a couple decent open-hand chops in there, actually, but most of it is whatever. The Disciple tosses Savage around a bit outside. This is no-DQ, remember, so the ref is powerless. Hogan takes a chair to Savage’s knee and head. Savage finally gets an elbow to the gut and a few punches in after four or five minutes of being killed. He can’t sustain offense with that gimpy knee, though. Basically, Savage has rare bursts of offense in between long, dull Hogan control segments. I can’t be entirely negative because the weight belt, my favorite of all foreign objects, gets used. Hogan even does a bit of mean stuff like stomping Savage’s fingers. But yeah, this could have been shorter. Hogan whiffs on a legdrop, and Savage grabs the belt and swings for the fences. Savage hits a scoop slam and drops the Savage Elbow, but lands on his knee and can’t cover. Hogan gets back up and goes full Terry Funk by stabbing Savage with a flaming branding iron putting on a spinning toehold, after which he transitions into a Figure Four. Savage gets to the ropes, but this is no DQ, so I’m not sure why Hogan broke the hold. Anyway, it’s clear that Hogan is winning just because he’s trying harder than normal. He’s broken down and throws weak strikes, but he’s trying! Savage chokes Hogan, so Disciple comes in and hits the ref with a neckbreaker; after that, it’s the start of end-match gaga and a two-on-one beatdown. It’s odd that Kevin Nash wouldn’t be here to back Savage up, right? On cue, a WE WANT NASH chant starts. The Disciple hits a belt-assisted Stone Cold Stunner on Savage, and Nash actually does make his way out. Bischoff grabs Nash’s ankle and Hogan goes for a belt shot, but Nash ducks and Hogan hits the Disciple. Nash sets hogan up for a Jackknife, fights Bischoff off, and then hits it. He drags Savage on top of Nash and tries to revive the ref, but now Bret Hart comes out and clobbers Nash with the belt – which draws boos – and then pulls Hogan on top of Savage – which gets MORE boos – as the ref counts three. Roddy Piper runs down all upset and my excitement over Bret Hart being in the main event is dampened immeasurably by this booking. Piper tries to talk some sense into Bret, and this is meaningful if you know their history from the WM VIII feud. Bret tries to ignore Piper, who stays all in his face, and eventually just slugs the dude. I can’t express how much I hated this. What the fuck? I don’t want to even think about booing the Hitman. I must have blocked this out entirely for my own love of of the faux graps. Anyway, the half-hour opening full of mediocre promos and the main event booking was so bad that not even a genuinely good middle of the show can save the score for me. 2.25 out of 5 Stinger Splashes.
  22. Punk's not slumming it in Impact (I'm talking perception of the company rather than quality of the work). He'll go back to WWE just to cut an oblique promo about what a doofus he considers Tony Khan to be because he knows how much that'll hurt ol' Tony. It's that or nothin' for him.
  23. Spring Stampede '98 notes: This is a tumultuous time for WCW. The go-home Nitro for this show was beaten by RAW in the ratings for the first time in months. Ric Flair was advertised for that Nitro on the previous Thunder, but didn’t show up because he was at Reid’s wrestling meet, and now Bisch and Flair are in conflict behind the scenes. Randy Savage was getting way over as a rebel tweener and got hurt. Things are a mess! From that perspective, I’m interested to see how this show turns out. I’m going in with pretty low expectations, and I’m guessing that this show ends up having a pretty fun midcard and a baffling main event scene, as is the rep for WCW PPVs from this era. There was an angle about Savage being possibly taken out of the main event match because of kayfabe injuries that are covering for legit injuries. The desk announces that this will not happen, but they also note that the Sting/Savage match is now no DQ, which doesn’t surprise me. We’re getting a lot of safe-ish wandering brawling in the main, I bet, and a bit of end-of-match gaga to boot. Saturn (w/Billy Kidman) has been itching to try Goldberg for the last few weeks, and he gets his chance in the opener. This has potential if Saturn poses at least a little bit of a threat. These two are a bit awkward, but there are lots of explosive suplexes, mostly from Goldberg, so that’s okay. Goldberg flings an interfering Kidman into Saturn with what can only be described as “reckless abandon.” Saturn hits a