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TravJ1979

Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

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1 hour ago, MoS said:

Gotta say, I have enjoyed strobogo's dive into 1995 and 1996 WCW Babyface Hulk Hogan. I remembered it being dull and boring, but I had forgotten just how self-indulgent and insecure that run was. If Steve Austin had cut the Austin 3:16 promo in WCW in that environment, Hogan would have been on TV the very next day, saying 'ass' 50 times in 5 minutes and making zingers about every Bible phrase he could think of

Oh yeah, I could read hours of this

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:18 AM, Clayton Jones said:

VS Matthew Justice in AIW or any of his AIW stuff if you want non-deathmatch, his trilogy of matches VS Matt Tremont in GCW, and both the H8 Club matches VS Necro/Klein. Although I generally don't think he was very good otherwise pre incarceration, those two teams just had great chemistry.

Watched the Matthew Justice matches and the tag matches. Fucking insane, dangerous stuff. Shocked nobody got hurt. I'm not watching the Matt Tremont matches as those look like a snuff film. 

6 hours ago, sek69 said:

Tommy Dreamer getting huge babyface reactions for not just piledriving valets, but deliberately showing off their underwear while doing it is like watching footage from an alien world these days. 

Yeah. I binged summer of 94, so the middle of Dreamer vs Sandman feud. I don't understand how that is what got Dreamer over as a sympathetic babyface. He comes off like an idiot and a creep, a tough creepy idiot, but still a creepy idiot. At every turn Sandman and Woman are able to out smart and beat the shit out of Dreamer in large part because Dreamer is more occupied with groping Woman than he is beating the Sandman. 

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I remember at the time, someone very much in the target demo of ECW and a fan of it, wondering why is Tommy Dreamer so popular when he would literally get beat and lose all the time. His whole deal was basically being a WWF jobber who got more hope spots. I suppose the Heyman Reality Distortion Field was just that strong at the time.

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It's because he kept getting back up and fighting back, even when he knew he was going to lose and get his ass kicked doing it. His were moral victories, at least for the Philly crowd.

For Gage stuff, I recommend a lot of his work in Beyond, particularly with MJF. It's tame by the standards of most of his career, but it shows that he actually does know how to use psychology and structure a match without needing a thousand lighttubes and flaming tables.

I also really, really enjoy his Tables match with Nate Hatred from CZW Shockwave back in 2003.

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14 hours ago, Cowboy Hats 4.0 said:

Oh yeah, I could read hours of this

Me and a few buddies are keeping a spreadsheet with weighted ranks for matches, promos, interviews, hype segments, commercials for Nitros/Clashes/PPVs probably up to the end of 1997 but we'll see if/when Thunder gets uploaded to Peacock if that's something we really want to continue.

 

In 1996, Hogan's segments/promos/matches are consistently the lowest ranked of anything by the whole group and usually when he doesn't appear, the overall show ranking will go up an entire point on the scale (or more) because not only was the Hogan shit always bad in 1996, but I'm pretty sure the shows he was on were also booked so as to make sure nothing would out shine him, which meant everything sucked when he was in a match on a show. 

 

Over a four month span in 1996:

The entire Four Horsemen group are literally on their knees begging off from Hogan in the ring

Squashes the OMG on Nitro while Gang is US Champion and there were 4-5 other members of the DoD he could have squashed on Nitro that weren't holding a title.

He loses the title in October, his name plate is still on the belt into March. 

When Flair starts storming the booth and going nuts and people are into it, he starts doing it, at least once actually chasing Flair off so he could do it there instead, despite Gene already being in the ring trying to do an interview with Hogan. 

He gets a good reaction using a chair one week, so he has to beat multiple people up with a chair every week for the next 5 weeks.

During a lumberjack match, he beats up 5 lumberjacks on the floor by himself.

Hogan beats up the entire Dungeon of Doom multiple times on his own, including one time after an atrocious cage match with The Giant that he decisively won and then went on to beat up every single member of the DoD with a chair also inside the cage immediately after

Beats up Giant with a chair probably 4 different times, slams him multiple times not even in matches. He does this even as WCW is building Giant up for a title win and the difference in how Giant is presented and looks in matches with Hogan vs matches with Flair/Sting/Savage in the same time frame is night and day. In fact, the same night that Hogan goes away until the NWO turn is the night Hogan routes Sullivan/Arn in a handicap match and then slams Giant in a scuffle all to cut a promo about how Hulkamania is stronger than ever (then vanishing for months), Giant lays out Sting, Lex, and Flair in the main event and the skirmish with Hogan is literally never mentioned again. Two weeks later, Giant very decisively beats Flair for the title. Of course, Hogan is the guy to take the title off Giant when the time comes in a few months.

Spends roughly 2 months stealing every thing cool Randy Savage says in their promos, including OHHH YEAAAHH sometimes even saying it instead of Savage in promos.

