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Charles (Loss)

[1998-01-08-WCW-Thunder] Hulk Hogan and Sting

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Oh Lee Marshall. We get footage from the last Nitro of 1997 and the Hogan vs. Sting match after Nitro went off the air. Nick Patrick comes in after Randy Anderson gets wiped out. Sting attacks Patrick and Hogan is able to roll up Sting and get the pinfall with a hand full of tights. AYE. The crowd actually bites on this as a title change and pops huge. Sting makes a comeback and Patrick gets thrown out. Sting beats up Hogan and locks on the Scorpion and Hogan taps out. JJ comes out but so does Bischoff and one day after Sting wins the title they are doing a belt held up angle. Really brutal stuff. Sting gives Bischoff and scorpion death drop as the NWO swarms in. Hart makes the save and goes after the NWO. Multiple members of WCW continue and the ring looks like WW3. This whole thing is a mess and really muddles Sting big coronation from the night before.

 

We cut back to live with an in ring interview with JJ. JJ calls out Hogan and he comes along with Bischoff, Nash, Hall, Vincent and K-Dawg. Sting is also asked to come out along with the belt. Sting's pop was not exactly deafening at all. JJ says they have reviewed the footage and effectively immediately, the title is being held up. Sting is asked by JJ to give give him the championship belt. Sting just throws the belt down at JJ's feet and talks for the first time. "You've got no guts (directed at JJ), and You are a dead man (directed at Hogan)" This was an awful fallout to Starrcade and a huge blunder for WCW.

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Everyone talks about how bad they fucked up Starrcade (and rightfully so), however the following weeks with the title controversy were just as bad if not worse. Sting became just another guy in a matter of weeks. A rare example of an angle where every single aspect was executed wrong.

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Way too much discussion of committees. There was no need for this part of the angle to be complicated; really, it should have been as simple as the Hart-Flair storyline. Sting wins, happy ending.

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The hook for folks to tune in for first episode of Thunder. Sting looks bad again getting pinned with a roll up on another normal count. Original referee recovers and match resumes with Sting getting Scorpion Death Lock. Bischoff beats up Dillon. Damn if JJ has looked awful these past months. Big brawl at the end with WCW finally ganging up to team against NWO.



Back to live show. Dillon and executive board have held up title and made it vacant. This makes no sense. Wasn’t Patrick booted as a referee? How would his involvement in the Nitro match matter. Sting to Dillon, “You have no guts.” I think I have my new drinking game for 98. JJ looking like a fool.


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What a way to neuter Sting's big Starrcade moment. I'm glad we get the post-Nitro finish as I remember at the time being pissed that the show just cut-off. Good hook for the first Thunder (as KR notes above).

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They give us the post-show footage from Nitro on 12/29 when Hogan faced Sting. Sting should have dropped the Stinger Splash and the Scorpion Deathlock at this point to go all the way in freshening him up. I compare this fast-action chaos leading to a disputed finish to Hogan-Undertaker at This Tuesday In Texas, and this was nowhere near as well put together. It came across awfully clumsy overall. This is just awful. It picks up a lot when Bret comes in since he's a much better brawler than everyone in the ring.

 

Back live, JJ Dillon announces his decision - the title is held up. Sting speaking for the first time in two years makes for a good moment, but they should have come up with something better for him to say. Just awful all around.

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After such a hot match, the action after Nitro goes off the air is just awful, awful, awful. Everyone's timing is off, things are executed clumsily, the announcers keep missing things (like Hollywood using a foreign object)...just a disaster. We get a good WCW vs. NWO brawl to end things, because why show Bret in a war with the NWO and a major chaotic brawl on live TV when you can show taped footage of it 10 days later?

 

Dillon calls out Hogan and Sting and announces that...the title is held up. Sting responds with his first speech in almost 2 and a half years and man, what a mess. Did I mention that it was time to start splitting the NWO apart and go with Sting vs. Bret? Did I? I think I'll do it again, just in case.

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Hogan can not lose his heat. Hogan must not lose clean. His name was Robert Paulson. Seriously, the incompetence it takes to screw up a year long build to the most anticipated match in WCW history in just a matter of days. I blame Hogan 100%. Another 'can't miss Thunder' agenda with the showing of the Nitro match finish and Sting speaking. Little do the fans know that in a few weeks Thunder will be all Jerry Flynn v. Ciclope matches.

 

RATING: Hogan should have retired from active competition after Starrcade 1997(at least until the WWE nostalgia run) and be a catalyst in the breakup of NWO from the sidelines.

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