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96 Raw



I watched a few of the episodes of Raw from 96 that you have been reviewing. I know 1996 is known as the greatest era for TV, but have you noticed anything from that era that you'd like to see brought back? (ex. squash matches). When I watched, it wasn't the greatest, but it felt fresh.

Nitro was also incredibly fresh at the time, even as the 96 era was clearly going off the rails week by week.  What I really enjoy about going back and reviewing that era (besides the short running times) is that watching RAW and then Nitro gives you, and stop me if this is too crazy a concept, DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.  The shows looked visually different and featured different directing styles with different stars doing different types of wrestling. 

As for RAW, what I wish they'd bring back is the more personalized merchandise sales stuff with pros like Dox Hendrix, who knew how to shill.  There's something kind of cool about showing off the newest shirts and merch and then telling you HOW YOU CAN BUY THEM.  These days they seemingly think people are just cruising the website looking for ways to give up their money.  Sell me on this stuff!  

Comments

  1. TJ: This probably sheds more light on why they didn't go the "obvious" route of Bryan vs. Lesnar.

    http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe/2015/4/15/8421535/daniel-bryan-pulled-from-wwe-european-tour

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  2. I don't think anyone in the WWE thought seriously about Bryan/Lesnar for even a second.

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  3. Didn't R-Truth have a crazy merch guy gimmick for about a month?

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  4. Actually, you misread my reply - I was the lunatic who said he might watch HBO (or anything else, for that matter) over Mania. Just because I'm a fan doesn't mean I am gonna spend 4 hours on something that quite honestly, had a lackluster buildup. The build was so bad to me that I was genuinely not interested in the show. I don't get why that's so shocking.


    I ended up watching because I was invited to a gathering to watch it, but I'm not going to watch Mania "just because it's Mania."

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  5. Do we really need to see Byron Sexton decked out in a size XL t-shirt that has a giant picture of Roman Reigns on it and red tinted sunglasses ala Barry Didinski in his HBK merchandise?

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  6. I think it's obvious that we do.

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  7. What kind of question is that!? Are you even a wrestling fan, bro?

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  8. Even if the Reigns train wasn't full steam ahead at the time, I definitely wouldn't have done it, particularly with that sort of trepidation surrounding his condition. I can see why this was a no-brainer for them.

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  9. Yeah, my 1st thought. Then they extended to other wrestlers, too, so that the discount code that evening was somehow related to their gimmick.

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  10. Not being a hater or anything like that, because you're probably a nice enough fellow, but you're an absolute lunatic and I fear your destined for a long life of medications and prescriptions. Sorry.

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  11. sure it wasn't his secod job?

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  12. Go requires a cable subscription to HBO, Now didn't require a cable subscription of any kind.

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  13. This is basically HBO Go but you just pay a monthly fee like netflix or the wwe network. You don't need to have cable or satellite.

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  14. Nothing is stopping them from announcing next week's matches other than a lack of long term planning.

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  15. I liked that on RAW in 96, a group of talent was showcased each week and not everybody had to be on the show. Also liked that it was only a hour.

    Authority figures existed, but they were not the main star and only served to put over and further the storylines of the wrestlers. RIP Gorilla Monsoon.

    The show also seemed organized. When they announce the matches in advance, it actually seems like a TV show instead of the mess that RAW is half the time.

    I also miss the focus on the matches. I was watching the Austin/Bret Hart promos before their Survivor Series 96 match and it was basically Bret Hart is coming back, he wants to prove himself against a great wrestler, he considers Austin to be that. Austin is just pissed at everybody, wants to beat Bret to prove he deserves bigger things and shouldn't be held down. Thinks Bret shouldn't come back. Simple, makes me want to watch the match.

    I also miss backstage reporters. I think the invisible camera backstage segments are one of the worst things to ever happen to pro wrestling. Have a reporter back there to direct traffic and also make it seem like they are back there for a reason.

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  16. It's a 6 month exclusive with Apple, then it should go to everything else.

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  17. "These days they seemingly think people are just cruising the website looking for ways to give up their money."
    I'm not so sure they think this. I can't explain why they're doing the shilling anymore, but a company that feels the need to explain how to download its app 20 times on the same show clearly doesn't think its audience knows how to do anything.

