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Terms that irritate you

Hey Scott
Saw you dislike of the usage of "IWC". Are there any other terms that piss you
off? I still loathe it when the term "WWE Universe" is used. Then there are
terms that USED to mean something, but are just ridiculous like "extreme"...

I'm doing questions this weekend on my backup netbook using a USB-tethered internet connection through my phone, so I might not be as verbose as I usually am because every second I'm online makes me want to smash the computer in frustration at how fucking slow it is.  Plus Tyson Kidd wished me a happy birthday on Facebook and then told me off, so that kind of hurt.  I decided to forgo any birthday presents this year in exchange for a new phone (Samsung Galaxy S2X) and a new laptop next week, so if anyone wants to contribute as their birthday present to me, now is the time!  
Anyway, yes, I REALLY hate the term IWC, as though we all have a convention every year where I hang out with CRZ and coordinate whether …

Smackdown - August 31, 2012

Smackdown Date: August 31, 2012 Location: Resch Center Arena, Green Bay, Wisconsin Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
After last week's huge mess, hopefully Smackdown can turn things around tonight. Last week was one of the worst shows I can remember in a long time, which is a shame as I used to love Smackdown. Anyway, we're getting very close to Night of Champions now and unfortunately, Del Rio hasn't been hit by a bus or anything like that to keep us from having to sit through another title shot for him. Let's get to it.

Waiting for the Trade - Spider-man

Waiting for the Trade
By Bill Miller
Spider-man: Election Day by Marc Guggenheim & John Romita Jr. Collects Amazing Spider-man 583-588 plus some Extras
Why I bought this: Primarily because Bargain Graphic Novels was selling it for $3 a few months ago. But price aside this wraps up all of the storylines that kicked off the Brand New Day era—including resolving the mystery of Menace, the mystery of the Spider-Tracer Killer and the mayoral election that was backdrop for the Menace and Jackpot stories from day 1. I’ve only read about 50-percent of Brand New Day but in general I found the continuing plot threads interesting enough to want to see the finale.
The Plot: An injured Spider-man battles Menace while Peter’s police officer roommate Vin Gonzalez faces prison and Harry Osborn deals with personal drama against the backdrop of NYC’s mayoral election. Also Spidey meets President Obama. Spoilorized chapter breakdown’s follow:

Intentionally lame material to see what talent can make of it?

Can you think of someone besides Bryan whose reputation was built so heavily on his workrate and in-ring performance that ended up breaking out as a bona fide star on the strength of his character/mic work/charisma to the degree Bryan has? Punk's always been known for his mic work. Angle's goofy character was part of who he was from the beginning. Eddie's "lie cheat steal" character helped him ascend to new heights in 2004 but that was always part of who he was, too. Bret didn't really ascend to any new heights with his amazing 1997 heel character even if it was a personal breakout for him in terms of depth of character. Austin was obviously a great in-ring worker who went into the stratosphere based off an amazing character/individual charisma but we'd already seen tremendous charisma and character from him in his "Stunning" and "Superstar" iterations in WCW and ECW, albeit in much different fashion than "Stone Cold."

May…

Submission victories

Hi Scott -

While watching Raw last night, I was compelled to see if Daniel Bryan would tap out to the STF when Cena had it locked in.  That got me thinking further about submission wins.
While I love a tap out as it clearly defines who won the match, sometimes it can be either too quick or too slow - leading to a unsatisfying finish.  Sometimes it seems like the victim taps out before the hold is even locked in, therefore eliminating some of the "will he or won't he?" aspect of the move.  And since a submission victory is rare in a main event match, usually a submission move leads to a dramatic escape.
My question to you is:  what are some of the best match endings involving a submission you can think of?  Clearly the Benoit/Michaels/HHH Wrestlemania match has to be near the top, but what else? 
Note for Blog people:  Last night was my birthday supper and movie (The Campaign!) so I didn't get a chance to watch Impact yet.  Hopefully this morning, but then we're out o…

NWA-TNA Weekly PPV #8

August 7, 2002
Live from the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, TN
Your annoucers are Don West, Ed Ferrara, and Mike Tenay
The Dupps and Apolo are shown standing outside of Steamboat’s door with Goldylocks standing around holding her microphone.

Best Bumps Ever?

Hey Scott,

Last night in the Destination X live thread we briefly talked about the craziest bumps in the history of wrestling and where the Styles Clash into a table onto the concrete fit. For me I think it's the craziest thing short of Foley in '98 but others were saying that Edge/Hardy at TLC or Edge/Foley at WM were even crazier.

What do you and the rest of the blog think? What are, in order, the top 5 sickest bumps ever?

Thanks for the decade+ of wasted time man!

