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1992 Questions

 

Hi Scott

I've been acquainting myself with WCW on the network... got up to Flair's jump to WWF (with Sid and Luger also switching teams) and started watching their old stuff too even though I've seen it before - just got to Wrestlemania 8.

I still can't get my head around them not running with Hogan vs Flair. Has Flair ever expressed any views on this, do you know? If part of his problem in WCW was not being booked at the level he thought he deserved, then wouldn't being pulled from the main event program with Hulk rankle in the same way? But I never hear of any bad feeling on Flair's part over this.

I know Flair was having specific issues leading to his jump, but Luger and Sid coming over at around the same time; was this a concerted attempt to poach WCW talent? (Was Sting ever approached, being the other of their big three with Flair and Luger)? Or am I overestimating the significance of WCW at the time and this was just general Vince hiring some big dudes he liked for Hogan's soon to be vacant spot?  Also, Piper's match with Bret on that show is famously one of his few (only) clean losses in his career. How was he able to get away with refusing to job for so long? Was he really enough of a draw for people to put up with that?

 

Flair was always fine with it as far as I know because he loved working with Savage anyway.  And he wasn’t ever pulled from the program, as Sid v. Hogan was the plan all along. 

Luger was never really supposed to be a WWF talent poaching, as Vince wanted him for the WBF and didn’t appear to care about him as a wrestler, and Luger himself was making noise even in WCW about wanting to get out of the business anyway.  So no, it wasn’t really a mass talent raid by standards you’d normally classify, just happenstance. 

And yes, Piper was enough of a draw that he could make those kind of demands.  Plus, they let him get away with it, so they only have themselves to blame anyway. 

Comments

  1. If the WBF actually works and Luger gets out of wrestling forever do we remember him more fondly? We lose 96-97, but we also lose 93-95 and 98-01.

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  2. I believe an issue with Luger not wrestling for WWF earlier was that he had some sort of a non-compete from his WCW contract which precluded him from wrestling with the WWF until 1993.

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  3. Interesting thought but the wbf succeeding at any level was always so remote. I mean who was into body building in the early 90s to the point where it would warrant it's own platform?

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  4. Other than Vince Mcmahon, nobody.

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  5. That's a lot of questions, but nowhere near 1992.

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  6. If the plan all along was Hogan vs. Sid they sure did book it awkwardly letting Hogan be named the challenger against Flair at the pre mania press conference. Though Sid's expressions about not getting chosen were ace. Didn't Flair vs. Hogan struggle on house shows to get the responses management were expecting?

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  7. Maybe Scott is posting it in multiple parts!

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  8. Flair only holds a grudge against guys that can't benefit him these days.

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  9. That was bogus.

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  10. The plan all along was Hogan to want to get to SId so bad, he was willing to give up his title shot to do so. Thus, we got the match switched to Flair v. Savage, with the "She was mine, before she was your's" angle tacked on.

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  11. I wonder how much money he's borrowed from Charlotte.

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  12. I dont think Luger was brought in for WBF at all, think it was a way to put him on tv. Pretty sure he couldnt be used in a wrestling capacity for a certain amount of time....

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  13. I'm sure its mostly due to nostaglia of being a child but 1992 is my all time favorite year in wrestling. Love everything about both promotions for that whole year. Luger and Sting and were the shit to me as a kid, a Ric Flair/Heenan/Perfect was the coolest thing ever. I couldn't have been a happier little kid in 1992 (I was in like 4th grade) about wrestling.

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  14. The 1992 Royal Rumble VHS cover was the most magical thing I'd ever seen. I would stare at it, trace it onto paper, basically hit autistic-kid levels of obsession with it

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  15. Yeah, it was a foolish endeavor. I've always wondered if it was just sheer overconfidence on his part or if he had some kind of idea for how it was supposed to benefit his wrestling business. I guess it was still in the period where he probably thought he had the Midas touch.


    Always cracked me up when Jessie Ventura took a shot at it during the Sting/Luger match at Superbrawl II -- "You know that there is no money in bodybuilding".

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  16. Yeah, he was slated to be a 'special guest' for the second WBF PPV, but of course never made that due to the motorcycle accident.



    I wanna say he was on the WBF Bodystars show that aired after Superstars in most markets on occasion though.

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  17. Bad News Brown said Piper refused to job for him at the WrestleMania (6?) where Piper did the half-blackface thing. Like, you're playing the racist jerk character ("playing," right?) and you still can't lay down?

