AEW vs. Independent Wrestling

Hello Scott,

since Day One, AEW is seen as direct aggressor towards WWE. But what about ROH, Impact, MLW and such?

Sure, no TV deal is made so far and only All In 2 is confirmed…isn't AEW a bigger threat to them?

They seem to be buying everyone that is looking for a quick dollar and a certain name.

It seems they are more dangerous to ROH and NJPW. No matter what WWE Superstar will sign, WWE seems rather being annoyed, while all other promotions keep a low profile.

I think AEW is much more willing to work with those other promotions, which is why they're not seen as a threat as such.  However, they were absolutely in a bidding war with ROH for top guys on the scene, but at least they can at least make a deal to work together at the end of the day.  That's not happening with Vince. 

Which NXT guy would you push as the special one?

So it was just a one (two?) time showcase? Or Vince decided to call them all up on a whim so maybe it wasn't? Either way, I agree 100% that you can't debut a bunch of "special" new guys at the same time because they immediately become less special by stealing each other's thunder.

So of Black, Ricochet, Ciampa, and Gargano, who would you push as a star? I think it really has to be Black or Ricochet. The superhero stuff like Spider-Man has never been bigger with the kids, and they've got a guy who can literally do stuff straight out of a superhero movie in Ricochet. At some point within the next couple of years the WWE is going to want to do that Ricochet/Ospreay match, and it'd be a massive misstep to have Ricochet toiling on 205 Live until then. 

I'm really not sure with DIY. Ideally, I think you absolutely have to let them finish up their story on NXT, send them home for a nice long vacation, then finally bring them up to Smackdown to tell the exact same story of underdog tag champs to bitter enemies one more time. They're great wrestlers, but it's really their story that's fantastic. I just don't think the fans buy Ciampa as this abominable heel without seeing him stab Gargano in the back and torture him over the course of a year. 

You can do both Black and Ricochet now, because they can each go to a different show and serve different purposes.  I think Black is a more important piece of the puzzle NOW because he can make an impact in the dead heavyweight division on RAW and freshen it up.  Ricochet can go to Smackdown and have matches with AJ and Nakamura and Bryan.  DIY does not need to be called up right now.

However, I still maintain that the money is in Velveteen Dream.  

HBK/Shawn at WM XI

According to the Observer recap, Diesel was falling out of favor by early 95. Was there ever a thought of having Bret go over at the Rumble and running Bret/Shawn a year early? The Rumble match was a clusterfuck with Backlund and Owen interfering. Diesel could do a match with them at Mania. Maybe a 6-man with Bulldog/Luger against Owen/Bob/Yoko. 

If you have HBK cost Diesel the title, you could run Shawn/Diesel all year. God 1995 was so fixable it’s a shame it was such a fuck up! 


There was never any serious thought of changing the title.  Vince was gonna ride the Diesel train until it went off the cliff because it worked with Hulk Hogan ten years before, PAL!

Shaka, Brah! Aloha, Brudda! Max the Extreme, and So On!

Hey Scott—

I know you’re a few months of Superstars away from this, but I’m in Hawaii, so I had to ask you about it. 

When Crush debuted, it was all about “I’m Crush. I crush things. Har har! GET IT?!?” But in the fall of ‘92, Vince looks at the lame finisher and… unspeakably horrid tights and apparently thought “You know what this gimmick needs, pal? An ETHNIC angle!” 

So now Crush comes out and he is motherfuckin’ HAWAIIAN. It’s “Aloha!” this and “Brudda!” that, all with a vaguely Polynesian inflection he semmed to pick up one weekend in September.

What was the thought process here? I know Bryan Adams lived in Hawaii, but did he have Hawaiian ancestry? Was there any concept beyond “Crush is Hawaiian, ???, profit!”?

Well, he was from Portland and I'm pretty sure he had zero Hawaiian background, so I don't think there was any particular ethnic link there.  The "I'm crushing stuff" gimmick was pretty lame and maybe they thought Kona Crush would get him over, but I don't know why.  

DX Tank


Scott,

It seems to be a bit of a controversy here about the DX Tank or “tank.”

As HHHistory class has taught us, it was the key moment in when the WWF prevailed over WCW.

Since there’s no riveting Reigns/Luger questions as of late and this is a pressing issue, I present to you this.

Do you consider it a tank or “tank?”

It might just look like a jeep but it has the turret.

There WAS a tank, but it was a week later. A Jeep is not a tank. 

WCW 1994 question


Why didnt they have Brutus Beefcake cost Hogan the title at Halloween Havoc?? 


