Listening: “A Little Less Conversation”/JXL
I was going to do this thing, where I’d actually talk about wrestling, but now, after getting my heart ripped out twice in the same evening by the same bullpen, I don’t know if I can go on.
– WWECorpBiz updated it’s Key Business Drivers file today, which to you and me means “updated PPV buy rate info in graph form.” As everyone with half a brain figured, Judgment Day did abysmally low. ~200,000 buys, the lowest since they’ve started keeping this chart 3 years ago.
Wrestling Supercards has older buy rate information, but it’s in terms of percentage of the universe (and I don’t off hand remember what the universe was at the time) and somewhat incomplete. But doing some fuzzy math, you estimate the buy rate percent here at .32. Still above most of the death of WCW (equal to Bret/Goldberg Starrcade ’99 – thanks for the correction, person who couldn’t bother to post a name!), but the WWE hadn’t done that bad, percentage wise, since December of ’96 and IYH: It’s Time (Sid/Bret) to get a close percentage.
Note that they didn’t do Sid/Bret the rematch the following month. Although, at the same time, the plan was already set before they knew what number they were getting, which is apparently the same situation here.
– Eddie’s bio on UPN got a low rating, but really not all that different from the low ratings the Diva specials they used to do (which got about the same promotion level), considering the competition. SmackDown got a low rating. I have no idea why anyone is surprised by any of this.
– I didn’t watch SmackDown! Last week’s SmackDown! or this week’s. Luckily, Thomas J. Feely’s got me covered. I’m just out of the habit. And no one really cares where I rate it on a five point scale.
Line I most wish to steal: “We do so.”
– As usual with anything NJPW related, I’m following it via Stuart’s site, and checking in on NJPW.com for hopeful glimpses of wackiness. The one thing I don’t dig is the way the standings are typically listed.
1. Masahito Kakihara 
2. Koji Kanemoto 
3. Wataru Inoue 
4. Ryusuke Taguchi 
5. Big Boss MA-G-MA 
6. American Dragon 
7. El Samurai 
8. Jushin Thunder Liger 
You’re missing half the story – they’ve all got two points, but they’re ranked differently because they’ve got different amounts remaining. As usaul, when things slightly bug me, I spend well too much time in coming up with my own way of doing it. The way too much info on one page effect is also typical.
Looking at the standings right now and guessing. Keep in mind, I think I’ve seen 1 Super Jr match EVER:
Block A: I’m guessing one of the slow starters stars Liger or Kanemoto recovers enough to get into the semis, and one of the lesser important but reiging champions Kakihara or AmDragon joins them. Personal biases force me to pick Liger (1st) and Dragon.
Block B: Guessing 10 is good enough for passage and there’s no way he goes worse than 2-2 with what he’s got left, Ultimo is an easy 1st place here. Since they’re obviously a step above everyone else, 2nd has to come down to Heat and Tiger Mask. Probably a tie breaker match, with Heat taking the win since Tiger won previously, and setting up a title match down the road.
Sadly, that’d make Dragon vs Dragon unlikely. Booooooo.
* Last day schedule is always a tell – if you’re booking it, you’d like to avoid someone getting in without having a big match on the last day, so those involved are those who probably matter. And they’ve got the top four against each other in Block B: Heat/Dragon and Naruse/Tiger, so obviously it’s going to be up for grabs there. A block has a probable winner moves on Kanemoto vs Dragon match, and a Liger/MA-G-MA rematch from a recent Osaka Pro upset, so you gotta figure Liger clinches there.
* Kakihara’s overall importance has fallen so far since he won this last year, he’s got to make a serious run just to make his win look credible in retrospect.
* Nakajmia is 16 and should lose every single match and then take a sabitical for 5 years.
* After they get a try out here, Rocky vs Daniels is your new Indy Feud of the Year.
* And this has nothing to do with much else, but now that that Reyes is ROH regular and Rocky is otherwise busy, the booking in Chicago Ridge makes a lot more sense.
We’ll see if I’m right. But c’mon, no. I have no idea.
– In a shocking unbelievable unforseeable turn of events, people are saying Ultimo Dragon might stick around in Japan to be treated as a legend rather than come back to the US to job on Velocity. Amazing. I’m pretty sure he’s already gotten more wins in the Super J then he did in the last three months of the WWE.
Like any other released dude, he’d probably have to stay off US TV till his contract was up. I wonder if that includes Galavision. Because he’s on this week. Don’t tell Vince! It’s the case of WWE being completely clueless about lucha actually working to someone’s benefit (me!)
This sounds like a similar deal to what Spanky got, so I wouldn’t bet on him showing up in ROH or on a DVD till after the agreement was over. I suspect he could turn up on some Cali shows next time he stops by in Mexico – that was the expectation before he went on this NJPW tour, and is probably even more likely since he’s got the associations with noted West Coasters Danielson, Daniels and Romero.
– Transitioning back – does Chad Wicks working a NJ tour and getting signed to a WWE developmental deal say anything about the reality of the rumored NJ/WWE deal? It’s probably completely unrelated but fun to stir the pot with, given the spiffy pic of Vince that’s now gracing the NJPW page. It’s kinda weird that he goes from being a pushed part of NJ’s Young Lions cup, a spot which implies “long term deal”, and ends up getting signed with the WWE a month later. Not that the NJPW work likely had anything to do with it – they liked him on Heat and whenever else. He owes La Resistance a poodle or something.
While we’re sorta related: I completely support the idea of sending guys to work Japan tours a bunch, because you need people with solid bases but the experience of working in different situations to allow them to create individual wrestling styles. That’s another way of saying “all them OVW guys work the same way, h’yuck.” Plus, NJ could send it’s younger juniors back this way so Jindrak has a bigger pool of short guys to dropkick. Everyone’s happy!
– Completely silly and dated MMA comment: Good for wrestling people for winning and all, but since the whole strategy behind putting the NJPW title on Sapp was for “NJPW Guy To Be Named” to be the one to finally beat him and that NJPW Guy To Be Named almost certiantly wasn’t going to be Kaz Fujita, wasn’t that the worse possible outcome? Or at least way down on the list. I was kinda surprised about the reaction.
That’s plenty for now. I want to do this things much much shorter if I’m going to them.