Pass the Squash

If you’re new to pro wrestling, maybe you’ve never heard of a “squash” match. It is exactly what you think it is, one wrestler is positioned to “squash” another in an attempt to build up the winner and have him or her gain some momentum before heading into more competitive matches. While recently we’ve had both Nia Jax on the women’s side, and Braun Stroman on the men’s side, each have a series of squash matches. It looks as though it has worked for Braun as he has been built to be an unstoppable monster and is now throwing around top talent. Nia is not being used as much but still looks impressive when she’s out there and might be positioning for a feud with Sasha Banks.

I grew up on the squash matches. WWF Superstars in the mid 80’s was their main show and it featured squash matches almost exclusively. On the occasion that you’d get a decent matchup between two mid-level talents, it usually ended in a double DQ or Count out. And you never, ever, saw champion Hulk Hogan on the show. Occasionally you would get the I-C champ, or the tag champs, but again, in nothing more than squashes. I’m not saying it’s time to go back to the squashes like that, but they can be effective, and I’d like to see WWE continue to utilize the squash for one or two matches per show. Now that Braun, and to some degree Nia, have moved up the card, it seems we might have room for another set of squashes.

So let’s see who might be next in line for a slow burn push up the cards via the squash. I’m also not listing people that I feel are ready and will not need the squash matches. Samoa Joe comes to mind. He will be ready to step right in when  he gets the call.

Here’s my list:

APOLLO CREWS: If there ever is a guy being under-utilized, it’s Crews. Perhaps he was called up to the main roster too early, but after a weak and very short push he has been relegated to jobber status and hardly used on Smackdown. You can change his gimmick a little. Maybe a heel turn will serve him well. He’s such a great athlete, you can let that shine in a series of squashes that can serve him well and at least get him back into mid-level range.

GRAN METALIK: I enjoy the cruiserweights, and I certainly enjoy Gran Metalik. He could be one the biggest stars in the division when he is with WWE full time. A few squash matches for him to show off and he will be ready to go as a serious contender to Rich Swann and Neville.

THE REVIVAL: The Top Guys have done all they could in NXT and it’s time to bring them up to the main roster. I worry that their size might hold them back but if given the chance they would show they truly are one of the best tag teams in WWE. Like Gran Metalik, I don’t think you need to go months on end with squash after squash with Dash and Dawson. But a month? Sure. Really let them shine and then give them a big win to announce they are players in the division.

EMMALINA: They teased and delayed her re-debut for what seems like months. When she finally does debut let her remind us all that she can get it done in the ring. A few squash matches can help her work on her new character as well. If handled correctly she can be a serious contender. If I’m going to play fantasy booker, then let me add that I would put Eva Marie with her and let the duo look down at all of us common ugly people.Maybe have Tyler Breeze ditch Fandango and join them. I can certainly see Emmalina and Eva calling us “ugos”.

The point here is the squash matches are a tool any wrestling promotion can use, and if handled correctly, can help build new stars. I hope it doesn’t go away again. Who would you give the squash match push to? Let me know in the comments section.

Lastly, do yourself a favor and give a listen to The No Gimmicks Podcast. More content is added all week long and the show is picking up steam. You’ll even see me on there as a guest on occasion.

Check it out at

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Ryback On Triple H Saying WWE Doesn’t Want To Build Marquee Stars

– On episode 17 of Conversation With The Big Guy, former WWE Superstar Ryback talked about how Triple H told him that WWE is no longer interested in building marquee names, check out the highlights below:

According to Ryback, Triple H told him that WWE will never have another marquee name like John Cena:

“Hunter [has] told me directly [that WWE does not want young talent to have economic freedom]. He goes, ‘we never want another marquee name here in the WWE.’ This was during my first contract negotiations. Yeah, legit told me, he goes, ‘we’re never going to have another John Cena.’ And if you look, that’s why they book guys the way they book them. They don’t want guys to have too much power anymore.”

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WWE SmackDown Draws More Viewers Than RAW – Details

– According to ShowBuzz Daily, this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown, featuring John Cena’s return and WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Dolph Ziggler in the main event, drew 2.885 million viewers.

