That WCW roster circa '98 was absurdly good

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by LBGetBack, May 20, 2017.

  1. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    Hogan, Savage, Flair, Piper, Hart, Sting, Nash, Hall, DDP, Goldberg, Luger, Giant, Hennig, Bulldog, Benoit, Jericho, Eddie, Raven, Steiner, Booker T, Arn Anderson, Mysterio, Raven, Malenko, etc.

    They had basically every active legend from the previous 10-15 years that still could go, they had one of the two hottest new stars in the business, they had numerous veteran midcarders that could still go, they had numerous young star talents that were shining in the ring and over with the fans.....it's still mindblowing that they messed it up, even 20 years later. Like.....how?
     
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  2. MWRedskins

    MWRedskins Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Yeah WCW sure did have a ton of talents on their roster in 1998.....so to answer the how, well that's simple and it's booking. WCW booked Bret Hart very badly from the start of his run in WCW. Sting was booked as a champion who couldnt win without a little bit of help (which hurt his major return). Savage will always be known as the guy who could never beat Hogan. Meanwhile Booker T, Mysterio, Raven, Benoit, Jericho and Eddie could never move up the card and Jericho could've been huge for WCW's mid card because of how great he was both in the ring and on the mic.
     
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  3. Azane

    Azane Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Ted Turner was letting Bischoff and company throw money down the drain. The WWF contracts at the time were nothing compared to WCW, it's why you saw so many big names jump ship. Hall and Nash particularly are never candid about how much more money Ted Turner offered over Vince.

    Vince was letting Bret go just because he had no chance to match the money Bischoff was able to throw at him.

    So, The BIG reason why WCW failed, was it had an extreme lack of star creation. Looking at the list you have there, DDP, Paul Wight, Booker T and Goldberg were the only stars that were WCW raised, everyone else was established, or was stuck in the WCW midcard

    And the amount of energy that it did take WCW to make Godlberg, Hurt the rest of their product greatly. It's part of why I'm really against the way Roman is booked, or Cena was booked in the past. Even when it succeeds, I feel like running your roster ragged to push 1 mega star is poor booking.

    You could see the incredible amount of talent on the roster, that was being held back as cruiserweight or midcard, because WCW couldn't think outside of nWo for quite a while.

    WWF's main story of Austin vs McMahon was isolated, and outside The Corporation and Ministry, you didn't have the roster throwing itself at Stone Cold to make him look strong.

    You also had the underhanded crap people were sick of. Remember the turning point when WCW started losing to WWF was the Tony Schiavone spoiling Mankind's title win.
     
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  4. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    They also had 150 other people who worked in wwe at one point or another that didn't even attend tv tapings and got there buddies to sign them in so they go air fair and got paid.
     
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  5. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    I can't call that "good" only bloated... Let's face it, WCW did what many Soccer teams now do - if a top player comes up, sign them to stop others having them, even if they rarely actually play. WCW was "collecting" talent almost like trading cards back then, of course the talent were going to take big money to sit at home.

    Brad Armstrong's example was the most ridiculous as told by Honky Tonk... that he hadn't shown up for a year, been paid, hid while there just so he could put his name on the call sheet and lo and behold, he got 2 more years. Jericho played a similar dodge to avoid re-signing.

    To call that roster good, means you have to say all are being used effectively... they werent. WWE in 98 had fewer "big names" but were using nearly all their people effectively - so even with some of the legends and big names WCW had... It was a better overall roster.
     
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  6. Jeff Deliverer of Mail

    Jeff Deliverer of Mail Money for nothin, chicks for free
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    Plus Goldberg was so extremely over in 98 too. Just look up Goldberg vs La Parka Nitro June 1st 98 for example. He was getting the most loudest reactions and chants from a live audience I've seen since 80's Hogan. The only thing comparible at that time was Stone Cold, but SC didn't get a huge reaction every single time like Goldberg did at his peak. WCW was on fire and its really too bad (with a roster of endless possibilities) that it went down the shitter the way it did. I loved WCW since I started watching it in the late 80's. The way it grew to outshine WWF was really exciting to me and to wrestling fans around the world. Never were we so spoiled to have two great companies trying to entertain us every week. If you got bored of WCW Nitro, you could choose Raw and vice versa. I agree 100% that the roster in 98 was amazing, even just in name. Throw a card out with that roster on paper and it would look great to any promoter.
     
