Monday, September 15, 2014

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–09.11.95

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 09.11.95

- Live from Miami, FL

- Your hosts are Uncle Eric, Mongo and the Brain. Sounds like a morning radio show, actually.

- I should note that although the first show from the mall was a drastically different look for a wrestling show, this show looks 100% like any episode I've ever seen of Nitro, minus the nWo logos everywhere. They really hit the formula right off the bat.

Sabu v. Alex Wright

Sabu takes Wright down and chokes him right away, then hits a springboard kneedrop and a rana that puts them on the floor. Sabu follows with a baseball slide and somersault press, then dives off a chair and splats on the railing. Wright with a dropkick and he comes back in with a missile dropkick to put Sabu on the floor again. Wright baseball slides him and follows with a tentative tope, but Sabu goes up, so Wright brings him in with a superplex. Sabu sends him into the turnbuckles and gets a springboard leg lariat, but Wright hits the german suplex for two. Wright goes up, but Sabu brings him down with a weak victory roll off the top for the pin at 4:00. What was that shitty finish? Fast-paced and crazy before that, though. **1/2 Sabu puts him through a table afterwards, so they reverse the decision. Weak sauce.

Ric Flair comes out to talk about his disappointment in Arn Anderson's behavior as of late, but Lex Luger quickly interrupts and has nothing to say. OK then.

Sting v. VK Wallstreet

Oh, in case you're tempted to change the channel, Shawn Michaels beats the big guy with a superkick that wouldn't win a green belt at the local YMCA. Sting controls with armdrags and Wallstreet bails. Back in, Wallstreet tosses Sting, but Sting springboards back in with a sloppy clothesline. Wallstreet elbows him down again and drops elbows, but Sting reverses a samoan drop into a sunset flip for two. Sting rams him into the turnbuckles and drives him into the corner with a high knee, and the Stinger splash follows. High cross finishes at 4:06. Didn't they just have a big promo for Wallstreet in the first show and build him up as a big deal? *1/2

Scott Norton v. Randy Savage

Norton attacks and gets a short clothesline, then blocks a sunset flip with a two-handed choke. Savage comes back with a hiptoss and clotheslines him out, then back in with a pretty nice clothesline that Norton actually SELLS. Savage to the top, but Norton catches him in a bearhug and pounds the back. Powerbomb gets two. Norton hits a backbreaker and carries him up into a press slam, and a powerslam gets two. Bischoff has this ridiculous deathly serious concern going for Savage's back, even though the match is only 3 minutes in. Savage bails and Norton brings him back in with Randy Orton's DDT, then goes up. Savage faceplants him on the way down and hits a high knee to the back, but the Dungeon of Doom runs in. Sharkalanche falls on top of Norton, pinning him down, and Savage drops the big elbow for the pin at 5:39. That is a truly retarded finish. Norton wouldn't even lay down for the pinfall finish without an additional 400 pound guy on top of him. **

WCW World title: Hulk Hogan v. Lex Luger

Mongo notes that if you've never watched a wrestling match in your life before, you should get on the edge of your seat and watch this one. Wouldn't it be assumed that you've seen a wrestling match before in your life, given that there's been three of them in this show so far? Mongo makes my ears bleed. Luger goes with the headlock and catches Hogan with a suplex, but Hulk no-sells it. Lex with another headlock as Mongo notes that "the owners of WCW aren't fining these guys for excessive hitting". What the FUCK is this guy talking about? Luger with a powerslam and he's already go the rack, but Lex releases too soon and acts like he's won. He gets two instead and it's time to Hulk up. Big boot and legdrop, but the Dungeon runs in AGAIN for the DQ at 5:30. *

- So we take a break, and with everyone upset at Luger for not getting attacked, Mean Gene comes out for the interview. Hogan and Savage are all over Lex, but Sting sticks up for him and wants him to be a part of the Hogan team for WarGames. Again I ask: Who was so stupid not to put Sting & Luger v. Hogan & Savage on PPV in a giant stadium? Anyway, of course it turned out that Luger and Jimmy Hart really were in cahoots with the Dungeon, so there's one rare bit of forethought from the WCW bookers.

The Pulse:

It's not like Nitro was doing anything revolutionary at that point in terms of the presentation. It was the same stupid run-in finishes that RAW was presenting and the same dumb booking mistakes, but at least it wasn't stale and boring like RAW.

218 comments:

  1. I never really watched Nitro, so looking back at these episodes... Eric Bischoff comes across as a giant douche, and Mongo is a fucking moron. Had I watched these live, I probably would've switched back to Raw. Vince's "whatamaneuver" was more tolerable than Bischoff's immature, sophomoric attempts at taking shots at WWF at every possible opportunity.

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  2. I don't think hogan had the ability to draw a stadium as a face in wcw.

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  3. Mongo did say a lot a crazy things, but at least he seemed genuinely entertained by the product, unlike the announcers today, who seem like they are just going through the motions.

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  4. Sting and Luger vs. Hogan and Savage was the original plan for Bash At The Beach 1996 prior to The Outsiders signing. They were gonna wrestle on a lake, as in the ring would be surrounded by water. I think even the name for the show was going to be different too.

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  5. I actually think the announcing was refreshing on the early Nitros compared to Raw. The Brain was always great, Mongo was at least excited to be there, and Bischoff's potshots at WWE were pretty revolutionary at the time.

