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Raw Format Question


Reading the 94 / 95 rants, one thing becomes obvious, and that's that Raw used to be structured like SNME, with the main event going on first more often than not (Diesel / JJ being an exception this past recap).

Two questions:

1. When did they switch to the main-event-last format?  I seem to recall it happening more in the Nitro era, as the Owenzugiri angle closed an episode.

2. Was the reasoning much like SNME, in that people would turn off the show the later they went so they needed to get all their stuff in ASAP?

1. The Russo era in late 96 was when I really recall it becoming a thing, because that's when the new format of the 20 minute interview to open the show became in vogue, which would then set up a main event that the show built towards.  Say what you will about Russo, but he tended to put together shows that were more in the traditional format of wrestling booking with minor things to open, leading to bigger things at the end.  

2.  Yeah, following from #1, the previous format was the same one set out by the SNME formula, where it seems like Vince got heavily influenced by the TV side of things and front-loaded the shows.  Especially once Nitro started cutting into the ratings, it became really important to hook viewers and get them to stay for the duration of the show, and that is one aspect where I don't think Russo gets the credit he might actually deserve.  The Wars really did change the format of wrestling completely.   

Comments

  1. I also loved how smart Russo.was to have shows end with cliffhangers and hook.you to find out what happens next week. He was really good at that (and not the current happy endings with baby face posing with music or heel sneering back at the ring as it fades to black).

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  2. The problem with that format nowadays is that the public at large is too impatient to wait a week for a payoff they kinda already know is gonna happen.

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  3. Favorite recent Raw closing: Seattle Raw with the chaos of everyone hitting everyone and the crowd shitting all over HHH and Orton. Also the ending camera shot with Cena standing by HHH/Steph....oh would could ever be.

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  4. Good cliffhangers that are presented well would avoid that

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  5. THE ROCK (with King Ken Shamrock & Big Boss Man) v. X-PAC (with New Age Outlaws) for the World Wrestling Federation Championship - before things get started, COMISSIONER SHAWN MICHAELS is out - he sends Boss Man and Shamrock out of the ring. Then he sends the Outlaws out of the ring. He wants a one-on-one match. Well, that's a pleasant surprise. Referee is as previously mentioned, the illustrious and infamous Earl Hebner. Lockup, to the corner - clean break? No, Rock lunges for him but X-Pac is outta there. Shawn mugs for the camera - he's sitting at ringside. It's been a whole minute and I haven't missed a move - lockup, to a side headlock for the Rock, X-Pac powers out but there's a shoulderblock, back and forth we go, duck, flying clothesline by X-Pac. Rock gets up slowly as the "Rocky sucks" chant flares up. Lockup - no, gut kick by the Rock, now he's punching away with right hands. X-Pac goes down. Whip off the ropes, duck, chop by X-Pac (woooo!), repeat (woooo!), whip off the ropes, Rock ducks, then hits a swinging neckbreaker. Lariat by the Rock takes X-Pac out of the ring. He follows outside but meets some chops (woooo!), then he picks up X-Pac and crotches him onto the ringpost. Glover provides a Double Feature. Rock places X-Pac on the apron, measures his elbow and delivers. Rock back in. Right hand and X-Pac goes down hard again. The Rock won't let him get back up, stomping him down repeatedly. Whip off the ropes, lariat. 1, 2, kickout. Rock kicks him in the back. Snaprmare by the Rock, pounding, to the rear chinlock. Crowd is pretty much taking a powder. The hour is over, so we probably have about five minutes left. X-Pac fighting out, elbow pair, off the ropes, X-Pac ducks a clothesline but eats a back elbow on his way back. Ross is talking about Austin all this time - I wonder who the #1 man is in this Fed? Rock is back to the chinlock. Cascading boos can only mean VINCENT K. & SKIPPY are at the top of the ramp to watch what's going on. X-Pac is still trying to get out of this hold - on his knee, back up, elbowing out. Chopping away (woooo!). Whip, reverse, reverse, spinning heel kick! Ross: "Cover him Sean!" You know, I hate to say this, but I don't think Jim Ross is exactly being impartial calling this match. X-Pac ducks a clothesline and punches away, whip, duck, spinning heel kick, 1, 2, no! Rock gets to the corner and sits there - must be time for the Bronco Buster. Rock blocks a kick, catches him and there's a Samoan Drop by the Rock for 2. Rock argues the count and almost decks Hebner. X-Pac hits his facebuster but he's too tired to make the cover. Ross: "That'll be it! Cover him! Cover him! COVER HIM! BEAT HIM! BEAT McMAHON'S CHAMPION RIGHT NOW! BEAT HIM! COUNT HIM DOWN! ONE! TWO! OW DAMMIT!" Ross has entered the Tone Zone. X-Pac whips him into a corner, but when charging after him the Rock catches him in a powerslam. 1, 2, no! Rock's had it, he's out and he's got a chair when he comes back in. Michaels enters the ring and takes the chair away. Michaels points to the McMahons - Hebner turns to look at them - and Michaels FLATTENS X-Pac with the chair. One more Glover Double Feature as Rock tells Hebner to stop jawing at the McMahons and pay attention to the damn match. 'Cause here's a Corporate elbow (complete with crotch chops!) and here's a three count. (8:32) Michaels raises Rock's hand and the smiling McMahons descend the ramp to meet their champion, and their comissioner. The OUTLAWS are out but so are BOSS MAN & SHAMROCK. Boss Man chokes out Jesse James with the nighstick while Shamrock and Gunn tussle. The McMahons, the Rock, and Michaels are all crotch-chopping at the top of the ramp. The crowd is chanting "Austin," but tonight, for the purposes of THIS television show, there will be no Austin

