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RF Video Shoot Interview with Bruno Sammartino

This was filmed in 2007

The interview was conducted by Eric Gargiulo

It runs at two hours and forty-six minutes long.



Bruno talks about being born in Italy and how during World War II, his father went to America and got stuck over there as he was with his mother and siblings and had to retreat to a mountain as one-third of his town got killed. Bruno said he did not see his father until he was 15 years old when he moved to America. He talked about his mom would sneak down the mountain to go to the land and get some food to bring. He said a lot of people died as it was freezing cold on the mountain. Bruno himself got sick and actually failed a physical that kept his family in Italy and how he weighed 80lbs when he came to America.



His dad bought as house in Pittsburgh that cost $6,000 that was in rough condition and a huge difference from the villa he lived at in Italy but he was just happy to be out of Italy at that point.



He went to school to learn English and said he got taunted and beat up daily, along with his brother. Bruno's dad went to the school to tell them what was happening so the school let them come in fifteen minutes late and leave ten minutes early to help prevent the others from beating up Bruno and his brother before and after school.



On how he got into weightlifting, someone from school took him there and he became infatuated and wanted to look like the weightlifters and said that he cut lawns and did what it took to afford a gym membership to the YMCA. Bruno said that despite barely being able to lift anything he saw that this would be something he would be good at and quickly gained confidence.



Bruno started to become better at weightlifting and even got sponsored by another YMCA that he joined. He then talks about how this tied into his wrestling career as in 1958, he went to Oklahoma City and became the North American Weight Lifting Champion. That gave him some notoriety and when he got back home he met Bob Prince, who was the voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates, went to the same YMCA and saw Bruno lift and wrestle on the mat, invited him on his TV show where Rudy Miller of the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (which later became the WWWF) saw him and asked around the studio the next day if Bruno could wrestle and it turned out that a classmate of Bruno told him who he was then Miller spoke with Bruno and invited him to Washington D.C. to become a pro wrestler. Bruno said he was interested but also was weighing an offer from Art Rooney, who asked him to tryout for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a lineman. Bruno asked Rooney what he could make as they told him $7,000 while Miller told him he could make $30,000 wrestling and that was all Bruno needed to hear as he wanted to get as much money as possible to help out his family.



When he went to Washington D.C., Bruno was told to wrestle a few veterans guys in a gym and one of them told Bruno that he had a big future in the business. He trained with Angelo Savoldi and Arnold Skaaland along with other guys in the company for about two months then started to work shows at the smaller arenas.



Bruno is asked about the importance of "shooting" in wrestling at that time. He said that it was very important as some of the old-timers would purposely fuck with guys who they felt did not pay their dues and "backdoored" their way into the business because they did not want guys who would get their ass kicked by fans in a fight. Bruno said that a few of the vets messed with him in the ring at the beginning.



He talks about Vince McMahon Sr. and Toots Mondt putting him in a match against Haystacks Calhoun in the Madison Square Garden in which Bruno slammed him as the fans went mental. Calhoun was announced as 601lbs at the time. Bruno earned the "World's Strongest Wrestler" moniker



Shortly after that, Buddy Rogers came into the territory with his guys and played politics, something Bruno had no clue how to play. Bruno said that he quit as they were asking him to do things he did not want to then when he tried to wrestle elsewhere, he found out that he was blackballed as the athletic commissions kept on telling him that he was suspended. He finally went to Pittsburgh but did not beg for his job and went back to work as a construction worker as he did not want to play the game. One night after work he went to a show run by Pedro Martinez and saw Yukon Eric, who suggested he go work in Canada for Frank Tunney as the territory was in bad shape and they had a big Italian population in the area. Tunney spoke with Bruno, who told him that he did not want to get there and find out everyone else badmouthing him would lead to a firing. Tunney agreed as Bruno went to Toronto the following week.



Bruno started to talk with the press in Toronto and gained some notoriety. He then spoke again with Vince McMahon Sr, who told Bruno that what happened was in the past and that he would be the future. He then asked what it would take to get him back as Bruno said he would come back to wrestle Rogers for the World Title. When asked about Rogers claim of having a heart attack, Bruno said that everyone knew it was a joke and talks about how the territory was dying and Rogers went to a show in Pittsburgh and saw the arena, which held 19,000, had about 1,500 people and Rogers told the athletic commission that he was having chest pains and they would not allow him to wrestle, where he left the hospital with a clean bill of health and wrestled afterwards then when he lost to Bruno in 48 seconds he left to work for the Sheik in Detroit.



He talks about his favorite opponents. Bruno said Gorilla Monsoon was great and talks about how they wrestled a 90 minute match at MSG and how Bruno accidentally cracked two of his ribs within the first 10 minutes. He says that Killer Kowalski was always in excellent shape and always respected him for that. He also said he had great matches with Don Leo Jonathan and Ivan Koloff.



Bruno talks about how he promised to wrestle for Tunney in Toronto and would go there as a way to pay him back for giving him the chance to wrestle again.



About the pain he suffered, Bruno said he never believed in taking anything, even aspirin, because you have to be aware of your body. When he felt he could not give it his all, he decided to step away as he did not want to disappoint the fans.



He talks about how after his second title reign, he wrestled part-time for all different territories for a few years until Vince McMahon Sr. called him back and offered him a one-year deal that would have him wrestle the major shows then Vince kept on convincing him to stay longer and that was when he broke his neck.



With a broken neck, Bruno was asked to come back soon to wrestle against Stan Hansen, the man who did it, as the company was hurting financially at the time due to a deal to show the Muhammed Ali vs Antonio Inoki match on closed-circuit that ended up tanking. Bruno said Vince Sr. kept calling the hospital and the nurse would have to pick up the phone for him as he was unable to do so himself. Bruno talks about how the doctor heard about this and asked to speak to Vince when he called and picked up to tell him that they did not even know if he could walk again. Bruno got released after a month and started to lightly train then told Vince he could make the match as he did not want to see the company go under.



Bruno talks about losing the title to Ivan Koloff and how he thought the crowd would boo loudly but he found out the fans were shocked and saw some of them cry when he walked backstage as Bruno said he felt bad about that but also wanted the giant weight of being champion off of him at that time.



He talks about his match against Lou Thesz in Canada and thought it was good. Bruno then said he was surprised about the story in Thesz's book about the deal of unifying the belts (NWA & WWWF) and how Thesz himself wanted more money as the reason it did not happen, saying it was not true at all. Bruno said that Toots Mondt and Sam Mushnick were meeting about unifying the titles as the WWWF was getting bigger and featured in more magazines. He then said one guy in the company told Vince and Toots they should talk to Bruno as Mushnick wanted 17 dates a month while Vince wanted 18 days a month which would make it a ton of work for Bruno. He then told Vince and Toots at TV tapings that he did not care about the dates but was getting only two days a month to see his family and that he wanted at least four days off to see them. Toots then immediately got up and told Vince that they should want no part of unifying the belts because the NWA wants Bruno because they have an older champion who is not drawing as much anymore. Bruno found out later that Vince and Toots told the rest of the NWA they were not going to sacrifice their other dates for this to happen and that was what really happened as Vince did not want to give up four Sundays of Bruno on the card.



When asked about who he traveled with, Bruno said he traveled with Arnold Skaaland and Dominic DeNucci a lot. Bruno said that he always got around with Arnold.