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  6. Wasn't the fact that there were no jobbers on Nitro pretty revolutionary? Raw was starting to put on more marquee matches, but they still had a lot of enhancement matches with jobbers.

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  7. "Your hosts are Uncle Eric, Mongo and the Brain. Sounds like a morning radio show, actually."


    Or maybe:



    They're Mongo and The Brain
    Yes, Mongo and The Brain
    One is a genius
    The other's insane.

    They're commentating tonight
    Unless Tenay sees Mexicans fight

    They're bongo
    They're Mongo and The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain
    Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain
    Brain.

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  8. I think one big difference was that these shows are only an hour.
    Imagine if Raw was Henry-Rusev, Swagger-Dallas, 6 man tag, Heyman/Cena/Lesnar segment, hype video for NoC

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  9. And this was right around the time that Vader left the company and I believe it's the first time they acknowledged that he was indeed gone.

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  10. So completely similar to the FMW match just a year prior...minus the landmines in the water of course

    Seriously though, this is the first I had heard of that tah match

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  11. I don't have all WON from that period memorized, but I don't recall that, either.

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  12. Does he rate out of 10.


    PLEASE tell me he rates out of 10.

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  13. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 16, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    AWOL!

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  14. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 16, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    Yeah, nothing was really that good on this show, but clocking in at about 45 minutes on the Network, it's perfectly acceptable wrestling.

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  15. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 16, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    It could use a little less woman and child beating. Just a little. I'm almost begging for 24/7 Manziel coverage just to get the news back to football and not another name player doing deplorable shit.

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  16. I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm kind of glad we lost this week(49ers).


    The conversation will be who shit the bed more this week: Hawks, us, Indy, or Nawlins.

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  17. I'm still trying to figure out why Reigns is a "powerhouse". Relative to the rest of The Shield, sure. Compared to someone like Orton or Cena? He's just a dude who looks like Vamp from Metal Gear Solid.

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  18. So it can take time away from the more important matches?

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  19. "Didn't they just have a big promo for Wallstreet in the first show and build him up as a big deal?"


    Because, WCW.

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  20. I'm glad too but the penalties have been killing my interest in the games. I actually stopped watching the 49ers game because of all the flags. It's beyond crazy at this point.

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  21. Funny thing is, that Bischoff always mentioned that Turner said "give him two hours" or so, but Nitro was only one hour in the beginning. ;)

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  22. They'd have to take their turn in line behind Jim Duggan, but otherwise sure.

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  23. Jericho. Kane. Retire. Both of you.

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  24. Vince is not stuck in a different decade. He never did anything this stupid in the 80s or 90s. Vince is just getting old.

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  25. Cena and Lesnar are literally saving these shows right now. I shudder to think how bad it would be without them.

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  26. Dear Vince: If you are going to surrender the entire ship to ESPN, and package your show around a 12 minute NFL halftime....at least cut the rest of the junk down to 2 hours so we can have our sanity back.

    And while I have you on the screen, 95% of us COULD GIVE ZERO FUCK about total divas. Stop manufacturing angles around it.

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  27. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 16, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    Niners will be fine in the long run, Colin was just trying to out-Cutler Cutler by thinking he could just throw it anywhere.

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  28. WCW had a deeper roster too, with less cartoony characters. I don't consider guys like Sgt. Craig Pittman or Scott Norton to be entertaining in the slightest, but I would much rather watch them than Duke Droese or the Godwinns.

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  29. I don’t think that’s true. But god knows what WCW would have
    done for most of 96 without the nWo. They were really aimless for a while. I
    think the long term plan was always for Savage to turn heel and face Hogan at
    Halloween Havoc, which ended up the opposite.

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  30. Nitro at least gave you a little bit of everything in the hour. On this show alone, you get matches featuring most of the biggest stars (Hogan, Luger, Savage, Sting), a promo with another (Flair), and a match showing off a new star who was a big name in another promotion (Sabu). All of the major storylines were touched on or advanced, as opposed to a Raw where all of the major stars appear once a month in squash matches, and the only storyline advancement might come from a Todd Pettingil PPV report, and the rest of the show is crap filler matches with awful characters.

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  31. I can't watch Mark Henry deliver a genuine promo anymore without expecting him to turn on whoever's in the ring with him.
    I understand why they had Cena/Brock in the middle of the show, but closing it with Henry/Rusev instead of Rollins/Reigns was weird. And Vince still hasn't realized that red states don't necessarily like Obama. They always seem to bring his name up when they're in Texas, Louisiana, etc., and it never gets the reaction they want.

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  32. Maybe Mongo was encouraging those who had just tuned in to the program at that point, presumably having never watched a wrestling broadcast before?

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  33. Between comments like that, and the whole “Vince knew Luger
    was leaving in August” thing that Scott mentioned was in the Observer the other
    day, I’m starting to just assume that everything we believed about the Monday
    Night Wars is just a load of bullshit from people involved who’ve told a story
    so many times they’ve forgotten what actually happened.

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  34. I think the purpose was more “Here’s a big deal guy from the
    WWF, watch as our guy squashes him to prove a point”. I can’t explain why
    Norton jobbed in five minutes though.

