Best in the World

Chris Jericho was a great wrestler when he first appeared back in the 90s and eventually created great characters/personalities throughout his career until his break in 2005. After returning in 2008 and reinvented himself and stil put out amazing matches/feuds with HBK, the legends at WM25, Mysterio, tagging with Big Show, Raw special guests, Edge, Punk, before taking another break with random appearances for a few years. Finally, after his 2016 run with the "List of Jericho" and his feuds with younger/newer wrestlers like AJ, Ambrose, Sami, Rollins, partnership with Owens to its culmination in early 2017. Now, Jericho proves that 47-years-old he can still hang with anyone in any style in any promotion when he wrestled Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12. With always staying relevant by reinventing himself and even defeating opponents and not harming his oppenents status when they lose, my question: can Jericho be considered as just one of the greatest wrestlers ever (not counting merch sales of course), especially after still being able to work amazingly at his age compared to some others?
​​
​Well, he's already in the WON Hall of Fame, so he absolutely is in the conversation as one of the greatest of all time just to get that far.  Given that he could have coasted on the nostalgia and autograph circuit for decades and instead chose to reinvent himself constantly, you have to admire him a lot.  ​

Jeff Hardy in Rumble



Is Jeff Hardy close to coming back from his injury? He'd make a great surprise entrant and a believable winner. Styles/Hardy is a believable title match also.


Not sure I agree 100% with your detective work there.  Jeff was basically a midcard scrub going nowhere in a tag team when he left, and it would take some effort to heat him up again.  

Wrestlemania V was considered worse than IX?



Hi Scott,


From the Observer recap, there's a comment that 'Wrestlemania XI is currently penciled in for Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, site of the two worst Wrestlemanias ever.'  Did Wrestlemania IX fall over time to be considered worse than Wrestlemania V? The MegaPowers Exploding seems to be remembered more fondly than Hogan returning to regain the title over Yoko and Bret Hart.

Dave really, REALLY hated the Trump Plaza shows.  From a show quality standpoint, 9 at least had Steiners v Headshrinkers and Tatanka v Michaels as good matches.  5 was basically four hours of junk and a decent main according to the original Observer review, so it makes sense.  

Austin Aries WWE Run


   Do you think that if the Cruiserweight Title was put on him last year at W.M. Austin Aries would still be with the WWE, or do you feel it wouldn't have mattered?  I remember the promo in which Aries originally challenged Neville for the C.W. Title on Raw, and the crowd was really hot for him.  Was this a case of the WWE not striking while the iron was hot? 

​The iron was never hot in that division, so it wouldn't have mattered either way.​

Brutus “the Ed-ucator” Beefcake

Hey Scott,

Just curious if you’ve heard Steve Austin’s second podcast with Ed Leslie. He claims he and Valentine had to teach the British Bulldogs how to work main event or something. Listening to Austin approach this delicately is highly entertaining. 

​I did not hear that one, although I can almost imagine Beefcake being like "Man, they figured out the lessons so well that it was almost like they were teaching ME something!"  ​

Rumble 92 ending?


Just rewatched Rumble 92 with my son as we're going to Philly for this year's show. The ending though is so strange. Obviously they wanted to build towards heel Sid vs. face Hogan for Mania. But Sid cleanly (albeit cheaply) eliminates Hogan and Hulk does as big a heel move as ever by grabbing Sid to let Flair win.
Why didn't they have it reverse where Hogan knocked Sid out and Sid snapped and helps Flair eliminate Hogan. On a purely logical level Hogan comes off as a whiny complainer heel and the crowd is right to cheer Sid who was cheated out of a title win

Still, it's the best Rumble though

​Hot take, bro.  But yes, they arrogantly assumed at that point that Hulk could still do no wrong in the eyes of the fanbase, and did THAT ever come back to bite them.  ​

Worst match, Best Crowd


Since you reposted Rumble 15, which is the all time worst match, made awesome by a great crowd shitting on it. Some options:

Rumble 14, (Bootista)
Rumble 15, (They even boo The Rock)
Brock/Goldberg @ WM20 (both are leaving)
Cena/Orton at Rumble 2014 (part 1,000,000)
Sheamus/Orton on Raw after Mania I think 2013, where the crowd first started taking over.


Brock v. Goldberg is always the answer.  Not just a terrible match, but a fascinating social experiment on top of it.

Comparing today’s WWE product


If I had to compare today's WWE product to the past from a CREATIVE and entertainment standpoint (NOT business/financial success), I'd say it's very similar to 1996/first months of 1997

Loaded with talent, from serviceable midcarders (Owen, Bulldog, Rocky, HHH, Mero back then. Guys like Balor, Gable, Rusev, Bar, Usos these days. Much better workers these days obviously) to excellent main eventers (Bret, Shawn, Taker, Austin, Vader back then. AJ, Cena, Owens, Miz, arguably Brock and Braun now).

The problem is the same: horrible repetitive, mostly bland or offensive/cheap/crappy out-of-touch ideas, characters and feuds.

