Daily News Update – 05.09.21

Happy Mother’s Day!

WALTER says “WWE was never a goal” for him


Major creative changes occurred on post-WM RAW


Throwback Smackdown sees big viewership increase




I had tickets to go see WWE in Johannesburg, but I couldn't make it. 

I missed Roman Reigns down in Africa.

Take your upvote.  

Smackdown – December 8, 2006

Date: December 8, 2006
Location: Florence Civic Center, Florence, South Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re on the way to Armageddon and the big story is that Raw World Champion John Cena will be joining forces with Smackdown World Champion Batista to face King Booker vs. Finlay. That could make for a big house show match, though they are going to need something a little bigger to make the card work. Would an Inferno match and a Last Ride match be enough? Let’s get to it.

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ECW on Sci Fi – December 5, 2006

ECW on Sci Fi
Date: December 5, 2006
Location: North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina
Commentators: Joey Styles, Tazz

We’re officially done with December To Dismember and for all intent and purpose, done with the original version of the relaunched ECW. This is now the third brand instead of something that has any kind of unique feeling to it and that is going to make for a pretty interesting change going forward. Bobby Lashley is now ECW Champion so let’s get to it.

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Saturday Night Fight Thread

Tonight! There’s a UFC on ESPN.

Elon Musk is on SNL and Twitter is losing their mind about dog coins or whatever.

I’m watching Mitchells vs the Machines on Netflix with the family and it’s pretty friggin funny.

Have a great night!


Just curious, realistically what should expectations be for NXT weekly ratings? I think what most people wanted them to get back to was not worrying about popping ratings each week to try to beat AEW and instead just focus on good matches/building characters. Obviously that is not gonna always be must see tv, especially since people can easily go back to watching on the network the next day commercial free like they did prior to USA move. I feel like some of their charm too was some on the lower card guys getting moments to shine, which the stuff between Swerve and Ruff was a perfect example of. They built it up the last few weeks and had a great payoff. Zoey Starks is another good example of that formula, I feel like they have done great with building her up the last few weeks.

I am also curious, how do you catch up on WWE these days? I know there is no way in hell you are watching Raw and I think some other shows are on a different day/times in Canada. Even thought you don't review are watching NXT and Smackdown, or do you just get caught at PPVs thru the promo packages?

I typically just watch the “Here's what happened in WWE this week” video packages they put on YouTube, which do an excellent job of distilling things down to like 2 minutes, and of course Dave & Bryan recap the shows on Observer Radio and I listen to those on the way to work in the mornings.  

Meltzer and WM3

No, this is not about the never-ending debate about the attendance (for the record, I agree with those who say that the “official” number is phony – there's no way there's 13000 on the floor, it's got to be about 5000 max – but Dave's 78000 figure is too low).

I remember from the Observer recaps long ago that Meltzer kept predicting WM3 was going to flop, possibly licking his chops while doing so.  I even recall that he kept doing it even as the tickets were moving briskly and it was clear it was going to draw a
big crowd.  To your knowledge, has he publicly taken shit over that from readers, or has he offered a mea culpa about his questionable prognostication skills there?

No, and I've been emailing him every week since 1987 and he STILL won't answer me for some reason!

Blood & Guts or Nothing

So you have the huge Blood & Guts match, 3 1/2 weeks before what's supposed to be their biggest PPV of the year, where your World title match definitely feels like Omega vs. random filler challenger and not the big main event. Why not hold the Inner Circle return a week or two more and have some random mix and match tag matches the next two weeks between the groups and have it main event the PPV? At least then we wouldn't have 5 commercial breaks during the match, where they promise to show all the action in the picture in picture, but then the picture in picture is only on for half the break

Dunno, perhaps the TNT network execs really, REALLY wanted it on TV. Wouldn't surprise me.  They could always do a Stadium Stampede rematch at the PPV, assuming Jericho can be medically cleared by Mike Lindell beforehand.  

Mike Reviews – ECW Hostile City Showdown (20/04/1996)

Hello You!

Back with another classic ECW review, as I’ve been meaning to watch this one again for a while and now seemed like as good a time as any.

1996 was a hot year for ECW from a creative perspective, with Taz’s “Path of Rage” and Raven’s feud with The Sandman being notable highlights. Most of the year was spent trying to finally get the company on to pay per view, with things like the Mass Transit incident delaying it until 1997. The product had a good mix of brawls, character work and wrestling still though, and when I first became aware of the company in 1999 I had a lot of fun going back to hoover up some of the better shows from the companies 96 prime.

Going into this show, Raven was the ECW World Champ and was still embroiled in multiple issues with the likes of Tommy Dreamer and Shane Douglas. Dreamer had recently stolen Raven’s girlfriend Beulah away from him, so Raven had in-turn shacked up with Kimona Wanalaya, although he made it clear more than once that he was still in love with Beulah and didn’t have much time for Kimona outside of a purely physical relationship. As a result that relationship fizzled and Kimona actually ended up with Douglas, as this was before Douglas had taken on Francine as his valet.

