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Thoughts on SuperBrawl VII

Tony Schiavone mentioned that Hogan vs. Piper was a title match twice in his opening sentence. Piper spent the previous week in Alcatraz Prison because, you know, he needed to be crazier.

WCW wisely let the luchadores compete in six-man matches, which got more of them on the show and always led to fun matches, even when someone whiffed on a big dive (I've got my eye on YOU, Ciclope).

Eddy Guerrero failed to stop Syyyyxxyxx from using the cruiserweight title as a weapon, leading to Dean Malenko losing the belt. To his credit, the Iceman did not return the favor in Eddy's US title match against Chris Jericho. And now, a quick excerpt from my yes-it's-still-upcoming book, King of New York, about the Eddy-Y2J match at Insurrexion 2000: 

9. Coin flip title match: Intercontinental champion Chris Jericho vs. European champion Eddie Guerrero (with Chyna)

Chyna helped Eddie retain the European title. Less than a year into their WWF careers, Guerrero and Jericho were both champions and battling each other in the co-main event. WCW never gave them that spotlight.

Okay, so they were fighting for the US title here, but it was in the first half of the show, and there wasn't a smidgen of a chance that the winner would be challenging Hollywood for the World title anytime soon.

Prince Iaukea came in with the TV title and upset Rey Misterio Jr. This was just around the time that The Rock won his first championship in the WWF.

Diamond Dallas Page wasn't one to hang around and get beat down by the nWo. After he hit the Diamond cutter on Buff Bagwell, DDP bailed into the crowd before the troops caught up with him.

Jeff Jarrett became a member of the Four Horsemen after Debra McMichael threw the briefcase to him, causing her own husband to lose. She came out with a beauty-pageant sash, calling herself "Queen of THE WCW," which nobody in the company could seem to get right.

Chris Benoit tried to put in Kevin Sullivan through a table and Miss Jacqueline tried to protect Sullivan. The table didn't break and they all went to the hospital.

Lex Luger wasn't allowed to team up with the Giant against the Outsiders. But at the end of the match, he did just that and they won the tag team title. Of course, that title change was overturned as well.

Randy Savage "shockingly" turned against WCW and helped Hulk Hogan beat Roddy Piper to retain the World title. We were supposed to be confused as to Savage's allegiance because he was hanging out with Sting. But Savage was dressed in black and white with lightning bolts just like Hogan! He might as well have been wearing a robe that said "nWo Megapowers OOOOOH YEAAAHHHH!!!" Despite this lack of effective subterfuge, Macho Man is the MVP for moving another powerful chess piece to the nWo side.

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Well the Broken Skull Sessions has quickly run out of ideas for guests

Bully Ray will be on the next one

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17 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

Well the Broken Skull Sessions has quickly run out of ideas for guests

Bully Ray will be on the next one

Sounds like I'll be on to the next one as well.

#NoThanks

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Thoughts on Uncensored 97

NO-DQ MATCH - Only WCW would think that an opener between Eddy Guerrero and Dean Malenko would benefit from a lot of focus on the nWo. First, they cut backstage to see Rick Steiner go to the hospital after an attack by the nWo, who were standing right there acting like they only discovered the crime. Later, Syxxyx6xyx interfered, and Malenko won the US title by knocking out Eddy with the video camera. Dean didn't know it, but the camera he held in his hand may have contained footage of the attack on Steiner.

MARTIAL ARTS MATCH - Glacier beat Mortis with the Cryonic Kick in what should have just been called a Mortal Kombat match. Glacier was then attacked by another MK character (Wrath). Glacier thought, "maybe I need to even the odds by teaming up with a James Brown/Muhammad Ali/karate guy."

STRAP MATCH - Buff Bagwell came out and said he didn't care if he lost to Scotty Riggs, but Buff won anyway. Riggs came out to the American Males music, which is like going into divorce court with a boom box playing "our song." 

TORNADO MATCH - Instead of just "no tags necessary," Harlem Heat vs. Public Enemy predictably turned into an ECW brawl. Jarrett & Mongo, who were supposed to wrestle TPE before getting drafted onto Team Piper, interfered anyway, and Harlem Heat won.

Prince Iaukea foolishly gave Rey Misterio Jr. extra time to win the TV title, but then he heroically pinned Rey Jr. right in the middle of the ring.

THREE-TEAM MAIN EVENT -If Team Piper wins, Piper gets to fight Hogan in a steel cage. Nothing about it being a title match. Some people never learn.

