Ricky Morton vs Ric Flair

Scott,

In 86, Ricky Morton challenged Ric Flair for the NWA title and had a great cage match with him during The Bash 86 tour. This was following the epic beat down the horsemen gave Morton including wiping his face on the locker room floor.

Could Morton of pulled off a short reign and drop it back to Flair quickly? The Rock N Rolls were pretty over at that point and Morton could go in the ring.

Or was he too small even by NWA standards to pull of a short run with the title?

​Too small, too regional, too limited of a worker as a single, no credibility in that kind of position or role. He was fine as a challenger of the week, but there’s no way they would have been able to get that one past the NWA voters without getting laughed out of the office. ​

Greatest Successful Title Defenses

We always make a big deal out of title changes but it this was a real sport, I think a great title defense would be valued more than it is. There'd be title defense compilations on youtube along with all the title change compilations….or maybe not. 

So what would be some of the greatest successful title defenses? Hogan defeating Andre at WM3 seems like the clear winner but here's some other matches I'd nominate…

-Austin over Dude at Over The Edge '98 (Talk about the deck stacked against you)
-Shawn over Diesel at In Your House '96 (If this was all real, that's a tough first title defense)
-Miz over Cena at WM27?? (Foil for The Rock or not…a win's a win right?)

​I'd add Flair over Luger in 88, both at the Bash and Starrcade, because in both cases it was considered a foregone conclusion that Lex would win and become the star of the future, and yet Flair managed to win both matches fair and square.  ​

Kevin Owens – How to get the NXT Title off of him?


With Kevin Owens being advertised for almost every Raw leading up to Summerslam and more than likely being a part of the main roster going forward how would you book him dropping the belt?


Personally I'd love Kevin to hype up getting a "WWE" contract and he fulfilled what he wanted to do by destroying one of his best friends, taking the title, and forcing "the powers that be" to give him his shot.  I'm sure we'll get a non finish between Cena/Owens at the Elimination chamber, but say that he takes the US title from Cena at the next show or Summerslam.  Owens wins and then tosses the NXT title as "he doesn't need it anymore".  

Prior to actually winning the US title Owens would keep stressing on the NXT shows that he doesn't need NXT and he's getting his shot in WWE.  He came here to do what he needed to do.  Keep have him destroying guys.  Hell,  take out Corey Graves or Regal again and force Regal to strip Owens of the title.  

This would avoid Owens physically dropping the title, as well as saving certain feuds for the main roster instead of blowing through them in NXT (Balor/Joe).  

Would this be effective in building up Owens as a heel who "would suplex his own mother to further himself in this industry" as well as "fights only on his terms" or would this bury the NXT title and possibly take away from a lot of the good NXT has been doing over the last 12 months?

If you disagree with me, how would you do it?

For me, the deal is that his character is a loudmouth bully who hurts people, so they should probably just have him get his just desserts and lose the damn thing.  Finn Balor beating him outright would be totally believeable, or more ideally Samoa Joe if he's sticking around, and you can do a lumberjack match where Zayn, Balor, RAGIN' ALEX RILEY, Regal, and maybe even Cena all get their revenge on him by preventing him from running away and letting Joe choke him out.  

A full troll idea for the IC title

OK since the IC title is already a joke, here's an idea to A. roll with the idea, and B. maybe come up with a way to make it relevant (but more so to make me laugh)

– Have the elimination chamber be for the IC title
– HHH offers Barrett a spot since he's a 5 time IC champ or whatever, and he looks at him and says "um…well, you know im doing this whole king thing right now…I'm all set man, but thanks"
– Have the next 8-10 people turn down a spot for various reasons ("I have a hair appointment", "Im allergic to steel", etc.)
– The chamber can end up being 6 guys from NXT (or like 2 other guys who need a jump start) that don't know any better
The end result is you'll end up with an awesome match, and it will be funny because the whole plot before/during/after the match can be how the title is bad luck.
I think the best option for a winner would be Bo Dallas, and then he can be the modern day Honky Tonk Man who just lucks out wins.  He can eventually be destroyed by the son of the Ultimate Warrior and the title can return to being prestigious.Thoughts? Improvements? I'm writing this in the dark so I'm sorry if it doesn't make any sense. – Rob
​I don't know about the idea of having guys turn it down, but there's something to be said for doing a bunch of qualifiers on RAW and having all the geeks win in huge upsets for fun. Given that this is a by definitions a free show and you're not hurting anything by screwing around with it, why not have some fun with it? The show is already found money as far as the gate, so do a main event of Neville v. Dallas v. Slater v. three other geeks and give people something different for once. Or have 5 guys win stunning upsets and then, say, Sheamus squashes Zack Ryder to qualify and everyone is like "Oh man, Sheamus is gonna kill all these guys!" and then have him locked in there as the last guy in to really build up the drama. ​
​There's just a lot of different directions you can go and do wacky stuff with it. What we'll get is Barrett v. Sheamus v. Ziggler v. Neville v. Harper v. R-Truth with all the same guys at the same level forever​.

Scrap the Intercontinental Title

Hi Scott,

With Daniel Bryan seemingly about to go on the injured list again, do you think the WWE should just decommission the I-C Title? The belt has had zero prestige since 1999 or so, and the second half of last year saw The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper and Wade Barrett ping-ponging the title back and forth.

In contrast the U.S Title has been very strongly represented by Rusev and now John Cena, raising it to that semi-main event prestige once held by the I-C title. Maybe do a unification match or have Triple-H and Stephanie declare the title retired due to Bryans status (or have Repo Man repossess the title and never be seen from again 🙂

Your thoughts?

