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  #11  
Old 11-01-2017, 06:14 PM
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It probably had at least something to do with just how much power Hogan had behind the scenes in WCW, coupled with someone, no clue who, doing their best to remind everyone that the big payoff to all of this nonsense was Sting beating Hogan and the nWo.
And boy, did WCW beat us over the head with "Sting is going to destroy the nWo."

The Sting Army appeared far too often and frequently did little and were even belittled by Hogan and co. None of the nWo were taken out. Sting had little to do with the internal troubles of the nWo.

And then Sting didn't destroy the nWo... Jesus.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2017, 02:22 AM
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Oh I think I’m going to have to get in on this.

So it’s 1997 WCW and that means the NWO is running wild. Like, crazy wild. Like the wild when you’re in your mid 30s and still think you’re cool enough to hang out with college students. Basically EVERYTHING is building towards Starrcade in two months, making this show, which seemingly would usually be one of the biggest shows of the year, into something far less interesting. The main event is Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper in a cage, non-title of course, with a great secondary main event of Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage in a Las Vegas Death Match (Last Man Standing). Let’s get to it.

I’ll be doing this in a similar style to a review but it won’t be quite as formal.

Halloween Havoc 1997
Date: October 26, 1997
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 12,457
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan

Ok so maybe a little bit formal.

Yuji Nagata vs. Ultimo Dragon

Holy sweet merciful goodness I could not stand Nagata. I know he’s the angry grandpa in New Japan today but I was bored to death and back by him in 1997. Basically Dragon was betrayed by manager Sonny Onoo (thankfully a name lost to time as he was pretty worthless, along with borderline racist), who brought in Nagata as his new protege. Nagata wrestled a submission style which didn’t quite mesh with Dragon’s not quite high flying, making for quite an uninteresting opener. Dragon tapped to an armbar, killing whatever interest the crowd had. It was good enough though and that’s what matters most.

Rating: C+. He’s still boring.

Chris Jericho vs. Gedo

This was a bonus match and Gedo is now the booker for New Japan. It’s another styles clash here as Tenay explains that Gedo is a fan of southern style brawling from the 1970s and emulates Dusty Rhodes. Now picture that against CHRIS JERICHO and wonder why the match is such a mess. The best (in a way) remembered part of this match is Jericho heading up top for….something and nearly killing Gedo in the process, more or less turning it into a Styles Clash. Jericho eventually won with the Liontamer.

Rating: C. At least Gedo didn’t, you know, die.

Cruiserweight Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Eddie is defending and this is mask vs. title. I’m not sure what there is to say about this match other than it might be the best WCW match ever. Seriously, it’s that good and well worth going out of your way to see. These guys just go nuts out there and since they’re two of the best of all time and work insanely well together, the result was pure magic. The fans HATED Eddie coming into this and wanted nothing more than for Rey to beat him once and for all.

The problem with this match is what else was going on in the same year. Somehow, as great as this match was, it might not have even been the match of the month as Undertaker and Shawn Michaels blew off their feud in the Cell a few weeks earlier. Throw in the Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin submission match and it might be the third best match of the year. You could make a case for it being at the top though, and I can’t say I’d argue against it that strong.

Rating: A+. Go watch this.

In a four minute segment, Eric Bischoff and Hogan demand that Sting be banned from the building before Hogan will get in the cage. I still have no idea why we had to have these segments during the pay per view. We’re not paying for a TV segment here so get on with the higher quality stuff. Then again, it’s kind of hard to complain after that match.

Alex Wright vs. Steve McMichael

This however is much easier to complain about. Debra McMichael is managing Wright, basically in an attempt to get back at her husband Steve. The match is standard Nitro fare, meaning it’s not very good and has no business on this show. It’s not entertaining, it’s not good, and it’s completely ignored by the announcers. The important thing here though is the ending, which saw Goldberg, who had debuted about a month earlier, lay McMichael out to give Wright the pin. That would be Goldberg’s first feud before he was completely changed into the Goldberg you know/possibly tolerate/possibly can’t stand.

