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1994 WCW is probably one of the weirder transitional periods between eras that there's been. Does any other transitional era top it? Going from these ancient-looking shows re: the production that are shot in front of primarily Southern crowds that are smaller, but passionate to a bunch of shows in Orlando with improved production in front of a bunch of people who don't give a shit about the action is jarring, as is Hogan and Friends showing up and being on the same show as your Bunkhouse Bucks and Robert Fullers. Weird, weird time. It's fascinating to watch back, though. 

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there's probably a good contrast between the crowds they were getting at Center Stage and the Orlando crowds, and the usual WCW stuff about how they would bring in models to sit in the camera shot instead of the regulars who would show up at Center Stage.

But yeah, WCW had Hogan/Flair at Bash and Havoc, and in-between? War Games with Dusty Rhodes, Dustin, the Nasties, Terry Funk, Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, and Totally-not Robert Fuller.

Would it be fair to include Ray Traylor on the list of people who sorta lost as a result of Hogan entering WCW? his problems were a little more complex, like going from a Trademark violation gimmick to working as a Curtis Sliwa endorsed babyface in WCW. But he really meandered for years in WCW once Hogan came aboard and aside from "He's got a bicycle!", what's the second most memorable Big Bubba highlight from 1995 to he left WCW in 1998?

Also, maybe they should have went directly from The Boss to Big Bubba in 1994.

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Thoughts on Greed

Jason Jett showed high-flying skills and ring smarts in his win over Kwee Wee. He looked like the future of WCW, but there was no such thing.

Rey Misterio Jr. and Kidman looked like a lock to be the first WCW Cruiserweight tag team champs, but Elix Skipper & Kid Romeo scored the upset. The 26-year-old Romeo did not look like a kid.

WCW tried to pump up Shawn Stasiak with Stacey Keiber in his corner as well as two nicknames (The Star, The Mecca of Manhood). He beat Bam Bam Bigelow with the help of Stacy's HAIRSPRAY OF DOOM.

Shane Helms (with his own dance team, the Sugar Babies) cashed in on his second opportunity and won the Cruiserweight title from Chavo Jr.  

Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire destroyed Lex Luger & Buff Bagwell to earn the MVP award. They looked like they would dominate the WCW tag team scene, but, you know ...

Booker T won the US title from Rick Steiner and knocked off Scott Steiner for the World title on the final Nitro.  Steiner won the final WCW PPV main event by beating DDP.

Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair wrestled each other for the first time on PPV on WCW's last PPV. Their Starrcade title matches took place before the company's pay-per-view era. Flair lost the fall to Dustin Rhodes in a tag team match. This meant Flair was supposed to get a Stinkface from Dusty, but Jarrett took the bullet instead. Dusty's behind was Jarrett's Kryptonite.  

Now that I've watched every WCW pay-per-view, it's time to write my WCW history book, "King of Atlanta." Thanks for all your feedback and to DVDVR for providing this forum. Hope you are enjoying the WWF book, "King of New York!"

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Posted (edited)

The best part of the Palumbo/O'Haire squash was Buff and Luger laying motionless in the ring for like 5 minutes afterwards until right before the next match. Reminded me of The Giant having to pretend to be knocked out by a belt shot for what seemed to be an hour after losing the title at Hog Wild so that Hogan could cut a birthday promo and beat up The Booty Man.

Edited by cwoy2j
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15 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

What's next for you after this, @Gorman? Wait for WWE to upload SuperClashes so you can do King of Minneapolis?

King of Extreme: Who was the MVP of ECW?

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31 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

I think end-days WCW was the palette cleanser for Russo-era WCW, but also, I won't turn down some random French catch. 

If anything wants something more curated, I would begrudgingly provide such a list. (Though the short answer is that 97% of it is good, but it's all very long, but then people just sat through Russo era WCW which is long and not good).

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2 hours ago, zendragon said:

All the big shows or just PPVs?

All of the big shows and PPVs - basically everything I can find on the WWE Network that's not a regular TV show.

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thanks for the WCW recaps. i had a blast reading along with you on them. 

hope you enjoy the ECW watch. i checked it all out a couple years ago and overall it was awesome. but you do get those moments of a lot of hype just disappearing. not sure how they'll be on the Network. so much of ECW's identity was in the music choices and obviously it was all unlicensed.

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8 hours ago, twiztor said:

thanks for the WCW recaps. i had a blast reading along with you on them. 

hope you enjoy the ECW watch. i checked it all out a couple years ago and overall it was awesome. but you do get those moments of a lot of hype just disappearing. not sure how they'll be on the Network. so much of ECW's identity was in the music choices and obviously it was all unlicensed.

Right. I might need to turn the sound off and play "Man in the Box," "Natural Born Killers," etc.

