Officially launching on June 1st, 2013, Place to be Nation has gave us over 3,400 podcasts and articles on topics such as sports, wrestling, comics, television, music, and movies. Over the next few weeks they will be highlighting “The Best of PTBN,” a collection of select pieces from each staff member that you can view by clicking on the link below.
WCW: 1996 Year in Review
Johnny B Badd appears at Wrestlemania. In response, WCW Prime is now sponsored by the Badd Blaster.
Superstar Of The Year
A GOOD promo, somewhat unscripted, THIS YEAR, in WWE….?!
Yep, you read it, folks.
Check out possibly one of the only positives to come out of the WWE App, and that’s slightly looser promos, and viola – you get Dolph Ziggler having a meltdown and cutting one helluva scathing promo.
Happy New Year
From everyone here at Scott’s Blog of Doom. We hope we were able to entertain you and make your 2013 a little bit brighter. Hopefully we can do that even better in 2014.
Christmas Came Early This Year!
You can watch ALL of HHH's world title wins!
Sadly, it's only 2-4 minute clips.
A+ Match of the Year
Match of the Year time. Depending on whether you count December or not, we only have 3 weeks to go, and with the exception of TLC (which could have a decent match on top, who knows) all the nominees are in. The Meltz is gonna go with Ishii vs. Shibata, Tokyo Sports went with Nakamura vs. Ibushi (which has every right to win), but I’m going with this one, the best of their 6-match series. This is the best Main Event, Battle of the Titans, Epic Title Fight style match I have ever seen. However, if one of the other two matches previously mentioned should win, I will not complain.
Match of the Year?
NJPW KIng of Pro Wrestling Part 5… by tj711 This is the 14th NJPW match this year at **** ½ or above. I know that because I’m the one who ranked them. This one clocks in for me personally at #1. THE BEST MATCH OF THE YEAR~! The 4th ***** of the year, edging out the two Shibata classics, and my previous favorite Nakamura/Ibushi. I haven’t watched this one yet but I’d be shocked if anything is gonna top the second Shibata match. MOTY voting is gonna be tough for me this year, for sure.
Best year for in-ring performances?
List of Raw matches ***+ or higher this year
1/07: John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler ***1/2
1/07: CM Punk vs. Ryback [TLC Match] ***
1/14: John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler [Cage match] ***3/4
1/21: Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro ***1/2
1/21: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz ***1/4
1/21: Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus ***
1/28: Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro ***
2/04: CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho ***3/4
2/11: Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho ***1/2
2/25: CM Punk vs. John Cena ****3/4
3/04: Sheamus vs. CM Punk vs. Randy Orton vs. Big Show ***
3/11: Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler ***1/2
3/18: Wade Barrett vs. The Miz vs. Chris Jericho ***1/4
4/08: The Miz vs. Wade Barrett ***
4/15: Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro ***1/4
4/22: The Shield vs. Undertaker, Kane, & Daniel Bryan ****
4/29: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston ***1/4
5/06: Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio ***1/2
5/20: The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, & Kane ****
5/20: Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger ***
5/27: The Shield vs. Kane & Daniel Bryan ***1/2
6/03: The Shield vs. Randy Orton, Kane, & Daniel Bryan ***1/2
6/03: Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback ***1/4
6/10: Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins ***3/4
6/17: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan ***1/4
6/24: Alberto Del Rio vs. Chris Jericho ***1/2
6/24: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton [Streetfight] ***1/2
7/01: John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio ***
7/08: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus ***3/4
7/08: Chris Jericho vs. Curtis Axel ***
7/15: Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler ***
7/15: Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho ****1/4
7/22: Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro ****1/4
7/22: Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback ***1/4
Daniel Bryan: 13
Dolph Ziggler: 7
Randy Orton: 7
Chris Jericho: 6
Seth Rollins: 5
John Cena: 4
CM Punk: 4
Antonio Cesaro: 4
Roman Reigns: 4
Alberto Del Rio: 4
Dean Ambrose: 3
The Miz: 3
Wade Barrett: 3
Kofi Kingston: 3
Big Show: 1
Jack Swagger: 1
Curtis Axel: 1
Rob Van Dam: 1
Would you agree that the in ring product of Raw is as good as it has ever been right now?
