Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–03.18.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 03.18.96

Live from Chattanooga, TN

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan & Mongo

We pick the show up with Giant engaged in a brawl with Loch Ness in the aisle, while Lex Luger casually walks by and does his usual entrance.

World TV title: Lex Luger v. Loch Ness

Sadly, Loch Ness has been beaten to a pulp by the Giant, and is unable to answer the count. Jimmy Hart runs in for a hug and Luger quickly pushes him back after “breaking kayfabe”. Luger is so excited that he runs over to the announce desk and high-fives Bobby. “I’m peaking at just the right time!” It’s really sad that they wasted him in the Uncensored main event nonsense because he was really on fire at this point.

Tony Schiavone returns from the dead to interview “The Megapowers” and holy crap, they were basically asking for a cease-and-desist letter. Macho even has “Mega Powers” on his gear! The balls on these guys. They’re still hyping up the Doomsday cage without ever explaining how it worked or who was in it.

The Public Enemy v. The Steiner Brothers

Oh this is gonna be glorious. Scott throws Rock around with a tilt-a-whirl slam and a press slam to start, and then chases him to the floor. Back in, Grunge tries beating on Rick and gets destroyed as well. Mongo’s take: “Break out the broom and the dust mop, because the Steiners are cleaning house!” Let’s not. Rick heads out and gets double-teamed, and TPE takes over on him, but Scott comes in with another suplex on Rock. Rock moonsaults Scott for two and Grunge gets a neckbreaker for two and heads up, but Scott fights him off and it’s hot tag Rick. He somehow ends up on the table at ringside, but Rock misses the dive and puts himself through it. Back in, the Steiners finish Grunge with the bulldog at 7:00. Eric Bischoff literally promised that this would be a crazy brawl at the beginning, and they just did a wrestling match. Super disappointing. *

Arn Anderson v. The Booty Man

Beefcake’s entrance is so sad, an aging has-been getting pushed one more time because he’s friends with Hulk Hogan, as no one gives a shit about him without the bigger stars around to protect him. Booty beats on Arn in the corner, but AA bails to slow down this torrid pace and starts working on the arm after a cheapshot. Arn goes up and Booty catches him with a shot on the way down, and makes the comeback. Kimberly comes out and gets into an argument with Woman, and Booty hits the High Knee for the pin at 5:52. DUD

The Road Warriors v. The Nasty Boys

Bischoff continues hyping up the Uncensored card and holy god it sounds like the worst pile of shit ever just by the matches listed. This tag match actually is a wild brawl from the start, with everyone fighting to the floor immediately as we take a break. Back with the Nasties in control on Hawk, but Knobs gets flung into the railing and take a huge bump. Apparently the Nasties were almost fired for budget reasons at this point, as they needed money to justify the contracts of Hall and Nash. So it would have been win-win! Back in, the Warriors double-team Knobs, and Hawk pounds the injured ribs. I’m zoning here – were the Nasty Boys supposed to be heels at this point? Animal with a powerslam and he drops the elbow on the ribs for two. Splash misses and it’s hot tag Sags, but the Steiners run out and mug Sags. Animal hits Knobs with the gauntlet and pins him at 7:00. This was just a mess, with everyone blowing up sometime during the heat segment. ½*

Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage v. Kevin Sullivan & Ric Flair

Speaking of messes, this is a texas tornado match that was originally booked to be Flair v. Sting for the World title before Hogan stepped in and changed it. And after two tag matches that should have been booked as messy brawls, this is the one that we get the crazy brawl in. They run around doing the junk brawling and we get the awesome sight of Hulk Hogan trying a figure-four on Sullivan, the only one I’ve ever seen worse than Dusty’s version. More messy brawling and Hulk makes the comeback off a Flair suplex. Mongo’s take: “If you like a good public someone getting beat down like a dog, you’ll like this match.” Actual things said by people on live TV. THEY PAID HIM TO SAY THESE THINGS. Flair hits Hogan with the SIZE EIGHT OF DOOM after a million years of meandering brawl, but it’s time to hulk up again as Arn Anderson joins us. Brian Pillman comes out of the audience throwing chairs and they call for a DQ at 10:30, because reasons. * Hogan, as booker, saw that Pillman’s act was getting over and basically demanded that he be made part of the main event deal, thus killing Pillman’s whole gimmick. Hogan and Savage manage to fight off the Horsemen alone, but then Jimmy Hart brings out flabby gut Zeus and Jeep Swenson (who is literally made up like a walrus) and that somehow turns the tide. Best of all, Swenson was named “The Final Solution”, which passed through multiple layers of approval before someone realized that people MIGHT be offended by it. Because WCW.

