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Started watching an old episode of Thunder last night.

Was there ever a guy who consistently got air time during the Monday Night Wars that just didn't make any effort whatsoever to make their character work quite like Hugh Morrus?

Dumb play on words name, guy who likes to laugh but also has question marks on his tights that doesn't really laugh much in or out of the ring or asks any questions. Doesn't really factor into his in-ring work, his character or his motivations. The guy does get surprisingly good pops for some of his moveset - the moonsault is a pretty good spectacle for someone his size but still dwarfed by guys like Bam Bam and Vader who were bigger, and doing them better also. He may as well have been Crash The Terminator (another yuck name) and no-one would have noticed. 

Anyway, this match was him vs. La Parka. The crowd are surprisingly into it, despite there being no clear indication who was the face/heel, or any storyline reason for this match to occur, and its a fun little sprint, both guys hit their big spots, La Parka gets his heat back after losing clean to the moonsault by smashing him with a chair afterwards. Got me thinking about a few things. 

Would La Parka have been super over had he come around today instead of 20 years earlier? Or would he just be another Penta because of the spam taunts? 

Were things better in this period because the crowd was so hot, you didn't HAVE to spam taunts or hit spots that were there purely for the crowd reaction, because the crowd popped for the big moves anyway? Or did this just lead to an increasing need to raise the stakes for what constituted a big move to get a pop from a crowd less and less interested as the boom period wore down? That subsequently, working a smarter style around comedy based crowd interaction not only improved longevity in the business, but provided a live experience for people that was slightly more friendly to the casual observer/non-fan?

I think I enjoyed the in-ring product that didn't necessarily rely on crowd participation or a focus purely on it, but I also appreciate what it was able to achieve for maintaining a level of in-ring safety.

 

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11 hours ago, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

Would La Parka have been super over had he come around today instead of 20 years earlier? Or would he just be another Penta because of the spam taunts? 

La Parka would have been super over in '96-'98 WCW if they had given him ANYTHING. He always seemed to get a pretty decent pop as far as luchadores go, and he never once was in a feud or even a meaningful singles match. i would have loved to see him mix it up in the TV title scene at any point- Regal, Ultimo Dragon, Saturn, Booker T, Benoit, Finlay, Jericho all held that belt in like a 2 year time period. He would have tore it up with any of those guys. Or hell, give Parka and Psychosis a little run as a real tag team and have them beat some of the jobber teams. Nothing but wasted opportunity.

Speaking of Psychosis, it's a damn shame we never got him vs. Liger at some point before Nicho lost his mask. What a visual that would have been.

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30 minutes ago, twiztor said:

La Parka would have been super over in '96-'98 WCW if they had given him ANYTHING. He always seemed to get a pretty decent pop as far as luchadores go, and he never once was in a feud or even a meaningful singles match. i would have loved to see him mix it up in the TV title scene at any point- Regal, Ultimo Dragon, Saturn, Booker T, Benoit, Finlay, Jericho all held that belt in like a 2 year time period. He would have tore it up with any of those guys. Or hell, give Parka and Psychosis a little run as a real tag team and have them beat some of the jobber teams. Nothing but wasted opportunity.

Parka could've been what Penta is today. And that's not a knock on either guy. Guy had/has crazy charisma and could work his ass off at the drop of a hat... even by most of the luchador standards he was so incredibly underutilized.

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12 hours ago, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

Started watching an old episode of Thunder last night.

Was there ever a guy who consistently got air time during the Monday Night Wars that just didn't make any effort whatsoever to make their character work quite like Hugh Morrus?

Dumb play on words name, guy who likes to laugh but also has question marks on his tights that doesn't really laugh much in or out of the ring or asks any questions. Doesn't really factor into his in-ring work, his character or his motivations. The guy does get surprisingly good pops for some of his moveset - the moonsault is a pretty good spectacle for someone his size but still dwarfed by guys like Bam Bam and Vader who were bigger, and doing them better also. He may as well have been Crash The Terminator (another yuck name) and no-one would have noticed. 

 

And that General Rection shit was, to my mind, AWFUL. I haven't seen it in literal decades, but when I get to that point in my watch, I'll be interested to see if I found it as tiresome as I did as a teen.

