RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #10 (NOVEMBER 6TH 1995) – STING VS RIC FLAIR, THE GIANT “DEFENDS” THE WCW WORLD TITLE

Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.

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So we’re coming off the heels of Halloween Havoc 1995. It’s still unclear as to the fate of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The Giant defeated Hulk Hogan via disqualification due to shenanigans from Jimmy Hart and Lex Luger. However, the title cannot change hands on a disqualification. Throwing a monkey wrench into things, The Giant is still declaring himself the champion and vowed to defend his “title” on Nitro.

With the WCW title situation up in the air, will this show give us some clear direction in the main storyline as we head towards World War 3?

 

Date: November 6th,1995

Brand: WCW

City: Jacksonville, Florida

Rating: 2

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

This was INTERACTIVE WEEK in WCW. The fans could call in and vote on who they wanted in the main-event of the show. Before we get into who they could choose, I’d like to point out that The Giant is the “champion” set to “defend the WCW title” and he ended up in the opener on the show!

So there were two locker rooms to pick from – the red locker room and the blue locker room. The red locker room had all the heels and the blue locker room had all the babyfaces. The options in their respective locker rooms were:

RED LOCKER ROOM: Ric Flair, Meng, Diamond Dallas Page, “Blue Bloods” Lord Steven Regal and Earl Robert Eaton, Big Bubba Rogers, The Shark and Scott Norton

BLUE LOCKER ROOM: Sting, Johnny B Badd, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Dave Sullivan, Alex Wright, “The Nasty Boys” Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags and  Mr JL

It was so clearly set up to be Sting vs Ric Flair in the main event, to the point where Eric Bischoff was literally telling you throughout the show to vote for these guys. How miserable must it have been for the other guys back there to be back there as the Executive Producer of the show (at least I think he was) doesn’t want you in the main event of the show? With that being said, Sting vs Ric Flair was the match I would have wanted to see back in 1995! Maybe throwing in dudes like Randy Savage for example may get messy with that particular storyline.

I also like how there was a possibility that  Mr JL vs The Shark could have main-evented this show over The Giant’s WCW title defense! Bobby Heenan wanted to see Mean Gene Okerlund vs Tony Schiavonie.

 

The Giant (c) w/Jimmy Hart vs Cobra in a match apparently for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

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I felt like such a massive idiot when I saw Cobra come down to the ring. We got constant, and I mean constant, high screech buzzing sounds. I had no idea if it was just part of his theme song or if it was technical difficulties with the sound. Little did I know until after the show that it was actually Morse Code!

In some ways, this is sort of clever but this got on my case real quick. I mean Jeff Farmer, the dude who was actually Cobra, got a different gimmick in 1996 so this does not last long. For spoilers sake, I won’t reveal what the new gimmick is in case you don’t know!

The idea that The Giant vowed to defend the WCW title on this show and the wrestler that WCW decided was a worthy challenger was COBRA is absolutely hilarious. You’ve got a literal immortal monster and you think Cobra is gonna beat him for the title? To their credit, Eric was still insisting that this was not a title match. However, the end of the show suggests that the WCW Championship Committee must have had some idea what was going with the title.

In the end, all of it didn’t matter. The Giant hit a chokeslam and pinned Cobra in 17 seconds to “retain” the title. I actually timed it. 17 seconds. Mongo actually had a great line where he says Bobby hadn’t seen anything end this quickly since his honeymoon. The one high spot of this match.

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Mean Gene was with the heels in the red locker room. Mean Gene talked about Interactive Nitro as the bad guys all looked mean. The Shark and Scott Norton were shoving at each other for screen time as the Blue Bloods were in the back drinking tea. Then they cut to the blue locker room…

This was an incredible sight. Tony Schiavonie was with the babyfaces and these babyfaces were so full of energy and so fired up for this interactive Nitro. There were technical difficulties this time around. The screen was going buzzy, the sound was going buzzy but that didn’t stop these guys. Charis were thrown, many promos were cut as Sting yelled that he wanted Flair. The Nasty Boys wanted the Blue Bloods, Hacksaw Jim Duggan is pacing back and forth in front of everyone. In the middle of all of this, Alex Wright, the most serious of the bunch, eventually breaks and is just reduced to giggling through it all! This… was gold.

I’ll tell you why this was gold. Here, there’s two sets of locker rooms with good guys and bad guys. Even if you’d not been watching the storylines of WCW on a weekly basis, anyone can switch on the channel and figure out easily who the good guys and bad guys were. In WWE 2019, you have no way of figuring out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. What you need is like a police board, pointing to different characters, to let you figure out who is on whose side. That’s too much work.

