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December 2022 Wrestling Discussion


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26 minutes ago, Zakk_Sabbath said:

Ive said this before (to varying reactions) but I think it's not just the 'boss' kid' factor, but also the fact that HHH was doing a similar thing with his reign of terror at the same time (down to the obvious 'boss' kid...in law' factor there, too, along with the constant Evolution/Planet Jarrett chicanery). It's tough to sell your promotion as an alternative when the booking suffers from a near-identical problem.

TNA Jarrett is unwatchable. He's not a bad worker in a vacuum, but he learned all the wrong lessons from the Attitude/Russo-WCW era. Too many run-ins and gaga to the point that you'd just be waiting for the inevitable and it almost made the twenty minutes you had to sit through almost pointless because who gave a shit until the run-ins/weapon shots started. 

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Jarrett as Traveling NWA Champ/Cosplay Flair is better than HHH Traveling NWA Champ/Cosplay Harley Race. Jarrett could have great Hometown baby face v Traveling champ matches against guys like Jay Lethal and Chase Stevens

@SirSmellingtonofCascadiaI liked Jarretts WCW US title run but don't remember what his best match would be. I didn't care for the No gimmick need Jarrett, Country Singer 2.0, or Woman beater Jarrett (although his Hair match v X-pac seemed decent at the time)

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1 minute ago, zendragon said:

Jarrett as Traveling NWA Champ/Cosplay Flair is better than HHH Traveling NWA Champ/Cosplay Harley Race. Jarrett could have great Hometown baby face v Traveling champ matches against guys like Jay Lethal and Chase Stevens

@SirSmellingtonofCascadiaI liked Jarretts WCW US title run but don't remember what his best match would be. I didn't care for the No gimmick need Jarrett, Country Singer 2.0, or Woman beater Jarrett (although his Hair match v X-pac seemed decent at the time)

@GuerrillaMonsoon mentioned the Giant match on PPV, which is legitimately dope. That's at Havoc '96. The Starrcade '96 match with Benoit goes hard, too. 

He's also good for a fun match almost every week he's on Nitro, including a surprisingly enjoyable match against a washed Bubba Rogers on the 10/14/96 Nitro. 

Hmm, I looked back really quickly at what I've written about him in the Nitro re-watch thread I'm writing and would suggest those three matches plus these from Nitro as a quick smattering of what Jarrett was doing at that time:

  • Jarrett/Alex Wright on 11/25/96
  • Another decent match against Bubba on 12/2/96 
  • Jarrett/DDP on 12/9/96 which is excellent, definitely one of the better Nitro matches in its history
  • Jarrett/Eddy Guerrero on 1/27/97

I think what's cool about the Jarrett Nitro matches is that he always wrestles them with a plan in mind and often will work around some major concept - Jimmy Hart liberally involving himself in his match, knocking out his opponent's mobility, etc. - that is threaded through the match and that often leads to its conclusion in a satisfying way. He feels more like a complete worker than he'd ever felt.

I was extremely low on him before the rewatch and I will note that as the weeks passed, I flipped my opinion on Jarrett's work in the ring entirely. 

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I remember at the time - Jarrett in late 99/early 00 was the best in-ring part of WCW. He delivered more often than not. He had a point to prove, and I wonder if the fun garbage-y brawls age as well as I think they do. But that's a fools errand. 

I will take this time to say we're sleeping on how good The Total Package was as a character from his return around Fall Brawl to just before Russo/Bischoff starts. Just a fucking awesome sneaky heel. He's almost exclusively wrestling guys half his size until Hogan and Sting return and stooging for all of them. I really liked 97 superbabyface Luger, but this is the best version of Luger by far. 

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Lex and Liz were an amazing duo, yeah. I also have fond memories of Totally Buff as basically a 4Chan-troll-level tag team who generated legitimate desire to see them get absolutely smoked by their opponents.

I'll be going on that fool's errand myself around, if I have the pace of my Nitro watching correct, 2027, so check back then and we'll come back to this talk about Russo-era Jarrett in the ring. 

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Speaking of that time period, I think there's a decent argument to make that Starrcade 99 killed the company far more than Starrcade 97 did.

Starrcade 97 bombed horribly in its objectives - Sting/Hogan didn't deliver, the NWO didn't die here, but they still had Bret, Goldberg, DDP, and to a lesser extent, Booker and Steiner as guys people still cared about as getting a run on top.

