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All things WCW/NWA - from 1985 to 2001 on the WWE Network


SpursRiot2012
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I fancied somewhere to share my thoughts as I make my way through the Monday Night Wars. As I'm still in 1995, the Monday prime time shows are only an hour long each, so usually each night I'll watch the next Nitro and Raw I'm due to watch in order. If you're currently watching anything WCW, write about it here

Currently watching: autumn into winter 1995 Nitro and PPVs.

Last night, I watched Halloween Havoc 1995 with the following Nitro and didn't have time for Raw before bed. Halloween Havoc '95 is a weird show. The main event is Hogan vs The Giant, but before they have the actual wrestling match, they have to have a monster truck sumo match. The monster truck thing is a total let down but directly afterward, as Giant tussles with Hogan on the roof of Kobo Hall, Giant falls "five storeys" either into the Detriot river or a parking lot. This causes Eric Bischoff to sell it like Giant is dead and he runs off to find out what has happened. Meanwhile, Heenan is questioning (quite legitimately) why it is nobody in "the truck" or anywhere else can tell them what has happened to The Giant. During this, Lex Luger takes on Randy Savage. The deal here was that they had to beat Meng (Luger) and The Zodiac (Savage) in order to face each other. It's never really explained why they need to win these two matches to face each other. The match isn't great and Savage wins with the elbow after Jimmy Hart interferes and Lex accidentally runs into him. Well, it better have been an accident otherwise the main event angle makes no fucking sense at all. So, Michael Buffer is out to introduce the competitors for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship bout and Hogan comes out first, acting like there's no way Giant would be in any shape at all to compete. Heenan is still losing his shit that not a single person anywhere has been able to tell them in the half hour or so since Giant fell off the roof what actually happened to him.

Well, the Dungeon of Doom's music hits and out walks Giant. He's not sopping wet, so he probably didn't fall into the river. In which case, he must have fallen onto the concrete car park below, right? I don't know. He looks 100% undamaged and fine. It's never really explained beyond the Giant being "more than a man." They have a crappy match from a workrate perspective but I enjoyed it because these guys look like stars. Anyway, Hogan eventually gets the upper hand, drops the leg on Giant and before the ref can count, Jimmy Hart knocks him out. Hogan doesn't see this and turns around to ask Hart wtf, brother? Hart jumps around a lot and helps up the ref as Hogan goes for the pin again, but then throws the ref down and nails Hogan with the belt. This causes the Dungeon of Doom to come out and decimate Hogan, including THE YETAAIII. Lex and Savage run in for the save, except shock! Luger turns on Savage and Hogan and joins up with the dungeon. Giant is DQ'd but takes the belt regardless and Hogan is left laying.

Next night on Nitro, Giant, alongside The Taskmaster, Meng, Giant and Jimmy Hart (who teases he will tell us why he turned on Hogan next week on Nitro) says he will defend his belt anywhere, any time, against anybody and that he will do so at next week's Nitro (which is like some early version of Taboo Tuesday where fans get to vote on who wrestles who). Tony Schiavone tries to point out that the title isn't really his since it was a DQ but then seems to accept that the Giant will be defending the belt. Perhaps fabled authority figure Nick Bockwinkel, who I haven't seen on a single episode of Nitro or any of the PPVs I've watched so far, but who is mentioned often, will step in here to hold the belt up for a rematch with Hogan at World War 3? I literally have no idea, and that's why it's so fun to watch!

The Dungeon vs Hogan program has gone on for-ev-er. I haven't even been watching from the beginning of it. Only from Nitro episode one. But the Hogan/Giant/Dungeon thing has gone on over two PPVs (Fall Brawl in the WarGames match) and now Halloween Havoc. I have enjoyed Hogan ditching the yellow and red and showing the "evil inside", coming out in all black, a little preview of the Hogan we will get to see from Bash at the Beach '96 onwards.

So, are you watching any WCW at the moment?

Edited by SpursRiot2012
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I'm binging my way through the NWA World Championship Wrestling stuff on there. I'm just past the Crockett Cup and the last episode I watched was the one where the Midnight Express & Jim Cornette injured Babydoll in  the ring while Dusty was forced to watch. Arn is TV Champion, Flair is feuding with Ricky Morton, Jimmy Valiant has just drafted in The Raging Bull to aid him in his feud with Paul Jones' Army

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I did start watching Nitro from the first episode when they first dropped on the Network in an attempt to watch WCW in order from there on, but found the PPVs a real slog to get through when they full of guff like the Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy. I gave up just before the nWo formed.

