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June 2023 Wrestling Discussion


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So, what is a greater crime against Wrestling Logic:

  1. Every Will Ospreay opponent deeply studying their Will Ospreay footage so that they know precisely when and how to duck and dodge , or
  2. No Tyler Bate opponent ever having watched a Tyler Bate match, and thus not knowing that when he lifts his fist in the air, the one thing you shouldn't do is stand right in from of him with your guard down?

Or something else?

Punching the jabroni Hulk Hogan when he starts convulsing like he's having a seizure.

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I'm a crotchety old man, a little beered up from watching the US Open all day so I just want to bitch about wrestling.

Wrestling tickets have gotten way too expensive. Hundreds of dollars including $300 at the ECW Arena. Unbelievable.

After 50 years of watching wrestling, my brain can't remember one more name for another move. They are all jumping knee, suplex, piledriver to me.

Local shows aren't in gymnasiums anymore. I like bleachers.

Speaking of no more bleachers, down in front!

 

A certain podcast did a segment this week about how much ticket prices were in Mid South back in 1984.

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Having just watched a Nitro episode, I'd like to submit people trying to crossbody Scott Hall on a rope run as a no-hoper. Doing that is just asking to eat a fallaway slam. 

On the reverse side of this, having just watched him do it again versus Owen Hart meaning Owen got two matches out of this, has anyone ever figured out what in the entire fuck Chris Hamrick is attempting that would send him shooting through the ropes like he's going down a long waterslide? 

When Manami Toyota has done that same bump in Japan when she was younger, you can at least say she was going for a front dropkick. They don't really do that type of dropkick in the US. Is he trying to flying body scissors someone? It's an amazing bump, but it's totally illogical.

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"Brett Favre? Brett Favre was bumming money for gas when I was selling out the world. Brett Favre was freeloading off my good name. The government is only going after me and my family because we're rich and we're famous and they're jealous. I could buy and sell every one of those Mississippi redneck politicians but they're not worth my money. They should feel honored that I own land in their stinking worthless state. I should have moved to Florida like every other wrestler years ago because they know how to treat people in Florida. I will make sure the case will go away faster than college educated people leaving Mississippi. Everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

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Vince ate steroids out a Pez dispenser with his own head on it on the daily so he could shame anybody on the roster who wasn't as ripped as him. Same with the absurd talent he had with cutting a promo, same with his bumps and blades and everything else. He realized that it was an invaluable authoritive component in being able to convince talent to follow his booking and writing - and a major reason why his creative authority waned when he was no longer an on-screen performer. Vince being one of the five or ten most engaging on-screen performers in the company at any time post-Montreal pre-Benoit was an essential aspect to his success and I don't think it gets examined enough.

All absolutely true.

I think the reason it doesn't get looked at enough is because the 'Heel Authority Figure' became such a horrible trope for years and years afterwards without considering WHY Vince was so perfect in that role.

The real life owner, who really screwed the face of a generation in Bret, who was then 'out to get' the next guy the fans had anointed (Austin) was a god damn perfect arc.

I've said it before; Screwing Bret won Vince the 'War' with WCW. It's the single biggest catalyst in kicking off the Attitude Era, launching Austin which then launches Rock, who took Foley with him so that Foley could put over Triple H who is now THE guy in professional wrestling.

NONE of this happens without Vince screwing Bret and that single, kayfabe shattering, moment is why Vince worked as a heel boss while Bischoff, JBL, Regal, Steph etc  all felt less than.

Edited by L_W_P
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Everybody here probably has their version of what "won" the war, but IMO it starts before the screwjob. Why? Look at the momentum they start to build after Shawn loses his smile. That Final Four match in Chattanooga basically gave WWF/E the excuse to do multiple man matches for a title for the next 25 years. It was that great. You get the screwjob cage angle with Bret while he goes batshit insane to end the show (Sid's "I DON'T KNOW SHIT" still gets me). Shortly after that, they change the set, intro, and presentation for Raw that they would use for the next 3-4 years with slightly different variations that would become synonymous with the Attitude era. You get the double turn with Bret and Austin. You get the reformation of the Hart Foundation. The seeds get planted for the Kane character. We get the start of the super push with Hunter. It becomes clear Rocky Maivia isn't working as character, and he gets injured and basically in limbo. Austin is progressively getting more over by the show because the Hart Foundation stuff is gold and allows him to be a crazy rebel without an attitude. Shawn Michaels "miraculously" gets better and comes back with some edge that he didn't have before cause it's clear in some TV appearances he may be under the influence.

