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Showing posts from August, 2011

Bryan Alvarez gets MAD I agree with Bryan’s angry rant on this show.  WWE had a major opportunity to win back fans with the Summer of Punk, and they’ve just been wasting chance after chance.  SUPER DUPER SMACKDOWN LIVE was so boring I didn’t even bother recapping it.  I’ll do Impact instead.  THAT’S HOW BORING SMACKDOWN IS.  It makes me want to review IMPACT because I’ll have something interesting to talk about.  Also, Sonic Boom as the team name for Kofi & Bourne should have been the winner. 

The Midnight DC Post!

Yes, for those angry comic nerds anxiously awaiting my review of the big releases from DC tonight, here you go! Flashpoint #5:  About what I expected.  No idea what the mumbo-jumbo with the Speed Force actually means or how it leads to everyone wearing armor and high collars.  I didn’t even realize Barry’s mom was dead or that anyone cared in the first place, and I was reading from the late 70s all the way until he died in the Crisis, so this must be a new development.  As everyone suspected, all the crossovers end up meaning fuck all.  Justice League #1:  As the first part of a trade paperback collection it’s great.  As the first issue intended to draw in the mythical new readers, who then have to wait until OCTOBER 19TH to read the second part and hopefully see more than just GL and Batman in the book, it’s a crushing disappointment.  Jim Lee’s artwork is, however, breathtaking.  I can withstand a lot of crap if it’s drawn by him or Dan Jurgens (see also All Star Batman and Zero

RAW notes

Hey Scott, I was at the RAW taping in Tulsa last night. Some notes: ·      ... John Morrison and R-Truth had a very good match for the Superstars taping. Not sure what it will look like on TV but it was awesome to watch in person. ·      ... When Zack Ryder came out everyone in my section kept asking, “Who the hell is this guy?” ·      ...  I was surprised at how overwhelmingly pro-Cena the crowd was. It was all legit too, not piped in.  ·      ... I was also surprised at how dead the crowd was during Punk vs. Miz, especially given how many Punk shirts there were in the crowd. My guess is the crowd was pretty much “popped out” by the Cena segment and Orton/Ziggler match that preceded it. ·      ... Not sure what it sounded like on TV, but the pop for Nash’s powerbomb of Punk was huge. ·     ... After RAW went off the air Ziggler and R-Truth ran out to attack Cena and Sheamus, but Orton came out and helped the faces take care of them. All three celebrated

Lex Express

A curiosity regarding Wrestlemania 10.  If the plan in mid-1993 was for Lex Luger to win the WWF Title from Yokozuna at Wrestlemania, why the double-winner booking at the Royal Rumble and double title defense at WMX?  We hear the urban legend about Luger blabbing about the title win and having the booking changed as a result, but what was the original intent with the dual main events?  Just an experiment?  Or was the Luger title win really never set in stone leading up to the show? It was never set in stone.  They wanted Luger to chase the title for longer, but then they were waffling as usual and went with Bret instead.  As for the co-mains, here’s Meltzer after Royal Rumble 94: In hindsight, the idea of the tie in the Rumble leading to the two title matches on the same show is a good one. This show's biggest draw is not any matches, but the name "Wrestlemania," as evidenced by the show selling out in just a few days, before any matches had even been announced

Foxy Boxing

Hi Scott - haven't seen anything pop up on the Blog since the press conference, so just wondered what your thoughts were on the seven year deal the UFC have inked with Fox? Is it coming at the right time for the sport? Do you see any potential downsides to it? What do you think about TUF going live weekly? Also - slightly related, if you do write another book, what are then chances ut would be an MMA one instead of wrestling focussed? If they can avoid injuries in their main events, they have a deep enough roster right now that it’s definitely the right time for it.  Downside is that Fox isn’t known for their long-term planning and dedication to new things if they don’t immediately work out, but if UFC can snag football or Idol’s demos, it’ll go through the roof.  Ultimate Fighter going live is exactly the kick in the nuts that the show needs and I’m glad Fox pushed for it.  And there’s zero chance of me doing an MMA book. 

Rey the GOAT?

