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WWF Wrestling Challenge February 8th, 1987

February 8, 1987

From the Lee Civic Center in Fort Myers, FL

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight in action will be Koko B. Ware, Jake Roberts, and Adrian Adonis.




Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Koko B Ware

Funk bails after Koko catches him with a pair of hiptosses. Gorilla plugs WrestleMania III and how we will find out what the main event will be tonight. Slick is then shown in an insert promo talking about how he can't stand Koko, who hits Funk with a backdrop then a dropkick. Koko then hits Funk with a missile dropkick after faking him out before getting the win with the Ghostbuster (2:56).

Thoughts: They continue to tease tension between Ware and Slick/Reed. The crowd still was big into Koko at this point.



Craig DeGeorge (Who was unnamed) in his WWF TV debut is with Jack Tunney, who has a big announcement to make. He says that the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI has been chosen to host WrestleMania as they both talk about how the venue holds 90,000 people. Tunney promises that it will be the biggest event in wrestling history.



The Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs match from the 2/7/87 edition of "Superstars of Wrestling" is shown. This is when the Hart Foundation won the Tag Team Titles.



Gene Okerlund is with Kamala, Sika, Kimchee, and The Wizard. Lots of screaming from the Wizard as they says that Sika & Kamala are the team to be reckoned with as Kamala is whacking Sika in the head with a stick. That was funny as Sika no selling the attacks was hilarious. Kamala & Sika were a scary looking team, especially to kids.



David Gold vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts

Lots of cheers for Jake during the introductions. Jake beats on Gold as the Honky Tonk Man is shown in an insert promo talking about how much he hates snakes and shortly after that, Jake gets the win with the DDT (1:11). After the match, Jake dumps the Snake on Gold as the fans are happy.

Thoughts: Jake was getting huge babyface reactions at this point and with the Honky Tonk Man's insert promo, they have planted the seed for that feud.



Okerlund is with Billy Jack Haynes, who challenges Hercules to sign the contract to see once and for all just who is the master of the full nelson. Haynes was crazier than ever here.



Demolition w/ Johnny V. vs. Don Driggers & S.D. Jones

Smash overpowers Jones as we get an insert promo from the Dream Team who insist they do not have a problem with Johnny V's new team. Driggers tags and gets destroyed until Demolition put him away with the Decapitation (1:58).

Thoughts: They were trying to tease tension between the Dream Team and Demolition here. Nothing really came from that though.



Replay of Piper's Pit from 2/7/87 where Andre the Giant turns on Hulk Hogan and challenges him for the World Heavyweight Title. One of the best segments in wrestling history.



"Adorable" Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Mario Mancini

Adonis works on Mancini as Gorilla is "waiting" for Heenan to get back as they are pretending like the Pit was shown live on this broadcast. Adonis is then shown in an insert promo claiming to have not heard about Piper retiring from wrestling as Heenan rejoins the booth. Adonis then puts Mancini away with the Good Night Irene as Heenan tells us that he has in fact signed Andre the Giant (1:13).

Thoughts: All filler and a backdrop for the fallout from the Andre turn.



Iron Mike Sharpe & Steve Lombardi vs. Can-Am Connection

The females were going crazy for the Can-Am's. Heenan talks about Andre as the Can-Am's use a lot of cool double-team moves on Lombardi. Gorilla and Heenan argue about Andre as Lombardi takes control with a backbreaker. Sharpe tags and beats on Zenk as we get an insert promo from Don Muraco & Bob Orton as they claim to be more attractive than the Can-Am's. The crowd rallies behind Zenk, who is able to make the tag to Martel. Sharpe makes the save after a rollup but Martel dropkicks him to the floor. Zenk tags and hits a powerslam then Martel slingshots in with a splash for the win (4:23).

Thoughts: They teased more tension between the Can-Am's and Muraco/Orton. The Can-Am's were really, really over with the crowds.



Okerlund is with Slick and Reed. They call out Tito Santana for hurting Slick. Not a bad interview.



Final Thoughts: Decent show. They recapped all of the hot angles and segments from "Superstars of Wrestling" and started to get things in motion for the WrestleMania undercard too. Nothing here felt like filler either.



Comments

  1. I just didn't think the U.S. Express could take out Kane.

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  2. And how in the hell did Hogan and Edge lose? Even with the older power of 2002 Hulkamania, that team would easily destroy Sheik and Volkoff.

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  3. I have one more day of WWE network subscription left. We should all pool our money together and have a group account for the blog we pass around like that first issue of Radioactive Man me and Parallax share.

