Stand up for the WWE!

I read this in one of the comments and I vaguely recall it.  From what I remember they wanted everyone to just go around and defend the WWE.  Do you know the story behind that? I would've loved to hear Meltzer's taken on that.

​Oh god, that was SO stupid.  Basically Linda was flailing around trying to win a Senate seat in CT and there was some nonsense about fans wearing WWE merchandise not being allowed to participate in polls, so they played the “wah wah free speech” card and tried to mobilize their audience as a persecuted minority.  It was just a really, REALLY transparently desperate attempt to help Linda's election chances, and we're talking “transparently desperate” even by WWE's already low standards.  By the time we got to the point of Linda putting up posters that linked her campaign with Obama (despite running as a Republican) it was all over but the crying.  ​And given Vince spent tens of millions of his own personal fortune on those campaigns, there was likely a lot of crying.

Future of 205 Live

Have you been watching the new version of 205 Live? I no longer subscribe to the network but I've heard it's been almost universally praised. I've read one review where they said the difference is  night and day. It's now the “Sport” brand under the WWE umbrella. That's awesome that they at least have an identity.

One has to wonder though about the future of the brand. Now with dual brand PPVs, it's entirely possible that a cruiserweight championship match might not even make the kickoff shows. Most certainly we will never see a title match on a PPV again.

What do you think Triple H's vision is for the brand? The tournament style certainly worked for the Cruiserweight Classic and it's apparently working for 205 Live. Do they keep the tournament style sport aspect of the show and determine #1 contenders through tourneys? Do they create tag titles and then keep the momentum going with a tournament for them?

Surely he can't have the vision of one day having quarterly network specials from Full Sail?

​I haven't been watching, no.  Not sure what HHH's vision might be, but as long as SOMEONE has a vision for it, they're better off.  Frankly they shouldn't be on PPV anyway, because they need to be kept separate from the main brands so it can be special.  ​

Aleister Black

Am I missing something, or is this guy a complete can’t miss superstar?  Now I’m certain the writers can completely screw the pooch with him when he’s called up to the majors, but he just seems like a slam dunk of looks, ability, fan intrigue and a kick ass theme song.  I think they should have him completely skip the courting period that is winning the NXT title (he doesn’t need it) and get him on Raw the night after Mania.

Hell…forget having a match for The Undertaker. Have him come out for a Mania promo to officially announce his retirement, have Black come out and absolutely destroy him and blow the roof off Superdome. Or Silverdome, if you’re Hogan. But seriously…am I missing something?

​I think he might be a bit old for them, but yeah, I'm pretty sure he's moving up after Wrestlemania, or maybe even winning the ARMBaR there ala Corbin.  ​

Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

We've seen cases in wrestling where a career ending injury was caused (or it started a problem) by a singular move gone wrong, and also the ones where an ongoing problem was eventually capped by a bad move & the career went downhill afterwards.

The recent thing with Paige appearing to be at the end of her career due to a basic kick sounds more like the latter, which was just the final straw on a bad neck. It got me wondering about other cases, specifically HBK.

Was Shawn's back f**ked for that whole period & the Casket Match backdrop was the final straw, or was he physically okay & the backdrop caused it?
From what I believe Shawn has said in the past, the casket was basically the one bump that incited neck problems that were there the whole time.  If it wasn't that, it would have been something else that cashed in his bump card.  

Your Mom


Back in the early 90s there was an angle where Rick Rude was insulting the Big Boss Man's mother. It went on for a while and then he was “fired” for it.

Was there actually going to be a pay off to this or did they just know Rude was leaving and wanted an excuse?

A bit of both.  It was leading to Rude/Bossman at Wrestlemania as originally planned as far as I know, but Rude was injured and they kept advertising him in main events at house shows anyway.  Rude argued that if they're using his name to draw the house, he should be paid main event money for those shows, and when Vince disagreed, Rude told him where to stick it and quit. 

Gauntlet as PPV?

Given how well people have responded to the RAW Gauntlet and Seth Rollins' epic performance – doesn't it seem like this type of match would be a natural to anchor a Pay-Per-View? The format seems to have solid booking potential, and is a hell of a lot simpler to understand than the Elimination Chamber (plus no setup required!) If you have a RAW Gauntlet and a Smackdown Gauntlet, you've got two main events plus you've booked 12-14 of your top people; similar to the dual-MITB pay-per-views. Hell, run it in December and make the prize a last-5 spot in the Rumble.

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That one moment

Scott- watching the network has reminded me of that moment when I became a wrestling fan for life. Was it a single thing or a build over time?

For me it was post wm-2…My dad had been a fan and I watched it with him on TBS in the early 80s and was into the fad of rock n wrestling…everything was fun and all but post wm-2 wwf just went nuts…it started with Roberts dropping Steamboat on his head on snme (still one of the most brutal bumps ever) which lead me to Piper/Adonis, Hogan/Ornodorff then Savage/Steamboat and of course Hogan/Andre

Throw in the Bulldogs and I was hooked…1986 into 1987 made me a fan for life but it started with that one DDT.

