Originally Posted by FlairFan2003
Hogan put over a friend in his hometown in a meaningless non title match that wasnt televised (Rougeau in Canada). Nothing wrong with this, it hurt no one
Hogan was over due for a major loss and Piper was just the guy to deliver it and make fans happy (Starrcade 96). WCW fans & likely fans overall would have preferred Flair here as Mr WCW, anti NWO, etc but remember he was on injured reserve rehabbing rotator cuff surgery. Piper was a long established legend with a well documented history against Hogan (similar to Flair) and was clearly established as anti NWO, etc. Plus, the title wasnt on the line, this was a feel good/give back match for the fans & Hogan's loss made fans happy, this was a good call. Plus, while it added some much vulnerability to Hogan & NWO, Hogan still kept the belt so balance of power didnt really shift.
WCW needed a jolt in the early days of live Nitro, and Hogan suffering a pinfall loss on TV was big (Hogan had lost only 3 pinfall decissions since 1984, 12 years earlier). Arn Anderson was a well respected vetetan star with over a decade near the top of the card, and lets not forget the match was hardly clean, Hogan was clearly cheated. This match furthered the evolution of the reformed Four Horsemen as a legit threat to Hogan/Savage/Sting fan fave power trio. The top feud on the card was Flair-Savage, which this match (and Flair's much more competitive but still unclean win a week later over Hogan) clearly burnished, plus it added an air of vulnerability to Hogan to aide interest in his storyline vs Big Show, which considering what a newbie Show was then needed all the help it could get, and since WCW was making a huge investment in Show, his run vs Hogan was hugely important to establishing his credibility with the audience, so any burnishment is good.
Hogan shouldnt have lost at Uncensored 99 only because that match shouldnt have taken place. Flair was red hot when he returned and should have gone over clean vs Hogan at SuperBrawl 99. That would have created storyline chaos for the newly reformed NWO if Hogan dropped the belt to his arch nemesis (much to fans delight) after the FingerPoke of Doom, a great catalyst for stress between Hogan-Nash-Biachoff. Plus, at that point in Feb 99 Goldberg was super over and there was big money potential in re matches with him vs either Hogan and/or Nash. Meanwhile, Sting, Savage, & Hart are all soon returning from injured reserve with the NWO on its heels for the first time since early in their 96 inception with a potential wild card as Pres & Champion (Flair), afterall, he was Mr Fan Favorite Lives Wrestling Loves Fans Pro Tradition when his company was under attack & his arch rival had all the power, but there a ton of storyline directions WCW could have gone here with a guy known as "The Dirtiest Player In The Game". Especially if WCW would have a had a long range plan to put their only true YOUNG superstar (Goldberg) back on top by year's end. So much money just flushed down the shoot here, add Hogan winning at SuperBrawl 99 as an outcome that should not have happened.
Hogan-Savage with Macho getting a clean win shouldnt have been wasted on a Nitro, Savage deserved that on a premium PPV setting (SuperBrawl, Bash At The Beach, Haliween Havoc, Starrcade).
What bothered me was that Hogan only put over mid carders like Rougeau and Arn because he knew they couldn't diminish his value or surpass him in any way. Meanwhile, he wouldn't lose properly to main eventers like Flair, Hitman or Savage on big time PPVs. As for Piper at Starrcade 96, I get that it made sense to send the fans home happy. I just remember thinking it was silly that Piper could actually beat Hogan so easily considering the New World Order was so large and was always interfering. Even though the matchup had a fantastic build, the match was uninteresting. Starrcade 96 was a fantastic PPV..but that was by far my least favourite match on the card.
I watched a Kevin Sullivan interview that pretty much sums up why Hogan lost to both Flair and Anderson 2 weeks in a row. Apparently Flair was constantly whining to Sullivan over Hogan not losing cleanly to him or anyone. There was supposedly a Hogan camp and a Flair camp backstage. At some point, Hogan came to Sullivan and offered to lose to Arn and Flair (just to shut Flair up). It's clear when reading Flair's autobiography and watching the whole real life feud with Bischoff go down that Flair was pretty insecure with his standing in the company and with his legacy. He wasn't really much of a team player the entire time the New World Order was dominant and completely outshining everything the Horsemen had ever done. I love Flair as a wrestler and entertainer. But, from what I've learned, I'm not a big fan of the way he carried himself in WCW backstage between 1997-1999.
I enjoyed Flair's comeback in late 98 though and WCW set up what could have been a fantastic feud between the reformed NWO and Horsemen right after the FPOD. But, like you said, they screwed that up. I would have much preferred to see Hogan lose to the figure four leg lock at Uncensored rather than the 'first blood' match. And the big thing that still bothers me about how WCW fell apart is how they just took the NWO and phased it into the B-team with any official disbanding. I would have liked to see some finality with the old rebels, the Horsemen, officially retiring the new rebels, the NWO angle, in some sort of stipulation match..and that would have been a cool way for the Hogan and Flair match to have ended at Uncensored.
As for Hogan and Savage, I would have loved to see Savage beat Hogan at a PPV. But when I think of all the times that Hogan beat Savage, the one time that made absolutely no sense was the night after Spring Stampede 98. Savage was over huge as the lone wolf dividing the New World Order. The whole off and on Hogan/Savage feud was entertaining on so many levels over the years and it was the perfect time to give fans what they wanted: Savage finally getting his first ever clean win over Hogan..The fans would have gone bananas - (And Hogan obviously wouldn't let that happen - he'd rather wait and lose to a midcarder at a house show in Quebec).