Hello out there! Did you have a good weekend? I’m glad to here that! Happy Holidays! I’m Flea and this is The Monday Edition. Good way to get your week started AFTER you have read MY EXCESS report and Saturday Evening Post. Go ahead and read it! I’ll be here when you come back!
Hey thanks for reading. Did you like my comparison between HBK and Dave Scherer? You did? Fuck you and quit pretending like you read it. I know what I wrote and that wasn’t in there. Besides, BOSS gives me the hit counts AND the IP’s of our visitors so I KNOW who you are. Now go back and read. Especially the part about what I want for Christmas.
Hey I have to plug MYSELF because it seems like not one goddamn other person’s work on this site includes links for MY stuff. (Which just happens to be Saturday Evening Post, EXCESS and The Monday Edition.) and I plug everyone
Help me out guys .thanks
Come on, let’s go
It is so nice and it actually warms my heart when the 80’s come back into my life. Why, just the other day I see that freak Marilyn Manson on the tube singing “Tainted LoveÃ¢â‚¬Â. Ah, baby. Bring me back to a time in my life when things were simple. She’s got a smile that it seems to me reminds me of a White Wedding. Let me give you my number baby it’s 867-5309. Let’s Go Crazy on some Funky Cold Medinas. You are my Superfreak who is Addicted to Love. Oh well, rape and murder .it’s just a shot away
What are the Stones doin here??? Hey,you get off of my cloud!! I’m in an 80’s mood!!~!
As I was saying .the 80’s were a great time for music AND wrestling. Memphis, Gordon Solie, Kay Fabe and Missy Hyatt. Not to mention Hulk Ã¢â‚¬â€œa Mania was runnin wild!!! Red and Yellow and to hell with anyone who didn’t say there prayers and eat their vitamins. Hulk had just vanquished Andre and had a good friend against the evil doers in “Macho ManÃ¢â‚¬Â Randy Savage.
Turns out that Macho had his own agenda and turned on the Hulkster. By this time I was “smartened upÃ¢â‚¬Â and realized there was some “backstage shitÃ¢â‚¬Â a happenin’. By the time we got to WMIX, I knew for a fact that Hulkster’s black eye wasn’t no damn gym accident but retribution for getting his mac on with Ms. Elizabeth. Bummer to the max, dude. My heart was broken faster than the fat growing on Paula Abdul hips.
So I’m surfing the net last week (Charlie Don’t Surf, but Flea does) and I see that BOB is going to have an EXCLUSIVE interview with the Macho Man. Bully for them, sez I. Come to find out that Macho proposes a fight to Hulk on account of charity. Now, my brain thinks the following
Good job Macho, this gimmick will raise a lot of dough for kids that need it. Hulk will protest but seeing that you guys went over this ahead of time and Wrestling is FAKE, Hulk will eventually accept the challenge and you guys will punch, kick, then shake hands and hand a big fat check over to the hospital. Good thing and no complaints.
It broke my heart again catching Hulk on Bubba and also the Monsters saying that Macho didn’t consult him before mouthing off. See, Hogan ain’t about “shootingÃ¢â‚¬Â he wants some good old fashioned kay fabe and a chance to draw a big crowd. So, Macho, you is a chump for thinking this shit is real.
But wait! Macho came out and said he wanted a “real fightÃ¢â‚¬Â to “settle the differencesÃ¢â‚¬Â and this “stagedÃ¢â‚¬Â shit ain’t him no more.
What will Hogan do? I say play along because THIS is your new version of kayfabe. Play it like you think it’s fake, shoot, then still fake it.
You Can’t Touch This
HAVE YOU HEARD?
Dammit!!!! I thought I had a scoop! Check this out
In case you don’t get by to read the recap of last night’s show, it was announced that Mark Henry is leaving OVW to return to Texas to train for the 2002 World’s Strongest Man competition. He was invited personally by Arnold Schwarzeneggar.
Note: that came in at around 3pm today
But then I was prowling around for some news tonight and the story IS ALL OVER THE FUCKING NET!!!
Sorry man, we tried. Most of the time it makes no difference anyway because that whore dog BOSS of mine doesn’t post my shit until the next day. This is why you fine folks get Saturday Evening Post on Sunday Afternoon. That is also why I don’t recap EXCESS live anymore, but on Sunday Morning. Why kill MYSELF when BOSS is killing his liver and getting laid? By the way, go design a t-shirt. Your chance to be famous and my chance to tell BOSS just to mail me a pack of smokes instead of a paycheck.
