2015 Scott Sez: In Your House Good Friends, Better Enemies

(I forget if I’ve Scott Sez’d this one before, but we’re at that point so let’s check it out again.)  – Live from Omaha, Nebraska. – Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler – This would be the farewell show for both Diesel & Razor Ramon, as they departed for WCW in what was supposed to be a minor defection and ended up turning the company around. Sound familiar? Well, not that the WWF needs turning around these days, but hopefully someone at WCW was watching RAW on Monday night and paying attention to the response for the Radicals got, one that they couldn’t get in WCW due to politics. (Turns out that politics were just as much of a factor in the WWF.)  Anyway, in the Survivor Series 95 rant, I commented that the Bret v. Diesel match there was Diesel’s second-best ever, and that he had a better one with Michaels. Many have e-mailed to ask what that one was, and herein lies the answer.  (Mystery!  Intrigue!)  Free 4 All match: 1-2-3 Kid v. Wildman Marc Mero. This is Marc’s PPV debut after jumping from WCW due to squabbling with Eric Bischoff and working most of the internet in the process. Hey, Marc, guess who’s laughing at who now? (Also, your ex-wife is doing very well for herself.)  Karate showboating from the Kid to start. Quick sequence puts Mero in control with a flying headscissors that sends the Kid to the floor. Mero follows with a tope suicida. Slingshot legdrop gets two. Reverse rollup gets two. He goes aerial and gets crotched, then HHH (Mero’s first feud) makes an appearance. Kid hits some vicious kicks to take over as HHH stalks Sable. Mero escapes and goes to confront Hunter, and gets nailed by the Kid from behind. The ref tosses HHH, and Mero mounts the comeback. HHH runs in for the lame DQ at 7:20 of what was looking to be a great match. *** (Future) DX beatdown follows on Mero.  (Kid was practically out the door, between injuries and his friends leaving, at this point as well and they were STILL protecting him!)  – Opening match: The British Bulldog & Owen Hart v. Jake Roberts & Ahmed Johnson. Johnson was getting into Goldberg territory of overness at this point, although his work was stiff and sloppy, a dangerous combination. (On the bright side, he never punched through a car window.)  Bulldog had the issue with Ahmed over arm-wrestling (gotta love the mid-90s WWF) so Bulldog hides on the apron and lets Owen handle things. That goes pretty badly for him, as Ahmed tosses him around like a doll and then Jake nearly gets the DDT. Some cheapshots from Bulldog finally allow him to come in without fear of death. Ahmed plays face-in-peril for a bit, but doesn’t really sell anything and soon tags out to Jake and he gets beat on for a long while. Jake’s mobility is so limited by age and alcohol at this point it’s scary. Not as scary as Heroes of Wrestling, but scary. The match drags on and on. Ahmed gets the hot tag and screams a lot. Jake inexplicably comes back in to finish things, but takes a LOADED TENNIS RACKET OF DOOM to the knee and submits to a lame kneebar at 13:43. Just way too long. ¾*  (And this was supposed to be a singles match with Bulldog v. Jake and was advertised as such all the way until the show started, and was changed because Bulldog injured his knee in Germany.  Can you imagine how bad THAT would have ended up?  And then Bulldog was supposed to challenge for the title at the next PPV.  The booking was just on another planet of ridiculous at this point.)  Intercontinental title match: Goldust v. Ultimate Warrior. You know how some matches are so bad that they’re good? Well, this is so bad that it’s just BAD. Goldust has a knee injury, so the “match” is literally him walking around the ring and stalling for FIFTEEN MINUTES to waste time. Finally he gets counted out to put us out of our misery. That’s all, folks. -***** How hard would it have been to say “Goldust is injured, so Warrior is fighting [x]”?  (And again, they were well aware of his knee injury for two weeks before this and still chose to advertise the match right up until the day of the show.  They even did hotline updates where they ADMITTED that Goldust had a knee injury but lied and said he was cleared to wrestle at the PPV!)  Vader v. Razor Ramon. (Another super-weird booking decision, with Ramon off TV for weeks leading up to this.)  This was Graceful Job-Out #1 on the night, as Razor was wooed by WCW a few months before this. Ramon bumps around for Vader to start, as Vader basically squashes him. Ramon punches a lot to come back. Three clotheslines put Vader on the floor. Vader stalls. Cornette’s help allows Vader to continue his destruction of Ramon. Vaderbomb gets two. Ramon gets a vertical suplex to come back. Powerslam as Vader is coming off the 2nd rope gets two. Bulldog gets two. He tries the Razor’s Edge, but his ribs give out and he collapses. Vader goes for the moonsault, but Ramon brings him down the hard way. Razor’s Edge attempt #2, but Vader backdrops out and sits on him for the pin at 14:47. The selling and psychology were sound enough for a good rating, but the match was REALLY boring. ***  (And why give Ramon all that offense against the new monster is another mystery.  