Indies and Insanity: November 21, 2019

Sorry if this is a few minutes late — I was slow starting my research because my co-worker put C-SPAN on at the office and we all fell asleep.

Your NFL Game of the Week of the Day is Indianapolis/Houston, with actual playoff implications!  Your NBA on TNT doubleheader is Portland/Milwaukee followed by Nawlins/Phoenix.  Meanwhile, NC State and Georgia Tech play some football on ESPN.  ESPN2 has basketball in Madison Square Garden, as Texas faces Georgetown, then Duke meets Cal.  ESPNU has two games from Charleston, SC: Xavier/Towson, then Buffalo/UConn.  And if you’re really bored, FS1 is re-airing SmackDown and Backstage.

After the jump, let’s look over some indie coverage!

Read moreIndies and Insanity: November 21, 2019

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite–11.20.19

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 11.20.19

Live from Indianapolis, IN

Your hosts are Tony, JR & Excalibur

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite–11.20.19

You still the man but……

 With everything 20 times worse WWE has done you dropping powerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr over a dumb joke (by the way I agree was tasteless and has no place in todays world) is rich. Especially given the fact he quit got fired whatever there is no reason to drop it. Its nice getting some new and different shows reviewed and getting some exposure by you thats not WWE. 

The ultimate issue wasn't the joke, which was stupid but just being Cornette being Cornette.  The issue was that they knew about it for a month and a half and could have edited it out, but didn't.  And then when they got caught, Lagana barely even issued an apology before putting the episode right back up again.  That's not a company I particularly want to help out.  Hell, if OTT was available as a weekly show on YouTube, I'd love to cover them instead and give them all kinds of publicity.  

What’s up w all the head/neck bumps?

Is it me or has there been a huge increase recently in some dangerous looking head and neck bumps, in both companies?  It seemed like after the Owen/Austin mess back in 97, we largely went away from that kind of thing, with Taker’s “clench your head in my knees and miss the mat by 6 inches” tombstone being the closest we came.  

Now, every night I’m seeing someone get spike DDT’d on the apron, or brainbusters are being hit on chairs, the floor, the ramp, and even the influx of Canadian destroyers is basically a guy back flipping onto his head.  All culminating in Moxley’s terrifying looking top rope dirty deeds on Allin last night.

I’m sure the guys are better trained to take these bumps now, but the margin for error is still SUPER thin.  Is there a reason for this resurgence?  Does this all seem more dangerous lately, or am I just old and turned into a pussy after 15 years of the PG era?

It's not just you, I find it terrifying as well.  Especially the bump that Kenny Omega took against Moxley at the PPV, on the wood of the ring.  Omega in particular needs to tone it the fuck down. 

Dynamite – November 20, 2019

Date: November 20, 2019
Location: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur

This should make for an interesting week as Chris Jericho is set to make a huge announcement. That very well may be something about his cruise, but it could be something coming a little sooner. Other than that we should be in for our usual big show, though you never can tell what that is going to bring. Let’s get to it.

Read moreDynamite – November 20, 2019

Tito vs Alberto live on FITE.TV

FITE.TV has partnered with Combate Americas to bring fans the much- anticipated match between two legends – Tito Ortiz and Alberto “El Patron” Rodriguez. 
Airing live from the Payne Arena in McAllen, Texas on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 8pm EST, the show will feature commentary in both English and Spanish.
More info in the FITE news page

Tito Ortiz vs Alberto El Patron on FITE

Not gonna lie, I’m debating getting this one with my credits on FITE and reviewing it.

Upside to the return of Punk?

I've been a big fan of Punk in the past, but I can't help but feel his whole return is pretty underwhelming and isn't going anywhere. He's back as a co-host for a show nobody watches and apparently he's really truely one hundred percent not employed by WWE
even though he's surrounded by WWE Branding, on a WWE Show that's talking about the WWE.

So he's already 'just another guy' on the product and he's not been in a match, which he may or may not do (he will) and apparently the personality vacuum that is Seth Rollins is the first one humping his leg? Say what you like about Lesnar, but his every appearance
feels special, even if he's been doing the same schtick for years, Lesnar is still an "Event". I dunno how you screw up CM Punk returning, it not be an "event" and in a week he's just "there" and another guy, upstaged by David Arquette of all people!

How do you have the guy come back and at the very least, not do it on a main show with a crowd reaction that would almost certainly have popped a roof off.

