Vince Thoughts

It’s been obvious for a while now (to me at least) that the blame for all of the negative things about WWE currently falls on Vince’s shoulders. It’s been said for years now that he refuses to let any one man be bigger than the brand, thus the wrestlers are practically neutered at the door. His process sucks but I understand the intention behind it. This is isn’t changing anytime soon so I’m curious why people are still complaining and groaning about it. I know the future looks bright for Vince’s inevitable departure in Triple H but NXT aside, him going over Sting left me highly doubtful about how much will actually change. These people have made the wrestling business their entire world and I don’t think it’s possible for any of them to ever be objective about it. What are your thoughts on that?

Late night post-Payback post!  I think the events of Payback, where stuff happened and, you know, that thing in the main event occurred with Kane and everything, will sum up everything you need to know about the product. 

NXT Thoughts 04/30

Finally watched the new episode of NXT last night, and I have some thoughts!  Yay!
– Pretty nothing episode overall from a wrestling standpoint, although they've actually got some intriguing storylines going and thus are able to keep building towards Takeover even when there's nothing going on in the ring.  I'm actually interested to see where Dubstep Cowboys v. Team SAWFT goes, for instance, although I'm assuming it's Carmella turning on the Jersey boys to allow the champs to win.  Hopefully then we'll get a Megapower-like union of Enzo/Cass and Blue Pants to take the mooks down once and for all.  
– Kevin Owens is just so great and it's insulting to have him waste his time down there at this point.  He even kills it on commentary.  "He's in a cage?  How does he shower?  Actually, he probably doesn't, just look at his hair."  BOOM.  
– Speaking of poor Alex Riley, I'm actually kind of feeling bad for the person and the character at this point, because both are so ludicrously out of their depth.  Sami Zayn throwing him a pity match to shut him up was great, and the poor guy gets killed with another powerbomb on the apron and still can't get the job done.  Despite all his rage, he's still just a rat in a cage.  But now watch, he'll get called up to the main roster because Vince loves his new look and work.  
– Speaking of which, Dana Brooke has suddenly lucked into the most interesting character they've done in a while:  Super green rookie who the company loves and pushes against the fans' wishes.  That heel reaction she got from the Full Sail crowd was very easy to decipher, because we know exactly how they think.  As long as she actually improves in the ring, I'm OK with that direction, but setting someone up as the golden child and then having them fail to deliver is a recipe for disaster.  That being said, FIND A NEW HEEL POSE.  Yes, your double biceps into sexy stripper routine is very nice, but we don't need to see it multiple times before the match even starts.  
–  Itami should squash more dudes.  I think it really helped him out this week.  
– I liked that they actually gave Baron Corbin a promo and a purpose.  
That's all I got this week.  

Three NXT thoughts

1. In this week's tag match, did the team of Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins not remind you – like a fucking scary lot – like the two marines on trial for carrying out the code red in "A Few Good Men"?

2. I was sort of excited for Alex Riley to come back into the ring because I think he got the shaft after a pretty good feud with The Miz, but this rage gimmick is dumb. You're the goober analyst, and now I'm supposed to think you're a ball of suppressed rage? Get out.

3. Dana Brooke is crazy green. That match against poor Blue Pants was puke. Of course, she'll probably get called up next week because Vince has a throbbing tube steak in his pants watching her flex the bicep that many times in a row.

Thoughts?

​1.  It's at least better than Dawkins' previous gimmick of "nerdy black guy".  I do at least enjoy the attempts to make new teams, however.
2.  I thought that his motivation for fighting Kevin Owens again was spectacularly honest:  "I've got nowhere else to be!"  You tell 'em, A-Ry.  I fully expect vignettes of Riley living alone in Bachelor Arms ala Kirk Van Houten next.
​3.  It's funny, because the vignettes, backstory, and name are clearly babyface​ indicators, and then she came out gyrating and rubbing herself while wearing Beth Phoenix's hand-me-down gear and I was like "Oh, I guess she's a heel then.  Yay."  And then she did the same "rub and pose" routine a bunch more times in case we didn't get the first time at the top of the ramp.  I guess it's part of the issue of the disconnect between the awesome indy show (Owens / Zayn / Balor) and decidedly developmental portions of the NXT brand.  Although with that being said, she's no Charlotte and should not have been put on TV yet.  I do think that continuing to mine the fitness model and gymnast world for new wrestlers is a great idea, though.  
Also, even though they're ass in the ring, I feel like Enzo and Cass would work well in an Attitude-era throwback sense on the main roster.  The Outlaws milked an entrance for years.  And they have Carmella for good measure.  

