Njpw what


After the absolutely stellar 2018 Njpw put out we now have Jay White as IWGP champion??? Really??? Gedo has to be telling one heck of a long form story to put the belt on White so soon…Okada redemption? Naito Ascension? 

I assume Gedo just REALLY wants to elevate someone to replace Omega at this point.  

Bryan vs. Miz


Without many options for Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, why can’t Bryan vs. The Miz be an option?  How is Shane McMahon vs. The Miz possibly a better idea?

They’ve spent literally years building to Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz and now that they can actually do the match, they don’t.  Say what you will about Miz, but that’s at least a match that should have great heat and it just seems like a waste to not do it.


They already did that match last year.  Several times.  It wasn't great.  

The Higher Power

Hey Scott,

 

Your mention of the Higher Power nonsense in your latest Heat recap reminded me of that whole business. The only thing I remember about this now (good lord, it’s been 20 years!?) is “It’s me, Austin! It was me all along!” which almost makes
it worth it for that meme.

 

I’m sure this has been discussed to death, but did they have anyone else in mind when the Higher Power stuff started? Or was it just Vince Russo making it up as he went along? I think I heard something about Jake Roberts being the ultimate
reveal, but didn’t happen because of his substance abuse problems. Or maybe that was just fan theories, I’m not sure.

There’s been lots of fan theories and retroactive “we knew all along” wanking by guys like Bruce Prichard but really they were making it up as they went.  Although Brother Love would have been a funny payoff that tied into Undertaker’s origin.  Or Paul Heyman. 

Eric Bugenhagen encore


https://youtu.be/iu2kp3w-Wvk


Maybe I don’t watch the main program enough , but there’s one thing I always felt it’s lacked a lot of (Elias an exception) the past couple of years: audiences and wrestlers having fun with characters , face or heel . Also I feel like this is the perfect guy Velveteen can get over in a match where Dream wins 

Dude, look at how fast Adam Rose and No Way Jose got calls to the main roster.  Bugenhagen will be on RAW by Summerslam.  Max.  

Austin/Pillman gun angle on Raw


Was it true that USA Network was so upset when the Steve Austin/Brian Pillman home-invasion/gun angle aired in late 1996 that they threatened to cancel Raw, or put it on in a late night timeslot?  If this is accurate I find it ironic, what with the Attitude Era being right around the corner.  

Yup, wrong place, wrong time.  

That being said, USA Network was in on the angle the whole time, and only threw WWE under the bus after the fact when everyone complained about the angle and all of a sudden they'd NEVER approve something that horrible on THEIR network.  The stuff about cancelling RAW was other people suggesting that USA cancel the show, not USA themselves.  

1992 Tag Programs

Hey Scott—

Rolling with the ‘92 Superstars episodes… Vince spends the whole summer hyping the Natural Disasters chasing Money, Inc. and the Beverly’s futile attempt to get “Legion of Sissies” over.

Yet after the random house show title switch, Summerslam is hyped as the Disasters defending against the Beverleys, and the infamous LOD/Money match where Hawk said “fuck off” and left the company.

Why didn’t we get the logical Money Inc/Disasters rematch and LOD/Beverlys blow-off? Is it as simple as “Because 1992 WWF?”

Good question, they played around with the tag programs a LOT in 92 and I don't know why exactly.  Wrestlemania was supposed to be Money Inc defending against LOD originally and that got changed for whatever reason as well.  

Shawn/Razor rubber match.

So I was watching the second Shawn/Razor ladder match and it got me to thinking of a fun angle they could have run on Raw. About a week or two before Hall leaves he interrupts a Shawn promo and says something to the extent of "we all know I am leaving to do
down south soon but you and I have a score to settle, chico. I challenge you to one last ladder match. But I don't want your gold. I am willing to put up…(holds up necklaces) my gold." Shawn accepts they tear down the house one last time, Shawn wins, Hall
goes to WCW. It wouldn't have meant much in the grand scheme of things but it would be a cool moment that we could look back on. 

I wouldn't particularly have him say "I'm leaving for WCW" or anything like that, but having him challenge for the World title before he goes is a fine idea.  

Obvious follow up – Face Turns

Borrowing from a recent post about greatest heel turns – what’s you opinion on greatest face turns?  My personal favourite is Savage at Mania 7.  Hard to top that.  A few others that come to mind in terms of impact are Taker stopping Jake from smoking Liz with a chair and (I’m guessing maybe yours) Piper and the Flower Shop.

Thanks as always…

Paul Orndorff turning on that raging egomaniac Hulk Hogan!
Oh, and yeah, the Piper turn was pretty awesome as well.  I also thought Rock turning after Backlash 99 was great in that you had this whole giant group of audience members who were DYING to cheer him for months and just let it all out.  Plus that one worked out pretty well for them.  

