Fwd: Randy Orton: New Smartest Man?

Hey Scott–

With Triple H a front-office fixture, does the title of "Smartest Man

in Pro Wrestling" now belong to Randy Orton?

He calls out bullshit whenever he wants, works whatever schedule he

wants, "corpses" on camera (to borrow Maffew's phrase) whenever he

wants, gives whatever level of effort he feels is justified on any

given day… and he just signed a contract for "fuck you" level money

because Vince doesn't want him to go play with Cody in AEW.

Given all the kayfabe accolades he's already achieved, is there a

wrestler on the planet who sits in a better position?


I'd say Brock still has him beat, but Orton is a strong contender, yeah.  

Dio Maddin

Is Dio Maddin still selling the beating Brock Lesnar gave him when he put Maddin through the announce table, or was that whole angle designed to get Dio Maddin off the Raw announce team?  If it's the former, that has to be one of the better sell jobs ever.  

They already announced last week that he's being replaced by Samoa Joe and he's going back to training to be a wrestler again. 

The Toys that Made (Me)


Hey Scott,

Long time reader here. My parents are moving, and so that means a bunch of old wrestling toys I had in their basement need a new home. Tons of stuff, from LJNs, Hasbro's, Jakks, and others, spanning the 1980s-early 2000s, and multiple promotions.

I doubt you have any interest yourself, but hoping you might post this on the blog. Is there any market for this sort of thing? Figured I'd put this out there to the other readers before I trash anything. Would rather see these things get a good home.

If anyone is interested, feel free to email me at [email protected]. I'm looking to unload the entire thing as a package deal, no interest in selling stuff piecemeal.

I also found the old WrestleMania The Collection VHS set. I think this was the one that had everything uncut/no music changes. That's available too, if anyone is interested.

Photos attached.

THANK YOU

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We gotta get Waltman another HoF ring, pal!


But seriously, what is this bullshit with the NWO's Hall of Fame induction? Hogan, Nash, Hall, and SYXX? No Bischoff? No Giant? No FAKE STING?


Either go with the original trio or just go all out and induct goddamned everybody in the NWO. But this combination of guys they're going with makes no sense.

Syxx wasn’t even one of the original four guys!  He’s the sixth!  IT’S RIGHT IN HIS NAME!
Seriously though, I’ve given up caring about who gets inducted and why.  

Quick comment/Q about the Rumble

Hi Scott,

Been a reader for 22+ years, first time emailer!

With some of the recent Rumble discussion on your blog, I was wondering do we really need a male and female Royal Rumble every year? RR 2019 was nearly five hours (not including the pre-show). Anyway… my idea is to scrap the female rumble and instead make
“Fastlane” the “Queen of the Ring” with the winner earning a title shot at ‘Mania. What say you?

Yeah, two Rumbles on one show are too much.  I appreciate the notion but it just burns out the audience.  Spitting it up over two PPVs is definitely a solid idea. 

ROH

Hey Scott, hope all is well. Joey Mercury dropped some news on wrestlers set to be released by ROH. Do you see ROH making through 2020? Some of the names I could see in NXT or AEW. I could see Brody King, Rhett Titus, and Shane Taylor in either promotion. I would really like to see PCO in NXT. Wouldn't mind seeing a PCO, Killian Dane showdown, or should I even mention WALTER. 

I hadn't heard anything about ROH releases yet, but ROH is owned by a billion dollar TV company so I'm sure they're going to exist as long as Sinclair keeps them around.  
There's no chance in hell of WWE signing PCO, though.  

Heenan not returning to the WWF?


When WCW released Bobby Heenan in Nov. 2000, do you think the reason Vince McMahon didn't bring him back to announce for the WWF was because he still held a grudge at that time for Heenan going over to WCW, or was it simply a case of being being satisfied with his current announce team?  

Heenan's own theory was that Vince made sure to bring back all the people from WCW who slagged him on air, just to prove that he could.  Bobby always made sure to stay loyal to Vince and never said anything bad about him, so in Vince's mind, he had no incentive to bring Bobby back and thus never did.  

Royal Rumble follow-up

Hey Scott,

To follow up on yesterday's question about the men's Rumble, who do you see winning the women's Rumble this year?

It feels more unpredictable than the last two years. Not exactly a bold statement, but I'd say Sasha, Charlotte, and Bliss have an equal shot. Sasha can't be Bayley's lackey forever, they seem committed to a big babyface push for Alexa, and Charlotte is Charlotte.