​They already tried getting rid of it in 2002.  It didn't stick then and wouldn't stick now.  It'll probably just get bounced back to Wade Barrett and become the same loser title it's been for years again.​

1987 IC Title situation

I’m not one to get too carried away with fantasy booking, but two key situations/rumors from 1987 had me thinking…

 

  1. Ricky Steamboat was being punished for asking for time off, and had his reign cut short. Or maybe because him and Savage upstaged Hogan at Mania, but the first seems to be fueled the most.

 

  1. Honkytonk Man won the title in a last-minute changing of the mind, instead of Butch Reed.
     

 

If #1 is true, then what were the long-term plans for the belt? Feuding with Savage through the summer? Does Savage still get the rocket push into the #1(B) babyface role with Hogan about to start taking time off every year? If #2 happened the other way with Reed winning, where does that leave Honkytonk Man? Does he become a flavor-of-the-month villain for Hogan before being knocked back down the card, or does he just ride the midcard train facing other non-title threats like Roberts and Ken Patera? Then what of Butch Reed? Was he that hot of an act to put the title on? In storylines he helped end the career of Superstar Billy Graham later in the year, but other than that, he seemed to have an uneventful run.

​I think that pretty clearly Steamboat was only intended as a transitional champ for SOMEONE, be it Reed or whoever.  Even without his time off he wasn't the kind of guy that Vince was gonna push any harder.  Reed at least had the look and enough cred at that point where he could conceivably win it.  Plus Vince apparently thought that the bleached blond hair on the black guy was hilarious.  ​

Meaningless 2nd Title


Hey Scott,


When do you feel the 2ndary titles became worthless?

My own feeling is that both titles has been meaningless since Cena was US champion the first couple times. For myself, at least, I kept a pretty hold on who was IC and US champ at any given time. After that point, it all became a blur. I know it's a subjective point but considering all titles are really just smoke and mirrors (since it's a fake sport and all), it's always amazed me that they're even able to create any legitimacy over an imaginary title, let alone an title that basically says, "in this imaginary world, you're still only second best."

Thoughts?

​Vince Russo.  Ironic since everyone praises his treatment of the midcard during the Attitude era, but treating the titles like props and playthings killed them.  As a lifelong superfan I was able to, at the time, recite all the IC champions from Pat Patterson onwards, but once you hit 1999​ I'm done.  The whole Godfather/Jarrett/D-Lo/Edge/Goldust era is a confusing blur for me and many others.  

WWE World Title BOD question

So, let’s play a little true or false. These guys have won their last WWE World Title:


Brock

True.  I think everyone knows and acknowledges that the experiment was a failure as far as having a part-time champion goes.  

Daniel Bryan 

False.  Something will happen and they'll need a transitional guy and that's Bryan.  

Dolph Ziggler 
Well he's never won it in the first place, and I think he'll get it someday.  False.  

HHH 

If he was gonna, the Bryan storyline would have been the time.  So true.  

John Cena 

Are you kidding me?  

Randy Orton

See John Cena.  They'll be trading the belt when the world is reduced to post-apocalyptic rubble and Paul Heyman is managing the cockroaches.  

Why did Orton lose the title so soon in 2004?

Hi Scott,

Michael Xavier here. I've been off-blog because of the current product and am watching PPVs during the Reign of Terror that I missed because that was the last time I wasn't interested in the product. Plus, it was just referenced in the Max Landis short movie (by the way, congrats on the mention!)

Anyway, Orton beat Benoit for the RAW belt at SummerSlam 2004. It went on last, Orton won clean, and Benoit even did the "handshake of respect" to completely put him over. It was essentially portrayed as a career-making performance. The next night he got kicked out of Evolution and then lost the belt at the next PPV to Hunter. He was basically Hunter's bitch in rematches and Batista was later pushed into the RAW championship spot instead. Orton didn't get another run with a top title until he won the WWE title in October 2007, more than 3 years later.

What was the point of putting Orton over so strongly at SummerSlam only to have him lose the belt so suddenly? I'd get it if ratings and house shows tanked, but he was already being set up to lose it to Hunter the very next night, and then was essentially out of serious consideration of being champion for 3 years.

Anyway, any knowledge on this?

​The explanation I've always heard is that Hunter felt like they needed a heel champion for whatever the voting PPV was that year (Taboo Tuesday or Cyber Sunday, I forget) because fans wouldn't want to vote between three heels and the choices were stronger on the babyface side anyway.  Plus Orton was really a spectacular flop as champion, like really badly, so it worked out OK anyway.  ​

First title win at wrestlemania.

Hey Scott,
There have been several wrestlers whose first world title win has been at wrestlemania but it hasn't happen in awhile.
Savage at 4; warrior at 6; Yokozuna at 9; michaels at 12; Austin at 14; Benoit at 20; cena and Batista at 21; and Rey at 22.
If reigns wins, this will be the first time in 9 years a persons first world title was at wrestlemania.
One cannot even say it is because of the two title system because all of the recent wm title changes like Bryan and cena and Sheamus already a world title for 2-3 reigns already.

Thoughts?

​It just goes to show how incredibly stale all the characters over the past few years have been, with everyone already multiple time World champions by the time they get to Wrestlemania.  That's one thing that worries me a lot about moving the belt from invisible champion to Reigns — you can bet they're going to start going back to the follow-the-bouncing-ball title changes when business drops and they need a ratings crutch.  ​
Also, Meltzer had an awesomely bittersweet piece in the new Observer talking about the fate of Daniel Bryan this year, and it's just tremendous as you can really tell how sad he was personally when the promotion gave up on Bryan and then the fanbase also gave up on him the night after Fastlane.  HHH may have talked about how the book is never finished or whatever nonsense on Austin's podcast, but in Bryan's case the book is really closed now on his time as a main event guy, and it's gonna go down as such a huge waste, all for Vince's failed Reigns experiment.