New from Place to Be Nation

Hi Scott,
Thanks, as always, for your support of The Place to Be Podcast.  We had some cool things from the last week we wanted to share with the blog.
Our PTBN staff series "The Five Count" debuted with a look at The Most Wasted WWE Title Reigns:
We have Instant Reaction for The Best in the World ROH iPPV from last night:
We looked back and evaluated all the Kings of the Ring:
Our MMA team interviewed Stipe Miocic after his UFC 161 win:
We also have this cool GrappleTalk Rewind Podcast that is going through all the UFC events (similar to what you did years back – only in audio form):
This week we have a big retrospective lined up to coincide with the War Games DVD release on Tuesday, plus our standard podcasts and show reviews.  Thanks again for your support.

Contracts in wrestling

Hey Scott,
I was wondering about contracts in wrestling, particularly in the WWF/WCW/ECW era where talent would jump ship at the end of their contracts and it would be big news. Has there ever been an instance where another promotion actually BOUGHT OUT a wrestler's contract in order to bring him to their promotion rather than wait for his contract to run out? It happens in soccer all the time and I'm guessing in other sports too. Did Vince/Bischoff/anyone else ever buy out a wrestler's contract? Does the option to do so exist? 

Also, has a wrestler even been so willing to leave a company before his contract runs out that he performed poorly on purpose so as to get his wish?


Well, in 1997 Shawn Michaels whined a LOT about wanting to go to WCW and join the nWo, but no matter how badly he tanked it and messed around he was never going to be let out.  Kevin Nash supposedly tried a similar tactic in 99 once he lost his job to Russo.  It doesn't seem like a very effective tactic.
As for buyouts, no.  Even if they could pay out the money end, standard contracts in both promotions had a 90-day no-compete clause anyway.  There have been cases of promotions letting people out of a contract, like Davey Boy and Neidhart after Montreal, but that's a rarity.  Plus TNA and WWE sharing contract information with each other turned into a lawsuit last time it happened, so I wouldn't hold your breath.  

Your Bound For Glory Series Predictions!


What are your predictions for this years BFG series? 
Champion they will face at Bound For Glory?:
Will they win the belt?:
It'll be cool to look back at in 4 months when it's all over. I'm going with the obvious AJ win and then defeating Bully.
Yeah I'll also go with the safe choice of AJ beating Anderson in the finals and then winning the title from Bully.  There's a lot of chaff to separate from the wheat in this tournament.  

Thunder – January 29, 1998

These will be posted on Saturday from now on.
January 29, 1998
Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
to Thursday nights here with the fourth episode of the series. The
main story continues to be the destruction of the NWO as Nitro ended
with Hall and Hogan standing around while Sting beat up Savage. The
main event tonight is the Steiners challenging for the tag titles in
a match we haven’t seen before. That shouldn’t make sense so let’s
get to it.

