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Beast

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  1. Interesting precursor to the famous matches. I started watching when Bret was champ (summer of '94) so I may be biased, but I have a hard time seeing him as anything other than a main event, especially in early singles matches like this. The way he carries himself is so different than any midcard face. There's a realness to how he does things in the ring and it adds a sense of seriousness to his matches. It's astounding that it took another 2 years for him to really break out as a singles star and then another year to be a main eventer. I don't know who would be comparable to him. Even Shawn was a pure midcard heel in 1992, with exaggerated traits as he tried to find his new character. Bret just screams top guy even here. Maybe Daniel Bryan, but we had years of him main eventing in RoH beforehand. I wouldn't put Bret's young run in Stampede on that level. Hennig already had a ton of great work in AWA, but his character in WWF wasn't fully developed. He does a good job here of playing off Bret, but doesn't seem to be in the driver's seat. Bret feels like a bigger, smarter threat and if anything Hennig feels more on the level of Dolph Ziggler (sacrilegious) Compare that to SummerSlam 1991 where he comes off as the veteran upper card star and Bret as the up and comer. These two together is always going to be something, but this felt more like a 20-minute exhibition. Especially with the ending coming out of nowhere. It was never boring, but it was missing a story more specific than "Perfect has finally met a match". Even then, make it more legit by having Bret actually almost pull of the win rather than arbitrarily ringing the time-limit bell on a backbreaker one-count.
  2. Beast

    Holy Grails

    Yeah, it's going to get frustrating the longer it's not available. Kudos to Mary-Kate for finding/sharing proof, but she's been very unclear about what she plans on doing with the footage. Latest thing was not uploading the match due to legal reasons, as if she's scared WWE will come after her. Not sure why it's not already up on a Google Drive. What's the purpose of sharing proof if it doesn't lead to everyone being able to see it finally?
  3. Wow, Shane Douglas is so good here. From the best turnbuckle sell ever to the hot tag, he is on fire. I know there's many more matches to come between these 4 before Douglas leaves in the spring, but it's a real shame he didn't stay with WCW and progress with Austin and Pillman. He's likely another casualty of Watts' run being cut short.
  4. Great match. Vader and Windham are like a king-sized Hollywood Blondes in the way they keep Dustin from getting the hot tag over and over. I loved the little fist bump Windham and Vader exchanged as well. Dustin is unbelievable here as face in peril. He is so fun to watch and his comeback attempts have weight to them. I loved Vader splashing him as he crawled to the corner. Loved Windham hitting the DDT on both Dustin and Sting. Loved the ending where all the undercard faces come out, but Vader stands tall in the ring swinging his strap around. From beginning of 1993 to Watts leaving is one of the best WCW periods ever. Such a shame it was cutoff. This show in particular is filled with great undercard squashes featuring guys like Benoit, Scorpio, Bagwell, Payne, the debut interview of Regal, and Orndorff and Barbarian looking motivated against each other. Sting/Vader and Dustin/Windham both feel like high-profile programs going into SuperBrawl III. Interesting that Windham was paired with Muta on that show instead, but I suppose the idea was to have him win a "major" title and feud with Dustin for it. Of course Flair returning through a wrench in that too. I wonder if Watts would have gone with Sting/Vader, Dustin/Windham and Flair/Rude as the three big programs heading into spring.
  5. Beast

    WWE Hall of Fame 2019

    Big talking point for Harlem Heat defenders on Twitter is that they dominated the WCW tag division during their time. Makes me think of them as the WCW version of Money Inc. Dibiase and Booker both had solid singles careers (Dibiase before, Booker after) and IRS and Stevie Ray were regarded as the lesser part of the team.... They dominated their respective tag division while active.... And together they had very, very few memorable (good) matches.
  6. Beast

