Lex Luger heel turn in 1994?

I’ve been going through the Raw shows of 1994 and my question – did they ever consider having Luger turn heel & join the Million Dollar Man? It was obvious from the beginning he wasn’t, but wouldn’t it have been so much better for Luger, who was stuck in the mud as a face? He was like the #5 face by the end of the year, but could’ve been a main event heel & helped the DiBiase’s corporation feel more like a threat. Heel Tatanka was sad.

Take a drink.

And no, Luger was never planned to be a heel. Probably would have helped immensely, but it just wasn’t where they wanted to go with him.

Monday Night RAW – October 31, 1994

Hi Scott,

Want to say that I have been enjoying the SNME and '94 RAW series, and hope to see more!

I noticed that you skipped the October 31 RAW show. I recently did a review of it, and thought I'd pass it along, in case some of your readers are interested.

http://buexperience.blogspot.com/2014/08/wwf-monday-night-raw-october-31-1994.html

Hope you have a great weekend!

​I didn't actually skip it, I was just trolling my fanbase by pretending to do a Battleground 2014 rant and then giving an old RAW instead.  The October 31 RAW is here if anyone missed the joke originally:
 ​

The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 1994

The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 1994 Live from San Antonio, TX Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gorilla Monsoon The Teamsters (Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart & Jeff Jarrett) v. The Bad Guys (Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, British Bulldog, Fatu & Sionne) Well, the Teamsters ARE known for their laziness and greed, so it would fit that Nash would be captaining this team. Interesting that only the team captains get entrance music this year. The storyline was more that Shawn and Diesel were having a domestic squabble as tag champions than any real issue between Ramon and Diesel. Kind of weird what a non-issue Ramon was even though he was IC champion for another three months after this. Owen starts with the Kid while Fatu is forced into wearing boots by THE MAN, and this is apparently an issue for him. Kid fights off both Harts but runs into an Anvil elbow in a weird spot, allowing the heels to take over. Kid spinkicks JJ out of the ring (giving us our first “right in the mush” of the evening) and Barbarian comes in with a press slam. Jarrett comes back with a flying clothesline for two. Next up, it’s Owen v. Bulldog and they do the cool wristlock sequence, leading to Owen getting pummelled in the face corner and slammed. Bulldog with a sunset flip for two, but Owen lays him out with the enzuigiri and the New Foundation tries some double-teaming. That backfires because Neidhart is useless, and Fatu comes in but has trouble with his footwear. What a stupid storyline that was. And really, wasn’t there ANY other Samoans available to replace Samu? They just had to give Barbarian another payday? Just use Fatu’s brother! Jarrett grabs a headlock on Ramon and quickly gets tossed for his troubles, and back in he gets double-teamed by Ramon & Kid. Razor tosses the Kid at him for a bodypress that gets two, but Jarrett comes back with an abdominal stretch to slow things down. Kid reverses, so Jarrett hiptosses him over the top rope in a cool spot missed by the camera. Back in with Fatu, who still can’t get his shit together, and Owen gets a leg lariat for two. Fatu comes back, finally acting like a human being months into his babyface run, but Diesel comes in and finishes him with the powerbomb at 13:30. Kid tries next and flies in with a sunset flip off the top, but Diesel casually shrugs him off and another Poochiebomb ends the night at 14:14. Sionne in next and he slugs away, but he walks into ANOTHER powerbomb at 14:45. Bulldog comes in and gets booted to the floor and apparently gets counted out at 16:00. Razor tries a cradle on Diesel for two and the flying bulldog for two, but Diesel puts him down with a clothesline and now Shawn finally wants into the match. He had a legit broken hand at the time, which explains his not factoring into the match thus far. Razor keeps fighting against Diesel and manages to slam him, but can’t get the Razor’s Edge. Diesel finally gets the powerbomb and Shawn tags himself in for the big finish, but then demands that Diesel hold Ramon steady for the fateful superkick. And of course Ramon moves and Diesel eats it. And now he’s had ENOUGH and turns babyface, fighting off his own team members and chasing Shawn back to the dressing room, giving Ramon the countout win over all five heels at 21:26. Survivor: Razor Ramon. Good action before the rapid-fire eliminations and storyline kicked in and killed the match dead, but man what a stupid finish. And really none of the match went anywhere. **1/4 Meanwhile, Shawn leaves the arena, dumps Diesel, and tosses the tag team titles on the ground on the way out. Hopefully he’ll have better luck with his next bodyguard! MIDGET MADNESS: The Royal Family (Jerry Lawler, Cheezy, Queezy & Sleazy) v. Clowns R Us (Doink, Dink, Wink, Pink) No midgets mixing with normals allowed in this match, which is how it should be. Doink quickly gets a clownzuigiri on Lawler, but Lawler’s attempt fails. And we get some midget comedy with everyone running over him on the mat. Doink with some slams and the clown midgets all try to pin Lawler with no luck. Lawler actually sells getting a Burger King crown put on his head and we get an attempt at a chicken fight that goes badly. Finally Lawler uses his old standby, the phantom object, to take over. Really, that’s a heel tactic that no one does anymore and it’s ridiculously easy heat. Pantomime a foreign object in your hand, get a cheapshot with it, hide the “object” in your tights. Doink makes a quick comeback, but a bodypress is rolled through by Lawler for the pin at 10:45. So basically Lawler is eliminated as well. The clown midgets double-team Cheezy in the corner, but Wink gets caught in the heel side and Lawler holds him down for a pin at 13:32. Pink comes in and Lawler drops Cheezy onto him for the pin at 14:33. So Dink is alone and he holds his own and gets a flying bodypress for two on Sleazy, but they roll him over for the pin at 16:00 to finish this off. Survivors: Jerry Lawler and his pet midgets. Jerry Lawler is so proud of himself that he fires his own midgets, resulting in a 6-on-1 midget revolt against him. Never trust a midget! This was as horrible as you could imagine. WWF title, submission match: Bret Hart v. Mr. Bob Backlund Bob runs away a few times to start, but Bret grabs a headlock and goes to work on the neck. Going back and reading the Observers from this time and it’s hilarious how much Meltzer hated Backlund at the time. I mean, he just buried the guy every chance he got. He summed up Backlund even getting to his point as “a cute idea gone haywire” and noted that they were trying to appeal to completely the wrong audience with it. So Bret works on a headlock while we get a shot of Bret’s she-devil wife Julie, and Bret reverses a crossface attempt into a suplex. Back to the headlock, but Bret misses the middle rope elbow and Bob takes over. Bret goes after Owen and nearly gets crossfaced, but fights it off and Bob goes to work on the arm. This gives me the chance to think about the changes in wrestling over the years and how long people stick around. Bob’s original reign ended in 1983 and this was 1994, 11 years after that. Those were like two different worlds and Backlund was some sort of bizarre time-traveller from the past when he did this comeback run. But think about today’s business, and how many guys from 11 years ago are still around and still in the same position. Rock was already winding his career down in 2003 and he just came back and won the WWE title again last year! Hell, the last time I did a review of this show was 15 years ago! No wonder the business is so stale. Anyway, Bret goes to a figure-four now, but Owen walks away from his towel just in case he’s tempted to use it. Backlund reverses the hold and then gets to the ropes to force a break, so Bret goes back to the leg again. They slug it out and Bob gets a piledriver, but can’t get the crossface. Bret comes back with his own piledriver and a bulldog and it’s the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, but Bulldog chases Owen around during the Sharpshooter, allowing Owen to sneak in and break the hold. Bulldog stupidly charges on the floor and hits the stairs, knocking himself unconscious and thus removing the possibility of throwing in the towel. Bob finally gets his crossface and the crowd is freaking out, although Davey Boy may be legally dead at this point and no one seems to care. So Bret is in the hold for NINE MINUTES, which gives me time to go make popcorn and feed my cat, while Owen has a babyface turn at ringside and tearfully talks Stu and Helen into throwing in the towel on Davey’s behalf. Meanwhile, Davey still hasn’t moved and probably has a fractured skull or something. Finally, Helen caves into Owen’s tears and throws in the towel, giving Backlund the WWF title again at 35:20. Backlund of course wouldn’t even make it to the next episode of Monday Night RAW with the belt. The final 10 minutes were some cool mindgames on Owen’s part, but there was just too much nothing leading up to it. AND WHAT ABOUT BULLDOG?! **1/2 The Million Dollar Team (Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy & The Heavenly Bodies) v. Guts & Glory (Lex Luger, Adam Bomb, Mabel & The Smoking Gunns) Tatanka throws chops on Luger to start and gets a suplex, but Lex no-sells all of it and comes back with clotheslines. Mabel tosses Dr. Tom around and flattens him with a bodypress at 4:08. Del Ray comes in and walks into the Bossman slam, so we get the Bundy v. Mabel showdown. That goes nowhere and it’ Mabel v. Bam Bam, and Mabel “hits” a leg lariat that misses by 2 feet and goes up. Bigelow slams him off in an impressive spot and goes up with a sunset flip, but Mabel sits on him and they both go tumbling to the floor for countout of Mabel at 7:30. Del Ray superkicks Billy Gunn for two, but a backslide gets two. Adam Bomb comes in and hits the slingshot clothesline on Bigelow, but Bundy gets a cheapshot and the Lunasault finishes at 9:19. Del Ray works Luger over, but walks into the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM and gets pinned at 11:10. The Gunns double-team Tatanka, but he knocks off Bart with the Papoose To Go at 15:00. Luger and Billy work Tatanka over, but Bundy comes in and drops an elbow on Billy to finish him at 17:40. So Luger is alone 3-on-1, the world’s greatest choke artist against the most useless heel stable ever. The heels work Luger over forever, but Luger cradles Tatanka for the pin at 23:32 before Bundy splashes and pins him at 23:40. Survivors: Bam Bam Bigelow & King Kong Bundy. Pretty dull stuff. **1/2 Meanwhile, Mr. Bob Backlund FEELS LIKE GOD. Casket Match: Undertaker v. Yokozuna Your special referee is Chuck Norris, long before he became an internet meme. Taker chases Yoko around the ring and goes old school, but walks into the samoan drop. Yoko tries for the casket, but Taker necksnaps him to escape. Yoko comes back with a legdrop and they fight into the casket, but that goes nowhere. Yoko tosses him and takes over with some choking, but Taker goes up with the flying clothesline and that seems to be it for Yoko. The heels start coming out to re-enact Royal Rumble 94, but they didn’t count on CHUCK NORRIS being there this time. This still gives IRS time to run in and put Taker in a sleeper and into the casket, but Undertaker arises and he’s pissed. Clothesline and big boot puts Yoko in the casket, and Taker slams the lid shut at 15:24 to avenge himself. It was what it was. * The Pulse I know this tends to be a polarizing show to say the least. I just found it really, really dull tonight and had no real connection to any of the elimination tag matches. Your overall enjoyment will probably depend on what you get out of the Bret v. Backlund title match, so for me it’s a thumbs in the middle show.