leg sweep, a springboard legdrop, and a second-rope elbowdrop…and gets one. Yeah, that boy’s fucked. This part of the match is fun because Saturn is just unloading at high pace as much as he can, and everyone knows it’s not enough. The crowd just wants to explode when Goldberg makes his comeback. Goldberg indeed reverses and hits a gorilla press into a front slam. Kidman runs enough of a distraction to give Saturn one more stint in control. He hits a nice capture suplex and dropkicks Goldberg into the steps; then, he bashes the stairs into Goldberg and hits a Frankensteiner from the apron to Goldberg standing on the floor. He botches a springboard back elbow, but hits a kick from the top rope and moves things along. The problem is that the air is so thin and that Saturn kayfabe (and probably shoot) tires quickly. Saturn can’t keep moving forever and shifts to limb work. The second Saturn tries to keep Goldberg on the mat, Goldberg has time to work his way up and eventually get back into control. Both guys are a little sloppy here, and I can see why people cracked on Goldberg for not being able to look good for more than about three minutes at a time. Still, Goldberg retakes control in short order, and it’s spear, Jackha—no, Saturn low blow to escape the Jackhammer when Kidman draws interference. Goldberg blocks a top-rope rana and press slams Saturn from the second rope. The Flock runs down, but Goldberg handles them all. Nick Patrick doesn’t call it for that reason. Saturn jumps Goldberg from behind and locks on the Rings of Saturn, but Goldberg raises to standing and shifts Saturn into Jackhammer position, then nails it for three. That was an enjoyable opener, even if these fells had timing and chemistry issues. Chavo Guerrero Jr. desperately needs a win over Ultimo Dragon to escape Uncle Eddy’s clutches. It’s probably not good that Uncle Eddy a) doesn’t want to give up his control of Chavo’s career and b) Eddy is out here at ringside, stationed in the perfect place to fuck up Chavo’s chances of winning. After a bit of opening mat work, it becomes clear that Dragon has the advantage when they’re standing. He out-strikes Chavo and out-maneuvers him. Even when on the mat, Dragon shifts between holds rather than just sitting in one. The men trade submissions, and when they’re back to standing, Chavo finds a way to win a speedy exchange for one of the few times in the last two or three matches Chavo has had with Eddy. Chavo sinks in a chinlock, then transitions into a headscissors. One of the strengths of this match is that both guys are trying different things; when one hold doesn’t seem to be getting a submission, they shift to another one. The mat game is pretty fun because it’s worked in a weirdly pacey way, as far as mat work can be done with pace. So, again, both guys shift back and forth in submission moves until they’re standing again. We get another pacey exchange that Dragon wins with speed; Chavo realizes that he has to maybe use his power a bit more and lands a lariat for two, but his struggle is that Dragon is just so fast and so liable to counter his opponent to death. Chavo comes off in this match as desperately trying to keep up with Dragon. He can do it at points, and he’s good enough to maybe catch Dragon with a move or a flash pin that can win it for him, but Dragon always feels a step or two ahead. Dragon ends up hitting an Asai moonsault to Chavo on the floor; Eddy motivates Chavo by reminding him that if he loses, Eddy is going to absolutely ruin his life. This apparently works because Chavo hits a fucking WILD Twisting Tsukahara over the ropes and to the floor. Wow, it’s easy to forget how athletic Chavo was in his twenties. I can’t possibly describe every counter and counter-to-a-counter here. Suffice it to say that Chavo accidentally hits a counter dropkick to Dragon’s balls when Dragon dives off the top. Charles Robinson backs Chavo off while Dragon clutches his pearls, and Chavo complies. This enrages Eddy, who jumps on the apron and slaps Chavo around for not pressing the advantage. Chavo thinks he’s done right, though! I mean, it’s certainly a moral victory. It’s not a competitive victory, though, which Dragon gets when he blocks a tornado DDT attempt and twists it into a Dragon Sleeper for the submission. Eddy pretends to be upset about this, but we all know inside that he’s gleeful about being able to crap on Chavo for the next few months. DDP does a backstage interview with Lee Marshall for the folks listening through Real