This number is up from last week’s 2.637 million viewers.

SmackDown was #3 for the night on cable in viewership, behind college football on ESPN and Curse of Oak Island.

Monday’s RAW averaged 2.855 million viewers.

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John Cena Comments On SmackDown Beating RAW In Ratings

As noted earlier, Tuesday night’s episode of WWE SmackDown defeated Monday’s episode of RAW in viewership on the USA Network. SmackDown drew 2,885,000 viewers, while RAW garnered 2,855,000 for their final episode of 2016.

Tuesday’s SmackDown was fueled by John Cena’s return to television, which WWE heavily promoted leading up to the episode. Cena was taking time off to film his FOX reality show American Grit. Cena took to Twitter on Thursday to comment on SmackDown beating RAW in the television ratings, saying that it was a goal of his for his show to beat RAW.

7/29 my @WWE goal was for #SDLive to beat #RAW 12/29 WE DID! Next goal beat the best @AJStylesOrg at #RoyalRumble #TimeIsNowEra #recognize

John Cena (@JohnCena) December 29, 2016

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Did You Know?


Art Barr crushing Octagon with a Frog Splash as Eddie & his mullet look on

  • Eddie Guerrero used the Frog Splash as a tribute to his former tag partner: the late, great “Love Machine” Art Barr. The two wrestled as hated rudos (bad guys) in Mexico, with Barr as the arrogant American and Guerrero as the rebelling son of one of the great founding families of lucha libre.

  • According to writer/director John Carpenter, Roddy Piper ad-libbed his famous “kick ass and chew bubble-gum” line in the 1988 cult classic movie, They Live. Piper also choreographed the iconic fight scene between Nada (Piper) and Frank (Keith David). The fight was only supposed to last twenty seconds, but Carpenter was so impressed with their work, he kept the entire five minute fight scene. South Park paid homage to it in the episode “Cripple Fight”, which saw Jimmy and Timmy – the two featured handicapped characters of the show – in a blow-for-blow reenactment of the full fight scene from the movie.

Mega Bucks was formed after DiBiase bought out André the Giant’s contract from Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

  • Until his controversial win over Hulk Hogan and subsequent infamous 45 second title reign in which he “sold” the WWF Title to “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, André the Giant never held a singles title. Don’t feel bad for André – he was often paid more than the champion of the territories he wrestled for, and often placed in the main event above them.

Adams performing the Thrust Kick

  • Chris Adams not only played a pivotal role in training Scott Hall and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, but he is the unheralded innovator of the Super Kick – which he called the Thrust Kick. Adams also ‘just went with it’ when Jake Roberts tripped while applying a front headlock, earning the accidental honor of being the first person to take the now-iconic DDT.

  • Much of Ric Flair’s character is taken from and inspired by Buddy Rogers. Rogers innovated the Figure Four and carried himself with much the same bravado – down to the bleach blonde hair and shimmering entrance attire. Rogers was wrestling’s quintessential antagonist during its breakout onto television during the 1950s and 1960s in America.

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Steel Cage Match Set For Next Week’s WWE NXT Special Episode

As noted, the first WWE NXT episode of 2017 will take place Decembe in Melbourne, Australia.

WWE has confirmed the following matches for the two-hour special:

* Elias Samson & Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger & Murphy

* Ember Moon vs. Billie Kay vs. Liv Morgan

* TM-61 vs. NXT Tag Team Champions Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa

* Steel Cage Match: Samoa Joe vs. NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura

NEXT WEEK: See @IAmSamsonWWE & @REALBobbyRoode take on @WWEDillinger & @WWE_Murphy at #NXTMelbourne! #WWENXT

— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) December 29, 2016

A #TripleThreat Match between @YaOnlyLivvOnce, @WWEEmberMoon, & @BillieKayWWE takes place NEXT WEEK from #NXTMelbourne on #WWENXT!

— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) December 29, 2016

But wait, there’s more… #DIY defends the #NXTTagTitles against Australia’s own #TM61 NEXT WEEK from #NXTMelbourne! #WWENXT

— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) December 29, 2016

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