Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Classics: Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair - 10/12/92

With tears in his eyes, Bret would pop his dislocated finger back in place so he could finish the match. With tears in his eyes, Flair found the imaginary land of Saskatoon and dropped the title. Two part video alert.








132 comments:

  1. Goddamn crybabies.

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  2. Joshi? Is that like one of the different-color Yoshis in Super Mario World?

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  3. There are enough tears to drown the Titanic in that ring.

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  4. Love the shot of the adorable little girl Bret gave his shades to before the match pumping her fist after he wins.

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  5. If you can, track down the video of that weekend's syndicated WWF shows, one with Perfect and McMahon hosting, the other with Heenan and Monsoon and great reactions.
    Perfect: "Saskatoon, whoever heard of SASKATOON?!"
    Heenan: "Saskatoon! Saskatoon! Couldn't be New York, no! Chicago, no! But SASKATOON!"

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  6. Never seen this match.

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  7. I guess the point is Joshi wrestling was popular in 95? Shame it didn't really stick.

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  8. All the Alundra feuds followed the same boring formula and I think the original plan was for Aja to beat Alundra for the women's title at the Rumble and I guess Alundra would have won it back at WM.

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  9. For some reason the term "joshi" always annoyed me. The same way the stereotypical nerdy Japanese wrestling fans use Japanese words to sound cool (gaijin, puro, etc). Its just one of those things.

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  10. I know it couldn't have happened due to politics, but even as a fan at the time, I always wished they saved Bret's first title win for the PPV or at least on tv. It was really confusing watching Superstars (or whatever it was) one morning and the announcers would flippantly remark that Bret won the title.

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  11. Different time then. Hell, they actually had title changes at non-televised house shows back then, something we almost never get today.

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  12. When was the last time we saw a title change in a house show, anyway? I remember Edge winning the IC title from Jarrett in a house show in 1999, but it had to have happened again since then, right?

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  13. It wasn't that different back then. Title changes on houseshows were extremely rare back then too.

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  14. From memory, I remember they did a Booker/Christian IC title switch at a houseshow in 03, but yeah, I'm sure it hapened again since then.

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  15. Primo & Epico won the tag straps at a January 15 2012 house show in Oakland, CA.

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  16. Barry Horowitz after a sex change,.. Jewshi.

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  17. Point 1) Raw had a Japanese womens match on at the same time
    Point 2) Alundra Blayze's last ever WWF match.

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  18. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieOctober 1, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Kakkoiiiiiiiii

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  19. I'll agree with this. It's used to impress people, despite the only possible reactions from other people being (a) apathy and (b) disgust.

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  20. I was ten years old. All I talked about at school was Ric Flair. My friends with Sky TV told me this had happened, and I refused to believe iy. They HAD just tried to trick me into thinking Warrior had won the title from Flair, so I had good reason to have my guard up. But I could not get my head around Flair losing the title to a mid-carder like Bret. When it was confirmed, I was so sad. :(

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  21. Other than their mutual dislike for each other I never understood the participants' antipathy towards this match. It is a ****-****1/4 star match in my opinion. Some of the matches that both Bret Hart and Ric Flair praised are much worse than this one.

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  22. I recently rewatched this match. It's still very good, but I don't like it as much as I did back in the day.

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  23. I think also the Asian translator lady from Enterprise.

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  24. WWF 1995 tag team, Jewshi and Hakushi. What a missed opportunity.

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  25. It was cool to find out Bret was the world champion. I felt proud of him having watched him start out as "the guy with greasy hair in the Hart Foundation" and make it all the way to the World Title defeating Ric Flair no less. It was just so sudden. I was thinking of this the other day and I think they should have let Stu Hart sit at ringside one day and let Flair, Henning and Heenan beat up or something (just be jerks, because I mean they are heels and all) and have Bret make the save to kick off the feud. I was was happy for Bret but the win could have been treated a lot better.


    Oh well. Match was awesome and that pop is tremendous.

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  26. I don't know if I've ever heard a reason that completely makes sense as to why Flair dropped the title to Bret here. Was it because they already knew Flair was leaving, or something to do with the steroid scandal, or a want to focus more on youth, or what? It seems like Savage would have been a better choice to get the title and then build up a match between him and Bret at Wrestlemania in order to drop the title to Bret and really give him the rub, if they were really set on Bret getting the belt.

