A couple of Hogan questions

Hi,

Long question first:

I was watching a bit of SummerSlam ’90 a while back and after the Hogan/Quake match, I thought about how Earthquake gave Hogan almost nothing during the match. Now, I realize that Hogan’s matches against the big monsters were often built along this philosophy to maximize sympathy for Hulk, but it still struck me as a bit strange given the whole "Hogan seeking revenge" aspect to the build-up. I momentarily wondered if they were saving something for the subsequent house show run, but then I remembered an MSG match that I saw ages ago that wasn’t much different in terms of the ratio of Hogan offense to Quake offense.

Obviously, the feud drew a good buyrate for the PPV and further strong business for months around the horn, so it probably wouldn’t have been wise to tinker with the formula too much, but still would it have been too out of line to restructure the matches a little so that Hogan gets a few more licks in at the start to satisfy the "revenge" narrative (namely, a bit more like Hogan against Bundy at WM2) before going into the extended heat segment? Or should we just say "don’t argue with success"?

Second (shorter) question: was there anything to the story about Vince wanting to get Nikita Koloff to headline WM2 against Hogan, but Nikita didn’t want to come in just to job to Hulk? Was this actually in the works at any point, or is this just a wishful "might have been" story passed around by fans?

The Quake thing definitely seems to be "don’t argue with success". Hogan obviously knew what he was doing, and yeah, if he destroyed Quake at the PPV then there would little left for the house shows, which also did big business for them. Maybe he was even saving something for the NEXT run of shows, because Hogan-Quake matches I’ve seen from December-ish are pretty much Hogan wiping out Quake by that point.

As for the second one, there’s no definitive evidence that the Nikita jump was a viable thing. I’ve heard many times that Vince WANTED it to happen, but I don’t think a concrete offer was ever made. The timeline just wouldn’t work out. It would certainly have been an awesome WM2 main event, however.

Questions


Date: Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Hey Scott, hope all is well, I've got 3 topics that I'd like to pick your brains about!

OK, but hopefully there's nothing terribly dated here.  


1) Recently, I've been hearing rumours about how Mark Henry and/or Kane were offered the to break The Undertaker's streak at Wrestlemania, but both refused. What do you know about this rumours? Forgetting now Henry and Kane, has there ever been serious thought given into breaking the Undertaker's Streak? Has Undertaker – as far as you know – shown interest into breaking the streak for someone? 

I'm pretty sure he's never going to have the streak broken.  I mean, that might mean Wrestlemania would actually LOSE money the following year!  That's just madness.  Never gonna happen.  

2​

) I get that Daniel Bryan isn't the size WWE looks for, so they don't really care if they put him through a 18 second match at Wrestlemania, but – in your point of view – have tried to bury him and squash the fire that started on Wrestlemania 28, with him? Because, he was on fire with the fans, after that Wrestlemania and now the reactions are lukewarm. Do you think/know that was on purpose, or WWE just got caught up with all things that were going on in and "forgot" about him? 

Still regarding Daniel Bryan, he's very young and has years of career ahead of him. A lot of people doubted he'd make it as far as he has done in the WWE, because he had no charisma and not the size they searched, but he did manage to find charisma inside him and, eventually, became champion. Do you think he'll, eventually, "go higher on the ladder" or is this as far as he's gonna go?

​I feel like he might ending up headlining a Wrestlemania and doing pretty good for himself, but then will end his own career with reckless high flying due to a concussion after suffering a previous neck injury.  I could wrong on that, however, that's just a vague guess.  

3 Superstars, 3 Questions

1.) A few years ago the WWE was pushing William Regal HARD, even having him win King of the Ring. I think there were rumors of him possibly main-eventing something  or even winning the WWE title, even if it was only temporary.  Then his drug suspension derailed everything.  Do you know what the ultimate plans were for him?

2.) Is there any way to turn the late 90s version of Bossman face if you wanted to? It's kind of hard recover from killing and feeding someone their dog.

3.) Supposed you had psychic powers and knew Shawn Michael was gonna get injured and be out for four years after WM XIV. Do you still do the screwjob?  Seems kind of a waste to do in hindsight.

​1.  No idea.  But I seriously doubt there was any serious plans for him in the main event.
2.  I don't know why you'd want to turn him face, but I think fans would have bought a babyface turn for him as much as anyone.  The dog thing wasn't exactly played for high drama. 
3.  Since Vince was apparently dead set on Shawn Michaels being the only person who Bret could drop the title to, I guess you'd have to.  I think it was more of a waste to let Bret Hart go to the opposition in the first place when the company was about to explode in popularity​.

