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mikehoncho

The "I've just watched ..." thread

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Cheers for that, mate, I'll pick up COTCs after I'm done with Halloween Havoc.

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I watched the Backlash 2000 main event last night as it got brought up in the sublime 'Stuff Everybody Likes' thread. Everyone also likes to have a go at Lawler for some of the awful stuff that he comes out with (and rightly so) but JR drops a fucking clanger during this.

Near the end of the match, Vince is signalling for someone to come and count the three on a beaten-up Rock. Patterson and Briscoe come running down the aisle in ref shirts, and you know whats up. As all this is happening, JR pipes up with, "The parade must be over because here comes Patterson and Briscoe!".

I did the typical English thing of having a short, sharp laugh at this unexpected arrow before letting out an audible "Ooooooooh....." at how offensive that comment could be taken. 

Weirdly enough, it's intact on the Network but is censored on the YouTube versions.

Edited by Accident Prone

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On 5/11/2019 at 11:00 PM, Devon Malcolm said:

Then Flair and Funk beat the shit out of each other with Flair retaining the World title clean. Just a fantastic brawl this, lovely and messy as Funk's best matches were. The after-match fight between them and Muta and Sting went almost as long as the match and was almost as enjoyable.ďťż

Is this the Flair/Funk match with Tommy Young as referee? Even by Tommy Young standards, he's all over the match, physically climbing Terry Funk at one point.

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5 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

Is this the Flair/Funk match with Tommy Young as referee? Even by Tommy Young standards, he's all over the match, physically climbing Terry Funk at one point.

That's the one. I know some people don't but I liked the way he refereed. I never felt like he was trying to get himself over or anything but that he was selling the type of match and performers.

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1 minute ago, Devon Malcolm said:

That's the one. I know some people don't but I liked the way he refereed. I never felt like he was trying to get himself over or anything but that he was selling the type of match and performers.

I love Tommy Young, I think he's probably the best to ever wear the stripes. Watching that match I found myself wishing I could get away with half the stuff he does. 

The absolute best thing I've ever seen from Young was in a Flair/Steamboat match where the pin happens close to the corner, so in order to get a clear view of the shoulders being down, he vaults over the top rope to the floor, and counts on the apron. 

In general, he's very physical and hands-on, and I think that stands out (for better or worse) because it's the antithesis of WWE refereeing, and post-NWA pretty much everyone follows the WWE's lead. But it's logical, and he's far more in line with many boxing referees in terms of constantly checking on both wrestlers. 

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Get in touch with you local football association, Pat and get on one of their Emergency aid courses. While it's obviously football centric, you'll refresh your CPR and work a defib and it's only about ÂŁ25.

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36 minutes ago, tiger_rick said:

Get in touch with you local football association, Pat and get on one of their Emergency aid courses. While it's obviously football centric, you'll refresh your CPR and work a defib and it's only about ÂŁ25.

I'm hoping I can blag one through work as CPD, though I'll bear this in mind as a back-up. 

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93-E0-A43-C-BF07-45-ED-A12-F-6-A7-AE599-

Starrcade 1992: ‘Battlebowl’

December 28th 1992

Atlanta, Georgia 

It’s the last show of 1992 and, coming off an excellent Clash Of The Champions, it’s got a hard act to follow. I remember quite liking this as a kid but...I was a kid. Fuck knows how it’ll hold up now. 

The big gimmick here was the ‘Lethal Lottery/Battlebowl’ concept where 8 randomly drawn tag teams would face off with the winners all entering an 8 man battle royal at the end of the night. So a few of these guys would have to pull double or even triple duty on this show. No real stakes as far as I can tell. No title shot on the line, no massive cheque. You do get a much coveted and sought after Battlebowl ring though. 

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A ring, you say! What more could you ask for? 

They used this same Battlebowl concept at Starrcade 1991 to a very mixed response so why they stuck with it here I don’t really know. As a kid I thought it was cool seeing the goodies and baddies have to team up. It was something different, a novelty. 

As always, Jim Ross and Big Jesse V open the show. This would turn out to be JR’s last WCW show as he was in the WWF by early 1993. 

We’re supposed to get a Ron Simmons vs Ravishing Rick Rude WCW World Title match on this one but they announce at the top of the show that Rude’s doctor wouldn’t clear him and he’s out with an injured back. BOOOOOOO! Dr Death Steve Williams has stepped in to challenge Simmons. 

Tony Schiavone is in the ring with Sting, Bill Watts and Hank Aaron. 

