Review Suggestion

Since you mentioned you have time on your hands isn't it long overdue for to review the PPV you said you never would?


I'm talking, of course, about No Holes Barred The Movie The Match.


What do you say? I want to know how many stars you gave the “What's that smell?” scene.

I already reviewed the movie years ago on this very blog.


And the match was reviewed on a Coliseum Video rant years before that.  

Eye for an Eye Match


WWE are promoting a match where you have to pull out the other wrestlers eye to win

How on earth are they going to deliver on that stipulation, if at all?

Will we get to see a fake eye getting pulled out?

Is that even PG?

Think this could be a WMOTYC?

I think we’ll see the first ever Un Chien Andalou finish.  

Could ECW have saved the Invasion?

Had they not had ECW and WCW join up to become the jobber faction known as The Alliance and kept the angle as a very distinct WWF vs. WCW vs. ECW and let the ECW guys brawl and act like their characters would it have made up for the watered down WCW part of
the angle? I mean ECW levels of violence on a national stage would have been different compared to WWF and WCW and brought a dangerous element to the angle. RVD was already over as Hell after one match. Maybe the same could have been true for guys like Sabu
(if they signed him), Raven, Taz and others if they left them actually
do what they do best. Could ECW proper have kept the angle alive and intriguing?

No.  If they had the star power to sell tickets, the promotion wouldn't have died in the first place.  

Goldberg’s popularity in 2003/04 vs. 2016

Aside from his Raw debut Goldberg rarely got a great reaction after that for the rest of his 1st WWE run. It was certainly mixed and sometimes he got really lukewarm reactions and other times outright boo'd. Yet in 2016 he came back and was incredibly over
like it was 1998 WCW. I don't get it. Why was he barely over in WWE years ago but over like rover in 2016?

Because WWE wasn't booking him into the ground for the decade and a bit that he was gone, so he was actually popular again.  

Haku vs Minoru Suzuki

Who ya got in a fight, and how did this match never happen?

They were both in the dark match Royal Rumble on the G1 Supercard at MSG, if that counts.  I don't know if they interacted.

Also, Haku has legit credentials in street fights.  Suzuki, on the other hand, mostly stuck to Pancrase for his “real” fights, and they may or may not have been worked.  But you know what's 100% real?  THE TONGAN DEATH GRIP.

Yeah.  My science is TIGHT.  

Piper’s role in the 80’s wrestling boom.


Hey Scott,


   It seems to be accepted on how the Hulkster was responsible for the mainstream explosion of the 80's.  I've been thinking lately that Piper deserves more credit for his role in being the foil than Hulk does for being the conquerer of the evil force.

  Would the success still have happened if Vince had Hogan just do the big fat challenger of the month like it turned into, or was Piper actually the key?
  

He was certainly ONE OF the keys, but without Hogan it doesn’t work at all. I certainly wouldn’t say Piper deserves more credit.  

Matches with a great (or famous) reputation — but you can’t figure out why


Hey Scott,


Your recent GAB90 post got me thinking about matches considered great or highly influential, but it's more about revisionist history. I think The Steiners/Nasty Boys have a match like this in WCW. Another that comes to mind is Taker/Hardy Ladder Match from 2002. Like, it was okay but not this classic people remember it as. 

Curious which matches are like that for you or the blog?




Yeah Jeff-Undertaker is the big one for me.  I really liked Steiners vs Nasties at the time so I can understand that one, actually.  
Counterpoint:  How about famously BAD matches that people watched after the fact and didn’t get the hate for?  

Wrestling’s main arch enemy


Hey Scott,

In comic books and movies, the hero always had their main villain/arch-enemy (batman and joker, superman and lex luthor, spiderman and green goblin). So who would be the following wrestler's main arch-enemy? Example: Sting's would be Flair and Austin's would be Vince McMahon
Hulk Hogan?
Bobby Heenan
John Cena?
Orton?  Maybe HHH?
The Rock?
Gotta go with Austin. 
HBK?
HHH.  
Undertaker?
Kane.  
CM Punk?
His big mouth. 
Bret Hart?
Montreal. 

