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More randomness

Hey Scott,
Just because everyone on the blog always comes up with the best things to read, two conversation starters, one humorous/nostalgic and one forward thinking:
1) What’s the lamest catchphrase that never got over?
2) What two WWE/FCW wrestlers would you repackage as a tag team to seriously bolster the potentially revitalizing tag team division and under what gimmick/name?

1.  John Morrison’s “Mr. Ziggles”.  Go on, try to find a worse one, it’s scientifically impossible.  2.  The tag division doesn’t need gimmicky teams, it just needs regular teams who get focused on beyond one champion and one challenger.  I mean, currently the Usos are kicking around, but no one cares about them anyway.  Other than that, Air Boom and Vickie’s guys are the only people who even compete as a team.  Awesome Truth are supposed to be the “main event” team, so I don’t really count them, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the tag titles before Survivor Series.  Really though, it’s easy to put together guys who aren’t doing anything like Morrison, Santino, Christian, Sheamus, the former Nexus goofs, and some developmental guys and you’ve got a tag division.  Like, put Morrison and Sheamus together for whatever storyline you want, and that gives you the guy to take the shitkicking and then make the hot tag to the big asskicker who finishes.  There’s a tag team!  Or put Sheamus together with Heath Slater as the Ginger Supremacists (yeah, I still watch Glee, fuck off) and there’s a tag team!  Give them one of the random Divas as a manager, and you’ve got a tag team act. Or Seth Rollins & John Morrison, that seems like it’d be a good pairing.  Pick 2 people, push them, and see what happens.  Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson didn’t need a goofy name or gimmicky act to get over. 

More randomness

Hey Scott,
Just because everyone on the blog always comes up with the best things to read, two conversation starters, one humorous/nostalgic and one forward thinking:
1) What’s the lamest catchphrase that never got over?
2) What two WWE/FCW wrestlers would you repackage as a tag team to seriously bolster the potentially revitalizing tag team division and under what gimmick/name?

1.  John Morrison’s “Mr. Ziggles”.  Go on, try to find a worse one, it’s scientifically impossible.  2.  The tag division doesn’t need gimmicky teams, it just needs regular teams who get focused on beyond one champion and one challenger.  I mean, currently the Usos are kicking around, but no one cares about them anyway.  Other than that, Air Boom and Vickie’s guys are the only people who even compete as a team.  Awesome Truth are supposed to be the “main event” team, so I don’t really count them, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the tag titles before Survivor Series.  Really though, it’s easy to put together guys who aren’t doing anything like Morrison, Santino, Christian, Sheamus, the former Nexus goofs, and some developmental guys and you’ve got a tag division.  Like, put Morrison and Sheamus together for whatever storyline you want, and that gives you the guy to take the shitkicking and then make the hot tag to the big asskicker who finishes.  There’s a tag team!  Or put Sheamus together with Heath Slater as the Ginger Supremacists (yeah, I still watch Glee, fuck off) and there’s a tag team!  Give them one of the random Divas as a manager, and you’ve got a tag team act. Or Seth Rollins & John Morrison, that seems like it’d be a good pairing.  Pick 2 people, push them, and see what happens.  Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson didn’t need a goofy name or gimmicky act to get over. 

Randomness

Hey Scott,
Long time fan. Own all your books. Two questions for the blog on some 80s wrestlers I figured you would know the answers on:
1- Watching old episodes of prime time it seemed as if Hillbilly Jim was pretty over with the crowd in the late 80s but other than a survivor series match I don’t remember him being on any on big PPV card or any big feuds. What gives?
2- Lanny Poffo was pretty boring in the ring but he wasn’t awful, why did he stop wrestling entirely? Injuries or they just lost faith in him as a wrestler. In retrospect would it have been better to have played up his relation to Randy so they could have had a brother feud?

