Why doesn’t WWE Network = No Brock?

Hey Scott,

Since WWE has killed their PPV market, what's the point of having Brock on the roster? I was always under the impression that they kept him under K to spike the Big 4 but since that's moot, why keep him? He doesn't sell T-Shirts. Does the needle move that much for his appearances? Do people re-up just to see him?

Another fine question, although we're kind of in the Wild West with the Network so it's hard to tell what's actually affecting buyrates at this point.  Indications are that Summerslam did…good?  Maybe?  It's a weird world we live in now where we can't just pull up numbers and argue over them.  That being said, we'll know for sure on October 30, because if that number is below 1,000,000, then they are absolutely flushing millions of dollars down the toilet with Brock's contract and it's a waste of time to keep him around for that price.  But like everyone else, Brock's kind of been flattened out by shitty writing and just becoming another guy lately (especially the DQ finish at Night of Champions) and hopefully this latest six month vacation can make him interesting again when he returns to face…John Cena again.  Well, fuck.   

Why WWE Network doesn’t like Canada?

Been following your updates on the new network, and wishing I had high speed access to make this a reality. However, I've noticed that you have to do some DNS spoofing to get the WWE Network to work in Canada. Why is that? Is it the same reasoning as why we can't access video from most US TV sites (and why Netflix in Canada can be kind of sucktastic), namely being the draconian  CRTC Can-Con policies? I can understand this with first-run stuff that you could be paying satellite providers to watch (well…. actually, I can't, but whatever), but with this not being a "real" television network….. How difficult would it be to sort out the royalties so that true "region-free" viewing could some day be supported? Or, is the WWE planning to roll out a "WWE Network Canada" at some point, to get around this restriction? Considering that some of their greatest stars of the past and today are Canadian, it would seem that they are throwing money away by not having an option available to Canadian fans. If they were to start showing old episodes of Stampede Wrestling on the network (as I'm sure they will soon enough), I would be RABID at having to technically engage in mail and communications fraud to be able to watch them.

It's a matter of TV rights as far as I know, because Sportsnet 360 has exclusive broadcast agreements with them in Canada and they'd have to get around that before launching the network up here.  It probably has to do with their PPV agreements, too.  Canadian content wouldn't be an issue because it's already been established that the CRTC can't mandate the internet.  
And WWE has been saying all along that it'll launch in Canada at the end of the year, so obviously they have plans in place to make it happen.  I wouldn't panic.  That's why I'm so happy it's the way it is, because a "real" network wouldn't launch up here for YEARS due to CRTC regulations and convoluted rights issues, if ever.  
Or you could just get it around like me and enjoy!

The Amount Of Movez Doesn’t Really Matter All That Much

Well, this column is bringing me more attention than I thought it would.  It is already on Ewrestling news, and it will be in Greg De Marco’s column this Sunday. Other websites are wondering if I could put in on their website, too 

Just a heads up: It’s a pretty long piece. 

The Amount Of Moves Doesn’t Really Matter All That Much:

Some fans out there believe certain wrestlers are good or
bad based up how many moves they do. They also believe adding more moves to a
wrestler’s repertoire will automatically make them a better wrestler. Both of
those statements are not particularly true. Frankly, a wrestler does not need a
ton of moves in order to have a compelling match. In fact, there are more
important things a wrestler should be able to do than just a lot of moves.

The most important attribute a wrestler needs to be successful is to have good
psychology. The word psychology is an insider word that essentially equates to
realism. Back in the day, it was something a wrestler needed to have in order
to keep kayfabe alive. However, it is still very important today. Psychology is
what causes fans to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the story each match
tells. Most people know wrestling is predetermined these days, but even so,
fans are more likely to emotionally invest into something that feels real as
opposed to something that is clearly contrived.

The first level of good psychology occurs when a wrestler stays true to their
character. It would not make any sense if a wrestler were a coward outside the
ring and the dominant monster in it, would it? In the 80s, Ric Flair was
always one to back out of a fight and his cowardice continued in the ring,
where he would take every shortcut in his bag of tricks to win the match. On
the flip side, you have The Undertaker’s
Deadman gimmick; his character was an immortal zombie, so he would wrestle
methodically and no-sell moves, all the while keeping a blank expression on his

Another example of good psychology happens when a wrestler adapts to whom they
are wrestling. Bret Hart was a master at this; when he wrestled against someone
like Kevin Nash, a giant monster, he was mostly on his toes, trying to pick his
opportunities to attack. But when he faced someone like Curt Henning, an
in-ring technician, he would try to outwrestle them. He always wrestled
differently depending on his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, no matter the
opponent. This added a level of realism to Hart’s matches, as just as if one
would in a real fight, he adapted his style to give him the best chance of
winning — at least in kayfabe.

