Hogan-Andre

Hi Scott, THANK YOU for returning to commentary with your recent inside pulse articles–I"ve been a "Blog of Doom" fan/post’er for the last 6-7 years–it’s good to hear your voice again. The reason I write this evening is for the 87 Hogan-Andre angle; arguably the greatest angle of all time in pop culture and the feud that made a 7 year-old me into a very happy/long-time suffering wrestling fan. Yeah I had watched numerous Coliseum Videos, NWA on TBS, and Wrestlemania 2 on VHS from our local videotape store in 86 (a unique experience that is lacking in today’s society, lol)  but this really was the angle that GOT ME HOOKED. Anyway, I was recently watching the SNME from 3/87 that featured the battle royal with Hogan/Andre http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1t2ly_20-man-battle-royal_sport and this battle royal was produced just tremendously—it’s focus (cameras, commentary, wrestling, etc) was Hogan/Andre and that’s the reason it worked. AND it’s the reason it was the highest rated SNME of all time–people were clamoring to see Hogan/Andre–and you know what booker George Scott and McMahon did? They didn’t give it to them. They teased and teased, showed Andre as a killer (with color! on Poffo– something in that WWF era unheard of) and made Wrestlemania III destination programming. I just wanted to say I miss this this aspect in wrestling television. The closest we have to Hogan/Andre in this age is Rock/Cena and I don’t see the powers that be producing anything remotely close to as captivating (especially with Rock teaming at Survivor Series). Anyway, what are your thoughts on that Hogan/Andre angle and it’s relation to the upcoming Rock/Cena production? I can’t see the current brass making this work.

That’s totally apples and oranges anyway.  Hogan and Andre had a history going back a couple of decades, then a years-long relationship as a tag team leading up to their split.  It was an angle they were only going to be able to run once (twice if they could come up with the most audacious finish ever created, I suppose…) and it drew big money.  That being said, given how the economics work today, all they need is one semi-hot angle leading up to Wrestlemania to outdraw everything the WWF did in 1987 because the WM show itself is a giant money-making machine that’s self-sustaining.  So really, they don’t even need Rock-Cena to be an all-time classic feud, just a good one. 

