Saturday Night’s All Right for Chatting!: July 20, 2019

Sorry for missing last night, Scott.  My CRAB buddies had us going to do spread some advertising for the August 3rd show.

Fifty years ago, we had one small step for a man, but one giant leap for mankind.  Not to be confused with King of the Ring 1998, which was two giant leaps by Mankind.

Tonight, I’ll be doing a livewatch of NXT Brooklyn I from 2015.  Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, Baron Corbin vs. Samoa Joe, Apollo Crews vs. Tye Dillinger, Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy vs. The Vaudevillains, and Tyler Breeze vs. special guest Jyushin Lyger.  This was the show that, in my opinion, MADE NXT TakeOvers must-see TV.


No Way Out 2005

No Way Out 2005
Date: February 20, 2005
Location: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 9,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Taz

This is a different kind of show as there is little doubt about where things are going for Wrestlemania but they’re trying to keep up the pretense of some surprises that could still come. That includes a barbed wire steel cage match with JBL defending the World Title against Big Show and a #1 contenders match between John Cena and Kurt Angle. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNo Way Out 2005

Mainstream Staleness

I know we all feel like the current WWE product is pretty bad but we’re the inside audience. This story on National Public Radio (about the least WWE-like news outlet imaginable) makes me think that the concern is crossing over to the outside world, investors and, as you often mention, Fox. Thoughts?

It’s definitely becoming a concern, although RAW and Smackdown had a bit of a post-PPV bump this week.  Still, they’re gonna get MURDERED once football season starts again.  Interesting that it’s even made it to NPR now, though. 

Smackdown – February 17, 2005

Date: February 17, 2005
Location: Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the go home show for No Way Out but the big story tonight is going to focus on something for Wrestlemania. Batista is here to deal with JBL, who tried to run him down on Raw. We’re still not sure who Batista is going to face at Wrestlemania but things are getting interesting. In another Wrestlemania story, tonight we’re getting John Cena vs. Booker T. in a semifinal match in the #1 contenders tournament. Oh and there are currently three matches announced for No Way Out so we need to get some stuff set up. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – February 17, 2005

New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 2019 – Night Seven – 20/07/2019

Hello You!

Here we are back with some A Block Action!

Thanks for everyone who has been reading these. I’m honestly somewhat grateful that there’ll be a bit of a break following this one, as staying on top of the G1 is never easy. We’re getting to the stage now where people all but officially go out of the running, so we should properly start to see A Block taking shape now.

So without further ado, let’s journey back to the world of New Japan for some top notch Puro competition!

Read moreNew Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 2019 – Night Seven – 20/07/2019

Chairs to the head in 1984 Mid-South

I just watched an episode of Mid-South from September 1984 where the Midnight Express waylayed the Fantastics with hard chair shots to the head in a great angle (but obviously ill-advised knowing what we know now about CTE). Are you aware of anyone using chairs to this level of brutality prior to this angle in '84?

I feel like it probably happened in Memphis way earlier but I don't have any specific examples off-hand.  

Tessa Blanchard

Judging by Impacts recent booking with Tessa and the current teases on the website, it seems like they are building to a Tessa/Brian Cage World Title match in which they'll probably have Tessa win it just to say they made history. I mean intergender stuff isn't bad once in a blue but I hate when it leads to consistent matches and the women winning men's titles. Thoughts?

1.  Who cares about Impact?

2.  Tessa Blanchard is probably on the same level as worker as most of the guys they have anyway.  

3.  She's hot.

Team Untapped Potential

Hey Scott–

Every so often you receive an e-mail that goes, "Scott! What do you think [Wrestler X] would have been able to do if he had reached his potential?!?" To which you usually respond, "[Wrestler X] accomplished [various accolades]. He did just fine."

Given that, who are the men/women you truly believed should have done more in the business, but for whatever reason, didn't? I challenge you to create a Survivor Series team of untapped potential. Naturally, the Doomers expect a classic team of five, but if you want to be lazy, we'll happily accept a team of four.

