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Old 11-25-2015, 02:20 PM   #176
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Mark Mero left WCW because he strongly objected to an angle is was supposed to do with Kimberly - Per Wiki
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:50 PM   #177
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

March 4, 1996

RAW

Cincinnati, OH

Opening graphic to hype tonight's show, and we're off.

Shawn Michaels vs. 1-2-3 Kid (w/ Ted DiBiase): The Kid gets the jobber entrance here. I don't think there are many televised matches left for him. Thankfully I wouldn't expect him to mail it in against Michaels. He hits a nice series of kicks early that draws solid heat. Michaels does a press slam, which is a pretty rare move for him…obviously not surprising he can do it to Waltman. They interrupt the match by talking with Bret Hart during, as he's watching on a backstage camera. Poor idea that distracts from the match. Really though, the match isn't as good as you would hope, given the talent involved. It's fine, it's not bad, but still.



Shawn does throw a nice moonsault. I always enjoyed that from him. Michaels goes over clean with a superkick.

Result: Shawn Michaels via pinfall

They throw it to a video of Goldust in Piper's Pit. More of the same usual Goldust stuff, with him coming on to Piper, describing sexual fantasies, etc.



After commercial, more Ultimate Warrior hype, and Vince makes it official that Warrior will make his return at WrestleMania.

Hakushi vs. Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw (w/ Uncle Zebekiah): This was JBL's first WWF gimmick. Zeb Colter's as well, though he previously managed the Harris twins (as "the Brothers Blu") before managing Bradshaw. They do a phone call with Roddy Piper during the match, and he teases that he's going to come to the next Raw live and announce Ultimate Warrior's opponent, and "you're not going to believe it." What an odd tease. Here's the spoiler: Warrior faces someone who was then an insignificant midcarder. Piper shrugs off the Goldust stuff when asked about it, says he's just playing mind games. The match being ignored in favor of a phone call doesn't allow for it to be much of a match. Bradshaw goes over with the clothesline from hell. Then he hog-ties Hakushi's legs while Zeb brands Hakushi with a branding iron.



Result: Bradshaw via pinfall

Another pre-taped Mankind promo. They never showed his face directly in these.



Bret Hart vs. Hunter Hearst-Helmsley: After some pedestrian action between the two competitors, Shawn Michaels makes his way down to ringside and sets up a chair in the corner for a closer look. We were just a Chyna away from the formation of DX. When Bret eventually sees Shawn he takes umbrage, but HHH tries attacking from behind and Shawn warns Bret what's coming and enables him to turn around and defend himself. The match between Bret and Hunter picks up the pace from there and becomes a lot more enjoyable. It ends on Hunter jumping off the ropes with no particular move in mind and getting taken down with a double-leg into a Sharpshooter.



Result: Bret Hart via submission

Once again, we finish on a Billionaire Ted sketch.

Overall: Show was non-terrible, which makes it better than the average Raw at this time. That said, I imagine that a replacement-level Nitro would have beaten it.

NITRO PRE-EMPTED THIS WEEK

---

Ratings for 3/4/96: Raw 3.6, Nitro N/A
Ratings Running Score: Nitro, 11-10-2 (no result this week)

Better Show: N/A
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 19-4 (no result this week)

Match of the Night: Both the opener and the main event were watchable but not great. I'll say that Bret Hart vs. HHH was the slightly better match.
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:44 PM   #178
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

It's difficult to get motivated to proceed forward in March 1996 when I know that I've got Uncensored staring me right in the face if I go any further.

The general feel I've had for this thread is that WCW already being pretty good is the only thing that provides me the fuel to forge ahead. If they were as bad as WWF at this time, writing this entire period from September '95 through May '96 would just be too much. But now I know that WCW is steering me toward a PPV featuring possibly the worst main event ever.

Ah well. I will carry on.
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:43 PM   #179
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

just think of it this way
every one you finish in this awful wwe era brings you closer to the good stuff
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:51 PM   #180
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Yeah I know it, that's exactly it. But that actually contributes to making it harder to do the current stuff. I fire up the WWE Network on my TV, and then at least in the PS4 app it makes me scroll through backwards chronologically through the 1996 episodes in order to get to the ones I'm working on. And I see a bunch of awesomeness that I just want to stop on and watch, but instead I keep scrolling into the pre-awesomeness era.

But obviously I'll forge through and get these next few months done in full.
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:55 PM   #181
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Uncensored 1996: Everything you've wanted to see...plus the stuff you haven't thought of yet!

(Yes, that's real, says Wiki.)
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:56 PM   #182
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Your sacrifice is well appreciated
Having a lot of fun reading up on these bad times but it'd be a lot less fun having to watch it
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:57 PM   #183
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

for instance, idk what uncensored 96 is
how bad can it be?
there may be even things i haven't thought of yet!
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:58 PM   #184
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHalpert View Post
for instance, idk what uncensored 96 is
how bad can it be?
there may be even things i haven't thought of yet!
Imagine the worst possible main event you can think of. It's probably worse than that.

