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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 17 November 2016 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Today marks twenty years since SURVIVOR SERIES '96 aired:





As usual, all the elimination matches worked very well. I think this was the Rock's PPV debut (wrestling under the name Rocky Maivia). I don't think I've ever really seen a bad elimination match in the history of this PPV.

The Undertaker and Mankind, who always seemed to have a different match, battled here. I remember Undertaker looking like Batman (in a sense) with his cape-like attire. 

Bret Hart, who hadn't wrestled on PPV since WM XII, returned to face Stone Cold Steve Austin in a a very solid match.

And what of the main event? Face vs face as Sycho Sid took on the then-WWF Champion Shawn Michaels. Well, I say face vs face, but the New York crowd booed Michaels. This was a pretty good big man vs small man match and both guys worked very hard.

This was, in my view, one of the better WWF PPVs of 1996. 
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John Popa
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Posted: 17 November 2016 at 4:59pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

All I remember about that event was Austin/Hart.  I was a long-time Austin fan and saw Bret's endorsement of him as a sign that he was going to be a real top player. Granted, I saw him as a top heel, but, still, I did think he'd be a top heel of all-time who would have been a great WWF champion.

The whole babyface thing was a surprise, at least to me.  
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 17 November 2016 at 6:07pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Here's a question (to which I can't think of the answer off the top of my head): Bret CLEANLY pinned Austin in that match. When was Austin next cleanly pinned? I can't think.

I can think of all the PPV losses that followed. Was it a clean pin by Undertaker when he faced Austin a few months after this at one of the IN YOUR HOUSE events?
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John Popa
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Posted: 18 November 2016 at 2:59pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

His next loss would have been Wrestlemania 13 against Bret. The Undertaker match was May of '97 which would be the next pinfall on PPV. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 18 November 2016 at 3:08pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Ah, of course. Yes, that was a clean loss. Austin never seemed to lose cleanly, not on a regular basis. ;-) 

I'm pretty excited about this forthcoming SURVIVOR SERIES, if I'm honest. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 21 November 2016 at 12:27pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

No SURVIVOR SERIES spoilers for those that haven't yet seen it.

But I will say...

Jesus Christ! 
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 21 November 2016 at 1:37pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I was planning on watching it last night. I forgot the password to sign in. So I 'll catch it later today. I read that it was pretty good. From what I read about the main event I figure that they are building towards Wrestlemania.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 November 2016 at 6:47am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Wow:


If the Undertaker was up for it, and healthy, how about Goldberg VS Undertaker at WRESTLEMANIA?
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Paul W. Sondersted, Jr.
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Posted: 22 November 2016 at 12:57pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Well, seeing what they did with Goldberg at Survivor Series, I'd say... No.
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John Popa
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Posted: 22 November 2016 at 1:13pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Is it a spoiler to talk about what a joke Shane McMahon is in the ring? Other than his willingness to jump off things, he was completely in the way Sunday night and apparently got hurt badly to boot. He shouldn't be in the ring, unless it's a manager-type bump as a one-off here and there.
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 22 November 2016 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Totally agree.... and was surprised to hear that WWE plans had originally called for Shane & Brock to square off at WrestleMania (a rivalry that started at the end of SummerSlam.) however with Shane's health in question, Brock Lesnar & Goldberg appear to be headed for a rematch.


-C!


Edited by Charles Valderrama on 22 November 2016 at 2:22pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 November 2016 at 2:21pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I agree, John.

By the way, that reminds me, when Vince Russo did his shoot interview (what was it, 2004 or 2005?), he said something about how Shane took bumps and he wishes other wrestlers were as committed. Typical Russo ignorance: McMahon often wrestled no more than once a year (if that) and it'd be easier to take bumps under those circumstances.


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John Popa
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Posted: 24 November 2016 at 6:34am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Just a thought I had, in order to give the Raw vs. Smackdown Survivor Series face-off some weight, how about making it that the brand that wins the match gets the Wrestlemania main event?  That way there'd be a real reason for foes to become friends and they could hype that the Mania main event is the real star of the company, as well as talking about a big payoff for that spot.  

I thought the rivalry was pretty artificial this year, this might give it some weight.  Of course the over-riding problem will always be that the fans don't really pick one brand over the other, except to acknowledge which one has a better show at the time.

They could still do the Rumble for the challenger spot (although I do think that's a bit played out but, in general, I think people just accept it as the way it is.)  It would start 'the road to Wrestlemania' a little earlier but it might also help give that December PPV a little oomph.


Edited by John Popa on 24 November 2016 at 6:35am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 24 November 2016 at 8:18am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Just a thought I had, in order to give the Raw vs. Smackdown Survivor Series face-off some weight, how about making it that the brand that wins the match gets the Wrestlemania main event?

***

I'd go for that, John. 

Today marks twenty years since WCW WORLD WAR 3 '96 aired:





The main event was, of course, the three-ring, sixty-man battle royal.

That concept never worked well for me. I appreciate this was probably an attempt by WCW to do the "Royal Rumble". And I know that the WWF no doubt has exclusive rights to the 30-man/entry ever 90 seconds/two minutes concept. Still, though, the three-ring, sixty-man battle royal concept was too unwieldy.

