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Showing posts from April, 2015

ECW CyberSlam: February 22, 1997

ECW online nerds collide in their annual geekfest! ECW Cyberslam is actually what the modern day Axxess is (albeit on a much smaller scale). Starting with Double Tables in 1995, the February event became the yearly chance for rspw regulars to meet up, mingle with the wrestlers, attend a Q&A, and watch a little wrasslin’. CRZ and others who actually attended some of these events can provide a lot more background and context than I can do justice – but the long and the short is that this was geared entirely towards your online crowd.
There’s little chance they’ll be able to top Brian Pillman’s “smart marks” debut from last year – but being ECW, lord only knows what they’re got in store.
This is actually the second night of a two night event – and this was the one commercially released. My copy is absolutely ass, but we make do with what we got.
JOEY STYLES graces us, all by his lonesome as usual.

Smackdown - April 29, 2015

Smackdown Date: April 28, 2015 Location: iWireless Center, Moline, Illinois Commentators: Michael Cole, Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're four days removed from Extreme Rules, meaning we're two and a half weeks from Payback. Coming out of Raw, the big story is Rollins having to defend his title against Randy Orton and Roman Reigns in a three way at the next pay per view, which WWE had spoiled about a week in advance. Let's get to it.

BoD Thursday Night Thread

Lots of stuff going on tonight as the NBA and NHL playoffs continue. Smackdown is tonight and immediately after that on the WWE Network we will see Stephanie McMahon as the guest on Chris Jericho's podcast. Also, the NFL Draft starts tonight at 8pm EST.

Below is the mock draft that I wrote for Place to be Nation. Click on the link below and give that a view.

http://placetobenation.com/bayless-2015-last-minute-1st-round-nfl-mock-draft/

Also, you can check out Cowboy & Flanagan as they did a joint mock draft for Place to be Nation that you can view by clicking on the link below:

http://placetobenation.com/cowboy-flanagans-2015-nfl-first-round-mock-draft/

"PPV is dead... except for this one last time"

Hi Keith,

When a boxing match, an industry declared dead 20 years ago, makes more PPV money with the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight than in the history of earth, how bad is it going to look to investors that were told the PPV market was dead anyway to justify crappy Network numbers? How long until looking bad becomes looking incompetent?
Someone needed to remind Vince you can't hardsell a subscription service, and the hardsell was his family's entire business model.
 Unrelated note, wasn't cowboy hat Macho King awesome? Him screwing over Warrior just to be a jerk at Rumble 91 was what hooked me on wrestling.
"Free month of May" sure feels like a hard sell to me.  As others have noted, if this is the route they're going they should just do the "first month is free for new subs" model like Netflix and be done with it.  Although WM did 250K buys this year, which is pretty much free money at this point.  All they have to do is fire another 10% of their workforce…

BoD Daily Update

Future Plans for Lana?

The plan for Lana is to become the female face of the company once her turn is complete. It is also reported that Vince McMahon feels that part of the transition has to reveal that she is really an American.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter



Samoa Joe Update

Joe met with HHH at this past week's NXT tapings about finalizing a deal to sign with the company. Joe's last independent date is booked on 5/31.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter



WWE Planning More Tuesday Live Specials on the WWE Network?

The plan from the WWE is to do more specials on Tuesday's on the Network that happen live from the Smackdown Tapings.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter


Billy Jack Haynes

Scott,
When Billy Jack Haynes made his wwf return in 86 after being hyped to debut in 1984 but leaving right away, was the reason he was not given a bigger push a direct result of him bailing 2 years prior?He had a pretty good feud with Hercules but then kind of floundered for the middle part of 87 before forming the tag team with Ken Patera to feud with Demolition.Could that team of worked if Haynes did not leave in the middle of the program with Demolition? Or was the writing on the wall after the Hercules feud ended? ​I don't think Vince particularly trusted him, and rightly so.  He pretty much bailed on the company during his biggest run and then went back to Portland, plus he was a major risk to have around at a time when drug use was becoming a sensitive issue for them.  At the time I thought he was a bigger deal, but I was 12 and knowing all the things about him we know now I'm frankly shocked they even brought him back in 86 to begin with.  ​

Shane Douglas

Hey Scott,

Great work, longtime fan, I really love the old school Raw and Nitro reviews.  My older brother would send me printed out postage versions of your original Raw rants back in 1998 and 1999 when I would go away to summer camp in the summer so I could stay up to date while away at Christian-centered YMCA camping retreats.

I have been listening to Stone Cold's podcast with Shane Douglas lately, and it's interesting to reflect on Shane's potential as a young fiery babyface in early 90s WWF, then continuing with Johnny Ace as a Dynamic Dude in WCW, until reinventing himself as the badass bitter ex-employee rebel of ECW.

