Sunday Night Reset (ft. Nova Pro): October 21, 2018

With baseball having the night off, the big game tonight is Cincinnati vs Kansas City in the NFL.

Another reason wrestling is the best: when a random punchup occurs, no one gets suspended.  (Chris Paul out 2, Rajon Rondo out 3, Brandon Ingram out 4.)

Lots of UFC on FS1.

After the jump, NOVA Pro results.

Read moreSunday Night Reset (ft. Nova Pro): October 21, 2018

The Goldberg push

Hi Scott 

I’m slowly working my way through nitro and Thunder on the network, I’m up to spring of 98 and I’m seeing the Goldberg push in detail for the 1st time. Without any real programme in his first 6 months (well apart from the crap with Mongo) he caught on like nobody I’ve seen before or since.

So to actually get round to my question, one of the oddest knocks I’ve seen on him at times online is that anyone would have gotten over with such a push but isn’t that just complete bs? Dude got over beating Scotty Riggs and Jim Powers whilst it took 6 months of Lesnar wrestling to crickets before finally beating Hogan and Rock to get half the reaction Goldberg got as just one example. So was he lucky right time right place or a true once in a lifetime phenom, what say you?

People online are stupid.  Goldberg got over because he got over.  If you could get anyone over with the same push, we'd be talking about how Wrath changed the business or that dude Crimson in TNA is a former multi-time champion.  They even tried the same push with Sid later on and that failed, too.  He was a once in a lifetime phenom, if you have to choose between those two options. 

Fwd: Change of Opinion: Non-Wrestler Addition

Instead of the obvious route of asking a question that's surely been answered plenty of times already (guys you like/appreciate more now than way back in the day), how about the same question for any non-wrestling performers. Announcers, commentary, those types of roles meant for TV. 

The one that jumps out most to me is Sean Mooney. I remember way back where he was considered one of the worst, and to this day his PBP was never anything better than "tow the company line" stuff that occasionally lacked enthusiasm. He did have moments of awesome, like when he'd join Lord Alfred in burying stupid crap like Battle-Kat, but as an Event Center host, it was such a perfect fit for him and his straight-man presentation. It doesn't help that he's come back over the years, poked a little fun at himself, and has shown his comedic side a bit more.

Sean was definitely solid and I've come to appreciate him over the years. 

I'd also nominate David Crockett, who annoyed the fuck out of me at the time, but now I enjoy him for his enthusiasm and over-the-top dedication to the storylines.

80s Wrestling TV Production

Hi Scott, hope you are well.

I've been watching a lot of old TV/pop culture from the early 80s as of late, wrestling and otherwise, and it has really struck me how behind the times, production-wise, pro wrestling was at that time. Seeing how poorly lit the shows/matches were, often with sub-par sound, amongst almost all of the companies (including WWF), and compared with other pop culture mediums that were popular at the time such as TV shows, sporting events and music videos, it was pretty plain to see that the wrestling industry was ripe for someone to come along and upgrade the look of the business with greatly increased production values. Even WCCW, which was at the top of the TV production heap circa 1983, would pale compared to what was being done in the WWF a couple of years later.

Now much has been said about why Vince McMahon was able to steamroll his competition during the 80s with his aggression and business practices (in addition to that competition's incompetence). My question to you is if Vince had done everything else to become the #1 guy during that time, with bringing in all the talent, getting all the TV stations and cable in his wheelhouse, and playing hardball with the various arenas, and yet did not improve his production values so much, do you think he would have had anywhere near the success that he had? We hardcore fans may scoff at their importance, but such things as improved lighting, camera work, and sound can certainly catch the eye of casual fans, who can definitely lead to much greater business. Your thoughts?

Absolutely, I've been banging that drum for years.  Say what you will about Vince's changes to the product and storylines and such, but the guy who deserves a large amount of credit for dragging him into the 20th century is Dick Ebersol.  Ebersol made Vince increase production values for Saturday Night's Main Event and brighten up the arenas, and then move from taping Superstars in crappy little studios and shift to full sized arena shows.  It immediately made the WWF product look light-years ahead of anything else in the market. 

ECW on Sci-Fi 09/23/2008 #120

We’re in Columbus, OH with Matt Striker and Jim Ross (replacing Grisham) and we start with Morrison & Miz on the mic. Miz is furious at Evan Bourne’s win last week as even though it was a win for him, Miz was technically the more superior athlete. They should be headlining PPVs not babysitting newbies. Miz headlining a PPV? Haaaaa good one.

