What are you watching?

Discussion in 'Pro Wrestling' started by Big Pete, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. mackdadday

    mackdadday Juniors

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    Not watching anything in particular but enjoying a lot of Something to Wrestle With and 83 weeks podcast clips on youtube.
     
  2. Marshall_magic

    Marshall_magic Coach

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    Problem with 4 was we were hit over the head multiple times with Dibiase and Savage prior to the main event, by the time we got there we just didn't need to see them again. The tournament was a good idea on paper but in reality it should just be the semis and final on the same show.

    9 was a weird state of flux. The world started to get sick of Hulkamania but Vince still thought it was a thing. If he wouldn't put over the next star then the main event really should have been Savage and Bret. Curious to know if it was poorly received at the time, or if over time the appreciation of the even had just tanked.

    The problem with 11 was the roster was just not very good. The promotion decided to bank on celebrity however the wrestling boom was over, meaning they quality of star willing to show up was pretty poor too. That said I'll always respect Bam Bam for getting a match out of LT which was far better than it had any right to be.
     
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  3. shiznit

    shiznit Coach

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    Summerslam 97 had one of my favourite finishes.

    That finish with Brett spitting in HBK’s face and then ducking the return chairshot and knocking out the undertaker and then the reluctant 3 count with a long pause before the 3rd count was perfection.

    from all 3 guys it was perfect.

    as much as Brett and HBK hated each other... they were magic when they worked together.
     
  4. Valheru

    Valheru Coach

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    Survivor series 96

    What a wonderful highlight in what was mostly a dour year for WWF. If anyone is looking for a starting point where vince gave a shit again and started to turn things around, this is as good as any.

    The show opened with a good traditional survivor series match between furnass, lafonne and the Godwins vs bulldog, Owen and the new rockers. Once it got down to owen/bulldog and furnass/lafonne we saw a very good tag match with the latter winning setting up their feud for the tag titles.

    Next was the payoff match in the original undertaker/mankind feud with Paul bearer suspended above the ring. This was the debut of vampire taker which was his biggest character development in 6 years. He became more human like and was able to do actual wrestling moves in the ring. This was a typical Foley brawl in the 3 star range.

    Bret and Austin also had their first matchin their famous feud, this was Bret's first match since mania 12. This was a technical masterclass and elevated Austin to the main event. He hung with bret every step of the way Nd lost in almost fluke fashion. 4.5 stars.

    Main event was HBK V Sid with the rabid NYC crowd firmly behind Sid. HBK gave his typical 96 main event performance and somehow got a 4 star match put of Sid. The pop for sid winning was thunderous.

    There were 2 other filler matches, nothing bad but nothing great.

    All in all a great PPV that really set the tone for 1997.
     
  5. Big Pete

    Big Pete Referee

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    In the process of compiling the best matches in SmackDown history, does anyone have any recommendations?

    Here's a few matches I'm considering

    Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz (Tables, Ladders and Chairs)

    Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Chris Benoit

    Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle (Iron Man)

    Brock Lesnar vs. Chris Benoit (Debut of the Brock Lock)

    Eddie Guerrero vs. John Bradshaw Layfield (Steel Cage)

    Rey Mysterio vs. Brock Lesnar
     
  6. Valheru

    Valheru Coach

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    CM Punk was on fire on Smackdown circa 09/10.

    There was one against Rey Mysterio but can't remember exactly which year/month that would be well worth checking out.
     
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  7. Shaun Hewitt

    Shaun Hewitt First Grade

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    On the topic of What are we watching.

    Halfway through Survivor Series 96, cause its free at the moment on the network.

    Some of those teams..

    Bulldog, Owen, and the new rockers (Marty Janetty and AL SNOW) against Furnas, LaFon and the Godwins

    Team Triple H was Hunter Hurst-Helmsley, Goldust, Jerry the King Lawler and Crush. They faced Marc Mero, Barry Windham (as The Stalker), a debuting Rocky Maivia and Jake the Snake Roberts

    Fake Diesel, Fake Razor, Faarooq, and Vader (theres a team for ya) against get this... Flash Funk, Savio Vega, Yokozuna and...Jimmy Snuka.

    Certainly has a much different feel than the generic Raw Vs Smackdown teams.

    Among these, there were some pretty decent matches, Undertaker Vs Mankind (with Paul Bearer in a shark tank above the ring), Stone Cold and Bret Hart and HBK vs Sid.
     
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  8. Marshall_magic

    Marshall_magic Coach

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    A couple from recent years
    Randy vs AJ (no one contenders match for Brays wwe title at mania 33)

    AJ vs Bryan wwe title match 2018
     
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  9. Big Pete

    Big Pete Referee

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    Looking forward to watching those matches, keep me posted if anything else comes to mind.