I might as well do commentary, too, because the fans in Pittsburgh used to razz me for looking like Joey Styles.

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Posted (edited)

Notes from the 2/19/1994 WCW Saturday Night:

Ron Vegas looks like if Rick Rude decided to be fat. Jungle Jim Steele is a jungleman, who wrestles in boots, unlike most wrestlers doing jungle gimmicks.

Gotta love that 1994 was the one overlap where Cactus Jack and Mean Gene were working in the same place

Bobby Heenan was a skeptic about Ric Flair is pretty fresh and i'll overlook that Bobby seems dedicated to referencing the Cowboys/Bills Super Bowl for 3 consecutive weeks.

The Center Stage crowd is into chanting "Brush Your Teeth" at the Nasty Boys as we get our last Missy Hyatt appearance before her firing.

Yeah Gene, I'd say Arn Anderson was coming off of a hiatus at the end of 1993. That's one way to put it.

At least Nick Bockwinkle looked like a sports commissioner even if there probably wasn't a huge overlap between WCW and AWA fans in 1994.

The Patriot wins a squash over the returning Ricky Santana.

Scorpio is the greatest wrestler ever according to Center Stage. Also, when did Harlem Heat change their names (also, Bobby 'confusing' Kole with the Cole Twins might have cued someone in that changing from Kane/Kole was probably the right idea). Bagwell looks like someone in a NKOTB knockoff group dancing next to Scorpio

The match was pretty good and holy shit, Scorpio's dive onto Ron Simmons/the guardrail was insane hangtime. Ron Simmons wearing a sweater to make his appearance was a decision.

They found 4 jobbers who could be talked into working Vader and also talked to trying to blindside Vader before he beat them into a puddle

This DDP/Terry Taylor segment from the Main Event was so important that we needed to see it on Saturday Night. I'm not sure that fishing pole made much contact on the whipping, but Arn Anderson made a save because he was the closest to the area.

Hey, it's Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, and whoever the fuck Ron Oakes is. Why the fuck are they letting Buddy Lee work his gimmick while The Boss is around. So here's Thunder and Lightning to beat them. I believe that Thunder and Lightning was formed by someone who watched a few American Gladiators episodes. Tony directly asked what The Boss would think of Buddy Lee Parker being a heel state trooper.

Orndorff/Rude/Austin team promo. Knowing what we know now, Austin had his promo voice/delivery ready in early 1994. He just needed to accept his hair loss so that he stopped dressing like a redneck preppy.

Naturally Bobby Heenan refers to The Boss as "The Big Boss Man" during his squash. Gotta love this gimmick. Ray was probably enjoying working in Georgia as a babyface though.

Love the Orndorff/Heenan prematch handshake (they must have patched things up since the last Orndorff face turn 6 years before) and gotta love how Orndorff got into WCW in early 93 and got to stick around for a few extra years after being out of the spotlight from the WWF to his return in Smoky. Matt Shepard took a fine piledriver.

Thanks Gary Michael Cappetta for prefacing the announcement of Ulanbataar by noting it's the Capital of Mongolia. Teach those Center Stage fans some geography (apologies if the ring announcer isn't Gary Michael Cappetta somehow but it's Gary at least until some point in 94 or 95?). The Mongolian Mauler works with weird contact lenses in and wears Sheik boots.

Here's Mongolian Mauler's career according to CageMatch results: Vancouver in 1983/1984, disappear for 6 years, England in April 1990, FMW later in 1990, EMLL/CMLL in 1991, WING and CWA in 1991/1992, Worked some matches in India in 1993, worked in Smoky for a week in 1993, showed up in WCW for tapings over 3 days. And that's it. Did he have a real job? was he just awful at diplomacy? Was his gimmick just that limited to "Monster Of The Week" in a world where there weren't a lot of places to work briefly?

Time to close things out with a Ric Flair promo to sell Superbrawl 4. Gotta love Serious Babyface Ric Flair promos, even if Ric kept wanting to turn heel instead.

Edited by Cobra Commander
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On 2/6/2022 at 2:13 PM, Gorman said:

Thoughts on Great American Bash 96

The Outsiders' attack on Eric Bischoff showed that they weren't just a new tag team or faction. They were going to change WCW and do some serious damage.

Konnan put together a strong US title reign, defending against a variety of opponents, including El Gato here, who didn't bother not dressing like Pat Tanaka.

Dean Malenko kept Rey Misterio Jr. from having a coming-out party at his expense. While Rey showed off some cool moves, Malenko put on a master class of mat wrestling and retained the Cruiserweight title.

Like Konnan, the Giant had an impressive run as WCW World champion, and he was still a rookie! He added Lex Luger to his list of victims, which also included Flair, Savage and Sting. 