Bonus points for naming the Captain of Team Untapped Potential.

Team Captain: Magnum TA, with Nikita Koloff, Superstar Billy Graham, Scott Steiner and some mystery guy who will probably turn out to be Jimmy Snuka.  

The SmarK Rant for The Best of ECW Volume 1–07.14.92

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – Best of ECW Volume 1

This is from July 1992, which feels like Baha Men releasing a Greatest Hits CD right after “Who Let the Dogs Out”. Although all these matches seem to be from the same show.

Taped from a sports bar in Philly.

Your hosts are Dick Graham and Stately Wayne Manor

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for The Best of ECW Volume 1–07.14.92

Strong Style Saturday Thread

Good morning!

I was up most of the night playing God of War because I’m old and that’s what passes for partying now.

Thankfully we get a break from wrestling overload this weekend. Apparently I have a free preview of Fight Network this month so I recorded ROH and NJ on AXS from Friday and will add those to the review pile this week.

That’s all I got at the moment.

Friday Night Thread

I guess Andy isn’t posting one tonight?  Oh well, no matter.

Tonight!  It’s stormy AF here in Saskatchewan, so I’m staying in and staying dry.

My wife went to go see the Lion King last night and loved it.  I took a pass and stayed home to watch Deadwood: The Movie instead.  I do not regret my decision one bit.  The beatdown in the street was GLORIOUS.

Tomorrow is the Best of ECW Volume 1, although I don’t think I’m gonna bother with volume 2 unless it’s a massive hit, which doesn’t seem likely.

Have a great night, you hoopleheads, or Wu will throw you to the pigs.

What the World Was Watching: WCW Worldwide – August 19, 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are calling the action and are taped from Orlando, Florida.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WCW Worldwide – August 19, 1995

Jeff Hardy/Sting

Scott – I’m not an impact watcher and wasn’t a TNA watcher but I was recently watching

A YouTube video that broke down the Jeff Hardy/Sting fiasco from one of the ppv’s in 2011.  Hardy shows up for the match wasted and Sting shoot pins him after like 30 seconds. 

Here’s my question………what in the world??!!   Has there ever been someone who completely ruined the main event of a Ppv like this before?   Why would he not be immediately fired?   I know the fan base was always pretty small – but surely there was huge backlash against the company from those who bought the show?

Yeah, I believe it was a bit of a PR nightmare and they even offered refunds if I'm not mistaken.  I'd say it was unique but really Jake Roberts did more of a number on the Heroes of Wrestling main event years before.  

Zeus in the WWF

Was Zeus's stay in the WWF in the late 1980's-early 1990's supposed to have been longer than it was, or was it always to have been a limited time following the "No Holds Barred" movie?  I'm probably in the minority here, but I thought Zeus was kind of awesome for what he was.  

He drew shockingly well for the role he was in, but Summerslam and the No Holds Barred cage match show unfortunately exposed him completely and that was that.  If Vince had handled him better and kept him off TV and out of the ring, they probably could have milked it all the way to Wrestlemania.  Frankly I'm still shocked they didn't.  

Lesnar long game?

So here we are again, with Brock as Champ heading to SummerSlam. Obviously Rollins isn’t getting it back, so… and I’m afraid to type this, but is the horrifyingly obvious answer that this all leads to Roman winning the Rumble and doing Brock/Roman 2,345,165 at Mania(!) 

If not what else? I genuinely thought we were done with Brock as Champ after Mania. But with Roman and Seth already dethroning him, who’s left?

Here’s my choice… turn Daniel Bryan face again and have him build to the Rumble/Mania match with Brock where he counters the F5 to the heel hook and taps the monster clean. You know the crowd would absolutely buy in on another Bryan run. But if not him, who?  An NXT guy? Braun (again)? What’s the Lesnar long game?

