Friday, October 31, 2014

Brock v. Cena

From the daily update:

Yeah NOC did terrible business, so I can't remotely understand why they are going to rerun it a bigger show? Have Lesnar fight anyone else. Shit I'd be more interested in seeing what kind of match he could have with big show over cena part 4 as a placeholder to mania.

Here's the deal with their thinking according to Meltzer:  Brock Lesnar costs them a bazillion dollars a match, so the only chance they have at recouping their costs in the deal is to put him in the ring with the biggest star they have available at the time (or on the outside have him completely destroy a minor star like Big Show) and at the moment that would only be John Cena.  They're not paying him all that money to make other guys into stars, because that's not their mindset.  If Rock was around, or Batista, for example, that would be justifiable.  Anyone under that level, to them, is just making Brock less special.

NOW, that being said, I think they're full of crap because the way that wrestling is supposed to work is that the bigger stars use their star power to make the smaller stars into bigger ones.  But when you're booking for investors and using soap opera writers, obviously that mindset kind of gets lost in the shuffle.  

    WWE Makes Front Page of NYPost


    Probably not the national press they'd like to be getting.

    But their ENGAGEMENT scores are so high!  

    I just can't wait for stock to drop to $9.99 so we can get the most epic screenshot of all time. 

    Place to Be Nation Friday Update

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

    Justin entered his Treasure Trove to break down the iconic Ghostbusters music video: JR’s Treasure Trove #3 – Ghostbusters: The Music Video (1984)

    It's Halloween! Here are playlists of great wrestling Halloween moments as well as a Halloween music playlist for you!

    Kevin Kelly was joined by Gangrel for his Halloween Episode: The Kevin Kelly Show Episode 21 – Featuring Gangrel

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

    Matt D breaks down Halloween Havoc 1991: Where the Big Boys Play: The Column Beyond – The Great(???) Match Robbery of 1991

    The NBA-Team had a couple of podcasts this week, including an interview with Charley Rosen: NBA-Team Podcast

    PTBN's Seinfeld Rewatch checks out classic episodes "The Tape" and "The Nose Job": Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch

    BoD Daily Update

    Randy Orton Pulled from European Tour

    WWE has pulled Randy Orton from the upcoming European tour. Orton was schedule to face Chris Jericho in a street fight on the tour, but has now been replaced with Bray Wyatt. No reason was given, however it was announced this week that Orton will star in The Condemned 2: Desert Prey for Lionsgate and WWE Studios. Production was listed as starting later this year, which could mean the European tour.

    Credit Wrestlezone

    Future Plans for the Main Event Scene in WWE

    According to the Wrestling Observer, there have been rumors that John Cena will face Brock Lesnar at TLC, however the current plan remains for Cena and Lesnar to face off at Royal Rumble. Roman Reigns is being advertised for December house shows but it looks like he may not return until after Royal Rumble. The plan for the title is for Lesnar to beat Cena at Royal Rumble and face Reigns at Wrestlemania XXXI.

    Bob Geigel Passes Away

    Former NWA President Bob Geigel passed away yesterday at the age of 90. Geigel started in the ring in the 1940's, then retired in the 70's and became a promoter in the Central States territory before Jim Crockett bought it out in 1986. His NWA Presidency ran from 1978 to 1987.

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    The SmarK Rant for Lucha Underground–10.29.14


    The SmarK Rant for Lucha Underground – 10.29.14

    I’ve had a few people e-mail me about this show, so I figured I’d download it since there’s no legal way to watch it in Canada anyway. Other than that, I’ve heard nothing about it so I’m going in blind. It’s on something called the El Ray network in the US and that’s about the extent of what I know. The production values are really high quality, with a filmed look instead of the WWE video tape look we’re all used to.

    Your hosts are Matt Striker & Vampiro.

