15 Years After The Fingerpoke

Hey Scott, I’m sure you’ve gotten this a bunch already, but just in case you haven’t, today’s the 15 Year Anniversary of the Fingerpoke of Doom. I re-watched it and think that the worst part wasn’t the finger poke itself, but Goldberg running in and then eventually getting the nWo beatdown, thanks to the nonsensical Lex Luger heel turn, was actually what really destroyed any remaining goodwill with the fans. I think if Goldberg had ran in, beat the crap out of everyone and then went on to beat Hogan for the title at SuperBrawl, the angle wouldn’t be so negatively remembered. Instead, Goldberg did nothing of note and Hogan feuded with Flair for the 700th time and the rest is history.

  Yeah, it was really piling on a lot of stuff that it didn’t need.  Luger’s a heel again for no reason, Nash is a heel again and then babyface a few months later and then heel again, the nWo factions are reunited but not really…on and on.  Not to mention how much it cheapened the first loss for Goldberg like that. 

NFL Playoffs Thread & Saturday Night Thread

Discuss the NFL playoffs or anything else that you want.

Also, the Paul Roma shoot won with 71% of the vote.

Surprise Rumble Entrants – WWE Top 10

No arguments on any of these.

BoD Daily Update

How Long Will Batista’s Return to the WWE Last?


Batista will be in the WWE for at least one year. He wants to make one final run instead of just a WrestleMania appearance. Between his contract and merchandising, he is expected to make some big money too.

Credit Bryan Alvarez, Figure Four Weekly Newsletter






The Shield to Continue On With a Replacement Member Following Roman Reigns Face Turn?


There is a strong feeling with those in the company that the Shield will be given a new member after Reigns leaves. One name being mentioned is Mason Ryan.

Credit Bryan Alvarez, Figure Four Weekly Newsletter






WWE Releasing New WCW DVD


“WCW Greatest PPV Matches, Volume #1” will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 3/11.

Credit Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com






Highspots Releases “Old School” with Rockin’ Robin


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b76riKLyNUo

QOTD

Just worked a dead overnight and ended up rewatching a little bit of WM 29.  It got me thinking of a few big picture questions that might generate discussion.

1) Now that we are essentially a year removed from the Rocks 3 year WM run, do we judge it as a success or a disappointment relative to what it cost wwe?  To what extent?  Give it a letter grade.

Could he have been better utilized?   Was the longterm opportunity cost of him being the focus of 3 WMs instead of a guy like CM Punk, or whomever they’d slot vs Cena, justified?

That last sentence brings us to the next question.  This is something I’ve debated numerous times.

2) Based on how WWE CURRENTLY runs, is the part – timer/special attraction WM the most effective business model and best thing for the company?

Gimmick Raws?

I'm not sure of your thoughts on gimmick raws like old school raw, raw country, raw roulette and stuff of that nature.  Do you think it would be to TNAish to do one gimmick raw a month?  They could use all the old ppv names the own and run a lineup like

Jan- Old School Raw

Feb- Superbrawl

Mar- Raw Roulette

Apr- Spring Stampede

May- Slamboree

June- King of the Ring

July- Great American Bash

Aug- Bash At The Beach

Sep- Fall Brawl

Oct- Halloween Havoc

Nov- Cyber Raw

Dec- Starrcade

i know this would drive people nuts by basically spitting on old wcw, but if they are going the route of trying to pop cheap ratings wouldnt this help?  and why wouldnt the try a KOTR gimmick raw.  8 men one night crown a king end of the show make it mean something.  They've got to kill 3 hours somehow

That's like the motto of the modern era.  "We've got to kill 3 hours somehow!"
King of the Ring is a great idea, and Old School RAW is always decent despite them trotting out the same tired legends every time.  Where's the Steiner Brothers, or Lex Luger, or Buff Bagwell, or the Rock N Roll Express, or any of the other million people from the Attitude / Rock N Wrestling eras who might need a payday and pop the fans as something different?  I love Ted Dibiase and Jim Duggan and Sgt Slaughter, but ENOUGH already with them.  