Morrus might be the most overpushed guy relative to his abilities during that era, if we take "overpushed" as meaning "a higher level than warrants his talent" + "a longer time than should have been invested in him." This dude was never at a point where making him the center of his own stable and putting him into a long series of feuds over the secondary singles title was a good idea. 

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Bill Watts needed to pay One Man Gang enough to get some new tights without his Crusher Broomfield initials on them. How much could a couple singlets with OMG on them cost? Come on, man. 

Paul Orndorff's tights with the family name's initial first also bother me. Is he wearing them inside out, or does he just feel that the way names are commonly written in Asian cultures are more appropriate for his outlook on naming conventions? 

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4 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

Paul Orndorff's tights with the family name's initial first also bother me. Is he wearing them inside out, or does he just feel that the way names are commonly written in Asian cultures are more appropriate for his outlook on naming conventions? 

I'm glad somebody brought it up! Paul made a curious choice and I for one support it. Further, he always had 'Wonderful' simply designed gear, but then again what's not gonna look good on that million dollar body?  

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16 minutes ago, HarryArchieGus said:

I'm glad somebody brought it up! Paul made a curious choice and I for one support it. Further, he always had 'Wonderful' simply designed gear, but then again what's not gonna look good on that million dollar body?  

Like FUCK this dude was built. 

4/17/82 Mid-South with Bill Watts being shoot heated at Andy Kaufman trying to be a pro wrestler is timely - watch the Viceland doc on Andy in Memphis from their show on the territories a couple weeks ago (and join us in the Viceland Wrestling Documentaries thread, too)!

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On 10/20/2022 at 2:13 AM, Cobra Commander said:

Notes on the 2/8/1986 Boston Garden Show on the Network (under Old School)

Lanny Poffo vs Paul Christy: a fun time between guys who worked together for awhile pre-WWF. Nice Lanny move from the ring over the top rope to the floor similar to Macho Man's axehandle. Nice finishing sequence. Lanny had one foot on the top turnbuckle and one on the middle for his moonsault

Sivi Afi vs Barry O: Afi's now from Samoa instead of Fiji. Monsoon says Barry O like a white guy saying "Barrio". Not a whole lot going on in this match. Jesse did PBP for a few seconds. Afi gets a crossbody instead of a full splash. Barry O's O taunt is hilariously dumb. More dudes with O last names should do that taunt.

George Steele vs Tiger Chung Lee: George Steele showing his athleticism by bending a kendo stick in half. Most of the usual Animal stuff. But he hit Tiger Chung with Tiger's sandles ("shower shoes" in Gorilla's terminology). Animal is actually more of a garbage match type worker than one might remember. Or he is for a guy whose idea of a bump involves occasionally falling down to the mat. Tiger Chung Lee was working matches in the WWF until January 1988, which is more confounding than Tiger Chung Lee/Tiger Toguchi working a match in Japan less than 5 months ago. 

Hillbilly Jim vs Big John Studd: The only interesting part of this match is that Hillbilly Jim did a cartwheel.

Randy Savage vs Tito Santana: This match is on no shortage of tapes that I watched in 1998 and it rules. Memorable finish that was teased a time of two before it was pulled off. I forget if they just retroactively attached this to the "Danny Davis is evil" highlight reel or if it was part of the plan all along. Kinda weird to see the heel doing the rollover out of the Figure Four after so many matches where the face does that (but faces would just reverse the pressure a little before breaking the hold)

The Hart Foundation vs The Killer Bees: This match is scheduled exactly for a 45 minute time limit for some reason. No wonder the WWF just decided to get rid of time limits. Jesse puts these teams in the Top 6. Not top 5. Top 6. A bunch of cops run through the crowd to something on the left of the ring. Got a Stu Hart namedrop in 1986. Noted AWA drug supplier Dr. Jim Brunzell was the face in peril. Got a lot of heels moving in and out without tagging in this match and that factored into the finish.

Ricky Steamboat vs Don Muraco: Muraco wearing a sleak white judo jacket for this match. Fuji is the one manager who is at this card (Heenan and Jimmy Hart are at the Spectrum, which was being run on the same night and also being televised on PRISM, this was a busy Saturday night in the WWF). This match fulfilled a dream of Muraco's to work wearing a jacket with his stomach exposed. We have blood in this match (kinda!), and you thought it was starting off slowly. We had a sleeper spot in Foundation/Bees and a belt choking spot in this match. Not sure I ever saw a bellringer-with-the-legs counter to the Tombstone Piledriver once the Tombstone became established. Fun finishing sequence.