Scott Reviews The New DC 52: Week 5

It’s the all-important second month of the New DC relaunch, and conspicuous by its absence is Justice League #2, which doesn’t ship until the end of the month.  That’s quite a wait for the mythical new readers who are presumably hanging on the adventures of jerkass Batman and jerkass Green Lantern. To the comic shop! Action Comics #2 No letdown from the first one here.  Maybe even better, in fact.  Early Superman gets tortured by Lex Luthor, which acts as exposition for newer readers (although who doesn’t know his powers and backstory inside-out by now?) and then gives him a badass edge because Luthor monologues too much.  Grant Morrison has the snappy dialogue going here and the cliffhanger definitely leaves you wanting more.  I don’t know if the series is going to be permanently set five years ago, but I’m fine with it if so. Still lovin’ it, thumbs way up!   Justice League International #2 Still mostly fun, but Dan Jurgens is as cliche as ever with the broad stereotype characters like Russian Guy and Chinese Guy who don’t get along.  I thought the storyline direction was interesting, with Booster ordering a retreat when the threat of a giant robot proves too much too soon for them.  You don’t see that done very much, although there’s generally a reason for it.  The problem for me is that Booster’s solo title was such a perfect vehicle for him, and we still don’t really know if the person here is the same guy as the time-travelling secret hero or just the gloryhound.  This is your basic superhero team book with basic superheroes.  I can live with Jurgens’ writing (I’ve read Zero Hour…TWICE!) and I’m probably soft on this title because I like all the characters.  I’ll keep with it for now, but I don’t see it lasting all that long unless they punch it up somehow.     Animal Man #2 Boy, this is some weird stuff, but Buddy remains a very likeable guy.  The bleeding eyes from issue #1 have progressed into creepy tree tattoos that will lead Buddy and his creepy daughter, Maxine, into something called The Red.  This series delves a lot into domestic stuff, an area that most superhero comics tend to gloss over.  How exactly DO you handle something like your kid accidentally transmutating your neighbor’s arm?  I would definitely say it’s not for everyone, including the sketch-feeling art from Travel Foreman, but I’m continuing to enjoy where it’s going, much to my surprise.  Maxine is adorable, though, and might end up being a breakout character as the kid sidekick here.    I’m thinking this is gonna be an awesome trade paperback when they collect the whole story.   Batwing #2 The first one didn’t move me, but I picked up the second one for the hell of it, and I’ll give Judd Winick this much…he’s sucking me in.  We still don’t see very much of Batwing doing his thing, but Massacre’s showdown with the teacher, who naturally has a secret, was very intriguing stuff.  And the art is wonderful, as the photo-realistic look from Ben Oliver lends itself well to things.  This sucker is really, really violent, though, with gruesome stabbings and limbs getting hacked off.  I still don’t think the Batman name is enough to carry this thing for long, but I’ll giving it a go.   Detective Comics #2 Well luckily no one got their face hacked off in this one, and the extreme gloom of the first issue was toned down to the point where it was pretty dull stuff overall.  Bruce has a playdate with another eccentric billionaire (“Hugh Marder”?  Really?) and then taps another random piece of ass.  How many times is Batman gonna get laid in the New DC Universe?  It’s only the second month!  We get another shock ending, but not anywhere near as shocking as the first one.  Not much to hold my interest here, although I found the art much cleaner and less murky than the first issue.  Not terrible, just a decent comic.    Men of War #2 Eh, they lost me already.  Instead of sticking with the gruff war comic stuff from the first issue, they change gears and now have Rock either hallucinating or actually meeting the goddess Circe.  That’s not what I’m reading this for, and it ripped me out of the story immediately and I never got back into it.  I’ll give it one more, but I’m not sticking around for long if this is where it’s going.    O.M.A.C. #2 The first one was a fun, if mindless romp, but this one blew me away.  I LOVED it.  Great Giffen humor and light-hearted tone, and it dove right into the mechanics behind Kevin Kho turning into OMAC, as we meet Brother Eye and start setting up the various government agencies who are jockeying for control behind the scenes.  Plus there’s a giant, knockdown battle with Amazing Man.  The whole thing is very big and Kirby-esque (duh) and I just enjoyed the hell out of it.  It’s a very easy read and no backstory is needed going in.  I have no idea how they’re going to continue the witty meanings for “OMAC” in every title, though.   So once again, the winner out of the pile is ACTION COMICS, although Animal Man continues close behind.  The surprise of the week for me was OMAC, a comic that was middle-of-the-road for me last month.  I think I’ll circulate it onto the pull list and dump Men of War pretty fast if it doesn’t improve.

