I got it!


After Saudi Arabia, Vince should get Roman a bus to go cross country campaigning for one more shot at SummerSlam. He wins there by countout and all the faces celebrate with him on their shoulders. Heyman says no more title shots so the Roman Express drives into the GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE EVER, he wins from number 1 and they main event Mania 35 in MetLife! That is a guaranteed time tested way to get Roman over

In other words, Roman is Lex Luger 


Thanks for clarifying that one.

Infinity War

Hey, Scott, just wondering what you thought of Infinity War? I liked
it overall, but it fell just a little flat for me. It ended pretty
much the way I was expecting, though.

​Dude, you’re NUTS.  This was like the biggest and bestest superhero movie.  Everything happened and it all made sense to the girlfriends and wives, and the movie was like “We’ve got 2.5 hours and a lot of shit to cover and if you don’t remember Civil War then too fucking bad but here’s Black Panther”.  And the entire THEATER had this shocked gasp at the end that I’ve never heard before.  No spoilers for the specifics, but the Russos throwing up a subtitle that just says “SPACE” early in the movie pretty much sells it as the best thing ever.  ​Also, who wouldn’t want to have a friend who’s a tree?  Especially if you’ve taken Groot as an elective in college.
THIS MOVIE RULED.  Is what I’m saying.  I wanna go watch it again.

Saudi Arabia Apologizes….

For a scene in an ad during the Greatest Royal Rumble that depicted women wrestling.  Squared Circle Reddit has it at https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/8fkhv2/saudi_arabias_general_sport_authority_apologizing/?sort=top with translated text below:

“The General Sport Authority would like to apologize to the viewers and attendees of last night’s WWE event that took place in Jeddah, over the indecent scene involving women that appeared as an ad before a segment. It would like to confirm it’s total disapproval of this, in the shadow of its commitment to eliminate anything that goes against the communities values.

The authority has made sure to ban showing of any segment that involves women wrestling or any scenes related to it, and stipulated that to the company (WWE). The authority also disapproved any promotional stuff with pictures or videos showing women in an indecent way, and emphasized on commitment of this rule. And it’s a commitment that the authority would still commit to forever in all of it’s events and programs.”

​I’d apologize for having Carmella as the women’s champion as well.  ​

 

 

The inevitable Saudi Wrestlemania

Hi Scott, 

If the Greatest Rumble is a success in the eyes of the Saudi government, how long do you give it before they buy a Wresltemania?

Say, in 5-7 years they allow women to wrestle in their Power Ranger alternate body suits, there is little downside for WWE to move Wrestlemania off the continent. It could open up the global markets even further for the WWE. Even if they keep the ladies out, I’m sure the Saudi government would pay more than handsomely for the rights. Heck, they could buy Network subscriptions for the entire population to sweeten the deal.

I don’t see the WWE backing down from a potential massive payday in lieu of some possible negative press.

What say you?

​I agree, I think we’re headed towards an international Wrestlemania someday, and given the money they made off this for almost zero effort, that day may be sooner rather than later.  ​

Some GRR questions.

I feel dumb asking these questions. But they have been on my mind.  

1. Do you think it any way shape or form any wrestler, female or male, protested this event in anyway?  They performers all seem to have a very tight bond and it must have went over like a fart in church to the women superstars. 
2. The event was WrestleMania- level big when it came to production. Did the wrestlers make a huge payday on this?
3. Last one –  how much do you think it got under Stephanie’s skin that she really couldn’t take one tenth of one percent of credit for any of this.  Let alone be a part of it?


​1. No, but poor Sami Zayn also got left home due to his heritage. 
2.  From all accounts, absolutely.  Money heals a lot of wounds.
3.  Probably a lot.  That won’t stop her from taking credit after the fact, though.  

All Female Network Special


Hey Scott, big fan of the blog.


Question for ya. With WWE getting flak for the Saudi deal and how they treat women in that country, are you surprised they haven’t tried to defuse the situation by announcing a Female only network special  / ppv? This feels like something they’d do as a cynical gesture.

