The Thursday PRIME TIME Thread: May 13, 2021

“Good evening, wrestling fans, and welcome to Thursday Night.  We have a big weekend coming up, and Bobby and I will be ready to get you into it.”

“And you’d better believe we’ll be more coherent than a Cody Rhodes promo.”

“Are you really trying to anger one of the top companies here, Brain?”

“Why?  Are we on the payroll?”

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New WWE



Scott,


        You hit the nail on the head yesterday when you said, “from his perspective he makes billions now off TV rights so why does he even need a boom period?” At the end of the day the WWE's goal  is to make money and to do that their business model has changed.
Like it or not we are not the WWE's target audience anymore. I don't love it but I'm not going to resent them for it either.


The thing is that they make so much goddamn money and have so much content that they need to produce that there's no literally no excuse to NOT produce the kind of content that niche audiences like us want to see.  That's what is most frustrating about it.  Like really, they can't do their stupid fan surveys to find out what we want, and then turn Main Event or 205 Live into that?  Instead we have to have 14 carbon copies of whatever Vince's vision of RAW is every week, including another whole brand where they train people to be like everyone else on RAW and horde indie talent and make them work WWE style as well.  That's what is so irritating about the whole process.  

Another Wrestling Documentary

Hey Scott,


There's a new documentary on women's wrestling coming out May 20. It's called The Other Side of the Ring and stars Katarina (Katie Lea Burchill from back in the day), Shelly Martinez, Delilah Doom and Keta Rush from WOW. 


It's basically four shoot interviews weaved together, but if you're unfamiliar with any of the women, it's pretty interesting and is only about 80 minutes. The Wrestling Estate interviewed
Katarina about the film, WOW and her burgeoning film career. 


Hope your readers enjoy.


Thanks as always,


John Corrigan

You bet.  

QT Marshall and AEW Creative

Have you seen this interview that QT did about AEW Creative?  Apparently he formats the show.  However, he often doesn't know anything about what's going to happen other than wrestler a is going to do something with wrestler b.  And all of the booking is done by group texts where literally everybody is submitting ideas and then TK decides what they're doing when they get to the building.  Is it any wonder that dynamite is such a mess of schizophrenic gobbledygook? 

DEAD BY MEMORIAL DAY.

WWF Monday Night RAW – August 21st, 1995

 

August 21, 1995

From the Worcester Centrum in Worcester, MA

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler

Show starts off with a video from this past weekend’s “Superstars” where Kama destroyed one of the Creatures of the Night, leading to WWF Interim President Gorilla Monsoon making the Undertaker vs. Kama match at SummerSlam a casket match. We then hear from Undertaker and Tatanka to hype up their match for tonight.

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Monday Night Raw – December 11, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: December 11, 2006
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re getting close to the end of the year and that means it’s time for a new year. That would be New Year’s Revolution and we are starting to see the card coming together. In this case, that means we need to move forward towards John Cena defending the Raw World Title against Umaga and whatever else is added. Let’s get to it.

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Dynamite – May 12, 2021

Dynamite
Date: May 12, 2021
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone

We’re officially done with Blood & Guts, meaning that it is time to start up the fallout. At the same time, we have three shows left before Double Or Nothing and the card has barely been started so AEW might want to get around to that. Thankfully we are going to find out the #1 contender tonight, as Pac and Orange Cassidy face off for the right to challenge Kenny Omega. I’m sure it makes sense somehow. Let’s get to it.

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The Wednesday Night Dynamite Thread

Note to self:  Next time Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman is trending on Twitter, do NOT follow down that rabbit hole.

Hey, tonight it’s DYNAMITE, as Jon Moxley defends the US title against Yuji Nagata and the Young Bucks defend the tag team titles against SCU in a match where the old guys have to hang it up if they lose.

NXT didn’t do so well in the ratings thanks to NBA competition.

Don’t forget to pick up YOUR copy of the Inside the Ropes 2021 Wrestling Almanac, which will look very familiar to fans of Back to the Future Part 2 and aficionados of the PWI Almanac.  Only 10 England dollars!

https://insidetheropesmagazine.com/products/inside-the-ropes-wrestling-almanac-2020-21

 

What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – February 11, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon are doing commentary and they are broadcasting from Fort Myers, Florida.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, these tapings took place on January 23 and drew a sellout crowd of 5,000 fans.

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WWF WrestleFest ’88 (Savage vs. DiBiase & Hogan vs. Andre)

Arcade Longplay [244] WWF Wrestlefest - YouTube

No, not THIS WrestleFest. But damn, that game was awesome.

