Vance Middle School and Ricky Morton

Vance Middle School  is where my sons went to middle school, and I can tell you, their gymnasium is more ghetto than your regular school gymnasium. The showers don’t always work unless you love cold showers, which ought to make for a fun experience for the TNA wrestlers once their match is over and they’re looking forward to a nice, hot shower. So if you really need a sign on how low TNA has sunk, here you go: they’re reduced to working in a outdated-by-30-years middle school gym with no working showers.
You might be interested in knowing that Ricky Morton himself lives in this area and works for Beau James’ Southern States Wrestling, and it’s quite the sight to see a 60-year Ricky barely being able to walk and with that ’80s mullet now pretty much half gray and half dingy yellow rather than blonde. Saw him at a local Food City once taking out every nickel and quarter he had in his pocket to be able to buy a pick of cigarettes.

And yet they haven’t brought in the Rock n Roll Express yet.  They can pay Ricky at LEAST smoke money.  

BoD Daily Update

Who is Behind the Pushes For Big E Langston and Roman Reigns?

Apparently, HHH is behind the Roman Reigns push while Langston is a pet project of Vince McMahon
Credit Wade Keller, PW Torch Audio Hotline

Update on AJ Styles/TNA Contract Situation

The contract that TNA offered AJ was significantly less than what he was making. This proprosed contract also had a very low guarantee and was more of a per-date agreement. TNA offered AJ a low contract, thinking that since the WWE offered him a low contract, that they could cut his pay and that he would have nowhere else to go and consider staying with TNA. 
Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Highspots Releases Newest Installment in Their “Diva Diaries” Series

The subject is Daffney. Below is the link to the trailer. 

A game changer for TNA?

If Vance Middle School can't put them over the top, nothing can!

That sounds like a guy from the WWE developmental name generator.  Vance Middleschool!  
As for TNA, Meltzer was talking about it on the last show, and basically they're ditching PPV completely and going into survival mode by attempting to cut everyone who won't take a $300 per show deal.  So expect to see basically everyone but the tippy top guys cut loose when their contracts expire, and a lot more indy geeks used instead.  

