No One Follows Jinder


With WWE's obsession with Twitter and "trending" the last several years, Ive noticed that compared to almost everyone else on the roster, Jinder Mahal has ZERO Twitter followers.

As of this e-mail, he has less than 250,000 followers after five months as WWE Champion.  Meanwhile, Curt Hawkins literally hasn't won a match and is around 360K.  Tamina Snuka has 450K.  Erick Rowan tweets like once a month and has 288K!

Do you think the fact that Jinder doesn't "trend" bothers the powers that be at all?  I once heard they'd be happy running Brock vs. Doink as a main event, so I'm not even sure him headlining Survivor Series means Vince & Co. are thrilled with the Maharaja.

​I seriously have zero idea what their standards even are anymore.  He has terrible matches, arenas are literally half-empty for TV tapings, and people think the WWE title is a joke, but he did have big viewership for that one YouTube video of his title celebration so apparently in Vince's eyes this whole thing is working somehow.  ​

Test-Stephanie Wedding Angle

     Was the Test-Stephanie wedding supposed to end the way that it did, or did the plans end up changing?  Reason I ask is that the majority of their storyline was done when Russo and Ferrera were still writing the shows and the whole wedding angle culminated a month/ 2 months after they left, so I was curious if Vince changed up where the whole thing was headed or stayed the course?

​Russo's original ending was something like British Bulldog breaking up the wedding and feuding with Test, but once Russo left they put the angle in the deep freeze by giving Stephanie "amnesia" until they could write a new ending, and they came up with the HHH thing instead.  ​

Dana is a warrior too


I actually think they are praising dana warrior as far as the whole warrior is a saint thing. They don't even mention him at all. They are using his warpaint for the merchandise but it's all about the wife now

​They have mentioned him several times and sold 2 different DVD sets based on what a great guy he was.  Plus making the heel girls wear shirts that say "BE A WARRIOR" with his facepaint on it is pretty evocative of Ultimate Warrior, I'd say.  Plus they use his likeness in the video games.  In fact, you never hear them mention Dana's name in all the stupid Komen ads they run.  ​

Bret F-kin’ Hart

Hey Scott,

I’m not as nostalgic as some fellas my age; I like cartoons from when I was a kid, for example, but I also recognize that they were almost uniformly crappy.

Likewise, I think today’s WWE product, for all its faults, is underrated by fans who remain somewhat blind to the faults of ‘80s and ‘90s WWF.

However, inspired by chatter in recent BoD threads, I thought I’d check out the main event of Survivor Series 1996. Only I got distracted by Hart-Austin.

And here’s the thing: it’s not just the scrubs and goofs and hosses whose modern efforts pale in comparison to that match; the smark darlings look like hopeless hacks in light of that match, as well.

Mute the audio (although Ross and even McMahon do offer some compelling analysis on commentary) and just watch Bret Hart sell during the final fifteen or twenty minutes of that match.

I struggle to take Finn Balor or Seth Rollins seriously after watching a match like this.

Bret Hart was the goddamn man. For my money, no one could sell a beating better (the current crop tend to forget to sell when they’re on offense; that’s when Bret’s selling was at its most convincing!), and I rank him high on the list of the greatest storytellers of the twentieth century.

​Bret from 96-97 was just killing it in the ring.  That being said, Bret NOT killing it could be really lazy and repetitive, just like many others, but when he had something to work with, there were few workers on his level.  ​

Dusty’s NWA booking

Since I watched very little of NWA (pre-89 WCW), could you please elaborate how Dusty's booking (Dusty finishes, way too long Flair heel title reigns, putting himself over tons of times, making Luger look like a major choke artist etc) killed lots of territories for JCP, before they were bought by Turner.

Always fascinating to read your great viscious NWA/JCP rants from 83-88, and your Dusty hate shines through throughout, and I guess for good reason?

Why did Dusty keep on booking himself that strong, and do all these horrible booking decisions?

​They weren't all horrible, but overall Dusty had one or two really good ideas that he used WAY too many times.  The Dusty Finish pops a crowd the first time it's used, but if you screw the fans over and over, they stop buying tickets pretty quickly.  ​

Canadian “Violence”?!


Scott, not sure if you have heard, but Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega had a Twitter exchange over the weekend.
It started out with a fan commenting that the Okada/Omega match from the G1 Climax made Kenny “The Best in the World by far”.
Jericho replied with:
“Best in the world, Kenny isn’t even the best in Winnipeg.”
Jericho then went on a blocking spree with anyone who disagreed with him.
Kenny then said:
“Well jeez, what can I say? Never meet your heroes, folks, lest they be a corporate stooge.”
Jericho replied with:
“Corporate stooge…or 6time world champion who’s main evented in the big leagues for 17 years? Watch your mouth kid.”
It doesn’t make sense since Kenny was a guest on Jericho’s podcast when he took a break after WrestleKingdom.
Do you think this is a work or legitimate?