For the sake of protecting spoilers (I guess?), I'll wait to name it until I get to where it gets announced on Nitro.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:00 PM   #185
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

To be fair, aside from that Chicago Street Fight that they booked in the last episode, I don't actually know the rest of the card. It's just the sheer absurdity of the main event, that's all I can really think of. But my recollection is that the whole show blows.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:03 PM   #186
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I don't think there was ever a good Uncensored. This one was definitely the worst, I wouldn't have thought they could get worse than Hogan beating Vader in a strap match by dragging Ric Flair (in drag, mind you) to all four corners in 1995, but they sure did.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:05 PM   #187
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

i dont thiiiiink this is when fingerpoke of doom happened so now i am truly, truly excited
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:07 PM   #188
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Fingerpoke of doom is way, way in the future.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:10 PM   #189
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

i thought so
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:14 AM   #190
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

March 11, 1996

NITRO

Winston-Salem, NC

Eric Bischoff opens the show with, "We have a new Television Champion. He will be in action tonight." Also advertises Road Warriors vs. Nasty Boys and the big 6-man tag rematch from last week. But I didn't like it last week; I don't want it again. They say they've added a bunch of stips to it. Well…we'll see, I guess.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart): Something totally unrelated to these two men happens in the middle of this match and manages to add some entertainment value to the segment where there otherwise wouldn't have been. Sort of like Kramer and Newman brawling in the background of Kenny Bania's act. As Giant and Duggan are wrestling, you see a couple of large signs show up in the crowd on the hard camera side saying "CALL BRIAN - 1-800-288-PILL." They were very noticeable, but I didn't know what they were about. Then suddenly Eric Bischoff starts yelling, "IS THAT BRIAN PILLMAN?" Then he abandons the booth. Then you can clearly see Pillman in the front row of the audience screaming, and Jimmy Hart on that side of the ring sort of trying to awkwardly no-sell the whole thing. Security hauls Pillman off, and they show them doing it.



I mean…I don't know what the **** that was. I have zero recollection of that. I was very much under the impression that he was gone. If it had been handled differently I would actually say that it was a shoot. But they acknowledged it way too much for it to actually be a shoot. Alright, I go to Google and I see that Pillman actually showed up at ECW Cyberslam a little over two weeks before this, and cut a whole promo on Eric Bischoff. I guess this all lines up with the story that Bischoff agreed to fire Pillman so that Pillman could grow his legend in ECW before returning (the "returning" part never happened).

Alright, back to the match. It's boring. Duggan, apparently still doing the fist-taping thing, tapes his fist and punches The Giant three times until he finally falls. The referee is cool with the whole thing. Jimmy Hart runs distraction on Duggan, Giant readies Duggan with a chokeslam for when he turns around, and he executes it for the three-count.

Result: The Giant via pinfall

They go to introduce a tag match up next, and instead of the Nasty Boys, the Steiner Brothers suddenly drive motorcycles down the ramp. The Steiners hadn't been seen on WCW TV for nearly four years at this point. Their last American TV appearance was a brief stint in ECW in '95. Well this was a pretty big surprise return. Eric Bischoff says that he just got word that the Nasty Boys were laid out in the back, reason unknown.



Steiner Brothers vs. Road Warriors: Scott Steiner is suddenly massive, having grown just ridiculously since the Steiners departed the WWF in '94. If I remember right he becomes a pretty terrible worker at this point, but hopefully that wasn't true just yet here. He does throw a very nice-looking belly-to-belly early, so hopefully he still had something in the tank.



Eric Bischoff mentions that Lex Luger got he and Sting into the match with the Road Warriors at the PPV, and now "because of a technicality," Luger won't be in the match. I wonder WTF that story is. Luger is not gone. I do remember who ends up being Sting's partner. Rick Steiner throws a nice belly-to-belly off the top rope. Good-looking northern lights suplex by Scott to follow. Alright, just scrub whatever it is I was saying before; the Steiners look solid here.



The Steiners set up and execute their finisher on Hawk, with Scott holding him up and Rick bulldogging him off the second rope, but while that move was happening, Animal produces a foreign object, goes in and waffles Rick with it without the referee seeing, and the Road Warriors blatantly cheat to go over dirty in this one. Pretty surprising that the Steiners get pinned in their first match back, but in any case that was a very entertaining match.

Result: Road Warriors via pinfall

Mean Gene in the ring with the Steiners. Scott says they've been hunting the Road Warriors for four years, that they're here to face them, and he says that tonight's win by the Road Warriors was a disgrace. Both Steiners vow that the Road Warriors will be seeing a lot more of them.

TV Title - Lex Luger (c) vs. Alex Wright: Bischoff says that this was supposed to be Alex Wright vs. Johnny B. Badd in a return match, but that "apparently Johnny B. Badd wasn't feeling up for it." Okay, it turns out that it's Luger who is now the TV Champion. Bischoff buries Badd a bit more during Luger's entrance.

Wright flies around the ring here and performs some entertaining offense. Luger isn't bad either, performing a fun spot where he catches Wright and counters him into a snake eyes. Wright hits a nice missile dropkick off the top, but then when he goes back up to the top for a follow-up move, Jimmy Hart appears out of nowhere to interfere with Wright, Lex ends up catching him and then hanging him along the top rope for the pin. That last spot kind of got partially botched, but I still thought that this was a solid little match.



Result: Lex Luger via pinfall

Luger sees Jimmy and starts angrily yelling "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? WHAT AM I GONNA TELL STING?" Then he quickly gets over it and starts flexing and smiling. God I'm enjoying this insincere Luger stuff, especially the past two weeks.



6-man Double Strap Lumberjack Match - Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, & The Taskmaster (w/ Woman and Miss Elizabeth) vs. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, & The Booty Man: Meng in a flannel outside. Nice touch. All of the lumberjacks are actually wearing the classic flannels. The Giant and Loch Ness both go after Hulk Hogan, but one accidentally hits the other and they end up brawling outside between them.

This match is conducted under tornado rules, so there's a bit more action than I can easily follow. We get another appearance from a smitten-looking Kimberly. Bischoff theorizes that she's got a thing for the Booty Man. Well that's a weird conclusion to draw without extra information, since he might be the ugliest dude in the ring.

Okay, so Eric Bischoff starts talking about how the main event at Uncensored will feature the "Doomsday Match," where Hulk Hogan will have to fight his way through four cages. Maybe the whole thing has been announced on WCW Saturday Night, but I'll roll out the details as they do on this show.

As for this match, I literally don't even know the win condition. Is someone having to touch four corners? Most people aren't even attached to straps. This is such a complete mess that I guess they're getting warmed up for the PPV. Just as I say that, Bischoff: "This is Randy Savage's kind of match. This is the type of match where he shines." Uhhh…no. No, I'm pretty sure he shines more brightly in other matches. Hulk Hogan suddenly pins Ric Flair with a legdrop, so that's our ending. Terrible match.