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–12.11.13

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 12.11.13 Still available for viewing: My second article on, as I examine 10 Times That HHH Didn’t Do What Was Best For Business. Shocking I know. And yes, I mixed up Harley Race and Ric Flair, I know. Just a quick recap for those reading this on Place to Be Nation for the first time and who might be wondering who’s who in the wacky world of NXT: – Your champion is Bo Dallas, real life son of Mike Rotundo, currently playing a Honky Tonk Man role where he’s the hated heel champion who thinks he’s an inspirational babyface. His current challenger is Adrian Neville, the former Pac, who was half of the tag champions until his partner turned on him and forced him into singles again. – The tag champions are the Ascension, a pair of goth bruisers in a throwback to the 80s. They really have no viable challengers at this point. – Top stars include Sami Zayn (the unmasked El Generico doing the world’s best fighting babyface gimmick), Aiden English (a former Broadway singer who in fact sings his own entrance music and is awesome), Tyler Breeze (paying tribute to Zoolander as a clueless selfie-taking model), and Alexander Rusev (Bulgarian strongman and probably the next guy to get the callup). Antonio Cesaro has also been hanging around, building to a match with William Regal that will likely be fantastic. – The women’s portion is also much better than the one on the main roster, featuring leather-clad champion Paige as a girl-next-door badass. Her current rival is Emma, a bubble-blowing Australian and general cutie. On the heel side are Summer Rae and Sasha Banks as the “BFFs”, aka Mean Girls. And you also have Bayley, playing a markish wrestling fan who is starstruck by everyone around her. In general, I love this show because it’s booked and not written, by which I mean there’s no PPVs so it’s crafted in a more week-to-week style, where something happens in one show and then the followup is on the show the next week, and so on. It feels very serialized, like the old World Championship Wrestling shows on TBS, and the crowd knows all the guys and knows how to react to them. Basically if you miss the 80s syndicated era, this is the show for you. Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Tom Phillips, William Regal & Alex Riley. There’s no set announcing crew, they cycle through combinations of these guys and various guest commentators like Tensai or Renee Young. NXT Tag Team titles: The Ascension v. Hunico & Camacho Camacho pounds on Victor, but misses a charge, which allows Victor to forearm him into the other corner. Camacho slugs back and it’s over to Hunico. He looks so FAMILIAR. Like I’ve just seen him somewhere else recently. Can’t put my finger on it. Victor takes more of a beating , but blocks a leg lariat and gets two as we take a break. Back with the champs controlling via chinlock, and Victor gets a backbreaker on Hunico for two. And…back to the chinlock. Hunico fights out of the heel corner with a rollup into a cool one-armed powerbomb, and it’s hot tag Haku Jr. Corner splash and backdrop suplex for Conor, but he comes back with a full nelson slam. Victor pulls Hunico off the apron to prevent another tag, and the Ascension finishes Camacho at 12:00 to retain. **1/2 Alexander Rusev v. Kassius Ohno So this would be the swan song for Ohno, no? Apparently Rusev was on the most recent RAW in a dark match, so hopefully he’ll get the call pretty soon. Rusev pounds the hell out of Ohno’s ribs and gets a backbreaker for two. He keeps destroying the back, but Ohno hits the rolling elbow into a small package for two. And yet again Rusev blasts him down and finishes with the camel clutch at 3:05 to end the WWE career of Chris Hero. *1/2 Meanwhile, Natalya gives Bayley a much-needed pep talk. Bayley & Natalya v. Summer Rae & Sasha Banks The babyfaces dominate the BFFs in the corner with suplexes, but Bayley misses a charge and gets worked over in the heel corner. Bayley fights back with a faceplant on Sasha and makes the hot tag to Nattie, who puts Sasha down with a clothesline and goes for the Sharpshooter. Summer breaks that up, so Bayley comes in and Banks quickly finishes her with a neckbreaker at 4:00. Summer’s bitchy post-match celebration is tremendous. *1/2 Mojo Rawley v. Scott Dawson Dawson pounds away in the corner and elbows him down, and we hit the chinlock. And then just like that, Mojo fights out and puts him down for the butt splash to finish at 2:50. Mojo’s been selling way too much and they need to go more Goldberg-ian with him. ½* Sami Zayn v. Leo Kruger Slugfest on the mat to start and Kruger hits a spinebuster for two. He goes to the back and tosses Sami, and back in for two. Kruger pounds the back, but Sami dropkicks him for two and they brawl to the floor again. Back in with a Zayn bodypress for two, but he goes up again and Kruger crotches him and finishes with a lariat at 4:14. Rough taping for Zayn. *1/2 Kruger wants further attacks, so Sami tosses him and hits a dive as they continue to brawl. So obviously this feud MUST CONTINUE. Next week: The 200th episode (obviously counting all the previous incarnations of the show) sees Bo Dallas defending against Adrian Neville again, and the Ascension have an open challenge against ANYONE. It could even be a boat!

Monday Nitro – July 20, 1998

Nitro #146
July 20, 1998
E-Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
isn’t much of a main story at the moment other than the Wolfpack is
done feuding with comedy heels and is going after the Black and White
again. We’re moving closer to Road Wild but the show hasn’t even
been mentioned yet. It would appear that we’ll be getting Hogan vs.
Page and Goldberg vs. Hennig, even though we already saw that match.
Let’s get to it.