The SmarK RAW Rant–12.23.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 12.23.13 Might as well catch up a little bit, as I’ve got a weekend off with nothing going on otherwise. As opposed to the weeks these shows originally aired, when I was run ragged at work and then on Christmas vacation out of town. Taped from Austin, TX, which is much less cold and miserable than Saskatoon is at the moment. Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL. So tonight: The Battle to CANCEL CHRISTMAS. No spoilers, please, although I’d feel bad if I celebrated it in error. Sidenote: I bought my 3 year old toddler a tablet as her big Santa gift so she’d stop using my iPad. What world are we now living in? The Authority hands out candy to open the show and let us know that they make their employees volunteer at soup kitchens in the spirit of the holiday. Don’t you mean “independent contractors” there, Hunter? Don’t want to say anything that the prosecution could use against you in a future lawsuit. They lay out the matches tonight, drawing some ELECTRIC fake heat. It’s 2014, can’t they even try to make it sound realistic? Randy Orton joins us, giving everyone the gift of himself after winning the most important match in the history of WWE and all. Well that was a totally useless segment. Speaking of useless… Six Divas v. Six Other Divas Somehow Cole mixes up Rosa Mendes and Summer Rae, and guest commentator AJ calls Aksana a “sexy Fruit Roll-Up.” That’s basically the highlights here, as Hulu continues to violate our implicit agreement to never show me these matches. Nat finishes Aksana with the Sharpshooter at 3:54. DUD AJ burying the Total Divas was the biggest thing here for me. The Wyatt Family v. Daniel Bryan & Goldust & Cody Rhodes Apparently they cut out the Batista promo. And yet they left the Divas match in?!? The babyfaces quickly work Rowan over in the corner, drawing the first legit heat of the night from Bryan’s kicks. Goldust comes in and they control Harper. Bryan hits him with kicks in the corner and follows with a sliding dropkick, and he wants Bray Wyatt as we take a break. Back with Cody getting the heat, as apparently Bryan’s desire to beat up Wyatt went unrequited. Cody is somehow bleeding from the bridge of the nose as well. He escapes a chinlock from Harper and makes the hot tag to Goldust, who slugs away in the corner. As is usually the case, however, Goldust misses a charge and assumes his rightful place as the guy getting the shit kicked out of him. Wyatt with a corner clothesline, but Goldust gets fired up before the Wyatts cut off the ring again. TEXTBOOK. Keep the crowd invested and then rip their heart out. Rowan pounds away in the corner and applies an IRON CLAW, which gets two. I’m surprised JBL didn’t orgasm right there at the table. Goldust with a flip powerbomb out of the heel corner and it’s HOT tag Bryan, as he hits Rowan with a corner dropkick and hits the kick combo to set up the flying headbutt. Sadly, he again goes after Wyatt and gets mugged on the outside as we take another break. Back with Bryan taking the shitkicking this time, as Bray slugs him down and Harper comes in with a slingshot hilo for two. Bryan finally escapes and makes the hot tag to Cody, who hits Harper with a moonsault for two. Wyatt saves as it’s BONZO GONZO, and Bryan hits Wyatt with a dive. This again leads to a mugging, leaving Harper and Cody, but Wyatt sneaks in and finishes him with Sister Abigail at 25:28. And it’s another beatdown for Bryan. Geez, I hope he doesn’t do something stupid like join the Wyatt Family because he’s so depressed over it. Just have to wait and see how it plays out, I guess! ***1/2 Meanwhile, Bad News Barrett rings bells for charity. Christmas Present On A Pole: Dolph Ziggler v. Fandango Winner of this gets a shot at the prestigious Intercontinental title next week. You have to love the character development for Ziggler, where a couple of weeks back he was supposedly rededicating himself to being a top star again and winning matches, and now he’s right back to losing to bottom guys and treading water again. Ziggler tries climbing first and gets foiled, as does Fandango. Fandango tries a powerbomb out of the corner, but Ziggler hits him with the fameasser and climbs again. Fandango sends him into the pole for a typical crazy Ziggler bump to the floor. Back to the pole again for both guys, but Fandango kicks him down and they fight on the top. And it’s ANOTHER stupid bump for Ziggler, giving Fandango the contract at 4:41. There was nothing to this other than the guys fighting to climb the pole. * THE BATTLE FOR CHRISTMAS! Mark Henry v. Damien Sandow Christmas is brought to us by Xbox One, by the way. I’d slag them for that, but I actually won one through work just before Christmas for doing their mind-numbing online training, so GO MICROSOFT! I do have the opportunity to trade it for a Surface 2, but I just got an iPad 4 and you’ll literally have to pry it out of my cold dead hands so another tablet won’t do me much good. Anyway, the dueling Santas do the usual goofy Christmas brawl with such Christmas-themed weapons as fire extinguishers (?) and a kendo stick, but luckily Good Santa saves Christmas with a World’s Strongest Slam at 3:20 to save the hopes and dreams of kids the world over. Really, the more important question is who authorized WWE to be in charge of determining the fate of Christmas in the first place? DUD Meanwhile, CM Punk has a plan for the Shield tonight, which involves teaming up with John Cena and Big E to fight them. Seems like a solid plan. BATISTA returns on January 20. So they left this one in at least. Ryback v. Kofi Kingston Ryback overpowers him to start, but stops to gloat on the floor and gets hit with a dive. Back in, Ryback clotheslines him right back to the floor again and then pounds away in the ring. Kofi comes back with kicks to put Ryback down and hits the Boomdrop, setting up a crossbody for two. Ryback drops him in the corner and finishes with the clothesline and Shellshock at 5:45. Typical filler match. ½* Bad News Barrett gives us the bad news: The money he collected was all for himself. This gimmick is death. Next week: Big Show is the New Year’s Baby on RAW. I’m constantly in amazement at the shit they’ll advertise leading up to a show and then just ignore because they forgot or changed their mind. And yet people think that the Daniel Bryan thing is somehow planned out in advance and going somewhere. The Shield v. John Cena, CM Punk & Big E Langston Rollins slugs away on Cena to start, but John quickly hits the backdrop suplex, sending Rollins running. Over to Reigns, who hits Cena with a samoan drop for two as we take a break. Back with Rollins beating on Cena and a Buff Blockbuster gets two. Ambrose drops an elbow for two, and catches Cena with a sleeper. Cena RISES ABOVE OXYGEN and tags Punk in, resulting in a dive to Ambrose on the outside and a neckbreaker back in the ring. Punk gets distracted by Rollins and hits the floor as a result, and back in Ambrose gets two. Rollins works on the back, but Punk whips him into the corner, only to have Ambrose cut off the ring again. Reigns comes in with a bearhug, which he turns into a belly to belly suplex for two. Cole can now report that Christmas WILL happen, by the way. Well, you know how plans change in WWE. Guess he wanted to make sure first. Punk puts Ambrose down with a high kick and avoids Reigns, and it’s HOT TAG Big E. Langston is a fantastic hot tag guy. He’s like Ultimate Warrior but less homophobic. E tries the Ending on a pair of Shield guys, but Rollins saves. Cena with the FU on Rollins, but Reigns spears him in a great spot, and then Big E hits the Big Ending on Ambrose, leading to a Shield beatdown for the DQ at 18:00. What a lame finish. **1/2 The Pulse Not particularly broken up about skipping this one. It was just a bunch of matches to kill three hours (or 90 minutes in this case), which was fine, but nothing that needed to be seen.

Cucch’s Book Review Special Edition: All of Scott Keith’s Books.

Methinks I better tread lightly here…

Let’s dispense with all the pleasantries and ball slurping right out of the gate. Obviously, as a writer on this site, I am a longtime fan of the grand poobah of this blog. I have been reading Scott’s rants since way back in the WrestleManiacs years, starting with his WCW Thunder rants many moons ago. I was a loyal CRZ guy at the time I discovered Scott’s, uh, unique outlook on one of my favorite pastime. I believe it was a line referring to Van Hammer’s “Leather Jacket of Extreme Discomfort” or someone using “The comfy cushions of death~!” that really dialed me into his writings, and since early 1998, I have been a loyal and devout Keith follower. Much of my early writing styles attempted to ape Scott’s style, until I realized a few things: That there is only one Scott Keith, that I was not a very good imitation of Scott, and I needed to find my own voice. While I still do keep some elements of Scott’s writings in mine, its amazing going around the interwebs, reading a review by some new cat on the block, and within about 100 words, know that the author is clearly trying to imitate Scott. Usually poorly.

