Titan Sinking/Shattered

Hi Scott,

Just finished James Dixon’s excellent Titan Sinking, and starting in on Titan Shattered now. I notice you’ve plugged his books on a number of occasions and I’m curious if you know whether or not he’s planning on continuing the series with a book about ’97 and beyond? I’m hoping he’s not calling it a day right when we’re getting to the most interesting time in wrestling history.


​Yeah, he is, which is why I found it a bit frustrating in Titan Shattered when he would start digressing into the 97/98 era stuff. I felt like it was giving away the goods too early!

Anyway, here’s the Amazon link to Shattered, which is only $5 for the Kindle edition!


Thunder – July 19, 2000

Date: July 19, 2000
Location: Breslin Students Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Attendance: 5,738
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

This is a rare live Thunder though I can’t imagine it’s going to make the show any better than it usually is. The big story at the moment is Scott Steiner being all insane and breaking various things, only to get beaten down by Kevin Nash, like so many people before him have been. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – July 19, 2000

Lightning Round – “Real” World Titles

The question about the WCW/NWA title situation got me thinking: which belts do you consider "real" world titles?

Is Rick Rude a former world champion because he held the weird International belt? Do we count Matt Hardy after his brief TNA title run? (We will assume the WWE, WCW, and IGPW championships all count as "legitimate" world titles.)

– WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship during the brand split

– WCW’s International World Heavyweight Championship

– TNA World Heavyweight Championship

– NWA World Heavyweight Championship (anytime after 1993)

– ECW Championship (original or WWE revival)

​I don’t think anyone really considered the NWA "World" title to be a real World title after the WCW changeover in 91 anyway, so I’d call Rude’s title as much of a World title as anyone else’s during that run. I’d say once Douglas threw it down, it was done. These days, not even close, with people no one has ever heard of literally buying the title for themselves.

The TNA title has been around long enough and defended enough to be called a World title, so yes, we count Matt.

The World Heavyweight title was called the World Heavyweight title, so that one is pretty clear to me.

The International World title is counted as a World title by people counting World title reigns for Sting and Flair, so it’s in.

The original ECW title, yes. The revival was basically a midcard title, so no. ​

Royal Rumble odds

Hey Scott,

Was looking at Royal Rumble Winners odds at Paddy Power (Bookmakers in UK and Ireland) and they have the latest odds as:

Brock Lesnar 21/10 (Favourite)
Dean Ambrose 13/5 (2nd Favourite)
Daniel Bryan & Kevin Owens both 11/2 (5 and half to 1)
Roman Reigns 6/1
John Cena 7/1
Randy Orton 12/1
Undertaker 14/1
Sheamus 16/1
Finn Balor 18/1
HHH 18/1
Mr.Mcmahon 33/1
Paige 40/1
Baron Corbin 50/1

Not sure if your a betting man. But them odds for Roman Reigns and John Cena are a little long aren’t they? And no odds for Seth Rollins,or am I just being silly there.

Anyway,thought I share this.


​Dean Ambrose would be a sucker bet. If they were gonna do anything with him, they would have done it at Survivor Series. Rollins isn’t coming back and neither is Orton. If I had money, which I don’t, I’d put it on Brock or Reigns and no one else. ​

80s WWF TV

Hey Scott,

I grew up in the 80s primarily watching Saturday Night’s Main Event and Prime Time Wrestling with Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan. But I’ve been reading Brian’s recaps (great work!) of Superstars of Wrestling and Wrestling Challenge and it got me wondering: what was the pecking of order of the shows back then. Was one of those comparable to Raw today versus a B-show like smackdown? Obviously SNME was the premier show on a monthly basis, but what about weekly?

Also, a bonus question: I was always a WWF kid, but now want to go back and watch the Ric Flair/Four Horsemen NWA/WCW era. What’s a good place to start on the network? Thanks!

​Superstars was the equivalent of RAW and Challenge was Smackdown, more or less.