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  27. I believe it was the official debut of Impulsive Vince, changing titles and plans on a whim.

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  28. Yoshi, Joshi and Master Roshi will team with Doink at the next Survivor Series.

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  29. Yeah, wrestlers are weird like that. They're the unique intersection of art and sport, so you not only have the perspective of the artist that can't detach himself from his work but also the perfectionist athlete for whom good isn't good enough. And then of course you have the high school politics of wrestling, so acknowledging your match was good might mean having to acknowledge that someone you hate did well, since it takes more than two to tango...or something like that.

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  30. Waking up one Saturday morning to watch Superstars and finding out that Bret Hart, my favorite, had just won the WWF Championship is a moment I'll never forget.

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  31. Take a look at the town's history:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Saskatoon

    Bret Hart beating Ric Flair for the WWF title is literally the most important thing to ever happen in that city. I don't see anything in that article that competes with it. Really, with tears in my eyes, I should edit this page to include it.

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  32. that's the problem when an entire division is 1 babyface champion, and rotate in a new monster every few months. Offers very little variety.

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  33. Point 2) He's your fan.

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  34. I'm thinking Flair was hurt, and they needed to get the belt off him quickly. As to why it was Bret, I dunno. Why not?

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  35. Stranger in the AlpsOctober 1, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    "The site of the historic first WWF Championship of Canadian hero Bret Hart. Also known as the home of Scott Keith."
    Exactly like that.

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  36. I think there were some Women's title switches at house shows, I vaguely remember Mickie James being in one.

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  37. " but as someone who isn't a fan of either guy"


    does not comprehend

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  38. I came in here for the sole purpose of suggesting that this was probably the biggest thing that ever happened in Saskatoon.
    I'm glad that you've actually done the legwork.

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  39. Flair injured himself wrestling The Ultimate Warrior in Phoenix, AZ (did the corner flip, but loosened some bone chips in his ear - like the Piper/Valentine program in 1983). Vince couldn't have his champion off the road for who knows how long. I've never read or heard what the official long term plan as, but I'm guessing Flair was going to drop the title to Warrior later in the fall or early-93. Vince decided at the last minute to put the belt on Bret. It all worked out for the best. Bret's first ever match took place in that same city (maybe even the same venue) and that's really neat for Bret and all his fans.

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  40. And check out the date...subtract 9 from 2 to get 7, then add the 1 and 2 for 3, subtract those and you get "4". And what number is left from the month? "10"!
    I have too much time on my hands...

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  41. I think someone mentioned Scott in the Wiki for Gonzo from the Muppets of all things.

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  42. This was a great time for me. Bret had been my favourite since forever, and I HATED that an NWA pussy like Flair had come in and cheapened the title by carrying it. For Bret to take the title from Flair meant that all was right with the world.

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  43. There were three matches. It wasn't popular.

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  44. Featuring Alundra Blaze as 'HowCouldShe'

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  45. Popular enough for WWF and WCW to experiment with using them

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  46. This whole Bret Hart-Ric Flair thing is actually not surprising. I think they're too much alike. They both chased women on the road, both HAD to call their matches, both thought they were the real best technical wrestlers ever, etc.

    None of their matches are so-called classics, because there's an uneasiness to the pacing. I think they both wanted to call and that ended up messing with their timing as a result. Whether it's Nov. '91, or Oct. '92, or Jan. '93, or Jan. '98...they just never seemed to (completely) click in the ring. Totally unlike Flair-Steamboat and Hart-Perfect. Some wrestlers (be it tag or single) have instant chemestry...others clearly don't. I'm not saying their matches were bad, just not as good as they should've been given our expectations and how much talent both guys had.



    Bret's problem with Flair all came from hero worship issues he had of his Dad and a comment Stew made in the 80's about Flair being a "routine man." I wonder how much of Flair's stuff Bret actually watched back in the 80's? I think they made up at a recent NXT event. I guess it took Flair's son dying for them to get over it. Who knows.


    Also, if you're going to as many places as Flair did back in the day, you had to have a routine or else you'd go crazy wrestling a different guy in a different territory every night.

