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Ask 411 Wrestling 01.29.14: Aussie WCW, Global Domination, Giant Moonsaults, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 01.29.2014



Hey, how you doing? This is Ask 411 Wrestling and I am your regular host, Mathew Sforcina. Back after a week off to recover from work shift issues, and despite not feeling too crash hot due to overdoing it yesterday while watching the Rumble and tweeting, I'm here to give you what you want, my opinion about wrestling!



Oh, you wanted other things? Well, see, last week was just so well done and so informative, the karmic balance needs to be restored. So this will be a Total Opinion Week just to ensure you hate me. But don't worry, some facts will get through, I'm sure.

BIG props to Ryan Byers for filling in for me, really appreciate the hard work he does, certainly made me look like a bitch with him tackling a bunch of questions I've been avoiding. So thanks again!

If you have a question you'd like me to ignore answer, email it to ask411wrestling@gmail.com and I'll do my utmost!

And now, BANNER!!!



Zeldas!



Check out my Drabble blog, 1/10 of a Picture! I can assure you that it is highly readable, in that it has words and they are arranged in sentences.

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Like Ryan, I don't like talking about other people's work, so we'll move on quickly.

The Trivia Crown



Who am I? You might think that my name is a typo, but in reality it's a proclamation of my heritage . . . but not my place of birth. I am a former associate of Paul Heyman, though you couldn't refer to me by the normal term for his cronies. I also have the rare distinction of holding a world championship while simultaneously acting as the manager of a world champion. Who am I?

As usual, Maravilloso has it right.

Who am I? You might think that my name is a typo, but in reality it's a proclamation of my heritage . . .

MADe in the USA

but not my place of birth.

WHICH WAS MILAN, ITALY

I am a former associate of Paul Heyman, though you couldn't refer to me by the normal term for his cronies.

IN THE DANGEROUS ALLIANCE; SHE WAS NOT A PAUL HEYMAN "GUY."

I also have the rare distinction of holding a world championship

AWA WORLD WOMEN'S TITLE

while simultaneously acting as the manager of a world champion.

CURT HENNIG (AWA WORLD CHAMPION)

Who am I?

THE ONE AND ONLY, MADUSA MICELI/ALUNDRA BLAYZE


And DarthDaver had the answer in my last one, it being the The WCW World Television Championship..

Dave has this week's (sorta still topical) question.

We were the final four in a Royal Rumble match. Between us we have a total of 13 World titles, 14 tag team titles, and 18 secondary titles, plus 16 Slammy Awards. Only two of us have gone by different names and/or gimmicks in the WWE. Three of us were primarily tag team wrestlers for a while; the fourth wasn't, although he has been a tag team champion. Three of us competed in that year's Wrestlemania, although only one of us left with a championship. One of us holds a Rumble record, and is co-holder of another one. Three of us have entered the Rumble at #1—two of us have done it twice—though none of us were the first man in this particular Rumble. And one of us has been involved in two different controversial Rumble moments. Who are we? (And what year is this?)

Getting Down To Business/One Man's (Important) Opinion



See? First question is fact! Thanks Ron!

Hey Matt long time reader first time asker, I have a question about the old WWF logo on current WWE dvd's. A few years ago when you looked at old footage dvd's or Classics on Demand anything with the WWF logo is blurred out, even if a wrestler says "WWF" it was muted out, obviously due to losing the lawsuit with the World Wildlife Fund. But I've noticed in the last few WWE released documentaries the WWF logo isnt blurred anymore and the letters WWF are even said a few times. Whats changed? How are they able to show the WWF letters now and they werent before.

What's changed is that WWE and WWF reached a settlement. See, you gotta remember, the only reason WWE is their name right now is because Vince went to the World Wildlife Fund in 1994 and signed an agreement that the World Wrestling Federation would stop using WWF in their advertising and promotion overseas, since per the agreement it said the Fund owned the letters. If the letters were mentioned in passing, fine, but the company would make ever effort to ensure they weren't used in any official capacity.