I'd also say Baszler is a contender and I have no idea on her status, but Ronda too if she's open to coming back for WrestleMania.

Who do you think/want to win?



I think it's gonna be Charlotte because they've managed to go two of them without booking her to win and they can't maintain that kind of self-control much longer. 

What’s a Fan to Do?

Scott,

I have been a wrestling fan probably for as long as you have. I broke in because of Hulkamania in the 80s and have been here ever since, even through the dark times of the early 90s. I have probably been following you since 1999-ish from the Wrestleline days. So I have frequented the comments section of your various sites for many years now. I've even written a few things for your previous site and even created my own wrestling recap blog (long since given up now).

But in 2019, I find myself enjoying the WWE Network vault, and have not watched a single hour of any wrestling program (WWE, AEW, anything really) since probably whatever Wrestlemania it was that took 9 days to complete. I find that I don't have anything more than 45 minutes to an hour daily to devote to anything on the Network, but still enjoy what I see. 

Current WWE has lost me, and AEW (I read the recaps) has not reeled me in. I feel my smarkdom waning, as I could care less about ratings wars, 5-star matches and definitely don't want to stick around for the WWE vs AEW bickering. 

What the hell happens if one day WWE decides that the Network is a waste of money and resources and shuts that whole deal down? Or if Disney purchases everything and wraps it into Disney+? I did the free trial, watched one episode of the Mandalorian, and that's it. I don't have it in myself to donate to our overlords. 

Here's hoping the price of used Coliseum Video VHS tapes is reasonable!


One thing that WWE has going for them is that they seem 100% dedicated to archiving as much history as they can get their hands on, so I don't see the Network shutting down.  Plus they can't really put the toothpaste back in the tube with regards to PPV, so either way they're committed to $9.99 / month forever now.  

Rumble 2020 early odds


Hey Scott,

It’s December and not even WWE cares about TLC. So let’s look towards the rumble. With Brock as the RAW Champ and rumors of a Brock/Cain or Brock/Tyson Fury (shrug) title match at WM, the winner obviously has to come from SD and that leads me to horrible realization that it’s Roman or Bryan and that’s it. With the current Bray/Bryan story and Daniel teasing the Yes movement return, wouldn’t it make perfect sense to have him finally win the Rumble and conquer The Fiend at WrestleMania? Or are they really going to redo the 2014/2015 debacle where Bray beats DB and then Roman cruises to a Rumble victory?

Also what about the idea of having a NXT guy win and have an NXT Title match at WrestleMania? You can use TV to build up the Rumble which obviously will keep viewership interested and have Keith Lee win the Rumble and challenge either Cole or Ciampa at WM?

What are your thoughts on the Rumble and potential challengers?

Yeah, I think they can hold off Bryan until WM and have him beat the Fiend.  Plus he’s way overdue for a Rumble win. Let’s go with that.  

Bobby Fulton



Scott,


With that horrible news, I wanted to focus on positives and ask what your favorite Bobby Fulton/Fantastics matches are. I think that they are somewhat overlooked when talking about best 80s tag teams because of bigger stars like the Midnights and the Rock n Roll. What are the best Fantastics matches you remeber?

And it hardly needs to be said, but fuck cancer.
Time to make the babyface comeback for sure.  
Their high point was probably the series with the Midnight Express in 1988 for Crockett, but they also had great matches with the Condrey version in Mid South and World Class.  Their match with the Sheepherders at Crockett Cup 86 is of course legendary, and they had an additional **** match with Tully and Arn on that show as well.  I was really sad when they broke up and Bobby started tagging with Jackie Fulton instead.  
Just a great team all around and perfect for for their purpose was.  

Well Dunn

Hi Scott. 

In the 90s, I didn't have regular access to WWE programming, so only really saw it around friends or when somebody had recorded it for me. 

I remember the team Well Dunn, well, one match they had. 

At the end, they had their jobber opponent on the match and they were shouting at each other "You're Well Dunn" "No! You're Well Dunn" with the ref pretty much pleading "Will somebody please pin him".

Like I said, this is the only match I remember seeing them in, but younger me thought this was really funny. 

Was this a regular thing they did? If not, can anyone remember the match (doubtful I know!)? 

