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  1. #81
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    We are on the same page with much of this. One matter we debated often on TLS (my mind changes by the moment).

    Would I be willing to give up the Hogan heel turn, the nWo, that amazing 95-97 run for a 1994 built around Flair, Steamboat, Vader, Austin, Rhodes. A sort of return to old school NWA without Hogan coming in and stomping it out?

  2. #82
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    I look forward to listening to that debate. My initial reaction is that I would be willing to give it up, especially if Flair wasn't going to be allowed to politically influence results. I would still sign Hogan; just not allow him to run roughshod over the title scene like he did. Let him have a competitive series with Flair, but then lose the title to Austin so he and Rhodes and he and Steamboat can feud over the top title; since they feuded over the midcard titles. Bring Windham in, as well, and still sign Luger and Savage. Hogan's last gasp would be a big match between he and the Total Package. Savage also had lots of mileage left on him that could have been accentuated with not having Hogan's will dominating everything. So then you have Flair, Steamboat, Vader, Austin, Rhodes, Sting, Luger, Windham, and Savage. That's a great company to build around. You still add DDP; you keep Regal running strong; you make sure Badd gets re-signed. I think that company is still around today.

    BTW, you could still do a Hogan heel turn in this scenario. He realizes he can't get by on what he preached anymore after he loses to Luger and goes bad. You may not get the financial swing of the NWO, but you certainly get an interesting character.
    Last edited by XanMan; 06-27-2018 at 11:19 AM.

  3. #83
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    We never allowed ourselves such luxury of imagination. (Just the thought of Hogan coming in and doing as he's told and the company not losing their minds over him was more than I could imagine.)

    Ours was a very solid two options and you have to choose one:

    96-97 as we know it. The years that WCW dominated. The years that pro wrestling was universally loved. The years that our dream matches were weekly realities. The years of tension, of WCW/nWo, of Sting/Hogan, or Luger/Hogan, or what-have-you.

    vs.

    A world that never creates that 96-97, meaning Hogan never comes in. But, since we're comparing to only the BEST of what happened in WCW, we will not, in this imagining, have Flair ruin 1994 (as he likely would have). This is a 1994 where, let's say, Flair actually keeps his word and trades the belt with Vader. This is a 1994 where Austin becomes champion for the first time (as was once a plan). This is a 1994 centered on Flair, Steamboat, Vader, Austin. Maybe Windham, Arn, Douglas, Pillman. Rhodes. A WCW that goes forward based on WCW wrestlers and a WCW legacy.

    I have a feeling you would pick the 2nd one. I want to pick the 2nd one and *probably* would, but I'd also be getting rid of December 1996-August 1997, which is the one and only time Luger was booked how I think he deserved to be booked. So I'd be selling out the centerpiece of my pro wrestling experience. Luger *is* a WCW guy, though, so maybe he comes back in 1995 anyway.

    I really love this from you: "So then you have Flair, Steamboat, Vader, Austin, Rhodes, Sting, Luger, Windham, and Savage. That's a great company to build around. You still add DDP; you keep Regal running strong; you make sure Badd gets re-signed. I think that company is still around today."

    Up until Spring Stampede, you really got a glimpse at WCW being WCW again.

    God, there's so much that will remain unsettled. Only reason I can't stop talking about these narratives that could have been, maybe should have been.

  4. #84
    I listened to wrestle mania 2 and rather enjoyed it...you guys did a fine and fair coverage

  5. #85
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Thanks man. It is definitely a show where the concept well outpaced the performance. We recorded the Vader tribute today. The next three weeks are all special episodes to me. They include Vader Special, a SNME (with Hogan/Adonis tacked on), and The Big Event with Orndorff/Hogan.

  6. #86
    I've never seen a multiple arena show turn out well. It's a nice idea and I even respect the way it tried to capture the 3 city feel too. But having the celebrities announce of all things was the worst idea. Having broadcasters who don't know the product is just counter-productive on its face.

    Even the announcers they had didn't have enough to go around. Bobby wasn't in the booth yet. The only good play by play announcers for a show that big were Hayes, Ventura, Monsoon, and McMahon. That's hardly enough to fill 3 arenas.

