The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 11.28.11

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 11.28.11

Live from the University of South Carolina

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler.

Rowdy Rowdy Piper starts us off with a Piper’s Pit, unfortunately a week too late to sell Survivor Series.  He talks about his relationship with the fans and how their energy influenced his decisions in the ring.  I thought it was the coke, but I guess that works too.  He brings out John Cena, as it’s apparently Piper’s turn to try and make people stop booing Cena.  Piper reads off a list of Hall of Famers to gauge reaction to them, and then compares against Cena’s negative reaction.  Cena once again gives his canned response about the people being able to buy their tickets and boo him if they want, but Piper accuses him of beginning to crack under the pressure of holding in his hostility towards the fans.  Cena reels off the list of times fans have turned on him in big matches, and notes the Survivor Series was just New York fans being themselves, and it won’t affect his upcoming match with the Rock.  Piper gives one last bit of advice (and his Hall of Fame ring – is that a real thing?), but tells Cena he really needs to deal with his repressed anger.  Even a slap from Piper can’t make Cena break, however, and he gives the ring back and leaves.  Bit of a trainwreck, but they pulled it together at the end and got to the point.  I don’t think this was a really effective crowd for making that point, though, since a lot of the fans in attendance were apparently Cena fans and they didn’t know how to go off-script and deal with that. 

 Falls Count Anywhere:  Miz v. John Morrison

Miz goes all Tonya Harding on Morrison before he can even get into the ring, attacking his knee with a lead pipe.  Morrison decides to fight on anyway, so Miz attacks the knee again and wrapping it around the post.  Cole notes that Truth will be out for a “number of weeks” due to last week’s attack.  Probably 30 days, to be exact.  Miz finds a kendo stick and takes some shots with it, but Morrison gets it away from him and beats him to the floor with it for two.  They fight up the ramp, where Miz sends Morrison into the big W and finishes with the Skull Crushing Finale.  The ref won’t even let Miz make the cover, calling for the bell instead.  *1/2  Morrison rides a stretcher right into TNA.  I dunno, if Morrison could survive an exploding limo and come back for this show, he should have been able to come back from that.  Miz goes to the ring and strikes the Overly Dramatic Squirrel pose to show how SERIOUS he is now.

The Bella Twins v. Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox

The Divas of Doom job around ringside for some reason, but Kelly hits a Bella with the spinning headscissors anyway.  Fox takes the other one down and pins her with a somersault legdrop at 1:29.  Boy, that was some effective distraction on the heels’ part.  DUD

Sheamus video package.  That song is crazy, you can never have too many limes!  Really though, if they’re gonna call him Great White, they should use “Mista Bone” as his entrance theme.  But then they should probably avoid pyro for him…

Meanwhile, Johnny Ace confers with David Bowtunga and Alberto Del Rio about tonight’s title match, but CM Punk interrupts and makes wacky Google references about how lame they all are.  So Ace notes that the title can change hands on a DQ tonight.  OK then.

Randy Orton v. Dolph Ziggler

Wade Barrett comes out for commentary, and Justin Roberts introduces him by saying “Please acknowledge the presence of Wade Barrett,” which for some reason I find hilarious.  Sadly, they have changed Ziggler’s music to yet another generic post-grunge borefest.  Can’t they find a music director who’s influenced by something other than Saliva and Finger Eleven?  I like Nickelback as much as the next guy who lived in Alberta for 15 years, but there’s other genres of music out there.  Orton overpowers him to start and gets a clothesline out of the corner, sending Ziggler to the floor to recover.  Back in, Orton with the Garvin Stomp for two.  Ziggler stomps him down in retaliation and drops an elbow for two, then reverses a neckbreaker attempt into a rollup for two.  He sends Orton to the apron and dropkicks him to the floor, as Wade shoots Orton a look that’s supposed to be evil, I think, but comes across as “Man, I’d like to get a piece of that ass.”  Whatever gets him over, I guess.  Back in the ring, Ziggler stomps a mudhole in the corner, but misses a blind charge before recovering with a neckbreaker for two.  He goes up and they fight on top, so Orton gets the superplex for two and we take a break.  Back with a slugfest and Orton’s powerslam, which sets up the draping DDT.  Orton does the interpretive dance, but Ziggler rolls out of the ring to avoid the RKO, which allows Barrett the chance to provide distraction and Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag at 10:47 for the win.  Kind of dragged a bit, but Ziggler continues to have solid matches and look like someone who can hang with the main eventers.  ***