Aew eyeballs


So has anyone maybe thought of over kill with Kenny and the bucks ? Part of their …..allure was you weren’t gonna see them every week and or it felt special when they did roh shows. Now, running an American promotion, trying to get tv weekly, that allure might be gone. 

Perhaps let's wait for them to announce a TV deal before we worry about overexposure.

Rock/Hogan II

Hey Scott—

It’s February… so I’m on the treadmill watching February PPVs on the Network.

Anyhoo… No Way Out 2003 has Rock v. Hogan II. Despite the fact that the work is even worse than the first match (and the finish is lame) I’m curious about your thoughts. Given your unabashed (and totally justified) love of all things Rock, I think it’s a marvelous one-man show of heel douchebaggery on Rocky’s part.

What say you? 


Rock was a fantastic heel, but people didn't want to boo him at that point (especially since it was clearly just to set up the Goldberg job that no one wanted to see) and the magic was gone with Hogan.  Rock can only do so much.

Shortest Heel/Face Turns?


With Elias going back to heel again recently, what was the shortest heel or face turn that wasn't a ruse on the part of a wrestler?  The shortest face turn I can remember was Big Bossman in the Summer of 1999.  The Corporate Ministry beat him down and kicked him out of their group, and he even fought with the babyfaces against them to end the show.  The very next week he re-joined them again, well, because Russo.  Were there any shorter than that?  

Chyna would seemingly turn back and forth through the course of one show in 99.  

Traditional Tag Team formula


Scott,

 

Apart from, you know, Ricky Morton, who was the best 'face in peril' within the traditional tag team formula?  Which partner was the best after getting the 'hot tag'?  And from the other side of the ring, who were the
best heel team at getting rabid heat from the crowd by 'cutting the ring in half', switching off, etc etc.?

 

There's lots of heel teams that were really great at cutting off the ring, but Tully and Arn really had it down to a science.  In particular Tully knew how to be so incredibly irritating that fans couldn't possibly cheer him, which is always a danger when heel teams have dominance for a long time in a match.  There's a reason why the Revival steals so much from them today, for example.


As for the rest, Tito Santana was always really great at getting the heat, which is why you could slot him into so many combinations of babyface partners and he would work just as well with nearly anyone.  Selling and timing are the key and he had both.  


As for hot tag guys, Rick Steiner was amazing in short bursts in that role and I'd put him way up there. You want someone with fast, explosive offense and his was both things. 

AEW TV

Hey Scott, can you see AEW purchasing Impact? Can they take over the TV Deal in that case? It would be sensible as they can keep some talent and fill out the roster.

Anthem offered to sell it to them already, but they didn't want the baggage of another company attached to AEW and they declined.  But it was absolutely on the table.  

Flair pinning Hogan

Curious to what you have to say about… Flair only got Hogan's shoulders on the mat for 3 once in over a hundred plus matches? Even that was an overbooked screwy finish.

Knowing that Hogan had some creative control makes some sense of it, but looking at the match history shows Flair laying down constantly and Hogan never returned the favor.

P.S. hope your climate heats up ASAP. I'm a PE teacher in California and each day kids tell me it's to cold to be outside for PE. I think of you along with others I know through the mid West and some Canadian folks. I try to let them in on how good Californians have it, I my self have not experienced a winter outside California. Wish you and your family well.
Could be worse.  Randy Savage never got to pin Hogan, ever, as far as I'm aware.  And they had even more matches.  
And I don't feel terribly bad for Flair because he spent years never laying down for Lex Luger in any form and being top guy.  
As for the weather, I have to pull out a classic meme when we hear about "snow days" in the US or schools being closed and we're like…
aaa.jpg

Delusional fans

I'm seeing the reaction on Twitter for the AEW press conference and jeez, these fans are already predicting the WWE's demise and how they're dumb for not signing Kenny Omega (you'd think they signed Steve Austin circa 1998 or Hulk Hogan circa 1985, Omega's
great but come on now)?  I get it, fans want to see something different and someone to challenge WWE.  But don't you think people should get a grip and wait for them to actually run a show and build up a reputation first before we start digging the WWE's grave
and crown AEW the greatest promotion ever?  As you say "Let's play it out and see where it goes"

I wouldn't say they were STUPID for not getting Omega and the Bucks, but by the same token, I think that the signs are starting to be there that they were kind of counting on it happening and now there's holes in the booking where Omega and the Bucks were supposed to be.  I do think they're stupid for treating Jericho badly enough that he wants to go to the competition now after swearing that he would never do it.  And I bet we're getting close to the point where Owens and Zayn might leave as well.  

