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WCW's Highway to Hell


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#1 El-P

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:37 AM

I have no idea how long this will take nor if I'll go the whole route... Maybe I'm just masochistic.

WEEK 1 (January 1 to 7, 1999) :

Death of WCW angle : The Fingerpoke of Doom. What can be said that hasn't been said already ? Actually in term of execution it was really well done and nobody saw it coming. I had forgotten that they also beat the shit out of Goldberg in the post-match celebration and that no one comes to his aid. No one. Man, WCW sure was depleted in term of babyfaces, as the Wolfpäck had been the big babyface faction for the last 6 months, and most of them (save for Konnan and Sting) turned heel there. I don't remember what was Bret Hart status at the time of Starrcade, I think he had been injured of something at some point while he was playing Hogan's pal and basically manipulating everybody. He's not there at this point. Anyway, it's a reset two years back. The nWo is in full force and Hulk is the champ.

Turn of the week : Lex Luger. Of course, Nash turning was a pretty big swerve, but he had been the big time heel until the split with Hogan anyway, so it's only a return to his roots. Luger on the other hand, was basically the second or third biggest babyface during the entire nWo angle, and he only joigned the Wölfpack when they were already full fledge faces. Him attacking Goldberg was a big change for Luger, and the first time he was clearly a heel since he came back to WCW in 1995, and basically since his Narcissist stint in 1993. This freshens things up, but also cuts deeper into the babyface front.

Promo of the week : Ric Flair cut a nice little "tradition" promo on Thunder, which was worlds better than his first big time President of WCW promo on Nitro (that was not very good not exciting and was basically a backup to the whole David Flair angle). Nothing special this week.

Match of the week : Chris Benoit vs Barry Windham (Thunder). Nice little back and forth action packed match, although way too short (but that's a given usually during this era). I love that old fat Windham wan still do his float over suplex like he's 20 and lean. He's not as smooth as he was before, but he's still a really solid worker. Benoit is Benoit in 99. Shocking revelation during the post-match : Mongo was still on the roster at this point !

Random match of the week : Bobby Eaton & Kenny Kaos vs La Parka & Silver King (Saturday Night). That's why you have to love WCW. This is part of the non-bracketted Tag Team tournament BTW. That's why you have to hate WCW. Kaos was the least useless part of High Voltage, so there is that, and Eaton isn't the guy he used to be 6 years before (plus I doubt he was über motivated at this point), but it's nice to see him in a different capacity than the jobber he'd been relegated to. Park & King are awesome, but this is not the kind of match for them to shine. Pretty fun though, and you'd never guess who got the pinfall.

Funniest moment of the week : Oh, *that* "Raven at home" vignette, with the Sandman showing up (I guess playing his brother). The way he says "Hi Kanyon" in a very disgusted way cracks me up every time, as does Kanyon doing a complete flip bump into the pool despite having been barely touched by the Sandman. Then you get Chastity (remember her ?) not wanting to kiss him, and Sandman talking about Tyler being 9 years old now !

Line of the week : "Mick Foley, who was Cactus Jack on our TV show, will win their version of the World Title. He's gonna be their World Champion. Ah !" (well, that was both petty and quite the epic fail)

You also get a bad lWo vignette with Eddie throwing a party (which would lead nowhere since Eddie had just crashed in a bad car accident which would help to kill the lWo angle) and Liz accusing Goldy of being a stalker (and she was pretty good at the end of the vignette too, while "apologizing").

#2 El-P

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

WEEK 2 (January 11 to 16, 1999)

Bad booking of the week : Ric Flair is killing off the lWo because he doesn't want more attacks on the luchadors by the nWo. The whole bunch drop the T-shirt, except for Rey who seems disguted at the sheepish attitude by his luchadors compadre. Doesn't make a whole lotta sense since Rey never wanted to be in to begin with. Plus, although Eddie was out of the game at this point, it would have been easy to keep on with the angle with Juvy as the leader. It gave the Luchadors more airtime and some actual angle to be part of, I guess Nash wanted none of this.

Stupid angles of the week : Chavo Jr. is throwing a party for Pepe (stick wood)'s birthday. Norman Smiley crashes the party, beats up Chavo and "kills" Pepe. This is retarded. Also, we have Chris Jericho along with Ralphus, challenging Saturn, who has a personnal issue with a referee, to wear a dress if he loses their next match. This is way goofy and stupid. Jericho dropped a lot since the awesome Dean feud, ditto Saturn since the awesome Raven feud.