With that said, obviously I have read all the man’s books. I bought “Buzz on…” the day it came out. Same goes for “Tonight in this Very Ring” and “One Ring Circus.” However, where I live is not blessed with a good amount of book stores to peruse through (and I have shitty credit, so Amazon was out of the question…plus at the times of their releases, my money was going towards some more mind altering substances)…so I only just read “Dungeon of Death” about a year ago, and just today received, from Amazon, at a cost of four cents plus $4.99 shipping, “Wrestling’s Made Men.” I devoured it in about two hours (trust me…after slogging through that shit that is Dusty Rhodes book…this was a fucking cakewalk) and loved it.

Which got me to thinking: I generally like all of Scott’s books, and the last few all generally follow a simple formula: describe what is wrong with the WWE, elaborate on the problems, throw in some match reviews, voila. So reviewing one of them is basically like reviewing all of them, so I figured I’d do something different here: quickly run down each book, discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of them all, and give a somewhat objective ranking of each work of Scott. So let’s do this.

Scott’s first book was “The Buzz on Wrestling”, which was a popular book series around the turn of the decade roughly akin to the “(Whatever Subject)…for Dummies” series. It was meant to be a quick tutorial for the uninitiated to the mat wars at a time when wrestling was at its zenith popularity wise. It is a quick and concise history of the modern era of wrestling that has sections dedicated to certain wrestlers and promotions in an attempt to give the less astute fan an idea of what was REALLY going on with said performers or promotions at the time, and in that sense, it is a success. Whenever I would have a friend or co-worker ask me questions about wrestling and how they could gain some more knowledge, I always referred them to this book, because it is easy and quick to read, and is filled with some great knowledge that alot of us smarter fans had already discerned from Scott’s online writing.

However, reading it today is very much reading the portrait of the artist as a young man. That is what is going to make this review interesting hopefully. It more or less really gets going around Hogan and the AWA and reaches the year 2000. Don’t get me wrong, its a good book, one I will still pick up as I am rushing towards the bathroom and in need of something quick and easy to read. (I can recount most of the book offhand without even glancing at it…even the typo’s, like Dynamite Kid’s style and drug use causing him “dearky.”), but it was really just scratching the surface of what was to come. It had some snark to it, but not nearly what was to come. It did not feature any match reviews, which were to come. Which leads us to…

“Tonight in this Very Ring” was what I considered the genesis of the more modern, scathing Scott we have come to know and loathe. I mean love. Consider “Buzz” the end of the Netcop years, and this book as the genesis of the smark rants. It is basically dedicated to the years 2000-2001, and reading it now is very much a trip, having experienced that wonderful WWF period live and in living color, if you will. The snark is turned up. The match reviews are there. And so is a phrase Scott rues to this day, in print: “HHH is God.” To be fair, in 2000, HHH really WAS Godlike, as he and Rock, with Austin sidelined, drew obscene amounts of money together, and it also didn’t hurt that the mid card had been revamped with additions like Benoit, Guerrero, Jericho, Malenko, et al. In short, it was, for this fan, one of the best years of wrestling I have experienced. Add in the fact that Russo had left for greener pastures in Turner Land, phew, buddy, it was a fun year, especially for PPV’s.

Well, except for King of the Ring 2000, the one PPV I had the privilege of attending live that year. That PPV was a steaming pile.

Anyway, “Tonight…” began a killer run for Scott, as he was well ahead of the curve on what precisely was going wrong with the WWF product even as it reached its pinnacle. He foresaw the growing HHH problem. This book introduced many to the term “Glass Ceiling.” It featured the Scott we all know and love (phew…got it right that time) right as he was reaching the peak of his powers. Without a doubt one of Mr. Keith’s better offerings. But the best was yet to come, with…

“Wrestling’s One Ring Circus.” This is, in my mind, without a shadow of a doubt, Scott’s best work to date in print form. It details a very tumultuous time period in the history of WWF/E, 2002-03. HHH becoming the egomaniac we all deride to this day. Austin walking out. WWF losing its name.  It takes the blueprint Scott laid out with “Tonight…” and turns the volume up to 11. Scott was a very jaded viewer at this point…as were many of us…and it is reflected in this book. It also seems to mark where modern Smark Scott shows up for good, filled to the brim with sources deep within the industry, as evidenced by the remarkable chapter on the walk out and demise of Stone Cold Steve Austin, which, if you have never read, in my mind is the definitive chapter on what he was experiencing at the time. A total slam dunk ***** classic chapter that may or may not be Scott’s definitive MOTY. Unreal stuff. Those last two words actually accurately describe the whole book, as it is just spot on from beginning to end, showing uncanny prognostication powers that I remain in awe of. Still a book I very much read to this day when I have time.

A quick life experience side note here: After this book is where I very much fell into the vices that basically destroyed my life for the better part of a decade. 2003-2011 were very dark times for me, so while I read Scott’s sporadic online contributions…and they were beginning to become very sporadic, reflecting his distaste for the product…his books became afterthoughts. It was only this afternoon I received, and read, “Wrestling’s Made Men.”

