Arn Anderson


Any insight as to why Arn Anderson never got a main event push? Sure, he didn't have the classic look of a top guy, but he was over, he could talk and he was well known to the audience from hanging out with Flair and the Horsemen his whole career. Outside of the Fall Brawl match with Flair and a couple Nitro matches with Hogan in early '96 he never got much of a shot. 

​He was a good worker and a good talker, but I don't think he ever showed star charisma past the point where he was pushed. I know as a fan in the 80s I never really bought him as a serious challenger to the US title, for example, so I don't think pushing him as a single beyond that level would have worked.  Arn knew his own role in the sport and he played it perfectly.​

Worst consecutive title reigns


What are the worst 3 consecutive reigns for the major US titles you can think of?

I'd go with
WCW US title: Sasaki-One Man Gang-Konnan in late 95/early 96 WCW. Brillant to hand around the second most prestigious title of your company to some new/returning hacks like that

​That US title situation was all ridiculous political bullshit.  But necessary, I guess, and we get the cruiserweight division out of Konnan's title blowjob, so I guess that's fine.  
I could also nominate the ridiculous series of Cruiserweight title changes around the end of Russo's WCW run, like Evan Karagias – Madusa – Oklahoma.  ​

Braun


Watching No Mercy, I realized something, people may disagree. Brauns aura comes from fucking shit up. But put him in a regular 1 on 1 match, the auras gone, for instance my bro became a huge Braun fan after Summerslam. He was really looking forward to Braun/Brock. About 5-6 mins into it, he turned to me and said "maybe Braun isnt as good as I thought". That crowd was ready for a fight. They chanted "use the table". They've been trained now to expect a demolition derby with Braun and they got a man who needed the ROPES to escape a submission, got suplexed around, had his finisher killed dead and could'nt kick out of one F-5. I read reports the crowd even booed him after the match. So now what? He's fueded with everyone but Balor. Least they could of done was make Brock have to literally break his neck or something to beat him.

​They're telling STORIES, though.  The story they're telling is that everyone wants to pay money to see Brock Lesnar keep the title for six more months and never defend it, then lose it to Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania so they can coronate him for the fourth year in a row and THIS TIME IT'LL STICK, PAL.  Honestly, Vince could probably give two shits about Braun Strowman because he's not Roman Reigns and doesn't help Reigns get over by winning the title, and it's as simple as that.  ​

WWE creative in 2017 y’all

Chris Jericho was on Live Audio Wrestling and revealed that creative (including Triple H) tried to change the way Owens turned on Jericho.

Jericho: The day that we had the show, Vince wasn’t there and they tried to change it to where Kevin would just attack me. And my thing was the whole drama of revealing the list of KO and “hey how come my name’s on this” and the looking up and the feeling of oh (expletive) don’t do it, don’t do it and then he attacks me.

Jericho: I had to fight for that all day long and there was some real heated debates going on between me and Triple H and a couple of other people. I said this is the way we’re doing it. It’s the way I explained it to Vince and Paul was like “I’ll call Vince right now, he’s in a plane, I don’t care I’ll find him. I’ll send a carrier pigeon to get him”. And finally I think it was just exasperation, just do whatever you want.

​Jericho has a similar story of exasperation dealing with creative in his book as well, where Vince basically wouldn't tell him anything about what he was doing at Wrestlemania and then finally he was just like "Well, you're losing to Fandango" and then Jericho had to fight and fight and fight just to get any kind of storyline. ​I can see how the entire process would be incredibly frustrating for someone like him who takes pride in his work to the degree that he does.

Kingslayer/King’s Landing


I'm surprised that WWE is so blatantly using Game of Thrones names for Seth Rollins.  The Kingslayer nickname was probably OK, but Cole called one of his moves last night "The King's Landing," which I hadn't heard before.  Usually when they rip off something from pop culture they alter the names slightly to avoid legal issues and get a new trademark.  Any idea how they are getting away with this or why they would be so obvious about it?

I've never watched Game of Thrones so I wasn't aware that it was a thing they were doing.  I mean, you can pretty much call a wrestling move whatever you want because it's impossible to make a case for confusion in the marketplace with a TV show.  So that's likely how they're getting away with it. 

Monster Problems


Hi Scott,

With Stroman taking the clean, massively anti-climactic fall, and Nia Jaxx once more getting pushed into a title shot and coming up short, what's with the WWE's hesitancy to pull the trigger on new monsters?

