Sunday, June 21, 2015

Race/Hogan

Did WWE miss out on a big money match with Hogan and Race in 86?  I was a NY kid who didn't know what NWA or WCW was so I only knew Harley as "the King" with the stupid purple outfit.  Why didn't Vince do the Flair angle 5 years earlier with the tough as nails 9-time NWA Champion?

​Race-Hogan made about all the money it was going to make on the house show circuit and did fine.  Keep in mind that Race was beyond shot by that point anyway and so broken down that he couldn't even have watchable matches with guys like Orndorff, so really anything was gravy.  If they had managed to grab him before Starrcade 83 like the legend says then maybe there might have been something, but King Harley Race was a shell of a wrestler.  ​

106 comments:

  1. Sadly the King was still one of WWF's better technicians at that age.

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  2. I won't dispute that Race was broken down, but he bumped for 6 in WM3 trying desperately to drag something out of the hopeless JYD. He had a lot left in the tank (not to a Mark Henry degree, mind, but a lot).

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  3. Races famous table bump on SNME made quite the impression on me as a young mark, but the match itself was nothing special so I have to agree with Scott here.

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  4. Harley and Hogan weren't stupid guys. There was not reason for either to go past the formula Hogan match. I'm honestly surprised they got in the ring with one another considering Harley pulled a gun on Hogan a few years before. It wasn't like Hulk was going to shoot on Harley.

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  5. So...the inability to get much out of his run was due to a Race condition?

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  6. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GET OFF THE STAGE

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  7. Maybe Hogan would shoot if he had the gun?

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  8. I kind of feel like anyone who already saw Hogan vs. Race as being WWF vs. NWA didn't need to be told, and any WWF-only fans didn't care or didn't need to be educated about their being another group out there.

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  9. "(Of course now there’s like a whole DECADE of shows I’ve never watched, but there was a time in the early 2000s when I could lay claim to reviewing every PPV ever!)"

    I'm demanding a rant on that women's PPV from 1992 that almost nobody saw now.

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  10. Gladiator is a couple of really well-shot battle scenes with some of the most blatantly cliched characters ever put on screen. You want to talk about hammy? Phoenix's bullshit 'look at me!' overacting is the goddamn definition. Any scene where someone wasn't getting eviscerated was pretty fucking terrible. Traffic used the medium's form, both in it's differently colored lenses and shot setups, more efficiently and more artistically than Scott's overblown bullshit. And the acting is off the charts better than Crowe's overpraised performance - the only reason he won the Oscar was an 'I'm sorry' for denying him for LA Confidential and for The Insider. I hated Gladiator then, and I hate it still.


    Almost Famous is still better than both of them, though.

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  11. If you want to talk about performances, Phoenix is like god damn Brando compared to Catherine Zeta Jones in that movie.

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  12. Sure. And Del Toro blows everyone away, both movies. Not even close. Hell, even Michael Douglas has decent scenes, which were certainly hard to come by after Wall Street for him. Gladiator only won to allow them to split the vote anyway - Traffic won for screenplay, supporting actor, director, but it doesn't win for Picture? It was all bullshit, just their way to spread out the awards.


    I mean, whatever. We'll never agree, which is cool. Different strokes, and all that.

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  13. I've said before, but they missed out on major money by not having Harley turn face.

    Inevitably this would lead to a big feud with Koko B Ware who would attack a young child who told him that "He's a racist" (which would be what Harley's fans would refer to themselves as. The racists. Koko would of course confuse that to mean something else)

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  14. We only keep track of about 15 of them. The rest are just kind of around somewhere.

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  15. Corned Biff HashJune 22, 2015 at 4:47 AM

    If Race was broken down by the time he got to the WWF in 1986, I didn't realize it. Dude was one of the more entertaining workers they had in the singles' division. He took some Hellacious bumps too, most notably the WM3 match with JYD and the underrated SNME match with Hulk.

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  16. Corned Biff HashJune 22, 2015 at 4:49 AM

    I was going to say, I don't mind Harley Race matches from that era. His crazy bumps (for that Era) are still entertaining in 2015.

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  17. WWF fans didn't know who Harley Race was. For them, he was just some old mid card guy doing a "king" gimmick. The fact that Race was one of the NWA's greatest ever stars would've been completely lost on 99% of people watching mid eighties WWF. And the WWF never acknowledged the existence of any competition, let alone recognised the prior histories of its wrestlers before they entered the WWF, so it's not like they were ever going to educate the fans about why the match should be considered significant.

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  18. The Hogan-Race matches were some of the better Hulkamania formula matches. Those matches were basically Race taking career risking bumps to make Hogan's offense look good. One of those bumps essentially ended Race's career.

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  19. What about Hogan vs Sammartino?