The Alliance to End Hulkamania, or TAEH for short, rambles about Hogan. And remember, TAEH is the opposite of “Heat”.

The Pulse

This Hogan stuff…holy god. I’m still astonished that one company could change directions so drastically within a couple of months and suddenly change wrestling forever.

106 comments:

  1. Sullivan must have felt like he was raising an eight year-old with Hogan, having to actually let him see why he didn't want what he thought he wanted.

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  2. Buffalo HopscotchMarch 3, 2015 at 9:34 AM

    I always found Nitro extremely watchable during this time, but that's probably because it was still only an hour long. I imagine if they stretched it out to 3 hours I'd of thought it was unwatchable garbage.

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  3. Regardless of the non sense Nitro often offered, the show had a better flow and was better overall than Raw, which can tell a lot about the poor state of the WWE/F product back then.

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  4. Beefcake’s entrance is so sad, an aging has-been getting pushed one more time because he’s friends with Hulk Hogan, as no one gives a shit about him without the bigger stars around to protect him.

    You could say the same thing about his opponent.

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  6. Theberzerker, #HUSSAPPROVEDMarch 3, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    To be fair, that would have been like 48th Flair/Sting match on Nitro that year alone.
    Very happy you're picking these back up again, I like reading your rants then listening to Bryan & Vinny make fun of the show. Not the same effect in the reverse order, for some reason. Also, when the inevitable day comes that you've reviewed EVERY SHOW EVER, you can cut your wings and finally descend into hell.

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  7. Instead of putting the world title on The Giant, they should have put it on Luger.

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  8. You could.....but it wouldn't be true. People still loved Double A (Don't believe me? Fast forward to Great American Bash 1996 when he kicked Kevin Sullivan - or the next night on Nitro)

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  9. People hated Sullivan.

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  10. God bless late 95, early '96 Lex Luger.

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  11. I'd still watch this over today's Raw.

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  12. I thought he was lame. I didn't hate him, I just thought he was a scrub

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  13. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonMarch 3, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    "And remember, TAEH is the opposite of “Heat”."


    *spits out orange juice and laughs hysterically*

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  14. Poor Arn Anderson ... first the Renegade job, now Booty Man. On the bright side thanks to a recent episode of Archer I finally know of someone else named Arn besides Arn Anderson.

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  15. B.ad Larry arthurMarch 3, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    I was like 10 years old wondering how this 5"3 guy was supposed to fight anyone

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  16. I laughed at that too

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  17. Burt Macklin, FBIMarch 3, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    I always smile when I see Coach. It's awesome seeing him on SportsCenter.

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  18. He had better done his reporting from WWF Headquarters.

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  19. cabspaintedyellowMarch 3, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Seeing Bill DeMott get fired will give me a hugh g. rection.

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  20. "Lukewarm" MrJustinBMarch 3, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    ... This who can't teach teach wrestling?

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  21. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!March 3, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    That's an odd thing to get an erection over. You may want to see your doctor if it last more than four hours.

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  22. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonMarch 3, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    Did you see the clip where Cena visited ESPN studios and bumped into him?

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  23. "Lukewarm" MrJustinBMarch 3, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    Mayo.

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  24. cabspaintedyellowMarch 3, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    *Is diagnosed with severe erectile super-function.*
    *Adds name to class action suit against Bill DeMott*

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  25. Worst_in_the_WorldMarch 3, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    Wrestlemania 3: "Bigger. Badder. Better."
    Wrestlemania 5: "The Megapowers Explode!"
    Wrestlemania 6: "The Ultimate Challenge"


    Wrestlemania 31: "None of the Wrestlers Give a Fuck"

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  26. Worst_in_the_WorldMarch 3, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Maybe they want him fatter? He could do a Samoan Earthquake gimmick.

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  27. Worst build ever.

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  28. "Lukewarm" MrJustinBMarch 3, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    Honestly... I'd watch that.

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  29. Worst_in_the_WorldMarch 3, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    "You don't really wanna wrestle me, and I don't care about wrestling you. But hey, whatevs right????"

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  30. and now with Taker and Brock it's : "are they even gonna be here ?"

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  31. Vince is trying to hire a large Samoan woman to be Joe's Momma

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  32. Burt Macklin, FBIMarch 3, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    Ryder's US title chase was fun, I was watching Raw, SmackDown, NXT and Superstars every week. I don't do that anymore. That picture is definitely bittersweet to see

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  33. Unfortunately. Somewhat related, Robbie E from TNA was my cousin's middle school gym teacher. I'm pretty sure he was fired for not telling the school what he was doing on weekends and weeknights.