Hey Scott, got a question here, in the list of contenders for GOAT, why do you think that it's always the more traditional wrestlers that get the rub, the Bret Hart's, Bryan Danielson's and Chris Benoit's, the suplexers, the technical wrestlers, those with an amateur background.  But I believe that there are wrestlers of different styles that are just as good, if not better than this cadre of elite wrestlers.  In particular, I'm talking about high fliers. Rey Mysterio is a wrestler that has been held up as one of the best in the business, and his consistently fantastic matches for 20+ years certainly back that theory up.  But as great as Rey Mysterio is and no matter how many five star matches he has, people disregard his talent, they call him overpushed, or a bad mic worker, or accuse him of wrestling the same matches, the thing is, you could throw these claims at many other contenders for GOAT, but they get excused because of their in-ring ability.  So if w

Wrestling Is Not Cyclical

Scott - Hey, since I am just getting back from Memphis, I thought I would pull the strap down and drop the fist in one of the more inane memes in wrestling fandom: "the professional wrestling business has always been and always will be cyclical." This is wrong on so many levels. 1) And most obviously - the professional wrestling business has not "always been cyclical" because, it has not "always been".  It might be 100 years old, at best, the territory system more like 70 years old, and it died out; the modern wrestling era is not quite 30 years old; it's been around a decade since the end of the Attitude era, which is gone.  It's not anything like saying sunspots or the precession of the equinoxes are cyclical, but people say it with same decree of certainty. 2) At best, people make statistical generalizations based on maybe two data points and call that a trend.  It's not.  The professional wrestling business may be down

UFC Rio Roundtable

Hey Scott!  I just want to THANK YOU again for your continued participation and support.  It means a lot! Here is the link for The Roundtable Preview for UFC 134: Rio. Also, if you wouldn't mind plugging my online Radio/Ustream show, The Ultimate Fight Show ( and/or ).  LIVE, every Saturday at Noon ET, or also OnDemand at those same links. I don’t see this one going well for Yushin Okami. 

Change For A Dollar

Hey Scott, All this discussion in recent months (years, really) about what is wrong with the current product/business, who should or shouldn't be pushed, why so-and-so isn't working, decisions that are tanking business growth, etc, got me thinking about an elephant in the room. As always I could be completley off here, but I really don't think the issues that have plagued the business for the past decade aren't as clear, cut and simple as "John Cena gets pushed too much" or "the titles don't mean anything" - both of which I agree with to an extent, but I think we are ignoring a more complicated (ina strange way, fundemental) problem here. Let me lay this out with question: when was the last time you watched an episode of RAW or Smackdown that, with the exception of a some notable segments, matches or roster differences, felt like it could have taken place any time within the last 8 or 9 years? THIS has been my biggest hurdle to latchin

The SmarK Rant for Impact! Wrestling–08.25.11 I have no idea what happened on this show.  None. Your mandatory cheapshot:  If Ric Flair managed Fortune, they would likely be seized by the IRS. Oh, and another thing.  They spend the whole show building up the "Bound For Glory" series, and then at the end of the show they're like "No Surrender in three weeks!"   That's some awesome PPV salesmanship right there.

Apter Responds

Hi Scott: Thank you for all your past support but I'm a bit confused about a recent column someone sent me. In it you mention that I was  "paid by the Crockett people." Nothing is further from the truth and I wish you would clear that up immediately. It bothers me when people don't take the time to find out the facts before things like this are written. Again, I respect your writing and style so this really surprised me. The truth of this matter is that Crockett Promotions offered us a spot on their shows to promote our magazines. It was good business for both parties as PWI was on national TV and that also lent extra credibility to their product (having a magazine that was distributed all over the world interviewing their talent on TV).  WWF had the same opportunity available but had their own magazine and just like not recognizing other promotions, they chose not to recognize the magazines. Thanks for writing.  I’ve always heard, from more than one

Mo titles, mo problems

Since you did a question about wrestler's title reign harming them, how about the opposite. What are examples of wrestler's not winning a title harmed their career?  The classic example is usually Lex Luger not winning the title at Summerslam, thereby getting the choker label. But are there other examples? Or maybe by the time they won it, it was too late? Also, are there wrestler's that you think should have held a title (any title) that would have helped cement their legacy?  For example, I've always thought Brutus Beefcake should have had at least one reign as IC champion. Yes, he was tag team champion, but who honestly even remembers that.  He was way more popular as a singles. I also think The Big Bossman should have gotten the IC title from Mr. Perfect at Wrestlemania 6. Wrestlemania 7. Anyway, Luger at Bash 88 was actually much more harmful than Luger at Summerslam 93.  Yeah, they wanted him to be the next Hogan, but they didn’t NEED him to be. 

