Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kevin Sullivan

Hi Scott-

Can you please explain to me how Kevin Sullivan got so much sway? I've been watching Nitros from 1995 and the guy is equal parts everywhere and terrible. All he does is jump on guts and cut weird promos while Curtis Iaukea screams gibberish with his eyes closed.
It's just amazing to me that he was front and center feuding with Hogan and would then be given the book when he was a big part of the stupidest thing I've ever seen on televised wrestling, the Dungeon of Doom.

Also, how much did Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman hate the Dungeon of Doom/Hogan nonsense?

And when the nWo came around, what kind of impact did that have on Sullivan's influence?

Well, Sullivan was typically the booker for promotions where he was working, so when WCW brought him in it was more for booking the shows rather than being an on-screen character.  He just had the luxury of making himself the central enemy of the top draw in the company because he was the guy in charge.  

As for the Horsemen, I'm sure they didn't care as long as it was making them money.  Ric Flair isn't exactly a guy who was all about the artform of wrestling by that point.  And the nWo really didn't hurt Sullivan because he was still the guy writing the storylines anyway.  If anything it helped him.  And when Russo got fired in 99, Sullivan was the guy who was going to be in charge again. 

Plus if you haven't checked out Sullivan's Varsity Club promos on the Saturday night shows or Charles Manson-influenced Florida stuff from the 70s and 80s on the Network, you really should. 

...

Oh, sorry, I'm just getting a note that none of that is on there yet.  My bad. 



38 comments:

  1. Kevin Sullivan brought the term "Tree of Woe" into wrestling and sometimes he was announced as being from "The Iron Gates of Fate" so he forever gets a pass.

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  2. I can't remember which shoot it was, but recently I heard that Sullivan explained that the DoD was an attempt to continue to make Hulk look like a superhero. Kevin said as booker he felt his job was to line up monsters for Hulk to defeat.

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  3. Dungeon of Doom actually got good when the feud with the Horsemen started. They dropped the hokey act and became more like a gang. Their beatdown of the Horsemen at Halloween Havoc 96 is amazing.

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  4. The Three Faces of Fear and Dungeon of Doom were the biggest losers. Hogan, Savage and Sting beat them up every week without fail. Even Mr. T beat Sullivan. As a kid I could never take them seriously

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  5. Rockin' Todd ParkerOctober 19, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    If I remember right, in "Have a Nice Day," Mick Foley gives Sullivan a lot of credit for helping to develop the Cactus Jack character.

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  6. It's a team with three of the more able bodied monster heels in wrestling history in Bossman, Quake, and Giant. Plus, a pretty great talker in Sullivan. How could it not have some positive moments?

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  7. Sullivan was great when he wasn't catering to Hogan's insecurities. The DoD was mostly Hogan's cronies, so Kevin did what he could. Kevin Sullivan wasn't about bullshit, which he proved in the early booking of the NWO. That shit was almost perfect.

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  8. The whole feud with Sullivan trying to convince Arn and Flair that Benoit wasn't Horseman material was awesome. The roof blew off the joint when Arn seemingly rescued Sullivan from Benoit at GAB96 and then started putting the boots to him with Benoit.

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  9. Holy crap. I totally forgot about the Three Faces of Fear. Man, didn't Meng go on to be nicknamed the Face of Fear, and then the tag team with Barbarian were the Faces of Fear? They used that term a lot.

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  10. Here's the real Kevin Sullivan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEN7MQUMAu8

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  11. Kevin Sullivan has to be one of the smallest mainstream wrestlers ever. He was like what? 5'7 the most? With 200 lbs of muscle.

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  12. Are you kidding? Pillman loved that shit. It got him out of his contract with Turner.

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  13. Right, and his eventual goal was to get Hogan to trust him, so that he could do more off-the-wall stuff with him. I think there's something to that--once Nitro started, Hogan started showing more vulnerability and more out-of-the-box angles than he ever had before in WCW. You had Sullivan shaving off his moustache, Hogan getting outsmarted by Jimmy Hart, and then the "dark Hogan" stuff which while not always good, was definitely different.

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  14. I'm pretty certain it's his YouShoot.

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  15. He says he only did this to make him feel comfortable enough to turn heel. Who knows how true that is.

