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#41 El-P

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 03:05 PM

March 98 : _the build to Uncensored was pretty bad, with the focus on Hogan vs Savage and the World title clearly secondary business. Everything that touches the nWo is dull at this point, and it doesn't help that useless, heatless, talentless hacks like Brian Adams and Brutus Beefcake get some TV time. _the Scott Steiner heel turn was good. Too bad they did nothing of note with him. And I don't get why nobody told Steiner that if you can't make a hold look good, you shouldn't use it, as his Steiner Recliner looks like it couldn't hurt a kid. _Nash & Hall show up totally wasted on the Spring Break episode, and get thrown in a 4 feet deep pool by the Giant, resulting in them both hitting the bottom of the pool. _Ric Flair is nowhere to be seen. Hall quickly disappears too. As noted in a semi-shoot comment by Nash on Thunder, Syxx has been fired and Hall is "too dangerous" for TV. _The way they handled Bret is absolutely pathetic. They put him with Curt Hennig who is either the laziest wrestler on the roster at this point or is totally washed up, and they have a match that get showed up by Sting vs Hall on PPV. Bret gets less TV that the Bulldog and Neidhart and when he does, after 4 months in the company, he makes references to Montreal and how he won't let people get screwed like he has been. In the span of a few month, Bret turned from a legit star with ton of heat to a guy working mid-card every now and then with less direction than Chavo Guerrero Jr. Good job. _The Goldberg machine has launched, complete with a bogus number of victory and the infamous "who's next". By the end of the month he's beating guys like Ray Traylor now and he's clearly the most over guy in the company. They're gearing toward him vs Saturn, which was very smart as Saturn could seem like a legit threat and could work within his style. _They're doing a very good job with keeping the undercard fluid and interesting, not going into dull rematch with different stips at every PPV, but shuffling the opponents. Benoit goes from Raven and DDP to a feud with Booker T since he couldn't get the US, he's targetting the TV, and they're doing a good, no bullshit build of the feud with two "10 minutes" (more like 7-8 minutes) draw on Nitro. DDP vs Raven works really well too, and Raven is so hated that he turns Buff Bagwell into a face. In each promos they allude to the fact their mentor is Jake Roberts, without mentionning him by his whole name, I remember he was supposed to come at some point. Jericho "retires" Dean, with the infamous interview where Okerlund tells Malenko he's a loser, then moves toward Prince Iaukea for a transitionnal feud to build him even more. They do a good job giving Iaukea some wins before he even gets into an argument with Jericho. And the great Eddie mentors Chavo storyline begins, with the "Eddie Guerrero is my favourite wrestler / Cheat to won" T-shirt that Chavo is forced to wear. Add a nice push for Juvy in exchange for losing his mask, with a PPV victory over Konnan, and some good matches with Disco and Psychosis as usual. _Oh man, they brought Piper back. Well, he's over and it freshens things for a week or two. But as much as it was fun in 1996, Piper had already overstayed his welcome in 1997, and this reeks of desperation while WWF was getting hotter and hotter. _The tag-team title is dead by this point. _Brian Adams is the worthless addition to the WCW roster. Curt Hennig on my TV = bad heatless match. _The Flock was a good vehicule to establish Saturn and Kidman, who gets over despite never winning a match. _Kaz Hayashi is debuting, I liked how they would bring those random japanse guys. _Not much glamour anymore in WCW at this point, Liz is the only valet/manager left. Like tag-team wrestling, this is something lacking.

#42 Strummer

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 04:11 PM

All I can think about Mero is how he really did throw his career away for his wife. I don't think he could have gotten a big run with Austin in 98 but with as much room as there was at the start of 98 he should of done more.


I think Mero did as well as could be expected in '98, given that he was never the same after rushing back from reconstructive knee surgery. The top guys (Austin, Foley, Hunter) had no respect for him and didn't want to work with him, so getting his wife over to be more popular than Foley or Hunter was the best thing for his career at the time.



I think Mero is a case of wrestlers and fans have different definitions of what a good worker is. I get the sense that other wrestlers thought he was sloppy in the ring sometimes and hurt people. Jealousy was definitely an issue (as Foley basically admitted) though

#43 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 06:23 AM

Barry Windham vs. Johnny B Badd (Worldwide 05/22/93)

This was such a kick-ass TV match. Barry's speciality really was short TV matches where he's dropping bombs as opposed to long NWA style title matches. He did a really beautiful job controlling the flow and pace of this match. It looked like Windham had the match in hand, but just when you thought it was over Badd rocked Windham with a series of nearfalls. I watched this for the WCW poll, but even though I've seen it before it was exciting all over again. The finish was awesome too, as Barry won without using a finisher.

