Smackdown blues

Stupid question:

So most of WWE's current shows are represented by one main color. Raw is red, Smackdown is blue, NXT is yellow, 205 is purple, and even older shows like Heat and Velocity had their one distinctive color (orange and  green, respectively).

Is Smackdown's color scheme hurting it? (I know, billion-dollar Fox deal, don't change anything, but humor me here.)

Raw has always used red as its main color, and red obviously evokes blood, and thus a sense of energy and urgency. Blue is a more serene, calming color, and I wonder if that's part of the reason Smackdown often feels like a less engaging show, regardless of the quality of the wrestling, storylines, etc.? 

Why does Smackdown have to be blue?

Look, I'm sure Chief Branding Officer Stephanie has a great reason that we're all too dumb to understand. Maybe someone was really into Eiffel 65 in the 90s.   

Dean Ambrose

Is it safe to say that Dean Ambrose has never really achieved what was expected of him. He had a lot of internet buzz surrounding him before he hit the main roster, but for me personally, I’ve never seen the attraction. Is it a case of poor booking or poor work rate?

I'd say it's a vicious circle of both.  

Kofi Kingston Royal Rumble Winner

Hey Scott,

Fantasy Booking: With Kofi's near-eliminations being a running gag every year, New Day being perennially some type of over, and of course, there not really being anyone else, do you think it's the worst idea in the world to just have Kofi win the Rumble this year?

Consider this: You're not really having Kofi/Brock. It's NEW DAY vs. Brock. Woods vs. Heyman on the mic. Woods pushing Kofi on UUDD, and Big E being it usual fun-loving self. The WM poster would be an awesome contrast between Brock's intensity, Heyman's low key intelligence, and the New Day's positive craziness. Finally, The Mania match would be balls to the wall craziness, with New Day interfering like crazy, Brock getting flustered, and you actually have a situation where people think he might lose.

I mean, it's not like anyone thinks Brock is really gonna lose the title at WM, outside of Disease-Destroying Reigns returning and now, if they continue the near-eliminations gimmick, it actually means something because the announcers can be like, "Hey, don't count Kofi out, it won it once!"

Didn't I just get two of these e-mails last week?  Kofi winning would be a giant waste.
orton stupid.gif
Geez, that's harsh.  But OK. 

Which Russo reign was the worst in WCW?



I was wondering which of Russo’s two reigns in WCW as head writer was the worst? Was it his first reign (late ’99 to January 2000) or his second (mid 2000s)? Personally, I think his first reign was the worst. WCW in late ’99 was truly some of the worst television I have ever seen. I haven’t seen much of his second reign as I tuned out of WCW by that point and switched over to the WWF.

Yeah, but in 99 they were at least competitive, even if Russo did drive off four of their biggest stars (five if you count Raven).  Things were at least salvageable. The 2000 run eroded ratings and buyrates to the point where they had to sell the company.  And have you SEEN New Blood Rising?  

Royal Rumble Countdown 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2011

The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2011

I’ve had requests for a Royal Rumble Kindle book, but this is the one show I’m missing. So here it is! I wasn’t even watching the product at the time, so this is basically all new to me aside from knowing who the winner was. My exposure was limited to WWE sending me DVDs to review, and otherwise I was exclusively watching Classics on Demand for my fix. I barely even remember who the champions were or what the issues were, so I’m kind of looking forward to going in blind!

Live from Boston, MA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Matt Striker and Jerry Lawler.

Read moreRoyal Rumble Countdown 2019: The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2011

Royal Rumble Countdown 2019–The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2012

The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2012 – 01.29.12

So I had originally watched this in the theatre back in 2012 with a raucous, sold out group of fans, and it was a great experience, but not really conducive to writing a report afterwards. So I’ve got a few hours tonight, and we might as well do a fresh version for the first time!  (Well, fresh version in 2016). 

Live from St. Louis, MO.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Jerry Lawler

Read moreRoyal Rumble Countdown 2019–The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2012

Smackdown – August 19, 2004

Date: August 19, 2004
Location: Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

The Canadian adventure continues as JBL is still Smackdown World Champion and likely in line to continue feuding with the Undertaker. I’m sure you’re as thrilled as I am. Other than that Kurt Angle pinned Eddie Guerrero in a match that should set up a third match to settle things for good, though you never know with them. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – August 19, 2004

ECW on Sci-Fi 12/23/08 & 12/30/08

12/23/08 is the annual Best Of show that’s all recap and video packages so I’m fucking that off and skipping to the last show of 2008 instead.

We get a cold open with The Dirt Sheet, with both men debating the positives of abs vs. eating cheeseburgers. Various wrestlers get insulted with Morrison mocking Cena’s acting abilities (woah there, Boone) before comparing Hornswoggle to an animal. This brings out both Finlay & Horny (Miz: ”down boy, down!”) resulting in both guys/freaks getting beat up by Morrison & Miz until…The Boogeyman makes the save. You have to try really hard to make a Miz & Morrison match unappealing but By Jove Holmes, you’ve done it.

Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry

This feels like an apology for the previous segment. Loud-arse chants for Matt who throws his awesome punches to no effect on Mark who headbutts Matt down. Matt won’t stay down so Henry has to keep pummelling him. A press slam doesn’t stop him so Tony Atlas has to distract Matt so Mark can connect with a Banzai Drop. When we return from break, the commentators are silent for a minute as we get the second week of production fuck-ups. Maybe Gavin Spears is moonlighting. Mark squeezes Matt which only increases the cheers. Mark attempts to skidmark Hardy across the ropes but he scurries away, sadly resulting in Hardy getting sling-shotted instead. Mark misses a sit-out splash enabling Matt to hit his second-rope elbows off the top and get a Side Effect for two. Matt takes out Tony on the apron leaving him clear to hit the Twist of Fate…except Swagger runs in and gives Matt a Doctor Bomb for the DQ.

