Monday, September 15, 2014

WCW Prime: September 9, 1996

As the nWo continues to expand like Joey Chestnut’s stomach on the 4th of July, at least there is consistency in our lives. Knowing that Johnny B Badd, who is weeks away from winning the WWF Intercontinental Title, is still able to blow me a kiss every week during the opening of WCW Prime is enough to keep my heart a flutter and maintain a steady pace of churning out the recaps.

Oh WCW Prime – what will I do when you meet your untimely demise next month? Where will the jobberist jobbers go? What of Todd Morton, The Gambler, and Buddy Valentine? Will we ever find out the final chapter of Super Giant Ninja? Will fans be allowed to bid on eBay for the chance to push the plunger that detonates Chris Cruise, or is that not happening because eBay is still in its infancy and we haven’t truly embraced it yet?

So many questions. So many squashes.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #33


The SmarK Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event – 07.15.06

Now we’re getting into the SNME shows I’m REALLY dreading, when the ratings tanked and both NBC and WWE stopped giving a crap at either end. Much like me, because I was all in on WWE 24/7 and paying zero attention to the product. This show was hyping the Great American Bash PPV that no one remembers.

Taped from Dallas, TX.

Your hosts are Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole & JBL.

WWF Houston Summit October 19th, 1986

October 19, 1986

Your hosts are Ken Resnick and Gorilla Monsoon

This show is headlined by Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff and the $50,000 Tag Team Battle Royal.

The copy of the show that I have was from WWE Classics on Demand and it omitted the Bret Hart vs. Raymond Rougeau match for some reason.

Evening Thread - Sunday Edition

WWE Network live stream: Night of Champions 2013 at 8:00 PM ET. This show earned around 175,000 buys, which was down from NoC 2012's number of 189,000. In case you don't remember, here's the card:

  • Tag Team Turmoil for a shot at the Tag Team Championship!
  • Kofi Kingston vs. Curtis Axel for the IC title!
  • AJ Lee vs. Natalya vs. Brie Bella vs. Naomi for the Divas Championship!
  • Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship!
  • The Miz vs. Fandango
  • CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel - Handicap Elimination Match!
  • Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose for the US Championship!
  • The Shield defend the Tag Team Championship against the winners of the Tag Team Turmoil Match!
  • Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship!
The Sunday night football game on NBC goes down between the Bears of Chicago visiting San Francisco to face the 49ers.

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball has the Yankees facing the Orioles, hoping to preserve their ever-dwindling playoff hopes, while the Orioles are running away with the AL East.

Wide open thread tonight, so bring your B+ game.

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–09.04.95


(I have the first three weeks of this show done from the 24/7 days, so we’ll repost those and then start plowing through WCW’s side of the Monday Night Wars.) 

The SmarK 24/7 Rant for Monday Nitro #1 (September 4 1995)

- Live from the Mall of America

- Your hosts are Eric Bischoff & Steve McMichael & Bobby Heenan.

BoD Sunday NFL Thread

Talk about all of today's games here.

I will make picks for the 4:00pm games later on today. Last week, I went an electrifying 1-4 with my picks

And my picks:

Tampa Bay -4.5 vs. St Louis
Seattle -5 at San Diego
Oakland +3 vs. Houston
Green Bay -7.5 vs. New York Jets
San Francisco -7 vs. Chicago

Abeyance in WCW

I always knew that WCW was a clusterfuck, but just seeing it listed out like this really puts a new perspective on how worthless the WCW title was by the end of 1999 / start of 2000. Half a dozen straight reigns end with the title being vacated. Abeyance never had a stronger run!

​Yeah, but any time someone in WWF vacated a title, Abeyance had its contract renegotiated in WCW for even more money!​

Place Your Bets... longtime survival of the NXT 4

Hi Scott,
of the 4 participants in the NXT 4-way last night, who do you think has the longest staying power/most potential as and when they reach the main WWE roster? Personally, I think Zayn has the pleasant 'D Bryan' factor where he won't actively alienate anyone backstage but probably won't be assertive enough to truly identify himself as an Alpha A+ Player man-beast. I suspect that Neville will have a difficult time at first due to his (lack of) size, but worry he'll injure someone with a well intentioned but mildly sloppy 450 splash and that will be a reason to 'get rid' of him. Breeze I suspect will go the way of Rose (although I think is a much better worker) and as for poor Kidd... well, we know what they'd do with him, because they've already done it.
Would love to hear your thoughts.

