Scott vs Dave

I was sent this analysis from a fan of Scott’s who goes by the name Joesph, the other day. As he puts it:

“It’s a frequency analysis I did on all of his matches rated above 4
stars (****1/4 to *****). I took 12 wrestlers as I mention in the study
who put on great matches. I just completed a study for Dave Meltzer’s
ratings as well and compared the two”

It’s no surprise who’s at number 1, really. Also, keep in mind, this is strictly for a person’s WWE career. Other promotions need not apply. This was a great deal of work, and an interesting read. Especially that The Rock doesn’t get any 5 star love. I thought for sure most people considered WMX7 to be a 5 star main event, but I suppose the ending does sour it.

Anyone else want to use the Caliber Express Line: [email protected]


Scott Keith Ratings 

*****
HBK-8   Austin-6   Jericho-1
Bret-6    Rock-0   Benoit-5
Undertaker-3   HHH-6    Angle-1
Foley-2   Edge-4   Flair-1

****3/4
HBK-6    Austin-2   Jericho-5
Bret-2    Rock-3    Benoit-5
Undertaker-0   HHH-4   Angle-2
Foley-1   Edge-1   Flair-0

****1/2
HBK-7   Austin-3   Jericho-5
Bret-6   Rock-8   Benoit-6
Undertaker-7    HHH-7   Angle-8
Foley-2   Edge-6   Flair-1

****1/4
HBK-9   Austin-4    Jericho-4
Bret-7   Rock-2    Benoit-13
Undertaker-3   HHH-3   Angle-13
Foley-3    Edge-9   Flair-4

Total Values (4.25-5* Matches) From Greatest to Least 

HBK-30
Benoit-29
Angle-24
Bret-21
HHH-20
Edge-20
Austin-15
Jericho-15
Undertaker-13
Rock-13
Foley-8
Flair-6

NOTES:
I counted every Scott Keith match that was listed above 4* for 12 WWE
wrestlers who put on many matches above the 4 star level throughout
their careers, in order to evaluate what superstars had higher quality
matches over their careers than their fellow wrestlers. (This included
the updated Rock vs. John Cena match from WM28 at ****1/2). So from
4.25*-5*, every match was reviewed. I counted tag team matches and
survivor series matches as well. For example, The Rockers vs.
Brainbusters received a rating of ****1/2 and since it has Shawn in it;
therefore, Shawn received a tally mark. Another example: The tag team
match from Survivor Series ’87 (rated ****1/4) had Bret compete in it;
therefore, he received a tally mark for that match. Royal Rumble matches
were only tallied for wrestlers if they won that rumble e.g. Flair,
Benoit, and Edge each won a rumble rated *****; therefore, they each
received one tally mark. Other participants on this list who
participated in the rumble, but did not win it, received no tally mark.

As the results show, Shawn had the most ***** and ****3/4
matches at 8 and 6 respectively. Angle and The Rock tied for the most
****1/2 matches at 8. Benoit and Angle tied for the most ****1/4 matches
at 13. Overall, Shawn had the most matches rated above 4 stars on SK’s
list at 30 matches, barely beating out Benoit’s 29 matches. Variables
included when these wrestlers wrestled. For example, Flair had most of
his best matches in the ‘80s in NWA, and since this statistical study
only included WWF/WWE matches, he did not score as high. Longevity in a
wrestler’s career would statistically increase the amount of matches
over 4 stars a wrestler would have, as well as other variables such as:
the amount of PPV’s a wrestler wrestled in, lack of injuries, how many
TV matches on Superstars/Raw/Smackdown, etc. a wrestler competed in,
etc., – would all naturally be factors affecting the outcome of whether
a wrestler had a lot of high rated matches or not. Keep in mind that
these are the opinions of one man only-Scott Keith, and are in no way
determinate on what others may think; however, Scott Keith is one of the
most knowledgeable reviewers on the topic and has issued more wrestling
reviews than just about any other person I have ever seen (with maybe
the exception of Dave Meltzer). Even if very knowledgeable fans disagree
with a match by 0.25* or 0.5*, the list is still very accurate for many
criteria, such as the following example: If Wrestler “A” had 22 matches
rated in his career between 4.25* – 5*, and Wrestler “B” had 9 matches
rated in his career between 4.25* – 5*, and they both wrestled for about
the same amount of longevity, with just a few injuries throughout each
one’s career, etc. , then Wrestler “A” clearly had better matches over
the course of his career; hence, it can be argued, that Wrestler “A” was
the better wrestler and had the better career.

Dave Meltzer Ratings 

*****
HBK-2   Austin-1   Jericho-0
Bret-2    Rock-0   Benoit-0
Undertaker-1    HHH-0   Angle-0
Foley-0   Edge-0   Flair-0

****3/4
HBK-7   Austin-2   Jericho-3
Bret-2    Rock-0   Benoit-6
Undertaker-3   HHH-4   Angle-3
Foley-0   Edge-3   Flair-0

****1/2
HBK-9   Austin-7    Jericho-6
Bret-2   Rock-5   Benoit-5
Undertaker-6   HHH-7   Angle-8
Foley-5   Edge-9   Flair-0

****1/4
HBK-13   Austin-5   Jericho-9
Bret-6   Rock-7   Benoit-13
Undertaker-4   HHH-10   Angle-15
Foley-1   Edge-16   Flair-2

Total Values (4.25-5* Matches) From Greatest to Least 

HBK-31
Edge-28
Angle-26
Benoit-24
HHH-21
Jericho-18
Austin-15
Undertaker-14
Bret-12
Rock-12
Foley-6
Flair-2