    The Hart foundation and Andre is definitely a hi-light in the event for me. Also, kind of want to hear Ernie Ladd announce again. I forgot he was on that show. It's been so very long since I've watched Wrestle-Mania 2.

  7. #87
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    There's a reason for that... I did think the battle royal had some charm though. And Ernie Ladd is always cool in my book, I think he was the 3rd man in the booth on one of the shows for a while.

  8. #88
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    Just got through WM 2. Despite lackluster material to work with, I think you guys handled the review very well. Interestingly, this is the first WM i was cognitively aware of as a wee child back in the mid-80s. My first intro to wrestling was Hogan's ribs being "crushed" by Bundy. Despite my usual nostalgia, even when I was young, I knew this show was no good. I appreciate the love for Hercules Mizfan. Always felt he was typecast incorrectly and that folks saw him through a certain lens that was too constrictive for what he could actually do. This was really the pinnacle of bad celebrity involvement as you boys correctly point out.

    As a fun juxtaposition I also just finished Superbrawl 97. It's a fledgling PPV, though a time when Hulkamania was very popular and over against wrestling approaching its fever pitch in early 1997. I'm trying to find time to go back and rewatch - made it through the 6 man tag so far, so my progress has not been great (having two small children at home and studying for a pretty grueling professional exam eats up a lot of my time - listen to your shows when I find time to work out or go for runs). The Luger/Giant vs. Outsiders match is fun and the fans are HOT for Luger. I think back when this was a contemporaneous angle I caught on to Hall always winning rock scissor paper - I was always a mark for them beginning matches this way. It fits in with their take it or leave it attitudes (whether those attitudes were ultimately good for the product, well...) The analysis of where Benoit, Rey, Eddie and Malenko rank 1 through 4 is a great portion of your collective commentaries on this show. Having listened to you two, I was pretty spot on in assuming where you would both land on these rankings. It's amazing that Benoit was so far ahead of the other three at this point, his longevity certainly helped matters. I know this may be unpopular and I am not looking to begin a huge debate, but I do want to say thank you to you two for honoring Benoit the wrestler during your ongoing narratives. To pretend that his legacy is void is somewhat silly, but to suggest that there isn't a feeling of discomfort in rewatching his work seems tone deaf and I feel you two are really handling the topic quite well.

  9. #89
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    I think I'll have lots of positive things to say about Hercules as we go. One of the most underappreciated Heenan Family members.

    Talking about Benoit is never easy, so I'm glad we struck a good balance for you. There's no way to do the series without acknowledging his ability and contributions, but I do think it's important to acknowledge what the end result of his destructive style was too.

  10. #90
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Lex Luger was WAY OVER. Somebody tell Steve Austin, who only seems like he turns into an idiot when talking about Luger.

  11. #91
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    It was the chip on his shoulder about guys pushed over him in WCW that made Austin what he was. Not surprised he's still got a little piece of it on there.

    I would LOVE to see a '97 Austin vs. Luger match, just saying.

  12. #92
    People either love me, hate me, or they don't care CanadianCrippler's Avatar
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    Really enjoyed your SNME & WM2 podcasts, and am impressed with the King Kong Bundy career retrospective, well done. I kind of rely on you guys to educate me on PPV cards of the past while taking most of your recommendations into consideration most of the time, I've skipped over WWF at this point thus far.

    Looking forward as always to the next episode, it's great to hear you guys enjoying your jobs again!

  13. #93
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    Haha, how strange to think a few months ago we were mired in the worst of Russo. Appreciate the listen, CC!

  14. #94
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    I like Wrestlemania 2 far better than you guys do, but great job covering it. I don't think it's great, but I don't think it's the worst Wrestlemania of all time; I think the first is worse, though it does have a big imagination. 9, 29, 32, at the least are worse Manias off the top of my head.

  15. #95
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    I could certainly be persuaded to agree there are recent 'Manias worse than anything done in the 80s.

  16. #96
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    I could certainly be persuaded to agree there are recent 'Manias worse than anything done in the 80s.
    Beat me to it.

    These were the days before they were booking main events they knew the fans would outright ignore.

    CC, if you watch most of this older WWF stuff, it's almost a different genre to take up. I might consider certain matches/feuds, rather than whole shows at this point.