Audio. He’s not thinking about wrestling Goldberg on Monday, or so he says. He might as well not bother thinking about him, though! Chris Benoit and Booker T. face off for the WCW Television Championship. Basically, both guys are explosive athletes, so the question is whether or not Booker’s power will win out over Benoit’s unsettling family annihilator-level focus on violence and also, I guess, his technical wrestling ability. As it turns out, Booker’s power wins out early and Book sends Benoit tumbling to the mat, so Benoit tries to take Book’s wheels out. As I watch Booker and Benoit do some crisp counter-wrestling that ends with a Booker lariat, I am reminded why people loved WCW cards in 1997 and 1998 up until about the semi-main. These first three matches have had explosive athlete after explosive athlete working crisp, hard-hitting matches. Even when a guy like Goldberg is still learning the ropes and is awkward, his sheer physical charisma makes up for it. Man, the WCW midcard in 1998 might have the biggest collection of physically charismatic individuals of any American company before WWF/E killed all the competition and became the only game in town (NWA-TNA doesn’t count as competition and never did). So, yeah, these fellas again do a bunch of counter-wrestling, and Benoit hits a big counter when he front suplexes Booker across the ropes and knocks him to the floor. From that point on, Benoit starts to grind down Booker, moving between limb work and impact moves. Benoit senses blood and hits a back suplex, then follows up with a flying headbutt. The headbutt knocks Benoit loopy, and while he’s selling it, Booker rolls away. When Benoit finally covers, Booker puts his foot on the ropes at two. Book gets out of immediate danger with a suplex of his own, but Benoit is back up first and gets two off a back elbow. Benoit gets a series of two counts beyond that, then finally hits the rolling German suplexes. Rather than going for a cover, Benoit hits a super back suplex…and sells another head injury after he lands. If I were looking at this from a kayfabe point of view, I’d ask why Benoit never tried a flash Crippler Crossface, which he’d been having success with on television, and instead hit so many high risk moves that he borked his chance of winning. It seems like the pressure to finally win his first WCW title made him overthink his strategy in this match. That I thought about this from a kayfabe strategy standpoint means that the match layout is successful, at least by my measurements. Benoit only gets two on the big suplex because he took so long to cover. Booker fights back with a spinebuster, and both men hit each other on a running clothesline attempt. Book is first up to his feet, though; he hits a flapjack and Spinaroonies up. Book goes for an axe kick, but Benoit ducks and Book crashes into Mickey Jay. While Book checks on the ref, Benoit sneaks up behind and gets Book in the Crossface. OK, so here’s the deal that’s going to get us a best-of-seven…err, best-of-eight…between these two. Booker moves toward the ropes, and his hand slaps the mat twice before grabbing the rope. Was he tapping out or was he just reaching for the rope and missing? It didn’t look like a tap, but commentary isn’t sure what they just saw. Still, we get controversy! And a reason for a best-of-eight series! Benoit unlocks the Crossface, then realizes that he didn’t win and the ref is out. He tries to revive Jay, and Booker flies in from nowhere, right over the hunched-up Jay and into Benoit with a Harlem Side Kick that gets a three count out of the injured ref. This was another solid match, and what’s important to note is that from entrances to the ending, both guys got big face pops for everything they did. It’s blatantly obvious that they should push these two to the main event ASAP. The crowd sees them as their guys and as big-time pro wrestlers. All this good pro wrestling has me energized, but I can almost hear a needle skidding to a stop on a record player because the British Bulldog (w/Jim Neidhart) wrestles Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) next. I guess there’s a stip where Rude and Neidhart are handcuffed to one another now? OK. I guess that we have to pay off all the Rick Rude handcuffing spots from the past few weeks. Henig is working a knee injury, and Bulldog attacks it. There’s a lot of uninspired clubbering and generally, this feels like a sluggish match from the middle of a 1990 WWF PPV. Bulldog dominates and goes for the