Question/Discussion for the Blog

Hey Scott,

Fan of the reviews and love the BoD, I was mulling over the issues of the current product in WWE and although the innovation of NXT and some recent A+ booking decisions, the product overall is largely stale. Even the most recent network specials of Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank were a bit underwhelming in their marquee matches, in which the gimmick matches paled in comparison to other matches on the card (Cena/Owens at EC) (Rollins/Ambrose at MitB). This got me thinking, how long has it been since theyve hyped a new gimmick match? They seem to be in a bit of a creative drought in this regard seeing as how many of the matches that exist as ppv namesakes were all introduced within a span of several years. Other than gimmicks intended as once offs like the punjabi prison nightmare or bringing back things like strap matches, i think they could benefit from a introducing a new  format a la( survivor series of king of the ring) or match type through a network special. Thoughts?

​Yeah, "creative drought" is definitely one phrase that's apropos.  
And we have a wide variety of match types to choose from!  There's No Holds Barred, Street Fight OR Hardcore!  ​

​What they need is a true innovator like Dario Cueto, the man who invented ​BOTH the "All Night Long" and "Aztec Warfare" matches.  
Seriously though, yeah, it's time someone came up with something new and simple as a gimmick match and got it over, because I'm really tired of Last Man Standing or four corners strap matches as things I'm supposed to be excited to see.  

Blog question

Scott,

Although I've drifted away from the product in the last few years, I
do follow through through your blog mostly (over 15 years of
continuous reading), which brings me to a question. I've noticed most
"talents" are going through the FCW and NXT to make it to the main
roster. And I realize the old days or jumping ship and showing up in
prime time (Lex Luger, Rick Rude, X-Pac) are mostly over. My question
is, is there a star, or stars, that could/would debut on the WWE main
roster and skip the gimmick makeover? Have we reached the point where
there is no excitement of ever watching someone like Scott Hall, Chris
Jericho, Randy Savage, or Bill Goldberg show up and shock us all?

Thanks!

​Well, Samoa Joe came closest, but even though they neutered him somewhat by having him appear on developmental instead of the main roster.  The main problem is that pretty much everyone with star power has already been absorbed by the WWE system, or else had that star power killed off by TNA.  There was a point where, say, America's Most Wanted or AJ Styles could have jumped in the TNA glory days of 05-06, but that time has long passed.  ​

Simple Question. I think. Plus a blog topic.

It seems like there's a lot of guys coming through NXT these days. But there's not a lot of room on the main roster for them to come up and take.

Which five guys would you take off the roster and why? (By either firing them or what have you. Letting Miz work for Stephanie in the charity division or whatever she does, for example.) and who would you replace them with from NXT? (They don't need to have the same type of role.)

​There's TONS of room on the main roster!  They have 5 hours of first run TV to fill every week, plus another 2 hours of C-shows.  It's just that they have expenses cut so far back that they can't splurge for enough guys to actually fill all the TV time without using Kane and Big Show 17 times per episode.  Just look at the Royal Rumble this year and how thin that was.  
That being said, I'd fire Dolph Ziggler because he's pretty much hit his ceiling and could use a tour of the indies to learn that WWE isn't the only option.  Get rid of Zack Ryder because they never use him anyway and he could make a better living on his own.  Get rid of the Ascension because DUH.  And I'd fire a Diva, say, Alicia Fox just because.  Replace them with Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Enzo/Cass (only as a unit, however) and Sasha Banks, all of whom are beyond ready for the main roster.  ​

Quick and Easy Blog Question

Hi Scott,
  On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely do you think it is that the following will turn up in NXT at some point, either as quick one-off appearances, or in a more involved role?   And (on the same scale) how much would you want them to be involved there?

Daniels Kazarian Styles Samoa Joe John Morrison Bully/Bubba Ray Shelton Benjamin   And do you think the WWE will try to get any more big Japanese names into NXT – someone like Nakamura, for example?  

​That's neither a quick nor easy question.  That's multiple questions with multiple parts.  Just saying.
​Daniels:  1.  Too old for developmental, makes more money on the indies and has no shot of making the main roster anyway.

