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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WWE Network Review: WCW Clash of the Champions XIX

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

The WWE Network recently added the entire library of WCW Clash of the Champions. I just happened to stumble across the live stream when Clash XIX was broadcast. This odd lineup on paper looked like a train wreck yet in the ring this show turned out to be an absolute classic.

The show featured the opening round of a tournament to crown a new pair of NWA world tag team champions with the subsequent rounds scheduled to take place at the Great American Bash. The theme was that teams would be represented from all over the world to compete for these vacant titles. While the teams looked like something straight out of Battle Bowl, the show turned out to be one of the more fun two hours of wrestling I have watched since NXT Takeover.

This was a really strange yet incredibly entertaining show. The Bill Watts 1992 era of WCW is highly underrated in regards to how great that era was. Watts often gets criticized for killing a lot of the high-flying, yet doesn’t get the credit he deserves for bringing more of a Japanese strong-style to the company. I would dare say that 1992 is only second to 1989 in the best years of WCW specifically inside of the ring.

Nikita Koloff and Ricky Steamboat defeated the Malenkos – This was greatly disappointing. I remember watching this one live and thinking the same thing. I had watched a lot of tape on the Malenkos in Japan and was a huge Dean Malenko fan. For some reason or another these teams just did not mesh well at all. Nikita nails a sickle on Dean for the pin to advance in the tournament.

Steve Austin and Rick Rude defeated Tom Zenk and Marcus Bagwell – This one, like many on this show was more like a glorified squash match. Madusa looked pretty hot here if I do say so myself. Rude hits the Rude Awakening on Bagwell for the pin. The only takeaway was how awesome of a team Rude and Austin were and how money may have been left on the table by not exploiting that more in WCW.

Terry Gordy and Steve Williams are interviewed by Eric Bischoff. These guys stole the show and were featured throughout the night. Gordy and Williams are fired up and while it was hard to hear, I could swear that Williams made a gay slur in regards to the Oklahoma-Michigan rivalry (the Steiners went to Michigan and Doc went to Oklahoma).

Gordy and Williams defeated Larry and Jeff O’Day – Once again this one was another squash, but there was nothing glorified about this. It was a showcase for Williams and Gordy to hit their power moves and for Doc to hit his big suplex. At one point Williams and Doc look upset over a spot with Larry. Doc finishes Larry off with the Oklahoma Stampede. Say what you want about Bill Watts’ WCW booking, but he is not given enough credit for being the first American promoter at that level to book Doc and Gordy as a regular team in this country.

Jesse Ventura interviews Sting about facing #1 contender Vader at the Bash. The crowd loved Sting but you couldn’t get any more generic with the promo. They put the showdown over as David vs. Goliath. The promo was average but their series was epic and often not given enough credit for how great their matches actually were.

Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes defeat Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton – This was the highlight of the show and that says a lot when you have Liger and Benoit on opposing teams later in the night. This match was just tremendous. These guys had a real fast pace and the crowd ate up every second of it.  The match was a great back and forth contest and really showcases how good all of these guys were at the time. If you think about how young Rhodes was in his career and how great he was during this match the kid really was a prodigy. Eaton misses the Alabama Jam and Rhodes hits a bulldog for the pin to advance in the tournament.

Eric Bischoff and Missy Hyatt report on a commotion in the locker room. Out comes Doc and Gordy once again. Doc and Gordy sarcastically talk about a horrible tragedy that has befallen the Puerto Rican team (who are scheduled to face the Steiners). The whole idea here is that Doc and Gordy wanted to ensure that the Steiners advanced to the next round to face them. Kind of odd if you think about the heel team giving the babyface team a dirty win but this was the Bill Watts mentality. Doc and Gordy were tough guys and they wanted to face the toughest guys in the tournament, good or bad guy. It was definitely different. Regardless, Doc and Gordy are awesome once again and continue stealing the show with their promos.

The Fabulous Freebirds defeated the Silver Kings – Give me the Freebirds as heels or don’t give me the Freebirds at all. Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes come out to some awful music and just aren’t clicking at all as babyfaces. Their style definitely lends itself more to a heel than it does a face. The match was terrible and incredibly boring. The birds won the match but an interesting backstory here is that the kings were originally booked to win. The result leaked in a WCW Magazine that went to press before the show and thus the bookers changed the finish as a result.

Ole Anderson, called “senior referee” tells Magnum TA and Tony Schiavone that the Steiner Brothers have been given a bye to advance to the quarter-finals against Gordy and Williams at the Bash.

Jushin Liger and Brian Pillman defeated Beef Wellington and Chris Benoit – Holy smokes, I completely forgot that this match ever took place in WCW. It was quite a coup if you think about it that WCW was able to book New Japan star Justin Liger in the same tournament with All Japan’s top stars in Gordy and Williams. Really good match here, with Benoit taking lots of the big bumps. Jim Ross was exceptional here as he seemed really into the match and got more intense as the match played out. Ross did a fantastic job of putting over the rivalry between Liger and Benoit. Liger and Benoit stole the match here. At one point Benoit gave Liger a German suplex off of the top rope. Biff was just terrible, I mean beyond terrible. He botched several moves including the finish. Liger picked him up for a bodyslam and Wellington was dead weight. Liger hit the moonsault for the win.

Hiroshi Hasi and Akira Nogami defeated the Head Hunters – I guess this would have been the main-event had the show played out differently. Yikes! These are not the same Head Hunters that ran wild in IWA Japan and had a brief run in the WWE. These Head Hunters were two WCW Jobbers under masks. This match was a total waste of Hasi as it was a real basic squash match. Again, you have more NJPW talent mixed into a tournament with All Japan stars. Hase and Nogami score a double-pin on the Hunters for the win and an advance in the tournament.

