The Saturday Night Thread!

Tonight, it’s a UFC on ESPN Plus!  Tomorrow is the finals of the New Japan Cup, with the slightly unlikely matchup of SANADA v. Okada.

I’m watching the fuck out of The Dirt tonight on Netflix, you betcha.

For those wondering what my Florida Man index is, Googling “Florida Man August 30” produces “Florida Man Vladimir Putin arrested on trespassing charges”.  OK, I laughed.

Have a cromulent night and be back tomorrow morning for Sunday Night Heat!

Smackdown – October 21, 2004

Date: October 21, 2004
Location: MetroCentre, Rockford, Illinois
Commentators: Michael, Cole, Tazz

Maybe it’s having Taboo Tuesday dulling my brain for nearly three hours but last week’s show isn’t exactly standing out to me. I’m not sure what to expect here but Survivor Series is in about a month so the build is probably about to begin. Carlito is the US Champion and seems to be getting some traction while Kurt Angle vs. Big Show doesn’t seem to be finishing up anytime soon. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – October 21, 2004

Impact Wrestling – March 22, 2019

Impact Wrestling
Date: March 22, 2019
Location: Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Don Callis, Josh Matthews

It’s title time as Rich Swann defends the X-Division Title against Sami Callihan, who is ticked off over Swann turning down the chance to join OVE. Other than that we’re likely to get some fallout from Johnny Impact turning heel last week, which is probably best for everyone. Let’s get to it.

Read moreImpact Wrestling – March 22, 2019

Becky/Ronda = HBK/Bret?

By all accounts, Ronda and Becky were pretty cool around Survivor Series time and now judging by what you believe, it seems like that relationship has strained. Is it possible they worked themselves into legit heat with each other ala HBK/Bret or is it just some elaborate worked shoot stuff?

Bro.  Come on now.

Original Plans for Halloween Havoc 99

When WCW originally booked the card for Havoc 99 it was before Russo and Ed Ferrera took over.

The Main event was a rematch between Heel Sting and babyface Hogan from Fall Brawl 99.  Also it was Goldberg challenging Sid for the US title.

When Russo came in, he changed everything in WCW, including Jeff Jarrett returning, and Hogan laying down for no reason in the Havoc title match.

Any idea what the original plans were before Russo took over?  Also when WCW sent Bischoff home prior to Fall Brawl, did they know they were getting Russo to replace him or did that come later?

I think it's funny you think there was any "original plan" at that point.  Sting v. Hogan at Fall Brawl wasn't even booked until literally the week of the show after they had an emergency meeting to figure out WTF they were doing for the show.  The chances of them knowing where they were going with Havoc are about as good as Jon Jones passing a drug test.  

Gotta Protect Mike Rotunda’s Heat!

Hey Scott–

I was reading through a random Observer from late July, 1991. One of the results stood out like a sore thumb. Bret Hart and IRS had a match, and the result was a draw.

…the hell?

We are less than a month from SummerSlam where Bret beats Perfect clean via submission and becomes IC Champion. In results from other cards, Bret is beating every mid-card scrub left and right. Even more puzzling, the show doesn't even take place in a Mike Rotunda stomping ground. It's in Winnipeg! (idiot!)

I know IRS was a new character and Vince had high hopes for the concept, but did he really need to protect Irwin R. god-damn Shyster in a match with his future champion…?

Well, Bret had dual citizenship and IRS had to make sure he was paying both sets of taxation agencies…I dunno, it was just a goofy house show result. 

Size of the nWo

Was the nWo always supposed to have gotten as big as it did, or was it originally supposed to have been around 5-7 guys?  I can't believe Hogan, Nash, Hall, and Bischoff wouldn't foresee that adding scrubs like Bubba Rogers, Michael Wallstreet, Vincent, etc. would water down the group/concept.  Then again…..

Yeah, I dunno.  I guess it depends on which point of view you're taking.  If you're talking about the tradtional wrestling stable, then it was going to be fine with 7 guys or whatever.  But they always had the plans to turn it into a separate "promotion" in mind, based on Bischoff's copying of the Ishingun concept from Japan, so I think it was probably inevitable that they'd add more guys so they could run their own shows and stuff later on.  I don't think anyone goes into anything thinking "we gotta add Scott Norton and Mike Rotunda!" but shit happens.  

Taboo Tuesday 2004

Taboo Tuesday 2004
Date: October 19, 2004
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 3,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is one of the more unique shows that WWE ever put together with the fans getting to pick the stipulations/participants/a few other things for the matches. This has presented a bit of a hard few weeks of TV as they don’t have specific matches to set up as everything has some kind of a twist included. Hopefully the finished product works a bit better. Oh and it’s on a Tuesday, which worked so well back in 1991 that they waited thirteen years to try it again. Let’s get to it.

