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August Leftovers: Hog Wild 96

The SK Retro Rant for WCW Hog Wild 96.

- Lots of requests recently for this one. Dunno why. I guess with the diminishing number of shows I haven’t done yet the law of averages says that this one had to come up sometime.  (It was a fairly unique and important show, I guess.  But man, I HAAAAAAAAAAATED the 97 and 98 versions.) 

- Quick Oscar thoughts: Steve Martin was really funny and charming, but the actual awards were so predictable and subpar that I was able to sit there and pick the major ones with a 95% accuracy rate, even while flipping over to “Goodfellas” on Bravo at the same time. (For me, Goodfellas is one of those movies where I’m compelled it watch it in full if I even flip over to 20 seconds of it on another channel.  This also holds true for “The Shawshank Redemption” or “Dances With Wolves.”) Ooo, Julia wins Best Actress, what a shock. Gladiator wins Best Picture despite Traffic being RIGHT THERE, but when the Academy gets an epic in it’s sights, you might as well settle in for the sweep. I don’t know that I’d agree with it winning the big award or even Russell Crowe winning Best Actor despite having nothing but clichés and grunts to spew for 3 hours, but I certainly liked the movie, so I can’t really complain all that much. (Yeah, with 12 years of perspective we can now safely say that the Academy was absolutely balls-out insane to give that movie Best Picture.  Traffic was a stone cold classic.)  I’m totally heartened to see Del Toro take Best Supporting at least and Steven Soderburgh upset Ang Lee for Best Director, so the night wasn’t a total writeoff. Still, let’s hope for a better crop of movies this year so that we don’t get The Mummy Returns winning Best Picture in March 2002, okay?

- Live from Sturgis, NC.

- Your hosts are Tony, Bobby & Dusty.

- Just for the sake of those curious, I’m including matches I felt like watching from the two-hour WCW Saturday Night / pre-game show that preceded this show on TBS.  (That’s the advantage of having an obsessive collector as a roommate.  You get EVERYTHING on the tapes whether you need it or not.) 

- I start by fast-forwarding through Enos & Slater v. The Public Enema.

- Konnan v. Chavo Guerrero, Jr.

Konnan controls with an armbar takedown and works a wristlock. Chavo comes back with a headscissor takedown and Konnan bails to the dirt. The ring is on a platform, which is in turn on plain old dirt. The distance from ring to dirt is pretty big, and the space on the platform where the mats are is pretty small. Ah, WCW, the smartest promotion no longer alive. Chavo gets a vicious deathlock variation and works the knee. Konnan roughs him up and dropkicks him in the corner. DDT gets two. Chavo gets a lariat and dropkick, and Konnan hides in the ropes. He comes out and cheapshots Chavo from behind, then the rolling clothesline and Splash Mountain finish at 4:24. *1/4

- We skip over Nasty Boys v. High Voltage, for obvious reasons.  (HIGH VOLTAGE!!!!)

- Alex Wright v. Bobby Eaton. Wright wins with a bodypress before I even finish writing the participants, at 0:35. Eep. DUD

- We skip over the Dungeon of Doom squashing some jobbers.

- Squire Dave Taylor v. Mr. JL. JL gets a dropkick and armdrag to start, and Taylor bails. Back in, Taylor gets some forearms and dodges a blind charge. Standing neckbreaker and Taylor pounds away. JL gets a bulldog and goes up with a bodypress for two. Fallaway slam from Taylor finishes at 2:39. Just a squash. ½*

- DDP v. Renegade. Dimaond Cutter, goodbye at 0:52. DUD  (My how the bloom was off the rose on Renegade at that point.  And what’s up with DDP going from winning the Battlebowl thingie to working the pre-show?) 

- Arn Anderson v. Hugh Morrus. No Laughing Matter misses, DDT doesn’t, goodbye at 0:35. DUD

PPV Begins:

- Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio Jr. v. Ultimo Dragon.

Wristlock sequence to start, won by Rey. Dragon gets a rollup for two, but Rey works the leg. Dragon gets a leg lariat and they fight over a german suplex and go to a gymnastic exhibition. Dragon with the kick combo and a dropkick. The handspring elbow sets up a running powerbomb, but he stalls and won’t cover. He goes into a figure-four for god-knows-what reason. Spinning backbreaker and again he won’t cover. They screw up a bow-and-arrow spot, with Rey slipping free unintentionally, and Rey comes back with a springboard dropkick, baseball slide to put him out, and springboard plancha from the top rope to the dirt. To give you an idea of how suicidal that was, consider that standing on the ground, the wrestlers were generally eye-level with the bottom rope thanks to the raised platform. And there’s no mats down there. (And WWE wonders why he’s so easily injured these days and has two surgically repaired knees.)  Back in, Rey gets a rana from the top, but gets dropkicked while trying another. Rey bails and Dragon follows with a pescado. Back in, Dragon gets a german suplex for two. Quebrada, no cover. Moonsault gets two. Powerbomb reversed to a rana by Rey, and they go up. Dragon blocks a rana, but can’t block a second one, and Rey gets the pin at 11:38. Too spotty and just all over the map. Still good, though. ***

- Scott Norton v. Juice Train.

