Friday Night Party Thread: November 16, 2018

We made it!

Tonight, you can watch college football with Memphis trying to avoid DEATH BY SMU-SMU.  Tomorrow’s College GameDay Game is Cincinnati at UCF.

Raptors/Celtics is about to start on ESPN.

I’m sure the LiveWatch Gang will be in here soon enough to announce this week’s pick.  Always fun.

Enjoy the weekend!

A couple of LOD ?’s

Do you know of any instances where Animal and Hawk wrestled just Ax and Smash, or was Crush somehow invloved in every match?

Also, what was the deal with LOD doing a quick job to RVD and Kane on Raw in I believe 03 or 04? Were they supposed to be coming in full time?

There was exactly one match between LOD and the original Demos that happened due to Warrior missing a date, and it was on the Unreleased DVD I believe.  It was nothing special. 
And the 2003 job was a tryout of sorts for them in hopes of a comeback, and they failed it.  There was never any plans for them afterwards.  

Nikita Koloff in WCW 1992

What happened with Nikita Koloff in '92?  When he came back as a babyface he was on a roll, and hugely over.  It looked like he was on his way to winning the US title from Rick Rude, then Vader got switched in at Halloween Havoc, beat Koloff and that was it. 
He was gone not long after that.

So what happened?  Was he originally supposed to win the US title at Havoc, and what was the real reason they switched from Rude to Vader after building that feud for months?

Koloff was on a short term contract and got a pretty bad neck injury, so WCW decided to cut him loose.  There were definitely no long term plans for him, WCW already saw him as something of a flake.  

Should WCW have stopped PPV altogether

I have heard it said quite a bit that in the 1990's, WWF was run like a live event/wrestling company and that WCW was run like a TV production company.  

Did Turner only see value in WCW based on its TV content?  

If so, would it have been wise for WCW to drop PPV totally and put all of its major content on Nitro.  WCW gets a lot of crap for giving away major matches like Hogan v Goldberg for free – but would it have worked if they were a TV only company?  Imagine the rating that Sting v. Hogan, or Hogan/Rodman v. DDP/Malone would have gotten on weekly TV.  

What say you?  Have we gotten it backwards for all of these years?  Instead of less free TV content, should WCW given it ALL away in exchange for broadcast ratings? 


The problem is that the TV business had always been a loss leader for wrestling until WWE suddenly started pulling millions in rights fees out of their ass.  Ratings were nice, but ad rates for wrestling were shit.  It would have been suicidal to drop PPV.  Even now it’s kind of mystifying that WWE deliberately nerfed such a giant portion of their business.  

Best Finisher Ever

Hi Scott,

Quick Question:

Considering that the both Hulk and Austin have complained that their finishers contributed heavily to their pain in later life:

Let's say you were a wrestler that wanted a finishing move that was A) Something you could perform on anyone B) Something that you could perform day in and day out with minimal stress and C) Something that actually looked cool.  

What are you picking?

Say what you will about Kerry Von Erich, but the Iron Claw and Discus Punch were both pretty great finishers that I think fit both parameters.  Or a superkick, but that's a tad overused these days.  

Better to be Lucky than Good

What do you think was a bigger example of WWE Booking dumb-lucking their way into something special: the 18-Second Mania burial starting the Daniel Bryan Yes Movement & one of the most beloved faces ever, or "heel turning" Becky Lynch at Summerslam & creating maybe the most over female ever?

In both cases, I don't buy for a second that this was WWE's goal or plan when they did the initial action…

The 18 second burial.  Because they tried a whole LOAD of things afterwards to quell that revolution and were never able to stop it.  With Becky they screwed up the initial idea but at least they're pushing her.

Hogan ’92

If we disregard what actually happened in the WWF in 1992 and Hulk Hogan had been willing to turn heel after his petty elimination of Sid Justice at the Royal Rumble (and had Vince been able to bring himself to pull the trigger on such a turn), do you think it would have dramatically improved WWF's business during that time period? 