Cheers 

I wouldn't say it was a regular thing they did.  Probably just one of their early squashes.  
Well Dunn were actually a pretty damn good tag team in Portland called The Southern Rockers, with good names (Rex King and Steve Doll) and good chemistry.  I was always sad that Vince wrecked them completely. 

 

Tony Khan…


With all the talk of issues with AEW’s booking and how it relates to The Elite, surely the blame lays squarely with Tony Khan?  The guy is a self-confessed ECW mark, so the over-cooked midcard and 700 stables/factions just scream of Paul E’s coke-fuelled 90’s adventures. It doesn’t bode well if this is the guy in charge, as Khan could end up as a mixture of Dixie Carter’s business approach with Jim Herd’s creativity.


Yeah but the difference is that he's actually got the money to back up whatever ridiculous notions he comes up with.  Also, let's not freak out and declare the company creatively bankrupt just yet, OK?  

Stupidest Wrestling Rule?

What do you think is the stupidest wrestling rule?  Mine would have to be the old removing a turnbuckle pad and throwing your opponent into it is an automatic disqualification.  So you can throw your opponent into the ring-post, the announcers table, even the steel steps, yet they are all OK.  However, you are DQ'ed if you throw your opponent into an exposed turnbuckle.  

Those other things are considered hazards that are part of the normal ring, though.  By exposing a turnbuckle you're creating a hazard that isn't covered by the normal leeway of the referee and thus it's a DQ.  Plus it's not "OK" to run someone into the ringpost, there's actually been many times where someone has in fact been DQ'd for doing it.  Not consistently, but technically it can be one.  

Wrestlers in the wrong era

You've talked before about how Bad News Brown could have been great in the attitude era and remembering that got me thinking about who else would have been awesome if they'd started their careers earlier(or lasted a little longer). My own picks:

1) Kurt Angle in the Austin vs. McMahon era: One thing about the storylines that didn't make sense to me back then was McMahon favoring some really weird characters for champion over Austin when the whole point of the program was that McMahon didn't feel Austin was "corporate" enough. Rock was good in that role, but Dude Love, Undertaker, and Kane? Angle would have been perfect for the role as McMahon's hand picked corporate champion, especially as fresh off his gold medal win as he would have been in 1998.

2) Goldberg in the Rock N Wrestling era: he would have been really young(about 20), but whenever I see Ultimate Warrior stuff I think how much better Goldberg would have been in that role. Similar appeals, except Goldberg had more potential and might have realized it had he come up through the WWF at a young age

3) Bret Hart in the Ruthless Aggression era: I just get goosebumps thinking about Hart vs. Angle, Hart vs. Rock, Hart vs. Cena, Hart vs. Lesnar, and Hart vs. Austin or Michaels in 2002/2003 would have drawn I bet. If he hadn't taken that errant kick from Goldberg, who knows?

I'm sure you've got even better ones though.

Kurt Angle actually was supposed to be around in 1998 but decided against wrestling for a while because of ECW, so thank them.  And you're right, he would have been an amazing choice as corporate champion.  

I think if Brock hadn't left for 8 years to do UFC then the John Cena would have been lot more tolerable for me, but on the flipside he wouldn't have been 10% of the star he became later, so I'm torn.

DVR Ratings Question


Scott,

 

Thanks for taking my email.

 

Has anyone released DVR numbers for Dynamite and NXT over
the course of the Wednesday Night Wars? 
I know most networks are starting to look at Live + 3 as their most
important stat when it comes to ad sales, so hoping both shows get a boost
there.

 

Thanks


Rob

Dave typically has all those numbers in the Observers, but then my eyes glaze over and I just skip to AEW WINS, LOL.  
I kid. I kid.  

Programs between great faces/heels


What are great feuds that come to mind between two guys or teams that were amazing (and successful) as both heels and faces?

What comes to mind:

Jake Roberts vs Randy Savage (one of the most heated feuds ever, maybe even too short, should have culminated at WM8. Was there a heel Savage vs face Jake feud?)

Hulk Hogan vs Roddy Piper (worked both sides, 85 and 96/97)

Undertaker vs Mankind (long 96 feud, opposite alignments/sides in 98/99 again)

Hogan vs Savage (89 and 96-98)

Interesting question!
You’re also missing a super obvious one, so I’ll take the layup and go with Bret Hart vs Steve Austin.