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1) Training Videos
The build for the babyface vs babyface Bret vs Shawn matchup at Wrestlemania was about two things – respect and conditioning. Hardly the most nuanced storyline but it made sense in the context. Video packages began airing profiling both men, including Rocky-style training montages for Michaels. The idea was nice, and Bret's shots across the bow were very good for the time (almost UFC-style). If there was a weakness, Bret's chat was all about Shawn, but Shawn's chat was all about Shawn also. That may have been art imitating life, but was a miscommunication that perhaps could've been avoided.
2) Pillman Is Back
It didn't take long; the grand departure of Brian Pillman lasted all of a matter of weeks. The angle was still going, of course – Pillman's return was hidden from almost everyone... including the cameramen. So when he got into it with some people in the front row nobody was ready for the shot. It fit the "reality" level of the storyline, but like many things in this storyline was perhaps too clever for its own good.
When Razor Ramon was suspended in mid-February for six weeks, ruling himself out of Wrestlemania, it left Goldust without a program for the show. Resting on Piper's acting history, the two were hastily paired into a program, and one that very quickly came off. Goldust cut a promo on the set of Piper's Pit, then the week followed we got a great in-ring promo exchange between the two. Piper hit that lovely middle ground of being able to knock his opponent down in a way that built them up.
4) Bischoff Talking Shit
By this stage, if you still think Bischoff has any credibility left as an announcer after six months of Nitro then I don't know what to tell you. Him plugging Pillman for the pay per view in theory at least made sense, but when Bischoff used the news about the suspension of Dennis Rodman as a hook to buy Uncensored because "he's been by Hulk Hogan's side before"... he was probably pushing things a bit too far.
5) Geriatric Control Center
The Billionaire Ted segments had been hit and miss. The ones where the WWF were trying to take political shots often fell flat, but when it came to good old fashioned jibes at WCW's on air product they had a far better success rate. While the ultimate conclusion would come at Wrestlemania, the Geriatric Control Center segment that aired on Raw (parodying Okerlund's PPV control centers) hit the nail on the head. "Will nightfall follow sunshine? I can't tell you about it on TV but call my hotline for this exclusive information". Fantastic.
6) The Steiners Are Back
I will write properly about the WCW tag team division below, but the Steiners return was a lovely surprise on the Nitro early in March. Once again a timely reminder that anything can happen on Nitro, and they wrestled a nice hard hitting match against the Road Warriors on their return. Of course, like all WCW tag team matches, it ended in a nefarious finish. But at this stage you can't win them all.
7) Debuts (Mark Henry/Justin Hawk Bradshaw)
File these under one for the future. You'd be forgiven for completely overlooking the debuts of the pair on Raw in March (even with the benefit of hindsight it's hardly that major) but Justin Hawk Bradshaw accompanied by Uncle Zebakiah won on debut – the JHB branding close to where he'd end up! As for Henry, he was still an Olympian just sat in the crowd.
8) Tag Team WCW
It's snuck up on us somewhat, but in the space of a few months WCW's tag division has been completely turned around. No longer is it about the American Males and Dirty Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck. With The Steiners, The Public Enemy, The Road Warriors, The Nasty Boys, Harlem Heat and the champs (Sting and Luger), there's reason to be optimistic and plenty of noteworthy matches for TV.
9) Billionaire Ted
The WWF urged anyone who shared their "concerns" about Ted Turner's potential power following the TBS/Time Warner merger to write to the chairman of the FTC... it would be fascinating to know if anybody actually did. The segments were growing a little tired and the ideas running a bit thin. This month it revolved around a TV Trivia show spotlighting some of Turner's more questionable quotes, and a mock boardroom with Ted in front of the FTC.
10) Lex Luger
Ah... a motivated Lex Luger. Luger's act continues to be one of the strongest on TV, floating between an outright heel and a tweener very nicely. His promos are picking up, and the opening segment where he did his full in ring entrance while The Giant and Loch Ness were brawling in the aisleway was top quality. His celebration after he won the subsequent match with Loch Ness by default (count-out) was also great.