Arguably, the most integral part of psychology is selling. To most, the word
selling means acting injured or hurt. In actuality, it occurs anytime a
wrestler is pretending something is happening to them. Facial expressions, body
language, and mannerisms are all critical keys to being a good seller. HBK was
impeccable at all three of those key factors. Even though he would act as if he
was nursing a bad back by constantly grabbing at it, his sentiments are what
truly made him an ever-so-loving, sympathetic baby face. Fans could essentially
feel the make believe pain HBK was going through, all because of his amazing
facial expressions and body language.

There are two major keys to selling a body part; they are selling consistently
and adjusting appropriately. If a wrestler A, for example, works over wrestler
B’s arm throughout the match, B should make proper adjustments. For argument’s
sake, let’s just wrestler B’s usually spears people with his left shoulder.
However, wrestler A is really working it over. Wrestler B should either
properly adjusted to the injury by spearing him with his right shoulder
instead, or really sell the effects of spearing him with his wounded shoulder.
Christian does both particularly well, as he consistently sells his injury and
finds different ways to win a match.

Unlike what limb psychology critics believe, the injured body part does not
necessarily have to play into the deeper courses of a match. However, a worked
over body part should not be ignored once the wrestler makes a comeback.
Instead, they should adapt for a while and then do certain things that make it
as if they are trying to shake it off, or something to that nature.

The other three important things a wrestler should have are timing, execution
and the ability to pace out a match. A wrestler must be on the same page as his
in-ring partner. They need to do a good job of communicating with each other.
Think of it as dancing. If someone is off rhythm, it is usually going to look
bad, no matter how good the other person is. It is also crucial for
reversals/counters and sequences to be perfectly timed and executed. Otherwise,
the moves look sloppy and ineffective. Bad execution and timing can lead to
more serious tragedies than just bad matches. They can lead to career ending

The pace is all about the speed of the match. Good wrestlers know the precise
time of when to slow or speed up a match. It is usually because the good ones
basing their match off the crowd’s responses. Adjustments can also be made if
the wrestlers are properly listening to the crowd. If a heel, for example, uses
a sleeper hold that is not creating any heat, the best thing would be to get
out of that spot as soon as possible. But if the move is creating lots of heat,
they should leave it in longer in order to infuriate the crowd (in a good way). Daniel Bryan is
a good example of all the above; he works a rapidly paced style; paces his
matches based upon the crowd’s reactions, and yet neither his timing nor
execution are marred because of it. His timing is instead on point while his execution is flawless. 

Storytelling and structuring are arguably two of the most important things a
wrestler has to be able to do. Simply put, storytelling can make or break a
match. Without a story, the fans are going to have a difficult time emotionally
investing into a match. In addition to that, the story does three also very
important things: it creates drama and suspense, makes the moves being
performed matter, takes the crowd on a journey, and keeps them intrigued to see
how everything unfolds. Let me tie it into the real world by asking you this
question: what classical movie had no plot? Exactly. There are not many, if any
at all.

Structuring is about putting a match together. The more traditional (and
arguably more effective) way is building it like a pyramid. Think about it: you
work from the base, build it up by putting the correct layers conjointly in
place until it reaches its crescendo. Mick Foley was
great at both these things. He could tell a different, yet compelling story,
every time he wrestled. He could also pre-plan all of the big spots ahead of
time and understand the best time to do them.

Without these elements mentioned above, a wrestler that performs a bunch moves
will still be terrible. In essence, matches that have a lot of moves, but lack
a lot of things mentioned above, are glorified spot-fests. Don’t get me wrong:
I am all for spot-fest once in a while. They serve their purpose in wrestling.
However, they are the LCD of pro-wrestling. They consist of one big spot after
the other, and their only real purpose is to get a cheap pop from the crowd.
The moves never string together, and the crowd hardly ever becomes emotionally
invested into the match. Furthermore, spot fests can actually have a long-term
detrimental effect of a promotion if they’re overdone. One time, TNA accidentally
trained their audience to pop just for high spots. As a result, the fans would
sit there quietly, waiting for a big spot to cheer about.

