Will There Ever Be Another Boom Period?

Hey Scott–

So Vince- with Hogan, the territorial stars, and tapping into the pop culture of the 80s- cultivated a huge collection of casual wrestling fans that stayed with the product until the scandals of the early 90s hit the WWF.

Then in '96, because of competition, use of mainstream sports icons like Dennis Rodman and Mike Tyson, and the rise of Steve Austin and The Rock, we had another mainstream period that lasted until about 2001.

Do you think we're ever seeing another one?

Use of mainstream celebrities doesn't work any more (for either WWE or AEW), and ever since John Cena, Vince McMahon has shown absolutely no interest in creating a star that can become bigger than his company and then leave.

AEW meanwhile, while a great success so far, is a success with baked-in wrestling fans. They haven't presented anything that has run the fanbase off to this point, but they haven't really grown it either. We're in this period that Dave Meltzer has often described as “the fewest amount of wrestling fans ever, who are willing to spend the most money on the product ever.”

So with WWE uninterested in creating the next megastar, and the very legitimate question of whether AEW can create one (I like watching Omega and Moxley work, but they 'ain't Austin or Rocky) do you think we ever see an explosion of casual fandom again? Or is the wrestling audience the size it will always be in perpetuity? 

Wrestling is, as always, the snake that consumes its own tail to survive.  Every time we say “Man there’s no more Hogan and Savage to save the business” then suddenly some crazy new guy comes from the indies or football or a jobber tag team and gets over.  I think the boom will come again. It might not look the same and might not be what we want as fans but it’ll come.  

Ways to improve Raw

With how badly Raw's ratings have declined over the last several years, what do you think of my ideas to improve their ratings

1. Create a legends division where all the legends compete in a Brawl for All tournament with the winner getting health insurance. 

2. Have Goldberg develop schizophrenia where he keeps thinking the nWo is interfering in his matches but we the audience and everyone else can't see anything. 

3. Replace Raw with an NFL game of the week but have Kevin Dunn still in charge of production. Could you imagine all the camera cuts during a pass play? 

4. Have Teddy Long return as the GM of Raw where at the end of the show he is hit in the groin with a football as the show ends no matter what is going on during the show. . 

5.  Replace the outside mats at ringside with moats filled with alligators. Man eating alligators. They are indifferent towards women. 

6.  Have Vince McMahon finally admit on air over the course of 2 years how Lex Luger slamming Yokozuna on the U.S.S. Intrepid led to 9/11. 

7.   Live Horse Fucking. 

8. Fire all the Hollywood writers and replace Vince with someone more in tune with what fans want. 

Your thoughts? 

You had me at #1.  

AWA All Star Wrestling – Jan. 25, 1987

Continuing on with the Network’s limited AWA run, the only listed TV episode from 1987, featuring an introduction from Rodger Kent against what sounds like the disco version of Star Wars. I have to imagine they’d had this for about ten years or so by this point. Introduced by Larry Nelson and Gary Ron… I’ve never heard of him, either.

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Sunday Night Reset: January 17, 2021

The Doomies have been tabulated!  Please stop stuffing the ballot.  And while I could (with my powers of posting) get a sneak peek myself, I choose to avoid spoilers much like you have to.

It will be Buffalo at Kansas City in the AFC Title Game.  Green Bay still awaits their opponent.

BOTCHAMANIA is in play!

And now, here it is, your Moment of Zen.

Enjoy the night.

Iron Sheik

It's been talked about for twenty years since Bobby Henning's comment during the Gimmick Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 17.  Doesn't an Iron Sheik appearance at Wrestlemania 37 need to be a highlight this year?
I'm gonna say…no?

Question on All-Time Great Wrestling Promos

Greetings, El Jefe, Oh Wise and Majestic One. Detective Munch from the Blog.

Had a question on all-time great promos from different promotions/territories/eras. Obviously there are certain examples that most fans agree are all-time great promos – Dusty Rhodes and his “Hard Times” interview, Jake Roberts at WrestleMania VI, etc. My question for you is, how long does it take for a promo to go from “that was really good” to “that was an all-time great”?

Would people watching WrestleMania III know that Randy Savage's promo was an all-timer when they were watching, or did it only become apparent months/years after the fact? I'm curious if there's a time window on when fans recognize that what they've seen is truly epic, or if there's just that “It” factor that resonates with fans immediately when a classic promo is delivered?

I don't think there's any set amount of time.  Hell, I didn't even know about Randy Savage's “cream of the crop” promo until many years afterwards, long after it had become a meme.  

The SmarK Rant for the Crockett Cup 86 – 04.19.86 (Part One)

The SmarK Rant for the Crockett Cup 86 – 04.19.86 (Part One)

This show has been sitting there in Hidden Gems on the Network, taunting me forever.  4 hours and a bit is a lot to take on, but hey, I’ve got the weekend off.  To keep myself sane I’ll do the first two rounds tonight and then the second part with the quarter-finals through finals tomorrow.

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Summerslam 2006

Summerslam 2006
Date: August 20, 2006
Location: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 16,168
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz, Joey Styles, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re finally here and just like all the other times I’ve seen this show, it still doesn’t feel all that big. Nothing on the card really stands out above the rest as some major match, but instead we are getting a bunch of important matches at once. That isn’t a bad thing, but it did make for kind of an odd setup. Let’s get to it.