Black Scoprion


Who would you have picked to reveal as the Scorpion? While reading your latest Clash review I thought back to that time and said to myself “It didnt have to be someone from his shoot past; just make a storyline past”

Utilizing someone else allows some fun red herring teasing its Flair. Once the feud plays out you do a story where these “former friends” reunite etc. We know how and why this went down but there were other ways to go and would love to hear your, and the posters, thoughts.

Thanks!!

I’m gonna go with Lex Luger, bitter about getting screwed out of the title against Flair while Sting waltzes in after injury and wins it.  

Worst Wrestler Promo/Talker?


What wrestler do you think is the worst promo/talker, either currently or all time?  I don't know about all time, but currently I would have to give it to Braun Strowman.  He always talks like he was given a script to memorize 5 minutes before he goes on air.  It's just painful to hear and watch.  

I cannot express how much I do not care about Braun facing Bray Wyatt in a non title cinematic wrestling match as the co main underneath Dolph Ziggler challenging for the World title.  So there’s probably something to your theory. 

Selling NXT for Parts


Hey Scott-


If NXT was a separate promotion, and suddenly it went bankrupt and closed down, which 5 talents do you think WWE should hire to immediately put on their main roster? How about AEW? ROH even?



I mean, Vince could literally have whoever he wanted from NXT whenever he wanted.  I think Keith Lee is the obvious choice, and Karrion Kross a close second.  Obviously the Dream if he gets his life in order.   I know everyone wants the Undisputed Era guys but they’re just gonna get buried.  Throw in Io Shirai and Rhea and I think that’s the top 5. 

WCW Title Disappearing Act


I didn’t watch many WCW PPVs when Hulk Hogan was the World Champion, so I’ve gone back and watched a handful of them on the Network just to watch something new that’s not directed by Kevin Dunn.

One thing that really stands out is how many shows not only didn’t have a World Title match, but didn’t even feature the champion at all.  This was mostly while Hogan had the title, but I noticed there are also shows when Sting and Goldberg had the title where they are nowhere to be found as well.

Was this a deliberate move to save the champion for the bigger shows or is this just one of those silly “because WCW” things?

In Hogan’s case it’s because he got a cut of the PPV money so they only put him on shows they ABSOLUTELY had to.  If they thought they could draw a number without him, they did.  
With Goldberg it’s because WCW.  

Legacy of Corgan’s NWA


Hi Scott,


With NWA suspending its operation and the news of various NWA performers trying to get out of their contracts – i guess it is pretty clear that NWA is probably not coming back any time soon. 
My question is: what is the legacy of Corgan's NWA experiment? What lessons future promoters can learn from it? 

Hope you're doing well.

I think the main lesson is “don’t put Jim Cornette on TV in 2020” but overall it’s a weird situation.  They definitely lost a lot of momentum around December, which I can personally testify to. But they were still doing OK up until Covid-19 killed them off.  I think it can work, as long as you can run and produce TV shows cheaply enough to survive off your money mark’s leftover concert savings.  But it was always going to be a diversion at best for “top” guys like Ken Anderson, and at worst your top prospects were gonna get poached like Ricky Starks.  The sweet spot is guys like Aaron Stevens, Homicide, Eddie Kingston and Question Mark, who don’t have a place on the national shows but can cut promos and do character work.  You can still make that dynamic work and I’d still watch it.  

Steamboat/Santana

1. Did we ever get this tag team pairing? Even a Coliseum Video one-off or something?

2. Who plays babyface-in-peril in this partnership?

1.  I wanna say that yeah, they teamed up on a Toronto house show that was on Prime Time?  

Yes, that is indeed the case:

21.04.1985 World Wrestling Entertainment Ricky Steamboat & Tito Santana defeat Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine (15:31)

WWF Prime Time Wrestling – TV-Show @ Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada


They also teamed up a bunch of more times in 1985, primarily against Muraco and Fuji. 

