New WWE WrestleMania 31 Card Rumors

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

The WrestleMania 31 rumor mill is back in action after a big report in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. According to the report, the WWE have a few ideas in place for the big event, one of them being a match you probably didn’t see coming.

Dave Meltzer has the latest report and offers speculation on the WrestleMania 31 card. Meltzer says that the WWE are confident that they have their top matches in place. While nothing is 100% confirmed, Meltzer speculates on three that could be coming to your WWE Network in March for the price of $9.99.

The biggest surprise is his speculation on a return to Mania of The Rock. The Rock’s appearances this week have gotten people talking, but it is his taped segment on SmackDown that caught Meltzer’s attention. Meltzer speculates that The Rock could wind up wrestling Triple H at the 2015 event. Meltzer is just as surprised about his own revelation as you probably are reading it here.

I did see the segment that will air this Friday on SmackDown 15 and I am not so sure that I agree with Dave. Dave’s logic is that they wouldn’t have been teasing the match if there wasn’t something to it. However, the takeaway I came away with from that segment is that they were teasing it for WrestleMania 32 in Texas Stadium. Triple H kept referring to 100,000 people and a big stadium. Why they would tease it this far in advance is anyone’s guess. I could also be over-thinking it here, but Triple H mentioned a large crowd several times which leads me to think it is more than coincidence.

The idea most of us had heard about for the last three years was for a Rock vs. Brock Lesnar match at WrestleMania. The match continues to get delayed and after Rock suffered serious injuries against John Cena at 29, I am starting to think that he has no interest in a match that physical. The money is certainly on Lesnar vs. Rock and not Rock vs. Hunter. I think the angles and build up would be fun but I just don’t know how many people are clamoring to see that match one more time.

To that point, Meltzer speculates that the WWE may make a big play to get Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the ring at WrestleMania 32 in Texas. That would certainly make sense, especially when you have such a big stadium to fill. There were numerous reports that indicated the WWE made a play to get him last year for a match with Triple H. The year before we all heard about the Punk vs. Austin Mania rumors. I would think at Austin’s age it is Texas Stadium or never for the Texas Rattlesnake.

Brock Lesnar is still penciled in to be wrestling Roman Reigns in a WWE championship defense. I wouldn’t count on it. I am watching a changing of the guard right now and that change is Reigns to Ambrose. I think by the time we get to Mania that the WWE will have no choice but to swap Ambrose into this spot. He is hot and unless things change he is only going to get hotter. I would be shocked if Amrbose isn’t winning the Royal Rumble and going to WrestleMania.

John Cena has two interesting options according to Meltzer. Hulk Hogan is politicking hard for a Cena match, although I don’t see it happening. I think Hulk has had too many back surgeries and is too old to be placed in that spot. Rusev is the other option and it’s hard to disagree with that one. I could see some swapping here with Rusev vs. Reigns and Cena wrestling someone else but the Rusev match could be pretty big if they can keep him hot until Mania.

Meltzer also reports that there was a plan in place to go with Batista vs. Triple H although he speculates that the plan is dead. I wouldn’t be so sure. I could see them going in this direction with Rock vs. Hunter booked for next year. Meltzer reports that the Batista vs. Hunter match and series would lead to Batista’s retirement. I could easily see that with Batista transitioning to Hollywood full-time.

Where this leaves Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins is a big question. I would imagine if Lesnar does hold the belt through Mania that Rollins would be Reigns’ first challenger. I couldn’t see them beating Reigns that fast which begs the question, what is the plan for Rollins and the briefcase?

And what about Sting? Sting doesn’t appear to be in the plans right now. My hunch is that it all depends on The Undertaker. If Undertaker doesn’t come back I could see Sting working with one of the younger guys like a Bray Wyatt. I think Sting vs. John Cena could be intriguing for a few different reasons. Other than those possibilities I am not sure what you do with him besides maybe Randy Orton or even Sheamus.

It looks like Mania has potential but I still think the big one is 2016 in Texas with 31 being something of an appetizer.

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A History of Havoc: A Look Back at WCW Halloween Havoc Part 1

October 03, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Yes, I am writing something other than Nitro reviews! Of course, it’s in my comfort zone (WCW) and we’re talking about my favorite series of Pay-Per-Views of all time: Halloween Havoc. Without a doubt, some of my fondest memories came from watching the Halloween Havoc events, even if I could only see a scrambled version of Halloween Havoc 1992. The first video I ever rented from Blockbuster was Halloween Havoc 1990, heck the first wrestling article I ever wrote was about Halloween Havoc. Over the next month or so, I’ll cover every event from 1989 to 2000. I’ll be covering three events at the time, this week it is 1989-1991.

Halloween Havoc 1989

I had Halloween Havoc 1989 on tape with SummerSlam 1989 (Helluva combo) and what I believe was a Spanish version of BeetleJuice. The big feud going into this card was The J-Tex Corporation which was comprised of Gary Hart, Terry Funk, The Great Muta and Dick Slater as back-up Terry Funk against Sting and Ric Flair. Many people talk up the NWA in 1989 as the best thing to hit wrestling and I actually have to agree, the roster is loaded, they used licensed music, the TV is great and man those PPV’s are great. Sting and Muta put on some great matches, but Ric Flair against Terry Funk was a feud that was built on two men trying to kill each other. Funk piledrove Flair on a table, Flair beat the snot out of him at Bash ’89 and then TERRY FUNK TRIED TO MURDER RIC FLAIR.

Funk tried to suffocate Flair with a plastic bag at the September Clash of the Champions and Slater took a branding iron to the knee of Sting. Something had to be done, so Flair called in Ole Anderson to back him up to counter Gary Hart. A match was also announced, The Thunderdome cage match. The rules were that the only way to win would be if a designated terminator (Hart for J-Tex, Ole for Sting/Flair) would throw the towel in. No rules, no pins could end it and the goddamn cage would be electrified on top. Also, Bruno Sammartino was made special guest referee, starting a trend of WCW bringing Bruno in whenever they held a card in Philadelphia.

The other big feud was The Skyscrapers vs The Road Warriors and the feud was simple. The Skyscrapers were tall monsters that killed everything in their path and naturally the only team that had a hope in hell of taking them out was The Road Warriors. This was an interesting concept since the Road Warriors rarely went up against monster tag teams (Rare exception being The Powers of Pain), so people actually thought that these guys might take out The Road Warriors. Heck, it wasn’t even billed as a normal tag match; this was a Tag Team Challenge. The other big match was the upstart Brian Pillman going against Lex Luger for the US Title and Doom with Woman against The Steiner Brothers.

So, how is the card you may ask? Well, it may not be on the same level as The 1989 Great American Bash, but it’s still a damn good card. The main event is great with plenty of drama and they worked around the normal tag rules and delivered a great match. The Thunderdome is the drunken and beautiful love child of Hell in a Cell and the blue-bar cage and the opening to War Pigs playing is just an awesome moment. That guitar riff with drums and the siren blaring as the cage slowly lowers as we see the cage for the first is amazing. Road Warriors against Skyscrapers is pretty ugly but it tells a good story in that this is the first time that any time has dominated The Road Warriors. The crowd is hot and the stare down between the two teams is great. Pillman vs Luger is great, another great Luger PPV match and the six man tag between The Midnight Express/Steve Williams vs. The Samoans is a really good match that sneaks up on you.

