No Stips/Gimmicks in Major Mania Singles Matches?


Hi, Scott.  Are you surprised that none of the four (five, if you assume Rollins-Orton gets added) major singles matches at Wrestlemania currently have either a gimmick (e.g. no DQ for Cena-Rusev) or a stipulation (e.g. Rollins' briefcase is on the line)?  All of them have a plausible argument for some sort of no DQ/extreme rules match, whether for story (Cena-Rusev and Orton-Rollins) or to provide some smoke and mirrors for a potentially poor match (the other three).  

I know most recent Mania singles matches have just been wrestling matches, but could adding something to one or two of the matches give at least a little juice to the card, or is it simply too late with only two weeks to go?

​I wish I could give you a less cynical answer to this question, but there's really only two factors behind it, I'm pretty sure:
1)  They don't give a shit about actually booking the show in a way people care about.
2)  They want to save all of the rematches for whatever show is after Wrestlemania (Extreme Rules again?) and thus do 8 million stip matches there.  
It is what it is.  ​

The SmarK Rant for GWF Major League Wrestling–07.07.92

The SmarK Rant for GWF Major League Wrestling – 07.07.92 Black History Month continues! I know there’s all this awesome Mid South finally up on the Network to review as a part of this deal, but COME ON! Like I can resist the temptation to review the awfulness of GWF, complete with a battle royale main event. It’s like catnip to me. Also, speaking of Black History Month, it’s clear that Seth Rollins has no black in his family history. So this was the GWF, Joe Pedicino’s attempt to sort of carry on the legacy of World Class, but using no-name talent and really stupid booking ideas. There was a period in 1991 when Eddie Gilbert was booking that was pretty decent, but this is well after he was gone and things were going downhill fast. Taped in Dallas, I believe. Your host is David Webb. Booker T & Stevie Ray v. Rod Price & John Tatum Price is a former bodybuilder who gained his only measure of infamy in the sport by having his hair plugs ripped out by Chris Adams during a match in a rather vicious act of revenge. Booker and Stevie (billed as “The Ebony Experience” at this point) are so juiced they look like cartoon characters who have had bicycle pumps shoved up their ass and inflated them to twice their normal size. Thank god they toned it down when they went to WCW and presumably just switched to cocaine instead like everyone else. The Experience overpowers the heels, but Tatum takes over on Booker as we take a break. Back with Price holding a chinlock, and it’s over to Tatum for another chinlock. Tatum, somewhat past his prime at this point shall we say, looks like a deadbeat dad who lives in a trailer park. Maybe that was his character at this point, I dunno. Booker tries a comeback and misses a bodypress, and Price comes in and he’s even more ridiculously roided than Booker! How could they afford drugs on the shitty paydays they were getting? The white guys take turns beating on the black guys with time running out, but Booker gets the hot tag to Stevie as time expires at 10:00. Why would you book it to end like that? Whole lot of nothing here. ½* Scott Putski v. Black Bart Putski is the champion of the promotion, which should tell you everything you need to know, but this is non-title. First 2:00 is stalling, as Bart is coming off the Desperadoes phase of his career and not looking very motivated. Putski controls with armdrags and clotheslines him out of the ring as, I shit you not, fire alarms start going off in the Sportatorium while they’re taping the show. So they take a break. Back with Bart choking away in the corner. Putski seems to be trying to channel the Ultimate Warrior or something with his selling. That’s not a compliment. Putski comes back with the Polish Hammer, but Johnny Mantel runs in for the DQ at 8:00 to continue their heated feud. According to my extensive research on Wikipedia, Putski won the title by beating Mantel in a battle of top contenders when previous champion Eddie Gilbert was fired due to massive budget cuts, and then was himself fired a month later. So now you’re caught up. DUD “Sensational” Steven Dane v. Chaz Dane, the former jobber Steven Casey, is clearly ripping off “Stunning” Steve Austin so blatantly that even the guys who make those Asylum direct-to-DVD movies would be like “Whoa, dude, try some originality.” Chaz is the usual white bread Lightning Kid-style babyface underdog, although one who is kinda pudgy. Apparently Dane is now dating Chaz’s former girlfriend or something. Chaz overpowers him with his mighty mullet and gets a bodypress for two, but Dane slugs away on the ropes. We randomly take a break at this point and return with the announcer actually making a Freudian slip and calling him “Stunning Steve”! Dane chokes away on the ropes and gets a sleeper while the announcer clarifies that Chaz is a “teen heartthrob”. Perhaps in the same magazines where Tommy Dreamer was also a heartthrob? Chaz makes his comeback but gets distracted by the chick and rolled up for the pin at 7:40. Yup, a distraction finish. Afterwards, Chaz is so distraught that the announcer has to awkwardly get him to clarify that she was his girlfriend so we can understand what the fuck was going on. ½* BUNKHOUSE BATTLE ROYALE So everyone from the show returns, with the winner getting a CERTIFIED CHEQUE for $2000! That’s barely enough to cover Booker T’s steroid bill. So stuff happens here, fuck if I can be bothered to pay attention. So after 5:00 of bullshit and guys I’ve never heard of getting tossed out, we’re down to the Ebony Experience against Black Bart & Johnny Mantel. We return with the cowboys holding our heroes in twin chinlocks. I would be remiss in not noting that Booker T, in his attempt to dress for a bunkhouse match, looks like he’s auditioning for a Paula Abdul video as a backup dancer. The Ebonies escape the vicious chinlocks and come back with chinlocks of their own, then toss the cowboys to win the battle royale at 10:00. Because, you know, two guys could apparently win this match as a team. Afterwards, they issue a challenge to the tag champions, although they apparently don’t know who the tag champions are, but they don’t care anyway! They would in fact go on to win those belts at the end of the month from those mysterious champions. In case you were wondering. The Pulse Sucks to be Seth Rollins tonight.