Sharpshooter, but outside, Vincent is dressed in a cop outfit and I guess he feeds the handcuffs key to Rude. Rude uncuffs himself and cuffs Neidhart to the buckle; meanwhile, Hennig got out of the Sharpshooter and bashes Bulldog’s face into the post for a quick three. This sucked ass. We get a post-match beatdown on Bulldog. It’s like they got a bunch of over-the-hill workers from 1990 WWF to really drive home how good I had it with all the workers that showed up before this match. And we’re back to life, back to reality, as the quite decent Prince Iaukea wrestles the red-hot Chris Jericho for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. He does some delusional heeling on the mic and shits on Dean Malenko just to remind us about that whole budding feud. Iaukea controls early with a headlock, but yet again, the bigger wrestler works out of it and hits a shoulderblock. Man, the smaller wrestlers are struggling a bit tonight. Still, Iaukea controls, dropkicks Jericho as Jericho tries to skin the cat, and then hits a running senton from the apron to the floor. Iaukea goes right back to the headlock, which maybe is a mistake in kayfabe because Jericho almost immediately powers to his feet and starts striking Iaukea; the opening Jericho creates with his strikes allows him to end up drop-toeholding Iaukea right into the ropes. Jericho works his power advantage; he clubbers and hits a stalling vertical suplex for one (he only covered with a wimpy pinfall). If Jericho merely pressed his advantage, he might have made things easier for himself. Alas, he went for a top rope move, blew kisses to everyone before attempting said move, and gave Iaukea plenty of time to stick the feet up for a counter. Iaukea rips off some offense and tries for a victory roll, but Jericho blocks it and locks on the Lion Tamer. Iaukea makes the ropes, but Jericho thinks Iaukea tapped. That leaves space for Iaukea to come back, and he gets 2.9 when he sits down on a top rope sunset flip attempt. Iaukea goes up top, but Jericho catches him, and both guys clatter from the top to the floor. Both guys make it back to the ring and throw punches, but when Iaukea tries for a back suplex, Jericho rolls through it into a Walls attempt. Iaukea flips over on the attempt and rolls Jericho up for two. The crowd thought he had that one. Iaukea blocks a Jericho DDT attempt (Jericho yells C’MON BAYBAY before trying to hit it instead of just, you know, hitting the move) and gets two on a Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge. Jericho has underestimated Iaukea badly, and just barely escapes when Iaukea tries his own diving sunset flip and Jericho rolls through into a Lion Tamer that he’s able to sink in dead center of the ring. This was a weird match. The pacing was odd, but the crowd was into the nearfalls, and I enjoyed it. At first, I didn’t understand the layout, but as it turns out, the layout was that Jericho kayfabe wrestled like he was breezing to victory in a WCWSN competitive squash where he was the obvious victor, but he was actually kayfabe wrestling in a tightly contested title match on PPV. That’s what made all the Iaukea 2.9s work so well; it really felt like Iaukea might catch Jericho sleeping. Anyway, Jericho steals Iaukea’s, um, is it a sarong? His floral dress. Jericho steals that as yet another trophy that he’s taken from a defeated victim. Raven talks right over Lee Marshall’s dumb ass, which is what I’d want to hear if I were listening to this interview on Real Audio! Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner come to the ring; Buff’s been paying attention to J.J. Dillon’s insistence on only booking fully healthy wrestlers who aren't wearing casts for this show. He comes out with a cast-ish sort of deal on his wrist and declares that he can’t wrestle because of both that and the lack of a doctor’s release; after all, J.J. said so. I mean, it’s barely a cast. They just hastily put some Ace wrap on his wrist two minutes before coming out here. Hilarious. Buff sells his non-existent injury. Dillon comes out and says that it’s just Buff’s luck that there’s a legit doctor here who was checking up on Randy Savage before the main event, and he’ll ask the doctor to check Buff right now. Buff threatens Dillon with the “injured” wrist, and the doctor immediately declares it healed! OK, that was pretty funny weaselly heel shit. Immediately, Lex Luger and Rick Steiner come down along with Ted DiBiase. Luger lays into Scotty outside the ring while Rick and