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[1996-08-15-WCW-Clash of the Champions XXXIII] Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan


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  • 1 month later...

Hogan is definitely still getting some cheers. The crowd is silent for much of this match because they seem to want to still cheer Hogan and aren't sure how to react. Believe it or not, they do a lot of really solid wrestling early on. The crowd starts to turn around when Flair starts laying in chops. Flair bites Hogan's hand during a test of strength! I have no idea why Hogan hulks up here. This seemed to be building toward more Hogan/Flair interaction. Kind of a nothing match that I wanted to like, and I still think with a month of build and some promos, Flair and Hogan would have had a super heated match that drew money. Seeing the Horsemen come down along with Sting and Luger reminds me of one of my favorite parts of the NWO angle that doesn't get talked about as much -- making allies of longtime enemies.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...

This match pinpoints everything illogical about pro-wrestling clichés : all of a sudden, Hogan sells and bumps for the same Flair offense he mainly no-sold for years, all of a sudden Flair actually outsmarts Hulk Hogan in spots (the bite on the test of strenght), all of a sudden Flair misses his legdrop and doesn't reverse the figure four everybody and their sister had reversed for the last 15 years. The Hulk up was totally stupid, Hulk still hadn't totally figure out how to work heel efficiently. Him jawing up with a woman at ringside was nice. At points they looked confused and fumbled around because they didn't know how to make it work. SO yeah, not really a good match, but interesting. Cool post match though, with Sting and Flair shoving themselves around. Now that made sense.

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  • 1 year later...

I loved Schiavone recapping the early history of the Hogan-Flair feud. Tony was still good for this sort of thing at this point in time. I quite liked this, actually. There's one really awkward spot where Flair shoots Hulk into the corner and stops to WHOO--a standard Flair spot that inevitably sees him eating a clothesline. But Hogan stops short and they sort of fumble their way into another sequence--that's a stooge heel move and one of the two men realized it and decided not to go through with it. And then there's the Hulk-Up which I'm torn on...on one hand it is dumb for a heel to do that, but on the other, isn't it it a common complaint of fans how babyfaces always forget how they wrestle when they go bad? On some level it makes more sense if Hogan DOES keep Hulking Up. There's some promise here of a really, really good match between these two in these roles, and a promising post-match showdown as well.

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  • 5 months later...

They made this match feel important on commentary but it is too rushed and a placeholder for the feud overall. I am interested to see when they could have done Flair vs. Hogan on a major PPV but I think if Hogan had more weeks of heel build up to get the fans conditioned to boo him and Flair was seen as the flagbearer for WCW, it could have been really effective.

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  • 2 years later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1996-08-15-WCW-Clash of the Champions XXXIII] Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan
  • 3 years later...

WCW World Champion Hollywood Hogan vs Ric Flair - Clash of the Champions August 96

Fresh off beating The Giant less than a week ago and dumping the Booty Man, we get a big time marquee match up on the Clash. I’m glad they snuck this in before Flair’s injury. The Savage match was always going to what they really built to. I think the  Booty Man AngleS and the Backlot were the perfect build to this. I wish Hogan waylaid both Savage and Flair on Nitro instead of doing the whole I don’t want Flair to have any excuses shit. Also the Stupid Little Man stuff sucked.

The match itself was something I wanted to like more than I could. Hogan was trying to figure out how to work heel. Flair needed to de-program himself from a two year run of being an extra cheating coward heel. The headlock stuff was good, Hogan still got the shoulder tackle and placed Flair on the top turnbuckle but Flair did get the slap so he ended up In the babyface position even though it was a non-conventional way to get there. That was a microcosm of the match Flair ended up in babyface position unconventionally. The rest of strength at first Flair stooges but bit the fingers for the face pop. On the second Flair Flip, he decks Hogan but the first one is classic Flair stooging. The Hulk Up I’m 50/50 on. It is such an obvious babyface spot but if he doesn’t do it, it’s dumb because why stop now? Instead I think he tries to Hulk Up but fails earlier because he’s older, not as physically or as mentally strong and doesn’t have the fans. I think him turning could’ve been him presented as action of self-doubt, a crisis of confidence and that would severely undercut his Hulk-Up. They let him get too much Hulk-Up. He misses the Leg. Figure-4. Outsiders. Sting, Luger, Horsemen save. Horsemen and Sting/Luger can’t get on the same page. 
 

This is such an interesting match because these two had such a formula and due to the Hollywood Hogan turn it was a total paradigm shift. That’s what’s going to be interesting about these Hogan matches. How is it different? There was some really interesting decisions that ultimately worked and some that were too much like the old stuff. Very interesting regardless.

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