Starrcade 99 instead retires Bret Hart barely a month into his run on top, kills off the revamped NWO angle they spent months leading up to and has a whole card of stuff that should have been the month earlier to build to Starrcade, if you consider it their Wrestlemania, instead are just weird throw away angles from top to bottom that went nowhere for various reasons. 

Show opens with Lash/Disco vs the Mamalukes. You could have easily built towards this as the Cruiserweight title program at Starrcade - Lash was inexplicably over for this time period. Instead, it's a wacky mismatched tag team that ends with a forced heel turn, and the heels are then faces against nazis about 6 weeks later anyway.

You can argue for so many other combinations to be the cruiserweight title match on their biggest PPV of the year, but when its Evan Karagias vs Madusa instead, anything is an improvement. Again, they spent months building this up because Chyna had a mens singles title at the same time. Another heel turn where Spice sides with Madusa. Aside from it being two matches running, it's the same thing that happened with Chyna/Miss Kitty last month. If you really wanted to do this and do it better than the WWE - surely you do a match that wasn't 3 minutes, in a nothing spot, and showcase Madusa as being a superior worker to Chyna? Madusa was also 0.9 Bryan Adams for the worst promo going around at this point in time.

Norman Smiley/Meng was probably the match people wanted to see, but it lasts a few minutes to largely set up Brian Knobbs/Finlay vs Meng instead. Should have been the Nitro after.

The Revolution vs Jim Duggan probably needed to be blown off here, and it was the right call. Instead - they bring back Mike Rotunda, Kevin Sullivan and Rick Steiner, a trio no-one asked for, who turn on Duggan straight away, which never goes anywhere, the Revolution move onto something else, Duggan goes nowhere, and the whole thing is pointless despite a few months of build up on TV. The Filthy Animals turn up again the next night on Nitro anyway. There's your match instead.

Vampiro vs Steve Williams - Dr Death gets booked to be a massive bad ass, takes out all the Misfits, destroys Vampiro, who they were building up as an upper midcard guy at the time, loses by DQ.....and then Dr Death never wrestles for WCW again. What a pointless waste. 

Six person tag - Harlem Heat/Midnight vs Nazis/Curt Hennig. Match exists for Stevie Ray to turn on Booker, which happens in the weakest way possible with Stevie Ray no showing the match, and then leads to a match on a nothing PPV that nobody watched with a stipulation over the use of the letter T. Midnight is gone weeks later - another example of them trying to outdo Chyna, which seems like a really weird strategy to find your point of difference. I think Hennig is a face again in like a fortnight's time. Surely you do the heel turn weeks earlier and do Booker vs Stevie here?

Jarrett vs Rhodes is probably the best/logical part of the card. It gets lost in the overall shuffle of Jarrett needing to sub for Hall later on, the NWO formation, etc, but it did a great job of establishing Jarrett as a player here.

DDP vs David Flair made no real sense here. The feud devolved from Ric Flair/DDP strap match at Havoc to David Flair vs Kimberley at Mayhem to David Flair vs DDP. Talk about diminishing returns. A month later - both guys are in programs with other people, Ric Flair's heat is with the Filthy Animals instead. 

Sting vs Luger is the right call to be on the card, but you do the big beatdown of Sting here, and Liz turning on him, resulting in Sting going away for three months. Unless I've forgotten Sting being legit hurt or having something else on (Shutterspeed was filmed earlier in the year), why wouldn't you have Sting return here, especially when the heel turn bombed and he was so reluctant to do it?

Nash vs Sid in the powerbomb match was probably the worst ending to a PPV match of all time. Made everyone look like shit. 

Benoit vs Jarrett was again good in elevating both guys, but also felt like an inferior product when it was advertised to be Benoit vs Hall instead. Good match that gets lost in the shuffle of everything, and I think the Best of 3 series could have been really good.

Goldberg/Bret is still a massive POS, even if you account for the accidental nature of Goldberg kicking Bret's brain into next week. The finish strongly leans on Piper involvement that goes nowhere as he never shows up again (save for once off appearance at a PPV two months later without any context or reference to what had previously happened). I get that your long term story is Goldberg beating his way through the NWO to get to Bret, but he ultimately does that in the space of one episode of TV a few weeks later before fucking his arm up on a limo window.

The entire show amounts to nothing weeks later, whilst some of it is due to circumstances out of their control, it's mostly standard WCW fare. Their biggest show of the year and it cannibalizes effectively 3-4 months of build up for nothing. 

