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  #1  
Old 02-17-2014, 04:02 PM
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Default WCW in 1994 and 1995 before the NWO

Were you a fan of what WCW was doing during this brief time? I always thought this period was interesting because it was around the time when Nitro had just started after Hogan and before the NWO. WCW essentially had a talent overload that would have been difficult for most to manage effectively. Hogan, Savage, Luger, Flair, Sting, and the recent arrival of The Giant all saw a lot of circulation in and out of the main event scene.

It seemed as this was WCW's growing pain years with the heavy roster and the addition of Hogan, that they almost needed the NWO to help manage future story lines in a way.

Also guys like Benoit were able to capitalize on the faces feud with the Horsemen and you guy to see great matches with Benoit and the aforementioned wrestlers in main events that you wouldn't see for years later when he finally got a push.

It seemed on the other side that the WWF was struggling to put out anything besides cartoonish products. The WCW did the same with the Dungeon of Doom, but The Giant made the product more interesting.

Of course there was Hogan pulling foolishness like booking himself in the 94 Starrcade against his buddy The Butcher.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:20 PM
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The original main event for Starrcade 94 was supposed to be Hogan vs Hennig. Hennig was supposed to the masked man that attacked Hogan, but things didn't work out due to Hennig's insurance policy.

As for the time period, I loved all of the wrestlers WCW was using in this time period even if they were being used in a crappy way.

Tenta, Kamala, Kevin Sullivan, all of the Dungeon of Doom guys were fun to watch. WCW could have been REALLY good in this time frame if they were booking a realistic product with this roster.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:14 PM
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A lot of stuff was questionable during this time in both WWF and WCW alike, WWF is a whole other story, and for another thread. But needless to say, it was some woefully underwhelming shite.

However, shifting the focus back to World Championship Wrestling, things started with some promise, Hulk Hogan's jumping ship to the enemy territory was a great move, all honesty. All seriousness, and there were some really good matches and moments with Hogan and Flair actually having the feud should have had in WWF. Regardless of that though, some rather shitty stuff did occur, for instance like justtxyank said, there were some rumblings about a Hogan vs Hennig match at Starrcade 1994. That would have been boss.

Instead, we got Beefcake vs Hogan for the strap, a very shitty idea to say the least. It's not a knock against the friendship of Brutus and Hogan but to me, Beefcake's best years were behind him. His near fatal parasailing accident took a lot of steam out of his career for obvious reasons. Plus, he couldn't legally call himself Brutus Beefcake anymore so that made things lame in that respect. Under other circumstances, it might have been a better match, but for the previously mentioned reasons in addition to it being rushed was just what made this a disaster. A shame that we couldn't have gotten Hennig there in time for the event, but at the same time I wouldn't have liked seeing Hennig fed to Hogan either because that's what would have happened.

Now let's go to the year 1995, what a pile of horeshit, for the most part. I was disappointed that Vader was no-sold with his devastating power bomb by Hogan, I have to admit disappointment even with my favorite wrestlers and Hogan doesn't avoid my criticism on this one. Hogan had in front of him what could have been his next GREAT rival, someone that we'd be talking about for years to come if business was done differently. Not to say that the Vader and Hogan matches didn't have watchability, but it was just disappointing to see them not do more with this. Although, I am going to say it right now, Vader's credibility suffered MORE in the WWF than in WCW, period.

I disliked The Dungeon Of Doom from day one, there were indeed great talent like justtxyank was saying. However, nothing was being utilized right, just HATED so many aspects of this, the monster truck challenge with The Giant was silly. Then of course passing him off as Andre's kayfabe son. I'm surprised that they somehow managed to miss the boat in poor taste by not having a vignette with the Giant at Andre's graveside. Oh well, it only took four years for the WWF to do it, although by this time they were referencing a different kayfabe father for The Giant/Big Show. But again, another story for another day. But by god how awful!

Kevin Sullivan should have had a one on one match with Hogan too, a shame that never happened. It only continued to get shitty into 1996 before the nWo angle happened. Let's not forget the Alliance To End Hulkamania nonsense.

Some of the bright spots though during that 1994-1996 period, since you mentioned 1995 OP, I might as well bring up the stuff going on prior to the nWo in 1996 as well since it's so tied to some of 1995's happenings. Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat rekindled their rivalry for a brief time, and Steamboat then warred with Steve Austin over the US Title. Sadly, Rick Rude retired due to an injury in a match. Randy Savage came to WCW and gave his career a shot in the arm. Chris Benoit returned to WCW on a full time basis, for those that remember he had wrestled for WCW on a part time basis in the earlier part of the decade.