NXT Thoughts

Don’t really want to do a full review, but this week’s show was another good’un.  – Sadly, Carmella is probably going to make the main roster before Enzo & Cass by virtue of being smoking fucking hot.  But it’s just the Divas division anyway, so good on her.  Because, you know, LOOK AT HER.  – I enjoyed the surprise appearance of Rhyno, but I really wish they wouldn’t hang a lampshade on it by declaring “NXT is where superstars go to revitalize their career!”  It kind of loses the cool factor if you don’t let fans figure that out for themselves, ya know? – So that’s Solomon Crowe.  OK then. – Blake and Murphy developing into douchebag heels is a nice touch.  Let them have some personality and see where it goes!  I approve. – I had actually never seen Ol’ Blue Pants until this show.  Just a fun idea, like something out of ECW. – Kevin Owens v. Adrian Neville was REALLY, really good.  Neville is on a pretty amazing roll lately.  I also liked that they made sure to note that it was a non-title match because Neville hadn’t earned another title shot, and they didn’t job out the champion just because it was a non-title match!  And Neville didn’t look any weaker for losing clean.  Great stuff. 

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.  

Thoughts

Grumpy Cat hosting RAW….. I’m done.

HOWEVER, I am now switching to NXT.

Anyways, I’ve been watching a bunch of old Varsity Club footage. First thing, I am struck by how similar Mike Rotunda’s heel turn to join the Varisty Club is EXACTLY the same as Barry Windham turning on Luger to join the Horsemen. I had also totally forgotten that Danny Spivey was ever in the Varsity Club – I just remember them from when they brought in the Steiners.

But anyway, I was thinking…. would an increae in stables like the Varsity Club work in NXT (since RAW seems to be a lost cause)? I’m thinking for guys like Swagger, Henry, Ziggler (after the decide to deep six this current push, as they always seem to do), who have college athletics backgrounds, but seem to be treading water. They already have Ron Simmons, a legit collegiate athletics god, under contract. Use him as their “coach”, bring them down to NXT for a few weeks to fine-tune the gimmick…. hell, have Simmon and the VC down there on “scouting trips”. Maybe it would help provide some focus for these guys who don’t seem to have any focus. Hell, it worked for the World’s Greatest Tag Team…….

And if THAT works, I have some ideas for what they can do with Cesaro, Steen, Devitt and Kenta next…..

Sent from Windows Mail

​Well I mean, the Swagger/Real Americans deal was kind of in that vein, but then they broke up the team and forgot about him​ again after the Rusev deal.  But yeah, the Varsity Club worked well for the time as dickhead jock heels and it seems like an easy gimmick that could work again.  People ALWAYS hate the arrogant jock, which is why it's such an effective archetype in college movies and TV shows.  And right now you've got no shortage of guys like Swagger and Ziggler who had legit backgrounds to draw from and are kind of assholes anyway.
Or they could just spend money to have the fucking cat host the show, whatever.  

Anazlying WWE’s Plans Moving Forward and Raw Thoughts

Even though it was far from the greatest Summerslam event ever,
it was still a big success moving forward. It gave the fans enough
content to be satisfied, yet left them wanting more. Ideally, Summerslam should
be a culmination of the feuds from post-Wrestlemania to Summerslam’s go-home
show. But remember: the business model has changed because of the Network. The
PPV was the end of most of the subscriber’s subscriptions. That means Night of
Champions is going to be the “A-PPV”, because they want to get those
subscribers to renew their account. 

 Most importantly, the show diligently built up three wrestlers for the future. Dean Ambrose came out looking like a crazy phene on a mission; Rusev came out looking like a repulsive and despicable heel; and Lesnar came out looking like an immortal juggernaut.
The main event’s objective of Summerslam was not to be a
5-star classic. Its purpose was to get Brock Lesnar extremely over. Given that
he broke Undertaker’s undefeated streak, they needed to make him come off as larger-than-life
as possible, in order to capitalize off it. And they did just that. One of the main
reasons people were against Lesnar conquering the streak was because he was not
a future star – although a future star conquering Lesnar could have just as much
significance if it is booked properly.
Now, the question is: who is going to conquer Lesnar? It has
been rumored that Vince McMahon wants it to be the Rock, and HHH wants it to be
Roman Reigns. Unless Lesnar is going to keep the title until Wrestlemania 32 –
or some big show after Wrestlemania 31 – the Rock would not be a good idea,
though. Sure, it would grab tons of people’s attention and would probably do an
earthshattering buyrate (especially since people can now pay 12.99 to watch the
network for a month), but  it is an idea that would only benefit in a short-term
perspective. Rock beating Lesnar does nothing for the company from a long-term perspective.
For that reason, Roman Reigns winning the title at WM makes
more sense than Rock winning. Nonetheless, he would not be the best choice either
as of right now. Granted, he is more talented than a handful of the wrestlers
WWE pushed down our throats. He is more talented than Batista was in 2005 and
arguably more talented than John Cena was as well. And considering how far Cena and Batista have come since then, it is not that far-fetched to believe he could improve dramatically
given more time to find his strengths. Which means he is not even close to
being a failed commodity just yet. However, jamming a wrestler down our throats
may have worked several years ago, but the more vocal and opinionated crowds
nowadays are not going to accept something they do not want to see (i.e, Dave
Batista’s main event babyface push this year). That is why they should have Reigns work
on his weaknesses and then push him to the moon once he is officially ready.

