Friday, October 24, 2014

Place to Be Nation Friday Update

Welcome to the weekend everyone. Enjoy this sample of pieces from the week that was at PTBN!

Brad Woodling remembers the first time John Cena battled Randy Orton inside Hell in a Cell: Cena and Orton’s First Clash in the Cell

The Titans of Wrestling crew interviewed the great Tito Santana: Titans of Wrestling #36: Interview with Tito Santana

Scott & Justin's Vintage Vault Refresh series is through SummerSlam 1988: Scott & Justin’s Vintage Vault Refresh: SummerSlam 1988

The NBA-Team continues their preseason divisional previews and Andrew Riche has begun his written previews as well: PTBN’s NBA-Team Division Previews

Maurice Pogue examines buying video games for gaming vs. collecting: The Wall of Shame

PTBN's Seinfeld Rewatch checks out classic episodes "The Pen" and "The Parking Garage": Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch

The Place to Be Podcast chatted Vengeance 2003 and also hosted their fourth annual Halloween Spooktacular: Place to Be Podcast

BoD Daily Update

NXT Takeover: Evolution Card Thus Far

The following matches were set up during last night's NXT tapings:

-Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship (if Zayn loses he will leave WWE)
-Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks for the NXT Women's Championship
-The Lucha Dragons vs. The Vaudevillains for the NXT Tag Team Championship
-Hideo Itami/Finn Balor vs. The Ascension

The show is set for 12/11/14 on the WWE Network.

WWE Hiring New Social Media Manager

Per PWInsider, Cody Barbierri, WWE Social Media Manager, is gone from the company. There is a job posting on seeking to fill that position. Barbierri was the individual that was slapped by Alberto Del Rio for refusing to apologize for a comment that Del Rio thought was racist. Del Rio was fired from the company for the incident.

Edge and Christian Reuniting?

Christian will begin to appear in the SyFy series Haven beginning 11/28. He will be playing a character named McHugh. It is a recurring role, and he will be in at least two more episodes in 2015. Here is a tweet from Edge on the matter:

Global Force Wrestling TV Update

Per PWInsider, Jeff Jarrett's GFW is still looking for potential TV partners. They are also in talks with three different Las Vegas venues for a site for the tapings.

Impact Wrestling - October 22, 2014

Impact Wrestling
Date: October 22, 2014
Location: Sands Bethlehem Events Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're closing in on the Lashley vs. Roode showdown with the champion seeming to have some issues with the rest of the Trio. Other than that we have the start of a tag team tournament for a shot at the titles at some point in the future. I kind of like TNA just doing the week to week TV stuff instead of building to meaningless PPVs for a change. It works for NXT most of the time so why not TNA too? Let's get to it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–10.02.95


The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.02.95

I really like this three-a-week pace. That’s the speed they should have been adding them at all along.

Ad roulette: Nothing tonight, not even a WWE Network logo.

Taped from Grand Rapids, MI

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Birthday Plug?

Hey Scott, 

Talbot from the blog here, wondering if you'd give this podcast a plug? It's called Aliens Under the Vatican and I've been appearing on it semi-regularly as kind of a "technically not a cast member but there all the time/Steve Martin on SNL in the 70s" kinda capacity for a while now, but I didn't previously ask for a plug because it's not usually about wrestling…. but this week I figured I'd ask for two reasons: 

1) It's the host's birthday, and I'm too cheap to get him a real gift. 

2) The first twenty minutes or so of the episode are almost entirely about Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and the host's very good Jesse impression reappears throughout the rest of the episode. 

Other topics include dinosaurs, Bill & Ted, whether or not Harley Quinn is a juggalo, and one of the hosts doing everything he can to keep me from getting through a "Gotham" review. 

Thanks in advance! Hopefully you and/or the BoD can dig on our particular brand of nerdy anarchy. 

​The Flash is still killing it for me as far as superhero shows go.  I didn't even realize who Kaitlyn Snow was until I looked her up on Wikipedia and realized where it's going.  Stupid New 52 revamps.  ​

Ref bumps


Hey Scott,

How come we don't see refs take bumps anymore? We still get a fair amount distraction/screwy finishes but I can't recall the last time we saw a referee taken out while it happened. How come? 

