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Rumble 97

Reading The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume 4 and in it it says that Bret was gonna win the 1997 Rumble but Russo, as Vic Venom, said on Live Wire that Bret was the only reasonable person who could win the Rumble, and in the authors words, broke kayfabe. So Vince changed it to the Austin.

Now I wasn't reading the Torch or Observer back then but I read every website like Tidbits, Micasa, Online Onslaught etc, which I assume got all its news from Meltzer and Keller and remember nothing ever being reported like that.

True? False? And was Bret supposed to beat Austin at what ended up being IYH Final Four to get his title shot back? If so, what becomes of Austin at Mania? Austin/Vader?


​The Rumble one is correct, the Final Four one was a bullshit online rumor that ended up getting spread by myself among others.

From the Observer:

"The attendance was the story of the show and the saving of the show, which saw Shawn Michaels capture the WWF title from Sid in the main event and Steve Austin win the Royal Rumble in a late swerve. Those at Titan believed too many fans knew the original plan of Bret Hart winning and were concerned, perhaps overly so, that Vic Venum (Vince Russo) had "given it away" (he predicted it ala a Mark Madden gimmick where he knows a planned finish and then predicts it to get himself over) to make himself look smart on their own Live Wire television in the early days of the promotion of this show (Venum later came back the next week after getting heat and said nobody could predict a winner of a bout like a Royal Rumble). It was the classic case of reactive booking instead of pro-active booking. The problem with reactive booking means those who are supposed to be in control are no longer in control and they are reacting to forces rather than creating and controlling the forces. This is not meant as a knock on it because if the end result is still Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart at Wrestlemania, the long-term battle plan has changed along the way but has the same ultimate destination. The change in Rumble plans changed the four corners match on the 2/16 Chattanooga PPV from having the supposed top four in the WWF--Sid, Shawn Michaels, Austin and Bret Hart, to the final four in the Rumble--Bret Hart, Austin, Vader and Undertaker with the title shot at Michaels at Wrestlemania being at stake to the winner." 

Comments

  1. I bitched about that on the Raw after SS.

    Waste of DVR space.

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  2. hire jeff farmer or barry windham; put him in sting makeup and outfit and have him sit in the rafters.


    It is not like either one is making much money wrestling anyway

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  3. nwo sting is not THE jeff farmer from youtube is he?

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  4. Well that explains why the initial Final Four ad in WWF magazine pre-Rumble featured Austin, Bret, Shawn, and Sid. Those ads could give away PPV results sometimes!

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  5. These limited contracts are really hurting them. Everyone gets excited for Brock or Sting and then they fall off the face of the earth for 3 months or so.

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  6. Wouldn't be a stretch. The WWE already put fake Sting on the cover of the Sting DVD

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  7. but who does austin face at mania??

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  8. That's classic Meltzer speak right there

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  9. The top booking for 1997 was such a mess, but in retrospect, it worked out for the better because the WWF got the Bret-Austin match that arguably saved the company.

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  10. Some of the dirtsheetz are reporting it's Sting/HHH, others are saying it's Sting/'Taker.

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  11. I just wanna see a lot of HHH promos completely burying Sting. Not because I dislike Sting (I don't), but because it would crack me up.

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  12. I think Austin vs. Pullman was the plan.

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  13. love bill pullman, independence day is bomb

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  14. i always wonder how they would have gotten to austin getting the belt at mania 14 from bret/hbk 2 at mania 13

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  15. Shawn would have regained it (Survivor Series?)

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  16. I was a bit surprised at the time that the WM13 match worked out so well for Austin's character; the whole "so tough he'd never quit" thing. As a Bret mark, I looked at it as Austin got his ass kicked more severely than anybody ever had in wrestling history. If not for Shamrock stopping the match, Austin would have DIED. He was totally at Bret's mercy.

    "And when I beat Stone Cold Steve Austin to a bloody pulp, you people have the nerve to boo me, and cheer him!"

    I was like "You're right, Bret! What the fuck?"

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  17. The less Sting the better. The more that he's there, the more that the mystique will be washed away and you'll remember that oh ya, Sting.

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  18. As I typed before, money in the furnace for a guy that made 1 appearance to get rid of the Authority, a stip that has already been overturned.

    Never thought I would see Vince so desperate where an old-timer can name a contract where he shows up 5 times a year for a total of 40 minutes, and Vince actually cuts a check for that shit.

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  19. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 31, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    SPOILER ALERT.....


    Sounds like Jericho will be in the rumble based off his latest podcast. Planned to be in Philadelphia mediating a "Monday night wars" debate with Pritchard and Bischoff the afternoon of the rumble.