Title values

I'm a long time reader and have recently enjoyed you responses to questions so I thought I'd throw one at you: I've just started watching WWE again after a lengthy hiatus and was wondering how you felt about the impact that the brand split has had on the value of the WWE/World Heavyweight Championships? If I could elaborate, back when I first starting watching wrestling in the 90's there were never more than just a few former champions in the promotion at one time so it felt like the claim to have held the big belt at one time was something special. Watching SmackDown last week I can't say I felt the same way about Khali, Swagger The split mostly destroyed the Smackdown title, because no one gives a shit about that belt.  Like really, is anyone dying to see Orton v. Mark Henry at the PPV?  That being said, they might as well pull the trigger and put the belt on Mizark.  But yeah, I’ve said it many times before, but belts mean nothing.  They were doing

Apter Mags

Scott, Long time fan, and I love your work. Just a quick few questions regarding the "Apter Mags" of the 80's and 90's.  First off, I was always wondering why, whenever there was a kayfabe interview in, say, PWI, that it was never with a WWF superstar (at least in the late 80's - early 90's, when I was reading it). Also, it seemed that every time there was an article detailing a WWF personality, they would never quote that wrestler. Instead, they would have someone else discuss the individual. I know these "quotes" and "interviews" were all kayfabed, but was there some rife between Apter & McMahon that prevented PWI and the others from "fake quoting" these WWF guys? It seemed as though the NWA/WCW/AWA guys, as well as all the indy dudes, were always kayfabe interviewed and quoted, just not McMahon's guys. Also, while I get that these mags were geared toward kids, it always bothered me, even in my youth, ho

Quick hits

In the continuing effort to clean out my inbox, here’s a few very quick questions.  Long time fan.  I got a quick one: What's your take on Zack Ryder? He’s OK, I guess.  He wasn’t terribly thrilling when he was tag champ, but his “Bradley Cooper stuck in the 80s” gimmick is at least different. Edge or Christian? Edge has had a lot of great and memorable matches, whereas Christian has a lot of good matches and no bad ones, but you don’t tend to remember them.  So Edge. Scott, As a former Demolition mark, did you ever want to see an updated version of the team over the years?  It's not as if Bill Eadie and Barry Darsow were amazing in the ring, but the Demolition name, look, and MUSIC were awesome and they were quite over in their heyday.  I kind of thought a mid-90s version with Crush and Adam Bomb in an updated Demo garb could have been cool, especially when teams like the Smoking Gunns, Men on a Mission, etc were about the best you were going to get fr

Matt Hardy shitcanned

Because we can’t say “future endeavored” unless it’s the WWE trademarked version. This also answers the great question of our lifetime:  How much of a fuckup do you have to be in order to get fired by TNA? 

The SmarK Rant for AWA Classic Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic (08.17.11) I’m drawn to this show like a car wreck.  It’s like when you’re walking down the street and see people beating up a ginger kid, and you’re like “Man, I should help that poor freak” but then you stop and take a video for Youtube instead because it’s hilarious.  But you feel bad about it afterwards.  Like that.


Is there any other instance of a 'Montreal-type' situation taking place or nearly taking place?  In Japan maybe?  We hear about the standoffs, refusals to job, and general bickering about match results, but was there ever another instance in a wrestling promotion in which that kind of outcome either came about or nearly occured?  Thanks Uh, to say the least, YES.  That’s why everyone came to warn Bret about getting screwed, because this kind of shit happened ALL THE TIME back in the day.  I don’t have a list handy because it would take forever, but Montreal was mainly notable for being the first time it happened on live TV in the so-called “modern era”, when wrestling was supposed to be out of the smoky bingo halls and run by a more sophisticated group of aristocrats instead of the skeevy promoters who would do that sort of thing in the past.  That used to be why the NWA would favor guys like Lou Thesz, who could take care of themselves if some two-bit promoter decided he

Pointless WM9 fantasy booking

Uh oh, another “How to retroactively save WM9” post.   You know, Superman learned many times not to try to go back and change the past, because it just never works out.  But what the heck, let’s check it out.  Thought this might be a good blog discussion, although this may have been covered before.  I recently watched WM9, and although I don’t hate the show as much as others, every time I watch it I always think what they could’ve done to make it a better show.  With a few tweaks here and there, it could’ve been up there with other great WM’s.  So of course, I had to think about it and come up with a plan like others probably do.  And for this card to happen, it really would involve only two little things to make it work:


I got a couple of questions that I don't think his DVD really goes into it. 1.) I know Pillman created the "Loose Cannon" persona to basically trick Eric Bischoff into firing him, but what exactly was Bischoff's reason/plan for trying to work the wrestlers/employees in WCW with this? Was he hoping that Pillman would work out this character in ECW, then bring him back as anti-authority figure/rebel like Stone Cold Steve Austin, maybe to battle the NWO? Was this supposed to be knock at the WWE/Vince McMahon, since Pillman used to be Austin's tag team partner? Even if that was the plan, I still don't see the reason to try to work his employees. 2.) I know ECW was the rebel "anything can happen" organization, but surely they must have been hoping they would have gotten alot more out of Pillman besides a few promos/skits. Like maybe an actual wrestling match?  Did they have any plans

Bully for you

Hey Scott, it's me again and I'm here to ask for your help. After finding myself still stewing over the Vickie Guerrero fat jokes on RAW, I decided to write an email to as many of the groups involved in the "be a STAR" anti-bullying campaign as I could find. I'm hoping that anybody else who is sickened by WWE's behavior might want to do the same and that if enough of us express our outrage over the blatant hypocrisy of the campaign, something will be done. If needed, I can supply a list of email addresses affiliated with the various organizations. Maybe it's pointless, but at least I tried. I'd really appreciate it if you could run this on your blog sometime. Here's my letter: Hello, I am writing to bring to your attention the recent activities on WWE television in which a performer named Vickie Guerrero is constantly subjected to dehumanizing and degrading "jokes" about her weight. In reality, Mrs. Guerrero (the widow of form

Marc Plug

About a year ago I sent you a link to my wrestling review blog/website ; you suggested to add some more personality to it. I have added a ton more reviews and a few random writings now. How do you think it looks now? If it is worthy, how about a cheap pop on the Blog of Doom? Thanks! Marc A. Florio I think we’ve established by now that I will literally plug anything.

Ce-no evil

Hey Scott, Im thrilled at the prospect of u reviewing WWE programming again. Question for u regarding Cena. How is he not blamed for slumping PPv buys and Raw ratings slipping.  I read on this week's Observer that the segment featuring Cena's match actually LOST viewers. Im just curious. Because he sells assloads of merchandise and draws at house shows just as much as anyone else they could possibly push to the top would.  I don’t think anyone could argue that Cena isn’t the biggest draw of the modern (post-Austin) era, so he’s gonna get some slack when it comes to dropping buyrates and ratings.  Besides, buyrates are in the toilet because of fundamental problems with their business, not the people who they push on top. 

Random old WON tidbits

I find reading the archived Observers from the early 90s endlessly fascinating, partially because I’m finding all these crazy details I never realized before, and partly because of all the hindsight involved.  For instance, the initial Hogan v. Flair main event of Bash at the Beach 94 was not as set-in-stone as you’d think.  Even into June, the main event was presumed to be Hogan & Sting v. Flair & Curt Hennig, but Hennig was still locked into his WWF deal until September so they would have had to do some legal wrangling.  Before that, it was going to be Hogan & Sting v. Flair & Rick Rude, but Rude refused to job for Hogan, and THAT led to him getting fired after the neck injury in Japan.  Meltzer was very skeptical about the injury back then, although obviously Rude never wrestled again.  With those possibilities shot down, we were left with Hogan v. Flair.  Huh. Here’s his thoughts in 1994 on how to best use Hogan:  “Many would argue that just as Vince McMaho

UFC to FOX This could have HUGE ramifications for the business, as Zuffa now have major network backing and presumably better sense with what to do with that exposure than Strikeforce or EliteXC did.  Thankfully this won’t affect us here in Canada as UFC has a separate deal to air their stuff on Sportsnet, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they would pull out for a live show on FOX.

AV Club v. RAW,60462/ Another great review from the AV Club, as I can feel his pain about trying to explain the CM Punk angle without dragging a chalkboard into the room like Doc Brown.  I even get a shout-out in the first comment! 

The SmarK RAW Rant–August 15 2011 Trusting Kevin Nash to get you over in a feud is not a very wise move.  Hopefully the combination of perspective and Just For Men that has brought Big Kev back to WWE will change his mentality.  But I’m not holding my breath. 

Goofy Spots

I was just thinking the other day about goofy/strange (but consistent) spots, and I was curious what your favorites were. As an example of what I'm thinking of, the old "you can't headbutt a Samoan" was always a favorite of mine, and damn if almost every single opponent didn't give it a go anyway. I think my favorite of that spot has to be anyone trying to give the Headshrinkers the double noggin' knocker. More recently, Santino's Cobra always cracks me up, and to his credit he has gotten it over - the crowd always pops huge and for some reason I'm always surprised if someone kicks out of it. Any favorites of yours that never seem to get old? The Iron Claw! The Garvin Stomp! Lex Luger no-selling Ric Flair’s chops and then flexing his pecs at him, which FLAIR SELLS! Basically anything that falls so far out of the bounds of reality that your brain explodes if you think about it too long, and yet gets over, I love.  I also love snarking on it,

As a precaution tonight

Just in case CM Punk wins the title again and, I dunno, Steve Austin returns and gives him a stunner or something and everyone goes crazy and crashes the blog, I’m taking the blog offline tonight from the start the show until shortly after.  There will be a recap posted (I’m assuming) by either Tommy Hall or Michael Bradley and once that’s up, we should be good to go again. 