The Clique in tag team action on Action Zone in 1994

Scott,
You wanted it, you've got it. Here's the HBK & Diesel/Razor & 1-2-3 Kid tag you referenced in your latest RAW review from '94.

WCW 1994

I've been watching the Clashes and PPVs from WCW 94, and have a few observations/questions for you and the BOD.

1:  Did you ever do a rant for Fall Brawl 1994? It was almost like a last hurrah for the promotion that it was before Hogan and his buddies came in to ruin the on air product.

2: Has anybody ever pointed out that Hogan and Sting didn't wrestle on the same Clash/PPV for about the first six months of Hogan's WCW run? Seems like another example of Hogan playing every card he could to try to be the top babyface.

3: Was there any specific reason for the phasing out of Jesse Ventura other than Bobby Heenan was available? I'm not even asking about Ventura leaving the company, but it seems odd that Ventura is the lead color guy for two years and then he's just suddenly demoted.

2.  You are pretty much correct.  Sting was a major threat to his position.
3.  I don't think Jesse was particularly happy with his treatment in the promotion, and as you noted Heenan was available (and probably worked cheaper).  ​

The Lapsed Fan Episode 5: King of the Ring 1994

Hey Scott,
Here again with another plug for this week's Lapsed Fan episode.  Thank you again for plugging the show and for the excellent work you do on the blog.  This week we tackle the KING OF THE RING 1994.  
the lapsed fan Amidst the Vince McMahon steroid trials and Hulk Hogan signing with WCW, the WWE was struggling to find its new identity and a "new generation" of superstars.  Headlined by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper versus Jerry “The King” Lawler, this event seemed more like a step backward than a step forward. Jack Encarnacao and JP Sarro bring their brand of humor and nostalgia to the 1994 King of the Ring, discussing among other things:

–          Arguably the worst pin in the history of the sport of kings-          How hard it was to find this particular show in video stores –          Roddy Piper’s prejudice against people without a neck-          Who Bret Hart claimed was the WWE’s most “stunning figure” at the time –          Two words…Art Donovan

All this and more!  To listen click the link below:

As always Scott, thank you very much!
JP

AJPW 03.06.1994 – Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada

To anyone trying to get into puro in the late 90’s this match along with the 1994 Super J-Cup were prerequisite viewing. In 1998 I paid 20 dollars (American!) for a tape that featured this match. Today, it’s a simple click of a mouse away. So let’s celebrate the life of MitsuharuMisawa and the 20th anniversary of what many still consider the greatest match of all time, Toshiaki Kawada vs Mitsuharu Misawa from the famous Nippon Budokan Arena.


Scott, did you ever review this?


Nope, although obviously it’s a ***** match.  You can also get DVDs full of this stuff from Rudoreels.com and IVPvideos.com.  

http://new.ivpvideos2.com/index.php?cPath=3_79

Batista, Hogan, Flair, DOD and 1994

Scott,

With the Batista rumored "win the belt" clause in his contract, it got me thinking back to Hogan's WCW jump in 1994. They bring him in, first PPV he takes the belt off Flair. Then in October, he beats Flair in a cage match with Flair's career on the line, all this to build to a Starrcade main with him against Brother Booty Man? 

Did Hogan's creative clause give him the power to book all of his angles? I mean, why not build to the Flair career match at Starrcade?

Oh yeah dude, I'm pretty sure Hogan's contract literally said the words "HOGAN CAN DO WHATEVER THE FUCK HE WANTS" in bold letters.  Really though, the Havoc show was more important to Bischoff than Starrcade, and it worked in this case and popped a big number.  But yes, Hogan had iron-clad and complete control over everything he did, absolutely.  

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1994 WWF as told by Sean Waltman

This interview was conducted this year and released four months ago. It is hosted by Sean Oliver and last two hours and fifteen minutes long

 
 
JANUARY

 

On January
10th, Sean and Marty Jannetty defeated the Quebecers for the Tag
Team Titles. One week later, they lost the belts back to the Quebecers. Waltman
is asked if Marty was a suitable partner and immediately said that he was. He
then said that he learned a lot about tag team wrestling by teaming with him.
He is then asked how the one-week title run was proposed to him. Waltman said
that Vince was under indictment at that time and was bringing in guys like
Jerry Jarrett and Bill Watts at the time incase he had to go to prison. Waltman
said that it was a Jerry Jarrett idea. He didn’t get why they lost a week later
and when they lost it was the main event at Madison Square
Garden. Sean said that
they sent the fans home angry that night.

 

At the
January 17th house show at Madison Square
Garden, Owen Hart won a
30-man Royal Rumble match. During this match, Waltman injured his leg. He said
that he did a spinning head scissors, he believed it was on Adam Bomb, and he
did not know how to take the move so he tore up his knee. He said that he had
to share an ambulance with Ludvig Borga that night as they only two of them at
the arena and one of them was for Ivan Putski so he could get a ride back to
the hotel.

 

Up next is
the 1994 Royal Rumble PPV and when Owen kicked Bret’s injured knee. Waltman is
asked if there was any doubt if Owen and Bret could have a good feud and he
said that there was some doubt amongst the other wrestlers as they did not
think Owen was a big enough star to feud with Bret. Sean said that Owen turned
and it didn’t matter about cheers. He also said it was much easier being a
heel, due to not having to worry about fan response as much. Waltman said they
were happy for Owen but business was bad at the time and they were worried about
the gates. Waltman said that they would get home after being on the road and
come home to a tiny check.

 

Still on
the Royal Rumble, Waltman is asked about the angle of the Undertaker’s casket
exploding and him being lifted to the rafters. Waltman said that it was silly.
He is asked if Undertaker took time off because his wife was having a kid and
he said his son was already born and that he was working through a lot of
painful injuries and could barely get around. He also adds that they wouldn’t
even let you wrestle today if you had the same injuries.

 

Waltman is
asked about Lex Luger and Bret Hart being the co-winners of the Royal Rumble
match. He said that the office was behind Lex, joking that the first clue was
that they gave him a “huge, fucking bus” and brings up the angle on the
aircraft carrier. Waltman said at that time, Vince wanted to keep on pushing
Luger but the fans just wanted to see Bret. He brings up a tag match that
featured both guys and how Bret came out for his entrance and went to the
middle of the ring and the fans cheered while Luger went to the corner and
yelled and you could hear his voice echo due to the lack of crowd noise.
Waltman also adds how Bret told him to never go into the corner after his
entrance, because everyone else already does that. According to Waltman, even
Luger brought up his lack of crowd noise in the locker room and soon after
that, the decision was made to put the belt on Bret.

