AWA What-Ifs

Hi Scott, Since you’ve been reviewing AWA on ESPN and I just got done watching SuperClash III, I was wondering what if all the promoters involved had been able to trust each other for longer than five minutes and had done a follow-up pay-per-view sometime in 1989? What do you think the card might have looked like based on the talent available at the time? For title matches, I think a Lawler-Kerry re-match to settle the dispute would be a must, and logically it’d be a first blood match and I suppose you could have Tatsumi Fujinami defend the IWGP title against Manny Fernandez based off their little post-match fracas and to add some international flavour. You know Verne would want Greg featured with his precious TV title so I guess an outsider with some name appeal who was available in ’89 to come in for a shot would be Bam Bam Bigelow. The British Bulldogs would also have been able to come in (if not working All Japan or Stampede) so my initial thought was to do that rare Bulldogs-Rock N’ Roll Express match here but alternatively, you could put the Rock N’ Rolls in with Jimmy Golden and Robert Fuller in a street fight or a cage match to settle their shitty non-finish, and put the Bulldogs in with the Samoan Swat Team or Badd Company for either set of tag titles and you know they’d both be pretty killer matches. Sgt. Slaughter also has scores to be settled with Iron Sheik, Adnan Al Kaisse and Col. DeBeers, probably some kind of boot camp match, or maybe teaming with Wahoo McDaniel, Corporal Kirchner or someone. For the women, who knows? Wendi Richter vs. Madusa, Madusa vs. Nina Ferrari, Nina & Wendi vs. Madusa and Susan Sexton? That leaves the likes of the Steve Cox, RPMs, Jeff Jarrett, Eric Embry, King Parsons, Top Guns, The Guerreros…perhaps Big Van Vader even though he’s not really much of a star in the US at this point. Just no Jimmy Valiant I hope!

The Boogie Woogie Man was money.  Just ask him. Bulldogs v. SST would have been BADASS.  Before they got fat and unmotivated in the WWF, the Headshrinkers could rock that shit.  Instead of doing another singles match, they could have extended the Lawler-Von Erich feud by doing a tag match, say Lawler & Jarrett (or Dundee) v. Kerry & Kevin in a crazy brawl.  I’d throw in Badd Company v. Rock N Roll Express for the tag titles, and maybe Greg Gagne v. Larry Zbyszko (which wouldn’t be great but it’s at least a fresh logical matchup with some star power), and the previously mentioned Slaughter v. DeBeers match, and that’s a pretty decent PPV show. 

AWA What-Ifs

Hi Scott, Since you’ve been reviewing AWA on ESPN and I just got done watching SuperClash III, I was wondering what if all the promoters involved had been able to trust each other for longer than five minutes and had done a follow-up pay-per-view sometime in 1989? What do you think the card might have looked like based on the talent available at the time? For title matches, I think a Lawler-Kerry re-match to settle the dispute would be a must, and logically it’d be a first blood match and I suppose you could have Tatsumi Fujinami defend the IWGP title against Manny Fernandez based off their little post-match fracas and to add some international flavour. You know Verne would want Greg featured with his precious TV title so I guess an outsider with some name appeal who was available in ’89 to come in for a shot would be Bam Bam Bigelow. The British Bulldogs would also have been able to come in (if not working All Japan or Stampede) so my initial thought was to do that rare Bulldogs-Rock N’ Roll Express match here but alternatively, you could put the Rock N’ Rolls in with Jimmy Golden and Robert Fuller in a street fight or a cage match to settle their shitty non-finish, and put the Bulldogs in with the Samoan Swat Team or Badd Company for either set of tag titles and you know they’d both be pretty killer matches. Sgt. Slaughter also has scores to be settled with Iron Sheik, Adnan Al Kaisse and Col. DeBeers, probably some kind of boot camp match, or maybe teaming with Wahoo McDaniel, Corporal Kirchner or someone. For the women, who knows? Wendi Richter vs. Madusa, Madusa vs. Nina Ferrari, Nina & Wendi vs. Madusa and Susan Sexton? That leaves the likes of the Steve Cox, RPMs, Jeff Jarrett, Eric Embry, King Parsons, Top Guns, The Guerreros…perhaps Big Van Vader even though he’s not really much of a star in the US at this point. Just no Jimmy Valiant I hope!

