Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 1.01.02

It’s Christmas at Ground Zero



There’s music in the air

The sleigh bells are ringin’ and the carolers are singin’ while the air raid sirens blare



It’s Christmas at Ground Zero

The button has been pressed

The radio just let us know that this is not a test



Everywhere the atom bombs are droppin’

It’s the end of all humanity

No more time for last minute shoppin’

It’s time to face your final destiny



It’s Christmas at Ground Zero

There’s panic in the crowd

We can dodge debris while we trim the tree underneath the mushroom cloud



You might hear some reindeer on your rooftop

Or Jack Frost on your windowsill

But if someone’s climbin’ down your chimney

You’d better load your gun and shoot to kill



It’s Christmas at Ground Zero

And if the radiation level’s okay

I’ll go out with you and see all the new mutations on New Years’ Day



It’s Christmas at Ground Zero

Just seconds left to go

I’ll duck and cover with my yuletide lover underneath the mistletoe



It’s Christmas at Ground Zero

Now the missiles are on their way

What a crazy fluke, we’re gonna get nuked on this jolly holiday

What a crazy fluke, we’re gonna get nuked on this jolly holiday




– Weird Al Yankovic, “Christmas At Ground Zero”

This is the song no one had the balls to play this Christmas because you’re all a bunch of PC kiss-asses. Hell, I remember us playing this sucker full-blast in the barracks in Germany at Christmas 1990 because we knew that freak that fathered the current alleged president couldn’t resist his impulses to defend his buddies in the oil industry.

And like father, like son. bin Laden’s gone, and no one’s ever going to find him. Let me give you a clue where he is: he’s in Baghdad with Saddam, and they’re laughing their asses off at the Bush family. All foreplay, no penetration. Jeez, when John King, one of my favorite conservative idealogue correspondents, says that Laura Bush was the Stepford First Lady in her TV appearances and that she and Dubbaya have been dipping into the pharmaceutical candy jar heavily lately, you know the knives are out (I love John; anyone who quotes Garry Trudeau through Duke gets on my good side automatically; it’s a sign that he KNOWS WHAT’S GOING ON HERE!).

All in all, that’s better than the de rigeur U2 quote for this particular day of the year, isn’t it?

What if I’ve always been a self-deluded, talentless fraud? – Augustus Gummi

Yes, Flex, Gusto’s speaking for you. And same with all of the Internet wrestling writers out there who think they’re good. You know who you are, so I don’t have to name names. Actually, that quote is also for people wondering why I never finished the rant that I was talking about doing at the end of my tenure at The Smarks. It was going to be a comparison between the Invasion and Disney’s “Adventures of the Gummi Bears”, and the Invasion wasn’t going to come off very well, let me assure you…

Meet the New Year, same as the Old Year, I guess. Welcome to 2002 at 411. I’m Father Time, here to greet all of you Baby New Years, pass you the torch, and change your diapers, especially since a good portion of you are in the process of pissing your pants while drunk. How this is different from the other 364, I don’t know, but it’s still special when the calendar changes, for some reason.

We should count ourselves special, though. Except for the more precocious among you, we’ve done something en masse that only a few select individuals in the past have had the pleasure of doing: living in two palindromic years, 1991 and this one. This opportunity comes around once a millennium, just like New Years’ Day last year. Cherish it like the people who lived through 999 and 1001 did (and seeing another year really was a miracle back then). Of course, this does not apply to people following the Jewish or Islamic calendars; of course, it isn’t New Years’ for them either, so they can just ignore all this stuff. As for seeing a third palindromic year, nobody here’s going to reach that one unless you’re a Priest of the Temple of Syrinx.

THE PIMP SECTION

Morse is doing that Top Ten List thing. Letawsky doesn’t seem to know that The Two Towers is already filmed. Artie Martie poses a question with a simple answer: no one, especially the viewers.

Mahuad on Heat. Brower on Jakked. Flea on Excess, and thanks for the pimp in Saturday’s column.

Last but most important, you will Buy The T-Shirt. Repeat, you will Buy The T-Shirt. Or else. It’s US$15.95 plus S&H, it’s good quality, and it’s fashionable. Remember, Buy The T-Shirt.

A NEW FEATURE: “YOU’RE A MORON”

Since I’ve been getting a lot of pissy letters about me insulting wrestling fans, I decided to turn insulting wrestling fans into an occasional dedicated feature. Some of you want some wrestling commentary near the front, apparently under the pretense that this is a wrestling column (I told Widro I wanted to call it “Opinions, Etc.”, but he threw in the “Wrestling News” part). So I thought this would be ideal to put here. Be careful what you wish for, and all that. This section’s dedicated to the guy in Jerusalem who wrote me to say that I should have a little more humility…he don’t know me very well, do he?

Why is it that since Billy Gunn proclaimed his love for a particular brand of hairspray, everyone’s jumping to the conclusion that Gunn and Palumbo are supposed to be doing the gay tag team thing that was mastered by Lenny and Lodi? To me, they’re not gay, they’re narcissists. Oh, but Palumbo got a dye job. That means that every man who’s ever dyed their hair and/or used hairspray is gay (guilty on both counts, but it was the 80s, so sexuality had nothing to do with it). Look, Mike Ditka pimps hairspray, and he’s so far from gay that he’s gone past straight into some as-yet-sexually-undefined level of machismo. Clairol does not market Just For Men for the ten-percenters. If you define Gunn and Palumbo as being gay, you’re a moron for buying into stereotypes that aren’t true on any level, and the WWF writers are getting ready for a nice letter from GLAAD (with more justification than WCW viz. Lenny and Lodi, BTW). Like Powell needed another reason to be a moron. Or Daniels.