Result: Hogan and friends via pinfall

Hogan chases his opponents to the back. Booty Man and Randy Savage hold the ring and threaten the lumberjacks for no particular reason.

After a commercial, Mean Gene is in the ring with Flair, Arn, and Sullivan. Sullivan cuts a crazed promo. Over to Arn, who among other things says, "Now nothing that happened here tonight even VAGUELY resembles professional wrestling." Well, that's certainly true of the main event anyway. Next, to Flair, who is out of his mind: "You can beat up The Taskmaster, you can beat up Double A, you can whip the Nature Boy, but don't EVER touch Woman or Elizabeth." I can't say I was aware that anyone touched them. I can't totally make sense of all that was being said here, but I still thought it was some very entertaining mic work by all three men.



Mean Gene sends it back to the announce table. They yell some inane things among themselves and then sign off.

Overall: I really, really enjoyed this episode. Two strong matches (Steiners/Road Warriors and Wright/Luger), and the two bad matches (Duggan/Giant and the main event) kind of draw pardons. Duggan/Giant for the Pillman thing, the main event for the post-match promo stuff that I thought was really fun.

RAW

San Antonio, TX

Opening hype video: "The Undertaker and Yokozuna have had legendary casket matches…and now they've buried their differences, and will face Owen Hart and the British Bulldog." Oh, good. I always think that wrestling is at its best when wrestlers who have tried to murder each other just shrug and team up. Also Roddy Piper will announce Ultimate Warrior's opponent for WrestleMania.

Savio Vega vs. The Ringmaster (w/ Ted DiBiase): Okay, they're calling him The Ringmaster, but they literally put a graphic underneath him saying "Stone Cold Steve Austin." So yeah he's either/or, and the Ringmaster thing will disappear soon enough. Austin gets a jobber entrance here to open the show. I have to assume that's the only time that will have ever happened to him on Raw. Vince devotes some commentary to putting over the "stone cold" thing, so I think this was the final transition.

I don't know exactly what the deal was, but Austin was not very compelling in the ring during these first few months in the WWF. He was very strong in WCW, and he was being given ample chance to wrestle here, but he just wasn't working good matches. They pan the camera over to Mark Henry at ringside, mentioning that he's heading to the Olympics. He hadn't begun a pro wrestling career quite yet, though I would guess that this attention means that he's signed now.

Vega and Austin end up brawling to a double countout outside the ring after Vega knocks Austin out over the top with a spinning wheel kick, a spot that Austin executes pretty clumsily.



Result: Double Countout

Austin and Vega just keep fighting after the bell; the referee can't stop them. The post-match stuff was probably better than the match itself. Anyway, overall match segment isn't too bad I guess.

Next, they show a clip from before Raw went on the air. Mark Henry actually got in the ring and press-slammed Jerry Lawler.

They also show, from the tag team tournament, Razor Ramon and Savio Vega advanced this past weekend. The final first round match is this coming weekend, with the Bodydonnas taking on the Bushwhackers. Can't say I realized the Bushwhackers were still hanging around at this point.

Goldust and Marlena come to the ring. Vince yells about how they have no business out there, as Roddy Piper is scheduled out next. After a commercial, and a moment of Dok Hendrix shilling a horrible-looking WrestleMania jean jacket, we're back in the arena for the introduction of Roddy Piper. Piper joins Goldust in the ring. Piper calls him a "fruitcake" and a "creampuff." He continues, "Mind games? I'm the one who dealt with Adrian Adonis. I beat him half to death with a baseball bat. These mind games that you are playing do not fool me for one second. Only a great athlete could win the Intercontinental Title. Only someone who trained hard. Now let's get our sexuality out of the way. You are what you are. Me? I'm a lesbian." Vince: "I don't think that anyone's sexual proclivity has anything to do with this." Piper tells Goldust that he's disgracing the IC Title by acting like an attention whore who wants higher ratings, and that he's messing with the wrong guy.



Goldust unblinkingly proceeds forward with the sexual overtures. Piper attempts to keep his cool, but Goldust keeps touching him, including trying to lift his kilt up, and Piper finally shoves him. Goldust strikes back with a punch, Piper punches back harder, and then grabs the mic and screams, "We're going to have a backlot fight, and I'm going to make a man out of you!" I've gotta say, while I sort of watch these Goldust segments in a cringing state where I expect WWF to have done something terribly wrong, they mostly don't. Keyword mostly. There's way more good writing than bad here, and this was one of the only smart angles they were doing at the time. Huge credit to Dustin Rhodes for the way he threw himself into this. Few wrestlers would have the balls it took to do this character and to do it so well.

The Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim) vs. jobbers: One of these jobbers was Alex Porteau, who temporarily got his own music. And by "his own," I mean the Steiners' old WWF music. But he didn't have it here; he was just tagging with a local jobber. This is a basic squash, and Henry Godwinn makes the pin with a Slop Drop.

Result: The Godwinns via pinfall

They go into hype for the upcoming Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels match. Here's a pre-taped video of Shawn Michaels in his hometown of San Antonio. He introduces Jose Lothario, who was a totally worthless addition to HBK's career. But anyway, in kayfabe he enlisted Lothario to help train him, and they show Shawn training extensively. They then send it to Bret Hart, and show him back up in Alberta, also training hard to get ready for this match. Bret talks during this from his home gym, and I actually think this is some of the stronger talking you'll see from him. He talks Shawn down and talks himself up, and it's really effective. I remember this stuff helping put me firmly on his side for the match, despite (because of?) it sounding kind of heelish.



