This Unfair World

Hey Scott–

I was watching the LOD/Natural Disasters match from Royal Rumble '92, and there's a spot I never gave much thought to before.

Hawk goads Earthquake into throwing a dropkick, moves out of the way, then points to his head, indicating his intelligence.

If you've taught me anything over the years, it's that pointing to your head invariably leads to disastrous consequences. Yet Hawk simply tags out and suffers no comeuppance whatsoever.

Is this wrestling law only for heels, then? Babyfaces can tell everyone how smart they are with impunity?

What a biased rule. I'm starting to have my doubts as to the integrity of professional wrestling. 

Of course the rule only applies to heels!  Otherwise it would be ANARCHY.  

Can we criticize AEW for a moment?


Since arguing about AEW is such a hot topic around here, I figure I'd throw this out there: Is anyone, even huge fans of AEW, excited for this Cody/Shaq tag team match? They did one pre-tape with Shaq and Brandi and are coasting on Jade Cargill's anti-charisma in the world of professional wrestling. Cody's cooled considerably since he lost the TNT Title the first time, and Red Velvet, while doing a decent job on Dark for months, isn't the avatar for Brandi to really get excited for. Even if WWE wasn't loading up NXT that week, I'd fear a disappointing number, because there's no cross-over appeal in wrestling these days. I say all this as a fairly pro-AEW poster here, in case there's those curious about the motives behind the email.

HOW DARE YOU SIR.  Nah I'm kidding the angle is terrible and doesn't make any sense.  Not to mention that we have no indication of who or what a Jade Cargill is and why we should care and how she's supposed to be connected to Shaq in the first place or why she hates Cody or why Shaq hates Cody.  As noted by others, maybe if they had more interesting people involved rather than Jade and Brandi's mini-me the whole thing wouldn't be such a slog, but at this point Cody seems more invested in his hillbilly talent show anyway.  And hey, good for him, branching out into the mainstream can only help him.  

Exploding death match of pointy objects


Hey Scott,


  With AEW dusting off the death match stips for the mainstream audience, hiw's about a review of the 95 King of the Death Match tape. I know you're not a praticular fan of the style but it's a pretty good warm and a show I don't think you've done before.

What the hell is a “tape”?  

Most bizarre house show matchups


On the September 11th WWF Superstars, they promote Adam Bomb and Bam Bam Bigelow challenging the then-reigning tag champs The Steiners at house shows. Of course The Steiners lose the straps to the Quebecers in the meantime, so we get heels vs heels Quebecers vs Bigelow/Bomb at various houseshows on the east and west coast subsequently. Sounds like a strange but intriguing trainwreck. What other really weird match-ups come to your mind?


https://youtu.be/kAQ7Ju69z38



That time in 1990 when both Pat Tanaka and Shawn Michaels were out injured at the same time, so I got to sit through a house show tag team match featuring Shane Douglas & Marty Jannetty v. Akio Sato & Mr. Fuji.  Like, they couldn't have just done a singles match?  Obviously by that I mean Fuji v. Douglas.  

The title is sacred


WALTER has become such a powerful force, I believe that he is going to have to come stateside to drop the title. Only options left for him NXTUK are Devin, Rampage Brown and maybe Ilja if they want to go that route again. 


Do you think they go with the option that was going to happen before the pandemic: Finn Balor? They were heading that way with Finn going to the UK to confront WALTER. 

I dunno, is there some rush to take the belt off him in the first place?  The problem is more that they need to build up contenders, not that they need to get the belt off him any time soon.  

Leaping Bo Dallas



So all this talk about Bo Dallas being under contract but not being used has people scratching their heads. Not that I or many others were clamoring for him but it does seem weird to pay him to just stand around doing nothing for a whole year… until you realize
it sounds similar to the deal Lanny Poffo supposely had with WCW. You know, the one where he got paid to do jacksquat because he's Macho Man's brother.


Which leads me to this question: do you think the WWE are keeping him around as a favor to Bray Wyatt? Maybe to keep him happy and productive in the Fiend role they have put plenty of time and effort into, though I can't see him really having that much power
backstage. Or is it really just “we're keeping him because *shrug shoulders*”?


