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Thursday Nights at the BoD

Well, I guess we can start our countdown to the last Thursday night SmackDown! before the show makes its move to Tuesdays. Which means the Tuesday Night Thread will likely be renamed the SmackDown! Live Thread. This is all very sad. But we carry on, right?

Anyway, we do still have SmackDown! tonight, so we’ll be discussing that along with the Warriors-Thunder game. Also important: ESPN is showing the 89th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The Thursday Night Live Watch tonight is Vengeance 2007. This is how our host, Duck, described the event in an email to me:

“John Cena vs Booker T vs Mick Foley vs Randy Orton vs Bobby Lashley- Also :(”

The 🙁 begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

This here is your open thread for the evening, so talk about whatever you want.

Smackdown – May 26, 2016

Date: May 26, 2016
Location: Norfolk Scope Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton, Mauro Ranallo

It’s actually a big night here as we have two title matches on a single show. First of all we have Miz defending the Intercontinental Title against Cesaro after the champion lost a non-title match this past Monday on Raw. The second title match will see the new US Champion Rusev defending against Kalisto in the masked man’s rematch. Let’s get to it. Continue reading

3 Brands?

> Scott,
> If the brand split is real, can you see any way that they can put together 5 hours of live television every week with separate rosters without ruining NXT? My personal feeling is that the NXT stars have to be part of the brand split and will leave us with a bunch of people that nobody wants to see.

Apparently they’re kind of running into that issue now. The NXT B shows in Florida (non Balor) have been drawing flies since they gutted the brand last month. That’s why they’re going to be aggressively signing all the talent they can find. And whatever TNA has.

COLUMN: Six Characters in Search of a Briefcase

Hey Scott,

This is Andy PG, letting you know I wrote the following column describing the types of strategies people book into a Money in the Bank Ladder Match. I don’t know if WWE is smart enough to divide the roles correctly, but I hope you believe this is what’s needed for a good match with solid storytelling. Even if you don’t, well, I wrote it and I’m proud. So there.

Six Characters in Search of a Briefcase

Six Characters in Search of a BriefcaseThe Money in the Bank gimmick has been around for quite a while now – long enough that the match has its own formula. Here are six roles the performers in this play…
View on www.cagesideseats.com Preview by Yahoo


Main Roster Outlook for NXT Stars

Hi Scott,

Long time reader, big time fan. Thank you for all of your work. I was curious as to your thoughts on the main roster outlook for some different NXT superstars, and whether you think that they will have success, or whether Vince will forget about them within a month.

Shinsuke Nakamura?

American Alpha?

Finn Balor?

Samoa Joe?

The Revival?

​With the brand splitting again, it’s very likely the first three are going to be brought up to shore up Smackdown’s roster, and I think once Nakamura actually gets on TV he’ll get over instantly. If there’s one thing Vince doesn’t ignore, it’s guys who show charisma and can "tell stories" in the ring and such. American Alpha should be on the roster and tag team champions right now, and given that they’re internally developed they’ll get a chance to get over. With Balor, I don’t know. I think Vince might just see him as too small. Joe at least looks like a monster, and Vince loves Samoans. ​I just can’t see it happening with the Revival, they’re too small and the gimmick doesn’t translate to the main roster as anything but job guys.

Wrestling Observer Flashback–04.22.86

Congrats to the San Jose Sharks on making their first Cup final.  In the absence of teams that I give a shit about this year, I’m rooting for someone new to win the Cup, or at least someone who hasn’t won it in a while, so probably Sharks v. Lightning would be ideal at this point. 

By the way, a reminder that the link to my rant archives is always available for the low price of $20 via Paypal, and it’s now Cultstatus approved!  Instead of updating a zip file, what I do now is give a special link to my OneDrive account, which gives you access to everything I write, updated and archived as I write it.  The only thing that’s not (currently) there is these Flashbacks, because I write them directly to the blog rather than making a Word document first.  There might even be a surprise in there, who knows?

