Blog question

It may well be generally irrelevant to most peoples’ enjoyment of the product, but I am often fascinated by the salary / employment circumstances of the wrestlers. My one question for the day is :

If you look purely at income from wrestling and wrestling-related merchandise (so not including movie money, or HHH”s corporate income) who, adjusted for inflation, do you think has made the most money over the course of their wrestling career?

Cheers, and good luck coping with all the immigrants from the USA.

​The answer would have to be Hogan or Austin, and in fact Austin still makes a very healthy income from merchandise residuals alone. The WWF had their biggest year in history in 2000, and Austin got a BIG chunk of that. Hogan’s contract during the glory years was reportedly as high as $1 million/year, and he did well in WCW also and had longevity, but those years where Austin was on top were CRAZY amounts of money, like tens of millions total. Cena might even be in the running now as well for similar reasons. If you ARE counting movies, Rock blows everyone away, of course.

Slaughter/Table for 3

It’s interesting watching this Table for 3 with Slaughter, Duggan and Volkoff and comparing against the Meltzer recaps from 91. Slaughter claims there were threats during the build to WM7, such that the FBI was at his house and offered to accompany his wife to the grocery store and his kids to school in service of 24/7 protection.


Is it possible that this is true AND that ticket sales were dogshit necessitating the move to the LA Sports Arena? Thoughts on the credence here?

​People were very angry about the war stuff, but it wasn’t ticket-selling heat, it was negative heat where they were angry at the company for doing it, so it’s entirely possible that both situations were possible at the same time, yes. Just because some draws heat doesn’t mean they’re a draw.

Because Vince


So basically, Vince bleeding money in the WBF is what made Vince rush the program and cost us Hogan-Flair at Wrestlemania.

What the hell is wrong with Vince?

​He’s a millionaire who should be a billionaire, as someone once said. I forget who.

Nexus Story-line

Hi Scott,

Recently I was watching some Nexus stuff when the group first formed in 2010. They seemed to be leading to that someone was pulling their strings from behind the scenes early on, but they never did anything with it and the group disbanded shortly thereafter. My question is did a story-line that would’ve fleshed out the situation get dropped, or is this yet another case of the creative team not knowing what they were going to do with them past the initial angle? Thanks.

​There was some vague idea involving Undertaker, but mostly they were making it up as they went along and didn’t know where it was going. The plans with Cena’s involvement changed a million times as far as far as I remember, too.​

Three quickfire questions


1) Are the Cruiserweights going to be in the Royal Rumble?

2) How should they be used if they are (or would you have used them, if they’re not)?

3) Wouldn’t it be great if Neville won it?

​1. Maybe. They need 30 bodies.

2. I dunno, Gallagher can do his comedy spots and probably get over a bit more, but the rest are pretty much cannon fodder and disposable anyway. That’s why Neville was instantly such a big star.

3. Not sure what the point would be, but it would be an interesting twist if someone totally unexpected won some year, ala Santino in 2011, because they could always switch it to someone else at Fastlane if need be. It would give the Rumble some instant "anyone can win" feeling AND make the worthless February show mean something again. ​

WWE PG Rating

Hi Scott,

What were the reasons that the WWE went from TV-14 to TV-PG nearly 10 years ago? Thanks.

​Because they make bazillions of dollars in merchandising toys to kids, and sponsors wanted guarantees that WWE would be a family friendly product. ​The merchandise money is one of the main revenue streams now, so this is the product we get.

‘Roid ripples

Scott–

Did WCW/the NWA–or the wider wrestling world in general, for that matter–feel any sort of residual pinch when the steroid scandal broke, or were they too far under the national radar at the time to warrant much attention?

Nah, the media fire was directed at Vince because he took so much time to make sure everyone associated "wrestling" and "WWF" . Ended up being quite the double edged sword for him, especially with someone like Luger or Sting out there bulked up like crazy on WCW TV with no one in the mainstream even questioning it.

Wrestlemania


com/news/44876/Bryan-Alvarez-Vince-Has-Something-Huge-For-WrestleMania-That/


Thoughts on what it could be? Whatever it is, alvarez hinted that everybody is gonna love it. Could it be something like a Joe/Styles title match? Balor/Styles? Joe/Cena title match?

​Now I’m picturing Joe and AJ teaming up as "Joey Styles". Their finisher could be "OH MY GOD!"

If Vince really wants that six-star classic to close out Wrestlemania, Joe v. Styles could be a contender. ​

Personal Jesus


Hey Scott–

Favorite moment of the UK tourney so far?

"Let’s go Jesus/Jesus sucks!"

I think UK fans win the unofficial Doomie for best live crowd. Blows away anything us "We are awesome!" Americans have done this year. And Canada hasn’t had a live event since what, 1953?

​I was also fond of the guy with his own face on his tights, which prompted the crowd to sing "He’s got his own face on his arse".

As someone in the other thread noted, overall the show was a lot of Ho Ho Lun and no Kota Ibushi, but everyone worked hard and they did the best they could with what they had. Also, Nigel McGuinness was pretty fantastic and even Michael Cole was good without Vince yelling in his ear for two hours. ​

Learning curve

Scott–

To the best of my minimally researched understanding, references to wrestling being fake/fixed began cropping up at least as early as the 1940s, although it appears they didn’t pick up much in the way of traction until a few decades later. To that end, prior to, say, the late 70s or thereabout, did the average person who attempted to break into the business understand going in that it was a work? If not, at what point were they formally "smartened up?"

