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September 2022 Wrestling Discussion


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Ya know ,I've always heard that Randy Savage's "retirement" to commentator/part-timer status in the 90's was at Vince's insistence, which I never quite got. He's your biggest and most bankable star post-Hogan, and he only turns 40 in '92, which in wrestling terms is still his prime.

Vince being so hard-up for ideas in a post-Hogan/ongoing steroid trial world  and leaning so hard into jingoism that he had Undertaker going patriotic and ran an evil Finn gimmick is pretty hilarious. I wonder if Bucky was already influencing him at that time, whispering in Vince's ear, "I know Halme's got the look Vince, but the accent! Have you heard him speak? Cartoon villain's our only booking option!"

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8 hours ago, zendragon said:

 

Corrnette has said that the whole reason for the SMW co-promotion was to get him to manager Yoko

No, I understand that part. However, before Del Ray gets hurts the next year and I believe Del Ray also runs afoul of the office, the Bodies are pushed way above just being part of that co-promotion. By the time Jim gets there in August, outside Money Inc which lasts for all of a few weeks longer, all the tag teams from 1991 and 1992 are gone. The Bushwhackers are still around but they were a novelty act. So clearly bringing in the Bodies was mutual to help out that tag team division. They didn't really bring in anyone else and bill them as SMW stars. I mean they allow Jim sell his injuries from his storylines in Smoky Mountain and the tag belts show up for a little while, that's basically the extent of the co-promotion as it comes to WWF television or PPV.

That said, I'm assuming they thought people knew who Rock N Roll Express was and didn't think it needed anymore build. I believe they do a couple matches on like All-American wrestling and the other syndication programs. As Cornette tells it, bringing them in was his idea. However, he says it was terrible idea to do it in Boston.

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1 hour ago, The Comedian said:

Ya know ,I've always heard that Randy Savage's "retirement" to commentator/part-timer status in the 90's was at Vince's insistence, which I never quite got. He's your biggest and most bankable star post-Hogan, and he only turns 40 in '92, which in wrestling terms is still his prime.

It's clear that once Hogan was gone, they wanted to clean the slate and move on the next era. However, it's clear that they couldn't stick with that edict. 

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Vince being so hard-up for ideas in a post-Hogan/ongoing steroid trial world  and leaning so hard into jingoism that he had Undertaker going patriotic and ran an evil Finn gimmick is pretty hilarious. I wonder if Bucky was already influencing him at that time, whispering in Vince's ear, "I know Halme's got the look Vince, but the accent! Have you heard him speak? Cartoon villain's our only booking option!"

Based on Bruce's STW episode on Survivor Series 93, they definitely thought they had something with the Borga character and Halme. What it was....I am not sure. It didn't really resonate with the fans and Halme's work was not good. Maybe five months isn't a great sample size, but there wasn't much hope in that time Borga could actually do something worthwhile.

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Who is the largest wrestler to be an effective FIP in a tag team setting? 

I ask this because I just watched John Tenta once again be an awesome FIP in a random match against the Nastys. The Natural Disasters shouldn't ever have worked as a face tag team, but they did largely because of Quake's believable FIP work even as large as he was. Is there a bigger dude who was able to be as believable in that role?

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3 hours ago, The Comedian said:

Ya know ,I've always heard that Randy Savage's "retirement" to commentator/part-timer status in the 90's was at Vince's insistence, which I never quite got. He's your biggest and most bankable star post-Hogan, and he only turns 40 in '92, which in wrestling terms is still his prime.

Vince being so hard-up for ideas in a post-Hogan/ongoing steroid trial world  and leaning so hard into jingoism that he had Undertaker going patriotic and ran an evil Finn gimmick is pretty hilarious. I wonder if Bucky was already influencing him at that time, whispering in Vince's ear, "I know Halme's got the look Vince, but the accent! Have you heard him speak? Cartoon villain's our only booking option!"

Well, according to an old, famous thread here...

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3 hours ago, The Comedian said:

Ya know ,I've always heard that Randy Savage's "retirement" to commentator/part-timer status in the 90's was at Vince's insistence, which I never quite got. He's your biggest and most bankable star post-Hogan, and he only turns 40 in '92, which in wrestling terms is still his prime.

I've heard that in 92 Vince felt forty-something was over the hill, but as you get older so does the idea of "youth" so as Vince aged he got more comfortable with the idea of older stars

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I just watched the Raw from September of 1993 where for "one night only" they brought back Snuka to wrestle the great Paul Van Dale aka the guy who gave the world Carmella.

Snuka was 50, and I'm guessing hard up for money.

If he thought 40 was over the hill...

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57 minutes ago, zendragon said:

I've heard that in 92 Vince felt forty-something was over the hill, but as you get older so does the idea of "youth" so as Vince aged he got more comfortable with the idea of older stars

Yeah, that's absolutely a Meltzer thing -- Dave has mentioned many, many times how Vince handed over his two biggest 80s stars to Bischoff for nothing because he felt they were too old.  Shit, Vince was looking for a Hogan replacement (Warrior in 1989/90) when the guy was only 36.  That's some real Logan's Run shit.

