Hall Of Pain


Reading the reheating topic from earlier today got me thinking. Assume that Mark Henry had his Hall of Pain gimmick in the Attitude Era instead of lingering as Sexual Chocolate. Would it have worked then and left him as a legit main eventer for the next decade, or was 2011 just the right place and time for him?

I think he could have been a credible challenger for Austin with that gimmick had the foundation been laid beforehand, but really his 96-97 rookie years were so bad for him that it would have backfired anyway.  He was better off as comic relief.  

Undertaker on FOX

The Undertaker/Sami segment got me weirdly interested in the idea of a Taker/Nakamura match, which would be such a bizarre "can you believe this is happening?" styles clash of a dream match.

But it also got me thinking of a way to use Undertaker as a featured attraction once more.  Say Taker/Nak actually have a match, and Taker wins the IC title.  He then proclaims that "the dead will rise" once every 30 days to defend his title on Smackdown, issuing an open challenge to any former IC champ.

Every month, then, Smackdown and FOX get to promote a rare Undertaker match.  Using the FOX pregame show style and WWE's own video package abilities, they could really get over Taker's mystique, interview the guy who answers the challenge in advance, put over how big it is for some younger guy to wrestle Undertaker for the first time, and how bigger it would be to actually beat him.  Here's a hook for six months of SD programming until Taker drops the belt to someone at Wrestlemania, putting them over in a big way.

Owing to Taker's health, the matches wouldn't exceed ten minutes, and he'd face opponents that wrestle a safe style and could bump around for him.  (Maybe at least one of the matches would be a total 30-second squash of an arrogant heel.)  The model here is the Undertaker/Mysterio match from the 2010 Royal Rumble — hell, Rey could even be one of the monthly challengers. 

Ugh, no more Undertaker.  They already have enough of a problem with the old guys completely overshadowing their current "stars" as it is.  

Kevin Owens

So Scott as you heard poor Kevin Owens was "fired" last night. Instead of continuing this never ending fued with Shane, what if he gets moved to NXT? It would give them some star power with the move to USA and he could provide some fresh matchups with Cole, Gargano, Ciampia, Dream. Then they could move him back when WrestleMania season gets going.

That is apparently the plan, yes.  

Those Who Forget History…



From your latest ECW review:

"This is basic storytelling stuff that’s completely lacking on these shows, which are basically preaching to ECW choir. But if you don’t watch the syndicated show, this one offers no character explanations or backstory."

Do you think AEW will avoid this trap come October, or will we have to watch BTE in order to follow what the hell is going on?

Fair question. I have been asking exactly the same thing. 

AEW

Hey Scott, hope all is well with you. I was thinking about the AEW going live and I will be checking out the product no doubt. But, my concern is a lot of the talent do not have TV experience. For example, a wrestler like Orange Cassidy is fine in small venues at different Indy events, but an act like his I dont think will translate to a weekly product. Its something to be enjoyed in doses, not constant. I also think alot of the talent are going to have trouble with agents and TV producers. On the indy scene, you can freelance, on a cable network in prime time, can they change the approach? Also, promos sell, can Hangman Page sell me on a big time match with a Jericho or Ambrose?

I am not saying they lack talent, but the one thing WWE does is prepare performers to be salesmen. You can work a great match, but if there is no story, it just becomes a weekly two hour spot fest. WCW had spotfests, but, they had some good stories as well with Sting, NWO, Piper, Hogan, etc. 

Well I guess we'll find out on October 2.  

Consistency

When it comes to banning things like specific moves or chairshots, I share the Lance Storm opinion where he basically said "they shouldn't ban stuff, just train guys better on doing it safely."

That said, moves like the Piledriver have been banned. But if you watch things like 205 Live or NXT, you got people busting out Reverse Frankensteiners and Canadian Destroyers; moves with far more risk and chance of injury.

Is this simply a case of shows/matches Vince isn't paying attention to, or guys doing stuff & asking for apologies later?

It's Vince not paying attention.  And yeah, it's dumb that piledrivers are banned but guys are doing Canadian Destroyers, agreed.  Vince gonna Vince.  

The NWA’s plan to do studio wrestling

What do you think of Billy Corgan's plan to recreate studio wrestling & leaving Ring of Honor? 

