Dave Meltzer: Strong Style Mark?

Hi Scott

I was looking over Meltzer's 5* match listings and was shocked by the matches left off the list (HBK/UT WM, Bret/Owen WM, Austin/Rock, Foley/HHH etc.) I get that it's subjective and all but to go from that list, from '97 to now, nothing was better than Punk/Cena MitB. I'm a huge fan of that match but can name 5 in that time period that are better off the top of my head.

Meanwhile, over in Japan, especially in the 90s, Meltzer was giving out 5*s left and right. What gives? Was Meltzer just a huge fan of the strong style? Was it an snob thing where people like to say, "US matches are nothing compared to what goes on overseas…" I'll readily admit to being bred on WWE style and not quite getting Japan, but come on, wasn't Meltzer being a bit biased?

​I think Dave would readily admit to being biased towards Japanese strong style.  And it's not like his star ratings are word of law or anything.  That's what I'm here for.  ​

The Mark Remark

Hey Scott:

Not that the BoD doesn't provide all the wrestling content one could ever need, BUT…

Only thing is, I can't shake the feeling that a lot of his material seems… familiar, somehow.


​He seems pretty funny, actually, although I've never delved into the whole "YouTube reviews of shows" subgenre.  My YouTube subscription list is clogged up enough with video game reviewers, stick figure drawings of science, and Matthew Santoro's 18 videos a day.  ​

Mark Crozer & The Rels interview (plug request)

Hey, Scott-

I help broadcast Roundtable Wrestling Radio, a live post-Raw radio show on Mondays. Tonight they're bringing in Mark Crozer and the Rels (the writers of Bray Wyatt's theme song, who performed it at Wrestlemania) for an interview. The show goes from 11:30 PM to 1:30 AM US Eastern on 8bitx.com. Think we could get a plug?


The PG Era Rant: Raw, 1/13/14 (OR: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Mark the Heck Out)

When last we left our heroes, the
Internet exploded. With legends taking over, the word was about Jake
the Snake’s recovery, Ric Flair’s downturn, and groups growing via
unpopular ways. Now the Road to the Royal Rumble picks up in
earnest; who is going to take the bull by the horns and become the
favorite among the 30?
Our live look-in is all about the WWE
Network and details you’ll need to know. Plus, both Randy Orton and
John Cena will have matches tonight.
The PG Era Rant for Raw, January 13,
Live from Providence, RI.
Your hosts are the Three Blind Mice.

