Daily News Update – October 22, 2020

Quite a night of wrestling, and a pretty damn good World Series game as well.

NXT tag team titles change hands


Zicky Dice loses NWA TV title to the Pope; Billy Corgan insists that Powerrr is still a thing that exists


Allie is once again the Bunny



NXT – October 21, 2020

Date: October 21, 2020
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Wade Barrett, Vic Joseph

Things continue to be in a weird place around here as we are still needing a big star. Finn Balor is still out injured and I’m not sure how things are going to go without something to focus on. Next week’s Halloween Havoc should help, but you can only get so far with so little to build around. Let’s get to it.

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Best PPV that looked like the worst on paper

Playing off an email from yesterday asking what show was the biggest stinker despite having a strong roster/lineup, how about we switch gears: What PPV looked like total crap on paper, but turned out to be at least a good, enjoyable effort. Doesn't have to be show of the year or anything, just good enough to reach way above projections. 

My pick would be In Your House #2 (July '95). It had the unenviable task of recovering from the King of the Ring fiasco, and on paper, didn't promise much. Diesel/Sid on top for the 3rd month in a row, Roadie in a singles spot, Men on a Mission, and boring ass Double J limping along as IC Champion. Diesel/Sid still stunk, but the Kid and Roadie (An unproven commodity) put on a really good opener, MOM vs. Razor/Savio was a solid 2 stars better than it had any right to be (I give it 2 1/2 stars), and Shawn got an all-time classic out of Jarrett (find me Double J vs. ANYONE better than “good, I guess”). Yoko/Owen vs. Allied Powers wasn't much, nor was HOG/Bigelow, but neither bad enough to kill the goodwill of the rest of the show. 

There was an early Smackdown-only PPV that seemed like a clunker but just blew everyone out of the water in 2003.  Vengeance maybe?  I just remember something from that era for whatever reason.  

El Gigante vs. The Great Muta (and other Dream Matches)

And we’re back with more of wrestling’s most unusually-booked matches! Or just random stuff on YouTube I found! First up, one of the most disparate matches ever in terms of the gulf in workrate between the two competitors. Plus one of those “Split up two tag teams and have them wrestle each other” WWF matches that I love, the Beverlies taking on the weirdest JTTS duo ever, and then one of WCW’s weirdest Jobber Matches- an 8-man tag mixing the Quebecers, Roadblock & Greg Valentine together.

As always, WWF-owned clips are non-kosher to publish on the Blog, but you can find them easily enough on YouTube.

* Oh this just looks fascinating. Keiji Mutoh is at the peak of his abilities here as the Great Muta, and he’s up against the most hopeless man to ever have wrestled. Gigante just LOOKS awkward, being all gangly and 7’7″, especially in his little blue gym shorts. Muta’s a huge star in his black pants and black & white facepaint. Entrances and interviews take up a HUGE amount of this, as they’re clearly building it up as a huge deal.

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MJF/Jericho and the inevitable HHH response

So now that MJF/Jericho have gone and done a musical number which will no doubt go viral and only add to Jericho's fame and popularity, you think that HHH will probably try and top it purely out of spite and malice's sake? I mean, this is the same man who spent over a year burying the entire roster after Rock came back in the early 10s to critical acclaim for fuck's sake, because HHH couldn't contain his seething butthurt at how the fans loved Rock and welcomed him back and his role in that golden period of renewed interest in the WWE. 

Can we expect the entire roster of NXT to be forced to pay tribute to HHH in the coming weeks, complete with Cole and Gargona and Lumis and Kross and everyone else worth a damn prostrating themselves towards HHH and telling him how he's the biggest star in WWE history? Will we have to endure Asuka declaring to HHH “You truly are the king of kings!” when he saves her from the Fiend? Will Dominic Mysterio have to tell his dad on camera that HHH is his idol and that he wants to be just like him? Will Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns be forced to do a Bollywood musical number with HHH akin to Smither's “Mr Burns” pastiche that itself was based on the bit from Citizen Kane where one of Kane's flunkies does a whole song and dance number about how great Kane was? 

See, for everyone who has been getting upset at the idea of a song and dance number on a wrestling show, Jesse Baker takes it next level and turns it into an epic rant against HHH for something he hasn't even done.  This is why he's the professional. 

Lol, ok Bret

We were going for 15 minutes before we even got into the ring, and then, we did about 10 minutes in the ring. But we had another 25 minutes of a match that was planned out. If it had ever happened, it could have been one of the greatest matches of all time. And we’d be talking about that more today than the actual Screwjob.”

Ah, yes. We’d be talking about a 50 minute match between two guys who had fought roughly a billion times MORE than we’ve talked about WWE’s single most famous angle of all time that could be directly attributed to jump starting the most profitable and iconic period in the history of the company. I see absolutely nothing flawed in Bret’s logic here. 
To be fair, the man has had a stroke and several other serious head injuries over the course of his career. 


Hopefully the answer here isn't so simple as “that's just how it was done back then”, but given that Backlund had held the title forever, wouldn't Hogan vs. Backlund have been a much bigger match and a much better way to pass the torch?

Followup: if this was “just the way things were done”, what changed six years later to make Hogan vs. Warrior happen instead of jobbing Hogan to say, Rick Rude or Perfect to set up Warrior's title win? Wouldn't old time wrestling booking practice be to cheat Hogan out of the title so he stays basically unsullied and then Warrior crushes the dastardly heel at WM6?

With the Hogan win, they needed to accomplish two things:  

1.  Screw the all American white meat babyface out of the title via epic shenangians and put it on someone who no one could possibly cheer.

