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[1995-09-17-WCW-Fall Brawl] Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage & Sting & Lex Luger vs Kamala & Zodiac & Shark & Meng (War Games)

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The Dungeon of Doom video before this match with Sullivan has to be seen for Wrestlecrap value.

 

We also get The Giant crushing Hogan's motorcycle in a hilariously bad skit. We also get a pre-match promo from the Hulkamaniacs, with Hogan saying the team drank half a gallon of Agent Orange. I'm sure they did.

 

Then we jump to the last few minutes of War Games. Zodiac submits to a camel clutch from Hogan, which Tony Schiavone calls a reverse chinlock. As a result of the pre-match stipulation, Hogan gets five minutes in the cage with Sullivan. The Hogan/Sullivan action is as bad as you'd expect. The Giant comes down and does a number on Hogan.

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One of the most awful WarGames, particularly because it pitted a veritable superteam against a crew of midcard has-beens. What should have happened is Giant should have been on the heel team. The stipulation would be that if Hogan's team wins, Hulk gets five minutes with Sullivan, but if the Dungeon of Doom wins, Giant gets a title shot at Halloween Havoc. (But no monster truck fight!) Giant would come in and completely dominate Hogan, getting him in an unbreakable chokehold. Remember in '88 when Andre choked out Hulk and all the faces tried to get him to stop but couldn't. It would have been like that, with Sting, Savage and Luger trying to break the hold but not being able to. Only they would have been held at bay by the other Dungeon members, so they wouldn't have looked totally ineffective for their inability to help. Finally, Jimmy Hart would throw in the towel on Hulk's behalf. This would accomplish several things: it would allow Hulk to lose without really jobbing, it would foreshadow Jimmy's heel turn the next month, and it would allow the Giant to compete in a match before Havoc, because I always thought it was ridiculous that someone would get a title shot in their debut match.

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The first fives minutes with Shark vs Sting was actually pretty good. But then we get Zodiac, Kamala… So yeah, pretty bad, but not as eye gouging as the 98 and the 00 one. Really the cartoon version of Wargames. Gotta love that Hogan entered the cage and immediately threw powder in the eyes of everybody. Still the shittiest babyface ever. Damn, Paul Wight looks like he's 19.

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Sullivan's promo isn't actually terrible, but then you see the team that he's talking about and you get the weird visual of him being electrified against the WarGames cage, and...yeah.

 

Then TBS Guy narrates a hilariously overwrought video, with overblown classical music and shots of the Hogan team in military garb, like an ersatz A-Team or something. Hogan says "DTA" then talks up how together his team is--okay. Jimmy Hart in a tank top and camo is a sad, sad sight.

 

Finish of the match--God help me, but I think the "YES! NO!" undecided submission from the Zodiac was a clever touch. Not much heat for the Hogan-Sullivan confrontation. Giant comes in and chokes Hogan out from behind in a pretty blatant recreation of the Andre-Hogan SNME attack. He then does the Zeus neck snap, and this is a pretty underwhelming beatdown.

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I got a chuckle out of the pre-match bit where Giant runs over Hogan's bike with a monster truck (foreshadowing!). Giant's doing his overwrought manaical laugh with his arm still hanging out the side like he's cruising around on Sunday afternoon. Hogan stops mindlessly beating on the door, reaches up and grabs Giant's arm and Giant breaks his supervillian act for a second and gets a look on his face like "hey lemme go!" before pulling his arm away.

 

Match had no suspense whatsoever and I much prefer Boondocks' alternate scenario.

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Finally a reverse chinlock wins a match! Brutus Beefcake in all his forms is a shitty wrestler, but was he ever worse than as the Zodiac. His stooging and bumping was the lamest shit I have seen since Akeem. The first five minutes with Sting and Tenta was actually pretty fun. Sting was his usual hopped up on sugar self which is perfect for starting the match. I really liked his leap from one ring to the other. Tenta played a good big man foil for Sting. When he tries to replicates Sting's leap he ends laid out across both ropes allowing for Sting to kick him in the gut. It was fun shit. Then The Zodiac comes in. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! The match does not pick back up again until Luger accidentally nails Savage or was it an accident? I really liked WCW main event booking at this time. It is a booker's dream having Hogan, Savage, Luger, Sting, Flair and Giant at your disposal. It is great because everything weaves them together in interesting and unique fashions that plays off old history. It comes close to achieving the full booking potential of pro wrestling. The WWF/E's overly simplified linear booking where the only person who exists in your world is the person you are working a program with has always bothered the shit out of me. Of course, there are deviations from this path, but for the most part WWF/E has followed this paradigm. The beauty of wrestling should be all the interconnections and shifting pieces in interesting, organic fashions by overlapping issues. All six main events have real motivations to hate or support one and another. Any permutation of face versus heel is interesting not just because of the characters, but because the motivations are in place to add to the match. I wanted to say something positive about WCW booking at the time because this match sucks. Hogan comes in and throws powder in everyone's face. The Desert Storm Match was way cooler. Hogan/Sullivan was not as fun as I expected, but The Giant's debut was pretty sweet. Talk about making a rookie a main event star immediately. WCW would eventually bungle The Giant, but I would say at least up until Hog Wild '96 and really through Souled Out '98, he was a legitimate main event with plenty of heat. I'd argue that from his debut through Souled Out '98, The Giant was never used more effectively in his career. Yes, he became a better wrestler in the WWF, but was never the credible main event player that he was in WCW. This is pretty counter-intuitive to the "Vince books big guys better" and "WCW fucks everything up". Yes WCW eventually fucked it up, but they actually got quite a decent run out of him first. Don't watch this match. Watch Nitro, it is way more fun and interesting.

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There's one great moment in this and it's when Sullivan first gets locked in and Savage, obviously finding a mic from somewhere, lets out a huge "OHHH YEAHHHHHH!". It sounds like the voice of God really enjoying what he's about to see and it cracks me up.

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I watched this today, mostly because I've been on a Kamala kick recently and also because Wargames is this weekend. I really hoped this was gonna be a hidden gem but it kind of stunk. Nothing happens of note at all, so its just a lot of slow brawling. A couple of high points were Randy Savage and Mengs entrances as they just hit everyone in front of them at 100 miles an hour, and they were two of the only real tempo changes in the match. Enjoyed the brief scuffle between the babyfaces too, and Stings early performance but this was just a bit boring. 

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