Scott Reviews The New DC 52: Week 5

It’s the all-important second month of the New DC relaunch, and conspicuous by its absence is Justice League #2, which doesn’t ship until the end of the month.  That’s quite a wait for the mythical new readers who are presumably hanging on the adventures of jerkass Batman and jerkass Green Lantern. To the comic shop! Action Comics #2 No letdown from the first one here.  Maybe even better, in fact.  Early Superman gets tortured by Lex Luthor, which acts as exposition for newer readers (although who doesn’t know his powers and backstory inside-out by now?) and then gives him a badass edge because Luthor monologues too much.  Grant Morrison has the snappy dialogue going here and the cliffhanger definitely leaves you wanting more.  I don’t know if the series is going to be permanently set five years ago, but I’m fine with it if so. Still lovin’ it, thumbs way up!   Justice League International #2 Still mostly fun, but Dan Jurgens is as cliche as ever with the broad stereotype characters like Russian Guy and Chinese Guy who don’t get along.  I thought the storyline direction was interesting, with Booster ordering a retreat when the threat of a giant robot proves too much too soon for them.  You don’t see that done very much, although there’s generally a reason for it.  The problem for me is that Booster’s solo title was such a perfect vehicle for him, and we still don’t really know if the person here is the same guy as the time-travelling secret hero or just the gloryhound.  This is your basic superhero team book with basic superheroes.  I can live with Jurgens’ writing (I’ve read Zero Hour…TWICE!) and I’m probably soft on this title because I like all the characters.  I’ll keep with it for now, but I don’t see it lasting all that long unless they punch it up somehow.     Animal Man #2 Boy, this is some weird stuff, but Buddy remains a very likeable guy.  The bleeding eyes from issue #1 have progressed into creepy tree tattoos that will lead Buddy and his creepy daughter, Maxine, into something called The Red.  This series delves a lot into domestic stuff, an area that most superhero comics tend to gloss over.  How exactly DO you handle something like your kid accidentally transmutating your neighbor’s arm?  I would definitely say it’s not for everyone, including the sketch-feeling art from Travel Foreman, but I’m continuing to enjoy where it’s going, much to my surprise.  Maxine is adorable, though, and might end up being a breakout character as the kid sidekick here.    I’m thinking this is gonna be an awesome trade paperback when they collect the whole story.   Batwing #2 The first one didn’t move me, but I picked up the second one for the hell of it, and I’ll give Judd Winick this much…he’s sucking me in.  We still don’t see very much of Batwing doing his thing, but Massacre’s showdown with the teacher, who naturally has a secret, was very intriguing stuff.  And the art is wonderful, as the photo-realistic look from Ben Oliver lends itself well to things.  This sucker is really, really violent, though, with gruesome stabbings and limbs getting hacked off.  I still don’t think the Batman name is enough to carry this thing for long, but I’ll giving it a go.   Detective Comics #2 Well luckily no one got their face hacked off in this one, and the extreme gloom of the first issue was toned down to the point where it was pretty dull stuff overall.  Bruce has a playdate with another eccentric billionaire (“Hugh Marder”?  Really?) and then taps another random piece of ass.  How many times is Batman gonna get laid in the New DC Universe?  It’s only the second month!  We get another shock ending, but not anywhere near as shocking as the first one.  Not much to hold my interest here, although I found the art much cleaner and less murky than the first issue.  Not terrible, just a decent comic.    Men of War #2 Eh, they lost me already.  Instead of sticking with the gruff war comic stuff from the first issue, they change gears and now have Rock either hallucinating or actually meeting the goddess Circe.  That’s not what I’m reading this for, and it ripped me out of the story immediately and I never got back into it.  I’ll give it one more, but I’m not sticking around for long if this is where it’s going.    O.M.A.C. #2 The first one was a fun, if mindless romp, but this one blew me away.  I LOVED it.  Great Giffen humor and light-hearted tone, and it dove right into the mechanics behind Kevin Kho turning into OMAC, as we meet Brother Eye and start setting up the various government agencies who are jockeying for control behind the scenes.  Plus there’s a giant, knockdown battle with Amazing Man.  The whole thing is very big and Kirby-esque (duh) and I just enjoyed the hell out of it.  It’s a very easy read and no backstory is needed going in.  I have no idea how they’re going to continue the witty meanings for “OMAC” in every title, though.   So once again, the winner out of the pile is ACTION COMICS, although Animal Man continues close behind.  The surprise of the week for me was OMAC, a comic that was middle-of-the-road for me last month.  I think I’ll circulate it onto the pull list and dump Men of War pretty fast if it doesn’t improve.

More On Luger

Scott, For some reason i can’t login to your blog at work and I didn’t want to wait until I got home, lest I forget all about this: According to the WON at the time, the mentality for the booking of the GAB finish was to help boost attendence at house shows, which were dropping big at the time. The Athletic Commission stopping the match was a big gimmick done in CA during the ’70’s. It was supposed to make the Athletic Commission into the heels because THEY screwed Luger out the title. This leads to WCW promoting rematches around the horn with the idea that YOUR state isn’t so strict about blood, so make sure you’re there to see Luger get another shot at Flair. Of course, we’re talking about WCW here, so of course it got screwed up. Luger’s looked like he nicked himself shaving rather than the juice job that Kerry did with Lawler. On the comics front: Have you read the new Red Lantern series yet?