As for the Horsemen stuff, it more or less kicks into high gear after Starrcade 85, so start about December 85 after Flair screws Dusty out of the World title and you’ll pretty much get a Horsemen promo every week. ​

The Blueprint On How To Build A Star: Conor Mcgregor

I’m an equal parts mma fan and wrestling fan(well not recently). As I sit here and fully immerse myself into the buildup of the Aldo/ McGregor I can’t but sit in awe and appreciate the booking of Dana White, the man has brilliantly laid the foundation of an absolute megastar. Tomorrow night McGregor is either going to win and be the hottest thing since sliced bread in the world or he’ll lose and in the process give the rub to the best p4p fighter on the planet who has had a difficult time getting over because of his boring persona. Either way, after tomorrow night the UFC is going to cash in and show the doofs in sports entertainment how its done.

I won’t ask the basic same old question that everyone asks and no one has answers to like why the hell is this so hard for the wwe to understand basic star building and booking? But rather my question is this, years ago when Vince finally got around to figuring out that UFC was a real thing, Dana and Vince had a meeting, do you have any idea what was discussed ? I can’t believe that a real fighting company has figured out, executed and exceeded the wrestling company in how to properly book a champion 101

​Yeah, but Sheamus was wearing a suit last week and he’s also Irish, so that’s totally the same thing, right? ​

NWA Title in WCW ’92-93


What was the deal with Bill Watts bringing back the NWA Title to WCW, and then having a guy from Japan like Chono win in in 1992? Did WCW have any say on who won the tournament? When Windham won the title from Muta at Superbrawl III, did he know at the time that he was going to drop it to Flair? It seemed that angle was planned from the start.


Also why did the NWA pull away from the Big Gold Belt when Rick Rude won the title from Flair at Fall Brawl ’93? Why didn’t they approve of Rude as champion, since he was one of the best guys around at that time?

​WCW had very little say in the initial title change, as it was mostly New Japan’s call and thus you got Chono. It wasn’t until they got the belt on Flair that WCW basically gained control of booking the belt, and yes the plan was to get it on Flair all along. Both WCW and the NWA wanted Flair as the champion. It wasn’t that they disapproved of Rude as such, it was that they REALLY wanted Flair as the champion and WCW seemingly wanted to prove who was really in control. It was a giant mess all around and everyone basically acted like children. By the time of the controversy in 93, the NWA was falling to pieces anyway. There’s a whole fascinating recounting of the story in Tim Hornbaker’s book about the NWA and no one comes off looking particularly good.​


What’s Your Top 5 for 2015?

Of the matches you have seen this year, are you able to provide a Top 5? Or at the least, a best match candidate?

I think the Cena v. Lesnar v. Rollins triple threat from Royal Rumble held up all year. I also really liked the Undertaker/Lesnar Hell in a Cell match because it felt different than everything else offered up. Is there anything you feel you may have underrated? Bryan v. Reigns at Fast Lane maybe?

​If we’re not limiting ourselves to WWE, AJ Styles v. Okada at King of Pro Wrestling (I think that was the name of the show) completely destroys anything else I’ve seen all year. The crazed finishing sequence alone put it over the top for me.

As for as WWE, yeah, I’d still have to go with the Royal Rumble three-way match as the best. I can’t think of anything I liked more, although Sasha v. Bayley was a close second. ​Overall:

1. Okada v. Styles
2. Lesnar v. Cena v. Rollins
3. Bayley v. Sasha Banks
4. John Cena v. Kevin Owens (Elimination Chamber)
5. John Cena v. Kevin Owens (whatever that second match was)

Competition for WWE?

> Your blog has become a steady stream of people complaining about the current product or, like me, have totally tuned out. It feels like there’s a huge opportunity for somebody out there to make a run at an ice cold WWE.
> There are so many under-utilized guys in WWE who re-up for job security but get absolutely wasted. I mean, the Attitude era was essentially a re-packaging of WCW midcarders that never got pushed. Are you surprised no one has launched a serious challenge to the WWE in the past 15 years?

No, because the business is totally different in the post-Turner era. You need endless money, plus a strong TV spot, plus enough talent to book shows with. TNA came closest but lacked any kind of good creative direction and even then they were only a minor annoyance at best. WWE is just too big to not crush any opposition before they start out. And even if someone succeeded they’d just send known android Byron Saxton back to 1984 to terminate their mother anyway.