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The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–07.01.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 07.01.96

Call it schadenfreude, but BYE BYE FLAMES. I’m man enough to admit it.

So apparently the reason that Nitro isn’t being further updated is because no one is actually watching the archived content. Seems like kind of a catch-22 to me. Well, I’m watching, all the way to the bitter end when I run out of Nitro episodes in a few weeks. IT’S STILL REAL TO ME, DAMMIT!

Live from Landover, MD

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko

DDP interrupts the opening spiel to complain about his magic ring being stolen. STRIP SEARCHES FOR EVERYONE! Oh, and Larry promises that this Sunday will bring a “new world order” of some sort. Yeah, well, that’s like, just his opinion, man.

WCW World tag titles: Harlem Heat v. The Steiner Brothers

Scott throws Booker around with a belly to belly and press slam, then dumps him to the floor. Somehow, Scott Steiner is getting bigger literally by the week. The Steiners clean house and we take a break, returning with the Four Horsemen enjoying some refreshments at Flair’s private table. I’m guessing that gag went away for good after next week. Rick with a Steinerline on Stevie Ray for two, and Scott takes him down with a backslide and overhead suplex as Larry again is all about the new world order. Rick wipes out Booker with a pair of clotheslines while Col. Parker now joins us at ringside. Booker hits the sidekick for two, but Rick brings him down off the top rope with a belly to belly for two. Scott with a butterfly powerbomb for two, but Stevie hits him with a cheapshot from the apron and the Heat take over. Booker with a flying splash for two, but Scott makes the hot tag to Rick. Clotheslines and powerslams abound, and Scott hits the Frankensteiner on Booker, but he’s not legal. Rick goes up with the flying bulldog, but Parker whacks Rick with his walking stick on a second attempt and the Heat retain at 10:08. Did Parker miss his cue there or something? Not sure why they suddenly put the Heat back with Parker again. Solid match with the guys throwing each other around, however. ***

Meanwhile, Mean Gene brings up the open wound of Joe Gomez’s Nitro debut getting ruined, and Debra admits that she might be a bit high maintenance.

GLACIER is on the way! At this point it’s actually getting pretty funny.

Disco Inferno v. Kurasawa

Kurasawa has somehow dumped Sonny Onoo and turned babyface for some reason never adequately explored. Mainly comedy here, as Disco runs away and Kurasawa no-sells everything and looks to finish Disco off…but it’s the oldest finish in the book, as Disco’s music hits and an Elvis impersonator comes down to distract Kurasawa, allowing Disco to pull down the disco ball and hit him in the back for the pin at 3:42. Like I said, the oldest finish in the book. DUD

Diamond Dallas Page v. Scotty Riggs

Unlike last week’s show, DDP’s generic butt rock music has been restored to its former glory with no wacky overdubbing. Page pounds away and drops Riggs with a backdrop suplex, and slugs him down for two. Page with the abdominal stretch and he blocks a sunset flip, but Riggs finishes the move for two. Page boots him down again and gets a pumphandle backbreaker for two, but Riggs makes the comeback. Dropkick puts Page on the floor and Riggs follows with a dive, and back in for a flying forearm that gets two. But, alas, Diamond Cutter out of nowhere finishes at 5:36. Good work from both here. **1/2

Randy Savage v. Greg Valentine

Valentine gets the recycled Hollywood Blonds music as they dig him out of whatever state fair he was working in 1996. Hammer pounds away but misses a blind charge and Savage gets two. They fight to the floor and Valentine drops an elbow. Back in for some choking as Tony speculates that GREG VALENTINE might be the third man. Savage comes back with a slam and goes up, but Valentine catches him coming down. The ref loudly calls out a 30 second time warning, so Valentine “knocks himself out” on a back suplex and Savage miraculously drops the elbow at 5:14 to move us to the second hour. Meh. *

Hour #2!

Still live, still in Landover, MD.

Your hosts are Eric Bischoff & Bobby Heenan

The Outsiders joins us at ringside, with popcorn and drinks and about a million extra viewers over RAW. Bischoff refers to “Kevin Nash” for the first time here.