Thanks again and as always, love the blog.

Meltzer commented on it on the radio show a few months ago and summed it up as “He's still under contract but he's dropped off the face of the earth and no one knows why”.  Honestly they're not likely to be paying him very much anyway so it's probably just not worth releasing him at this point. 

Roman Reigns and WALTER

Your comment about Reigns and WALTER got to me. I really wish Vince would find a spot for WALTER on the WM card.

Does WALTER have a role in the future on a WWE Big 2 brand? I think he'd be fantastic on RAW/Smackdown, but they have to use his sparingly. The joy of WALTER is that when we do get him, he's fantastic. To me, he could be their new “big fight” guy, ala Brock.

What say you?


It's pretty well known that WALTER doesn't want to be in North America and is happy to stay in Europe, so I doubt there's any place for him outside of NXT UK, sadly.  

BARBED WIRE EXPLODING DEATH MATCH OF DOOM

Hi Scott.  Love the blog. 

What do you think about the reveal of the gimmick for Mox v Omega rubber match?  I must say, as an AEW PPV buyer, I was disappointed.  Their first match was a big garbage match, their second match was a straight match.  Am I old fashioned in thinking something like a cage match (to keep Callis and the Goon Brothers from interfering) would have been more logical and frankly less trashy?  Or is that too boring in 2021.  Which way would you have gone? 

Thanks

It's certainly an odd choice of match and reveal.  I think I would have gone with the best of 3 falls idea that others have floated, like the Austin-HHH match from 2001 where you do one fall as a street fight, one as a straight wrestling match, and then one as a cage match if needed.  That way they each do their own thing and then there's a “neutral” third fall.  

Better than the rest


Sir – I was thinking about your recent comments about Roman Reigns and how he’s so head and shoulders above the rest of the roster right now that it makes it difficult to find a suitable WrestleMania opponent for him.  So here’s my question……..

Is Reigns the best example of this?  I can’t think of a time when the top star of the company was SO much better and seemed like such a bigger star than the rest of the roster that it was a problem.  I mean Austin had Rock, Hogan had Savage.  Has it ever been more one sided than it is now?

It was getting to that point with Brock Lesnar for a while.  It's definitely that way with WALTER now as well.  I mean, in a way it's a good problem to have a star so big that you can't find anyone to believably challenge him, though. 

Hangman

Scott:

You're probably going to spend the next 20 years answering “whose career did Covid derail the most” questions but for the moment, let me submit the name Hangman Page.

Last year at this time he felt on the precipice of a massive breakout year as the top babyface in AEW. Now he's doing wacky midcard antics with the Dark Order and Matt Hardy. I get holding off on his push until crowds come back but at this point crowds show no sign of coming back for real and the seemingly “big money” Page/Omega program doesn't seem to be on anyone's radar screen.

I hope he bounces back from this because last spring I was SO INTO the Hangman and now, not so much.
I'm gonna let it play out and see where it goes. 

Stuff

Hey Scott,

So I’m watching Best of Elimination Chamber and heel Bryan is talking about not wanting to be called a martyr but he is suffering for the greater good.

Sounds like Seth Rollins got his source material from there.

On an unrelated note, do you think Red Velvet should reveal herself as Cody’s half sibling, the love child of an affair between Dusty and Sweet Sweet Sapphire?

Would definitely help the story and STIR IT UP!

Or they can just say Jade is the daughter out for revenge and some money from the Rhodes estate, either way.

Your thoughts?

Although the thought of Dusty Rhodes impregnating Sapphire honestly made me vomit up my morning coffee a little bit, so thanks for that, that's actually a pretty clever idea. 

Steiners Take 2

Hey Scott–

In your latest Superstars review, you talk about how out of place the Steiners were in 1993 WWF. It got me wondering; is there a time when they would have fit?

Let's say they never go in for their 1993-1994 run. They get tired of the Outsiders' bullshit in WCW in 1997, and they jump to Vince in fall of that year. 

