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. 

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.  

Random Triple H question

Scott, Adam here. I remember for a while you were calling Triple H "HHHH". What was the 4th H for?

​BYOBB.  That second B was a typo.
Anyway, I sent an e-mail to explain the joke, but in case anyone else cares and didn't get the obvious multiple layers of the joke, it's a two-parter:
1)  The fourth H stands for "HGH", and he needed the fourth H because…
2)  He was so gigantically bloated when he returned in 2002 that clearly he was bigger than HHH and had now expanded to HHHH.  
So there you go.   ​

QOTD #23: Great Random Matches

Today’s Question:
What was the best random
match you watched recently that you had never seen before? (Either WWE Network,
Youtube, or through your own vast wrestling collection)
I’m looking forward to seeing what you can come up with.
Start the discussion now if you want to skip over yesterday’s discussion by
scrolling to the end or hitting “Comments”. Otherwise, stick around.

Yesterday, we looked through the drek of WCW 2000 to find
the gems that existed here and there. They were tough nuggets to get ahold of,
as each show contained about 85 segments, but you managed to come up with
sfu13: Although Sid is infamous for his promos,
especially the half the brain you have line, my favorite Sid promo in 2000 was
when he opened by saying ‘HEY! I’m not as stupid as I look!” That gets me
every time.
That is awesome; even more so because I totally don’t even
remember this.
Bill DeBarr: Sugar Shane Helms loved the guy. Will always
feel that the ball was dropped with him but they did recover a little with the
Helms was more of a product of 2001, as he was simply a cog
in the 3 Count machine for all of 2000 – but he was one of their major breakouts
that simply was in the right place at the wrong time. Two years earlier,
turning the Nitro girls into his personal dance crew would have had him getting
massive reactions, and probably supplanted Billy Kidman in the Cruiserweight
White Thunder: This is an easy one for me. Flair winning
his final world championship from Jeff Jarrett. The match was a typical thrown
together Russo mess, but seeing Flair at the end of the show with the belt was
truly surreal. As ridiculous as it was I actually really enjoyed the Flair –
Russo feud. It was the first time Flair seemed to have any passion in a long
tine. Of course it ended with Russo shaving his head in a segment that left me
mortified. Nature Boy had even grown his hair back out to legendary lengths.
My stomach turned a little when Russo felt the need to call
Flair a “piece of shit on the bottom of my shoe”, but that would become par for
the course that year. I’m not sure why Flair was re-invigorated by that angle,
but I suspect the goal of getting his sons over probably trumped personal
Devin Harris: Booker T winning the title. The Russo/Hogan
stuff was beyond stupid but the payoff was worth it. Just seeing the fans celebrate
with him is one of the main reasons I’m a wrestling fan in the first place.
Seeing Booker T get his due was great; but the timing was so
strange. Booker was coming off losing his T to Awesome Kong Ahmed
Johnson, while ziplining around the arena as GI Bro. His stock hadn’t been
lower in years. He had been ready since the early part of 1999. I’ve always
seen that title change as almost an apology of the wasted year, farting around
with Stevie Ray, and the hopeful start of a new direction … for this week.
Basscase: The Cat doesn’t get enough love – he was
very entertaining, between the Japanese music, his mic skills, and Miss Jones.
I still have no idea why he was causing self-inflicted
attacks from Jung Dragons, or how he convinced James Brown to dance with himself,
or most importantly how one of the greatest pure trash talkers of our time
turned himself into one of the most beloved babyfaces in the company – but while
none of it made sense, he was fantastic.
dynamic_dave: I remember randomly tuning into Nitro in
November 2000 and seeing Steiner showing a picture, one-by-one, of all his
victims on the Not-Titantron. It was a great heel promo.
Steiner, like Booker, had been ready to be the man for
nearly 2 years. I’ve always maintained that he should have been the one to stop
Goldberg, sometime in the summer of 1999. His wrestling skills were far below
his younger days, but his character had never been stronger. In a year of
neutered characters, Steiner managed to rise above.
Starscreamlive: I enjoyed the Mike Awesome “Fat Chick
Thrilla” gimmick.
Oh Jesus.
Elmo Machete: Jeff Jarret as World Champion. I know it
probably actually sucked, but for some reason I always loved that guy in that
role. Probably because there was nobody else to plug in there, and
“slapnuts” still makes me laugh.
Slapnuts was one of those things that got less funny every
time; and as all things cool that happen in wrestling it got driven into the
