Steve Austin US Title run with Harley Race


Steve Austin has said before he and Flyin Brian were put together as a tag team (in late '92-early'93), he was supposed to get a run with the US Title with Harley Race as his manager.


However during this time, Rick Rude was the US Champion, so is Austin mistaken, or was he supposed to get the US title that Dustin got once Rude got hurt?  Was Rude supposed to win the WCW Title from Ron Simmons and vacate the US Title before the injury?

Rude definitely wasn't winning the big belt, but it's not like it would have been hard to switch the US title to Austin.  You could have used any number of transitional guys.  

Nash ending Goldberg’s streak


How long was the plan in place for Kevin Nash to end Goldberg's undefeated streak while beating him for the WCW Championship at Starrcade 1998?  Was there even really a plan at that point?   

I'm sure Nash was planning on it for a LONG time.  And to be fair, they did a lot of preparation for him, like ending Wrath's own streak and stuff like that.  So at least a few months in advance.  

The NEW Daniel Bryan


I know you don't follow the regular TV product, but I'll assume you've at least heard about the direction for Daniel Bryan's character change.


Do you think Daniel Bryan defies the odds & becomes the first person to be over with the "New [Insert Name Here]" gimmick?

Well, he's not LITERALLY a new person.  This isn't like the New Blackjacks or New Midnight Express.  

Dynamite Kid interview


Hey Scott,

  The unedited DK interview from the Matter Of Pride DVD has just been uploaded. It's 3 hours long, but maybe 5 minutes were used in the final documentary. He's very matter of fact, and stone faced in his mostly one word answers. It's very interesting, since there is not a lot of shoots with him out there.

Commentary Questions


Hey Scott,


Need to get your opinion because it is being debated in the comments. Who is the better commentator Michael Cole or Tony Shiavone? I think despite his career worst work in WCW being really bad, Tony is way better than Cole. I think Tony did a lot to get the nWo over in the early days of the angle. Really selling that he personally felt like he was in danger, and his loyalty to WCW rang true. Whereas I don't think Cole has ever enhanced a storyline.

Now, just for fun; who is better: Mauro or Kevin Kelly?

I feel like all the people hating on Tony weren’t around watching him for years and years as the voice of Crockett.  Just because he got lazy and checked out at the end of WCW’s existence doesn’t mean he wasn’t really good for years leading up to it.  He blows Cole away on every level. 

Tony Schiavone rep


Hi Scott

I recently read an article where Tony Schiavone spoke about working in Starbucks for a while as he had time on his hands. He comes across pretty well, a down to earth guy.

I know he jumped ship a couple of times during the late 80’s and early 90’s, but what is his reputation within the industry? As far as I am aware he isn’t employed by WWE, would he add a lot of knowledge? Or is he not a ‘wrestling guy’ and it was just a job to him?

Is it underserved that arguably his most famous quote is the ‘well that’ll put butts in seats’ line during the Monday night era. Something which I am sure he was Produced to say.

Cheers

Tony had asked about a production job in recent years because he does well with his baseball career and doesn’t want to be on air with WWE again. However, from what he said, Kevin Dunn basically blew him off because they’re not looking for more “announcers “ and didn’t seem to understand what Tony was actually wanting to do.  I think Tony would be fantastic in the production side of things again and as an occasional DVD host like Sean Mooney and I hope they bring him home again someday soon. 

Revolution!!!!

Scott – a few questions about the women of WWE

1.  The women’s “revolution” – I know lots of us get sick of the WWE & Stephanie constantly patting themselves on the back about the revolution………but can we agree it is a great time for women’s wrestling in the WWE???  The fact that rumors are going around that Lynch/Rousey could main event WM and I believe they really could is a huge step.   Several years ago the thought of a women’s match main evening WM would have seemed impossible.

2.   Becky Lynch – I’m reading lots of online comments comparing her to Steve Austin, and saying she’s having one of the greatest runs of the modern era.   What do you think about her run over the last couple of months???  Seems to me like she’s on fire and by far the best thing on either show

3.   Carmella – why in the world did she get an extended run with the title???  From what I’ve seen she’s absolutely terrible.   Lynch’s rise over the last few months makes it seem even more ridiculous that Carmella was getting pushed for so long.   