I also watched a Rude/Badd match from '94 which has left me convinced that Rude was god awful at least 50% of the time. Really poor match. Very similar to his mind-numbling bad series with Dustin in '93, where the only good thing about the matches is the jawing before they lock-up.

#44 Loss

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 01:12 PM

Sting vs Steve Austin - WCW Saturday Night 01/01/94

This is a tremendous match where they work holds most of the time. Most of this is basic, but it's really well-executed and builds nicely. They work a headlock for the 10 minutes or so of this 15 minute match and do lots of counters based off of it. Austin gives Sting an awesome looking superplex. The finish is dumb, with Pillman interfering and attacking Austin, but this was during a time period where it was obvious WCW had no plans for Pillman, so I don't think they really cared that they made him a dumb babyface.

Brian Pillman vs Steve Austin - WCW Saturday Night 01/15/94

Not as good as the Sting match, but good in its own right. Austin fakes a knee injury in an attempt to lure Pillman in, but ends up putting a bullseye on it. Pillman is all, "Well, I wasn't planning on it, but since you brought it to my attention, sure I'll destroy your knee" and does some nice work on it. Austin ends up taking control and destroys Pillman's shoulder. Those who enjoy matches that focus on a body part will really like this, as they do some nice stuff, but it's too short to get to the next level.

Austin was a great wrestler by this point in time, but he was also working above his push. What I mean by this is that his style really demanded 30-minute matches to allow the build he was doing to reach its full potential. He should have been pushed harder than he was, which I guess is kind of a no-brainer. He was too good in the ring to be an upper midcarder by this time.

#45 El-P

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:48 AM

April 98 _finally two good main-event on Nitro, and as shocking as it seems, these are two Sting vs Kevin Nash matches for the WCW title. Sting finally shook up the rust, and Nash was more motivated than he basically ever was since coming into WCW. The fans were ready for a Nash face turn at this point, also he's clearly a tweener at this point, getting huge face reaction when he's confronting Hogan and heel heat when he's challenging Sting. But the writing was on the wall, and at least him showing motivation in the ring plus being really over made me look forward to the face turn. _Spring Stampede was the best PPV since Souled Out. Really solid undercard. Booker T is getting better, and they did an excellent job building him as a credible single champion. Amazing to think that in 1998, titles in WCW meant something, and the way you built a champion was easy and logical, give him the belt and have him defend it often in good matches and keep the title for a good amount of time. Sounds crazy... Same things goes for Jericho, who's little feud with "Prince Nakamaki" was good as a pug into the Jericho vs Malenko big feud. Piper & Giant vs Hogan & Nash, the bat match, sounded terrible on paper but actually was watchable and forwarded the Hogan/Nash split in a logical way, making Hogan look like a real scumbag. Raven stealing the US title from DDP and Savage getting the world title thanks to Nash kept things fresh. _and of course, the week after Spring Stampede was the worst booked since Starrcade 97. First they job Raven out of the US title to Goldberg, which was stupid. Raven was over and the belt was good to solidify him as a upper mid-card act. Goldberg didn't need the belt at all, plus it was obvious that he would go on to win the WCW belt soon enough at this point, so you fuck up Raven's push for nothing and you lock up a worthwhile belt around the waist of someone who obviously isn't going to lose it before he gets the world title. The you have the Hogan vs Savage match, which made no sense whatsoever. Piper wants to fuck with Hogan, so what does he do ? He makes a match with no DQ (which is good for Hogan since Savage can't protect his title by being DQed, plus Savage was injured, way to give Hogan another advantage), with "no run-ins allowed" (because run-ins are allowed usually ? What is Piper gonna do if a run-in occurs, dq someone in a no dq match ?And why is the Brutus with Hogan and interfering at will ? Where's Kevin Nash during the match ? Why is Bret Hart running-in to cost Savage the title ?). As bad as anything Russo booked to be honest, and Hogan getting the title back was just awful, setting the clock back nearly two years. The only good thing that came out of this was Bret heel turn, which at this point was a blessing since Bret as a face did nothing for 5 months, and Bret was much better as a heel anyway now. _They did a good job planting the seeds of Kanyon's storyline with Raven. As Raven makes a run in on DDP, "a fan" (Kanyon himself) just blast Raven from behind and gets taken down by security, and the announcers don't sell it at all since it's not supposed to be part of the show. Same things happens a few weeks later, Kanyon jumps on Kidman, and this time Schiavone ackwnoledge that a fan has jumped the ring but kinda laughs it off as he's arrested by the security. _Eddie Guerrero slapping Chavo around and Chris Jericho dedicating matches to the retired Dean malenko was gold. _Amazing how Hollywood Hogan went from the freshest and most exciting heel in wrestling into yet another tired Hogan cliché with Brutus Beefcake at his side in one year and a half. Nash is breaking up with nWo to form the Wolfpack with all the "cool" guys (first being Savage and Konnan) while Hogan kept the Brian Adams of the world, and you feel this is representative of the politics in the back. As Nash is getting way over as a cool face, Hogan is insecure as hell and keeps the title on himself but doesn't find a way to keep him fresh, resorting to his old ways (Beefcake, celebrity and soon enough, Warrior....). _Buff Bagwell's injury made me cringe. I didn't remember it looking so bad. _Horace Boulder has been signed and is a member of the flock. Joy. At least he's better than Brian Adams. _Man, Curt Hennig sucks and he's totally banged up. Why is he on my TV ? Mr. Perfect is a long gone memory at this point.