Bruno Sammartino vs Roddy Piper: This is also a quote notable match. Roddy of course milks Super Bowl 20 to it's full extent prematch. We got blood quickly in this one, as God intended for a good cage match. Roddy got his moneys worth in blood and it's on the mat and on Bruno's chest. Roddy probably gained some weight between the late 70s and 1986 but he sizes up well next to Bruno here for someone that was 'too small' for New York while he was in LA. The matchup isn't even in the "we're the same height, you're just fat, Ole" sense either. Half of Piper's ass hangs out for awhile. This was the best match ever featuring an old Italian man fighting off a street thug. An era of Bruno which was similar to a Charles Bronson movie.

 

Danny Davis reffing in khakis will never not be weird for me lol

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6 hours ago, twiztor said:

La Parka would have been super over in '96-'98 WCW if they had given him ANYTHING. He always seemed to get a pretty decent pop as far as luchadores go, and he never once was in a feud or even a meaningful singles match. i would have loved to see him mix it up in the TV title scene at any point- Regal, Ultimo Dragon, Saturn, Booker T, Benoit, Finlay, Jericho all held that belt in like a 2 year time period. He would have tore it up with any of those guys. Or hell, give Parka and Psychosis a little run as a real tag team and have them beat some of the jobber teams. Nothing but wasted opportunity.

Speaking of Psychosis, it's a damn shame we never got him vs. Liger at some point before Nicho lost his mask. What a visual that would have been.

I think the biggest match in WCW was them versus each other at some spring stampede or something. Really makes me think about the but in Death of WCW about WCW getting really good ratings from Hispanics but continuing to job the Lucha guys out

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5 hours ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

Bill Watts needed to pay One Man Gang enough to get some new tights without his Crusher Broomfield initials on them. How much could a couple singlets with OMG on them cost? Come on, man. 

Paul Orndorff's tights with the family name's initial first also bother me. Is he wearing them inside out, or does he just feel that the way names are commonly written in Asian cultures are more appropriate for his outlook on naming conventions? 

 

5 hours ago, HarryArchieGus said:

I'm glad somebody brought it up! Paul made a curious choice and I for one support it. Further, he always had 'Wonderful' simply designed gear, but then again what's not gonna look good on that million dollar body?  

The story I heard was that Paul's gear designer accidentally mixed up the initials, but he coincidentally got a huge push and was making the best money of his career immediately afterwards, so he kept it going.

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Man, I popped huge for the 4/10/82 - 4/17/82 Mid-South angle with Ernie Ladd hiring the Assassin to help him against Akbar and the Samoans, then Akbar hiring the Assassin away, and Ladd going back to find a partner and coming back with PAUL ORNDORFF. That is how you turn two heels face without betraying entirely how they behaved as heels. Of course Ladd would pay a dodgy partner, with how he hasn't exactly made friends lately, and when he gets another partner, it's another guy who is estranged from the heels, but who has been pissing off all the faces and probably doesn't have allies. It's a partnership of convenience that makes perfect sense, but it was also just GREAT the way they pulled it off, and the crowd popping for Orndorff was great.

This is Akbar's Army, right? It's going to be the Samoans, OMG, and the Assassin? I've seen Mid-South stuff before, but all out of order, and this is the first time in my life I've watched the weekly TV chronologically. It's as good as advertised. 

It's so nice to watch good wrestling that's new (or new to me). One of the best experiences in life. I wish there was more on tape from Mid-South in the '70s, though. I honestly am not sure I've ever seen any Mid-South from before like 1980. 

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24 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

It's so nice to watch good wrestling that's new (or new to me). One of the best experiences in life. I wish there was more on tape from Mid-South in the '70s, though. I honestly am not sure I've ever seen any Mid-South from before like 1980. 

That's because it didn't exist until roughly 1980. Before that it was Tri-State.

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16 minutes ago, Pete said:

That's because it didn't exist until roughly 1980. Before that it was Tri-State.

I should have said "from that region" to be accurate. I want to see '70s Louisiana/Mississippi wrestling, basically. 