My thoughts on this chapter of Scott’s book writing is that it is a very good book, his second best. But in light of some events over the last few years, the two star players of the tome, Eddie and Benoit, make it almost tragic to read in retrospect. If I had read it when it initially came out, that Chris…in a druggie haze, no doubt…would have screamed “RIGHT ON!!! BENOIT!! EDDIE!! FUCK THE WORLD (Wrestling Entertainment)!” Reading it today though more or less made me feel a little melancholy, because I can recall experiencing the same joy as Scott relays in the book when Benoit won the Rumble in 04, when Eddie won the title at No Way Out in the Cow Palace, Mania 20…honestly, that was the pinnacle of my fandom, and its all been downhill ever since. It was a fun read because, honestly, I was so messed up at that point I was not seeing Raw week to week, let alone Smackdown. And to be honest again, reading this book, I am glad I wasn’t! There were some horribly illogical things going on with the WWE product at that time. Nathan Jones. Heidenreich. Mordecai. Kenzo Suzuki. Luther Reigns. HHH. The babyface push of Randy Orton. Ugh. Just…so…bad. Yet the book also describes WWE starting to finally push new guys towards the top, in the form of the (soon returning) Batista and John Cena, which at the time was a fresh idea that Scott was skeptical about. Wonder how he feels about that now, what with Cena being pushed and pushed and PUSHED down fan’s gullets (he was remarkably prescient on how Cena would go down well with younger fans) to the point of nausea. All in all, almost as brilliant as his prior book, but the main body of work showed an author who was growing weary of the product, on the verge of total wrestling breakdown…and Scott seemingly did, as did many of us fans as well. WWE had hit a corner here where Johnny Ace had taken over as head of talent relations (lowercase for a reason) and Steph and Trips were gaining more and more power. Honestly, the highlight of the book is Scott and friends attending Backlash 2004 and the Raw the following night, and their interactions with Shane O Mac.

“…Made Men” ends with a very somber afterword, as in between finishing the book and its publish date, the wrestling world lost Eddy Guerrero. Any fan worth their salt knows how great Eddy was in the ring, and what a spectacular fuck up he was outside of it. If I had to compare my life, my experiences, to a wrestler, its Eddy. Total perfectionist fighting the odds and a huge family influence trying to find his way to the top. In that process, he finds every pratfall known to man in an effort to remain at the top while slowly and surely descending into every abyss he attempts to jump. It is almost sort of ironic that Eddy’s death closes out “Made Men” with little mention of Chris Benoit. The afterword by Scott is written in February of 2006. 18 months later, the landscape of wrestling would change, and it would involve the very man Scott worshiped at the altar of.

Chris Benoit murdered his wife and child on the weekend of June 25, 2007. Chris Benoit was the lord and savior of the internet wrestling fanbase, a man most championed by Scott Keith himself. I can remember how I felt once I learned the grim reality of the situation: I felt like my balls had been stretched out and Benoit had thrown his hardest chop right down the middle of my sack. How could the man we had been led to believe was the ideal wrestler, salt of the earth, just a great guy who provided us hours upon hours of amazing wrestling, be this cruel and sadistic madman? I remained in mourning for many years, refusing to analyze the hard facts, just because it hurt too much. It was only within the last two years, when I really got clean, that I figured I would determine if I was being irrational in defending the man because of the concussive nature of his line of work, which leads us to “Dungeon of Death.”

In my opinion, “Dungeon of Death” is Scott’s lesser work. We all know Scott was a HUGE Benoit guy, to the point of obsession (just for the record, so was I), so I was expecting huge things from a Canadian who experienced more or less the entirety of Benoit’s career. It was a slam dunk for Mr. Keith to really, really, REALLY fashion a name for himself in the literary world. Who better than SCOTT KEITH to write the definitive story on Benoit and his ascension and demise?  Well, I read the book about ten months ago, and was totally underwhelmed. I got a section that described Benoit’s career in about 70 pages, and then the book moved into this morbid death march of wrestlers who lost their lives due to drug abuse…quick little snippets that never really scratched the surface, much like Scott’s description of Benoit’s career. I was expecting so much more, but was left totally deflated by it, and consider it Scott’s worst work. Muschnick’s book on Benoit was better. As was Randazzo’s. And those two can be described as a skeptic and the other as a total outsider who did damned good homework. Was Scott too emotionally scarred to write the definitive Benoit tome? (Ring of Hell is it, by the way, for all the guff I gave the author.) I do not know. All I know is that Scott’s Benoit book left me with more questions and skepticism than any of the ones that have been produced to this date.

So then. We all frequent this site, so we are all Keith-ists to a degree. Here is where I have his books ranked:

1. One Ring Circus
2. Wrestling’s Made Men
3. Tonight in this Very Ring
4. Buzz on Pro Wrestling
5. Dungeon of Death

This post was meant as less review and more of a discussion starter. How far off base am I? Delusional? What are your favorite Scott Keith books and why? Have at it.

And yes, Missy Hyatt is coming. I just received the book via mail today, and not even 30 pages in and she is giving Tommy Rich road head. Its next…