NOTES:
I counted every Dave Meltzer match that was listed above 4* for 12 WWE
wrestlers who put on many matches above the 4 star level throughout
their careers, in order to evaluate what superstars had higher quality
matches over their careers than their fellow wrestlers. So from
4.25*-5*, every match was reviewed. I counted tag team matches and
survivor series matches as well. For example, The Rockers vs.
Brainbusters received a rating of ****1/4 and since it has Shawn in it;
therefore, Shawn received a tally mark. Another example: The tag team
match from Survivor Series ’01 (rated ****1/2) had Austin, Angle, The
Rock, and Jericho compete in it; therefore, they each received a tally
mark for that match. As the results show, Shawn and Bret had the most
***** matches at 2 apiece (though DM only has given a 5 star rating 5
times). Shawn had the most ****3/4 matches at 7. Shawn and Edge tied for
the most ****1/2 matches at 9 apiece. Edge had the most ****1/4 matches
at 16. Overall, Shawn had the most matches rated above 4 stars on DM’s
list at 31 matches, beating out Edge’s 28 matches. Variables included
when these wrestlers wrestled. For example, Flair had most of his best
matches in the ‘80s in NWA, and since this statistical study only
included
WWF/WWE matches, he did not score as high. Longevity in a
wrestler’s career would statistically increase the amount of matches
over 4 stars a wrestler would have, as well as other variables such as:
the amount of PPV’s a wrestler wrestled in, lack of injuries, how many
TV matches on Superstars/Raw/Smackdown, etc. a wrestler competed in,
etc., – would all naturally be factors affecting the outcome of whether
a wrestler had a lot of high rated matches or not. Keep in mind that
these are the opinions of one man only-Dave Meltzer and are in no way
determinate on what others may think; however, Dave Meltzer is one of
the most knowledgeable reviewers on the topic and has issued more
wrestling reviews than just about any other person I have ever seen
(with maybe the exception of Scott Keith). Even if very knowledgeable
fans disagree with a match by 0.25* or 0.5*, the list is still very
accurate for many criteria, such as the following example: If Wrestler
“A” had 22 matches rated in his career between 4.25* – 5*, and Wrestler
“B” had 9 matches rated in his career between 4.25* – 5*, and they both
wrestled for about the same amount of longevity, with just a few
injuries throughout each one’s career, etc. , then Wrestler “A” clearly
had better matches over the course of his career; hence, it can be
argued, that Wrestler “A” was the better wrestler and had the better
career.

***Comparing Dave Meltzer to Scott Keith’s ratings*** 

Scott
and Dave’s lists are interesting to compare for a number of reasons.
First off, once again Shawn Michaels tops the list with the highest
number of matches rated above **** at 30 and 31, respectively. Angle and
Benoit finished high on DM’s ratings, just like SK’s, only on DM’s,
Edge finished very high at #2 for highest number of matches rated above
****. HHH, Austin, Undertaker, and The Rock finished similar on both
frequency analyses. Jericho scored higher on DM’s list; whereas, Bret
surprisingly finished much lower on DM’s list, than he did on SK’s.
Foley and Flair, once again finished in the bottom two.
There
were naturally some matches that only Scott Keith reviewed and not Dave
Meltzer and vice versa, which would naturally be a factor scoring;
however, both guys had about the same amount of matches rated in each of
the four categories from ****1/4 to *****. Meltzer is very harsh on
giving out a 5 star rating with only 5; whereas, Keith (like most fans)
goes the full monty much more generously.

Xbox One

Speaking of “new presentations” (and I’ll get razzed here for the threadjack), but has anyone seen the info of the Nexbox, or Xbox One? Seems like everything you never wanted in a game system, they threw in there.

God, the new Xbox.  The “play used games for a fee” thing is so obnoxious, as is the constant internet connection requirement, likely to keep ads flowing as it is now.  Using it as a cable box is useless in Canada because there is no over the air coverage up here unless you’re near the border, and most of the “added value” entertainment crap on Live Gold isn’t available due to geographic restrictions anyway.  I really soured on Microsoft’s service in the past few months and don’t regret switching to the PS3 at all.  It’s a better streaming box, plays Blu-Rays, and I don’t have to buy new batteries for the controller all the time.  Plus it’s my CHOICE to pay for PS Plus, and I get free games out of it!  Microsoft raises the price for Gold in both Canada and the US and justifies it with all the great stuff you get as a member…in the US.  Plus when I’m buying physical media and not just downloading it off the PS Store, I’m getting it from sites like jjgames.com, not buying new games for $60 a piece.  I love God of War, but fuck them if they think I’m ever paying more than $20 for a game now.  I can wait it out.  Anyway, not an endorsement for Sony’s new vaporware system here or anything, but that Xbox thing really rubbed me the wrong way.  Plus it looks like a VCR you’d buy at Sears in 1987.

