Regarding you not viewing WWE for a few years..

Hey Scottman, 


I read you way back in the late 90's Wrestlezone days and even checked out some of your books. You seemed so enthusiastic and so knowledgable, truly the king of the smark castle. Unfortunately, I kind of got away from 411/Insidepulse/a lot of the smark sites for a few years, so I completely missed out on you dipping out from the E for a few years before rediscovering the BoD again recently. I still remained a WWE fan, though. Sort of. That said, I got back into it again, at least until recently. 
I've never been more jaded with WWE than I am right now. So I was wondering what it was that turned you off to the product for that period of time? And what brought you back?

Thanks a lot,
CX  

Please don't call me "Scottman".
Anyway, John Cena pretty much drove me away in 2005, combined with losing Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar and the Rock in rapid succession as regular guys.  Plus I had an alternative with WWE 24/7 so I could watch what I REALLY wanted, namely nostalgia shows from the 80s like Primetime Wrestling and old house shows.  It made it really easy to step away from watching on a weekly basis, not to mention getting married and such.  
I returned in 2011 because of CM Punk and started doing RAW again because Widro asked me if I wanted to give it a shot again for Insidepulse.  It was fun for a while, but once RAW went to three hours it was no longer fun, it was work, and I already have a full time job that pays me much better.  WWE Network, for all its flaws, is the best thing to ever happen to my writing career on the blog because I can rip through all this old content that's easy to review and I've never seen before.  

Question for you regarding another match closing out besides Roman/Brock..


Hey Scott, what's going on?


So, at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the E flushing down Lesnar/Reings midway though the show, for several reasons.

I think it's safe to assume that Brock's just closing out whatever business he has left at this point. As in, fulfilling his contract by showing up and not much else. Go out there, make the appearance, do the job, get paid, go back home to hunting and screwing Sable. 

On the other side of the coin, you have Roman Reigns, who's probably gonna get booed out of the building, and the whole thing is gonna be far more awkward than Brock's other match with Goldberg. At least Goldberg had a following, no matter how hostile the crowd at 20 was toward him. Roman's got, what, a very small fanbase of women, children and Vince McMahon?

Next consider the drama from this past week with Brock walking out on a scheduled appearance and later showing up at a UFC event. Wouldn't be a big deal except he's rumored to be rejoining that org. It isn't like Taker showing up. It's a clear message and shot fired towards Vince and co. 

So, if they don't outright take the title off of Brock and remove him from the event, change the main event and go another direction, let's just say that if it were me running the E, I would be a little paranoid at this point that my champion would sandbag the final match on the biggest show of the show. That's assuming he shows to begin with. 

So, assuming he stays as professional as needed and shows up with the title to do the business, a middle-of-show placement would be good strategic planning in case the match absolutely flops or he flakes out mid-match and says to hell with it, pin me, pay me, I'm out. 

Do you think, at this point, it would be better to close out with another advertised match?

– Cena's the top star anyway, and his fued with Rusev has much more momentum and audience participation. 
– Sting, on the other hand, has been one of, if not the THE most long-awaited arrival ever in the E and his story with H is the longest running right now. Definitely a main event in its own right. 
– Taker and Wyatt, well, there's that stupid rumor that they want to put the match high in the card so it happens after dark. It's Taker, so what the hell, would it hurt for him to main? Bray's superstrong right now, so like Sting/HHH, it's a main in its own right. 

– OR, call the same audible, get Brock/Roman out of the way early and then have Roman pull double duty against Bryan or Rollins in the final match of the night? It would guarantee a good show-closing match. WWE's not really behind Bryan, that much is obvious, so a second main-event of Roman versus Rollins would be an excellent show closer, as well as make a ton of sense. Seth's been the top heel for the last year, Roman's the next big thing and they have a ton of history. 


None of the other scheduled matches mentioned should main this Mania, but they're bigger on paper on paper than what's advertised in the main. 