Train was dumb enough to lip off to Giant in the pre-game show and got his arm beat up as a result. Norton works on it for a bit, Ice Train comes back with a powerslam, but Norton applies an armbar for the submission at 5:05. Standard power stuff here. ¾*

- Bull Nakano v. Madusa.

Winner gets to smash up the loser’s motorcycle. Nakano attacks with nunchuks and biels her by the hair a few times, for two. Slam gets two, but Madusa comes back with her flying hair slam things. Nakano hooks a Sharpshooter, then a DDT gets two. We hit the chinlock. Madusa kicks at the legs and gets a rana for two. Leg lariat, but Nakano hits her own clothesline for two. Madusa’s GERMAN SUPLEX OF DOOM gets two. Nakano hits a backdrop suplex for two. Another one gets the pin, but Madusa LIFTS HER SHOULDER and wins at 5:53. Gosh, what an original and totally enthralling ending. ½* (One of my least favorite finishes of all time!)  Madusa’s surgically enhanced funbags were seriously messing with her workrate by then. They had a way better match at Summerslam 94. Madusa does a job of smashing up the bike with a sledgehammer that would make HHH hang his head in shame.

- Dean Malenko v. Chris Benoit.

Mmmmm…Liz in leather. Deano Machino has been paid off by the Dungeon of Dumb at this point, with the goal being to take Benoit out. (Maybe, and stick with me here, it was a REALLY long-term plan whereby he’d frame him 11 years later and…you know, it’s probably best not to finish this digression.)  Benoit takes him down and pounds him, Dean responds in kind. Chris gets some CANADIAN VIOLENCE, and a kneelift. Dean elbows back and pounds him in the corner. Suplex gets two. Standing neckbreaker and elbow gets two, and we hit the chinlock. Benoit pounds him and lays the badmouth on him, then chokes him out. Legdrop gets one. More Canadian Violence, and a back elbow gets two. Dean bridges out and they go into a mind-blowingly awesome pinfall reversal sequence that totally goes over the redneck biker crowd’s head. It ends with Dean getting a short-arm scissor. Chris rolls him over and powers out. Elbowdrop gets two. Snap suplex gets two. Benoit goes into an abdominal stretch, then hits the chinlock. Both go for a bodypress and collide in mid-air. Benoit misses a blind charge, but Dean walks into a snap suplex to set up Benoit’s diving headbutt for two. Tombstone attempt is reversed by Dean for two. He keeps covering for two. Cloverleaf attempt is reversed for two by Benoit. Both guys hit the floor, and Benoit gets the worst of it. Back in, Dean goes up and gets crotched. Benoit superplex gets two. Dean gets a vicious release german suplex, where you can almost see Benoit floating in slow motion before hitting the mat square on his neck. (And then you wonder why he needed spinal fusion surgery?!)  Now THAT’S wrestling. Crowd doesn’t care, but fuck ‘em if they can’t appreciate art. Benoit comes back with a small package for two. Short clothesline gets two, and Dean responds in kind for two. Overhead belly to belly gets two for Dean, and Chris comes back with a Northern Lights suplex for two. Bridging german suplex gets two for Benoit. He goes into a Liontamer, but Dean makes the ropes and bails. Benoit follows with a pescado, and gets a bridging rollup back in for two. Dean gets a forward rollup for two. Backslide battle is won by Malenko, for two. Rollup gets two. Benoit takes him down for two. Powerbomb gets two. Benoit goes up but gets superplexed for two. Oklahoma roll gets two for Dean. Powerbomb gets two for Dean as the time limit expires at 20:00. So we go another 5:00, and the crowd BOOS. Hey, FUCKWADS, it’s Benoit v. Malenko, so sit on your bikes and LIKE IT.(I would of course phrase that more diplomatically were I in attendance.)  Benoit gets a backdrop suplex for two. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two. Benoit uses a Cloverleaf, but Malenko makes the ropes. Enzuigiri puts Benoit down and they collide in the corner. Benoit stomps on the knee and hooks a kneebar. He destroys the knee and goes back to the kneebar with 30 seconds left. Dean gets a rollup as time expires. Another overtime prompts a bigger round of boos from the idiot rednecks. (Today they’d probably be watching “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” on their iPhones instead of paying attention to the match.) Any other city in America or Canada and the crowd would going batshit for this, and these morons are booing because they want to see Hulk Hogan. And WCW actually came back here THREE MORE YEARS after this. Dean gets a legwhip, but Benoit hits a dragon suplex for two. Rollup gets two. Dropkick misses and Dean gets his own Cloverleaf. Benoit goes for the ropes, but Dean stops him with an STF. Woman runs interference, however, and Benoit gets a rollup for the pin at 28:10. God-awful ending to a fabulous match. ****1/2 And a hearty “fuck you” to the ignorant crowd.  (There’s a really interesting case to be made for the match and whether it can be considered a failure because the crowd reaction to it was so bad, even if the technical aspect was awesome.) 