Daniel Bryan is interviewed by Michael Cole about tomorrow night’s cage match against Mark Henry, and Cole still won’t give him any respect.  Cole calls him a hypocrite for trying to cash in before Wrestlemania and thus breaking his word, which sets up the video package from Smackdown.  Bryan notes that Mark Henry started the war, and made him realize that the briefcase doesn’t guarantee him anything, so he decided that being champion was more important than main eventing Wrestlemania.  This brings out Mark Henry, who can’t believe that Bryan would take advantage of an injured man.  Bryan kicks him in the leg on the way by to good measure.

Jack Swagger v. Zack Ryder

Swagger beats on Ryder in the corner, but Ryder slugs back until Swagger hits a belly to belly suplex for two.  Swagger uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS to put Ryder down, and a legdrop gets two.  Swagger with a top wristlock, but Ryder gets a neckbreaker for two.  Ryder goes up for the blockbuster, but Swagger catches him and hits a backbreaker.  He goes for the pump splash and trips on the run-up, so he repeats the spot, and Ryder moves and hits the Rough Rider for the pin at 3:20.  Why repeat the spot if it was going to miss anyway?  They turned the Michael Cole obnoxious rooting against Ryder up to 11 here, I guess because he wasn’t big enough of a babyface already.  *1/2  Actually, I’m pretty sure Vince’s thinking was that Ryder couldn’t possibly get over without their help (perish the thought), so he’s gonna get a traditional babyface push because for all their blathering about Twitter and Youtube they have no idea how to actually use them.  I have no faith in their ability to maintain his heat when they’re actually trying to push him instead of backing into something, so this has me somewhat worried about Ryder’s future prospects now.  I’m pretty sure this is still leading to a ladder match at TLC where Ryder wins the US title and they’ll likely have an awesome match on their own anyway.

WWE title:  CM Punk v. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio works the headlock and overpowers him for two, then goes to an armbar.  Punk dumps him and gets a dive, and we take a break.  Back with Del Rio working the arm again after Punk misses a charge, and Punk misses a sunset flip, allowing ADR to go up with a flying forearm for two.  Back to the arm, but Punk fights him off and goes up, only to miss a springboard bodyblock.  Del Rio gets two off that.  Back to the arm, and Del Rio puts him down with a high kick for two.  The crowd actually starts an odd “Del Rio / Sucks” chant, which is more crowd reaction than he generally gets.  ADR goes up and gets kicked coming down, and they slug it out until Punk gets the leg lariat to make the comeback.  Neckbreaker gets two.  There was actually a nice touch from the announcers here, as they point out that this is a title match and say “Your champion, Punk, on the right, your challenger, Del Rio, on the left.”  That’s a nice little introduction for people watching as new fans, something they don’t do very often in their insulated navel-gazing world normally.  Punk with a backslide for two, and he reverses the armbreaker into a GTS attempt, but then has to settle for a DDT for two instead.  ADR goes back to the arm again and exposes a turnbuckle, which allows Ricardo to throw a chair in. That backfires, and Punk gets two off a rollup.  Del Rio tries to run him into the turnbuckle, but Punk hits the GTS onto it, to retain at 14:34 instead.  Good TV main event to cap off a really solid show.  ***

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 11.28.11

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 11.28.11

Live from the University of South Carolina

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler.

