Prime Time!

Hi Scott,

New episodes of Prime Time up on the Network from '89… Well, about a dozen. Gonna review them?

Wait until you hear the monstrosity they've used to replace Rick Rude's music with now – even worse than the non-Stripper music they've been using since the Hall of Fame!
I'm very saddened that they've basically abandoned the classic content drops on the Network.  Hopefully they put some more Superstars on there soon but I'm not holding my breath. 

Gunn club

Hello, Scott,

I’m reading about some AEW matches that have already happened or are about to air and I saw that Billy Gunn is teaming with his son Austin as the Gunn Club. How does that work? I can’t see WWE letting billy use the Gunn name, but apparently he even has shirts with it. I figured they’d argue it’s violating their copyright.

Did they not renew the billy Gunn copyright, or does Billy have some special deal that allows him to use the Gunn name in exchange for commenting on video complications or something?

Just real li wondering how long wwe is gonna let it slide…

One incredibly smart thing that AEW did, which no one else has thought to do outside of the promoter who owns "Superstars of Wrestling", is actually check for which trademarks that WWE failed to renew and then go through and get them all.  When they fired Billy Gunn a couple of years ago, they stopped using the trademark and thus AEW was able to get it for themselves, along with Bash at the Beach and "The Match Beyond" and a bunch of other ones.  Since you have to actively use trademarks to retain them and WWE likes to save money by letting them lapse and then buying them back later if needed.  So yeah, totally legal from that regard.  On the other hand, Gunn going "Suck it" and doing the crotch chops is pretty clearly a protected DX trademark, so that could get him in some legal hot water.  

Another Waitwaitwaitwaitwait Question

From your 1998 Rumble review:

"The Honky Tonk Man is #19 at 30:30"

"Vader is #30 at 50:00 and he tosses Honky at 50:30"

They booked Honky to go twenty minutes in the Rumble?!? I mean, I know
the roster was thin, but FUCK. Who made that call?

I've seen that Rumble a handful of times and I don't remember that
booking at all…


Yeah I didn't really remember Honky that year either but he was definitely in there for 20 minutes.  Not doing much of anything, mind you, but they were really hard up for bodies to fill that thing.

Gimmick Failures and Restarts

In the ’98 Rumble Rant, you mentioned the transformation of
Goldust to “The Artist Formerly Known As” and them eventually walking back and going
to the standard Goldust look and gimmick a few months after they killed it off.
Other than Chavo Jr. in 2005 (for reasons that were done probably for 1 very significant
reason), any other notable gimmicks where a wrestler did a drastic change that
bombed, forcing the company to abandon ship and go back to what worked before?

I think the most drastic with the biggest consequences for the company was repackaging Steve Austin as the paranoid heel in 2001 for the Invasion, which got walked back completely by Survivor Series into beer-drinking Austin again.  By which point it was too late to save the character as a top draw.  

Wrestler that plays heel/face equally well?


What wrestler, either past or present, do you think plays a face and heel equally well?  I don't know about all time, but currently I think I'd give the nod to Randy Orton here.    

Randy Orton is a spectacular babyface and a blah heel.  Ric Flair was always the good standard for both, mostly because he had to be whatever the situation called for as NWA champion for years and years.  

Warrior

Based on your Rumble 91 rant, how do you book the title match?  Warrior seems to be over.  Savage hit him with the scepter and get disqualified then they double team him?  Hogan saves?  

Warrior faces Savage in title vs career while Hogan faces Slaughter.  Then maybe have UT cost warrior the title over the summer and have Hogan win at summer slam?

Yeah, they 100% should have put the brakes on the Slaughter angle at the Rumble given how fast the "war" ended. Just as you noted, Warrior wins by DQ, Hogan saves.  Maybe Slaughter does something deplorable to Warrior, like blinds him with a fireball, and Hogan decides to avenge Warrior FOR AMERICA?  I dunno, but Hogan did not need the belt after Wrestlemania given the direction was a tag team match at Summerslam anyway. 

Revival

Hey Scott, so the revival lose last night, which is no surprise, but, the revival talk about the WWE caring about them as much as the rest of the tag division? One, do you think the Revival is staying? Two, is a tag reboot in the works?

It's been a pretty poorly-kept secret that the Revival are going to AEW as soon as their contract is up after Wrestlemania, which is why they're getting buried week after week.  And no, Vince never has and never will give a crap about rebuilding the tag team division as long as he can keep going back to the New Day and the Drunk Drivers over and over.  

Raw Dec 7,1998

Hey Scott.


Wondered if you could shed light on something that is bugging me.


I'm watching the Dec 7, 1998 edition of Raw on the Network and Michael Cole is alongside Jerry Lawler on commentary. During the first match, Cole sends condolences to Jim Ross and his family after the passing of JR's mother.