What was the RSPW viewpoint on Shane in 1990-91 in WWF?  Did anyone think he had potential to be a successful top-tier babyface?  Or was he always slotted as an opening match geek?  Watching old shows in retrospect, I have a soft spot for Shane and his Shawn Michaels-esque sympathy he could generate.  Did the Clique screw him over because he was trying to…

Your Breaking Point

Hey Scott,

I remember some years ago - the night Bischoff first appeared on WWE television, in fact - that a popular internet writer simply gave up. I can't remember who it was, but they were well known and well revered at the time. I remember at the time, their last message was simple, "Goodbye" and I think a picture or reference to Bischoff. I think they later explained that it was the one thing that broke them, that said, "Yup, okay, I'm done."
I know that, these days, you barely watch WWE's product outside of recaps and PPVs (and NXT, but that's not the same thing). And I think you watch some non-WWE stuff, like some Japan and Mexican wrestling. But my question is this: is there anything you can think of that would unquestionably make you go, "Yep, that'll do it" and make you stop watching wrestling?
​Well, I mean, Benoit almost did.  And if that didn't kill my fandom I'm pretty sure there's not much else that could happen…

NXT - April 29, 2015

NXT Date: April 29, 2015 Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida Commentators: Corey Graves, Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We're at the start of the new taping cycle this week, meaning it's time to get ready for the build to the next Takeover special. Sami Zayn made his big return last week to go after NXT Champion Kevin Owens, which almost has to be the next big main event. Other than that, most of the card is pretty clear at this point. Let's get to it.

Nitro 96 Questions

Hey Scott: Just finished up Nitro 1996 on the Network and would love your insight on a few questions I had.

- What was the plan behind Giant's heel turn? Why have him turn the turn again a few months later? 
They wanted Bulldog as the fourth guy in the nWo but he signed a new deal with the WWF and so Bischoff panicked and turned the Giant instead.  As for why he turned back, because WCW.  

- Why did Sting attack Jarrett and Steiner? Was he trying to say Jarrett couldnt be trusted?
They were making it all up as they went along.  

- What was the deal with all the Sullivan promos on Benoit? I know all the Nancy/Benoit stuff but did they ever pay this off? 
They had a million falls count anywhere matches all through 1997 until no one gave a shit about either guy any more, so that was KIND of a payoff, I guess.  

- What happened with Glacier? I thought he was pretty unique and was getting over for a few weeks but then he disappeared. Do you think he could have been big?
I think the orig…

Place to be Nation Presents: Real World Champion 1995-2000

The staff over at Place to be Nation have voted to determine which wrestler in North America earned the title of the "Real World Champion" for each given year. Wrestlers were determined by the following factors: workrate, drawing ability, influence, and general overall presentation. Don't think of this as which actual champion was the best but rather which wrestler of a given year best represented a combination of all these factors, the factors in which you would look for in a champion. Click on the link below to read the article and comment here too to voice your opinion on the selections.

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-real-world-champion-1995-2000/

BoD Daily Update

Daniel Bryan Update

Bryan, who had been pulled from all house shows this weekend, is not advertised for any live events again until June 28th at a house show in Reading, PA.

http://wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2015/0428/592826/daniel-bryan-pulled-from-upcoming-wwe-live-events/



TNA Star Injured

Jeff Hardy has apparently broken his leg in a dirt bike accident. Click on the link below to view a video of the incident.

http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/100-tna/42299-jeff-hardy-suffers-broken-leg-updated-with-link-to-accident-footage



WWE.com NXT Preview

http://www.wwe.com/videos/dont-be-sawft-and-watch-wwe-nxt-tonight-on-the-award-winning-wwe-network-27335015



And don't forget to vote in Place to be Nation's "Greatest Wrestling Theme Song" Tournament. You can vote by clicking on the link below.

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-greatest-wrestling-theme-song-tournament-victoria-sarasota-regions-round-4/

Overseas PPVs

Hey Scott,

Why doesn't the WWE ever run PPVs outside of North America? Is it basically just a matter of the time difference? It seems to me -- with past examples such as SummerSlam '92 in London and the 2002 Global Warning Tour show in Melbourne, Australia -- that running a PPV every few years outside of the normal North American loop would really freshen things up. Those two shows had massive crowds in large stadiums, and I imagine WWE could easily run a stadium show every now-and-then that would really be a strong opportunity for the WWE brand. They haven't even done a UK-only PPV in over a decade and those crowds were usually extremely hot, fun audiences despite the fact that most of those UK-only PPV cards were garbage.
If it IS mainly because of the time difference, what about running a PPV every few years in Mexico or Puerto Rico where the time zones largely line up with those in the normal PPV stomping grounds of the U.S. and Canada? That first New Year's Revoluti…

Monday Nitro - December 6, 1999

Monday Nitro #217 Date: December 6, 1999 Location: Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Attendance: 7,250 Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The big question this week is can WCW somehow manage to make the shows even less coherent than they already have. Last week's show had its moments, but for the most part it was all over the place to the point where I can barely remember what happened just a week later. Starrcade is thirteen days away and we've barely touched on the card. We actually have a title match announced from Thunder as Bret will defend against Luger. Let's get to it.

nWo question

Since you're doing all the summer '96 reviews, something I always wondered - obviously the planning and execution of the invasion angle was incredible, but did they have the actual nWo name picked in advance?  Basically I've always wondered if they just grabbed that term from Hogan's in-ring promo after the turn and ran with it, or if that promo was specifically scripted because the t-shirts were printed up and ready to go.


