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Wrestling’s Greatest Feuds – Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage

October 06, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Every once in awhile a great pro wrestling rivalry spills from the world of make-believe into the world of real life. Considering the fact that Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan are two of the smartest businessmen in pro wrestling, it is surprising as to how much heat the two have outside of the ring. Personal issues aside, Hogan vs. Savage is one of the greatest rivalries of all-time.

Hulk Hogan vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

There are many factors to consider when labeling a wrestling rivalry as one of the greatest. Longevity, money, fan interest, storylines, and excitements are what I would consider the key factors in a legendary rivalry. Hogan vs. Savage had it all.

On paper this didn’t look like it would be anything other than a routine challenge for Hogan. Savage came into the WWF without ever wrestling on a main stage. Savage didn’t have the monster muscles that most of Hogan’s rivals had at the time. Savage by all standards looked to be a perfect fit for WWF’s Intercontinental title division.

There was something different about Savage than the rest of the other wrestlers relegated to the Intercontinental division. While Savage was an outstanding wrestler, he had that “it” factor that most of the upper mid-carders missed. Savage was an entertainer from the second he appeared on WWF television. Timing and chemistry would play a big part in this classic wrestling feud.

Savage and Hogan would wrestle on house shows right in the midst of his Intercontinental reign. There was something different about these matches. Unlike most Hogan matches, the fans began cheering Savage. The two had immediate chemistry and it was evident from the start that these two would see bigger things in the near future.

An interesting backstage story to this feud is that this rivalry may have never been on the books if not for of all people the Honkytonk Man. Ted DiBiase was originally booked to win WrestleMania IV with Savage chasing him for the title while Hogan was away filming a movie. Savage was booked to defeat HTM on the NBC Main Event special to win the intercontinental title. Honky refused to do the job and this new change of plans caused the WWE creative team to change direction. It is highly likely that had Savage won the I-C title from Honky and DiBiase won the tournament at Mania that Hogan would have been challenging DiBiase at WrestleMania 5 and not Savage.

Timing was Randy Savage’s best friend. Hogan started to develop an interest in doing movies. At the peak of his fame, Hogan had agreed to star in No Holds Barred. Hogan needed time off and the WWE needed someone to carry the company. Vince McMahon gave Savage his vote of confidence, turned him babyface, and gave him the all-important championship run. The run of course was temporary until Hogan returned.

The seeds were planted a year out from Hogan and Savage’s biggest match. Savage won the WWF title at WrestleMania IV. Hogan came into the ring and put Elizabeth on his shoulders. Savage gave Hogan a subtle glare which planted the seed of doubt into Savage’s babyface intentions. A brilliant idea that most fans didn’t even catch until the tape was replayed a year later.

Hogan finally returned to active wrestling in the summer of 1988. Hogan and Savage teamed up as the “Mega Powers” to take on Andre the Giant and Ted Dibiase at SummerSlam. The two would continue to team on big shows including the Survivor Series. The tension began to mount when Hogan took Savage’s manager Elizabeth as his own manager around this time.

Savage’s legendary jealousy behind the scenes would be the catalyst for one of the greatest feuds of all-time. Savage’s off-screen jealousy was written into the storyline. Savage finally had enough and attacked Hogan following a tag team match on The Main Event. This last attack would finally make the match that had been built up for almost one year between the Mega Powers.

WrestleMania V was entitled, “The Mega Powers Explode.” A year of tension would finally explode into one of the most memorable WrestleMania matches of all time. Elizabeth would take a neutral corner as her two colleagues would battle for the gold. Elizabeth would later be ordered to return to the backstage area after she blocked an offensive move from Hogan.

365 days of tension would end in a little over 17:00 on the biggest stage of the year. Savage looked on his way to victory as he leaped off the top rope and nailed Hogan with his patented flying elbow drop. Hogan miraculously kicked out to the roar of the crowd. After a big boot and a leg drop, Hogan pinned Savage at 17:54 to win his second WWF world title.

As I said earlier, longevity was a key to this classic feud. WrestleMania V would not be their last encounter. Savage would now become the victim of a double-cross at the hands of his old nemesis. Hogan turned on Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger in WCW to join the N.W.O. Once again these two legends would be a part of one of the biggest money-making angles in pro wrestling history.

The two would continue their feud with several matches over the next couple of years in WCW. Due to the inconsistent booking, the two actually reunited in one of the many N.W.O. stables. Their final go-around ended when Hogan regained the WCW title at Savage’s expense in 1998. In over 10 years of matches, Savage would never pin Hogan.

Behind the scenes, this feud has become legendary in the wrestling business. It is hard at times to decipher what is real or what is a work when it comes to these two. Savage’s wife Elizabeth left Randy and stayed with the Hogan family for awhile. This would cause an enormous amount of tension between the two colleagues.

As much as Savage as trashed Hogan over the years, he isn’t a stupid man. Savage and Hogan have both made several attempts through the decade to make money together. The closest the two came was when Savage wrestled briefly for TNA Wrestling. TNA was negotiating with Hogan at the time. Savage quit the company claiming that he wouldn’t share a locker room with Hogan. To this day nobody will ever know if this was all part of the angle or if this was the result of TNA not being big enough for the two of them.

No matter what you think of Hogan or Savage, together they combined for one of the greatest rivalries of all-time. Every great hero needs a great villain, and Savage may have been the greatest of Hogan’s villains. It is this combination of fiction, fact, and drama that allows me to honor Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage as one of wrestling’s greatest rivalries.

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Hulk Hogan Talks John Cena, State of the WWE, and More

September 12, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

[366l]Hulk Hogan has never met an interview opportunity he didn’t like. That is evident lately as new Hulk interviews are popping up online weekly. The latest comes from Inside Pulse and while short on time, an interesting conversation nonetheless.

Murtz Jaffer, an admitted Hulkamaniac caught up with Hulk at a recent Fan Expo in Canada. Hogan and Jaffer cover a variety of topics which predictably included Hogan’s memories on wrestling in Toronto. Hulk also talks about the current WWE landscape including where he lies in the “John Cena Sucks debate. Hogan also teases a possible feud with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, the Authority. Hogan also talks working as a heel or face and what he likes better.

Check out the interview. It’s a quick and dirty conversation with the Hulkster brother!

My WWE Mount Rushmore

September 10, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Before I get into the guys who are in my Mount Rushmore, I need to breakdown why certain legends are not represented.

I grew up watching WWE in the 1980’s, starting with WrestleMania 1. Somewhere during the greatest era in wrestling history, my priorities changed and I stopped watching. I had a vague idea of what was going on but I had zero emotion invested in the product. Thanks to the WWE Network, I know exactly what I missed. Without question, I recognize Shawn Michaels as the greatest performer in WWE history. Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock are biggest stars this company has ever seen. The Nature Boy Rick Flair is a 16-time champion and the only two-time WWE Hall of Famer. For pretty obvious reasons (not watching their careers play out live), these Hall of Famers do not have a place on my WWE Mount Rushmore.