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Seriously, did definitely not racist Watts have it written into his contract that he must be seen next to a black man at all times or something? You know, because he’s definitely not racist. 

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Anyway, they present Sting with a ring for last year because he won Battlebowl in 91. Bit late, no? Watts shouts ”ALL I WANNA SAY IS HOOK ‘EM UP!” For some reason. Like an old boxing referee with Tourette’s. When does he have a piss off his office balcony? 

On we go.

Cactus Jack & Johnny B Badd vs Van Hammer & Dangerous Dan Spivey - Lethal Lottery match 

Look at this couple of oddball pairings. Fucking Van Hammer still hanging around being crap. He always looks dopey as fuck to me. Like he doesn’t quite understand where he is or how he got there. 

Dadbod Dan Spivey looks terrifying though. 

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Look at the cunt’s eyes! I wouldn’t be shocked at all to learn he’d killed a bunch of people. And maybe eaten a couple of them. What exactly was Adrian Adonis thinking messing with that? 

Yeah, this wasn’t pretty. Hammer is bloody awful. Tom Magee can’t have been any worse than this big lummox, surely? 

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Have that, shitehawk. I think the Steiners are gone from WCW now, so Badd stealing Scotty’s finish isn’t going to get him killed backstage at least. 

Spivey’s work gets shat on a lot but he was alright here, I thought. Him and Cactus brawling was quite fun. Cactus and Badd predictably have a disagreement and Badd cracks him with the big punch, the ‘Kiss That Don’t Miss’, and Hammer rolls Cactus up for the 3 count. Hammer and Spivey are through to Battlebowl. 

Big Van Vader & Dustin Rhodes vs The Barbarian & Kensuke Sasaki - Lethal Lottery match 

Larry Zbyszko and Missy Hyatt are drawing the teams. This should be better. And fucking hell, no messing about, we’re kicking off with Vader and The Barbarian! 

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The irresistible force vs the immovable object, as Gorilla Monsoon would say. Barbarian bodyslams Vader! Shoulder tackles galore and Vader’s starting to get the better of it now. It breaks down and they seem to have a few miscommunications so they just knock the shit out of each other to make up for it and Vader tags out. 

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The Hart Attack! The Hitman and The Anvil have changed, haven’t they? 

This is decent, only goes around 6 minutes. Rhodes vs Sasaki have a good exchange. Then Vader comes in and just kills Sasaki with some stiff power moves. Sasaki fires back with an impressive suplex. But Vader and Rhodes get the win when Barbarian accidentally runs into Sasaki and Dustin schoolboys Barbarian. Vader then batters his own partner after the match. What a bastard. Poor Dustin. Getting bashed by his tag partners 2 PPVs on the trot. Quite enjoyed that match. 

Barry Windham & Great Muta vs Flyin’ Brian Pillman & 2 Cold Scorpio - Lethal Lottery match 

Oh boy. This can’t be bad, can it? It just can’t with these four. Interesting dynamic with Windham and Pillman on opposing teams as they’re challenging for the tag titles later. 

Again, it’s short and sweet at around 7 minutes. But it’s bags of fun while it lasts. Muta and Pillman have some beautiful exchanges early on. Windham vs Pillman is brief and surprisingly heated with the chop battle. Windham vs 2 Cold is good too. Actually, I remember a really tidy match between those two in 1993 that I’m looking forward to getting to. Basically, every combination here works. 

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Scorpio brings the flash and the funk as usual. But his success is short lived. 

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Windham plants him with the jumping DDT and then Muta hits the moonsault for the pin. Good stuff there. 

Sting & Dr Death Steve Williams vs Jushin Thunder Liger & Erik Watts - Lethal Lottery match 

Zbyszko with some corkers on the draw. Dr Death is apparently ”One of the last of the real men.” And Liger is introduced by Larry Z as ”Juicing Thunder Liger” unless my ears were playing tricks. 

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Sting vs Liger starts it off. Pretty cool to see. Dr Death schooling young Watts now. Watching this, I’ve got a feeling Bill told Doc to lay it in a bit extra on his son here. To make him ‘pay his dues’ or whatever. The sadistic fuck. He’s certainly not holding back to please the boss anyway. Sting and Dr Death work fairly well together and work Liger over for a bit then Watts gets the ‘hot tag’, although it’s more lukewarm. 

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Jesus wept. Ross says he ”didn’t get all of it.” No shit. 

Doesn’t last long from there. Doc catches Watts and drops him throat first across the top rope and it’s over. 

And with that, the ‘Lethal Lottery’ is a wrap. We’ve got 8 men set for Battlebowl. These tags weren’t terrible, some were quite enjoyable. But it all just seemed a bit rushed. 

