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Thread: WCW

  1. #81
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    So I just watched Halloween Havoc 1989, and I'm already feeling the loss of not having weekly shows. I was toying with the idea of watching through each PPV and Clash in order but to be honest I might just skip ahead and pick it back up where Saturday Night starts on the network, and come back to this stuff when I find somewhere online.

    Anyway, I quite enjoyed Havoc for the most part. There's a few things, though. One is I think 'electrifying' the cage is probably a gimmick too far - though, who knows, back then I may have liked that. I certainly thought the idea for an inferno match was cool until I actually saw one. The presentation of the Samoans as savages is about as bad as I've seen it back here and only gets off worse treatment because the WWF are going to reproduce much the same thing in the 1990s. The crowd are really hostile, and there's a bit of a forerunner to what you get with ECW and the bigger promotions in the 1990s here because we're in Philadelphia, and I swear that one crowd shot reveals someone who would become an ECW regular in the exact same clothes that he'd wear to every damn show. I do wonder how much better the show would have been if they weren't burying Z-Man, The Dynamic Dudes, and pretty much any other babyface that isn't in the main event, the Road Warriors or the Steiners.

    And lastly, although it's a really solid show, I'm not sure that I'd say anything jumped out at me as 'you must see this'. And to be honest aside from the obvious highlights that's been the case for most of 1989. I've only got a couple of shows left to change that impression and it's definitely a lot less enjoyable than 1988 was on the whole. Is that because Dusty isn't booking? Because there's no Tully, Arn, or Windham? Who is to say for sure, but it's definitely been felt.

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  2. #82
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    Really remember that crowd, definitely ECW foreshadowing. There's some PPV, I want to say Slamboree '93 or '94, where Hat Guy is front and center and leading the charge on a lot of huge reactions. It's sort of fun in my opinion, though I feel like you might not like that sort of thing as much.

    Definitely a mixed bag of a show, from what I remember. Liked Steiners/Doom, Luger/Pillman, and the MX six man. Main event was too much of a muchness for me, Sting swinging around like Robin Hood is a cool visual but the match just doesn't do much for me, it's decent but below potential considering who's involved. Didn't really care for the rest of the card. Tommy Rich vs. Cuban Assassin... NO THANK YOU.

  3. #83
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I mean, other than the gimmick, there's nothing really wrong with that. It's just sort of there. But then I believe you need those kind of matches and their demise has hurt the contemporary PPV.

    As for the crowd, I wouldn't care if it didn't actively hinder some matches. Like, there's nothing wrong with the tag title match but how much better could it be if people were reacting with the match, rather than shitting on it?

    Big believer that the heat in the old live crowd was a big part in making the shows so great, much like sport in an empty arena wouldn't be half as good.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    I mean, other than the gimmick, there's nothing really wrong with that. It's just sort of there. But then I believe you need those kind of matches and their demise has hurt the contemporary PPV.
    You talking about Cuban/Rich? Because I agree not every match needs to be a showstealer, but I feel like you should be able to do better than this. I remember thinking the match was a real stinker, personally!

  5. #85
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    We may be judging it by different criteria here. For me, if something maintains an illusion of normality and doesn't have me shouting bullshit at the TV, it's fine.

    It's not good by any means, but I didn't think there was anything actively wrong with it. It just sort of was a way to fill some time and to offer a contrast with the bigger matches, to make them more special.

    Rich was having some pretty good matches on the smaller shows in the summer, but people just weren't buying it at this point in his career.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #86
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    I certainly wasn't during my TLS watching!

    True, it lacks anything aggressively stupid or world-breaking as you you'd be likely to see a decade later. I still stand by that it was a stinker, and the fact that a "real" sport would have stinkers too didn't comfort me a bit while sitting through it!

  7. #87
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    I guess that's the difference, for me a stinker is basically reserved for things that do break that world, either by design or lack of ability.

    As my antipathy to star ratings grows I'm basically doing everything as pass/fail now!

    And actually judged by that standard there's not a lot you can criticize the show for at all.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  8. #88
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    Sure, but by that logic every show prior to 1998 would pass! What's the fun if we can't complain about anything?

    Also, I can criticize any show that has Sid on it.

  9. #89
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    Man, criticise all you like, Sid was OVER..... Just listening to these crowds I get why everyone was desperate to run with the guy.

    I see your every show pre-1998 passing and raise you robocop....

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  10. #90
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    Haha, you got me there with Robocop.

