Verne Gagne’s The Wrestler

Scott,  

Do you get Amazon Prime up there? Verne Gagne's “The Wrestler” movie is available on it & It's just begging for one of your snarky reviews. It's an easy watch at less than an 1:45 & there are lots of interesting cameos, including Rhodes & Murdoch. Plus it focuses on Verne getting too old and needing to retire…in 1974!

I do get Prime but the selection is totally different up here outside of the Amazon produced stuff.  Same with Netflix.  Canadian streaming rights are ludicrous.  I was hoping that the Memphis shows everyone talks about were on there, but nope.  

Good Match-Ups You Got Sick Of?

What match-ups between wrestlers did you enjoy at first, but then got tired of them when they were rode into the ground?  I remember being that way with Christian vs Sheamus in the WWE in 2014.  I swear for awhile there they had a match every week on Raw  More recently it was Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler a few years ago.  
Randy Orton v. Daniel Bryan.  Cena v. Orton was good once or twice.  Orton v. Christian.
I'm noticing a pattern here.

Bret question(not Montreal)

Hi Scott;

With many years of perspective on Bret’s career(probably not helped by his opinion of himself), where would you say he ranks as a worker now? Yes, he took the business too seriously, but to me his work was solid, he was able to come up with inventive finishes, and he could have good matches with a lot of different guys and styles, as well. 

Wondering that you and the BOD think.

I don't think anyone is really disputing that he's one of the greatest in-ring workers in history. 

Business-changing promos

Hey Scott,

Been enjoying your work for 20+ years…

The recent repost of Scott Hall invading WCW made me think how his promo (or maybe Hogan's “Stick It!” promo after the Bash turn) fundamentlly changed the direction of the business.Austin's 3:16 promo would be another example. Can you or the blog think of any other examples of promos (before or since) that were similarly so seismic?
Austin 3:16 did not change the business.  That's a bit of retroactive history that WWE has come up with over time, like the DX tank.  It took months after that promo for Austin to catch fire.  Something like the Pipe Bomb, which didn't really generate business numbers but started a big shift towards wrestlers trying to make money off social media, would be a better example. 

Watching New Japan for the First Time

Hey Scott.

 

I’ve been a wrestling fan since the late 1980’s, but never watched New Japan. Would you or those on the blog recommend just jumping into New Japan World or watching some stuff on YouTube first?

 

I’m really curious but kind of lost as where to start, since I understand that they’ve been around since the 70’s. I wouldn’t want to go back that far, but we’re they considered really good in the mid 90’s and on?

 

Yeah, dude, that's an understatement.


If you have New Japan World, Kevin Kelly is actually doing classic matches with newly recorded commentary, and it might be immensely helpful if you're a newer fan.  I'd actually recommend finding episodes of the New Japan World on AXS shows with Jim Ross & Josh Barnett doing commentary for newer stuff, because it's 100% presented as “Here's a way for more casual viewers to understand the characters and what's going on.”  


Here's a pretty good playlist from YouTube explaining everything for new fans as well:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6tuEOOMCv0&list=PL75HBBz2Fwf96F_PUJr5nfv9KB22bOJEf


Tony Khan’s Blog of Doom

What happened to you Scott? I get these are crazy times and wrestling with no crowds really shines a light on their issues and poor creative, especially WWE. But you make Uncle Dave look like Switzerland in the battle of WWE vs AEW with how you just gush over everything AEW does and crap over WWE even though you barely watch it. If WWE put on a show like dynamite last night you would of trashed it. Recycled tyson angle, thrown together tag teams getting title shots, and barely any follow up from the PPV. That show was terrible and your review was so positive.

I get you are jaded with Vince and WWE but at least be consistent with your criticisms. You are always ready with snarky comments on WWE's lower ratings but I never see digs with how AEW has TNA level ratings that is half of what they had when they started a year ago. Clearly what they are doing is not working or they be growing there audience.They say wins matter but all these rankings are based off jobber wins. Omega has barely even fought this year and has remained top 5, why because he is an EVP? Cody has been taking up a spot even though he couldn't even fight for the title. But you say nothing about any of that. No way you would let WWE get away with that.