Also, I feel a two minute MITB cash-in mini-match with Seth Rollins would feel cheap. Any other show, yeah, but not Mania; so how about opening the show with Rollins hijacking the mic, holding the case high and saying he wants Reigns or Lesnar at the end of the night? A straight-up almost-fair one-on-one match really wouldn't fit his chickenschittt persona, but it would present a best-case scenario for salvaging a troubled card. WWE's had a couple of shows in the past where the card changed mid-show, so while it would be a mess, it's still better than what's currently advertised.

Again, I feel that finishing the wrestling year with Roman defending against Rollins would make a million times more sense than any other match, for multiple reasons (quality, prior history, etc). Roman wins the title, Brock gets wished well in future endeavors, show goes on before closing out with Roman and Rollins. Roman wins, Vince is happy and people are satisfied with a decent main. (Rollins can always have a rematch later.)

I didn't mean for this to be a novel. It just seems to me that there are so many other, better quality, more sense-making ways to go about your biggest show of the year. 

Thanks! 
– CX


CLIFFS:
– Brock's a man on a mission, and while I can't fault him at all, I wouldn't trust him at this point to do anymore than simply show up.
– there's no hope for Roman/Brock anyway, so get it out of the way, mid-show. 
– if not one of the other huge matches being the show closer, have Roman defend against Rollins, if not Bryan. 
– Roman and Rollins makes way too much sense anyway, so while it would make sense to be the main of Mania, it makes too much sense for WWE to book it.

You know, for everyone that complains about how little they care about this year's show, I sure get a lot of e-mails about it every day.  Damn smarks, am I right, Dougie?  High five, buddy.  

Regarding Sting

If they do bring Sting into the WWE, even if it's for a single one time match, how do they do it? 

The simplest way would be to just do a tag team match with Sting/Bryan Danials vs Flair/HHH as they can play on the history between Flair and Sting, hide Sting's ring rust via a tag match scenario, and moreso, have his arrival mean something big as far as Bryan thinking outside the box and purposely recruiting Sting as a partner to go against Flair and HHH as far as far as hitting them with a mystery partner who HHH can not bully or threaten or extort (and who would know Flair like an open book to counter).

Jesse Baker

​That's the simplest way?
I was thinking more that they announce him for the Hall of Fame and someone (let's just say…Moe?) gets all upset that he's never even had a WWE match before, and ​challenges him to said match at the Wrestlemania.  

Regarding Kurt Angle/WWE

So the latest dirtsheet reports are that Angle approached Triple H about returning and was pretty much brushed off. I don't get this?

I definitely like the way Triple H has been shaping the future, but he seems adamant about creating new homegrown stars and not bringing in people who may already have a name. Now, obviously Angle has had his demons. But he claims he's a year+ sober now. If the guy can pass the physical and the drug test, I feel like they'd be foolish not to bring him in.
Guys like Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, etc. all could be hugely beneficial to WWE, but dirtsheets are constantly reporting WWE doesn't have an interest in them. It's really stupid to me. Of course you have to plan for the future with your new stars, but I still feel it's foolish to pass up on proven talent that can make an initial impact and then use their star power to help build your young guys.
With Kurt Angle alone, you have the perfect built-in mini-feud with Rusev, one of the only guys they can market as a believable threat to Lesnar, and a dozen fresh match combinations with guys like Ambrose, Rollins, Ziggler, Sheamus, Wyatt, Cesaro, and Bryan, etc. And several of those could reasonably be called dream matches to some fans and Angle has enough legitimacy built up that putting over some of those guys would help them tremendously.

Why the hell would you not bring him in on a part-time schedule, get all those matches out of him, then throw him in the HOF?

