Simple Question. I think. Plus a blog topic.

It seems like there's a lot of guys coming through NXT these days. But there's not a lot of room on the main roster for them to come up and take.

Which five guys would you take off the roster and why? (By either firing them or what have you. Letting Miz work for Stephanie in the charity division or whatever she does, for example.) and who would you replace them with from NXT? (They don't need to have the same type of role.)

​There's TONS of room on the main roster!  They have 5 hours of first run TV to fill every week, plus another 2 hours of C-shows.  It's just that they have expenses cut so far back that they can't splurge for enough guys to actually fill all the TV time without using Kane and Big Show 17 times per episode.  Just look at the Royal Rumble this year and how thin that was.  
That being said, I'd fire Dolph Ziggler because he's pretty much hit his ceiling and could use a tour of the indies to learn that WWE isn't the only option.  Get rid of Zack Ryder because they never use him anyway and he could make a better living on his own.  Get rid of the Ascension because DUH.  And I'd fire a Diva, say, Alicia Fox just because.  Replace them with Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Enzo/Cass (only as a unit, however) and Sasha Banks, all of whom are beyond ready for the main roster.  ​

Super Serious Topic

Dear Mister Netcop Sir

I know such SUPER SERIOUS topics as bob cat and Announcer 3-ways(GO COLE!!!) have been covered this week but there's an even bigger SUPER SERIOUS topic you haven't covered. The imminent return of the greatest Diva to ever grace the ring: Eva Marie. 

Ah fuck I can't even. Could you please go on vacation so something horrific can happen for us to talk about? I mean besides being subjected to Eva Fucking Marie?

The entity that posts as Darklight.

​My Sporting News mailbags are gonna be pretty dull compared to this week.  ​

The Sunday Non-Wrestling Related Topic

During the weekday I dig doing the QOTD, and I thought Sunday we’d discuss something non-wrestling related. This week: The Simpsons.

Just recently I’ve been going back and rewatching seasons 2-9. I haven’t seen these episodes in 10+ years, and wasn’t surprised to find that I enjoyed them more than ever. Also, seeing them as an adult for the first time, you realize just how fucking fantastic the writing truly is. Bart Sells His Soul is not only a fantastic episode, but one of the greatest pieces of television I’ve ever seen. Absolutely incredible.

For my money, I think the greatest moment in Simpsons history is when Homer & Marge are being chased out of the candy convention, and Homer throws the can of Buzz that’s covered with a bag of pop-rocks, causing a massive explosion. Then of course we get Rock Bottom. “No, Mr. Simpson, don’t take your anger out on me! No! Mr. Simpson! NOOOOO!!!”

Favorite moment/quote/episode?

Blog Topic: Best Rumble Finishing Sequence

In your opinion, what's the best Rumble finishing sequence of all-time?

(Note: I would consider the "finishing sequence" to be everything from final four until the finish, since sometimes you don't even get a proper final two showdown, you just get Brock dumping Taker from behind, seconds after Taker dumped the last guy)

As a refresher, here were the final fours of each Rumble:

1988: Duggan, Muraco, Bravo, One Man Gang
1989: Studd, DiBiase, Akeem, Martel 
1990: Hogan, Perfect, Hercules, Rude 
1991: Hogan, Bulldog, Earthquake, Knobbs  
1992: Flair, Savage, Hogan, Sid 
1993: Yokozuna, Martel, Backlund, Savage 
1994: Bret, Luger, Fatu, HBK 
1995: HBK, Bulldog, Luger, Crush 
1996: HBK, Diesel, Bulldog, Kama 
1997: Austin, Vader, Taker, Bret/Fake Diesel
1998: Austin, Dude Love, The Rock, Farooq 
1999: McMahon, Austin, D-Lo, Bossman 
2000: Rock, Big Show, Kane, X-Pac
2001: Austin, Rock, Kane, Billy Gunn
2002: HHH, Angle, Perfect, Austin
2003: Brock, Taker, Kane, Batista
2004: Benoit, Show, Jericho, Angle 
2005: Batista, Cena, Mysterio, Edge 
2006: Mysterio, Orton, HHH, RVD
2007: Taker, HBK, Edge, Orton
2008: Cena, HHH, Batista, Kane 
2009: Orton, HHH, DiBiase, Rhodes 
2010: Edge, Cena, HBK, Batista
2011: Alberto, Santino, Orton, Barrett
2012: Sheamus, Jericho, Orton, Show

Oh, 2007 was the best by far.  Shawn and Undertaker had an awesome 10 minute match with each other tacked onto the end of the Rumble and we were like "Hey, they should have a match now" and they had two at Wrestlemania and stole the show both years.  

Blog Topic: No Guts, No Glory – Royal Rumble 2013

Hey Scott,

Love the blog and its Simpson-savvy commentariat. Just thought I'd shoot you a topic for the blog, given that the Rumble is this Sunday. 

It's what I call a "No Guts, No Glory" predictions thread, which is, specifically, for bold/daring/ballsy predictions.

The "No Guts, No Glory" thread is where you can make the predictions that you just have a certain hunch about, but aren't willing to predict at any official capacity, whether it's because people will think you're out of your mind, or because you feel the prediction is just wishful thinking on your part (or whatever reason, really). 