​Yeah anything that was going to happen with Kidd would have already happened.  I'm glad he's finding his character niche as a douchebag husband, and I hope he's making good money off Total Divas.  Breeze and Neville are SMALL.  Like they look small on NXT as it is and putting them on RAW is going to be a disaster, and I'm saying that as someone who loves Breeze.  ​Plus Breeze's gimmick is likely one that would get Dancin' Homered on RAW.  People know that Neville is an amazing worker, but so was Evan Borne and at a certain point the lack of size just couldn't be overcome.  As for Sami, he should have come up with the Shield and could debut tomorrow if they wanted.  And yeah, he's got that Daniel Bryan everyman vibe going on and is such an awesome babyface that he could work in several roles.  

WCW Monday Nitro: September 9, 1996

Get your excitement in check because WCW Nitro is fired up and ready to go. For the first time since I started these recaps, you can also watch with me if you’re subscribed to the WWE Network (just $9.99 per month!). That link will take you directly to the episode of Nitro I’m reviewing, but I have no idea if the content will be exactly what I see, because I’ll be working off the old VHS-transferred-to-digital-copy that I own. If you choose to check out the Network, spot the differences for me would ya?

Live again from an undisclosed location, TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO welcome us to the show. I don’t mean to alarm you, but in less than one week, there’s a pay-per-view. New World Odor belches its way out of Larry’s gut within minutes.

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–08.07.95


The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 08.07.95

So, randomly after weeks of breakneck additions to the RAW catalog, they just suddenly stop in August of 1995. They didn’t even show the last couple of episodes before the break where Monday Nitro debuted! Which is really weird because it’s not even the end of the taping cycle. And according to those who know, there’s no plans to add the rest at this point. So I guess I get to move onto something else. What an incredibly strange programming strategy they have.

Also, by popular and understandable demand, I’ve been paring down the writers on the blog tonight, and I feel pretty crappy about it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ring of Honor Final Battle December 28th, 2002

December 28, 2002

From the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Ray Murrow and Chris Levy

BoD Saturday Night Thread

Big Night Tonight as we have Mayweather vs. Maidana 2 live on PPV. Other things going on include:

MLB Action
College Football
Evolve on iPPV starting at 8pm

Also, the Sabu shoot interview won the poll with 38% of the vote and the recap will be posted Thursday at noon.

Chicago Old-Timey Wrestling Archive

Hey Scott--

Just as I received my panicked email from WWE about the expiration of my Network sub, the fine people at Chicago Film Archives announced the launch of their "Wrestling From Chicago" YouTube channel. They've uploaded over a hundred videos so far, most of them consisting of film footage shot in the 1950s. Lots of matches with Vern Gagne, Lou Thesz, Dick the Bruiser, Angelo Poffo and their contemporaries, all free and all unlikely to be seen anywhere else. 

The channel is here.

CFA's announcement is here

A close look at their collection of wrestling films is here.

Any chance you'll review these once you run out of mid-90s RAWs?

​I'll definitely add it to my subscription list, but reviewing that era is way out of my comfort zone.  ​

Thunder - April 22, 1999

Date: April 22, 1999
Location: Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 9,429
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Welcome to the bottom of the cliff for WCW. On Nitro earlier this week we saw DDP turn heel for no apparent reason, Nash turn face after being one forever but then save Goldberg for no apparent reason and then Flair committed to a mental hospital for reasons of WCW being stupid. Hopefully a taped Thunder picks things up a bit. Let's get to it.

BoD Daily Update

Vince McMahon Forcing the WWE Creative Team to Book John Cena Stronger?

For the past few weeks, Vince has reportedly been all over the Creative Team to book Cena stronger to prove his fans that he's "still in the fight" after being dominated by Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. It has also been reported that many people backstage felt that it was the wrong decision for Cena to destroy the Wyatt Family on RAW but Vince insisted on it and was unwilling to change his mind.


NXT Talents to Appear at RAW & Smackdown Tapings Over the Next Several Weeks

Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn, and Tyler Breeze are all scheduled to be at both TV tapings this weekend and for the  next several weeks, the top NXT talents are expected to be at the tapings too. It is unclear if the WWE is doing this in an attempt to create a NXT cross-promotion or not.

Current NXT Star to be Paired with The Miz?

