Saturday, December 13, 2014

Thunder - July 22, 1999

Thunder
Date: July 22, 1999
Location: Mark of the Quad, Moline, Illinois
Attendance: 6,754
Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Mike Tenay

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Thankfully (I think?) we're back to a live show this week as we're getting closer to Road Wild. The main story coming out of Monday is Kevin Nash turning on Hogan for no apparent reason other than the script suggests that we need a heel vs. face title match. Other than that we have Sting in control of the company now, which I barely remember whatsoever. Let's get to it.


The announcers do their usual intro/hype.

Van Hammer vs. Kaz Hayashi

The Glacier gear is gone. Kaz's headlock goes as well as you would expect it to and Hammer hits a nice looking gorilla press. Now Kaz tries to slug it out to similar results so he finally dropkicks the knee twice in a row for one, but the kickout sends him flying through the ropes. Hammer runs him over with a Vader clothesline before throwing him right back to the floor. Back in again and Kaz goes after the knee to take the big man down. An elbow drop gets two but Hammer trips his legs to get a breather.

A big old beal sends Hayashi flying and we hit a chinlock. That goes nowhere so Hammer suplexes him down for two but Kaz comes back with every strike he can throw. Kaz actually tries a powerbomb which works as badly as you would expect. Hammer comes back with Snake Eyes and a big boot for two more as frustration is setting in. Back up and Kaz hits a quick bulldog and missile dropkick, only to miss a quick backsplash. A spinebuster and the cobra clutch slam are enough to end Kaz after longer than you would expect.

Rating: C. WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT??? Kaz and Hammer just had a good match that I was actually liking. Granted it's completely in spite of whatever WCW was trying to do with it as no one is watching this show and it's in the opening match slot. This was actually entertaining and I had a good time watching it. It had to happen at some point.

Lenny and Lodi are upset about something they have to do later.

The announcers talk about the issues between Savage's girls.

Brandi Alexander vs. Miss Madness

Alexander is officially “off the independent scene”. Madness is wrestling in a short version of the dress she wears to the ring as a valet. The fans are entirely behind Madness here as she takes Brandi down by the arm. Some dropkicks send Alexander out to the floor and claims a pull of the tights. Back in and Brandi hammers away before throwing Madness across the ring by the hair in a good looking spot. It looks so good that she does it again with Tenay spending way too much time talking about Madness' long blonde hair.

A hard shot to the face keeps Brandi in control before a clothesline gets two. The fans aren't pleased with Brandi choking on the ropes but they don't mind a Boston crab nearly as much. That goes nowhere so Brandi goes up, only to get slammed off the top. A side slam gets two for Madness and a bad looking headscissors sends Brandi down again. Larry: “You gotta get vicious! Pretend there's a sale!” Madness grabs a suplex but bridges up like a northern lights for the pin.

Rating: D+. The match wasn't bad and was a few light years ahead of what the WWF was doing with its girls at the moment, but it still wasn't all that great. Miss Madness would get much better as Molly Holly whereas Alexander hasn't done anything that I can find outside of this and two more matches with Miss Madness later in the year.

A Goldberg video to Crush Em brings out Curt Hennit, who says the Rednecks are much more popular than Goldberg. He's willing to prove that tonight but thinks we should wait until Monday.

Curt Hennig vs. Chase Tatum

The muscular Chase shoves Curt off to start and knocks him to the corner with a hard shoulder. The Rednecks offer a distraction and Hennig gets in a cheap shot from behind to take over. There's the Hennig Necksnap and Curt rips at Chase's eyes for good measure. Curt nails his knee lift and puts on a sleeper but Chase powers out of it again.

Hennig cranks on the leg on the mat as the other Rednecks offer some assistance. Back up and a kind of pumphandle powerslam gets two on Curt but he sends Chase to the floor for a big beatdown. Swoll comes in with the heart “punch” but hits Chase by mistake, setting up the HennigPlex for the pin.

Rating: D. It takes a lot to make Curt Hennig look bad but that's exactly what Chase just did. Tatum wasn't anything of note and a generic power guy who probably got this job based on his look. With some more training and experience, he might have fit in with the Natural Born Thrillers in a year or so.

Sid comes up to Lenny and Lodi and wishes the luck in their match tonight. The brothers ask Jimmy Hart for help but he just suggests having a doctor at ringside.

We get a clip of Booker T. saving his brother from the Triad on Monday.

