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By Dave Scherer on 2022-10-23 10:00:00

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I watched wrestling for years, quite awhile ago.  I would tape Nitro and watch Raw.   For the last several years, my watching had faded but I keep up with your site, especially the Q&A .  I’d like to start watching again. What should I start with?

The best overall show, by far in my opinion, is Smackdown.  It has been really, really good since Vince McMahon was forced out of Creative after the scandal with the payments/NDAs to former female employees.  The show has great booking and matches so it's an easy choice for me.

Do you ever see the WWE unifying  the Raw and SmackDown Women's Titles?

To be honest I don't see or not see it.  I think it would all depend on circumstances.  It will be harder to do than it was with them Men's belts because the males have the IC and US Titles as well and the women do not.

Other than Ricky Steamboat, has there ever been a wrestler who has remained a baby face for his entire career in every territory that he worked?

I honestly can't say for sure but the fact that he is the only I can think of, it's pretty amazing.  Even Sting was a heel when he first started out in The Blade Runners.

I know Mick Foley talks about the Iron Sheik in his books, but what type of person is he when he isn't wrestling? Have you guys met him? And what are some of your favorite stories involving him?

I have never met him so I can't say what kind of person he is.  We can just trust Foley on this one.

I remember that for years the wrestling media and fans always said that if somebody with big bucks came along and created a new wrestling company with a TV deal, that there were enough disaffected wrestling fans that it would challenge WWE’s supremacy. Well, AEW is 3 years in, and while it is successful, it is in no way competition. Money, ratings, popularity, attendance, social media reach; there’s no wrestling war here. What’s worse, there aren’t fewer WWE fans than there were before AEW, so AEW isn’t stealing away WWE’s fanbase, just reaching a different one. So, were we wrong about how popular “not WWE” wrestling could be? Is this simply how many “hardcore” fans there are, and it’s just never going to be enough to meaningfully challenge WWE? Or is this an issue with AEW and it’s brand of wrestling specifically? Could a “better” wrestling show attract a bigger audience than AEW?

There is a bunch to digest here.  First and foremost, the reason that we all said that in the first place was that Vince McMahon was booking what many lapsed fans thought was a dull product.  It was proven every year when fans would come back around the time of the Rumble and then leave after WrestleMania.  Those fans kept their toe in the water and many still do.  It’s very possible some of them don’t want any wrestling except what they see as good WWE.  With that said, Tony Khan blew a gold opportunity because, in my opinion, he listened to the wrong people (including himself).  He made the mistake of believing that the hardcore, indy loving, New Japan watching audience was much bigger than it was.  He felt that all he had to do was roll out people like Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks and fans everywhere would see what they had been missing when those talents wrestled their matches.  What he didn’t understand then, and still doesn’t now in my opinion, is that to many, many wrestling fans the actual matches are the things that they care the least about.  They care about wrestlers.  They care about good storylines.  They care about why people fake fight.  Tony has marketed to the people that like “five star matches” from the get go and they are just a small subset of the overall fan base.  The sad thing is that if he had hired a quality booker, instead of doing it himself, he could have had great characters and storylines to go with great matches but he wanted to do it his own way.  That’s his right of course, but going down that road severely limited AEW’s growth chances.  Even when he does create a star, like Wardlow for example, he doesn’t know what to do with that person once they get over and then they languish.  Another problem is his constant attack on WWE, which by extension attacks its fans.  If you just watched Smackdown and thought you would give Rampage a shot, and you saw them running down something you like, you just may say F THIS and turn it off.  It’s sad to see such a great opportunity go the way it did but it’s his money and his world everything is great, unless it’s super duper great, so people like me won’t ever get through to him.

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