1.  Nothing gives, really.  Hillbilly was a midcard comedy guy who was very effective at his role and was gone by the time the PPV era really began.  He had a good run with Hogan on top of house shows as a tag team, made huge money from the Rock N Wrestling cartoon, and currently works as a goodwill ambassador type of role with the DVD division.  Really, what more were they gonna do with him?  2.  He stopped wrestling because he signed a lucrative deal with WCW at the same time as his brother, and they just paid him and never used him for years, until the company died.  Good work if you can get it.  The character who became The Maestro was originally supposed to be him, but it never panned out for some reason.  Poffo as a pretentious conductor, ala Seinfeld, would have been fun, actually.  That being said, I don’t know why they never thought of reuniting him with Curt Hennig or anything like that, either.  Just WCW for ya. 

Randomness

Hey Scott,
Long time fan. Own all your books. Two questions for the blog on some 80s wrestlers I figured you would know the answers on:
1- Watching old episodes of prime time it seemed as if Hillbilly Jim was pretty over with the crowd in the late 80s but other than a survivor series match I don’t remember him being on any on big PPV card or any big feuds. What gives?
2- Lanny Poffo was pretty boring in the ring but he wasn’t awful, why did he stop wrestling entirely? Injuries or they just lost faith in him as a wrestler. In retrospect would it have been better to have played up his relation to Randy so they could have had a brother feud?

1.  Nothing gives, really.  Hillbilly was a midcard comedy guy who was very effective at his role and was gone by the time the PPV era really began.  He had a good run with Hogan on top of house shows as a tag team, made huge money from the Rock N Wrestling cartoon, and currently works as a goodwill ambassador type of role with the DVD division.  Really, what more were they gonna do with him?  2.  He stopped wrestling because he signed a lucrative deal with WCW at the same time as his brother, and they just paid him and never used him for years, until the company died.  Good work if you can get it.  The character who became The Maestro was originally supposed to be him, but it never panned out for some reason.  Poffo as a pretentious conductor, ala Seinfeld, would have been fun, actually.  That being said, I don’t know why they never thought of reuniting him with Curt Hennig or anything like that, either.  Just WCW for ya. 

Animal Help Plug

Hey Scott,  You’ve always been mighty generous in plugging my projects on your blog, and it’s always helped, so I figured I’d bug you again.  Not sure how many BoD readers are animal lovers, but I’m running a campaign to raise money for equipment that will advance animal care and discover the causes and treatments for animal brain disorders. Every single dollar helps, so even a $1, $5 or $10 donation is significant.  Anyone can donate here: http://www.give2gether.com/projects/american-friends-of-the-hebrew-university-1/ Just as important are people sharing that link on Facebook and Twitter. To keep it somewhat wrestling related, a few 411mania.com and Insidepulse.com writers have shared the link on their Facebook pages. And if any of your readers are into it, you can make a donation in honor of your pet and send a picture of that pet to [email protected] to have them featured on our organization’s giving page and our Facebook page. If you share this, thank you, it makes a huge difference.

Good luck!

Animal Help Plug

Hey Scott,  You’ve always been mighty generous in plugging my projects on your blog, and it’s always helped, so I figured I’d bug you again.  Not sure how many BoD readers are animal lovers, but I’m running a campaign to raise money for equipment that will advance animal care and discover the causes and treatments for animal brain disorders. Every single dollar helps, so even a $1, $5 or $10 donation is significant.  Anyone can donate here: http://www.give2gether.com/projects/american-friends-of-the-hebrew-university-1/ Just as important are people sharing that link on Facebook and Twitter. To keep it somewhat wrestling related, a few 411mania.com and Insidepulse.com writers have shared the link on their Facebook pages. And if any of your readers are into it, you can make a donation in honor of your pet and send a picture of that pet to [email protected] to have them featured on our organization’s giving page and our Facebook page. If you share this, thank you, it makes a huge difference.

Good luck!

