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WOULD 205 LIVE DO BETTER IF THE CRUISERS WERE ON SMACKDOWN?, SAPOLSKY-WWE, MAGNUM TA IN THE WWF, SUPERKICKS AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2017-08-11 10:00:00

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Been visiting the site for almost a decade already. Gotta say you always give out the best insight about the business. I'm sure you'll tire of hearing it but excellent job folks. Love the site, especially the Q&A section and the fact you source your own stories rather than being 'copy and paste' reporters. I have two questions:

1. The sound of the superkick. It always sound like a slap. Is that really the actual sound of it?

2. Did Hideo Itami's bleed by mistake or was it staged? When things like that happen, does the other wrestler get any heat backstage for being careless?


First, thank you for the kind words.  

Usually the sound of the superkick comes with the slapping of one's thigh, timed with the move.

Hideo Itami being busted open on WWE NXT was a result of an errant strike.  It wasn't done on purpose and there was no heat, because it was an error.  If a talent ends up busting open talents regularly, then it might become an issue because that's a sign that they are dangerous in the ring, when they should be working together in a way that protect themselves and whoever they are working with.

This entire deal amazed me when I read your report: Why in the world is Gabe Sapolsky doing a tryout for WWE NXT creative if WWN is making big bucks with their Flosports deal?  Wouldn't this be him selling out his own company?  How would Sapolsky fare in WWE's system?  It's not like he's booked a classic feud or story in years.   Isn't WWE a decade late?

Sapolsky obviously wants to get the job with WWE, because chances are one can make far more money working for them than anywhere else in the wrestling business.  If he didn't want the job, he wouldn't be doing the tryout deal.  I see why he is.  Gabe is in his 40s with a family and making money for them has to be his priority, not booking indy wrestling forever.  There's only so much one can make in that bubble and the Flosports deal pretty much saved WWN - but no deal lasts forever.

I don't know that it's Gabe selling out his own company (although I can see why you would say that), because he doesn't own WWN.  WWN could continue on without Sapolsky.  

As far as how Sapolsky would fare, I don't know.  It would all depend on whether someone who has been in a creative position that pretty much allowed him to be the final say for much of his adult life would be willing and able to deal with being part of a group of writers and being in a position where his ideas can be veteod or changed by his boss.   Having to go to a corporate office environment is a lot different from working from home.   Being the alpha male in what you do and having to go and be a part of a team is a hard transition to make for anyone who is used to controlling their destiny.    Whether Gabe could make that transition and function there we would have to see.    Obviously, WWE is interested in seeing if he can.

Working for WWE is also a very different animal stylistically as well in comparison to trying to book independent wrestling and perhaps that change would do him good and spark something you haven't seen out of him in awhile creatively.  

While there hasn't been a "Summer of Punk" style storyline or moment out of Sapolsky's booking in a long, long time, he still has a good eye for talent and is good at getting talents who aren't making a great deal of money and convincing them to work hard physically to get themselves over and set the stage for them to be seen on a larger platform.    He's also attached as a name that helped develop a lot of talent who made big waves for WWE, so if you are WWE, you have to wonder "can he do that for us."  I can see why they would want to explore that option.

I take the entire thing as a "we will see" with the sad understanding that if it happens, it will be the end of the legendary "Sapolsky throws a fit backstage stories" that I have always enjoyed (as WWE, as a publicly traded company would never allow such a thing) and on occasion, the screaming phone calls and voicemails I would occasionally receive when Gabe didn't like something I reported.

Watched 205 live for the first time in a long time this week and was surprised. Obviously they can give the talent the same time on RAW as they get here but do you think if the cruiserweights appeared on Smackdown (in front of the same crowd as 205) that the audience familiarity might lead to improved crowd reactions?t

No.  I think a major part of the problem is that by the time 205 Live is broadcast, most weeks the live audience has sat through a two hour Smackdown Live with "larger names" and there's a fatigue issue after seeing that show's main event segment, not to mention the lure of wanting to leave and get home on a work night after seeing the "bigger show."  WWE wants 205 Live to be "Live" but I've often wondered whether the series would be better served being taped before Smackdown, when the crowd would likely be more receptive to the show.

I have a three part question. First, I remember Renee Young making history as the first ever woman to call an entire PPV (or show period) for NXT. What led to that? Was there no other commentator or was it just something the WWE tried out? Second, why was that a one time only thing for her? I thought she did a great job, but did WWE think otherwise? Was there heat because of the whole dating a wrestler that put her in the doghouse? And third, why didn't they consider her to announce at the May Young Classics over Lita? At best, have Renee AND Lita call the whole thing.

Young wasn't the first woman to do commentary for WWE as Mike McGirk did some commentary in the 1980s.    I've never heard a definitive reason as to why the company didnt continue to utilize her as a commentator as I thought she did a great job, especially when partnered with William Regal, but at the end of the day, it all flows through Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn, so the decision was made to utilize her as a host and interviewer.  I think they didn't tap her for the Mae Young Classic becausde Jim Ross was given that role.

What do you think the future would have held for Magnum TA had he not had the accident?  Do you think WWF would have gotten him eventually and would they have given him a new name/character? 

He would have won the NWA World championship at the 1986 Starrcade and there would have been an attempt to make him the top babyface.  He would have had a run on top but my guess is that Crockett Promotions would have eventually switched the belt back to Ric Flair unless Magnum took off in a massive way.  The quality of the run would have been excellent either way.  My belief is that Magnum would have assisted Crockett in his battle against the WWF, but eventually, the company would have had the same problems and been sold to Turner Broadcasting.  Whether Magnum would have ended up eventually jumping to WWF like so many others is impossible to know, but if he had, my guess is they would have tried to give him another name beyond Magnum TA because it was so obviously similar to the Tom Selleck TV series and that may have led to an issue when it came to merchandise and licensing.

We talk about GFW's influence on Impact Wrestling yet on the WWE Network, ever since the GWF section got put up, all that's been in there is best of USWA (which ironically seems to be best of Jeff Jarrett) instead of actual GWF programming. Any word on when GWF programming will actually be available? 

It all depends on how much of that material is in the WWE library.  There's been no talk, that we have heard, that GWF content is part of their current strategy when it comes to adding vintage content.

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