I must admit that I am intrigued & even cautiously optimistic. They have a couple of interesting pieces in place, with Aldis being a good champion so far and signing guys like James Storm & Eli Drake has potential. I really enjoyed the Crockett Cup show they put on earlier in the year.

Like MLW, could be a unique alternative for fans and provide more opportunities for indie guys & young talents getting started. 

As a fan – I haven't been this excited about "this business" in 20 years, even though I can't stand WWE anymore. AEW, NJPW, MLW and now maybe NWA – there's so much good stuff going on. And that doesn't even include the sinking ship that is RoH or whatever Impact Wrestling becomes when it moves to AXS. 
More good and different wrestling is always a positive.  I don't know how the studio format is gonna work in 2019, but good on him for thinking outside the box.  I know ROH has done shoots at Center Stage so that's available, and if he really wanted to go old school he could check if Techwood was still around. 

EC3-MIA?

What is going on with EC3?  Is he out injured, or has the crack creative teams still not found anything for him to do?  If it's the latter, they should send him back to NXT ala Breezango and Killian Dain.  
No one particularly knows or cares, but last anyone saw he posted a couple of cryptic messages to his Twitter and then mostly disappeared.  I think he's been occasionally popping up in the background of 24/7 title stuff and he was in Drake Maverick's wedding party if I'm not mistaken.  Beyond that, good riddance. 

Sorry for the bother….


Hey Scott,

I’ve read you since ’97 and written a few times since then; and I may have missed it but I’m wondering who do you think is the best wrestler ever? Drawing, promo, in-ring ability, era; whatever. I guess kinda loosely based on Bret Hart’s (my favourite) scale? Extra points if they have tears in their eyes.

It’s almost gotta be Austin, no?

The Rock.  You could maybe argue he’s not one of the best of all time in the ring, MAYBE, but otherwise Flair is the only one for me who gives him any kind of serious competition in any other category. 

ECW Rejecting Deal with FOX?

Back in the Spring of 2001, we witnessed the loss of two of the three major wrestling companies at that time, WCW and ECW. During this time Paul Heyman was desperately trying to keep ECW alive while Bischoff had given up on his buyout of WCW after Jamie Kellner
had pulled the plug on WCW’s television deal with Turner Broadcasting, which I personally still think was stupid of him to this day. 

Ironically, while Bischoffs buyout was falling through the tubes, the much smaller ECW was offered a Saturday slot on FOX. FOX is a major network, far bigger than any of the other networks that wrestling was broadcasting on at the time. Heyman rejects
the deal because it was not “financially viable”. What is financially viable for a company with little to no financial resources? You would think he would take any network willing to put money into his product. 

What do you think of Heyman’s decision?

I have never heard of ECW being offered any TV deal in 2001.  There was definitely no one offering to pay them any money by that point.  Maybe there was a local FOX Sports affiliate offered a deal where ECW could pay them and that's what you're thinking of?  

Oh dear god, we’re getting King Corbin aren’t we?

Of all the options, and they choose this, FFS.

Maybe then he can serve a real Royale with Cheese.


Why not use this to springboard Ricochet, Rico wins the tournament at Clash, beats Corbin clean at Hell in a Cell, and challenges Rollins (or a brand switch to challenge Kingston) for Survivor Series and we get one decent match. 


I guess one shining light could be a King Elias win, and turns him face in the process.


Or…… oh my god I’ve just done a little sick in my mouth….. Clash – Corbin vs Elias starts, Shane’s music hits, he comes to the ring, pins both, “your King of the Ring 2019, King Shane” …..


So help the IWC.
I mean, I've already come to accept King Korbin.  In the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal and it's something else for him to do if he's gonna be all over the show anyway.  I just think it's hilarious that his main event push was such a colossal flop and their solution is to give him a rest for basically two PPVs and then go right back to trying to reheat him AGAIN. 

Ending The nWo In 2002


When Kevin Nash blew out his knee on an episode of Raw in mid 2002 that ended up with Vince McMahon coming out the next week and declaring the nWo officially dead, was the nWo supposed to have gone on much longer as a faction if it wasn't for that Nash knee injury?  Obviously you never hope that someone gets hurt, but the injury seemed to be good timing with the nWo floundering badly at that point.  
 

No, it was pretty clearly a failure by that point and everyone knew it.  Hogan leaving after Wrestlemania rendered the whole exercise moot anyway and Hall was gone, so it was just a name that they were probably keeping around to sell merch.