Then you can run Beefcake/Hogan as a grudge match and Flair/Savage for the title at Starrcade. That's a double main event that doesn't suck. 
Because then Hogan would have to lose to Ric Flair. 

Wrestlers That Were Elevated After A Loss?

After the recent Drew Gulak vs Matt Riddle match on NXT, I got to thinking;  What wrestlers were actually elevated via a loss in a match?  My prime 2 examples were Steve Austin after his submission match defeat to Bret Hart at W.M. 13 in 1997, and The 1-2-3 Kid after his WWF Title match loss to Bret Hart on Raw in 1994.  (So obviously Bret Hart was the key to most of these things.)  

Rock was elevated by losing to HHH at Summerslam 98 in the ladder match and pretty much stole Hunter's thunder, in fact.  Even though no one ever put HHH over to get him to the top.  

(S)Hitman?

Hey Scott,

Scott Hall went on a (drunken?) mini-Twitter rant labelling Bret a chump and an egomaniac based on Bischoff’s hot take over Hart’s 13 year-biography.

We all know wrestlers have egos and Bret was at the top of that heap, but did he draw or not? I remember him being very popular in an unpopular time for WWE.

Not to mention it’s pretty rich considering the bust Diesel and Shawn both were, and Razor being a non-factor until the nWo came around with evil Hollywood really getting it going.

I’ve always wondered why “cool guys” like Hall & Nash made no bones about jumping ship whenever the pay check suited them, and basically admitting doing it for the money; but slagged Bret who has never hidden the fact he does it for the fame & glory in business he was raised in. Is that so bad? I didn’t see “selfish” Bret abandon WWE until he was all but forced to.

But that’s my opinion and and I could be wrong.

Yeah, it's pretty ironic hearing SCOTT HALL call someone an egomaniac considering the lengths and he and his big buddy would go to in WCW to avoid doing jobs. 

Best Main Roster Debuts


After reading the email regarding the most recent NXT callups, it got me thinking about the best ones.

Kevin Owens has to be the best. Undisputed Era are the only ones who have a remote chance at at topping that one. Then there's Samoa Joe which was very good.

Any other ones come close to those two?


If we're counting original NXT, then the Nexus was pretty effective.  

Concerned


Scott,

What do you think of WWE's new strategy of pushing someone the fans are behind, who has proven to be a solid entertainer over the years, especially with Wrestlemania just around the corner and the debut of AEW approaching? Couldn't this be considered a bold move that could affect the entire state of professional wrestling, as well as perhaps the already unstable condition of the earth's climate itself? 

Concerned

Dear Concerned,
Don’t worry, Mandy Rose will likely only get the one match with Asuka.  

DX vs. nWo


When DX was announced for the Hall of Fame, my buddy was annoyed and argued that nWo should have gone in first.  He felt that they were a more innovative group and that DX copied their routine.  I argued that I understood why DX went in first — my main reasoning was that aside from Shawn, everybody was a first time Hall of Famer (whereas Hogan, Hall and Nash are all already in — Hall and Nash within the past few years).  I also noted that each individual member of DX (and the New Age Outlaws as a team) could have a legitimate case for having a Hall of Fame career, whereas if you let the nWo in, aside from the three founders, X-Pac/Syxx, Big Show/Giant, Bischoff and Steiner, you're letting in a A LOT of sludge.  DX was also longer lasting and while each reunion felt less and less special, the brand was never quite destroyed like nWo.


What say you, Scott?  Is it appropriate that DX is going in before the nWo?

It’s the WWE Hall of Fame.  It’s not worth fighting over.  
But yes, if it was a real Hall, nWo goes in first.  

Star ratings depending on length


After having reading your reviews for all these years, it seems that the times you give the full monty, it's for matches that at least 30 mins of more. 

Have there been times where a **** match was less than 30 minutes? What would be the shortest off the top of your head?

Shawn-Razor at WM10, Savage-Steamboat at WM3, just off the top of my head. 

Triple H’s Territory System

So it was announced on Raw that Bayley and Sasha will travel to Smackdown, NXT UK and NXT to defend the tag titles which made me think. Why not just drop a set of the tag titles, turn the other into world tag team titles and have the champions travel between Raw and Smackdown being that NXT has it's own tag titles. Have even Buddy Murphy travel to each brand and defend the CW title. Hell drop the US Title and do the same with the IC champion this way each title gets a significant presence rather then "ok the Smackdown tag titles will be defended on this PPV so the Raw ones won't".

Splendid idea.  The tag titles are a dumpster fire on both shows right now and especially with the dual PPVs they're worth less than ever.  Given they can't even come up with a challenger for Asuka, you could make a strong argument that they don't even need both Women's titles.  