Lex Luger wins the MVP award after facing the nWo 4-on-1, just like he did at World War 3. After eliminating Savage, Nash and Hall, Luger fell to the numbers game (including a half-asleep Dennis Rodman), and Hogan won yet again.

Tony Schiavone asked out loud, "Why doesn't anyone on WCW step into Rick Steiner's spot? If WCW wins, the nWo loses all of their titles and goes away for three years." But nobody showed up! It made everybody in the company look weak. Sting showed up after the match and beat up the nWo, but he was the only person who had no obligation to stand up for WCW. The company should have disbanded if nobody cared about it.

Here's what should have happened. The entire WCW locker room comes in at the end and throws out the nWo. Since there's no disqualifications and Eric Bischoff had been suspended, the decision stands. They could say Jack Boot was the fourth man. WCW gets the titles back and crowns new champions. The nWo hangs onto the physical belts, they get the three-year suspension cut to four months and have title unification matches at Halloween Havoc. Then you can still do Hogan-Sting at Starrcade. 

Edited by Gorman
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Thoughts on Spring Stampede 97

Only WCW would think that an opener between Rey Misterio Jr. and Ultimo Dragon would benefit from focusing on the nWo. We really needed to cut back to the dressing room to see Lee Marshall fail to get an interview with Kevin Nash?

Nash was supposed to defend the tag team title by himself against both Steiners. But since the nWo can never be at a disadvantage, Scott Steiner got maced and then arrested for accidentally hitting a police officer. Then Nash got Nick Patrick installed as referee, plus he had Syyxxyxyx and Ted DiBiase his corner.

Ric Flair said Kevin Greene would be teaming with him next month in Charlotte. This made no sense, since the last time Greene was in the ring, Mongo was turning against him and joining the Horsemen. Shouldn't Greene have been looking for revenge?

Booker T accidentally called Hulk Hogan the n-word, but the audio guy saved the day in post-production by dubbing in the "sucka" that Booker said one second earlier.

If you're going to bring a foreign object to the ring, shouldn't you have some kind of plan to use it? The Public Enemy beat Jarrett & Mongo by using the Horsemen's own Halliburton briefcase.

Giant was noble enough to give Lex Luger the chance to win the four-corners match with Booker and Stevie Ray. Luger had a ton of momentum and seemed to have the best chance to topple Hogan.

Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko is a great idea for a match, but how about FIVE run-ins? Jacqueline, Jimmy Hart, Eddy Guerrero, Arn Anderson and Kevin Sullivan were the participants in this parade. The upshot was Sullivan, Jackie and Hart forcing Eddy to steal the US title, which may have turned a light on in his head.

DiBiase helped (7-1) remove the turnbuckle pad, but Nash giving Rick Steiner FOUR Snake Eyes face drops into the exposed steel was a bridge too far for DiBiase and even for Nick Patrick, who reluctantly counted to three. 

Diamond Dallas Page earned the MVP award by stepping into the ring for the main event against Randy Savage at age 41 - win, lose or draw. But DDP won! This match had a ton of referee abuse. Poor Mark Curtis (who wrestled for us in Steel City Wrestling as a ninja turtle) took a vicious piledriver from Savage, who then whipped Curtis with his own belt. Then after Nick Patrick counted Savage down for a three-count, Nash gave Patrick a huge Jackknife powerbomb.

 

 

Edited by Gorman
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Damn, due to the sheer volume and quality of FITE.tv's AEW episodes I have fallen behind on the WWF Superstars (as well as NXT UK). Superstars episodes seem to reach the build up of Wrestlemania XI. We're talking debuts of Mantaur, Kama the Supreme Fighting Machine and Aldo Montoya here! Well, and Hakushi, too. This was considered among worst times of WWF television. It's going to be a treat to see how much more logical and fresh it seems compared to the shows we are (force)fed these days. That is, when I get around to do it.

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Thoughts on Slamboree 97

Sonny Ono took a page from Mr. Fuji's managerial playbook by turning against Ultimo Dragon while he was TV champion. This resulted in Steven Regal's fourth TV title, which sounds impressive but he really deserved to move up the ladder.

Lee Marshall was the WCW women's expert announcer, just like Mike Tenay was the special announcer for the Mexican and Japanese wrestlers.  Marshall helped to call Madusa's match with Luna Vachon, whose WCW run I completely forgot.