Read moreECW on Sci-Fi 09/23/2008 #120

Smackdown – May 20, 2004

Date: May 20, 2004
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

We’re past Judgment Day now and that means…well not much actually as it was a one match show that ended in a DQ, likely setting up a rematch down the line. The show wasn’t exactly inspiring stuff but that’s the case for all of Smackdown at the moment. It’s a barren wasteland outside of Eddie Guerrero and John Cena so hopefully we get a lot of them tonight. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – May 20, 2004

Evolution Announcers

This question pertains to Evolution the Pay-Per-View, not the stable that reunited on Smackdown’s 1000th episode despite never actually appearing together on any of the first 999 episodes.

Anyway…  Do you think there’s any chance we’ll get an all-female announce team for the all-female PPV?  Doubt it happens since they haven’t seem to have actually planned much of anything for the show, but Renee Young and Beth Phoenix on the call would be great and a nice change of pace (maybe with Stephanie if they insist on a three-person booth since she invented women’s wrestling and all).  Plus, it would just seem weird to have Michael Cole as the voice of the women’s show.

P.S. Are you sick of Corey Graves yet?  I don’t think he’s quite reached Matt Striker levels of being insufferable, but I’d at least like to have him only on one show like everybody else.

I love Renee Young as an interview person, but she’s like Coachman bad on commentary.  The Cole/Renee/Beth team has been brutal on MYC thus far, which sucks because I was hoping MC would cut loose and be more fun without Vince over his shoulder. Guess not.  

How did Honky happen?

Hi Scott, Always love your thoughts on these things.

The Honky Tonk Man had one of the greatest and most improbable heel runs of all time. But it didn't start that way. If I remember the details correctly he actually debuted in WWF as a face. But after a couple weeks of getting poor reactions, the bookers actually
had him acknowledge this and ask for a vote of confidence. The vote was overwhelmingly negative (this was probably a rare case where they didn't have to work the results) so Honky basically said "ok you don't like me so now I'm a heel." The rest is history.

My question is how did this happen? I can think of only two scenarios. 

a. This was the plan all along. Great, smart, long-term booking.

b. After initially misreading their audience, they quickly recognized this and made a change.

Either case seems so un-WWE like these days. What do you think?

You’ve never heard the story before?  
Ok, so Vince saw Honky Tonk Wayne working Stampede and decided to bring him in as the #2 babyface under Hulk Hogan.  His reasoning?  Oldies stations were becoming big business at that point in the 80s, and Vince thought that kids would love Honky because he looked like Elvis and thus fit perfectly in that market.  Because, you know, if there’s one thing kids loved in the 80s, it was AM radio playing 50s music. So of course Honky worked some shows as a babyface and got Roman Reigns’d out of the building by the New York and Boston markets in particular, and Vince was suddenly like “GODDAMN, PAL, we’d better make this guy a heel!”  And so it happened that they did a “vote of confidence” on TV that was rigged for Honky to lose (the shows were taped weeks before the “voting” even opened) and suddenly he was a heel and there you go.  

The SmarK Rant for Girls Gone Wild: The PPV

Girls Gone Wild

“No no no, we can’t do that, that’s enough…”
– Coachman on about 18 different occasions.

– Just a reminder that recapping anything WWE-related can sometimes be a dangerous task and should not be attempted by anyone who isn’t either a trained professional like myself, or really drunk. Like myself on weekends. Sadly, today is a Thursday.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for Girls Gone Wild: The PPV


Hi Scott.

Couple of Asuka questions:

1. Think she lasts another year or leaves?

2. How would you have booked her against Rousey?

3. What do you think of this scenario if the streak was never broken? Rousey/Asuka main events Evolution and Asuka wins. Rousey gets the win back at the Rumble in a cage and Asuka isn’t pinned, and then a Triple Threat where Charlotte gets thrown into the mix at Mania?

1.  She's making better money with an easier schedule than she could anywhere else in the world, so I imagine she just stays and continues not giving a shit.

2.  Rousey could have beaten her, of course.  It just would have meant WAAAAAAY more if Asuka had been undefeated and dominant going into the match.  

3.  I wouldn't have booked Asuka to win.  Rousey is the money, Asuka was just the person to draw it against her.

Strong Style Saturday Thread

Good morning!  Don’t you hate when your cron is unresponsive and you have to set up an external one?  Man, we’ve all been there!  White people be calling their cron jobs like this, and…well, never mind.  It’s funnier for people who work in IT, probably.