We open with a look at the Wyatt
Family’s recruitment of Daniel Bryan. Bray Wyatt brags about it in a
canned bit. Daniel Bryan is home.
Opening match: The Usos v. Bray Wyatt
and Daniel Bryan. No “we’re here” entrance. Crowd is still
chanting YES, but not nearly as loud as usual. They switch to a
“Daniel Bryan” chant. Bryan and Jey start, and Jey pounds on him
and gets a right hook in the corner. Bryan floors Jey and works him
over in the corner, tagging in Bray. Bray stomps away on Jey and
taunts Jimmy, but Jey starts a slugfest only to lose. Bray with
headbutts, and in comes Bryan. Bryan chokes Jey against the ropes
and fish-hooks Jey’s nose before kicking his kidneys. Crowd cheers
for Bryan. Bryan with the Taker apron legdrop as JBL claims the
crowd is applauding Bryan’s choice. Bray back in, and Bryan with a
guillotine on the bottom rope leading to a Bray quakedrop. Bray
throws Jey into the corner and avalanches him, then laughs at Jimmy
and tags in Bryan. Bryan nails Jey with the YES kicks, but without
the YES. Roundhouse finale hits as well, and he goes back to the
fish-hook. Crowd tries to chant for Bryan again as Bryan kicks the
back and goes TO THE CHINLOCK. Jey fights out of it, but Bryan
catches a kick only to get Dragon Whipped. Hot tag Jimmy, and Bryan
is run over with clotheslines and a Samoan Drop. Rikishi Hip Check
follows, getting two before Bray saves. Jimmy tosses Bray and Bryan
in turn, and the Usos follow with stereo pescados. Pescadi?
Everybody’s back in now, and the Usos climb adjacent corners only for
Harper and Rowan to run in and cause the DQ at 5:38. Not much heat
to this one, oddly enough. *3/4
Harper and Rowan isolate Jey and mug him in the corner, but Jey
avoids the T&A double-team and kicks down Bryan, allowing the
Usos to escape. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Bryan looks at the
others like “Dude, why you leave me to take the punishment, man?”
The crowd is just WAITING for this to fall apart. Bray whispers
some encouragement to Bryan, who again pledges his loyalty and asks
to hug it out. Bray gives him Sister Abigail’s Kiss anyway. “I do
this for all of us! This will lead to change!” It’s looking more
and more like they’re going with the Shawn/JBL “one of these days
he’s going to snap and go back to normal” stories, but the
difference is that JBL and Shawn were reasonably over and better
storytellers than Bray and Bryan. Plus, let’s face it: was Shawn
against JBL really
that good a story?
next: John Cena in action.
Rumble ad, featuring the return of Batista. There’s your clubhouse
favorite, folks.
WWE Network will offer every Pay Per View event ever in WWF, WWE,
WCW, ECW… you have my money!
Sandow v. John Cena. We look at Sandow’s downhill run, starting with
failing at his cash-in. After the bit with Bryan had the crowd
deflated, it’s Cena to pump them back up… and he does a good job of
it. Is Cena wearing Calvin Klein underwear? Why do I notice that?
Sandow with a headlock to start as the crowd is their usual. Cena
pushes off and, after some iterations, gets an armdrag on the whip.
He works the arm, into a headlock, and this time Sandow tries to
mimic Cena’s armdrag only to get caught for a one-count. Sandow
knocks over Cena and stomps away in the corner, adding a boot choke.
Sandow with a headbutt and slam to Cena as we go to break. We come
back with Sandow working the arm – and it’s the right arm, because
that’s the one that actually got hurt. He misses a kneedrop,
however, and Cena begins the comeback. Five-Knuckle Shuffle
connects, and the AA is set up, but Sandow with the Edge-O-Matic for
two. Terminus try, but Cena fights out of it into the STF try, but
Sandow blocks that. Sandow kicks the leg out of Cena’s leg, and
Edgecation – called the Royal Arch or something – is hooked, but
Cena fights out. Half-nelson into a Rude Awakening by Cena gets two.
Cena goes up, but Sandow catches him and meets him up there. They
fight over what comes next, with Cena shoving Sandow down, then
catching him with a Tornado DDT for two. Cena’s incredulous, but
tries the AA again, but Sandow with a sunset flip for two. Sandow
with a facejam for two. Full nelson slam try by Sandow, but Cena
gets a hiptoss and STF only for Sandow to make the ropes. Sandow
with the Crossface out of nowhere on Cena, but he doesn’t really have
the arm locked well and Cena picks him up on his back. He breaks
straight into the AA for the pin at 10:26. These two have GREAT
chemistry together, which bodes well for Sandow’s future, but this
reminds me of Vampiro in WCW 2000 under Sullivan: he would get the
rub of being near main eventers, but can’t beat them, so is he really
getting over? **3/4
Cena hugs his dad at ringside.
tonight: CM Punk and the New Age Outlaws face the Shield in a
SmackDown rematch. Plus, a look at the WWE Network announcement.
from legitimate news reporters celebrate how awesome the WWE Network
is. This leads to a look at the press conference where it was all
announced. The more we hear about this, the more awesome it is. And
I can get it on my PS3? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
back in the Main Office, Kane is looking over something on paper with
Brad Maddox. Maddox approves of how the show started and brings up
the Wyatts. Kane tells Maddox to enforce the rules. Maddox: “Oh,
you want ME to enforce?” Maddox asks for the Usos/BrayBryan match
to be redone in a cage. Kane likes it, but he thinks he can top it:
no escaping through the door, and Kane has the key. Hmmm… you
know, if they were going to abort the Bryan-in-the-Wyatts story