This is in 1994, remember.

Vince then proceeded to flaunt said agreement and use the WWF initials willy-nilly, until such time as the Fund went to the courts and won the open and shut case since Vince broke the agreement. So rather than deal with the company having to have two names in different regions, they just changed the name and were done with it.

And so for a decade, we got the wonders of blurring and bleeping on old footage.

But then, in mid 2012, WWE sat down and looked at their options, given that they were about, they thought, to launch a network.

They could continue to blur and bleep all their old footage, spending millions to go through every single video they had and ensure the letters weren't used.

Or, they could cut the Fund a check.

They chose the later. WWE can now use the scratch logo and the initials freely, so all future videos will be unblurred and unbleeped, at least for the letters.

Of course, it's all Vince's fault. Had he not made the agreement, it's unlikely the Fund could or would have done anything. Anyone mixing up a wrestling company and a conservation charity has serious problems to begin with…

Now then, the following is several questions about Daniel Bryan and pushes and politics and the like going on right now. So if you don't want to read about that, just skip ahead to the picture of Victoria. Just looking out for you.

Mark covers a rather contentious topic of the week, the WWE and the Rumble…

Hi there. So after watching this years Royal Rumble, I have, what i think, is a good question...

Have there ever been a PPV/show that was SO bad that the fans literally turned their back on the product? What I mean by that is fans standing up, facing their backs to the ring but not leaving their seat?

I know fans will usually start random chants or a wave in these scenarios, but have always wondered if something like that has happened.


Not on a major scale, I don't think. The landmark crowd turning events tend to end up as ‘witty' chants these days (although I so called the Divas chant during Orton/Cena) and in the old days were just booing, with Great American Bash 91 being the famous example of a crowd not buying what was being sold.



That said, it happens on the indies on occasion, as a rib or because the match going on is really that bad.

Oh, yeah, and then there's Bo Dallas. When he became NXT Champion and was being pushed as the pure Cena like face, the fans hated him so much they would indeed turn their backs on him. Eventually this, coupled with the chanting ("Let's Go This Guy!") made NXT go with the disingenuous face routine which works beautifully but has NO chance of making the main roster.

After all, you can't book one guy heel like that and still have Cena as a face on the same show…

Further to this, do you think that if it ACTUALLY happened (if it hasn't already before) that the powers that be would finally take note of what the fans want to see?

They did with Bo. It would be a visual that the company would hate, so if it happened on more than one occasion, it would probably have a bit of an impact. But then again, reports said that many people walked out of Wrestlemania 25 during Hunter/Orton, but you couldn't really tell watching it on the screen, so maybe Kevin Dunn could hide it.

Additionally, with how the Rumble ended (fans shitting on Batista), do you think there is a way WWE can save face and make the fans happy on the way to Wrestlemania?

If I were to book this, I would have it go one of two ways - Have Daniel Bryan challenge Batista for the Wrestlemania Title shot...OR...have Daniel Bryan BEAT Orton before Mania to setup a Bryan/Batista title match at Mania.


Actually I don't think you want the fans happy on their way to WM. That is, the reactions you are getting are pointing to one direction, that the fans are not liking the direction the company is going. So, you don't just reverse course. You instead plow ahead, and guide them.

See, sure, short term, Bryan winning the Chamber will make everyone cream themselves, but that's a band-aid on the overall issue. Bryan is the figurehead for the current dissatisfaction with the booking, I think, or at least I hope. Bryan getting shafted is the storyline they ran with, and then they turned it into a shoot. So you turn it back into a work again.

Have Bryan lose at the Chamber due to Sheamus Brogue Kicking his head off as he charges in for the knee on Orton. Have Sheamus challenge Bryan to one more match at WM, where Sheamus plays subtle heel until the end, where after Bryan wins he goes full bore heel.