Hunter Hearst-Helmsley vs. local jobber: Okay, so on HHH's way to the ring, Vince announces that he is the one facing Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania. Last week Roddy Piper promised to announce who it was, and said "you wouldn't believe it." I wonder if, a week prior, they thought it was going to be someone else. Because, while HHH was doing well for himself as a midcarder, there is absolutely nothing particularly surprising about him as a Warrior opponent. In any case, Helmsley goes over strong with the Pedigree.

Result: HHH via pinfall

Vince sends it to another Billionaire Ted sketch. **** off.

Before the start of the next match, they announce Bret Hart vs. Tatanka for next week. That'll pop ratings.

Owen Hart & The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Yokozuna & The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer): Taker and Yoko stare each other down before the match, but they get on the same page when Owen and Davey try to take advantage and attack. I will say, as hard as I am on them for teaming these two up, at least they were respecting continuity and not just ignoring the obvious problems with teaming the two up. They hadn't really feuded in over a year, so we know they would have forgotten it today.



Diesel comes to ringside during the match and just straight-up assaults Paul Bearer, clotheslining him to the floor and then beating on him. Taker was unaware that this was happening, but he realizes it as he sees Diesel walking off. Taker tends to Bearer, but Bearer points backstage toward Diesel and commands him to go after him. After a commercial, Yoko is pretty much stuck with a handicap match, the same one that he was in two weeks ago. And…we get the same ending as two weeks ago. Vader runs in and attacks. Ahmed Johnson runs in and throws around some sloppy moves to try to injure everyone he sees. Jake Roberts is in as well. The six all engage in a wild brawl in the ring as officials from the back try to get it under control.



I don't know about the wrestling itself in this match, but the match was strong in terms of building Diesel vs. Taker as well as Camp Cornette vs. these three faces.

Result: Yokozuna & The Undertaker via DQ

The show goes off the air after that brawl starts to die down.

Overall: Strong episode overall. Thought it did a very nice job of hyping all of their WrestleMania programs. Good Goldust/Piper segment, good Shawn/Bret hype, main event advanced some stuff. I liked it.

---

Ratings for 3/11/96: Nitro 3.2, Raw 2.9
Ratings Running Score: Nitro, 12-10-2

Better Show: While Raw was much better than usual, Nitro put out a great episode that provided me with the greater overall entertainment between the two. Would have liked to have given Raw a win this week, but it just wasn't quite the better show.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 20-4

Match of the Night: Steiners vs. Road Warriors

Last edited by LKJ; 11-26-2015 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:19 AM   #191
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

So yeah, after the bitching about slogging my way through, of course I get two highly entertaining episodes that I really enjoyed watching and writing up.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:25 AM   #192
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Quote:
Ahmed Johnson runs in and throws around some sloppy moves to try to injure everyone he sees
I find it mildly amusing that he ended up in WCW 2000. I didn't even know he was there for any period of time until watching Souled out a couple of months ago.
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:17 AM   #193
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Yeah, I knew that he had a WCW run, but I don't know that I've ever actually seen any of it. Dude could get a strong crowd reaction in spite of his shortcomings, so I can see where a sinking company would take a flier on him.
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:28 AM   #194
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

March 18, 1996

RAW

San Antonio, TX

They open the show with highlights from a house show at MSG the day before. There was a main event of Undertaker/Bret Hart vs. Diesel/Shawn Michaels, and Diesel snapped and not only attacked Taker and Bret with a steel chair, but laid waste to Michaels as well. And with that, Diesel has officially shifted from tweener to heel.

British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts: As mentioned previously, Jake just wasn't good at all in the ring at this point. And Davey Boy Smith was not really the guy to carry a lesser worker to a good match. Jake DDTs Davey and has the match won, but Jim Cornette drags him out of the ring during the cover to break it up. Somehow the referee doesn't notice this, so there's no DQ. Jake snakes Cornette around the ring with his python, but that gets him counted out. Meh.



Result: British Bulldog via countout

More dueling Shawn/Bret training videos. Bret's words toward Shawn continue to drip with increasing contempt.

During next entrances, they show clips of the Piper/Goldust interview segment from last week.

Goldust (w/ Marlena) vs. Fatu: Goldust wrestles this match in a kilt. Piper doesn't actually do that himself. Roddy calls in during the match and cuts a further promo on him. As he does, Goldust goes over with the lame-ass Curtain Call.



Result: Goldust via pinfall

They show a clip from Superstars this past weekend where Jake Roberts issued the challenge for a six-man tag team match at WrestleMania, of Jake Roberts/Ahmed Johnson/Yokozuna vs. Camp Cornette.

Vince brings down Camp Cornette. Jim Cornette snap-accepts the challenge. Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith take a moment to cut quick promos on the other side. Cornette gets back on the mic and cuts a promo on Yokozuna. He also takes shots at Mr. Fuji, calling him "senile." That's a subtle face turn for Fuji after years and years of being a heel. Yoko, Jake, and Ahmed show up on the video wall. They say that Cornette should have read the fine print, because if they win, Yoko gets five minutes alone with Cornette afterward. Umm…WTF? Cornette literally just accepted the challenge two minutes ago, and hasn't signed anything. They slipped "fine print" into an oral contract? Whatever. Cornette flips out about the possibility. He probably should get in touch with Clarence Mason in order to challenge that "fine print" business.



WrestleMania XII video promo.

Diesel vs. Barry Horowitz: Paul Bearer wheels a casket down to ringside during this match. Diesel is distracted by this, but he finishes off the match anyway. I do dig the final sequence here:



Result: Diesel via pinfall

Diesel, before going to open the casket, picks up a wrench. He opens it, expecting to find Taker, but inside is a wax figure of Diesel himself. Diesel is creeped out and leaves.

Next week on Raw, we'll see Shawn Michaels vs. Leif Cassidy and Owen Hart vs. Ahmed Johnson. Poor Owen.