Welcome to WCW 1992 where you not only get homophobic slurs you also get racist slander. Ron Simmons is interviewed and confronted by Harley Race and the Super Invader (former WWE star Hercules in a mask). Race refers to Simmons as a “boy” and says something else which gets bleeped. This all ends with a brawl which sees Simmons clear the ring…Damn!

Bill Watts comes out to tell Tony Schiavone that there have been arguments between WCW and NWA officials regarding the incident with the Puerto Rican team. Watts says that the NWA president (unnamed) has resigned over it. Gasp! Watts then says as WCW Executive V.P. he is going to make the call and instead of waiting for the Great American Bash to see the Steiners vs. Gordy and Williams, he is going to deliver it next and the second round will start tonight! The crowd goes nuts. It’s a good thing they had just enough time for it. It’s certainly different to deliver a money match with no advertising on a free television show a few weeks before the paid show you are hoping to draw on. Quite frankly I don’t care how ridiculous this logic is, I am just stoked it’s happening now!

Gordy and Williams defeated the Steiner Brothers – Jim Ross is pumped! The Steiners are the WCW tag team champions as they enter this tournament although this match is a non-title match. This match was just fantastic. It was much different than anything you’d see in the U.S. at the time. The match featured a ton of amateur/chain wrestling a long with the strong-style that Gordy and Williams were known for. It was a bit of a risk to pull off but it worked as the fans were into it by the end. Ross puts it over as a dream match which it was at the time. The psychology early on was that Rick was trying to make it an amateur match while Gordy was trying to keep it pro-style. The Steiners worked to suplex Doc and Gordy and kept getting blocked. Rick finally nails one on Williams who sells it like he got hit by a freight truck. The teams keep it relatively clean early on with the Steiners getting the better of Doc and Gordy. Ross mentions Williams and Rick’s past as the Varsity Club. Williams slaps Rick and all hell breaks loose. Rick gets a double leg and pounds away on Doc. Doc and Rick do some great wrestling on the ground. Doc finally nails Rick with a hell of a clothesline. Gordy and Williams use a lot of forearms. Gordy tries and is reversed on a suplex attempt by Rick. Scott gets the hot tag. Scott hits a double-underhook powerbomb. Gordy reverses a Frankensteiner attempt and gets an STF. Doc holds Scott up for two consecutive backbreakers. Gordy and Williams keep going for leg submissions on Scott, working over the knee. Gordy and Williams are real fluent with their double-team moves. Rick gets the hot tag and is all over Doc. Rick clotheslines Doc over the top. Gordy jumps in and he and Rick start brawling from one side of the ring to the other. The crowd is going nuts as is Jim Ross. This is great! Jesse Ventura says it’s turned into a total fight. Doc comes in and gets Rick from behind. Rick powerslams Doc but the referee won’t count and says that he didn’t see Rick tag in. Doc hits the Oklahoma shoulder block right into Scott’s knee (think a football chop block). Rick and Gordy are back in the ring brawling. Scott can barely stand up. Ross says his knee has about disintegrated (I can assure you that it hasn’t disappeared). Williams presses Scott over his head and catches him with a powerslam on the way down for two. Scott ducks a clothesline and catches Doc in a belly-to-belly position. Gordy runs in and chops Scott’s knee from behind as the referee is distracted. Doc pins Scott for the win in a major upset as the #4 seed defeated the #1 seed. Ventura puts it over big as an upset.

Overall this was a really fun show. The show featured all kinds of talent you either never or rarely got the chance to see in America. It truly did have an international flavor to it, capped off but a terrific main-event. Go out of your way to see this one on the network as well as the remainder of the tournament at the Bash 1992 which featured some real fun matches from the remaining tournament teams.

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Hulkamania Goes Down South Part 5: And the Crowd Turns

June 09, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

By the beginning of 1996, the crowds had finally had enough of Hulk Hogan. The company had resorted to piping in cheers in case of booing or putting him with popular sports stars (Kevin Greene) to get the fans cheering. Hulk was being booed by fans everywhere, no longer the south. Hogan hit the point of oversaturation, a point that he was hitting in 1991 when the crowd was 50/50 for him against Undertaker at Survivor Series.

That’s why Vince wanted to make him the Babe Ruth of wrestling as he coined, trot Hogan out for the special appearance every now and then, keep him fresh. It wasn’t like the rest of the Amazing Friends were being booed by the fans, Sting was still massively over and Savage despite being a WWE guy endeared himself to the fans by working hard and having a great feud with Flair. The Hogan and Giant feud was continuing and hatred for Hulkamania, and his ridiculousness of his creative control was reaching its zenith at Superbrawl.

First, Hogan and Giant were the main event, not the continuing grudge feud between Flair and Savage for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. It should also be noted that the most deadly weapon in the company at the time was a high heeled shoe as it both did significant damage to Hulk and Savage. Hulk and the Giant went through another bad match as the crowd showed no mercy on Hogan. Hulk was booed throughout the entire match and you have to remember this wasn’t the south. This was the Cow Palace in California; Hulk should have been a hero in this territory. Instead, you’d think that Hogan came out in a Cowboys jersey or something.

Hulk won and then The Dungeon came out to try and attack Hogan. I do mean they try as the entire Dungeon of Doom gets a beating from Hogan as he delivers pitiful chair shots to seven men. They introduced Hulk’s new big enemy, Loch Ness Monster who really wanted to fight Hogan. For those of you that don’t know, The Loch Ness Monster was British wrestler and occasional Stampede regular, Giant Haystacks. By the time he was lined up to be Hogan’s new enemy he had been wrestling for 29 years and was 50 years old. Yep, they were trotting out a fifty year old man to face Hogan, who was turning 43 that year. Sadly, Haystacks was diagnosed with cancer after joining WCW and presumably a big money run never happened.

