The SmarK Rant for Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis Wrestling – 07.06.19

The SmarK Rant for Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis Wrestling – 07.06.19

Man, I’ve had a day.  You know how sometimes your car dies in sub-zero temperatures and the auto club says it’ll be 45 minutes for a tow truck and then you’re left sitting there for FOUR HOURS waiting for it when you were supposed to be at work?  And then there’s literally no rental cars to be found in the entire city aside from one on the complete opposite side from where you dropped off the car?  Or is that just me?  That’s why there was no mailbag questions yesterday, by the way.

Time for some Memphis to get me back into the groove again.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis Wrestling – 07.06.19

Prime Time!

Hi Scott,

New episodes of Prime Time up on the Network from '89… Well, about a dozen. Gonna review them?

Wait until you hear the monstrosity they've used to replace Rick Rude's music with now – even worse than the non-Stripper music they've been using since the Hall of Fame!
I'm very saddened that they've basically abandoned the classic content drops on the Network.  Hopefully they put some more Superstars on there soon but I'm not holding my breath. 

Gunn club

Hello, Scott,

I’m reading about some AEW matches that have already happened or are about to air and I saw that Billy Gunn is teaming with his son Austin as the Gunn Club. How does that work? I can’t see WWE letting billy use the Gunn name, but apparently he even has shirts with it. I figured they’d argue it’s violating their copyright.

Did they not renew the billy Gunn copyright, or does Billy have some special deal that allows him to use the Gunn name in exchange for commenting on video complications or something?

Just real li wondering how long wwe is gonna let it slide…

One incredibly smart thing that AEW did, which no one else has thought to do outside of the promoter who owns "Superstars of Wrestling", is actually check for which trademarks that WWE failed to renew and then go through and get them all.  When they fired Billy Gunn a couple of years ago, they stopped using the trademark and thus AEW was able to get it for themselves, along with Bash at the Beach and "The Match Beyond" and a bunch of other ones.  Since you have to actively use trademarks to retain them and WWE likes to save money by letting them lapse and then buying them back later if needed.  So yeah, totally legal from that regard.  On the other hand, Gunn going "Suck it" and doing the crotch chops is pretty clearly a protected DX trademark, so that could get him in some legal hot water.  

Another Waitwaitwaitwaitwait Question

From your 1998 Rumble review:

"The Honky Tonk Man is #19 at 30:30"

"Vader is #30 at 50:00 and he tosses Honky at 50:30"

They booked Honky to go twenty minutes in the Rumble?!? I mean, I know
the roster was thin, but FUCK. Who made that call?

I've seen that Rumble a handful of times and I don't remember that
booking at all…


Yeah I didn't really remember Honky that year either but he was definitely in there for 20 minutes.  Not doing much of anything, mind you, but they were really hard up for bodies to fill that thing.

Gimmick Failures and Restarts

In the ’98 Rumble Rant, you mentioned the transformation of
Goldust to “The Artist Formerly Known As” and them eventually walking back and going
to the standard Goldust look and gimmick a few months after they killed it off.
Other than Chavo Jr. in 2005 (for reasons that were done probably for 1 very significant
reason), any other notable gimmicks where a wrestler did a drastic change that
bombed, forcing the company to abandon ship and go back to what worked before?

I think the most drastic with the biggest consequences for the company was repackaging Steve Austin as the paranoid heel in 2001 for the Invasion, which got walked back completely by Survivor Series into beer-drinking Austin again.  By which point it was too late to save the character as a top draw.  

Wrestler that plays heel/face equally well?


What wrestler, either past or present, do you think plays a face and heel equally well?  I don't know about all time, but currently I think I'd give the nod to Randy Orton here.    

Randy Orton is a spectacular babyface and a blah heel.  Ric Flair was always the good standard for both, mostly because he had to be whatever the situation called for as NWA champion for years and years.  

Daily News Update – January 21, 2020

Well thankfully Monday is over.

DATELINE:  Chris Jericho announces another cruise in 2021.  Let’s face it, he’ll probably still be LE CHAMPION when it rolls around.

DATELINE:  Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy are the new RAW tag team champions after last night.  I don’t even remember who the champions before them were.  Apparently Royal Rumble is this weekend as well.  Hell of a buildup this year.

And here’s James Ellsworth challenging Nick Aldis for the NWA World title last year.  No, really.