Then at the end of the night, have Hunter, Steph, Kane, the Outlaws, Nash, Ambrose, Rollins, Rusev and Sheamus all help Dave win the title, make it look like WM is gonna end on a big huge downer, and then Bryan runs out and he and Kane suddenly clear house, and build up to DAVE ducking and dodging Bryan to Summerslam where Bryan wins in 18 seconds or whatever.

The point is, you don't have to give Bryan the win now. You just need to make it clear that there is an end goal in mind. You're gonna risk the "I'm not falling for this again" causing people not to trust you, sure. But Batista is going to be champion during the Guardians of the Galaxy run, but he's also going to be booed since he's not Bryan, so tell that story. Don't just stick your fingers in your ears and loudly tell the story of Batista being super awesome and really popular and beloved as champ because you really really want to tell that story.

Finally, one last question re: The Rumble. WWE has a habit of bringing back some reputable stars or adding their comedy stars in the Rumble. Do you feel that the inclusion of these "sure-fire-non-winners" dumbs down the match itself? People like Khali, El Torito, Nash, JBL should have never stepped in that ring last night. They could have given some other people at least a few mins in the ring to at some legitimacy to the match.

Your answers and thoughts would be appreciated!

Cheers


No I don't. I mean, OK, if you are redoing 92 for whatever reason and it's for the belt then you shouldn't have anyone comedic below Santino Marella in there. But the Rumble is an hour at least, and so like any other hour of wrestling you need to vary it up a bit. You need comedy in the Rumble, you need surprises, it's part of the reason the match is so beloved.

I mean, of your 4, three are former world champions, and the other one was arguably the best high flyer in the damn match. Would the Rumble have really been better if those four were replaced by Santino Marella, Tensai, Brodus Clay and Xavier Woods? Would that have made the Rumble legit?

Yes, I know, had they put in Daniel Bryan that would have been awesome. But why put him in if he wasn't winning?

Speaking of, Jeremiah asks about Bryan and the chants…

Coming from a wrestler's perspective, is the crowd hijacking and rampant calling for Daniel Bryan hurting him? Is the adolescent-minded backstage politics so rampant that they would forego giving the crowd what they want (despite the very public assertion that they listen to their "universe") just to send a lesson that no one man is bigger than the company? Are we hurting our hero's chances of finally becoming The Guy by cheering for him when we're not supposed to

I really want to say no, but Vince, like most bookers, doesn't always go where you'd expect him to go. Often booking is slightly out of their hands, a booker will have to push a guy because of other people bailing or money or whatever, but sometimes a booker just digs their heels in and convinces themselves they know what he or she is doing. So it is possible that Vince will punish Daniel for this, sure.

But it's bloody unlikely. The thing is, Daniel Bryan has job security right now. He's not going to be fired any time soon. Every time he gets a chant, you make sure he's still going to get on shows and get matches. Maybe the matches we want, but matches nonetheless.

And Bryan's not in danger of getting too big for the company, at least not right now. The chants are getting over on TV and at sporting events, but he's not getting movie deals or getting invited onto SNL or anything. That is what Vince is terrified off, building a guy too hard and having him bail on him again.

Overall though, all the chanting in the world doesn't matter as much as ratings and buyrates and stuff. You want Bryan pushed? Get people watching when he's on the TV, and turning off when he's not. Eyeballs coming on when Bryan is on screen does a lot more than chanting ‘We Want Divas' will ever do, even if the second one is sexier.

Anthler asks about someone else that didn't make the Rumble.

Dear Mr. Sforcina,

love the column, and glad you're back.
I have a quick topical question for you.
Assuming the AJ Styles release from TNA isn't a work (Jan 2014, if this question gets achieved), in your opinion, what are the chances AJ Styles will have a 1-shot deal with the WWE to appear in the Royal Rumble, just to gauge how recognizable he would be if they signed him?

Cheers,


Well zero now obviously, but it was also zero beforehand. WWE doesn't need to gauge reactions, they know precisely how recognizable AJ Styles is, and that is not at all.



I mean, you and me, we know him, yes. But the average WWE audience member does not, and he would have gotten about the same level of reaction as Rusev.

