Saturday, February 21, 2015

Blog of Doom question

Hey Scott,

 

Hope all is well. Got a quick question for the blog for you
 

I've been watching a bunch of old Raws (96-97) and reliving my childhood. I totally forgot about how often they would plug the damn hotlines. I never had parents permission so couldn't call in.

 

My question's pretty simple: did enough people ever call these damn things for Vince & Co. to make money off them and what was the content like? I imagine it just being like having someone read you old Ross Reports or Russo's Raw Magazine column. When did these go away - I don't remember some random day where the plugs stopped.
 
 
Oh yeah, they made a buttload of money off those things.  Mean Gene in WCW in particular.  I think their must have been some sort of change in laws that prevented them from carrying out past a certain point because of kids accidentally racking up phone bills, but they did really well while they were around.  As for the content, I never called myself, but typically it was "insider" news bites that anyone with an Observer subscription would already have.  

47 comments:

  1. Easy answer: the popularity of the internet made these hotlines no longer viable. Why pay to hear bullshit rumours from a hotline when you can get them at no additional cost on some dude's "WWF Stone Cold RULZ" angelfire site?

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  2. Yup. The margins on those hotlines must have been ridiculous. Then the internet had to come around and kill the goose that laid the golden eggs.

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  3. I would always call to get the results of the PPVs because waiting until RAW the next night was just inconceivable.

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  4. Those things were licences to print money, and not just for wrestling. There was the Miss Cleo psychic chick, the generic party lines, phone hos......

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  5. Gorilla was the fucking worst at that show. So bad at KOTR and on Raw that Vince had to bring back Jim Ross to salvage the announcing situation.

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  6. Yupp. In 1995 that happened. He teased it as a former world champion. I forget who it was though, but it was an older guy

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  7. I called twice, both times in 1995.
    The first time was the night of WrestleMania XI, as my parents refused to buy it on PPV because (at least on my cable company) it was $10.00 more than the previous ones - probably due to Lawrence Taylor's involvement and Vince thinking he could make extra by charging the one-off buyers. Anyway, I begged my mom to let me call the hotline to hear results (no internet back then) so she agreed to let me have about five minutes. I called, and option #1 was "The Ross Report" (and they made sure to say with up to the minute WrestleMania results). I listened as Jim Ross talked about everything but what was actually going on at WrestleMania, saying how it was already underway and one of the most amazing events he had ever seen, how WWF fans from all over the world had come to see it, blah blah blah. By the time he was telling the story about how a woman had travelled to WrestleMania by train, I had to hang up.
    The next time was the night after Shawn Michaels collapsed on RAW, and I thought he was legit dead. Again I chose Jim Ross, again he went on and on about the "tragic collapse" of Shawn Michaels, how it was one of the most shocking moments in WWF history, blah blah blah. He really made it seem like he had died - until he dropped the "post concussion syndrome" line, and I got pissed and hung up. Yes, I got in trouble when the phone bill came the next month.
    I tried to sneak a couple of calls after that, and I remember one time it started with Vince thanking me for calling the WWF Superstar line, and said that the first minute would be free as long as I disconnected before 60 seconds. Of course, they would spend that first minute bullshitting you so you would stay on the line. I never called Mean Gene.

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  8. Spoiler: It was Yokozuna.

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  9. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 21, 2015 at 3:35 PM

    Didn't Gene get a big cut of the money and that's why he was plugging it so hard? I recall hearing somewhere that the 900 line was the main source of his income.

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  10. Could it be Harlem Heat? Did they wear camouflage gear? That would make Booker T a two-time inductee...

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  11. Only time I ever called any of those 900 numbers is right after rumble 92, I called for Sid to be flair's opponent at wm. He just got runner up at the rumble so I figured he should be next in line.

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  12. I think Booker only wore camo when he was GI Bro.

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  13. Unless they include James Dudley!

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  14. Ah, you're right - I think I was getting the eras of Booker confused!

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  15. Remember the month they tried to give Ziggler short dark hair?