Make it easy for your audience to understand all of this. The babyfaces in the blue locker room were all excited and happy. The heels in the red locker room were all acting mean and acting like dicks to one another. Is it that hard WWE? And don’t tell me that it’s not possible to have clear babyfaces and heels in wrestling anymore because that’s just a lazy excuse to let the writers have the dudes do whatever they want. Put in the work and let the actions of everyone make sense. Put in the work.

I apologise for going off in a random tangent about this during a Nitro review but Jesus. This was 23 years ago and WCW have got it all figured out… for now.

 

Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were hanging out in Venice Beach. This was just a totally bizarre segment. They were hanging out with a bunch of geezers. They had a Jimi-Hendrix style of musician rocking the guitar while a random old guy was sandwiched between Hogan and Savage. Hogan claimed they were hanging out on the dark side as they were surrounded by people who really didn’t look like they wanted to be there!

Savage vowed to go back to Nitro and see who was friend or foe and who was in the light. This was all kinds of random.

 

The Taskmaster w/Jimmy Hart vs The Renegade

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Previously, The Renegade had Jimmy Hart as his manager. Here, the Renegade now had to go up against one of Jimmy’s new allies in the Taskmaster. This was a waste of match if we’re really being honest.

The Renegade ran down and clobbered into Taskmaster, which is the the best way I could explain it. Renegade ran wild with clotheslines and Kevin Sullivan tumbled to the mat. Jimmy distracted his former comrade which gave Taskmaster the heat. As soon as Taskmaster got the heat, Jimmy was yelling “YOU COULD HAVE BEEN THE NEXT HULK HOGAN” and hurling abuse after initially begging him of earlier on in the match.

Taskmaster slapped away at Renegade. Taskmaster went for a flip senton from the apron but Renegade got the knees up. Renegade hit a cartwheel elbow to the corner but somehow got himself caught up on the top rope. Taskmaster hit the running knee and then did the ugliest looking Coup De Grace I’ve ever seen for the pinfall.

In what turned out to be a very sad segment in hindsight, Jimmy then splashed water at Renegade and wiped away Renegade’s make-up. Jimmy yelled that Renegade was “plain old Rick” and left him beaten and broken in the ring.

If anyone is wondering whether or not this was the end of the Renegade character, it isn’t. I believe he comes back as just another guy and he loses the Ultimate Warrior gimmick because of this angle with Jimmy Hart. The tale does have a sad ending as following the release from his contract in 1998, Richard Wilson a.k.a. The Renegade takes his own life following depression about his release. In hindsight, this was an awkward angle to sit through knowing that it all goes downhill for the guy in the next few years.

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Mean Gene is shown backstage with the heels. This was also a great segment. It starts with The Shark and Scott Norton arguing again. Eventually Scott yells “WHY DON’T WE TAKE THIS OUTSIDE FISH?” and they start to fight! I laughed because upon first watching this, I have no idea what Scott Norton called him! It took me three attempts to figure out what he called him because there was a part of me that though he called him a bitch! I had to do some investigating and it did appear he called him a fish!

Then the lights went out! Technical difficulties which none of the wrestlers saw coming. THAT DID NOT STOP RIC FLAIR! He was undeterred as Ric Flair said like the lord above, he brought the lights back on and it’s up to him when the lights turn on and off! He’s in control of all of these lights! Fantastic recovery. He was just in Ric Flair crazy mode as he styled and profiled. Mean Gene actually asked the important question “who turned these lights of intentionally?” Brilliant.

Actually, now is as good of a time as ever to talk about this. This is the first review of WCW Nitro since the death of “Mean” Gene Okerlund. He died at 76 years old and within those 76 years, he gave so much to the wrestling business. As an interviewer, he was so charismatic and witty as he elevated stories and he elevated those he was speaking to by bringing out the best in them. He brought out the best in Hulk Hogan, he brought out the best in Ric Flair and he brought out the best in Randy Savage. These are not just random names either. These were the biggest names in wrestling history.

Well lemme tell ya something Mean Gene. Thank you for all that you gave to wrestling and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. We do have a lot more Mean Gene moments to appreciate in this series and let’s celebrate as he does stay with WCW until they go out of business. Here’s to you Mean Gene…

 

In what sounds like quite the show, they plugged WCW Saturday Night which featured Arn Anderson vs Kurasawa, Disco Inferno debuting his new music video and Hacksaw Jim Duggan going to Ireland! Not making this up!