Anyway, it’s Saturday!  The Red Stockings of Boston are off to the World Series, and coincidentally I’ve got a Smackdown review that was taped in Boston in 1999 this morning!  Then tomorrow morning we go back to Armageddon 99 for a show that my opinion changed DRASTICALLY in the 20 years since I originally reviewed it.

Luke Rockhold is off UFC 230 because they just can’t catch a break, except for the millions and millions of PPV buys they drew with the last show and all the money they’re getting from ESPN.

Enjoy your weekend, and as Sid would say, do unto the man as you would have the man do unto you, but do it first.

Questions. Lots of them

Hi. Okay enough pleasantries. 

1. Was NITRO meant to sound like NIGHT RAW? 
2. I recall DDP wearing bandages on his ribs for some 5 years. Was that to elicit sympathy and get more of that underdog pop going on?
3. Will WWE ever do a steroid angle or is that too close to home?
4. Did WWE address on tv why nobody hits each other in the head with chairs anymore? Or are they ignoring the reasons for not going that route all together?
5. Why won't they ever have an angle where a wrestler has bad cardio and can only beat you in say 5 minutes and if not he's done? Is it because they're all superstars and Gods among men?
1.  What, seriously?  No, it was based on the TNT branding of "Nitro" for their sports and other programs.
2.  Maybe he just had sore ribs?
3.  Pretty sure they're not doing a steroid angle.
4.  Long as I never see it again, it's fine with me either way.
5.  Wasn't that Goldberg's whole gimmick? 

Global Warning 2002

Hey Scott,  

  Since we're not getting a rant on The Super Showdown show, how about one on the last time they did a big show in Australia. I found this show on the Network and it's a pretty good show.  

Shouldn't be a problem.  At only two hours it seems like an easy one to knock off, plus I think I've already done that triple threat main event recently.  I'm kind of surprised I haven't come across it on the Network yet, I wonder if it was added recently?

Also on the review pile, for those wondering, is the complete Last Battle of Atlanta show that was added to Hidden Gems on Thursday.  They're really stepping up their game with this stuff!

Most Important Monday Night Raw?

What is the most important, historic Monday Night Raw in history? 

March 26 2001? 
RAW/Nitro simulcast.

March 30 1998? 
Austin era begins with new WWF title
Austin/McMahon goes to new level
Rock takes over as leader of NOD
Triple H takes over as leader of DX

Something else?

If not the Nitro simulcast, I’d actually go with the Mike Tyson episode because that’s the one that really started them on the road to beating WCW and made Austin into a bigger star than he already was. They got some serious ROI from that one.  

Friday Night Party Thread: October 19, 2018

We made it!

YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE at Fox Hall in Annandale, VA, and the VFD, where fans are starting to file in for NOVA Pro’s Sadie Hawkins Invitational!  Some last second car issues have led to a couple changes in the card, but we still have 8 mixed doubles squads ready to thrill and delight, and an absolute war between Tim Donst and PCO on tap!

For those of you who aren’t, well, me and therefore are still at home, a reminder that CMLL Super Viernes is doing a 40th anniversary celebration of Blue Panther’s career with Cavernario/Terrible/Rush vs Finlay/Caristico/Penta up top.  If you’re a baseball fan, the Dodgers go to Milwaukee hoping to join Boston in the World Series.  Football fans will have a choice of two Mountain West games: Colorado State/Boise State on ESPN2 and Air Force/UNLV on CBSSN.  Or, if you’re feeling nerdy, go to ESPNU and watch Yale/Penn!

Enjoy the weekend!

Six of the Best – WCW Halloween Havoc

Last time out I listed what I believed to be the six best matches from WWF/WWE’s No Mercy event. This time I’ll be taking a look at what was traditionally WCW’s October offering in the form of Halloween Havoc.

As always, this is just my own personal picks and it isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s get to it!

Read moreSix of the Best – WCW Halloween Havoc

What the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – March 11, 1995

Gordon Solie, Dusty Rhodes & Larry Zybszko are doing commentary and they are still taped from Gainesville, Georgia.

A replay of Hulk Hogan attacking Vader on WCW Saturday Night last week is shown, along with Hogan’s ensuing interview.  Zbyszko notes that Hogan is so scared of Vader that he had to attack him when Vader was not looking.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – March 11, 1995

Giant WCW debut as Son of Andre

Why did everyone get so bent out of shape when The Giant debuted as the Son of Andre, but people didn't have as big a problem when Kane debuted as Undertaker's brother?

Isn't that basically the same thing?  Two family type stories in wrestling between guys who weren't actually related.

Probably because Andre had just died a couple of years before and it's a tad disrespectful, and no one had permission from either him or his real family to do that storyline.