tonight, this WOULD be the hottest way to do it.
Show v. Jack Swagger. As a reminder, Brock Lesnar will throw Big
Show around like a ragdoll at the Rumble. Colter’s sign: “You’re a
BIG part of the problem.” We look back at Show and Brock facing
off. Heck of a bump by Brock, too. Show throws Swagger around to
start, and Swagger tries a double-leg takedown but gets beaten up in
the corner. Huge throw across the ring, and Show with a Hammer Throw
but Swagger gets the knees up on a charge. All momentum is cut off
as Show bowls over Swagger a bunch and begins his comeback, ending
with a shoulder tackle. Chokeslam time, and Swagger goes for the
ride and is pinned at 1:19. Squash. Cesaro enters to attack Show,
but thinks better of it and races off through the crowd. But Show
sees Colter and has an idea. He stalks Colter, who does the “Oh
crap, there’s someone behind me, isn’t there?” look. He tries to
beg off, but Show grabs him and… lets go to shove Cesaro away. So
much for the sneak attack. Back to Colter, and Show winds up, but
Colter cries for mercy and begs to be let go. It looks like Show
will listen… then he winks and knocks him out anyway before doing
the We The People pose. Be a star, folks!
we mention the SmackDown rematch? It’s coming up next.
Coming back. Next week. Wants title.
Age Outlaws & CM Punk v. Shield. They hit all the notes in the
intro. Did anyone tell them DX is just Shawn and HHH again and
they’re not allowed in the front door? JBL: “Billy forgot his
lines again, didn’t he?” Road Dogg introduces Punk. Does the WWE
even know Dean Ambrose still has the US Title? He’s never getting
his deposit back at this rate. Ambrose starts against Gunn. Gunn
with a headlock, which he works on, but Ambrose throws him off only
to get knocked down. Ambrose with wild shots in the corner, but a
blind charge misses and Gunn punches at him. Ambrose controls with a
headlock and brings in Rollins. Rollins kicks away at Gunn, but Gunn
with a kneelift only to run into a boot. Rollins gets caught in a
tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Dogg in, and he works the arm only to get
knocked down. Ambrose back in, and he and Rollins work over Dogg
before Ambrose rakes at the face in the corner. Punk gets Ambrose
away, but it doesn’t last as Ambrose tries to keep it up only to get
punched down by Dogg, who gets the Shake Rattle and Roll kneedrop for
one. Dogg with the chinlock as the crowd says he still got it.
Ambrose fights out of it as much as possible, but Dogg holds the arm
and Punk tags in. Ambrose races off and gets a standstill, but he
charges only to get punched down. Punk sends Ambrose pillar to post
and adds Bionic Elbows in the corner. Blind charge eats boot and
Ambrose gets control, only to be ALMOST GTS’d. Rollins in, and same
for him. So fine, the Shield bring in Reigns to a pop. Whatever
they’re doing with the Shield, it’s working. Reigns and Punk have a
staredown, then throw forearms. Punk seems to get the advantage, but
it doesn’t last as Reigns punches him down off the ropes. He stays
on top of Punk, avoiding GTS but getting low bridged out. Punk adds
a tope suicida for fun. Outlaws cut off the Shield as we go to
break. We return with Punk bowling over Rollins, adding a back elbow
and swinging neckbreaker for two. FLASH FUNK IS TRENDING ON TWITTER.
YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID. Rollins knocks Punk down and brings
Reigns in, who gets a dropkick from the floor to the apron. It gets
two. Ambrose and Reigns double-team Punk, and Ambrose punches him
down. He stomps the hand and headbutts Punk, adding a straight kick
for two. He goes to the chinlock, as Punk is holding his eye –
maybe Reigns’s kick was a little too strong? Punk tries to suplex
out of it, but gets caught with a running knee to the gut for two.
Rollins in now, and he punches Punk in the face. Rollins with a
Stinger Splash on Punk for two. Ambrose back in, and he stomps away
on Punk. Short clothesline gets two. Ambrose taunts Punk and stomps
away at his gut. Rollins points out the eye injury, and Ambrose goes
right to it. Punk tries to crawl through Ambrose to the tag, but
Ambrose catches him and headbutts him. Ambrose dumps Punk to the
outside and follows, but Punk reverses a throw into the steps. Punk
back in, and Reigns throws Ambrose in so he can tag Rollins. Rollins
is caught coming off the top, but Reigns tags in and drags him away.
He does the crotch-chop to the Outlaws, but that allows Punk a
roundhouse kick. Hot tag… to no one, as the Outlaws bail on the
match. Punk realizes this, and he is not amused. The Shield are
grinning at Punk’s predicament, but Punk goes to town on all three.
Reigns with a spear to cut it off, and that’s all she wrote at 15:38.
***1/4 As for why
they did it? Punk doesn’t like HHH and the Authority, and the
Outlaws are HHH’s friends so of COURSE they taught Punk a lesson.
See? This writes itself. Now, let’s see if they do that. Shield
get ready to leave, but Reigns wants to do more damage and they
return. Triplebomb to Punk follows.
tune in to the Wyatt Family as Bray speaks to Bryan. He says the
Usos do not want to be locked in a cage with them. The Wyatts have
been locked in society’s cage and now they’re out to do what they
want. Tonight, they’ll find redemption and absolution in the cage.
and Naomi v. AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka. A theory: the more developed a
character is, the more likely they have a last name. Wait a second,
is Emma in the crowd? Cameron and Tamina start, and Tamina shoves