Hulk Hogan

The first and most obvious member of my Mount Rushmore is the Immortal Hulk Hogan. As a kid growing up and watching wrestling in the 80’s, I looked up to Hogan. He was the face of the company and dominated the WWE Championship. Everything he did was geared towards kids and of course I loved it all.

I vividly remember watching King Kong Bundy hit avalanche after avalanche and splash after splash on Hogan during a Saturday Night Main Event. I truly believed he was seriously injured, if not dead. Then, like the God I believed he was, he came back and defended his WWE World Title against Bundy at WrestleMania 2.

His amazing comeback victory over Hercules after surviving the backbreaker rack, programs with Macho Man Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior and of course Andre the Giant made him larger than life.

Even today when I hear “I Am A Real American”, the little kid inside of me still gets a little excited. Hulk Hogan will always have a special place in my heart.

CM Punk

Next on my list is CM Punk. This is the one that I know people will question the most. I’m fully aware that he’s not in the top four of greatest WWE superstars ever.

Here’s a cliff notes story that will explain this. At some point in 2010 I was flipping through the channel guide and saw that Monday Night RAW was on so I decided to stop and see what they were up to. A few minutes into the show, a small, soft guy with a bunch of tattoos came out and started talking. I was immediately sucked in. I can’t remember exactly what he was talking about but I was hooked. I had absolutely no idea who he was but I wanted more and had to see what he was all about. I credit CM Punk with singlehandedly bringing me back to wrestling. With as much as I have enjoyed my time watching wrestling again, I am extremely grateful that he was on TV that night.

When it comes to in-ring performers, his skills do the talking. And when it comes to talking, he’s the best I have ever heard. There have been so many promos where I couldn’t tell if he was being real or not. His famous “Pipe Bomb” on RAW will go down in history as one of the greatest promos of all time.

Punk always stayed true to himself and I love that about him. Outside of the persona, he’s one of the best in-ring workers I’ve ever seen. This applies to most people, but outside of Hogan, I haven’t seen anyone hold the WWE Championship longer than Punk. That was a truly historic streak. All of that combined, Punk will always be an all-time favorite of mine.

The Undertaker

Someone that should be on everyone’s Mount Rushmore is The Undertaker. I will never forget seeing him debut at Survivor Series in 1990. At that time, I had no idea what was going on and didn’t recall anything like him before. He is the true definition of one of a kind. 24 years later and we still haven’t seen anything like him. His size, athleticism, look and ability to always keep in character and never let that go, makes him one of the greatest of all time.

How he went 21 years undefeated at WrestleMania is simply amazing. Just the fact that he was able to perform at that many WrestleManias is an incredible feat.

In addition to all of that, there is no one in the history of wrestling that has a better entrance than The Undertaker. The moment the gong hits, I immediately get chills. No one in the history of the company can ever come close to topping what he does every time he comes to the ring.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see the bulk of his career but I was there for his debut and I will be there for his retirement and without question amazing Hall of Fame speech.

Brock Lesnar

Finally, the Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar rounds out my WWE Mount Rushmore. I did miss his meteoric rise into the WWE, but I am very much aware of what he did. Has anyone ever made such an impact on the WWE in that short amount of time? None that I can come up with.

Don’t forget, I’m a huge MMA fan and when I heard that Brock Lesnar was trying to become a fighter I thought it was a joke. I knew he was a stud collegiate wrestler, but there’s no way he was going to be a successful professional fighter. He ended up winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship. I know this is a wrestling thing but him kicking ass in the UFC makes him very special.

I don’t think there was anyone more excited than me for his return. When he showed up on RAW and hit John Cena with an F-5, I knew I was seeing something very special. I watched all his destruction in his first run online and I am very much enjoying his second run in the WWE.

Just like his first run, he made an impact bigger than anything anyone can ever imagine. Despite losing a couple times, he was still so dominating in defeat. I will never forget the night that he defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania. I absolutely hated the idea that someone like Brock was the one to break the streak. But as time went on, it really grew on me and I fell in love with the idea. Then, as I predicted, he beats – no he destroys John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I never thought I would see a day that Super Cena would get dominated like that.

He hasn’t had a long career, but I can’t think of anyone who has made a bigger impact. With the combination of him and Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar is arguably one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of the WWE and that’s why he’s made my WWE Mount Rushmore.

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What Is The Big Deal About Ric Flair Anywooo?

September 05, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Ever since I’ve been following wrestling the two names that I’ve often heard mentioned as the black and white of wrestling are Hogan’s and Flair’s.

I get Hogan. But I don’t get Flair.

I get Hogan cause people don’t say anything about Hogan’s wrestling. They just talk about him as the man who revolutionized business. I get that.

I don’t get Flair cause people refer to him as the greatest pro-wrestler ever; the god of wrestling. I don’t get that.

Maybe I hadn’t been paying attention. Maybe. So I decided to pay attention. Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4, but 5 matches will be paid attention to to understand WHAT THE BIG DEAL ABOUT RIC FLAIR ANYWOOO is all about.

#1 RIC FLAIR VS STING (CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS I – ’88)

It is said that Flair was so good at putting over his opponent that a new star was born; Sting!

Watching this match today, I can’t see how it helped Sting. Sting was good right from the start. Going the distance only made him look weak. (Maybe I am forgetting history here.) The way Sting was going, he should have won the match in 5 minutes. That he couldn’t finish it even after 45 minutes tells me that the guy just doesn’t know how to pick up a win.

Yet, if there was anyone who wrestled that night, it was Sting. Right from the get-go Sting was all energy and moves – beating the hell out of Flair. ‘Hit the finisher and pin the mother!’ But no! Flair rolls away and comes back. Comes back and how! I mean Woo! With chops to the chest and knee drops to the head. The greatest wrestler of all time! Two offenses! Chops and Drops. Oh and the figure four. Make those three offenses. Wooo!

Flair did not at any point look like a world heavyweight champion. He looked like a guy who had woken up to find that he was in the middle of the ring with a belt around his waist. Thankfully, the NWA style of wrestling and hot fans helped Sting carry the match decently. But not so lucky was a certain Bret Hart.

#2 RIC FLAIR VS BRET HART (AND THE NEW WWF CHAMPION …)

A championship match! A new champ to be crowned. One of the greatest wrestlers of all time vs the wrestling god. And what we get is Snoozecade.

Blame it on it being a house show. Blame it on it being a clash of styles. Blame it on Ric Flair not getting a decent cup of coffee in the morning. But the match was terrible.

It was gut-wrenching to see Bret Hart desperately trying to tell a story by going after Ric Flair’s arm and build up a decent match and Ric Flair coming back with Chops to the chest and Knee drops to the head. Oh and the figure four! Wooo!

It finally reached a point where Bret Hart had to pull down his singlet and do a Stinger to strike terror into Ric Flair. Thankfully Bret won and we didn’t have to see much of Ric Flair in WWE.

#3 RIC FLAIR VS VADER (STARRCADE ’93)

Anybody can have a great match with Vader. He is that good. There is so much big-man psychology to be tapped into. Sting has had great matches including the brilliant Slamboree ’94 (yeah, the finish wasn’t great). The big man even got Hulk Hogan to wrestle for a change. But this is Ric Flair. The god. Can you make him dance? Let’s find out.