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  47. I know the dirtsheets reported Flair being injured, but the weird thing was Flair continued to work and I doubt he missed many dates, so they still could have kept the title on Flair if they wanted to.

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  48. Fuck the NWA with those atrocious mullets and potbellies!

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  49. Hey, cut Bret some slack! Sin Cara dislocated his finger against Del Rio and they had to end a match/throw up the "X"!

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  50. Yeah, this is getting a (unnoticed) downvote. Keep that kiddie shit up north, bitch.


    :)

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  51. Can we count the Hardcore title?

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  52. i 'preciate the poesy

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  53. Or maybe that's just how it called, people don't say lucha to sound smart, it the freacking name of the style.

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  54. Yes, curse their superior technical wrestling, blood feuds and realism!

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  55. I believe I remember Keller writing at the time that a lot of guys were not comfortable working with Flair, since the ear injury was causing him to have trouble with his balance, and they didn't know if he could work safely. So, maybe Vince felt a greater need to get the belt off him.

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  56. I just edited it in there, it's the first thing you read now.

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  57. Art Vandelay mentioned one already, but another was Miz and Morrison beating Punk and Kingston for the tag titles.

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  58. But that's its name, same as lucha, catch, reslo or puroresu. We all know it's wrestling, it's just an easy way to slice it up.

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  59. Dude no doubt about it. What was the late 90's women division for WWF at one point? Jacqueline, Tori, Ivory, Sable and chyna?

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  60. That'd make an interesting "Where are they now?"...

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  61. Ill go like 1999 Kim, or whenever it was the Nitro Girls bikini ppv came out. She was just a complete knockout in that

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  62. I love me some 96-97 Sunny. She's in my Top 10 no doubt. Still got Kimberly, Trish, Torrie, Stacy and Mickie James ahead of her though

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  63. Cue the Horse-Trollah

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  64. Adam "Colorado" CurryOctober 1, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    What is reslo?

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  65. MAJOR upgrade with Michelle McCool

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  66. I thought you said interesting facts

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  67. She was cold blooded 10/10 from 1999-2004 (plastic surgery and weight loss in 05.06.07 really dropped her down).

    I went 2003 as that was the peak of her on-screen sluttiness

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  68. Flair was off the road for 3-4 weeks in October, early-November.

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  69. You aren't the real dougie

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  70. Haha YES. That "Table promo" lives in total infamy

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  71. WEDNESDAY NIGHT!? WHAT WHY?

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  72. As bad as that was, nothing will top mid-2004 to mid-2005. Nothing but Triple H and JBL stinking up the joint as champions.

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  73. This match is sort of funny because the crowd just doesn't seem into it or expecting a DQ from Perfect, especially once Bret attaches the Sharpshooter. Then Hebner calls for the bell and people are like "WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?!?!!?"

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  74. God Lawler is the worst

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  75. Torrie Wilson is my #1 for all-time hotness. As you said 1999-2004 Torrie is just unstoppable.

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  76. according to Google a type of microphone

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  77. Unless it was Russo writing the show, at which point Roshi would definitely have been Master Boshi.

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  78. That Flair kid never really amounted to shit did he?

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  79. Stranger in the AlpsOctober 1, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I think the WikiNazis acted pretty quick on that one.

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  80. I'll never forget my excitement when I came across the Smack 'Em Whack 'Em VHS at my local video store. I think Bret was just about to begin his third title reign when I finally got to see the first title win.

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  81. Maybe the idiocy of it being non-title left a bad taste in some people's mouths.

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  82. didn't bother me, but also I saw it on a compilation tape in 98

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  83. Yeah, I remembered about two seconds too late.

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  84. I was a Hart Foundation mark that was pissed it was non-title.

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  85. And similar to Hogan/Piper at Starrcade '96, I tuned into the match assuming it was for the title because....ya know....it's a PAY per view. So I was bummed to find out it was non-title. Good match though....the Harts/Busters match....not Hogan/Piper.

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  86. Interesting question: WHO would have been Bret's opponent though? Because I could see it going either way, but the idea of Arn and Jim being outside "offsetting" each other is more intriguing than Tully and Jim.

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  87. That's a good question. I'm not sure. It's easy to look back and think that Arn was the "leader" because he's associated with the 4 Horseman more than anybody but Flair. But at this time in the WWF, that certainly wasn't the case. If I were to put myself in the shoes of a 1989 WWF booker, I think I'd go with Tully just for the similarities in size.