Smackdown – January 3, 2014

Smackdown
Date:
January 3, 2014
Location:
Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
Commentators:
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re
coming up on the Rumble and there are two major stories coming out of
Monday: the return of Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan joining the
Wyatts. The main reaction seems to be that Bryan joining is a slap
in the fans’ face and I’m not sure where this idea is coming from.
The first thing I thought when he agreed to join was that it was a
plan by Bryan to infiltrate the Family and take them apart from the
inside. I can’t imagine this doesn’t end with anything other than
Bryan doing something to cost the Wyatts big, setting up a showdown
between Bray and Daniel, perhaps in the Rumble? Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of the end of Raw with Bryan turning his back on
the fans and joining the Family.
Here’s
the Shield in the ring to open the show. Ambrose says they’ve heard
all the stories about the Shield crumbling from within and that some
egos (with an arm around Reigns) are out of control. All of those
rumors are dead wrong and if CM Punk thinks he can take down the
Shield he’s in for a surprise. Reigns thinks the weak link in the
team is obvious (with a look over at Ambrose): there isn’t a weak
link. Rollins says the setbacks are temporary because the Shield
will come together and dominate WWE.
Shield
vs. Usos
Ambrose
is the odd man out and sits in on commentary. Reigns gets things
going with Jimmy and headbutts him in the corner. Jimmy gets taken
down to the mat and stomped by Roman before it’s off to Seth who
walks into a clothesline. Off to Jey for the first time and a back
elbow to the jaw for two. The Usos get two more off a double elbow
drop as Ambrose talks about taking over the WWE and closing down
every bar and saloon from Dallas to Singapore. I miss wrestlers
implying that they associate with each other off television.
Jimmy
gets two off a backdrop before it’s back to Jey for an armdrag into
an armbar. An uppercut stops Seth’s comeback and a clothesline puts
him on the floor. The Usos hit stereo kicks to Reigns’ ribs to send
him outside before backdropping Rollins on top of him. We take a
break and come back with Jey holding Rollins in a chickenwing before
Seth takes him into the corner for a tag to Reigns.
Roman
takes Jey down with an elbow to the jaw as Shield takes over. Seth
comes back in off the top with a right hand to the ribs. The
announcers actually talk about unifying the midcard titles, meaning
it might be a real possibility at the moment. Cole asks Ambrose if
he’d like to face Langston. Ambrose, partially in song no less, says
no and asks Cole to stop bullying him and “BE A STAR.” Can we
just get Punk and Ambrose to do commentary on random matches? I’d
buy the Network for that alone.
Off
to a cobra clutch by Rollins before Reigns comes back in to bend
Jey’s arm around the rope. Ambrose keeps spinning around in his
chair at commentary. Reigns misses a charge and falls out to the
floor. Seth can’t make a diving save so Jey makes the hot tag off to
Jimmy. Everything breaks down and Rollins gets Samoan dropped but
rolls to the floor before the Umaga attack can connect. Reigns is
sent outside as well but Ambrose runs in for the DQ at 9:03 shown of
12:03.
Rating:
C+. These teams are reaching
the point where they could have good matches in their sleep. The
Usos are becoming the Kofi Kingstons of the tag division as you’re
guaranteed a good match but they’re never going to go anywhere beyond
where they are now. Hopefully they can break that mold and
eventually get the titles that they’re long overdue to win.
Before
Shield can get far in their triple team, CM Punk comes out for the
save.
Throughout
the night we’re going to get New Year’s Resolutions from Superstars.
Up first are the Prime Time Players who want to use their talents to
do more good and…..get a macaroni recipe?
Vickie,
six man tag, etc.
Fandango
vs. R-Truth
Xavier
gets in on commentary as Fandango pounds Truth into the corner.
Truth does his backflip to the middle of the ring and hiptosses
Fandango down. Woods brags about getting a PHD and being the only
man in history to be a doctor and work for WWE. JBL: “What about
Dr. Jerry Graham and Dr. Tom Pritchard?”
Woods
sums up the connection between he and Truth: they’re friends and
Truth got him into wrestling. Works for me. Fandango comes back
with a quick spinwheel kick to the jaw for two and we hit the reverse
chinlock. Truth fires off right hands but runs into a boot. Woods
calls out the Funkadactyls and gets on the table (wearing JBL’s hat)
to dance. The distraction lets Truth hit Little Jimmy for the pin at
2:52. Have we reached the point where the distraction is someone’s
official set up move? Also shouldn’t that be considered a heel move?
Dancing
ensues.
Video
on Tribute to the Troops.
Big
E. Langston talks about Brock destroying his friend on Monday and
says he wouldn’t want to be Brock Lesnar right now. Curtis Axel
comes in and says he’s sorry for what happened to Mark but he’ll be
laughing all the way to the bank after beating Langston tonight. Big
E. says no one will be laughing after the match.
Video
on Bryan joining the Wyatts on Monday.
Tag
Titles: Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Wyatt Family
Cody
and Goldust are defending but there’s no Bray and/or Bryan. Goldust
and Harper get things going with Luke driving him into the corner.
The crowd is very quiet tonight for some reason. Harper is taken
into the corner and a double suplex gets a one count for Luke. Back
to Goldust who gets fingers in his eyes before it’s off to Rowan.
The monsters make some quick tags to take over on Goldust but he
comes back with right hands in the corner.
Rowan
is knocked to the apron but Luke clotheslines Goldust down and puts
on a chinlock. Goldust fights up and gets a quick two off a sunset
flip. The hot tag (kind of as the crowd is still barely responding
at all) brings in Cody for a knee lift and the Disaster Kick to send
Harper to the floor. Cody follows him out but gets sent into the
barricade and steps as we take a break.
Back
with Rowan firing off more right hands put Cody down as we look at
the empty rocking chair. Back to Harper for a running elbow in the
corner to knock Cody down again. There’s the Gator Roll followed by
another chinlock but Harper lets go of the hold to knock Goldust off
the apron.
Rowan
comes back in but gets sent to the floor, only to have Harper knock
Goldust down again. A BIG sitout powerbomb gets two on Cody as
Goldust makes the save. Everything breaks down and Harper kicks Cody
in the face to knock him silly. Cody breaks up what looks like a
belly to back superplex and hits the moonsault to a standing Harper.
Goldust makes a blind tag and grabs an O’Connor roll for the pin on
Rowan at 12:25.
Rating:
B. I’m more and more impressed
by Goldust and Cody every time they go out there. There’s that
natural chemistry that you get with brothers that you just can’t
teach and it’s taking these guys to another level. The Wyatts get
better in the ring with every match they have as well with Rowan more
than holding up his end of the team.
Miz’s
resolution is to be awesome.
Nikki
Bella vs. Aksana
This
is fallout from Aksana pinning Nikki on Monday in the ten Diva tag.
They shove each other to start until Nikki hiptosses her down and
drives shoulders in the corner. Aksana rolls outside and grabs
Nikki’s arm to slam it into the post. The announcers are comparing
Aksana to Hannibal Lecter for some reason as she gets two off a side
slam. Off to an arm lock on Nikki but she fights back with
clotheslines and dropkicks. Aksana comes back with a kick to the
ribs and forearms in the corner, only to get Racked. Nikki drops to
her knees (that move HAS to be a rib somehow) into a backbreaker for
the pin at 4:00.
Rating:
D. The girls both look good in
tight outfits but they have no business in the ring. If nothing else
this makes Brie look that much better as she’s miles ahead of Nikki
as far as wrestling skills go. Aksana is there as eye candy, which
makes me wonder why they had get the pin on Monday.
We
get the video package on Orton’s career from Raw.
Big
E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel
Non-title.
Axel gets in some right hands to start but gets his head taken off
by a clothesline. Big E. charges into a boot in the corner but
knocks Axel out of the air with a shoulder block for two. Curtis
comes back with some right hands and knee drops before hooking an
armbar. Langston pops up and hits a quick belly to belly followed by
the Warrior Splash. Axel escapes the Big Ending and snaps Langston’s
throat across the top rope but walks into the Big Ending for the pin
at 3:55.
Rating:
D+. This was just a step above
a squash for Langston and there’s nothing wrong with that. He needs
to keep racking up wins like this to make him feel like an
unstoppable force before someone knocks him off for the title so Big
E. can move to the main event. It worked for Warrior and it can work
for Langston.
The
Raw ReBound looks at Lesnar destroying Mark Henry.
We
get a sitdown interview with Heyman who says Brock is back because
there’s one WWE Champion. Brock wants to be the one and only
champion and it doesn’t matter who comes out of the Rumble with the
title. Heyman says Brock is looking to do something Old School next
week, meaning he’ll be on Raw.
Time
for Bad News Barrett with his nifty rising podium. The bad news
tonight: no one is going to keep their new year’s resolutions so this
time next year, everyone will be just as fat, unhealthy and
unproductive as they are now.
CM
Punk/Usos vs. Shield
Ambrose
and Punk get us going with CM being driven into the corner, only to
have Punk whip him over to the other Shield members. Off to Rollins
who grabs a hammerlock but Punk counters into a headlock so he can
loudly shout spots in Rollins’ ear. A neckbreaker puts Seth down for
two and it’s off to Jey for a running headbutt. He puts Seth in a
Boston crab as the now legal Jimmy drops a leg on the back of Seth’s
head.
A
leg lariat puts Seth down and it’s back to Jey for a superkick to the
chest. Ambrose is sent to the floor but Reigns blocks a big dive
from Jey as we take a break. Back with Reigns driving a headbutt
into Jimmy’s chest and getting two off the Superman Punch. Rollins
comes in with a backsplash for two and we hit the neck crank. Seth
goes up but gets crotched down, only to have Ambrose come in to break
up the hot tag attempt.
Jimmy
breaks a chinlock with a jawbreaker and elbows his way out of a belly
to back superplex attempt. Reigns comes in with Jimmy still on the
top and gets taken down by a top rope cross body. Rollins knocks Jey
off the apron but can’t stop the tag to Punk. CM comes in with a
springboard clothesline and the running knee in the corner. Ambrose
distracts Punk from dropping the Macho Elbow and Rollins crotches him
on the top.
Punk
rolls through a crossbody to put Rollins in the Anaconda Vice but
Reigns makes the save. Another Superman Punch puts Jey down and we
get down to the legal Punk vs. Rollins. Seth crawls over and tags in
Dean who hits a butterfly superplex on Punk for two. Punk comes back
with a GTS attempt but drops him before Reigns can launch the spear.
A double superkick drops Roman and Seth gets backdropped to the
floor. The twins hit stereo dives and the GTS ends Ambrose at 12:42.
Rating:
B-. Good stuff here as you
would expect, even with Ambrose taking the fall again. I’m assuming
they’re building up to Reigns calling Ambrose out for all of the
losses but get the title off of him if that’s where they’re going.
If nothing else Shield hasn’t turned into a joke and they’re
potentially splitting while still having awesome matches.
A
video from Bray Wyatt talking about Bryan needing the Family to be
his home ends the show.
Overall
Rating:
C. They focused on the
tag stuff again tonight but the taping schedule messed a few things
up. It’s annoying that we have to wait for Monday for anything on
Bryan but it’s better to do it on a big Raw than on a regular
Smackdown anyway. This is another show that you didn’t need to see
but it was a fine enough way to spend two hours.
Results
Usos
b. Shield via DQ when Dean Ambrose interfered
R-Truth
b. Fandango – Little Jimmy
Goldust/Cody
Rhodes b. Wyatt Family – O’Connor roll to Rowan
Nikki
Bella b. Aksana – Torture rack backbreaker
Big
E. Langston b. Curtis Axel – Big Ending
CM
Punk/Usos b. Shield – GTS to Ambrose
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Dream Matches