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  18. "The show also seemed organized. When they announce the matches in
    advance, it actually seems like a TV show instead of the mess that RAW
    is half the time."

    I hate that we're supposed to think that the wrestlers just show up every week without knowing what they're doing. I mean, I guess they do in real life b/c they re-write the show about 20 times beforehand but at least let me suspend my disbelief.

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  19. They do not need to have taped shows rather they need direction, as you mentioned. Book backwards from big cards and events so they know before hand what they have to do to get "there" where they want to.

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  20. Nash is under contract to the WWE and ADR is under contract to Lucha Underground and ROH.

    The Dudleys? You need a guy who can be the face of your company. As great as Bully Ray was for a bit as a heel, that's not gonna cut it. D-Von? Hell no.

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  21. Yes! Yes we do!

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  22. I loved the spring break nitro's outside around the pool.

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  23. Hell, remember when they had promos for local house show markets too?

    It's so odd that WWE doesn't try to push more product on its fans. They figure having a wrestler wear a shirt is enough to push to get you to buy it. They figure having a scroll that says "tickets on sale in St. Louis, MO" is enough to get you to buy a ticket to the show.

    Hire Virgil to do the marketing push for this stuff. That guy will do ANYTHING for a sale.

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  24. I wonder if there was any reason why they were at Disney so long. Even their Worldwide/Pro tapings only took a week or two. Still, a cool visual.

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  25. but without a sinister authority figure with vaguely defined power and motives, how would we know why matches are even happening? Unless you think that we're supposed to just accept that these guys work for a wrestling company and might be motivated by titles/money to compete, but that just seems like a stretch...

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  26. "It's so odd that WWE doesn't try to push more product on its fans" I know what you mean, but are all the obnoxious network adds and new cartoons not enough?

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  27. We all know they're motivated by Wrestlemania moments and their legacies.

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  28. Yes... even if Nash blew off feuds to do canonballs... the look was awesome.

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  29. They have Greatest Matches still on as they are airing a new episode this week and they are rumored to be getting Xplosion in the U.S.

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  30. That TNA stuff will be helpful for the eventual "Self-Destruction of CM Punk" doc.

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  31. So someone like DeMarcus Cousins has no value? Okay then.

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  32. blahblahblahblah5April 15, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    Seriously amazed that there are still "TNA fans."

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  33. Meltzer was taking about the Network (Destination America) struggling right now too, which does not bode well for TNA either. Cable companies are not exactly a thriving business at the moment either.

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  34. Though I don't personally know you, I am one those wrestling fans who doesn't care about any other sport. I personally know of four others who are similar in that regular sports hold no interest to them. While I cannot quantify to the masses, they are certainly out there.

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  35. The scroll in particular has become just a staple of the show that it's got to be near 95% ignored.

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  36. 96 Raws need Big Steph superimposed in them Ala Forrest Gump. According to wwe management, people will buy Big Steph as a legit threat to little Ronda Rousey, so people will buy the network to watch more Steph on 96 Raws

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  37. Nor could the afford the consequences of attempting to pilfer my stash.

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  38. Or a PC.

    And Apple TV is not shitty. Although I am annoyed I can't watch things on my playstation.

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  39. I would definitely agree that TNA has had good periods. They did very well with the women in particular.

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  40. Bischoff: So, are you going in?


    Hall: The pool? Yeah, we can work that spot in.


    Bischoff: No, are you going in to rehab?

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  41. My favorite was watching Todd Pettingil shill the Shawn Michaels merch like leather gloves, heart-shaped sunglasses, and poster of Shawn that they were apparently thinking heterosexual males would want.

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  42. They were going with Reigns no matter what. If Bryan was too hurt to main event, he was too hurt to work with Reigns at Fast Lane or be in a friggin' ladder match at Mania.

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  43. But I'm biased against Apple products after having four iPods die on me, so despite having never used Apple TV, I know it sucks despite the fact that it probably doesn't!

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  44. Oh, and Cena shills his wank rag during his entrance.