Well nothing is topping Foley in the Cell, obviously.  ECW had its share of crazy stuff, like Brian Lee chokeslamming Tommy Dreamer through a bazillion tables.  Foley also used to take mundane stuff and make it insane by taking flat back bumps onto concrete, so I'd have to rank his powerbomb bump against Vader on WCW Saturday Night right up there as well.  In a way those kind of bumps are "sicker" than the cartoonish Cell bumps because they're right there in your face.  

Randy Savage vs. Bad News Brown, harlem Streefight, Youtube

I came across this when you showed the Dibiase/Duggan Tuxedo Match.  Short match, but great brawl all around.  I can't find a date, but there is a table break.  Btw, ever consider doing a short YouTube review column?  Where you review just random matches you wanted to watch that you probably won't find on any dvd sets anytime soon
http://youtu.be/7tOXZxW9xZE
Princess pretty much has the YouTube review thing covered.  And yeah, this is a notable "lost classic" that I reviewed before on a Coliseum release.  Savage was just killing it at the end of his first reign.

NXT - August 29, 2012

NXT Date: August 29, 2012 Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida Commentators: Byron Saxton, William Regal
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's time for the title match tonight and I'm actually somewhat excited. This change officially turns NXT into its own regular promotion which is what it needed for the last year and a half or so. It's Jinder Mahal vs. Seth Rollins for the inaugural title, which is a matchup I didn't think I'd like. Mahal is growing on me as a basic foreign heel and Rollins....well he's energetic. Let's get to it.

Big Brother 14 Dan Gheesling

Hey Scott,
I remember a few years back on the blog you were praising Dan Gheesling for his performance on Big Brother 10.  Just curious if you're still watching the show, as he has returned to play in Big Brother 14.... and last night may have been one of the biggest strategic moves in the history of the show.  Everything about that move was pure genius and amazing.  Did you catch it and what were your thoughts?
Man, everything from the double elimination show last week has been AWESOME.  I'm still cheering for Frank to win it all this year, but if Dan wins it for a second time I won't be sad either.  Really, the guy in the best position right now is Joe, because either Frank or Dan is probably going to take him to the final two so they can win.  Ian's a dark horse but he's burning bridges now, whereas Dan is a pure social player (as evidenced by the FUNERAL FOR DAN last night).  Long as idiot Shane doesn't coast to the finale, we'll get a good winner this ye…

The Heenan Position

Hi Scott,
Long-time something something. I'm watching Summerslam '92 and Heenan mentions that Bret is on the floor right by him. It started me wondering when the commentators moved - full-time, unless for some kind of special circumstances - to sitting ring-side instead of watching from the heavens as I seem to remember Heenan & Gorilla doing at least some times. I don't have every pre '92 PPV to check but I'm sure I'm thinking of PPVs, not Prime Time.
So, yeah, do you know when the announcers finally moved down to ring-side permanently? In WWF specifically.
Thanks,
Andrew
Wrestlemania VII was the first time I can recall them being down there on the floor.  Not that it mattered because Vince is all about watching the monitor and not the ring anyway.

MOTYC's

Not sure if it's too early to mailbag this one, but do you have any favorites for MOTY so far? Sure we have 4 months to go, but 2012 has provided some of the best matches of this recent era. Richards/Elgin was untoppable, but Omega/Ibushi from last week came close and was pretty goddamn awesome. Combinations of Tanahashi/Naito/Okada have been pretty memorable as well. Mania had it's moments. And Cena/Lesnar was, if nothing else, a lot of fun to watch back. Any favorites so far?

Well, I've already given out two ***** ratings this year, although I don't see anything topping Richards-Elgin.  Roode-Aries gave it a good try.  Undertaker-HHH was a special case and I don't feel personally comfortable saying it's the best match of the year because it basically existed in a vacuum.  With a better finish, Brock-Cena would run away with the award, and it might even win as it is.  And I'd probably have no problem with that, really.

Most hated

On fact has arisen in the last couple of years, there are a decent amount of wrestlers who are well liked.  Harley Race and Terry Funk are pretty much bulet-roof, Bruno and Bob Backlund are usually very respected even some who get ons of criticism from former coworkers like Hogan and Dusty get a decent amount of love from some of their detrators.  Flair has been losing a lot of his luster recently but his haters are almost always outnumbered, even Kevin Sullivan gets a good amount of love.  So my question to you would be, Who is the most hated in your book?  Who would get no friend requests on their facebook status?  From all indications it seems to be either Tom Zenk and the worldwide leader ahead of him by a mile seems to be Ole Anderson.  With the exception of a few very minute positive things, I never hear one good thing about either of these guys.  Thoughts
I suppose Kevin Sullivan might have garnered more sympathy in the past few years for obvious reasons, but I wouldn't say …

Monday Nitro - April 7, 1997

Monday Nitro #82 Date: April 7, 1997 Location: Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Back to Nitro and it's the first night after Spring Stampede. Almost nothing has changed as that was one of the least important shows in recent memory. We're now on the way towards Slamboree which will set the bar even lower as Hogan's spring/summer vacation continues. Hopefully this is a more interesting show than last week. Let's get to it.