The football players' match was 10 times better than expected, and it elevated the quality of the whole show. Steve McMichael and Kevin Greene looked like they knew what they were doing, instead of being obviously carried by the Horsemen. The finish was great too, with Debra joining Liz and Woman and convincing her husband to sell out to the Horsemen.

Speaking of Horsemen, Chris Benoit is the MVP of the show. Not only did he destroy his top enemy, Kevin Sullivan, in a crazy brawl, but he also kept the Macho Man out of the way while McMichael lowered the boom on Kevin Greene. Arn gave Benoit the Horsemen seal of approval after the match.

Thoughts on this as I just watched it since the Nitros that built up to it sold me. 

  • That Konnan/Gato match was interesting. Not great, necessarily, but interesting.

 

  • The crowd was real frustrated by that Malenko/Misterio match because Misterio would do some cool aerial shit and then Malenko would shut it down and go straight to the arm bar. Actually, though, I think it's fine to frustrate the fans in that way. Most of these guys doing flippies today desperately need more wrestlers who work like Malenko to highlight their best stuff. He was a good base for the other cruisers and he knew how to contrast to a lot of the aerial shit they did so that it came off as even more spectacular.

 

  • You didn't mention Sting/Regal, but it was very good. That whole mini-feud was interesting from a modern perspective because Sting basically was another heel. He was portrayed as so heated over being slapped because it made him feel less masculine, so he retaliated with gay-bashing and his own slap attempts as a way to regain his sense of masculinity. Like, you could run this today as a way to turn a guy heel based on our understanding of the culture of toxic masculinity. 

 

  • The Baltimore crowd LOVED Benoit/Sullivan, and I get why in that time period. It's not that great here in 2022 for two reasons, IMO: 1) we've seen wild brawls like this so many times, and this one is sort of repetitive (especially each guy repeating the same bathroom spots on one another); 2) I still don't buy Benoit and Sullivan being heated at one another to warrant this type of aggression. Pillman? Yes. Sullivan did an awful job of transferring Pillman's heat to Benoit. The finish also sucked (why is standing on a table going to enhance a superplex more than just doing it from the ropes themselves?), so yeah. It was fine, I guess. 

 

  • The Horsemen/foobaw tag match was good! Everything Horsemen had good heat, though, as would be expected in a city located in or near the Mid-Atlantic region. Mongo big booting Flair when he did the Flair Flip/run the apron spot was creative and I loved it. Mongo looked king-sized standing over Flair on the apron after kicking him right in the face. Also, much credit to Debra TAKING THE DAMN MONEYYYYYY and convincing Mongo to do the same. What'd they do to Kevin Greene's wife? Lock her in a closet before Debra changed into her gown? I actually loved this. 

 

  • Also, this is another example of why Savage cracked and went nWo, and I am absolutely NEVER going to blame his character for doing that. This dude had been unfairly shitted on by everyone for months. 

 

  • Anyway, that match is a perfect example of why WWE's strategy to go after legit athletes makes sense. Honestly, huge dudes clubbering and throwing clotheslines and being total meathead ath-a-letes > a little guy doing flips, at least for my tastes. 

 

  • Luger/Giant was solid. Nick Patrick's shocked face when Luger initially racked The Giant was pretty good. 

 

  • That attack on Bischoff was shocking and effective even with my jaded eyes of today. Luger stopped to check on him on his way out to the main event, which was a nice touch. Dusty and Tony genuinely seemed upset. 

 

  • Finally, and speaking of, Dusty and Tony had a night on commentary. They were EXCELLENT. Genuinely one of the best commentary performances I can remember from these two or in general re: U.S. PPVs. Tony being astonished at Mongo shaking Heenan's hand after how much they bitched at one another for months and then pointing out that he asked McMichael why he left Chicago for Green Bay in free agency and Mongo simply responded: "Money" was REALLY good and totally complemented that turn. Baltimore was a hot crowd as usual, and enhanced the show greatly as usual, but Dusty and Tony brought it tonight. Everyone always remembers THERE'S A LADY IN THE MEN'S BATHROOM, but yeah, they were both awesome all night.
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On 12/5/2021 at 11:23 AM, Gorman said:

Speaking of great finishers, Jimmy Garvin is the MVP for inventing the Stone Cold Stunner. Garvin wasn't even supposed to wrestle. He pushed Michael Hayes to the ring in a wheelchair and was forced into the ring after Nick Bockwinkel accepted Hayes' spurious doctor's note. Garvin protested, "I'm retired!" I'm an airline pilot!" But he still lasted more than 10 minutes with Johnny B. Badd and laid him out after the match with the 911 (Stunner). I can picture Garvin flying a plane, thinking, "You know what would make a great finisher ... ?"

short hair Jimmy Garvin was weird looking. Not sure if having Badd go 10 minutes with a guy presented as a retired wrestler was a great look for Badd. 