I guess Vince really thought he could talk Razor into staying?)  – WWF tag team title match: The Bodydonnas v. The Godwinns. This was a rematch from the finals of the inaugural “Placeholder champions until Billy Gunn’s injury heals” tournament at Wrestlemania 12. (At least they made it off the pre-show this time.)  Zip gets double-teamed to start as Vince says “scufflin’” about 14 times. What the hell is with him and hillbilly gimmicks, anyway? Are the southern states REALLY so much of a hotbed that he has to tailor entire gimmicks for them? The story here is that Phineas is in love with Sunny. Just give her some crack, Phineas, that’ll bring her around. Highlight of the mostly-comedy match sees HOG pull out an Ocean Cyclone suplex (picture a german suplex, but starting with the opponent face-down on the mat) as the farmers dominate the champs. This whole period for the titles was a trainwreck, as the Bodydonnas were not over and Vince had no desire to help them become so (Cloudy, anyone?) and the Godwinns were, well, the Godwinns. Thank god for the New Rockers to save the tag division in 96. The champs cheat and gain the advantage. Phineas gets all “riled up” (seriously, is this whole gimmick like one big cheapshot at Ted Turner or something?) (Well, duh) and hot tags HOG, but Sunny had conveniently brought a framed, autographed 8×10 of herself to ringside (which probably wasn’t far from the truth at the time) and uses it to distract PIG while the Bodydonnas pull the switcheroo and pin HOG at 7:12. Soo-ey, that sucked… ½* – WWF World title match: Shawn Michaels v. Diesel. This is the ultimate blowoff for their long-simmering feud, as Diesel was leaving for WCW and made it known that he was on one final run of destruction before he left. Shawn was hot off beating Bret Hart at WM12 and needed credibility. This is no-holds-barred. Shawn uses his speed to avoid Diesel, then dropkicks him out and hits a moonsault tope onto him. He steals a boot from Hugo Savinevich and nails Diesel for two. Diesel gets pissed and knocks Shawn onto the railing, then tosses him back in and absolutely wallops him. Shawn sells like he’s dead. Diesel keeps shooting evil glances at Vince. Jumping side slam nearly puts Shawn though the mat, then Diesel undoes his wrist tape…and chokes out Hebner! He steals Earl’s belt and lays in some wicked shots on Shawn, then hangs him from the top rope and ties him there. As Shawn struggles to free himself, Diesel calmly grabs a chair and blasts Shawn. Back in for another solid chairshot. Lord, what a beating. One more, but Shawn ducks and Shawn gets the chair. That proves temporary, as a low blow gets two for Diesel. Diesel absolutely lays into him with forearms, sending him crashing to the floor. Vince keeps yelling at Shawn to “stay down”. Cool spot of the year: Diesel starts a long tradition, powerbombing Shawn through the announce table. He parades around with the title belt while Shawn, who is nearly dead, pulls himself out of the wreckage. Vince, his own microphone dead, does his usual awesome acting job, yelling “Just let it be over!” at Shawn. Shawn crawls to the ring, and finds a fire extinguisher, which he discharges into Diesel’s face. Flying forearm puts him down, and Shawn grabs a chair to even the odds. Two vicious shots follow, but Diesel won’t go down, and in fact hits the big foot to the face right away to KO Shawn. He takes too long, however, and Shawn escapes the powerbomb. Flying elbow sets up Sweet Chin Music, but Diesel calmly grabs his foot and rips his head off with a lariat. What is this, All Japan? He tosses Shawn out again and drops him on the railing, then gets inspired. He heads over to the front row and beats up Maurice Vachon, who is seated ringside, and STEALS HIS ARTIFICIAL LEG. Major, major heel heat for that. Shawn lowblows him, however, and steals the leg. He knocks Diesel cold with a shot from the leg, then waits for him to recover, warms up the band, and superkicks him for the pin to retain at 17:51. He didn’t win the match, he SURVIVED it. What a horrific beating and an AWESOME brawl. ****3/4 Shawn’s “in your FACE!” post-match celebration is amazing acting on his part, too, and it really makes the match.  (This is still the only reason to watch this show, and it’s probably Nash’s best match ever.)  The Bottom Line: Most of the show is pretty worthless, but that brawl is something else and sets the tone for garbage main events to follow for years to come. In the next in my little In Your House series, I’ll look at an even BETTER Shawn brawl from a few months later against Mankind. As it is, I’m still in shock to this day that Shawn won Match of the Year for the Wrestlemania match rather than the Diesel or the Mankind one. As it was, however, this match, rather than the Bret one, was the one that really put Shawn over the top as a credible champion and got him over. I wonder if that pissed Bret off? Recommended only for the main event.