    WCW Worldwide: October 20, 1996

    It’s been a busy week and I’ve fallen behind again, which is embarrassing considering this lineup of wrestling that’s been waiting for me. Stars like Alex Wright, Madusa, and Ice Train are here this week!

    TONY SCHIAVONE and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are your hosts; and apparently the line was building all day at Disney to see WCW. This might in fact be true, I’ve been to Disney, and EVERYTHING has a bloody line, even that traumatizing “It’s A Small World” ride through hell.


    According to sources, the plan is still for Brock to beat Cena, and lose to Reigns at WM.  Look into the crystal ball, am I the only one who sees a Triple H/Orton main event reaction?   The crowd sat silent for the Taker match until the streak ended.  The Summerslam match drew "boring" chants during the suplex barrage and Orton/Reigns was a snoozer.  Wouldn't the sensible thing be to put Cena over Brock and have Roman beat Cena clean?  That also frees Rusev from getting the Cena-crush treatment Bray Wyatt got and give someone else (Ambrose, Ryback) the rub of beating Rusev.

    ​I really liked Todd Martin's fantasy booking a couple of weeks ago, where he pitched Rock v. Reigns as the main event, so that Rock can work his magic with someone who you know he would put over huge.  Then you still do Rusev-Cena, but this time RUSEV CRUSH and that not only has the benefit of keeping him strong, but it gives Reigns a logical challenger down the road when Brock is gone and makes him look like the guy who could get the job done when Cena couldn't.  ​And then finally (even though there is literally zero chance of this at this point) you'd have Ambrose going over Brock, which I think could be gotten to by having Ambrose win the briefcase from Rollins at...ugh...Fast Lane and then show huge brass balls by challenging Brock at Wrestlemania as his cash-in.  So then Ambrose transitions the title to Rusev (because come on, you know it's gonna happen anyway) and he's champion until Summerslam, at which point Reigns should hopefully be over enough to get his big win. FOR MURICA. Badda bing badda boom.  

    Evening Thread - Thursday Edition

    Tonight on the WWE Network, NXT is at 9/8c. Schedule for the show:
    -#1 Contender Tag Team Battle Royal
    -Emma vs. Carmella
    -Justin Gabriel vs. Bull Dempsey
    -Baron Corbin in action
    -Sami Zayn vs. Titus O'Neil

    Following NXT will be Superstars at 10/9c. Scheduled matches are Emma vs. Summer Rae and Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd.

    Baseball is over.....but we have many other sports to choose from. Thursday night NFL action on CBS. NFC South action sees the New Orleans Saints (3-4) taking on the Carolina Panthers (3-4-1).

    NBA action: on TNT, the New York Knicks face the Cleveland Cavaliers at 8/7c. Nothing of note is significant about that all. At 10:30/9:30c, TNT will follow that up with Thunder vs. Clippers.

    NHL action: 10 games to choose from. All of them interesting, I'm sure.

    There's always plenty of action in the evening thread.

    RIP Roxy.

    Face Ryback


    Ryback's return as a face last night got me thinking of a Royal Rumble spot they just HAVE to do this year(should have done it 2 years ago).  They need to give Ryback the '1994 Diesel' spot.  Have him come out at #10, clear the ring and as he's alone waiting and the countdown clock is winding down, he leads the crowd in a 'FEED ME MORE' chant.  Do this 3 times.  Feed him an Uso, a Matador, Heath Slater and then have a guy like Ambrose or Rusev come out to finally end it(anyone but Triple H).  I think that would be an awesome moment and it would really get the crowd into the match.  Not only that, it would put Ryback over huge.  I'm not saying Ryback should win the Rumble but that spot just has to happen.  That 'feed me more' chant is just made for that 'Diesel' spot in the Rumble.  Your thoughts?

    That assumes a lot more thought and caring into the Ryback character than the creative team has put into him.  But yeah, there's a lot of fun spots they could do with him assuming he doesn't get injured again or say something really stupid on Twitter and get fired.  