More tippy toppy questions

Good topic! To carry it on, when do you think these guys became tippy toppy guys

 
Bret Hart
Shawn Michaels
Undertaker
Sting
Any member of the Shield
Ric Flair
 
Bret:  The Yokozuna win at WMX.  Really cemented him as the guy who they go to when they don't have a guy.  I mean that in the nicest way.
Shawn:  In his initial run, Royal Rumble 96, where he dominated the match and won a foregone conclusion.  By that point everyone knew where he was ending up and there was nothing to do that would stop him.  In his second run, it took until shortly after the WM20 three-way, I'd say, at which point we knew he would sticking around for good.  
Undertaker:  I'd say this one was FAST.  He was doing main events against Warrior before he even turned babyface for the first time, and people were more than happy to buy him in that role.  I'd say Survivor Series 91 at the outside, but really he was almost there from the moment he debuted.
Sting:  The Flair match.  Made him a star for life, no fuss no muss.
Shield:  Dunno if any of them are what I'd call bulletproof main eventers yet.  
Flair:  Certainly by the time of the 82 feud with Race he was there.  

Very important questions

Not really. Three random questions.

Which Brock ad-lib do you prefer — the kicking of Cena's hat or spitting at Stephanie (which seems to have been largely ignored but was completely awesome)?

​Do you even need to ask? The hat-kicking was a moment that defined a generation!  ​

Was there ever any thought of giving RVD the belt in the RVD/Austin/Angle storyline, or was it just a way to get Vince involved in the angle?

​HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA…no.  ​


If somebody told Vince he needed to draw money/subscribers and he had to do it fast or else Wall St. was going to short the stock to sh!t, what angle does he run with this current crop of talent (no part-timers)? Cena goes heel, Orton goes Stone Cold and RKOs the crap out of everyone, Reformation of the Shield?

​Pretty sure that the Shield reforming is one of the last bullets he's got left in the chamber. That or actually paying Brock to work every PPV for a while and giving him meaningful feuds and storylines behind them.  ​

Nitro 96 Questions

Hey Scott: Just finished up Nitro 1996 on the Network and would love your insight on a few questions I had.

– What was the plan behind Giant's heel turn? Why have him turn the turn again a few months later? 


They wanted Bulldog as the fourth guy in the nWo but he signed a new deal with the WWF and so Bischoff panicked and turned the Giant instead.  As for why he turned back, because WCW.  

– Why did Sting attack Jarrett and Steiner? Was he trying to say Jarrett couldnt be trusted?


They were making it all up as they went along.  

– What was the deal with all the Sullivan promos on Benoit? I know all the Nancy/Benoit stuff but did they ever pay this off? 


They had a million falls count anywhere matches all through 1997 until no one gave a shit about either guy any more, so that was KIND of a payoff, I guess.  

– What happened with Glacier? I thought he was pretty unique and was getting over for a few weeks but then he disappeared. Do you think he could have been big?


I think the original idea of using Bryan Clarke or someone else with some name value in the featured role would have fit better than Ray Lloyd did.  By the time we proceeded through Glacier, Mortis and then Ernest Miller, the concept was pretty much doomed to fail.  Glacier looked like the gym teacher he was, not a top level martial artist ninja or whatever the hell.  

– Did they have any long term plans for guys like Eddie, Benoit or Jericho or was it just go out there and have a good match?

If you weren't joining the nWo, opposing the nWo, or or forming your own faction of the nWo, there were no long term plans for you.  


Thank you sir!

Some belated Wrestlemania questions

Hi Scott, been meaning to ask these since mania and never got around to it:
Brock's bleeding – blade job or genuine? I assume a blade job as it was so perfectly timed, fit the story and looked great… But having watched it back a couple of times I can't see any opportunity to blade. Unless the ring post was gimmicked in some way but that seems ludicrously dangerous. Orton. I gather an element of the build to his match was that he used to be the Rollins of a decade ago. He seemed to play this up with a throw back outfit (elbow pads) and busting out his old crossbody finisher. Am I reading too much into this? And a really belated Wrestlemania 9 question. Why introduce JR, a new face, at the biggest show of the year when people won't know him yet? Was WCW a big enough deal that he was familiar to all? Or were the prior announce team just that bad? Ta Gareth WWE's official position is that the blood was hard way.  With no firm evidence to the contrary, that's what we've gotta go with.

And yes you're reading too much into Orton.
And yes JR was a big star.