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  35. I remember this era... Sabu was like the most-talked about wrestler of the times. PWI mentioned him CONSTANTLY, and I'm sure the internet was, too (Scott has referred to Sabu-Compilations being big sellers back then). A friend of mine caught some of the Nitros in whatever Canadian timeslot they had at the time, and was basically reverent of the guy.

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  36. WWF used the "WCW guys as Jobbers" trick once or twice too, didn't they? It's a classic '90s-type booking decision to make the other company indirectly look bad, because one of their guys can't beat on of "OUR guys".

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  37. sophomoric attacks on the competition was very "90s", sadly. The Video Game Wars at the same time were just full of nasty, childish insults, like "Sega does what Nintendon't" or Sega making fun of Mario Kart while touting their imaginary "Blast Processing". Sony would start early with the digs on all the other companies as well.

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  38. Yeah, it's been really weird with him. It's like they just did the Hogan Opponent Cycle with him- you know, debuts strong, beats up some Upper Midcarders, feuds with Elites for a while, then starts jobbing to each one of them, before spiralling down the card fighting successively-more low-end guys. End result: Forming some Clone Buddy tag team (Earthquake), or being gone/used as a midcard nobody in a couple years.

    He could still AT LEAST be the next "Raven". I don't see why they don't just stick him with more Wyatts. I always assumed that was the point of the gimmick.

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  39. Of course. I doubt that WCW actually saw that much value in
    Rotunda beyond this initial job. I think he follows this match with Sting with
    a terrible several month long feud with Hacksaw.

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  40. Reigns is not, in WWE language, a "pound-for-pound pure strength" guy like Cesaro or Cena. He's not a "brute strength" guy like Henry or Ryback. He's a "powerhouse" because he has a combination of strength and explosiveness, similar to Goldberg or Rhyno or maybe Brock.

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  41. Even if they don't add more Wyatts, they could at least show the Wyatts trying to recruit and convert other wrestlers and divas.

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  42. It's to the point where Paige skipping to the ring just seems like her normal thing now, not even a way to mock AJ.

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  43. Sort of thread jack but over at KBwrestlingreviews.com(the guy that does the Smackdown and Impact reviews on this site) has this guy named James Gracie who completely rips RAW apart every week in the comments section and it's actually pretty damn funny. Don't know if it's an act or he's trolling but I actually look forward to what he has to say now.



    Oh and if Cena was using the NFL's halftime as promotion, wouldn't that make more people watch Monday Night Football instead? Cause now they know the important Cena/Lesnar thing wont happen until halftime. That seems very risky to me

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  44. Emma was on Smackdown a few weeks ago, I believe. She lost to Paige and I don't even think they bothered mentioning their history in NXT. Maybe it was Main Event or Superstars.

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  45. With all of this time to fill and WWE clearly having trouble finding effective ways to fill it, I don't understand why they've been giving so many people the jobber entrance and/or cutting entrances short. Showing the complete entrances for every in-ring segment would eat up several more minutes that don't need to be filled with matches or stories.

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  46. How and against whom would you book each of their farewell feuds?
    For Jericho, he could either put over the guy I think could be the "next Jericho" (Dolph) or go out against an old rival (HHH). For Kane, assuming they don't want to spend whatever fumes Taker has left on him, he could go out against one of his former tag partners, RVD or Bryan.

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  47. If he's similar to Goldberg or Brock... well, he doesn't employ nearly the same amount of jaw-dropping power moves as them and isn't nearly as explosive. Cesaro is closer to those guys than Reigns is. The Rhyno comparison is neat but Rhyno was more impressive because he was like 5'3" and had a unique look.


    Matter of fact, Cesaro's repertoire of the Big Swing, that big superplex he does and the press + uppercut are more dynamic, explosive and appealing to the audience than any of Reigns' moves.

    I'm not saying Reigns is a complete waste. Ten years ago at this same time of year, Batista was not looking totally flash either and that deal worked out fine. The difference is, Reigns brings nothing to the microphone, he physically pales in comparison compared to guys like Cesaro and Lesnar, and the standard of workrate now is exponentially higher. I highly doubt they're going to follow through with his push towards 'Mania.

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  48. 25 years? You were never curious about ratings breakdowns
    during the entire Monday Night War but John Cena vs a random Monday Night
    Football halftime gets your interest?

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  49. I bought all the Sabu hype too thanks to PWI and I liked him and wanted to like him more, but the guy seemed to lose more of his matches than win. This was back in my markish days when winning was important to me in liking a wrestler.

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  50. Heyman should know what John Cena is capable of.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiMjX-dfxqw

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  51. I loved how during the match, the announcers were basically hinting that Luger was simply not at the level of Hogan, and basically had zero chance. DURING THE MATCH.

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  52. Concussed Miz. Oh, and Cena/Rock being set for 2012.

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  53. Remember when everybody was all glad when the full-time refs came back to replace the replacement refs? People actually appreciated the refs for like a week or two. How long did it take before we were complaining about the full-timers?

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  54. If running Hogan vs. Luger on free TV a week after Lex's surprise debut isn't "revolutionary" in a wrestling sense, then I have no idea what is. I can assure everyone here that there was genuine doubt over the result going in, and that this doubt was coming from very smart and very in-the-know wrestling fans.