    Sporting News: Quarterly Network numbers are out, and the news isn't good.


    I feel like they need to push John Cena even harder, and perhaps have the announcers wear "$9.99" t-shirts all the time to really emphasize the price point. If people only knew what a great value the Network was and how much John Cena they could get on the Network, they'd hit their million subs in no time!  

    BoD Daily Update

    WWE Network Subscriber Number Released

    The WWE released their Q3 financials today, and announced the number of WWE Network subscribers. The company confirmed that they have 731,000 subscribers for the network. The company added 31,000 subscribers in the quarter, representing a 4% increase from June 30. The Network was expanded into 170 countries, and considering that they had 700,000 subscribers at the end of Q2, this has to come off as a disappointment. The company continues to gain some subscribers, but is also continuing to fail in maintaining the ones that they had.

    WWE Network Pricing Plan Changed

    WWE announced today in their Q3 financials report that they are introducing a new “simplified price plan” for the WWE Network. They are dropping the six-month commitment, and keeping the price at $9.99.

    TNA Status Update

    There have been reports that TNA Executive John Gaburick was in New York City yesterday, finalizing a new TV deal for the company. reports that they have reached out to TNA, and that is not true as Gaburick is currently in Nashville, TN at the TNA offices. TNA is still negotiating with multiple parties to secure a new TV deal. If they do secure a new TV deal, the company has a verbal agreement for three dates in early January at the Manhattan Center in New York to tape TV.

    Great News About Your WWE Network Subscription


    The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–10.23.95


    The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.23.95

    Ad Roulette! Still only the one ad I’ve ever seen. So they’re rolling it out REALLY slowly. YouTube, on the other hand, has been inundated with ads lately, especially on stuff like the Game Grumps or Machinima.

    Live from…ugh…Brandon, MB. THAT place gets a live RAW in 1995 but Edmonton and Calgary didn’t get one until 1997?

    Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    WWE Network Subscriber Prediciton

    Dear Scott,

    Assuming the numbers haven't been leaked before you decide to answer this, how many WWE Network subscribers do you think WWE will report on Thursday?

    The Observer said WWE "needs to average 1.1 million subscribers during 2015 just to maintain equal cash flow" and closer to 1.4M to get back to its level of profitability pre-Network.

    On Tuesday's PWTorch Livecast, Jason Powell predicted somewhere between 650k and 770k (715-725k as a narrower range), while Wade Keller said he personally would view anything above 770k as "better than expected."  I didn't see Dave's prediction in the Observer, though he did say it "will be far ahead of" the 700k number reported as of the last conference call and added that below 900k "would not be good."

    ​I'm thinking 775.  You'd have to think that by adding 170 countries they'd roll back some of the monster losses in numbers they're going to suffer over the summer, but not enough to hit their goals.  There's no chance of them hitting a million, I don't think.  Especially since the Network is based on the PPV buying model, and most of the non-WM shows were in the 100,000 range to begin with.  I just don't see the extra 600,000 WM buys sticking around.  ​

    The Kevin Kelly Show Episode 21 - Featuring Gangrel

    On Episode 21 of The Kevin Kelly Show, it is time for Halloween and to celebrate, Kevin welcomes in David “Gangrel” Heath for a chat! They talk about how he got his start in wrestling, his WWF run and the evolution of his character, the trademark issues with the name Gangrel, the promotions he is currently running, training Rusev, his relationship with Luna Vachon and much more. Be sure to check out Territory League Wrestling and follow Gangrel on Twitter!

    Kevin & JR then talk about wrestling Halloween traditions, the best and worst wrestling costumes, Hell in a Cell 2014 and more before hitting up the always popular Trending Topics!

    The show wraps with a spirited game of Trick or Treat, where Kevin decides which celebrities, wrestlers and athletes deserve a trick or a treat in 2014.

    So please join us for another great episode of the Kevin Kelly Show!