Back to 86 we go…

Continue reading

Heel vs Heel matches/feuds

One of the most interesting things going on is the main event feud between Mil Muertes/Catrina vs. Manzata/Dario Cuento due to the fact that everyone is a heel in this. While Muertes seems to be the fan favorite in this feud, when he goes up against a babyface the fans treat him like a heel. Usually, when a heel goes against a heel, one of them automatically turns into the babyface, but it isn’t happening this time. I can’t think of any other time when something like this has happened. Can you?

​There was a pretty famous heel-heel feud in Texas with the Freebirds against Devastation Inc in the aftermath of the Von Erich feud, where the Freebirds were kind of de facto babyfaces but didn’t act any different. There was also a match between Jake Roberts and Randy Savage on SNME during the height of their heel runs where they both cheated like crazy, but that was just a one-off. But no, typically there’s not a lot of heel-heel feuds because it’s hard to fans to get invested in them. Matanza is more of an invader storyline at this point, where he’s running through all the guys that the fans have grown to embrace as their "cast", so that heel heat trumps the storyline heel heat that Muertes has. ​

BoD Daily Update: May 26th, 2016

WWE.com Smackdown Preview



Early Plans For the WWE Brand Split

As of now, the plan is for Shane to be in charge of one show and Stephanie in charge of the other. Also, Roman Reigns is expected to be the headliner of one show while John Cena is expected to be the headliner of the other show. The tentative plan is for both the Women’s and WWE World Heavyweight Champion to appear on both shows while the U.S. and Intercontinental Titles are each assigned to a brand.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter


Summer Rae Update

There is a belief going around the company that Summer suffered an injury, possibly a concussion, around the end of the European Tour. She has not wrestled since 4/23.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter


Cruiserweight Classic Update

The final show of the Cruiserweight Classic will air live on the WWE Network 9/14.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Another Morbid Question

Rewatching some summer of 1999 WWF and there was a period where Vince was in a wheelchair and on crutches after what the announcers said was a motorcycle accident over the 4th of July.

So let’s say this accident was much worse and Vince died, at the height of the Attitude Era. What happens then?

Certainly Stephanie wasn’t married or in any position to take over. Would Shane have been considered ready? Would it go to some kind of booking committee of Cornette, JR, Patterson…RUSSO?!? The IPO hadn’t happened yet so I don’t even know if the company even ends up going public.

There’s lots of crazy fanboy scenarios you can come up with (Heyman books! They merge with WCW! Yada yada) but what do you suppose really does happen if Vince croaks in July 99?

​I imagine the business side of the company would fall to Linda, but ultimately I feel like the company would quickly be sold to either NBC/Universal or Viacom and the wrestling world would probably be drastically different today. ​And yes, I think a merger with WCW would be a likely outcome of corporate ownership at that point.

Lucha Underground – S2E18: Enter The Mundo

Lucha Underground – S2E18: Enter The Mundo
Date: May 25, 2016

Previously, on Lucha Underground…

Joey Ryan and Cortez Castro, working as undercover cops, infiltrated the temple to investigate Dario CuetoSon of Havoc and Ivelisse lost the Trios Titles in a Fatal Fourway Elimination match to Rey Mysterio Jr, El Dragon Azteca Jr, and Prince Puma, when Angelico was determined unable to compete, handicapping their team. Havoc and Ivelisse received their rematch with replacement partner Johnny Mundo, but the team was too dysfunctional to win. Chavo Guerrero Jr stole Cage’s Aztec Medallion, and entered the Gift of the Gods Championship match. Cage ensured Chavo won so he could fight him for the title the following week.