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Hogan at least wanted to try his luck with Hollywood though. He wasn't going to be able to do that on a full time WWF schedule. Moreover, his shadow looms too large if he just shows up every now and again as a featured player. I believe Vince thought there was no way Hogan would ever sign with WCW, which had it not been for Ted's love for wrestling, would have been dead. It would be like if Cena went to Hollywood, it doesn't go well, and he signs with Impact. The timing and Hogan's lack of success elsewhere lined up perfectly with Eric becoming Executive Vice President and then being able to sell Hulk on doing a pretty comfortable schedule for great money.

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I don't think the instinct was entirely wrong. Vince understood that the jingoistic '80s were giving way to the counter-culture '90s. The problem is that for whatever reasons (steroid trial distractions, the drop in domestic business scaring him into incremental action, having to wait until his TV partners were more open to that shift), he was really bad at reacting to that shift for the first half of the decade.

It might be revisionist, but choosing Kevin Nash as his champion made a lot of sense from that perspective. He booked the guy into the ground, but again, the instinct was right. 

 

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12 hours ago, SturmCRF said:

As an eight year old, I would record the audio of WWF shows onto cassette tape, so I could listen to them in bed. As a result, the commentary of Summerslam 93 is seared into my mind, especially Vince shouting 'Jannetty is an opportunist! Marty Jannetty is as opportunist!' during his comeback against Ludwig Borga.

Borga was my favourite wrestler of all time for the, like, three months he existed for a kid who didn't get to see Raw, only PPVs my grandparents had recorded for me. After all, he beat Tatanka, who I hated, and came out to the Finnish national anthem, which was like The Mountie's instrumental theme song but even more stirring and epic. As a general rule, the more a heel came across like a James Bond henchman, the more I liked them.

Ludvig Borga the original Next Big Thing. He should of been pushed like how Brock Lesnar was.

We should of had Luger Vs Borga at Summerslam instead of Yokozuna.

 

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26 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Yeah, that's absolutely a Meltzer thing -- Dave has mentioned many, many times how Vince handed over his two biggest 80s stars to Bischoff for nothing because he felt they were too old.  Shit, Vince was looking for a Hogan replacement (Warrior in 1989/90) when the guy was only 36.  That's some real Logan's Run shit.

You could say that Vince was looking to replace Hogan sooner then that with him wanting to make Tom Magee his next Hogan. He settled on Ultimate Warrior but Tom Magee was his original choice I think.

 

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1 hour ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

I don't think the instinct was entirely wrong. Vince understood that the jingoistic '80s were giving way to the counter-culture '90s. The problem is that for whatever reasons (steroid trial distractions, the drop in domestic business scaring him into incremental action, having to wait until his TV partners were more open to that shift), he was really bad at reacting to that shift for the first half of the decade.

It might be revisionist, but choosing Kevin Nash as his champion made a lot of sense from that perspective. He booked the guy into the ground, but again, the instinct was right. 

 

I believe the biggest disservice he did to Nash was switching the belt at the house show at MSG. I get what they were trying to do, but an important moment like that needs to happen on television. I know they replayed it a billion times, but I think it would have helped Nash greatly if it was on television live. We would still be talking about that moment had it happened on TV. As is, we just had to accept Diesel was WWF champion. No clean transition or anything.

By the time the fans finally warmed to Diesel being champ and the whole Big Daddy Cool, his run as champ was winding down.

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22 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

Wasn't the biggest disservice putting him in sweaters and rrying to make him likable? ?

According to ole Bruce, that was JR's idea.

The corny truck pun dialogue they gave him was the 2nd biggest disservice.

I wonder what would have happened had they let Nash do what he did after Survivor Series 1995 earlier where Diesel turned into Mr. I Don't Give a Fuck which is essentially Kevin Nash.

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1 hour ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

wonder what would have happened had they let Nash do what he did after Survivor Series 1995 earlier where Diesel turned into Mr. I Don't Give a Fuck which is essentially Kevin Nash.

I must have missed that Raw as a kid, because I saw that promo for the first time on a rewatch when the Network first came out, and I thought it was awesome. It wasn't as edgy as Nash would later be in the NWO, but in a pre-Stone Cold world I thought it worked really, really well as an early draft.

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2 hours ago, odessasteps said:

Wasn't the biggest disservice putting him in sweaters and rrying to make him likable? ?

 

2 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

According to ole Bruce, that was JR's idea.

The corny truck pun dialogue they gave him was the 2nd biggest disservice.

I wonder what would have happened had they let Nash do what he did after Survivor Series 1995 earlier where Diesel turned into Mr. I Don't Give a Fuck which is essentially Kevin Nash.

The whole shooty promo where he said something like, “the day after I won the belt, the had me at WWF HQ telling me to smile more,” etc is wild and always stayed in my mind because nearly every face champion after that was a smiling idiot at some point in their reigns.  Like, if they knew it was corny to the point where they used it to get over Diesel as an edgy face, why did they keep doing it unironically as a face schtick moving forward?

