The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 01.04.99

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 01.04.99

By special Patreon request!  You may have heard of this episode before.

Live from Atlanta, GA!  Not TAPED like some other shows you may have heard about.

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay & Larry Zbyszko

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 01.04.99

Daily News Update – February 21, 2020

God help me if I ever have to sit through that Fingerpoke episode of Nitro again.

Hey, big news for non-US AEW fans here on the blog:  Fite.TV has kindly provided me with a free code for AEW Revolution on February 29 to give away to a lucky non-US reader, so I’m gonna come up with a contest and probably run it on Twitter.  I’m thinking “predict how many falls the Iron Man match goes and who wins them”.  Anyway, I’ll think something up and have details right away.  Sorry, I don’t have any connections with B/R Live so I can’t help you out there.

DATELINE:  Samoa Joe suffered another concussion while shooting a commercial, which makes his second one in four weeks.  I’m thinking that commentary gig might be looking better to him pretty soon.

DATELINE:  Dynamite bested NXT in the ratings battle again, with both shows being up over last week again.

DATELINE:  New Japan is still working on finding a new TV home in the USafter getting thrown off AXS by Impact.  Apparently they could have sued for breach of contract but chose not to for some reason.

And here’s a WWE Top 10 list of double champions that popped up on my recommended list for some reason.

Daily News Update – February 20, 2020

Oh dude, it’s 02/20/2020.  That’s a lot of 2s and 0s.

DATELINE:  AEW has action figures coming!  HELL YEAH.  I’m gonna need all of these in case anyone is looking for birthday ideas for me this summer.

DATELINE:  WWE is doing a documentary on FCW on the Network next month.  Now maybe they could, I dunno, put all the footage of the show on there as well?  Just a thought?

DATELINE:  AEW also has a podcast now, featuring Tony and Aubrey Edwards.  Come on, the video game deal can’t be far behind now!

Daily News Update – February 19, 2020

Man, you guys sure had some stuff to say about RUTHLESS AGGRESSION.

DATELINE:  On yesterday’s NWA show, the date and time of the Crockett Cup was revealed.  Spoiler, it’s in Atlanta.

DATELINE:  Col. Robert Parker is coming to MLW!

DATELINE:  Brock Lesnar will be working the next couple of RAW shows, including next week’s one in Winnipeg.

Hey dog, I hear you love Ruthless Aggression?  Well I got you ALL THE RUTHLESS AGGRESSION.

The Tuesday Night Streaming Thread

Tonight!  NWA Powerrr is on hiatus, so instead they present The Circle Squared, which is like a tryout thing for them.  AEW Dark should proceed as usual.

DATELINE:  New inductees to the WWE Hall of Fame include the Bella Twins, British Bulldog and maybe JBL.  If we’re lucky.

DATELINE:  This Coronavirus thing is getting serious, as now New Japan is prepping for the worst and parent company Bushiroad is cancelling STARDOM shows.

DATELINE:  XFL ratings were apparently still good from the weekend.


Daily News Update – February 17, 2020

Hey, yo.

Stuff I do for fun:  Digging through my basement full of random computer parts to refurbish a 10 year old Compaq laptop and install Linux on it.  Still more exciting than RAW.

DATELINE:  Shelton Benjamin has signed a new multi-year deal with WWE.  I feel like we’ve missed the peak with Shelton, but hey, he’s finally in WWE Champions and he’s a pretty good free character.

DATELINE:  WWE announced the participants in the Elimination Chamber, women’s edition.


And here’s this week’s Being the Elite to kick off your Tuesday!

Daily News Update – February 17, 2020

Weekend’s over and now I’m on vacation for February break!  Now, I’m not leaving town, but my wife is taking a trip to New York later this week, so I don’t know how the logistics of that are going to work as it relates to dead wrestlers.  Maybe just their wives will die?  I dunno, it’s not an exact science.

DATELINE:  Tito Ortiz has been training at the Performance Center lately.  I feel like it might be a bit late for him.

DATELINE:  Matt Hardy’s farewell angle on RAW turned out to be less farewell-y than planned, as it did a big rating and so Vince asked him back for a match with Orton on RAW later tonight.

DATELINE:  The Financial Times has a big story on AEW!  Probably about all the money they’re gonna lose, AMIRITE?

Daily News Update – February 16, 2020

Thanks to reader Derek Price, who sent me the sick scan of the Flair magazine cover to replace my ratty screencapped version.

It’s Takeover day!  Get hyped!

DATELINE:  Smackdown ratings were slightly down.  Now the truth over Wilson & Barrios’ firing comes out!

DATELINE:  Ronda Rousey is starting a gaming channel on Facebook Watch.  Is that still a thing?

DATELINE:  After winning the British Heavyweight title, Will Ospreay tweeted that he’s offically moving into the Heavyweight division.  Does that mean he’s also officially British now, too?  I mean, I’d always assumed…

Under the Black Hat

As promised, I flew through Jim Ross’s new book “Under the Black Hat” this afternoon and it was a fantastic read.  Thanks so much to the people at Simon & Schuster for sending it my way.

Basically it covers Jim’s life from 1999 until signing with AEW, although the gaps in the story grow much bigger after 2002.  The bulk of the book deals with his role as Talent Relations VP during the Attitude Era, which is where it really excels.  In particular JR recounting his rocky relationship with Vince McMahon (complete with “Such good shit” and “PAL!” and yelling in headsets) is the most fascinating part of the story.  And of course we know where the story ends up and it’s just as wrenching reading about it as you’d expect.  It’s great getting Jim’s perspective on Steve Austin’s departure in 2002, Brock Lesnar’s signing (complete with expected reactions from Vince) and the Plane Ride From Hell.  To be honest, the book kind of loses steam from there, because of most what happened after that point was Ross getting fired multiple times and humiliated in various ways on TV before crawling back for more and there’s only so many ways you can frame that.  But Jim is brutally honest about his own short-comings and anxieties and what he could have done differently (the bit about his burning effigy in particular got a laugh from me), and especially honest about the feud with Michael Cole in 2011 that went nowhere and made no money.  No matter what, it’s an entertaining read from start to finish and stuff like his terrifying conversations with Ken Shamrock on Ken’s way out of the company in 1999, or details of his ill-fated contract negotiations with Jeff Jarrett, will scratch the itch of the target audience.  Highly recommended!

“Under the Black Hat” releases March 31, and you can pre-order now on Amazon or many other places:


Daily News Update – February 15, 2020

I feel like we might as well stay on-brand and just go with the “Daily News Update” thing every day now.

DATELINE:  Wrestlemania will feature AJ Styles v. Undertakeras one of the featured matches, and I’m not gonna lie, that sounds like a goddamned trainwreck waiting to happen.  AJ hasn’t exactly been great this past year and he’s rushing back from injury for this one.

DATELINE:  Will Ospreay won the rematch for the British Heavyweight title at Rev Pro’s show last night in what I’m assuming was a great match.

DATELINE:  AEW’s Double or Nothing II is shockingly not sold out yet.

And speaking of Vegas, here’s Asuka visiting an all you can eat buffet while staying there.