Guest Post: Sports Review Wrestling PREDICTIONS!

Sports Review Wrestling Predictions into 1998…What They Were And Why They Weren’t As Ridiculous As You Might Think. Took some inspiration from the ongoing WWF Magazine recaps on the BOD, and remembered that I had this in my possession (not for long…as of this writing you can purchase it from my eBay store at jmfabianorpl, with other wrestling goods and more!  Jeter421 on Half.com has even more great items.  Anyway…) http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjQwWDQ4MA==/z/zPUAAOSw~uhUmvC8/$_57.JPG Back when I started being a wrestling fan, I had to have EVERYTHING related to the sport.  The action figures, the books, videos, I had to be around when anything even resembling wrestling was on television and I watched it ALL.  And of course, there were the magazines.  Like others, I started with the WWF Magazine, but then as I discovered other companies on TV, I took notice of other titles on the newsstand…especially those coming from Bill Apter and “TV Sports.”  Yes, the trinity of The Wrestler, Inside Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated especially…though I liked many of Apter’s side publications such as Wrestling ‘8x/’9x, Wrestling Superstars, and why I am here today, Sports Review Wrestling.   SRW really didn’t have anything that jumped out at you like the other Apter mags did…for example, Inside’s strengths included One on One (a phone conversation between rivals); Top 15 rankings, instead of the usual 10, for the major companies and a roll call of champions; and a “Where are they now?” page.  PWI had arena reports, “breaking” news, and full-color centerfolds.  SRW seemed to mostly be straight news most of the time.  Wrestling Superstars, while one of the B-listers, still had monthly dream matches, complete with storylines (such as a masked Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake assaulting Sting and Davey Boy Smith; El Gigante taking Andre the Giant’s mainstream popularity, causing the latter to get in bodybuilder’s shape for one big blowout; and the Road Warriors having a singles match competition for a car, ending inevitably in them facing each other).  However, more often than not, the other magazines would get something interesting, and the September 1988 SRW was no exception, as you can tell from the cover.  For this issue, the writers would attempt to guess what way the wrestling world would go in the next 10 years.  I am a sucker for this kind of thing, and love revisiting the fans’ predictions in the year-end PWIs.  So I had to have a look at this article and some of the things it foresaw.  I expected far-fetched weirdness and got some, but I must tell you…some of SRW’s predictions actually weren’t as far off from the truth as you may think… C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8209.JPG So, we start out with the bold prediction that a major corporation would take over the NWA by 1993, helping it compete with the WWF and even surpass it.  Coca-Cola (which would have lost Columbia Pictures years ago) and MCA (which would lose Universal in a couple of years) are named…BUT…we know how things really went down.  As the NWA would be purchased by Ted Turner, rebrand itself WCW, and would of course become a part of Time Warner eventually.  Now the article is 5 years off with the year of the purchase, which would actually be coming within months.   However, think about this: 1993 was when Eric Bischoff came to power, and though it took some more time, he would be the one in power when WCW did overtake the WWF.  And hey, the article is off by just one year as far as when that really happened.  You could even stretch things and say 1995 was the debut of Nitro, which was a catalyst in WCW becoming number one.   Next prediction involves “Sean” McMahon, Vince’s son (typo?  Misinformation?  DIDN’T KNOW BUT CAME REALLY, CLAIRVOYANTLY CLOSE?!!?), taking over the WWF by 1997.  