Wresting Hypothetical Question

Hi Scott,

Wishing you continued success with your blog.

I enjoy the concept of wrestling without actually enjoying it on my TV set these days.

My question is a hypothetical one since Vince would never go for it. 

It seems to me that one of the most exciting aspects of Ultimate Fighting is that anybody can win at any moment.  You can't turn away to grab a slice of pizza because some dude might get knocked out with an out of nowhere knee or something.

So why does every single WWE match have to come down to somebody hitting their finisher, or a run-in/fluke roll up?  Why can't wrestler A slap on an arm bar and win out of nowhere?  Wouldn't this make RAW a more compelling program?  Sure you can't do this for a PPV but on a week to week show you could have surprise victories that would lead to easy feuds.  Loser wrestler would say, "That was a fluke, there's no way you can do it again" and then you'd have instant heat on a rematch.

I mean, do people really pop for early pin attempts, because you KNOW that unless one of the dudes hits his finisher there's no way the match is ending? 

And this second idea is even less likely, but you could have styles clashes where speedy wrestler A can beat big man wrestler B, but technical wrestler C can beat A.  So you'd have some fluky victories by different guys.  This is what makes boxing as minimally interesting as it is.

I guess my question is, has there ever been anything in wrestling like the two scenarios I've described and did they work?

Keep up the good work.

-Channing

​Yeah, I mean basically you're describing a whole style that New Japan was doing for a long time when Inoki was all into the fake MMA thing, and there's still some vestiges of it today.  I don't know how effective it was, in that the company damn near died when they were doing stuff like pushing ex-MMA fighters as IWGP champion, but certainly you're much more likely to see matches even today end on something like a random submission move than you would in WWE.  As has been noted several times, WWE is all about their "house style" now, kind of like McDonalds where you know exactly what you're getting on every show and some people prefer the Big Mac and some prefer the McChicken but it's not like you're getting different burgers if you go to the other McDonalds across town.  ​

Starrcade 97 question

Reading about/Watching starrcade 97 again, and how awfully booked it was. Why didn't Kevin nash end up wrestling The Giant? I remember that being billed as the number 3 match behind the main event and Zybsko/Bischoff. Also, Larry freaking Zybsko was in the 2nd from the top match at one of the biggest cards of all time? Also Randy Savage wasn't even booked on the card and was a last minute replacement in the 6 man? And Raven didn't even wrestling even though he was booked in a feud with Benoit at the time? Any reasons for any of this??

​God, why would you watch Starrcade 97 again?  
Nash's story is that he had a heart condition scare that turned out to be heartburn or indigestion or something, although the most common rational explanation is that he didn't want to do a job.  
Raven had a really gnarly staph infection that was causing inflammation of his pancreas, or something along those lines, so that one was legit. Plus Benoit got his revenge and beat the piss out of him at Souled Out, so fine.  
Randy Savage wasn't originally going to be there because WCW had used up all his dates, and when Konnan went down with injury they had to basically call him and beg him to work and actually changed the finish of the match to Savage going over with the flying elbow to get him to work.  
Zbyszko…well, it is what it is.  Larry was pretty over in that role and I'd guess Bischoff wanted to work with someone he was friends with and trusted.  But it at least made sense from a storyline perspective.  
God, though, that show was so bad.  

Question

Scott,

After hearing news of the passing of Dusty Rhodes, I wondered why Dusty and Hulk Hogan were never intertwined during Rhodes' 1989-91 WWF run? I mean, not even a one time match as tag team partners?

Also, how come Barry Windham's return to the WWF in '89 was not treated as a bigger deal? This was a guy who had just come from being a member of the premiere heel stable in wrestling at the time, and they saddled him with "The Widowmaker" gimmick and treated him as a virtual unknown (even though he was a WWF Tag Champion four years earlier).

Thanks.

Hogan and Dusty ran in different touring circles, as typically Hogan would headline the A-tour and Dusty would headline the C-tour and thus they weren't typically booked on a lot of the same shows.  Plus I'd have to imagine that Hogan wouldn't be super-thrilled about teaming with a guy who would probably overshadow him.  Really, there's no upside for either guy, so I can understand why they never did it.
Yeah, the Windham deal. Barry left a plum gig and probably could have ended up in the front office if he gave a shit, but he just didn't.  It was a bad fit with the WWF and I never understood why he left either, because god DAMN could you imagine the run we would have gotten out of face champion Flair defending against heel challenger Barry Windham in 1989?  It makes me cry thinking about it.  

Comic “Events” Question

Hey Scott,

Wrote you a year and a half ago, as an adult who had never read a comicbook but had become interested in that world, basically through the MCU.  I had asked you (and the Doomers) where to start as a comicbook first timer.  The input was great…

My next question concerns comic event/crossovers.  What are your favorites?  Let's say…your Top 10.  Love to put it out there for the Blog for their input also…

Thanks,
Eric

​Well, most of my choices would be pretty DC-centric since that's all I read until the late 90s.  For me, Crisis on Infinite Earths is still the biggest and best, one of the few where it promised that everything would change and effects would be lasting, and it delivered.  Plus it let George Perez draw millions of heroes in super-detailed group shots over and over.  ​On the Marvel side, I'd probably go with Age of Apocalypse, which was actually my introduction to the X-Men comics in general and was a pretty entertaining series of books on their own.  I'm a sucker for alternate-reality stuff anyway.  DC's version of the same concept, Flashpoint, was a really pale imitation and pretty much represented all the worst instincts of Geoff Johns allowed to run wild.  Flash was the savior of the universe, people died violently for no reason, people turned grim and gritty all over the place, the story made no sense and built to a payoff that made even less sense, etc.  I still kind of liked it and bought the trade, but clearly the Batman spinoff was the best thing about it.  Zero Hour seemed OK at the time, but MAN did that one not age well.  The story is complete nonsense (like, literally, major events occur in the story that make no logical sense) and Dan Jurgens is the most generic writer possible.  
We'll throw this one out to the floor for further discussion.  

