The SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW–05.15.95 / 05.22.95

(We’re actually getting a few weeks ahead on the Observer Flashbacks now, so here’s two episodes of RAW to get caught up again.) 

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 05.15.95

Live from Binghamton, NY

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWF Monday Night RAW–05.15.95 / 05.22.95

ECW on Syfy 09/01/2009 #169

We’re in Cleveland, Ohio (Japanese crowd: “OHIOOOO!”) and the main event is…a replay of Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker?

Read moreECW on Syfy 09/01/2009 #169

The Cheap and Lazy Sunday Thread

Hey, we made it through the week.

Well, the Yankees didn’t.  BYE BYE!

Kenny Omega won the AAA Mega Title on Saturday night.  I actually watched the Omega documentary on TSN before Dynamite this week.  It was good!  I would recommend it!

I would also recommend listening to the Wrestling Observer Radio where Dave interviews David Lagana of NWA Powerrr, as it’s a really interesting hour of insight into the show and where they want to go with it.

Keep your stick on the ice, and don’t eat any yellow snow.

Judgment Day 2005

Judgment Day 2005
Date: May 22, 2005
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 9,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s time for another Smackdown pay per view and that could go in a variety of ways. Granted it tends to be a variety of bad with these things but there are a few different levels. This time around there are two matches that look good with JBL vs. John Cena in an I Quit match and Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio, which should be enough to get it past bad. Let’s get to it.

Read moreJudgment Day 2005

Options For Smackdown?

Just playing devil's advocate;  If Smackdown's ratings continue on a downward spiral for another month or two, could you see Fox moving the show to Thursdays or Tuesdays?  If not that, I could envision Vince McMahon coming on and instituting another "Wildcard Rule", thus making the Brand Separation worthless for the 2nd time in the same year.  

I think worst case they get moved to FS1 permanently and reign as the number one show there for the rest of the contract term. 

Well as expected…(Smackdown viewership)

Hour One: 2,390,000

Hour Two: 2,493,000

Average: 2,441,500

Hour One 18-49: 0.7

Hour Two 18-49: 0.8

Down from an average of 2,899,000 last week. FOX must be THRILLED!

That is…not good.  So now they've burned through the old people show with Brock Lesnar winning the title, and then the draft show, and there's not much more they can hotshot now.  And they've already fired Bischoff!  

Still watching 1998-1999 WCW

Another late 90s WCW question for you.

I had always heard that the Fingerpoke of Doom was the beginning of the end for WCW, but watching it now they really seem to have screwed up Goldberg's title run before that. 

So he wins the title in July, and they only have him defend it twice on PPV before dropping the title in December, and only one of those was the main event. 

Was he injured during some of this time? Or was this all backstage politicking by Hogan to stay in the main event even without the belt? Because in retrospect putting the title on your hottest act and then putting him lower on the card than Karl Malone and Jay Leno seems pretty dumb. Is this just a "because WCW" type situation? 

Yeah, although also it was contractual stuff with Hogan where he pretty much had to be promoted in the main event of whatever he was on because he was getting a piece of PPV revenue.  It got to be a real catch-22 once Hogan's drawing power was gone.  

Strangest Employment Situation In Wrestling?

Is the Eric Bischoff hiring and firing as "Creative Director of Smackdown", who didn't really do anything except "observe", the strangest employment situation in pro wrestling that you can remember?  The only one that comes close for me was when the WWE brought back Vince Russo in 2002 to helm the creative team, but then he was demoted after a day or 2 to "creative consultant" before leaving for start-up TNA a few months later.   
Bischoff doesn't even scratch the surface of weird booker hirings and firings in wrestling.  Buzz Sawyer alone is a discussion that would take days. 

Glenn Jacobs.

Hi Scott. 

So, as we all know, when Kevin Nash left the WWF and went to WCW. Glenn Jacobs took his place. 

Shouldn't they have called his character Petrol? 

Perhaps it could have been the fake Diesel that caused the fire that disfigured Kane's face? 

The WWF: Deep man! 

Now where's my tablets. 

"Petrol" isn't a thing outside of Britain.  Sorry to ruin your hard-earned joke there.

Return of Super Cuts on FOX

The kick off episode of Smackdown on FOX had a noticeably different shooting-style. Was Kevin Dunn supposed to learn and execute the video style and has just failed? 
I don't know, but Dunn's directing was over the top obnoxious last night, especially with anything involving Roman Reigns.  Zoom, shake, cut cut cut cut cut cut cut cut.  Also noticeably during the women's match where they were trying to disguise their stuff or something, I dunno.  It's also really bad from a technical standpoint because FOX broadcasts the show at a lower framerate than USA did, so it's a very off-putting visual experience to combine that with Dunn's shaky-cam.  Hopefully the network takes control of that aspect, but I doubt it. 