FIgured this might be fun fodder for blog discussion. I’m a big proponent of having Cena/Undertaker headline this year’s show. I suppose it’s possible it’s being saved for next year, or it will never happen as Vince sees them both as equal draws to the show (which isn’t really wrong, Hogan/Andre was a money idea but Hogan drew far more just by himself at that point than Andre ever could so there wasn’t much “waste” aspect to it). Either way, it doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen this year. This got me thinking about some of the biggest missed opportunities of all time, specifically for Wrestlemania: Hogan/Flair in 1992 (obviously the most famous) Hogan/Austin in 2002-2003. HBK/Rock in 2003-2010 Can you think of any other “dream matches” that really should have headlined the show at some point? Ones that by all rights should have happened, not stuff like Punk/HBK which could have happened if Punk had ascended the card sooner than he did.

Hall & Nash v. Rock & Austin in 2002, maybe?  Doesn’t feel like there would be a big enough tag team to challenge the Outsiders other than that, unless you went with Outsiders v. Brothers of Destruction.  Brock Lesnar v. Austin was really a thing that should have happened, although the timing wasn’t right for Wrestlemania.  And on another note…

Hey here’s a question for the Doomers…..What is the last, legit “Dream Match” left in North American wrestling? And not what you would just like to see, but what could legitimately happen with two guys physically fit enough to square off with proper build up? Is Sting vs Undertaker all that remains? Possibly, and yes, it gets my vote I would pay to see it. Is Austin vs Punk even a reality? I would pay. Goldberg vs Taker or Cena? HBK vs Sting? Undertaker vs Great Muta?

Yeah, Sting’s kind of the magic bullet for dream matches, although part of the problem now is that no one is big enough of a personality to warrant a “dream match”.  I’d say something like Samoa Joe coming to WWE for a series of matches with Punk and Bryan would be awesome if everyone is motivated.  Plus Joe would be one of the few allowed on Punk’s bus. 

WWF Championship Wrestling August 17th, 1985

August 17, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight, the Junkyard Dog & Ricky Steamboat team up. Also, the Dream Team and Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo will be in action. Plus, Terry Funk and Don Muraco in singles action.

