Impact Wrestling – July 28, 2020

Impact Wrestling
Date: July 28, 2020
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Madison Rayne

We’re into the new norm around here and I’m not sure what that is going to mean. Things were on a great upswing until Slammiversary but last week’s show wasn’t quite as strong. I’m curious to see if that is going to continue, as they still have the right pieces in place to do some good things. Let’s get to it.

Read moreImpact Wrestling – July 28, 2020

Rock vs. Goldberg

This should be a good topic of discussion for the blog.
Hey there Scott, long time fan of your work. I was recently revisiting your “Wrestling's Made Men” book (I own all of the original pressings of your books except one, still read them) and after reading the section covering Goldberg's WWE debut leading into Backlash 2003, I wanted to get your thoughts. Now, I understand “striking while the iron is hot,” and you have made this point several times over the years, however, I still feel that the first ever Rock vs. Goldberg match was way too big for Backlash or any other PPV not named Wrestlemania or even Summerslam. So, with hindsight being 20/20, do you think they were justified in running the match at Backlash or should they have waited till Summerslam that year or possibly Wrestlemania XX at MSG? I also understand the constraints of both men's schedule at the time, but I still think it's worthy of a discussion 17 years after the fact.

The entire problem with the Invasion (among many) was that they waited too long to bring in all of those guys.  Why would you make people wait even longer? 

Grumpy JR

Hi Scott,

I have been described on the blog as an “AEW Mutant”, because I love AEW and cut them a lot of slack. Mainly because AEW has rekindled my love of wrestling after many years away.   However, even as an AEW mutant I’m starting to get a little bit tired of JR on commentary and wanted to get your opinion.

JR is often slightly off the pace and makes mistakes regarding stipulations, names etc., which is fine.  He’s getting a bit older and the product is still relatively new.  I can get past that.  But what I’m struggling to get past is that he appears to actively crap on the product at times. He’ll openly mock wrestlers or angles, or will interrupt the other commentators being serious with a semi-shoot joke or line of sarcasm to put the product down.   

I’ve heard people say that he’s doing it deliberately and this is his new ‘gimmick’, but he’s not a patch on peak JR.   

What are your thoughts on JR’s performances in AEW?

I think it's good to have him around for credibility, but having Tony and Excalbur as a two-man team would be far more effective.  As noted, Ross doesn't really add much to the commentary side of things, as he's kind of turning into Gordon Solie at the end of HIS career. 

Was moving NXT to USA a mistake?

This week, more people watched wrestling on Wednesday night than the 3rd hour of Raw. And the combined demo beat Raw head to head.

Do you think Vince regrets moving NXT to cable? The goal was to prevent AEW from succeeding, yet theyre not only still around but TNT signed them for 3 more years for way more money. And NXT was for many people the reason to keep the Network, and those numbers keep going down.

And on top of that, theyve given AEW way too much free good publicity because every Thursday is a story about AEW beating NXT. Where it would have been about AEW's ratings looking minor league vs Raw or SD instead.
The Network numbers actually haven't gone down at all recently.  NXT was a very small part of that, as the Network's subs depend almost entirely on the PPVs and live and die by those numbers.  
And USA is paying them a ton of money for NXT in exchange for very low production costs, which trumps any other negative you can throw at it.  So no, not a mistake at all.  Could they be doing better?  Yes.  Was the show way better at one hour?  Absolutely.  But money is money.

JLU and the Legion of DOOM!

I was asked yesterday about whether I’d thought about reviewing any Justice League Unlimited and coincidentally I had just that day. Justice League Unlimited, which ran for 39 episodes, followed Justice League, which ran for 52 episodes, of which the majority of stories were either two or three-parters. JLU had more “one-off” episodes, but there was a bit of a serial aspect, especially up to the end of season two. The DVD boxsets collect season one and season two as Season One, with season three collected as Season Two. I’m going to look at three random episodes from that final season, which saw the introduction of a certain band of villains.

Read moreJLU and the Legion of DOOM!

Best of British – R.I.P. Rollerball Rocco

I was sorry to hear that Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco has died. Pretty much a legend in British wrestling, he fought all over the world, including in Japan (and MSG) as Black Tiger. His dad, grandad AND great-grandad were wrestlers. By the time I got into wrestling he had just packed it in as his heart was failing him. In fact, one of the first wrestling shows I ever went to, in August of 1991 at a seaside theatre in Rhyl, had a programme that detailed his heart surgery. Sorry to see him go, but nobody lasts forever as we’re getting to realise more and more. I thought I’d have a look at a selection of his matches with some stars we all know of.

Read moreBest of British – R.I.P. Rollerball Rocco

Daily News Update – July 31, 2020

And so we’ve come to the end of another month as this year drags on.