The catch is, you only get three predictions. 

They can be in any order, no need to rank based by likelihood of the prediction actually happening.

Of course, there's no real point to this beyond bragging rights, but at least bragging rights here on more rewarding than they were on the PPV of the same name (trophy notwithstanding).

My guesses:
1)  John Morrison returns, fails to win the Rumble, but comes up with a spot where Kofi Kingston walks on his hands to avoid elimination and then Morrison actually balances on Kofi's feet after getting thrown out of the ring.
2)  The New Age Outlaws both enter the Rumble, somehow win the tag titles halfway through the match and then we all get bored with them by the 40 minute mark, at which point they break up again and WWE tries another singles push for Billy Gunn that lasts until the 45 minute mark of the match, when Gunn fails three simultaneous drug tests and gets fired.
3)  Zack Ryder becomes the first person to draw a negative number in the Rumble.

Blog Topic

So I'm back from my Christmas holiday, and only Jack Klugman and Peter Parker died!  So I consider that a win.  

Who are the 2 biggest names that worked for the same company at the same time, but for whatever reason, never had any interaction at all. Whether they were injured at different times, in completely different programs, or what have you. The first pairing that comes to mind is Savage/Goldberg. Savage left in the summer of 98 as Goldberg's main event push really took off. When he came back in late spring '99, Goldberg left for the summer himself. Savage was pretty much gone after October and they never had any interaction whatsoever. 

Wasn't Savage one of the guys who did a quickie job for Goldberg during his big reign?  Am I crazy?  
Rude and Hogan never had any interaction outside of one match in like 1987 when Rude came in, and that could have been a big program.  Warrior didn't interact with anyone but Hogan when he was in WCW, more or less, and could have done something GIANT with Goldberg if handled right.  Or Giant-Warrior could have been something, too, come to think of it.  

Blog Topic: Characters based on real life people or events

Hey Scott —
I thought this might be an interesting topic, especially for younger fans who may be aware of certain wrestling characters but unaware of the original inspiration for them.  Obviously wrestling has lots of characters based on general archetypes or occupations (garbage men, plumbers, tax men, etc.) but a fair amount have been inspired by real people and events or characters in popular fiction.

A few obvious ones that I can think of:
Cactus Jack:  Once known as Cactus Jack Manson, a gimmick that was chosen due to Foley's passing resemblance to cult leader Charles Manson.  I suppose the gimmick had some aping of Manson characteristics early on as well.
Sgt. Slaughter: As an Iraqi sympathizer in response the the incredibly high ratings for CNNs coverage of the 1990-1991 Gulf War / military conflict.
Magnum T.A.: Based upon the look and namesake of Tom Selleck's character Magnum P.I.
The Bolsheviks:  In reference to the Russian Revolution, but mostly just used to exploit ongoing tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States.
"Perstroika" Nikolai Volkoff:  Vince's way of reflecting the change in the relationship with the Soviet Union as well as its dissolution (via a face turn and teaming with Jim Duggan) and the falling of the Berlin Wall.
Vince McMahon:  Well, he must be based on a Roman Emperor like Caligula — with all the family in-fighting, potential for incest and insatiable appetite for power.
Two I have wondered about are Nikita Koloff and Berlyn.  

I assume Berlyn was supposed to be some sort of Holocaust denier, but was there anything specific in the news at the time that may have prompted that character?  Nikita Koloff I always assumed was just a generic Cold War villain, but was he actually based on a specific person?
Any others?

Berlyn came out of nowhere as far as inspiration that I can remember.  Koloff was just your standard evil Russian.  
A few more I can add off the top of my head:  "Simon Dean" was a rib on Dean Malenko (real name Dean Simon), and obviously Steven Richards as the leader of the RTC was a subtle comment on L. Brent Bozell.  There's tons of others because wrestling isn't known for its creativity and originality, generally speaking.  

Topic of discussion from blog fan

Hi Scott, big fan of your blog/rants etc, been reading for years

In recent weeks the lack of depth in the WWE roster has really stood out.
On the other hand TNA seems to have a lot of talent that are credible upper mid carders/main eventers.
In WWE off the top of my head (only counting full time currently active wrestlers) there are John Cena, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Seaumus, Kane, Big Show, Dolph Ziggler (although he often loses against lower card tag teams in tag team action, then fills in when there is no one else as a JTTS)
In TNA, Bobby Roode, Sting, James Storm, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, Ken Anderson, RVD, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Abyss, Kurt Angle. You could argue Austin Aries is ready to step up and that Daniels and Kazarian are in a big storyline with Dixie Carter, so add those guys to the mix.
Putting aside the WWE name, ratings, booking etc would you say TNA had the strongest roster? If you were starting out a company from scratch whos roster would you (or the readers) pick to build a roster?
It seems TNA actually has the stronger roster.
Appreciate it if you put this on the blog,

I would say TNA absolutely has a deeper roster right now.  The WWE is DECIMATED right now because of injuries and suspensions, plus they have to run 4 – 6 hours of TV per week, whereas TNA only does 2.  And it sounds like ADR wants out now, too.  Plus TNA is doing slower-packed storylines, so they can get more out of less guys by stretching out the storylines over a couple of months now instead of burning through them in one show like in the Russo era.