 

Waltman is
asked if Kevin Nash’s star-making moment was when he eliminated several people
in a row during the Rumble match. He said that it was and before that, he
usually looked bad in the ring. Waltman then is told about the fact that Nash
was getting cheered, despite being a heel, and Waltman talks about how the fans
let you know what they want and it makes it a lot easier on everyone, instead
of pushing a wrestler down your throat.

 

Waltman is
asked about Bob Holly, who debuted this month. He said that it was quiet and
when he was in the WWF, he always craved knowledge, especially about other
wreslters, promotions, and even television ratings. Waltman tells a story about
one time, he brought up to the other wrestlers that RAW received a 3.2 rating
and for a while, he was known as the three-two Kid.” Waltman was asked if Holly
was stiff and he said that he wasn’t anymore stiffer than himself. He adds that
they add good matches.

 

 

FEBRUARY

 

On February
6th, during a tour of Germany, Marty Jannetty was fired
for the fourth time by the WWF. Waltman did not recall how he got fired that
time, saying he wasn’t around, then is asked why Marty kept on resurfacing in
the WWF. Waltman said that he always had good matches. He then said he could be
sleeping under a table and wake up in ten minutes and go out and have a great
match. He is then asked if it was a personality conflict with management of
partying. Waltman said that it was partying and Marty was like a kid who
wouldn’t grow up, even adding it sounds hypocritical coming from himself.

 

He is asked
about Jim Ross and his contract not being renewed. Waltman said that it was
cold, as he just suffered a Bells Palsy attack. He is then asked about the
relationship between Ross and Vince McMahon. He tells a story about being in
the office with JR and Vince. JR was eating a plate of food while Vince and
Waltman had a disagreement. Vince told Waltman that sometimes, you have to
learn to like the taste of shit then spoke to JR and said “isn’t that right,
Jim.”

 

Waltman is
asked about how he would work guys who were having tryouts. Waltman said that
he didn’t tryout guys but would work with the new hires and would get a feeling
for their personality and workrate. He talks about the Shane Douglas matches
during his Dean Douglas run. He said it was a rotten gimmick and wasn’t in
shape but worked with him later on and he was much better.

 

During a
February 22nd taping of “Superstars,” Lex Luger was announced as the
WWF Champion and came to the ring with the belt. This show was airing right
after WrestleMania. Waltman was asked if Luger winning was the original plan or
were they just trying to throw people off. Waltman believes that they were just
trying to see how the crowd would react to Luger being the champion but doesn’t
know which reason was correct.

 

Up next is
Jerry Lawler and how four criminal charges of statutory rape and sodomy were
dropped in exchange for him pleading guilty to harassing a witness. Waltman
said that there was talk about the charges in the locker room. He is asked if
Lawler had a well-known reputation amongst the boys for liking underage girls.
Waltman said that people did not act surprised when it happened.

 

Waltman is
asked about Mabel and if he was hurt by him. At this time, he fell on Fatu in a
match and ended up hurting him bad. Waltman said that he got roughed up a bit
but nothing bad. He also brings up how he hurt Nash bad one night and almost
got fired as a result but claims Nash did not want him to lose his job.

 

 

MARCH

 

Waltman is
asked about Chief Jay Strongbow as an agent, who is unpopular amongst most
wrestlers. Waltman said Strongbow liked him and his friends and people did not
like him because he was a hardass. Waltman brings up how Strongbow tried to
teach him when he first got there and called him “trailer,” because he was the
last to arrive to the building. He then took a liking to Waltman when he found
out that he was trained by Boris Malenko, who helped out Strongbow a lot when
he first broke into the business.

 

He is then
asked about a joint show between the WWF and Smoky Mountain.
Waltman is asked about the pay and he said it was shit and that he made about
$200 from that show.

 

Waltman is
asked about the first “meet & greet” before WrestleMania and if they got
paid any extra. Waltman doesn’t believe that they were but that it was expected
of you. He is asked about WrestleMania paydays but at the time, Waltman said he
was on the bottom of the pay scale and didn’t get much anyway.

 

Next is
when Bret won the title from Yokozuna. He is asked about the decision to go
with Bret over Luger. Waltman said that it was not only the fans, but also the
boys. Waltman is asked how someone approaches Vince to tell him what to do,
asking if you have to be blunt or subtle. Waltman just said that they let Shawn
Michaels take care of that stuff.

 

Waltman is now
asked about the ladder match between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels and if they
knew before the match that it was going to be a classic. Waltman said they did
a little bit but most people do not know that those guys had much better ladder
matches at house shows before that. He is then asked if they practice ladder
moves before the match as Waltman tells him you never, ever practice using a
ladder as you could easily injure yourself before the match.

 

He is then
asked if he got paid for his ten-man match at WrestleMania that got bumped off
the card due to time restraints. Waltman said that he got $10,000. He then said
that he was bummed out as it was his first time at WrestleMania. He confirms
that it was the ladder match that ran long.

 

Waltman
then talks about the celebrities that appeared at Mania. He called Burt
Reynolds “whiskey nose” as he was royally shitfaced that night. He is asked if
he got the business. Waltman said that he did and William Shatner did as well.
He said that it was cool meeting Little Richard and Jennie Garth.

 

The tuxedo
match between Howard Finkel and Harvey Whippleman is brought up. Waltman said
that Howard was a whipping boy for a lot of people. Waltman said that he always
liked Howard. He is asked about Howard’s position behind the scenes. Waltman
said that he would tell you what was said in the dirt sheets and was a source
of information.

 

He is asked
why they brought back Capt. Lou Albano to manage the Headshrinkers. Waltman is
asked about Albano. He said that he was funny
after two weeks but after that would just repeat the same jokes. Waltman said
that he was always a little drunk.

 

 

APRIL

 

Waltman is
asked about the “Heartbreak Hotel” segments hosted by Shawn Michaels. He said
that it went with his persona at the time and thought it was good. When asked
if Shawn was dealing with injuries at the time, Waltman smiled and said “sure.”

 

He is then
asked if he heard about Vince’s reaction to Jesse Ventura being awarded money
in his videotape lawsuit. He said that he didn’t but ended up getting the same
lawyer as Jesse. He also thinks that the only reason Vince worked with Jesse
again was due to him being governor and going beyond wrestling. He did recall
one time before the gym, Vince muttered “that’s my fucking money.”

 

Up next is
when Charles Austin was awarded $26.7 million dollars after getting paralyzed
from taking a Rocker Dropper. Waltman said that it was sad and that Austin had no business
being in the ring. He is then asked about all the money problems at the time in
the WWF and if he or the other wrestlers considered jumping over to WCW or
somewhere else. Waltman said no, that they were in it for the long run, but he
did try to see if he could get into movies.

 

On April 30th,
Diesel defeated Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Title. Waltman is asked if
the Kliq were all friends at this point. Waltman said that they were and there
was no resentment from anyone about Diesel winning the belt.

 

 

MAY

 

Next, is
the WWF Tour of Japan. Waltman thought he would be able to make his mark at the
show. He said that he tried to school the others on how to work in Japan but no
one would listen. He said the first night he had an awesome match with Rick
Martel. The second night, they wanted to have a DQ finish and Waltman brings up
how the Japanese hate that. Waltman said the fans were happy to see the stars.
He also said that he got the second best reaction on the show, first was the
Undertaker, due to wrestling with Hakushi. He is asked about the agents that
went over. JJ Dillon went and Waltman said that he and Owen Hart were ribbing
him all night. He also said that Vince did not make the trip.

 

Waltman is
asked about Don Muraco, who was a guest ring announcer during his match in Hawaii against Adam
Bomb. Waltman joked that he spoke “Muraconese” and mentions that he didn’t get
to know him well but heard stories, including that he was part of a clique in
the 1980’s WWF with Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, and Adrian Adonis. He is asked
about being in Hawaii.
He said that he hung out with Bret and almost missed their flight and was
nearly fined by Jack Lanza.

 

Waltman is
asked about Earthquake being upset about having to job to Yokozuna and leaving
the company shortly afterwards as a result. Waltman says that it was true and
that he was one of those guys who wouldn’t job. He brings up a story in WCW of
how Hacksaw Duggan stiffed him in a match because he was pissed that he had to
job.