Rating: D. Just a TV match with an ending to set up a feud.

Disco Inferno vs. Jacqueline

If you’ve never heard my opinion on Jacqueline, we’ll simplify it to saying I wouldn’t mind if she was used as a speed bump on 34th Street in the Bronx. This was supposed to be for Disco’s TV Title because people would be interested in Jacqueline fighting for men’s titles for reasons I don’t quite comprehend. They did this a few times and it was never any good, much like this match. It’s mainly Disco running away in fear until Jacqueline rolls him up for a clean pin. On a champion. On pay per view. And no, people still didn’t care.

Rating: F. For so many, many reasons.

US Title: Curt Hennig vs. Ric Flair

Flair is challenging but this is about revenge as Hennig turned on the Four Horsemen at Fall Brawl, slamming the cage door on Flair’s head. Oh and he stole Flair’s robe through because he’s a dirty thief. For some reason Hennig brings out the Cruiserweight Title instead of the US Title, which is one of those things that only WCW could manage to botch.

It’s a completely watchable match as you know these two are capable of having. Flair has Hennig in trouble but hits him with the belt for the DQ because he cares about hurting Hennig more than getting the win. This was a great emotional performance from Flair but the ending hurt it a lot.

Rating: B-. These two were always going to have a solid outing and this was no exception.

We continue the Hogan/Bischoff/Sting stuff as Commissioner JJ Dillon brings out a notarized contract, guaranteeing that Sting won’t be here. Bischoff wants Nitro if Sting shows up. This couldn’t be more filler if there was a big screen saying FILLER and it’s getting annoying.

Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall

Again, because it’s WCW, this is all about the guest referee: Larry Zbyszko (which I can spell without looking it up). Larry and Hall had an issue back in the AWA which was never actually specified, but every WCW fan watched the AWA right? Anyway Larry wants to fight Hall and is tormenting him until we actually get there.

It’s about what you would expect as Larry keeps calling it fair but gets tricked into allowing cheating, but there’s a moment in this match that might be among the all time dumbest ever. Hall grabs a surfboard and cranks on both of Luger’s arms. Luger spins out and gets behind Hall….WHO DOESN’T LET GO OF LUGER’S ARMS AND HAS TO GO TO THE ROPES FOR THE BREAK. This guy was good enough for the ladder match but he can’t figure out that he’s keeping himself in pain.

Anyway Syxx comes in and cheats to give Hall the pin but Larry restarts the match until Syxx comes in for the DQ anyway, making the pin pretty worthless. Of course Bischoff comes in and lays out Larry because the world was waiting for that match, which Bischoff would dominate as well.

Rating: D. That surfboard spot is all you need to know.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage

This is one of the feuds that you often hear cited as one of WCW’s best and it’s no surprise. It actually got Page WAY over as a main event star and the matches were all really good too. This is last man standing and is another match worth watching if you have the chance. Page debuts the taped ribs here, which would become a trademark for years to come. A fake Sting (Hogan) attacks Page to give Savage the win. I’ll let you watch it yourself for the details. Oh and Liz and Kimberly looked GREAT here. That’s always a major plus. Or two plusses here.

Rating: A-. That’s about average for these two.

Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper

And of course this has to be here to waste our time at the end. They’re both old, they’re both terrible, a bunch of Fake Stings come in, Savage comes in and misses an ax handle off the top of the cage, and the match is a disaster. Hogan might have been a top star but he just didn’t have it anymore at this point and hadn’t for years. The match is terrible as Piper was more insane than anything else at this point and I really didn’t need to see him in a ring, let alone beating Hogan in a main event (via sleeper).

Rating: H-. About as bad as it got this year, which is covering A LOT.

Post match a fan (which was probably a plant but you never know around here) runs in and gets beaten down by Hogan and Savage.

