Going out on your back

Hey Scott,

 

 

I’ve heard that when wrestlers retire (or leave a territory in the old
days) they would always job for their last match.

 

Any instances that this didn’t happen?

 

​Off the top of my head, Trish Stratus not only didn't lose in her retirement match against Lita in 2006, she won the Women's title!  I'm sure there's many others as well.​

Randomness

Scott………here's some random questions for you.

1.  I'm not familiar with Junkyard Dog at all outside of his mid-late 80's WWF run.  I have however read and I think I remember you saying before that he was a huge draw (for Bill Watts?)………can you elaborate more – when was he over, what got him over, and who'd he draw $ against?

2.  I know how much you love the Flair/Sting angle from Halloween havoc 95 and rightfully so.  My question is this – should there have been a better blowoff for it?  I know Sting beat Flair at the next ppv but it seems looking back that maybe they could have gotten more out of the awesome Flair double cross???

3.  What's the best example that jumps out to you if someone getting a big push based off of 1 match.  In other words wrestler x went out and had an amazing match with someone and after the match they were viewed in a completely different light.

​1. He was most over in Mid-South around 1982-84, and basically there was this giant demographic of black kids in Louisiana who were looking for a superhero and didn't have anyone to cheer for, and Dog was the right guy in the right place at the right time. The biggest money feud was with the Freebirds, but he also made money against the Midnight Express, and then got heavily into drugs and was never the same wrestler by the time he got to the WWF.  Watts also spent the next few years chasing the same reaction with other guys like Tony Atlas and Ron Simmons in WCW, and never could duplicate that, either.
2. Yeah, unfortunately it was pretty obvious they were moving Flair in another direction after Starrcade, because Sting trying to take out the new Horsemen one by one would have been a fun storyline.
3. Kidman v. Juvy the night after Fall Brawl '98.  Instantly got Kidman over as a top level cruiserweight instead of the weird guy scratching himself at ringside.  ​

What if Strowman wins?


Hi Scott, 


I want to dream for a moment that Braun Strowman actually wins the universal title at No Mercy and we're not really going to get Lesnar-Reigns (again) at Mania…

How do we get there if that's the case? I would think Reigns somehow goads the Undertaker into a Career Match to put him into retirement for real. Where does that leave Strowman & Lesnar, assuming they blow off their feud by Survivor Series and Brock doesn't go into seclusion until January. Do we get Strowman-Cena? Lesnar-Angle? 

What say you, Sir?


​I feel like Strowman winning the Royal Rumble and then beating Brock at Wrestlemania is the biggest thing they've got in their pocket, so I'm still mystified as to why they're actually doing this match here. Strowman has every hallmark of being exactly the kind of guy that Vince loves to push, and they've protected him like crazy, but that Roman Reigns bottleneck is still there.  Really, Strowman is the guy who can play the Lesnar role of the monster champion where contenders line up one after another and get smashed, but also HE'S THERE EVERY WEEK.  It's the best of both worlds.​

NXT 2

You've said in the past that NXT could be split into two separate rosters with all the developmental talent they have and Indy stars coming into the fold. What do you think of this idea?

– Absorb 205 Live into NXT, rebrand CW title to Network Championship

– Create a second one hour weekly show

Network Championship is the main title on the second show, let's say Thursday at 8PM. 

Wednesday roster – NXT Championship & Women's title

Thursday roster – Network Championship & Tag Titles

Guys like Strong and Ohno are so lost in the shuffle that they could be on the second show in the Network title picture. There's constantly going to be an influx of talent coming in. You have to figure with the current NXT roster, MYC women coming in, developmental guys, cruiserweights, and UK guys…they could easily fill out two rosters. A nice blend of Indy stars and home grown guys on both rosters. They could share TakeOver specials.

​Honestly, I feel like that would start watering down the NXT brand a lot.  I don't want MORE TV content to have to watch, I want less.  NXT's weekly TV has become pretty inessential as it is, and adding another title and splitting it over two nights would completely kill off my interest.  I do agree that 205 Live is a dead issue and needs to die, but I think replacing it with "The Women's Revolution" or something like that would be a better idea.  You could move the NXT Women's division off the NXT brand completely and use all the talent signed from the tournament to fill up the hour. Plus it's much easier to give a women's show a unique voice, for obvious reasons.  Unlike 205 Live, which is filled with guys who do the same shit as the heavyweights do on RAW but with worse angles.   ​

the podcast!


Hello,


Since 'because WCW' is such a common meme on the Blog, I figured there weren't many better places to beg for a plug for what we hope will be an ongoing podcast looking at the very worst of WCW.

Audio is rough round the edges as we're both new to the tech side, but as a major plus, the first episode is Starrcade 1997!