Buff go at it in the ring. Buff eventually controls Rick and then tags Scotty in. The simple heel story here is that Scott beats up Rick as much as possible, but if Rick even seems like he might come back, Scotty tags out immediately. Rick plays FIP, but finally gets a tag to Luger, who is just here to throw forearms, signal for the rack, and actually rack folks. Luger does rack Buff, but Scotty hits Luger. Rick gets in the ring and clocks Buff, then faces off with Scotty…who runs. Rick chases Scotty off, then comes back to the ring and shoves Buff off the ropes when Buff goes up for a Blockbuster. Luger’s follow-up Torture Rack coaxes an quick submission out of Buff immediately after. That was short, it was full of action, and the heels did a bunch of awesome heeling and then got their comeuppance at the end. I dug it! La Parka wrestles Psicosis in a decent little comedown match. They slap the shit out of one another. It rules. If you’re going to open-hand slap each other, at least be wearing padding like Parka is. Psicosis hits that sick suicide dive he does. They counter-wrestle a bit and trade two counts. Park hits a seated springboard senton sort of deal to Psicosis. The spot was really contrived, as was the setup, but hey, I like these guys and will allow it. Parka kicks Psicosis off the ropes and then dances on the middle rope. Psicosis takes that chance to hit a shaky springboard rana from the top to the mat that he probably shouldn’t have bothered to do, it took him such care to simply not blow it. Psicosis hits a much better looking corkscrew splash to Parka on the floor, but whiffs on a top rope splash. Psicosis hits a nasty flapjack for two, but pulls Psicosis up instead of getting three. By the rules of heel pro wrestling in America, this should come back to bite him. It does; Psicosis catches Parka while Parka's dancing, kicks his wheels out from under him, and drills a guillotine legdrop for the win. Bobby Heenan runs down the (then) sorry-ass Denver Nuggets. It only took them a quarter-century to prove Bobby wrong! There is an hour left for three matches. Commentary spends time talking about what might happen in the main event. It’s not that compelling, fellas. So, the bat match is next. They put the bat on a pole. Tony S. promises "Voodoo Child" for Hogan’s entrance, but nope, licensing fees and all that, so we don’t even get Hendrix. Man, that sucks. What also sucks is the Giant floating around the upper-midcard in what I think are feuds and angles that are beneath him. The Nash feud was the one exception, but that’s been subsumed in this Piper/Hogan deal. I just wanted a powerbomb match between Giant and Nash that Giant won to end the angle, that’s all. That’s what we should have gotten. Instead, these two have Piper and Hogan attached to this deal. Meh. So, Piper runs for the bat while Hogan and Nash attempt to have healthy communication. It doesn’t work, but it’s a nice try. Meanwhile, I never want to see Piper work Hogan again. Hogan throws the weakest boots I’ve seen in awhile at Piper in the corner. Are we sure that Hogan doesn’t also have a debilitating knee injury? While I’m complaining, this match is under regular tag match rules even though a bat can be used. Why not do a tornado tag instead? There’s a fucking bat that will be entered into the match, let’s get a four-way brawl going immediately and keep it that way. Bischoff really has something against tornado tags, I guess. Stuff happens that the crowd is HOT for, so I can’t get that mad, even if the Giant tosses Hogan over his knee and spanks him and Piper does shitty strikes and butts and I've changed my mind; I’m judging everyone in Denver right now because I don’t think this warrants anything but silent derision. So, we finally get Nash against the Giant about five minutes in or so. This is the best part of the match because Giant goes at Nash with intensity and Nash does his part selling the work. Nash comes back and Giant plays a solid FIP before we get a hot tag. Hogan and Piper do their thing. There have been so few attempts at the bat; if I recall, actually, the only one was at the very start when Piper scrambled up after it. So, the match breaks down. The Giant dropkicks Nash over the top rope and to the floor in a sweet-looking spot. Piper puts Hogan to sleep. The Giant boosts Piper up so that Piper can grab the bat. Nash and Hogan jump Giant and Piper; Hogan seizes the bat, but tosses it away. The Disciple comes to ringside packing a bat of his own; he tosses it