The Midnight News 9.21.01

You ever have someone you respected and in a way revered treat you like crap? You ever wish you could make this person not treat you like crap, so you respect and revere him even more? You ever then realize that this person will never respect you as long as you revere him, so you say screw it and take him off your buddy list so you don’t have to debate with yourself whether or not to IM him when he’s online? Well, I recently experienced something like that, and I have a message for the person who upset me.



I’ll get you Carlos! I’ll get you if it’s the last thing I do!



I just want everyone who reads this or a Wrestling Tale to feel free to IM me. I won’t snap at you. I won’t yell at you. I’ll treat you right.



News!



SMACKDOWN THOSE TERRORISTS!



President Bush finally accepted Vince McMahon’s offer to appear on Smackdown! He took more then the 10 minutes McMahon offered him, and as a result I believe Kurt Angle to still be paralyzed and I just don’t know who won the Raven/RVD match and it’s killing me!



I’m a bit nervous about this whole war thing. I’m afraid that the Tim McVeigh types are going to start attacking the government also. Well, we’ll find out soon enough.



As President Bush was giving our conditions to the Taliban, you could just tell he was looking foward to bombing the hell out of the place.



While I did not directly hear it from him or see it, word is that after Bush’s speech Hyatte stripped naked, wrapped himself in an American flag and ran down the street yelling, “U S A! U S A!” The man is a true patriot.



Austin paralyzed Angle, but apparently Angle got better. Rock looked good while Booker looked bad. RVD went over Raven, who then got beaten up by Saturn, setting up a match. Um, Spike and Big Show did something I think with Hurricane and Storm. Um, the Dudleys…uh…not much happened on Tough Enough tonight. Alien Ant Farm did a show in WWF New York afterwards showing music videos from the Tough Enough cd. Yeah. That’ll do it for television reports.



Oh. Go hear 411wrestling.com | TV Reports | 411’s WWF Smackdown Report: 9.20.01 for Daniels Smackdown report. It’s good enough.



I AM THE LAZIEST PERSON ON THE PLANET!!!



This is the most news I will ever post. There will be no not funny jokes here. It’s a Jim Ross conference call the Torch covered. I copied and pasted the whole thing and got rid of the useless stuff. I feel worthless. The Torch is great and I am scum. I bow in front of the mighty torch.



-His official word on Jerry Lawler at Smackdown: Ross said he invited Lawler to be at Smackdown “because I thought it would be good for him and all the guys to see each other. It was more a social visit than anything else. We didn’t talk contracts or return dates or anything like that. Jerry is focused on his divorce and getting that addressed.”



-Regarding whether his chemistry getting better with Paul Heyman? Ross says he feels it is.



-On the decision to air Smackdown last week: He said it was a challenging couple of days. “The decisions were made based on developing issues, war issues, and talking to local officials and TV affiliates. We all collectively agreed it was the right thing to do on Thursday.” He said wrestlers were given the choice to talk or not talk about their feelings. “I don’t know how many chose to (express their thoughts)” that didn’t make it on the air. “The room where those comments were being taped seemed busy all afternoon. Some may not have made the air, and maybe all of them made it. I really don’t know. It was an optional thing.”



-Regarding whether current events could affect a decision to give Kurt Angle a PPV win when otherwise it wouldn’t have: Ross said that it may be a last second decision. He said because the match is in his hometown, it might be a nice situation for him to win the title, but other thoughts may be that there is more drama in a chase.



-On the difficulty in getting everyone deserving on the roster TV time: He said they have a lot of work to do with Hurricane, “but there is certainly something there.” He called RVD “an emerging superstar.” He said they want to get Kanyon back on track. “Not that he’s been in a funk, he just hasn’t had a lot of opportunities lately. He has a high level of potential for us.” He said he doesn’t see them bringing in anyone from their developmental territory anytime before the end of the year.



-Regarding Rey Mysterio Jr.: He said his contract expires Dec. 31, 2001 and until then he is making big money from AOL Time Warner. He said while Rey Jr. is a great talent, you can’t keep adding and adding without subtracting some. He said they will evaluate where they stand early next year. Regarding Juventud Guererra, he said there is just a “log jam” right now and it just isn’t the right time to bring them in. He said no negotiations took place, but there may be some in January.