The Glacier-Mortis rematch didn't last two minutes before Wrath came in for the DQ. Fortunately, a charismatic, trash-talking karate guy (Ernest Miller) saved the day.

The Four Horsemen got off to a terrible start in Charlotte with two clean losses, as Jeff Jarrett lost to Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit lost to Meng in a death match. Steve McMichael broke the losing streak by beating Reggie White. Mongo tried to paint this as a win for the Bears over the Packers, but Mongo played with White on the Packers in 1994.

There's no shame in losing to the Steiners, but Konnan broke up with Hugh Morrus after the match. The same thing happened one year earlier with Fire & Ice. Konnan was never a good fit with the Dungeon of Doom anyway.

Ric Flair is the MVP for returning from a six-month absence to lead Roddy Piper and Kevin Greene to victory over Hall, Nash and S6yx.  Between this match and DDP's win over Savage one month earlier, it seemed like WCW was turning the tide against the nWo ... maybe? (Spoiler alert: Maybe not)

 

 

Edited by Gorman
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House to myself, so I figure I'll catch up on some stuff I've never watched before:

WWE ECW show #1 - 14/6/2006

- I say this as someone who never watched much of his run in Impact, but wow, did RVD just drop off the face of the earth in record time. Went from the most over guy in the company in late 2001, to just another guy by 2003, had to google what he did from Kane unmasking to beating Cena at ONS. Went to TNA and was super hot, then became just another guy. Went back to WWE, no-one cared and he had some absolute stinker matches. 

Guy who did the same thing for years. No character development, nothing new, just the same stuff week in, week out. I hope Riddle learns from this.

- Was there ever a guy that suffered as much with the loss of their theme song as the Sandman did? I don't think the Zombie angle gets shit on as badly if you have Enter Sandman playing. Some generic rock music hits. No-one knows how to react. Or realises Sandman's in the crowd for ages. 

- Kelly Kelly was a terrible promo. Even for Diva Search times. If I didn't know any better - it was dubbed in over the top? Having said that - realising she was 19 at the time and giving her the exhibitionist gimmick feels really exploitive even for professional wrestling.

- Jerry Lawler's 60 year old salami nipples have no place on TV and it's creepy as fuck. Stick to those fake Ed Hardy shirts pls.

- Kurt Angle just takes liberties with Justin Credible here, it's rough to watch. I think Credible gets fired a few months later. It's a strange rehiring outside of just getting as many ECW originals a pay day as possible.

- For all the flack the Zombie gets for killing the ECW show on the first outing, it doesn't hold a candle to the Big Show dominating effectively the majority of the ECW roster in a battle royale that may as well be a 9 on 1 handicap, and only losing by slipping on a banana peel.

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WCW Thunder Debut Episode - Jan 8 1998 

- Weird choice for an opener with Savage losing to Gentleman Chris Adams of all people (via Luger interference). The 1998 WCW roster was stacked, and they pick a guy who hadn't been featured prominently in any promotion for 8 years. It would be akin to AEW Rampage kicking off with Moxley losing to....Damien Sandow via screwy finish. Given the next segment features a lengthy Hogan promo, it feels like a petty snipe at Savage by Hogan.

- They really didn't lean into Louie Spiccoli being a dead ringer for Chris Farley ever. Instead, guy who looks like Mark Madden wrestles like he's The Sandman. Martel's a pro here. Spiccoli sells next to nothing for him, makes his Boston Crab look like shit, but Martel sells big time for Spicolli and makes him look as good as possible. Another pro voice for the forgotten and untimely cut off Martel comeback.

- Tenzan/Ohara gets no reaction whatsoever, save for Tenzan's diving headbutt finish. The context of this one escapes me.

- I forgot about the brief time Flair and Bret formed a tag team, only for Flair to leave the company temporarily. Weird little angle, but as much an admission of defeat that they had no idea what to do with Bret straight away.

- Fun Jericho/Flair match in the sense of someone who's grown up watching Flair matches and knows when and where his spots are without even hesitating. It was a sprint, and it didn't really tell a story that helped either guy - Flair taking umbrage to Bret being the best there is/was/ever will be, or Jericho slowly turning heel with his in-ring tantrums. 

- Meng vs Giant is a pretty cool spectacle. They're just laying into each other. Duelling hand raise taunts. Another sprint. I'd have liked to see these guys get ten minutes.