I apologize to the fine folks of Kentucky. You guys have the best moonshine, marijuana grows free and well that’s all the nice things I can say about there.
I would tell you that there is a new NWA Champion, but you don’t know him and no one cares anymore anyways. It kills me to say that but thems the breaks. Remind me to tell you sometime about how I met Corino in the bathroom at the 50th NWA show in NJ. If I break out that story, you will also get the one about Harley Race bogarting my pack of smokes and my lighter. Choose your own adventure.
ANOTHER WEEK OF THIS CRAP
You think Credence Clearwater Revival was Born on the Bayou? Well, they ain’t got a damn thing on the Fed. The WWF is in Lou’s E. Anna for TV (as us insiders like to call it) this week. Damn, HBK did so well last night without having to deal with Bourbon Street. And to think, Silverman would not have to even consider carrying booze around for the boys. Of course that means his “hazingÃ¢â‚¬Â would probably be eating Bradshaw’s worm, so he may have gotten the best of that deal.
Hey to all my homies in the Orlando area. Give me some tickets to Smackdown next weekend and I will get you a t-shirt from 411. Oh, that don’t appeal to you? I’ll get Grut to mention you in his next work of fiction. Still not good enough? I’ll get that guy that thinks it 4:20 ALL the time, Art Martinez to lay a Lyrical Stunt on your ass he’s a burn out but he knows what he’s doing as does it grade A top notch. But to hell with him, I can’t let myself be associated with people like THAT!
Tell you what .arrange for me to go to Smackdown and I will personally guaran- damn- tee not one, not two, but THREE paragraphs from Eric S. ripping YOU a new asshole, dropping some $10 words on your monkey ass AND using your name in the SAME sentence as the most HATED CONSERVATIVE of his choice. Think of who YOU might share the same sentence with?
(Back me up on this Eric thanks in advance.Flea)
So if that ain’t enough to bring you out of your shell, I don’t know what is
You know the email AOLIM is RyderFakin
THE LINKS ARE ON ME
EXCESS featured HBK and Jeff confirming suspicions. I did a real good, EXCLUSIVE report for 411 this week. Help me out.
Go back and read Saturday Evening Post too thankya verymuch
Carlos es muy macho. Carlos es no maricon. Por bien tiempo something blah blah blah.
After letting you get your breath back LAST week Pat Brower is back to choke you with his TEAS MMMMPHHGHHMPPM ER. GO READ JAKKMMGHHGEGHGMMMMMPH ED
Grut told me if the Top Ten ever came up on the “Wheel of PlugÃ¢â‚¬Â to say ” Oy VeyÃ¢â‚¬Â
So OY VEY~!
Speaking of Grut, he does the news next week. After Eric gets his turn, that is. Hopefully Eric talks wrestling and politics and does not bring up the fact that my Bucs got their ass handed to them by the team that shit on Dick Butkus.
That wraps for another weekend. To close things out here is Part 2 of Part 1 from last week same rules
Yes, it’s dated
Yes, it still holds up
Yes, you will find out who wrote it.
TAKE US HOME, BIG DADDY WHO!
The Critique Of Poor Wrestling (PT2)
Listen, we all accept pro wrestling for what it is; however you want to define that is your business. “Fake,” “sports entertainment,” “just plain fun,” whatever… I still look at the athletic side of it and can’t help but refer to it as “sport” most of the time. But the fact is, we all know that it isn’t exactly on the level. Hell, it ain’t even close. The endings are fixed every single night, and we still love it.
We like the stories and the characters, and without a doubt, by looking at today’s TV shows, the two major promotions know it. But there’s something bigger holding it all together. I’d go so far as to say that it’s the one illusion that — no matter how smart we are to what’s really going on — all fans WANT to give in to.
What is this grand thing? It’s the idea that pro wrestling titles DO mean something. They should mean something to us as a way to rank order the guys we see on TV, yes. They should also mean something to the wrestlers themselves, as something they desire to attain. Stories, characters, and even high quality ring work all lose meaning if you don’t have that unifying element, that one illusion we’re willing to embrace.
How you promote those titles, who holds them, who’s gunning for them… those become the key issues, then, in building interest in your product. And I can’t help but notice that the WWF has carefully tended to this issue in the last 8 months or so, while WCW has apparently forgotten about it (or at least, dismissed its importance).