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  20. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!June 22, 2015 at 5:49 AM

    I started watching wrestling in 1987. I was 7 years old, and when I saw Race, I thought, "Who's that old white guy with the afro?" I had no idea he was a former NWA champion. For that matter, I had no idea what the NWA was.

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  21. I don't ever want to hear you complain about WWE mistreating a hometown wrestler. Don't cater to the paying crowd!

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  22. I liked the movie too - although they had to use computer animation to keep a dead man alive.

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  23. Because you're eight years old?

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  24. There's only about 20 unique states; the rest just have "New" or a direction tacked on.

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  25. Pigs are even more litigious than pandas.

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  26. People tend to overestimate how much the average 7 year old knew about the world outside of WWF at that time.

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  27. So who would be the heel there?

    Sammartino' last-ever match was a tag match with Hogan in 1987. Not only am I surprised that it was the only time they ever tagged, but I'm shocked WWaf didn't film it

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  28. If they tried to get him prior to starcade 83 gene kiniski would've jumped in and blocked it multiple times.

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  29. Doing the Flair angle around that time with Harley would have been pre-Ted Turner, right? WWF would have been giving all sorts of publicity for the NWA to audiences who may not even have known about them. By the time Flair came around, NWA/WCW was already well-established on Turner's networks.


    WWF was smart to just pretend they didn't exist. That's what made the Flair angle so surreal when it happened.

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  30. Hogan's match against Race at the 6/14/87 MSG show was, at that time, Hogan's lowest drawing MSG crowd while he was the champ. Hogan didn't really draw well post WM III and his opponents were weak (Khan, Gang, Race).

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  31. I...kinda want to see that now.

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  32. Race wasn't THAT broken down. Sure he needed a good dance partner by 1986-87, but those Hogan matches are surprisingly good. Now Race's match with Pedro in August 86 was horrible and watching the unedited JYD match with him bumping like a pinball was awesome in spite of the match stunk up the arena.

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  33. It wasn't like he was Patera, Graham, Sika, or JYD. Hell, even Muraco was worse off than Race at this time.

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  35. I feel like some of the "Harley was in bad shape" were more people seeing that arguably the best there had ever been wasn't quite at his standard.

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  36. Harley was an odd case. Maybe a lot of 7 year-olds didn't remember Harley, but 12 year-olds would have as he was all over the country.

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  37. It's like running Roddy Piper against Steve Austin in 98. Just because you could do something doesn't mean you should.

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  38. Extant1979 - Extreme SuperstarJune 22, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    Hogan not drawing well post-WM3 isn't really shocking, is it? The man beat Andre - the only guy who could conceivably give Hulk a run for his money - in the main event and no rematch was scheduled at all. Killer Khan, One Man Gang and Harley Race don't seem all that challenging once the guy beats Andre.

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  39. Keep the belt on Flair in April and have him drop it to Hogan at Hog Wild. Hogan and the nWo taking the world title from the man synonymous with WCW works better.

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  40. That could have been fun as a quick feud if Piper were self aware enough to understand he'd be playing the out of touch guy trying to convince Austin to not rage against the machine as Piper had already been there, man. Oh and he'd have to do the damn honors.

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  41. It's not like they knew they'd be in the situation back in April.

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  42. Sure, 12 year-olds who had watched wrestling for five or so years. But Hulkamania brought in a huge influx of new young fans though who didn't know anything about other wrestling organizations so "Harley Race" was mostly meaningless to them

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  43. Well to be fair Sturgis wasn't a paying crowd, so in that regard...

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  44. Yeah, that wasn't happening. Has there ever been a wrestler more reluctant to job than Piper?

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  45. Giant over Flair was a stupid decision. The Flair/Savage feud was doing good business and of course, WCW goes and kills it off. If nothing else, put the title back on Flair after The Great American Bash.

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  46. I pretty much abandoned the reviews in 2005 and even now it's not like I do more than about every fourth or fifth show. Although having the Network has helped immensely in that regard.

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  47. Hogan vs Giant was always the plan even before Hall and Nash signed.

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  48. King Kong Brody is the only one who comes to mind. It's nuts how Vince put up with Roddy not wanting to lose to Hulk Hogan for so long.

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  49. Here's why us Canadians don't bother learning US geography:


    South Dakota is apparently in the North
    North Carolina is in the South
    West Virginia is in the East


    I mean, SERIOUSLY?

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  50. I know, but the previous Hogan/Giant matches (Havoc '95 and SuperBrawl VI) didn't draw big PPV numbers, so it was a dumb idea.

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  51. I wonder how Hogan - Race would have looked in some of the old Southeastern areas Vince still didn't run much in the 80s as far as fan reaction. Hulkamania ran kinda mild in the South.

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  52. At least we don't have "provinces". Whatever they are.

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  53. Do you think South Korea is in the Southern Hemisphere?