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  20. i imagine several title changes through out the year, but i also imagine none of some of my fav matches of all time (canadian stampede main event, UT/HBK HitC)

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  21. Like you, I was a Bret mark. I thought he was right about Austin, and I agreed with him during the U.S./Canada feud.

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  22. It's beautiful b/c it works both ways. Bret DID beat Austin to a bloody pulp. But Austin NEVER QUIT.

    No matter who you were cheering for, you had a valid point!

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  23. You're probably right

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  24. (Sting releases a bunch of bees)

    (HHH pedigrees each and every bee)

    BEES!

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  25. Totally. A win/win. Austin was shown to be tough as nails and Bret was no longer the babyface that handed his shades to kids. He became someone that would try to literally kill you for costing him the title. Now that's a heel.

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  26. that entire year showed me that no matter how valid or factual one's points are in wrestling, if they are perceived as "whining" they become a heel.

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  27. You don't have to use him a ton. As Scott says, just show him chilling or something. He doesn't have to wrestle or be in a huge angle each week.

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  28. doesn't say much for the product that Vince constantly shows that he believes anyone who starred in wrestling pre-2008 (I'm including that date over just the attitude era due to Batista and Edge) is infinitely better and more likely to garner ratings/buyrates than anyone he could push on his current roster. I think that is the same reason Cena and Orton have been the top two stars (arguably Orton, at times maybe Edge or Batista was there) for 10 years now.

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  29. never thought I would root for a HHH match but for the love of god keep that sad looking sickly old man out of the damn ring and make it HHH/Sting.

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  30. Meltzer is saying they are concerned with have two guys in bad shape (Undertaker and Sting) in the same match, thus the Sting HHH match. It all depends on when AND if Taker can compete

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  31. In which case they need to bring back Jim Ross just so he can call that.

    "My gawd, not the bees! Not the bees!"

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  32. Oh yeah I was totally an honorary Canadian in '97. I was at Summerslam '97 and some overly patriotic guy was giving me shit for cheering for Bret.

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  33. Jericho is one of my all time favorites but at this point that gets a big "who cares." he ain't winning and it probably just sets up a mini-feud for WM match, taking away a spot for a full time guy.

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  34. Which is nuts. You'd think Vince would have some foresight to realize he needs new guys as stars that connect with the crowd, especially with this Network sucking and whatever. Half the time I think he's just intentionally killing the product these days.

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  35. It's amazing that the Undertaker isn't even 50 yet. He looks worse than my old grandfather.

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  36. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 31, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    I get what you are saying but I'll always love Jericho. Would rather him then the 30th best full time guy.

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  37. Yeah in late 96-97 he just randomly appeared and no one even knew who what side he was on for a while.

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  38. The funny thing is they could show someone in the rafters dressed as Sting and no one would be the wiser.

    Of course, WWE/rafters. Bad idea.

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  39. So if things went as originally planned, Bret have won the Rumble for the title shot and faced Shawn who won the belt at Rumble, what would have happened at IYH Final Four?

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  40. Agree with all of it. Rock was getting booed for using WWE as a part time product even before the Goldberg/Lesnar dumpster fire at WM20. Batista got MURDERED when he came back. Yet all Vince can do is spend more money with this part time shit.

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  41. Because that dude had morales
    #TeamCanada

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  42. The uninspired 5 minute tours that he does are becoming more and more something that I actively DON'T want to see. And I always enjoyed Jericho.

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  43. Guess we walked into that one.

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  44. I should be able to double like that.

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  45. That's what I want to know too. I assume Shawn pins Sid in that match to win, while maybe Bret and Austin get counted out or something?

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  46. Yeah, that speech is one of the best in movie history.

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  47. WWE should just film some segments of Sting beating criminals with baseball bats or something. After all, he is a VIGILANTE!!!!!

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  48. ...except in retrospect, the move they made "reactively" started the chain of events that made Austin the biggest star in the history of the business.

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  49. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighDecember 31, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    I know I'm in the minority with Jericho

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  50. I feel the same way. Except I've never really enjoyed Jericho.

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  51. Uhaa Nation just signed with the WWE. He's good. He's like a really fast, agile Brock.

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  52. What about your new grandfather?

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  53. More like "fell into that one" amirite??

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  54. Watched the new TMNT movie last night and they used the word "vigilante" many times in it. Sting didn't even show up once. I'm confused.

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  55. Debuting him at Survivor Series with a four appearance deal was a bit early imho. That's a long time to stretch out four appearances between now and WM 31.

