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  #1  
Old 02-09-2015, 04:36 PM
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Default Piper's WCW run

Piper made his WCW debut at Halloween Havoc in 96 after Hogan retained the title from Savage due to interference from The Giant. Shortly thereafter Savage went on hiatus and then began appearing in all-black in a similar fashion as to Sting and appeared to be odds with the NWO before turning on Piper and joining. It would be another year or so before Savage got back into the title scene.

On a side note, the way WCW played Savage at the time, it was odd that his feud didn't extend with Hogan. Because Sting's alignment was questionable, Savage was certainly the biggest face in the company and at Havoc, Savage had his own Monster Truck and of course the sponsoring company for the ppv was Slim Jim.

Piper headlined Starrcade in 96. In 97 headlined Super Brawl, Uncensored, Slamboree, and Halloween Havoc. He returned briefly in 98.

By no means am I a Piper hater. However, I have never seen the guy as the top anything of the company and he was certainly just that in early 97. Piper cab cut an entertaining promo, but he doesn't appear very athletic and wrestling style lacks any kind of excitement (his finisher is a sleeper hold). Even for 97, Piper's gimmick and style seemed about 10 years late. There was of course the initial nostalgia of seeing Hogan and Piper going at it, but after several times throughout that period it seemed stale. As a face, Hogan relied on his heel opponents to come up with the bulk of the ring action until he brought the match home by hulking up. As a heel, Hogan's move set was limited to dirty tactics or simply striking his opponent. When you couple Piper's generic move set with Hogan's nonexistent set, there's not much left.

IF Bischoff knew the Sting gimmick would run until Starrcade of 97 I can see the need for filler feuds to build up Hogan's; at the time, early title reign.

I believe at the time Ric Flair was on hiatus from wrestling due to some kind of injury. If not, a Flair vs. Hollywood Hogan feud would have been a good filler aside from their Clash of the Champions bout very early in Hogan's heel turn.

DDP was just getting embroiled in a feud with Savage and his main event push.

Luger would have made a better choice in my opinion for a Hogan opponent at Starrcade. Luger would have his run later on down the line around Hog Wild in 97.

In short, Piper didn't see like a good face to be in the main event spotlight for such a prolonged time. If WWF wasn't completely garbage in early 97, I think WCW could have squandered their lead.
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2015, 04:42 PM
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I totally agree. Hearing Piper's music those first few times and hearing those promos were awesome... but the novelty wore off pretty quickly. It should have been a one, maybe two month feud and then move onto something else. To keep dragging him repeatedly the way they did was overkill.
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This reminds me of Bruno/Zbysco. I didn't care about that either.

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  #3  
Old 02-09-2015, 05:09 PM
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And it only further enforced Bischoff's attempts to recreate with WWF's glory days in the late 80s/early 90s with a little bit of edge/crash TV.

Piper locking himself in Alcatraz to train and making his journey back to his match with Hogan were decent spots.

In retrospect, I think the Hogan vs Savage feud had enough steam to go into Starrcade. The match against The Giant in early 97 worked, and you could have used a brief Piper feud at the time as well around Super Brawl. Flair should have been embroiled with a Flair feud in mid 97 versus Flair wrestling Syxx for the US title which was a complete waste. By Halloween Havoc I would have done Hogan vs Luger, and then Sting at Starrcade.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:35 PM
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I remember this feud. I thought the Halloween Havoc spot was pretty cool. Even the Starcade 96 match wasn't bad. But I think it probably should have ended there. At the VERY least during the Super Brawl match have the NWO help Hogan then have a face Savage return to help Piper. What bugged me through all of this was Savage turning NWO. That NEVER made sense to me. Savage at the time was arguably the most over wrestler out there. Having him turn to the NWO after taking months of beating just seemed weird. And I agree with a poster above that feud could have went through the summer easily until the Sting vs Hogan thing took off. Piper was good for what it was, but IF they were going to turn Savage heel like they did, why not have Piper feud with Savage? It's like they had Savage attack Piper then nothing. While WCW was great at times, they often didn't finish feuds. They could have done Savage vs Hogan much better, after all Savage was the one Hogan turned on to start the whole NWO thing.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg4WWE View Post
I remember this feud. I thought the Halloween Havoc spot was pretty cool. Even the Starcade 96 match wasn't bad. But I think it probably should have ended there. At the VERY least during the Super Brawl match have the NWO help Hogan then have a face Savage return to help Piper. What bugged me through all of this was Savage turning NWO. That NEVER made sense to me. Savage at the time was arguably the most over wrestler out there. Having him turn to the NWO after taking months of beating just seemed weird. And I agree with a poster above that feud could have went through the summer easily until the Sting vs Hogan thing took off. Piper was good for what it was, but IF they were going to turn Savage heel like they did, why not have Piper feud with Savage? It's like they had Savage attack Piper then nothing. While WCW was great at times, they often didn't finish feuds. They could have done Savage vs Hogan much better, after all Savage was the one Hogan turned on to start the whole NWO thing.
Exactly.