intro has changed to a thunderstorm theme which doesn’t work as well.
set is now a traditional one with a regular entrance and the Thunder
logo on top of it.
Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sick Boy
takes it to the mat but gets caught in an armbar. Sick Boy bails to
the floor and the stalling begins. Back in and Page pulls him down
but Sick Boy nips up. The discus lariat misses so Page goes to a
tilt-a-whirl side slam for no cover. Sick Boy goes back to the apron
for a springboard missile dropkick to take over. A spinning belly to
belly suplex gets two on Page but Sick Boy misses a kick to the ribs.
The discus lariat looks to set up the Diamond Cutter but Sick Boy
takes out the knee. Not that it matters much as Page throws him up
for a flapjack but pulls him down into the Cutter for the pin.
C+. This was much better than I
expected which is what I’ve said for both Sick Boy matches I’ve seen.
He looks good in the ring and can fly through the air for a guy of
his size. The Diamond Cutter to end it looked great as Sick Boy’s
head bounced off the mat to knock him out cold.
Flock decides not to jump Page.
JJ Dillon with an announcement: Nash is being fined $50,000 for his
powerbomb on Monday and if he does it again, the fines will grow.
vs. Jim Duggan
wins a quick slugout and takes it to the floor where he whips Meng
into the steps and beats on him with Jimmy Hart’s jacket. Back
inside and Meng does what he does best: hit Duggan in the head. It
has little effect on the thickheaded Duggan so Meng keeps pounding
away. They slug it out until Duggan misses a charge into the corner,
allowing Meng to put on a nerve hold. Back up and a double
clothesline puts both guys down, allowing Hart to get up on the apron
with the 2×4. Duggan intercepts the throw and cracks it over Meng’s
back but chases after Hart instead. Back in and the Tongan Death
Grip ends Jim.
C. This was far better than I
was expecting it to be with Duggan looking much better than I would
have expected him to. Meng continues to get small pushes every now
and then, which is likely to build him up for a feeding to a bigger
name later on. Both guys were working hard here and it was better
than it should have been.
vs. Marty Jannetty
goes again and Marty’s music still doesn’t fit him at all. Jannetty
takes him into the corner to start and dropkicks Raven to the
outside. He pounds on Raven on the floor but gets sent hard into the
post to change momentum. Raven throws in a chair for the drop
toehold and Marty is in big trouble. Marty hits a quick bulldog and
slams Raven’s head into the mat a few times for two but Raven is
smiling. A superkick puts Raven down and the top rope fist gets two,
but Raven dropkicks the chair into Marty’s face to knock him silly.
The Evenflow DDT is good for the pin for Raven.
C-. Another decent match here
with Marty looking decent in defeat. Raven smiling while he’s in
pain is still very creepy and fits his character perfectly. The
Raven’s Rules all the time stuff isn’t a problem because the weapons
and violence aren’t the focus of the matches. That DDT looked great
Lee Lewis is here.
Goldberg vs. Yuji Nagata
pops are getting louder and louder. Nagata goes straight at him but
Goldberg chokes him down. Goldberg takes him down with a quick
leglock but Nagata makes the ropes. Yuji’s slam is countered into a
spinning neckbreaker and it’s the spear and Jackhammer for another
fast pin.
vs. Meng is announced for Saturday Night. There’s the bigger name
Meng was being set up for.
recap Savage’s rant against Hogan, Bischoff and the rest of the NWO
from Nitro.
Hall for the survey with the NWO taking the crowd tonight. Hall
wants to know when he gets his title shot from World War III but now
it’s time to bring out Dusty Rhodes. Dusty talks about corporate
America tearing down what he built in 1991 and taking away the
tradition of professional wrestling. He lived on the 12th
floor and got tired of dealing with the suits every day. Now he’s
tired of carrying Tony Schiavone for the last four years.
Dusty started hearing from Eric Bischoff and realized that the NWO is
why you’re here tonight. Dusty says the NWO is the future and
they’ve gotten Dusty the biggest checks of his career. This time,
WCW isn’t going to make any comeback with anybody because the NWO is
going to crush them all. “You hear that marks on the internet?”
Also, the powerbomb should be reinstated because a 500lb man
shouldn’t be in the ring if he can’t protect himself. Dusty Rhodes
ladies and gentlemen.
Hall vs. Disco Inferno
slaps Disco around to start and does the Giant mocking bit. A quick
attempt at the Outsider’s Edge is countered and Disco hits the
Chartbuster out of nowhere. Dusty puts the foot on the ropes and
brings Hall out to the floor for a chat. Back in and Hall pounds