Yet on certain camera angles, it is clearly JR (complete with cowboy hat) sat at the commentary desk alongside "The King".


This episode is supposedly 1 night after Capital Carnage in London, so i'm guessing this Raw was recorded before the UK trip, but why redo commentary when JR can clearly be seen at ringside? After all, it wasn't a secret that Raw wasn't live every week.

Oh, it certainly was still a "secret", in that Vince (to this day in fact!) desperately believes that you have to promote the illusion of live TV or else people won't tune in.  But yeah, the show was recorded on the Tuesday previous, I believe, and so they overdubbed Cole after the fact.  You can see similar stuff on the 95 shows all the time, where they'll overdub commentary on the three taped shows but a lot of times the camera will cut to Vince and Lawler at ringside and you can literally see them just sitting there watching the monitor and not saying anything.  It's one of the dangers of taping TV with the announce desk at ringside instead of off near the back.  

2 Person Announce Teams

Do you think USA followed in Fox's footsteps of requesting going back to a 2 person announce team for Raw like on Smackdown, or do you believe Vince finally came to the realization how much 3 person announce teams, or at least the WWE's 3 person announce teams, suck?
Vince isn't big on realizing things.  I think they just did it for symmetry with the FOX show.

Villainous Dark Order

Hey Scott, seeing the news today that apparently before he decided on staying in ROH, AEW had been planning to debut Marty Scurll as the leader of the Dark Order on the final Dynamite of 2019 got me thinking about two questions.

1.) Do you think Scurll would have been a great fit in the Dark Order as their leader, salvaging one of their bigger duds of a storyline so far?

2.) Why do you think they still ran the angle where they attacked the Elite at the end of that episode even though they didn't have the big payoff without Scurll, considering they haven't even followed up on it since that night?

1.  I thought he would have fit OK, but would have been better leading the Butcher and the Blade.  Everyone is pretty sure that Broken Matt 2.0 is going to end up leading the Dark Order in March, and that will be awesome if they play it right.  Could also be Luke Harper, finally getting to lead his own cult family.  

2.  It was a bad booking decision on their part.  It happens.  Plans change.  

Question

After SummerSlam 88, I don’t recall Hogan and Andre ever crossing paths again in the WWF.  And after Savage retires then comes back, he really never interacts with Hogan again save for that one tag match against Jake and Beserker.  It was almost like they were keeping them in their own universe.  why?  You’d think there would have been some money in Hogan and Andre reuniting.  
Never thought about it, but yeah, you're right.  Hogan and Savage I understand keeping them apart because of A Show / B Show dynamics and their relationship was on-again off-again at the best of times, but yeah, they could have popped a number with a Hogan/Andre v. Earthquake/Bravo tag match somewhere. 

AEW Type wrestling quick fire questions.

Hey, Scott,


Really enjoying watching AEW wrestling since it started, but I'm drunk and bored before it airs here in the UK so answers please-


1) Is this the most entertaining Chris Jericho we have ever seen


2) JR love him but he just seems off a step, time to hang up the Mike and move to backstage/taped AEW Dark Comms


3) Womans Divison could be great but cant keep track, how many do you cut


4) Ray Fenix is amazing, Play it right run him as top single star for a year, it could work right


5) Do we need a mid card belt to elevate some of the top guys


Finally would you change much currently or are you invested enough to let it roll on.

1.  I still find his 98 WCW run as the conspiracy victim to be the best, but as a main event guy he's on another level right now.
2.  Agreed.  They've got Taz now and he's got great chemistry with Excalibur on his Dark appearances and he should probably replace JR.  Since they're re-launching Dark as A-Show 2.0, Jim would be perfect for that.  
3.  I'd cut a great deal of them.  Really you only need 4 at most for a while.  Riho, Shida, Britt Baker and Statlander and you're good.  Then you can cycle a couple out after a few months.
4.  Fenix is great, agreed.  
5.  We haven't even had a title change yet in the promotion, I'd wait to start introducing more belts.  
And finally, this is the most investment and fun I've had watching a wrestling show since RAW in 1997.  Aside from a couple of minor gripes, I'm happy to let them go where they want.  

The Mega-Powers breakup



As a follow-up to my question about the separate Hogan/Savage house show tours, I once read something that Charlie Reneke – so yes, consider the source – opined that the actual Mega-Powers break-up at The Main Event had a bit of flopsweat stink to it, because
they had to hotshot the whole angle in one night because they blew so many chances to gradually build up dissension between them, with Hogan as the unequivocal babyface.  This has some holes, as they definitely did tease problems (Savage dilly-dallying in
making the save when Hogan was being double-teamed by the Towers), but there were some definite missteps in building it up, particularly in keeping Hogan the virtuous one (see the Royal Rumble).  What say you?  Is there a point to be made there?