Sorry to be a downer on that last part.

You’d think that after the less than stellar reaction that Hogan received in California that the company would rethink their plans for Hogan. Hulk was already scheduled to take off after Uncensored, make it a gift to give him an extra month off. Instead, the company would unleash its newest concept: The Doomsday Cage match. What was the Doomsday Cage match you may ask? Well, it was a takeoff the old Tower of Doom match that happened at the 1988 Great American Bash. It was a precursor to the Triple Decker cage that WCW would trot out in 2000, the company was hoping that the Tower of Doom would be the next big gimmick match after WarGames. It wasn’t. The match was tough for the fans to see, the cage was clunky and difficult to operate and I’m honestly surprised that it didn’t fall apart with ten two hundred pound plus men fighting throughout it. The match also sucked.

The storyline going into the match was that The Four Horsemen and The Dungeon of Doom formed an alliance….The Alliance to End Hulkamania. Sullivan issued the challenge for Hogan to face the entire group in The Doomsday Cage match. At some point, I presume that the idea of Hogan going over the entire group on the table and I also presume that Flair was going to do the job. I’m just guessing that Hogan and Bischoff had a running tally on how many times they could make Flair cry in a year. The winner would get Turner’s credit card for two nights of debauchery.

You’d think that cooler heads would prevail and they would add Savage, Sting, Road Warriors and I can’t believe I’m saying this but the Booty Man to the match. Instead, they went with Hogan and Savage. Interestingly enough, Brian Pillman was a part of the group and it was rumored that Hogan campaigned heavily to do something with Pillman during the match, so that he could squash him and kill off The Loose Cannon character. Pillman smartened up and requested his release before such a thing could happen. To counter this, the company dragged Zeus out of obscurity (Now Z-Gangsta) and Robert “Bane from that Batman move you wish you could forget” Swanson and added them to the match. Yes, they brought Zeus back to revive a feud that died almost a decade ago. Swanson hadn’t been on the national wrestling stage in almost a decade and was named The Final Solution. Are we sure that Mel Gibson wasn’t secretly booking WCW at the time?

That was cheap, but worth it.

You remember about what I said about the original Tower of Doom match and how it was tough for the fans to see and it was a mostly poor effort since you’re putting cage-on-cage without any solid footing for the wrestlers. It was also tough for the fans to see since the actual match took place in a set-up near the entrance. I’m just going to presume that fans didn’t see it on the jumbotron at the arena, so there be a lot of gawking of the necks to see it. If somebody offers you a chance to watch it, don’t since it is a beyond awful match. It managed to have a negative three star rating and snagged the worst match of the year award from the Observer. Observe that, Hogan. Oh yeah, Flair jobs in the end.

Because why the hell not.

Hogan would take his hiatus, not before defeated Sullivan and Anderson (Whom defeated Hogan twice on television) in a handicap match in around four minutes.

Because why the hell not.

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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Hulkamania Goes Down South Part 4: A WCW Fan’s Descent into Insanity

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

If you’ve noticed by now, this is no longer a four part series.

In our last article, we talked about the Hogan and Vader feud and while this was happening, did you wonder what happened to The Three Faces of Fear? Oh, you didn’t? Well, guess what I didn’t want to cover this part. I just wanted to gloss over this part but my boss demanded that I cover this. Well, the Avalanche went on to feud with Sting and Savage and Sullivan beat The Butcher so bad that the Butcher got amnesia. The Butcher had a new name, The Man with No Name and would feud with Sullivan. They had a match, Sullivan won and that was it.


Until Sullivan got messages from The Master (Curtis Iaukea caked in powdered sugar it seemed like) saying that he needed form the Dungeon of Doom and destroy Hulkamania. He also became The Taskmaster, an upgrade from Gamesmaster I guess. It should be noted that around this time, Sullivan began painting some weird as heck symbols on his head and their dungeon looked like a rejected Haunted Mansion add on. It probably was actually. Sullivan assembled his army of freaks to face Hulkamania: The Zodiac (Formerly the Butcher, don’t ask), The Shark (Formerly the Avalanche, don’t ask), Meng (Former bodyguard to wearing a giant dragon’s head, don’t ask) and Kamala (Because….he faced Hogan in the 80’s).

Oh, and Vader joined the group since they were filming the Baywatch episode and Sullivan worked his way into the episode. So basically the group was Kevin Sullivan and Hogan Punching Bags 1-5. I have to give credit to Sullivan for this; he knew what Hogan wanted after going through the Vader and Flair feuds. Hulk wanted to recreate the glory days of him running through monsters and Sullivan pitched him something like that. It resulted in Sullivan getting in the inner circle of Hogan and getting the booker job.

Around this time, a large young man by the name of Paul Wight was trying to break into the wrestling industry. A former basketball player, Wight was 7’2 and possessed agility not seen from a big man since the early days of Andre the Giant. Wight tried to get in contact with the WWE, but was promptly told to get experience. He presented a tape of him running the ropes (He did not have much training) to Mike Chioda, but Pat Patterson thought it was The Kurrigan. Yeah, Vince wasn’t happy once he realized that they had a chance to get this guy, but didn’t. Instead, Wight with the help of Danny Bonaduce of all people was put into contact with Hogan and Hulk saw dollar signs in his eyes and thus the rest of history. The Giant was pushed right to the top and the controversy wouldn’t come from said push, but how he debuted.