Match of the week : Scott Steiner vs DDP (Nitro). Big Poppa Pump is such a better wrestler than suplex throwing Scotty. My only issue with him is that the Recliner looks like shit, but hey, John Cena made a career out of having a finisher that looks like shit. He's really got the heel routine down pat, he's stooging, stalling, cheating, showing ass, he was born to do this. Buff is fun antagonizing the crowd. And with DDP laying down the match and being super dynamic, this is a fun little match, with a shitload of heat.

Honorable mention of the week : Ric Flair vs Curt Hennig (Nitro) : better than I though it would be considering Henning has been pretty awful in 98. Here he works harder since he's in with Flair I guess. David Flair is at ringside.

Funniest moment of the week : Eric Bishoff having to put up the ring was pretty funny (nothing jaw cracking but made me smile), Eric being great at his character. And it also is a cool little look at the pre-show stuff.

Line of the week : "The Titanic has sank. Say hello to Kevin Nash , your nWo Corporate Giant" Eric Bischoff (Nitro). That was a pretty funny and smart-ass thing to say, as of course Paul Wight was departing to Titan, he just was squashed (basically) by Kevin Nash, and the rumour had it that he would be the lastest addition to Vince's heel faction of the Corporation.

Awkward moment of the week : "It's like robbing a bank and then shooting the employee who is already in a wheelchair". Konnan (Saturday Night). Talking about the nWo beating up Rey the previous week. Did he just compare his "little brother" to a guy in a wheelchair ? Way to put your friend over Carlos...

The nWo is killing off pretty much every tag-match because they don't want a tag-team tournament to happen. Souled Out looks like a total B-show, the build has been quite poor.

#3 Ditch

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:35 PM

Just watched the Nash/Giant match because I didn't remember it and thought Giant left after Starrcade. Bizarre booking that sees Giant humiliated but looking stronger than Nash. Why not just have Nash fight with a mean streak and some cheating but ultimately win clean?

#4 El-P

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:38 PM

Just watched the Nash/Giant match because I didn't remember it and thought Giant left after Starrcade. Bizarre booking that sees Giant humiliated but looking stronger than Nash. Why not just have Nash fight with a mean streak and some cheating but ultimately win clean?


I wouldn't say he looked stronger than Nash. Nash got like 90% of the offense, the announcers said Nash was a better big man, more agile and stuff... Yeah, they let Giant chokeslam Hall before he was fucked by the wrench (which was conviently let under the ring by Bischoff earlier, I thought that was a nice touch). At least it pushed further the notion that Hall & Nash were dipshits heels. And yes, he was humiliated without a comeback, so in the end no one remembers he chokeslamed Hall. I'm okay with that one.

#5 El-P

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

PPV 1 : Souled Out 1999.

Match of the night : Norman Smiley vs Chavo Guerrero Jr. Yeah, the Pepe storyline sucks, but damn this match is fun. Smiley was just awesome in every possible way, and he was so much fun as a heel that he already gets some loud cheers, and not just for the big wiggle (which may be the most crass gimmick maneurism ever). Chavo has also imporved quite a bit in 98, but Norman is the star here, streching Chavo in funky submission holds, making fun of Pepe, being a dick and giving it to Chavo doggystyle, I mean, litteraly at one point. Maybe a little bit on the long side, and the referee sucked at not seeing Norman use Pepe's "ashes" at the end, but really a very good match.

"WTF" match of the night : Mike Enos vs Chris Benoit : Yeah, Mike Enos is basically a guy who loses matches on Thunder. This guy has been on the roster for three years, and his most famous moment remains being in the ring when Scott Hall showed up on Nitro the very first time. Why the hell he gets a match with Benoit on PPV no less ? No idea, but he sure deserves to be on more PPV slots, as he's a super solid worker. So it's a super solid match, stiff, hard hitting, pretty bad ass.

"Looks like shit on paper but is actually good in reality" match of the night : Lex Luger vs Konnan. Luger turns heel and he's automatically ten times better than he was as a face. Shit, this match is not pretty, but if you like wrestling matches that actually make sense, with a beginning, a middle and an end, this is solid and quite fun. I have a soft spot for Konnan. Despite the horrible work ethic. Despite the catchphrase. Despite the music video. And Luger works much better when he's a deliberate heel who can also show his ass. Of course his execution is not exactly crisp like Benoit, but at least he didn't kill anyone. Wait, bad exemple. Anyway, Konnan does a decent job selling Luger's abuse, although at some point you wonder if he's selling or just grasping for air. His comeback is the most unergetic babyface fiery comeback ever, but that's why I love him too, he's such an awkward putz. And when this match couldn't get any better, Liz huge boobs are on my screen, as she walks to the ring in a leather miniskirt and high heel boots. I'll say it once and let it rest, but Liz was so ridiculously hot at this point, in all her Milfesque glory. She was what, 39 or so. Shit, in two years I'll be the same age. Anyway, she sprays Konnan's eyes, Luger wins, we know where it'll lead, but damn it was better than it had the right to be.

