Wrestlemania Countdown 2018: The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania XIX

The SmarK Rant for Wrestlemania XIX

(So this was one where I was really wanting to redo it for the countdown, because it’s very underappreciated and I still feel bad that it flopped so badly that Seattle will never get another one.  However, real life is what it is, and I just don’t have 3.5 hours to dedicate to re-reviewing it in time for this.) 

– Live from Seattle, WA.

– Your hosts are JR, King, Cole & Tazz.

Read moreWrestlemania Countdown 2018: The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania XIX

How will “Money In The Bank” go this year?

  With the WWE having done away with brand specific PPVs, how exactly do you think they'll do "Money In The Bank" this year?  Surely they won't have 2 men's and 2 women's MITB matches on 1 show?  I think even Vince would say that would be overkill.

​I know we say this every year and every year it doesn't happen, but they've really reached the end of the gimmick as far as useful storytelling engines go and it's time to retire it.  Like with Carmella, where they waited too long for the cash-in and now they've booked themselves into a corner where they apparently don't want her to fail but don't want her to actually beat either champion, either.  Unless they go with the one story left they haven't told:  A briefcase holder desperately trying to cash in on the night of Money in the Bank before the next ladder match starts and she loses it.  ​
Anyway, I think they're doing one men's and one women's briefcase, and the winner will cash in on whichever show they want and automatically get drafted there if they win.  

Women’s Battle Royal Name

So, if "Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal" is inappropriate, why not just name it the 'Stephanie McMahon Battle Royal"? Who says it has to be named after a dead person? And then the commentary can be all about how Stephanie is far too humble and modest to have suggested it, but the women themselves insisted that it be named after Stephanie?

Also, is it true that it was a 7-year-old Stephanie McMahon who suggested to her father to use Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper in 1984?

​I heard she also told Alundra Blayze to "take the belt with you, no one will even know it's gone" in 1995.  It turns out that she's much more influential behind the scenes anyone ever suspected!​

Tommy Dreamer Winding Down Soon

Tommy Dreamer spoke with The Wrestling Estate ahead of House of Hardcore 39 this Saturday, and had a pretty in-depth discussion about his health. Particularly, his low back has been bothering him, and he's been re-evaluating how much longer he'll be able to wrestle. (He did 187 shows last year, so it's not like he's been sporadic.)

Hope your readers enjoy.

​Pretty good if it's only now that his back has been bothering him.​

Backlund Rumble push in 93 Rumble


I was wondering if you had any insight into the out-of-nowhere push Bob Backlund got in the 1993 Royal Rumble.  He "debuted" on TV all the way back in the fall of 1992 but wasn't featured much on TV, house shows, or PPV's.  Going into the Rumble, he appeared every bit the "1 of 30 guys" who often showed up randomly for the Rumble to fill out the match.  Yet he draws a very early number in the match and goes onto break Ric Flair's famous record from just the year before.

The other weird thing is that this push went nowhere after the Rumble, as well.  Backlund would go on to be a squash victim to Razor Ramon at WM IX and basically disappeared for the rest of 1993.  Was there ever a plan to seriously push him at the Rumble?  And if so, did the relative lack of reaction he received from the live audience slow the roll of that push?  Or did they just need a guy with legit freaky stamina to go out there and break Flair's record since Flair was WCW bound?

​They wanted to push Backlund, but he just wasn't drawing the reactions they wanted.  That being said, yes, it's likely just the petty erasing of Flair that they were going for that year.  ​


Hi Scott,

I’m curious about your criteria for the WWE Hall Of Fame.

Hear me out here. Obviously, there are some gaping holes. The Midnight Express, Demolition, HTM, come to mind; Chyna, too.

But, if we’re talking about a worked spot, why is Koko B Ware the low bar? He was a good worker, popular with the fans, and he did his job very well: basically, making his opponent look good.

In a 50/50 industry, these days, maybe the criteria has changed, but in the ‘80s-‘90s, wrestling relied on guys like Koko, Steve Lombardi, “Iron” Mike Sharp, etc. to put guys over. Why not celebrate them?

​Because that's stupid?  ​

Wasted Talent

Hey Scott, I was watching the Network Friday and it got me to thinking of wrestlers who had all the tools at their disposal, and for either creative or the performers themselves wasted the talent they had to be bigger stars.

1. Jake the Snake Roberts – Great on the Mike, great ring psycholigist, but never lived up to what he could truly be.

2. Psycho Sid – 4 time champ, but, had the look, finisher, charisma, but his craziness got in the way. Even though listening to his interviews, sounds like many of the stories were convuluted to make him look bad.

3. Ahmed Johnson – Look, finisher, lazy

4. Goldust – Look, promos, psychology, personal demons got in the way.

5. Vader – Look, moveset, finisher, charisma, yes he was big in Japan, and WCW, but never lived up to what he could have been with both his attitude and outside forces getting in the way 

6. Barry Windham – Look, move set, ok promo, laziness. Yes, former world champ, but could have been so much more.

7. Tully Blanchard – Move Set, selling, ring psychology, personal demons.

8. Luger – Didnt really care for wrestling.

9. Bam Bam Bigelow – Ahead of his time, moveset, look, ok promo, bad attitude.

10. Muta – Big in Japan, Lazy in the states, had so much of everything.
​I would agree with most of these, but Muta and Vader had Hall of Fame careers in Japan alone and I wouldn't call either one "wasted" since it was all gravy.  It would have been nice if Vader was used better in WWF in 96, but he did OK for himself.  ​

ECW on Sci-Fi #98 04/15/2008

We’re in London, England and we have a big-ass main event with ECW Champ Kane teaming with WWE Champ Undertaker! Oh and it’s also Joey Styles’ last show as he’s moving onto working for WWE dot com (which he did a marvellous job of supercharging) which I’m thankful for as he’d been white noise for months. Let’s hope his replacement will be better. Oh, he’s here at the desk let’s-

oh no


”What happens when you take that man’s sun-glasses off? OK! I understand! We won’t go there!” starts Adamle and it’s impossible to convey how awkward and forced he sounds from his opening line and the realisation there’s another hour of TV to go.