ground. Still, he was a competent worker, and with the rocket strapped up his
ass, he was as credible as anyone else in the company at that point so why not.
Magoonie NOT Teddy
I can’t remember if this
happened in 99 or 2000 but at the time I really liked the “reset”
Russo did. Taking all the titles and having tournaments for each of them,
changing guys up, starting the New Breed (was that the name? Damn my memory
sucks) challenging the older, established guys. It felt fresh, like it was
breathing new life into WCW.
I genuinely believed things were about to turn for the
better, for about 3 days. By Thunder when they aired the segments out of order
I realized it was more of the same.
SodiePop: Interestingly enough, it wasn’t one thing
that kept me watching during the 2000 era. To be honest, for as much trouble
the company was in and the crap they could produce at the time, there was
enough to enjoy on the Nitro and Thunder shows. Booker T’s rise and Scott Steiner’s
brutality and hilarity were mentioned prior, and I found factors like the
cruiserweight and Lance Storm matches to be a lot of fun. Perhaps I’m pinning
for the past and/or still wishing the WWE product will finally change its
format or style one of these days, but I can remember being at college during
that time and rarely missing any of the shows in 2000 up until the end.
I was working overnights in radio that year, and I didn’t
miss *anything*. I had wrestling nearly every night. RAW on Mondays, Nitro on
Tuesdays on TSN, Thunder on Wednesdays, Smackdown on Thursdays, ECW on Fridays,
WCW Saturday Night, and PPV Sundays. Despite the horrendous WCW, as you
mentioned, there was never a shortage and for the super fan, it was great.
LeeleePhoenix: And I’ll shamefully admit, I enjoyed that
summer of Russo booking in 2000. Even the ridiculous crap with Daffney and Miss
Hancock. Say what you will, he cared about the entire card. I miss watching
wrestling in 2000… those were the days.
As mentioned above, I was a full-fledged addict. The
Daffney/Hancock love affair, however, was an embarrassment.
if you don’t believe random kanyon
kutters make the list, you need to re-evaluate your priorities
We’re on the same page … OF POSITIVELY KANYON! BANG~!
ziggaman730: Vampiro vs Sting in an inferno match where a
stunt double got lit on fire
Thank god for the big fire-retardant poofy mat below the
scaffolding, just in case any random stunt men got lit on fire.
BeardMoney: I liked when Kaz Hayashi and La Parka were
briefly paired as Kazanova and The Bone Daddy, complete with over-dubbed
jive-talk promos. I don’t know, some might say it was kind of racist-ish, but I
just saw it as a funny and clever way to showcase two underused workers with
language limitations. According to Wikipedia La Parka ended it by throwing away
the mic in the middle of one of the promos.
The absolute peak of this angle was the night La Parka was
cutting a nasty promo against Buff Bagwell, but holding up signs explaining
that he was sorry, he wasn’t really saying this stuff. Then Parka attacked promptly
turned heel on Bagwell again anyway.
JDW: Lance Storm: Triple Champion (He could have
been a main event player after that if they had followed-up right)
Great pick. Storm came in with a crazy wave of momentum,
putting on great matches weekly, and taking every title in sight, the kind of
thing you’d see in an e-fed but never on a national stage. Unfortunately, they
turned him into your standard chickenshit cheating heel, who spent a couple of
months “winning” matches against Mike Awesome and General Rection in the same
way Bray Wyatt “beat” John Cena inside the cage. He found his groove again
towards the end paired with Awesome, and they probably would have been staples
in the tag-team division for much of 2001 had the company not folded.
Rimshoot: I liked Tank Abbott as a fan of 3-Count.
That was some good fun.
The nipples though, man. The nipples.
VintageECW: Far too many to count. I love 2000 WCW
almost as much as any company from any era. I loved Mike Awesome debuting.
Awesome powerbombing Shaggy 2 Dope off the 70s bus. Judy Bagwell on a Pole
match. Stiener v Nash v Goldberg at Fall Brawl. Candido v Funk in the horse
stables. Sid v Benoit. Suckas gots to know. The Cat as commishinor. Kanyon
getting thrown off the Triple Cage. Jarrett v Booker at Bash at the Beach. Tons
more, one of my fav times ever.
Let’s be clear. It was a Judy Bagwell on a Forklift match.
Jeremy Rinehart: Flair promising Steiner’s Starrcade 2000
opponent would be at the level of Steve Austin and Rock. The opponent was Sid
WCW had no hope in hell of bringing in anyone to that level,
so my hopes were low and I admit to being shocked when Sid walked out after his
turfing in the spring. But then, I love me some Sid.
We’ll wrap it up here. Thanks for a great thread, and for
somehow keeping the Red Power Ranger to just 1 post. See you again tomorrow,
have a great Sunday.