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  6. Starting the show with the main event is about a dumb an idea as I could imagine. Not sure why that was ever a "thing".

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  7. Well it makes sense for SNME

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  8. Oh god their really gonna through with the Reigns at wrestlemania thing...god that's so awful. Hopefully they least stick it in the midcard so something decent can close the show.

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  9. What a good trade for the twovles. Wiggins might end up being awesome.

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  10. It really is hard to watch any episode he's on and I'm a huge Flair fan.

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  11. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighAugust 23, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Perfect. Only thing I didn't like was Batista over hearing HHH and flair before they went out to the ring for Batistas announcement of who he would challenge at mania

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  12. He had some really awesome matches with Vader and sting when he went back to wcw. He is kind of underrated.

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  13. Are you trying to tell me you didn't enjoy Raws ending with Mabel defeating Rikki Ataki in 2 minutes?

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  14. Excellent. I can't wait to see who kept the metric system down!

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  15. I thought backlund should have held the belt to the rumble at least... That 10 second pin just killed whatever credibility he had after an emotional win over Bret.

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  16. TJ: Someone posted HHH's theme song and lyrics. The put Dumb instead Dunn. I explained that it was Dunn and his job in WWE. Someone replied "It's Dumb, you dumb fucking n-word lover." Stay classy, Youtube.

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  17. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    "What, SEX? What's so unappealing about hearing your elderly
    father talk about sex? I had SEX."

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  18. I always love a good sex analogy montage.

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  19. Yes, would have liked that a lot more than Owen using the Sharpshooter. Always felt like that made Owen seen too much like a Bret knock-off.

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  20. Reigns isn't a finished product in the ring and he sucks on the mic, why would shoukd I be excited about seeing him get a good push again? I'd 1000x rather see Cena stay on top than see Reigns get his spot.

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  21. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/simpsons-ever-marathon-kickoff-marks-727130

    Sorry, Marv.

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  22. My parents always liked the Simpsons, but they drew the line at Beavis and Butthead. It was a wise decision, that show doesn't hold up very well at all.

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  23. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    "Sir! Uh, hello sir! Yes, you look like a man who needs help
    satisfying his wife. So..."