Deadspin Wrestler run-in stories

Decent installment. Read on to see what happens with Mick Foley and "Dollface" and find out how Lou Ferrigno is a dick. Plus, dont tell Scott Steiner what size pasta to order and don't mouth off to Lesnar. Also, a great Virgil story and a funny one about th Bushwhackers.


http://deadspin.com/5938940/the-undertaker-goes-shopping-for-a-baseball-bat-more-wrestler-run+ins

Macho Man's successor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMAFn0eVwFo&feature=plcp
Just re-watching Savage's last WCW appearances and reminded myself about this segment where he names his successor...and nothing came of it. Any idea who it was supposed to be or what was going to happen? You seem to have a good idea about...everything.
P.S. Please say it was Luger.
That whole period was just a mess of week-to-week booking, especially Macho Man's stuff.  Much like that week on Thunder where they had the battle royale and Savage randomly appeared and then was never mentioned again.

WWE TV Questions for the Blog

I was thinking about a few things with all that has been going on with the ratings decline:
At what point does USA say, "That's It" and WWE gets moved to another Comcast owned network.  To tell you the truth with everything that is on with the USA network, WWE does not fit in anymore.  I keep thinking in my head its only a matter of time before the move to G4.  Personally I am not surprised that is where Smackdown ended up when CW ended the show. With above in mind and the WWE Network starting (lets just say it does) when does WWE pull their stuff from USA and go all WWE Net. When the WWE Network goes on and lets say WWE Raw and Smackdown are on, what does WWE Network do?  The NFL Network, does not show programming when NFL games are on, would they be stupid enough to show a late 90s Raw against its own product. Could it be possible a 90s Raw or Nitro rerun get better ratings against the current product.Gmail reformatted your list so that every question is now equally imp…

Turns that were never explained

What's worse than a wrestler turning for a stupid reason? 
A wrestler turning for NO reason!
Fill in the blank- Lex Luger decided to go from a being a narcissist, to a patriotic face, because according to him _______________

Yokozuna's Japanese terrorism made him realize that he was an American first and a egomaniac second.  Pretty sure he said that early on.
That one isn't even on the radar of all the stupid turns that people did under Russo, and generally we didn't a reasoning other than "I don't owe you idiot fans an explanation!"  I find that "explanation" to be the most infuriatingly lazy copout writing, and believe me, I know lazy copout writing.  Even something like Batista's "I got sick of kissing babies and ugly fat chicks" speech is all we need to find motivation for someone.  It didn't used to be a problem in the 80s because everything got weeks to gestate with promos and Special Updates with Sean Mooney and such, but …

Dewey vs Dominic

H Scott,

We've seen plenty of 2nd and 3rd generation stars, but is there anyone who's been in front of the camera as children as much as Dewey Foley and Rey's kid Dominic? I'd love to see both of them become future stars, with Dewey as the heel (twisted from being traumatized watching his dad) vs a face Dominic, wearing his father's mask. The video packages with old footage of them watching their parents in action could be epic.

Is there anyone else who has been on TV "growing up before our eyes" then making it on TV themselves as a wrestler? The only one I can think of is Ritchie Steamboat…I remember a photo piece in old WWF Magazine about Ricky and Bonnie Steamboat welcoming their "little dragon" into the world.

Personally I'd rather that they get a good education with their fathers' money and do something other than wrestling, but maybe that's the cynic in me talking.  
But no, the only one I can think of "growing up on TV&qu…

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - April 7, 1997

by Logan Scisco
-Footage of Mankind throwing a fireball into the Undertaker’s eyes last week is shown.
-Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and The Honky Tonk Man are in the booth and they are live from Muncie, Indiana.
-Owen Hart and the British Bulldog come out for the opening match and Owen tells the crowd that Bret brought love to the Hart family.  Owen says Shawn Michaels better not say anything bad about Bret or they will lay waste to him tonight.

Foley - HHH rumors from Raw

Hi Scott,
What is your take on Foley changing his tune regarding HHH and Raw last night?

