Bob Sapp

Hi Scott,

Do you think Bob Sapp could have been a star in wwe? Huge guy, charismatic as hell, has a flair for the dramatic and clearly not afraid of goofing it up a bit (as evidenced by this gem   https://youtu.be/9dCNym6sO3E ).

Or would petty backstage bs relegate him to one of the many wrestlers that came and went during 2003-2010?

Cheers!

I think Sapp could have been a big star in a lot of places, but I feel like Vince would have tried to WWE-ize him and ruined it.  I think he was better off in Japan, where they got him, even though New Japan was falling apart at the time.  Sapp in TODAY'S Japan though?  Holy cow.  

Championship rivals thrown together

I was hoping this "let's throw two guys feuding over a world title or are big singles guys together and give them the tag titles" trope was dead, but here we are with Seth and Braun as Tag Team champions. Has this EVER worked outside of The Bar (and even then, Cesaro unfortunately really isn't a main event in that sense anyway)?

Shawn Michaels and John Cena?  It's a very common trope but it doesn't have much success to back it up.  It's just another lazy crutch for booking, unfortunately.  

HBK & Smackdown


If HBK would have agreed to go to Smackdown in 2004, what impact would it have had on JBL and Cena? HBK winning the belt from Eddie could have gave JBL more time to flesh out his new character. I would loved to have seen a heel HBK vs. Cena at WM 21.

That would have been an interesting twist, actually.  Shawn fails at Wrestlemania and decides to get a fresh start on the other show.  Of course, in real life he had no interest in being World champion again, but I really like that solution and it would have spared us a year of JBL.  

bob cat


hi why does aew wwe not sign bob cat

Hmm, well you raise an astute point, my good man.  There's several ways you can interpret the lack of Bobcat signing thus far, each with pros and cons that go beyond the obvious permutations and…

Hey, wait a minute!  I see what you did there!

The Announcer Landscape

Hey Scott–

Your dig at Matt Striker a while back made me pause for a moment; It's kind of incredible that a guy went from the Wrestling Observer's "Best Television Announcer" to one of the worst all because Vince McMahon started yelling in his earpiece. More over, after leaving WWE, he never recovered from Vince breaking him down and continues to suck even in 2019.

I feel like Corey Graves is going down the same path. Most folks were elated when he was put on both main announcing teams, but listening to him as the years have progressed has dramatically increased the amount of blood pouring out of my ears. I think I can safely assume it's because he's constantly hearing the phrase, "Argue with Renee about more pointless bullshit, PAL!"

So I guess the question is this: Once NXT goes to USA, how long do you give poor Mauro Ranallo before he walks away again?
Oh, I don't see Mauro doing the live NXT show.  I think it'll be one of the corporate drones working with Nigel.  Mauro will probably do the Takeovers and that'll be enough for him, I'd imagine. 

Tournament Format?

Do you think King Of The Ring should be a 1 night tournament, or doing what they are with it now;  Spread out over several shows?  It seems I'm in the minority here, but I actually don't mind the tourney being spread out.  I mean the last 3 were 1 night tournaments, and look how those turned out.  

If you're spreading it out over that amount of time, it just becomes a bunch of matches and also increases the possibility of someone screwing around with the direction and changing finishes and such.  It should be a one-night tournament because TOURNAMENTS ARE AWESOME. 

Wednesday night war ratings question

So 18-24 years ago was a 6-year period of ratings wars between WCW and WWF. Today though DVR exists. So my question is: how does DVR impact ratings? Like most wrestling fans, I’m going to watch either AEW or NXT and DVR the other to watch another time. Does the DVR’ed show count toward ratings?  It’s so much easier today to just watch both shows
Yes, DVR ratings are absolutely a thing.  In fact, it was also a thing during the original Monday Night Wars, but back then it was factored via VCR ratings.  The other thing to keep in mind is that we don't get quarter hour breakdowns and such any longer from Nielsen, so it'll be a lot tougher to do head-to-head comparisons and all that fun stuff.  Really, just watch what you watch, and above all else make sure to read whichever show I end up recapping on the blog. 

what´s USA Network expecting?

So it´s seems very clear what´s the idea to show NXT at wednesday on USA Network.
We could know it from the WWE side. But what´s with the USA Network side? Do they expect any numbers for that show? Besides AEW, I think that´s not what the channel cared. They want this or that way an calculated numbers at tv rating, no matter what other channels will show against them. So would be half of Raw be a success for USA Network?

Depends on what they're paying, which I'm assuming isn't much.  Here's the thing:  They got BLINDSIDED by Fox basically stealing Smackdown from them for the billion dollars, a deal they had no hope of matching, and that's a giant amount of ratings gone with nothing to replace it.  So it was inevitable that WWE was going to have to pony up some other form of content to replace it in October, and NXT makes the most sense.  From USA's perspective, anything is better than the nothing they're now getting from Smackdown, so they're likely happy with the million viewers it'll do.  