​Well Hogan originally said "New World Organization", so it wasn't really him.  According to the Observer at the time, WCW was pushing for just calling the group "The Outsiders" in the most on-the-nose naming in quite some time, although that ended up just being Hall and Nash, obviously.  So it appears to be a rare case of WCW actually picking up on the cultural zeitgeist of something and running with it without fucking it up.  ​

WWE Network Question

On their website (and Mobile app updates) the WWE keeps referring to the "award winning" WWE Network.  What award?  And when did they win this?

Answer:
http://www.wwe.com/inside/cynopsis-sports-media-awards-2015-27305103

Basically it's a BS award.  But we're probably going to hear about it for the next two years on every show now.  They're like when Owen Hart "won" those Slammys and then didn't shut up about it, but in corporate form.

BOD Tuesday Night Thread

NBA has Houston-Dallas at 8:00, (Rockets lead 3-1), and the playoff series starts all over again with the Spurs and Clippers tied 2-2 in LA at 10:30. Both games are on TNT.

NHL is off... there's some good TV on, I'm sure. Talk about whatever.

Fwd: Jon Jones' Bad Weekend

Read more @FOXSports- UFC champion Jon Jones in custody, bond set at $2,500-http://www.foxsports.com/ufc/story/jon-jones-in-custody-bond-set-at-2500-ufc-champion-arrested-042715
Tiiiiiiimbeeeerrr!
So, think the fight will still happen?
Enough is enough with this guy.  At the very least they should strip him of the title before he self-destructs completely.  I do think if nothing else they should delay the fight for a while and see how it shakes down for him from a legal standpoint.  Apparently his magical 24 hours in rehab didn't work after all.

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–06.17.96

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 06.17.96I actually watched the new Jerry Springer “Too Hot for TV” show on the Network this morning because it was only 30 minutes anyway. The Waaaaaaaaah-ditude Era crowd will probably dig it to a certain degree because it’s absolutely raunchy and shows how tame the shows are now by comparison. Basically the first one is called “Love Hurts” and it’s a bunch of 8 minute segments covering topics like Sable & Mero, Hunter & Steph, Lita being a whore, and the Billy & Chuck wedding. Honestly, it would have been better off split into shorter “episodes” and stuck on YouTube because I got tired of it about 20 minutes in and completely lost interest by the time they were at Al Wilson & Dawn Marie. Also, almost none of the “great” moments highlighted there are available to watch on the Network, so there’s that. And even the title is contradictory, as all the “Too Hot For TV” moments already aired on TV! And then they EDITED many of them her…

BoD Daily Update

New WWE Show Debuts Today on the Network

"Unfiltered," hosted by Renee Young, will debut as a ten minute long show at 4pm EST. Her first guest will be Seth Rollins.

http://wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2015/0428/592813/damien-sandow-continues-his-imitation-game/



WWE ESPN Documentary Scheduled to Air on May 5th

The E:60 piece "Behind the Curtain," a one-hour documentary that shows behind-the-scenes access of the WWE, will be shown on May 5th on ESPN. Click on the link below to view the trailer

http://rajah.com/node/46874



WWE.com Photo Gallery on the History of the King of the Ring Tournament

http://www.wwe.com/classics/wwe-king-of-the-ring-tournament-winners-photos



And make sure to head on over to Place to be Nation and vote in the "Greatest Wrestling Theme Song" as the 4th Round gets underway. You can vote by clicking on the link below:

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-greatest-wrestling-theme-song-tournament-venice-beach-death-valley-regions-round-4/




Matt's Monday Night RAW Recap - 4/27/2015

Extreme Rules was absolute flaming dogshit and highlighted much of what I've been going on about for the past few months.
Those who still disagree with me about the product WWE is putting forth, in all likelihood, will never be convinced of this fact. That's ok. I mean, you guys have some real resolve. Maybe I'm wrong and Extreme Rules and RAW have been exercises in brilliance. Let me review to see if we watched the same show here (and, if you don't wanna sit through this, just skip to the review portion):

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–06.17.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 06.17.96 Live from Richmond, VA. Finally, back in a city big enough to warrant inclusion in the opening! Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyszko, now seated at the announcer’s desk to replace the injured Eric Bischoff. Was that it for Bischoff as the announcer on this show? Must be fun to be the fans in attendance who have to sit there for 5 minutes at the beginning of the show while they recap the PPV. Oddly, the Bash PPV on the Network doesn’t have “WWF” muted when Bischoff asks the Outsiders if that’s who they work for, but the clip on this show does. So I’d assume that means this was originally produced for WWE 24/7, then.

Verne Gagne RIP…?

Sad to hear my longtime friend Verne Gagne has passed today. To me their was never anybody quite like him. May you rest in peace. GO— Gene Okerlund (@TheGeneOkerlund) April 28, 2015Mean Gene seems pretty sure of it, but no one else is reporting it yet.  Verne was pretty far gone into dementia a long time ago anyway, but still sad news if true.