Feedback Feedbag– 01.29.2002

  I’m having a quick bout with writer’s block as I slog through the 2001 chapter of the book, so I thought I’d stop and clean out the ol’ mailbox. But first I once again wanted to point out how awesome last night’s Desire video truly was. There’s little sub-stories within the video (like the Love Montage, the Spin Montage, the nWo montage, Vince’s comeback) and the pacing of it matched the pacing of the song almost exactly. (Even after another decade of navel-gazing and recapping themselves, this remains the best video package they ever did.  There are parts of it that literally give me CHILLS because it’s so perfectly edited and hits all the right notes to make you remember why you’re a fan of THIS BUSINESS in the first place. Once again, I have to ask: Why do we need Excess in its present form? They have 30 years of source material to draw from now, they can run a two-hour show every week just reminiscing and never run out of footage to draw from. (Which they now do for international audiences, called Vintage Collection.)  Anyway, let’s hit the Feedback Feedbag! Daniel Burger seemed anxious for me to get this piece, which I don’t agree with and I don’t think it’s particularly well-written either, but here’s his take on the “smarks v. marks” never-ending war… “Okay, this has been bugging me (and I’m quite sure lots of other people too) for years…. There exists in this realm a group of wrestling fans known by names such as “smarts” or “smarks”. To the best of my knowledge(and attack me with this if I’m wrong), the main defining characteristic that distinguishes this group from the other wrestling fans, is that smart/ks are allegedly aware of the inner workings of the industry, and view the product not as a work, but rather for the entertainment value, since they already know what’s going to happen. HOWEVER, and herein lies the crux of this letter, virtually every “smart” site I visit has the writers whining endlessly about there being too much talk and backstage segments, and not enough “real wrestling”. Que?! According to most smark/ts the best parts of the SHOW take place between the opening and closing bells (unless of course such talentless louts like…ulp…Kane, or even that useless Hogan creature are in there….), yet the same smark/t fans then continually make fun of the “redneck hicks”(quoted from CRZ) for being so ignorant as to view the product as a genuine sport!!! Most “smart” fans would be perfectly content to see a 2-hour RAW have, say, 5 25-minute matches with no backstage segments or in-ring interviews, and the matches preferably being between guys who are: a)Under 6 feet and 225 pounds b)Completely without any sort of personality or character(and don’t say JERICHO on this one, while you may love him most “smarts” I have read call him a talentless blowhard) c)Primarily using moves that originated in Mexico and Japan(which is weird since stuff like topes and planchas aren’t actually ‘wrestling’ moves as such, while the dreaded chinlocks and armbars ARE wrestling moves) d)Related (either by blood or marriage) to either Stu Hart or Gory Guerrero, although why this is, I am completely blank Well, you know what that sounds like to poor ignorant me? Something off one of those “Golden Wrestling from the 50s and 60s tapes). Some smark/ts have even slammed the WWF for dropping old-style commentator Heyman in favor of the more entertainment-oriented Lawler. Am I the only one who dumb it is? The smark/ts seem to have slowly come around to The Rock, but the biggest complaint from Smart Galaxy is that he spends too much time talking and not enough wrestling. Hmmm. The Rock is average at best in the ring. His whole boom is based on his mic work. Cut back on that and you may as well rename him Justin Competent or something. Benoit deserves a MAJOR push, because he is a great mat wrestler. Perhaps, except he has the personality on an empty fish bowl, and his matches are usually greeted with an indifferent silence from the crowd. And who in their right mind could even contemplate giving major time to people like Mysterio and Kidman if they aren’t wanting to be on unemployment row soon afterwards. I’d say Bischoff but his mental state is pretty far out there. Now all these beliefs are fine, and I can understand how some people can like that kinda stuff. Fair enough. But then these same people then hurl barbed insults at others for being “behind the times”, and even not getting it(not in parenthesis)!! Doesn’t it seem strange to anyone that at one end the smark/ts have to see themselves as being so far ahead of the rest the fans, while publicly praying for a return to the glory days Gagne? I mean, the only way you could REALLY get so worked up about the actual matches as taking so much priority over everything else is if you thought it was all real……” My only thought? Generalizations are dangerous things to make, especially with a group whose interests are as varied as online fans’. But it is, as they say, a free country.  (I’m not even sure what this guy’s point was.  Was he one of the first anti-smarks?  I think most fans just want to be entertained, and if Benoit or Jericho was entertaining to them, bulla bulla.)  Tyler from AOL asks… “Scott, What with the imminent (and, for a handful of people, much dreaded) invasion of the nWo to the WWF, do you think this would be an okay route for the Fed to go: Austin beats Angle on RAW to fight Y2J at NO WAY OUT, loses to Jericho via interference of Hogan or someone, thereby setting up Austin/Hogan, HHH/Y2J for WrestleMania? The buyrate for Austin/Hogan would be fucking HUGE, I’m talking Vince being able to provide enough money to feed all the starving kids in Indonesia, even though match quality would have to be the sacrifice; and HHH/Jericho would be kick-ass, providing a great amount of drama considering that Steph decides to go wayward. Also, do you think there would be the problem of the crowd popping for their fellow Canadian Y2J over HHH at the main event, who is supposed to be the babyface? Thanks for your time. Don’t listen to some of those cunts on Amazon, your book fucking ruled. Will definitely buy the next one. Sincerely Tyler R” I wouldn’t waste Austin/Hogan on Wrestlemania. No point — the buyrate is huge already just with HHH/Jericho and the name Wrestlemania. Just do an Outsiders v. Rock/Austin tag match if you must mix the main eventers already.  (They did that one on RAW as it turned out.  And the way they went with Wrestlemania X8 turned out OK.)  And I’m glad you like Buzz on Pro Wrestling, although I don’t make a dime off it so at this point I’m more concerned with selling Tonight…In This Very Ring! once it gets into circulation. (Well, I made quite a few dimes off it, but it was just a one-time work-for-hire payment and I didn’t get royalties.)  I already got all the money for Buzz that I’m going to get, so those “cunts on Amazon” can say whatever they want about it at this point.  (STOP SAYING THAT WORD!)  Doug Craig asks… “I have read many reports about this past Royal Rumble, mainly Maven’s elimination. It seems everybody is making an issue about his elimination being illegal because Undertaker was eliminated when he dumped Maven. I know people have brought up the Steve Austin situation which was “never seen by the referees”, but wasn’t there a Royal Rumble where George Steele was supposedly entered but never entered the ring, but he was mentioned as being “officially in the Rumble”…I thought that Gorilla Monsoon made the statement that when George Steele stood outside of the ring, he was still/officially in the Rumble.” I believe you’re thinking of Wrestlemania IV, where he wandered around the outside of the ring before the referees finally escorted him back. George Steele was retired from active competition by the time the Rumble started on PPV in 1989. (The whole thing with Rumble eliminations basically changes from year to year depending on what the storyline calls for.) 

Smackdown Tapings

You may have heard this already but at the Smackdown tapings tonight, someone was holding up a sign that said "Scott Keith Fears Fuj". It was on the main camera side so it may have made TV.


During the tapings, the loudest pop was for Orton followed by Daniel Bryan and Sheamus. The next loudest pop was for Dean Ambrose. During the match he had with Kofi Kingston, there was a loud "Let's go Ambrose" chant. WWE will most likely dub over that.

I did notice that they were protecting Roman Reigns tonight. The match between Kofi and Ambrose became a 6-man between The Shield and Kofi/Orton/Sheamus. Reigns briefly tagged in but spent most of his time on the apron or floor. After the match ended and the cameras stopped rolling, Reigns was escorted to the back while Ambrose and Rollins took finishers from the faces.

Thanks,

Joe Ryan

I would dispute the accuracy of that sign.  What are the sources on that?  Why do they think they KNOW who I fear?  Where's the Shield to exact some justice when you need them?  
I guess I gotta watch Smackdown now and look for it.  

Option A or Option B

Hi Scott This seemed to work quite well last time we tried it, so why don’t we have another go at it? Basic premise, I give Scott two options (A or B) and he picks one. Nice and simple. Let’s get at em!