The Boogie Woogie Man was money.  Just ask him. Bulldogs v. SST would have been BADASS.  Before they got fat and unmotivated in the WWF, the Headshrinkers could rock that shit.  Instead of doing another singles match, they could have extended the Lawler-Von Erich feud by doing a tag match, say Lawler & Jarrett (or Dundee) v. Kerry & Kevin in a crazy brawl.  I’d throw in Badd Company v. Rock N Roll Express for the tag titles, and maybe Greg Gagne v. Larry Zbyszko (which wouldn’t be great but it’s at least a fresh logical matchup with some star power), and the previously mentioned Slaughter v. DeBeers match, and that’s a pretty decent PPV show. 

Love Plug

Hey Scott Alex from London (UK) here. I’m a long-time reader (you "smartened me up" in 1999), first time writer. I write a blog that gives men advice on how to improve their confidence and skills with women. As a big wrestling fan I try to slip in references to it whenever I can. I wondered if your readers might find some of the articles interesting (= shameless plug request). Here’s an article with a shoutout to you: http://www.lsattraction.com/websites-ive-been-visiting-august-2011/ And here’s an article on how being a tweener / anti-hero can make you more attractive to women: http://www.lsattraction.com/work-hard-play-hard/ Fingers crossed and keep up the good work mate.

Definitely not a subject that gets plugged much on this site, so best of luck with it!

Love Plug

Hey Scott Alex from London (UK) here. I’m a long-time reader (you "smartened me up" in 1999), first time writer. I write a blog that gives men advice on how to improve their confidence and skills with women. As a big wrestling fan I try to slip in references to it whenever I can. I wondered if your readers might find some of the articles interesting (= shameless plug request). Here’s an article with a shoutout to you: http://www.lsattraction.com/websites-ive-been-visiting-august-2011/ And here’s an article on how being a tweener / anti-hero can make you more attractive to women: http://www.lsattraction.com/work-hard-play-hard/ Fingers crossed and keep up the good work mate.

Definitely not a subject that gets plugged much on this site, so best of luck with it!

Scott Reviews the New 52!