#46 Kronos

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:55 PM

Barry Windham vs Johnny B Badd - WCW Saturday Night 01/2/93

This match is fairly . . .well. . . boring. Both workers are competent, but they do seem to be going through the motions for about 7 of the 8 minutes. The final minute has some nice reversals, and Mero does a running frankensteiner followed by a sunset flip off the top rope that help to pick up the pace. Not much drama, and I just didn't care about any of it. Who was it who said above that Windham was king of boring singles matches?

MX vs. Ron Garvin/Barry Windham - NWA TV 5/16/87

"Go, Ronnie, Go!" and "Beat Em Up, Baaaaaaaaarry, Beat Em Up!" should tell you whose side the crowd takes in this match. What an explosion of blonde hair. Terrific action. There's a segment when Garvin is suffering FIP where his opponent (I forget which) has him in a seated headlock. Garvin rolls over and does mountain-climbers over to corner, almost enough to tag Windham. It's a simple spot that could be used to great effect by someone today like a Cena or a Danielson. These guys are so smooth, and the studio crowd was hot. The ending basically includes all hell breaking loose -- refs get thrown out of the ring, Cornette gets knocked out by a sleeper hold, and all sorts of shenannigans go down. Great stuff.

2011 : the year of the official rehabilitation of Marc Mero.


Works for me. Ignore the comment I made above about a boring Mero match.

#47 kjh

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:56 AM

plus it was obvious that he would go on to win the WCW belt soon enough at this point


I guarantee no-one in WCW was thinking this at the time. Hogan only dropped the strap to him so soon because he spied an opportunity to con the TBS execs into believing he drew the 40,000 fans to the Georgia Dome for Nitro and he was still the hottest act in wrestling. :)

#48 El-P

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:25 AM

plus it was obvious that he would go on to win the WCW belt soon enough at this point


I guarantee no-one in WCW was thinking this at the time. Hogan only dropped the strap to him so soon because he spied an opportunity to con the TBS execs into believing he drew the 40,000 fans to the Georgia Dome for Nitro and he was still the hottest act in wrestling. :)


Maybe it's just me thinking in retrospect then. But still Goldberg was obviously the Man like Bobby Heenan would say over and over again (really, Heenan at this point was really bad, but he did a great job putting Goldberg over, it seems like he understood Goldy was the future of the company), and he was destined to get the big belt at some point, nothing could stop that from happening.
Hogan dropping the belt on Nitro was also a desperate way to get the ratings win back. How stupid was that to waste the obvious big money match they had just to pop a rating...
It's rather fascinating to revisit that era.

#49 rzombie1988

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:35 AM

Goldberg was the man for sure. Listen to the crowds then, they were super loud and popped for long periods of times. Pretty amazing how WCW blew it.