NXT Homegrowns Question

Hi Scott,

Another NXT question (lotta that going around these days!). With guys like Owens, Joe, and Zayn moving up to the main roster, more indy talent is going to be signed in pretty short order to fill their spots. I'm not against indy talent getting their shot, but doesn't this defeat the purpose of NXT creating new Homegrown talent? As WWE keeps bring in more indy guys to fill the rosters, it seems like the Homegrowns aren't getting attention. With all the buzz about Owens, Joe, and Balor, where does that leave Rawley, Breeze, and Corbin? Do they really matter anymore? Should they?

Any thoughts?


Having too much talent that's ready for TV is a good problem to have, I guess.  Breeze is absolutely ready for the main roster and should be there already, but he's in the weird friendzone where he's above the NXT learning crew but below the NXT All Star Indy Squadron and that's a tough spot.  As I said before, I really like the idea of splitting the NXT brand into the upper and lower tiers, because it's really becoming a problem where people expect WAY too much out of people that are essentially learning the basics but happen to be on TV with people that already know enough to be stars.  It's becoming a weird dynamic and I almost feel like they should just shoot two hour-long or even just 40 minute shows, one with the beginners and one with the IndyPowers crew.  But hey, even HHH admitted that he was learning as we went along, too, so I'm willing to cut everyone some slack and just enjoy the shows. 

Blog question

Scott,

Although I've drifted away from the product in the last few years, I
do follow through through your blog mostly (over 15 years of
continuous reading), which brings me to a question. I've noticed most
"talents" are going through the FCW and NXT to make it to the main
roster. And I realize the old days or jumping ship and showing up in
prime time (Lex Luger, Rick Rude, X-Pac) are mostly over. My question
is, is there a star, or stars, that could/would debut on the WWE main
roster and skip the gimmick makeover? Have we reached the point where
there is no excitement of ever watching someone like Scott Hall, Chris
Jericho, Randy Savage, or Bill Goldberg show up and shock us all?

Thanks!

​Well, Samoa Joe came closest, but even though they neutered him somewhat by having him appear on developmental instead of the main roster.  The main problem is that pretty much everyone with star power has already been absorbed by the WWE system, or else had that star power killed off by TNA.  There was a point where, say, America's Most Wanted or AJ Styles could have jumped in the TNA glory days of 05-06, but that time has long passed.  ​

Bruno Sammartino Question

Scott,

Bruno Sammartino left the WWF just prior to Wrestlemania IV. Knowing that Bruno was outspoken about things like the drug use and steroids after the fact, what was the straw that broke the camels back, as far as Bruno choosing to leave just before Wrestlemania. Was it a combination of things, or was there an incident that led him to quit on the spot? Did the angle involving the WWF Championship between Hogan-Andre-DiBiase have anything to do with it? We all know that Bruno was a traditional guy, and having the title handled in that manner may have seemed ridiculous to a guy like Bruno.

​I'm pretty sure it was the steroid issues that were running rampant at that point for the most part, but I don't know there was one inciting incident that made him leave for good.  The Observers at the time don't really have a 'By the way, Bruno told Vince to go fuck himself' report that you can pinpoint.  Has he maybe said something in an interview since then?  ​

Simple Question. I think. Plus a blog topic.

It seems like there's a lot of guys coming through NXT these days. But there's not a lot of room on the main roster for them to come up and take.

Which five guys would you take off the roster and why? (By either firing them or what have you. Letting Miz work for Stephanie in the charity division or whatever she does, for example.) and who would you replace them with from NXT? (They don't need to have the same type of role.)

​There's TONS of room on the main roster!  They have 5 hours of first run TV to fill every week, plus another 2 hours of C-shows.  It's just that they have expenses cut so far back that they can't splurge for enough guys to actually fill all the TV time without using Kane and Big Show 17 times per episode.  Just look at the Royal Rumble this year and how thin that was.  
That being said, I'd fire Dolph Ziggler because he's pretty much hit his ceiling and could use a tour of the indies to learn that WWE isn't the only option.  Get rid of Zack Ryder because they never use him anyway and he could make a better living on his own.  Get rid of the Ascension because DUH.  And I'd fire a Diva, say, Alicia Fox just because.  Replace them with Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Enzo/Cass (only as a unit, however) and Sasha Banks, all of whom are beyond ready for the main roster.  ​

Quick and Easy Blog Question

Hi Scott,
  On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely do you think it is that the following will turn up in NXT at some point, either as quick one-off appearances, or in a more involved role?   And (on the same scale) how much would you want them to be involved there?

Daniels Kazarian Styles Samoa Joe John Morrison Bully/Bubba Ray Shelton Benjamin   And do you think the WWE will try to get any more big Japanese names into NXT – someone like Nakamura, for example?  

​That's neither a quick nor easy question.  That's multiple questions with multiple parts.  Just saying.
​Daniels:  1.  Too old for developmental, makes more money on the indies and has no shot of making the main roster anyway.

Kaz:  1.  Same answer.
Styles:  1.  They already offered him a deal and he turned it down for New Japan.  
Samoa Joe:  10.  Coming in July.
JoMo:  5.  He'll probably end up coming right back to the RAW roster when he returns, but I could see him doing a one-shot at some point.
Bully Ray:  1. Not worth it to him when he could be promoting his own stuff or whatever.  
Shelton:  10.  He's already there as "Angelo Dawkins".  Duh.
Nakamura is too old for them I'm pretty sure, but they've openly made a play for Okada and will probably end up getting him at some point.