 

Chris Benoit vs Eddie Guerrero

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This was every bit as good as nearly every Chris Benoit vs Eddie Guerrero match throughout time. This was also the rematch from their match on Nitro where Benoit made his in-ring debut. Benoit actually had a sweet mullet so he and his sweet mullet jumped Eddie before the bell. Eric Bischoff told us not to look away as this action was going to be hot and advised that this match was back “due to popular demand” and I want everyone to remember that….

My notes said that Benoit hit a hard spinebuster but I have no memory of this (I wrote this a week after I watched the episode so please cut me some slack)! So then the production crew, in the middle of this match that was back due to popular demand, cut to the Japanese Contingent with Jushin Thunder Liger. The fans want this match again so we’re gonna cut to somebody else during the match! Way to go….

Eddie ran wild and hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Eddie hit a dive and even hit a huge brainbuster as Bischoff was talking about Hulk Hogan. Benoit hit a big superplex and then hit another huge powerbomb on Eddie Guerrero. This was not as memorable as the infamous powerbomb from their first match but by god, it sounded super realistic and and looked realistic too.

Eddie did the victory roll that he beat Craig Pittman with last week but Benoit kicked out. Eddie went for a school boy roll up for a near fall. Benoit hit a German suplex for a near fall and hit a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall. A fair amount of drama at this point.

Benoit and Eddie then channelled their inner Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn by doing the KO/Zayn brawl spot on the apron. The fans were so into this and it really was great stuff. Benoit went for a back suplex into the ring but Eddie reversed it over the top rope into a crossbody. As Benoit’s feet was on the rope, Eddie scored a pin with the referee oblivious to Benoit’s feet being on the bottom rope.

Great stuff as well between these two and this was rather good storytelling too. Benoit won the first match and although Eddie won the second match, the referee missed the feet on the rope so it gives us a legitimate reason to wanna see a third match. Eddie did not beat Benoit outright and Benoit can come out and yell about that. This was awesome.

I will say, there was an annoying bit of commentary at the very end. Bobby is rightfully yelling about how this was a bad call by the referee and the babyfaces Eric Bischoff and Steve “Mongo” McMichael proceed to ignore it and claim we don’t have time for an instant replay! In their defense, they didn’t even have the technology to provide the footage from Halloween Havoc last week until the very end of the show. So maybe they don’t have the technology for instant replays.

 

Sting vs Ric Flair

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So the fans correctly chose Sting vs Ric Flair for the main event of the show. Funnily enough, Ric Flair was dressed with purple trunks (close to blue) and was representing the red locker room in this main event!

Sting started firing away at Flair to a huge reaction as Sting Gorilla Pressed Flair over his head. He went to work in the corner with the ten punches spot. Flair finally got a bit of offense in with a suplex on the floor. Sting went for a Stinger Splash on the outside but Flair evaded it as Sting went crashing into the barricade.

We come back and Flair apparently low-blowed Sting during the adverts. Flair locked on the Figure Four Leg Lock and I loved this spot. Flair has Sting doomed with this Figure Four Leg Lock and as Sting is writhing in pain, Flair is grabbing the ropes for leverage. So suddenly, Sting gets fired up and beats his chest as the fans started to lose their minds. Sting, with his sheer leg power, dragged Flair to the middle of the ring meaning that Flair could not grab the ropes any more. Flair was dejected as Sting finally turned over the Figure Four but Flair quickly got himself out of it. This was brilliant stuff.

Flair chopped Sting but Sting no-sold the crap out of it and ran wild, to the fans delight. Sting hit a huge hip toss and a dropkick before Flair cut him off with an eye poke. They were on the outside and Flair grabbed a chair and then he started running at Sting with a chair over his head like how Arthur from the Ghost N Goblins game series charge at people! The referee, however, stopped Flair from using the chair.

Flair and the referee shoved each other as Eric alerted us that we’d get a special announcement at the end of the show. Flair kept pinning Sting with his feet on the ropes but referee Randy Anderson was unable to see any of this. Sting launched Flair from the top rope, crashing down onto the mat. Sting punched away at Flair but the referee got in the way. Sting’s response to this was to lift the referee like a toddler and then place him into the opposite corner! This was awesome!

As this was going on, Flair whipped out the brass knucks and hit Sting while the referee was not in position. Flair even hit an elbow drop for good measure but Sting kicked out. Yeah, Flair used the brass knucks and hit a move but Sting was still able to kick out! I also remember people, including Sean Waltman, complaining on Twitter in 2017 when Roman Reigns kicked out of the brass knucks when Kevin Owens used it during Royal Rumble 2017! Here, Flair hit the brass knucks and hit a move and Sting was still able to kick out!