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  4. Voting isn't based on who would win in a match. It can be if you want, but people are voting however they want. I've been voting on a historical scale.

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  5. Sheik's Twitter and YouTube lunacy over the past few years has made him a top babyface as far as retired guys go.

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  6. You know, I bet the corporate Ministry would be a great gimmick in today's day and age. Not only are we high-powered, high priced, kiss asses, we're all holier than thou and have GOD / Satan on our side.

    Like take the Chick Fillet / Hobby Lobby / Bible Belt stuff and make it a wrestling stable and play with it a bit.

    If you ask me the first person to inject some quality satire into sports entertainment is going to cause the next big boom in the industry.

    80s? Muscles and Manpower
    90s? Rebellion
    2000s? pfffptttt
    2010s? Slacktivism, politics, polarization.

    WWE is best as a reflection of our world, so FUCKING REFLECT IT ALREADY

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  7. Ah, I've been voting kayfabe.

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  8. I've been voting on a team that's given me the most entertainment.

    And if you were voting kayfabe then you should have voted Cena & Otunga over the Quebecers because all Cena would need to do is wrestle the match by himself while Otunga drinks coffee from the apron only for Cena to overcome the odds because LOLCENAWINS

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  9. Nah, the Quebecers would do something dastardly to Otunga while the referee's back was turned getting Cena out of the ring after a false tag spot.

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  10. Cena and Otunga didn't have Johnny Polo.

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  11. Because back in 1984, Hogan thanked Sheiky Baby for putting him over and promised to return the favor one day.

    This, my friend, is that day.

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  12. yeah total junk, scott, id die for this kind of show once a month, let alone every single monday

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  13. That's not just amazing...that's the Amazing French Canadians!

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  14. The ssssssearch.

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  15. I have to think Sable deserved every rib she got. You're paid to be eye candy, not a, well, diva. Total c word.

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  16. Meekin.. Who let you back in the house?

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  17. Girl power was all the rage in the late 90s. I'd argue if Sable was booked more like a role model then it could have attracted some of the female demo.

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  18. All of 1999 is the worst of Russo. The wrestling was just brutally bad all the way around. I think there was maybe 1 PPV all year that will still stand up now. Vince cutting him loose that year was the smartest thing he ever did.

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  19. I thought he walked on Vince and called him from wcw?

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  20. Unlike the Mounties, les Quebecois always get their men!

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  21. For the time she was hot, it's just that those that followed her were ridiculously smoking -- Trish, Stacy and Torrie Wilson blew her out of the water.

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  22. I can't keep track anymore. I seem to remember them "reaching a mutual agreement" which was the face saving way of saying "we're tired of you, good luck somewhere/anywhere else" but my memory sucks for this period so you're probably right.

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  23. Who knows. For all I know Vince sent him to destroy wcw from the inside.

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  24. Yeah it's kind of funny how weak Sunny and Sable are after the 2000s era of women. Going back and watching the old shows, both of their acts just...are not good at all.

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  25. How dare you, sir! Sunny was a Godess.

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  26. Sunny was amazing. So was Missy Hyatt. Before life took over of course.

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  27. WWF were still making a truckload of money at the time so I'm pretty sure McMahon would have tried to keep him if he could. McMahon only gets tired of you if you stop making the company money.

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  28. 1996 Sunny yes. She was tiresome when they'd trot her out before midget or cruiserweight matches for no real reason though in 1997.

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  29. Even before that though. Like Sunny coming out and screaming for no reason for the Bodydonnas or the Gunns. It worked at the time but she'd make it maybe 6 months today and way less than that in 2002.

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  30. Not Sunny's fault that WWF underutilized her, she was still hot in the 97/98 period.

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  31. I can't believe Demolition and Road Warriors are first round opponents.

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  32. Exit Ken Resnick, enter Craig DeGeorge.

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  33. I hate when people knock Russo's shows when they in fact drew monster ratings back.then. Casual fans don't want a 20 minute match, and his style brought them in and kept them. We are not casuals and hense, continue to watch the dreck today. Also, "Roody Poo candy ass” ruled.

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  34. That was September 99 when it became a legit show with new stage and blue ropes

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  35. Austin and Rocky drew the monster ratings. 2 minute matches did not draw the ratings.

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  36. Wow it seems like there was too much going on in every segment. I get serious sensory overload just reading a description of one segment. One five segment in this show had enough angles for a two hour show.