DC Comics Doing Some Major Reshuffling


DC Comics is not only cancelling about 20-some titles, they're introducing a very diverse line-up of books. Black Canary, Starfire, Cyborg are three that jump out. There are a LOT of promising titles in this, honestly. The big thing they're touting is that they're going to focus more on the stories and less on continuity. Which sounds like they might finally give creative teams more breathing room. For the last few years, even before the new 52 launch, there were countless stories of how hard editors were on creative teams. So that's a good change.

Sounds like DC is trying to compete a little with Marvel's more diverse line up of comics and especially Image's diverse line of titles. Though boil it down, they're all still superhero comics, unlike Image's very diverse line. And it sounds like many of their main superhero titles, like Justice League and Superman, will still feel more like early 90s Image Comics than the DC comics I grew up on. Shame. But with this new direction, that might change, too.

​Yeah, as I mentioned before, the SUPER DUPER EVENT OVERLOAD burned me right the fuck out and I've been on an extended hiatus from comics in general since around October.  Honestly, at this point I'm happy with The Flash every Wednesday on Hulu, because it packs more nerd joy into one episode than I've gotten out of DC's comics line in many years.  GRODD GRODD GRODD GRODD GRODD!  Plus a Prison Break reunion with Captain Cold and Heatwave?  How awesome is that?  
On the Marvel side, I really really really miss Superior Spider-Man and I actually think it was a grave miscalculation to not just give Ock a new identity and let him be Venom in a new city or something.  It really sucked the fun out of the Spider comics for me when he left.  

Plug request from a major fan


Hello Scott,
I'm a huge SmarK/Netcop/Rantsylvania fan and also something of a fellow wrestling scribe. I was wondering if you could throw up a link to a blog I wrote for my publication covering Money in the Bank last night in my hometown of Phoenix, as well as some of the fans who came out for the event. It would be much appreciated and help further my godlike opinion of you. 
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/jackalope/2012/07/wwe_money_in_the_bank_us_airways_center_phoenix.php

You had me at "godlike".  Sniff.

Major heat on Brock Lesnar

———- Forwarded message —— Scott, Apparently; Brock is being a big pain in the ass diva. Who could have ever predicted that? It's not like there's a precedent for it or anything… http://www.lordsofpain.net/news/wwe/Nuclear_Heat_On_Brock_Lesnar_Backstage_News_On_His_WWE_Future.html
 
Remind me again why they bothered to sign him to so few dates? It's going to make it impossible to build a program with him and Triple H, or him and… well, anyone… and they're just going to bury him and job him to everyone out of spite anyway.  —————————– If you had money to bet on HHH winning that match, now would be a good time to place it, I'd say.

Major TNA spoiler

Discussion after the break… http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/96-wwe/22609-tna-changes-title-today-at-tv James Storm gets the TNA World title instead of Bobby Roode.  I’m OK with that decision, although it’s still a slap in the face to those who ordered Bound For Glory on the promise of Roode breaking through and getting the belt.  Storm is clearly the better choice, so at least they made the right call with who got it if wasn’t going to be Roode. 

Major TNA spoiler

Discussion after the break… http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/96-wwe/22609-tna-changes-title-today-at-tv James Storm gets the TNA World title instead of Bobby Roode.  I’m OK with that decision, although it’s still a slap in the face to those who ordered Bound For Glory on the promise of Roode breaking through and getting the belt.  Storm is clearly the better choice, so at least they made the right call with who got it if wasn’t going to be Roode.