Mania 23 questions

I have this thing where I'm watching PPV's from the era when I largely was ignoring pro wrestling at the time, and am on the all grown up mania as they called it. Have a couple questions.

1. What's the deal with the Kennedy guy. Wins money in the back and is built up as this big thing. Last I knew he was in TNA. Just fizzled out or some sort of political mumbojumbo.

2. This Khali guy sucks, but is big and big guys sucking has never stopped them before. Why waste him getting slammed by the likes of Kane? Again I get him sucking, but why not save that moment for someone else?

​1.  Wasn't really mumbo jumbo, he seriously injured Randy Orton and failed multiple drug tests, then got caught in the Signature Pharmacy bust.  Vince liked the guy and he had a killer entrance, but there's only so many fuckups that he'll put up with and Kennedy was way over the limit.​
2.  The Kane-Khali match was actually the final permutation of a bizarre series of circumstances around that show, and in the earliest stages was supposed to be Hulk Hogan (as Donald Trump's avatar) slamming Big Show (as Vince McMahon's avatar) to win the Battle of the Billionaires and recreate the WM3 moment all in one fell swoop.  The match of course went through a series of changes with first Big Show pulling out (which would have given us Hogan slamming Khali) and then Hogan pulling out (at which point the Billionaire match was split off from the bodyslam thing entirely) and then ended up as Kane slamming Khali to recreate WM3 instead.  Honestly, it kinda sorta made sense at the time if you had been following along with the all wacky changes that the show went through and could put together the logic behind it.  

Random WM Questions

Good Morning Mr. Keith, for WM Weekend I have just some random questions while thinking about past events: 1. Michaels turned on Janetty not too long before Rumble 92, and they still feuded after their match at Rumble 93, so how come the appropriate blow-off wasn’t at one of those years respective Manias?  Or is it the obvious answer of Janetty being unreliable to behave in time for the big show? 2.  Was someone planning a Papa Shango/Hogan program after WM 8 or was there a Harvey Wippleman connection that I can’t remember for him coming to Sid’s aid at WM8 and that was just supposed to be it?  Or was it Warrior bleeds-oil-from-hands angle the plan all along? 3. With Hogan/Andre being done with early on at the WM4, and knowing it would steal the show, why rob of us Savage/Steamboat II and go with Valentine instead? Lastly, how do you feel as a fan of hockey, what my team, the Sabres are doing, with regards of the organization, not the players, tanking for the #1 or #2 draft pick in this years lottery?  I think its a result of the system the NHL has set up anyway, and its going to happen regardless of what team is aiming for last.  And, with all do respect, I really don’t want Edmonton to win the lottery, they’ve wasted too many top picks. ….and fuck Arizona too!  Why is hockey even down there? Thank you, good day, #ReignsoverGedo 1.  Yeah, Marty had some run-ins with the law and drugs, basically.  That was the general plan, however.  2.  Warrior-Shango was the plan and that’s how they decided to set it up.  3.  Because Vince is a petty, petty man.  It’s hard to really say an entire organization is tanking, but they’re certainly not trying very hard.  But then look at how bad the Oilers have been since 06, and they’ve been actively TRYING.  On the other side, I had actively accepted this as a rebuild season for the Canucks, and they’ve way overachieved, so getting a big draft pick isn’t necessarily a guarantee of success. 

A Few Random Non-Reigns Questions

With NXT running their first show outside of Florida, is there any reason why it's not on the Network? It doesn't even have to be live, but I don't see any reason why they can't put a tape delay version of it up. NJPW World puts all kind of random shows up live, yet WWE has not put one house show or any Network specific in ring specials outside of the NXT PPV shows. 

Also, with all of their cameras that WWE loves to rapidly switch among, WHY do they insist on working everything to the hard camera? I don't know if you have ever noticed this (and if you haven't I'm sorry for ruining it for you), but WWE constantly switches camera angles. It's like a 5 year old with ADHD is directing the show. However, they get legitimately pissed when people don't work towards the hard camera. While we're here, fuck Kevin Dunn.

​As to the first question, that would require money and someone with a wrestling background running the Network, and they have neither.  It's intended to be a cheaply-run outlet for the PPVs and that's exactly what it is.  
As to the second, I will be so happy when HHH gains power and pink-slips Dunn.  ​The hard camera nonsense is bad enough, but shaky-cam shots and constant replays of EVERYTHING make the product really hard to watch a lot of times.  

