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.  

From the UK: New Year’s Revolution 2005

Hi Scott
Hope you and your family are well
I’ve been giving some thought of getting back into reviewing shows again. Back when I did it for Pulse Wrestling, I’d do the traditional “play by play” review style for matches. That got a bit tiresome though and, to be perfectly honest, it was far too much like your review style. (Seriously, I basically had my own version of all your best lines. Instead of “BONZO GONZO” for example I had “HOUSE EN FEUGO”)
I’ve had a go at a new review style and I was wondering if you’d mind posting this to the blog just so I can get some opinions on it? As it stands, I’m not looking at going back to reviewing full time, but if there’s elements here that The Doomers like I might be able to cultivate them and it could motivate me to start doing reviews more often.
So yeah, I’m essentially looking to do some market research if that’s okay with yourself? It’s cool if not of course, but I just thought I’d ask on the off chance.
This might start up some discussion on the blog as well as I’ve actually been quite favourable to the two most hated matches on the show, not even intentionally to popcorn either, I genuinely don’t hate them that much.
I’ll post the review below.
In the meantime, take care of yourself and all the best!
Mike
 

WWE New Years Revolution

The WWE Network has been substantially eating into my life since I signed up just before the Royal Rumble.
Despite the odd case of bizarre music dubbing (Prince Iaukea’s faux “Purple Rain” theme is edited out but X-Factors “Uncle Kracker” theme remains intact?) I’ve been having a mighty fine time watching the shows and Pay Per Views that I had never seen before but had always wanted to.
I’ve also been re-watching shows that I have seen before, just to see whether the crusty hands of time have altered my memories of them in anyway.
Sometimes I’ll want to watch a show for a particular reason, but other times I’ll just skim through the shows on offer until I see one that I feel like watching.
New Years Revolution was a show I hadn’t watched since way back in 2005 when it first happened. I remember being a bit “meh” on it when it first happened, while also remembering a lot of people on the internet complaining about it. Thus, I decided to watch it again.
The event took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico. To my knowledge, this has been the first and last time that WWE produced a live Pay Per View Event from Puerto Rico. The crowd were, understandably, excited to see such a big event.
Commentators for the show were Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, with Jonathon Coachman popping in towards the end as well.
Opening Match
Raw Tag Titles
Champions – William Regal and Eugene
Vs
Challengers – Tyson Tomko and Christian
The Background

This was back before the Raw and Smackdown Tag Titles had been unified. The Eugene character was an interesting one to say the least. Played by Nick Dinsmore, Eugene was Eric Bischoff’s storyline nephew who had some form of Special Needs. It was never outright said by WWE that this was the case, but it was strongly implied that he was mentally ill (Although WWE never felt it was relevant to furnish us with what Mental Illness he actually had)
As a consequence, Eugene had a childlike innocence to him. His other main character trait was that he was a huge wrestling fan, who had watched wrestling so much that he had developed the ability to copy the moves of his favourite wrestlers like some form of savant. At first, the gimmick was popular and it looked like Eugene was going to reach higher parts of the card than originally expected. However, during the summer of 2004 he’d taken part in a feud with Triple H, which had ended with him being decisively beaten. He faded into the mid card before becoming nothing more than enhancement talent.
Upon his debut, William Regal had been assigned to Eugene by Eric Bischoff, so as to look after him. At first Regal had hated the idea, but during the ensuing months, he grew to care for Eugene and they ended up firm friends and Tag Team Champions to boot.
Tomko was essentially just Christian’s muscle, brought in to be his “Problem Solver”. Christian himself was firmly entrenched as a sneaky mid card heel. He would eventually leave WWE later in 2005, frustrated with his lack of push.
There wasn’t really a particular heated storyline going into this. Christian and Tomko were essentially just “Challengers of the Month” and this was the show they were to get their shot.
The Match
Pretty much a standard opening tag contest. Eugene performed a lot of comedy in the opening exchanges, which the crowd responded to reasonably well. Eugene and Christian entered solid enough performances but Regal had an off night and Tomko wasn’t particularly good at this point in his career. There were a couple of instances where Tomko and Regal were on different pages and had some sloppy exchanges as consequence.
Christian entered a serviceable performance. He looked annoyed at Eugene when he was supposed to, taunted the crowd now and then and was basically just “there”. Disappointing from him really, considering his experience in tag wrestling. Tomko lumbered around and did what he could. Regal seemed to not have his head together at all for this for some reason. Maybe he was carrying an injury or was struggling with fatigue due to the travel involved to get to San Juan?
Heels got the heat on Eugene as well as a further heat on Regal. Eugene got the hot tag but injured himself during his comeback. He threw a dropkick and landed very badly on his leg, causing a legit injury. The match was hastily ended, with Eugene getting a weak roll up on Tomko.
WINNERS – EUGENE AND REGAL
RATING – *1/2
OVERALL THOUGHTS – Standard formula tag match with an abrupt ending due to Eugene’s injury. Can’t really fault any of the guys in the match for the finish, as they were making the best of a bad situation. The match up to that point had been average at best and would have probably ended up around the ** mark if the ending had gone as planned. Basic opener that the crowd responded to well.
I should point out that there were numerous skits by the swimming pool involving Maria, Christy Hemme, Candice Michelle and Stacy Keibler in bikini’s. It all built up to them having a chicken fight in the pool. It was what it was, but didn’t really add anything to the show and I must question actually paying to take them to San Juan just for that.
Second Match
Women’s Title
Champion – Lita
Vs
Challenger – Trish Stratus
The Background