Halloween Havoc 1990

While this edition didn’t have a blood-feud headlining, it did have an intriguing match headlining. WCW was in a bind, they couldn’t go with a Sting/Flair rematch, so they went with Sid vs Sting. This presented a problem; Sid was over because of his squash matches but was rather limited in the ring and Sting’s reign wasn’t going so well. Going into one of the bigger pay-per-views, you’d think the company would put all their might behind turning the reign around. They tried, and they promptly fell on their face. They introduced The Black Scorpion, a potentially interesting character that was quickly ruined by Ole Anderson who would later blame Dusty Rhodes. Would the distraction of The Black Scorpion lead to a new champion or would we see something really really stupid happening?

Besides that, there wasn’t a big number two feud going into the show, it was comprised of good feuds but nothing really stood out.  The company was trying to push Flair down the card, so he was stuck in a feud teaming with Arn against Doom. Stan Hansen and Lex Luger were feuding, but The Steiner Brothers against The Nasty Boys had some hype. I have to give WCW credit; they used a house show at the UIC Pavilion to hype the card by having contract signings for the big matches as a way to hype the card. The Nasty Boys put a beating on the Steiners to build up their match, the Sting and Sid signing went smoothly, but Sid hit Sting with an absolutely awful piledriver on a chair after the Sting/Scorpion match.

So, how is the card? Well, you do have some pretty bad matches (Par for the course for WCW PPVs in this period), but damn this card has great matches. If you’re a tag team wrestling fan, this card is for you since this card has three great tag matches. The Midnight Express against Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich is a great opener, Doom against Flair and Anderson is good despite the crappy finish and The Steiner Brothers against Nasty Boys is an all-out classic is you love watching The Steiners killing fat guys with suplexes.

Lex Luger against Stan Hansen is another good Luger PPV match and I realize that I’m of the few guys in the Luger was a good worker boat. As for the main event, well it wasn’t a great sign that the crowd was an even 50/50 and Sting wasn’t up for carrying Sid to a good match. The finish, despite its stupidity was at-least creative and it seemed like something the Horsemen would hatch up to get the belt off Sting. It still wasn’t a good sign that the crowd popped when Sid “won”. If they wanted a heel that could get heat on Sting, I would have went with Windham in this spot and Sid at a Clash card. Still, give this one a watch on the Network.

Halloween Havoc 1991

WCW Pay per Views in 1991 started off rather well with SuperBrawl and Wrestle War, but went on a nosedive after the Great American Bash. Halloween Havoc keeps the trend going as the company stumbles and falls badly.

The Chamber of Horrors….I have no words for how badly WCW messed this match up. First, it could have been much worse as the heel team was Oz, Barry Windham, One Man Gang and The Diamond Studd. Luckily, Gang quit, Windham turned face and they benched Oz. They added Cactus Jack, Abdullah The Butcher, and Vader to face Sting, The Steiners and El Gigante. What slays me is that the concept of the match is just so bad. You have the ThunderCage (Renamed after WB’s lawyers got lawsuit-y), a whole bunch of weapons and workers that could thrive in this type of match. So, how do you win the match? You put a member of the opposing team in the Chair of Torture, and yes it’s as stupid as it sounds. The chair is encased in a cage that is lowered into the middle of the ring, cutting off any action that could take place in the ring. Add in the ref with a goofy ass helmet camera, stupid weapons, ghoul medics and you have yourself a Gooker Award winner. How about this for the Chamber of Horrors: You have handcuffs around ringside (shackles to go with the Halloween theme) and the first team to successfully cuff the opposing team to the cage wins. It’s not much, but it’s better a lame electric chair gimmick. Yet, you should watch it for one reason.

Cactus frigging Jack.

Jack takes an absolute beating in the match and while everybody is lifelessly brawling, Cactus takes numerous weapons shot to the face, the Steinerizer, Steiner DDT, bleeds, gets thrown to outside and hits the cage face-first and it smart enough to fix the lever when it falls to the on position. Just an awful, awful match, but Mick Foley really tries to make it watchable. Besides that, the card is pretty bad with the exception of three other matches. Bobby Eaton and Terry Taylor deliver a solid match, Dustin Rhodes has a great match with Steve Austin and you can see that Rhodes was busting his behind to get out of the “Dusty’s Son” stigma. The main event between Luger and Ron Simmons is once again a good Luger match, who solidified himself as the Halloween Havoc MVP for the first three years.

The best part about Halloween Havoc 1991 is the debut of Rick Rude. Besides a killer promo from Dangerously and Rude, it sets the stage for The Dangerous Alliance. It also set the stage for the greatness that is WCW 1992. Until Bill Watts forces WCW by gunpoint into a time machine and turns it into 1977 Mid-South.

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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:


-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.

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CCB Extra – Hot Topics: Stephanie McMahon, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Lana, and More

July 25, 2014 By: Category: Podcast, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Freelance writer and published author Chris Illuminati and the CCB’s own Eric Gargiulo talk about all of the latest pro wrestling news and hot WWE rumors. This giant one-hour plus podcast also touches on a lot of old school wrestling with plenty of talk about the wrestling Eric and Chris grew up watching in the 1980s. The list of news and rumors covered in this podcast are…

  • WWE Battleground results and reaction
  • WWE RAW and the big angle featuring Stephanie McMahon getting arrested
  • The controversy surrounding Lana and Rusev’s promo at Battleground
  • Sting in the WWE, will he wrestle, and against who?
  • The future of Brock Lesnar
  • The booking of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
  • Paul Heyman’s promo on RAW
  • Where is Vince McMahon?
  • John Cena’s longevity as a babyface
  • Rumors regarding possible legal action the WWE may take against CM Punk
  • And much, much more.

This podcast topped out at around 67-minutes. Check back soon for more podcasts from Chris and Eric!

Check it out and let us know if you want to hear more podcasts like this one in the future. Subscribe the CCB Extra podcast on iTunes at –

Chris Illuminati is a published author and freelance writer and can be followed on Twitter @ChrisIlluminati.

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Sting Talks Undertaker and More WWE Dream Matches

July 17, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Sting has finally landed in the WWE. The big question fans keep asking is whether Sting will wrestle The Undertaker. Streak broken or not, Sting is still interested and wants the dream match on the grandest stage in the business.

Sting debuted Monday night on RAW in a video promoting WWE 2K15. While a video game is nice, what the fans really want to see is Sting in a WWE ring. Better yet, they want to see him one on one with the dead man. Will it happen? If it’s up to Sting it will.

“I’ve made it clear I’d love to have one last hurrah, one last big match hopefully. And of course I’ve been outspoken about Undertaker being the opponent,” he told the UK Mirror when asked about one more match.

“I know what happened at WrestleMania where Brock Lesnar broke his streak. I think, or at least I’m hoping, that Taker’s still going to come back and that he’s not done. If he’s not done, and he would consider doing it, I’d love to work with him one time.

“I’d love to wrestle him one time before I call it quits.”

“Undertaker maintains a status in wrestling and the WWE that is second to none. He’s a phenomenon,” Sting adds, before answering unequivocally as to where he might like his dream match to take place: “How about San Francisco, 2015, in April?”

What is interesting is that even after numerous reports indicating that the Undertaker was likely done after WrestleMania 30, fans are still being teased with this dream match. If the match is a dead issue you’d think that someone would tell Sting and he’d leave it alone. Maybe this is the WWE’s way of hoping that Sting can entice the Undertaker? I have always said that while the match is a fun idea, I don’t think at their advanced ages that it would come close to living up the hype.

Sting was asked about other options or possible dream match scenarios in the WWE. Sting isn’t hedging all of his bets on the Undertaker, although that would be his choice.

“It’s a no brainer that the Sting-Taker match will be a popular option – that’s one way the fans can make that match happen.

“I always wanted to work with the likes of The Rock, John Cena and Randy Orton so I can’t imagine wrestling fans won’t want to do the same thing.”