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Smackdown – August 18, 2006

Date: August 18, 2006
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for Summerslam and that means it’s time to take one of the biggest matches from that show and move it here. This time around it’s Great Khali vs. Undertaker in a Last Man Standing match, as Khali might not be trustworthy to put in the ring on live television for more than about two minutes flat. Let’s get to it.

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Two night WrestleMania is apparently back


2022 & 2023 (for now) appear to be one night shows. Guessing they are spliting it into 2 nights for the gate, as they can safely get about 15-20k into Tampa's football stadium with social distancing. 

I gotta say, from the perspective of a viewer, YAWN to the same boring locations year after year.  California, Texas, Florida, maybe throw in something in the New York area every few years, rinse and repeat.  Whatever happened to the rumored Minny show, I wonder?  Or why not do an international show like from Wembley Stadium?  

Anyway, I'm glad to see 2 night WM return this year.  It's a much better viewing experience that way.  

Saturday Night Fight Thread

TONIGHT!  It’s Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill PPV, featuring Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers teaming up against Rich Swann, Moose and Chris Sabin.  Alex Shelley has to miss the show for mysterious reasons that he assures us is not because of Covid.  Should you wish to order the show on Fite.TV, I always appreciate it if you do it through my affiliate link so I get a piece of the action:


UFC had a show on ABC earlier today, although I didn’t watch it.

Tomorrow and the next day, it’s time to finally do THE CROCKETT CUP 86 after putting it off for a year and a half now.  Tomorrow morning is the first two rounds, totaling half of the runtime on the Network version, and then Monday morning will be the remaining two hours with the quarterfinals through finals.

WandaVision was…interesting.  I’m really intrigued to find out what the hell’s going on and I’ll continue watching.

Have a great night!

ECW on Sci Fi – August 15, 2006

ECW on Sci Fi
Date: August 15, 2006
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Joey Styles, Tazz

It’s the go home show for Summerslam and that means we need a title match set. In this case that is likely to mean something involving Sabu, Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam, the latter of whom returned last week to interfere and break up a #1 contenders match between the others. Other than that, expect the ECW Originals to look really pathetic. Let’s get to it.

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Obscure Jewels!

A match popped up on my YouTube feed that looked far too good to let pass without talking about, so taking a break from the normal shows I’ve been looking at for a mix of different stuff that deserves having some light shed on it, featuring the Sarge, Mr. Wonderful, Sid and Jake and the Undertaker, Bobby Heenan as a “manager” after his retirement, plus more!

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How would you, SCOTT KEITH, have ended the nWo?

Preferably a non comedy answer. If you had control of the WCW universe, when/where/how would you have ended the nWo angle?

Bonus question: what's the big angle and/or feud that proceeds it?

I think it's pretty rich that YOU are demanding a non-comedy answer given some of the emails I've published on your behalf, but the real answer is of course Sting beating Hogan at Starrcade 97, cleanly, and then the nWo turning on Hogan the next night on Nitro because he dropped the ball.  Then the Outsiders can go off and do their own thing, and Hogan can go off and do his own thing, and if the remaining losers want to continue on and call themselves something else then so be it, but that was the logical end of the nWo storyline and that's where it should have stopped one way or another.  

Not a fair fight

I know alot of fans want to make AEW vs WWE into this big war like the Monday night battles but really it's not even close. It's more like arguing a college team like Alabama could beat the worst NFL team, which they couldn't but it's fun to discuss. Yes AEW may come close in demos of Raw and beat NXT on a regular basis. But how can you compare one league that only has to fill two hours of programming a week vs another league that fills 7 hrs a week? Obviously AEW is going to be must see just because it's only on one day. WWE has 3 shows plus content for the network to pump out. And if you really want to compare numbers weekly shouldn't you add up all of WWE numbers vs all of AEW numbers? WWE has about 6-7 million eyes on its products a week vs about million a week for AEW if you add in Dark. That seems pretty one sided to me. 

And also how long will AEW keep getting to use the built in excuse “We've only been around for a year” when they fail or succeed. You have said it yourself a few times even. Its not like they are some grassroots league that built themselves up from nothing. The owner has access to billions of his dad's dollars, they have multiple household names like Jericho, Cody, and Mox to attract viewers, they own a nice looking venue to broadcast from, and are on one of the biggest cable networks who has a history showing wrestling. Which is why it debuted to 1.4 million people, but they couldn't keep it going. I think what MLW or ECW in the 90s did is way more impressive, especially how they have to keep rebuilding stars. Even TNA/Impact back in the day was impressive with the numbers they put up, and for a time they went against Raw on Mondays.

AEW has a niche audience that loves them and there is nothing wrong with that. They are just not on WWE's level and that isn't an insult but most of their fans will take it that way. Do some WWE wrestlers want to go there, for sure, cause they have more creative freedom and think the grass may be greener. I have yet to see that work out, looking at you Miro! But for the most part WWE fears them cause it gives wrestlers leverage. 

See, when people talk about “moving the goalposts”, this is what they're referring to.