Thanks

Brendan

​Well, they ARE doing season 2 of the Mae Young Classic, so there’s that.  ​

Virgil as Million Dollar Champion


When Virgil won the Million Dollar Belt at Summerslam 91 from Ted Dibiase, were their bigger plans in mind, or was Dibiase always going to win it back?  Did they switch it and make Virgil not much after he lost it back
a jobber because he wasn’t as over as they wanted or did they just have nowhere else to go with the character?

​It was just a short-term thing, and it was always going back to Dibiase, although ironically he stopped bothering with the “title” soon after winning it back anyway, so it makes you wonder why they bothered.  ​

The 80s, etc.

Scott,
I think you may have addressed this in the past, but the Andre the Giant documentary got me thinking. Somebody made the comment that Hogan beating Andre at WM3 basically ended the territorial era.
 
I am curious what you think are start and end periods for the following eras
 
 
Rock and Wrestling/80s Golden Age (Starrcade 83-WMVI?)
 
That’s a pretty specific era, actually, and it’s more specifically defined as the Hulkamania era.  Starting point is Hogan’s win over the Sheik in January of 1984, and end point is Warrior winning the title.  
 
Early 90s lull (Sting’s win at Bash until WM13?)
 
You could more properly call it The New Generation era, with WWF attempting to push a million guys in Hogan’s place.  That would run from Warrior’s win to the Montreal Screwjob.  
 
Attitude Era (Austin bleeds until Shane is on Nitro?)
 
Exactamundo.
Ruthless Aggression (Invasion PPV until the HHH reign of error?)
 
​Invasion until John Cena wins the belt at WM21.

Asking for a friend who might want to watch on the Network.

Sure, “a friend”.  Gotcha.  ​

Shelton Benjamin


Is Shelton Benjamin the most talented wrestler with the worst finisher? Because paydirt is the absolute dirt worst. 

​Yeah, the problem is that he’s from the weird time in the mid-2000s when all the midcard guys were using the same neckbreaker variations and you had a million guys “rolling the dice” or using Orton’s Overdrive.  The Zig Zag is another remnant from there.  Big flashy moves that don’t actually look like they do any logical damage.  Although until he got the curb stomp back, I’d have put Seth Rollins at the top of the list with Generic Knee Strike as his “finish”.  ​

Heel the World


There’s been many cases where a well done heel turn took a struggling face and put him/her in the right direction for success. In the past, we had the famous case of “Die Rocky Die” Rocky Maivia being turned legendary with his heel turn. In recent events, we’ve had the (surprising) success of Sami Zayn’s character being a perfect fit as a heel. Then there’s cases like Roderick Strong or Shinsuke Nakamura , where turns fixed so many issues perfectly that it’s surprising it took so long to figure it out. And then we have cases like Roman Reigns or Sasha Banks, where its begging for the heel turn we’ll probably never get.

Have there been any famous cases where the story/crowds dictated a needed heel turn for a wrestler, they did said turn, but it ended up not improving things for the wrestler or making things worse?

None have come to mind for me…

​Dolph Ziggler is one I’d say off the top of my head.  They kinda sorta turned Bayley recently and people were still like “Meh” as well.  I wouldn’t call either case “famous” though.  There was a point where I would have said the Usos, early into their reinvention, but then they managed to get the thug stuff over in a big way and pretty much they’re better than ever now. ​

Just Get it Over With


Wouldn’t an elevation of NXT be the easiest, most non-embarrassing way to get rid of 205 Live? By that I mean Regal announcing that the next stage of global growth for NXT is bringing on board all of the international talent from 205 Live in a merge of the two brands.

It’s been long-rumored a new tournament is going to be a Latin American one. You know they are going to create yet another championship. So there ya go, take the cruiserweight title and rename it the Latin American Championship.

NXT then has World, North American, UK, and Latin American titles.

​I’m still not really OK with adding the North American title as it is.  Takeovers were fine with heavyweight, women’s and tag team titles and then a couple of underneath matches.  Adding more belts means LONGER SHOWS and they’re perfect the way they are.  Like really, what’s the point of the UK title, which is never defended in the UK?  Just kill 205 Live and be done with it, it’s failed, HHH hasn’t saved it, it’s just time to admit defeat and pull the plug.  ​

All the action for just 99 Cents!