Sting fired back and Gorilla Pressed Flair for like the third time in this match. Every time Sting did this, the fans went nuts. They gave the fans just the right amount of the things they wanted to see as opposed to the things they didn’t want to see. Sting hit a superplex and went for the Scorpion Deathlock. Flair gave up and Sting won.

However, Sting would not accept just beating the Nature Boy. Sting refused to let go of the hold as the referees start pleading with Sting to let go. This Stinger, however, had been pushed to the brink. Flair screwed him over at Halloween Havoc and this was payback. He HATED Flair at this point so there was no letting go of this submission.

Sting was yelling his head off as guys like Mr JL, Eddie and Dave Sullivan all tried to plead with him. Eventually, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Johnny B Badd pried Sting away from Flair. Sting eventually went back for more of Flair as this time. Lex Luger went down to the ring. Now Lex Luger was a heel at this point but he was still Sting’s friend. He got in Sting’s face and said something to Sting which caused Sting to finally snap out of it as Sting and Luger left together.

This was all brilliant. This was put together so well and the actions of everyone involved made sense. Say what ever you want about WCW but at this point, this has been a brilliantly put together show since I started watching this. The characters for everybody, for the majority of the time, made absolute sense in WCW. It makes sense why Lex, despite being a heel, was coming down to plead with Sting. It makes sense why Sting hated Ric but also why he listened to Luger. WWE can make all the excuses that WCW stole all of their talent but this was clearly just a better show in general as opposed to what the WWF were featuring at the time. This angle didn’t really feature many old WWF talents. Sting, Luger and Flair all made their names in WCW and the story they told with this match was excellent.

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As Bischoff mentioned during Sting vs Ric Flair, we had a big announcement for the end of the show. The Giant, Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart were in the ring with Mean Gene. This show was also clever in the sense that The Giant was in there with what appears to be the three smallest people they could find to establish how big The Giant really is! It’s a subtle thing but it was clever!

Jimmy finally gave us an explanation as to the fate of the WCW World title. Jimmy explained that when Hogan was making his movies that wound up in the video stores, Jimmy was taking care of business. When Hogan was going around the world doing charity work with Macho Man, Jimmy was taking care of business. When Hogan wanted to step into the ring with The Giant, Jimmy did the contract for the match as he had the legal right to do so. Jimmy explained that he put in a stipulation that explained that if Hogan got disqualified during the Halloween Havoc 1995 match, he would lose the title. Jimmy attacking the referee, because he was Hogan’s manager, caused Hogan to be disqualified. Therefore, The Giant is the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

As the evil dudes cackled, a WCW attorney entered the ring. This attorney revealed that he had been talking to the WCW Championship Committee. The attorney confirmed that Jimmy was right when he said he had the legal right to make and sign the contract for Halloween Havoc. However, he whipped out an official written statement from WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel. Everybody in the ring tried to lean over the attorney’s shoulder including Mean Gene who even whipped out his glasses!

The statement read that The Giant is actually NOT the champion right now. Nick had decreed that due to the dubious nature of the disqualification at Halloween Havoc, it had been ruled that the title has been vacated and will be awarded to the winner of the World War 3 battle royal.

The Giant yelled NOOOOO! and refused to  give up the belt, but Mean Gene confirmed that Giant needed to give it up. Taskmaster said that WCW could have the belt back as The Giant would just win the battle royal at World War 3. Taskmaster said that nobody was gonna throw Giant over the top rope. This began more than two decades of Big Show telling everyone that nobody could throw him over the top rope in battle royal type matches and then him GETTING ELIMINATED in these matches! It all stemmed from this point!

Jimmy was going nuts and throwing paper as the heels weren’t happy.

Hell of a segment that finally gave clarity as to the fate of the WCW title and the overall direction for the show heading into World War 3.

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This was a heck of a show when all said and done. We got another Benoit vs Guerrero match which is always quality. We got another Sting vs Ric Flair match which is always quality. The Giant was able to look like a monster with a quick victory. We had some great angles as we now have a clear direction for the collective storylines heading towards World War 3. This show gets a thumbs up from me!

Next week, we have Randy Savage vs Meng, Johnny B Badd vs Eddie Guerrero for the WCW TV title and Sting vs Dean Malenko. Very much looking forward to those matches and I like how Eddie is rewarded for winning two matches in a row against Pittman and Benoit by getting a title shot. The winners on the show are being rewarded. This is all lovely…

We will see you with Episode #11 of Nitro.