#50 El-P

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:13 AM

May - June 98 _ I don't know if the felt pressure from the big rise of the WWF post WM 14, but they sure shook things up on top to try to refresh the product. Scott Hall turning on Kevin Nash. Giant turning on Sting. Luger joigning the Wolfpack. Then Sting joigning the Wolfpack. And DDP finally getting to a well deserved main-event spot. The nWo Hollywood vs Wolfpack feud seemed nice at first especially in a Hogan vs Nash dynamic, as Nash was getting crazy over, but it quickly turns into dullsville, as Nash gets back into the tag team ranks with Sting of all people (after Sting defeats the Giant in a single match to win the titles they had won together before, yeah, the booking is getting really bad there). _Luger was still crazy over while not doing anything of note, so putting him in the Wolfpack gave the fans a reason to pop for him. And did they pop when he joined the afction, amazing reaction. The problem is that Luger doing gang signs and trying to act cool next to Kevin Nash and Konnan is just bad. Then there's Sting, who loses the mystique he buit for the last two years by basically reverting back to his surfer days character, with a little "nWo" edge to it. The crowds are going crazy for him, so it's no big deal. But damn he looked silly in that red facepaint, like a giant radioactive sunburn of his face. This guy should have remained his finisher the Lobster Deathlock. _Eric Bischoff's ego is out of control at this point. Challenging MacMahon to a match on PPV was jaw-dropping. SUre, it was a great heel promo, amazing actually, but it made Vince look like the babyface since Eric is such an obnoxious bitch, which was, well, retarded. Then there's Bischoff "breaking Savage's leg" and getting Liz. Ugly. And the killer is the debut of one of the greatest bad segment on Nitro, the Eric Bischoff Show, the godawful Late Show parody. Liz looking hot on the couch was the only redeeming quality this awful segments had. Bischoff just lost it completely at that point. _the undercard still got three great heels : Jericho, Eddie and Raven. As the first two still have some comedic reliefs, Raven is such a whiny asshole you just want to slap him, he was great at being a straight, truly detestable heel in a company with too much "cool" or "comedic" heels. The Kanyon program just isn't very good thus far, the worst Raven feud I can think of at this point. Mortis had so much potential, it was stupid on their part to kill that character, and Kanyon isn't getting over very well at this point. The Eddie vs Chavo feuds was so good for so long, but then Chavo goes into straight comic relief with Pepe, and that is clearly not as good. Eddie is still gold. Jericho is just amazing week end and week out. _Ugh, Stevie Ray is back, and he's screwing with his brother. Makes sense, but the guy sucks in the ring to an unbelievable degree. Public Enemy are back too, more bad matches. _The Goldberg phenomenon is getting crazy, but I don't find it very interesting unless he's fighting someone with some value, as most of his wins he got over straight jobbers in an era were jobbers match don't exist anymore. Plus he's been exposed working longer, more competitive match with Saturn as a guy who, well, can't really work outside of hitting a few big spots. _Bret Hart as a heel is about a thousand times better. Good interviews, believable, plays a manipulative frustred guy, it works really good. Too bad the booking don't make in any favors. He goes from teaming with Hogan against Savage and Piper (a very forgetable match built by really good promos) to screwing with Benoit to screwing with Booker T, the TV champ. Poor Bret. _DDP clearly had already hit is peak in 97, and it shows as he's getting closer and closer to the "cheesy" factor here, with bad promos and bad catchphrases (who can forget Hollywood "Scum" Hogan). The DDP & Karl Malone vs Hogan and Rodzilla (what a stupid nickname) build is just corny. _The Wolfpack music theme becomes absolutely annoying after just a few weeks. _Alex Wright returning, good stuff as the guy could wok his ass off, was a really good douchebag and his team with Disco Inferno was undercard randomness gold. Especially when Magnum Tokyo gets involved. And yeah, it's that period of the year when Tokyo, Shiima Nobunaga, Little Dragon and the other Ultio Dragon student get some time on TV. Fun times. _El Vampiro debuts, and doesn't get over at all. _The begin to tease the return of Flair by having Benoit do the 4 Horsemen sign, and McMicheal coming back. I have no idea if by this time they had already settle things with Ric, where on the way too, or if that was just careless on their part, taking the risk Flair wouldn't come back.

#51 El-P

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:45 AM

I officialy lost my mind. I thought the build to Hogan & Bischoff vs DDP & Leno was actually really efficient, with some terrific Hogan promos and Bischoff being amazingly annoying. And I thought the match worked to boot... Like I said, I may have lost my mind, but there it is...

#52 smkelly

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 07:01 PM

Goldberg was the man for sure. Listen to the crowds then, they were super loud and popped for long periods of times. Pretty amazing how WCW blew it.

