Before Their Time

Scott- 
Which 80s or earlier stars do you think would have been much more successful if they’d showed up in the last 10-15 years? 
For my money, there are two top picks, then everybody else. 
1) Bad News Brown, for the reasons you always point out
2) Jake Roberts (heel version). His dark, psychological gold-bricking manipulator routine would have been GREAT played against headstrong faces like Rock/HBK/Austin/Cena, and he had some of the best heel offense ever. He had (was the blueprint?) the best bits of both the HHH "Cerebral Assassin" gimmick, and the Randy Orton "cold blooded viper" routine. And that’s not even getting into his promos and/or willingness to slap around a woman for cheap heat. Guy would have been HUGE, drug concerns aside. 
Other nominees… Dynamite Kid for his offense, maybe DiBiase doing a much better "rich guy we hate because it’s a recession" than JBL can even dream of…
But really, the biggest differences between then and now are threefold; tone (darker, more realistic, get over as a character instead of a gimmick), media (youtube and episodic television make mic work way, way more important), and workrate (nobody cared in the 80s, now you have to at least be passable (or, you know, big) to get a decent push). Snake an Bad News are the guys I can think of who positively killed on those fronts (Bad News’ workrate was meh, but now I’m just picking nits). 
Your thoughts?

Bad News’ workrate was NOT meh, he was just in the WWF well past his prime, when injuries were catching up to him and he didn’t have to haul ass every night.  He could GO.  Dynamite was for sure well before his time, as he was the template for a million guys who came after him.  Definitely those were the main ones.

Before Their Time

Scott- 
Which 80s or earlier stars do you think would have been much more successful if they’d showed up in the last 10-15 years? 
For my money, there are two top picks, then everybody else. 
1) Bad News Brown, for the reasons you always point out
2) Jake Roberts (heel version). His dark, psychological gold-bricking manipulator routine would have been GREAT played against headstrong faces like Rock/HBK/Austin/Cena, and he had some of the best heel offense ever. He had (was the blueprint?) the best bits of both the HHH "Cerebral Assassin" gimmick, and the Randy Orton "cold blooded viper" routine. And that’s not even getting into his promos and/or willingness to slap around a woman for cheap heat. Guy would have been HUGE, drug concerns aside. 
Other nominees… Dynamite Kid for his offense, maybe DiBiase doing a much better "rich guy we hate because it’s a recession" than JBL can even dream of…
But really, the biggest differences between then and now are threefold; tone (darker, more realistic, get over as a character instead of a gimmick), media (youtube and episodic television make mic work way, way more important), and workrate (nobody cared in the 80s, now you have to at least be passable (or, you know, big) to get a decent push). Snake an Bad News are the guys I can think of who positively killed on those fronts (Bad News’ workrate was meh, but now I’m just picking nits). 
Your thoughts?

Bad News’ workrate was NOT meh, he was just in the WWF well past his prime, when injuries were catching up to him and he didn’t have to haul ass every night.  He could GO.  Dynamite was for sure well before his time, as he was the template for a million guys who came after him.  Definitely those were the main ones.

Looking to WM

Hey Scott, big fan of the rants/books/blog, etc. With Rock vs Cena set in stone for WrestleMania  and Punk vs HHH being a strong possibility (with Punk vs Austin as a very slight possibility). Could this years WrestleMania have a theme of old(er) vs new(er) wrestlers? I’m not saying that it’ll be the old group vs the new group storyline like in TNA and WCW. But the main matches on the card will reflect that theme, I know work rate wise we won’t get great matches but it could be interesting. What do you think of that idea? Also who do you think will face who? Of course Rock/Cena, Punk/HHH(maybe Austin) then you got Undertaker, Kane, Nash, Foley has been rumored coming back and if Austin does return who does HHH wrestle?

Well of course now it’s looking more like Punk v. HHH will already be blown off by then.  Punk v. Austin might be a possibility if they’re desperate enough, but Rock-Cena will do such huge business that it realistically won’t matter what’s on the undercard.  I think probably HHH and Undertaker will have their rematch, Punk might face Austin, and I guess D-Bry is cashing in his briefcase against Randy Orton.  Although I’d be shocked if the briefcase didn’t end up in someone else’s hands well before WM.  The whole “brand extension not ending but kinda ending” thing really screws up future planning. 

Looking to WM

Hey Scott, big fan of the rants/books/blog, etc. With Rock vs Cena set in stone for WrestleMania  and Punk vs HHH being a strong possibility (with Punk vs Austin as a very slight possibility). Could this years WrestleMania have a theme of old(er) vs new(er) wrestlers? I’m not saying that it’ll be the old group vs the new group storyline like in TNA and WCW. But the main matches on the card will reflect that theme, I know work rate wise we won’t get great matches but it could be interesting. What do you think of that idea? Also who do you think will face who? Of course Rock/Cena, Punk/HHH(maybe Austin) then you got Undertaker, Kane, Nash, Foley has been rumored coming back and if Austin does return who does HHH wrestle?