Rare example of GOOD 50-50 booking?

> Hey Scott,
>
> Loyal Blog of Doom reader and occasional poster. Love the site, of course.
>
> I was thinking about past Wrestlemanias and examples of when WWE used the event to create new stars.  One of the first matches to come to mind was Rick Rude beating The Ultimate Warrior for the I-C belt at WM IV.  At the time Warrior was red hot, still basking in the glow of the HTM squash the previous summer.  Although he held the belt for a healthy 7 months, others (Savage, Santana, Honky himself) held it much longer previously. Warrior was clearly an up-and-coming star snd feeding him to Rude risked killing his momentum dead.  And although you could argue giving Rude the belt was creating a new star, the plan was simply for Rude to drop the belt back at Summerslam.  So, bam, instead of having two up and coming stars, you have the dreaded 50-50 booking of two guys with major PPV losses (to each other) on their records.
>
> Yet somehow both guys emerged from this feud stronger than ever despite the mutual jobs. It definitely helped when WWF began putting Warrior over Andte in 90-second squash matches on the house shows and pairing Rude with Piper on the opposite house circuit, but still, you had two guys survive big losses and move up the card.  It was perfect, almost the complete po site result you see these days when two guys trade non-decisive wins and wind up no better than where they started from.  Any idea how this worked, other than the sheets talent and/or charisma of the two guys involved?
>
> Yeah, actually it used to be the rule.  Basically you'd have Killer Khan come in and destroy his way up the food chain from Pedro Morales to Koko B Ware to Brutus Beefcake and then finally the program with Hogan around the horn.   He'd make money and get the rub (especially if there was a big SNME blowoff) and then he would go back down the ladder in reverse on the way out.   Job to Beefcake, job to Koko, finally job to Pedro and leave.   You've just spread the Hogan rub over four guys,  and everyone ends up a bigger star.   Somewhere along the way that got perverted into skipping the vital middle steps and just trading wins right away.  

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.  ​

When did raw get good?

Hey scott, 

So a friend of a friend sent this over to me.  Guy basically tries to find the reverse jump the shark moment and for raw he chose May 26th 1997.  Is there really one episode/moment when RAW became can't miss?  Is there an episode that sticks out for you?


​Yeah, last night when Rusev triumphed over the forces of Ireland and brought the US title back to Mother Russia!  
Anyway, we here in Canada have a totally different perspective on the Monday Night Wars, of course, given that Nitro wasn't a thing up here and we couldn't just flip between the shows.  But I recall that the Sid v. Bret cage match with "You don't know shit!" and all that really set the stage and felt like the first time in a long while where we really HAD to see the show on Mondays so as not to miss anything.  ​

For the Good of Wrestling

Scott–

Some historical research has taken me into the archives of the long-since-defunct New York Tribune newspaper. In its February 16, 1921 edition (p8), I found the following letter, reproduced here for the edification of you and the BOD readers.
FOR THE GOOD OF WRESTLING

To the Editor of the Tribune–

Sir: Although the ban has been put on the head lock, the toe hold and the scissors hold, it seems to me that this was extreme and unnecessary.

I realize that such holds are dangerous to the life and limb of contestants, but so is the knock-out in boxing.

In other words, would it not be feasible to permit the head lock, etc, and give the decision to the one holding it if his adversary cannot wriggle out within a certain limited time.

This ruling would also serve to shorten wrestling contests, which are now so long to be at times tiresome, thereby losing in popularity.

S. W. Taylor
Editor, The Rider and Driver
New York, Feb 14, 1921

​Well you have to understand that it's a bit misleading.  When they say "head-lock" in 1921, the move they're referring to is the tombstone piledriver, but since Undertaker wasn't born for another 50 years they didn't have the proper name for it.  The "toe-hold" was closer to a Canadian Destroyer, and the scissors hold was literally stabbing someone in the face with scissors.  So really, today's workers look like pussies next to these guys.  You don't even want to know what the irish whip involved.  
Clearly the business got a lot safer after the second World War.  