    I bet Michael Cole and Jim Cornette was an interesting commentary team.

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  37. "I hate it, Maggle! The WWF Universe are bored and not having fun!"

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  38. Austin and Rock would not draw that today with the way creative presents people.

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  39. Why "Rick Martel and Tito Santana"? When were they ever not collectively known as Strike Force?

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  40. Just like Isner and Mahut getting matched up in the first round of Wimbledon a year after 70-68, weird shit happens sometimes.

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  41. That's the interesting thing about the shows back then, Vince would kill for someone to get pops like Austin was getting back then today, and he'd also kill for the ratings these shows were getting back then, but, with the exception of Austin, The Rock, and a few others, there are much better workers in the WWE today, certainly compared to 1999. The Attitude Era really was a zeitgeist, and much of TNA's history shows that it would only work at that time and can't really be duplicated. But, I think the fans today wouldn't enjoy a lot of the stuff that was happening back then in terms of workrate, I mean the biggest snowflake on here is * 1/2, even with all the complaints about today's product I would think that the matches on today's shows are averaging much more than that.

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  42. Classy Freddy Blassie knows Hogan like a book. He would have his guys (and his cane) ready.

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  43. Adam "Colorado" CurryDecember 30, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    I could care less how good the ratings are, I'm not a WWE shareholder. If something sucks, it sucks, and this show was the drizzling shits.

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  44. I'm pretty sure Vince would only kill for John Cena to draw Steve Austin type pops since Vince already has the guy that draws monster pops in Bryan and I don't think Vince would kill to even keep him around.

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  45. We'll probably never know the real story, or, at least, both sides of the story, until McMahon writes his biography. Russo claims that he left because Vince wanted him to write both Raw and Smackdown, and Russo refused because he already felt he was overworked and wanted to spend more time with his family.

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  46. He told russo to be quiet and hire a nanny. He offered more money after Russo told him it was bullshit to have a new 2 hour show to write out of nowhere. Russo then called wcw

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  47. Semi Finals prediction:


    Kane & X-Pac vs Team Hell No
    Kane & Big Show vs Kane & Mankind

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  48. Which will hopefully somehow lead up to:



    Kane & Kane vs. Kane & Kane



    in the finals.

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  49. Adam "Colorado" CurryDecember 30, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    2000 was the worst of Russo, though you can make a case for any point during his TNA tenure.

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  50. I think the real reason was that Russo was writing for 2 shows and still getting paid the same. I remember hearing some creative complaining when WWE brought back ECW in 2006 because it meant more work for them and their pay was still the same. It seems like one of Vince's carny tricks to screw people over pay.

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  51. I think Vince would kill for more money, if Bryan's pops translate to Bryan selling more merchandise than Cena and drawing significantly more ratings and Network buys than Cena, then I think that Vince would shuffle Cena into the background.

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  52. Killer Ken gone, Craphouse Craig in.

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  53. Adam "Colorado" CurryDecember 30, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    I want to say that he wasn't under any kind of contract, WCW simpliy called and offered him more money and complete control of the book, and Russo accepted.

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  54. Meekin. Stop filleting chicks. They didn't do anything to you.

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  55. That's the thing because we'll never find out if someone can outdraw Cena because WWE will never give them the opportunity for them to do so. This year will be interesting though, if WWE actually pushes Roman as the #1 guy and takes a chance on him.

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  56. Adam "Colorado" CurryDecember 30, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Supposedly he sent Nash for the same reason.

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  57. This is one of those shows, like a lot of the Attitude Era, where, in the moment when it was fresh, it was like the greatest thing ever, but looking back now, except for a lot of the main events, most of it is pretty bad. You have to marvel at the pops people were getting at the time though, some of the pops Austin or the Rock would get made it seem like people in the crowd were literally losing their minds with excitement. Hell, I would argue that guys like the Godfather or the New Age Outlaws were getting bigger pops back then than even Cena gets a lot of the time today.

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  58. Special ringside enforcer: Corporate Kane.

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  59. I think you're right because it would be similar to if Hogan hadn't left in 93. Would the Attitude Era have even happened if Hogan was still doing his shtick in the WWE all the way into the late 90s?

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  60. That's a good point. In the late 90s WWE were forced into a position to create new stars because they couldn't rely on the old stars to bail them out anymore.

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  61. It's amazing how much of a trainwreck these shows are in hindsight. I sure loved them when I was in high school though

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  62. 98 was a good year but 99 is when the crazy booking really got out of hand. The best thing I can think of from 99 is the Rock/Mankind stuff. But it was at least better than WCW which fell off the map after Spring Stampede. WWF had the kind of show where you knew something crazy or shocking would happen while WCW became a total bore.