By the middle of 1997, it's starting to feel like a completely different company from six months ago where you had the goofy Billy Gunn neck injury angle and zombie shell of himself Terry Gordy slowly lumbering around as the Executioner. There is no more fake Razor and Diesel. There is less occupational gimmicks. There is still some remnants of the New Generation but you can tell that's being phased out. The energy surrounding their shows starts to feel different. Take for example the flag match with the top babyfaces/tweeners vs. the Hart Foundation on Raw around that time. The heat for that match is insane, and it's a goddamn throwaway match. However, it feels like it's the most important match for that time and place in wrestling. Somehow, that gets topped by the match at Canadian Stampede. So going into SummerSlam, the whole complex storyline web with Bret and the Hart Foundation, Taker, Shawn, Austin, Mankind/Dude Love, and some peripheral characters thrown in has garnered enough interest to carry the company into the last quarter of the year and going into next year. That's not even counting the crazy behind the scenes drama that's molding a lot of those decisions. It would turn out that from Summerslam to the end of the year would add a bunch of kerosene to that already smoldering fire. They're doing a bunch of small things that usually fly way under the radar with perfect execution.

I know WCW was still kicking their ass, but if I was Bischoff, I would have been nervous as fuck. After being behind for so long, WWF has finally become faintly visible in that rear view mirror again. That should have gotten his attention.

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I'm a crotchety old man, a little beered up from watching the US Open all day so I just want to bitch about wrestling.

Wrestling tickets have gotten way too expensive. Hundreds of dollars including $300 at the ECW Arena. Unbelievable.

After 50 years of watching wrestling, my brain can't remember one more name for another move. They are all jumping knee, suplex, piledriver to me.

Local shows aren't in gymnasiums anymore. I like bleachers.

Speaking of no more bleachers, down in front!

 

It's not just a wrestling thing, but a live event at any decent sized venue thing in general. Most concerts I go to are in smaller clubs that I just pay cash at the door, but any time in the past few years I've gone to something larger that Ticketmaster/Livenation had a hand in, I got fucked in the wallet sans lubrication.

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Those two guest referee angles mentioned earlier are really weird in terms of the vague execution/why, but also that they really went nowhere.

Why was Ventura allowed to be the special guest referee? Was there anything really furthered as far as his previous association with Savage? Were they going to turn Ventura face against Dibiase here?

You bring Perfect back as a guest referee leveraging off an angle featuring a guy who is now the competition's biggest babyface. He calls it right down the middle, nothing really happens from it, at a stretch you could say he turned face enough to start the HHH program. Given they needed a last minute guy for the main event after Warrior gets fired a month later, Perfect would have made sense more than Sid? 

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looking at HistoryOfWWE

WWF Superstars, 7/23/88 – included Craig DeGeorge conducting an interview with Ted Dibiase, Virgil, Andre the Giant, & Bobby Heenan where they accepted Randy Savage’s offer for a tag team match, with DeGeorge announcing Jesse Ventura had been selected to be the guest referee

Wrestling Challenge, 8/21/88 – featured the Brother Love Show in which Ted Dibiase & Andre the Giant attempted to bribe guest referee Jesse Ventura prior to the Summer Slam main event, with Dibiase placing several $100 bills inside Ventura’s pocket

Wrestling Challenge, 8/28/88 – included Andre the Giant, Ted Dibiase, Bobby Heenan, & Virgil as guests of the Brother Love Show where they discussed their involvement at Summer Slam; featured a ‘Special Report’ segment which included comments from Jesse Ventura, with Ventura saying he would take money from anyone, in reference to last week’s Brother Love Show, and that there would be a winning team at Summer Slam and that would be the real payoff

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If you're going to bribe an official, wouldn't you do it behind closed doors? There is a difference between brazen and stupid. I mean they can just appoint another official.

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I wonder if Hunter was relieved when Shawn retired after WM14. I know at that point in his career it was beneficial politically to be so closely associated with the top guy those first few years. He was even in the booking meetings at that point right? At the same time, by Shawn being gone atleast some of the heat Shawn had would stop being transferred over

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On 6/15/2023 at 10:06 PM, Ziggy said:

I wonder if Hunter was relieved when Shawn retired after WM14. I know at that point in his career it was beneficial politically to be so closely associated with the top guy those first few years. He was even in the booking meetings at that point right? At the same time, by Shawn being gone atleast some of the heat Shawn had would stop being transferred over

I dunno if relieved is the right word just because the natural progression was Shawn vs. Hunter at some point. I could see it being a thing where the PPV after Mania 14 is a Austin vs. Shawn rematch with them solidifying Austin as the top guy. Then, the addition of X-Pac along with the New Age Outlaws pretty much begins the tension of the rising star (Triple H) and the fading star (Michaels). You get DX turning on Shawn and you get Hunter vs. Shawn at SummerSlam 98.