I just got a “We Want You Back” email for the WWE Network. 3 months for just a total of 99 cents. No joke. I almost thought it was a scam but it’s an official email.


They’re REALLY desperate to keep that 2 million subscriber count for the next quarter, aren’t they?

I’m, of course, going to do it. But the sad part is Takeover Chicago is the only thing that tempted me.

​The sad thing is that they didn’t actually announced how many PAYING subs they had out of those 2 million.  Given all the free months and 99 cent deals they offered at Wrestlemania, no one really has any idea what the Network’s financial situation is, exactly, at this point.  Clearly it’s better because they finally greenlighted more new stuff that costs actual money to produce, like E&C Season 2 and the stupid animated shows.  But really it’s just about manipulating the numbers to raise the stock prices.  And hey, if they can keep fooling Wall Street, good on them.  
Although I feel like I’ve spent so much of the past four years now pimping the Network every day that they pretty much owe me a couple of years for free, but I get my money’s worth literally every day, so I might be the exception.  Your mileage may vary.  ​

Nakamura


Hi Scott,

  With the question on the blog about who had the better match with A.J. between Shane & Nak, what has been your opinion of his run so far?  Do you think Nak can turn it around or is WWE just not the right fit for him.  He’s had chances to have
good matches with good wrestlers but has failed to deliver time and time again.  Thanks Scott and please keep up the good work.

I think that Nakamura was smart enough to get away from New Japan before he started phased down, and it’s really showing that, to be honest, everyone just gets older and slows down eventually.  We keep waiting and waiting for his big breakout match, and at a certain point we’re gonna have to face up to the fact that this is all there’s gonna be and judge it on that basis. 

Series Consideration Debut Episode!


Hi Scott,

 

I know yourself and a number of BoD’ers are comic readers. So I thought this might be a good spot to shamelessly self-promote my new YouTube series. Though fair warning, it’s my first crack at any kind of filmmaking or editing, so I apologize
in advance for the amateurishness of it. I’m hoping to improve along the way.

 

https://youtu.be/l-3d0CyqaGU

 

Series Consideration is a video essay series examining and discussing graphic novels and completed comic book runs. My debut episode breaks down Scott McCloud’s graphic novel, THE SCULPTOR. And at the end of the video, I’ve given viewers
the choice of three books to cover for the next episode. Right now, I’m aiming for about once a month. If this takes off and my editing skills improve, I might start doing one every two weeks.

 

Anyway, hopefully you and the BoD will enjoy it.

 

​Best of luck!  ​

Independents on WWE Network

I remember reading a report last year that Progress and ICW were in the works to broadcast on the WWE Network. What’s the status on this and do you think it’s a good idea offering independent promotions?

Any idea on how UFC Fight Pass works? Does UFC get paid from all these MMA promotions that appear on their service?

I kinda like the idea of WWE Network one day being the PPV channel for wrestling. For instance, Impact probably got maybe 2,000 buys last night? Wouldn’t they rather broadcast on the WWE Network for 2 million people? 

Would an independent promotion’s PPV ever make it to the live 24/7 channel? Probably not it would just be on demand content but a second linear live channel for other promotions would be neat.

​Yeah, they’ve said on the last couple of conference calls that the tiered system is coming sooner rather than later, with offerings from guys like PROGRESS as a part of it.  Depending on how successful the new ITV promotion is will likely dictate how soon they want to launch and thus screw them over.  I’m fine with the idea because honestly my subscription at $10/month is paid for many, many times over as it is and I feel like I’m underpaying given how much content I’ve squozen out of it in the past few years.  Would I watch any of that stuff?  Probably not, but others might, and I’m all for it.  ​

WWE Sausage Party


Are there any stakes attached to the Greatest Royal Rumble at WWE Sausage Party this Friday?  Are 50 wrestlers participating just for shits and giggles?  Or does the winner become heir to the kingdom of saudia arabia or something?

​The winner gets to build momentum towards an eventual WWE Championship Opportunity, with an eventual goal of being a Hall of Famer.  PAL.