​Typically they "knew", but then the old guys would spend a few weeks beating them into submission to make them quit, and if they got through THAT, then they’d be smartened up and taught to work instead of wrestle. Essentially the trainers would treat it like a shoot to weed out people who weren’t serious about continuing with it as a career. It was somewhere around the mid-80s, when Vince started importing monsters and freaks, where that aspect of the business dropped off almost completely. By the time you get to where we are in the Flashbacks, with guys like Van Hammer coming in pretty much untrained, all pretense of it being "real" is long gone. ​

Obvious WrestleMania 33 card

Is it just me or is the WM 33 card really obvious this year?

Undertaker v AJ Styles, WWE World Title Match

Roman Reigns v Goldberg v Brock Lesnar, WWE Universal Title Match

Seth Rollins v Triple H

Kevin Owens v Chris Jericho

Randy Orton v Bray Wyatt

John Cena v Samoa Joe

The show is basically being autobooked.

Er, those don’t seem obvious at all… plus Braun Strowman is clearly being groomed for a big position on the card this year and he’s nowhere to be found.

Vince Interview note


Hi Scott!

Hope you’re well. Just wanted to pass on this comment from Vince from a recent interview. Is he that delusional or he still believes this?? I can’t think of the last start from scratch star he created; he’s only meddled with veterans and ruined them.

" I enjoyed (performing), but it just ate up so much time personally, and I couldn’t produce and direct, which is what I love to do. I love to help create new stars and tweak this and help them grow here. I can’t do that as a talent because you have to have your head wrapped around that.

news/2017/0113/621190/vince-mcmahon-on-if-he-ever-sees-himself-slowing-down/


​He’s that delusional. ​

Worst TV Theme Song Ever

Hey Scott,

Aside from Papa Roach’s "To Be Loved" being used for Monday Night Raw in the mid-aughts, what, in your opinion is the worst TV theme song of all time?

My vote?

Big Bang Theory

Discuss

​I’ll pretend you didn’t say that about BBT. I would normally say Nickelback’s "Burn It To The Ground" for RAW, but Nickelback is shockingly appropriate and I wish they would burn it to the ground most of the time. ​

Traveling champions

I was born about a month after Flair won his first NWA championship, so he was always at the forefront of the NWA/proto-WCW title picture in my experience. I’ve read quite a bit about how the NWA model revolved around a so-called "traveling champion" and why having a heel carry the belt for prolonged periods was (*GROAN*) best for business in that particular era. That said, a couple questions:

*Did any faces enjoy lengthy world championship reigns during the pre-Flair era? (I’ve read the title lineage, but can’t divine who was a face/heel at what point.)

*If so, how–if at all–did the various territories react? Seems the tried-and-true Flair model boiled down to "red-hot regional hero steps up to hated heel champion, goes down fighting/gets screwed over/scores upset victory/etc." With a babyface champion making the rounds, did more promotions push a heel into the top spot, or did they simply run face vs face title matches?

​Lou Thesz was mostly a babyface in his home territories, but when he was doing the travel he wrestled as a "rough babyface" who would be mostly a heel. Really, the logic is sound, because local fans want to see their top babyface challenge for the title, not their top heel. Flair was obviously a much more exaggerated heel for a new era, but typically the longest title reigns were guys who get heat in the local area because the formula worked so damn well. But yes, in the case of babyface champions, they’d just do scientific face v. face matches. ​

Cena/Ryback


wi/news/2017/0112/621142/ryback-on-john-cena-being-poison-to-wrestling/
So much of this do you think is truthful and how much is BS and bitterness that hes clearly carrying. Idk Cena is alot of things but i can’t see him as this "I hold everybody back" douchebag.

​Yeah, the guy who secretly drives truckloads of toys to children’s hospitals and personally distributes them because he doesn’t want publicity for it is clearly a douchebag. What a poison he is.

I feel like Ryback should perhaps accomplish something in the sport first before he gets on his soapbox about this stuff.​

1997 Rumble and Plans for WM13


Scott


Was watching the 97 Rumble on the network in honor of the upcoming Rumble in San Antonio. Even though Austin won the Rumble, it seems they were going to set up the HBK/Bret rematch at WM13 – w/ Bret winning Final Four and HBK reclaiming the title over Sid. The announcers kept talking about Bret’s journey during the match.

Obviously Shawn losing the smile threw those plans into disarray and we got what we got. My question is what were the original plans for Stone Cold? It seems Sid and Taker were destined to fight as well. Would he have been thrown down the midcard for a match vs. Owen or Bulldog? Or someone else?


It’s crazy to think the impact of that one lost smile. Austin was headed towards mega stardom anyway, but the WM13 match really pushed him into the stratosphere.

​Yeah, Shawn really messed them up good there. I believe it was planned to be Austin-Bulldog or something like that, but regardless, yeah, he would have been pretty far down the line there. I still think that talent would have won out because he was on an upward trajectory anyway, though. ​