Wrestlemania Main Event For SD Live


Scott I'm still not entirely sold on Styles going into Mania as champ. I still get a sneaky feeling they'll get the title on Owens sometime before Mania(possibly in that Fastlane main) and blow off Shane/Owens for the title in like a Street Fight with Daniel Bryan as special guest ref (probably ban Zayn from ringside) which is where they'll pull the trigger on the heel turn. Then probably do Orton/Nakamura/Styles or just Nakamura/Styles with no title.

​Hey man, it's their belt.  I just want to see Nakamura/Styles at Wrestlemania, regardless of who the champion is.  If they feel like Shane and Bryan bickering over the GM job is important enough to focus the WWE title on it, more power to them.​

Vince’s rise

Like everybody else I have been watching the dog shit out of all the Mid Atlantic and in the spring of 82 they had some phantom NWA tag title tourney with guys from Florida, St. Louis, WWF, Japan, etc. They actually had clips of some of the teams competing and Vince called a couple matches.  Short story long here, when did Vince begin to make his push timeline wise? Also what was the hierarchy layout of promotions, who were they key players  and bookers   from 81 to 83/84 ish when Vince started going national?

​Hoo boy, that's a complex question.  Vince Jr. didn't really start seriously pushing until 84 when he had Hogan.  Before that, Vince Sr. was still the guy in charge and was completely committed to playing nicely with the NWA, which is why you saw stuff like Vince Jr. calling matches on NWA-affiliated programs.  
I'd highly, HIGHLY recommend reading Tim Hornbaker's pair of books on the rise and fall of the NWA and history of the WWWF, because they go into insane amounts of detail that I couldn't possibly cover here:


The NWA one in particular is fascinating and makes you realize what a bunch of self-serving slimeballs all the promoters really were.  

Roman Reigns 2014

Scott,
Your Royal rumble rants have got me thinking. During the 2014 Rumble Roman was on the verge of becoming a STAR and more importantly the crowd was behind him, and if not Bryan then they would have been happy with Roman having the top spot. It was for a
time a very Batista like rise. So what happened? Even before his groin injury the crowd was turning on him and Bryan wasn't even around at the time. Why did everyone seem to turn on this guy so fast?

Because he wasn't Daniel Bryan.  The crowd very definitively told WWE what they wanted and we were given something else very different.  And then once it became ingrained into the fanbase that they didn't want Roman, it just became the thing to believe, even if Daniel Bryan was no longer a viable option due to injury.  I don't think it's any more complex than that.

Retro


Hey, Yo


I was watching some awesome Mid Atlantic Wrestling today and snickered at Bob Caudle's amazement over Kernodle kicking out of the Grappler's suplex. It got me to thinking about how a retro jobber-type character would do in today's WWE. He could use 80's weardown holds and use different finishers each week, such as Beefcake's high knee one week then Tully's slingshot suplex the next and then make an arrogant cover and be shocked each week when someone easily kicked out. Of course, the fans would hate him at the beginning then, eventually, they would start to cheer for him to win just one match. Thoughts?

​First up, do not disrespect the slingshot suplex.  IT'S STILL REAL TO ME.
Second, yeah, that'd be kind of a funny gimmick for Curt Hawkins.  Like, he'll go all over social media pumping up his new finisher that he learned from watching all the Mid-Atlantic shows (available now on the WWE Network, only 9.99 a month!) and how it's unbeatable and will end his winning streak, and then it turns out to be a bodyslam or something.  ​And then next week he finds another one, lather rinse repeat.

Best in the World

Chris Jericho was a great wrestler when he first appeared back in the 90s and eventually created great characters/personalities throughout his career until his break in 2005. After returning in 2008 and reinvented himself and stil put out amazing matches/feuds with HBK, the legends at WM25, Mysterio, tagging with Big Show, Raw special guests, Edge, Punk, before taking another break with random appearances for a few years. Finally, after his 2016 run with the "List of Jericho" and his feuds with younger/newer wrestlers like AJ, Ambrose, Sami, Rollins, partnership with Owens to its culmination in early 2017. Now, Jericho proves that 47-years-old he can still hang with anyone in any style in any promotion when he wrestled Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12. With always staying relevant by reinventing himself and even defeating opponents and not harming his oppenents status when they lose, my question: can Jericho be considered as just one of the greatest wrestlers ever (not counting merch sales of course), especially after still being able to work amazingly at his age compared to some others?
​​
​Well, he's already in the WON Hall of Fame, so he absolutely is in the conversation as one of the greatest of all time just to get that far.  Given that he could have coasted on the nostalgia and autograph circuit for decades and instead chose to reinvent himself constantly, you have to admire him a lot.  ​

Jeff Hardy in Rumble



Is Jeff Hardy close to coming back from his injury? He'd make a great surprise entrant and a believable winner. Styles/Hardy is a believable title match also.


Not sure I agree 100% with your detective work there.  Jeff was basically a midcard scrub going nowhere in a tag team when he left, and it would take some effort to heat him up again.  

Wrestlemania V was considered worse than IX?



Hi Scott,


From the Observer recap, there's a comment that 'Wrestlemania XI is currently penciled in for Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, site of the two worst Wrestlemanias ever.'  Did Wrestlemania IX fall over time to be considered worse than Wrestlemania V? The MegaPowers Exploding seems to be remembered more fondly than Hogan returning to regain the title over Yoko and Bret Hart.

