The SmarK Rant for WWE Friday Night Smackdown – 12.06.19

The SmarK Rant for WWE Friday Night Smackdown – 12.06.19

Live from somewhere in North Carolina that’s never specified.

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Corey Graves

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Friday Night Smackdown – 12.06.19

Smackdown – December 6, 2019

Date: December 6, 2019
Location: Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

The very slow build on the fast road to TLC continues with one of the last two shows before the pay per view. The big story coming out of last week is the return of the YES Movement as Daniel Bryan gears up to fight the Fiend one more time. It didn’t go so well in round one but this company loves itself some rematches, perhaps this time with less hair. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – December 6, 2019

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 10 — NEW BEARD, WHO DIS?

We made it!

So when last we left our heroes — to pull out my old opening line — the Fiend had dragged Daniel Bryan into whatever depths of Hell he resided in and yanked some hair out of him.  Granted, it wasn’t easy to tell whether it was his head hair or beard hair — and let’s hope to our respective deities it’s not the THIRD option — but it’s almost certain that Daniel is going to look quite different when he emerges tonight.  Since wrestling is all about symbolism, it should be noted that just after resurrecting the YES movement, the look associated with the YES movement appears to have been forcibly removed.

In the other main story, Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin are now confirmed for TLC in the TLC Match.  Tonight, Reigns will have to get through Dolph Ziggler.  Now, forgive me and my eternal optimism, but in a vacuum, this isn’t bad booking — arrogant heel taunts powerful babyface, gets henchmen to back him up, face plows through henchmen and will take down the heel once and for all.  Heck, it being Reigns and Corbin isn’t awful.  But the material they have to work with has been a nightmare — as soon as you’re making poop bag jokes and bringing out mascots, you’ve lost the room.

In other news, Lacey Evans turned face.  She apparently will be feuding with Sasha and/or Sasha’s submissive lifemate Bayley.  I remember when Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens did a storyline where the champ had a best friend and was willing to play sidekick to his antics.  As I recall, it made the champ look really bad.  What I’m saying is, can we get more Bayley on her own being her own strong character?  Of course, if the point is that Sasha is rent-free in Bayley’s head and is using this to get the gold from her and leave her behind, then let’s hope the payoff’s worth it.

Your ESPN NBA double-header is Nuggets/Celtics, then Lakers/Blazers.  ESPN2 has a college twin-bill of Providence against Rhode Island and USC against TCU.  Iowa/Michigan is underway on FS1.  If college football is your bag, Utah and Oregon meet for the Pac-12 title on ABC.

Enjoy the weekend!

DVR Ratings Question



Thanks for taking my email.


Has anyone released DVR numbers for Dynamite and NXT over
the course of the Wednesday Night Wars? 
I know most networks are starting to look at Live + 3 as their most
important stat when it comes to ad sales, so hoping both shows get a boost




Dave typically has all those numbers in the Observers, but then my eyes glaze over and I just skip to AEW WINS, LOL.  
I kid. I kid.  

Programs between great faces/heels

What are great feuds that come to mind between two guys or teams that were amazing (and successful) as both heels and faces?

What comes to mind:

Jake Roberts vs Randy Savage (one of the most heated feuds ever, maybe even too short, should have culminated at WM8. Was there a heel Savage vs face Jake feud?)

Hulk Hogan vs Roddy Piper (worked both sides, 85 and 96/97)

Undertaker vs Mankind (long 96 feud, opposite alignments/sides in 98/99 again)

Hogan vs Savage (89 and 96-98)

Interesting question!
You’re also missing a super obvious one, so I’ll take the layup and go with Bret Hart vs Steve Austin.  

What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – November 18, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes call this evening’s action, taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to, these matches took place on October 18 and 25.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – November 18, 1995

WWF Superstars – August 20th, 1994

August 20, 1994

From the Wheeling Civic Center in Wheeling, WV

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

The show starts off with a clip of Razor Ramon & Walter Payton telling Diesel & Shawn Michaels that at SummerSlam, Razor will become the Intercontinental Champion with Payton promising to hang a “vacancy” in the Heartbreak Hotel if Shawn tries to interfere.