Ultimately, the amount of moves can help a wrestler or match to a certain
extent. However, moves do not make or break a wrestler or match. In fact, there
have been plenty of wrestlers who used a limited move set that are considered
masters at honing their craft. Additionally, there is a reason NWA early 80s
stuff holds up to this day while stuff in the late 90s like ECW’s hardcore
matches do not. The point is that a wrestler can have compelling matches even
with a basic move set if they do most of the stuff mentioned above correctly.

QOTD 98: It’s Only Weird if it Doesn’t Work.

For whatever reason before opening the door in the winter I touch the wallpaper – it’s not OCD, I just don’t want to shock myself, and somehow assume that touching the wallpaper will ground me, though I don’t think it does. Regardless, I feel like I am shocked far less than I normally would be, had I not touched the wallpaper.

What are your superstitions? Things you do because you think they work, you do because you don’t want to tempt fate from the guy high atop the thing, or stuff that has just worked out for you, so you keep doing it? 

For a completely false example, I haven’t changed my underwear since the last Patriots Superbowl.

I have a lucky undershirt shirt I wear on dates.

When I buy a scratch ticket I always look for a heads-up penny in my car, or when I pull change out of my pocket, take a heads up coin in which to scratch them with.

In Poker I always play 7/10 of Diamonds after winning 600 dollars with it once.

During football games I refuse to stop watching the game even if the team is down with little time left – cause you never know.

When I check work e-mail I always filter my stuff sent to me first as a way to guage how my day is going to be. Lots of e-mail sent directly to me = lots of extra stuff to do (in my head anyway). No so much e-mail sent to me = QOTD writin’ during the work day.

I say “I hope everyone is alright” whenever a cop car or Ambulance or Firetruck passes me, a little good karma never hurt anyone. 

I take several shots of whiskey before writing QOTD’s to ensure a completely lack of relationship with reality.

What say you, Otters?

“What If.” “IT DOESNT MATTER, if I return…???”

Morning BoD. Shout out and props to all our veterans and current military
personnel on Veterans Day here in the states. Regardless of your view on war,
our obligations or lack thereof as a “superpower”, etc., I think we
can all agree that our military personnel and veterans have made great
sacrifices for the greater good of the country. Hope everyone had a fun and
refreshing weekend. Mine was a clusterfuck of doing boyfriend duties, house
work, and trying to get a water pipe fixed so I could get running water again
to my house. Ugh.

I’ve had a week of doing these, and am still trying to gauge what type of
post will “draw” the most and generate the most discussion here on
the blog. Today I’m gonna venture a little more into fantasy booking land then I had originally ever planned to do, just to see how it works.

What If Rock never makes his 2011-2013 WWE return? His
return changed the entire paradigm of the WWE for that 3 year stretch.
Everything at the top of the card was booked long term around monetizing every
appearance he made during that run, especially his WM matches. Im convinced his
entire 3 year run was meticulously planned out almost appearance for appearance before he
returned to WWE TV. A quick recap of the current landscape during his 3 year run:

Rock returned before the Elimination Chamber 2011 ppv, to hype his role as
the upcoming WM 27 host. He immediately cut a GREAT vintage Rock promo, calling
out John Cena and The Miz, the two acts penciled in to as the main event of WM
27. A night after laying the smackdown on Cena and Miz at WM 27, Rock and Cena
come to a gentlemen’s agreement to face off in the main event of WM 28. During
the year long build to WM 28, an interesting thing happens…CM Punk
organically gains steam from the pipe bomb and his feud with John Cena. He
becomes one of the hotter acts WWE has seen in awhile. Rock eventually returns
for a one off match at Survivor Series, teaming with Cena, to take on Awesome
Truth. WM eventually rolls around, and the card shapes up as expected: Rock vs
Cena at the top, a HHH/UT rematch, and CM Punk vs a returning Chris Jericho.
Rock surprisingly goes over Cena at WM 28, setting up the rematch we are all
familiar with. Since this was pretty recent, Im gonna skip recapping how we got

Now that we are caught up, how does the landscape of WWE change from
2011-2013 if he never comes back.