Edited by Technico Support
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8 hours ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

Who is the largest wrestler to be an effective FIP in a tag team setting? 

I ask this because I just watched John Tenta once again be an awesome FIP in a random match against the Nastys. The Natural Disasters shouldn't ever have worked as a face tag team, but they did largely because of Quake's believable FIP work even as large as he was. Is there a bigger dude who was able to be as believable in that role?

Andre sometimes played Giant-in-peril in 70s multi-man tags, usually based around his great trapped in the ropes bump. Tenta probably outweighed Baba, but Baba was probably taller,and he was an awesome Giant-in-peril in those late career multi-man tags. Tenta is probably top 3. Not that many dudes bigger or better than him! Not sure if Yokozuna or The Big Paul (to name two other bigger guys) were ever as great in that role in their careers.

Edited by Gordlow
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4 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

I believe the biggest disservice he did to Nash was switching the belt at the house show at MSG. I get what they were trying to do, but an important moment like that needs to happen on television. I know they replayed it a billion times, but I think it would have helped Nash greatly if it was on television live. We would still be talking about that moment had it happened on TV. As is, we just had to accept Diesel was WWF champion. No clean transition or anything.

 

I feel the same way about Brets first WWF title win. I get you want to have the fans think  they have to attend the House shows but I think it hurts to have a person's first title win on an untelevised Event. Especially when they are new to the main event slot.

Borga at the least wouldve gotten a top of the card feud with Taker. Bret would've had some good matches with him too. 

I remember really thinking Vladimir Koslov initial push was dope because it reminded me of Borga. It was cool to see a foreign monster heel come in and Squash people every week till they built him up for the champ. It was nice too see 80s style booking in 2008 WWE. If Jeff Hardy wasn't finally getting his championship run which it definitely was his till considering he was the most over guy at that time Koslov would have gotten an actual program with the Champion

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I like that Diesel won it at the MSG house show - it meant a lot more at the time than it does now and was consistent with the story being told.

On the other hand, it would have made more sense to run that same story at the Rumble rather than give him Bret and 70% of the crowd favouring Bret over him. Rewatching that entire year - it bothered me that Backlund went from the most bullet proof guy in the company from his initial match with Bret, going over pretty much the entire babyface roster up until Survivor Series, and then treated like a joke from the Diesel match afterwards.

The loss of faith in Savage seemed to be around that time Vince stopped a match with Flair at a taping mid-way through, and insisted they restart it. I always thought it was around the time of the Zahorian trial, and him wearing the full body suit that I thought made him look teeny tiny and aged him by about 10 years, but at the same time - they really pivoted out of nowhere to Savage/Flair for Mania 8, when they didn't really have to - as that old vignette to determine the number 1 contender showed - they had Hogan, Piper, Taker, Sid all there. They could have ran Hogan/Flair, or Hogan/Sid for the title, and instead brought Savage back from the commentary booth to be the top guy again. Was that related to Savage being offered money to jump around this time maybe?
 

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7 hours ago, GuerrillaMonsoon said:

I like that Diesel won it at the MSG house show - it meant a lot more at the time than it does now and was consistent with the story being told.

On the other hand, it would have made more sense to run that same story at the Rumble rather than give him Bret and 70% of the crowd favouring Bret over him. Rewatching that entire year - it bothered me that Backlund went from the most bullet proof guy in the company from his initial match with Bret, going over pretty much the entire babyface roster up until Survivor Series, and then treated like a joke from the Diesel match afterwards.
 

I would rather have Owen somehow finagle his way to winning the WWF title finally rather than doing what they did to Backlund. If anyone deserved a short transitional title reign, it would have been Owen for how well he performed in the program with Bret. They wanted another Hart brother in that role, and Owen proved Bret right for picking him.

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The loss of faith in Savage seemed to be around that time Vince stopped a match with Flair at a taping mid-way through, and insisted they restart it. I always thought it was around the time of the Zahorian trial, and him wearing the full body suit that I thought made him look teeny tiny and aged him by about 10 years, but at the same time - they really pivoted out of nowhere to Savage/Flair for Mania 8, when they didn't really have to - as that old vignette to determine the number 1 contender showed - they had Hogan, Piper, Taker, Sid all there. They could have ran Hogan/Flair, or Hogan/Sid for the title, and instead brought Savage back from the commentary booth to be the top guy again. Was that related to Savage being offered money to jump around this time maybe?

Going back to what I said about Survivor Series 92 sucking....it seems like Vince was just doing random shit. I know Bruce comes back in September right after Summerslam 1992, but the promotion is teetering on chaos. They luckily back doored their way into Scott Hall killing it as Razor Ramon and the Great Kokina coming in after a pretty good run in Japan and Mexico. Seriously, Yoko's squash matches when he came in were awesome. He moves pretty damn well for a man his size and all his stuff looked great. Anyway, it just felt like a rudderless company for the most part. The Savage -> Flair title change was just bizarre. The way they edited it was the most Frankenstein'd mess you're ever going to see from the top wrestling company. I believe the reason for the switch was Randy going through his divorce and all that came with that. 

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