-How can the Alliance stars be built into more of a threat rather than just “Austin’s incompetent cronies”: Ross said it’s just a matter of creativity. He said he doesn’t agree with the “inept cronies” term. He said Booker T has made great strides, as has Rob Van Dam. He again touted Kanyon and said Test has had two weeks of great television. “It’s a matter of talent improving and us being fortunate to use those young hungry guys in good storylines.” Ross said he likes that not everyone in the Alliance gets along even though they’re all on the same team. He said great talent arrives with their game, if the timing is right, a lot can work out. Ross said he was amazed they held their ratings on Monday night up against the news channels and Monday Night Football. “But we can’t be complacent,” he added.



-On whether there is still a plan to split the two groups, and if so will there be separate creative teams: Ross said he doesn’t know if there will be separate creative (scripting) teams, but their ultimate goal is to have two separate brands. He said the timetable is still being discussed. He said their preference would be sometime soon after the first of the year, but he said no final timeline decisions have been made. “We’re on a journey here. How many turns in the road are and where that journey takes us, I don’t know, but we know where we want to end up,” he said.



-How have the attacks on America affected travel of wrestlers or security at arenas? Ross said, for instance, at the next MSG event, Ed Cohn will talk with MSG security about the appropriate course. He said their responsibility lies with protecting their access backstage among staff and wrestlers. He said that was going to be done prior to the tragedy. He suspected the arenas themselves would make adjustments. He said as far as airlines go, it’s already back to business as usual.



-Any other plans to fund raise other than Linda McMahon’s announcement that they were giving 180,000 pounds and over $1 million worth of clothing from their warehouse to charity: Ross said there have been meetings. They are giving away merchandise. They used WWF New York as a safe house. He said he doesn’t know the amount of money, but he knows the plan is to contribute cash, also.



-Would the DirectTV negotiations maybe change course because of the current events which may have prompted, for instance, NFL and referees to reach an agreement quicker? Ross didn’t think so. He said they were negotiating with DirectTV and would continue to do so. Interesting side note, 411 reader Tyson says that DirectTV is offering Unforgiven on Sunday. I think it was Tyson.



-Shawn Michaels status update: No plans to bring him back right now. “Those could change by dark.” He said they are utilizing his name and recognition for appearances around the country and world.



-Dallas Page status: He is still rehabbing his knee. “Creating is discussing plans for him as we speak.” He expected he would be back on the air within a few weeks.



-Update on Brian Lawler Christopher: “He also came by at TV and said hi to everybody.” He said he chatted with him for a while, his wife is having a baby in October. “It’s really a blessing in disguise he gets to spend so much time with her during her eighth and ninth month of pregnancy.” They caught up personally, but didn’t have any business talks.



-How difficult is it for someone out there to get into the WWF right now? “It’s very challenging for brand new guys with no track record to break in, at least on the primary roster, obviously. We are constantly looking at times, getting referrals. We are always doing that. We have talk with new, new talent almost every week. You’re right, when we purchased WCW, the brand and some of those contracts a few months ago, it certainly changed the game a little bit in terms of the guys in OVW and Cincinnati now – then Memphis – to have a chance to make it to Raw and Smackdown. It certainly is going to increase the competition now. I think the guys who do make it from those areas will have more sound fundamentals as a result. They’ll be able to spend more time polishing them. What I’d like to do is take some of the guys who aren’t booked – Haku, Steve Blackman, Dean Malenko, Val Venis, Big Bossman – and get them active in our OVW environment and stay sharp and work with younger wrestlers.” He said D-Lo Brown just got married, but they are looking for ways to get him back active in the ring in the U.S. He said Mark Jindrak may be moved from Cincy to OVW soon. Same with O’Haire. He believes those two could really learn from working with a veteran such as Ray Traylor or Hacksaw Jim Duggan or Bruno Samartino. Well, he didn’t say Hacksaw. He did say Ray Traylor.



-Are there long-term storyline plans formulated regarding splitting off WCW, and if so may it be two separate styles with its own fingerprint rather than two identical promotions and styles? Ross said he doesn’t have an answer in all honesty. “I think using common sense and logic, the shows will have their own look and presentation, but I suspect that will largely be production. The talent will certainly be exclusive to their show. Broadcasters will be different and exclusive. Beyond that, in terms of creative, I don’t know if that’s been discussed in that depth. I don’t think we’re that close to making those decisions right now. We are going to separate the brands. If it happens prior to WrestleMania, that sounds compatible to me, but I could also see it happen after WrestleMania. I don’t think we’re in that thought process in terms of how Product A will differ from Product B.”