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  34. Worst_in_the_WorldMarch 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    Hey, HHH cares enough to...well pretend fire Booker T for 3 minutes. That's how you build a feud!

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  35. cabspaintedyellowMarch 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    it's WRESTLEMANIAAAAAAA

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  36. It's a shame that most of the big names that could offer some insight from the previous generation are either too busy to be a trainer, like Austin and Foley, or black balled, like Raven. All available guys that have actually drawn money are starting to get on in years, the fact Billy Gun is advising guys who have already main evented in front of big crowds or shown more potential than he ever did.

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  37. "Lukewarm" MrJustinBMarch 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    Someone should check the Dougie-bot. I think it's broken.

    I mean, I assume it's a bot. It's never shown any human qualities.

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  38. WrestleMania 31: "We're Only in It for the Money"

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  39. Burt Macklin, FBIMarch 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    I think I remember seeing that. Cena was there talking College Football or something.

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  40. I can tell you the Hogan story has been around for years, but I believe the severity to which his leg was hurt has grown over time. I remember first reading about it in a magazine back in the 80's, and it was the guys in Florida crowing about how badly they manhandled him, but that he came back and they respected that.

    Lance Storm wouldn't take liberties like that, you're right, but he's not going easy on people either. They did call his training "World of Hurt" for the show they shot about it.

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  41. Ah, but now they've made it "Cena desperately wants to be on the WrestleMania card". So maybe he gets his match, but Stephanie won't sanction the US belt being on the line. I just don't see them putting that belt on Cena, because then he has to turn around and lose it to someone, then they have to come up with a reason why he wouldn't want to regain it from whoever that is. If it's Rusev then they'd be having Cena shrugging off wanting to regain the belt, while having lost twice to him as well. Wouldn't make sense.

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  42. Man Hogan made Flair look like such a jackass you forget he's basically been champion for two months. Boy it's a good thing champions aren't made to look foolish losing week in and week out toda.....oh wait.

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  43. Sidetracking this a little, 39 year old Sylvia Saint could still get it. Hard, and long.

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  44. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!March 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    20-30 lbs.

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  45. Burt Macklin, FBIMarch 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    I think that photo WWF1987 posted of the champions in 2011 was the highest my fandom in the current product will be for a long time. Cody, Punk, and Bryan were 3 of my favorites and they were doing kickass stuff with their titles

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  46. According to my phone I walked 3.7 miles round trip to get breakfast burritos for everyone. Definitely didn't seem that long.

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  47. but that somehow really direspectful to the memoy of Andre

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  48. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!March 3, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    Agreed. She's pretty much the only tolerable commentator right now.

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  49. "Lukewarm" MrJustinBMarch 3, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    Mayo. Mayo mayo.

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  50. You forgot to mention the ridiculous Boston accent. Nothing wrong with the accent -- if you're from Boston, you're from Boston, but when you're playing a mystical character and I keep thinking he's a character on Cheers that's an issue.

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  51. You got dudes like Sting and Luger who were ripped and I'm suppose to believe this short, fat, balding scrub can beat them? Come on now

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  52. Hogan and miz should have a bad figure four contest on raw. It amazes me how they can jumble such an easy move

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  53. The Amazing GamecockMarch 3, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    Luger must have been on that good shit.

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  54. The Dungeon of Doom was located three blocks from Cheers

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  55. John Tents walks into the bar. SHARK!

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  56. The Public Enemy is a testament to Paul Heyman's amazing abilty to make crap look like fillet mignon. Without him protecting their flaws they look like, well, crap.

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  57. How awesome is Pillman around this time? People talk about Magnum T.A. being the biggest missed opportunity at being champion, but can you imagine if Pillman hadn't died what a program between him and Austin, after Austin wins the title at WM 14, would have been like?

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  58. the Aroma In TacomaMarch 3, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Huzzah for the shop keep...this column is back. Love reading this stuff (when I am supposed to be working), I never saw it then, I never will watch it, but great that you are continuing to do this. Thanks

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  59. Lex trying to figure out what a Chicago street fight is was fantastic acting I didn't know Luger had in him. The jump back to WCW rejuvenated him something fierce.

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  60. The car accident finished his career as a main eventer long before his death.

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  61. He was only motivated when he wore red or canary yellow tights! ( waits to see if anyone gets the reference)

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  62. James M. FabianoMarch 3, 2015 at 1:08 PM

    I recall a TSM post saying that the Final Solution name was another shot at Marc Mero from Bischoff.