When rumors of Sting to WWE started popping up earlier in the year I blogged about the possibility of a Sting vs. Rock or John Cena match at Mania. I think the Rock makes a lot of sense. Sting is a lot less physical than Brock Lesnar and both guys could get by on nostalgia. I also think that Sting may be the one name that could interest the Rock into coming back.

Whether Sting wrestles or not it is fun to think about the possibilities. Undertaker or not, chances are pretty good we’ll see Sting in the WWE and I can’t think of a more fitting way to wrap up his successful pro wrestling career.

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Sting Coming To WWE 2K15

July 15, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It only took 26 years but Sting is finally coming to the WWE…sort of. Rumors have been confirmed that Sting will play a big part in the marketing of the upcoming WWE 2K15 video game. Check out the first promo featuring the former WCW champion.

Sting to WWE2K15 is not necessarily a shocker but it is big news nonetheless. This will be the first time Sting will be featured in a WWE video game. Like the deal made with the Ultimate Warrior last year. This does not indicate that Sting has signed a deal with the WWE. This is simply a deal between Sting and the video game company, although most suspect that a deal with the WWE is imminent.

The WWE posted an official press release announcing the news which featured quotes from Sting. Here are some of the highlights.
One of the most popular and revered competitors in WCW history, Sting will be featured in “WWE 2K15″ through two unique playable characters: the mysterious, ghost-like persona with trademark black-and-white face paint who was the face of WCW during the “Monday Night War” era, as well as his earlier look, sporting bright colors and a blond, flattop hairstyle.

The only thing for sure about Sting is nothing’s for sure, except my debut in ‘WWE 2K15,’” said Sting. “I’m honored to have my legacy immortalized in a video game. It’s showtime!”

Making his WCW debut in 1991, Sting generated worldwide recognition for his unique presence and in-ring prowess. Across more than a decade, he amassed eight WCW championships and competed against many notable rivals, including “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, the New World Order (nWo), Vader, Rick Rude, The Four Horsemen and Ric Flair.

“We’re eager to introduce fans to Sting in a compelling new way, while debuting the next generation of gaming in the ‘WWE 2K’ franchise,” said Chris Snyder, Vice President of Marketing at 2K. “Pre-ordering ‘WWE 2K15′ is the ultimate way to embrace the history and individuality of Sting’s impressive career.”

I think one of the big questions coming out of this is the status of Bill Goldberg. There were multiple reports out that indicated Goldberg would be featured in WWE2K15, precluding a return to the ring at WrestleMania 30. I am not sure where this leaves Goldberg or if it changes anything.

Sting’s appearance in the game would indicate an emphasis on WCW in the upcoming game. Last year’s game focused on the nostalgia surrounding 30 years of WrestleMania. My hunch is that this next game will focus on WCW and could feature several former WCW stars in the game. In that case I’d imagine Goldberg could also play a big part in the game.

It’s funny how the WWE can get a game right 13 years later and yet failed to sign Sting in 2001 during the Invasion angle when it counted. Nonetheless he is coming and this may be your only chance to get your Sting vs. Undertaker WrestleMania match.

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A Sting WWE Appearance Now Ruins Everything

July 14, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

We all love a good WWE rumor. The fact there are several media reports and online publications talking about a Sting appearance on Monday Night Raw tonight may be crazy, but more importantly, it really makes no sense. There is too much momentum tied up in the rise of Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins as well as the return of Chris Jericho and a rumored Brock Lesnar return at or after Battleground. Bringing Sting into the fold right now would throw the rocking boat really of kilter.

According to, Sting took to his Twitter page and sent fans abuzz by hyping up next Monday night and revealing a picture of him in his classic black and white face paint along with the “7.14.14” date, but according to, he will likely not appear on RAW live from the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia this Monday. After the initial buzz that Sting may make his WWE debut, it was reported that it was likely that he was teasing the announcement that he’d be in the WWE 2K15 video game on Monday, but that wasn’t confirmed.
It was also not confirmed if in fact Steve Borden, the man behind the face paint and the former WCW and TNA World Champion would triumphantly make his return.

Sting’s accomplishments are well known; a fifteen-time World Champion, having held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship six times, the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WWA World Heavyweight Championship once and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship four times. He is a WCW Triple Crown winner, has held 21 total championships between WCW and TNA, and is the only man to hold the NWA, WCW, and TNA World Titles in his career. Sting has headlined many major pay-per-views since the late 1980s.

Perhaps most notably, he closed the 1989, 1990 and 1997 editions of WCW’s premier annual event, Starrcade, in singles matches, and won the Battlebowl main event of the 1991 edition; as well as headlining the 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 editions of TNA’s premier annual event Bound for Glory.

But does his appearance now signal that the WWE might be in panic mode and want to use the Character to save the company from itself of sorts?

The Undertaker isn’t wrestling, so the most logical place for Sting is to assume the usual role of fighting “Authority,” much like he has done with WCW and then Impact Wrestling. But I am not sure the falling from the rafters, creature of darkness act would work in the current state of the WWE. And if you are thinking of a Sting vs. Lesnar feud, I cannot see that happening either since the locker-room is full of up and coming stars like Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Rollins. What could work is Sting comes to the WWE to challenge the Authority and he works a program with Kane, which would follow the lines of the “Dark Hero” facing “Evil” and winning – possibly at the Royal Rumble.

If the WWE can get eight months of work out of beating the hell out of Daniel Bryan, they can work eight months out of Sting stepping in the ring – even at 55 – and showing who the bad ass really is.

If the WWE was smart (yes, I am being sarcastic), it would wait until the end of the year to unveil a “new” Sting product. By then, battle lines will be drawn and Roman Reigns should be the WWE World Champion. I really don’t think the company will put the strap on the “Icon” but having him around adds resolve and heat to an idea of him winning the Royal Rumble and moving on to WrestleMania 31.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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Top 25 Greatest Heel Turns in Pro Wrestling History

June 05, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Seth Rollins’ betrayal of his Shield teammates in favor of Evolution has drawn both shocked reactions and lukewarm reception from viewers. While it’s too early to stamp Rollins’ turn as a success or a failure, here’s a look at some of the wrestling history he’s up against, the twenty-five best shifts to the dark side ever.

25. Shawn Michaels Superkicks Hulk Hogan (July 4, 2005)

Would’ve meant more if WWE had stuck to Michaels’ heel run, but Hogan’s alleged refusal to lay down (ironic if you’re Michaels) killed the impact. Independence Day Raw ends with Hogan and Michaels passively celebrating a win, and Michaels landing Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere.

24. Terry Taylor Gradually Betrays Chris Adams (May 1987)

With UWF’s excitable Jim Ross calling each turn of the key, Taylor was conveniently absent for Hot Stuff International’s assaults on Adams, culminating with Taylor subtly allowing Adams to be pinned in a Tag Team Title defense. In a later singles match, Taylor piledrove an injured Adams on the floor, solidifying the turn.

23. Scott Steiner Lays Out Brother Rick (February 22, 1998)

It seemed as though by 1998, everyone on the planet save for Steve Lombardi had joined the nWo. That the eventual “Big Poppa Pump” did so by mauling brother Rick during a Tag Team Title defense against The Outsiders is only diluted by the notion that everyone seemed to turn in this era.

22. Sgt. Slaughter Spits on America, Sides with Iraq (August 1990)

A rather silly grab at kick-starting jingoism and Hulkamania in one swipe, Slaughter (now departed from the dying AWA) returned to WWE as a Saddam Hussein-sympathizer in the midst of the Gulf conflict, as Iraq invaded Kuwait. Bad taste, but it drew its share of heat.