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  7. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    Huh? That don't make no damn sense at all. Think about what you're saying.

    WWE had a worse roster but they used their guys better so they had a better roster. HUH?

    No, like I said....WCW had a great roster, they botched it though.
     
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  8. shooter_mcgavin

    shooter_mcgavin Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    If you heard Dave Meltzer talk about this era the reason he said something like everyone was looking out for themselves and backstabbing each other. Heck Hogan and Nash colluded together to manipulate Goldberg yet, at the same time, both Nash and Hogan were at odds backstage.

    Also it's the mentality in the company. While in the WWE/WWF everyone was there to help the company first and foremost, in WCW the folks there were just looking out for themselves and their friends rather the company.

    And of course there's Eric Bishoff. Scott Hall said, while he was in WCW, the top guys in the back would call him Easy-E. And this is coming from a guy that had a huge influence backstage with McMahon and the WWF.
     
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  9. Kodo Sawaki

    Kodo Sawaki Championship Contender

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    Go watch "The Rise and Fall of WCW" documentary. Having Hogan and Nash booking yours and their own matches is enough disadvantage to have against WWE who had StoneCold, McMahons and The Rock along with DX, Taker and all others. Not to mention their business was ludicrous and contained with offering all those contracts just for certain people to go for them with no business model to make it pay. Most big stars stayed employed even after company has gone to ground because there was no way to get those kind of money in WWE ever, even if your name is Hogan. Heck, I think documentary has stated that Hogan and Nash wrote their own salaries. That is ludicrous business destined to fail. Not to mentioned atrocious booking where most of guys you numbered there got underutilized. So THT is right, you could have star power but that doesnt mean you are better team. And they definitely werent better.
     
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  10. Wolf Pac

    Wolf Pac Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    He makes plenty of sense and what he says is right.

    That WCW roster isn't good at all and the WWF roster at the time was better.

    The only reason you are saying that WCW roster is great and better than the WWF's at the time is because you have a bunch of big names/legends and then some technical/aerial wrestlers listed. The big names/legends I'll give you but the technical/aerial guys like Malenko, Benoit, Eddie, Mysterio etc. Really? That's your reason for calling that half of the WCW roster great, just because they were technical wrestlers? I know technical wrestling is what's cool these days with smarky fans but please don't judge the WWF and WCW rosters back then with today's mentality of "if they're not a technical or aerial wrestler, they suck in the ring". Technical wrestling and Aerial wrestling doesn't define what a great wrestler is. There's a reason why Kevin Nash called guys like Benoit, Malenko, Mysterio, Eddie, the cruiserweights etc. "vanilla midgets" back then, it's because they were. All they had going for them was that they happened to be good technical/aerial wrestlers, nothing else. Besides that, they absolutely sucked and added nothing of value to the company. They weren't draws for the company and nobody could take them seriously even if WCW used them correctly when you have the likes of Goldberg, Nash, Hogan etc. on the roster. They were never going to be bigger names than them even if WCW utilized them. It baffles me how anybody can name somebody like Dean Malenko and say he is one of the reasons why a roster was great when he was a charisma vacuum. But "oh, he's a great technical wrestler, so that roster must be great, right?" The only "technical/aerial" guy from that list you named who was actually great is Chris Jericho. He was so much more than just a good technical wrestler, he was one of the best parts of WCW in 1998 and he made Dean Malenko look like a million bucks and one of the biggest babyfaces ever with his phenomenal heel work, which should've been an impossible task to do.

