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  #21  
Old 07-18-2017, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by relentless1 View Post
You people are all drinking the WWE revisionist history kool aid.

FPOD wasn't a bad thing, cattle prod ending the streak wasn't a bad thing either.

Lets start with the Starrcade ending; while I agree that Nash shouldn't have been the guy to end the streak (it should've been Big Poppa Pump) the taser was a great way to keep Goldberg looking very strong; what other wrestler in that time period needed to be hit with a shock stick to get beaten?? Nobody, not even crow Sting who was also a nigh unstoppable force for a time.

The FPOD was a great way to streamline the heels and have a machine for Goldberg to run through on his way to a PROPER victory on PPV over Hogan; Luger, Bagwell, Steiner, Hall, Nash and finally Hogan in the summer gets beaten to finally finish off the nWo once and for all.

Now WCW screwed up this potential goldmine by losing sight of this easy to follow storyline; instead they put Flair/Horsemen above Goldberg in stature while Bill spent time dealing with guys like Bam Bam meanwhile Hogan and Flair decide to do a double turn and kill the damn thing right then and there.

WWE love to gloss over the fact that 1/3rd of the new nWo were immediately injured so this took some steam out of the group also; Hall and Luger both went down by Superbrawl.

So in retrospect yeah; the Poke wasn't good but had WCW stuck to the original plan afterwards then wed be looking at an entirely different story, one where Goldberg reigns triumphant after a long chase for the belt in the summer of '99
This. WWE revisionism sickens me to the core...
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  #22  
Old 07-19-2017, 06:15 AM
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I do not wish to be random about my thoughts on this matter, but I was in my mid to late Teens during the Monday Night War. I think there was a lot that happened both internally and externally with WCW that caused the end of the business. I also want to place it context - I am in the UK and from 1996 on wards, Raw and Nitro went out on our cable TV on a Friday night. The best thing about it this was that Nitro would air from 8pm to 10pm, then Raw from 10pm to 12am - local times. We could watch both shows. However, when WWF started to turn around their fortunes Raw became more of a must watch show. Hogan had gone heel in summer 1996, but by Summer 1997, it was growing slightly stale. Raw was becoming more fun, with the Hart Foundation, Stone Cold, NOD, DX, Dude Love/Mankind/Cactus Jack. Over on Nitro, I think they had Goldberg coming through and Chris Jericho, DDP, and the LWO all getting over.

My list of events that caused WCW to demise from this point, included lack of support from TNT execs above Bischoff. They had their wings clipped in terms of being more of an edgy product. Also, I think that Nitro was overun by ex WWF stars that had been over 7-8 years before. People were bored. Also, I think WCW fans genuinely watched WCW instead of WWF as they liked the WCW old school rasslin style as opposed to the WWF comic book style. The clash of egos behind the scenes at WCW was awful, and the way they wasted Bret Hart tells you everything you need to know. The same angle every week occurred on Nitro - NWO came out and obliterated everyone from WCW and layed them out and spray painted NWO on them and the pay off never came. There were two instances this is apparent - one with Sting at Starcade 97, that was a massive dud for reasons this blog has already explained, and the Other is when they gave away Goldberg V Hogan on Nitro really quickly. Again, neither paid off the potential they both had.

Now, anyone who argues WWF did the same angle every week is right too. WWF did the same each week for ages. Vince Would come out and say to Stone Cold "the easy way or the hard way" and threaten to fire SCSA, who would then stunner the snot out of Vince. The main difference was it always led to a PPV match with another performer which allowed them to get "over" with the crowed - such as Corporate Dude Love, Undertaker, Kane, Rock and even Vince himself. That was one reason WWF succeeded where WCW failed.

The main failings with WCW was Russo's booking. Trying to push Jeff Jarrett to the moon, putting the belt on Russo, Arquette, Jarrett were all killer moves, making the WCW world title seem meaningless. People criticize WWF for putting the WWF title on Vince, but Vince was a big heel in WWF, and it at least made sense from that story line perspective and it also ended with HHH getting more over as a result. So it was a success.