Nope. 15 minutes into the match and all Flair’s done is 3 sets of chops, 1 drop to the head and a failed figure four. Then Flair attacks Vader with a chair and gets cheered for it. The match completely goes down from this point. Harley Race who is on Vader’s corner is distracting the Ref as Flair is doing all the dirty stuff on Vader! Really? Really?? Really??? I don’t mind all this on weekly TV. But on PPV? Then Flair pulls Vader’s leg and rolls up and he becomes 12 times the man! Woooo…!

3-4 sets of chops, 1or 2 knee drops and 1 figure four! Flair’s whole offence in 25 minutes. And he wins! Wooo! Maybe gods don’t have to do much to win. Actually just an FPD is enough!
 
#4 RIC FLAIR VS MACHO MAN (WRESTLEMANIA VIII – ’92)

All hail King Macho! This was not a great match, but there was lot of drama that made up for it. Honestly not the kind of match I enjoy, but at least it got Ric Flair to something different. But if anyone stole the show that night, it was Savage. But then again, it’s not easy to one up Savage, is it? Even if you are a wrestling god?

#5 RIC FLAIR VS RICKY STEAMBOAT (CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS VI – ’89)
 
I saved this one for the last. Cause I know that’s what all you Flairaholics have been muttering under your breaths all this while. Flair vs Steamboat. Flair vs Steamboat. Where the hell is Flair vs Steamboat?

Here it is!

This was a good match, no doubt – except for a few cartoonish pin attempts. Flair did more than just chopping and dropping, but I didn’t see a wrestling god in this match either – unless we are talking about the other Ric. Steamboat. I haven’t seen many of Steamboat’s matches. So this one was an epiphany of sorts for me.

His move set was quite astounding; his retaliatory chops on Ric Flair devastating and his intent in the ring convincing so much so that he came across as a mean, no-nonsense SOB with that killer instinct that makes wrestling look real.

It isn’t difficult to see why this was given 5 stars (although I disagree), but I reckon 3 of those stars were purely Steamboat. Steamboat was so good that it was as though he was thinking on his feet throughout the match to Flair’s premeditated move set. Every move of his looked improvised as though he was ready for any eventuality.

All right, now…

Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 but 5 matches down! All against 5 different individuals who we know are among the best in the world. But I still don’t get it! I don’t get what the big deal about Ric Flair is all about!

Flair doesn’t ever look like a threat in any of his matches. He looks like a guy who gets championship spots because he is Ric Flair. Period. But why ishe Ric Flair? That I don’t get.

He has a certain amount of aura which I’ve never seen in any other wrestler. His is the most breathtaking entrance ever. And the confidence and charm he exudes are inimitable. But all that vanishes the moment the match starts. Then it becomes a meaningless drill of chops, drops and figure four.

“Cut this bullsh*t! Cut it! Look here, boy! You don’t get it? You don’t get it? It doesn’t matter! (Spittle flying in all direction) What! Matters is! Wooo! You wanna be the man, you gotta beat the man! And! I, Ric Flair! is the man! Why? Cause I can go Wooo! All day long! Woooooo! Woooo! Strut walk! And hang upside down from the ring post 16 times in a match! 16! 16! What’s 16 german suplexes in front of that? 16! 16! (Flying spittle again) Woooooo!”

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WWE Network Monday Nitro Episode One Review: And So We Begin

September 04, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

When I first found out that WCW was getting a show on Monday nights, I was hyped. As a kid with a television in the bedroom and was allowed to watch TV in bed, this was nirvana. I used to watch hockey in bed, but that was killed off when I beat the neighbor kid senseless by pulling his shirt over his head and delivering beating that would make the Broad Street Bullies happy. Hey, he pushed me off the swing, he frigging deserved it.

Unfortunately, my hype was not felt by most of the wrestling world. Most people in the industry expected this to be a slaughter; WCW was completely overmatched against the fading juggernaut known as the WWE. Paul Heyman, in a video that would make the rounds over the last few years claimed that it was going to be a massacre and that WCW wouldn’t take the measures it needed to be competitive. They wouldn’t change their product completely with a new booking philosophy or up their production values. They would fail, and Turner would return the company back to its Georgia Championship Wrestling roots.

Would that happen? Well, you obviously know the answer, but hey stay for the ride. Plus, the free cheese at the end of it all, and it’s the good type of cheese.

First, I know that I skewered WCW for holding a PPV at a beach giving away a large gate for the Vader/Hogan blow-off. I will say that holding the premiere episode at The Mall of America was a good idea. Yes, I am prepping to run away from the rotten produce, but it set Nitro apart from what the WWE was presenting with Raw. Raw as emanating from smaller arenas with a minimal production and Nitro comes out from the Mall of America. I know it was rumored that they did it because Hulk had his PastaMania abomination, but I like the move. I’d love a story on the WWE site or any site actually about the production of the first Nitro.

The Major Rivalries in WCW:

-Hulk Hogan and His Amazing Friends (Savage, Sting, Vader) vs The Dungeon of Doom: Hulk Hogan is waging his own personal war against The Dungeon of Doom. The Dungeon of Doom consists of Kevin Sullivan and all the guys that Hogan beat on while he was working for Vince. The only interesting aspect is The Giant and that’s held down by a tasteless exploitation of Andre the Giant. Things will get much, much, much, much, much worse in the next few months or so.

-Ric Flair vs Arn Anderson: A friendship that had been forged almost a decade ago was on the fritz. Arn was tired of doing Flair’s dirty work and it lead to a feud between the two. The promos are great, but the matches themselves never lived up to expectations. Things get really interesting in the next few weeks.

WCW also came out swinging for the first Nitro, knowing that they were running unopposed to Raw. Brian Pillman vs Jushin Liger in a rematch of their SuperBrawl ’92 classic, Sting vs Ric Flair in a continuation of the greatest rivalries in WCW history and Hulk Hogan in the main event against Big Bubba Rogers. Yeah, the main event doesn’t sound great but Hogan and Bubba had a lucrative feud in the WWE and the awesome cage-match blow-off on SNME.

Here comes the first big problem, Mongo. It should be pointed out that Mongo was a part of Lawrence Taylor’s entourage for WrestleMania XI and even commentated on Raw. It could be seen as Eric wanting to mooch off his WWE exposure, but apparently Eric stole Mongo away from Vince. The story has it that Vince wanted to sign him, but WCW came up with a better offer. Apparently, we were going to see Mongo and William Perry vs The Heavenly Bodies at Summerslam and the company was seriously considering signing both men. Perry wanted a guaranteed deal and the WWE didn’t want to do that. Perry never panned out and WCW came to Mongo promising a primo commentary gig while training him for an in-ring debut.

The big problem: He stinks.

Stinks isn’t the accurate description, he’s awful. The big problem is that they tried to create the dynamic that Heenan had with Monsoon and it just doesn’t work. This makes watching the first year or so of Nitro a complete hassle to watch and Eric having to play the ref between the two doesn’t help.