​Because one of these days he seems likely to implode once and for all and end up dead in a ditch somewhere, and you probably don't want him on your payroll when that happens.  Plus it's been nearly a decade since he was last part of the promotion and they've done nothing to keep his name alive since then, so there's very little name value left as far as upside.  You might as well just stick someone else under the Patriot mask and have him oppose Rusev if you're going that route.  I absolutely agree with the decision not to bring Angle in.  He made his own bed here.  ​

Breaking News Regarding the WWE World Championship

The following was just reported by Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com.

Just a warning, this does contain spoilers

“A new WWE World Heavyweight champion will be crowned at the 6/29 Money in the Bank PPV in Boston, MA.

WWE sources indicate the decision was made late last week after Bryan was sent to Pittsburgh for additional tests when his physical therapy was not leading to him responding as quickly as originally expected.
PWInsider.com originally reported that there were some in WWE who didn’t realistically expect Bryan back in action before Summerslam, but there was cautious optimism that he would be back by MITB, at least, and he was advertised for all of the July house shows in main events.

WWE will have quite a storyline gap to fill as Bryan has already stated, on television, that he would not hand the title over, since it would negate everything he accomplished from Summerslam 2013 through Wrestlemania and more importantly, everything the fans accomplished with their support. 

WWE now finds themselves in a position where they have to take the title from Bryan without damaging his character. As I wrote earlier, I expect this to be addressed in some capacity on Raw. “

Mindblowing stat regarding Elimination Chamber and Zeb Colter

Scott,

Something for the history buffs at the BoD, which a bit of research at the WrestleCrap Lab conclusively proves:

Zeb Colter (assuming he doesn't turn on Jack Swagger or Antonio Cesaro this week) will become the first manager in WWE history to have wrestlers challenge for the WWE World and Intercontinental Titles at the same PPV, in different matches.

Cornette managed Owen/Yoko at the September 1995 IYH against Diesel and Shawn (World/IC on the line), but Colter will be the first to do it in separate matches.

I've been racking my brain trying to think of a Bobby Heenan example, but I think you might be right with this one.  MIND BLOWN.

Regarding Macho/HOF

> You said the other day that "any HOF that doesn't include Macho Man isn't a real HOF."

>

> My question is….how would you go about inducting him? Do you induct Macho alone, knowing that it is against what he wished and knowing that his family (who should rightfully accept on his behalf) won't attend? Or do you cede to Macho's alleged wishes and induct the Poffo family as a whole (knowing that, at the very least, Lanny has no business in it).

>

> Seems kind of like a no-win situation that is bound to upset someone, so in order to legitimize the WWE HOF in your eyes, what would you suggest they do?

Lanny said that they can do whatever they want, so I would just induct him and be done with it.

Ramble Regarding Developmental

Scott,

Long time, long time, etc.  Most longtime fans (I have been a fan since the early 80s) bemoan the loss of the territory system as a crucial ingredient for seasoning, learning different styles, etc.  However, isn't it reasonable to consider the indies the territories of today?  The two issues are: (i) indie workers typically bounce from indie to indie and don't get experienced building a long program; and (ii) the seasoning is shorter, obviously, but WWE has ameliorated both of those, in large part if not entirely, by creating NXT as its minor leagues/developmental league.  In fact, I'd argue that the overall skill of the talent that has come from the indies by way of NXT, particularly during the last 18 to 36 months (Bryan, Cesaro, Rollins, Ambrose, Kidd, Harper) is the best "crop" WWE has had in years and years.  

The biggest issue with developmental historically how they've been taught.  Look at the current crew:

Rhodes – top 10 talker/creative guy ever;
Regal – international all time great worker and walking encyclopedia of wrestling;
Steamboat – top five us style worker of all time;
Smiley – international catch-as-catch-can expert who has wrestled everywhere in the world;
Brookside – UK legend, Regal partner and amazing instructor;
Keirn – prime territory hand and member of an all time great territory tag team; and
Taylor – worked successfully for every major 80s company, experienced creative head.

