Daily News Update – April 6, 2020

Well yesterday’s show certainly woke up the blog.

DATELINE:  Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford are now engaged.  I’m assuming Joey Janela isn’t coming to the wedding.

DATELINE:  Florida’s shutdown goes into full effect this Thursday, so WWE will have to figure out something for Smackdown quickly.  Or maybe Trump could host the show at the White House while writing stimulus cheques to Vince.

For today’s match, here’s the Final Deletion, since that’s apparently the future of the business.

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 36 Part 2 – 04.05.20

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 36 Part 2 – 04.05.20

Taped from the Performance Center.  Maybe other places.

Your hosts are Tom Phillips & Byron Saxton

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 36 Part 2 – 04.05.20

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 36 Part 1 – 04.04.20

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 36 Part 1 – 04.04.20

Yes, it’s the show too big for one night, but not quite big enough for three nights.  Just somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.  Also, pirates and shit.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania 36 Part 1 – 04.04.20

Funhouse vs Boneyard

According to Bryan, the Boneyard was NXT crew vs WWE crew for Funhouse so I guess that explains a few things.  Boneyard worked because it was simple and played to the hilt.  Funhouse appeared to be some effort to show how Cena should have gone but it was meh.  I loved the Vince puppet and Obsession. 
There were pieces of it that were great, but they didn't add up to anything for me.  And again, as something hyping up a match, it would be fantastic.  But not as the match itself.

Edge/Orton misfire

Aside from it being too long, wouldn't the matvh have benefited from some Mick Foley-style gore? They already alluded to how he helped make both of them. I know they want to avoid blood, but with pre-tapes, editing& fake blood, some barbed wire, thumbtacks or flaming tables would've helped a lot. Or throw somebody through a window ala Marty Jannetty. Should've Hollywooded it up. 

Yeah or even brawling outside and finding somewhere with a more open space to move would have helped.  The PC is just SO cramped and claustrophobic that there was just no way to build any actual momentum!  Or create separation!  Not even being snarky about it, either.  

Funhouse was dogshit

I don't understand how people don't see the difference in the Boneyard match where two people fought each other and the Funhouse bullshit? Same idea possibly but completely different execution. I think people have their Bray Wyatt blinders on. If we had the same exact match but Cena pulled out an AA people would proclaim it to be the shit sandwich it was. Are people that desperate for a Bray Wyatt victory over Cena? Also I say this in all honesty as a huge Cena fan but if that is all you are able to give us please don't bother 

Honestly as a thing on Smackdown to build to a match, it would have been fine.  But not as the payoff at Wrestlemania.  

Finisher Spamming = Worst match style

Reading your smark rant got me thinking how tired I was of this match layout. It’s lost all cache it ever had.
Wrestler A quickly hits his finisher two-four times, Wrestler B continues kicking out, and each reverses another finisher attempt until one of them hits his finisher *again* two-three times and finally wins.
Is this just to cover up for the guys who can’t work? Here’s a mind-blowing suggestion then: stop featuring seniors and apathetic part-timers who can’t do anything else. 

Yeah last night was very clearly Brock giving the least shits ever while dropping the title.  They should have just done a DQ to get out of the match and postponed it until later.  Also, having both title changes hands in exactly the same way was ridiculous.  

Rock Star Gary reflects on WCCW 10-13-1984

Taped from Dallas, TX

Airdate: October 13, 1984 (taped 09/28)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Bill Mercer

What are Kevin’s thoughts about Adams’ heel turn? Can the Long Riders regain the American tag titles from Rock’n’Soul? What’s on Roberts’ mind these days? And who will join me for this principled episode?

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on WCCW 10-13-1984

What gives?

A little confused here, Scott. You loved the Boneyard match and gave it a million billion stars or whatever, but hated the Funhouse deal? 

I mean, as far as WWE storytelling goes, i found the funhouse pretty impressive. The old Scott Keith enjoyed psychology and storytelling in matches. What gives? Is it all about the moves and dives now?

It seems like most of the negative opinions online are from people who don't appreciate art. This was WWE's doing David Lynch, or The Leftover's on HBO (another show that was misunderstood by rubes). People call Kenny Omega an artist? Cena and Wyatt just changed the business.

The Boneyard match was an actual match.  The Funhouse match wasn’t.  


Hey Scott,

Just read your Mania rant. Was disappointed that you didn't seem to enjoy the Firefly Funhouse match, especially after you praised the Boneyard Match from the first night.

I mean, what were you expecting from the way this was promoted? Would you have preferred a boring, pedestrian house show match in an empty arena with those two? 

Cena can't be working a real match or taking bumps, he's a movie star now. And Bray's strengths were never in the ring. This Final Deletion type vignette stuff is the perfect vehicle for his character.

What we got was actually a brilliant deconstruction of John Cena's character/ego. Bray took him on a journey through his own career/life, and showed Cena that he had become everything he promised he wouldn't ("I would never leave for Hollywood, I'm WWE for life" was something he said often during the Rock feud a few years ago). If that was really it for Cena, he put The Fiend over in the biggest way possible on the way out. Wyatt ripped Cena's psyche apart and literally erased him from existence. What more could anybody possibly want?