open with a recap of Hall attacking Nash during the big brawl with
the NWOs.
Hall to get things going. There’s no point for a survey tonight
because Salt Lake City is here to see the NWO. The fans don’t seem
to agree but Hall ignores them and goes into a Gilligan’s Island
metaphor. Apparently Hall is tired of laying on the top bunk and
doing all the work while Skipper Nash lays on his back. Nash can’t
lead the Wolfpack since he isn’t even a man, unlike Hogan. A Too
Sweet takes us out.
it’s going to be Hart vs. Page for the vacant US Title, even though
Hart hasn’t exactly beaten anyone of note in WCW.
go back to Nitro last week for a look at all the Black and White
drama, from Hogan challenging Hall to the match itself to Page
running in and getting beaten down to the Nash stuff.
Ray vs. Johnny Boone
is a jobber who would become a referee. Stevie doesn’t have the belt
tonight because he left it with Booker and his attorney. Total
squash with Ray kicking Boone around like the jobber that he is. Cue
Chavo Guerrero with his Lone Ranger mask and the TV Title as Stevie
Slap Jacks Boone for the pin.
look back at Hogan shoving Bagwell out of the wheelchair last week.
from a break and we get an extended version of Hogan and Bagwell.
Rick Steiner to talk about what happened to Bagwell last week. When
Gene says talk about Bagwell, Rick goes into a challenge to Scott
Steiner for Road Wild. Here’s Buff in a wheelchair and Rick
immediately apologizes for what happened last week. Rick apologizes
for Bagwell’s injury and says there was no bad intent at all.
says he was mad at Rick to begin with but the injury has changed him.
He loves every single fan and forgives Rick for what happened. They
hug but here’s Scott Steiner with a chair to Rick’s back. Buff pops
up and takes the chair to blast Rick as well. He takes off the neck
brace and his shirt, revealing a Black and White shirt. Buff is
another guy that could have been a big deal with his look and story
with the injury but they just threw him back into the NWO to get lost
in the shuffle.
from a break with more talking but at least it’s Jericho. He talks
about the mental anguish he’s suffered at Malenko’s hands, such as
being attacked and tormented over the memory of his dead father (who
appeared on Thunder a few weeks before). Jericho offers Dean a title
shot next week, but it’s Malenko’s last shot. If he loses, Dean can
just go back to Harry’s Burgers in Tampa and give up on wrestling.
pops up at the announce table and throws a toothpick in Larry’s face.
He talks about hanging with Hollywood and learning a lot about the
movies. Hall doesn’t want to see Nash’s performance in the sequel to
Terms of Endearment, referring to the sitdown interview with Tenay
that we saw on Thunder.
see a parking spot out back labeled “star of the show” but the
car in front of it is wrecked with with windows all cracked and
McMichael vs. Sick Boy
look a match. Tony tells us that the wrecked car is a reference to
Jay Leno, who always drives a different car to the Tonight Show.
Tony: “That’s all it could be.” Lodi and Sick Boy jump Mongo on
the floor and a clothesline gets two for Sick Boy. Mongo comes right
back with a three point clothesline and the tombstone for the pin in
about a minute.
look back at Arn Anderson telling Malenko to let the Horsemen be over
from Thunder.
Party winner.
for Bischoff’s talk show, which is now called NWO Night Cap. The
bandleader intros the show again and at least Liz looks good in a
leather dress. Bischoff has a full set now which looks a lot like
the Tonight Show set. The entrances take nearly two minutes before
Bischoff makes some bad jokes about the heat wave, stomach ailments,
Secret Service testimony, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and chickens.
are all accompanied by Eric complimenting himself and the band
laughing hysterically. Tony FREAKS OUT because apparently these
jokes are ripped off from the Tonight Show. Eric makes fun of Leno’s
chin and talks about Leno being a disgrace to bikers. This ate up
seven and a half minutes.
#2 begins. To recap, WCW used their unopposed hour for three and a
half minutes of wrestling, about ten minutes of recaps, a challenge
for a Cruiserweight Title match, and Bischoff’s talk show.
see Nash’s sitdown interview from Thunder. The tape cuts out in the
middle and we cut to the production truck with Hall leaving. Nash
walks up and a fight breaks out. They head outside but the Black and