    *punch*

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  24. You know how you scroll through the daily news update on the Observer site, and at the very bottom there's match results and card listings for local Indy feds no one has heard of? That's TNA's future if and when Spike drops them.

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  25. Great trade for the Wolves considering they were losing Love after this year anyways. Now you have a potential franchise player in Wiggins, an interesting work-in-progress in Bennett and a legit good bench player/spot starter in Thad Young.

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  26. YankeesHoganTripleHFanAugust 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Forget the Simpsons Marathon, (no disrespect, much love to the Simpson's my 3rd favorite show of all time) I am doing a BROCK LESNER marathon....starting with the gore fest that was his cell match with The Undertaker.

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  27. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    "Who cares? With no adults around, I run this city!"

    *awkward pause*

    "Uh...carry on!"

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  28. Getting a guy like David Hart Smith sometime over the next 26 months would be HUGE for TNA. They could really build around a talent like that. The crowds would instantly be behind him and the guy can GO in ring. Probably the only talent I can see out there who could go in and make an immediate big time impact.

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  29. HowmuchdoesthisguyweighAugust 23, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    That was awesome.... Great segment. Also Bryan closing the show beating the shit out of Wyatt in the cage was huge

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  30. The Throw in the Towel match was the worst stipulation. It never ends in the intended fashion; pretty much guarantees the original towel holder is going to lose it and a third party is going to end the match.

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  31. Couldn't have said it better myself.

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  32. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Reverse vampires!

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  33. What a stupid, typically deluded smarky comment. Creative is very clearly paying attention to Dean and have treated him very well. He isn't over "despite their wishes", he's over because of how well they've handled him, and how well he's done in his role. It's always funny seeing this IWC mentality where Creative gets no credit for the successes of the smark darlings, and all the blame for any failures.

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  34. Watching NXT. I dig this tag team act at the beginning. Though they're basically New Age Outlaws 2k14, their gimmick is fun.

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  35. YankeesHoganTripleHFanAugust 23, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    That's nothing...I have had my father admit that he took the occasional BJ on the side, while married to my mom. They are still happily married by the way.

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  36. YankeesHoganTripleHFanAugust 23, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Fuck the fucking metric system...(but we all know who Riggs every Oscar Night)

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  37. YankeesHoganTripleHFanAugust 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    I hear Roddy still gets comments in the airport about that one

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  38. Yeah I never liked Owen's sharpshooter either as in the kayfabe sense always seemed less powerful than Bret's version as Owen rarely got a submission win with it.

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  39. In kayfabe-oriented territory days, it made sense. Maximize TV time for the main event, fill out the rest with standby matches.

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  40. YankeesHoganTripleHFanAugust 23, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    It's gotten worse.

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  41. I liked how the endings were a lot more sudden, like guys erupting into a brawl and then everything fades to black.

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  42. TNA has been miraculously fortunate to be on Spike all these years. There is no other cable network of comparable level that has shown the slightest interest in non-WWE wrestling (and as the recent WWE renewal on USA showed, few networks even interested in the WWE). Going from the verge-of-bankruptcy PPV-only business model, to the little-watched sports net slot, to nationwide weeknight primetime was like a gift from God... and it never made them successful. The debate over when they'll go out of business has long passed, it's when do people stop caring about them anymore...

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  43. I don't hate Vince Russo. At least Raw was interesting when he booked it, unlike the 3 hour snorefests we have today. Yes we also got "I choppy choppy your pee pee hahaha" but at least it wasn't boring.

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  44. YankeesHoganTripleHFanAugust 23, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    From Lisa on Ice..."Hack the bone...HACK THE BONE!!!"
    That's when I finally had respect for Lisa Simpson

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  45. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    "No offense, Homer, but your half-assed underparenting was a lot
    more fun than your half-assed overparenting."

    "But I'm using my whole ass."

    Dan's delivery of that line will never not make me laugh. Never.