Rowdy Rowdy Piper starts us off with a Piper’s Pit, unfortunately a week too late to sell Survivor Series.  He talks about his relationship with the fans and how their energy influenced his decisions in the ring.  I thought it was the coke, but I guess that works too.  He brings out John Cena, as it’s apparently Piper’s turn to try and make people stop booing Cena.  Piper reads off a list of Hall of Famers to gauge reaction to them, and then compares against Cena’s negative reaction.  Cena once again gives his canned response about the people being able to buy their tickets and boo him if they want, but Piper accuses him of beginning to crack under the pressure of holding in his hostility towards the fans.  Cena reels off the list of times fans have turned on him in big matches, and notes the Survivor Series was just New York fans being themselves, and it won’t affect his upcoming match with the Rock.  Piper gives one last bit of advice (and his Hall of Fame ring – is that a real thing?), but tells Cena he really needs to deal with his repressed anger.  Even a slap from Piper can’t make Cena break, however, and he gives the ring back and leaves.  Bit of a trainwreck, but they pulled it together at the end and got to the point.  I don’t think this was a really effective crowd for making that point, though, since a lot of the fans in attendance were apparently Cena fans and they didn’t know how to go off-script and deal with that. 

 Falls Count Anywhere:  Miz v. John Morrison

Miz goes all Tonya Harding on Morrison before he can even get into the ring, attacking his knee with a lead pipe.  Morrison decides to fight on anyway, so Miz attacks the knee again and wrapping it around the post.  Cole notes that Truth will be out for a “number of weeks” due to last week’s attack.  Probably 30 days, to be exact.  Miz finds a kendo stick and takes some shots with it, but Morrison gets it away from him and beats him to the floor with it for two.  They fight up the ramp, where Miz sends Morrison into the big W and finishes with the Skull Crushing Finale.  The ref won’t even let Miz make the cover, calling for the bell instead.  *1/2  Morrison rides a stretcher right into TNA.  I dunno, if Morrison could survive an exploding limo and come back for this show, he should have been able to come back from that.  Miz goes to the ring and strikes the Overly Dramatic Squirrel pose to show how SERIOUS he is now.

The Bella Twins v. Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox

The Divas of Doom job around ringside for some reason, but Kelly hits a Bella with the spinning headscissors anyway.  Fox takes the other one down and pins her with a somersault legdrop at 1:29.  Boy, that was some effective distraction on the heels’ part.  DUD

Sheamus video package.  That song is crazy, you can never have too many limes!  Really though, if they’re gonna call him Great White, they should use “Mista Bone” as his entrance theme.  But then they should probably avoid pyro for him…

Meanwhile, Johnny Ace confers with David Bowtunga and Alberto Del Rio about tonight’s title match, but CM Punk interrupts and makes wacky Google references about how lame they all are.  So Ace notes that the title can change hands on a DQ tonight.  OK then.

Randy Orton v. Dolph Ziggler

Wade Barrett comes out for commentary, and Justin Roberts introduces him by saying “Please acknowledge the presence of Wade Barrett,” which for some reason I find hilarious.  Sadly, they have changed Ziggler’s music to yet another generic post-grunge borefest.  Can’t they find a music director who’s influenced by something other than Saliva and Finger Eleven?  I like Nickelback as much as the next guy who lived in Alberta for 15 years, but there’s other genres of music out there.  Orton overpowers him to start and gets a clothesline out of the corner, sending Ziggler to the floor to recover.  Back in, Orton with the Garvin Stomp for two.  Ziggler stomps him down in retaliation and drops an elbow for two, then reverses a neckbreaker attempt into a rollup for two.  He sends Orton to the apron and dropkicks him to the floor, as Wade shoots Orton a look that’s supposed to be evil, I think, but comes across as “Man, I’d like to get a piece of that ass.”  Whatever gets him over, I guess.  Back in the ring, Ziggler stomps a mudhole in the corner, but misses a blind charge before recovering with a neckbreaker for two.  He goes up and they fight on top, so Orton gets the superplex for two and we take a break.  Back with a slugfest and Orton’s powerslam, which sets up the draping DDT.  Orton does the interpretive dance, but Ziggler rolls out of the ring to avoid the RKO, which allows Barrett the chance to provide distraction and Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag at 10:47 for the win.  Kind of dragged a bit, but Ziggler continues to have solid matches and look like someone who can hang with the main eventers.  ***