- Mongo vs Goldberg was.....everything you'd expect. The inability of Mongo to get his arm in the right place for the jackhammer was pretty funny. Everything else, well, you're just glad neither died/ended up a paraplegic. 

- Steiners vs Konnan and Bagwell was thereabouts, furthered the angle of dissention between the Steiners. Scott Steiner could have been a top guy so much sooner than they did, instead they took 2 years too long, by that point, the company was beyond saving, and Steiner's run at the top of the card was very good.

- Replay of Zybysko vs Bischoff from Starrcade and no idea why. Even less idea why they give Zybysko a promo after it, and it's an awful face promo that gets nothing from the crowd.

....why is this a 3 hour show and why was this considered a good idea? Two matches on the show already that got 5 minutes only, that could easily have done another 5-10, but they're really scratching the surface to fill the show instead..

- Scott Hall vs Ray Traylor happens and nothing really happens, just a lot of Hall getting distracted by Larry leading to a Bossman Slam for the win. Hall did a lot of unnecessary jobs around this time.

- How was Lee Marshall kept around as long as he was? He was terrible. Like sub-unpopular radio station graveyard shift DJ bad. Clearly had nothing to add from a wrestling perspective. Was someone at Turner a massive mark for Tony the Tiger?

- Juventud wins the cruiserweight title off the Ultimo Dragon in a very ehh match. Two guys who just didn't mesh. Crowd were already dead this late into an unnecessary long show. Commentators clearly uninterested (Heenan constantly referring to the Ultimate Dragon and Juventud Guerrero). 

- Bret and Flair confrontation in ring. Repeating and stumbling over the same lines over and over again. Flair asking Bret to say his catchphrase over and over again, feigning insult from it, but never doing anything about it. Kick him in the dick already. Was there some issue with Bret not being allowed to do anything physical when he debuted (hence him guest refereeing a lot) until the Souled Out match? That might explain this, but it was a trainwreck of a segment.

- Scott Norton vs Lex Luger and his basic cable coming up next sting entrance music. Scott Norton was underused. Aside from that angle where the Cat was running scared from him week after week, did they ever do anything interesting with Scott Norton? Luger kicked out of his shoulderbreaker finish and pops straight up to rack him. I wish Norton was still active now, so you could have an anti-vaxxer gimmick telling everyone he's immune to COVID as he's got Norton Anti Virus, and introduces Scott Norton as his bodyguard.

- Replay of the fucked finish to Sting/Hogan. My favourite part of the locker room emptying is the super evil, very dark Wrath and Mortis looking super happy and pumped that Sting just prevailed. Actually scrap that - I never realised that after fucking up the finish THAT BADLY at Starrcade, they then did it again the next night on Nitro, with Hogan hitting him with brass knucks and pinning him. I mean, the PPV finish is one thing to fuck your PPV market over. The Nitro one just kills your top babyface off.

- Nash vs DDP main events this awful show. 3 hour RAWs are forgiven - this is far worse. Fuck finish with Hogan running in for the DQ and Giant making the save. I'm not sure which show was more doomed from the start-  Thunder or WWEECW?

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Thoughts on Great American Bash 97

Sonny Ono kicked his own guy in the head again, but this time it was an accident. Psicosis lost, as Sonny failed to extract some "respect" from Ultimo Dragon.

The Outsiders screwed the Steiners out of the tag team titles again ... before they could even have a match! They sent Vincent to attack Harlem Heat, getting the Steiners disqualified from a No. 1 contenders match.

Konnan and Hugh Morrus blew up and lost the crowd. Neither man had Jimmy Hart in their corner, so the crowd wasn't sure who was supposed to be the babyface.

Glacier beat Wrath after botched interference from Mortis, who was handcuffed to the turnbuckle. James Vandenburg was pickpocketing the referee to get the key to unlock Mortis, causing the ref to miss Glacier using a chain to hit Wrath. Team Count Chocula attacked Glacier after the match, but unfortunately he did not have a gi-wearing, James Brown-dancing karate champion to help him this time.

I kept waiting for Madusa to beat Akira Hokuto, but it never happened. For winning three PPV title matches over Madusa and ending her career, Hokuto is the MVP.

Why did Meng have to fight Chris Benoit in another death match after beating him one month earlier? Why did Benoit have to get through Barbarian and Meng to get another match with Kevin Sullivan when their restroom brawl was one year earlier?