He is then asked about Dusty Rhodes claim in his book about how he was more popular than Bruno in New York and how one night leaving a bar in New York, Dusty got mobbed for autographs instead of Bruno, who claims that is nonsense as he never hung out with Dusty once.



Bruno said that Bruiser Brody looked impressive but did not know him all that well. He said that he didnt get very close to any of the wrestlers so he does not know how they were outside of the ring but said their matches were respectable and felt terrible when he heard about his death and how tragic it is that the case remains open today.



On his relationship with the "Rat Pack," Bruno said that one day he was told that Jilly Rizzo wanted to meet him so he did and Jilly invited him to his club, even providing him transportation. Bruno said he had no plans and Jilly had a car waiting for him so he met various actors, musicians and comedians like Tony Bennett, Ann Margret, and Don Rickles to name a few along with the Rat Pack.



About Superstar Billy Graham's claim in his book that Bruno told him that business was so hot and good that he should fake a knee injury to avoid dropping the belt to Bob Backlund, Bruno jokes that he much have amnesia because he does not remember that at all.



He talks about Larry Zbyszko and said he felt that Larry felt that since being his protege that no one would take him seriously on his own. On Hogan's claim that he and Andre were the draw of that show, Bruno said that Vince Sr. tried them out on their home to headline and drew only 1,200 to White Plains, NY. Bruno then goes off on a tangent about Hogan, calling him an "idiot" about claims of taking wrestling out of "smoke-filled buildings" and how he and others before him wrestled in the big arenas well before he came around. He then calls him out for taking steroids.



When he returned as a color commentator in 1984, Bruno said that after a little while he felt that it was going in a bad direction and saw more steroid and drug use and decided he no longer wanted to be associated with it anymore. He then said he didnt think Vince Jr. was interesting in wrestling and wanted more of the sports entertainment, focusing on TV and the PPV business as Bruno said there is no reason for the fans to pay to see the show at the arenas because it is no different than the matches you see on TV. He then talks about the ridiculous angles and how it turned off older fans who were loyal.



Bruno said he was booked to wrestle Hogan but he did not show up so Sgt. Slaughter took his place. He believes to this day that Hogan knew he could get blown up in ten minutes and wanted no part of that.



He talks about his son David coming to the WWF and how he ended up wrestling occasionally as business was not good at that point. Bruno then said that guys were going up to his son, suggesting he get his dad to wrestle as he would get pushed as well. Bruno told David he was older and that hard work would get him pushed but they were having issues between them so he agreed but when it was done, David went back to the bottom of the card. Bruno said he was disgusted by what he saw in the locker room and wanted out of it all, even saying that he felt his heart was not in it to begin with and how the business passed him by at that point. He then tells how he sold of Boston with Savage while Hogan could not sell out that arena as the champ at that point. He did give credit to Paul Orndorff for being a hard worker.



More on his son David as he talked about how Vince Jr. fired him after hitting a fan, which Bruno said he never should have done, but then talks about all of the problems that the other wrestlers had, including Randy Savage who hit a 13 year old fan in Florida.



Bruno said that he did a tour of Texas and Phoenix and how he told Vince he did not want to ride with anyone as the drug use was so rampant that he did not want to get pulled over with someone who had that in their possession. Vince then made a deal for him to ride with Chief Jay Strongbow, who was clean.



When he called to quit he said that he called Vince a bunch of times and was never able to reach him and told everyone but him he was leaving.



On Mick Foley's claim that Vince McMahon as a soft spot in his heart for him, Bruno says he loves Mick and jokes about how he took too many bumps to the head as Vince does not a soft heart for anyone and only wants him in his Hall of Fame because of all the fans complaining about Bruno not being there as he felt Vince never planned to put him there as he wanted to pretend that he did not exist. He then talks about Vince's attorney calling Bruno's and how he spoke with Jim Ross, who he likes. Bruno then said that he talked to Vince after being subpoenaed for the "Living Legend" lawsuit against the WWE brought on by Zbyszko and had no intention of accepting the offer but did get a chance to get some things of his chest as he told him he did not have any respect for the older generation of wrestlers and if he ever wanted to bring him back they would have to show him the same respect he does for the celebrities he brings into the company because Vince low-balled all of the legends when bringing them back but gave guys like Pete Rose six-figure deals to appear. Bruno then said that Vince put out how he was hostile and that was why he was not in the Hall of Fame.



Bruno talks about how Vince would not allow his name mentioned on the A&E pro wrestling documentary as Bruno told the producer on the phone that to allow someone to distort the documentary speaks volumes of what Vince and A&E are all about.



He is asked about Ric Flair saying that Bruno never impressed him in the ring and how he never drew outside of the Northeast as Bruno talks about selling out arenas in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Georgia, St. Louis, and in Japan Bruno was the headliner of the shows that Flair worked the undercard. He then tells us how Flair vs. Hogan couldnt sell out MSG when they wrestled each other. Bruno then says that he laughs when people call Flair the greatest worker ever as he did the same match every time. Bruno does credits him for working hard and bumping a lot then talks about while not the most talented himself, he wrestled different style of matches depending on his opponent. Bruno then questions where he drew outside of the Carolinas as Flair first came to the WWWF to work in the preliminaries while Bruno worked as a headliner even outside of the company.



Still speaking about Flair, Bruno said Flair's claim of trying to shake his hand only for Bruno to turn his back on him is the biggest lie in the world. Bruno said this was the day he had a meeting with Vince and how he was speaking to a few people backstage at RAW and saw Flair about 20-25 feet away and walked towards him. Bruno said that Flair then took off like a child and said people were even commenting about that as he then talks about Flair being a terrible ambassador for wrestling for exposing himself frequently and nearly arrested for evading income tax, even back in the 1980's. Bruno said he heard Flair constantly bragged about affairs he was having while married.



Bruno talks about steroids briefly and how they have led to more deaths in wrestling than in any other sport.



He said that Vince Russo's claim in which he was negotiating with WCW in 2000 were false and has no idea where they come from.



On Vince Jr. wrestling, Bruno said he knows Vince uses steroids as his lawyer told him so and that he is insane at his age to be taken those and he must have something missing at his stage in life to be getting into the ring.



When asked about becoming a referee for a match in WCW for the Thunderdome match at 1989 Halloween Havoc, Bruno said that Gary Jester called him and he was not interested because he never thought he was a good referee but then Jim Herd called and gave him an offer that he could not refuse. He was asked to come back to make periodic appearances but that never happened.



About his current fitness routine, Bruno said he is done to about 215 lbs and does weights three days a week and "road work" three days a week too, all at the age of 71.



Bruno talks about being grateful for all his fan support and always appreciates them as without the fans it would not be possible to do what he did, stating he probably would have remained a construction worker. He also talks about being shocked at the fan support he receives now long after he was retired and how much he appreciates that now.



When asked about his match against Chick Garibaldi, who ended up dying of a heart attack during the bout, Bruno said that they had wrestled for about ten minutes and as soon as he slammed him, he went to cover but noticed Garibaldi make a gargling sound and his eyes rolled in the back of his head so he waved over the doctor from the State Athletic Commission and he finally came in and shot him up with adrenaline then stretchered him to the back as Bruno volunteered to massage his chest in order to revive him until the doctor told him that he was dead. Later on he found out that Garibaldi had clogged arteries that led to his death and it was not the result of the slam but Bruno said that haunted him for months as he could not get that out of his head.