21. Triple H Joins the Corporation (March 28, 1999)

Chyna’s two turns in one night was dizzying enough against the backdrop of a time-period where somebody turned every week. Still, Triple H Pedigree’ing X-Pac at WrestleMania XV was the launching pad of Paul Levesque’s rise to the highest office in WWE, via a relentless main event push for the next decade.

20. Bret Hart Condemns America (March 24, 1997)

With crowds divided between heroic Hart and anti-hero Steve Austin, ‘The Hitman’ goes on a post-WrestleMania tirade against American values, and what he felt was a decline in decency and morals. Shortly thereafter, Hart assaulted rival Shawn Michaels, solidifying a heel turn in America, while remaining a hero around the world.

19. Chris Jericho Wounds Shawn Michaels’ Eye (June 9, 2008)

After pointing out Michaels’ bouts of unfair play, and insinuating that Michaels enjoyed retiring Ric Flair at WrestleMania, Jericho attacks his long-time rival on the set of The Highlight Reel, and sends him face-first into his Jeri-Tron 6000 set piece, igniting the last WWE feud to intentionally feature blood.

18. Ted Dibiase Chooses Skandor Akbar Over Jim Duggan (May 1983)

Although more of a face turn for Duggan than anything, Dibiase gets heel-turn credit for sinking lower than the rule-breaking Rat Pack. Akbar’s “Devastation Inc” was anti-American and inherently more nefarious than anything Duggan and Dibiase had done with Matt Borne, so when Dibiase accepted Akbar’s offer, it kicked off a heated feud between sell-out Dibiase and proud patriot Duggan, foreshadowing their WWE personas.

17. Stone Cold Sells His Soul (April 1, 2001)

Would’ve ranked higher had Austin’s 2001 not been so creatively bankrupt and ill-received (to be fair, a lot of that’s on Austin for still wrestling like an outlaw ass-kicker). But the story is memorable: Austin enlists sworn enemy Vince McMahon to help him beat The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania X7, a match that Austin claimed he ‘had to win’.

16. Paul Bearer Betrays The Undertaker (August 18, 1996)

For nearly six years, Undertaker did not exist without Paul Bearer. Not a manager who needed a stable, Bearer happily co-existed with Undertaker as a package deal. That’s why during Undertaker’s Boiler Room Brawl with Mankind at SummerSlam, Bearer’s sudden turn, punctuated with an urn to Taker’s skull, was so shocking.

15. The Horsemen Leave Sting for Dead (February 6, 1990)

Sting found himself part of a babyface version of The Horsemen with Ric Flair and The Andersons, set to combat Gary Hart’s J-Tex Corporation. Sting, naive as he always was, made the mistake of challenging Flair for a World Title match, and was promptly beaten by his so-called friends. Sting injured his knee that night attempting to get revenge, but would go over on Flair for the gold at that year’s Great American Bash.

14. The Authority Excommunicates Daniel Bryan (August 18, 2013)

After cleanly going over on John Cena to become WWE Champion at SummerSlam, Bryan was faced with an eager Randy Orton, who was set to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Then referee Triple H (a babyface at this point) Pedigreed Bryan, enabling Orton (also a babyface before these actions) to score the title. Thus, The Authority was born.

13. Owen Hart Kicks Bret’s Leg (Out of His Leg) (January 22, 1994)

Simmering since Survivor Series, Owen Hart stewed in brother Bret’s shadow, claiming to have been held back out of jealousy. Cooler heads seemed to prevail, and the brothers faced the Quebecers for the Tag Team Titles at the Royal Rumble. When the Harts lost by stoppage due to Bret’s injured knee, Owen engaged in the ultimate meltdown, concluding by kicking Bret’s bad knee and leaving in a huff.

12. Austin Idol Bloodies Jerry Lawler (January 4, 1987)

Moments before Lawler was set to challenge AWA Champion Nick Bockwinkel for the gold, friend Idol entered the ring and demanded that “The King” step aside. Lawler refused, and Idol busted him open. A week later, Idol and new friend Tommy Rich continued the onslaught, ending with Idol cradling Lawler’s head and passively bitch-slapping him. The payoff was a cage match in April 1987 where the loser got their head shaved, and a near-riot ensued.

11. The Rock and Shane McMahon Go Corporate (November 15, 1998)

Shane’s heel turn ranks as one of the most unexpected in the jaded internet era, as he refused to impartially count Steve Austin’s pin of Mankind in the World Title Tournament. Less than an hour later, Shane and father Vince screwed simpleton lackey Mankind in the finals in favor of their new corporate champion, The Rock.

10. Ric Flair Crosses Dusty Rhodes (September 29, 1985)

A different sort of ‘heel turn’, as Flair would hardly qualify as a babyface in this instance. As a tweener, NWA Champion Flair retained the gold over Nikita Koloff inside a cage, and Koloff’s comrades laid a beatdown afterward. Rhodes made the save on his enemy’s behalf as an act of conciliation. Rather than accept the gesture, Flair allowed Ole and Arn Anderson to jump Dusty, and the three broke his ankle inside the locked cage. If Flair’s allegiance was on the fence before the day, he ended it as the top heel once more.

9. Marty Jannetty Eats Glass (December 3, 1991)

Legendary for the unique moment of Shawn Michaels propelling Jannetty through the window of The Barber Shop, and Jannetty blading on what was generally family programming. Had Jannetty not been temporarily let go after a police altercation in early 1992, the planned blowoff at WrestleMania VIII could’ve been epic. Still, it set Michaels in motion to become one of wrestling’s greatest stars.

8. Vince McMahon Embraces the Hate (April 13, 1998)

Hard to pin down the exact moment Vince became classified as ‘heel’, but post-Montreal, McMahon started to dance around the fire with simple remarks toward Steve Austin, including his wish that Austin not become the WWE Champion. After a pair of run-ins with Austin post-WrestleMania, McMahon accepted Austin’s challenge for a match on the Raw that turned the ratings tide against WCW, and “Mr. McMahon” became one of wrestling’s greatest villains.

7. Larry Zbyszko Betrays Bruno Sammartino (January 22, 1980)

Sammartino was wrestling royalty in WWE, and protege Zbyszko couldn’t get out of his shadow. During an exhibition match between teacher and student, Sammartino gamely outwrestled his younger opponent, much to Zbyszko’s frustration. Once thrown to the floor, Zbyszko returned with a chair, and bashed it over Bruno’s head, leaving him laying in his own blood. In real life, Zbyszko had his life threatened by numerous fans in the Northeast, before paying off the feud with a cage match at Shea Stadium.

6. The Freebirds Annihilate Kerry Von Erich (December 25, 1982)

Michael Hayes was chosen to be guest enforcer for Ric Flair’s NWA World Title defense against Von Erich, held inside a steel cage in Dallas, TX; true Von Erich territory. Late in the match, Hayes laid out Flair for Von Erich’s benefit, but Kerry wouldn’t accept the cheap win. Von Erich went for the door, only for Hayes’ cohort Terry Gordy to slam the door on his head. Von Erich failed to win the gold, and the Freebirds-Von Erichs long rivalry was ignited.

5. Paul Orndorff Clotheslines Hulk Hogan (June 24, 1986)

Friends ever since Orndorff turned face in the spring of 1985, Hogan and Orndorff would team a number of times in rivalry with Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, and others. When Orndorff began to show signs of jealousy, and a missed phone call to Hulk made Orndorff look bad, the two put aside differences for a match with King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd. Post-match, Orndorff clotheslined Hogan, and then piledrove him, kicking off a mega-feud for the WWE Championship.