After LOSING to Arn Anderson, he declares himself the Enforcer of WCW. 2-3 weeks later, he wants to be called the Dirtiest Player In The Game.

One week he has Arn giving up in a figure four while pinning Flair with a small package. Flair wasn't in the match and was also champion and it was like a 10 count. 

Hogan (and Savage, mostly Savage, actually, as he did most of the heavy lifting in that match) wins the dogshit Doomsday Cage Match defeating The Horsemen, the Dungeon of Doom, and Zeus and Jeep Swanson all at the same time.

When Liz turns and joins up with Flair, it's not Flair, Liz, or even Savage that cuts a promo about how she took all of Macho's money/house/land/etc. It's Hogan. Who does it while standing beside Randy who looks like he legit can't believe what this fucking guy is saying right now on camera. 

When Savage wins the title again, he immediately tries to outshine him, which seems like an angle because Savage then brings it up in a promo and the next week Hogan demands a title shot for HIS title (he also did this after Savage won at WW3 but nothing came of it then, either) that never happens as Flair wins the title shortly after. While champion, Randy always comes out to Hogan's music and is usually wearing red and yellow for any of their matches or segments. 

Then there's the ancillary things, like Sting/Lex being completely removed from the title scene and angle that was so great and interesting in the first couple months of Nitro and continuing their thing as a full time team and Lex goes after the TV Championship. Flair was getting the best reactions every show for months with insane promos while Hogan was generally getting booed most weeks, so Flair wins the title and doesn't cut a promo on TV for a MONTH. As champion. 

I'm convinced that if Pillman was a main eventer, Hogan would have been calling himself the Loose Cannon at this time.

 

 

 

 

Even with the bad Hogan stuff, Nitro is SO much better than Raw. Much in the same way that Saturday Night in 1993 blew Raw out of the water on every front. 

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I need MORE of the selfish Hulk Hogan stuff. This is just insane to think about. I had forgotten about a lot of it.

We need a Hogan WCW thread like the EPIC WCW Highway to Hell thread.

Thanks for making my week! LOL!

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Well there's Lex Luger finally getting a win for WCW by beating Hogan for the title, only to end up getting Tommy Rich'd and losing it back like a week later. 

Him putting over Goldberg to prove he could be a good boy and play ball, but on Nitro where everyone could see it rather than on PPV where it could have made the company some money. 

All the times he would be conspicuously absent from TV on weeks where Nitro was facing stiff competition so that the poor rating couldn't be blamed on him.

The best of course would have to be him (allegedly) convincing Nick Patrick not to do a fast count at Starrcade 97 and fuck up a whole year's worth of booking and make the debuting Bret look like a moron for trying to right a wrong that clearly didn't happen.

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2:18 into this video Britt Baker's lying getting medical treatment saying she hopes Dave Meltzer liked her match and her goal is to get 5 Stars from him.

I feel like a big change in wrestling the last decade is wrestlers/road agents putting together matches not really to get over with their live audience, but to try and get over with this one guy by doing stuff they know he likes. It's part of why everything is becoming homogenised.

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What seems to me as the dominant style for a "classic" match now is a fast first 5-10 minutes then both participants walk round pretending like they're half blowing out their arse and exchange big spots then one of them lands on their neck

I am generalising a bit

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My only quibble with matches deemed classics now is the idea that they all have to be at least 45 minutes now. Not every great match needs to be that long, and more often than not there's a section where it's obvious they are padding to add time. 

It's kind of a chicken and egg thing too, are people doing it to win praise from Dave and get the max amount of snowflakes, or is it the result of a generation raised on WWE Self Important Epics, which were doing the long drawn out main events before Dave started breaking out the 6s and 7s. 

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Not that it's new by any means as I've seen it in matches in the 60s and 70s, but dual finisher attempts and counters into a stand off in the first few minutes is a staple of every match trying to be a classic in Japan and America in the past 1 years or so and I hate it.

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21 hours ago, strobogo said:

Not that it's new by any means as I've seen it in matches in the 60s and 70s, but dual finisher attempts and counters into a stand off in the first few minutes is a staple of every match trying to be a classic in Japan and America in the past 1 years or so and I hate it.

Randy Orton in particular is super bad about this.

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52 minutes ago, Coffey said:

Randy Orton in particular is super bad about this.

I was actually thinking New Japan more than WWE, but that's definitely been a staple of big WWE main events going back at least to Austin/Rock. I really hate it. 

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On 6/15/2021 at 6:14 PM, Kadaveri said:

2:18 into this video Britt Baker's lying getting medical treatment saying she hopes Dave Meltzer liked her match and her goal is to get 5 Stars from him.

I feel like a big change in wrestling the last decade is wrestlers/road agents putting together matches not really to get over with their live audience, but to try and get over with this one guy by doing stuff they know he likes. It's part of why everything is becoming homogenised.

