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Best Swerves


tiger_rick
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Best has got to be The Rock in the Deadly Game tournament at Survivor Series 1998, right? 

The tournament divides opinion, and I'm often torn on it myself, but what I think cannot be argued us how brilliantly they book Mankind to appear as though he's Vince's chosen one while The Rock appears to be defying the odds stacked against him before the big swerve is revealed. I never saw this coming at all. I was well on board The Rock as a babyface in the few months leading up to this. It's just brilliantly done.

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4 hours ago, tiger_rick said:

Best has got to be The Rock in the Deadly Game tournament at Survivor Series 1998, right? 

The tournament divides opinion, and I'm often torn on it myself, but what I think cannot be argued us how brilliantly they book Mankind to appear as though he's Vince's chosen one while The Rock appears to be defying the odds stacked against him before the big swerve is revealed. I never saw this coming at all. I was well on board The Rock as a babyface in the few months leading up to this. It's just brilliantly done.

Absolutely. And when you look back on the tournament it all makes sense. Bossman allowed himself to be eliminated, Bossman "helped" The Rock beat Shamrock by throwing him the nightstick and they put Austin on the other end of the bracket to give themselves as many chances as possible to get rid of him before the final.

Brill booking.

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Was it Mania 15 where DX reforms and then splits over the course of two matches? Steph turning on Vince and aligning with HHH at the end of 99 was pretty well sold as well. Not a patch on the Rock's turn, don't get me wrong. 

What about Hogan at Bash At The Beach? If it hadn't been for Heenan saying "but whose side is he on?" that was a pretty big moment. 

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1 hour ago, jazzygeofferz said:

Was it Mania 15 where DX reforms and then splits over the course of two matches?

Kind of. Chyna turned on Kane to go back with HHH which we interpreted as her going back to DX, then in Shane vs X-Pac, HHH attacked the latter revealing that Chyna was taking HHH with her to the Corporation and that Kane had been given the boot.

1 hour ago, jazzygeofferz said:

What about Hogan at Bash At The Beach? If it hadn't been for Heenan saying "but whose side is he on?" that was a pretty big moment. 

I loved that. People malign that outburst now, retconning it to “Oh, he gave it away” but it’s bollocks. It was the Brain being the Brain because Hogan, nobody actually thought he was doing anything but [s]stealing the limelight[/s]/saving the day until he dropped the leg on Macho Man.

My favourite swerve I’ve mentioned on here dozens of times. THATS NOT LA PARKA!!!

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Yeah the Heenan line spoiled nothing. At that point you’d have expected Hogan to be the good guy no matter what. Anyone claiming otherwise since is just trying to be too clever. The Brain always thought the worst of hogan so it was in no sense a giveaway before anyone knew what he’d do 

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4 hours ago, jazzygeofferz said:

What about Hogan at Bash At The Beach? If it hadn't been for Heenan saying "but whose side is he on?" that was a pretty big moment. 

I rewatched this a few months back, and the match is so brilliantly structured before Hogan comes out - beforehand I'd really always thought that it was just treading water until the big moment, but it's not at all. Whether it's intentional or not, Luger getting taken out early sows a lot of doubt - did Sting hit him on purpose because he's the third man? But on the other hand, why would Lex Luger be completely knocked out cold by a Stinger Splash? So maybe he's the third man. The babyfaces never quite getting their act together makes you think it could be any of them. Savage takes a really nasty shot to the neck, which just heightens up the tension even more.

And as people have said, when Hogan comes out, while it's difficult to put yourself back in that mindset of not knowing what was coming, it's completely in keeping with Hogan in WCW to come in and be the big hero with minimal effort, stealing the spotlight from someone else's main event angle. So you wouldn't have questioned it.


I'm not a big Attitude Era guy, but Deadly Game is one of the most perfectly booked shows the WWF have ever done. In terms of "Attitude Era Sports Entertainment" done right, it's second only to the main event of Over The Edge '98, and it's no coincidence that both play off of audience perception of the real Vince McMahon and memories of Survivor Series '97 as much as of the increasingly cartoonish Mr. McMahon character, and that they both involve Mick Foley as the duped patsy. 

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I don't know if it counts as a swerve but the ending to Bret Vs taker at summerslam 97. Bret spits at Shawn, Shawn with the chair aims for Bret hits taker but has to count the 3 to save his own ass. Leading to Shawn turning heel in a marvelous heel run. 

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Bollocks to the negative, Russo sux reappraisals of the Deadly Game tournament. It's a brilliant bit of Attitude Era television both as a standalone show and as a link in the chain that went from Breakdown 98 ("You don't have it anymore! It's mine") to WrestleMania XV ("It is Mr. McMahon's saddest day!"). You can point to blotches and inconsistencies in match quality and booking, but everyone was talking about it and it done great business. 

Edited by Gay as FOOK
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