    You seriously underrate the WWF roster at the time. Not only were guys like X-Pac, D-Lo Brown, Owen Hart, Jeff Jarrett, Val Venis, Goldust, Ken Shamrock, Al Snow, Edge, Christian, Gangrel, Taka Michinoku, Marc Mero, NAO etc. good wrestlers but they proved themselves to be entertaining characters too. Like everybody back then on the roster was actually over unlike that mid-card portion of the WCW roster you named. D-Lo Brown took a chest protector and turned it into an entertaining angle like Jericho did with a piece of paper this past year. X-Pac was the most popular guy in DX, not Triple H, X-Pac. Owen adapted to the Attitude Era and turned into a darker, more ruthless character and was part of that great DX-Nation feud. Jarrett got rid of the hokey Double J gimmick and became a solid mid-card act with the "Don't Piss Me Off" character. Val Venis and Godfather took controversial gimmicks like a pimp and a porn star and made them popular. Al Snow made being batshit insane and having a hardcore match with himself entertaining to watch. The Brood were mysterious and had such an epic entrance. Mero helped get Sable over tremendously by being such a great piece of shit heel to her. Taka showed he had a funny comedy side to him in Kaientai. And I could go on more about the rest on that WWF roster and how they were so good and better than most of the WCW roster besides just being good wrestlers.

    These are the only names from that WCW roster I agree with...

    Hogan, Savage, Flair, Piper, Hart, Sting, Nash, Hall, DDP, Goldberg, Luger, Giant, Jericho, Raven, Steiner.

    Everybody else from that roster was meh and just there.

    I don't even know why you put Arn Anderson there as he retired as a wrestler in 1997 and just took on the role of Enforcer for The Four Horsemen.
     
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  11. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    My man....you got to get to the point a little quicker.

    WWF was more organized, better booking, etc. WCW had the more deeply stacked roster. Yes, I listed Benoit, Eddie, Rey.....future legends of the business who were fantastic at the time. These were the guys in the curtain jerker matches! They had some loaded cards.

    I listed Arn because he was still on screen and a legend. Throw in Rick Rude and Dusty Rhodes too. They were still part of the show.

    A lot of those WWF guys got extremely over in 98-99...no question. You're looking at it with hindsight. Go back to '98 and those guys were upstarts who hadn't done anything. And frankly, many of them fizzled out pretty hard after the Attitude era ended. But they were used well and did their jobs and got very over, no question. But, I mean.....D'lo Brown ain't exactly Curt Hennig, you know? Val Venis ain't British Bulldog. But at that time, the WWE guys got it done.
     
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  12. George Steele's Barber

    George Steele's Barber Advertise Here $9.95/month

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    Was 1998 a bad financial year for WCW? I don't remember all the timing but I thought they did pretty well that year and were still very much on top in 1998. Sure they made mistakes that year and WWE gained ground but if I remember correctly, they were still very successful during that time.
     
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  13. Wolf Pac

    Wolf Pac Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I'm not the one looking at it with hindsight, you are the one who is looking back on it with hindsight. You're telling me to the judge the WWF 98 roster based on how they did after the AE ended as if that makes them any less good. I'm judging them on how they did at the time when they got chances because that's what matters. And what do you mean upstarts who hadn't done anything? What exactly did Benoit, Eddie, Rey, Malenko do before 1998 that made them more deserving of the chances than those "upstarts" got? Just wrestle matches in ECW, Japan and Mexico? One of those upstarts in the Attitude Era happened to be The Rock and you know the story there, so them being upstarts is irrelevant. But yeah you're going to need to explain what you mean by "upstarts" as those guys I mentioned did wrestle in other promotions before getting to the WWF if that's what you mean. Those guys fizzled out for different reasons that had nothing to do with them being not good. Also "those future legends of the business" Benoit, Eddie, Rey were top guys in a time where wrestling was declining, so what exactly does that say about them? They weren't drawing huge numbers and getting the business back on track like Austin and Rock did. If you're trying to put guys like Benoit, Eddie, Rey above guys like X-Pac, D-Lo etc. Sorry but they really aren't. They are on the same level as them talent wise. D-Lo's no Hennig? Based on what? Hennig was fantastic in the ring but there really wasn't much else to him. D-Lo was fantastic in the ring too, he had one of the best movesets ever and he showed great personality and charisma, imo he is the greatest European Champion ever, like I said, he got a frickin chest protector over. If it wasn't for the Droz incident, who knows how far D-Lo could've gone in the AE. Venis was no Bulldog? Again, based on what? Bulldog was good in the ring but so was Venis too. But Venis had more going for him personality/charisma wise than Bulldog. In fact, Bulldog is one of the only guys who didn't work out in the Attitude Era along with Dean Malenko. Overall, I would honestly take D-Lo and Venis over Hennig, Bulldog and Malenko any day.