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  55. I don't doubt Cesaro could be that explosive athlete like Goldberg, but WWE doesn't give him the move set for that. His displays of strengths are either lifting somebody up from a tough angle (ring apron superplex) or lifting somebody who's a lot bigger than him (swinging Khali, slamming Show, Neutralizer on Henry, etc.). I think the Euro uppercuts are supposed to be more about being stiff ("Is he really hitting him?") than being explosive. Basically, speed and flight are not essential elements of Cesaro's game. Reigns, on the other hand, is given a move set that is meant to pair power with speed and flight: the spear, Superman punch, ring apron dropkick, etc.

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  56. I'll admit that giving away clean finishes for Dallas/Swagger, and for Reigns/Rollins was very... peculiar.

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  57. Just wait till next month when Cena avenges America!

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  58. Well, the NFL's Sunday night ratings plummeted this past week. Not sure if that's due to their recent scandals or the "flag football" being played right now, but it definitely doesn't help. Roger Goodell has really hurt the sport since he took over as commish.

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  59. I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but these recaps are really getting out of hand. Raw is awful right now, but I feel like it would be easier to just watch it than get through this recap the next morning. Can't fault the effort here but this is awfully long for such a forgettable show.

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  60. Yeah, looking at the typical RAW main events, Nitro basically put on a world-class PPV Title Match right there on free TV. Of course it had a fuck finish, but the point was made.

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  61. It's funny how much PWI pimped certain wrestlers. Sabu got it a ton, Rey Mysterio Jr. was in it a lot, and even Eddie Ellner loved Bret Hart ("the bad boy the kids love to cheer").

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  62. I said this a couple of weeks ago, but reversing a decision because somebody was being too violent after a match is one of the stupidest things in wrestling. Unless there's something at stake, what's the point? It's not like something like that would stop the heel - if anything, it'll make him angrier and make the ref a target, too.

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  63. They could at least have the Wyatts do anything else besides jobbing every week. Seriously, when was the last time Rowan and Harper won a big match or weren't booked like total jobbers?

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  64. As I said, the standard of ability in the ring is high these days and Reigns doesn't really cut it. When I think of guys who combined strength with 'speed and flight', who automatically came to mind were Scott Steiner in his prime and Mike Awesome, the former who is obviously superior and the latter who I never cared for, but is still the more outstanding performer.

    I'll say it again and again: what they wish they had from Roman Reigns is a guy with the same Undertaker-like abilities with the same basic frame: 6'10" and built, not 6'3" and looking bigger compared to a modern, smaller roster. When I watch him, all I think is "this is the guy they've decided to push" as opposed to "this guy stands out", and instead I get that feeling from guys like Wyatt and Cesaro... hell, these days I think Sheamus is performing fantastically and Swagger's even having a great run, and they're outshining Reigns who clearly has little experience as a singles.

    Essentially, the project is failing and I can't imagine he's headlining WrestleMania.

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  65. He'll get the loser's share of the purse!! [/Monsoon]

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  66. Well Rollins has the MITB so traditionally they like to bury that guy before he cashes in, so maybe that's coming? Or maybe they just really, really want you to like Roman Reigns.

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  67. Vamp had a better gimmick though

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  68. I believe Funaki was the #1 announcer, actually.

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  69. Just curious, what's the issue with Sheamus?

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  70. That could be the title for the next WWE project: "Total Jobbers".

    Hosted by Zack Ryder and Cesaro.

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  71. I agree with this. The calls were horrible in the SF/Chicago game and last night a missed pass Interference and blown horse collar tackle cost the game for the Colts. Absolutely terrible.

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  72. And yet, I'd rather deal with that than the replacement refs. They blew calls on just about every series.

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  73. They just need to fire the writers and let these guys survive on their own merits.

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  74. Nah, Big E would be getting the world title push!

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  75. They could give guys more promo/angle time. Instead we get shortened entrances, matches with little to no build, etc. Things just happen to happen and do nothing to create investment in the characters. I don't know why this is so hard for this company to understand.

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  76. Apparently Rotunda was lured with the promise of the tag titles with Bubba, though. Clearly that didn't happen either.

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  77. It's more of the latter. I don't think the fans HATE him necessarily but how the view him right now is higher than how the fans view him.

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  78. Yeah, the Savage v. Hogan match was literally planned a year in advance and promised to the MGM Grand in Vegas as a main event they could promote around.

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  79. I'm really pissed I let my Network subscription roll over.

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  80. TJ: When are the 3rd quarter subscription numbers going to be released? I'm curious as to if they can reach their established base. Now that football's back on, I wonder if they would lose whatever momentum they have gained after SummerSlam.

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  81. He needs a swervy Russo heel turn real bad right now.

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  82. A little improv would go a long way.

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  83. "Lex with another headlock as Mongo notes that "the owners of WCW aren't fining these guys for excessive hitting". What the FUCK is this guy talking about?"
    I think Mongo was talking about his old employers the NFL. Although I don't think the fining began until late 90s.

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  84. Numbers will be out end of October.

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  85. That's Wrestlemania, dude. They're stretching this Rusev deal out waaaaaaay longer than next month.

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  86. I have a feeling Mongo isn't a big fan of the NFL fines these days, 100 times stricter now than in 1995.

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  87. I watched the Colts game and DVRed this..is there a reason for me to watch anything other than the Brock segment?

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  88. i agree andy you really need to cut it in half.. less is more!