I do remember enjoying the triple threat tag team match on this card (Faces of Fear VS Outsiders VS Nasty Boys). Was also fun seeing Sister Sherri beat up Colonel Robert Parker. I cannot recall much else about the event.
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John Popa
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Posted: 24 November 2016 at 5:58pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Yeah, since the problem usually with the Rumble is that most of the competitors are destined to lose, putting 60 people in one match meant that much more slog before you got it down to the people with a chance to win. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 24 November 2016 at 6:06pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I actually miss the days when the Rumble winner didn't get a shot at a world title.

Prior to the 1989 Royal Rumble, I had no idea who would win. Nor in 1990.

The 1991 event was unpredictable, too. Andre the Giant was scheduled to compete in that bout (WWF Magazine reported at the time, plus he cut a promo on a syndicated show). I thought he might win it for one last run. When he didn't enter, I was so sure the British Bulldog would win it. He at least got down to the last four.

I wasn't even sure who'd win in 1992, although Hogan, Flair or Undertaker seemed safe bets.

Since 1993, well it's been predictable. I knew Bret or Luger would win in 1994. Same with Shawn in 1995 and 1996. 1997 was slightly unpredictable (I assumed Bret would win), but it's lost the unpredictability.

I just miss the days when it was an event in its own right - and the victory was solely about bragging rights.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 November 2016 at 7:26am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Twenty five years ago today, SURVIVOR SERIES 1991 aired:





I really enjoyed this at the time - and with subsequent viewings.

I was disappointed that neither Sid Justice or Jake Roberts wrestled at the event. I would have replaced Justice with Hogan and Roberts with Undertaker. So, Hogan, Boss Man & LOD VS Undertaker, IRS & Natural Disasters. True, I did enjoy seeing Hulkamania defending his world title against Undertaker, but with Justice and Roberts absent from the match, I would have preferred to see them replaced.

At the time, I wondered why Ultimate Warrior wasn't on this card. This was in the era before the internet and where you were only privy to details if you subscribed to insider newsletters.

The Hogan/Undertaker WWF Title match was reasonable. Although Warrior had dented Taker's mystique in the summer of 1991, I liked the storyline here. Taker went down a few times. It looked like Hogan was going to be victorious. Warrior had knocked Taker down in various matches, but Taker's mystique was really dented when he went down to a big boot in this contest.

I liked the opening contest which saw Piper's team take on Flair's team. Some good moments there - and the last Survivor Series appearance of the Warlord, who was always a favourite.

I enjoyed seeing Hacksaw Jim Duggan's team take on Col. Mustafa's team. I was disappointed that Ricky Steamboat and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart didn't wrestle (they were advertised in WWF Magazine). Big Bully Busick - remember him? - was also scheduled to be on the heel's team, but was replaced by Hercules.

The Rockers/Bushwhackers VS Nasty Boys/Beverly Brothers was a spirited contest - and began to sow the seeds of dissension between the Rockers.

As for Boss Man/LOD VS IRS/Natural Disasters, a pretty reasonable contest, but as I said earlier, they could have used another man on each team. Prior to this event, I was looking forward to seeing Sid Justice get it on with the Natural Disasters. I was also hoping for Jake Roberts to tangle with the LOD. 

All in all, a solid and enjoyable event. 
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John Popa
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Posted: 27 November 2016 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

You know, I just never thought Flair fit in during that era of WWF.  They tried to make that a thing, that he was a 'real world's champion' but as time went on, he just didn't really find a niche and never really got over the way it was expected.  Not that I think he should have gotten a new gimmick, I just don't think his run there was remarkable in any way, other than the Rumble win.  As a road wrestler, his style didn't remotely fit the WWF and lord knows he wasn't about to adapt.  
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 November 2016 at 5:56pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Good points, John. 

He never found a niche. Perhaps proof of that is the fact that he was absent from important cards. Did he wrestle on any cards during the WWF tour of Europe? I don't recall. He didn't wrestle on the card at SUMMERSLAM '92 and was given the role of ringside interference during the Warrior/Savage title match. I mean, yes, a presence, but surely he should have been wrestling on the card?

He did have some great matches there, but, like you said, didn't find his niche. 

At times, his presence/matches often seemed like an afterthought. Not always, but some of the time.
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John Popa
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Posted: 28 November 2016 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I'm rewatching the '93 Royal Rumble, which was one of my favorite shows back in the day.  It holds up, which is always nice.The crowd, as a whole, was solidly behind the babyfaces all night.

the opener was a decent enough match between the Steiners and The Beverly Brothers.  The Beverly Brothers was a terrible gimmick but the guys were pretty good workers.  We discussed Flair not finding a niche in WWF above, the same holds true to the early 90's run of the Steiners.  Paired with the Beverlys and the Quebecers, they didn't really fit in, nor did they look as impressive against a lot of mediocre talent.  Not a bad match, but nothing special.

Speaking of nothing special, Bam Bam Bigelow beat The Big Bossman next.  Neither looked very good.  Bossman was over with the crowd, for sure, though.  Bam Bam would have been a great challenger for Hart but they never seemed to get to it.  They'd have a great match at the King of the Ring later in the year though.

Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannety was next for the IC title.  Shawn's turn was recent enough to still be in the storyline, as well as Sherri, who was returning and who's loyalties were in question.  The match was really good with a strong heel win finish, with Sherri siding with Marty, then screwing up and costing him the match.  

Bret defended the WWF title against Razor Ramon next.  Great match of the era.  Everything was tight, Razor could certainly go at this period in history (he was less than a year in WWF and had a lot to prove to everyone.)  Bret looked as good as ever.

The Rumble itself was fun.  Bob Backlund made his return from years away and it was certainly fun to see him and Flair square off as the first two competitors in the match.  As much as the announcers made a point that Backlund was 43, as if that made him horribly over the hill, Flair was about the same age here, but looked like a million dollars.  

I was pulling for Mr. Perfect to win when this match happened - and he came into the Rumble and eliminated Flair before eventually being eliminated himself.  Kind of an odd thing: they announced that the next night on Raw that Flair and Perfect would compete in a loser leaves town match.  Hindsight says maybe Flair should have made the challenge after being eliminated, instead of just having it be announced casually by the commentators.  There may have been TV build-up of course, but, to me, a big stip like that should come from the talent, not the commentators.  

Also, when Perfect was eliminated it was by Jerry Lawler helping after himself being eliminated.  They never went anywhere with that but Hennig and Lawler had worked together in the AWA and probably would have had some good matches.  Alas, Perfect got fed to Lex Luger next instead.  (Oh, 'The Narcissist' premiered at this event and Luger gave a particularly bad promo, although Heenan tried to make up for it as best he could.)

Giant Gonzalez debuted here, which was as awful then as it is in hindsight.  

This was before the era where everyone got an entrance theme for the Rumble and you haven't heard a crowd react in silence quite like they did when Terry Taylor made his entrance.  Funny stuff.  Poor Terry couldn't even get X-Pac heat.  

This was also Yokozuna's big debut in the Rumble, which he won, although Randy Savage did get him off his feet and, in one of the more stupid finishes of all time, went for the cover after hitting the flying elbow, only to be thrown over the top rope by Yoko.  

Still, a really strong event, the roster was about to change over pretty heavily so it was the last appearance of note for a lot of these guys.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 28 November 2016 at 1:16pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Whilst I felt it was less impressive than the previous RUMBLE events, it had enough of interest.

After Yokozuna won, I remember saying to a friend, "I wish Razor Ramon had beaten Bret for the WWF Title." A heel Ramon VS heel Yokozuna for the WWF Title at WM IX?! Yes, please! Ramon did eventually turn face and clash with Yokozuna (1994, I think) so I got my wish.

I actually wanted Crush to win the Rumble and get a shot, but thanks to that dastardly Doink, Crush never got the chance to enter the Rumble.

The undercard was rather underwhelming for me: Boss Man/Bigelow felt like filler; Steiners VS Beverlys left me feeling unfulfilled; and although Michaels/Jannetty was a decent match, they had better contests at other times.

Didn't WWF Magazine advertise Max Moon VS Terry Taylor as an undercard match? Or did I imagine that?

My main issue with the 30-Man Rumble is that it didn't provide many memorable moments. I can think of many memorable moments from previous events: Andre throwing the Warlord out like he was a rag doll (90), Warlord lasting about 2 and a half seconds (1989), the LOD eliminating the Undertaker (91) and Andre eliminating himself when Jake threw his python into the ring (89). There were some decent match-ups in the 1993 event, but nothing that I'd put on a "Top 10 Rumble moments list".
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John Popa
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Posted: 28 November 2016 at 1:22pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Funny story about the Ramon/Yoko feud.  I went to a TV taping at that time, back when TV tapings were like six hours of job matches, with one or two two dark main events.  Well, one of those dark matches was Yoko vs. Razor. The match was typical stuff until Razor took the advantage, including getting to the point where he made it seem like he was going to give Yoko the Razor's Edge.  That was impossible, of course, the finish was that Crush was going to do a run in.  Only problem: Crush was late.  So Razor stood there with Yoko's head between his legs for as long as he could before finally deciding to try something else, all the while keeping one eye on the curtain, to see when Crush actually started coming down the aisle.  Eventually Crush started out from behind the curtain and Razor went back to the finish.

Everyone was laughing.  It had been a long night for everyone, apparently :) 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 28 November 2016 at 1:34pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

:-)

Did Lex Luger happen to come out after Crush and Yoko attacked Ramon? Wondering if that's the match you saw, what you described sounded familiar.
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John Popa
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Posted: 28 November 2016 at 5:05pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

You know, I don't really remember the rest of it.  There was another dark match after that Lex was in so maybe he didn't do the run in. Dunno.  Those TV tapings are a blur, in general.  
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 28 November 2016 at 5:42pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Things can blur.

Hypothetical friend: "Which Hogan/Savage match is your favourite?"
Me: "Erm, the one they had during the 1989 WWF World Tour?"
Friend: "Yeah, which one?"
Me: "Erm, you know...I think it was the one they had in Paris. Or maybe London." 

;-) 
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