Do the Steiners thrive in 1997 WWF, at the dawn of the Attitude Era? Or are they still fish-out-of-water at that point?

They would have been past their prime at that point, but man they would have had some great matches with Owen and Bulldog!  Regardless, I think they were always a square peg in a round hole in the WWF and just didn't work outside of a more athletically-oriented product like WCW traditionally was.  

Tommy Young and the ropes

Hello,


A routine you'd see in Crockett-era matches was someone reaching for the ropes to break a hold and Tommy Young would kick his hands away, the logic being that the ropes are “out of bounds” for both wrestlers; you have to actually be in the ropes to break a
hold, or something along those lines.  Maybe my mentality is coloured by being a strictly WWF kid growing up, but isn't this something of a distinction without a difference?  How is grabbing the ropes not basically the same thing as being in them?  Should
we just chalk this up as “wrestling logic” and not think about it too much?


Let me drop some old school KNOWLEDGE on you, son.

See, the ropes are out of bounds, so if you're in the ropes, you can't be touched and the hold has to be broken. However, the same thing applies to offensive moves:  The ropes are also out of bounds for some trying to use them to their advantage.  In practical terms, this means that if you're trapped in a hold and want to break it, you have to be able to move yourself into the ropes, but you can't actually USE the ropes to do so.  They're off-limits for both competitors and thus using them for leverage to break a hold is considered the same as using for leverage to maintain a hold, like when IRS grabs them while doing an abdominal stretch.  Same logic applies in the UFC today, where the cage is considered like the ropes.

BOOM.  KNOWLEDGE BOMB DROPPED. 

Whispers of a talent

A picture came across my twitter feed recently of Sabu winning a mid 90s magazine poll of favorite “foreign” wrestler.  The picture was black and white and you can still make out his scars and crazy eyes.  I remember before discovering  ECW, seeing similiar pictures of him, barbed-wire, scars, the facials, him strapped to a gurney. i was HOOKED! into seeing what this guy is like. 

Then i immedietly started thinking about reading about Rey Mysterio Jr. before his WCW debut and how he was blowing peoples minds around the world and seeing him being highly ranked in mexican wrestling with every issue.  I remember the goosebumps i got when WCW announced they signed him and every time they showed a promo hyping his debut. 

When we had less means to look at talent beyond our normal viewing habits, what were the wrestlers that you remember just reading and seeing in small doses that really captured your attention and you just began paying attention to everything they were featured in?  

The Lightning Kid is the primary one I can remember from my tape trading days.  Back in the pre-internet times I was always fascinated by Austin Idol but never really had a chance to see him on TV, so I used to follow him in PWI as much as I could.  I also followed Chris Benoit around via magazines and such after he left Stampede, if that counts.  

Jericho Family


I'm sure you're aware of the coocoo insanity going on with Jericho, his wife and his mother in law.  My question is, do you think his western canadienness rubbed off on them or their floridainness rubbed off on her?  Or is it just a wonderful blend of full on banana bonkers?


Western Canadianness…?

Lex Luger WINS! Summerslam ’93 Edition


Hey Scott,


Not sure if you ever answered this but where do you think WWE would've gone had Lex won the World Title at SummerSlam '93?

Presumably, you'd have Lex would give Yoko a rematch or two or go off with Ludwig in a World Title program.  Then what?

HBK?  BBB? 


Meanwhile, Yoko would kinda flounder. Maybe he would go into his UT series with less fanfare or … what? Go back to Bret, who just finished his Lawler blowoff? Feud with the still undefeated Tatanka and beat him to get some steam back? Go with Razor?

And Lex would basically be stuck after Borga.  That feud would MAYBE take him to Royal Rumble but there's no way that would main event WM. Does Lex ride the power of the title win to Hogan levels where he can just main event with whoever because the crowd wants to see him?

Oh man, I knew the 93 Superstars would spawn another run of Luger emails.  I can only blame myself.  
Anyway, Luger didn't have Hogan's charisma, talent or crowd connection.  It was never going to happen.  He was probably going to do a house show run with Borga, I'd guess, but by Wrestlemania Vince would be calling up Bret again to stop the bleeding. 