away on Disco before hitting the fallaway slam and the Edge for the
Nick Patrick for the first time since he was suspended. Patrick
insists that the count at Starrcade was a normal count and that Bret
should be suspended, not him. He’s going to have his lawyers look
into this and wants to referee the rematch to prove how awesome he
Title: Booker T vs. Perry Saturn
is defending and is in blue Harlem Heat attire instead of his usual
singles tights. Saturn pounds him down in the corner to start but
Booker comes back with right hands of his own. Apparently Saturn is
getting this show because Martel has a concussion. A powerslam gets
two for the champion and they head to the outside with Saturn being
sent into the barricade. Back inside and Saturn gets two off a
brainbuster but crotches himself on the middle rope. Booker hits the
side kick and ax kick but has to fight off the Flock. Martel comes
out to help but Booker sends Saturn into him and rolls Saturn up to
C. This was your usual fast
paced match between the two as the three way feud is starting to
develop. Booker is nailing the singles push now and has transitioned
from the tag team ranks with ease. I’m also surprised at how well
Martel has fit into this feud as I didn’t remember him being anything
at all in his return push.
see the end of Nitro with Hall and Hogan turning their backs on
Guerrero/Chris Jericho vs. Dean Malenko/Chris Benoit
should be awesome. Jericho and Malenko get things going but the fans
are all over Eddie. Dean quickly takes him down to start but it’s
off to Eddie to send Dean into the corner. A rollup gets two for
Eddie but he walks into a powerslam for two. Off to Benoit vs.
Jericho with Benoit hitting a hard clothesline to take over. Jericho
comes right back with a delayed vertical suplex and some chops in the
corner. You know Benoit is cool with that and takes over with chops
of his own.
comes right back with a German suplex and the Lionsault for two
before Guerrero comes back in. Benoit tries the Crossface but
Jericho makes the save as everything breaks down. Dean throws
Guerrero into a northern lights suplex but Jericho breaks up the
Cloverleaf attempt. Jericho hits a missile dropkick on Dean but
Malenko reverses the Liontamer into a rollup for two. Dean hooks a
superplex on Jericho and Benoit adds the Swan Dive. Eddie tries a
Frog Splash on Malenko but only hits feet, allowing Benoit to hook
the Crossface on Jericho for the win.
B. This was a six and a half
minute match with the action of a match twice that long. These guys
were arguably the most valuable guys in WCW for a long time as you
could just throw them out there in any combination and get a good
match. Benoit and Malenko looked very good together as a team.
match Benoit says his chapter with Raven has come to an end. Tenay
asks Benoit why he’s never had a title shot but Benoit says he
doesn’t need one. DDP pops up in the crowd (Marshall: “is that
Scott Hall?”) and says that the promoters don’t see Benoit as a
main eventer. They didn’t see Page as a main eventer either, but
Page is interested in the idea. If Benoit wants a shot at the US
Title, all he has to do is ask. Benoit agrees to the title match a
week from tonight.
Titles: Steiner Brothers vs. Kevin Nash/Konnan
gets to defend the belts because of Wolfpack Rules. Rick starts off
with Konnan with Steiner pounding him down into the mat and hooking
an STF of all things. Konnan makes the rope but gets caught in a
release German suplex to send him over to Nash. The Steiners knock
Nash to the floor and do their signature pose.
head back inside and Nash pounds on Rick in the corner with the knee
lifts and elbows to the head. Konnan comes in for a stump puller of
all things but Scott breaks it up. Kevin gets the tag and gets
caught by a Steiner Line but here’s Buff Bagwell to challenge Scott
to a posedown. Back in the ring, Nash hits Rick with the belt for a
D. This didn’t have time to go
anywhere and was mainly storyline stuff anyway. The Scott vs. Buff
posedown stuff is fine as a catalyst for the Steiner Brothers’ split
which had to happen at some point. I’m not wild on the Wolfpack
Rules idea as those usually only work when there are two members of a
team, but the NWO could pretty much make up whatever rules they
wanted around this time.
match Nash powerbombs the referee and is taken away by security.
Nash: “Make sure Jack Ruby isn’t out there. That’s how Oswald got
C+. This was the same
formula as last week and it still works quite well. They’re using
Thunder to focus on the midcard and it offers a nice contrast to the
storyline heavy Nitro. The lack of Hogan and Sting allows the show
to build on other stories which makes for a more interesting show.
Good stuff again this week.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at