Random Questions

Good Morning Mr. Keith, just some random questions I have as this winter has me exploring a lot of shows on the network: The Network is indeed great.  ALL HAIL THE NETWORK! 1.  Did Eddie Guerrero have the ear/back/support of someone with a lot of clout?  Or was it just out of respect of the family name, because, sure, he wasn’t given world titles, but in the early days of Nitro and into the NWO, he sure got a lot of TV wrestling  time to show his skills, and quite a bit of offense on Ric Flair in numerous matches. It was the name and he really worked hard to impress people, which gave him a lot of support backstage. Especially his showing at When Worlds Collide, which basically was the catalyst for the whole luchador invasion in the first place.  People really loved the guy.  2. I don’t hear much about, if at all, these days Creative Control in big names contracts.  I know WWE is smart enough not to let happen what WCW happen, and we’re past the days of an HBK or an HHH not putting someone over when having a championship , but say, is John Cena just booked that way, and just goes with it?  Even in the overkill of Cena/Orton, i Never heard any stories of “them” being the reason they are on top so much, its just the way the writers keep putting them there. Oh yeah, those days ended with Montreal.  Vince is never going to allow that kind of control in a contract again, and I don’t even think he lets guys have agents anymore.  And yes, John Cena just kind of goes with it, although he turns down a LOT of crap, apparently.  Which makes me wonder what the stuff we DON’T see would be.    3. What made them not pull the trigger on Luger going over Yoko at SS93?  And if it was that they just decided it’d be better with Yoko keeping the belt, what was their next plans?  Taker didn’t get it, and I don’t imagine Bret Hart winning it back being planned that far in advance The plan was to stretch out Luger’s win until Wrestlemania, but of course by the time they got there it was too late.  It just goes to show the value of pulling the trigger at the right time. Summerslam absolutely would have been the right time.  4.  Tatanka:  The man had his undefeated streak, got some ppv wins, and they seemed to keep him strong at times, but there was never a payoff with any title, wtf was the point before the Corporation heel turn? Well the problem was that Tatanka was really green, so there was only so far you could go with him.  I think he was doing fine before the heel turn, actually.  He was a guy who booked strongly and had a name and fans liked, but wasn’t a threat to the World title.  You always need guys like that in the midcard.  The heel turn was a total fucking disaster of course. 

WCW / NWA Questions

Hi Scott I’m still working my way through old WCW on the Network. Just up to the Sting / Vader strap match at Superbrawl 3. The prior few months up to that… What’s going on with the title? It’s not long since they separated out from the NWA. I assume to the general casual fan that was seen more as a mere renaming: That big gold belt that Flair has now just has a different name. But then Flair jumps, takes it with him. They debut a redesigned belt. All makes sense so far. But then they start bringing the NWA title back into it with the Japanese crossover stuff, as well as the WCW title. Isn’t that just needlessly confusing for the fans at that point? And diluting the status of the new WCW belt? Seems to hit a crescendo at this event – you have Sting and Vader (who I love, incidentally) doing the silly vignettes and fighting for a the new belt, while earlier in the show you have Muta and Windham fighting for the old belt with all the lineage, and then Flair himself fastens it on for him. How am I supposed to not think that title is the big deal, and the new one is the pretend title they made up because of Flair’s exit? Was this the perception at the time or am I being influenced by my condensed viewing schedule and years of seeing the Big Gold Belt as still being a thing that mattered. Was this a long term plan leading to a unification or just random WCW? Separate note, am I the only one annoyed by the original programming being so sporadic on the Network? How hard is an episode of Rivalries to put together, really? And yet you get a couple of weeks in a row and then nothing for ages. Thanks as ever I’d be just as happy with a bunch of uploads of old NWA TV, but you’re correct, it should be much easier to create and upload original content.  They do it for YouTube all the time and they could just upload a bunch of THAT to the Network and be done with it.  Shit, who wouldn’t die to have a Game Grumps-style show with Dolph Ziggler and Ryback playing video games and being funny?  How you can you tell me that wouldn’t be awesome?  Anyway, yeah, perception at the time was that the NWA stuff was very, very Mickey Mouse (and not just the Disney tapings, waka waka) and was clearly leading to a unification where WCW’s title would win in the end.  The NWA of course did not see it that way and thought people still cared about them.  The Chono/Muta/Windham run in particular came off as completely low rent and second-rate, even though Windham’s win got a surprisingly big reaction.  Really, the NWA title was a much bigger deal in Japan at the time.  Of course then once Flair got it things got REALLY silly, with the NWA actually thinking anyone gave a crap about their opinion on who should be champion, leading to the WCW pullout and all the idiocy that followed.  I’ll have to dig up the Observer stuff on it soon, because it’s pretty mind-boggling.