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  88. hey, Bret vs Tully is not too shabby either.

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  89. Jericho I've never been a fan of and I've always found him to be overrated, not to mention barely believable as a character. To me, he's the definition of "very good not great", but for most of his WWE career fans online have been acting like he's a top 5 all time talent.

    Punk I think is an objectively great performer and rated correctly for it, but other than the Hardy feud and the Summer of Punk stuff, he's never drawn me in. I found his 434-day run pretty dull.

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  90. AverageJoeEverymanOctober 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    It's like crazies dismissing Savage/Steamboat because of some pre-planning.

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  91. They knew he had talent, but probably didn't think he had what it took to be a main eventer. I love Bryan, and even then I never would have imagined how much of a big star he became.

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  92. I agree with you about him being well-booked/protected in general, but I do think that the fans "hijacking" segments to chant for him is what got him his WrestleMania spot.

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  93. They clearly had big plans for him from the very beginning; that was clear from his first NXT appearance. But there's a difference between them liking a guy and specifically booking his path to the main event of a specific WrestleMania, and it's a very sketchy argument to make that they were planning him being in the WM30 main event all along.

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  94. Dr Death's Brawl for All loss put a sudden halt to his push.

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  95. At the time Tully was the bigger star and was the well established vetern. We see Arn as the bigger star now because his career lasted for years after while Tully's career effectively ended with the Brainbusters.

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  96. it's also really really easy to forgot how young Arn is. The guy looked 40ish his whole career, but he retired at 38!

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  97. Bret & Flair is just a case of two pretty girls bashing each other to make themselves feel prettier. Two legends who worry people perceive the other to be better and so work to tear the other down.

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  98. Are you saying Hulkamania wasn't realistic?!

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  99. You could go as far as to say that Tully being blackballed enabled Arm Anderson to come into his own.

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  100. He only looks ten years older now even though it's 25 years later.

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  101. Such a weird match for a number of reasons:

    -both aren't fans even though most, myself included, think it's great
    -was not shown on TV, and you gotta believe that Flair asked for it to be that way
    -the gruesome finger injury that Bret works through, bad enough that even Perfect grimaces
    -the ending--Perfect hops on the apron......but then just gets down and Bret wins.

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  102. Arn Anderson: perpetually 40ish

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  103. Great tag match. If you don't give that one at least ***1/2, you're crazy!

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  104. It was good, but the Harts dominated most of it. Later I realized that that was pretty much NWA style, as I recall Tully & AA getting dominated by the faces in matches there too.

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  105. I remember settling in with a glass of milk and a PBJ to watch Saturday morning WWF Superstars, and the first thing on the show is an update about Bret Hart winning the title. I was so stunned I dropped the tray on the ground, spilling food all over our rec room carpet. My mom was ticked but it was a small price to pay given that my favourite wrestler had (out of seemingly nowhere) become the champion.

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  106. They never know who's going to be a top guy. But this narrative that Bryan had to fight for everything he got and WWE hated him and didn't want to see him succeed is ridiculous. They always had something for him to do, yeah he had his dull spots, but everybody in the company does. I can't think of a single moment he didn't have a storyline, yeah lots of them were shitty, but yet again, everybody gets shitty angles.

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  107. Yeah, him getting over got him that spot, but it's not a rebellion, it was a guy they had high hopes for climbing to the top. Bryan's story is no different than Cena's or Punk's or Batista's of Austin's or even Hogan's, he got over, but it wasn't against the companies will, they threw him pitches and he knocked one out of the park.


    I'm not denying the fans reaction pushed him over, I'm denying the idea that the company didn't want him over and didn't give him any material to work with. The 'hijacking' was the planned reaction to that angle. People do realize that Triple H is a character and doesn't really hate Daniel Bryan, right?

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  108. I think they gave Bryan an opportunity to test how how over he was, and when the reaction was a pretty unanimous yes (forgive me that) they gave him the spot.


    Did they plan it out completely and utterly? No, but I don't think any booking is set in stone unless you're the Rock or Steve Austin (another pun, sorry guys). I think Bryan's path to WrestleMania was planned, but they also gave themselves some outs should the movement fizzle.