How would a heel Hogan been received by WWF fans at that time — maybe against babyface Sid at WM VIII, a face Savage or Warrior at the 92' Summerslam or Survivor Series PPVs, and possibly even a babyface Luger in 1993? How big of a deal would that have been, or was Hogan too stale or too entrenched as a babyface to make it work in WWF?


It wouldn't have worked.  Hogan's turn in WCW was because it was the right place and the right time.  People were already getting sick of Hogan in 93, but he needed a long sabbatical more than anything.  In WCW, the fanbase was actively rejecting him as a character on the show itself, which is why the heel turn worked so well as a meta-textual thing and on every other level.

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems–Survivor Series Showdown 93–11.21.93

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – Survivor Series Showdown 93 – 11.21.93

Taped from whatever high school gym they were taping TV at that week.

Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan, plus Gorilla Monsoon & Jim Ross. TWO HIGH SCHOOL GYMS. That’s a big show!

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems–Survivor Series Showdown 93–11.21.93

Impact Wrestling – November 15, 2018

Impact Wrestling
Date: November 15, 2018
Location: Sam’s Town Hotel & Gaming Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis

Last week saw a big show with Johnny Impact successfully defending the World Title against Killer Kross, plus Brian Cage going to Sami Callihan’s promotion in Ohio for a fight. That earned him a beatdown, meaning a title match is likely imminent. Other than that, we’re getting ready to head towards Homecoming in January, which could be interesting. Let’s get to it.

Read moreImpact Wrestling – November 15, 2018

Impact, Indies, and Insanity: November 15, 2018

Greetings from snowy DC, where once again we prove to have no clue how to handle a little white stuff.

Tonight on Impact, Sami Callihan challenges Brian Cage for the X Title, while Matt Sydal has a non-title match with Johnny Impact.

Your NFL Game of the Week of the Day is Green Bay/Seattle, while Tulane and Houston battle for control of the AAC West in the college football appetizer.

Up next, a look at the wrestling scene for the weekend.

Read moreImpact, Indies, and Insanity: November 15, 2018

BoD Daily Update: November 15, 2018

New Plans for Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania

Rousey is now planned to face Becky Lynch at WrestleMania. The decision was made by Vince McMahon after Becky was ruled out for her scheduled match against Rousey at Survivor Series.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter


WWE YouTube Free Match

You can watch John Cena & The Rock vs. Awesome Truth from the 2011 Survivor Series


Impact Wrestling Free Match

You can watch Monty Brown vs. Jeff Hardy from the 2005 TNA Genesis PPV



The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School–Maple Leaf Gardens 04.21.85

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School – Maple Leaf Gardens 04.21.85

Hey, my special “Not RAW or Nitro or Smackdown” week continues as I explore the territories in the mid-80s. This morning it’s a show from Maple Leaf Gardens in the thick of Hulkamania.

Taped from Toronto, ON

Your hosts are Jack Reynolds & Jesse Ventura

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Old School–Maple Leaf Gardens 04.21.85

Best Fink Calls

What would you say would be Howard Finkel’s best “NEWWWWWW CHAMPION” calls? Ricky Steamboat at WMIII and Piper at Rumble ‘92 come to mind (oddly both IC)…any others in the Fink Pantheon?
The Piper one is hard to top.  Savage at Wrestlemania 8 was a particularly good one as well.  His comeback for CM Punk at Survivor Series should have been epic but he's drowned out by Bucky Beaver cutting away from him and playing the music over top. 

Nia Jax

She almost broke Charlotte and Asuka's neck. She's injured Sasha, Bayley, and Alexa. She concussed Zelina Vega at Evolution. And now she's broken Becky's nose and concussed her. So basically the top six women + Vega injured or almost injured because of Nia. At what point is being related to The Rock not enough to keep you employed?