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Tonight's Midnight Wrestling is a house show from the Summit (which is misidentified as the Sam Houston Coliseum on Peacock). The network selection for Houston is a little thinner than for Philadelphia.

The show is 53 minutes and it doesn't air some matches (some of which were on Prime Time), but we get a great "Your Hero, Hulk Hogan" match as he wins by countout by hitting Paul Orndorff with a chair behind the ref's back.

The matches on this show were worked at a pace where it seemed like they were aching to leave town (I guess that drawing 1700 in the 16000 seat Summit had something to do with it).

Brutus/SD goes 5 minutes, Valentine/Gatorwolf goes 8 minutes, Davey Boy/Sheik goes 6 minutes, Hogan/Orndorff goes 6 minutes, but the show ending tag team battle royal goes 9 minutes. They exhumed Chief Jay to work the end of show battle royal (with his tag partner, actual Native American/future rapist Steve Gatorwolf)

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On 11/3/2022 at 11:28 AM, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

Man, I popped huge for the 4/10/82 - 4/17/82 Mid-South angle with Ernie Ladd hiring the Assassin to help him against Akbar and the Samoans, then Akbar hiring the Assassin away, and Ladd going back to find a partner and coming back with PAUL ORNDORFF. That is how you turn two heels face without betraying entirely how they behaved as heels.

I have been doing a watchthrough of the weekly Mid-South TV over the last year and this was easily one of my favorite 1982 angles. I am a sucker for angles that are essentially "scumbag heel got usurped by an even bigger scumbag".

Don't get too attached to The Assassin though, he pretty much only pops in for a few weeks specifically for this angle. Though if my memory is correct The Samoans and Orndorff aren't too long for Mid-South either and book it for Georgia themselves, which leads to Bill Watts being super-salty and taking pot-shots for about six weeks straight about how "the toughest competition in wrestling is here in Mid-South because we put competitive matches on TV every week unlike the cable wrestling from Atlanta". 

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Clash 34 (January 1997) Notes:

  • Malenko/Dragon is fine. Malenko refuses to emote when put in a hold, and it's a growing irritation with me. That dude's mystique has well worn off with me. He's getting a rematch for the Cruiserweight Championship the night after he lost a rematch for the Cruiserweight Championship. Should have given this spot to Psicosis and had Malenko win it back later instead of tonight. We didn't even get Dragon/Rey for the gold on a major show before they switched the title back. I know Rey's hurt, but no reason to rush a switch right back. 

 

  • Riggs/Enos is solid. Enos bumps around and has mean offense, so he brings the levels up nicely. 

 

  • Benoit goes full "Genesis of Beginning of McGillicutty" in a Horsemen interview, then says that he's emotionally unstable. I bet! 

 

  • Konnan yelling homophobic slurs in Spanish that most English speakers didn't really know in 1997 sure is something! On another note, it's LA PARKA! He does a Spinaroonie. This six-man tag (Jericho/Chavo/Calo vs. Konnan/Parka/J.L.) is fast-paced and fun. 

 

  • Dusty notes that Sherri is looking "A little top-heavy" at ringside for a Harlem Heat/Joe Gomez and Renegade semi-competitive squash. She has been pushing it with the tops the past few weeks. LOL, Dusty is so mean: "Well, she got into a size five when she really wears an eight." That's some heel shit, Big Dust, come on. I feel bad for laughing. 

 

  • Alex Wright is such a fun wrestler. He's probably not right for the era he comes up in, though. Ten years earlier or ten years later, I think he has a better career. The crowd is not here for fiery babyfaces who can't promo in 1997, though. This match with Chono is solid, another really good performance from Wright, though it's somewhat marred by Nick Patrick, nWo ref, which is the worst long-running angle during the 83 weeks. Others are on the shortlist - Benoit/Sullivan, I'm staring right at you - but this is the worst. 

 

  • Somebody was watching In Living Color when they came up with the Public Enemy merch ads with PE pushing possibly-stolen WCW goods out of the back of a truck. 

 

 

  • Eddy and Norton is basically Norton doing strongman shit and tossing Eddy around, which I think would be fine except that Eddy's the current United States Champion. I don't think Norton is at Meng level yet where I can buy a secondary champ struggling against him and still being legitimately at that secondary champ level. Maybe in six months of effective Norton gatekeeper work, I'd feel differently. There's a contrived ref bump so DDP can come in from the crowd - dressed in a Packers SB Champs shirt to max out the crowd love - and hit Norton with a Diamond Cutter. Eddy follows up with a Frog Splash and Patrick reluctantly counts three, but boy did Eddy look weak as fuck there. 