    I mean, he beat Cena clean at Summerslam. He wasn't just some guy, they clearly liked him and thought he was worth some money.



    I mean, they gave Ryback a very similar opportunity, and Ryback crashed and burned. I think if the fans were a little bit more into him than he would've been second from the top at WM 29.

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  109. I think the main difference is that while it's obvious that the higher-ups like Bryan (as they liked Cena/Punk/Batista etcetera before him), his overness seemed to alter their WrestleMania plans pretty drastically. Batista's rise to the top instead of Orton at WrestleMania 21 was a similar situation, but they changed plans quicker than they apparently did this time and there wasn't much fan backlash back then other than some boos for babyface Orton now and then.

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  110. Triple H was fine in 2004/2005. I can't think of a single horrible match he had during that period when he'd had plenty in 2003.

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  111. As I said above, I don't like Punk. And that idea isn't particularly appetizing to me. I prefer the story we ended up getting.

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  112. IIRC the Benefactor to DDP was originally supposed to have been Ted Dibiase but shit happened and instead, they had it be Kimberly in a throwaway line of dialogue when they brought Kimberly back in 1997

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  113. Virgil's Gimmick TableOctober 2, 2014 at 1:32 AM

    That line just screamed "hashtag attempt".

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  114. It was just a matter of timing. Has anybody else's big swing of popularity start in Autumn? I think they realized that their plan was working, and they stumbled to form an angle that would last them through Mania.


    Yet again, I think there was some bad planning and timing, but to think that Bryan wasn't on their list is silly, they gave him way too much TV time and attention from top guys for it to be improvised. People give WWE too much and too little credit at the same time.


    You can see it right now with Rollins and Ambrose, they're not building anything around them, but they're giving them the space and time to develop into permanent main-eventers, and that's the best anybody gets.

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  115. Isn't Saskatoon in the running for an NHL expansion team? It's a long shot and I doubt it will happen but I bet the city and province would support it more than those yahoos down in Phoenix and Miami.

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  116. Well, that's one where I get where wrestlers are coming from on that specific issue. But as a fan, why should I give a shit? If it isn't glaringly obvious to me as a viewer that it's planned out, that doesn't affect my enjoyment one bit. Nor should it.

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  117. Dawn in ECW was like Hall of Fame hotness, but I hate that she went from a ditz to a sassy Hersey girl in WWE. Downgrade.

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  118. AverageJoeEverymanOctober 2, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    meh it was a slow awkaward start of a match with a good pickup at the end. **** would be generous

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  119. AverageJoeEverymanOctober 2, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    but then he went on to the heights of Varsity Club 2000 and teaming with Oklahoma so really did that do much harm to his career?

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  120. It is absolutely not. Saskatoon doesn't have anywhere near the population to support an NHL franchise.

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  121. Which title switch was more shocking, the Bret Hart victory over Flair, or Diesel over Backlund at an MSG show?

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  122. Diesel over Backlund

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  123. To me, it was Bret over Flair. (Granted, I was a much bigger mark in 1992 than I was two years later). I was at house show three weeks before Hart's win was announced on Superstars and Hart jobbed to Razor Ramon in the second match on the card. The finish was a little screwy (Razor's feet were on the ropes). Combined with Bret's dropping of the IC belt a month earlier, I thought Bret was clearly losing it and couldn't compete against "bigger" guys like Smith and Ramon (compared to his success vs. Perfect, Piper, and even Shawn Michaels).

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  124. Ah, I see. Thought I heard about some renewed interest from the NHL in smaller Canadian markets (Quebec City, Hamilton, Toronto suburbs) given the relative success of the Winnipeg Jets. Now, I'm down here in Murica, but I'll always take passionate hardcore sports fans over casual transplants in trendy cities like Miami, Tampa, Phoenix, etc.

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  125. they did explain the match had been signed before the brainbusters won the titles so the titles weren't on the line. Same thing with Hogan/piper where piper said he only wanted to prove he was better then Hogan and wanted just one match he didn't care about anything else

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  126. There's a great moment on one of these Nitro's where Heenan is all "One day, you'll see. You'll see what kind of person Hogan really is. How selfish he is. and you'll be screaming how he's a horrible person. you wait, you'll see...."

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