    Xan, I was, and likely will remain, a fan of IX. I think it was the first outdoor arena for me. I know people have shitted on it from the beginning of time, but there is at least a 50/50 chance that won't happen with me.

  17. #97
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    I do really like the venue for IX.

  18. #98
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    I wouldn't call this on topic per se, but as I'm listening to the 1997 shows from the WCW Legacy Series, I just wanted to call out that the music they used for Jericho (at least originally) was a straight pillaging of Even Flow by Pearl Jam. Mizfan, I know you refer to whatever the Network uses (which may be the original - haven't watched any of the 1997 stuff yet, it's pretty seared into my memory) as generic Final Fantasy music. Not a huge gamer and never got into the Final Fantasy series of games, but I do know me some later 90s WCW theme music, particularly the stuff that was ripped off of popular music - the DDP music being a prime example, which was in fairness absolutely perfect for his character.

    Fantastic Vader retrospective gentlemen. You don't disappoint.
    Last edited by BK-097; 07-09-2018 at 07:13 PM.

  19. #99
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    The Network dub of the music screws up so much stuff. I had no idea DDP's theme on the Network wasn't his real theme until someone sent me the original theme. Turns out it sounds like a nice slamdunk lawsuit for Nirvana, but for sure it was spot on for his character. There was always something perfectly grungy about the guy, wasn't there?

    Thanks for listening man, always good to hear from you.

  20. #100
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    1997 has been pretty awesome from a listening perspective. Dreading Starrcade 1997 as there is so much wrong with that show. So much invested in Sting only for him to show up out of shape and the ridiculousness with the "fast count", Hart losing all credibility, the weird six-man tag - aaaahhhh!!! I haven't even listened to it yet (and don't think I can watch it out sheer self-preservation) and I'm already angry.

  21. #101
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    You should feel anger. Imagine what it felt like on our end. WCW July 1996-August 1997 is one of my favorite years ever, in anything.

    But you know what's coming the whole time.

  22. #102
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    I remember really distinctly that things start to fall apart at Road Wild '97. Slowly, but very surely.

  23. #103
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    If Lex Luger takes the title away from the nWo, and holds it, how does crow Sting behave? Does he still want revenge on Hogan? Does he embrace Luger?

  24. #104
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    Thatís a really interesting question Mystic. Not sure we know enough about Crow Stingís motivation outside of the context we were fed to answer that. Interestingly, as much of a derpy do-gooder as Sting was and as much as he thrived at being the victim and creating the situation for himself, I donít know that we were ever given enough for me to think he would have not embraced Luger, or challenged Luger for the title, at least not straight away, even though in his mind he clearly deserved everything he ever got.

    It must have been hell covering this - I feel for you guys.

    Complete side tangent and only because the two of you really got me interested in a scenario - going back to the what if situation re: Benoit/Sullivan (one of my all time favorite feuds) taking place in the 1980s NWA and time machining a bit here and assuming Benoit is a Horseman, what are your thoughts on expanding the feud out a bit and making it a full blown Horseman/Varsity Club feud. There is a time and a place for heel vs. heel faction warfare and we know the Horseman were able to do heel v heel well (thinking back on the tag matches with Doom). There are a hell of a lot of possibilities there and the Sullivan/Benoit feud at the center in a real 89s style NWA blood feud would be fantastic. Thank you for bringing up the possibility of that feud in an older era.
    Last edited by BK-097; 07-09-2018 at 09:39 PM.

  25. #105
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    You are speaking my language. I am a heel enthusiast. Big fan of heel-on-heel battles, especially since they only happen randomly, using signifying something bigger. For instance, I love WWF 1997. I love the Austin-Bret-Michaels-Vader-Sid-Undertaker war. Love Hart Foundation-Nation-DX-Austin. Love Horsemen-Doom. A horseman-varsity club feud, on its own merit, would be fun. But adding Benoit-Sullivan brings in that gritty, bloody, all-in nature that I love so much. It would be one we'd still be talking about to this day. Hell, it never happened, and we're talking about it, today.