Overall Rating: B-. The good is outstanding and the bad is Hogan vs. Piper. Check out the two great matches but skip the rest.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2017, 03:40 AM
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I knew Hennig came out with the wrong title. Was it ever explained why he came out with the wrong title? Like I know Hennig had substance abuse issues, but why would he have the wrong title?
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2017, 01:57 PM
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I didn't even notice the belt botch. Mind you, I've no idea what the belts in WCW were supposed to look like (with one obvious exception). My theory would be that it was one of those times a backstage rib escapes the backstage to the amusement of absolutely nobody. Or Hennig was out of his mind on coke, whichever.

The Jacqueline (actually I think there's a 'Y' in there somewhere) versus Disco match would have been improved if either a) it was considerably shorter, b) Jacqueline got in some better offense than some awkward looking armdrags or c) both. I stand by my enjoying it - largely because Disco is an absolute goof - but there are obviously much, much better adverts of intergender wrestling out there.

Now's as good a time to announce the next pay-per-view as any, at KB's request:

WWF Survivor Series 1987

Deadline: 28th November
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2017, 02:17 PM
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I knew Hennig came out with the wrong title. Was it ever explained why he came out with the wrong title? Like I know Hennig had substance abuse issues, but why would he have the wrong title?
Not that I've ever heard of. There's always the chance his luggage was lost or something. That's a big, big reason why WWE does their titles so differently. The belts you see on TV are collected at the end of the night. They'll have a far less expensive/less flashy version to take with them, just in case. The ones for TV are called Hero Titles.
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  #16  
Old 11-05-2017, 05:17 PM
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Halloween Havoc 1997

You know, I had planned on doing a review in the typical style of KB but time has not been my friend as of late and I just haven't gotten around to it. In fact, it was a minor miracle that I was able to find the several hours to get the PPV watched... Nevertheless, I got there in the end and, well, I am not quite sure what to make of it all quite frankly.

You see, I was never a WCW fan in the first place. In 1997, I was 7 years old and not really in the clutches of wrestling at that point. In fact, it was about 3 or 4 years later that I became a wrestling addict. That attraction really came along with the Attitude Era of WWF and a TV deal with a free-to-view TV channel in the UK. The truth of the matter is that the WWF was more accessible to someone like me when I was 7 years old and WCW just, kind of, existed outside of the periphery of my TV consumption.

Still, in preparation for watching this event – an event that I had never seen before – I looked up the match card before watching. And that is where my first point comes from; WCW had such an embarrassment of wrestling riches back in these days that it is almost ridiculous to think that they could squander such a huge array of talent. At this PPV, you had the likes of Sting, Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Mr Perfect, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Scott Hall, DDP and Lex Luger. That's a who's who of wrestling greatness, quite frankly. The fact that WCW went from strength to strength with these names in their roster is no surprise The great surprise is how they let it get so bad that they had to fold. We all know the reasons but back in 1997, they had all the tools to really go the distance and they buckled. And that brings me on the next point...

This PPV exists in peaks and valleys, in terms of quality. The Cruiserweight match is incredible and probably the match of the PPV. The match between DDP and Randy Savage is also brilliant and takes the Cruiserweight match all the way in terms of competition. The good on this card is simply fantastic, it truly is. For someone who never really caught a lot of WCW and who didn't really know what it was all about, this was a truly eye-opening experience. I said it before but WCW was stacked with talent. So much so that all of the matches could have been very good on this card. But when it is bad, it is truly bad. So much has been said about the main event but words don't even do it justice. It is truly ridiculous. Terrible, even. I actually watched it twice and neither time it made sense. Really, really bad.

So that's it really. Coming from someone who doesn't have a lot of history with WCW, this review should be taken with a pinch of salt. I don't know what the average PPV looked like for WCW but this seemed very average in places. Like I said, there are two matches that really liven the PPV up and a couple of matches that kill its momentum. It's a shame really. After looking at the card, I was more than prepared to give this a fair shot. But that main event... Boy, oh boy.
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  #17  
Old 11-10-2017, 05:06 AM
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I knew Hennig came out with the wrong title. Was it ever explained why he came out with the wrong title? Like I know Hennig had substance abuse issues, but why would he have the wrong title?
It's not the only time that Hennig had the wrong title either.