Kaz:  1.  Same answer.
Styles:  1.  They already offered him a deal and he turned it down for New Japan.  
Samoa Joe:  10.  Coming in July.
JoMo:  5.  He'll probably end up coming right back to the RAW roster when he returns, but I could see him doing a one-shot at some point.
Bully Ray:  1. Not worth it to him when he could be promoting his own stuff or whatever.  
Shelton:  10.  He's already there as "Angelo Dawkins".  Duh.
Nakamura is too old for them I'm pretty sure, but they've openly made a play for Okada and will probably end up getting him at some point.  

Question for the Blog ‘O’ Doom Universe.

> Every since I installed the 1.42 update for the WWE Network on my PS3 the Network will play for roughly a minute or so.  After that minute the video skips a tad, freezes five seconds later, but the audio continues to play.  After about 10 more seconds or so the audio stops and my PS3 completely freezes and I have to reboot it.
>
> My question for anyone out there is:  IS there ANY way to fix this?  I'm forced to install the update so that's not really an option. I've deleted, and re-installed the WWE Network App 3 times now.  It's very disheartening because I've literally been subscribed since the Day 1 Launch.
>
> I really miss my NXTs, old WCW PPVs, and the occasional new content.  Any help, remedies, or just general empathy would be greatly appreciated.   
>
> Thanks in advance.   
>
> PS.  Roman Reigns isn't THAT bad. Sez you. As I've mentioned recently, the Network has been getting nearly unwatchable on Roku, XBone and PS3 for me too.  It buffers FOREVER especially during archival content.  I don't know what's up with the Network but the problem is on their end. I can't even watch Nitro!

Blog question about Sting in ’96


OK, this might be a weird one, but here goes…when Sting stopped bleaching his hair & letting it grow out in late '95/early '96, was it for any reason? The Crow Sting idea wasn't until well after the nWo was formed in the summer of '96, so did he just want a different 'do, or was there some sort of reinvention planned for him in general around that time?

Yes, I actually sit around wondering about shit like this. 

I think general rumor is that he basically stopped giving a shit due to Hogan related stuff, and a possible drug problem.  I never heard of it being part of a bigger plan or anything.  

Blog of Doom question

Hey Scott,
 

Hope all is well. Got a quick question for the blog for you
 

I’ve been watching a bunch of old Raws (96-97) and reliving my childhood. I totally forgot about how often they would plug the damn hotlines. I never had parents permission so couldn't call in.  

My question’s pretty simple: did enough people ever call these damn things for Vince & Co. to make money off them and what was the content like? I imagine it just being like having someone read you old Ross Reports or Russo's Raw Magazine column. When did these go away – I don't remember some random day where the plugs stopped.
 
 

Oh yeah, they made a buttload of money off those things.  Mean Gene in WCW in particular.  I think their must have been some sort of change in laws that prevented them from carrying out past a certain point because of kids accidentally racking up phone bills, but they did really well while they were around.  As for the content, I never called myself, but typically it was "insider" news bites that anyone with an Observer subscription would already have.  

Blog question…Hogan/Luger in ’93?

> Here's a potential Blog question…when Hogan balked at dropping the title to Bret in '93, did Vince ever pitch losing to Luger instead? Luger was the heir apparent to the title for the rest of the year anyway, and if Hogan's beef was just that Bret was "too small" (which is such a ridiculous notion now in hindsight), surely Lex would have be

​​

en "big" enough. Was Hogan deciding to quit the only thing that made Vince even think to turn Lex face? I have to wonder, because when you think about it, it's weird that Vince seemed to forget all about his plans for Bret at that time and focus on Luger for the rest of the year.
>

Yeah, the Luger thing was pretty last minute, although I'm intrigued by the notion of Hogan putting Luger over.  That might have actually worked, although at the point we're talking about, Luger was regarded as little more than a midcard act by pretty much everyone.  It definitely is funny that no one put two and two together and asked Hogan to do that job, though.  