Cameron down. Cameron tries a rollup, but that fails. Tamina misses
a legdrop, and Cameron gets one. Cameron with headscissors on
Tamina, but she gets smashed on the top rope by Tamina. JACKET OF
DOOM follows, and Tamina gets two. She drops a knee and goes to a
waistlock. Tamina switches to a slam, and now AJ wants in. Swinging
neckbreaker to Cameron and she skips around, and because she gets to
show character, she gets cheered. It gets one. Bodyscissors to
Cameron, switching to a sleeper. Cameron fights out, but AJ stops
the tag (barely) and elbows down Naomi for fun. Shining Wizard ends
it at 2:51. Naomi did nothing. 1/4*
Tamina pounds Cameron some more, but Naomi’s had enough and throws
out AJ and destroys Tamina. Butt-butt to AJ and the heels bail.
There’s your Royal Rumble match. (By the way, yes, that was Emma.)
Orton is angry and demands to see Triple H.
tonight, we restart the opening match in a steel cage. In addition,
we’ll find out who the headliner will be for the Class of 2014 in the
Hall of Fame.
a look at the Divas’ roster: the WWE somehow thinks just BEING a
Total Diva is enough to be a face. None of the Total Divas have
shown any character on the main program outside of “they’re on that
show”. Compare to AJ, who has been very much protected, given an
in-depth character, and allowed to say everyone is beneath her and
prove it by consistently winning. Is it any wonder she’s over and
the others aren’t? Someone needs to beat AJ soon, or the whole
division is DOA.
is on his PDA when Orton demands to see HHH and Stephanie. Orton is
really really angry about the rematch with Cena, about Lesnar showing
up, about Batista’s return… dude, is he the Face of the Company or
not? Kane says he knows all this, but he’s only in charge of
tonight. And tonight, Orton will face Kofi Kingston and get to beat
him up. (Stupid, stupid, stupid. You’re all thinking it.)
news outlets are praising the WWE Network idea. Let’s let Vince have
this one: he’s earned it.
first Hall of Fame inductee is… THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR! Slam dunk.
I’m so ready for his speech. Crowd totally approves.
Young is with Paul Heyman. Young reviews footage of Show and Brock
fighting each other again. Young asks how Heyman feels about the
Royal Rumble match. Heyman: “Wow, beauty really is skin deep around
here.” Heyman wonders if knocking out Zeb Colter was trying to
impress Lesnar. Eat / Sleep / Conquer / Repeat is Lesnar’s credo.
Heyman talks about acromegaly causing stupidity, because Show’s a
bonehead for picking a fight with Lesnar. It’s one thing to attack
Swagger, fine, or knock out Colter, whoop de doo. Heyman is
unimpressed. Lesnar is the clear #1 Contender, and he’ll prove it at
the Rumble.
Orton v. Kofi Kingston. Cole says that Orton is whining about the
pressure, which JBL finds ridiculous. Kofi will be in the Rumble
match, as will Miz, Big E Langston, the Rhodeses, R-Truth, Xavier
Woods, Alberto Del Rio… and others. Orton pounds away on Kingston
and dumps him, following to the outside and uppercutting him down.
Orton throws Kofi into the barricade and back in. It gets two.
Orton chokes Kofi in the second turnbuckle, then stomps Kofi’s leg.
Blind charge hits the boots, and Kofi begins a comeback. Orton with
a whip to the corner, and a clothesline gets two. The announcers
argue about Orton and who he whines about rather than call the match.
Orton stomps away on Kofi, hanging him up on the top rope. Kofi
falls outside, and Orton works the crowd as Kofi is trying to
recover. Orton follows Kofi outside, but Kofi throws him into the
RAW table over and over. Back in, but Orton suckers Kofi into the
turnbuckle. Orton throws Kofi to the top rope and headbutts him,
following him up with a superplex. Orton: “KICK OUT OF THAT!”
And at two, he does. Orton is quite put off by this. Orton goes to
the Garvin Stomp to Kofi, then a kneedrop for two. JBL brings up a
good point: Why is Brock Lesnar allowed to just CALL himself #1
Contender? Cole counters: not like anyone disagrees. Kofi slowly
fights back, sending Orton out of the ring with a clothesline and
followng with a fake-out. Baseball slide misses, but Kofi sends
Orton into the stairs. He leaps off the apron with a lariat to Orton
and tries to fire the crowd up as we go to break. The problem, of
course, is the crowd doesn’t give Kofi a chance (unlike with Cody and
Goldust earlier), so they’re not really rallying behind him. We
return with Orton grabbing Kofi by the dreads and suplexing him onto
the barricade. He sends Kofi into the table (“HOW DO YOU LIKE
THAT?”) and throws him back in. He follows and gets two. He’s
been grinding his forearm into Kofi’s face on the pinfall attempts.
Orton to the chinlock, but Kofi fights out and back suplexes Orton.
Kofi boxes away on Orton, but a thumb to the eye stops it, only for
Kofi to recover. Orton prevents Trouble in Paradise and throws Kofi
to the outside. Orton’s lip may be busted, and if so, Orton will be
ANGRY. Kofi goes into the steps to pay for it. Two sets of steps,
actually. Back in, Orton laughs at Kofi (who isn’t moving) before
stomping his head in. Orton’s facials are amazing. It gets two.
The stomp, not the facials. Orton back to the chinlock, smiling as
he has it on. Orton yells at the crowd to shut up, which fires them
up a bit. Kofi fights out, but Orton pounds on the back. Blind
charge hits elbow, and Kofi with double chops to fire back, but a
dropkick misses. Orton looks at his chest as if to say, “Did he
really deign to chop me?” Orton stomps at the head again as he is