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Top Five Moments From WWE RAW (24/08/15)

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This week’s RAW was quite the show, following up a highly-anticipated Summerslam (my review of Summerslam can be seen by clicking at this link). RAW had to follow up strong work from WWE and the two controversial endings to the two co-main events. Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar in a very confusing finish to their epic rematch from Wrestlemania 30. Jon Stewart cost John Cena the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins. But what would happen on RAW the next night? Well, yours truly will select what I believe were the top five talking points and top five moments from this week’s RAW.
1. The Dudley Boyz Return

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The tag team division took a turn for the better at Summerslam, when the New Day regained the WWE Tag Team titles in a great fatal four way tag team match involving themselves, the Prime Time Players, Los Matadores and the Lucha Dragons. The New Day were in action against the Lucha Dragons this week and beat them cleanly in the ring. But as they were celebrating, the Dudley Boyz arrived!

It was, dare I say… vintage Dudley Boyz here in Brooklyn! They took out all three members of the New Day, busting out all the moves that led to them winning 24 world tag team titles. The Dudleyz got an insane pop when their music hit. I marked out myself after seeing them come out! It looks like the Dudleyz are here to stay too as they were advertised for SmackDown! this week. This can only mean that there will be great things ahead for the tag team division.

2. Brock Lesnar KILLS Bo Dallas

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According to Wikipedia, Brock Lesnar actually did kill Bo Dallas on RAW last night!
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Paul Heyman addressed Brock Lesnar’s “loss” to the Undertaker in compelling fashion. Paul then made the challenge for the Undertaker to “bring his dead ass” out to the ring for one more fight. However, Bo Dallas would make his way to the ring. Bo told Brock to bo-lieve in himself. Brock responded by taking Bo on a trip to Suplex City. Not going to lie, I just started laughing as soon Bo got into the ring!

It’s interesting now to see where Brock Lesnar will go from here. Will he just forget about having one more match with the Undertaker or will he go after the WWE World Heavyweight Championship once again?

3. The Wyatt Family’s Newest Member

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Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper may have lost their Summerslam match, but the Eater of Worlds had a trick up his sleeve for their rematch on RAW. This trick turned out to be a big one as the HUGE Braun Stowman emerged to lay out Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. It doesn’t seem that Braun possess much in terms of wrestling ability. However, a mysterious debut like this is always interesting to me. Sometimes they go south (e.g. Mason Ryan) but sometimes they can surprise you. It’s still early days so it’ll be hard to imagine how he’ll do just yet. He’s been at WWE’s developmental centre and made his in-ring debut at the end of 2014. He’s won a number of “strongman” competitions in the past, including the Summerfest Strongman in 2011. Where have I heard that before?


4. We’re Gonna Make This An EIGHT MAN TAG TEAM MATCH Playa!

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This eight man tag team match was a great little main event for RAW. It basically featured everyone who faced each other at Summerslam facing each other again in a BIG eight man tag team match. Randy Orton, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback vs Big Show, Kevin Owens, Rusev and Sheamus. It was a pretty decent match. The kind of multi-man tag team match you’d expect on RAW. The miscommunication between the heel team caused the good guys to win. Rusev and Kevin Owens took their loss out on Big Show and beat him up. The faces then added to the beat down. We saw a quality little RKO from Randy Orton as Cesaro and Ryback lifted Big Show up to be dropped by Orton.

5. Sting Returns To RAW

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According to reports, the WWE were planning a “big angle” for RAW. Well WWE certainty didn’t disappoint with this corker. It was not a ground-shaking moment like CM Punk’s pipebomb or the Nexus invading RAW for the first time. However, it was a pretty quality moment. Seth Rollins was apparently set to have a bronze statue of himself to celebrate his win at Summerslam over John Cena. However, Sting crashed the party by attacking Rollins. Sting then hoisted up the WWE Championship, making it clear why he was back in the WWE!

It’s pretty great to see Sting be able to challenge for the WWE Championship like this. Sting should get this opportunity to have a WWE Championship match, whether it’s his only one or not. From my point of view, I’d love it if Sting were to actually win the title, even if he did hold it for a month. After all, he can still go in the ring and his TNA run proves he can work a full-time schedule if needed. Whether that’ll actually happen is up for debate. However, Sting vs Seth Rollins at Night of Champions sound like a corker to me!

