Nice Package

Scott………watching the network over the last few years made me aware of something.  How great the wwe's video packages/ppv opening videos are, and how terrible WCW's were.

Agreed?   Do any particular video packages stand out in your mind?  I remember the Rock-Austin one set to My Way was awesome, the Daniel Bryan one that aired right before his match with HHH, and a really good one when HHH returned from his first quad injury.


My favorite will always be Mr. McMahon's Utopia from Over the Edge '98.  I was also fond of the Doors ripoff song package from Armageddon 2000 I think it was, the one that went "The end is near"?  Really gave the six-way Cell match a sense of gravity that it was otherwise lacking.

Questions

Since Luger was so amazing at the time as a heel, was there ever any thought of putting someone else in his place to take on Flair when Sting got injured? To me you could have easily put in Pillman or Muta (obviously getting why the latter didn't happen. Justs aying perfect world and all). Was Luger just a case of being the biggest star they had?

Had streaming been around much sooner, could WCW have survived or was TV a must?

​Yeah, Muta was absolutely in the running to get the spot but he didn't want to turn.  I haven't looked up those Observers in a while, but I think Steve Williams was also a contender, which might have been an OK stopgap. That being said, Luger was definitely the biggest star they had available​ so it's hard to fault them too much for the move.  
And no, streaming would not have saved them.

New Idea: Rebooking SS 97!


Hi Scott

Just wondering was there ever any thought to transitioning the belt from Bret to Taker to HBK to Austin? They did have a built in feud, what with Bret stealing the title. They could've had UT take out HBK at Bad Blood, beat Bret at SS and THEN drop it to HBK at RR with a debuting Kane, and we slide into our timeline before Biff starts betting on races.

Bret probably wouldn't even have been bothered by losing the belt in Canada.

​Bret WASN'T bothered by losing the belt in Canada.  He offered to drop the title to anyone, anywhere, but just not Shawn Michaels at that particular show. I'm sure they could have come up with all kinds of scenarios, but Vince wanted Shawn to win it at Survivor Series and that was going to be that.​

Mayweather/WWE

​Hey Scott,

I just rewatched WrestleMania 24 and did not remember the Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather match being as good as it actually is. It was obviously pure spectacle, but it was booked perfectly for what it needed to be, and Mayweather was shockingly great. He's a natural heel so it made sense for them to switch the roles that were originally intended, but he also worked his ass off! His selling was as good as many real pro wrestlers, nothing looked awkward, his facials were awesome, he made everything that Big Show did to him actually matter, and he cheated (a lot) to win, which was the only reasonable finish if he was going to go over. Most impressive of all was that the crowd had little interest — if not outright hostility — to the angle and the match as it started, but the work from both guys and the clever pacing legitimately hooked the audience by the end. A few quick questions: Who trained Mayweather for the match? How do you think the match compares overall with other celebrity matches? Has any celebrity outsider had a better individual performance during a wrestling match than Mayweather? And was there ever any word about how his performance was perceived by everyone backstage? 

​To be honest, I barely remember much about the match, aside from the promotional aspect changing several times leading up to it because their original direction wasn't working.  It had started with Mayweather as a babyface and Vince did interviews talking about how it's such an easy storyline to run, a classic "David v. Goliath" story that they couldn't possibly screw up. And then by the time they got to the show, everyone was booing Mayweather like he was Roman Reigns and they had to run with Show as the babyface instead.  For me, it was always a weird dynamic because I really didn't care about the match or the participants.
As for the trainer, I wanna say MVP but I haven't thought about the match in many years so I'm not 100% sure.  ​

Nancy

Is it true that there were rumours online of the death of Benoits wife before the police found his family?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Benoit_double-murder_and_suicide#Wikipedia_controversy

​I've heard that one before and it still sounds like a bunch of conspiracy-theory hooey to me.  ​Dumbass trolls edit Wikipedia all the time and 1 time out 1000, luck into changing the entry in a way that matches up with something that happens in real life.  I would pay exactly zero attention to it.

WCW Back on Saturday Night

    Thanks again for unbanning me. I have a followup question to a WCW question from last week. Lets say that AOL Time Warner had taken away Nitro and Thunder but allowed WCW to have back the 6:05 Saturday night slot. WCW then rebuilds with the younger talent
and a few stars left over, (Booker T, Jarrett, DDP.) They would have never surpassed the WWF again but could they have been able to thrive as a solid number 2 promotion? (As in more successful then TNA or ROH.)