RAW has its lowest rating of the year
A Year from Now…
BRYAN WB: Split from Kane, put over Kane and stuck in the mid-card, battling for which of the US or IC belts is held by a heel. May feud with Fandango in order to put over Fandango. SB: Split from Kane and allowed to beat Kane before battling for the US or IC belt and for it to mean something. Maybe given a heel turn to face a babyface Seth Rollins towards the end of the year if the ‘Yes’ chants start dying down like McMahon & co. are desperate for them to do so. HENRY WB: Used to put over Ryback at Extreme Rules. May still get the run with Cena if Ryback is kept babyface. Will continue to divide hair pieces unless he is injured and/or calls it a career. SB: Given his run against Cena and dominate him like Lesnar did at Extreme Rules, but get the win, and THEN Cena gets the belt back. RYBACK
WB: Put over Henry at Extreme Rules. May be placed in the WHC title picture instead of Sheamus, but I think this continued jobbing means a heel turn may be coming, or they have just lost interest and he’ll be on the pre-show if he’s lucky come WM30. SB: Given a chance at the heel run because he could be just as scary as Henry if they do it right. But I wouldn’t cry if 2012 remains the highest he’ll ever be and, like Rikishi post-2000, he falls into the mid-card to become this generation’s Rhyno.
JERICHO WB: Gone by the summer and come back again until Vince/Triple H decide it doesn’t actually mean anything anymore. SB: Dunno. He’s never going to be a pivotal part of the picture anymore, so I’d rather he ventured out of wrestling to keep on working at being the polymath he can be… FANDANGO WB: Pushed like Damien Sandow was last year, and be an afterthought by WM30 just as Sandow unfortunately appears to be now. SB: Haven’t seen enough to decide either way. I like that we’re getting Rick “The Model” Martel, IRS like characters in the mid-card again, so I’ll reserve judgement and hope the writers just don’t stop caring if there seems to be momentum with this thing. MIZ WB: A solid mid-card act, with occasional pushes into the major events come MITB and TLC time. SB: Probably turned back heel and reunited with a returning John Morrison. And forced to never use the figure-four ever again. BARRET
WB: Treading water in the mid-card, unless they’re short of a challenger or two in SmackDown WHC storylines. SB: Probably lost any chance to strike while the iron’s even lukewarm, so he should probably be there for the time being. Elsewhere I see Brodus Clay hopefully being turned heel in the summer to give it one last college try, but again one too many monsters may spoil the broth. Cessaro will be lost in the mid-card like Barrett has been this year, but I would love for them to say ‘Ah, screw it’ and reunite him with Kassius Ohno. The Divas division will gain no further traction, nor does it deserve to with its current roster. There'll be a cull of at least a dozen who weren't involved in WM. Adrian Neville, Leo Krueger, Richie Steamboat and Bray Wyatt will all be given a chance in the main roster.
Kofi Kingston will be Kofi Kingston.
So… that was long…
“Rumble Winner should get to be John Cena for a year”
"How do you craft a reward that’s on the same level with a win like the Royal Rumble when you’re giving that same reward to John Cena on a biweekly basis? Well, maybe that’s the solution. Maybe instead of a title shot at WrestleMania, the winner of the Royal Rumble just gets to be John Cena for a year, with unlimited title shots and the ability to kick out of everybody’s finisher all the time. I’d watch it."
BRILLIANT! How could anyone complain if the part of John Cena is played by more interesting characters? What say you?
Happy Woo Year, Broskis! – Z! True Long Island Story – Episode #99
So Zack is teasing the end of his show, thus killing off the one thing the poor bastard has left to keep him going. Although since the next one is #100, it’s probably a YouTube ratings ploy and he was just mind-switched with Dr. Octopus or something.
Least Valuable Wrestler awards by year
So I had a long drive today, and while bored I suddenly came up with this idea: What if the Blog of Doom crowd picked their anti-MVP (or Least Valuable Wrestler) for specific promotions, by year? I'm looking for someone who received some sort of push on TV and brought absolutely NOTHING to the table: couldn't work, couldn't do a promo, had no heat whatsoever, etc. In short, a wrestler who was given a real chance, didn't entertain the fans, and did nothing of value for the promotion itself. I also generally prefer someone who worked at least half of the year in question. This can be an individual wrestler or a tag team/stable. I'll start with the WWF, from Hogan through the 90s:
1984: I admittedly haven't seen much of this, so I'll leave this one to the blog!
