The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School–Houston 10.19.86

The SmarK Rant for WWF Old School – Houston 10.19.86

(Originally written 04.25.18)

Taped from Houston, TX, drawing a paltry 1700 people to the Summit. YIKES. No wonder the arena is darker than a DC Universe movie.

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Ken Resnick

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School–Houston 10.19.86

The 80s, etc.

;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-color:initial”>Asking for a friend who might want to watch on the Network.

Sure, “a friend”.  Gotcha.  ​

Shelton Benjamin

Is Shelton Benjamin the most talented wrestler with the worst finisher? Because paydirt is the absolute dirt worst. 

​Yeah, the problem is that he’s from the weird time in the mid-2000s when all the midcard guys were using the same neckbreaker variations and you had a million guys “rolling the dice” or using Orton’s Overdrive.  The Zig Zag is another remnant from there.  Big flashy moves that don’t actually look like they do any logical damage.  Although until he got the curb stomp back, I’d have put Seth Rollins at the top of the list with Generic Knee Strike as his “finish”.  ​

Heel the World

There’s been many cases where a well done heel turn took a struggling face and put him/her in the right direction for success. In the past, we had the famous case of “Die Rocky Die” Rocky Maivia being turned legendary with his heel turn. In recent events, we’ve had the (surprising) success of Sami Zayn’s character being a perfect fit as a heel. Then there’s cases like Roderick Strong or Shinsuke Nakamura , where turns fixed so many issues perfectly that it’s surprising it took so long to figure it out. And then we have cases like Roman Reigns or Sasha Banks, where its begging for the heel turn we’ll probably never get.

Have there been any famous cases where the story/crowds dictated a needed heel turn for a wrestler, they did said turn, but it ended up not improving things for the wrestler or making things worse?

None have come to mind for me…

​Dolph Ziggler is one I’d say off the top of my head.  They kinda sorta turned Bayley recently and people were still like “Meh” as well.  I wouldn’t call either case “famous” though.  There was a point where I would have said the Usos, early into their reinvention, but then they managed to get the thug stuff over in a big way and pretty much they’re better than ever now. ​

NXT – April 25, 2018

Date: April 25, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson

After a few weeks of insanity on the main roster, it’s rather nice to see how things are going down in NXT. This week we have the first defense of the North American Title as Adam Cole defends against Oney Lorcan, but there’s a slightly bigger title match. Tonight we have Aleister Black making his first defense of the NXT Title against Johnny Gargano. The shenanigans should be high with this one. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – April 25, 2018

Just Get it Over With

Wouldn’t an elevation of NXT be the easiest, most non-embarrassing way to get rid of 205 Live? By that I mean Regal announcing that the next stage of global growth for NXT is bringing on board all of the international talent from 205 Live in a merge of the two brands.

It’s been long-rumored a new tournament is going to be a Latin American one. You know they are going to create yet another championship. So there ya go, take the cruiserweight title and rename it the Latin American Championship.

NXT then has World, North American, UK, and Latin American titles.

​I’m still not really OK with adding the North American title as it is.  Takeovers were fine with heavyweight, women’s and tag team titles and then a couple of underneath matches.  Adding more belts means LONGER SHOWS and they’re perfect the way they are.  Like really, what’s the point of the UK title, which is never defended in the UK?  Just kill 205 Live and be done with it, it’s failed, HHH hasn’t saved it, it’s just time to admit defeat and pull the plug.  ​

All the action for just 99 Cents!

I just got a “We Want You Back” email for the WWE Network. 3 months for just a total of 99 cents. No joke. I almost thought it was a scam but it’s an official email.

They’re REALLY desperate to keep that 2 million subscriber count for the next quarter, aren’t they?

I’m, of course, going to do it. But the sad part is Takeover Chicago is the only thing that tempted me.

​The sad thing is that they didn’t actually announced how many PAYING subs they had out of those 2 million.  Given all the free months and 99 cent deals they offered at Wrestlemania, no one really has any idea what the Network’s financial situation is, exactly, at this point.  Clearly it’s better because they finally greenlighted more new stuff that costs actual money to produce, like E&C Season 2 and the stupid animated shows.  But really it’s just about manipulating the numbers to raise the stock prices.  And hey, if they can keep fooling Wall Street, good on them.  
Although I feel like I’ve spent so much of the past four years now pimping the Network every day that they pretty much owe me a couple of years for free, but I get my money’s worth literally every day, so I might be the exception.  Your mileage may vary.  ​


Hi Scott,

  With the question on the blog about who had the better match with A.J. between Shane & Nak, what has been your opinion of his run so far?  Do you think Nak can turn it around or is WWE just not the right fit for him.  He’s had chances to have
good matches with good wrestlers but has failed to deliver time and time again.  Thanks Scott and please keep up the good work.

I think that Nakamura was smart enough to get away from New Japan before he started phased down, and it’s really showing that, to be honest, everyone just gets older and slows down eventually.  We keep waiting and waiting for his big breakout match, and at a certain point we’re gonna have to face up to the fact that this is all there’s gonna be and judge it on that basis. 

Series Consideration Debut Episode!

Hi Scott,


I know yourself and a number of BoD’ers are comic readers. So I thought this might be a good spot to shamelessly self-promote my new YouTube series. Though fair warning, it’s my first crack at any kind of filmmaking or editing, so I apologize
in advance for the amateurishness of it. I’m hoping to improve along the way.


Series Consideration is a video essay series examining and discussing graphic novels and completed comic book runs. My debut episode breaks down Scott McCloud’s graphic novel, THE SCULPTOR. And at the end of the video, I’ve given viewers
the choice of three books to cover for the next episode. Right now, I’m aiming for about once a month. If this takes off and my editing skills improve, I might start doing one every two weeks.


Anyway, hopefully you and the BoD will enjoy it.


​Best of luck!  ​