They survived that way for many, many years in that exact timeslot, so assuming they could cut roster costs to a reasonable level again, yes, they could certainly survive indefinitely on TBS as long as the corporation was willing to bankroll them.  TV = Life, No TV = Death.  However, if the mandate was "Don't lose money" then I don't think they'd be as big as TNA, because they'd likely cut house shows entirely and just do TV and PPV.  TNA at least had a period where they were respectable.  

MYC a huge hit


https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/6ytd7x/won_mae_young_classic_a_huge_hit/

Well wow! Could we see new stars out of this then? Or just have Toni Storm lose in 2 minutes against Tamina on SDL, while Kairi is having a pregnancy angle on RAW, and Jazzy gets used as a jobber on NXT?

​I dunno, but there's a very good reason why I've been posting nothing but Mae Young reviews for the past week.  So I'm not shocked at all that it's doing huge numbers on the Network.  Perhaps it has to do with giving an audience not normally served an intriguing group of people to follow with new stars that they're interested in?  Just a theory.  Not sure how you'd ever apply that to anything else in WWE, of course.​

Raw’s Guest Host Era

 Do you think the Guest Host Era on Raw from 2009-2010 was one of the worst?  I was just going back and looking at this time period again, and my God was it horrible;  They put more emphasis on what corny skits they could write for the C list celebs than the wrestlers or storylines.  How I didn't quit watching entirely during this shit I'll never know. 

​I dunno, it might have been the worst for all I know.  The only wrestling I was watching at the time was WWE 24/7 and reviewing Prime Time and World Championship Wrestling from 1985 every week.  It was AMAZING.​

Stevie Richards in WCW


Shortly after Raven debuted in WCW, they brought in Stevie Richards for a prominent interview segment which later led o a match between the two, with Richards added to the flock. Oddly though, he seemed to disappear pretty quickly from what I remember though this did not occur to other flock members, who would remain active and at ringside until the group broke up.

What was the reason for Richards's shirt stint in WCW? Did they only bring him in to help introduce Raven? Did someone in WCW not like him?

Yeah, Raven. There was a whole political deal too, and then if I remember correctly, he failed a drug test and got bounced.  But him and Raven were not going to get along if they were both around so it was inevitable anyway. 

The guy whose name can’t be said


I’m noticing on the Network something odd when you look at the on screen
bookmarks of any particular event.  Most events have the start and end of
the match bookmarked with the participants (i.e. The Rock vs. Undertaker). 
But in the case of that Canadian guy who killed his family they never list his
name.  They have something like “Kurt Angle in singles action” for
Wrestlemania X-7.  They don’t edit out his matches or any audio of his name
being said but they won’t list his name on the match bookmarks?  Pretty
trivial I know but what is that accomplishing?
Trivial and petty is what they do oh so well.  Perhaps they don't want to be accused of advertising Benoit in any manner?

Jeff Jarrett fallout


Why the serious hell is Ed Nordholm running a pro wrestling company?  Then again, he might not have a company to run after gutting Fight Network to fund what, for now, is GFW.  I said "for now" for a specific reason, see (merger not really official)?  If Jeff Jarrett is gone from the promotion for good (wife Karen,too), there could be some far-reaching effects.
Maybe they should just hire Russo back and get it over with.  

Punching

Any idea when punching with a closed fist essentially became accepted in American wrestling?

Over here in Europe we were considerably more stringent against it even way into the 90's, but obviously in the Americas it was more prevalent

I was wondering when it just kind of became allowed seeing as technically punching with a closed fist is illegal? The 70's maybe?

​I think it was pretty much Bruno who made it an acceptable part of the WWF landscape, although clearly Jerry Lawler specialized in punching people and making it look real.  So yeah, I'd say the 70s.​

ECW Invading The WWE In 1997

  What was the story with ECW invading the WWE in early 1997?  Was there ever a plan that would've ended in a pay-off, or was the whole thing a booking on the fly deal?

