1 and only plus of Raw after SS97

Hey Scott,

Just a quick follow up to the post about the Raw the night after Survivor Series '97. I happened to be in Ottawa for it that night, and while it seemed cool at the time it truly is an awful episode that doesn't hold up… except for the DX promo at the top of the show. Unless I'm mistaken I think it was the very first time the DX theme ever got used, I remember distinctly the moment it started up it stole the audience's attention completely. Rude's intro spiel got interrupted three times thanks to the heat he was getting, and of course the entire building wanted to almost legitimately kill Shawn.

Mind you it all went downhill from there, unless you're the type of person who enjoys Blackjack-era Bradshaw in some sort of no dq match.

​Oh yeah, it was AMAZING.  Even watching at home we were legit like "OH SHIT!  The business just changed!"  It was seriously like a defining line between eras, with one ending via the screwjob and then the new one beginning with the D-X theme, one of the few times you can pinpoint it like that exactly.  ​

“Mr. America” 2003

 Was the whole "Mr. America" Hulk Hogan angle on Smackdown in 2003 ever supposed to actually have gone somewhere?  They spent a lot of time on that storyline, then Hogan was gone in a flash.  Any idea?  Thanks. 

In Hogan's mind it was leading to him being WWE champion again, but Vince disagreed and thus we never found out what the payoff was.  That seemed to happen a few times with Hulk.  

Worst RAW episode

In your eyes, what's the worst of all RAW episodes you remember?

Just watched RAW after Survivor Series 97, and it's totally abysmal and almost worthless (short Rock vs Austin segment was ok). Heatless segments by the ton, brutal botches, bad interviews (Jarrett/JR!!), lame Butterbean stuff, NOBODY was over except DX, Taker, hot female valets/ring announcers (Sable & Sunny), and to a lesser extent Shamrock. Remember watching it back in the days as a young teen and being heavily disappointed

Yeah, the entire roster was on the verge of mutiny that night and morale was essentially in the toilet.  It was REALLY bad.  
There's also the Tiny Tim episode, although that was from the squash era anyway.  From the modern era, I was at a RAW in Calgary in 09 hosted by Sgt Slaughter that was brutal.  It was the one where Shawn was a short order cook.  And of course the infamous Dr Ken SummerFest episode.  

“Ratings were clearly falling” / “Styles == RATINGS”


You knew I couldn't let that one slide broski…but there's probably a small grain of truth there.
Colors obviously chosen to resemble what life was like for people before and after the big event.  
It actually looks like things fell off a cliff post Superstar shakeup and never really recovered to the level before that.  If anything it looks like Jinder juiced the ratings up for a little while.  
The biggest spike in the green end is when Vince comes to Smackdown, in fact.  Maybe he should have been challenging Jinder instead?
Come on, that's pretty specious reasoning. If you're going to credit Jinder for ratings increases, then logically they would have dropped when he wasn't in the featured slot or main event, and that wasn't ever the case.  Plus the actual reason for his title reign was increasing Network buys in India, and that didn't happen. Plus house show business and TV attendance were nearing historic lows as of late, so if there WAS some magical interest in Jinder as champ, it had long faded after the initial ironic hipster douchebag phase.  While you can't necessarily blame him for the downturn, you certainly can't credit him for an upswing.

This has got to be a work….right?


Doesn't make sense. Sami and Kevin are from every report I've ever heard or read two of the nicest most respectful guys on the roster. They don't even party like a lot of the guys and gals. 
I even watched the end of the Sami match back again and I didn't see anything there that would constitute "going into business for themselves". Sami loses to a cross body (lame) and Kevin throws some worked punches and they run away. All seems to be apart of the storyline, which I should asd is Sami and Kevin not caring about Smackdown, I.E. "going into business for themselves".  
So is this how WWE has to garner heat? Create fake stories in real life to trick the fans? Or is this legit? 

Maybe they've just got the mumps?  I hear it's going around. 

Styles/Lesnar is a dream match. You sure?

Hey Scott,

Styles vs. Lesnar sounds good but I do not want a match between these two with Brock in preparation for Roman. Mainly because we're not going to get a legit, this match don't mean nothing, we're just going to go out there and tear the house down match. And WWE doesn't want want anyone to tear the house down with Brock because they want him to look as strong as possible for Roman. He's going to kill AJ and I think it's a waste of him on this card.

Your thoughts?

Lord, why must you tempt me with false "dream matches" and then cruelly rip them away from me?  WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?  Tell me who to smite and they shall be smoten!  Is it Sexy Miz you need dealt with, o Lord?  Because he's been asking for it for a while now. 
You're right, let's just put it back on Jinder.  AJ is already a failure as champ.

