Grand Slam Champs

Hey Scott,

Have you noticed the seeming obsession with making everyone a grand slam champion lately?
Randy Orton, Rollins, and Jeff Hardy all became Grand Slam champions in the last 2 months.
Is it really that big of a deal when people like Miz and Ambrose are also Grand Slam Champs?

​Indeed, nothing can be taken as an important milestone if Miz accomplished it.​

Why the dislike of PS Hayes?

Scott,

A few of us on the blog are watching Wrestlewar 92 (because what else are we going to do on a Thursday night), reading your review of this show you said PS Hayes ranks between 10 and 5 on your “wrestlers you hate with a passion list.”

Just curious as to why.

​The Hayes/Garvin Freebird team is my Dino Bravo of tag teams.​

Best call by an announcer?


Hi Scott,


What's your favourite call by an announcer? My personal favourite is JR's “He beat Andre the Giant with that move!” when Hogan drops the leg on Rock. Sums up the enormity of the match AND the brilliance/ridiculousness of pro wrestling in one shout.

Cheers etc.

​I've always been fond of JR's “STOP THE DAMN MATCH!” because he was literally saying what everyone was thinking, and came across as someone invested in the well-being of the character instead of just being an ironic douche like Corey Graves or robotic moron like Michael Cole.​

187 sellouts


With Bruno’s passing, we see even more mention of his 8-year title reign and record number of sellout crowds at MSG.

How did they calculate such a high number? Were they running more than one monthly show at MSG during the 8-year reign? Two shows a month gets them there, but was he always the headliner if that was the case?

​In fact, Dave Meltzer already did the obituary issue of the Observer this morning, and addressed this very question:

Most of the stories had the exaggerated statistic of him headlining 211 times in Madison Square Garden and selling out 187 times. Later, after the 2013 Hall of Fame ceremony, that number changed to being his 188th sellout.
The number isn’t close to accurate, but he did both headline and sell out Madison Square Garden more than any wrestler in history. He told me that he and Georgiann Makropolous came up with the number, estimating he regularly worked the building for 18 years, once a month, and sold out 90 percent of the time. This was long before research was done and real records were available.
His actual record of Madison Square Garden matches is listed here. He did 160 matches in Madison Square Garden, and was only pinned once, which ironically was his most famous match ever, and the most enduring match of that era, with Koloff.
Of those, 140 of those shows you could say he main evented. When he was champion, every match he was in was the main event. During the Morales and Backlund runs, his match had equal billing with the championship match as the main event. Often his match was a bigger drawing match than the championship match. For those who would watch the Madison Square Garden shows live, or on the MSG Network in the late 70s, some of the fondest memories would be right before the final match, when the ring announcer, where it was Johnny Addie or Howard Finkel, would announce the next show.
When Sammartino was champion, the anticipation was who would be the next contender, although usually that was obvious, or in the case of a disputed ending earlier in the night, what the special stipulations would be next month.
But after he lost the title in 1977, because he was not there every month, the announcement of his appearances would be louder and more dramatic.
Finkel was the master of this, and he’d run down the card, and then the championship match, and you thought it was over. He’d subtly stop, and then say that there’s one more match, and he’d announce that name of the heel, who was always one of the top guys. “And he will face,” as his voice boomed, “BRUNO SAMMARTINO!” The place never failed to explode.
Pay records from Madison Square Garden from the Backlund era showed that every show he appeared on, he was paid the most, always $6,000, which was more than Backlund, who would get $5,000, or Andre the Giant, who would get $3,000.
Legitimately, his match was the true main event a minimum of 130 times. Not all attendance figures are available, but he had 60 verifiable sellouts, and logically, there are probably a few others, but not more than 65.

One More Match


Hey Scott,

What are the odds the following people have another match in WWE?

1.) The Rock

Hundo.  I'm shocked it didn't happen THIS year.  

2.) Paige

Also 100%, but not in WWE. 