WWF WRESTLEFEST ’88:
(July 31, 1988, Milwaukee Coliseum)
* So while looking for more Dream Matches, I found this interesting card. It’s been covered on the Blog in the distant past, but it seems fun. This was one of those times Vince “My philosophy is help yourself; don’t hurt the other guy” McMahon deliberately booked a super-show specifically to hurt the other guy, as Great American Bash tour was kicking off in Milwaukee the next night, so Vince is like “HEY HAVE A STADIUM SHOW WITH ALL MY BIGGEST STARS!” putting the hot World Title program and Hogan/Andre in a goddamn Steel Cage in the Main Event slots. The obvious reason being to make the WWF look awesome and the NWA look like shit, and to make fans spend money and hype on this show instead of that one. And I guess it worked.

This show is kind of scattered around the ‘net, as they didn’t quite air the whole thing at once- the openers were taped for regular TV shows and the Title Match is on DailyMotion, so this is scattered between YouTube and DM. But it’s an interesting time for the company, as things are hot as hell 3+ years after the Hogan Era began and the Mega Powers era is in full swing. Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes, Sean Mooney & Superstar Billy Graham, which is an, um, odd assortment of B & C-Team announcers.

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Mike Reviews – Transatlantic Wrestling Challenge – Episode 1

Alright Squirrels!

Transatlantic Wrestling Challenge was something put together by NWA: Hammerlock back in 2000, with the idea being that it’s 8 wrestlers from Britain and 8 from America in a big tournament. I wasn’t actually able to watch it back in the day as it was shown on ITV 2 and this was prior to Freeview and whatnot, so if you were like my family didn’t have satellite or cable telly, then you were stuffed.

Someone has uploaded it to YouTube though, so I’ll review an episode of it this week and if ya’ll enjoy it then I might return to it at some point. There are only six episodes I think. If you want to watch along with me then you can do by clicking right HERE.

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Ice Train appearance on the Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast

Recently Ice Train joined The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast (www.ShiningWizards.com to discuss a variety of subjects. Below is a transcript of a few topics that were discussed. 

When using the below information please be sure to credit The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast (www.ShiningWizards.com
Also feel free to include this link for the episode:


On Scott Norton:  Let me tell you. I think – I was a little bit different back then.  I believe that I treated (Scott) Norton bad because, I didn’t respect his knowledge that he had, and at that time I didn’t want to be a tag team partner.  I just thought I was ready to be on my own.  But not understanding that concept of the business, me and Norton never even had an hour of conversation.  We were totally different characters.  Now, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve said to many people “I apologize.”  I could have really helped Fire & Ice.  We could have stayed together longer. I don’t think me and Norton understood how special we were, because I believe we had a lot of people giving different views in our ear.  When I look at it now, I’m like man they (Fire & Ice) were giving the Steiners big butt whoopings, and there’s no way that team should have broke up so early.  But at that time, I don’t think Norton wanted to tag with me, and I probably didn’t want to tag with him.  I don’t think he knew me as a person and I don’t think I knew him as a person.  I believe tag teams got to have an equal yoke and it has to be a real tag team.  When you grow together, it's different than when you’re put together.  There’s no reason why me and Scott Norton shouldn’t have went out there and beat the Steiners the first night on Nitro.  It shouldn’t have even been any problem. Fire & Ice is… you can quote it.  Fire & Ice is the strongest tag team ever in professional wrestling.  Both of us.  Two legit 600- pound bench pressers.  Two legit 800-pound squatters.  And we can go out there and throw clotheslines with the best of them.  And Scott Norton and Ice Train could have been great.  But at that time it just wasn’t meant to be.  It just wasn’t.


Wrestling JBL in Germany:  Otto (Wanz) was a big man, so he knew how to push me.  The night I won The Bremen Cup, it was me and JBL for the finals.  And I beat the hell out of JBL.  JBL was over there.  And when I tell you he was screaming like a baby, you can call him tomorrow.  Over in Europe, I could be myself.  It was basically, other than Finlay & Rambo, I was it.  So I could do what I wanted to do.  If I wanted to get out there and work stiff and solid, I could do it.  It was two Americans for the cup.  And I was the only black babyface to ever win that Bremen Cup.  And it was one of the most proud – and John, bless his heart, he took that beating, because, man I beat the breaks off of JBL.  I’ll tell you, it was rough for him that night.  So when I look at JBL on TV, when it was him and Ron Simmons in WWE, I was like “what?  JBL got the whole locker room terrified?  Not in Germany.”  I watched Finlay wrestle JBL over in Hanover and it looked like a baby against a grown person.  It was that good.


