RETRO EXPRESS: WCW WORLD WAR III 1995 (NOVEMBER 26TH 1995)

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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Are you all ready for the biggest battle royal in the history of professional wrestling? 60 men will battle for the vacated World Heavyweight Championship. The title was held up after the controversial finish from Halloween Havoc‘s main-event title match between The Giant and Hulk Hogan. While The Giant won via disqualification, and Jimmy Hart had secretly signed a “title-can-change-on-DQs” stipulation, the big man was ruled to not be the WCW World Champion. WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel determined that the vacated title will be awarded to the winner of their World War III 60 man battle royal.

This is a battle royal that included giants such as The Giant and The Yeti, Immortals like Hulk Hogan, all the members of the Dungeon of Doom including the recent turncoat Lex Luger, all the Four Horsemen including Ric Flair, other stars like Sting, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Kensuke Sasaki, Eddie Guerrero and many, MANY more….

 

Date: November 26th, 1995

Brand: WCW

City: Norfolk, Virginia

Attendance: 12,000 (WCW said it was sold out)

Commentators: Tony Schiavonie and Bobby Heenan

(NOTE: Eric Bischoff, Dusty Rhodes, Chris Cruise and Larry Zybsko were also commentators for the battle royal. Mike Tenay was a commentator for the women’s tag team match)

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I had to watch this opening promo twice because I was clearly not paying enough attention to it the first time around. Hulk Hogan promos are always entertaining but he has a habit, especially during this period, of just being batshit crazy. There’s no other way to describe it and I apologise for the language but it’s true. We’ve had promos of Hogan wearing black gloves and comparing himself to OJ Simpson, he talked about being on the dark side, he cut a promo with a big sword two weeks ago. At this point, I was kinda numb to it as I just enjoyed them despite how crazy and exciting they were. There’s real no point analysing every little detail.

Here, it took me two attempts and several trips to the internet to figure out what he was on about. If Hulk Hogan would have cut this promo in 2019, where WWE have a weird obsession with making insider references to “dirtsheets” and the internet and all that crap, it probably would have worked out better. In 1995, this was just the most random promo I’ve ever heard.

I’ll break it down. He comes out with Sting and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. He says that out of everything bad, there’s always something good. The Hulkamaniacs have stuck by him even when he was on the dark side. He said he knows who his friends are and that the dark side of Hulk Hogan will be no more. He ripped off the black gear as he vowed to burn the Dungeon of Doom. He actually set the gear on fire in this bin. He vowed he’s gonna stand by Sting’s side and that he would never question Sting again. He flat out said “I WANNA BE YOUR FRIEND FOREVER STING.” Let’s all remember that for the main-event.

Savage apologised and called Sting the coolest dude in the world as he was questioning Sting too during these run-ins with the Dungeon of Doom. Then Hogan went on an incredibly insane tirade. He was mad that people were saying that Randy Savage actually had a legitimate arm injury. Hogan laughed and suggested that it was part of the plan and there was nothing wrong with Savage.

On the second attempt of watching promo, I had to transcribe the next part of this promo. He grabs a piece of paper and says the following:

“OBSERVE THIS. This is what we call a rag sheet. They said The Giant would win the battle royal. They said Randy Savage was injured. This is like a dinosaur compared to the the internet and that the internet has all the scoops. We’re gonna steal the world title.”

Now… this was aimed at the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Apparently, they “revealed” that The Giant was gonna win the battle royal and win the title and mentioned something about Savage’s injury. Hogan was a man here with creative control and a platform to complete bitch about Dave Meltzer and “rag sheets” and he laughed off this newsletter and literally burned it. He laughed at the idea that Savage was actually hurt (and he was actually hurt which you could tell by the matches we’ve watched him in as of late).

All I could think on the second attempt of watching this is what were the fans thinking during this promo? All I could think is they’re like “what is Hogan on about?” In 2019, this promo might have worked better since the majority of wrestling fans are hardcore fans nowadays. Here, there was a lot of fans who didn’t read Wrestling Observer Newsletter that had no idea what Hogan was on about. Surreal.

 

They recapped a DDP promo with Diamond Doll and Mean Gene. I think this may have been from WCW Saturday Night. DDP tells Diamond Doll to shut up and Diamond Doll says no and stands up for herself. Mean Gene gets all flustered and declares to the world that they’re in the middle of an argument! Lovely insight from WCW journalist Mean Gene Okerlund

Diamond Doll said that she will put herself on the line for this TV title match at World War III as DDP doesn’t appreciate everything she does for him. She said he wouldn’t know a 10 if it was staring him in the face.

 

Johnny B Badd (c) vs DDP w/Kimberly the Diamond Doll for the WCW Television Championship

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If there’s not much to the review of this match, it’s only because we saw this exact same match at Halloween Havoc. This was slightly better if anything. They wrestled for a bit. Heenan drove home that DDP was worth $13 million and that’s why Diamond Doll should stay with him! Badd tried a 619 but DDP evaded and Badd responded by doing a big dive to the outside.

Badd tried to get to DDP but DDP used Diamond Doll as a human shield. He then threw Diamond Doll at Badd to get a sucker punch in on Badd. There was a weird spot that saw Badd go for a hurricanrana but DDP countered into a tombstone slam. Yeah, not a tombstone piledriver. He got Badd into a tombstone position and then just slammed him down.

Badd’s method of getting back into things was just collapsing out of the corner as DDP drove himself into the ring post. We saw an awesome spot when DDP went for a full on kick to the gut but he missed and slipped as if he actually slipped on a banana peel! DDP was a tremendous seller.

Tony explained that these two men had a disadvantage going into the battle royal later but Heenan explained that at least they’re on first. Heenan actually kinda contradicted this point later but we’ll get to that.

Diamond Doll gave Badd the 10+ sign just as she did at Halloween Havoc. Badd hit a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall that the fans went nuts for. DDP tried a pin with his feet on the rope but Badd kicked out. Badd went for the “Badd Mood” springboard splash but DDP got the knees up. I think they screwed up a gut-wrench spot as DDP just dropped him with a gutbuster. This was kinda confirmed by the fact that they went for the spot again.

Badd reversed a tombstone piledriver for one of his own for a near fall. Badd hit a dive to the outside which Tony also called the “Badd Mood” and he got the pin to retain the title.

I actually loved Kimberly’s facial expressions. She’s on the outside as Badd hits this Badd Mood. She actually shows concern for her man DDP and when Badd gets the pin, she actually looks stunned. She’s not like super happy about it… she’s just stunned. It wasn’t until she actually got into the ring where she showed joy about Badd’s win as it took a long time for it to sink in. She was getting sick of DDP, which is why she put herself on the line in the match and thinking that it may motivate DDP, but he lost and it completely took her off guard. After all, Badd won the match at Halloween Havoc because of Max Muscle. Here, despite being happy to be with Badd she still showed concern for the ex. This was great story-telling.

Match Rating: **3/4

 

Mean Gene plugged the WCW hotline about the WWF steroid scandal. They actually name-dropped WWF this time which is an important and we’ll also come back to it later. Mean Gene interviewed Badd and Diamond Doll. Badd said he was gonna show DDP what respect is all about. Mean Gene was about to ask the question about how Diamond Doll felt about this but before she could give an answer, Badd offered her the chance to be his manager and wanted her to take some time to think about it. Diamond Doll appreciated the offer for her to think about it but respects the fact that the better man won tonight. Badd was excited for the battle royal.

This really hits home how good the story-telling was in this program. Badd’s not really shown to be a bad guy… pardon the pun. He allows Diamond Doll time to think about the offer and he’s not treating her like property. He’s treating her as a person and is giving her a choice of what to do. Even though she put herself up on the line, she’s got to be 100% cool with it for Badd to be cool with it. Diamond Doll is gonna think it over and I think in a week’s time, we’ll find out if she’s truly cool with this. This was awesome.

 

Big Bubba Rogers vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan in a “taped fist match”

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God, this was a bad match. I think if this would have been miles better if it wasn’t as long as this was. It was ten minutes long and in no circumstances should Big Bubba Rogers and Hacksaw Jim Duggan wrestle for ten minutes.