Random NWA thoughts and questions

In order to better deal with the suckage that is the current WWE product, I've been youtubing old NWA footage like a madman.

​1. ​

Was there ever anyone better than Flair? Guy was the complete package.

​2. ​

Speaking of Flair, can you explain 1985 to me? Was Flair vs Nikita a heel vs heel feud?

​3. ​

And speaking of Nikita, as over as it seems he was after his face turn, was there ever any thoughts to giving him a brief run with the belt?

​4. ​

Tully Blanchard was a fantastic heel? Do you ever feel he was overshadowed by Flair?

​1. No, there was indeed no one ever better than Flair.  I feel like that is the objective answer to the question.
2. Kinda.  See, back before people were "performers" doing "sports entertainment", the title used to mean something and Flair would defend against whoever the best contender and biggest money draw was.  Because the goal used to be making money instead of putting smiles on faces through corporate synergy or whatever the fuck it is now.  ​So Nikita was the biggest contender and although Flair was an asshole, he was an AMERICAN asshole who wasn't gonna stand for some Russian somewhere saying that America was wack.  It was a weird dynamic in a lot of ways, but it helped Nikita become a better worker, so there's that.  
3.  Nooooooo.  Oh my god what a disaster that would have been.  
4.  Tully was awesome, but he was only overshadowed in the sense that Flair was a main event guy and Tully was not and was never going to be, and Tully knew it.  Even if Flair was gone it's not like Tully was going to be on top of the promotion.  He was the arrogant prick that everyone hated and who always talked shit and then backed down from the fight, and that was his role.  

1992 Questions

  Hi Scott I’ve been acquainting myself with WCW on the network… got up to Flair’s jump to WWF (with Sid and Luger also switching teams) and started watching their old stuff too even though I’ve seen it before – just got to Wrestlemania 8. I still can’t get my head around them not running with Hogan vs Flair. Has Flair ever expressed any views on this, do you know? If part of his problem in WCW was not being booked at the level he thought he deserved, then wouldn’t being pulled from the main event program with Hulk rankle in the same way? But I never hear of any bad feeling on Flair’s part over this. I know Flair was having specific issues leading to his jump, but Luger and Sid coming over at around the same time; was this a concerted attempt to poach WCW talent? (Was Sting ever approached, being the other of their big three with Flair and Luger)? Or am I overestimating the significance of WCW at the time and this was just general Vince hiring some big dudes he liked for Hogan’s soon to be vacant spot?  Also, Piper’s match with Bret on that show is famously one of his few (only) clean losses in his career. How was he able to get away with refusing to job for so long? Was he really enough of a draw for people to put up with that?   Flair was always fine with it as far as I know because he loved working with Savage anyway.  And he wasn’t ever pulled from the program, as Sid v. Hogan was the plan all along.  Luger was never really supposed to be a WWF talent poaching, as Vince wanted him for the WBF and didn’t appear to care about him as a wrestler, and Luger himself was making noise even in WCW about wanting to get out of the business anyway.  So no, it wasn’t really a mass talent raid by standards you’d normally classify, just happenstance.  And yes, Piper was enough of a draw that he could make those kind of demands.  Plus, they let him get away with it, so they only have themselves to blame anyway. 

HoF Questions

Hey Scott,


1) What do you think the chances are of someone like Meltzer, Keller, ever getting into the WWE HoF. On a related note, did Vince attend the '96 WON HoF when he was inducted?

2) Where do you stand on the Koko B. Ware Test?

1.  Attend what exactly?
2.  More importantly, does Test pass the Koko B. Ware Test?  Would that rename the rule the Test Test?  

Belt Questions

Hi Scott,

Questions about your favourite belts –

1) Best World title belt

2) Best mid-card belt

3) Best tag belts

I pick the Big Blue belt worn by Austin circa 98 for world, the black I-C strap with red wwf logo (savage/steamboat) and the money inc tag belts with "World" in black instead of red. Your picks?

Thanks,


Wow, those are some super-specific picks.  OK, let's see:

1.  The original jewel-encrusted version of Flair's Big Gold Belt.  The WWE's toy belt version really killed the prestige after a while, but if you go back and see the original you really appreciate all the work that went into it.  

2.  The Nikita Koloff/Lex Luger version of the US title.  Probably just nostalgia talking, but that's the one I always associate with the title.

3.  Probably the NWA tag team titles from the same period.  And they lasted a LONG time, all the way into the NWA appearances on RAW in the 90s and I think into the TNA era as well. 