 

Next is the
angle that saw Ted Dibiase buy Nikolai Volkoff. Waltman is asked if this was
Vince sending a message and having fun with a character. Waltman said that
Vince did do stuff like that. He then said that he wanted to shoot himself in
the fucking head because he had to work with Volkoff on the road and he was
awful in the ring. He did say he was a nice guy but would never take a bump.

 

He is asked
about the Duke “The Dumpster” Droese character and if anyone thought it was a
good idea. Waltman said at the time, that was the mindset for the company, to
have wrestlers with characters based on occupations.

 

Waltman is
asked about the Hardy Boyz, who debuted at the RAW tapings as enhancement
talent. He said that no one thought to give a look at them, saying the agents
responsible for eyeing talent were terrible. They referred to Jeff as “Vanilla
Ice” at the time due to his haircut .He recalls locking up with Jeff when he
was an enhancement guy and thought he had no fucking clue what he was doing but
could do all of the highspots. He tried to do a new finisher on him, an Indian
Death Lock with a front facelock, bur it fell completely flat. He also said
that Scott Hall gave Jeff a bit of offense in one of their matches and went
over to the agent and told them that he had talent after the match but nothing
happened as a result.

 

 

JUNE

 

Waltman is
asked about the 1994 Hall of Fame class. Waltman talks about James Dudley and
how he was very old and broken down when giving his speech but Waltman said it
was great. One time, Dudley was in the corner backstage and pissed himself and
just sat there. He said that Vince honored his dad’s promise to care for him
and that Vince really did honor that promise. He now speaks about the creremony
and how Bret Hart put him over in his speech as part of the young guys who are
going to be the future.

 

Up next is
the fake Undertaker (Brian Lee). Waltman said that they hope it worked and believed
that the actual Undertaker made the suggestion to use Lee in the angle.

 

Waltman is
now asked about the locker room reaction to the WCW parade for Hulk Hogan. He
said that Vince was not vocal about that situation but later on, Vince held at
meeting with talent and told them they were “not fucking going anywhere” during
the time WCW was handing out big contracts. Waltman said that you can take that
however you want

 

Oliver
brings up the WWF attempt to push the next generation and asks if it was
mockery of older stars that were elsewhere or serious attempt to position the
company. Waltman said it was a serious attempt to transition the company into
the future.

 

Next, is
the King of the Ring. He is asked about Art Donovan and Waltman impersonates Donovan’s
“how much does this guy weigh” quotes. Waltman said he was watching and just thought
to himself that this was a fucking disaster. He is then asked about Randy Savage
and a rumor that he was pissed because he had to do commentary with him.
Waltman said it was hard to tell with Savage because he always had the same
expression and tone.

 

Waltman is
now asked about his KoTR matches with Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart. He said it
was great. He then said he saved himself in his first match so he could have an
awesome match against Owen. Waltman then said that Bret complimented him that it
was the best match he had seen in that time period.

 

He is then
asked about the debut of the Cubans, Ricky Santana & Dave Sierra with
manager Bill Alphonso, and how they were gone after a few matches. Waltman said
that he did not want to discuss what happened then Oliver tries to probe but
Waltman did not discuss any more of the situation.

 

Waltman is
asked about the rule against violence acts (chokes, eye gauges, weapon shots)
and threats made in interviews. He thought it was a rib then brings up how
Shawn and Razor were supposed to have a ladder match at SummerSlam with these
restraints. He then says how they were having to work around  everything and it took a lot of effort to
come up with that match.

 

 

JULY

 

Next, is the
resignation of Vice President Basil DeVito and Ann Bojack, who headed PPV’s and
International relations. Waltman said that it was a result of the steroid
trials. He then talks about Lisa Wolfe, who was brought in and very negative
and miserable to be around. Waltman said he never dealt with DeVito and Bojack.
He said that Vince never told anyone why people like Watts and Jerry Jarrett
were around. When asked about Watts, Waltman said that he liked him and thinks
that Watts lied him due to being a disciple of Malenko and Gotch. When asked
who could serve the WWF better, Watts or Jarrett, he said Jarrett.

 

He is then
asked about the death of referee Joey Marella, son of Gorilla Monsoon, who died
in a car accident at 3am. Waltman said that they just finished a long tour and
this was the first time someone close to him died. He then said that Marella
was well liked by everyone. He said that this broke Gorilla and that you could
physically see him decline from that point on.

 

On July 5th,
after the jury deliberated for sixteen hours, Vince McMahon was acquitted of
steroid distribution. Waltman said that Vince and Titan sports were not guilty
of distribution or pressuring people to take steroids. He then said that you
can take a look at reasons for why a person gets pushed then says that steroids
are just the nature of the beast that is the wrestling business. Waltman is
then asked if Vince acted differently after the acquittal and he said yes, then
mentions that night, they were all at a late night diner a little bit fucked
up.

 

Waltman is
asked about his 25 minute match against Bret on RAW. Waltman said at that time,
despite being in the “Kliq,” he was driving with Bret. Waltman said that at the
time, he was influenced by the Calgary-style of wrestling. He got word of this
match after KoTR and had a few weeks to prepare. He said they were mutual fans
of each other and he was proud to have the match. Waltman also mentions a kid
with cancer who visited them before the match and felt he made an impression on
him with the match. Waltman is now asked about working with the “Make a Wish”
foundation. He said when someone’s last wish on earth is too meet you, you try
not to let the kid see you cry and even if you might not feel worthy of the
honor, you suck it up because it is that kid’s wish. Waltman says there is no
right thing to say to a kid. Waltman gets pretty emotional talking about this.

 

Waltman is
asked about Bob Backlund turning on Bret after a handshake. He said that
Backlund was a nice guy but there was a major styles clash. He is then asked
why Bob was involved in this angle and Waltman 
thought Vince believed that Backlund’s name would resonate across the
fanbase and that Vince still thought he was a big name. Waltman also said that
it spoke volumes about their lack of talent.

 

 

AUGUST

 

Next,
Waltman is asked about Bruce Hart. He said that he was crazy and was definitely
going into business for himself. He said that Bret was pissed about Lawler’s
insults about his dad and that it was never discussed beforehand. Waltman said
that when Bret applied the sharpshooter to him, he really tried to break him in
half.

 

He is now
asked about Virgil, who had his last match in the WWF after getting hurt
against Nikolai Volkoff. He thought he was a nice guy but terrible wrestler and
says that they would give guys tryout matches against Virgil, who would have no
interest in putting over anyone.

 

Waltman is
now asked about Johnny Polo (Raven) giving notice. He calls him a brilliant guy
but could rub people the wrong way.

 

During a
match on Superstars, Shawn Michaels slapped a fan who was heckling him. Waltman
said that he had a short fuse but you took the good with the bad.

 

Waltman
suffered a herniated disk in a tag match. He said that the ring was very hard
and not made for guys who were taking a lot of bumps. He goes into the differences
between rings in the North and in the South. He said the ones in the North were
made of steel, while the Southern rings were made of lumber and had cable
ropes, which were better for guys using them for highspots.

 

He is asked
about Walter Payton and his involvement in SummerSlam. Waltman said that he was
a fan and the crowd would erupt when he moved near Shawn Michaels. HE then said
you are given concrete rules when dealing with celebrities in a match or
segment to make things a simple as possible.

 

Next, is
the return of Davey Boy Smith at SummerSlam. Waltman said that he gave him a
ride to the building that night and said he was all jacked up and juiced to the
gills. He also said that Bret was not fond of him returning, thinking that he
would take away some of his momentum.

 

Waltman is
asked why the Fake Undertaker angle was dropped at SummerSlam. Waltman said
that Bret and Owen took as much time as they wanted in their cage match. He
even said that Bret told him so before the match. He said that it would happen
a lot, with guys taking time on purpose to screw over the other guys. When
asked why Lee wasn’t repackaged, Waltman said that Lee was fucked up a lot of
the time.

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

Next,
Waltman is asked about Syndicated TV stations dropping wrestling shows
altogether and if TV squash matches ending would hurt the business. Waltman
said not really and when the competition is putting on PPV quality matches on
TV, you have to match them. He said when the product is hot, it doesn’t matter
how much you give away on TV as the people will keep coming back.

 

Waltman is
now asked about the passing of his trainer, Boris Malenko. , following a battle
with Leukemia. This is when Waltman gets pissed off. He said they were
traveling the Midwest and found out he was dying and asked the office for time
off to see him before he died. J.J. Dillon told him that he needed to stay on
the road. He said when he got home, he was supposed to get on a plane to see
him but his wife told him that he already passed. Waltman said that J.J. ran
the company like Johnny Ace did. He said that Randy Savage picked him up from
the airport and they went to the funeral together. Waltman is asked what it is
like having a successful mentor. He said that the training and wisdom he got
from Malenko was invaluable and he learned real wrestling and even made the
tickets and flyers for his shows, which is how he worked off the money for the
school as he didn’t have the money. He attributes his technique in the ring to
Malenko. He brings up a story of how Strongbow would always people to guess his
real name and everyone said that it was Joe Scarpa but he told them they were
wrong so Waltman called Malenko, who told him that it was actually Luke, and
the next day at TV, Watlman called him Luke and Strongbow was shocked.