This used to be the thing they'd do really well, or just by default (Khali), and now you have this giant woman who's always presented as a threat but is always overcome, and their hottest, best built star in years now has now lost some big time shine.

Is this just situation and wrestler specific?  Is it some kind of backstage shift?  Is creative having trouble figuring out how to book a monster with a title?  I'm baffled here.

(BTW, although Brock definitely qualifies as a monster, he came into his most recent push an established beast, so not including him as an argument.)

Thanks again for Ranting through this stuff, even when the booking is as ridiculous as it has been.

​I'm also at a loss about the Nia Jax thing and why they even wanted her in the match if she wasn't going to win. Originally it was announced as Sasha Banks getting her rematch and then we suddenly moved to a Nia turning on Alexa angle, which led to a 5-way match where Bayley took the fall when Emma was right there. 
The Braun thing is equally mystifying, mostly because they would have turned him babyface by now if it was even 10 years ago, but in our post-Reigns world they stubbornly have to keep him heel so as not to overshadow Roman while we build to the match that literally no one wants to see at Wrestlemania.  ​

Strowman


So Brock kicks out of three power slams then pins Strowman 1 F5. Is this going to kill off Strowman?

Like, I cancelled my account, but I'm particularly salty (just like when Ambrose lost in the same month to HHH and Brock and I couldn't be bothered with his title reign).  But how do you think this will affect him in general?

​I dunno, but that was a MASSIVE letdown.  They really slammed the brakes on him there.  Like, it was the right guy at the right time in the right place to beat Brock and it just failed on every level.  They can always build him up back again, I guess, but you really only get one shot at this kind of thing, and they blew it, so who knows.  ​

Sid vs. Sabu

Hey Scott,

I was just watching ECW Hardcore Heaven 1999, and they had Sabu accidentally put Sid through a table during some clusterfuck. I can only assume that we were getting Sabu vs. Sid at some point, until Sid jumped to WCW the next month.

Talk about being deprived of a trainwreck-and-a-half – had Botchamania been around in 1999, Maffew would've thought it was his birthday when ECW started teasing that. I'll bet we'd be talking about the match today with Heroes of Wrestling-esque tones ("Yeah, that match.")

Can you think of anything else that was teased or rumored (especially in your Observer research) that would have shattered the Scale of Unintentional Comedy on a Sid/Sabu level, had it actually been delivered?

​I dunno, Sid/Sabu would be hard to top.  They did the babyface turn of Giant Gonzalez just before he left in 1993, which would have given us a likely house show run of Adam Bomb v. Giant Gonzalez and that would have been right up there as well.  ​

Undertaker a politician?


Hi Scott,

I've been reading a discussion under some reader question here and someone asked about Taker ever being a politician.

I thought this is interesting – IWC uniformly accepts that HHH, Hogan, Cena, etc. were hogging the spotlight, using leverage, holding talent down, whatever. But Taker is never brought up in conversations like this.

Why is that? It's not like Taker is some giving guy that has been putting over guys left and right.  For example clean jobs – how many has Taker done? Like maybe 20 in his entire 25 year WWE career?

Has Taker ever been known for throwing his weight around and if not how did he manage to be as protected as he has?

I remember IWC disliked him strongly during the 2000-2003 run, but it sort of turned around with his return to the Deadman gimmick.

​You can't really criticize him for not doing jobs, since he lost all the time in the 90s, especially during his biggest babyface period where he was challenging Yokozuna.  He would routinely lose his "specialty" match, and put over Mankind several times.  
That being said, he did have quite a few famous moments of dickery, like refusing to put over Brock Lesnar in 2002 and wanting to do it in the Hell in a Cell match instead.  But he certainly wasn't as blatant about it as others, mostly because are YOU gonna argue with Undertaker?​

Mankind vs HBK

I was watching the fantastic Shawn Michaels vs Mankind match from Mind Games and given how good it was, and the fact that Foley was hot at the time do you think it would have been beneficial for both parties and the WWF in general to extend the feud? The
way I see it playing out is Mankind beats Vader in a number one contenders match at the October PPV, (as an added bonus we would get to see those two pound the shit out each other one more time.) At Survivor Series Mankind's craziness causes Shawn to snap
and get DQ'd, leading to a no DQ match at the Rumble which Shawn would win, leaving them right where they ended up anyway, at which point Shawn can go work a program with Bret, or lose his smile or whatever.