Foley went on Twitter last night commenting on how he felt HHH was referring to him as as the "guy he never wants to be ... just hanging around for nostalgic pops." I thought he meant Foley too last night, and I felt bad--Foley is a guy who did and continues to do so much for THIS BUSINESS and doesn't deserve potshots like that. Today Foley changed his tune and is simply thankful for HHH bringing him back to WWE. There is no doubt HHH has looked down on Foley and talks negatively about him to the higher ups. Foley used to call HHH out for things like this (like the Lilian Garcia "horse" thing), so is it part of contracts now that everyone must be thankful to the damn guy now?  I can't stand it. Thanks for letting me vent, lol.
http://www.wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2012/0828/555725/mick-foley-triple-h/
Anthony Viggiani
New York, NY

Of course everyone has to be grateful to him!…

Another Question About FCW

Scott,
I agree with your recent take that a developmental system would be best designed to teach young guys how to work, rather than assigning them a gimmick for the future.  This being said, doesn't that make it an extra waste of time for creative to take the time to throw someone like Shaul Guerrero in the random name and personality generator when the end result is that they bring on Vickie Guerrero to FCW to establish that she is the mother of "Raquel Diaz".  With all the second- and third-generation wrestlers at FCW, this just seems silly.
Similarly, although I understand the desire to create names of their own to trademark, I really don't understand the desire to extensively rebrand some of these people who were very well established at ROH.  With the tag team division an afterthought, they could easily reunite the "Kings of Wrestling" with the likely soon-to-be-signed Sara Del Ray and give them a much bigger push than Antonio Cesaro, Kassius Ohno, …

Monday Night Open Mic

Not really much to talk about from last week's show. It was pretty fucking awful and has completely soured me on RAW until after the Survivor Series. Really the WWE has two seasons...The day after Survivor Series until the RAW after Wrestlemania and everything else. If we're lucky we'll get a good Extreme Rules card (like this year) and a good angle to carry us through Summerslam.

Not much else to talk about other than the season debut of Beyond Scared Straight was terrific. I feel bad laughing hysterically as these brutal prisoners scare the shit out of teenagers and threaten them with rape but you know what...fuck those kids.

Anyhoo, enjoy the show, keep it clean, etc. etc.

HHH

Scott,
If HHH and Stephanie never got together, when do you think HHH would have made the otherwise-inevitable drop from main event status?  Do you think he still gets the big push in 2002 after the quad injury?  If he still gets that, do you think he nosedives once it became totally obvious the match quality was lacking (and would not return until 2004)?  That 2000-2001 run was one of the best ever, but it's hard for me to picture him in that prominent role beyond 2005 if he's not the Boss (or married to the Boss).  If Hunter fades following the initial run, who do you think would have risen in his place?  Would Kurt Angle have become the next great heel?   Jericho?  Someone else?


If it's not Lex Luger, it's HHH around here.  Thing is, even without banging the boss's daughter, he was still a giant star after the quad injury, and Vince isn't a stupid guy.  I'm pretty sure HHH would have been pushed almost as hard, because HHH is awesome at looking out for H…

Hog/Road Wild

Scott,
Any reason WCW changed the PPV name from Hog Wild to Road Wild?  Road Wild has always sounded so stupid.
Yeah, WCW's legal department thought there could be trademark issues with the "Hog" portion due to Harley Davidson's claim on the term, so they changed it for the 97 show.  I guess that they thought people might be confused into thinking Harley was sponsoring the show or something?   

August Leftovers: WCW Road Wild 1999

The SmarK Retro Rant for WCW Road Wild 99- This is a somewhat historic rant, if only because it marks the only remaining WCW PPV that I've never done before. No real reason for never doing it before - I was just pretty drunk during the original airing and never got into the mood to do a formal rant afterwards.  (With the main event we got, can you blame me?)  - Note to Andy: It was the same music because it's public domain and anyone can use it without paying royalties.

Now charging to the ring ... Mantaur! - "Are You Serious?" - Episode 30

Big Fat Heel

Hey Scott,
I hope you're enjoying your vacation. I'm pretty envious of you.
As there appears to be an old school nostalgia wave on the blog this week, it got me thinking of a question:  could the Big Fat Heel/Foreign Monster system work today like it did with Hogan back in the 80's?
In the new PG era of WWE with super hero John Cena leading the way, they're throwing back a bit to that era anyway. Could Vince just start getting big awesome looking guys from development/indies/wherever, give them a cool intro, gimmick and look, have them squash midcarders for 6 months until they look unstoppable and then feed them to Cena for a couple PPV's?  Once might Cena emerges victorious they get sent back down to the midcard, development or just released.
If anything it would freshen things up from the usual Cena vs. Orton/Punk/Kane/Show. Your thought?
Sure, and in fact you don't even need the traditional big fat heel, you can build up Antonio Cesaro further as an evil …

ROH TV 8/18/12

--Last weekend's ROH sees the first step toward crowning new tag team champions after Kenny King's departure, as well as Sara Del Ray vs. Mia Yim and Rhino in a rematch with Eddie Edwards,  plus, for the first time, a dream match as Homicide challenges ROH Champion Kevin Steen.