4. Terry Funk Murders Ric Flair (May 7, 1989)

Flair was just minutes removed from regaining the NWA Title, concluding his iconic trilogy with Ricky Steamboat, when Funk (serving as a ringside judge in the event of a draw) forcibly asked for a title shot. When Flair dismissed him, albeit with some regard, as not among the next batch of contenders, Funk’s ‘apology’ for the intrusion was to wallop Flair, and piledrive him through the judge’s table at ringside. The two would war through the remainder of 1989.

3. The Mega Powers Explode (February 3, 1989)

In one of the most extensively-subtle performances in wrestling history, Savage would show slight discomfort at Hogan’s kind treatment of Miss Elizabeth, no matter how innocent. Additonally, jealousy of Hogan’s popularity factored into Savage’s deteriorating mental state. Finally, during a match with the Twin Towers, Hogan tended to the injured valet, and Savage finally lost it, exploding with a hate-filled tirade at a stunned Hulk, before nailing him with the WWE belt in front of a pained Liz.

2. Andre the Giant Confronts Hulk Hogan (January 26, 1987)

Upset at playing second fiddle to a ceremony for Hogan’s three-year championship reign, Andre walks off, only to return weeks later on Piper’s Pit with Bobby Heenan as his new manager. Andre calmly told an astonished Hogan that he had only one thing to demand: a World Title match at WrestleMania III. Hogan tried to reason with Andre, who callously ripped Hogan’s shirt and crucifix jewel off in response. The result was one of the most historic and important wrestling matches in history.

1. Hulk Hogan is “The Third Man” (July 7, 1996)

This time, it’s Hogan doing the turning. After Scott Hall and Kevin Nash invaded WCW in the spring of 1996, they promised a hostile takeover, and the addition of a third man. At Bash at the Beach, during the anticipated main event where that man would be revealed, Lex Luger was injured, leaving Sting and Randy Savage alone with The Outsiders. Hulk Hogan appeared to make the save, only to leg drop Savage, and reveal his treachery. Hogan’s post-match speech, denouncing WCW and the fans that turned on him, while announcing the formation of the New World Order, is the greatest promo of his iconic career, and that’s saying something.

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at and He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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Sting: From WCW Champion to Just Another Guy

May 28, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

17,500 fans

$543,000 at the gate

686,824 buys

Over 20 million dollars grossed from those buys alone

You have to realize that WCW never saw these types of numbers, even for the first major Hogan/Flair bout. WCW never had a PPV before that drew over 400,000 buys; the WWE had FIFTEEN PPV’s that grossed higher than 400,000 buys. The company never even had a gate that huge since the glory days of JCP, and the people came for one match and one match only.

Hulk Hogan vs Sting

If you were like me, and let’s face it you probably are like me (Just a bit more adjusted), then this was the match to see. I dare say this was the biggest match that either one of the big two had put on since Hogan/Warrior. Fans had waited one full year for Sting to finally get his hands on Hulk Hogan, and there would be no now to stop him. Sting would destroy Hogan in one glorious beat down for the world to see, and the head of the nWo would be severed. No, two heads would not appear, so don’t me any of this hail hydra bull. Sting would take the belt back for WCW, and all would be right with the world. Right? I mean, c’mon me and my brother were so hyped for this match that we didn’t even go on the internet looking for results the next day, since we had a copy of the event coming our way that afternoon. Don’t you remember flipping back to the last ten or so minutes or Nitro to see Sting just beat the absolute crap out of the nWo? Surely, surely the company would do the right thing and deliver Sting giving Hogan the worst pounding since the reviews for Santa with Muscles were published.

Well sort of.

Not at all

Crap in a hat

Yes, Sting wins in the end, but not before looking like a complete chump and only winning because Bret Hart complains and we get our first of 8,000 Montreal references in WCW. Instead of going with the time-old formula of face dominates, heel cheats and gets heat on the face, and the face makes his comeback and win it all, what we got was all Hogan beating on Sting. Hulk beats on Sting, drops the leg and Nick Patrick counts to three. The story is that it was supposed to be a fast-count playing into the whole “Nick Patrick being with the nWo” story. Hart was going to come out and deck Patrick, and the match was going to be restarted. Sting makes his big comeback, wins and the fans are sent home happy. Instead, we all know that Patrick counted normally and the story is that Hogan or even Bischoff called an audible without telling Sting. Sting doesn’t kick out since he’s expecting the fast count, making him look like a complete moron in the process.

Here’s the thing, this idea should have never been pitched or even thought about, in-fact the person who came up with the idea should be hit with a whiffle ball bat about a hundred times. Sting beats Hogan with the Scorpion Deathlock in the middle of the ring, clean. No debauchery, no Bret Hart, no dusty finish, the way it should have been. Some people have suggested that it should a squash on the level of Hogan/Sheik, but I think that would be a bit much. Here is how it should have gone down:

-Sting comes out hot and starts beating on Hogan and you know the crowd is eating it up. He’s showing signs of the old Sting as the announcers talk about how it seems like the old Sting is coming back to life. He even does the old howl taunt, which you know would get a large response from the fans.

-Then, you pull that carpet from underneath those fans when Sting misses a big move. It could be a dive to the outside or Stinger Splash while Hogan is against the post or railing. Did Sting ever nail that move anyhow? Hulk goes into heel mode, using eye rakes and chokes to kill any comeback by Sting. It seems like Hogan has this one in the bag, and even the announcers seem down and out. Dusty is in the booth, let him talk about the tradition and the legacy that is on the line with this match. If Sting fails, who is left from WCW to face Hogan?

-Sting starts to rally, it’s not huge but he’s starting to find his way back into the fight. He knows what is on the line, his legacy and the legacy of WCW. Right when it seems like Sting is ready to comeback; Hogan cheats his way and cuts it off. A low blow here would be the right move.

-Hogan hits the big boot and leg drop of doom and goes for the cover. Is this it for Sting? Nope, Sting barely kicks out as Hogan is shocked. Hogan calls for the nWo to come out, but the ENTIRE WCW roster cuts off the nWo as they come out. Hogan slowly realizes that it is just Sting and Sting has risen from the leg drop. Hulk has that “Oh crap” look on his face and turns around to face Sting, and Sting does that crazy gorilla beat on his chest.

-One year of anger, frustration and hatred is let out by Sting in a few glorious minutes. Sting beats Hogan from pillar to post, hits the Stinger Splash in all four corners, Scorpion Deatdrop and Hogan taps to the Scorpion Deathlock. We get the big celebration we ended up seeing, the crowd goes nuts and WCW is pretty much set for the next few months. Sting takes on various members of the nWo, slowly but surely picking the group apart.

Now, we know this didn’t happen. Instead, we got a convoluted continuation in-which Sting vacated the title to only beat Hogan for the title at SuperBrawl. Sting faced Hall at Uncensored, another person (Savage) turned on him for the 863rd time, and Sting drops the belt a month later to Savage. In the end, Hulk gets the belt a night later and Sting becomes another star whose knees get cut off. Instead of people watching and staying on Nitro when Sting arrives like they did a year earlier, they change the channel to Raw. Starrcade should have been the launch of a new draw for the organization, but thanks to the machinations of creative control, it never happened. Hogan cut his promos about being the only thing you should care about and the champ is worthless (Also done during Goldberg’s run and when Flair had the belt).

I know many people contest the drawing ability of Sting, but having Sting steamroll Hogan and you have so many options for what you could book after Starrcade. You can start the slow implosion of the nWo, with Nash questioning the leadership abilities of Hogan. Sting going after what’s left of the nWo (Hall, Nash, Savage), and heck you can end the nWo storyline before staleness sets in. What’s left of the nWo dissolves into the mid-card and you have a pretty sellable tag match: Hogan and Savage against Hall and Nash. Sting can work with Flair/Hart/Luger/DDP/Giant and then do the drop to Hogan who then drops it Goldberg. Surely, and I mean surely Goldberg will be that big megastar that WCW wants by the end of 1998, he’ll lea-

I just saw the knee cutter prepping a machete labeled Goldberg.