    WWE Hall of Fame 2019

    What says a lot about the tag division from 1994-1996. Who's their competition? Nasty Boys, Slater/Buck, Blue Bloods, Bagwell/Scorpio, Stars And Stripes, American Males? Then nWo happened and Outsiders, Steiners, Faces Of Fear, Sting/Luger, Giant/Luger were the big teams. Did Harlem Heat ever have a great match? Or a good one? Not meaning passable or slightly fun, like actually good.
  7. Compared to the other WWF matches during this period, this is a standout. Unfortunately, the booking is so wishy-washy that it mars the entire deal. Flair and Razor seem game for everything. Flair feels totally on and Razor more than holds his own. I started watching after Razor was already a babyface IC-title mainstay so I can only imagine the hesitation as a fan committing to The Diamond Studd as a main event player. But his alliance with Flair and Heenan paid off. Savage is a master storyteller. The extended 2-on-1 and the post-match uncertainty about Perfect are the epitome of things missing from today's "story" based matches. Savage (and the WWF in general during this era) were fantastic at hammering home the important tales. Not a big fan of Perfect briefly walking out though because it didn't really have an impetus other than Savage getting beat up for a while. I really do appreciate not turning Hennig into an automatic face based on one angle, but this match feels like Vince had a checklist of moments and put it all together without telling a complete story. And the ending is just a huge letdown, even taking into account Perfect getting two visual pins. If anything, it did get me interested in seeing Perfect against both Flair and Razor, although I don't think the latter match ever happened on TV, PPV or tape. This is a big case of "what might have been" with Savage getting phased almost totally out of the ring and Flair leaving, this great story doesn't go anywhere other than the famous Raw LLT match. Also, I guess Vince was desperate for faces with Bulldog and Warrior out because Perfect doing the Halloween Havoc 1995 turn on Savage 3 years early would have been the best thing ever. Pull the trigger on a WWF Flair faction with Flair, Razor, Perfect, Heenan and another threat (debut Bigelow or Luger as the missing piece?) and all of a sudden you have 1993 WWF set up to be the best thing ever.
  8. Adding upon rewatch: Flair, Razor and Heenan all come off as true "bad guys". Their goal is to keep Perfect in their faction, but never appeal to him as friends. Heenan keeps bringing up loyalty, but doesn't offer it back. Flair & Razor can't help but throw around backhanded insults. This isn't a Flair/Arn situation (discounting the '95 feud). Perfect used to be somebody, now he's the hired help. It's clear they think he's a worthwhile possible opponent that they don't want to deal with, but never give him any reason to turn Savage down. Perfect doesn't come across as a face either, lacking the intelligence to prevent Savage's name calling ("Are you a man? Or are you a baby!") from tricking him into accepting the challenge. He's got a high opinion of himself and it's really Heenan/Flair/Razor's indifference to his talent and skill that causes him to switch sides. A surprisingly believable turn in that he's not suddenly slapping hands with fans. I always feel bad for Heenan. It's Duggan/Jim/Vince/Savage against Heenan for Perfect's soul and Flair/Razor don't do anything to help. The desperation Heenan shows near the end is impossible to scoff at.
  9. Flair used it back on Hart in promos around this time. One event center I just saw has Flair saying he always says "To be the man, you've got to beat the man and Bret beat me so I guess he's the man now. But can you beat me again!"
  10. Beast

    WWE Hidden Gems

    Close, a Konnan/Art Barr dark match was put on the Network Hidden Gems a few months ago. This is a second dark match, totally new. There are a few more from this era that could eventually be posted, with the most notable opponent being Louie Spicolli.
  11. Beast

    [1992-11-07-WWF-Superstars] Music Video: Bret Hart

    Got me all excited for a long Bret Hart title reign.... It's impressive how well the previous 12 months had gotten Bret over to legit main event level. Clips are shown of matches against Perfect, Piper, Michaels, Bulldog and Flair which is a totally stacked lineup, especially for back then. Loved the dungeon footage too. It's just an all-around great music video that makes Bret look like the new sheriff in town. He kept that aura around him even through the Hakushi/Lawler/Lafitte wars of 1995. It's no wonder so many American fans sided with him during the USA/Canada deal in 1997.
  12. This is a great angle, but I also agree that Jannetty's return confused the build to Michaels' world title match at Survivor Series. I'm impressed at how they were able to have the main players all have current feuds and future programs hinted at (Bret vs. Michaels/Flair/Razor, Michaels vs Hart/Jannetty, Undertaker vs. Kamala/Nailz, etc..), but right before a major PPV (that ended up having major substitutions) is not the best time. Jannetty immediately erases any concerns about whether it's worth revisiting this feud by throwing down a top-notch return beatdown on Michaels and Sherri. Only thing I'd have done differently is to not show Jannetty at all until he appears in the mirror. Still was awesome, but they gave away the surprise instead of having us experience it like Michaels. Guess they weren't sure if the young audience would remember Jannetty so they needed Vince to walk us through it. And of course this all became moot when Party Marty got himself kicked out again in January.
  13. Beast

    [1992-10-31-WWF-Superstars] The Undertaker vignette

    I started watching in summer of '94 so Bearer always had that voice to me. I was stunned on this watch at how much these "workshop" vignettes impressed me as a child. It's probably some set or random shed near Stamford, but it still looks and feels like a place that a supernatural entity like the Undertaker may work on harvesting souls and building coffins. They did such a good job setting him up as something more than the average wrestler and Bearer, caskets/coffins, and specific character aspects like having a workshop all played large roles in that.
  14. Yeah, this didn't do much for me. Flair screams and Razor slows it down and together they don't come off as anything more than a curiosity of a team. Impressive that Razor was able to have his character be distinct and fully formed right out of the gate though. He probably felt over-pushed at the time, but he's much more acceptable than Nailz and Kamala in the main event heel role.
  15. Beast

    [1992-10-31-WWF-Superstars] Bam Bam Bigelow vignette

    If I was watching this in 1992, I would have been enthralled by this tease. Any fan who'd been around since his last run in 87/88 would know his reputation and welcome him back to add some freshness to the roster. Any new fan would see this crazy big dude with flames on his head and get excited to see him squash some jobbers. For a first week tease, did its job well. Could have been a face with all the major names dropping out, but I'm guessing it was a combo of the last face run not going amazing and needing to fill the void of Nailz, Kamala, Mountie and other guys that weren't working out.
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