Daniel Bryan is interviewed by Michael Cole about tomorrow night’s cage match against Mark Henry, and Cole still won’t give him any respect.  Cole calls him a hypocrite for trying to cash in before Wrestlemania and thus breaking his word, which sets up the video package from Smackdown.  Bryan notes that Mark Henry started the war, and made him realize that the briefcase doesn’t guarantee him anything, so he decided that being champion was more important than main eventing Wrestlemania.  This brings out Mark Henry, who can’t believe that Bryan would take advantage of an injured man.  Bryan kicks him in the leg on the way by to good measure.

Jack Swagger v. Zack Ryder

Swagger beats on Ryder in the corner, but Ryder slugs back until Swagger hits a belly to belly suplex for two.  Swagger uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS to put Ryder down, and a legdrop gets two.  Swagger with a top wristlock, but Ryder gets a neckbreaker for two.  Ryder goes up for the blockbuster, but Swagger catches him and hits a backbreaker.  He goes for the pump splash and trips on the run-up, so he repeats the spot, and Ryder moves and hits the Rough Rider for the pin at 3:20.  Why repeat the spot if it was going to miss anyway?  They turned the Michael Cole obnoxious rooting against Ryder up to 11 here, I guess because he wasn’t big enough of a babyface already.  *1/2  Actually, I’m pretty sure Vince’s thinking was that Ryder couldn’t possibly get over without their help (perish the thought), so he’s gonna get a traditional babyface push because for all their blathering about Twitter and Youtube they have no idea how to actually use them.  I have no faith in their ability to maintain his heat when they’re actually trying to push him instead of backing into something, so this has me somewhat worried about Ryder’s future prospects now.  I’m pretty sure this is still leading to a ladder match at TLC where Ryder wins the US title and they’ll likely have an awesome match on their own anyway.

WWE title:  CM Punk v. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio works the headlock and overpowers him for two, then goes to an armbar.  Punk dumps him and gets a dive, and we take a break.  Back with Del Rio working the arm again after Punk misses a charge, and Punk misses a sunset flip, allowing ADR to go up with a flying forearm for two.  Back to the arm, but Punk fights him off and goes up, only to miss a springboard bodyblock.  Del Rio gets two off that.  Back to the arm, and Del Rio puts him down with a high kick for two.  The crowd actually starts an odd “Del Rio / Sucks” chant, which is more crowd reaction than he generally gets.  ADR goes up and gets kicked coming down, and they slug it out until Punk gets the leg lariat to make the comeback.  Neckbreaker gets two.  There was actually a nice touch from the announcers here, as they point out that this is a title match and say “Your champion, Punk, on the right, your challenger, Del Rio, on the left.”  That’s a nice little introduction for people watching as new fans, something they don’t do very often in their insulated navel-gazing world normally.  Punk with a backslide for two, and he reverses the armbreaker into a GTS attempt, but then has to settle for a DDT for two instead.  ADR goes back to the arm again and exposes a turnbuckle, which allows Ricardo to throw a chair in. That backfires, and Punk gets two off a rollup.  Del Rio tries to run him into the turnbuckle, but Punk hits the GTS onto it, to retain at 14:34 instead.  Good TV main event to cap off a really solid show.  ***

Vince McMahon Plug

Hey Scott,

I know Vince McMahon is discussed at length on this blog roll, usually with incredulity, but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing my look at where he’s headed as a promoter (though he’d sure hate to be called that today), and my examination of just how his mojo ran out. There’s been a lot of talk of Vince losing his mind over the past several years, but I think this puts it in perspective.