Duggan jumped Big Bubba from behind to get things going. Hacksaw tried to hit Big Bubba with the 2×4 but Big Bubba begged him off.

Hacksaw tried to clothesline him down with two attempts but he eventually sent him crashing to the outside with a third clothesline and then got a USA chant going.

I kinda feel bad for Tony and Bobby as their announce table was positioned right in the corner of two of the rings set up. It seemed unsafe as hell as Big Bubba nearly crashed right into it during the match.

Hacksaw and Big Bubba started scrapping in another ring. Hacksaw went for something off the apron but Big Bubba moved and Hacksaw crashed and burned. It didn’t occur to me until this match just how great a gig Hacksaw had in wrestling. This USA chant is so timeless that all he needs to do is yell USA and the whole crowd bursts out into USA chants and it gets them into the match and cheering for Duggan because he’s such a patriot in their eyes. He is even wrestling a fellow American from Georgia!

They tumbled into each other in another ring. Big Bubba whipped out possibly the only enziguri I’ve ever seen him do. Big Bubba whipped out tape and Tony asks “I don’t know what this is gonna do.” Isn’t the whole match a “taped fist match” for a reason? Isn’t the whole storyline that they’re constantly knocking each other out with these taped fists?

Hacksaw sent Big Bubba to the outside with an ugly looking tackle. Tony initially asked a legitimate question. They’re wrestling in all of these other rings. Why isn’t the referee technically counting him out if they’re supposed to be in one ring? In a standard singles match, this would be a good point. About a minute later though, Tony explained that this match can only be won via pinfall or knock out. Well then WHY WOULD THE REFEREE COUNT THESE GUYS OUT?

This really grinds my gears about the commentators. These commentators should be the smartest people in the WCW world. THEY should be the ones with all the scoops. Not the internet as Hogan alluded to earlier. This Tony Schiavonie doesn’t even know the rules of the match!

This also explains why Big Bubba taped Hacksaw’s arm to the rope and punches away at him and it’s not a disqualification. To be perfectly honest, they never even explained what the rules were until Tony mentioned the match can only be won via pinfall and knock out.

Hacksaw dumped Big Bubba to the outside and Big Bubba’s lower back SMACKED into the apron. It was one of the worst apron bumps I’ve ever seen and it wasn’t even intentional. Big Bubba was clearly not moving right afterwards. It looked so nasty that the fans all yelled oooowwww. Nasty.

Of course, then Hacksaw proceeds to slam away at Big Bubba’s back onto the mat.

Hacksaw hit a big clothesline as VK Wallstreet ran down with a taped fist of his own. Hacksaw hit Wallstreet with a 2×4 for a big pop. Big Bubba hits Hacksaw with a chain and knocked him out. By the way, this referee seemed so bored by this match just purely based on the delivery of his ten count. He looked like this was just a waste of his time. One arm up and looked half asleep. No that I blame him. This was a pointless match that went too long as they just brawled everywhere to no heat except when Hacksaw chanted USA. This was a bad match.

Match Rating: 1/2* and that is actually being generous. This match barely evaded a minus rating!

 

They plugged WCW stars being on CompuServe chatting with folks on the internet.

They cut to Mean Gene with Ric Flair. Flair was on form as usual. Flair says the whole wrestling world knows the Nature Boy is gonna style and profile. For what happened on Nitro a few weeks ago, the great one is back one more time to get Sting. Flair calls himself the best thing going today. Flair says it’s been his master plan as he’s got all the babyfaces in the same building and said that Flair would rule WCW one more time. Typical Flair promo.

 

Cutie Suzuki and Mayumi Ozaki representing JWP vs Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto w/Sonny Onoo repreesnting AJPW

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Before I watched this show, I took a quick peep at the card for the show since they never advertised anything on Nitro. I saw Bull Nakano’s name as part of a women’s tag team match and I got giddy. Oh, I have no idea how good I was gonna get it.

Mike Tenay joined Tony and Bobby on commentary supposedly as the Japanese expert in WCW. This was great from the get-go as Bull and Akira whooped ass from the start of the match. Bull threw Ozaki around like a ragdoll. Akira had a hold of her arm and Bull started biting the other arm as Ozaki had nowhere to go as her hands were tied with these heel wrestlers!

They did a lovely spot where Bull choked and hoisted Ozaki up and Akira caught Ozaki from the elevated position for like a modified Hart Attack.

Ozaki fired back but Bull dropped her with a big right hand sending her crashing to the ground. Ozaki finally was able to get free by hitting a big DDT. Cutie got the hot tag and what followed was an awesome spot. I can’t remember who got the lock in on who but Cutie locked on a Single Leg Boston Crab. Ozaki locked on a Single Leg Boston Crab herself as they had both had stereo Single Leg Boston Crabs locked on to the heels as the fans ate this up. They were going nuts for this spot and it was truly well executed spot.

Bull eventually got mad and turned things around. There was miscommunication as Suzuki crashed into Ozaki and sent her onto the floor. Bull tried a moonsault but missed. Then Ozaki and Cutie went absolutely crazy as they unleashed top rope foot stomps on the big bad Bull. One after another after another as the fans were going crazy. They went for the cover but Bull STILL kicked out at two. This was great.

So much was going on as it was insanely difficult for me to take notes! They tried a double suplex on Bull but the clearly much bigger Bull reversed it into her own double suplex! Akira went for a dive but missed. The heels went for double powerbombs but they were countered into roll-ups for near falls. This was tremendous.

Ozaki and Suzuki both went off the top for top rope crossbodies. Ozaki hit a beautiful dragon suplex for a near fall. Akira then decided enough with these babyfaces and proceeded to commit attempted murder. She almost DESTROYED Ozaki with a German Suplex. One of the most dangerous looking German suplexes I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I saw Brock Lesnar hurl everybody in WWE with German suplexes across the ring. One of my memories was Brock killing Big E with a suplex at Beast of the East. This looked so much more brutal than any suplex I’ve ever seen.

Akira hit a double front dropkick from the top and did a flip to the outside on babyfaces. Bull and Akira did a Doomsday Device for a near fall. Bull did a big leg drop from the top for the pin in an awesome, AWESOME match.

I just saw two great women’s matches at the 2019 Royal Rumble. Ronda Rousey faced Sasha Banks and Asuka faced Becky Lynch. I was debating all week in my head about which one of these matches were best. This tag team match from 1995 was miles ahead of both of them. I’m not sure I’m gonna go as far as to say these women were better wrestlers than the likes of Asuka and Becky etc. (especially not Asuka) but there was just a sense of excitement in this one that was missing in those two matches. This was not a routine WWE match. This was not even a routine WCW 1995 match. This was these four women doing whatever the hell they wanted to do and it got over with this crowd that’d never seen these girls before. This was amazing.

Match Rating: **** (Exactly like Dave Meltzer from Wrestling Observer at the time and I have no problem agreeing with that rating. Everybody go watch this match on the WWE Network!)

 

OK, Mean Gene plugs the hotline AGAIN. He said there was more comings and goings from another promotion, they can’t talk about here but if you call the hotline you can find out… YOU GUYS named-dropped the WWF specifically earlier and the steroid scandal.

He brought Jimmy Hart and Lex Luger and Mean Gene flat out called Jimmy a little twerp. That made me laugh. Jimmy said you might just be seeing the next WCW World champion in Lex Luger. Luger said that they’re looking at the flagship and the future of WCW wrestling. He was gonna smash Savage into the pieces and he was gonna stand there as the WCW Champion.

 

Kensuke Sasaki (c) w/Sonny Onoo vs Chris Benoit representing the Four Horsemen for the WCW United States Championship

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You remember a couple of weeks ago when Benoit beat Sasaki in a 2 minute 40 second match on Nitro? This was like a couple of weeks ago and they’re here at World War 3 with Kensuke Sasaki as the United States Champion defending the title against Chris Benoit! What a twist of fate!

Since I don’t think I touched on this during my review of their first match, allow me to explain what happened. On the same week as the Benoit match, they did a big WCW and Japan supershow. This is not on the WWE Network before you ask. On that show, Sasaki challenged Sting for the US title and beat him to win the title. It’s hard to believe with the finish of the Benoit match on Nitro but yeah, Sasaki was the new US champion of WCW.