Winner via DQ: Matt Hardy (An abbreviated version of their usual match, working as a side-dish to the Swagger main course. Was good while it lasted though due to the sheer amount of love Matt brings with him.)

Promo package for Kizarny, who spends the entire time hanging out with sideshow freaks and speaking in carnie.

This was annoying after thirty seconds so no wonder they dumped him quicker than Eric Escobar.

Paul Burchill vs. DJ Gabriel

Oh wonderful, we go from one award-winning gimmick to another as we get the debut of Incest Paul and Katie Lea. They’d dump it after a while but not after some arm-rubbing and DO YA GET IT YET looking-at-the-camera levels of implication. Burchill does his best to wrestle wearing a sneer but looks more like he’s just been told he’s going from pirate to sister-fucker.

I don’t remember Burchill being bad last time they allowed him on TV but he’s regressed to Mike Knox-levels of clothesline-stomp-chinlock and the only noise the crowd makes is chanting BORING. Another clothesline followed by another rest-hold and you’d think Burchill was the newbie here rather than DJ. Another chinlock from Paul who is moving around like he’s got two peg-legs until DJ hits a complicated slam, Paul recovers and rolls-up Dead Gimmick’s Chest for the awkward win.

Winner: DJ Gabriel (Paul bombed harder than Cutthroat Island.)

Finlay & The Boogeyman vs. John Morrison & The Miz (No DQ)

Fit slaps Miz around while JBL watches happily in the back, wearing a hat and nothing else. Miz & Morrison are double-teamed by Finlay & Horny, taking Earthquake splashes and then a clothesline by Boogey. Miz goes the other side of the ring but Boogey’s hand holds him in place from under the ring while Horny dives with his tiny tope.

It’s a testament to Miz & Morrison’s talent that they can sell for Hornswoggle and still be taken seriously as wrestlers. Finlay gets dumped on the apron and takes various double-teams from the Slammy Award winners as Boogey earns his money and drools on the apron. Boogey eventually clotheslines both Miz & Morrison but goes back on the apron and when Finlay tries a comeback, Morrison rolls him up for the three. Oh.

Winners: John Morrison & The Miz (No idea what the ending was about, it looked set up for Finlay to turn on Boogeyman for being shit but instead he dances with some kids to end the show and Finlay points at the camera and laughs at you for watching wrestling in December.)

Overall: This time of the year is for family and Muppet’s Christmas Carol so it’s your own damn fault for expecting something good on the brand featuring Boogeyman, Kizarny, incest and Main Event Hornswoggle. Happy new year and fuck you too.

I’ve been Maffew and I’ll be doing 2009, don’t worry. Follow me on Twitter and watch me on Cultaholic. Please.

Oh also I finally watched Botch Club so you can find out my thoughts by clicking here.

Saturday Night Thread

Saturday continues building momentum as the blog rolls on!

UFC debuts on ESPN+ tonight with their first show and a new belt.  Plus the usual array of sports.

Monday is the debut of Superstars on the Network!  34 episodes drop, and hopefully they have a better rate of addition than Heat or Prime Time.

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the weekend, so talk about it here!

Best Rumble World Title Match?

In honor of the upcoming World Title matches at Rumble (which both have the potential to join the list of best) what do you think is the best one? I feel like the obvious would be Angle/Benoit or Triple H/Foley. Some of my favs were Brock/Rollins/Cena, Undertaker/Mysterio, Cena/Umaga and Styles/Cena. Orton/Hardy for honorable mention.

I don't think anyone's ever topping HHH v. Cactus.  Styles/Cena was amazing as a technical exhibition, but the street fight had the storyline and emotion in addition to being a ***** match.  

Degrassi T.V. Series

Since you are Canadian, I just have to ask;  Did you ever get into the "Degrassi" t.v. series?  I.E.-Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi; The Next Generation, etc.  
No, so don't blame me for Drake.  My parents did watch The Littlest Hobo and Beachcombers all the time, though. 

Jericho going off on a newsletter?

Was it true that in the early 2000's after a PPV, Chris Jericho publicly went off on a newsletter,(I'm going to say it was the Observer, but I'm not sure), for not giving his match enough stars?  I've heard bits and pieces of this over the years, but obviously never the full story.  

There's not much a story, really.  He pitched a fit on a website after King of the Ring 2002 because people online only rated his match with RVD at ***3/4 or something.  I don't think it was specifically directed at the Observer, and in fact he was probably just working everyone anyway.  

Impact Wrestling – January 18, 2019

Impact Wrestling
Date: January 18, 2019
Location: The Asylum, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Don Callis, Josh Matthews

We’re still in Nashville and that means the fallout from last week’s medium sized angle. Moose cost Johnny Impact his non-title match with Killer Kross, but Brian Cage is still lurking. We also get to find out who Scarlett Bordeaux’s new talent is, which could be a disaster. Let’s get to it.

Read moreImpact Wrestling – January 18, 2019

Rollins vs. Lesnar

Who do you pick to win? Any chance Lesnar retains and holds the title until another Reigns rematch at WrestleMania 36? This could be their chance to really get Roman over!

Pretty sure they're just gonna keep the title rotting on Lesnar until they decide once and for all who their guy is gonna be or Brock commits to UFC one way or the other.