And even if you don't agree with me on that, WWE does not bring in anyone who isn't a veteran for the Rumble. They just don't do that. If they wanted to gauge Styles' knowledge, they'd put him in a dark match before the show. No way they'd have put him in the Rumble.

Yet more politics, Michael asks about the IWC V HHH.

Is it me or does the IWC(yeah yeah, technically that includes me) talk out of both sides of their mouth when it comes to Triple H? First off, I don't see how anyone can get worked up about HHH playing politics to be world champ that many times as I can't think of one long term successful wrestler(Flair, HBK, Hogan, Austin, Taker, etc.) that didn't.

But in terms of HHH being in charge of WWE, some of the biggest knocks on WWE as a whole the last few years have been: Having two World titles, no new talent, no tag division, and not unifying the secondary titles.

HHH merged the World title, has brought in/pushed new talent(Wyatts, Shield, Big E., Cesaro, etc.), revitalized the tag division(its way better now than it was in 2012) and, if rumors are true, might be merging the secondary titles perhaps as quick as the Royal Rumble. But still, people just bad mouth him.

If people think he plays politics too much, refer to my first paragraph. Otherwise, I think people should take a step back, get the "Bryan not being world champ" grudge off their shoulders, and look at what he's done in a relatively short period of time and they much actually appreciate the work he's done in upper management.

Thoughts?




The New Age Outlaws just won the Tag Team Titles.

I never begrudge anyone having an opinion. Even if I think you're totally off base, even if you're an entire field short of a picnic, I will never say you don't have the right to your opinion. And opinions about Hunter are nowhere near as unified as people like to claim and think. The IWC has 100 voices, 1000 opinions after all.

The thing is, Hunter draws a LOT of criticism, absolutely. Rarely will he do anything and not be called out by someone over it. But, and this is key, he's in a unique spot, in that he runs the company now, or at least will in the short term future. He's the guy who has been chosen to run the company, and with that level of power and control, you have to be held accountable. You expect a higher level of integrity from a CEO or a senator than you do the guy who makes your sub sandwich. They have a lot of power, and get paid a lot more, you require them to have a higher standard of moral standing. You probably also assume they won't match it, but the thing is, Hunter has put himself into this position. He's the guy who married into and then ended up with the company.

Do we as the IWC know the full story? Of course not. Has he done good? Sure he has. But when you are all over the show and are the boss and are constantly pushed as the greatest guy of all time… You better live up to that. Because if you don't, and he doesn't, then you WILL get raked over the coals for it.

Of course, on the other hand, it's all a work, comes the counter claim, this is all just building up, we're idiots to believe he's really all that bad… And hey, that might be true. But I doubt it.



So is this how it works? I've been misinformed…



So apparently Sin Cara is Russo, since his following up booking sucks…



Name that move!



And if you ever wanted to know what it was like to have Kevin Dunn in your ear for a show, here we are…



We finally move away from the Rumble and Bryan, thanks to Andron.

Goodnight, I enjoy reading your columns... just 2 question I want to ask for your column..

First one is what would be the top 5 superstars you would like to see turn face.. Or the top 5 face turns that you feel should happen in the year 2014...


Easy. Sticking to WWE.

Roman Reigns
The Real Americans
Kane
Damien Sandow
3MB

And Bad News Barrett should go full Chaotic Neutral Tweener.

And my second question is the opposite of first question which is.. what would be the top 5 superstars you would like to see turn heel?

CM Punk
Zack Ryder
Sheamus
Kofi Kingston
Layla

Don goes all over the shop.

Why do you think some of the more popular, even iconic, former champs who received huge pops (at least on video) were considered failures as champions? I'm talking about folks like the Ultimate Warrior, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. I mean how could this have happened if they were getting huge pops and could get back in the ring right now and still get a huge pop.

Pops don't equal making money. Hell, Daniel Bryan is proof of that right now.