Bret Hart vs. Tatanka (w/ Ted DiBiase): 1-2-3 Kid makes his way down to ringside during the match to join DiBiase in Tatanka's corner. This plays out as a pretty generic Bret Hart match until he's about to slap on the Sharpshooter. At that point DiBiase runs distraction, 1-2-3 Kid jumps up on the apron, but Bret outsmarts the two of them, running Tatanka into the Kid and then rolling Tatanka up for the pinfall. Thoroughly pointless match.

Result: Bret Hart via pinfall

Another hypocritical and whiny Billionaire Ted sketch ends the show.

Overall: You know what would be even better than a good episode of Raw? Two good episodes of Raw. Unfortunately at this time they simply can't string two together. After a nice effort last week, they're back to just filling time this time around. I didn't really like anything, except I guess Bret's training segment from Alberta.

NITRO

Chattanooga, TN

Right after credits, we're immediately on a brawl between The Giant and Loch Ness in the aisle. Eric Bischoff says that this was supposed to be Loch Ness vs. Lex Luger, but The Giant went on the attack. Lex Luger's music hits anyway, and he just comes out flexing and posing. He smirks and shakes his head at the brawling giants as he heads to the ring. I laugh at Mongo saying, "THERE'S A MONSTER MOVIE GOING ON OVER HERE AND HE'S POSING!"



Lex Luger (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Loch Ness: Luger enters the ring and asks referee Randy Anderson to ring the bell. He does. Then he counts Loch Ness out. Luger and Jimmy Hart celebrate like Luger just won a championship.

Result: Lex Luger via countout

Luger hits the broadcast table and crows about his big win. Bischoff and Mongo act incredulous as Heenan applauds him.

After a commercial, Tony Schiavone (seemingly in the Mean Gene spot) brings out Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage for an interview. Tony mentions that Hogan announced on WCW Saturday Night that Randy Savage would join him in the Doomsday Match at Uncensored. The two cut a promo that has lots of words and says nothing in particular.

Public Enemy vs. Steiner Brothers: Scott busts out a couple of nice power moves on Rocco Rock early. Crowd is very hot for the Steiners. Eric Bischoff mentions, relevant to almost nothing about this match, that Sting will be teaming with Booker T for the Chicago Street Fight this coming Sunday. He says that Jimmy Hart had Lex Luger's power of attorney, and that's who Jimmy put in. That's a weird way to sub Booker in, but it's nice that they put a good worker in, and it's also probably nice for Booker that he gets to team with someone who isn't a total stiff.

Public Enemy gets control of Scott Steiner until Scott catches Johnny Grunge coming off the ropes and successfully connects with a belly-to-belly. Hot tag to Rick, Public Enemy both converge on him and set him up on a table outside. Scott pulls Rick off of the table in time for Rocco to go through it. After that, it's a formality…Steiners hit their finisher on Grunge, the bulldog off the ropes, and they score the pin. Not bad.



Result: Steiner Brothers via pinfall

Arn Anderson (w/ Woman) vs. Booty Man: Back at this time, I never found Woman to be as stunning as I find her to be as I watch these old Nitros back. Unlike Liz, Woman could heel it up nicely too. Arn was clearly trying hard to make this match work, but Booty Man really brings nothing to the table.



Kimberly strolls down to ringside late in the match. Woman tries to head her off, but Booty Man heads outside to intercede on Kimberly's behalf. Arn attacks Booty Man from behind and rolls him back inside, but Booty Man connects on his finisher, a ****ing high knee, and Arn has to job to that nonsense.

Result: Booty Man via pinfall

As the next match's entrances start, Eric Bischoff hypes up the PPV main event for this Sunday. "The Doomsday match. Four cages. Nobody knows how many men. The Alliance to End Hulkamania vs. The Mega Powers." So this is the go-home show, and they haven't actually set their lineup for the main event. Nice, that's nice.

Road Warriors vs. Nasty Boys: Nasty Boys come out all bandaged up from that thing where they got laid out in the back last week (never shown on camera), but they're back out there. These two teams start into a chaotic four-way brawl right away. It carries on like that for a good while, and Nick Patrick even watches them hit each other with chairs and does nothing about it. But then suddenly the match settles into normal tag rules. I don't know if this is no DQ or what. Match is a mess. The Steiners come out and run interference, hitting both the Nasty Boys and Road Warrior Hawk, and amidst the mess, Animal again produces a foreign object, clocks one of the Nasty Boys with it, and wins another match dirty. This was all pretty dumb. Oddly, Road Warriors continuing to win by cheating didn't seem like it was being treated as any sort of possible heel turn.



Result: Road Warriors via pinfall

Texas Tornado Match - Ric Flair & The Taskmaster (w/ Woman) vs. Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage: They were putting these competitors together too much. They didn't seem to know any other ways to build this coming PPV main event. The ideal way would have been "book something else," of course. The brawling here is nothing special. Starts off paired up as Hogan vs. Flair and Savage vs. Sullivan, but they trade dance partners at the halfway point.

At our endgame, Woman throws her high-heel shoe in the ring, and Flair clocks Hogan with it. That doesn't do it though, as Hogan kicks out and hulks up. Arn Anderson comes to ringside at this point. Big boot by Hogan, but when he tries to follow with the legdrop, Arn trips him from the outside. Hogan follows him out and…suddenly there's a brawl going on at ringside, as Brian Pillman has jumped the rail and is now in the fray. He's wearing a shirt advertising that same number as last week. He attacks Savage, and Arn sort of stands back and looks like he doesn't know what to do. This whole thing is bizarre. When Pillman gets involved the bell rings, and I guess this is a no contest.