not happy. Orton picks Kofi up by the hair and uppercuts him. Orton
smiles at Kofi and drags him to his feet again, but Kofi with a
backslide for two. An angry Orton uppercuts Kofi for two. Orton to
an armbar and chinlock, smiling away. Kofi fights out, but Orton
pulls him down by the hair. Kneedrop misses, though, and Kofi with a
dropkick as the crowd’s starting to get into it. Flying clothesline
by Kofi and Boom Drop follow, but the latter misses. Orton growls in
frustration before hitting the Draping DDT, but Kofi reverses to the
SOS for the pin (!!!) at 16:43. We need more massive upsets like
this. Now the question is: does it mean Kofi’s getting pushed?
Orton doesn’t need the win or loss – and his anger and post-match
tantrum proves it – but Kofi could easily be revitalized by this
win. *** I’ll
totally admit this rating may be more than you give and the story is
an acquired taste, but Orton’s arrogance getting the best of him and
Kofi’s hope spots made me enjoy it. Orton is so mad he beats up John
Cena Sr., which brings Junior out to chase Orton off and check on his
father. Awesome, awesome segment, but we’ve already seen Orton beat
up Cena’s dad to get heat on their match. They’ve literally done
everything before. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
Cena Sr. is being helped out of the arena on a stretcher, with Cena
following. We look back at Kofi’s big upset win and Orton taking it
out on everything and everyone. Even JBL thinks Orton went too far.
They load him into the ambulance, and Cena will follow his dad to the
hospital. JBL washes his hands of Orton. That’s a great touch.
Rhodes Brothers v. Ryback and Curtis Axel. Great touch on the WWE
App: Goldust promises to eliminate Cody to get even for years past.
Goldust with a hiptoss on Axel to start, but Axel slugs away to take
control. Goldust with a kick and kneeling uppercut. Ryback tags in,
and he runs over Goldust as the announcers point out Ryback’s Twitter
meltdown. Test of strength is offered, but Goldust refuses. Cody
in, and he kicks Ryback and gets a moonsault press for one. Cody
works the arm, and Goldust punches Ryback in the gut. Ryback with a
headlock on Goldust, but Axel tags in and gets a Northern lariat.
Axel works Goldust over in the corner, then nails a dropkick for two.
Axel brings Ryback in after some shots, and the duo crushes Goldust
in the corner. Ryback gets two before HITTING THE CHINLOCK. Goldust
fights out but runs into a military press slam. This match will not
get the crowd back into it. Ryback gets two. Ryback kicks away and
brings Axel in. Goldust with a back elbow off a corner whip, but
Ryback prevents the hot tag. Blind charge eats boot, and Goldust
with a running bulldog. Hot tag Cody, and Axel is run over
repeatedly. Brisco Rollup gets two. Sliding punch by Cody, and the
Holly low kick follows. Springboard dropkick by Cody, and he goes
back up, nailing Ryback with the Disaster Kick. Goldust clears
Ryback away, but Axel cradles Cody for two. Cody reverses the
neckbreaker into Cross Rhodes for the pin at 6:04. Yawn. 3/4*
Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio will meet next.
is going to win^H^H^Henter the Royal Rumble. He’ll be here next
Mysterio v. Alberto Del Rio. Did one of the cameras just go dead?
Someone’s getting fired. Either that or the Wyatts hacked the wrong
feed. Superstar-style inset promo says Rey Mysterio will enter the
Rumble. Both of these men are former Rumble winners. Lillian Garcia
introduces Del Rio in Spanish just because. There’s a La Parka
cosplayer at ringside. Del Rio pounds on Rey in the corner, adding a
slam for one. Del Rio throws Rey into the ropes, but gets caught
with headscissors. Del Rio bails from a quick 619 try, so Rey with a
senton off the apron instead. Back in, Rey goes to the top and Drops
the Dime. Del Rio catches Rey with a back kick, but Rey flips
through to blast Del Rio in the head for two. Rey tries his bulldog,
but Del Rio throws it aside and gets the armbreaker. He punches away
on Rey and plays to the crowd. Del Rio works the arm with a Fujiwara
armbar. Rey fights out, but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by
Del Rio for two. Del Rio wraps the arm around the ropes to weaken
it, then begs Rey to stand up and fight him. Hammer Throw by Del
Rio, but a charge is ducked and Del Rio flies all the way out of the
ring. Del Rio rolls back in, but a blind charge misses and Rey tries
a headscissors, eventually succeeding. 619 follows as the crowd
finally wakes up. Del Rio cuts off the big splash and Rey is hung
up, as Del Rio superkicks him in the face. He calls for the
armbreaker and gets it, getting the tapout at 4:57. Is it just me,
or has Del Rio started phoning it in? He was really good a year ago
against Big Show, but now? Forget it. *1/4
Post-match, Del Rio says it was a message to Batista. He promises
to do the same thing next week if Batista shows up, and he will
personally throw Batista out. Now, they’ll stop talking about
Batista and start talking about him. Crowd wasn’t into any of this.
the steel cage re-start.
wrestlers are talking about the WWE Network as we get highlights of
the press conference.
Kane is on the phone when CM Punk asks for the Authority. But
they’re not here. How convenient, says Punk, who says that the
Shield are hired assassins and the Outlaws are his former pals. He
believes he’s being targeted. HHH doesn’t have to hide, but Kane
says HHH has no idea what Punk is talking about. Kane lets Punk know
he’s being entered into the Royal Rumble. Punk is ready and has no
problem with being in it, but he DOES have a problem with Kane.
