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The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–12.25.95

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 12.25.95

If the goal of Big Bang Theory was to make everyone forget about Penny’s awful haircut by distracting us with her spectacular bangin’ body, well, then…well played.  Well played. 

Ad roulette begins! As of today I now have a one in four chance of getting advertisements instead of the WWE logo. It’s just like I’m the champion in a Fatal Four Way match! The odds are exactly the same! No commercials before this one, luckily. Also, with RAW now getting added again, the question becomes: Stick with Nitro, or switch back to RAW and hopefully get 1995 finished off as well on that side?

Taped from whatever last week was. Really, they take Christmas off? How are they gonna win the Wars with THAT kind of shitty work ethic?

Your ho-ho-hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo.

Lex Luger v. Scotty Riggs

Lex flexes a bunch, but Riggs gets a dropkick to send him running and Lex gets some advice from Jimmy Hart. That advice: “Don’t store your steroids in your house if you feel like your girlfriend OD’ing in your living room might be a possibility. Also, always check the t-shirt sizing before you wear it.” Back in, Riggs works the arm for a bit, but misses a dropkick before recovering with a crossbody for two. Finally Luger knocks him off the apron and into the railing (the bump was only 0.2 Pillman, though) and back in with a suplex to take over. Riggs makes a brief comeback, but tries a missile dropkick and misses by three feet, allowing Lex to finish with the Rack at 7:09. Good enough for government work. *1/2

Sting accuses Mean Gene of being “some kind of investigative reporter” because he’s still bugging Sting about the Lex Luger deal. Sting basically tells him to lay off, does his promo, and then Gene waits until he’s walking away and goes “So what’s the deal with you and Luger?”, drawing a pissed off glare from Sting over his shoulder. That was a cool little touch. Too bad they didn’t have a better storyline around the Starrcade show because the Sting/Luger and Flair/Savage stuff was top notch.

Sting v. Big Bubba

Bubba comes out of the corner with a surprising enzuigiri and slugs away in the corner, but they head to the floor and Sting bulldogs him on the floor. Back in, Bobby is once again going on about the mythical airports where everyone is talking about whatever is convenient for the storyline at the time. People must have been losing their shit over the nWo in those airports. And really, can you imagine people stopping Bobby Heenan in an airport and wanting to talk about Eddie Guerrero? Bobby would tell them to fuck off. And they’d deserve it! Bubba goes to a chinlock in the ring, but Sting fights out and goes up. Bubba slams him off, but Sting rolls through into a small package for the pin at 5:14 in a slick finish. I think that clearly puts him over the top on the WON Hall of Fame voting. *1/2

Lex Luger comes out for his interview, but Craig Pittman interrupts and wants Jimmy Hart to manage him. Jimmy laughs at his abs and sends him on his way. Hey now, no need to be mean about it. We can’t all be rippling hunks of manhood like Caliber.

Dean Malenko v. The Mysterious Mr. JL

Stalemate sequence to start and JL gets a tilt-a-whirl headscissors to put Dean on the floor, then follows with a dive as Bischoff accidentally calls him “Jerry Lynn” before correcting himself. KAYFABE! Back in, that gets two. JL with a powerbomb out of a bridge for two. They fight to the top and Dean takes him down with the exploding gutbuster and finishes with a leglock at 3:42. Dean was booked astonishingly strong at this point, actually. **1/2

Ric Flair is out for an interview, but Jimmy Hart comes out to suck up to him and apologize for Kevin Sullivan’s disrespectful behavior and offer his managerial services tonight.