It starts with Hulk Hogan as the WCW champ. There are a LOT of reasons why this is a terrible move. They’ve been hashed and rehashed plenty (by me and by others). They include the fact that Hogan is a draw WITHOUT the title. Whatever interest people have in him is completely disconnected from whether or not he’s got the gold. The “good” Hulkster might have a stake in being the champ. The evil Hulkster is one part history and legend, one part black and white outfits, and one part interviews. It’s got nothing to do with whether or not he’s got that title. There are other guys who COULD get over thanks to wearing the title. While Hogan’s a main eventer title or no, other guys (like Sting, or Nash, or the Giant) aren’t really so lucky.
Another basic problem is that Hogan doesn’t work often enough to do justice to the title; your champ should be the main event of most every card. Hogan works maybe 1 in 5 shows at all, and wrestles on maybe 1 in 20.
But it goes beyond Hogan to the entire philosophy around how to book the WCW Title… although, more than likely, the two are connected. It’s not just that Hogan’s the champ. It’s not just that he doesn’t defend the belt often. What has devalued the WCW Title is the simple fact that it doesn’t even seem to exist anymore.
Think about it. Right now, we’re in the middle of a four-month-long stretch where the title won’t be defended in a single meaningful match. That’s a screwed up way to do business. Hogan won the title on Nitro in April (the night after a PPV). He sat out the May PPV. He was in tag action at the June PPV. He’ll be doing tag team duty at the July PPV, as well. Let’s hope he puts the strap on the line in August at Road Wild… April to August with no major defenses? Wrong, wrong, wrong…
But like I said, it’s not just the spotty schedule that makes it wrong. It’s the fact that nobody’s been raising a stink about it. Why? Because we’ve all been sucked in, along with WCW, into the whole NWO/NWO feud. It grabbed our attention because it was a break from the expected. But apparently, it grabbed THEIR attention just as strongly. When was the last time Hogan even mentioned the title other than in an off-hand “Oh yeah, I’m still the champ” way? When was the last time somebody else threatened to cause serious bodily harm to Hogan because of his insatiable desire to hold that precious 40 pounds of diamonds and gold? Or at least indicated that he’d like fight Hogan for that title in the near future? These things have ceased to happen. Everybody’s too busy bickering over whether it’s Hollywood or the Wolfpac that is the strongest faction in the known universe.
That title may just as well not exist. Not only is it not being defended. But it’s not even being talked about. That sucks the direction out of the company as a whole… yeah, the NWO is in-fighting. But we’re slowly losing focus of what they should ultimately be fighting over: some piece of gold or another. Or at least, fighting over the right to be acknowledged as a contender for that piece of gold.
The tag title has been hurt by this lack of focus, too. Although honestly, Eric Bischoff’s admitted bias against tag team wrestling is also contributing. The Outsiders were the holders of those titles for months, and gave them just about as much attention as Hogan’s giving the WCW Title now. Now that WCW has decided to refocus on the tag belts, it’s been an uphill battle. The use of makeshift teams and constantly changing storylines hasn’t helped, but you get the idea…
The US Title is being used in a special way right now: as a tool to advance Bill Godlberg’s standing with the fans. The title isn’t exactly under siege by a lot of contenders or anything, but this is the only other really acceptable way to use a title. It worked really well for the Ultimate Warrior and the IC Title in 1988, and I think it’ll work for Goldberg, too.
The TV Title? I like Booker T as much as anyone. Chris Benoit is a top notch wrestler and a great foil. But this title has been rendered meaningless to many fans. It’s been held by rookies scoring wins out of nowhere (Iaukea) and by men who have been pinned by women (Disco)… and worst of all, it was held by Fit Finley, who completely failed to capture the fans’ imagination. The TV Title last meant something during the latter days of Steve Regal’s reigns. And even then, it came off as being one title too many.
The Cruiserweight Title is where some of the best stuff is going on… not just because Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko and the other contenders are capable of such great matches, but because it’s in this division that somebody has stepped up and made a title mean something. Jericho’s incessant whining and complaining refocused fans on the fact that the Cruiserweight Title was important (at least, important to Jericho). Fans can get into that…
But regardless of how the secondary titles are working out, it’s the big title that sets the tone for an entire company. From June of 1996 through March of 1998, WCW dominated ratings and kept fan interest, and did it with a slow-brewing Sting vs. Hulk Hogan world title feud as its focus. In April, Hogan won back the title, immediately rendering the 2 year long feud with Sting meaningless, and embarking upon a mission to do the exact same thing for Title itself (and oh yeah, it’s working). The result: WCW is now only the second hottest wrestling company on the continent, if you put your stock in those same ratings that made WCW #1 for so long.