1985: A veritable (Consciousness) Murderer's Row, with no less than 4 guys who would dominate most other years. Uncle Elmer and Cousin Junior were almost Rocky Mountain Thunder-level in the ring and had no other real talent, but Elmer at least had that wedding skit people still remember so he's out. Brutus Beefcake was also the complete package of suck, but he was less of an embarrassment in the ring than the hillbillies so he's out. With that in mind, my pick would be David Sammartino. As terrible as Beefcake in the ring, but unlike the others he didn't have a distinct look or a real gimmick beyond his name; he came across like a 70s jobber in every way, and he was completely overshadowed by his father in his one big angle. Also worth noting that David worked almost the whole year, while the hillbillies didn't debut until July-August. You can't really go wrong with any of these, though!
1986: I was going to give the hillbillies the win here, but I hadn't realized Elmer left not long after Mania and Junior was already gone by this year. With that in mind, my clear pick would be the WWF's Mr. Pibb: Sivi "Superfly" Afi!
1987: My initial thought was Ken Patera, but I remembered this was the year of Outback Jack. Besides…
1988: …I can just give it to Patera here!
1989: Nobody stands out quite as much as in the previous few years…Dino Bravo, I guess. I could also see arguments for the Powers of Pain and the Bolsheviks. And I'm not picking Duggan for any of these since at least he was consistently over.
1990: Boris Zhukov, hands down. All the Bolsheviks & Powers of Pain guys as singles wrestlers would've won the previous year, I think. Maybe even Akeem as a single, too.
1991: Now this one is real interesting, as there's no slam-dunk pick and a bunch of guys with a decent case. I think the DiBiase feud automatically takes Virgil out of the running. Babyface Greg Valentine, as dull as he was, could still work. I feel like Warlord is going to be the favorite here, but my own pick is a bit of a dark horse: Kerry Von Erich. He was an absolute zombie by this point and scary to watch at times, and Warlord's matches vs. Bulldog were better than any Kerry match I've seen from this year. No good matches, no real angles I can recall, just a whole lot of empty TV time less than a year into his run. Oh yeah, and I would've considered Hercules as a singles wrestler if Power & Glory had broken up earlier in the year.
1992: This one would've been a lot easier if babyface Slaughter had hung around a bit longer! As is…Nailz is tempting just on his ring "work", but I recall him being pretty over and I think he did the character stuff pretty well. Virgil definitely has more of an argument this time, but I remember him being more carryable in the ring than the other guys here. I'm thinking the Berserker (yes, however much of a guilty pleasure his gimmick may be) or Kerry Von Erich again (didn't realize he lasted until August!).
1993: Do I even need to say it?
1994: Nikolai Volkoff in the Corporation. Enough said.
1995: King Mabel, of course. I do want to give a special mention to Goldust for some of the most painful matches you'll ever sit through.
1996: Another tough one, with some good candidates not being around long enough to count. This was one of the all-time low points for the tag division, so I'll go with the Godwinns.
1997: The Godwinns would again be a worthy choice, but this time I'm picking the Truth Commission. Hard to think of a worse overall stable in all facets of the business – even the Oddities were more over. Actually the Gang Warz version of DOA is right up there as well, but I seem to recall them having at least some amount of heat. Also…
1998: …Skull & 8-Ball were the definite fast-forward champions of this year. My first thought was Tiger Ali Singh, but DOA were around the whole year and stank up a bunch of PPVs (was Ali on any?).
1999: Mideon, though I'd also be totally fine with picking Mideon & Viscera as a tag team.
Whew, didn't realize this would end up being this long! Hopefully you guys are OK with that and this gets the ball rolling – would love to see some picks for NWA/WCW, ECW, TNA, Japanese promotions, etc. Thank you for everything, Scott & co.!
Best year for wrestling
Obviously the overall product is way down and almost unwatchable cause of weak story lines and everything else. However the actual in ring product is okay. Reading your retro rants for as good as the product was in terms of character development and storylines in the 1997-1999 era, the actual in ring product outside of Shawn and some Austin brawls was weak.
So my question is what was the best year for in ring performance (wwf/wwe only) from the top down.
Sent from my iPad
Worst year for WWF/E Title?
Obviously the titles have become devalued in WWE, but what do you think was the worst year in terms of damaging the world title?