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.  ​

Random Questions for the Master

1. Roman Reigns, what's the deal? Nothing against the guy at all, he isn't as annoying as most newbie's. But why has WWE appointed him the next super duper star? He isn't really much bigger than Ambrose or bunch of other new guys. Nor is he yet that great in the ring. Is it his "look"?
2. More and more, general crowds seem smarter and smarter. I love how it seemed SO many people noticed and complained about Bryan's backing down from Kane on RAW a few weeks ago. Having said all that, why does WWE like to piss in my Corn Flakes?
3. Have you seen the Miz in the Marine movie? Why do you suppose that movie was made? They have to know it isn't watchable. I mean, it's beyond obvious no one could enjoy that trash. Speaking of the Miz. His ring work never makes sense. Why is he allowed to wrestle despite shit match after shit match?
Thank you
​1.  He's got the look, the family connections, and he can sing "I'm a little teapot" with his daughter.  What more do you need?  
2.  ​Were you in a prominent position with the company in the 90s before jumping to WCW for more money?  Because that one seems to hit a nerve with Vince pretty frequently.
3.  Look, I'm not here to make judgments, but clearly you're in love with the man and I don't want to be a part of any weird stalker incidents.  You're just going to have to accept that Miz belongs to everyone.  

Random matches

Just wondered what you thought about these matches that you haven't reviewed or aren't easy to find:

1. Jerry Lawler/Terry Funk empty arena match
2. Bret Hart/Ric Flair Iron Man
3. Bret Hart/Owen Hart Iron Man
4. John Cena/Randy Orton Iron Man
5. DX vs Legacy Hell in a Cell

​1.  Totally did review it when it was on 24/7.  I don't have the review handy, but for what it was, it was a ***** match clearly.  Terry Funk putting up the bluster at the start and then running away like a wounded dog once he suffered the slightest injury put it over the top for me.
2.  ​Reviewed it ages ago, and I have it on a compilation tape from the good old days.  I'd go ****1/4  on it. 
3.  Never sat down to watch it.  I'm kind over Bret v. Owen for one lifetime.
4.  Totally did review it.  Orton tried to blow him up!  How could I have NOT mocked that?  http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2009/10/26/the-smark-rant-for-wwe-bragging-rights-2009/   I recall really enjoying Batista turning on Rey Rey there.
5.  Totally did review it.  Hell of a match, and a totally different type of Cell match.  This was just a QND review because I watched the show at the theater and never did a proper one, but you get what you get and you don't get upset:    
" D-X d. Legacy in the final Cell match of the night, and this was a hell of a deal that JUST missed classic status because Legacy doesn't quite have the star power to pull off what they were going for.  Basically Legacy has no chance, so they attack D-X during their wacky entrance and lock HHH out of the Cell after mugging him on the ramp.  Then Shawn gets the everloving shit beat out of him for about 15 minutes, drawing some CRAZY old-school sympathy heat and just selling it like nuts.  Finally HHH retrieves bolt cutters and roars back as D-X destroys them and gets their revenge.  Awesome stuff, as D-X finally starts playing the part of the old war-horses instead of the super-cool upstarts they still think of themselves as.  As a match there's been better, but finally someone takes advantage of the Cell tonight and gives us a DIFFERENT dynamic, and I enjoyed the hell out of this, even if you could see the storyline coming down main street.  ****  This needed Shawn bleeding like a exploded tomato in the worst way, though. "  

More Random Questions

What can I say…………watching the wwe network gets my mind racing.  Here's some more unrelated questions.