Rock Star Gary reflects on WCCW 07-28-1984

Taped from Dallas, TX

Airdate: July 28, 1984 (taped 07/20)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Bill Mercer

Can Kerry get the better of Hernandez to earn a title shot? Will Parsons get revenge for “Wild” Bill Irwin’s evil whipping? And who will join me for this out-of-this-world episode?

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on WCCW 07-28-1984

Monday Night Raw – January 20, 2020

Monday Night Raw
Date: January 20, 2020
Location: Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kansas
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler

There’s no football to contend with tonight and it’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble, meaning it’s time to take the exit for the Road to Wrestlemania. The big story coming out of last week was Buddy Murphy joining forces with Seth Rollins and the AOP, meaning it’s fallout time. Other than that, we have a ladder match for the US Title with Andrade defending against Rey Mysterio. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – January 20, 2020

Monday Night Open Mic

“‘Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.’.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(That’s actually a quote on a picture I kept in my son’s room from the day he was born. When he went away to college, he took that picture with him. It was a proud mom moment.)

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

Tonight actually marks the go home show for the Royal Rumble. For real? Damn I have been so lost with WWE main shows. Between NXT and trying to like AEW (not there yet, trying hard though), no time for this RAW/Smackdown silliness.

But I heard last week’s RAW was decent so maybe I’ll give tonight a whirl. We’ve got Andrade vs. Rey Rey in a ladder match for the U.S. title. Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre. Probably more Seth Rollins than we’ll want. Is Brock supposed to be on TV tonight? Who knows. Maybe they will build the women’s Rumble a little bit. Probably not though.

The Rock put out about an 8 minute video statement following the death of his father. He says early that his father died quick and he didn’t get a chance to say good bye.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

My family and I thank you 🙏🏾♥️ Go hug your loved ones hard, while you still can. I love you. DJ #ripsoulman

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

 

Keep it clean!

What the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – December 16, 1995

Note:  Sorry about missing Friday’s column.  I was down with the flu near the end of last week and am on the mend.  I will be posting information about the Doomie’s at the end of this week.

WCW Prime on December 11 featured a new bout, with Chris Cruise and Dusty Rhodes calling the action.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – December 16, 1995

Impact Wrestling – January 14, 2020

Impact Wrestling
Date: January 14, 2020
Location: Bomb Factory, Dallas, Texas/2300 Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis
Hosts: Josh Matthews, Don Callis

We’re done with Hard To Kill and that means we’ll be moving forward towards Rebellion in April. That’s a long way off though and now it’s time to talk about Tessa Blanchard as the new World Champion. It’s a big deal and something Impact can brag about, which I’m sure they will. Let’s get to it.

Read moreImpact Wrestling – January 14, 2020

Joshi Spotlight: AJW Beat Power Oh-Mi-Yah!

AJW BEAT POWER OH-MI-YAH!
(27/06/92; Omiya Skate Center)

-Time for another full AJW show- this one 2:30:00, and hailing from the… Omiya Skate Center? That’s apparently in Saitama, Japan. The arena is dark and the sound blows on this tape, too. We’re right in the middle of the AJW Grand Prix (with a few matches tonight), Las Cachorras Orientales has formed, and Toshiyo Yamada just defeated her partner & friend, Manami Toyota, in a big part of their long rivalry. And part of what makes that interesting is tonight… they defend their WWWA Tag Titles against two of AJW’s top wrestlers- Akira Hokuto & Kyoko Inoue! THAT’S gotta be awkward. Meanwhile, it’s another shot in the Aja/Bull feud (they’re in a 6-Woman Tag), Mariko Yoshida defending the “Rookie Belt”, and tag partners Sakie & Debbie fighting on the lower card! Actually, it’s a lot of interesting match-ups tonight.

LOL and the video’s opening straight-up gives away the finish of the Main Event. This is like those anime episodes where it’s like Dragon Ball Z: Cell Kills Android 18 And Takes His Final Form, And Also Yaumcha Dies! This country doesn’t appear to have much of a thing about spoilers.

Read moreJoshi Spotlight: AJW Beat Power Oh-Mi-Yah!

Daily News Update – January 20, 2020

Hey, the only NFL team I give a crap about, the 49ers, have managed to make it back to the Super Bowl again!  Movin’ the chains!

DATELINE:  If you didn’t see it, Conor McGregor knocked Cowboy Cerrone into the middle of next week in just 40 seconds on Saturday night and it was pretty awesome.  Apparently Conor can still fight after all the millions.