In storyline, Lita had been forced to marry Kane and was due to give birth to his Demon Spawn™ until an unforeseen accident, which we’ll cover in more detail later on, caused her to miscarry.
Trish, being the heel of the piece, decided to mock Lita about losing her baby. It was tasteless but at least created the desired reaction of fans wanting to see Lita beat Trish up, so every cloud. The two had an abrupt match at Survivor Series which had ended in a Disqualification, and was notable for Lita causing Trish to bleed from her nose.
The re-match was a hotly contested bout on Raw, that was actually the Main Event on that particular show, which saw Lita win the title clean to gain a measure of revenge. This was probably the highest status the much beleaguered Women’s Title would ever reach in WWE.
The match on this show was a continuation of the storyline.
The Match
Unfortunately this was the second match on the show that had to go home early due to a legit injury. Lita dove off the apron early in the bout and injured her leg severely. Unable to carry on, an audible was called and Trish kicked Lita to win the match and the title.
WINNER – TRISH STRATUS
RATING – I can’t really give it one as there wasn’t much of a match up to the injury and it would be unfair to mark the ladies down for having to go home early.
OVERALL THOUGHTS – Looked like it was going to be another solid match between the two before the injury. I’m not sure if Trish was due to win anyway and they just went to the planned finish early, or if Lita was due to win and they changed the finish on the fly. Lita would come back after this to help train Trish’s Wrestlemania opponent Christy Hemme. However, the feud would fizzle out in Spring as both women would take their characters in different directions
Third Match
Intercontinental Title
Champion – Shelton Benjamin
Vs
Challenger – Maven
The Background

Maven was fresh off a heel turn around this show. I can’t pinpoint the exact date, but I know he was a face at Survivor Series so it was sometime between that show and this one.
Shelton had been champion since October when he’d defeated Chris Jericho. He’d been pushed as an Upper Mid Card face that could hang with the Main Eventers, but didn’t often defeat them.
Maven had pinned Benjamin in a tag match to set up his role as challenger.
The Match
This match got a lot of negativity at the time but I remembered loving it then and I still love it now. Maven stalled for a few minutes at the start of the match, drawing a decent amount of heat while doing so. Finally, he couldn’t stand it anymore and rolled out of the ring to grab a microphone.
He cut a promo on the audience telling them to be quiet as they were distracting him. This of course only caused the fans to boo him louder and yell obscenities at him in Spanish. Maven continued to insult the crowd declaring “I can’t concentrate with you talking all that gibberish” which went down about as well as you could imagine and still cracks me up every time I see it.
After cutting his promo, Maven finally got into the ring again where he was promptly rolled up by Benjamin for the win. Fabulous!
WINNER – SHELTON BENJAMIN
RATING – Again, I can’t really rate it as a traditional wrestling match because it was essentially an angle more than anything else.
OVERALL THOUGHTS – A lot of people got cheesed off by this match back in the day because having something like this on a Pay Per View was seen as a rip off. I really don’t see that though. To me, a Maven Vs Shelton match would hardly have been a classic. It would have been, at best, an average mid card match and nothing more.
By booking it the way they did, it made the match unique and also gave Maven a great opportunity to get his smarmy heel act over. He was excellent in this and incited the crowd beautifully. Plus, it was funny to watch the arrogant heel get his comeuppance and it made Shelton look strong in the process.
If the first two matches hadn’t had abrupt finishes as a result of injuries, this match probably wouldn’t have received as much of a backlash as it did. I think the fact they followed two interrupted matches with an extended angle made people have a more negative view of this match than was deserved.
Following the match, Maven called Shelton back in to face him again, as he wasn’t ready previously. Maybe he’d been too busy brushing up on his Spanish to do enough squat thrusts and body planks? Shelton obliged, drilled him straight away with a T-Bone Suplex, and beat him again. Marvellous!
Fourth Match
Muhammad Hassan with Daivari
Vs
Jerry Lawler with Jim Ross
The Background

