Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WCW Saturday Night: February 22, 1997

WCW Saturday Night is brought to you by Valvoline. Cyborgs who know use VALVOLINE!

As we open with a clip of Hot Rod ranting and raving inside of an Alcatraz cell, fellow conspiracy theorist Dr. Unlikely comments on the recent decline in quality: I'm glad to see this still makes exactly as much sense today as it did 18 years ago. I recall thinking the Outsiders filming and presenting a tape of themselves actually trying to kill the Steiners hilarious at the time (in my memory of it, Rick leans out the window and barks at the Outsidermobile, but I can't remember if that really happened now). I think I felt the same way about Piper speaking in Gaelic and Piper locking himself up with no food or water for seven days. So, basically, this is the point where I probably started ironically watching Nitro instead of truly enjoying it (matching up perfectly with Bret and Austin saving the WWF through sheer talent and force of will), which I'd do to the bitter end.


Bischoff is getting completely exposed as a one trick pony, and it’s been on display for nearly 2 months now. Somewhere, he lost the fact that great wrestling angles need a beginning, a middle, and an end. When the nWo first began, it was the hottest deal in television history because it legitimately appeared to be a WWF invasion. You had NO idea if Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, or even Vince McMahon was ready to join the Outsiders to take down WCW. Brilliantly executed. These guys were a real threat to their company, and they needed all hands on deck.

Then, the Giant turned. At that moment, it became a wrestling angle. This was a guy who was fighting tooth and nail to defend WCW, and was embarrassed on pay-per-view just a couple of weeks earlier. Can you imagine Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar buddying up, even YEARS after their last fight? No – because real people don’t do that.

Ever since the nWo drive in December, it’s clear Bischoff very genuinely believes that the nWo is its own “brand”. This isn’t a line he’s touting on television, he actually thinks he could give the nWo their own program and it would draw like gangbusters. He’s completely lost sight of the fact that while yes, they have a pretty sleek t-shirt, the shirt isn’t the reason the fans care about this group. They love them because Hall and Nash are the cool kids everyone wants to buddy up to. They’re funny, they’re arrogant, they’re fresh. THIS is who they want to see when the porno music hits. Nobody gives a damn that Scott Norton gets to ride in the B-squad limo, except Eric Bischoff.

Out of creative ideas, and trying to recreate their bad-assedness, Bischoff decided “YES – vehicular homicide!” Except that, while we admittedly stretch the bounds of reality where our professional wrestling is concerned, this is absurd. There is no way that a couple of guys submit nationally televised evidence that they caused another car to roll off the highway and make it out of the arena in anything but a new pair of steel bracelets. Granted, Lieutenant James Earl has been tied up with that Fit Finlay murder-mystery for nearly a year, Buddy Lee Parker no longer seems interested in law enforcement, and Glacier’s too busy performing his entrance to notice, but there MUST be more cops on the planet, right?

On its own, it’s atrocious. However, the minute you pair that with Roddy Piper, the people’s fighting champion who has decided to lock himself in Alcatraz as an effort to sell a fight, it’s clear this company has derailed. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a couple of weeks of good booking; but they keep making these mistakes, and have been since Starrcade.

I love WCW. The June through October shows were amongst the very best produced television you’ll ever see. The expanding Cruiserweight division, a suddenly loaded midcard (with Prince fucking Iaukea carrying the TV title! Don’t think for a second the preceding paragraphs weren’t brought on by this!) and a new crop of main eventers, there is NO reason they shouldn’t have been able to run out quality production for the next 5 years with THIS roster alone! The possibilities are endless. And it’s a little depressing to know that these moments of Bad Judgment are *nothing* in the grand scheme of things, and somehow this company that can do no wrong is 4 years from being 6 feet under.

However, for the time being, it’s still 1997, things are still rolling, and there IS some pretty great TV on the horizon, so let’s have at it. Take us away TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES. Dusty believes Piper needs to check himself into a Minnow Institution.

VILLANO 4 (1-1-0) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (5-2-2)

My copy of this match has gone through rough and rigors known as VHS, so the commentary comes across as a poorly produced Youtube rap video starring Dusty Rhodes. Internet – you have your mission. Villano misses a senton, but doesn’t miss a powerslam, getting 2. A moonsault off the top misses Rey by about 12 feet, and Rey’s all over him with a springboard rana for the win at 2:44.