Lex Express!

Scott,
Lex Luger's "choker" label got chiseled into stone in his WWF mega-push (specifically SummerSlam 1993).  As much as I think the Narcissist persona offered Luger way more mileage and appeal, I can't blame Vince for trying to recapture the Hogan lightning.  Do you think The Lex Express would have been a success had Luger gone over Yokozuna strong at SummerSlam for the title?  Obviously Luger title defenses against "Evil Foreigners" (Ludvig Borga, Crush, etc) would not have excited some of us, but it would have at least given him that Hogan-esque momentum (if not similar results) and a chance at a legitimate chance at being the top draw.  Even if Luger's run was bombing (and it may very well have), you can always have Yoko come back and do the Hogan-KOTR treatment on him (or build to a face vs. face match with Bret to move the title).  So I really don't see the DQ finish at SummerSlam helping Yoko or Lex.  Do you think Luger gets over as a draw…

Joe Gagne's Funtime Pro Wrestling Arcade #33: WWF In Your House

Another interesting note on Luger vs Flair

Hey Scott,
Don't know if you've ever heard anything about this, but according to www.thehistoryofwwe.com, Lex was supposed to go Flair clean for the title at a house show in Chicago, Illinois on March 23, 1990, which was only a few weeks after "Wrestlewar 90". A film crew had been flown in for the change.
If Sting was indeed pegged to beat Flair the whole time, than this kind of throws a wrench into that plan. If Luger wins the title here, does he turn heel again so soon after turning face and they do Luger- Sting at the Bash 90? Or would Sting have went over Flair in a revenge match without a title on the line and maybe they do Luger- Sting at that years Starrcade?

NWA @ Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion - March 23, 1990 (6,500)
A film crew, as well as Lance Russell, Chris Cruise, and Dennis Brent were flown to the city to tape what was scheduled to be NWA World Champion Ric Flair losing the title to NWA US Champion Lex Luger; the title change didn't take place bec…

Life In A Vacuum

Scott,
2nd time emailer, thanks for posting my previous question. Being 21 and a lifelong wrestling fan, I've recently become a "smart" fan so to speak.
I've seen you say a few times in your blog that "nobody really increases business in a vacuum anymore" and things of that nature.  Why do you think that is?  Are you essentially saying that only an EVENT like a wrestlemania regardless of who's headlining can pop a huge buy rate?  Do you ever see a transcendent wrestler coming along again who can change this or has the business just changed so much from the "Hogan or Austin vs anyone" being able to sell generate?   Is the WWE just such a juggernaut that they won't let anyone get that over again?

Yes to all of the above.  It's the Wrestlemania name that sells PPVs, and the difference that one person can make isn't significant unless it's someone REALLY expensive like The Rock.  Wrestling fans are creatures of habit, and WWE has …

Luger as Bash Victim

Hi Scott, hope you are well.

Your recent Bash review and the resulting discussions got me thinking about about who, and what, came out of that show taking it on the chin. The fans, WCW, the fans, the World Title, the fans, Flair & Herd, and the fans. But I would argue that there was another victim in all of that, which would send him into a bad headspace which would last far too long. I speak of the guy who got the title itself, Lex Luger.

Throughout the 90s, Luger received the reputation for being lazy, untalented, and unmotivated (outside the gym), an assertion I'm not going to argue. However, from 1988 to mid-1991, Luger delivered the goods in a lot of big match situations. He was a part of many good to great matches with numerous different opponents, not all of them world-beaters, which doesn't happen by accident.

Flair is the obvious first pick (Bash '88, Starrcade '88, Wrestlewar '90, Capitol Combat '90, Clash XII), but he also had fine matches with Stea…

Hogan in AWA

I watched the Spectacular Legacy of AWA and it was a sentimental journey back to an era wrestling will never see again. Of course, the big question over the years is who would have got Hulk Hogan's spot if he stayed with the AWA. But I have a more interesting question: What would have happened with the AWA if Hogan stayed put?
How far would Verne Gagne let Hogan take his company? Would Gagne let Hogan bring Mr T in? I'm thinking no. But I think for at least the year 1984, the AWA would have been the #1 wrestling company in North America with the WWF, still developing national presence, a fast rising #2. The NWA would be left in the dust as their rosters would be depleted.
What's your opinion? I'd like to know.
Hogan might have been the secret ingredient needed to launch the WWF into the stratosphere, but Verne had WAY more problems than Hogan leaving.  He was only drawing in specific areas even with Hogan, and you knew Hulk wasn't going to be hanging around Minnes…

Blog Topic: Characters based on real life people or events

Hey Scott --
I thought this might be an interesting topic, especially for younger fans who may be aware of certain wrestling characters but unaware of the original inspiration for them.  Obviously wrestling has lots of characters based on general archetypes or occupations (garbage men, plumbers, tax men, etc.) but a fair amount have been inspired by real people and events or characters in popular fiction.