With Islamaphobia rife throughout the Western World, the WWE decided to deal with it in their usual calm and measured way, by debuting Hassan as a stereotypical angry Muslim.
At first, it seemed like they were going to go a different direction with the gimmick and play up the idea that Hassan and Daivari were both normal Americans who were mistreated just because they happened to look Asian (Hassan himself was actually Italian) but by this show they’d gone the whole hog and had just made them evil men who wanted to put Americans in The Camel Clutch.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler had gotten on the bad side of the two, by decrying their Anti-American comments, so naturally a match was made between the potential hot new heel Hassan and the aging half retired Lawler. This was supposed to get Hassan over somehow. Don’t look at me, I didn’t book it
The Match
The first problem with the match is the length. It takes up nearly 10 minutes, which is far too long for what it needed to be. Secondly, with Lawler wrestling and Ross seconding him, the match had no commentary whatsoever, which only hurt it further.
Hassan sold far too much for a guy they supposedly had top card plans for. He should have polished Lawler off pretty quickly and moved on to fry bigger fish, but that’s not how the match was booked at all.
The work wasn’t particularly thrilling either. I like Jerry Lawler and think he is a good storyteller in the ring, but this match was just flat and uninteresting. Hassan eventually pinned Lawler with a Complete Shot after a tedious contest.
WINNER – MUHAMMAD HASSAN
Rating – *
OVERALL THOUGHTS – Boring match that did nothing to elevate Hassan and was a waste of Lawler’s Legend Status. Hassan would start gaining a little bit of momentum over the following months once he started working with fulltime roster members. He’d even get to face Hulk Hogan at Backlash. In the summer of 2005, he was traded to Smackdown and was positioned to be Batista’s Summer Slam foil.
However, in the build up to a match with The Undertaker where he’d earn his #1 Contendership status to Batista’s Title, WWE shot an offensive angle where a group of balaclava clad mercenaries attacked Undertaker with a piano wire while Hassan prayed outside the ring. Awful as this was, WWE probably would have got away with it, but two days after it was shot there was an Islamic Fundamentalist attack on London.
WWE couldn’t edit the footage in time, or so they claimed, so instead played a pitiful disclaimer at the bottom of the screen while the angle commenced. This netted them a boatload of negative publicity and things got so bad that they decided to “kill off” the Hassan character at that year’s Great American Bash. Quite literally in fact. Undertaker Power Bombed him off a stage and after a shot showing his broken body on the concrete, we never saw him again. Ah, WWE, classy till the end. Marc Copani, who played Hassan, got into acting I think. I wish him well to be honest; it wasn’t like he booked any of the stuff that got WWE in hot water. He was essentially made the scapegoat, when he’d merely been doing what he was told.
Fifth Match
Snitsky
Vs
Kane
The Background