Instead of just having the Giant show up and destroy Hogan out of the blue, he showed up on the Bash at the Beach pre show and threw a white shirt at Hogan. Hulk stammered that the shirt belonged to Andre and yes, we’re going to talk about this. There were actual talks about billing him as Andre the Giant Jr. at one point and I’m not kidding. Even worse, they had Hogan give an awful interview saying that he remembered seeing this young man watching him at the Silverdome. Do you think it could get any worse? If you said yes, then YOU WON A FREE MILKSHAKE*. Hulk would later say in the buildup that he would bury The Giant just like how he buried his father…uh yeah. It should be noted that Andre had only been dead for two years at this point and his family was rather pissed at this. It should be noted that this was dropped and then brought up by Scott Hall a year later.

In order to hype this up, you’d think that the company would go old school, have The Giant just absolutely wreck via Hogan in the ring. A whole bunch of chokes slams, the Hulk quiver sell, take him out via ambulance. Heck, have Hulk cough up some blood to sell the effect; it got Lesnar some massive heat. Instead, Hulk entered the Dungeon of Doom twice and the first one would be legendary in all the wrong ways. Overacting worse than Nic Cage in Wicker Man with such immortal lines as:




Hulk would be beaten by The Giant and would then renter and take another beating after more horrible acting. Even with the presence of The Amazing Friends, Hulk would take another beating from the Dungeon until MOTHERFRIGGING VADER saved the day. As a kid, the thought of Vader and this monster fighting were awesome, what can I say I’m a mark for a good hoss fight! Vader was added to Hogan’s team to face The Dungeon (Kamala/Zodiac/Meng/Shark) and would get five minutes with Sullivan if he won. Until Vader got fired for losing a fight to Orndorff and was replaced by Lex Luger at the last minute…but that’s for a different article for a different time. This would also set in stone Sting looking like a complete idiot for insisting that the amazing friends could trust Luger and for trusting Ric Flair the next month.

Earlier in the show, The Giant ran over Hulk’s prized motorcycle with a monster truck surely setting the most unintentionally funny moment of 1995, a year full of them. Hulk’s team wins and you can actually see fans leave during Hulk’s beatdown of Sullivan. The only redeemable part in all this is The Giant using the cage to jump over the ropes and then jumping the ropes like it’s nothing. You seriously forget that Show was insanely agile at this point in his career. Giant beats up Hogan, doing what they should have done in the beginning and fake snaps his neck.

After this, the Amazing Friends would sort of splinter off. Sting went off to get swerved by a heel for the 45,677th time, Savage and Luger would feud over who the better wrestler is and we’d get…well I can’t do this. The build-up to Hogan/Giant is like a special Robert Zone from hell…but since I like you the reader, I’ll do my best. First, Hogan gets attacked by Sullivan who is dressed like a woman, gets his neck fake snapped by Giant again and has his mustache shaved. Hulk came back the next week wearing all black, claiming that he was playing on Taskmasters level now.

He then compared his mustache to Mount Rushmore and it being shaved to desecrating the American flag. The stupidity would continue when it was announced that The Giant would meet Hogan twice in one night with the first being a monster sumo match. Hulk’s turn to the darkness more or less consisted of him wearing black and cutting wildly stupid promos. How worse could it get? The Master introduced an “Insurance Policy” for the main event, the Yeti. The company kept the character under wraps, underneath a block of ice until the ending of Nitro when it flashed a whole bunch of colors and blew up. Nitro quickly ended before we really got a good look at him.

Yes, they were actually spending money on monster trucks and to have them film something with the trucks on-top of Cobo Hall. You probably could have shot it on a green screen and save some money. If you’re thinking that hey, they wouldn’t actually spend the money to AIRLIFT the cars on-top of the place, you’re wrong. Or to spend money on a helicopter to get the various overhead shots that they used during the show. Hogan won the “match”, Giant attacked and Hogan accidentally knocked him off the roof of the building. We can probably add the stunt company hired to coordinate the stunt to the rather large budget.

The announcers played it off as completely serious with an over dramatic “NO” from Eric Bischoff and Heenan salvaging the entire thing by acting like his child had gone missing. The main event would arrive and Hulk would come out first and try sympathetic and actually apologized for KILLING A MAN. The Giant would actually arrive and they would never explain how the Giant came back to life, just that he was seemingly superhuman. The match was on and it wasn’t the best, but hey I’m not surprised. Hulk wasn’t the type to do a carry job and this was on the first handful a matches that The Giant was having. Jimmy Hart would knock the ref out and while it came out of nowhere, it was very well done and would benefit Hart since he just awful as a face manager. Luger and Savage ran out to save the day, and then the insurance policy arrived. A yeti is a rather large and furry creature that is a myth. What the yeti isn’t, is a mummy covered in what appears to be poop stained toilet paper. Somebody forgot to tell WCW that, and that while staying on the Poop Mummy (Or as Skeevonie called it: YEH-TAI), they would completely miss Luger turning on Savage.

The Poop Mummy would then partake in a dry humping of Hulk Hogan, the worse pain Hulk has dealt with… know the joke already. I have to praise them, the ending was really good besides the humping, Savage and Hulk are completely beaten down and there are no good guys to save the day. It was one dark ending for a wrestling card which usually had the good guys win to send the fans home happy. It could have been much much worse as the Yeti was supposed to be El Gigante and another monster would be introduced, The Super Ninja played by Ron Reis who played The Yeti. It was all supposed to set-up World War III with Hogan in one ring, Giant in another and the Yeti in the other one. By the time we actually reached the card, Reis had become a ninja, nobody cared and he was the first one eliminated.

The belt was vacated because of the debauchery and we got more Hogan insane and embraced the darkness. And by embrace, we mean they taped more incoherent promos with him and Savage wearing all black and wanting the head of Meng. This would all be revealed to be mind games as he would embrace the darkness in a pre-show promo. Hulk also revealed that Savage’s arm injury was fake (It wasn’t) and then took out a copy of the Wrestling Observer that proclaimed that the Giant will win it all. He then screamed “OBSERVE THIS”, burned it and claimed that the real spoilers were on the internet. Here’s the thing about the Observer, companies never acknowledged the Observer since they didn’t want the fans finding out about it.

