NXT UK – January 23, 2020

Date: January 23, 2020
Location: York Barbican, York, England
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Aiden English

We’re back to normal after Takeover: Blackpool II and last week’s recap show. There isn’t much time to rest though as it’s also the go home show for Worlds Collide. Hopefully things can get going as well as wrapping up the build towards Saturday. That’s a hard balance to find but maybe they can make it work. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT UK – January 23, 2020

Just Curious…

… thoughts on the redesign of the Intercontinental belt that

Shinsuke is currently rocking? My heart will always belong to the

1986-1998 belt, but I have to admit I'm digging it.

Of course, once Braun wins the belt at the Rumble, it will probably be

made out of lamb shanks or something…

I dislike change so my natural inclination is not like it.  It's a bit too gaudy for me and doesn't really match the aesthetic of the other titles.  But lots of people seem to like it, so huzzah.  

Promo Sketch Plug?

Hey man! Love the blog. I make sketches and goofy bits and my new one is wrestling related, so I thought I’d send it your way. If you watch it and dig it, think I can get a plug?


Indeed you can.  

Indies and Insanity: January 23, 2020

Tomorrow, our Friday Indie Spotlight Thing will focus on Black Label Pro from one week ago.  WARHORSE defends the IWTV title against Kylie Rae, Erick Stevens puts the BLP title on the line against Tom Lawlor, plus AJ Gray, Alex Shelley, Jason Cade, Violence Is Forever, and a Rumble!

SPORTS: your NBA on TNT doubleheader is Lakers/Nets, then Mavericks/Blazers.  ESPN has the women’s marquee matchup of Connecticut/Tennessee, then the Pro Bowl Skills Show, then some X Games from Aspen.  ESPN2 has Belmont/Murray State from the OVC, followed by some Australian Open through the night.  FS1 has a Big Ten doubleheader, with Minnesota/Ohio State and Michigan State/Indiana, ending with a Pac-12 game of UCLA/Oregon State.  ESPNU goes to Conference USA with Florida International/Old Dominion, then AAC time with Connecticut/Houston, ending USC/Oregon from the Pac-12.  CBS Sports has Delaware/Hofstra from the CAA, Valpo/Missouri State of the MVC, and ending on San Francisco/Saint Mary’s from the WCC.  NBC Sports Network is showing… figure skating.

Some good shows going on this weekend, and your update is after the jump!

Read moreIndies and Insanity: January 23, 2020

Yokozuna winning the 93 Rumble

When Yokozuna won the Rumble, did they know at that time he was going to win the belt from Bret?  Was Hogan’s return even in play for WM, much less him winning the belt?  Was it ever discussed for Hulk to come back win the Rumble and face Bret at WM IX?

I'm pretty sure the only person who didn't know Yoko was getting the belt and Hogan was eventually scooping everyone's heat was Bret Hart.  

Lesnar In The Royal Rumble Match

What are your thoughts on Brock Lesnar entering the Royal Rumble match despite being WWE Champion?  Smart considering any contender they put him with in a match for the championship is a foregone conclusion, and/or also because it adds some mystery as to who will win the Rumble, stupid because it's yet another show where he doesn't defend the WWE Championship, or something in the middle?

I really don't think there's any particular mystery as to who's winning the Rumble this year.  As for Brock, he can get thrown out by (someone), they have a WM match, fine, whatever.  It's at least a semblance of a storyline for him.  

The War Experienced Viking Raiders Experience

So the common consensus that I had seen prior to this week, and I bought into it as well, was that the weeks and weeks of dominant squashes by the Vikings was building toward the hoss team fight between them and AOP for the tag titles. Now granted – they kind of screwed the pooch by having the OC beat them a few times without it ever leading anywhere, but ok, at least the OC were an established and credible tag team. 

Leading to this week, where they lose the titles to…the makeshift team of Rollins and Murphy, who as far as I know have never teamed and weren’t even stable mates until one week before.

Is there a reason I’m missing why it makes sense to neuter the Vikings without the payoff match with AOP? Or was it just “plans change” – or more so “there isn’t a plan and we are just booking minute to minute?”

If there's a plan, they're doing a really great job of hiding it.  

Daily News Update – January 23, 2020

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives with no more wrestling on boats.  Until next year.  Try to cope.

DATELINE:  Keith Lee won the North American title from Roderick Strong on NXT last night, thus breaking up the Undisputed Era’s stranglehold on the titles.

DATELINE:  Hangman Page and Kenny Omega won the tag team titles from SCU.  Which, in case you haven’t heard, happened ON A BOAT.

And tomorrow night sees HARD TIMES for the NWA, only $20 on Fite.TV.

Monday Night Raw – August 22, 2005

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 22, 2005
Location: Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, Virginia
Attendance: 7,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman

It’s the night after Summerslam and the big stories around here are Hulk Hogan defeating Shawn Michaels and John Cena retaining the WWE Championship over Chris Jericho. With that out of the way, it’s time to get ready for Unforgiven, which could need something fresh instead of a bunch of Summerslam rematches. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – August 22, 2005

NXT – January 22, 2020

Date: January 22, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Beth Phoenix, Mauro Ranallo

It’s the go home show for When Worlds Collide but it’s also time to start building things up for Takeover: Portland. I’m not sure where everything is going for that show, but tonight we have more from the Dusty Classic and the North American Title on the line with Roderick Strong defending against the banged up Keith Lee. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – January 22, 2020

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 01.22.20 (ON A BOAT!)

