Royal Rumble Countdown 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2018

(Hey, this worked really well last year, so let’s see how many of these we can squeeze in before this year’s show.  100% I’m redoing Rumble 2000 this week, too.) 

The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2018 – 01.28.18

Live from Philly

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, and special guest Stephanie McMahon!

Mojo Rawley, huh? That’s the sound of 15,000 people groaning in unison.

Read moreRoyal Rumble Countdown 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2018

BoD Daily Update: January 17, 2019

Mike & Maria Kanellis Request Releases From WWE


Kevin Owens Update

Owens, while expected to be medically cleared fairly soon, the decision for now is to wait until after WrestleMania to bring him back on TV

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter


WWE Free YouTube Match

You can watch Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules match from the NXT Takeover: Philadelphia show

Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV – August 22nd, 1992



– Last week on SMW TV, we got a detailed recap of all the big happenings at Fire on the Mountain, including Brian Lee being attacked by a mysterious man that looked like a Genie. The only new content from last week featured Tim Horner issuing a challenge for the SMW Heavyweight Title, and the Dirty White Boy successfully defending the title against Dixie Dy-No-Mite, with a little bit of help from the dastardly Killer Kyle.

Read moreSmoky Mountain Wrestling TV – August 22nd, 1992

Biggest Bust in WCW from the WWF

Who would you say was WCW’s biggest busy of the big stars that came from the WWF?  I had 5 to choose from Warrior, Bret Hart, Jake The Snake, British Bulldog, Earthquake.



Jake and Warrior had similar tenure’s brought in only for a few months just to do a job to a big star at Halloween Havoc.  Bret with all the hype and momentum he had coming off Montreal, but at least he got a push at points.



Were there any actual plans for Jake & Warrior in WCW other than to job at Halloween Havoc?  Should WCW have not rushed Warrior-Hogan II, and built up Warrior by squashing jobbers ala Goldberg like he did in the WWF, and done it later on?
Yeah, but both Jake and Warrior came in with no momentum as special attractions who didn’t really interact with the rest of the shows much, so I don’t think they count.  Bret Hart was signed away at the height of his career, as World champion, for one of the biggest contracts in history.  And his career was over two years later.  That’s the biggest bust.


Most Useless Title/Championship?

What was/is the most useless title/championship in pro wrestling?  While the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles and the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship were up there as the lack of depth for those divisions didn't warrant creating championships for them, I don't think anything will ever "top" the TNA King Of The Mountain Title.  

I'm not even familiar with that title, so it's likely pretty useless.  The WWF Light heavyweight title was pretty useless when it was on Gillberg for a year literally as a prop, though.  


Hey Scott,

One of the wrestling sites had a recent photo of Roman Reigns with a fan and he looked really good. If he was cleared to return as a surprise entrant in the Rumble and won, do you think he'd finally be accepted by the audience? His illness definitely ended the crowd's opposition to him, right? If he gets healthy, could he actually end up being the guy that they wanted him to be before he got sick?

Unless the crowds are populated with heartless sociopaths forever, Roman is never getting booed again.  Yes, he will finally be the guy if he comes back, and hopefully he does.  

Monday Night Raw – August 16, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 16, 2004
Location: Labatt Center, London, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Summerslam has come and gone, meaning Randy Orton is the new Raw World Champion. That’s quite the spot for someone as young as he is but it’s WAY past the time that we need a new top heel. The few seconds it took me to write that out are about as much time as I believe Orton will get to enjoy this before HHH, fresh off his mammoth, colossal win over Eugene, decides it’s his show again. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – August 16, 2004

Abandon Ship

Hey Scott, so with the Revival and Mike Kanelis leaving, do you see more abandoning ship? Do you see another Monday Night War brewing? I see AEW hurting WWE with free agent signings and more lower and mid card wrestlers leaving. 

Yeah, none of those guys are starting a Monday Night War, but I can definitely see a bunch more people leaving soon.  Tye really wants out (if he hasn't been released already) and this could definitely open a floodgate.  Especially since the trend has been WWE cutting people themselves after Wrestlemania.  It's rare to see talent take the offensive like this.  

What is up with this year’s Rumble?

Admittedly I don't watch WWE at the moment, but the current card includes 2 Rumble matches and 7 title matches??? The card used to be a Rumble and 3-4 matches. Is the show running 6 hours??

I also realized WWE is running the baseball stadium in Phoenix. Any word on how theyre configuring the set up? Can they move 30-35k tickets for this? 

Apparently it’s configured for 45k and they weren’t doing very well with Braun on top, so  they’re gonna see if Balor can shift tickets.  
And yeah, the show is running 6 hours.  Content is king in 2019.  

NXT – January 16, 2019

Date: January 16, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness

We’re almost to Phoenix and things continue to get more and more interesting around here. That’s one of the best things that you can have happen to you at the right time and since it’s NXT, they know exactly how to do so. Keep building things in the NXT way and everything will be just fine. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – January 16, 2019

NXT UK – January 16, 2019

Date: January 16, 2019
Location: Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

So despite not being on the schedule, this show is airing tonight because there’s always one more episode than what you might actually want. This seems to be the standard dark matches from Takeover show and hopefully it’s more like Takeover than the regular TV show. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT UK – January 16, 2019

The 2018 Doomie Awards

Last week the blog cast its votes for the top (and worst) wrestlers and moments of 2018.  The voting deadline passed on Friday and all of the votes have been counted.  Remember, a first place vote was worth five points, a second place vote was worth three points, and a third place vote was worth one point.  In case of a tie, number of first place votes was used to break it.