Result: No Contest

Amidst this brawling, the camera pans up the ramp, and here comes Zeus, who Hogan last faced in a match six and a half years ago, and…some big dude named Jeep Swensen, who goes by something else. I vaguely remember him being part of this, but I don't know his ring name. Also I'm pretty sure Zeus doesn't go by "Zeus" in WCW. He's Tiny Lister, the actor who appeared as a villain in Hulk Hogan's first movie, and then main evented a SummerSlam because of it. Unless things have somehow changed since 1989, he wrestles at about a Great Khali level. Hogan, Savage, and Booty Man seem to just voluntarily clear out. Flair, Sullivan, and the two big guys hold the ring, along with Jimmy Hart and Woman. Arn Anderson reappears in the ring now too. Brian Pillman has disappeared.



Tony Schiavone comes to the ring and interviews the heels. Jimmy Hart: "Randy Savage, earlier tonight you said that you and Hulk Hogan were like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But no. You're more like Dumber and Dumber (sic)." Good one, Jimmy. Not particularly good promo work from anyone involved here.

Back to the desk. Bobby Heenan crows about how we're almost finally done with Hulk Hogan. Uncensored is this Sunday. That is all.

Overall: Well…yeah I don't know, I didn't really like any of this, except for the Steiners vs. Public Enemy match. Not a good episode.

---

Ratings for 3/18/96: Nitro 3.6, Raw 2.9
Ratings Running Score: Nitro, 13-10-2

Better Show: Man, there's REALLY not a lot here. Basically a tie of badness. Slightest of edges to Nitro because it gave me the only match on the night that I actually enjoyed at all.
Better Show Running Score: Nitro 21-4

Match of the Night: Steiners vs. Public Enemy
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:38 AM   #195
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW really didn't do much at this point to make their upcoming PPV cards really clear on Nitro alone. They seemed to count on WCW Saturday Night to announce their full cards, and in general they seemed to count on WCW Saturday Night to advance storylines and such that they would only lighly allude to on Nitro.

So Uncensored is up next, and I really only know the main event and the Chicago Street Fight. Shrug. I'll probably just force my way through it soon enough.
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:40 AM   #196
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

By the way, I realized during this last episode that we just sort of stopped seeing cruiserweight wrestling on Nitro for a number of weeks now. They've mostly managed to put on pretty good shows in spite of that, but I wonder where it went. Anyway, it will be coming back sometime in the next couple of months.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:52 AM   #197
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

WCW UNCENSORED '96



Tupelo, MS

Various anti-Hogan people cut little promos that are spliced into an opening video package with "scary" music and video effects.

Note: as of this writing, the WWE Network doesn't have any search bubbles on this video like they have with basically every show, so even people being paid to do so were unable to bring themselves to sit and watch this show in order to mark it.

Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes are at the announce table, and they hype the event. Bobby says that he's wearing a leather jacket tonight to avoid something happening to his Armani suit. He wants "to be able to wash stuff off." Alright.

US Title - Konnan vs. Eddie Guerrero: Tony mentions that this is our only title match of the night. Some decent chain wrestling early here, though the crowd really doesn't appear to care about this at first. There's a quick move-countermove sequence that ends in a stalemate, after which Konnan slaps Eddie and Eddie slaps him back. The slaps get the crowd into it, and an "Eddie" chant rises up. Konnan seems to take umbrage at the Eddie chant, and then attempts to lead a "Konnan" chant. Then Eddie rallies his support back up. They've just sort of randomly put the match on pause to play to the crowd. WTF.



The match has little flashes of good up-tempo action, but then there's always a slow-down and/or break right after where they don't do anything. It's a pretty botchy match at times too. Not great overall. Strange ending sequence…Eddie whips Konnan into the ropes, then seems to attempt a Thesz Press, but gets hurt as the two collide. Tony says, "That's a low blow! That's a low blow, and the fans are booing!" I mean…what? It's a low blow in that Eddie put his crotch in Konnan's face and then suddenly curled into the fetal position, but I rewatched the spot several times and Konnan doesn't do anything additional to hit him low. In any case, Konnan just crawls over and pins him. From Tony's weird reaction, maybe it was supposed to be an actual low blow? I don't really know. Konnan tries to do the sportsmanship thing after the match, and Eddie pushes him off angrily, so I'm pretty sure that ending spot was supposed to look different.

Result: Konnan via pinfall (18:27)
Rating: **1/2

Mean Gene is in the locker room. He shills WCW on Compuserve, then brings in Col. Rob Parker and Dick Slater. Gene: "You're going to fight a woman tonight. There's a first!" Great; it's Parker vs. Madusa tonight.

Lord Steven Regal (w/ Jeeves) vs. Belfast Bruiser: Dusty refers to Jeeves as "Chives." Bruiser just randomly slaps Jeeves on the way down to the ring. Jeeves was just a manservant who didn't really get involved in matches - he was basically a glorified partisan ring attendant who had no real purpose - so it was funny to see him randomly suffer from a drive-by slapping.

Just as I was hoping when I saw these two come out, they work each other pretty stiff, throwing some strong forearms and punches and doing some believable stretching. You have to like the style to enjoy this since the moves aren't flashy at all, but I consider this to be some amazing brawling. Bruiser tries to pull a chair out of the front row of the audience, only to find that the chairs are all connected together and that it was impossible. Enjoyable actual low blow spot from Regal; Konnan should take notes.



Bruiser throws a ****ing brutal punch that busts Regal open and I think breaks his nose. I had to rewatch this whole sequence several times to see if Regal had already been bleeding, but he looked totally clean before this one punch and was suddenly a mess after. ****.



Unfortunately a lame ending after a really good brawl, as the Bluebloods (Squire David Taylor and Earl Robert Eaton) come down to the ring and attack to cause a DQ. Amidst this sequence, Regal hits a hell of a punch on Bruiser as well; feels like a strong final receipt for some of the shots Regal took. Anyway, ****ty ending notwithstanding, I really enjoyed this. Big props to both guys for taking a hell of a beating here. Bruiser keeps the fight going and chases the Bluebloods into the back.

Result: Belfast Bruiser via DQ (17:33)
Rating: ***1/2

How stiff was the above match? I'll let Regal tell you himself:



Mother of God. Now that was one match that actually fit with the way WCW advertised Uncensored as an event.

