#243: Mark Whitman rebooks Sting vs. Hulk Hogan at Starrcade 97
Yellow again ever gonna lay out with championship wrestling when another big week joyless right now. Hey. Hey, welcome to the double dropkick show. I'm he's mulligan. And I'm Mark thanks for listening to our the little podcast that could it's a wrestling podcast. We talk about the wrestling you grew up with the wrestling need to watch. Now and stuff is new and DisneyWorld is we did on one of our previous episodes. Hey, what did you take his second? Go to double drop kick dot com at the top of the page. There's all the different ways to subscribe to this. Listen, I I'm a giving person. I'd hate for you to miss episode. If you subscribe on apple podcast or Google play or any of your favorite podcast apps. You can subscribe the RSS feed which would come right to Email. Listen. I'd hate for you to miss out on something that could change your life. And so yeah, I want to encourage you to do that. Also. 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Speaking speaking, groggy, hanging out, we were talking over lunch. Just I've been reading a lot of wrestling books, and you were reading something the other day and with Bischoff and Russo and everybody's doing their podcast. Now, a lot of talk about WCW these days. You mentioned probably. The biggest match in WCW history. One of the greatest builds in history. He's the one with the Bill. The biggest don't know may be go Bergen HOGAN. Yeah. I don't know that's arguable in debatable. But but you wanted to talk about you had some thoughts on sting HOGAN stark aid ninety seven which for me. Yes. I don't know. I don't taking the business and when this happened, and so and so lift and all the effects that those four me. Yeah. That is the night. That I started to lose interest in that company. Yeah. Because I thought. That is one of the best. Logical will told story. Yes. That I ever seen interested, and it was such a great slow-burn. Yes. It was was this hot shot deal where we gotta get right to the big thing. Yeah. I year and a half they built up. Yes. Hogan and sting goes through this complete transformation. Right from the surfer guy to this. Moody, dude, hangs around up in the up in the rafters, and he's got the vulture. And it was just it was an incredible story in hulk HOGAN played the role of the he'll incredibly throughout the whole thing. Who's going to stop him? He's on he's mad with power. And now he's got a Bischoff. And he's got hauling Nash to be as muscle who's going to stop this guy. And staying was the guy was hope of of that company. And it was one of the best laid out story. That I ever me personally. I don't you know for me. I really enjoyed that story. Yeah. When you go back, then the ending badge. One HOGAN beat staying clean. Yeah. When you go back to like HOGAN, Andre wrestlemainia three it, really. It had less than three month, build you talk HOGAN sting. Talk talking July, eighteen months hard. But what? But I like that. She's unheard of like wrestling fans today couldn't let and they just kept building unveiled. And they go out on house shows and have this match. Right. He didn't do anything. They slowly Bill. It was a slow burn. But when it's a slow burn. You gotta have a bang any right? And they did. And for those of you listening just to kind of feel you on what happened. And then we'll talk about what should have happened. So what happened? They get the end of the match HOGAN drops a leg. Nick, Patrick counts. Three a normal three count, right Bret Hart. Call counts it was supposed to be a fast three canned. Yes. And that okay. I get that. But went to Nick Patrick have been this dirty referee. You sit and all that. So he does a real fast three county had they done that this one thing yet. Didn't he had a normal Kate HOGAN one? Yeah. So again, I've read different things here. Recently, one of the things that I read in nitro the book by guy Evans, which I highly recommend. I'd just finished this week was that when Bischoff and HOGAN show up to meet with sting like stains, just kind of out of it their side of is he he hit out all this time off, and he instead of showing up with, you know, ten extra pounds of muscle, and blah, blah, blah, showed up kind of doughy like you haven't been in war shirt. Yeah. And and. And and they said, mentally, he just didn't he I guess he had a lot going on personally. But he just he just wasn't all there. And they were kind of like, okay. Are we do, you know, what do we where do we go from here? And depend on who you talk to. You know, HOGAN went to Nick, Patrick and said, hey, just do regular account who who knows I've heard three sides of that story, HOGAN, HOGAN, and Patrick ain't talkin. Then will never do that to me. Right. You know, Nick, Patrick to me is heard actually that. There was some money exchange that he paid. Yeah. Did I mean, right? One of the one of the stories out there say, well, Nick, Patrick has proved throughout his career to be a competent referee. When I mean is. He three he knew