​Last I heard, it's just a Vince thing, where one day he issues an edict that he wants the refereeing to be more "realistic" and thus no ref bumps.  It's true, though, distraction finishes would be slightly less annoying if they changed it up with a ref bump here or there.  Especially in a main event setting, if not overdone, it can be effective.  Plus it's more realistic for a referee to be unconscious and thus not able to see interference, rather than ignoring stuff happening over his shoulder.   ​

Evening Thread - Thursday Edition

Some Thursday night discussion points for you:

WWE Network with NXT at 9/8c. The main event for the show will be Adrian Neville against Titus O'Neil in a non-title match. Then Superstars at 10/9c, featuring Jack Swagger vs. Bo Dallas and Kofi Kingston vs. Tyson Kidd.

Thursday night NFL action has AFC West action San Diego Chargers taking on the Denver Broncos. The Chargers are 5-2 and the Broncos are 5-1. Sounds like a pretty good game. That's on CBS at 8:25 ET.

There's NCAA football with #18 E. Carolina at home to Connecticut and Miami (FL) at Virginia Tech.

NHL action, NBA preseason with the regular season opener less than a week away.

October Classics - Kurt Angle vs. Steve Austin - RAW 10/8/01

Kurt Angle had defeated Austin to win the WWF Championship in his hometown of Pittsburgh at Unforgiven 2001. Austin had been off TV for a couple of weeks after that loss, and was then granted a rematch for this episode of RAW. The Invasion angle may have been botched, but it did offer plenty of memorable moments, this being one of them.

Yet another Taker/foley HITC question

Just read an article with Mick Foley talking about his famous hell in the cell match with Undertaker. In it he talks about the legendary conversation with Terry Funk telling him to start on the top of the cage. Wouldn't the match have been better if they started in the cage, had a war inside the cage, somehow they get out of the cell, climb to the top then throw foley off the cage and/or do the chokeslam thru the cage and the match with that? 

Yeah, but they already did that in the Shawn-UT original.  Perhaps if we're building time machines and rebooking classic matches, we could lay off poor Mick and avoid him going through the table and suffering kidney damage in the first place?  

WCW Prime: October 14, 1996

It’s always hard to say goodbye, and tonight is no exception. Please stay tuned for a photographic ode to WCW Prime at the end of this recap.

Yes, that’s right. This is it. The end. The finale. We’ve been together for so long. But all amazing things must come to an end, and our never ending line of colorful jobbers, and the smiling face of Johnny B Badd months after his departure will never grace our screens again. It feels almost blasphemous that he was replaced with Lex Luger last week.

CHRIS CRUISE returns for his last hurrah. DUSTY RHODES may have one more moo left in his belly welly.

Why doesn't WWE Network = No Brock?

Hey Scott,

Since WWE has killed their PPV market, what's the point of having Brock on the roster? I was always under the impression that they kept him under K to spike the Big 4 but since that's moot, why keep him? He doesn't sell T-Shirts. Does the needle move that much for his appearances? Do people re-up just to see him?

Another fine question, although we're kind of in the Wild West with the Network so it's hard to tell what's actually affecting buyrates at this point.  Indications are that Summerslam did...good?  Maybe?  It's a weird world we live in now where we can't just pull up numbers and argue over them.  That being said, we'll know for sure on October 30, because if that number is below 1,000,000, then they are absolutely flushing millions of dollars down the toilet with Brock's contract and it's a waste of time to keep him around for that price.  But like everyone else, Brock's kind of been flattened out by shitty writing and just becoming another guy lately (especially the DQ finish at Night of Champions) and hopefully this latest six month vacation can make him interesting again when he returns to face...John Cena again.  Well, fuck.   

BoD Daily Update

More Possible Brock Lesnar Appearances?

It was previously reported that WWE and Brock Lesnar worked out a deal for more appearances in a pay-per-appearance deal, but WWE has not yet utilized that deal. That may be about to change. According to the WON, Lesnar is not yet booked for Survivor Series or TLC, but are in discussions with him about where they can use him in order to build to Royal Rumble. The winner of this weekend's John Cena/Randy Orton match gets a future shot at the title, which more than likely will happen at the Rumble if he is not used on the next two shows.

Randy Orton Babyface?

According to the WON, there are discussions about turning Orton babyface. John Cena and Randy Orton are leading the two house show circuits and Orton is not drawing well as a heel, and they would like to turn that around. The seeds have already been planted for an Orton/Seth Rollins feud, and with Orton giving Paul Heyman the RKO on RAW. This may suggest that Orton will be the one to face Brock Lesnar for that title shot.