4.   Sasha Banks – underutilized or exactly where she should be?

1.  If Rousey continues drawing the ratings she has, she's not main eventing anything for WWE for much longer.  Realistically, Evolution was a flop from a business standpoint (although it doesn't matter and blah blah) and although she's a big star, I don't know that Vince is gonna have her headlining WM. 
2.  She's been good, but people comparing her to Steve Austin are nuts.  Austin was pegged as a major star from the beginning and had business-transcending charisma.  Becky's funny on Instagram and has good matches.
3.  She's blonde and hot and they had a funny deal with Ellsworth.  That's about it.
4.  At this point, she's right where she belongs. 

Most Overused Moves?


A tweet from Dash Wilder today got me thinking, he mentioned how many variations from the Ace Crusher (Diamond Cutter/RKO ect. For those who don't know) are used today. What are some of the most overused moves in wrestling today beside that? Definitely the running knees in the corner that Almas does. Almost every girl in the Mae Young Classic used it. Superkicks is always a popular one.

A few years back there was an absolute plague of mid-level workers using variations on Roll the Dice / Overdrive / etc, basically just "If you can't come up with a real finish, just do a neckbreaker".  That and the endless uranages and Downward Spirals.  At least the superkick makes sense — you kick the person in the face, they go down.  Easy.  The other moves required a diagram to understand what was happening and who was even getting hurt and how.  

Bret Owen Feud


Hey Scott!

 

I know 93-94 is a tough era to watch, but I’ve always loved the
Bret/Owen stuff from that time. A nice build, Owen was a great heel, and the
matches were awesome. If you were to do a quick inventory of your all- time
favorite feuds, where would it be? Top 5? 10? 20?

On a related noted, some have said that the two never had a
proper blow off to the feud: what’s your take on that?

The Summerslam match was a pretty good blowoff, I think.  Overall, though, I think the Bret vs Lawler feud was better.  The Owen feud just kind of died out.  I’ll call it maybe top 20 on the basis of two five star classics but it really didn’t do much for Owen overall.  

Few More Questions

Hey Scott, hope all is well.

1. Do you think Vince is tanking RAW to get it to 2 hours? 

2. In 91-92, did WWE have a change in writing? I was reading the Savage/Pefect Survivor Series Angle/ Snake Savage and it was completely different. 

3. When Perfect came back, why wasnt he given any title run IC or World? He was over and a great worker. Was WWE scared off by his injury history?
1.  As wonderfully passive-aggressive as that would be, that doesn't strike me as a Vince move.  
2.  Nope.  Still Vince.
3.  They just didn't have plans for him in that role.  I don't think there's a specific reason.

Why is the WWE Championship always the second tiered belt?

Hey Scott,

Just curious. Why has the WWE always chosen to present the WWE Championship with the full lineage going back to the beginning on SmackDown! as the lesser belt. During the first brand split, HHH and the resurrected World Championship was the RAW title and treated as the superior belt. It main evented WM 20 and 21 while JBL and Eddie Guerrero got the other belt. 

I guess things changed once Cena won it, but then when they did the brand split again in 2016, it feels like Brock and Roman's chase of the Universal belt is the focus and again, the WWE Championship is on Smackdown!

Why not put the old important title on RAW?

At this point I think we'd settle for ANYONE being champion on RAW.  Whatever their plan was for making money off Brock as champion this time is clearly not working.  

And in general, yours is the first complaint I've read that the WWE title is the one being treated like garbage.  For the entirety of Cena's run at the top it was the WWE title that was the main one, so you basically hand-waved 10 years away.  The most important title is whatever one is on RAW, so it doesn't matter which physical belt it is or what it's called.  

Ultimate Warrior’s short stints in the late 90’s?


Why was the Ultimate Warrior's return stints so short in the WWF in 1996, as well as WCW in 1998?  Am I to assume that in each company was Warrior being his usual nut-job self, or did each case differ?    