WCW World title: Randy Savage v. Ric Flair

Random great character touch with Jimmy Hart I noticed in the closeups during intros: Presumably Hart makes big money as a manager for the big stars, but he still makes sure to wear crappy cheap sunglasses because he’s basically a skeevy used car salesman at heart. That’s pretty cool. Flair goes with the eyepoke to start, but misses the kneedrop and Savage goes to work on it right away. Figure-four and Flair makes the ropes with the help of Jimmy Hart, as that deal immediately pays dividends for him. Savage pounds away in the corner and Flair drops him with an atomic drop, but Savage reverses the figure-four into a small package for two. Flair tosses him and Jimmy gets the cheapshots in. And we take a break and return with Savage grabbing a chair out of the front row, but Flair clotheslines him on the top rope on the way in. Bischoff clarifies that Hogan is “basically suspended for the rest of 1995.” Wow, six whole days, that’s harsh. Flair pounds on the taped arm to take over and works on a hammerlock, but Savage makes a brief comeback before Flair puts him down with a low blow. And we take another break and return with them slugging it out as my wife notes that Savage looks like he’s wearing “those furry mops they sell on TV” on his boots. If that’s the worst thing about Savage’s wardrobe choices in 1995, we’re lucky. Savage with a sleeper, but Flair counters with a kneecrusher as Bischoff notes that everyone is leaving the WWF and coming to WCW. In a related note, WCW was supposed to tape every other week following this show, but Turner higher-ups were apparently so delighted that WWF was in a death spiral that they actually OK’d live shows every week just to fuck with them. Bet it didn’t feel so good for Vince being on the other side of that kind of thing. Flair with the figure-four, but Savage makes the ropes and slams Flair off the top to make the comeback. Flair goes to the knee again, however, and tries a sleeper, but Savage runs him into the corner to break and gets a small package for two. Flair with a piledriver, but Macho backdrops out for two. Double axehandle gets two. Jimmy trips him up and they slug it out off that, but Lex Luger runs in for the DQ at 21:52 to trigger a giant brawl to end the show. So yeah, they basically gave away the Starrcade main event two days before the show, but it was a HELL of a match. ***3/4 I should note the entire show was built around the triangle match and they completely ignored the New Japan matches and in fact didn’t even list the CARD. No wonder it only did 70000 buys or whatever ridiculous number it was. That being said, this was a GREAT show and flew by.

Next week: A new heavyweight champion will be crowned at Starrcade! I won’t spoil it, but it rhymes with “Shmick Shmair.”

Comments

  1. Virgil's Gimmick TableOctober 14, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    I say now that all all the 1995 Nitro episodes are finished, finish Raw 95. Then start alternating between the two when you get to January 96. That way you can review the whole war and compare the two.

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  2. Stick with Nitro. I like the idea of switching off as outlined below, but Nitro is all new to you and it feels very fresh. Plus the really bad shows will be delightfully skewered.

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  3. If Benoit was a horseman then why was he never featured in any of the Horsemen segments at the very beginning? I'm at March 1996 on Nitro and I haven't seen Benoit and Malenko anywhere.

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  4. CruelConnectionNumber2October 15, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Is this where Malenko snaps JL's arm?

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  5. I don't know if Vince was that upset that Hogan was gone, but he had to be a little pissed that Savage was still having some pretty damn cool matches at this point. Imagine the matches that could have taken place if Savage had still been in the WWE and still had been allowed to wrestle. Savage vs. Bret, Savage vs. Michaels, Savage vs. Owen, hell, it wasn't that far off that Savage vs. Stone Cold could have been a possibility. I know he had random matches with all of these guys at some point, but imagine if they where built up to be really big marquee matches.

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  6. Biff Kensington IIIOctober 15, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    "If the goal of Big Bang Theory was to make everyone forget about Penny’s
    awful haircut by distracting us with her spectacular bangin’ body,
    well, then…well played. Well played."

    Now how am I supposed to focus on the recap when you drop this bon mot on us?

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  7. Biff Kensington IIIOctober 15, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    #ArnAndersonKnows

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  8. I just love that Chuck Lorre is like "Well, everyone hates the soccer mom haircut, so let's just come up with a plot where she ends up in a bikini for some reason." This is why the man is so ridiculously rich.

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  9. This is the correct path forward

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  10. A caliber joke!

    This was a particularly strong recap Scott!

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  11. Virgil's Gimmick TableOctober 15, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    Vince doesn't care about wrestling that much. He was pushing Mabel around this time and Kevin Nash was the champion all year.

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  12. CruelConnectionNumber2October 15, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Malenko doesn't join til Sept 98. Benoit's doing Horsemen stuff on Nitro before March 96, without a doubt. He has a World Title match against Savage in Feb 96 where Woman rejoins. He's with them the first show of '96, too.