Honestly, I think that Memphis acknowledged the Observer once when they said that Lance Russell won TV Announcer of the year four times in a row from a prestigious newsletter. Well, Savage won the battle royal, Hulk was pulled under the ring and it set-up an angle so that Hogan could take off for Starrcade. Hulk went crazy, hit the Giant with a chair a whole bunch of times and it would be the last we’d see Hulk.

It should be noted that Starrcade 1995 was an excellent show, almost an apology by the company for subjecting us to this crap.

*Do not ask me for a free milkshake.

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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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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Hulkamania Goes Down South Part 3: Hulk Hogan and His Amazing Friends

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

When Hulk Hogan came to WCW in 1994, there were changes in the way the company was booked and produced. On the positive side, the production values went up greatly and almost put them on par with Vince McMahon. On the negative side, the company was slowly changing into what the fans had come to detest. The company still had a roster with some great talent and they were still putting on great matches on television and pay per view, but a lot of the talent that worked hard in the post-Flair walk out were being pushed down or phased out.

Steve Austin, said by many to be the next big star of the company was jobbed out to Jim Duggan and sent down the card. Mick Foley, feeling that he had no upward advancement in the company left for greener pastures. Dustin Rhodes, undoubtedly the MVP of the company in 1994 by having great matches and feuds, wasn’t rewarded with a main event push but rather a feud with Barry Darsow Gimmick #73. That is not a push by the way. You can’t say much about Steamboat/Rude/Windham retiring due to injuries, and Anderson was at-least protected because of association by Flair. Pillman, before hitting it big with the loose cannon gimmick, was in mid card purgatory with just an awful hair metal gimmick. Sting, as we all know was willing to step aside and let take center stage and probably the same thing with Savage for the good of the company.

Only Vader was left. Vader and Hogan had been set up when Vader won a title shot at Fall Brawl and both men were finally set to collide at SuperBrawl. You’d think and you’d think that with the company booking the monster to end all monster’s against the patron saint of red and yellow, that the build would be simple. Vader would leave Hogan laid out at some point with the powerbomb and repeated Vaderbombs. The match would be hyped as Hogan’s toughest and meanest challenger to date and Hulk would need all the power of the Hulkmaniacs to beat Vader. You know what; you know what happens so reroll the clip:

*Slowly crawls into the fetal position as this plays on loop for a day as our death match commentary overlord smiles.*

Here’s the thing, at this point Vader had been protected rather well. You didn’t necessarily win a match against Vader, you just happened to survive a match with Vader. The only guys that had ever had any consistent success against him were Sting, Ric Flair and Ron Simmons. Heck, even Cactus Jack only beat by count out and Vader retaliated by trying to murder him by POWERBOMBING HIM ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR. Most wrestlers would take losing a match by count-out in stride, but not Vader. VADER WILL END YOU; imagine if you beat him in checkers in something. YOU MIGHT CEAST TO EXIST AND THEN HE COMES AFTER YOUR LOVED ONES.

Hogan and Vader did collide at SuperBrawl and once again it was a match the fans wanted to see. It drew 13,390 fans to the Baltimore Arena, netting them a nice 165k at the gate and it got about 298,861 buys. There was a lot of hype for this match and there was a legitimate big fight atmosphere in the arena. It was one of the few times that keeping Buffer on payroll helped since it made the match feel more important.

The match itself is very good as Hogan had his working boots and of course it was a 50/50 split pretty much. It’s kind of funny; there is a rumor that Hogan made Vader sign a waiver stating that he couldn’t stiff him in the match and yet it looked like both guys beat the crap out of each other. Hulk always good chemistry with fat guy wrestlers (Boss Man, Gang, and Bundy) and it’s no different here. Vader kicks out of the Leg Drop of Doom at ONE, which was quite the holy crap moment. The finish might be a schmooze with Flair running in for a DQ but it made sense. They didn’t want to job Vader out right away and they didn’t want Hogan dropping the belt.

And it would be the last time that their matches would make sense.

Going into Uncensored, Vader and Flair were aligned in an effort to take down Hogan once and for all. Arn Anderson would later join the group, but that doesn’t matter at this moment. In order to counter this, Hogan talked up having the ultimate surprise for the two of them, and this was the company using the good old fashion bait and switch. Many people believed that it the man was going to be The Ultimate Warrior and the company kept talking about the word ultimate at all times. First, Hogan has his Amazing Friends (Sting and Savage) on his side, so he has them out numbered. The biggest threats to those two were The Avalanche and Big Bubba Rogers so it’s not like they’re facing top caliber opponents.

All Hogan would have to do would be to snap his fingers and BAM! Three on two advantage, if not there is always the human shield known as Evad Sullivan to take a drubbing from Vader. With all this stupidity they kept the build to Uncensored rather simple, Flair was pulling the strings of Vader and the company kept both men apart teasing brawls between the two on television. Then, the stupidity began. CUE THE STUPIDIDTY! Well first, Jimmy Hart got kidnapped on the Saturday night before the event to try and destroy Hulk’s confidence going into the match. Do I even have to point out that Hulk won four titles and numerous big matches without a manager? Ric Flair then dressed as a woman and beat up Randy Savage and I presume that he cried for about a good solid hour after being told to do that.

The big reveal of the ultimate surprise of ultimate destiny happened early in the show and it was THE RENEGADE. The Great Value version of The Ultimate Warrior with a knockoff theme that sounded just enough like Warrior’s theme but just a bit off to avoid a McMahon lawsuit. Jimmy Hart shows up, making that angle completely pointless. And that is just everything that happens in the first FEW MINUTES. Now I have to say that the strap match itself is a good bout, not on the level of Sting/Vader but still it’s a good watch. It seemed like we would get a semi-satisfying ending…until they turned the stupidity button up to eleven. Somehow, Flair gets latched onto Hogan, takes a beating and then loses the match to Hogan for Vader.