Thing to consider:

– How does WM 27 look without Rock? Is WWE confident enough in Cena/Miz at
the top of the card? Do they panic and hot shot one of their established guys
(HHH, Orton, etc.) into the main event vs Cena?

– Most interestingly to me, how is CM Punk handled in 2011? Is WWE more
protective of him since they dont have the Rock to fall back on for WM 28?

– What does WM 28 look like? Does WWE hotshot UT/Cena? Does Vince ride the
momentum of CM Punks rise to prominence and go with Cena/Punk as the main

– Same question for WM 29. What does WWE do for WM 29 in the absence of a
Rock/Cena rematch?

Plausible Scenarios, in random order…

– Without a clear cut WM 28 main event, Vince stretches out the CM Punk return
a little, and goes with a Cena/Punk main event along HHH/UT at WM 28. Vince also
keeps Miz hanging around the top of the card for a little while longer.

– We never get the Extreme Rules Brock Lesnar/John Cena match. Lesnar is
booked a little more creatively and is saved for WM 29, where he headlines
against John Cena.

This is just a jumpoff point. Go in any direction you choose.

QOTD 12: Just because I’m a sexist, doesn’t mean you’re not an asshole.

There are some days the Internet makes me want to throw things at other things. Over the course of the past week I’ve had to argue with ‘feminists’ about how GTA V would be a far better game if it had a female protagonist or was more ‘respectful’ to women, which is nuts. To paraphrase my point, Misogyny is the point, sexism is the point, the racism is the point of Grand Theft Auto. GTA isn’t painting our world as we know it, it’s painting our world with the darkest of brushes and applying a shiny Entertainment Tonight veneer that peels away. It’s South Park by way of cheap-shot.

Several of these women THEN went on to say that Saints Row 4 is a far more sex positive game because it let you create overweight female characters and put them in a position of power. To which I say that is such bullshit it might as well have come from that Triceratops in Jurassic Park’s butt.  If you think that simply slapping a pair of boobs, long hair, and different voice on a character who is going to act, talk, and walk the same as a male character is progress, you don’t quite understand what womanhood means. Because that is literally saying a woman comes down to her objects – boobs, legs, hair, voice, which, I think, is exactly opposite the point.

So, Blog Otters, what are you thoughts on sexism, racism, and all the other isms that separate humans from one another, that ultimately stymy dialog between people for fear of being labeled one? On a micro level it’s entirely possible to have intelligent conversations about serious issues, but when you open it up to the masses, you’re bombarded with words like “Mansplain” and “Ally” and other specific terms that make feminism seem like a skill set, versus belief system.

It seems like feminism is a concept that men aren’t allowed to wrap their heads around. It’s so nebulous and impossible to define. I understand women are my personal equal, but at the same time, I understand women are biologically different from men in a variety of different ways, and those very biological differences lead me to perceive women as both humans, and people I would like to throw my penis in.  Sexual attraction is literally what humans were put on this earth to do, and as we progress as a society, figuring out the appropriate way to approach that sexual attraction is becoming more complicated. I respect women, but they also terrify me in social situations because there are no rules outside of gut instincts, and I worry my gut has shit for brains (Thank You, High Fidelity). Therefore, when I, or really anyone who is confused about the concept asks serious questions, their throat gets jumped down like reverse bulimia.

Perhaps because I spend 40 hours a week as a woman I like to think I have a little more insight on this than most. I have a high voice and answer phones every day. I’m also friendly – so everyone thinks I’m a woman, and I stopped correcting people after I realized it was hopeless. I have men across the country call me darling, sweetheart, babe, sweetie, honey-pie, and one guy even said he wanted to dip me in peanut butter. I experience unintentional sexism every day, but, being a man, I can understand these terms aren’t coming from some sense of malice or derogation, it’s just who they are. They call girls sweetie because they think it’s a nice thing to do. They call girls honey because they want to be nice, don’t know my name, and appreciate my positive attitude. I don’t know what that says about sexism, but I think its something.