Speaking of one year earlier, Kevin Greene finally got revenge on Steve McMichael, who turned on him at GAB 96. Greene's mom even bopped Mongo with her purse. It was still weird that Greene teamed with Mongo's Horsemen teammate Ric Flair on the last pay-per-view.

The nWo got revenge for the previous two PPVs, as Savage beat DDP and the Outsiders beat Piper and Flair. The Nature Boy totally forgot that he was in a tag team match, as he battled SyxyxxyyxPac back to the locker room and never returned. Nine years later, WWE fans voted for Piper to team with Flair again, and they beat the Spirit Squad for the WWE tag team belts.

Savage delivered another Ref-Driver, this time to hometown referee Mickey Jay. Of course, everything was legal in this lights-out match, and give WCW credit for actually turning the lights out before the match!

Edited by Gorman
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TF_Y1iGPss&t=11s or https://watch.wwe.com/episode/Superstars-169818

This is such an underrated match for a number of reasons - I assume first and foremost because as far as Bret having great matches on throwaway shows in 1994 go, his match with the Kid gets a lot more coverage. To a lesser extent, their later matches weren't that great either.

I love how within minutes, by virtue of completely dominating Bret on the mat, they establish Backlund, who'd been a complete nothing since his return, as a credible contender again. I love that despite this being at the tailend of a marathon TV taping, the crowd are really into it.

It's great how Bret beats him on a fluke pin, and then just gets absolutely destroyed with the chicken-wing by Backlund, who never used it in the match. You already know that Backlund was a superior mat wrestler in the match, then he pulls out this murder-submission that he couldn't bring himself to use in their match and wipes the floor with him.

My biggest gripe with it is that it airs maybe a week or two before Summerslam '94 and Bret barely sells it, nor do the commentators really reference it either. This is a hidden gem though, it's pretty cool to see as it's so out of place in 1994 WWF.

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Thoughts on Bash at the Beach 97

Ernest Miller seemed out of place in the Mortal Kombat feud, because he wasn't wearing an MK costume or called something like "Cataclysm." Eric Bischoff must have thought Miller was too big of a star from the karate world. 

The Steiners took another baby step toward the tag team title by beating Chono and Muta. Give the nWo credit for recruiting two of the biggest stars in Japan for its overseas branch.

Villano V came down for the switcheroo with his big brother and quickly lost the match. The referee didn't notice the Roman numeral V on his trunks, which he could have easily changed to IV with a piece of masking tape.

Kevin Sullivan lost a career vs. career match to Chris Benoit, but it was anticlimactic because Jacquelyn did the damage with a wooden chair. Sullivan was supposed to walk off a hero in his hometown of Daytona Beach by shoving Jimmy Hart, but it wasn't a moment on the level of Andre and Heenan at WrestleMania VI.

Debra McMichael was the guaranteed winner of the "Winner Take All" match with the US title and her managerial services on the line. Either way, she would manage the champion. She chose to help Jeff Jarrett instead of her own husband.

Speaking of choices, DDP picked Curt Hennig as his mystery partner against Randy Savage and Scott Hall. He wasn't the "perfect" partner. Their team lasted less than 10 minutes before Hennig walked out on him. While Hennig didn't join the nWo then, the Horsemen should have learned that Hennig wouldn't be a reliable partner two months later at War Games.

Dennis Rodman's ability to perform wrestling moves astonished the announcers, even though they had just seen Kevin Greene and Reggie White do the same thing. "Sting" attacked the Giant, but he was so tall that he obviously wasn't the real deal. Lex Luger is the MVP for making Hogan tap out to the torture rack, and Luger was on such a roll that he racked Rodman and Randy Savage as well.

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On 3/13/2022 at 4:01 PM, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TF_Y1iGPss&t=11s or https://watch.wwe.com/episode/Superstars-169818

This is such an underrated match for a number of reasons - I assume first and foremost because as far as Bret having great matches on throwaway shows in 1994 go, his match with the Kid gets a lot more coverage. To a lesser extent, their later matches weren't that great either.

I love how within minutes, by virtue of completely dominating Bret on the mat, they establish Backlund, who'd been a complete nothing since his return, as a credible contender again. I love that despite this being at the tailend of a marathon TV taping, the crowd are really into it.

It's great how Bret beats him on a fluke pin, and then just gets absolutely destroyed with the chicken-wing by Backlund, who never used it in the match. You already know that Backlund was a superior mat wrestler in the match, then he pulls out this murder-submission that he couldn't bring himself to use in their match and wipes the floor with him.