Whole thing seems like a total botch.

Guess AEW dodged a bullet.

You'd think they would have at least brought him back at Survivor Series and had him come out and say "Hey, watch my new show, WWE Backstage!" or something.  As noted, it's really weird and I don't understand it at all.

But hey, Backstage was up to 180K viewers, so that's almost 4x where they started!

NXT Drawing Test

Since it seems like WWE are going to continue sending main roster talent down to NXT, why not send one or two down a week and advertise them in advance? It’s really hard to tell who moves numbers on the main roster, but seeing who spikes a rating for NXT could be useful info on who they need to push. Plus it would presumably raise the NXT ratings. Or are they worried they don’t have anyone that can raise NXT ratings and they’ll be exposed for having no stars worth promoting in advance?
I think once we get through Survivor Series, they'll lose interest and NXT will be back to being isolationist again. 

Hogan’s drawing power in 1987

From my memories of reading the 1987 recaps on the blog, Hogan's house show business was a bit sluggish post-Wrestlemania III.  After all, who was going to buy One Man Gang or Killer Khan as threats after we all saw Hogan beat ANDRE THE GIANT clean?  Was this
the first sign of a (minor) slip in Hogan's drawing power, as he now needed a credible opponent to sell out the house, as opposed to filling it on his name alone?  Or was this just a blip (he did really good business with Boss Man in '88 as I recall)?

I'd say it was a blip.  There was never any suggestion from the Observers that things were slipping until 1990.  


Positively an AEW mark, but totally expected NXT to put the screws to them this week.

Live on west coast so after taking kids to sports, sat down and watched both (west coast advantage since AEW dvr’d early and then can fast forward NXT through commercials.

So AEW very very coherent. And I was able to see who and how they pushed in coherent ways.  NXT besides redragon vs revival, I have absolutely zero sense what is happening. Watch NXT weekly and read reviews of other shows and know the wrestlers but literally WTF is happening literally have no clue.

I give up I like NXT and will take my kids to $20 seats to WWE main shows when they come but it’s a cluster F.

I haven't watched NXT so can't comment on the specifics of this show, but the buildup to Survivor Series / Takeover has really ruined the allure of the show for me and left it feeling like yet another WWE Brand ™.  Your mileage may vary, of course.  

NXT – November 20, 2019

Date: November 20, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Beth Phoenix

In a rare situation, this is the go home show for both Takeover: WarGames and Survivor Series. Takeover’s card seems to be set, but there are five spots each for both the men’s and women’s Survivor Series teams. There is a good chance that we will not know any of the members until Sunday, which could make for quite the show. As for tonight, HHH has said the doors are open so it’s guest stars time. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – November 20, 2019

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

WCW Prime for November 6 featured a new match, with Chris Cruise and Dusty Rhodes on commentary.

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


….if you're going to drop Powerrrrr coverage, you kind of have to drop  WWE coverage also?  In all seriousness, it's partially owned by Linda McMahon who works for Donald Trump who recently told a black woman and American citizen to go back to Africa. 

Yeah that’s totally the same thing. 

Monday Night Raw – June 20, 2005

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 20, 2005
Location: American West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance: 5,500
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

Vengeance is on Sunday and that means it’s time for the final push towards what is looking like a stacked show. There are already several major matches set for the show and that means we should be in for a heck of a card once we get there. That is Sunday though and we need one more final push to get there. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – June 20, 2005

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #343 – 20/11/1999

Hello You!

Last week wasn’t a bad show all told, as they did some interesting stuff to advance the Raven/Dreamer/Sandman storyline by having Dreamer save Raven from a Sandman attack but not quick enough to placate Raven, thus causing him to have a seeming mental breakdown.

So yeah, it was fun for all the family!

Let’s see where they’re going next, as we hang various weaponry from the ceiling and once again take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #343 – 20/11/1999

Follow up to Atomic drop question

Hello Scott,


What move should go away for a while?


I’m personally sick of seeing wrestlers just aimlessly standing outside the ring so someone can jump on them from off the top rope/ring posts. When it’s done well it’s fine, but when it’s obvious they’re assembling outside the ring to be jumped on, it sucks.


Also loving AEW, it’s brought me back into watching a weekly product.

To be fair, that’s not really a “move” as such.   I think the multiple dives need to go away for a bit, though.  Look at Cody!