- WCW World tag title match: Harlem Heat v. The Steiner Brothers.

Speaking of the crowd’s intellectual deficiency, racial harmony is set back 50 years here as they immediately boo Harlem Heat out of the building for being black and hurl various insults at them. (If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s insensitivity to others.)  God bless South Dakota, y’all should be so proud. Mega-stall to start, literally lasting 4 minutes. Scott gets a butterfly powerbomb on Booker T, and the Heat retreats. Back in, Booker misses the sidekick and gets press-slammed. Heat regroups again. Stevie Ray gives it a go and gets the upper hand. Scott t-bones him and Rick comes in to kick away and hit the chinlock. Blind charge hits boot, but Rick no-sells and gets a Steinerline for two. Scott comes in and headbutts Stevie low, and Booker sideslams him in retaliation. Blind charge hits Scott’s boot, however, and he gets the belly-to-belly for two. Rick suplexes him for two. Cheapshot from the apron and Rick is YOUR dogface-in-peril. He catches Booker with a slam, and briefly tags in Scott, but he comes back in and gets dumped. Back in, Stevie goes to the chinlock. As does Booker. Stevie gets a backbreaker and a suplex gets two. He utilizies the dreaded VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM, but Booker misses an elbow, hot tag Scott. Overhead belly-to-belly gets two on Booker, but Robert Parker tosses powder at them and hits Booker by mistake. Sherri tosses more powder and hits Scott, however, and Parker breaks the cane over his head for the Booker pin at 17:53. Just a WEE bit screwy on the ending there. Match was the usual snoozefest from these two. ** Crowd was REALLY pissed at the finish.  (“Hey, let’s do a show in front of 5000 hardcore redneck and possibly skinhead bikers and then put the black guys over!  WE’LL MAKE MILLIONS!”) 

- US title match: Ric Flair v. Eddy Guerrero.

Eddy grabs a headlock and shoves Flair around, prompting an argument with the ref. Flair bails for a while and consults with the dev’lish wom’n (© Dusty Rhodes) and stalls. Back in, Eddy works another headlock, but gets dropped on his shoulder with a suplex. They exchange chops and Flair runs again. Back in, Eddy goes back to the headlock. Slugfest, won by Guerrero. Flair goes to the eyes and unloads with a chop. Some cheapshots put him down, and Flair lays in the chops. Eddy comes back and Flair does the Flair Flip and gets dropkicked out. Back in, backdrop and Eddy dumps him. Back in again, Eddy’s chops lead to the Flair Flop. Eddy is getting a pretty exceptional amount of offense in here. Flair goes low, but Eddy gets a crossbody for two. He goes up for a sunset flip, but Flair fights him off and escapes. Eddy goes to a figure-four, but Flair makes the ropes. A rana gets two. Tornado DDT gets two. Blind charge misses and Flair goes up, and of course gets slammed for two. Sunset flip gets two. Eddy goes to the eyes, and hits the Frog splash. He hurts his knee, however, and can’t cover. Uh oh…and indeed Flair hooks the figure-four dead centre and gets the pin at 14:16. Rather odd to see Guerrero completely dominate the match like that, but it worked well. ***1/4  (Even more odd to see Eddy selling a knee injury without it being a clever ruse on his part.) 

- The Outsiders v. Sting & Lex Luger.