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  45. I'm really not sure why anyone ever thought Meltzer ever had any credibility to begin with.

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  46. I think eventually the cord cutters are gonna look at all the money there spending on all these different services and eventually something has to give.

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  47. Why the hell not!?!?

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  48. This. And nothing is stopping them from booking 4 weeks and even more in advance. If I would be booker I would book all PPVs for at least 6 months or even until next years Wrestlemania and then booking the tv shows around.

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  49. I used to like wrestling and not be interested in other sports.

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  50. Tommy really is the total opposite of his character in real life. He does come across as a dick at times, especially for someone that jobbed to Justin Credible.

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  51. Speaking of merch, I may have to get myself the new Mega Powers T-shirt they're selling.

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  52. I always preferred the look of WCW. It looked more sports-like until the era of the egg WCW logo. Then it went to shit, but up till then the camerawork was awesome. Even going back to the Crockett era the arenas looked low rent most of the time, but the action was always filmed great and they made a point to interview people in the locker rooms like football games. However, the best camera work IMO was World Class with the dude in the ring filming the show.

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  53. How the hell did Vince think his top babyface would draw when he was essentially a male stripper?

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  54. Virgil's Gimmick TableApril 15, 2015 at 3:20 PM

    He was too blinded by his own throbbing boner. That's how.

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  55. Russo actually did the backstage stuff right, too. They'd always cut to backstage stuff in the middle of something rather than giving them your standard beginning, middle, and end like a script. It makes it spontaneous - either a camera man rushes to a scene, or a camera guys lurking around, Dunn and the boys are observing stuff on the switcher, and when they see some crazy shit going down he's like "Quick, go to that!"

    Or if there's a conversation, it's regarding events from earlier in the show and the cameraman is more of a "voyeur," filming them from a safe distance so that they probably don't notice them, rather than the stuff you get today where they reveal their evil plot with a camera in their face.

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  56. Battle Kat LitterApril 15, 2015 at 3:29 PM

    Upvote for "wank rag" because it made me giggle like a 12 year old in sex education class

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  57. Eh, I dsagree on that part, because you have to be able to adjust on the fly for ratings and crowd reactions to see what's working. I'd say plan about a 3 or 4 months ahead, have an idea of where you want to go for longer than that, but have a Plan B or C if shit doesn't work out. Having something so rigidly set in stone leads to Roman Reigns heading into WrestleMania cold as shit.

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  58. It depends. If you're planning good, something like with Reigns wouldn't happen. Sure, if someone is injured, you have to change the booking and this happened with Bryan and Reigns. Both were out and when Reigns came back he wasn't there where he would have been otherwise.

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  59. Battle Kat LitterApril 15, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    WWF programming continually evolved through the 90's. Doesn't feel like the style/format of RAW has changed at all in the last decade.

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  60. I think HBO is competing with Netflix and Hulu, not WWE.

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  61. I guess there are a few of you out there. And I guess I was more into wrestling than sports in 95-97, but I always liked sports and collected cards even still.

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  62. I liked the seemingly randomness of Nitro matches. Regal may face Luger, or Ultimo Dragon, it came off like an actual sporting competition where guys were paired off to face each other because they're wrestlers - where these days everyone has to have a story. If Orton is going to face Rollins in a month every match he has will involve the Authority of Rollins until then.

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  63. WWF/E's t-shirts and the like are absolutely awful, usually. Black shirt, logo on the front, otherwise plain, feel cheaply made. When they stray from this formula you often see much cooler stuff being made. Of course, most of it isn't designed for those of us of the feminine persuasion... :-P

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  64. Nash talking about drinking beer while driving to Nitro with the top down while wearing Hawian shirts and flip flops is awesome. What a time those days must have been.

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  65. Don't forget the giant boners.

    http://quickwrestlingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/cara-dick-shirt.jpg

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  66. They need to bring back airbrushed nylon jackets.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhAXgsGCUAA2s07.jpg

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  67. Danny Doring sums it up perfectly in his RF shoot - something along the lines 'all these people saying Paul's a genius on the internet, imagine your dad worked for Paul, and he didn't get paid - Paul wouldn't be a genius, he'd be the guy who got the internet cut off'

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  68. They still exist and they are still as rabid and...fucking dumb as ever. In fact, being a TNA fanboy now more than ever has countercultural, anti-establishment element to it.