Usos cut a bilingual promo about tonight, saying the Wyatts need to
be ready to step aside.
on SmackDown, the Outlaws will face the Rhodes Brothers in a
non-title match.
look back at Kofi’s huge upset and Orton reacting by beating up
Cena’s dad. John Sr has no heart issues, but he may have suffered a
broken orbital bone.
event, cage match: The Usos v. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan. Bryan’s
not in the “We’re here” opening right now, which is interesting.
This match can be won by pinfall, submission, or escape… but it
better be over the top, because the door is locked and Kane is
guarding the door with the only key. With all the pieces in place,
SOMETHING has to happen here. I just don’t know what. It’s tornado
tag rules, and it’s a massive brawl to start. Bryan gets knocked
over and Bray is double-teamed. Bryan trips someone in the corner as
Bray blocks a turnbuckle shot. The Family seems to have an edge, as
one Uso eats cage on a backdrop. Bryan grinds one opponent’s face as
Bray chokes down the other with his boot. Bryan dropkicks the back
of one Uso – not even the announcers know which is which right now
– as the Family is dominant. Bray catapults his Uso into the cage.
Bryan lets his Uso get away as he reaches the top of the cage, but
Bryan follows and they fight on the top. Bray follows them up,
catching up with the Uso and trying to drag him in by the hair,
succeeding and bringing him back in. The other Uso knocks Bray down,
but Bryan’s still up top and is being chased. Bryan gets Russian
legswept off the ropes and all four men are down as we go to break.
We return with Bray choking one Uso on the ropes as the other is
being uppercutted by Bryan. Bray eats boot on a blind charge. Bray
and his Uso are climbing the ropes, but Bray is knocked away and one
Uso follows him down with a corkscrew moonsault for two. Oh, right,
pinfall and submission are in play. Bryan catches the other Uso
trying to escape. Uso is in the Tree of Woe, and Bryan destroys him
to YES chants. Bryan tries to leave, but he’s caught by the other
Uso. Both Usos catch Bryan and give him a double back superplex. No
one’s in any condition to cover, though, as the crowd says it is
Awesome. An Uso gets two, eventually. Bray punches both men and
throws one into the cage. He catches a superkick by the other and
punches him down, getting Sister Abigail’s Kiss… only not, because
the other Uso superkicks him. Everyone’s down again. Huge Uso chant
starting as the twins try to leave together. Harper and Rowan try to
stop them, which allows Bryan and Bray to catch them from behind.
Everyone’s on the cage now, and Bryan gets headbutted down, causing
Bray to crotch himself. Both Usos are now ready, and one splats onto
Rowan. Harper attacks him, allowing the other to drop at 10:50.
***1/4 Harper and
Rowan brawl with the Usos on the outside. But this leaves Bryan and
Bray, alone, in the cage, and Kane has the only key. Bray is
laughing at his own defeat. Crowd chants for Bryan, who has just
what he says he wanted. Bryan stares daggers at Bray, who tries to
whisper to Bryan. Bryan nods at what he hears, and Bray asks for
prostration. Bryan delivers it, much to the crowd’s chagrin, and
Bray adds Sister Abigail… but Bryan refuses! And now, it’s clear
everyone has what they want. Bray likes Bryan’s feisty behavior.
Bryan stares into the crowd, who wants it to happen. Bray tries to
explain, but the crowd is LOUD for Bryan. There’s no Kane, no
Family, no one but Bray and Bryan. Bray begs Bryan to bring it.
Moment of truth is coming… and Bray stands up, certain he has
control over Bryan. Bray attacks Bryan… who steps aside and HERE
WE GO! Bryan UNLOADS on Bray! Repeated corner-to-corner dropkicks
as the crowd LOSES IT. YES KICKS follow, including the exclamation
point! And the last thing left to do is a formality: Bryan sheds his
Wyatt armor and goes back to being himself. It was all a ruse! He
stomps away on Bray as Harper and Rowan DESPERATELY try to get in.
Bryan throws Bray into Harper, then Rowan, to knock them to the
floor. The whole crowd is SCREAMING yes as Bryan leads them on, and
it’s the Power Kneesmash! Bryan then goes to the top of the cage and
leads the entire arena, and half of Rhode Island, in YES chants.
Valkyrie rides again as the crowd is going ballistic! YES! YES!
got me.
promised I’d say that. And now I will. THEY GOT ME. Hook, line,
and sinker, I was WORKED. Congratulations, WWE. You had me.
keep thinking I’m smarter than this. We all did. The Internet was
furious because it looked like Bryan was being taken out of the
picture. But tonight, he outsmarted ALL the Wyatts and got what he
wanted… and so did we.
not even going to suggest this may have been an aborted story, but
even if it was? So what. They fooled me. They sucked us in, they
got us talking, and they worked us all. What do you want me to say
I got
worked. Congratulations, Vince. As the chants would say, You Still
Got It.
TIME: 74:26 over nine matches
MATCH: Wyatts/Usos II
MATCH: the Divas
MVP: I’m giving it to both Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan… with
some to Vince and Stephanie in Creative.
SCORE: 7. The first two hours were pedestrian, but NO ONE will be
talking about ANY of that. The main event cage match stole the show.
And now, Daniel Bryan is back on the short list for Royal Rumble
winner. It was a very rare moment that even the most jaded of us was
worked, and marked out at the result. Thanks, guys. I’m ready.
Now, does anyone know how to pre-order the WWE Network?

