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EVIL~! alkeiper

Monday Night Wars

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For those curious, here is what we're missing by not having Friday Night's Main Event:

 

August 29th:

Bret Hart vs. Vader

Goldust vs. Sal Sincere

Dude Love vs. Rockabilly

Hawk vs. Bulldog

Faaqooq/Rock vs. Crush/Chainz

Taka vs. Jerry Lynn

The Headbangers vs. Recon/Sniper

Angle development with Shawn Michaels

 

September 5th:

Patriot vs. Owen Hart

Some "Austin at home angles" including the announcement his tag title is now held up.

Bulldog vs. Dude Love

Sunny doing a lot of interviews with people (happened the previous week too)

HHH vs. The Undertaker

LOD vs. Los Boricuas

Ken Shamrock vs. Sal Sincere (wow, two shows in a row for ol Tom Brandi).

Scott Putski vs. Steve Casey

Interrogator (Kurrgan) vs. Sonny Rogers and Jerry Fox

 

So, with no competition and a late Friday time slot, these shows don't read as very interesting and are probably a safe miss, but I would have liked to see Lynn vs. Taka.

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Guess because that's when Hogan won the title? That's how I always tried to justify it, at least.

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The 8/25 episode is the one with Anderson's retirement speech, and of course, the 9/1 episode is the one with the NWO's "response".

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Unless I misunderstood Cole's opening to the 9/1 Nitro (I only watched his bit and the opening Double a video package because it was so good), does he really have Bischoff as a studio guest at the end to explain the thought process in mocking Arn? If so, good stuff.

 

I also thought it was WWE who insisted on calling September shows "Season Premieres" when they had to push something important on UPN but I see WCW beat them by at least 5 years (I think the Billy & Chuck wedding was the first time SmackDown was mentioned as having a "Season Premiere"). I did know they called the last Nitro the "season finale" though.

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Nitro was a pretty fun show (8/25) with the historic Arn retirement speech. Put me in the corner that actually really likes this angle, the main problem is that the Horsemen never really got in heat on Hennig and the NWO when all was said and done.

 

I enjoyed La Parka, Psychosis, and Silver King all beating the crap out of Ultimo Dragon. I've always hated Ultimo and thought he sucked, from his lame dragon sleeper (smell my armpits!) finisher to the single dumbest move ever invented where he stands on his head in the corner and without fail his opponent looks like a moron and charges in.

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Just watching the two recent Nitros. Arn's speech was great. One thing I didn't notice before but Mean Gene was crying too. That was followed by a low point in Eddie Guerrero's career as he jobs to Mongo in Mongo's only successful defense of the U.S. title. Eddie was a trooper and busted his ass off to provide a short but entertaining match with a cool ending.

 

The Arn Anderson montage in the beginning was awesome. Luger was the first to do a 10 second spot praising Anderson. Even when doing a ten second spot putting over another wrestler, Luger is apparently incapable of not flexing his pecks. Larry Z has a funny line to Scott Hall "Looks like you've been hanging out with Hogan. You have something on your nose."

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I don't get why Bischoff feels the need to apologize for the Horsemen spoof. Given the horrible, tastless trash WWE has done in the past 6 years or so I can't see what is so bad about that segment. It at least serves a purpose of the NWO making fun of Arn and the Horsemen in order to draw money for a PPV.

 

Besides, it's not like the WWF didn't rip this sort of thing off a year later with DX making fun of The Nation. I think in WCW it was played more for outrage and wasn't meant to be all that funny, whereas the WWF played it totally for laughs.

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I don't get why Bischoff feels the need to apologize for the Horsemen spoof. Given the horrible, tastless trash WWE has done in the past 6 years or so I can't see what is so bad about that segment. It at least serves a purpose of the NWO making fun of Arn and the Horsemen in order to draw money for a PPV.

 

Besides, it's not like the WWF didn't rip this sort of thing off a year later with DX making fun of The Nation. I think in WCW it was played more for outrage and wasn't meant to be all that funny, whereas the WWF played it totally for laughs.

 

I think the biggest complaint was that no one bothered to tell Anderson they were about to mock the retirement speech from a week ago. He saw it when everyone else saw it, and lost it.