    I'm currently going down the SmackDown Six rabbit hole. I've started watching every episode from post-Vengeance 02 to No Way Out 03. That gives me Rey's debut, Eddie and Benoit defecting to SmackDown and goes all the way to Edge's injury.

    Originally I was just going to go from post-SummerSlam since that's when it starts picking up but thought better of it. It's actually really refreshing to go back and watch these shows. I didn't have Fox 8 at the time, so I barely saw any of these eps (Rey's debut was the last SD episode I remember watching in real time) and by the time we got it, Fox lost the rights to SmackDown and all the PPVs.

    The matches hold up really well. Fans still talk up Edge/Eddie as they should since it was a great blow-off but the Rey/Angle/Benoit triple threat was a lot of fun as well.
     
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  10. Valheru

    Valheru Coach

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    Giving 1998 a re-watch at the moment for both major promotions including Thunder which I had never seen before (what a punish that is).

    Anyways just watched Wrestlemania 14 for the first time in years and what a fantastic wrestling show that was. WWF was really starting to catch fire again post Montreal and as we all know exploded post wrestlemania with Ausint/McMahon/Undertaker/Foley/Kane carrying the main event for the remainder of the year and the new look DX and NOD carrying the upper mid card.

    The show was one of the better pay off shows you will ever see. They didn't quite have the talent at this point for it to be an end to end wrestling classic like they did in 2000 and beyond but it was thoroughly entertaining none the less.

    The crowd was mental throughout and the workers fed off that energy. Say what you want about HBK as a person at that point in time but my god his performance in that main event was one for the ages. His back flared up bad in the first 5 minutes and he could barely walk and bend down beyond that point. He went 15 more minutes in a 4 star match featuring a mat based repertoire which he rarely showed before or since and put Steve Austin over big time.

    RAW the next night was brilliant as well. You had Steve Austin choosing to do things the "hard way" with Vince and then getting arrested. There was the evolution of DX with X-Pac returning (whilst cutting the promo of his life) and the outlaws also joining and then you also had the rock finally taking the leadership of the NOD and kicking Farooq out of the group.

    They hadn't quite closed the gap in the ratings at this point but they were riding a wave of popularity that would see WCW on its knees within 12 months.
     
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  11. Big Pete

    Big Pete Referee

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    Wrestlemania XIV set the standard for what a Wrestlemania should be. Every match had a purpose, it was a very diverse card from top to bottom and it ended with a huge moment. Say what you will about Wrestlemania X-7 but the build up to XIV was unreal.
     
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  12. Valheru

    Valheru Coach

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    Yeah X-7 was a better show purely because they had a superior roster at that point. XIV was the better pay off though and the build was phenomenal.

    The only thing that didn't pay off IMO was the IC title. I feel like Shamrock should have won that due to a botched Farooq interference leading to him being kicked out of the NOD the next night. Rocky was the right person to carry that belt forward and the eventual pay off against HHH at summerslam was an all time classic but he could easily have won the belt back at Unforgiven.
     
  13. Valheru

    Valheru Coach

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    In follow up to my post on 1998 where WWF was putting on entertaining shows without quite having the talent for end to end wrestling classics, there is the other side of the coin that is WCW 1998 whom did possess the talent but failed to push them in any meaningful way.

    I always remember WCW 1998 as being fairly good but it must be the 2nd half of the year because up until end of April 1998 it has been a bit of a chore. The seeds for the complete capitulation that the company would experience in the following 3 years have been sowed with the good workers becoming disenfranchised and the main event becoming stale to say the least and it has finally started to show in the head to head ratings.

    Everyone knows what happened at Starrcade 1997 where Bret Hart reversed a quick 3 count that wasn't quick. The title was then held up with through Souled out (which was actually a very good show) with a rematch booked for Superbowl where Scott Hall was originally booked to get his title shot owed to him from his WW3 victory. Despite it being obvious, the company persisted with the narrative that the count at Starrcade was quick and was going to show exclusive footage proving it on the debut Thunder episode. Apparently they actually taped a re-enactment of the match between Sting/Hogan at some house show with an actual quick count and that would be the footage they would use but when the day came they used the original PPV footage and still had the commentators pretend the count was quick. This makes no sense at all until you realise Hogan has the biggest ego by far of any professional wrestler in history.

    It must be noted that hogan had it written in his contract that he books his own programs so he had every right (legally) to not put anyone over if he chose not to. Hogan was originally scheduled to win the rematch but decided he would allow Sting to win and book himself in the top program with Savage as part of the NWO breakup angle thereafter to show the top brass that Sting (or anyone else) would be a failure compared to himself as champion. His payback for "putting Sting over" was to completely and utterly dominate 99% of the match to the point that Sting looked like a complete schmuck. Sting hit the scorpion death drop as part of his comeback but even then Hogan booked a savage interference so he wouldn't have to put the move over.