He is asked about if he ever felt cheated on his pay as Bruno joked about how could that happen in wrestling with all of the honest promoters then said he had a deal that paid him a percentage of the house (which was 9%) and that there were times in which he and Vince Sr. got along great and other times where they did not. He talks about being short-changed at times as well and how some other promoters treated him fairly while others did not at all.



On if he was surprised that Hogan and Flair as still wrestling, Bruno said he was but has no problem with them doing so and who is he to tell them to get out of the business.



Bruno talks about meeting Kurt Angle a few times and respects him for his achievements but does not know him all that well and feels bad for him due to his injuries and how he became dependent on painkillers as a result as Bruno talks about how pills just mask the problems while comparing guys to today who get put through rehab for injuries while the guys from his era were treated like dogs and how they were told to wrestle anyway due to the fact they were advertised on the show. Bruno felt like he shortchanged the fans when he was wrestling while injured as he could not give them everything he had.



He gets asked about the rumors that he is bitter as Bruno said that he wishes he was younger but is a happy and grateful guy. He also talks about spending 20+ years on the road and was grateful to retire and spent time with his parents, who lived to be in their late 90's and how he has beautiful grandchildren and is even able to go to Italy once a year. Bruno also talks about how despite all of the health issues he had as a child and after all he went through he got to come to the greatest country in the world and became a wrestler. He then said the rumors of him not liking the wrestlers today couldn't be further form the truth as he does not even know many of the guys but that he does not like the direction that Vince Jr. went with wrestling and hates how steroids impacted the business and believes wrestling belongs in the big arenas. He says that wrestling turns him off today and he does not bother to watch it anymore.



Bruno talks about how he tries to be a good ambassador to wrestling as he loves it and wants to make sure to conduct himself in a professional manner.



Final Thoughts: I thought this was a terrific interview. Some watching this or even reading the recap might think that Bruno is bitter but I never got that feeling here. He seemed to hate what Vince McMahon did to wrestling and was disgusted by the drug use in the locker room when he returned in 1984 as a commentator. Like he said, he does not know the wrestlers today so he did not comment on them one way or the other. And Bruno seems like a happy guy as he talks about his family and laughed and joked a lot during the interview and was relaxed but he did shoot straight and did not pull any punches at all here. Bruno comes off as a guy who is passionate about everything he does. And how HHH managed to get him to agree to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is a minor miracle. Maybe HHH should head over to the Middle East to negotiate a peace treaty?

It was also fascinating to hear about the hardships he faced growing up as a child. His childhood in Italy sounded like a living hell until he made it to America, where he got the shit kicked out of him when he started school. His story is fascinating as this guy worked his ass off to get everything. Even at 71 years old here he was in tremendous shape, both physically and mentally as his mind seemed solid and memory very well intact.

He certainly has a disdain for Vince McMahon Jr. and Ric Flair. Bruno was not a fan of Hogan, either. Other than that, Bruno really didnt comment on anything else as he even said he did not hang out much with the others, preferring to be at home.

In closing, I highly recommend this interview as I became a big fan of Bruno as a person. Gargiulo did a great job with the interview itself and it certainly helps that he has interviewed Bruno many times in the past.


You can purchase the DVD of this interview for $20 at RFVideo.com by clicking on the link below:


http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithbrunosammartino1.aspx


Or you can download a digital copy at RFVideoNow for $9.99 by clicking on the link below:

http://store.rfvideonow.com/downloads/bruno-sammartino-shoot-interview/


Comments

  1. Great recap! Shame people don't know how huge this guy was in wrestling.

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  2. The myth I always see perpetuated that wrestling was nothing till Hogan cane along is such an eye roller

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  3. It's like Bruno said, they were selling out arenas and stadiums during his era, too. It just wasn't as flashy as Hogan's time.

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  4. As far back as the 1950,s there were sellout crowds in the Gorgeous George era

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  5. Same data that said they had 300 million fans or whatever.


    Seriously, if they did a real survey people would be demanding more Prime Time, World Class, AWA, etc.

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  6. OR do what Steve Austin has done where he and another opponent narrate a match and talk about what they were thinking working it. That would be AWESOME. Just imagine Steve and Bret sitting down breaking down their 1996 Survivor Series match or something.

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  7. Advice this company shouldn't ever need but obviously could really use:

    It' the wrestling, stupid.

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  8. Yes, though that's what most companies/people do.. The monthly/quarterly averages are going to lag behind the special announcements of peak numbers (the 1M press release and the day or two after Mania press release), which is what can lead to some confusion.

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  9. For real. Last time I went to the theater they showed a preview of a WWE film and the crowd laughed when they saw the WWE logo. The company is STILL affiliated with wrestling in the minds of the public (many of whom still call it the WWF) and they just aren't going to ever fix that. It's like if Major League Baseball tried to sell itself as a Hollywood studio instead of playing baseball.

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  10. Yet still no answers or even questions from investors on some real issues like how much does the Network actually cost WWE? Do they pay MLB Advanced Media a set amount per subscriber or do they pay a set amount per x amount of bandwidth actually used? If so how much?


    I mean isn't that the meaning of break even? I know they need to re-coup the $80 million or so they were making per year off of PPV money with the Network but does that really mean break even?


    1.5 Million Subscribers per month = $15 Million Bones a month = $180 million annually. Does it cost 100 F-Ing Million a year to maintain the network???

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  11. "Vintage Beavis!"

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  12. 90 million people with an affinity for there product

    Affinity is defined as a spontaneous or natural liking or sympathy for someone or something. Soooo basically they count everyone that MIGHT like it, if they only saw it once.

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  13. Doctor FunkopolisApril 2, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    Yeah...they actually a good idea.

    Great, even.

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  14. It's coming. If you watch the commercial from mania, at the end they put up a bunch of logos for shows. One is attitude era something.

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  15. And how much longer can you tell the same story?

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  16. I can watch netflix, YouTube, or pretty much anything on my wireless tablet, but on my direct wired Xbox, the nextwork invariable stutters, buffers, and then time-jumps. It's a disgrace.

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  17. They have a bare minimum break even point of 1.7 million people a month that subscribe to a pay channel that is ONLY for pro wrestling? Netflix is worldwide and just got to 54 million.

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  18. They can't possibly still be adding the loss of ppv into it, in year two. Seems like the opposite of what they should be doing......oh wait

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  19. Sting was coming back for WM, they could have pushed the Network as a place for the new fans to get familiar with Sting by running Sting specials. Or with the HOF class, run a HOF show with the inductees best matches or important angles. There is so much more they could be doing to sell the Network than they are.

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  20. Wut? Just saying what i saw. Actually paused it in hopes of seeing something interesting

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  21. That's a great analogy! Now I kinda want to see the NFL producing women bonding pictures and act all indigent when someone asks them about domestic violence.

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  22. The entire selling point for it is that it's cheap. There are a lot of cheap things that I don't want to have.

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  23. Biff Kensington Has a PosseApril 2, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    I think it's time to a call a spade a spade: the Network is a disaster of epic proportions for the WWE, because it is simultaneously a drain on financial capital and an inoperable part of the company fabric moving forward. There's really no turning back from the Network; all of their eggs are in that particular basket, because pay per view is no longer a viable option to draw money. If the Network ultimately fails, there's no real mechanism through which to recover.