Dave Barbie & Tiger Chung Lee vs. Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo w/Capt. Lou Albano
The announcers talk up Albano as being the favorite for the “Manager of the Year” award. Lee and Rotundo work a decent sequence that ends with Rotundo working the arm. The champs work on the arm of Lee until he escapes and tags. Barbie slams Rotundo then drops an elbow. Rotundo fights back and tags Windham, who hits a dropkick then puts him away with the bulldog (3:14).
Thoughts: Decent enough showing for the champs. Lee was back on TV for the first time in 1985 here.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. For the third consecutive week, the focus is on Corporal Kirchner. We get a new vignette, this time Kirchner swimming in a swamp holding a knife in his mouth. Holy shit was he terrible at promos. They sure did spend a lot of time hyping his debut.
Terry Funk vs. Paul Roma
Funk backs Roma against the rope before tossing him through the ropes. He suplexes him back in but gets kicked over the top rope after applying a spinning toe hold. Roma fires away but Funk takes him down with a shoulder block. Roma hits a really sloppy small package but Funk hits him with a back suplex. Roma holds the rope to avoid a neckbreaker then hits a pair of slams as the crowd goes wild. Roma bounces off of the ropes but Funk catches him with a sleeper for the win, despite the crowd starting a Roma chant (3:00). After the match, Funk brands Roma before smacking and kicking him around.
Thoughts: Good stuff. Funk made Roma look really good, even getting the crowd believing that Roma had a chance to win. Funk was always good about letting the job guys get in some offense. He was awesome during this run.
Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan. He said that he trained with Andre the Giant in order to prepare for King Kong Bundy. One of the wackier Hogan promo’s I have ever seen and by the way he looked, it wouldn’t have surprised me to learn that he took some “gimmicks” before filming the segment.
Mike Donnatelli vs. Tito Santana
Santana works the arm of Donnatelli as Capt. Lou Albano joins the booth and talks about the “Manager of the Year” award. Freddie Blassie comes out and argues with him before hitting him over the head. Albano gets pissed and rants and raves on commentary as Donnatelli stalls outside of the ring. Back inside, Santana takes him down with a side headlock. Shortly after that, he hits him with a flying forearm before getting the win with the figure four leg lock (3:23). After the match, we get a replay of Blassie attacking Albano.
Thoughts: This match was more of a backdrop for the “Manager of the Year” angle than anything else, which is odd seeing as the IC Champ was wrestling in the match. Tito’s second IC Title run didn’t really click for some reason.
Freddie Miller is with Uncle Elmer, who will be taking part of a six-man tag in Boston. Elmer is confused and thinks that Boston is in Mississippi. He cuts a horrendous promo, babbling like an idiot the entire time. Uncle Elmer might have been the worst all-around wrestler in WWF history.
Gary Starr & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. The Dream Team w/Jimmy Hart & Johnny Valiant
The camera pans to a lot anti-Beefcake signs in the crowd. They all lack wit and that includes the guy with the “Brutus Beefjerky” sign. Anyway, Beefcake works over Poffo in the corner. Poffo fights back with a pair of dropkicks, including one to Valentine. He tags Starr, who immediately gets destroyed by Beefcake. Valentine tags and drops a few elbows before applying the figure four leg lock for the win (2:09).
Thoughts: Dominate showing by the Dream Team. They are getting a big push now as a team instead of two singles wrestlers who occasionally team up.
Piper’s Pit with Andre the Giant. The segment starts with the chair empty as Piepr accusing Andre of not having the guts to come out. He then rips apart a magazine piece by piece that features Andre. As he rants on and on, Andre comes out, causing Piper to change his tone. The segment ends with Piper throwing an Andre T-shirt against the wall before running away. Piper was pretty funny here.
Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Sal Gee
Muraco works over the back of Gee as the announcers talk about his feud with Ricky Steamboat. Muraco takes his anger out on Gee as the fans yell “beach bum” at him. After some more stomps and kicks, Muraco puts him away with the Tombstone Piledriver (2:12).
Thoughts: Not much to this match at all. They put over the Muraco/Steamboat feud on commentary.
Randy Savage gives us a PSA about staying in shape. He tells us to go to the gym so we do not stay a skinny wimp. This was great stuff by Savage.
Moondog Spot & Steve Lombardi vs. Junkyard Dog & Ricky Steamboat
Steamboat hits Lombardi with a flurry of offense. He then slingshots in with a Thesz Press. JYD tags and the crowd loves him. He headbutts Spot a few times before getting caught in the wrong corner. Lombardi is now the legal man and JYD headbutts him after tagging Steamboat, who gets the win with a flying body press (2:33).
Thoughts: This was fine. JYD was super over in 1985 too. I mean the crowd when nuts during his matches .
Freddie Miller is with the Dream Team, plugging their match at the Boston Garden. They are teaming with Johnny Valiant to go against Uncle Elmer & Ivan Putski & Pedro Morales (Holy shit is that an awful team or what). Valentine  runs down Morales for being washed up and says that Elmer is nothing but a pig farmer. Then, Valiant comes out, looking and sounding obliterated. They finish a song mocking Elmer before leaving. Lively stuff.
In action next week are Randy Savage, Spider Lady, Pedro Morales, Killer Bees, and the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. Also, Vince tells us that Randy Savage will introduce his new manager on the show.
Final Thoughts: This show was okay, with the major focus on the “Manager of the Year” angle and some of the secondary feuds. They still hyped the debut of Corporal Kirchner, which ended up as a dud. The Funk/Roma match was really fun for a TV squash and you had some entertaining promos.

A+ Match of the Day

Howdy BOD’ers!

Sorry for taking a couple of days off. I’m going to do Royal Rumbles from here on in until we get done with all of them. By my count we have done 1990, 2003, 1994, 1997 so far.

So today we’ll head to Madison Square Garden for Royal Rumble 2008 so let’s go to…Michael Buffer?

New wrestling game

Hi Scott, I saw that you wrote about wrestling games in the past, so you may be interested in my project too! It's called Ringmaster, and is a promoter simulation with beautiful artwork and unique gameplay modes, built from the ground-up for iPhone and iPad. I'm looking to raise funds before January 13, so any help in spreading the word would be appreciated!