I think the guy most relieved is the Rock, which probably points to the real life heat between the two (Rock and Shawn Michaels). Shawn having his issues opens up a path for Rock to get elevated in a way they probably weren't initially planning before 1999. Like I said, Hunter was getting pushed something fierce by mid 1997. Meanwhile, Rock was getting something going a few months into his Nation run by later that year. However, it really gets going once the split with Farooq starts to firmly develop. You can start to see it begin clicking show after show with The Rock.

Once Shawn is out of the picture, the fight for the number 2 slot behind Austin is between Rock and Hunter. Then, along the way, Hunter gets injured. Thus, there is no one to impede Rock's progress.

 

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Everybody here probably has their version of what "won" the war, but IMO it starts before the screwjob. Why? Look at the momentum they start to build after Shawn loses his smile. That Final Four match in Chattanooga basically gave WWF/E the excuse to do multiple man matches for a title for the next 25 years. It was that great. You get the screwjob cage angle with Bret while he goes batshit insane to end the show (Sid's "I DON'T KNOW SHIT" still gets me). Shortly after that, they change the set, intro, and presentation for Raw that they would use for the next 3-4 years with slightly different variations that would become synonymous with the Attitude era. You get the double turn with Bret and Austin. You get the reformation of the Hart Foundation.

I think this is an unpopular take on DVDVR but while I think the Hart Foundation returning helped a lot as it allowed Stone Cold to turn face and raise hell... they don't catch fire if Bret stays. The US/Canada angle had some hot Canadian crowds but I don't recall anyone I talked to at the time really thinking it was good (Canada really isn't our hated rival?), like if the options are watching the NWO angle or the US/Canada stuff WCW was gonna stay on top. The Hart Foundation sticking around just long enough to help heat up Austin (and sadly long enough to break his neck >_>) and then basically getting removed from the playing field for the much more universally appealing "man of the people wants to beat up his asshole boss" angle is probably the 1-2 punch that did it.

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Shawn & Hunter is actually a fascinating personality study.

I'm sure Hunter wasn't perfectly behaved but to see the path Shawn was going down, the path Nash started going down, the path Waltman DID go down and then how badly Hall ended up, for Hunter to essentially be the 'Straight Edge, designated driver, goody two shoes' of the Kliq feels... bizarre.

Hunter is the guy that would be learning TV, sitting in gorilla, going to meetings etc and learning all he could. Then these four are hitting clubs, drinking, drugging etc Totally oil and water.

EDIT: And now I can't help but wonder if Hunter was actually hooking in with these guys purely for the political clout... This entire friendship might have been built on the foundation of "I need to get in with this guy to help my career" rather than any genuine connection. I'm sure that a genuine bond formed over time but, on the surface, this now looks like a straight up power play from Hunter to make sure he got to the top of the card as quickly as possible.

I feel like if Shawn didn't have that break to heal up and find Jesus then there might have ended up being a pretty serious split at some point.

No way Hunter can get pushed so hard in 99/00, while also making a move on Steph, with drugged up HBK hanging around the upper midcard and going to parties after every other show.

Edited by L_W_P
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I think this is an unpopular take on DVDVR but while I think the Hart Foundation returning helped a lot as it allowed Stone Cold to turn face and raise hell... they don't catch fire if Bret stays. The US/Canada angle had some hot Canadian crowds but I don't recall anyone I talked to at the time really thinking it was good (Canada really isn't our hated rival?), like if the options are watching the NWO angle or the US/Canada stuff WCW was gonna stay on top. The Hart Foundation sticking around just long enough to help heat up Austin (and sadly long enough to break his neck >_>) and then basically getting removed from the playing field for the much more universally appealing "man of the people wants to beat up his asshole boss" angle is probably the 1-2 punch that did it.

They well on their way with or without Bret. That's the God's honest truth. 

And I don't think it was a case of whose main event angle was better than the other cause the NWO stuff started to rot right around the time Bret and Shawn was coming to a head. Before Starrcade 1997, there was a lot of killing of time and running in place just so they can get to Hogan vs. Sting. I think folks were willing to settle for the garbage that was the three or so months of a hogwash before Starrcade 97 just for the payoff of Sting convincingly beating Hogan. Then....they fucked the payoff up. On the WCW side, they truly opened up the door cause now you pissed off the fans and then they slowly let the air out of their own tires.

There are a few things here and there that don't repel the fans (Goldberg, the Wolfpac, some of the guys working hard on the undercard like Booker T, Jericho, Guerrero, etc.) but it's not the same mojo they had setting up what looked to be the ultimate payoff for the entire NWO angle going back to May of 1996. It's a mess they cannot get out of.