OK, so probably nostalgia was tinting my views here, I'll admit. 

WCW Clash Questions

Howdy,
​Hi!​

Having missed a lot of early 90s WCW programming, I am going back and watching on the network (I wish they would include WCW Saturday Night to help provide some background for the PPVs and Clash but I digress.) 


Some quick questions:

1- I know pushes would start and stop in WCW due to management changes but Steve Austin in 1992 got to work a lot with established stars like Sting, Rude, Steamboat etc…. Were they actively trying to get him over as "the next guy" or was he just lucky to be in all those tag matches on top? 

​He was absolutely the next guy.  They were pushing the shit out of him but I guess Eric Bischoff just wasn't a fan.  To say the least.  Flair and Dusty have both stated many times that they saw Austin as a huge star, however.  ​Dusty breaking up the Hollywood Blonds in 1993 was his own bass-ackwards way of trying to get Austin over to the next level, in fact.  

2-The Steiners were really stiff. Did anyone ever complain about getting nearly decapitated by those clotheslines or having to work with them in general? Is it fair to say they toned down their style once they went to WWF? 

​Yeah, that's an understatement.  And yes, people definitely complained, although not much could really be done about it.  ​

3- With Flair gone, was there ever any talk of giving Arn Anderson a legit singles push? Was his talent wasted in all those random tag team pairings until the Horsemen reunited? 

​During the 91 era?  No, Anderson was a TV title guy and both he and the company were fine with that.  ​

4- If you could only watch every SNME or every CLASH for the rest of your life…Which show do you choose? 
​​
Gee, do I watch endless Hulk Hogan 3 minute matches for the rest of my life, or Flair-Sting and Flair-Steamboat?  Gonna have to go with the Clash.  ​

Two Questions

Scott, yet another Network philosophy question.


With the recent buzz about a change in PPV thinking as a result of the network — we don't need Brock because we're not trying to pop a buyrate, etc. — I'm baffled as to how WWE could be so misguided about what will ensnare new subscribers. Isn't it the case that everyone (or very nearly everyone) who will be motivated by old ECW PPVs and episodes of Nitro and the complete SNME is already subscribed? Therefore, aren't they chasing more casual fans at this point? And isn't the allure of a must-see match the ONLY thing that could possibly push the subscriber base forward?

I mean, if they announce, "Hey, we've added every Coliseum Video release," they're basically only impressing diehards who are already subscribing. But if they announce "We're locking Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose in a cage," some not-yet-subscribed Raw viewers might think "Yeah, I have to see that." Right? In short: doesn't the network model mean that creating must-see events is MORE important, not less?

Really unimportant secondary question: isn't there tape of Bunkhouse Stampedes and Bashes before '88? Any idea why the Network only goes back to '88 on those two but goes to '83 on Starrcade?

Secondary question first:  Because those shows are the only ones that are classifed as PPV broadcasts, where previous Bashes were just compilations of the tour.  Starrcades were always classifed as PPV or closed circuit and thus count.

Primary question:  The problem is that we don't have any information on who is buying and when.  WWE only releases numbers every quarter, so who knows what's affecting subscriptions and cancellations?  The market is such uncharted territory now that spending extra millions on Brock is a huge gamble, I'd guess.  Which isn't to say that the Brock-Cena DQ finish was not fucking retarded, especially with no followup, but I don't think doing, say, a third Brock-Cena match in a row would have suddenly popped subs.  

Two quick questions

Hi Scott,

blah, blah, big fan, blah, blah….

Two questions are:

1) What is the highest star rating you've given to a Jake Roberts match (that wasn't Royal Rumble 92)?

2) What is your favourite match that ended with a disqualification?

Thanks,

Will.

​1.  Pretty sure I had all the matches he had with Randy Savage in the ***1/2 range.  Either that or one of the Ricky Steamboat series would be the highest.
2.  Shawn v. Mankind, of course.​