Even though Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar would put on an
unbelievable, possibly five star classic match, it would be a questionable
decision for Bryan to be the one to end Lesnar’s reckoning. Bryan is already an
established main eventer, receiving his iconic moment in the limelight at
Wrestlemania 30.  But does Bryan really
need another rub? He seemed to be doing quite well for himself up until his
neck injury. Secondly, it is hard to pencil him in for that big spot. It is risky
to invest into someone who is coming off a serious injury. That does not mean
Lesnar vs. Bryan should never happen, though. It, of course, should happen when
the time is right.
WWE would be silly to not to attempt to capitalize on Dean
Ambrose. Just like Daniel Bryan last year, his popularity cannot and should not
be ignored. He is one of the utmost multilayered and unique personas in WWE’s
history. He is awesome in just about every facet. His deliberate, detailed
promos are fantastic. His facial expressions, mannerisms, and body language
make his intentions and emotions crystal-clear. He is true to his character and
develops it well in the ring. His psychology is extremely realistic, and he can
deliver in the ring with just about anyone. He really could be a perfect foil
for Lesnar. Lesnar loves to dish out pain while Ambrose loves to take pain.
Lesnar laughs at pain while Ambrose loves it.  Lesnar is a beast while Ambrose is just flat
out crazy and fearless. It would be a great moment if Ambrose ever walked right
up to Lesnar, who everyone is now afraid of, and brushed him off as if he was
nothing.
The “Cena never puts anyone over” theory has officially been
put to rest. He did what was best for business by making the Beast in Carnage look
like a billion bucks. This is not going to affect Cena either in the slightest
(which is why it can be so irritating when WWE puts someone over a top-tier
main eventer in an inadequate manner). Cena is practically bulletproof and thus
has enough credibility to overcome this one-sided loss. Sometimes, your
opponent is more dominant than you are on a particular day. That does not mar
Cena’s dominance for the past near decade at all. I mean, Anderson Silva did
not lose his status quo of being the greatest UFC fighter of all time, just
because he could not beat Chris Weidman.

If Cena lost to every up-and-comer, or to someone that could
use the rub, it would diminish its significance. Besides, someone can still get
over from facing Cena even if it is in a losing effort. Bray Wyatt did not get
more over, due to how ineffectively he was booked. But, on the other hand,
Cesaro looked better than before when he went to-toe-to with him. Cena has
become a great measuring stick, to see if someone is ready to be propelled into
the main event scene. When CM Punk pinned him, it put Punk on a different
level. When Daniel Bryan beat him clean in the middle of the ring, it made
people recognize that Bryan was a big deal. And when Lesnar to
threw him around as if he was a rag doll and completely dominated him, it made people realize that Lesnar is one dangerous
barbarian.
Cena needs to be established as a top gun for it to mean something
when he loses. All of those matches where he overcomes the “massive odds” that
we laugh at by saying “LOL CENA WINS” sometimes pay off down the road, just like
it did last night. His resilience and heroisms are his two strong
characteristics – as he can absorb an enormous beating and then make a gallant
comeback effort. Which means, Lesnar did something no one has done before: he completely
took away Cena’s fortes away from him.