Surprisingly Good Match of the Day – Davey Boy Smith vs. Greg Valentine – MSG 10/20/86

I was just watching this episode of Old School on the Network. It was a televised MSG show from 10/20/86. This was the best match on the show, and I would rate this somewhere around ***1/2, if only for the weak ending. I just wanted to share with you, the BoD Universe…..since I care and all.


Davey Boy Smith vs. Greg Valentine by Stinger1981

The Good Shit~!

So TNA is near the end, the WWE Network cost more people their jobs this week than Russo did, yet somehow through all the despair there’s been more great wrestling than almost any other week in history. I may be in the minority but I couldn’t care less if TNA and/or the Network disappeared completely. There’s too much great wrestling to be seen as it is, and not enough hours in the day. So move aside Menagerie, move aside Total Divas marathon, it’s time for the good shit. The main event from the PPV earlier today (7/31/14), Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii~!



G1 Climax 2014 Block A Match Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Good guys gone bad – WWE Top 10

So this would be the YouTube channel version of the Network’s “Best Betrayals” show, with 2 drastic improvements:

1)  It’s much shorter.
2)  They actually get the order correct!

Of course, it’s still WWE-exclusive stuff, but consider the source.  A much better list, at any rate.

A good introduction to pro-wrestling for kids?

Hey Scott,

I have a 4 year old son who I want to eventually bring into wrestling fandom with me, I think he'll love it. I'm of the mindset that I'll probably start showing him some stuff when he's around 7, but we'll see how it goes. Just wondering A) what you think is an appropriate age to bring kids into watching wrestling and B) what are some good feuds, eras or even specific shows that a young kid in particular would find fun and a good introduction to this crazy thing we watch so much.

​Their Saturday morning show was actually a really good, kid-friendly show for introducing it.  Basically I've found though that kids either get it or they don't.  NXT is also totally fine for kids most of the time and has lots of colorful characters.  ​

QOTD 137: Mmmmmmm Dat’s Good Post Production.

Billy Kidman, video editor.

Lets talk about video editing! There are a couple of cool tricks that a lot of editors…well, all video editors, use to create an emotional response for an audience. I’ll post some examples below.

For example if there’s a song in a trailer, 90 percent of the time the song’s beat with coicende with some kind of action, be it a character’s footsteps, gunshots, or cars crashing.

For example that Wrestlemania 17 promo with the Limp Bizkit song “My Way” had pretty much every Rock Bottom / Stunner hit during a specific beat of the song. I *love* this kind of thing, so I’m curious to see what you Wrestlerock Wombats think.

What are your favorite trailers / montages / music videos / sequences from films or television where the music, action, and camera work cut together so wonderfully you’re left in awe?

 
Here’s a good example – check out how the beat to Imagine Dragon’s song “On Top of the World” plays with the bounding of a lemur jumping across the ground. It’s cool. 
 
Here’s an example of how even something that’s really fucking bad – i.e something that I did for fun to test out my editing skills as a freshman, can be made a little better by timing edits / fades / cuts / flashes to evoke a response from the audience. Yes I know I spelled experience wrong. I was on <Rhymes with Dustfumes> at the time.
 
And here’s the masterclass, my favorite hype video of all time. I think the timing is a little off on this, but notice how all the swooshes and drum beats in the song all coincidence with a camera cut or some kind of action.
 
I like this trailer a TON because it actually subverts the stuff I’m talking about a bit. There’s a lot of “Footsteps to the beat” stuff, but I LOVE that they’re using a largely *not* serious song to highlight all this action. It’s fucking wonderful. 

For the Blooooog – TNA Lockdown looks….pretty good. Wait. What?!

Hey Scott,

Big fan of the blog, blahtyblahblah.

I've only seen a handful of Impacts of the past couple of months and read the results here and there but taking a gander at the card for Lockdown and it actually looks really good:

Team Dixie vs Team MVP for control of TNA
Magnus vs Samoa Joe for the World Title
Kurt Angle vs EC3
James Storm vs Gunner
Madison Rayne vs Gail Kim for the Knockouts title
Mr Anderson vs Samuel Shaw
Bad Influence and Chris Sabin vs Great Muta, Sanada and Tigre Uno.

With the exception of the 6 man (which doesn't need a story just turn those guys loose), everything is the payoff to a storyline,  part of a character's development or plays into a story that will continue.

TNA always gets knocked for throwing stuff together haphazardly but all of this makes perfect sense.  It actually looks like something worth watching.

Thoughts?

I have literally not given a second of thought to TNA since I stopped watching it last year.  