WCW World title: The Giant v. John Tenta

The announcers reason that Tenta is so mad at Big Bubba that he might just take it out on Giant and win the title! I’m gonna go with “no” to that one. Tenta indeed unleashes his fury and rage on Giant, but sadly he’s not quite as angry as, say, Alex Riley and quickly gets his ass beat in the corner. This progresses at a leisurely pace while I check the Observer, and apparently at this point Hogan kind of gave away the third man deal on a movie set. Also, in much more important news, Glacier debuts at some sort of toy fair and people mock his ridiculously expensive gear and point out how cheap it looks, comparing him to Chris Champion. BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD! Anyway, this shitfest continues unabated, with Giant endlessly choking and pounding on Tenta in the corner while the Outsiders eat popcorn in the front row. Finally Tenta dodges a blind charge and makes the comeback, putting him down with a dropkick, but now Kevin Sullivan comes out for the distraction and Giant finishes with the chokeslam at 6:37. The dastardly Big Bubba shaves off half of Tenta’s beard now. You’re probably asking why he doesn’t just shave off the rest and regrow it, but that would be putting way more thought into this than the booking team did. -***

Meanwhile, a Rey Mysterio video is interrupted by the Outsiders stirring up trouble, until security throws him out, with Nash yelling “Attica! Attica!” all the way. Is it any wonder they were instantly bigger stars than anyone in the promotion?

Meanwhile, Jim Duggan reveals that he found DDP’s ring in the men’s bathroom, but he wouldn’t want to keep it anyway because he wears a MAN’S ring size and not the feminine piece of crap that DDP wears. Page storms in to reclaim the ring and Duggan hits him with a taped fist as Page takes a dramatic bump off it. This was fun stuff. Well, except for Gene accidentally calling it the “King of the Ring”, which has a panicked Bischoff immediately clarifying it as a slip of the tongue so that they don’t get any further legal threats from the WWF.

The Four Horsemen v. The Rock N Roll Express, The Renegade and JOE GOMEZ

Finally, the Desperado assembles his team of anti-Horsemen to get his revenge! And yes, this is your main event, why do you ask? Team Gomez cleans house and Flair starts out the match properly with Morton, who takes him down with a rana and the double dropkick for two. Well that finisher is dead. Oh wait it’s 1996, no one gives a shit anyway. Over to Arn, who falls victim to an enzuigiri from Gibson. Benoit comes in and beats on Renegade, but it’s GOMEZ TIME and he beats on Flair in the corner to kick off the greatest era of WCW TV since the glory NWA years. Backdrop gets two, but Joe gets distracted by his own perfect hair and Flair kicks him in the nuts to take over. Benoit beats on him in the corner and takes him down by the hair, clearly jealous. Gomez fact: Joe Gomez has a much better chance of making it into the WWE Hall of Fame than Benoit does. Mongo comes in and pounds Gomez down, and Flair drops the knee. Gomez comes back with a sunset flip on AA for two, but walks into a spinebuster. He gets a backslide on Benoit, who punches Gomez in his beautiful, beautiful face to put him down again. Flair tries the figure-four, but Gomez reverses for two while Bischoff notes “I don’t want to say anything bad about Joe Gomez, but he’s been getting hammered in there.” Clear proof that this man is nWo through and through, because only a traitor to the entire promotion would dare say anything bad about the heart and soul of WCW, Joe Gomez. If Joe Gomez had been the guy in the rafters, you can bet he wouldn’t have failed like Sting did. And in fact, Gomez decides to tag out to Renegade and share the glory, because that’s the kind of guy he is. Renegade runs wild, but misses a flying whatever while Mongo flails wildly with the briefcase at nothing (did, like, EVERYONE miss their cue for that one? Jesus Christ.) and Renegade submits to the figure-four at 11:53. Joe Gomez had that match well in hand, you hack! 12 minutes of Joe Gomez masterpiece, a match almost as impressive as his hair, ruined by the Renegade’s ineptitude. ***1/2

Mean Gene interviews the Horsemen to wrap things up.

Next week: WCW presents Bash at the Beach, with the third man revealed in another typical WCW angle that went nowhere and satisfied no one. Does anyone even remember who the guy was?

Comments

  1. "We want to have a Network where you can watch all the wrestling that's ever been put on TV!"
    **1 year later**
    "Nobody's watching the wrestling we have. Don't bother anymore, guys!"

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  2. How do we know that nobody is watching the archived footage?

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  3. FROM OUTTA NOWHERE!

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  4. I think that Scott is saying that the WWE is alleging that they are not uploading more material because 'nobody is watching'. The truth or otherwise of this assertion is an open question.

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  5. Putting up RAW and Nitro from the beginning and then stopping because "no one's watching" would be like Netflix putting up every season of Seinfeld except the first three seasons because nobody watched that show until NBC moved it to Thursdays.

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  6. This drives me CRAZY when studios would do this with DVDs.



    They have no excuse with streaming though -- space is ridiculously cheap, all the have to do is stick it out there.

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  7. Yeah, it's funny because the last Sting release on disc outsold both the new Savage set and the Attitude Era set.