(This was something of a dream match that fizzled out in reality.)  The Outsiders play rock-paper-scissors for first man in, and Hall wins to start. He works on Luger’s arm, then stalls. Luger comes back with a kneelift and slam, and more stalling follows. Nash wants Sting, NOW. More stalling results. Nash blocks a slam, but Sting beats on him and finishes the move. Nash hits Snake Eyes, however, and Hall nails him to take over. Standard Outsider stuff as Sting is YOUR Christian-in-peril. Fun fact: Everyone in this match is now unemployed. (No longer true of course.)  Hall’s fallaway slam gets two. Running clothesline and Nash comes in with the LEGLIFT OF DEATH. Sting fights back but gets avalanched. Sting falls on Nash’s crotch, however, and…Hall cuts off the hot tag. Nash gets the big boot and Hall wants the Outsider Edge. Sting escapes, hot tag Luger. Stinger splash for Nash and they fight outside, and Luger racks Hall. Nick Patrick gets bumped, however, and “accidentally” falls onto Luger’s knee, giving Hall the pin at 14:37 of boredom. This began the epic Evil Nick Patrick storyline. ¾*

- WCW World title match: The Giant v. Hollywood Hulk Hogan.

Hogan stalls to start. No, really, I’m as shocked as you. He slugs away, gets nowhere, and runs. Apparently the crowd is a few months behind the storyline, because Hogan is a HUGE babyface here. Back in, and he runs again. Back in, he runs again. Back in, and a lengthy discussion about hair-pulling follows. Hogan keeps begging off, until a test of strength that feels like it takes two years to complete, which is won by the Giant, of course. Giant goes to a wristlock, but Hogan takes him down and gets his own. And THAT takes forever. This is like watching Jerry Lawler in the late stages of his career. Giant gets some headbutts, Hogan runs. Giant follows and posts him, and back in he gets a big boot and backbreaker for two. Big elbow misses, but he hulks up (in an act he would resurrect 4 years later for the Showster). Big foot! Scott Hall comes in and it’s AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH THECHOKESLAM! Same for Kevin Nash! Hogan nails him with the belt, however, to win it at 14:55. This was supposed to be one of those “Sgt. Slaughter beating Ultimate Warrior groan of disappointment” moments, but it got the biggest babyface pop of the night. Match was about as painfully horrible as you’d expect. -*** Hogan’s lapdog Ed Leslie brings out a birthday cake to suck up to the nWo, but Hogan turns on him (before bringing him back two years later as the Disciple, oddly enough) and does the famous spraypaint job on the title belt, end of show.

- By the way, the 1996 Best Actor award should have gone to Paul Wight for laying there and playing dead while Hogan and the nWo enacted their little soap opera for 10 minutes after the match. Never mind that he’d be legally braindead with that kind of injury in real life, you have to admire the conviction required to lay motionless without bursting into tears of laughter every time Hogan tried to give a serious heel interview.

The Bottom Line:

Well, I don’t think anyone could argue that they shouldn’t have put the title on Hogan, I just wish they had a better transitional champion than the Giant. The whole thing would have worked out better in the long run if Sting had been the guy to pass the belt along, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

Some good stuff in the undercard from the vanilla midgets and a historic main event make this one an easy choice, but dear god that crowd is a mass of stupidity that nearly kills the show at points.

Recommended show.  (Yup, a very enjoyable outing despite their best efforts to fuck it up.) 

Comments

  1. While I see the point you're going for, I have to go with no on whether the match was a failure. In a different venue I could see it, but let's be honest. Did Benoit/Malenko in a 28 minute match have any chance with that kind of crowd? At that point you're better off putting on a hell of a match for the paying PPV crowd rather than the free loading red neck bikers (it was free, right?). The crowd reaction (which can immensely help a match) might suck, but at least something good comes of it. 

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  2. Even though the people were not the most civilized bunch, I always liked the weirdo atmosphere of this show.  The sets were usually pretty cool and the whole thing had a very distinctive look.

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  3. Most people still remember Gladiator.  When's the last time someone has even MENTIONED Traffic?  It may be a better movie (though I didn't really care for it when I saw it 10 years ago -- probably should revisit), but Gladiator has more stood the test of time.

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  4. This show is why Eric Bischoff is a pretty good bet to be behind Aces N Eights.

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  5. "There’s a really interesting case to be made for the match and whether it can be considered a failure because the crowd reaction to it was so bad, even if the technical aspect was awesome."

    Certainly not in this case. I've never been a big fan of letting the crowd affect a rating (if they can't appreciate a good match, then fuck 'em. And a shitty match with a hot crowd is still a shitty match), but it doesn't even apply for this show. The idiot redneck bikers in the crowd just ruin the entire show (bikers ruin a lot of things...), the reaction Harlem Heat got was particularly embarrassing. This wasn't a crowd of wrestling fans, it was a crowd of Wild Turkey'd up morons. Insert South Park joke here... You almost have to watch it with the sound off, but given the quality of WCW announcing at this time that's not a bad idea regardless.