​Total work.  Both guys know how the game is played.​

’88 was so weird in the NWA

Wouldn't it have made more sense for GAB '88 to be headlined by Flair vs Sting since Sting had a claim as having been the guy to take Flair to the limit, and a grudge match between Luger and Windham since Luger had been turned on by Windham (no homo). The booking just seems a bit weird. Luger gets turned on by another guy (no homo), but wants to fight Flair instead. Sting is all okay about not getting the title shot even though again he had just taken Flair to the limit a few months prior. If Luger vs Flair had been the plan wouldn't it have maybe made more sense as the guy to go broadway with Flair and Sting and Windham as a team instead?

​"No homo"?
Anyway, yes, the logical progression would have been for Luger to go through Windham first and build up to Flair at Starrcade, but I think your'e underestimating how deeply in debt up to his damn eyeballs that Jim Crockett really was.  He needed that sweet PPV cheddar NOW and Luger was the guy he had the best shot with.  I mean, obviously with hindsight we know that was done after Starrcade 87 anyway, but in his mind Sting v. Flair wasn't drawing a buyrate yet and survival was his only motivation.​

Heels bragging about attendance

Hi Scott,

Does it seem weird that heels, especially heel world champions, would throw it in people's faces that they are the reason that attendance is so high? Like World Champ JBL used to always say stuff like, "You may hate me but I'm the reason you're all here!"

I feel like if I'm a fan and legit hate a wrestler and he says something like, "You're all here to see me," my reaction would be, "Oh yeah? Then I'm not going to see you!"

​JBL was one of the lowest drawing WWE champions in history, so if he was bragging about attendance then you can ​rest easy knowing he was a big fat liar.

Tournament Ideas


Since everyone loves tournaments on the Network, I came up with two concepts:


1. The Iron Mike Sharpe Tournament for enhancement talent 

2. The Ed Leslie Tournament for legends and classic gimmick superstars 

Think either one would get any traction?


​A Legends tournament is…not the worst idea.  It would have to be very abbreviated but doing an extended version of the Wrestlemania gimmick battle royal is something that could possibly get some eyeballs.
That being said, they'd probably call the Warrior Invitational and have guys cut promos about what Jim Hellwig meant to them personally between matches.​

Daniel Bryan


Do you agree or disagree with the handling of Daniel Bryan? I feel WWE is right in it's handling of his concussions. While I admire Daniel's heart, lesions on the brain and seizures is nothing to mess around with. I know we look at the past with all the concussions and how wrestlers still went out there, but, me suffering from 4 concussions, I would not risk it. 

​I'm of two minds on the subject.  
Mind #1:  The concussions and accumulated injuries are a huge danger to him and it's probably better for him if they keep him out of the ring. 
Mind #2:  Their motivation is probably less "Keeping Daniel safe" than it is "Legally covering their ass because Dr. Maroon diagnosed him with a concussion and lawsuits are flying."  
I think while ultimately it's in Bryan's best interest to stay out of the ring, if he wants in so badly and he has doctors lined up telling him that he's fine, then WWE should let him so they can supervise it rather than letting him go do crazy shit in New Japan or ROH or whatever.  ​

TLC prediction


What are the chances that WWE uses this opportunity to do a Balor Club reunion and have Gallows/Anderson help Finn beat AJ. This allows for obvious transition to Raw vs. SDL at Survivor Series with Team Balor vs. Team AJ. Finn then uses the momentum to challenge Brock at the Rumble and we can even some cool Balor Club vs. Shield matches out of it.

What you think?


Given how humorless they've been about the Being the Elite nonsense, I'd say there's not a snowball's chance in hell of tempting fans to start chanting for the Bullet Club on TV.  That being said, a heel turn for Balor is badly needed at this point, so it might be worth the risk.  Hell, just turn 'em all and do it full-on with AJ, Finn, Gallows and Anderson.  

Crazy weekend


Seriously, this meningitis thing is the craziest thing to happen in a while. I’d rank it up there with Brock deciding to up and quit before WrestleMania, the Survivor Series screwjob and the weekend that WWF bought WCW.

Shame it takes four guys getting deadly ill for the product to get interesting.

And yet it STILL wasn't deadly enough for them to ask Daniel Bryan back.  

Sister Abigal vs the Demon Pumpkin


Scott,
Is it possible that the WWE uses this virus outbreak as a chance to completely drop the horrible Sister Abigal vs Finn Pumpkin angle? Or are we getting this again at Survivor Series?  
If they do drop this angle how high is it on the list of terrible ideas that they dropped midway through? 

Midway?  The stupid thing was wrapped up by SummerSlam and it's been going on like a zombie ever since.  