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  89. AhhhSmackdown Ahhnumbahh 1 actually

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  90. How? The default is to expire, so you had to manually set it to autorenew.

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  91. You're really asking them? They're just gonna say everything sucks, whether it sucks or not.

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  92. It's funny how Russo always says how great the roster was when he was booking Raw. Actually it was terrible, the whole Attitude Era was really a testament to how well written those shows and characters were.

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  93. I watched. It sucked.

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  94. There was def a fresher feeling to Nitro even in its second episode, I can see why it took off against the boring, stodgy RAW.

    Does anyone know why Mongo had tiny dog with him?

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  95. Definitely will be getting Jericho's latest book.

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  96. The point of the Reigns/Rollins match is now the Ambrose run in. During the match, It's coming, but when?

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  97. What a memorable run Jericho had.

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  98. HEY!!!! That's MY line!!!

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  99. There appear to be more posts about a 19-year old Raw than last night's Raw.

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  100. Probably for the best.

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  101. So will Jericho be injured or fired this time? Or injured, then fired? Or fired, then injured?

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  102. IIRC, PWI began to refer to the ECW belt as a World title once they got the national TV deal on TNN.

    And Eddie Ellner's bizarre fetish for certain guys, particularly Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody, was legendary.

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  103. Quake at the Lake was the name they were going to use.

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  104. I was a Nintendo fan boy back then.

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  105. I find it funny that Bully Ray is getting talked about more now that his contract is up than his whole run in TNA

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  106. I think pro wrestlers should have a two autobiography limit. Ben Franlkin just had one, and he was a lot greater than Chris Jericho. Not workrate-wise, but in general. How many woodstoves has Jericho ever invented? Only one, and it was of very poor quality. It didn't even have a baffle.

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  107. It was cool during that Bret/Lawler match at SS, but otherwise I agree it generally sucks. To Vince's point though, when they used to at least try to promote that there was a purse (which gave the wrestles, you know, an actual reason to be fighting) then it would make more sense. But since the dawn of the "evil commish that makes matches just to be mean" era, the whole reason for these guys fighting in the first place can be easily lost.

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  108. Last time he disappeared quietly after a beat down from Ryback, so I wouldn't be surprised if he just loses to Orton and then is gone.

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  109. Yeah that made sense at the time, they were getting people to watch their new program. Plus it's easy to forget, Luger was still a huge name in 95. The fact that neither Bichoff (apparently) or Vince wanted him was just odd. And say what you will about Lex, but I think he proved them both wrong since he had a pretty good run for a couple of years at WCW

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  110. The dog needed to be named Rush.

    #LameMegaManJoke

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  111. Nah. He started getting more attention once he really got in shape several years ago, then more when he turned into a solid main event heel (and very good on the mic) and even a good babyface before leading Aces & Eights, which got him even more attention (not necessarily for good reasons given that angle), as well as reportedly gaining power behind the scenes in terms of booking/laying out matches. Even the "Dixie through a table" story got a fair amount of attention before this.

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  112. Show Jericho some respect, he came back to the WWE looking skinnier and less toned than CM Punk. That takes serious talent.

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  113. Kane could set his contract on fire after helping Orton injure him post-match.

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  114. Yes, I think I remember them actually saying on air that Vader hasn't filled out any of his paperworks and is AWOL. Who knew applying for wargames was similar to applying for a license at the DMV

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  115. His continued presence serves to baffle enough already.

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  116. I find it hilarious that signing him for just two freaking dates is such an issue for TNA. It's not like the guy would get an obscene amount of money for an indie appearance.

    Offer him two grand for both dates, plus plane fare and accommodations for the Japan trip. If TNA doesn't have that kind of dough, they're in more trouble than we thought.

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  117. Nitro began to drag in October. Thete was waaaaayyyyyyy too much time between Fall Brawl and Halloween Havoc.

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  118. Yeah, but did he ever invent bifocals? There, I've run rings around you logically.

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  119. Although I know Brock vs. Cena was a go for SummerSlam and Night of Champions, I'm pretty baffled that WWE didn't run Jericho vs. Cena at Battleground or something. It would've at least been a main event match we haven't seen in years and could've tied into Jericho's book. You know, "I call myself the Best in the World, but I need to beat you for the Undisputed championship to prove it."

    Jericho hasn't been a main eventer since that run against Punk in 2012, but WWE desperately needs some new blood in the main event scene and Jericho could've filled that role briefly. Then again, WWE is weak on faces right now so I guess I understand why they didn't run him as a heel.

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  120. I do not get their hard-on for Rusev or the one a lot of smarks have for him. He's BORING.

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  121. Hey, what do you know, here it is in here: http://rspw.org/tidbits/tidbits.960208 "WCW has Quake At The Lake on 07/07/96". Sodding terrible name.

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  122. At least they watched the show and have a frame of reference.

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  123. WWF explained away Warriors absence once by saying he’d
    failed to supply his performance bond, or something like that. Words that had
    never been used on television before.

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  124. Don't worry, dem Network subscription numbers will come pouring in next month when the Big Show challenges Brock Lesnar for the championship!

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  125. Extant1979 - Ghetto SuperstarSeptember 16, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    Not to mention the term "guaranteed contract" being introduced to the pro wrestling vernacular. What does a guy who's being paid millions of dollars no matter what care if he wins or loses?