All About Chemistry

Hey Scott, 2 list/opiniony questions for you; Firstly, what pairs of workers had unusually great chemistry together? I’m using the word chemistry here to basically say that if wrestler X and wrestler Y are in a match together, it will be better than an average wrestler X match or an average wrestler Y match (so, you know, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels elevating stiffs doesn’t count as them having chemistry with the stiffs unless the match is great by Michaels/Flair standards, too). I think it also has to be more than just one match, because anybody can accidentally have a great night. I could only think of a few, but I fee l like you’d probably be able to think of a lot more for me to check out. Anyways, here are the ones I could come up with:
Bret Hart/Owen Hart Edge/Kurt Angle Punk/Cena Bret Hart/Steve Austin Cena/Batista Scott Hall/Shawn Michaels Rick Rude/Ultimate Warrior (Rude was generally a really good worker, but Warrior, uh, wasn’t…yet they had several great matches.) Savage/Warrior (borderline case, as Savage is basically in the Michaels/Flair tier as far as dragging good matches out of absolutely anyone…but WM7 and Summerslam are both epic classics even by those standards) Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels (both A+++ level workers, but they both seemed to hit another level when they went against each other) Undertaker/Shawn MIchaels (As far as I’m concerned, these guys had 3 ***** matches against each other, which is pretty much Flair/Steamboat territory, which reminds me…) Flair/Steamboat And, IMO, the absolute #1 no-bullshit "put these guys in a match together and they’re both going to overachieve" has got to be Rock/Foley. They were so good together it even extended to tag matches when they were on the same side.

Shawn-Undertaker is a pretty amazing case, because they had one ***** match in 1997, and then another one more than 10 years later when both guys were totally different workers.  That’s some impressive chemistry together.   In particular when the Royal Rumble came down to the two of them and they basically worked a 10-minute match together and tore down the house, I knew they had something special together. Flair and Luger had some great matches that were outside of the normal Flair broomstick formula (Flair + anyone was ***, and Luger got up to nearly ***** with him on a regular basis).  On a tag team level, the Rock N Roll Express and Midnight Express could get a good match out of a lot of guys, but those teams together was MAGIC.  Ditto for British Bulldogs v. Hart Foundation, where they basically all came up in the business together and had been refining their craft together for years. 

All About Chemistry

Hey Scott, 2 list/opiniony questions for you; Firstly, what pairs of workers had unusually great chemistry together? I’m using the word chemistry here to basically say that if wrestler X and wrestler Y are in a match together, it will be better than an average wrestler X match or an average wrestler Y match (so, you know, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels elevating stiffs doesn’t count as them having chemistry with the stiffs unless the match is great by Michaels/Flair standards, too). I think it also has to be more than just one match, because anybody can accidentally have a great night. I could only think of a few, but I fee l like you’d probably be able to think of a lot more for me to check out. Anyways, here are the ones I could come up with:
Bret Hart/Owen Hart Edge/Kurt Angle Punk/Cena Bret Hart/Steve Austin Cena/Batista Scott Hall/Shawn Michaels Rick Rude/Ultimate Warrior (Rude was generally a really good worker, but Warrior, uh, wasn’t…yet they had several great matches.) Savage/Warrior (borderline case, as Savage is basically in the Michaels/Flair tier as far as dragging good matches out of absolutely anyone…but WM7 and Summerslam are both epic classics even by those standards) Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels (both A+++ level workers, but they both seemed to hit another level when they went against each other) Undertaker/Shawn MIchaels (As far as I’m concerned, these guys had 3 ***** matches against each other, which is pretty much Flair/Steamboat territory, which reminds me…) Flair/Steamboat And, IMO, the absolute #1 no-bullshit "put these guys in a match together and they’re both going to overachieve" has got to be Rock/Foley. They were so good together it even extended to tag matches when they were on the same side.

Shawn-Undertaker is a pretty amazing case, because they had one ***** match in 1997, and then another one more than 10 years later when both guys were totally different workers.  That’s some impressive chemistry together.   In particular when the Royal Rumble came down to the two of them and they basically worked a 10-minute match together and tore down the house, I knew they had something special together. Flair and Luger had some great matches that were outside of the normal Flair broomstick formula (Flair + anyone was ***, and Luger got up to nearly ***** with him on a regular basis).  On a tag team level, the Rock N Roll Express and Midnight Express could get a good match out of a lot of guys, but those teams together was MAGIC.  Ditto for British Bulldogs v. Hart Foundation, where they basically all came up in the business together and had been refining their craft together for years. 