So, were off with the first match of the evening, this is less of an “I’m going over the holds and more of my general thoughts on the match” review.

Brian Pillman vs Jushin Thuder Liger

-Pillman was at a crossroads at this point of his career. The Blondes break-up angle never had a chance and he was floating around the midcard at this point. They tried to give him a California dude gimmick but it wasn’t connecting. Luckily, fate would intervene in a few weeks and he’d go under a career renaissance. Bischoff brings up the past history these two men have and Heenan puts over Liger coming back from a major injury and his overall versatility as a worker. Mongo tries to banter with Heenan. It’s a good match, not the best match between the two and it’s kind of sloppy at times. Pillman botches a head scissors take over twice and an apron suplex to the outside that looked ugly. Overall, it’s probably the best match of the night, not on the same level as the SuperBrawl classic but worth a watch. Pillman wins with a roll-up after Liger attempts a German Suplex.

-We get a Sting promo putting over his match with Flair and saying that he’ll get him with The Scorpion Deathlock.

-We then get the infamous PastaMania promo, which is pretty much cringe worthy when Eric brings up Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse and how he doesn’t have one at the Mall of America. I might buy into the theory that this was a vanity show for PastaMania and that most of the kids were plants. Just a bad, bad, bad promo all around.

Ric Flair vs United States Champion Sting

-Mongo still sucks. Figured I would give everybody an update and HOLY CRAP LEX LUGER IS HERE. HE’S JUST STANDING BY THE ENTRACE WHILE EVERYBODY IS SPAZZING OUT, BUT WHAT IS HE DOING HERE? This is pointed as the moment that set Nitro apart from Raw, it was live and you never know what would happen. The announcers sell it well, acting equal parts befuddled and angry at the presence of Luger. This is the basic Flair vs Sting formula, albeit with Sting spamming gorilla presses, and Flair busted out a crossbody that sent both men to the outside. Windbreaker wearing Arn Anderson is out after Luger leaves and manages to still look like a bad ass wearing one. It’s not on the same level as some of their classic matches, but it’s not that bad of a watch. They have their routine, and it ends with Arn attacking Flair when he starts to cheat. Arn comes back for his windbreaker because he is one bad mofo.

-Right after that, Scott F’n Norton shows up and starts to berate the announcers. He signed a contract and wants to know why he isn’t on the first episode of Nitro. Mongo gets in his face and it’s actually a cool visual before Savage appears and holy crap this is awesome. Both men are in each-other’s faces and it’s intense as Savage challenges Norton to meet him in the ring…NEXT WEEK! This establishes Norton as a bad-ass and hopefully WCW pushes him a top hoss in the company. I know that the exact opposite happens, but I have hope dammit.

-We get a Sabu hype promo and while it is a very 90’s video, but it establishes that Sabu is one crazy guy. We see him do a few table spots and generally wrecking people on the syndicated shows. I believe one of them is Chris Kanyon. Sabu is one of those weird WCW signings, and just an odd pairing overall. It made sense when they tried to get him in 2000 since they were starting with the hardcore stuff. Sabu…WILL BE HERE NEXT WEEK!

-Screw you Mike Hill of Alabama for winning a 1995 Harley Davidson.

-We see some hype for WCW Saturday Night with Johnny B. Badd vs Dick Slater and The Amazing Friends against The Blue Bloods. WWE Network, you made good on Nitro but what about WCW Saturday Night? I want to relive when Jimmy Hart had the book and Jim Duggan defends his TV Title against all comers including Robert Gibson. Plus, insane Dusty commentary.

-So far, WCW has introduced new talent in a good way. Sabu got a hype video, Scott Norton crashed the show….but then Michael Wallstreet shows up. I’m a Mike Routunda fan, he had a great run with The Varsity Club, but he had been stinking up WWE television for years at this point. He cuts a basic promo taking some shots at the New Generation before telling the world that he is showing up next week.

WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan w/Jimmy Hart vs Big Bubba Rogers

-Big Bubba and Hogan had quite the feud back in New York, making some good money and good matches too. Apparently, Hogan handpicked Bubba for the match and Bischoff even acknowledges the past these two men had. Mongo still sucks, film at eleven. Mongo has two nick names for Heenan: The Stain and The Hernia. The good news is that the crowd is hot for the match and I have to give credit to Big Bubba. He is still a good seller and moves well, his first year or so in WCW was pretty good. The Vader matches were great HOSS FIGHTS and the Sting matches were alright. This however, isn’t that good since it’s standard Hogan fare, the best part is two fans in the front row with “Hogan Sucks” and “Hogan is a wimp” signs that get confiscated. Hulk makes his comeback, hits the boot and drops the leg for the win.

-Hulk celebrates as Kevin Sullivan and The Hulk Hogan Punching Bags arrive. Hulk proceeds to turret punch them until Luger runs out and runs the Dungeon out of the ring. Hulk and Luger almost come to blows until the Amazing Friends arrive to break up the fight. The crowd chants Luger as we go to break.

-Fall Brawl 1995 apparently benefited MDA, classy move. Still advertising Vader and I had such high hopes for a Vader/Giant match as a kid.

-Hulk asks what Luger is doing in his backyard and I guarantee Flair is weeping as Double A tries to console him. Luger makes the challenge to Hulk for his belt, another pot-shot at WWE. Hulk actually puts over Luger’s accomplishment and says he’ll give him a title shot NEXT WEEK.

So, next week from Miami, we get:

-SABU

-Scott F’n Norton vs Randy Savage

-Michael Wallstreet (Crap)

-Hulk Hogan vs Lex Luger

Raw would counter with Sid/Michaels and Bulldog/Razor and this would be the start of the dirty tactics that Bischoff would employ. Raw is taped, mind you.

Figured I would bring that up.

Overall, this was a good way to premiere Nitro. You catered to the hardcore WCW fans that were turned off by Hogan with Sting/Flair and Liger/Pillman and brought in the WWE fans with Hogan. Running unopposed also helped. I also have to credit that they dedicated a good amount of the show towards establishing new talent such as Norton, Sabu, and Wallstreet. Commentary still sucks, though.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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WWE Top 10 Video: World Championship Victories

September 01, 2014 By: Category: lists, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE has posted one of the more interesting top 10 lists on its YouTube channel. The WWE ranks the top 10 WWE championship wins in a list that is bound to stir debate among wrestling fans.

Before I get into anything I just want to preface this by saying you have to take these lists for what they are. It is someone’s opinion the same as I have my opinion and you have yours. Thus there really is no right or wrong list when it comes to something this subjective. That said, this list is ridiculous!

10 – The Rock defeats Triple H (Backlash 2000)
9 – Eddie Guerrero defeats Brock Lesnar (No Way Out 2004)
8 – Mankind defeats The Rock (Monday Night Raw, 1999)
7 – Randy Savage defeats Ted DiBiase (WrestleMania 4)
6 – Ultimate Warrior defeats Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania 6)
5 – Daniel Bryan defeats Batista, Randy Orton (WrestleMania 30)
4 – John Cena defeats JBL (WrestleMania 21)
3 – Shawn Michaels defeats Bret Hart (WrestleMania 12)
2 – Hulk Hogan defeats Iron Sheik (New York, NY, 1984)
1 – Stone Cold Steve Austin defeats Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 14)

This is not as bad of a list as some of their others. I am a little surprised at the lack of political influence on this list. Not one Triple H or Randy Orton title win makes the list. One thing that is never stipulated however is the criteria. If the criteria is impact on the business, I have no problem with the first two title changes. Yet if that was the criteria, the remainder of the top 10 would look much different.