3.) Corey Graves

You can tell he's got the itch, especially since Bryan retired for the same reason he did. He's a much bigger star as an announcer than he ever was as a wrestler, though, and why risk it?

4.) Mark Henry

He'll do some indie stuff later on, guaranteed.

5.) Neville

Yeah, he'll be back once the money runs out. 

Undertaker’s future


So if Taker is going to be a Mania “special attraction” from now on, it actually opens up some creative possibilities rather than penciling him into a 20-plus minute match every year.

* the Andre battle royal….it'd be a cool image to see Taker winning and doing his bowing pose to the trophy after the match

* tag partner….a face is feuding with two or even three heroes leading up to Mania, leading the face to request Undertaker's help for Mania.  Taker gets to stand on the apron for much of the match and get the hot tag to get his routine in.

As to when he'd hang it up, it would be kind of cool if Wrestlemania 37 was in Los Angeles, so Taker could make it 30 years after his Mania debut, and in the same city at WM7.

​Look, the guy was so limited this year that he could only do a 2 minute squash of John Cena.  It's time to hang it up, for reals.  ​

Blowoff


Hey Scott, hope all is well. I was wondering about two feuds that I cannot remember having a blowoff match.


1. Piper vs Orndoff, the matches I have seen between the two were intense. Why was there no culmination?
2. Tito vs Martel, I know they fought a few matches, but no real feud after the breakup.
3. Cactus Jack vs Orndoff, their matches were crazy for the time, why no payoff?

​1. Mostly because there weren't monthly PPVs at that point, plus Piper didn't do jobs anyway.  
2. They were pencilled in for Summerslam 89, but plans changed for whatever reason and it was changed to a six-man instead.  They had a million house show matches, though.  
3.  The company didn't really think much of Cactus at that point and they probably felt like the one match they did have was sufficient.  

Joey bats



Where does he rank for you on the all time jays list? On the one hand, no rings. On the other he did seem to bring a bit of legitimacy back, and even if the team wasnt doing good, you knew you were getting a show with him at the plate. In otherwords, canada barry bonds. 

​True story:  My wife and mother-in-law pitched in together and finally got me an authentic MLB Blue Jays jersey as a birthday present last year, and my request was either Batista or Josh Donaldson, so she got me Batista because she knew who he was from the home run meme.  So for me, Jose gets a lifetime pass and ranks super-high, even if the last season was a complete washout and waste of everyone's time.  Given I'm old, I tend to favor the glory years in general and don't really remember too much about the period where Carlos Delgado was the top dog for years.  Overall, my list of personal faves would go:
1.  John Olerud
2.  Roberto Alomar
3.  Joe Carter
4.  Josh Donaldson
5.  Jose Batista
Really though, the situation with Batista playing third base for the Braves' minor league team in a desperate attempt to stay relevant is akin to someone like Matt Borne hanging around the indie scene as “The Famous Wrestling Clown” years after the gimmick was already dead.  It's like, dude, you have your millions, just move into coaching or something if you want to keep wearing that uniform, but otherwise you're just embarrassing yourself and wrecking your own legacy.​

Rousey v. Asuka


So judging by the way Charlotte was treated last night, they actually realized the money match to headline WrestleMania 35 is second generation, wrestling purist babyface Charlotte Flair vs eventual heel-turned MMA outsider Ronda Rousey? Including the potential angle of Rousey breaking Ric Flair's arm?

What were they thinking possibly building towards Asuka vs Rousey? You have one woman who can barely speak proper English and has the delivery of a wheelbarrow in her promos….and the other woman is Asuka.


Rousey better run that under some cold water because she got BURRRRRRRRRNED.  Anyway, yeah, clearly arm-breaking monster heel Rousey would be awesome, and breaking Ric's arm would also be badass.  

Andre vs Chuck Wepner

Hi Scott,
 
I came across this match between Andre and boxer Chuck Wepner from 1976.
 