"Flatest" match of the night : Chris Jericho vs Saturn. Loser wears a dress/heel referee. What is this, Smokey Mountain Wrestling ? Man, Jericho's stuff hasn't aged very well, and Saturn, well, he's Saturn. Sloppy shit, no heat. Scott Dickinson is an ugly motherfucker and a shitty performer. Ralphus was neat for a one shot at Goldberg, but he overstayed his welcome the second time he showed up. This gets better toward the end, as they trade big spots, which they know how to do, but of course, you guess the finish. Saturn wears a dress. Yawn.

"Shitty gimmick" match of the night : Kidman vs Juventud Guerrera vs Psychosis vs Rey Mysterio Jr. 4 corners match, no elimination. I hate this kind of gimmick, as there's no reason for wanting to tag out. Hence, none of this stuff makes any sense at all. They play up the fact that Kidman & Rey are friends for a while, but it leads nowhere but to a texas tornado match, which is better than tagging in and out at least, with some pretty insane spots and bumps, which really is the whole point of such a match. But really, as far as wrestling match telling a story, Konnan vs Luger was better. There, I said it. Kidman doesn't kill Juvy with his shooting star press, which I guess is a plus.

"Not good but fun" match of the night : Barry Windham & Curt Hennig vs Ric Flair & David Flair. David has no business being in the ring, he looks totally out of place in every aspect. Barry is a trooper taking his "offense", which looks effectively offensive. Flair is all about chops, ditto Hennig who is fun again it seems after a horrible 1998. The finish sucks as David gets the pin on Hennig (thanks to complete cheating by Arn), but the following beatdown is awesome. I mean, brutal stuff. Flair must have been crying for real. Gets monster heat too. So yeah, not exactly a good match, but fun as hell once David is out of the way. Windham rules BTW.

"Death of WCW" match of the night : Goldberg vs Scott Hall. Because when you think Goldberg, you think ladder match. Right. It is exactly everything a Goldi match should not be : long, deliberate, slow, plodding. I guess Goldie was legit injured (he was "attacked by the nWo in the back), as there's no way he would have sold his left knee like that during the whole match. One cool spot at the end, as Goldi gets the tazer, throws it in the air and spears Hall as he's trying to catch it. Do you get Goldie celebrating over Hall's dead body ? Of course not, Bam Bam (who had a nothing match with Wrath earlier on), attacks him, Hall gets back the tazer and shocks both of them. Oh man...

Anticlimatic and Goldie-killing finish aside, this was a pretty fun PPV with nothing really bad on it and tons of fun stuff.

MVP : Norman Smiley.
Line of the Night "Lex Luger you'll toss my salad and peel my potatoes." Konnan. Holy shit, do people in the office actually understood what he was actually saying ? Between this and the big wiggle spot on Chavo earlier on, this was a dirty night.

#6 rzombie1988

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:34 PM

Line of the Night "Lex Luger you'll toss my salad and peel my potatoes." Konnan. Holy shit, do people in the office actually understood what he was actually saying ? Between this and the big wiggle spot on Chavo earlier on, this was a dirty night.

As a dumb 10-year old, I had always assumed that whoever he said it to would get beaten so badly that he could bully the person into cooking for him. Then I found out the meaning.

#7 Death From Above

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:24 PM

I found WCW's death sprial totally hypnotic so I can't wait to see how long you last before you just run from the house screaming.

#8 rvd356

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:21 PM

WEEK 2 (January 11 to 16, 1999)

Match of the week : Scott Steiner vs DDP (Nitro). Big Poppa Pump is such a better wrestler than suplex throwing Scotty. My only issue with him is that the Recliner looks like shit, but hey, John Cena made a career out of having a finisher that looks like shit. He's really got the heel routine down pat, he's stooging, stalling, cheating, showing ass, he was born to do this. Buff is fun antagonizing the crowd. And with DDP laying down the match and being super dynamic, this is a fun little match, with a shitload of heat.