DIY on the Main Roster


Hey Scott,

So unless they're working double duty (and I don't know how well that would work anyway), are they really going to end the Ciampa/Gargano program without a proper blowoff?


I'm all for fresh talent on the main roster, but I just feel insulted by this. If it wasn't obvious before, this just shows how little Vince thinks of NXT.

Also, it looks like Gargano and Ciampa's ceiling on the main roster is as a tag team. Not the worst thing in the world — especially if given opportunities to work great matches and elevate the tag division — but it's a little disappointing to see the geeks on commentary pretend the last year + never existed. Much better than them getting buried as singles competitors.

I don't know, maybe I'm being premature and overreacting, but I guess I am just at the point where I'll always assume the worst. What are your thoughts?


I'm not a fan of the introduction.  When you bring everyone out at the same time, no one is special and pretty soon everyone becomes EC3 jobbing to outgoing Dean Ambrose.  Or like when they suddenly brought up the Riott Squad and whatever Paige's crew was called and then none of them ever went anywhere but extra bodies.  

But at least it's not 205 Live, I guess.  

2019 class


Since DX will be the headliner for this year's HOF (I called it last year as they were the most logical choice) who else do you see getting in?

Chyna fits the women's quota this year so….

I see Heyman and ECW, Bam Bam and the Hart Foundation getting in. Anyone else?

Hart Foundation was already announced, which is weird in itself because Bret and Jimmy are already in.  I think the DX induction is a little lazy overall but that’s the only way you’re getting Chyna in there.  

Asuka



Who does she face at WrestleMania?


Alexa Bliss? They have no idea what to do with her either.

According to Dave the other day, they have no idea where they're going with Asuka and in fact people are actively making pitches for the match.  I think Shayna Baszler would be ideal but it's probably too soon to bring her up from NXT and too late to get her ready for Wrestlemania anyway.  

DS9 Question


So I’ve been watching DS9 recently and I had a very juvenile thought pop in my head. Shouldn’t Odo have been slaying it? I mean think about it. He’s a Changeling. He can make his form whatever he wants. Should all of the hot women on DS9 been walking bow legged?

I'd call this a Monday morning e-mail but I actually got it on Sunday.

WCW brand split follow-up


If the NWO-centric shows had succeeded and the NWO had taken over Nitro, what would that have even looked like? Who were they expected to feud with if the WCW guys moved to Thursday? Would this have led to the Wolfpac and all the splinter groups so that the NWO could fight amongst itself for months on end? Or would it just be an entire show of NWO guys squashing jobbers and cutting promos?

Judging by what nWo Saturday Night looked like, it was likely going to be the latter one.  

The Big Show


Scott – reading your 1999 Sunday night heat rants has me thinking………..they really did book the Big Show like a doofus right out of the gate. 

So the question has to be asked – was this intentional on Vince’s part?   Kind of a humble the guy who came from WCW kind of deal?

Also – I wonder if there was a place on the card for Show to be booked like he should have.  Rock and Austin were on fire and pretty clearly needed to be the main event in my opinion.   What should have Shows place on the card been?

Thanks as always!


The place was "not on the card".  Standing in the background as the silent bodyguard and only working PPVs as a special attraction.  As soon as he started working weekly out of the gate, he was dead in the water.  

A most excellent plug request for Bill & Ted’s retrospective


Hello Scott,


Dunno if you're a fan of the film way back when, but the 30th anniversary of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is this weekend. 

Most of the movie was filmed in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, so I wrote a retrospective of the filming (and the film itself) for the newspaper I work for.


Any chance I could get a plug?
Thanks!
And now Ted is John Wick. That phone booth really messed him up, yo. 

Raw/Nitro timeslots

Did either the WWF or WCW ever think about changing the day of when they aired Raw or Nitro when one was beating the other in the ratings for a sustained period of time, or was it never considered to be any day except Monday nights?  I could've sworn I remember reading one of them kicking around the idea of moving to Tuesday nights at one point, but I'm not totally sure.

Yup, USA was giving serious consideration to moving RAW to Tuesdays in 1997, but then did a 180 and decided to pump a bunch of money into the show instead.  I believe Nitro was under similar consideration nearing the end, but then they got cancelled anyway.  

Buff Bagwell Claims That Eric Bischoff Wanted Him To Fake His Own Death For WCW – Wrestling Inc.

Scott,

Given some of WCW’s booking decisions that actually made it to air I totally believe that this was under consideration… 



Yeah, I heard about that one on Observer Radio.  Dave was rolling his eyes so hard that you could nearly hear them pop out of his head. The media literally would have discovered the work two hours into the angle!   You can't just fake a plane crash and expect no one to follow up.