 

  • The Giant can't cut a promo without a silly metaphor. He's cutting a decent one when he decides to use a match as a metaphor and actually has a match with him that he lights and blows out to drive home said metaphor. Please stop, my guy. 

 

  • Oh wow, Chris Benoit and Kevin Sullivan immediately fight into the stands and through the arena. How exciting! I haven't seen that before. They took that "fight into the restroom" thing and drove it DIRECTLY into the ground. Who gives a fuck anymore? This feud is awful. At least this match is shorter and the crowd pops for Woman hitting Sullivan with the chair so Benoit can win. 

 

  • This show might have the final Steiners vs. Quebecers/AFCs match ever, or one of the last, and I am here for it. They had some great chemistry in the WWF. The opening is a bit disjointed, honestly. The Steiners come in hot, but their timing feels a bit off, and Scott Dickinson is noticeably out of place at least once. Then, a commercial break cuts out most of the AFC's heel control segment. This was sort of a bummer, actually. 

 

  • Dusty gets scared by Lex's pyro. MY COAT'S ON FIRE! Luger/Hall is a huge match for me, personally. I find myself gravitating toward matchups between some combination of Sting/Luger/Hall/Nash/Giant with DDP/Syxx/Eddy/Booker/Scott Steiner/Rey/Regal thrown in the mix as the matchups that I want to see. I'm pretty much done with the old guard - if Hogan, Piper, Flair, and Arn disappeared from TV entirely, I'd be fine with that. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I didn't miss Savage for the two months he was at home, and he's maybe my favorite wrestler ever. The Horsemen are still wild over, so Flair and Arn should absolutely be on TV, by the way. I recognize that. I just don't want to see these guys wrestling. This is a common complaint, I know, but I think as early as late 1996's shows, I'm there. Most don't really say this until 1998's shows, IIRC. The company also needed to decouple itself from Hogan quicker, to the point that I think it was a mistake for Bischoff to wait until Starrcade 1997 to run Sting/Hogan. It should have happened at Starrcade 1996. You can always bring Piper in to wrestle Hogan and keep them in their own universe if you really want to, but these shows are hurt by a lack of Sting. We basically lost 1.5 years of still-prime Sting while he wandered around the catwalks. Heck, they were the last 1.5 years of Sting's prime, actually. I also am much higher on Sting in-ring than a lot of folks, though, so YMMV.

 

  • The match! Yes, it's perfectly fine. Nash and Syxx run interference outside. Hall's weeble-wobble selling is pretty great. The nWo is mad over, but the crowd wants the Torture Rack. I want the Torture Rack. The Torture Rack is a cool finisher. Is anyone currently using it? They should be. Luger fights off Syxx and Nash before racking Hall, but Nash is back up and eats a metal forearm. Luger fights off both guys for a long time and looks awesome. Give Mark Curtis credit for not calling for the bell until the point at which an nWo member NOT in the match hits Luger. He gave dude every chance to pull it out. The Steiners come down for the save and everyone brawls. Give me a six-man tag between these guys, please. 

 

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Watching AWA Super Sunday 1983, and while the crowd is good before Hogan/Bockwinkel, the pop Hogan gets just dwarfs everything before it.

Other things, even if I didn't know Buck Zumhofe was in prison for rape, i'd kinda suspect a dude who looks like was trying to be Gary Glitter.

Nice of Mean Gene to plug a rerun airing of Jerry Lawler on Letterman in his ring introduction of Lawler.

Lord James Blears referees like a slightly faster Bronko Lubich. Nice All Japan/New Japan crossover with Blears and Hogan.

Blears sold that ref bump like an old man having a heart attack at a buffet

Of course the Hogan win doesn't hold because this promotion is run by idiots who don't realize what they have going for them. This doesn't exactly kill the territory but you know you have something good when you get Minnesotans that publicly excited for Hogan and then people throwing shit at the ring like it's a WCW show at the screwjob finish.