I included the top three finishers for each category below, but if you wish to see the entire spreadsheet and how many first place, second place, and/or third place a choice received, go to this link:

Keep in mind that not all voters cast a ballot with three choices for each category and some voters did not vote for certain categories (everyone voted for Wrestler of the Year, though).  Participation in Doomie voting was down this year, with thirty-nine ballots cast versus fifty-three last year.  Voter were also more uniform in their selections, with fewer candidates being nominated/receiving votes than previous years. Winners can be found below.

Read moreThe 2018 Doomie Awards

Balor Push

Think this is a one off?  Or are they leading to The Demon vs. The Beast?  

If you think Brock is working twice between Rumble and Wrestlemania, I've got some real estate to sell you.  Balor is there to collect his money and get flung around the ring like a ragdoll physics demo, nothing more. 

The Wednesday Wackness

Tonight!  It’s NXT and NXT UK, with Tommy having coverage.

Voting is now open for the 2018 RSPW awards!  Check it out here:

RAW and Smackdown ratings were up a bit this week.

No idea what the Hidden Gems are tomorrow.  Maybe something Rumble related?

Anyway, enjoy the evening and probably try to avoid the “Justice” thread if you’re not into meta-drama from the blog.  I’m kinda liking Tommy’s “switch dumb e-mail and Impact jobs” offer.

Six of the Best – WWF/E Royal Rumble 1999-2008 Non-Rumble Matches

The Royal Rumble event has always been about more than just the Rumble itself, with some real gems to be found on quite a few of the undercards. Because there have been so many Rumble events, I decided to split the Non-Rumble matches into three different segments, 1988-1998, 1999-2008 and 2009-2018.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s get to it!

Read moreSix of the Best – WWF/E Royal Rumble 1999-2008 Non-Rumble Matches


Now that you have ended cult's reign of terror, how about bringing back all the posters that he banned?

Dalton Trumbo

Obviously you didn’t see Superman 2 and heed the lesson of what happens when you let the Zods of the world out of the Phantom Zone prematurely.  Also, if you’re Trumbo, then you’re a commie and Bill Watts has taught me to hate and/or fear you.  
Always nice to talk to you, Dougie!

Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV – August 15th, 1992



– Last time on SMW TV, we covered the “Fire on the Mountain” Super Card that took place on August 8th, 1992 from the Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City, TN. It’s been a while since we’ve covered some Smoky Mountain Wrestling. In the last recap I published, I noted there might be a delay in the follow-up episodes due to Hurricane Irma, and yes, for a couple of weeks, I did lose electricity, and doing recaps was the furthest from my mind. At the same time, I found out my fiancée and I were expecting our first child together, and suddenly my time to watch wrestling has dwindled. I continued to do projects elsewhere, but the coverage of SMW went quiet… until now. Due to unpopular demand, we shall pick up where we left off, almost 16 months ago, as we cover the fallout from Fire on the Mountain. Hopefully another natural disaster doesn’t interfere with things.

Read moreSmoky Mountain Wrestling TV – August 15th, 1992

The SmarK Rant for WWF Sunday Night Heat–02.21.99

The SmarK Rant for WWF Sunday Night Heat – 02.21.99

Ugh this show annoys me SO MUCH but it’s a quick recap and there’s usually material to talk about. So we’ll soldier on for now until Superstars replaces it as my go-to quickie Network recap.

So on the episode of RAW after St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Mankind lost the WWF title back to the Rock, and X-Pac lost the European title to Shane McMahon in a title change I had blocked out of my mind. Also, some guy named “Paul Wight” is now working for Vince.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWF Sunday Night Heat–02.21.99

WWF Light Heavyweight Title

Hi Scott,

Quick question about the original WWF Light Heavyweight Title. It was introduced in 1981 and had the WWF branding and whatnot, but was exclusively traded in Japan and Mexico for the first 15 years of its existence.

With Vince not being known as a hands-off promoter, why was he okay with this particular arrangement? Granted, light heavyweights weren't really a thing in eighties WWF, but it does seem to go against everything we know about Vince and his protection of his intellectual property. 

A secondary question – would the WWF have had to sign off on an planned title change? 
It was still Vince Sr. at the point when the title was introduced, but as far as I'm aware it was more of a case of the title going to Japan after getting introduced and then the WWF just kind of forgetting about it.  It was always a weird one to me as well seeing an actual WWF branded title as a part of the J Crown, for instance. 

Royal Rumble

Hey Scott, hope all is well. I know this will not happen, but, what would be your reaction if Kenny Omega, Naito, and the remaining Club members with WWE showed up at the Rumble and cost Daniel Bryan and Brock the titles and the Club took over both shows.

Well I'd definitely make sure to wear my Naito shirt to the house show next month then.  

Questions about Asuka

1) Does Asuka's theme ever remind you of "Money" by Pink Floyd?

2) Why is her name pronounced Ahh-ska? Shouldn't it be pronounced Ahh-Sue-Kah?

1.  No.

2.  I'm assuming she knows how to pronounce her own name.  Maybe it's a Japanese thing, much like the debate between "Kaz-u-chi-ka" and "Ka-zooch-ka" for Okada?