I think Russo's 1999 wins by a landslide. At that point, the title still at least meant something, but the spastic booking of the title that year was ridiculous. We had Rock becoming a THREE-time champ between Survivor Series 1998 and the run-up to Wrestlemania XV. Austin wins the belt, but drops it to Undertaker who wasn't even the #3 guy in the company at that point. Austin gets it back, but drops it in a weird three-way to Mankind…who jobs it to HHH the next night. HHH's push hits a speedbump when he drops the belt to VINCE MCMAHON…who vacates it, only to have HHH win it back in the six-pack match. Hunter finally beats Austin (which should have happened at SummerSlam to give it any meaning in the first place), but drops the belt on-the-fly to Big Show…who defends in December against Big Boss Man? What a headache. It was so bad that I still remember it off the top of my head.
If we're considering other promotions too, then 1999 surely wins because WCW wasn't much better that year. Nash enters the year as champ after the ill-advised Goldberg job. He lays down for Hogan. We get sheisty booking of some Hogan-Flair matches. Flair gets the belt, but drops it the next month in a four-way…to DDP? They do the DDP-to-Sting-to-DDP title switches on Nitro. Nash takes it BACK from Page at the very next PPV. Instead of dropping the belt to Sid to set up the Vicious-Goldberg program, he drops it in a TAG match to….Randy Savage? Savage jobs the belt the very next night to Hogan (just like in 1998). Hogan faces Nash at Road Wild ANYWAY and retains. Sting takes the belt in one of the worst heel turns ever, drops it to Goldberg in an on-the-fly match that had no hype or build-up. He loses it to Bret Hart in a contrived Montreal knockoff, retires Bret for real, and the title gets vacated. An even bigger headache that parlayed into the Sid-Chris Benoit "title win" thing and ANOTHER vacancy.
I think 1999 takes it,but then I haven't actively watched the current product since about 2003, so there may be worse years.
99 WCW, and 2000 for that matter, were both HORRIBLE, but that might be just a subset of the general horribleness of the product at the time, hard to say. I do have to say the Russo/Bischoff Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot of the promotion and vacating all the titles did irreparable damage to the company in general, not to mention all the belts. Never mind that Booker T won his first title from Jarrett, the guy who wasn't even CHAMPION at the time. Having three vacancies (Benoit vacates, Sid vacates, Hogan vacates) and "starting a new era" deals within a couple of months of each other did way more damage to that belt than the rapid-fire Nash/Hogan/Flair/Savage switches did the year before, IMO.
9 year olds
Interestingly, John Cena's comments about most of WWE's fans being 9 year olds were removed from the repeat of RAW.
Too bad they didn't remove the Cena interview, too. Would have made for a much better show.
Handicapping The Rookies Of The Year
Someone sent me a question about Erik Watts this morning, which led me to check Wikipedia to see what he was up to now (answer: nothing in particular), and I was reminded that in fact he won the PWI Rookie of the Year award in 1992. Now, this was interesting to me, because PWI had a few solid choices, but there’s some far more interesting misses in the list. 1990
Chris Chavis Obviously this was an awesome pick and the case where the winner really did go on to become the giant star they forecasted. El Gigante…eh, I guess he did about as well as he was going to. Brad Anderson, not so much. Chris Chavis went on to become Tatanka, but obviously Austin was the big one here. Observer award winner: Austin. 1991
Johnny B. Badd
The Lightning Kid Lightning Kid was of course the one who went on to become the biggest star by far, although Badd certainly had the look and charisma so you would have thought that he was the can’t miss prospect. Certainly not a silly choice or anything. The Patriot did OK for himself, although calling him a rookie here is ridiculous since Wilkes was already in the AWA as the Trooper for years before getting the mask. That’s kayfabe for ya. Terri Power was Tori, but hardly a candidate for this award. Observer award winner: Badd as well. 1992
Diamond Dallas Page
Chaz Hindsight says that DDP should have won, but that was far from a sure thing at the time. Watts is still a ridiculous choice regardless. Koloff and Chaz (who was in Pedicino’s Global promotion that was getting so much play in PWI for reasons unknown) are so non-notable that they don’t even have their own Wikipedia pages. I don’t think there was any legitimate rookie contenders to choose from in the kayfabe sense, but even so DDP should have won. Observer award winner: Rey Mysterio Jr. Wow, was he 12 or something? 1993
Kent and Keith Cole
