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Tim Cooke

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I watched about 6 episodes of World Wide Wrestling over the last few days. I'm up to 4/6/85 which means I'll start watching World Championship Wrestling along with it. It's absolutely amazing how much the product changed in the month of March. Arn Anderson, Buddy Landell and Pez Whatley show up and immediately make impacts. Arn and Manny start feuding immediately and Landell picked a fight with Magnum TA after he won the U.S. belt. That segment was awesome actually. TA is celebrating his victory when JJ and Landell walk up. Landell said that when TA's chick wanted a real man to give her his card. Such a great dick move. The Russians won the World Tag Titles, Dusty won the TV Title, Buzz Tyler won the Mid-Atlantic belt and Magnum TA won the U.S. belt.

 

The week before they started on TBS they were suddenly advertising shows in Philadelphia and Schiavone was using the "major leagues of professional wrestling" tag line that he liked using on TBS..

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Up to Survivor Series '98 in my Network PPV rewatch. I've expressed how bad I find 1998 WWF, but this PPV is probably 1998 WWF at its absolutely worst. It becomes crystal clear that the writing staff can't write a coherent story, and is only good at nonsensical swerve after nonsensical (or, in most cases obvious swerves where the initial actions leading up to the supposed swerve were nonsensical) swerve. The company no longer cares about the actual wrestling and it shows with I believe a median match length of around 6 minutes, and something like 12 of the 14 matches ending via interference or some sort of outside influence. Austin is a shell of a once great wrestler, Mankind can barely move around the ring, while Undertaker/Kane are boring mirrors of each other. I know the majority will disagree with me, but I simply do not get the nostalgia for this era of WWF, and this show is a prime example of how awful it was. Sadly, I think the worst is still to come.

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First episode of JCP on World Championship Wrestling tonight. This is a much better experience with the 3 months of context that World Wide Wrestling has provided for me. Was there a better tv worker in 1985 than Tully Blanchard? I'm on April 6th and his match with Sam Houston was probably the 4th or 5th good match I've seen him involved in so far this year.

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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/monday-night-wars-week-26-and-27-february-26th-and-march-5th-1996/#.U-c4SGP1vSh

Jake the Snake returns to WWF TV for the first time in four years, Hall and Nash decide to leave the WWF, A 6 man brawl helps to set up Uncensored, Shawn and The 123 Kid steal the show, Bret Hart battles HHH, and Goldust ups his creeper factor!

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It took 7 weeks of Superstars and Wrestling Challenge but there was finally a match I would consider good. Steamboat/Sharpe from the 10/18/86 episode of Superstars was really short but really fun.

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Going through some old unmarked DVD's from my loft this weekend which I converted from VHS in the early 2000's (which is quite the struggle, because former me evidently couldn't afford or didn't have access to particularly high capacity DVD's, therefore a 3 hour tape is spread across 3 DVD's). Anyway, I come across Leon Spinks vs Onita in a match I completely forgot ever occurred. it was utterly atrocious.

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I"ve been watching Kick Ass Wrestling's Crossing the LIne 1998 show. For those that don't know, KAW was a promotion in Memphis that ran opposite Power Pro wrestling. It was the precursor to WWF's Memphis Championship Wrestling. This show is just wild and it has no commentary but loud music playing over the matches. It's very ECW based as every match is a garbage match with weapons. My favorite moment is they bring out a fake Jerry Lawler and fake Bill Dundee and they sit on a toilet in the ring. The whole KAW roster(along with King Mabel) run out and attack Lawler/Dundee. Mabel puts fake Lawler's head in the toilet. Before that a bunch of strippers came out and gave a lap dance to a guy that looked like Rob Ford. So dated and 90's but I can't say it's not entertaining.

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Just watched Negro Casas vs. Rush (Hair vs. Hair). I love Negro Casas but this was just terrible. First two falls were meaningless. 3rd was marginally better until the dog shit low blow finish. I\m not being hyperbolic when i say I've seen backyard matches with better pacing and structure. really disappointing all around.

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I wouldn't call it terrible, at least not relatively. I thought the second fall was sort of clever, with the way the interference backfired and I liked some of the callback stuff with Casas hitting the corner dropkicks, but in general, it wasn't at all worthy of the build. In fact, and I know lucha doesn't always work this way, the ending was so unsatisfying that you almost think they can run it again. It was hardly definitive.