Maybe a good question for the blog

Hi Scott,

Like your stuff and the blog.  Here's a possible question for you and the blog: How did Jerry Lawler stay on top of the Memphis Wrestling scene for 20+ years without the fans getting so incredibly sick of him?  I know the business wasn't good near the end, but he was doing legit good business for at least 15 of those years main eventing the Mid-South Coliseum in front of 5000-9000 week in and week out.  From what I've seen on line, he was a good brawler, but a little guy (in comparison to a typical wrestler), pretty good on the mic and had some charisma, but his talent didn't seem to match the incredible run he had.

And were there other examples of a guy dominating a region for this length of time?  Was Harley Race this big in St. Louis or Buddy Rose in Portland or someone I've never heard of in a place I've never been?

​Lawler had a specific formula that worked perfectly, and he was a local legend who was beloved by fans.  It was a great combination.  Plus Memphis would typically cycle guys in as challengers, Lawler would work a month or so with them as the top program, and then they'd lose out and go somewhere else.  Things weren't allowed to get stale on top and there was never the feeling that Lawler was an indestructible superman.  He almost always got his ass kicked by the incoming monster heel and lost the title, but then figured out their weakness (usually a fireball to the face did the trick) and then rallied back to win.  That's called TELLING A STORY, MAGGLE.  
Plus Memphis was just balls out awesome for about two decades, so there's that, too.  ​

Blog question

Hey Scott,
 
Finally got round to listening to the CM Punk podcast. Although it doesn't seem like he'll return to WWE (and fair play to him if he never has to), the fact that he never main evented Wrestlemania still obviously rankles him. This is something he can still obviously do. If he ever decided to return, it'd be huge and we know that Vince will always be open to it if it would make money.
 
Two questions.
 
1) What match involving Punk do you think would be a worthy main event at Wrestlemania? Obvious contender is now HHH (if he's willing to put past grudges behind him) or perhaps John Cena. Personally, I think Punk vs Bryan would be awesome. They are the two biggest stars WWE has created since Cena/Orton/Batista and their careers have obvious parallels. Also, Bryan is now on the same level as Punk (possibly even bigger?) whereas during their 2012 feud he wasn't quite there yet so it wouldn't seem stale (in the same way that Rock vs HHH wasn't stale in 2000, even though they fought loads in 1998 and 1999).
 
2) Do you think the fact Punk hasn't main evented Wrestlemania is actually a hole on his CV? I thought it was interesting that he mentioned Vince giving Mick Foley a chance to main event WM in 2000 as a 'thank you' so Punk was hoping he might get the same thing. But I don't think anyone would look at Foley's career differently if he hadn't been in that match, especially as it was so underwhelming.

​1.  The only one that would be worth coming back for and would justify the money they'd need to get him would be the HHH match.  I mean, Punk v. Bryan as the main event of Wrestlemania?  Come on, I know this is the smarkiest of the smarky smark hangouts, but let's have SOME connection to the realities of the financial needs of the company.  Especially if they do finally pull the trigger on the "Vince's avatar v. HHH and/or avatar" angle, Punk as the ultimate guy to get H's goat would be the perfect payoff.  Not to say there's any chance of it happening, but that would be the only one to really make sense.
2.  I think Punk has already had a career miles above what I expected out of one of Raven's flunkies in 2002, and he had a **** match with Undertaker in a featured match that made him tons of money, so his "failure" is pretty much what everyone else would consider wildly successful.  Also, Punk's pretty deluded about Foley's place in history if he considers 2000 to be a "thank you" to Mick by putting him in there.  Foley was a bigger name than Jericho and Vince wanted a fourth guy "worthy" of the multiple McMahons gimmick who had enough star power to justify the position.  It had nothing to do with Foley "earning" the spot from great matches or tenure or whatever.  If Austin hadn't been crippled at the time, it would have been him in there instead.  That was one of things most sad to me about Punk's podcast, his Great Pumpkin-like fixation on that main event spot, where he kept repeating his mantra about "If I just work hard enough and outshine everyone with great matches, he'll have no choice but to put me in there!"  I mean, did he think that Vince was going to replace Rock or Cena in that match with him?  Like Punk v. Rock for the third show in a row is gonna draw a million buys?  Or Punk v. Cena for the millionth time?  Yeah, Rock v. Cena II was disappointing, but disappointing for them is still a million buys.  His own solution was doing a three-way with Rock/Cena/Punk where he'd get eliminated after five minutes to lose the title and then they could do their match, but can you imagine the backlash from the super-smarky crowd if that happened?  It would completely kill off the Rock/Cena portion.  As much as Punk probably doesn't want to hear it, there was no natural position for him in that Wrestlemania as a main event.  
I feel like this topic is going to join the BOD Hall of Shame very soon, but I go with the currents of conversation…​