    Can't wait for 97 and 98, I think Scott is at his best when he reviews crap, and those shows SUCK.

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  6. Well Gladiator made twice as much money, had twice the budget, and was also much more heavily promoted -- it was always designed to be a movie people remembered in that respect.  Traffic is a much smaller movie in all of those respects.

    I'm sure personal opinion informs these feelings though.  I liked Traffic a lot personally -- I didn't really think Gladiator was very good at all. 

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  7. That Harlem Heat match made the rounds online a few months back, too, if I recall correctly. It's pretty awful- it even got on some "Best of the Tag Teams" DVD set. it's horrifying to watch all those white trash rednecks doing that annoying two-handed "bring it on" pose en masse at the two black guys. Made you wonder if they were getting the pickup truck and the ropes ready.

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  8. "There’s a really interesting case to be made for the match and whether it can be considered a failure because the crowd reaction to it was so bad, even if the technical aspect was awesome."
    What, you mean the idiot rednecks who didn't pay ANYTHING to see the show that booed something?  I say if they were paying customers, that MIGHT have some merit.  But since they're not FUCK THEM.

    The rednecks reaction to the match just reminds me of that South Park episode satirizing the WWE.

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  9. But they're not wrestling in an empty arena, a large part of their job involves engagaing the crowd and getting them to care. Thats Why Hogan/Rock at WM18 was a far better match than RVD/Regal even though RVD/Regal had better technical wrestling.

    You can argue the fault should lie with the bookers/agents for the way the match was booked to run rather than blaming Benoit/Malenko but i agree the match was a failure.

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  10. Gladiator was no sure thing though. At that point, those big epics were out of fashion. The success of Gladiator had a lot to do with movies like Lord of the Rings getting made.

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  11. True, although I think Titanic paved the road quite a bit for making these sorts of spectacles worth throwing a bunch of money at for studios. 

    Titanic was another one a lot of people were upset with winning as I remember.  A lot of people favored La Confidential and As Good As It Gets was sort of seen to be a darkhorse. 

    The characters in Titanic are drawn too broad, but I'd rather watch Titanic than Gladiator.

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  12. Good points by both Adams here.

    This really calls attention to the difficulty with match ratings and
    ratings systems.  I think in the end you have to take most ratings with a
    grain of salt or really only trust the people whose tastes are in line
    with your own when it comes to deciding which matches to watch.



    If you are using it to strictly rate the work in the match, well that is
    probably the closest you are going to get to 'objectivity' since it is
    focused in on one sole factor, but even still you'll have variations in
    the opinion of what styles constitute good work and what don't.  Some
    people enjoy garbage brawls and lucha matches where others hate them -- so you have personal biases to contend with, unless you've seen a lot of a style of wrestling you hate and can compare it against the best of matches done in those styles.


    Using them to rate the 'entertainment' value of a match is more difficult though, as there are so many individual factors and personal values.  For me those factors are ring-work, angle/story development, and atmosphere. 

    For ring-work, ideally I want to ideally see a relatively fast paced match, with well-executed, fairly hard-hitting moves.  I put a tremendous premium on athleticism and tend to enjoy matches more where the guys are both strong athletes and are technically skilled as well.  This is why late 1990s WCW main events and Attitude Era Steve Austin brawls don't really do it for me, aside from the angle/story and the atmosphere.  The WCW Cruiserweight matches rarely had much story, but they usually had the other two aspects in spades, so I'll happily watch them.  To me those are more entertaining matches, so on that scale I'd rate them higher.

    As far as atmosphere -- to me a hot crowd is important.  I have a hard time getting into matches with dead crowds -- a hostile crowd is fine, but not if people are sitting on their hands. 

    I'll give Scott a lot of credit in one respect -- I've never seen a
    match he rated at ****+ that wasn't worth watching once, which is about
    all you can ask I guess.

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  13. That was easily the best South Park episode of the last five years.

    Best line: "There's a little girl out there who's had 14 abortions and she's not even 10 yet".

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  14. I haven't watched the show, but are you absolutely certain that's not just a transcript from classic ECW era buh buh ray dudley?

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  15. It would have been totally worth the PPV price to see one of those guys try to get in the ring with Stevie Ray...with Scott Steiner as Stevie's backup. Seeing one of their own get handed his head might have shut the bikers up. For about two seconds. But a glorious two seconds.