2.  Have Hogan win the title and completely crush some goober. 

Hence, the Iron Sheik.  They could not have booked the start of Hulk's reign any better.

As for Hogan-Warrior, they actually did that scenario with Sgt. Slaughter in 1991 to get it back on Hogan.  With the Warrior win, they were trying something else. And it failed because the show didn't draw like they were expecting and Warrior never got going as a top guy.  So yeah, in retrospect it was a pretty bad idea.  

Monday Night Raw – May 22, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: May 22, 2006
Location: Thomas And Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Smackdown has gotten through its pay per view now so it’s time for Raw to get ready for something of its own. In theory at least, as the next show is ECW One Night Stand, which could go in a lot of directions. This show has been a lot better than Smackdown as of late though so hopefully they keep it up here. Let’s get to it.

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Dynamite – October 21, 2020

Date: October 21, 2020
Location: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross

It’s time to start the second year as well as beginning the process of finding a new #1 contender. That means the first round of a tournament to crowd Jon Moxley’s next challenger, with the finals on November 7 at Full Gear. I’m not sure what to expect from this but it should be a wrestling heavy show. Let’s get to it.

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What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain Wrestling – August 5, 1995

Chip Kessler and Les Thatcher are in the booth and they are still covering action from the Jellico, Tennessee tapings.

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Dork Order

I actually enjoyed the Cody vs. Orange Cassidy match on the Dynamite Anniversary Show, but wouldn’t their new found rivalry make more sense if they were fighting to get a shot at Brodie Lee?  Seems like the Dark Order was really picking up some steam with Brodie as the TNT Champion and just completely got their legs cut out from beneath them because LOLCODYWINS
Apparently Brodie was never supposed to have gotten that reign and it was a last minute decision due to various shifting plans.  I would have left it on him personally, I liked him as champion more than Cody.  

Wrestling Cartoon

I have very fond memories growing up in the 80s and watching Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling on Saturday mornings. So I tracked down some DVDs and just rewatched the whole series…and I was very underwhelmed. 

Maybe watching cartoons in my 40s has jaded me, but the storylines were dumb, and I forgot that none of the wrestlers voiced their own characters. Hearing Brad Garrett as Hogan was just weird and I had no clue that Will Smith's TV dad voiced Junkyard Dog. And I was surprised there were only 2 short seasons…seemed like there were more when I was a kid. 

Ah well. Did you watch it back in the day? Anything to add?

It was on the Network for about 2 seconds and then got deleted for music rights issues.  I wish they’d bring it back, I’d review the shit out of it.  
But yeah of course I watched it as a kid.  Roddy Piper just hates that fucking ROCK N ROLL, man.  Fun fact:  The Moolah character was changed from the original design, which was going to be Mad Maxine, the next challenger to Wendi Richter.   But Maxine only lasted one show in real life and was gone, so they had to redo the cartoon plans.  

The SmarK Rant for WWF Superstars – 05.15.93

The SmarK Rant for WWF Superstars – 05.15.93

Taped from Tucson AZ and JESUS CAN WE GET AWAY FROM THIS TAPING ALREADY?  I know I sound like a broken record with this, but 3 weeks really is the ideal amount of time for a taping cycle and their super-cheap “stretch it out to 4 or 5 weeks” bullcrap is just killing this show.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage & Jerry Lawler

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Steve Blackman

Hi Scott, a couple questions on the most charismatic superstar in the world Steve Blackman.

1) How do you rate Blackman's run in the WWF during his main run 97-02? 

2) Whatever happened to the Steve Blackman: Bounty Hunter show that was filmed and being passed around the networks? 

3) If he hadn't nearly died from Malaria in 1988, how do you see his career going?
1.  He was a solid midcard character who knew his place.
2.  I'm assuming it was never picked up?
3.  He probably would have gotten involved in the new MMA scene and then hung around the indies like Dan Severn as a valuable two-way player for fighting and wrestling promotions. 

Burying NXT stars on the main roster

Keith Lee just jobbed to Braun Strowman in 3 minutes. Dijakovic wears a stupid mask, has a stupid name & tapped out in an 8 man tag on RAW, then got beat down post-match.

These guys are big, very talented & busted their asses to get over in NXT, and earn a main roster spot. And they're buried immediately. What is the point of having a system to create stars if you destroy them like this?

Literally no point.  NXT has completely fallen off the rails of what a developmental system is supposed to accomplish, to the point where guys like Gargano and Ciampa are basically fighting to stay OFF the main roster. 

Daily News Update – October 21, 2020

And a fine morning to you all.

WWE Being Investigated As Possible Coronavirus Hot Spot


Xia Li Is Having A Kickboxing Match This Weekend


An AEW Team Reunited On Dark



This morning brings us young Tenzan v. young Lance Storm from Europe in 1993!

Is Dark a Good Thing?

Hey Scott- What are you thoughts on AEW Dark? When it first started, I saw it as something like counter programing to NWA Powerr, and brought me back to the days when Velocity was in its original airing, but since COVID it has really blown up into this massive weekly 10+ match extravaganza. Does this expose their talent too much, giving the majority of the roster a match every week, or is it largely a good thing so people can keep working on their craft, pad their win/loss records and bring up new talent?

For me it's just WAY too much of a good thing.  Sometimes I'll watch 1 or 2 matches if I hear something's good, but sitting through nearly 2 hours of squash matches with no return on investment of my time is just not happening.  30 minutes was absolutely perfect for the show, sometimes 45 if there was something really big like Omega-Janela back in the day.  Like, that's it, that's all I would want out of that kind of show, and now it's just getting into self-indulgence territory like WWE's “filling time for the sake of it” programming.