 

Waltman is
now asked about a letter that Linda McMahon wrote to “TV Guide” after they
described the WWF as an “Eternal struggle between good and evil with steroids
used to up the ante.” Waltman said that Linda was head of the legal department
at the time, as she was an attorney, then states that she never was around the
locker room. Waltman is asked if wrestling is the bastard child of the
entertainment industry and he said that it was and occasionally feels like that
but was not embarrassed when he was in the nWo, as they were the coolest people
on television. Waltman then brings up how every professional sport has their
issues with PED’s and tells people that there will always be cheating in sports
as long as there is money involved.

 

Waltman is
asked about the time he filled in for Samu, who bolted from the company, and
wrestled with Fatu against Shawn and Diesel. He said that it was at a house
show in Boston and dressed up as an Islander. He said he did that on his own
and enjoyed the match, even doing the Superfly Splash off the top rope.

 

 

OCTOBER

 

Next is the
return of King Kong Bundy. Waltman said that it didn’t work out with him
because he was a mark. He said that he refused to submit to Hart’s
sharpshooter, stating he wasn’t tapping to anyone. Waltman said that he definitely
got Visine in his water bottle last night. He then brings up how little people
respected Bundy then when he went to the referee and tried to have him bring back
the five count gimmick he used in his debut with the company and the referee
blew him off.

 

He is asked
about a push for young announcers, with the debut of Charlie Minn. Waltman is
then asked if it was a decision by Kevin Dunn then is asked about his role in the
company at the time. Waltman said that he makes the guys look good and that
some of the angles were his idea and sometimes the boys would smarten him up.
He said that when Razor wrestled job guys that would screw up, he flashed two
fingers into the camera, signaling for a second take, and they would repeat the
move.

 

Waltman is
asked about Jacques Rougeau. He said that he liked him but that a lot of people
had problems with him. He said at the time, Rougeau would barely leave his feet
but when they were up in Canada, he would use dropkicks and planchas.

 

Next, is
his tag match with Razor Ramon against Shawn Michael and Diesel on the Action Zone,
which is considered one of the best TV matches in WWF history. When asked about
which member of the Kliq he enjoyed working with the most, he said Scott because
he was the best at laying out the foundation of the match. He then said that
Scott is the reason why Shawn and others, including himself, became so good in
the ring.

 

Waltman is
asked about Luna Vachon, who got fired right after her marriage. He believes
that it was due to substance abuse issues and also says that she was on some
heavy anti-psychotic medications. He said that she had Disassociative Identity
Disorder as well as Bipolar Disorder.

 

 

NOVEMBER

 

Next, is
Vince McMahon revealing on television that the WWF was not able to come to
terms with Randy Savage. Waltman said that they were all shocked, as he was the
guy after Hogan left. He recalls taking a leak with Vince and Arnold Skoaland,
who made a comment about Randy and Vince’s face turned white. He is then asked
if it was known that he was going to WCW and Waltman said of course, because it
was the only place to go. Oliver brings up how Lanny Poffo told him that the
WWF told Randy that they were going young at the time.

 

Waltman is
asked about Diesel as a babyface, when he turned at Survivor Series and if it
was something he wanted. He said that Diesel didn’t mind that Vince wanted it
after his performance at the Royal Rumble earlier in the year. He is then asked
about match layouts and who was responsible. He said that there was a hierarchy
amongst the agents, with a lot of them who couldn’t even put together a finish.
He is asked why guys like Tony Garea became an agent and Waltman said it was
due to him being loyal.

 

At the MSG
show in November, Diesel wins the belt from Backlund in eight seconds. Waltman said
the match would have been horrible if it went any longer. He did say that
Backlund did an awesome job selling the finish. He tells a story about
Backulund going up to Vince during a MSG show and wanting to put him over.

 

Henry
Goodwin debuts after weeks of vignettes. Waltman is asked what was in the
bucket. He said that it was usually lettuce and oatmeal. He also said that they
were warned to not put stuff into the bucket. He asked if someone got any “extra
ingredients” and Waltman said that it happened to Sunny one night but he did
not participate. He is then asked about the debut of Hakushi and his tattoos.
Waltman said that they were stenciled and it would take hours. He said that he didn’t
do them during the smaller house shows. He is then asked if he had a hand in
him getting hired and he said that he gave the office the thumbs up after their
match in Japan.

 

Next, is
the WWF RAW video game. Waltman is informed that his strength rating was 4,
while Luna Vachon was 6. He said that he didn’t make much money from video
games then but while in WCW, received a check for $50,000.

 

Waltman is
asked about Gerry Brisco, who became the director of road agents. Watlman said
he was good. Oliver then asks him about the term “stooge” as Waltman said it is
a horrible term then said the term didn’t apply to them until they started to
refer to Pat Patterson and Brisco as Stooges on RAW.

 

He is now
asked about the report that WWF wrestlers would be fired if they were found to
be talking with anyone from WCW. He said that Vince hinted at this in a group
setting. Personally, he didn’t talk to anyone but recalls that Jack Lanza
stopped talking to Bobby Heenan as a result.

 

Tammy Sytch
makes her debut as Tamara Murphy on the Action Zone. Waltman is asked if was
unpopular amongst the locker room right away. He said that happened over time
but at the beginning, most of the boys were trying to get into her pass.

 

He is asked
about the company’s view of UFC at the time with the debut of Kama. Waltman
said that they acknowledged it a little but that UFC derived from wrestling. He
then said that he did not like the gimmick and Papa Shango was better for him.  

 

Waltman is
now asked about the company and how they were wrestling in tiny high school
gyms and it came across as minor league on camera. Catering got cut down a lot
and he compares it to the spread that TNA had when they first started. He is
asked if the locker room was angry at the end of the year and he said it was “Disgruntled.”

 

 

Final Thoughts: I thought Waltman did an excellent
job with this timeline. The WWF was doing poorly at the time and Waltman went
into specifics about that. Even though he was not part of the main event scene,
he hung around people who were and made it a point himself to seek knowledge
about the company. I give this a high recommendation, as Waltman offers good
insight and I wonder what happened to the firing of the Cubans that led to Waltman
not wanting to discuss the specifics.

The Only Review of WCW’s Spring Stampede 1994 That You’ll Ever Need

Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that every other match I’ve ever seen was being held in an ordinary ring?! Then I gotta see this show!

One of the last shows before the Hogan Era started. Slamboree would follow this, which would be followed by Clash of the Champions where Flair unified the WCW World Heavyweight Title and the WCW International Championship, so that Hogan could have THEE title, and not just one of the big ones. If you guys would like me to follow up this PPV with the rest of the lineage that leads to Bash at the Beach, let me know and it shall be.
 


Johnny B. Badd vs. Diamond
Dallas Page

You know, I used to be amazed when I saw DDP in
1997 and realized he landed Kimberly. However, I’m even MORE amazed when I see
1994 DDP. He was at least 40 lbs. heavier, with even worse hair. Despite being
more lithe, and quicker, Johnny really has to earn his momentum, as DDP keeps
him in his control with suplexs,
gut-buster, and a few submissions. Once he turns the tide, he makes the best of
it with a dive to the outside, where DDP stands, then throws him back in for an
off the top rope sunset flip that earns him the pin. Not a bad opener, but
nothing too spectacular, as they really didn’t get much time, and it was all
DDP. They’d go on to have better matches as their chemistry kept developing. Of
course, as DDP was to lose the Diamond Doll to Badd, he jumped ship and instead
she became the Booty Babe to Ed Leslie’s Booty Man.
Johnny B. Badd nails DDP with a sunset flip for
the pin at 5:55 | *1/2 An acceptable opener, nothing great. 