  26. #106
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    I know some people think it's absolute madness to say so, but I still think running with Luger as champ has a major upside. Put him over Nash at Starrcade whereas Sting/Hogan can continue but be a grudge match (and obviously, hopefully, not be completely bungled).

    Really interesting idea of the Varsity Club being Sullivan's backup, instead of the Dungeon of Doom. It would be hard for me to give up those Benoit/Meng matches but there is a certain appeal to doing it in that time and place. I do love when someone besides Flair is driving the actions of the Horsemen. There were periods where Tully Blanchard had the biggest storyline going on in the 80s, even as Flair was champion. It was a rich time when a lot of different stuff could be happening at once.

  27. #107
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    Hogan has shown a bit of well placed generosity since developing the Hollywood persona and I do wonder if his match with Sting wasnít for the title if he would have gone to the lengths he did to make the Starrcade match a boondoggle. Donít get me wrong there is a distinct difference to losing to a hot 1997 Luger and the version of Sting we got at Starrcade and Iím sure based on appearances alone (but hopefully due in part to abilities and untold narrative) Hogan was more comfortable with the formwr BUT no belt on the line could have smoothed Hoganís ego to the point that he may have done the right thing - WCW woulda still dropped the ball but I like the notion of Luger/Nash for the title and Sting/Hogan for control.

    Losing Benoit/Meng would be a hit to the feud, but Sullivan would have had some decent hands to throw out there as roadblocks to Benoit if he had the full support of the Varsity Club. I agree the Horsemen are really fun when Flair is not the featured feud. If Benoit had Horsemen support the combinations of potentially great matchups between those factions is really pretty astounding and revolving it around Benoit/Sullivan is a perfect way to slip into the heel v heel setting

  28. #108
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    The Benoit/Meng matches are amazing, but, on the other side, if you had '96 Benoit in 1988-1989, you also have a potential for Benoit-Steamboat and Benoit-Funk. Let that sink in.

    Starrcade '97 would have been worlds better with the double main event of Luger-Nash and Hogan Sting. Though I don't have imagination enough to believe in a Hogan who gives that much. (Though, Hogan always was good to Luger, for whatever reason.) There is a bigger narrative here, though. A bigger WCW flaw. At Starrcade 1989, not only did the wrong guy win and become Franchise, but I've always said the dumbest thing was having *any* Franchise. Keep the Luger-Sting question open, take advantage of getting two super talents at the same time. It's the same way here. Hogan and Sting could have main evented Starrcade with just as much hype without the world title. Luger-Nash not only raises Luger, but you have an nWo guy stepping into Hogan's role while Hogan takes on the bigger role. You now have four people around the same level, instead of two. In both cases, WCW was dividing and subtracting when they could have been adding and multiplying.

  29. #109
    Been listening to the Big Event in spare time through out the day and I want to thank you guys again and again for unearthing Adrian Adonis...here's a great talent buried deep in wrestling history... between your series and Mystic's columns I'm declaring him unearthed! He really had quite the role in both Hogan's fued with Bundy and his with Orndorf. thanks, again.

  30. #110
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    You said Benoit/Funk and... my mind blew...

    <3 <3 <3 Adrian Adonis forever!

  31. #111
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    The coverage and retrospective on Adonis has been inspiring. The additional Piper coverage in the Summer of 86 show, which was meant to add color and provide additional commentary on Adonis was really well crafted and quite eerie. The Adonis coverage actually made me go back and watch some of his work as part of the North-South Connection and the East-West Connection, which despite my thirty years plus as a wrestling fan I had not seen much of (just before my time). To think how much more I would have appreciated Adonis if I had some maturity under my belt and wasn't a 7/8 year old watching him - though I did understand that for him to have his own talk show (the Flower Shop) was really impressive.

    The Big Event really is the culmination of the ongoing house show circuit, I think you guys nailed that on the head. There is a little bit for everyone on the card and the Hogan/Orndorff build is really fantastic. As I am listening to your reviews of the 80s WWF shows, it's dawning on me that despite what is considered a widely inferior wrestling product the character development really lends itself to your series. I have enjoyed the early WWF coverage immensely and am keenly interested about WMIII and your takes on it.