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  16. Obviously the bikers are good at math and they KNOW that they only had 33 1/3 chance of beating Scott Steiner if he was normal, but he's not normal.

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  17. What always blew my mind about this show is that a big hunk of it is pretty much the Ultimate Smart show done in front of the most casual audience possible...


    As for Benoit-Malenko, you can make that argument about most of their careers.  That's why Benoit-Angle was Benoit's best match; it actually got people to care about its participants.  This one didn't do that.  

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  18. I totally disagree with the comment regarding Harlem Heat. maybe it's just my moral sense or whatever but just like Triple H should not have gone over Booker T after his comments it makes sense to me that the black guys win in front of a racist crowd BECAUSE of the crowd being racist (yes, I have no sympathy for any racial prejudice at all).

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  19. I am sure if Scott (or most of us other "smarks" as well) had been told ten years ago that Kevin Nash would be involved in major WWE angle in 2011 our heads would have exploded.

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  20. Traffic doing the job to gladiator isn't even half asbad as ordinary people over raging bull or that pudrid shit bag movie forest gump over pulp fiction.

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  21. I don't think that Scott was referring to the decision to put Harlem Heat over as the mistake; rather, putting them in a very real and uncomfortable situation in an environment where Bischoff and Co. should have known better in the first place. Empowering minorities in the face of idiotic racism is a worthy endeavor, make no mistake—yet common sensibility dictates that in a throwaway tag team match on a professional wrestling card, safety should usurp sensibility where practicable.

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  22. Ah the first time Hogan would bust out the IF THIS IS WHAT I DO TO MY FRIENDS, IMAGINE WHAT I'M GONNA DO TO YOU thing. 

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  23. I put the failure of this show on Bischoff and the bookers, not the wrestlers.  You have to know your crowd.  It's mind-boggling that Bischoff ever though doing  a ppv from Sturgis was a good idea, much less 3 more (or did the cancel the 99 one and move it?).  It was a selfish decision on his part because he like motorcycles and illustrates perfectly why his "ultimate businessman" act is bunk.  Hogan going over needed a traditional audience.  A bunch of casual fans who didn't pay a dime and may not even know the storylines is hardly the place for the big "Nooooooooo" moment they were shooting for.  Putting Harlem Heat and Benoit/Malenko out there was practically criminal.  Nothing Benoit and Malenko did was going to get over, might as well put on a show for the paying ppv audience and say screw you to the non-paying live audience.

    Strongly disagree with the idea of Hogan needing a better transitional champ.  Maybe the Giant wasn't the best option, but Sting would be a horrible idea.  Part of the whole angle of Sting/Hogan leading to Starcade 97 was the Hogan hadn't beaten Sting yet.  Why give that away a couple months into the storyline? 

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  24. Don't forget Forrest Gump also beat Shawshank Redemption. I guess all three were classics, but I would have given the nod to one of the other two.

    And then of course there's Seven not even being nominated. 

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  25. Giant laying dead on the floor for 10 minutes after the match is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I've ever seen in wrestling.

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  26. Scott Keith:

    LOUSY RACIST CRACKERS!!!!11!!1!

    *lives in a city that's 0.9 percent black*

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  27. The point is, FUCK the Academy Awards.

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  28. I'd say Julia Roberts beating Ellen Burstyn's performance in "Requiem for a Dream" was by far the biggest travesty that year at the Oscars.

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  29. You make a lot of good points, but I still say none of them really apply to this show. Had the Benoit/Malenko happened in an arena in front of actual paying wrestling fans and the crowd shit all over it, then you could call it a failure. But that's not the case here. Blame Bischoff, who's obsession with doing shows (and Harleys, which is the real reason for this show) in these weird places in front of a non-paying crowd often provided a good visual but a crappy show. I think it's worth noting that Vince never did this, and that his company is still around.

    Another example would be the Collision in Korea show. Really good show, but the crowd is completely dead the entire time, probably because they were forced to be there at gunpoint. It's not fair to blame the workers, or the bookers/agents, when they're not working in front of real fans to begin with.

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  30.  Nope, they did do a Road Wild '99.  Main event was Hogan (back to the Yellow and Red for the first time since 1996) defending against Nash.  Which is DEFINITELY more in line with what the bikers want.

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  31. FWIW, Quentin did an interview with Zemeckis at one point and he was pretty okay with losing to Gump if he was going to lose at all. And you kinda have to figure that Pulp Fiction, despite being the greatest movie of all time, wouldn't appeal to the dinosaurs in the Academy like Gump did. So it's at least comforting to know that QT doesn't hold a grudge over it. 