-Any talk of opening up a working agreement with All Japan, which is in need for overseas talent and could give WWF wrestlers more experience. “We’ve had talks about the Japan thing, but the thing is getting decisions made from Japan… It’s frustrating at times to get decisions made because the power structure there seems to vacillate and change. There is nothing on the board. We are not against a relationship with a Japanese office. None whatsoever. We respect their craft very much. But it’s very challenging to get answers and to get something worked out that makes sense for everyone, just from a pure communications standpoint. It’s just something we haven’t been able to put our hands around.



-Any thoughts of utilizing Heat to advance storylines rather than just recap: He said Heat needs work. “The Heat show is something we have discussed how to make it better,” he said. “Does Heat need to get better? Absolutely? Heat needs to be tweaked. I think that will happen. Timetable-wise, I don’t know. As you know and many know, many of us are working six or seven days a week. It needs to improve and it would be better if it was a seemless effort from Thursday to Sunday to Monday. It’s easier said than done.” I could make Heat better. Have Hardcore Holly declare himself King of Heat and beat Justin Credible every single week. I think that would be awesome.



-Is the WCW-WWF talent getting along now? Ross said it was a true statement back in the summer when the talent first merged. “I can honestly tell you that has completely – well, that’s over-generalizing – let’s say I’m very happy with the locker room and how the guys co-exist. I’ve said this in the beginning – you have to give co-workers time to get to know each other. Sometimes it takes some people a little bit longer to get a smile on their face or get comfortable around each other. I truly believe – and it’s part of my job to be sure it’s this way – our locker room is a good environment. Is everybody happy without a care in the world? Of course not. We’re human.” He said there aren’t any fights breaking out, or threats of mutinies. He said there are no private dressing rooms and the two groups are not segregated. He said at the beginning they were segregating on their own. “There aren’t many dressing room lawyers on our roster.”



-As far as unwritten rules in the locker room, was the Billy Silverman situation blown out of proportion: Ross said there are no rules mutually exclusive to the WWF locker room that haven’t been common knowledge in the industry in the locker room before he got in the business in 1973. He said some of the ribs going on today are probably more tame than 30 years ago. He said Billy Silverman didn’t come to work on Monday, he didn’t answer his phone, he didn’t call himself or any other agents. “We didn’t know where he was. We were worried about his condition. After  we worried about him all day, we found out he went home upset over a rib he felt he didn’t deserve. In my personal view, I think he overreacted… You can’t get too happy or too sad over any of those ribs. You laugh them off and move on.” Ross said it’s like going to Kangaroo Court or a fraternity hazing. “It’s silly stuff, but not nearly as abrasive of things I personally endured in my youth and college years, so I have a hard time… I love the business so much you’d have a hard timing running me off. Maybe Billy will come to that realization sometime soon.”



-Any recent signees? Ross said Jazz is the most recent signee. Ross reiterated they have a crowded roster already. The wrestlers already aboard need to be given an opportunity and take advantage of those opportunities. He really talked up Jazz and her talents, but said he doesn’t think they’ll ever have a full-fledged women’s division with 20 highly skilled wrestlers. He said it would be great, but such talent doesn’t grow on trees. He said he has high hopes for Charmel and Victoria. He said Victoria has been in the developmentals for a while and she has worked hard to get to the WWF.



-Any potential role for Arn Anderson on the air: Ross said he has become one of their most valuable agents. Arn, Fit Finley, and Ricky Santana get their workout equipment and get in the ring every day with talents to go over a variety of things they see on tape or during a match. They help wrestlers with transitions, utilizing better psychology, better storytelling. “All those guys and John Laurenitis as well, are doing great.” Because they have so many agents, each agent is assigned only one match, so more teaching is going on. In the past each agent had to deal with two or three matches, and now they have more inexperienced guys who are benefiting from those teachings.



-Status of Eddie Guerrero: “I talked to Eddie a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. He’s doing well and getting better. He’s in a challenging situation and is doing well. Hopefully he’ll be able to get back into normal activity within the next few weeks. I’ll probably have him go to Louisville or Cincinnati for a couple of weeks to get his timing back… He’s doing very well and we are very, very pleased. I fully look forward to him coming back. He has so much to offer. We are helping his as best we can. Everybody has their personal issues to deal with. He’s on the team. He’s a member of the family. We just need to hang with him and work out way through the situation. I don’t have a timetable on his return because that would put too much pressure on him in his situation. It could be the first of the year.”