    The Kevin Kelly Show Episode 21 – Featuring Gangrel

    Evening Thread - Wednesday Edition

    TNA IMPACT tonight at 9/8c on Spike. Schedule matches include TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley defending against Bobby Roode, with Kurt Angle as guest referee. The tag team #1 contender tournament continues with the semi-finals. Low-Ki/Samoa Joe vs. MVP/Kenny King and The Hardys vs. EC3 and Tyrus.

    World Series Game 7. This is it. This is for all the moolah, and for the trophy that will get dragged behind George Costanza's car. Giants-Royals. Tim Hudson vs. Jeremy Guthrie. It's on FOX at 7/6c.

    NBA regular season gets into full swing with twelve games. Bulls/Knicks on ESPN at 8/7c and Thunder-Trail Blazers at 10:30/9:30c.

    NHL only has two games tonight, Red Wings/Capitals and Predators/Oilers.

    TV has all new Arrow on the CW at 8/7c.

    It's ALWAYS interesting in the evening threads.

    Matt's Main Event Recap - 10/28/2014

    Andy was supposed to write my recap. I'm assuming he's busy, so I will do it.

    In any case, let's do this real quick.

    Monday Nitro - June 7, 1999

    Monday Nitro #191
    Date: June 7, 1999
    Location: CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, Ohio
    Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Eric Bischoff

    Reviewed by Tommy Hall

    It's the go home show for the Great American Bash which hopefully means we're finally getting some new main stories instead of the drek we've been sitting through so far. The big old vs. new story needs to get going and hopefully we can get there after this coming Sunday. Or at least to something other than Nash vs. Savage. Let's get to it.

    Why Cena Sucks


    I would totally let Dr. Unlikely write this stuff for the blog any time he wants.  A fabulous summation of what's wrong with the company right now.  

    Repost: In Your House 4


    The SmarK Retro Rant for WWF In Your House IV

    - Originally aired October 22, 1995, this show not only was so humdrum that they couldn’t think of a witty subtitle, but it also has the distinction of earning the lowest buyrate ever for a WWF PPV, at 0.4. Kevin Nash, just call him “Money”.  (Actually, on the RAW shows building this up, they were trying to make “Great White North” into a thing as the subtitle, but it didn’t happen.  I’d like to go with Davey Boy’s summation from one of his promos as a subtitle:  “That 50 below hellhole Winnipeg”  Spoken like someone who spent years touring the Prairies. 

    - By the way, thank you to the Russians for inventing vodka, so I was able to make it through this one. On a related note, thank you to the makers of ibuprofen.  (I’ve heard conflicting reports over the years about my roommate’s patented “take three Tylenol and a giant glass of water before bed to prevent a hangover” advice.  At the time this rant was originally posted on the blog, it triggered a firestorm of discussion about the merits of Tylenol v. Advil for booze-related headaches, with each side saying that the other is the one that will cause your liver to implode.  That being said, even though I don’t really drink any more because I’m old as fuck, I did partake recently at my work conference and found that cheap pizza at 3 in the morning works remarkably well to prevent barfing and headaches as well.) 

    - Live from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

    - Your hosts are Vince, Jerry & JR.

    BoD Daily Update

    Daniel Bryan Update

    Last night at the Smackdown taping in Houston, WWE filmed a segment where the Big Show addressed the crowd and informed them that Daniel Bryan will need to undergo surgery on his arm. Bryan hasn't wrestled since April, and has been rehabbing since June but has not regained strength in his arm.

    Credit PWInsider

    RAW Viewership for this Week

    The 10/27 episode of Raw did 3,745,000 viewers, which is up 50,000 from last week’s number. That number was the second lowest of 2014. The company had hoped for better the day after the Hell In A Cell PPV. The show lost audience as the night went on, dropping from 3,868,000 viewers in hour one to 3,529,000 in hour three.