Well since I opinionated on Justice League #1 last week, might as well carry on as I sample all the #1s coming out and see what falls in the “continue past #2” pile.  Action #1:  Despite how much I wanted to dislike it due to the changes in origin and de-powering…it’s a really fucking good comic.  Young Superman having a blast and beating up bad guys because it’s the right thing to do is just FUN, as is Lex Luthor throwing a train at him.  Parts of it feel ripped out of the Spider-Man movie, but that’s an awesome movie, so why not?  Thumbs up! Detective #1:  This is DAAAAAARK stuff.  If you haven’t been spoiled to the ending yet, your reaction will be probably echo mine, where it’s like “Oh, he’s chasing the Joker, that’s cool, who’s this dude, HOLY SHIT WHAT THE HELL, DUDE?!”  This is not the comic to be giving to young readers to introduce them to Batman.  That being said, shock ending aside, it didn’t hook me very much.  Not like I don’t have a lot of choice to find my perfect Batman fix anyway.  Thumbs in the middle. Justice League International #1:  Since his solo title was cancelled, I’m glad to see Booster at least elevated to main event status with this book, as he’s made leader of the new JLI, even if they’re portrayed as the Smackdown to Justice League’s RAW.  Booster and Guy are two of my favorite characters and if this had Ted Kord, it would be an easy winner.  This does proceed at a much better pace than Justice League #1 did, quickly establishing the team and putting them against what appears to be a giant robot.  Yay.  The downside is that unless you already knew about Fire and Ice and Rocket Red from the Giffen league, there’s not much here to hook you as a new reader.  I’m an old pro, so I didn’t much exposition on that front.  Thumbs up! Animal Man #1:  Kind of trippy and cool, the little mysteries like the bleeding eyes and weird dream sequence left me wanting more.  That’s a good thing.  I’ve never been a huge fan of the character, but there was a good hook here as long as you can tolerate a bit of the weird factor.  Thumbs up! Hawk and Dove #1:  I made it literally 10 pages in and couldn’t take another Rob Liefield action pose with Hawk yelling all his dialogue.  Thumbs WAY down. Batwing #1:  I have no strong feelings on this one way or another.  Neat cliffhanger, but I don’t know the character and the “Batman franchise” thing doesn’t excite me.  Thumbs in the middle, wouldn’t bother with #2.  Batgirl #1:  Hey, she can walk again!  To its credit, this issue doesn’t give away how Babs got healed, and it portrays her as learning again as she goes along.  Pretty fun stuff, I’d stick with it.  Thumbs slightly up. OMAC #1:  I LOOOOOOVE Keith Giffen, even if he’s obviously aping Jack Kirby here and I don’t give a shit about OMAC as a concept.  It’s fun, if a tad single-minded (the whole issue is the main character seemingly randomly rampaging through Cadmus), but interesting enough.  Thumbs in the middle. Men of War #1:  This is a wonderful throwback to Sgt. Rock’s glory years in comics, as his grandson picks up the mantle in present times and you can just feel the Joe Kubert oozing out of it.  I’m a sucker for a good war comic, and this felt right out of the early 70s.  A simple story (Joe Rock is TOUGH and the men respect him, dammit!) and good manly action make this my second-fave of the week.  Big thumbs up! Definitely pick up Action Comics #1, though.  Obviously they’re gonna throw everything in the flagship title, and it showed. 

Scott Reviews the New 52!

Well since I opinionated on Justice League #1 last week, might as well carry on as I sample all the #1s coming out and see what falls in the “continue past #2” pile.  Action #1:  Despite how much I wanted to dislike it due to the changes in origin and de-powering…it’s a really fucking good comic.  Young Superman having a blast and beating up bad guys because it’s the right thing to do is just FUN, as is Lex Luthor throwing a train at him.  Parts of it feel ripped out of the Spider-Man movie, but that’s an awesome movie, so why not?  Thumbs up! Detective #1:  This is DAAAAAARK stuff.  If you haven’t been spoiled to the ending yet, your reaction will be probably echo mine, where it’s like “Oh, he’s chasing the Joker, that’s cool, who’s this dude, HOLY SHIT WHAT THE HELL, DUDE?!”  This is not the comic to be giving to young readers to introduce them to Batman.  That being said, shock ending aside, it didn’t hook me very much.  Not like I don’t have a lot of choice to find my perfect Batman fix anyway.  Thumbs in the middle. Justice League International #1:  Since his solo title was cancelled, I’m glad to see Booster at least elevated to main event status with this book, as he’s made leader of the new JLI, even if they’re portrayed as the Smackdown to Justice League’s RAW.  Booster and Guy are two of my favorite characters and if this had Ted Kord, it would be an easy winner.  This does proceed at a much better pace than Justice League #1 did, quickly establishing the team and putting them against what appears to be a giant robot.  Yay.  The downside is that unless you already knew about Fire and Ice and Rocket Red from the Giffen league, there’s not much here to hook you as a new reader.  I’m an old pro, so I didn’t much exposition on that front.  Thumbs up! Animal Man #1:  Kind of trippy and cool, the little mysteries like the bleeding eyes and weird dream sequence left me wanting more.  That’s a good thing.  I’ve never been a huge fan of the character, but there was a good hook here as long as you can tolerate a bit of the weird factor.  Thumbs up! Hawk and Dove #1:  I made it literally 10 pages in and couldn’t take another Rob Liefield action pose with Hawk yelling all his dialogue.  Thumbs WAY down. Batwing #1:  I have no strong feelings on this one way or another.  Neat cliffhanger, but I don’t know the character and the “Batman franchise” thing doesn’t excite me.  Thumbs in the middle, wouldn’t bother with #2.  Batgirl #1:  Hey, she can walk again!  To its credit, this issue doesn’t give away how Babs got healed, and it portrays her as learning again as she goes along.  Pretty fun stuff, I’d stick with it.  Thumbs slightly up. OMAC #1:  I LOOOOOOVE Keith Giffen, even if he’s obviously aping Jack Kirby here and I don’t give a shit about OMAC as a concept.  It’s fun, if a tad single-minded (the whole issue is the main character seemingly randomly rampaging through Cadmus), but interesting enough.  Thumbs in the middle. Men of War #1:  This is a wonderful throwback to Sgt. Rock’s glory years in comics, as his grandson picks up the mantle in present times and you can just feel the Joe Kubert oozing out of it.  I’m a sucker for a good war comic, and this felt right out of the early 70s.  A simple story (Joe Rock is TOUGH and the men respect him, dammit!) and good manly action make this my second-fave of the week.  Big thumbs up! Definitely pick up Action Comics #1, though.  Obviously they’re gonna throw everything in the flagship title, and it showed. 

