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[1999-02-21-WCW-Superbrawl IX] Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan

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Despite all the years on them, these two still have an aura about them that no one else in WCW does, with the notable exception of Goldberg. Hogan eats Flair up in this match, which I question since Flair needed to get some measure of revenge with everything that happened to him in the build. It's also hurt by Hogan morphing into a cool heel playing for cheers by this point, so the crowd ends up far more on his side than they should be. He even does a sort of Hulk up, which Flair cuts off with a low blow. I kind of liked that as retaliatory since Flair is the dirtiest player in the game. Both guys end up bleeding which didn't happen too much in WCW. I was liking this match quite a bit until Torrie Wilson showed up and the angle stuff kicked in. She gets on the apron and slaps Flair a couple of times. Tony immediately says she's someone we have seen on WCW telecasts when they never once acknowledged her existence on Nitro. There's a ref bump and Hogan elbows the ref for good measure to keep him down. Hogan misses a legdrop when a guy in a ski mask shows up and tases Flair to give Hogan the win. He unmasks in the post match and reveals himself to be David Flair. Crap booking aside, the more frustrating thing is that this showed Hogan and Flair had a fantastic match in them if they'd get a chance to have it. And Flair is not even remotely presented the way he should be at this stage of his career, and a lot of this seemed designed to humiliate him.

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Hogan played this match really strangely as Charles alluded to insofar as pretty much playing the babyface. The mocking of the "WOOO" I could see construed as "cool" heel or just being an ass. The whole beginning was pretty much all Hollywood. You wanted Flair to make good on his promise that he was going to kick Hogan's ass, but they played the early goings like Hogan/Flair '94 with Hogan winning shoulder blocks and using his size to dominate Flair. Now once they got to the heat segment proper I thought Hogan was rocking it as a heel and really beating Flair up to the point of sympathy, but since Hogan had already won the fans over early the heat segment had weird reverse heat on it. I loved, loved Flair firing up on jelly legs a couple times. Those belt shots by Hogan were fucking vicious. You really felt like you were watching a fight. I really wanted to see Flair punch and chop through that to take control. Flair does eventually take control with low blows, which is fine to fight fire with fire, but seems like the crowd is firmly pro-Hogan. The double juice, the out of control violence and their aura could have taken this to US MOTYC for a very weak year. Instead what we got was five absolutely electric minutes followed by a pretty lame turn from David Flair on his father. I will say Torrie Wilson was hot and I mean double hot. Nash was right "Sable eat your heart out". It was disappointing because how surprising it was that they were working at such a high level even if it was only for about five minutes. It is too bad Uncensored ended up shitty as popular opinion says, but I'll be taking a look at some point. ***

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This was a very basic match worked well to a hot crowd with the blood being some nice icing on the cake. Flair's dirtiest player in the game face comeback is awesome as it often is. The ending angle is just dumb. This is wrestling not knowing when enough is enough. You have two big names, gave them a compelling reason to fight (Flair's promo about Hogan's fame vs. his reputation), built some heat so you know they don't like each other, made the stakes feel important (top heel champion vs. face President of company) and let them have at it. The show did a huge buyrate. THAT WAS ENOUGH. Give them a solid finish and don't make it too complicated and screwy. But of course we had to have a SWERVE ending which my mind says has zero chance of not turning out terribly.

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Like the rest of you said, this was getting good till the finish. It was surprising to see Hogan work face when he was the big heel in the company. I know it's not long before he turns babyface. Flair looks like he bladed the side of his head. Finish was usual bad WCW main event with Torrie looking outstanding. I liked that even Tony and the Brain had to notice.

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Odd match. Both guys worked their ass off but the weird start was too much to overcome for the match overall for me. I don't know if it was just both guys going into the themes they were most comfortably with or what but it was really weird for Hogan to be the defacto face and the fact that we had a relatively tentative start to what was a blood feud. And yeah that finish.... just awful. Woflpac completely dominated this show. I have a whole lot to say about this show whenever we get there on WTBBP,. but it was interesting and depressing to revisit. **3/4

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I'm sure somebody has done a count of the number of turns there were during the Monday Night era in WCW. It feels like hundreds. The commentators were really struggling to sum up the willpower for the requisite shock and outrage. It's a testament to Flair that he was able to inject some highlights into this atrociously booked feud.

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Hogan and Flair have the power to compel everyone in the arena to hang onto their every move, but you can't help but notice that the match is laid out really oddly, even before Torrie shows up. Hogan continues to cut the babyface off and guzzle them all throughout the match, and parts of this seem designed to turn Hulk babyface. If that were a good longterm plan, I could go along with that, but to even attempt such a move is utterly preposterous and has no chance of succeeding. Still, it's enough to draw you into the match but, as tim says, we get a SWERVE finish instead. David is already showing flashes of his non-charisma as he, a heterosexual male, manages to look bored with getting to make out with Torrie Wilson. Is there EVER going to be a single show where the Wolfpac are beaten? This era feels even more one-sided than 1996, but at least 1996 was fresh.

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