Mean Gene with The Giant and Jimmy Hart. Apparently The Giant is facing Loch Ness tonight, with the winner getting a title shot at Ric Flair tomorrow night. Giant: "I could start off with rhymes, I could start off with riddles. Loch Ness, I'm going to smoke you like bacon on the griddle." Stop putting a mic in this guy's face, please.

After a bit of talking at the announce table, they're back down to Gene, who brings in Loch Ness. Loch Ness talks worse than The Giant does. Mean Gene makes fun of Loch Ness's considerable dental issues.

Col. Rob Parker (w/ Dick Slater) vs. Madusa: Parker comes out in a suit, so right away I'm expecting big things from this match. He does lose his jacket before getting started. I…don't really know how to describe this match. Madusa has the match probably won with a German suplex, but then Dick Slater trips her from outside in mid-pin and Parker rolls over to get the pin himself. Horrible and totally without redeeming value, but at least it was short.



Result: Col. Parker via pinfall (3:47)
Rating: 0*

Lee Marshall is in the back, and he brings in the Road Warriors. Hawk cuts a weird-ass promo. "The medulla oblongota - otherwise known as the brain stem - controls all the body functions. Everything. Booker T and Sting, I and Animal (sic) are going to remove your brain stems. You will have to depend on Depends for the rest of your life." That was both a science lesson and a wrestling promo.

To the announce table. Apparently DDP is kayfabe broke. I don't really get what the rest of the backdrop is for his upcoming match here, but I gather that he's facing the Booty Man. Why has Booty Man been teaming with Hogan and Savage on a weekly basis if he was just going to be in something totally unrelated on the PPV?

"I Quit" Wrestling Match - DDP vs. Booty Man: So…this isn't an "I quit" match as we know it today. This is DDP putting his career on the line. If he loses, he quits. If he wins, he gets Kimberly and her millions of dollars back. Johnny B. Badd's disappearance had left WCW in a spot where they had to suddenly plug Booty Man into Badd's role in this feud, because it hadn't been blown off yet. Page comes out looking like a homeless person; really living the angle I guess.



This match is completely awful. Brief offensive exchanges with really basic moves and then resting periods. The fans maintain a surprisingly high level of spirit in spite of the match being terrible. Kimberly strolls out mid-match in some kind of ****ing ballerina outfit that features Booty Man colors.



A bunch of bad wrestling later, including a botch so bad that Tony blurts out, "What was THAT?", we reach our final sequence: Kimberly gets up on the apron, DDP forcibly kisses her, Kim slaps DDP, Booty Man hits the high knee on DDP and makes the pin. Booty Man plants one on her after the match. She swoons as if it wasn't the worst experience of her life.

Result: Booty Man via pinfall (16:00)
Rating: 0*

Mean Gene is with Jimmy Hart and Lex Luger. Jimmy mock-tearfully says that after tonight, he won't be going to the ring with Luger anymore. He presents Luger with an animated jacket that has Luger on it. Luger says he'll be pulling for his tag team partner Sting and watching his back, but that he has to fight in the main event tonight instead.

Loch Ness vs. The Giant (w/ Jimmy Hart): Loch Ness comes out to what would become Rey Mysterio Jr.'s music. After Fit Finlay vs. Steven Regal earlier, this is the second heel vs. heel match of the night. You're almost always going to get a cold crowd for those, and this is no exception. Giant does try to energize them by displaying considerable athleticism, flying into the corner and falling out over the top.



Giant comes back in, but Loch Ness puts him down and hits the elbow drop that he's been putting jobbers away with. Goes for a second one, but Giant blocks and goes back on offense. Big boot, legdrop, pin. Quick and painless.

Result: The Giant via pinfall (2:34)
Rating: 1/4*

Lee Marshall brings in Sting and Booker T. Sting fires up Booker T to get him ready for the match.

Chicago Street Fight - Road Warriors vs. Sting & Booker T: Road Warriors run out and attack in the middle of Sting and Booker T's entrance. One thing I remember about this match is that it's shockingly long, especially for a street fight. "Long" I can enjoy. "Long and not at all interesting" though…yeah. Despite an extensive amount of brawling, there's little to write about. I'm always a sucker for the "dropkick on a guy who is flying at you from the top" spot, but even stuff like that was really rare in this one.



It's just an extremely boring match and a chore to get through. I actually started laughing out loud at the absurdity of how long this thing has gone on, just looping through the same basic brawling over and over again. Booker T apparently gets bored too, and after 20+ minutes he leaves. Animal follows him back and picks the fight back up with him there. Animal incidentally bumps Lex Luger as he walks toward Booker T in the back, and an inconvenienced Luger yells, "Come on, guys!" Tony: "What's Luger doing? Luger's primping in front of the mirror, for crying out loud!" I laughed out loud. IIRC Luger goes back to being very interesting within a few months, but at this moment he's gold whenever he's on the screen. I love that he was just standing in the back posing for the mirror, all during a match where he was "going to watch his friend Sting's back." Animal then attacks Luger, so Luger's ire is up, and then Stevie Ray comes into the shot as well. Luger and Stevie Ray attack Animal, and Jimmy Hart cuffs him to a pole in the back.

Animal is now out of the match. Stevie Ray runs down to the ring, hammers Hawk with a chair, and Booker T covers Hawk for the win as Animal is trapped in the back. Big pop for Booker T's pinfall there. He was still just half of a tag team at this point with Stevie Ray, so it's good to see him get a starring moment I suppose.