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  8. Exactly. If Amazon can put up space for 10,000 straight to video B movies from the 90's and drive-in films from the 1950's while also putting up nearly all of the latest TV shows and movies then WWE can certainly put up more Nitros while simultaneously focusing on new content. It's not like you have to take out stuff to make room for more in the streaming world.

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  9. As a comic collector, it is also extremely frustrating with collected editions. DC and Marvel will re-release volume 4 of Green Lantern, as though someone is going to buy that without already owning Vols 1-3 etc.

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  10. Totally, that's the whole advantage of the model to begin with.

    These streams are highly compressed, space costs almost nothing and they only use network traffic when they are actually watched. It's little more than a link and a thumbnail when it's just sitting up there with nobody watching it.

    In most cities, Blockbuster existed to stock the 500 most rented
    titles and NOTHING else. Netflix came in and filled the niche of those independent video stores but did them one better with the streaming model because they can carry both the new stuff and the cult stuff because of the compression.

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  11. Heck, YouTube is all the proof anyone needs to prove that streaming space is completely unlimited. They have several BILLION hours worth of footage and they're 100% free to boot.

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  12. Yes -- what's even more silly about it is they hired staff and spent probably thousands of hours getting the footage converted from analog tapes into a digital format. Not only converting it, but spending the time to figure out what music can be cleared, what needs to be redubbed, finding out what segments need to be edited out, etc.


    Now they are just going to sit on all that work.

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  13. Thats not indicative to an entire brands popularity though. Sting is a guy that had done nothing with the company ever in his entire 30 years in the business so honestly that DVD was a lot more anticipated just for the novelty of it than the Attitude Era or even the new Savage set.

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  14. Maybe its not the space maybe its the man hours they have to pay someone to upload this stuff. They don't have unlimited man hours and I see what they're trying to do with this network. At the end of the day they are a business just like every other company. If they think they know what their consumers want and they don't then the consumers won't buy the product or continue to buy it. If the consumer continues to purchase the product despite being dissatisfied with it then they won't ever change their product. I know people are going to do the typical "millionaire that should be a billionaire" and "they could have FIVE million subs if they did what we tell them". In reality though I'd say their numbers aren't horrible for a service that is extremely niche and only a year old.

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  15. Saying Youtube is free is a bit of a misnomer though isn't it. They are owned by Google the second most profitable company in the world last time I checked and I'm not sure how much they make on advertising but I see a lot more commercials on Youtube than I see on the Network by a lot bigger companies as well. So although Youtube is free they have high advertising revenue I'm sure as well as being backed by the second most profitable company in the world.

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  16. Well if they didn't have the ad revenue then it wouldn't be free, it's no different than how CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, The CW, Ion and MyNetworkTV wouldn't exist if there weren't any commercials.

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  17. Right but the argument was "Youtube has billions of hours of content and they are free". Which to me was implying that "hey if Youtube can do a billion times the amount of hours of streaming content and they are FREE then whats up with Vince". When I was just pointing out that although they are free their revenue far exceeds the budget and revenue of the WWE network I'm sure of it. So comparing Youtubes capabilities and pay type are completely different than that of the WWE. Not to mention Youtube has what a decade plus seniority on the WWE network.

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  18. Uploading the footage can be automated to a much greater extent than the conversions can be done.


    I'm curious where this supposed reason came from, was it reported in the Observer?

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  19. But presumably, once the material is there it is up forever, and can be used as the carrot for more subscriptions. "Every Nitro ever!" is a better hook than "Some Nitros that were uploaded before we lost interest!"

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  20. Yeah, didn't somebody at WWE tell Bryan Alvarez awhile back that they had pretty much everything ready to be put up on the Network? They really don't need to worry about the man hours anymore because well, they've already put up the man hours. Putting the shows on the Network is ridiculously easy from there.

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  21. I think this is just a big indicator that Nitro is a failed brand. Its been buried at every corner by this company for more than a decade so people don't care about it. From a business perspective if you have a finite amount of resources/time/money you're not going to spend it on something that doesn't draw interest presumably of course. Same goes with marketing you can't market EVERYTHING the network has or any company does well for that matter so you try to advertise the most popular or the presumed most popular aspects of it. I'm not saying that Jerry Springer in 2015 should be marketed either but two wrongs don't make a right. I'm not going to say "they should market Nitro and put them out over Jerry Springer nonsense". I'd rather say they need to find the shows people ARE watching and promote those. Whatever those shows are create more of them whether its the BS list shows. or RAW replays or even the Jerry Springer show. Nitro is never going to be a very popular aspect of this network its a failed brand and they have spent 15 years telling us how horrible it was. I don't blame them for not uploading them.