Thanks in advance for giving it a look-see.

I’d totally watch a show where Vince gets dropped into a jungle and has to survive off the land.  Frankly I’m shocked Vince hasn’t done any celebrity reality shows over the years, he’d be PERFECT for almost any of them.  He’d create drama, blow up at other contestants at a moment’s notice and constantly think he’s better than everyone else while trying to win their favor.  It would be breathtakingly great TV.

Anyway, that aside, good article.  Vince is a complex guy to say the least.

Vince McMahon Plug

Hey Scott,

I know Vince McMahon is discussed at length on this blog roll, usually with incredulity, but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing my look at where he’s headed as a promoter (though he’d sure hate to be called that today), and my examination of just how his mojo ran out. There’s been a lot of talk of Vince losing his mind over the past several years, but I think this puts it in perspective.

Thanks in advance for giving it a look-see.

I’d totally watch a show where Vince gets dropped into a jungle and has to survive off the land.  Frankly I’m shocked Vince hasn’t done any celebrity reality shows over the years, he’d be PERFECT for almost any of them.  He’d create drama, blow up at other contestants at a moment’s notice and constantly think he’s better than everyone else while trying to win their favor.  It would be breathtakingly great TV.

Anyway, that aside, good article.  Vince is a complex guy to say the least.

Vince McMahon Plug

Hey Scott,

I know Vince McMahon is discussed at length on this blog roll, usually with incredulity, but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing my look at where he’s headed as a promoter (though he’d sure hate to be called that today), and my examination of just how his mojo ran out. There’s been a lot of talk of Vince losing his mind over the past several years, but I think this puts it in perspective.

Thanks in advance for giving it a look-see.

I’d totally watch a show where Vince gets dropped into a jungle and has to survive off the land.  Frankly I’m shocked Vince hasn’t done any celebrity reality shows over the years, he’d be PERFECT for almost any of them.  He’d create drama, blow up at other contestants at a moment’s notice and constantly think he’s better than everyone else while trying to win their favor.  It would be breathtakingly great TV.

Anyway, that aside, good article.  Vince is a complex guy to say the least.

Sin Cara: Turning Japanese?

If you want a scoop to blog about, they are still available on WWE Japan Shop:
http://wwejapanshop.jp/t-shirt/TSS207Q.html

I ordered three XLs.  If I get them, can I trade you one in return for
access to the password for your Rant archive, and a signed picture of
you wearing the shirt?

 

Not that anyone actually prints photos anymore, but sure, deal.

Are we sure those aren’t Hunico’s genitals?  Either way, it does certainly confirm the stories I’ve heard about Sin Cara being a big dick backstage and overly cocky for his position.

Sin Cara: Turning Japanese?

If you want a scoop to blog about, they are still available on WWE Japan Shop:
http://wwejapanshop.jp/t-shirt/TSS207Q.html

I ordered three XLs.  If I get them, can I trade you one in return for
access to the password for your Rant archive, and a signed picture of
you wearing the shirt?

 

Not that anyone actually prints photos anymore, but sure, deal.

Are we sure those aren’t Hunico’s genitals?  Either way, it does certainly confirm the stories I’ve heard about Sin Cara being a big dick backstage and overly cocky for his position.

Sin Cara: Turning Japanese?

If you want a scoop to blog about, they are still available on WWE Japan Shop:
http://wwejapanshop.jp/t-shirt/TSS207Q.html

I ordered three XLs.  If I get them, can I trade you one in return for
access to the password for your Rant archive, and a signed picture of
you wearing the shirt?

 

Not that anyone actually prints photos anymore, but sure, deal.

Are we sure those aren’t Hunico’s genitals?  Either way, it does certainly confirm the stories I’ve heard about Sin Cara being a big dick backstage and overly cocky for his position.