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18 minutes ago, Your Fight Site said:

I did start watching Nitro from the first episode when they first dropped on the Network in an attempt to watch WCW in order from there on, but found the PPVs a real slog to get through when they full of guff like the Nasty Boys vs. Public Enemy. I gave up just before the nWo formed.

Yeah, I do find the PPV's tend to slow me down considerably. It took me over a week to get through Fall Brawl and then no time at all to get through the weekly TV until I hit Halloween Havoc. The WWF aren't doing much better. The In Your House PPVs are mostly garbage, aside from a few standout matches (Hart vs Jean Pierre Laffite was excellent, for example, and they had a really good rematch on Raw a few weeks later, too).

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WCW Monday Nitro, taped, airing on November 13th 1995.

Now, I remembered that Hogan had donned the black garb, found the evil inside he needs to fight the Dungeon of Doom and all that. I did not recall, and perhaps never knew, that it went this far.

 

 

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Side note: is it just me, or was Johnny B. Badd not too bad at the old wrestling? Had a very good match against Dallas Page at Havoc and another good outing with Eddie Guerrero on the same episode of Nitro with Hogan doing his Batman impression. Badd had a good look, could work, wasn't horrible on the microphone - why'd he flop so badly when Marc Mero wound up in the WWE? Was it just about Sable getting more over than him? 

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Been watching through episodes of Thunder the past couple of days, up to episode 8 which is post Superbrawl. One though I had was how bloody obvious it was that Scott Steiner was going to turn heel at that PPV, in every episode that the Steiners were on he showed a lot of heelish tendencies from threatening the refs to having weird posedowns with Bagwell to winning matches on his own without tagging Rick in

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I've just finished the very first WCW World War 3 PPV. I've never seen the 1995 edition but always enjoyed later editions, even if they were generally shat upon by most wrestling critics. But boy was the 1995 edition a cluster fuck. Three announce teams who could barely keep up with what was going on in each ring, they didn't even make it clear that it was an over the top battle royale until halfway through making it confusing when guys would be on the outside and you weren't sure if they'd be eliminated or not. Savage winning the belt is, predictably, overshadowed by Hogan, who didn't go over the top but since he was on the outside, bodyslamming The Giant as Savage was announced as the winner and new WCW champion, the PPV ends with the spotlight really being on Hogan having lost unfairly and not on Savage as the new champ. Hulk Hogan: overshadowing Randy Savage championship title wins since WrestleMania 4.

Earlier on in the show, Hogan did a promo with Sting, Savage and Mean Gene where he took off the black, burned it and went back to the red and yellow. He also burned a copy of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter saying, "Observe this, brother!"

They'd get better at producing the WW3 PPVs as time went on but this one really was just super hard to follow and not very good.

Edited by SpursRiot2012
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On 8/22/2018 at 11:06 PM, SpursRiot2012 said:

Side note: is it just me, or was Johnny B. Badd not too bad at the old wrestling? Had a very good match against Dallas Page at Havoc and another good outing with Eddie Guerrero on the same episode of Nitro with Hogan doing his Batman impression. Badd had a good look, could work, wasn't horrible on the microphone - why'd he flop so badly when Marc Mero wound up in the WWE? Was it just about Sable getting more over than him? 

Aside from the Sable factor, the story was that he didn't really "get" wrestling - he'd basically been trained how to be Johnny B. Badd, and then had all his matches tightly scripted. When he showed up in the WWF, apparently everyone was shocked he was a bit clueless, rather than the elite worker they were expecting.

 

I've actually been dipping in and out of a similar time period of WCW, and watched Halloween Havoc '95 about a week ago. I have a real soft spot for the Dungeon of Doom, and love just about everything Col. Robert Parker was doing in '95-'96, so it's a time period I've really enjoyed delving into. That said, most of Halloween Havoc '95 is the shits. 

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Mentioned in a couple of places, been watching November 1999 in advance of the SCG Timeline show. Watched 8th November.

Positives:

* It really annoys me that WCW never moved guys up and rarely tapped in to how interesting and large their talent pool was so I really enjoyed Bret vs. Saturn on this show. OK, it's still Russo so it's 5 fucking minutes but it's a good little match. Bret kicking out of the DVD was great.

* Sting & Luger have good interaction. Luger's a proper dick on these shows and he's funny with it. The pay off of Sting wheeling Luger in to have to fight Sid is great and the fans love it. OK, it's still Russo so it's a heel vs. heel match for the pay-off but still.