Read moreTaboo Tuesday 2004

Strong Style Saturday Thread

TODAY!  It’s the semi-finals of the New Japan Cup as we move closer to the MSG show, with Okada v. Ishii and Tanahashi v. SANADA.  Or maybe the other way around, I forget.  Regardless, it should be an Okada v. Tanahashi final on Sunday.

Started watching The Act last night.  Holy shit.  My local theater is doing a preview of Shazam!, but my daughter would be very upset if I didn’t take her, so it’ll have to wait until it opens next month.

And here’s your free match of the day, the Women’s title triple threat from WM32!

What the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – May 13, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are doing commentary and they are taped from Atlanta, Georgia.  Tonight’s episode is only an hour in length because Atlanta Braves baseball gets more interest on TBS.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WCW Saturday Night – May 13, 1995

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems–March to Wrestlemania X! (03.13.94)

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – March to Wrestlemania X (03.13.94)

Well this is an unsurprising addition to the Hidden Gems this week. Not sure why they don’t just dump them all at once, but I guess you gotta make people want it.

Taped from whatever shithole was hosting Wrestling Challenge. It was apparently Locksheldreke, NY, before a giant crowd of 1600 people according to the History of WWE site, taped THREE WEEKS beforehand. Jesus.  I’m sure I probably spelled that name wrong and offended some New Yorkers, GOD FORBID, but that’s what the site said.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Johnny Polo. This should be interesting.  Also Gorilla and Stan Lane do other segments, which is not interesting.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems–March to Wrestlemania X! (03.13.94)

Fwd: Avengers: Endgame Theory RE: Loki

Hi Scott,


Long time, first time, etc.


I know you’re a comics fan, and you’ve commented on the Avengers movies on your blog a handful of times over the years, so I figured you might be a receptive audience to this theory I came up with.


Last night, I had Infinity War playing in the background while I was cleaning my apartment, but with the audio in my earbuds, so a throwaway line of dialogue that Thor says under his breath ended up standing out to me for the first time (this was the only time I’d seen the movie outside of theatres).


It’s when the Guardians first pick him up after Thanos leaves him for dead, drifting through space. Thor explains to them why he thinks Thanos is headed to Knowhere – because the Collector has the Reality Stone – and Quill says something to the effect of, “Well it’s not safe there. Only an idiot would give that man a stone.” Thor quickly, under his breath, replies, “Or a genius,” and then Gamora says something immediately and the conversation moves right along, without missing a beat.


Here’s the thing: Loki gave the Collector the Reality Stone. While he was posing as Odin, he sent the stone to the Collector for safe keeping (in the post-credits scene of Thor 2).


So when Quill suggests that “only an idiot” would give him a stone – and Loki is the idiot in question here – Thor responds by defending Loki’s honor. Why? Because Loki has assumed Thor’s identity and is hiding in plain sight throughout all of Infinity War.


I wrote a whole thing about this theory on my comics blog. Maybe you could share it if you find it at all worthwhile:


Thanks, Scott! Keep up the great work – I love reading your blog.


Yeah, but how did he survive the blast of the sun, which only Thor would have the power to do?  And it's already been established that Loki can't lift Mjolnir and I assume Stormbreaker by extension. 

Nakamura vs. Styles, one year later

With a year of hindsight, what was the point of Nakamura winning the Rumble and challenging Styles, just to lose to him for several months in a row? The whole feud feels pointless now and did nothing for either guy, other than to bury Nakamura in the midcard after it ended. Was there ever another endgame in mind? 

For that matter, why did AJ hold the title for so goddamn long after the feud ended?

I think the Jinder Mahal feud buried Nakamura much further than the AJ one.  By the time he got to AJ, Nak had been pretty exposed as not having anything left in the tank at that level.  From what I understand, AJ just really wanted to work a Wrestlemania match with Nakamura.  

As for why he held it for so long, who else are gonna put it on?  Daniel Bryan?  Good luck there.  

WWE Top 10 List

What happened to the WWE Top 10 List on Smackdown?  A friend brought this up to me the other day, and I had totally forgot about it.  Was it supposed to be a regular thing, or was it just done for that storyline last year involving Bobby Roode/Randy Orton/Jinder Mahal and the U.S. Title?  
You mean the top 10 list that had a mixture of women, tag teams and men?  You've got way more faith in the writing team than I do if you thought they wouldn't forget that after two weeks. 