Clash Plug

Joel Geraghty Hey Scott, remember me? You used to post my TNA Impact recaps and got me in at InsidePulse. Well, now I'm over at 411 doing a series of Clash of the Champions recaps, starting with the first one in March of 1988. Would you be so kind as to give me a plug on your blog? People don’t like 411 round here much, but I’m always happy to assist.

But I Was The Champion!

Hi Scott, I was wondering if there have ever been an occasion when winning a championship was actually detrimental for a wrestler or tag-team? In that, the wrestler's career would have been better off in the long-term if he, or she, did not win a title when he, or she, did. The only examples I think come close are Tommy Rich and Ronnie Garvin. Neither guy was believable as champion during his respective reign and was unable to keep any momentum after he lost the gold. One could argue that winning the gold did Jack Swagger no favors. However, his career is still ongoing. So things might turn around for the All-American American. Are there any others that fit this bill? Oh, what a great question!  Ron Garvin actually should have won the title much earlier.  There was a while there on the old NWA shows on 24/7 where I was hoping I could change history by willing it and have him beat Flair at the Bash instead of Dusty Rhodes, because he was pretty awesome at

Bollywood Undertaker

Hey Scott, Did you know the Undertaker (and Crush) appeared in a bollywood movie back in the mid-90s?  From watching this clip it is obviously not the real Undertaker but based on the comments it sounds like it's Brian Lee during his fake Undertaker gimmick.  Can you tell if it is him or an actor? I'm wondering how this random casting came about. It’s absolutely Brian Lee, because his hair is totally different from Mark Callaway’s and it’s easy to tell them apart.  And of course Lee and Brian Adams were good friends so it’s not terribly surprising that they’d be hanging out and doing a movie together.  Why the fuck they did that movie in India, I don’t know.  1994 was a weird time for the WWF, that’s all I can say about it.

Judy Bagwell On A Pole

Hey Scott, Colin from the Blog here. So I'm just sitting back and watching an old Nitro from 2000 (I know, I'm a glutton for punishment) and once again here comes Judy fuckin' Bagwell on my television (or rather, computer) screen. What gives man? Was this all some big rib on Buff by Nash and the boys backstage? IIRC Buff was infamous for being a "momma's boy" or whatever, and isn't that why he was fired from the WWF in 2001 when the Invasion started, because he had his mother call him in sick or something along those lines? You were a stalwart of the IWC at the time so I figured you'd be the best person to ask about this one. It just seems like it was all a big rib on Buff. I wonder if he noticed. Yeah, you’ve got it right.  The whole thing with Judy Bagwell was basically a huge rib on Buff (and one on the fans, really), and “his mama called in sick to WWE” really did happen as well.  That’s what WCW does to you, I guess.

WWE Vintage Collection–August 12 2011

  The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – August 12 2011 When I subscribed to the Score to get Smackdown and RAW again, I didn’t even realize this show was included. Well you know I’m gonna be all over THIS. Hosted by Mean Gene. This week: Summer spectaculars! This would be stuff from Summerslam and Bash at the Beach, etc.

Let’s Talk Flashpoint

So we’re almost done the big event of this summer for DC, Flashpoint, and I had previously mentioned that the main series was kind of ludicrous, but awesome.  Well, we’re at issue 4 of 5 now, and it’s become less awesome and more glacially paced as I’m wondering how #5 is supposed to both wrap up the series and set up the New 52, considering NOTHING HAS HAPPENED in the past two issues.  The whole thing is looking kind of pointless right now, with some of the tie-ins being amazing (BATMAN!) and some being putrid (CANTERBURY CRICKET!  GREEN ARROW!) and most just being confusing as to why they exist.  Like really, I’m enjoying The Outsider well enough, but who is he supposed to be and why do we need a 3 issue series about him?  It feels like they’re gonna have to cram a lot into the last week of crossover stuff (like, we don’t even know what Zoom did to change the past yet), which just reinforces the whole “making it up as they go along” feel thus far.  It’s still a fun series, but it jus