Sonny Onoo had a great line where he looked straight at the camera and said “this Chris Benoit thinks he’s an American wannabe” and proceeded to laugh like Waluigi! It really went like “wahahahahaha!” We need more heel managers like this in 2019!

There was some great technical wrestling going on in this one and all you could do was just sit back and watch. There was some small details about this which I liked. Benoit was dominating the technical game so Sasaki’s response was to bring brute force into things with a couple of scoop slams and knocking the wind out of the faster Benoit.

Benoit hit a big dive which almost saw Benoit crashed head first into the barricade. This was a very scary spot and even scarier with the “benefit” of hindsight (which really isn’t a benefit all things considered).

Onoo got on commentary for a little bit and mentioned some deal about Starrcade. Apparently, the story was that he got kicked out of WCW but supposedly he’s got a deal set up for Starrcade.

Sasaki hit a big powerslam during all of this. Benoit hit two German suplexes but he went for the third and Sasaki got out of it and just flat out hit a big clothesline. Sasaki tried a tombstone piledriver but Benoit reversed it into one of his own, which would have been a more special spot if I hadn’t seen it in the opening match with DDP and Badd. Those two did the exact same spot.

Benoit hit a diving headbutt. I don’t want to talk about this for too long but I couldn’t help but notice this. Benoit hits the diving headbutt here and then just goes towards the next spot in these 1995 matches. If you watch an older Chris Benoit in action, he’d hit the headbutt and then he’d be down clutching his head for a while before doing whatever spot was next. It’s not nice to think about but I could not help but think about this. How much can change in the span of a decade.

Benoit did a Frankensteiner for a near fall. Sasaki tried an armbar variation but Benoit got the rope. Sasaki then finished things off with a big clothesline and a Northern Lights bomb to retain the title.

Not as exciting as the women’s match but a very well-done technically proficient match.

Match Rating: ***1/2

 

I almost just left the room for the next segment. For what feels like the millionth time in my life, MEAN GENE OKERLUND DOES A PROMO WITH THE TASKMASTER, JIMMY HART AND THE GIANT!

HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SEE THIS? At least with Ric Flair, you know it’s going to be entertaining every time you see it as you have no idea what he’s gonna say. Here, the Dungeon of Doom are just rambling and babbling about the same old stuff. No substance to any of this other than The Giant’s excellent facial expressions.

Taskmaster blabbed about taking no prisoners and called The Giant the uncrowned champion. The Giant had his eyes laser-focused on the hard cam for the majority of this. Then the fans burst out into Hogan chants and the Giant roared and it got Jimmy Hart fired up with his promo. Taskmaster refused to believe that the Dungeon of Doom would implode as the Dungeon of Doom would win. The Giant vowed to throw Hogan over the top rope. He graced us with a poem: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m gonna kick you’re butt to Calamazo.” This was definitely one of the more livelier promos from the Dungeon of Doom.

 

They plugged Starrcade, which was set to air on a Wednesday.

Mean Gene was with Savage again. Savage said what it is is what it is. Mean Gene asked if Savage was jittery to which Savage responded by saying that he’s always jittery. Savage said he was the total package and he was gonna get Lex. Savage insisted that he was a million percent which he clarified was better that hundred percent! He is mathematically correct! He said he and Luger had a date with destiny.

 

Randy Savage vs Lex Luger w/Jimmy Hart

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This was the 3rd match in the series between these two. Luger won the first match and Savage won the second match at Halloween Havoc so this was the rubber match. Bobby talked about losing his voice for Nitro but insisted that he’d be there as he needed this job as he’s supporting an orphanage in Guam!

These cameramen had no problem with constant shots of the Hooters girls in the front row.

I know the line between reality and fiction is very fishy with WCW. At Halloween Havoc, Savage was in kayfabe 100% against Lex Luger but worked very slow as he was working with a legitimate injury. Here, in storyline, the announcers played up that Savage’s arm was actually injured but Savage was working the match as if he was a million percent as he claimed earlier! Apparently, he still had the injury according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter so who actually knows how he was feeling.

He didn’t really add much to this match and it wasn’t like they did anything that they hadn’t done before. They did some stuff. Savage hit a scoop slam and hit an elbow drop but Jimmy Hart distracted the referee. Savage tried to throw Luger at Jimmy but Jimmy moved out of the way as Luger went crashing onto the floor.

It was here where we learned Sting and Luger were gonna team up on Nitro. Lex Luger locked on the Torture Rack on the outside as the referee was counting them down. As a true manager, Jimmy got on the megaphone and yelled at Luger what number the referee was at with his count!

Luger locked on an arm lock as Savage passed out in an odd finish. Luger refused to let go off the arm when Sting ran down. He got in Luger’s face just as Luger did for Sting when Sting locked on the Scorpion Deathlock on Flair on Nitro. Luger relented and Sting went to care for Savage. So even after they did the opening promo where Hogan and Savage had faith in Sting, they’re still playing up the nature of this friendship between Luger and Sting and that Sting is not totally on the babyfaces’ side.

Match Rating: *

 

They recapped the Sting/Ric Flair feud. Sting vowed that if he ever got Flair in the Scorpion Deathlock again, he would never let go.

 

Sting vs Ric Flair

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Tony plugged that Hogan would face Hugh Morrus on Nitro.

We had an awesome spot in this match where Flair was punched by Sting. The Nature Boy rolled out, rolled into another ring and started to style and profile in another ring! Flair even got a good thrust in towards one of the male fans who were outraged as the women cheered!

The fans were very hot for this match. Flair was dropkicked and rolled all the way into the third ring! Sister Sherri and Col Robert Parker randomly came out to watch the match and smooch. It’s every Sting vs Ric Flair match you’ve ever seen except Flair was able to flop and roll into three different rings during the match!

Flair got in the ring and tried a test of strength. Sting literally had hold of one arm and Flair yelled ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGH!

Sting tried a Stinger Splash but crashed into the barricade. In a spot I’ve seen at least twice in the series so far, Flair went for a chair but the referee Nick Patrick interjected himself and grabbed the chair. Sting grabbed Flair by the throat but as Nick was trying to yell at Sting, Flair got a cheeky low blow for the heat!

Flair worked on the leg of Sting and then went for the Figure Four Leg Lock. Flair was so desperate that he actually clawed and punched away at Sting’s leg! Flair then made the mistake of slapping Sting. Sting roared as Flair went bug-eyed and screamed as Sting turned it over!

Sting did a backslide for a near fall. Flair pushed Nick Patrick but the referee was having none of it and pushed Flair to the ground as the fans went crazy for it. Flair ran into another ring which the commentators clarified was ring #1. Sting did a comeback but Flair cut him off with an eye poke. Sting threw Flair from the top rope. Again, every Sting vs Ric Flair match you ever saw and all of the same spots will never get old!

Sting hit a big superplex and locked on the Scorpion Deathlock as Flair gave up. It’s actually funny. Sting let go shortly after he got the win despite claiming he wouldn’t let go. I watched this and thought this was a point blank plot-hole. However, I though about it when I reviewed the Lex Luger vs Randy Savage match. Sting ordered Luger to let tgo and not make the same mistake he did. So maybe, with that in mind, he decided to learn from his mistakes and not stoop to Flair’s level by trying to end his career. That at least makes sense to me.

Match Rating: ***1/4

 

Bobby actually predicted that none of the men that already wrestled at World War III would win. I said earlier that this was kinda a contradiction, since earlier he said Badd and DDP wouldn’t be at a disadvantage as they were wrestling first. Now he’s changing his tune and saying that they’re not gonna win. I dunno. It seemed like a weird lIne.

They revealed the three giants of the battle ring in each ring to be The Yeti, The Giant and HULK HOGAN. THAT GIANT… Hulk Hogan.