Remember the whole “Lita being pregnant” thing from the second match? WWE decided that they wouldn’t deliver on Lita actually having a child with Kane. With that decision made, they needed a way of getting rid of the imaginary child. Snitsky was the man who ended up with that job. Baby killing isn’t glamorous work, but I hear the dental plan is good at least.
One week Gene Snitsky was just there on Raw, and nothing would ever be the same again. After Kane had forced Lita to carry his wicked offspring, he then naturally followed that up with the logical step of forcing her to marry him. Ah, young love.
This led to a number of occasions where they’d squabble and Kane would lose a match or two as direct consequence. Kane was booked against Snitsky on Raw one week, who everyone watching just assumed was an enhancement guy who was there to put Kane over. Oh, if only we had been so lucky.
In fact, Kane and Lita had another one of their weekly arguments during the match. While they argued, Snitsky grabbed a nearby chair and walloped Kane in the back with it. The force of the chair shot sent Kane tumbling onto Lita, thus causing her to miscarry.
“Hmm” I thought “It’s strange that they’d use a Jobber of the Week for this sort of angle as opposed to a recurring character”. Oh how wrong I was. Because Snitsky was not there as part of a one shot deal, no sir. Next week on television, Jim Ross interviewed Snitsky about the incident. Snitsky, showing no compassion or sympathy, simply declared that “It wasn’t my Fault!” and thus a catchphrase was born.
Snitsky continued to show no lament for his actions. In fact, he even seemed perversely proud of them. At one point he even punted a doll into the crowd! Snitsky was here to stay and WWE decided to go all the way with him and actually let him put Kane out of action in October for a prolonged period of time. This show was Kane’s return and he was looking for revenge.
The Match
This is a strange one for me. The match told a decent story and had sustained crowd heat throughout. However, both men got very tired and as consequence the offence on display was beyond sloppy.
At one point, the brawl spilled to the outside of the ring and Snitsky removed the protective mats, exposed the dreaded concrete. Snitsky then tried to Piledrive Kane onto said concrete, but Kane countered with a back drop and Snitsky took a bump on the unprotected floor. This was a standard spot but the crowd went nuts for it. San Juan really, REALLY liked Kane and it made the match much more entertaining than it normally would have been.
There was some good progression in the match as far as storytelling. Earlier on, Kane tried his Top Rope Clothesline, but Snitsky countered with a raised boot. Later on Kane tried it again and this time managed to get it, which popped the crowd. I don’t know why, but I liked the little touch of him failing the first time. It made it seem like he’d achieved something when he finally connected with the move.
There were some slow points though. Snitsky used at least two rest holds throughout the bout. And, as much as I’d like to ignore it, the work wasn’t good. Snitsky in particular was out of position a few times and hit some sloppy looking moves.
In the end, Kane drilled Snitsky with a Tombstone to pick up the victory, but it was a very ugly looking one that almost ended in disaster. Kane lost his grip of Snitsky on the move and nearly dropped him right on top of his head. It gave me cause to shudder when they showed the replay.
WINNER – KANE
RATING – *1/2
OVERALL THOUGHTS – I’m torn on this one. I was hovering around ** for it but I couldn’t in good conscience give a match this awful that high of a rating. The work in this match leaves a lot to be desired, but both guys work really hard and the live crowd enjoyed it. I personally enjoyed it as well and got into the story of the match, but in the cold harsh reality of star ratings, this was a bad match. Still, I give props to both men as the match build and story made sense and they were clearly putting their all into it.
The feud raged on for a bit longer after this and there was a genuine possibility that Wrestlemania would feature Kane and Undertaker Vs Snitsky and Heidenreich, but thankfully WWE came to their senses and we weren’t subject to having that atrocity foisted upon us.
Main Event
Elimination Chamber for The Vacant Raw World Title
Shawn Michaels as Guest Referee
Triple H with Ric Flair
Vs
Edge
Vs
Batista
Vs
Chris F’ing Benoit
Vs
Chris Jericho
Vs
Randy Orton
The Background

Triple H had won the Title in September, cutting the legs off hot new babyface Orton in the process, and held it until December of 2004. Due to a disputed finish in a Triple Threat Match between Triple H, Edge and Benoit, the belt was held up with the new Champion to be crowned in the Elimination Chamber.
Michaels was instilled as Trouble Shooting Referee™, thanks in large part to having issues with pretty much everyone in the match at some point or another. At this point though Michaels was firmly entrenched in a feud with Edge, who was trying to get over as an opportunistic heel. It would take winning the first ever Money In The Bank Match and stealing Matt Hardy’s bird to finally get Edge past the Upper Midcard to Main Event barrier. At this point he was a moderately over heel with something missing.
The big story going into the match was the rise of Batista. Obstensibly he was there merely to help Triple H win, but ever so small cracks were starting to appear in his relationship with Triple H. Hints were given that maybe he’d take the Title for himself.
Orton was pretty much dead in the water as a face by this point and would be a heel again about a month after this. Ditto for Jericho, although his heel turn would take a bit longer. Benoit was coming off probably the most successful year of his career, which had seen him win the Title at Wrestlemania XX and generally have great matches with everyone from Triple H to Sylvain Grenier.
The Match
What struck me first off was how over everyone in the match was. The San Juan crowd gave everyone, barring Edge, a babyface reaction. Triple H, the companies top heel at the time, received a thunderous ovation, as did Batista. Edge was seemingly the only one to draw any heel heat on his way to the ring. As a result, everyone was clearly jazzed by the reaction and were all up for having a good match.
With such a collection of excellent workers, the match was naturally a good watch. Benoit and Jericho started out and hit each other really hard, as they were always want to do. Edge’s elimination eventually came at the hands of Michaels. Edge had clobbered Michaels by mistake, so a perturbed Michaels had Super Kicked him to lead to a pinfall. Benoit and Jericho had Triple in a dual submission, almost causing him to subut before a last gasp rescue by Batista.
Batista was given scalps of both Benoit and Jericho and was generally booked very strong. It eventually came down to Batista, Orton and Triple H. Orton was able to clock Batista with an RKO and eliminate him. Of interest though was the fact that Triple H could have potentially saved Batista, but he instead left him to his fate. This was a nice subtle touch that added another layer to the Evolution storyline.
Batista eventually clocked Orton with a Lariat before leaving The Chamber, which allowed Triple H to spike Orton with a Pedigree to beat him once again.
WINNER – TRIPLE H
Rating – ****
OVERALL THOUGHTS – An excellent Main Event that made Batista look like a monster while also sowing the seeds for his eventual face turn a month later. Orton was made to look like a chump again, but that was par for the course at this point in his babyface run.
Benoit, as always, was the glue that held everything together and Edge gave a good showing of himself up until his elimination. Back in the day, I very much had a feeling of “What was the point of all that if the belt just ends up with Triple H again?”, but looking at it now I feel a bit differently.
This was the match that tied up some loose ends while also laying down the tarmac for the Road to Wrestlemania. This was the match that essentially finished Orton as a top level face, ending that chapter of his career so he could switch back heel in time for his match at Wrestlemania with The Undertaker. It also set up the Edge and Michaels marriage for the next month, which in turn led to Michaels Vs Angle for Wrestlemania while also giving Edge something else to complain about before he won the briefcase at Mania.
And it also set Batista up as a monster, while also teasing that at some point he might kick Evolution to the curb. This match was the perfect way to get things rolling for Wrestlemania and it was a brilliant match to boot!
OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS – Not a particularly great show this one, but it does have its moments. I would recommend watching maybe just The Maven/Shelton match and the Chamber match on The Network. Kane/Snitsky is an acquired taste, but you may get some enjoyment out of it if you fast forward through the rest holds and can put up with the sloppy offence.
Peace Out