Continue reading

NXT – May 25, 2016

Date: May 25, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

We’re two weeks out from Takeover and after last week, most of the card is set. The big story is the announcement of the first ever steel cage match around these parts as NXT Champion Samoa Joe is defending against former champion Finn Balor. Other than that it looks like we’ll be getting Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries as well. Let’s get to it. Continue reading



> Scott,
> Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed a peculiarity with wwe fans. It appears they have trouble pronouncing their Rs as Bs…because when the big dog comes out, they alway chant Booo-Man…Boo-man…
> It this just an issue with wwe’s sound production? Also I notice the second syllable of Roman’s name is sometimes cut off as well, so all you hear is the Boo…
> Any input you can offer is much appreciated…
> The Big Dog’s biggest fan


> Since the news broke this morning Danimalcrossing.com has received an overwhelming amount of emails, calls, texts, faxes, and telegrams asking how it plans to cover Smackdown now that the brand split is official and Smackdown will be airing LIVE on Tuesday nights. This formal press release is being put out to address the situation.
> Danimalcrossing.com WILL be reviewing the very first episode of the new Smackdown, but there are no current plans to continue reviewing it beyond the first episode. That is not to say that it will definitively not happen, but it is not the plan as of right now. Plans can change and the situation will be monitored closely to see if it is viable for the brand to continue reviewing Smackdown past the first episode. Stay tuned further information on the situation will be made available as it continues to evolve. As of right now, Danimalcrossing.com will NOT be reviewing the new Smackdown past the first episode.

Goddamn lazy millennial. No wonder I stopped plugging your RAW reports. Do you see me taking days off?

BoD Daily Update: May 25th, 2016

WWE.com NXT Preview



WWE Smackdown Moving to Tuesday Nights

The show will be airing live on Tuesday Nights, starting on July 19th. Plus, the show will also have a distinct roster, meaning another brand split will be happening.



WWE Releases Eden Stiles

Per her request, the company released Stiles, the wife of recently released WWE performer Cody Rhodes.



Plus, head on over to Place to be Nation for the Place to be Podcast #406 as they discuss Judgment Day 2006.




What’s Your Hot Take

I’m sure you’ve seen this Variety report already; what’s your take? And, if you were building the two brands, how would you structure each one?


They’re going to split Roman Reigns into two energy based Romans, giving us Roman Red and Roman Blue. It’s the only way to guarantee enough Roman Reigns to satisfy the fans.

WWE Ad Rates

Hi Scott.

Can you help explain something to me? Basically that wwe gets 1/10th the normal ad rate for a show


So whats the point of wwe just to inflate "numbers" so USA can say they average this many viewers a week? wouldnt ad buyers look into this and realize its a crooked number?

lets say raw gets 3.5 million viewers for 3 hours that means a random show only needs 350k viewers at regular rate to match the money?

would it cost USA less in the grand scheme of things to make a new show or buy syndication shows to fill up that time vs paying the rights fees and production budget of raw?

I’m not saying wwe is screwed or that USA is stupid I’m just looking for a bit of explanation of how/why this works for USA. is there a number of viewers where it just doesnt work for USA? 2.5mil?, 1 mil?


​WWE doesn’t make money off ads, so as far as they’re concerned they don’t care about rates on USA. The reason that their programming commands such a relatively high price from USA is for a couple of reasons:

1) Live programming, in particular sporting events, are considered "DVR-proof", and thus anything that falls into that general category is considered more desirable as far as selling ad space than something where people can record it and skip commercials.

2) RAW is highly-rated enough to where it actually raises the average rating for the entire network​ and keeps USA in the top 10 cable channels. So basically as long as RAW is well above the closest other show on USA, they’re bulletproof.

Now that being said, if they keep dropping at the rate they are, they’ll become far less valuable to USA, but no one knows what that rock bottom number is yet. They’re flirting with some very dangerous numbers at the moment, but as far as we know the costs of producing and distributing RAW (which are actually shockingly low compared to a normal production due to Vince’s genius and very low overhead) are still far less than trying to gamble on a new scripted show.

Impact Wrestling – May 24, 2016

Impact Wrestling
Date: May 24, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero

It’s a big show tonight with May Mayhem, meaning things are a bit more violent than the regular shows. As you might guess, this is a show that was announced a week ago with almost no other build. The big match tonight is Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III as Carter tries to get his rematch with Mike Bennett. Let’s get to it. Continue reading