1.  Is it just me, or was 1997 an awesome year for the wwe?  I know ratings sucked, but after re-watching the ppv's, there was some awesome stuff going on.  You have Steve Austin just hitting it out of the park everytime he's on tv, his feud with Bret Hart, the I quit match at Wrestlemania, the hart foundation angle, the undertaker having consistantly good matches, they lay the foundation for Kane early in the year, Shawn Michaels being an awesome jerk, the formation of DX, Mick Foley coming into his own, the Rock starting to become The Rock,  and on and on.  Lots of great stuff if you ask me.  Does 1997 get the proper respect???

2.  Why didn't the WWE try to capitalize on WrestleMania 19 being Steve Austins last match???  Wasn't there big money & buyrates to be made off of the biggest star of all time calling it quits?  What am I missing here?

3.  What is Kurt Angle's legacy going to be?  His WWE career was relatively short (7 years) but man did he have some great matches.  Does being in TNA for so long + his sometimes crazy behavior hurt his legacy, or will he be remembered as great???

Thanks as always……………..love reading your stuff.

1.  Totes magotes.  97 was an awesome time to be a fan, especially after the extended slog that 96 turned into in a lot of ways.  96 had some great matches and the birth of Stone Cold, but 97 was exciting and anarchic and just so DIFFERENT from anything else I had been watching before that.  And considering all the people here pining for the Attitude Era again, I'd say it gets lots of respect.  I really wish they'd start getting to the RAW is WAR era on the Network already, though.  
2.  Austin didn't particularly think it would be his last last last, but I think he's also said he wanted to make sure it was about Rock when he went out.  
3.  I think he'll be remembered as a great wrestler who pissed away his chance at immortality because of all the crazy.  If he had stuck around WWE and stayed clean, he'd be in the Hall of Fame by now and probably would have made millions off a Streak match.  

Random Thought

If Punk returns tonight and goes on to win the belt at WM in the three way, we could get an Extreme Rules main event of Punk v Bryan with Punk getting to put Bryan over for his big moment in a probable ***** match. That might be incentive enough for him.

Random Questions

Scott, I have a few random questions based off of shows I've watched on the network.

1.  Did the NWA use The Great Muta to his fullest potential in 1989?  After watching The Bash & Halloween Havoc it seems to me that Muta could have been a big time player.  What happened?

2.  How long was Jim Ross a booker in NWA/WCW?  Does he get the credit he deserves or was his time as booker not very memorable?

3.  Does the Dangerous Alliance get enough credit for being awesome?  They were an awesome group, booked to look awesome, and the angle dominated the first 5 months of 1992.  I would think it has to be one of the all time great "stables"?

4.  What was up with Triple H at wrestlemania 26?  For as much as we all complain about him hogging the spotlight – he sure didn't that year.  He wrestled a mid-card match against Shameus that didn't take up much time on the ppv or if I recall correctly very much tv time leading into the event.  How did we get so lucky???

1.  Well, see, Muta is Japanese, and he could never get over with US audiences as a result according to Ole Anderson, so he was cut in early 1990 to save money.   He literally could have been World champion with Gary Hart and especially Terry Funk talking for him.  Fans loved him, he was an awesome elite level worker, and the top guys loved to work with him.  
2.  He wasn't really ever booker, he was part of a committee.  I'd call it not very memorable because he was mostly caught between the bigger booking eras.  
3.  You are correct, it was awesome and it got all kinds of love at the time.  Sadly it kind of fizzled out after Wargames, but that's why Wargames is such an effective blowoff.  Plus the self-destruction with Paul E v. Madusa was tremendously entertaining.
4.  He was off dealing with his younglings for most of that year, as I recall, and just wanted to make Sheamus a bigger star.  By, you know, beating him at Wrestlemania.   Because HHH.