    Those WCW cards weren't loaded and the roster wasn't deeply stacked. Technical/aerial wresters don't make up half of a great roster just because they happen to be technical/aerial wrestlers. You're just looking back at the rosters from a wrestling perspective and overrating half of the 1998 WCW roster on wrestling only. I far more enjoyed the WWF cards in 1998 back then including the undercards, which I know gets the most criticism. It was hard to care about matches involving Benoit, Eddie, Rey when there wasn't anything there to those guys. I found more enjoyment in an X-Pac/D-Lo, Venis/Goldust etc. match than I did a match involving Benoit, Eddie, Malenko, Rey or anyone else over on the WCW side.
     
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  14. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    They were still successful, though WWF passed them in the ratings war that year. The decline started that year.
     
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  15. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    You said Hennig was good in the ring, but that's it? Yeah, we just aren't going to agree on much.

    You realize that when Curt was hurt and couldn't wrestle in mid '91-92, he was a commentator and manager and was quite good at both? He had oodles of charisma.
     
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  16. New Hot Fed

    New Hot Fed Championship Contender

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    I will say the 1998 WCW roster is probably the best and most gifted wrestling roster in History.

    They had everything from great legends to guys that can wrestle 5 stars matches, they had a great low card, mid-card and main event card. Guys that can talk, that are entertaining, that can drive a storyline. Contrary to now, most of the these had been trained by the best. Some of them came from the territories.

    But here's the thing, that gave the WWF the advantage. Because when you have such a great roster with full of stars, you have to give every single one of them face time and it's impossible to give them equal opportunities. People whine that WCW didn't use Bret Hart well but they had so many stars that it would be impossible to navigate and have him go over the rest.

    They actually had too many talent and they should have never done that. This was costing them a lot of the money for no reasons and no amount of PPV buys and merc sales could have counter-balanced what they were paying in salaries.

    Furthermore, at any other times in history, successful wrestling feds have been about one guy and one guy only. That you choose and you push and the rest doesn't really matter. As a knowledgeable wrestling mind that knew his stuff, Vince knew that and when he realised Austin was that guy, that was it, really. While in WCW, even though they pushed Sting for a while in 1997, they had so many top guy to make happy, they couldn't focus on one guy and it damaged the product. Cause in wrestling, it's only about one guy. It's always been about one guy.

    Also I don't buy the "oh they had many guys but they were not great". Are you kidding me? I like Taker and Austin and Foley and Kane and DX but there's no way that anybody in WCW couldn't match them. For ONE talented WWF guy, there was like several guys WCW could match. Say WWF had Austin, Taker, Foley, Kane, young Rock, HHH(dx) in the pseudo main event, WCW had Hollywood Hogan, Goldberg, Hall, Nash, Sting, Giant, DDP, Luger, Bret Hart, Savage, Flair, Piper, Steiner. WWF Mid card had X-Pac, NAO, D-Lo, Venis, Godfather, Gangrel, Edge. WCW midcard had Eddie, Benoit, Ray Mysterio, Raven, Malenko, Saturn, Buff, Meng and Barbarian, Booker T. You've never seen a match of the caliber of Benoit vs Booker T in the WWF at the time. They just didn't have guys that could match in quality in the ring.

    But the WWF had a small roster that was easy to focus on. And they did book them all better.
     
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  17. Wolf Pac

    Wolf Pac Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Was that the period where he made the joke about Aldo Montoya wearing a jockstrap on his head? Cause that's the only memorable thing about Perfect's run as a commentator.

    Ric and Bobby had a more memorable alliance than Ric and Curt. Curt was just there and never really stood out like a Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan or an actual manager.