to Hogan, who unloads it on the Giant’s back. Nash holds Piper up for a shot to Piper’s hip, but Piper moves and Nash takes the bat to the solar plexus. Whoops! Piper takes the bat and whales away on both guys, but the Disciple retrieves the second bat and tosses it to Hogan, then rips Piper’s bat away from behind. Hogan clobbers Piper with the bat and covers for three. Nash is back up and still heated about Hogan whiffing on the home run shot to Piper’s hip. Hogan convinces Nash to powerbomb the Giant instead just so he can clobber Nash with the bat, then run away from an incensed Giant. This whole thing was an angle ensconced in a crappy tag match instead of the actual thing that I wanted, which was Nash/Giant working a match around teased powerbombs. Please please PLEASE stop booking Piper in high-profile PPV matches already, Bischoff. PLEASE. Stop booking Hogan in these too, for that matter. Hey, it’s DDP/Raven! I remember the broad strokes of what happens – Page loses the U.S. Championship to Raven, who loses it to Goldberg the very next night – but I don’t remember anything about this match and how we got the belt onto Raven. This match starts with fuckery, as Sick Boy grabs Page from behind and tries to set Page up for a Raven belt shot. Page ducks and then unloads on Raven, calling his next move (whip into the corner, rebound back suplex) like he’s a Pokemon trainer. I thought Page planned everything out ahead of time? Page mixes it up with Sick Boy again, which gives Raven the space to turn the match in his favor. Raven can’t keep control for long because Page is furious, but focused; DDP blocks an Evenflow attempt and tries a Diamond Cutter that Raven bails on. Page pursues Raven down the aisle, and Raven tries to get away by climbing the stagecoach near the stage entrance. Page rips him backward into the bales of hay sitting next to the coach, then dives off the coach and onto Raven. This section of the match fucking RULES because Page just murders Raven, tossing him into the wooden fence that makes up the mock corral on the stage, then bashing Raven with a trash can lid. This shit is awesome. Page is bringing that intensity. Page dumps Raven onto the WCWWrestling.com table while the crowd chants for him. See, the match is cool, but I'm thinking more broadly, its quality is a problem because it’s Raven Rules, but the match after this is also a brawl and this match has already shown up whatever is happening after it. Raven desperately kicks Page away into the WCWWrestling.com standee and then breaks something over Page’s head. Raven launches Page into what Tony S. calls the VIP booth. He sets Page on the table in this area and dives from the railed section right above it onto Page’s ribs below. Raven grabs a cowbell and beats Page with it. Next, Raven grabs a trash can and, uh, beats Page with it. This feels so heated and has been the best feud in the company for a long time. I get that Sting/Hogan is iconic and had all that setup, but this has been quite the satisfying feud that also doesn’t end in a complete wet fart. Back in the ring, Raven gets two after hitting Page with a literal kitchen sink. He goes to the cowbell rope and chokes Page, but Page gets real aggy and fights up out of it. Page drop-toeholds Raven face-first into the sink. Tony S. calls it “the ol’ Drano maneuver,” and I admit, I chuckled sensibly. Page looks like he’s on the verge of victory, which is when the Flock decides to get involved. Kidman whiffs on a splash attempt and clatters into Raven, but Page has to take time to dispose of Kidman, and Raven kicks out. Sick Boy shows back up and clobbers Page with a crutch, but Page kicks out at 2.9. Raven tries an actual wrestling move – a vertical suplex – and Page reverses into a small package for 2.9. Raven gets up and signals Hammer to help, but Hammer whiffs on a diving clothesline and then eats a sink shot. Page only gets two, though, again because of the delay he took in getting rid of Hammer. Raven hits a nut shot and calls for more assistance. OK, let’s see if Reese can help! Reese actually hits a chokeslam – success! – but Raven only gets two on the cover. Raven waves to Lodi sitting in the crowd and Lodi tosses in his stop sign, which is the weapon that really amped up this whole feud. Page cuts Raven off, clobbers a bunch of Flock members with the sign, and hits a Diamond Cutter on Kidman when Kidman jumps onto his back. It rules, but then some dude in a crew member shirt whom I don’t recognize jumps in and whacks