When he beat Tito to win the IC title tournament, he was presented with a tag title belt.

Was that the Warrior refusing to hand back the IC belt after beating Hogan for the world title?
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Old 11-28-2017, 06:42 AM
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Survivor Series 1997:

It came as no surprise when KB wanted to talk about this pay-per-view on its twentieth anniversary. Finally, as a community, we could come to a conclusion. We could go through events in forensic detail and decide: was Vince justified? How much did Shawn know? Did Bret really screw-- sorry, what? Eighty-seven?

Right.

Give me a few minutes.

Survivor Series 1987:

It came as no surprise when KB wanted to talk about this pay-per-view on its thirtieth anniversary. The first Survivor Series. Four survivor series matches, each somehow longer than the last. If watching WCW was like peaking into an alternative universe, watching eighties WWF is like watching a CGI recreation of the origins of life. Marvel as Rick Rude bursts forth from the primordial ooze. Stare in awe as Randy Savage and his rudimentary lungs wash up on shore. Hark! Hulk Hogan has grown legs! To be fair, while there was lots that felt very old, what stood out were the odd bits and pieces that were way ahead of their time.

Jesse Ventura's snakeskin jacket is obviously ahead of its time, to the point that it'll probably come into fashion sometime around 2038.

The first match - and I've no idea if this will be an unpopular opinion - was probably the worst. Slow, plodding, no real structure to speak of. The fulcrum of the match is Randy Savage trying to get his hands on Honky Tonk Man, which he kind of does but kind of doesn't, so it's hard to feel either satisfied at him getting his comeuppance or - what I suspect they were going for - frustrated because he managed to escape it. He does get a beating but runs off before he can take a pinfall, so...?

I feel like a genie had heard my wish for a faster-paced match and granted me it in the most ironic way possible. The women's survivor series match just does not stop, at any point. Irish whip, Irish whip, dropkick, Irish whip, Irish whip, cross body. There's a lot of offense and at first it's suffocating. As the match goes on, however, a more deliberate, technical side emerges. This is thanks in no small part to the two ladies collectively known as the Jumping Bomb Angels, who Jesse Ventura later compares to the Dynamite Kid. I'm not sure if I'd go that far but they're certainly years ahead of their time and, in terms of sheer athleticism at least, the equal of any woman currently in WWE.

Something this match did show is how far women's wrestling was allowed to regress before it reached its absolute nadir, what, some time around 2006? With maybe a couple of exceptions, I'd trust most of these wrestlers to work a decent match. Pleasantly, there's even a few who have been allowed to pass thirty years old without becoming part of a real life Logan's Run.

The "tag" match, featuring so many men that counting them would be futile, was probably the best part of the show. There's not much story to dig into, just lots of faces versus lots of heels, and nearly everyone is a workhouse. There's a few neat spots and there's something oddly comforting about how it seemed to stretch on forever, like I could imagine myself slouched in front of the TV, digesting a particularly big dinner and not really having to pay attention to who's being eliminated.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure the lengthy Million Dollar Man promo, which I loved, featured a young Rob Van Dam kissing feet.

Your opinion of the main event might depend on your opinion of Hulk Hogan. For instance, I thought the main event was a boring twat. I was kind of appreciative of them making Bam Bam look strong, before I realised it was just a byproduct of Hogan getting eliminated by count out so Andre could win without beating him. Yes, it makes both business and narrative sense. No, that doesn't mean I have to find it interesting. The obnoxiousness raises to 11 when Hogan invades the ring post-match and poses to close the show, but at least it's not as egregious as WrestleMania IX.