Masahiro Chono (c) vs Great Muta - NWA World Heavyweight Title 

Hopefully this is better than Chono vs Rude was. Ross says promoters all over the world bid for the rights to host this match. We rented this show out a couple of times on video when I was a kid but I have zero recollection of this match. It’s clear why, rewatching it. It’s not that good. Only goes 12 or so minutes but it felt longer. The crowd is absolutely dead. They spend the bulk of the match doing matwork, which I’m not against but in front of a dead crowd and in a 12 minute match, you’d expect them to go for more action. It’s not terrible and it is better than Chono vs Rude, but it’s just a bit dull. I don’t know what it was about Chono. I think he’s just a bit too bland for the US here, he gets no reaction and as a result his matches suffer. He’s a far cry from NWO Chono of 1997 onwards who at least had a bit of character. Anyway, Chono wins and retains the belt. He’d worked Muta’s leg a lot early and it paid off when Muta missed the moonsault and Chono submitted him with the STF. Not the worst match you’ll see but definitely underwhelming. 

JR and The Body announce that there’s going to be a tournament (Christ, another one, Watts?) to decide a #1 contender for Rude’s US Title in January. And Ross says that if Rude’s not over his injury by then he’ll be stripped of the belt. Naturally, this brings The Ravishing One out and he’s NOT happy to say the least. 

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And he’s still moustacheless :( 

”Stabbed in the back by a neurosurgeon. On the biggest day of my life. With one stroke of the pen, a stinking doctor foils my chance at becoming World Heavyweight Champion. Now the WCW wants to twist the knife. They wanna add insult to injury. The WCW is threatening to strip me of my United States Title. It ain’t right, with a medical reason, if I can’t defend. They intend to strip me, not only of my title, but of my number one contender position. It’s funny, things didn’t go down that way when Big Van Vader broke the ribs of a World Champion named Sting. It’s plain and it’s simple, the WCW is conspiring against Ravishing Rick Rude. But what I want you people to know right now, it ain’t gonna work, it ain’t ever gonna work. You ain’t taking my title!” 

You know, it’s hard to argue against him (not that anyone would). They didn’t strip Sting when Vader put him out. 

Ron Simmons (c) vs Dr Death Steve Williams - WCW World Heavyweight Title 

This surprisingly starts with a handshake and no double-cross from Williams. They have some fun initial exchanges of power with the old shoulder blocks and tackles, playing off both their football history. But overall it’s a bit flat and the ending to the match is bollocks, which doesn’t help matters. The Simmons title reign just never panned out, did it? In fairness to Ron, he could’ve done with some defences against guys like Rude and Austin who could bump around for him and make his power moves look that bit more devastating. Instead he got matched with Cactus, Barbarian and Dr Death. 

It ends on a double count-out. Which then gets reversed to a disqualification win for Simmons, for some reason. Apparently because Doc dropped a knee off the top rope. Makes fuck all sense, I thought the top rope ban was lifted? So Simmons retains but in pretty much the weakest way possible. Is it any wonder his stint as champion didn’t work? He got out of the blue, flukey looking wins over Cactus and Barbarian, then keeps the belt on a DQ against Dr Death. To make matters worse, Doc was leaving anyway after this show. Why not just have him put Simmons over on the way out? I guess this finish was either due to Watts’ hard-on for Williams or because Williams himself didn’t want to lose clean on PPV because of his standing in Japan. Which begs the question, why even book it at all? Why not throw Austin in there with Simmons instead and have probably a better match with an actual finish? Austin wasn’t even on this show. Whatever the case, it was a shite finish, especially for a title match on a PPV. 

Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (c) vs Barry Windham & Flyin’ Brian Pillman - WCW & NWA World Tag Team Titles 

This was a really, really good match. Best thing on the show by miles so far. Of course, the backstory is that Steamboat and Douglas are after revenge on Big Barry for his actions at the last Clash, especially the post-match chair attack. Windham and Pillman make a cracking bastard heel team here. Wish we got more of them as a team but there were obviously other tag team plans for Pillman coming up in 93. 

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Windham and Pillman do a good job isolating the ‘weak link’ in Douglas for the bulk of this match. The heels control most of this one working over Douglas and then Steamboat for fairly lengthy spells. The babyfaces finally make a comeback though and Douglas proves his worth to the team as he pins Pillman with the belly-to-belly. Top match that was, and it’s the most awake the crowd have sounded since the show began. 

