What about the Demos!!!


Poor Jericho, first his segment last week got destroyed in the ratings as the lowest ever for Dynamite and then NXT beat them again this week. Not to mention Sasha and Bayley's segment beat his two weeks, which Sasha trolled him about and of course he couldn't help but respond. Are we one more NXT ratings win away from Chris melting down Angle style on twitter like when he was in TNA? 


Wait, has the last two weeks actually cemented AEW as TNA 2.0? TNA had some original ideas and great home grown talents, then started bringing in all the ex-wwe guys, switched to Mondays to compete with WWE, had solid ratings to start and then spiraled out of control. Should we start talking about when Vince is going to buy them and which stars he will keep? Would that acquisition include your blog? Will you have to lower your standards and actually have to go back to reviewing Raw/Smackdown? Imagine the Horror!


Seriously though, Jericho needing graphs to prove moral victories was a sad sight to see. And why can't AEW avoid the shots at WWE, it makes them look 2nd rate. Clearly Taz is butt hurt about never getting called back for anything and Matt Hardy has hurt feelings they didn't want to push a guy with multiple personalities but none of those who can barely walk. It just seems a bit desperate like they are trying to be noticed. Has WWE made any references to AEW yet? Yes they have done counter programming but who wouldn't when a new company starts coming at you and poking you. Yeah their demos are strong some weeks but clearly without these hotshot PPV level shows they are basically TNA before they got kicked off Spike. And poor Mox, love the guy but Eric Young as Impact champion moved the needle more than him. Clearly Russo can save them right?

Sincerely,

Dixie Carter ( OH no can I even still call myself dixie?)

4 out of 10.  You peaked with the Seth Rollins one that first time and you’ve been chasing the troll dragon ever since.  

nWo 1999

The fingerpoke of doom being WCW's death knell is complete revisionist history. The ratings for Nitro and Thunder went up for a couple of months. Souled Out 99 did a decent buyrate and SuperBrawl 99 headlined by Hogan vs. Flair did a REALLY good buyrate despite
revisionist history telling us nobody cared about nwo vs. WCW or Hogan vs. Flair anymore. The problem is when the nWo just sort of fizzled out. Hall relapsed. Hogan turned face for some reason and got injured. Nash
turned face for some reason. The only one
who continued to wear nWo stuff while acting like a Heel was Scott Steiner even though he stopped teaming with any of his nWo mates by March. Then he got injured too, came back and introduced Rick into the nWo like they were still a thing. Sting came back
and instead of going after the nWo he went after Flair and DDP? Basically it was the terrible follow up booking/eventual fizzling out that killed WCW in 99 NOT the reformation of the real nWo. 


Yes I actually have a question. How and when would YOU have ended the nWo angle proper in 99? I know you've never been the biggest fan of the angle but it WAS still hot in early 99. Everybody says that nWo Hollywood vs. nWo Wolfpac was cut short but again the
ratings and buyrate went UP when it went back to proper nWo vs. WCW. But yeah you're given the book right after they reform, where do you go with it to do the angle justice, give it a proper ending and make sure you don't lose a big chunk of your fan base
in the process ala what WCW actually did.


I was kind of wondering when you were getting to the question there, but fair enough.  I would have done what everyone else has suggested in the past — Goldberg runs through the nWo one by one to set up six months of PPV main events, leading to him regaining the World title from Nash or Hogan in the summer for the big moment, and that ends the nWo.  

Punk Triple Crown

So when the fans can return to live events the popular promotions aside from the E will need something big to reinvest fan interest immediately. I’m biased, I am a Punk fan, & this is an ambitious idea but that’s what’ll be needed yes? How about just to hit the ground running…..RoH, NJPW & AEW let Punk be a Triple Crown Champion? All 3 World Titles at once, say 3-4 months. It would draw eyes from every promotion & it’s something that hasn’t been seen in forever. AEW, RoH & NwA? AEW, NwA & MLW? Punk’s the last crown jewel of the AEW scene & a return after such a long absence would light a fire. Under a new promotion Punk v Moxley, Jericho & Rhodes is a fresh dynamic. Fresh matchups…..

Punk v MJF

Punk v Scurll

Punk v Cassidy

Punk v Omega

Punk v Cage

Could be a major kickstart pro wrestling needs once fans return. Too far fetched? Someone else instead of Punk? AEW / NJPW / RoH / MLW / NwA / IMPACT / AAA…..What say you Keith?

Punk couldn't even get people to watch Backstage on FS1. 

What to do with Shayna?

Since they bungled Baszler's main roster debut so badly, it would appear that now Creative Has Nothing For Her. Since they're taking the women's tag titles seriously this week, I think a decent enough idea would be for Shayna, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir to win the belts and Freebird it up. Can Duke and Shafir even work at that level?