Number One: What would have a better chance of getting over? Option A – Stan Hansen comes in to the WWF in the early 90’s to work as a top level heel and has feuds with Bret Hart, Razor Ramon and Undertaker or Option B – Jerry Lawler comes into JCP/NWA/WCW in the late 80’s to work as a top level face and has feuds with Ric Flair, Terry Funk and Lex Luger The Lawler one was supposed to happen and very nearly did, although it was going to be as a heel.  Hansen in the WWF?  They tried with Justin Hawk Bradshaw and it only got to a certain level.  So we’ll say Lawler, because he can get over ANYWHERE.  Number Two: Which scenario would most improve the show it happened on? Option A – The 1995 King of the Ring Tournament is booked exactly as it was but you replace Savio Vega with the 1-2-3 Kid or Option B – You have Ricky Steamboat beat Greg Valentine at Wrestlemania IV and go with Savage Vs Steamboat II in the next round If it got a decent amount of time and Savage got his win back, Option B for sure.  Kid getting squashed by Mabel holds no appeal.  Number Three: As a Horsemen Member in 1993 instead of Paul Roma Option A – Bobby Eaton or Option B – Paul Orndorff Eaton as a Horseman is intriguing, plus it would reunite the Anderson/Eaton team, but Orndorff fits the mold better.  I’m going with B here.  Number Four: Which Reversed Title Change would have had the most positive effect on business if it had been allowed to stand? Option A – Jericho beating HHH back in 2000 or Option B – One of the numerous Steiner Tag Title wins during WCW in 97 I don’t think the Jericho win would have affected business much, given that 2000 was the biggest year in the history of the company for profit and has never been touched since.  So obviously what they did was right.  So we’ll say Steiners.  Number Five: Which of these do you think is the better show? Option A – No Way Out 2001 (HHH Vs Austin, Rock Vs Angle, Jericho Vs Eddie, Vs X-Pac Vs Benoit) or Option B – Vengeance 2003 (Brock Vs Angle Vs Big Show, TWGTT Vs Kidman/Mysterio, Benoit Vs Eddie) Oh, I love No Way Out 2001.  No contest there at all.  Number Six: As a direction for Wrestlemania 13 Option A: Austin beats Bret at Survivor Series 96, wins Title at the Rumble, Bret wins Rumble, Bret beats Austin for Title at Mania, no double turn or Option B: Vader wins the title at Survivor Series 96, Shawn wins the Rumble, Shawn beats Vader at Mania, Bret Vs Austin goes as it did. Sid Vs Taker is an under card attraction I like B better out of those two, because the Rumble was way too soon for Austin to be winning that title.  Number Seven: What is a better explanation as to why Sting didn’t work as a top level face in the early 90’s? Option A: He wasn’t booked the right way and just wasn’t given the right opponents or Option B: Sting just didn’t have the star power required to carry a company as the top face He was booked as a secondary attraction under Hogan, so A.  Number Eight: Back during WCW in 2000, what do you think had a better chance of getting a buy rate around 0.5? Option A: You book Hogan Vs Flair but you promote it as the final meeting between two legends and you have them cut serious promo’s about how important the match is to them and how they need to win this final meeting. Add Roddy Piper as the Special Referee and have him cut promo’s about it too. Let them have as good a match as they can muster and have them shake hands afterward. or Option B: After Goldberg and Steiner have their great match at Fall Brawl, you don’t have them touch again until Starrcade, where Goldberg gets his win back and becomes the new World Champion I’m gonna go with B, because they were building something with Steiner and just never got there.  Number Nine: What do you think had more chance of succeeding? Option A : WCW dedicating a show to the Cruiserweights during their hot period and doing a “J-Cup” style tournament with the likes of Eddie, Malenko, Rey Mysterio, Jushin Liger etc or Option B: WWF dedicating a show to the Hardcore Division back in 2000 and doing a hardcore tournament with the likes of Crash Holly, Steve Blackman, Taz, Raven etc The Cruiserweight show, because I believe it was discussed quite a few times.  and finally Number Ten: What character do you think would have made more of an impact? Option A: When Shane Douglas comes to the WWF in 95, he keeps his “Franchise” gimmick and is booked as a serious threat. or Option B: When Taz comes to the WWF in 2000, he’s allowed to retain his tough guy gimmick and doesn’t become a cowardly heel feuding with Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross Taz by far.  He was bigtime when he debuted in 2000 and just died off.  Hope this gives you much to mull. Just remember though, thinkin’ ain’t drinkin’! Sounds like you’re not doing it right.

WWF Championship Wrestling October 20th, 1984

October 20th, 1984
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
This week’s show includes the Tonga Kid vs. The Executioner, Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik, and an update on Tito Santana