In sum, Lesnar conquered the invincible mythical god and
then kryptonited Superman with his bare hands. If booked correctly, they can
manufacture a pristine hero from taking down this indestructible bully. 
Some Thoughts On Raw:
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have rejuvenated their feud. Because
of the bait-and-switch and the announcement of a Lumberjack match, the feud
lost some of its edge. Over the last two nights, though, the feud has become
can’t-miss content. In a backstage segment, Ambrose dumped a bucket of ice on Rollins.
Rollins sold it well and then Ambrose nonchalantly said, “It is for charity”,
then threw the bucket at him, and then proceeded to beat him up. This segment
could have easily came off hokey if it was not for the participants being so
good in their roles. Ambrose is so cool and natural at everything he does. The
segment set up a fabulous main event match that was even better than their
Summerslam one. It was a wild, brutal, and vicious brawl – and Ambrose ran
around like a train wreck on legs. It was also an effective way to write
Ambrose off TV to make his movie, as well as to make his pursuit of giving
Rollins his comeuppance even more intrigue. The pay-off has to be at HITC PPV,
where Ambrose viciously rips Rollins apart in the barbaric cage.
The WWE needs to come up with something more creative than
distraction finishes. They have been overused, and they make those who fall for
them look like idiots. Plus, they make no realistic sense. When someone does a
run-in, they are supposed to do it without anyone noticing backstage. Why would
anyone allow someone to ruin a match by playing his or her entrance music?
Also, they need to develop better feuds for the secondary titles. They keep
jobbing out their champions on free TV to set up a PPV match. It is clichéd and
makes the champions look weak. They need to start getting creative in that
sense. They have 5 hours of TV a week to come up with some intriguing stories
for the midcarders.  There are no excuses
of why they are booking it so lazily. 
Rusev feuding with Mark Henry makes perfect sense. To help
promote their match, Henry cut one of his best babyface promos of his career. Rusev
has a promising career, but he should cut down on the selling. He is doing it a
bit too much for a monster heel. That is just a nit-pick, though.
Heyman continues to bring the goods. Due to his timing and delivery
on the microphone, he makes everyone hang on every word he says. Now, people
are going to have to take his words more seriously. After all, he did not just
spew hyperbole by saying Lesnar would beat Taker or that he would give Cena the
beating of his lifetime. His character precisely forecasted both of those
things. Tonight, he did a fine job putting it in perspective just how momentous
The Beast’s walloping on Cena was. He managed to put Cena over by giving him praise
for hanging in against Brock and not quitting, and yet was still getting Lesnar over at the same time. He emphasized that Lesnar’s beatdown on Cena was no easy task.

Heyman is such a unique heel: He does not exaggerate
the facts; he just shoves the facts down the entire
audience’s throat. And he brings it to another level from accentuating them in
a flamboyant and passionate manner.

Even though Raw was far from perfect, the WWE built momentum
heading towards the very important Night of Champions show. They created some
new storylines and moved the continuing ones in the right direction. Hopefully,
they can keep this momentum going all the way to Wrestlemania 31.  

Thoughts on David Schultz

Hey Scott,

What are your thoughts on Dr. D? I've watched some promos from the guy on YouTube and he actually seemed have a lot of talent and, as best as I can surmise, could have easily overtaken Piper or Orndorff for the Top Heel position if not for Stossel. Am I wrong on this? Was the 20/20 incident a turning point in his career or was D never going to be a big start in WWF?

Thanks 

​Well I mean the problem was that he was kind of a sociopath, so there was always an upper limit of what he could do in a mainstream promotion like the WWF, but he absolutely could have been a top heel with a big money run against Hogan for a good few months and guaranteed his own financial security for years to come.  And yes, the Stossel incident basically blackballed him from the business and he went back to bounty hunting or survivalist living or whatever he's up to now.  ​

Hall of Fame Thoughts?

Surprised there wasn’t a separate thread.

First of all, I bow to the awesomeness of MLB Advanced Media because this was a five-hour live packaged presentation that streamed BEAUTIFULLY…

Now the speeches:

Jake Roberts pretty much had me teared up. I knew it was going to happen. I had tissues for the reason. When he said he couldn’t play anymore I pretty much lost it. I’m happy he was around to see this day and I really don’t give a crap if the guy has had 30 million more chances than he deserved, it’s nice to see that people still cared about him long enough for him to start caring about himself again.

Razor Ramon was short like I figured but had a great ending and I loved the curtain call. Scott Hall looks really good too and that was nice to see. Frankly this night was as much about the amazing rehabilitative powers of DDP. Most of us had written of Jake a while ago and Scott Hall after that ESPN expose but DDP is just that good. Self high-five indeed.

Lita went a bit long and a little inside from an entertainment standpoint but it was genuine and for a first-time in a long dress she looked great. Fellas…you know you’d hit that and brag for life.

Carlito not giving a fuck was funny too. “And we got our time cut, it’s like I never left!”

And there was Mr. T. He definitely loves his momma. I mean he really loves his momma. He would probably still be telling us about how much he loved his momma had Kane not ushered him off the stage.

Speaking of Kane, I thought he did a good, classy job presenting Paul Bearer. Mixed in some gimmick, some humor, some thoughtful remarks and stories.

What do I say about Warrior. It was a lot to take. The good stuff is I love the fact that he thanked guys like Terry Gibbs for being the first guy that worked with him. And he thanked the ring crew and pushed for the people behind the scenes to gain some public acknowledgement on future shows. It’s pretty clear the DVD hurt him personally and it still probably stings. He mentioned that on more than one occasion. And no one wants to hear a two hour documentary devoted to how big of an asshole they are. There have probably been bigger assholes in the business that didn’t get torched like that. At times his speech got a little intense and you could tell he held back some feelings at times but he got through it. I feel like I need to listen to it multiple times to digest everything.
 