DEAN MALENKO (8-1-2) vs. MARK STARR (1-5-0) (in a non-title match)

Over the past year, WCW has built this incredible Cruiserweight division from scratch. It’s the kind of thing you could set on your mantle and admire for the rest of your life. However, some genius (and I ASSUME it’s the same person who decided that Prince Iaukea would make a fine TV champ) has decided that it would mean more for the title if, instead of defending it on television, the champion make a stand against the heavyweight division. You know, all the top names, like Mike Enos, Robbie Brookside, and now Mark Starr. He hasn’t defended the belt since he won it 32 days ago – and that includes WCW Pro! And NO, I don’t care that Syxx stole the belt, a “title” is a TITLE, like Doctor, or Meng. You earn it. The title is secondary to being called Champ. If you’re that concerned about the gold, file a police report (and while you’re at it, mention the Steiners wouldja?), and get it back! Goddamn. Anyway, Union turncoat Mark Starr takes the early advantage, working over Malenko with an often unseen intensity. Malenko responds by dropping Starr on the back of his head, and gets 2. Dean whips out his small package, but it doesn’t score. The Texas Cloverleaf does the job though, and Malenko wins at 4:05. Post-match Malenko grabs the microphone, and puts all 2000 people in attendance to sleep. *

JERRY FLYNN (0-4-0) vs. PRINCE FUCKING IAUKEA (1-1-0) (for the WCW world television title)

Dusty takes a moment to talk to us about pride. “If you have no pride as a wrestlah, and don’t feel like you can take on Genghis Khan, then you’re not an Americahn, or a Euro Peein’, or whatever country you from.” Jerry Flynn has earned this title shot on account of his perfect record since entering WCW in December. Iaukea gets his ass kicked for what feels like 87 minutes straight, but he manages to dodge a spin kick and hits a Northern Lights suplex. Superfly Splash gets the win at 2:33. Even the canned heat doesn’t care about this guy. DUD

Here’s a chance to get Up Close and Personal with KEVIN SULLIVAN and JACQUELINE. Jackie has such trash talk as “Nancy, you think you got yo self a real man? I have a real man!” and “Nancy turn yo back, and now she with Chris Ben Wah.” I feel like she means it.

KEVIN SULLIVAN (6-1-0) (with Jacqueline and Jimmy Hart) vs. JOHNNY SWINGER (0-1-0)

TEDDY LONG weighs in on the situation, by reminding Jackie while she’s known Kevin for 10 years, that he’s known Kevin for 20! He tells Jackie that Sullivan has quit on himself, quit on Nancy, and someday, he’ll quit on her too. I sense some jealousy dude. Just drop the ruse, and make your love triangle into a tag-team match, playa. Jackie slaughters Swinger on the floor, while Sullivan swivels his hips in her direction. Where the hell was the network censor?!? This is a FAMILY program, and I don’t need to watch Sullivan parade his rapidly tightening tights around like a puppet show! The usual finishes at 3:09.  DUD

DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (5-1-0) vs. BUNKHOUSE BUCK (0-1-0)

A front row STUNT GRANNY celebrates capturing DDP’s t-shirt. Then she winks at him, and she’ll join him for pizza later. I wish social media had existed in the late 90’s, primarily for the potential of THIS particular roster. Tony Schiavone opening up a poll on the WCW app to determine “what does Bunkhouse Buck smell like?” is exactly the kind of lost opportunities we’re seeing with the death of this once fine company. Diamond Cutter at 2:13, please drive through. DUD

LEE MARSHALL grabs our weekly DDP soundbyte. Lee Marshall asks Page about his involvement with Bubba? Page says he feels awful about what happened. He saw the tape, and he finds it incredible that someone was able to sneak up behind the nWo and take out one of their guys. He doesn’t ever want to see anyone permanently damaged, or taken away in an ambulance. “It looks like it’s gonna be a Par Tay in San Francisco for DDP … but Bubba, get well soon, I really feel for you brother.” Our beloved Tony the Tiger is left speechless.

EDDIE GUERRERO (7-3-2) vs. JIM POWERS (1-1-0) (in a non-title match)

Powers lets us know he’s taking this match seriously, by nodding his head seriously and making an angry face. Did he and Teddy break up? Why wasn’t this addressed? Gene’s really dropped the ball since signing his new deal last fall, I’m not impressed. Eddie ties up the juice monkey like a docked sailboat, including a rarely seen Lasso from El Paso! An armbar fails to draw a tap out, so Eddie goes to the slingshot senton instead, yielding 2. Powers starts the comeback with a knee lift, and a whiffed dropkick is sold for 2. Powers steals one from Eddie’s playbook, using the standing vertical suplex, but Eddie won’t stay down. Eddie blocks an avalanche with a knee, and quickly hits a tornado DDT to set up the Frog Splash at 5:47. Good little scrum. **

LEE MARSHALL starts quoting Mary Shelley to introduce THE GIANT, which I’m afraid is far too high level for this show and this audience. The big man says he’s not an nWo creation, but a “real life fire breathing Giant”. Look, he’s been SAYING that for over a year, but I have yet to see him prove it. I’m starting to think he’s a liar, or a circus performer who is respectful of arena fire codes.

