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Charles (Loss)

[1992-03-23-WWF-MSG, NY] Ric Flair & Sid Justice vs Hulk Hogan & Roddy Piper

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I LOL'd at the announcement before the match that Shawn Michaels left the building. I forgot they used to do that. Funny stuff!

 

Hogan and Piper do a great coked up promo before the match with Hogan calling Alfred Hays "Awful Alfred" and Piper talking about God knows what with his gum flying out of his mouth.

 

This tag match drew big money on a house show run, so we wanted to include one. Interesting that Flair and Sid get separate entrances, but Hogan and Piper do not.

 

Flair of course does all the work for his team and eats the pin, which shouldn't surprise anyone, but Sid actually works the mat with Piper, which is very strange. Not really a good tag match, but worth watching as one of the last matches of the era when Hogan was still Hogan.

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Kinda interesting that it wasn't Hogan/Savage vs Sid/Flair. Was Savage not doing house shows during this period? Good house show match even though I couldn't hear the interview even with the sound all the way up.

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Too bad the audio was low as seemed like a heated crowd. Decent enough match with Flair doing most of the work. Laughed when Piper made the hot tag to.... Sid? Oops! Would have liked to have seen Savage in there instead of Piper.

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Interesting that Flair and Sid get separate entrances, but Hogan and Piper do not.

I always wondered if they were paranoid about the reaction Hogan would get after the crowd reacted "wrong" for his Rumble elimination.

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I had to turn up the volume quite a bit, but it was worth it for the Piper promo. "I've dealt with bullies like you, Justice! I've dealt with sissies like you, Flair! I just needed a MAN in my corner!"

 

This wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything surprising to me, aside from the legdrop not being the finish. Flair does the heavy lifting and eats the pin in the end. Hogan and Sid heat up their 'Mania match.

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Hogan & Piper definitely opted against the decaf before their promo. We're then treated to the Fink announcing that HBK has left the building.

 

Perfect isn't out with Flair here, who gets his own entrance, as does Justice, while the faces are out together. Flair does his standard spots bumping for Hogan & Piper to a ridiculously hot crowd. The use of Whippleman's bag as a foreign object is awful. After that we get the Hulk Up and Flair eventually taking the fall for Hogan. Crowd and Flair really made this.

 

**3/

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This was the main event of the final MSG Network card (except for the one-shot in 1997), so there's a bit of significance there as well.

 

Heated match, with some odd sights like Sid vs. Piper and Flair conferring with Wippleman. Sid rather incongruously takes Piper to the mat just so he can set up his kip-up spot. Piper works a pretty good and effective FIP segment, and I liked the spot where Hogan tried to come into the ring, only for Piper to make a break for it into the corner, with no Hogan to tag. Would be a good set-up for an angle in another world. I liked this more than I expected, actually. Once the long stalling got out of the way we got a pretty well-laid-out match that's a worthy Hogan farewell to the building that launched his stardom.

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Hogan and Piper cut this insane promo, get super hyped up for their match, then walk off and...have to sit through a Jim Brunzell / Warlord match before coming out to the ring. Talk about a cool down.

 

HBK has left the building. That was hilarious, and in hindsight, really fit Michaels' being such a self-obsessed dick. I wonder who came up with that idea.

 

I enjoyed the match. Flair does the corner flip onto the apron spot early and walks right into Hogan's boot that looked so perfect and the crowd just went ballistic. There are a bunch of spots here where Hogan looks like an absolute idiot, letting himself get easily distracted by the heels. No surprise how people were turning on him. Camera misses the final punch before the pinfall, that was TNA-riffic.

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The pre-match promo was about a hundred decibels too loud, but seeing Hogan and Piper on the same side is always fun. My favorite moment came when Hogan slapped Piper's chest just before he left the interview area and Piper turned to Lord Alfred and said, "Ow!" These two will never quite be on the same page no matter what. Nice reference by Piper to both him and Hogan being there since "the conception", which they were if you're talking about Hulkamania.

 

I liked Heenan and Gino arguing over how important the "Shawn Michaels has left the building" was. It's sort of an odd thing to put before a totally unrelated match, but that's one of the things that made it memorable.

 

Bruno gets to travel, but Curt doesn't? Who's the manager of the World champion anyway? If you're going to argue importance to each wrestler's act. Curt still wins hands down. All Bruno does is a half-baked Cornette imitation with his intro and a few spots where he blows cigar smoke in a jobber's face. Not exactly irreplaceable, is it?

 

Interesting that MSG Network (who produced the graphics) used Sid's real-life hometown of West Memphis, Arkansas, which neither the WWF nor WCW ever did.

 

This match was mic'd wrong; the majority of the sound came from inside the ring, which meant that you could hear Finkel and the theme music clearly, but not Gino and Bobby. I caught a few good things, though: Gino's disgust at seeing Bobby and Flair hug before the bout, Bobby describing the new robe Flair's going to wear at Mania, and Gino sarcastically wondering what kind of advice Bruno could possibly give Flair. I'm kind of wondering about that last one myself, to be honest.

 

Flair's interactions with Hogan and Piper were a good deal more spirited than in any of the three singles matches he'd preciously had with the two men at MSG. I particularly liked the segments with Piper and Flair, which left their Worcester cage match in the dust. You'd think they were headed for a match at Mania.

 

Sid was only used sparingly, since they wanted to save his matchup with Hogan for Mania and he and Piper really weren't a good fit as opponents due to their size difference. I can't really think of anything he did that was noteworthy outside of the kip-up against Piper and a few distraction sequences.

 

Hogan and Piper never really meshed as a team, but that's part of the charm of their pairing. As I said above, try as they might, they were never quite on the same page. They were still staring each other down for tags most of the time, as if each expected the other to slug him instead, and they never really celebrated together after they won either. I think Piper may have been the one Hulkamania-era face who never turned on Hogan, but never really accepted him as a friend at any point either.

 

We got to see the doctor's bag used as a weapon, which I guess was another reason Bruno stayed at ringside. Of course, it didn't help Flair and Sid one bit, as Hogan got the pin anyway with his surprise clothesline on Flair.

 

I don't know what they could have done instead, but having your World champion lose to a guy that you're sending home after Mania really isn't good business. Of course, Piper pinning Flair would have been worse, Hogan pinning Sid would have killed Mania dead, and Piper pinning Sid without help from a low blow or foreign object would have made Sid a laughingstock.

 

Botched spot of the set so far: The standard shoving match between Flair and the referee, in this case Earl Hebner. Earl's way too skinny to pull it off properly, so Piper had to knock Flair down on the rebound. Come on, Ric, I know you like your same old spots, but make sure the people you want to do them with can do them before you call for them.

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Some of the best characters in WWF history have one super fun match here.  I loved it!  The crowd is really hot, and they give the crowd exactly what they would want to see.  It was a little longer than I expected too (in a good way).  Piper makes everything fun, and I love seeing him as the IC Champion.  Sid looked awesome/dominating.  I always (like many) questioned why they went with Sid over Flair for WM, but he really does look like the perfect monster for Hogan to take on.  Plus you end up getting the Savage/Flair classic anyway.  I'm not saying they should not have booked Hogan/Flair, but I am saying I see their reasoning behind not doing it.  I prefer getting these two storylines with the way WWF likes to tell stories. 

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