Guest Thoughts on UFC 167

Hey Scott, Don’t know if you’d be interested, but here’s a little write up I did on my tiny blog – please feel free to share it on yours if you think it’s interesting. If not, that’s cool too. foeaminute So I’m writing this after the semi-controversial Hendricks vs GSP UFC fight.     If you even understand the combination of words and acronyms in that last sentence, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t – here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: Johny Hendricks (that’s the correct spelling) pretty much handed Georges St. Pierre (GSP, and also the correct spelling) his ass in a televised, pay-per-view fight on Saturday night for one of the handful of weight divided, UFC Championships.  And no, I’m not going to explain what UFC stands for.  Do some Goddamned googling for yourselves.  And also, no, I’m not going to dwell on how “UFC Championship” is  redundant.  Anyway, the fight on Saturday staged the wonderful, sweet, handsome, intelligent, hairless, and supremely skilled defending champion of the UFC Welterweight Division, Georges St. Pierre, vs. the thuggish, one punchish, beardish challenger, Johny Hendricks. Let’s dummy this down for a second to something we all can relate to.  Schoolyard fights.  When you watched your friends in a fight in 5th grade, did you say to yourself, “Wow, George really had a slightly advantageous offensive position during a few seconds of the 2nd and 4th fifth of the fight, so he won, even though Johny made him make poopy and cry on the way home.”? You probably didn’t, but that’s kinda what happened tonight. It’s not a problem with Georges, who really is an impossibly great ambassador for a sport that should (and typically does) reward disgusting brutality.  He’s a smart, compassionate, knowledgeable guy.  He’s nearly impossible not to like, other than his accent.  And even if you said “You have a stupid accent” RIGHT TO HIS FACE, I’m sure he would slap you on the back and say, “C’mon fella.  I am not impress with your humourrr” – at worst.  Or at least I’m banking on that.  He has been scary, record-breakingly good during his tenure as (one of the) UFC Champion(s), but he still lost tonight. The problem is: the judging.  As has been a thorn in Boxing’s side for the last…ever, UFC is finally starting to feel the heat of putting the decision in the judges’ completely incapable hands.  And it’s not even the judges fault, per se.  It’s the issue of the rules in which they must score.  Theoretically, in a UFC fight, a guy could literally just lay on top of another guy for the first three rounds (assuming it’s a championship fight), and then get his eye removed, his nose blasted around the back of his head, and a fucking hole in his neck punched completely through during the last two rounds, and the judges would still have to judge his rotting corpse the winner over his Macarena-dancing, not very good current celebration dance having opponent.  And this isn’t a UFC specific problem, it’s a Boxing problem, too – except Boxing is even more problematic and corrupt, because it’s such a big business, and …hey.  It’s not.  UFC has finally reached Boxing levels of legitimacy! So they say, “Don’t leave it in the judges’ hands”.  But shouldn’t you be able to?  Shouldn’t you be able to trust a trained expert to see things in the favor of the person who did more right than the person who did more wrong?  Isn’t that the way justice wor…oh. So, here are my possible solutions: 1) If you’re gonna have judges, make them judge the fight as a whole. 2) Failing that, we have the fucking internet.  Let us judge. 3) Failing that, just let the guys fight until they can’t anymore and let them tell us who they think won at the end. In fact, let’s just go with 3.  It shouldn’t really matter to any of us more than it does them.  And they know.

Thoughts on the direction of Superior Spiderman

[ass-kissing intro]Hey Scott! Love the blog! Long time fan![/ass-kissing intro]

 
Anyway, quick question: How long to you think Marvel goes into full Vince Russo mode and brings Parker back? I've been reading the gripes from other comic book heads and they seem to want Parker back, but I am enjoying this new ass-kicking ruthless Spiderman.
 
Regards,
 
   The Charismatic e-Negro Jef Vinson

Superior is generally my favorite and first read of the week, and Dan Slott has this thing solicited until at least #24 as of right now, so Octo-Spidey is staying put for the moment.  Plus Superior Foes might be the funniest book this side of Deadpool, with the petty squabbling and debates over tipping hostage waiters ruling the day.  So I'm pretty damn happy with the status quo as it stands and it's nice to see an EFFECTIVE Spider-Man, even if we can all see that Otto's blackmail of JJJ and sudden influx of henchmen are going to come back and bite him in the ass sooner or later.  But that's the fun of it, because he's SUCH an asshole that you're kind of cheering for him, and I definitely don't want to him dead again.  Hopefully they can find another Spider-Man analogue to stick him into (Spidey 2099?  Scarlet Spider?  Agent Venom?) when Parker reclaims his body around the time of Amazing Spider-Man 2.  Plus Superior is generally the highest selling of the Marvel Now titles, so you have to think they're keeping things just as they are, as long as Slott delivers that sweet sales cheddar.  