    That's partly why I'm convinced that at some point in the next eighteen months, you'll see the WWE start closing down some of its auxiliaries (WWE Studios will be the first to go) as it tries to restructure its brand around the core product in order to stave off financial ruin. Nothing is 'too big to fail', and the financial drain that the Network has become will quickly sap the company of its materiel resources and capital with so many other brand extensions sucking up capital as well.

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  24. Apparently they are allergic to success, as far as the Network goes. The 1.3 million number they have this week will be the high point of the year, and then it will go back up starting next January (granted, they should top 1.3 million for next year's Mania). Even averaging 1.3 million for this year will not happen, whereas 1.7 million is impossible.


    They were in good shape, then they purposely put themselves behind the 8 ball again. No wonder Wall Street balked on Monday.

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  25. Original programming based on the wrestling library they already own?? CRAZY TALK!!!

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  26. No no no, this wasn't against you. Just saying they've told the Attitude Era stories so many times in different mediums.

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  27. The "you" was general, not specific. Should've pointed that out. My bad.

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  28. Right, but the E doesn't care. If they did, morale wouldn't be as low as it is.

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  29. Battle Kat LitterApril 2, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    Oh dear

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  30. Biff Kensington Has a PosseApril 2, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    That I understand, but at some point that apathy towards the wrestlers will bite them in the ass. The only reason a full-scale mutiny has occurred in the workforce is because of financial security. If the midcard guys lose that security, there's no impetus for them to stick around.

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  31. Another problem is once everyone has seen what they want what's the incentive on keeping the subscription? We used to have a free wrestling channel in the UK but it still went under after a few years as its a niche interest and guys like me who would watch everything from NOAH to CZW aren't plentiful enough to sustain a whole network.

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  32. Actually, I remember him having a pretty awesome match with Shawn Michaels.......and of course, you mentioned the Triple H match......and Eddie......then again, he deserves a lot of the credit for the first MITB being pretty darned good. I agree: the team was awesome, but Shelton by himself was pretty talented....he just got stuck with ridiculous gimmicks (The "Gold Standard/Natural 2000", and the infamous "Mommas Boy" gimmick with Thea Vidale).

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  33. So we'd have Vince whispering that it was him all along rather than yelling it. Yuck.

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  34. Is anyone coming to WrestleMania for the 1/2 hour concert in the middle of the show? Is anyone BUYING WrestleMania for the 1/2 hour concert in the show?


    I mean, unless Skylar Grey is paying Vince for the time to pimp is new music/album/WHATEVER, then what's the point? That's 1/2 hour that could have been given to an awesome Dolph Ziggler v. Daniel Bryan match that could have been built with a solid, well done angle and actually help SELL THE SHOW.


    Same with the dozen new shows on the Network, none of which have to do with wrestling -- the product people are all paying for. I mean, how much cheaper would it have been to actually make the NXT live specials quarterly and not do a Jerry Springer show?

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  35. Off the top of my head (no google)--Pat, Patera, Pedro, Muraco, Pedro, Muraco, Santana, Valentine, Santana, Macho Man, Steamboat, HTM, Warrior, Rude, Warrior, Perfect, Kerry V E, Perfect, Bret Hart, Mountie, Piper, Hart, DBS, Shawn, Ramon, Diesel, Ramon, JJ, Ramon, Dean Douglas, Ramon, Goldust, Ahmed, Rock, HHH. Mero, HHH
    I'm sure I missed some but after Perfect helped HHH beat Mero I don't remember what else happened.

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  36. Best_in_the_WorldApril 2, 2015 at 12:00 PM

    Short the stock then..

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  37. Reading about these old timers always leaves me shaking my head. I wonder what Bruno would think of Taker's locker room fiefdom?

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  38. yeah that 12 million dollar gate from Mania is pure incompetence.

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  39. A wrestler with a good head on his shoulders didn't care for Ric Flair? What a shock

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  40. The market has always been there. Boxing sold out huge stadiums as far back as the early 1900s.

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  41. I love how they think they're going to wind up with three to four million customers.

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  42. I'm still waiting for XFL.

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  43. Probably would have been shocked that the locker room wasn't mature enough to police itself.

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  44. He can remember days in the mountains where they literally lived on just snow for sustenance. Wow.

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  45. It amuses me that Vince McMahon of all people demands to give me free entertainment. Damn socialist hippie.

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  46. Bette Midler at the table too...

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  47. I'll get you for this Midlerrrrrrrrr

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  48. Biff Kensington Has a PosseApril 2, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    I remember reading about that in his autobiography from way back in the day (used to check that book out all the time at my local library). He went into greater detail there talking about some of the men in the village having to shoot at Germans who would occasionally come up the mountain, and even recounted one story about his mother having to evade a truck full of Germans to bring food back up top. It was fascinating stuff.

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  49. Probably. He would have JBL'd JBL.

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  50. But…but… the WWE has active fans in 100 million homes! They should just ask for a one-time donation of $5 from every active fan in exchange for an autographed photo, give 50% to a charity and bank at least $50M to offset Network expenses. I'd do that in a heartbeat.

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  51. Initial reactions:

    Stage was kinda plain and boring this year; the constant sunlight was a welcome change (it really only affected some of the entrances, but not the wrestling); really enjoyed all of the "special" entrances; crowd was really good throughout; the only real negatives were the musical performance and ridiculously long Rock/Rousey segment. I mean, don't get me wrong, Rousey's appearance was a total mark-out moment, but the segment would have been just as effective (if not more) in half the amount of time.

    4way Tag - 2.5*
    Decent enough, but disappointing based on how good it could have been.

    Andre - 1*
    Total mess of a match, the booking of the Miz/Sandow breakup was completely backwards, and the wrong guy won.

    Ladder - 3*
    Multi-man ladder matches are always fun, but this was definitely on the lower end of the spectrum. No creative spots this year, and even Dean going through the propped-up ladder was just recycled from previous years that were done better.

    Orton/Rollins - 3.5*
    Pretty good TV-level match with an INSANE ending.

    Trips/Sting - 3.5*
    Totally overbooked "gimmick" match, in the positive way. Wrong guy won, but Sting looked far better than expected, and it was just the kind of nostalgia-filled "fun" match that a show like this needs.

    Divas - N/A
    I missed most of the match, ago I can't comment.

    Cena/Rusev - 3*
    I really wish their booking would have been pushed back a month, with Rusev getting last month's win here on the big stage, and then Cena coming back to win at "Extreme Rules". Ending was weak, but it was a decent match that just wasn't as good as last month's.

    Taker/Bray - 3.5*
    I know that a lot of people didn't care for this match, but I REALLY liked the story told, with both men underestimating each other and being forced to fight harder than either originally planned. Both men are fantastic at conveying a story through body language and facial expressions. Unlike Bray/Cena last year, I think Bray looked strong enough in defeat here that it shouldn't affect him.

    Brock/Reigns - 4*
    Just a straight-up hard-hitting, hard-bumping potato fest. Friggin' awesome. I'm personally not a fan of not giving us an answer to the "who is the better man" story that was the entire foundation of the match, but the audience as a whole liked it, and the actual in-ring action was great, so I can't complain too much.

    Overall, the in-ring action was generally above-average the entire night, and the atmosphere was great. The lack of a real 5* classic, the soul-sucking time drains of the concert and Rock segments, and a few questionable booking decisions keep it from being near the top few WMs, but it was a fun show that really blew all expectations out of the water. I'd give the show as a whole... let's say just a hair under 4*, like 3.9* or something. Kudos to all involved.

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  52. Shooting at Germans was part of the physical Ed curricula until 1941.