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  56. Yep. A guy who could have been potential #1 talent at one point is relegated to RVD status as nothing more than a nostalgia pop jobber.

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  57. I'm absolutely fine with this. Maybe Jericho is getting up there in age, but he's never once hesitated to put guys over. Who knows, maybe this will lay the groundwork for him putting over Rusev or something? I'd be all for that.

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  58. at least WCW had him wondering the rafters WWE is so fucken lazy and clueless

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  59. Not even vignettes of "The Vigilante" Sting tending to his bee hives.

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  60. Who else was correct in assuming Sting would never address why he made the Authority lose. I did think he actually would have showed up once, though.

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  61. In one of those photos his wife posted earlier last year in response to some rumours about his health, Taker was a dead ringer for an uncle of mine. The uncle in question is pushing 70 and looks it due to being a fairly heavy smoker his whole adult life.

    I really don't need to see him wrestle again. The match at WM30 was passable, but he still looked old, slow and fragile. The only reason he wrestled at all between 2011-14 was the streak, with that gone it's surely time for him to call it a career.

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  62. They should have revealed that Seth Rollins was behind Sting appearing at SS. He and Sting conspired to throw the match and cost HHH and Steph control over everything, because Seth rightfully knew that HHH would backstab him first chance he got due to his egomania and desire to make henchmen like Seth look and feel like dogshit (paying off why Randy Orton was such a bitch).

    Bonus points, they could have had Seth drop one of my favorite lines from Prometheus when he gives the reason to HHH for betraying him "A king has his reign and then he dies......." as far as him echoing the notion that HHH's time has long passed and Seth was performing euthanasia when he and Sting cost HHH his job.

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  63. Have him show up on Raw, opening segment, bashing HHH's head in gangster style. Have Steph being in batshit crazy paranoid mode, terrified that Sting is going to kill her and film some vignettes of Sting stalking her Michael Meyers of Halloween style in public and generally speaking, have Steph go full-title Lady McBeth insane and have Danial Bryan cracking wise on how Steph is even crazier than he was when he was four sheets to the wind batshit.........

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  64. Steph running around back, screaming "Help me!!!! Sting is trying to kill me because my family killed WCW! He put Hunter in a coma and he's following me everywhere I go!"

    Culminates in Shane coming back to convince Undertaker to fight Sting, if only because the alternative is putting Steph in the insane asylum and Shane doesn't want to front the money for one since Vince thinks Sting is really Scott Hall in disguise and that the whole thing is a plot by Steph/HHH to make Vince think HE'S gone insane since he doesn't believe Sting would ever show up in the WWE.

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  65. Steph: Daddy! Sting's stalking me! Trying to kill me!
    Vince: Nice try Steph, but Sting? In the WWE? That's insane! You're trying to make me thing I'M the one who's insane hallucinating that Sting is running around the WWE Universe! If anything, you've got Scott Hall dressing up like Sting trying to fool me into thinking that Sting would ever dare set foot inside the WWE Universe!

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  66. He should be a HUGE star. Uhaa, ACH, and Ricochet should be top priorities for wwe right now.

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  67. Wasn't the rumor Sting's deal is 5 or 6 appearances, and Survivor Series counted as #1? Thought I read that somewhere.

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  68. Dave said a few weeks ago on one of his shows that Austin was supposed to have a one on one match with the Bulldog.

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  69. I remember me and my friends having zero internet access in 2000. Then an issue of WWF magazine had an ad for Judgment Day, which featured a closeup of Kane's face. In one of his eyes was the Undertaker's cross logo. I put two and two together and was like "oh hey, Taker's coming back at Judgment Day." None of my friends believed me, even after showing them the ad.


    I was king shit the next day at school.

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  70. I thought Ricochet was in Lucha Underground? (albeit not under that name)

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  71. I always figured Bret vs Austin was a go if Bret had never left. The submission match still happens, as well as the turn, but doesn't happen till the next in your house. End game is Austin gets his mania moment and finally pins Bret. Bret probably finds a way back to being a face after that.

    It's funny to think how much Bret put Austin over without ever once having to tap or have his shoulders down for the three count.

    It just shows that losing to someone (Hello Hulk Hogan) is not the same as putting them over.

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  72. I think they can still happen.

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  73. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©January 1, 2015 at 12:39 AM

    And who were only a team for like a week.

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  74. wow now i could get behind the original plan for the fatal 4 way... Think Shawn would have lost his smile earlier??

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  75. yea bc Hart Austin was so fucking good at wm 13 I can excuse any well laid plans getting fucked up.