Brian Pillman vs. Steven Regal [C] – WCW TV
Championship

I always dug the TV Championship, as it made so
much more sense to me than US or Intercontinental. Brian rushes Regal to ensure
his control of the beginning of the match, which Pillman holds onto until
Regal’s experience and innovation gets the best of him. Steve hits Pillman with
some stiff European uppercuts, along with some brutal submissions and a few
suplexes and flips that come right out of nowhere. Pillman really looks
over-matched here, being stretched and beaten while the 15-minute time-limit is
counted down in 5 minute intervals over the PA. The match goes the full 15
minutes. I was really looking forward to this match, as Regal was God-like at
this point. However, Pillman was completely off his game tonight. There were
numerous botches, and the only real offense he got off were the occasional
chops here and there. Regal though, he was awesome. 
The match goes to a 15 minute limit draw | ** A
decent match, something you’d find on TV


Nasty Boys [C] vs. Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne –
WCW Tag-Team Championship – Chicago Street Fight

You know what I miss? The air-brush t-shirts.
Those were a staple of the 90s, and now they’re gone, last seen with The New
Age Outlaws. This match is on Foley’s first WWE DVD set, and it’s one of the
greatest brawls in history. The amazing thing about it is you literally have to
have two great matches going on at the same time, since the cameras will cut
back and forth. Maxx and Knobbs eventually work over to a fake merch stand,
which is awesome and I wish they still did. Maxx goes to grab a Nasty Boys
t-shirt, causing Tony to exclaim “I don’t even think that shirt fits
him!”. Everything from lead pipes to pool cues, and even tables are used
as hand-held weapons. Two great back to back moments come when Mick is probably
the first wrestler to ever suplex a table onto another guy, and then takes a
RUNNING snow-shovel shot to the head. He’s later thrown off of the entrance
ramp, and bashed with a snow shovel again, giving The Nasty Boys the win. A
hell of a match, without a second of down time or boredom. One of the most
innovative matches in history, that’s almost ludicrous in how entertaining it
is. Fantastic. An absolute must see. 
Saggs smashes Mick with a snow shovel for the pin
at 8:54 | ****3/4 One of the greatest tag-team matches of all time. Absolutely
take the time to see it. 


The Great Muta vs. Steve Austin [C] – WCW US
Championship

Muta uses his quickness and experience to hold the
momentum at the beginning. Steve gets a few flashes of offense before Muta
reminds him once again of who he’s in the ring with. Steve finally gets a lead
when he knees Muta in the back of the head, sending him outside. Back in,
there’s an extended Abdominal Stretch spot, but outside of that, Steve’s
offense is limited to knees and some suplexes. Muta eventually regains control
with his kicks, and after a top rope huricarana, he’s on the verge of a win but
tosses Steve over the top rope, drawing the DQ. Seriously, does Muta EVER have
a match that doesn’t end in an odd fashion? Honestly, the match just didn’t
work. It was a lot less exciting than I was expecting, with very little
innovation or anything interesting. They just didn’t click. Crowd was loving
them some Muta however. 
Muta throws Steve over the top rope, drawing the
DQ at 16:20 | * Not worth it. Very disappointing. 


Sting vs. Rick Rude [C] – WCW International
Champion

Man, I love Rick’s theme from WCW. Sting controls
the beginning of the match, with my favorite moment coming in the form of Sting
holding Rude in a front face-lock, and giving him a wedgie. Of course, referee Pee
Wee Anderson gives Sting the finger-wag and admonishes him for such antics.
Holy shit, this may be one of the most boring matches I’ve ever seen.
Literally, 95 percent of Sting’s offense was a face-lock, then once Rick is in
control he spends 95 percent of his offense on a chin-lock. Once they go for
offense beyond rest-holds, it’s slip up after slip up, numerous botches, and
the only highlight being Rick doing a full flip on a back-drop. Rude is
obviously supposed to go for a Rude Awakening, and then get hit by a chair
swung by Harley Race who’s just shown up. However, Harley is late for his cue,
so Rick starts working Sting and waiting. Finally, Rick sets up the LONGEST
Rude Awakening in history, as Harley enters to deliver one of his patented
Absolute Fakest Most Bullshit Chair Shots Ever, which Rude sells like he just
took a Ryu Dragon Uppercut up the urethra. At this point, Sting grabs the win and
the BS title. Easily one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen, but worth
tracking down for the sheer spectacle of it all. It’s a match you’d see if Ed
Wood were an agent. It’s very bad, but so bad it’s good. 
Sting pins Rude after he’s lightly brushed with a
chair at 12:50 | DUD Atrocious in quality standards, but worth watching for a
laugh.

Dustin Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck w/ Col. Parker –
Bunkhouse Match

Well, Dustin is pretty stupid to enter in a Bunkhouse
Match with a guy named Bunkhouse Buck. You wouldn’t catch me in a steel cage
match against Steel Cage Steve, as clearly it’s his specialty. The match starts
off with a bang as Dustin literally runs down the ramp and leaps over the top
rope, clotheslining Buck down before stomping the hell out of him. Bunkhouse
turns it to his favor, eventually breaking a stick over Dustin’s back, then
splitting him open with it. In a great moment by Heenan, Dustin throws powder
in Bunk’s eyes, and even Heenan sells it! Man, it gets no better than The
Brain. Dustin has Bunkhouse at one point, but stops to assault The Colonel, who
I feel is vastly underrated in the manager game. Soon, Parker slips Buck some
knux, and he knocks out Dustin for the pin. It went a little longer than it
needed to, but it was a hell of a brawl. I expected a lot less, and was
entertained the whole time. It’s a bloody mess, great stuff. 
Bunckhouse Buck knocks out Dustin for the pin
at 14:11 | ***3/4 Good stuff that’s worth searching out


The Boss vs. Vader

Anyone care to tell me how on Earth WCW was
allowed to use the Bossman like this? I mean, it’s the exact gimmick, and I’ve
seen WWE get after people for less. Bossman owns Vader at first, beating the
hell out of him with clotheslines, splashes and drops on the guardrail. Vader’s
left eye has been busted open, and he takes this out on Bossman with a flurry
of punches and other favored Vader offense. He tries to put Bossman away with a
Vader Bomb, but that’s a no go, however, a Moonsault sure as shit does. I’m
surprised Boss wasn’t turned into a major babyface after this, because they
made him look like a million bucks out there against Vader, looking like the
only person other than Sting and Cactus that could stand toe-to-toe with
Frankie’s father. 
Vader hits a moonsault & pins the Bossman
at 9:02 | ***1/4 Probably not a match you’d want to seek out, but within the
context of the show it’s another great under-card bout. 


Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair [C] – WCW World
Heavyweight Championship

The match starts off with some great mat
wrestling, with some typical fantastic stuff that you’re used to from Flair and
Steamboat. Rick soon gets the momentum on his side and controls Flair with a
series of headlocks, and here, here is the brilliance of these two. Because
Randy Orton does this and it’s death, but these two make it as exciting as a
War Games. They battle to the outside where Ricky misses a splash on the guard
rail, and just ends up hanging there, reminding me of when Homer falls backwards
on the fire hydrant and said “This is even more painful than it looks.”
Back in, Steamboat beats the hell out of Flair with punches and chops, earning
us our first Flair Flop of the evening. Soon Steamboat puts Flair in the
Figure-4, and we get my all-time favorite segment for that submission, as Flair
looks like he’s never been in more pain, and Steamboat is trying his damnedest
to make him submit, incredible stuff. They do the same finish from The Clash,
where Steamboat does the Double Chicken-Wing, and it’s turned into bridge-pin,
however both their shoulders stayed down. Since it’s a draw, Flair is the
winner. An incredible match, really. It is perfect Flair and Steamboat, with no
wasted movement, and never once does your attention waver. Great stuff. 
Double-Pin happens, with the win going to Flair at
32:19 | ****1/2 A classic. Definitely hunt it down if you haven’t seen it. I know it’s
available on Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection


Showcase Showdown:

Spring Stampede 1994 is one of the best PPVs I’ve
ever seen. You get two classics, two great mid-card matches, one hilariously
bad-match, and only one disappointment. It’s definitely a show you can watch
top to bottom no problem. It’s definitely as high a note as WCW could go out on
before they entered the Hogan era, which is something they never got out from
underneath.

Much praise to my editor, Steven Ferrari. He and I met when my mom and I had recently moved to California from New Jersey. He was the handy-man at our apartment complex, as well as a karate master. He taught me some stuff so I could defend myself against The Cobra Kai. 
You can find more Caliber at….
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – some of the Top 4 Classics include: Worst Instances of TV Censorship, Use of the Word “Fuck” In PG-13 Films, Cartoon Themes From My Childhood. Plus I rant & rave about everything else under the sun. 
WCW In 2000 – Recently updated with the July 31st Nitro, which features both a Viagra on a Poll match, and a Straight Jacket Match!
The Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol. 1 – My book about action films. Loved by all, endorsed by both Scott Keith as well as Maddox. It’s only 99 cents. That’s less than a dollar, people!
Requests, mailbag, let me know at CaliberW@hotmail.com
– Caliber Winfield

Flair in WCW in 1994

Hey Scott,

How you doing? Long time reader here.
Question – we know that when Hogan was brought into WCW in 1994 they hastily booked a heel turn for then champion Flair to wrestle Hogan etc. What was the original long term plan for Flair as champion had Hogan not come into the picture? How long would  they have gone with babyface Flair as champion, who would he be booked against and what would be the endgame? I'm guessing he would have turned on Sting just for the hell of it, but any knowledge of what was the actual plan? 
Thanks

There was no "plan" for Flair as champion, the plan was Sid as champion all year but obviously that got fucked up, which resulted in Flair getting the belt at Starrcade.  Plus once Flair got the belt they knew Hogan was coming in, so what you see is what they probably wanted.  