Cucch’s Random Column of the Evening: Ranking the 24 Season Finales.

Most people who follow me on facebook know three undeniable things about me. One is that I am a diehard Yankees fan. Second is that I am a rabid wrestling fan. These first two facts obviously net me a gross amount of groupie love from all the pretty females patrolling social media. The third thing is that, in the last year or so, I have become reacquainted with all things 24, almost to the point of unnatural obsession. You see, as 2012 turned to 2013, the Audience network offered by DirecTV started airing marathon blocks of the show, chronologically beginning with season one. Every Tuesday night, they would show four straight episodes of whatever season they were airing in a row, with the only commercial coming in between episodes. So for my then unemployed ass, Tuesday nights, 8pm to 11pm became a sort of appointment for me…an appointment that I could not break, much like Jack Bauer’s word, because those 3 hour blocks became one of the more effective forms of therapy for this recovering. Over the course of the last year plus, I have painstakingly combed through the 24 archives, procuring every season on DVD and watching them ad nausem. And with 24: Live Another Day right around the corner (premieres May 5th), I figured now was as good a time as any to try to stoke any old flames past fans like myself had for the show…to actually reignite them, to build towards a fever pitch. To remember what made the show so great in the first place. And I cannot think of a better way to do that than to rank the Season finales of the show. So lets get at it and proceed.

And if you are not down with that…blame the Audience Network.

Not Rated: 24: Redemption: 24: Redemption was a two hour mini movie that basically tried to describe Jack’s journey from Season Six, where he more or less is a wanted man in his own country due to some of his interrogation tactics, to Season Seven, where he faces a Senate Grand Jury for those questionable torture techniques. As it is only a 2 hour mini movie of a series that generally spans 24 forty minute episodes, you can not hold any of this up to the other 8 Season Finales.

8: Season 7: Let’s get one thing perfectly clear: Season 7 of 24 sucked. It was undeniably the worst season the show ever produced. So it stands to reason that the finale of Season 7 was the worst of the lot. The episode begins well enough, as Jack is trying to escape Evil Soul Patch Tony from submitting him to the Prion Cabal as a human guinea pig. Tony captures a weakened  and diseased Jack, but reveals his evil plot is just to gain revenge against the man, Alan Wilson, who was responsible for his wife’s death. The portion where Tony actually gets hold of Wilson is just incredibly hokey for 24 standards, as Tony tells him that the reason he has turned to the darkside, the reason he has taken such amazing character jumps from the Tony Almeida most fans knew and adored, was the hackneyed plot device that when Michelle was killed, she was pregnant with Tony’s child. Gag. Now, that all happens within about the first 15 minutes of the episode. The remaining 45 deal with the lame First Family saga and Jack embracing death. The Taylor Family nonsense is pure hot garbage, as they are easily three of the worst characters the series has ever seen. No need for them dominating the finale, especially when the Jack and Kim parts are just so emotionally powerful. A total airball by the writers here. Blame the writers’ strike of 2009, I guess.

7: Season 6: Most 24 fans malign Season 6. I am not one of them. Was it their strongest season? No. Was the Bauer family saga a little forced? Certainly. But, for the most part, the season was fairly good, with a strong heel in Abu Fayed. The problem was, Fayed was killed almost 7 hours before the final act. The end heel ends up being Jack’s father, Phillip Bauer, and the main bargaining chip of the last episode proves to be one of my least favorite 24 characters ever, Josh Bauer, Jack’s nephew. Add into the fact that Ricky “Silver Spoons” Schoreder was the prime CTU badass in charge of supervising the exchange…which he fucks up royally, of course…and it just came off as flat, even with the spectacular F-15 bombing of Phillip Bauer’s oil rig. What saves this from dead last is one thing: the very end. Jack’s confrontation of Richard Heller, in regards to seeing Audrey, was outstanding. The ending with Jack, after realizing what Heller was telling him was true, after letting go of Audrey and his past life, was amazing. Jack standing on Heller’s estate, with him symbolically throwing his gun into the ocean, with a pained, saddened look on his face, let you know just how damaged the Jack Bauer psyche was. And with good cause.