Wow I thought I was the only one that liked WCW Big Poppa Pump(1998-2001) better than tag team Scotty(1989-1998). Although I'm a huge fan of the latter(also his Tna run was great too, the only time he sucked was in WWE '02-'04). Maybe cuz I'm such a big fan of Billy Graham and he was using a lot of Grahams stuff, but had a better moveset. Sure he couldn't do all the flashy stuff from the early 90's but he was such an evil bastard throwin Kim out of the car & chokin people out. He had that unmatched look & strength & the amature background to back it up. 1 of my favorite US monster heels(after only vader '92-'94) World champs was him November '00- March '01.

nvx

#9 Death From Above

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

Steiner had an amazing run in WCW once it was too late to matter. I'm on board with that too.

#10 flyonthewall2983

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:26 PM

Scott going after Flair like he did on Nitro put me off him forever. His match with HHH at the Royal Rumble during his WWE run was like watching a sweaty train wreck. Dude was a better tag team guy.

#11 Ditch

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:37 AM

HHH sandbagged Steiner like crazy in that match.

#12 rvd356

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:51 AM

Steiner had an amazing run in WCW once it was too late to matter. I'm on board with that too.


Seriously even back in my mark days('97/'98) I would think to myself "why isn't Scott Steiner World champion? He could obviously kick the shit out of Hogan, Sting, Piper and Flair." The only WCW guys I saw on his level were Goldberg,

Of course now I know it was nepotism by Flair & Hogan keeping guys like him at US Title level. I stopped watching all together after to focus on school sports and cuz Mania 15 just sucked and the nWo elite turned me off. When I came back to Raw/Nitro in the end of 2000 Steiner was champ and I was like "Good, of course he is". The prior Goldberg match @ Fall Brawl was freakin great, one of my favorite US power matches. Def a top 5 singles match for both guys. I really liked the Booker HIAC match, and actually the Sid Starrcade match is a guilty pleasure favorite of mine. Really wish WCW would have had Berg/Scotty @ Starrcade in a Rocky III scenario with Berg avenging his big loss. Also put Luger & Sid together, could have been a contender for worst ppv match ever.

#13 artDDP

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:38 AM

Line of the Night "Lex Luger you'll toss my salad and peel my potatoes." Konnan. Holy shit, do people in the office actually understood what he was actually saying ? Between this and the big wiggle spot on Chavo earlier on, this was a dirty night.

As a dumb 10-year old, I had always assumed that whoever he said it to would get beaten so badly that he could bully the person into cooking for him. Then I found out the meaning.


The office clearly had no idea. They included it as an intro to Konnan's theme song on the WCW CD released that year.

#14 Guest_Nell Santucci_*

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:46 AM

WEEK 2 (January 11 to 16, 1999)

Match of the week : Scott Steiner vs DDP (Nitro). Big Poppa Pump is such a better wrestler than suplex throwing Scotty. My only issue with him is that the Recliner looks like shit, but hey, John Cena made a career out of having a finisher that looks like shit. He's really got the heel routine down pat, he's stooging, stalling, cheating, showing ass, he was born to do this. Buff is fun antagonizing the crowd. And with DDP laying down the match and being super dynamic, this is a fun little match, with a shitload of heat.


Wow I thought I was the only one that liked WCW Big Poppa Pump(1998-2001) better than tag team Scotty(1989-1998). Although I'm a huge fan of the latter(also his Tna run was great too, the only time he sucked was in WWE '02-'04). Maybe cuz I'm such a big fan of Billy Graham and he was using a lot of Grahams stuff, but had a better moveset. Sure he couldn't do all the flashy stuff from the early 90's but he was such an evil bastard throwin Kim out of the car & chokin people out. He had that unmatched look & strength & the amature background to back it up. 1 of my favorite US monster heels(after only vader '92-'94) World champs was him November '00- March '01.

nvx


No doubt that Scott Steiner could have been a major draw too.

I remember going to some post-indy show gathering with wrestlers and promoters. The promoter asked for my favorite promo guy, and I endorsed Scott Steiner. He seemed baffled, and I justified my choice by saying that the guy is obviously some crazed, roided up lunatic who'd beat up his own mother for not cleaning up after him. Due to his unique, non-replicable individualism, he's the anti-WWE character in every way - a guy who is so clearly erratic that the audience could see right through him when reading from a script. That guy's insane, belligerent promos = $$$.

This thread will be a sober reminder of WCW's many opportunity costs.

#15 El-P

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:52 AM

I'm glad Big Poppa Pumb is getting some love. He'll probbaly get a whole lot from me and will be a bright spot during these trying times. As far as his promo on Flair goes, seriously, I know he gets a pass for mostly everything he does because he's Flair and he was Bischoff's victim at the time, but the guy was an asshole as much as anyone else in this business.

