Best Fink Calls

What would you say would be Howard Finkel’s best “NEWWWWWW CHAMPION” calls? Ricky Steamboat at WMIII and Piper at Rumble ‘92 come to mind (oddly both IC)…any others in the Fink Pantheon?
The Piper one is hard to top.  Savage at Wrestlemania 8 was a particularly good one as well.  His comeback for CM Punk at Survivor Series should have been epic but he's drowned out by Bucky Beaver cutting away from him and playing the music over top. 

Nia Jax

She almost broke Charlotte and Asuka's neck. She's injured Sasha, Bayley, and Alexa. She concussed Zelina Vega at Evolution. And now she's broken Becky's nose and concussed her. So basically the top six women + Vega injured or almost injured because of Nia. At what point is being related to The Rock not enough to keep you employed?

Once she accidentally potatoes Stephanie in a melee and breaks HER nose.  She really does need to go away for a while and do something else, though.  It's not like they can't afford to just pay her to do PR work and modeling stuff or whatever.

Brock and Becky


Who's bright idea was it to throw a guy who's had multiple, near career ending concussions into the ring with the guy who's moveset pretty much consists of tossing guys on their head?

Also, do you think that Becky being removed from the Survivor Series match means that she
A) Gets to main event at Mania with Ronda, or
B) Gets tagged with the "injury prone" label and gets the Finn Balor treatment? 

The fact that their solution to the Ronda match was to have Becky tearfully hug arch-enemy Charlotte and let her have the match tells you everything you need to know about where they still view Becky on the pecking order, I think.  

Losses on contracts

Hey Scott,


Obviously assessing things like profitability of individual wrestlers is an inexact science, but which contract with a wrestler or tag-team (not counting 'celebrities' like Rodman, Master P etc) was the biggest money-LOSER
for :




Any other federation.


1.  It's gotta be Lex Luger in 1992.  They paid him a shitload of money in hopes of getting the WBF going and then spent hundreds of thousands in marketing on the Lex Express and never saw a dime back out of it.  Well, obviously a FEW dimes, but you know I mean.  I'd also nominate Brian Pillman, but he was never supposed to be a main event guy or anything, despite his big price tag.  

2.  I'm gonna go with Bret Hart in 97.  Huge money to lure him away from the WWF, and then they barely pushed him near the top.  Sting also had a monster guaranteed deal or seven over the years and never came close to justifying the money they were paying him.

3.  The answer has to be someone from TNA, right?  I can't think of who specifically, but they never really made money and paid lots of guys redonkulous deals, so we can probably safely say Kurt Angle. 

Monday Night Raw – June 14, 2004

Monday Night Raw
Date: June 14, 2004
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re past Bad Blood and Chris Benoit is still Raw World Champion. At the same time though, Shawn Michaels vs. HHH had the most epic finish to the most incredible, long running rivalry involving Shawn Michaels and HHH this year. Like really, the best thing ever and nothing will ever approach them. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – June 14, 2004

AJ vs. Brock

Hi Scott,

I admit I've only been half-following this entire saga, but it seems like they didn't want AJ to job to Brock two years in a row, so that is why they moved the AJ's title to Daniel Bryan. But my understanding is that the match is non-title, so why not just have AJ win the match?
Someone should communicate that to Vince.  You are exactly correct.

Bryan & Heyman & Lesnar

Two questions, one about in ring, one out of ring:

1) On SDLive Heyman shows up out of nowhere and name drops Bryan as the best guy on SD. This leads to Bryan challenging Styles, and WINNING the WWE Title while turning heel just before Styles date with Brock at Survivor Series.

Could this be a not so subtle way of setting up a Heyman/Bryan alliance. Bryan is the mold of a Heyman guy, it gives Paul access and the top guy on each show and they could even say it was Paul getting Brock away from AJ who was his biggest threat (possibly leading to Styles winning the Rumble and challenging Brock at mania)…

2) What is the real deal with Brock and Paul? Are they friends? Is Paul really his business manager? They’ve essentially worked together for 16 years on and off and he’s the only guy who is consistently around Brock?

1.  It was a thing that Bryan wanted to do because the babyface character was going nowhere.  I don't think there's any more thought or planning that went into it.
2.  Heyman was 100% his legit business manager as of Brock's initial UFC run.  As with everything related to Brock these days, I don't think anyone knows the real truth any more.  For instance, Meltzer has noted many times in the past few weeks that for all the leverage that Brock is using between UFC and WWE, the only thing he's actually done is enter into the drug testing pool.  He's signed no UFC contract and really it's only the Jon Jones and Daniel Cormiers of the world calling HIM out.  Brock has never actually said who or when he wants to fight.  Heyman might be smart, but Brock is a freakish super-genius.

NXT – November 14, 2018

Date: November 14, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness

It’s the go home show for Takeover: WarGames II and the card seems to be mostly set. This time around there might only be four matches, but one of them will be 2/3 falls and another is WarGames so things should be fine. Tonight is the big final push towards the show and that should make for a fun show. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – November 14, 2018

NXT UK – November 14, 2018 (Second Episode)

Date: November 14, 2018
Location: NEC Arena, Birmingham, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

It’s tournament time as last week’s big announcement saw the creation of the NXT UK Women’s Title, which we do actually need around here for the sake of keeping things a little more interesting. We’re getting two tournament matches tonight so they’re certainly hitting the ground running. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT UK – November 14, 2018 (Second Episode)

Mike Reviews: WCW World War 3 1997

Seeing as I’ve just finished Six of the Best for this event, I decided I’d go back and watch this one as there’s some pretty decent matches on it and the main events of these shows are usually at least somewhat interesting, even if that interest has a somewhat car crash quality to it.