Sting’s Legacy

Hey Scott, I've got a question about Sting. Sting has said multiple times that the reason he hasn't signed with WWE is because he's concerned about what the company would do to his legacy after seeing how they used the other WCW employees who jumped over.  And he feels like WWE would destroy the legacy and prestige.  A fair concern, the Invasion did destroy more than a couple careers. But I don't buy it. If Sting is so concerned with his Legacy, why the hell is he working for TNA?  And beyond that, why the hell did he agree to a gimmick change that involves him impersonating Jim Carrey if he played the Joker.  It's not as if he took the role seriously and is testing himself by taking a crappy gimmick and doing his best with it, since it's pretty clear that he's dicking around and putting in as much work as Ben Kingsley did in BloodRayne. So my question to you is this?  If Sting doesn't care about his legacy (which I don't think he

Wrestling Press Plug

Hey Scott, I have a little blurb promoting our new issue of Wrestling Press magazine, would you mind posting it again? Thanks, and all the best, Greg ---------------------------- Brock Lesnar on Vince McMahon and WWE Brock Lesnar, the only man to ever hold championship gold in both WWE & the UFC, has been speaking to TWP Magazine about his time in WWE and how it helped him as a world class MMA fighter. Here are some highlights: On Vince McMahon and WWE: “These guys, they just don’t have another life. When they go home, they really can’t get out of tune with their on-stage persona. There’s really no time. I think the biggest thing is there’s really no downtime for the human body to recover, and more importantly, for their mind to recover where you’re constantly on the road, and in a program where you can’t get outside to take an outside look at what’s going on — guys resort to all kinds of extracurricular activities.” On what being with WWE

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic Taped from somewhere in Minnesota, I think. The ring announce is Donna Gagne, so that's what you're getting into here. Your hosts are Lee Marshall and Eric Bischoff This looks to be early 1990, judging by the cast of characters. DJ Peterson v. Jimmy Magnum Peterson was a guy who had the look and a pretty good skillset, but ended up being yet another casualty after a motorcycle accident. At least it wasn't drugs that killed him. DJ with a takedown and he works the leg with a grapevine, but Magnum makes the ropes. Magnum gets his sad jobber offense with a slam, but misses a ridiculous elbowdrop, and Peterson finishes with a sloppy flying clothesline and Scorpion deathlock at 2:53. Kind of funny hearing Marshall yell "Ring the bell, ring the bell!" while Peterson was using that particular hold. Tommy Jammer v. Tom "Rocky" Stone Jammer, as all the kids know, is the master of the abdominal stre

Booking plans

A few historical questions  about Vince's plans - 1- Did Vince have a back up plan for Montreal? What would have happened had Bret listened to Davey Boy (or whomever) and not allowed himself to be put in the sharpshooter - what was Vince's plan B as to how to get the title off him? 2- Did Vince expect Montreal to make him a top heel in the company? What was he expecting fan reaction to be? 3- On an unrelated note, what was the long term plan for the Two Man Power Trip/Canadian Violence Connection feud in '01 had HHH not torn his quad? And what was the plan for HHH's role in the Invasion?  1.  They would have done a DQ finish and Bret would have surrendered the title on RAW the next night.  However, the odds of that actually happening are astronomical, because Vince would have found some way to screw Bret out of the title, even if Bret hadn’t fallen for the Sharpshooter spot.  Pretty much any submission move done by Shawn or any pinning predicament coul


  Hey Scott, Got two for you: 1. Regarding last night's Raw: I enjoy reality-based wrestling as much as the next guy, but when are the writers and the wrestlers involved going to realize that when they refer to stuff like "work rate" and "heel persona" that they're essentially acknowledging, within the context of the story, that wrestling is indeed fake and thus negating the whole purpose of Cena and Punk talking trash about who's gonna win Sunday.  Why should we care?  Cena's character "John Cena" just admitted it's all contrived. 2. Strictly kayfabe, to what extent are wrestling fans supposed to believe heels are truly "bad" people?  Like, in 1990, were we to assume that Mr. Perfect goes home from his job and is probably a law-abiding citizen who is merely unpopular at work? What about Earthquake, who assaulted Hulk Hogan in the third degree and is technically a felon?  If Ravishing Rick Rude saw the Ultim

Classics No More

Hey Keith I feel like I just emailed you a few months ago about changing. The new online service is The name sucks but the premise is solid. They have (in their opinion which I agree 88% on the top 100 matches), full episodes, monthly videos and original content. The thing that bums me is that they are now selling episodes of Raw from 1993 for $1.99. Should I be mad or is this more of a standard premise among along services. I'm very mixed on this. I think the old offered too much and maybe I was spoiled (god forbid WWE gave fans somethign worth their money). What do you think? Do you blame WWE for trying to make additional revenue? It’s one of those weird “addition by subtraction” type of marketing deals, I guess, where the actual pricing structure that was in place before stays, but now you don’t get the individual episodes included for your yearly subscription fee.  Since I never used the service for the indiv

Greatest Reign Ever?