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  63. They should have just reunited DX at Wrestlemania 15 and run with the Corporate-Ministry against DX, who could have a loose affiliation with Austin/Rock when necessary. See if you can get babyface HHH to reach critical mass, THEN turn him into the top heel (ala Rock in '98)

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  64. Can't believe the tag match for seven minutes and the four biggest stars in the company only got 4.

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  65. Russo didn't draw those ratings. It was a two and a half year build through 1996, 1997 and 1998 that got them to that point. The ratings didn't appear overnight. It was long-term, well-planned booking that did. But even that alone wasn't enough. That required the right people to be in the right place at the right time. Without Austin and Rock and Foley, Russo's ideas are shit, as we have seen time and time again. It also appeared at just the right time to capture the cultural zeitgeist.

    Casual fans are a myth. They no longer exist. Casual fans were people attracted to wrestling in the 1980s when it seemed fresh and novel because of MTV and superhero patriot Hulk Hogan, and again in the late 1990s when Hogan became an anti-hero and the emergence of an even bigger anti-hero in Austin. Russo's "booking" wouldn't have worked in Hulk didn't turn heel and the nWo didn't happen because those people that drifted away from Hulk and then suddenly remembered him again wouldn't have been watching.

    Today, there's nothing comparable. People weren't going to tune in for Austin's heel turn because he was already a face playing a heel. Cena created a minor boom in the mid 2000s but none of those fans ever really left, at least not to the extent of the exodus wrestling saw in the early 1990s. Wrestling today has a higher level of regular mainstream visibility than ever before, maybe even during the Attitude era. Stars pop up on talk shows, ESPN references it a few times a year, Wrestlemania receives massive amounts of media coverage, and so on. But wrestling doesn't draw ratings because it isn't part of a larger cultural zeitgeist, entertainment has experienced hyper-fragmentation thanks to cable and new media (steaming services, YouTube, etc.), and there aren't the right people coming up or they're not being put into the right positions.

    People don't give a shit about match length. Marks sat through 20-minute King Kong Bundy matches at one of wrestling's peaks in the 1980s and were happy to about that. They don't even necessarily care about stories. They care about what's relevant culturally at the moment. Zombies and post-apocalyptic shit is hot right now because we're in seriously fucked up times and its fascinating to think, "Hey, what might happen?" Women are becoming the dominant consumer in most markets so we're seeing an increase in programming that caters to their interests. Wrestling doesn't touch on anything that's culturally relevant. It's its own little waypoint off in the distance detached from the rest of society. That's why "Russo's shows" drew. He was part of a team, one that also included a young and in-touch Shane, that was able to filter the country's interests into a wrestling format.

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  66. I've been voting based on elevating some new talent. We always get the same teams winning these things, and it's time for a change! Forget the Hart Foundation, the Bulldogs, The Hardys and E&C, lets give Deuce & Domino a try!

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  67. Adam "Colorado" CurryDecember 30, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    I thought the same thing about DX and the Hart Foundation.

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  68. Adam "Colorado" CurryDecember 30, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    I'm surprised Benoit/Edge won by such a wide margin. I mean, they are clearly the better team, but I figured they'd have a lot more votes against, for obvious reasons.

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  69. Adam "Colorado" CurryDecember 30, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    I've been voting on which team I like better.

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  70. You rebook 1999 and you leave the Corporate Ministry in tact? Dafuq?

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  71. Honestly, after fans getting restless after six minutes into matches, it's a miracle they were able to condition fans back into enjoying long matches. Granted, it's a very specific formula they use, but still.

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  72. They didn't start to draw the REALLY MONSTER RATINGS until Russon left though. 2000 was their biggest year ever, and Russo wad putting the nails in WCW's coffin.

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  73. What's Droz doing these days? I know 14 years ago he was writing a column for wwf.com but that was the last i heard.

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  74. I believe TV ratings (well, RAW's anyway) specifically were better in 1999, but business was better overall in 2000. Funny to think that Austin, as the face of that era, was out for its (and the company's) best year ever financially, and perhaps creatively too.

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  75. the first one is great. "You are an ugly bitch and need to get back on my tv."

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  76. They were originally the American Express and the name was changeed to US Express because of issues with the credit card company.