The Headhunters Hmm, Gangrel and Cole Twins? Robbie Eagle went on to become The Maestro in WCW, but this is a pretty sad year otherwise. Observer award winner: Some Japanese guy named Jun Akiyama. He did pretty well for himself, I guess. 1994
Mikey Whipwreck Really, 911? This is like the all-ECW crew, since Abbudah Singh went on to become Ballz Mahoney. Bob Holly is the clear pick out of this bunch, although Whipwreck would have played into kayfabe better at the time. Observer award winner: Whipwreck. 1995
Madd Maxxine Lawrence Taylor?! He wrestled one match! Pittman flamed out after a few years in WCW. Wright should have been bigger and wasn’t for a variety of reasons, but I can see this pick making sense at the time. I don’t know who Maxxine is, the Wiki page links to the wrong person. Observer award winner: Perro Aguayo, Jr. Well, PWI doesn’t cover lucha 1996
Joe Gomez Giant was a solid choice at the time, especially since Rocky had barely debuted by the cut-off date in kayfabe, but MAN does that look silly now. Mongo finishing AHEAD of The Rock looks even sillier. Joe Gomez is still kicking around. Observer award winner: The Giant. Way to go, Dave. Well, Giant did have a ton of upside and he was World champion right away. 1997
Brakkus Well this year is a writeoff. Iaukea is a good enough choice from a kayfabe sense. Chetti went nowhere, neither did Bracchus. Observer award winner: Mr. Aguila (Essa Rios). 1998
Mark Henry Henry debuted in 96 so this is an odd place for him to say the least. Goldberg, duh. Observer award winner: Goldberg. No-brainer here. 1999
Lash LeRoux Yeah, that Vince, what a rookie sensation. Karagias and LeRoux both flamed out of wrestling completely, and so did Shane himself I guess. Wonder what Vince is up to now? Observer award winner: Blitzkrieg. Another one-hit wonder. 99 was a rough year for new stars. 2000
Mark Jindrak and Sean O’Haire
Chuck Palumbo Any other choice cannot be justified with any argument whatsoever. Lita ended up a solid #2 in this group, though. The rest, we know the story. Observer award winner: Sean O’Haire. Huh. Way to pick ‘em, Dave. 2001
The Prototype Now there’s a hell of a rookie crop. Interesting case, because Orton did not look like a star at all for a long time after his OVW debut, but obviously they were determined to wait him out and make a star out of him. Brock you could tell was a big deal right from the start. Truth looks like the redheaded stepchild out of this group. The Prototype is a good wrestling name, did he ever amount to anything? I mean, if he was a big star, he’d have been on RAW last week, right? So he’s probably not. Observer award winner: El Hombre Sin Nombre. Yeah, Dave missed the boat on that one. Even that Protoype goof would have been a better choice, I’m pretty sure. I wonder if that was an eligibility thing since Prototype debuted in 2000? 2002
Taylor Matheny The year of Tough Enough! Gone, gone, gone, gone! Observer award winner: Bob Sapp. I never saw much of him, actually. 2003
Matt Morgan Morgan ended up being the biggest star of the bunch. Gowen was just missing a vital part, you know? He just couldn’t get a leg up in the business. He could only get so far, and then he got cut off at the knees by politics. Observer award winner: Chris Sabin. 2004
Matt Cappotelli Obviously Nitro should have won this one, although at the time Cappotelli seemed like the sure thing out of the pair before the brain tumor ended his career. Brown is now firmly in the “Whatever Happened To?” file, as is Williams. Observer award winner: Petey Williams. 2005
Ken Doane One wannabe MMA badass, a cheerleader, a referee, and a ring announcer. Quite the crew of washouts. Doane should have been way bigger, but WWE just drove him out of the business. Observer award winner: Shingo Takagi. Not familiar with him. 2006
Cody Runnels Yeah, the Boogeyman beat out Cody Rhodes for Rookie of the Year. And Akebono got third just by working on shitty match with Big Show. What a year. Observer award winner: Atsushi Aoki. Get the feeling that Dave wasn’t big on the US scene at that point? 2007
Ted DiBiase, Jr.
Mike DiBiase I’m pretty sure Hornswoggle wasn’t a rookie in 2007. We’re still waiting on the Dibiases to do anything in the business to live up to their potential. Primeau was an ROH guy who went nowhere. Observer award winner: Erick Stevens. He hasn’t done much either since then. 2008
Ricky Steamboat, Jr.
Ryan McBride There’s THREE Dibiases? Ted had million-dollar sperm too, I guess. Why hasn’t Vince just brought them all in with Sr. as manager? Hennig was a safe choice, but obviously hasn’t panned out yet. Observer award winner: KAI, from All Japan. OK then. 2009
J.T. Flash I have nothing interesting to say here because I don’t know any of these people. 2010
Corey Hollis Did you know that the 1977 Rookie of the Year runner-up had a daughter? 2011