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Beast

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  1. I once read that Steamboat's key to selling was to never let more than a few moves go by with making a small comeback; to always struggle. I always look for that in matches now and I'm almost always disappointed by the heat segment with other wrestlers, but Steamboat's selling really is the key to this match. He lives by his mantra and is constantly firing back at Arn and Larry, which makes the ending that much more sweet. I hate matches where the heels dominate 75% but when the face makes their comeback, suddenly the bad guy's "power meter" fades and they're done. Here, The Enforcers have got Steamboat to themselves for a while, but Steamboat chips away whenever he can, causing The Enforcers to exert themselves even more until finally fresh Dustin is able to set Steamboat up for the win. Love this match and with Rude and Steamboat, suddenly WCW is hot stuff again. Agree with thoughts above that Arn and Larry should have been kept together for the Alliance, but I'm guessing Zbyszko was a stronger singles presence than Eaton so if they're all in a group, stick Eaton in a tag role. Frankly I'm surprised they didn't go with Larry/Bobby and have Arn be the third singles guy, but it all worked out.
  2. Not as good as the previous non-cage matches against these two teams. Non-title, no blood (or any use of the cage really) until close to the end and after the match, and as mentioned above, many moments in which guys are just standing around watching their partners fight. I wish I liked Taylor, Morton and Rich more, but their entire York Foundation run bored me. All solid "hands", but very little personality and their matches never got me interested. I thought the two previous weeks were going to lead to a big match here, but if anything there was somehow less evidence here that these 6 guys had a feud. Thank god for the Dangerous Alliance, not only to show what a real heel stable can do, but to give Dustin Rhodes an upgrade in opponents and card position.
  3. Solid match, but the time-limit draw feels like extremely lazy booking. Austin and Dustin had met on TV at least a couple times in the months leading up to this, but there was no real feud other than "Dustin being a top TV Title contender". The draw didn't lead to anything specific and in fact, Austin didn't have another singles match on PPV until two years later when he and Dustin met at Havoc 1993 for the US Title. This should have been a focal point of the Dangerous Alliance storyline but Dustin got sidetracked with his tag teams and Austin moved on to matches with Dustin's partners for whatever reason. This just felt like neither man can lose and spinning the wheels rather than encouraging fans to look forward to the rematch. Especially with Austin kicking out at the end anyway, the draw was a disappointing finish.
  4. Beast

    AEW on TNT

    Aren't they using Agganis Arena on the Boston U campus? NJPW is running Lowell, not AEW.
  5. Beast