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  13. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 15, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    Penny Cyrus still weirds me out, but now I'm bummed I missed the ep because the local CBS affiliate was simulcasting the Niners on MNF.

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  14. I think he did more Horsemen promos and stuff on Saturday Night too, stuff wasn't all on Nitro at this point.

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  15. Vince had no interest in Randy Savage working in the ring after 1992 or so. Savage supposedly wanted a program with HBK in early 1994 but his ideas were shot down.

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  16. Chuck Lorre sitcoms are the bane of my existence. Even as a wrestling fan I have to look down my nose at them. Like, which one is supposed to be the funny guy?

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  17. They did it on the Euro tour in the early nineties and it was consistently awesome, so they're weird matches to watch now as in one of 'em HBK hits Sweet Chin Music like four times but it does nothing because it wasn't his finisher yet.

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  18. Wasn't everyone complaining just yesterday the the network never gets updated?

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  19. Funny how having christmas off is now automatic for wrestling, but Flair and a few other old school guys used to say they worked TWO dates every christmas. My how times change!

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  20. AND YOUR T SHIRTS ARE TO TIGHT TOO BILLY!!

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  21. My vote is for going back to finish up Raw, just for completion's sake.

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  22. Think of the times. This is the mid-90's bub. Scott's catching the shoot bug

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  23. In defense of Caliber, atleast he and I agree that Big Bang Theory is the biggest pile of shit to grace the airwaves

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  24. Yeah, I haven't been a fan of the new haircut either, but the bikini works....quite well.

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  25. I love Schmick Schmair!

    SCHMIRE ME??!! I'M ALREADY SCHMIRED!!!!

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  26. With 1995 Nitro complete, is it possible to just finish 1995 RAW and then do one day RAW next day Nitro?

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  27. It's a great idea, but who knows how slow the pace of the remaining Raws getting uploaded is going to be.

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  28. It's definitely hyperbole, but their scheduling for new content leaves a lot to be desired.

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  29. The house always wins in ad-roulette.

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  30. These SHMOES cost more than your SHMOUSE!

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  31. Only hope is to Martingale.

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  32. Geeze, do you want him to bake you fresh cookies too? He is only human, ya know! Work him like a dawg!!!

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  33. Hogan takes some time off, show gets exponentially better. It's like it was a full fledged 90's algorithm.

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  34. Meh, I like my shows simple. Not everything needs to be "The Wire" when it comes to extreme complexity. It's good harmless fun.

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  35. It's not all that great, and Hollywood's idea of geek and nerd culture is clichéd and insulting, but it has its moments. And of course I would bang Kelly & the other blonde's fillings out.

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  36. So Justin Roberts was let go for getting into it with Cole? What?

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  37. It's just not at all funny though

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  38. SHMIMO RIDING, SHMET FLYING, SHMON OF A SHMUN!

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  39. Vince put Savage out to pasture to soon. Outside of his work with Hogan, I thought Randy Savage was pretty good in WCW.

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  40. If true it makes me like Roberts a little more.

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  41. With a SHMEAR in my eye...this is the greatest schmoment of my shmife!

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  42. RAW doesn't really start getting good until 1997.

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  43. You're both wrong though.

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  44. I agree. It's good brainless fun. My wife and I watch it every week. If that makes me sad, I'm the saddest. I love it.

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  45. I've noticed they seem to give Sheldon flamboyantly gay mannerisms and try to pass it off as nerd mannerisms as well.

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  46. Yea but that's about it. He's never involved in any Horsemen feuds. Doesn't even join them to destroy Hulkamania. I didn't mean Malenko as part of the Horsemen. Early 96 Nitros rely heavy on their star power and you see less of Eddie, Chris, and Malenko.

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  47. It's no more work load than he's already doing...he's been pretty much doing 1 RAW or Nitro a day...so the only thing that would change is instead of 5 straight days of RAW or Nitro it would be 1 day RAW, the next day Nitro...

    Same amount of work, just a different show...in fact, it might actually be a bit refreshing to not have to do the same show for extended periods of time...

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  48. Pittman searching around for a manager made him look like a total loser. What ever happened to that guy anyway?