EDIT: Actually, 7 might not be high enough.  In light of three ***+ matches, the big win by Kofi, the angle advancement with Orton/Cena, and a brilliant swerve by Vince, this gets bumped up to 8.5.

Inside Scott’s Box 2: Who do casuals/non-fans mark for?

Here’s a cool question from a fella who didn’t sign his name in a question, so I’m going to refer to him as Jeorge. 

Hey, (Insert traditional ego-stroking here)

In your personal experience, who are some of the
wrestlers the uber-casual fans you know mark for?  I’m talking people
who only watch wrestling when you’re watching wrestling.  And what
reasons do they give for liking who they like?

Thanks and appreciated.


Well, Jeorge, I’ve noticed a lot of Sports Radio guys, especially in New England, anyway, still mark for folks like Hacksaw, Hogan, Sarge, Macho Man, and Andre The Giant. If they mention any of those guys, they’ll eventually tag John Cena as the face of the company currently, what with him being a Boston guy and all. 
Beyond that, when I’m watching wrestling and my family pops in, so far the only people who have managed to keep them interested beyond and eye-roll and silent judgement of my entertainment habits, it’s been The Rock, Cena, Lesnar – essentially guys that fit the mold of muscled bad asses. 
In fact a few weeks ago my Dad was watching it with me briefly, and got really, *really* upset that the WWE expected ANYONE to believe that CM Punk could beat up Brock Lesnar.  “There’s no way! No Way! Come on! That’s so fake!”. 
My sister is currently on the path to becoming a professional dancer, but I’ve yet to be able to show her Fandango, though once she caught me humming his song and I had to explain why there was a ball room dancing wrestler when ball room dancing was hard enough as it is. 

On the subject of Fandango, there’s a great Kevin Costner movie by that title that’s really sweet and kind of cheesy. I’d check it out. 

Netflix = Money Mark?


As I’m sure Dixie Carter would attest to, wrestling is not the best business to get into right now.  What they should do is buy the rights to NJPW and dub over with Mauro Ranallo or the ROH announce crew. Or just buy ROH from Sinclair, since their business model is selling DVDs anyway.  

Did some research into Mark Van Hammer


Marty Jannetty vs Kevin Kelly, 1 of 2

Look at Mr. Magnificent Kevin Kelly in the link at the top pause at 6 seconds  

Pause Mark Van Halen at the link below at three seconds or so.

Mark Van Halen Gym Weights Routine 80s Wrestler

I think it's Nailz when he was very young

And it could also explains Vince dubbing Nailz voice to make it sound more ominous

Here he is before his main event push weighing a little less –  He looks shorter here barely taller than his partner.

Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal vs Kevin Kelly and Paul Brown

Listen to his voice here:
Nailz Interview

Intriguing, but I think the ages and times are off.   Plus I don't think Kevin Wacholz worked as anything but Kevin Kelly pre-WWF.  