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  22. We don't even know if all of Nitro and RAWS have been converted though. So if they haven't been then you have to spend money/man hours converting them and uploading them. If they have been you still have to spend money/some man hours to upload them and even in that regard for a Network that isn't breaking even for the company yet why spend what presumably little resources you have on something that not only is no one watching. Its nice to say "if you upload it they will watch" but people aren't watching what is there and don't we have the first year and a half or two years of it up already? If nobody has watched that why bother uploading more with the HOPE that eventually people will start watching what you spent this time and money on.

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  23. To be honest, although it sounds counter-intuitive, they shouldn't have started with the first episode of Nitro. If they started with Hall's debut, went forward from there, and then 'filled in the gaps' it might have worked better.

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  24. They have definitely been converted, years ago now. I don't know about the other organizations, but they have the entire WCW library digital.

    It's kind of hard to say either way -- are people not watching because what they want is not on there or would they not watch anyway, because only current content sells the Network?

    Well... it's hard to know for sure if you don't have all of your content up there. 1997/1998/1999 were all much more highly watched years in WCW to begin with, so I think it's sort of shooting yourself in the foot by not having the best remembered material up.

    I will say this lack of updating is pretty high on my list of reasons for why I have let my subscription lapse. When they don't touch it for months and if the current product doesn't interest me, I stop paying for it.

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  25. Well it's not just Nitro -- they haven't bothered uploading RAW for 1997 either.

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  26. I don't know about that -- most of the WCW sets have all sold very well, despite the company going out of their way to bury the brand.


    I could see the Savage set not doing big numbers due to the previous release, but the Attitude Era set was highly sought after. It did sell well too, but not anything like the Sting set.

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  27. Oh man, that "shot" from Mongo with the briefcase. Worst timed spot ever. Just hilarious!

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  28. When I've read Randy Savage vs Greg Valentine, I thought it's a WWF show from ca. 1986 or so...;)

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  29. MaffewOfBotchamaniaMay 11, 2015 at 4:30 AM

    What's the source for the ''no-one's watching Nitro''?

    Please don't say ''reddit''

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  30. "No one" is watching ANY of the archive stuff, according to the observer.

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  31. I really loved Greg Valentine and The Rock N Roll Express randomly showing up on Nitro. WCW had the best roster ever.

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  32. FACT: Once Joe Gomez started main-eventing, the ratings went through the roof.

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  33. Look, RAWs and Nitros from 1997 and 1998 aren't being posted not because no one's watching. Barely anyone was watching RAW in 1996, so why would a ton of people rewatch that now? And Nitro was just starting to take off. They're not posting those because "that's it." Those RAWs and Nitros are the premium content people have been clamoring for since the Network started. Those shows not being up is the way it is because the allure of "maybe, someday" is what they're using to get people to subscribe. Once those are up, what else do they have to lure old fans in? Nothing. Let's be clear. I WANT Mid-South, SMW, AWA, Continental, and so on, but that's because I'm weird. The average old fans just wants to relive the Attitude era, or maybe Rock N' Wrestling. But probably Attitude.

    ...and that's why RAWs and Nitros from 1997 and 1998 will likely NEVER get posted. They're too scared to give away their last "big thing."

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  34. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!May 11, 2015 at 5:26 AM

    FACT: If AOL Time Warner would have given Jamie Kellner's job to Joe Gomez, WCW would still be around today.

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  35. Ok, that's an explanation which is in the same vein like they never turn John Cena, but they still can upload 15 years or RAW and Smackdown.

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  36. First I wanted to write, that they looked like 80s WWF, but if you think about it, such random guys made the shows a little bit more varied. Today they usually only use their current roster. And they stick to it. And they let always wrestle the guys against each other which have a feud. If they would bring in other guys from the 90s or 2000s like they do at the Rumble (like Bubba Ray Dudley for example or DDP) the shows today wouldn't be as boring and predictable as they are.

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  37. "I will say this lack of updating is pretty high on my list of reasons for why I have let my subscription lapse."


    I agree. "Reliving" the Attitude era was one of the main things I was excited to do with the Network. I let my subscription lapse before Wrestlemania, but was debating giving it another shot because I think it would be fun to watch the old Raw's & Nitro's while reading Scott's rants...but if they are done uploading then what's the point.

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  38. Has John Cena ever turned?