Women in HoF

Hey Scott,

1) Has there been any thought to putting Sable in the WWE HoF? For a brief period, she was basically one of the top acts there.

2) Has there been any thought to putting Trish Stratus, Lita or anyone else in the WON HoF? There are no US Female HoFers in anything, wrestling or managing. I know there might be controversies putting people like Moolah or Woman in there but what about May Young, Medusa, Sherri Martel? Elizabeth had a STELLAR career as a manager even if she basically just stood there. Have any of these women even been up for discussion?

​1.  Sable wants nothing further to do with being on screen in WWE as far as I'm aware.  They could absolutely put her in their Hall of Fame, though.
2.  Trish and Lita were both eligible and dropped off the ballot because of not enough support, I believe.  They weren't as good in the ring as the men of the same time period (or anywhere near as good as the women working Japan at the same time), and main eventing one RAW doesn't qualify as drawing money.  ​And if we're looking at things objectively, I don't see where Liz had a "stellar" career as a manager, especially since she couldn't cut promos and Savage drew just as much money without her around.  She was cool addition to the act and helped get him over initially, but let's not go crazy here. There's a lot of very specific criteria for the WON Hall, and the women on your list don't meet any of them.  

The Bar

Has there ever been a better thrown together tag team than Cesaro and Sheamus? At least in the modern era? And I mean two established stars who rightfully deserved singles pushes and could have sulked about being randomly put in a tag team, but instead embraced it and went all out, giving themselves a team name, getting matching gear, inventing wacky double team moves and a badass entrance together, and generally going out and having solid tag matches.

I like me some Rock and Sock as much as the next guy, but they probably had, like, three matches as a team. I'm talking real tag teams who stuck around for a while and could realistically be called a unit.

​Oh yeah, they're right up there.  Don't forget that the New Age Outlaws were also just a thrown-together team in the early days and they got themselves over, so that could also count.  But Cesaro & Sheamus have been doing some really high-level stuff as a team since forming and I'm glad it's paying off with so many reigns for them.  ​

Styles vs. Nakamura

The reason why Styles and Nakamura have not wrestled each other yet is because AJ said on Edge & Christian's podcast he specifically asked management to not put them in a match where it does not mean anything special. It was also his idea for their Money in the Bank face off just to show them the crowd reaction and that their match would be special.
So my question is: do you think it is a smart choice to hold off for a special event or should they have done it already? It has hurt Nakamura to show off his skills since appearing on the main roster when he has been put in feuds with Ziggler, Corbin, and Jinder. His matchas with Cena and Orton were good, but they were just TV good and had no build to them

​They should have just done it already.  It would have gotten Nakamura 100 times more over than doing clean jobs to Jinder would have, that's for damn sure.  ​

Change of plans???

With AJ ending the awful Mahal reign what are the chances that:

A) this is just a ratings thing, Jinder wins it back in India, and the Mahal/Cena WM plan commences unscathed   Or…
B) is this a huge indictment of the Mahal experiment and is this the end of main event Jinder, with WM plans seemingly changed. Maybe Jinder/Cena stays but job title and they do AJ/Nakamura?
C) If A, how can you still trust Jinder till Mania, when you tried and failed to sell the Brock match
D) Does Brock give a different effort against AJ, or is this an extended Suplex City squash?

My gut says A unfortunately. This feels like Luger beating Hogan right before Road Wild 97.

​This doesn't feel like a temporary switch.  Clearly ratings were dropping and Vince wanted to do something, plus this also juices Survivor Series significantly because HELL YEAH I wanna see that main event now.  And I don't think Brock will do a squash for this one, clearly AJ is a guy that everyone likes and respects and I bet AJ was put in this position specifically to get the big match out of Brock.  
Also, have I not been saying for weeks "They should just put the title back on AJ"?  They should really listen to me more often.​

Jim Ross

I'm watching the Bret vs Shawn collection and JR and Gorilla are announcing a match between the two for the Intercontinental title. I thought JR had to "wear a toga his first day" in the WWF? Was this a delayed Collesium Video release?

​Yes, JR recorded commentary for matches that were taped months before he got to the company, and then they used that version on Coliseum Video.  Normally those tapes didn't come out until months and months after the matches were taped anyway, so you'd end up with oddball stuff like that fairly regularly.​

Poor forgotten Rumble

I hate how they keep repeatedly saying that Survivor Series is the only time a year to see Raw and Smackdown superstars against each other. Every time that phrase gets used I think to myself "Except for that whole Royal Rumble thing." I can't be the only one, right?

​Yeah, but when the Rumble comes, then THAT will be the only time to see Raw and Smackdown superstars against each other.  You see how that works.​