A few obvious ones that I can think of:
Cactus Jack:  Once known as Cactus Jack Manson, a gimmick that was chosen due to Foley's passing resemblance to cult leader Charles Manson.  I suppose the gimmick had some aping of Manson characteristics early on as well.
Sgt. Slaughter: As an Iraqi sympathizer in response the the incredibly high ratings for CNNs coverage of the 1990-1991 Gulf War / military conflict.
Magnum T.A.: Based upon the look and namesake of Tom Selleck's character Magnum P.I.
The Bolsheviks:  In reference to the Russian Revolution, but mostly just used to exploit ong…

Von Erich mania about to begin again?

The sons of Kevin, Marshall and Ross, made the front page of the Dallas Times today in an article about there debuts.
Looks like they will be in Japan for a few months touring. They look in fantastic shape and Marshall, the youngest son of Kevin even wrestles barefoot like his father!

http://www.dallasnews.com/photos/20120821-return-of-the-von-erich-wrestling-family-the-iron-claw-is-back.ece
Maybe they'll even get into WWE developmental so that they can have their names changed be the sons of Johnny Rodz and Frankie Williams and then they can feud with each other and trade wins 50/50 on NXT for the next three years.

Greatest Talkers

Hey, just thought I'd pitch you a question you can answer when the blog is slow.
Who would you place as the Top 3 greatest talkers of all time?

While we're at it, what's the greatest promo ever? Ric Flair, The Rock, and a whole lot of other people way down tied for third.  The more Terry Funk promos from Memphis that I look up, though, the higher up the list he climbs.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned the greatest promo ever a few times, but it's easily Archie "The Stomper" Goldie in Stampede, cutting his revenge promo on Bad News Allen after the brutal attack that put his son out of wrestling.  Even now you want to buy a ticket for the show and watch him beat Bad News into a bloody pulp.  Sadly the ultra-violent blowoff pretty much resulted in the early demise of the promotion, but no guts no glory.

August Leftovers: Road Wild 97

The Netcop Rant for WCW Road Wild 1997.(This was of course written at the time of the show, so don’t expect much here quality-wise.)  How *does* WCW manage to do it?  They have a perfectly respectable, albeit boring, PPV going, then in the span of two matches they fuck it up and flush the whole mess down the toilet. Amazing. They don't pay Bischoff enough for his talents.   (But he apparently got some good side-benefits at the strip clubs.)  The story of the show is basically bad for a good chunk of the show, then it gets good for two matches, then it goes down the crapper again. Easy thumbs down just for the poor match quality alone. On with the rant...

Plug request/Question for the Blog

First, don't know if you're a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, but my friends and I run www.legendsofspringsteen.com and would love a plug to get us some more traffic.  Thanks!
Secondly, I was at No Way Out on Sunday, and even though it wasn't really a good ppv for the most part I still had fun with friends and watching it live.  Having grown up in the NYC area I've been to a few ppvs before, and countless raws, smackdowns, house shows etc.  Basically if it took place at MSG or the Meadowlands from 1994-2005 there's a fairly good chance I was there.  But this Sunday, on the bus ride home,  I saw something I never saw before that really bothered me.  Grown men, who were almost certainly drunk, yelling and cursing at kids who were John Cena fans.  Has the Cena-bashing gone too far?  I'm not a huge Cena fan, and I'd love to see something to freshen up his character.  But I can't imagine even the smarkiest fans thinking this is acceptable.  Personally, if that …

Dream Matches we just barely missed out on

Hola, Scott, somewhat of a long time reader, first time writer, etc.
Are there any matches that would be considered 'dream matches' that were almost guaranteed to be ****+ and they just barely didn't happen due to a backstage issue or a quick booking change or anything of the like? One I can think of is Chris Benoit vs CM Punk that was set for Vengeance '07, but you know what happened there... Are there any others that you know of/can think of?
The one that always drives me nuts is that we never got Sting & Luger v. The Megapowers as a PPV headlining match in 1995.  They were even building towards it on the early Nitros!  Of course the most glaring one in history is the total lack of Demolition (Ax & Smash) v. Legion of Doom.  We only ever got it once, at a house show when Crush was out, but every other match in the feud was either a six-man with Warrior or Smash & Crush as the team.

August Leftovers: Hog Wild 96

The SK Retro Rant for WCW Hog Wild 96.- Lots of requests recently for this one. Dunno why. I guess with the diminishing number of shows I haven’t done yet the law of averages says that this one had to come up sometime.  (It was a fairly unique and important show, I guess.  But man, I HAAAAAAAAAAATED the 97 and 98 versions.) 