his job. He could do what was asked to write Sony way. Bret Hart comes out says that was a fast count. I'm not gonna let this happening in coming off the heels of the Montreal screw job matches. Restarted staying gets HOGAN in the scorpion death lock and taps out. And staying is the champion then you get on nitro the next night. And you've built eighteen months. This one match in the year. Meet -ly getting to have a rematch, and I'm right there with you. I it just it was not good. So then I'm reading the article, and I got you know, I like the, yeah, I like the fantasy I've kind of something I enjoy. So I started thinking. If I was if I was booking that manage. How would I book the match to go? Yeah. And I think I laid out in my mind. I think you don't go more than about ten minutes. I think that. Sting is the challenger. So he's coming to the ring. I yeah. You've had a slow build. It's okay to have a hot start. Yeah. You know because you've built it them built and built. Yeah. It's time for the pale and staying was lowered from the rafters at the time. So you have staying come down from the rafters get about two inches from the Matt. We're just about the tips of his toes will touch and he stops. And he can't he hasn't go. He won't go down any further. And we switched to a camera angle where the guy who's running the controls laid on the ground at Holland Nash. You're standing there working the controllers. And now, they've got stinks suspended. The lights have been down. They come back on Hogan's already in the ring. And he attacks thing like opinion. And now instinct helpless, he can't even fight back. He's he's hung. He's hung in the air and HOGAN just proceeds to take his bad away from him. Hit him across the mid section. A couple of times. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boo. And he beats him like a steel drum. Yeah. For two minutes. Yeah. Three. Yeah. And then while he's hanging there but HOGAN reaches up takes to deal lose. Yeah. Drops it. Now, staying late in the middle of the ring. And HOGAN goes into nineteen eighty-seven HOGAN mode, and he does the entire routine. Yeah. He poses. Yeah. He cooks your. Yeah. He takes in the boo and they're booing him. But he's taking it in like their building him up like he just slammed. Andre the giant. Right. He goes to because logically. If he had just beaten staying up staying wouldn't be able to make a comeback, right? He'd beat him with a ball that. Yeah. But if he spends three or four minutes posing. Yeah. The cry. It's believable that sting could now get a little bit of recovery. Yeah. Hogan rolls him over. Hits the ropes dig leg drop. Boom. Then he jumps up, and he starts to pose again, staying turns into HOGAN. Yeah. And staying jumps up on his feet. Now. He's standing behind HOGAN HOGAN turns around God. And then they go into the sting hawking up. Yes. Like hulk HOGAN routine and he hits him with the scorpion desk drought. He puts him in the in the scorpion death lock rose him over and HOGAN taps out. And this match goes about eight minutes. It's all fluff. We paid it off quick. Yeah. And the people will go crazy because you didn't drag out, right? They didn't try to put not everything has to be a twenty five minute athletic, right? Yeah. I just don't think that now I think people will accept. Yes, you're always going to have the smart marks. Now think everything needs to be twenty minutes right flipping and flopping, but in nineteen Ninety-seven that wasn't the case right Meltzer. Would of hated it again. Okay. He would this pro. Yeah. But you just do it quick. And yeah, you pay it off quick you give the people that resolution to this long story, you've made them wait eighteen minds made them, wait, eighteen months. It's okay. To have happen quick. Yeah. And that's the yeah. And then JJ doesn't have to go out Monday and strip the tidal, you know, and staying doesn't. It's almost like a release for staying to. He can kinda he can take a breath WCW of the guys come out. They do the same thing. They pick him up on their shoulders. We got a new champion, blah, blah, blah. He'd have to change his persona, and he didn't have changes gimmick now. But he doesn't have to be isn't necessarily as dark and brooding because he overcame the force. And then you've. Put the title back. Your you? You know, a few months later, and you do it all over what if what if they had done this? What if you bring? Staying, you know, the celebrations happening in the ring Hogan's rolled out celebrations happening all the WCW is in and we're hard comes in. And it star. Kate goes off the air stinging, Bret Hart or just kinda standing there facing off and you got something and you can get HOGAN off to. Yes, you take HOGAN off a TV 'cause I can't miss you. If you go and stings, I I wanna bring credit Brit -bility back this title, and he and he starts defending the title legit defenses and leads to he's he's battling a Bret Hart. And he puts Bret Hart out, you know, you've actually wanna get the tide loan Bret Hart, but the