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 1.22.20

Taped from INTERNATIONAL MONKEY KNIFE-FIGHTING WATERS ON A MOTHER F’N BOAT!  My favorite story about this show so far was that Tony Khan arranged for the master tape to be duplicated and flown out on two separate planes to Atlanta, because even if Iran shot down one of them, there would still be a show on TNT!

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross & Excalibur

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 01.22.20 (ON A BOAT!)

Dynamite – January 22, 2020

Date: January 22, 2020
Location: Norwegian Pearl, International Waters
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur

And now, we’re on a boat. If there is one thing that AEW has managed to do well it is offering in some changes of venue. That is the case again here as they are presenting this week’s show from Chris Jericho’s Rock N Rager cruise, with the matches taking place on the deck of the boat. That’s cool enough as it is, but there are some big matches as well. Let’s get to it.

Read moreDynamite – January 22, 2020

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

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are in the booth and they are taped from Orlando, Florida.

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

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #352 – 22/01/2000

Hello You!

Last week’s show wasn’t that bad, as we actually got some fresh matches from the TV taping in Atlanta and, because it was shot at Centre Stage, the show actually looked quite good from a production standpoint as well.

With Guilty As Charged now behind us, we should start seeing what direction ECW wants to go in with March’s Living Dangerously pay per view looming in the distance.

Anyway, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #352 – 22/01/2000

The greatest counts??

Was watching the Rumble numbers video yesterday and something caught my eye: they are acknowledging that the Greatest Royal Rumble took place! All of a sudden, Daniel Bryann has the longevity record and Braun has the most eliminations. Thing is, they never
talked about the show after it happened. Braun isn't talked about being a Rumble winner. The whole thing is weird. Why are they bringing it up now?

I've heard they're due for another blood money show in February, so maybe we'll get THE EVEN MORE GREATEREST ROYAL RUMBLE there.  

Undefeated streaks overkill

Hey Scott,

I find myself thoroughly annoyed with wrestlers booked to be unbeatable and mainly destroying jobbers each week to no long term direction that leads to a World Title reign.  WWE, of course, is the culprit of this trend. It hasn't worked with Strowman for years.  They started doing it with Lars Sullivan but he was just beating jobbers. Then he went down with injury after his bigotry was exposed.  Still, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have been given a World Title reign as the endgame to his undefeated streak.  Now, we're seeing it with Aleister Black and it looks like we'll start seeing it with Drew McIntyre.  I like the idea of pushing new guys and Black is a really good worker but making them be unbeatable rubs me the wrong way and comes off as annoying, so annoying I end up rooting for the other guy.  And I was rooting for Buddy Murphy the last time he faced Black. I understand the idea of "keeping a guy strong" but do they have to make him so unbeatable only to have him not even win a World Title anyways? At least when Goldberg was given the undefeated streak in WCW, it built toward something meaningful with him getting the US Title and ultimately winning the World Title out of it.  Or maybe if it was done more infrequently, I wouldn't take issue with the occasional new monster. But as of now, I think it's overkill. It doesn't have to be a pick your poison of undefeated streaks vs. 50/50 booking, right? Where are you on this?

I find it weird that Buddy Murphy didn't get ANYTHING on Black.  There's a happy medium between 50/50 and undefeated, as you noted, which is like "Black wins 3 matches and loses a fourth" so that Black clearly wins the feud overall but Murphy gets something in the end.  Or the other way around, where Murphy manages to frustrate him and gets the a win a few times, but then Black figures out the counter and destroys him to blow it off.  It's fine that Heyman is trying to keep everyone strong, but the show doesn't seem like it's going anywhere overall.  We're at the end of January and you can't even hazard a guess at what Wrestlemania might look like outside of the Fiend v. Roman match on the Smackdown side.  For me, overall direction is more important than the minutia of the wins and losses at this time of year, and they don't have it right now. 

Favorite Online Wrestling Writer?

Did-do you have a favorite online wrestling writer?  Back in the day I enjoyed a columnist for 1wrestling.com, although I forget his name at the moment.  He would come up with these horrible fantasy booking articles that were so bad they were entertaining.  Examples include thinking the next big thing was adding a storyline to every match that the winners of the contest would get X amount of kayfabe money for each win,(and expecting fans to give a shit), and when the Spider-Man movie came out in 2002, he believed that dressing up a wrestler as Spider-Man to team with Goldust would be a huge money maker.  
Like, Arachnaman? 

Daily News Update – January 22, 2020

Not much in the way of news updates on the Observer site because everyone’s ON A BOAT for a few days.

DATELINE:  Tonight is of course AEW from the Jericho Cruise, featuring Moxley v. Pac for the #1 contendership and SCU defending the tag titles against Kenny Omega and Page.  Although I have not read the above link, there’s spoilers for the show tonight, so BUYER BEWARE.

DATELINE:  Marty Scurll will appear on Friday’s Hard Times PPV as the ROH and NWA relationship seems to be getting more serious.  Can a promise ring be far behind?