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Souled Out '97 Notes:

  • I get that they're trying for sleazebag '90s cool here with this opening, and I am nostalgic for that very thing, but the dump trucks and Bischoff's State of the Union address are corny as hell. Can't be cool with Bisch, Hogan, and DiBiase all up in the videos, honestly. 

 

  • I also think that they went a bit too far burying WCW with the wrestlers getting no entrance music and the announcer running down some of these WCW guys. Also, I have to be real, why would any WCW wrestler sign to work this show? I get the dumb fiery babyfaces like Jericho taking their shots, but the vets really should know better. 

 

  • Speaking of Jericho and his opener with Chono, he's actually the perfect guy to put in this spot as a decently-athletic fiery babyface with enough charisma to act as a good foil for the somewhat stoic, but more generally mean-looking Chono. Bisch pointing out that Chono starts working the wrong "injured" leg was certainly a thing. The crowd chants USA to fire up Jericho, who normally I would say IS FROM WINNIPEG, YOU IDIOTS, but let's be honest, this dude is a full-on Florida Man, so I'll allow it. Anyway, the match is not particularly good, but it doesn't totally stink up the joint or anything like that. They tried, I'll give them that, with dives and a table spot liberally mixed into the match.

 

  • The crowd is bored by the Miss nWo contest stuff. They said it, not me, what with the BOOOORING chant that starts up. I hate the whole thing, and it's awful, and my GOD, it sucks. It's cringe, as the kids would say even though I prefer to only use "cringe" as a verb and not an adjective, but language evolves, &c. &c.

 

  • Hugh Morrus comes down in a tie-dye shirt and jeans to wrestle Big Bubba, aw man, fuck this. I will give Morrus credit for whiffing on a moonsault in the aisle, but that self-splatering is the only good thing about any of this. And right after that, Bubba "runs over" Morrus on a motorcycle in what is almost surely a better-looking spot in the arena than it is on TV. 

 

  • More Miss nWo stuff. Bischoff's idea of cool is hopelessly not cool whatsoever. You have Hall and Nash wearing Fubu and shit and Hogan and Bischoff are on some Boomer/old Gen-Xer shit with the HARLEYS AND BIKER CHICKS aesthetic (sorry to the old Gen-Xers who post here, I don't blame you for this, but I have to be real). That stuff wasn't cool in 1997! It never came back in style! It's the opposite of cool now! 

 

  • Can Jeff Jarrett drag something good out of VKM Wallstreet? Jarrett's been awesome on this WCW run, but he's not a miracle worker. The answer is "no," by the way, but Jarrett is fighting an uphill battle trying to carry Wallstreet and Patrick's heel ref act. He is blameless. In fact, he has a couple of bright spots trying to work around this stuff. For example, he chokes Wallstreet on the ropes and calmly informs Nick Patrick on the right pacing for a five-count by doing the count for him as he chokes out Wallstreet. See, that's a neat spot. Debra's in the crowd, all worried and stuff. She's an awesome pro wrestling actor, and she's someone who I barely remembered was a thing during the MNW era until this rewatch. Mongo coming down and Halliburton-ing Wallstreet, then forcing Patrick to count three under threat of violence was actually a pretty sweet ending! This Mongo/Jarrett/Debra love triangle has a ton of potential, but I'm guessing it ends before it realizes its full potential because Jarrett heads back to the Fed, and that will be too damn bad. 

 

  • More Miss nWo stuff - the senior division, as Jeff Katz says. One lady is into foot shit; the other one can't hear a damned thing because she's destroyed her hearing over seventy years of hard living. 

 

  • Riggs is so lame and Bagwell is still establishing his Buffosity, so the crowd is mostly subdued for the AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES AMERICAN MALES exploding. The nWo announcer's voice rings out to call Riggs a LOSER, which...yeah, but IDK about actually saying it straight out like that. Anyway, the crowd pops for Riggs hitting the barricade and Buff's pants getting pulled down to show him wearing a lime green thong. This match is entirely too long. 

 

  • Bisch craps on Vincent Kennedy McMahon the head of nWo security. Bisch knocks Vince's hairpieces and cheap suits, and then Katz gets REAL SECKSHUAL with some goofy double entendres. I zone out. WCW can't pull off racy. They're part of a corporate conglomerate. Stop trying to pull off "racy." 

 

  • This show makes me think that Eric Bischoff only ever had one good idea, and in retrospect, I'm not sure how good that idea actually was in its execution. 