Hang on, that IS a plus…. right?

Well, it's not like you won't have years of material to work with.  

Smackdown ratings rise


"According to wrestlinginc.com, Tuesday’s episode ofWWE Smackdown drew 2.754 million viewers, the best numbers since April. The show featured three title matches, and Vince Mcmahon’s first appearance on the show in four years."

Now how did this happen? Announcement that Vince will appear? 3 Title matches (Tye Dillinger sells tickets, brother!!)? Good show last week leading in? Jinder making diarrhea jokes?

​All Vince.  Although it's one thing to hotshot stuff against the beginning of football and another to actually maintain those viewers. 
Speaking of which, have we discussed yet how revolting that headbutt spot was?  The company is currently in the midst of a potentially crippling lawsuit over CTE and 72 year old Vince goes out and gets Owens to lay in a headbutt so he can bleed the hard way?  Like, it's 2017, if you find blading too "barbaric" for sponsors and you HAVE to have blood, just hire a goddamn Hollywood prop guy and do some kind of fake blood.  I'll never understand why it's OK to have everything else on the show ripping off D-level movies and TV shows, but blood just HAS to be real.​

Hogan on Vince


Hogan must want be back in the WWE in the worst way 

​Yeah, Hulk was playing it cool after the Gawker thing, probably assuming it would blow over and then they could bring him back right away, but Vince really seems to be dragging his heels about reintroducing him.  And rightly so, given what a circus the Gawker trial was and the fact that people are still likely to ask Hulk about all the stuff if he ever does media for WWE once he's back.  I think it's still not worth the hassle at this point.​

Jon Jones: GOAT…at Being a F**k Up


https://www.mmafighting.com/2017/9/12/16291440/jon-jones-b-sample-comes-back-positive-for-steroid

 

Missed this the other day. Serves him right. Cormier has since been awarded back the title and their previous fight has been ruled a No Contest, although I’m sure that doesn’t make DC feel much better about any of it.

Yeah, and Cormier looks like a complete lame duck now, who got knocked out definitively but now gets the belt back on a technicality.  A Dusty Finish, if you weeeeeeell.  I feel really bad for Daniel.

Best burns


All the Reigns/Cena shoot stuff has me thinking, who do you has had the best burn on another wrestler? I still go with Cena mentioning Rock writing notes on his wrist cause not only can you tell it took Rock all he had in him to refrain from punching Cena in the mouth but it also legitamently shook him to the point he stumbled on his promo after Cena walked out.

I think Punk's "doofus son in law" line is still the all time gold standard.

New era


Hey Scott – are we entering the era of the worked-shoot?  Between the rash of superstars bitching on twitter, Reigns-Cena, Enzo-Miz, and Dolph's weekly slamming of current and former stars – all with a fair amount of truth – is this what we should expect up and down the card going forward?

God I hope not.

Mailbag question

Scott,

 

A simple yet difficult question :

 

Which wrestlers had the biggest gap between workrate ability and promo ability (and the other way around)?

 

My picks :

 

1.      
Ricky Steamboat.

2.      
Kevin Nash.

 

​Steamboat was an OK promo for the level he was usually at, I think.  And Nash was an OK worker, he was just lazy because he didn't have to work.  For me, I'd say post-nWo Scott Steiner as the best promo and worst worker, because once he finally found the character to get himself over, his body was completely shot.  And then I'd go with Chris Benoit for someone who was never really believeable doing main event promos, even though he was the best wrestler in the world.​

Four “New” tag teams who were way worse than the originals


THIS ONE'S FOR YOU, Dino Bravo Sucks!

I was actually working on a "Monday Night Wrong" column about the NWA invasion of 98 and thought that an entire list about the New Midnight Express and their ilk would be more fun.  And I was right.

Sasha Banks


Hey Scott,


Reading her recent interviews, its becoming apparent Sasha is a disgruntled douchebag, kind of like the female Ziggler. She's starting to bash the booking on Raw, she's called fans on twitter "airport creepers", said Rousey is not on her level and that if any of the MMA horsewomen sign, they need to go through NXT and then theres the incident recently of her calling fans "stalkers". Just the more I read about or from her, less of a fan I become.

​Think maybe she might be working an angle there, sport?  Just a thought.​

“Crash T.V.” Roots

  Vince Russo's style of writing in the late 1990's in The WWF and WCW was coined "Crash T.V."  Are there any T.V. Shows,(past or present), you can label "Crash T.V.", or is that a term coined just for the business?

