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.  

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.   

Best in the world?


Ok, I get this is a long shot, but…

This whole “World Cup” tournament thingamajig is supposedly to determine the “best in the world.”  WWE has really doubled down on that phrase – the commentary teams couldn’t go five minutes without using it this past week.  Now it’s common knowledge that “best in the world” was CM Punk’s gimmick.  It’s also been apparent that the Saudis – remember, this whole World Cup concept was designed for these new international super oil money house shows on the Network – are much more interested in older stars than the current product.  And that all that oil money has lured some back to the ring *cough Shawn cough*. Sooo…could this “best in the world” tournament be a reveal that a truckload of Saudi oil/blood money has bought peace between CM Punk and Vince McMahon/Triple H?

Sent from my iPhone

I’m gonna go with “no”. 

Biggest fan rejection to a heel turn?



Have you ever seen a bigger fan rejection of turning someone heel and trying to get them booed like Becky Lynch?  The only one that I think of that even comes close was the Undertaker in late 2001, early 2002.  

Road Warriors in 88. One if the most ridiculously misguided attempts at turning someone ever.  Fans were literally cheering them DURING the heel turn.  

Castrating the Marks


Do you ever listen to the 'Castrating the Marks' podcast? I find it

hilarious, as it exposes Meltzer, Keller, Alvarez and the rest for what

they really are.

There's a 'Best of Year 1' up now. But at FOUR HOURS, I doubt anyone can

do it in one listen.

https://russosbrand.com/2018/10/16/best-of-castrating-the-marks-year-1/

I can't believe I once took what Metlzer and co. said seriously.

Just out of curiosity, what part of anything I’ve ever written in the past 20 years, during most of which I’ve been an Observer subscriber, would lead to you to think I’d want to listen to a four hour podcast bashing Meltzer?

2019 HOF follow up


Doesn’t it seem like the best/most obvious way to go at this point would be to have Batista headline the class and wrestle HHH at Mania?  Although from everything I’ve heard him say in interviews, he’d be more interested in a program if he comes back so maybe stretch it out from RR to Mania so Hunter can get his win before Dave goes over in their final match.

Does it really matter who actually wins the match, though?  If HHH beats him, so what?  In fact, I'd be shocked if he didn't.  As long as neither one wins the Rumble, I'm fine either way.

UK hot takes


Hey Scott,

Just saw the UK show… bleh. Dunne is a very cool added, mid card attraction a la Eddie guerrero/Chris Benoit 1995. I'm not sure why someone like him needs an entire "brand" centered around him at this point in his development. Nothing says "big time house drawing main event" like: pete dunne vs. The guy who actually made alicia fox interesting for 90 days on tv minus the freaking gimmick. That was every indy style main event ever for the past 7 years they just did. 


Tyler Bate and Trent Seven are money and always have been. Again, they are great additions to the meat and potatoes of a given card. Who the he'll are they working that is on their level?!


People like Dave Mastiff are the REASON gimmicks exist. You have a guy that looks like a freak and he goes out there as a wrestler… yawn.

More Wolfgang matches. Are you excited yet? Me neither bro.


Also, wouldn't it serve the show better to have occasional nxt tag title defenses rather than a gosh darned 4th set of unique frikkin tag titles?

That show is proof that you could put 2 squirls f___ing inbetween a set of ropes in england and it would still get a "this is awesome" chant. Yeck!

Brad

Hot takes indeed.  Still don’t think I’m watching it though. 

Evolution to Dismember



Steph announced Evolution on 7/23. It’s 10/17 and there are THREE main show matches announced, plus a battle royal… the ultimate in lazy “get everyone on the card” booking. Not too mention this is the THIRD battle royal for women this year after Rumble and WM. The Bellas werent even on TV when this ppv was announced and now Nikki  is main eventing!

They have the NXT and MYC matches but still the main roster women are essentially afterthoughts. Why not do a women’s World Cup? Or inaugural tag title tournament?

 This plus the Saudi bloody money ppv are just piling on the shit for WWE.



The Evolution thing is more about branding and politics, not drawing money or putting on a good show. They’ll make it succeed because they need it to.  

Wrestlemania III questions.


Scott-

Not sure if this has ever been touched on. 

What came first.  The Hogan/Andre angle or deciding you book the silverdome? 

If it was booking the Venue.  Hypothetically, if Andre could wrestle for any reason. Is there another match that could have filled that building at the time? 

Wwf was in their own successful little bubble that I don’t think bringing in Flair or Nikita would have worked. 

Piper? Orndorf?  What say you?


Hogan-Andre came first and then they booked the venue to be filled by the match.  Vince had been reportedly toying with the idea since Hogan originally won the title, with the original plan being Hogan v. Andre at Shea Stadium in the summer of 84 (as noted by Meltzer in the Observer at that time) which is why Andre was celebrating with Hogan in the dressing room after he won the title. But then the whole Hogan thing took off bigger than Vince could even dream and they didn't need to do it. 

If Andre's not available, no way they run the dome.  There was just nothing else big enough at the time.  

A-Double


I'm assuming this stuff with Austin Aries is an elaborate work & not him throwing a fit on a show being unprofessional. Did get me wondering about something.


As a fan, do you appreciate or like when booking tries to surprise you? Or have you gone full snark (like many, I would imagine) and look at "blurred lines"/"worked shoot" as just being annoying? Do you prefer wrestling sticks to established wrestling booking?