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  16. Plus by 95 Sullivan had a gut and with his 5'5 frame next to hogan was unbelievable that he's pose a threat. Looked like he should be fixing transmissions not taking down the immortal one

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  17. I don't think it was ever about Sullivan beating Hogan. It was more Sullivan's monsters vs Hogan. He was more like a manager.

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  18. It's a shame WWE doesn't do anything with their bast video library. Sullivan's ring work was only so-so, but the guy could talk you into the building to see him get his ass kicked, and pretty much set the standard for "creepy motherfucker heel."
    On the subject of "why Sullivan against Hogan?", other than probably because he was in charge, how many top heels wanted to look like crap every week? Flair was forced into a fake retirement, and there wasn't much left. Plus Hogan had complete control of his angles and who he wanted to work with, so it's not like it meant anything, anyway.

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  19. While not a DoD fan, I generally enjoyed Sullivan's work and booking. Some of his stuff didn't work but that's just the price of trying something new. He never relied on tropes like other bookers so that was a plus

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  20. Cactus, Sullivan, and Buzz Sawyer had a short lived stable in 1990. Look up their promos if you are in the mood. It was very different stuff.

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  21. Plus, how many people can say they booked their own divorce?

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  22. I think he invented both the tree of woe, and the double-stomp from the middle rope.

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  23. I do love Cactus' story about Sullivan wanting to come out in bloodstained butcher's aprons for a promo, but Turner being too damn uptight and forcing them to come out in pristine white aprons. The least dangerous butchers EVER!

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  24. But Dusty gets 100% credit for the "belly-welly" portion.

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  25. Yeah for the most part but he still was active and even Main evented against hogan right?

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  26. The spirit of Kevin Sullivan lives on in Bray Wyatt.

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  27. He and everyone wishes that he didn't.

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  28. Biff Kensington IIIOctober 19, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Sullivan might be the most overrated heel to come down the pipe in a long time. I always felt like the Varsity Club got over despite the guy, not because of him, and a lot of his devil-worshipping stuff gets overblown because of how risqué it was for the era. He wasn't all that hot in the ring, either; I can only remember a couple of matches he was involved in that are worth watching today.

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  29. IIRC, his only "main event" was that horrific Tower of Doom cage match, where despite having the likes of Zeus and various Dungeon duds, Flair had to eat the pin from Savage. Despite an 8-on-2 advantage for the heels.

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  30. He may have faced him once or twice on tv, but he never main evented against him on a PPV.

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  31. He said somewhere that he loved working in Florida the most for that reason. No one got paid down there but Graham let everyone do whatever they wanted so for a lot of people it was worth getting paid in peanuts.

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  32. The Benoit feud was good, I thought. I mean, not in hindsight so much, but at the time.


    Varsity Club was ok too. I was never into the DoD.

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  33. Sure the Varsity Club got over despite Sullivan because a tag team of Mike Rotundo and Rick Steiner would have really set the world on fire.

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  34. I thought he was so bad in the ring. Too small, not in shape, and ridiculous offense that mainly consisted of throwing people out of the ring then throwing them back in. He's the only guy who would've booked him in the positions he was booked in.

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  35. So let me just start this by saying Russo is as terrible as advertised. But there is a wee-bit of revisionism with him. As I recall in 1999 his goal was to finally push Benoit, Saturn, Rey, Eddy, Malenko, Kidman, Bret Hart et al ... Hene creating the Filthy Animals and the Revolution to try and re-create the DX vs. Nation formula that worked so well. Wasn't Russo's firing and Kevin Sullivan's hiring what sent the Radicalz to WWF? Russo actually wanted to push all of those guys.


    Its been awhile, so I could be mis-remembering. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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  36. Kinda. I'm not sure if Russo's firing lost Benoit and others any sleep, I think it was more the return of Sullivan they were protesting. Russo's tenure I would say was an absolute low point for most of those people's WCW careers. I remember some truly horrendous Revolution backstage skits in which members were kidnapped or something. Really, it was just shit.

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  37. Benoit had NO faith in Sullivan putting business above personal, so out they went. I do remember Benoit's title win allegedly being an attempt by Sullivan to say "Look, I know you don't trust me, but here's my proof."

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  38. I think it's the WCW 1996 Timeline.

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