Following Benoit you had talent like Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and a host of other great talent that made WCW a very distinctive product apart from the WWF.

Monday Nitro along with Lex Luger's return to WCW in 1995 helped support all this due to the fact that you were now set to have two prime time wrestling programs on the same night. A lot of stuff was still rather ridiculous and shitty, but a lot of that stench WCW had on it from as far back to even the Jim Herd days was starting to wear off finally. We all know where things eventually ended up but considering how in its 60 plus year history Jim Crockett Promotions/WCW was always in a tough and go phase going back to when Ted Turner bought the promotion from the Crockett Family.

Overall though, WCW had a lot of good stuff to offer, and it wasn't all bad.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:00 PM
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No, I can't say I did. I liked WCW in like 91-93 with Big Van Vader, Sting, Ric Flair, Rick Rude, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Steve Austin, Brian Pillman, Arn Anderson, Ron Simmons, etc......those were good years for the most part. After that, it really wasn't good until 1996. The intitial years when all the old WWF guys came over were disappointing. Hogan and Savage just weren't the same in WCW. It wasn't until they added new dimensions to themselves in the NWO that they were great again.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by justtxyank View Post
The original main event for Starrcade 94 was supposed to be Hogan vs Hennig. Hennig was supposed to the masked man that attacked Hogan, but things didn't work out due to Hennig's insurance policy.
Oh wow. I never knew that. WCW main events at that time were kind of boring, as they were repeats of Hogan main events from WWF. I did enjoy seeing the undercard though, as it allowed me to see guys like Guerrero, Benoit, Malenko. At that time, I didn't see anything in Jericho until he turned heel. Hollywood Blondes were coming around and they had some awesome tag feuds. Bagwell gets a bad rep, but he was a workhorse at that time. I enjoyed seeing him grow from Marcus Alexander Bagwell, to Stars and Stripes, American Males and so forth. Granted, he took a lot of flak for that stupid dance, but I enjoyed watching Alex Wright wrestle. Dungeon of Doom was a lot of fun until it became bloated. One time acts like the Yeti as well as repackaged stars into stupid characters (Shark - Earthquake; Ying Yang Man - Beefcake) were kind of over the top. I like how WCW repackaged Haku and made him into a beast for awhile. They brought that Japanese contingent with Sonny Ono. He was a great heel manager, kind of like a young Fuji. I remember thinking Kurusawa and Masahiro Chono were some serious badasses.

Granted, it wouldn't have been at such a large scale without the nWo, but it still would have been a Monday Night War of some sorts. Who knows, WCW may still be around these days if they hadn't been spending so much
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2014, 08:06 PM
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Well both companies were struggling, shells of what they had been 8-10 years earlier. WWE gave us the collective yawn known as New Generation, Giant Gonzales, Issac Yankem, etc.

Now WCW at the start of 94 had a solid roster. Flair, Sting, Vader, Rude, Anderson, Steamboat, plus some solid mid carders in Johnny B Badd (Marc Mero), Steven Regal, Steve Austin, Brian Pillman. The mid year addition of Hogan (which came shortly after the injury induced retirement of Rude, a pretty big hole in the roster) definately gave WCW a shot in the arm. However, almost from the beginning it was clear Hogan was steamrolling Flair and WCW fans revolted. Ratings and buyrates plummeted after Flair was forced off screen (ostensibly to let Hogan win over the audience without him around) and WWE fans werent interested after their initial feud, already tired of Hogan's schtick. Also, undercard development was poor with too much attention to Hogan and his feuds (part of the reason Hogan didnt spike the ratings like they hoped he would).

The return of Flair and the additions of Savage and Luger helped pick things up in 95 and WCW at least had enough star power to compete head to head with WWE, something they hadnt been able to do since it was the NWA run by Jim Crockett Jr in the 1980s. The advent of Monday Nitro in late 95 was a high light industry wide, easily the most exciting thing in either company. WCW was still top heavy, too much attention on the top of the card, too little on the under card, but while WWE was more balanced, they werent particulary good. An interesting dynamic ratings wise started where Raw would consistently lead, sometimes narrowly, in the early portions head to head vs Nitro but WCW would run even, often winning the ratings for the main event portions.

Pre NWO 1996 was actually some of the best product WCW ever produced. They kept Hogan out of the title picture (with Flair you had a champ who would wrestle every week on TV, something you needed to compete vs Raw) but more importantly WCW actively promoted and invested storline time to their undercard. Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Misterio, all products of a time in which WCW was a balanced wrestling company. Check the ratings, Jan-June 96 Nitro beat Raw numerous times, sometimes like in Feb during the run up to SuperBrawl by substantial margins, and the undercard matches were generating buzz (drawing well) as a nice compliment to the Main Event Roster. WCW produced it's first legit star (The Giant) in several years. Pre 96 in all was an entertaining time for WCW, better than WWE, and I feel was better as a whole than anything WCW did over a similar period of time in 94 or 95.