6: Season 1: SACRILEGE! I am sure many of you are saying that right now. Fact is, as good as Season One’s finale was…it just doesn’t hold up. Teri dies, we know that. Nina is exposed as the mole and traitor. Don’t get me wrong…it is great television…especially when Jack just ups and mercs the fuck out of an unarmed Victor Drazen. As good as it was, it was just a taste, a teaser, of some of the finales we were about to experience. Call it the test case, patient zero of the finales of the series. It would only get better…or in the case of 6 and 7, worse.

5: Season 3: Anyone who knows me knows that Season 3 of 24 was my favorite, for it was when I started watching the series as event viewing. I still adore it to this day, and no one can tell me otherwise. That said, the Finale felt a little flat after a TREMENDOUS build. Saunders gets killed by Gael’s wife. Some random dude has the last vial of the virus, and Jack and Chase (I still maintain Chase was Jack’s best sidekick) have to chase Random Evil Guy to a grade school. Now, there it is fun, as Chase engages the mysterious Dr. X in a fist fight…which X (Arthur Raburn…I know, I know) defeats him. But Chase locks the virus device on his arm, allowing Jack to emerge and bullet fuck Raburn. The caveat was that the locking mechanism Chase activated around his wrist could not be broken. So, after failing to disarm it via the wiring, Jack has to chop Chase’s thumb off with an ax, then run the virus down to a teacher’s room and throw it in their refrigerator. From there….fairly mundane. The Chase sequence was great, but as compared to some of the seasons upcoming here…nothing special. But still my personal favorite season of the show.

4: Season 4: I just finished watching Season 4, so I viewed the finale about 2 hours ago. It is criminally underrated. Whereas most seasons of the show have 2 or maybe 3 main antagonists, Season 4 had just one: Habib Marwan. For what feels like an eternity, Jack and CTU track and attempt to trace Marwan…only to find one well placed road block after another. Marwan succeeds in melting down a nuclear power plant, shooting down Air Force One and gaining possession of a portion of the nuclear football. It all leads to Season Four’s crescendo, where Jack finally, and ultimately, gets to the terrible Turk. Jack gets to Marwan through a character only true 24 fans would really relate to, Mandy, and is able to track Marwan’s chopper to the Global building in downtown Los Angeles…minutes before Marwan’s missile, armed with a nuclear device, would hit its payload. However, as Jack engages Marwan on the roof of the enormous structure, he slips and falls off the edge…only to be saved by Jack, who just wants to know the who, what, where, why and MAYBE how of the missile about to impact the continental United States. He holds Marwan by his hand, for which Marwan repays Jack by slicing the ever living fuck out of it, just so an already weakend Jack can let Marwan drop to his death, a martyr to his cause. But Jack and Curtis Manning are able to locate and shoot down the device, saving millions of innocent lives. There is a caveat to that, though: to obtain Marwan’s position, Jack had to, unlawfully, enter the Chinese Consulate and kidnap a Chinese foreign who had the backing of his government, even with the shady shit he was perpetrating. It caused a fire fight where, while Jack’s US soldiers used non lethal force, China used VERY lethal force, resulting in the friendly fire death of their consul. After the missile is disabled, former President David Palmer alerts Jack that, not only do the Chinese want to take him as a suspect in the death of their consul, on their soil (watch it and look up the name BERN…biggest bitch in the history of the series), but someone inside the White House wants him dead, for fear that he may expose secrets that would be detrimental to United States National Security. To that end, Jack fakes his own death and disappears. A fantastic, forgotten finale.

3: Season 8: After Season 7, I was not expecting much from Season 8. Boy, was I wrong. The last few hours of Season 8 revolve around Jack trying to get revenge for two things: The death of his love, Renee Walker, and to prove that President Allison Taylor was totally delusional in trying to bring peace to nations that clearly had no peace. In the buildup, he eviscerates the man who killed Renee. He impales the Russian Ambassador with his own sword. Jack just goes fucking off the grid bonkers…and it is a glorious site. The finale sees Jack with his sniper trained on epic baddie Charles Logan, telling him to bring the fucking PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA, into his view…because Yuri Suvarov is the man behind everything in Season 8…so Jack can kill him. That is pretty heady stuff. Now, Chole talks him out of it, and the episode DOES include Freddy Prinze…but trust me. This was just an awesome finale, the series finale. It reaches critical mass one wet blanket…I mean President Taylor realizes she has fucked up and orders Jack’s recovery. Charles Logan is just deliciously evil. Fun stuff for all 24 wonks…like myself.