match everybody really wants to see his, HOGAN and heart. Right. So staying overcomes Bret Hart, and that's when you bring HOGAN back, you know, March or April three or four months later, let HOGAN get over. Over on staying, and then heart can wrestle HOGAN or whatever. But yes, I think. Like even like TI show that the pa- like that that victory. It's star Cade. It should have taken the wind out of the in W O sales. And it didn't know it was like, they just went on business as usual. And then the, you know, the the sting on TV the next night beat people up and get their heat back. That's what they used to do. Right. Right. They never lost their. Yeah. In this. To me he'll needs to lose their heat. So they can get back. Can let me throw this idea out at you. Okay. Star cades over Monday nitro. Holland Nash kick HOGAN at the end w lame out lame off TV, then you have staying feud, Bret Hart. Br hard in the end their payoff match turns he'll. See I don't like that. I don't think Br harsh ever have had any association with HOGAN or Holland. No, no, no, listen. No, no, no heart turns he'll beat sting. Red and yellow HOGAN comes back comes back. He's gonna fight Bret Hart. He's gonna fight the end wwl now. And Br bring him back, you know, couple years to me that would have been logical HOGAN lost the bell and having kicked out of the W O. He was I mean, the N W wouldn't have worked without HOGAN. Right. I'm sure it would have been okay good night. Look at that. Why? I mean, it's on the outside. I don't know if you can see it good. That's hornet. Jimmy, cricket. No. It ain't Jiminy cricket. He ain't out there. Singing when you wish upon a star. You'll be saying you're going to be wishing I didn't get up in your Starwood. Speaking of stain. Hornets gonna give you this gore stinger splash, or no, no, my thing was he as almost as big as a hummingbird as man. Oh my goodness. And I'm glad that's on your side of the room hips lipid. Hip slip in this. What are we talking about? That was it. I tell you we when we discussed it. We knew this would be kinda show where that I just thought something we were talking about figured we'd record it. No. I, you know, I think that's a great idea. I not thought about the whole staying just kind of hanging there. I think that's brilliant, man. And you could even have it where Nick Patrick doesn't call for the bell while he's beaten staying with the bat. Right. And then he calls. Oh, yeah. If enough you've been around WCW still be business because you would you would have gone to the corporate people in like, y'all shit and merged with y'all should will. Really shouldn't do this will to be in twenty years. Right. We know one of the things in nitro that they talked about is when they first started talking about the merger. It was gonna AOL's stock was higher, right? Then turner. And by the time the deal was coming it had reversed. But by then it was kind of to write too late to do anything about it. But ultimately, whatever people wanna think the end of that company is because of that merger. They didn't want wrestling on their TV anymore. They had a buyer lined up. But once they pulled the TV deal the buyer back now, right? The TV do you to them for McMahon? The liquid assets were more value than the name. Right. TV the library and all that stuff. More valuable to him. But for the other guys that stuff didn't matter. Yeah. It was the TVD so one of the without it. There was no reason for them to buy one of the things they talk about a nitro is McMahon ends up getting WCW for between four and five million including the assets, plus the tape library the numbers turn that. Fusion media was gonna pay was like CCT media. But what what the guy was saying was that part of the deal part of that sixty two million was they were gonna make that back because Turner was gonna continue to sell ads for them. Right. And so he's like if you take out that part of it. We were we were only going to pay four or five minutes for the company because all that other money was going to was kind of going in. One door not the other. But I like I said, man. You and I both have read. It's a ton of we've read newsletters. We've heard shoot interviews. And you know, if there's two wrestling book, she by this year, it was should be death. The territory's in Nitra there's three wrestle books. You buy this year, the other ones should be the Brian pilgrim. But yeah. I'm reading it next. I got to pick those other two course if you listen to Bischoff now all the stuff in that is. Crap because it's for Meltzer. But but Meltzer was getting it from Bilman. Yeah. When you talk to the guy that pill moment when you when your book is based on the three people pill men was talking to then it's pretty heavy Brian. I mean, there's always a bias when you're telling the story. Always when you're telling you did right. He's tend to make yourself when you're the bad guy. You kinda don't make yourself out to be quite as it. Right. When you're the good guy. Lord have mercy years. Why you're the John