-Does he have a gut feeling on the future of Rock as far as his wrestling career goes with his movie career taking off: “I can see him taking the occasional hiatus. I don’t see it even being an annual thing, but if the right role, the right project comes along that the WWF is involved in, we have a long term contract with Rock. He has given us every indication that he is in the sports entertainment business for the long haul. He loves it. Watching him interface with his peers on TV, it’s like getting back with your card buddies or golf buddies. Whatever group you got comfortable with in your lifetime, he was looked to back with them.” He said Rock was getting pulled in so many different directions when he first returns, plus his wife was pregnant. “Now that his wife and baby are healthy and the post-movie work has been completed, now it’s just the last few weeks he has really been able to start concentrate on what he had fun doing. Some of his promos in the last couple of weeks have been indicative of this guy being back. The emotion and timing and pace is him. I think he’s really getting back. He had big smiles on his face last week at TV. I think with a few irons out of the fire, he is able to get back into business here… I really don’t see – but I might be wrong – but Rock is going to be with us. It’s in his blood. I think he will be one of our longest lasting superstars.” He said they would be crazy to stand in the way of him doing any “right projects.” He said they need to be careful not to put him in bad stuff. “For right now, he seems to be happy as hell and excited as well.”That completed the media conference call.”



Thanks Pro Wrestling Torch: Wrestling’s Online Journal of News and Opinion.



The Plugs For 411



That’s it for news. Not much tonight. Such a slow week.



Ron Gamble loves the terrorists. Well, that’s what Jesus would do, so that’s what Ron does. I dunno. Hyatte thought that Jesus would be more violent then that. Anyway, read that  here: 411wrestling.com | Columns | The World According To Ron 9.20.01



No lucha this week. Carlos is too busy mocking me with his self importance! I’ll get you Carlos! You paranoid idiot! You think I want your job or something? Yeah, Carlos, I want to give up my nights so I can do Heat. It’s not like I’m in COLLEGE, IN A FRATERNITY or anything. It’s not like I’m now single after a one year relationship! I have nothing better to do then to type up your midn…Heat and Lucha reports! Oh, and I don’t get flame mail from people who miss you, Carlos. I haven’t gotten one letter telling me to go hell or asking where the hell you were! Yeah, I want your job you imbecile! You wanted me to stop being nice, Carlos? You want to just mutually ignore one another? You wrote me a letter when I first got the job asking me not to hate you if you got too jealous. If this is what that is, well, knock it off. It’s beneath you, Carlos. It’s beneath the both of us.



Hey! Letawsky listened to me! All new and topical questions in the new  411wrestling.com | Columns | Ask 411 9.19.01: New Format (Sorta), Booker T, Bookers, HHH Theme, More.



I’ve written a new Wrestling Tale. This has been the first one that’s been almost universally disliked or confusing. It’s about how wrestlers screw up their families. One person called it a bad acid trip. It’s here, 411wrestling.com | Columns | A Wrestling Tale 9.19.01: The Dream.



Want something else to read? Okay.



JOSHUA GRUT NON-WRESTLING FICTION!!!



This is all I love to do. I don’t really like writing the news that much. It’s cut, paste, generic sarcastic comment and move on. I like what Hyatte does with it. It’s different somehow. Sometimes it’s hard to like the man, but he can write. Yes he can.



So can I. Check this out.



The Idiot

By

Joshua Grutman



Lights up on John and Rick,

John sitting on park bench with head in his hands,

Rick nodding his head, staring vacantly at John in an awkward moment.



Gunshot breaks the tension. Both slowly look towards the direction of the sound shrug their shoulders as if it’s nothing new, and then John returns his hands to his head.  Rick punches John’s shoulder and begins to speak.





Rick:  John, don’t worry about. I mean, like, listen to my theory.  Life, is like, you know, life is like sports, cause, like, everybody plays.  And it’s all about how hard you play, like cause, uhm.  What’s your favorite sport?



John: I don’t know.



Rick: No, like, what sport do you know the most about?



John: I’m a film major.  I weigh 140 pounds.  Sports is not my forte.



Rick: So?  You watch football.



John: Yeah, that’s it.  Football.