Ranking Kane

Hi Scott

How would you rank the different Kane personas over the years?

Kane 97-98

Kane – X-Pac's friend

Brother of Destruction Kane (00-01)

Freaks are cool Kane

Unmask Kane

Rapist then loving husband Kane

See no evil Kane

Kane 07-11 (Doing nothing expect winning world titles Kane)

Re-Mask Kane

Hell No Kane

Corporate Kane

Thanks!

​That's a lot of Kanes.  Did I tell you I once wasted a day of my life reading his fake biography​?  And it didn't even go into his libertarian background!  

Ahmed in 1996

Scott,

It seems weird now, but there was a brief moment in late-July and early-August 1996 that Ahmed Johnson looked like the next biggest thing in wrestling.  Up to that point, the WWF had done a great job of emphasizing his strengths (look, charisma, intensity) and hiding his weaknesses (promos, long matches).  And in the taped RAW's leading up to Summerslam that year, they booked him as the "No. 1 contender" to the WWF title and teased a match on RAW the night after Summerslam of Ahmed vs. the Vader/Shawn winner.  He really could have been Goldberg before Goldberg if he'd stayed healthy.

Anyway, what was supposed to happen on the RAW right after Summerslam if Ahmed hadn't been injured?  Is it too unrealistic to think they would have put Vader over Shawn at Summerslam only to have Vader pull an Iron Sheik and job the belt to Ahmed?  The WWF was getting killed in the ratings war and pushing an entirely new star would have been a much better alternative than the fake Razor/fake Diesel mess they came up with a month later.

​There's no indication that Ahmed was in any kind of immediate plans for the title, so they would have likely done some kind of bullshit finish to get out of it.  However, he was definitely in their long-term idea for top guy, so had he not been so injury prone he would have ended up with the belt in 97, I'm sure.  ​

Injuries in 97

While rewatching 97 WWF, holy crap did they have tons of injury problems.

Whether bad accidents on-air (Austin at Summerslam, H. Godwinn against LOD, Putski at Ground Zero), longtime problems (Pillman, Rude, Foley around WM, Goldust after Survivors), clumsiness (Ahmed multiple times) or kayfabe (Shawn's smile, Bulldog at ONO?), every week on RAW you would hear how multiple people are on the shelf or unable to compete.

I don't know how many times planned matches were scrapped or altered (Mankind subbing in many times, mostly for Austin or Shawn).

Must have been thrilling for booking, wrestlers' pockets and fans (on TV and in arenas). Was the general change of style (more garbage wrestling, more hardcore stuff, more highspots/highflying) to blame, or just bad luck/clumsiness?

​It's the style.  Bryan and Vinny have been watching the 97/98 RAWs on their show, and the amount of brutal chairshots and stupid spots for no reason is just staggering on those Attitude Era shows.  Vince was basically treating his guys like disposable stuntmen at that point, and we all know what it led up to, sadly.  In fact, seeing at lot of it again, it's kind of shocking something didn't go horribly wrong a lot sooner than it did.​

Drop some Canadian knowledge on us

Hi Scott –

 

After your tutorial on the impact the Tragically Hip played on Canadian music, I had a question arise from the comments in the “Unreleased” reviews.

 

Someone mentioned the Jacques Rougeau retirement show, and how that was an amazing gate and crowd.

As an American, I remember the Rougeaus as the smiling brothers with ugly boots who waved little American flags – but I’m guessing they were a much bigger deal north of the border? Can you provide some Canadian insight? Were the Rougeaus really THAT big a deal?
Or was it “Hey, they’re Canadian, and I’m Canadian!”?

​They were specifically big in Montreal, but nowhere else in the country.  Before the Bret Hart deal in 97, Canada ​just kind of played along with whatever the babyface/heel alignment was regardless of country.  It was really Bret saying "I'm proud to be CANADIAN" rather than "I'm proud to be from Calgary" or whatever that suddenly created Bizarroworld and all that other stuff.  

TLC huge changes


Scott- just broke that Roman Reigns is being replaced in the TLC main event with Kurt Angle???? WTF??? 

Is this wellness related? And Angle being in a wwe ring for the first time in 11 years in a TLC match??? 
Oh and Bray being replaced by AJ Styles? I'm all for replacing worst story of the year with a bunch of snowflakes in a potential classic.
This show went from lame to gotta see it…thank you wellness

What a bizarre bit of business.  Man, if Roman got Wellnessed again, they'd pretty much have to change the entire direction of the company.

Brock on TLC card


Hi Scott

 

If Bray Wyatt can’t go this Sunday due to illness, does Vince give Brock a stack of cash to work the show against Balor, and do a full court press on social media announcing as such for the next 2 days to help with ticket sales and Network
buys?

​Uh, why would anyone give a shit about Bray Wyatt missing the show?  Just say he's got meningitis and can't be there.  ​