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  49. I liked when he got desperate and asked Mongo.

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  50. They added 3 new episodes of RAW, yee-haw. My heroes.

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  51. He ended up hiring Teddy Long. Kiss of death, he never recovered.

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  52. There's some good stuff late in 1996, with Austin tearing it up.

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  53. I remember that, but I really meant what ever happened to the guy period. He sort of faded away and never heard about him again.

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  54. Yeah, I have no idea. He totally sold me as being a wrestling machine for most of 1995. Then he became a jobber, then... Who knows.

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  55. It's mostly this.

    I'm a geek, I go to conventions, debate things like "are video games art", have watched more anime then some people have seen tv shows total.

    I can't relate to ANYONE on that show. Theoretically this is the representation of me and my.friends, except NO ONE acts like that.

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  56. I vote Raw. Kind of interested in those 1995 Raws and the Bullfrog heel turn. Plus I'd love to hear your opinion of the November 20 Diesel pseudo shoot after all these years.

    So I vote Raw, so I don't have to pay 9.99 a month to watch them.

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  57. At least Luger owned up to it recently that he was wrong doing that.

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  58. I was kind of shocked Shmair won the title back, and even more surprised when Savage win it back three weeks later. And then more surprised when Liz turned heel and won it back. I still love The Giant no selling the figure four and finally winning it for real during one of Hogan's vacations. But sadly, I still love the Hog Wild Hogan vs. Giant match - where the bikers are mostly pro-Hogan and gets a babyface pop for laying out the Giant. And the Giant just lays there dead for twenty minutes and turns heel three weeks later because Hogan knocked some sense into him. But then the belt became Hogan's prop for about three years.

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  59. Wiki says he was a RAW jobber in September 1997 (jumped by the Godwinns), and then vanished off the face of the earth for nearly 15 years, showing up for two MMA matches in October 2011 and 2012. He fell victim to 50/50 booking, and has not been seen since.

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  60. More slam city too.

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  61. That's about it though

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  62. "I can't relate to ANYONE on that show. "

    Cause they all have girlfriends AMIRITE? LULZ *RIMSHOT*

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  63. Yea, the hair needs to grow back. The bikini shot was nice but it wasn't the same as the previous times they did it. Plus, she's playing with Confederate money

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  64. The short black dress was also incredible. Girl goes to the gym.

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  65. Were not though. It's a mindless show that atrempts to get by with failed nerd humor.

    "Ugh, figuring women out is harder than AP Calculus.
    *laughs*

    "I love her! Id swim across the Atlantic to see her if I needed too!"
    "Who are you kidding, that would take you approximately 3 years, plus your body lacks the muscles structure and endurance!!"
    *audience goes nuts*

    Fuck off

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  66. Isn't it tiring being contrarian all the time?

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  67. I vote on finishing '95 Raw (if possible), and then start '96 afresh with alternating between the two shows. I was somewhat bummed that you had to stop doing Raw before the fall, when it started to improve (not that it became great, but it did get a little better).

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  68. I'm not sure that they're "giving" him flamboyantly gay mannerisms. I think that's just how Jim Parsons "acts."

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  69. Definitely Nitro. As I recall, Scott wasn't a WCW viewer, so some of these Nitros might have some good reviews.

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  70. I would say "awesome" is a bit of a stretch. I only saw their match from Munich and it was not much more than "average".

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  71. "So yeah, they basically gave away the Starrcade main event two days before the show, but it was a HELL of a match."

    If only their biggest problem remained just giving away PPV main events for free! Four years later and they'd probably do the title switch on Nitro, switch it back 2 days later at Starrcade, then strip the champ and leave the title vacant the next night on Nitro.

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  72. Shmick wins the title? I thought he was just abused and embarrassed for no reason for 10 years? Poor Shmick.

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  73. Just come up with a GODDAMN schedule already. It's been 7 months for God's sake.

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  74. Id like to point out how odd it is that Savage bladed Flair during their Starrcade match. Why the hell did Flair allow that at all? Fucking massacre job too

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  75. One of my best friends is better at Calculus then relationships. She would tell you that herself.
    I don't see the how that's supposed to be funny exactly, what is the punchline here?