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Two things

 

 

1. Yeah, it seems somewhat tame by today standards but it was way more mean spirited than anything WCW was doing at the time. It just really came out of left field to me as a mark. It came off as more malicious than mischevious. I know you'll argue "Well it was supposed to be malicious, that's a heel's job.", cabbage but as a mark at the time, it almost came off as too heelish to me. It just cheap heat IMHO. It was sneering at the emotional retirement of one of WCW's longest tenured wrestlers.

 

2. I don't think there'd be nearly as much outrage towards it had The Horsemen come back and eventually kicked the nWo B team's ass but the feud just sort of fizzled out and Flair lost the feud to Curt Hennig in a rather anti-climatic fashion.

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I never found anything wrong with it myself and Kevin Nash was pretty funny. Waltman managed to do a good impersonation of Flair nowadays with the constant crying.

 

In Flair's book, it's stated that Terry Taylor came up with the idea. But not as anything mean-spirited toward Arn. A big problem with it was that it wasn't supposed to end the way it did. Originally, the Horsemen were supposed to come out and beat up the NWO, with a smiling Arn Anderson looking on. The night that it aired though, someone (had to be Nash) exercised creative control and killed that idea. Later, they told Flair him and the Horsemen could come out and do a promo but Flair refused, saying that it would make them look like punks. So Schivonne said that the Horsemen were being restrained in the back by Doug Dillenger and the WCW security team.

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Oh yeah, I agree that WCW's handling was poor but that would be the stuff from Fall Brawl onward (and of course not clearing it with Arn). I actually think that Hennig betraying the Horsemen after Arn's retirement is a powerful and terrific angle if it had been done RIGHT. Of course WCW had a lukewarm Flair/Hennig feud for a while and then it was dropped and the actual payoff for Hennig's misdeeds was jobbing to DDP at Starrcade.

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I recall Flair was originally announced as facing Hennig in a cage at Starrcade but he got "injured" and was replaced by DDP. What was the story with that exactly? Page was red-hot at the time.

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Oh I'm not saying DDP didn't deserve the US belt, cause he did. In fact I don't think Hennig/Flair needed a title at all. I kept trying to think about what Flair was doing at Starrcade but I couldn't recall anything. He was back to face Bret at Souled Out though. It blows my mind that at WCW's biggest PPV ever that Flair didn't even wrestle and Nash no showed the event.

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Guest

I finished watching the NWO spoof show, and since I stopped blogging, I'll share my thoughts here.

 

La Parka/Ultimo Dragon, Buff/Glacier, and Malenko/Nagata were pretty good.

 

Loved Waltman's impersonation of Flair. I understand why Flair and Arn got mad about it, but it isn't too offensive at all.

 

Some nice returns....Traylor and Disco, of course. The Wright match in which Disco interfered was pretty weird. I also liked the little cruiser battle royal type thing they had when Chavo/Jericho didn't come off.

 

The segment with Stevie Richards was pretty dumb. I don't really get the point of Malenko/Jarrett. Both guys are booked as heels, after the Malenko joining up with Jarrett thing, his momentum was killed for a while. He has NO heat anymore. So yeah, that's the dumb stuff.

 

Hogan finally showing up on TV reminded me...this is like watching a promotion without a champion. He never shows up. Never wrestles. What a waste of time.

 

All in all, this was the ultimate "WCW gets buried" show. And I really enjoyed it. Probably the best Nitro I've seen to date. The wrestling was really good at times. Only two angles I'd call dumb, the shit with Wright and Disco was hilarious. When Zbyszko called them the Nitro Boys, I about lost it.

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If memory serves me right, Goldberg should be making his Nitro debut in one of the next couple of episodes.

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He debuts on the September 22nd, 1997 episode and I'm not sure why I know that off the top of my head.

 

Yeah... against Hugh Morrus. I knew it was around that time but couldn't remember the exact date.

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I'm such a dork that not only did I already know that but I know that the second guy he beat was The Barbarian. He mowed down poor Jimmy Hart's stable of lower mid-card heels.

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I did see Goldberg's first match in Sept. 1997. I recall to this date the first thing I said was "This guy looks like a ripoff of Steve Austin." My mom came in the room and took one look at him and said the SAME thing.