My biggest gripe with it is that it airs maybe a week or two before Summerslam '94 and Bret barely sells it, nor do the commentators really reference it either. This is a hidden gem though, it's pretty cool to see as it's so out of place in 1994 WWF.

This match is definitely one of those crazy hidden gems. It's too bad they couldn't do more with this Backlund comeback run. He definitely tapped into something fun here. 

 

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Thoughts on Road Wild 97

Harlem Heat came out as babyfaces, without Sherri, and opposing the nWo, and fans in Sturgis still didn't cheer for them.

The Sturgis fans also got to see Benoit vs. Malenko again, which they didn't appreciate the first time. This was an elimination match with Jarrett and Mongo involved. Jarrett allowed himself to be pinned and then walked away to avoid an extended beating by Mongo. Jarrett was still the US champ, so why not? Poor Malenko was left alone to be defeated by his future Horsemen teammates.

Konnan grounded Rey Misterio Jr. and beat him with the Tequila Sunrise in a Mexican Death Match. It was a strong first PPV outing for Konnan as an nWo member.

I totally forgot that Alex Wright was Cruiserweight champion. His name doesn't pop up when you think of WCW cruiserweights. Wright, who retained over Jericho here, started in WCW in 1994 and didn't win a title until 1997.

Ric Flair is the MVP. He beat Sxxyyxyx-Pac by using the old feet-on-the-ropes trick. The announcers were not appalled and said, "Yay! We got a win over the nWo!" Flair came right back to help Curt Hennig beat DDP as he attempted to recruit Hennig into the Horsemen. 

When The Giant beat Randy Savage with AHHHHH-The Chokeslam!, it seemed like momentum was shifting WCW's way. The Steiners came within an eyelash of beating The Outsiders for the tag team belts, but Kevin Nash pulled out referee Nick Patrick for the DQ. Patrick didn't screw over the Steiners; he simply called for a legitimate DQ.

Road Wild ended just like Hog Wild, with Hogan winning the title (from Luger this time) and the nWo spray-paining the belt. I blame referee Randy Anderson for allowing the nWo to interfere without disqualifying Hogan. It wasn't a no-DQ match. Another fake Sting attacked Luger for the win. This time, it was obviously Scott Hall, because Hall wasn't one of the nWo attackers. 

The Steiners and Hennig came to help Luger (a little late), and it was surprising to see Hennig assisting Luger because their issues in the WWF were never resolved.

If you thought the bikers would be all "anti-establishment" and cheer Hogan's title win, think again! They threw so much garbage at the ring that the nWo retreated and held their celebration backstage.

Edited by Gorman
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Thoughts on Fall Brawl 97

This Jericho-Guerrero match was more typical of WCW: putting them in the opener for the Cruiserweight title. Eddy won the title, and the Steiners beat Harlem Heat, so this show was off to a great start. 

Alex Wright suddenly couldn't stop winning belts. After dropping the cruiserweight title, he picked up the TV belt from Ultimo Dragon. Wright was very impressive in beating Dragon again here to retain the belt.

Jeff Jarrett avenged his loss to Dean Malenko by beating the Iceman clean with the figure-4. This granted him a US title shot, presumably against Steve McMichael. However, Curt Hennig won the belt from Mongo on the night after this show.

Mortis & Wrath broke out of the Mortal Kombat multiverse and surprisingly beat the Faces of Fear, who were strangely positioned as babyfaces.

Scott Hall beat up referees Mark Curtis and Mickie Jay, who continued to be abused by the nWo. Larry Zbyszko marched to the ring, appointed himself referee, and gave a quick count as Luger & DDP beat Hall & Savage.

With that win, and The Giant beating Scott Norton with AHHHH-The Chokeslam!, it looked like WCW had momentum against the nWo. But no!

Curt Hennig getting attacked in the locker room by the nWo was actually fake! We never saw the attack, just the aftermath. Hennig gave handcuffs to the nWo, and the Horsemen surrendered to save Flair from getting the cage door slammed on his head by Hennig. Of course, that happened anyway. For beating the Horsemen at their own game in their own building and orchestrating the perfect swerve, Hennig is your MVP

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Backlund dropping his voice in that promo is scary. He came off like General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove. You half expect him to bring up fluoride. 