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  126. Extant1979 - Ghetto SuperstarSeptember 16, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    He was trying to appeal to the people who turned to TNT looking for a repeat episode of Law & Order, or a terrible Monday night movie.

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  127. If Ambrose comes out and turns on Reigns at Night of Champions, I will actively start rooting for the company to fail. If the product I want to see isn't the product they're providing, then fuck 'em.

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  128. Extant1979 - Ghetto SuperstarSeptember 16, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    I just started watching SuperBrawl 96 this morning, as I made it through the Nitros leading up to that point. The shows had a much better week-to-week flow than Raw ever dreamed of having, focusing on the top of the card for the one hour a week that Nitro was on, especially once they got passed Halloween Havoc.

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  129. Don't feel sorry for them - they enjoy it and have a whole Network full of the best shit to catch up on. It's us fans who caught the pro wrestling disease as kids and can't give it up who I feel bad for!

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  130. He should have been teamed up with that Terra Ryzin guy. Whatever happened to that guy? ;)

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  131. Off the top of my head, I could think of three ways that they could drastically improve the quality of Raw on Monday nights; none of them would require a lot of effort either, if they really cared.

    1. "Halftime". Three consecutive hours of programming are just too damn long, considering the company has never fully eradicated the whole 'crash tv' mentality. As others have mentioned, there's no discernible reason why wrestlers' entrances should be cut on a three hour show. So, why not at the halfway mark of the show (around 9:30 EST or so), have yourself a thirty minute "break", a halftime of sorts as it were. Instead of the announcers doing callbacks ONE SEGMENT LATER, save the review for the break segment, maybe even throw it up to the Pre/Post Show guys for analysis on what's gone down. Use that down time to get lower and mid card guys some promo time backstage ala the old interview medleys, and perhaps play a 'special' match during the halftime, maybe a prime match from the previous week's NXT to showcase the young talent (and give people a reason to pay $9.99 for the Network). Or hell, use it to show a live match from the past week to draw people out to live events; there's a dozen different ways you can do it, and it allows them to maximize their time more efficiently. Lead off the show with a hot opening match, then build your low and midcard feuds up to 9:30, take your thirty minute review/interview/special match break, then use the third hour to build up your upper card feuds.

    2. Tournaments. They are ridiculously awesome when done properly, and there are all sorts of ways that you could use them to fill up television time from week to week. Have a special 'RAW Cup' once a year in the autumn to showcase top talent, or a 'Rising Stars Challenge' pitting NXTers and young main roster guys who want to break out. Each concept could run a few weeks and provide fresh matches before you start pimping your chosen few. There's enough riff-raff in the midcard that you could do a Crockett-style tag tournament at some point. Space them out right and you could solve weeks and weeks worth of undercard programming without having the same ten people rotate in and out for months on end, and it's a ridiculously effective way to give new stars a rub.

    3. Titles. Self-explanatory in some ways. Unify the Intercontinental and U.S. Titles to promote one mid/upper card championship and use it exclusively on guys that are either on the way up, or solid workers that can help build up new challengers. Recreate a Cruiserweight Title to make use of the smaller, more agile workers on the roster, and you've just filled another 15-25 minutes of broadcast time. Create a Television Title or equivalent lower card title that is explicitly used on Raw (and SmackDown) for guys who need to get some exposure, but have no real business being on Pay Per View at this point. Create some sort of Gauntlet Challenge series where each week NXT guys get a chance to beat an established superstar for the right to be promoted to the roster, and again you have another 10 to 20 minutes right there. They've proven that they can get Divas over when they give enough of a shit about them, so focus on building up characters in that division that can work, then if you HAVE to have the Total Divas drama, attach it to a non-wrestling role to at least not waste peoples' time with it. Make the Diva's Championship worth more than a prop.

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  132. You know, I'm tired of WWE's problems being blamed on the 3 hours they have to fill on RAW. Because time and time again, the fellas here on the blog are able to take the same damn wrestlers & the same damn angles and come up with something far more compelling than what WWE does. So if unpaid cats sitting around on the internet can create interesting storylines and feuds, there is no fucking excuse for WWE's paid writers and upper management not to be able to. Plain and simple, they just suck at their jobs.

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  133. Exactly, they've gotten too creative with it for their own good ever since riding the Austin/McMahon formula. That made sense since he wanted to succeed and hated his boss who was holding him back. Nowadays, there is no rhyme or reason for "wins = title shots" or title holders making more money. They really over think things - we're just fans and want to see a couple of guys fighting for a reason. The reason can be simple (and what better common denominator is there than money).

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  134. Extant1979 - Ghetto SuperstarSeptember 16, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Wrestling thrived for decades on the concept of two (or four or more) guys fight, one guy wins, on people wanting to be the champ and that's all the motivation that was needed.


    Get rid of the soap opera writers. Bring back bookers who know how to block out a match and larger-than-life personalities who can sell the concept of "I want to be number 1" - do that, and I think the WWE will still be OK.

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  135. Jerry Springer says hi. Just wait til the Brie/Triple H/Bryan paternity angle when they bring in Maury Povich. That'll be a laugh riot.

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  136. Vader is still in the opening credits of the first few Nitros; I thought he was fired by then.