Similarly, have you yet conceded that Hogan should have won at WM5, because you don't do a fuck finish at your biggest show for the express purpose of building up a smaller show?

On the first subject, Hogan-Savage was one of the biggest drawing matches ever, so it’s hard to second guess the way they built it.  
On the second, I just think that Savage had such nuclear heat that you could have drawn with him at house shows for months as heel champion getting chased by Brutus or whoever, and also done Hogan on top against another heel at the other set of shows.  And then the Summerslam blowoff where Hogan wins once and for all. 

Shtick

Hey Scott-

Thinking back to the glory days off early 2000s wrestling, wrestlers all had a fun shtick that helped even the midcarders get over: Edge and Christians five second pose, Kurt Angles three "I"s, Godfathers Ho Train, Too Cools Dancing, Kai En Tai's "Indeed", etc. Why has this seemingly stopped, or when a wrestler does get a shtick over (Rusev day comes to mind) it's seemingly punished? Those were great ways to differentiate the midcard and get the audience hyped and playing along, and they don't really seem to bother anymore.

Because now the mentality is that it's only the writers or Brock Lesnar who are allowed to organically come up with stuff, from what I can tell.  And New Day to a certain extent.  

Less Likely Rumble Winners

It looks pretty obvious that Roman Reigns is going to win the Men’s Royal Rumble.  The women’s may be a little more open with Charlotte Flair, Shayna Baszler, or Ronda Rousey (?) seeming like realistic options.

Who would you actually like to see win the Rumble this year that makes sense but isn’t the obvious choice?  Personally, I think Ricochet or Kevin Owens would both be great choices – especially if they faced Brock, still allowing Fiend vs. Roman to happen.  For the women, maybe Sasha Banks as a logical way to get to the rumored Bayley vs. Sasha match.

Who winning would make it most worth your while when you sit down for a five hour PPV next Sunday?


I can't say that I have any particular emotional investment in anyone on the men's side.  The only person who I think was due to win for a while was Braun Strowman, but they've completely shit the bed with him at this point and it would be a waste.  Might as well be Roman, I guess.

For the women, if they're debuting Shayna on the main roster at the Rumble, then clearly she needs to bulldoze through the field after coming in at #20 or so and win the thing.  I'm just worried that Vince won't get her deal and won't like her look.  But the thing is also, people are saying "Oh, we need Becky v. Shayna at WM to pay off the Becky storyline", but we already had Becky v. Shayna v. Bayley at Survivor Series and it mostly sucked.  

So I dunno, I'm not seeing much out of this show.  

Royal Rumble question

Hi Scott,

 

In the wake of the Houston Astros forever tarnishing the pristine sanctity of America's pastime by stealing the 2017 World Series like the Hart Foundation stole the tag team titles from the British Bulldogs, isn't it time for Vincent K. McMahon and the WWE to claim the moral high ground and move the Royal Rumble away from the Astros' home stadium?  I hear Jeddah and Riyadh are nice this time of year.  Or at least move it to a competitor's stadium like the Oakland Coliseum.

 

If it stays in Houston, over/under on the number of creative members of the WWE Universe who bring a "The Astros stole my other sign" sign to the show?

 

Have a good weekend!

Wait, what's wrong with the Astros?  They took out the Yankees last year and that makes them good people in my book.  

Outtakes

Hey Scott,

Just a quick question. If there was ever a wrestling segment, promo or interview that you wish had outtakes to watch, what would it be? 

Personally, I don’t know if the outtakes have ever been shown for it but I would love to see the outtakes for when Steve Austin and Kurt Angle are singing to Vince McMahon.

Vince could barely keep it together while those skits were happening, I can only imagine what was left on the cutting room floor.  The crazy thing is that they probably have hours and hours of that stuff that they could package on the Network or YouTube, and they just don't.  Look at the stuff they found in Verne's archives, for example!  They could have content for years just doing that stuff.

Anyway, my choice would be Mick Foley visiting Vince in the hospital.  There had to be dozens of takes there.  

Nash/Mox comparisons

Hi Scott,

Is it fair to compare Jon Moxley's current run to Kevin Nash's when he jumped to WCW in 1996? Its probably not a perfect comparison by any means but I can see some similarities.
 

Guy gets over with a cool heel run, the WWE smooth off his rough edges (in Nash's case becoming smiling babyface Diesel in '95 and in Moxley's becoming wacky idiot Dean Ambrose) killing off a lot of their momentum in the process before moving to another company that allows them to find their edge again.

What say you?

Does that mean when the Revival and Luke Harper and all the other disgruntled guys show up on AEW they're gonna form the nWo? Everything old really is new again.  Hopefully Vince didn't let THAT trademark slide.