In 96 he was basically using WWE to launch his "Warrior University" and comic book deal, and when Vince stopped promoting those ventures and also (allegedly) promised him a World title reign and then reneged, Warrior stopped showing up.  In 98 with WCW, it was actually just a short-term deal and the intention all along was to get the Hogan match done and then both sides would cut ties.  Granted he was still nuts, but no one ever expected him to stick around.  

RAW hits rock bottom

"Monday's WWE RAW episode, featuring RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and Ember Moondefeating Tamina Snuka and Nia Jax in the main event, drew 2.285 million viewers. This is down 3.5% from last week's 2.369 million viewers. This is the lowest RAW viewership of 2018 and the lowest in show history" (wrestlinginc.com)

Will we get Linda McMahon next week? Vince vs McIntyre? Return of Batista & Hogan?

It’s sure helping Roman’s case as a ratings draw, that’s for sure.  Maybe we need another wedding angle?  They always seem to work.  

Hogan dropping the leg on Savage at Bash at The Beach

When Hogan became the third man of the NWO and dropped the leg on Savage, was that done because they knew already that they were going to headline Halloween Havoc, or was it just done because of the Hogan-Savage history together?


If he drops the leg on Sting or Luger would it have had the same impact?


And with their backstage history was there any heat from Savage on taking the beating from Hogan once Hulk turned heel?

The Hogan-Savage match for Halloween Havoc had literally been promised to the arena months in advance, so they definitely knew where they were going, whether or not Hogan was a heel when they got there. It kind of made it all the more bizarre when they beat Savage down repeatedly following the heel turn, and then suddenly had to justify giving him a title shot there.  I don't think it was related to who took the big legdrop, though.  

Rick Flair

Hey Scott,

Was watching Flair/Steamboat Clash 6 a while back because do I need a reason to watch the greatest match of all time? Anyway, of course it is the greatest match ever but, I was reminded again of a botch that never seems to get the credit that it really does deserve: Ric Flair, coming out with 4 beautiful women and one of the greatest entrances of all time… and they spell his fucking name wrong on the Crockett-tron or whatever Turner was calling it.

Was there a story behind this?  HOW in G-d's name, does a botch this pathetic, for your biggest name, make it to air, when you probably had hours to pick it up? Did someone in the office, somehow misspell RIC FLAIR's name? Did no one proofread this? If you'd spelled Koko B. Ware's name wrong in 1989, Vince would've made sure you and the next 3 generations of your family were fired. This was the NWA's franchise.

There has to be a more interesting backstory beyond "Because WCW," if for no other reason than because, I'm pretty Turner wasn't in control of the NWA by this point. 


It's not like Jim Herd was micromanaging every facet of the production.  Especially in a case like WCW, they had dozens of different specialized production people, and it's entirely possible that someone wasn't a wrestling fan and thought it was totally possible that it was spelled "Rick Flair".  In fact, WWE's production team, the best in the world at what they do, screws up stuff like graphics and chyrons quite a lot, relatively speaking.  It's just the nature of live TV.

Creed 2 fight rankings

So I am sending this a second time because apparently sending the same e-mail multiple times seems to work.
😊


Adonis Creed vs Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler: **** One star for the fight three extra stars because "gimme my keys" may be the greatest bit of trash talk ever and I am considering using it in my day to day life now.


Creed vs Victor Drago 1" * A one sided fight with a cop out ending. Gets a star only because I honestly didn't see a DQ finish coming.


Creed vs Drago 2: ****3/4. I tried to find fault with this fight and I honestly couldn't. A brutal back and fourth bout with both guys showing tremendous courage and a fantastic twist ending, that was also a callback to Apollo vs Ivan. Doesn't get the full
five stars ONLY because I like Rocky Vs Drago a little bit better.

The babyface turn at the end was spectacularly done and the kind of thing that WWE has been shitty at for decades now. 

Are there any good Hollywood Hogan matches?