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    Wikipedia says British in origin, citing a NYT article.
  6. I love reading Garretta's thoughts of the '90s set, but I think he's way off base with how Bret looked following this deal. This has always been one of my favorite matches/angles, even though I only originally saw it on VHS over a year later. Rewatching it now, I was very impressed by Bret's work in the ring and as a character with this angle. Against Doink and later Lawler, he looked driven and intense, but also at times overmatched. Specifically the moment where Lawler choked him outside the ring with his crutch blew me away with how legit Hart's struggle looked. This sneak attack and plan by Lawler (and Doink) was only the latest insult against Bret and his family, dating back 2 months. Even disregarding the Memphis side (as we should with it never being acknowledge on WWF TV), Bret was attacked by Lawler at the KOTR and then watched his brother destroyed in a match and his parents constantly mocked, including to their faces on Raw. Bruce and Owen's presence only added, and Doink's splashing of Bruce was another tip of the iceberg. By the time Bret put Lawler in the sharpshooter, the audience had seen him unfairly destroyed by Lawler both physically and verbally and especially considering the match looked to be over without Lawler having to get into the ring, Bret finally getting the piledriver and sharpshooter was a huge cathartic moment. Bret not releasing the hold felt completely different than the Austin deal 4 years later, and in fact adds a whole other level to that match. Here, Bret finally (and I mean FINALLY) got his nemesis in a place where he had total control and despite winning the match, he hadn't forgotten about the insults and more recently the beating Lawler (and Doink) had put on him. The referees and agents pleading with Bret did nothing to give Lawler sympathy. Instead, it showed the audience just how far Bret was taking his revenge, but again this is an audience that had been with Bret over the last 2 months watching Lawler constantly get the upper hand. The audience explodes with cheers when Bret finally releases the hold, showing they were totally still on his side. And the reversal of the decision saves both men. Bret had Lawler beat completely and the fans got multiple chances to cheer. However, Lawler is able to sneak away claiming he won (which he did). His fist raise while on the stretcher at the end was perfect. It keeps the feud going strong and the only reason it went away for a year-plus was due to Lawler's legal issues. If anything, I think this was one of the biggest moments in Bret's career up to this point as it showed just how much the audience adored him. Again, he wasn't acting heelish. He was a hero responding to a horrific villain and his actions led to him losing the match, not being rewarded. I think the audience respected the authenticity Bret gave the angle as it made it easy to believe (and understand) in his actions. Just my two-sense, but like most others here, I consider this to be a hallmark of this era of the WWF and an overall highlight for my fandom.
  7. Sounds like everyone in the thread watched a clipped version as the SummerSlam Spectacular version goes 20 or so. The tag-team dynamic of both guys needing to escape makes this unique among recorded cage matches in this era of the WWF, but the psychology is all wrong. Letting guys go back in makes this a Groundhog Day-type deal where the story keeps repeating until finally Rick pulls off the great visual of keeping IRS on his shoulders so he can't touch. We're deprived a great heel gameplan of letting a Steiner leave first and then double-teaming the crap out of the remaining one while one brother is stuck on the outside trying to get the crowd fired up. Or vice versa; have Money Inc. seem to get an advantage only for the Steiners reveal their plan was to get 2-on-1 and an easy final win. Even at the end, it was amazing how both teams kept trying to stop one guy from leaving even though that'd give them a huge advantage. Like I said, a memorable match since it's unique for its time, but a real waste of opportunity.
  8. This Clash was an afterthought on TV in the weeks leading up to it, with all of the control centers focusing on the 8/25 Omni show (US Title Tournament, Luger/Simmons, Gigante/OMG, Hardliners/Steiner & Kazmeier). The one ad I saw for the Clash came the week before and talked about a 12-Man Battle Royal (with 13 guys shown, then the BR ended up being 15 with various replacements like Ranger Ross and Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker) and new US Champ Sting defending against the undefeated Johnny B. Badd. Badd's experience may have been lacking, but he had been pushed hard over the summer and his gimmick was over. Him vs. Sting (as Sting's first title defense) is an intriguing deal, but this match is a disappointment. It starts out with some really great moments playing up Badd's boxing background vs Sting's power and experience. It's fast-paced and they look relatively even. And then things fall apart with a number of blown spots, culminating in Badd falling down as Sting tries to setup the splash and both guys standing around looking confused before trying it again. It felt like they knew the Cactus Jack box was the finish so after planning 2-3 minutes of solid action, they decided to improvise the last bit since it wouldn't matter. But the lack of communication ground the match to a halt and made both guys look like amateurs. There's also a weird moment early on where Sting goes for the Vader Bomb (pre-Vader) and Badd gets his knees up, but Sting no-sells it and continues control. Later on, Schiavone makes reference to Sting being so full of adrenaline that he didn't even feel the knees to the ribs, but it's another example of this match not being totally prepped. The Cactus deal is iconic, but it's also weird in that we don't see him leaving the box until the replay after the fact and that he had been on WCW TV doing squash matches for two weeks prior. At least Abby was a pure surprise, but even that was originally presented on TV as a clip from a prior event, not something happening live on a TV show. The WON from this time says Bam Bam Bigelow was supposed to be a third box debut attack but the contract never came together. Also Sting was feuding with Nikita Koloff at the time, but Koloff disappeared at the beginning of September. Meltzer hypothesized he was originally winning the US Title at the tournament so I guess the Sting/Cactus/Abby angles were a last minute replacement? Ended up working out pretty well and setting up one of Sting's hottest years.
  9. Good match that should have been the finals since none of the followups had anywhere close to the same level of energy. As stated above, this feels like the 1991 version of the all action cruiserweight match that would be on Nitro six years later. When Johnny Rich, Joey Maggs and Mike Graham make up almost half the participants, it's incredibly hard to take the tournament seriously. At least here, Pillman and Armstrong go full speed the entire time, with the suplex to the outside and the suicide dive especially looking brutally impressive. Yeah, Liger shows up in a few months and Pillman has a decent match with Scotty Flamingo next summer, but sadly this is close to the non-Liger peak of the short-lived division.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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