2: Season 5: The Charles Logan Season. For episode after episode, you try to figure out who is the main heel within the White House…is it Walt Cummings? Is it VP Hal Gardner? Maybe Mike Novick? Nope. It was the Grand Poobah himself, POTUS, Charles Logan. Jack figures it out…that is what Jack does. He interrogates the Prez…but gets nowhere. Logan figures he has won, after all the ignominy he has shown the office. It takes his mentally unstable wife, Martha, to bring the whole thing down…and it is glorious watching evil scumfuck Logan being led away by Secret Service as David Palmer’s casket is being readied to be flown to DC. A truly epic episode that ends with Jack, as always, doing the right thing, but paying the most ultimate of costs.

1: Season 2: Number one with a bullet. Season Two of 24 was probably the best the series has ever pumped out (Season 5 was damned fine as well), but no finale has come even close to matching Season 2’s sheer brilliance. From the time Jack is tortured by Kinglsey’s men, from his arrival at Alex Hewitt’s loft, from the unexpected appearance of Sherry Palmer…if you want to introduce a friend to the 24 Franchise…this is the episode. After Jack is tortured to death, then revived, he counts on a computer programmer and the ex wife of the President to help save the country from entering into an unnecessary strike against innocent nations. It sees Jack Bauer use Sherry Palmer as bait, at the LA Coliseum, no less, to lure out the true madmen behind the day’s events. The final episode of Season 2 is television at its finest. We are all indebted to the Gods that are John Cassar and Kiefer Sutherland for this very episode. It is one of the main reasons I cannot wait for 24: Live Another Day. And its the reason you count down the days as well. 

Random question

I just watched the Shockmaster debacle again, and something dawned on me; if everything went fine and the storm trooper helmet didn't fall off, what was he going to wear on his head when he wrestled? He obviously couldn't wear the helmet. Was he gonna go with just a mask, or would they just have ended up revealing his face before War Games?

I don't think his identity was intended to be any big secret.  He was gonna take off the helmet and be Fred Ottman as far as I know.  It wasn't a really well thought out storyline or anything.  

Random Questions

1.  What was the story with Shawn Michaels overselling Hogan's offense at Summerslam 05?  Was he being a jerk?  Was it meant to add to the match?  Was he punished if he was being a jerk???

2.  What was the story with Trish and Lita both "retiring" in 2006?  Were they forced out?  Did they leave on their own terms???

3.  Does Shawn Michaels heel run after Summerslam 1997 get the credit it deserves?  I've been watching the Raws in between Summerslam and Ground Zero when he fought Undertaker and I was amazed at how much heat HBK had.  He played the part perfectly………just curious what you thought?

1.  Yes, he was blatantly being a jerk, and yes, he was punished for it.  I forget the exact deal with it, but Vince did not let him get away with it.  Hogan, oddly enough, was clueless the entire time to what was going on.  
2.  They both left on their own.  Trish wanted to retire and do yoga and Lita wanted to retire and do Edge.  Plus her punk band and shit.
3.  Shawn and D-X changed the business forever.  That was one of the true beginnings of the Attitude era, because it was a totally different kind of heel heat that had never been done before, where Shawn was both drawing standard heel reactions as well as trolling the hardcore fans at the same time.  Not to mention the "Are you ready…" entrance with the rapid camera cuts and subversive messages bled over into how they produced their own video packages and TV from then on.  It really was a revolutionary character.  And the first Cell match wasn't bad, either.  