Sting vs Big Van Vader - King Of Cable Tournament Final 

Fond memories of this. It’s Sting vs Vader 2 in their series of big PPV matches. Can Sting avenge his loss at the Great American Bash? 

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Vader comes out randomly wearing a bandana, which I find funnier than I probably should. He looks ridiculous. 

”Look at Big Vader posing, I love it. Double bicep shot. Not a lot of definition but plenty of mass!”, says Jesse upon seeing Vader flexing. 

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Big fight atmosphere again with these two. JR adds to it, talking about Sting telling him that his gameplan is to try to last and test Vader’s stamina. 

Vader dominates early. Just smashes Sting about the place. I love that Vader’s taken off his black gloves for this. He wants to do maximum damage. Sting rallies back and hits a big German suplex and a clothesline over the top which takes Vader’s mask off. They go back and forth and Sting’s having success. He even hits a DDT off the second rope! Fuck me. Vader is reeling but, just like at the Bash, Sting cocks things right up with a Stinger Splash attempt on the outside and crashes into the guardrail. Vader murdering him now. Chucking him about, squashing him with splashes and boxing his ears off. 

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Sting fires up though. Well he sort of Hulks up actually, brother. He’s using the old rope-a-dope tactics to tire the big man out. But Vader’s not done yet. He drops a big splash on Sting but messes up the pin attempt by hooking Sting too aggressively and he pops out. He lands a second splash, this time off the second rope but the impact is such that he bounces off the Stinger and is unable to pin him right away, so Sting manages to kick out at 2. Fucking barely! JR and Jesse sell this as if it was a tactical error in a real fight which just adds to the drama. Vader then goes up for a third splash. Off the top rope this time. But Sting gets up and, as Vader jumps, Sting turns it into a powerslam for the win. Sting has done it! 

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Jesse presents him with the King Of Cable trophy. On PPV. Yeah. WCW logic for you. And we end 1992 with the Sting vs Vader series tied at 1-1. 

Another incredible match between these two. I might actually prefer this, slightly, to the one at Great American Bash. 

They have to kill a load of time to give Sting and Vader a bit of time to rest before the battle royal. Load of bollocks about what it means in sports to win a ring and how prestigious it is. 

Battlebowl Battle Royal - Sting, Dr Death Steve Williams, Barry Windham, Great Muta, Big Van Vader, Dustin Rhodes, Van Hammer & Dangerous Dan Spivey 

OK, it’s come down to this. The Battlebowl Battle Royal. Every man for himself. Like pretty much every single battle royal in history, this is a right mess. 

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😆 

Vader wastes no time trying to get revenge on Sting after their war earlier. The main stories here are Sting and Vader going at it and the partners turned enemies exchanges between Windham and Rhodes. Dustin pops Baz’s nose pretty good which is kind of a payback, I guess. Sadly, this was probably as close to a blow-off as we got to the Windham vs Rhodes thing. They never did have that big one-on-one PPV grudge match. Which is a real shame because it would’ve no doubt been fantastic. Mercifully, they get the shite like Hammer and Spivey out early. Vader takes himself and Sting out with a big clothesline which sees them both topple outside. Same thing happens with Dr Death and Dustin Rhodes and they’re gone. It comes down to Windham and Muta. 

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And The Great Muta wins! 

That was alright actually, as battle royals go anyway. At around 14 minutes it’s not overly long and there’s enough to sink your teeth into with the Sting/Vader and Windham/Rhodes bits. And the closing bit with Muta is exciting enough. 

Funny old show. Didn’t really hold up to my childhood memories of it. The Lethal Lottery matches are alright for what they are but I felt like the concept was actually done better in 1991. It just felt more unpredictable to me. On top of that, Chono vs Muta and Simmons vs Williams were disappointing as PPV world title matches. Sting vs Vader and the tag title match are worth going out of your way to see though. Hit and miss show. Mostly miss. 

And that wraps up 1992. Join us in 1993 for treats such as The Shockmaster falling right on his fookin’ arse (Davey Boy™️), Harlem Heat as Col Parker’s slaves, The Cole Twins, the continued push of Erik Watts, The Colossal Kongs, Charlie Norris, The Equaliser, Big Sky...and Nailz! On the plus side we’ve got the formation of the Hollywood Blondes, the arrivals of Sid, Davey Boy, Mr Wonderful, Scott ‘Flash’ Norton and Lord Steven Regal, ‘Lost in Cleveland’ and the Vader vs Cactus feud in general, Ric Flair’s return and his ‘Flair For The Gold’ segments. Oh and the man they all either feared or respected, Paul Roma. 