SummerFest Countdown: 1994

The Netcop Retro Rant for Summerslam 94. Well, what do you do when you’ve got 2:40 left until RAW? Watch more wrestling! In this case, you, WrestleLine reader, get a first-run rant instead of the re-runs from the past week. And again tomorrow with Summerslam 95, and probably Thursday with a re-mixed version of 96. Truly, your cup runneth over. Speaking of the WWF, I’m working on the epic King Lear rant for the WWF as we speak. King Lear rant, you say? Wait and see, faithful reader.  (That one ended up being pretty big for me.  Paying attention to Shakespeare in high school sometimes pays off, you whippersnappers! )  You won’t be disappointed. Am I evil, or what? In the meantime… Live from Chicago, IL. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler, who announce that Shawn & Diesel captured the tag team titles the night before.  (Man, speaking of things that ended up changing the business, you wouldn’t think that Shawn & Diesel getting the tag belts would have any longterm effects, but it set off a chain reaction of stuff that led to Nash getting the World title and nearly taking the promotion down with him.)  Opening match: The Headshrinkers v. Bam Bam Bigelow & IRS. This was originally for the tag titles, but the title change from the night before changed that. Could they POSSIBLY have picked a crappier opener than this? (It could have been a SCAFFOLD MATCH!)  Bam Bam and Fatu trade some power stuff to start until Bigelow eats a superkick for two. Bammer comes back with an enzuigiri, as Vince calls it a “gruelling matchup” two minutes in. (Vince says a lot of stuff, like “The WWE Network will launch April 1 2012!”.)  Nice looking double-team superkick gets two for the cannibals. Irwin tags in and gets nowhere, missing a charge and going flying to the outside, where he gets beaten up. Alas, Bigelow pulls down the top rope shortly after, sending Fatu crashing to the floor. Thankfully, he landed on his ass, and thus had lots of padding. The cannibal-in-peril thing lasts about 30 seconds, before Samu gets the hot tag and kills both heels. A diving headbutt gets two, and the Shrinkers hit the finishing sequence on IRS – headbutts, double-front-legsweep, big FAT-ASSED SPLASH OF DOOM. Ref is districted by Ted Dibiase, and all hell breaks loose as all 14 managers get involved and the bell rings at 7:20 for the DQ. A pleasantly peppy little match ruined by a bonehead ending. **1/4 (Who books a DQ in the opener?  Dusty Rhodes?)  Leslie Nielsen does a C-level comedy bit on his “search for the Undertaker”. Do you think Vince Russo wrote this one?  (Jesus, even the celebrities are dead now on these shows.)  We get a locker room interview with Razor Ramon. QUICK, SOMEONE HIDE THE COKE! WWF Meaningless Women’s title match: Alundra Blayze v. Bull Nakano. Alundra is current WCW window dressing Medusa. Man, did she have ugly implants when she had the breast implants done, or what? She went way downhill in the looks department when she had those puppies super-sized. (I’m thinking a lot of hard living on the road had as much to do with that as anything.)  Blayze tries a couple of dropkicks to start, but Bull shoves her aside and proceeds to kicking ass. I don’t watch much women’s wrestling, but (when I do, I watch Dos Eq…oh, wait, sorry) Nakano has always impressed me. Bull is working super-stiff here, getting a legdrop for two. After some more punishment, Blayze comes back with a rana for two, but misses a roundhouse kick and Bull chokes her out. An interesting variation on the Boston crab follows, but we’re in Chicago so Alundra makes the ropes. Now Bull follows with a Standing Sharpshooter that draws Ooooo’s from the crowd, and rightly so. Blayze gets a quick two off a rollup, then Nakano hooks an armbar submission, called a wristlock by Vince. (Perhaps he confused it with a wristwatch.) Well, he’s trying. Blayze comes back with the HAIR PULL SLAMS OF DOOM for two. Bull reverses a piledriver and covers for two, but Blayze bridges out. Backslide gets two for Blayze, and she tries a rana but gets powerbombed for two. Bull goes to the top and misses a legdrop, allowing Blayze to hit the GERMAN SUPLEX OF DEATH for the pin to retain at 8:20. HUGE pop from the crowd, so of course the women’s division was buried soon after. *** (Can’t bury what’s already dead and buried.)  Toad Pedophile interviews the new tag champs. For those keeping score, this is officially the moment when the Clique took over and the WWF began it’s slow death. Remember, the King Lear rant is coming! Intercontinental title match: Diesel v. Razor Ramon. You young’uns would probably know Diesel better as “Big Poochie” or “That dumbass booker Kevin Nash”, while Razor Ramon is better known as “AA Member #191939” or “Scott ‘Alka’ Hall”. Hey, don’t look at me, I’m not the one who got drunk and groped a 50-year old woman. (Well, not as of that writing…I mean the 2000s were tough on everyone and we all do things we’re not proud of.) Anyway, Walter Payton, some football guy, is in Ramon’s corner, and while Chicago seems happy to see him, Payton doesn’t seem terribly thrilled. (I freely admit that I live “in the bubble” when it comes to sports.  I can talk hockey, but I don’t know Tim Tebow from the guy on the shampoo commercials with the crazy hair and couldn’t pick either one out of a police lineup if I was at gunpoint.)  Ramon tosses his toothpick at Diesel…and he sells it. See, now there’s dedication to your craft. (See, Hall draws attention to himself when he walks through an airport, so people BELIEVE that the toothpick hurts.)  Slow start, until the Outsiders lock up and Diesel dismantles him. I can’t believe I used to mark out for this big goof back in 1994. Actually, much of the internet jumped on the Diesel bandwagon in 94, which is why he got the World title a few months after this. (The internet {heart} Kevin Nash!) Shawn interferes freely, and Diesel ends up with a sleeper. Ramon backdrops out, but ends up going over the top to the floor, allowing Shawn to pull off a turnbuckle pad and get in Payton’s face. Only Shawn F’N Michaels could carry two guys in a match he’s not even involved in. Diesel continues the assault on Ramon back in the ring. He runs Ramon into the exposed turnbuckle back-first, then hits a nasty side slam for two. He hits Snake Eyes, and Shawn interferes some more. Ramon has gotten NO offense in here. Big elbow gets two. Now the legacy of Big Lazy rears it’s ugly head, as we get the chinlock and the abdominal stretch, two Nash favorites when he wants a break. Ramon comeback #1 fails, but when Diesel goes for Snake Eyes again, Ramon escapes and cradles Diesel for two. Ramon comeback #2 succeeds, as he gets the better of a test of fisticuffsmanship and then posts Diesel, which leads to the bulldog off the top for two. (I desperately wanted to get fisticuffsmanship over as the catchphrase of the new century, but it was just never gonna happen.)  Dramatic bodyslam gets two. Shawn gets involved and goes flying into the railing, taking the best bump of the match. Diesel ends up on the top, but Ramon can’t suplex him off. Diesel goes for the jackknife, but Ramon backdrops out. Shawn interferes AGAIN, and we get the double-KO spot. Shawn and Payton get into a tug-of-war over the IC belt, which distracts the ref. Shawn tries for the superkick on Ramon, but he misses and nails Diesel, which would actually signal the start of Diesel’s face turn. Ramon crawls over and covers for the pin and the title at 15:05 while Payton subdues Michaels. It was Ramon’s second title, btw. ***1/4 So sue me, I enjoyed it. Shawn and Diesel do separate followup interviews, setting up Wrestlemania XI, albeit indirectly. Lex Luger and Tatanka face off in the locker-room, with Tatanka accusing Luger of selling out. Lex Luger v. Tatanka. The story here is that Luger may or may not have sold out to Ted Dibiase’s Corporation. However, the crowd boos Tatanka heavily and cheers Luger, so obviously THEY knew what the real deal was. Series of lockups to start goes nowhere. They do a sad little wrestling sequence to reinforce that this is babyface v. babyface. Tatanka gets two off a powerslam and does the Pissed Off Racial Stereotype comeback with chops for two. He goes to the top and hits….wait for it….A CHOP. He misses whatever off the top on the second try, and Luger comes back with his SHITTY CLOTHESLINES OF DOOM. Cue Ted Dibiase, who wanders out with a bag of money. Luger yells at him, allowing Tatanka to roll him up for the pin at 6:09. * After the match, Luger is upset with Tatanka, and goes after Dibiase. However, the fans’ suspicions are confirmed as Tatanka jumps Luger from behind, thus officially joining the Corporation. Pretty much everyone on RSPW second-guessed this one easily enough at the time, but it was still pretty shocking to see career babyface Tatanka suddenly turn. Unfortunately, it was completely wasted since he’s the worst heel in the history of wrestling. Oh well, good intentions and all that.  (Of course, Luger betrayed us all and joined the real evil Corporation a year later…)  Jeff Jarrett v. Mabel. Where’s the puppies? MABEL ATE THEM! Okay, so they weren’t around then, but it’s still a good joke. (No.  No it’s not.)  Speaking of good jokes, popular legend has it that other members of the WWF locker room would gather around Mabel in a circle and sing the Barney theme song. Onto the bad jokes: Oscar’s “rapping”, as he gets all up in our area with an intro that sounds like “Throw your hands in the air, awoogaoaodjfjaoidjokjkjkjka, anakjodmvomeioajifdaf, everybody in the house OH YEAH!”. Sadly, I left my Dumbshit-to-English translation guide at my friend’s house, so I have no idea what he was shooting for there. To the match. They strut a lot, and Jarrett gets thrown around the ring a lot. He comes back with some high-flying stuff, but Mabel no-sells. He hits the FAT-ASSED LEG LARIAT OF DOOM for two, as we cut to Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz, who is on strike in the stands. Don’t ask. (Vince really has his finger on the pulse of pop culture, giving it to those baseball owners via SATIRE in a stinging commentary of something.  Because pointing out that something exists = comedy in WWF world and always has.)  Jarrett goes after Oscar, but misses and hits the post. Back in the ring and Mabel misses a splash, allowing Jarrett to get two. Jarrett goes for a sunset flip, Mabel drops down, Jarrett moves and gets the pin at 5:50. Total crap, but the crowd was into it. * Cage match, WWF title: Bret Hart v. Owen Hart. Owen attacks right off the bat, ramming him into two turnbuckles and doing the 10-punch count. Bret comes back with a lariat, but Owen stomps on his hands. Bret blocks a shot to the cage and DDTs Owen. Another slugfest erupts, won by Bret. He makes the first climb attempt, but gets pulled off by Owen. ENZUIGIRI, BABY! Owen nearly makes it out but Bret catches him going over the top and hits a backdrop suplex to the mat. Bret crawls for the door but Owen catches him and whips him to the other corner. Bret grabs a quick bulldog and tries for the door again. Owen yanks him away and dives, Bret yanks him away and dives, repeat twice. Bret tries to climb out, and gets slammed off by Owen. Now Owen climbs and again nearly makes it, but Bret grabs him by the hair and they fight on the top. Owen kicks him off and dropkicks him off the top rope. SWEET. Owen climbs again and they fight on the top again with Owen getting the better of the situation. Owen goes for a piledriver but Bret reverses. Whip, reverse, and double-KO. Owen lunges for the door again, but Bret stops him and drops a vicious looking elbow on him. Bret to the top, Owen stops him again. Bret kicks him in the face a few times, but Owen holds on and crotches him on the top rope. Owen tries for the door again, but Bret stops him. Headbutt to the groin puts Owen down and Bret goes for the climb out again. He changes his mind and goes for an elbowdrop, but misses. Owen climbs out, with Bret not moving. He pops up at the last second and blocks Owen, however, pulling him in by the hair in a great visual. He slams him in for good measure, then makes his own ascent. Owen brings him back in with a modified samoan drop. Owen tries to climb again, Bret stops him. Owen keeps control, however, and they end up ramming each other into the cage. Bret recovers first and makes it about 3/4 of the way down the cage…when Owen grabs his hair and pulls him back in. Piledriver on Bret. Both guys are exhausted, but Owen tries to climb out again. Bret meets him at the top, and they have a slugfest that leads to both guys collapsing to the mat below. Bret immediately crawls for the door, but Owen grabs his leg. Owen fights him down and then lunges for the door himself, but Bret blocks, drags him back in, and slingshots Owen into the cage. Crowd is WAY into this one. Bret crawls for the wrong corner to build suspense, then finds the right one…and Owen leaps over and stops him. Crowd is having a collective heart attack. Owen is up first and goes behind Bret, but ends up going facefirst to the cage. Bret is selling a knee injury, but still climbs up again. Owen gets up….collapses….and makes it juuuuuuuuuust in time to stop his brother from winning. Back in via the hair, and Owen hits a leg lariat. The crowd is absolutely losing it. Owen climbs to the top again, and makes it halfway out before Bret stops him. They fight on the top rope, with Bret getting a big field goal kick to send Owen flying. He pops up again and hauls Bret back in. Owen hits some european uppercuts, and we get another double-KO. Owen makes it up and to the top rope, but Bret stops him and superplexes him back in. Even Davey Boy, at ringside, is marking out. Both guys are out cold again. Bret crawls to the door . . . slowly . . . but Owen grabs him. Owen slaps on the Sharpshooter, screaming about how the belt is gonna be his the whole time. Bret breaks free and reverses to his own. He releases and climbs again, with Owen once again lunging at the last split second and grabbing the hair. Both men fall to the mat. Owen makes it up and to the top first, and both guys make it halfway down the cage, fighting the whole way. Owen rams Bret into the cage, but slips and gets hooked in the cage, allowing Bret to drop down at 31:51 to retain the title. Meanwhile, Jim Neidhart blindsides the Bulldog in the audience, taking Diana down with him. Owen and Anvil toss Bret back into the cage, chain the door shut, and beat the holy hell out of him as the Hart Brothers storm the cage. Oh man, this is so NWA. I love it. Finally the Bulldog (with his caveman hairdo and all) fights his way in and makes the save. This is easily the best cage match you’ll ever see in the WWF, and it’s a terrific way to end the show. ***** Sadly, this didn’t end the show, because we still have one more piece of business to take care of. Main event: Undertaker v. Underfaker. At Royal Rumble 94, Undertaker got beat by Yokozuna and shoved into his own casket, at which point he rose into the air and “died”, but not before read a dramatic soliloquy. He took a couple of months off, then in the stupidest plot development in WWF history, and that’s saying something, Ted Dibiase introduced his newest charge…the Undertaker. But see, it’s not Mark Callaway, it’s Brian Lee, (who would go on to become Chainz), which EVERYONE knew at the time. And of course, the original Undertaker returned, and they decided to fight. First of all, Lee is about 6 inches shorter than Callaway, so the illusion is blown right there. Anyway, Paul Bearer has a couple of Druids wheel out a casket, then unveils his new urn, with flashlight built in, then the real Undertaker makes his return, debuting the new purple look that he had until Survivor Series 1996. The Purple Era is generally considered the low point of UT’s career, and coincides, not coincidentally, with the lowest point of the WWF’s history. This will all be covered in greater detail in the King Lear rant. Don’t you just hate a tease? Oh yeah, the match. Brian Lee does a pretty decent job of pretending to be the Undertaker, right down to no-selling every single move. UT chases UF outside the ring, then suplexes him back in. Crowd has no idea who to cheer for. The faker gains control and tries the ropewalk, but gets slammed off. And sits up. Taker comes back with his own, and the crowd seems to be catching onto the fact that the purple one is the good guy. More no-selling happens. Crowd is just dead. Pardon the pun. They “brawl” outside, and it’s like listening to a 45 at 33 1/3. For those under 20, that’s, uh, like watching something really slow. Yeah. (And now vinyl is cool again.) Anyway, Faker gets a chokeslam and Taker doesn’t sit up, so he takes that as a good sign and tombstones him. UT sits up, so Faker tries again, but Taker reverses to his own. Then picks him up and gives him two more, just for good luck. And this time, there’s no sitting up. Undertaker gets the pin at 9:20 and puts everyone out of their misery, and the words “fake Undertaker” are never, EVER spoken on WWF TV again. –**** The Bottom Line: Well, the show was going okay until that last match. Bret-Owen is truly something special, however, and the Ramon-Diesel match is worth a look. Still, this show signalled the true beginning of the end for the WWF, as the Clique began their rise to power and never looked back. Mild recommendation.  (The cage match is elsewhere a couple of different places, and I’m fairly certain Ramon-Diesel is available on another DVD compilation set as well, so this would be a big SKIP IT these days.)