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  76. Not being a fan of a shitty wrestling show and one prime time sitcom makes you a contrarian ALL THE TIME?

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  77. Rajj is fucking unbearable. I hate that dude so much

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  78. The figure four no-sell spot is still ,y favorite of Show's career. Such a badass moment.

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  79. Not on topic, exactly, but oddly enough I think he fought in the same 1994 or 95 NHB tournament as Rickson Gracie, as documented in "Choke."

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  80. Well don't be comfortable, cause Dandy Ravage gets it back within weeks after.

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  81. Yes, the Mighty Teddy Long Stable, also featuring Joey Maggs. Were the days of Doom that far away?

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  82. Oh, he commented on that meme? What did he say? (if you tell me you don't knooooooooooow, I'm taking names)

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  83. Over at the Unnamed Wrestling Forums, Big Evil suggests that they wanted him to be a Horseman, but not be a heel, if that made any sense.

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  84. I'm stunned that no one was offended by him implying that the new "1/2 Man" was a lesbian. Truthfully, I am more offended that he tried to shoehorn Melissa McCarthy's movie personas into her show, when she was doing just fine as the straight person...no, not that kind of straight person (I feared me mentioning lesbians would throw you off...)

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  85. So he needed the interest of another McMahon, and got a little too desperate (ducking)

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  86. Seriously, with the talk I've heard from the rediscoveries of WCW Savage, I should take a second look myself. As I thought he was doing the "get beat up, hit a slam, drop the elbow" finish then pretty much.

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  87. It was ridiculous. I watched it yesterday, and at the end all I could think of was how stupid it looked. A megaphone causes someone to just bleed pints of blood? So dumb.

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  88. I'm in the same boat in regards to starting Raw or keeping with Nitro. In the end, I think I'm going to stop with Nitro, catch up with the 95 Raws through the end of the year, and then start 1996 together.

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  89. He did that but he had his moments no question. That whole DDP feud was good stuff and Savage ALWAYS brought the intensity with him no matter where/what he was doing. Savage vs. Bret Hart feud in WWF would have been great!

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  90. That's just simply the way WCW always treated Benoit. Half the promotion had to quit/fire/get injured/whatever for him to get a World Title that no one even wanted anymore.

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  91. http://youtu.be/ly2Hj6hzjZw

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  92. And I'm sure Flair spent four dates' worth at the bar that night.

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  93. I had one on last week, and was appalled at the guys making fun of Rajj's accent. That's "Dads" type comedy. This is not a "smart" how.

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  94. Nothing like some, um, other photos I've seen recently of her, but she does have nice abs.

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  95. Flair bitches about that in his book. He doesn't know why he allowed that either. I think he chalked it up to wanting to be a team player.

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  96. I know I'm setting myself up for ridicule by defending Caliber, but the dude really is in tremendous shape. He's got a 300 lb bench and can move some serious weight on the regular. He has that short. stocky Bill Kazmaier build so he's got a really tight core. Following his workout advice has helped me get into the best shape of my life, and i'd be doing evdn better if i could keep up with him (but he dedicates 100% of his energy to lifting and i have other priorities). I know i know, everyone hates on the dude. but give him some credit, he knows his fitness.

    No abs, though.

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  97. Doom was in 1991. I believe sometime around this time he was managing Scott Norton and ice train. Then he had them form fire and ice so they could compete in a TAG TEAM MATCH PLAYA.

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  98. Then he got teddy as his manager and STARTED COMPETING IN TAG TEAM MATCHES PLAYA.

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  99. Didn't he say Savage did it without telling him beforehand?

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  100. Its the worst shot ever too -- this little lovetap with the megaphone and Schmair leaves a gory scmear on the mat.

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  101. Count me in with the millions of contrarians that think BBT and just about every modern sitcom with a laugh track is awful.

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  102. So strange. I mean even at that points he'd been blading for 20 years, I just dont see why he had Savage gig him

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  103. Yeah, he actually looked decent in his few appearances but then Jimmy Hart just buries him. "Take off your shirt.."


    Sounded like a creepy photographer...

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