In terms the booking at WCW post Autumn 1999 -almost everything they did was rubbish and that can be seen in the trend where millions switched over to watch Raw. How bad was it? By the time Vince purchased WCW in March 2001 - nobody actually cared because WCW was a joke.
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  #23  
Old 07-19-2017, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FlairFan2003 View Post
I said nearly the exact same thing on this topic a few years ago. Now I think WCW screwed up Goldberg's title reign because they never let him main event or gave him the top storyline until it was time to end it. Why was Hogan getting the best storylines and main events in July, Aug & Sept PPV events while Goldberg was champ, only to share a "Double Main Event" at the huge Halloween Havoc PPV with Hogan's rematch vs Ultimate Warrior (then Goldberg didn't even have a match on the Nov PPV!!!). Through all of this Goldberg remained way over, so his loss was a huge!

RE: The Fingerpoke, maybe the greatest swerve ever in Pro Wrestling History. Not entirely original as it bore a lot of similarity to Andre The Giant/Ted DiBiase and the selling of the WWE Title for cash in 1988, but Nash had been booked as a fan fave almost all of 1998 and was clearly (at this point) not on the same page as Hall and Hogan. Nash continuing to disavow their overtures and promise to settle things set up a dream match scenario, therefore when the FPOD happened it was a TOTAL SHOCK, not just that Nash would reconcile with those two (that's not a shock, just a minor surprise) but that he would give Hogan the belt like that "To Get The Band Back Together".....look at the ratings WCW drew huge numbers that night and the following week and then in Feb 99 twice topped the 5.0 mark DESPITE BEING IN DIRECT COMPETITION WITH WWE RAW.

FPOD set up an entirely new dynamic, ending the nonsensical Red & Black vs Black & White feud, allowing the NWO to purge all the ridiculous 2nd and 3rd teamers from their ranks (really, can you imagine DX, The Horsemen, or Evolution allowing the likes of Virgil, Horace Hogan, & Scott Norton in, and wasn't it long overdo the injury prone never around for long Curt Henning got the boot ?), returning the group to a lean, mean ruthless fighting machine. There was a twist this time, for the first time ever they DIDNT have control of WCW, Bischoff lost that to Ric Flair, but with Hogan back and The World Title in their pocket, they had some stroke, enough to wage a new war for hostile take over. WCW was badly in need of a serious heel after some ridiculous booking in 1998, a consistent bad *&* group that fans legitimately feared could and believed would beat their beloved fan faves.

The potential here was awesome, WCW is drawing 5.0 ratings and popping a huge buyrate for SuperBrawl in Feb with fans clearly into the new NWO dynamic of trying to get control of the company back from Mr WCW Ric Flair, all while Brett Hart, Sting & Lex Luger were all off injured. Imagine WWE doing that much business with HHH, Undertaker, & Mick Foley all out with major injuries ?? DDP was very popular, probably at his career height, and despite spending most of his title reign booked underneath Hogan, Goldberg was insanely popular. FPOD drew interest and initially sparked some tremendous storytelling potential. It was a success.

What came after, at least after SuperBrawl, that was the problem. A) The Double Turn: All of the effort in rebuilding the NWO establishing their ruthless heelishness was waisted two months in when Hogan decided he wanted to be a fan fave, leading the disbanding of the group. A major bait and switch, huge swerve, several cunning moves to stay ahead of the new WCW President, all wasted two months in. Meanwhile, Flair was so over with fans when he returned he was rivaling Goldberg for crowd responses yet two months into his triumphant return and table turning power play that took control of WCW away from the NWO he turned heel. Fans weren't impressed, Steiner soon dropped into the lightly promoted mid card after the NWO disbanded, Nash went back to being a face, Hogan actually disappeared from programming till late summer when he returned with the Red & Yellow Hulka-Mania persona, Flair went into an insane asylum (spending a month there until Scott Hall, his acrh nemesis snuck in and broke him out, a storyline that made almost no sense). The WWE equivalent would be if two months after Austin joined McMahon and defeated The Rock, in a legendary swerve no one saw coming that also established Rock as maybe the most popular face in the company, Rock turned heel, Austin left McMahon and just disappeared, and HHH walked away from all of them and turned face.