Speaking of Hogan, he was brought out for another interview with Mean Gene. Hogan said he smelt the stench of the smelly Giant. Hogan vowed to rip and tear his way all the way to the WCW title as he ripped his shirt off. Hogan said it’s every man for himself which actually turned out to be very accurate in the battle royal. Hogan said he had a chance to prove Hulkamania was the greatest force on earth. Hogan flexed as Mean Gene was so taken back by these physique to the soundtrack of the fans booing in the background!

I couldn’t help but notice, when they showed the WCW title, that Hogan’s name was still on the name plate. My question is how has it taken so long for that nameplate to be taken off the belt? I actually thought it was a spoiler about who would win the battle royal!

They showed the two other announce teams for this battle royal. Ring #1 was the announce team of Tony and Bobby. Ring #2 was the announce team of Eric Bischoff and Dusty Rhodes. Ring #3 was Chris Cruise and Larry Zybsko. God bless all of these commentators, but they had no hope in hell of successfully calling this battle royal!

 

The WCW World War III Battle Royal for the vacated WCW World Heavyweight Championship

Alex Wright vs. Arn Anderson vs. Big Bubba Rogers vs. Big Train Bart vs. Bobby Walker vs. Booker T vs. Brian Knobbs vs. Brian Pillman vs. Bunkhouse Buck vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Kanyon vs. Cobra vs. Dave Sullivan vs. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Dick Slater vs. Disco Inferno vs. Earl Robert Eaton vs. Eddie Guerrero vs. Fidel Sierra vs. Hugh Morrus vs. Hulk Hogan vs. Jerry Sags vs. Jim Duggan vs. Joey Maggs vs. Johnny B. Badd vs. Kensuke Sasaki vs. Kurasawa vs. Lex Luger vs. Lord Steven Regal vs. Lt. James Earl Wright vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Mark Starr vs. Maxx Muscle vs. Meng vs. Mike Winner vs. Mr. JL vs. Paul Orndorff vs. Pez Whatley vs. Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Santana vs. Road Warrior Hawk vs. Scott Armstrong vs. Scott Norton vs. Scotty Riggs vs. Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker vs. Sgt. Craig Pittman vs. Shark vs. Squire David Taylor vs. Steve Armstrong vs. Stevie Ray vs. Sting vs. Super Assassin #1 vs. Super Assassin #2 vs. The Giant vs. The One Man Gang vs. The Taskmaster vs. The Yeti vs. VK Wallstreet vs. Zodiac

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Now I’m sure you’re all wondering why I listed all 60 men in this battle royal! Because WCW actually went through the effort of introducing all 60 men separately into this battle royal! They all came out at completely random times (except Hogan coming out last) and they call came down in a single file row. Nobody was out of position. They call trecked down to the ring. Harlem Heat came out separately. THE SUMO ASSASSINS came out and were introduced separately as Sumo Assassin #1 and Sumo Assassin #2. The Barrio Brothers.

Scott Armstrong, future WWE referee, looked like the biggest geek in the world as he came out with a mullet and pointed to the camera! Some guys, when I wrote down their names, I just wrote THAT GUY and THAT OTHER GUY! It wasn’t until I looked it up where I could clarify their names. I could not catch the name but I wrote like three different versions of Big Train Bart’s name! Cobra, with the most “charisma” I’ve ever seen with the most serious face imaginable looked at the camera and went… woo. No umph to it. Just… woo.

Let’s talk about The Yeti. The last time we saw this… thing, he came out as a mummy and dry-humped Hulk Hogan with The Giant. He came back here and he was dressed as a giant version of Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. I have no idea as the man built as a Yeti transformed into a Mummy and then transformed into a ninja! I’d love to know what Eric Bischoff, Executive President I believe of WCW, was thinking when he thought of the Yeti’s very gimmick!

I wrote on my notes that this was going to be the worst review of my life! So here goes nothing!

Michael Buffer finished the introductions and after all the fireworks in the world… all 60 men in the three rings started to fight!

There were three rings with 20 men in each ring. Once one of the rings were down to ten men, they’d go into another ring (I think ring #1 was the one they had to go into). So when it was down to 30 people, the camera focused on the one ring they were all in. By the way it took like 10-20 minutes in for them to get to 30 people in the ring!

I literally wrote on my notes: “You cannot keep up with any of this shit as there’s 3 screens.”

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Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair start to fight from the start of the match and the announcers are unable to call it. The fans are going crazy but because 60 people are all brawling at the same time, the announcers cannot see this thing.

Everybody was fighting. It’s hard to call what happened. My notes are mostly just these two men fought on the outside, Disco Inferno was on the outside, Lex Luger was on the outside, this guy tried an elimination, this guy tried elimination etc. Reviewing a battle royal is weird. I had no idea how to grade it when it was over.

A notable thing to note was that The Yeti was eliminated almost immediately. All the fanfare on Nitro before Halloween Havoc and on Halloween Havoc itself to hype up The Yeti and this ninja was thrown out early on in the match. One of the three giants was already eliminated!

Big Bubba Rogers was the Dolph Ziggler of this battle royal. Ziggler has this thing in battle royals where, I think as a means to show how athletic he is at staying in, he’s thrown out all the time but is able to hang on. Big Bubba did the exact same thing. The Shark and Hogan both tried to eliminate this guy but he stayed in by like hanging on the ropes or something. It was astonishing to see BIG BUBBA ROGERS of all people do this!

These announcers missed eliminations left and right and you really couldn’t blame them. I didn’t realise until like a third into the match that the referees were also in the ring during all of this! WHY EVEN BOTHER? One skinny referee is in there with all of these big bodybuilders, with 20 men in each ring, just squished. Why bother if there’s two much action for them to call?

5 minutes in and we had two eliminations – The Yeti and a dude called Mike Winner. Mike was actually the first one eliminated so he was not a winner. There was WAY TOO MUCH brawling outside of the rings. Hogan and Flair were brawling on the outside, Orndorff and Luger, Savage and Luger. Lex Luger is actually a key in all of this, He was on the outside for like 95% of this match. At what point do they start DQ’ing guys who stay outside of the ring in battle royals? I know this still goes on in 2019 but Luger was barely in the ring while everybody else was getting beat on. Why doesn’t everybody just wrestle on the outside so they can’t get eliminated? This bothered me way too much.

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Guys like Mark Starr, Big Train Bart were eliminated in the melee. Arn tried a piledriver on Luger on the outside but Luger somehow countered it. A Barrio Brother was eliminated. Scott Armstrong was eliminated and was left unmoving on the floor. It looked like he landed hard. Bobby Walker was thrown out. The Giant after like ten minutes decided to run wild. He tossed out Stevie Ray, the other Barrio brother and Brian Knobbs. Alex Wright was tossed out, somebody else was tossed out.

Randy Savage eliminated Lord Eaton. Dirty Dick Slater LEFT according to Tony! Ring #2 was down to 10 men so they all moved to Ring #1. VK Wallstreet was thrown out by Savage. Scott Norton was eliminated by fellow Dungeon of Doom member Hugh Morrus. Hulk Hogan and The Giant finally come to blows but this is barely touched upon by the announcers as they probably had no idea it was going on.

Finally, 31 people are left and are all fighting in one ring according to the announcers. The Dungeon of Doom all tried to attack Hogan. Pittman locked on an armbar on Joey Maggs and then threw him out. It was like he snapped his arm and they threw him out. It was kinda cool looking.

Eric Bischoff claimed Kurasawa was eliminated but it was never shown. It eventually emerged later that Kurasawa was still in the ring so Bischoff couldn’t even keep up. The man in charge of running the show could not keep up with this battle royal.

Somebody was stretchered out as Big Bubba and Hacksaw eliminated each other. Disco Inferno was eliminated and Dave Taylor was eliminated. The Dungeon of Doom then all turn on each other… FOR NO REASON. They’re dominating the match and then The Giant and One Man Gang start to fight. Then Hugh Morrus got involved and he started fighting with them. This was a complete mess of a match but I loved it. A train wreck of the most tremendous type!

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Jerry Saggs and Booker T were both eliminated. Hogan eliminated Taskmaster to a big pop. Steven Regal was eliminated. Hogan and Giant had a terrible lock up in the middle of the ring. DDP and Badd eliminated each other and fought to the back. Pittman was thrown out.