Charlie Fulton vs. Sgt. Slaughter
The crowd has tons of Slaughter stuff. He works the arm of Fulton as the crowd starts a “USA” chant. Fulton fights back and lands a few shots but Slaughter fights back and knocks him down. Fulton reverses a whip in the corner and takes him down with a shoulderblock. Sarge ducks a clothesline and hits Fulton with the Slaughter Cannon then gets the win with the Cobra Clutch (2:17).
Thoughts: The Sarge is still insanely over with the crowd but doesn’t have a hot feud at the moment. He was facing Volkoff at house shows and that wasn’t getting anything close to the reaction that he was getting with the Iron Sheik.
WWF update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week’s focus is on Ken Patera as they show a clip of him destroying Billy Travis.
Judy Martin vs. Desiree Peterson
Martin takes down Peterson but she reverses it into a headscissors. She grabs Peterson by the hair to escape but gets knocked down by Peterson after she ducks a few punches. Martin works an armbar, which is reversed by Peterson. Martin escapes and roughs up Peterson for a bit. She side-steps a crossbody and hits a front suplex for the win (3:04). After the match, Martin grabs the mic and demands Wendi Richter come out and face her before tossing Peterson to the floor.
Thoughts: The match was fine for a women’s match. Martin was horrible on the mic. You could barely understand a word she was saying. After Moolah, they had no challengers for Richter.  
Jack Reynolds runs down the MSG show and interviews Big John Studd and Bobby Heenan about the title match against Hulk Hogan. Heenan gloats how Hogan can lose the title by pinfall or by countout. They play up the $15,000 bodyslam challenge and how Hogan will wear himself out by trying to slam him. Good stuff from Heenan.
The Executioner vs. Tonga Kid
This match was made on last week’s Piper’s Pit. They work an Irish whip sequence where they mis-time a leapfrog. Tonga chops down the Executioner then hits a headbutt. The Executioner bails as Tonga is all fired up. Back inside, Tonga hits another headbutt and fires away, while yelling “Piper.” He hits a dropkick then hammers away. He hits a slam but the Executioner rakes the eyes. Tonga reverses an Irish whip and catches him with a slam. He hits a jumping headbutt then finishes him off with a top rope splash (3:07). Nice splash as he went three-fourths across the ring. The crowd is loud, starting a “We want Piper” chant.
Thoughts: Tonga Kid is really gaining some momentum. He was a lower mid-card guy until he went on Piper’s Pit and injected himself into the Piper/Snuka feud. The crowd was solidly behind him in this match.
Jack Reynolds is with Nikolai Volkoff. He runs down Sgt. Slaughter, calling him a liar and says that Russians advised the Vietnam soldiers on how to beat the USA. He then spits on the ground and promises to spit on him after he beats him at MSG. Promos were not Nikolai’s strength, that’s for sure.
Billy Travis vs. Big John Studd w/Bobby Heenan
Studd knocks Travis through the ropes with a shoulder block. Outside, Travis manages to send Studd into the ring post but once they go back in the ring, Studd destroys him. He goes up to the second rope and hits an axe handle. He slams him on the ropes then drops an elbow, then repeats that same sequence for the win (2:30).
Thoughts: They continue to build up Studd for programs with Hogan and Andre.  Giving him Heenan helps him get more heat but he is still a lousy wrestler.
Piper’s Pit with guest David Sammartino. Piper asks him how he can think he can cut it in the WWF by riding on his dad’s fame. Sammartino says that he has worked hard as the Tonga Kid comes out and interrupts, demanding a match. The crowd is going nuts as Piper makes fun of him, saying he is nothing but garbage and demands that he leaves. Sammartino grabs the mic and calls Roddy “chicken” as Piper snaps and says he is not a chicken and will fight the Tonga Kid next week. The crowd went ballistic during this segment, which was well done.
We are shown footage of several jobbers helping Tito Santana on the stretcher after losing the Intercontinental Title to Greg Valentine on All-Star Wrestling the previous week. The crowd chants for Tito as we are shown Tito being wheeled into a hospital to get his knee operation. Tito speaks after the operation, saying that it was a success and promises that he will get better and come after Greg Valentine. Vince promises we will have another update next week. This segment lasted way longer than necessary.
Steve Lombardi & Salvatore Bellomo vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
After Volkoff sings the Russian National Anthem, Bellomo takes the mic and sings “God Bless America” until Volkoff jumps him from behind. Bellomo gets double-teamed in the corner as the crowd starts a “USA” chant. They continue the assault as the fans now chant “Russia Sucks.” Volkoff lifts Bellomo with one hand by the throat then tags the Sheik, who gets a slam. Bellomo kicks the Sheik and tags Lombardi. He throws his terrible punches then Sheik rams in the stomach and tags Volkoff. He stomps him repeatedly until he tags the Sheik, who puts him in the Camel Cltuch for the win (3:51)
Thoughts: The usual stuff from Sheik & Volkoff. Really not much more to say about this match although Lombardi & Bellomo are quite the jobbing duo. God, those two were fucking terrible.
Jack Reynolds is with Hulk Hogan. He tells Reynolds to shut up then goes on a rant about Big John Studd. He tells us that Studd stripped him of his pride after his loss last month. Typical Hulk promo.
Bruno and Vince recap the show, putting over the toughness of Sheik & Piper then plug next week’s featured match, Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper.
Final Thoughts: This show just about turned the Tonga Kid from nothing into a star. The crowd was going wild for him and he did a great job with everything. The heat on Piper was off the charts as well. The rest of the show was largely forgettable but next week’s show will have the Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper match, which should be crazy.

Yearly Review: WWF May 1989

Hogan has a monster he has to deal with.

WWF World Championship Scene: (currently held by: Hulk Hogan)
Zeus stepped up his attempts to get under Hogan’s skin while at a Meadowlands house show on May 8th. Zeus called Hogan a woman and believed that he was the star of the movie, No Holds Barred. Zeus also believed he was bigger and badder than Hogan. He also said that he would beat Hogan should he ever wrestle Hogan in the WWF.

Hogan competed against Randy Savage on the house show market. Hogan lost several matches by count-out but at bigger events such as a Philadelphia Spectrum house show, Hogan defeated Savage by pin fall to retain the title.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Scene: (currently held by: Rick Rude) 

There weren’t any new developments for Rick Rude. He continued to wrestle the Ultimate Warrior on the house show market, losing by count-out each time but retaining the championship as a result.

WWF World Tag Team Championships Scene: (currently held by: Demolition)

Big Bossman and Akeem are the primary challengers for the WWF World Tag Team Championships. They would lose to Demolition by disqualification or a few times lose cleanly to the champions on the house show market.

Other Happenings: 

– Rick Martel dominated his feud with former tag team partner Tito Santana as he won every match they had against each other on the house show market.
– Roddy Piper competed in his first WWF match in two years on May 12th in Los Angeles, CA where he pinned Ted DiBiase in the main event.
– During the May 16th taping for WWF Wrestling Challenge, the Honky Tonk Man began a feud with Jimmy Snuka. Honky was trying to sing a song following his match, but was cut off in favor for a Jimmy Snuka interview. After insulting Snuka, Honky was attacked by Snuka with a cross body block off the podium onto the floor. At the May 17th taping of WWF Superstars, the Honky Tonk Man got some payback by hitting Snuka with a guitar.
– During the May 17th taping of WWF Superstars, Slick refused to answer the question of whether or not he was looking to sign Zeus to a contract.

Bob’s Opinion: 
A slow month for the World Wrestling Federation as most of the feuds are just carrying over from WrestleMania. The return of Roddy Piper is nice addition to the babyface side of the roster. The whole feud with Hogan and Zeus is uninteresting and I wonder if people bought into Zeus at the time as being a threat to Hogan. I could see it, but looking back at it today, there is no way.

I don’t have a lot to comment on here, so I apologize for the lack of information.

What are you memories of the WWF at the time? Feel free to share them!
Also, check out my blog Wrestling Recaps and if you enjoy the series support the blog by liking it on Facebook!  