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O'Doomers!

Well another WWE Network Special in the books. I liked the early stuff with the tag match going very well with booking straight from the mid-80s in Crockett Promotions. Now the promotions in a spot that they could take advantage of...tag team wrestling is kind of strong right now. Kidd-Cesaro is a great team, very athletic, they have a good chemistry, they are extremely funny when they are allowed to do some verbal pieces.

I think some will say The New Day got over by accident but I look at it and they did the natural thing. A face act that was too clean to get over so they got even cleaner and people hate them more and now they can take the mantra as the pretty boy heel team. Similar to why I liked the Rougeaus so much. They were so shiny and fake you could see through them. New Day has a similar appeal and Xavier Woods gives them that good, annoying mouthpiece.

And you've got the Lucha Dragons, which people seem to like, and the Usos, who people don't…

WrestleMania 23

So at WrestleMania 23, they say that the plan was to do a Tony Cena vs. Triple H rematch, but then HHH's quad injury necessitated them going to Plan B, which was Shawn Michaels. Do you or anyone remember what they were going to do with Shawn before putting him in the main event slot?
The logical thing seemed to be a three-way match with Cena v. D-X because they were teasing various things in that direction, but I never heard of a specific direction for Shawn otherwise.  I would imagine he would have ended up as HHH's cheerleader at ringside, were I to guess.

Freebirds in Georgia

Scott,

I have been looking for info on the Freebirds split in Ga and there seems to be two stories - some sites says Roberts and Gordy attacked Hayes after a loss. In a promo Hayes claims Gordy walked out on him during a match against Ole and Gene Anderson.
In his promo Hayes says Ole sold him out. Not sure how that would work since Gordy was his partner.

can't find any results of a match between the Andersons and the Birds. Did Hayes turn face off camera and they created the phantom walk out to explain the face turn? Was there an attack and a reconciliation before Gordy walked out on him?

I will say first up, I love the font.  That being said, that era is WAY before my time as a fan, so perhaps some of the other grumpy and older farts here on the blog can be of more assistance to you on that one.

BoD Daily Update

WWE.com RAW Preview

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2015-04-27/five-point-preview-27333743



Daniel Bryan Update

Despite not being booked on RAW or Smackdown this week, Bryan is still booked for this coming weekend's house shows. (It should be noted that Meltzer himself did not expect Bryan to make these dates but he is still booked for the shows at the moment).

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Radio



Paul Heyman Update

Right now the plan for Heyman is to return to WWE TV in July, likely so he can hype up Brock Lesnar's match at SummerSlam.

http://wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2015/0427/592782/backstage-news-on-paul-heyman-wwe-tv-return/



Eric Bischoff to Work for Global Force Wrestling?

At a Q&A Session this past weekend for Preston City Wrestling. Bischoff (who was with Jeff Jarrett) was asked by Karen Jarrett if he would be working for GFW at any point. Bischoff and Jeff Jarrett both said yes and that they are in the early stages of planning at this point.

http://wrestlinginc.co…

Rusev

Hi Scott,

Leading into this Cena vs Rusev feud, I had higher hopes for Rusev than what Wyatt got last year. I mean in that feud, Wyatt lost, won by bullshit means then lost the feud, ultimately. I really didn't feel it benefited him at all.

Now this year we're going to see FOUR straight ppvs of Rusev getting emasculated, it's almost as if they needed the extra time to kill him off because he hasn't died handily a la Wyatt last year?!

I don't get this thinking that "being in the ring with John Cena is a great rub", it SHOULD be but Wyatt took some building back up again after (has he really recovered now even?), I fear the same for Rusev, unfortunately.

And what's the point in an "I Quit" match?! Really? I get that there is some doubt in some people's minds, but c'mon, really?! They're going to finish four months worth of feud with the most predictable match of the lot!

Keep up the (sports)-entertainment,

Jimmo

​Yeah, as I…

Injury-prone wrestlers

Hi Scott. Big fan of yours since the golden age of the WWE (2000).

I wanted to ask you a question: Who are, in your opinion, the most injury-prone wrestlers in the business? And on the other side of the coin, who are the most injury inducing wrestlers you've seen?
Finally, do you think being injury-prone effects a wrestler's status in the company? It seems like the WWE brass lost faith in Daniel Bryan partially because he was out with a neck injury for 6+ months after giving him a huge push.
​Well, Bob Orton was walking around with a broken wrist for like 15 years, so he really has to be up there.  How did he keep getting cleared by the medical staff?  ​

WWE Extreme Rules Live Thread

With the news of Daniel Bryan being unable to compete tonight due to injury, the Intercontinental Title match has been scrapped altogether. Bad News Barrett will instead face off against Neville in the Kickoff Show match. WWE.com also tells us that updates in regards to the IC Title situation will will be given as the night continues.  Other matches tonight include:

Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton in a Cage Match for the WWE Title
John Cena vs. Rusev in a Russian Chain Match for the U.S. Title
Roman Reigns vs. Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus in a Kiss My Arse Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper in a Chicago Street Fight
Nikki Bella vs. Naomi for the Diva's Title
Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. New Day for the Tag Team Titles

Sting in 1988 and isn't it all the same match

Is Sting's gimmick that year basically the guy who can't win gold? EVERY match of his on a clash or PPV was a title match, either singles or tag, and each time he comes up empty.

