WM 35

Jesus balls.  I've been watching WM35 off and on for the past week and I just passed the Kofi title win.  Not only was Joan Jett still in The Runaways when this PPV started but I think Jesus was planning the menu for the Last Supper during the pre-show.  This show makes WM4 look like In Your House: Beware of Dog Part 1.

Starting next week, it’s the WM 36 pregame show!  

The Good Friday Night Thread: April 19, 2019

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness covered the land until the ninth hour.

Your NBA games tonight are Portland (2) at Oklahoma (0), Toronto (1) at Orlando (1), and Boston (2) at Indiana (o).

“Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani?”

Your NHL games tonight are Toronto (2) at Boston (2) and Colorado (3) at Calgary (1).

“It is finished.”  And bowing His head, He handed over His Spirit.

May God keep you safe on this most holy weekend.  Now talk, my brothers. I’ll see you after Good Friday services.

What the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – May 27, 1995

Gordon Solie, Larry Zbyszko, and Dusty Rhodes are doing commentary and they are taped from an undisclosed location.  Zybszko congratulates Solie and Rhodes for getting into the WCW Hall of Fame before comparing today’s Brad Armstrong-Sergeant Craig Pittman main event to an electromagnetic field.

Gene Okerlund narrates pictures that recap the events that transpired on Slamboree and the pre-show that aired on Main Event.  Attention is brought to the big man who was interested in the main event but was not identified during the broadcast.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: WCW Pro – May 27, 1995

TJR Retro: WWF Raw Deal 05/15/00 Review (Shawn Michaels Returns)

This was the go-home episode of Raw heading into Judgment Day 2000.  The main event of Judgment Day 2000 was The Rock defending the WWF Title against Triple H in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match.

The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “Commissioner Shawn Michaels drops a bombshell about his career and the upcoming Iron Man match between The Rock and Triple H.”

Read moreTJR Retro: WWF Raw Deal 05/15/00 Review (Shawn Michaels Returns)

Bye Bye Brock?

I was as big of a Brock Lesnar fan as anybody and even traveled to Chicago to see his return match against John Cena.  I even was a fan of the decision to have him break the Undertaker’s streak as it solidified him as an unstoppable monster on a different plane than the rest of the roster.  But even I stopped giving a shit by the time he got the big red belt and obviously I wasn’t alone.

With Brock Lesnar jerking the curtain at Mania and basically being squashed by Seth Rollins, do you think we’ll ever see him again in a meaningful capacity?  I could see him still doing the $audi shows, but even Vince by now has to realize that nobody else wants to see Brock get millions to have the same five-minute match anymore, right?

He’ll be back by Summerslam to con Vince out of another million with vague rumours of a fight with Daniel Cormier that will never happen.  Maybe another couple of million to work the Fox debut. 

Comics for beginners?

Hey Scott,

I’m a huge fan of the comics genre – love all  the Marvel movies and Netflix shows, some of the TV shows, all of the old cartoons, even most of the DC movies. I read a lot of trivia/history of Marvel/DC stuff so feel like I have a solid base of knowledge. That said, I’ve never really gotten into reading actual comic books.

Do you have an opinion on the Marvel Unlimited online subscription library? Is it a good place to go for someone in my position?


I've always found it way overwhelming the times that I've subscribed to it.  There's a lot of stuff there and it's not very well organized as far as directing the reader to stuff if they don't know EXACTLY what they're looking for.  Plus chunks are randomly missing, like for example I wanted to read the X-Force and X-Statix runs and it ended up that the first few issues of the X-Statix weren't added.  I'd really be interested in seeing what DC Universe has to offer in comparison, but it's not yet available here in Canada.  

Usually my recommendation would be to check bookstores, because everyone has a section for graphic novels now, and pick up a collection from a character you like and give it a try.  Stuff these days is very geared towards 4 or 5 issue story arcs that can be put into trade paperback form a month later so it shouldn't be hard to pick up.  Hey, even my local library has up to date stuff, so it won't even cost anything if you don't want to pay! 

Viking Experience as Vince’s parting shot at Verne Gagne

What if this seemingly stupid name, the Viking Experience, is an elaborate troll job on Minnesota sports fans? It would make sense, given Vince's penchant for ruining Verne Gagne's life. They could do just like the NFL Vikings and always choke in big matches, miss easy moves that would have won them championships, pin their own teammate in a throwback to Jim Marshall's infamous wrong-way touchdown… There's tons of material there.