The thing is, crowd reaction is only part of the equation. To be a good champion, you have to get a good reaction, help get a good reaction for your opponent, and make money. People want to buy your stuff, they want to tune into TV when you're on, and they want to buy tickets and PPVs to see you.

Warrior is the proto example, the music would hit, the crowd would go wild as he ran to the ring, and then the matches didn't really move the needle much, and attendance was down. Sure, Hogan sticking around didn't help at all, but the thing is, just getting a good crowd reaction is bad. You need a good crowd reaction and to enlarge that crowd. And to sell that crowd a lot of merch.

Also, I'm not sure you've answered this one but in what matches did the Big Show/The Giant use his top rope offensive moves like the missile drop kick? I know he did the flying elbow this year but old WCW video from WWE's top 50 (i think) dvd shows him doing these moves.

Survivor Series 2011 he did a flying elbow drop, as you say, but his high flying stuff from WCW is one of those things that gets built up in people's minds. Big Show, back when he was The Giant, did do some stuff in training, and he did do the very occasional move/sell that was impressive, like taking Goldberg's Jackhammer.



And if you want The Giant doing a dropkick, then you gotta go to Clash 33.



But Giant, quite rightly, was told early on to not do that sort of thing, since it would ruin his body and ruin the mystique to see him fly about the ring like that. So there aren't that many matches.

Oh, and no, he never did a Moonsault on screen. He was able to pull it off in training, but no-one was ever crazy enough to take it.

Lastly, is there still a wrestler's court right now? UT isn't there for the most part, Orton gets suspended. alot so who do you think leads it? Cena? Punk?

Thanks


HHH. That's fairly well established now in several shoot interviews, Hunter runs Wrestler's Court now, assuming it is still occurring. Possibly he is no longer doing it now that he's the boss, but we won't know for a few years until the current crop of midcard acts are fired and do shoot interviews…

Earl asks about rings and Shawn Michaels.

I read this column every week it comes out, and its always a pleasure. I've got 2 questions for you

1. What is the deal with the WWE using rings with 4 ropes instead of 3 back in the day? How long did they do this and when did they change back to 3?


WWE didn't go from being a New York Regional to a World Wide company overnight, there was a period of time when they were expanding, and they weren't flush with cash all the time. This meant that they would not have the same set, or rather the same ring all the time. Sometimes they would rent rings from other promoters or a venue would have its own ring to use. And so sometimes WWE would find themselves with 4 ropes instead of 3. Mainly because 4 ropes is what you find on a boxing ring, and so if a boxing ring was all that was available, they'd use it.

But for the most part they used wrestling rings, and had 3 ropes. I'm happy to be corrected on this one, but every old video I found had 3 ropes…

2. Is there any record of WCW trying to get Shawn Michaels to jump ship back in the 90's?

Well certainly Shawn wanted to jump ship in late 1996, since he was unhappy and wanted to be with Nash and Hall. But he was in the middle of a 4 year contract and thus couldn't have jumped ship easily. As for if WCW ever offered, well, I'll let Shawn tell you himself…



Basically there was never a real offer until 98 when he'd stopped wrestling, because of the legal hurdles. WCW would have loved to have him, sure, but he was never really in a position to go.

Jiggey Face Wonka Tonka JamJam Slopbucket has another fact question.

After the Undertaker won the WWE Title at Wrestlemania 13, at an IYH PPV a few months later, Taker was supposed to defend his title against a recently turned heel Ahmed Johnson in the main event. If I remember correctly, after the match was made, WWE claimed that Ahmed was injured so Faarooq would take his spot. Was Ahmed really injured, or was there more to this story?

Love,


Actually the match was supposed to occur at Canadian Stampede, and Vader took his place, and gave us a pretty good match, albeit a pretty good match on a PPV that was AWESOME for the rest of it and thus ended up as worst match of the show by default.



But yes, it was a legit injury, or rather several injuries. Ahmed was held together with duct tape and spit at this point, and so he was unable to wrestle for the title. Totally legit. Faarooq did get a title shot at King of the Ring 1997, but Ahmed turned heel and joined the Nation right after this in a tag match with Taker V The Nation.