I swear they only booked this to humiliate Flair, Hogan takes a beating from Flair and Vader as Renegade saves the day with a chair and then THE MASKED MAN SHOWS UP. Yeah, this gimmick sucked in 1994, aging it a year isn’t going to help. We then saw a bound and gagged Arn Anderson (Similar to how I was forced to watch this) dressed as the masked man but who’s the actual masked man? Randy Savage as Flair takes another beating to end the show. It’s funny that the company promoted this show as being out of control and any chair shots were shown at a wide angle. Once again, show did good business for WCW. Also, Sting would get bumped out of the number three spot FOR THE FRIGGING RENEGADE. THE FRIGGING RENEGADE.

This would lead to Flair and Vader teaming to face Savage and Hogan at Slamboree and I’ll save you having to watch it: Flair jobs, the end. The only good to mildly great moments was Flair doing a Flair Flop and watching Angelo Poffo getting beat up. At-least we’d get a great Savage/Flair feud out of the angle. WCW then promoted their next brainfart, Bash at the Beach 1995. The selling point of the card was Hogan vs Vader in a steel cage, a match itself that could sell some tickets. You could do it at The United Center in Chicago and get a good gate….and it’s booked on a beach.

Why? Because WCW did a cross promotional episode of Baywatch and decided that instead of filming that matches in an arena THEY’D FILM IT A GODDAMN BEACH WITH NO GATE. Even better, those people were subjected to an undercard with three one star matches (Two in the negatives), a Renegade match (DUD), Sting not caring and Flair losing again. Hulk wins the cage match, Vader wanted to try a SSP and Beefcake bumps for Dennis Rodman who was booked for this card somehow.

Folk, if you think this part of 1995 was bad, get the hard liquor because we’re diving into THE DUNGEON OF DOOM. And yes, we’ll be talking about the angle that happened at Bash at The Beach. So yeah, this isn’t a four part series anymore.

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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Hulkamania Goes Down South Part Two

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

The contract had been signed sealed and delivered and whether the hardcore WCW fans liked it, Hulkamania was in town. The biggest question was when WCW would pull the trigger on the big match: Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair. Would they push the match right away or slow burn it till the Grandaddy of them All?

Well, I have my own theory: Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair was going to headline Starrcade 1994, but an injury to Rick Rude derailed that from happening. Rude and Vader were scheduled to meet at Slamboree 1994 and I presume that Rude was going to win. WCW announces that they’re going to unify the belts over the companies next three pay per view offerings. Flair faces Vader at BATB, Sting faces Rude at Fall Brawl, we get the Clash XXVII main event and shenanigans but just on PPV. With the injury came the derailing of those plans and Hogan was set to make his big debut at Clash XXVII. The event took place in….Charleston, South Carolina, or Flair Country pretty much.

Huh, I can’t see how this possibly can’t go wrong.

You know how everybody talks about John Cena getting the whole “Kids and moms love him, everybody else hates him” reaction like they’ve never seen it before? Yeah, they’re wrong as Hogan’s first appearance drew absolute hatred from the older crowd. It didn’t help that Hogan had a presidential-level escort and that hearing Jimmy Hart as his cheerleader was about as pleasurable as pleasing yourself with a cheese grater. Hulk cut a promo to a mixed reaction from the fans, saved the day to a mixed reaction and cut a closing promo to a mixed reaction.

The match was made just a few weeks later with a rare Ted Turner television appearance to christen the match. If you wonder where Sting is in all this, well he wouldn’t even appear on the card, and he was pushed down to a match against Regal with no real build. Sting was injured when Sherri dressed like a man (This will happen a lot in the next few years BTW) and raked him in the eyes. This would be a continuing trend for the next few years for Sting, even being pushed aside for the BOOGIE MAN. Yes, you read that properly. While I can understand Hogan and even Savage, Sting would be moved aside at times for such luminaries as The Renegade, The Boogie Man, and yes….Evad Sullivan.

As we already know, the first Flair match drew the biggest buyrate for WCW with over 300,000 buys. As much as I can go on and on about Hogan, I must admit that he was motivated in the ring at this point in his career. The first Flair match was very good and probably the best Hogan bout since him against Warrior at WrestleMania VI. Of course, Hulk took the belt and the company did everything they could to make sure he didn’t get a bad reaction. The event took place in Orlando, Shaq was there, and they even dragged Mr. T out of obscurity for this match. Hulk for the most part seemed to be refreshed in the ring working in Japan mode for the most part.

The company had a vision for the most part of a three match series between the two: Bash at the Beach, Clash rematch and the finale at Halloween Havoc. According to Flair, he was scheduled to get his belt back at the Clash card and Bischoff disagrees with that, stating that it was in the plans. I kind of agree with Eric(CUE THE THROWING OF ROTTED PRODUCE), having Hulk drop the belt a few months after winning it, much less on television? If they wanted to get the belt back onto Flair, you could have done a tag at the Clash (Hulk and Sting against Flair and Anderson on loan from Parker) where Flair wins cheap, and then do the drop at Havoc. Then book the big career vs career cage match at Starrcade.

Instead, we got a half-hearted attempt to play off the Tanya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan controversy (Which had already come and gone) with a masked man hitting Hogan in the knee with a pipe. Most of the Clash was built around this including Hogan screaming and crying like a man just forced to watch No Holds Barred and Mr. Nanny back to back. Hulk miraculously made it to the arena and lost via count out in another good match between the two. The company would play up the mystery man angle, even having multiple mystery men show up at some points.