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – September 8, 1997

by Logan Scisco


A video package
recaps the events of last night’s In Your House:  Ground Zero pay-per-view
.
Vince McMahon, Jim
Ross, and Jerry “the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from
Cincinnati, Ohio
.
McMahon interviews
Commissioner Sergeant Slaughter, who receives a chorus of boos.  Slaughter pledges that there will be law and
order in the WWF and that Steve Austin will be suspended until he receives a
doctor’s order that allows him to compete. 
Slaughter announces the beginning of a tournament to crown a new
Intercontinental champion, with the finals to be held at In Your House:  Badd Blood, and Austin must present his title
to the winner.  Austin comes out to a big
reaction, pledges to deliver a can of whoop ass to Slaughter’s front door, and
makes fun of his weight.  The last part
might seem cheesy, but Austin delivers it in such a bad ass manner that John
Cena should take notes.  On his way out,
Austin gives Slaughter a Stone Cold Stunner, which makes the crowd lose its collective
mind, and he teases attacking McMahon before WWF officials intervene.  THIS is what you call an opening segment.

The Undertaker’s
plancha at Ground Zero last night is the Discovery Zone Rewind segment.
Footage of Steve
Austin giving Jim Ross a Stone Cold Stunner at Ground Zero last night is shown,
along with his recent Stunner to Sergeant Slaughter.  Slaughter really sold his like a champ, as he
lifted his legs on the way down to give the move more impact.  After these are shown, WWF officials tell
Austin to get out of the building.
The announce crew
discusses the lingering Bret Hart-Vader feud and their recent encounters on
Friday Night’s Main Event
.
Opening Non-Title
No Holds Barred Contest:  Bret “the
Hitman” Hart (WWF Champion) wrestles Vader to a no contest at 7:46 shown:
Bret goes for the cheap heat by running down Pete Rose
and Bret establishes that this is a no holds barred match by blasting Vader
with the WWF title as he gets into the ring. 
Bret uses the ring steps too, but Vader proceeds to overcome that and
maul him with big strikes.  Vader hits
the powerbomb, but when he goes for a Vader Bomb, the British Bulldog runs down
and gets involved.  The Patriot makes the
save to even the odds, but Owen Hart runs out to make it 3-on-2.  Bret grabs a chair to accelerate the
destruction, but Steve Austin prevents the Patriot from taking a spike
piledriver on it and tries to go after Owen, but Owen and the rest of the Hart
Foundation flee.  This was a fun match,
even with all of the interference, and the no contest verdict was justified
based on what they are building up.  Rating: 
***¼
Sergeant Slaughter
is shown pacing in the locker room, favoring his neck
.
The action of last
night’s Fatal Four Way tag team match is chronicled by the announce crew and
footage of the Headbangers celebrating their title victory with their fans in
Louisville is shown.
The Godwinns
destroy some jobbers, which were scheduled to face the Headbangers, and Henry
Godwinn gets on the mic and challenges the Headbangers to a match after their
fluke victory on last night’s pay-per-view. 
The Headbangers accept the challenge.
Non-Title
Match:  The Godwinns defeat The
Headbangers (WWF Tag Team Champions) when Phineas pins Mosh after Uncle Cletus
hits Mosh in the back of the head with a horseshoe at 3:05:
This match has an odd dynamic, as the announce team makes
fun of the Headbangers attire and what they stand for while hyping the
viciousness of the Godwinns.  Remind me
again why the Headbangers were booked to win the titles in the first
place?  The Godwinns put Thrasher in
peril, but after Mosh hits Phineas with the Mosh Pit, an unknown man in
overalls (the soon to be revealed Uncle Cletus) interferes behind the referee’s
back and gives the Godwinns a victory.  Rating: 
Ross interviews
the Godwinns after the match and Henry says that they have brought their Uncle
Cletus to the WWF in order to watch their backs. 
Uncle Cletus was played by Tony Anthony, who viewers of the WWF in the mid-1990s
will recognize as T.L. Hopper, the evil plumber.
The announce crew
discuss the Ground Zero ”indecent proposal” match between Brian Pillman and
Goldust.
Sunny lets us know
that she is going to be in the locker room and showers tonight getting some
scoops on the latest WWF news and introduces Dude Love, who she dances with by
the entrance.
Dude Love brings
out Goldust for a first round Intercontinental title tournament match against
Brian Pillman, but Pillman calls in from home and says he refuses to wrestle
until the WWF guarantees his safety.  He
then has a tape played of “Brian Pillman’s XXX Files,” where he alludes to
having wild sex with Terri last night. 
Goldust looks humiliated as the segment comes to a close.
Max Mini pins
Piratita Morgan with a La Magistral Cradle at 2:38:
This is the usual Max Mini-type match where he flies
around a lot, gets knocked down a few times by a bigger opponent, and then
magically gets a roll up to win.  This is
OK filler, but I never got the point of using the minis in late 1997 and early
1998.
Ross explains the
Hell in a Cell match which has been signed for In Your House:  Badd Blood between Shawn Michaels and the
Undertaker.
A video package
chronicles the feud between Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker
.
McMahon interviews
the Undertaker, who tells ShawnMichaels that last night was only the beginning
of his struggle against death.  He makes
sure to emphasize that Hell in a Cell will have no way of escape, so Michaels
will have to hear the music of the bells that will signal his demise.  Michaels appears on the Titantron, says that
he is a survivor, and he will survive again at Hell in a Cell.
Sunny interviews
the Hart Foundation.  Owen says that he
is not scared of Steve Austin and he will put him out of the WWF a second time
if he tries to touch him.  As insurance,
he says that Bret and the British Bulldog will accompany him in his
Intercontinental tournament match against Goldust.
Intercontinental
Championship Tournament First Round Match: 
Owen Hart (w/Bret Hart & The British Bulldog) defeats Goldust by
disqualification at 2:08:
The brackets for this tournament are:
*Brian Pillman-Dude Love
*Owen Hart-Goldust
*Ken Shamrock-Faarooq
*Ahmed Johnson-Rocky Maivia
Goldust attacks Owen prior to the bell and decides to
give Owen too many low blows in view of the referee and gets disqualified.  I think that is the only time that I ever
recall seeing this finish.
After the match,
the Hart Foundation does a beat down on Goldust until Steve Austin makes the
save with a broom.  Austin once again
threatens McMahon before leaving
.
As Goldust goes to
leave the ring, Brian Pillman calls in to show part II of his “XXX Files”,
where he says that he is getting ready to take a shower with Terri.
McMahon interviews
the Hart Foundation and Bret says if Sergeant Slaughter wants to save face that
he should suspend Steve Austin from the WWF for life.
Call
1-900-737-4WWF if you want to hear Brian Pillman’s phone conversation with WWF
officials as he sped away with Terri at Ground Zero last night.  The call will cost you $1.49 per minute!
Savio Vega comes
out to do guest commentary because he’s the “king of the triple threat match”
after winning one last night at Ground Zero
The
upcoming triple threat is scheduled to be a match between the Patriot, Hunter
Hearst Helmsley, and the British Bulldog, but while the Bulldog makes his
entrance, Helmsley, Shawn Michaels, and Chyna attack him and go after his right
knee.  Meanwhile, the Patriot just stands
in the ring in a great display of sportsmanship.
Hunter Hearst
Helmsley (w/Chyna) defeats The Patriot & Savio Vega when he pins Savio
after ramming Savio’s head into the Patriot’s at 11:40 shown:
With the Bulldog injured, Savio demands a place in the
match and after he punches Helmsley this one gets underway.  I really hate that the triple threat is being
used in a throwaway match like this because the stipulation needs to be used
for a special circumstance.  The match
gets zero reaction until Shawn Michaels wanders back out to do guest
commentary.  Literally NOTHING happens in
this match and random pin attempts
that are broken up simply because there is a third man in the ring.  One interesting thing happens when the
Patriot cradles Helmsley, but does so with his shoulders on the mat and instead
of trying to see a double pin, which would logically make him the winner, Savio
breaks it up.  Speaking of which, that is
a finish to the triple threat that I do not think has ever been tried, so
bookers take note.  About fifteen minutes
in, if you add the commercial breaks, the crowd works up a very audible
“boring” chant.  Savio takes out the
referee with a spinning heel kick while trying to block a Pedigree attempt by
Helmsley and our finish ends up really convoluted as the Patriot is crotched
going to the top rope when Savio slingshots Helmsley into the corner, but
cannot get a pin because there is no referee. 
Savio then takes a swing at Michaels when he gets on the apron and that
allows Helmsley to whip Savio into the Patriot, who is napping on the top
buckles, and score a very underwhelming victory.  This has to be the worst triple threat match
I have ever seen.  Rating:  ¼*
After the match,
Michaels takes out the Patriot and Savio Vega and Los Boricuas and Vader charge
the ring.  The heels arm themselves with
chairs in the ring to fight off their attackers and the Hart Foundation walks
out as the show goes off the air.
The Final Report Card:  This was a really weird show because you
expect RAW to have an okay first hour and a great second hour.  Instead, this show had a pretty good first
hour and a really lousy second hour.  The
triple threat nearly kills the show and likely did in the ratings as this was
the lowest rated RAW in three months, but Steve Austin’s antics in the first
hour save it from being a complete waste of time.
Monday Night War Rating:  2.2 (vs. 4.3 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation:  Neutral