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  137. This blog makes my viewing of the product even worse because of that very reason. People cook up some good ideas, but we know that they'll never play out in real life. Makes the WWE version look much, much worse

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  138. Corporate Kane is ok as long as he stays out of the ring. Hes ok as a stooge. And yeah Jericho putting over Dolph as a passing of the torch feud would put him over huge. I dont think Kane has a rub to give at this point.

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  139. I sill can't believe a 3 hour show runs over every week.

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  140. By 10 (or more) minutes, at that.

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  141. Yeah I mean watching the crap is more reliable than reading about the crap.

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  142. That halftime idea is pretty good and sensible.

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  143. The AJ/Paige feud deserves more hate. It may be the most poorly written feud I've ever seen.



    I THINK they're doing a Frenemies story, but they were never friends and only stalkishly said they liked each other in consecutive weeks. And then they have Brie skip to the ring along with AJ and Paige doing it constantly, to the point where I assume every stupid girl does it and it's not just "mindgames" or whatever. Because we need mindgames for 45 second fluke finishes with Natalya.



    This all smells like whatever is in Stephanie's insane brain. Can we skip to Charlotte squashing the entire division, Beth Phoenix style.

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  144. The story started okay, but it has really gone off the rails. Putting it with the Bellas just makes it worse.


    That 3-way between AJ, Paije, and Nikki at NOC is going to be a mess.

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  145. "Your hosts are Uncle Eric, Mongo and the Brain."

    I'm picturing an Addams Family-like group of characters after reading that line.

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  146. Interesting. I'd say I'm about the least interested in this match of anyone since I not only don't care about Cena, but I don't care about Brock. That said, the segment made me want to see them fight until after it ended and I remembered that it was Cena vs Brock, one month after Brock destroyed him.

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  147. CruelConnectionNumber2September 16, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Everything on the show sucks and is counterproductive booking.

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  148. How about just killing the womens division.

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  149. The exact opposite should happen, in fact.

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  150. I don't think so, when I went to check it it said I'm locked in until February.

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  151. This show has been largely bad and pointless since the night after Summerslam. Hoping for a good PPV to turn things around, along with the return of Ambrose. Every time they're in a rut, they do something to shake things up.

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  152. That one was Warrior being suspended for no-showing events as explained by Monsoon. Monsoon went on to say Warrior would need to post an appearance bond in order for WWF to take him back.

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  153. CruelConnectionNumber2September 16, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Stop watching. They'll cut Raw to 2 hours and make changes if you show that's what you want. I've watched two episodes since June. If you enjoy Raw you probably also enjoy Barney the Dinosaur and Sesame Street and other nonsensical children's shows with no continuity that are written for 8 year olds. Stop watching or eat the plate you're served.

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  154. I wish they would if they aren't going to take it seriously. Those matches just kill the crowd or lead to them chanting for "JBL." Unfortunately, with Steph at the helm, I don't see that happening.

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  155. Well, I just watch from the first row, so I'm not contributing to the rating. I'm probably not going to watch and just read recaps from now on. 3 out of 4 bad shows is enough for me to tune out except for the PPVs.

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  156. CruelConnectionNumber2September 16, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Like 85% of WWE tournaments have been terrible. The U.S. Title is the TV Title.

    ReplyDelete
  157. WrestleMania? Who else is there to sacrifice to Rusev at this point that could uphold American values? Are they going to make him feud with Duggan, Slaughter, and Lawler for the rest of the fall?

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  158. CruelConnectionNumber2September 16, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I wonder if the Int'l subs will = the loss of U.S. subs. I see the number somewhere around 820,000 and that's as high as it likely gets for awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  159. CruelConnectionNumber2September 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    The default was auto-renew and had to be changed. At least when I signed up on April 1st.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Nintendo tried to be edgy too (as edgy as Nintendo could be) with the Play It Loud campaign, which I didn't really care for, as it made Earthbound and Yoshi's Island seem much lamer than they were.

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  161. I don't get the crossover attempt there at all, really. I mean, maybe one of you could explain it to me, but did the WWE really honestly think that there was going to be some sort of huge "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" vein they could tap that would cross over to watching RAW religiously? I mean....if that were the case, wouldn't they give those viewers more of a payoff on RAW with the females who appear on Total Divas instead of throwaway 2 minute matches?

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  162. Jericho going out against Hideo (KENTA) Itami could be a sweet match. As for Kane...maybe....end his run against a guy who should, by all rights, have ended it the first time they tangled: Bray Wyatt.

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  163. Your guess is as good as mine. Have they hired Russo back on as a writer or have they just legitimately gotten this bad?

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  164. Wow. It was like a week ago that I was reading that Damon was done with Bourne for good. It was Jeremy Renner's show, from now on, and such....and now this? What, did Renner piss someone off, or are they just reverting back to Jason Bourne as an attempt to rescue a floundering franchise?

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  165. Well, giving away Reigns/Rollins with a clean finish 6 days before the PPV is the dumbest thing WWE's done in a while.

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  166. I was an NES/SNES fan and mostly ignored the Sega consoles. The commercials did little to entice me into spending my parents money on their games than for my SNES since I saw it as a "nyah nyah, they suck, we're better cause we say so, nyah nyah" nonsense.

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  167. The Patriot? The newly unretired and split up U.S. Express?

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  168. I think Vince still wanted him, but he wanted to go to WCW, but Bishoff thought he was a dickhead and wasn't overly into the idea.