Rey Mysterio Done with WWE?

According to the WON, former WWE Spanish announcer Hugo Savinovich has said that Rey Mysterio is done with WWE and wants to work for AAA or Lucha Underground. WWE would like Mysterio to return, but Rey does not want to come back. He is still under WWE contract and is permitted to make appearances elsewhere off-camera.

How Much On-Screen Content Does TNA Have Left?

According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, TNA has enough footage from their most recent tapings to air episodes up to the 11/19/14 episode of Impact. After that, in order to fulfill their deal with Spike TV, TNA will air recap shows with older footage. This gives TNA until the beginning of 2015 to secure a new TV deal.

Monday Nitro - May 31, 1999

Monday Nitro #190
Date: May 31, 1999
Location: Astrodome, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're two weeks away from the Great American Bash and the main event is still dominating the card. Thankfully we're getting some development on the rest of the card and hopefully the rise of Benoit and Malenko up the card as the new young stars of the company. Well Malenko is pushing 40 at this point so he can only be so young but you get the idea. Let's get to it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sporting News: Hell in a Cell 2014 Predictions and Preview


Hopefully you can read between the lines and figure out how excited I am for this monthly special event on WWE Network, which is only $9.99 in case you didn't know.

Evening Thread - Wednesday Edition

Bayless is out, so I guess I'm overseeing the Wednesday/TNA thread also. So here is what is crackin' tonight:

TNA iMPACT is on Spike at 9/8c. On tap is a contract signing between Bobby Roode and Bobby Lashley; an eight team #1 contender tournament gets underway as well.

WWE Network - Total Divas at 8/7c; back-to-back episodes of Monday Nitro beginning at 9/8c with episodes from 1/22/96 and 1/29/96/

World Series Game 2 between the Giants and Royals, Giants up 1-0. The pitching match will be Jake Peavy and Yordany Ventura.

NHL action, NBA preseason, and TV such as Survivor and Arrow.

You don't necessarily have to keep it clean (like you would anyway).

October Classics: Chris Jericho vs. The Rock - No Mercy 2001

By request! Also because it was next on my list anyway. Rock is WCW Champ here near the end of the Invasion angle, and Jericho has not quite turned heel. Which is better; this one, or their match at Vengeance 2001?

The Rock vs Chris Jericho (No Mercy 2001 WCW... by puropwgwwestuff

An WWE Network Original?

Why isn't the WWE doing more original programming for the Network? They own WWE Studios!

Sure, they'd probably be terrible at it.  But at the very least, shouldn't all of the movies be available on it?  They could even be hyping "Special Network Premieres" for all the upcoming movies. Heck, they might even luck into creating their own "Orange is the New Black", or "Walking Dead", and get more casual fans ordering subscriptions.

Here's a few show ideas they can have:
  • The Marine, The Series (Hell take any movie they've done and add "The Series" to it)
  • Tag Team: Remake the Roddy Piper / Jessie Ventura cop show
  • Welcome to Parts, Unknown: Northern Exposure meets sports enterainment. A young doctor (or lawyer) takes a job in the small town of Parts Unknown with its eclectic cast of masked and face painted residents.
  • 4th and Take Down: A football comedy about a fictionalized West Texas A&M with players based on the actual wrestlers who went to that school (Dusty Rhodes, Tully Blanchard, Tito Santana, Terry Funk, Stan Hansen, Ted Dibiase).
  • Celebrity Tough Enough
  • Learning the Ropes: The New Class
Bonus movie
  • Space Slam: Space Jam - Michael Jordan + John Cena in an 8-man tag match with Bugs, Daffy and the Tasmanian Devil vs Aliens = ALL THE MONEY
Any pitches for shows you'd like to see on the Network?


Hmm, Orange Is The New Black with the Divas.  Might have something there.

They actually had a list of wacky show ideas they were developing a couple of months ago, before the bottom fell out of the Network, and about the most interesting idea they had was Steve Blackman working as a bounty hunter.  I would watch the shit out of that.  

Definitely the WWE Studios garbage should be on there, just to fill out content if nothing else.  They keep replaying the same fucking 8 hours of live stream over and over!  Stick See No Evil or Chaperone 3: Still Chaperonin' in there to fill two hours, maybe.  I'd sit through Marine 2 for free, for example.  I usually keep enough booze around the house for that.  

