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  1. JKWebb

    Matches of the Month

    1998 - Here we go. I remember at the end of 1997, my friends and I were in high-school. We didn't care about the finish of Starrcade, and all that mattered to us was that Sting won. We didn't talk about the match quality because we were just simply invested in the characters and the story. Unfortunately, in 1998 WCW was asked to add a new show for additional content that was called Thunder. They decided to extend the Sting drama to the opening of that show, and by doing that pointed to the controversy of Starrcade which cut Stings legs out from under him a little bit. Along with Sting & Austin, Bret Hart was one of hottest wrestlers in 1997. They put him in a odd scenario at Starrcade, but he could have easily bounced into 1998 on fire. Maybe it's just me, but it wasn't too exciting to see him and Ric Flair cut (pretty much) the same promos on each other week after week. I get the idea of Hart vs. Flair, but they probably could have made it a little more interesting. Anyways, that being said... In 1998, WCW remained my favorite promotion (all the way through the year). So, I'm excited to dive in here and see how it holds up vs. the direction WWF is taking. I watched both at the time. Obviously, since I've gone through the YBs 1990-1997, I've seen the least All Japan from 98 & 99 (only the highly praised matches). So, I'm really interested in that promotion and ECW as well. I was a huge fan of ECW in 1998. So, as in the other years, I'm going post my favorite matches of the month here really just for my own memory. It helps to go back and look at these lists when trying to remember what I liked so much about certain years or brands etc.... Jan 1998 Favorite Matches: 1. Goldberg vs Jerry Flynn (WCW Monday Nitro 01/12/98) -- This was my favorite match of the month, it’s an awesome Goldberg charisma and energy driven plow through match. 2. Ric Flair vs. Bret Hart - Souled Out *ended up enjoying this feud and the match itself more than I remembered 3. Goldberg vs Brad Armstrong (WCW Monday Nitro 01/26/98) — you watch a Goldberg performance around this time, and it’s a shot of espresso. Easy to see why he became so huge so quick — you’re watching all these matches and when he comes on the a screen you have to ask... Where is this energy in every match? He is out to kill. It’s captivating. I’m loving it. He’s like a better looking & possibly less-crazy Buzz Sawyer. I remember loving Goldberg as he developed in 98... had the shirt... at some point back then I turned on him. It will be interesting to see if I feel that way going through it now... 4. Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jun Akiyama (AJPW 01/26/98 - sure, it’s not a squash ha, and some of the offense was incredible - loves Akiyama’s explosiveness and Misawa’s counters - just sort of drug in between the greatness for me... 5. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho - Souled Out 98 - I think this is underrated DDP and Jericho had a match on Nitro, and I'm really looking forward to their year. DDP may be the best in-ring performer for the company in 1998 and Jericho's rise is so fun to watch. As I thought towards the end of 1997, Michaels really found his groove with DX and I do like him much better as a heel at this stage of his career. His match with Undertaker was probably my favorite singles match of the month for WWF. What a great camera shot of Undertaker pulling Shawn into the casket with him by his legs. Good stuff. Epic Raw for WWF with the Mike Tyson moment on Raw. Through the first month of 1998, I'm leaning WWF over WCW. Austin is just a meteor. I think Austin will be my WOTY for 1998, but we'll see. By Feb., WCW is holding firm in what is one my most memorable years as a fan. Goldberg is over huge and they try to repair Sting/Starrcade awkwardness when Sting wins the World Title at SuperBrawl. Sure, Sting could have looked stronger in the match and didn't need assistance from Macho Man to tell the story. But, Hogan always wanted a "Where do we go from here," and I assume his feud with Macho Man was the answer to that at the time. I think fans at the time were just glad to see Sting finally actually win the title and spray paint WCW on Hogan. I think that moment would have been one of the most memorable