That’s for another article.

In the end, WCW took a massive successful card and what should have come with a boatload of momentum and instead squandered it. What should have been establishment of a new draw and turned him just another face in the sea of a bloated roster. Instead of an organization doing what was best for business, they catered to the ego of one man. While the good times were rolling, we know the end of the story. Just figured that it was a story that needed some telling.

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.

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WWE Network: 10 Ric Flair Hidden Gems

May 27, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

You have probably seen all of Ric Flair’s legendary matches at this point but what about the ones you missed? Thanks to the WWE Network, you can go back and see the gems that you missed. Here are 10 great ones you probably never heard of to get you started.

There are dozens of top Ric Flair matches blogs on the Internet and most contain the usual suspects. Flair’s matches with Terry Funk at the Bash 89, the Ricky Steamboat series, Sting at C.O.C I, and Randy Savage at WM 8 generally round out the list. Flair was so damned good throughout his career, that there are plenty of others that don’t get the same attention. I thought it would be fun to scan the WWE Network for 10 Flair hidden gems that are just as good the usual suspects, yet seem to fly under the radar on the typical lists and DVD releases.

These matches aren’t in any particular order, nor are they necessarily a list of Flair’s greatest matches. These are simply 10 matches on the Network you need to go watch immediately to appreciate the greatness of Ric Flair. I have also done my best to provide links for those of you that have access to the WWE Network online.

Ric Flair and Arn Anderson vs. Steve Austin and Brian Pillman 2/3 Falls Match (Clash of the Champions ) - The word of mouth on this match has picked up steam over the last few years yet I still consider this one to be a hidden gem. This match was just an absolute clinic with four great technicians in the ring. The crowd was hot for this one and the intensity specifically between Flair and Pillman was tremendous. Flair and Double A take this one via DQ after 22 solid minutes.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair vs. Sting (Clash of the Champions XXVII) - This match recently made my top 10 Sting WCW matches blog. In my opinion this was the best match the two ever had, better than even their classic 45-minute draw at Clash 1 and much better than their Bash 1990 match. I’d say the crowd was the x-factor that separated this from the others. This match was pretty action-packed from start to finish with all kinds of cool spots including Sting taking out Sherri Martel with a dive to the floor after Flair pushed her into the way. Flair winds up pulling off the upset as he rolls up Sting while Sting checks on Sherri and unifies the championships.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair vs. Triple H Steel Cage Match (Taboo Tuesday 2005) - This is an absolute classic that is often overlooked when ranking Flair’s greatest matches. In my opinion this may be the best match Flair had in the WWE during this time period. It was booked very old school and built with drama and intensity as the former Evolution partners blooded each up in a match that needs to be seen to be appreciated. Flair pulled off the upset which led to a rematch at Survivor Series which was also fantastic.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan (Madison Square Garden, December 29, 1991) - I remember being blown away about how good this series was back in 1991 after seeing them wrestle twice at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. The matches weren’t what you typically got from either guy. Hogan wrestled a little more and Flair cut about 20-30 minutes off of his match times. What you got were a fast-paced, dramatic, fun matches between these two champions. Unfortunately this one is only about ten minutes but it is one of the most fun ten minute matches you’ll get from Hogan during that time period.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair and Sting vs. Great Muta and Dick Slater (Clash of the Champions VIII Fall Brawl ’89) - This was a wild main-event that was action-packed from the moment the bell rang. Slater replaced Terry Funk (Funk did a fantastic interview before the match saying he was hurt and wouldn’t be there) which sounds like a big letdown yet Slater was just as insane in here as Funk would have been. The crowd was jacked and the heat was unbelievable. This was the first time Flair and Muta touched which was huge at the time. The post-match angle is the icing on the cake. Terry Funk attacks Flair and tries to smother him with a bag. This match is the epitome of the greatness of WCW in 1989.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (WCW Spring Stampede 1994) - This match is often overlooked when pundits discuss the Flair-Steamboat feud. While it isn’t nearly as hot as their classic series from 1989, it is still one of Flair’s best from his final WCW act. I remember hearing stories at the time that Flair and Steamboat both took it as a personal challenge to go out there and steal the show. They did. The psychology here is just brilliant and this match delivers once the drama peaks.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair vs. The Undertaker No DQ Match (WrestleMania 18) – The lack of respect this match gets still surprises me. The finish of the match is one of the most climactic in WrestleMania history. A bloodied and beaten Flair constantly kicked out of the Undertaker’s finishes. The Undertaker got so frustrated he attacked the referee which was just tremendous. Unfortunately, Flair had nothing left after a Tombstone and went down 1-2-3, extending the Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak to 10. This was one hell of a war and an underappreciated classic.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich Steel Cage Match (WCCW Star Wars 1983) - This match while legendary for the Freebirds-Von Erich angle, it is highly underappreciated for the actual match. This is one of the oldest matches you can see of Flair’s right now on the WWE Network and it truly is a showcase of why he is regarded as a legend. As charismatic as Kerry was, he was hardly what anyone would regard as a great worker, yet Flair got a great match out of him here. The only criticism of the match I have is that the finish was a little overbooked in that it should have ended with the cage door being shut on Kerry’s head. You have heard about Ric Flair in the early 1980s but you don’t have many opportunities to see him. For that reason alone this match makes the list.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair and Steve Austin vs. Maxx Payne and 2 Cold Scorpio (WCW Battle Bowl 1993) - I will be the first to admit that you will probably find better Flair matches on the Network. Yet, this is a special case as it showcases the only time I can recall that Flair and Austin ever teamed up in WCW. They were feuding at the time so they wrested as a hostile tag team. The match is very good just for the gimmick of Austin and Flair not getting along. Flair and Austin take this one but it’s a fun match to go back and watch to check out this dream team of legends for one-time only.

WWE Network link –

Ric Flair vs. Bret Hart (WCW Souled Out 1998) - I remember being so intrigued to see this match at the time after reading Flair and Bret bury each other for years in interviews. I don’t know if it was that competitive edge or dislike for each other that fueled extra motivation but this match was absolutely tremendous. It was also a reminder to anyone who doubted him that Flair still had plenty of gas left in the tank. This match was an absolute clinic and like Flair’s match with Steamboat at Spring Stampede four years earlier, it got better as it built. The psychology here from bell to bell may be the best of any match on this list. Flair taps to the Sharpshooter at the 18:02 mark. 10 more minutes and this match would be on every Flair and Bret top 10 blog on the Internet.

WWE Network link –

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10 MORE Sting Matches WWE Fans Should Watch

May 19, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

A few days ago, our death match commentary overlord did an article talking about ten Sting matches you should watch. You’re not going to get any complaints from me because I pretty much agree with all of them. Luckily, Eric has allowed me to post ten more Sting matches you should check out. Some of these matches you may already know but I presume that some of the matches you’ve probably never seen before. So sit back, get some face paint on and revel at the fact that there’s no Hogan here to cut those knees off.

Sting and Ric Flair vs The Great Muta and Dick Slater: Clash of the Champions VIII 09.12.1989

First, this was supposed to Flair and Sting vs Funk and Muta, but Funk is injured, so we get the best Terry Funk impersonator of all time: Dick Slater. Even better, we get Jim Ross and Jim Cornette on commentary and Ross is great explaining the various types of mist. This match is just great, thanks to a hot South Carolina crowd. Slater plays Funk very well, Ric Flair makes a surprisingly good Ricky Morton to Sting’s Robert Gibson and vice versa. Muta busts out the yellow mist and most of all, Terry Funk attempts to murder Ric Flair. What’s also great is that the match sort of has a downer ending with the faces getting pounded. Flair is almost killed and Slater hits Sting in the leg with a branding iron much to JR’s disgust. What more could you want from a tag team match? Also, Clash VIII has two other great matches: Road Warriors against The Samoan Swat Team and Lex Luger against Tommy Rich. Watch this one and the whole card.