Either that or you can say another Sean (or Shawn) was practically family with Vince by then, of course, being favored in the Montreal Screwjob and pretty much being allowed to get away with anything and, well, practically running the joint.  Name play aside, the dates again are still not that far off, and competition with WCW would indeed push the WWF harder, all the way into the Attitude Era, as the prediction states.  As for the prime-time comedy-drama, isn’t that one of the things they insist/insisted Raw and Smackdown are?  Then again, the XFL was pretty unintentionally comedic…but that was years off anyway.  This column also predicts that “Sean” will make WrestleMania 14 the first to be held in outer space…yeah, let’s pretend that SRW was actually seeing Steve Austin beginning the company’s rise into the stratosphere for the next 3 years.   C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8407.JPG C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8211.JPG OK bear with the blurriness here.  We have Michael Jackson signing a 10-year contract with the WWF in 1992 after doing an album of standards with Frank Sinatra.  MJ would be getting $50 million and by 1994 would primarily serve as a manager who loads his sequined glove to pass to his wrestlers.   I could simply say “no, but both would be dealing with PR scandals at the time.”   The Road Warriors were predicted to break up in 1990 and become singles wrestlers, only to feud when both Animal and Hawk wanted Paul Ellering for a manager.  They would have a one-on-one match at Great American Bash ’91 or Starrcade ’91 and cripple each other, ending both their careers, so the article said.  Now, any LOD partings in the ‘90s happened with whimpers (their split in 1992 when Hawk left the WWF; the teased feud in 1998 that was abandoned for the formation of LOD 2000…sup, Russo?).  Interestingly enough, Bash ’91 did feature a grudge match between the former members of a long-standing NWA/WCW tag team in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express.  And Starrcade of that year ended with a confrontation with ex-friends Sting and Lex Luger, in the Battlebowl finals.   Steve DiSalvo will be NWA world champion in 1993, managed by Harley Race, and he’ll run rampant until losing the title to Owen Hart in ’94.  The closest level of infamy DiSalvo achieved was becoming the first, or one of the first, IWC internet memes in 1991.  But a dominant world champion in NWA/WCW, managed by Race and dominating throughout 1992-94, sound familiar?   Also, Owen DID use the Sharpshooter/Scorpion Death Lock as a finisher, like someone’s arch rival during his tenure in WCW.   C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8408.JPGC:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8214.JPG When making a predictions article, Apter always loved to throw in a tease that Hulk Hogan would be turning rulebreaker.  This was no exception, as the writers saw Hogan beating Brutus Beefcake for the Intercontinental Title in ’93, then going to the NWA…to join the Four Horsemen.  Again, SRW was a few years ahead, but we all know that this basically happened with Hogan returning to his heel roots with a new elite group in the company.  And hey, Hogan did leave the WWF in 1993, although it took time for him to first show up in WCW.   Other predictions made in the column included: Larry Zbyszko getting his own talk show on WWF TV and beating the Ultimate Warrior for the I-C title; Elizabeth beating Wendi Richter in a 26-minute classic in ’94 to become WWF Women’s Champion; and Nick Bockwinkel coming out of retirement and regaining the AWA title in the mid ‘90s.  (Well, the latter can be likened to a certain legend winning the #3 company’s world title, on their first pay per view…) So Sports Review Wrestling…second coming of Nostradamus, or not worth the $1.75 it cost?  You decide…

