WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 21 — LA VITA BELLA

We made it!

So it looks like it’s Get People In The Hall Of Fame season.  With that in mind, A Moment of Bliss will have the Bella Twins as their four guests tonight.  (What?  They’re both pregnant.  What did you think I meant?)  It’s been heavily rumored that this will result in announcing them as Hall Of Famers, a rumor that has made people very Mad Online because the Bellas were the old guard the women’s revolution was supposed to knock out.  As a reminder, wrestling is a work.

(Side note: Davey Boy Smith and John Bradshaw Layfield are also said to be going in.  I may have to watch the HOF ceremony just to hear JBL’s speech.  His inductions of the Briscoes, Ron Simmons, and Teddy Long were amazing.  The dude can give a speech, lemme tell ya.)

Meanwhile, it’s official that Goldberg will face the Fiend at In Your Mosque: Riyadh or Die.  (I wish I could remember which of you weirdos coined this so I can give you credit.)  But something like this needs the proper build-up.  And that means Goldberg will be on SmackDown tonight!  He might even be in the building, who knows?

As for the actual roster (what a concept), Carmella and Naomi have a match tonight.  Carmella is the resident #1 contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but she lost her match to Bay Lee Billionaire last week.  So now Naomi wants her turn; why not have the top 2 contenders go at it?  Sounds like a plan!

There’s an NBA doubleheader on ESPN.  Or if you want to kill two hours with wrestling in front of a HAPPY crowd, go check out my review of Hoppy Place before watching it in the IWTV archives!

Internet Burn of the Week goes to CM Punk, who — when someone suggested Saudi Arabia get an XFL team — said they should be named the Riyadh Bone Saws.

All right, everyone, we’ve been over the rules.  I expect you to follow Scott’s orders at all times. No porn, no personal attacks; let’s keep it clean.  Now shake hands and come out swinging. Enjoy the weekend!

LET’S GET IT ON!

Impact Wrestling – February 18, 2020

Impact Wrestling
Date: February 18, 2020
Location: Sam’s Town Live, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis

We’re off to a different taping cycle now and things are getting interesting around here. Last week’s show without a bunch of the luchador guest stars was an improvement and if they can keep that up, we might be in a good place. If nothing else it’s the go home show for Sacrifice, so maybe things can get more interesting in a hurry. Let’s get to it.

Read moreImpact Wrestling – February 18, 2020

What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – January 7, 1995

While Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) was a nostalgic look at wrestling’s past, the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) stubbornly fought for its existence, casting itself as a major promotion that was on the same level as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) or World Championship Wrestling (WCW).  Based in Memphis, Tennessee, a classic wrestling hotbed and arguably the only place to successfully fend off Vince McMahon’s territorial expansion in the 1980s, the USWA was created from a merger of the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) and World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1989.  The promotion tried to run shows along the East Mississippi and Texas in the early 1990s, but the venture proved unsuccessful.  By the middle of the decade the USWA was back to running its weekly shows in towns such as Louisville, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana, as well as holding weekly supercards on Monday nights at the Memphis Coliseum.  These events were heavily promoted on USWA TV, filmed at the WMC-TV 5 studio in Memphis.  While that may have made USWA TV seem second rate, the company had a talented core with owners and bookers Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler, as well as announcers Lance Russell and Dave Brown (who had a full-time gig as WMC-TV 5’s meteorologist).  They were supplemented by older territory stars such as Tommy Rich, Doug Gilbert, and Bill Dundee and a crop of new talent that included Lawler’s son Brian Christopher, PG-13, and wrestlers that the WWF and WCW sent for seasoning as the USWA had a working agreement with both.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – January 7, 1995

Friday Indie Spotlight Thing: NOVA Pro Hoppy Place

When I started this series, I wasn’t always thinking it would deviate from recent shows, but IWTV is so chock full of amazing stuff that basically any recently posted show is like catnip. That’s why I hit the 2018 JT Lightning Invitational. However, I kinda knew I’d reserve this weekend in February for my own amusement. I love wrestling in the DMV, and so I’m doing a DMV show from about a year ago. Why this show? It’s the first time I worked as main ring announcer at a recorded event!

Also, this is the first show hosted by the Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn, which right now is basically the home away from home for CRAB Wrestling. With news that the 2020 CRAB season in Ashburn begins May 2 (and that we’ll be involved in Mania weekend – Saturday show, American Legion Post 5 “USS Tampa”, get your tickets while you can!), I figured I’d go see how Ashburn’s love affair with indie wrestling began. But mostly, I’m here for myself. My birthday weekend, after all.

The PG Era Rant for Nova Pro Wrestling Hoppy Place. Tape runtime: 128 minutes.

From Ashburn, VA. Show date December 15, 2018.