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  46. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    "I know...this lesbian bar doesn't have a fire exit!"

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  47. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryAugust 23, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    "This lesbian bar doesn't have a fire exit!"

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  48. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    Clearly we're twin brothers by different mothers.

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  49. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryAugust 23, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    YOU FLYBOYS CRACK ME UP

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  50. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    If word gets out about this, Krazy Klown Airlines will be a laughingstock.

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  51. Question. When did you think the Simpsons would have ended.


    I thought it would have ended around season 11-13. Lower ratings plus high salaries would have killed it. Obviously it didn't.

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  52. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    "C'mom, they're going to pamper us!"

    *Gasp*

    "Not literally, of course."

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  53. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Marge's freakout is hilarious and scarily real at the same time.

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  54. WM11 might be the most poorly booked WM of all time. Almost none of the matches make any sense ... fueds were discarded (Luger/Tatanka) or extended beyond believability (Bret/Backlund), or made no sense (why are the Harris twins getting a payday?). There was stuff to be done.

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  55. YankeesHoganTripleHFanAugust 23, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    I know...it was glorious. Now about to watch the suplex fest that was Angle and Lesner at 19. Including a shooting star press!...sorta

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  56. YankeesHoganTripleHFanAugust 23, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    LETMEOUTLETMEOUTLETMEOUTLETMEOUTLETMEOUTLETMEOUTLETMEOUT

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  57. hahah, that's totally the guy who Greg Valentine defeated, before injuring Superstar Billy Graham!!

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  58. He's Diesel 2K14 and... it's been a long time since the fans were into that. They needed to push him as a human wrecking machine the minute the Shield broke up. Doing 50/50 booking with him, only having him come out decisively on top in PPV matches, that was a mistake. He should have steamrolled over Kane on RAW, beaten Orton easily a few PPV's ago, then destroyed Triple H at SummerSlam in under 5 minutes. Then just have him randomly show up through the crowd on RAW every so often to destroy a heel mid-promo. Those that escaped would then get booked against him at the next PPV. By year's end you have the announcers drawing parralels between the unstoppable force Reigns and the immovable object Lesnar. Reigns wins the Rumble, then you have 3 months to let Reigns speak more, show some personality, let him express what winning the championship would mean to him. That's another part missing right now: The fans don't see him as a person, just as a cool looking guy they liked to see get the hot tag in Shield matches. If you don't push him to the moon with squash matches then you gotta put a lot more work in seeing him as an interesting, real guy. Get the fans to connect to him, or they will surely turn on him in the arenas like the BoD has already done so.

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  59. Only in a casino

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  60. Russo with an editor is great. Give him that and us a show with actual matches and it's the best of all worlds.

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  61. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    If Scully couldn't kill it, nothing can.

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  62. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Lowenstein...

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  63. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryAugust 23, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Every time there's murmuring during previews at the movies, I always want to pull a Gracie Films Lady on everyone.

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  64. I like crazy Bob, but maybe Savage in that roll works better and stays around longer.In this scenario though Diesel never gets the belt and Savage holds it until he gets his dream match with HBK at mania 12.

    I just want a world where Bret/HBK doesn't exist as the main event of that show.

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  65. The easy fix would be putting him in squashes on TV and longer matches on house shows.

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  66. Not as much. They still have Kyrie.

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  67. I have never remembered the helicopter traffic reporter guy all of these years. And I definitely don't even remember him before the marathon.

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  68. I love Cornette's old school stories. He needs to do more podcasts with Austin.

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  69. YOU BETTER RUN EGG!

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  70. Why would you bother engaging with people in a youtube comment thread?

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  71. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    I'm a chicken, Marge!

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  72. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Why don't those stupid idiots let me in their crappy club for jerks?

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  73. I'm glad that editor was able to filter out the ideas like Vince McMahon being the Higher Power, Young giving birth to a hand, Al Snow losing to Head, Big Bossman feeding Al Snow his dog, Kennel From Hell, Big Bossman stealing Big Show dad's casket, etc.