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  32. What does my city have to do with anything?

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  33. The problem with the Giant in that spot was he wasn't really a babyface there, he was just "WCW" and by virtue of that was a good guy against the nWo. If they had switched the belt from Giant to Luger in June at the Great American Bash, Luger could have been the babyface they needed to get the heel heat they were looking for. Well, maybe, anyway, with that crowd.

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  34. Cartman had two gimmicks on the show: One was your typical xenophobic heel called the Rad Russian, the other gimmick was playing a 9 year old girl who was addicted to abortions. Of course, the idiot rednecks thought all of it was real, even Stan The Man's claims that he served in Vietnam.

    If you haven't seen this episode, definitely check it out, it's available on Netflix as well as the South Park studios website. Definitely keep an eye on the bar scene after the rednecks start following the kids' "backyard wrestling" shows, it's the best scene of the episode.

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  35. Benoit/Malenko is a textbook example of guys wrestling to entertain themselves rather than the audience (granted, this was a special case). Beyond that, the match just doesn't hold up at all. They spend the entire match throwing bombs at each other with no rhyme or reason and nothing sold for more than ten seconds.

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  36. What fucks me up about South Park on Netflix is that episode 200 and 201 are not on there.

    But Super Best Friends is.

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  37. Forrest Gump is awesome.
    Pulp Fiction is good as a 19-25 year old punk.

    Watched it like 2 years ago.
    Fell asleep.

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  38. In the same way a band changes their style of performance and set depending on if they're headlining their own concert or merely part of a multi-band festival. Or a comedien changes his material drastically from his live stage show when he appears on tv. A different audience meant that the material should have been presented taking them into consideration.

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  39. Fantasy booking is self-indulgent tripe.

    And gay.,

    What I would have done is have Sting win the belt from the Giant and run Sting-Hogan at Hog Wild. Sting jobs. Then that sets up the Wargames match and the Fake Sting angle.

    Everything from then on would have way more emotional connection.

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  40. I just watched the main event on youtube, and a couple things I noticed.

    It's weird seeing someone tower over Hogan like that.  
    Also weird seeing Big Show looking so slim...although he still moved slow as molasses.  
    Heenan sounded either buzzed or just bored out of his mind.  

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  41. I agree that you shouldn't necessary blame the workers or bookers, but I don't see how that would effect how you would rate a match if you're rating it based on entertainment value. They are not for rewarding or punishing anybody, just reflecting the entertainment value of the match. If a hot crowd impacts your enjoyment of a match, then I think the rating should take that into consideration.

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  42. Get the collector's edition DVD and watch it with the trivia track on, it becomes a much deeper and richer movie when they point out all the references and freeze-frame moments most people would miss on the first viewing.

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  43.  again that's simply awful.  Why would Hogan be afraid of Sting for a year then?  Because he painted his face?  Half the point of the Sting/Hogan angle was that Hogan had never beat Sting.  Sting WAS WCW.  Why job him out immediately, even in a huge screwjob?  Sorry but that's Jesse Baker level fantasy booking.

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  44.  You're only allowed to not be racist if you are personally friends with lots of black people, otherwise you should join the Klan. Either that or he thinks you are personally responsible for bolstering the black population in your city, I'm not sure which.

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  45.  Luger would have worked fine.  Hell, even Flair.  Just someone not named Sting to do the job if you aren't happy with the Giant.  Heck you could even have Giant job the belt on Nitro to Luger with help from the NWO.  It plays into a later angle where Giant, now more face-like, can point to Hogan being afraid of him so they helped Luger win.  At the same time, Luger denies wanting the NWO's help, but it plays even more into the Sting Wargames angle.

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  46.  yeah I'd tuned out by that point.  I kinda stopped watching over the summer of 99 after being a diehard WCW fan over WWF in 97 and 98. 

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  47. They should not have even been on the show.

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  48. You're right about jobbing him.

    But its a year and a half later. Any stigma to him losing would be lost to everyone but the hardcore fans.

    They jobbed Sting to Vader in 92 clean as a sheet.

    It never hurt Sting in the long run when they programmed those two together.

    I can see your point though, but its not Jesse Baker levels of bad booking. Theres no Kane.

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  49. Sting and Vader never drew a fraction of the money Sting and Hogan did either.

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  50. Watch the HH/Steiners match and the Eddy/Flair match. Heenan's bombed. He must have figured that if no one else gave a fuck, neither should he.