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Actually, I thought it was okay up until the finish to the second fall, but it was a dog's breakfast after that. The final fall was crap and the finish was awful. They should have pulled the trigger on it sooner, but it was never going to be violent enough in the modern day Arena Mexico.

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It almost felt like one of those mid-movie scenes where the hero faces off for the villain, one on one, for the first time for revenge, and due to either being over powered or chicanery he gets his ass handed to him and he has to spend the rest of the movie building himself up to face him again with that doubt in his heart. Or maybe I just liked Guardians of the Galaxy a lot more than Rush vs Negro Casas?

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That was another part I disliked. Why did Casas have to play the underdog? All feud long they've been unleashing on each other and then in the hair match he's outmatched? And what a dumb story to run if he was meant to lose.

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If I was going to the live shows, I'd probably be pissed because Rush too most of the match, won so handedly, even if it was screwy, and now where do things go? There's no one on the horizon positioned at all to even be a threat to give Rush comeuppance.

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I"ve been watching Kick Ass Wrestling's Crossing the LIne 1998 show. For those that don't know, KAW was a promotion in Memphis that ran opposite Power Pro wrestling. It was the precursor to WWF's Memphis Championship Wrestling. This show is just wild and it has no commentary but loud music playing over the matches. It's very ECW based as every match is a garbage match with weapons. My favorite moment is they bring out a fake Jerry Lawler and fake Bill Dundee and they sit on a toilet in the ring. The whole KAW roster(along with King Mabel) run out and attack Lawler/Dundee. Mabel puts fake Lawler's head in the toilet. Before that a bunch of strippers came out and gave a lap dance to a guy that looked like Rob Ford. So dated and 90's but I can't say it's not entertaining.

 

Man, the KAW shows I watched in 1999 sucked....so ... bad. There are a couple of gems like Tracy Smothers challenge Motley Cruz to an old school wrestling match and JC Ice cutting racist promos on Danny B but this promotion was so horrid.

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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/summerslam-spectacular-199192-and-93/#.U-y8tWP1vSg

I cover the USA specials that helped promote that year's Summerslam PPV. Matches include Bret Hart vs. The Barbarian, Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Perhaps the best Tito Santana match of the 90's (vs. Ric Flair), Warrior and Macho Man vs. The Nasty Boyz, Hacksaw Duggan vs. Yokozuna, and a Steel Cage battle between The Steiner Brothers vs. Money Inc. and MUCH more!!

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They did a really great job of selling Valiant as being seriously injured after he got clotheslined with the ax handle. Paul Jones showing off his injured arm and how mad he was while talking was also good stuff.

 

I was disappointed in the Blanchard/Houston match on the 4/20 World Wide. I thought their match on the 4/3 WCW show was a lot better.

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"Don't you have your own personal hotline, Jim Ross? I called it last night and I was thrilled. I was thrilled, I was more thrilled, I was even more thrilled, then I lost interest." - Kevin Sullivan during Flair/Muta on WCW 11/25/1989.

 

The match is pretty good, based around dueling leg damage with very few big spots and a hot interference finish. I like '89 Flair's match style diversity and of course his ability to death-sell a beating.

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They did a really great job of selling Valiant as being seriously injured after he got clotheslined with the ax handle. Paul Jones showing off his injured arm and how mad he was while talking was also good stuff.

 

I was disappointed in the Blanchard/Houston match on the 4/20 World Wide. I thought their match on the 4/3 WCW show was a lot better.

 

I've been watching a bit of 1986 NWA at the moment, and is there anyone more tedious that Paul Jones and his army? A right rag bag featuring Shaska Whatley, Teijho Khan, Baron Von Raschke and the Barbarian with Whatley carrying around a piece of Jimmy Valiant's hair that he cut when he turned on him for what seems like five months.

 

The Worldwide shows especially are predominantly interview heavy, with guys at time having two interviews on one show; maybe fine if it's the Andersons, Flair etc but it's a stretch when the same happens for the likes of Sam Houston and Todd Champion who are nothing more than enhancement talent (though Houston does get the occasional victory).

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First episode of JCP on World Championship Wrestling tonight. This is a much better experience with the 3 months of context that World Wide Wrestling has provided for me. Was there a better tv worker in 1985 than Tully Blanchard? I'm on April 6th and his match with Sam Houston was probably the 4th or 5th good match I've seen him involved in so far this year.

 

Did the World Championship Wrestling show start on April 6, 1985? Was WWF or Georgia before that? Is that why, perhaps, WWE 24/7 started its run around April 85 too? Makes sense.

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