Wayne of of good guys when you're telling the story, and you know, lightning in both fists come in with these Mickelson. Let's go thing. Which is. So hey, like, I said, hey, pretty pretty good episode, Mark, Sharon, his thoughts on how he would book sting and HOGAN stark aid, ninety seven very pivotal pivotal moment about right at that halfway point of HOGAN being in in WCW. And and just kind of the definitely a big misstep that affected the company for sure I don't make it missed it makes you do the subscri- makes you check out our great sponsors, it SOS, custom tease dot com. The only place to get a fish oil double dropkick show merchandise is where. You can get tickets for local wrestling shows. It's where you can get the only certified independent wrestling memory cards for John scholars owner now aka Ricky Roberts for Monday night, raw got his cards on there. They got memorabilia, some of them are signed great deal. Hey makes great stocking stuffer. What's the deal, and you may not won't talk about it here with him using the Ricky Roberts name. Are they who that or do? They he has a t-shirt coming out that says Ricky Roberts. I don't know. He he he's just always there seemed to be very protective of their stuff. And I'm just curious. He just did a podcast interview. Zane Riley started a to start a podcast called. Extra talented, and it's guys telling their stories of being extras. Oh, and he he talks about that. He doesn't really he talks about how that whole thing came about that it wasn't supposed to be him in that spot, but he had met Elias. And like Elias kind of said I out rather have this guy in this spot. And that's kind of how it worked out. And he doesn't I don't he doesn't get into the whole Ricky Roberts. She's narratives about that. I've seen him using it, and yeah, he wrestled protective. They are he wrestled as Ricky Roberts at Chester AP w couple of weeks ago. I mean, he may come up with that name. But yeah, that's when he comes into it comes down to when he talked when my Mike Mooney ham did an article about him the week after that. And he talked about hey, came from Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, well obvious. So yeah, that's I. I don't I don't we need somebody to tell us that. Rickie more. But no, but no, you said that you said that uh, you weren't sure. So I I do think I I think he did come up, and he may have with the name come up with. They may not you know. But that's you know, that they've only done a couple of episodes of that podcast. And it's it's been very interesting too. I mean, if you're interested in the view of an extra who who's going like just what goes into a Monday night raw in that. They do rehearsals and stuff like that. It was a pretty fascinating. And he talked about being on next, tea and. Things like that. You know? I don't know just everything you hear about WW. How protective they are of of stuff. Like if guys would hurt themselves by doing a show like that. Maybe these guys that know, hey, I'm probably. I think now they. No. I mean, everything's kind of out there. You know? They're not I think John is smart enough. John is smart enough to know he there's opportunities ahead of him. And so I think he's wise enough to to understand, you know, what he's gonna do when he's not gonna do any talks about you know, when he got done the Ricky Roberts like all the stuff he'd done. He never met manse and the Ricky Roberts thing they took him into the main guerrilla position like bents. Kinda gave them pound back or whatever. So that's good. He took a heck of a spine. Buster Gedeon, also. That was awesome. Yeah. It is entertaining. So, hey, that's what we need. We need to go re book the extras, I like him. I like he's a he's a good guy. Yeah. I've only met him once. But I mean, we stood in the parking lot and talk for ten minutes. Really? Really nice guy. Yeah. I got always glad to see. Our guys are guys, you know, because you feel like that when you buy shows, and you you know, you do stuff. It's just cool man to see them making it, man. I like that. Yeah. I mean when guys get opportunities, and they have they've put in the time, and they have. They understand the history, and they understand the business side of things, and they understand the hard work that they've got to do. And and the thing in the understand the reason behind the hardware, and the reason behind the hard work is people are paying their hard earned money to see and John's John's top guy man, really really cool to hang out with. So almost as cool to hang out with is you not. Oh, yeah. I mean, we're gist. What's the word? I'm looking for. I can't even find a word right now for me. I'm speechless. I cannot find an adjective that is adequate to describe what it's like, we're groggy though, man. It's after lunch. So we're going to record a few more things. But as for this episode, it's done it's in the record books Veneto. But as always for the double drop kick show, I'm heath molecule, Mark Whitman this week Lynne's. He's so long for now.