    Uh yes, they did.

    X-Pac, D-Lo, Owen, Edge, Christian, Venis, Taka, Goldust, Scorpio, Shamrock, Jarrett, Snow, Mero etc.

    Watched a bunch of matches from that time featuring guys like them that was just as good quality in the ring as Benoit/Booker.
     
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  18. FromGlasgow

    FromGlasgow Championship Contender

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    The WCW roster during that time was incredible, Almost like a dream roster, I don't think we will ever see that level of fame in a roster again though, So many mistakes and guys not being used right during this time.
     
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  19. justtxyank

    justtxyank Championship Contender

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    Listing the names is incredibly misleading.

    Savage dealt with knee injuries that basically kept him out of the company for the entire second half of 98.

    Sting was dealing with personal issues that derailed the second half of 98.

    Scott Hall went into rehab, came back and went back again.

    Curt Hennig dealt with a knee injury that derailed the bulk of 98.

    Ric Flair was out of the company in a legal dispute for most of 98.

    Even Kevin Nash dealt with an injury in the middle of 98 that limited him.

    Arn Anderson being listed is weird. Dude was retired for a year at that point.

    Piper wasn't a full time wrestler, though WCW did use him a lot in the stretches he was around.
     
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  20. relentless1

    relentless1 G.O.A.T.

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    yes WCW had the much deeper and better roster on paper but WCW never utilized that roster to its full potential in 1998 which was a crucial year where guys like Benoit, Guererro, Jericho, Booker T and Raven should have been moved up the card and started doing programs with the main eventers.
     
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  21. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    I wasn't trying to be misleading, I just watched 2 PPVs from '98 where everyone of those guys appeared except for Piper and Flair. I remember Flair as being in and out around that time. I know he wrestled Bret Hart on PPV early in the year. And yeah, they were both PPVs from the first half of the year. Roster was stacked.

    Like I said above, Arn was still on screen....as were guys like Rude and Dusty. There was a time where guys could add value to the program without actually wrestling. That was pre-flippy kicks and hit 7,000 finishers to end a match era though. The characters tended to be better developed, so they actually could add to the entertainment value of the show in other ways. Arn was still on the roster and part of the show at times.
     
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  22. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    I wasn't trying to be misleading, I just watched 2 PPVs from '98 where everyone of those guys appeared except for Piper and Flair. I remember Flair as being in and out around that time. I know he wrestled Bret Hart on PPV early in the year.

    Like I said above, Arn was still on screen....as were guys like Rude and Dusty. There was a time where guys could add value to the program without actually wrestling. That was pre-flippy kicks and hit 7,000 finishers to end a match era though. Arn was still on the roster and part of the show at times.
     
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  23. DaBadGuy

    DaBadGuy Occasional Pre-Show

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    I actually had a discussion about this the other day, 98 was a great year for wrestling in general. My biggest problem with WCW in 98 was DDP not winning the World title that year. DDP was easily at his hottest and height of his career in 97 and 98 having fueds and matches with Savage, Raven, and Goldberg around that time, and let's not forgot about those tag team matches he had at Bash at the Beach 98 with Karl Malone against Hogan and Dennis Rodman and at Road Wild 98 with Jay Leno against Hogan and Biscoff. Instead they decided to make him World Champions year to late and turn him heel, and by that time he lost alot of the steam that he built up for himself the past year and a half. I get that Goldberg was major over that year and WCW was just riding the hot hand, but I always felt that a fued between Goldberg and DDP with the 2 headlining Starrcade that year would have been better than Nash and Goldberg.
     
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  24. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    Thing is, Sting was crazy over and had been heavily built up throughout 1997 too. There was a time where Sting, DDP, and Goldberg were all over enough to be the top face champion.

    I agree with you on DDP-Goldberg though, that could've been major.
     
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  25. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Championship Contender

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    Yeah, man I'm not really taking you seriously at this point. You're just trying too hard. That "vanilla midget" BS and acting like none of those guys were good or over as LOWER CARD GUYS makes it seem like you're not even trying to have an honest conversation. Curt Hennig was very charmismatic.
     
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