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56 minutes ago, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

 

Goldberg/Bret is still a massive POS, even if you account for the accidental nature of Goldberg kicking Bret's brain into next week. The finish strongly leans on Piper involvement that goes nowhere as he never shows up again (save for once off appearance at a PPV two months later without any context or reference to what had previously happened). I get that your long term story is Goldberg beating his way through the NWO to get to Bret, but he ultimately does that in the space of one episode of TV a few weeks later before fucking his arm up on a limo window.

 

Wait, why is Piper still on WCW television in 1999?

Fuck, I thought I'd be done with him by the end of 1997. I completely blanked out that he was still on TV that late. 

This is horrible news. 

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Nope, he shows up probably half a dozen different times between then and his last appearance at Superbrawl 2000. Mostly without rhyme or reason. Diminishing returns barely covers it.

The sucky thing about is that there were plans for him to feud with Raven, largely based on their history in Portland but then got nixxed at the last minute, which could have been interesting.

The Piper/Flair/Bagwell stuff in late 99 was not good.

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I've never heard of the Northern Boys but their hilarious song cut to Vince stuff at the end of Botchamania 464 from yesterday is *chef's kiss* Just one of the most hilarious things I've both seen and heard all year -- and watch the original video for more verses! 

Spoiler

VERY NSFW

It's at 16:04

MORE NSFW THAN HUMANLY POSSIBLE

 

I just...

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Having just written all that it's occurred to me that Russo just never once had a feud or angle reach a definitive conclusion.

Even WWF 98 at its peak. I can't think of a single angle where you can say it reached its apex, there was a clear ending to it, rather than just never ending turns/twists/reveals/reluctant partners until it burnt out and they moved onto something else.

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After watching Bash 88 (the price for freedom!)… which major cards have had the most screwings of babyfaces?

Bash 88 had 5 matches. Opener where Sting had the Scorpion applied only for it to be a time limit draw, MX winning the titles with a chain shot, the babyfaces winning the Tower of Doom (and rescuing Precious), Dusty losing after Ron Garvin turned heel on him, and Lugar losing due to blood while he had Flair in the Rack despite not really bleeding because Maryland Commission angle.

So that’s 4 for 5.

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5 hours ago, Cobra Commander said:

After watching Bash 88 (the price for freedom!)… which major cards have had the most screwings of babyfaces?

Bash 88 had 5 matches. Opener where Sting had the Scorpion applied only for it to be a time limit draw, MX winning the titles with a chain shot, the babyfaces winning the Tower of Doom (and rescuing Precious), Dusty losing after Ron Garvin turned heel on him, and Lugar losing due to blood while he had Flair in the Rack despite not really bleeding because Maryland Commission angle.

So that’s 4 for 5.

Garvin getting a monster face pop for knocking out Dusty is one of my favorite moments. Bonus points for Windham being a complete dick by still putting The Claw on an unconscious Rhodes anyway.

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I'm in that year-end mode of re-listening to albums I enjoyed throughout the year and giving a better listen to ones I missed.  Funny that I've caught a couple pro wrestling references in fairly small indie releases.

There's a song on MJ Lenderman's excellent Boat Songs, called "TLC Cagematch".  Also, the song "See You Better Now" off of Wild Pink's ILYSM (one of my favorites of the year) starts with a line about tracing the WWF logo with a sharpie on the tv screen.

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17 minutes ago, Infinit said:

PWI called Kylie Rae a "former AEW star" when reporting on her WWE PC tryout. Did she ever even wrestle a match in AEW? 

Yes, she was on the very first AEW show, 19's Double or Nothing in a four way against Britt Baker D.M.D, Amazing Kong and Nyla Rose.

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1 hour ago, notoriusvig said:

Is this a good place to ask for recommendations on good Buzz Sawyer matches besides his stuff with Duggan in Mid-South in 85?

Butch Reed and Buzz Sawyer walloping each other with a chain is good:

 

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10 hours ago, Shartnado said:

@SirSmellingtonofCascadia I saw a picture in PWI in '96 where Jarrett was facing Ricky Morton during this run. I wonder if that match is on Nitro or syndication? That sounds interesting.

It was a short, but decent TV match. 

3 minutes ago, S.K.o.S. said:

As far as good Jarrett matches in WCW, I remember the Nitro match where he won the US title from Malenko being good.

I'm looking forward to seeing that again; Eddy's still champ at the point I'm at. 

Eddy was booked almost as an afterthought during his reign, which is too bad because Syxx went all out to put him over in their ladder match. Syxx is out here busting his ass when he's in the ring, but he's almost never in the ring. 

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