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  39. Scotty's roid use was just out of control at this point, and never stopped. I still love how a veiny, bloated, exploding Scott Steiner not only vigorously denied steroid use when asked about it, but declared that the only people who thought that were just JEALOUS of him. Because everyone wants to look like SCOTT STEINER.

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  40. Yeah, I liked seeing random old names showing up in a company full of Luchadores, Main Eventers and random foreigners. You'd get fucked-up matches like The Barbarian versus La Parka or something once in a while. Totally insane.

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  41. Considering last night was the only live watch I can remember doing in months, I'd say it's a good bet the old stuff isn't being watched.

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  42. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMay 11, 2015 at 6:31 AM

    Unless of course you're watching episodes of 1996 Nitro, in which case people may be watching

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  43. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMay 11, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    This company. They say nobody is watching the archived content.....but they haven't even put up the brief window of shit that people actually remember fondly and would pay to watch

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  44. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMay 11, 2015 at 6:37 AM

    Apparently HHH did, in 2003

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  45. Greg Valentine as the third man would be the greatest thing ever. And something WCW would have done in 99-01.

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  46. Of course even if they dumped every single second of footage in their library onto the Network, people on here would still complain about 5 minute chinlocks being edited out during commercial breaks and would bitch that they should get holograms to restore all the lost Stampede footage. Not going anti smark on people but I don't think the core fans will ever be truly satisfied.

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  47. It was in the latest WON. Another specific example from recent history is the Rock N Wrestling show, where they put up the first 15 minute episode and it apparently did the lowest post-RAW live viewership ever on the Network, so now we don't get the rest of the series on demand. My question would be "why bother archiving the first episode by itself, then?" but who can even figure this stuff out anymore?

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  48. Is this really why Renegade killed himself? Because he failed Joe Gomez?

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  49. I didn't wanna be "that guy" and address the elephant in the room, but unless someone else has a more valid theory...

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  50. Worth noting, Meltz got the "most popular shows on the network" news directly from the Network website and ran with it.

    http://network.wwe.com/search/most-popular

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  51. Weird matches were a trademark of early Nitro, which is why I loved it. Bobby Eaton vs Rey Mysterio....wtf?

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  52. Yes, he would have been pretty unbeatable!


    Then one summer night the lights start flickering on Nitro and out of the smoke comes...Rugged Ronnie Garvin!

    "You've have beaten myths, legends, giants, and other great men... but you have never... never... beaten the Hammer Jammer."

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  53. Stranger in the AlpsMay 11, 2015 at 8:01 AM

    How about he couldn't meet his sales quota at Geno's Used Cars?

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  54. James M. FabianoMay 11, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    So Hogan coining the NWO name can now be considered a myth as well.

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  55. I am a subscriber solely for the old stuff so this news sucks.

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  56. Did the Network cut out the final segment? The cops threaten to taze Hall and Nash unless they leave, so Nash offers them donuts as a peace token.

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  57. I don't know about that - they have a lot of stuff up there. I hate the decision personally as it's all I watch. The other aspect is they've finally gotten better with the functionality of the network too whereas we can start and stop easier, ffwd easier and resume where we left off. That's huge. Hopefully they don't pull the plug on the older stuff that's already on there b/c for me it's the only reason I subscribe.

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  58. It was there, but I was busy doing the third man joke at the end and ignored it in the recap.

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  59. Actually 2 times. He came in as a face, then turned heel and then was face again until now.

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  60. Doctor FunkopolisMay 11, 2015 at 8:17 AM

    No. I just watched it a few days ago and it was there in all it's glory.

    "You guys throw your money in a pool and you still couldn't afford this car" or something to that affect.

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  61. I watched the cartoon. It's not in very good animation shape for 2015

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  62. They need to fully invest in the network and see it through. I really think they're cutting edge with the concept. If they start reacting to quarterly info though, I think they'll blow it. I don't follow their financials closely at all, so they presumably know what they're doing but the odd thing about them is that the concept of the network is pretty advanced and they're management of it seems to be stuck in the stone age.

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  63. That could certainly be valid, but they've been promising that show for MONTHS, so you'd think they would have figured that out beforehand.

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  64. to be fair, I think we all failed Joe Gomez.

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  65. AverageJoeEverymanMay 11, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    Gil was outselling him.

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  66. The Renegade didn't kill himself! Vince McMahon killed him, because he was revealed as the biological father of Renegade's child (duh!)

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  67. You tell 'em, Billy!

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  68. It's so awesome that they paid off the Joe Gomez thing

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  69. I actually thought the third man was going to be Glacier and the reason they kept postponing his debut was because they were keeping him on ice (sorry) for "Bash at the Beach." Shows what I know.

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