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper Passes Away At 61

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In what is a huge loss for the wrestling industry tonight, Rowdy Roddy Piper has died from a cardiac arrest at the age of 61. It’s so sad to hear considering Dusty Rhodes passed away last month. Two influential wrestlers oozing with charisma having passed away and Piper’s charisma was just on a level few could ever match up to. Whether it’d be in a joking manner or a serious manner, Piper knew how to get the crowd on the edge of their seats and for that, you have to respect him.

Vince McMahon said in a WWE.com press release about it that “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved my millions of fans around the world,” and that’s pretty much bang on the money. Piper was such an inspiration to anyone wanting to get into wrestling and entertain people. He inspired others to be the bad guys of wrestling, let alone the good guys! Many superstars now say in interviews that they were inspired by Piper. Particularly heels, who were blown away by what Piper did or said in that ring. In my mind, the greatest wrestler to never hold the WWE Championship who was beloved by all. He will be sorely missed.

Rest in peace, Hot Rod.

HOW I WOULD BOOK… EDDIE GUERRERO’S ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA 22 [PART 2]

Last time in this series, we discussed what potential storylines WWE might have had in place for Eddie Guerrero before his death in November 2005. We recapped the first storyline of Eddie Guerrero’s rise to the World Heavyweight Championship and the main event of Wrestlemania 22. Now let’s do another one…

As we mentioned in the last blog, Court Bauer talked of plans to book a dream match like no other at Wrestlemania 22. With Eddie Guerrero’s heel persona taking off with style in 2005, the plans were for Eddie to go at it with another all-time great. A great who I believe could have had one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania with Latino Heat. Eddie Guerrero could have very well feuded… with Shawn Michaels.

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A program between these two would be wonderful to see for a number of reasons…

  1. These two contrasting styles could work wonders in the ring and on the mic. Shawn’s got quite a history with working with great wrestlers whose style is very different to his. The year before at Wrestlemania 21, he put on a classic with the mat-grappler and wrestling machine Kurt Angle. His classics with Undertaker over the years will live long in the memory. Eddie Guerrero’s ability could have brought something new out of Shawn which could provide mouth-watering action.
  2. This match probably would have stolen the show at THIS particular Wrestlemania. Other than the hardcore match between Edge and Mick Foley, none of the other matches on the Wrestlemania 22 card were really show-stealers and THAT memorable. I’ve always thought Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton was a good match, but it was way shorter than it really should have been. A match like this, given the appropriate time, would give the audience a match talked about for years….

So how could we bring these two stars together for a little dance at the grandest stage of them all? Well the two were already set for a collision course just before Guerrero died at Survivor Series 2005. Remember, both men were scheduled to be part of the RAW vs SmackDown! Survivor Series match. So it’s a great place to start when building up this particular match.

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In the Survivor Series match, before Eddie and Shawn are putting on a show. With two eliminations each and showing the very best from both men, there’s little surprise as it comes down to these two battling for brand supremacy. During this, the referee gets knocked down by Eddie or Shawn. Eddie goes for the Frog Splash but Shawn moves out of the way. Both men are down from exhaustion, when RAW general manager Eric Bischoff comes down to aid Shawn with a chair. However, SmackDown! general manager Teddy Long comes out to stop him. Even though the general managers already had a match earlier on in the PPV, it would be OK for them to come out again as this is the ultimate decider for which brand is superior. Both men would want it badly. While they’re scuffling and the ref’s down, JBL would come down to the ring and give Michaels the Clothesline from Hell. He would pull Eddie over Michaels but the ref is down. Rey Mysterio would get in JBL’s face going “What are you doing? Let them fight it out.”

I’m keeping to how the ORIGINAL RAW vs SmackDown! match ended with Rey and JBL being eliminated before Orton pinned Michaels with Eddie replacing Orton in this particular scenario. Rey would be pulling JBL off Eddie because he would want to see Eddie and Michaels finish without interferences or any other shenanigans. Rey is an honorable character so it’d make sense that he’d want to see a clean finish. However as Rey is telling JBL to get to the back, Eddie low-blows Shawn as the two of them get up. The ref finally gets up and Eddie takes advantage by climbing to the top, hitting the Frog Splash and pinning Michaels. This would turn Eddie heel once more, by ruining a classic encounter between these two future hall-of-famers through dirty tactics. So what happens next?

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Well not much on RAW as not much NEEDS to change with regards to Shawn Michaels. Shawn might be pissed because of Eddie’s actions, but there’s not a lot he could do about it at this point. He might as well continue on into the elimination chamber at New Year’s Revolution 2006, where he would compete for the WWE Championship. He would lose and go on to the Royal Rumble.

