Site Maintenance

OK, WordPress has been updated to the very latest version, which is nice considering I’ve been running 2.8.4 since something like 2009.  It also means I can FINALLY ditch the built-in comments and endless plugins, and instead I’ve installed the awesome Disqus commenting system.  Basically it does everything that all my cobbled-together solutions do, but as one program, and it links the blog with thousands of other blogs too.  It’s also prettier and way easier to deal with from my end.  All the old comments are being automatically converted and migrated as well, so nothing has been lost.   From your end, it now means you can log in with a Google or Facebook account to post comments instead of having  to remember an account here.

So as always, drop me a line if you notice any glaring problems.

Site Maintenance

OK, WordPress has been updated to the very latest version, which is nice considering I’ve been running 2.8.4 since something like 2009.  It also means I can FINALLY ditch the built-in comments and endless plugins, and instead I’ve installed the awesome Disqus commenting system.  Basically it does everything that all my cobbled-together solutions do, but as one program, and it links the blog with thousands of other blogs too.  It’s also prettier and way easier to deal with from my end.  All the old comments are being automatically converted and migrated as well, so nothing has been lost.   From your end, it now means you can log in with a Google or Facebook account to post comments instead of having  to remember an account here.

So as always, drop me a line if you notice any glaring problems.

GSP v. Diaz

Hey Scott,
Just another example of what is missing in the WWE that the UFC some how is able to pull off with out being a work.
So we have the abrasive Nick Diaz who has been piling up wins against mid card talent for the past few years over in Strikeforce. Has put down all challengers in that time. The whole time squacking about not making enough money, how he could beat the champ (GSP) if he wasn’t being held back. Meanwhile the clean cut, even keeled GSP is having pedestrian performances where, although remaining unscathed and dominant in them, has looked unimpressive. Diaz destroys all in front of him until the UFC can’t ignore him as a challenger any longer and set up a title fight. GSP vs. Diaz is set. In the months leading up to the fight, the brash and stubborn Diaz decides he doesn’t want to play the UFC media game and no shows a pair of press conferences calling them "beauty pageants" and as a result gets pulled from the main event. GSP down plays Diaz as a contender in the first place and gets set for another opponent. In Diaz’s eyes "The Man" has just stepped in once again, cost him his big "pay day" and continues to hold him back all while protecting the paper champion. He now is forced to face a top contender, former title contender and former rival of champion GSP.  In the fight Diaz dominates Penn in a three round war where Diaz sets a new record for strikes landed and RETIRES Penn. (Penn leaves strong having the heart and determination to withstand Diaz’s punishment). Post fight Diaz calls out the champ immediately! Claims he’s scared to fight anybody right now and that he’s been held back. The normally calm and cool GSP loses it (Off camera unfortunately) and demands to fight Diaz next. Calls him "The most disrespectful human being he’s ever met and that he’s going to put the worst beating on Nick the world has seen." Out of the circumstances, Dana White cancels GSPs next opponent and signs Diaz vs. GSP for Superbowl weekend. This shit is straight out of Rocky III? Diaz just needs to assault Greg Jackson and cause him to have a heart attack. They’ve created a credible, monster heel out of Nick Diaz to face off against the mega-face GSP. Seriously, I would lay down my money today for the pay per view that’s months away.

Yup.  Plus now we’ve got Anderson Silva, the claimed #1 fighter in the world, actively ducking Chael Sonnen and claiming he’s not worthy of a title shot while Sonnen cuts awesome promos on him whenever he’s got a microphone near.  If they play their cards right, they can score two million+ buyrates in a row headlining with those matches now.  It just goes to show that a little carny attitude goes a LONG way.  Although Diaz really is just that crazy, unlike Sonnen who actually “gets it”. 

