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Thread: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

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    Default Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    Forgive me if this thread has already been done. I did not do a thorough dig to check. It's also a bit long, so if you don't want to read through it, I won't be offended. Really. Anyway...

    Upon rewatching all available WCW and WWF programming for the year 1992 chronologically, I can only conclude that it might be my favorite year in wrestling history.

    I should start by saying I was a WWF kid through and through in the 90s, and HBK and the Hitman were my guys. I should also say that I have always loved a good work rate, even back before I knew what a "work rate" was. I knew that Bret's matches and Shawn's matches entertained me more than Hogan or Warrior's matches. That being said, 1992 was the year where, to my eyes, work rate started to win out over muscle bound super hero gimmickry. We all know why: The first inklings of the steroid scandal to come had shown their face, Hogan was missing from WWF TV for a large part of the year, and Warrior was on-again, off-again with his various suspensions and firings. With the sea change in talent and Vince knowing he needed to usher in something new, guys like Bret and Shawn were brought to the forefront. 1992 is the year it really started to happen.

    The main things I liked about WWF '92 were Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels' fairly rapid ascent. The year begins with Bret dropping the IC belt to the Mountie at a house show, then going over Roddy Piper clean at Wrestlemania to win it back. Fast forward to Summerslam and you have what I might argue is Hart's greatest moment: the epic match in which he carried a stoned Davey Boy to a fantastic match in front of a capacity crowd at Wembley. Amazing stuff. Not long after, he wins the world title from Ric Flair in Saskatoon and becomes the "fighting champion". Meanwhile, Shawn becomes a singles competitor, developing the HBK gimmick on the fly. You can actually SEE it growing and changing week to week throughout the year. As the months wear on, he gains confidence, experience, and heat. He faces Bret Hart at a TV taping in WWF's first ladder match in July. He goes on to win the IC strap from Davey Boy on Saturday Night's Main Event, thus catapulting him into the high mid card -- a spot from which he would only ascend and below which he would never drop again. At the last PPV of the year, Survivor Series, he faces Bret in a champion vs champion match. I cannot stress enough how different Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels main eventing a PPV seemed at that time, coming off seven straight years of Hogan and crew.

    Aside from the ascent of Shawn and Bret, you have Ric Flair's two-time title winning tour of the WWF. To see a guy we all knew was from the OTHER company walk in wearing THEIR championship belt...that was quite a moment. It's hard for today's wrestling fans to imagine it, but that was something you just did NOT see back then. It was mind boggling. Then the Royal Rumble win and, best of all, his feud with Savage. What an awesome, awesome program those two put on. As much as everyone wanted to see Hogan vs Flair and called it a missed opportunity, the Savage vs Flair feud was just awesome. Great promos, great matches, great story, great chemistry.

    So....Shawn, Bret, Savage vs Flair...a work rate fan's dream! And no more constant Hogan and Warrior superhero nonsense! None of this even begins to mention the slow rise of the OTHER big 90s star, the Undertaker. 1992 was just a well booked, exciting, interesting, and very different kind of year. A transitional year, and one that set the stage for the decade to come.

    Since this post is already running a bit long, I won't go into much detail about WCW, but wow. Just some of the amazing roster that year: Sting, Vader, Ron Simmons, Steve Austin, Jake Roberts, the Steiner Brothers, Barry Windham (when he was still worth a damn), Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, Rick Rude, Brian Pillman, Cactus Jack. WOW! So many quality matches, even in spite of the often terrible booking that year. The Dangerous Alliance? Pure awesomeness. Again, a transitional year for WCW, and one that led to what I would consider a much less impressive '93 and '94 for WCW. This, to me, was the last really great WCW year until '96 or so. '93 paled in comparison and '94 saw Hogan run over the whole roster and bring in his old WWF pals. By late '95, things slowly started to come back to life. A story for another day...

    Anyway...between WCW's awesome roster, WWF's ascent of Bret, Shawn, and 'Taker, and the Flair-Savage feud, 1992 was just a stellar year. Feel free to add any thoughts, disagreements, or embellishments you can think of. Thanks for reading!

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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    Great post! '92 was definitely a good year for the reasons you named. There were also some major debuts in '92 - Yokozuna and Razor Ramon. Also Bob Backlund returned.

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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    WCW '92 is one of my favorite years. That roster was just insane. The Dangerous Alliance was so damn entertaining. Rude/Steamboat is a feud that needs more love, I feel.

    WWF '92, is one of my favorites simply because of the wackiness. They start off with huge names and by April several of them are gone. Shango/Warrior is a guilty pleasure of mine. However, the undercard with Bulldog/Hart/Michaels made for fun matches. Savage/Flair, Money Inc. run.. Such a good time overall.