    Credit PWInsider

    Clearing Up CM Punk Rumors

    The return of CM Punk merchandise (most of which has already sold out) to the WWE website was more a case of loose ends being tied up, according to one source we've spoken with. When Punk's WWE deal expired this past July, with it went the rights to his name and likeness, since he had them since well before his WWE run began in 2006. WWE and Punk are believed to have worked out a settlement that allowed WWE to sell off remaining stock and use Punk in the new WWE videogame. The Punk character will also be seen in the forthcoming WWE/Flintstones film, since animation had been completed well before Punk walked out on the company in January 2014. Sources close to Punk state he is retired as a pro wrestler and a WWE return is not happening.

    Credit PWInsider

    Undertaker's Developmental Role

    Undertaker will not be a full time trainer, and will pick and choose the dates he works. He will come in, give NXT talent advice and also share the “WWE etiquette” with the developmental talents. WWE wants the developmental talents to know what is expected of them when they reach the main roster, and they feel that the Undertaker is the perfect man to educate them.


    Speaking of PG-13


    Here's some classic craziness from Memphis, with Mark Curtis managing a heel Rock N Roll Express during the thick of a Smoky Mountain Wrestling invasion angle in 1995.  Ricky Morton suddenly becomes Tully Blanchard and PG-13 are the babiest faces to ever babyface.  God I love Memphis when it's done right.

    Jimmy Hart Unplugged


    Unlike many other managers of his generation, Jimmy Hart really hasn't changed much in over thirty years.  Let us celebrate the man who stole Dick Clark's immortality potion with his piano medley of Greatest Hits Not Performed With The Gentrys, and behold what it sounds like when a man sings Sexy Boy in the third person.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–10.16.95


    The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.16.95

    Ad Roulette is another win for me, with just a WWE Network logo.

    Taped from Grand Rapids, MI. WEEK FOUR, BABY.

    Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

    Marvel Wins The Internet


    Evening Thread - Tuesday Edition

    WWE Network has Main Event at 8/7c, Monday Night War at 9/8c (focusing on Chris Jericho) and a repeat of the Rivalries debut episode at 10/9.

    World Series Game 6 on FOX. Giants lead 3-2 and look to win it all tonight. Schedule starters are Jake Peavy and Yordano Ventura. Will it go to seven?

    NBA season opens tonight, right? Anyone?................Bueller?

    Then there's the NHL. You will always be #4 in our hearts, hockey.

    The Flash is on tonight. I know some of you like that.

    No ghosts in here tonight, unless your avatar is that of a ghost.

    What the World Was Watching: Breakdown - In Your House

    by Logan Scisco

    So after a three week absence my column has returned.  Graduate school caught up with me and I had a litany of papers and book readings due that prohibited me from blocking out three hours to watch this show.  I got all of that out of the way, though

    -The WWF must have had a history buff on the production staff at this time because the video package for this card features clips of John F. Kennedy, Benito Mussolini, and George Patton.  It is like a tame version of Mr. McMahon’s Utopia, but it is very effective at getting you excited for the show.

    -Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

    October Classics - Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe - ROH 10/5/02

    Here's something different for a change. This is from ROH's Glory by Honor 2002. The venue for this was kind of jarring for me, as I usually don't stray from big time WWE arenas. However, it's an awesome match, and if you don't check out indy feds too often, watch this and you'll soon forget about the production values and small crowd.

    Ring of Honor Announces Toy Licensing Deal


    Ring of Honor Announces Toy Licensing Deal

    Baltimore, MD (October 28, 2014) – Ring of Honor Wrestling® (ROH) and Figures Toy Company today announced a licensing agreement to develop, market and manufacture a line of collectible figures and accessories based on the wrestlers and world of Ring of Honor Wrestling.  


    For the first time ever, Ring of Honor fans will be able to collect their favorite ROH wrestlers while younger fans can relive classic ROH matches and moments with some of ROH's most popular stars now available in toy form.  This will include a "throwback" line of figures as well as replica title belts. 