Well of course now it’s looking more like Punk v. HHH will already be blown off by then.  Punk v. Austin might be a possibility if they’re desperate enough, but Rock-Cena will do such huge business that it realistically won’t matter what’s on the undercard.  I think probably HHH and Undertaker will have their rematch, Punk might face Austin, and I guess D-Bry is cashing in his briefcase against Randy Orton.  Although I’d be shocked if the briefcase didn’t end up in someone else’s hands well before WM.  The whole “brand extension not ending but kinda ending” thing really screws up future planning. 

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic–08.24.11

http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2011/09/01/the-smark-rant-for-awa-championship-wrestling-on-espn-classic-08-24-11/ You know when you’re watching a shitty show and suddenly there’s one of the greatest matches of all-time as the main event and you didn’t even know it was coming?  Yeah, that’s this show.  One word:  Bloodbath. 

The SmarK Rant for AWA Championship Wrestling on ESPN Classic–08.24.11

http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2011/09/01/the-smark-rant-for-awa-championship-wrestling-on-espn-classic-08-24-11/ You know when you’re watching a shitty show and suddenly there’s one of the greatest matches of all-time as the main event and you didn’t even know it was coming?  Yeah, that’s this show.  One word:  Bloodbath. 

Bryan Alvarez gets MAD

http://www.f4wonline.com/component/content/article/78-bryan-and-vinny-show/21955-free-today-aug-31-bryan-a-vinny-show-very-disappointing-two-days-for-wwe-raw-and-supersmackdown-reports-new-songs-shout-outs-cats-more I agree with Bryan’s angry rant on this show.  WWE had a major opportunity to win back fans with the Summer of Punk, and they’ve just been wasting chance after chance.  SUPER DUPER SMACKDOWN LIVE was so boring I didn’t even bother recapping it.  I’ll do Impact instead.  THAT’S HOW BORING SMACKDOWN IS.  It makes me want to review IMPACT because I’ll have something interesting to talk about.  Also, Sonic Boom as the team name for Kofi & Bourne should have been the winner. 

The Midnight DC Post!

Yes, for those angry comic nerds anxiously awaiting my review of the big releases from DC tonight, here you go! Flashpoint #5:  About what I expected.  No idea what the mumbo-jumbo with the Speed Force actually means or how it leads to everyone wearing armor and high collars.  I didn’t even realize Barry’s mom was dead or that anyone cared in the first place, and I was reading from the late 70s all the way until he died in the Crisis, so this must be a new development.  As everyone suspected, all the crossovers end up meaning fuck all.  Justice League #1:  As the first part of a trade paperback collection it’s great.  As the first issue intended to draw in the mythical new readers, who then have to wait until OCTOBER 19TH to read the second part and hopefully see more than just GL and Batman in the book, it’s a crushing disappointment.  Jim Lee’s artwork is, however, breathtaking.  I can withstand a lot of crap if it’s drawn by him or Dan Jurgens (see also All Star Batman and Zero Hour, respectively).  I know that it wasn’t realistic to expect them drop the big 7 (or big 6 + Cyborg) fully formed out of the sky, but given all the hype I was hoping for a LITTLE more for my $4.

RAW notes

Hey Scott, I was at the RAW taping in Tulsa last night. Some notes: ·      … John Morrison and R-Truth had a very good match for the Superstars taping. Not sure what it will look like on TV but it was awesome to watch in person. ·      … When Zack Ryder came out everyone in my section kept asking, “Who the hell is this guy?” ·      …  I was surprised at how overwhelmingly pro-Cena the crowd was. It was all legit too, not piped in.  ·      … I was also surprised at how dead the crowd was during Punk vs. Miz, especially given how many Punk shirts there were in the crowd. My guess is the crowd was pretty much “popped out” by the Cena segment and Orton/Ziggler match that preceded it. ·      … Not sure what it sounded like on TV, but the pop for Nash’s powerbomb of Punk was huge. ·     … After RAW went off the air Ziggler and R-Truth ran out to attack Cena and Sheamus, but Orton came out and helped the faces take care of them. All three celebrated together in the ring… huge pop for that. Overall this show was a lot of fun to watch live, though I can see how viewers at home would see it as a disappointing episode given how lackluster the wrestling was after Orton/Ziggler. Thanks for reading. 

Thanks for writing!  Further to the RAW discussions here, the Nash thing was not, as suggested, an angle, but rather a medical issue that was handled in rather bizarre fashion.  I guess that’s the very definition of “booking on a napkin”, when you’re changing shows on the fly during the show itself.