    Man, Sid sucked so much during that run though... do a move, stare at the crowd like a deer in the headlights, rinse, repeat. I won't deny how over he was, but really think it would have been a total disaster to run with him on top. He was over in the WWF right afterwards too, but failed to produce any worthwhile results and quickly flaked out to play softball (probably).

  11. #91
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    I think we may just have to accept that you're too far removed, and have too low an opinion of Sid, to see what people saw back then. I'd be willing to bet that people didn't see him as a deer in headlights and I'd suggest, humbly, that if that were a popular opinion he couldn't have gotten over in the first place. I remember having many a conversation about how he had one of the best looks and, at times, overall auras in wrestling. And I think there's just too much distance - and maybe even contempt - to ever see what we saw.

    That said, you're bang on the money about not running with him on top. He was never good enough for that. I maintain he was an asset and good enough to work with Bret and Shawn and people of that ilk, but he wasn't someone you wanted to make the centrepiece for more than a short spell. He was basically a special attraction.

    That said, the one exception to that also came in WCW, which I think was Sullivan's perfectly sensible idea to turn to him after the radicals defection. In an emergency situation, he had a look and legitimacy that made him a safe port.

    But in other occasions? Honestly I think his big WWF run where he feuded with Shawn was probably about as much as you could do with him.

    As for his 1991/2 WWF run, I wonder how he'd have done if they hadn't turned him. He was a big deal as a babyface but no one wanted to boo him. Remember how hard they had to work to keep Hogan babyface?!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  12. #92
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    I think that also had a lot to do with people being tired of Hogan! But I take your point, and I admit I'm a little hyperbolic when running down Sid. I'll also admit he's weirdly not nearly as bad as usual in that 99/00 run, he's still not very good but seems to put in a lot more effort, or maybe just all the years of experience finally paid off a little? I can understand why people give the guy a pass, at the very least.

    But I'm still pretty confident I could count his good matches on one hand and have fingers left over!

  13. #93
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    I suppose it depends on if you like his WWF matches with Bret and Shawn. I can remember four that I've enjoyed, which would give you a single finger left over at most, but if you don't like those then I doubt you could find many. I have a weird feeling in the back of my head that there's a good Jannetty match out there on a random RAW, but y'know, couldn't stipulate to that without going back and checking it out again.

    But yeah, I know of more good work from him later than this point. Here, it's just that classic thing of a big guy that people think can run through anyone he wants. And there's still probably another ten years or so from this point where that'll get you over.

    Kinda let this linger for a while but next up, now I've lost the weekly shows, is Clash IX, which I do know a bit already, mainly because of the Funk/Flair I Quit match.

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  14. #94
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    I actually don't even really care for the Shawn matches, especially the supposedly good one that revolves around Jose Lothario drama. My favorite matches from Sid (such as they are) are in WCW. Benoit drags him to what I consider his best ever at Souled Out '00, he even takes some chops this time(!). There's also that '99 match where he blades spectacularly against Goldberg and it turns into this shocking bloody spectacle. What a bizarre time for him to peak as an in ring performer.

  15. #95
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    I was always under the impression that the 'good' one was supposed to be the Royal Rumble match. Always thought I was out on a bit of a lonely island with my appreciation for the Survivor Series match.

    I think it's fair to say that generally all Sid's best stuff comes in the last few years of his being an active competitor. He did always have a certain magnetism but I think it's no surprise that while no one ever went all-in on him early in his career, both of the major American promotions pulled the trigger on him as their world champion between 1996 and 2000.

    Anyway, the bit I'm into now, Flair has basically strongarmed his way into booking the show. I'm a bit put out that I can't see what these look like week to week because I've heard very, very mixed reports about Flair as a booker, and I always maintain that you can't really get a full sense of what people were like just from watching the big shows.

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  16. #96
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    I think that's very true. Flair as booker never overly impressed me from what I've seen, he tends to rely on good people (that he's close with, usually) and some good stuff results but there's also plenty of stuff that really doesn't get attention or development under him.

  17. #97
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    As you may have gathered from the promo thread, I've kinda foundered here in 1989 on the WCW stuff. But it's related because I've skipped back to '81 and the forerunner, the Mid-Atlantic territory.

    Strong connections between this show and what I'd watched through much of the mid-to-late 1980s, basically until Turner buys them out.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  18. #98
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    Finally gotten around to carrying on. Weird concept at Starrcade '89. The tournament is a decent enough show on its own terms but not sure how anyone thought booking Muta like that was a good idea.

    Now into 1990. First few bits I've seen have been a rough vignette featuring Steve Williams, and a crappy promo video that made everyone involved - including Ric Flair - look as square as you might care to name.