GSP v. Diaz

Hey Scott,
Just another example of what is missing in the WWE that the UFC some how is able to pull off with out being a work.
So we have the abrasive Nick Diaz who has been piling up wins against mid card talent for the past few years over in Strikeforce. Has put down all challengers in that time. The whole time squacking about not making enough money, how he could beat the champ (GSP) if he wasn’t being held back. Meanwhile the clean cut, even keeled GSP is having pedestrian performances where, although remaining unscathed and dominant in them, has looked unimpressive. Diaz destroys all in front of him until the UFC can’t ignore him as a challenger any longer and set up a title fight. GSP vs. Diaz is set. In the months leading up to the fight, the brash and stubborn Diaz decides he doesn’t want to play the UFC media game and no shows a pair of press conferences calling them "beauty pageants" and as a result gets pulled from the main event. GSP down plays Diaz as a contender in the first place and gets set for another opponent. In Diaz’s eyes "The Man" has just stepped in once again, cost him his big "pay day" and continues to hold him back all while protecting the paper champion. He now is forced to face a top contender, former title contender and former rival of champion GSP.  In the fight Diaz dominates Penn in a three round war where Diaz sets a new record for strikes landed and RETIRES Penn. (Penn leaves strong having the heart and determination to withstand Diaz’s punishment). Post fight Diaz calls out the champ immediately! Claims he’s scared to fight anybody right now and that he’s been held back. The normally calm and cool GSP loses it (Off camera unfortunately) and demands to fight Diaz next. Calls him "The most disrespectful human being he’s ever met and that he’s going to put the worst beating on Nick the world has seen." Out of the circumstances, Dana White cancels GSPs next opponent and signs Diaz vs. GSP for Superbowl weekend. This shit is straight out of Rocky III? Diaz just needs to assault Greg Jackson and cause him to have a heart attack. They’ve created a credible, monster heel out of Nick Diaz to face off against the mega-face GSP. Seriously, I would lay down my money today for the pay per view that’s months away.

Yup.  Plus now we’ve got Anderson Silva, the claimed #1 fighter in the world, actively ducking Chael Sonnen and claiming he’s not worthy of a title shot while Sonnen cuts awesome promos on him whenever he’s got a microphone near.  If they play their cards right, they can score two million+ buyrates in a row headlining with those matches now.  It just goes to show that a little carny attitude goes a LONG way.  Although Diaz really is just that crazy, unlike Sonnen who actually “gets it”. 

Hawk Falling Down

Hey Scott, Long time reader, followed you through Wrestlemaniacs/ Wrestleline/ Rantsylvania/ Smarks/ 411wrestling/ 411mania/ Insidepulse/ Blog of Doom. The discussion within the Scott Hall post got me thinking about Road Warrior Hawk. My timeline may be off, but I believe it was back in the LOD 2000 days, when Hawk was playing being drunk/stoned, and I think the idea was that Droz was his dealer or something to that effect. Anyway, very early in the angle, LOD was doing a promo and Hawk took a minute to address the crowd as Michael Hegstrand to apologise for his behaviour the previous week, saying that it wasn’t professional, not what the fans paid to see, and promising that it wouldn’t happen again. Sure enough, starting the very next week Hawk is stumbling around the place, tripping while getting in the ring, and falling off the titantron. My question is, what was the incident that started that angle, and was it genuine? Was Hawk really on live TV unfit for work in a glaringly obvious way? And did they base the angle off that incident, forcing Hawk to air his personal demons on TV, or was it all a work?

Well, the drunkness and poor condition was certainly no work.  Hawk was in rough shape at that point and shouldn’t have been on TV.  The rest was the genius of Vince Russo, who decided that it would be edgy and cool to make fun of someone who could barely function.  I forget the exact inciting incident, although I think it was something like him doing commentary while being drunk.  But yeah, the initial incident was genuine, the rest was a work, albeit one far too close to home. 