It’s on my “to do” pile.  Apparently it’s supposed to be so ridiculous that it’s good in a warped way, so I’ll probably give it a look along with Swamp Thing and Frankenstein and Blackhawks somewhere along the line.  As for Luger, I now recall hearing that retarded justification before, and that’s exactly the kind of short-sighted thinking that led to Crockett going bankrupt.  Here’s a wacky thought:  Instead of coming up with a convoluted storyline for why people should go see Luger at the house shows, they should have just PUT THE TITLE ON HIM and let him try to draw on top.  Dusty Rhodes was seriously losing his mind at that point.  And of course, as has been pointed out by others, the very next year when they were in Baltimore Flair was bleeding all over the place and no one stopped it.  By the way, I will say that Meltzer has improved tremendously as a writer since the 80s, or at least he has better editing now.  Some of those old WONs were an adventure in trying to decipher run-on sentences and aborted thoughts. 

More On Luger

Scott, For some reason i can’t login to your blog at work and I didn’t want to wait until I got home, lest I forget all about this: According to the WON at the time, the mentality for the booking of the GAB finish was to help boost attendence at house shows, which were dropping big at the time. The Athletic Commission stopping the match was a big gimmick done in CA during the ’70’s. It was supposed to make the Athletic Commission into the heels because THEY screwed Luger out the title. This leads to WCW promoting rematches around the horn with the idea that YOUR state isn’t so strict about blood, so make sure you’re there to see Luger get another shot at Flair. Of course, we’re talking about WCW here, so of course it got screwed up. Luger’s looked like he nicked himself shaving rather than the juice job that Kerry did with Lawler. On the comics front: Have you read the new Red Lantern series yet?

It’s on my “to do” pile.  Apparently it’s supposed to be so ridiculous that it’s good in a warped way, so I’ll probably give it a look along with Swamp Thing and Frankenstein and Blackhawks somewhere along the line.  As for Luger, I now recall hearing that retarded justification before, and that’s exactly the kind of short-sighted thinking that led to Crockett going bankrupt.  Here’s a wacky thought:  Instead of coming up with a convoluted storyline for why people should go see Luger at the house shows, they should have just PUT THE TITLE ON HIM and let him try to draw on top.  Dusty Rhodes was seriously losing his mind at that point.  And of course, as has been pointed out by others, the very next year when they were in Baltimore Flair was bleeding all over the place and no one stopped it.  By the way, I will say that Meltzer has improved tremendously as a writer since the 80s, or at least he has better editing now.  Some of those old WONs were an adventure in trying to decipher run-on sentences and aborted thoughts. 

Luger’d

Hey Scott – I read your recent topic about Ric Flair/Lex Luger from 1988 and how you were arguing that Luger should have won the World Title either at Great American Bash or Starrcade.  I disagree, noting how Luger’s career only saw a measure of drawing power when he returned to WCW in 1995 and then went after Hulk Hogan/NWO in 1997.  In 1988, he was still very green in the ring and lacked personality to draw as a face.
In my opinion, I’m glad that Ric Flair kept the title away from Luger during 1988.  It made 1989 much more special when Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat arrived and actually defeated Ric Flair at Chi-Town Rumble 1989.  By escaping loss in 1988 against Luger, it made him a stronger heel champion and made Steamboat’s title victory much more satisfying.  Placing Luger back in the midcard to fight over the U.S. Title was a better fit for him.
I also believe that Luger not winning in 1988 helped Sting in 1990.  Sting overcoming Ric Flair in 1990 was credible because only Steamboat defeated Flair for the World Title from Flair’s Starrcade 1987 title win to Sting’s win at Great American Bash 1990.  I’m not sure where you’re seeing the $$$ for Luger provided how the rest of his career didn’t quite pan out until his return to WCW in 1995 and his 1997 World Title victory over Hogan on Nitro is still one of my favorite moments in wrestling.