    Post Superbrawl the top program was clearly the NWO breakup with Hogan and Savage as the key issue whilst Sting moved on to Scott Hall which was booked to look like a run of the mill mid card feud. At Uncensored, the cage match between Hogand/Savage was the main event and was probably even worse than the effort of Hogan/Piper at Halloween Havoc 5 months prior. The title match was the semi main and given about 8 minutes which was fairly entertaining with Hall bumping for Sting but it felt like an afterthought.

    So then we head in to late March/April where things get really interesting in terms of backstage turmoil and the booking. For those that don't know the major back stage factions in WCW were Hogans crew, Nash's crew and then Flair's crew. Scott Hall entered rehab almost immediately after Uncensored and wouldn't be seen for a few months (we all know how that story ends) and Syxx is at home recuperating from an injury and is fired by Eric Bischoff via letter who then signs a deal almost immediately with the WWF. This pisses off Nash no end who asks for a release which for obvious reasons is not granted, however to placate him they book him on the side of savage int he NWO angle and promise him he will headline against Hogan down the track.

    So, following Uncensored Savage is declared the number 1 contender and continues his feud with Hogan whilst Nash chooses his side. Nash himself is booked in two title matches against Sting on TV where in the first one he is screwed out of the title by Hogan and in the 2nd one Savage interferes to his benefit however Bret hart (still playing off Montreal) makes the save for Sting after earlier int he night saying that he would be there for Sting should he ever need the help. The night of the PPV comes where Savage (despite the fact his knee requires surgery) wins the title after ludicrous amounts of interference with not so much as a peep from Bret hart. The next night on nitro Hogan predictably demands a title shot which is granted and what do they do? They destroy the biggest money potential feud they have by having Bret Hart interfere to help Hogan win the title... because reasons... The reason of course being Hogan's ego.

    Hopefully that gives some insight in to the state of the booking int he first half of 1998 in WCW and it would only get worse.
     
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  14. Big Pete

    Big Pete Referee

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    What's clear is how unprepared WCW was for it's new schedule. Not only did Nitro get bumped up to three hours, but they had Thunder launch as another three hour show on top of Saturday Night, Worldwide and Pro. That's a lot of television and since WCW loved to tell long form stories they just couldn't keep up with the demands in content.

    It comes to a head later on in the year where a lot of talent gets injured. Thunder mercifully gets cut down to two hours but then you've got talent like Chris Benoit, Booker T, Rey Mysterio, Buff Bagwell, Ultimo Dragon, Scott Steiner etc. all missing with serious injury. It basically forces WCW to start pushing guys like Stevie Ray, Horace Hogan, Konnan, Wrath, Saturn, Ernest Miller etc. and they just weren't on the level.

    It's also a period where they went crazy with the stunt casting. It was one thing to get Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman at Bash at the Beach (which drew an impressive buyrate) it's another to bring in Leno. Road Wild actually drew a solid figure as well, but for a lot of fans it's where WCW jumped the shark and the follow-up shows (Fall Brawl, Halloween Havoc) drew horrendous numbers.

    Bischoff viewed Halloween Havoc as WCW's Wrestlemania. Yes, Starrcade had the history but the Snickers and MGM Grand deal meant more to Bischoff which is why the card is stacked. So many matches with big builds and the show just tanked. Then to add insult to injury, they had to refund the majority of their customers because they didn't time the show out correctly and Goldberg/Page got cut from the live feed. It did lead to one of their last head to head victories over the WWF since the match got replayed on Nitro but the ratings bump wasn't worth it.

    I actually find myself preferring a lot of the 1999 product over 1998, largely because there's more Benoit and Mysterio on the show. It felt like I was watching a prototypical version of the SmackDown Six in Benoit/Malenko/Rey/Kidman/Raven/Saturn. Throw in Kanyon/Bam Bam/DDP and you've got a fun mix.
     
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  15. Valheru

    Valheru Coach

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    Yep, 1999 is always pinpointed as the year things really went down the shitter for WCW as that is when the WWF started demolishing them int he ratings. However, I would argue that the March 1999 - June 1999 period was more entertaining than anything in 1998. Of course post June Hogan, Savage and Sid all returned to stink the joint up again. From there they hired Russo in October and the rest is history.

    I would also argue that post October 2000 up until the demise of the company in march 2001, they had a decent product which people wanted to watch. However the horse had bolted by then and once the ratings tanked in 1999 Time Warner didn't want any part of wrestling on their television.
     

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