WWE: The TV Show

Hi Scott Long time reader. I recently saw on AV Club that another drama series about wrestling is apparently being developed, this one by Jerry Bruckheimer set in the 80’s. That may or may not happen, however, and you may well have touched on this at some point but bear with me (or not…up to you!), I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in more detail as to precisely what a hypothetical series on wrestling would ideally look like.

What era would you set it in? What specific personalities would you base the characters on? What would be the overall arc of the story? What would the opening credits look like and to what piece of music? Any actors you think would suit it? Just basically fantasy booking I know. Nevertheless, if you’re ever so inclined I’d be interested to hear.

You could do a hell of a show with characters based on Randy Savage & Elizabeth (the paranoid psycho and his hot wife), Hulk Hogan (the prima donna megastar who wants to do movies), Junkyard Dog (the fading southern black star with a huge coke problems), the Von Erichs (pampered kids accustomed to the world falling at their feet)…it doesn’t even have to be specifically about the WWF.  There’s so many ridiculous characters, ribs and stories from that period that you can mix and match whatever you want.  Foley’s book alone gives you stuff like Eric Embry booking naked and all of his crazy road stories.  I’d say I’d make the arc from the “wrestling emerging from smoky bingo halls” tropes that Vince puts forward (except you really can write a story about them being in those halls to start) and moving through Vince expanding nationally and then you can watch the 80s stars fade away or self-destruct until a fictional WCW comes along and knocks them off in the 90s.  I think the rise and fall of the coke-fuelled 80s, like Boogie Nights with wrestling stars, would be a hell of a show.  You’d need  a main character for the audience to identity with, which is where it gets tricky, though.  You’d need someone like a Howard Finkel, who is around everything and knows everything and everyone but doesn’t get caught up in it.  I’m not sure about the casting, but Treat Williams should be Vince McMahon, of that I am certain. 

WWE: The TV Show

Hi Scott Long time reader. I recently saw on AV Club that another drama series about wrestling is apparently being developed, this one by Jerry Bruckheimer set in the 80’s. That may or may not happen, however, and you may well have touched on this at some point but bear with me (or not…up to you!), I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in more detail as to precisely what a hypothetical series on wrestling would ideally look like.

What era would you set it in? What specific personalities would you base the characters on? What would be the overall arc of the story? What would the opening credits look like and to what piece of music? Any actors you think would suit it? Just basically fantasy booking I know. Nevertheless, if you’re ever so inclined I’d be interested to hear.

You could do a hell of a show with characters based on Randy Savage & Elizabeth (the paranoid psycho and his hot wife), Hulk Hogan (the prima donna megastar who wants to do movies), Junkyard Dog (the fading southern black star with a huge coke problems), the Von Erichs (pampered kids accustomed to the world falling at their feet)…it doesn’t even have to be specifically about the WWF.  There’s so many ridiculous characters, ribs and stories from that period that you can mix and match whatever you want.  Foley’s book alone gives you stuff like Eric Embry booking naked and all of his crazy road stories.  I’d say I’d make the arc from the “wrestling emerging from smoky bingo halls” tropes that Vince puts forward (except you really can write a story about them being in those halls to start) and moving through Vince expanding nationally and then you can watch the 80s stars fade away or self-destruct until a fictional WCW comes along and knocks them off in the 90s.  I think the rise and fall of the coke-fuelled 80s, like Boogie Nights with wrestling stars, would be a hell of a show.  You’d need  a main character for the audience to identity with, which is where it gets tricky, though.  You’d need someone like a Howard Finkel, who is around everything and knows everything and everyone but doesn’t get caught up in it.  I’m not sure about the casting, but Treat Williams should be Vince McMahon, of that I am certain. 

WWE: The TV Show

Hi Scott Long time reader. I recently saw on AV Club that another drama series about wrestling is apparently being developed, this one by Jerry Bruckheimer set in the 80’s. That may or may not happen, however, and you may well have touched on this at some point but bear with me (or not…up to you!), I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in more detail as to precisely what a hypothetical series on wrestling would ideally look like.