Hawk Falling Down

Hey Scott, Long time reader, followed you through Wrestlemaniacs/ Wrestleline/ Rantsylvania/ Smarks/ 411wrestling/ 411mania/ Insidepulse/ Blog of Doom. The discussion within the Scott Hall post got me thinking about Road Warrior Hawk. My timeline may be off, but I believe it was back in the LOD 2000 days, when Hawk was playing being drunk/stoned, and I think the idea was that Droz was his dealer or something to that effect. Anyway, very early in the angle, LOD was doing a promo and Hawk took a minute to address the crowd as Michael Hegstrand to apologise for his behaviour the previous week, saying that it wasn’t professional, not what the fans paid to see, and promising that it wouldn’t happen again. Sure enough, starting the very next week Hawk is stumbling around the place, tripping while getting in the ring, and falling off the titantron. My question is, what was the incident that started that angle, and was it genuine? Was Hawk really on live TV unfit for work in a glaringly obvious way? And did they base the angle off that incident, forcing Hawk to air his personal demons on TV, or was it all a work?

Well, the drunkness and poor condition was certainly no work.  Hawk was in rough shape at that point and shouldn’t have been on TV.  The rest was the genius of Vince Russo, who decided that it would be edgy and cool to make fun of someone who could barely function.  I forget the exact inciting incident, although I think it was something like him doing commentary while being drunk.  But yeah, the initial incident was genuine, the rest was a work, albeit one far too close to home. 

Double A (Not To Be Confused With A Double)

Just curious your opinion on a recent discussion I had about Arn Anderson. Has there ever been a mid-carder so perfect? He’d hold titles, but never the top one. He’d be involved in major feuds, do great in them, yet never rise to be World Champion. Yet, it never felt like he was being held back. Is that merely due to the era in your mind or can you think of some other wrestlers who felt perfect in the mid-card, even if they could have clearly been higher?

Sure, not everyone is cut out to be a main eventer.  Mr. Perfect was a perfect IC champion and although he probably could have been World champion, was probably better off where he was.  Terry Taylor was always a great guy to have in the midcard, because he was enough of a name where beating him meant something, but he was never a threat to take your spot.  Especially after the WWF run.  Marc Mero, whether as Johnny B Badd or Marvelous Marc, was a solid midcard threat.  A lot of the guys who ended up as World champion today (like Jack Swagger) probably would have been better served never getting it, too. 

Double A (Not To Be Confused With A Double)

Just curious your opinion on a recent discussion I had about Arn Anderson. Has there ever been a mid-carder so perfect? He’d hold titles, but never the top one. He’d be involved in major feuds, do great in them, yet never rise to be World Champion. Yet, it never felt like he was being held back. Is that merely due to the era in your mind or can you think of some other wrestlers who felt perfect in the mid-card, even if they could have clearly been higher?

Sure, not everyone is cut out to be a main eventer.  Mr. Perfect was a perfect IC champion and although he probably could have been World champion, was probably better off where he was.  Terry Taylor was always a great guy to have in the midcard, because he was enough of a name where beating him meant something, but he was never a threat to take your spot.  Especially after the WWF run.  Marc Mero, whether as Johnny B Badd or Marvelous Marc, was a solid midcard threat.  A lot of the guys who ended up as World champion today (like Jack Swagger) probably would have been better served never getting it, too. 

WM title matches

Hey Scott,
With Cena/Rock and Taker trying for 20-0 at WM this year, the casual fan buy rate is pretty well confirmed. It’s not like casual fans will revolt if Orton doesn’t get a title shot. So do you think WWE takes advantage of this to play to the more stubborn Internet fans by making title matches we want to see? The only people NOT buying at this point are smart fans who don’t care about the two big matches…so why not throw them a bone with a "I can’t believe they’re doing this at Mania!" type of match. And in that case, what do the two world title matches become?