BoD Daily Update

Undertaker Update

As of now, the plans are still for the Undertaker to wrestle Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, with a detailed plan in place that will lead to the match starting at the Royal Rumble. However, there is talk that Lesnar’s style is too physical for the Undertaker, who is really hurting right now. Because of that, there is talk that Sheamus might be his opponent at Mania and Undertaker himself as suggested Daniel Bryan as a possible opponent. There is also another concern about a Lesnar vs. Undertaker match as for the past several years, the Undertaker, in private, has secretly worked out and practiced his WrestleMania matches with his opponents and there is a question as to whether or not Lesnar would be willing to put in that much effort preparing for the match.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Kurt Angle Update

Angle’s contract with TNA is set to expire this Summer.

http://leeinks.weei.com/sports/2014/01/02/pro-wrestler-kurt-angle-keeps-life-moving-in-right-direction#.UsXQcueqBhk.email

Ultimate Warrior Having Involvement at WrestleMania?

It is expected that the Ultimate Warrior will be involved at WrestleMania in some aspect, most likely by getting selected for the Hall of Fame.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

American Wolves Update

The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) will not be offered a contract from the WWE. They were originally going to be at NXT on a short-term deal but HHH made the decision to not bring them back after their first television taping. Apparently, despite several people going to bat for the Wolves, HHH felt that the company already had numerous smaller guys that could go in the ring and are looking more towards trying to find bigger guys who could possibly headline WrestleMania five years down the road. There also was a story from their first match, when Richards landed on his head after a miscommunication on the behalf of Viktor of the Asencion, that the ref told them to go to the finish, under the orders from HHH, and that they waited a while before ending the match, presumably angering HHH.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

WWE.com Posts Photo Gallery Featuring Every Diva Who Has Ever Worked For the WWE

http://www.wwe.com/inside/wwe-divas/every-diva-ever-photos

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–01.01.2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 01.01.2014 Welcome to 2014! And what better way than with the best wrestling show on TV? Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are…hold on a sec. TYLER BREEZE HAS JUST ENTERED THE BUILDING. Your hosts are Tom Phillips, William Regal and Alex Riley. Alexander Rusev v. Kofi Kingston Rusev quickly stomps him down in the corner and throws knees, and Regal declares that he was beaten last week “by a man 10 times the man I’ve ever been.” But…but…where’s the poopy jokes where he laughs off the loss and calls his opponent a geek? Rusev with a backbreaker for two, but Kofi fights back with chops and a dropkick to set up the boomdrop. Springboard bodypress gets two. Rusev runs him back into the corner, but Kofi goes up, only to get slammed off after yelling at Lana. And Rusev finishes him with the camel clutch at 3:48! Oh man, they must have HUGE hope for Rusev. **1/2 Meanwhile, Sylvester Lefort is auditioning people to replace Scott Dawson, but Mason Ryan isn’t interested in being purchased. Emma v. Natalya Winner of this is the #1 contender to the NXT title. (Note: At this point my internet connection breaks for the better part of the day, and it’s now 12 hours later) The ladies trade headlocks as the crowd is torn on who they like, and Emma rolls Nattie up for two. Natalya doesn’t appreciate Emma’s sense of humor and pounds her in the corner with knees, but gets caught in the Dilemma as a result. She escapes and hits a clothesline for two, and into the abdominal stretch as Regal gets the line of the show by reminding the announcers that Nattie might have learned from her “Uncle Smith”. Now that’s some dry humor. Nattie gets a wacky submission hold and the Sharpshooter, but Emma escapes and taps her clean with the Emma-Lock at 4:40. Nattie is a good sport, however, and even dances with her. Emma’s yet another one who should have been on the main roster weeks ago. **1/2 The SING-OFF! Aiden English gives us some Italian opera, and then Colin Casady (in a suit, no less) knocks it out of the PARK with “Danny Boy”, complete with “You tried to sing and sounded like you coughed / You are S-A-W-F-T, sawft!” Gotta give the win to Colin there. Aiden, despite clearly getting owned there, demands another round. So Colin beats him again with an ode to how much Aiden sucks, prompting a sneak attack. Artists sure are touchy. This was actually pulled off brilliantly, because if Colin hadn’t been awesome the crowd would have turned on it and cheered English, but both guys pulled it off perfectly. Tyler Breeze v. Mason Ryan I notice Mason is getting bigger again, although still not to the ridiculous levels he used to be. Breeze attacks while Sylvester Lefort joins us at ringside, but Ryan casually shrugs Breeze off and goes to beat on Lefort. Back in, Ryan stupidly walks into the leg lariat and gets pinned at 1:23. It’s time to move Breeze up to the next level, which it looks like they’re doing by programming him with Adrian Neville. DUD TYLER BREEZE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. 2/3 Falls: Sami Zayn v. Leo Kruger Kruger attacks and tosses Sami to start, and back in for two. They fight on the floor and Kruger gets two. Back to the floor for another beating from Kruger, which gets two. Kruger charges and Zayn catches him with an exploder into the corner, followed by the running kicking for the first fall at 3:00. Back with the guys fighting on the top, which results in Zayn taking a crazy bump to the floor. Kruger works on the now-injured arm, but Zayn makes the comeback with clotheslines and a powerbomb for two. He goes up, but Kruger brings him down with a draping neckbreaker for two. Sami keeps fighting and goes up again, and this time fights off a superplex attempt before missing a crossbody. Kruger pounces with a top armbar and Zayn is forced to make the ropes. Kruger pounds away and hits a spinebuster, but Zayn counters the lariat into a Downward Spiral and Koji Klutch to finish in two straight falls at 12:52. If the rumors about Kruger getting repackaged into debauched rock god Alex Rose are true, that’s probably it for the Leo Kruger character. Which is fine because it was a dull gimmick anyway. *** The Pulse God I love this show. Young stars going over established sports entertainers clean by submission? Singing competitions where both guys are good and it’s not just a giant rib on everyone involved? Keep it coming, NXT!

Benoit is back, with a warning


It's certainly less trouble than editing out all his appearances and muting the commentary.  Between that and the music rights, it would make Monday Night Wars era shows a nightmare to present for airing.  Plus yeah, if anyone feels that watching Benoit engage in sports entertaining will warp their fragile minds, they can skip it.