Good lord, I just thought of Backlund on the Internet and what kind of frightening Qanonsense he would dig into if he was a little younger. 

Edited by Curt McGirt
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I mentioned that I've been bouncing around old WCW because why not, I have Peacock anyway. I started on WCWSN, and week two of 1992 guests Kip Frye - uh, excuse me, K. Allen Frye - and all I can think of is the part of the first Mick Foley book where Foley recounts Frye walking around backstage asking everyone if they saw him on TV. Boy, this dude is enjoying his on-camera role next to Jim Ross.

He's a huge dork, but also...he's not bad? He's no Vince McMahon in terms of on-camera authority figures, but who is? He's actually pretty alright in this role. 

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Thoughts on Halloween Havoc 97

I was expecting Rey Jr. vs. Eddy to open the show, because I knew they had a great match here and that they had one of the best PPV openers of all time. But that opener was actually at WrestleMania 21. This bout was amazing, and Rey is the MVP for winning Eddy's title and retaining his mask.

The real opener was great, too, with Sonny Ono finally getting his revenge through Yuji Nagata beating Ultimo Dragon. Chris Jericho vs. Gedo fit perfectly between these two bouts.

Four things I forgot about Alex Wright in 1997: turning heel, winning the Cruiserweight title, winning the TV title, and then ... being managed by Debra? What an odd couple. This wasn't the plan, as Jeff Jarrett had jumped back to the WWF before the end of that feud.

BILL GOLDBERG showed up and hit the spear and jackhammer on Mongo. Alex Wright was like "Thanks, buddy!" but Goldberg gave him the same treatment. Goldberg never won a Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons, but his destruction of Mongo earned him a 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl ring.

Jacqueline's win over Disco Inferno was just awful. Disco ran away from her for the entire match. This was was supposed to take place earlier, but Disco didn't want the match. Instead he showed up for us in Steel City Wrestling under a mask as The Boogie Man (coming out to that song) as part of Notorious Norm's faction invading Pro Wrestling Xpress. He returned to WCW and had this match. It wasn't worth the wait. At least Disco's TV title wasn't on the line.

Speaking of not caring about titles, Ric Flair wanted revenge on Curt Hennig and didn't care about getting disqualified in their US title match. Hennig wearing Flair's robe to the ring was a great troll job before that term was invented.

Larry Zbyszko was distracted just like every other referee, but he did actually check the replay and ordered the Luger-Hall match to continue. 

Elizabeth was much more comfortable in the nWo after Randy Savage joined, even though they were ex-spouses at this point. She interfered in the Savage-DDP death match, leading to Kim dragging her away by the hair. Savage won with the help of another fake Sting. This time, the announcers speculated that it was Hogan.

Speaking of Hogan, fake Stings, and again about not caring about titles, Piper finally got his cage match with Hogan, and Piper won with the sleeper. Fake Stings kept popping up, even though JJ Dillon had produced a notarized document stating that Sting wouldn't appear. Piper didn't win the title because it wasn't on the line in huge PPV match ... again.

Edited by Gorman
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Thoughts on World War 3 97

The Faces of Fear battled the other half of the Mortal Kombat multiverse, Glacier and Ernest Miller. Positioned correctly as heels, Meng & Barbarian won.

Saturn wrestled his first PPV match for WCW before Raven did. Saturn retained his TV title in a rematch with former champ Disco Inferno.

Ultimo Dragon had a chance to win five minutes in the ring with Sonny Ono ... but Dragon lost to Yuji Nagata again.

After Raven destroyed Scotty Riggs, the referee called for medical help. Nothing happened. The Flock carried Riggs away, so no wonder he joined them! The medical folks finally arrived, found themselves without a patient, and left. 

Steve McMichael is the MVP. Instead of waiting to become another victim of the BILL GOLDBERG streak, he knocked out Goldberg backstage with a steel pipe ... and he got his Super Bowl ring back! If that weren't enough good news for Mongo, Debra dragged Alex Wright to the ring, and Mongo pinned him with the tombstone. The only good thing for Debra was the fact that she was finally wearing the correct beauty pageant sash ("Queen of WCW," not "Queen of the WCW"). Of course, Bret Hart was coming soon, and he said "the WCW" a lot.

Speaking of Bret, Rey Misterio Jr. borrowed his gimmick by handing out a mask before the match to a Green Lantern fan. (Was that THE Green Lantern Fan?) 