Look, when I kill a woman in Grand Theft Auto V, it’s not because she’s a woman, it’s because she’s in the way. That’s about as feminist as you can get, right? In case you don’t know, Grand Theft Auto is the ultimate troll, giving Americans a broken world with broken people, where morals and righteousness are such afterthoughts they might as well be the 4th quarter of a preseason football game. It thinks everyone is JUST as full of shit, regardless of race, class, gender, or creed.

And we eat it up. We eat it up handful by handful, barely stopping to use a fork or wipe our grubby little mouths. For this game to stop and make a point that objectifying or being mean to women is bad, they’re, in effect, saying that murder, the slaying of innocent civilians, officers of the law, and stealing are A-okay.  GTA V takes cheap shots at everyone equally, and if you identify as one of the people they take cheap shots at, you’ll feel that sting, but hopefully realize that the cheap shot was made in the name of entertainment and crafting a world that’s devoid of the political correctness.

More over, I think if we were to think critically about GTA V, it’s probably one of the ‘smarter’ games I’ve played in quite some time. It’s brutal, it’s sophomoric, it’s gross,  violent, and mean spirited, but its done with such care that it really does challenge the gamer to think about why exactly they enjoy such horrible acts. Without spoiling anything, there’s a scene in the game involving trevor and a bunch of tools that literally made me want to stop playing.  Seriously, if you’re playing this game and seriously into story telling, world building, subtext, and nuance, tell me this game isn’t seriously one of the most beautifully crafted things you’ve ever played.

As (mostly) men here, its easy for us to avoid discussing blatant sexism or simply dismiss it, or, otherwise, simply agree with every woman we see that things are sexist in order to not start an argument we will surely lose. Why would we surely lose these arguments? Because we’re not women, and no matter how hard we argue, it simply becomes a situation we “don’t understand” and should probably avoid debating. It’s prima facie –  ultimately saying that if you disagree with me, you’re a bad person, or a bigot, or simple minded.


Blog Otter Award:
Officer Farva, again, for letting us live vicariously through his life.

1. I want to do a GTA V spoiler QOTD sometime in the future. I know we’re all playing at our own pace, but goodness gracious is this game freaking good. It seems to borrow that ‘Family Guy’ style of genius, where it’s so fucking stupid it circles back to being near genius. It needles everyone, smokers, athletes, new-age thinkers, e-cig smokers, facebook obsessed jerks, and there’s quite a few short films in there that are actually sorta good in a bizarre way. I’d check them out.  Lets shoot for two weeks from Today for the official spoiler-riffic QOTD.

2. PS I have no idea if the above made sense, I tried being rational, then I got upset, then I got rational again.

QOTD 7: Just because I don’t care, doesn’t mean I don’t understand.

Hola Otters (for the record Otters is a bad phonetic spelling of Blog O’ Doomers). Anyway, sorry for the last posting this lovely afternoon but I actually was at the doc’s getting some fancy info about my brain-parts, after concerns and questions about my ability to work properly finally came to a head. I got some answers, and a Monkey the size of Yokozuna has been lifted off my shoulders.

On that subject, here’s today’s question:

What’s something you’ve done in life, that, despite tepid reaction from friends and family, you followed through with and are proud of? 

Mine are obviously gaming and writing and wrestling, with maybe a dash of recent Baseball fandom. I can elaborate in the comments, but I actually need to go watch a “Cutco” demo my mom set up with my sister’s ex-boyfriend. Why? Because I’m not allowed a Friday to myself, that’s why.
Blog Otter Award: OfficerFarva for probably reading one-too-many Tucker Max stories growing up, and making the most of it by pulling a reverse Clooney, by way of going to a fancy casino and doing everything exactly the opposite of how George Clooney would for the delight of wrestling fans on the internet. Thank you sir.

It’s like a Solid Snake / Liquid snake kind of thing.

1. Poker Night of Champions updates: 4 sign ups plus myself. So we have a four person game. Feel free to signup at [email protected] to sign up. I’ll send a round-up to all the e-mails by noon est on Saturday.

Why doesn’t King Kong Bundy ever appear the WWE?

Hey Scott,

Any idea why King Kong Bundy never appears for any WWE nostalgia shows? Apparently, he's not even in the HoF?

I dunno, because he's a REALLY funny guy and would probably fit in well with their wacky backstage skits and would do a hell of a HOF speech to boot.  He absolutely would warrant inclusion.  I don't think there's any bad blood, either.  Maybe he's reading this and can enlighten us.