What? v. Too Sweet

Hey Scott–

I was live at Raw last night (biggest babyface pop? Jason Jordan is out for neck surgery!) and right behind me some moron tried to get a “What?” chant going right away. He was rather successful, too. 

On the other end, a bunch of knuckleheads across the arena from me tried to get the audience into the whole “one, two, TWO… sweet!” nonsense, but try as they might (ALL NIGHT LONG) they couldn't get close to a majority of the crowd to join in.

It got me thinking: Why is it the “what?” chant is still going strong after 17 goddamn years, but the “one, two, sweet” thing is pretty much relegated to Full Sail (with the occasional appearance at Takeover events)? Is it as simple as one was created by the biggest money draw of all time and the other was generated by a bunch of douchebags in Florida, or is there more to it?

​I don't know, but they're both annoying as hell.

80s wrestling figure commercials



Hey Scott –

 I haven’t been watching some old 80s wrestling commercials on Instagram and YouTube that have popped up and I was noticing that Hogan is not in a lot of them you see a lot of upper mid card guys JYD, Steamboat, Volkoff, Skeik even Piper.

Was this on purpose to make Hulk feel like he was the “superstar”?


​I think it was more that Hulk (and I believe Andre) had their own distinct licensing deals, so you couldn't just stick him in a commercial based on a deal with WWF in general.  ​

WCW vs ROH

Hey Scott,

Obviously, there's no comparison between WCW at its apex and Ring of Honor, but overall, do you think ROH is more successful than WCW was? I think it's clear that WCW had a bigger cultural or historical impact, but which promotion do you think has been more successful overall when you take into consideration ROH's longevity, consistency (although it's never reached WCW's level of popularity), and even the development or showcasing of new talent? TNA has been around just as long but ROH has more of an argument than simply surviving for 15 or 16 years.

​Dude, at its peak WCW was making enough money to buy and sell ROH about 50 times over.  For whatever reason there's a weird “history written by the winners” retcon that says WCW was always a money-losing black hole of suck, but in 1998 they made more money than any wrestling company, ever.  Including the WWF to that point, although it's impossible to have real numbers from the Hulkamania era.  Yeah, now WWE destroys them due to understanding revenue streams better and having more money in general, but it's unlikely that WCW will ever be touched as #2 wrestling promotion in history, especially not by ROH.  

Question


Hey Scott quick question. Was it Chris Benoit's double murder that effectively also killed chair shots to the head? If the Benoit tragedy never occurs do you figure we still have chair shots to the head?


No, I think it was more the work of Chris Nowinski and bringing attention to concussions that way, plus the overwhelming need to go PG and not scare away any more sponsors.  Chairshots and blood both disappeared in short order once it became obvious that the money was in a clean product.  I don't doubt it was a factor, but either way things were going to change.

Wrestlemania “World” champions

Scott,
One thing the WWF/E used to do well is hold off the coronation of the “new guy” until the main event of WrestleMania.
This is a list of guys who won their first WWE/World titles at WrestleMania
4: Savage
6: Warrior
9: Yokozuna (the Orange Goblin stole his thunder)
12: Michaels
14: Austin
20: That One Guy (although he was World champ in WCW)
21: Cena AND Batista
22: Mysterio
31: Rollins (and he wasn't even advertised in the match)

This is something that seems to be lacking nowadays; having guys' career-making moments in the main event of WrestleMania to get that “stamp of approval.”

Maybe we'll add Shinsuke this year in the third match of the night?

​I think they're opening the show, to be honest.  I also don't think Nakamura is actually getting the title, but we'll see.  It's actually really funny that a company so focused on MAKING WRESTLEMANIA MOMENTS has totally dropped the ball on that one aspect of creating a new star, isn't it?  But that's what happens when you're 100% focused on only creating one star and you have to keep trying to do it multiple times.

Backlash is co-branded Raw and Smackdown PPV?

 

 

See the screenshot of an email I got from Ticketmaster today for the advertised as Raw-only PPV in May. I wonder if this is a one-off or if they’re moving away from dueling PPVs every other week. I mean if it’s a one-off… why Backlash?

 

Maybe it’s like 2012 again where they realized how poorly the SmackDown side was drawing and dropped the branded PPV idea? Vince having a sudden change of heart isn’t exactly unprecedented.

Ring of Honor

Do you think the WWE actively tried to purchase Ring of Honor early last year because 205 Live was struggling right out of the gate? If you remember the reports before the deal fell through, it wasn't just the library they were after. They wanted the whole company and still continue to air their weekly TV show on the network.

Here's my theory of what they had planned. They buy ROH and eventually merge the cruiserweight division into ROH and maintain it as their “small guy brand” from Full Sail.  We're seeing now that 205 Live is touring the northeast US. Could they have initially wanted that with ROH which has a built-in in fanbase for Northeast tours?

It just seems like Triple H thought he found a way to escape the cruiserweight fiasco and save face by doing this. The tape library and cutting ties to NJPW would have bonuses.

​The idea certainly seems feasible, but ultimately I don't think there were ever serious discussions about buying the company.  It was just a lot of rumors that were constantly refuted and then the story just went away and never came back.  ​

WrestleMania ⚜ Main Event

 
WWE now seems to be all-in on the women’s division. Now that they have Rousey, any chance WrestleMania ⚜ (34) actually closes with a women’s title match in the main event?

 

​I like how they announced Rousey as being “full time” and then she’s immediately gone after the Rumble to finish shooting her movie.  Like, why not just wait a few weeks?  There’s no storyline reason for her to be there at this point anyway.
Anyway, no, zero chance.​