Early Clash Questions

Hi Scott Hi Gareth! I’ve recently got the Network, and started watching some old NWA stuff starting with Clash 1 (I’m up to the end of the Flair-Steamboat stuff). A few questions / topics I thought you might enjoy shedding some light on, as I understand you’re somewhat a fan of this period… they’re a bit rambling so apologies for that. 1. Was the NWA still an overarching umbrella for multiple territories? It seems that Crockett / Turner basically IS the NWA at this point. Was Flair still the visiting champ to World Class etc as he had been in previous years? Nope.  By the time the Clashes had begun, Jim Crockett had bought up all the competition and gone solo as a promoter under the Turner family umbrella.  By the end of the year, Turner had bought Crockett out completely.  For as much shit as everyone gives Vince for predatory practices (which is valid), Crockett squashed all the people he was supposed to be working with just as viciously.  The NWA might have existed in name, but you had to book the champion through Crockett exclusively.  2. Luger’s push didn’t go very well. If not for the Turner takeover was the plan for him to become a permanent Hogan-like face on top, replacing the territory-touring heel model of Flair? By the end of WrestleWar 89 the announcers are treating Flair like a face, and without the need to make the top guys in each territory look a million bucks not quite winning the belt from Flair, that model seems odd when Hogan is doing such big business for the competition. The plan was definitely for either Sting or Luger to succeed Flair as the top drawing card, and they of course tried many times to make that happen with little success.  3. Speaking of the Turner situation, I know they had problems with Flair soon after this for him to jump to WWE. But here they aborted Luger’s title win for Flair to retain. Was this a pro-Flair attitude or more just a negative Luger one? Do you mean at Starrcade 88?  It was pro-Flair in the sense that they wanted to build to the Steamboat match.  There was no issue with Luger aside from them feeling it wasn’t the right time.  4. Was Steamboat always coming back at this point or was this a Turner related decision and/or a panic reaction to Luger’s collapsed push? They’re some of the all-time greatest matches, but it does seem like a bit  of a stop-gap feud – have a few months of awesome bouts with a proven partner for Flair while they figure out what to do, then get the belt back on him. He was always coming back.  Once he was fired from the WWF they wanted to bring him in and make him champion as soon as humanly possible.  Original plans called for him to get it at Starrcade 88, in fact, but they couldn’t work out the timing.  Sorry if this is all common knowledge – this era of NWA / WCW is more or less all new to me. Praise be to the WWE Network (and to the PS3 for being so easily convinced it’s in America and not the UK). Glad to help.  It’s one of my favorite times to talk about. 

Questions post-SummerSlam

Hi Scott,

A few questions I'd be keen to hear your answers on, and those of the BoD in general too:

1) Brock – do you think he was booked too strong at SummerSlam? Overall, I think it was great booking and a really unique direction for WWE to go with the main event, but on reflection, he just destroyed the guy who's been on top for 10 years and still in his prime – realistically, how do any other challengers stand a chance? I do think this would have been almost perfect if Bryan had been in Cena's place (seeing as Bryan's run on top was just beginning).

2) WrestleMania XXXI – if you had to guess, right now, what do you think the WWE Championship match will be?

3) JBL – can we pin all the blame on his annoying commentary on Vince? He seems to have mellowed a bit lately, but on Raw this week he was truly awful (completely ruining both the Swagger/Cesaro and Usos/Stardust & Goldust matches in my opinion). 

Thanks in advance!
Tom

​1.  I'd rather some guys get built up TOO strong because you can always use them to make other guys, but if you have a bunch of 50/50 dorks then no one draws money.  Building up one guy and making people wonder "How can anyone possibly beat him?" is how you draw money.  If you want to draw REALLY big money, you build up another guy who seemingly can't lose and then — follow along with me here — you match them up against each other and make people pay money to see which one loses.  Which is why I'd say…
2.  Brock v. Roman Reigns is the best direction to go if they can avoid fucking up Reigns' push until Wrestlemania. 
3.  I didn't see the show, but I would assume that "Because Vince McMahon" is always a good bet for stuff like that.  JBL is much better on Smackdown, I find.  ​

Lapsed fan with a few questions

Hey Scott,

been reading you since the Netcop days, even when I gave up on watching wrestling I would still read your stuff just to stay loosely aware of the product. anyway, I came back to the WWE around Wrestlemania this year and after being away from the product for over 10 years I have a few questions i was hoping you could answer for me.

1. Why are there 2 Championship belts? 

2. Did the Prototype really just spend the last decade carrying the WWE?

3. Is this the worst group of commentators WWE has ever had? How is it possible that Steve Austin is gone, Mick Foley is gone, the Rock is gone but JBL and Jerry Lawler are still around?

4. What happened to Earl Hebner? 

one last thought: this is truly a great time to be a casual fan. between the WWE Network, YOUR blog and a million wrestlers and former wrestlers doing podcasts you can now more or less ignore Raw and Smackdown and just watch the PPV's. 