This week, we have Adam Bomb & Smoking Gunns vs. Kwang & Well Dunn.

Read moreWWF Superstars – August 20th, 1994

One Last Match

Hey Scott, hope all is well. I was watching the Trish Stratus piece on the Network and it got me thinking about other wrestlers who I am surprised to see not get one more match. Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman come to mind. I have seen both working independent's up until recently. Is it that both are no medically cleared for WWE? I am not saying the matches would be great, but, I wouldn't mind seeing Xpac in NXT against Adam Cole or Lio Rush. Heck, you could have the Undertaker/Nash 2 at Wrestlemania. 

Haven't we seen enough last matches from Kevin Nash to last us a lifetime?  He's already had multiple nostalgia runs in WWE either as himself or Diesel.  Time to let it go.  I feel like Waltman would be really, really happy in AEW helping out there, but he's pretty loyal to WWE and I doubt it would happen.  

Hogan in Montreal

Howdy Scott. Can you explain in a nutshell what the deal is with Hogan laying down to Jacques Rougeau in Montreal? Is this sort of thing less rare than I imagine? Is it because it's "non-canon" so to speak since WWE fans would likely never hear about it? Is it just made up and never happened?

Anyway, it was this whole promotional war thing between WWF and WCW at the time where Montreal was like a battleground between the WWF-sponsored promoter and WCW, and Hogan actually agreed to do business to try and get Jacques going as top babyface there again because they thought it would pop a number for a rematch later on.  And then Jacques left for the WWF again in 98 anyway and WCW never bothered running Canada again and it was all stupid and moot.  Thankfully nothing else that notable happened in Montreal for the rest of 1997 anyway. 

Network Reportedly Cracking Down on International VPN Usage

This seems like a pretty bad idea. I've been able to avoid using a VPN to access the Network by doing it the same way you do, so hopefully we aren't affected by this. I don't think I can justify spending the $10 a month for the Canadian version when I know just how much is content is missing.

It's a weird business strategy for sure.  Although given how janky the Network has become with the new interface, I don't trust for a hot minute that they can actually implement what they're talking about.  Perhaps blocking new people from signing up, yes, but blocking the feed?  I doubt it.  Plus Canada makes up a HUGE chunk of their "domestic" subscription base according to all accounts and that would look really bad when they're already flirting with dropping below a million subs again.  

NXT UK – December 5, 2019

Date: December 5, 2019
Location: Bonus Arena, Hull, England
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness

The big story has started picking up as we have the now face Gallus vs. Imperium, which seems to be focused around Joe Coffey challenging Walter for the United Kingdom Title. That works very well as we are just over a month away from Takeover: Blackpool II. Tonight is the negotiating session, which sounds like a fancy way of saying “they’ll talk and then they’ll fight.” Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT UK – December 5, 2019

Indies and Insanity: December 5, 2019

First, the sports: tonight’s NFL Game of the Week of the Day is Dallas/Chicago.  TNT is taking the night off from the NBA, but there’s college hoops.  ESPN has a women’s twin-bill of Maryland/NC State and Syracuse/Michigan.  FS1 has UConn/Seton Hall on the women’s side, then a SmackDown replay at 8:30.

Indie wrestling is similarly quiet, as you’ll see after the jump.

Read moreIndies and Insanity: December 5, 2019

The Fiend/Bray Wyatt lantern + new Huskus doll

Hi Scott,


Not sure how into the new stuff you are, but this is cool and I thought worth pointing out to you.


Lantern is back in stock –


Plus, a new Huskus “the pig boy” doll available now too:



Say what you will, but the Fiend has been a license to print money with this stuff.  

Saving AEW

I saw you mention "bold and spicy hot take" and it got me thinking about the only thing that could save AEW from being dead before New Years: Curry Man!
I’m pretty sure he’s already signed to a NXT developmental deal for the next few years.  I hear Mr America might be available for some dates, though.