Smackdown – May 19, 2005

Date: May 19, 2005
Location: Tyson Events Center, Sioux City, Iowa
Attendance: 3,000
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Judgment Day and most of the card has been set. We could be in for a good show on Sunday with the two biggest matches looking solid, though there isn’t much underneath them. I’m not sure what to expect from this week’s show but I don’t exactly have my hopes up outside of Eddie Guerrero’s rapid fire loss of sanity. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – May 19, 2005

Strong Style Saturday Thread

Well, Smackdown last night was certainly a show that aired on TV.

All of the sports continue today and hopefully the Astros can get rid of the Yankees and be done with it.

I took the family to the Addams Family last night.  It was pretty good!  And Malificent was sold out anyway.

My friend Ross Owen Williams sent me copies of the Hornswoggle and Al Snow books, so I’ll have a read of those soon and tell you what to think.

Have a super Saturday!

Smackdown – October 18, 2019

Date: October 18, 2019
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

This is an important show as we are officially into the new era with unique rosters for both Raw and Smackdown. That means they need to have something special here as they are running at half power and don’t have many excuses yet if the audience isn’t there. I’m not sure what to expect here but Roman Reigns is getting an Intercontinental Title shot against Shinsuke Nakamura. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – October 18, 2019

WWE Friday Night Party Thread: Episode 3 — THE ONE WHO NAKS

Yes, every show will get an episode title from me.  Deal.

TONIGHT!  We open the show with the Intercontinental Title (aka the de facto Smackdown title for now) on the line as Shinsuke Nakamura defends against Roman Reigns in a match set up because Sami Zayn can’t keep his damn mouth shut.  If we get Motivated Nakamura, this one will be amazing.  I loved their segment to close the 2018 Rumble.  Even if Reigns winning seems the most likely result, it’s fine.  Roman Reigns has everything a wrestler needs for universal appeal (except, of course, for actual universal appeal).

In other news, The New Bayley needs someone to defend the gold against, and the draft is the closest thing to reset we have.  So let’s run a scramble!  Six-way trainwrecks are really popular in the indies, so why not give it a whirl?  It’s Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, Carmella, and Dana Brooke with the winner getting run through like an inflatable smiley face when Bayley faces them.

Speaking of, Bayley will be explaining why she’s suddenly in her angsty teenager phase on MizTV tonight.  Half of you will be waiting to see which cliche she uses to justify her turn.  (I have money on “It doesn’t pay to be nice, so why should I be?”)  The rest of you are just begging for her to come out in short trunks.  Weirdos.

Also pre-announced, we have Otis Dozovic, Tucker Knight, Xavier Woods, and Big E facing Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Bobby Roode, and Dolph Ziggler.  Man, the charisma gap in that one between the teams… heck, Otis and E by themselves have more charisma that their four foes combined.  This is all to set up the tag team turmoil match at Allahween Havoc, so expect neither team to get along.

College football is everywhere today, as we have Ohio State/Northwestern, Marshall/FAU, Pitt/Syracuse, and UNLV/Fresno State on TV.  The ALCS may well wrap up tonight as Houston (3) looks to end the Yankees (1).  ESPN2 has some MMA on, with Chris Weidman facing Dominick Reyes in the main event.

Enjoy the weekend, but let’s keep it clean, folks!

Mike Reviews: WWE No Mercy 2007

Hello You!

The reason for this one is that it’s a show I’ve never seen in full, owing to the fact that when it happened way back in 2007 I was in the middle of moving house and thus didn’t have the disposable income to burn on a WWE pay per view. It’s quite an interesting show however due to what happens in regards to the WWE Title. And hey, now I have WWE Network it’s never been easier to catch up on the shows I missed back in the day and we’re still in October so it kind of fits.

The original main event of the show coming in was supposed to be John Cena defending the WWE Title to Randy Orton, but Cena then suffered a severe injury in a nothing Raw match with Ken Anderson which took him out of this show and meant he’d likely have to miss WrestleMania as well.

Thus WWE had to scramble to find a way to crown a new Champion and also rescue the pay per view card that had now been left without its main event. Did they manage it? Let’s take a look and find out.

Read moreMike Reviews: WWE No Mercy 2007

Joshi Spotlight: Big Egg Wrestling Universe (Part Two)

(“AJW Doumu Super Woman Great War”)
(Tokyo Dome- 20.11.1994)

-And now it’s the second part of this quick, breezy 10-hour wrestling show! At least this time, I’ve reviewed two of the matches already, so I don’t need to re-post them!

TL; DR- Why Should I Watch This?: Well, one of the greatest matches in history is fought tonight. Also, Aja Kong surpasses Bret Hart’s “Three good matches in one night” achievement in terms of quality, several people put on AMAZING performances, and you see Joshi in its biggest spectacle in history- something women’s wrestling has never matched since.

Read moreJoshi Spotlight: Big Egg Wrestling Universe (Part Two)

What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – October 21, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes are in the booth and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  According to, the matches on this telecast were taped on September 27 and October 18 at Center Stage.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – October 21, 1995