Gord wants to talk Savage.

I remember when I was a kid, when Randay Savage came in to the WWF.
Before the whole "Manager Search" angle, I remember seeing him wearing a cast.
The shows here in my hometown (Brantford, On. Canada) used to be TV tapings.
In the internet age we live in, I can't find any footage of him in a cast.

So, am I remembering wrong? Was it an angle? or did he infact have a broken arm?

Thanks


… I think you may be remembering it wrong, simply because Savage debuted with the Manager Search angle.



That wasn't just his TV debut, it was his WWE debut as well. And I could find no record of Savage having a broken arm, beyond the one he had early in his baseball career. So I can only think that maybe you saw someone else?

Nick finishes us off with some rather specific questions.

Hey Mathew,

Thank you for your work on the column, it's always an enjoyable read. Some questions:

1. My parents sometimes talk about the popularity of wrestling when they were younger in Australia (50's-70's), despite that they're not really wrestling fans. Can you provide some background to Australian wrestling in this period, how it became popular, the connections to America, and what led to its demise?




When you talk about Australian Pro Wrestling in the 60's and 70's, you're basically talking about World Championship Wrestling, the original Australian version.

TV debuted in Australia in 1956, and Pro Wrestling quickly became a common sight on the box, since it was cheap, impressive and fun, while being easy to shoot. Eventually, Jim Barnett flew over to look at the Wrestling scene, and in 1964 formed World Championship Wrestling.

The company drew a few thousand fans each week, and more importantly was shown on Channel Nine at Noon on the weekend. Under the fictitious International Wrestling Alliance banner (joining the NWA in 1969) the company ran with the same logic Vince McMahon did with his champs Bruno and Pedro. In WCW, Mario Milano would appeal to the Italian communities while Spiros Arion drew in the growing Greek-Australians, and then Ron Miller was the Anglo Saxon ‘Aussie Battler'. The three would take on various international and local villains, ranging from Gorgeous George to Andre The Giant, a lot of big names that worked for the NWA would fly down for a tour/holiday and then fly back home.

But then in 1978 the TV shows were cancelled as Nine was in the middle of running World Series Cricket, which means nothing to any Americans reading, I know, but trust me, that was a big deal which changed the sport and sport coverage down here for decades.

Regardless, with no TV, WCW quickly died out. Like the other WCW, it died because the TV got cancelled. Barnett went back to America and would eventually reuse the WCW name for the WCW everyone knows.

So yeah, WCW Australia was basically a regional company with a captive market. It got a foothold because of TV, lasted a while, imprinted itself on the minds of those who watched as kids and then died when TV got lost.

I'm not doing that justice, I know. But that's the basics.

2. Can you provide any information on the Killer Kowalski and Don Lane 'incident' on Don Lane's show? How did Don Lane upset Kowalski, and what happened between them and afterwards? Was it just a 'work'?

Oh, now this was interesting. Sadly as both men passed, within a year of each other, we'll never know if it was a shoot or not, although I suspect it wasn't. But here's the gist.

Don Lane was an American who hosted a Carson style Tonight Show in Sydney in the late 60's. He'd do song and dance numbers, have on international guest stars, the usual. And he'd also have wrestlers on, since wrestlers were funny and entertaining. Now, he had on occasion asked to be shown a move, a year early Bearcat Wright had locked on the Figure Four on him.

So, he's interviewing Killer Kowalski. Now the story is a little off here, as Killer was apparently in good spirits during the interview. Lane wasn't poking him about wrestling being fake or anything. Instead, it was normal interview, and then Lane asked him to put the Stomach Claw Hold on him, "gently like a pussycat". Lane lay on his desk, Killer joking that Lane was a ‘bit soggy'.

And then he locked on the Claw, going full bore with the dramatics and what have you. Don sold it well, or was in real pain perhaps, and then Killer threw Don off the table and walked out. He was a heel at the time.