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  69. So Taz has quit TNA.

    Wish there was a daily thread.

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  70. Try the daily thread.
    http://www.rspwfaq.net/2015/04/bod-daily-update_15.html

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  71. I like how Nitro had different styles. There was something for everyone. Garbage brawls, technical contests, lucha spotfests...rarely ever got boring.

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  72. Boogie is extremely valuable, and if he started a church I'd consider joining. I love him. He's absolutely not an example of what I'm talking about. (You'll notice I didn't say "every leading scorer on a bad team is value-less.")

    Someone like whoever the fuck is leading the 76ers in scoring? Not so much. Even a rookie with a ton of promise and presumed future value like Wiggins isn't really helping a team win games now.

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  73. EVERYTHING'S FINE!

    Btw Taz just quit.

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  74. Between Taz quitting TNA and Daniel Bryan being pulled from the WWE European tour, it's been an eventful afternoon/evening.

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  75. Hell it feels like it's barely changed since the birth of the Titan Tron/ramp era in 1997.

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  76. Ah, the only reason I brought up Boogie is because your response implied that even if you're a potential superstar on a crap team, you suck and last I check the Kings still suck :(


    I'm curious though, where do you side on the Boogie vs Davis debate?

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  77. "Have a reporter back there to direct traffic [...]"

    which also, if that guy is someone who is good or even great (Mean Gene comes to my mind first) at it, can help guys a with/through their promos.

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  78. That's why I used to love those PWI rankings in the back of each issue. Wins and losses mattered.

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  79. to be fair, most people (at least these days) specifically mention that they are talking about the creative/booking side of things and of course not the business side.

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  80. Do they do the Slam of the Week anymore?

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  81. Worst_in_the_WorldApril 15, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    Hahaha ok

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  82. It was so laughable when Vince would exclaim "HE'S THE MOST FLAMBOYANT SUPERSTAR IN THE HISTORY OF THE WWF!" Like what the fuck type of compliment is that?

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  83. YOU SAW A DICK!


    YOU'RE GAY NOW!

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  84. Eh...

    It's the best world-building I've ever seen on TV, but it has too many flaws (Daenerys, Jon Snow, Bran, Theon Greyjoy, the lack of other Greyjoys, Littlefinger) for me to call it the best.



    I'm a book reader though, and I was before the show was even rumored to exist, so my standards are a bit higher...


    I think Scott would like it though.

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  85. Well awesome, because I just made your day.


    I've been to a few sports games in my life and I know enough to conversate about them, but I don't follow any teams and the whole business of sports frankly bores me.


    I am a wrestling fan though.

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  86. lol @ Simpsons World portal comparison because it's so spot-on.

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  87. HBO isn't competition because women in HBO shows are allowed to look halfway competent.

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  88. http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/452/272/084.jpg

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  89. They should make more of them out of the material they used for the Macho Man shirt

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  90. My buddy and I used to joke about getting a Kevin bacon cardboard cutout from animal house of him saying "remain calm. All is well", and prop him up at the office when things got a little too stressful for some people.

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  91. It had something to do with Turner equipment or something being tied up with the Olympics being in Atlanta. Like they wouldn't have access to the trucks and whatnot, so they opened up shop at Disney, where they did have their peripheral equipment from their WorldWide/Pro shoots.

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  92. Taz quitting over late payments kind of puts the whole "Everything's fine! Meltzer is lying!" argument into question.

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  93. Laugh all you want, Brienne will beat your skull in with a rock.


    Or Arya will SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER and then SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER until all that's left is SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER.


    And I've had a lot more success with women when I treat them like people instead of fuck puppets, so yes, being nice to women does help you get laid.

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  94. It would be a pity; they're actually putting on a decent and focussed show right now.

    There's a tone of glee among many on here that I don't quite understand.

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  95. Nah nah - this is a bit different I think. Bryan's too hurt to be the victor at Wrestlemania because if his neck can't hold up you're boned for the #1 storyline.