What era would you set it in? What specific personalities would you base the characters on? What would be the overall arc of the story? What would the opening credits look like and to what piece of music? Any actors you think would suit it? Just basically fantasy booking I know. Nevertheless, if you’re ever so inclined I’d be interested to hear.

You could do a hell of a show with characters based on Randy Savage & Elizabeth (the paranoid psycho and his hot wife), Hulk Hogan (the prima donna megastar who wants to do movies), Junkyard Dog (the fading southern black star with a huge coke problems), the Von Erichs (pampered kids accustomed to the world falling at their feet)…it doesn’t even have to be specifically about the WWF.  There’s so many ridiculous characters, ribs and stories from that period that you can mix and match whatever you want.  Foley’s book alone gives you stuff like Eric Embry booking naked and all of his crazy road stories.  I’d say I’d make the arc from the “wrestling emerging from smoky bingo halls” tropes that Vince puts forward (except you really can write a story about them being in those halls to start) and moving through Vince expanding nationally and then you can watch the 80s stars fade away or self-destruct until a fictional WCW comes along and knocks them off in the 90s.  I think the rise and fall of the coke-fuelled 80s, like Boogie Nights with wrestling stars, would be a hell of a show.  You’d need  a main character for the audience to identity with, which is where it gets tricky, though.  You’d need someone like a Howard Finkel, who is around everything and knows everything and everyone but doesn’t get caught up in it.  I’m not sure about the casting, but Treat Williams should be Vince McMahon, of that I am certain. 

WM 23 Clarified

Justin Shapiro writes…

Scottholomew,
Was checking out the ol’ blog (thanks for the kind words a few weeks back) and I can help answer the WM23 question.
HHH/Cena was the planned main event all year and was to be promoted as "Cena/Triple H 2" like a boxing or UFC fight, positioned as the historic rematch between the two greatest men.  

Michaels was going to be Trump’s wrestler against King Booker wrestling for Vince. Cena vs. Orton vs. Edge was their first replacement choice when HHH got hurt in order to keep Michaels in the Trump match before they decided Shawn was the better option for Cena.
Hogan vs. Big Show and later Hogan vs. Great Khali were also planned for the 20th anniversary of WM3 to recreate Hogan/Andre, and Hogan was trying to angle the Trump stuff into his match. (There was also a push that Khali/Hogan shouldn’t try to have a match so Hogan would wrestle Shane McMahon bodyguarded by Khali and Khali would just come in for the big bodyslam spot.) But Vince kicked Hogan off the show when he was on Bubba the Love Sponge and took a call on the air from Vince’s secretary about the internal list of Hall of Fame candidates for that year. So then it became Lashley vs. Khali, and because they figured Umaga could have a million times better match, that’s how it ended up being Umaga vs. "Bobby Lindsey, a black gentleman who is the strongest guy I’ve ever seen" according to Trump.

They totally should have started introducing Lashley that way.  I definitely remember the Hogan-Big Show stuff.  Thanks for the clarification!

WM 23 Clarified

Justin Shapiro writes…

Scottholomew,
Was checking out the ol’ blog (thanks for the kind words a few weeks back) and I can help answer the WM23 question.
HHH/Cena was the planned main event all year and was to be promoted as "Cena/Triple H 2" like a boxing or UFC fight, positioned as the historic rematch between the two greatest men.  