Anyway, to make sure there would be no shenanigans, the big career vs career match would take place in a cage and for some reason Mr. T was named the special ref. You’d think they’d bring in a tough guy from sports or take no nonsense type old school wrestler for the role, not Mr. Frigging T. For those of you wondering, Sting wasn’t even booked again and I guessed they wanted people to think he might be the masked man. Neat idea, actually, it wouldn’t have worked though as you could have booked Sting to skin Hogan with a flensing knife and the crowd would have popped. Also, Ric Flair refused to wrestle until he got a new contract and actually signed it that night, fearing a double cross. Despite Mr. T trying to get himself over, the match is still very good and Hulk won of course. The masked men came in and before we get to that, remember all that buzz on who it would be? I remember hearing names like Perfect and Warrior debuting to Arn Anderson, Steve Austin, Sting and hell even Randy Savage’s name popped up. We got….

Brother Bruti!

Cue a not as enthusiastic “Aw son of a bitch” from Jim Ross.

Yeah, then Sullivan and their new monster The Avalance came out and beat the snot out of Hogan. While Tenta is looked at as another Hulk’s buddies being brought in, I never had a problem with the company bringing in him. He might not have been the greatest worker, but he played the role of fat monster guy very well and could have good bouts with the right guys. It was the type of signing that WCW needed to sign, a solid and reliable veteran who isn’t going to cause and trouble and knows his role and plays it well. Tenta even said that he really didn’t want to go, but he was broke and wasn’t getting any work from Japan.

Hey, it was better than signing the damn Honky Tonk Man or Brutus frigging Beefcake. Sting saves the day and we get the birth of the Three Faces of Fear and the booking of quite possibly the worst Starrcade main event of all time: Hulk Hogan vs The Butcher. If you folks hear any rolling, that’s Jim Crockett Sr. rolling over in his grave. It should be noted that Sting finally got to rub shoulders with the Hulkster by headlining a Clash of the Champions against the Three Faces of Fear…teaming with Evad Sullivan. At least he got to team up with Hogan!

Good news was coming, as WCW lured Randy Savage away from the WWE. Once again, I have to praise WCW for handling the debut of Savage quite well. They built intrigue on whether Savage was a friend or foe of Hogan. They hyped Starrcade (Sting got to wrestle on this one) as Savage deciding if he was either going to shake Hulk’s hand or slap him. Starrcade came and well the fans didn’t exactly hate Hogan during the match, but they didn’t show much emotion either.

It didn’t help that the card was awful and in every way the opposite of WCW used to be. Hulk wins, FoF attacks and Savage saves the day. The only good things that came out of Starrcade 1994 were that the card bombed killing The Butcher push and it set up what should surely be an awesome Hogan/Vader feud. I can’t wait to see Vader leave Hogan laying doing the famous “Hogan squirm sell” after the powerbomb that has put down Sting, Foley, Simmons, and so many oth-

SON OF A BI-*Feed cuts out*

Part Three: Hulk Hogan and His Amazing Friends.

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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Hulkamania Goes Down South Part 1

June 02, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This is the start of a four part series chronicling Hulk Hogan’s first two years in WCW.

This year we’ve celebrated the birth of Hulkamania and the event that was built on the shoulders of Hulkamania. Now, we look back at the moment that shifted the wrestling industry and the way the big two signed talent. We look back when WCW shocked the wrestling industry and landed the biggest fish of them all: Hulk Hogan

In 1993, after disputes with Vince McMahon over the direction of his character and booking, Hulk Hogan would leave the WWE. Hogan had been the face of the organization since 1984, the headlining act for eight of the nine WrestleMania events. Hulk was a headliner of countless PPV’s and the man the WWE PR golden boy that the company sent everywhere. Need somebody for Regis and Kathy to promote the Survivor Series? Send Hulk.  When the average person heard and still hears the words WWE, their minds would probably show them one image, Hulk Hogan. So, for Hogan to no longer be associated with the WWE that was something that people couldn’t believe.

One person, who couldn’t believe it, was Eric Bischoff. Bischoff an ambitious television announcer had secured the position of Executive Producer for WCW in 1993. Depending on who you talk to, Bischoff is either a genius or a one hit wonder. He famously pounded Vince McMahon against the ropes for two years and could never put him away. When Vince started to pound back, Bischoff could put never McMahon against the ropes and pound on him again. What’s my opinion of Bischoff? While he famously went from the top man in wrestling to a cautionary tale, he did do some good in my mind. While many criticize him taping blocks of television at a theme park and at Centre Stage/CNN Center, I can counter that WCW’s live event attendance including television tapings were never WCW’s strong suit. He did famously let go of Austin, Foley and many of the players that helped to build WCW but he also recruited some of the best talent from the US and overseas. For every good move that Bischoff made, there will always be a “Yeah, but” counter from the other side. He did beat Vince in the ratings war, but WCW’s pay per view business was never that great is an example.

WCW rarely made a signing this large, sure the company had acquired big names every now and then but it was nobody on Hogan’s level. Plus, none of the big names still had the star power and exposure that Hulk had, even with being gone from wrestling for a year. Rude had been out of the spotlight for almost a year, working the occasional independent along with touring Japan. Steamboat had been through a demeaning run as a literal dragon, Sid disappeared for softball after WrestleMania VIII and Davey Boy Smith was never a huge star. Before you guys point out Flair, he was pretty much the exception to the rule.

Bischoff had a new vision of WCW that of which didn’t gel with many of the folks whom took a previous shot at running the company. While the Bill Watts and Dusty Rhodes saw WCW as southern style wrestling driven with blood and guts, Bischoff saw WCW as a WWE-style company, WWE South you could call it. Bischoff knew that he needed the man who helped to build the WWE and went about doing so. There was a certain convenience of having Flair as head booker whom Hogan got along with from their WWE days. Bischoff threw in everything he could to get Hogan signed: A cut of pay-per-view revenue (Anywhere between 600k to 1.5 million a year), a nice cushy schedule and most of all control over his entire character.