Benoit was eliminated. Savage tried to eliminate The Giant but Giant escaped and then headbutted Macho Man in his groin. Meng was thrown out. Flair and Sting fought again. Morrus eliminated another Dungeon of Doom member in The Zodiac. Sasaki finally got rid of Hugh Morrus.

Hawk eliminated Pillman. Hogan burst onto the scene and eliminated Hawk and Kensuke Sasaki. We were down to ten men. Sting almost eliminated Eddie Guerrero accidentally but Eddie stayed largely due to his legs leaving him hung out to dry. Hogan dumped out Mr Wonderful and as Orndorff rolled out, his legs got stuck up by the barricade and was propped like a doll on the barricade.

Ric and Arn Anderson worked together on Eddie Guerrero. Arn hit a spinebuster and threw him out. For a cruiserweight, Eddie Guerrero was given a lot in this big WCW PPV main-event. He made it to the final ten. Sting and Hogan worked together on Flair. Sting catapulted Arn into Flair on the top rope to eliminate Flair and then Hogan eliminated Arn in a matter of seconds.

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Fans are going crazy now they can finally see what was going on. Flair ran into another ring and was IRATE about this development.

The final six were Hulk Hogan, Sting, Randy Savage, Lex Luger, One Man Gang and The Giant. It was mostly babyfaces vs heels when it came down to the final six. Eventually, Sting and Luger worked together to try and eliminate The Giant. Just as they had him on the verge of elimination, HULK HOGAN eliminated all three men from behind.

So after all the talk about how he’d always be Sting’s friend and he’d always stand by Sting’s side, he eliminated Sting from behind. What an absolute cock this Hulk Hogan is! He eliminated his friend when his back was turned. He didn’t even wait until the end to have a fair fight. Hogan was totally a heel at this point!

Eventually The Giant pulled Hogan from underneath the bottom rope. They begin to fight and Hogan even slams The Giant but as this is going on, Savage eliminated One Man Gang in the ring. We couldn’t see it  but the bell rings as Savage was declared the winner.

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Savage declared the winner actually got a lot of boos. An irate Hogan, even more irate than Ric Flair, pleaded his case to the referees. He even went as far as to motion himself as if to show what happened. He was pulled underneath the bottom rope by The Giant. Hogan was such a great friend to Savage that after his friend Savage won the title, Hogan is trying to upstage him. He mockingly laughs at Savage being given the belt, he whines while Mean Gene insists this is gonna stand.

In Hogan’s defense, he was screwed. He was never technically eliminated and this match being such a train wreck actually plays into the story. As I mentioned how the referees must have no idea what was going on, the referees didn’t see HOW Hogan was suddenly out of the ring. So many people were going outside of the ring that they may have just been going over the top rope and the referees wouldn’t have known. Here, they saw the only two people left in the ring were Savage and One Man Gang. Hell, we had at least two occasions where rivals eliminated each other and then fought to the back. They may have seen Giant and Hogan fighting and figured, Giant eliminated him.

Savage is in the ring and said he valued Hogan’s opinions but he saw nothing. However, Savage lives by what it is is what it is. Hogan even went as far as to ask the fans if he went under the bottom rope. Mean Gene was unsure as to whether this would stand up in court.

Hogan said there was a dark cloud as neither man went over the top rope. Savage said that he wanted to see the film and Hogan said he wanted a title shot if it was shown he went under the bottom rope.

After a while, Hogan eventually calmed down and shook Savage’s hands. He gave congrats to his friend despite the fact that he was screwed in this battle royal.

Match Rating: **

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If you think about it, this finish was just the ultimate poetic justice for Hulk Hogan. At Royal Rumble 1992, Sid Justice eliminated Hogan from behind and Hogan was outraged by this. He was so outraged that he helped Ric Flair eliminate Sid. EVERYBODY except Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon (and I guess Gorilla Monsoon if you listen to the commentary) saw Hogan as the heel. He helped a heel eliminate a babyface when he was FAIRLY thrown out of the Royal Rumble.

Here in this battle royal, he eliminates his friend Sting from behind after doing the big promo about he’d never leave Sting’s side and he wanted to be his friend forever. So he completely does a flip-flop from the Royal Rumble 1992 and eliminates Sting. This time, HOGAN is robbed of the Battle Royal and his other friend Savage wins the title. It’s the karma to end all karmas and if you want to look at this with that incident in mind, Hogan got what he deserved here.

Regardless, this was a great finish. This sets up three big matches. It sets ups Randy Savage vs Hulk Hogan as when it’s proven Hogan went under the bottom rope, he will get the title shot that he wanted. It sets ups Randy Savage vs The Giant as he was technically never beaten for the title and Savage never even eliminated him in the battle royal. It also sets up Randy Savage vs Lex Luger again as Luger beat him earlier on in the night.

I’d say this PPV was a thumbs up. The wrestling up and down the card was great with the exception of I guess the Big Bubba/Hacksaw match and the Savage/Luger match. The battle royal was a MESS of a match and extremely difficult to follow but I had a fun time watching it. It was a complete train wreck for the first half and in the second half it was more co-ordinated. This PPV gets a THUMBS UP.

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I am 7500 words into this review and I am pooped. We hope you enjoyed that review as I had a lot of fun writing it. I usually hate doing the PPV reviews as they’re longer but this one was a lot of fun to write. I hope everybody liked it and I will be back for more Nitro. Back for fallout from World War 3 as we’re on the road to Starrcade!

WCW Nitro Reading Order

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WrestleMania 32 – What If Triple H Beats Roman Reigns?

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It seems that Roman Reigns is the overwhelming favourite to win the WWE World Heavyweight title in the main event of WrestleMania 32. It is the story of a man that has been screwed out of the WWE World title over and over again, finally getting his revenge against the evil authority figure and walking out with the championship in Texas. It doesn’t seem that plans are changing this year. There’s no Money in the Bank holder around and there’s very little reason to think that there will be a different solution to this story. Roman Reigns is expected to win the WWE title.
With that being said, this article will look to see the potential consequences for WWE programming should WWE end the show with Roman Reigns NOT winning the title. We’re asking the question of what if Triple H DEFEATS Roman Reigns and retains the title.
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Again, the possibility of this happening seems very slim and it would very much catch me off-guard if it actually happened. As much as people don’t like Roman Reigns, the whole idea of WrestleMania ending with Triple H retaining the title just doesn’t seem like an idea that WWE would want to go with. You also have to take into account that a heel walked out with the championship at last year’s WrestleMania. Deja vu wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing but the whole point of WrestleMania is for the babyface to emerge victorious on the grandest stage of them all.
Also if they were to have Roman Reigns beaten in the main event, then it would basically be WWE’s way of admitting defeat in this quest to get Roman Reigns over as the top babyface in the company. I don’t think that the powers-that-be want to do that as they’ve put so much effort into Roman ahd it would be such a blow if they were forced to put Roman’s big WrestleMania win on hold for a second year in a row.
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On the other hand, it might be best to hold of the “WrestleMania win” until after the pay-per-view where a new babyface can come in and beat Triple H. Whether it’s Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles or whoever, there are other options around IF BUILT RIGHT. You don’t HAVE to put Roman over if you suddenly change their mind. If WWE are fearful about the potential extreme reaction that would follow the big Roman Reigns win, they can hold off if they want to. After all, WWE have made quite a habit of making decisions on the day of the show. They ended THE UNDERTAKER’S STREAK on the day of a WrestleMania so they could easily do the same for Roman.
If Triple H were to retain the championship at WrestleMania, what effects would it have on future programming? Well for starters, it makes things much more difficult for Roman unless WWE turned them heel. That would be my way to go as I’ve discussed a number of times, but WWE might not be up for that. If Roman doesn’t win at WrestleMania, it doesn’t mean that it’s all gloom and doom for him. They’d still be people pushing for him to win the title back EVENTUALLY. However, it’s a huge setback in the sense that he’s missed out on this big WrestleMania opportunity twice. Whether he’ll get a third chance is hard to predict.
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As mentioned, WWE should surely have someone else lined up. Dean Ambrose would be the next top babyface after Roman, so he would probably be next in line. However, it really depends on what happens in his WrestleMania match with Brock Lesnar. If Brock defeats Dean, how do you get Dean in the position to be WWE World Champion? Especially if he loses clean to Brock, it’d be difficult for Dean to get over as a major star.
Brock Lesnar would probably be your next bet but then you’d have to think about his schedule and how many dates he’s got left for the second year of his contract. If Brock wound up beating Triple H, then I doubt he’d be champion for long.
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It would be a risky decision to have Triple H beat Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 32 unless WWE had something REALLY REALLY good up their sleeves. It would make life difficult for Roman but it does open the door for other new top babyfaces.