Cue Jesse Baker rant here.

BB15 1st week in….your thoughts?

I gotta ask: It's one week into Big Brother 15, and already we know its a house full of strange people to say the least (code for idiots lol). What do you think so far? With all of the controversy over the racist and bigoted remarks made by….quite frankly half the Big Brother house, dare you make any kind of prediction as to who's going to be standing at the end? (Initially on the 1st night, I predicted Amanda, Candice, and the pizza guy as final 3).

Darren

This is quite the collection of headcases and trainwrecks.  From an entertainment standpoint it's awesome, but when two of the people are getting fired from their real-life jobs before the first elimination even happens, you know there's some screwed-up people involved.  Ginamarie has already been erased from the show by the editors and is apparently getting manipulated into quitting by the producers (taking away her cosmetics and clothing).  Jeremy just seems like a terrible, awful person, like what you'd expect Randy Orton to be like if he was stuck in that house.  Like, do these idiots not know that they're being broadcast 24 hours a day?  That's the WHOLE POINT of the show!  
Anyway, I think Jeremy is going to Evel Dick his way to the end by forming alliances and being the dominant voice in them.  I think Pizza Boy played his hand too soon and he'll probably get picked off early now.  But I like him and hopefully he goes far.  I also agree Amanda is a contender as well, and she's also the hottest in the house and the most entertaining thus far.  Elissa seems smarter than her sister, but she's just too big of a target and is going to have to fight the whole way.  
They really need to copy the Canadian version and give them more booze, though. Drunken idiots = CHEAP ENTERTAINMENT and drama out the wazoo.  

Thoughts on 2012

Hey Scott, just a couple of questions.

So with 2012 officially in the books wrestling-wise, what would you say was your favorite moment of the year?
Who was your favorite wrestler to watch throughout the year?
What are your thoughts on where wrestling goes from here in 2013 and whether or not we will see a new champion being crowned?

Thanks!

Favorite moment:  Brock Lesnar delivering an F5 to John Cena and then kicking his stupid hat out of the ring.  That was where I was ALL IN and ready to give them my money for Extreme Rules without any further build.
Favorite wrestler:  Daniel Bryan.  He just did so much with so little given to him.
As for 2013, I'm pretty sure it's time to put the title back on John Cena   

Ratings thoughts

We know that WWE doesn't take TNA seriously as competition, but here's a question: at what point do the ratings become comparable enough that they have to? For example, as much as we joke about Aces and 0.8s, 0.8 looks a lot different next to a 2.5 than it does next to a 4.0. 


In a related question, how weak can the current RAW product get before Spike and Dixie roll the dice and make another run at a live show on Monday? Maybe they try a one-off special event on a Monday to see how they do, possibly to coincide with a European tour when RAW is taped anyway. Or do you think the beating they got last time precludes any future attempts?

I think Spike is totally happy with Impact anchoring Thursday for them and no longer has any designs on taking a run at WWE.  And the thing is, if the current RAW product gets much weaker (like sub 2.0 weaker) there's very real danger of USA not wanting to bother carrying them with those ratings.  At the very least, you'd see the show slashed to an hour and budgets reduced to 1995 levels, because most of the money for the bells and whistles comes right from the network and not from Vince's pockets.  Even now you can notice budget trimming like less pyro and such.
Really, the show BADLY needs an overhaul, because the product has gotten really dated and everything from 2008 (the onset of the HD era) to the present looks exactly the same.  Like, literally you can take a show from one year and drop it into another without the slightest cosmetic difference.  I think they need to do like the NXT set and pare it down to the bare screen (like in the early RAW is WAR days) and get rid of all the extra seizure-inducing screens on the side, and maybe mute the color palette a bit.  The show is just so LOUD and garish, which makes watching it for three hours such a headache-inducing exercise in futility for me.  None of this will ever happen, I know, but I'd really love NXT but with bigger stars and a bigger arena.  

Some More WM Thoughts

Since the number of comments on Scott’s rant are getting unwieldy, I’m giving my thoughts on the show here. For those that don’t care, please disregard. For those that do….