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  53. Biff Kensington Has a PosseApril 2, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    The WWE is hovering around, what, the 1 million mark for subscribers when cancellations and the WM bump are included? That's around a quarter of the fan base that has been watching RAW on a weekly basis for the past year or so. Even at the height of the Attitude Era, drawing 6-9 million viewers every week, that same proportion of subscribers then would only be around two and a quarter million. There's no way in Hell the WWE ever hits their final goal.

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  54. Yep, that's the one.

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  55. Totally agreed. Just imagine the reaction if you went to see one of these "stars" in concert, only to have a wrestling match in the middle of the show - the audience would be livid, and there would be ALL sorts of issues with the promoter(s) and label.

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  56. Selling out the Garden is no small task, let alone 187 times.

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  57. Another very good review, BB. I like how Bruno cares about the product, but not the flashiness that it's become. And how much of him showing up at the HoF was ratings and flashing Bruno a large check vs. letting bygones be bygones?

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  58. Bailing out Vince McMahon isn't a worthy cause considering how much money he's squandered over the years. Besides, Vince has $50 million to dump into the Network himself if he believes in it so strongly.

    If $9.99 isn't supporting the Network, increase the price.

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  59. How did I do above or do you not go back to Pat?

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  60. Sammartino was huge in the WWWF. As some mentioned he sold out the Garden 187 times. I'm not completely sold on his appeal nationally though. I don't see him as a long term NWA champ due both his workrate (not up to snuff compared to Race, the Funks, Brisco, Flair, etc.) and that much of his appeal was northeast working class and ethnic. Different audience on the west coast or in the south and even in the midwest to a lesser degree.


    That said, he is full of shit when he talks about selling out Boston when Hogan allegedly couldn't. First apples to oranges. Sammartino working with Savage is the equivalent of Austin coming back to wrestle Rollins or Rusev or someone today. It was a rare appearance against an utlra hot heel. It is both a testament to Savage and Bruno and in no way a commentary on Hogan's popularity, which was astounding at that time. Second, Hogan sold out plenty of arenas, particulary wtih high qualty opponents like a Savage or an Orndorff.

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  61. I'm glad it was free. I hope i never have to buy ppvs again.

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  62. I didn't know samartino wrestled in Maple Leaf wrestling till today.

    might do some googling later, im curious if he was a big deal up here compared to his new york fame.

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  63. I think you got them all, only Mero won the tournament after Ahmed vacated, then HHH/Rocky.

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  64. Harlan Leverage IIIApril 2, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    I can keep the lineage pretty well straight up until the Radicalz jumped to the WWE. At that point, you had three guys who fans had waited for years to see hold the IC belt and have a long run as a high-workrate champion with the "worker's" belt (Jericho, Benoit, and Eddie), plus a fourth great worker who had the rocket strapped to his back and should have had a long run with the "stepping stone to the main event" belt (Angle). I think that logjam at the upper midcard made it hard to pick one guy and say, "Let's get behind him."

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  65. well depends on the customer. First off, the idea is that the new content like ppvs, docs, weekly shows like NXT or wrapup or pre shows will get most people. And for those of us around here, even with my complaints about tons of content still not being posted, we could watch for years without seeing everything. 2-3 years of ECW, 4 years or so of Raw (not including the newer ones being posted after 4 weeks off of USQA), 3 or 4 years of Nitro, every WCW ppv back to Starcade 83. All the WWE ppvs. 2 years of WCCW. building libraries of Primetime. All the docs, the youtube stuff, Legends of Wrestling, Rivalries, MNW, and a ton of other odds and ends. No one if going to run out of content.

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  66. You'd Go HIGHER on Sting-HHH

    jesus

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  67. I think their best bet is to ride the wave, wait until they get an upswing, and ride on that. This, or do a hybrid wrestling/entertainment company and make up the difference with casuals and curious onlookers with cash to burn.

    The level at what they're doing is simply not sustainable, and you can't be successful when a number of subscribers leave. I expect the WM#s, combined with the free month, will help boost them falsely, but it seems more and more people are hip to the game.

    Also, how many months free have they done in the past 6 months? April, Feb AND November? Completely unsustainable.

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  68. Right, but sometimes having content =/= having content people want to pay to see.

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  69. Paul Heyman's staple is wacky partners who used to hate each other but bury the hatchet and become a team. Sabu/Taz, RVD/Sabu, Dreamer/Raven, Benoit/Angle, etc.

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  70. Very true. I recant.

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  71. Utlimately this is a project that can't succeed with the current fanbase. Unless their is another boom period, the network is doomed to failure. You can't keep cutting wrestler payouts forever without consequences, whether full on walkouts or simply going through the motions promos and ring work. Either way, that would make it even less likely they will grow the fanbase.


    I still say the best bet for WWE is to hang on for a couple years, then partner the WWE Network with another media company such as NBC. With the continued rise of cutting cable/satellite and streaming services, content providers like NBC will launch their own pay service streaming options. It's inevitable. WWE would be wise to reduce costs by piggybacking on a partnership like this. More content options for WWE network subscribers could entice more buyers rather than stuff like Camp WWE and another total Divas competition. WWE could either be folded completely into the service or be a "bonus option" when subscribing to to the partner (again let's say NBC) or even have the NBC side an option for the WWE Network subscriber. Maybe 14.99 gets you the network AND NBC content. Or the converse, NBC is 9.99 and for another five you can get the WWE side.


    Ultimately though I really think people are simply uncomfortable with the process. Maybe it's my bias from working too many years of retail, but people are simply reticent to join things. The 6 month commitment was a huge issue for many and even a month to month plan has a recurring credit card charge if you don't cancel. Many, many people don't like that. Is it logical? Not really, but it still is true. I have an employee at work who is a huge wrestling fan. Was still buying ppvs up to January. I finally sat him down and explained the WWE Network and why he needed to use his Xbox to save himself a ton of money. He's not the brightest bulb, but even after a year, WWE hadn't got through to him to pay 9.99 through a device rather than split the cost of a ppv with buddies. And I had to explain to him how it worked, despite all the advertising. While that probably speaks much about him, he's not alone in the level of intelligence for some WWE fans. That will continue to be an issue.

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  72. absolutely. I've been one of the more vocal people in bashing WWE for not putting up content fast enough, in leaving out mid south, SMW, AWA, old episodes of syndicated shows, etc. You have to offer as many choices as possible Most people watch about 1/100th of a percent of what is on Netflix. But they like knowing they have a ton of options. But regardless of whether I'd like SMW just in case I'm in the mood, currently there still is way too much content for me to ever burn through as someone with a job, a wife, a kid, and a need to watch TV sports also.

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  73. I would enjoy the XFL on the network

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  74. I'd say an average Rollins match against an opponent worth half a shit is at least ***+.


    And Orton did good work, the counter-play between the two of them was good and it had a baller finish.


    I'd still go 3 1/2, but I don't think 4 is OMFG stupid.

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  75. Wrestlecrap XV: The Ragin' Climax.

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  76. I think one of their biggest hurdles is getting past the "low brow entertainment" label they have. Partnering with NBC and advertising the Terminator movie may make us roll our eyes, but they need it to get exposure from other sources. Ultimately I think it'll fail because the ratings won't be good enough for NBC to keep that type of partnership, any increased cost is going to be a nightmare as far as sharing, and their not being up front with the true cost of Network maintenance says they have no idea how deep this well is.