Nash future endeavor’d?

http://www.wwe.com/inside/kevin-nash-released They need to be really careful if they’re working this one, because that’s like doing a fake “X” signal when someone isn’t actually injured.  They only have a few things that fans actually buy at face value, and the future endeavour postings are one of them.  If they’re not just crying wolf here, then it REALLY makes the last few weeks of TV some bizarre stuff. 

Nash future endeavor’d?

http://www.wwe.com/inside/kevin-nash-released They need to be really careful if they’re working this one, because that’s like doing a fake “X” signal when someone isn’t actually injured.  They only have a few things that fans actually buy at face value, and the future endeavour postings are one of them.  If they’re not just crying wolf here, then it REALLY makes the last few weeks of TV some bizarre stuff. 

Future Hindsight

Hey Scott–
I was watching SummerSlam 1990 tonight, and was struck with a minor epiphany. When I saw this show as a first run ppv, I was 12 years old, and in my memory it was the awesomest show in the history of awesome things happening in awesome town. Babyfaces reigned supreme in all the high profile matches (save Dusty v. Macho) and two titles went to two sets of righteous face champions.
Watching it at a thirty-something, this show is freaking terrible, and I had no idea how deep the horribleness went as a kid. Kerry Von Erich is so messed up in his promo, I’m surprised he didn’t tell Mr. Perfect the blackjack dealer that he had twenty-two. The matches are largely junk, and even the best match on the card (Harts v. Demos) is so overbooked at the end that the whole situation is laughable.
Which got my brain turned in the direction of John Cena. Contrary to most of my fellow adult male wrestling fans, I don’t think that "Cena sucks", and I certainly don’t hold to the opinion that Johnny "can’t wrestle". CM Punk hasn’t been going out and having 4 star matches with the cliched broomstick. Ditto Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle. And if you need conclusive proof, it was John Cena who carried The Great Khali to watchable matches. Not "good", but watchable. And while that may seem like a backhanded compliment, consider this: In spite of all his accomplishments and his legacy, The Undertaker could never carry Giant Gonzales to a "watchable" match with a gun to his head. Or Khali for that matter.
So to my point: Much as I despair that my twelve year old self thought a show like SummerSlam 1990 was the greatest thing this side of WrestleMania, what do you think the current generation of 12 year olds will think of their Cena fandom twenty years from now? Will they stand by the guy who carried the company during a down period, and was much better in the ring than he got credit for? Or will they see the horrible writing of the character, the horrible delivery of that writing, and hang their heads in collective shame, just like I did tonight when I realized my parents paid good money so I could watch Jim Duggan and Nikolai Volkoff v. The Orient Express?