Douglas had been kind of a tweener since coming back to ECW following a failed stint in the WWF, in that he was still as disgusting and despicable human being, but he also was feuding with guys like Raven and occasionally even helping out Dreamer from time to time, even though it was mostly for selfish reasons. It was very much “shades of grey, bro”, but in 96 that concept hadn’t been beaten into the ground yet, and because Raven was such a clear villain and Dreamer was a clear face, it worked having Douglas in the middle pulling the strings.

Elsewhere, Taz had gone heel at the end of 1995 due to the fans welcoming Sabu back to the promotion, and he was tearing through everyone in a vicious manner on route to an eventual collision with his former tag team partner. Sabu was a bit busy feuding with Rob Van Dam at the time though, so his eventual blow off with Taz would have to wait.

Going into Hostile City Showdown, the two main matches were scheduled to be Rob Van Dam facing off with Sabu and Raven defending his World Title against Douglas, with Tommy Dreamer taking on Raven’s hired thug “Bulldozer” Brian Lee in the under card. It was a pretty stacked show and there was good interest for it as a result, especially as Douglas had been teasing that he would reveal the identity of a supposed secret lover of Beulah.

Will the big matches deliver? Let’s watch on and find out!

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The SmarK Rant for Lucha Underground S01E26 – “The Best in the Business”

The SmarK Rant for Lucha Underground S01E26

“The Best in the Business”

Dario Cueto is chilling in his office, but Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron burst in and they’re both after a title shot at Prince Puma.  Dario agrees that they both deserve a title shot, but not yet.  Mundo thinks they deserve it over “Fernandez” because they’re both better than Hernandez, and they’re the BEST IN THE BUSINESS.  So Dario, always looking for the ratings bump, books Mundo v. Alberto tonight, with the winner facing Hernandez next week to determine the TRUE #1 contender.

Taped from the Aztec Temple

Your hosts are Matt Striker & Vampiro

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Daily News Update – 05.08.21

Today’s new reason to fear for the intelligence of the world:  Private school teachers spreading a theory about Covid vaccinations causing “protein spike shedding” and thus forbidding students to hug their vaccinated parents for more than 5 seconds.  Do we even need to ask which state this originates from?  HINT IT’S FLORIDA.

I gotta stay off Twitter for a while.  Let’s see what’s in the news via Cultaholic this morning.

Update on WWE’s plans for Summerslam this year


Jimmy Uso returns to Smackdown


Universal and tag team title matches added to Wrestlemania Backlash: Rise of the Machines 2 Furious


Smackdown – May 7, 2021

Date: May 7, 2021
Location: Yuengling Center, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

It’s time for a special show with a Throwback edition of Smackdown. I’m not sure what that is going to entail but we are going to be seeing at least the old logo. I can’t imagine we’ll be seeing the big fist just due to logistics, but a few cameos should be in order as well. Let’s get to it.

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Mouth of the Hulk

Something that’s always bothered me but I’ve just brushed off for years is face Jimmy Hart being paired with Hogan. I get that they were real life friends, but them together on TV was corny and never seemed right. I found face Hart to be so miserable.

What’s the scoop on this from your knowledge and how did it come off for you at the time, especially as an old school Bret Hart guy?

I thought it made Hogan look stupid and gullible for suddenly trusting this guy who had been trying to destroy him for years, especially since he hadn’t done anything to prove trustworthy as a babyface.  Oh no, Money Inc screwed you over?  Too bad so sad.  

Friday Night Get-Down: May 7, 2021


TONIGHT!  SmackDown THROWS IT BACK!  “Rise Up” has already been confirmed for the theme song, and we’re all just waiting for a giant holographic fist!

SUNDAY!  We all wish Princess a happy Mother’s Day!  (Crap, who was supposed to get her flowers?)

Congratulations to Wheeler Yuta on winning the IWTV Independent Heavyweight Championship at Beyond over Lee Moriarty in what viewers described as a 45-minute classic.  As soon as IWTV uploads the full show, you’re dang right I’ll try to review it.

Condolences currently being sent to my friend and CRAB Wrestling compatriot Mikey Banker, who lost his father last night.

But first — your Moment of Zen:

All right, gentlemen, we went over the rules in the back.  I want you to obey the mod’s instructions at all times.  I expect a good, clean thread.  Now, touch gloves, go to your keyboards, and come out posting!



My Apologies if this question has been asked before.

I’m watching the Brian Pillman “Dark Side of the Ring”, and I’m wondering why WWE allows their footage to be used on this series when most of the episodes do not exactly paint them in a positive light. 


As I understand it, they’re not really “using” the footage.  You’ll notice that it’s typically done like filming a TV screen that’s showing their footage, which would count as a transformative work and fall under “fair use”.  The A&E documentaries are actual licensed footage by contrast.  WWE licenses their stuff all the time and it’s a big reason why they buy up all the libraries. 
As a counter, AEW are apparently being super big dicks about people on YouTube using their stuff in any manner, and sending out copyright claims denying fair use as a reason. Maffew in particular is getting worked over by them on the regular.