My other idea was once Bayley and Sasha finally break up to make Shayna Bayley's tag partner/muscle and to call them Baszley.

Duke and Shafir definitely cannot work at that level.  The Baszler thing is doubly disappointing because she's already past what would be considered her prime years, and they spent YEARS with her in NXT for no reason, put her over top people at Survivor Series to groom her for a big debut, and then just had her lose to Becky at Wrestlemania and now that appears to be it.  

Billy Gunn winning KOTR

When Russo booked Billy Gunn to win the KOTR, was there a long term end game or just the feud with Rock at Summerslam?  Was he supposed to get the main event push that HHH got later that year?

Which was the bigger booking disaster Billy or King Mabel?

They at least got a few months of house show main events out of Mabel.  

Weekend Morning Shows

Hey Scott,

I wrote a few ECW Hardcore TV reviews a few years back, and have several of your books, which are all great. Keep doing what you do, the way the media is, I can't even turn on Sports center anymore.

Anyway, this email isn't just to give you praise. Going back and reading Bayless's excellent Challenge/Action Zone stuff, I was wondering why the WWE didn't bring back Saturday and Sunday morning wrestling when it went to PG. Since it's mostly watched by kids, it wouldn't matter to them that there were squash's and they had all been taped a month ago.

I think the WWE really missed the boat on this, because the majority of us who watched on Saturday, watched Monday when we got older. 

A miss or WWE doesn't care about capturing the youth that will eventually be young men with disposable income?

Keep up the great sh*t, pal.
They tried it a few years back and it really didn't do very well.  But the problem now is definitely that there's no easy point of entry for new fans, especially young ones.  It's kind of insane that you literally need to follow FIVE HOURS of TV shows every week in order to properly “be a fan”.  Stuff like Superstars and Main Event is still out there, but you have to subscribe to the Network to watch it and thus you're probably already indoctrinated into the WWE Universe(tm) if you know where to watch them. 

Programming an audience

Good day to you sir

I've heard a lot of old time bookers say that when they came into a new territory or starting their allotted stint in a territory, the first thing they would have to do (besides bringing in their crew) would be to program/train the audience to like their specific style of booking. 


How long do you reckon it would take to reprogram an audience today? 

Hope you have a great day

Heyman was trying it but the problem was that there was no audience to program!  

Great shows without great matches

Hi Scott

I recently re-watched WrestleMania 14 and was struck by how fantastic a show it was and how much it really holds up.  Great booking, great moments and hugely influential in helping WWF turn the corner in the Monday Night Wars.  However, the show probably didn't have a great match.  Some give Shawn vs Austin 4 stars, but due to HBK's injuries it wasn't a classic.  This got me thinking – do you have a favourite PPV that doesn't have a legitimately great match?
Yeah, 14 is super-entertaining up and down.  I'd also throw 6 into that category, although Hogan-Warrior was generally considered great. 

Hogan/Bruno

Do you think Hogan vs. Bruno would have worked for WM 1? I know 1985 was a bit early to do face vs. face, nevermind mega face vs. mega face but I have to think this match would have drawn ungodly amounts of money yes? Or maybe have Bruno turn heel if they didn't
have the balls to do face vs. face? 


Bonus Question: If they DID do face vs. face at MSG who do you think the crowd would have favored?


I don't think the dynamic would have worked and it would have made one side of the fanbase bitter towards the other.  

Great American Bash counter programming


What do you think about NXT booking the Great American Bash last-minute to counter program AEW? 


It feels like a lot of effort for very, very little (if any) return. We're in the middle of a pandemic and things are awful. It's not like AEW was gonna do some insane number this week anyway.

And big picture, it confirms that WWE is a) concerned with AEW and b) out of ideas. Even if AEW fans watch NXT live, theyll still watch AEW on demand or online. Everything about it, down to the name they chose, feels very 20th century. 

Indeed.  Competition is fine and what people wanted.  However, when they spend their time specifically denying that there is competition over and over again and then pull that, it just makes them look petty.   Hot news I know.  

Bruno/Piper at WM 2


Reading your Best of Bruno review and he was regularly wrestling in mid to late 85/early 86. He was in the WrestleMania 2 Chicago Battle Royal. Since he was feuding with Piper in Oct 85, why not main event the NY/LI section of WM 2 with a Piper/Bruno blowoff?

If Mr. T had to get involved, make it a 6-man Bruno/Orndorff/T vs. Piper/Orton/Muraco. Would’ve been better than the crap we got from T and Piper amirite?!