Given they think very little of internet fans and their desires, I don’t foresee anyone getting thrown any bones.  I’m pretty sure they’re building up Mark Henry for Undertaker at this point, whether or not the title is on the line.  People are still all “OMG they’re totally gonna insert D-Bry in the title match briefcase briefcase briefcase” but he’s basically a jobber at this point and should be losing the case shortly once they tire of him completely.  Although with Cena/Rock and UT/Henry taking up the two title matches, you’ve still gotta find stuff to do with Punk, ADR, Orton and the other “main eventers” who aren’t Cena and thus don’t count.  Long-term booking is wonderful in some cases, but others it really leaves you painted into a corner. 

WM title matches

Hey Scott,
With Cena/Rock and Taker trying for 20-0 at WM this year, the casual fan buy rate is pretty well confirmed. It’s not like casual fans will revolt if Orton doesn’t get a title shot. So do you think WWE takes advantage of this to play to the more stubborn Internet fans by making title matches we want to see? The only people NOT buying at this point are smart fans who don’t care about the two big matches…so why not throw them a bone with a "I can’t believe they’re doing this at Mania!" type of match. And in that case, what do the two world title matches become?

Given they think very little of internet fans and their desires, I don’t foresee anyone getting thrown any bones.  I’m pretty sure they’re building up Mark Henry for Undertaker at this point, whether or not the title is on the line.  People are still all “OMG they’re totally gonna insert D-Bry in the title match briefcase briefcase briefcase” but he’s basically a jobber at this point and should be losing the case shortly once they tire of him completely.  Although with Cena/Rock and UT/Henry taking up the two title matches, you’ve still gotta find stuff to do with Punk, ADR, Orton and the other “main eventers” who aren’t Cena and thus don’t count.  Long-term booking is wonderful in some cases, but others it really leaves you painted into a corner. 

Rivalries

Hi Scott Just watched the Bret-Shawn Greatest Rivalries interview, and they make a few mentions of how they replaced the ‘dinosaurs’ of the 80s (notably Hogan). Having recently witnessed the spectacle of Hogan wrestling Sting in late 2011, with a still-active Ric Flair interfering, it struck me as odd that those guys – the very top guys in Hogan and Flair – of the 80s are still wrestling when several generations of replacements such as Bret and Shawn have been and gone since. Do you think any guys approaching the level of Hogan/Flair from the New Generation, Attitude, PG eras etc will still be wrestling at that age? Bret, Shawn, Austin, Rock are all done at reasonable ages – though I suppose with the exception of Bret they could come back. Seems unlikely though – and somehow I don’t see Cena or Orton or whoever lasting that long either. I can imagine HHH maybe, as he’ll be around anyway in some capacity, and Nash at 52 is having a good stab at it – but Hogan and Flair seem exceptional cases compared to the top names that have followed them. Is it because they were such major names that they can get away with it (to the extent that they do), or is it just their individual personalities and situations? Or am I just extrapolating too much from a very small and incomplete sample size? Will you be watching/ranting about the Greatest Rivalries dvd, by the way?

MONTREAL WAS NOT A WORK!  Sorry, reflex macro there. Last thing that Entertainment One sent me to review was TLC 2010, so a full review doesn’t seem likely given how pressed for time I generally am these days and how little I want to put more money in WWE’s pocket in the first place.   Unless I just download the documentary portion, which is possible. Anyway, guys from the last decade or so have tended to work a much harder style than a Hogan or Flair did.  Not saying it was a cakewalk to do their schedule in the 80s, but Flair’s broomstick formula was much easier to do night after night than someone like Edge having to one-up himself with ladder matches and cage matches and endless chairshots.  Also, guys like Rock and Austin were much smarter about their giant paydays than the “blow it all on coke and hookers” 80s stars were, and thus can afford to leave the business on their own terms.  Although according to that Scott Hall piece everyone today is a saint who plays videogames and is as straight edge as CM Punk, so clearly we no longer have anything to worry about.  Whew.