20 Years Ago: The Big, The Bad, The Vicious… Bodyguard and the Discovery of Insider News

I wrote this piece for PTBN, but thought it could lead to some discussion here.


Basically, when did you first discover dirt sheets or insider news and how did it affect you as a fan? Did you regret it? Did you dive in for more?

Mention the phrase “1995 WWF” to wrestling fans and watch their
eyes immediately glaze over from boredom. The roster was filled with
cartoon characters, the booking littered with missed opportunity, and
the television programs were canned and milquetoast at best. The Rock
‘N’ Wrestling Era was deep in the rear view mirror, and the company
looked dramatically different than it did just 18 months earlier. But I
didn’t care. I loved it all still. 1994 was a major year in my wrestling
fandom as I attended my first PPV, had really built up a solid core of wrestling fan friends and even launched the infamous WCF in my backyard.
As we rolled into 1995, we were still obsessed, talking about it all
the time. Monday Night Raw was appointment TV for me regardless of the
card. With WrestleMania XI approaching and WCF Winter War just past us, I
was all-in on the world of wrestling.

Coming out of his Royal Rumble win, Shawn Michaels was pegged as the
next big superstar, finally ready to cash in on his seemingly unlimited
promise and potential. Set for a collision course with former friend and
muscle Diesel at WrestleMania, Michaels decided it was time to once
again employ a bodyguard to watch his back. He claimed that he was a
marked man by everyone in the promotion after he ran through the roster
at the Rumble, and he wanted to take no chances as he prepared himself
to become World Champion. As February dawned, Michaels teased that it
was time to call on some protection, sparking rumors amongst viewers of
who the bodyguard would be. Now, this was pre-Internet for a majority of
fans, so unless you were Rick Scaia, CRZ, the Netcop or Al Gore or
subscribed to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, you were shit out of
luck regarding rumors for the most part. And I say for the most part,
because there were a couple of other options out there, options of which
I took full advantage.

hbkrr

In early 90s New England, there was a skullet-laden savior in deck
shoes named Cody Boynes that helped us through these dark days. At
first, there was a static-filled radio show on Sunday evenings where
Cody broke news about a potential Demolition return and other
unbelievable facts and figures. I couldn’t believe this goldmine I found
and was sure to listen to each week until it vanished from the dial.
Around 1992, I stumbled into Cody again, this time on local public
access TV. Cody was chilling in a local station studio and would read
news, notes and rumors from around the wrestling world. It was years
later that I realized he was just reading the WON directly to his
viewers, but whatever, it was awesome. It aired midday during the week,
so in the summer it was must-see TV for me and during the school year,
my VCR was programmed to catch the updates. Cody would even have local
Indy and backyard wrestlers on as well to help push the local scene. I
was a public access junkie at this point, and it was one of my favorite
programs to watch. Soon enough, Cody only popped up randomly, often in
repeats or way behind the times before he vanished again and I was left
to fish for my own news if I wanted it to be fresh and come more often
than once a month. Enter…Journal Line.