As for Eddie, a lot would happen on his end. Eddie would somehow earn himself a World title shot and respect among the majority of SmackDown! roster. Even though he did use dirty tactics to get the job done at Survivor Series, he still won the match for SmackDown! and would be considered a hero in the eyes of many. Other than Batista and Rey Mysterio, no-one else would probably complain about it. So Eddie gets his title shot at Batista in a Last Man Standing match. This feud between Eddie and Batista should really end in a big match like a last man standing match as Eddie has went back to his old ways and was eyeing up Batista’s World Title all along. In Batista’s eyes, this is a betrayal from Eddie as he proved at Survivor Series that he was lying the whole time about being a changed man. Batista would be mad and the match would be made for Armageddon. Batista would retain the title.

On the following episode of SmackDown!, Eddie would go on an angry tirade about the SmackDown! locker room not respecting him enough to help him out during his match with Batista. He would call them ungrateful for not showing him the respect he deserved. He won the Survivor Series match for SmackDown!, and they should be worshiping the ground he walks on. Eddie says that he is better than everyone on SmackDown!, everyone on RAW and singles out Shawn Michaels. He says that he could do anything Shawn Michaels has already done. Teddy Long would come out and tells Eddie to prove that he is better than Shawn Michaels by ACTUALLY doing something Shawn’s already done. He announces that at the Royal Rumble, Eddie Guerrero would be the number #1 entrant in the Royal Rumble match!

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Meanwhile, word of Eddie’s entry in the Rumble would reach RAW. Shawn Michaels would approach Vince McMahon (who’d be running RAW at this point since Eric Bischoff was fired) and ask him to make Shawn the second entrant. Shawn says that he never quite got over the sting of his loss to Guerrero at Survivor Series and wants to be the first of 29 men in the Rumble to teach Guerrero a lesson. Vince would agree and these two would be the only two known entry numbers going into the Rumble.

So the both of them would start the Rumble and both them would do pretty well. In fact both of them would reach the final six. The two would square off in the Rumble which would lead to Shawn Michaels eliminating Eddie with a bit of Sweet Chin Music. Eddie would respond by eliminating Shawn from the Rumble and delivering a Brainbuster onto the steel steps. I was going to try and avoid doing a repeat of the 2005 Royal Rumble where Kurt Angle eliminated Shawn, who had eliminated him beforehand. However, for Eddie this would work a lot better and here’s why…

Eddie was already angry after NOT capturing the World Title at Armageddon. Plan A didn’t work so he had to go with Plan B… winning the Rumble and earning a World Title shot that way. However, Plan B would fail. To rub salt in the wounds, the man that eliminated him would be the man he singled out in his angry promo after Armageddon. This would tip Eddie even FURTHER over the edge.

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Eddie would go to Teddy Long and demand one last title shot at No Way Out, claiming that he put on the best performance out of everyone in the Royal Rumble. Teddy would point out to Eddie that he never put on the best performance at the Rumble as Shawn Michaels lasted longer than Latino Heat and eliminated him. Eddie would snap again, grabbing Teddy by the throat. Teddy is pressured into putting Eddie into a 20 man battle royal to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at Armageddon. Eddie would win, giving him one last opportunity.

Meanwhile on RAW, Shawn Michaels would demand a match with Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania 22. Vince would refuse saying that in the state of mind Eddie’s in, he could very well kill Shawn Michaels in the ring. Shawn would try what Eddie did to Teddy, grab Vince by the throat and get his way in that manner. Vince tells Shawn that this wouldn’t work as Shawn didn’t have the stomach to go through with any of his threats. Shawn pushes Vince off before Superkicking him in the ring.

Vince would respond by booking Shawn in a FIVE ON ONE handicap match with the Spirit Squad on the RAW before No Way Out. Shawn would actually do very well against the Spirit Squad and would be closing in on a win, until a shot of Eddie’s low-rider appears backstage. This would distract Shawn and the Spirit Squad would take advantage to get the win. Shawn would angrily cut a promo backstage, telling everybody that he was going to be at No Way Out.

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So Eddie has his World Title match. If you want to take Batista’s injury into account, the World Heavyweight Champion would probably be Kurt Angle or Randy Orton as those two were the top contenders when Batista got injured in real-life. I’m gonna go with Kurt because I really liked the chemistry between Eddie and Kurt. The ref would get knocked down and Eddie would grab the chair. Before he can do any damage, Shawn Michaels comes out to Super Kick the chair into Eddie’s face falling into an Angle Slam by Kurt resulting in Kurt retaining the championship.