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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    WWF 1991-1992 are the golden years for me, this was what I watched growing up, it was the GOAT roster, Hulk, Warrior, Savage, Piper, Roberts, Taker, Bret, Bulldog, Flair, Sid, Perfect, HBK, LOD, Money Inc, Papa Shango, The Mountie, The Model, hell I even liked Virgil, too legit to quit! Pure nostalgia love for this era of WWF for me.

    I watched through the WCW 92 tapes on the Network a while back for the first time, it was REALLY good stuff.

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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    I'm a huge fan of WCW circa 89-92. The 92 PPV collection is something I missed out on as a kid, but I was still a huge WCW fan back then. Being able to watch them all now on the network is pretty sweet. I'm actually watching Beach Blast as I type this. Sting vs Cactus: Pinfalls Count Anywhere (with Bill Alfonso as referee). Nuff said.
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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    Quote Originally Posted by KashDinero View Post
    I'm a huge fan of WCW circa 89-92. The 92 PPV collection is something I missed out on as a kid, but I was still a huge WCW fan back then. Being able to watch them all now on the network is pretty sweet. I'm actually watching Beach Blast as I type this. Sting vs Cactus: Pinfalls Count Anywhere (with Bill Alfonso as referee). Nuff said.
    And don't forget the Rude/Steamboat Ironman Challenge.

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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    WCW 1992 is great. With Flair leaving, it was almost like they entered the "New Generation" first, and put out maybe their best calendar year of pay per views, setting things up for a promising future. With Flair's return in '93 and Hogan becoming available the next year, they reverted back to the future, but 1992 is like an alternate universe of what WCW could have been in late 90's with Sting, Austin, Pillman, Cactus Jack, Dustin Rhodes, Ron Simmons, Vader, Steiners leading WCW through the 90's.

    WWF was much more hit or miss for me. I'm not as nostalgic for a lot of the gimmicks, but there were some high points. Flair's Rumble performance, Two classics at WM8, Hart-Bulldog at SummerSlam, and the debuts of Razor Ramon, Lex Luger, Jerry Lawler and a heel Shawn Michaels. A lot of crap too.

    I think WCW won 1992, with WWF setting themselves up nicely to win 1993.


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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    I regret not watching 1992 WCW in real time just because I missed out on the awesomeness that was the Dangerous Alliance. Love those guys. Would have been a pleasure to see them do their thing every week in real time.

    My interest in real time 1992 WWF ebbed and flowed. Flair & Mountie kicked the year off with a bang by winning the WWF Title, Rumble & (briefly) IC title. Then I was all about Papa Shango and babyface Undertaker. Enjoyed HBK's rise to the top. But even young mark me could see things weren't quite what they used to be by the end of the year. In the 1992 mindset WWF Champ Bret vs. IC Champ HBK made then-current WWF look like the JV squad when you consider just two years earlier you had WWF Champ Hogan vs. IC Champ Warrior in pretty much the biggest match ever (or at least since Hogan/Andre).

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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    Quote Originally Posted by StranglerLewis View Post
    Forgive me if this thread has already been done. I did not do a thorough dig to check. It's also a bit long, so if you don't want to read through it, I won't be offended. Really. Anyway...

    Upon rewatching all available WCW and WWF programming for the year 1992 chronologically, I can only conclude that it might be my favorite year in wrestling history.

    I should start by saying I was a WWF kid through and through in the 90s, and HBK and the Hitman were my guys. I should also say that I have always loved a good work rate, even back before I knew what a "work rate" was. I knew that Bret's matches and Shawn's matches entertained me more than Hogan or Warrior's matches. That being said, 1992 was the year where, to my eyes, work rate started to win out over muscle bound super hero gimmickry. We all know why: The first inklings of the steroid scandal to come had shown their face, Hogan was missing from WWF TV for a large part of the year, and Warrior was on-again, off-again with his various suspensions and firings. With the sea change in talent and Vince knowing he needed to usher in something new, guys like Bret and Shawn were brought to the forefront. 1992 is the year it really started to happen.

    The main things I liked about WWF '92 were Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels' fairly rapid ascent. The year begins with Bret dropping the IC belt to the Mountie at a house show, then going over Roddy Piper clean at Wrestlemania to win it back. Fast forward to Summerslam and you have what I might argue is Hart's greatest moment: the epic match in which he carried a stoned Davey Boy to a fantastic match in front of a capacity crowd at Wembley. Amazing stuff. Not long after, he wins the world title from Ric Flair in Saskatoon and becomes the "fighting champion". Meanwhile, Shawn becomes a singles competitor, developing the HBK gimmick on the fly. You can actually SEE it growing and changing week to week throughout the year. As the months wear on, he gains confidence, experience, and heat. He faces Bret Hart at a TV taping in WWF's first ladder match in July. He goes on to win the IC strap from Davey Boy on Saturday Night's Main Event, thus catapulting him into the high mid card -- a spot from which he would only ascend and below which he would never drop again. At the last PPV of the year, Survivor Series, he faces Bret in a champion vs champion match. I cannot stress enough how different Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels main eventing a PPV seemed at that time, coming off seven straight years of Hogan and crew.