​Russo's style owed a lot (a LOT) to shows like Melrose Place, to name one off the top of my head, and MTV's Jackass and all the offshoots were also a huge influence, I'd say.  In fact, you could probably label Jackass as "Crash TV" and be pretty accurate about it.  Not to mention that ECW itself developed a lot of the visual style and pacing that Russo "innovated" on RAW a few years later.  They were really the first ones to pull back the fake curtain and reveal the "real" curtain behind it.​

Radio WWF


The Flashback story about Savage going off on Hogan got me thinking.

Are any of these shows available anywhere? Ive looked and can’t seem to find anything.

I didn’t get Radio WWF where I lived at the time.

Did you ever hear any of its content?

I think it would have been cool hearing a ppv being called on the radio.

No, I was only aware of the existence of Radio WWF through the TV shows.  I very much doubt they had any clearance into Canada whatsoever.  

Question for the blog about UK wrestling


Hello

With Pete Dunne due to make his NXT full time debut very soon and with the new of PROGRESS Wrestling announcing a Wembley Arena show for next September ( potential capacity of 12,500.00), do you think British Wrestling is the hottest
it's been in living memory?
Given I don't live there and have no exposure to it, I'll have to take your word for it.  What I can tell you for sure is that Jinder Mahal has made wrestling in India even hotter.  And the way they brought out Khali for one run-in and then never mentioned it again. That was awesome too.
In summary, DON'T HINDER JINDER.

The Original Women’s Revolution


Hey, Scott:

Enjoying the Mae Young recaps. They got me thinking: after decades of fits and starts, WWE finally determined the value of women's wrestling. Curious if you have an opinion on whether it was a specific match that gave the concept credibility (some iteration of Trish and Lita, maybe?) or if it was the work of Fit Finlay as a trainer or if there was some other "turning point" that got us away from "Harvey Wippleman, women's champion" for good?

I think it was a twofold combination of Trish and Lita getting over at a level believable enough for them to main event a TV show, plus Lord Steph gaining power and pushing her own agenda.  And hey, great, women wrestlers should get equal treatment as long as they're performing at the same level. 

Chemistry

I always see people talk about who had suprising chemistry such as Braun/Big show but who are some that were expected to have 4 * matches and didnt deliver? Some of my picks would be Owens/Rollins, AJ/Owens, Aries/Neville (good matches for sure but I was expecting classics) Joe/Rollins, Wyatt/Rollins and basically everyone Wyatts faced recently and Orton/Sheamus.

​The most glaring examples for me were Edge & Christian and the Hardy Boyz.  Not against each other as teams, but their individual feuds when they broke up.  You'd think that the Hardyz would have crazy chemistry together, but they never did and in fact their Wrestlemania match was kind of disaster.  E&C had some OK matches against each other, but again nothing on the level of what you'd expect two brothers…uh, cousins…uh, best friends…to have.  ​

Nice Package

Scott………watching the network over the last few years made me aware of something.  How great the wwe's video packages/ppv opening videos are, and how terrible WCW's were.

Agreed?   Do any particular video packages stand out in your mind?  I remember the Rock-Austin one set to My Way was awesome, the Daniel Bryan one that aired right before his match with HHH, and a really good one when HHH returned from his first quad injury.


My favorite will always be Mr. McMahon's Utopia from Over the Edge '98.  I was also fond of the Doors ripoff song package from Armageddon 2000 I think it was, the one that went "The end is near"?  Really gave the six-way Cell match a sense of gravity that it was otherwise lacking.

Questions

Since Luger was so amazing at the time as a heel, was there ever any thought of putting someone else in his place to take on Flair when Sting got injured? To me you could have easily put in Pillman or Muta (obviously getting why the latter didn't happen. Justs aying perfect world and all). Was Luger just a case of being the biggest star they had?

Had streaming been around much sooner, could WCW have survived or was TV a must?

​Yeah, Muta was absolutely in the running to get the spot but he didn't want to turn.  I haven't looked up those Observers in a while, but I think Steve Williams was also a contender, which might have been an OK stopgap. That being said, Luger was definitely the biggest star they had available​ so it's hard to fault them too much for the move.  
And no, streaming would not have saved them.

New Idea: Rebooking SS 97!


Hi Scott

Just wondering was there ever any thought to transitioning the belt from Bret to Taker to HBK to Austin? They did have a built in feud, what with Bret stealing the title. They could've had UT take out HBK at Bad Blood, beat Bret at SS and THEN drop it to HBK at RR with a debuting Kane, and we slide into our timeline before Biff starts betting on races.

Bret probably wouldn't even have been bothered by losing the belt in Canada.

​Bret WASN'T bothered by losing the belt in Canada.  He offered to drop the title to anyone, anywhere, but just not Shawn Michaels at that particular show. I'm sure they could have come up with all kinds of scenarios, but Vince wanted Shawn to win it at Survivor Series and that was going to be that.​