Now, Eric brought up three great contests Sting had with Cactus Jack, Vader, and Ric Flair. These next three matches are Sting against the same opponent, but these are matches that you may not have seen. Enjoy.

Sting vs Cactus Jack in a Submit or Surrender Match on WCW Power Hour: 11/23/1991

This is an interesting concept since you can either make your opponent say I Quit, submit or if he can’t respond to a ten count. So, it’s a hybrid I Quit/Submission/Last Man Standing match. This match actually made the Foley DVD and I’m glad it’s getting some recognition. Now, this may sound insane but I think this match up there with the Beach Blast match. It’s just an all-out war between the two guys and the finish is actually genius. Sting is draped over the second rope, Cactus goes to hit him with the chair but Sting moves and the chair bounces back and hits him in the face. Sting puts a knocked out Cactus in the Scorpion Deathlock and the ref calls the match. Great battle.

Sting vs Ric Flair on NWA Worldwide: 2/20/1988

Before their famous bout at the first Clash of the Champions, Sting and Ric Flair would open the February 20th edition of NWA Worldwide. This was probably Sting’s first big match since joining the NWA and much like the Clash match, it’s booked masterfully. Flair bumps around the ring like a pinball for Sting making him look like a million bucks and then Flair baits Sting into doing something stupid. Flair goes on the offensive as the once invisible Sting is being worn down by the veteran, and then Sting gets a second burst. The big difference is that since is a TV match and Dust has the book, we get two ref bumps and a non-finish. This went a long way towards establishing Sting as a legit star in the NWA. Ending is great with Sting holding Flair in the Scorpion for an extended period of time. The Clash may have Sting’s coming out party, but this match proved that he was ready for the Clash.

Sting vs Vader Title Change in London, England: 03/11/1993

The main reason I picked this over the White Castle of Fear, Fall Brawl 1994 Slamboree 1994, or the Bash match is that this is a match not many people may know about. Those matches are fantastic and thanks to the Network, you can watch them all the time. This one isn’t on the Network. It’s also a pretty rare match since it wasn’t filmed for television since Sting wins the belt. Sting would drop it in Dublin at the end of the tour, but what makes this match a match you should watch is the crowd. While Vader and Sting would work before decent sized crowds, this is a London card and the place is packed with 11,500 fans. The crowd is hot for everything in the match and all the kids are cheering their hearts out hoping to see their hero topple the monster. That is what makes this match so great, it’s the usual cat and mouse game between the two and the two of them hold the crowd in the palm of their hands. The two of them pretty much perfected their formula at this point, but it’s still a very good match between the two. The full match is on Youtube so you don’t have to sacrifice your first born to obtain a copy.

Sting vs The Giant at Slamboree 1996: 05/19/1996

Hey, another PPV that I got for a birthday gift! Even better, I got this and the criminally underrated Toy Story video game for the Sega Genesis. Sting was given a rather difficult task against the Giant, to carry him to a watchable or at least a good match. Heck, Flair wasn’t even able to accomplish that at this point. No offense to the big guy, but he was only a wrestler for about a year at this point, so Sting had the GIANT (Yes, that’s awful) task of carrying the Giant. Guess what? Sting managed to do it. Sting starts off by throwing everything he can at the big guy: Dropkicks, sleepers, clotheslines, cross bodies but he can’t even move the big guy. Heck, he even busts off the Enziguri and Giant reacts by kicking him half way across the ring. It’s similar to the Vader matches, every time Sting is on the verge of coming back,  Giant cuts him off. The Giant even busts off a dropkick. Great big man vs little guy match, probably the Giant’s best match in WCW.

Sting and Ricky Steamboat vs Ric Flair and Steve Austin on WCW Saturday Night: 07/30/1994

This took place a few weeks after Bash at the Beach 1994, and it’s one of the great fleeting moments of the WCW before Hogan arrived. All four men are at the top of their game, the crowd is super-hot and it also shows that there was still a glimmer of hope that Austin was on his way to the main event. Austin doesn’t feel like a mid-card guy in the match thrown in their since he’s in a rivalry with Steamboat, he’s booked like a top level guy. A great thirty minute tag match, the crowd is never bored and probably one of the better TV main events of 1994. Besides the ugly botch of Sting throwing Sherri to the outside, it is a much watch for WCW fans. Not much else to say on this one, a great southern style tag match.

Sting vs Barry Windham for the United States Champion at Clash of the Champions III: 09/07/1988

I will always call Barry Windham the forgotten best wrestler of all time. For about the last half of the eighties, Windham tore the house down with some of the best of them including a memorable series of bouts with Flair. Needless to say, the wear and tear that came in those few years reduced Windham to a shell of his former self in the mid 90’s. So we have this period of time and Windham would wind up tangling with Sting here. Sting and Windham mess really well in this match as the commentators sell it as the young lion Sting against the veteran Windham. Both men would have a rather good match in 1993 and I do wish we had seen Sting defend the belt against Windham after he won it from Flair. You get a pretty good match between the both men, hot crowd and the highly underrated Ross/Caudle commentary team. What more could you ask for?

Sting, Brian Pillman, and The Steiner Brothers vs Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Sid and Larry Zbyszko in a WarGames match at WrestleWar 1991: 02/24/1991

WarGames ’91 is the WWF Superstars to WarGames ’92 WWF WrestleFest and that’s not a bad thing. Most people remember WarGames 1992 as the violent and brutal epic, the pinnacle of the WarGames match. WarGames 91 is a very good match, heck a great match in its own right. It just happened the next WarGames match was fantastic. This match is still a great dramatic affair with an injured Pillman defying wisdom and entering number one to face Windham. It’s a great bloody battle with a super-hot crowd eating it all up. Even the botched powerbomb by Sid gets a pass from me since it just added to the brutality. Plus it made Sid look like a complete monster for powerbombing an already knocked out Pillman. This could have been the start of a feud between the two, but Turner had to get all he could out of Gigante’s Hawks contract. Still, I know there isn’t much Sting talk but its WarGames people.

Sting vs Diamond Dallas Page for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on WCW Nitro: 04/26/1999

I’ll be the first to admit that there aren’t many great Sting matches in the late nineties and I can understand that seeing the company you helped to build is being slowly destroyed is a slight bummer. We’re going to ignore that the belt changed hands at the end of the night and that Nitro somehow lost by three points. Page plays a great phallic heel here and I remember reading about how awesome this match (Death of WCW book) was and I finally saw it when the first Nitro DVD came out. It does live up to the hype, the crowd is hot and both men are motivated. The finish is rather genius, Sting blocking the Diamond Cutter by using the ropes and hitting the Deathdrop to get the pinfall. I’d also recommend the champion vs champion match that both men had the previous year. Both guys have a surprisingly good amount of chemistry here and it works.

Sting, Dustin Rhodes and Brian Pillman vs Rick Rude, Steve Austin, and Paul Orndorff in a Thundercage Match at Superbrawl IV: 02/20/94

We close with an underrated gem of a steel cage match that featured one of WCW’s great rivalries (Sting/Rude), a solid rivalry (Rhodes/Orndorff), and what should have been a great rivalry (Pillman/Austin). It is handicapped by the lack of blood for a match featuring some big rivalries, but they work around it and they have a good match. The crowd is hot and the finish is rather creative. Sting throwing Pillman onto Austin to get the victory for their team and the crowd pops for it. The post-match is great too, Rude slamming the door on Stings face and hitting the Rude Awaking on the floor. The post-match would set the stage for Spring Stampede and the match would end up being Rude’s last match.