Since April, Nitro’s only scored two wins over RAW. And I’m not one to give much of a damn about the Nielsen ratings. When Nitro was kicking ass, I said “they don’t matter much.” Now that RAW’s winning, I say the same thing. The thing to keep in mind is that they are EXACTLY as important (or not important) now as they were a year ago… so since they meant something to fans then, I’m assuming I can use them as an example now, and you’ll agree I’m making sense.
And since my treatise here has been pretty much a compare and contrast thing between Titan and Turner, let me continue… as I’ve covered above, it was in April that Hogan re-emerged as champ, that the title went into stealth mode, and that WCW began going downhill. It was also in April that the WWF concluded an methodical and meticulous build-up to a huge PPV event and began to reap the benefits of their careful promotion.
My thesis here is that it is the gold in a company that tie the characters and stories together. What better example than the fact that the hottest storyline in wrestling today (and probably of this decade) has WWF owner Vince McMahon doing everything in his power to get the WWF Title off of Steve Austin? The WWF is hot, and it just so happens to come at a time when their title is at the center of things and means something to fans and wrestlers alike. Sure, there may be some coincidental things adding to that, but it sure helps illustrate my point, doesn’t it?
And the stability of the WWF’s titles right now is another remarkable thing… the World Title is the one that changed hands most recently (WrestleMania in March), but it doesn’t look like it’ll change hands again anytime soon. Rocky Maivia has been the IC Champ since December (7 months); and discounting a 24 period when the titles were held-up, the New Age Outlaws have been the tag champs for over 8 months. That kind of stability harkens back to the 80’s and before, when titles were important things, and storylines building to title changes were done carefully. Today’s seat-of the-pants booking style has resulted in those longer reigns and carefully told stories being phased out. It’s nice to see Titan bringing them back.
And the titles do mean something, too. “The Rock” takes great pride in being the Best Damned InterContinental Champ Ever, and doesn’t let us forget it. Would the New Age Outlaws be as much fun to watch if they weren’t announced every week as the “TAGteamCHAMPIONSoftheWORLD” in that classic sing-song styling? Both champs have pending issues, and have been in title defenses over the last few months where they could reasonably have dropped the straps. But they didn’t… which means that when they finally do, it’ll be that much bigger news.
By the by, the European Title doesn’t live up to these other lofty standards… it is, in a way, not unlike the WCW TV Title in that it’s a good idea to have a specialized title (in WCW, it’s for TV only; in the WWF, it’s for Europe only), but that the execution has been spotty and resulted in the belt seeming like it’s one title too many for the promotion to keep up with.
But of course, all those titles are — and should be — secondary to the Big Title. Steve Austin’s belt is the focus of the whole promotion, and it gives direction to a number of storylines. Vince wants that title off Austin, the Undertaker is demanding a shot at it, and Kane is willing to set himself on fire if he doesn’t win it! This is an important piece of gold, folks. And that’s the way you like it.
Admit it: you want to believe those titles mean something. Even if they don’t really make somebody the best in the world, it’s nice to think that they are still trophies that are desired by the wrestlers so that we can believe — no matter how subconsciously — that even in wrestling, some things are worth fighting for. On a more intellectual plane, you appreciate having that bit of direction and focus when you watch wrestling. But it’s the same basic thing.
You want a reason for WCW’s slide? For why you just don’t get as fired up over an episode of Nitro as you used to? For why more fans than ever firmly believe that not only are Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko wrestling a better match than Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper, but now, they’re also paying just as much attention and cheering just as loudly during that match as well?
Why are you watching RAW instead of Nitro these days? Why can you not help but wait with baited breath for the next time Vince McMahon receives a Stone Cold Stunner? Why will we actually care the next time the IC or tag belts change hands?
It all comes down to realizing that there’s one bright shining lie that all fans want to believe in. There are a bunch of ancillary issues out there, and I covered some of them at the top. But it’s all about the gold. Or at least, it should be if you’re doing a good job of running your company. Put a little thought into your title booking, your champs, and the accompanying storylines, and good things happen. Ignore them, and you start to slide.
All the way down to the point where I can write a column about your problems and call it “The Critique of Poor Wrestling.”
You are encouraged, as always, however, to keep in mind that this is all just My Own Damned Opinion…
Yes, it’s him.
Thanks for reading THE MONDAY EDITION, I’m Flea