Result: Sting & Booker T via pinfall (29:33)
Rating: 1/2*

Doomsday Cage Match - Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Meng, The Barbarian, Lex Luger, The Taskmaster, Z-Gangsta, & the Ultimate Solution: I sigh heavily just writing out the match participants. I made this match its own separate viewing because I felt like I needed to be fully rested just to get through it, but even as I sat down and pressed play, I feel like I just strapped myself in to a horrifying carnival ride that might kill me. Michael Buffer says that these eight men will have to come in and face "the Mega Fours." The eight enter the various cages, which are set up near the top of the ramp rather than using the normal ring. The former Zeus is now known as Z-Gangsta. Neither Z-Gangsta or Ultimate Solution actually come out. Buffer refers to Hulk and Savage as the Mega Fours two more times. Dude. Tony Schiavone questions why Brian Pillman isn't there. I'm so confused on this Pillman stuff.



Hogan and Savage enter the top cage to take on Arn and Flair. Heenan: "What a great thing for television!" The footing in this top cage isn't good, and they push down the floor (also the ceiling for the next cage) with every step they take. As you can imagine, soft footing isn't exactly going to enable great wrestling no matter what. Heenan: "This surpasses the Super Bowl, the World Series, anything. This is tremendous." Man, stop it. Incidentally, I should mention that I have zero idea what the win condition of this match is. Arn and Flair hook figure-four leglocks on the two Mega Fours, but I don't even know if submissions are available. Hell, Arn and Flair probably don't know that either.

Hogan and Savage blind Arn and Flair with salt, then open up the floor and climb down. Tony says that Hulk and Randy have made it to the next level, and Arn and Flair "are eliminated." Okay. On this next level there are two cages side by side. Hogan locks the adjoining door shut and locks Meng and the Barbarian out so that he and Savage can go 2-on-2 with Sullivan and Luger. Now Arn climbs down from the above cage and is trying to break through that door. I guess that means he's un-eliminated. I'm going to have a stroke.



Hogan and Sullivan go out on an adjoining scaffold and fight a bit. Unlike his monster truck match with The Giant, it would probably be best if Hogan didn't actually knock his opponent off a ledge here. Sullivan fights his way back up, and he and Hogan just stroll down some stairs to the next level. Let me guess, Hogan just passed another level and eliminated more opponents (unless of course they bother to follow him)? Savage is still up above. Hogan and Sullivan fight all the way to the floor. Luger and Savage join them. WTF is going on? Is the cage match still ongoing? Hulk and Taskmaster head to the ring. Hogan takes Michael Buffer's mic and uses it as a weapon. Before doing that, he should have stopped and said "Mega POWERS." Incidentally, still no sign of two of the announced opponents for Hogan for this match.



They fight back toward the cage, but just brawl on the concrete floor. As the camera pans from Savage/Luger to Hogan/Sullivan, Hogan hits Sullivan in the back with what appears to be a backpack with almost nothing in it. Heenan: "OHHHHH!" Like there was just a huge spot or something. Tony: "What was that?" Heenan: "It's like a bucket of bolts and tools and stuff." Bobby must have been drunk on warm Pepsi by this point in the night. His commentary was all kinds of bizarre. Hogan heads back to the ring with Luger. Taskmaster is still in pursuit. Tony: "Everyone else basically is gone. They've been eliminated." I'm way far from convinced that "eliminated" is even a thing in this match. Two of the participants still haven't shown up. Also the cage was escaped so long ago that I don't know what their goal is. A pin inside the ring?

All four brawl around the ring. Really basic brawling, nothing with any entertainment value. Think "worse version of that Road Warriors match just now." Here come Z-Gangsta and the Ultimate Solution, who I guess gave themselves a bye into the finals of this match while other wrestlers got eliminated or whatever. These two monsters forcibly bring Hogan and Savage back into the bottom cage within the tower of doom. Arn Anderson enters the cage as well, for I guess his second un-elimination. Flair as well. Booty Man comes out and gives frying pans (???) to Hogan and Savage. They assault everyone with them. Lex Luger un-eliminates himself and comes into the cage. Lex puts on a coal miner's glove, Flair holds Savage up for him, Savage ducks out, Lex stops his punch short, then follows through and hits Flair anyway. I certainly hope that was meant to be a thing where in kayfabe he deliberately punched Flair, because if not it's an absurd botch.



Hogan and Savage start to leave the cage for the win. Then referee Randy Anderson tells them to go back, I guess informing them that cage escape doesn't win the match. Is this real life? The ****ing booked winners went into the match NOT KNOWING THE WIN CONDITION OF THE DAMN MATCH. Basically on the referee's orders, Savage goes back in and pins Flair for a three-count so that he and Hogan can leave and have it count as a win. Possibly the worst match in the history of wrestling.

Result: Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage via pinfall (25:09)
Rating: 0*

As you can tell from the above rating, I don't do negative stars, because I would give that match all of them. Tony points out that Flair saw Savage duck and punched anyway. Heenan says it was an accident. They go back to the announce table, the Brain rants about how upset he is that Hogan won, and they sign off.

Overall: The opener was okay. The Finlay vs. Regal match was very, very good. And everything after that point still gives this show a very strong case for worst PPV ever. After Finlay vs. Regal, everything was either ridiculously boring or completely embarrassing. It's mind-blowing that we're just a couple of months away from WCW becoming must-see TV.

Last edited by LKJ; 11-27-2015 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:12 AM   #198
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

I'm sitting here cracking up at this main event write up
Not a single thing about this makes sense
"un-eliminated" is hilarious
byes into the finals is hilarious
nobody knowing how the match ends is hilarious

not in a good way
but still hilarious

MINUS FIVE STARS
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:31 AM   #199
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

Yeah, I didn't actually set out to give such a full write-up to that match, but as it proceeded I figured that it needed to be documented to really bring across what it was like to watch that atrocity. I hadn't seen it since it happened, so I didn't remember basically any of the specifics of it. Admittedly the sheer absurdity of it might have provided more accidental entertainment than just a horribly boring match like the Chicago Street Fight.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:09 PM   #200
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Re: Monday Night Wars - The Comprehensive Recap

5-star writeup for a -5 star match
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