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  18. As far as I understood it they ran Hogan/Flair round the house shows in November/December and due to low turnout decided not to run it for Wrestlemania.
    It's a pit because a prime Hogan vs Flair match would be amazing at a big show.

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  19. Yeah that cover is awesome. The artist Joe Jusko that did it actually did several pieces for the WWF, including the 1991 poster and this as well for WrestleMania 7: http://th00.deviantart.net/fs39/PRE/f/2008/346/e/f/Wrestlemania_VII_by_JoeJusko.jpg

    Here is a gallery of a lot of his other work, including those -- I think he actually sells prints of these:
    http://joejusko.deviantart.com/gallery/

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  20. I don't think that there was any legitimate chance that the WBF would succeed.

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  21. I don't think it would have been amazing. None of their WCW matches were. Why would one at WM8 be? Besides, I love that Savage/Flair match. And Hogan/Sid too if only for the Warrior ending.

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  22. I remember feeling pretty angry at the time watching washed up Piper beating Bret in WCW on a episode of Nitro in a bad match. Almost put me of their classic WM8 match as a result.

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  23. That's the company line, but I think it's open for debate. The Hogan/Flair shows didn't do earth shattering, "we're back in the mainstream now" numbers, but most of them did better business than what they'd seen since right before Warrior's reign.


    Plus WrestleMania 8 tanked anyway with the card they ran AND the house shows following WM8 outside the international tour were historically low.


    My own personal opinion is that it has very little to do with that -- they saw the steroid scandal on the horizon about to pop and knew Hogan's name was going to get dragged through the dirt and wanted him to lie low for awhile -- so they couldn't exactly have him drop the leg on Flair and hide with the belt. The whole "Hogan may have his last match" angle for WM was out of the blue and thrown together very quickly and conveniently just as the sex scandal was about to pop as well.

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  24. My favorite too actually, it was just a great time to be a young wrestling fan. You were immune to all of the bad stuff and the formula was just starting to break and things were getting interesting for both promotions especially once you hit late 1991 on through the summer of 1992.

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  25. I guess I'm not so much asking about the WBF as I am about a guy making his money and leaving early. The only guys who really did that are Rock, Brock and Goldberg.

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  26. Never realized that was Jusko.

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  27. I'm glad that never HHHappened again after that!

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  28. The initial run did good business, but the second time around is when attendance fell off.

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  29. The Hogan WCW matches were marred by WCW syndrome. the WCW product was very different o the WWF product and when they brought Hogan in they tried a weird mish-mash of Hogan formula matches with NWA booking, add in the creative clauses and they had no chance.
    McMahon always knew how to book Hogan vs technically gifted loudmouth heel. Look at Dibiase, Savage, Piper, etc.

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  30. Hall pinned Piper for the U.S. title at SuperBrawl IX.

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  31. As an adult I wish Bad News just beat him into pudding. He deserved it.

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  32. Wasn't he the host of the show?

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  33. I can think of two Piper jobs in the WWF: vs. Flair, when he first came in, and Bret at Mania VIII. Did he ever job to Snuka?

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  34. Good points. I don't disagree with any of this. Still, like i said, I can't see either guy going over. And I enjoyed Flair/Savage and the surprise ending of Hogan/Sid enough to not want to rewrite history on this one.

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  35. I think even when he was in semi retirement he still beat Lawler & Goldust.

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  36. Yep! He beat Lawler at KOTR '94 and Goldust (the IC Champion at the time) at WM XII.

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  37. WCW booking coupled with an audience that just didn't like the guy.

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  38. Zeus, Andre...

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  39. As an overall performer and character, is CM Punk a good modern-day comparison to Piper?

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  40. VinceJordan? Is that you?

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  41. I'd say Ambrose is a better comparison - in ring wise on the mic. I don't see the similarities between Piper and Punk in the ring at all?

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  42. I don't even remember, was he on it every week? I guess they got their money out of him for that first year then.

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  43. No, other than being popular and talented, there's not a lot in common.
    Ambrose maybe, or Christian perhaps but not Punk.

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  44. This. They put him in the WBF to kill time until his no compete clause allowed him to wrestle in early 93. Plan was never to have him in WBF long term

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  45. Maybe Scott is answering it in parts!

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  46. Yeah those who say Sid vs Hogan was always the long term plan were wrong. Original plan at wrestlemania 8 was Hogan/Flair and Savage/Roberts. All booking on tv in fall into early winter showed they were building to those matches.