Your host in Jason Heat with a rotating cast of guys helping him out. Your referees are Stephon Smith, Chris Sharpe, Bill Olsen, and Todd Myers. And I, Andrew McHale as I was known, am your ring announcer. I do a little firing up of the crowd (suffering from a voice crack – it happens to me if I try too hard to be loud), and here we go.

Read moreFriday Indie Spotlight Thing: NOVA Pro Hoppy Place

Kenny Omega Exposed?


Going along with the earlier email about Cody and Kenny, I have a theory for you. What if Kenny is a Brock type of performer where you really get the most out of him wrestling big matches once every 2 months or so? I think alot of what happen is he was regulated to certain big matches in NJPW so all of his stuff always felt fresh. Now hes doing it every wednesday, sometimes even on Dark. So when your getting 84 V Triggers in a month, you kind of go "this is what we all enjoyed in NJPW?" Imagine Brock wrestling on Raw every week doing suplex city.

Kenny's having awesome matches every week as tag champ.  Who are these people complaining about him?

The following email contains criticisms of Royal Rumble 92

Hey Scott,

So over the years, I've become a HUGE fan of the 1990 Royal Rumble, while the 1992 Royal Rumble (while excellent) has a lot of weird booking errors everyone seems to overlook. For example:

1. Never noticed until recently, but until Piper gets in at #15, it's just a slow parade of jobbers. And some are unforgivable. Heenan and Monsoon absolutely carry the first 30 minutes of this match. I'm sorry but without them it's not five stars.

Jerry Sags, Repo Man, Texas Tornado (on his way out), Greg Valentine, and Nikolai fucking Volkoff. I mean some, like Valentine, I can excuse because he has history with Flair. But the entire first half of the match DRAGS.

Why not let LOD and the Natural Disasters work twice or something? I'd much rather see Hawk or Earthquake than Nikolai Volkoff or El Matador. (And I know Bret was injured or whatever but he really should've had Bulldog's spot.)

2. Sloppy mistakes like Savage clearly eliminating himself, or the botched ending, are forgivable but for a five star classic. 

3. It's a minor quibble, but Flair works the entire match as a babyface. He's so heroic — even attacking The Undertaker and never taking a backstop. It's fine but he's supposed to be the top heel and he's going 60 minutes and acting like superman. 

4. And while I LOVE the announcing, they spend the entire match talking about Flair. It telegraphs the ending far too much, IMO. 

I think 1990 is the true five-star Rumble classic. DiBiase's classic run from #1 (plus the karma story paying off from the year before); the Dibiase/Roberts/Savage/Piper melee that blows the roof off the place. And of course the Hogan/Warrior stand-off that's one of the great moments ever. The ending's bit flat but I think it's the true greatest Rumble. 


OH GREAT now I'm gonna have to redo Rumble 92 this weekend, too, aren't I?  

Look, buddy, if you want to come to this very blog and die on the hill of Rumble 92 not being the best thing ever, it's your funeral.  We don't take kindly to those kinds of opinions around here,

Daily News Update – February 21, 2020

God help me if I ever have to sit through that Fingerpoke episode of Nitro again.

Hey, big news for non-US AEW fans here on the blog:  Fite.TV has kindly provided me with a free code for AEW Revolution on February 29 to give away to a lucky non-US reader, so I’m gonna come up with a contest and probably run it on Twitter.  I’m thinking “predict how many falls the Iron Man match goes and who wins them”.  Anyway, I’ll think something up and have details right away.  Sorry, I don’t have any connections with B/R Live so I can’t help you out there.

DATELINE:  Samoa Joe suffered another concussion while shooting a commercial, which makes his second one in four weeks.  I’m thinking that commentary gig might be looking better to him pretty soon.

DATELINE:  Dynamite bested NXT in the ratings battle again, with both shows being up over last week again.

DATELINE:  New Japan is still working on finding a new TV home in the USafter getting thrown off AXS by Impact.  Apparently they could have sued for breach of contract but chose not to for some reason.

And here’s a WWE Top 10 list of double champions that popped up on my recommended list for some reason.

NXT UK – February 20, 2020

NXT UK
Date: February 20, 2020
Location: York Barbican, York, England
Commentators: Aiden English, Tom Phillips

It’s another week and hopefully things can pick up a bit after last week’s not so great show. NXT UK has turned into a place where you can fairly expect some very good stuff and I have no reason to believe that last week was anything more than a one off misfire. That has been the case elsewhere before and I’ve been rather wrong. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT UK – February 20, 2020

Indies and Insanity: February 20, 2020

Since this is my birthday weekend (I turn 40 on Sunday, god help me), I’m reviewing an old Nova Pro show that I happened to take part in!  Indulge me!