moments in WCW history had they just let Sting run through Hogan at Starrcade and spray pain him there, but whatever. I just don't see why Hogan felt the need to take so much of the matches overall. Sting essentially went form the most unique and over wrestler in the world, that fans saw as tougher than anyone, back to being another really popular wrestler that could be Champion. They could have turned him on and let him run wild over the NWO for a while, and then he could have clashed with Goldberg eventually and it probably would have been huge. WCW is still in good shape by this point (but, could have been better), and one of my favorite memories as a fan from this time is the return of Rick Martel! I loved him as kid and was pumped to see him back. I have always loved his matches with Booker T around this time. WWF is of course on fire going into WM 14. What a time to be a fan. Oh, and the end of Feb. marks the first edition of Monday Night Jericho. Favorite Feb. Matches: Booker T vs Rick Martel (WCW SuperBrawl VIII 02/22/98) March Favorites: Living Dangerously 1998 was the first ECW PPV I rented as a fan. I had caught up in story in 1997 through purchasing old videos, and had started watching the TV at some point in 1997. But, this was the first PPV I ordered. My only memory from it prior to watching the footage from the YB was New Jack's dive from a balcony. ECW hasn't held up for me as well as WCW and WWF have in 1998 in particular, but I'm sure that can change. WWF has the hottest angle around this time because the build to WM 14 is incredible. Stone Cold and Michaels with Tyson feels like, and is the biggest and most hyped Mania since WM6. It feels mainstream and important and they have really got me pumped to revisit Mania. I've watched it many times of course, but I guess what I enjoy most about wresting now continues to evolve over the years and I feel like I could end up enjoying Michaels vs. Austin even more than I have in the past (thought it was great in the past too). WCW is still the wrestling I love through March of 98. Even though Hogan and Savage main evented Uncensored, Sting is starting to feel like the Champ by this point. He looked really good vs. Hall at Uncensored and his match with DDP at the end of the month is fantastic. He also drops form the helicopter at Club La Vela! This guy may be the bravest man to lace them up, that drop is insane. It's one of the best moments in Nitro history no doubt. WCW seems to have bounced back from the let down of Starrcade and a big piece of that is Raven/DDP. Great match at Uncensored and two favorite worlds collide on MTV when Raven shows up on TRL (I think it was that show) and hits DDP in the head with a Stop sign (DDP is seated next to the Foo Fighters). It's great. March of 1998 is such a fun month for US Wrestling. One of the best.... 1. Shawn Michaels vs Steve Austin (WWF Wrestlemania XIV 03/30/98) -- I love the Stone Cold entrance... the walk from the back, the glass breaking, the crowd explosion. Shawn's entrance is great too with the live band. Really fun match and an awesome moment. Loved the press conference after too. 2. Sting vs Diamond Dallas Page (WCW Monday Nitro 03/23/98) 3. Diamond Dallas Page vs Chris Benoit vs Raven (WCW Uncensored 03/15/98) 4. Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (WCW Uncensored) 5. Tracy Smothers & Little Guido vs Chris Candido & Lance Storm (ECW 03/06/98) 6. Sting vs. Scott Hall (WCW Uncensored) 7. Macho Man vs. Hulk Hogan (WCW Uncensored) - I actually really enjoyed this outside of no finish. It seems with this finish they should have just let Sting drop Hall in the main event. I guess it was the cage. April Favorites: 1. Yuki Ishikawa vs Carl Greco (BattlARTS 04/24/98) 2. Atlantis, Mr. Niebla & Negro Casas vs El Hijo del Santo, Black Warrior & Blue Panther (CMLL 04/24/98) -- A sleeper match from 1998. This match is fantastic. 3. Goldberg vs Raven (WCW Monday Nitro 04/20/98) - Goldberg is so entertaining during this run. He's explosive. I love watching a match like this just as much as a "classic" that goes 25 minutes. Well, this one is a classic. It's a one of the most memorable moments from Nitro, probably Raven's biggest moment, and one fun time. I love watching Goldberg plow through the flock. Also, great moment when Raven tries to escape through the crowd but the fans throw him over the guardrail back into the ringside area. 4. Kenta Kobashi vs Jun Akiyama (AJPW Championship Carnival 04/11/98 5. Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jun Akiyama (AJPW Championship Carnival 04/18/98 6. Rob Van Dam vs Bam Bam Bigelow (ECW 04/04/98) 7. Steve Austin vs Dude Love (WWF Unforgiven 04/26/98) 8. Antonio Inoki vs Don Frye (NJPW 04/04/98) 9. Goldberg vs Rocco Rock (WCW Monday Nitro 04/13/98) 10. Goldberg vs Saturn (WCW Spring Stampede 04/19/98) 1998 -- A time where it still seemed more about the win or the loss, and not as many were stuck solely in the "workrate bubble." Just an awesome time. I loved the episode of RAW in April where Stone Cold challenges Vince and offers him a title shot. It felt very Memphis with the multiple promos and the story that was told throughout the show. GREAT stuff. I know Austin will be my WOTY for 1998. He's untouchable. But, man what a year for DPP. I love the Raven feud. It's around May that the Wolfpack starts up. You get the red and black. I remember seeing those shirts everywhere. Where I lived, everyone loved nWo Wolfpack. I remember at the time I was ready to see the Sting change. I also loved Kevin Nash in 1998. Getting ahead, I remember my house full of friends becoming unglued when he defeats Goldberg at the end of they year. Good times. May Favorites: 1. Steve Austin vs Dude Love (WWF Over The Edge 05/31/98) 2. Randy Savage vs Bret Hart (WCW Slamboree 05/17/98) - Probably one of (if not the) last truly great Savage performance. And, a trademark performance of wonderfully selling a knee injury at that. I do think he has a pretty good performance against Rodman down the line, but I'll have to get to that and refresh. 3. Cruiserweight Battle Royale/Malenko vs. Jericho - Slamboree 1998 - So entertaining. 4. Serial Thrillaz vs Death and Destruction (OMEGA 05/08/98) 5. Steve Austin vs Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco (WWF Monday Night RAW 05/18/98) 6. Steve Austin & Vince McMahon vs The Rock & D-Lo Brown (WWF Monday Night RAW 05/11/98) I really didn't like that WCW split up Hall & Nash at the end of Slamboree. I've never liked that finish, and always seemed odd to have the two on opposing sides. It just didn't make sense. June Favorites: 1. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace (AJPW 06/05/98) -- Kenta Kobashi is such a beast in this. I love the interactions in this match between him and Kawada. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 90's Rankings from prior years: YB Rankings: 1. 1997 2. 1996 3. 1991 4. 1990 5. 1992 6. 1995 7. 1994 8. 1993 Promotion of the Year: 1997: WCW 1996: WCW 1995: ECW 1994: WCW 1993: All Japan 1992. WWF 1991: WWF 1990: All Japan Wrestler of the Year: 1997: Mitsuharu Misawa 1996: Rey Mysterio Jr. 1995: Mitsuharu Misawa 1994: Vader 1993: Kenta Kobashi 1992: Randy Savage 1991: Randy Savage 1990: Mitsuharu MIsawa Match of the Year: 1997: Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 01/20/97) 1996: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW 12/06/96) 1995: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW 06/09/95) 1994: Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW 06/03/94) 1993: Stan Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi - 7-29-1993 1992: Sting vs. Vader from Starrcade 1992 1991: Warrior vs. Savage WM7 1990: El Dandy vs. El Satanico - 12/14/1990
  2. I LOVE this. As noted -- just an awesome squash. I loved the element that Flynn brought to it. Goldberg's charisma here is off the charts!
  3. Jericho and DDP are two of the best things about WCW in 1998, so it's cool to see them have this moment to kick off the year. You can feel the heat for Jericho building, and DDP is on a roll as possibly the most over babyface in the company coming out of the storyline/main event of Starrcade. I'm looking forward to re-watching this year for him as I do think DDP is the in-ring MVP for WCW in 1998.
  4. I thought it was neat to see Frye here. I remember him being one of the more charismatic guys in UFC after Shamrock (for a little while)... Outside of seeing him in New Japan, not much else to say about this one...
  5. Same here Chad! Thanks for listening... Like Marty, Carolina Dreamin' certainly got me hyped for the project! Thanks for the great recommendations and breakdown of matches in that series.
  6. JKWebb