Heel Bulldogs


Always enjoy reading the blog.

Had Vince brought in Lord Alfred Hayes as a manager rather than office how much better of 'evil foreign' team to feud with Windham and Rotundo than Lord Alfred guiding the British Bulldogs?  Or is it too similar to Piper at the top?
The Bulldogs would have been AMAZING heels, but I think Vince would have trouble swallowing it because of their size.  But if there's anyone who could be a top level dickhead, it's Dynamite Kid. 

TJR Retro: WWF Raw Deal 04/24/00 Review (Last Raw Before Backlash)

This was the last episode of Raw before Backlash 2000. Things were really heating with most of the Backlash card known at this point. The main storyline was Triple H defending the WWF Title against The Rock at Backlash with Vince McMahon in Triple H’s corner and Steve Austin would be in The Rock’s corner.

The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “As Backlash approaches, Mr. McMahon reminds The Rock not to trust a rattlesnake. Shane McMahon issues a challenge to Chris Jericho.”

Read moreTJR Retro: WWF Raw Deal 04/24/00 Review (Last Raw Before Backlash)

March Bashness 2019

Hey Scott,
Wanted to share this with you as it’s always fun getting participation from the BOD. I decided to throw in some super teams to see how long they’ll survive against teams like The Revival, DIY, The Hart Foundation and The Shield.
Thanks as always for sharing and can’t wait to see how this year plays out.

Indies and Insanity: March 21, 2019

MARCH MADNESS!  Tonight features Gonzaga, Michigan, Kentucky, and more!

As for indie wrestling, the big story is the return of WSU in Voorhees NJ Saturday night after a nine-month hiatus!  Kris Statlander faces Savannah Stone, Maria Manic and Rahne Victoria square off, and more!

Others on the docket in this light week:

  • Action Wrestling features Arik Royal against Fred Yehi in a falls-count-anywhere match, plus The Carnies in action.  (Friday, Tyrone GA)
  • CMLL’s usual Super Viernes show has Barbaro Cavernario facing Forastero in their Lightning Match, plus Caristico/Diamante/Volador facing Los Guerreros Laguneros in the main.  (Friday, Claro TV and Mexico City)
  • Alpha-1 is importing Wolfgang and Trent Seven for their show, plus Kobe Durst defends the big gold against Mark Wheeler.  (Sunday, Oshawa ON)
  • Revolution Pro features Maxwell Jacob Friedman facing TK Cooper, but main events with Chris Brookes facing the bastard PAC!  (Sunday, Northampton UK)

Folks, I want you to go help out Willow Nightingale.  She’s one of the bright spots in Eastern indie wrestling, and I’ve been impressed with her from the first time I saw her.  Right now, she’s healing from neck surgery.

(Yes, I know she’s over her goal, but keep giving.)

And to encourage you, here she is in our Indie Match Of The Week, doing a scramble match alongside Ace Austin, Ophidian, and more from Maine!

Bring the insanity!


The SmarK Rant for the Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection

The SmarK DVD Rant for Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection

One of my faithful readers bought this for me a while ago, and I figured it was an interesting counterpoint to the Randy Savage documentary, in that Savage didn’t live long enough to come crawling back to Vince and thus got a begrudging DVD set and Hall of Fame induction. Plus the guy has been waiting very patiently for me to find 7 hours to do this one, and since I was working Easter weekend while the others in the family went out of town for festivities, I figured tonight was perfect. Well, plus Furious 7 was sold out tonight anyway. So anyway, whereas Warrior gave them the narrative of the guy changing his ways and worldview and coming back home, and so now he gets a friggin’ STATUE and yearly award named after him. Yeah, he was always one of my favorite guys growing up, but Randy Savage ate steroids and shit money for the company year in and year out, and always did business when asked. Warrior was such a nutjob that they dedicated an entire DVD to talking about what a cancer on the sport he was, and now suddenly he’s a saint? Come on, man. And he’s getting ANOTHER set later this month!  (That one is still sitting on my shelf waiting for review at some point in my life.) 

I think this set was available on Netflix a while back, by the way, although I haven’t looked for it in a while.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for the Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection

BoD Daily Update: March 21, 2019

Original Plans for the Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade Feud

The original plan for the feud was to have a mask vs. hair match but the idea ended up falling by the wayside.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter


David Starr Pulls Promo Bashing Sinclair Broadcasting Due to Pressure from Ring of Honor


WWE YouTube Free Match

You can watch Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton from WrestleMania 31