Should Dean Ambrose Turn On Roman Reigns?

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It appears that the 2015 Survivor Series main event is set. Around 18 months have passed since the Shield imploded. Seth Rollins betrayed his brothers to sell out to the Authority, leaving Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose in the dust. Seth’s success has been exponential, having won the Money in the Bank briefcase and then cashing it in to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania 31. Roman Reigns was the man he pinned to get the job done, with Roman earning his opportunity at the 2015 Royal Rumble. Roman now gets Seth one on one for the title, with the Roman Empire possibly about to conquer Seth Rollins. However, there is another factor that could come into play at Survivor Series…

Dean Ambrose has had a number of WWE World title opportunities himself. He’s wrestled in main events against Seth at Elimination Chamber and Money In The Bank, but was unable to capture the gold. Right now, he’s the one member of the Shield that’s been really left on the outside to watch in on his two brothers battling for the richest prize in WWE. This has left many people speculating about Dean Ambrose’s future and whether he’s going to play a huge role in the main event of Survivor Series. Will Dean get involved to screw Seth or will he get involved… to screw Roman Reigns?

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While Seth Rollins has been rolling with the Authority ever since his heel turn, Dean and Roman have stayed close friends and fought side-by-side against the likes of the Wyatt Family. Dean has even said in a promo that Roman is the closet thing to a friend he’s got in WWE, even though he’s usually just a loner. With that being said, should Dean turn his back on Roman?

The question where asking here is not if Dean Ambrose should turn heel. I would like to see Dean as a heel but the question is whether or not he should do it by turning on Roman. Turning on your friends/partners is an easy way to get the turn done. Pulling a “Shawn Michaels” could be very simple for WWE in this scenario. In fact, if you turned it around this would actually work well for a Roman Reigns heel turn. I’ve talked about Roman turning heel a few times now. This would be effective for Roman as he may feel frustrated of missing out the title time after time and may feel that he needs to break away from Dean in order to do so. This would work for Roman but would it work for Dean?

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This probably wouldn’t work for Dean as Dean’s not really been in the WWE World title picture since he lost to Seth Rollins at Money In The Bank. The argument that Roman is holding Dean back is pretty flawed and that reason wouldn’t be a logical one for Dean to abandon Roman. The idea that Dean’s had to be in Roman’s shadow is a much better one. In WWE’s eyes, Roman is their golden boy and Seth is the Authority’s corporate champion. Dean might think that everyone sees him as “the other Shield member” and he refuses to be seen like that. Doing it this way would actually make sense when you look back at Dean’s career since the Shield broke up. That way, he’s not just another generic bad guy as he’s got legitimate gripes that would lead to his turn to the dark side. Even when he was fighting for the title in May and June, Roman was by his side during his segments with Seth Rollins. Even then, Roman is sharing the spotlight with Dean. It’s like Roman is Hulk Hogan and Dean is Randy Savage. The Mega Powers need to explode as Dean needs to get away from the idea that he is just the third wheel in this feud.

However, even this method has it’s flaws too. The main flaw this has is that it doesn’t really make sense with regards to Dean Ambrose’s character. He is the lunatic fringe that has always been portrayed as a crazy guy. For him to get into a huff just because Roman Reigns is stealing is spotlight wouldn’t work well at all. Why would he care? All he would be bothered with is kicking ass and drinking milk. Him turning on Roman because of this reason wouldn’t suit his character unless his character is going to get suddenly repackaged. For someone like Dean, a character change needs to happen over time. If I were to turn him heel, it would because of months of pent up aggression and an increasing derangement of Ambrose. Eventually, something would happen that’d cause him to snap.

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Him joining the Authority is another idea but again, wouldn’t suit his character. It’d also hurt Dean because there wouldn’t be a lot for him to do with the group. He would also have to play second fiddle to Seth Rollins, unless the Authority were priming Dean to take Seth’s spot at the top of the group. That suggestion also wouldn’t work as this has already happened with the group, with Seth replacing Randy Orton as the main man of the group last year.

That last suggestion doesn’t really have a lot to do with Reigns, unless Dean costs him the match at Survivor Series and joins the group afterwards. The point is there’s not a lot of valid reasons for Dean to want to turn on Roman other than to get out of Roman’s shadow, but even that has it’s issues.

I believe that Dean Ambrose turning heel would be a whole lot of fun, but him turning on Roman is just not the way to do it. People would go nuts but ultimately, it wouldn’t make sense from a storyline standpoint. With the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton taking time off now, the WWE needs all the top faces they can get…

How I Would Book… The End Of The Streak – John Cena [Part Two]

PART ONE

So who really should have broken the streak? Well before we go further with my picks, we’re going to go through two YouTube videos that tackled this particular subject. We’re looking at two hugely different candidates that have been considered to end the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. Before we go onto the videos, let me ask you guys some questions. Out of all the potential candidates we could choose, who are the guys that needed that win the most? Who are the guys, whose great careers can be turned legendary by having them end one of the biggest streaks in sport? Also, which two guys that are still physically willing and able enough to take this streak to revitalize themselves for years to come? So instead of Brock Lesnar… should the Undertaker’s streak have been broken by John Cena or CM Punk?

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Now, I know these candidates are going to get mixed reactions. You may be asking yourselves, “Well, why would Cena or Punk need a win over the Undertaker? They are already established stars.” Fair point, but keep in mind even the biggest of stars need big wins like this. As I pointed out in the last blog post, Brock Lesnar needed to break the Undertaker’s streak to separate himself from everyone else in the WWE and regain his mystique and turn himself into a mega-attraction once again. John Cena and CM Punk, for different reasons, needed a win like this to drastically alter their futures in WWE. Considering they are/were full-time stars with WWE, you could have been able to build the shows around them as they had the star power and they would still be here for the long haul. For CM Punk, if he had broken the streak at Wrestlemania 29, he would also have the right man to emphasize just how big a win this was for Punk… Paul Heyman.

But first, let me draw your attention to videos that discussed both Cena and Punk as wrestlers that maybe should have broken the streak instead of Brock Lesnar. Firstly, we’ll talk about John Cena…

In my nWo series, I pointed out a website called WhatCulture which began posting videos like my blog posts about how they would have booked particular scenarios. It was where I got the idea to do the nWo storyline and… well this one. Adam, who hosts these videos, did this video below.

He nominates John Cena as the man to conquer Undertaker’s undefeated streak. His reasoning is pretty straight forward as he believes that Cena conquering the streak is the best way to not only end the streak, but to turn John Cena heel. Think about it. Out of everyone in WWE, who is the one person you’d NOT want to end the Undertaker’s streak? The majority fans would know doubt utter one name… John Cena. Ending Undertaker’s streak alone would generate Cena more heat than ever, but what if he CHEATED to do it?

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The boos reigning onto Cena would be deafening. This would not be like a Bruno Sammartino moment which would leave the audience speechless. The fans would be PISSED at WWE for allowing somebody like Cena to end that streak. Adam does a great job with describing the execution of this shocking moment. In a match that would end the show (apologizes again to Daniel Bryan) Cena challenges Undertaker. As Adam mentions, John Cena would vow to leave WWE for a year if he could not beat the Undertaker. Because if Cena vowed to leave WWE forever or something, nobody is going to buy it. But something like a year could be something that WWE might pull off. OK… WWE would probably never write John Cena off television for a year! But at least this stipulation would raise the stakes. After all, you’d think the Undertaker would have never had his streak broken either. This night would change everything.

