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The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–01.08.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 01.08.96

At this point I have no idea what’s going with RAW on the Network. They skipped over 1/1 and 1/8 and added 1/15 and 1/22, but now the Wednesday schedule shows them going back to the beginning of the show in 1993 again and apparently that’s going to be it for additions. So the dream of alternating Monday Night Wars reviews is dead, I’m afraid, and now it’s just gonna be Nitro for the foreseeable future. That’s OK, I’ll give my virtual money to WCW, and frankly I probably would have been back in 1996 if I got TNT.

On a positive note, I really like the “Continue Watching” and “Watchlist” features that have been added to all the platforms. That’s a good step.

LIVE from Charleston, SC

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo. Mongo is STUNNED at the quality on the format sheet and can assure us that “the other boys” aren’t going to go to these kind of lengths for their fans.

Chris Benoit v. Alex Wright

Benoit just DESTROYS Wright before he can even get his jacket off, throwing him around with a suplex and elbow. Meanwhile, Pillman walks around ringside pretending to shoot himself in the head. Benoit tosses Alex and Pillman adds some shots on the floor, and back in for the chops in the corner. Wright fights back with a spinkick and flying bodypress, and he catapults Benoit to the floor and follows with a baseball slide. He follows with a dive from the top, trying his damnedest to keep up with Benoit’s pace, and back in with a dropkick for two. Slam gets two. Boston crab while Bischoff notes that “Titanic Sports” is raising the price of their PPVs and charging fans to take pictures with the belt, but WCW is HOLDING THE LINE at $19.99. Yeah, that would change fast. Wright with a snap suplex for two, but Pillman trips him up, so Wright hits him with a dive and attacks on the floor. Pillman runs away like a coward, but Wright misses a splash in the ring and they fight over a german suplex until Benoit LEVELS him with a forearm in the face. Dragon suplex finishes at 6:45, and then Pillman gets back in there all tough again. This was TREMENDOUS fun, with Wright trying to wrestle on the same level as Benoit and nearly succeeding. ***1/2 I love how Pillman is supposed to be the dangerous rebel and still makes sure to run away like a weasel when threatened. That’s great character work, because a cool heel gets cheered and that wasn’t his goal.

Lord Steven Regal v. Eddie Guerrero

They fight over the arm and Bischoff thinks we should forget about “The Royal FUMBLE” and watch the Clash instead. OH NO HE DIDN’T! Regal hits him in the face to break the armbar and puts him down with a knee, but Eddie comes back with a headscissors and dropkick. They trade pinfall attempts for two and Regal pounds him down while Bischoff hypes the impending Parker-Sherri wedding while talking about the hard-hitting action of WCW. Bit of a contradiction there, Eric. Eddie rolls him up for two, but Regal puts him down with a forearm and adds a rare inverted suplex for two. Regal continues pounding away on Eddie and blocks a rollup for two, but Eddie gets another rollup for two. Regal elbows him down for two and goes to a chinlock, but Eddie keeps fighting back. Regal puts him down with another forearm and BITCHSLAPS him with a strong pimp hand, so Eddie gets pissed and backslides him for the pin at 8:13. God bless Regal. ***

Mean Gene brings out Sting and Luger for an interview, but first notes that “The New Generation” just added a couple of guys who are closer to collecting Social Security. OUCH. I’m assuming that’s referring to Vader, but who else would they have signed around this time? Anyway, Sting has got issues with Luger’s actions at Starrcades, but Lex deflects the question by telling him that they should form a tag team and go after the titles. Sting, who is stupid, accepts this and is pumped about it.

Sting v. Diamond Dallas Page

Bobby notes that everyone is calling DDP “Diamond Doll-less Page”, although I can’t recall a single person in the history of wrestling ever calling him that. So I would somehow doubt the veracity of that statement. But then Bobby was probably drunk anyway. Page rubs a lit cigar in Sting’s face to take control, but Sting dropkicks him out of the ring and follows with a dive. Back in, they badly botch a leapfrog spot that appears to mess up Sting’s knee, and that’s probably Page’s worst nightmare because his giant box of intricately arranged punch cards allows no room for improvisation. Page hits a backdrop suplex and neckbreaker, and goes to a chinlock while using the ropes. See, that’s all I ask if you’re gonna do a chinlock, CHEAT! Do something interesting with it! Sting fights up and quickly hits the Stinger splash, but Page escapes the Scorpion and gets a neckbreaker for two. Sting with a small package for two, but a blind charge hits elbow and gets two for Page. Sting has finally had enough and just shoves him down to finish with the Scorpion at 6:22. This was fine. **1/2

Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage v. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson

Flair desperately wants Hogan to start, and then immediately gets dominated by him. Hulk no-sells the chops and hits the big boot, and the Horsemen go running while the crowd is decisively split. But Hogan is just glad that the crowd has the freedom to express themselves and respects their differences. No wait, that would be stupid. Over to Arn, as the Megapowers double-team him. Mongo concludes that the Horsemen are scallywags who have done dastardly things, so monkey see monkey do. Yes, this is real commentary on a nationally televised show. Flair takes over on Savage and goes up, but gets slammed off and it’s stereo figure-fours from the babyfaces. Finally Arn sneaks a DDT on Savage behind the ref’s back and the Horsemen take over. Savage gets sent into the railing and we take a break. Back with Arn holding an abdominal stretch, and Flair hits a backdrop suplex for two. Arn chokes him out on the ropes as Savage’s moveset at this point has been reduced to “laying around selling a beating” thanks to his endless arm injury. Flair tries the figure-four and Savage cradles for two, but the Horsemen keep cutting off the ring. Hot tag Hogan and the crowd is less than thrilled about that. Arn takes him out with a spinebuster, but Hulk no-sells it and finishes at 12:13. Kind of a shit match thanks to Savage deteriorating by the minute before our eyes. Which is weird because at the time he didn’t seem THAT bad to me, but then I was only watching PPVs and not the weekly TV. *1/2 Hulk can’t even celebrate because the Dungeon of Doom invades and Giant chokeslams both Megapowers to end the show.

Next week: Hulk Hogan v. Meng! Randy Savage v. Lex Luger…again.

Kind of a weird unfocused show, but the wrestling was GREAT for the most part and as usual it was a breath of fresh air after the stifling boredom of 1995 RAW.

Comments

  1. I wonder if you were to take these old WCW Nitros and put them up against today's RAW. What the rating would be?

    I for one would only pretty much watch Nitro.

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  2. The Social Security comment was probably about Jake and they were also teasing a Warrior return around this time.

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  3. "Savage’s moveset at this point has been reduced to 'laying around selling a beating' thanks to his endless arm injury."



    Stupid question but was this injury kayfabe or real? If real, then with WCW's contracts with minuscule date appearances why was Savage even out there?

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  4. Because he's Randy Fucking Savage?

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  5. Going back to watch these Nitro episodes, I've been pretty surprised by how formulaic Savage was around this time. I was still a big fan of his, but it goes to show you why vince wanted him to step out of the ring when every match is him getting his ass beat and then an elbow drop. Of course, he did have some gems in wcw but he wasn't the same macho at all.

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  6. I remember right around this time the WWF announced Carols Colon and Dory Funk, Jr. for the Royal Rumble. Pretty sure that's how the Social Security comment came about...

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  7. "apparently that’s going to be it for additions"

    I swear this is the fourth or fifth time I've heard this about the Raws, and then they eventually get back to it and upload a bunch more. I'm as annoyed as anyone else that we don't have all of them (at least through the fucking Attitude Era) but I'd imagine they'll get back to uploading them.

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  8. Hogan! Savage! Flair! Anderson? One of these things is not like the other.

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  9. Can't speak for 1/1/96 but my theory on 1/8 is - unfortunately - they've got themselves in a bit of a bind where they don't want to put blood on the livestream (archives are fine) but Raw seems to be added based on the schedule, where Nitro and ECW just get content dumps. The 1/8 show is a replay of Bret/Bulldog with parental warnings about the blood and such. So... yeah, I wish they would just say "here's 1996!", then add 97, and so on...

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  10. Taking a prolonged beating, double ax handle and flying elbow is how I remember Savage from 1992 on.

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  11. Yeah it was as legit injury, but I don't ever remember him taking time off for it.

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  12. Arn's pal with Flair and so that's why he's there. Kinda like that August 1997 Raw match that was Undertaker/Mankind vs. Shawn Michaels/Hunter-Hearst Hemlsey. You wanna talk about someone not belonging.

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  13. All of the 1996 Nitros are up. I wish they'd go ahead and just put up the rest of them.

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  14. He had a few good matches before he left the WWF. However, I don't remember very many good ones from his WCW tenure outside of his stuff with Flair and DDP.

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  15. You mean that youngster, Carlos Colon?

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  16. That can't be true. Gorilla Monsoon specifically told me that Carlos Colon was a youngster.

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  17. Yeah Hogan was pretty shitty on the ring.

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  18. Colon was years before this.

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  19. Is Gene referring to the Ultimate Warrior? The only WWF roster additions I can think of from around the time (besides the already mentioned Vader) are Stone Cold, Mankind and the Squat Team.

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  20. Gene is referring to Jake the Snake in sure.

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  21. Wasn't that 97?

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  22. These nitros are vastly superior in every way that it's not even funny

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  23. I think HHH was still somewhat feuding with Foley at the time, so that's how he and Shawn ended up alligned on-screen? I can't remember, but I'm pretty sure if you didn't know they were friends in real life then it would have seemed very out of the blue.