#16 Jingus

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

I wonder how long poor El-P will last on this project. WCW 1999 is arguably the single worst year for any major American televised promotion, ever. Nash's booking, especially in the summer, is so bad that it makes Russo's first tenure (which is included!) look relatively awesome by comparison.

#17 jpchicago23

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:13 AM

I'm currently watching WCW and WWF 99 as well. I'll share the suffering

#18 El-P

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:34 PM

I wonder how long poor El-P will last on this project.


You want to make a poll about when I'll raise the white flag ?;)

WCW 1999 is arguably the single worst year for any major American televised promotion, ever.


Worse than WWF under Russo at the same time ? I wouldn't say that. Russo killed my interest in WWF once and for all in 99.

Nash's booking, especially in the summer, is so bad that it makes Russo's first tenure (which is included!) look relatively awesome by comparison.


Summer was often a pretty terrible period for WCW. Well, I'm curious about that. If I go that far.

I'm currently watching WCW and WWF 99 as well. I'll share the suffering


WWF too ? At the *same time* ? You're insane.:)

#19 jpchicago23

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

Yea i'm a completist and i wanted to compare both companies from a broader stand point besides Raw vs Nitro and the ppvs. I'm only in January for both but i'm watching Nitro, Thunder, Worldwide, Saturday Night and the PPVs for WCW. And Raw, Smackdown in Sept., Shotgun, Heat, and the PPVs for WWF. I did the same for 97 and 98 just not as broad, pretty much just RAW, Nitro, and Heat i think. I remember 99 but not too clearly so some of the stuff is new to me and its better rewatching it 14 years later when you know who some of the job guys become and you can mark out to little stuff.

#20 El-P

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

WEEK 3 (January 18 to 23, 1999)

Shitty booking of the week : Lex Luger and Kevin Nash beating Rey Mysterio Jr. up. Now, it wouldn't be that bad if Konnan, who swore vengeance on Nash & Co on the streets and in airports earlier on, didn't run in *after* they both kick the shit out of Rey and put their finisher on him for 5 minutes. If I didn't know best I could smell a swerve. Makes Konnan look like a complete fool.

Stupid match of the week : David Flair vs Eric Bischoff. Man, David looks worse than El Gigante in the ring, I swear. If Bischoff wins, Flair (Ric) shaves his head and loses the company. David gets kicked a few times then KOs Eric with a roll of coins, one of the worst punches ever. Eric gets shaved, his hair are actually grey.

Promo of the week : Ric Flair (Thunder). Once again, gotta go to the B-show to see Flair cut a pretty intense and passionate promo about Hogan, and comparing the way their careers went. Nothing earth-shattering but good and devoid of nonsense like David Flair running in and fucking it up on Nitro by challenging Bischoff.

Match of the week : Hector Garza & Lizmark Jr. & Super Calo vs Juventud Guerrera & La Parka & Silver King (Saturday Night). Yeah, a trio match that get a little bit of time, and no intervention from the nWo. Cool dives, lucha comedy, fun stuff.

Honorable mention of the week : Booker T vs Norman Smiley (Thunder). Norman keeps on ruling, the guy is getting himself over in a big way. Meanwhile, Booker T remains one of the least compelling pushed wrestler in the company. Really not doing anything remarkable but his few token spots, some of which require abnormal collaboration. This guy is the RVD of WCW, the king of athletic wasted motions and useless idiosyncrasies (he's still much better than RVD though, and much less offensive). Good little match because Norman is just having his way with Booker more than his push should warrant. I enjoyed this quite a bit. The ending shows Norman was even protected a bit.

Nobody gives a fuck angle of the week : Vincent takes over nWo B-Team. Yeah, because of all the workers on the roster who need TV time and actual angle and mic time, Vincent, Stevie Ray, Brian Adams, Scott Norton and Horace Hogan just are the right ones. Completely useless, but funny in a humiliating way.

Homophobic line of the week : "Now Perry Saturn (who was wearing a dress), I always said there's two things from Texas, steers and queers (bliped). Now I know you're not from Texas, and I don't see no horns, so you must be a little..." Scott Steiner (Nitro). Well when you think of it, since Saturn is not from Texas, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense...

Rey Mysterio should enjoy his mask while he can... The tag team tournament is announced. Again. Scott Steiner stalking Kimberly was pretty good, planting the seeds for his feud with DDP.




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