Dave really, REALLY hated the Trump Plaza shows.  From a show quality standpoint, 9 at least had Steiners v Headshrinkers and Tatanka v Michaels as good matches.  5 was basically four hours of junk and a decent main according to the original Observer review, so it makes sense.  

Austin Aries WWE Run


   Do you think that if the Cruiserweight Title was put on him last year at W.M. Austin Aries would still be with the WWE, or do you feel it wouldn't have mattered?  I remember the promo in which Aries originally challenged Neville for the C.W. Title on Raw, and the crowd was really hot for him.  Was this a case of the WWE not striking while the iron was hot? 

​The iron was never hot in that division, so it wouldn't have mattered either way.​

Brutus “the Ed-ucator” Beefcake

Hey Scott,

Just curious if you’ve heard Steve Austin’s second podcast with Ed Leslie. He claims he and Valentine had to teach the British Bulldogs how to work main event or something. Listening to Austin approach this delicately is highly entertaining. 

​I did not hear that one, although I can almost imagine Beefcake being like "Man, they figured out the lessons so well that it was almost like they were teaching ME something!"  ​

Rumble 92 ending?


Just rewatched Rumble 92 with my son as we're going to Philly for this year's show. The ending though is so strange. Obviously they wanted to build towards heel Sid vs. face Hogan for Mania. But Sid cleanly (albeit cheaply) eliminates Hogan and Hulk does as big a heel move as ever by grabbing Sid to let Flair win.
Why didn't they have it reverse where Hogan knocked Sid out and Sid snapped and helps Flair eliminate Hogan. On a purely logical level Hogan comes off as a whiny complainer heel and the crowd is right to cheer Sid who was cheated out of a title win

Still, it's the best Rumble though

​Hot take, bro.  But yes, they arrogantly assumed at that point that Hulk could still do no wrong in the eyes of the fanbase, and did THAT ever come back to bite them.  ​

Worst match, Best Crowd


Since you reposted Rumble 15, which is the all time worst match, made awesome by a great crowd shitting on it. Some options:

Rumble 14, (Bootista)
Rumble 15, (They even boo The Rock)
Brock/Goldberg @ WM20 (both are leaving)
Cena/Orton at Rumble 2014 (part 1,000,000)
Sheamus/Orton on Raw after Mania I think 2013, where the crowd first started taking over.


Brock v. Goldberg is always the answer.  Not just a terrible match, but a fascinating social experiment on top of it.

Comparing today’s WWE product


If I had to compare today's WWE product to the past from a CREATIVE and entertainment standpoint (NOT business/financial success), I'd say it's very similar to 1996/first months of 1997

Loaded with talent, from serviceable midcarders (Owen, Bulldog, Rocky, HHH, Mero back then. Guys like Balor, Gable, Rusev, Bar, Usos these days. Much better workers these days obviously) to excellent main eventers (Bret, Shawn, Taker, Austin, Vader back then. AJ, Cena, Owens, Miz, arguably Brock and Braun now).

The problem is the same: horrible repetitive, mostly bland or offensive/cheap/crappy out-of-touch ideas, characters and feuds.

Back then, Vince ans Vince stepped it up and tried to create something different, even though the overuse of brutality, raunchy quarternaked women, blood and cursewords was a sign-of-the-times zeitgeist thing. Why not repeat that, do something different (see Lucha Underground as an example), create unique characters, angles and situations. Why rely on old ideas all the time? How low can viewership for the TV shows and show attendance (outside of the big attractions) go before Vince tries to get TRULY creative again?

I know stuff like Woken Matt Hardy (yeah inspired by his TNA run but why, not), wacky Bray Wyatt angles (not the best execution, see last year's WM and House Of Horrors), Cruiserweight division (old concept, good idea, again bad execution) passes as new and fresh, but execution is lacking…

​Matt's not new or fresh at the moment.  He's in a better position than he was, but it's basically just him being all crazy and laughing without ever getting the original point of the gimmick.  Right now the wrestling nerd zeitgeist is New Japan and the Bullet Club, and Vince's reaction to that has been sending out legal threats for shooting video in his parking lot. ​That's not the actions of someone who is in interested in anything but maintaining the status quo.  And hey, they make millions of dollars, good on them.

Most Influential 90s

Hey Scott, excluding ECW, what do you think is the most influential Indy of the 90s? I am going with GWF. The Federation had talent during its run, Ebony Experience, Lightning Kid, Jerry Lynn, Cactus Jack, Gordy, Patriot, JBL. They also were the first Fed I could recollect referencing other promotions regarding title runs and they did showcase lightweights. First sick bump I ever seen Cactus take was a powerbomb from Gordy on the concrete. 

​That's a very specific criteria.  "Most influential non-WWF, non-WCW promotion of the 90s, excluding ECW."  I would also heartily disagree with your detective work there, since GWF was just the bastard offspring remains of USWA's Dallas office anyway as far as presentation and talent base.  If you're playing that game, then the answer is World Class or Memphis​.  In fact, Memphis in general is about a hundred times more influential of stuff we're still seeing recycled to this very day than anything that ever happened in Global.