White comes out of a trailer to beat Nash down. The Wolfpack runs in
to help and the huge brawl is on. Enough of that though as we need
to go back to the announcers.
shows up at the announcers’ table and wants Page right now. We cut
to the back where Konnan is screaming for help and standing over
Page’s writhing body. The trainer comes to check on Page as Bret
heads to the ring. JJ Dillon comes out as well and says the match
will have to be later.
Nagata vs. Saturn
takes him over with a quick northern lights suplex for two followed
by a quickly broken armbar. Some kicks in the corner drop Nagata but
he comes right back with a release northern lights suplex. Yuji goes
after the leg, only to get caught in a German suplex. We’ve had a
tag title match made for later: Nash/Sting defending against
Giant/Hall. Nagata misses a running knee in the corner and gets
suplexed down for two. Sonny Onoo gets on the apron as Raven runs in
with the Even Flow to Saturn, allowing Nagata to put on the Nagata
Lock for the pin since Saturn can’t tap out.
D. This was just there to
announce the tag match and announce the tag title match. Nagata
continues to be one of the least interesting guys you’ll see in this
company throughout its entire run so thankfully this is his last
appearance with the company. He just never gave us a reason to care
about him in the year or so he was around.
match the Flock comes in to lay out the Flock until Kanyon makes the
save. Kidman gets a sick looking middle rope piledriver. Saturn
gets up and hits a Death Valley Driver on Kanyon for his unwanted
look at Bret costing Rick Martel a match last week and attacking
Mysterio and Guerrera on Thunder.
is on commentary now.
Titles: Giant/Scott Hall vs. Sting/Kevin Nash
and Sting are defending. The Outsiders get us going as Tony talks
about Jay Leno. Hall backs into the corner and tags in Giant for the
big lockup with Giant sending Nash into the corner for a clothesline.
Nash pounds back on Giant and everything breaks down with the
Wolfpack quickly cleaning house. Back in and Sting clotheslines Hall
down as we take a break.
come back to see Giant on the floor before coming in for a tag from
Hall. Giant gets in Sting’s face but gets slapped, enraging him
enough that he misses a charge into the corner. A Stinger Splash
hits a boot though and Giant takes over again. Giant can’t hit a
clothesline but Sting’s cross body literally bounces off the big man.
Back to Hall for some right hands and a two count followed by an
abdominal stretch. The Black and White finally gets caught cheating,
which doesn’t change anything but Sting hiptosses out of the hold
hot tag brings in Nash to clean house for real and finally get his
hands on Hall. Scott escapes Snake Eyes but gets his head kicked off
as everything breaks down again. Sting hits Giant low and bulldogs
him down before getting the hot tag from Nash. Hall is almost in the
Scorpion but here’s Bret Hart to break it up. The distraction lets
Scott hit the Outsider’s Edge for the pin and the titles.
C-. The match was nothing of
note but at least Bret is FINALLY doing something. The bad thing to
come out of this though is we get to deal with the Leno promotion.
It’s going to dominate the next few weeks of commentary but there’s
nothing that can be done about it. Nash and Sting losing the titles
is a good thing though as they never made sense as champions in the
first place.
announcers recap the show so far. Tony: “I think Diamond Dallas
Page was attacked by Bret Hart.” Insert your own joke about
stating the obvious. We get a clip of the events from earlier.
Wright/Disco Inferno vs. Masahiro Chono/Great Muta
makes up for the obvious statement earlier by calling Wright and
Disco the Dancing Dodos. Wright gets jumped from behind to start but
comes back with a spinwheel kick to take Chono down. Disco comes in
and stomps him in the corner, only to walk into the Mafia Kick. Off
to Muta for some strikes to the face but he gets caught in a swinging
neckbreaker for two. Muta comes right back with the dragon screw leg
whip and a leg bar for the submission on Disco.
match Scott Norton comes out to destroy the dancers even more.
#3 begins.
Nitro Girls dance but the trainer comes out and takes Kimberly away
due to something in the back.
Magnum vs. Ultimo Dragon
usually the dancing idiot, comes out to traditional slow Japanese
style music. Dragon jumps him to start and takes Magnum into the
