Money In the Bank Countdown 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2016

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2016 – 06.19.16

It’s the greatest one of all time! I’m pretty sure announcing that in advance couldn’t bite them in the ass at all.

Live from Las Vegas, NV

Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Byron Saxton

Read moreMoney In the Bank Countdown 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2016

Money In the Bank Countdown 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2018

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2018 – 06.17.18

Live from Chicago, IL

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Corey Graves & The Coach, plus whoever the Smackdown geeks are.

I know I said I’d do NXT first, but Money in the Bank is, you know, money in my bank.

Read moreMoney In the Bank Countdown 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2018

Here’s another Magee question for you…

Hey Scott,

We've covered Magee a lot on the Blog of Doom lately, to the point there's probably not much else to say. HOWEVER, Magee's "run" had me thinking of another pet project that came to the WWF around the same time.

Outback Jack was brought in, with little ring experience, hyped to the moon to the TV audience before making his in-ring debut, and after a few appearances, was used strictly as enhancement talent before disappearing from the face of the wrestling world in 1988.

How come Magee didn't suffer the same fate? He comes in as a pet project with a high ceiling, but he's not mentioned on TV, at least not in America (he made at least 1 known TV appearance on Canadian TV, going over Terry Gibbs, available on TubesYou). Was Outback Jack considered enough of a complete project all because he's Australian and Crocodile Dundee was relevant? Was Magee's look and non-wrestling ability (gymnast turned weight-lifting phenom) enough to spare him the same cruel fate of being presented as a loser on TV like Jack was?

I guess that's several questions instead of just one. My bad.

I think because ultimately Vince wanted Magee to be a star and made sure he was protected for as long as humanly possible, until he couldn't protect him anymore and had to let him go.  Outback was just a character where they wanted to capitalize on the Australian fad as soon as possible.  Plus NO ONE was under the illusion that Outback was any good.  

Game of Thrones

Hey Scott,

You seem to be on the pulse of the zeitgeist most times so how in the hell have you managed to avoid this show? It is pretty much wrestling with dragons as well.

Yeah, but I don't particularly like fantasy and dragons and stuff.  I'm not sure why people are so triggered by this particular omission in my pop culture vocabulary.  I only watched the first season of Breaking Bad and got bored with that, if that makes you feel better as well.  

ECW on Sci-Fi 04/28/2009 #151

We’re in MSG and the ring is set up in a weird position so the entranceway is slightly to the right making for an empty hard cam shot. This works nicely as a metaphor for ECW on Sci-Fi right now where they kind of know what they want and only get half of it.

Read moreECW on Sci-Fi 04/28/2009 #151

Impact Wrestling – May 17, 2019

Impact Wrestling
Date: May 17, 2019
Location: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Don Callis, Josh Matthews

We’re off to Philadelphia now and you can feel the ECW chants starting from here. I’m not sure what we can expect here, but Brian Cage is still banged up and injured, meaning we don’t have a major story at the moment. Rob Van Dam seems to be prominently featured around here though and that isn’t likely to go well for anyone outside of the live audience. Let’s get to it.

Read moreImpact Wrestling – May 17, 2019


Hey Scott,

Not including last-minute changes due to injuries, internet leaks etc, what’s a match you can think of where you were 100%, lock-the-door, bet your house certain of the outcome….and then it went the other way?

I still remember relaxing, secure in the knowledge that Rick Steamboat would crush a certain crooning, clumsy, dimwit as a tuneup for his inevitable rematches with the Macho Man and then….well, you know the rest.

Really?  Even at that young age I knew something was fishy was up with putting that match on TV.  For that era, I'd cite all four major Flair-Luger matches (Bash 88, Starrcade 88, WrestleWar 90, Capital Combat 90), where I was 100% certain that Luger was walking out with the title in each case, and each time Flair managed to keep it.
More recently I'd say the Roman-Brock match at Wrestlemania last year is the best example of a surprise outcome, although not in a good way.  And then everyone, myself included, figured they were just setting it up so Roman could win at Blood Money, but NOPE.  If you had put a gun to my head and made me choose a winner of either match, I would not have chosen Brock for either one in a million years. 

The Holy Grail Match

HEY! I’m from Rochester and trained there. I was just with my old indy
promotion in that same arena where they set up a show at a Comic-Con. Lot’s of fun
(Upstate Professional Wrestling – formerly known as NWA: Upstate).


Anyway, I read your review of the Holy Grail and I wholeheartedly
agree with you that it was a FINE match. Generally speaking, most things looked
fine and the basic psychology of the match was Wrestling School 101. In all
honesty, as much crap as people give Bret Hart for being stylistically boring or
a mark for himself (there are certainly camps of people inside the industry and
fans themselves that say this), Bret is absolutely right about that match being
his crowning achievement and masterpiece. The carry job with Bulldog in SS ‘92
was probably more of a physical and athletic feat, but Bulldog was many times
the level talent and experienced worker that Mcgee was. It’s not even close.
The pacing and execution of the Iron Man match was nearly flawless, but even
Bret would tell you that he was working with one of the best ever in that
match. Michaels was every bit as ON and down to work as Bret was for that match.