Surprisingly Good WrestleMania Matches

So, I
am looking for specific matches that took place at WrestleMania that looked
terrible on paper but they ended up being good or even great. By the
way, unlike last time, it doesn’t matter if you saw it live or not. You can
pick any match that you want, as long as it initially  looked terrible on paper but ended up being good.

Here
are some of my selections off the top of my head:



Ultimate
Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan 6: 
Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior had a couple of
good matches in the past, but they came with superior opponents that had
the abilities to cloud Warrior and Hogan’s deficiencies and limitations. They also had roughly 10 moves between them, which made
me think to myself before watching this, “What the hell are they going
to do?” In addition to that, their characters seemed too similar: Both played invincible baby faces that made miraculous comebacks. 

After
all, most intriguing matchups
are predominantly between characters that are complete opposites.They are rarely between ones that are essentially identical. 

Long story short, this just looked like it was going to be an in-ring train wreck.
Magically, it was not a train wreck. It was actually an awesome match. It has
been said that a road agent (I think it was Patterson) constructed
this literally almost move-for-move. I hope whomever put it together
was given a raise for doing such a masterful job. They created
an exquisite narrative about a battle of immortals. It
was parallel to watching Superman fight Batman to establish who’s the better superhero.

Even
though the match was highly choreographed ahead of time, the performers should get credit for executing everything at a high-level. They demonstrated their unparalleled charisma and it brought out all sorts of emotions from
the fans. They truly had the type of charisma that could not be taught. It was the kind that just comes naturally and instinctively.



Hulk
Hogan vs. The Rock 18: 
So, I guess this makes Hogan an
overachiever at WrestleMania. In 2002, it seemed almost impossible for anyone to get a
good match out of Hogan. He had been stinking up joints left and right. Rock, albeit being very good, wasn’t really notorious for being a miracle worker. 

WWE also
didn’t think building this up as a dream match was good enough. They had to add
a heavy dose of cheesiness hatred into this feud by having Hogan try to murder the Rock, which made matters even worst.

They overcame everything and ended up having a historical match. Some
have said this is a bad match without any volume, although that would be
like calling a horror scene unsuspenseful without any volume because the
music is what makes most horrors scary. 

I mean, crowd psychology is one
of the most crucial factors of how
good a match is, and these two succeeded at just that by keeping the
crowd utterly captivated and bringing them on an extraordinary journey.
The two most surprising things about this, however, were its flow and
transitions. It had nearly zero downtime and kept building towards the crescendo.
I cannot name another Hogan match from this era that accomplished those two
things.

This was just an unexpected gem.


Batista vs. Undertaker
23: 
Fans were outraged
that this was going to co-main event Wrestlemania. Even though
Undertaker ameliorated his
in-ring style to a more pseudo MMA style, Batista’s resume of good matches was
smaller than the amount of fans he has in 2014. Batista was distraught over so
many people questioning why he was given such a big spot at Mania. With a
chip on his shoulder, he exhibited something that most people did not think he
had – vehemence.

They surprised us all by pulling of a great
heavyweight power/slugfest match, with back and forth action, suspense and
drama. This isn’t even their best match together, either. They developed
chemistry together and topped this one. I think facing Undertaker was the best
thing that happened to Batista, because he learned a lot about
wrestling psychology after their series of matches.

Well, there are the first three that popped in my head. Balls in your court now.

Good News For Chikara Fans

At the “National Pro Wrestling Day” event, Icarus came into the ring with a sign that he held up to the camera with the date “5/25/14” written on it, the date that CHIKARA Pro Wrestling is said to be coming back.

The show was shown live on Youtube, here is the video:

A GOOD promo, somewhat unscripted, THIS YEAR, in WWE….?!

Yep, you read it, folks.

Check out possibly one of the only positives to come out of the WWE App, and that’s slightly looser promos, and viola – you get Dolph Ziggler having a meltdown and cutting one helluva scathing promo.

Wow.

http://www.wwe.com/videos/tom-phillips-interviews-dolph-ziggler-after-his-match-wwe-app-exclusive-jan-31-2-26179139

All publicity is good publicity??

The D-Bry burial has reached mainstream media over here in the UK with first the BBC and now the independent (a reasonably respected paper) running stories on it



They're not the type of outlets that run non-death wrestling stories so for them to run these is pretty crazy. 
Any chance that a) Its all a work
b) Vince sees the negative publicity and re-writes the next few weeks of TV to build to Bryan leaving XXX with the belt? 
(I'm assuming no but like Cena, I'm never giving up)
 
Honestly, at this point they should just have him go out there and beat Orton for the title tonight so that everyone can get it out of their system.  Because otherwise this is gonna get worse and worse for them.  

