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Storm was doing the fun loving gimmick with Val Venis, but I think he retired in April of 04 to start his wrestling school so he may not have been willing to stick around for the part. 

 

Honestly, Lance Cade or Mark Jindrak would've been better than Orlando Jordan. It would've also been a decent slot for Maven. Jordan was honestly one of the WORST choices for that role. 

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Storm was doing the fun loving gimmick with Val Venis, but I think he retired in April of 04 to start his wrestling school so he may not have been willing to stick around for the part. 

 

Honestly, Lance Cade or Mark Jindrak would've been better than Orlando Jordan. It would've also been a decent slot for Maven. Jordan was honestly one of the WORST choices for that role. 

 

Yeah, notice how I said, "anything of note". You're right though, I think he was retired or about to retire at that point. He might've been persuaded to stick around if they threw some more money at him.

 

Maven would've been a good choice. He was starting to come into his own a bit around then. Aligning him with JBL would've been a good way to get that Tough Enough stink off of him. He was way better than Jordan. He could at least throw a decent dropkick.

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Just watched the full version of Survivor Series 98. Such a weird PPV. Commentary is nigh on silent for the majority of the PPV. Just feels like there's no atmosphere at all.

 

Watching Tuesday In Texas. I wish they'd paired Sherri up with Roberts around this time.

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One of the few criticisms you have about Rumble 92, is how much of an afterthought Taker is at this point having just had the title a few weeks earlier, gets eliminated early enough by Hogan and its barely a big deal at all.

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Just skimming around the Black History Month stuff they uploaded to figure out prioritizing of later viewings, a few interesting curiosities:

 

1. I love the promo at the start of the studio episode of Worldwide Wrestling where Steamboat, Wahoo, and Jack Brisco surprise Jimmy Valiant with a new boombox after Jos LeDuc wrecked his old one the week before. Nice little feel-good moment to start the show.

 

2. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the GWF episode is definitely after their initial promising run to start the fed died down. The opening segment is a clip from last week where a match ended after a team was disqualified for spraying their opponents with a Super Soaker.

 

3. REALLY Random: the episode of WWF Championship Wrestling from 1983 doesn't have an actual Championship Wrestling intro, but the intro for "Global Wrestling" (repackaged Championship Wrestling From Florida) with clips of Dusty and Flair. I'm wondering if the source tape was maybe one they sent to a station where they took over the timeslot with WWF programming and the station sent them the "Global Wrestling" intro to transition the branding? I found that one really interesting.

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Loving the black history month subsection so far. Going through the Ernie Ladd HoF show right now. I could listen to him promo all day.

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I saw Kris tweet they played a Thunderbolt promo from 1977 gcw

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Some pretty cool stuff uploaded for Black History Month...Mid South 209 also has Duggan/Dibiase as the main event and MACW 546 has The Brisco Brothers vs Steamboat & Youngblood. Can't wait to check out more!

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This Main Event ep I'm watching has a Jimmy Garvin/Jushin Liger match. That's different.

Also, the MVC and Matt Bourne beating the hell out of each other (while Bagwell does his best to stay out of the way).

Simmons/Vader is up next.

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The kid jumping up and down on the rail when Simmons wins is pro wrestling.

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Kind of surprised the whole Ron Simmons feature is only two minutes and change. Is the match where he beats Vader anywhere on the Network? I searched, but could not find.

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Also, I really dug Cena vs. Angle. So Cena is U.S. champ rapping Cena here and he sells like a motherfucker. Always has but there was more to his comeback than just a simple HULK UP FUCK YOU. He won and continued to sell. You don't see that from him a lot anymore. I also liked that Angle begins the match by outwrestling Cena and Cena says "fuck this" and just takes it to the streets. His white rapper gimmick was so good. This is worlds different than when he was The Marine and outwrestling Iraqi sympathizer Kurt Angle.

Was this from No Mercy 2003?  I was there for that and the crowd really loved Cena.  It was clearly divided and loud as hell.  Pretty great match from what I remember, need to go back and watch it.  I should check out more from 2003-2004.  Lots of good memories watching this with friends, even if WWE wasn't at its best.  I'd be curious about another brand split as the talent now might have a better chance of making this work.

 

Didn't know they had a Black History section.  You'd think they'd promote that or something.  Sounds like some damn good content.

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Kind of surprised the whole Ron Simmons feature is only two minutes and change. Is the match where he beats Vader anywhere on the Network? I searched, but could not find.

It's actually in the episode of Main Event I referenced above. I think it's labeled as Main Event 620 and is part of the Black History Month subsection.

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Rufus R. Jones was apparently terrible at everything.  Ric Flair on more than one occasion has called him the worst wrestler he ever had to go 60 minutes with.

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To be fair, Rufus was about 50 by the time Flair had the title and was working with him.