Rivalries

Hi Scott Just watched the Bret-Shawn Greatest Rivalries interview, and they make a few mentions of how they replaced the ‘dinosaurs’ of the 80s (notably Hogan). Having recently witnessed the spectacle of Hogan wrestling Sting in late 2011, with a still-active Ric Flair interfering, it struck me as odd that those guys – the very top guys in Hogan and Flair – of the 80s are still wrestling when several generations of replacements such as Bret and Shawn have been and gone since. Do you think any guys approaching the level of Hogan/Flair from the New Generation, Attitude, PG eras etc will still be wrestling at that age? Bret, Shawn, Austin, Rock are all done at reasonable ages – though I suppose with the exception of Bret they could come back. Seems unlikely though – and somehow I don’t see Cena or Orton or whoever lasting that long either. I can imagine HHH maybe, as he’ll be around anyway in some capacity, and Nash at 52 is having a good stab at it – but Hogan and Flair seem exceptional cases compared to the top names that have followed them. Is it because they were such major names that they can get away with it (to the extent that they do), or is it just their individual personalities and situations? Or am I just extrapolating too much from a very small and incomplete sample size? Will you be watching/ranting about the Greatest Rivalries dvd, by the way?

MONTREAL WAS NOT A WORK!  Sorry, reflex macro there. Last thing that Entertainment One sent me to review was TLC 2010, so a full review doesn’t seem likely given how pressed for time I generally am these days and how little I want to put more money in WWE’s pocket in the first place.   Unless I just download the documentary portion, which is possible. Anyway, guys from the last decade or so have tended to work a much harder style than a Hogan or Flair did.  Not saying it was a cakewalk to do their schedule in the 80s, but Flair’s broomstick formula was much easier to do night after night than someone like Edge having to one-up himself with ladder matches and cage matches and endless chairshots.  Also, guys like Rock and Austin were much smarter about their giant paydays than the “blow it all on coke and hookers” 80s stars were, and thus can afford to leave the business on their own terms.  Although according to that Scott Hall piece everyone today is a saint who plays videogames and is as straight edge as CM Punk, so clearly we no longer have anything to worry about.  Whew.

Lobdell Clarifies About Superboy and Other Stuff

http://www.comicvine.com/news/scott-lobdell-answers-your-questions-even-ones-about-starfire-october-edition/143746/ Interesting Q&A with Titans/Red Hood/Superboy writer Scott Lobdell, and he actually clarifies a point about Superboy that I had heard differently before the reboot started:

Superboy started all over again? I mean this is more than just a retelling of his origins like "Year One" stories right, it’s a proper reboot? Or will it jump some years ahead and preserve some of his old comics and his role during Doomsday? It was going to be a relaunch, but it became clear after the Superman and Supergirl retooling that Superboy’s origin has to begin in the here and now.

So there you go, they changed their damn mind again.  Although a lot of Lobdell’s answers fall under the “Previous continuity wasn’t under my control so you can consider whatever you want as being in-continuity” variety.  As someone else said here, Titans is a continuity nightmare thanks to some people rebooting and some people relaunching, and I guess Lobdell isn’t much on paying attention to that sort of thing anyway. 

Lobdell Clarifies About Superboy and Other Stuff

http://www.comicvine.com/news/scott-lobdell-answers-your-questions-even-ones-about-starfire-october-edition/143746/ Interesting Q&A with Titans/Red Hood/Superboy writer Scott Lobdell, and he actually clarifies a point about Superboy that I had heard differently before the reboot started:

Superboy started all over again? I mean this is more than just a retelling of his origins like "Year One" stories right, it’s a proper reboot? Or will it jump some years ahead and preserve some of his old comics and his role during Doomsday? It was going to be a relaunch, but it became clear after the Superman and Supergirl retooling that Superboy’s origin has to begin in the here and now.

So there you go, they changed their damn mind again.  Although a lot of Lobdell’s answers fall under the “Previous continuity wasn’t under my control so you can consider whatever you want as being in-continuity” variety.  As someone else said here, Titans is a continuity nightmare thanks to some people rebooting and some people relaunching, and I guess Lobdell isn’t much on paying attention to that sort of thing anyway.