The Giant and Randy Savage turning heel and joining the n.W.o. were both strange moves. The Giant was barely a member, and he was the guy Hogan beat to initially win the title. I didn't like how they had him join, especially considering how brief it was. Same with Savage, he was the number one face of the company while Sting was in and out. And then they have him turn and join the faction he'd been feuding with for months. Why?

As for Piper, I agree - I had no problem with Piper headlining a couple of matches with Hogan. But I would have ended it around SuperBrawl.

Probably:
Fall Brawl: Hogan 'C', Nash, Hall, n.W.o. Sting vs Flair, Luger, Sting, Anderson
Halloween Havoc: Hogan 'C' vs Savage
World War 3: The Giant wins the Battle Royal
Starrcade: Hogan 'C' vs The Giant
Souled Out: Hogan 'C' vs Piper
SuperBrawl: Hogan 'C' vs Piper
Uncensored: Hogan 'C', Nash, Hall, Syxx vs Savage, Piper, The Giant, Luger
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:28 AM
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they explained Savage turning nWo decently enough, Bischoff wouldn't let him wrestle unless it was for the nWo, this was alluded to on Nitro and at Superbrawl 97, I think 1997 should have saw Hogan dispatch Piper at Souled Out, then kick Giant out and face him at Superbrawl for the title, Hogan could have had a program with Giant in the spring, Luger in the summer and Sting in the fall leading up to Starrcade 97
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:37 AM
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The other thing about Piper v Hogan at Starrcade: am I right in thinking it wasn't even a title match? Just a waste of a main event on WCW's most recognised show.

Piper IMO wasn't needed in WCW. His initial run was designed to 'out' Bischoff as nWo head honcho (too soon IMO, would have worked better a year later and added to the Sting v Hogan build) and then to have Savage turn heel on him, again that shouldn't have happened IMO.

His later run was awful - fighting for the presidency with Flair, joining Flair (and Scott Hall) in the asylum, and taking Bret Hart to possibly his worst ever tv match. Piper had become a joke by 1998, and arguably the only reason they signed him two years earlier was for shock value, as he had been the WWE 'president' just 6 months earlier.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:46 AM
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Piper actually beat Hogan clean two PPV's in a row.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2015, 10:18 AM
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This was the last time Piper ever "looked good", indeed that first few months was arguably his best since early '85. He was motivated, enjoying what he did and in good shape. Then of course things went south for him with the cancer etc...

Those promos and matches where he got the wins over Hogan were great, even if it was 10 years too late, that he got them (and that he finally layed down himself for Hogan) meant a lot to the business at the time. If Roddy could play ball and it got over and made WCW and thus the business bigger, then there seemed to be no stopping it.

I'd have loved to have been able to see more of THIS Piper but in the WWF, particularly with Austin and Pillman or the Rock... could you imagine a Piper's Pit with either of those 3? (not the self serving imitation we get whenever he shows up these days) It would have been immense and must see TV. Austin vs THIS Piper at the same time in 1996 as part of the Bret feud and Nitro doesn't win quite so many weeks.
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:18 PM
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The Savage/Hogan feud died at Halloween Havoc because the contract for Savage expired. There was a real belief he wasn't going to be back which is why they booked the Hogan loss and the subsequent beat down in a definitive manner.

Once he was re-signed though, I agree that they should have gone back to Hogan/Savage instead of continuing with Piper/Hogan.

I liked a lot of Piper's run, but it was a lot of overkill with him in the main event. Him getting beat up throughout 97 was tiresome. Less was more with Piper in my mind, but the run was overall pretty good.

Here is the key factor though: Piper drew money for WCW. That's why they kept him in that top spot. Fans can gripe about whatever they want, but wrestling is about drawing money and Piper did it. Bischoff famously told the lockeroom in 98 or 99 that the only two people who ever drew a dime in the company were Piper and Hogan.
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