Rick: Okay.  Like, life is like a football game, you know?  Like, it’s all about getting into the end zone to score points.  Cause that’s how you win!  You follow?



John: No.



Rick: Okay.  Uhm, who’s your favorite football player?



John: Living?



Rick: Yeah.  I don’t know what teams the dead ones are on.



John: The dead ones were on.



Rick: Huh?



John: Dead athletes no longer have a spot on their team.



Rick: Huh?



John: Nothing.  I guess Wayne Chrebet.



Rick: Wayne Chrebet!  Man, that is, like, the perfect example!  Okay.  Like, so Wayne plays for the Jets, but he’s, like, small.  But he’s fast, and he’s got heart.



John: Wait a second.  Is life like a football game, or is life like a football player?



Rick: Uhm, life is like a football game.



John: Then why are we getting ready to talk about Wayne Chrebet?



Rick: Cause that’s what life is like.



John: No!  You said that life is like a football game!



Rick: Yeah, and, like, Chrebet is a player!



John: So life is football and I’m Wayne Chrebet?



Rick: No, everyone could be, like, Wayne Chrebet.  You follow?



John: Jesus no.



Rick: Okay.  See, like, when you look at Wayne Chrebet, you got this little guy from Hofstra who wasn’t even drafted.  Like, one day he just showed up at Jets training camp, right?  So, he got on the team, whatever, and now he’s one of the best players in the league.  Like, why?



John: Cause he has heart?



Rick: No, like, well yeah, that’s part of it.  But he’s not that big, he doesn’t have the right body to play, and there are a lot of guys bigger then him who play against him.  So what makes him better?



John: His heart?



Rick: No, yeah, but also he tries really hard!  Like, he’s always in the gym training, he always gives one hundred percent on every play!



John: So?



Rick: So that’s what life is like.  In football, if you work hard and have the heart and you want something, if you work hard for it you’ll get it!



John: That’s what life is like?



Rick: Yeah!



John: Rick, that’s your theory?  That if you work hard in life and have the heart you’ll get what you work for?  Basically that good things happen to good people?



Rick: Yeah!



John: That’s bullshit.  Life doesn’t f*cking work like that.



Rick: Yeah it does!  What are you talking about?



John: Okay, you have Wayne Chrebet for proof of your little fantasy.  But that’s why he’s my favorite player.  Players like him are not supposed to exist.  He is the underdog who made it, and he is not the basis for a theory on life.  Life is what you’re born into.  If you’re born rich, you’ll probably stay rich forever.  If you’re born poor, you’ll probably still be eating dead gutter rats when you’re sixty!  Life is not what you make of it!  Life is whom you know!  If your neighbors are movie stars, you have a good shot at getting into a movie.  If they’re garbage men, hell, are there any perks that come with being a garbage man’s neighbor?



Rick: Uhm.



John: There is a class system in this land of the free that prevents certain people from rising up and gaining an equal opportunity.  For every Wayne Chrebet there’s about a million other guys with heart who work hard who wind up dying without ever truly succeeding in life.  Want to hear my theory on life?  Life is predictable.  What happened to your parents is probably going to happen to you, and trying really hard doesn’t do shit!



Rick: But, like, there are a few Wayne Chrebets?



John: Yeah, they’re what keep people from killing themselves.



Rick: Why?



John: Cause they see these losers doing well, and they think, ‘I’m a loser!  I could succeed also.’



Rick: Which underdogs finally do become, uhm, famous?



John: Famous?! Fame doesn’t matter. I don’t count Linda Tripp as any kind of a respectable underdog figure just cause she’s famous!  



Rick: Who’s Linda Tripp?



John: Nobody.  Could you rephrase the question?



Rick: Okay. Which underdogs finally, like, make it?



John: I don’t know.  The ones who get lucky.



Rick: Like, you don’t cheer for an underdog who became an underdog by getting lucky, cause lucky is being born rich.  Underdogs fight their way up.



John: Yeah, something like that.



Rick: So, life is like a game.  Not everyone who deserves to win does win.  But some do, and, like, those people win.



John: So?



Rick: Good things might not happen to everyone who deserves them, but they happen to the best of them.



John: Uhm.  Uh.   Uhm.



The End



Who knows who’ll be doing this tomorrow night? All I know is that it won’t be me.



Thank you so much for reading.



I’m no one except for Joshua Grut.