Shahid’s Blog: A Ride Down Memory Lane – WWE Network and An Appreciation of WCW

Robocop off duty Cage Destroyer with Sting

When WWE announced its plans for its own network, I was extremely skeptical.  With the current cable climate, a dedicated paid channel seemed outdated. The idea of watching old Raw and Nitros with bargain basement reality shows and the occasional documentary didn’t strike me as a scintillating product; using dubstep in its promo videos didn’t help either.  So of course Vince McMahon presents a revolutionary product – an internet only streaming service, combining its massive library with new material that may actually be worth a damn, plus every future PPV….for 9.99 a month.

I’ve been a wrestling fan for close to 30 years, and I can honestly say this is the most groundbreaking event in my fandom.  Being able to watch a 1992 WCW PPV in HD on my iPad?  Watching World Class on my big screen TV?  Getting WrestleMania and Summerslam for free? Not only would I save money on my cable bill, I could kiss the days of 12 part YouTube videos with crappy resolution good bye.  I won’t discuss the initial hiccups or improvements which could be made.  Right now, I’ll dive into a few things I’ve experienced so far.

One thing I’ve realized during my initial weeks of watching was the in ring quality of WCW.  Say what you want about their goofy and often idiotic booking – popping in a random PPV will usually be an enjoyable experience.  It’s not hard to see why, considering their talent base during the late 80’s to mid 90s – Sting, Flair, The Steiners, Ricky Steamboat, Rick Rude, Gordy/Williams, Steve Austin, Barry Windham, Pillman, Vader……it’s a murderer’s row of talented in ring workers and/or compelling characters.

What also helped was the excellent announcing of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura, which gave it a sports feel and made every match seemed relevant.  Plus there is an added bonus of red hot crowds, which makes a huge difference to the enjoyment level – listening to Sting/Koloff vs Anderson/Blanchard would make you think it was WrestleMania. Although I could do without the inane stipulations from Bill Watts – how you can bring in someone like Jushin Liger while outlawing top rope maneuvers is mind boggling.

Even without the context of WCW Saturday Night, Clash of the Champions or other weekly shows, WCW PPV’s tend to hold up very well during that time frame…..at least until Hogan came and brought in the era of the Three Amigos (Hogan, Sting and Savage) running roughshod until the formation of the NWO.  But thats a story for another week.  And by the way, to hell with the Shockmaster, Robocop, Johnny Gunn and Paul Roma, Horseman. -Shahid

Stunt Granny Audio #228

The type of young athlete TNA needs to be pushing.

The type of young athlete TNA needs to be pushing.

There’s a whole heap of things to talk about this week, and Kevin and Dusty are the only people adequately prepared to do so! And boy do they ever, starting off with some Monday Night Raw discussion. Dusty is sick of having McMahon family reunions on his television screen. Kevin is confused by the whole thing and wonders if they really think they’re knocking it out of the park with these segments. Dusty is also sick of Michael Cole on commentary, and Jerry Lawler as well, but has no idea how to fix that problem. Is there anyone from another wrestling company worth bringing in? Should WWE look outside the wrestling business?

Then they turn their attention to the mess that is TNA. How long can a company be going out of business before actually going out of business? Do they realize how bad they look by getting rid of so many people and then teasing a surprise appearance for the next show? Did a throwaway reality show really beat their show in the ratings? Did Dixie Carter really call Taeler Hendrix fat? Does she prefer that Angelina Love 35 pounds look? Does she realize Mickie James isn’t exactly a size zero right now herself? Also, the Main Event Mafia is a stale idea that means nothing to anyone, it’s really hard to feel bad for Samoa Joe, James Storm should be in WWE, and a whole lot more! We don’t think you’re too heavy to listen to it, so go for it!

Stunt Granny Audio #199

Dynamite drop in there, Monty.

Kevin and Dusty are back with an extensive look at bad announcing, including the Mount Rushmore of Horrible Announcing. Listen and learn who they think are the worst announcers of all time. What current day announcers are bad enough to earn a spot on the list? Hint: One guy who currently does every WWE show, some of which completely by himself, much to the petrification of Dusty. Find out which guy….. annoys Dusty…. because of the ridiculously long…. pauses…. he used to take between words. Find out which guy makes Kevin cherish his childhood memories of watching wrestling so much. Find out which guy wears Hawaiian flowery shirts and gets into internet pissing contests because he has a small penis and a need for attention. And so much more, and it’s only going to cost you about an hour of your time, so you need to listen or you’ll catch something incurable.

Stunt Granny Audio Show #199

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