Hi Scott, Let me start with the usual and say I'm a long time reader, first time emailer, so many thanks for the entertaining rants and reviews down the years. I was thinking about this the other day and thought your take would be interesting and all those on the blog might enjoy discussing who actually had the greatest single title reign in wrestling history? By this I mean a recognised World Heavyweight title reign anywhere in the world rated in terms of money made, future influence, match quality, storytelling, character development and other tangibles. But it must be a single title reign, so for example, while Austin's run with the WWF Championship in 1998 was brilliant, it was split between two reigns so can't count collectively but each of the two reigns could be considered on their own merits. Now apologies if I seem ignorant but my wrestling knowledge is really North American and late 80's onwards, so if it was just about money made I'm su

G+ Plug

Hi + Scott Keith you very kindly plugged my website when I first started, but there's so many reviews on there now including all of the Harry Potter films, which frankly I feel I deserve a medal for sitting through. Any chance of one more cheap plug for old times sake, and I promise I won't ask again. :) http://www.thatfil ter-and-the-deathly- hallows-part-2 Well I can’t say no to a cheap plug. 

Good Times, We Got ‘Em

Hey Scott,Johnathan1988 from the boards I keep reading about different "boom" periods in WWE, or times when business was bad, but different sources seem to give different information on which time-frames WWE was successful in (ratings, buyrates, attendance), and which periods things weren't so good in. Seeing as I didn't really take notice of such things until my conversion to smarkdom in 2001, I write you asking to clear it up.

Memorable Eras

Hey Scott. Your recent post regarding the "Best Final Matches" of certain wrestlers got me thinking about the various epochs of professional wrestling in North America. But a comment in said thread really got the creative juices going.

Not As Much Money In The Bank As Previously Thought

As per last night’s Observer radio show, initial numbers for Money In The Bank are coming in, and it looks like about 135,000 domestic buys.  Predictions based on the show’s response had originally put it at 150,000 or more, which would have been phenomenal.  This doesn’t cover international buys and numbers will probably change a lot when the finals come in next quarter, but as it stands it’s a bit of a boost over 2010’s show, but not a game-changing performance or anything.  It’s basically a B-show that did better than it would have.   Hopefully this won’t mean Punk will immediately lose his version of the title and then job to Fake Sin Cara every night, but given the impatience WWE has displayed with the angle thus far, you never know.  Really, what it goes to show is that PPV is a dying market for WWE and there’s very little that’s going to boost it again short of Rock and Steve Austin returning fulltime. 

Future Endeavour List 2011 Thus far:  Melina, Gail Kim, Koslov, DH Smith, Chris Masters.  No big shocks there, although fuck them for giving up on Harry Smith so soon.  He’s the son of the British Bulldog and trained by the Harts, what more do you need?  I’m sure there’s more to come as the afternoon proceeds.

Bret v. Shawn

Hi Scott, hope you are well. Here is the complete DVD listing for the WWE's Wrestling's Greatest Rivalries, Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart DVD… Disc 1 San Antonio vs. Calgary The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation Heartbreak Kid vs.The Hit Man Intercontinental Champion vs. WWE Champion Showstopper vs. Excellence of Execution Progressive vs. Traditional Fantasy vs. Reality Respect vs. Trust Redemption vs. Reconciliation Hope vs. Peace Disc 2 The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation Madison Square Garden – 25th November, 1989 Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels Wrestling Challenge – 10th February, 1990 The Rockers vs. The Hart Foundation Tokyo Dome – 30th March, 1991 Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels Portland, Oregon– 21st July, 1992 Intercontinental Championship Match Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels Syracuse, New York– 29


Hey Scott, Here's one thing that I was wondering about the other day: when WCW used to do the Battlebowl/Lethal Lottery shows, were any of the pairings really random? It would seem like a promotion with as many talented workers as WCW had at that time would be able to start out with some sense of who they wanted in the battle royale at the end, and trust the guys to call the matches in the ring. Of course, if it sounds silly asking whether something on a pro wrestling show was a work or not, it's worth remembering that this was a promotion that let Sting and Jake blow off their big feud with a COAL MINER'S GLOVE match. Thanks The pairings were all selected by the bookers, totally un-randomly.  They didn’t trust the guys to do shit.  The non-gimmicked wheel was just WCW stupidity, not an intentional effort to do anything unpredictable. 