Throwback link for the blog about miz and the Real World

Found this article while cleaning out my mailbox. Article on the Real World season The Miz was on, from right before when the season in question debuted, which singles him out as far as his presence on the show embodying how far the franchise had fallen in terms of the franchise becoming formulaic and cliched.  

I only watched a couple of episodes of the season in question when it first aired (Real World pretty much jumped the shark around Seattle/Hawaii and Hawaii itself pretty much was a clusterfuck of fail that broke the franchise) but I'm curious, given the retroactive fame issue and that that The Miz is one of the ultra few Real World cast members to go on to amount to anything, why the WWE never really mentioned or brought up his Real World days when he became a centerpiece of the company. Even when he was going toe-to-toe with John Cena, we never got to see Cena throw the Real World into Miz's face to mock him. Is the Real World off-limits by the WWE (which is insane given that you've had other wrestlers be upfront with their pasts and dirty laundry) or is it a matter of Vince, ever being several years behind the curve, not even knowing Miz was on the show, let alone what Real World is?

Jesse Baker     

 
 
image
 
 
 
 
 
“The Real World” refuses to grow up

The show that spawned reality television comes back for its 10th season, forgetting the lessons it taught everyone else.
Preview by Yahoo
 

​I never watched or even knew what the Real World was until many years after it was gone, but perhaps one had to be of a certain age and disposition to pay attention to it in the first place.  Might have also had to do with not getting MTV in Canada at the time it would have been airing.  ​

Stuck in a Blizzard, a question for your Blog

Good afternoon Mr. Keith.  I am currently stuck in the narrow band of 5-8ft and counting of snow that is dumping upon Buffalo right now, and bracing for another one.  Just to pass the time, I know i'm not the only Western New Yorker reading your blog, and plenty of Canadians have felt this wrath before, the Network has become a GREAT way to pass the time.  Mostly i'm just going through my all time favs.

So, it replace Being trapped on an island with Being Snowed in, Driving Bans, No Plows etc. etc., what are some of the Blizzard Victims out there watching these days?  My Blizzard List:

Michaels/UT: WM25
Guerrero/Mysterio Havok 97
Steiners/Sting & Luger
ALL Wargames available in order
Benoit/Angle Rumble 03
Bash at the Beach 95 to warm me up in the worst way
and ofcourse, Royal Rumble 92

​Please, they don't even call a snow day up here until at LEAST 12 feet of snow have fallen.  And then anyone who doesn't show up gets called a pussy later.  
OK, that may be exaggerating.
You know, were it me, I would personally start going through the 2006-2009 PPVs where I giving zero fucks about the product at the time, because it would all be new to me and probably more interesting in a lot of ways than the current product.  ​

Question for the blog

Hi Scott,

So, the Monday Night Wars, then – the era, not the TV show.

I've been a WWF fan since 1990, but I'm starting to think that maybe the wrong side won.

Were these long 13+ years the Invasion, HHH vs Everyone, and Cena vs Orton, really worth what we lost?

The big news these days is the Performance Center – the Powerplant on, uh, steroids – and the Network. Simply put, WCW + Turner = pretty damn good coverage.

You'd still get the best of the indies coming in (Punk, Bryan, name 'em).

TNA would never have existed.

Your thoughts?