 

It’s funny, last year for Mania I spent like an hour typing up a WAAYYY too wordy comment on one of the threads, that was basically column length. Then just before I was done with it, I got up to hit the bathroom & when I came back, somehow my daughter who was 1 and a half at the time managed to delete the whole thing. Probably for the best. I had a friend in Miami who was there for this show, according to him different sections were popping for different things, and they were only uniformly excited for Rock/Cena.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus was just a complete misfire, of course. Even if the logic was to go for that Honky Tonk/Warrior moment, the problem isn’t just that people like Bryan, it’s that his title reign hasn’t been all that long or all that awful. He’s had a few clean wins and some of his less clean wins have been more due to luck than his proactive cheating. I don’t think this one helped Sheamus as much as they thought it would, either. Bryan looks bad, but not bad like he got his ass handed to him, mostly just bad like he got fooled. Sheamus on the other hand just looked like he stole one. I hope this plays out to a longer feud where Bryan ends up getting the title back because I feel like they wanted now to be the time to run with Sheamus as a top babyface and it just isn’t quite where it should be.

Randy Orton vs. Kane pissed me off for how much time they got when compared to the prior match. I wasn’t expecting anything too grandly exciting, and I wasn’t disappointed, although the chokeslam off the top looked pretty cool.  I’m shocked that Orton did the job, cleanly at that. Still, this didn’t serve anybody. My friend I was watching with who’s a big mark and an even bigger Orton mark said that Orton looks like he’s ready to take a year off and get re-focused. We can only hope.

Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show was also a whole lot of nothing. I don’t, however, think it’s a big a waste for Show to have the IC title. It’s basically just been a prop for Cody for the last few months, to the point that it even blended in with his outfits. Big Show will probably at least defend it a few times against the many heels still bouncing around the midcard. So I actually think the upshot might be a good thing. Show should have done something more embarrassing to Cody to really put a point on the whole angle.

The Divas Tag was most definitely a Divas tag. I was surprised how much Maria Meowmix actually got in there & wrestled. I was also fairly certain that stain on the back of her pants was either shit or period blood. I hadn’t thought of the makeup having rubbed off.

Undertaker vs. HHH I felt like had a lot of the same effect as their match last year: really well written, well booked story to the match, but Taker just wasn’t up to doing more with the actual working. I wanted them to use the Cell more. I’ll go as far as to say it’s kind of bullshit to sell the match in part on Hell in a Cell and then barely even use it. I know they wouldn’t be doing any spots on top of the cell but I at least wanted someone to get bashed through part of the mesh. Also, they should have brought more weapons out to the ring so that it wasn’t just HHH reaching for the sledgehammer over and over. All that said, the structure of the match was brilliant, and really unique. There haven’t been a lot of matches where the guest referee is so integral to the psychology of the match. Some of the near falls still, even now, got me thinking that maybe they’d really end it. I loved the moment at the end with HHH getting carried out, and if all three guys never appeared in a wrestling ring again, it’d be a great visual for their careers to end on. That said, now that we’ve got the big round 20-0, Taker either needs to never wrestle again and let that be his legacy, or he needs to put someone over to end the Streak next year. No more adding to the Streak, though. On balance I’d say I enjoyed this one, but I don’t think it was transcendent.

Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy, I don’t really get the hate for. I thought if they had tried to do any more than they did, it would have been too much and the match would have been a mess. I loved the moment where Miz deflected the Rough Ryder onto Dolph, like he was saying “fuck that, you take it”. The finish with Eve, however, was pretty stupid and didn’t need to be done. There is literally nothing Zack can do to come out of that without looking like a bitch: he takes her back after she plays him and then when she turns on him again, what does he do? If he gets mad he looks like an asshole woman beater. He blows her off then he just looks like he’s trying to put up a front, plus it makes him look bad for queering things for Team Teddy when he supposedly doesn’t even care. I just don’t get what they think they’re doing with his character. Also, Laurinaitis (me & my friends kept calling him Leonidas in our drunken stupor by this point, and we kept imagining how awesome Raw would be if it were run by a Spartan GM) looked like he was raiding Brother Love’s closet.

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho was my favorite match of the night. I love that they knew the only way to compete with the main event brawl style or the hardcore style of the other two mains was to go out & put on a technical clinic. I haven’t been too impressed by Jericho’s character this time around (it feels like rather than a reinvention, he’s just playing his last heel character in his Fat Elvis period) but I loved the little touches where he was yelling about Punk’s father. I also love that we’ve seen him bust out the old school Liontamer twice in a week. I love even more that we’ve seen Completely Mental Punk twice in a week. He did that once or twice before he got hurt and became a commentator, like when he took out Evan Bourne. It’s an awesome element to his character that he can normally be the wiseass, laid back Pipe Bomber but then turn it up to 11 and really decimate someone. I also also love that he’s giving the Anaconda Vise its time to shine as a backup finish.

People need to give props to Brodus Clay for having one of his first times ever on a live mic on TV be in front of the biggest crowd he’s ever performed for and not choking or flubbing anything. Once they figure out who Brodus’s character really is beyond “fat dancer”, they’ll have something to work with there. The dancing Mommas was a cute Wrestlecrap moment, in a good way.