Yup, close to the same for me, as I've mentioned many times before.  My dad watched Stampede and Tomko's All Star wrestling out of Cloverdale with champion John Tenta and heel announcer Mauro Ranallo (who was something like 16 at that point), and I stubbornly refused to watch with him.  Then my mom rented Wrestlemania 2 for my 12th birthday party and it was pretty cool, and then Orndorff turned on Hogan, Adonis mauled Piper, and Savage dropped the bell on Steamboat and we were off to the races.  Then I got really sick one week and my mom bought me the year end issue of PWI to read in bed, and I was like “I bet this NWA stuff is on TV here somewhere”.

Hogan v Rock WM X18

Hi Scott,
  Love the blog….must read each and every day for me at work.  Quick question.  Watching WM X18 Hogan vs Rock which is one of my favorite matches as far as star power, spectacle, build up and crowd emotion.  My question….did WWE expect the crowd reaction and was there an audible called during the match to switch things up as far as whom worked heel and whom worked face?  Were Hall and Nash always scheduled to attack Hogan?  If so is there any stories I can read or vids I can watch online regarding it.  Watching it tonight I get just as excited watching as I did originally….Thanks for the time.  Adam

​There was a pretty good idea going into the match that the crowd would react like they did, given Hogan had been getting babyface reactions all weekend.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  ​

PPV Idea

Hey, for a PPV idea or a new spin on Bragging Rights. I would love to see NXT, United Kingdom, and Cruiserweights involved. I would rename the PPV to One Night Only. Here is the dream card,

Brock vs Nakamura
Reigns vs Corbin to make Vince Happy
Styles vs Rollins
Aleister Black vs Demon Balor
Gable vs Dunne vs Gargano
Sanity vs Bludgeon Bros, Bray Wyatt
Cesaro vs Benjamin
Mark Andrews vs Cedric Alexander
Braun Strowman vs Lars Sullivan
Miz vs Roode vs Almas
Tag Team Turmoil, NXT, Smackdown, Raw, United Kingdom.
Undisputed ERA vs the Revival 
Adam Cole vs Itami

OK, but real talk:  That show would be 15 hours long and I don't really see what the point would be.  

John Tenta

Given that you were reading the Observer in '96, was there any reason why The Giant joined the nWo in the early stages of the stable? Wasn't the original concept that it was WWF guys…Hogan, Hall, Nash, and Diabase? The Giant just doesn't make any sense in that respect.

My only guess is that they needed a huge massive guy to join to make it look believable when the nWo fought the entire WCW roster? If that is the case, why not go with John “Earthquake/Avalanche” Tenta? He was a massive monster, a legitimate real life tough guy, and a well-known WWF guy. Was he ever an option?

​Not that I know of. Giant was just added because they wanted a big name WCW guy to switch sides as far as I remember.  Regardless, I wasn't reading the Observer in 96, because I barely had money to eat at that point and Observer subs are expensive.  I've been a subscriber since 2000, however.  ​

Bischoff/Goldberg challenging McMahon/Austin

  When Eric Bischoff challenged Vince McMahon to a fight in 1998 on Nitro and Goldberg did the same with Steve Austin about a year later was there any method behind this madness, or was it just pure desperation for WCW at that point?  They must have known that McMahon and Austin would not respond to them on WWF T.V., letalone show up on their shows.

​It was pure desperation.  Not only that, but it ended up costing them from a legal standpoint as well because WWE sued on the basis that when a wrestling promoter states that someone isn't showing up, then QED they are showing up.  So they argued that WCW was de facto advertising Vince McMahon for the PPV and it went very badly for WCW.​

2 Questions

Hey Scott, hope all is well. 3 questions.

1. Favorite Finisher? For me, always the powerbomb.

2. Is there a wrestler you hated when you were younger, but, now watching his/ her matches, you appreciate them more? 

​1. Hard to argue with the classics, but for me the various versions of the Diamond Cutter have supplanted it.
2.  Ronnie Garvin.  It was still suicidal to make him the champion in 87, but I like him a lot more.  Also, SGT. F'N SLAUGHTER.  Holy cow I wish he hadn't gotten lazy and fat by the time I was watching on a regular basis.​

Mania Booking

Whats with the last minute booking this year? Usually starting with SurSer or latest Rumble, we have an idea whats happening, they start the builds for Mania or atleast tease some matches. Instead you got Nakamura hanging around backstage so he can give Styles random threats because thats the only clear match they want to do other then Brock/Reigns and even then a wrentch can get thrown in last min if somebody else wins the 5 way. Not even any word how they plan to blow off Zayn/Owens vs Shane. They are literally waiting till monday after Chamber before they start.

​Yup, welcome to the world of 17 hours of TV a week to fill.  We've still gotta get through Fastlane as well, so they can delay any potential payoffs even MORE.  I think it'll probably end up with Zayn v. Owens at Wrestlemania, but I have no earthly idea of what the payoff to Bryan v. Shane is supposed to be, exactly.  ​