    In other news I just watched Starrcade 1998 on a whim as I'm just getting through Halloween Havoc 1998 in the legacy series as I am still playing catch up on the WCW series. What a POS show that was. The early cruiserweight action is great, but beyond that, dear lord this was a hard card to watch. This is another example of Starrcade having a real identity crisis too - there is little that is special about this event and even the stuff that should have been special is ruined by overbooking and terrible decision making by the idiot booking team (Nash - I'm looking at you). I fear it is all downhill from here, though there are bright spots at the very end for WCW, but alas I listened to those shows months ago, so I can only see everything quickly eroding from here on out.

  32. #112
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    New comments!

    Ben - I love the idea that we can certify someone officially unearthed. There is nothing in TLS like coming across something or someone your mind couldn't even anticipate and experiencing a narrative shift accordingly. You are so right that he is involved in all the major feuds right now. What. Is. More. He has stayed loyal. Piper has joined the other side. (Even Jesse Ventura reluctantly had to give up on Piper.) Much like Bobby Heenan, or other regulars, AA could have been a mainstay, but it didn't happen. We still have til WM III, though, and the Adorable One is not finished just yet.

    mizfan - Between Flair and Benoit, '89 Funk would have lost his chest to chops.

    BK - There isn't anything I'd rather hear than our commentary caused someone to go back and watch new material, especially around folks who deserve it as much as AA. Dude put in the work, was an upstanding friend to Piper, and could have done far more in the business had he been allowed. He is certainly one of those UNDISCOVERED CREATURES that we find along the way. God bless the journey, man. Unlike WCW, I'm in an era where I'm seeing some things for the first time, and it has caused me to make this statement (which I will make again and again):

    WWF 1986-1987 is WCW 1996-1997 good!

    Your second paragraph is bang on. What isn't done in "pure" wrestling (whatever the hell that might be) is more than made up for in storytelling, character development, and PATIENT, long-term booking. These characters, rivalries, and culminations are on par with anything I've seen.

    Fuck. Speaking of everything that is *not* what I just typed: WCW '98.

    Fuck Kevin Nash, first.

    Second. I think I suffered mild depression in covering WCW 98-2001. I did discover some things along the way (I really like The Magnificent Seven) but, for anyone who loves pro wrestling, it is indecent what Russo and Nash and sometimes Bischoff did to the company and business. I used to say Russo should be tried on war crimes against pro wrestling. I really believe he and some others should.

    Imagine having Ted Turner money and this is the best that can be done.

    Some of these guys had repulsive ideas that they inflicted on the business until they killed a company that had, only recently, been as mainstream as NFL or MLB.

    How do you even do that?!

    God, I hate that shit.

    WWF 86-87 has been a reprieve and redemption after watching years of what I never wanted to see done to WCW.

  33. #113
    Never realized Billy jack Haynes and Matt born were both from Oregon... Portland did have a pretty cool territory back in the day though...maybe Haynes and Borne had some history before they wrestled as Black Blood vs Big Josh

  34. #114
    People either love me, hate me, or they don't care CanadianCrippler's Avatar
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    Once again you guy's delivered another incredible show. The match reviews were insightful, the quotes were memorable, Canada is in fact a place that has things, and appreciate how you've already began unearthing the origins of Hulk Hogan being both the snake charmer, and the snake oil salesman.

    Homework:

    Didn't realize Jake and Ricky were feuding in between Mania's. I've either seen Jake's or Ricky's DVD featuring this feud and Jake mentioned that he was told too give Ricky a DDT on the concrete floor and that DDT would give Ricky a severe concussion as a result. Not sure if that was Vince's call honestly. So this match happened after that?

    Ricky goes to work on Jake and nicely neutralizes the arms to prevent the DDT. I love how Jake sells authentically. A slingshot to the post busts Ricky open? You know, I think I've only ever seen that happen too Triple H in a youtube video called "This proves wrestling is fake." Back in, Jake squats down on Ricky’s shoulders, but Ricky hooks his arms and takes him over for three? That's a genuine surprise to see pro wrestling done so crisp and smooth without botches or life threatening spots. Great recommendation!

    Mizfan your Ernie Ladd quote about wrestlers needing to stay on the mat should be taught more than ever now. This is why I love ZSJ, because he kicks ass without flippy flash.