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  24. After this 1992 run I don't remember a whole lot until his match with Crush, and I remember a lot of that being Crush being the piss out of him until the ending. Maybe that was just his babyface style at that point because I do recall liking some of his heel matches in WCW, but once he turned back face it was him getting his ass kicked again, although he did have a real life knee injury to explain it at least.

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  25. His match with Yoko on Raw in early 94 is one of my favorites. Best Yokozuna match ever.

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  26. YankeesHoganTripleHFanDecember 2, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Bishoff and WCW really did get what was coming to them with the shots at the WWF

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  27. CruelConnectionNumber2December 2, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Around this time, Hogan was trying to convince Bischoff that signing Hall & Nash was a mistake and that the real money players WCW needed were Yokozuna and the Ultimate Warrior. Raw (with a taped Smoking Gunns main event) beat Nitro (HOGAN WORLD TITLE MATCH) in the ratings on January 1st. Hogan sucks.

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  28. CruelConnectionNumber2December 2, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Scott -- The "social security" guys are Jake the Snake and Dory Funk Jr for the Royal Rumble.

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  29. Flair can't help his full head of hair.

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  30. Also they were in the Carolinas, where the Andersons were still more over than Hogan.

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  31. go look at who was in that 96 Royal Rumble ... maybe the worst ever.

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  32. YankeesHoganTripleHFanDecember 2, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    He sucks so much he's only the famous wrestler ever....Babe Ruth sucked too.

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  33. "Hot tag Hogan and the crowd is less than thrilled about that. Arn takes
    him out with a spinebuster, but Hulk no-sells it and finishes at 12:13."

    I think you VASTLY understated this. Hogan makes the tag, crickets... Anderson gets a spinebuster, HUGE POP. Hogan immediately pops up, dead silence again. WOW.

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  34. The Carolinas did not care for Hulk Hogan.

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  35. Are you... agreeing with his judgement on the Yoko/Warrior vs Hall/Nash issue?

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  36. DDP was rapidly improving around this time.

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  37. Wow, selling wolf tickets. I haven't heard that in years, Mongo.

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  38. This pop for Hogan is anemic and hilarious. I love you, Charleston.

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  39. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonDecember 2, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    They took quite a few shots at the WWF here, didn't they?

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  40. Thankfully Bischoff lucked out with the NWO, because he did *not* get wrestling in the South.

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  41. All while trying to be the WWF. It was an odd strategy.

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  42. Watching Raw nowadays makes Mongo look less bad. Watching my cat try to beat up my phone makes more sense than Lawler and JBL.

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  43. believe the other senior citizen was jake the snake roberts wwf signed.

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  44. YankeesHoganTripleHFanDecember 2, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    No. Just disagreeing that Hogan sucks.

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  45. YankeesHoganTripleHFanDecember 2, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Makes sense to me...My guess is that you pay attention to your phone. Kitty see's that as a threat.

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  46. Most normal cats operate that way. My cat is just a dick.

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  47. HBK had a match with Mankind where Rick Rude, HHH and Chyna helped him out. They put HBK and HHH in a tag-match with Mankind/Taker as "punishment" for HHH's interference (in reality a way to give them a reason to team). IIRC, that was the match where HBK bashed Taker with the chair and unofficially kicked off DX.

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  48. YankeesHoganTripleHFanDecember 2, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    My cat understands two things. His own name and "treat." One time when he was bad I gave him an F5. He just no sold it and licked himself in annoyance

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  49. To say the least

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  50. I thought the Luger/Sting dynamic was fascinating

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  51. Hogan wouldn't have been anything without his look and his charisma and his ring-work. Take away those things and he wouldn't have even been able to draw a dime if he were a wishing well at a superstition convention.

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  52. Theberzerker! HUSS!December 2, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    "...a breath of fresh air after the stifling boredom of 1995 RAW."
    And 2014 RAW.
    And 2013 RAW.
    And 2012 RAW.
    And...

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  53. It's Horseman country but to Bischoff, Flair represented southern wrasslin and he needed the feel to try to bury him.

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  54. I love how he wasn't even trying to hide that he was politicking to bring in guys who'd beat him before solely so he could get his win back.

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  55. I liked it too, everybody can relate to that close friend who your other friends tell you is an asshole, and you can even see why they might think that, but he's STILL your friend regardless.

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  56. Since 3 F5's took 'Taker down, you would have needed 3 F5's for each of your cat's 9 lives, therefore 26 more F5's would have done the trick.

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  57. They needed more up and coming youngsters in that Rumble like Carlos Colon

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  58. YankeesHoganTripleHFanDecember 2, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    to much work. Next time I'll just put him in the bathroom for a few hours. Usually does the trick.