With the referee getting taking out somehow, Cena has the Undertaker down. Cena would look around and see a chair. He’d grab a steel chair and put in a BEATING on Undertaker with it. I mean this beating would be like Steve Austin battering The Rock with the chair at Wrestlemania 17. It would be nasty. Cena would wake up the referee and hit one final Attitude Adjustment to pin the Undertaker and initially leave the crowd shocked. Then Cena would simply smile to the crowd, causing outrage among the WWE universe. We’ve gotten two things we’d never expect to see happening at once. John Cena has turned heel and Undertaker’s streak has ended. You see, John Cena turning heel would be a surreal moment in WWE. The fans would probably go nuts if Cena turned heel tomorrow. However, for every yin there’s a yang.

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If you want the Cena heel turn to work, you have to give Cena legitimate heat off his turn. And what else would give Cena the necessary heat than taking away something the fans hold dear. Enter the streak. So while you get something you’d “want” to see happen, you also get something you truly don’t want to see happen. Why? Because that’s what being a heel does.

If you want Cena to create legitimate heel heat for himself, you have to give him something to work with that he can shove down your throats for years to come. The Undertaker’s streak breaking in this manner would change Cena’s character in a big way, perhaps forcing him to be heel for the rest of his career. Also, Cena marks all the checkpoints outlined in the first part of this blog. For you see, John Cena… is John Cena. He’s the “franchise” of WWE, the face of the company. He’s been on top of the mountain in WWE for nearly a decade. So to group him among a bunch of other wrestlers by having him lose to the Undertaker takes away the mystique of John Cena. While he’s not the guy with the UFC credentials of Lesnar, he’s still the ONE top guy in WWE.

So while Adam does a good job in executing the ending of the streak, he fails to answer one of the main obstacles outlined in the first post of this series. If John Cena broke the streak, then what happens to him afterwards? At the start of his video, Adam mentions how WWE booked Brock Lesnar after Wrestlemania calling it “OK” and saying he could do it better. However, Adam doesn’t ACTUALLY go into the aftermath of Cena breaking the streak and stops the video at Wrestlemania itself. If you’re going to have the streak end, then you’ve got to have a plan in place for what happens next. For Brock, the plan for him was very simple.

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Brock ended the streak and Paul Heyman cut a superb promo for him the next night on RAW which clearly identifies Lesnar as the ONE to beat in WWE. Brock then comes back before Summerslam and is named the number one contender for the WWE World Title. After destroying John Cena at Summerslam, he becomes WWE World Champion. And he doesn’t just beat Cena either. It was a main event so unique that again, it separates a Brock Lesnar match from any other match in the company. Despite awkward bits of booking (like Cena beating Lesnar via DQ) and scheduling issues, Lesnar was still the ONE guy that is so different from the rest, that he becomes a special attraction in WWE once again. Him breaking Undertaker’s streak helped solidify him as a top draw once again.

The thing about Cena though is that with him turning heel, you’ve got a lot of fresh ideas for him to work with and he’s a full-time wrestler. Cena could go on every week how he beat the Undertaker’s streak and you’d all get sick of it. He could break Ric Flair’s title record and bring him even more heat. There’s so much you COULD do with John Cena. The question is, would it all actually work?

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Yes, Cena COULD do the heel turn and create a moment. But WWE turning Cena heel at all is a huge risk itself. That’s why for more than decade, WWE have not dared pull the trigger on Cena. If they did that, then they’d have to be somebody as marketable and as dedicated as Cena waiting in the wings to take over as the top face in the company. Daniel Bryan COULD have been that guy as he had the marketable catchphrases and was the most over person in the company at Wrestlemania 30. However, there’s no guarantee that Yes-O-Mania could last. After all, the overness for Bryan kind of died down during his Kane feud. There’s no reason to believe that Daniel could do an even greater job than Cena as far as merchandising and as a draw. Also, there’s always the possibilities of injuries that could hurt the YES-movement needing a draw to take his place. Of course, the only person WWE could turn to at this point… would be Cena.

The point I’m trying to make is that a Cena heel turn would NOT be able to work long term. You’re rarely going to find the right time for Cena to turn heel. You can think of a number of great scenarios for Cena to turn on the WWE universe. No doubt, Adam came up with a beauty of an idea here. But you have to think about how Cena’s turn would be received by the fans. You’d have a lot of adult fans cheering about seeing Cena as a heel, but if that were to happen… what would be the point in Cena turning heel in the first place? If there are people still cheering Cena, then why bother having Cena turn heel?

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Granted, Adam’s method involving the streak ending is a great way to help neutralize the cheers and keep the heel heat on Cena. But for how long and for what price? A Cena heel turn would cause a financial disaster for WWE. WWE have gotten themselves to the point where they are dependent on Cena’s merchandise to keep themselves financially strong. You could have the heel turn be a short-term thing, where Cena turns face once again at Summerslam. But would it really be worth ending a 20 year legacy for a short-term heel turn?

As much as I respect the efforts of Adam at WhatCulture, John Cena was just not the right person to end that streak. So if John Cena shouldn’t have broken that streak, than who should? Join me part three, where we talk about another YouTube video providing us with CM Punk being the one to break Undertaker’s streak…

TNA Sacrifice 2014 Predictions

OK QUICKLY….

TNA SACRIFICE 2014 PREDICTIONS!

THE CAPS LOCK REFERS TO THE URGENCY OF THIS POST, AS I HAVEN’T POSTED MY SACRIFICE PREDICTIONS! SO LETS GET TO IT QUICKLY……………

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Bro-Mans (c) vs The Wolves in a 3 on 2 handicap match for the tag titles

Background: The two teams have been trading titles for the last couple of months. Wolves hope to get the titles back by defeating not only Robbie E and Jesse, but Zema Ion as well!

What Should Happen?: The Wolves win

What Will Happen?: Bro-Mans win

 

Sanada (c) vs Tigre Uno for the X-Division title

Background: These two begun a 3 match series for the X-Division title on Impact a few weeks ago. The two are tied 1-1 heading to their final match at Sacrifice

What Should Happen?: Sanada wins

What Will Happen?: Sanada wins

 

Mr Anderson vs Samuel Shaw – Loser Gets Sent To A Mental Institution

Background: Samuel Shaw has had a creepy obsession with the lovely Christy Hemme. Mr Anderson has been trying to have the creep locked up in a mental institution and has had a number of encounters with him in the past couple of months. The two locked horns at Lockdown, with Shaw getting the win. In a street fight, Anderson returned the favour. Now they face off again with the loser being sent to a mental institution.

What Should Happen?: Samuel Shaw wins

What Will Happen?: Samuel Shaw wins

 

Kurt Angle and Willow vs Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud

Background: EC3 and Spud cost Hardy the World Title in the Dixieland match a while ago. Hardy “left the company” saying he couldn’t do it anymore. EC3 targetted Kurt Angle next and his ankle… putting him out of commision. At Lockdown, Hardy returned as “Willow” to get revenge on the duo that cost him the title. He violently assaulted both men on a number of occassions when Angle returned to confront EC3. The tag match was made for Sacrifice a couple of weeks ago.

What Should Happen?: Angle or Willow turns as EC3 and Spud win

What Will Happen?: Angle and Willow squash EC3 and Spud -.-

 

James Storm vs Gunner – I Quit Match

Background: Storm turned on Gunner during his Feast Or Fired cash in match. Gunner beat Storm in a Last Man Standing match for revenge. Storm then assaulted Gunner in front of his father – who he hit with a beer bottle afterwards. Gunner swore revenge. I Quit Match was made.

What Should Happen?: Gunner wins

What Will Happen?: James Storm wins

 

Bully Ray vs Bobby Roode – Tables Match

Background: Bully cost Team Dixie the Lethal Lockdown match. Bobby Roode, who was on that team, swore revenge. He attacked Bully a number of times ever since and it was determined that these two would settle their differences at Sacrifice in Bully’s speciality – the tables match.

What Should Happen?: Bobby Roode wins

What Will Happen?: Bully Ray wins

 

Madison Rayne (c) vs Angelina Love for the Knockouts Title

Background: Angelina Love returned, wanting to reunite the Beautiful People. Velvet Sky said yeah, but Madison Rayne turned it down. As a result, Angelina and Velvet targeted Rayne for not joining them. Angelina then won a number one contendership match thanks to interference from Velvet to earn a title match.