DATELINE:  The Impact Women’s title changed hands at their tapings in Mexico this weekend.  Sorry, that might have been a spoiler for Tommy, who is the last person still watching the show in North America.

And finally, AEW added a supplementary episode of Dark to YouTube on Saturday, featuring the Gunn Club against Shawn Spears and the Librarian.  Not to be confused with the match from the week BEFORE that was cut out of Dark, which did not feature the Librarian but did feature the Gunn Club and Shawn Spears.

The SmarK Rant for WWF Royal Rumble 98 – 01.18.98

The SmarK Rant for WWF Royal Rumble 98 – 01.18.98

Live from San Jose, CA, drawing an 18,000 sellout and a pretty “meh” 350,000 buys, although that was certainly trending upwards from the year before.

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler, along with special guest MIKE TYSON in the skyboxes, taking a break from solving mysteries with his adopted daughter and pidgeon friend.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWF Royal Rumble 98 – 01.18.98

Sunday Night Reset, January 19, 2020

Kansas City is in the Superb Owl.  Either Green Bay or San Francisco will join them.

I was at Prime Time Pro yesterday.  O’Shay Edwards successfully defended the big gold against Breaux Keller in a steel cage; EFFY won a 10-person tournament to be crowned the first ever “51st State” (think: secondary) champion; and Jordan Blade and Eel O’Neal won a four-way “Capitol Heights” (think: Ultimate X) match to become the first ever Tag Team champions.  As always, everybody on this show is awesome and I want to thank the promoter “Coach Gator” for letting me be a part of the crew.

Enjoy the night.

Warrior

Based on your Rumble 91 rant, how do you book the title match?  Warrior seems to be over.  Savage hit him with the scepter and get disqualified then they double team him?  Hogan saves?  

Warrior faces Savage in title vs career while Hogan faces Slaughter.  Then maybe have UT cost warrior the title over the summer and have Hogan win at summer slam?

Yeah, they 100% should have put the brakes on the Slaughter angle at the Rumble given how fast the "war" ended. Just as you noted, Warrior wins by DQ, Hogan saves.  Maybe Slaughter does something deplorable to Warrior, like blinds him with a fireball, and Hogan decides to avenge Warrior FOR AMERICA?  I dunno, but Hogan did not need the belt after Wrestlemania given the direction was a tag team match at Summerslam anyway. 

Revival

Hey Scott, so the revival lose last night, which is no surprise, but, the revival talk about the WWE caring about them as much as the rest of the tag division? One, do you think the Revival is staying? Two, is a tag reboot in the works?

It's been a pretty poorly-kept secret that the Revival are going to AEW as soon as their contract is up after Wrestlemania, which is why they're getting buried week after week.  And no, Vince never has and never will give a crap about rebuilding the tag team division as long as he can keep going back to the New Day and the Drunk Drivers over and over.  

Raw Dec 7,1998

Hey Scott.


Wondered if you could shed light on something that is bugging me.


I'm watching the Dec 7, 1998 edition of Raw on the Network and Michael Cole is alongside Jerry Lawler on commentary. During the first match, Cole sends condolences to Jim Ross and his family after the passing of JR's mother.


Yet on certain camera angles, it is clearly JR (complete with cowboy hat) sat at the commentary desk alongside "The King".


This episode is supposedly 1 night after Capital Carnage in London, so i'm guessing this Raw was recorded before the UK trip, but why redo commentary when JR can clearly be seen at ringside? After all, it wasn't a secret that Raw wasn't live every week.

Oh, it certainly was still a "secret", in that Vince (to this day in fact!) desperately believes that you have to promote the illusion of live TV or else people won't tune in.  But yeah, the show was recorded on the Tuesday previous, I believe, and so they overdubbed Cole after the fact.  You can see similar stuff on the 95 shows all the time, where they'll overdub commentary on the three taped shows but a lot of times the camera will cut to Vince and Lawler at ringside and you can literally see them just sitting there watching the monitor and not saying anything.  It's one of the dangers of taping TV with the announce desk at ringside instead of off near the back.  

2 Person Announce Teams

Do you think USA followed in Fox's footsteps of requesting going back to a 2 person announce team for Raw like on Smackdown, or do you believe Vince finally came to the realization how much 3 person announce teams, or at least the WWE's 3 person announce teams, suck?
Vince isn't big on realizing things.  I think they just did it for symmetry with the FOX show.