Then comes the kicker. The cameraman focused on Don laying on the floor, and Don, noticing this, angrily asking "What the hell have you got the cameras on me for?"

"What the hell" was very much not acceptable language at the time for TV. So they cut to commercial and Don didn't appear again.

It was all over the papers the following day, with claims he was winded but all right.

So yeah, I strongly suspect that it was a work, or at best Lane was surprised at Killer going full bore, and then when Lane swore on air they covered for it by claiming he was attacked and what have you. But as both men have passed on, we'll never know for sure.

3. A key part of wrestling is the storyline in which the matches occur. Can you provide some detail on who actually created and wrote some of these storylines (who in creative, and the involvement of the wrestler) or any other storylines you've found interesting, and who you think some of the best creative writers have been for wrestling and why?

Megapowers collide
The Macho Man/Elizabeth wedding
Austin vs McMahon
Evolution
Summer of Punk


To the best of my knowledge, Megapowers and the Wedding were Vince, Austin V McMahon was Russo with Vince Veto, Evolution was HHH's idea but Creative ran with it, and Summer of Punk… Punk I assume had the idea and convinced Vince, but by that point the creative team mentality has kicked in and it's impossible to know who thought it up, stuff gets brainstormed to death now. Happy to be corrected on any of that.

As for the best Creative minds in wrestling history, there's a few.

Vince McMahon gets a lot of shit, right or wrong, but the fact remains that when he focuses, he can sure as hell book a show. Sure his business acumen is what made him a billionaire, but the guy can run a wrestling show when he really wants to. Shame that is so rarely these days…



I wouldn't let Paul Heyman near the checkbook, but I'd want him as my booker, totally. Guy is one of the most creative and smart bookers ever. Everyone gets their strengths pushed and their drawbacks hidden. But if only he could keep a reign on the cash…

Vince Russo is hated by most people. That's entirely fair and justified. But for every few bad ideas he has, Russo has a good one. And Russo's good ones are sometimes very, very good. You want Russo around to start a major angle, then lock him away and wait till you need the next one started.

Jake Roberts, Raven and Scott Hall I tend to view as a group since they are similar, all brilliant, all creatively gifted, all having issues with chemicals but all with so much more to offer…

Shane McMahon is my final pick, in that Shane to me seemed the perfect mix of business and creative. He got the business just as much as Vince did, but he also had his finger on the pulse of creative as well, he's the guy who pushed for Attitude, and the WWE Global Domination plan which could still totally work…

And then you have guys like Bill Watts, Jim Crockett, Jim Cornette, Gabe Sapolsky, Pat Patterson and the like who are worthy of mentioning…

Now then, the following final question is me booking something. So if you don't care about my booking, thanks for reading, I'll see you next week!

4. Take the latest Raw and, ignoring Smackdown and the other shows, how would you plan out the following Raw? Working with the pool of talent and the existing storylines, how would you further them or make them more interesting? Bearing in mind that this is just another Raw in the lead up to PPV "X", so you can't just go completely wild. What segments/promos do you run, what matches do you book, what are the results, and why?

It's kinda sad that Smackdown can/has to be ignored. It really shouldn't be. But all right, assuming the general shape of things is where I've got to head... I'm limiting myself to one title change, a half debut and one piece of booking for my own sake.

On WWE.com/in his weekly interview/Smackdown the previous Friday, have HHH say that he's giving all the Title Holders a week off as a bonus for their hard work. They'll join him and Steph in the skybox to enjoy the show, and to make sure they understand how much The Authority respects and cares for Orton… I mean, the champions.

Raw starts with Cena coming to the ring. Totally unmentioned is Emma being front row center with a "Viva La #Emma-Lution!" sign. Cena gets out three words before the Wyatts appear. Cena begins to brawl with them, with Sheamus and Bryan quickly running out to help. But in the mayhem, Cole and King both get taken out (Cole via Cena reversing a charging Harper, and King via a misplaced Brogue Kick), it takes a good 15 minutes to get everyone separated and apart.