That's actually really, really yuck from me. I don't know whether this is popular/unpopular, but I think wrestlers should have the live audience in mind before anybody else. It can really be a judge of a wrestler to me, seeing how they play off of whatever reaction they're getting (think the famous Dallas Raw 5 vs. 5, pretty basic set of moves but everything perfectly placed to keep the crowd erupting). Dozens, hundreds, thousands of eyes and voices right there, so I'd rather tv viewers be thought after them. Let alone having literally just one man in mind. I'm not anti-Meltzer (it's kind of weird to be reallllly anti-him considering he's a dude who just likes certain things in the pro wrestling), but for so many wrestlers to go out there and appease him I hate it I hate it I hate it. Although, ironically, Meltzer seems to favour matches that connect with the live audience anyway but STILL it's the thought process that bothers me.

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We have to keep in mind that Dave is pro wrestling's most influential news reporter, critic, and historian.  Can't think of any other fandom where one person holds that much power

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Sure but what Dave Meltzer thinks doesn't mean shit to anyone that isn't a subscriber to the Observer. Dave Meltzer's star rating for a match doesn't mean anything for TV ratings. 

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Not directly, but if a promotion is full of people trying to get the best rating from him then if those people become draws it kind of does mean something. 

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Dave has given high ratings to matches he personally hated if the crowd ate it up. And there's usually not much of a gulf between what Dave likes and what live audiences like to begin with. Like it or not, long matches with big moves and a million near falls are what modern audiences go for. So the best way to give Dave what he wants is to give the live audience what it wants, and vice versa.

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In 2021, I'm not sure that's true.

His ratings and thoughts are posted across the internet and spoken about in a wide circle. They, of course, aren't going to single-handedly manipulate TV ratings but I would hazard a guess that there is a strong overlap between AEW followers and those that view Meltzer's ratings as guidelines, at minimum, and as gospel, at maximum. 

For better or worse, he has become the flagbearer for a particular style of wrestling that permeates across almost all of the wrestling landscape (even Casas was doing Ishii style workrate matches a few years back!). Now, we could argue ad nauseum on whether Meltzer grew his influence over the years by his reviews being so ubiquitous or vice versa but the underlying result remains as fact, he has influence. More so than anyone. For those that do it, playing to Meltzer almost always plays to their live audience which, let's face it, isn't solely the paying fans in attendance but also the viewers at home and posting online (perhaps the latter even more so).

This isn't unique to wrestling, either. Every year cinema is inundated with Oscar-bait movies and performances, from acting steeped in conventionalism to forced epic musical scores. Every year, more of than not, these are what pick up the win and open more doors for you or let you command a higher price. Having your spot giffed and blowing up on wrestling Twitter gets you booked. Getting 5 stars from Dave gets you booked. Wrestlers want to get booked.

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Yeah it means they're performing really hard

 

 

Anyway back to some Hogan stuff for a bit, also 100% forgot that they kept playing promo packages for him every week on Nitro the whole time he's gone. Often multiple times per episode. There's never a reason given why he just vanished off TV after saying Hulkamania was stronger than ever, but they keep playing these packages of him with celebrities or beating up Vader (and OMG and Meng), and Bischoff frequently mentions no doubt Hogan is watching, stronger than ever, etc. 

 

Then one week, Sullivan is cutting a promo about BENOIT and says Hogan is going to be coming back looking for revenge against him/Arn/Flair/Giant/Jimmy and this is why he's had to keep the alliance with Arn/Flair, and says:

 

"I'm going to get rid of Benoit so we can get rid of Hogan!" Which is pretty baffling. Giant then cuts a promo being pissed about being the champ yet WCW keeps airing all these Hogan videos when Hogan isn't even around anymore. And both times it's played up like Hogan lost at Uncensored or something. My memory (which god how fucking bad is my memory when I went through all of this shit TWICE for a blog in the past 5-7 years and still don't remember most of it) was Hogan just kind of vanished until the NWO turn for no reason given and no mention of him. Instead, they're airing double promos for him the whole time and it's clearly being built around him returning and taking the belt off of Giant. Which does happen in a roundabout way, just not the way it seemed planned at this point.

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19 minutes ago, strobogo said:

My memory (which god how fucking bad is my memory when I went through all of this shit TWICE for a blog in the past 5-7 years and still don't remember most of it) was Hogan just kind of vanished until the NWO turn for no reason given and no mention of him. Instead, they're airing double promos for him the whole time and it's clearly being built around him returning and taking the belt off of Giant. Which does happen in a roundabout way, just not the way it seemed planned at this point.

It's not just you, so much of pre nWo WCW was just deleted from my brain. I think it's some kind of primordial defense mechanism to prevent us from getting a rage stroke at how stupid all of it was. 

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