    Matches of the Month

    Here's how 1997 shook out for me as far as my favorites and in comparison to prior years: YB Rankings: 1. 1997 2. 1996 3. 1991 4. 1990 5. 1992 6. 1995 7. 1994 8. 1993 Promotion of the Year 1997: WCW 1996: WCW 1995: ECW 1994: WCW 1993: All Japan 1992. WWF 1991: WWF 1990: All Japan Wrestler of the Year 1997: Mitsuharu Misawa 1996: Rey Mysterio Jr. 1995: Mitsuharu Misawa 1994: Vader 1993: Kenta Kobashi 1992: Randy Savage 1991: Randy Savage 1990: Mitsuharu MIsawa Match of the Year 1997: Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 01/20/97) 1996: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW 12/06/96) 1995: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW 06/09/95) 1994: Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW 06/03/94) 1993: Stan Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi - 7-29-1993 1992: Sting vs. Vader from Starrcade 1992 1991: Warrior vs. Savage WM7 1990: El Dandy vs. El Satanico - 12/14/1990 Top 7 of 1997: 1. Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 01/20/97) 2. Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart (WM 13) 3. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (1st Hell in a Cell) 4. Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero - Halloween Havoc 5. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW Real World Tag League 11/27/97) 6. Canadian Stampede Tag Main Event 7. I loved the DDP/Savage Feud - Halloween Havoc is my personal favorite of the bunch... Hulk Hogan vs Diamond Dallas Page (WCW Monday Nitro 10/27/97) was probably my favorite US TV match of the year between Raw and Nitro....That, or Luger/Hogan.
  7. I remember watching this live and not understanding why Hogan got to come out at the end and be fresh, and why they would allow him to do that ha. Also, I thought Hall was cool and I was glad he got a big win like a World War 3 win. I think this could have worked had the announcers not pretended to not notice the Sting mask and how large Sting was. I mean, it was fine. At the time, we were just ready for the huge main event at Starrcade 1997.
  8. I agree this was odd based on the current Sting character. As Chad noted, probably the most out of place segment they have had in this build. I'm guessing they were asked in some way to promote the film and this is what they came up with...That would be a good podcast question for EB (if he hasn't covered it already)...
  9. JKWebb

    [1997-11-10-WCW-Nitro] Interview: NWO

    I think this was hilarious. Heels being heels and Nash was funny. Of course the NWO think that Bret Hart is going to come right in and join them after leaving the WWE and of course they sing for him and wave flags. This wasn't meant to actually convince anyone that Bret Hart was joining the NWO. It was just the NWO being cocky much like they had done with Sting and DDP in the past basically saying they had joined when they actually had not. The NWO was pretty funny here. I don't think the NWO is billed as a group of guys that would rehearse singing a tune ha, but I did enjoy seeing them let Curt Hennig solo a minute.
  10. Jeff's promos are so dry. He's probably the least interesting character on the two shows at this time. WWF, of course, is using his jump back to WWF to control the narrative of how great they are. Between this and the Jim Cornette interviews the WWF comes across pretty lame trying to tell the fans how to think and what to enjoy...
  11. I remember watching this live in high-school, & I was in tears laughing so hard. It holds up! Nash is so good here.
  12. I love the phone call with Jackie. Just listening to him and Lance talking Golf and catching up, he had Lance and Lawler smiling ear-to-ear. Me too - really endearing segment.
  13. Man, DDP is one brave fella. I imagine there aren’t man folks who who would have the trust is someone to hook them up like that then be raised into the rafters while never attempting to check anything or hold onto anything. That’s just crazy, and what an awesome visual it was!
  14. JKWebb

    [1981-10-14-MACW-TV] Roddy Piper vs Jay Youngblood

    I couldn't agree more KB8. I love the finish of this too, he hits the headbutt and they both are out of it into the time limit draw. He's such a great heel on these shows, speaking to all the great stuff you mentioned above. There's another match with Jake Roberts on 6/23/1982, which isn't as good as this one to me, but Ricky Steamboat is commentary and points out all the little things Piper does as a heel in the match which I love. I love his Portland TV stuff too. 100% - it goes without saying, but yeah - Piper is perfect for these TV settings - one of the GOATs no doubt!