    I've got a bad feeling about this...

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  19. #99
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    1990 isn't the best year, but I remember it being a great one for tag team wrestling so hopefully you've got that to look forward to!

  20. #100
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    Can imagine that being the case, definitely set up for Steiners and Doom to be major players. You don't have to add a lot to that, to be frank.

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  21. #101
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    So I have just about got enough WiFi to finish off 1990 in my hotel, so I might be able to give this thread a proper update when I get back...

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  22. #102
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    I recall from my PPV watch 1990 being a great year for the tag division and not much else!

  23. #103
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    Pretty much since the WWE Network was released I've been watching WCW Nitros and PPVs (not Thunder) from 1996 all the way through to the end, pretty much for nostalgic purposes, reliving my childhood. Usually one episode a week or so.

    I'm currently up to mid 2000 and boy is it dragging. The drop off in quality from early 1999 is substantial. It's amazing what you rediscover though. Ernest Miller being commissioner (and a funny one at that!), completely ruining Goldberg under Vince Russo's watch, DDP practically missing most of 2000, Kidman's mini push...


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  24. #104
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    It really takes a sharp dip as soon as Nash takes over as booker, and when they transition over to Russo, christ almighty does it get nearly unwatchable! There are still a few redeeming features all the way up to the end (Scott Steiner, Booker T, Goldberg when he's not being ruined, DDP when he's around, Flair when he's away from Russo, Luger as the world's biggest chickenshit) but there's an absolutely staggering amount of crap to sift through, and even the best stuff is usually mired in something awful.

  25. #105
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    OK so here we go. This is going to be a bit of a stream of just random observations that hopefully will cohere into something that makes sense.

    I think I agree, generally speaking, that the tag division was the best stuff I saw this year. It was actually great to see Doom and particularly The Steiners go from being some of the lower tier guys or essentially a comedy act and, by the end of the year, being some of the top guys in the company. The Steiners in particular are about as over as any singles star.

    Now with all that said, I actually thought some of the best stuff here was involving the guys who'd dominated the 1980s, like the Midnight Express and Rock N' Roll, who could all still go, and it actually makes it a bit of a crime that they were pushed to the margins of the product during this year.

    I've always felt like the Sting into, and out of, the Horsemen thing all feels a bit rushed. That's especially the case when you're only watching the big shows on WWE Network, because it's kinda like he has a cup of coffee with the group.

    As you know I've got plenty of time for Sid, and Skyscraper Sid works pretty well, but man, Horseman Sid might be the worst run of his career. Just looks uncomfortable, like he doesn't know what he's doing. The one night where he gets back together with Spivey he is immediately more at home. Remarkable really.

    I think the mistake that they make in this year is that they try and back two horses at the same time. Sting gets injured, and I totally get wanting to stick with Sting and follow that path once you've laid it out. But the trouble is they try and move over to Lex and protect him too much, and what happens then is that it feels like it kinda becomes Lex's story - he gives up his chance of winning the belt to save Sting, and at that point the whole thing gets kinda convoluted. Seems to me like they either needed to change tack, and cash in on Luger's popularity - or perhaps more likely, actually protect the Sting story a little and have Luger fail more definitively in his quest to avenge Sting, so that only Sting himself coming back can actually get the job done.

    Was struck by how much I like Capital Combat with the exception of the Robocop shit. The rest of it went over pretty well with me. Amazing how a really bad bit can destroy the rep of an entire show, really.

    The Bash was good, too. I've got a growing feel that the Bash is, in the final reckoning, going to end up being the better show than Starrcade in most years.

    Then there's the Black Scorpion. Y'know, to start with this isn't too bad, certainly not bad enough for the kind of ridicule it gets, but from I think the second time we see the guy, and you've got the magic tricks, and then when the big reveal is done.... hoo boy, it goes from a bit corny but perfectly workable (a la Midnight Rider) through to prime Wrestlecrap in barely any time.

    Anyone else very intrigued by the spell of Paul E. Dangerously managing Mean Mark Callous? Ah, the path not taken.

    The finish of the Hansen and Luger US title match at Havoc was great, totally there for that. Other than that the show was a touch overbooked for me.

    I felt like the Starrcade '90 tournament was better handled than the previous year's event, if only because they had some idea of who was going to actually lose the matches this time around. So yeah, that was OK, even if the main event was the dampest of squibs.

    By the end of the year, I fucking hate this version of the Freebirds. Hayes is so bad he makes Garvin look like.... I dunno, Rick fucking Steamboat or something.