Also, Hayes was gone after this, and Garvin didn't stick around, so they got the final word and bolted the company.

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BatB '96 notes:

  • Rey/Psicosis was more like it. That was the opener that the crowd needed, and they were hot the rest of the night. 

 

  • Jimmy Hart is so awesome. That finish in the Tenta/Bubba match got a great reaction, and it should have, and that's down to Jimmy Hart's work. I thought the foreshadowing to the finish with Bubba not being able to climb the pole was neat, too. I was thinking, "Hey, dumb-ass WCW techs set that pole too high," but nope! I am chastened. Sorry for doubting you, WCW techs.

 

  • DDP worked his ASS off in that Duggan match with all his heel chicanery spots and that awesome spot where he got tangled up in the ropes after an attempted headbutt and used them as a fulcrum to take a series of punches from multiple spots. Duggan is less than worthless, but DDP dragged something entertaining out of him on his own. Legit on his "can work a good match with a broomstick" shit there. Also, that piece of shit Duggan didn't even sell the Diamond Cutter so he could get some tape and throw a taped-fist punch and stand tall and chant USA and generally look like he won even if he lost. FUCK THIS GUY. 

 

  • The Nastys and PE had their same plunder match, but with dog collars, but at this point, the crowd is hot for everything. 

 

  • Malenko walked out to fight Disco like a dad getting home from work and finding out from mom that little Johnny was playing with matches and burned down the shed in the backyard. Disco's dumb ass had no awareness, though. He was still dancing around in the ring like everything was good while Malenko came down and took his belt off like he was getting ready to administer a whooping. I love that Disco got his ass whooped so bad that he actually got serious and started fighting.

 

  • I dig Disco's character makeup being that if he would just be focused for a few minutes, he'd actually be a damned good wrestler. The crowd was mostly quiet for this, which is too bad because it's a pretty amazing match centered around Disco's inability to keep focus. He forgets himself after big moves and starts to primp his hair before remembering, "Shit, I should go for the cover, just go for the cover, Disco." He won over the booth with his performance, and they enhanced the story about Disco with their commentary. I loved this. Fantastic match layout. 

 

  • LOL, Debra and Mongo ditching Pepe on some road in a remote exurb and getting a poodle instead is AMAZING character development. Holy shit. It would have worked better if Pepe weren't just another lap dog, but it's still good. Imagine if Pepe was a retriever or lab instead, though. It would have been even better. Mongo is good at talking shit while he works and got his lip busted, so that made this match with Joe Gomez better than it probably had any right to be. Brain swearing that he's always liked Mongo and Tony countering that they have it on tape, many, many tapes, that he has not was really funny. Anyway, I like Mongo. He's not the best wrestler in terms of MOVEZ or timing (he totally fucks up a sunset flip in this match), but he totally gets it in every other aspect. Well, maybe not reffing. 

 

  • My watch-back has been a re-assessment of Woman for me. She stands out as a hell of a valet. Good on promos, gets involved in matches effectively, and does it all in heels. I also love that her dick punt on Konnan in the Konnan/Flair match got a massive pop. Also, Woman's high heel finally got a win in a big spot! 

 

  • The Horsemen are so good at pulling off plots and schemes, and the nWo shows up and they never pull off another plot or scheme again. I guess the manufactured (to the point that Kevin Sullivan encouraged his wife to leave him with his stupid-ass heat-getting schemes) hatred between Benoit and Sullivan ultimately put paid to said scheme in this tag match, though. Actually, it's kind of disturbing to hear her yelling Stop it Chris, please, you're going to hurt him because there's just no way for me to only hear that in this narrow context of this angle. 

 

  • I genuinely love the "Crazy" knockoff that WCW uses for Hall and Nash. I would never have listened to Seal and thought, "Hey, you know, we should rip some of this off for entrance or video package music," so I have to give credit to whoever came up with that. 

 

  • What else can be said about the main event that hasn't already been said? We talked about whether or not Hogan being part of WCW's team and turning from that role would have been better, but I guess since Hogan wasn't sure he'd turn up to the point where he actually did, there was no chance that they could have set it up like that anyway. Hey, this was crazy-effective (understatement, to be sure) as it was booked anyway. I think what does get lost in the turn and nWo formation is that the match is really good! The stuff going on in the ring before the finish is worth watching on its own merits.

 

  • The Sting/Hall interactions would have had me excited for a match between them right off the jump. I sort of wish they had run an angle where Sting needed to go through the members of the nWo on his way to Hogan, but probably by that time, Hall would have been too soaked to have a good match with Sting anyway. By the time they did it in 1998, there was no chance it'd be good considering where each guy was at in their lives. 

 

  • This show felt like it flew by. Even the stuff that I had less/no interest in was at worst inoffensive and perfectly fine for what it was. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
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