HARLEM HEAT (7-1-2) (with Sista Sherri) vs. DOC DEAN and ROBBIE BROOKSIDE

I’m not thinking the Brits are gonna get a whole lot of love here. In fact, outside of the stop and go Steven Regal pushes over the years, the Brits just aren’t respected on a North American level in pro-wrestling. That’s the ONLY reason I can come up with regarding the lack of support for one David Taylor. Big Apple just tears right through Brookside at 2:09. Stevie Ray spits all over the camera after the match. 1/2*

A pissy Sherri starts screaming at LEE MARSHALL, demanding tag-team title shots. Does she think he’s Eric Bischoff in a fake moustache? Lee can’t help you! Booker promises that they’re gonna go through each solitary sucka to get the gold back one more time.

CHRIS BENOIT (5-3-0) (with Woman) vs. RICK FULLER (0-1-0)

You, the Internet, can cry all the crocodile tears you want about Benoit not getting higher profile stuff. I don’t care, I could happily watch him work away with the Rick Fullers and Road Blocks of the world. Fuller goes for an Outsiders Edge right away, and as Woman screams bloody murder, Benoit slides off the back. Fuller’s energy doesn’t let up, as he chops away and drops Chris with a spin kick. A fantastic looking kneedrop to the face gets 2. Finally, the big guy misses an elbow, and now he’s got a pissed off Canadian with a mean streak coming at him. Fuller gets in a shot and heads to the top, but Benoit gorilla slams him off the top(!!!), before finishing with the swandive at 2:13. Tony: “Chris Benoit hit his head VERY hard that time!” And that’s putting it mildly, dude gave himself a shiner in the process. Watching him with the power of forward vision can be a little hard at times; because the guy tried so hard to be the greatest performer of his time that he turned his brain into porridge, even on these pointless Saturday Night shows. *1/2

LEE MARSHALL welcomes RIC FLAIR for a live arena appearance. I always love watching him emerge from the Cyborg Factory, stepping through the cloud of smoke, while Also Sprach Zarathustra plays him through. It’s like the emergence of a King, and the crowd are his loyal servants. Flair doesn’t think Hogan’s gonna have the stones to step in the ring with Piper tomorrow night. Now, concerning Jarrett and Mongo, he says he christened Jarrett months ago, and if he can beat Mongo tomorrow night, he’s in the group no matter what the other guys think about it. And, speaking of guys who are in, “Love Machine” Chris Benoit is gonna tear Kevin Sullivan to pieces.

KONAN (6-3-1) (with Jimmy Hart) vs. JEFF JARRETT (8-1-0)

The fans have absolutely no love for either one of these guys, and turn completely on this match with such force the Canned Heat doesn’t even bother trying to balance it out. Konan takes early control, so I guess Jarrett’s our face tonight. A sitdown dropkick gets 2, despite Konan’s whines to the contrary. Jarrett slams Konan’s head to the buckle, and a cradle gets 2. Jarrett calls for the Figure Four, but Jimmy trips him up and Konan’s all over him. A super axehandle is blocked by Jarrett, and a sidewalk slam gives Jarrett another chance to finish. Instead, he opts to punch Hart in the face, and being the first guy in history to somehow NOT have this be enough distraction to lose, he goes for the Figure Four. KEVIN SULLIVAN and JACQUELINE save, because Konan don’t do no clean jobs, and that’s a DQ at 3:51CHRIS BENOIT and WOMAN rush down, but Jackie brandishes a strap and … we take a break before anything happens.

The show closes with Piper’s Alcatraz interview aired in full. Our announcers don’t even bother saying so long, or remind us to order the pay-per-view.


Superbrawl’s tomorrow, and while I’m not real fussy about the build-up, there’s 2 big items that could make the show one to remember. 1) Roddy Piper capturing his elusive first World Title from Hogan. This would even the playing field a little and give WCW some much needed momentum. Or, alternatively, 2) Hogan cheats his ass off to retain, denying Piper in his last big chance, setting the table for the Sting beatdown we’ve been waiting for since the fall. And when it does … I’m getting chills just thinking about the delicious possibilities. This seems too good to screw up, right?

