Promo Sketch Plug?

Hey man! Love the blog. I make sketches and goofy bits and my new one is wrestling related, so I thought I’d send it your way. If you watch it and dig it, think I can get a plug?

Thanks,
Mike

Indeed you can.  

Yokozuna winning the 93 Rumble



When Yokozuna won the Rumble, did they know at that time he was going to win the belt from Bret?  Was Hogan’s return even in play for WM, much less him winning the belt?  Was it ever discussed for Hulk to come back win the Rumble and face Bret at WM IX?

I'm pretty sure the only person who didn't know Yoko was getting the belt and Hogan was eventually scooping everyone's heat was Bret Hart.  

Lesnar In The Royal Rumble Match

What are your thoughts on Brock Lesnar entering the Royal Rumble match despite being WWE Champion?  Smart considering any contender they put him with in a match for the championship is a foregone conclusion, and/or also because it adds some mystery as to who will win the Rumble, stupid because it's yet another show where he doesn't defend the WWE Championship, or something in the middle?

I really don't think there's any particular mystery as to who's winning the Rumble this year.  As for Brock, he can get thrown out by (someone), they have a WM match, fine, whatever.  It's at least a semblance of a storyline for him.  

The War Experienced Viking Raiders Experience

So the common consensus that I had seen prior to this week, and I bought into it as well, was that the weeks and weeks of dominant squashes by the Vikings was building toward the hoss team fight between them and AOP for the tag titles. Now granted – they kind of screwed the pooch by having the OC beat them a few times without it ever leading anywhere, but ok, at least the OC were an established and credible tag team. 

Leading to this week, where they lose the titles to…the makeshift team of Rollins and Murphy, who as far as I know have never teamed and weren’t even stable mates until one week before.

Is there a reason I’m missing why it makes sense to neuter the Vikings without the payoff match with AOP? Or was it just “plans change” – or more so “there isn’t a plan and we are just booking minute to minute?”



If there's a plan, they're doing a really great job of hiding it.  

The greatest counts??

Was watching the Rumble numbers video yesterday and something caught my eye: they are acknowledging that the Greatest Royal Rumble took place! All of a sudden, Daniel Bryann has the longevity record and Braun has the most eliminations. Thing is, they never
talked about the show after it happened. Braun isn't talked about being a Rumble winner. The whole thing is weird. Why are they bringing it up now?

I've heard they're due for another blood money show in February, so maybe we'll get THE EVEN MORE GREATEREST ROYAL RUMBLE there.  

Undefeated streaks overkill

Hey Scott,

I find myself thoroughly annoyed with wrestlers booked to be unbeatable and mainly destroying jobbers each week to no long term direction that leads to a World Title reign.  WWE, of course, is the culprit of this trend. It hasn't worked with Strowman for years.  They started doing it with Lars Sullivan but he was just beating jobbers. Then he went down with injury after his bigotry was exposed.  Still, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have been given a World Title reign as the endgame to his undefeated streak.  Now, we're seeing it with Aleister Black and it looks like we'll start seeing it with Drew McIntyre.  I like the idea of pushing new guys and Black is a really good worker but making them be unbeatable rubs me the wrong way and comes off as annoying, so annoying I end up rooting for the other guy.  And I was rooting for Buddy Murphy the last time he faced Black. I understand the idea of "keeping a guy strong" but do they have to make him so unbeatable only to have him not even win a World Title anyways? At least when Goldberg was given the undefeated streak in WCW, it built toward something meaningful with him getting the US Title and ultimately winning the World Title out of it.  Or maybe if it was done more infrequently, I wouldn't take issue with the occasional new monster. But as of now, I think it's overkill. It doesn't have to be a pick your poison of undefeated streaks vs. 50/50 booking, right? Where are you on this?

I find it weird that Buddy Murphy didn't get ANYTHING on Black.  There's a happy medium between 50/50 and undefeated, as you noted, which is like "Black wins 3 matches and loses a fourth" so that Black clearly wins the feud overall but Murphy gets something in the end.  Or the other way around, where Murphy manages to frustrate him and gets the a win a few times, but then Black figures out the counter and destroys him to blow it off.  It's fine that Heyman is trying to keep everyone strong, but the show doesn't seem like it's going anywhere overall.  We're at the end of January and you can't even hazard a guess at what Wrestlemania might look like outside of the Fiend v. Roman match on the Smackdown side.  For me, overall direction is more important than the minutia of the wins and losses at this time of year, and they don't have it right now. 

Favorite Online Wrestling Writer?