    I was leaning against unmitigated disaster, but it's been a year, payouts are uneven, costs are way up, and they have to give out free months just to make the numbers look good. That's just not a way to be successful.

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  77. X-Bonestorm! Welcome, Thrillho

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  78. In agreement here.


    The ladder match wasn't nearly as good as even the recent MITB's and Orton/Rollins was a good Raw match with some of the bullshit cut out.


    I honestly really like Cena/Rusev more. Very little dead spots and was probably the best example of the Cena power-brawl we've seen since his match with Cesaro.

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  79. The Ghost Of Meekin's MoobsApril 2, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    Good job Bayless. Bruno seems like a decent guy, although it appears he suffers from Bret Hart syndrome on occasion.

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  80. A 90-minute Bruno-Gorilla match sounds terrible.

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  81. Nice to hear a sane counterpoint to all the inane shit that comes out of Hogan and Flair's mouths. Did he talk about Andre at all?

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  82. I agree with this post. Plus Bruno was, let's face it, a terrible promo. I can tell you he wasn't a big deal to anyone south of the Mason Dixon Line. None of the old timers around here mention him.


    He was HUGE in his territory though.

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  83. A main event anywhere in the country

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  84. Yeah. I think where I stopped and you took over is precisely when the title started meaning bupkis. I mean, maybe it was good through 97 when Austin beat Owen after the broken neck but Val Venis within a year? Yuck.

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  85. Bruno and Hogan I don't ever wrestled on the same card at the Boston Garden so there is some validity to that

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  86. He was an ok promo. Also, needs to be said that at WM One at MSG, he got the second loudest cheers of the night, behind Hogan, for his job as a MANAGER.

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  87. You also have to take into account the 3 hours of Raw and Smackdown, people get bored of wrestling.

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  88. I agree with the tag match.


    I don't like battle royals and I really didn't much care for that one.

    Way too high for the ladder match (for a clusterfuck car crash match it lacked memorable spots besides Ambrose dying).


    I get how Orton/Rollins is four stars, as it was technically perfect but lacked a certain spark (like Orton, in a way) but the counter battle was fun and it had a phenomenal finish. I might go 3 3/4 instead, but that's out of a distaste for Orton.


    HHH/Sting is hard to rate. I'm not a nostalgia buff, but I do enjoy crazy overbooked nonsense. Two and a half seems fine.


    Divas tag as 2 1/2...eh? It was okay. Nothing radical and about as good as the Bellas can get. 2 stars is probably more realistic.


    BATTLE OF AMERICA! I enjoyed it a lot, Cena busted his ass and Rusev looked like a killer (that jumping knee was awesome). Wish the finish was more exciting but I like fast-paced power matches. I would go 4 stars for this one (though I'm a big Rusev fan).


    Don't like Bray or Taker. 2 stars.


    Lesnar matches are always events that deserve to be treated as a step above the normal wrestling of peons. Roman also took a beating like a man. 4 1/2 is the agreed amount and who am I to disagree?

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  89. Dude, I've never heard a Bruno promo that was better than "pretty bad." But to each his own. Also, as I mentioned, he was huge in New York. WM1 was in New York.

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  90. company can probably expect legal action from shareholders and maybe even NYSE... it is called "false guidance" to be saying forever one figure for the break even mark on the Network, then a year later randomly triple it

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  91. The promos he cut on Savage and Piper when he fought them in the 80's were perfectly fine.

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  92. Orton vs Rollins was no better than a good Raw main event or any given ROH tv main event.

    don't see how that's ****

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  93. This number seems hard to hit. You're asking them to convert WAY too high a percentage of free TV watchers into forking over $10.

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  94. plus if the company is losing money people will start to look closer at where the money is being spent... and big money contracts to bring in Brock Lesnar and Sting to lose to Triple H, the guy that makes the decisions, wont look too good

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  95. I disagree. Some matches are all about the spectacle, some are all about the wrestling, some are about both, some are about the story, etc.

    That's why people can rate Savage/Steamboat, Joe/Styles/Daniels, Lesnar/Rollins/Cena, Foley/HHH from RR2000 and Punk/Cena from MITB11 as ***** (or close) and be right even though all those matches are wildly different.

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  96. Nope. Never asked anything about him.

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  97. I'm from the Toronto area and when I ask my older relatives which wrestlers they remember from the 50s/60s, it's always Kowalski, Kiniski and Whipper Watson. Never Bruno.

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  98. I know. And fans could come back every month to see him and he STILL sold it out 187 times. That makes it even more impressive because the run never got old.

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  99. Too bad Gorilla Monsoon isn't around. Is shoot interview would have been INCREDIBLE the Bobby Heenan stories alone would have been worth it.

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  100. WBF!

    No really though, I want those WCW Japan Supershow PPVs.

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  101. Bruno should have a Roots of Fight shirt.

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  102. I don't understand. None of the WWE is free. You have to pay for cable, the Network, live attendance...it pretty much all costs in some way unless you're talking about the occasional special on NBC.

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  103. It's the wrestling, stupid.

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  104. You can go back even further -- there were stadium shows selling out 25k+ in cities like Boston, New York and Chicago in the first half of the 20th century:
    http://prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/usa/misc/boston.html

    http://prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/usa/misc/chicago.html

    http://prowrestlinghistory.com/supercards/usa/misc/newyork.html

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  105. Nerd alert but you know what would make me reup my subscription (and maybe the other 1% of people like me)?

    I wish they'd present each show at the full frame rate --30 fps. Whatever they are streaming these at make them look like film instead of video. Just not smooth.

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  106. Imagine if Heenan and Gorilla had a podcast

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  107. I would buy one

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  108. what's wrong with wrestlers pay? sure Triple H and Undertaker got their expected WM payday... back to vacation for them while the rest of the guys put on the weekly shows

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  109. Correct. But at the end of his career he was big everywhere. June 1987 I went to a house show in PHOENIX and he wrestled HTM and the pop was gigantic.

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  110. Now *THAT* would have been awesome!!! Could you imagine?!?

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  111. from the conference call


    "We are losing millions... but did you guys see me beat Sting at WrestleMania? I totally won!" - Triple H

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  112. I have a framed poster of all the XFL team logos, everyone gets a laugh out of it


    Birmingham Thunderbolts!

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  113. I love the way he got po'd and just started choking the shit out Savage! He showed some great fire there.

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  114. I have Uverse too and have bitched about my Network problems. Turns out our router was going bad, which explains why the Network was hardly working for me. Then again, Netflix and everything else worked flawlessly with the bad router and still do with the new one. Network still freezes and pixellates, just not as frequently.

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  115. I can but I'd rather prefer not to if you don't mind.

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  116. I would even watch Pop Up Video versions of shows like they did with that Wrestlemania 3 anniversary DVD a while back.

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  117. Hey that stinger kid needs to learn a little respect for the business before Trips is doing any jobs for him.

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  118. Weird, that seems like a go-to topic for guys who worked northeast back then.

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  119. Yet another voice for "Ric Flair wrestled the same match". Guys, Ric Flair may have wrestled the same match all the time.

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  120. His appeal was in cities. Chicago, St. Louis amd the like went nuts for Bruno. In those days the South didn't quite have the ethnic flavor that a guy like Bruno attracted. Of course Hogan was a sketchy draw in the South anyway.

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  121. SO chintzy. Do it right or don't.