MI Smooth:  Eric Bischoff said “you can talk, so we’re going to let you talk.” I started doing vignettes with Ric Flair, and the chosen one, Jeff Jarrett, Shane Douglas.  I was doing all kinds of vignettes where I would be like “hey you could do anything you want to do.”  I was just a positive motivator.  And then when, I guess, somebody got upset with Eric, the next thing you know, I was in the ring wrestling wrestling.  I was supposed to not even wrestle for a whole year.  I was just supposed to be a crap starter in the back of the locker room.  Like, me in a match with Norman Smiley, which is hilarious.  I got to enjoy that match but, I’ll tell you man, WCW had a lot on their plate.  They had a lot of talent.  They had guys in the Power Plant who were awesome, just sitting up there resting.  And they just had a lot of guys on the payroll.  They had an A division, a B division, a C Division, and D division.  That’s what made WCW where they were.  M.I. Smooth was supposed to never be in the ring.  Just a limo driver getting people in trouble and Vince Russo was like man I need him on tv.  Vince Russo let me beat up Buff Bagwell one day in the locker room.  Next week I was in there with the Jung Dragons.  They could never stick with a plan too long.  

Recapturing the zeitgeist?


Hello again,

No worries, no “What if's” this time around. 🙂 I'll be current this time, promised.

What would it realistically take to trigger the next wrestling boom period? I mean, in terms of in-ring wrestling it could be argued that we're right in the middle of one, but in terms of mainstream appeal and acceptance and its presence in public consciousness, it curiously seems like wrestling has rarely been colder. General consensus seems to be that the previous two boom periods, Hulkamania and The Attitude Era, happened because wrestling managed to “tap into the zeitgeist” and incorporate current sensibilities into storylines and characters to create an exciting blend of wish-fulfillment and counter-culture rebelliousness, so to speak, in broad terms, that also appealed to the non-hardcore masses.

Assuming that there's truth to that (which I think), what would it take to “capture the zeitgeist” today? What even is the zeitgeist of the 2020s? And how could it be incorporated into wrestling in order to achieve mainstream appeal again? What kind of storyline or character could lead to a similar effect like Hulkamania or The Attitude Era? Assuming of course that such a thing would even be possible today, given the severely changed and fragmented TV/entertaiment landscape.

If a boom period were to occur, do you see it being centered around one specific wrestler/character, like with Hulk and Austin, and one storyline? 'cause I was trying to think about what a compelling, entertaining storyline incorporating current societal sensibilities could look like, but I'm drawing a blank honestly.

Or is a next boom period a pipe dream to begin with? The 80's had colorful, cartoony superhero wish-fullfilment, the late 90's had edgy, racy, sexy, violent “kick your arrogant boss' ass” wish-fullfilment. What kind of wish-fullfilment appeal could (or should) wrestling have in the 2020s, so that it could potentially “tap into the zeitgeist” again like it's done twice before so far?

Cheers (and thanks for posting my previous e-mail!) 🙂

P.S. Of course the entire premise of the question rests on the (perhaps naive) assumption that the previous successes were actively engineered instead of being stumbled into ass-backwards through sheer dumb luck. 🙂 But just in case it's the latter…how do you make lightning strike a third time? 🙂

The problem with lightning is that you never know when or where it’s going to hit.  That’s why it’s so hard to put it in a bottle.  And now Vince actively crafts the shows to avoid creating stars who are independent of his promotion so they won’t escape.  From his perspective, he makes billions now off TV rights, so why does he even need a “boom period”?  

RAW is bore


I know you don't watch RAW, so wanted to give you insight on a big problem with the show. It's not just the horrible, stale creative. The layout of the show is senseless. Take this segment, in the second hour on Monday: 

Sheamus does his full ring entrance for his U.S. Title match Carrillo. That's followed by:

Smackdown ad

Long commercial break

Lashley/McIntyre preview video

Lashley/MVP promo

Recap of Sheamus match last week

Sheamus stood in the ring through all that. He then delivers a promo.

11 minutes after Sheamus' came to the ring, Carrillo finally does his entrance.

Approximately 90 seconds into the match, we get another 4 minute commercial break

That's followed by an NXT ad.

Finally, they come back to the match.

Thankfully, I DVRd through all that garbage, but have to wonder how anyone could think this is good, cohesive, interesting TV?

Oh, 3 minutes later there's a huge botch that apparently injures Carrillo. That was an unfortunate mistake. Everything that led up to it was on purpose.

So you’re saying RAW is…NOT good?  Duly noted.  

Nightmare Matches


Forget dream matches, would Prime Warrior versus Prime Goldberg be just the worst?


Prime Warrior was a totally decent worker, so no.  Now Dino Bravo ending the streak with a side slam would be the WORST.