And what's up with a show having a hardcore match, street fight, and no holds barred match all on the same card when it's all the same thing?

​And what about airline food?  What's up with that?  Who are the ad wizards who came up with that one?  ​

WWE Extreme Rules Previews & More

From the fine folks at Place to be Nation, check out these two previews of tonight's show:

"The Main Event" Podcast crew runs down the entire show and even takes calls from listeners as well. You can listen to that by clicking on the link below.

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-main-event-episode-32-extreme-rules-preview-and-your-calls/


And Dan McGinn runs down the entire show himself with his article that you can read by clicking on the link below:

http://placetobenation.com/extreme-rules-2015-preview/



Plus, the "Greatest Wrestling Theme Song" Tournament continues as we have reached round three. You can vote by clicking on the link below:

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-greatest-wrestling-theme-song-tournament-sarasota-fl-region-round-3/

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-greatest-wrestling-theme-song-tournament-death-valley-region-round-3/


And feel free to discuss any of these subjects here in this thread.

What Modern Day WWE is like

To the guy running that wrestling blog I heard about,

Something popped into my head when I thought back to the way Bryan and Reigns were handled throughout Wrestlemania season, and now that I thought it up, I have to share it with you.
Vince's handling of those two is like a movie executive being given the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie and the Ben Affleck movie at the same time. He decides to make both, but he pushes all of his force into the Daredevil movie, being very hands on with it and doing it his way, while he doesn't really care about the Spider-Man movie at all.
However, the Spider-Man movie catches fire entirely through the people, while Daredevil is hated by everyone. Even while knowing this, the exec decides to can all future plans for a Spider-Man franchise, and he makes a franchise out of Daredevil instead, blaming the people for "not getting it".
In other words, if Vince was working in any other industry with the mentality he had back then, he wouldn…

Newish Movies

Papa Smark!
I picked up the new live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Into The Woods (Disney version), and The Penguins of Madagascar. Curious if you've seen them; I found TMNT was pretty good, but could have been way better had it lost a few of the mustache twirling lines.Into The Woods was interesting in that I'd never even heard of it prior to the Disney release (there was another version that caused The Lady Amanda™ and I a bit of confusion at the video store). Overall I liked it, though the frenetic and fun Gilbert and Sullivan first half overshadowed the somewhat melancholy and bittersweet second half, which to me felt like it lost a bit of steam as it finished.Penguins was a hoot though; I laughed a heck of a lot more than any of the Madagascar movies combined, and while perfectly fine for the kids, had a ton of in jokes for the adults, particularly the constant celebrity name dropping (Nicholas, cage them! Drew! Barry! More power!) Very funny, and has moved in…

WWF Shotgun Saturday Night: February 22, 1997

LIVE from the depths of Shawn Michaels’ ass-crack (hey, I found his smile!) – it’s Shotgun Saturday Night! Of course, we’re not actually live, because we scrapped this show’s format weeks ago. But … it’s Saturday night! Taped on some other night!
VINCE MCMAHON and JAMES E CORNETTE welcome us to Some Unclear Location in front of … well, a fairly big crowd all told.

Thunder - December 2, 1999

Thunder Date: December 2, 1999 Location: Landon Arena, Topeka, Kansas Attendance: 2,467 Commentators: Larry Zbyszko, Mike Tenay
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
After a week off due to Thanksgiving, we're back for one of the final live Thunders as the tapings would soon move to Tuesday nights. In other words, this might be the last “good” show in the series' run. We're less than three weeks away from Starrcade and the World Title scene is very slowly rounding into form. Unfortunately everything else is rounding into form and it's not a pretty sight. Let's get to it.

Word association

Hi Scott

Humour me for 2 minutes and run through these 10 words/phrases and say which WRESTLER comes to mind first.  Don't think about it - just whoever immediately pops into your head. I think it will not only tell us a lot about your fandom, but also something about wrestlers with genuine legacies.  So...