QOTD 69: Goodnight, and Good Luck

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been sort of MIA for….I’d have to check. It feels like awhile. Anyway, I’ve gotten a second full time job doing events writing and promotion for Boston Events Insider, which is a gig that’s paying me to write, do research, and attend all kinds of crazy stuff. It’s like the gig I had for Roger Ebert on crack.


Thus: What are your favorite finales? 


 
So, with a…somewhat heavy heart I must take my leave of the QOTD duties, hell, I haven’t even had the time to check this blog in a few weeks. I guess we’re back to Orton / Cena, wrestling wise? I think? Who knows. 

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who responded to the QOTDs, praised it, hated it, whatever. It was the first time I ever had a real audience of people who would respond to whatever I would write. We all learned so much about each other over these past months, and I like to think we’ve grown as a community. We’re not just wrestling fans, we’re…I don’t want to say the word friends because we’re on the internet, but fuck it, I’ll say it, we’re friends. Hell, Caliber and I talk on Facebook every few days, so yeah. Friends.

I’ve mentioned it before, but being able to do this QOTD daily (mostly daily) has given me the ability to write every.single.day, which is fantastic. Now I’m writing every single day professionally, and I don’t think I’d have it in me if it wasn’t for you kind folks. Posing questions I have, having my opinions validated or invalidated, has been the kind of experience that is invaluable.


So, Thank You, Blog Otters. 

I’m sure I’ll pop in occasionally, with a review, quip, or even the occasional, way-too-long-form question if I find the time. Hopefully someone takes up the challenge of doing a daily one of these, because I think they give people a chance to talk and converse and discuss their lives in a way they really can’t anywhere else. 

Here, I’ll do it in song.

That said, now it’s time to give shit away. If you live in New England, I have more tickets to give away than I can count – well I can count, but it’s more fun if I say it that way. Find me on facebook – facebook.com/pmeekin, twitter (@meekinonmovies), or just e-mail the [email protected] e-mail directly, and check out bostoneventsinsider.com to see the kind of ish we’re doling out. The coolest giveaway is currently for something called ‘The Slutcracker’ which is probably exactly what you think it is.

Even if you don’t live in New England, find me on facebook. I’m friendly!

Now what you’re really here for:

Bye! See you around!

Good Reads at Place to Be Nation

Hey Scott –
 
Thanks again for your support. Wanted to share some big pieces we've done in the last week.
 
We rank the ten best *wrestling* matches from Halloween Havoc – complete with videos of the matches and commentary:
 
We break down TNA's worst gimmick matches:
 
Check out our Kevin Kelly and ROH approved weekly Ring of Honor recap:
 
Our Grappletalk podcast, fresh off being credentialed at the Manchester event, had some great interviews, including the recent TUF competitor eliminated:
 
The Hard Travelling Fanboys put together a monster piece on the Death of Superman:
 
Todd gave us his five scariest comic book characters as part of his Five SPOOKS of Doom:
 
Thanks again for your support of the site!
 
 
 
 
 

No problem.  I'm working graveyard this week so I'm prepping episodes of the Place To Be podcast as we speak.  

Rock Star Reflects…on good ol’ JR!

Despite the rumors floating around concerning Jim Ross’
recent retirement, I would like to congratulate good ol’ JR on a fantastic
career in the professional wrestling/sports entertainment industry.