2.  Steamboat.  Tito is the clear hot tag guy in that scenario.  

Best of Sting

I’ve never been a Sting fan but am always willing to gain a different perspective. I can’t put him in the top of the conversation of all time wrestlers even though he had longevity, popularity and significance, simply because I never found his ring work that entertaining. 

So in your opinion, what are the best 3-5 Sting matches?  I just cannot remember seeing him get much appreciation over like a 3.5 stars rating, such as the GAB match with Flair review.

If we're discounting all the great matches he had with Vader for the moment, his best match was clearly the Beach Blast brawl with Cactus Jack in 1992, or the Clash 1 match against Flair in 1988.  Plus of course the WarGames matches in 91/92, but those are hardly individual efforts.  Really though, the series he had with Vader in 1992 was incredible, hitting ****1/2 on a regular basis, and you can pick anything from July – December that year and get something great. 

Adrian Adonis

Hey Scott,

Long time wrestling and I actually watched WrestleMania III in its entirety last night. I've seen the big moments before but never sat down and watched it straight through. Anyway, I couldn't get over how ahead of his time Adrian Adonis was. He struck me as this insane larger-than-life Lenny Bruce meets Divine. I fell down a rabbit hole of his stuff and was blown away. He just had this amazing chemistry. The 'Relax with Trudi” stuff was so cool. (I genuinely have no idea how people think of him, so not sure if this is a sentiment everyone shares or what.)

Anyway, can you share your thoughts on him as a character and a worker? Were there plans for him before he died? I feel like he would've been a perfect fit for the Attitude Era. Any great matches, angle, etc? 

Adonis is such a strange case because he was essentially forced by Vince to overhaul his entire gimmick as a punishment for getting fat.  But he could still very much perform at a high level up until the end of his WWF run, when he dropped off dramatically, and even at the time of his death there were talks about bringing him back to the WWF or WCW again.  I don't think it would have worked, and I definitely don't think he would have lasted until the Attitude Era, because he was on the downside of his career as it is and the AWA run leading up to his death was pretty sad.  He was only 34, so there's nothing saying he couldn't have dropped a bunch of a weight and gotten motivated again, though.  But then you're trying to make a serious comeback at 40 through the slog of New Generation WWF with all the indies dead, and I dunno about that. Maybe Paul Heyman and ECW could have given 40-something Adonis another reinvention?

For the best of his work you really need to seek out the leather-and-chaps tough guy persona, specifically his run with Jesse Ventura in the AWA as the East-West Connection.  

TNM: The Wrestling Simulator

A word from Oliver Copp, creator of TNM!

The TNM wrestling simulator recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with the release of “TNM Tournament Edition“, the first version created for Windows. At its core, the new sim specializes in creating and running various kinds of tournaments with each match being simulated move-for-move and the user following along with the play-by-play.

TNM Tournament Edition has Elimination Tournaments where half the competitors are knocked out of the tournament in every round. It has Round Robins where each competitor faces every other competitor. It has multi-block Round Robins where the highest-ranked finishers advance to either an Elimination Tournament or another Round Robin to determine an overall winner.

And it has Swiss-Rules Tournaments which gained popularity through eSports. These combine the advantages of Elimination Tournaments, being fairly quick, with the advantages of Round Robins, not being out of the competition with one loss or draw, and are the best choice for tournaments with many competitors. Competitors are matched up randomly in the first round. In each of the three of four – depending on the size of the field – rounds afterwards, teams with similar records are matched up, quickly separating those who have a shot at winning from those who don't. The four or eight top finishers move on to a knock-out tournament to determine the overall winner.

Users are able to customize each tournament to their liking. Have losers advance instead of winners. Make the top two finishers from each block advance instead of just the block winner. Change the wrestlers' winning strategy by assigning different points for different types of finishes – pins may be with more than DQs, losses could even award negative points and so on. Have an Iron Man tournament or have all matches take place in a cage or perhaps all over the arena. You can even have every round rebracketed to keep the top people away from each other for as long as possible.

