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garynysmon

Montreal - 20 years

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Wasn't the Saturday Night show basically an empty arena NWO show for about 3 weeks in 96, with the NWO guys just beating up jobbers, while they pissed about on commentary.

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I know it's gone off topic but it is shocking what wcw put out given the insane diversity & depth of talent it had 96 to 99. Wcw had enough talent for 2 shows but the booking was so mental you had guys picking  up $$$$ off tv and yet total nondescript on it????

 

 

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You had guys who were not once put on TV getting that dollar too, Lanny Poffo was given four years worth of cash simply because of who his brother was.

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On 30/11/2017 at 11:32 AM, jazzygeofferz said:

Was it WCW deliberately sabotaging Bret's run, or was it Nash/Hogan/Hall using their creative control to derail it? The talent in that roster at the time would have made for such a good run for Bret with the belt had he not turned up halfway through the nWo stuff. Benoit, Naitch, Eddie, Jericho, Hennig, Malenko, Saturn, Sting, DDP, Savage? So many potential great matches either through him being in there with some great workers, "marquee names" or both. Unfortunately he just ended up getting lost in the shuffle. Should have stuck the US belt or TV Title on him and watched him elevate it. Keep him away from "the boys" and let him do his own thing, although there'd always be that danger that once it started getting attention it'd have been shat upon by the creative control clauses that Bischoff seemed to be handing out to all & sundry..

Sort of.

When you think about it, Bret failing in WCW was inevitable. He was coming in hot as fuck after being on the wrong side of arguably the most famous incident in wrestling history. He still had a credible claim to being World Champion of the opposition AND he was an incredible worker, who could have a good match with pretty much anyone.

The problem was WCW was already stacked with big stars on guaranteed contracts. There was no real incentive for them to want Bret to succeed because, if he did, it would push them down the card and make it harder for them to negotiate their own deals. Would Hogan have got such a mental deal in 1998 if Bret had been able to keep his momentum going? Maybe but also maybe not.

I doubt anybody actually *played* the creative control card though. It was probably more "I don't think the time is right for a match with Bret. We should let it build up a bit more" or "Sure. I could work with Bret but what about if I work with someone else instead?" until Bret was just another guy and then it becomes "Bret isn't over enough to work with right now". The fact that he and Hogan only had one singles match, on Nitro, which consisted of Hogan beating the crap out of Bret, really sums up his WCW tenure for me. He never stood a chance.

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The problem with Bret going into WCW when he did was that the obvious course of action was not taken : they positioned him at Starrcade as an enemy for the top nWo guys which would have been fresh main events immediately with Savage, Nash or Hogan. Sting was still being used sparingly, Luger and The Giant were played out, Dallas Page was being used to make the US title division strong. A new main event babyface for the nWo would have been great, but instead of going with Bret, they decided the nWo should start fighting itself instead.

Regardless of anyone "played the creative control card," it was a weird direction or lack thereof. Typically WCW in terms of consistency/follow through... nothing says "I want to tear down the nWo" like working your first PPV with Ric Flair.

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Whiile I feel there was an element of sabotage to the booking of Bret Hart, if we're being honest WCW didn't have a clue how to follow-up the Sting title win. The fact that they couldn't commit to it and had to draw it out for a couple more months is clear evidence of their indecision. They didn't have another idea beyond an nWo split and couldn't do that with any conviction. If that happened, it should have been a self-contained story while they built Sting and his challengers. Then when the nWo battle was done, they could have integrated them back with the babyfaces showing contrition and the heels being made to earn their way up. Instead they did it so half-arsed that a few months after his title win, Sting and Luger are joining the nWo red and black and 7 months after Starrcade they're doing the same thing again with Goldberg beating Hogan.

Then they do the self same thing again. Put Goldberg as Champion on the second rung of the ladder while they focus on Hogan, his celebrity mates and the Warrior. Bischoff had one idea and he couldn't follow it up. Instead being manipulated by Hogan into doing what he wanted. Then he handed the book to Nash whose only priority was Kevin Nash. Rinse and repeat until death.

After Starrcade 97, you could either do the nWo feud properly while Sting deals with this new threat from Bret Hart, DDP, Goldberg, Flair, etc. Or, you keep the nWo ooking for retribution building to an all-star match down the line, probably a Wargames, where the nWo blow-off against an all-star team comprised from any number of Sting, Hart, Goldberg, Flair, DDP, Luger and Giant. That could have been amazing. But ultimately, it still would have failed because the problems were deep-set.

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