2001 Royal Rumble Match

By the time the 2001 Royal Rumble arrived, the WWF was very close to peaking as an organization. The general consensus is that Wrestlemania 17 in April 2001 is the best Mania of all time and perhaps the best PPV ever. However by some factors, the company had already peaked. Leaving USA Network for Spike was a short term financial gain, but they paid a price long term in 2005 by having to crawl back to USA on an unfavorable deal when it comes to advertising dollars. The death of WCW in March would not create new viewers as instead many just stopped watching. Continue reading 2001 Royal Rumble Match

Model Year Wrestler #8: Bam Bam Bigelow in 1988

Twas good to be a Friend of Hulk in '88
Twas good to be a Friend of Hulk in ’88

In wrestling as in life, sometimes crap happens. And when it happens, it can derail a career in very unexpected way. It can be a bad injury, a guy’s poor attitude, or a combination of many things that keep someone from rising to the top. This is the strange journey of Bam Bam Bigelow in 1988, where crap most certainly happened. Continue reading Model Year Wrestler #8: Bam Bam Bigelow in 1988

2000 Royal Rumble Match

In the year 2000, the WWF would make more money than any year in their history. While that dividend was probably pissed away with the XFL debacle the next year, the product was still very compelling in 2000, in part due to Vince Russo’s departure. Organized storytelling was in vogue, led by the late Chris Kreski using storyboards in meetings. The Royal Rumble kicked off what is the best PPV year of the monthly PPV era. Continue reading 2000 Royal Rumble Match

Thursday Night Rambling

Seth will not be ready for spring training
Seth will not be ready for spring training

A few random thoughts as I wonder what goes through the heads of truck drivers who just let snow and ice fall off their roofs onto the interstate:

  • Yeah, I went 0-4 against the spread last weekend on the NFL playoffs. That just means you can count on me to guide you since there are only two choices.
  • Coming up this weekend is a real treat: Because I am insane, I will be going to Gillette Stadium for the Chiefs-Patriots game. By myself. And of course I will be blogging about it, just like I did for the Winter Classic two weeks ago.

Continue reading Thursday Night Rambling

Mid-South Power Pro Wrestling 03/15/1986

As promised on a prior show, Mid-South went through with a name change for their program. Jim Ross welcomes the audience from a remote studio and tells us we will see the Road Warriors in action, along with a main event of Chavo Guerrero against Steve Keirn. Continue reading Mid-South Power Pro Wrestling 03/15/1986

Model Year Wrestler #7 – 1989 Brutus Beefcake

A very modified GTS
In life, sometimes it’s not what you do and more who you know. It is probably a smart play to attach yourself to the hip of the guy who would become the biggest name in the history of the business. And that is the story of Ed Leslie, aka Brutus the Barber Beefcake in the WWF, the subject of this week’s Model Year Wrestler for the year 1989.

Continue reading Model Year Wrestler #7 – 1989 Brutus Beefcake

1999 Royal Rumble Match

I’ve been dreading this since the Royal Rumble Project started: the 1999 match is one that I saw years ago and hated it, saw it again last year and disliked it, and watched it again now in hopes I could mine something out of it. The Attitude Era was a great period in wrestling, but the booking and storylines for the year 1999 was terrible. To me they were now King Midas in reverse as nothing seemed to work quite as well as it should, for that whole year. Wrestlemania 15 is just an abomination, but it never gets talked about as much because it was in that golden era of high ratings. So here is my attempt to figure out some positives from the 1999 Royal Rumble match. Continue reading 1999 Royal Rumble Match

1998 Royal Rumble Match

In business there is a saying, “you have to spend money to make money” which was close to the heart of WWF’s early 1998 strategy to change the tide of the Monday Night wars. By the time of the 1998 Royal Rumble, Monday Night RAW had lost in the ratings to WCW Monday Nitro for about 70 straight weeks. Vince McMahon knew his 1997 product was better with the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin, but needed a way to get eyeballs on his product. Enter the controversial Mike Tyson, who was banned from boxing at the time for the ear biting incident with Evander Holyfield.

Continue reading 1998 Royal Rumble Match