corner for the rapid fire kicks. The announcers talk about how the
teacher is beating up the student as he kicks Magnum in the back.
Magnum slams him off the top but dives into a dropkick, setting up a
brainbuster and the Dragon Sleeper. Basically a squash in Dragon’s
last WCW match.
look at the ending to the tag title match which shows Bret telling
Sting that the Scorpion is his hold.
Powers vs. Scott Norton
drives him into the corner to start and powerslams Jim down for no
cover. He chokes Powers in the corner, misses a charge, catches Jim
in a Samoan drop and powerbombs him down for the pin.
on Hogan’s evil deeds since he joined the NWO.
the Black and White en masse with something to say. Hogan brags
about the new tag team champions and asks for a round of applause for
their victory. He also admires the dedication of Scott Steiner and
Buff Bagwell as they help in the NWO conquering wrestling. That
brings him to Goldberg….but first let’s praise Muta and Chono.
Instead of talking about the world title, Hogan talks about Bischoff
being the funniest man in television and how Eric is going to take
over late night. Bret is going to take the US Title tonight and Page
will know how awesome Hogan is and that’s about it.
look back at the end of the tag match main event of Thunder where
Hennig and Hall beat DDP and Konnan. Apparently this is supposed to
make us care about the next match.
Guerrero vs. Konnan
has Antoine Carr of the Utah Jazz with him. Eddie takes him down to
start and the fans think he sucks. Konnan comes right back by
LAUNCHING Eddie into the air for a huge crash. A gorilla press slam
has about the same result so Eddie goes to the floor to yell at Carr.
Back in and they run the ropes a few times until Konnan monkey flips
him into the ropes for two. An X-Factor gets the same on Eddie as
this is one sided so far. Cue Chavo dressed like Konnan and shouting
his catchphrases with the distraction allowing Eddie to suplex Konnan
down. Eddie grabs Chavo’s stick horse and that’s a DQ despite a lack
of contact.
D+. This was more of an angle
than a match but Eddie’s insane height on the throws makes up for it.
Chavo vs. Eddie doesn’t seem to have an end in sight and that could
become an issue soon. I’m not sure where they can go with it now but
it’s not a problem yet.
Luger vs. Curt Hennig
shoves him into the corner and pops the pecs a bit. Hennig has
already lasted longer than last week so we’re on the right track. A
hip toss sends Hennig out to the floor but he snaps Luger throat
first across the rope to take over. Hennig goes after the ribs to
keep Luger in trouble and snaps the neck for two. Some choking on
the ropes leads to a sleeper on Luger to put Lex down. A belly to
back suplex breaks the hold and Luger hits his atomic drops and
clotheslines. The referee gets bumped in the corner but Rude comes
in and gets a Rack. The distraction lets Curt hit the PerfectPlex
for the pin (with Rude holding the foot).
D+. Total paint by numbers
match here which doesn’t really accomplish anything. The Wolfpack
civil war doesn’t do anything for me anymore as it just keeps going
without actually having an end in sight. That’s the mantra for all
of WCW at this point: there’s no idea to this but it fills in time.
Title: Bret Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page
title is vacant coming in. There’s no DDP to start though as we’re
running out of time. After a few moments, here’s a very bandaged
Page with no music and a bad limp to try to make this work. Bret
goes right after the bad leg to take Page down before working over
the bad ribs. The Russian legsweep takes Page down and there’s the
Sharpshooter but Page is right next to the rope. A second attempt
goes on and Page gives up to give Hart the title. This wasn’t a
is taken out on a stretcher as the NWO comes to the ring to celebrate
to end the show.
D. This show is a good
example of what’s wrong with WCW around this time. Where were
Goldberg and the world title? Who is the next challenger for the
belt? I have no idea, because none of that matters when Hollywood
Hogan has something going on. That’s what happened when Sting won
the title and it’s happening again here. It’s just them going from
one Hogan story to another as he fights celebrity after celebrity.
That might have made them some money in the short term but it’s
speeding towards a cliff in the long term.
Remember to check out my website at and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