Eddie Guerrero/Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis/Juventud Guerrera

Rey and Juvy get things going but Guerrera quickly tags out. Mysterio tries to deck him as he leaves so Juvy gyrates a lot on the apron. Juvy comes back in without Psychosis doing anything and they trade wristlocks. It's quickly off to Psychosis again who misses a charge and hits the post to give the good people an early advantage. Eddie comes in and takes Juvy down to the floor before backdropping Rey into a moonsault for an awesome spot. Back in and Eddie throws Guerrera outside again, only to have to bail out of a dive.

We take a break and come back with Rey in Psychosis' abdominal stretch. That boring hold is upgraded by Psychosis loading him up for an Outsider's Edge and Juvy coming in with a guillotine legdrop for two. Back to Psychosis who charges into Rey's boots, allowing Eddie to come in and clean house. Everything breaks down and Rey nails Eddie by mistake, only to have Eddie throw him at Juvy for a headscissors. They're not done yet though as Rey puts Psychosis on top and throws a charging Rey up for a super hurricanrana and the pin.

Rating: C+. Total spotfest here and there's nothing wrong with that. Guerrero was basically just a guy there to throw Rey around for the high spots though, which is kind of a waste as the team got together because of Eddie having issues with the other luchadors. Still though, entertaining stuff with some great high spots.

We see Lex Luger, Savage and Gorgeous George on Arliss this coming Sunday.

Here are Savage, Miss Madness and Gorgeous George with something to say. Savage asks for our votes in the 2000 election but quickly moves on to Rodman, ripping on him for wearing women's closing and hitting him with a purse. Miss Madness is fired for trying to upstage him, meaning Savage rips off her sash. She gets down on her knees and begs for her job but Savage fires her anyway. Savage hasn't forgotten about Nash either.

TV Title: Rick Steiner vs. Sick Boy

Rick is defending if that's not clear. Before the match we get the usual catchphrases from the champ and he wants a piece of Goldberg. They circle around each other for a bit until Rick nails a hard Steiner Line. A release German suplex sends Sick Boy flying and Rick rips at his face on the mat. The Steiner Bulldog ends this quick.

We recap the Nash vs. Hogan stuff from Monday.

Nash calls in to the show and challenges Hogan to a tag match this Monday with partners of their choice. Kevin's partner is a buddy of his that he's known for nine years. Of course they're hinting at Hall and I'd be stunned if it was actually him. Nash brings up his history with Hogan and says he only let him into the NWO so he could keep an eye on Hulk, because Hulk has a history of being a backstabbing jerk.

Video of Sting beating Flair with Bischoff counting the fall.

Sid Vicious vs. Lenny/Lodi

A chokeslam plants Lodi in ten seconds and Lenny takes a boot to the face. Sid hits a cobra clutch slam on Lenny, which is another way for Sid to do a chokeslam. Powerbombs for both guys set up a double pin. So the gay brothers are getting beaten up by a monster for no apparent reason. I'm sure this will be well received.

Dean Malenko vs. Ric Flair

They start faster than you would expect with Dean getting dropped by a shoulder, only to have him take Flair down with a quick drop toehold. An early Cloverleaf attempt doesn't work so Dean hammers Ric out to the floor for a breather. Back in and Dean hammers away in the corner but gets suckered into a thumb to the eye. Ric snapmares him down, only to miss the knee drop. Dean channels his inner Flair and slaps on the Figure Four, only to crawl over to the ropes for a break.

Back up and Dean is sent to the floor as we take a break. We come back with Malenko in full control and sending Ric into the corner for a Flair Flip. Dean works him over on the floor until Asya offers a distraction, allowing Ric to take over with a cheap shot. A Figure Four attempt is countered into a small package but Asya has the referee. Flair counters everything Dean throws at him, including a belly to back suplex to break up a headlock.

Another Figure Four attempt is blocked and Malenko comes back with the leg lariat. Flair tries to bail but runs into Benoit and Saturn. This brings out Bigelow and Kanyon for a brawl but Dean puts on the Cloverleaf. Page comes in from behind to break it up but gets shoved into Asya, only to have Flair grab a rollup for the pin.

Rating: C+. This was fine due to the talent level in there and I liked the idea they were going for with Flair being more experienced and polished than Malenko, allowing him to counter everything Dean threw at him. The ending was overbooked but at least Dean didn't lose entirely clean.

Overall Rating: C. At this point, Thunder can only really be judged on what happens in the ring. In this case, the wrestling was watchable enough to get through two hours but there's almost no reason to care about anything. Considering that the matches are almost never referenced on Nitro and nothing here mattered, it basically boils down to whether or not you liked the wrestling. It was decent enough this week so we'll go right in the middle.


Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

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64 comments:

  1. The best course may be to get Cena out of the title match at the Rumble, then move him into the Rumble match proper. Cena being in the match may deflect enough heat off Reigns to protect him from the crowd. Hell, maybe put Ziggler in there with Lesnar to reinforce Brock's killer persona and set the table for Mania in a more satisfying fashion than what we're getting.

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  2. I like what you're thinking, but it's not happening. If anything happens to Reigns between now and Mania that makes him unable to win at Mania, the back-up plan is John Cena. This is because the back-up plan is always John Cena. Even if a healthy Bryan is back, it will still be John Cena.

    When Bryan went down with his injuries, the belt went back to Cena as soon as possible. Like the One Ring tries to go back to Sauron, the WWE title always tries to go back to Cena.

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  3. Regardless of his status, I think the Philly crowd will be expecting Bryan to return in the Rumble. If number 30 hits and Bryan doesn't show (which is very likely), they will not be happy.

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  4. Is Bryan a legit dark horse? Because if the online reports are incorrect and his injury is actually healing, his entry into the Rumble would have the crowd going insane. He's definitely in the main at Mania if he's ready to go because the fans will shit on anyone else.

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  5. I'd mentioned this a few nights ago, maybe Thursday in the evening thread, but if Bryan so much as sneezes in the vicinity of the Wells Fargo Center on January 25th, he has to win. Between Bryan and Reigns, poor Roman wouldn't stand a chance, and the backlash would taint what should be a big moment for him. For Bryan's health's sake (unless he's fully healed and their working us, which seems doubtful) and for Reigns, I wouldn't bring Bryan back until the night after WrestleMania at the earliest.

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  6. I found Bret/Taker from Royal Rumble 1996 so dull, I never wanted to watch it again. Seriously, 30 minutes and nothing seems to happen.

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  7. Lol@sneezes in the vicinity. So true...

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  8. The best option signed with UFC.

    Without Reigns, it's Cena. I'd book Rollins in a face turn finding his true way blah blah blah, but there's really no good contender at this point.

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  9. Bryan has said in recent interviews that he's healed but still very weak in his arms, etc... I wouldn't bet on him returning for Rumble. I think WM is the target.

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  10. The only reason I didn't go that route is because I think Cena-Rusev is penciled in and unflappable. I can't really fathom them having the balls to let Cena win another Rumble in Philadelphia; it will make Pittsburgh look like Biloxi, Mississippi.

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  11. He could be working everyone for the surprise, though. It's happened before.

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  12. Oh, okay!

    Any good?

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  13. Man, choosing between #LOLCenaWins and losing out on the Primo heeldom of Rollins prematurely is a tough choice. Why must you put that kind of tortuous notion in my head? Fine, you can win Reigns, at least you're different.

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  14. Maybe. But, with the state of the faces in WWE currently, if Bryan could be back now or soon, he would be.

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  15. It's true. Punk vs. Lesnar would have done HUGE biz. I wonder if WWE offered it to him.

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  16. As desperate as the WWE is for star power, he's coming back two weeks before the doctors can clear his ass.

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  17. I dunno. They typically shut down and half-ass it around this time anyway. Might as well save DB and re-tool for the new year.

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  18. I'd book Dolph to turn on Cena at the Rumble and make that for WM, have Orton win the Royal Rumble to take on Lesnar to culminate his year-long storyline from Authority savior to patsy turned goog guy. I'd have all three Shield members in a triangle ladder match for the briefcase and have Rollins keep it and cash in on Orton to close the show.

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  19. I've long advocated an Ambrose-Reigns-Rollins match at 'Mania, simply because I want them to build up Reigns more. That has the unfortunate side effect of leaving Lesnar with fewer opponents, but I guess Orton-Lesnar would be relatively fresh. So long as we don't get Cena-Lesnar V or Cena-Orton DCXXXIII at WrestleMania, we're okay.

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  20. I think Orton is planned as a future top face. It's so hard to know currently because there's going to be a lot of faces returning soon, and we have no idea when, and who knows how big they are on the guys working now (Ziggler, Ambrose, Rowan, Ryback)

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  21. No telling, but it's a match I would gladly pay money to see.

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  22. according to a shoot that TIto did in the early 2000s (I think) the determination came down to Canada vs. Mexico as to which market the WWF wanted to represent and grow the business. Canada was more in sync with the North American product and I think they figured trying to crack into Mexico with Tito going against the ingrained lucha culture might have been too much.


