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[1996-01-01-WCW-Nitro] Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan


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  • 3 weeks later...

As an 80s fan, I do still notice when Flair and Hogan are in the same ring, although it's a little sad and weird that it eventually became commonplace to see them around each other when Flair/Hogan was such a dream match for so long. Lots of planted Hogan merchandise around the ring, as this was the height of astroturf Hogan fan support. Anyway, this match is somewhat heated and fun, but kind of rushed. I have to ask if Flair wearing Hogan's colors is breaking some kind of secret wrestler's code? Also, the scene at the end of all the Horsemen begging off from Hogan at the same time is ridiculous. Bischoff was a TERRIBLE announcer who only knew how to speak in platitudes, and yes, I realize the irony of that sentence.

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I like how during this time frame there were plants with signs with the most nondescript messages. Like "Hulk" or "WCW # 1"

 

I always kind of hated how Bischoff would put Flair down on commentary. IIRC the Giant/Flair title change match is a total burial on his part (again IIRC)

 

edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZxNGvyeBtc

 

well not really but still pretty smarmy

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Yeah, I'm not sure Bischoff was a guy who understood wrestling well enough to know how to properly get over a heel at the announce booth. At the time, he was smart enough to leave the nuts and bolts of his vision to people who knew how to execute, and eventually, thank God he realized Schiavone was a better choice on commentary.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The more post 80s Flair I watch over the years, the less I love him ( with exceptions, like 1992). But even if he's a bit dull at times, no one can fault his willingness to bump for the other guys. And in a case like this one, his usually comic overselling is a benefit because it makes Hogan seem more impactful. Hogan does seem to be moving slowly, and the crowd that granted him cricket chirps and boos on his entrance is not a crowd going to genuinely chant his name later unless he really gets rolling.

 

There just wasn't much to draw me into this match, though Arn's appearance at the end injected some life. I just thought it all felt very paint by numbers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I disagree with Kronus to a point. When a man is happy at work, his production is very good. Flair's production started going south when he wasn't happy and was not the #1 guy. He had fantastic matches in 94 pre-hogan. He gives a good effort here however. Hogan's sold a Ric Flair suplex like King Kong Bundy gave him a big splash from the top rope. Who convulses after a suplex from Flair?

 

I do not like the booking at the end with the Horsemen begging off from a stool welding Hogan. Even with the title Flair is not #1. Hogan's cage match goes on after the Flair/Savage World Title cage match at SuperBrawl in February. I wish the DoD would have jumped Hogan and ripped him a new one.

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  • 1 month later...
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  • 6 months later...

Rushed TV match, which isn't a format that suits Hogan well, making his no-selling even more random and annoying. Flair's delayed suplex was quite impressive. Hogan's stupid overselling wasn't. Hogan no selling the brass knuckles was even worse and it made Arn look like a complete dork since he was KOed earlier by Savage using the same object. The nWo turn can't come too soon, Hogan is unbearable.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 6 months later...

This announce team is um.... not good. Weird to hear Mongo talk to in the pre Horseman fans about Flair. I think this was the only Nitro held in Atlanta that I didn't attend live. I have always been pretty high on these two and their chemistry and this was a fine tv match with all the big spots hit and a neat dynamic of Flair getting a big amount of vocal support from the crowd. Hart runs out at the end and Bischoff is outraged. Big schmozz breaks out at the finish with the DOD and Horseman coming in. Brutus is yelling some nonsense. Macho is out to help out Hogan. Yeah. (**1/4)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good little sprint between these two, with a super-hot crowd that cheers for Hogan's entrance but turns on him as the match goes on. Arn tries a repeat of the Starrcade finish, but Hogan no-sells the knux shot. Way to make Savage look like a complete chump, Hulk. Then Hogan singlehandedly takes down all four Horsemen and has all of them begging in front of him, a scene that set the burgeoning IWC into a blind rage and almost does the same to me here. Savage comes in to prevent a Giant sneak attack. The announcers spend more time marveling over the Zodiac speaking than anything else that just happened. This was equal parts entertaining, bizarre, and infuriating, often all at the same time.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-01-01-WCW-Nitro] Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan
  • 3 years later...

I like the Flair/Hogan matchup and I dig this one too and I like the idea of starting your TV year off with a big match like this. Hogan has some decent leg selling at times here that is totally done by the time he’s attempting to emasculate all of the Horsemen. A ridiculous finish, thank god he went heel.

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