See, but you’re looking at a lot of that stuff with the benefit of hindsight.  Yeah, they might have known Ricky Steamboat would be available for early 1989, but at the time they were pushing Luger they had no idea he would be coming in.  You can 100% say that Luger shouldn’t have gone over at Starrcade because they were waiting for Steamboat, but you can’t make that argument with Bash 88.  The promotion was dying, literally.  They had managed to engage a large number of fans with the Windham turn and Horsemen storyline in a way that Dusty hadn’t managed in a long while, and the natural progression of the storyline was for the screwed-over and underappreciated Luger to beat the hell out of Flair and win the title.  End of story.  You could argue that backing away from that finish was the last nail in the coffin for Crockett as far as building a replacement for Flair.  Luger winning and then defending against the Four Horsemen and building to turncoat Windham running up the ladder to finally get his shot might have carried them for a while longer.  But then it just turned into another Flair challenger losing by screwy means, and Windham had nowhere to go with Flair already a heel on top, and that was that.  1990 was a different kettle of fish, of course.  They really backed into a corner on that one, but there wasn’t much that could be done given the thinned-out roster for budget reasons.  They were waiting on Sting to return, and needed a challenger for a few PPVs who fans would buy as a threat, but they didn’t want to change the title.  So it’s either turn Luger or Windham in that case, and Luger made the best business sense.  I don’t fault them there at all for making that call.  Not surprisingly, after that Luger stopped giving a shit, but it’s hard to blame him. 

Luger’d

Hey Scott – I read your recent topic about Ric Flair/Lex Luger from 1988 and how you were arguing that Luger should have won the World Title either at Great American Bash or Starrcade.  I disagree, noting how Luger’s career only saw a measure of drawing power when he returned to WCW in 1995 and then went after Hulk Hogan/NWO in 1997.  In 1988, he was still very green in the ring and lacked personality to draw as a face.
In my opinion, I’m glad that Ric Flair kept the title away from Luger during 1988.  It made 1989 much more special when Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat arrived and actually defeated Ric Flair at Chi-Town Rumble 1989.  By escaping loss in 1988 against Luger, it made him a stronger heel champion and made Steamboat’s title victory much more satisfying.  Placing Luger back in the midcard to fight over the U.S. Title was a better fit for him.
I also believe that Luger not winning in 1988 helped Sting in 1990.  Sting overcoming Ric Flair in 1990 was credible because only Steamboat defeated Flair for the World Title from Flair’s Starrcade 1987 title win to Sting’s win at Great American Bash 1990.  I’m not sure where you’re seeing the $$$ for Luger provided how the rest of his career didn’t quite pan out until his return to WCW in 1995 and his 1997 World Title victory over Hogan on Nitro is still one of my favorite moments in wrestling.

See, but you’re looking at a lot of that stuff with the benefit of hindsight.  Yeah, they might have known Ricky Steamboat would be available for early 1989, but at the time they were pushing Luger they had no idea he would be coming in.  You can 100% say that Luger shouldn’t have gone over at Starrcade because they were waiting for Steamboat, but you can’t make that argument with Bash 88.  The promotion was dying, literally.  They had managed to engage a large number of fans with the Windham turn and Horsemen storyline in a way that Dusty hadn’t managed in a long while, and the natural progression of the storyline was for the screwed-over and underappreciated Luger to beat the hell out of Flair and win the title.  End of story.  You could argue that backing away from that finish was the last nail in the coffin for Crockett as far as building a replacement for Flair.  Luger winning and then defending against the Four Horsemen and building to turncoat Windham running up the ladder to finally get his shot might have carried them for a while longer.  But then it just turned into another Flair challenger losing by screwy means, and Windham had nowhere to go with Flair already a heel on top, and that was that.  1990 was a different kettle of fish, of course.  They really backed into a corner on that one, but there wasn’t much that could be done given the thinned-out roster for budget reasons.  They were waiting on Sting to return, and needed a challenger for a few PPVs who fans would buy as a threat, but they didn’t want to change the title.  So it’s either turn Luger or Windham in that case, and Luger made the best business sense.  I don’t fault them there at all for making that call.  Not surprisingly, after that Luger stopped giving a shit, but it’s hard to blame him.