NONE OF THAT comes close to what he was able to accomplish with McGee
in Rochester that night. To the trained eye, you can actually see where Mcgee
gets lost and doesn’t know what to do at certain points. Bret ONLY asked him
to perform the very basics that someone would have nailed down in their first
90 days of training (arm drag, dropkick, up and over, sunset flip, O'Connor Roll).
Yet, he flopped and rolled, and bumped every which way to keep this thing from
falling apart. It was on the brink of failure at least 3 different times. An example would
be when Tom was way out of position for the dropkick on his shine and Bret had
to reposition his bump to cover and call something else to get things back on
track. It was amazing and I’m glad the footage surfaced because it should be
reviewed and taught at every wrestling school in the country.


What’s odd to me was that Vince somehow got the complete opposite out
of this match. I can buy that he was excited that his new toy had a good match,
but I don’t ascribe to the “Vince is out of touch and doesn’t appreciate real
wrestling” conspiracy theories. Vince is on record as saying that Bret was his
favorite in-ring wrestler. We know that he knows psychology, an yet, he saw
Mcgee as the big deal here… so odd.


I know you prefer shorter e-mails, but this kinda stuff is why I have
always loved the performance art aspect of the wrestling business. Enjoy your


100% agree.  The match has layers of fascination that make it so legendary.  Thanks for the analysis!

Smackdown – December 16, 2004

Date: December 16, 2004
Location: Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re done with Armageddon so now it’s time to get to the Royal Rumble, but before that we have the real important thing to get through: the finals of Tough Enough. Normally I would say the competition hasn’t been that bad, but some of the last few weeks have been such a mess that I can’t bring myself to go there. At least it’s wrapping up though and we can get back to something better. Like JBL. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – December 16, 2004

WWE Style

Hey Scott, 

How long before wrestling can be described as a “lost art”? With the WWE style generally lacking in psychology and more interested in kicking strikes; and a generation of wrestlers who could teach (if allowed) retiring or dying—what is there to look forward to?

You know, there's other promotions BESIDES WWE that are doing OK for themselves, right?

Jim Ross’s heel turn in 1996

Was there ever a planned endgame to turning Jim Ross heel in 1996 and having him bring in fake Diesel and fake Razor Ramon, or was this just another case of Vince fucking with J.R. because he liked to?  It seemed they wanted to do their own low-rent nWo type invasion, then backed away from it.  

The whole fake Razor and Diesel thing never was intended to have any particular endgame, as they were only around to demonstrate that Titan Sports was still using the intellectual property that they claimed WCW stole.  Once that was done, there was no purpose in having them around.  So my guess would be Vince just likes fucking with JR.  

Paul E in WCW

As I am slogging my way through 1991 WCW Paul E. was certainly one of the few bright spots and I haven't even gotten into the Medusa stuff or the Dangerous Alliance period yet.  What was Heyman like back then?  Did he have any creative input at that point yet or was he mostly just an on-screen guy?  Was he regarded as the same pain in the ass to deal with that early on that he would become later?
Yes, he was just an on-screen guy at that point, and HELL YES he was regarded as a pain in the ass.  They actually tried to fire him multiple times but because his father is a lawyer, he kept getting brought back to avoid lawsuits.  Once they were finally able to pull the trigger on getting rid of him, Paul hit them so hard in court that he was eventually able to use the money he got to move into his role as promoter of ECW. 

Money In the Bank Marathon 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2010

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2010 – 07.18.10

(Originally written 06.08.18)

I thought we should do a repost of all the previous MITB shows leading up to next week’s show, but then I realized I’ve never done the very first one! As a bonus I have no recollection of anything from this era so it’s all a new surprise for me.

Read moreMoney In the Bank Marathon 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Money in the Bank 2010

Strong Style Saturday Thread

Today!  It’s the MONEY IN THE BANK COUNTDOWN!  Today we’ll cover 2010-2014, and then Sunday will be 2015-2018!

Double or Nothing will indeed be on FITE.TV in Canada, but I can’t use my PPV credits towards it, which really sucks because fuck no I’m not paying $50 for a PPV in a streaming world.  I put in a request for a free pass from my contact there, but otherwise it might be a bit before I get to review the show.

If you’re in Canada, enjoy the long weekend!  If you’re not, enjoy not paying a ridiculous carbon tax on top of already inflated gas prices!

M.I.T.B. Picks?

Who are your picks to win this Sunday's M.I.T.B. Ladder Matches?  I'm going with Drew McIntyre,(although I wouldn't put it past Vince to continue trolling with Baron Corbin), and Ember Moon.  

Real talk:  This show is so DOA that I don't even have the foggiest idea of who is in the matches, let alone have a strong opinion of who is winning them.  I know Corbin is the next program for Seth, so you kinda gotta go with him until proven wrong.  

97 Heel Shawn

Scott – lets talk about HBK’s heel run from Summerslam until he left after WM 14.    I know that’s a pretty short amount of time to be considered an all time great heel run by good grief how awesome was he in the role? I wish anyone on the roster today could draw a fraction of the heat that Shawn was back then. 

What me your opinion?   A great heel run?   Underrated perhaps?   Tell us what you think!!!!

I mean, he’s pretty much acknowledged as changing the business with DX and turning the company around with Austin and Tyson.  Hard to call that underrated.