I am surprised that Daniel Bryan not only made the list but made the top five. It appeared that the WWE were phasing out the historic implications of Bryan’s win when they kept him off of  the NBC version of WrestleMania 30. Maybe that won’t be the case at all? Putting him at five was not where I expected to see him on this kind of list.

I will probably do my own list at some point so I don’t want to tip my hat. But right off the top there are several obvious omissions.

Brock Lesnar defeats The Rock (SummerSlam 2001)
CM Punk defeats John Cena (Money in the Bank 2011)
Bruno Sammartino defeating Buddy Rogers (New York, NY 1963)

In the meantime have at it and enjoy the trip down memory lane.

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Hulk Hogan Talks WWE RAW Birthday Bash, Vince McMahon, and Roman Reigns

August 30, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Hulk Hogan continues making the rounds to promote the WWE Network and WWE 2K15. A recent interview heard the Hulkster talk about his RAW birthday bash, Vince McMahon, and the next Hulk Hogan or John Cena.

Hogan, along with John Cena recently spoke to Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald. I wanted to focus more on Hogan’s comments as Cena didn’t really say anything ground breaking other than naming Sting, Hogan, and Steve Austin as dream opponents. Hogan on the other hand opened up a little bit more.

One of the most memorable RAW moments of the year just took place a couple of weeks ago. The Hulk Hogan Birthday Bash saw Hogan reunite with friends and enemies from different eras of his career. Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff, the n.W.o., and others paid respect to the Hulkster. According to Hogan, things did not go as planned.

I got rattled when they played the package because I didn’t know what they were going to do,” Hogan said. “Vince [McMahon] likes to do the sneaky stuff without telling me. I was rattled when I saw the package and really fell apart reflecting on that time. Everybody from Flair to Piper to Orndorff was supposed to come out and say stuff. Nobody got to say anything. When Hall and Nash got to the ring WWE was saying no promos. No promos?

“I thought you had to have Hall’s ‘Hey Yo.’ Then there had to be the transition to sing the birthday song to lead to [Brock] Lesnar coming out. The whole thing wasn’t going down the way we thought it was, but we had some old pros in there to pull it off. It was very emotional.”

That’s interesting although I am not sure I believe it. According to Hulk, he and the boys called the spot with Hall’s survey and the transition into Brock’s appearance. Not sure I believe that one, although with old school guys it certainly is possible. Nonetheless, it all worked and it turned out to be one of the most memorable segments in ages.

What some fans don’t know is that after RAW went off of the air, Vince McMahon came to the ring to personally wish Hulk a happy birthday. Hulk and Vince’s turbulent relationship has been well documented over the years and according to Hulk, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

I didn’t expect that,” Hogan said. “Nobody told me that was going to happen. I thought Vince was for sure going to throw the cake at me, and I was going to dive into the cake, but he was cool. He gave me a big hug. It was just a great night. It really was.

That would have been something. Vince throwing a cake in Hogan’s face. Vince has been known to be quite a ribber so Hulk may have been right to have his guard up. I am sure after 30 years of doing business together, there is some genuine affection shared between the two.

Hogan also talked about the next big star. Many critics of WWE booking will cite an “unbreakable glass ceiling” and criticize the company for holding guys back. While there may be something to it, Hulk believes it is up to someone in the crew to step up and he thinks that the WWE may have found that guy.

I’m just praying for someone to reach out and grab that brass ring,” Hogan said. “That’s what Vince McMahon and Triple H are looking for. They want someone to step up. I would love to see the larger-than-life characters develop again like the old days. I don’t get to talk much to the guys. Cena is my man, but this Roman Reigns kid has really stepped up. There is potential in him. He has what it takes.

I don’t know if Hogan really believes that or he is trying to help out the company, either way it is quite an endorsement. It’s funny because a lot of the legends will criticize the talent for not stepping up, yet the flip side of that is that this is a different business today and it isn’t as easy as they think to step up. Steve Austin says this regularly on his podcast.

Check out the entire interview at http://www.miamiherald.com/.

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Hulk Hogan Talks NWO, Heel Turn, and Old Matches

August 29, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Hulk Hogan was right in the middle of the Monday Night Wars sixteen years ago. The legend of those wars have resurfaced due to a new WWE Network series and Hogan offered a fascinating retrospective in a recent interview.

Hogan gave a recent interview to USA Today focusing on those infamous Monday Night Wars. Hogan arguably offered more introspective on the period in this interview than he has on the recent Monday Night War episodes, although to be fair he has been very good. Here are just some of the highlights..

Hogan was asked how he enjoyed his heel turn with the n.W.o. compared to being the top hero in the business at its peak in the 1980s.

I was kind of at the crossroads. Vince [McMahon] and I had parted ways a couple of years before, he had an opinion about Hulk Hogan and his longevity and I had a totally different opinion. I left to go to a TV show called Thunder in Paradise for a year or so, a year and a half. Then when Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair approached me about coming back to wrestling, I was ready. After the 14, 15, 16-hour days on the set of this action show I was producing with the Baywatch guys, I’d had enough. When I went back to work, everything clicked. It just worked. I started out with the red and yellow, beat Flair for the belt, and then we get to a point where things flattened off after a couple months. The decision to turn heel was, we were either going to crash and burn or this is totally going to reignite the wrestling business, and it did.

He seems very confident that his turn was going to have a major impact on the industry. Honestly, I never would have expected his turn to have that kind of impact when it happened. Hogan was somewhat of a fading character and I thought people were tired of him good or bad. I was wrong. He really did reignite the business. Although to be fair it wasn’t just him. He was the icing on the cake.

One very cool question I thought was raised when USA Today asked Hogan if he ever goes back on the WWE Network to watch his old matches. I have heard some of the most famous wrestlers in the world say they rarely watch their matches. Not Hogan.

“Oh my gosh, my wife Jennifer, she goes ‘you’re living in the past! you’re living in the past!’ I say ‘no I’m not, I’m just getting good ideas!’ Some of that stuff we did back in the day was brilliant, some of the storylines and the delivery and the cadence of the storylines, how they were built…. They’d create drama and excitement. I just learned so much from that old stuff we did. I kinda like to watch the Network and go back to my roots just to keep in check with myself.

I know he is going to get some criticism for that answer from the Hogan haters but I like it. There are fans that live and die with this stuff, Hogan’s especially, and it is nice to see that the wrestler him or herself cherish those memories just as much as their fans.

Hogan was asked whether he expected the legendary reaction he received when he turned at Bash at the Beach?

