Cheap Heat 3.06.01: At An Angle…Ending The RTC


Phew… take on the Rock in a column and you become public enemy number one. I managed to score triple the volume of usual e-mail. Most of them were a good read, minus the dude who wrote (with such wit as referring to me as "Charlie Daniels" and "Tom Thumb") threatening to beat me up. If you'd like to see it, go check out the General Wrestling Forum in the Fan Forum and look for the response to Cheap Heat. It's a fun read. It also makes me wonder if people will ever make stop making themselves feel better by threatening to beat people up over the Internet.

I'm also a big fan of all you who called my article "genius." I also now know I have readers as far away as California. If I have readers as far away as Panama City Beach… let me know, I need a place to stay for spring break.

Couple of other thoughts.

People really have it in all across the board for the XFL. This is my take. When the Panthers and the Jaguars came into the NFL, they sucked. As a general rule, expansion teams do suck. With the exception of the Jaguars and the Marlins, expansion teams usually suck for a long time. The only people who like them are the hometown folks. But, with the NFL, if the expansion teams suck, there's other games to watch. The problem with a new league, is you're basically watching EIGHT expansion teams. Of course, if the Demons keep it up, I think San Francisco will swap them with the 49ers, but that's another story.

Second thought. My only (albeit late) response to the JR "roster cuts." JR's column is worked… so this could all be an angle. Remember that. Hence, the lack of any solid news. You have to take that column like you take WCW Live or Byte This. They're worked shows, the company has control of what you're hearing… don't believe the hype.

Also, I hope none of you ever have to learn how to write a server. Especially your first one. 72 hours of straight programming, a lot of coffee, and occasional naps suck. As I ride out the caffeine buzz while my campus gets covered in snow, I'm going to write another "genius" commentary. God, I like the sound of that.

So, the RTC is on its way out. I missed Smackdown, so I didn't see the thing with Val Venis, but I immediately thought of how I'd go about breaking them up. The challenge is… keep the only over guy in the group, Steven Richards, over.

The RTC is a hated group. Any guys that come to the ring and cover half-naked girls and disallow nudity… they're super-heels. But, one of the official rules of wrestling is: The more the fans hate you as a heel, the more they'll love you as a face. Steven is the mouthpiece of the RTC, he gets the most mic time, which means he's most closely identified with the group, therefore, the most hated. But think about this.

Say something happened to Steven somewhere along the line. Something to soften him. He realizes that censorship is wrong. He realizes "the good fight" really isn't for our own good. He realizes he's been fighting for a lie. Anything could cause this. A history teacher interprets the Constitution for him. The Acolytes take him to a nudie bar and get him a lap dance. Or, in the fashion of mid-80s WCW, he's visited by the ghost of Thomas Jefferson who describes to him, in detail, what exactly freedom of expression means. He's then visited by three spirits who…. Eh… nevermind that one.

But, regardless, Steven, over the course of a few weeks, tries to tell his buddies he's wrong. He tries, again, to convert them. But he's done too good a job the first time. They think he's gone back to the dark side, and turn on him. They leave him laying. The next week, he comes out and apologizes them. He tells the RTC they managed to beat sense back into him. They come to the ring and take him back. They set up a match for next week against whoever the current feud is against. Steven gets into the ring to do his normal interference, but (duh) turns on the RTC. Val or Goodfather eat a Steven-kick and gets pinned. Stevie ascends the ramp, ripping off his tie with that Steven-sneer on his face, staring back to the ring. They get the Titan-tron behind him with whoever got kicked glaring up the ramp.

This would, naturally, lead to a series of matches with RTC members, in which they proceed to beat the high holy hell out of him in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania. Every match, the RTC is right out there to nail him and make him suffer. Steven would have to do some serious promo work here, to get people behind him. This all, obviously, leads to Wrestlemania. Steven has a challenge for the RTC.

If he can beat them all, in one night, in a gauntlet match, at Wrestlemania… they're gone. No more RTC in the WWF. Basically, let Steven put all three of them away with a Steven-kick, while selling the hell out of how much three matches are taking out of him. Let him take some finishers. Let him get beat up and bladed before the third guy comes out. And let it be one hell of a heroic struggle. Let him kick out of the third guy's finisher. Let him hit the Steven kick out of nowhere… and let him struggle and reach for the pin. I bet the crowd pops huge for the end of the RTC. Or, you know, you could even throw in Angle as a surprise. He's not doing anything for Wrestlemania. Let him be an RTC surprise. Kurt could come out after Steven pins the third RTC member, cut an interview on how good he thinks the RTC is, and declares himself a member. And, since Stevie has to beat ALL the members, he has to beat Angle now, too. Stevie beats Angle… BAM, instant credibility. He took out the most hated group in wrestling and pinned a former world champ all in one night.

Then let this popularity ride. Put him right into a title picture. Let him mix it up with the top guys. Give him some kind of angle. A feud with Angle over the "fluke" pinfall he got at Wrestlemania. The key is to not let him flounder with nothing to do for any length of time. And keep bringing up that he ended the RTC. Stevie has the talent and the voice to be that mixer-upper the top of the card needs.

Basically, the reason I bring this up is: without the RTC, Steven Richards is nothing. When the group disbands, there's nothing left for him to do. I like Steven… I want him to have something to do. Venis, Goodfather, and Buchanan, I really don't care what happens to them. The Goodfather could become the Godfather and be back over tomorrow. Venis and Buchanan are already getting groomed for JTTS status. But there's something worth saving in Steven Richards. He could be that diamond in the rough the WWF really needs right now. Once the Rock is gone, the WWF is going to have one top heel and one top face. Something REALLY has to be done. And if they're unwilling to do it with Benoit or Jericho, then let's give Steven a shot, shall we?