While Hulk Hogan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and Shawn Michaels
were throwing around the ICON label back in 1997 a true icon was working two
different jobs within the World Wrestling Federation. Jim Ross was both the
Executive Vice-President of Talent Relations as well as the host of Monday
Night RAW. While one of those positions would be quite difficult to handle,
Ross held and excelled in both of them.
Let’s take a look back on the career of good ol’
JR.
I was initially introduced to Jim Ross through his
play-by-play of Mid-South Wrestling back in the mid-80s. Unfortunately I do not
have many memories of his run in MSW/UWF because it was not nationally
televised. Once the UWF buyout by Jim Crockett Promotions transpired Jim Ross
became a weekly staple on my television when he co-hosted World Championship
Wrestling with Tony Schiavone and David Crockett. To this day I am still quite
fond of the former Saturday night 6:05pm wrestling show.
Unbeknownst to me at the time Ross was not only a
play-by-play announcer for the NWA but also a member of the booking committee. His
commentary alongside Bob Caudle during the Flair-Steamboat trilogy in 1989
enhanced the competitive battles taking what was already great and making it
legendary.
While having an extensive knowledge of pro wrestling and
exercising it within his commentary Ross also provided unique background
information on the ring participants. As you already know Ross is a devout
supporter of the University of Oklahoma Sooners. When it came time for Ross to
have an entrance theme he chose the Sooner fight song. The integration of his
college football acumen with wrestlers such as “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Ron
Simmons, along with Rick and Scott Steiner made his announcing appropriate and
realistic.
Without a doubt Ross also had an amazing plethora of
catchphrases. Prior to listening to Ross’ announcing I had never heard the term
“slobberknocker.” His phrase “business is about to pick up” signaled the
audience to pay closer attention as the heat for the match got hotter. “Scalded
dog” and “government mule” were metaphors Ross was known to extol when
someone’s ass was getting whipped. In addition his exclamation during the Hell
in a Cell match in June 1998 between the Undertaker and Mankind stands as one
of his best and most notable: “As God as my witness he is broken in half!”
Ross’ career in WCW lasted until Eric Bischoff became
Executive Vice President of WCW in 1993. Despite having a guaranteed contract
with time remaining on it Ross knew that his TV time was precious and sought
greener (yet less financially green) pastures in the WWF. In fact, according to
cagesideseats.com writer Keith Harris, “On March 28, 1993 Jim Ross stuck the
middle finger to his former employer WCW, just one month after having resigned
from the company due to Eric Bischoff removing him as the lead TV announcer, by
having Vince McMahon on his WCW sponsored radio show to announce his signing
with the WWF, technically before he had even received his official WCW contract
release.”
On April 4, 1993 Ross began his WWF career at WrestleMania
IX in Las Vegas, NV as the play-by-play announcer alongside “Macho Man” Randy
Savage and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. How can anyone forget seeing Jim Ross in a
toga?
Unfortunately for Ross he suffered partial facial paralysis
due to Bell’s palsy and was fired on February 11, 1994. Subsequently he worked
for Smoky Mountain Wrestling and the Atlanta Falcons. However, during the
infamous WWF steroid trials Vince McMahon was unable to perform his announcing
duties on Monday Night RAW and rehired Ross to fill the play-by-play role. Upon
conclusion of said trials Ross found himself out of a job with the WWF again.
In December 1994 Ross was rehired and worked on the
syndicated shows instead of RAW. But in 1996 Ross rejoined the RAW broadcast
team alongside Jerry “The King” Lawler and Vince McMahon. In a poor attempt for
ratings Ross turned heel lambasting the WWF in promos and promising the return
of “Razor Ramon” and “Diesel.” This move sent shockwaves to wrestling fans
during the Monday Night War, and it inadvertently caused Kevin Nash and Scott
Hall to receive raises in their contracts due to WCW’s naivety.
Sadly Nash and Hall were not rejoining the WWF. Instead Rick
Bogner and Glen Jacobs (last seen on RAW as Isaac Yankem, DDS) filled the roles
of “Razor Ramon” and “Diesel.” The audience quickly dismissed the duo as fake
and Ross’ heel turn was quickly scratched. On the bright side Ross’ commentary
during IYH: Buried Alive in October 1996 is truly time worth spent if you have
never heard Ross’ heel character.
After the Montreal “screwjob” at Survivor Series 1997
McMahon gave up his announcing duties. Ross then became the lead announcer on
RAW until Bell’s palsy struck him again in late 1998. He did not return to WWF
programming until March 1, 1999. With insistence from the Rock and “Stone Cold”
Steve Austin Ross replaced Cole during the main event of WrestleMania XV and
didn’t miss a step.
One of the toughest things an announcer has to do is to
relay bad news to the audience. With the utmost respect Ross carried out his
responsibility on May 23, 1999 by informing the pay-per-view audience that Owen
Hart had died. It reminded me of the incident during the 1972 Olympics when Jim
McKay had to relay the bad news that occurred in Munich. But I digress…
While Ross was the play-by-play announcer on RAW Ed
Ferrara—a TV writer who worked for the WWF but subsequently joined WCW in
1999—parodied Ross on WCW Monday Nitro as the character “Oklahoma.”  In my eyes this parody was incredibly