    World of difference between Bryan is too hurt to be the World Champ (if even for a couple of days or a month) and Bryan is too hurt to hold a secondary belt or work a secondary event. Imagine if he had done the main and now ended up needing to be pulled. No good.

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  96. No. All that promotion is done before or after matches as they do a wide shot

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  97. Russo was the only one to ever mess with the format. Those blockheads can't change

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  98. It's true

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  99. That's a compliment in Chelsea NY

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  100. That makes sense. Good to know, after all of these years.

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  101. yes, I completely agree with that. Actually when they would cut to the backstage like that, it seemed like the entire show was just anarchy and anything could happen back there and the cameras were there to pick up the craziness.


    Russo popularized it, but after he left now it is just bad acting.

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  102. yeah, I joke with people that what if wrestlers didn't want to try to make matches at RAW, what would they do?


    From a kayfabe perspective, how ridiculous that a main event isn't planned before going on the air?

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  103. Like I said to someone earlier, I guess from 94-97 I didn't follow sports super closely and was a huge wrestling mark, but that was only because Boston sports sucked dick then. But before that and since then I was and still am as big a sport fan as anyone in the world.

    Just having trouble computing what you're saying.

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  104. I'm saying that while I have watched a baseball game in my life, I don't follow any team or really give a rats ass about sports at all.


    Still a wrestling fan though.

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  105. Not the Slam of the Week, but they still have the "WWE Rewind" where they show a sponsored recap of what happened last week between the wrestlers who are in the upcoming segment.

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  106. Yeah I get that. Sorry you hate sports. Sports is pretty cool.

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  107. Poor Bryan I feel bad for him

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  108. Was there someone saying Bryan had a bulging disc in his back that was untreated for close to a year,and that's why he's in bad shape now

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  109. Meh.


    I hate the NFL on ethical grounds.

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  110. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 15, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    They just needed to dial his swagger down from Johnny B. Badd levels to more of a cool jock. Also, subtract Jose Lothario and add Sunny as his "manager". Dudes would like him for being the cool guy with the hottest chick, rather than the male stripper with a boyhood dream

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  111. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 15, 2015 at 9:11 PM

    I think Royal Rumble was the time to do Brock vs. Bryan. DB returns hastily, against doctors' orders to challenge for the title he never lost. The Authority is cool with it because they are sure Lesnar will get rid of Bryan once and for all. Bryan puts up the greatest underdog fight ever, but comes up short. Gives some closure to the whole Bryan arc, puts him back on a redemption storyline if he can get healthy and return for real, plus it writes him out of the Rumble so that Reigns can win without fans turning on DB getting eliminated

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  112. Yeah, he was fine when he first turned face. The zebra pattern leather and such was cool and he was more of a smart ass. But his gear became gayer and gayer and he turned into a lame pandering face. Oh, and the beard - the beard off-set some of his gayness.

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  113. If he's really bad, I wish he'd just walk away. I know it's easier said than done though when it comes to something you love so much, but he literally has nothing left to prove. He's been the best wrestler in the world and main evented a mania.

    Coming back and being in a ladder match probably wasn't the best of idea's in hindsight (if that caused anything)

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  114. There isn't one. I love Boogie to death, but a case can be made that Davis is, if not already the best player in the game, then at least already the most valuable asset.

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  115. upvote * 1,000,000. Would've loved this.

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  116. Does anyone else get the feeling that most of RSPW doesn't care about TNA unless it's bad news?


    They've been putting on a great show these days. Not apologising for their shitty business practices, but as a Wrestling fan, I can't complain about the on screen product.

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  117. ...and he owes Mr. OOC ten pounds...

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  118. MaffewOfBotchamaniaApril 16, 2015 at 4:26 AM

    HEY THAT'S MY LINE

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  119. MaffewOfBotchamaniaApril 16, 2015 at 4:27 AM

    Oh no wait, mine was cum rag. Never mind.

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  121. You're right he doesn't it sucks though he was just getting to the top and it got yanked away.I feel bad for wwe punks gone and Bryan might be gone also. But I would have lightened the schedule so guys are destroyed in there mid 30s

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