Yes, I knew it was going to be intense. When you tell people for 20 years that you love them, tell them to ‘train, say your prayers and eat your vitamins,’ believe in yourself and then all of a sudden you stab everybody in the back. I knew there was going to be a huge reaction.

Say what you want about Hogan but that reaction was one of the best you’ll ever see. It was completely organic and to see an entire arena so upset that they all started throwing garbage at Hogan and crew was quite a sight, For Hogan, Nash, and Hall it had to be a great feeling.

Finally Hogan was asked about the idea that the War would have put Vince McMahon and the WWE out of business.

I was praying to God that wouldn’t happen. I prayed to God that we would become the No. 1 wrestling show, and that WWE would thrive and stay the monster that they were. WCW might become a little bit [of a] bigger monster. I never wanted anybody to go away. I wanted two different companies so talent could have a choice where they could work and make big, big money.

Another interesting answer from the Hulkster. He is exactly right. The business is in a dangerous spot today without competition and you can see it every Monday night. Hogan made big money jumping from one to the other. It would have only benefitted him and everyone else if the business remained that way.

All in all it is a pretty interesting read. I’d recommend checking out the entire interview.

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10 Of The Most Corny WWE Angles

August 27, 2014 By: Category: lists, slider, WWE | Pro Wrestling

I will be the first to admit that there have been many times I have been embarrassed to be a WWE fan. Here is a look back at ten angles that were so corny, I hoped nobody walked in the room as they played out on WWE television.

We all understand that the WWE is entertainment but there are times where they go so far off of the radar, you have to wonder who exactly they are trying to entertain. To be fair, we don’t see goofy angles like these much today. Yet back in the 80s and 90s, they began creeping up fairly often. In Vince McMahon’s efforts to think outside of the box, he wound up miles away from his intended targets. Here are ten angles that while fun to discuss now, weren’t so fun to watch as they played out.

Papa Shango puts a curse on the Ultimate Warrior - This was the angle that inspired the list. I remember watching this as a teenager thinking I needed to find a new hobby. As a matter of a fact you can look back at the WWE in 1992 and notice a steady decline in business. Now I don’t think that this angle was the catalyst, but I think it represents the shift in product and fan reaction by fans like me who were turned off. If you don’t remember the angle, Shango was a voodoo practitioner. His gimmick was to cast voodoo spells on his opponents but the spell he cast on Warrior went to new levels. Warrior began vomiting and inexplicably bleeding from the “curse”. Thank goodness WCW was offering one of its best eras of in-ring product at the time as an alternative!

The SummerSlam 1988 Finish - Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were red hot babyfaces in 1988 and put together what would become known as the Mega Powers tag team. The team went into SummerSlam against the odds battling the tag team of Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase along with Virgil and Bobby Heenan, and heel referee Jesse “the Body” Ventura. The Mega Powers needed a weapon and for weeks leading up to the match they bragged about a secret weapon. The weapon turned out to be…Miss Elizabeth tearing off her skirt and revealing your basic bathing suit bottom, covered up by a ruffled top. Even a horny teenage boy like me found this a big letdown. Hogan and Savage made teased that Liz would be stripping down to a “itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polk-a-dot bikini” which was hardly the case. Andre and his team were so “distracted” by this that it led to Hogan and Savage beating them. Now the idea that Andre and the “world’s richest man” would be distracted by a woman barely showing a rudimentary bathing suit was beyond ridiculous. Sure this wasn’t as corny as most of the others but it still sticks in my crawl for some reason!

Vince McMahon Dies - This one is legendary on so many levels, and not all for good reason. Vince was down on his luck after losing ECW and was rewarded with Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night. The Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night episode of RAW ended with Vince getting into a limousine that blew up. What really blew up was the angle. The day after RAW the WWE stock price dropped with people really believing that Vince died. Quite frankly you shouldn’t be allowed to buy stocks if you believed that. The next RAW was scheduled to be a tribute show to Vince, “tastefully” reminiscent of real tribute shows. Earlier that day news broke of the Chris Benoit murder/suicide and RAW turned into a real tribute show, abruptly dropping the entire, ridiculous storyline.

Mr. McMahon vs. God - Let’s stay with Vince for a second. For a guy that is regarded as a genius, he has sure been booked in some stupid angles. There aren’t many other moments that made me want to turn off RAW more than Vince cutting promos on God. As part of his feud with Shawn Michaels, Vince mocked HBK’s religious convictions and even booked a match with him and God as his tag team partner. Throughout the feud Vince made outlandish remarks against religion, likely angering many parents who no longer allowed their kids to watch RAW.I was thoroughly convinced that Vince lost his mind during this angle and he may very well have.

The Katie Vick storyline - Hey, remember the time you saw a C.O.O. have sex with a corpse on RAW? I bet you have never seen that written about a C.O.O. before. Well way back when, Triple H in an effort to upset Kane decided to break into a funeral home, open up a casket, and simulate necrophilia. The WWE has never lived this down and nor should they.

The Dawn Marie-Torrie Wilson-Al Wilson Soap Opera - I am sure there is a good explanation for this because the WWE had some damned talented writers on SmackDown during this time, yet I never liked it. For a guy like me watching this in his late 20s, I wound up turning the channel all too often. The whole idea of Dawn seducing both sounds fun on paper but it was some of the worst acting you will ever see on WWE TV. Al of course dies after having too much sex with Torrie, a fate I am sure many A-Rod haters are hoping to repeat itself. I kid…I kid.

Bret Hart –Vince McMahon Car Accident - How do you take a blockbuster angle over ten years in the making and based on realism and turn it into just another wrestling angle? Let Vince and his crack writing team get their hands on it. The match stunk yet the buildup for this should have been the greatest since the WCW invasion. Instead the angle was mucked up when a car ran over Bret Hart and “injured” him leading into WrestleMania 26. The only accident here was letting the creative team get their hands on this angle. I don’t know if it is as corny as any of the others but as a fan watching it home, I was disgusted and less interested in the match immediately thereafter.

JBL owning Shawn Michaels/The Authority owning the Big Show - Both of these storylines were beyond stupid and since they were essentially the same, I lumped them both together. The idea that two guys like Shawn Michaels and the Big Show, still employed, wrestling in main-events for decades lost all of their money only to become “slaves” to wealthy owners was both insulting and incredibly corny. Not for one second did anyone buy any of this and the idea that this company not only did it once but repeated the angle just shows you how uncreative their creative team can be sometimes.

The Lita Miscarriage - Words can’t even describe how tasteless and corny this angle was. I am really surprised that nobody brought this up during Linda’s political campaigns, than again her opponents had plenty of ammunition. Lita was allegedly pregnant through an implied sexual assault by Kane. Family fun! Snitsky attacked Lita and it was implied by the announcers that he had caused a miscarriage. Snitsky even mocked the act by kicking a baby into the crowd. As disgusting as this was, it was very unbelievable. I felt like I was wasting my time when I watched it. Someone on that writing team has some bad karma coming their way.