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  54. Well, in the long run Vince and Hogan did fine. It really ended up Piper hurting himself. Piper vs. Hogan should've headlined WrestleMania 2, if not another big show. He would've had a huge payday

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  55. I'd have understood entirely if Vince had written off Piper for not doing the one on one with Hogan at Mania 1. Vince was gambling his company, and Piper wouldn't do what he needed to do.

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  56. Well of the movies nominated I'd have gone with Gladiator, but it was a weak field that included drek like Chocolat. Not as big a fan of Traffic as Scott.

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  57. Only if their glorious leader tells me it is.

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  58. NXT Comicon... let's do this!

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  59. So, wait, was I the only 9 year old at that time who was trying to learn about other territories that my area didn't get on TV by reading the Apter mags and stuff? The kids in my school at least, watched WWF and NWA. I don't remember anyone who only watched one. We used to argue over what promotion was better. (Crockett all the way)

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  60. Canadians don't really study American maps, States or capitals in school. There's also basically NOTHING between the populated Canadian cities and the U.S., so most of us in the Prairie Provinces would never go south like that- it'd be a ten-hour drive of nothing.
    It's basically not something a Canadian would know about unless they travelled to the States a lot, or specifically wanted to look it up.

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  61. Boiler Room is in my top 10 ever. So underrated

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  62. True, but a HUGE part of what WrestleMania 1 such a big deal was Mr. T wrestling. Celebrity involvement was what made the show seem so much more special. After all, there was a Hogan/Piper singles match at MSG the month before (which was broadcasted by MTV) to set up Mania.

    It ended in DQ, naturally.

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  63. I think it depended where you lived and exactly how old you were. I was a 5 year old in Connecticut in 1986, so my knowledge of other promotions outside of WWF was... well, nothing.

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  64. Hugh Morrus went for a fucking Moonsault less than a minute in? No wonder he lost.

    And UUGGGGGGGHHHHH that bit with the bikers taunting Harlem Heat still pisses me off to this day. Especially because half the crowd starts doing that unbelievably-retarded "come over here bro" post by sticking their arms out and circling their hands towards themselves.

    I don't normally believe in Eugenics, but I honestly believe that every biker should be forcibly-sterilized.

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  65. I liked how it was basically them carrying around the belts like trophies, while the Steiners, Heat & Feces of Fear fought in endless #1 Contenders matches.

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  66. Cast Away is the best picture from that year and it wasn't even nominated.

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  67. It definitely depends where you grew up. Even as late as 1994, nine year old me in New England was only vaguely aware WCW existed.

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  68. You're doing it wrong. Directions are in relation to the place itself, not it's place in the country.


    South Dakota is the Dakota to the South.
    North Carolina is the Carolina to the North.
    West Virginia is the Virginia to the West.


    Americans only think about themselves, so it stands to reason that states only think about themselves as well.

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  69. Superbrawl and Havoc 95 did better than Starrcade 95 which didn't have Giant or Hogan. I think Giant deserved a run with the belt but his feud with Hogan went way too long. Even after Giant joining the nWo and getting kicked out they headlined ANOTHER ppv which drew horribly.

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  70. Stranger In The AlpsJune 22, 2015 at 7:28 AM

    I'm a Canadian transplanted in Texas due to the Texo-Canadian war of 1874.


    You can drive for nine hours straight and still be in Texas. I'm living Hotel California here. "You can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave."

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  71. Hogan's nWo runs are Brock style where you forget about the World title for a couple of months.

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  72. Havoc '95 had, what, six weeks of hype and only did a .60. SuperBrawl did a .63 for the double cage main events.

    Starrcade '95 was on a Wednesday and featured the World Cup, which wasn't promoted on Nitro.

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  73. Since he joined the nWo anyway, maybe he threw the match?

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  74. If it was up to me, Flair or Luger would have dropped the belt to Hogan at this show. I thought Luger should have went over the Giant at GAB 96. It would have been a good way to end the show especially after the shock of the Outsiders attacking Bischoff.

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  75. Vince tried to steal Harley before Starrcade '83? What's that bullshit again about him not wanting to hurt the competition?

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  76. They didn't seem to boo Ice Train but then again didn't seem to care about him either way. Then again what crowd did? And I know Harlem Heat were heels or at least tweeners at this point but sheeze that was definitely an extreme form of Xpac heat.

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  77. I had been watching the 1996 Nitros and watched this show for the first time. I would recommend it. It's decent enough and there's some historical significance.


    That being said, never got the point of even doing the Outsiders/StingLuger match here. That was a potential money match they wasted. Like it was hardly promoted during the Nitros leading up to it and everyone was buying the show for Hogan/Giant. It felt like a match that should be a REALLY big deal, but was just sort of blah.

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  78. I think they should've put it on Luger at GAB 96.