Supposedly the storyline was scrapped despite the high ratings simply because Hogan decided he wanted to work face because his young son had never seen him in his "Red & Yellow" phase as a hero, Flair agreed to it in order to get the title reign Bischoff allegedly had promised him as part of negotiations to get him to return (after Nash allegedly had asked Hogan to job to Flair at SuperBrawl to capitalize on the popularity of his return and Hogan refused) and of course Bischoff did it, well because he did what Hogan wanted. I'm all for established stars having input in storylines and character development, but not having the power to simply end top storylines at will despite their success just because they feel like it. ESPECIALLY after they (WCW) went out of its way to position him favorably and make him champ again in said storyline!

B) Mis Use Of Goldberg: One of the things that initially made the FPOD so compelling was the belief that we would finally, for the first time ever see a Goldberg vs The NWO feud, it had never been done. Hogan never feuded with Goldberg, in fact they almost never crossed paths after their title switch, Goldberg had minor feuds vs Henning & Big Show that never near the air time or storyline that Hogan's feuds at the time got. The NWO was back and badder than ever, and they not only had to deal with an old nemesis running the company now (Flair) they had to deal in the rind with maybe their toughest nemesis ever, Goldberg, after they stole The World Title from him and screw jobbed him out of his Streak. Goldberg-Nash II should have been huge, Goldberg-Hogan II should have been epic. Having Sting, Luger, and Brett Hart all ready to come off IR in the near future, plus DDP & Flair, there was tremendous potential storyline wise. The NWO should have done everything in their power to keep Goldberg away from The World Title and Goldberg should have syetmatically plowed through the entire group, ending with Nash and then Hogan. If WCW was intent on giving Flair a title run they could have him beat Hogan, causing heat in the NWO between Nash & Hogan with Nash pulling a power play and ousting Hogan (allowing him his time off, I believe the official reason for his absence in the spring & early summer of 99 was knee surgery), then have Nash steal the title from Flair, setting up his re match (and loss) to Goldberg who would still have to march through the group to get him, who then could have had a fan fave vs fan fave match vs a returning Hogan (Goldberg winning again).

It certainly would have been better than having Goldberg drop into the mid card to feud with Scott Hall, then find himself replaced in the World Title scene by DDP and Sting, have his re match with Nash relegated to an off month low value PPV (in the mid card no less, not even the main event!), then continue to languish in the mid card as Nash, Savage, Hogan, and a returning Sid Viscious dominate the top tier through the Summer of 99. If the double turn was horrible, this was twice as bad. Hogan & Flair were near the end of their time as consistent main event money makers, wasting them and their storyline was stupid. Goldberg was much younger and fresher, he was the future, already huge in the present, and WCW buried him for no apparent reason that made any business sense.

I don't know if Id call the FPOD brilliant but it was bold move that shook up WCW alliances and storylines in way really not seen since the early days of the NwO storyline in 1996, driving big numbers and interest in a product where 3 of it's biggest stars were all out injured. The potential storytelling in it's aftermath looked almost full proof, as if money was all but guaranteed, and yet WCW screwed up so much after the fact it boggles the mind.

Really the thread we should be debating is SuperBrawl 99, the beginning of the end of WCW

[/b]
Excellent post. Even as a Hogan fan, especially during this time period, and although I enjoyed the face turn at the time, and the edginess he showed in those Superbrawl and Uncensored matches in Feb. and March of '99, I admit the face turn at that point was damaging to the storyline. I think it should have eventually been done, just a little later in the year, like when he came back from injury in July.

Anyway, I agree with just about everything in your post, and I like how you pointed out some actual ratings and how business was going in Jan. and Feb. of '99. If people were so put off and offended by the futility of this angle, why did they get a 4.9 that night, and then a 5.0 the following week? And then after that, as you mentioned, they got a 5.7 in February, even though to be fair, this was a night when they were unopposed. But the amazing thing is, on March 8, over two months after this so-called debacle of an angle, they got a 5.7! This is as things were clearly on the decline content-wise in the eyes of most fans, especially today looking back in hindsight. Now Raw did a 6.4, but that's not exactly a whitewash, and I'm sure most people would be shocked to see how competitive the Monday night war STILL was in March of '99. They even did a 4.4 on April 12, which is not spectacular, but still very solid considering the insane popularity of Raw, which was doing in the mid 6's almost every week at that point.