Keep up the good work,

Groucho

​1. They split the roster into RAW and Smackdown in 2002, and naturally wanted a World title for both sides.  Then finally this past year they were unified when Randy Orton beat John Cena, and they've been carting both belts around ever since.  
2.  That is correct, yes.
3.  No way man, the Michael Cole/Tazz/Matt Striker era was by far the worst.  At least JBL and Lawler know what they're talking about.
4.  He was selling bootleg merchandise out of the trunk of his car along with his brother Dave and got caught.  True story.  They've been working for TNA ever since.  
And yes, I do love the WWE Network.  ​

You Still Do Brock Lesnar Questions,Right?

Scott,
With Brock,why is he so shielded and protected? I know that's a broad question,but in terms of match quality and how quickly the initial buzz/pop wears off after each return,is he worth the outlay? For example,Brock returns and loses a hot match to Cena. OK. He then draws a big buyrate against HHH. Their two rematches sucked however,but one was a WrestleMania and one was a rushed B-show bout so no real spotlight,in terms if numbers, was shone on either. His Punk bout at SummerSlam last year was a **** affair at least but the event flopped finacially. The Big Show angle stunk in every respect earlier this year, and the subsequent Taker stuff had historical value but the match itself was never going to be a classic. Now,he's going to be champion in a few weeks,timed brilliantly to 'save' the Network, and then pretty much vanish with the belt. I still like Brock and his mystique a hell of a lot,but when the dust settles on this run will it be exposed as an expensive luxury?
​I wouldn't say the Big Show stuff stunk as such.  It was pointless as a storyline and the post-match beatdown was overdone, but it got him over as a giant-killing monster again​ at least.  
As for Brock's worth, he already justified the cost of his initial contract by adding extra buys to Extreme Rules, so anything on top of that was gravy.  Plus someone with his kind of star power really does add an extra rub to whatever show he's working on, whether or not he's putting over Cesaro at the time.  I'm not saying the money has been perfectly spent on him and that they didn't flush millions down the toilet by beating him in his first match and wasting three PPV slots on HHH, but it's hard to call him a flop either.  

Random network questions


Why is every great american bash except the one's from 85, 86, and 87 included?

Why do they dub over Demolition's theme music?

​1)  Because those shows predate the PPV era for WCW.  They only exist as one hour edited home video releases and random matches shown on WCW programming at the time.
2)  Because they suck and don't want to pay Rick Derringer a penny more than they have to.  Not that I blame them for trying to save money wherever possible, but it's annoying as a fan.  ​

Two questions.

Scott, two questions that occurred to me:

1.) With Meltzer's observation on Adam Rose that Brian posted today, I'm wondering, why is there a massive disconnect for talent when they get called up from NXT? The Shield and Cesaro did fine for themselves, and it's too early to make a call on Bo Dallas, but the Wyatt Family has been stuck in a death feud with Cena after a promising start, Emma is stuck being Santino's girlfriend, Paige kind of looks like a joke, they're not high on Adam Rose at this point and I couldn't even begin to guess why Xavier Woods was even called up. As much as I'd love to see Kalisto or Sami Zayn on Raw, I'm kind of worried about their chances at this point.

2.) A couple years ago I asked you about the state of women's wrestling (and used you as an authoritative source if that's something you'd be happy about), and with the recent string of amazing women's matches on NXT, I was curious as to whether or not we might be seeing the state of women's wrestling improving. It's obvious Vince still thinks it's a joke, and NXT is clearly a place where the women need longer matches to learn and develop, but after two show-stealing matches on NXT's big shows, does this maybe mean that HHH actually might want to DO something with women's wrestling, or am I delusional?

Thank you in advance,


Mark B.

​You Lee Marshall-ed me?  
1.  Adam Rose was a case where the guy in the role isn't great in the ring to say the least and wasn't developing any further in his old gimmick, so I think they just got caught up in the excitement at him actually getting over and then sent him up. That being said, he was literally only on NXT twice with the Rose gimmick before they brought him in, and both times they tweaked aspects of the entrance.  So really it never even had a chance to mature before the audience that it was intended for in the first place.  He's too old to keep hanging around developmental, so when they inevitably pull the plug on him on RAW that will likely be all for the character and the person, unfortunately.  But hey, they tried.  In the other cases, the disconnect is more between NXT's bookers and the soap opera writers of the main roster who don't understand how to get anyone over unless it's a Vince pet project like Roman Reigns.  They're almost better off going back to the old OVW system of developing guys as generic wrestlers down there and then letting the monkeys in creative come up with the gimmicks when they're called up, rather than spending a year honing a character like Paige and then doing everything the complete opposite when she gets to the main roster.  ​

​2.  Charlotte is a total freak of nature in a good way, but I wouldn't get too excited about the state of women's wrestling just yet.  ​