  35. #115
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    Yup, the DDT on concrete did knock out Steamboat for real, and this feud was the result of that. It actually ran quite a while and was very high in the midcard. Love that you watched the match, glad you enjoyed it!

    Jake is a guy I can't wait to dig into more. He has very few, if any, matches that could be called great in the traditional sense, but he's got a huge number of great stories, angles, and promos. The Rick Rude angle with his wife, the blinding angle with Martel, the ophidiophobia storyline with Andre, and of course the wedding attack with Savage and Liz are all high points of the period. I've also seen him have quite good matches with Greg Valentine and Mr Perfect, though I'm not sure if they'll make the series or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Button View Post
    Never realized Billy jack Haynes and Matt born were both from Oregon... Portland did have a pretty cool territory back in the day though...maybe Haynes and Borne had some history before they wrestled as Black Blood vs Big Josh
    And yet Billy Jack Haynes completely sucks. But shit yeah, Portland had an awesome territory. Lots of Piper, Matt Borne, lots of peak Buddy Rose. Want to dig way into that someday.

  36. #116
    People either love me, hate me, or they don't care CanadianCrippler's Avatar
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    I don't have the network so I don't know what they do and don't have on demand. Regardless, your exploration through SNME & the Big Event / 1986 has been really awesome to follow. If you guy's are taking any requests for this series, I think it would be cool if you'd review an old coliseum video. I have a flink here for the archives. Specifically WF039 sounds enticing.

    http:// http://www.prowrestlinghisto....html#unusual2


    Like I said before, I used too read the PWI almanac's so I know a stupid amount of match results. I think house shows have always been the most fun display of pro wrestling, where as these early main stage shows & PPV's are full of learning curbs.

  37. #117
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    I think this was referenced on the last show, but there is a phenomenal Piper's Pit segment from October 20, 1986 at MSG. He gets the crowd in a frenzy about the Mets (who were down 2-0 to the Red Sox in the World Series) - link to just the bit about the Mets below. He then has the Brain and Orndorff as his guests. His interplay with Bobby the Brain Heenan is great and Heenan is SOOOOO f'n good in this segment. Piper "remembers the last time he shared a ring with Orndorff" and that Orndorff is always the guy that takes the pin for his team. It's really great work on Piper's part - best of all I vividly remember this as part of the early build to WMIII. The segment leads to a tag match the following month with Piper and Hogan teaming and even includes an appearance (as a part of the segment) by a very prominent superfan, named Vlad, from the 80s and 90s era in NYC, he was visible at all shows in the front row. it's a fantastic segment and while I think mizfan referenced in your last show, if you haven't and can find some time to get some commentary in on it that would be awesome.


    Piper's portion of the segment getting the crowd hyped up talking about the Mets
    https://youtu.be/CKPqQJSNk4M
    Last edited by BK-097; 07-25-2018 at 06:57 PM.

  38. #118
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    I covered that segment in the Heenan series, and yes it's absolutely brilliant. We're a little bit past that period in our recording schedule but if Shane wants to tag it onto somewhere, I'd be down!

  39. #119
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    This Thursday we are recording a "Road to WrestleMania III" special, and I can honestly say I've rarely seen anything as disgusting as Hogan's entire encounter with Andre the Giant in the buildup. Going to be an interesting episode.

    Today (I think) our final episode from 1986 aired. We have recorded one in 1987. We have two more before WrestleMania III, so we are quickly on our way to one of the biggest PPVs of all time, and the build is proving it deserves that status.

  40. #120
    Men, enjoying the comparison between 1997 WCW and 1986 WWF. It brings the era home...I think ppl don't know the draw Andre was...What a character of a man. And Hogan had become that. Piper was gonna be a moviestar. There was no "wrestling" because of THIS era, there was only a WWF. If someone was going crazy people began to say "you act like this is the WWF".

    Loving the Piper appreciation...might be worth watching some mid Atlantic on WWE Network...he ruled it.

    There's a Jack Brisco, Piper match dear to my heart...I think the match is mostly a headlock but it's the most grueling headlock you'll ever see.

    This was a generation who'd slap their own grandmother to make one believe in them "maxing out"

    Good stuff, gentleman

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