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  51.  Not if you do the massive interference, into a complete bullshit ending(warrior-slaughter, or rip of yoko-undertaker 94) route. Have Sting whip hogan ass for a few minutes, have the nwo interfere, title change. Then you  have sting go on a revenge tour, whip  the nwo like a dog into fall brawl, then Sting's "fuck this" would have more impact.

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  52.  I actually really like both movies.   Did Shawshank come out the same year?  Geez, what a loaded year!

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  53. Heenan was plastered for like half his WCW run.  Judging from interviews it was his only way of staying sane.

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  54. Same here, although I pretty much stopped watching both the WWF and WCW around that time.

    Looking at the card for Road Wild 1999 -- yikes.  Why did they have Goldberg wasting his time with Rick Steiner?  Why was Rick Steiner still on the show?  I remember him getting this crazy singles push in 1999 with the TV title.  Turning Hogan babyface again was Bischoff's last ditch effort I guess to save his job, but he'd lose it a few weeks later as I recall.

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  55.  Raging Bull is a great movie, although I think Ordinary People is pretty fantastic too.

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  56. Yeah he'd show up intoxicated on many Nitro shows in 1999.  

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  57. disagree. Forrest Gump is awesome. Pulp Fiction is too.

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  58. I'd have to disagree on Benoit-Angle being Benoit's best match.  I would place it 3rd behind WM XX and the following month's Backlast triple threat. 

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  59.  How 'bout Shakespeare In Love over Saving Private Ryan?  That was ridiculous.  Even this year, The Artist, really?  That movie was basically a copy-cat to the silent era, which is fine, but a copy-cat nonetheless.  There were much more superior films out that deserved best picture imo.

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  60. Yeah, I mean, cities with historically large amounts of black people usually have great race relations.  I mean, look at Memphis, or Chicago, or LA.

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  61. You must have the non-US version because ironically the US version has every episode except Super Best Friends.

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  62. Nothing tops Chicago inexplicably beating out Gangs Of New York, we need a government investigation on that one.

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  63. War Horse getting royally snubbed this year showed how stupid the Academy's decision making is.

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  64. God, I remember during that time Bischoff was doing commentary on Nitro every week basically begging and pleading for the audience that had left them for the WWF to come back; "I know our on-air product is terrible and I know we keep burying the guys you want to see for no reason other than Kevin Nash is threatened by them but please give us a chance."

    That shtick was actually the precursor to the Domino's Pizza commercials of today.

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  65. There was a much bigger travesty that year: Erin Brockovich getting nominated for Best Picture while Requiem For A Dream got snubbed.

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  66. Yeah the politics that ran rampant at that time and the obsession with ratings really killed things for me.  Most of the PPVs in the first half of 1999 were good, up till about Spring Stampede 1999 was a fantastic show. Slamboree 1999 was pretty good too (I'm in the minority I'm sure) but after that I don't think they had another good PPV the whole year.  Mayhem 1999 was the closest to it being a passable show.

    You had all of this great talent on the roster and name guys that would wrestle on Nitro and such, but none of them would work / get booked for PPVs, so you had these atrocious undercards with a bunch of talent that should have been main eventing Saturday Night -- Horace Hogan, Ernest Miller, Van Hammer, Norman Smiley, etc. 

    Meanwhile Bret Hart is doing nothing and Goldberg is facing off against Rick Steiner and Sid, while Not So Hollywood Red And Yellow Redux Hulk Hogan is squaring off against Kevin Nash in the main event. 

    Of all the things they did wrong, the most offensive was the way they wasted Goldberg IMO.  If they were gonna run Hogan vs Nash, they might as well stick Goldberg in matches against guys that would have made him look good and build his stock up.  DDP got a **** match out of him, they could have got good matches with Benoit, Booker T, Bret Hart, and probably Curt Hennig too who was much more motivated in 1999 than 1998.

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  67. Eh, the 2nd half of Saving Private Ryan didn't do anything for me.

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  68.  That's fine, but we're talking about Shakespeare In Love of all movies.  I'm not saying that's a bad movie, but best picture?  No.

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  69. Yeah, nothing is more important than taking a "non-paying" audiences likes and dislikes into consideration. 

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  70. Yeah, the Shakespeare one was completely idiotic and embarassing, especially as we go on in years and "Ryan" is still considered an all-time intense classic, while "Shakespeare" is more forgotten.

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  71. But the performance is put on in front of them, for their enjoyment. Of course you should take them into consideration. In the same way WWE today will put on a different RAW if they are in Toronto than in they are in Greensboro.

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  72. ScoreHD.14.07.01.Hitomi.Sweater.Girl.XXX.

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