He was the man indeed. I don't know who to blame more, Nash, Hogan, or Bischoff, or all of them equally.

When was the Sting vs. DDP World title match? IIRC, it was on Nitro, and was an excellent TV match.

#53 Strummer

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 07:51 PM

I officialy lost my mind. I thought the build to Hogan & Bischoff vs DDP & Leno was actually really efficient, with some terrific Hogan promos and Bischoff being amazingly annoying. And I thought the match worked to boot... Like I said, I may have lost my mind, but there it is...



Hogan was absolutely hilarious in this feud. I don't think he meant to be but his mannerisms and selling had me rolling at the time. Everyone else was pretty terrible (especially Bischoff)

#54 El-P

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 05:06 AM

When was the Sting vs. DDP World title match? IIRC, it was on Nitro, and was an excellent TV match.


I think it happened in 1999.

#55 Jingus

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 06:35 AM

Yeah, right after Spring Stampede 99.

#56 El-P

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 06:53 AM

Amazing how things fell apart during the Summer of 98. They had a strong undercard until mid-spring, then they went overboard with Jericho getting his title back on technicality, although it still made for good promos and matches. But Booker T got injured and the TV title went into Stevie Ray for bullshit reasons. Benoit was nowhere to be seen, but Steve McMicheal came back. Disco Inferno & Alex Wright as the dancing fools were a funny act but they got stuck with Public Enemy. The crazy Chavo storyline went nowhere after the hair match. Really, the only strong undercard storyline left was Raven vs Saturn vs Kanyon. Bret Hart as a manipulative heel is much more fun that I remembered. He's giving Lex Luger his best match since probably the Arn Anderson one in 95. Bret was awesome at being a douchebag during this period. We get Hacksaw Duggan in a mini-feud with Barbarian, which I can always watch. Rey Mysterio is back, and it's a welcome addition. Funny, for all the talk of how Chris Jericho was held back, he sure was pushed hard during the whole year, as on the day after he loses the cruiserweight title for good to Juvi, he gets the TV title. Goldberg cutting promos, not a very good idea. Plus the guy mostly bores me unless it's a really important match. Can't wait to revisit the Warrior feud... trainwreck incoming...

#57 El-P

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:43 AM

I don't know if there was a booking commitee change around the summer of 98, or if Sullivan simply jumped the shark, but the product took a huge nosedive around that point. It seems like they totally forgot why their product was so efficient a few years and even months ago, stars on top and strong undercard with good matches. The strong undercard is gone, the shows are one nWo segment after another, mostly with guys nobody cares about, Norton, Brian Adams, shitty workers like Konnan or Stevie Ray, the same interviews each week... The Steiner/Bagwell vs Rick Steiner feud had so much potential, but they turned it into a complete joke with terrible comedy segments and not delivering the match on PPV. After being booked as something important, the TV title seems like an aftertought, probably hurt by the Stevie Ray debacle. The US title basically became meaningless once Goldberg got it, and although Bret Hart had a streak of good US title match, it doesn't seem like it's anything more than a prop at this point. The cruiserweight title, after being hot for most of the year, is kinda forgotten once Juvi finally gets it from Jericho. And god, they put Evan Karagias on TV, and this guy was rotten. Seriously has two of the worst matches of the year against super workers Kaz Hayashi and Juvi, he's just godawful. Add to that the Warrior debacle, which was as terrible as I remembered, no redeeming qualities whatsoever, not even in a "so bad it's good" way. Really, the only good thing on TV at this point is the Raven vs Saturn feud. And the tease of a Horsemen comeback delivers some excellent Arn Anderson promos. The rest of the product is either dull or plain terrible.

#58 Loss

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:47 AM

Sullivan had been booking for about three years straight at this point without a break. It was time to put someone else in that role for a couple of years. I think he was just burned out. Booking WCW at this time was an unenviable task, despite having a tremendous roster with endless possibilities.

#59 Strummer

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:19 AM

Summer of 98 WCW is terrible and was when I really gave up on the product. I still watched Nitro and Thunder most weeks but there was no emotional investment. Didn't order one PPV that year. Starrcade 97 was the last WCW PPV I bought

#60 Strummer

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:32 AM

as an aside didn't Dusty briefly get the book around this time? I kind of figured this because Meng all of a sudden got a push again. I think he booked Road Wild 98 if I'm not mistaken (the Barbarian-Meng match might be a give away!)




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