Being such a tiny state, Rhode Island doesn’t have many options for
media compared to others. Sure, each town or city had their own very
local paper, but the Providence Journal was the main source of news from
Westerly to Woonsocket. They weren’t much for wrestling coverage, but
every now and then there would be an article (or obituary) or two when
the WWF was coming to the Providence Civic Center, which they routinely
did at that time. By 1993, the paper also created Journal Line, a free
dial up hotline that provided news updates, real time sports scores,
soap opera news…and wrestling rumors! Yes! What were the odds? I vividly
remember Josh Richer
and myself dialing in furiously on a May Saturday afternoon to find out
if the Denver Nuggets became the first #8 seed to win a playoff series
as they battled the top ranked Seattle Supersonics in a tight first
round series. We high-fived when we heard the score. And that was
fantastic. We weren’t able to watch the game and now we didn’t have to
wait for Sportscenter or the news to tell us what happened because
Journal Line took care of it. It was an amazing time to be alive. With
the 2/20 Raw and the reported revelation of Shawn Michaels’ bodyguard
inching closer, I anxiously punched in the Journal Line number and
wondered if the identity would be revealed.

dikembe

About 15 minutes into the show, Shawn Michaels’ music blared over the
speakers and the Heartbreak Kid sauntered down to the ring to chat with
Jerry Lawler in the King’s Court. After teasing things for a few
minutes, Michaels officially revealed his new bodyguard to the world:
The Big…The Bad…The Vicious…SID! Sid was back in the WWF after leaving
the company nearly three years earlier. He had a year long stint in WCW
in 1993 but had vanished after he was fired for stabbing Arn Anderson
with scissors during a hotel brawl. Outside of the odd mention in one of
the Apter Mags, Sid was completely MIA for most wrestling fans. Until
this night in Macon, GA, that is. The longtime fan favorite returned,
and he would be protecting Michaels against all his jealous attackers on
the road to WrestleMania. As the big man marched out with no shirt and a
pair of mom jeans on, the possibilities seemed endless. The excitement
was palpable. Sure, we all know that 1995 would end up being a very
rough year for the Vicious one, but on that night in Macon, it was
awesome to be a WWF fan. The shock the fans experienced was what made us
all wrestling fans…for the most part. I wasn’t shocked at all. Because I
knew. Journal Line spoiled it for me. And as soon as I found out during
that phone call and got really excited, a feeling of sadness warmed
over me at the same time. I realized how cool it would have been to be
surprised when Sid marched out instead of having some droning intern
tell me over the phone. That magic moment could never be brought back
for me.

For the rest of 1995, I tried to avoid Journal Line unless a
potential storyline really had me hooked and I needed to know the
details. I remember calling to get as much information as I could about
Lawrence Taylor and if his issues with Bam Bam Bigelow were legitimate. I
know I was so intrigued about Goldust that, despite my personal ban, I
called in to find out his identity ahead of time. By early 1996, I was
officially part of America OnLine as HRace34
and the floodgates blew open. I was all-in on insider news and rumors
and it was dangerous, because it was a time full of rogues when false
rumors spread like wildfire. I foolishly believed the tale that Yokozuna
would be defeating Shawn Michaels for the World Title on a May 1996 Raw
and was surprised when nothing of the sort occurred. It was a harsh
lesson to learn early in my life as a somewhat insider.

shawn-michaels-sid-1995

Every corner of our wrestling community ponders if life would be
better like those old days before everything was spoiled. Then, we were
more concerned about why Jake Roberts turned on Ultimate
Warrior as opposed to caring if Roberts was being turned heel to job out
against the wishes of the fans. I am not sure there is a right or wrong
answer either way. Both have their merits. All I know is that sometimes
it is worth the trip back in time to help us remember why we love and
are so dedicated to this insane sport. And sometimes, even now,
regardless of how much we know ahead of time and how many spoilers we
read, we can still be swept up in the magic of pro wrestling. That is
why we still watch.

20 Years Ago: The Big, The Bad, The Vicious… Bodyguard and the Discovery of Insider News

27 Years Ago Today…

…the most watched wrestling match in North American history took place when Hulk Hogan faced Andre The Giant on NBC. In this day and age, a 5.0 rating seems unfathomable; this show scored a 15.2! Over 33 million people watched live to witness the end of the over four year nightmare that was Hulkamania.