Speaking of semi-famous fans, the guy who dressed up as Hulk Hogan appeared in the Hollywood nWo gear. Hogan wasn't scheduled to be on the show, but he made this guy's day by showing up during the World War 3 battle royale.

Curt Hennig remained one step ahead of Ric Flair. Not only did he run the Nature Boy out of the WWF in 1993, but Hennig beat the dirtiest player in the game in a no-DQ match by knocking him out with the US belt.

When The Giant hit Randy Savage with AHHHH-The Chokeslam! and eliminated him from World War 3, it looked like he or DDP would outlast Scott Hall and win the match for WCW. But no! Hogan came out as the 60th man in the match (instead of Kevin Nash). This was like drawing No. 40 in a 30-man Royal Rumble since there were only three men left. Hogan eliminated DDP before SEVEN-FOOT STING descended from the ceiling.

"It's Sting!" the announcers said, as he stepped over the top rope. Did he have a growth spurt? Nash knocked out Giant with the bat to give the win to Hall. 

While this wasn't a major problem yet, it foreshadowed the eventual demise of WCW, specifically the Fingerpoke of Doom. If Hogan and Nash can just do whatever they want and win almost all the time, then why are we watching this show? 

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Thoughts on Starrcade 97

It should have been perfect. WCW had built up the Hogan-Sting match better than any wrestling match since Hogan-Andre and Hogan-Savage over a decade ago. Control of Nitro was on the line in the Bischoff-Zbyszko match, and all of the WCW wrestlers who weren't on the show were watching from the crowd. But as the night progressed, little things kept going wrong.

Nothing was wrong with Eddy Guerrero. After beating Rey Jr. the previous month and Dean Malenko here, he was on top of his game as Cruiserweight champion.

PROBLEM No. 1 - Kevin Nash didn't show up. 

Scott Hall came out and conducted a survey. The Giant vs. Nash was one of the biggest matches on the show, and it was out the window. Giant hit Hall with AHHH-The ... no! It's the Jackknife Powerbomb to send a message to Nash.

PROBLEM No. 2 - Konnan didn't show up.

This problem went away when Randy Savage took his place. Why was Vincent on the card and Savage wasn't?

PROBLEM No. 3 - Raven showed up, but decided not to wrestle.

Raven explained that his contract allowed him to wrestle whenever he wanted, and he chose not to wrestle Chris Benoit. This was bad timing after the previous no-shows.

Steve McMichael seemed destined to battle fellow former football players: Kevin Greene, Reggie White, and BILL GOLDBERG, who won a predictably sloppy match.

DDP capped off a great year. His feud with Savage elevated him to main-event status, and he won the US title here from Curt Hennig with the Diamond Cutter.

PROBLEM No. 4 - Recent WWF champion Bret Hart arbitrarily decided the outcome of the two most important matches in WCW history, so he has to be the MVP.

The Hitman's refereeing job for the Zbyszko-Bischoff match was bizarre. He was hyper-vigilant on everything Larry did, but he let Bischoff do whatever he wanted. Then, after he spotted Bischoff's metal plate flying off his foot into the crowd, he decked Bischoff and declared Larry the winner. Too bad Bobby Heenan wasn't there to ask, "Whose side is he on?"

PROBLEM No. 5 - Hollywood Hogan hit the leg drop on Sting and pinned him 1, 2, 3.

Bret Hart was right there at ringside to prevent Dave Penzer from ringing the F'N bell. Bret told referee Nick Patrick that he made a fast count and punched Nick out. But it wasn't a fast count! Bret threw Hogan back in the ring, restarted the match and Sting won the title. 

WCW was on the verge of a new era. They were red-hot, they had tons of young stars ready to move up, most notably Goldberg, plus they had just poached the WWF champion! All that needed to happen to set up a successful 1998 was for Hogan to lose decisively. And it didn't happen.

Edited by Gorman
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5 hours ago, Gorman said:

Thoughts on Starrcade 97

Recent WWF champion Bret Hart arbitrarily decided the outcome of the two most important matches in WCW history, so he has to be the MVP.

you know, never before did i blame Bret Hart for Starrcade ruining WCW, but i like this take. From now on, WCW's downfall was singlehandedly due to the Hitman.

also, i have a lot of thoughts on this show, but i feel like i've been through them so many times that it's old hat. But i'll just condense them by saying: F Hulk Hogan, F Eric Bischoff, and F Nick Patrick. 

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