You say WWE can't make stars, who is over in AEW that they created? They have mostly relied on ex wwe guys which is opposite of what Cody is always saying they were going to do. Is Tony funding this page that you can't bite the hand that feeds? Have you ever thought the reason your views are down is because other readers are thinking the same thing? Or maybe we stop clicking on your WWE reviews because you just poop on it regardless if its good or not. You won't watch NXT without fans even though they probably put on the best weekly matches cause of no fans but you will fanboy out for AEW garbage. And as shady as Vince is he actually tried to do something halfway right with no fans in the audience due to social distancing but you never said anything. Meanwhile AEW has not abided at all with social distancing with the wrestlers in the crowd but you never called them out like the shots you take at WWE.

I am sure you won't read this or post it but as a long time reader I just ask you to not do what AEW is doing. Which only worried about what a select fans want and maybe pretend to appeal to everyone with some unbiased rants. 

Sincerely,

Seth Rollins

I enjoyed the twist ending.  

Dark side of the ring ?

Watching a few episodes they use some wcw and wwf/e clips. Did Vince give them permission or are they just like fuck it let’s use them and see if the old man notices.

They would pay WWE to license the footage.  That’s how WWE makes a huge chunk of money and why they buy all those old territory tapes.  

Knock On Effects

Hey Scott,


I'm going through WWF in early 2000 and enjoying going back to my childhood. Was wondering about what the original plans of certain situations were:


1) Chris Jericho was advertised as being in the 4-way at Mania; how come he was replaced? What would've been the deal with Benoit and Angle and the Euro-continental titles without him in the triple threat?


2) What were the Outlaws' plans had Billy Gunn not got injured? What do we get instead of X-Pac/Dogg vs Kane/Rikishi at Mania with a fit Billy?


3) What was the deal with Edge and Val Venis? There was so much talk about Edge marrying Val's sister and then nothing came of it?


4) On a separate note; do you know what the contract details were for the Radicalz? Were they on equal contracts or was Benoit seen as the star and on more money than the others?


Thanks as always, still love reading articles on the blog daily!

1.  The triple threat came about because Jericho was pulled from the main event and plans were all wacky in the woo woo from the Radicalz jumping anyway.  So there wouldn’t have been a triple threat.  Angle was in a totally different direction until February anyway.  
2.  I imagine, just based on where stuff was going, that if Billy was healthy and Undertaker also hadn’t wrecked his shoulder in rehab, that we would have seen Xpac and Outlaws vs Brothers of Destruction so Kane could kick Xpac’s ass for the Tori stuff. 
3.  That was just one of those dropped angles as a result of the Radicalz reshuffling the mid card.  
4.  They all negotiated as one unit coming in and then obviously later on Benoit and Eddie got much bigger deals on their own. 

A Random Promotion Question


Hi Scott

Hope all is well

Back in the early 90s (I think actually in 1990) a friend had just got satellite television and he was flicking through the channels and came across some American (non WWF) wrestling. A team called Death Row were being introduced and sadly he then changed the channel. 

The name has stuck with me since then. I've tried Google and all I am finding is a singles wrestler with the same name. 

Any idea what company I was watching or even who the team were? 

Thanks. 

Cagematch is your friend in times like these.  

Strangest angle



Scott – do you have any personal picks for the strangest angle you’ve seen in wrestling?   I’m thinking along the lines of not good or bad, but just something that seemed completely out of place.   Something that nobody was really asking for and yet it happened anyways. 

My pick would be Kevin Nash getting involved in the “summer of Punk” at SummerSlam 2011 which eventually led to a sledgehammer/ladder match with Triple H a few months down the road.   That always seemed so unbelievably random to me and literally benefited nobody.     

Just curious if anything stuck out in your mind. 

As always………thanks for your time!

