Is NXT the best booked territory ever?

Hello Mr. Keith, 

Was thinking this as I watched the Takeover PPV. 

Just look how it’s been booked since 2014 and it’s almost been perfect in how you book a wrestling promotion. Pretty much since that first Takeover PPV they haven’t made many mistakes. The wrestling has been great, the storylines have been great. They seem to push the right people at the right times in the right ways. 

There are so many people who haven’t succeed as much as expected on the main roster but a lot of that is because Raw and Smackdown are booked so terribly. From Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, the feud they did with them which kind of started this amazing streak for NXT. But also how they booked Sasha and Charlotte and Bayley. The way they booked Bayley from the underdog phase to her title reign was one of the best runs I’ve ever seen. 

Then you have the tag teams. From the Accession to the Revival, DIY, AOP, Sanity, and the Undisputed Era. Plus everyone in between. The Ascension may be a joke now but they were over in NXT because they were booked so well. 

You add the DIY story of Gargano and Ciampa from the start until now and it’s one of the best angles of the last 20 years. Maybe ever. All the top guys are booked so well. Zayn, Owens, Balor, Joe, Nakamura, Roode, McIntyre, Almas, and now Alister Black have all been over, credible champions because there isn’t 50/50 booking. They win most of the time and when they lose it means something. Rarely do you watch a Takeover and feel the wrong person went over in almost every match. 

Honestly, it’s booked so well that you can skip the weekly show and just watch the Takeovers and be 100% invested. 

What thinks you Scott? Can you think of a promotion booked this well from this long of a period through history? 

​Mid-South in the 80s, New Japan today, All Japan in the 90s, St. Louis in the 60s – 70s, Memphis in the 70s and 80s…many of them.
The issue with NXT is that they do really well with the tools they’re given, but things can only be booked on a 3 month cycle because lord knows when the main roster is going to strip-mine them for talent again.  Stuff sometimes gets dropped cold or forgotten as a result.  Also, they still don’t make money on the territory.  I mean, I think Paul is amazing at what he does, but for me the Takeovers are sold on how great the matches look, not the storylines most of the time.  ​

Little tweak to current match presentation…


Follower from the 411 days.

Emotional connection is the reason any of us pay attention to a TV show; the reactions of the live crowd feed into the viewers experience at home. There is one production choice I think both young and old can get behind – wait until the ring announcement of the victor of a match before playing their theme music, particularly for title changes (Dolph’s music on Raw was practically playing as the refs hand was coming down for “3”)… waiting those few extra beats for me adds significance to the moment, and promotes a more emotional reaction with a “slower realisation” of the event that just occurred (think Taker/Lesnar, but obvs very few on that emotional scale). of the

Playing the music as the ref’s hand strikes 3 seems like an active attempt to get a crowd reaction, but why immediately drown them out?? Thanks, I’ll hang up now.

​It’s a Kevin Dunn-ism, I’m pretty sure.  I’m also more fond of building up the big moment like in sports, and I’m pretty sure if Dunn was shooting the Stanley Cup final he would have instructed them to run the Cup out to Ovechkin as soon the buzzer sounded.  ​

Vince Compensation

Dear Scott,

Best regards.

Just the kind of question you will see them ask on Fox News.

You just posted something about what Vince made over the last year. I believe it was 13 million last year. I also recall he isn’t even the highest paid in his company?

My question is this, not taking any sides and you not working for the WWE (and please do not dodge the question) what do you think Vince should be making? Or should he be fired instead?

If you had control how much should he make?

​It’s his company, he can make whatever he wants.  ​

Royal Rumble 2004

Royal Rumble 2004
Date: January 25, 2004
Location: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 17,289
Commentators: Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Tazz, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

It’s a big night and one of the most important shows of the year as we officially start the Road to Wrestlemania. The Royal Rumble is more wide open than in recent years and that’s often the best thing that can happen for the match. Other than that we have a pair of World Title matches, with Raw’s likely being too long and Smackdown’s needing to move on before the company makes itself look worse. Let’s get to it.

Read moreRoyal Rumble 2004

Saturday Night Thread

Hope everyone enjoyed the NXT rant this morning.

Not a lot going on tonight in the wrestling world, or the sporting world.

Jurassic World opens this weekend and is supposed to be…OK.

Roseanne will indeed return next season as The Connors with no involvement from Roseanne herself, although she retains the rights to the characters and show for anything after this.

Have at it!

Rumble and MITB burnout


I love rumbles and ladder matches as much as anyone, but it’s not doing anyone any favours to have 2 of the same attraction match in 1 special event. Why not have the men’s rumble in Jan, with a MITB for the women’s division, and visa versa (with the main event
for SS) 
Your views intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.  Let us celebrate our new understanding with the adding of chocolate to milk. 

Ran into Roman Reigns

I saw Roman at a grocery store yesterday. I told him how cool it was to meet him in person, but I didn’t want to be a douche and bother him and ask him for photos or anything.

He said, “Oh, like you’re doing now?”

I was taken aback, and all I could say was “Huh?” but he kept cutting me off and going “huh? huh? huh?” and closing his hand shut in front of my face. I walked away and continued with my shopping, and I heard him chuckle as I walked off. When I came to pay for my stuff up front I saw him trying to walk out the door with like fifteen gallons of milk without paying.

The girl at the counter was very nice about it and professional, and was like “Sir, you need to pay for those first.” At first he kept pretending to be tired and not hear her, but eventually turned back around and brought them to the counter.

When she took one of the cartons and started scanning it multiple times, he stopped her and told her to scan them each individually “to prevent any electrical infetterence,” and then turned around and winked at me. I don’t even think infetterence is even a word. After she scanned each bar and put them in a bag and started to say the price, he kept interrupting her by yawning really loudly.

​I feel like you’re doing a bit here but I have no idea what the payoff is, so I’ll just smile and nod.

PWI, WWF Magazine, and Nintendo Power Scans

Hey Scott,

A year or two ago, I scanned and e-mailed you pictures from the March 1994 Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine, showing the July 19, 1993 match between Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty as the 1993 PWI Match of the Year.  Their 17, 1993 match on Raw is often confused as that year’s Match of the Year.

Recently, there has been discussion on the blog about pictures possibly being shown in WWF Magazine in 1993 of the infamous tug-of-war photoshoot between Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart over the WWF belt that Bret wrote about in his book.  Several people swear they saw the pictures in the WWF Magazine and/or Nintendo Power.

Someone posted a link in the discussion to the Nintendo Power sweepstakes from the June 1993 issue (Volume 49), but here they are again.  I’ve also attached pictures from the July and August 1993 issues of WWF Magazine with columns/stories about a potential Hogan vs Hart match.  These are the only WWF Magazines that year that discuss the idea of a match between the two.  Alas, neither Nintendo Power or WWF Magazine has pictures of the alleged tug-of-war.

I also included scans from an article of PWI in the April 1992 issue of the WWF’s more violent storylines in 1991.  I thought they’d be a timely addition since Bayless has been covering this era in his reviews.



​Awesome!  Thanks for all your hard work!

Smackdown – January 22, 2004

Date: January 22, 2004
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 6,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the final show before the Royal Rumble and most of Sunday is already set. You can always use more focus on the Rumble itself, but I have a bad feeling we might be in for a heavy dose of Hardcore Holly vs. Brock Lesnar tonight. I for one can’t get enough of the WWE Champion vs. the race car driver. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – January 22, 2004