    Or its all bullshit and Bret was always the next guy to be called up to the title.

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  23. somewhere in the back of my mind I keep thinking we will end up with Reigns bombing at Vince shitting his pants and going back to Cena. There is a certain storyline consistency to Cena taking on Lesnar and finally beating him at Wrestlemania. But it would be terrible.


    Orton-Lesnar hasn't ever happened with either of them as superstars and nobody has cashed in at Wrestlemania yet.

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  24. I would watch the Hell out of that!!

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  25. June 6, 2002 remains burned in my memory. After Hulk Hogan won the WWE Undisputed championship at Backlash 2002 by pinning Triple H, you knew that Hunter wasn't going to let that slide. The two clashed again on that Smackdown in June for the #1 contendership at King of the Ring.

    In a match less than seven minutes long, Triple H kicked out of the legdrop, Pedigreed Hogan, and won. If that was sickening enough, at the end Hogan did one of those "I respect you, brother" promos, shook his hand, hugged him, and then they posed together.

    It really is the most insulting thing WWE has ever done to Hogan, and that includes the Billionaire Ted skits and Shawn Michael's imitation skit.

    Hogan put over a lot of guys that year -- The Rock, Undertaker, Angle (by tapping out, no less), and Lesnar -- but the fact that Hunter HAD to get his win back makes that June 6, 2002 SmackDown match the most unwatchable wrestling match in WWE history.

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  26. As much as it pains me to say this, I think Orton stays above Ambrose, Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback. I've never been a Ryback fan, so I don't particularly care about him, but I'm getting to be a fan of Erick Rowan. Not sure his character plays well as a top guy, but he could be a solid midcard act for awhile. Ziggler and Ambrose need to get to the next level, especially Ziggler. I think Ambrose has time to hone his craft and polish his game, but Ziggler is quickly approaching piss or get off the pot territory. You wont have a better excuse to jumpstart his run to the top than his performance at Survivor Series.

    I don't have a problem with psychotic badass face Randy Orton, I just don't want to see him on top. I've seen that off and on in different incarnations for the last ten years. He's the McDonald's double cheeseburger and fries that you get in a pinch; I want Cheesecake Factory or Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

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  27. the problem with Orton as a face is he's red hot when he's just himself, kind of a tweener still doing heel shit. When he tries to be that smiling babyface he's awful because we all know he's a dick, and that works on television. A loner badass like Sting 97 is what they need for him and honestly, this company lacks that kind of nuance right now.

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  28. I enjoyed every minute of that match. In fact I enjoyed every single job Hogan did in his return to WWE.

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  29. I usually FF through every diva match on a WWE ppv or Raw, but I watched this one and was VERY pleasantly surprised.

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  30. Tito was all kinds of awesome -- When Macho beat him for the IC title it was a huge deal to me! It instantly gave Savage credibility -- He went from being some jackass with a Hulk Who? T-shirt on to being a player -- In my young mind, only Hulk could take him down (until Steamboat stepped up and did) -- If you think about it, it was a perfect situation for all involved -- Tito, perfectly serviceable as an upper mid-card face, loses to Macho Man, the future as a draw, and settles into a nice spot alongside Martel as Strikeforce; and Steamboat, as an elite worker lacking mic skills whose talent could not be denied (still my favorite overall -- Dude could do everything in the ring!) beats Macho but elevates him at the same time) and Hogan, dispatching fat dudes until Macho inevitably rose to his level...

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  31. Reigns may bomb, but I doubt Vince would panic and pull the trigger on a booking change before WrestleMania. If anything he'd probably double down hard on Reigns for a few months until business forced him to make a change at Summerslam.

    Here's a novel idea: let's say Reigns can't wrestle for the immediate future, and Vince goes Orton-Lesnar. If he wants to throw a unique variable into the mix, how about having Rollins cash in his title shot in order to be added to the main event, instead of doing the cowardly heel routine. The cash-in after the fact works, but I think there's money in Rollins trying to prove that he doesn't need cheap gimmicks or backup to be 'the man', and it would give him a Hell of a rub.

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  32. even though its a demotion, I could REALLY get behind a Cesaro/Kidd permanent tag team with a real gimmick and push behind them.

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  33. Missing out. Some great work in Hennig/Bockwinkel

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  34. Well Rude-Steamboat from Beach Blast 92 says hi as well. . .

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  35. There were actually a lot of insanely long matches on WCW ppvs in the 93-96ish era. Stuff that just went on and on with no purpose and bored the hell out of you.