John Cena vs. The Rock was….wait first I just gotta say: does anything say “Gangsta is dead” moreso than Machine Gun Kelly, who I’ve heard people try to say is the next Eminem, wearing skinny jeans like he’s in a Strokes cover band on the side? Someone needs to get that guy a sandwich, he’s built like an Ethiopian dumpster baby. Anyhow, this match was the kind of Main Event Style epic I was expecting. Rock knew how to use acting to cover for the moments when he couldn’t keep up, cardio wise. Cena seemed like he was aiming for a “serious” approach, by not hamming it up quite as much on his way to the ring, but in the end his spots just aren’t built for it. He shouldn’t have done the 5 Knuckle Shuffle at all, let alone used it as though it was a legitimate move to get a near fall with. I was not honestly expecting Rock to take it clean as a sheet and to just have it end like that. I’m not in the “Cena Heel Turn” camp, necessarily, but I have to wonder: if the whole idea is that he can’t turn heel because he needs to keep selling merchandise and doing Make A Wish visits, how is jobbing him clean to the movie star going to keep him over enough with the marks to do either of those things? Here’s how I saw the build & outcome of this match: Cena was dead serious about hating the Rock for all this time, Rock basically thought of Cena as a joke, and then Rock proved he was right all along. Good if you’re a Rock fan, bad if you are gonna be wrestling in WWE next month and not on a movie set somewhere. I was also a little disappointed at the lack of a Brock appearance but I’ll hold judgement until we see what happens on Raw tonight.

So there you have it. Overall it was a good Wrestlemana and I felt like it lived up to the hype. They really shocked me with a lot of the outcomes, althought not always in a good way. In the end, it will be the kind of Wrestlemania people will still be talking about in a few years, and that’s the best mark of success a Mania can have. So as always, don’t take my word for it, go to WWE.com and…oh…nevermind.

Scott’s Thoughts On RAW

I was knocked on my ass by stomach flu last night and wasn’t in condition to do much more than watch the show in between puking, but it actually was a much better show than usual.  – I really liked Punk’s opening promo, as he seemed to be legitimately having fun out there and moved by winning the title in MSG like he did.  Johnny Ace is getting close to X-Pac Heat as far as being a character where you know he’s never getting his comeuppance and where he’s programmed to make decisions that only frustrate fans.  Although “Correction, I’m UPPER management” was a funny line and perfect for his humorless delivery.  – Del Rio squashes the hell out of Zack Ryder and I’m not sure what their endgame is.  Presumably they want to push the guy, but it seems like they’re punishing the fans for making him more popular than they deem he should be.  Del Rio is already getting the title shot next week, a loss wouldn’t have hurt him in the least.  It just makes the US title, which Ryder has got to win sooner rather than later, look like a belt for losers. – Sheamus beat Jack Swagger clean with the Conan Kick in a good little match.  Sheamus is another guy where they’ve got nothing for him but he’s ready to break through as a main event babyface.  Instead of running Henry v. Show for three months you could have stuck Sheamus in there for a bit.  Whatever. – Kevin Nash’s big promo was whining about how he should have been main eventing Survivor Series against the Rock.  Right. – Cody Rhodes squashes Santino.  I like Cody but I wish he’d just pick a character and stick with it. – CM Punk beat Dolph clean with the GTS in another awesome match for Zig.  He’s another guy where he’s clearly ready to move to the next level, but they’re so set in their designated top guys that he’s got nowhere to go.  Anyway, this was a great, **** TV match with crazy good near-falls that the fans were completely buying.  I really wish they’d go with the old NWA philosophy and learn to move down guys like Cena and Orton for a while so that someone new could headline the dead December PPVs.  Would it REALLY kill Cena to have a midcard feud with someone?  Anyway, this was an awesome match and well worth going out of your way to see. – Wade Barrett beat Kofi Kingston clean (I like the finishes tonight!) by delivering the Wasteland while staring at Randy Orton.  That’s a good heel finish.  Match was a bit dull because Barrett isn’t an elite worker or anything, but it accomplished what it needed. – Show ended with a stupid Cena v. Awesome Truth interview segment that broke up the heels after only a few months together as a team.  Frankly I’m shocked that Air Boom outlasted Awesome Truth.  Anyway, that’s all I can remember about the show other than the silly Kane video, which was teasing him back in the mask again.  Hey, why not?  You can have someone throw fire at him to scar his face so he has to wear the mask, then hit him in the throat so he can’t talk and has to use the talkbox again.   So yeah, good show, first one since I started doing these again I’d say.  Back to full rants again next week.