What I legitimately WOULD like them see develop into a show is of course Are You Serious, complete with Puppet H.  There should be enough YouTube episodes in the can that they can even edit them into 2 or 3 half hour shows to start and buy time to make new ones.  

BoD Daily Update

Eric Bischoff's Status with TNA

There is an ongoing contract issue between Bischoff and TNA, with false reports of the two parties suing each other. Neither side can discuss the matter until their deal expires, which is reportedly to be very soon. Bischoff was on Steve Austin's podcast recently where he stated he could not dicuss the matter.


RAW Rating

This week's episode drew 3.7 million viewers with a 1.2 in the 18-49 demographic, down from last week's 3.75 and 1.23 respectively. It's the second lowest viewership of the year, beating only the 5/26 episode. The household number was not yet available at the time of this post.

WWE Network in Canada Update

Rogers has issued a letter to the CRTC addressing issues raised with their application last month. The company stated that they received nearly three hundred interveners responding to the application and that only four opposed it. Other highlights:
-The Network as distributed in Canada will consist of the same content available on the US version.
-The Network will not be exclusive to Rogers and that other companies can negotiate to carry it on their systems.
-WWE decided to carry the Network as a cable channel rather than an over-the-top service in Canada, but that Rogers confirmed that they are working to also provide a service with the same functionality and convenience of the US over-the-top service.


Change to Hell in a Cell

From the Smackdown taping last night, the match between Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro for the Intercontinental Championship will now be a 2 out of 3 Falls match.

Black and white on the Network


Is it just me, or is the black and white video whenever there's blood on the screen brutally annoying? I find it worse than the ads.

Just seems so stupid. We all know what blood looks like. We're paying $10 a month for this. I understand censoring nudity (not that I condone it), but blood? C'mon.

I dunno. That's all I've got.

​Blood's only censored on the live stream, because it's marketed as an actual TV channel in Canada and needs to conform to TV-PG.  There's no B&W in the archives.  ​

Title holders as jobbers

Hey Scott,

Random but sort of lucid thought I had this morning. It seems whomever holds the IC or US Title (and to a lesser extent the Tag Titles) ends up jobbing a shitload on tv. Here's a theory as to why...

Since basically the entire roster is filled with midcard geeks trading wins with each other, no one is terribly over. Additionally, the powers that be have asserted many times that the belts are but mere props. Therefore, when you need to have someone BUILD MOMENTUM to the next PPV or whatever, getting a win against Jack Swagger or Mark Henry or whoever doesn't do anything for them.

But in the eyes of the fans, the belts still mean something, so getting a win over the person that holds them still has meaning. We all know this on an intrinsic level (even the creative team), even though the mid-tier titles almost never get spotlight feuds.

The titleholders serve as prop vehicles for use when the story calls for it. I don't think any of us would disagree when we say they're leaving money on the table with this approach, but using the belts this way at least does have it's own goody logic to it. Thoughts?

​Yup.  The mentality is not "Who can we build up?" but "Who can we beat safely?" and they think that the titles somehow make the titleholder bulletproof and thus they can job them a million times on TV and have them stay over.  The problem is that the titles really don't mean anything to the fans any longer, especially the US title, because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy where they don't want to put the belt on someone they have plans for because it's such a geek title anyway.  I understand their "logic" in what they do, but it's just the wrong way to do things.  ​

Repost: In Your House 3


(Just for the sake of context, here’s my most recent rant on IYH3 to go along with the RAW from last night.) 

The SmarK Retro Rant for WWE In Your House #3: Triple Header! (September 1995)

- This is another redo of a rant I did back in the bad old days where I thought it really needed an upgrade, and since I was watching this show anyway, here it is.

- Live from Saginaw, MI.

- Your hosts are Vince and Jerry and Jim.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–09.25.95


The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 09.25.95

Ad roulette! I got a commercial for PureTalk before this show. So it begins.

So it’s the night after In Your House 3, when Shawn Michaels & Diesel supposably won the tag titles from Owen & Yoko, only to have Gorilla Monsoon to reverse the decision and force the new old champions to face the Smoking Gunns.

Also, they’ve overhauled the RAW intro. Again. Men fighting on the rooftops! Pretty sure the shots of people running into the fences were recycled into the D-X entrance years later, as well.

Live from Grand Rapids, MI

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

Matt's Main Event Recap - 10/21/2014

So, I would have had this done sooner.

Unfortunately, the World Series happened and I was invited to go out to dinner to watch Game 1.

Let's get going.