Did-do you have a favorite online wrestling writer?  Back in the day I enjoyed a columnist for 1wrestling.com, although I forget his name at the moment.  He would come up with these horrible fantasy booking articles that were so bad they were entertaining.  Examples include thinking the next big thing was adding a storyline to every match that the winners of the contest would get X amount of kayfabe money for each win,(and expecting fans to give a shit), and when the Spider-Man movie came out in 2002, he believed that dressing up a wrestler as Spider-Man to team with Goldust would be a huge money maker.  
Like, Arachnaman? 

Prime Time!

Hi Scott,

New episodes of Prime Time up on the Network from '89… Well, about a dozen. Gonna review them?

Wait until you hear the monstrosity they've used to replace Rick Rude's music with now – even worse than the non-Stripper music they've been using since the Hall of Fame!
I'm very saddened that they've basically abandoned the classic content drops on the Network.  Hopefully they put some more Superstars on there soon but I'm not holding my breath. 

Gunn club

Hello, Scott,

I’m reading about some AEW matches that have already happened or are about to air and I saw that Billy Gunn is teaming with his son Austin as the Gunn Club. How does that work? I can’t see WWE letting billy use the Gunn name, but apparently he even has shirts with it. I figured they’d argue it’s violating their copyright.

Did they not renew the billy Gunn copyright, or does Billy have some special deal that allows him to use the Gunn name in exchange for commenting on video complications or something?

Just real li wondering how long wwe is gonna let it slide…

One incredibly smart thing that AEW did, which no one else has thought to do outside of the promoter who owns "Superstars of Wrestling", is actually check for which trademarks that WWE failed to renew and then go through and get them all.  When they fired Billy Gunn a couple of years ago, they stopped using the trademark and thus AEW was able to get it for themselves, along with Bash at the Beach and "The Match Beyond" and a bunch of other ones.  Since you have to actively use trademarks to retain them and WWE likes to save money by letting them lapse and then buying them back later if needed.  So yeah, totally legal from that regard.  On the other hand, Gunn going "Suck it" and doing the crotch chops is pretty clearly a protected DX trademark, so that could get him in some legal hot water.  

Another Waitwaitwaitwaitwait Question

From your 1998 Rumble review:

"The Honky Tonk Man is #19 at 30:30"

"Vader is #30 at 50:00 and he tosses Honky at 50:30"

They booked Honky to go twenty minutes in the Rumble?!? I mean, I know
the roster was thin, but FUCK. Who made that call?

I've seen that Rumble a handful of times and I don't remember that
booking at all…


Yeah I didn't really remember Honky that year either but he was definitely in there for 20 minutes.  Not doing much of anything, mind you, but they were really hard up for bodies to fill that thing.

Gimmick Failures and Restarts

In the ’98 Rumble Rant, you mentioned the transformation of
Goldust to “The Artist Formerly Known As” and them eventually walking back and going
to the standard Goldust look and gimmick a few months after they killed it off.
Other than Chavo Jr. in 2005 (for reasons that were done probably for 1 very significant
reason), any other notable gimmicks where a wrestler did a drastic change that
bombed, forcing the company to abandon ship and go back to what worked before?

I think the most drastic with the biggest consequences for the company was repackaging Steve Austin as the paranoid heel in 2001 for the Invasion, which got walked back completely by Survivor Series into beer-drinking Austin again.  By which point it was too late to save the character as a top draw.  

Wrestler that plays heel/face equally well?


What wrestler, either past or present, do you think plays a face and heel equally well?  I don't know about all time, but currently I think I'd give the nod to Randy Orton here.    

Randy Orton is a spectacular babyface and a blah heel.  Ric Flair was always the good standard for both, mostly because he had to be whatever the situation called for as NWA champion for years and years.  

Warrior

Based on your Rumble 91 rant, how do you book the title match?  Warrior seems to be over.  Savage hit him with the scepter and get disqualified then they double team him?  Hogan saves?  

Warrior faces Savage in title vs career while Hogan faces Slaughter.  Then maybe have UT cost warrior the title over the summer and have Hogan win at summer slam?

Yeah, they 100% should have put the brakes on the Slaughter angle at the Rumble given how fast the "war" ended. Just as you noted, Warrior wins by DQ, Hogan saves.  Maybe Slaughter does something deplorable to Warrior, like blinds him with a fireball, and Hogan decides to avenge Warrior FOR AMERICA?  I dunno, but Hogan did not need the belt after Wrestlemania given the direction was a tag team match at Summerslam anyway. 

Revival

Hey Scott, so the revival lose last night, which is no surprise, but, the revival talk about the WWE caring about them as much as the rest of the tag division? One, do you think the Revival is staying? Two, is a tag reboot in the works?