Predictions of failure

Hey Scott, big fan and all that. I've been thinking a bit about Wyatt, and I'd like to think I saw the problems with his gimmick a bit earlier than other people (e.g. he can't do any of the stuff he promises, the gaspy promo is repetitive as hell). So my question for you is this, has there been a time in which a good deal of people were raving about a wrestler and you had a strong feeling that they just wouldn't work out and then they proceeded to fizzle? Who were they and why did you know that it wouldn't work?

​Well I knew Raven was going to die on the vine in WWE, but then that was hardly a Nostradamus-level pick.  I knew they would give up on Bo Dallas pretty quickly and that's exactly what happened.  There's tons of cases in WCW, but that was different animal, where typically it was because WCW fucked it up and not because of anything they did.  ​I can't think of any other cases specifically off the top of my head, though.  

Predictions for WWE Network


As we approach the 6 month mark of the Network, WWE has to be planning to release something substantial enough to keep subscriptions from dropping at the first available opportunity. What do you think the plan will be? Perhaps they release year one of Nitro, or maybe they shock everyone and pick up classic RoH as a 'before they were famous' showcase of the likes of Daniel Bryan. One way or another they need a hook to keep people subscribing after the 6 month contract is over.

​Really, they HAVE to start adding Nitro soon.  It's too big of a part of their library not to.  And really that would probably be enough of a content hook to get more people for a while.  ​

Survivor Series Predictions

Prediction #1:  I'm going to go see Thor tonight instead of watching this crap.
That being said, the winners seem pretty obvious:
– Randy Orton by screwjob when we get interference and help that was explicitly promised not to occur.
– John Cena by pin yet again to set up a third match at TLC that no one cares about.
– The IndyPowers take out the Wyatts
– Big E retains the title.
I really don't care about the other tag matches.  

Battleground Predictions

As a reminder, DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE REDDIT GUY TONIGHT.  I don't want to have to put a filter in Disqus to block people, but I will if I have to.
Quick thoughts for as little as I care about this show:
– I think they REALLY need to put Daniel Bryan over and at least give him a month with the belt, even if it's only until HITC when Orton gets it for good.  A non-finish to stretch it out for another PPV also seems up their alley, but could they possibly make this show any less meaningful than it is already?  
– If Bryan wins, so does Brie Bella.  Just makes sense.
– Punk/Ryback is probably your sure-fire schmoz finish tonight, since neither can afford a loss right now and they'll need something to set up their second HITC showdown in a row.  
– Logic says the Rhodeseseseses win to set up a title match against the Shield, but the Usos are already the #1 contenders, so it seems more likely that Goldust turns on his brother to finally give us that program, with Dustin going Corporate to get his job back.  
I don't care about the rest.

Night of Champions Predictions Thread

OK, for a thread where I actually UNDERSTAND what's being discussed, here's the place to give final guesses for the show tonight.  
– Bryan over Orton via screwjob (Shield run-in DQ, countout, whatever) to keep the feud going until he wins the belt at HITC.
– Punk beats Axel, but the New Heyman Guy debuts and allows Paul to get the win.  Big E would seem to fit there.
– RVD wins the World title from ADR, Sandow tries to cash in, but Cody Rhodes jumps out of the crowd and screws him out of it.   Meltzer noted that Sandow isn't going to be successful when he cashes in, as things currently stand.
– Ambrose beats Dolph to retain the US title.
– Non-Boob Bella wins the Golden Tramp Stamp
– Shield retains over whatever poor bastards win the pre-game clusterfuck.
Should be a good show, which I'll likely do Monday night.

More “surprise” predictions

Now I don't quite have an opening story like getting punched by a meth head, but I have a few more questions about "surprises" and what most of the smarks thought of them

– Hogan's turn at Bash of the Beach
– Foley "retiring" at No Way Out 2000
– Jericho winning the Undisputed title
– Jericho's debut in 99
– Undertaker returning at Judgment Day 2000
– Eric Bischoff debuting on Raw
– HBK retiring in 98

And one small bonus, was it known that Bret was leaving prior to Survivor Series 97? Obviously the Screwjob wasn't expected, and I'm not bringing up Montreal being a work, but I've just wondered if Bret leaving was known

Bret leaving was national news in Canada weeks before.
I think we've done most of these before, but we'll hit 'em again for fun:
– Hogan's turn was speculated but no one thought they'd seriously do it, and it hit like an atomic bomb online as a result.  
– For Foley's "retirement" people were bummed but figured he'd be back.  
– With the Jericho thing most people thought they'd do Rock v. Austin as the finals, so the Jericho win was clearly out of nowhere as far as that goes.  People were definitely happy about it, though.
– Jericho's debut was HUGE.  People went crazy for it, although everyone knew he was coming in around that time.  
– I think people knew Undertaker's return was coming around then, but I don't exactly recall.
– WWE made no secret of Bischoff's "surprise" debut, and the feeling was that they botched it from day one.  
– HBK didn't really "retire", he just took time off for his back surgery and then never came back.  Even as early as Survivor Series 98 there was speculation that he'd be the mystery entrant who turned out to be Gillberg.  I think you can even hear fans chanting for Shawn when they're doing the ring intro for that match, in fact.  It wasn't until the commissioner role that people kind of bought once and for all that he was gone.