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Where did it all go wrong


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Rewatching Survivors 96 today where a lot of new guys were featured prominently in the three traditional Survivor Series matches, and it got me thinking. Quite a few guys I remember coming in with all the momentum in the world, but then for various reasons never quite lived up to it.

 

So... who blew you away when they first showed up, only to never quite reach those same heights again? These can be either the guys you liked the look of or guys the company really put on the map, either way. Here are some of my favourites :

 

Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon

 

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These guys, making their WWF debut after success in All Japan and a run in ECW, were left down to 2 on 3 against the Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and our Bulldog and Leif Cassidy at Survivors 96. They survived the odds and were able to put all three away in succession. Through a selection of flash moves, intensity and crisp execution (Furnas especially) not only did they win the match but also seemed to win over the MSG crowd. But after this, despite a steady stream of victories over JTTS teams, they never really caught on. Could be that they looked bland as fuck, couldn't cut promos and were extremely mechanical in the ring. But within the confines of the Survivors elimination match, for one night only I thought they were stars.

 

Taz(z)

 

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A superbly-booked debut for the Fed, also at MSG in front of a rabid crowd that seemed well-prepared for Tazz' not so surprise appearance and equally enthusiastic. Booked in exactly the same kind of squash which had highlighted the skills of the "Human Suplex Machine" in the bingo hall, it was a trademark execution of Kurt Angle, a red hot undefeated heel that everyone was dying to see put to the sword. It was great. Unfortunately not longer after, in longer matches against the rest of the roster, it became clear that Tazz was no better a wrestler than a lot of the other WWF Superstars, and a lot smaller than most, and his contributions to shows were inconsequential at best. Then he got hurt, came back dressed as a binman, then became a fat commentator. Currently rambling on about pidgeons in TNA.

 

Ahmed Johnson

 

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Well, all we knew about this bloke was he was a big looking fella and he was going to be on Shawn Michaels' team in the Wild Card match at Survivor Series 1995. Imagine my shock when he got in the ring during the melee at the end of a Razor vs Yokozuna match on the go-home Raw, and proceeded to bodyslam King Shit himself, the 650lb Yokozuna. That single act made me think "well, this guy could be a big deal." In fact you might argue that he doesn't belong here at all as his in-ring debut at Survivors was decent, Ahmed became popular and rode the wave of momentum to an Intercontinental title. But alas, as months rolled on, injuries mounted up and Ahmed became notorious for hurting opponents too. He also was thought to be a bit of an arse as he refused to sell for Chyna after a lot of the other lads already had. I really thought he had "future WWF Champion" stamped on him at first, but it all went so terribly wrong. The less said about his run in WcW as Big (Gu)T in Harlem Heat 2000, the better. Three for the price of two on butter pies and lard cakes.

 

 

AND ONE THAT WORKED OUT OK....

 

Rocky Maivia

 

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Just thought I'd share how interesting it is watching this lad's debut again. Yes, he needed a few tweaks - the haircut, the music, the daft entrance attire, the weakass finisher - but there seemed a lot of confidence about young Dwayne even then. Interestingly enough on a night when Good Old JR proclaimed big things in the future of guys like Flash Funk and the fake Razor Ramon, he got it pretty much spot on when he declared "this right here is gonna be The Man. That's blue chipper, right there."

 

 

Your turn.

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Mordecai

 

This guy had a pretty cool look and an awesome teaser package, I was really looking forward to seeing what he could bring to the table and what a potential Undertaker feud would be like. Unfortunately, he sucked arse in the ring and buggered off after what couldn't have been anymore than three matches??

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Sin Cara?

 

His promos were exciting, his first appearance on Raw, despite the minor hiccup with his entrance, was pretty good. The attack of Sheamus and the picture-perfect High Cross Body off the top rope down to the outside onto Sheamus were really good.

 

I was excited about him. Until he actually wrestled for any length of time.

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Kizarni (if that's how it's spelt) deserves a shout. Very unique gimick. I think he could have gone far if given a chance. God knows what happened there!

We'll both probably get the piss taken out of us for this, but I'm with you on Kizarny. I loved the gimmick and thought he could have made a decent long term midcarder. He got released after one match on SmackDown I think.

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Ahmed Johnson was the man in WWF. He was great for a good six months after his debut. He's proof that the people will love you even if you cant speak properly, let alone cut an interview. He went mental at Goldust and the crowd were loving his "I hate poofs" attitude. Homophobia was superover in mid-96. His shoot interview scared me though. He said Austin wrote him a "well done nigger" note after he won the IC belt and if he could prove it was him he'd have kill him. He was scary as fuck on that interview. Eyes of a torture rapist.

 

Vader wins this thread though. Came in and destroyed everyone at the Royal Rumble. Got eliminated, but still came back in and beat up heels and faces, including members of Camp Cornette like Owen Hart. Then he destroyed Gorilla Monsoon. He looked like he was the next big monster in the WWF. Then it fell to bits.

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My memory fails me now; what was Nathan Jones's debut? I remember being excited about him before he turned up.

His 'coming soon' vignettes made him look the business. I only remember him from one match- as part of Team Lesnar at SS 2003. Why did he flop- what was the story there?

He was shit in the ring. Ivory summed it up when she said "when he threw his first punch everybody thought 'pussy'". He didn't bother coming back to work after a tour outside the US because he didn't like wrestling.

 

A complete waste of time and money.

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My memory fails me now; what was Nathan Jones's debut? I remember being excited about him before he turned up.

His 'coming soon' vignettes made him look the business. I only remember him from one match- as part of Team Lesnar at SS 2003. Why did he flop- what was the story there?

He was shit in the ring. Ivory summed it up when she said "when he threw his first punch everybody thought 'pussy'". He didn't bother coming back to work after a tour outside the US because he didn't like wrestling.

 

A complete waste of time and money.

I didn't think he was that bad when I saw Nathan Jones on the World Wrestling All-stars tour in Newcastle. However, I was 13 and this is before I had found the UKFF.

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Nathan Jones was getting awesome vignettes at around the same time as Sean O'Haire, and yet in both cases their actual WWE runs were complete crap.

 

Kizarny and Mordecai: I liked both of these guys, to be honest. Kizarny I think was around in the wrong era, a guy who can take darts in his back would have been better in 1999 ECW. A babyface talking like Snoop Dogg is never going to get over. Mordecai might have been better if he'd been brought up three years later (as he proved in an undistinguished but bearable run later, of course) and the writers had a clue what to do with him. Feuding with Scotty Too Hotty and Hardcore Holly isn't usually the fasttrack to success.

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