Michaels was going to be Trump’s wrestler against King Booker wrestling for Vince. Cena vs. Orton vs. Edge was their first replacement choice when HHH got hurt in order to keep Michaels in the Trump match before they decided Shawn was the better option for Cena.
Hogan vs. Big Show and later Hogan vs. Great Khali were also planned for the 20th anniversary of WM3 to recreate Hogan/Andre, and Hogan was trying to angle the Trump stuff into his match. (There was also a push that Khali/Hogan shouldn’t try to have a match so Hogan would wrestle Shane McMahon bodyguarded by Khali and Khali would just come in for the big bodyslam spot.) But Vince kicked Hogan off the show when he was on Bubba the Love Sponge and took a call on the air from Vince’s secretary about the internal list of Hall of Fame candidates for that year. So then it became Lashley vs. Khali, and because they figured Umaga could have a million times better match, that’s how it ended up being Umaga vs. "Bobby Lindsey, a black gentleman who is the strongest guy I’ve ever seen" according to Trump.

They totally should have started introducing Lashley that way.  I definitely remember the Hogan-Big Show stuff.  Thanks for the clarification!

WM 23 Clarified

Justin Shapiro writes…

Scottholomew,
Was checking out the ol’ blog (thanks for the kind words a few weeks back) and I can help answer the WM23 question.
HHH/Cena was the planned main event all year and was to be promoted as "Cena/Triple H 2" like a boxing or UFC fight, positioned as the historic rematch between the two greatest men.  

Michaels was going to be Trump’s wrestler against King Booker wrestling for Vince. Cena vs. Orton vs. Edge was their first replacement choice when HHH got hurt in order to keep Michaels in the Trump match before they decided Shawn was the better option for Cena.
Hogan vs. Big Show and later Hogan vs. Great Khali were also planned for the 20th anniversary of WM3 to recreate Hogan/Andre, and Hogan was trying to angle the Trump stuff into his match. (There was also a push that Khali/Hogan shouldn’t try to have a match so Hogan would wrestle Shane McMahon bodyguarded by Khali and Khali would just come in for the big bodyslam spot.) But Vince kicked Hogan off the show when he was on Bubba the Love Sponge and took a call on the air from Vince’s secretary about the internal list of Hall of Fame candidates for that year. So then it became Lashley vs. Khali, and because they figured Umaga could have a million times better match, that’s how it ended up being Umaga vs. "Bobby Lindsey, a black gentleman who is the strongest guy I’ve ever seen" according to Trump.

They totally should have started introducing Lashley that way.  I definitely remember the Hogan-Big Show stuff.  Thanks for the clarification!

A Jeff Jarrett Question

In the Overrated Matches thread, the notion that during the Monday Night Wars Jeff Jarrett always jumped at the wrong time was brought up, which is a sentiment I’ve seen expressed quite a bit. Surely this isn’t the case?

 

He got out of the WWF in 96 when the company was struggling; spent a year in WCW when the nWo angle was at its hottest; headed back to the WWF just in time for the Attitude era; and, when it became apparent he was never going to break through the glass ceiling, jumped ship to WCW in 99, complete with a handsome payoff for dropping the Intercontinental title to Chyna. Admittedly, from there things went to hell until he started up TNA, but still, the timing of his jumps seems pretty sound to me, particularly from a financial perspective (I’m assuming that he must’ve made good money through October 1996 to October 1999, given that he was consistently pushed in the midcard/often holding some title or another, not to mention that WCW probably gave him more than he was worth in 99 to convince him to join). Considering what he’s achieved with TNA, isn’t Jarrett one of the greater success stories from the last fifteen years?

Really, a Jeff Jarrett question?  Is that still a thing?  Hey, whatever.

Anyway, yes, Jarrett is absolutely a case of someone achieving far beyond his talent level, no doubt.  He was lucky enough to be a name guy who was available during two different periods when the major promotions were looking for talent to raid, and his second WCW run gave him the World title he’d never have gotten under any other circumstances.  Unless it was him buying an entire promotion as a vanity project.

TNA is a different argument altogether, though.  I would like to once again point out what a giant financial failure on every level it was back in 2002 and continues to be.  The difference is that he now has Panda to finance the losses.  Were it not for Dixie Carter’s dad, TNA would have ceased to exist in 2002.  I really can’t count that as success, sorry.