Seeing as it’s been over 20 years……

Had an idea this morning

I watched the 1994 Royal Rumble last night on the Network, where Bret Hart
and Lex Luger both went over the top at the same time and were co-winners.
They both got a shot at Wrestlemania X. One guy got a match with the
Champion first, while the other guy had to wrestle suitable competition
(Crush for Luger or Owen for Bret) before he got his title shot

Bret ended up facing Owen, while Luger got the shot at Yokozuna first

They could do that with Bryan and Reigns this year and have them both get a
shot at Wrestlemania, but bring back the "suitable competition" rule. It's
been over 20 years now, so I guess it's been long enough to re-hash it. It
might placate the Philly crowd somewhat and avoid their expected (Though
I'm thinking the worries of this may be overblown) freak out at Reigns
winning.

Have Reigns get the first shot at the champ and Bryan can face Brock Lesnar
as "suitable competition", with the idea that The Authority are
deliberately stacking the deck against him by giving him the toughest
opponent imaginable

Meanwhile, have Rollins win the title at Rumble and then have him retain at
Elimination Chamber over Cena, thanks to interference from Rusev to set
that program up

That leaves us with a Wrestlemania card of

Brock Lesnar Vs Daniel Bryan

WWE Title
(C) Seth Rollins Vs Roman Reigns

Daniel Bryan Vs Rollins/Reigns

Triple H Vs Sting for control of WWE

Rusev Vs John Cena

Undercard

Then you can either screw Reigns in the Rollins match somehow and have
Bryan win the Title, thus leading to a bitter Reigns turning heel and
siding with Paul Heymen down the line. Or, you could have Reigns get two
big wins over two of the companies best workers, thus giving him the
strongest possible start to his title run. You could then run rematches
with both Bryan and Rollins before building to the big showdown with Cena

Thoughts? Feel free to share with the Doomers

Ach, no.  They already ripped off Rumble 94 in  2005 because they couldn't make up their minds and it sucked then too.   If Daniel Bryan isn't winning it he shouldn't be in it.  

BoD New Year’s Eve Thread

I’m home. Are you?

If you are, come by and hang out, talk about whatever.

NBA action, plenty of NHL, the Orange Bowl happens. Wrestlemania XXX being replayed on the Network live stream.

Happy New Year, BoDers. Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999. Which means I’m going to get on Napster and download everything I can before Y2K hits.

Mick Foley’s early years

Scott,

What Mick Foley matches prior to his ECW run are worth checking out (from any federation)?
​Well, the most famous is the 2/3 falls match with Eddie Gilbert that basically defined the ECW/hardcore style and launched the careers of a million tape traders online.  And of course he had a bunch of great ones with Sting and Vader in 92/93 in WCW.  Before that he was basically a job guy who did occasional crazy indy matches. ​

30 Years of WrestleMania

 

I had a great chat with Brian Shields, author of new book “30 Years of WrestleMania,” discussing working behind the scenes with WWE, his favorite Mania memories, and predictions for WrestleMania 31.   http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/10/30_years_of_wrestlemania_autho.html#incart_river   Part 2 of the interview with his thoughts on Triple H, Cena, Ambrose, and more will be posted over the weekend.   Thanks!   You're welcome!

Original WWE Network idea discussed 3 years ago.

Hey Scott,

 I stumbled across this while looking through your older content and 3 years ago Vince made mention of creating what we know today as WWE Network you even made a post about the subject on this very blog, which I have linked: http://www.rspwfaq.net/2011/09/vince-goes-completely-insane-film-at-11_23.html Do you still stand by your original comments of how it is the worst move possible the WWE could have made? Cheers.Well it's not like it's doing very well at the moment, and they've basically cannibalized their PPV business.  I'm glad they did it, but I have to think that they're regretting jumping in with all appendages at once like they did.  Yeah, they can make it work by cutting the shit out of all their expenditures, but the launch was kind of a debacle.  But what's done is done.  

10 years ago about writing

Hey Scott,

Over ten years ago, I wrote-to to one of your mail columns, asking for advice on writing. You suggested Stephen King's book "On Writing." I have long been appreciative of that, as have the many friends with whom I've shared the book.

I just started a website for my comedy/writing, and the following link is my first installment of a 10 part series dissecting the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards.

It'd be an honor for you to check it out if that is something that interests you.