 

  • (Eric Bischoff had more than one good idea, for real for real, but when you hitch your wagon to Hulk Hogan in the '90s, you're somewhat limited in how far you can take said good ideas.)

 

  • Sting shows up to watch the DDP/Norton match, which is fine. I kinda like DDP as a heel more just because his heel control segments are full of fun offense and are never boring. DDP as the heel against a smaller opponent is my favorite configuration. He's still fun in this match, though. Page is fixing to cut on Norton when a few nWo guys come down to confront him. Buff belongs in that group. Vincent, Wallstreet, and Bubba do not. Page fakes going nWo again and hits a cutter on Norton before running away again. It's just about as great as it was when he did it to Hall. He runs into the crowd, rips off the nWo shirt, and everyone in the arena goes NUTS. DDP rules. 

 

  • Katz is killing me. At least we saw DDP on replay while his little interview segment was going on. 

 

  • Low-key, DiBiase sounding like he's on Benadryl over on color is a detriment to this show. Not the biggest one, but definitely one worth noting.

 

  • Hall and Nash, along with Syxx, are legit the only nWo dudes I want to see. Maybe Buff, too. But it's a miracle this nWo concept worked for as long as it did after getting watered down with a bunch of lames. Anyway, they continue their run of very good - borderline great, actually - performances on PPV against the Steiners. This match isn't as good as future ones they'll have, IIRC, but I dug it. Also, there's something novel about Kevin Nash taking suplexes from Scotty Steiner. Patrick is knocked down at ringside when Hall hits an Avalanche Razor's Edge and gets a visual three. Then, Rick Steiner hits a super-bulldog on Hall and Randy Anderson pops in to count three for the Steiners. That was a really cool finish, but it's going to lead to Pee-Wee Anderson tearfully asking for his ref job back to fed his fam'ly on Nitro, which I am way less stoked for. 

 

  • Eddy/Syxx is the first-ever ladder match in WCW, by my reckoning. It feels like there was Razor/Shawn at WM X and then Edge and Christian/Hardy Boyszszzz at whatever PPV it was at, and the ladder matches in between sort of get glossed over. Even the HBK/Razor rematch, which had that AWESOME limb work in it (probably only second to the super-awesome limbwork in Banks/Lynch 2015 in the WWF/E history of limbwork) sort of is forgotten today. I think this is another example of an (unfairly) forgotten ladder match because it's a pretty brutal match and both guys kill it in this thing. Eddy was excellent in this setting considering this and the RVD ladder match. Though Eddy drops the belt in the finish, it's still an effective finish. 

 

  • NGL, I went to relieve myself as soon as the finals of the Miss nWo competition began. I played some Retro Bowl while on the can, washed my hands, and wiped down my phone screen. After all that, I came back. It was still going. Fuuuuuuuuuck. 

 

  • A terrible Hogan video plays on the screens while the Giant comes out. Bischoff slobbers over Hogan on commentary in a way that I'm pretty sure is not a heel working but a man shooting because he is infatuated with this guy. Holy shit, George Teague and Nate Newton! I'm old. Anyway, some Cowboys are here with Hogan. They huddle up in the aisle. The Boys hold up their fists to the camera; said fists are glittering with Super Bowl rings. They are easily the coolest part of this whole main event presentation. It's never good when legit athletes show up your promotion's wrestlers in terms of charisma and coolness. The match is solid, though. Hogan was really working his hardest in these main events. I really dug Hogan hitting a body slam and legdrop, but the Giant getting right up like a villain in a slasher flick and tracking him. Chokeslam, three visual three-counts, fuckery, guitar shot, etc. but it's really too bad because I enjoyed what came before it. The crowd chants for Sting. And you know what?

 

  • SoggyEnormousBengaltiger-max-1mb.gif

 

  • This show has a reputation that it sort of deserves, but from DDP/Norton on, it was legitimately good. The weak undercard up to that point + Katz and Bischoff embarrassing themselves overshadows that, but they did have something going over the last hour of the show, match-wise.

 

  • Not a Souled Out note, but I cut on Mid-South after this is over and Skandor Akbar brings in Jim Doogan, who is dressed like he's the Berzerker's cousin. Love that style choice.
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Thoughts on Super Summer Sizzler Spectacular

Jimmy Snuka made an early bid for MVP honors with a pair of ECW TV title defenses, beating JT Smith and Tommy Cairo. Superfly seemed miscast as a heel with Paul E. as his manager. 