DATELINE:  WWE makes all the money in Q2; Still can’t afford to keep Good Brothers

DATELINE:  Both Wednesday shows combine to beat RAW’s third hour


NXT UK – July 30, 2020

Date: July 30, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard

The barrel scraping continues as we look for some more content to fill in time until they can do some fresh tapings. I’m not sure more they can do in this situation but it might be time to look at some other NXT content, or even content from somewhere else. Hopefully we get something good here so let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT UK – July 30, 2020

The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: July 30, 2020

TONIGHT!  THE NBA IS BACK!  Of course it is: would it be a Thursday night without the NBA?  (Probably, considering we just had like 15 of them.)

Saturday night in Indianapolis, it’s GCW presenting Keep in Touch, to be streamed on FITE.  AJ Gray battles Chris Dickinson!  Nate Webb goes against Mance Warner!  Nick Gage fights Cole Radrick!  And a first-time-ever main event as ACH comes back from his hiatus to take on Joey Janela!

Speaking of Janela, he faced Lio Rush last week in Atlantic City.  All indications are this was Rush’s farewell to wrestling.  I know, I know — it’s wrestling.

After the jump, some free action!

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: July 30, 2020

WCW July-August ’99

With WWE's lackluster-to-brutal creative right now, I decided to dip back to watch WCW leading into Road Wild '99. To give context, this period is “notable” to most for Hogan transitioning back to the Red & Yellow the week before the PPV to hype it. There's a lot of nonsense (Macho hates Molly Holly for being the best female wrestler on TV, Sting is president–then he's not because there's an executive committee AND a championship committee formed off-screen, etc.) to roll your eyes at. WCW after all.  Nonetheless, there is a lot of really fun/distinct characters and unique matches. I'd much prefer an eclectic mid-card of The Revolution, Jersey Triad and West Texas Rednecks to what has sent me back to “read only” mode for current Raw/Smackdown.

I also briefly watched some WW(F) in the same time period to jog my memory, and it's not too fantastic. Still, they are absolutely MAULING WCW in the ratings.  Two questions:

1.) Does WCW still have a shot to rebound at this time or are they already done due to the corporate bullshit?
2.) How excited is WWE in 2020 to have the WWE network for folks like me to go back and think '99 WCW looks….dramatically superior…. to most of what's on their shows today? After all, they are getting my money for the network and nothing related to the current product. Win where you can.

There was some good stuff from WCW at that point!  The new Horsemen and Triad stuff and good cruiserweights were all fun.  I don’t know that they could come back because the end of the company was inevitable.  And yeah, the WCW shows were always produced in a superior manner.  If they had made it to 2005 they probably would have went HD well before WWE.   

Worst Gimmick For Established Wrestler?

I was just going back on some old WWE stuff from 2002 with Tommy Dreamer when they gave him the MTV's “Jackass” show gimmick of being a guy who did disgusting things;  I.E.-Ate food off a dirty floor, drank water out of restroom urinals, etc.  That got me to thinking;  What was the worst gimmick given to an already established wrestler?  Certainly this nonsense with Dreamer back then had to be up there.  
I don’t know if Chris Jericho ever recovered from being Doink, according to Shawn Michaels.  

First time wrestling blog

Hello Scott,
After following you on and off for decades, I’ve decided to try my hand starting a wrestling blog. Instead of being a recap-oriented blog, it will be more about the philosophy and psychology behind it. Can you please post the following link to the blog? Thanks!

There you go, best of luck!

Thursday Morning Discussion Thread

Here you go, to prevent the natives from being restless.




Zack Ryder And Cameron Make AEW Debuts
Rusev Says He Is Done With Wrestling
AEW Running Special Event On August 12

The Batman

The first Batman show to follow Batman: The Animated Series was The Batman, and it was not met with a warm reception. Between the character designs (Jeff Matsuda from The Jackie Chan Adventures brought a big influence to the show) and the effects of the Bat-Embargo (this show got to use all the Batman villains except for any to be used in the Christopher Nolan movies for a while, meaning Justice League Unlimited went very much without) and then just being something different and new to something that was so beloved it met some harsh criticism and really had to earn praise, which started to come a little by the end of season one but wasn’t fully achieved until the end of the series.

I’m going to look at one episode from each season today.

Read moreThe Batman

Monday Night Raw – February 27, 2006

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 27, 2006
Location: Verizon Center, Washington DC
Attendance: 11,000
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles

We’re just over a month away from Wrestlemania and the show is starting to take some shape. The big story coming out of last week is HHH becoming the new #1 contender to John Cena’s Raw World Title, which could mean some extra long promos without much being said. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Night Raw – February 27, 2006

NXT – July 29, 2020

Date: July 29, 2020
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Beth Phoenix, Mauro Ranallo

We have another Takeover coming up and that means we need to find out who is going to be involved in some of the big matches. You can see a lot of the card from here and when you add in series of triple threat matches to set up the ladder match, we should be in for some good stuff on the way there. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – July 29, 2020