Thanks for the hot tip,

Tollie

​No problem.  Although we didn't get MTV in Canada until years after they stopped doing anything music-related, so nostalgia about it isn't really my thing.  ​

Your idea ten years later

Ten years ago, you came up with an idea so great that WWE not only stole it, but they actually gave you credit for it online!

http://www.wwe.com/inside/commentary/030806louiemaniabegins


I'm sure it's gotten much harder now, but maybe some masochists on your blog could pull it off:

The Ultimate Wrestlemania Card!

Select one match from each Wrestlemania to come up with the Ultimate Wrestlemania card, while constrained by the following limitations:

1. Each wrestler can be used no more than once.
2. Each title can be defended no more than once.

(Bonus points for having every title ever defended at Wrestlemania defended exactly once…so your Wrestlemania XIV match is Taka Michinoku defending the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship against Aguila by default)

So if you choose the Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat IC Title match for Wrestlemania III, then you cannot choose the Savage/Warrior match for Wrestlemania VII because Savage will have been used already, and you cannot choose the Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon match for Wrestlemania X because the IC title match will have been used already.

Can anyone pull it off now?

Yeah, Lou DiPietro was one of my moles in WWE.com for a long time but he changed careers a while ago.  
I think it's nigh-impossible to pull off the deal now, unless you split it into 1-10 / 11-20 / 21-30 or something like that, though.  Math is just working too hard against you otherwise.  

20 years of announcing

Hi, Scott!
Today is my 20th anniversary as a pro wrestling announcer. You reviewed one of my shows (ROH Glory By Honor). You’ll be happy to know that last time I called an MMA show, I used the phrase “AIRHORN OF DOOM.”
To celebrate, I made this video called “The Four Steps to Becoming a Great Pro Wrestling Announcer.” Would you mind sharing it with the BoD? Thanks.
 
Jeff Gorman 

15 Years After The Fingerpoke

Hey Scott, I’m sure you’ve gotten this a bunch already, but just in case you haven’t, today’s the 15 Year Anniversary of the Fingerpoke of Doom. I re-watched it and think that the worst part wasn’t the finger poke itself, but Goldberg running in and then eventually getting the nWo beatdown, thanks to the nonsensical Lex Luger heel turn, was actually what really destroyed any remaining goodwill with the fans. I think if Goldberg had ran in, beat the crap out of everyone and then went on to beat Hogan for the title at SuperBrawl, the angle wouldn’t be so negatively remembered. Instead, Goldberg did nothing of note and Hogan feuded with Flair for the 700th time and the rest is history.

  Yeah, it was really piling on a lot of stuff that it didn’t need.  Luger’s a heel again for no reason, Nash is a heel again and then babyface a few months later and then heel again, the nWo factions are reunited but not really…on and on.  Not to mention how much it cheapened the first loss for Goldberg like that. 

WWE2K14: 30 Years of WrestleCrap!

I know you’re not big on WWE video games anymore, but if WWE2K14 offered this up as the main mode, we at WrestleCrap feel you’d make an exception for this.

Yeah, I skipped WWE 13 since 12 was basically the same game as 11.  
I think RD should make his own Wrestlecrap game though.  

Fifteen years ago today…

WCW Monday Nitro
July 6, 1998
Live from Atlanta, GA (41,412 in attendance)
The biggest star WCW ever created was “passed the torch” on
this day back in 1998. Yes, I’m referring to the one and only GOLDBERG.

Back on September 22, 1997 in Salt Lake City, UT an unknown
wrestler by the name of Bill Goldberg faced Hugh Morrus on Monday Nitro. He
won. “Mean” Gene Okerlund tried to interview him but the victor remained
silent. Not only did the trend of our new hero being silent continue but also
his winning ways.
Week after week his winning streak continued on Nitro,
Thunder, and WCW Saturday Night. His patented moves were the spear and the
jackhammer. On April 20, 1998 Goldberg won his first title as he defeated Raven
on Nitro for his 75th victory and the US Heavyweight title. However,
the phenomenon did not stop there.
With the US title in his possession and his winning streak
growing Goldberg’s popularity soared, so WCW and, most notably, Hulk Hogan took
notice and gave Goldberg a barely-advertised World Heavyweight title match on
Nitro scheduled for July 6. I refer to the match as barely advertised because
WCW didn’t even announce it until the previous Thunder. Even Goldberg
supposedly found out while watching the program.
On WCW Monday Nitro that night Hogan put Scott Hall in
Goldberg’s path in order to earn his World title match. With little difficulty
Goldberg beat Hall and was ready for the main event. 
Instead of advertising this match for the upcoming Bash At
The Beach PPV WCW threw away potentially millions of dollars of PPV revenue by
offering this gem on free TV! If there was ever an example of a ratings grab,
this is it! Enjoy!