Tony Stetson fended off Rockin' Rebel's interference to win a first blood match over Larry Winters in an "early ECW guys" special.

The "Catfight Humiliation" match between Miss Peaches and Terrible Tigra was only supposed to end when the loser was stripped. Tigra said "no thanks" and got counted out. Before the fans could start chanting "WCW," an unnamed woman came to the ring and got stripped by Stetson and Rebel.

Jay Sulli was the play-by-play guy, but then Joey Styles showed up for one match as a heel, even though he was touted as a Pro Wrestling Illustrated contributor.

Sal Bellomo found new life post WWF jobber-dom. He dressed as a Roman centurion and called himself "Wildman" Bellomo. The fans loved it.

Most Extreme Sign of the Night: KILL HIM

Eddie Gilbert battled Terry Funk in a Texas Chain match massacre. Referee Kevin Christian didn't see Funk touch all four corners, but then Gilbert hit a piledriver and won the match. Christian was in cahoots with Paul E. and Gilbert. For being crowned "King of Philadelphia" in the most Memphis way possible, Eddie Gilbert is the MVP.
 

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Gonna make an argument that people love Duggan in Mid-South because he was so putrid post-Mid South that being watchable-if-unremarkable seems like a big deal. 

I know that's not it and people really like him for him, but if I only understood everything about pro wrestling through my perspective, I'd say that.

There is novelty in Duggan moving faster and bumping more and bothering to sell a bit more (and not as goofily), I'll admit that. 

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I am currently fighting to get through the fall of 94 in my WWF rewatch. The booking at this point was so bad. On paper, the roster actually was pretty decent but they got the least out of it. The Survivor Series match that got the most buildup screentime was the freaking clowns vs. Lawler's team comedy match. Bret vs. Backlund got, after Backlund attacked Skaaland and the magazine guy, relatively little buildup. You would expect that they would try to give Backlund as many wins as possible on TV, but besides a Superstars win against Holly, there was a DQ loss against Luger (in a surprisingly decent match - Luger in 94 was not doing much for me) and a win against Waltman that was cut from the Network version (I guess they lost the original tape of that one). Yokozuna already feels like an afterthought - they started to build up IRS vs. Undertaker long before Survivor Series.

Also the layout of Raw has become very formulaic, all shows have to have a King's Court. I am not much of a fan of Lawler's WWF heel persona anyway, having to deal with him on any show is tough. Starting with a 10 to 15 minute non-squash match is fine, but the matches they chose also left a lot to be desired.

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I finished my 94 rematch recently too.

Agreed on the Lawler/Doink stuff. That was a form of torture.

Disagree on the Backlund stuff though. I feel as though they did as much as possible to build him up as a legit threat with an inescapable submission hold. There was also the beat down on the Bulldog and Adam Bomb as well (maybe Razor too). The Kid match was pretty good stuff also. 

It irked me that they built him up so much, then fed him to Nash in seven seconds (the constant Backlund promos after only referring to him as Kevin Nash were amusing) and then used him as a bit of a joke afterwards.

Admittedly I do wonder whether it was a thrown together idea after they realised that the planned Bret/Bundy feud wasn't going to work between Bundy refusing to put Bret over and the matches being awful. But at the same time, they probably could have eaked out a Bret vs Anvil match instead. 

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It was mentioned a few years back that Backlund's 1994 push was inspired somewhat by George Foreman getting a heavyweight boxing title match in his mid-40s. Foreman won the title two weeks before Survivor Series, and Backlund got a quickie title run as a result of Big George's upset. If Foreman lost his fight to Moorer, I wonder if Bret would have gone over Backlund at Survivor Series, then move him to a heel Nash or Michaels for his next feud.

 

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I think late 93-through early 94 is great fucking stuff. But the thinness of the roster takes its toll over the second half of 94 and things kind of go to shit. They really should have given Backlund at least a couple weeks with the belt and actually had Diesel go over on literally anywhere but a house show, even if it was MSG. Seems like that period had a lot of house show switches. Wasn't one of the Quebecers switches done on a house show? I guess they were trying to goose live gates at a down time

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