The new presentation of WWE

I've noticed a few things lately that are pointing to the WWE trying to become more like other pro sports (notable football):


– Instant Replay
– Pre/Post game shows
– Miked up refs (Kioda was miked last night)

These are little things, but it's worth paying attention to if it continues in this direction.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Rob 

Any change is a good change at this point, I think.  I don't know that a pre or post game show is the cure for staleness or anything, but it at least shows they're willing to try something else.  

The Great CM Punk Hiatus of 2013

So, it's been about a month since CM Punk went off on hiatus and such and I was wondering, how long is he going to be gone? Until late summer for Summerslam? Late fall and Survivor Series? The entire rest of the year?


Given how we are now suffering through HHH sticking his big nose back into things, positioning himself as counterpoint for Cena as the top guy, how fucking long must we wait until Punk returns?

Jesse

What am I, his doctor?  

Who started the fire?

Hey, Caliber. i had a question and was curious if you knew or anyone on the blog knew. i know Scotts email is backed up so i thought i’d jump to the head of the line and email you. Anyway, who actually started having music on their way to the ring? I’ve heard Hogan claim he did it with Eye of the Tiger. But of course you can’t trust anything The Hulkster says. 


Thanks!

For those out there, I’m more than happy to be your Express Check-Out in the email world, all single-men, cash only, no chit-chat. So long as you don’t mind not getting Scott’s opinion and just want it up for discussion.

Honestly, I have no idea. I heard the same about Hogan. Although I’ve heard Sgt. Slaughter claim he was the first, by coming out to the Marine Corp theme. Also, PS Hayes said that he and the Freebirds were the first.

So, can anyone nail it down?

Any others who have a question can send’em to [email protected]