There has been talk within the WWE of bringing up Tyler Breeze to pair with Miz as part of his entourage. Reportedly, the WWE Creative Team sees a lot of potential in the duo and hopes to test them out in pre-tapes shortly at the Performance Center.

Credit Wrestling

What Tag Team is Vince McMahon High Up on Now?

According to Mike Johnson of, Vince is very high on Goldust and Stardust as of late. It has also been reported that the reason for their renewed push is that Vince "hit the jackpot" regarding Codt Rhodes' new character after several other gimmicks over the years. Also, the teams heel turn had been planned over the course of several weeks.

Credit Mike Johnson,

Friday, September 12, 2014

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–07.31.95


The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 07.31.95

Taped from Louisville, KY.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler

NXT Takeover Results and Analysis

My new column about the show of the moment, NXT Takeover.  Just in case Sporting News readers had missed the show and were curious about whether they should watch it.  (Spoiler:  Yes.)

Smackdown - September 12, 2014

Date: September 12, 2014
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're coming off a good Raw for the first time in far too long and the main story is Reigns getting taken out to end the show. It looks like we're heading for Reigns vs. Rollins and Jericho vs. Orton, though they would likely be better off with just having a tag match instead. Let's get to it.


I'm catching up on NXT Takeover, and I know what you said about The Ascension, but I can't help but think these guys aren't even close to ready.

They're garbage in the ring, their mannerisms are embarrassingly self-serious, and they look like an HBO Real Sex episode of aging S&M fetishists.

How will this 1998 industrial music enthusiast shit translate to the main roster?

They aren't ready because they only ever wrestled in 2 minute squash matches and never learned how to work a longer standard tag match.  The best thing about them was the entrance, and they destroyed that by switching the bombastic classical score out for the generic hard rock, so I don't hold out a lot of hope for their long-term future.  Thing is, though, both Konnor and Viktor are into their 30s and they're not gonna make a career out of sitting in developmental, so much like Adam Rose it's either take a shot now or cut them loose.  And it's not like we haven't seen a million monster heel tag teams in the past, so they know what to do with them to protect them.  Keep it short and explosive, get someone to talk for them, don't sell a bunch.  Easy peasy.  They will undoubtedly fuck it up, but it SHOULD be easy.  

Indy pay

How much do indy guys get paid? I've been to a handful of shows, and the tickets usually cost between 10 -20 dollars (US) . Even Chikara is only charging like 70 for ringside at King of Trios, which as far as I know is the biggest US indy show. 

So your typical VFW hall indy, lets say 500 guys (generous estimate in a lot of cases)  pay 15 bucks each to get in (again generous) and 10 bucks on beer. Xtreme Danger Warfare Wrestling then has to pay the VFW rental fee, ring crew (though it's often wrestlers) the ring itself, the athletic commission or whatever, and Honky Tonk Man.
How much can they possibly pay the guy that jobs to Honky Tonk? And then how much is the "world" champion getting? I shudder to think what the curtain jerkers make.  Sometimes I'll talk to these guys when business at their gimmick table is slow, and some of them drive HOURS to fall on concrete while hillbillies chant "faggot" at them. How is anyone, even the promoter, making money at these things? TNA has TV and their problems are well known. ROH is I guess owned by the TV syndicate so I guess there's that, and I know Chikara and I guess CZW and some of the NWAs have DVDs for sale but those DVDs aren't outselling Avengers unless I'm very mistaken.
I guess my question is just how can you and a buddy go see live wrestling, often times fairly well done, for less than it would cost to go see a movie without someone somewhere losing his shirt? Do the guys take low pay and hope they make it up with T-shirts and 8X10s? Because from what I see the only vendor making any money is the guy selling Daniel Bryan shirts and JAKKS WWE figures.

​Yeah, the indy guys I know generally take ridiculously low pay and as you say, hope to make it up with merch later.  I've heard of guys working for gas money or $20 sometimes, because really they're hoping for a shot at WWE.  Guys with name value like Honky can typically make a pretty good living, though, sometimes getting upwards of $1000 for an appearance.  That's why indy guys used to fall over themselves to work as jobbers on WWF TV in the 80s, because they'd make a guaranteed $500 per night and have exposure on TV that they could often translate into bigger indy payoffs.  Also, and I know this is a shock, not all wrestling promoters are on the up-and-up with gate receipts and payouts.  ​

BoD Friday Night Thread

Happenings Tonight Include:

MLB Action
College Football with #8 Baylor vs. Buffalo
Bellator on Spike TV at 9pm, with the preliminary fights on starting at 7pm

WWF Wrestling Challenge October 19th, 1986

October 19, 1986

From the War Memorial in Rochester, NY. It was on this taping when the infamous match between Bret Hart and Tom Magee took place. For those who do not know, Magee was a 6'4 275lbs guy with a martial arts and weightlifting background who at one point was declared a future champion by Vince McMahon due to his look and athletic ability but never improved enough and only wrestled at house shows and dark matches sporadically into leaving the WWE in 1989.