I've emailed you before about the possibilities of Brock/Orton since it NEVER happened, but with Survivor Series in St Louis (Orton's hometown) and the apparent face turn looming as Rollins is taking his spot in the authority (and curb stomping him on raw), are we possibly building to the Class of 02 dream match?   They'd obviously have to pay Brock for another show, but that's a huge main event.  You can have Authority vs. Team Cena/Ambrose in a SS match on the undercard.  Or are we just gonna go Cena overcoming the odds to build to Brock/Cena 4?

​Hey, I was advocating Orton as the next challenger after Summerslam, but everyone on the blog was like "Bleh, Blandy Boreton, yawn"  NOW WHO'S THE SMART ONE?!  

But yeah, they're already planning on Cena/Brock at the Rumble according to Meltzer, so don't get your hopes up.  ​

Evening Thread - Tuesday Edition

Tuesday night topics of discussion include:

WWE Network with Main Event at 8:00 PM ET, followed by an all-new Monday Night War at 9:00 which focuses on the impact of Goldberg.

WORLD........SERIES!! It's on FOX and it starts at around 7:00 ET. San Francisco Giants against the Kansas City Royals. My prediction: it's an even numbered year so let's say....Giants in 5.

TV: The Flash, Agents of SHIELD.

NHL, NBA Preseason.

It's one stop shopping right the BoD.

WCW Nitro: October 14, 1996

No Worldwide this week because my copy is completely corrupted. It’s unfortunate, because apparently, Sting returned, walking down the ring and saying “sorry brothers, I was just upset, we’re cool again!” and returned to doing absolutely nothing to combat the nWo. The remaining 56 minutes were filled by Glacier’s entrance. I don’t care if you don’t believe me.

Street lights are exploding EVERYWHERE, because WCW is LIVE in Memphis, Tennessee, for what TONY SCHIAVONE calls “two red hot hours!” One of these weeks, I want them to admit “yeah, you’re good to skip this one, ice cold folks, ice cold.” LARRY ZBYSZKO is around too, but I’m thinking you don’t care any more than I do.

October Classics

In all honesty, I wanted to go with Benoit-HHH from this show as I felt it was the best match on this card. However, even I had to object to some content in the video clip I found. So I went the safer route and chose Rock-Angle instead. Still a good match, screwy ending aside.

10-22-00 The Rock vs. Kurt Angle (WWF Title No... by puropwgwwestuff

Possible Hell In A Cell "co-main event" finish?


I'm just sitting here wondering how difficult would it be for WWE to book a finish as shocking, as amazing and as remarkable as this:

Seth Rollins curb stomps Dean Ambrose's head on top of the cell, THROUGH THE ROOF and onto the mat? Rollins will obviously fall along with Ambrose into the ring!

I mean, calling the match off at that point by having the referee pull up the dreaded X sign, will not only look spectacular, but also protect both guys during the biggest push of their careers.

It's high time we get something great out of the whole Hell In A Cell deal that has stopped being destructive and career-threatening many years ago.

What do you think?

​So after months of bait-and-switch and cheap finishes they should blow it off with a non-finish in a supposed cage match to the death?  By ending the match with both guys too hurt to continue?

I'm not sure I agree 100% with your detective work there, Lou.   ​

BoD Daily Update

WWE Policy on Domestic Abuse

On the WWE Corporate site, you can find the following statement:

"WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Upon arrest for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately suspended. Upon conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately terminated."


Smackdown Rating

Smackdown scored a 1.96 for this past Friday's show, up slightly from a 1.94 the week before. It ranked 2nd on Friday night cable behind "Gold Rush" on Discovery.


Jake Roberts Health Update

On Friday, Jake Roberts tweeted that doctors have found three spots on his brain that they are concerned about, and will receive another MRI in three weeks.


Seth Rollins at NXT

Seth Rollins will be appearing at this week's NXt taping. No word on whether he will see in-ring action.


Question about Hulk Hogans Divorce.


Hey, been a big fan since you and the Scotsman used to internet beef, man I miss that guys writing. 

Anyway, what the hell happened to Hogan in his divorce ? How the heck did he get taken to the cleaners so badly ? Did she get more than half, and if she did how is that even possible ?

​I don't know if the specifics were ever released publicly, actually.  I'm just a simple country chicken, but I suspect Hogan got caught screwing around or something along those lines.  Either way, he got hung to dry by the court for sure.  Anyone else know details?  ​