I don't even think there is one at this point.  I think it's just:
1.  Get Brock as champion in time for FOX debut
2.  ???
3.  Profit!
And then work out the details from there.  What they should REALLY do is start backing up the damn dump truck of money to Ronda's farm and get her back, because clearly that's the one that broke the show. 

Samoa Jobber living up to Scott Steiner’s Percentages Theorem?

Hey Scott,

Any word on why Samoa Joe is jobbing like there's no tomorrow? His U.S. Title reign was a complete joke in which he lost to Rey Mysterio in embarrassing fashion. Then, after jobbing the title to Ricochet, he jobs to Kofi in under 10 minutes. Yes, I know he pinned Balor last night but Balor still got his heat back at Joe's expense immediately after the match.  For a while, Joe was over for being a badass and cutting cool promos but now, he's treated like a joke. Did someone remind Vince he was a TNA original or was Steiner right about him all along? 

I dunno, are we counting on 40-something Joe to suddenly carry the company?  It would have been nice for him to win of his numerous main event feuds, but really they put him in there with top guys and he hangs just fine, and then puts them over and moves on.  He's doing OK for himself and god knows no one ever expected SAMOA JOE to turn up in WWE and get a main event run anyway.  

Who Would Be Most Successful?

Hey Scott. If you had the funds to start up your own company – and had to trust one of the following- would do you think would be the most successful running it from 2019 and onwards? 

By success, we're talking the fully monty: good ratings, good content, a loyal following, and expenses kept within reason.

(of course, let's pretend Dusty is still with us and in good health)

 Eric Bischoff
 Vince Russo
 Paul Heyman
 Dusty Rhodes
 Jim Cornette 
 Jim Ross

Thank you!

I feel like I'm going with HHH until he proves he can fail, which hasn't happened yet.  

The Toys That Made Us S3

Get hyped.

Plug time:  I'm actually a Patron for a YouTube channel called Toy Galaxy and he covers everything about this particular niche.  I actually found it after bingeing the show on Netflix and then went down the rabbit hole with his histories of Saturday morning cartoons and Robotech and all kinds of stuff like that.  Dan's hilarious and pretty much matches my sense of humor exactly.  Here's the Saturday morning cartoon history to get you started:

Crowd shitting on a long match?

I just went through that Fatal 4 Way No. 1 Contender Elimination Match for the Raw Women's Title from this past Monday.  Yikes.  Have you ever seen a match that went 20 minutes or more that the crowd just shit on because it was so bad?  I mean usually when the audience reacts like that they just go right to the finish, right?  Even that infamous mixed tag that involved Jackie Gayda on Raw in the early 2000's was at least short.  

John Cena v. Randy Orton from the Royal Rumble whatever year that was.  The crowd was not having it and they just kept working through and working though and couldn't ever win them over.  

Live from…

Hi Scott, 

In his recent reviews of the NXT UK shows filmed at Download Festival, Thomas noted how good the venue looked on camera and how nice it was to have a change of scenery. I’ve been at the NXT events at Download for the past two years and the atmosphere was brilliant.
The crowd were having a great time too (“He’s got his own face on his arse”

With AEW on the scene trying to bring a different flavour to pro wrestling, and WWE struggling to fill conventional sports venues, do you think there’s an opportunity for them to use smaller venues with more character to bring some originality back to WWE broadcasts
and to help differentiate themselves in the market? What’s the best venue you’ve ever seen used for pro wrestling?

Boy, I really liked that Jacksonville theater they just used.  It was unique looking, but I wouldn't say the BEST.  I've still gotta go with the Manhattan Center from the early RAW shows as the best, though.  The perfect size for a TV taping with a hot crowd every week and great acoustics. They should find a way to do some NXT shows from there and play around with a retro theme because I think guys like the Dream would hit out of the park.  

And yeah, definitely I think AEW is going to use different arenas to make themselves different.  That was clearly the plan with the FFTW show.