Hey Scott, did Hogan have ANY good matches as Hollywood Hogan in WCW? I wasn't watching WCW until around Starrcade '97, and Hogan/Sting at that is obviously not good. I recently watched the Bash at the Beach 1996 ending so wanted to see what they followed that up with and it was an atrocious match vs. the Giant at Road Wild. Is anything he did in-ring during that period worth checking out? And I ask this as someone who was a big Hulkamaniac as a kid/loved Rock vs. Hogan at Mania 18.

Thanks

I don't specifically recall many, to be honest.  I think the Luger one coming up on Nitro in August was OK and I can't really think of any other standouts.  He had a couple of good ones with Flair (shock of shocks) but I think that was after he morphed back into babyface Hogan again. 

Hogan v Nikita

Scott:

Greetings! Just wondering: Did Vince McMahon ever make a push to sign Nikita Koloff in 1986 or 1987? I would think a Hulk Hogan-Nikita Koloff feud – with Nikita as the Russian villain against the "American Made" Hulk – would have made an awful lot of money.

So in the alternative reality where Nikita leaves the NWA and goes north, how big could he have been? Could he have been a pay-per-view or even Wrestlemania main event with Hogan? Or would Nikita have been just another one of the monster heels to feed Hogan?
The evidence remains fuzzy on this one, but from what people involved have said, like Koloff, Vince definitely wanted him but never had an opportunity to make him a real offer until it was well past the point when it would have mattered.  I firmly believe that Hogan v. Koloff could have main evented Wrestlemania 2 with ease and Nikita would have made MILLIONS off it in the long term.  He should have went north. 

Best Talent; Not Over

Hey Scott,

Was thinking about, Chavo Guerrero, of all people recently, and the thought crossed my mind that he might have been the most talented wrestler (In terms of the total package: size, ability, charisma, etc.), who wasn't booked as a jobber, never booked improperly, and never had a serious drug issue or whatever, who just never got over.  Obviously, there've been muscleheads that didn't have talent or talented guys who just weren't believable (and Chavo wasn't a monster but you could at least believe that he could make almost any match competitive) but Chavo seemingly had no barrier to making it big in the sport and just… didn't.

In his case, it made sense to a certain extent; no matter how good he got, he was just never going to get out of Eddie's shadow. But other wrestlers have had that same issue (Christian and Matt Hardy spring to mind) who had similar issues, who still managed to do well for themselves. Chavito, when he wasn't in the back half of "Eddie and…" went nowhere fast.

Do you have anyone like this? All the talent in the world and no real defects (no issues with the office, drug problems, etc.) who just never clicked? I'm not talking Sting/Luger/Etc who never reached their full potential. I'm talking guys who never made it out of first gear for seemingly no reason.

Thoughts?

I was thinking maybe Lenny Lane, who WCW tried various things with for years and never found a way to get him out of the starting blocks.  They tried "ab polish", the pseudo-gay gimmick, Standards & Practices, but in the end he never even escaped the company for WWE when it died.  I wouldn't say he was super-talented, but he could have been a solid hand.  

I think probably you can add Mike "Nova" Bucci to the list as well, who was saddled with loser gimmicks like Simon Dean when he got his big break but really never got past a certain level anyway.  Clearly he was a talented guy, but he was just…meh.  

Fake Razor/Diesel Endgame

Hey Scott, reading through the recent nWo emails got me thinking about the whole fake Razor/Diesel mess. Was there ever an endgame in mind? I get the initial bait and switch idea, lame as it may be, but to have them just become regular wrestlers was beyond
pointless. They drifted around the lower card for months, even making it to a couple PPVs, before fading away finally in early 97. What the fuck was the point? It's not like they were in joke matches or being fed to top guys (with the exception of Bret I think)
or serving any type of productive purpose other than to make snide remarks about the originals. 

Literally the entire endgame was to demonstrate that they were still using the trademarked characters of Razor Ramon & Diesel so they could hassle WCW about Hall and Nash using those mannerisms.  Vince literally could not have cared less about them getting over to any degree, as long as they were present on TV while he needed them.