I'm going to be honest, I have only barely been paying attention to the Aries stuff, but the fact that it hasn't enticed me to watch at all probably says all you need to know.  Maybe I'm just grumpy about watching months of Vince Russo RAW in 1998 recently, I dunno.  But yeah, just give me good storytelling that makes sense.  Or randomly have Apollo Crews turn babyface off-screen, whatever, same thing.

Pre-’86 Kerry von Erich


Hey Scott,


Have you seen any Kerry von Erich matches before he lost his foot? If so, how was he?

On a similar topic, there was ever a wrestler with a bigger upside that got completely squandered? KvE was able to become one of the greatest stars on just one foot. If that motorcycle accident hadn't happened, do you see him becoming the biggest star of the '90s?

Most of Kerry's documented career came before the accident.  Really he was a much bigger star in the small pond of World Class than he was as the Texas Tornado.  I would classify him as "Pretty damn good" and I've seen lots of great matches between him and Flair and a hell of a match between him and Harley Race.  

I'd still vote for Magnum TA as the biggest waste of talent and potential, though.  Kerry was gonna self-destruct regardless.  


#1 Contender for the Worst?


Scott–


For a long time, you've touted that Dino Bravo is, in fact, THE WORST.

However, reading the recap of the Warlord/Blazer match from Primetime, should we now be giving consideration to the fact that… Warlord might be The Worst?

Even Dino could weave some kicks into the "clubbing forearms/body slam" move set…

Yeah, but Warlord was so bad he was hilarious to watch, plus he had the bonus of having his career ended via pizza truck.  Bravo can’t top that, so he’s the worst.  

John Hennigan


When "John Morrison" left WWE I remember it being related to Melina's issues and you saying that he wanted to become an actor or something along those lines.  While I didn't think he would ever become someone who would be THE GUY, he definitely had the look, in ring ability, and charisma to be near the top of the card for years and make a lot of money for the company.  I think a lot of fans have been expecting him to come back for years, but it hasn't happened.

Now he's on Survivor(as a fan of that show I can tell you that he has been great and incredibly likable so far), appeared on GLOW, and has gone to the top of two other promotions.  This guy's stock has never been higher. 

Here is my question: Why has Vince not brought this guy back yet? Did he burn a bridge, or do you think he has been holding out for a better deal?  I have to believe he would make more money as a top guy on Smackdown than he has been doing all of these other things.

Hey, I’ve been advocating for him coming back as a top guy for ages, but I think he’s happier doing his own thing on his own time, and good on him.  He’ll be back eventually and the longer he holds out, the bigger offer he’ll get.  

Clubber Lang





So according to Rocky canon Ivan Drago did win the Heavyweight title and retire undefeated, (as a pro. His match with Rocky was, of course, an exhibition,) but whatever happened to Clubber Lang? As champion wouldn't he have been entitled to a rematch and wouldn't
the Rocky/Clubber rubber match have made all the millions?


For that matter what about Tommy "the machine" Gunn? I mean  he was still champion even though Rocky beat him up.

Tommy Gunn was the Billy Gunn of the boxing world.  They probably stripped him of the title after the movie.  
As for Clubber, I can only imagine that he immediately retired and became a motivational speaker.  

Vince for HOF Class of 2019


You said there’s no real runaway option to headline next year’s Hall of Fame, but – with the show being in New York – wouldn’t it be the perfect year to induct Vince McMahon?

He’d probably never go for it, but maybe HHH and Stephanie could just announce it on Raw without telling him and then he has to do it.

Gotta be better than trusting Sid to be the headliner and risking him bailing for an April softball game, right?

They could always induct the Saudi prince.  I hear they’re very progressive now. 

Shot to the Crown Jewels?

l
So, as I write this, Saudi officials are preparing to acknowledge that they did murd- um, I mean, accidentally interrogate a dissident journalist to death and then lie about him leaving their consulate alive to the world.  So, yeah…is this admission enough to force Vince’s hand, or is the specter of a breached contract and, more so, all that oil money, just too damn much for him to cut bait when he should know better?

At this point he’s fucked either way. Really it’s a deal where $500 million is just too much to give up. As Dave noted this morning, if they survived Benoit they will survive this.  

80’s Wrasslin’

Hey Scott!

I have been itchin’ for some classic 80’s wrasslin’ & I with the wwe network I have plenty to pick from. What would your recommendation be? Mid-South, Mid-Atlantic, GWF, WCCW etc. 

Bonus Question: What’s the deal with Smokey Mountain Wrestling on the network? There are only a few episodes available, does WWE own the whole library or does Jim Cornett own the rest? Will we ever see the whole run on the network? 

Vince owns the complete SMW library and I'm sure we'll see it someday, but it's not exactly content that people are clamoring for as a feature release on the Network.  We still don't even have the full run of Prime Time or Heat, for example.  

Anyway, for 80s wrestling, you can't go wrong with World Championship Wrestling from 1985 onwards.  Great angles, tons of Four Horsemen and Road Warriors promos, and some future stars.  

Was Rikishi always the Plan


To be revealed as the one who ran over Austin? Did they have a plan when they did the run-over angle at SS? Were there any other options for the driver? Or was it just a situation where they just shot the angle and the explanation would be decided later?

The initial plan I've always heard was Billy Gunn but he was variously injured and in Austin's doghouse, so they pulled the plug on the idea and came up with Rikishi instead.  Ultimately though it was always going to lead back to HHH no matter which way it went.