75 comments:

  1. I know this has been complained about before, but why isn't Saturday night on the network? Actually really all the weekend shows from WCW and WWE? Big part is missing.

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  2. "Can you imagine Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar buddying up, even YEARS after their last fight? No – because real people don’t do that."

    Um...yeah, actually, I can totally imagine that. Real adults do it all the damn time. (You'd hope) Real kids sometimes too. Its called letting go of the past, and if I had a dime for every time I've done it or had it done...well, I'd have about $3. Which is still a lot of times.

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  3. >Can you imagine Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar buddying up, even YEARS after their last fight? No – because real people don’t do that.



    Wait, what? Absolutely. Many MMA fighters are friends and many people who have gotten into honest to God real fights have buried the hatchet.


    Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson are friends now.

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  4. >>Can you imagine Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar buddying up, even YEARS after their last fight? No – because real people don’t do that.


    Kermit Washington nearly killed Rudy Tomjonovich with a punch.


    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/ccovtue.htm

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  5. >Can you imagine Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar buddying up, even YEARS after their last fight? No – because real people don’t do that.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a9137/micky-ward-arturo-gatti-121710/

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  6. You know I would have been okay with Piper winning, or Hogan returning to his Hulkamania roots one last time and taking Piper out. The end result, however, was garbage. Savage had no reason to turn heel. And killing Piper with 700 elbows was just boring. Seriously, maybe we should be thankful for the DDP matches, but seriously when you review Superbrawl 7 - you will throw up. I mean seriously Hogan's nonsense wouldn't have been so bad if he could have won cleanly once in a while, or do a meaningful job. Both this match and the Luger match at Road Wild were horrible. I found Starrcade to be leaps and bounds above Superbrawl and Road Wild. Then again, I was happy at Hogan really winning at Starcade.

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  7. I hate ECW fans, and loved Cena trolling them.

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  8. I HATE that. EVERY wrestlers has their spots that they use for years.

    Lance Storm said it best. It's not the number of moves you know, it's how good you work with the ones you do know or some shit like that.

    Judging a guy by how many moves he knows is just dumb. Fuck Dean Malenko doesn't really break out a thousand holds a match.

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  9. Shit even Keith who dogged RVD for years was a big fan of his work in the E.

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  10. "92928 times in a lifetime"

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  11. Annoying little thing: when Gene returned to Nitro in the fall, they just ignored Nick Patrick's claim that he'd been gone because of his lawsuit, didn't they? There was a mini-angle *right there* where some WCW guy could have stuck up for Gene, no matter how silly.

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  12. There were already signs of it in another thread. They'll be bigger wacky team partners than Michaels and Austin.

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  13. AverageJoeEverymanApril 8, 2015 at 11:46 PM

    I bet Bunkhouse Buck would have loved DDP Yoga to help him get into those skinny jeans.

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  14. I already hate Dana Brooke and the bullshit rocket push she's going to get.

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  15. I've been to PWG shows, I've been to ECW One Night Stand 2006, and I've been to WrestleMania 31, and I can tell you, that San Jose NXT house show was FUCKING. BONKERS. One of the absolute best live shows and I really hope it gets released some day.

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  16. Eh. I felt that was kind of diminished when he got to look like an 8 year old getting beat up by the Big Show in the ARMBAR. Just my 2 cents though. Great review btw.

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  17. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 9, 2015 at 12:36 AM

    Much appreciated.


    Well you see, Big Show has to be praised. Otherwise we all die in horrible flaming death. The same is true if Stephanie doesn't emasculate a top star once every other week. They're really just doing it to save our lives.

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  18. That episode was great. Neville/Itami was amazing. I have no idea what show you watched.

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  19. Well technically they had a valid reason given for Savage. He was "blackballed" by Bischoff and unable to compete unless it was with the nWo.

    Granted, one could argue that he could buck the system and fight for WCW anyway, but at least they gave us SOME reason.....

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  20. What an excellent show. The documentary portion in particular was brilliant.

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  21. Yes! I tried saying that in another online forum but was shot down. Having Dreamer v Lawler instead of Dreamer v Raven was a severe letdown.

    The Rude turn made no sense as he was so over as a face. The conspiracy theory in me thinks that Vince made Paul turn Rude heel so he could join DX, but I don't even think DX was an idea yet. Worse than that, they had Rude and Douglas together after all that happened leading up to Barely Legal.