Cena as a heel

Aside from a turn making no sense from a business stand point, I also don't think it makes sense from the stand point that a heel Cena was actually pretty terrible to be honest. Mind you I'm old school and prefer my heels making me want to legitimately hate them, not repeating their catch phrases or laughing at their raps. I just always felt Cena never had it in him to be a real true heel. If it didn't work 10 years ago why would anyone think it would work today?

Interested in your thoughts on this.

He's not turning heel.  Although you are objectively wrong if you think that the Doctor of Thuganomics wasn't awesome.  Cena's promo work on Monday and in previous times shows that if he wanted to be a true heel, he would RULE.  Hell, look up a clip of his OCD behavior with Nikki on Total Divas, where he's apparently a condescending dick.  That character, the corporate musclehead stooge super-jock who never let go of the high school pecking order, would be PERFECT for him.

The Ultimate Warrior in the HOF

Hey Scott, there's news out today of the WWE releasing a three disc DVD, two disc blu-ray, set about the Ultimate Warrior, with the Warrior possibly being interviewed and involved in the set. The set comes out in April 2014. This news, along with the thawing of relations between Warrior and Vince McMahon, make it seem like there's a good possibility that Warrior goes in the HOF in 2014. This got me thinking, with all the Authority stuff and Triple H self-aggrandizement that is happening, wouldn't it be great if the Warrior ran out and attacked Triple H at Wrestlemania 30 during whatever match HHH is in, followed by the Warrior no-selling the pedigree, just like at Wrestlemania 12, then beating the hell out of HHH, causing HHH to be pinned by whoever his opponent is? I think that would be a great cap to the "HHH is the greatest ever" angle, and an excellent little easter egg for long time fans. What do you think?

After careful consideration, I'm gonna have to go with "No."

A+ Match of the Day

Happy Hump Day Blog O’Doomers, we’re going to take it to the extreme today as we continue with TLC week. I still can’t find a clean video of Raven/Richards vs. The Pitbulls, the only ***** match in the history over ECW according to Scott.

So I decided to go another direction and find something that was still pretty damn fun. So let’s go back to 2006 and ECW’s One Night Stand for the wildest six-person intergender match I can remember. Edge, Mick Foley and Lita (cattle prod not included) vs. Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk and Beulah!



I’ve gotten handfuls of QOTD emails.  I’ll post as they come, probably one or two a week.  Will do it until the suggestions stop coming in, it stops drawing page hits and or comments, or I get burned out on scanning emails.  Send suggestions to [email protected]

Today’s suggestion was short and sweet. Was simply from “a fan of the blog.”

“What are some character traits or habits people have, that annoy or piss you off?   Are there some things people say that you absolutely despise like “bro or yo dude?”

2 Question

Hi Scott, enjoy your stuff

I was wondering since you mainly commented on the post-match promo from Hogan, what did you think of the quality of the Bash at the Beach '96 main event? I'm thinking like ***1/2 but that probably is a little high.

Also, other than possibly HBK, do you think Gold Dust's current return is the only time a wrestler has returned and has been seemingly a better wrestler?


Yeah, I was too busy losing my mind at the time, but ***1/4 or so sounds about right to me.  

As for the second one, Randy Savage was certainly a SMARTER worker when he returned in 1991, although that was not exactly a lengthy absence.  I'd say Brock Lesnar is 100% more effective as a worker in his limited role.  Goldust is certainly one of the most unique cases, in that he's managed to totally reinvent himself in the role that we keep wishing all the old guys would take on — the mentor using his old school training to build up his younger brother.  

Greatest Randy Orton vs. John Cena Match?

First of all, I loved the ending to Raw this week. It was a balls-to-the-wall ending that planted the seeds and foreshadowed things to possibly come. That said, I am not excited for this unification match. The unification of the titles is something  fans have looked forward to seeing for years, and the build just hasn’t come close to living up to the hype. It feels like just another PPV main event, to be honest.

Anywho, what is the greatest Orton and Cena match in your opinions?  Personally, I have to go with their “I Quit Match” from Breaking Point 2009.

Road-agents and wrestlers sometimes put a lot thought into the match and surprise me with their creativity. That is what happened on this night: They structured out a masterpiece that displayed a strategical plan and in-ring characterizations (two things that lack in modern wrestling imo.)

Orton channeled something you’d see straight out of a horror movie, torturing Cena with painful devices and triggered his already injured head. Through the power of facial expressions and body language, he made it clear that his character was trying to do more than just win the match; it was trying to end Cena’s career.
But as compelling as a character’s strengths are, its weaknesses are even more compelling. And, Orton’s weaknesses were exposed by Cena, even in a vulnerable situation, as Orton became too concerned with toying with Cena rather than finishing him off. That led to Orton receiving his comeuppance by hoisting on his own petard.
This was a very well structured brawl, with good psychology and storytelling. Cena’s comeback being too abrupt, Orton tapping out a wee too quickly, and the lack of color are the only things holding this down from being a 5-star classic.