Either way, it's a good day to be Vince as long as these networks keep demanding programming. 

Hogan/Andre

What did you think of the Main Event ending?  I guess you didn’t need twin referees to accomplish it. As long as Andre surrenders the title to Dibiase, you get a tournament.   I doubt they were thinking ahead but you could have had Dibiase run in and hit Hogan in the back with a chair and have Andre pin him.  Then Hogan gives him a receipt at IV.  
Dude, you're trying to rebook one of the most brilliant finishes of all time, that drew one of the highest ratings of all time?  LEAVE THE MEMORIES ALONE.

Schiavone hired


Scott- It was announced today that Tony Schiavone signed with AEW. Not a big surprise but it's believed that WWE had been working to sign him as well.


Didn't Schiavone try to go back and got rebuffed by WWE for years? Now all of a sudden they want him back because AEW is interested.

Is everyone not committed one way or another in play if they have even the smallest value?

Welcome to the Wednesday Night Wars, bro!  Pretty soon they're gonna be putting out press releases about signing the guy who caters backstage if it means one more eyeball on the product.  

But yeah, Tony had been trying to come back for years as a producer but they kept saying "they didn't want any more announcers", which is too bad.  I really wish he had gone to WWE because he lends a unique bit of credibility to their talking head stuff and he's just a really cool guy.  Best of luck to him in AEW, though.  

Hillbilly Jim

Were there any plans whatsoever for Hillbilly Jim when he came to the WWF? After being introduced and teaming up with Hogan, he kinda floated around, had his WM III match with Bundy and the midgets, got injured and disappeared.  You would think with Vince's love for all things hillbillies he would have done something with him.  Yet he is one of the most remembered 80s WWF wrestlers.  Is there some feud or match I'm forgetting about?

Not really.  But then Hillbilly was the kind of perfect midcard babyface that they could market to kids and beat a million times without him ever losing his heat, so they didn't need to have big plans for him.  It's too bad that the broken leg really messed up his career so badly, though, because he could have milked that gimmick for decades like the Bushwackers.  

Title change

Nail your colours to the metaphorical mast : 

Leaving aside anything to do with Benoit, which title change (any title) had you marking out the hardest?

Personally, I still can’t go past Steamboat getting his  vengeance over Savage…

I nearly jumped out of my seat when Demolition won the tag titles from Strike Force at WM4.  Plus that one was closed circuit at the Coliseum in Vancouver at the time and EVERYONE was cheering for Demolition in that match.  I'd probably say Steamboat but we didn't go to WM3's closed circuit showing for whatever reason, so I didn't see it until the tape came out.  
Story time!  I've probably told this one before, but there's first-time readers everywhere.  So Steamboat v. Savage was actually the impetus for us to switch from Beta to VHS.  We had a Betamax player from, like, 1978 that we used as our VCR and it was getting questionable, but once WM3 came out in the video stores, my dad got super pissed that there were only 1 or 2 Beta copies available to rent and a bunch of VHS.  So we went to Sears that very night, bought a brand new VHS recorder, and then returned to rent Wrestlemania as the first thing we watched on it.  And in fact I ended up taking that VCR with me when I moved a few years later and used it as my dubbing deck all the way until about 2005, when I copied my massive wrestling tape collection over to digital formats and then chucked the entire thing in a dumpster.  Frankly had I known that the WWE Network would be a thing, I wouldn't have bothered even doing that. 

Fwd: Crazy Roman idea:

I’ll preface by saying it’s unlikely/almost impossible… but 

The WWE through his cancer diagnosis/return, feud with Shane, and careful booking have somehow kept Roman as an over babyface since his return. Roman realizing what it has taken WWE fans to embrace him after years of hate has orchestrated this angle himself, paying others to “attack” him to play the fans into cheering him.

He reveals this in a grand “It was me Austin!” type promo when he’s confronted by Rowan and Bryan. He calls out the fans for being pathetic and only willing to cheer him when he’s on the verge of death. He could say he’s proven he has to literally die for the WWE Universe in order to get a positive response.

This could be the Rock 97/98 heel turn mixed with Hogan 96. I’d go double turn and have Bryan end up the sympathetic face. After all, Roman was booed initially for stealing Bryan’s spotlight and now he falsely accuses the man of vehicular homicide to get fans to hate a guy they used to love.

I know this won’t ever happen, but on the fantasy booking scale, how’s this as Angle to build to WM

So, you're saying they should turn Roman Reigns heel, then? 

Disney Plus launches in Canada!

About time they announced this.  I'd call $9 a month totally fair given what you get, although we're never getting the Hulu bundle deal up here.  Can't wait for the cable monopolies to start crying foul, though, so hopefully this won't get tied up in court for years while Rogers claims the loss of Canadian culture or whatever.   