* Speaking of fans, there is a huge crowd for this show as there was last week. Goldberg, Bret, Outsiders, Sting, Luger, Benoit, Booker, Filthy Animals, etc are over like rover. So sad to think how it had all gone to shit within 6 months.

* Dustin Rhodes floats down as Seven. I like this floating entrance. OK, it's still Russo so we immediately get a shoot promo no-one gives a fuck about and a promise from Rhodes that never pays off but still!

* Kevin Nash parodies the Grand Wizard. This is 50% lame as fuck and 50% hilarious. I'm torn.

* Eddie Guerrero looks the fucking business. He should have had a mega push starting right here.

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Negatives:

* The production is shit. People constantly starting promos with their music still playing. 80,000 segments. The commentary is dire. Nothing is allowed to hit home or be discussed. You get Kimberley backstage being stalked. Then we hear a creepy voice. Cut to the announcers who say "That sounded like David Flair?". "Yes, definitely David Flair". "Here's GOLDBERG on a soda can folks!" Schiavone's hair though?

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* There's a fucking count-out in a hardcore falls-count-anywhere match. And not in the ring. Backstage. Bam Bam wanders off so the ref just starts counting. WTF?

* Those hideous backstage segments with Russo (off camera) belittling everyone. What the fuck is that? The over-saturation of them in stories and the focus on them is hideous and shits on the show from a great height.

* Why did the "Powers that be/Powers to be" hate Buff Bagwell? Aside from the obvious. Why did they keep setting "Creative Control" on people? Why were the Harris Boys even employed? Why does it still annoy me?

* An angle with the Nitro girls could have been good. The fans certainly cared. But holy fuck AC Jazz and Spice were the worst actors and wrestlers ever. Move over Jenna Moresca.

* Who are the babyfaces in this promotion? God knows. Fucking Russo shades of gray myth stuff.

* Bobby Heenan trying to give Lash Leroux the Goldberg treatment. nice of him to try but fucking hell...

* Jeff Jarrett. Not a main event player. Didn't carry himself like it and was a horrible promo. Steve Austin was 100% right.

* Sid.

* Sid.

* Sid.

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Just about finished with Nitro from November 1999 and I've got to say that for all its faults, it's much better than the shows in the first half of the year. I know that's damning it with faint praise. No Hogan, Savage and Flair takes away some of the stigma it always had as the old bastards company. The focus on Bret and Goldberg is a major improvement from what they were doing before. I even enjoyed the 32 person tournament leading to Mayhem. Luger and Sting are interesting, Sid grows on you - though his music still sucks balls - and having five million segments per show means nothing is bad for more than about 30 seconds. As much as Russo is a tool, the super quick sketches with Duggan being a janitor, Chavo Guerrero hocking stuff backstage, Vito and Johnny The Bull being fake Italian, etc are all innocent little things that keep them busy but don't hurt anything.

There is plenty of bad. Russo, still off-camera, being an obnoxious twat I could live without, Jeff Jarrett - who is the worst "main event" promo in history - being all over is bad, the fucking Harris Boys holding belts is abysmal, the Outsiders are too heavily focussed, all the women are bitches or skanks. Typical Russo stuff. The worst might be on the last Nitro of the month where Juvi and Liger are busy having a good match while the commentary featuring Buzzkill is all over the shop. Bizzkill is Brad Armstrong who has ripped off the Road Dogg's look but in a gimmick where he's some sort of hippy. Unfortunately, he has no charisma or mic ability whatsoever and Bobby Heenan sounds fucked out of his mind. Actually felt sorry for Schiavone.

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I'm slowly watching WCW from the night after Starrcade 1997 through 1998 as it's 20 years ago now and i've seen plenty of the 1997 TV shows but very little of what happened in 1998.

Some of the highlights have been

The beginning of the breakdown of the nwo with savage going mental.

Kevin Nash being an absolute dick to the giant and following on from the horrific botch at Souled Out

Chris Jericho's heel turn, it's somewhere now in February in it's whining mommies boy phase but also trying to still be a "face".

The randomness of appearances by people such a Bulldog, Neidhart and Martell

The spectacular Thunder set, finally got rid of the plastic cliff face with people moving the boulders for the industrial set which i'm a big fan of.  

 

However some things I find myself losing focus during have been

Anything with Benoit, not due to what he did but I actually find him characterless following his brief feud with Raven

Raven and the flock who I used to be a big fan of, they're just the shits though looking back now. 

The fact that the clear lines being drawn in the nwo at times are different to what they ended up with in Wolfpack and Hollywood. Hopefully it will make more sense later but right now it's annoying me

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