Wooing Hogan would be difficult however as Hogan had some reservations about coming to WCW. I can understand why if I was in his shoes, the company had never proven itself to have stable management and it had yet to turn a profit since being bought by Turner. If Hulk does sign and his run is a disaster, he could lose his bargaining chip with Vince for a possible return when his deal was up.

Ah, Vince.

While Vince and Hogan’s relationship had been strained, this is a big and I mean big MIGHT, but there might have been a possible chance for Hogan and Vince to reconcile. Once the steroid heat died down, I could have seen Hulk and Vince having a secret meeting at a hotel and patch things up. They keep Hogan’s return on the down-low until the fall, where Hogan fills in for Bret at MSG after Survivor Series 1994. Hulk drops the leg on Backlund and the company preps the new big monster for Hulk to slay at WrestleMania, maybe a KOTR rematch with Yokozuna. What happens to Bret? Most of all, would Savage stay around?

In reality, Hulk could have stayed retired probably since he was still working the big dates for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Also, Thunder in Paradise probably didn’t cost a lot to produce so it could find life on syndication. There was also Hollywood (Don’t laugh) and cameos playing off his image in comedies.

Oh well, we’d never know as Hogan would come to a deal with WCW in the spring and WCW played it off rather well. Hulk’s first major appearance came in an on-set interview with Mean Gene in-which Hogan played coy about returning to wrestling. Heenan then barged in and demanded that Hogan give him an update on his status, citing a PWI cover that had Hogan and Flair meeting:

Hogan would sign with contract on live television at Disney-MGM Studios, with a ticket-tape parade and all. Mean Gene would sum it up: Get ready for the ride of your life. Truer words were never spoken.

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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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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Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls Kindle Review

May 20, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Before we start, I know that JJ Dillon’s autobiography has been out since 2005 and you’ve probably heard the reviews. Unfortunately, the cheapest copy I’ve found for the book is $29 on Amazon with new copies going as high as a hundred books. I scoured most used book stores for a copy, but I’ve never had any luck. This, along with Gary Hart’s book were the two books that I’ve badly wanted to read over the years but their lack of availability hindered that. Fun fact: The only used copy of Gary Hart’s book will cost you a cool $1,302. Luckily, Crowbar Press has released their entire catalog onto the Amazon Kindle program and having a Kindle myself, I finally had a chance to read it over the weekend.

I can say without a doubt that this is the best wrestling book I have read. That is no joke in my opinion considering I thought nobody could top Foley, Jericho, or Hart but Dillon managed to do it.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know about Dillon outside of the fact that he worked in Florida, Memphis, NWA/WCW with the Horsemen and in the office and finally for the WWE. I know he appeared a few times on WWE TV as an agent but I just thought that it was just some random guy. That’s the great thing about this book; I didn’t know how many different territories he worked for. I didn’t know he worked for Vince Sr. as a ref, Amarillo for the Funks, Houston, Georgia, The Maritimes, and Australia among other areas. There are so many great stories about workers like The Funks, Dusty Rhodes, Dick Murdoch, the clients he managed, Harley Race and almost every big name that was around in the territories.

Even though the meat of the story is Dillon’s run in the territories, I’d say the best part of the book is when he goes to work for Vince McMahon. You get a very clear picture of the type of guy McMahon is (Works 24/7, astute attention to detail) but Dillon talks about stuff you never hear about. Booking the arenas, coordinating travel for the talent, payoffs, merchandising and the best part is that it isn’t boring. You think this stuff could be boring, but the amount of detail he puts into the behind the scenes aspect keeps you interested. He also went over how the live events are set-up which interested me and how Vince is pretty much the great decider in the end, if something isn’t drawing well then Vince will kill it not matter what feud it is. You also get a scope of how different the company was booked back then, Dillon writes about how himself, Vince and Patterson would book everything at Vince’s house. It’s also interesting hearing about the company during the steroid saga and the fact that Jerry Jarrett was pretty much set-up to run the company if the worst happened. Vince even joked that he would have Dillon and Patterson over to help book the company from prison if the worst did happen. I’m not surprised actually. We learn about Dillon’s departure from the company and what caused it and just how messed up WCW was.

While I do love the Death of WCW book, Dillon gives an inside view of the slippery slope the company was on after 1998. Some stuff won’t surprise you (ATM Eric), but stuff like the company eating rental car fees is surprising and just how easy workers in the company got their way. Dillon was with the company from 1996 till the end of the company, so there is a lot to read. I didn’t even know that Jerry Jarrett was trying to buy the company before Vince bought it. This part and Dillon’s time as Vince’s right hand man are the must read aspects of the book. It’s also good to see that Dillon found life after wrestling as a correctional officer. In an era in-which we hear about guys struggling to make it and sometimes grim results, it’s good to know that Dillon has as-least found stability.

The most refreshing aspect is that Dillon doesn’t use the book to bear any major grudges. He does address what Mick Foley wrote about him in the first book in a diplomatic way giving his point of view on why they wouldn’t hire him. He addresses the situation with Dave Meltzer that I wrote about in my WrestleMania VII article regarding the Hogan/Slaughter angle. He doesn’t bury him or call either of them out; he just gives his side of the story. He even agreed that the angle itself was extremely tasteless, but there was really no changing Vince’s mind.

In the end, I cannot recommend Dillon’s book enough, I went in with high hopes and they were met. You don’t need a Kindle Fire to get a copy, any tablet or smart phone with access to kindle and you can get yourself of copy of the book.

“Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls”: From McMahon to McMahon

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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