 
Was this a total work? Total shoot? Work that devolved into a shoot? Everyone looks pretty pissed off by the end of it…
 
Any insight on this match would be appreciated
 
Thanks

Total work as a publicity stunt. Sorry to disappoint.  In fact, Wepner was the inspiration for Rocky and that “fight” was the inspiration for the Thunderlips fight in Rocky 3, with Hogan playing the Andre character.  So there ya go.


2000 vs 96-97


Scott- I would agree on a “show in a vacuum” way that 2000 blows away any year in terms of workrate/cards/matches etc. That being said the most fascinating time period to watch, I think, would be ppvs from I would say post mania 12 to the end of 97. The evolutions of Shawn, Bret and Austin were all fascinating to watch and the whole evolution of the company in general.


Thoughts?

​That period was TERRIBLE on PPV, man.  WCW was blowing them away with their midcard.  2000 had Cactus Jack returning, the Radicalz debuting, Chris Jericho's World title challenge, the Rock at his peak, Kurt Angle becoming a superstar, and Rikishi and Too Cool.  It was, as the kids say, dope. ​

Poorly booked Women’s Revolution….

As you know, WWE is seemingly obsessed with creating moments for this Women's Revolution.  So why is it that they also seem to do something to snatch these moments away from their female Superstars?  Let's take a look at it….

They have their first Women's Money in the Bank ladder match…….and they have a male grab the briefcase to win.

They have their first Women's Royal Rumble, which is pretty good, and they have a stare down between the winner and the first female champions……and the moment is immediately taken away from them, and given to Ronda Rousey (who wasn't even in the Rumble).

They have Charlotte defeat Asuka, ending her 500+ match winning streak…..and in the middle of focusing on Charlotte's celebration and Asuka's anguish, they cut to John Cena being told about the Undertaker being here.  The segment ends with the attention on Cena.

So what is this?  Typical WWE poor booking (regardless of gender), or does WWE not even get the message they're trying so desperately to send?

​The message is that Stephanie invented women's wrestling, and anything else is superfluous.  ​

Wrestlemania 34 match time stats

Good evening Scott,

Given all the justified itching about the length of Wrestlemania, here is an article with the runtime of the matches and segments in the show.  It looks like the author has done similar work for PPvs for a while now.  

For me, the show's momentum screeched to a halt at the 1/2 hour of Elias, Cena/Undertaker, followed by the HOF stuff.  


​That is some impressive nerdery!  And yeah, highlighting just how out of control the ga-ga and video packages and ads have become really shows where the fat could be trimmed.  Especially that goddamn Paige movie promo, which I felt like I watched a million times that weekend.  It's one thing if you're cramming all this bullshit into the TWO HOUR pre-game show, but their insane notion of selling the Network for free to artificially pump up sub numbers means that they have to give the hard sell to paying customers as well as freeloaders.  It's really insulting.  ​

Wrestlemania 33


Taker doesn't retire

Cena and Nikki don't get married and split up 
Neville and Aries are gone from the company 
Bray goes from WWE Champion to pre-show run-in
Bayley is a jobber
Mojo Rawley won something 
Roman loses to Brock at 34


Every day that show turns into more of a waste of 7 hours.

However, those Miz and Marise parody skits of John and Nikki are even funnier now.  

Oh man, WHY didn't we get a promo from Miz about the Cena situation tonight?  
Also, what the fuck was the point of Cena vs Undertaker exactly?  He spends weeks calling UT out, gets squashed in an impromptu match, and then disappears to Hollywood with no follow-up and now Undertaker is randomly facing Rusev…uh Jericho…no I mean Rusev in Saudi Arabia.  

Yet another Rousey question for you.

Hey Scott,

  Do you know of any other wrestler ever that had a 4+* match in their very first match ever?  And as much credit as everyone else in that match deserves, if Rhonda didn't hold up her end it all would have fallen apart completley.  And do you
see her topping this match at Summerslam.

I certainly can't think of any other **** debuts.  If she's going with a singles program at SummerSlam, I don't see her topping it, mostly because the girls are just never put in that kind of position.