Once she accidentally potatoes Stephanie in a melee and breaks HER nose.  She really does need to go away for a while and do something else, though.  It's not like they can't afford to just pay her to do PR work and modeling stuff or whatever.

Brock and Becky


Who's bright idea was it to throw a guy who's had multiple, near career ending concussions into the ring with the guy who's moveset pretty much consists of tossing guys on their head?

Also, do you think that Becky being removed from the Survivor Series match means that she
A) Gets to main event at Mania with Ronda, or
B) Gets tagged with the "injury prone" label and gets the Finn Balor treatment? 

The fact that their solution to the Ronda match was to have Becky tearfully hug arch-enemy Charlotte and let her have the match tells you everything you need to know about where they still view Becky on the pecking order, I think.  

Losses on contracts

Hey Scott,


Obviously assessing things like profitability of individual wrestlers is an inexact science, but which contract with a wrestler or tag-team (not counting 'celebrities' like Rodman, Master P etc) was the biggest money-LOSER
for :




Any other federation.


1.  It's gotta be Lex Luger in 1992.  They paid him a shitload of money in hopes of getting the WBF going and then spent hundreds of thousands in marketing on the Lex Express and never saw a dime back out of it.  Well, obviously a FEW dimes, but you know I mean.  I'd also nominate Brian Pillman, but he was never supposed to be a main event guy or anything, despite his big price tag.  

2.  I'm gonna go with Bret Hart in 97.  Huge money to lure him away from the WWF, and then they barely pushed him near the top.  Sting also had a monster guaranteed deal or seven over the years and never came close to justifying the money they were paying him.

3.  The answer has to be someone from TNA, right?  I can't think of who specifically, but they never really made money and paid lots of guys redonkulous deals, so we can probably safely say Kurt Angle. 

Monday Night Raw – June 14, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 14, 2004
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re past Bad Blood and Chris Benoit is still Raw World Champion. At the same time though, Shawn Michaels vs. HHH had the most epic finish to the most incredible, long running rivalry involving Shawn Michaels and HHH this year. Like really, the best thing ever and nothing will ever approach them. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – June 14, 2004

AJ vs. Brock

Hi Scott,

I admit I've only been half-following this entire saga, but it seems like they didn't want AJ to job to Brock two years in a row, so that is why they moved the AJ's title to Daniel Bryan. But my understanding is that the match is non-title, so why not just have AJ win the match?
Someone should communicate that to Vince.  You are exactly correct.

Bryan & Heyman & Lesnar

Two questions, one about in ring, one out of ring:

1) On SDLive Heyman shows up out of nowhere and name drops Bryan as the best guy on SD. This leads to Bryan challenging Styles, and WINNING the WWE Title while turning heel just before Styles date with Brock at Survivor Series.

Could this be a not so subtle way of setting up a Heyman/Bryan alliance. Bryan is the mold of a Heyman guy, it gives Paul access and the top guy on each show and they could even say it was Paul getting Brock away from AJ who was his biggest threat (possibly leading to Styles winning the Rumble and challenging Brock at mania)…

2) What is the real deal with Brock and Paul? Are they friends? Is Paul really his business manager? They’ve essentially worked together for 16 years on and off and he’s the only guy who is consistently around Brock?

1.  It was a thing that Bryan wanted to do because the babyface character was going nowhere.  I don't think there's any more thought or planning that went into it.
2.  Heyman was 100% his legit business manager as of Brock's initial UFC run.  As with everything related to Brock these days, I don't think anyone knows the real truth any more.  For instance, Meltzer has noted many times in the past few weeks that for all the leverage that Brock is using between UFC and WWE, the only thing he's actually done is enter into the drug testing pool.  He's signed no UFC contract and really it's only the Jon Jones and Daniel Cormiers of the world calling HIM out.  Brock has never actually said who or when he wants to fight.  Heyman might be smart, but Brock is a freakish super-genius.