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  74. Huh? Mae Young was in 2000.

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  75. Amen. Just the sight of Diesel after that annoyed the shit out of me.

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  76. It's safe to say Patrick Stewart became famous because of this episode.

    *nods*

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  77. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    THE PADDLING OF THE SWOLLEN ASS...WITH PADDLES.

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  78. Magoonie NOT Teddy BelmontAugust 23, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    The paddling of the swollen ass....with paddles!

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  79. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Yes.

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  80. Has anybody seen Draft Day? It looks terrible.

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  81. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Kevin Costner gets no more of my money.

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  82. Stranger in the AlpsAugust 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    It's supposed to be OK from what I've read. Average sports movie.

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  83. Stranger in the AlpsAugust 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Don't bother calling 911 anymore. Here's the REAL number.

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  84. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    I wonder how many people actually tried to call "912"...

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  85. They had better reform the Shield if they want Reigns to have any heat.

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  86. Wait...Kif is a Stonecutter? WTF?

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  87. If WWE would've kept Del Rio, a month-long Reigns-ADR feud would've been a good thing for Reigns. In their one Smackdown match, Del Rio made him look like a star in a longer match.

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  88. Stranger in the AlpsAugust 23, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I forgot about the Stonecutter's anthem. Fucking hilarious.


    "Who makes Steve Guttenberg, A STAR?"

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  89. alright... someone tell me I'm not alone in singing along.

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  90. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Well, it does explain a lot.

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  91. that remains my favorite musical number from the Simpsons. As much as I love the Monorail song and See My Vest.

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  92. Virgil's Gimmick TableAugust 23, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Hey, that's nowhere near as bad as WCW 2000.

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  93. The Love-Matic Grampa!August 23, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Homer and the parchment...he just couldn't stop destroying it.

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  94. I always loved that gag. Stone of Shame/Triumph.

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  95. Extant1979 - Ghetto SuperstarAugust 23, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    This blog really seems to have a thing about the old kayfabe "put the main event on early" format lately.

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  96. Magoonie NOT Teddy BelmontAugust 23, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Remove the stone of shame....Attach the stone of triumph!

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  97. This guy gets it.

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  98. Magoonie NOT Teddy BelmontAugust 23, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    anybody else get the feeling there's some weird Eyes Wide Shut shit going on there?

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  99. Virgil's Gimmick TableAugust 23, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I really regret missing it. That tasteless Matt Hardy/Lita/Kane miscarriage angle was what ran me off.

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  100. Ha. I totally forgot Homer did "good" things to get the Stonecutters broken apart.


    It's all Lisa's fault!

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  101. Its high-level intellectual discussion comparable to a liberal arts class!

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  102. Big show feud with the casket was after he left

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  103. Night Boat! LOL

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  104. Yeah, cause looking back Raw never had large portions of dogshit with some blinding gold nuggets that confused people into thinking the Attitude Era was always great or anything!

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  105. Who knows how many holdover ideas Vince Russo left for the writers.

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  106. Everyone loved Hogan though, adults and kids.

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  107. None? Like the Test/Stephanie engagement/wedding had no finish planned cause Russ, so it dragged out most of the Fall.

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  108. Maybe it wasn't a thing back then, but it wouldn't shock me if people came up with long term ideas that got filed away for future use because they couldn't help beat WCW now. I know a lot of ex-creative guys talk about gimmick ideas that were held up for 6 months until they found a proper guy in developmental for it, for example.



    Perhaps Russo had a minor footprint in certain storylines in 2000 WWF. Or a couple low-level writers still on the staff that like dsome of his ideas and pitched a few that somehow got through.

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  109. Big Show's casket angle screams Russo. Nonetheless, he created a ton of shitty angles in the Attitude Era.

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  110. People didn't want steamboat v flair. They want Brutus v hogan and Duggan as US champ.

    No wonder the wcw fan base turned on him.