Back then, Vince ans Vince stepped it up and tried to create something different, even though the overuse of brutality, raunchy quarternaked women, blood and cursewords was a sign-of-the-times zeitgeist thing. Why not repeat that, do something different (see Lucha Underground as an example), create unique characters, angles and situations. Why rely on old ideas all the time? How low can viewership for the TV shows and show attendance (outside of the big attractions) go before Vince tries to get TRULY creative again?

I know stuff like Woken Matt Hardy (yeah inspired by his TNA run but why, not), wacky Bray Wyatt angles (not the best execution, see last year's WM and House Of Horrors), Cruiserweight division (old concept, good idea, again bad execution) passes as new and fresh, but execution is lacking…

​Matt's not new or fresh at the moment.  He's in a better position than he was, but it's basically just him being all crazy and laughing without ever getting the original point of the gimmick.  Right now the wrestling nerd zeitgeist is New Japan and the Bullet Club, and Vince's reaction to that has been sending out legal threats for shooting video in his parking lot. ​That's not the actions of someone who is in interested in anything but maintaining the status quo.  And hey, they make millions of dollars, good on them.

Most Influential 90s

Hey Scott, excluding ECW, what do you think is the most influential Indy of the 90s? I am going with GWF. The Federation had talent during its run, Ebony Experience, Lightning Kid, Jerry Lynn, Cactus Jack, Gordy, Patriot, JBL. They also were the first Fed I could recollect referencing other promotions regarding title runs and they did showcase lightweights. First sick bump I ever seen Cactus take was a powerbomb from Gordy on the concrete. 

​That's a very specific criteria.  "Most influential non-WWF, non-WCW promotion of the 90s, excluding ECW."  I would also heartily disagree with your detective work there, since GWF was just the bastard offspring remains of USWA's Dallas office anyway as far as presentation and talent base.  If you're playing that game, then the answer is World Class or Memphis​.  In fact, Memphis in general is about a hundred times more influential of stuff we're still seeing recycled to this very day than anything that ever happened in Global.

UFC 220


Howdy Scott. I know the upcoming UFC card next Saturday (Jan 20) isn’t one of their golden egg shows, but I think it’s being underrated and features 2 big fights will more than satisfy any fight fans. You have Stipe Miocic going for a record-breaking 3rd successful heavyweight title defense and more than likely delivering the proverbial slobberknocker against Francis Ngannou (who almost removed Allistar Overroid’s head in his last fight), and Daniel Cormier in a redemption fight against the unknown-but-dangerous Volkan Oezdemir following Jon Jones’ 47th career and personal boner. I’m looking forward to the show and was curious if you planned to check it out.

 

On the topic, does Conor fight again? If so, when and against who?

​Dana White is proceeding on the assumption that Conor will never fight again, so I wouldn't hold your breath.  Dude has $100 million in the bank, he's good for a LONG time to come.
Stipe is great, but Ngannou is the most terrifying force of nature since Brock Lesnar and unless Miocic's got some new counter for getting his fucking head knocked off, we're gonna have a new champion. Unless someone can prevent Ngannou from winning every fight in the first minute, it's unwise to bet against him.
As for Cormier, I dunno…I don't think his heart is in it anymore after the loss to Jones.  That one really seemed to beat him down, and even though he "won" the fight on a technicality after the fact, I think Volkan is gonna be too much for someone half-assing it.  
I'll probably check it out.  I missed the initial airing of the Ngannou knockout and regretted it.  I feel like he's somehow got one that's even more spectacular in him.​

Fastlane Main Event


Heres my issue with the leak of this Main Event. Vince usually decides the winner of the Rumble like what, week before or weekend of the actual event right? So lets say last minute, he goes with Orton again. That deems the promotional stuff meaningless.

​PPV promotional stuff changes all the time.  It really means nothing.  If Vince wants to change his mind, he'll change it.  ​

Styles vs Corbin



So with the Fastlane main already set and looking more likely Cenas got Taker, were gonna get dual Corbin/Reigns title wins aren't we?

​I dunno, does it really matter?  At least the booking would make sense given Corbin beat Styles for the US title.​

Generic Pretty Boy Tag Teams


In your estimation, who was the worst generic pretty boy tag team?  

​Oh man, in the late 80s and early 90s you literally couldn't throw a hand grenade in the wrestling world without blowing up a shitty Rock N Roll Express / Midnight Express ripoff team.  For me there's a special place in hell reserved for all the various attempts to get Marcus Bagwell over in WCW by sticking him with a partner of the week, but he was a really good worker most of the time so it's hard to fault that too much.  WWE had some spectacularly dull ones with guys like Idol Stevens & KC whatshisname or The Heartthrobs, although they were supposed to be heels so I dunno if that counts.  I think the low point was Memphis in the early 90s, where Jerry Jarrett tried again and again to replicate the success of the Fabulous Ones, hitting the low point with New Kids (Brian Christopher​ and Tony Williams), which was leaching off multiple fads at the same time and failed at all of them.  