Let’s venture onward and see what we find!

Read moreMike Reviews: WCW World War 3 1997

NXT UK – November 14, 2018 (First Episode)

Date: November 14, 2018
Location: NEC Arena, Birmingham, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

We’re finally to the second set of tapings as WWE continues to try and catch up with the past. The big story tonight is some kind of announcement from Johnny Saint, which likely means a new title. With only one around here, they kind of need to bring one in at some point. They’ve teased a Women’s Title and Tag Team Titles so either one is possible. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT UK – November 14, 2018 (First Episode)

The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling–01.14.84

The SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling – 01.14.84

OK, so much like I decided to move ahead a couple of years in Mid-Atlantic because 82 was boring me, 82 is also pretty depressing for Mid-South, so let’s magically wind forward 2 years to the beginning of 1984 instead and see what Bill Watts was up to at the dawn of Hulkamania.

Your host is now young Jim Ross, along with Bill Watts.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for Mid-South Wrestling–01.14.84

Survivor Series

Hey Scott, hope all is well. There is a part of me that feels when the WWE has its back against the wall, and plans fall through, the better ideas come to the top, but witj no follow up.

I like the Daniel Bryan heel turn as he was not working as a face this time around. The poor planning, booking, and execution put Bryan in a bad position. I like the idea of heel Lesnar vs Bryan and Daniel taking any ave to win will make the match with Lesnar more entertaining. My concern is afterward. I was into the Randy Orton heel turn, but, they just let it go to waste, and I feel the same will happen once the dust settles with Bryan.

I feel the same with Dean Ambrose. You have him turn on Seth and Roman, then what? Oppurtunities fall in their creative lap, and its all going to be wasted.

This may sound dumb, but you have 205 defending against its own brand. Why not put Rey Mysterio in there against Buddy Murphy or someone from NXT?

That's kind of funny, I never really thought about the 205 guys.  

Anyway, Meltzer was saying a few days ago on the radio show that Vince was not going to let Bryan waste away in the midcard, even if he skipped Saudi Arabia, because the money he was being paid was main event money and he needs to get that return on investment for it.  So in hindsight, that explains why he got the belt back again.  He's the new Brock Lesnar!  Our Vegan Space Lord!

Brock’s Mania Opponent

Meltzer said Brock/Braun is happening before Mania, possibly at Rumble with all signs of course pointing to Brock retaining. So who gets Brock at Mania? Seth? Styles Rumble win and chooses Brock? Face turned McIntyre?

I'd like to say I even care at this point, but I don't.  Maybe Drew, I dunno.  Brock winning that belt back completely killed any waning interest I had.  

Heel Turns in 2018

As sad as I am to see Styles's year plus championship reign come to an end & happy yet sorta confused and intrigued with Bryan going heel, aren't we all just relieved that it wasn't The Miz to be one to defeat Styles and become WWE Champion? I am!

Anyways, after all the heel turns this year alone with Nakamura, Gargano, Becky, Big Show, Orton, Ambrose, and now Bryan, my favorite is Roderick Strong's at Takeover: New Orleans as NO ONE saw that one coming. And him joining Undisputed Era worked out even better. What is your favorite this year and what is your favorite turn of all time?

Sick Miz burn there.  I approve.
Favorite of all time has got to be Barry Windham turning on Lex Luger to join the Four Horsemen.  Bryan and Vinny were just reliving it on Sunday's show and it was still GLORIOUS.  Barry comes into the match still as a babyface, but JJ Dillon gets into his head over the course of the long and grueling match, brainwashing him into thinking that Luger won't be there for him.  And then that's exactly what happens (thanks to the Horsemen cheating) and Barry finally snaps and turns on his own partner to join the heel side.  I was 13 at the time and my best friend and fellow wrestling nerd was in TEARS, literal tears, because of Barry betraying Lex like that.  It was amazing.
Anyway, yeah Strong was tremendous this year.  And it made sense.  We're still waiting on an explanation for Dean Ambrose, for example, and Nakamura is mostly in the same place he was before the turn. 

The Faces of Smackdown

Hi Scott,

So, help me out. Smackdown's entire male babyface roster is AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Rusev and …. Tye Dillinger?? 

Incidentally, tremendous finish. I think D-Bry can pull off the Bob Backlund 2.0 gimmick quite nicely.


I’m willing to let it play out and see where it goes. 

Smackdown – November 13, 2018

Date: November 13, 2018
Location: Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It’s the final show before Survivor Series and last night’s big angle saw the Smackdown women’s division invade Raw with Becky Lynch laying out Ronda Rousey. Now though, it seems that Lynch is going to have to miss the show thanks to a concussion. I’m not sure what that means for Sunday, but I know it’s a downgrade overall. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – November 13, 2018

Tuesday Night Thread

So, uh, not sure if you’ve heard yet, but Becky Lynch is off Survivor Series.  It’s been flying under the radar today.

Tonight, we discover what they’re gonna do about it on Smackdown.  I say just cancel the match and give the rest more time.  No one’s particularly invested in this PPV anyway.

Chat about that and other stuff, like whether the Canucks can maintain first in the division (spoiler: no) right here in this very thread!

WWF Wrestling Challenge – September 20th, 1992

September 20, 1992

From the Capital Centre in Landover, MD

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan, who pretending that he was campaigning for votes with the election coming up in several weeks. This was a show-long bit.

In action this week are Big Bossman, Nasty Boys, Crush, and Papa Shango. Plus, an interview with Ric Flair and more!

Read moreWWF Wrestling Challenge – September 20th, 1992