Cucch’s Random Awesomeness of the Day

Just to chime in on the WWE Network quickly…they already have a vacuum hose attached to my wallet. Suffice to say, am I getting it? YES! YES! YES! Especially if they have high def versions matches like this. A member of a Facebook group I post on steered me in its direction…its Scott’s dream tag team: Hulk Hogan and Ricky Steamboat squaring off with Randy Savage and Honky Tonk Man, dark match filmed at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, January, 1987


Random blogness

Scott, hope all is well.  Thought I'd give you a break from the Bryan/HHH stuff…
I don't think I've EVER seen you give your opinion on the streak… Should it be ended?   If so, would you end it in Takers last match, end it to put over the heir apparent (guy like Reigns), or end it to set up a huge rubber match (like have Cena/Taker split the first two and then build to a rubber match in Takers final WM match)? Or would you keep it in tact for whatever value is in that?

The value in the streak is chasing it, not actually ending it for whatever theoretical rub that Undertaker might give a guy, since they'd just fuck it up anyway and have someone else beat the Streak-Killer so as to try and get everyone over and thus get no one over.  Plus once you've taken that genie out of the bottle, you can't just build up another 20 year run of some guy, so why even take the chance?  On a related note…

I must have missed this somewhere, but could you please explain why UT-Cena is so desired for WM? I mean, we assume UT goes over because Streak, but then why do we want Cena not to go over at WM? I mean, yeah, suspense booking and all, and Cena doesn't NEED to go over, but what's the point?
It's desired because it's one of the last big matches we've never seen on that level, and one of the last ones where the result would be in doubt enough for people to suspend their disbelief.  Plus it would be a great fucking match and one I would pay money to see.  

Random Old School Wrestling Questions…

Hey Scott,

I have a couple of questions for you and they both kinda/sorta involve Christmas shows:

1) I remember hearing a while ago about how Dusty wanted to put the NWA Title on Rick Steiner at Starrcade '88. I didn't think anything of it and thought it was a joke. So last night I was watching one of the August 1988 episodes of World Championship Wrestling via Classics on Demand and saw Rick in a few segments. One thing led to another and I found a few other places online that noted Dusty did in fact want to put the title on Rick. Now I have to ask, what was the thought process behind this? Did Dusty really think that would be a good idea? Also, with Flair/Luger as the main event and definitely a big time match, how could Steiner have even won the belt? Would they have called an audible and not gone through with Flair/Luger?

2) I'm listening to Stone Cold Steve Austin's podcast with Jim Cornette and Cornette was talking about how Christmas used to be a huge time period for wrestling in the territory days. Now it seems like it's a wrestling dead period as WWE is just killing time until the Royal Rumble/WrestleMania season. And to me, WWE's approach makes sense since general television viewership declines after Thanksgiving which is why most TV shows try to wrap up their seasons by the first week of December. I also remember hearing an interview with Eric Bischoff where when he first took over WCW, he placed the emphasis on SuperBrawl, not Starrcade, because he thought December pay-per-views were a hard draw. Why was this different in the territory days? Even though the territories didn't make the money off TV that WWE does now or even WCW did in the 90's, TV was the main catalyst for the territorial live events which were their main source of revenue.


1)  It wasn't so much Dusty thinking it was a good idea as much as it was him throwing a giant hissy fit at Ric Flair and trying to destroy him.  I think they were gonna do some kind of injury angle to hotshot Steiner in there, but either way it was just a ridiculous power play by Dusty to try and show Flair who was boss.  
2)  It used to be different BECAUSE Christmas was such a dead time.  There was no competition and people were hanging around the house and looking for stuff to do.  No idea why they can't capitalize on that these days, actually.  

random teams

Hey Scott, could you please give me your thoughts on these really random teams throughout the fast-livin' Attitude Era:
Rikishi & Viscera (late 1999)
I don't remember that at all, but it sounds awful.  

The Rock & The Undertaker (fall 2000, 1 tag team title reign!)

Rockertaker!  Other than that, I don't remember much about it.

Rikishi & Haku (early 2001)

Don't remember that at all.  

Head Cheese (spring 2000)

They were OK.

Y2J & Curtis Hughes (fall 1999)

I remember Hughes getting fired and then allegations about him hanging out in S&M clubs came to light, but that's about it.

Road Dogg & X-Pac (mid-2000)
So bored with D-X by that point.

Pretty Mean Sisters (late 98/early 99)

Don't remember that at all.