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  169. Even Vince Jordan doesn't stop by these WWE-bashing threads and defend the product anymore. Granted, it's probably because he's tired of getting pounded over the head with facts while searching in vain for the positives, but that's how alarmingly bad things have gotten.

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  170. They can easily have him keep beating ever-larger opponents. Show will probably be the last one before whomever the WM opponent will be, and you can throw Khali in there as a stop-gap.

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  171. Like 99% of wrestling history outside the ring is like that really.

    Some stuff just gets super simplified too -- like the whole "Ric Flair exits WCW, enters WWF and brings belt" story spanned a years worth of events but you usually only hear about it in soundbites that are dubious or the whole "Tony said Mick Foley was going to win the WWF title and everyone changed the channel" which happened not at all like that.

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  172. He's much more agile than a lot of "hosses". I'm not into his longer matches by any means, but he has some really explosive moves that make me stand up and take notice.

    He's also really detail oriented, like when he sold his injured ankle for weeks.

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  173. Lol what important matches? After last night, the only match that means anything is Cena/Lesnar.

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  174. I really thought for a moment they were leading up to Bray retiring Jericho.

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  175. Gracie is an act. He begins every comment with the exact same phrase.

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  176. No, people care when it's not booked like a total joke. Like NXT currently.

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  177. But his game management is absolute ass and our playing calling leaves a lot to be desired. Every fucking time they build a huge lead they get conservative and most of the time the other team makes a comeback.


    Seriously, put Alex Smith in that position and we're sitting at 2-0.

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  178. mine autorenewed and I was a subscriber from day 1

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  179. If he's an act, he fucking sucks, he's just regurgitating the same things we're saying.

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  180. I was a immature 18/19 year old when Nitro launched. I was pro Hogan, therefore very pro WCW and loved Bischoff's insults and warfare. It hasn't aged well for me.

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  181. sorry no one will ever pine for the replacements who were sad to watch every game

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  182. those have been problems for a while though just without video. I can go cry about Hope Solo too but won't

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  183. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©September 16, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    And in the end, Nikki is going to win and AJ and Paige will be forgotten.

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  184. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©September 16, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Going strong for 2 years.

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  185. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©September 16, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    It would work fine.

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  186. Yeah, you're right. I've been trying to find the quarter hours for that show to see exactly what happened beyond the overall rating (5.7 - 5.0 for Raw) but I can't find any site from the time that has them.

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  187. ah, Earthbound... I remember GamePlayers Magazine giving it a 70% in a review, saying that it was just okay. They wouldn't hear the end of it from Earthbound fanboys for YEARS. For MONTHS they would get letters exclaiming that they should have given it 100% (Bill Donohue, working there at the time, joked that 100% is what EVERYONE thinks their favourite game should get).

    They gave a similar score to Yoshi's Island and actually had someone from DieHard GameFan specifically call them out for it.

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  188. Yeah, that's mostly how it was. But it WORKED. There's a great book out now about that era of gaming- "The Console Wars" or something.

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  189. Here's my main problem with the show and why WCW was so flawed with its logic in the 90's. The first a Nitro was an all around awesome show. You also had a promo for VK Wall Street, and debuts from Scott Norton and Lex Luger. The very next week, however, Wall Street and Norton both job in heir first match, and you give away a Luger/Hogan match hat could have produced a decent butyrate if you held out until Havoc. WCW always had great debut or "reset button" shows, but they sucked at following up on them.

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  190. Yeah, Foley himself talked about that one, saying that the quarter-hour ratings reflected it or something. I mean, it DID backfire enormously for WCW, as not only did they not hurt RAW's ratings, but they came off as amateurish and bitter, their head announcer came off like the hugest fucking cunt in the entire universe, and Foley looked like even MORE of an underdog hero. WCW never looked worse. Also, the FIngerpoke.

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  191. I'm trying to remember the other times this happened. I'm actually drawing a blank, which is funny, because I think I used to notice this all the time back then.

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  192. Yeah, I remember them making a big deal out of that. "now that they're available nationally, we declare them to now have a World Title".

    ECW's declarations of World Titlehood when they were still a minor Pennsylvanian promotion really comes off as sophomoric and desperate now, of course. But a lot of early ECW does.

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  193. Well, as Bischoff himself states, WCW at the time had a HUGE glut of potential Main Eventers- they had Hogan, Nash (pretty soon), Luger, Sting, Savage, Flair and The Giant. WWF at the time had far fewer. And in a couple years, they'd add Goldberg & DDP to the top ranks, along with the occasional shot from Piper. Luger was basically a big fish in a big pond (never mind how his last WWF year had gone).

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  194. Funnier still that Boss (vs) Employee now means "multi-millionaire bosses against their most Corporate-looking shill merch-seller" in John Cena. At least Austin had this aura of being a renegade who didn't pay attention to the suits. Cena is absolutely who HHH & Steph should love.

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  195. Agreed, but to be fair almost every two-bit promotion from 1990 on declared their champ to be the World heavyweight champion. See, e.g., CZW, XPW, etc. Plus, the UWF and World Class promotions announced their champion as a World champion.

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  196. Hogan/Luger was probably great for a big rating (important, especially so close to their debut), and it was a fuck finish anyways, so it shouldn't hurt a potential future buyrate. It only became a problem when EVERY Nitro main event ended that way.

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