WWF/NWA Supercard


With the talk about Hogan / Flair fizzing in 1992, do you think in the 1987-89 period, if the egos in question could be satisfied, there could have been a WWF/NWA (or even WWF / Mid-Atlantic) supercard?  If it could have
happened, where would you have held it?  Or would you have had two cards, one in the South, and one in New York?  What do you think might have been a few of the matches?

 

Hogan-Flair, obviously.  But you could also have (say) Savage-Steamboat, Demolition / Road Warriors, Koloff / Duggan, Sting / Warrior, Luger / Rude etc etc?

 

Dude, PWI used to publish hard-hitting articles like that ALL THE TIME in the 80s.  And yeah, obviously Flair-Hogan is your main event, with Demolition v. Road Warriors underneath.  I don't think it realistically could have happened, but it's certainly run to speculate.  I'd go with…


Flair v. Hogan

Demos v. Road Warriors

Sting v. Warrior

Hart Foundation v. Midnight Express

Tully & Arn v. British Bulldogs

Honky Tonk Man v. Jimmy Valiant

Lex Luger v. Mr. Perfect (hopefully better than what we eventually got!) 

Barry Windham v. Tito Santana 


As to where you put it, I'd say somewhere relatively neutral like AWA territory because then you can piss off Verne as a bonus.  Maybe Chicago or Minnesota?  

Death by snow snow


I'm bedridden with the worst flu and shakes after travelling and a week of work with no heating. Then Scott, I look at the weather in your town and it's, literally, colder than freezing level. How do you live in this place and keep functioning? London's never getting as cold as that and I *almost* can't take it.

That’s why I have to keep pumping out content on the site: To pay for the heating bills!  I’d like to think we Canadians are a hearty bunch, but I can’t take much more of this either.  

NXT UK end game

Good afternoon, Scott –

 

I haven’t really followed it except for their Takeover event, but I was curious what the end game for NXT UK was.

Is it to act as a pipeline/feeder system for the mainstream WWE audience? To act as their own separate entity? Or (as you’ve mentioned) just Vince trying to monopolize the product all around the world?

 

The main goal appears to be monopolizing the business in major centers like the UK (and soon Germany) but they've been aiming for Performance Centers worldwide for a long time, with the goal being to bring young talent into the WWE system early and train them to look at the hard camera internally instead of going through traditional indy routes.  Makes sense, really. 

The Flying Greek Mike Pappas

Scott,

Are you familiar with Mike Pappas?

A friend of mine sent me this video/Go Fund Me about a documentary he is trying to get made about his life.



I wasn't familiar with him but it looks pretty interesting so I was wondering if you or anyone on your blog might have more info on him.

Thanks man.

I am not familiar with his work, unfortunately.  

Two world champions 30 years ago

Obviously with two world champions since 2002 it hasn't necessarily been a distinctive honor to be called a "former world champion" anymore.  But lets say back in the late 80's there was two brands.  Who outside of the obvious Hogan, Warrior and Savage could you have seen as a world champion to carry a Raw or Smackdown?  I would think guys like Dibiase and Perfect would be no brainers.  Maybe Rude and Jake Roberts.  Anyone else who no way in hell was ever going to be a world champion back then but with the benefit of a brand extension could have actually carried a show if given the opportunity?

On the flip side what happens when you get to 93-95?  You have Bret on one show and Michaels on the other fighting Jean Pierre Lafitte and Fatu?  Yeeesh!
Yeah, Rude, Perfect, Snake and Dibiase obviously.  Honky Tonk Man was basically the B-Show World champion for most of 87 and 88, so you could add him in there.  Probably Brutus Beefcake past a certain point.  Thing is, guys were already given the opportunity to carry shows, in that Hogan ran one circuit and then someone else ran the other.  It wasn't on TV, but you could tell who was the B-Show main event from the storylines at the time.  

Brock vs Kurt

Hey Scott


The recent email about Hogan vs Flair got the Blog talking about iconic WM main events.  It got my thinking: had Brock hit the shooting star press clean as a sheet at WM19 and that had been the finish, how much more highly do you think his match against Kurt
would have been regarded?  It was a fantastic wrestling match leading up to that point, but the finish really seems to have killed it dead and it's rarely in the conversation for great WM main events.  So, had the finish not been botched, how highly do you
think it would rank?

I don't think significantly moreso.  It was a cool spot and that alone would have been memorable, but the crowd was pretty burned out by that point in the show and even a really great match wasn't saving it.   I think it would be still considered as lumped in with Jericho/HHH and all the other main events that would have been better served earlier in the card.