We asked the Nation to send in their questions to Scott and Justin and, after a great response, here is the first edition of the Place to Be Nation Mailbag! You too can send in your questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) and be featured in a future installment.
1) I’m a huge fan of the classic Coliseum Videos, and one of the things done on many releases was the Fan Favorite match. There are 2 parts to this question. First, were all the requests legit or did the WWF make up the results, because the people requesting asked for matches that never happened or if the matches did occur, the WWF didn’t want them to see those matches. My 2nd question is – did any of you send in post cards to Coliseum Video requesting matches, if so what were they? I always remember the CV fan favorite address, WWF Fan Favorites C/O Coliseum Video PO Box 430 West 54th Street New York, NY 10019. I was too young to do any of this, but if I was old enough back then, some of my requests would of been these. Ultimate Warrior vs. the Undertaker, Sid Justice vs. Typhoon, Randy Savage vs. Undertaker, Sid Justice vs. Undertaker in a body bag match, Ultimate Warrior vs. Nailz, Big Bossman vs. Nailz. – Ryan S.
Scott: I think it was about 50-50. I think fans back then sent in legitimate postcards looking for certain wrestlers/matches/tapes. WWF definitely chopped up their house shows to use for retail purposes. For the most part I think WWF perused the postcards, but clearly they made the tapes with little input from the fans. No, I never sent a postcard.
Justin: I am 99.99% percent sure they were rigged, because I can’t imagine they would take some random match request and schedule it at a future TV taping. If they were real, I would have to guess that they chose the postcard requesting a match that had already been filmed and canned.
I never actually sent any requests in, but I did send a letter complaining about them cutting British Bulldog/Berzerker from Wrestlemania VIII. I like your suggestions, specifically Savage vs. Undertaker, which would have been an awesome match to watch in early 1992. Sid/Typhoon is probably one I would have went crazy for at the time. I think Warrior/Akeem circa mid-90 could have been fun, and how about Bret Hart/Jake Roberts in late 1991? That would have been tremendous.
2) During the tributes last month to Owen Hart 15 years after he tragically left us, I remembered him in one of my favorite individual performances in a wrestling match when he wrestled Bret Hart in a steel cage at SummerSlam 1994. Then I realized right afterwards that he lost that match, which is why people tend to forget sometimes how great he was there, leaping like a monster in a scary movie every time Bret tried to escape the cage. What is your favorite performance by a wrestler (or in sports, for that matter) in a losing effort? – Rich A.
Justin: This is a great question across the board, thanks Rich. I will start in the sports world with two choices: the 2001 Yankees and 2010-11 Jets. Despite losing the World Series in heartbreaking fashion, the epic comebacks in Games Four and Five were the epic stuff legends were made of. The 2010 Jets were of my favorite squads in franchise history, with a brash mix of talent young and old. After wiping out Peyton Manning and the Colts in round one, they stomped into Foxboro and knocked off the favored Patriots on their home turf. A week later, they came up just short against the Steelers after a frenzied second half comeback.
Turning to pro wrestling, here are a few big time match examples: Randy Savage at WrestleMania VII (epic performance both emotionally and workrate wise), Ric Flair at WrestleMania VIII (along with manager Mr. Perfect, a fantastic heel showing), Bret Hart at WrestleMania X (enough said), Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXI (a tour de force performance and possibly the greatest WM match of all time) and I will give John Cena a nod for his performance at Money in the Bank 2011 (put over CM Punk clean when it was most needed).
Scott: I think my favorite efforts were Triple H in both WrestleMania matches against Undertaker (and Shawn’s matches against Undertaker for that matter) and Chris Benoit against Kurt Angle at the 2003 Royal Rumble for the WWE Title. Cactus Jack against Triple H at the 2000 Royal Rumble comes to mind also. There’s tens of guys to make the list, but those are my top choices.
I see you guys have a nice little music section at Place to Be Nation and of course each episode of the podcast has a different song in the intro and close. I’m all about nostalgia – so what was your favorite slow dance song when you were in Middle School? – Xavier T.
Scott: Well of course my songs will be clearly be from another decade from my PIC, but I’d have to say Never Say Goodbye by Bon Jovi from Slippery When Wet. Anything from Chicago is good too. Always from Atlantic Starr gets a honorable mention.
Justin: Xavier, I went to Catholic school all the way through, so we didn’t really have middle school dances. Once high school arrived, the mixers came and the first slow dance song I remember getting jiggy to was Stairway to Heaven, and it was a long-ass eight minutes. If I had to pick one from that era in general, I would probably go with End of the Road, even though it seems to run counter productive to the idea of young love. And of course, Macho Man & Elizabeth’s wedding song is always a favorite as well.
What are some of your favorite TV series today? If you could recommend three series to catch-up on via on-demand (or DVD), which would they be? – Will B.
Justin: Well, there are the obvious: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office and 30 Rock. I recently blew through all of Arrested Development, which I would highly recommend doing now that the episodes are posted. Same goes for The League, which is a damn funny show. Finally, if you wanted to go a bit more serious, I would recommend Friday Night Lights for sure. We flew through that one and loved every minute. Finally, if you wanted to go old school, Cheers is always worth a watch.
Scott: Sons of Anarchy, House of Cards (only on Netflix) and The Shield (not the heel team).
Neither of you are very familiar with wrestling outside of the United States. Is there a reason why either of you haven’t versed further in Japanese or lucha wrestling? Is it the language barrier, match structures, or something else? Which Japanese wrestler are you most familiar with? – Chad C.
Scott: Japanese wrestling was tough because it wasn’t prevalent on television and by the time tape trading was at its peak I was trying to get as much ECW as I could since I missed a lot of the first couple of years worth of episodes. Japan and Mexico never entered my mind in terms of getting tapes. I mostly gathered stuff from the magazines. The one piece of Japanese wrestling I own is a tape of British Bulldog matches from the 80’s and the 1994 Super J Cup tourney that Chris Benoit won as the Pegasus Kid. I was a big fan of Great Kabuki and Great Muta in the 80’s but that was after they’d already arrived in World Class and NWA respectively.
Justin: I would say it is mainly time. I grew up a WWF fan, got into WCW along the way and just didn’t have the resources for international stuff in those years. By the time we got to the Internet era, I just didn’t feel the desire or have the time to throw myself into it. I am fully aware that I am missing out on tons of quality wrestling out there, but I just still haven’t had the desire to delve into it, outside of a match here and there. When it comes to Japanese wrestling, I would say language barrier plays a role, but mainly it is just due to my general preference and tradition as an American wrestling fan. I would say I am most familiar with any Japanese or lucha stars that had extended runs with American promotions, like Great Muta and Jushin Liger. Maybe someday things will change, but for now, my wrestling plate is full and viewing time is at a premium.