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  36. That'd be sick. Plus there is a small built-in storyline between Rollins and Lesnar with Seth almost cashing on him at NOC.

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  37. Right! The Miller Girls Catfight segment was all kinds of terrible.


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  38. They had to bring the big guns out so people can keep their subscriptions. If Garea matches don't do it for you, then you never deserved the network to begin with.

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  39. Since Tito is boring ... you think the NXT title might get a slot on Wrestlemania?

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  40. You mentioning Backlash 2002 reminds me of another unwatchable match, Austin/Undertaker from that show is awful, probably only memorable for Flair's red shoes he wore while refereeing.

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  41. I like the Uncensored 1996 main event way way way more than Beverlys vs Bushwhackers. I agree with the emailer, that match is freaking terrible and has always been one of my least favorite matches.

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  42. I liked that match

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  43. I understand why Austin was unmotivated in 2002. But what the fuck was Taker's problem?

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  44. That match sucks too.

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  45. Both of those matches are God awful.

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  46. CruelConnectionNumber2December 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Jamison 3:16 says "He hitted me! He hitted me hard!" What an abomination of a match.

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  47. CruelConnectionNumber2December 13, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    HHH was a top babyface. He put Hogan over because the company asked him to. Why shouldn't he get a win back? If it was Daniel Bryan jobbing to Hulk at Backlash, you'd hear "OMG HOGAN IS RUINING PEOPLE'S PUSHES, BRYAN BETTER BEAT HIM ON TV OR ELSE HOGAN IS SELFISH!"

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  48. CruelConnectionNumber2December 13, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Something about too many Booger Reds in his nose. Taker delivered great matches in 2002. With Brock, Angle, Rock, some tags with Cena and Jericho. But Austin, HHH, Test, and Bradshaw weren't exactly any good in 2002. Not his fault.

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  49. CruelConnectionNumber2December 13, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Rude/Steamboat is good not great. Angle/HBK is pretty good but TV commercials are annoying. Angle and Benoit had an Ultimate Submissions 30 minute match I can barely remember but I'm sure it was their usual **** affair.

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  50. CruelConnectionNumber2December 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Warriors/Sting & Luger did an awful, sloppy, and plodding 7 minute match on Nitro. The building lost power (Bischoff blamed the WWF on air and got sent a nasty legal letter and had to apologize the next week on air). But anyway, it was BAD. So the result was... quadruple the match time! Profit!

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  51. CruelConnectionNumber2December 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    The only KOTR anywhere near "worst show of the year" was 1995, IMO. Sure, the 1999 and 2000 editions sucked, but WCW still existed so no.

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  52. CruelConnectionNumber2December 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    1996 looks good on paper but is completely skippable dreck.

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  53. CruelConnectionNumber2December 13, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    That's my favorite Bret/Diesel match. It's totally forgotten because Diesel was still a mid-card type on the rise.

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  54. I do some A/V stuff at local event space, and we usually project images onto bands that are playing. My favorite thing to project over garage and rockabilly bands is pre-1970s black and white wrestling. People get so confused when they see matches by guys like Pat O'Connor and Billy Robinson because they have no frame of reference for it thanks to Hogan and the '80s. It's usually 30-minutes of rest holds and rolling around on the mat with some occasional elbow shivers and awkwardly thrown punches.

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  55. Someone asked Triple H about this on Twitter and he danced around answering it, saying it matters more which NXT star will be the first to win the WWE title at WM.

    So I'm guessing he doesn't consider that a priority.

    Makes sense. A lot can go wrong taking a guy from Full Sail to a football stadium packed with 80,000 people.

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  56. I liked '94, but then I was a huge Owen Hart fan. Bret-Diesel single-handedly elevated Diesel to a main-event guy in my eyes. Piper-Lawler was terrible, though.

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  57. I remember that for a swinging neckbreaker spot where one guy swung one way and the other guy swung the other way.

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  58. We sat here with open mouths through most of it. I'd even call it a MOTYC based on what *I* have watched this year (nothing Japanese...)

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  59. Ha! Or Rey and anyone Irish.

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  60. Am I wrong in being confused as to how a clearly white country farmboy could pass himself off as a black African tribesman?

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  61. That Bev/Bushwhackers match is a pretty damn good pick. One of the worst ever.

    It's barely a match since it takes place mostly in water, but The Demon vs Vampiro - Graveyard Match.

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  62. Nasty Boys and Harlem Heat have a damn near 30 minute match at Superbrawl V that is just brutal.

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