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  59. YankeesHoganTripleHFanDecember 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Kind of like Cory and Shawn. (to be clear Cory is Sting)

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  60. That was also a weird WCW-booking babyfaces thing. A lot of Luger matches as a face were the same way, even when facing scrubs.

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  61. Or Woodward and Bernstein.

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  62. Anderson, too. Funny how a career-long dastardly heel started getting cheered when he wrestled Hogan. The WCW fans liked Savage, I think, but not so much the Hulkster.

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  63. The piledriver on Marc Curtis is one of his best 1997 spots, and you know Brian was thrilled to take it, being as big of a fan as he was.

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  64. MikeyMike, WitnessDecember 2, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Funny how apathetic the WCW fans were towards Hogan and how much they loved Macho.

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  65. Where were WCW PPVs $19.99 at this point? I remember that back in 1991-ish, but they were $24.95/$27.95/$29.95 in my area from late 1993 through their closure.

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  66. Well, this was nearly 19 years ago...

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  67. The lights went out, he couldn't find the mat.

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  68. Past or Future World Champs - HHH,Bob Backlund,Jerry Lawler,Dory Funk Jr,Yokozuna,Vader,Shawn Michaels,Diesel,Ringmaster,Isacc Yankem DDS.


    Along with guys like King Mabel,Jake Roberts,1-2-3 Kid,Owen Hart,Tatanka,Hakushi,Kama,Fatu,Marty Jannetty and the British Bulldog.


    Sorry that's not even close to being the worst ever.

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  69. Jan. 15: Luger beats Savage for a fourth time. Hogan berates Savage for losing.
    Jan. 22: Savage defeats Flair for the title.

    It was obvious going back and watching that everything they were doing was designed to win a quarter hour, regardless if it made sense or not.

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  70. it somehow doesn't translate ...

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  71. Yep. I think I've mentioned it before, but there's either an episode of Nitro or Saturday Night where they come out as a tag team, and Sting leads the way, slapping hands. Luger walks behind him, ignoring the crowd, but when Sting turns around to look at him, he's suddenly cheerful and slapping hands. It was a great subtle touch that made their team great.

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  72. Amazing that the only thing killing Nitro at this point was the highest paid man on the roster. And who the FUCK is Mean Gene kidding with that Soc Sec crack when your top acts are 80s guys?

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  73. "That “The New Generation” just added a couple of guys who are closer to collecting"-- he was more referring to Jake Roberts who returned at the Rumble the night before (and Vader at 40 year's old already).

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  74. AverageJoeEverymanDecember 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    1999 is incredibly wretched

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  75. well, Savage came up in Memphis right? I'm sure a lot of the Southern fans had seen his older work, AND he always had that edgy character that I think more adult fans could relate to than Hogan's

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  76. Eh. Southern weddings and hard hitting go hand in hand most of the time.

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  77. Virgil's Gimmick TableDecember 2, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    I'm hoping that the reason they are being so inconsistent with updates is because they're getting ready for another dump of content. Remember, we were wondering about no Raw for a while and then got tons of Hardcore TV. Maybe they're gonna put up 96-97 in one go soon.

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  78. Shit in one hand, wish in another. See what fills up first.

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  79. It's an upcoming Nitro. And it's GLORIOUS.

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  80. Virgil's Gimmick TableDecember 2, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Let me have my optimism damn you. :(

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  81. Funny thing when Hogan, Flair and Savage are bringing "fresh Air" in 1995...;-)

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  82. Sure; I think he started working for his dad in ICW in Memphis running shows opposite of Jerry Lawler, then started working with Lawler, then jumped to WWF in 1985. Absolutely, he was edgy; he always had some heel stuff going on, even during his Megapowers babyface run, and his WCW '95-'97 face run.

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  83. This was fantastic.

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  84. I think it's obvious that Hogan is a tremendous motivational speaker.

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  85. Your cat is not a dick. Your cat is a pussy.

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  86. Right, I think Savage was much more like able than Hogan. Also, he constantly buried by Hogan prior to coming to WCW and I think the WCW fans this where he might get his chance to shine... little did they know.

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  87. I can't believe there are people on this very board still offended that Bischoff and co. dare throw shade at WWF. What are you getting offended about? That a company that no longer exists took shots at their much larger, stagnant, competitor? Blind loyalty is so strange.

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  88. It totally needs Michael Cole pointing it out to us though

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  89. I always found it odd that 1995/1996 WCW took a lot of shots at the WWF... but was trying to BE the WWF ever since it signed the company's biggest star, Hulk Hogan, and then its second biggest star, Randy Savage.

    That's like a TV show competing with Seinfeld taking shots at Seinfeld once it poaches Jason Alexander and Michael Richards for its own show.

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  90. Agreed, I love Ryback's sense of humor.

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  91. While BDV obviously should never have been a main-eventer (in '95 or '07), I don't think there was anything wrong with feeding him to a newer midcard champion.

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