    "There's been an overwhelming demand for a line of Ring of Honor figures and collectibles," states Ring of Honor Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff.  "Figures Toy Company has exceptional expertise in developing high quality goods.  It's really a fabulous opportunity for Ring of Honor and its fans."


    Ring of Honor will reveal the ROH Series 1 line of figures exclusively at: shortly.


    What the world wants to know is if:

    a)  Any of these ROH figures will get poached by the WWE's developmental toy system?

    b)  The throwback line includes a Rob Feinstein figure that will be barred from getting within 100 feet of your child's dolls?

    Other than that, good for them.  


    BoD Daily Update

    Have WWE and CM Punk Reached an Agreement?

    WWE has started putting CM Punk merchandise back on sale at WWEShop, which might indicate that Punk and WWE have reached an agreement over the sale of his merchandise. His items had previously been pulled from the website over the summer.


    Former NFL Player Starts Training at the WWE Performance Center

    Sabotino "Sabby" Piscitelli began training at the center yesterday. During his palying career, Piscitelli had played for Cleveland, Kansas City and Tampa bay. Meanwhile, indy wrestler Uhaa Nation reportedly got a great reaction during his tryout last week.

    Credit PWInsider

    Smackdown Rating

    This past Friday's Smackdown was watched by 2.28 million people, and received a 0.6 in the 18-49 demographic, which is down 15% from the previous weeks' episode. The household rating was 1.67.

    Survivor Series Match Confirmed

    In case you missed it last night on RAW, the main event for Survivor Series is set. A team led by John Cena will face a team put together by The Authority in a traditional Survivor Series elimination match.

    Most bizarre WWE factoid ever?

    Hey Scott,

    Try this one on: Ambrose/Rollins from Sunday is the third WWE PPV singles main event ever where both wrestlers were in their 20s.

    The first two? Taker/Taker and Taker/Yoko, both 1994.

    It's a useless fact, but goddamn is that a dumbfounder.

    Was Undertaker seriously that young in 94?  Damn.  

    Sunny as Tamara Murphy


    This is new to me. And easily the worst possible way to use Sunny in 1995.

    ​Yeah, this wasn't her best work.  But they were bending over backwards to find SOMETHING for her to do, because even in SMW as a teenager you could see the star power she had and they weren't going to let her get away.  The Bodydonnas were basically a vehicle to get her over and moved onto someone who could draw. It's just too bad they thought gladiator Faarooq was that someone.  

    Matt's Monday Night RAW Recap - 10/27/2014

    AndyPG is a good guy. Let me start by saying that. He and I had a talk about stuff on Facebook and we traded our likes and dislikes about Hell in a Cell. He likes what we're seeing. I'm "whatever" at this point.

    Look, whether you like or hate the current product/regime, we all agree on one thing: after taking several chair shots, Ambrose pretending to be afraid of Obi-Wyatt Kenobi was beyond ridiculous. It was Paul Bearer with a Flashlight Urn ridiculous. Papashango making Warrior puke ridiculous. The end of the match was ridiculous.

    But I suppose I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Please excuse my bullshit. How are you? You good?  That's cool. I'm in for AndyPG this week and he'll be in for me, doing Main Event, tomorrow.

    I'm used to writing these things late but I'm on a deadline everywhere I look (I've kinda put myself out there now) and I have to get things done on the dot or they send Bray Wyatt to Sister Abigail my cat while spewing gibberish about demonic unicorns who have been poisoned by the imaginings of the corporate dogs or some damn thing.

    Also, I'm really fucking nervous about Game 6 of the World Series. I'm a lifelong Giants fan (est. 1986) and I don't think I've been this nervous for a game in a long, long time. If you're a Royals fan or just rooting for the Royals, get loud and support your team. This has been an awesome Series. One that's lived up to its billing.

    Let's get going.