UWF Premiere Episode & Mid South DVD

So UWF'n pumped for this. > First Mid-South Wrestling TV taping under 'UWF' Brand:
> Also, the DVD cover and match list for the WWE produced Legends of Mid-South Wrestling
> Ted DiBiase vs. Paul Ordnorff
> Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes & JYD vs. The Wild Samoans & Ernie Ladd (1983)
> Jim Duggan vs. Ted DiBiase (Coal Miner’s Glove, Tuxedo, Loser Leaves Town Match, 3/22/85)
> Storyline: Mr. Wrestling 2 Mentoring Magnum TA
> Storyline: JYD Tarred and Feathered
> JYD vs. Hacksaw Butch Reed (Ghetto Street Fight, 6/17/84)
> Rock ‘n Roll Express vs. Midnight Express (multiple matches)
> Shawn Michaels vs. Ted DiBiase
> Rick Steiner vs. Nick Patrick
> Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase (NWA Title, 6/11/85)
> UWF match feat. The Bladerunners, Sting & Rock aka Ultimate Warrior
> Terry Gordy vs. Jim Duggan (UWF Title)
> Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death vs. The Freebirds (Lumberjack Match)
> Terry Gordy vs. Dr. Death (UWF Title)
> Dr. Death vs. Big Bubba Rogers aka Big Bossman (UWF Title)
> One Man Gang vs. Big Bubba Rogers (UWF Title)
> Ted DiBiase talks getting his tires slashed by fans.
> 1982 North American Title bout between JYD & DiBiase.
> Mid South history in the Louisiana Super Dome.
> 1985 Steel Cage match, Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death vs. Jake the Snake & Barbarian.
> The Buzz Sawyer story.
> Jim Duggan vs. Buzz Sawyer 1985.
> Jim Cornette’s Favorite Moment in Mid South.
> 1984 Cornette’s Birthday Party.
> Bill Watts seeks help to battle Midnight Express.
> Bill Watts & Stagger Lee vs. Midnight Express.
> Dusty Rhodes talks Boyd Pierce, evaluating talent and more.
> Cowboy Bill Watts talks about the late Ernie Ladd
> Even though none of the guys are 'names', I wonder how did they could leave off the infamous 'Battle of New Orleans' brawl between Eddie Gilbert, Terry Taylor, Sting and Chris Adams (for some reason, unable to be found on YouTube or Dailymotion).

Superstars on the Superstation

> I remember watching this show on TBS. The matches were determined by "the fans". I remember being royally pissed that Ron Garvin was wrestling in the main event instead of Magnum T.A. The card was pretty decent for a tv show.
> Rock and Roll Express vs. Midnight Express NWA tag tiles
> Road Warriors vs. Ivan and Nikita Koloff
> Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard  National title
> Ric Flair vs. Ron Garvin NWA world title
> An interview with Dusty Rhodes and Willie Nelson.
>  I love the ads for the Starrcade 85 vhs tape. I remember begging my parents to drop $40 so I could watch the I Quit cage match. Another highlight was David Crockett bitching at Tommy Young over the finish of the Flair match and Ric yelling at Crockett to shut up. 
> Here is the link to the show Dang, why didn't they ever show this one on 24/7 when I had it?  Awesome find.

Invisible Injuries and HHH

> Okay, so I'm willing to accept this as my overreaction, but…
> The Orton/Bryan match ending makes me hate HHH that much more.  Why?  Because it's clear he's booking us to believe that any injury not absolutely visible (such as a concussion or nerve damage — things that ended the careers of Bret Hart and Arn Anderson, mind you) is a meaningless injury and can easily be ignored for the purpose of wrestling, and anyone trying to hold you back is misguided at best.
> Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler just came back from being hit so hard he forgot what day of the week it was.
> I get the feeling that had Bret's concussion and stroke happened today instead of ten years ago, HHH would be at the comatose Bret's bedside telling him to stop overselling and report to Raw like a real man.
> Bret would likely give him a scathing review if so.  Like 2/10 or worse.