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  122. I'd be happy if they stop cropping clips for there new content

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  123. "Well Brain let's check out the independent wrestling scene, the... FUTURE of wrestling if you will"
    "Boy that Veda Scott. I tell ya I'd In-Veda her any day!"
    "WILL YOU STOP?!!!!"

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  124. Idk, if they had been more tactful and not pissed off the major cable providers they could've had there cake and ate it too. People are still buying the ppvs. They would still have ppv revenue and monetized a lot of the free streaming folks

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  125. Savage was a real piece of schlime.

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  126. Hogan wasn't a draw in the south either.

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  127. I'd bet the dagos Canadians of Italian extraction were more excited than the gen pop, much like we Polacks Polish-Americans were more excited by Kiniski than others.

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  128. What are they cropping?

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  129. Bruno = John Unitas. Both were considered the greatest during their time, but their accomplishments have been pushed to the back burner over the course of time.

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  130. I have fibre running into the house and the router connected to my TV using ethernet and I still get crashes and pixellation watching it on a brand new Sony TV. Oddly accessing using the laptop sometimea works better and I get much more content (the app has different content on the TV from the laptop).

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  131. I could be using the wrong term. Taking the original 4 x 3 picture and making it 16 x 9. It cuts out the top and bottom of the picture.

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  132. I love hearing how he has "five moves", despite having more moves than 75% of the roster. Not that move count matters, but if that's someone's complaint, they don't have a Reebok to stand on.

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  133. The guy in entitled to make money off his insane amount of hard work. Besides, they aren't mutually exclusive reasons.

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  134. I posted something similar above. I have 20-22mb over fibre into a router linked to a smart TV with an ethernet cable. And the HoF and WM were both a mess even on the replays.

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  135. On a computer or some other app?

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  136. Yeah, I prefer to watch via the app on my PS3 because I can then watch on a nice TV, plus I have a nice receiver and decent speakers for surround sound. I was prepared to just watch WM on my PowerMac because the watching the network via a web browser seems to work better, but it wasn't necessary. Only had a few glitches.

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  137. To be fair, a lot of people at the time thought Val was really going to go places. Retrospect says he was a midcarder for life and a mediocre promo guy given some funny lines to say, but back then, he was one of the better workers of a company full of brawlers.

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  138. Oh jeez, what have they been doing that with? I hadn't noticed that yet. That's really irritating.

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  139. They went down when we got 2 world titles. Brock took the WWF belt to smackdown then HHH demanded and was given his own belt and retired the IC belt. Then it was brought back and has been shot since

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  140. Bruno at the least had the biggest promotion behind him. Verne and Nick will head into the memory hole.

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  141. Bruno did draw in Japan too

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  142. One of the best teams of all time,I think.

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  143. I'm imagining a HUSS Section-style area at the Tokyo Dome full of Italian immigrants chanting for Bruno.

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  144. Burt Macklin, FBIApril 2, 2015 at 3:03 PM

    I know! Isn't it crazy that someone else enjoys something more than you? It happens.

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  145. Okay, so Vince is 18 years behind with this Springer thing. On the plus side, we can look forward to "Wrestling Idol" with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson in 2020.

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  146. Sounds like it wasn't a problem with the network afterall

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  147. It's time to take out the trash.

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  148. Oh, miss read your original question. All the new shows are like that. Rivalries, mnw, countdown, etc. It's not terribly noticeable unless your annoyed by such things. Ii've seen parts of lower third gragics cut off.

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  149. SharksA'sRaidersApril 2, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    Agree 100%. I mentioned this a couple threads back. Sting was a golden opportunity for WWE to sell network subscriptions to by hyping the archive component and their WCW tape library. Your average 14 yr old wrestling fan was an infant when Sting wrestled that last match with Flair WCW. The Network is a great place for young fans to get caught up on Sting's history. Idiots run this company!

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  150. SharksA'sRaidersApril 2, 2015 at 3:25 PM

    Can't wait for all those "Forrest Gump" and "Titanic" references too!

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  151. He must be a serious WWE dickrider to spending that much on PPVs.

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  152. So all of these investors are suppose to be smart people right? Since they wouldn't have the money if they weren't savvy. That being said, why haven't any of these "savvy" investor said "Hold up, something isn't right here". It's been nothing but shadiness from Vince for a year now.

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  153. Because as long as the cheap stock they buy today sells at a profit next March they don't give a shit.

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  154. Bruno was pissed at Hogan over his claims of taking wrestling to the big arenas and for using steroids.

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  155. and I understand the former. All the old timers should be pissed at the Vince narrative about elevating wrestling attendance. He made it mainstream in pop culture, but as I just wrote farther below, there were tons of fans across the country watching their local territory. As for the latter? Sour grapes. Bruno has no idea the pressure those guys were under to have great bodies to make money. Hogan was hardly alone. Eveyrone was doing it. Even guys like Piper or Flair that were hardly muscle bound freaks like Hogan or Warlord were taking roids. It was how you got and stayed on top. And it wasn't illegal if you could find a doctor.

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  156. The Love-Matic Grampa!April 2, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    Like Homer says, you don't quit your job when you're unhappy, you just do it really half-assed.

    It's the American way!

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  157. Bought them from a guy selling DVDs at iOffer.com

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  158. yeah that shit doesn't count:)

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  159. I dunno, I couldn't justify buying stock that's volatile for 10 months out of the year in hopes that it'll profitable for 2 months.
    Seems like too much of a risk.

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  160. The Love-Matic Grampa!April 2, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    I still think making fun of people for sticking to PPV was a huge blunder. They certainly had a point, but mocking potential customers is never wise. Maybe you converted a few, but how many said "fuck you, then" and didn't give WWE any money and/or found other ways to view the shows?

    You don't bite the hand, Marty. You don't bite the hand.

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  161. Everyone is bringing up great points. For my 2 cents, though, the belt seemed to lose its luster in 1995 or so. And no, it's not ALL Jeff Jarrett's fault :). Prior to 95, a televised I-C title defense was a big deal. It almost always happened exclusively at one of the Big 4/5 PPV's, a SNME, or a very special RAW. Plus, the IC champ was expected to carry the "B" shows, often defending the belt in the main event. So the WWF was in essence forced to (i) keep the champ strong and (ii) continuously feed him ME-level opponents.

    Come 1995, three big changes occured. First, monthly PPV's became a thing. The belt was now pretty much defended at every one of those shows and to keep things interesting, the belt had to bounce around a little bit. Second, the Monday Night Wars made jobbers an endangered species. Stars had to wrestle stars every week, and again to keepthings fresh, the IC belt couldn't be dominated by just one or two guys. Third, declining house show businesses forced the WWF to combine the A and B shows together. So instead of being a main eventer (and having to be pushed as such), the IC champ becomes just another midcarder.

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  162. Same here. I dumped tons of dvdrs when the network hit but kept my superstars and primetime seasons and those are enough to keep me entertained if I want an old school fix.

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  163. I'm not a huge fan of either dx or the nWo but I was marking out hard for all the run ins. Such a fun match.

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  164. Yeah, where the hell are those Japan shows?

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  165. Gorilla wasn't going to give anything up. He was too deep in the McMahon foxhole

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  166. When Bruno showed up in 89 I had no idea who he was. Could have been cause I was 9, but he didn't mean much in my neck of the woods either way.

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  167. exactly... when you see the people that own the company selling off their stocks on the first day their are legally allowed to, and selling about as much as legally allowed at a time... it's time to bail

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  168. And Bruno himself said how the locker room atmosphere passed him by at that time too.