Great Khali returning to help Jinder win that match with Orton. Literally was never mentioned again unless I’m missing something.

The Hannibal TV



This is one where I would be interested in the Board’s thoughts on Devon Nicholson (Hannibal) as a shoot interviewer.  I generally like him because he is quite knowledgeable about wrestling history, so he asks good questions, but also knows to shut up and let
the wrestlers answer the question.  My only complaint is he really doesn’t have the voice for a professional interviewer, but I can get past that.  Do others on the board watch his work and what do they think?


Keep up the good work.


Regards,


Bo

I’m not familiar with him, personally.  

Favourite Dusty Finish?


Hey Scott

Although the Dusty Finish is much maligned, do you have a favourite one? I’m quite partial to Rock’s DQ win over Ken Shamrock at Royal Rumble 1998, where he hid the brass knucks in Shamrock’s trunks.

John

I don’t hate the Dusty Finish at all.  It’s just that it gets tiresome when it’s overdone and kills the crowd when it’s done too high on the card.  Eddie Guerrero had some really good ones as a part of the character, in a position where it didn’t hurt anything.  

AEW/WWE

Hope you and your family are well. 

Who do you think has the bigger potential, Brian Cage in AEW or Karrion Kross in WWE? I can see Cage being big in AEW for sure in the immediate, actually feuding with Luchasaurus for sure, Lance Archer, maybe. But, I think Cross has bigger potential overall, longterm, with his gimmick, wife, and a potential feud with the Fiend, Balor, etc. I could really get into Kross vs Fiend just on the entrances and creepy promos. Take care.

I have literally never seen Kross yet because I have no desire to sit through the empty arena NXT shows.  We'll see how he looks at Takeover, I guess.  

The Hart Family vs Martha Hart

I was surprised to hear on “The Dark Side Of The Ring” episode about Owen Hart's death how the majority of the Hart Family not only didn't support Martha in her lawsuit against the WWF, but some members actively worked against her.  Were they that afraid of Vince McMahon and the WWF, or was it something else entirely?  
A lot of it was that, yeah.  They wanted jobs and Vince dangled that carrot at them, whereas Martha wasn't from the wrestling world and didn't give a shit about Vince and his bullshit carny business, and so she wasn't scared of him.

Character Appreciation


Hey Scott,

I recently noticed a strong difference between AEW and WWE for me.

With WWE, everyone is pretty much blah and in the middle with slight exceptions.

With AEW, there are characters I really enjoy that they’ve built well (Hangman Page, Darby, MJF, Jungle Boy) and others that I absolutely can’t stand (Cody, Moxley, Cabana) to the point I’m happy when they’re not on TV.

Anybody else feel this way?

Probably not. 

Matt Hardy the Producer

After watching the awesomeness that was Stadium Stampede, is it clear that WWE was stupid to not throw a whole bunch of money at Matt Hardy to stay on as a producer and in creative? Given we’re in an era of cinematic matches, it feels like he’s someone you’d definitely want running the production on this end.

We don't know that WWE ever thought of Matt in that capacity, though.  Plus he left just before everything went down so it's not like people knew that “cinematic wrestling” was about to become a big thing.  Plus he just seems happier in AEW anyway.  

Jake Roberts and psychology

Dear Scott,

When people think of ring psychology, one of the very first names that pops up is Jake the Snake Roberts. Despite that, his matches were, at best, mostly in the 3-star range. How can a guy be so synonymous with psychology, yet boast so few “classic”
matches?

Because he was around when wrestling was about drawing money and popping the fans, not having classic matches to create social media buzz. 

First Summer Slam

This came up in one of the comment sections so I can't claim credit for noticing it but do you realize that the first summer slam was layed out almost exactly like the first Wrestlemania? You had a tag match with a special referee as the main event. A title
change. Another title match between guys with no feud, (but other feuds do factor in the result,) and some JTTS matches to establish new talent. And it worked too.  Summer Slam is the number 2 PPV and has been around almost as long as mania. 

Vince certainly did used to know what he was doing with this stuff.