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  47. At least Piper did the job to Jericho at WM25. :)

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  48. Bret says in his book that he was injured at the time and had to job the title. And that it was supposed to go to Scott Hall but it was changed to Piper at the last minute (typical) and Bret was happy it was and he wanted to put Piper over.

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  49. I always saw Jericho as more of a Piper type

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  50. Yeah it was to kill time until he was allowed to wretle. Keith is wrong about this and wrong about sid/hogan being the planned wm8 main event all along. I think keith believes it due to meltzer speculating it was put into Sid's contract in spring 91 but that was not true.

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  51. Hall's feet are on the ropes. After Nash interference, which Piper fought off. After Disco interferance, which Piper fought off.

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  52. Hall pinned Piper at the '97 Bash

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  53. I didn't mind that as Piper could still go kinda and he was still a draw at that point.

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  54. I'm not sure they qualify as technically-gifted and loudmouthed. He's saying Hogan was booked well when he was booked against such men, not that they were exclusively who he fought.

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  55. Ring work not so much ... I was thinking about talking ability, having a grasp of nuance, physical build, being "unpredictable", having an edge, etc.

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  56. I don't think he recognized the racism in what he was doing.

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  57. Is that the match with Will Sasso interfering leading to a small package win?

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  58. Indeed, and I do agree with him. There's no disputing the technical acumen of those guys.


    But, for yucks and contrast, there's also those other guys. And only two!

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  59. What changed Vince and Luger's mind about him wrestling, was it just the WBF failing so he had to do something?

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  60. TJ: Observer is reporting the final TNA shows on Spike are being moved to late night because the "Best of" shows have drawn lower ratings than Cops reruns. Talk about the door hitting your ass on the way out...

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  61. After Syxx interferes, leaving him two on one vs the Outsiders.

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  62. From what I've seen the "best of" shows are clipped to all hell anyway. Which makes no sense. You're hardly losing money if you show the Hardys/Dudleys/Wolves match from random impact in it's entirety rather than a 30 second clip to whet peoples appetite.
    Show off the very best full matches and tell people where you are going to so yours fans might want to actually follow you.

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  63. Do you know if they've hyped on the recent shows the network change, start date, etc? Because if they were waiting til the final show to do that... ouch.

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  64. I think TNA doing something competent is one of the signs of the apocalypse.

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  65. The WBF going under before Luger could debut, probably.

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  66. I think Bruno beat him in a cage match, which is just as good as a pin.

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  67. Speaking of 1992, Starrcade 92 was a fucked up show.

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  68. You mean the "10th annualbStarrcade '92." Battlebowl was underwhelming, the WCW title match was garbage, but Sting vs. Vader and the tag team title match was great.

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  69. "Luger was never really supposed to be a WWF talent poaching, as Vince wanted him for the WBF and didn’t appear to care about him as a wrestler, and Luger himself was making noise even in WCW about wanting to get out of the business anyway."

    Uh, no. Signing him to a WBF contract was a way to establish a relationship between Vince and Luger prior to his signing a WWF contract without running afoul of WCW for contract tampering. That Vince stuck his neck out for Lex like that only to see him run back to WCW in the dead of night when Nitro debuted has been cited by countless industry insiders as the reason Vince wanted nothing to do with Luger from that point on.

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  70. It'd be impossible to really promote a network change on a pretaped/clip show, which is why so much of the Raw network changes were hammered home on commentary live.

    TNA didn't have a new TV deal finalized until just recently, so...

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  71. They could have easily spliced in a backstage segment promoting the change, but regardless of that I don't think Spike would have allowed them mentioning another tv network.

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  72. That answer was total baloney. The WBF thing was to give Lex something to do to get around WCW's non-compete clause, nothing more.

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  73. He had house show losses to Adrian Adonis (guest referee Andre the Giant laid on top of Adonis while making the count, which is a pretty clever screwjob finish) and Rick Rude (ref bump, distraction by Bad News Brown, ring bell to the head--I saw this one myself).

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  74. Actually the announcement was that Tunney made the switch after the turn on SNME. Hogan wasn't happy about it.

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  75. I think he either took over for Vince or co-hosted with Vince towards the end. BodyStars actually outlived the WBF itself, IIRC, and by the end was just a glorified infomercial to sell us on ICOPRO.

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  76. Even if there was a wide audience, the industry such as it was already had its own Vince McMahon, in Joe Weider. Vince was almost literally the Dixie Carter to Weider's Vince.

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