King Of The Ring 97


I always remembered reading reports that the original plans for KOTR 97 was Hart/Michaels 2 and Austin/Pillman but injuries made them change it to Austin/Michaels. Any truth to that?

​Yup.  They advertised it on TV and everything, with the deal being that it was going to be Bret v. Shawn with the entire Hart Foundation handcuffed at ringside and crazy stips attached such that Bret couldn't possibly win, and then a different person would run in and he would win.  And then Bret and Shawn had their little catfight backstage, after which everyone in the locker room came to Bret with tears in their eyes calling it the best beating they'd seen anyone put on Shawn, and begged him not to work the show so as not to steal the spotlight from everyone else.  Plus Pillman's ankle was all fucked up again, so we got what we got instead of the originally advertised plan.​

New Japan influence on WWE

Doesn't it give a perfect view of Vince's psyche that a week after WK12 with everyone talking about it, Balor Club suddenly reunites, Anderson drops a "Too Sweet" and Graves is vomiting out obvious lines like "often imitated, never duplicated" and "went to Japan to become 'Elite'"

You think they'll actually book AJ/Nakamura as a way have their NJPW-style classic? Maybe Balor gets a real push just because he's associated with The Club?

​Hey, if Vince harboring a petty grudge against New Japan means great matches on PPV, then grudge away!  Maybe he'll re-sign Cody and give him his last name back to really stick it to them.​

WWE Champions Strategy


I love that you play this game.  I find it fun yet annoying at times.  Who are your strongest superstars?  Are you in a faction?  How do you think the game could improve?  I just recently started to build guys up to 3* gold but it took me a long time and some cash to do it.  The game is authentic though, with ABA Taker at 3* gold he doesn't sell and he finishes opponents after 2 moves.

Your work continues to bring me enjoyment.  Thank you for all that you do!

My #1 guy is Andre, who was given out free at Wrestlemania last year to everyone, and who I have since grinded up to 3 silver stars and max level.  He's just an insane killing machine if there's any red on the board at all.  I recently pulled my first ever mega (on Christmas!) at 3 silver, Mr. Perfect, and he's pretty awesome and also a beast.  And yeah, it takes a LONG time to get up to the three star level in general otherwise.  I have a ton of three star bronze guys now, at least.  
I'm currently in the BulletClubUSA faction, and I'm not really into the whole "Spend money and feud or else!" mindset of the top factions, so it's a fairly chill group of people.  
Scopely is actually taking suggestions for new game modes and ideas at the moment, and the one that seems overwhelmingly the favorite is trading in all of the endless Darren Young and Big Show posters for something else.  I'd heartily agree with that idea.

Anyway, yeah, it's a great game and a giant money-maker for Scopely, but I have to wonder how much WWE gets from it or if it was just a licensing thing one time. Really, you'd think someone from WWE would have come up with a way to monetize the product with microtransactions by now.  

Question about Abyss


I was just wondering what you thought about Abyss and why he's never shown up in WWE. Seems like Charismatic Big Hoss would be right up Vince's alley. if he had gone to WWE, what would his ceiling have been?

Inquiring Minions would like to know.

​Abyss was offered a deal I wanna say around 2010-2011, and later did interviews where he said that he turned them down because of various reasons.  ​I think that if NXT had been around when they were interested, he could have jumped then and done very well for himself like Joe and Roode did, but in 2011 he was better off in TNA.  I think that the Joe Park deal would have worked really well in WWE and turned him into a solid comedy figure in the midcard, but they likely wouldn't have gone with it because it's not their idea.  But then I also thought that Broken Matt would work great in WWE and they've managed to completely fuck that up somehow, so what do I know?

NJPW moving the needle

Hi Scott


You've occasionally mentioned in the past covering/not covering certain companies, shows, eras etc in your rants because they don't generate as much in ad revenue so I was curious how the WK12 coverage last week on the
blog compared to the norm? Seemed to generate a lot of interest at least from the usual suspects on the blog but was it comparable to any of the WWE stuff? Anywhere near a big four pay per view or even a b-show?




​It did about as well as a low-level WWE PPV does, but that's an extraordinary case with a show that had been hyped to the moon for months.  And even then, a show like Clash of Champions or TLC ​beat it in pageviews by about 50%. I can't talk about specifics of ad revenue, but this whole month is in the toilet for everyone so that's not a particularly accurate metric at the moment anyway.  
Anyway, I enjoyed doing the show and I'm glad people liked it, but no, they're not moving the needle particularly. 

WrestleMania 31


Happy New Year Scott, obviously Vince wanted Roman to be the next superhero babyface and what better way than to beat the monster that ended Taker's streak and beat Cena like he was a jobber. So my question(s) was Roman originally gonna beat Brock or did plans change do to negative crowd reactions or was Rollins always cashing in?

​Roman was originally going to beat Brock, yes.  They ended up calling an audible late in the game​ because Roman wasn't getting over like they expected.  
But this year, THIS YEAR, is the year.  No doubt in my mind.  Or maybe next year.