    Aside from the ascent of Shawn and Bret, you have Ric Flair's two-time title winning tour of the WWF. To see a guy we all knew was from the OTHER company walk in wearing THEIR championship belt...that was quite a moment. It's hard for today's wrestling fans to imagine it, but that was something you just did NOT see back then. It was mind boggling. Then the Royal Rumble win and, best of all, his feud with Savage. What an awesome, awesome program those two put on. As much as everyone wanted to see Hogan vs Flair and called it a missed opportunity, the Savage vs Flair feud was just awesome. Great promos, great matches, great story, great chemistry.

    So....Shawn, Bret, Savage vs Flair...a work rate fan's dream! And no more constant Hogan and Warrior superhero nonsense! None of this even begins to mention the slow rise of the OTHER big 90s star, the Undertaker. 1992 was just a well booked, exciting, interesting, and very different kind of year. A transitional year, and one that set the stage for the decade to come.

    Since this post is already running a bit long, I won't go into much detail about WCW, but wow. Just some of the amazing roster that year: Sting, Vader, Ron Simmons, Steve Austin, Jake Roberts, the Steiner Brothers, Barry Windham (when he was still worth a damn), Arn Anderson, Ricky Steamboat, Rick Rude, Brian Pillman, Cactus Jack. WOW! So many quality matches, even in spite of the often terrible booking that year. The Dangerous Alliance? Pure awesomeness. Again, a transitional year for WCW, and one that led to what I would consider a much less impressive '93 and '94 for WCW. This, to me, was the last really great WCW year until '96 or so. '93 paled in comparison and '94 saw Hogan run over the whole roster and bring in his old WWF pals. By late '95, things slowly started to come back to life. A story for another day...

    Anyway...between WCW's awesome roster, WWF's ascent of Bret, Shawn, and 'Taker, and the Flair-Savage feud, 1992 was just a stellar year. Feel free to add any thoughts, disagreements, or embellishments you can think of. Thanks for reading!
    1992 was perhaps my least favorite year. 1994 might have been the absolute low point for the company creatively, but by this point the WWF had fallen from its perch and I was now getting used to small crowds and RAWs held in high school gyms.

    The company going into 1992 was still the WWF of the Golden Era, with the roster to go with it. However the steroid scandal had almost paralyzed the WWF and drastically altered its booking direction. Hogan was being forced out and his designated replacement Sid Justice was no longer viable. The roll of champion fell to Randy Savage, who failed not because of anything on his part but simply because the WWF failed to run an angle propelling the Flair/Savage feud forward after WrestleMania. From April until July there really was nothing taking place to draw interest, and the gates showed it.

    But more important than this was the absolute decimation of the roster. I'll give you the top 10 wrestlers in January 1992, and then again in December 1992:

    January 1992 December 1992
    Hulk Hogan Bret Hart
    Ric Flair Ric Flair
    Randy Savage Randy Savage
    Sid Justice Razor Ramon
    Rowdy Roddy Piper The Undertaker
    Jake Roberts Shawn Michaels
    The Undertaker Yokozuna
    Bret Hart Kona Crush
    Big BossMan Big BossMan
    Davey Boy Smith Marty Jannette

    You have to look at the December 1992 roster and think of where they were in the eyes of the fans at the time. Shawn Michaels was still in the first year of his singles push after having been a tag-team wrestler for the four years prior. His partner Marty Jannette was back and getting a singles push as well. After wrestling in a tag-team for six years, Bret Hart was now a World Champion. Scott Hall had been The Diamond Studd on WCW seven months earlier, while Yokozuna was brand new.

    In the intervening months, the company had lost: Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, Sid Justice, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Mountie, Hawk, Animal, Nailz, The Warlord, The Barbarian, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich, and Jim "The Andvil" Neidhart. It was a tremendous loss of talent, most of who had been involved in key feuds.

    The best comparison would be if WWE today were to lose John Cena, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Rusev, The New Day, The Big Show, The Usos, Samoa Joe, The Miz, and Dolph Ziggler in a short period of time without sufficiently building up their replacements. Yes this would be a great opportunity for Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jason Jordan, Enzo A'More, and a few others, but without the passing of the torch moments you are left with an inorganic elevation of some talent that was previously viewed as mid-card material or tag-team wrestlers.