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  22. That's not the fault of the NXT crew who actually try and make their talent look good.

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  23. While never a fan of Hillbilly Gimmicks, I agree he should get in the HOF. He was a lively character and seemed really nice on Legends House and I guess is super nice to fans when approached at events.

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  24. Now that you mention it I am surprised we don't see more Hillbilly Jim around. He was a lot of fun in the 80's and as Scott often mentions; Hillbillies are one of Vince's sexual fantasies.

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  25. Is this supposed to be satirical commentary on modern wrestling fandom? If so, it was really well done.

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  26. Kermit threw a wild punch that Rudy sort of ran into. It was really, really bad timing and Kermit did not intentionally hit Rudy. Kermit spent years living with extreme guilt and did everything he could to help Rudy. The intent was never there.

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  27. If she came from Shimmer tho it'd be "OMG DANA BROOKE I CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!1111"

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  28. This a million times. I loved watching WCW back then except for anything Hogan. When it came to him, nothing made any sense.

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  29. Given that Balor has done two clean jobs in a few weeks, is it safe to assume he's ready to wrap things up in NXT? They went the same way with Neville where they had him start putting guys over on his way out.

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  30. A lot of what I've read is Kermit has tried to play the victim for years

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  31. I think the only thing that compares to the NXT crowd is PWG. As a big fan of PWG, it does blow my mind that WWE has created their own version. Heck HHH (with one or two additional bookers/writers) is Super Dragon. Just crazy but awesome.

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  32. All the build up to Itami's Wrestmania moment was perfect, but then it just make me hate the big show even more for eliminating him like a jobber

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  33. Gotta love how WWE promotes these "no holds barred" podcasts, and then Vince gets upset when mildly probing questions are asked.

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  34. Dr. Facts HansenApril 9, 2015 at 7:36 AM

    DAMMIT PAL! DON'T INTERVIEW PAUL ABOUT HOW OUT OF TOUCH I AM.

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  35. Just hearing the words "Balor Club" immediately makes me hate WWE.

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  36. Buffalo HopscotchApril 9, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    I'd get excited about them potentially bringing Starrcade and Halloween Havoc back, but i'm sure it's just a copywrite renewed type thing for stuff in their collection.

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  37. Just a side note, and I won't link so Scott won't catch crap from AdSense, but the Invasion Attack card is up on YouTube. Apparently the Ibushi/AJ match was pretty killer.

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  38. **** 3/4 according to Meltzer

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  39. Well, whatever leads us to baselessly speculate that WWE will be doing WARGAMES is good with me.

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  40. Buffalo HopscotchApril 9, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Maybe it's a literal club that he'll bash people up with. Then he'll say "you've just been inducted to the Balor Club. Strike 3, bitch".

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  41. Austin has every right to tell McMahon to fuck off over that. The WWE Network needs the Stone Cold podcast. The Stone Cold podcast doesn't need the WWE Network.

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  42. It's just a little on the nose with Bullet Club, though. Only sanitized for PG reasons.

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  43. Buffalo HopscotchApril 9, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    WarGames in NXT! Although the lack of blood might take some of the ommph! out of the match.

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  44. Balor Club sounds so dumb. It wasn't terrible as a one-off joke on a t-shirt at wrestlingtees, but to copyright it? I guess it's their right to protect their gimmick names, so do what you have to.

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  45. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 9, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Suple City, bitch. That shirt would sell like crazy

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  46. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 9, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Suplex City, bitch. That shirt would sell like crazy

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  47. SCUMBAG WWE: tries to copyright the "Too Sweet" hand sign; registers a copyright on Balor Club, which is someone else's intellectual property

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  48. "Ween" Dean AndrewsApril 9, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Or trademarked to prevent other people releasing stuff with that brand on it

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  49. Ok, I'd actually laugh if WWE trademarked "Young Bucks" just for the hell of it.

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  50. Holy crap, I had the same meme, and example in mind.

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  51. How terrible would WWE's Halloween Havoc set be though? That PPV NEEDS the giant inflatable pumpkin (and Slim Jim sponsorship)

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  52. And timely, too, what with Brock Lesnar appearing all over the..... oh, wait, he's gone for at least 3 months.

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  53. "Ween" Dean AndrewsApril 9, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    Next they'll be holding no holds barred cage matches where they are only pretending to hit each other, and get upset if the participants endure only minor concussions, despite promoting gruesome carnage and mayhem! lolzers!

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  54. It also needs......