Cultaholic sez that the team was going to be called the Berzerkers until the literal last minute, when Vince changed his mind.  So I doubt he'd have time to craft that kind of elaborate trolling backstory for them.  

Six of the Best – WWF/E Backlash

Continuing with the April Pay Per View theme, today we look at an event that ran every year from 1999 to 2009, with a lot of the events taking place in the month of April (There were some that didn’t). WWE revived the name in 2016, but as it currently stands it doesn’t look like a Backlash event is scheduled for 2019. I’m not really sure why they decided to shelve the name as it’s a good one, but WWE is going to WWE so I usually find its best just not to think about these sorts of things.

This was actually a difficult list to put together, as there were generally some really great matches on these events historically. The huge list of honourable mentions at the bottom will no doubt highlight how stacked a shortlist this was, especially for a B Show. I’m almost certain that I will have missed off at least one match that you will think should have been included, and that’s ultimately because there were so many great matches to choose from. It sometimes felt like WWE would load Backlash up to try and retain any new fans acquired over Mania Season, which isn’t a bad idea if you think about it.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a match that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below. As with previous lists, I’ll be listing the matches in chronological order.

So without further to do, let’s take a look at Six of the Best for Backlash!

Read moreSix of the Best – WWF/E Backlash

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems–NWA Championship Wrestling 08.12.78

The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems – Leroy’s Lasting Legacy

OK, so here’s your crazy content drop of the day: A lost episode of Leroy McGuirk’s NWA Championship Wrestling show from 08.12.78, which was the precursor to Mid-South Wrestling before the relationship between Bill Watts and Leroy went horribly, horribly bad for Leroy.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems–NWA Championship Wrestling 08.12.78

WWE Fan Council surveying for XFL?


Check out a screenshot from today's WWE Fan Council survey. I haven't even finished watching Wrestlemania yet due to it's length, but WWE wants to know if football is too long because of commercial breaks. And asking if NFL is too politicized when the former CEO and current wife of the WWE owner is in the President's cabinet is rich…

They’re apparently going hardcore on the surveys at the moment and hopefully they actually listen to them.  Although they had focus groups last year that said WM was too long and this year’s was longer.  

Indies and Insanity: April 18, 2019

Fun fact: I was considering renaming this the Independent Insanity Experience, but Scott talked me out of it.

(There you go, Scott; the joke has jumped the shark because I used it.  You’re welcome.)

Today’s Playoff Games: in the NBA, we have Warriors(1)/Clippers(1), Nuggets(1)/Spurs(1), and Sixers(1)/Nets(1).  In the NHL, we have Capitals(2)/Hurricanes(1), Blues(2)/Jets(2), and Knights(3)/Sharks(1).  Also, I hear Steven Stamkos finally scored 1 during the NHL offseason, but it was on the 8th hole.  HEYO!

Okay, let’s do the indie report before everyone demands I lose posting privileges.  Again.

Read moreIndies and Insanity: April 18, 2019

One Night Only – Clash in the Bluegrass

One Night Only: Clash In The Bluegrass
Date: March 2, 2019
Location: Davis Arena, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Gilbert Corsey, Don Callis, Josh Matthews

I don’t usually do these shows but since I was in the audience, it might be appropriate this time around. The Davis Arena is the longtime home of Ohio Valley Wrestling and I’ve always wanted to go there for a show so it was a great surprise when it was announced that Impact was coming around for a One Night Only. Sami Callihan and OVE had been around for the last few weeks and even stole the OVW Title. This is a bunch of promotion vs. promotion matches so let’s get to it.

Read moreOne Night Only – Clash in the Bluegrass

WWF SummerSlam Spectacular 1993

August 22, 1993

From the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. This show was actually filmed at the 8/16 RAW taping and the RAW banner is in clear view of the hard cam.

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon.

Tonight, we have Yokozuna vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Money Inc. vs. Steiner Brothers in a Steel Cage Match for the Tag Team Titles, and an interview with Lex Luger.

Read moreWWF SummerSlam Spectacular 1993

Which is worse?

The Colons, sons of Puerto Rico become Fernando and Diego, Mexican Bullfighters

Tito Santana, former tag/IC champ is rechristened El Matador

Ricky Steamboat, former IC and NWA Champ is dressed as a lizard and christened The Dragon

War Raiders (Hanson & Rowe), the defending NXT Tag Champs who defended 10-days ago over Mania weekend are now literal Vikings in a team named for an Epcot excursion.