Recommended watching:

-Sting, Lex Luger and Barry Windham vs The Four Horsemen (The Main Event: 04/03/1988)

-Sting and Lex Luger vs The Midnight Express/Sting and Luger vs Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard (Crockett Cup 88) (General note: The Sting and Luger vs Express was cut out of the commercial release)

-The Sting/Vader series outside of the ones talked about in these articles

– Sting and Ricky Steamboat vs Rick Rude and Steve Austin (Clash of the Champions XVIII: 01/21/1992)

-Sting and Ric Flair vs Vader and Rick Rude (Clash of the Champions XXVI: 01/27/1994)

– Sting vs Steve Austin (WCW Saturday Night: 01/08/1994)

Well, I hope this list has been pretty informative overall. It was a nice break from dealing with the doom and gloom that came from Friday’s stock debacle and writing an article about it at midnight. While many can debate the drawing ability of Sting, very few can doubt that that he has a library of darn good matches. See you next time.

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.

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10 Sting Matches WWE Fans Need To Watch

May 13, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Sting is now a member of the WWE roster and is expected to debut in 2014. Thanks to the WWE Network, new fans can get introduced to Sting through the entire WCW PPV library. Here are ten matches you should immediately watch to understand how this man became an icon among WCW fans.

Sting is coming to WWE television and for a lot of fans in the Universe, he is a stranger with a legacy. For fans that may be a little older, Sting is just one of the stars of TNA Wrestling. Yet for the fans that watched Sting for over 20 years in WCW, he is an icon of their youth. It is time you become familiar with this icon if you aren’t already.

For the purposes of this list I kept all of my choices to matches currently available on the WWE Network so it is not necessarily a definitive list of his greatest WCW matches. There are some great WCW matches of Sting’s that aren’t on the Network like his match with DDP on Nitro and his match in Tokyo teaming with Great Muta to take on the Steiner brothers. Otherwise every single one of these matches are available on the Network. If you haven’t seen them go watch them now because the Stinger is coming!

Sting vs. Ric Flair Clash of the Champions I - The granddaddy of them all when it comes to Sting matches. This match put Sting on the map although it was not his first televised match with Flair (they wrestled once on World Wide although the show cut off during the match). Sting was elevated to the big time as he took the Nature Boy to the limit for 45 minutes. Watching this match back today is fascinating as it is apparent quickly that Flair is carrying this bad boy completely. Regardless, it was a great match and deserves a top spot on the list.

Sting and Luger vs. Steiners Super Brawl 91 - This was a Dream Match at the time as it was rare to see two babyface teams at this level face off against each other in WCW or the WWE. The match started out as you would expect a match to start out between friends. Eventually friendships were put aside for the WCW tag team titles and the match turned into a non-stop back and forth tag match that went past expectations. Both teams had the crowd in the palms of their hands. The only criticism of the match is that it was too short.

Sting vs. Ric Flair Clash of the Champions XXVII - This was probably their best match in WCW yet it is often disregarded in favor of the Bash 1990 match.This was a great one and much better than their Bash 1990 match which I originally had in this spot. I’d say the crowd here really separated the matches as the crowd was super hot for this one. This match was pretty action-packed from start to finish with all kinds of cool spots including Sting taking out Sherri Martel with a dive to the floor after Flair pushed her into the way. Flair winds up pulling off the upset as he rolls up Sting while Sting checks on Sherri and unifies the championships.

Sting vs. Vader King of Cable Finals Starrcade 92 - Words can’t describe how great this match was. The Vader vs. Sting feud to me is one of the most underrated feuds in wrestling history. Every single one of their matches were great but this one stands out to me. The psychology here was tremendous with Vader being a complete monster with Sting’s giving it right back to him. This match had it all from strong style wrestling, brawling, and just high-intense action. The only criticism is the finish which seemed kind of weak considering all of the punishment absorbed throughout the match.

Sting vs. Mick Foley Falls Count Anywhere on the Gulf Coast Beach Blast 92 - Foley wrote in his book that Sting told him that this was his favorite match. I can understand why. This match was awesome the second it started with Foley meeting Sting on the ramp and brawling with Sting. These guys probably utilized the concept of Falls Count Anywhere better than anyone ever has. The many pinfall attempts on the floor were a unique twist. Sting won the match with a clothesline off the top rope onto Foley who was on the ramp. Great finish, great match, great crowd heat, and a great call by good old J.R. (not so much the Body). In hindsight it is amazing how little respect these guys got as this WCW title match was booked early in the show and the poster featured Steamboat and Rude. I am sure it had to be some kind of a motivator.

Sting & Flair vs. Terry Funk and Muta Thunderdome Cage Match Halloween Havoc 1989 - This was an odd match. Inside the ring the match was fantastic. The match had everything from great brawling to intense wrestling to dramatic psychology. Unfortunately it was scarred with a terrible gimmick in that the only way the match could end was with either Gary Hart or Ole Anderson throwing in the towel. Other than the ridiculous stipulation, this was a really exciting match. You almost get the sense that Ric Flair was having a lot of fun when you watch it back today on the Network.

Sting, Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat and Nikita Koloff (Sting’s Squadron) vs. Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, Bobby Eaton & Steve Austin (Dangerous Alliance) War Games Match, Wrestle War 1992 - This match is probably one of the most underrated matches in War Games history. Some have even dubbed it the best War Games ever. This match told a great story from beginning to end which is tough in a War Games match. It had all of the crazy action you’d expect except the match continued to build and held together like a snug puzzle. Arn Anderson’s head winds up between the two rings at one point (a spot he borrowed from Barry Windham). Dustin Rhodes is a bloody mess and a steel hook from the top was used in the finish. Sting finishes off Beautiful Bobby with an arm bar to win the match and end the chaos in a classic.

Sting vs. Great Muta Great American Bash 1989 - This is one of my favorite WCW matches of all-time from my favorite WCW pay-per-view of all-time. This match has a faster pace than your typical WCW matches at the time. Beyond that, these two had chemistry that just clicked inside of the ring. Muta was built up brilliantly up to this point and the fans ate the match up live (I should know, I was there.) The double ring from the War Games was also used which made the match more fun.

Sting vs. William Regal Great American Bash 96 - An odd match on paper turned out to be one of the best matches in Sting’s career. If styles make great matches this one should have been terrible. Instead both men adapted to each other’s styles and produced a clinic which at times was very stiff. Sting’s critics will say Sting couldn’t “wrestle”. I challenge them to watch this match and back up that argument. Regal dominated the match, stretching Sting during most of the bout. Regal even nails an underhook suplex off of the top rope. Sting eventually mounted a comeback and won with the Scorpion Deathlock. This was much different than anything on the list and that’s a compliment.

Sting vs. Rick Rude Clash of the Champions XVII - This was a real fun match in a series that I never thought lived up to the billing. This match was certainly the highlight of the feud. The deal here saw Sting get injured earlier in the night from Lex Luger, teasing that he wouldn’t be back to wrestle Rick Rude. He did return and had a heck of a match with Rude. Rude worked on Sting’s injured leg for most of the match. The crowd absolutely ate up the drama of the injured Sting returning to wrestle the match. Unfortunately bravery was not enough to combat Paul Heyman’s interference. I should also point out how fantastic Jim Ross was here on the call. He took this match up a few levels simply due to his excitement during commentary. Do yourself a favor and check out Heyman and Rude’s post-match interview, it’s fantastic as well.

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