    ....... THE YETAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!

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  55. Is that a Gordon Solie one?

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  56. His spirit hasn't left.

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  57. Starrcade? Halloween Havoc? Don't you fucking tease me like this, Vince.

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  58. For whatever reason, it makes me happy that Austin and Rock don't need WWE.

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  59. Gonna have some ICE CREAM today!!!


    :: Hoss Shuffle ::

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  60. I'd love it if Cole were kept out for months, and when he FINALLY returns to the booth saying it took him a while, but he healed, that's the night Brock comes back.

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  61. I'm excited by Halloween Havoc/StarCade (god forbid Vince uses the WCW original), and anything involving Balor.


    But seriously, SuperFriends Crew? The fuck is this, a kiddle cartoon?

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  62. The finish was really good. Amazing how they pulled it off.

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  63. Buffalo HopscotchApril 9, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    It should be every time someone mentions Brock or he's shown Cole just breaks down and cowers underneath the announcers desk.

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  64. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 9, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    Good call on Giant joining nWo. That really was one of the points where the whole thing jumped the shark. It was just guys changing t shirts from then on. They had all the power and the WCW guys were losers the whole time

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  65. Am I in the minority that I generally enjoy Itami's work?

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  66. It's not what they do, it's how they do it. Look at Savage; his move set never really varied, but he knew exactly how to work the moves in with different guys to make his matches not be the same.

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  67. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 9, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    I don't dislike him. I just have a hard time caring when he comes out. There's no emotion or connection to him for me.

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  68. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 9, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    I'm not either, mainly due to him being billed from Kentucky. Off the top of my head, there are four major(ish) wrestlers billed from Kentucky:


    Hillbilly Jim
    Eugene
    Rob Conway
    Chris Harris


    That doesn't give me a lot to pick from.

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  69. I'm with you there...but I think it's early days, yet.

    Some, like Balor and Owens, have managed to connect quickly...but I think they've got a good hand in Itami and his connection will increase once he starts getting some feuds and storylines under his belt.

    (Of course, this means trusting WWE Creative...and I'm not sure that's ever a sure thing.)

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  70. Thanks Mike!

    Though, I wouldn't say it was entirely satirical...it was "knowing".

    1) She's coming in as a heel. I'm supposed to hate her. I do. Good job, NXT!

    2) One thing I like about NXT is that, compared to the WWE, the women actually have characters and storylines that seem more like real human beings. "I'm the Total Diva" is such a lazy, Kevin Dunn-esque, approach to a new character. (And Sasha Banks has already created a more three-dimensional character out of that same template, so not only is this lazy but it's redundant.) And I don't like the WWE Divas mentality peanut butter in my NXT chocolate. So, I'm ready to hate her, just as I'm supposed to. Good job, NXT!

    3) I like that Charlotte isn't conventionally pretty but she's charismatic and can wrestle. I like that Bayley is more natural looking than the waifs on the main roster, that she's adorable and can wrestle. Dana Brooke is that weird superhero fake bodybuilder w/fake boob-rocks that Vince & Dunn seem to gravitate to... So, she's likely due to become the instant prime focus of the division...changing it around her. So, I hate her for what she's about to do...just as I'm supposed to. Good job, NXT!

    4) Honestly, I'd rather cheer for Blue Pants. Judging by the chants, I'm not alone...but they're not listening to the fans and they're going to be shoving Dana Brooke down our throats, just because she's got the right look...is the right height...has a better physicality. (...and yes there is intentional subtext there.)

    So, if I'm supposed to hate her because she's a heel...they've accomplished that before she even makes her debut. And if she's ends up being good at being a heel, then the reasons that I hate her already from a smark perspective will fade--I'm capable of being won over and my opinions are not frozen in amber.

    If, on the other hand, she's the harbinger of the beginning of the end for the things I like about NXT...then let me pound my Charlton Heston fists in the sand while looking up at the charred remains of the NXT Statue of Liberty's torch and scream to Vince & Dunn, "You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

    (Man...think of all the things I should have been doing while conjuring up THAT info dump of rationalization.)

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  71. AnInternetToughGuyApril 9, 2015 at 6:12 PM

    probably 100% accurate. I'm definitely taking a wait and see approach.

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  72. kbwrestlingreviewsApril 9, 2015 at 7:11 PM

    Oh I think Itami will be fine. Just give him some time as he's only been in this system what, six months?

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  73. He honestly should've been at Mania...

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  74. I'm getting the vibe he's the one who will take the title from Owens.

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