TNM Tournament Edition was designed with ease of use in mind, and many of its more powerful features will be hidden underneath the surface until players want them, addressing one of the main points of criticism of earlier sims from the TNM series. And it is casual-gaming-friendly in that sessions can be as long or as short as your time permits. You can always pause a tournament and go back to it at a later time. TNM TE is compatible with all wrestlers created for the TNM 7 line of simulators so you have immediate access to export files containing thousands of wrestlers from the 1970s to today.

If this sounds appealing to you, please head on over to http://www.TNMTE.com, and get your free 28-day trial version of TNM Tournament Edition. All you need is a PC running Windows 98 or higher… and some free time.



What about the Demos!!!


Poor Jericho, first his segment last week got destroyed in the ratings as the lowest ever for Dynamite and then NXT beat them again this week. Not to mention Sasha and Bayley's segment beat his two weeks, which Sasha trolled him about and of course he couldn't help but respond. Are we one more NXT ratings win away from Chris melting down Angle style on twitter like when he was in TNA? 


Wait, has the last two weeks actually cemented AEW as TNA 2.0? TNA had some original ideas and great home grown talents, then started bringing in all the ex-wwe guys, switched to Mondays to compete with WWE, had solid ratings to start and then spiraled out of control. Should we start talking about when Vince is going to buy them and which stars he will keep? Would that acquisition include your blog? Will you have to lower your standards and actually have to go back to reviewing Raw/Smackdown? Imagine the Horror!


Seriously though, Jericho needing graphs to prove moral victories was a sad sight to see. And why can't AEW avoid the shots at WWE, it makes them look 2nd rate. Clearly Taz is butt hurt about never getting called back for anything and Matt Hardy has hurt feelings they didn't want to push a guy with multiple personalities but none of those who can barely walk. It just seems a bit desperate like they are trying to be noticed. Has WWE made any references to AEW yet? Yes they have done counter programming but who wouldn't when a new company starts coming at you and poking you. Yeah their demos are strong some weeks but clearly without these hotshot PPV level shows they are basically TNA before they got kicked off Spike. And poor Mox, love the guy but Eric Young as Impact champion moved the needle more than him. Clearly Russo can save them right?

Sincerely,

Dixie Carter ( OH no can I even still call myself dixie?)

4 out of 10.  You peaked with the Seth Rollins one that first time and you’ve been chasing the troll dragon ever since.  

nWo 1999

The fingerpoke of doom being WCW's death knell is complete revisionist history. The ratings for Nitro and Thunder went up for a couple of months. Souled Out 99 did a decent buyrate and SuperBrawl 99 headlined by Hogan vs. Flair did a REALLY good buyrate despite
revisionist history telling us nobody cared about nwo vs. WCW or Hogan vs. Flair anymore. The problem is when the nWo just sort of fizzled out. Hall relapsed. Hogan turned face for some reason and got injured. Nash
turned face for some reason. The only one
who continued to wear nWo stuff while acting like a Heel was Scott Steiner even though he stopped teaming with any of his nWo mates by March. Then he got injured too, came back and introduced Rick into the nWo like they were still a thing. Sting came back
and instead of going after the nWo he went after Flair and DDP? Basically it was the terrible follow up booking/eventual fizzling out that killed WCW in 99 NOT the reformation of the real nWo. 


Yes I actually have a question. How and when would YOU have ended the nWo angle proper in 99? I know you've never been the biggest fan of the angle but it WAS still hot in early 99. Everybody says that nWo Hollywood vs. nWo Wolfpac was cut short but again the
ratings and buyrate went UP when it went back to proper nWo vs. WCW. But yeah you're given the book right after they reform, where do you go with it to do the angle justice, give it a proper ending and make sure you don't lose a big chunk of your fan base
in the process ala what WCW actually did.


I was kind of wondering when you were getting to the question there, but fair enough.  I would have done what everyone else has suggested in the past — Goldberg runs through the nWo one by one to set up six months of PPV main events, leading to him regaining the World title from Nash or Hogan in the summer for the big moment, and that ends the nWo.