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Amusingly enough, there was a brief period where I thought WCW blew a big opportunity with Goldberg. Almost immedietely after he had his first string of semi-dominant wins over established mid-card veterans, he got stuck in a heatless, forgettable feud with Steve "Mongo" McMichael. But then inexplicably, he caught on with the fans and the rest is history.

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For those curious, here is what we're missing by not having Friday Night's Main Event:

 

August 29th:

Bret Hart vs. Vader

Goldust vs. Sal Sincere

Dude Love vs. Rockabilly

Hawk vs. Bulldog

Faaqooq/Rock vs. Crush/Chainz

Taka vs. Jerry Lynn

The Headbangers vs. Recon/Sniper

Angle development with Shawn Michaels

 

September 5th:

Patriot vs. Owen Hart

Some "Austin at home angles" including the announcement his tag title is now held up.

Bulldog vs. Dude Love

Sunny doing a lot of interviews with people (happened the previous week too)

HHH vs. The Undertaker

LOD vs. Los Boricuas

Ken Shamrock vs. Sal Sincere (wow, two shows in a row for ol Tom Brandi).

Scott Putski vs. Steve Casey

Interrogator (Kurrgan) vs. Sonny Rogers and Jerry Fox

 

So, with no competition and a late Friday time slot, these shows don't read as very interesting and are probably a safe miss, but I would have liked to see Lynn vs. Taka.

 

The sooner we get to the MSG Raw in September the better... the WWE debut of Cactus Jack, and Vince takes his first Stunner. Oddly enough, it took place on 9/22/97... the same night Goldberg debuted on Nitro (Thanks KingKamalaClassic)

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Amusingly enough, there was a brief period where I thought WCW blew a big opportunity with Goldberg. Almost immedietely after he had his first string of semi-dominant wins over established mid-card veterans, he got stuck in a heatless, forgettable feud with Steve "Mongo" McMichael. But then inexplicably, he caught on with the fans and the rest is history.

 

Something I just realized because I know the episode is coming up... Goldberg's debut was the same night Raw was live from MSG and featured the WWE debut of Cactus Jack AND Vince taking his first Stunner.

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Amusingly enough, there was a brief period where I thought WCW blew a big opportunity with Goldberg. Almost immedietely after he had his first string of semi-dominant wins over established mid-card veterans, he got stuck in a heatless, forgettable feud with Steve "Mongo" McMichael. But then inexplicably, he caught on with the fans and the rest is history.

 

I remember the Mongo feud. He stole Mongo's Super Bowl ring. The feud ended when a camera showed Mongo standing over an unconscious Goldberg. He had knocked him out with a metal pipe and retaken his ring. Goldberg was off TV for about four weeks and when he returned, the Mongo storyline was never mentioned again.

 

Excellent point about Hogan. If there's one thing Hogan did really well, it was that he destroyed the WCW World Championship's prestige. He never defended the title (at least on TV and rarely during house shows), and when he finally did defend the title, it would usually be after months of not doing so. He did this when he reclaimed the WWF Championship and I think that was a reason Vince got the title off him. One thing Vince won't tolerate is the title not being defended.

 

Hogan rendered the title meaningless and I don't think I'm wrong in saying he was the worst WCW World Champion. He was a big enough star but rendered the title meaningless.

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The whole notion of Hogan never defending the belt isn't exactly new. If you watched the WWF in the 1980s he never seemed to wrestle on TV or defend then either. More than in WCW though. The problem he had by 1993 in the WWF is that we had become spoiled by Bret having the belt and actually WRESTLING a lot on TV.

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I think in the long run Hogan hurt the WCW World title's credibility more than he helped it but to call him the worst WCW World Champion of all time seems a bit absurd. I could name three or four guys who held the title in the year '00 alone that were worse than Hogan.

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The whole notion of Hogan never defending the belt isn't exactly new. If you watched the WWF in the 1980s he never seemed to wrestle on TV or defend then either. More than in WCW though. The problem he had by 1993 in the WWF is that we had become spoiled by Bret having the belt and actually WRESTLING a lot on TV.

 

Him not wrestling on TV in the 1980's was a direct result of the WWF wanting a very strong house show market (If you want to see the World Champion, you have to pay) and wanting any time Hogan was on television to be a "special" event - namely Saturday Night's Main Event or something along those lines.

 

Him not being on TV for WCW for months on end was just him flaunting the amount of control and power he had.

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