    I thought the transition from Mike Rotunda to Michael Wallstreet was actually pretty well handled, and that whole 'computerised prediction' thing is a nice twist. That'd have annoyed the hell out of me in 1990. Plus, Terri is really irritating as his valet, which doesn't hurt.



    I think that's pretty much every observation I had of the year. Now to press on with 1991, and then I can pick it back up from the Saturday Night's that are on the Network again.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  26. #106
    That's a lot of thoughts on 1990! I don't know much WCW until 1993, when Flair comes back. I watched a bit during its first run on British TV but not a lot

  27. #107
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    Loving that post, Pete! The Midnight Express in 1990 is so damn good, it's criminal that it was the last year the team was properly together (at least off the top of my head). Much love for Doom, Steiners, and RnR as well.

    I definitely consider this to be the year when Luger shifted from being an extremely popular act into looking like a geek who couldn't get the job done. I absolutely think Flair should have dropped the belt to Luger, leaning on a fresh Luger/Sting conflict would have had a lot more legs than what they actually did with Sting as champ. And I just can't get over Sting's post-win promo at GAB, where he basically chastises the crowd for not respecting Ric Flair. I really think the guy didn't have a clue at times.

    Black Scorpion... yeesh! The magic tricks are what really kill me. Stuff a magician might do at a kid's part, being treated as a serious threat. Puh-lease. I will always give credit to Flair for trying really hard to wrestle like a different guy at Starrcade, not that it mattered at all from the first moment you see his face in that dumb mask.

    Love the Hansen/Luger series, hate the Freebirds of this era, and actually love the Michael Wallstreet thing, wish they'd had a chance to run with it. Had a blast imagining York Foundation names for everyone on the roster when I was watching through these shows.

    I recall '91 as a pretty mixed bag, but with more good stuff than it tends to get credit for. Looking forward to hearing more about it!

  28. #108
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    Random pointless post: 1997 WCW is the best year of wrestling ever. Ever.

    Ever.

  29. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.O. View Post
    Random pointless post: 1997 WCW is the best year of wrestling ever. Ever.

    Ever.
    An accurate statement.


  30. #110
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    It is indeed bloody awesome!

  31. #111
    Transgender Terror
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    Ever.

  32. #112
    Senior Member LWO4Life's Avatar
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    I disagree


  33. #113
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    2002 RAW.

  34. #114
    Senior Member LWO4Life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.O. View Post
    2002 RAW.
    I have no words.

  35. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWO4Life View Post
    I disagree

    This was like one part of a two hour show that was good. WCW had the Sting angle, the rise of Luger (the only reason mizfan is considering 1997 great because he loathes everything else. Don't deny it mizfan!), the nWo storyline still going strong, DDP vs. Randy Savage, Dean Malenko at his peak, Rey vs. Eddie and WCW cruiserweight matches that featured shit like this.



    But please, tell me more about how three tag teams fighting each other a hundred times and Brock Lesnar carrying the Big Show is better than WCW 1997.


  36. #116
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.O. View Post
    Random pointless post: 1997 WCW is the best year of wrestling ever. Ever.

    Ever.
    I'll throw a spanner in the works here.

    It's the most exciting year of wrestling ever.

    But it's not the best year of wrestling ever.

    Discuss.


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  37. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
    I'll throw a spanner in the works here.

    It's the most exciting year of wrestling ever.

    But it's not the best year of wrestling ever.

    Discuss.


  38. #118
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    Dean Malenko's US title run was absurdly fantastic.

  39. #119
    Senior Member LWO4Life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    This was like one part of a two hour show that was good. WCW had the Sting angle, the rise of Luger (the only reason mizfan is considering 1997 great because he loathes everything else. Don't deny it mizfan!), the nWo storyline still going strong, DDP vs. Randy Savage, Dean Malenko at his peak, Rey vs. Eddie and WCW cruiserweight matches that featured shit like this.



    But please, tell me more about how three tag teams fighting each other a hundred times and Brock Lesnar carrying the Big Show is better than WCW 1997.
    The WHOLE Class of 2002, plus Team Angle, Still had the Undertaker, Mr. America, One legged wrestlers, Angle vs. Benoit putting on a CLINIC, Tribute to the Troops, and



    And all of it built up to this moment early the next year!




    But please tell me how a year which Hollywood Hogan hogged the title, and everyone was wasted trying to push older wrestlers was the most amazing year in wrestling. Because the short slightness of 1997 led the the downfall of 1999.
    Last edited by LWO4Life; 04-22-2019 at 05:44 PM.

  40. #120
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    We just did that.

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