Your thoughts?

As much as I'd be on board with more Shawn vs Mick, they were really wanting that Shawn hometown win at the Rumble, and Mankind just wasn't a big enough monster for Shawn to slay. That being said, Shawn wasn't doing anything of note on the October PPV anyway, so why not do a rematch there?  It IS pretty weird that even the stupid Diana Hart storyline got 2 PPVs to resolve. 

Luke Harper

   Any idea on what is going on with Luke Harper?  I can't remember the last time he was on Smackdown.  Is he injured, or is it the dreaded "Creative has nothing for you at this time."? 

Rowan was injured forever but I think he's fine now, but Harper is just in creative limbo.  I thought they were actually going to have the ex-Wyatts be the team who beat up Breezango but who the hell knows at this point. I feel bad because Luke worked really hard to improve and get over, and none of it ever led to anything. 

bryan vs punk

so it's looking increasingly likely that daniel bryan will indeed be returning to wrestling when his contract expires in a year or so. that would make arguably the two most popular post-cena superstars free agents. my question is, how much money is in a bryan vs punk match in, say, ring of honor? ignoring that punk would be quite unlikely to return, surely bryan winning the roh title and then goading punk out of retirement could do huge numbers? what sort of attendance etc could we see here?

secondly, what do you think are the chances of bryan ever wrestling again in wwe? i imagine they're going to make him a huge offer to sit on the sidelines, and i'm sure he will reject it. i doubt they allow him to wrestle, even if it means him going elsewhere, though i'll bet they try and throw some spanner in the works. surely the best option for them is to let bryan leave and see how he holds up on the indies? if something goes wrong, hey, WE didn't let him wrestle, we offered him a new contract, etc. if he's fine (as he seems to think he is) then he essentially does a test run for them without any of the risk involved, he tears it up for a year or two and then they bring him back as an even bigger star. 

​Well the problem is that while Bryan might be free and clear of his contract in a year, Punk is definitely not.  I believe he has multiple years on his deal left, and there's little chance of Vince letting him out of due to the circumstances of his departure. ​
As for Bryan, I just don't know if WWE is going to let him go wrestle somewhere without doing everything in their power to make sure he remains under their medical supervision.  Even if he goes to ROH or Mexico and sustains more damage there, the media is gonna be like "WWE wrestler suffers career ending concussion!" I mean, they can't FORCE him to stay, but they can sure try.  

1994 Questions

Scott,

Keep up the killer work! 

Just got a few questions in regards to 1994 PPVs:

1). How come Taker v Taker at Summerslam 94 went on last and not the Owen-Bret Cage match? Why wouldn't the title cage match go on last as the main event?

2). At Mania 10, what would have happened if Luger lost the coin toss and Hart would've had to fight Yoko first? How would it have played out?

​1.  Vince thought that the Taker match had the most mainstream interest and thus was the main event, whereas Owen was pretty much a midcarder by that point and it was just wrapping up the storyline so Bret could move onto something else.

2.  Like, is this a storyline question or a real one?  In reality, the coin was gimmicked and Luger was winning either way.  In storyline, if Bret had won the coin toss, Luger would have faced Crush first, which they announced on TV beforehand.  ​

Rose


Who knew that the Adam Rose express would put out the new monsters of WAR. 1st Braun and now Lars Sullivan. He should get some credit for that

​I'm just disappointed he never got to team with Billy Gunn on the main roster.​

DiBiase


Scott,

 

I just recently re-watched Royal Rumble 1992.  Having a worker the caliber of Ted DiBiase as one of the first two entrants makes sense, yet he was tossed over in 1:18.  He barely lasted longer than Jerry Sags.  Was he in the doghouse or
working hurt or something?  What was the point of wasting him in such a throwaway manner?

He was working hurt for most of 92 and 93.  I always did think it was a waste for him not to be in there with Flair, though. 

Nattie Neidhart


When did this current hate for Nattie begin? When she first made her debut she was heralded as this great in ring worker. People were pissed she was given the fart gimmick saying she deserved better, now suddenly she's a division killer.

​Is that the current opinion?  I dunno, I've always thought she was a great worker, although she didn't really have the charisma of someone like Charlotte to carry the division or anything. I don't know why they're so opposed to have Becky Lynch be the champion, but Nattie is fine.  And also she was SMOKING in the latest Southpaw Regional Wrestling series, so extra points for that.  ​