On the flip side, WWF was going to do Austin vs. McMahon no matter what. Vince had already been a character months prior to Montréal. Did the Bret screw job accelerate it? Yeah, but Austin was getting pushed heavily by the end of 1996. He main events two PPVs in a row right after losing to Bret in Chicago at WrestleMania 13. The Austin train was pulling into the station and no one could do anything about it short of an injury.

The US vs. Canada stuff had more investment from the fans than almost anything they did the prior year (to the point during the flag match and other ones were the goddamn hard cam is shaking) when they were in the doldrums. However, it's just one piece of a very big puzzle they were putting together: how to turn the wrestling war around.

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Hunter was doing the same thing by carrying Ricky Steamboat's bags in WCW, but then Steamboat abruptly retired

or Bonnie Steamboat threatened him (Ricky) with castration.

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19 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

 You get the screwjob cage angle with Bret while he goes batshit insane to end the show (Sid's "I DON'T KNOW SHIT" still gets me).

 

 

I've always felt that was the catalyst. It was the first one titled Raw is War with Marilyn Manson music and guys walking through some dystopian wasteland looking more like superheroes than wrestling clips set to WWF-created music. The main event was kind of something never seen before in American pro wrestling: with Bret going on a very non-babyface, profanity-laden tirade against Vince McMahon (One of the earlier onscreen revelations that he was the actual owner and not just some goofy announcer, as I had  believed for many years) while JR apologizes repeatedly while the ring crew disassembles the cage felt so much like "Did they forget the cameras were rolling? I know wrestling is fake but this feels really REAL" moments.

Like you hear often about the early days of the NWO that people were calling 911 talking about these guys attacking WCW wrestlers for real because it was treated so differently and this was one of the first times WWF felt that way. Plus the booking in that main event was incredible: a week before WM, you put on a match that completely could impact your main event, and the dynamics of Steve Austin trying to help his bitter rival a week before WM because doing so would give him a world title match is the kind of real-world logic that you almost never see in WWE. Then Undertaker has to come down and help his WM opponent to presever their Title match. They basically set up a year's worth of feuds a week before WM. About the only lowlight is Shawn's appearance as he didn't seem to know what he was doing, just meandered around and at one point tries to pick up a section of pipe for some reason. They should have had him get in someone (even Vince's) face to sow seeds of whether he'd get involved in one of the main events.

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Shrewdest move HHH made was marrying the billionaire boss’s daughter.

Signing Hogan helped elevate WCW but long term was what led to their death and the resurrection of WWE. Guys like Austin and Foley (and Pillman for proto-Attitude era) saw their ceiling and all the politics and bailed, using ECW as a springboard. Then Regal. Then Paul Wight, Chris Jericho, and The Radicalz. Just handing tons of young talent to the competition, in exchange for bitter, toxic guys.

Meanwhile you’re alienating your old-school fans with shitty treatment of Flair and AA, and then you completely fuck-up the payoff of 18-months of angle building.

Edited by JLowe
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You're taking that if you're not just Bischoff but anyone in that position though.

"Sign Hogan, turn a dying promotion around, save your career, be the number one promotion for three years, dead in seven, have a chance to own it outright that slips out of your fingers at the last hour"

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2 hours ago, JLowe said:

Shrewdest move HHH made was marrying the billionaire boss’s daughter.

Signing Hogan helped elevate WCW but long term was what led to their death and the resurrection of WWE. Guys like Austin and Foley (and Pillman for proto-Attitude era) saw their ceiling and all the politics and bailed, using ECW as a springboard. Then Regal. Then Paul Wight, Chris Jericho, and The Radicalz. Just handing tons of young talent to the competition, in exchange for bitter, toxic guys.

Meanwhile you’re alienating your old-school fans with shitty treatment of Flair and AA, and then you completely fuck-up the payoff of 18-months of angle building.

Maybe it's because I just watched it, after watching all eighteen months of buildup besides, but Starrcade '97 might be the worst-booked, worst-executed card in the history of U.S. pro wrestling in the context of its importance and the stakes involved. It's a nearly complete botch on almost every level. I really don't think I'm being hyperbolic.

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3 hours ago, JLowe said:

... Just handing tons of young talent to the competition, in exchange for bitter, toxic guys.

Meanwhile you’re alienating your old-school fans with shitty treatment of (wrestlers the promotion was built around), and then you completely fuck-up the payoff of 18-months of angle building.

Lord help me tor thinking this, but that sounds SO MUCH like the worst-case possible outcome of Punk returning to AEW 😱

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