Al Snow and Pepper - How quickly we forget the time that Al was fed his pet dog Pepper by the Big Bossman. Pepper was a Chihuahua that took the place of head at some point and became something of a mascot for Al Snow. That mean Big Bossman wound up kidnapping old Peps and allegedly cooked him up and served him on a nice dinner plate to an unbeknownst Al Snow. The fun didn’t end there. The angle led to what is probably the worst Hell in a Cell match in history, a Kennel from Hell match. It’s amazing how fondly we remember the Attitude Era today and how quickly we forget all of the duds like this and others on this list.

The Birth of the Hand - How about the time those two crazy kids Mark Henry and Mae Young fell in love? We could end the summary right here with corny but it gets better. It was implied that Mark knocked Mae up and the two were expecting. WWE cameras were allowed in the hospital room when the big event took place and what came out was…a hand. I am sure there was some kind of subliminal message here but the only thing I could think of was that the WWE was giving us all the middle finger to anyone gullible enough to believe that Mae was actually going to give birth.

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Hulk Hogan Wants One More WWE Match

August 19, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Hulkster is at it again! The only person that thinks he hasn’t seen the last Hulk Hogan match is Hulk Hogan. Hogan is not ready to say the word retire just yet and his mind, he has one more match left in him and wants it in a WWE ring.

Hogan appeared on the Matthew Aaron Show recently where he claimed that he has one more match left in him. The Hulkster has one goal in mind and that is to wrestle in a WWE ring one more time. According to the Hulkster, it is not a question of whether he can go, it is a matter of putting the match together.

Brother, my goal is to perform in the ring again, it’s not if, it’s when, I’ve been training like crazy, my back doesn’t hurt at all, my back’s perfect, (Hulk has had 9 back surgeries) now I’ve finally got by back straightened out and I’m really trying to get myself into shape because if you step inside that WWE ring you better bring it, and last time I brought it they begged me to take it back.”

This is quite a turnaround from three years ago when Hogan was told by doctors to never wrestle again. TNA had been planning to put Hulk back in the ring during that time only to have doctors nix the match. Hogan even went as far as to sue his former doctors last year for $50 million claiming that botched surgeries cost him a WrestleMania match with John Cena among other things.

If I get in there I want to make sure I’m ready to go and I give them something to remember me by, so my goal in life is to perform again in that WWE ring.

So let’s play along here with the Hulk and assume that he can get cleared to wrestle in a WWE ring. Would people buy it? As crazy as it sounds I think they would. I think the key here is that you have to keep expectations low. A match with someone like John Cena probably wouldn’t work only because it couldn’t live up to expectations. However, if you put him in there with a rising star like Bray Wyatt or Seth Rollins, I think people would forgive Hogan for father time and appreciate it for what it is.

Hogan reiterated this to Brian Fritz and Dave Meltzer over the weekend. Meltzer and Fritz’s interview was more interesting in that Hogan called his final matches in WCW and his run inside of the ring in TNA an embarrassment. Hogan told Meltzer that the best case scenario for him would be a match with John Cena. Hogan also told Meltzer that he needed to get rid of some arthritis that is genetic.

It would certainly be an interesting dilemma for Vince McMahon if Hogan could get cleared to return. Does Vince play it safe and keep Hogan out of the ring or is he sucked into getting one last match out of Hulk? I think if it is billed as an actual retirement match, the match could be huge and Vince may bite.

Unfortunately I wouldn’t hold your breath. It is a nice story but the fact is that Hogan’s back was so badly thrashed a few years ago that I can’t imagine him turning it around. He has rods in there and has had numerous surgeries. Could he get in and throw a few punches like he did against Sting a few years back? Maybe, but I just don’t see it happening.

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SummerSlam Facts and Stats Even Hardcore WWE Fans Probably Forgot

August 12, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Vince McMahon loved playing “anything you can do, I can do better” with Jim Crockett, his chief rival in the wrestling wars of the 1980s.

Every event Crockett promotions and the National Wrestling Alliance held, the WWF countered with an event of their own. The NWA had Starrcade. Vince McMahon and the WWF created Wrestlemania. The two companies went back and forth creating pay-per-view events until finally Crockett went bankrupt and sold his company to Ted Turner.

Even though Vince had won, he still wasn’t finished cashing in on the pay-per-view model. After Wrestlemania, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble, the WWF needed an event to close out the summer. Thus, in 1988, SummerSlam was born.

The WWE considers SummerSlam the second biggest event of the wrestling year (after Wrestlemania) and this year’s match-up of John Cena and Brock Lesnar promises to be an event for the ages. SummerSlam 2014 prompted us to look back at the history of the August pay-per-view and we uncovered more than a few odd facts, stats and moments that even hardcore WWF/WWE fans probably forgot all about.

Powers of Pain worked as babyfaces at SummerSlam 1988

The Powers of Pain were an important tag team in the WWF back in the 1980s. They never won WWF tag team gold but the Warlord and the Barbarian were imposing enough to always be considered a threat to the reigning champions and a victory over the two mountains shaped like men meant instant credible to any tag team that took down the hulking heavyweights.

The Powers of Pain wrestled at the inaugural SummerSlam in 1998. That’s no surprise. The shocking part is the duo worked as the faces in the match and were accompanied to the ring by long time AWA villain Baron Von Raschke (working as The Baron). Many WWE fans forget Raschke was a part of the company at the tail end of his career and that the Warlord and Barbarian were the babyfaces in a match against the The Bolsheviks lead by “The Doctor of Style” Slick.

The Nature Boy was supposed to be at SummerSlam 1988

The main even of SummerSlam 1988 saw the combining of two bitter feuds — Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant battled the entire summer, Hogan still angry over Andre turning on him and costing him the world heavyweight championship. WWF Champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage was in a feud of his own against “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. DiBiase was champion for only a few days before being stripped of the title that Savage eventually won in a tournament earlier in the year.

In the main event of the first SummerSlam, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage joined forces as the Mega-Powers to take on Andre and Dibiase, dubbed the Mega-Bucks. It was a tag team match that made sense but it wasn’t the main event Vince McMahon envisioned when planning the card.

The original plan for SummerSlam was to steal Ric Flair from the Jim Crockett and the NWA. McMahon wanted Flair to challenge Savage in the main event for the WWF Championship. At the last minute, Flair had a change of heart and felt obligated to the NWA. Flair would eventually jumped ship to the WWF but not until 1991.

A comedian and a NFL Hall of Famer had huge roles in SummerSlam 1994

It’s no shock to any long time WWE fan that the federation loves hosting famous guests. Especially when those guests get involved in story lines. SummerSlam 1994 involved two major names — one from the world of movies and the other from the NFL.

A major storyline going into the summer was the disappearance of the Undertaker. After losing a casket match to Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble, ‘Taker was taken off WWF TV and house shows for several months. He was given time off to heal up a nagging back injury. During his absence, people would speculate about just where the Undertaker went. In an effort to find ’Taker, Leslie Nielsen (playing a variation of his Frank Drebin character from The Naked Gun series) went looking for The Undertaker and trying to solve the case of how two Undertakers could exist.

The Real Undertaker finally showed up, at SummerSlam, to face off against The Fake Undertaker (Primetime Brian Lee) managed by Ted Dibiase.