Mailbag question

Thanks to a certain t-shirt company, has there ever been a better time to be under contract to WWE than now?

You're getting your contract renewed (and a raise) without hesitation because Vince is scared of AEW (for no reason). 

You don't have to worry about being released because Vince is scared of AEW (for no reason). 

If you're under contract, but not being used, WWE will just pay you to stay home (ala Lanny Poffo), rather than see you pull a Lex Luger and show up on TNT Wednesday because Vince is scared of AEW (for no reason).

Is WWE even doing drug testing anymore? 
Only if AEW is doing testing. 

Jeff Hardy



All the Orton talk this week got me thinking. Do you think Jeff could of been a bigger star had he not dealt with his "demons"? People forget that at one point, that man was the most over guy they had on the roster. During his last run, I'd even say he was the Daniel Bryan of that time period as far as popularity. Just sucks he spent all those years in TNA destroying his body cause he's still a pretty young guy, maybe a revamped in ring style to go along with the damaged body?

I think it goes without saying that he destroyed his own career.  He was selling millions in merch at his peak and literally threw it away for drugs and booze.  Even in 2010 they still tried to push him and he was a wreck.  

WWE Rejects

An early concern for AEW would have to be (and they've vocalized this) not just snatching up WWE people. One of the complaints about WCW and later TNA/Impact was how they would sign up the WWE castaways & push them over their stars. The lack of care for their homegrown stars was a problem, but isn't it a positive to have this business approach? Shouldn't we encourage this?

Thinking about it, there's been plenty of people (Christian, McIntyre, Bubba Ray, etc…) that evolved or developed further once they got away from the WWE System for a while. Having another place for them to sign also gives the wrestlers options and not being forced to stick with a place they don't get to flourish in.

I've often wondered how stale acts like a Dolph Ziggler would evolve (or not) outside of WWE, so I welcome these types having a 2nd life outside of the WWE control. It did wonders for a guy like Cody…

They also appear to be doing well with Shawn Spears, but it's a real crapshoot.  Impact was terrible at it because they'd always push the WWE rejects to the top, at the expense of their own guys, and it made them look second-rate in their own promotion.  I think what Cody is trying to say is that they need to establish their own guys FIRST, and then if the right WWE guys become available, they can find a home in AEW if needed.  But Ziggler?  Forget it, he's damaged goods at this point.  Unless he can drastically reinvent himself PCO-style, he's better off doing stand up comedy.  

NXT to USA question


If Vince does decide to involve himself and helps implode it, would this finally be the move that makes Triple H say "fuck this, I'm out". It's Triple Hs baby and you can tell he has a special bond with every body that goes through there.

I think it's actually a realistic possibility that if Vince starts meddling, HHH will step down again to the Performance Center / Florida touring version of NXT and work on building that up instead.  That seems more like his passion, rather than doing 2 hour live shows with his father-in-law in his earpiece.  

WCW SN rants

Chances you do smark rants for 92/93 Saturday Night episodes? They will upload some 1993 episodes tomorrow. Tons of intriguing stuff with Vader, Cactus, Steamboat, Sting, Hollywood Blonds etc

I like to do stuff in order as much as possible unless there's a really good reason, so I'm gonna stick with 92 for the time being.  Plus those are the shows I watched at the time so I'm familiar with them.  

Booking decisions that were awesome with hindsight.

Hey Scott,


Thanks as always for answering reader questions.


What's your pick for the booking decision which seemed ridiculous at the time, but was rendered awesome by hindsight?


Mine – Delaying Savage beating HTM for the IC title so that he could win the World title at WM IV (which I know was partly brought about by necessity.)

Speaking of Honky, you'd have to go with Honky beating Steamboat for the title originally.  Seemed like a ridiculous move at the time, but Steamboat's title reign was completely DOA in hindsight and Honky went on to draw big money in that position. 

Hidden gem

Hey,

You might've already seen this but there's a Hidden Gem on the Network from March 1984, "Boogie Jam 84" that is a full Crockett card from Greensboro. Includes a Flair-Steamboat classic for the NWA Title, Ernie Ladd, Greg Valentine as a face in a cage match vs. Dick Slater, and Tully Blanchard managed by…Paul Jones.

Definitely worth checking out. 
I'm aware, it's on the list.  That random 84 Crockett stuff never does well, though. 

Wait a minute

I’m not taking sides in the aew/wwe cross fire ( I just want good shit out of it ) but saying nxt is moving to USA to screw aew overlooks the fact that nxt was on Wednesday’s prior and technically aew is trying to hurt nxt. Yet no one will say it like that. 

Not saying that AEW hasn't been poking the bear a lot, because they certainly have, but NXT is a streaming show that's available on demand and happens to debut on Wednesday nights.  AEW announced their cable TV show first and then WWE specifically made the move to cable TV in direct opposition to them.