Question

I was watching World Championship Wrestling from late 1988. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams was chasing Mike Rotondo for the TV Championship, and then like two weeks later, with no explanation, Williams joined Rotundo and Kevin Sullivan in The Varsity Club. Was there ever a reason provided for this?

This reminded me of a horrible modern day heel turn that the WWE would try to pull off. 

There was a reason!   He literally phoned into the show from a hotel room in Japan one week and announced that he was joining the Varsity Club.  It was the most awesomely lazy turn ever. 

WrestleCade 2021!!1

Okay so like…like hear me out here. Vince McMahon comes out to ring this night, sans trou. Much shame. Later in the night HHH/Shane/Stephanie and even Linda say Vince you're OUTTA HERE. But the problem is Vince had already scheduled the full WrestlingMania card. So on Smackdown it;'s revealed the MacMahon's have no choice but to bring in Eric Bischoff to save the day. Well guess what he says now that  the contract has been signed, hey McMahon clan….you're OUTTA HERE and fires them all. WrestleMania will instead being STARRCADE presented by THE WCW BROTHER and I say brother because Easy E promises none other than Hulk Hogan returning?

Next raw motherfucking VINCE RUSSO comes out and says guess what Eric before Vince McMahon went insane he signed ME as the new Emperor of WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT so guess what Eric Bischoff you're OUTTA HERE. But Hulk Hogan comes out and says not so fast. Eric Bischoff already guaranteed we'd get Starrcade instead of WM. So Russo smiles and says we'll get WRESTLECADE instead. WWF VS. WCW ….FINALLY!!!!!

On Smackdown Roman and the Somoans are attacked by mysterious people. Everyone thinks it is nWo. But it turns out to be a bunch of current and classic JOSHI wrestlers. They take out everyone and run around the ring yelling “JOSHI”, “JOSHI” in a very chaotic, high pitched fashion. Hulk comes out WITH RUSSO and says yeah right guess what bitches Hulk Hogan and the WCW brother has merged with Russo's ATTITUDE ERA and we're doing things the new …OLD way and it's time to take out some JAP BROADS. So Hulkster goes out there and it's a goddamned slap-a-thon. Hogan just lays waste with a full on Hiroshima level of slaps, taking out JOSHI after JOSHI. Until he stands tall in the ring while a mix of Real American and the DX theme plays…HE'S JOINED DX!!!

WrestleCade card: John Cena vs. Roman vs. Hulk, Ric Flair vs. Russo for THE WATCH. nWoDX vs. WolfpacNexus, Joshi's vs. That really fat fuck from ECW….i think he wsa a part of the FBI at one point? The show ends with Sting in the raftors wearing an AEW shirt. He takes the mic and says hey….WWF….you're OUTTA HERE!!!1

Right, but when is the Miz supposed to cash in his briefcase?  And what's Bad Bunny doing?  You need to tighten up the booking a little bit if you want to succeed at this.

Snake and Savage



Hey Scott–


Working my way through old PPVs while on the treadmill, and just finished with “Tuesday in Texas”.

Should the Jake Roberts/Randy Savage feud have had more legs? The TV timeline is Roberts crashes the wedding, Roberts has the cobra bite Randy, Randy gets reinstated, and they have a blink-and-you-miss-it match at the PPV, with an incredibly hot ending where (I think) Jake gets to be the first heel to actually hit Elizabeth (Randy's post-match interview is fucking amazing.)

… and then we pivot quickly to Savage/Flair and Roberts/Undertaker.

I don't know how long of a house show run they got out of it, but it feels like a white-hot feud got wrapped up awfully quick. Should we have gotten more out Randy Savage v. Jake Roberts?

Probably, but keep in mind that the whole thing was set up kind of last minute because of Warrior leaving, and then Savage wasn't really comfortable with Elizabeth getting involved like that and he wanted it ended quickly because her family was going to kill him unless he squashed Roberts.  Plus they had other plans for both guys that they wanted to get on with, so really there wasn't much opportunity to stretch it out longer than it was.  It's too bad, though.