1.  WCW

​Ric Flair.  ​
2.  Intercontinental Title

​Honky Tonk Man.  ​
3.  Canada

​Bret Hart. ​ 4.  ECW

​Paul Heyman. ​ 5.  Attitude Era

​Steve Austin.   ​ 6.  Wrestlemania

​Shawn Michaels.  ​
7.  Tag Team

​Hart Foundation.   ​ 8.  NWA Champion

​Harley Race.  ​
9.  Raw
​Vince McMahon.  ​
10.  Starrcade

​Dusty Rhodes.  ​

Sent from my iPhone
​Kofi Kingston.  ​

The Giant

So I've been following along with your Nitro reviews detailing the arrival of Hall and Nash, and I jumped forward to the Great American Bash and the following Nitro. On back to back nights, the Giant counters out of the Torture Rack, hits the chokeslam, and pins Luger clean, and then the following night shrugs off a chair shot, hits the chokeslam, and pins Scott Steiner clean. My question is this: did they have anything in mind for him long term, or was the plan only to build him up so Hogan could get the title at Road (or Hog, whichever) Wild? 
​I dunno, in the Observers at the time Dave is equally mystified at Giant's push.  It would make sense that big bad monster heel Giant gets slain by returning babyface Hulk Hogan, because that's the one story that Hogan knows how to tell (over and over and over) so I can assume that's what the payoff was supposed to be.  Which is why it's so weird that they kept the belt on him once they figured out that Hogan was going heel…

Impact Wrestling - April 24, 2015

Impact Wrestling Date: April 24, 2015 Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida Commentator: Josh Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is a special episode, focusing on the Knockouts. We'll be seeing new Knockouts debut, a Knockouts Title match with Taryn Terrell defending against Awesome Kong, a four way for the #1 contendership and an announcement on Mickie James' in ring future. In non-Knockouts news, we have another announcement from Ethan Carter III and Kurt Angle defending the World Title against Eric Young. Let's get to it.

The SmarK Rant for WCW Great American Bash 1996

The SmarK Rant for WCW Great American Bash 96 – 06.16.96Upgraded from my Roku Streaming Stick to the brand new version of the Roku 3 today, and everything is blazingly fast now. Except for the WWE Network, which immediately crashed the Roku when I tried to fast-forward something. Because of course. Live from Baltimore, MD Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Dusty Rhodes. I totally forgot about the goofy SNME-style promos before the show, actually. They were definitely ripping off aspects of the WWF presentation style around this point.

What segments do you skip

Hey Scott,
I don't know if you're watching the weekly shows any more, but if you are I'm sure you fast forward through most of it. So my question for you (and the blog) is this. What do you usually end up skipping? Divas matches? Roman Reigns promos? Big Show...anythings? Do you feel bad about skipping stuff, or is it the only way to make it through the slog that is three hours of slapdash booking?
I literally never watch anything but the weekly YouTube recap at this point.  I'll watch segments on YouTube if they look interesting, but I lost any desire to sit down and watch the actual show years ago.

Place to be Nation Presents: Real World Champion 1989-94

The staff over at Place to be Nation have voted to determine which wrestler in North America earned the title of the "Real World Champion" for each given year. Wrestlers were determined by the following factors: workrate, drawing ability, influence, and general overall presentation. Don't think of this as which actual champion was the best but rather which wrestler of a given year best represented a combination of all these factors, the factors in which you would look for in a champion. Click on the link below to read the article and comment here too to voice your opinion on the selections.


http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-real-world-champion-1989-1994/

BoD Daily Update

Possible New Feud for Roman Reigns

Reigns is currently booked for house show matches against Kane, meaning there could be a possible feud between the two coming up.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wresting Observer Newsletter



Former WWE Writer Blogs About How the Company Views the Divas

Writer Kevin Eck stated how he was told when employed by the company that there were no faces or heels in the Divas Division but rather they were a "bunch of catty chicks" that most of whom were mentally unstable. Click on the link below to view more of the article

http://kevineckwrestling.sportsblog.com/posts/2218634/to-truly-give-divas-a-chance--wwe-needs-to-give-them-better-creative.html



Wolfpac Interview

Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Sean Waltman were interviewed by Sports Illustrated were they revealed that the Undertaker nearly jumped ship to WCW in 2000 among other things. You can click on the link below to read the article.

http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2015/04/23/wwe-wcw-wolfpac-kevin-nash-scott-h…

Bruno in the 80's

Why didn't Crockett, or Watts, or Gagne, or Von Erich make a play for Bruno in, say, 84? Would there have been money Flair vs Bruno in, say, 85? Could it have competed with the WWF at the time?

​Bruno ended up pretty disgusted with the wrestling business as a whole, and he was financially secure, so I doubt he would have had much interest.  Clearly though even in 86 when he was doing the Steamboat revenge tour against Savage he had some drawing power left, so I'm surprised no one ever did make a serious go at him once he left.  Ditto someone like Bob Backlund after he dropped the title in 84 and then vanished off the face of the earth for 10 years.  ​

Bret the midcarder

Hi Scott,
Hope all is well.
I'm running through a lot of 1997 stuff on the network and WWE's stubborn refusal to just put the damn Raw episodes up is leaving me confused about what's going on with Bret and the Hart Foundation around this time. I noticed in your PPV countdown post for the Badd Blood IYH that you suspected some kind of conspiracy was at play to make Bret look like a midcarder, having tag team flag matches against Patriot and Vader, next to Shawn. I assume you were kidding, but it does seem odd that the WWF Champion was given such lame booking just a couple short months after he was the center of the hottest angle in wrestling. Was Bret's heat waning?
Had DX gotten so hot so fast to really steal Bret and the Foundation's heat, and Vince was being lazy with his now #2 heel? 
I know Bret has complained about what happened to his creative direction after Shawn turned heel, and while that should be taken with a grain of salt it wouldn't be the first time …

Smackdown - April 23, 2015

Smackdown Date: April 23, 2015 Location: Dunkin' Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the final show before Extreme Rules and for some reason in 2015, one of the major stories is Kane seemingly about to turn on the Authority and becoming a bigger deal than he is now. Of course it's possible that it's all a swerve and Kane will cost Orton the title match on Sunday, making the last few weeks a big waste of time, much like Kane in general. Let's get to it.