Vince needed warm bodies to fill the show while the "real stars" were off on tour of Germany, and Heyman needed an outlet to advertise the first ECW PPV.  It was a win-win situation.​

Random Origin Thought


Is there an official original source on how the "insider" wrestling terminology (face, heel, work, kayfabe, etc…) came to the regular masses? Retired wrestler spilling the beans? One of the first wrestling reporters creating them? Just something wrestlers gave up in an interview once to let the viewer get more of an understanding?

​A lot of it was the Observer in the 80s.  In the really old ones that we covered, somewhere around 1985 Dave switches from "good guys" to "babyfaces" and starts using a lot of the terminology that was kayfabed up until that point.  I think Jim Cornette, being one of Dave's biggest sources, had a lot to do with letting it all get out.  Mostly it was just the business changing and wrestlers thinking that they could make more money by "pulling back the curtain", only to reveal that there was in fact a more secret curtain behind the first one.  That was kind of the Russo philosophy and why there was so many backstage segments in the Attitude Era — they were trying to make the viewer feel like they were going backstage, even though they were only going to the staged backstage.​

RAW live on xmas and New Years Eve

Raw to broadcast LIVE on Christmas night and New Year’s night

Prepare to celebrate the holidays with WWE this year as Raw broadcasts LIVE on Christmas night, Dec. 25, and New Year’s Day, Jan. 1.

This marks the first time that WWE will present Monday night’s hottest show live on the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. These unprecedented broadcasts aim to best serve you, the WWE Universe, during the holiday season.

Deck the halls and ring in the New Year with Monday Night Raw, live on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 on USA Network.


​————-

WHY????????????

Well, normally both shows would be a complete throwaway anyway, so might as well try to make something of them, I guess.  Sucks for the guys who have to work Christmas, but Scrooge's coffers aren't going to fill themselves!

Corbin


The IWC seems intent on finding a boogeyman behind Corbin losing the MITB briefcase, but can't it be just a wrestling angle? He's not the 1st to fail to win the title when cashing in the briefcase. Cena distracting him and costing him the world title actually gave their summerslam match a purpose or some heat. Ratings have been low after Wrestlemania so the failed cash in gave the episode of smackdown excitement and an unexpected ending. Jinder's heel title reign is going better than expected so having a heel with the briefcase isn't needed. He's competing for the US title, why would he care to do so if he could fight for the world title? And if they want to put the world title in Corbin, there are plenty of PPV events to just give him a match. 

​Yeah, but it wasn't an angle as intended, though.  The original booking was Corbin cashing in at Summerslam and beating Nakamura, and it was literally changed the night of that Smackdown to having Corbin lose the briefcase.  Even if Jinder's title reign is "better than expected" they didn't have to immediately take the briefcase off the table and job out Corbin. The whole thing was just a waste of everyone's time.​

Corbin’s burial explanation


https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/6y16mb/more_on_the_argument_between_maroon_and_corbin

Kinda makes WWE look shitty, especially with "company man" Cena clowning him at SummerSlam, if true. Also tells wrestlers what to expect if they dare speak out like that, doesn't it?

Yikes.  I think we were better off when Corbin was thought to be punished for tweeting at military vets.  This really makes WWE look BAD. 

Graves replaces JBL

https://twitter.com/WWE/status/904744903938371586

Damn, so Graves is doing RAW and SmackDown at the same time?  There's some frequent flyer miles coming his way.  Nigel also gets upgraded to 205 Live and Main Event as a result of this, so that's also good news. 
Also, why do they have to cowtow to the minority audience with Booker and Saxton and Watson, but no one cares that there's not any women on the commentary teams?

BoD question: Charlotte => Charlotte Flair


Good evening Mr Keith,


Long time reader, first time questioner.

Earlier this year, Charlotte became Charlotte Flair, with no other real character change. This got me thinking, has that ever happened before?  Many wrestlers have dropped down to a single name (e.g., Antonio Cesaro, Alexander Rusev),  but I can't think of any others that have gained a name, not including character changes or employer changes.  I thought there might maybe be a tag wrestler who gets a full name after a split or something like that, but nothing comes to mind.  Can you think of any similar cases?
​No, actually I can't.  I was racking my brain trying to come up with another example and I'm stumped.  Typically it's easier to market a single name, so it's almost always in the direction of removing one, not adding one.  ​