We cut from this to the skybox where HHH, Steph, Outlaws, Ambrose, Orton and Nash are all totally unconcerned and chatting and generally having a good time. There is a knock at the door and Kane enters, and asks if the Authority saw what just happened. HHH blows him off and tells him to just handle it. As Kane goes to leave Big E walks in. Steph makes a show of welcoming him and offering him a beverage or meal or woman or whatever. Big E shakes his head at all this and tells the Authority off. HHH then books him in a Gauntlet match, he has to defend the title against Clay, Axel and Ryback. Big E shrugs and leaves.

William Regal and Renee Young come out to join JBL on commentary ("Why didn't you stand up for your colleagues John?" "I was just getting ready to clothesline everyone when all the refs came out!") as it's announced Cena/Bryan/Sheamus vs The Wyatts tonight in the main event!

Christian V Del Rio, Elimination Chamber Qualifier: Longish match, Del Rio is about to kick Christian when Batista's music hits, Christian uses the distraction to win. Del Rio has a temper tantrum and then challenges Batista to a match at Elimination Chamber.

Backstage, we find Kane at a computer in an office, before the door bursts open and in comes Punk. Kane remains calm, telling Punk that if he touches him, he'll be fined and suspended as he's not a competitor tonight. Punk stews and then demands Kane at the PPV. Kane refuses, Punk smashes the computer. Kane stands and then takes a breath. If Punk wins a match against Kane's hand picked opponent, he'll get the match. Punk issues more threats and leaves.

Batista promo on his movie role.

Break, then back to find AJ Lee and Tamina in the ring. AJ says that she's not up there in the skybox because she has a problem she needs to take care of. Everyone knows that she's had some… Issues in the past couple weeks, so she's here to head it off at the past. She wants to put the Divas title on the line, and calls out the Funkadactyls.

They come out, and Naomi cheerfully accepts the title match. AJ then laughs. No no, sorry, you're not getting the title shot, Cameron is.

Cameron gets beat up for a bit until she gets a lucky break and tosses AJ outside. AJ stomps around for a moment and then gets bubbles to the face from Emma. AJ attacks Emma, and Tamina and Naomi join in. In the brawl, AJ gets the (loaded) Emma sign to the back of the head and is out cold. As the three women brawl away, Cameron grabs AJ, rolls her in, cover, new champ. Tamina has to drag a kicking and screaming AJ away while Naomi ‘celebrates' with Cameron…

Batista promo of him training for title match.

Real Americans V Shield V Rhodes Brothers V Usos, Elimination tag match for #1 contender for tag titles. 30 or so minutes, Reigns eliminates Goldust, Reigns eliminates Swagger, Rollins loses to Usos. Up in the skybox, Ambrose blows this off, and offers to take care of Big E should he survive tonight at the Chamber. Hunter agrees.

Big E gets through Clay clean, Axel clean and Ryback after Axel messes up a belt show. Big E V Dean set for PPV.

Punk V Kane's choice: Lana comes out, bringing out Rusev. Long match, Punk wins via exposed turnbuckle Lana created.

Final backstage segment, Sheamus finds Bryan stretching and offers Bryan a match. He knows it's not what he wanted, but Sheamus feels that he and Bryan haven't had their WM match. First time it got changed, second time Sheamus took advantage of him… Sheamus loves to fight, and he wants to fight the best, and right now, that's Bryan. Bryan is non-committal, so Sheamus tells him to think about it as Cena gets them for match.

Cena/Bryan/Sheamus V Wyatts. Bray and Cena never touch, Bryan takes first beat down then Cena takes second, longer one. It breaks down and in chaos Orton blasts Cena with belt, Bray pins Cena. Wyatts thank Orton by beating him up to stand tall at end of show.

Add in a bunch of ads and video packages (announcing a new HOF member and stuff) and a couple of random unimportant matches (I'd almost certainly be told to put Woods in there somewhere or something) and that's what I'd do. But what would you guys do? Let me know below. Or don't. Up to you.



See you next week.





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