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  77. yeah, I hate to be "that guy" but if you aren't going to seed teams properly it kind of ruins it for me. Rockers vs. Steiners? Yet we've got brackets with crappy team vs. crappy team. Take 10 minutes and make the best teams not battle each other in the early rounds.

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  78. No need to "dare" it. Chyna sucked as an in-ring talent and I hated her at the time, but she damn sure worked as a female empowerment symbol. She was strong-willed, independent, tough, AND she was even allowed to come off as intelligent on top of all that.

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  79. I think I've heard Kevin Sullivan say that injecting politics into wrestling is the way to go if you want to galvanize a fanbase and draw a truly emotional response. I don't think he elaborated further, but MAH SPONSORS will probably prevent any of it from happening.

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  80. Adam "Colorado" CurryDecember 31, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    AFAIK he still works for the WWE offices in some capacity.

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  81. The Corporate Ministry? The Union? Val Venis and Nicole Bass? If you show this to any of the 18-somethings that are currently watching today's product, would any of them be able to guess that this was during the company's biggest boom period?

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  82. Also, it's worth noting that while a lot of people dismiss him as a washout today, Ken Shamrock was crazy over as a face during this one-month period. I still remember him trying to turn the Robo-Shamrock character into a Knight in Shining Armor babyface to some pretty good results and it's a shame that it didn't stick.

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  83. Admittedly I miss UPN. At least UPN and The WB were less embarrassing than The CW and MyNetworkTV.

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  84. Don't treat her like a woman...

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  85. Hogan and Edge over Sheiky Baby? What's wrong with you? Sheiky Baby break your back, make you humble, and fuck your ass!

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  86. Cliff Compton yes. Jimmy Snuka Jr no.

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  87. I would argue that Russo's worst writing was TNA Impact this year. At least the other stuff drew money (or in WCW's case at least a few extra viewers).


    TNA in 2014 had far more pointless segments than 1999 WWF or 2000 WCW at their absolute worst and it seem designed to not only not draw viewers or money but it actually seemed designed to drive away the few remaining viewers they had. I mean, who besides Russo could possibly think giving Sam Shaw (a guy who's not even ready for OVW let alone national TV) tons of airtime would sell tickets and draw viewers?

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  88. Wasnt he a member of legacy for like 5 minutes?

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  89. That option comes as standard on the entry level model, yes.

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  90. Ken must have wanted more than $15 a week.


    Craig, looking like he's about 14 years old, probably worked for beef jerky.

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  91. Who was Smash at this point?

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  92. Darsow. This Fort Myers taping and the Tampa taping the previous day were his first appearances as Smash.

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  93. It is still pretty early on New Years eve so it will be a while before I am smashed.

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  94. Randy Culley, aka Moondog Rex

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  95. Yeah, I don't recall any really great payoffs to mystery angles. There have been fun "surprise" payoffs to debuts (Jericho, Tazz), but those weren't storylines getting paid off. The "Who ran over Austin?" thing fell flat as Rikishi was best off just staying a dancing mid-carder and no one was going to buy him as a threat to Austin or Rock

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  96. It's a valid question. I honestly can't recall one that led to some great payoff or making someone a star or anything. The Million Dollar Man's "mystery partner" paid off well enough I guess.

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  97. The last mystery angle payoff that I can recall actually making someone a star was Kane's debut in '97.

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  98. Lesnar vs. Bryan would be a fascinating match if only because I want to see if Bryan can pull off making a competitive match with Brock look convincing. No question the guy is a world-class talent, but it's a pretty big suspension of disbelief to pull off Bryan beating a guy like Lesnar

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  99. Really, don't you sorta WANT a false finish in a story? I think it maybe should've been sooner if the real blowoff is at Wrestlemania (fingers crossed), but I'm actually okay with it looking like they've vanquished the bad guys but then they come back.

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  100. Or for a heel to win.

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  101. I think Gabe Sapolsky had a similar idea with Orton when he did a Guest Booker show re-booking the ECW reboot. I think that'd be a pretty great story.

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  102. And it's not like Bryan can't be a good heel. Him fucking over Samoa Joe in the ROH/CZW Cage of Death was great.

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  103. WWE WISHES they could get NPH...

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  104. Eagle River, though I've visited my friend's lake cottage in Minocqua many times. I live in Muskego myself, much closer to Illinois.

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  105. Whoops. See my comment above to myself.

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  106. it seems "never work together" only meant in a match against each other because they ended up on the same team anyway.

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  107. I'm a little surprised Hornswoggle never did that. Seems like something he'd do. Probably against Santino or something.

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