Mark Henry question


Love your blog. Quick question. Sexual Chocolate hinted last night on twitter that he is announcing his retirement tonight. If this is true it marks the end of an 17 year run with WWE, that up until recently was pretty underwhelming. Of course the last few years have been pretty entertaining and enjoyable though. Do you think his career warrants a place in the Hall of Fame for the Hall of Pain?

This guy probably feels kind of silly now.

But no, I don't see a Hall of Fame nomination in Mark's future.  

Payback and RAW

I just watched RAW last night and Payback the previous night, and I haven't read your rants yet. I will do so later but wanted to go on record as saying this has been the best WWE has had to offer in a long time. You're often highly critical of the product, and often justifiably, but if you didn't like the past couple of days there's just no hope for you. It's never going to get any better than this.

Yes, RAW was still an hour too long and therefore must be DVRed and not watched live. (Yes, this means a Twitter and 411mania embargo until getting caught up.) But, although you've mocked them for "telling stories" they're finally telling stories that are interesting. Even the Kaitlyn/AJ storyline is the best divas storyline I can remember since Mickie James/Trish.

I did see on a random clickover to your Blog that you did like the Mark Henry swerve. I'm interested to see what you had to say about the rest.

It's never going to get any better than this?  Is that really how low standards have gotten?  

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact–06.20.13

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 06.20.13 Even though I’m a longtime Android guy, I kinda…love my iPad. Like, really, REALLY love it. Dammit. Live from Peoria, IL Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Taz Hulk Hogan introduces the people who have qualified for the BFG Series, just in case we missed last week. Also, it’s Open Fight Night, and Jeff Hardy destroyed Bobby Roode on the website poll, so he gets to choose his callout first. The heels cut promos fighting over who Hardy SHOULDN’T call out, since they’d all defeat him, you see. Hardy wants Roode anyway and the brawl is on. Mr. Anderson v. Joseph Park Anderson offers him a headlock and casually escapes, but Park counters with a takedown and Anderson dropkicks the knee as a result. Tenay brings up a good point about how going for submissions is actually kind of a bad idea if you don’t know any. Park gets a rollup for two, but Anderson puts him down with a neckbreaker and hits the chinlock. He goes up and misses the swanton, allowing Park to make the comeback. He misses a blind charge and Anderson tries the fireman’s carry, but Park reverses into a Boston Crab. Doc provides distraction and Anderson gets two, however. Park comes back again and goes up, but Doc interferes AGAIN and Anderson finishes with the Mic Check at 5:00. Not much to this one. ** Jay Bradley v. Austin Aries Not surprisingly, Aries completely destroys him and throws knees, then goes up, but Bradley boots him to the floor. Back in, Bradley knees him down for two. He drops elbows for two, but misses the charge and Aries takes over. He works the knee and goes up with a missile dropkick, but charges and hits boot. Aries counters the BOOMSTICK with a roaring elbow, but Bradley puts him down with a backbreaker. Aries snaps off a nice crucifix and finishes with the brainbuster at 3:38. Point made there. Bradley is pretty terrible. Feels like they should have just changed his name to Jay Bradshaw and been done with it. *1/2 Meanwhile, Sting meets with a mysterious person. Hernandez v. Christopher Daniels Mike Tenay crafts a backstory here because Hernandez doesn’t provide a particularly compelling reason to call him out. Hernandez throws him around and gets two, and hits Air Mexico, but Daniels goes low and finishes with the BME at 2:14. *1/2 Kazarian v. Magnus Magnus quickly dumps Kaz, but Kaz kicks him down and drops an elbow for two. Neckbreaker and he works on the neck, but Magnus escapes and comes back with clotheslines and the Michinoku Driver for two. Blind