The amazing burst of *ready* talent they've kicked up in recent memory is nuts and a direct result of the supremely talented staff that's running NXT.  The booking when they get upstairs has been…spotty…but the talent, I'd say, is undeniable and any argument that guys aren't "ready" for prime time because the territories are gone is finally specious.  

I throw the statement open for comment.
I'm still processing Lita and Punk's breakup here, give me some time.
Overall I'd say yes you have a point, but my bigger issue is that they're throwing away guys who would be ready for prime-time out of the gate because they don't fit their certain narrow view of what a wrestler should be.  Plus they're taking someone like Cesaro, who was absolutely 100% ready to go right from ROH, and grinding any rough edges off him months before he ever makes it to the roster.  Can you imagine how Mick Foley would have fared in this system?  We're getting some decent guys making it up to RAW DESPITE the developmental system, not because of it, I think.  

Latest rumor regarding D-Bry

Scott,
Rumor has it (evidently) that Chris Jericho and/or Daniel Bryan are going to turn heel at Payback. Curious as to what your thoughts are on turning the absolute hottest face in the company now, right on the verge of mega stardom. Just because it worked with the Rock doesn't mean it will work here. Does the crowd bite, just because they actually care about the character? Do they cheer anyway? Whattya think? Keep up the good work. Andy

J

ericho turning heel would be kind of a nothing move for him, and turning Bryan would be suicidally stupid for them.  Although he had ostensibly been a heel for most of the Hell No run and that didn't stop him from getting over as a babyface anyway.  
You know what they should do with Bryan?  Have him win the MITB briefcase to prove himself, and then challenge Cena at the end of the show and win that too, as the ultimate way of showing he's not the weak link.  Cena can squash Ryback in shockingly fast fashion to allow them to have a long match, too, just to really stack the odds against D-Bry.  

Lightning round regarding Scott Keith’s favorites

Think fast!


1) Your single favorite line in any promo ever? (Mine would be Shawn's "I will give you a show like you have never, ever seen before. Why? Because I can", although "Austin 3:16" would be right behind it. But I think that one line basically summed up why I loved watching Shawn, through the thick and thin). 
"If baby seal clubbing was an Olympic event, I'd be the gold medalist."  Jake Roberts.
2) Favorite Rock promo ever? (Definitely the one in Toronto for me; they were bordering on a full-blown riot after the Leafs dig)
Gotta go with the Billy Gunn talking to God promo from 99.
3) Favorite entrance theme of a current active wrestler? (I vote for CM Punk, although the full effect only happens when he's in pipe-bomb mode. Jericho's a close second, that sucker will never go out of style, unlike the lite-brite jacket)
Rey Mysterio is pretty awesome now that I'm used to it.  It took me a while to come around to the "Booyaka" version instead of the "Who's that jumping out the sky…" theme, but they're both very suited to him and pump up the crowd. 
4) Favorite gimmick that you liked that very few others did? (Dancing Lance Storm; people felt it made a joke out of Lance, but I enjoyed his goofy cabbage-patching and it did get him over just a teensy bit).
I wanna say Wrath but he's gotten something of a cult following in the years that have passed.  I'll just go with Adam Bomb so I can stick with the Bryan Clark milieu.  
5) Favorite role by a wrestler in a movie? (Gotta go with Andre in "The Princess Bride" here, he killed it as a gentle giant; HULLO LADY!).
The Rock in Scorpion King.  He took direct-to-DVD garbage and made it a totally passable and fun B-movie.  Just look at what a disaster the sequel was.  
6) Finally, favorite AKI N64 wrestling game? (I'm giving the nod to WCW/NWO Revenge; at least it didn't kill my soul by erasing my data every week the way No Mercy did) 

You shut your whore mouth about No Mercy.   I still play it to this day via emulation.  But I do also love Revenge, for different reasons.  Gameplay is deeper and more intuitive in the WWF games, but the WCW ones have the better sets and crazy fake Japanese wrestlers.  But still, No Mercy.