Super Serious Topic

Dear Mister Netcop Sir

I know such SUPER SERIOUS topics as bob cat and Announcer 3-ways(GO COLE!!!) have been covered this week but there's an even bigger SUPER SERIOUS topic you haven't covered. The imminent return of the greatest Diva to ever grace the ring: Eva Marie. 
Ah fuck I can't even. Could you please go on vacation so something horrific can happen for us to talk about? I mean besides being subjected to Eva Fucking Marie?
Hugs,  The entity that posts as Darklight.
​My Sporting News mailbags are gonna be pretty dull compared to this week.  ​

Bring Back the Attitude Era!

Hey Scott, just had a great idea for how the WWE can resurrect The Attitude Era on commentary using their best commentator, Booker T, and the champion, Seth Rollins. Booker T should just start calling him SEX Rollins! Everyone could play nice at first, then after a few weeks (I'm all for long builds), have JBL start going "Are you saying "sex", Booger T?" And Booker is all "NO WAY PATNUH I WOULDNT SAY SEX ON TV DONT BE RIDIDCULUSDUSOUS!" Then we have nerd-ass Cole "Ya know Booker, it kinda sounds like you are saying "sex" a little bit!" This will obviously lead to a triple threat match between the commentators at Wrestlemania 32. Then have Lawler start saying puppies again when he calls that match and the Attitude Era is back!

​They are literally leaving money on the table by ignoring this potential direction change.  ​

Worst PPVs?

Hi Scott,

I always ask for you recommendations on what to watch and I realise I'm doing it wrong. What are the worst PPV shows you've ever endured during the last 10 years of WWE programming?

No Way Out 2002 and Bad Blood 2003 instantly jump out as being really bad shows with no redeeming qualities. Do you have any more that are worth flat out avoiding?

Thanks.

​I barely even remember what happened year-to-year past the brand extension point, let alone which PPVs were terrible.  I remember Bash 2004 as being terrible (the one with Paul Bearer getting killed by cement mixer) and of course this year's Royal Rumble was legendarily awful, but it's a blur to me beyond that.  ​

BoD Daily Update

Daniel Bryan Update

According to Dave Meltzer, Bryan was originally hurt after working a match against Sheamus at the 3/31 Smackdown tapings in Fresno. He also reported that a few of the wrestlers told him that Bryan had indeed suffered a concussion, which he company had denied, but the company also has not disclosed what injuries he had suffered and one person in the company who was close to the situation intimated that it was being kept a closely guarded secret and that "banged up" would be a nice, accurate, but purposely vague way to put it.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter



Two Divas Expected to Get a Big Push

It has been reported that both Lana and Eva Marie will be getting pushed. Eva Marie has been reportedly training hard and the company feels that she will be able to wrestle better when she returns to TV.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter



Samoa Joe Update

It is expected that Joe will start working for the WWE in June, despite no word on…

NXT - April 22, 2015

NXT Date: April 22, 2015 Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida Commentators: Corey Graves, Rich Brennan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We haven't heard from NXT Champion Kevin Owens in a good while so it's probably time to get him out here for more greatness. Alex Riley has called Owens out to meet him in the ring tonight because, due to quitting his commentary job, Riley has nowhere else to go but the ring. Let's get to it.

BoD Daily Update

Daniel Bryan Update

According to PWInsider.com, Bryan was sent home from the European tour after getting injured in a match on April 9th and is expected to miss about four weeks as a result. 
http://wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2015/0422/592633/update-on-how-long-daniel-bryan-will-be-out-of-action/



Tag Team Champions Going Babyface?

Originally, Tyson Kidd & Cesaro were going to defend the WWE Tag Team Titles against the Lucha Dragons at Extreme Rules. However, the team got over big during the European tour and the company will at least position them as faces at Extreme Rules as a result. No further word if they will be a face team permanently, however.

http://wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2015/0421/592622/backstage-news-on-the-wwe-tag-team-champions-working-as-babyfaces/



RAW Ratings

RAW did 4.03 million viewers this past Monday, much higher than last week's taped show from England. Here is the hourly breakdown:

8pm: 4.11 million viewers
9pm: 4.14 million viewers
10pm: 3.87 million viewers

Ken Patera returning in 87

When Ken Patera made his return in the spring of 87 he was heavily pushed as a fan favorite vowing revenge on Bobby Heenan and the Heenan family.
Now obviously Patera had regressed in the few years he was away, but he seemed to be pretty over at first, even getting his own Coliseum Video upon his return.He suffered a bad injury to his arm over the summer and never seemed the same. Would a heel turn and return to Heenan have salvaged his comeback?I am pretty sure the Observer or the Apter mags reported he was rumored to face Hogan at Wrestlemania 4 around that time. ​Yeah, if I'm remembering correctly the general plan around the time of his return was that he would still be awesome and would go heel to be the Hogan dead body of the month at some point, but he was such a spectacular flop upon his return that they just dropped all those ideas completely and jobbed him out.  Even before his arm injury he completely lost all his intensity and drive and just looked like a guy instead of a…

Ryback in 2012

Scott,
What did you think of Ryback's run in 2012 where he got over huge? I don't think he was ready to win the belt when they put him into that title match vs. CM Punk, but he was consistently getting huge reactions and looked like a star in the making. What could they have done differently with him during that time? Keep him away from the title picture, keep having him squash guys, and then win the belt off of Cena after WrestleMania?
​That was a really weird situation for everyone.  They were really backed into a corner by booking Ryback into that match, even though it did business.  It really, REALLY should have been some sort of screwjob DQ, however.  It's not like Hell in a Cell isn't compromised enough as it is that you couldn't make an exception and just have both guys fight out of the cage and call it a no-contest or something like that.  
That being said, I don't think I ever would have put him over Cena, but you certainly could have done pretty well by…

Monday Nitro - November 29, 1999

Monday Nitro #216 Date: November 29, 1999 Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado Attendance: 12,881 Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're less than three weeks away from Starrcade and usually that would mean some of the matches should be clear. At the moment though, the field is almost wide open and given who is in charge, I'm not sure if we should expect to get any development this week either. Last week's main event was at least a calm match for a change. Let's get to it.

Chyna in the HOF and Big Show

Hey Scott,

Without saying it directly, it seemed like HHH was referring to Chyna being in Playboy and having a sex tape that is keeping her out of the Hall of Fame and presumably why she isn't invited to any reunion specials. Yet has anyone thought to remind HHH that Shawn was in Playgirl? Or that X-Pac was in the very same sextape as Chyna? Am I wrong, or is this just another case of HHH's pettiness? Or something more?

Also, we all talk about the frying pan hands of the Big Show, but nobody ever brings up his typewriter-like forehead. I think that was a trope that Tazz used on a few occasions. I guess you need to see it in person to really appreciate the size of Big Show's body parts. (I should know, I was at Unforgiven '06.)

Sorry to bring so many naked wrestlers to mind... at least I didn't bring up Hogan's sex tape.

​Is there a hidden camera in this e-mail?  
Also, I'm pretty sure Chyna's rampant drug problems and public meltdowns have as much to do with…

Nash's debut as a heel in WCW

So as you covered in the last Nitro rant, Nash debuts on Nitro as a heel who we're supposed to hate because he and Scott want to take over WCW, right?
The problem with that is that from that very first promo with Tony, Kevin's lines were A). Very funny, and B). The truth.
So remind me why was I supposed to boo him and root for the WCW losers again? I was cheering Scott during his debut week, and Kevin the week after because they were doing something interesting, cool, and unique.
Well...yeah.  They were cool heels.  That's why they were so unique and drew shitloads of money.  No one had really done that before.  It also killed the company in the long run.  Other than that, I'm not really sure where you're going with this.   ​

WWF Superstars of Wrestling May 30th, 1987

May 30, 1987

From the Convention Center in Anaheim, CA

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and Vince McMahon

Tonight, we will see the Can-Am Connection vs. The Islanders. Also in action will be Ricky Steamboat, Honky Tonk Man, Jim Duggan, and King Harley Race. Plus, a special report on the health of Superstar Billy Graham and more.

Vince and the Hall of Fame

Hello!

Have been going back and watching all of the old HOF ceremonies on the Network. Once thing I noticed is that during the early modern ceremonies ('04 on), almost every inductee takes the time to thank Vince and the McMahon family.

Then, after the first year or two, no one even mentions Vince, let alone thanks him in their speeches. It's actually somewhat distracting after a while. We've heard guys like Shawn Michaels reference this in their HOF appearances, but what gives? Why does Vince get the Vol​d​ emort treatment at his own HOF?

​Probably just a weird Vince-ism, and the same reasoning as why he doesn't want to be inducted into his own Hall of Fame.  ​

Post Razor, Pre NWO

Hey Scott, 

After reading your recent Monday Nitro reviews, I started wondering about Scott Hall; Specifically, if there was an alternate plan for his debut in WCW . 
From my understanding, he started talks before Kevin Nash. Was the invasion/NWO angle always the plan or was there something else set up for just him? The re-debut of the Diamond Studd, maybe? A repackage as a member of the Dungeon of Doom or Horsemen? 
​There was never a real plan talked about beforehand, no.  The assumption from most at the time was that they would bring him back as the Diamond Studd because the character was still known and pretty close to Razor Ramon anyway, but that was never anything actually discussed as far as I know.  That's part of the reason why the invasion deal worked so well, because it shattered expectations of what WCW would choose to do with them.  ​