In conclusion, Survivor Series is a land of contrast.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:21 AM
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Survivor Series 1987

Going back the oldschool days here this month in the PPV Club. I've seen this show before but did not mind watching it again this month for a fun look back on the first edition of one of the prestigious Big 4 events in the WWE. It was very different from today's major events and even different from modern editions of the same event. Every single match was under the tag team elimination rules. Also, there's only four matches on the show. Let's have a look in a retro review.

Team Honky Tonk Man VS Team Randy Savage
A fun start to the show. A number of legends are in this match. Every single member of Randy Savage's team is someone I like and then you have Harley Race as well as Honky Tonk Man on the heel team. I loved Honky Tonk Man's tactics here. In true heel fashion, he believed he was the true survivor of the match and bragged about it in a promo later on in the show! Brilliant heel work by Honky Tonk Man. It's one of the main things I've remembered from watching this show before and it still stands out to me now.

Team Fabulous Moolah VS Team Sensational Sherri
This was very difficult to find interest in. I'm honestly not all that familiar with most of the women who competed in this match. Moolah and Sherri (and to a lesser extent the Jumping Bomb Angels) are really the only ones who kept my attention. Decent enough to not have to fast forward, although it is my least favorite match on the event.

Team Hart Foundation VS Team Strike Force
Goodness this dragged on for an eternity. Luckily they had a rule to where if one member of a team got eliminated then his tag team partner had to leave too. Otherwise we would be waiting even longer in order to get through all ten eliminations on a team. It was fun seeing legendary teams like The Hart Foundation, Demolition, and The British Bulldogs in action in the match. Glad that they do not do matches like this one on modern Survivor Series cards. They were still trying to figure the event out here so they tried this and I don't think it worked well to have 10 guys in a match. This was a bit much and it shows. The match is a chore to get through. Still like it more than the womens' tag elimination match.

Team Andre VS Team Hogan
Following the success of their Wrestlemania 3 encounter, having Hulk and Andre be the captains of the main event here was a good move. Were they trying to make a new star out of Bam Bam here? I've always thought it was odd that he gets the final elimination in this match. He did a good job in the match, better than I remember. It's a shame he seems to be remembered more for that stupid Wrestlemania 11 match against Lawrence Taylor than for stuff like this. Andre gets the win, as he should have, and then Hogan still gets a moment to pose at the end after attacking Andre following the match. It's between either this one or the opener for match of the night for me. The order of eliminations is a little odd, I have no issues with it otherwise.

Other Thoughts
We also had that long Ted DiBiase promo before the main event. I liked that. It showed why he's one of the best heels ever. Today's heels should be taking notes. The guy had a cool character, and still made you hate him enough to want to pay money to see him lose. All in all, this is a good show that any WWE fan should watch for the sake of the history behind it. The opener and main event have stood the test of time. The womens' tag and the 10 man tag matches both get harder to get through each time I've watched this event. A fitting start to the Survivor Series brand and it was fun to watch various legends in action again.
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Old 11-28-2017, 03:58 PM
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I'm 50% of the way through the PPV, but I wanted to make a one off point that I found interesting. I'd seen some of the Jumping Bomb Angels thanks to their appearance on an early Royal Rumble PPV, but I wanted to learn more about them, and boy did I find a good story. This is all 100% wrestling speculation so take it with a 200% dose of skepticism. Apparently the manager/handler/translator/guardian for the Jumping Bomb Angels had spent some time on the US wrestling scene and was very very reluctant to bring them to the US because of the contrast in culture. There was supposedly a strict rule set for female Japanese wrestlers in the 80s that he was afraid they would break. One of the rules was no men, ever. Thinking that the rules didn't apply in America, the girls routinely went out of their way to break them, including sneaking into the men's locker room. It was there that an incident took place that would be the main cause of their short time in WWE, as well as the premature end of their team. One of the gals went into the locker room before this show and scoped out Lord Alfred Hayes changing, and caught a glimpse of his rather impressive little lord. This infuriated their manager and ruined their career in both the US and Japan. Like I said, this is all based purely on speculation and rumor, but I choose to believe it because its a way better story than anything else you could tell me about their short run in the States.

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