Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wrestling Six Packs: Interesting Live-Tweet Options for When WWE Network Launches

The forgotten Mania would be a fascinating live-tweet
Photo Credit: WWE.com
The six pack has returned, mainly because holy crap, the WWE Network has been announced and it sounds fantastic. In addition to the original programming, television replays, pre- and post-shows, and all WWE's pay-per-view events, the video on demand library will contain every single PPV event ever aired by WWE, WCW, and ECW. This richness in archive presents a goldmine of inspiration for a writer such as myself, but aside from content for the blog, it also provides a different opportunity.

More and more, auteurs out there are organizing synchronized live-tweets of old events, usually found on YouTube. With WWE Network making events available in the best quality and without fear of disappearing due to copyright infringement, not only will other people do more of these live-tweets, but I might partake as well. The following lists the six events I think I would consider organizing a live-tweet for the most. The shows aren't the marquee WrestleManias or the Bashes at the Beach '96 of the lot. However, they hold certain curiosity value for me, and those are the shows I feel are most interesting to revisit.

1. WrestleMania 2

I know I said no marquee WrestleManias, but this show is about as quirky and almost forgotten as the show has ever gotten and will ever get again. WWE even seems to gloss over it. Whenever the history of the show is brought up, WrestleMania is the start, and they skip right to WrestleMania III with Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. I know Brandon Stroud wrote a Best and Worst of it last year, and Sawyer Paul (Get the K out!) and Rich Thomas unpacked it on the International Object podcast, but seeing is believing. I'm not sure the current audience can get an appreciation for it until they watch, and my own curiosity demands this event is one of the first in rotation.

2. No Way Out 2001

Hot off the heels of his third Royal Rumble win, Steve Austin seemed to be headed to the infernal wood-chipper that was Triple H as a tune up for his WrestleMania X-7 match against The Rock. History is clear as to what would happen at the end of the latter match. However, when the former match rolled around, I was all about rolling my eyes. I thought the Three Stages of Hell match was plodding and boring at the time, but I would like to get a better look at it through the spectrum of history. Plus, looking for foreshadowing for Austin's big turn might be beneficial in retrospect.

3. Spring Stampede 1994

I wasn't a WCW watcher growing up, so I missed out on their early pay-per-views. Looking back at some of the lineups, this one stood out to me specifically as a loaded, absolutely stacked card, but it also had a billion fuck finishes. For example, William Regal wrestled Brian Pillman! But it was a time limit draw. Sting took on Rick Rude! But the match ended on an errant chairshot. Steve Austin vs. Great Muta? YES! Oh, wait, the match was a disqualification based on the absolutely asinine grounds that tossing someone over the top rope was illegal. ANOTHER Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat broadway happened on this show! Except the match ended with a double pin. I think watching this pay-per-view would be a great thought experiment as to whether the unfulfilling booking actually affected the quality of the matches.

4. Starrcade 1989

Speaking of the older WCW/NWA material, Starrcade '89 would be a fascinating live tweet, just to see how folks might react to the same guys wrestling three times in a night in a round-robin tournament style. The event was centered around two "Iron Man" style tournaments, which made this Starrcade like no other wrestling pay-per-view that I could think of. Moreover, the competitors in the singles matches were Ric Flair, Sting, The Great Muta, and Lex Luger. Luger aside, that slate is rock solid. The tag side wasn't much more of a slouch either, containing the Road Warriors, Steiner Brothers, Doom, and New Wild Samoans in its ranks.

5. Sin, SuperBrawl Revenge, or Greed

WCW in 2001 had hit the skids both creatively and financially. However, they had some interesting stuff going on in the ring. The company still had Rey Mysterio on the roster when his name was "Rey Misterio, Jr." and had an exciting battery of other cruiserweights throwing their bodies around. Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T, Scott Steiner, and Dustin Rhodes were still around as well. One of the above events would be fun to look at, both to see how the wrestling stood up comparative to the stories and to see a company in its death throes to see how different it might be from, say, WWE today.

6. In Your House: A Cold Day in Hell

The In Your House series, at least up until Canadian Stampede, would be a great to live-tweet because they're only two hours long. A Cold Day in Hell capitalized on Steve Austin's newfound popularity and gave him his first shot at the WWF Championship against… the Undertaker. Austin and Taker would go onto feud extensively in the coming years, so to see their first singles match as a pair of uninitiated foes for the most part should be interesting (ignoring their interactions from the Royal Rumble and Final Four from earlier in the year, of course). Another feud that would rage in the later years that started at this show? Rocky Maivia vs. Mankind.