The SmarK RAW Rant–05.20.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 05.20.13 Happy Victoria Day! Hope everyone spent the day contemplating what Queen Victoria meant to them on a personal level, much like I did. That and playing God of War III. Live from Kansas City, MO Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL The Ryback arrives in an ambulance to start, and we get EXCLUSIVE footage of John Cena rising above neck braces last night. So Ryback challenges Cena to an Ambulance Match for Payback, but first he makes sure to call everyone in the audience fat and weak, unlike himself. This was a HELL of a promo for Ryback, as he sounded very natural and easy for once. Fandango & Wade Barrett v. The Miz & Chris Jericho Barrett has yet ANOTHER entrance music and video. Perhaps letting him win a match would be a more effective way to get him over. Just a thought. Jericho throws chops on Barrett, but Fandango comes in with the attack from behind and blocks a blind charge with a boot to the face. The heels have some personality conflict as we take a break. Back with Miz working Barrett over, but he gets distracted by Fandango saying his name and dancing. This has Barrett further upset, and Jericho hits him with the Lionsault and Codebreaker. Miz finishes with the figure-four at 8:35. Barely even a match, as the camera was focused on Fandango dancing outside for the last half. * Fandango abandons Summer at ringside and sprints into the crowd, knocking some poor guy over in the process, and Jericho dances with the lady and then dumps her to the curb. Vickie Guerrero is out to announce that Jack Swagger will face one of Great Khali, R-Truth or Randy Orton, depending on who wins an app poll. Gee, I wonder who wins that one? Sheamus v. Titus O’Neil Sheamus quickly dominates and gets the forearms on the apron, but gets distracted by Black Cena and Titus lays him out. Back in, Titus hits the chinlock and pounds away, and gets a weird pumphandle slam for two. Sheamus fights out of an armbar and makes the comeback, but Titus fights out of White Noise. Young trips Sheamus up and Titus gets two. Sheamus gets White Noise this time, however, and finishes with the Brogue Kick at 6:28. It was a match, it was fine. ** Paul Heyman is out to celebrate Brock’s victory, and introduce the new Paul Heyman Guy…Michael McGuillicutty, who is now Curtis Axel, complete with a rockin’ new mix of Exodus. Heyman explains that “Curt” comes from his dad, and “Axel” comes from his grandfather. Why not just “Joe Hennig”? This is going nowhere, so HHH interrupts. He immediately buries Axel and wants a match with him tonight. They didn’t even mention that he was tag champions a couple of times. Big E Langston v. Alberto Del Rio ADR immediately takes him down with the armbar, but Big E is in the ropes. Del Rio hangs on, so Langston pulls him out of the ring and tosses him down to break. Back in, Langston with the backbreaker, but he walks into a Del Rio boot in the corner and takes a tornado DDT. Backstabber and superkick gets two. Langston’s got really great facials while selling, which is why it’s so weird that he’s a heel. His “What did I just get hit with?” look would be perfect for a babyface. AJ tosses the bucket into the ring to provide distraction, and THE BIG ENDING finishes at 4:42. Well that’s pretty unexpected. They had some pretty good chemistry, actually. **1/4 Layla v. AJ Lee Well, they’re dragging out the AJ title win even further, apparently. She gets a quick neckbreaker for two, but Layla puts her down with kicks. AJ comes out of the corner with her wacky octopus stretch thing for the submission at 1:45. ½* Cody Rhodes v. Zack Ryder Joined in progress with no entrance for either guy. Apparently if you download the WWE app, you can watch Ryback standing there watching the match on another monitor! RIGHT NOW! LIVE! Cody gets a hammerlock, but Zack comes back with a missile dropkick. Is calling him “The Woo Woo Kid” supposed to make him sound like anything but the world’s biggest jobber? Cody hits the disaster kick for the pin at 2:00. Well that’s longer than Zack usually gets. * Ryback comes out and beats him up some more. Why they didn’t just book that as the match, I don’t know. Poor Zack takes a ride in the ambulance that’s been sitting there since the beginning of the show. The Shield v. Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan & Kane Kofi gets a quick rollup on Ambrose to start and Bryan comes in for the kicks and a kneedrop for two. Over to Rollins, and Bryan dominates him with kicks as well before Kane adds a dropkick for two. Kofi with a hammerlock and a back elbow for two. He gets caught in the Shield corner, however, and Reigns pounds away on him. Over to Ambrose, who stretches him on the mat and adds the dropkick on the ropes for two. Rollins chokes away in the corner and takes him into the turnbuckle for two. He stops to get cocky, though, and Kofi takes him down and makes the hot tag to Bryan. Daniel is running WILD with kicks that get two, as Rollins bumps all over for him. He goes up and gets crotched, but gets a missile dropkick on Ambrose for two. No-Lock, but Ambrose slithers into the ropes, and the Shield all retreats as we take a break. Back with the faces now working Reigns over in the corner, and Kofi fires away, but Bryan comes in again and gets caught, as we’re getting EXTENDED ROCK N ROLL EXPRESS FORMULA! So Bryan takes a beating now, with a Rollins corner powerbomb that gets two. Reigns comes in with a clothesline, and Ambrose works Bryan over and cuts off a comeback. Ambrose talks some trash, but Bryan lays him out with the high kick and it’s hot tag Kane. Corner clothesline for Reigns and a sideslam gets two. It’s BONZO GONZO and we get stereo dives from Kofi & Bryan, leaving Reigns v. Kane. DDT gets two for Kane. The Shield puts the babyfaces down outside, however, and they all storm the ring, allowing Rollins to hit Kane with the flying knee and Reigns to finish with the spear at 23:44. Excellent TV match. **** Meanwhile, Kaitlyn and Natalya steal Cody’s phone to try to corner him as a suspect, but it’s apparently not him. Jack Swagger v. Randy Orton Not surprisingly, Orton wins with 72%. They fight over a wristlock and Orton dropkicks him down, then they head outside where Orton drops him on the railing. Back in, that gets two. Orton pounds away in the corner and a suplex gets two. Swagger comes back with knees in the corner, but Orton gets the Thesz Press, until Swagger takes out the knee. Swagger pounds on him until Orton backdrops him to the floor to escape. Swagger runs him into the railing and gets two off that. Orton mounts a brief comeback, but goes up and gets sent to the floor again as we take a break. Back with Swagger still working on the knee, but Orton comes back with a superplex for two. Swagger with a belly to belly for two. Swagger tries the anklelock, but Orton escapes and goes for the RKO, which Swagger turns into the anklelock for real. Orton keeps fighting and makes the ropes, and then finishes with the RKO at 17:05. Well the voters got their money’s worth with that one. *** I really liked this too because it was something DIFFERENT, and I kind of wish they had done a non-finish to build a new program off it, because the fans were buying into Swagger here. HHH v. Curtis Axel Yes, this is your main event, beginning at the 3 hour mark. HHH immediately beats the hell out of Axel, but gets stomped down in the corner. Axel with a dropkick for two and he drops an elbow for two. Chinlock, but HHH escapes and puts him down with a knee. Spinebuster follows and he puts Axel on the floor while selling some sort of concussion angle. He stops for a bottle of water at ringside and collapses, and that’s apparently the match. Too bad they already sent that ambulance away. The Pulse Oh no, HHH’s career might be in jeopardy! Again. They cannot be building to Brock v. HHH for a FOURTH time, can they? Stupid ending aside, this was a really different and enjoyable show, featuring guys that aren’t usually featured like that and two awesome TV matches back to back. Next week’s show is in Calgary, although I’m working and unable to attend, before anyone asks.