Smackdown - August 24, 2012

Smackdown Date: August 24, 2012 Location: Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, California Commentator: Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're past Summerslam and Sheamus is still the champion. He kept the title by pinning Del Rio, but there was some controversy at the end as Del Rio had his foot on the ropes. Then on Raw, Alberto got pinned by Orton, so I think we might be seeing another triple threat in the near future. Well to be fair we haven't had one in almost five days so it's high time for one. Let's get to it.

Favorite Reigns

Hey Scott,
I have just one question. What are your favorite title reigns of all-time? It can be any championship, and doesn't have to fit any criteria other than you just enjoying it. Thanks!
The Midnight Express as tag champs in 1986, just for the awesome spectacle of them squashing the fuck out of guys on the weekly TV show, plus some great matches with the RNR.  
Randy Savage's first WWF title run.
Bret Hart's "fighting champion" title run in 94. Honky Tonk Man!
Demolition's first run as tag champs.
Mikey Whipwreck's TV title reign.

Could the Fall have been prevented?

Hey Scott,
Ended up down the Youtube rabbit hole the other day re-watching the keypoints from the Summer/Fall of Punk. Still amazed at how something with such an amazing start ended up turning into such a clusterfuck. (The WALKOUT!) But looking back on what we'd all agree was a botched opportunity, I ask: what should they have done?
The angle as I see it had a major structural flaw, which is that we all wanted Punk to be the new babyface megastar, but how does he do that as the guy who is walking out on the company? It was a tricky situation in that Punk needed to stay out longer to maintain his cred/aura, but at the same time it would have portrayed him as a guy who didn't want to fight. And our dream scenario of Punk defending the title in ROH, or creating some kind of ROH invasion, was just never going to happen and would have been a logistical nightmare to pull off on WWE TV anyway.
The other giant problem is that upon his return, Punk didn't have that corporate meg…

Questions

Scott,

Long-time reader who has been following wrestling since the late 1980s, but some things puzzle me:

1)  You say that the Austin heel turn at WM 17 was a big mistake. In the long term, you seem to be correct. However, at the time it seemed to make sense because Austin had pretty much run through the established main eventers (except Angle) as a face. Austin v. UT, Austin v. HHH, Austin v. Rock, and Austin v. Kane - all been there done that. Wasn't the concept at the time shake things up (by doing some of the same matches but with the face v. heel role switched) not a bad idea, at leas theoretically?


The heel turn wasn't a bad idea in of itself, the problem was that they pulled the trigger at the biggest show of the year, in Austin's home turf.  And he had no followup promo where he explained his motivation and made everyone hate him for it, leaving the whole thing kind of murky.  And then we lost HHH to injury soon after, leaving Austin as the guy who had to carry the en…

Ken Shamrock

Hey Scott,
I've been watching old 1997-1998 Raw is Wars and PPVs lately. Has there ever been a less charismatic wrestler that was pushed as much as Ken Shamrock? It seems like they REALLY wanted to push him first as a face, then as a heel, but no one bought into him despite his history in the UFC. He was terrible on the mic and just bland in the ring. Your thoughts?
Thanks!,
Matt
Well Ken and Tito Ortiz went on to draw the biggest UFC buyrate of all-time to that point, one which beat almost every wrestling PPV in history as well, so I wouldn't say he didn't have charisma.  Shocking as it sounds, I think it was more just that WWF didn't know how to use him correctly.  
By the way, for those wondering, Impact is coming this afternoon, as I finally got a chance to go see Amazing Spider-Man last night.  LOVED IT.  I just wish we didn't have three other Spider-Man movies preceding it treading the same territory, because this would have blown me away if it was the first…

NXT - August 22, 2012

NXT Date: August 22, 2012 Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida Commentators: Byron Saxton, William Regal
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
So I had the whole intro written about how great it was that the title tournament ended tonight and how great it was to see something like that finally happen on NXT. Then I started watching the show and for no apparent reason, the match is next week. My guess is that they wanted it to be at the start of a new taping or something like that, but it's still disappointing. Let's get to it.

HHH/Eugene

admittedlyHey Scott, long time, second time, blah blah.Anyway, your earlier post included a mention of HHH/Eugene.  Now I admit that I have a soft spot for "Eugene" as Nick went to the same high school I did as was my substitute teacher a couple of times. But I also like HHH. So anyway, my fantasy booking question is this: wouldn't have been logical for Eugene to win at Summerslam, by means of botched interference,.while having Orton still winning the title. Then the next night on Raw, you have Orton through HHH out of Evolution saying he's lost his edge and embarrassed the group. That way you can have HHH be injured from the beat down for a month then have to come back a work his way through the group to get to Orton. And Eugene is over as a mid-card guy.