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are Koko B. Ware, Paul Orndorff, and the The Dream Team.

September Classics: Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson - Fall Brawl '95

Well, since some of us mentioned it earlier this week when I posted the Pillman-Johnny B. Badd match, Fall Brawl '95 was also highlighted by a very good match between longtime Horsemen stablemates Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Of course, this angle all led to Sting looking like an idiot. Brian Pillman makes his heel turn here, then the three join forces with some fourth guy named Benoyte to reform the stable.

Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson 9/17/95 by HookLineSinker4

Nitro Nostalgia: Episode 2

It's one week until Fall Brawl, find out what happens on this edition of WCW Monday Nitro as The Masked Reviewer goes down memory lane.

Place to Be Nation Friday Update

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. Enjoy this sampling from the week that was at PTBN.

The PTB Staff counted down their favorite SummerSlam tag team matches: The Five Count: SummerSlam Tag Team Matches

Did we miss any from that list? What are some of your favorites?

Justin & Scott continue to overhaul their written Vintage Vaults with a look at WrestleMania II: Scott & Justin’s Vintage Vault Refresh: WrestleMania II

Mike Mears discusses what Bray Wyatt has to do next to push his career forward: Bray Wyatt, God Complexes, and (Breakable) Glass Ceilings

Ben Morse built his All Time August PPV Card: The All-Time August PPV Card

Roger Morrissette revisited WrestleMania IX after watching the build up in the PTB Raw Rewatch Series: The Cowboy Goes to Class – WrestleMania IX

The Movies of P2B Generation series is up through 2000: Movies of the P2B Generation

Steve Corino was joined by Cedric Alexander for this week's Steve Corino Show: The Steve Corino Show Episode 19 – Cedric Alexander

Scott & Justin reviewed Backlash 2003 and then welcomed in Kevin Kelly to look at the first quarter of 2003 in WWE: The Place to Be Podcast

Adam Murray looked back at the Pop Music Class of 2009: A Look Back: Pop Music Class of 2009

QOTD (Digest) #75 - Snacks

We all love candy so this one should be interesting

Question of the day....this one came to me yesterday as I was in Wal-Mart picking up medicine......

DOI Wrestling Shoot Interview with Kevin Kelly, Disc Two

Disc Two runs at one hour and twenty-eight minutes long

For those that missed the review of Disc One, you can read it by clicking on the link below

Ole Anderson's book


It's 10 years old, but just came out on Kindle. Have you read it? It's admittedly the work of a man with an oversized ego, but there's GREAT anecdotes in here. The one about Stu Hart after Owen's death is just mind-blowing.

Ole strikes me as someone with no end of great stories because he loves talking about himself and saw a bunch of stuff in his career.  I'll see if I can check it out at some point.  Really though, how would the wrestling world be different if he hadn't decided to call Linda McMahon the worst thing possible in 1984?  I'm pretty sure Vince is still holding a grudge over that one. 

BoD Daily Update

136 comments Smackdown Preview

How Does WWE Management View Dolph Ziggler's In Ring Work?

As far as his in-ring work is concerned, WWE management views Dolph as someone who works indy style, despite being told to slow down and make every move count and that he sells too much and in an over-exaggerated fashion.

Credit Wade Keller, PWTorch Newsletter

How Are WWE Developmental Deals Structured?

A majority of those working under a WWE Developmental contract earn between $24,000 and $25,000 per year, with the contract between two and three years in length. If you have a known name or if the company really thinks you can become a great prospect, the amount can increase but most indy stars are willing to take the pay cut for the opportunity.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

WWE Hall of Famer Breaks Hip in Fall

Bobby Heenan fell recently and has broken his hip.

The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way


The SmarK Rant for NXT Takeover: Fatal 4-Way

In a cool touch, the NXT guys have been remixed into the “Now / Forever” opening, and KENTA is part of the opening now!

Live from Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Renee Young, Bryon Saxton & Tom Phillips