Million Dollar Man Ric Flair

Hey Scott,

So back in the day, from what I understand, basically Ted Dibiase was in line to receive the NWA World Title but went to WWF, ironically, for more money. If we did a whole "What If" Scenario and had Ted stay with the NWA, how do you see that playing out? Would Ted have overtaken Ric as the Man? Was he just going to be a Transitional Champ, with Ric always staying in the top spot?

On a related note, had Ted overtaken Ric, would they have essentially switched roles? Would Ric have taken the gimmick in WWF and essentially just been Ric Flair with McMahon's Money behind him instead of Crockett? Would someone else have taken the gimmick? If so, is there anyone you could imagine, from that era, playing that gimmick as well as Ted did?

Thanks and Happy Belated Father's Day

Let's not go crazy here, Ted Dibiase was no Ric Flair.  He might have been a placeholder guy in between Flair reigns, but it's not like he was going to take friggin' Ric Flair's spot in 1987 around the peak of Ric's drawing power.  

My million dollar idea

I've decided that I'm going to make my millions by creating the ultimate reality show, so when it comes along there's documentation that I thought of it first.  I think I might have pitched this one on Facebook or somewhere before, but I want to make sure it's well documented when someone steals the idea.  It'll be called Reality Gauntlet (or Jack Of All Trades, I'm not entirely sold on either name yet) and here's how it works.  Current shows are based on the premise that a bunch of reality whores are really good at one skill, when in fact we know it has more to do with TV readiness and personality and such.  So why not create a show that makes you be good (or at least not the worst of, say, 12 people) at EVERYTHING?  You get your usual cast of 10-12 wacky people, and each episode sees them having to master a different reality show genre.  It'll have to be played for broad parody to escape legal trouble, but it's probably do-able.  So each week the contestants get a crash course in that week's skill, and then boom, off they go and the worst person at the task is eliminated, until you're left with the winner, who is the person was at least able to get by enough to pass each week.  You can do:

– A modelling challenge (America's Next Top Model)
– A fashion design challenge (Project Runway)
– A cooking challenge (Hell's Kitchen)
– An obstacle course (Wipeout)
– A singing challenge (American Idol)
– A renovation challenge (like something on HGTV)
– A dancing challenge (So You Think You Can Dance)
– A wrestling/MMA challenge (Ultimate Fighter / Tough Enough)
– A grossout challenge (Fear Factor)
– A straight trivia challenge once there's 3 or 4 people left (Jeopardy) or maybe a Minute To Win It type of deal.  
– A survivalist challenge for the big finale (Survivor).
This would of course be grotesquely expensive and probably have legal headaches out the wazoo, but the trainwreck possibilities would be ENDLESS.  I await my royalty cheque from Simon Cowell when this happens next fall.  

Change For A Dollar

Hey Scott, All this discussion in recent months (years, really) about what is wrong with the current product/business, who should or shouldn’t be pushed, why so-and-so isn’t working, decisions that are tanking business growth, etc, got me thinking about an elephant in the room. As always I could be completley off here, but I really don’t think the issues that have plagued the business for the past decade aren’t as clear, cut and simple as "John Cena gets pushed too much" or "the titles don’t mean anything" – both of which I agree with to an extent, but I think we are ignoring a more complicated (ina strange way, fundemental) problem here. Let me lay this out with question: when was the last time you watched an episode of RAW or Smackdown that, with the exception of a some notable segments, matches or roster differences, felt like it could have taken place any time within the last 8 or 9 years? THIS has been my biggest hurdle to latching onto any regular viewing habit, the simple fact that the business has seemingly fallen victim to Mr. Freeze’s ice gun, because it hasn’t  moved since the original season of American Idol. Raw and Smackdown (and I won’t even get into TNA) are the same shows following the same formulas, norms, rules, presentation, and outlines featuring the same characters, promos, segments and matches over and over again, save for a few aforementioned details. For years I’ve gotten almost the exact same level of satisfaction and entertainment by reading online recaps than I would half-sleeping through a program. And why? I already know what is going to happen, or at the very least I feel like what had transpired on the show rarely warrants an actual viewing, because I can get the same effect hearing or reading about it. Show starts, Guy comes out and talks from script, Other Guy does the same, RAW GM makes match later, backstage segment, 3 minute match, announcers bickers, backstage comedy segment, 3 minute match, backstage segment, announcers bicker… Let’s get metaphorical: the WWE’s problem isn’t merely that their living room is in disarray (Cena and Orton are around too much), the dishes are piling up (too many titles, don’t mean anything), a lot of the rooms needs remodeling (new interesting characters, fresh booking) or the attic isn’t finished (little growth or few new ideas) – it’s the fact that their entire house is old and unsightly. The entire thing needs to make close friends with a wrecking ball. They need to move, establish a completely new way of producing and presenting a professional wrestling/sports entertainment product, just like they did during the Golden Era, the Attitude Era or, say, in 1993 when they first concieved Monday Night Raw and brought their act to a smaller, more personal venue for no other reason than to really change (I’m using the RAW move as an example, not a specific plea to repeat this particular formula). Does any of this make sense or do I need to crawl back into my hole for a while?

Makes perfect sense.  The interchangeable nature of the RAW shows is part of the reason why it’s so hard to remember anything about the shows from 2001ish until now.  They have their formula and there’s no incentive for them to break free from it.  Remember how fun and memorable the Old School episode was?  Different can be good.  I’ve said a few times they should break out of the box and do something silly like shooting from a train station ala the old Shotgun Saturday Night shows, or from Central Park or something.  Have some FUN with it again.