CM Punk, Jimmy Wang Yang, Shannon Moore, Kofi Kingston vs. Elijah Burke, Deuce, Domino, Shelton Benjamin

Adamlemania continues to run wild as he talks over the ring introductions and repeats everyone’s name to remind himself who everyone is.”They will have a say in tonight’s…*looks at notes* eight-man tag team match.” He notes Kofi Kingston will be CM Punk’s tag partner. ”How do you like me now?” Adamle says Shelton will be teaming with Burke. I mean he’s technically right but he’s talking like it’s the first eight-man tag match he’s ever seen. Domino starts by getting double-teamed by Shan & Wang but it’s hard to ignore Adamle’s dead air and confusion. Punk and Shelton jostle until Shelton hurls him outside the ring and we go to break. We get Burke vs. Punk one last time before Burke leaves forever in a few weeks. Yang gets worked over by Benjamin as Tazz struggles to fill the silence as Adamle can’t think of anything to say. Deuce tags in and gets under the skin of the opposite team while he beats down Yang. I think reminding everyone he was still employed would have been enough aggravation. Eventually he makes the hot tag to Kofi who takes out Deuce with a ”leg kick” and lands the Boom Drop and we get Adamle’s legendary:

Kofi takes out Deuce with the Trouble In Paradise and it’s ”Uno, Dos, Adios.”

Winners: The goodies (I’m surprised they had a eight-man tag match, last time they were in the UK they didn’t have that many wrestlers on the entire episode. It didn’t matter though, it was a simple multi-man that would have been forgotten instantly if it wasn’t for Adamle’s best Eric The Actor impression.)

Dramatic Recap of last week’s contract signing and there’s not enough video filters on Adobe to make Bam Neely look impressive. Kane reminds us Undertaker is here and Bam is fucked. He’s not on the show tonight so Kane’s right.

Adamle tells us ”The Tazz” is in the ring for Diva Dance Off, somehow managing to overshadow titties and jiggling.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Mike Knox

There’s a MIKE KNOX WAS FRAMED sign in the crowd, oh wow remember that whole thing?

Police out of Henry County, Georgia are moving on in the Mike Knox steroid link investigation. They are more interested in finding the supplier of the drugs. Knox formerly lived in a residence in Henry County with three other wrestlers, but steroids were left behind in an attic after they moved out. Knox said the steroids weren’t his, and WWE believes him as they have defended him publicly (and continued to push him on TV).

Jon Bravo has been on the hunt for a while. Anyway, Armando wants Mike Knox to wrestle a competitive match with a future world champion…Colin Delaney!

Colin Delaney vs. Mike Knox
Knox does a better job of disposing of Colin than he did those steroids. Delaney takes some Taz-esque suplexes before Knox pins him.

Winner: Mike Knox (Armando was a glorious shit-eating dick during this Colin feud.)

Adamle starts talking about ”Mike The Miz” taking on Undertaker & Kane in a ”mitch-match” tonight while staring at his notes on camera.

Miz & Morrison talk backstage about being stronger than Kane & Undertaker as they’re always fighting each other. Morrison isn’t scared as Miz is going to be starting the match. Miz looks like he

The Miz & John Morrison vs. Kane & The Undertaker

WWE Tag Team Champions vs. ECW World & WWE Champion. ”You may think he looks like Tarzan but hits like Jane, but you’d be wrong.” OK I’ll give Adamle credit, that’s a good line. Didn’t really fit what he was going for as he was trying put over Morrison but he’s batting low so I’ll allow it. Miz starts with Kane and that goes as well for Miz as you’d expect. Undi takes in and he’s still peak-athleticism so he gets Old School early and big boots a charging Morrison like it’s nothing. Undi tries for the apron leg drop but Morrison stops him like he’s trying to leave for WCW in 2000.

Back from break, Miz & Morrison are working over Undertaker. Tazz calls them the World Tag Champs instead of the WWE ones, Adamle is contagious. Undi resumes offence on Morrison until he tags in Kane. Morrison tags in Miz but he doesn’t want any of him so Kane has to throw him in. That was cute. Kane tries the top rope clothesline but Morrison pulls him off (not like that) so Kane boots him off the apron and Morrison takes a face-first bump onto the floor like a madman. This allows Miz to get the advantage on Kane with his Scrappy Doo offence. Kane gets isolated and worked over but Kane doesn’t tend to sell body-work so he big boots Miz down and tags in Undi. It’s weird seeing Undertaker running so fluidly at this stage of his career. Benjamin Button can’t get a double chokeslam on Miz & Morrison but Kane helps him make it a single chokeslam on both. Undertaker finishes with the Tombstone Piledriver.

Winners: Kane & The Undertaker (Harmless house show match to get Undertaker on the show, who the crowd obviously loved.)

Overall: This would have been a forgotten show if it hadn’t been for Adamle’s debut. Despite the star power in the main event and eight-man tag match, there wasn’t anything that stood out above Adamle’s Holy Shit Didn’t Anyone See If This Dude Could Commentate Wrestling Before Hiring Him performance which was at least 0.8 Art O’Donnell. It would later emerge that Adamle was struggling with CTE, making this all the more alarming.

I’ve been Maffew, I wrote about wXw 16 Carat 2018 last weekend so go read that. And Botchamania 363 will be later today.