I don’t think Bruno would have had any interest in getting himself over at that point or working WM.   His run was mostly for David’s benefit.  That being said, I forget when David left, but he might have been up for Sammartinos vs Piper and Orton. 
But yeah, Piper vs Bruno in that setting would have been amazing.  

new era of hidden gems and lost matches

So with the past couple of years, lets say NXT coming in there own and NJPW getting more noticed and accsessable, the amount of great-to-amazing matches every year is getting more and more it seems. Before the internet and the network, tape trading was the way to see Flair/Bret title change classic, or that Liger/Pillman home video match you had in your original “Best WCW matches of the 90's” piece. And everyone remembers the Flair/Steamboats and Bret/Owen classics.  Personally UT/Shawn WM25, the No Mercy 02 tag, WM 17 Multi classics, i remember all of them so vividly and re-watch them all the time.  Now…. theres so much i'm starting to forget instant classics all together. Holy shit i forgot how great Rollins & Ambrose vs. Ziggler & Mcintyre is. Gargano/Ciampa at takeover New orleans is still on my all time list with surrounding story, but i feel like its going to be some time before i watch the 2 re-matches(cinematic match never again). Same with gargano/Cole trilogy. Koto Ibushi had  phenomoal matches in the CWC and if they happened 10-15 years ago, i think we'd be talking about them every year. I am not complaining about the amount of outstanding matches we have at our fingertips now.  But it has gone from randomly seeing  the diamond in the rough in a sucky/ok card (some IYH shows come to mind), to now it takes a lot to stand out in a certain month, week, show. Is it possible for over-saturation? The Stadium Stampede will live on forever but Jungle Boy & MJF had a helluva match that may get lost in the shuffle. Keep up the good work and Stay safe to you and your family.

It's definitely a case of great matches getting lost in the shuffle.  Makes it really overwhelming at times.  

Best 4 week build to PPV blowoff

Hey Scott,

Since WCW/WWF took on monthly PPVs there have been lots of angles contained within a PPV build cycle of roughly a month just to make it to a PPV ending. Which has been the most effective (as in, a month long angle that drew by some measurement) or most memorable (angles that any fan remembers/would like to forget)?

Cena vs. Returning Brock at Extreme Rules was it for me. Intensity (the pull apart brawl with Cena getting busten open), awesome pre taped promo with Brock (the What's running down Cena's leg one), meme potential with Brock cutting the worst contract signing promo ever. And then the match, whatever you think of the ending, one of the most unique matches in an era of interchangeable matches. What say you? 

I'm gonna go with Mark Henry's “retirement” interview and subsequent match with John Cena.  Just a great one-off title program.  

Best Era to Make Money as a Wrestler

Hey Scott.

 

When would you say would be the best era to make money as wrestler? Currently, guys have guaranteed deals but in the mid to late 90’s you had guaranteed deals with a chance of getting extra money from PPV’s. Or, could you make the best of things in the 80’s where you got a piece of the gate and could enjoy being on a card with a Flair or Hogan?

 

Thank you!

The Attitude Era years were the gravy train for everyone.  Guaranteed contracts with both sides playing off each other, and then video game and merchandise money out the wazoo for midcarders on top of that, AND house shows headlined by Steve Austin and the Rock that were drawing big paydays.  Plus PPV money.  Hell, even minor stars were milking it for years afterwards with appearances at indy shows and autograph signings based on the name they made for themselves on either side of the Monday Night Wars.    

Salvaging Bash ‘91


In hindsight, how’d WCW not do a tournament for the vacant belt?  They had Sting, Luger, Windham, Koloff, Austin, Rick Steiner, AA, and Beautiful Bobby on the card- that would make for a pretty great bracket.  Add in Yellow Dog/Johnny B. Badd and Morton/Gibson in between rounds and you have a decent to good show instead of the show we got. 

To add SOME degree of fairness, it was a last minute situation and people were panicked, so you can't 100% blame them for not coming up with anything good.  But Luger v. Windham should have been good!  Doing a tournament when everyone was still gonna dog it and the fans were turning on every match wouldn't have fixed the problem at all.  

Kevin Dunn

When did the Kevin Dunn seizure inducing cabers cuts start? Watching Taker/Hell No vs Shield from ‘13 and about went epileptic.

It makes the product unwatchable even with good work rate, how much does this contribute to their slipping audience? When did it start? Why does Vince give it a pass?

Vince apparently likes it.  Best I can tell, it started around the time they went HD, but I wasn't really watching much at the time so I couldn't pinpoint a date or anything.  Really it was during the Shield era that it got REALLY obnoxious, though, and brought us to where we are today.  I wouldn't say it's a reason that fans were driven off, but it's certainly not helping to bring them back.