Well Summerslam 90 is kind of a shit show overall, so I don’t know that it’s particularly fair to judge Cena having high-level **** matches against it.  I mean, I was only 15 for that show and even I knew that Duggan match was terrible.  I think, much like Hogan, Cena fans will stick with him until ironic detachment kicks in and the merchandise stops selling, and then Cena will revive his career with a monster heel turn where he tells all the kids to shove it up their ass and forms the New New World Order with the corpses of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.  It’ll draw MILLIONS.

Future Hindsight

Hey Scott–
I was watching SummerSlam 1990 tonight, and was struck with a minor epiphany. When I saw this show as a first run ppv, I was 12 years old, and in my memory it was the awesomest show in the history of awesome things happening in awesome town. Babyfaces reigned supreme in all the high profile matches (save Dusty v. Macho) and two titles went to two sets of righteous face champions.
Watching it at a thirty-something, this show is freaking terrible, and I had no idea how deep the horribleness went as a kid. Kerry Von Erich is so messed up in his promo, I’m surprised he didn’t tell Mr. Perfect the blackjack dealer that he had twenty-two. The matches are largely junk, and even the best match on the card (Harts v. Demos) is so overbooked at the end that the whole situation is laughable.
Which got my brain turned in the direction of John Cena. Contrary to most of my fellow adult male wrestling fans, I don’t think that "Cena sucks", and I certainly don’t hold to the opinion that Johnny "can’t wrestle". CM Punk hasn’t been going out and having 4 star matches with the cliched broomstick. Ditto Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle. And if you need conclusive proof, it was John Cena who carried The Great Khali to watchable matches. Not "good", but watchable. And while that may seem like a backhanded compliment, consider this: In spite of all his accomplishments and his legacy, The Undertaker could never carry Giant Gonzales to a "watchable" match with a gun to his head. Or Khali for that matter.
So to my point: Much as I despair that my twelve year old self thought a show like SummerSlam 1990 was the greatest thing this side of WrestleMania, what do you think the current generation of 12 year olds will think of their Cena fandom twenty years from now? Will they stand by the guy who carried the company during a down period, and was much better in the ring than he got credit for? Or will they see the horrible writing of the character, the horrible delivery of that writing, and hang their heads in collective shame, just like I did tonight when I realized my parents paid good money so I could watch Jim Duggan and Nikolai Volkoff v. The Orient Express?

Well Summerslam 90 is kind of a shit show overall, so I don’t know that it’s particularly fair to judge Cena having high-level **** matches against it.  I mean, I was only 15 for that show and even I knew that Duggan match was terrible.  I think, much like Hogan, Cena fans will stick with him until ironic detachment kicks in and the merchandise stops selling, and then Cena will revive his career with a monster heel turn where he tells all the kids to shove it up their ass and forms the New New World Order with the corpses of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.  It’ll draw MILLIONS.

Consultation

Scott, Have you ever been asked to consult, write or otherwise get involved professionally with any level of pro wrestling? I’m thinking of a "Bill James moving from Baseball Abstract to the Red Sox" situation. If not, have you ever pursued it? If not, why not?

Never had any interest in that area of the business.  The only area I had any interest in was the home video division, as going through the library and picking out rarities for the DVDs and WWE 24/7 would be my dream job.  Otherwise dealing with the politics and assorted bullshit wouldn’t be worth it – it’s much more enjoyable to just watch from the outside and not be accountable for any of it.

Consultation

Scott, Have you ever been asked to consult, write or otherwise get involved professionally with any level of pro wrestling? I’m thinking of a "Bill James moving from Baseball Abstract to the Red Sox" situation. If not, have you ever pursued it? If not, why not?

Never had any interest in that area of the business.  The only area I had any interest in was the home video division, as going through the library and picking out rarities for the DVDs and WWE 24/7 would be my dream job.  Otherwise dealing with the politics and assorted bullshit wouldn’t be worth it – it’s much more enjoyable to just watch from the outside and not be accountable for any of it.