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  169. most current evidence: Daniel Bryan winning the most important belt in the main event of WrestleMania and becoming IC champion one year later instead of the other way around.

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  170. Who buys a wrestling network subscription for wrestling content?

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  171. Bruno went on a live Piper's Pit at MSG and gave Piper as good as he got. That wasn't easy to do in 1985. Also, his promos leading up to the Showdown at Shea are legitimately incredible, all-time-great, Dusty-level babyface stuff.

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  172. they tried to treat the belt and the champion more serious several times. the problem (of course): they usually forgot about all that just a few weeks later.

    for example in 2009 Jericho and Mysterio had this great feud which also included fighting over the title. Mysterio then loses the belt to Morrison in a match which is presented as a big deal..... and then there was no real followup.

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  173. there is definitely some truth to that: Rocky, Mero or Goldust were not nearly (being portrayed) as important as Perfect, Hart or Ramon.

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  174. But first I'll have to ask you two to leave

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  175. I have to watch feud soon. The Zbyszko turn was fucking awesome, one of the best ever.

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  176. to be fair Hunter Hearst Helsmley against Rocky Maivia doesn't sound that much better.

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  177. Bruno spent some time wrestling in the West Coast between title reigns. But yeah Bruno wouldn't have drawn in the areas where the NWA was dominant. But, let's be honest, I doubt any of the NWA champions would have drawn in the WWWF territories either. Like others have said different territories looked for different things in their draws. Until Hogan there really was no real national draw in professional wrestling.

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  178. ugh...that's considerably more legitimate then I was hoping...

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  179. Gotch/Hackenschmidt is also in that era where the details on how much was kayfabed vs legitimate sport is really murky. It's just such an outlier. I just went with the 50's because it was the dawn of wrestling on TV and the fix was CLEARLY in.


    It's called the first Golden Age of Wrestling

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  180. Hell, I believed Wrestling was a small time deal pre-Hulkamania for years until I stumbled across the story of Rikidozan. I got curious about the other NWA giants and yeah, outed Vince's version as bullshit

    Vince deserves credit for bringing all those eyes onto one national company, but he brought a lot fewer NEW eyes to wrestling than he lets on.

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  181. Firstly, another man's opinion should mean zilch. But for argument's sake, he rated Wrestle Kingdom 9 higher, so for those who somehow missed it, track it down.

    Also, having the Miami Marlins come out of nowhere, cash in a brief case in the Ninth Inning of Game 7 between the Giants and Royals, and win the World Series is the stupidest friggin' thing I've ever heard. Horribly dumb finish to the main that made for an exciting moment but completely devalues both the World Title and the point of a WM main event. Took a strong ****3/4 instant classic down to a ****-ish affair.

    I mean, he essentially won the title in a ladder match 8 months ago in a match where the champion didn't even defend it. Hopefully they abandon this concept someday.

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  182. i'm a big Flair fan... but there is nothing lower class than bragging about cheating on your wife... if you want to cheat on your wife fine, but don't brag about it like it's a victory

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  183. Survivor Series '91
    Monsoon; "Who's legal?"
    Heenan; "The one in the long tights"
    Monsoon; (muttering) "what a stupid answer" ... "THEY ALL HAVE LONG TIGHTS!!!"

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  184. any MSG show from 85-89 with Monsoon and he'll likely mention it

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  185. In my DVD collection!

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  186. Growing up in NYC Bruno was always talked about as a legend but his era was so different from the Sports Entertainment era I grew up in. It makes sense that he hated the new direction just like many wrestling fans from the 60s or 70s prefer the old school brand of wrestling where it was presented as a real sport.

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  187. the full shows however are not (and I think that's much more important).


    (I also get why they are doing that for their documentaries etc. - a lot of people are annoyed by black bars/logos on the sides)

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  188. I'll never forget watching the Ultimate Warrior squash some jobber on Wrestling Challenge one morning when I was like 6 years old. I marveled at him and said something to my dad like "can you believe this guy?" My dad (who usually no-sold my wrestling fandom), looked up from his newspaper and dismissively said "Bruno Sammartino would beat that guy in 5 minutes with a bearhug." I was like "I don't know who that is but he MUST be good!"

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  189. that's why they don't need to upload every single episode of a show (or even a year) at once.

    but they should maintain a regular schedule: for example every Monday two "classic" Raw episodes are uploaded, every Thursday two Nitro episodes etc.

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  190. that's also why I think they don't need to upload every single episode of a show (or even a year) at once.

    they should however maintain a regular schedule: for example every Monday two "classic" Raw episodes are uploaded, every Thursday two Nitro episodes etc.

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  191. they had exactly that type of "favorite matches" show as part of their WWE 24/7 online service and also on youtube (with Zack Ryder supposedly picking matches).

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  192. RD Reynolds has been "hard at work" for about five years. The original site, which updated once a week, lasted for a couple of years before he contracted the "OMG this is so hard I don't have any time for myself" disease that Internet writers get. A few years after that, he found the cure for said disease, which is money. Once he discovered he could make money off of people, he came back and started charging for old articles. With this return came a new writing style that focused on his opinion, stories about him, facts about him, news about him and how each gimmick/wrestler he was writing about related to him. Almost every single article, no exaggeration, written included a reference to himself or his opinion before the first sentence was finished. The overall quality plummeted. Go back and read some of the early work, then read the new stuff from the site's relaunch. If you don't notice the severe quality dip, you're oblivious and should seek professional help.

    That's when he started "hiring" (in quotations because they aren't paid, despite the fact that he is) others to do the work for him, most notably Blade Braxton, who did a great job while being constantly criticized and joked on by RD to the point where you had to wonder if it was friendly ribbing or actual jealousy.

    These days the site is ran by art0donnell and 95% of new content is produced by someone other than RD. To say he's been working hard for fifteen years is a fucking joke. He's just another asshole who thinks just because people read some paragraphs he wrote about wrestling they want to start worshiping him.

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  193. Laptop. And for some reason, my Iphone doesn't want to reinstall the WWE App from the App Store. Usually the app appears with a circle being filled in, but that hasn't happened. (It's not for lack of space, because I just did a complete restore).

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  194. Without the Network you'd pay $65 for Mania. That means you're getting everything else for free basically for 6 months.

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  195. I do believe there were no free subs in the post-Mania number as that expired in February. Even if you signed up on February 28 for free and they gave you a month free (which I don't think they did) you would have converted to a paid sub by 'Mania.

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  196. I've mentioned before that I work for "Comcast" - even a year later, we still get tons of questions about how it, with most of them not understanding that it's not an HBO-esque premium channel.

    As popular as even Netflix is, there are still millions of people out there that either don't understand OTT services, or are simply afraid to try them. That may seem silly to a bunch of people posting on a blog, but it's absolutely true.

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  197. I think most people consider anything on television - even "regular" cable like USA or premium channels like HBO - to be free. They're paying for the channel as a whole, as opposed to buying an individual movie/episode/song with its own specific price.

    It's like getting a "free" dessert when you order an entree - you still have to pay for something to get the "free" thing.

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  198. With the green background? I had that one, and wish I still did.

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  199. For me, it was when Billy won the Hardcore title and Road Dogg won the IC title, instead of vice versa, just because SWERVE! The IC title was probably losing its value before that, but that moment is when I stopped caring.

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