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  76. the thing about his whinning which i got behind was he was right about everthing he said even in kayfabe sense and behind the scenes.

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  77. ahh if only vince and trips would review THEIR OWN LIBRARY to see what worked in the past and what didnt I'm sure the statute of limitations expires rather quickly in wrestling. See Show, Big.

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  78. the long term plan was always bret dropping the title to austin at 14.

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  79. Why are people upvoting Jesse comments now. You sick fucks.

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  80. Fuck your Danial Bryan shit

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  81. Cena and Batista were a team for like a week. DX's title reign was a joke.

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  82. the rafter became obsolete when Sting's tortured soul began PVRing the shows

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  83. I love the dreadful Wicker Man remake. I hope Ross would paraphrase The Swarm as well...

    "I nevah thought it would be the by-Gawd-damn bees! They've always been our friend!"

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  84. Wrestlemania 29 should've been it, honestly; he still looked okay, he had a good opponent, and he had s motivation.

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  85. When Sting came out they were hoping for a monster pop but ended up with the pop they would have gotten had anyone faced off with HHH and beat the Authority.
    Now they are stuck paying Sting far more than he's worth and promising him a Wrestlemania match which they know won't draw.
    Clearly they have decided the best way to deal with this is to have Rollins & Cena constantly talk about him until he gets over by osmosis and hopefully he'll end up facing and losing to Rollins at Wrestlemania to at least put over on of the young guys he buried on his debut.

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  86. Basically the reception we all predicted for a guy who hasnt meant anything in over 15 years

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  87. so for once, no CENAWINSLOL.

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  88. Lets be realistic here. Cena beats everyone. Especially wcw guys.

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  89. I think I'd be more okay with his 5-minute tours if they happened a LITTLE less frequently. Like, take at least a year off sometimes.

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  90. Yeah I agree. I cant put my finger on it. I get the ame feeling seeing Rock cutting his 1999 promos in 2013 or edge and christian on raw. It all seems dated. Which is weird because Jericho knows how to change and evolve his character.

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  91. Nope, two different guys with the same name. The NWO Sting was the same guy who wrestled as Cobra in 1995 and feuded with Craig Pittman.

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  92. You didn't legitimately think the Authority would be gone for long, did you?

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  93. Longer then 6 weeks.

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  94. Hes injecting a lethal dose of poison.

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  95. I wonder how michelle mccool really feels about having to spread for that guy on him.

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  96. I know he was Cobra but YouTube Jeff Farmer looked to be from the late 80s so I wasn't sure if he was that guy and just hit the gym really hard.

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  97. I fear the Sting vs. HHH match is going to fall flat by the time it comes around.

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  98. Worst_in_the_WorldJanuary 1, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    Yeah id agree, sting means nowhere near as much as WWE imagines he does. Sting vs HHH is almost a waste of HHH, frankly.

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  99. It might just be me, but Sting showing up to save Edge so Cena didn't have to bring back the Authority would have worked well, in my opinion...although, it may not have been a good spot to burn one of his limited appearances.

    Now, as for everyone else...why was Cena the only one who could stop Rollins and Show? Is he really the only one in the locker room who gives a crap about Edge? Couldn't someone have come in through the crowd or something? I have a number of problems with that segment, beyond the fact that they waited all of six weeks to go back to the same stupid Authority garbage they've been doing.

    On the plus side, now Cena gets to ask HHH why Vince gets two Hall of Famers for his Stooges, and he only has Nidia's boyfriend and the other guy from MNM...

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  100. WWE will NEVER do anything involving rafters again

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  101. 'amirite' comments are so played out on this forum. Almost as bad as bret/tears ones. Lets try to be original

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  102. Sting's first time wrestling in WWE def should not be before WM. No way should waste it in Rumble.

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  103. I actually agree with this decision. The more often Sting appears, the more he'll become seen as Just Another Guy.


    If they start wheeling him out on Raw every few weeks, by the time WM rolls around, people will be bored with Sting.


    As long as he's gone but we know he could show up at any time, the mystique remains.


    And let's be honest, the mystique is all that's left with that guy. His best performing days are behind him and he was showing signs of not even being able to remember promo lines in TNA. The more they keep him out of sight and off the mic, the better. Let the idea build in people's minds instead of letting him go out there risk reminding the fans that the guy is a shell of his 90s self before we even get to Wrestlemania.


    I do think showing him silently standing in the rafters every now and then could be cool, but I also don't think they'll ever do anything like that again after Owen, even if he's not being lowered down.

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