Hey, we're up to May now in the Inbox, go me!
Fantasy booking is of course gay, but there was a LOT wrong with the Evolution breakup and that would have been as good a way as any to pull it off.  Basically…

Retired, but commentating?

Hey Scott,

I'm sure this question has come up before, but I don't recall seeing it in a good, long while:

Why don't see more retired wrestlers becoming commentators? Say what you will about Tazz, but he's not altogether horrible. The same for Booker T. But then I think about guys who have been amazing on the mic, but not picked up the headset. Mick Foley is the best example of this. Though I recall he couldn't stand having Vince in his ear all the time.

I mean, you look back at at least two of the (arguably) best commentators back in the day – Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura – and they chose to don the headset. Others who couldn't wrestle as actively also did, such as Dibiase and Mr. Perfect (both of whom were quite good in my opinion).

So, why do you think we don't see it as often anymore? Aside from Booker T, JBL's the last guy to really take the reigns. Do you think it all boils down to these greater mic workers not wanting to be ye…

UFC Cancels Jones-Henderson Show

Uh oh, this is NOT a good sign for UFC.
http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/118-daily-updates/27166-the-big-announcement-is-a-new-main-event-for-toronto-and-vegas-is-canceled
They were actually throwing around rumors about Hendo's knee on the radio show this morning, and apparently they were true.  The fact that the undercard for this show was so ridiculously weak due to product saturation and injuries that the entire SHOW had to be cancelled should hopefully be a wakeup call for Dana.  Probably not, but if ever there was a sign that they need to cut to 8 PPVs a year or less, this is it.

Wrestler's Rescue threatens wrestling announcer

Hey Scott,
Thought you might get a kick out of this. Former indy announcer-turned-blogger Eric Gargiulo was threatened with legal action by a clueless rep of that Wrestler's Rescue charity, all because he had provided fair speculation on the cases involving Kamala and Jerry Lynn. I don't even know what to say about this dude's attempts at silencing Eric, except that he's probably better off getting someone a little more civil to write on his behalf from now on.
http://camelclutchblog.com/wrestlers-rescue-threatens-the-camel-clutch-blog-yes-me/
Either way, it's not looking too good for them, is it?
I love that a guy named Vinny sends threatening e-mails and we're still supposed to think that this "charity" organization is on the up-and-up.

Another HBK 1998 Question....

Here's a question that I don't think has ever been answered: what if Shawn had called Taker's bluff? Would the Deadman really have kicked his ass all over the lockerroom? And what happens then? Because if anything, Shawn would have had the perfect excuse not to work that night, plus some heavy ammo for a lawsuit to boot (especially if he could prove that WWE knew what was going to happen and did nothing to stop it). 
I mean, it's a great story and all, but there could have been some serious consequences if things had gone the other way.
I'm pretty sure Shawn would have worked the match with a black eye.  I mean, Shawn threatened a lawsuit against Bret Hart for their locker room hair-pulling spat, giving exactly the reasons you listed, and nothing ever came of that either.  Wrestlers are of course notorious for talking big and then doing out and having a fake fight regardless.

Belts

Scott,
One of the many reasons I haven't followed wrestling on a consistent basis and haven't considered myself a fan for some time is my belief that in WWE, the titles don't really mean much and haven't since the whole brand extension mess. While there have been glimmers of hope sprinkled throughout the last 10 years or so, ever since they began flooding the company with titles and establishing two heavyweight WWE championships (not to mention a US and Intercontinental title), the company still hasn't quite figured out how to make these stupid things seem even remotely important. Having two top titles is like having a Best Picture and Best Movie award at the Oscars.
To the best of your knowledge, which of these is true: A) Vince and company know full well these belts don't mean what they used to and simply don't care, or B) They aren't aware a lot of people feel the same way I do and truly feel fans care about these ill-define…

Question about Wrestling in Personal Lives

Hey Scott,
Wanted to share a story and generate discussion for the blog. How many people are shamed/embarrassed about watching wrestling?
I work in a professional workplace and we were on a conference call with a client. The client put us on hold, and the song on his line was Real American. One of the bosses at my job got excited, "I love this song! Hulk Hogan! Anyone remember this?" I looked around the room and everyone was pretending to have no idea what he was talking about. And rather than man up and admit my love for wrestling, I did nothing and kept it to myself.

I'm just too ashamed to admit that I like wrestling and have been a fan my whole life. My close family and friends know, but I'll never admit that I watch it to an acquaintance, much less my co-workers. Is this common amongst wrestling fans? I'm tired of defending myself and dealing with the looks of disgust/pity when I tell someone I'm a wrestling fan. People openly talk about Jersey Shore and ot…