​If you think that WCW wouldn't have managed to self-destruct even in a monopoly, you're fooling yourself.  They were doomed to die and I'd rather the wrestling world be at least controlled by someone with a track record of success.  ​

Wrestling Personality Quiz for the Blog of Doom


Hey Scott,
 
This is longtime reader/commenter, but first time emailer BeardMoney. I recently tried my hand at creating a personality quiz and I thought the BoD might enjoy this one as it asks which member of a legendary wrestling tag team you would Bee. It's kind of like a sports entertainment version of the Zoë or Zelda question. If you wanted to post it here, that would be War Games level awesome. Thanks for the great work you do with the Blog!

https://www.tryinteract.com/quiz/BeardMoney/1

​I feel like I would be a Zelda.  ​

Question for the blog


Listening to a podcast on the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.


Got me wondering: how many WWF/WWE PPVs have names that were only used once? This Tuesday In Texas springs to mind, as does The Wrestling Classic.

Including the IYH titles since some like Unforgiven got used more than once, with and without the IYH prefix.

Thought it might pass some time for the blog otters.

Dean Andrews

​Ground Zero, Badd Blood, Invasion, Canadian Stampede, D-Generation X, It's Time, Mindgames…there was a period in the late 90s where they messing around with all sorts of wacky names.  ​

Question for the blog

Hey Scott,


I've been watching a lot of Magnum TA lately and I was blown away by his best of seven series with Nikita Koloff.  He goes down 3-0, fights his way back from a deficit to push it to a seventh match and then is robbed.  And it got me thinking…

With all of the 50/50 booking that the WWE does and their habit of giving away potential money matches on Raw, why not start booking best of 5 or best of 7 series for some of their hotter feuds?  Guys can eat a pin and then get their heat back the next week with a win against the same guy.  It's outside of the box, but they've trotted out the 2 out of 3 falls recently so why not?

You think that kind of booking could work?

Definitely, but it has to be a match that people actually want to see in the first place. Putting Ziggler against Miz out there to die for seven shows is defeating the whole purpose.  Cesaro v Sheamus?   Sure because they're established as guys who care about wins and losses.   

Question for blog – P Heyman & ECW

Scott,

  We all know about Paul Heyman’s difficulties with paying talent during ECW’s tenure.  Was that because :   (a)    Paul Heyman was doing quite well for himself, and stiffing performers to line his own pockets? (b)   Paul Heyman was a terrible businessman and couldn’t pay the performers because he didn’t have the money? (c)    A bit of answers (a) and (b) depending on where in ECW’s history we are landing?
Mr. Heyman has always been financially well off due to his parents being loaded, so I really doubt that any financial difficulties were a result of him skimming the meager profits that ECW made.  If anything he put too much of his own money into the promotion and nearly bankrupted himself in the process.  So definitely B in this case.  

Blog question

Watching the 5/4/98 Raw Replay and in the middle of the Dan Severn v. Savio Vega match, Jim Ross plugs UFC XVII, complete with an on-screen graphic for the PPV…… what was that all about?

​Probably they had to make a deal with UFC to use Severn, and that was part of it.  Just a guess, but it's not unprecedented.  ​

Question for the Blog — Andre the Giant

Why hasn't Andre the Giant ever gotten the 3 disc DVD/documentary treatment? He was the biggest star in the sport in the 70s and 80s (before Hogan). I don't get it. I know there was a DVD released early in the DVD era, which was really just a re-release of a video tape from 1998, but doesn't he deserve a big release with all the talking heads and a bunch of never before released matches? Wouldn't it sell? I mean I'd buy it, but I'm also buying the Network and I'm in the minority on that one.

Darn good question.  Especially with the Andre Memorial Battle Royale this year you'd think it would have been the perfect time to celebrate his career.  I think from a logistical standpoint they might have trouble finding a lot of big matches that haven't been done already, but they own SO MUCH footage that you'd think it would easy to pull some stuff from Stampede, Mid-South, etc.  Plus there's tons of stuff from the Coliseum era like six and ten-man tags to fill it out that were a lot of fun.
So no, I don't get it either.