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  16. I called from a friend's phone for WrestleMania 2 results. He literally stood there with a watch to see when I'd hit the point where the cash I'd given him ran out. I think I made it through to results for the 2nd match, and that took about 10 minutes and $10.

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  17. $150,000/year? Something like that.

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  18. You're one to talk about basking in the glow of dead stuff, I've seen your show.

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  19. I'll bet you did some Recon to find that out.

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  20. I would've given it to "The Wrestler" over "The Dark Knight."

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  21. Technically the last guy was Batista, even though he was only after Cena by an hour or whatever.

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  22. I would call now and then for PPV results like Mania III or Survivor Series as back then, the only way you could get such instant news.

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  23. One time we were at a high way rest stop and i randomly passed a pay phone. I grabbed the phone and dialed 1 900 909 9900 and it connected. I guess someone left enough money in the phone after hanging up. I was pretty excited but all it really had to say was that Public Enemy was coming to WCW. Quite a disappointment.

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  24. Nah. Decided against it.. for now. She's paying the rent and has a boyfriend. Gonna play it out and see where it goes.. LOL

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  25. true, awkward story: never called any wrestling hotline but 13 year old me managed to skyrocket our phone bill up one month more than 100 dollars by calling some sleazy sex lines (and not really having a clue how expensive those calls would really turn out to be).

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  26. That's ok. They look damn good this year. Besides, we have Felix now!

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  27. LMFAO I know I shouldn't laugh, but that is so over the top sleazy that I can't help it, it's too insane to believe... only wrestling, hoooo....

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  28. I mean, how much overhead could it possibly have? I'd love to know how much it cost to run.

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  29. If your dad was anything like mine, you would have been. At the tender age of 12 in 1988, I called the WWF hotline, hoping I'd hear from someone awesome like Macho Man or Warrior or Hogan but instead I got a taped message from Brother Love. I of course hadn't told my parents and when the phone bill came in, my dad gave me the beating of a lifetime and I never dreamt of calling the line again!

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  30. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 4:12 AM

    That sounded a lot darker at the end than I think maybe you meant it to.

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  31. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 4:13 AM

    I think I remember the ads for it lasting until '98, mayyybe early '99. But I definitely don't remember any past 2000.

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  32. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 4:16 AM

    I once got a retweet from a fake Mickie James twitter account when I was 15 and marked the fuck out. I can't imagine how amazing you must have felt. Only to realize you were talking to fucking Bastion Booger years later.

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  33. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 4:16 AM

    Da cyards don'd lyee.

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  34. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 4:17 AM

    Was he also DDP's secret benefactor?

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  35. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 4:18 AM

    I no longer think of Mean Gene as a nice guy after that. I guess the name MEAN Gene should have given that away though.

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  36. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 4:20 AM

    He did that same thing over Louie Spiccoli when he died. He said something like "Louis Spiccoli died. But it's not like anyone's ever heard of him anyway." What a cunt. That bald little oaf.

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  37. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 4:22 AM

    You couldn't just settle for Real Sex on HBO at that age?

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  38. Rumble is the start, Wrestlemania is the destination and between both is the "fast lane".

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  39. "Mean" Dean AndrewsFebruary 22, 2015 at 5:41 AM

    So why does the Road To Wrestlemania feature a Toilet Stop?


    That's what they should have called this PPV. Toilet Stop.

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  40. Smart move. I wish you the best in your future amorous endeavours.

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  41. Oh so it does now that I read it back. Looking back though I totally understand why he did it and maybe if I'd asked, they might've said yes. It was my fault for not asking and then not telling them after I'd done it.

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  42. Didn't Cleo go to prison for something?

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  43. Virgil's Gimmick TableFebruary 22, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    She got busted for fraud because, shockingly, she didn't actually turn out to have magical powers. And the retards who thought she did were angry about that and sued her. I think she went to prison for something unrelated like a year later.

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  44. No 12 year old kid ever deserves a physical beating from a guy at least 10 to 20 years older than him, broness. :)

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  45. well fair enough, I guess. He's gone now so I don't want to speak ill of him.

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