Mark Henry question


Love your blog. Quick question. Sexual Chocolate hinted last night on twitter that he is announcing his retirement tonight. If this is true it marks the end of an 17 year run with WWE, that up until recently was pretty underwhelming. Of course the last few years have been pretty entertaining and enjoyable though. Do you think his career warrants a place in the Hall of Fame for the Hall of Pain?

This guy probably feels kind of silly now.

But no, I don't see a Hall of Fame nomination in Mark's future.  

Mark Henry fooled me

I'm one of those WWE fans who starts hitting the DVR fast-forward as soon one guy is thrown from the ring and Michael's Cole's voice hits that certain inflection. In other words, it's really difficult to surprise or fool me because I understand the WWE formula. But last night, Mark Henry pulled it off.

Naturally, anytime WWE.com is promoting someone's "real" tweets, you have to be suspicious. But Henry retiring "for real" seemed like a possibility.

In retrospect, I should have seen it coming when John Cena was hanging around for too long. But give Henry all the credit in the world for selling that promo. HE WAS CRYING! The emotion seemed so real, I suspect Henry really is getting close to the end, and he was doing a promo from the heart. Either way, Henry cut what was, to me, the best WWE promo since "the pipe bomb". The whole time, I was thinking, "Man, Mark Henry used to suck, but I'm happy he had a great run at the end of his career, and this is a fitting sendoff." Then, "NO WAY!" Hook. Line. Sinker.

And what made it all the more interesting, was it seemed like the culmination of David Shoemaker's (aka The Masked Man) idea of The Reality Era in WWE. Twitter is ostensibly a "real" medium, one that exists outside the confines of WWE story lines. Sometimes this is true and sometimes, obviously, it isn't. Big E Langston's jokes on Twitter are clearly his, because WWE writers aren't that funny. Having the curtain pulled back slightly, via Twitter, shows us the "real" Big E. Or least the one he wants us to see. And at the same time, this intimacy and sometimes false sense of reality lures even the most jaded fans (like me) back into kayfabe. The con man must first earn his mark's trust.

Henry exploited a real situation (his on-going injuries and retirement talk) via a sometimes real/sometimes kayfabe medium (Twitter) and injected it into the WWE realm. And it was all executed brilliantly.

Now, this isn't the first time a WWE wrestler has trolled Twitter users for story-line purposes (Y2J's return comes to mind), but my question is, do you think this is a viable strategy? In other words, 99% of the time, have your wrestlers use social media, radio appearances, etc., to "pull back the curtain" and let people see "the real" Daniel Bryan? And then, 1% of the time, you pull something over on the fans using "real" media? As a fan, if that's what it takes to genuinely surprise me, I'm totally fine with it.

Your thoughts on this method? And did you love the promo as much as I did?

It was an awesome segment.  It made me giddy with delight, so that's something special.  I was watching it thinking "This is a really touching farewell promo, and the only thing that would make it better is if Henry's character gets tired of Cena's condescending support and turns on the motherfucker."  And then HE DID.  It was just perfectly timed and incredibly well executed.
As for the social media thing, I'm probably one of the least social media people on the interwebs and I still have no idea what the endgame of the whole Twitter/Facebook…thing…is, and I don't really know how to use them outside of bitching on Facebook and mirroring stuff on Twitter.  I don't really follow anyone on Twitter outside of a few people, in the sense that I check Twitter maybe once a week and I have an app on my phone that tells me when someone directs a question to me there.  So I'm clearly not the guy to give you a good answer on whether what they're doing is good/bad/indifferent/whatever, sorry.  

Mark Henry Returns

It appears that Mark Henry has finally returned to save us.


The issue, of course, is that Mizark is a monster heel, and they have like 100 upper-level heels right now, with Orton set to go heel also. So where do they go with a guy who was one of their hottest acts? There are logical answers (Sheamus, Ryback), but they're about telling stories, not logic.

Yeah, my first thought would be Ryback as well if they want to do an unstoppable v. immovable type match at Wrestlemania.  I'm just hoping that Henry can keep up his motivation and quality when he's back from injury, because he can EASILY be slotted into the main event again now with so little depth on top.  

Vince McMahon – World’s biggest mark!

———- Forwarded message ———-
To: <[email protected]> Is it just me or is Vince McMahon himself the world's biggest mark? I mean, he absolutely refuses to make his guys look even slightly inferior to anyone, even if it will make him a boat-load of money. See Invasion, The – WCW guy vs WWF guy – WWF dominant! Even Sara Undertaker pinned DDP! Now Lesnar, Brock –  UFC guy vs WWE guy – WWE guy wins, even if it's bad for business. Heaven forbid the WCW guys or the UFC guy look superior – Even though they ALL WORK FOR HIM!!! Work of course being the key word there. ——————- Hey now, don't be so negative.  Let this Invasion thing play out and see where it goes!