distasteful and mean-spirited. It was neither funny nor cute, and Ed Ferrara
should be ashamed of himself for doing it.
As I mentioned earlier Ross was not only the play-by-play
announcer but also the Executive Vice-President of Talent Relations for the
WWF. Notable hiring that pertains to Ross’ tenure in said position includes:
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin, “The Rock”, Cactus Jack, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, and
many others. Along with the change in programming that the WWF undertook in the
late ‘90s I firmly believe the talent that Ross hired to fulfill the change
made the difference in the Monday Night War.
On August 26, 1999 Ross performed his announcing duties
alongside Jerry Lawler on the network premiere of WWF Smackdown. However,
Michael Cole would assume that role following that episode. On an infrequent
basis Ross would make appearances on Smackdown (e.g. the 9/11 tribute show that
aired live on 9/13/2001).
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the constant
humiliation thrust upon Ross during his WWF/WWE tenure. In 2001 Ross became
only the second member of Vince McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass” club behind William
Regal. In 2005 health issues would require a leave of absence for Ross. To
explain the absence WWE humiliated Ross with a “head up his ass” colonoscopy skit
featuring Vince McMahon. Further humiliations include getting burned by Kane,
receiving the mandible claw by Mankind, and kissing Michael Cole’s foot. It was
no surprise that anytime WWE hosted a live RAW in Oklahoma Ross would become
the butt of the joke.  In spite of all
the humiliation Ross exemplified a company man performing his job with class
and dignity.
In order to place a better focus on his health, family, and
eventually JR’s BBQ sauce Ross stepped down as Executive VP in 2005 but
continued his weekly announcing duties on RAW. John Laurinaitis served as Ross’
replacement.
In a moment that could be considered by many as overdue Ross
was elected to the WWE Hall of Fame on March 31, 2007. His longtime friend
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin inducted him.
In June 2008 Ross was switched from RAW to Smackdown as part
of the annual WWE draft. Twelve years of duty on Monday nights came to an end
due to an angle that Ross was not made aware beforehand. Although he
contemplated resignation he persevered until October 2009.
Unfortunately that was when Ross suffered his third bout
with Bells’ palsy.  He would not resume full-time
announcing duties until July 25, 2011 when COO Triple H “rehired” him to join
Lawler and Cole. That would last until October 10 when Laurinaitis “fired” him
publicly in front of his wife on RAW in Oklahoma City.
Thereafter Ross made special appearances that include
calling the last four matches of WrestleMania XXVII and participating in the
Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler feud. Additionally he announced the Hell in a Cell
match between the Undertaker and Triple H at WrestleMania XVIII, appeared at both
the 1000th episode of RAW on July 23, 2012 as well as the 20th
anniversary on January 14, 2013, was honored on October 1, 2012 on JR
Appreciation Night, and co-hosted the pre- and post-show for WrestleMania 29
with Dusty Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, and Scott Stanford.
When Triple H took over Talent Relations he hired Ross as an
advisor and scout. Ross also mentored new announcers at the WWE Performance
Center. Ross would hold this position until September 11, 2013 when he
announced his retirement.
As a fan of professional wrestling over most of the last 2
decades I also attest to being a fan of good ol’ JR. Whether he was proclaiming
“This is the NWA where we wrestle!” or apologizing for some of the adult
content during the Attitude Era Ross sold the product better than anyone. Tony
Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Michael Cole among others greatly pale in comparison
to Ross’ work in the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s. Whether or not we have seen the last
of Jim Ross on WWE TV remains to be seen. But, to be fair, I tip my cap to the
man in the black hat. Thanks, JR!

Good ol’ fashion Christian revival?

Got an email from BoD Main Eventer, Jobber123, with a small request for some talk about Christian’s possible assent back to the main.


“Hey dude I was wondering if would put up a post on Christian going over
ADR in a non title match on raw (a “week” after adr goes over sheamus).
It seemed like he was coming back to be a jtts, and was an afterthought
as any kind of main guy. But since he’s come back he’s gone over a few
big names (and del Rio is probably in the top 5 of most protected guys).
Is he getting another main event push? I think so. Why not? Fantastic
worker, attitude era tie in, great on the mic. I’m not saying he main
events any ppv but I’m betting he gets a run at a couple whc feuds. Does
the blog think this is a good thing? I know we all love Christian, but
guess whose spot he’s taking? Dolph zigglers. So are we OK with that or
is this hhh putting an old vet name up the card and fucking ziggler?” 

In all honesty, I don’t think there’s any plan for Christian. I think it’s just coincidence that he’s gone over the bigger names. I really don’t have any faith in WWE planning anything coherent like that. Plus, if they’re going to screw with Ziggler & ADR like they have, why on Earth would they make Christian a top contender? I don’t say that because I don’t think he deserves it, or can’t hold the position, I just don’t see the WWE team looking at him like that.