It's been a pretty poorly-kept secret that the Revival are going to AEW as soon as their contract is up after Wrestlemania, which is why they're getting buried week after week.  And no, Vince never has and never will give a crap about rebuilding the tag team division as long as he can keep going back to the New Day and the Drunk Drivers over and over.  

Raw Dec 7,1998

Hey Scott.


Wondered if you could shed light on something that is bugging me.


I'm watching the Dec 7, 1998 edition of Raw on the Network and Michael Cole is alongside Jerry Lawler on commentary. During the first match, Cole sends condolences to Jim Ross and his family after the passing of JR's mother.


Yet on certain camera angles, it is clearly JR (complete with cowboy hat) sat at the commentary desk alongside "The King".


This episode is supposedly 1 night after Capital Carnage in London, so i'm guessing this Raw was recorded before the UK trip, but why redo commentary when JR can clearly be seen at ringside? After all, it wasn't a secret that Raw wasn't live every week.

Oh, it certainly was still a "secret", in that Vince (to this day in fact!) desperately believes that you have to promote the illusion of live TV or else people won't tune in.  But yeah, the show was recorded on the Tuesday previous, I believe, and so they overdubbed Cole after the fact.  You can see similar stuff on the 95 shows all the time, where they'll overdub commentary on the three taped shows but a lot of times the camera will cut to Vince and Lawler at ringside and you can literally see them just sitting there watching the monitor and not saying anything.  It's one of the dangers of taping TV with the announce desk at ringside instead of off near the back.  

2 Person Announce Teams

Do you think USA followed in Fox's footsteps of requesting going back to a 2 person announce team for Raw like on Smackdown, or do you believe Vince finally came to the realization how much 3 person announce teams, or at least the WWE's 3 person announce teams, suck?
Vince isn't big on realizing things.  I think they just did it for symmetry with the FOX show.

Villainous Dark Order

Hey Scott, seeing the news today that apparently before he decided on staying in ROH, AEW had been planning to debut Marty Scurll as the leader of the Dark Order on the final Dynamite of 2019 got me thinking about two questions.

1.) Do you think Scurll would have been a great fit in the Dark Order as their leader, salvaging one of their bigger duds of a storyline so far?

2.) Why do you think they still ran the angle where they attacked the Elite at the end of that episode even though they didn't have the big payoff without Scurll, considering they haven't even followed up on it since that night?

1.  I thought he would have fit OK, but would have been better leading the Butcher and the Blade.  Everyone is pretty sure that Broken Matt 2.0 is going to end up leading the Dark Order in March, and that will be awesome if they play it right.  Could also be Luke Harper, finally getting to lead his own cult family.  

2.  It was a bad booking decision on their part.  It happens.  Plans change.  

Question

After SummerSlam 88, I don’t recall Hogan and Andre ever crossing paths again in the WWF.  And after Savage retires then comes back, he really never interacts with Hogan again save for that one tag match against Jake and Beserker.  It was almost like they were keeping them in their own universe.  why?  You’d think there would have been some money in Hogan and Andre reuniting.  
Never thought about it, but yeah, you're right.  Hogan and Savage I understand keeping them apart because of A Show / B Show dynamics and their relationship was on-again off-again at the best of times, but yeah, they could have popped a number with a Hogan/Andre v. Earthquake/Bravo tag match somewhere. 

AEW Type wrestling quick fire questions.

Hey, Scott,


Really enjoying watching AEW wrestling since it started, but I'm drunk and bored before it airs here in the UK so answers please-


1) Is this the most entertaining Chris Jericho we have ever seen


2) JR love him but he just seems off a step, time to hang up the Mike and move to backstage/taped AEW Dark Comms


3) Womans Divison could be great but cant keep track, how many do you cut


4) Ray Fenix is amazing, Play it right run him as top single star for a year, it could work right


5) Do we need a mid card belt to elevate some of the top guys


Finally would you change much currently or are you invested enough to let it roll on.

1.  I still find his 98 WCW run as the conspiracy victim to be the best, but as a main event guy he's on another level right now.
2.  Agreed.  They've got Taz now and he's got great chemistry with Excalibur on his Dark appearances and he should probably replace JR.  Since they're re-launching Dark as A-Show 2.0, Jim would be perfect for that.  
3.  I'd cut a great deal of them.  Really you only need 4 at most for a while.  Riho, Shida, Britt Baker and Statlander and you're good.  Then you can cycle a couple out after a few months.
4.  Fenix is great, agreed.  
5.  We haven't even had a title change yet in the promotion, I'd wait to start introducing more belts.  
And finally, this is the most investment and fun I've had watching a wrestling show since RAW in 1997.  Aside from a couple of minor gripes, I'm happy to let them go where they want.