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Charles (Loss)

[1996-12-30-WCW-Nitro] Roddy Piper and the NWO

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Piper comes out to say that the Starrcade match was his last one, but that he's glad he can go out as the icon. He quickly gets interrupted by the NWO. Hogan comes out upset and says it's not going down that way, and that Piper is a liar. Hogan is awesome here. Hogan says the only reason he showed any mercy was because Piper's son asked him to take it easy. The NWO come down and lay out Piper as the ring is absolutely covered in trash.

 

Then they call for a Giant chokeslam. Giant teases it, but ends up letting him go. Piper is carted out on a stretcher and is for some reason speaking in tongues.

 

Hogan slaps Giant in the face and Giant screams at everyone to get out of the ring. Hogan starts crying (!!!) and says he's so sorry and that Giant can have his title shot. Then he unleases the NWO on him. Giant makes easy work of them at first until Hall and Nash come in and they leave Giant laying. Then they rip his NWO shirt off. The final shot is of Piper getting carted out in an ambulance and with that, 1996 is over. Hot angle to lead to Souled Out, although Giant leaving after only being in the group a few months felt a little rushed, not to mention that the turn was not teased at all prior to Starrcade and came very quickly, almost like it was a last-minute decision. Maybe this is when it became apparent WCW had no long-term plan and was just booking week to week, although it was still a couple of years before it fully caught up to them.

 

Also, anyone else notice that this was almost identical to Luger being kicked out of the Four Horsemen?

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It was revealed weeks later that Piper was speaking in ancient Gaelic. Really. They did segments with an old couple who were linguistics expert wrestling fans and everything.

 

Between that and "I'm Your Man," they were not to do the most random possible angles in this feud.

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Piper comes out to say that the Starrcade match was his last one, but that he's glad he can go out as the icon.

If only... The first Hogan vs Piper feud in WCW was awesome. Then, they rinsed and rehashed it until it was just downright pathetic. While the Austin vs Mr. McMahon feud was kicking off in WWF, arguably the second biggest angle of the decade and the WWF equivalent of the nWo, while RAW was finally winning the ratings war after nearly two years of being kicked down the curve, WCW was still running endless promos of Piper and Hogan on Nitro every week. It's so sad that WCW booking wasn't looking ahead because they really did an awesome job in 1996, even with stuff that really should not work on paper (really, who wanted to see Hogan vs Piper in 96 ?).

Piper did had a few spots in which he was worthwhile again, with Flair for instance, but this was his last truly great and meaningful feud.

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Hogan's gone from being a propaganda machine to being completely, psychotically delusional, insisting that Piper tell the "truth" about last night. He's even letting the fans get to him, desperately begging them to shut up. Hogan is truly great here, still being the heel shitbag he's been for the past 6 months but adding a tone of desperation to his usual persona. Once not everything is 100% his way he's showing himself to be a broken man--both his reaction to the loss last night and to Giant forcing a title match out of him. Giant takes out the NWO B-team, now that that's officially a thing, but eventually gets swarmed.

 

The Giant turn may have felt rushed, but whether it was intentional or not, the underlying awkwardness of him in the NWO added to it. It's righting a wrong that in hindsight shouldn't have been made in the first place and probably wouldn't have been if they could have held off the "5th man" tease for awhile until they could finalize the Waltman deal.

 

On to 1997 we go!

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Piper is really good at doing the "ah shucks I'm just an old man" gimmick. It gets me too, it's really endearing. This is maybe my favorite Hogan segment of all time. Just completely driven insane by losing a match and now he's lying and crying and strutting all at once. Giant looks great here as well with Bagwell flying from out of no where and him brutally tossing around the NWO B team. Awesome angle to finish up the year, everyone was so good here.

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Piper excels in conveying that he was good one more time and now its time to know he should hang it up. The NWO and beatdown was effective and it helped get Giant over as the first person to go against the NWO after being in it. It does seem a bit too soon since he just joined around 3 months ago but he didn't really fit anyway. You are seeing some slight cracks between that and mid card like VK  Wallstreet in the NWO but overall, they were a tour de force for US wrestling when they came on the scene. 

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