Eddie would be irate and would should up on RAW, demanding that Vince book Eddie vs Michaels at Wrestlemania. After Vince initially refuses, Eddie takes matters into his own hands and goes after Shane McMahon. He threatens to break Shane’s leg if Vince doesn’t give him the match. Shawn would also come out to “pour fire on the gasoline” and wind up Vince to the point that he books HIMSELF in a No Holds Barred match with Shawn at Saturday Night’s Main Event. If Shawn beats him, he gets Eddie at Wrestlemania. So you still get your Vince vs Shawn No Holds Barred match that we got in real-life, just at a different event. Shawn would win and the match would be set for Wrestlemania.

At Wrestlemania 22, Shawn would go over in what would be a classic between Shawn and Eddie. I wanted to give Shawn this victory since he had lost to Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 21 and he would really need a big win like that at Wrestlemania 22. Eddie could still come out strong after this feud ends, but I think Eddie would need to be drafted to RAW after Wrestlemania to give Eddie a lot more to do on a different show….

…. and of course to get a win back in the rematch!

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I’ll admit. Some aspects of this storyline had already been done before recently, like Eddie throwing out Shawn at the Rumble like Kurt had the year before. However, what this does is take advantage on the incredibly white-hot heel Eddie Guerrero and makes him a huge part of the storyline which saw him go toe-to-toe with Mr Wrestlemania. Just a shame that we never got to see this happen.

What do you guys think of this storyline? Leave comments below or tweet me at @TomRobinson5199 with how you would book Eddie Guerrero had he not died in November 2005…

Wrestling Flashback – Hard Times For The American Dream (RIP Dusty Rhodes)

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In honor of one of the true all-time wrestling legends. The American Dream Dusty Rhodes telling us about hard times in this incredible promo.

R.I.P. Dusty Rhodes

The Ultimate Warrior Dies – #RIPWarrior

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Ladies and gentlemen, the wrestling world is in utter-shock with the news of the death of the newest member of the WWE Hall Of Fame 2014. One of the most well-known wrestlers of all time and a mega star that will remain in the hearts of all his warriors…. The Ultimate Warrior!

The Warrior took the WWF by storm upon his debut, electrifying audiences with his incredible energy and power that had the fans on the edge of his seats. Seriously if you went back and watched promos from him in his prime, the Warrior connected with the fans so well and were able to pump them up big time just by words. Check this one out for example…

The thing is… Warrior could create a buzz so easily that makes the fans get into the product. Like Hulk Hogan, he was the kind of wrestler that could build electricity in a flash. A wrestler that pumps up a crowd is more important than any other attribute in my opinion. You could be the greatest technical wrestler or the greatest risk taker or what not. But getting the crowd excited and rallied up is more important than anything.

I remember when I first got into wrestling like 2003 or something. After a couple of months of watching it, I watched the match between him and Randy Savage. That match had such an incredible feeling to it. Especially when Warrior kicked out of all the elbow drops by Randy. I loved watching that. I actually think this match wasn’t on the WWE 2K14 Wrestlemania mode which actually sucks because that match had a lot of moments that we’ll never forget. Not to mention the scene with Savage and Miss Elizabeth in the end.

Warrior being inducted into the Hall Of Fame this year is now even more special and so huge. It’s incredible and warming to know that he was inducted while he was still alive. The Warrior was able to have his last 3 nights in the WWE if you will, with Hall Of Fame, Wrestlemania and RAW. And you could tell he loved being back. He couldn’t wait to put that mask on one last time on RAW. After all the things that have happened to him, he was able to have one last time in the sun before his death. And that’s special for the Warrior. He’ll live on in the hearts of all of his warriors!

RIP The Ultimate Warrior!

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Chris Benoit: The Double Murder-Suicide That Rocked Professional Wrestling

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SEVEN years ago, wrestler Chris Benoit’s double-murder and suicide rocked the sporting world.

The bodies of Benoit and his wife and son, were discovered by police in the afternoon of June 25th 2007.

Police claimed that former World Champion Benoit had strangled his wife Nancy suffocated his young son Daniel before taking his own life – days before he was due to compete in a WWE pay-per-view championship match.

The incident caused the WWE to immediately distance themselves from all association with Benoit, removing any merchandise connected to him – only recently airing footage of Chris on their newly released WWE Network service, for the first time since the double-murder and suicide.

Thomas Robinson takes a look at the life of the wrestler, both in and out of the ring.”