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  63. RE-RANT UNCENSORED!


    Also, wasn't Sullivan booking then and not Hogan?

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  64. Miz is dumb and I can say that because of how incredibly stupid he was on Real World and the Challenge. He has two brain cells and they fight each other.

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  65. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 3, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Arn Anderson was BORN to play Cliff Clavin.


    Ric Flair as Sam.

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  66. sure, but still he's a competent wrestler and can get around the ring and work a match fine (even though he may not be great according to all of us, he's still capable). Yet watching him try a figure 4 was awful. How hard can that be to apply?

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  67. Jonathan MeisnerMarch 3, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    El Dandy as Carla.

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  68. I wonder if he meant that Hogan used his (ahem) influence to change things up, regardless of who had the book. Either way, your call for an Uncensored Re-rant is a good one!

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  69. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 3, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    You win.

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  70. Pillman was useless in the ring in WWF.

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  71. Virgil's Gimmick TableMarch 3, 2015 at 1:37 PM

    *Mista Shaak.

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  72. Sullivan was booking in the sense that everything he did had to go through Hogan first.

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  73. If he'd have given himself a year to get healthy, he could have gone gimmicky brawls with Austin.

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  74. Battle Kat LitterMarch 3, 2015 at 2:01 PM

    Yes re-rant pretty please

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  75. Luger's muscles were bigger than The Giant's hands

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  76. ? The dude is 7'4". He's huge, period and a very credible.champion, if we think of a wrestling title as something legitimate.

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  77. I can appreciate lugar's muscles from TV though. you really need to see the giant in person to understand how big he is

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  78. Yeah he is. He's not exciting nor creative. But competent? Most definitely.

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  79. oh yes, please re-rant it, it would be glorious

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  80. I miss Loch Ness

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  81. The giant has bigger hands though. You forgot about that I think

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  82. and essentially any functioning human should be able to apply a figure 4, it's not hard. Especially someone who is a pro wrestler. having said all that, yes, the miz totally sucks and is boring

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  83. they were like some parody of themselves in WCW. I never liked PE but it was always hilarious that THEY ended up going through their own tables. Hell, at least Sabu got to put some other people through them during his run

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  84. "THERE LIES YOUR NUMBER ONE CONTENDER!"

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  85. Personally, I would consider Ed Leslie a "never was" instead of a "has-been." He had about three solid years in the WWF, but when he came back from the injury he was a huge pile of garbage

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  86. I'd say '89 was his peak. Worked hardest, best look. Pre that always seemed too green despite years in the business (however you manage that) and after quickly got lazy. Plus the accident and all that.

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  87. Was Hogan ever the official booker?

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  88. Didn't HBK put Flair in a horrendously messed up figure four during their Mania match? Or was that supposed to be a different hold!?

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  89. Funny that the Nasties were on the chopping block at this point when they at least went on to have a fun match with Public Enemy at Bash at the Beach. Which is more than you can say for losers like Beefcake and Duggan in WCW.


    Also is it me or is WCW's tag division LOADED at this point? Steiners, PE, Nasties, Road Warriors, Mega Powers, Luger/Sting, and soon to come the Outsiders and the Faces of Fear. Could have led to some fun feuds/matches if WCW could book properly.

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  90. So he had been good. Thus, hasbeen.

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  91. Different hold. Michaels had some kind of inverted leg lock he was using ash the time.

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  92. Just repost both the 96 and 03 versions with a Scott's Sez

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  93. Aha! Forgot all about that. Last time I saw the match it looked really weird and like "how would that even hurt?". But I stand corrected!

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  94. And wrestling Flair?

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  95. Arn Anderson had the look of a legit tough guy

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  96. Who are you to doubt El Dandy?

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  97. Eh I find him pretty decent even sometimes entertaining on the mic. I also love and am inspired by his hard work and determination. This dude that "sucks" managed to headline wrestlemania. That's some impressive drive and to see that pay off is awesome. That being said, as a worker he is quite dull with a dull offense.

    And apparently, it is not that easy to apply the figure 4, as trained athletes manage to make it look awkward. I doubt you could make it look any better than atrocious. So, have a care.

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  98. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieMarch 3, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    No one said he was good.

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  99. and the carpentry skills to match.

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  100. which still makes wonder because even if someone claims that Miz is awful, most wouldn't claim that about Rock ... and yet he managed to screw up the sharpshooter in a similar fashion.

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  101. I loves WCW's tag division at this time. Harlem Heat to! Even lesser teams like Fire and Ice.

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  102. It's funny because I saw Show from the rafters of the O2 arena and he looked tiny.

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