What Should Happen?: Angelina Love wins

What Will Happen?: Angelina Love wins

 

Eric Young (c) vs Magnus for the TNA World Title

Background: Eric Young won a 10 man gauntlet to earn a TNA World title match on the same night on Impact. Eric went on to capture the World Title by defeating Magnus to finally win the big one after 10 long years. Magnus cashed in his rematch for Sacrifice.

What Should Happen?: Eric Young retains

What Will Happen?: Eric Young retains.

 

There you go! I’m Tom Robinson! OUT!

2013 NoDQ.com Awards – My Vote For… 2013 Babyface/Heel of the Year

Two birds, one stone. Wrestling fans, I’m Tom Robinson. In one post we will be examining the NoDQ.com awards for the Babyface of the year and the heel of the year.

To check out my other NoDQ.com award posts, click here… https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/category/nodq-com/

Let’s kick things off with the Babyface of the year…

Babyface Of The Year nominees are….

  • Daniel Bryan
  • John Cena
  • CM Punk
  • Chris Jericho
  • AJ Styles
  • Rob Van Dam

Now in order for me to decide which one of these was the babyface of the year, I have to decide which of these connected with the fans better, which of these got the better reactions and which of these did the best job at evoking the preferred reaction. Same rules apply to the heel of the year as well. And in my opinion, no-one has been more over with the fans than Daniel Bryan and Daniel knew all he had to do to get a reaction was shout “YES!”. As far as I’m concerned, Daniel Bryan wins this by a huge mile.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Daniel-Bryan-Facing-John-Cena

 

Heel Of The Year nominees are….

  • Bully Ray
  • Triple H
  • Dixie Carter
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Paul Heyman
  • Stephanie McMahon

Same rules apply here. Which of these guys did the best job at trying to evoke the reaction they desired and who actually got the best heat out of the six? There are a bunch of great contenders here. Triple H can be a REALLY good heel on his best day, but having just turned heel once more in the summer he still needs to let loose. It feels like he’s holding back by trying to play his corporate role too much. Someone like Paul Heyman knows how to evoke fan reactions. I mean he helped CM Punk A LOT with the means of getting heat. I mean, for someone as popular as CM Punk face or heel, for Heyman to get Punk as much heat as he did was simply incredible. Paul was as incredible a heel this year as he is every other year. For me, Paul Heyman wins.

Winner: Paul Heyman

heymanlesnar_original

 

 

Edge – Was He Ever “The One” In WWE?

NOTE: The following post is part three of a three-part series. The first part can be seen at this link and the second can be seen at this link.

Previously on the blog, I discussed whether Rob Van Dam or Chris Jericho were ever the “one” in WWE. This came after Triple H cut a promo on Daniel Bryan about why he would never be a star in WWE. Triple H said…

“Here’s the thing, Daniel.  I’ve seen guys like you come and go a million times.  Guys like Jericho, Edge, Rob Van Dam.  All guys that are very talented, don’t get me wrong.  Top guys!  Very popular!  But not ‘the one.’  Never were they ‘the one.’  And maybe nobody wants to say this, but it needs to be said: It’s a fact.  If any of those guys had been the face of the WWE back in the day, we’d all be working for Ted Turner right now.

You think you’re playing in the big leagues, kid?  You have no idea.  You step inside that Hell in a Cell and I have a feeling you’re gonna prove to the world that you’re a B+ player.”

I’ve talked about Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho. Now it’s time to talk about Chris Edge….

Edge

Edge-1

Edge made his mark in WWE by first excelling in the tag team division with his friend Christian. Yes, friend. Not brother, as they were initially promoted as. Edge had developed a strong run as a singles star but was made a true star when battling alongside Christian. The duo would take part in quality matches with the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz. It soon didn’t take long for the three teams to completely dominate the tag team scene, with all the tag team storylines mostly being centred around them.

However, the tag team eventually had to break up. The two of them were great as a tag team but it was really time for the two of them to develop as singles stars. Edge had been an Intercontinental Champion before but he was more well known for teaming with Christian. Once Christian turned on Edge, both men were able to take off on their own.

Edge would win several singles titles after becoming a singles competitor. His first proper main event exposure came after the WWE Brand Extension. As mention during the Jericho part, Edge really rose to stardom during his program with the King of the World in 2002. This feud was ended abruptly by the decision to move Jericho to RAW. However, Edge was still given many opportunities to shine by SmackDown! head writer Paul Heyman. He main-evented SmackDown! as part of an incredible exciting tag team scenario which helped develop him as a main-eventer. Edge even main-evented WWE’s Rebellion 2002 PPV and challenged Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. However, Edge’s roll was cut short by a legitimate neck injury.

Edge would miss a year of television but returned like a house of fire in 2004 as part of the RAW brand. He quickly won the Intercontinental Championship from Randy Orton and he eventually turned his sights onto the World Heavyweight Championship… as a heel. Edge was main-eventing RAW a lot but it was very hard to become a top heel on the brand that was built around Triple H. However, Edge was becoming a star. At Wrestlemania 21, he won the “Money In The Bank” contract which would give him a title shot at any time in the next year. At the 2006 New Year’s Revolution event, with Lita by his side, Edge cashed it in to become WWE Champion for the first time.

This was Edge’s first world title in WWE and it was executed so well. John Cena had been champion since Wrestlemania 21 and it was time for a change of champion. The fans accepted Edge as the man. Triple H had been stuck in feuds with Big Show and Ric Flair, so it was really Edge’s time to shine. It was not like Edge was a ratings-killer either.

The next night on RAW, Edge held a live-sex celebration with Lita on RAW. That episode of RAW was such a success that Edge had delivered a 5.2 rating, which was the highest rated RAW in over a year. It also puts the ratings RAW gets nowadays to shame. The month of January was a month of glory for Edge.

It was also the month where Edge also LOST the title to John Cena at the Royal Rumble. To be fair, Edge never exactly struggled to recover. He stole the show at Wrestlemania 22 with Mick Foley and was WWE Champion again in July. When his feud with John Cena began once again, Edge was again on fire as the top heel in the company. With Triple H being a face now, there was little competition for Edge to compete with. Therefore, he became a feature presentation for RAW. He was still the top main event heel of RAW, even going into Wrestlemania 23.

When he was traded to SmackDown!, he went from strength to strength. It didn’t take long for Edge to become the top heel of the show. Hell, he did it on his first night by winning the World Heavyweight Championship. Again, not a lot of competition for Edge to compete with. That’s especially true considering that the next top heel on SmackDown! was The Great Khali. However, Edge developed himself as the true top star of SmackDown! in 2007 and would be rewarded with a Wrestlemania 24 main event showdown with the Undertaker. This was Edge’s first Wrestlemania main event and what a match it was. Wrestlemania 24 is widely considered as one of the greatest Wrestlemanias of all time. If your match was the show-stealer on a PPV was a strong as a card as Wrestlemania 24 had, you knew it was something special.

Edge stayed as the elite main-eventer on SmackDown! in the next few years. Again, it was an injury that ended his run as King of the Heels. He was injured in July 2009 and CM Punk would end up being the top heel of SmackDown! for a while.

Edge returned as a good guy in 2010, winning the Royal Rumble match upon his return. Edge’s return was a big deal but Edge’s Wrestlemania match wasn’t really considered the main match of the show unlike at Wrestlemania 24. Edge vs Jericho played third-fiddle to Undertaker vs Michaels and Cena vs Batista and it was a period where all the attention was really turned to RAW. Therefore, SmackDown! was starting to truly become second-fiddle RAW which took away from the World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania 26.

Before he retired, Edge turned heel and face once more but did an incredible job at waving the SmackDown! When he left, he left on top of his game as World Heavyweight Champion. Was he the top guy in WWE? We he ever the one? No. However, I think we can all agree that there was a period in WWE where Edge was truly the star of the show. From 2006 to 2008, Edge was the top heel in the company and definitely one of the biggest talking points in the WWE at the time.