Page with the stop sign, which allows Raven to quickly hit an Evenflow DDT onto the sink for a quick three (I did a quick Google and it was Horace Hogan, which makes me the opposite of excited that more of Hogan and Friends will be hitting WCW television). That match was exhilarating. I loved it. Raven sold desperation to survive, and Page sold righteous fury all the way through. Buffer’s ring announcing includes some nonsense – he says that Sting and Savage are “two men who respect each other,” which is absolutely an untruth – and here, I think might be the first example of Buffer sounding like he’s just cashing a check. Maybe I’m being too harsh? I’ve said this before, but I would love to get that Macho Man “Macho behind bars” nWo t-shirt. That’s a quality shirt. Sting is out next, and he’s been having a nightmare of a title reign in my opinion. Buffer claims that Sting reps no organization, but I’m pretty sure he’s repping WCW again. Anyway, Savage jumps Sting as soon as Sting enters the ring, and off we go. They get to the wandering brawl pretty quickly, but the crowd doesn’t pop as loudly for all the set destruction because they just saw it. I am staggered that they booked the last two matches back to back like this. Sting hits Savage with a bale of hay, and Tony S. makes this argument, paraphrased: The hay is very abrasive, and you combine that with the thin air in Denver, wow, it’s a tough attack to endure. I mean, you could have just said nothing, Tony. Sting rolls for awhile, but misses a Stinger Splash with Savage draped against the rail. Sting never successfully hits the splash in that particular situation and should really stop trying them when in that situation. This match isn’t the worst in a vacuum, but it is a markedly worse version of the previous match, so that’s unfortunate. Savage tries to press his advantage, but eventually gets launched over the top rope by Sting. Sting dominates for once in one of these PPV main events. Sting’s domination unfortunately involves a lot of dull boot chokes. This match is really not connecting with me; I just want to hurry up to the finish already. Savage uses a nut shot to get some control and gets two after dropping Sting ballsack-first over the ropes. Savage tries a double-axehandle, but Sting is right up and puts a fist into a diving Savage’s gut. Sting tries another Stinger Splash, but Savage pulls the ref in front. Sting stops himself before impact, but Savage bashes into him from behind and sandwiches the ref, knocking the poor zebra out. Now, the gaga begins. Liz comes in and whacks Sting in the back with a chair; after matters progress, she ends up getting hit with a Stinger Splash. Savage takes advantage, jumps Sting and goes up for a Savage Elbow, but Hogan runs down and pushes him off the top. Savage gets back up and tries to press his advantage, but Sting flips behind Savage and hits a Scorpion Death Drop. The ref is out, so Nash comes down and clobbers Sting, then hits him with a Jackknife and rolls Savage on top of him. Nash tosses the ref over toward the cover, and Savage gets a three-count for the win and the gold. Well, Savage lost all of his world titles to either Hogan or Flair, and Flair is on the outs with Bisch, so either Hogan’s winning the gold in a few days/weeks or this win is getting overturned somehow. But let’s talk about this Sting reign. It was, and I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic, a massive fucking failure from beginning to end. It was such a botched piece of business that maybe it would have been better had it never happened at all. Sting was overmatched in every PPV title match he had, and in the one where he finally looked dominant, he lost. Heck, he was overmatched in all the TV matches he defend the gold in, too, barring the DDP match that was the one shining success of this feud. I don’t give a fuck if Sting is mainlining downers in the back, you book him better than this or you take the gold off him via some sort of insane fuckery a month in and reset things. Bischoff is a total idiot. This show was good, but anything involving Piper, Hogan, or (sadly) Nash was shit. Excise that stuff and end the show on DDP/Raven, and you have a really good one. Unfortunately, that’s not the show we got.
  24. Kinda weird that they just left Kass's existence out there as a hook for DLC. Maybe they'll just let Koei Tecmo make a Tears of the Kingdom musou and pick that hook up as part of that game.
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