The other celeb of the night acted as a bodyguard to a guy actually wrestling another body guard. Sometimes we miss the old WWF! Razor Ramon was facing off against Diesel — former bodyguard of Shawn Michaels — for the Intercontinental Championship. In an effort to keep Michaels from interfering in the match, and since the event was taking place at the United Center in Chicago, Ramon enlisted the help of hometown favorite and future NFL Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton.

The Greatest match in SummerSlam history wasn’t the original plan

It is hard to imagine WWE and SummerSlam history without the legendary Davey Boy Smith vs. Bret Hart Wembley match. That was almost the case if the WWE writers had their way. According to reports, the original plans going into SummerSlam 1992 were for Shawn Michaels to wrestle Bret and beat him for the intercontinental title. Keep in mind that creative was done back in those days months or even over a year in advance. Once Wembley was booked for the event plans changed and I think it worked out best for everybody.

Christening a new building

Speaking of SummerSlam1994, the seventh annual pay-per-view event was held on August 29, 1994. The aforementioned United Center, future home of many a Chicago Bulls championships, was just eleven days old. It was the first wrestling event held in the new building.

Oddly enough, the SummerSlam pay-per-view has never returned to the building but the United Center has been the home of several other WWE events since 1994.

Ultimate Warrior demands a raise the day of Summerslam 1991

The Ultimate Warrior and Vince McMahon had a tumultuous relationship to say the least. It seems the two egos ironed things out before the Warrior’s unfortunate passing this year but it’s probably still hard for Vince to forget the time the Warrior almost put a stop to a pay-pay-view. In the original documentary about The Ultimate Warrior, Sergeant Slaughter explains that Vince McMahon had told him on the day of the 1991 SummerSlam show in Madison Square Garden that the Warrior “had just held him up for $500,000 in cash” on the day of the show. McMahon told Slaughter of his plan to agree to the Warrior’s request so that the match would go on, but how he would fire Warrior the second the ended. At that time, everyone in wrestling was under the impression that Warrior made the demands moments before the match.

Shawn Michaels wrestled at SummerSlam 1990 with an injured knee

This story comes straight from our esteemed leader, Mr. Eric Gargiulo — “Back in 1990, for reasons I can’t comprehend now, I used to go hang out down at the Philadelphia Airport Marriot whenever the WWE or WCW stars came to town to get pictures and autographs. I guess I could have been doing worst things in my teenage years? Anyway, this story comes from firsthand experience as a result of an encounter I had one early August afternoon with Mr. WrestleMania Shawn Michaels.
Michaels and Marty Jannetty were outside waiting for their ride to the Philadelphia Spectrum which was hosting SummerSlam. Shawn was on crutches with a brace on his leg, carrying around an injury that had not been reported anywhere at the time. Nobody was around so I approached them to ask about his injury. Shawn couldn’t have been cooler and we actually talked for a few minutes about the injury which he said was to his knee.

The Rockers had a forgettable match that night with Power and Glory, Hercules and Paul Roma. Hercules attacked Shawn with a chain before the match even started to take him out, because he couldn’t wrestle. Jannetty wrestled the entire match himself and the WWE was able to not only deliver Michaels as advertised, but take advantage of what could have been a bad situation.”

Paul Heyman had to fight to get Michael Cole and Tazz to call the SummerSlam 2002 main event

Paul Heyman retold this story on a recent edition of the Chris Jericho Podcast. Heyman recalled his days as the head writer on SmackDown and brought up an interesting story about an argument with Vince McMahon leading up to SummerSlam 2002.
Michael Cole and Tazz were the announce team for SmackDown at the time and SummerSlam was headlined by a SmackDown brand match between The Rock and Brock Lesnar. It would only make sense for Tazz and Cole to call it as the brand announcers right. Not according to the Chairman of the Board. According to Paul Heyman, Vince insisted that Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross call the match because they were his “A team.” Paul fought for Cole and Tazz and eventually won. Heyman also knew that Tazz and Cole had to be on their game and used the argument to motivate the pair to call the match of their careers.

This story is significant because it marked the first WWE pay-per-view main-event that was called by the “B team” of announcers. Up until that point, it was strictly J.R. and the King or whomever the A team announcers were on Raw. From that point forward, announcers would call matches based on brand.

Vader was originally supposed to go over Shawn Michaels at SS 1996 for the title

This video and story, told by Vader’s manager Jim Cornette, tells fans just about everything they need to know about Vader’s WWE run.

The US didn’t see SummerSlam 1992 until it was two days old

SummerSlam 1992 was the first WWF pay-per-view done outside, in the open air of Wembley Stadium in London, England.

The 1992 incarnation of SummerSlam was originally booked to take place in Washington, D.C. but the WWF moved the event to Wembley Stadium because of the WWF’s growing popularity in the UK and the possibility of selling out a much larger arena.

Another odd fact about the event was that it took place on August 29, 1992 in London, but US fans didn’t see the PPV until August 31, a feat that would be impossible now with the internet.

The best and worst of SummerSlam streaks

Much like Wrestlemania and the other WWF/WWE pay-per-views, there are interesting streaks, stats and facts about several wrestlers. Here are some of the more interesting nuggets we found while researching the annual summer event.

Rey Mysterio holds the record for the most opening matches in SummerSlam history with five.

The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak was impressive but his SummerSlam streak is just as impressive. The Undertaker has wrestled at fifteen of the twenty-six SummerSlam events. At one point “The Dead Man” wrestled fourteen straight years from 1992-2005.

The Champ is here! but he doesn’t always win. John Cena has six SummerSlam losses but at least Cena’s got some SummerSlam victories. Both Jeff Hardy and Booker T are 0-5 at SummerSlam.

Among the undefeated at SummerSlam, Hulk Hogan holds a 6-0 record while The Ultimate Warrior is 5-0 at the summer event. Honorable mention goes out to Bart Gunn, Jerry Lawler, John Morrison, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, The Road Warriors and Tantaka who’re all 3-0 at SummerSlam.

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Hulk Hogan WWE RAW Birthday Videos

August 12, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Check out this collection of videos from WWE Monday Night RAW’s Hulk Hogan 61st birthday celebration. The celebration featured the return of legends, a reunion and even a survey in one of the most entertaining segments of the year.

I loved every second of this segment. I have to say that I love the way that Roddy Piper still sells his hatred for Hulk Hogan 30 years later. The scowl on Piper’s face was just simply awesome. I am a big Paul Orndorff fan but he certainly looked out of place here. At one point I thought to myself how cool it would have been for Randy Savage to come out if he were still alive. Imagine that pop!

Speaking of pops, the n.W.o. reunion turned out better than anyone could have expected. There have been numerous reports of Scott Hall falling off of the wagon in recent months on the independents so I had no idea what we’d get here. Hall looked great and looked as clean and sober as ever. The survey was a great touch and a great tribute to one of the most fun eras of the industry.

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were tremendous. I don’t know why but I pop every time I watch Brock tell Hogan, “The party’s over grandpa.” This was just great stuff all the way around. Enjoy the videos and a fun look back at Hulkamania.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

OMG Volume 2: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History DVD

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