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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seafort View Post
    1992 was perhaps my least favorite year. 1994 might have been the absolute low point for the company creatively, but by this point the WWF had fallen from its perch and I was now getting used to small crowds and RAWs held in high school gyms.

    The company going into 1992 was still the WWF of the Golden Era, with the roster to go with it. However the steroid scandal had almost paralyzed the WWF and drastically altered its booking direction. Hogan was being forced out and his designated replacement Sid Justice was no longer viable. The roll of champion fell to Randy Savage, who failed not because of anything on his part but simply because the WWF failed to run an angle propelling the Flair/Savage feud forward after WrestleMania. From April until July there really was nothing taking place to draw interest, and the gates showed it.

    But more important than this was the absolute decimation of the roster. I'll give you the top 10 wrestlers in January 1992, and then again in December 1992:

    January 1992 December 1992
    Hulk Hogan Bret Hart
    Ric Flair Ric Flair
    Randy Savage Randy Savage
    Sid Justice Razor Ramon
    Rowdy Roddy Piper The Undertaker
    Jake Roberts Shawn Michaels
    The Undertaker Yokozuna
    Bret Hart Kona Crush
    Big BossMan Big BossMan
    Davey Boy Smith Marty Jannette

    You have to look at the December 1992 roster and think of where they were in the eyes of the fans at the time. Shawn Michaels was still in the first year of his singles push after having been a tag-team wrestler for the four years prior. His partner Marty Jannette was back and getting a singles push as well. After wrestling in a tag-team for six years, Bret Hart was now a World Champion. Scott Hall had been The Diamond Studd on WCW seven months earlier, while Yokozuna was brand new.

    In the intervening months, the company had lost: Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, Sid Justice, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Mountie, Hawk, Animal, Nailz, The Warlord, The Barbarian, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich, and Jim "The Andvil" Neidhart. It was a tremendous loss of talent, most of who had been involved in key feuds.

    The best comparison would be if WWE today were to lose John Cena, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Rusev, The New Day, The Big Show, The Usos, Samoa Joe, The Miz, and Dolph Ziggler in a short period of time without sufficiently building up their replacements. Yes this would be a great opportunity for Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jason Jordan, Enzo A'More, and a few others, but without the passing of the torch moments you are left with an inorganic elevation of some talent that was previously viewed as mid-card material or tag-team wrestlers.

    Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to respond and I certainly see the logic behind your opinion.

    That being said, one of the main reasons I really like the WWF in 1992 is the matches.

    Bret vs Piper - Not a mat masterpiece, but a cool clash of eras on the biggest stage of them all. Bret goes over clean.
    Savage vs Flair - Good angle, good match, great in-ring chemistry.
    Savage vs Flair 2 - My only regret is that this was not on a big PPV but a TV taping instead. Another good match with Savage selling his "hurt knee" big time.
    Bret vs Bulldog - Arguably one of the best matches in WWF history, not to mention the location, the crowd, etc.
    Bret vs Shawn ladder match - the first ladder match in WWF history. Not a barn burner, but an important historical moment.
    Bret vs Shawn title vs title - A good match and one that clearly showed the direction the WWF would be heading in the 90s.
    L.O.D. vs Money Inc - Entertaining tag team feud.
    Savage/Perfect vs Ramon/Flair - Cool for its mixing of eras. A bit odd that Perfect had to sub for Warrior, of course.
    Undertaker vs Kamala - First Casket Match in WWF history.

    So all of that happened in ONE calendar year! Quality matches, mixing of wrestling eras, ascent of Hart, Michaels, and Taker, and the first ladder and casket matches in WWF history. To me, that's a great year. I understand though, due to the loss of the stars you mentioned and the shrinking gates, why you feel otherwise.

    Thanks again for your counterpoint perspective.

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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    Great American Bash of 92. Damn. I feel ashamed of myself. Never seen it until now. What a show. Sting vs Vader and a tag team tourney featuring Austin, Windham, Liger, Pillman, Steamboat, Dustin, Hase, Williams, Rude, Gordy, Hashimoto and more? Yeah, that is my kinda card.
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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    1992 was definitely an odd year. It was a changing of the guard where we got sprinkles of the past and glimpses into how the future would be.
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    Default Re: Network re-watch: 1992 was an AMAZING year.

    Great thread, I echo a lot of the comments here. Flair in WWF was fucking nuts. Macho Man got his belt back. Bret Hart becomes a megastar. And yet, WCW had the better product!

    My Top 5 1992 for the hell of it:
    5 - Sting vs Vader, GAB
    4 - Hart vs Bulldog, Summerslam
    3 - Sting vs Cactus, Beach Blash
    2 - Liger vs Pillman, Superbrawl
    1 - War Games

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