Podcast daily roundup for 04/23/2020

Written by Chris Siggia.


HHH on making decision for the first SmackDown with no audience:  “I heard the news the NBA was shut down and there was a debate happening about whether they were going to play with no fans…As I’m flying down there (the performance center) in the morning, I called Vince…and said maybe we should leave the setup up.  I know it’s costly, but just in case something cancels over the next couple of weeks where we can’t go into a town, we can at least get everybody to Florida.  This was before I was even thinking about no fans.  I said we can pick up the phone and call the local fans here and fill this place up pretty easily and at least still put on a show.  Vince said that’s pretty smart and said run the numbers and I will get back with you today and let you know.  By the time we get to Tuesday night and we have our production meeting, I call Vince and said I don’t know the numbers yet, but it’s getting worse.  He said, yes, it’s getting a lot worse.  Let’s talk in the morning.  By the morning, it’s more than likely we are coming in.  It doesn’t matter what the numbers are.  We leave everything up.  By the time we do that live show, when that show is over, Vince is not only saying that the trucks on the way to Detroit are on the side of the road, but they are turning around and headed your way.  We are going to do SmackDown there tomorrow.  Everything is shutting down.  For the first time, he said we may be doing WrestleMania from there.”

HHH talking about the Boneyard Match at WrestleMania:  “HHH asked Vince what he needs the most help on.  Vince said the Boneyard Match.  I asked him what is the Boneyard Match and he said I don’t know, it’s in a grave yard.  So, I find this field and turn it into a grave yard.  It’s in the middle of nowhere.  I said, what do you want it to be.  He said, I don’t know, just make it good…We come up with this concept and ideas and we finally get to a point that we feel it will work.  I get to our tech people and ask how many people do we have on the crew for this and they said we have one camera and we are trying to get a second.  That wasn’t going to work…I called Vince and he said one camera won’t work.  I told him I have an idea but I don’t know if anybody else is going to be in favor of this.  My solution was to use the digital team from NXT, Jeremy Borash, and we have a team of digital shooters that we use there.  It’s a different format.  We can shoot it with them and do it cinematic style.  I can bring a bunch of cameras and shoot it all at once. I can shoot it like a film in a different format and I believe we can create something special with this.  I think everybody else was against it.  Vince said I don’t’ see that we have much choice so that is what we are going to do.”

HHH talking about 2-day WrestleMania’s going forward:  “In my opinion, I think it was more enjoyable than the 8 hour extravaganza.  I think at some point that is what it should be.  It has become so big that when you think about it, it started out as a concert that ended up being a festival.  It’s a weeklong thing when you think about it in that manner.  Thursday would have been Hall of Fame.  Friday was SmackDown.  Saturday was going to be Take Over.  Sunday was WrestleMania.  Monday would have been Raw.  It’s a week-long festival and I think that big main stage attraction needs to be those two nights and be a weekend of events.  I do think that’s probably a change that out of chaos comes the genius and maybe that is the genius of it.  I know people have been saying that for a period of time, but that’s a major shift and it doesn’t come easy.”

HHH talking about Johnny Gargano vs Tomasso Ciampa:  “The Gargano Ciampa cinematic empty arena match was shot prior to the boneyard before WrestleMania.  When we realized there was going to be no Take Over, I wanted to put some of these matches on TV because who knows when we are going to get to do them.  Nobody knew if there were even going to be shows after WrestleMania.  So, this was one we wanted to get it done with and be done with that storyline so we can move everybody in their direction and make it different.  So, the concept that came up was to do something different and cinematic and shot with a similar team, but as it came closer, all the options for doing it kept shutting down…That was done in one shot.  We put a crew and there and they got it done.”


Ross talking about meeting John Cena:  “When I got back, I had the car service take me to the office…I told him I’ve agreed to terms with a WrestleMania main eventer in 5 years.”

Ross’ opinion on the spinning title belts:  “I was one of the guys who didn’t like it either.  I didn’t think it was appropriate, but look, I wasn’t a big fan of the smoking skull belt.  It was a gimmick to sell merchandise.  I’m sure WWE did a good job of marketing and selling those replica belts…It didn’t run anybody off, I’m sure they sold a ton of those things.  If they sold a bunch of them and the talent can make more money, I really can’t stop and kick too much that it wasn’t my cup of tea.”

Ross on why he thinks Cena was booed:  “This is very arguable.  It could have been something to do with the fact that John was overexposed.  Fans thought he was being forced down their throats.  It was just an uncomfortable fit at times because there was really no other reason to not like John.  Then it became like a trend.  When people first heard it on television, you think, that’s strange.  Then you go to another market for Monday Night Raw and they are booing again.  I think it was monkey see, monkey do.”

Ross talking about multiple title changes:  “The frequent title change with Cena’s reign or anybody else’s is counterproductive.  It is not the greatest way of booking.  It’s not the greatest story telling.  I don’t like it.  I don’t think the fans like it.”

Ross talking about Cena’s legacy:  “One of the top 5 babyfaces in the history of WWE, without a doubt, hands down.  A personal favorite of mine because of his character and his work ethic and his integrity.  You never had to worry about John Cena embarrassing the company outside or inside of the cocoon.  Saying he is a top 5 babyface in WWE history, that includes Bruno, Hogan, Austin, Rock, Undertaker, all these dudes.  He belongs in that same conversation.”



Malenko on starting as a referee in WWF:: “Pat Patterson would call me.  I would work West Palm Beach and the Tampa area.  The one everybody can still see me on was Saturday Night Main Event in Tampa at the Sun Dome.  I was the referee for Randy “Macho Man” Savage with Elizabeth at the time against George Steel.”

Malenko talking about Darby Allen:  “We always talk about the It Factor.  There are a lot of guys can do flips and tumbling acts and dive to the ropes and all that.  But there is something about him.  He does them different and puts his stamp on it more than anybody else.  He understands the audience.  He understands that part of the business and getting himself over and doing anything he can do get his name out there and face out there.”


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