The only small thing I'll nitpick in this post, which is another huge misconception that many fans today have of WCW 1998-99, is the nWo Hollywood vs. nWo Wolfpac angle. You called the angle nonsensical and said the booking in 1998 was ridiculous, which I will not fully disagree with you on. However, the fact is, in terms of the numbers, profitability, and popularity, that storyline was one of the most successful things WCW ever did in their entire history, right up their with the nWo Wolfpac Elite angle in early '99, which as we've said was extremely popular and successful, the original nWo storyline, and the rise of Goldberg.

I've heard fans, promoters, and even wrestlers involved in the angle, refer to this time period as a joke when the nWo "got too big" and they portray the Wolfpac like it was a huge joke and a total failure. Wow, nothing could be further from the truth. Besides looking at the actual numbers, which were enormous and show that this angle was a tremendous success, just go back and watch any Nitro from that entire May-Dec. 1998 time period and watch/listen to the crowd and their response to the Wolfpac. It was one of the most over things ever on WCW television, right up their with Goldberg, or Sting in 1997, or Luger in mid '97. The '98 Wolfpac was insanely popular and every crowd loved them. So did the TV audience. This is an undeniable fact. But again, it's easier to just use them as yet another reason why WCW went down the drain a year later, when they did nothing but prolong the company's success at the time and keep them competitive with the WWF, possibly longer than they should have been, considering all the backstage turmoil in WCW at the time, and the fact that they were forced to tone down their product and keep it more family friendly.

Also, nWo Hollywood turned into a true, hated heel faction, where most fans wanted to see Hogan and company get beat up, by either the Wolfpac or WCW guys, rather than bad heel heat where they just wanted them to go away. It was a fantastic storyline initially, with basically no good, definitive ending, which is the only knock against it really. But it did great business. I'd even say it was logical at the outset too, because if you expected the nWo to just willfully disband, rather than split up and fight amongst themselves after Starrcade '97, well that makes no sense at all.
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  #24  
Old 07-19-2017, 01:10 PM
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It was a short sighted move by WCW. By May of that year WCW had gone from nearly 9,000 fans at the house shows to 6,000 fans, their PPV buyrates went from 400,000 to 170,000, and their ratings went from a 5.0 to a 3.0. All within a span of 5 months.

Compare that to the WWF at the time which had over 11,000 fans at the house shows, PPV buyrates that were averaging about 560,000 buys during that timeframe, and ratings at 5.7 in January that were at 7.2 by May.

There is no revisionist history. People liked Goldberg, but they didn't want to see the NWO again. They could have used anybody else to do feud with Goldberg, but they went back to something that fans were tired of and the proof is in the immediate impact it had on WCWs numbers.
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:49 PM
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No immediate impact. Eventual impact possibly, but the effect was certainly not felt immediately. If the angle was such a disaster the "immediate" impact would have been, ya know, immediate. 4-5 months is an eternity in pro wrestling. If no one wanted to see the nWo again, the ratings on Jan. 11 would have been a 3.0, not a 5.0. They actually went up 0.1 from the previous week's FPOD episode.

And they would have surely tanked by early March, which they did not. So no immediate impact here, and the argument could still be made that once the nWo Wolfpac Elite angle ended, so did WCW's success, because they had nothing else to turn to in May, 1999.
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  #26  
Old 07-19-2017, 04:57 PM
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From a personal perspective, what stands out the most with FPoD for me was the impact it had on my opinion of the Kevin Nash character and WCW's opinion of their audience. Nash was a big dude that was a cool heel. He was the glue on that show and could carry segments with his mic work. Him handing over the title just made little sense for a cool heel who was kind of a face but mostly just cool and definitely full of PRIDE. By handing Hogan the title he just came off like a little bitch. I'm not even a guy who really cares who holds the title, but for Nash to give it up was an insult to what I thought about his character. On top of that, the FPoD just felt like a slap in the face to the fans who were very emotionally invested in seeing Nash and Hogan go toe to toe. It didn't help that some of those same fans felt cheated by the cattle prod the night before.