Back in the day when WCW and WWE (F) were both going strong, i always wondered how the two companies decided where to book shows. I grew up in Fresno and WWF always came at least once a year. WCW never made a stop. WCW always played the Cow Palace in San Francisco, I cant recall WWF doing that. Have any insight on this? Yup.  Back when the major promotions gave a shit about the individual promoters, each city would have a guy who set up the actual promotion from a local level, and basically they were either exclusively WCW or WWF (in exchange for whatever financial incentives, I’m sure) and god help anyone else who tried to break into that market.  There’s some pretty famous stories about WWF coming into NWA markets and triggering a giant war of words and threats to the arenas and such, and it was deadly serious stuff at the time.  Now, with WWE being the only game in town, things work totally different, given that they’re the only ones who can afford to run th

Let the Buyrate Beware

With the quarterly WWE earnings report came the buy totals for second quarter pay-per-views.  I think that everyone assumed that Capitol Punishment would be the dog-of-dogs, but in fact Over The Limit, headlined by a cage match with Cena, Miz, and Morrison, had only 140,000 buys (down from 197,000 in 2010), whereas the CP PPV with Cena vs R-Truth had 170,000 buys (compared to 143,000 last year, when the event was known as Fatal Four Way)  A 25% drop from the previous year was reversed into a 20% gain this year, and I don't think that all of that can be attributed to abandoning the Fatal Four Way concept. So it seems that the R-Truth experiment that pretty much everybody panned when his push started has been a success.  I don't see them taking the focus off of Punk/Cena(/HHH) any time soon, but do you think the guy deserves to remain in the main event mix going forward? Anyone new is always a good thing, but the whole “half-assed push for new guys” thing has become suc


A simple question for the Blog: With all this "Best in the World" stuff going around for he? Surely he's one of them, but in your opinion is he truly THE best in the world right now? Bryan might be a better wrestler, but not a better talker. Joe's a great wrestler AND talker, but he's lost his fire & is being misused at the moment. So who is the best right now? Chael Sonnen.  Best promo in UFC and he even managed to snowjob them into licensing him for another fight.  Vince would love the guy. Oh, you wanted a real answer…sorry.  I’d go with Davey Richards personally.  He’s probably too small to make it in WWE as is, but he’s got the elusive “it factor” that makes him look like a star, and the Edwards match was an easy ***** for me.  Unfortunately I think he’s risen to the level he’s realistically going to attain in the business, but stranger things have happened.  Like Bryan getting a job with WWE and a solid push. 

Stolen finishers

Your post about Tribute Moves got me thinking- what about when one wrestler steals another's finisher? Obviously, since Rock/Austin it's been done to death, but for my part at least I think sometimes it totally works, within the context of the story (off the top of my head, Jericho using Sweet Chin Music during his first feud with Michaels, with the whole feud being predicated on the idea that Jericho was the 'new' version of Michaels, was great, as was Michaels using the Razor's Edge constantly in the buildup to the ladder match just to piss Razor off, and Yokozuna beating Hogan with the leg drop as sort of an ultimate, final middle finger from Vince to Hogan...and obviously the most famous example is Montreal). What do you think, though? Overdone? Situationally valid? Any particular favorite incidents of it? First, I have a shitload of mailbag questions all of a sudden and I’m away from actual internet access, so I’m using my phone’s 3G connection best I can

Best Final Matches

Very long time reader...who cares? I'm curious if you can think of a better final match then Austin-Rock at WM 19 or Shawn-UT this year? Granted Austin, Shawn or UT may all come back at some point but does anything come close? Forgive me if UT came back, Punk has brought me back once again. UT is still not technically back, although Shawn-UT was last year anyway.  HHH v. UT was this year.  Anyway, Rock-Austin was pretty great, but only **** great.  And although it was Austin’s final match, Rock’s final one would have been the wacky Rock n Sock v. Evolution match at WM20, and that was even better.  The problem of course becomes that no one ever goes away unless they die, so “final” match is a tough one to nail down.  For instance, Terry Funk was looking to go out with a ***** match against Ric Flair back in 89, but then he came back a bunch of times.  Shawn went out with a hell of a match, though.