Prime

I was thinking about Scott Hall and Kevin Nash recently, and they way they both were really great for a little while… and terrible for a long, long time before and/or after. What other wrestlers can you think of who had really noticeable "primes" where they were good-to-great (technically, not in kayfabe), and otherwise kinda stunk. 
My list, with my limited knowledge is as follows: 
Scott Hall (mid 90s)
Kevin Nash (mid 90s)
Rick Rude (late 80s)
Jake Roberts (mid 80s)
Kurt Angle (early 00s)
I’m sure there are others. Sting was  good worker once upon a time, right? I feel like Bossman had a few years where he didn’t stink, too.

Bossman was a hell of a worker from 1990-1996.  Sting’s still a good worker, he’s just old and broken down, but there’s not many Sting matches where I watch and go “Man, that guy sucks”.   He shouldn’t be doing it anymore, but at least he’s not embarrassing himself out there.  I’d add a few to this list, though: Ron Simmons was lucky enough to get carried by Vader in WCW enough times that he could hide his weaknesses, but once he got to WWF as Faarooq, he was god-awful.  The APA was a brilliant way to disguise him by limiting what he had to do in the ring.   I’d also add Charles “Godfather” Wright, who fluked out and found the perfect role as opening match heat machine in 1998 after years of stinking up the ring as Kama and Papa Shango.  Then, he became the Goodfather and his career was done.  Had he just kept pimping ho’s nationwide and being the curtain jerker on house shows and PPVs, he’d probably still be employed today, albeit with much less weed and prostitution references.  Come to think of it, can you IMAGINE the Wellness Policy being in place back then?  Godfather, X-Pac and the Outlaws were practically walking billboards for drug use. 

Prime

I was thinking about Scott Hall and Kevin Nash recently, and they way they both were really great for a little while… and terrible for a long, long time before and/or after. What other wrestlers can you think of who had really noticeable "primes" where they were good-to-great (technically, not in kayfabe), and otherwise kinda stunk. 
My list, with my limited knowledge is as follows: 
Scott Hall (mid 90s)
Kevin Nash (mid 90s)
Rick Rude (late 80s)
Jake Roberts (mid 80s)
Kurt Angle (early 00s)
I’m sure there are others. Sting was  good worker once upon a time, right? I feel like Bossman had a few years where he didn’t stink, too.

Bossman was a hell of a worker from 1990-1996.  Sting’s still a good worker, he’s just old and broken down, but there’s not many Sting matches where I watch and go “Man, that guy sucks”.   He shouldn’t be doing it anymore, but at least he’s not embarrassing himself out there.  I’d add a few to this list, though: Ron Simmons was lucky enough to get carried by Vader in WCW enough times that he could hide his weaknesses, but once he got to WWF as Faarooq, he was god-awful.  The APA was a brilliant way to disguise him by limiting what he had to do in the ring.   I’d also add Charles “Godfather” Wright, who fluked out and found the perfect role as opening match heat machine in 1998 after years of stinking up the ring as Kama and Papa Shango.  Then, he became the Goodfather and his career was done.  Had he just kept pimping ho’s nationwide and being the curtain jerker on house shows and PPVs, he’d probably still be employed today, albeit with much less weed and prostitution references.  Come to think of it, can you IMAGINE the Wellness Policy being in place back then?  Godfather, X-Pac and the Outlaws were practically walking billboards for drug use. 

Booking backwards

I remember reading once in an interview with Jerry Lawler that Vince McMahon used to decide what he wanted at the next WrestleMania and would then book backwards from there.  When do you think Vince stopped doing this and why?  Was it when Vince Russo came to power? When The Monday Night Wars started?  Do you think there’s any chance Vince (or HHH/Stephanie whenever they take over) might go back to this method of booking or has that ship pretty much sailed? Thanks for reading and have a good day!

That train has indeed sailed, except I guess for Rock/Cena.  But it was absolutely during the Monday Night Wars and the fixation with popping ratings therein.  That’s also a reason why PPV in general is a dying beast for them.