Frankly, I think this cinematic approach is the future of wrestling. Between this and the Boneyard match, AEW and their video game wrestling immediately look like a sad relic from the past. Vince just showed us he's got plenty of gas left in the tank, and his little FU to AEW and Ambrose with the "this is such good shit!" line was icing on the cake. This is the big reinvention wrestling has needed for 20 something years. I, for one, couldn't be more excited for the new era. This is the most fun I've had watching wrestling in years.

  Welcome to the future, Scott.   

I would have liked a wrestling match at Wrestlemania.  

Wrestlemania XXXVI Night Two

Wrestlemania XXXVI Night Two
Date: April 5, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re back for more of the same and that might not be the worst thing in the world. Last night’s part one wasn’t half bad but they are going to have a hard time surpassing that main event. There are eight more matches, plus the required Kickoff Show match, tonight so hopefully they can have another good one. Let’s get to it.

Read moreWrestlemania XXXVI Night Two

Wrestlemania XXXVI Day Two Thread


Well day one of Wrestlemania seems to have went about as well as it could have so let’s see how day two fairs.

In an odd stroke of luck I suppose, the Skys absolutely opened up this morning around the Tampa Bay Area and it’s been raining all day. Would’ve been interesting to see how they pulled it off in the rain.

There will be a Post-Wrestlemania thread tonight around 10:15 EST because the night one thread got over 5,000 and Disqus seems to slow down after that, so you can discuss the card or whatever you want on the Post-WM thread.


Boneyard match

Here’s why I liked it:  it told a story.  The OC mocking the Undertaker as old and overhill.  It has a very Western vibe with the good guy just willing himself to win.  Then he could channel all the usual tricks.  Plus instead of announcing, the wrestlers told the story.  This will already be far remembered than anything at the past few Manias. 

I dunno, I feel like I need another 7 people to email me about it to really put it over the top.  

Sting/Undertaker in a boneyard style match

What do you think about a Sting/Undertaker match in the cinematic style of the Boneyard match?

A live, in-ring match would probably go bad due to their age, and Sting's neck injuries. But with the positive response the Boneyard match has been getting, this might be the best setting for these two. With
a taped match like this, they can stop whenever needed, and with edits they can make things look more dangerous than they are. Even have a stunt guy for Sting for any nasty bumps. Maybe give Jeff Farmer a call.

They could also go all the way with the magic, special effects stuff.

Literally three people emailed me this exact premise within one minute of each other just now.  And yeah, if Sting returns, this is what they should do with him, totes.  

Most forgettable wrestlemania

Hey Scott

Everyone talks about best or worst.

Which one would you say just is forgettable.  The one that means the least in the grand scheme of things.

What is your top 5 and why?

Honestly most of the modern stadium ones outside of Wrestlemania 30 and the one where Seth cashed in on Brock would fall into this category of completely meaningless and forgettable. 

WM intro video

So Scott, I have to ask; what did you think of the video?

I thought it was tremendous fun; self-aware, tongue-in-cheek, and absolutely OTT mega-bonkers in the way only wrasslin' can truly be.
Wrong show for it, though.  It needed to air before a stadium show. 

Cinema Mania matches!


Based on the feedback to last nights boneyard match, does this open the door to more cinema on location matches featuring older stars/dream matches and the rock so he can maybe bypass insurance issues?

Rock-Roman next year in a somoan circle of death fight on a beach (or black panther style on top of a waterfall!

Austin-Punk at the Broken Skull Ranch (can plug Rollins in here too if Vince isn’t over not wanting to use Punk)

Taker-Sting (finally!) boneyard match!

Rock-HHH boardroom brawl from WWE headquarters (plug Jericho in here when his AEW contract is up!)

Hogan/Braun monster truck rally match on a rooftop in Detroit ending with Hogan slamming Braun off the roof!

Best idea ever or BEST idea ever???

I'd say this is hitting a chord with fans. 

Boneyard observations.

If I may-

Just watched it. 

My observations

1.   Fantastic production from WWE. They really are pros

2. I don’t know why.  But the fact that AJ styles comes off as a hillbilly who drinks code red with a fat lipper in really helped it out

3. We love wrestling so much. But it feels like attempted murder way more when it’s not near a ring.

4. That being said.  The tombstone looks ridiculous outside of a wrestling format. 

5.  It would have been cool as shit if the undertaker raised his hand and the druids just started fighting for him. 

6. How fucking awesome would it have been when undertaker buried styles.  Earl Hebner ran out in his referee shirt  and motioned to ring the dam bell.

And another one…

Boneyard match

I’m with you. I LOVED IT!! Only gripe is constant edits and cuts but not in the Kevin Dunn hot flash way . Perfect timing for this as you wouldn’t/shouldn’t do it if it was still a stadium show.  A couple things; 

1. At this point give the production team a shot at writing/booking, they’re the only people that have been consistently good the past 10+ years

2. Undertaker has some B-Movie fun acting chops. When do I get to see him being the owner of a Texas bar fending off local gangs ?

3. UT shoulda retired years ago, but his is the only character you can get away wuth this, just have him do this cheesy stuff on network specials, start a new streak there.

4. Only one thing would have made this better and that’s Vampiro & KISS Demon randomly fighting through to their grave plot.

I'm certainly getting a lot of email about the match this morning!