Just focussing on 94-95, Flair's final run vs Steamboat, his 1st two bouts vs Hogan, Luger's surprise return and feud vs Savage, the break up and re formation of The Horsemen, the advent of Nitro, Steamboat vs Austin & Rude vs Vader (two feuds that had potential to be great but were cut short due to injury), all were high lights.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wrestler36 View Post
Oh wow. I never knew that.
Yep, there were even wrestling magazines that had Hennig on the cover at that time frame talking about his impending WCW arrival.

What really is said about the whole thing is that 94 was off to a really good start before Hogan got there and then he and Flair put on a really good match at Bash at the Beach. If you cut the year in half and look at JUST the first part of 94 and then couple that with the last 2 years of WCW you'd think...man, this company is about to be the #1 in the world. Unfortunately WCW spiraled out of control creatively after this (more so into 95 than 94.) They fully embraced the cartoon wackiness of the WWF and alienated the longtime traditional wrestling fans that had held WCW together for years.

Hogan in an NWA style WCW would have been awesome. He was embraced at first in 94 and putting on real title feuds with Flair (where Flair had a shot to win instead of being booked as significantly inferior) and then a hellacious feud with Vader...man. It could have been so good. So good.

That's why I said what I said. The talent in WCW was so good during this time frame and that's why I have a soft spot for it. I can even watch crappy Dungeon of Doom stuff and enjoy it because the workers are so entertaining.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:15 PM
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WCW 1994 - 1996 was pretty much wasted opportunity for the company. Hogan's entry had pushed down a lot of budding stars for the company (including guys like Mick Foley, Steve Austin, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Konnan, Rick Rude, Vader, etc...) who wound up stagnating for years before leaving for greener pastures. It's kind of sad if you think about it.

If you want to see that era done right, have a look at this:
http://www.greydogsoftware.com/forum...d.php?t=524029

It's a BTB thread, but it does that time period just right and everyone sounds and feels like they would. Entertains you so well and always has surprises right around the corner. Very fun read.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2014, 10:46 AM
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The Dungeon of Doom had potential if the WCW could have kept Vader it would have legitimized them more.

I would have booked Sullivan, The Giant, Vader, and Meng against Hogan, Sting, Savage, and Luger at Fall Brawl it would have been much more interesting.

I like these years for WCW, even though they didn't get talked about much. Bischoff had overloaded the roster with so many seasoned main eventers and you had three baby faces (luger, hogan, and savage) on the same roster.

On a side note, I don't believe Sting got a world title during this era either. I think he had a gap in-between losing the unification title match to Flair, and then beating Hogan at Starrcade 97. Sting seems like a fairly gracious guy but I've always wondered what his opinion on Hogan is given that Hogan and Savage came in and put him on the back burner so to speak and didn't let him get a clean win at Starrcade despite Sting's loyalty to WCW.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kool Aid Man View Post
The Dungeon of Doom had potential if the WCW could have kept Vader it would have legitimized them more.

I would have booked Sullivan, The Giant, Vader, and Meng against Hogan, Sting, Savage, and Luger at Fall Brawl it would have been much more interesting.

I like these years for WCW, even though they didn't get talked about much. Bischoff had overloaded the roster with so many seasoned main eventers and you had three baby faces (luger, hogan, and savage) on the same roster.

On a side note, I don't believe Sting got a world title during this era either. I think he had a gap in-between losing the unification title match to Flair, and then beating Hogan at Starrcade 97. Sting seems like a fairly gracious guy but I've always wondered what his opinion on Hogan is given that Hogan and Savage came in and put him on the back burner so to speak and didn't let him get a clean win at Starrcade despite Sting's loyalty to WCW.

There were stories that Rick Rude was in line for title run when he suffered his career ending back injury and that was why the company was trying him as a face vs Vader.

In Flair's book he said by the summer of 94 Sting was supposed to get the title after another long feud and build up but those plans were scrapped when Hogan finally signed, Sting not thrilled at the time (he was shoved out of the main event scene entirely at this point, really only being fed to Flair to beef up his resume and facilitate his heel turn before his run Vs Hogan) but Sting was a team player and went along.

One thing you have to give Flair & Sting credit for, they stayed loyal and followed through on some truly awful booking decisions at times, always giving their best. I think that's why guys like them and Undertaker command so much respect from their younger peers (it's also a credit to their charisma and ability that they remained so over with fans despite some of these decisions).
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