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  79. That's North Korea. Batting a 1.000 in geography

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  80. I thought it was going to be as big as it was. It was basically a rematch of the Bash at the Beach tag except not a 6 man. Making it about the tag belts would have made it more important. I think the missed opportunity was keeping the Road Warriors around and having them fight Hall and Nash.

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  81. James M. FabianoJune 22, 2015 at 7:55 AM

    What's sad is NO ONE in the Benoit camp at this show is with us, moreso because...you know...

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  82. I think it's recommended viewing for historical significance at least once but maaaaan that show tanks in the last hour and fuck that crowd.

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  83. Hogan v Race was kind of a waste. Hulk toured with Kamala & Killer Kahn? I understand they were Hogan feed monsters. But Race was a missed opportunity. Much like an epic 7-8 year in the making Wrestlemania main event match was passed by with Flair. To a lesser degree Hogan v Terry Funk was also a missed opportunity.
    There was a clear WCW/NWA contingent at this time, enough for an unspoken interpromotional war that the smarter fans would have understood. Fortunately for us wrestling nerds we luckily did get some magic. Piper v Flair, Macho Man v Dusty Rhodes, Flair v Savage, Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson v Hart Foundation & Demolition. Hell I was pumped for Garvin v Valetine & Terry Taylor v Brawler.

    L.O.D. showed up & we got our match with Demolition but because they stayed face we never got a Bulldog or Harts program. Same with Sid. Although we did get a nice nerd dream match of Hogan v Sid. Luger too finally showed up but I really can't remember any classic WWF v NWA feuds he had. Same with the Steiners, the window had just closed on potential dream matches.

    A even bigger shame is there was never some form of Four Horsemen with Heenan. I realize not everybody was signed at the same time, but some combination Flair, Arn, Tully, Windham, Lex, Sid, & hell even Dusty would have all been great WWF style Horsemen.
    Long before the Wars dream matches were happening & there was a ton of opportunities for more. For us 'rasslin geeks, at least. Man I sure do miss those days.

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  84. Best Picture for 2000:



    Best In Show.

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  85. I just realized Luger was also half of the tag champs and the TV champ at the time. He would have had 3 titles at once.

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  86. Good thing we don't have google.

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  87. WWF was wrestling to me but I heard of other federations. I didn't have cable until later so I only started seeing WCW around 1990. WCW world wide would always change times and channels that it was on. But i wanted to see as much as I could. I would also watch WCW tapes that came in the video store or borrow from friends.

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  88. I live in Saskatchewan. I have a hard enough time grasping the concept of "mountains" and "oceans" without all these complications.

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  89. They had a PPV match at Wrestling Classic that ended in Dq as well. Then they continued the Piper/Mr. T feud which lead to that terrible boxing match at Wrestlemania. Which he lost again by Dq.

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  90. Yeah, which is why I think Mania 2 should've been Piper/Hogan, with Mr. T in Hogan's corner or something. Use Mania 1 for the tag match, Mania 2 for the blow off to end it all. Piper ended up turning face when he returned anyway

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  91. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJune 22, 2015 at 8:45 AM

    I didnt know there were other wrestling companies at that point so Harley Race just looked like a washed up retired ballplayer to me

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  92. The problem is Luger was the TV & Tag Champ already

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  93. Yeah but if Piper wasn't laying down there was no point anymore. I think it worked out fine putting Hogan over a big monster in a steel cage.

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  94. Hey, Ultimo Dragon walked around with 10 belts lol.

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  95. I was gonna say the same thing. I was 6 the first time I saw him on wwf tv and I swear he looked just like my school janitor, even his voice! But I did like his bumping

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  96. It may be dependent on the area (Ohio hadn't had its own territory in years but was part of Georgia's circuit and was close by a bunch of other places) but I always found it incredibly hard to believe so many people couldn't stumble across other wrestling even by accident. The NWA, AWA, and World Class were all on cable and the UWF had pretty wide syndication reach. Some weekends had as many as 5-6 hour blocks of wrestling programming. How do you not come across a random show while channel surfing?


    Not that that means you watch everything or like everything, but I find it weird how someone could be totally unaware of the existence of non-WWF wrestling if they were even a semi-devoted fan.

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  97. Including the old WWF Light Heavyweight title!

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  98. He also was a suplex machine to an almost Taz-ian degree.

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  99. Oh of course, no point in running yet another Hogan/Piper DQ finish. I'm arguing that a decisive Hogan/Piper at Mania 2 would've been much bigger than Hogan/Bundy, but yeah, Piper put the brakes on that from happening.

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  100. Flair could have won another title at Bash at the Beach over Giant who really didn't have any match of significance at the show. Flair did end the terrible Konnan US title run to the fans delight but him winning the World title at that show would have been cooler and added more to an amazing night.

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  101. I really like that idea.

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  102. Your world scares and confuses me

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