I didn't stop watching the show after that but my already waning interest continued to go down. WWE and ECW were putting on a better product and my lust for all wrestling didn't have as much room for commitment to WCW.

So FPoD and the aftermath were bad for WCW but there was no magic bullet that sunk the ship. It was a jagged path of embarrassment that met it's end like most other businesses that can't recover from too much negativity.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:15 PM
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what was and the biggest thing that Vince acquired from the Wcw sale? (after the tape collection obviously)

the NWO merchandising rights, they still produce shirts and license figures that sell well featuring the NWO, it was right up there in the late 90s with Stone cold tshirts in terms of crossover appeal...

vince doesn't want you to remeber that part.

there's a reason he mocks the LWO even tho that shirt was made to market to the latino demographic.. something vince wouldnt do for years until after wcw collapsed.
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  #28  
Old 07-19-2017, 08:59 PM
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Wasn't The Finger Poke of Doom at the beginning of the show? I seem to recall it being announced then they (Hogan and Nash) had a laugh about it in the lounge in the back during the show. I don't think it was the Main Event of the evening.
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:09 PM
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No immediate impact. Eventual impact possibly, but the effect was certainly not felt immediately. If the angle was such a disaster the "immediate" impact would have been, ya know, immediate. 4-5 months is an eternity in pro wrestling. If no one wanted to see the nWo again, the ratings on Jan. 11 would have been a 3.0, not a 5.0. They actually went up 0.1 from the previous week's FPOD episode.

And they would have surely tanked by early March, which they did not. So no immediate impact here, and the argument could still be made that once the nWo Wolfpac Elite angle ended, so did WCW's success, because they had nothing else to turn to in May, 1999.
You're looking at it like Vince Russo would. One week of data is not enough evidence to back up your claim. Also, I'm not sure where you get your data, but the ratings did drop in March. They were at a 5.0 by the end of January, but by early March they dropped to a 4.4 ending the month with a 3.5.

The NWO reformed in January screwing over WCW's top babyface. From January 99 to May 99 while the NWO was dominant throughout WCW programming the ratings, house show attendance, and PPV buyrates dropped. So the Fingerpoke of Doom was a step in WCW's destruction because it lead to the events that followed afterwards.

It wasn't the only problem though. WCW stopped caring about their midcard at the time, and Goldberg for some weird reasons was barely around during those months.

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Wasn't The Finger Poke of Doom at the beginning of the show? I seem to recall it being announced then they (Hogan and Nash) had a laugh about it in the lounge in the back during the show. I don't think it was the Main Event of the evening.
It was at the end of the show. Raw was taped with Mankind winning the WWF Championship from The Rock, and WCW had the overrun which was live. I still remember watching Mankind win the championship from The Rock then switching back to WCW to watch Nash/Hogan. I went from interested to just turned off by the whole thing. People don't remember that not only did the NWO reform, but they made Goldberg look really bad in that segment.
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:57 PM
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The Ratings websites do not all agree for some reason, but I am mainly going off this one: http://editthis.info/wrestling_ratin...W_Monday_Nitro.

On March 8, it says Nitro got a 5.7, and even on March 22, it got a 4.8. Plus we are still glossing over February, which by any way you measure it, was an extremely successful month for WCW.

And sure, there was a drop off in March and then a little more so in April, but May is the dramatic drop off where things really fell apart. So I see your point, that it took a while for this slide to gain negative momentum, and people to tune out. I don't totally buy the "watching out of habit" argument that was used in an earlier post, but I get what you're saying overall here.

I still say there is as much of a chance that the angle coming to an end is the cause of the business going down, rather than the angle itself, but that's hard to say conclusively.

Anyway, my main point in this thread is that a lot of fans frame their argument against the FPOD to say that it led to a fast, immediate downfall of the company, and some even believe it happened that night, or shortly thereafter, like within weeks. But that's not really how it played out.

And I do agree, that if it was indeed a bad idea, it was far from the only problem in the company at that time. The things you mentioned and just plain old out of control spending are things that aren't often talked about but were definitely contributing factors to WCW losing all that money by the end of 1999.
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