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THE RHODES BOYS VS. THE SHIELD, BATTLEGROUND 2013:

This match is pretty much pro wrestling perfection. The set-up of this feud was perfect. The Authority at their most petty tormented The Rhodes Family, who lost their jobs and were constantly humiliated. They got revenge, leading to this match. If The Rhodes Boys win, they get their jobs back. But to do so requires them to defeat The Shield, the unstoppable hired guns of The Authority.

This starts with an all-time great promo. Dusty and his two boys are backstage. Dusty pays homage to his legendary HARD TIMES promo. Goldust does his bit. And then Cody hits a  high water mark for his career, talking up the importance of his imperfect family. He mentions how he doesn't have the charisma of his daddy or the talent of his brother. But he has the spitfire of his mother and he's taking it to The Shield. It's absolutely spine-tingling work from one of the most underrated guys in the WWE.

The Rhodes Boys entrance is just epic. It's a tad down from CM Punk in Chicago but still just so, so, so great. Dusty leads his boys out to "Ammmmerrriicaannn Dreeeaaaam" and they stand at the top of the ramp and just stare down The Shield for a bit until egging on the fans. It's simple but just great and what storytelling is about -- This is an important match, and they know it, and they want the fans to know this, too.

The match itself is simple but perfect. There's two heat segments (one on Cody, one on Dusty) and so much great work all around. Dean's at ringside doing some great Cobra Kai hencman shit-talk. Roman's such a great heel jock douche. Rollins is spectacular. And Dusty and Cody play their parts fabulously, too.

The end of this is great. Dean gets involved and Dusty stands up to him. Dean tries to intimidate Dusty but eats a Bionic Elbow. Dean cowardly crawls away. Roman's about to backjump Dusty, but Dustin saves him. Rollins nearly steals a roll-up off of Cody who survives but then hits a beautiful Cross Rhodes for the 1-2-3.

This is an A+ match. It's a great payoff to a wonderful story. The Authority stuff told the tale about how hard it is to remain true to yourself in a world increasingly controlled by those who fit the corporate image. This side plot showed how family matters more than any of that, and the strength of your bonds to the family could overcome any odds.

Perfect pro wrestling.

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To be fair, Rufus was about 50 by the time Flair had the title and was working with him.

 

In fairness, if you're 50 and don't have it anymore, you shouldn't make someone else carry you for sixty minutes to confirm it.

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Probably was not his call and he had to make money.

 

Okay, I'll bow out of this.  What I've seen of Rufus is that he wasn't very good and many others had said has much. I haven't seen nearly enough of him in his prime to argue anything.  Indeed, maybe back in the day he was amazing. 

 

This thread did encourage me to seek out the Simmons title win and it amazes me how my brain works:  I couldn't tell you what I had for lunch two days ago, but before the show even started, I KNEW that the Main Event open would feature the Western States title in the opening montage.  A title that had been abandoned three years prior.  But Goddamn it, they paid for the animation, they damn sure were going to use it...

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I doubt he was ever good but he was a draw and even Flair said he was a good guy.

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Not really Network related (and my sub doesn't expire until the 24th, nit pickers) but that story in Flair's book about Rufus passed out on the hood of his car is hilarious. I can't quite remember how it goes so I won't do it justice, but I'm sure it's online somewhere.

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Vader's first RAW, early '96, he has such a great segment. I was thirteen when it happened, and it's still cool today. He has that fun squash with Savio Vega, and then the aftermath where he kills refs, gets suspended, and then crushes Gorilla Monsoon is GREAT television. The crowd is fantastic during this whole segment, too. It's a shame that Vader never really got an extended chance to shine at the top level, though there wasn't necessarily much room for him in retrospect

 

Vader had a very underrated WWF career, actually. His work in the Final Four match and his match against Goldust at RR '98 are two of my favorites ever.

 

Speaking of the latter, I'm not looking forward to some of the really cringe-worthy stuff with Goldust that I didn't bat an eyelash at as a kid. They put up a '96 RAW with Warrior right after he passed, and it was a terrible look for him since he cut a super-gay-bashy promo on 'Dust. Stuff like that will be really awful to watch in retrospect. 

 

EDIT: Also, McMahon making fun of Ted Turner being diagnosed with Bipolar II in these fucking whiny and awful Billionaire Ted skits ("Jane, where's my lithium") is totally shitty. Vince can go fuck himself. 

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Vader's first RAW, early '96, he has such a great segment. I was thirteen when it happened, and it's still cool today. He has that fun squash with Savio Vega, and then the aftermath where he kills refs, gets suspended, and then crushes Gorilla Monsoon is GREAT television. The crowd is fantastic during this whole segment, too.

 

I love how Monsoon got a crowd pop just for taking off his eyeglasses. When he starts chopping Vader, the crowd goes even more crazy.

 

During that brief Bobby Heenan MSG house show face turn angle vs. Mr. Fuji in 1991, can you imagine the reaction if Monsoon had saved Heenan? 

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