charge misses and Kaz tries a missile dropkick, but Magnus hooks him in a Cloverleaf for the submission at 2:54. ** Meanwhile, Hulk wants to throw down with Bully Ray RIGHT NOW, but Bully protests that he’s not the kind of guy to hit someone in the back of the head with a hammer. The delivery of that line was AMAZING. Bully’s got no beef with Hogan, but he wants to talk to Brooke. State of the Knockouts Address: Brooke brings out the entire division (including Eric Young), and he admits that TECHNICALLY, he’s not a woman. So Brooke cracks up and the tag titles are thankfully vacant. Next up, Brooke grants Velvet her rematch next week, because she’s the “heart and soul” of the division. That’s a pretty sad indictment. Meanwhile, Hulk sends Brooke back to the hotel room to avoid trouble. This desperately needed a smash cut to Bully in the front seat cackling “WHERE TO, BROOKE?” AJ Styles v. Samoa Joe Man, they are trying REALLY hard with AJ, giving him a fresh new look and wrestling style, plus an awesome new entrance, but it’s just flattening him out instead of elevating him. AJ clarifies before the match that he’s in this for the money, not to be a hero. So you can be sure he’ll be a hero by the end of the deal. AJ grabs a headlock and they work off that for a bit, and AJ throws chops in the corner. Taz sums up the new AJ’s wrestling style: “A tad laid-back.” Well, yeah. AJ with a backdrop suplex and dodges a charging Joe, but a kick puts AJ on the floor. AJ heads back in, but Joe kicks him down from the floor in an awesome spot and we take a break. Back with Joe dropping an elbow on AJ’s face, but he walks into the dropkick and hits the floor again. AJ follows with a baseball slide and there’s five minutes left. Well that’s an obvious non-finish coming. Back in with a springboard dropkick that gets two. The fight over a suplex and AJ dropkicks the knee for two. Joe snaps off the powerslam for two and goes right into the armbar, but AJ rolls out of it and makes the ropes. They fight in the corner and head up, but AJ reverses a superplex and both are out. AJ tries his new strike combo, but Joe counters with a wicked shot TO THE FACE and beats on him in the corner. AJ rolls him into the Calf Killer, but Joe counters into the choke, and AJ rolls over for two. They slug it out with time running out and Joe takes him down, and time expires at 15:00. That was AWESOME until the draw finish. I want to see them go 30:00 now! ***3/4 The crowd is begging for another five minutes, but it’s only 2 points for each guy. Meanwhile, Bully calls Brooke and is very upset at her departure. Jeff Hardy v. Bobby Roode Hardy takes him down with a headscissors in the corner, but Roode quickly hooks the crossface, forcing Hardy to make the ropes. Roode with a catapult to put Hardy on the floor and they fight out there. Back in, Roode with a suplex and kneedrop for two. Roode pounds him in the corner, but misses a charge and Hardy hits a flying splash for two. Atomic drop into the legdrop and dropkick get two. Roode reverses the Twist into the spinebuster for two. Hardy reverses a suplex into the Twist and misses the swanton, surprisingly. Roode hooks the crossface and Hardy rolls him over for two. Another crossface, but Hardy hits the Twist of Fate for the pin at 6:05. Short but action-packed. *** Main Event Interview: Bully Ray is out for the state of the union address. Sign in the front row: “Aces & Garbage”. Oh, CUTTING. Apparently next week is a three-way X title match with Sabin v. King v. Suicide, and the winner gets the title shot on July 18 (the Destination X special) if they choose. Bully clarifies that he’s a lover, not a fighter, and he’s calling out Brooke for LOVE. Instead, Corporate Sting comes out, looking for retribution. But first, he removes his expensive suit, prompting Bully to call his Aces for backup. Sadly, they’re all laid out in the back, which brings out suit-wearing Kurt Angle to enact a beatdown on Bully as well. Well that was a pretty obvious storyline twist, but it certainly makes sense. The Pulse Another home run show with a bunch of fun matches and a snappy pace. It’s been a good week for pro wrestling TV shows!