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That fall Douglas took to the concrete looked nasty. It was the Watts regime that took away all the mats from ringside, wasn’t it? He didn’t even break his fall on The Hardest Part Of The Ring.

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a) ban top rope moves because they're dangerous 

b) remove floor mats because wrestlers are tough. 

The Apter mags banged on and on about this at the time. 

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Halloween Havoc 1989! Woooooo! This was played out in front of a typically twatty Philadelphia crowd and an appearance from Hat Guy as well, from what I could tell.

Mike Rotunda and The Z-Man started this off in the sort of match that no PPV should be opening with, although they ended up having probably about as good a match as it was possible for these two to have. Zenk got the upset win too.

The Samoan SWAT Team then had an absolute cracker against The Midnight Express and Dr. Death Steve Williams. Needless to say, the crowd went fucking nuts for Doc but the Samoans picked up a cheaty victory.

The crowd then absolutely shite all over Tommy Rich's win over The Cuban Assassin. What was the story here? I don't really know much of Rich but they fucking hated him! He stormed off at the end, which was probably understandable. Not a good match.

They then crapped all over The Dynamic Dudes too, ironically enough considering what one of them would go on to achieve in this city. The Freebirds retained the world tag titles and pretty much had to play babyfaces. Not a bad match though.

Doom then beat The Steiners. These two teams would have better matches to come than this and it was a bit restrained for what they could both do. Still pretty good, Doom were working under masks at this point, which might have restricted them.

Lex Luger retained the US title against Flyin' Brian in another fantastic match for The Package. Such a credit to how good these two were considering their difference in styles that they could have a match as good as this, which the crowd was white hot for too. Luger was having a bloody wonderful streak at this point.

LOD and The Skyscrapers knocked the crap out of each other for a bit, which was as much fun as it sounds before Teddy Long's giant key came into play to twat Animal and cause a DQ. Sid actually sold a bit in this match too! Nobody else did though.

Then there was the ridiculous Thunderdome match. I mean, what the fuck was the point of pointing out it was electrified when only one person got a small electric shock and you had to climb up to get electrified? Honestly fucking stupid, but a pretty good match anyway.

Not a bad show, only one real duffer on the whole thing. Going to start working through Clash of the Champions shows between these PPVs now as well, which is great news for everyone, I'm sure you'll agree.

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Clash of the Champions 9! New York Knockout!

The Freebirds vs The Road Warriors barely got going before Hawk got disqualified for some reason or other. Not a total waste of time but not far off.

Doom then knocked off Eddie Gilbert and Tommy Rich. Rich didn't get as badly treated here as he did in Philadelphia but they were hardly happy to see him either. What's going on?! Not much to see here.

The Midnight Express then dragged The Dynamic Dudes to almost certainly their best match. Jim Cornette twatted Shane in the back with his racquet for the biggest pop so far and the cheaty win. Terrific little match with Bobby Eaton getting a fantastic reception, and always deserved.

Dr. Death then squashed The Super Destroyer, who was apparently Jack Victory under a mask. Totally pointless but always nice to see Doc.

The Steiners and The Skyscrapers battered each other for a few minutes after Rick entered through the crowd eating popcorn. Well, why not. Doom interfered and got the Skyscrapers disqualified. Apparently Sid punctured a lung during this match!

Now we're talking. Lex Luger and Brian Pillman had a rematch for the US title which was just as good as their Halloween Havoc match. Luger won after hitting Pillman with a chair before Sting came in and chased him off. Luger was brilliant during this run.

Ric Flair and Terry Funk then had their FIVE STAR classic I Quit match. I wouldn't quite go that far myself but it is a great match. My favourite part was near the start where Funk is doing some of his lunatic selling and Gordon Solie brilliantly described him, when he does that, as being "irrational". Fantastic. Great brawl at the end when Sting, Luger, The Great Muta and someone else who I couldn't identify jumped in. JR described him as "Japanese" so I guess that will do.

Three absolute corkers, the rest are fillers. So standard NWA / WCW from this time then.

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As someone who's only ever seen wcw from when they were on Channel 5... Where would be a good place to start? I've really been enjoying theses ppv reviews. 

 

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Depends what you like. For me, NWA/WCW from around 87-93 is where it’s at. There’s a lot of shite on those shows too, like any period, but the roster always had a great mix in those times for me. 

My go-to for WCW is usually 92, obviously. Spring 96 would be another good starting point with the arrival of the NWO and the cruiserweights picking up steam. Like I say, all depends what you’re into. 

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