Thursday Night Hoops: your NBA ON TNT doubleheader is Nets/Sixers, followed by Rockets/Warriors.  ESPN gives you Ohio State/Iowa, then Oregon/Arizona State.  ESPN2 follows with UConn/Temple, USC/Colorado, and San Fran/Gonzaga.  ESPNU goes for the little D-1 schools with Vermont/Stony Brook, UNC-Asheville/Radford, and Hawaii/UC-Riverside.  (Thirty points for naming all three conferences these games are from.)  CBSSN has South Florida/Wichita, then a WCC doubleheader with Santa Clara/BYU and LMU/Saint Mary’s.  FS1 completes the whiparound coverage with Sparty/Nebraska.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting to skip over, it’s the Indie Weekend Roundup!  Details after the jump as always.

Read moreIndies and Insanity: February 20, 2020

Dynamite thoughts from a first time attendee

Been to about five or six WWE events in Atlanta plus the Nitro Goldberg won the title (which the atmosphere was sick for that).

Never experienced anything like what I just experienced tonight.  It's a nice feeling going to a wrestling event with actual wrestling and excellent from beginning to end.  I don't know what people outside of Atlanta view Atlanta fans in the wrestling world but I always think it is a passionate bunch.  But it always seems when I went to a WWE event save maybe the 2002 Royal Rumble Vince always gave a middle finger to the crowds especially lately.

The Omega/Page tag match was insane and fans were up on their feet the entire time.  Place went nuts for Cody as expected.  After cameras went off Cody grabbed the mic and told a story of how he got into wrestling and talked about Dusty.  He got very emotional after.  Dustin came out and hugged him.  Just a great moment.

One thing from my take is that what AEW has that WWE lacks is detail.  Detail in matches, detail with the presentation, etc.  They're seeing what's working and what isn't and fixing what isn't.  

Women's division still needs improvement like a lot but it isn't putrid and at least it's a little different than what the WWE women's division which has gone stale 

There were three more matches after in Dark but my buddy and I have to teach tomorrow.  

But amazing experience and best thing was I got in for free.

Thanks for sharing !  Hopefully they come close enough to me that I can go someday. 

Rocky leaving WWE

What all was happening when the Rock left the WWE in 2004? I know that was when he went all in on his acting career, but it sounds like there was also some bad blood, i.e. putting over Hurricane in 2003, only for HHH to squash him to look better.

There was a bit of it, but the main issue was that Johnny Ace was supposed to be send Rock a contract renewal and never did.  So Rock's contract expired after WM20 and no one noticed, at which point Vince McMahon was no longer tied to him as "Executive Producer" on all his movies.  It actually cost them a fair bit of money.  Rock apparently felt pretty slighted by the oversight and there was some bad blood over that for a while afterwards.  

WWE Revisionism

Hello Scott

with the "Ruthless Aggression" bs, I was just wondering

a)Which piece of WWE Revisionism did you find the funniest/made you

laugh the most?

and

b)Which piece of WWE Revisionism made you the angriest, really pissed

off?

Thanks


a)  Had to be the purging of the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit.  Could their be a more Vince McMahon move?

b)  I wouldn't say it made me angry as such, but the blatant lies and timeline-shifting about the WCW debacle was pretty bad. 

Cody and Kenny

So when aew was forming everyone assumed Kenny was gonna get the rocket push since he was the man in Japan and with the online base.  The more I watch I can’t believe how fast cody took the rocket and launched himself. Did anyone see this coming where Kenny is not another guy but maybe down played a bit and Cody is the mega star? 

Nope, and that's why wrestling is wonderful and everyone hates the Roman pushes so much.  You get over by getting over and there's no rules as to who gets over and how.  See also Hangman Page. 

Metal Gear Solid

Ever been a fan of it? What’s your general opinion of Hideo Kojima as a game maker and storyteller?

Thought I’d ask something non wrestling related 😉


I've never been a fan of Kojima, mostly because I never really got the MGS games.  I like the IDEA of open world games like MGS5 where you have the choice to play it however you want, but ultimately I prefer GTA or Red Dead or especially Spider-Man, where the game gives you the illusion of choice but then once you've chosen it tells you exactly what to do and how to do it.  I have the same issue with Hitman, which I desperately was wanting to like, but I can't wire my brain in a way to recognize patterns from targets figure out how to assassinate them.  I lose patience quickly and I just feel like "Tell me what to do already!"  


Too Much Dynamite

Hi Scott,

Just skimmed your latest Dynamite review, just quickly scrolling to see the star ratings but not the results as I'm from the UK and don't want spoilers.

Do you think they are giving too much away on TV?  You had two matches pegged at ****1/2 this week and several others from previous week's in the upper echelons as well.  Also, both title changes have occured on Dynamite and while it's nice to see this occasionally to keep interest in the programme you can't help wonder if it will hurt their PPV buys going forward.

I know Cornette gets a lot of stick for his old school views but I think he has a point when he talks about how they are just busting out every move and spot out there so quickly that it's just going to burn out because they've already done everything.

Thanks.

It's a different business now.  TV rights are the goal and PPV is the bonus money now.  But AEW is making money just by having Dynamite on the air and getting paid for it, so that's where their focus is.