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  111. Yup, it was DIFFERENT, and as painful as Outlaws v. Funk/Foley dumpster nonsense was to sit through at the time, it was memorable at least. They can't all be home runs, but it seems like the current product is only ever bunting now.

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  112. It's an even odder thing to mean.

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  113. Sure and then lose most of your audience after the first match. Bleh.

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  114. Have Seth Rollins try to cash in MitB on Lesnar, Lesnar murders him, Reigns saves Rollins, Ambrose warns of betrayal as the Shield reunites, Reigns beats Lesnar, Rollins turns on Reigns, Reigns & Ambrose had expected that all along, Reigns feuds against Rollins.

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  115. I haven't bought anything from RF Video in a while, but was wondering...do they make any of their shoot interviews available in just an audio format? I would enjoy listening to them like I do with podcasts when I'm mowing the grass or whatever...but sitting down to watch one is really out of the question anymore.

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  116. Is there any evidence that actually happened?

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  117. See, and that's like the Ascension in NXT, where they needed more experience in long matches to ready them for the main roster, but the gimmick is locked into doing short squashes and as a result they've been spinning their wheels for years now down there with no improvement.

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  118. The whole booking never made sense. Within days of turning on Shawn, Diesel became fan favorite and then champion after 8 seconds? It killed off the Backlund character that they grew for 4 months and it made Diesel the torch bearer of the WWF when he wasn't ready. A buildup for a match at royal Rumble against Backlund made more sense. If they were booking now the way they booked then, Roman Reigns would already be champion

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  119. I pretty much expect to see them move up to the main roster, and in their first match against Rybaxel on Superstars we see they're 4 inches shorter than everyone else and they get squashed, never to be seen again...

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  120. ... though that said, he needs to learn how to play to the crowd, as well as react to it, and TV crowds and house show crowds can be very different... so there's probably no getting around to needing some longer matches on TV.

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  121. If BeardMoney is Matt Hardy, I would believe it. Matt Hardy strongly dislikes mustard.

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  122. He isn't running out of heat.

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  123. I actually thought that angle was mostly gold, even if it was a pretty flagrant ripoff of the NWO backstage attack. It just needed to lose Sunny's horrible acting and the run-in at the end of the show.

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  124. Well tough luck, pal. You're not getting that world.

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  125. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryAugust 23, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Smart of them to move Love quickly and get a good deal out of him, much more proactive than Cleveland in 2010 blindly wishing that LBJ would stay and letting him walk for zip in return.

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  126. I want a new top star, just not Roman. I mean, he's okay but just not good enough.


    Dean Ambrose is more over, a better worker, a much better promo guy and would make a better top star in WWE than Reigns.



    I think it'll end up being like Luger/Bret where the fans ended up choosing Bret over WWE's chosen successor to Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger.

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  127. Renee's okay, but AJ Lee and Paige are more of my type.

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  128. Woah, we got a badass over here!

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  129. I'm wondering if the TNA move to Wednesday is a test of sorts for Spike for TNA.


    We all know that the constant 1.0-1.2 rating is "good enough" for Spike, but they likely fear the longevity of TNA.


    I wonder if they set up this move to see if the TNA faithful moves with them. So, they move to Wednesday, if the rating stays the same or increases, good on them (and they get a new contract). If the rating stays down, they're gone.


    (And nobody in their right mind would rate how a show is doing based on their first time moved to a new night. In a few weeks, maybe. But the first night is idiotic, which is likely why the extension is going through December)

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  130. That's really fucking obnoxious

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  131. Well, the combination of Scott Sez reviews up Saturday Night Main Events AND his doing old '94 & '95 RAWs pretty much makes that inevitable, since both shows follow that format.

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  132. I'd rather be a fake badass than some weirdo that "wants a world" where a wrestling match from 18 years ago doesn't exist.

    ReplyDelete
  133. at least the dog shit wasn't boring. Nothing is worse than boring and that is what Raw is now.

    ReplyDelete

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