Better yet, explain why their NXT opponents are still Ricochet and Aleister Black instead of Colonel McFlip, and Crimson Moody?

People are really triggered by this one for some reason.  

Lamer Name Change?

Okay, wracking my brain, but can’t think of a lamer name change than The Viking Experience?  Literally the same guys, same characters, same look.

Anything else historically where the only thing they changed was the name that was this unnecessary?  Aside from the recent “one name only trend”?  Has to be something from the 2000s I’m forgetting about.

There was a point late in the run of the Val Venis character, and I can't remember if it was before or after the RTC change, where he was officially referred to as "The Big Valbowski" exclusively.  That was pretty stupid considering that nickname was supposed to be his penis.  

No ideas for WWE/Universal Titles?

Do they have any idea what they are doing with the WWE Championship and Universal Title moving forward?  This is the 2nd week in a row on both Raw and Smackdown that Seth and Kofi were in meaningless, time killing tag team matches.  I don't think I've ever seen the 2 weeks after WrestleMania where they didn't at least already name a No.1 Contender to 1 of their main Championships.  

Everything just feels like it's killing time right now.  Wrestlemania itself felt like 90% of the matches were just there to fill 7 hours.  Especially with Seth, where the last champion is now gone for the foreseeable future and they didn't bring anyone over from Smackdown who could even be a contender.  Unless they're turning AJ, which is possible I suppose.  I guess there's always Baron Corbin.

Favorite Women’s Wrestler?

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard you proclaim this, so I’ll ask. Who’s your favorite women’s wrestler of all time? 

I’m pretty sure mine is Kairi Sane. Her selling, her pure babyface mannerisms, that Insane Elbow… a buddy of mine called her Ricky Steamboat. That’s an apt comparison.

Also up there for me are Molly Holly, heel NXT Sasha Banks and, of course, Trish Stratus.

Trish Stratus #1, Lita #2, and then everyone else is a distant third for me as far as favorites go. 

AEW as a business

There’s obviously been discussion ad nauseam about AEW and whether they need a TV deal, whether they are or should be viewed competition for WWE etc. 

But my question is more about how exactly they function as a business. I read somewhere that they have 40 some wrestlers signed, plus I would assume they’ve got to have some sort of office staff in place. How are these people getting paid?  Even if their next show is a huge success, is that really enough for guys like Jericho and Jim Ross to get paid, plus enough left over for the 36 executive producers to make something as well?

Tony Khan has a lot of money.  Plus you don't start a business and instantly turn a profit, that's just not how it works.  I'm pretty sure ownership is well aware that things are gonna be deeply into the red for the first while.  

The SmarK Rant for Worlds Collide–When Cruiserweights Collide (04.17.19)

The SmarK Rant for Worlds Collide – When Cruiserweights Collide! (04.17.19)

Anyone else have a Simpsons flashback when reading that title?


So this is part two of the series of shows taped in Brooklyn for Fan Axxess. This show’s theme is pretty easy to figure out, I’m pretty sure!

Brought to you by…

30% Off Orders of $30+ at shop.wwe.com. Valid 4.18.19 through 11:59 PM PST.

Read moreThe SmarK Rant for Worlds Collide–When Cruiserweights Collide (04.17.19)

Rock Star Gary reflects on WCCW 04-02-1983

Taped from Dallas, TX

Airdate: April 2, 1983 (taped 03/18)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Bill Mercer

Will Kabuki be victorious in his comeback match against Parsons? Can David defeat Roberts and continue the heated struggle between the Freebirds and Von Erichs? Also, who will shine some light with me today?

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on WCCW 04-02-1983

BoD Daily Update: April 18, 2019

Shakeup Happening in RoH Offices?



Shane Strickland & Garza Jr. Join the Performance Center



Highspots Free Match

You can watch Dragon Lee vs. Cavernario from the 2019 WrestleCon Supershow



NXT UK – April 17, 2019

Date: April 17, 2019
Location: Brooklyn Pier 12, New York City, New York
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

We’re back stateside again with a batch of shows taped from Axxess. That means things could be all over the place as there is usually something big on the episodes for the sake of making it feel special. I’m not sure what to expect from things here though and that can make things a little more interesting. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT UK – April 17, 2019