THE NEWS TICKER…

India and Pakistan are about to have a third war with each other, this time with both sides having nukes. For the benefit of Americans, they’re the two countries to the right of Afghanistan on your maps…Argentina’s gone officially batshit due to its Enron-was-successful-in-comparison economy, plowing through four presidents in two weeks. I think they should shell out for Madonna to play Evita for real and have her run the place for a while…Seventy-seven dead people in Peru demonstrate the wisdom of not putting fireworks shops inside of malls…The American media shows its idiocy again by thinking that Buffalo getting vast quantities of snow is actually surprising news…I’m ready to go marching in the streets to have S/1986 U 10 declared an actual moon of Uranus…Turns out that certain DVD-ROM drives (including the NEC one that comes as standard with Dell machines) can circumvent Universal’s audio CD copy protection through a radical method: inserting the CD into the drive. Watch the lawsuits start to fly. Personally, I’d like to see Michael Dell and the CEO of NEC US arrested for DMCA violations like Dmitry was…I normally don’t condone book-burning, but when it comes to Harry Potter, I’ll give the weirdo Christians of Alamagordo, New Mexico a pass. Shame they didn’t dip into the town’s history for a more permanent solution to that problem…Massive vote fraud by the ruling party, early declarations of victory, results released from selected areas only; apparently Zambia decided to boost tourism by trying to fool people into thinking that they’re Florida…And today’s biggest story, which may even affect Americans:

HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR CURRENCY LATELY?

Argentina’s not the only country that’s altering their money. The New Year brings the biggest experiment in economics since Reagan’s first budget: the euro as something more than abstract conversion numbers. The euro notes and coins, cash-in-hand legal tender, are now flooding across twelve European countries, as well as some of the smaller nation-states and various and sundry colonies. I wish that had happened in that last palindromic year; I remember getting screwed by currency conversions on travels through Europe. Like the states on the American quarter until 2009, each member country gets to personalize the rear of its coinage, and I’m here as an impartial American formerly resident in Europe to make judgements on said coins:

Coolest Coin: I’m split between the Austrian Mozart 1-euro, the Italian DaVinci 1-euro, and the Italian Lorenzo di Medici 2-euro. I’ll go with the DaVinci, but it’s close. And the Italians missed what could have easily been the coolest coin of all: the Machiavelli 2-euro. That would have summed everything up nicely.

Least-Cool Coin: Germany’s 1-euro and 2-euro. I’m sorry, but this looks like what the 2002 Reichsmark would have been if nazi.de hadn’t gone out of business.

Most-Tasteful Coin: The Greek 2-euro, with the woman riding the bull. Very artful, and a lot less Hollywood-set-like than the Austrian tourist site scenes.

Least-Tasteful Coin: It would, of course, have to come from Italy, the Land That Taste Forgot. The church spire on its 2-cent bears an unfortunate resemblance to a Fleet enema.

Hottest Chick Award: The Marianne on the French 1-cent, 2-cent, and 5-cent looks like Brigitte Bardot. She can get into my change pocket anytime! Yowza! Contrast that to the Botticelli Venus on the Italian 10-cent. A definite Triple-Bag Woof.

Promotion of Tourism And Industry Award: The Greeks for their sailing vessels on the 1-cent, 2-cent, and 5-cent, but loss of major points for not following it up by having nude beach shots on the higher coinage. And can someone tell me who the geek on the Greek 10-cent is? He looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid. I’ll also give a shout out to the Irish, who seem to have sold the product placement rights on their coins to Harp Lager.

(Please, no nasty mail from the Republic of Ireland for that. My asshole’s still stinging after the perceived dis I did of the Irish national soccer team being lumped in as one of “Germany’s patsies”. I know it’s a national symbol, it’s been on the punt for a long time, and at least it isn’t a shamrock, but I couldn’t resist the joke, okay?)

Try To Figure This One Out Award: The Portugese 50-cent, which looks like a Mayan sundial. For that matter, any of the Portugese coins. France’s exploding tree on the 1-euro and 2-euro gets an honorable mention.

Best portrait of a national leader: The Pope on the Vatican 1-euro and 2-euro, by default. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg comes in second; of course, it helps when you look like Michael York’s stunt double (Musketeers-era York, not Austin Powers-era).

Worst portrait of a national leader: There are so many to choose from. I never knew King Albert of Belgium looked like Franklin Roosevelt. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands looks like she took a trip to a coffeehouse in Amsterdam prior to getting coined. But the worst has to be King Juan Carlos on Spain’s 2-euro. How much did it cost to get Kelsey Grammer to pose for it? Looking at these, I’m kinda glad Great Britain didn’t join the party; that country really needs to put a moratorium on crowned heads appearing on currency until Prince William takes the throne.

THE SPORTS TICKER…

Tyrone Willingham doesn’t look very Irish, does he? (but congrats to him for getting the job he should have had the first time, and let’s hope that I never have to make a remark like that again)…Sunday’s NFL action should be preserved on DVD to convince people everywhere of how great American football really is. Close games decided in the last few seconds all over, tense moments, stories of failure and redemption; it was sports as high drama…Looking at the NFC standings, I just have two words to say: Go Falcons (sorry, BFM)…The bowl games everyone cares about start today. Let’s hope for no blow-outs, please, as well as a Nebraska win on Thursday so that the disgusting BCS can have a stake driven into its heart…Damn you, Niners, damn you all to Hell. The only chance you have against GB is to stay away from Lambeau, don’t you realize that?…Memo to the Baseball Writers Association of America: you’ve got one final chance to put Luis Tiant into the Hall of Fame. Do it. And don’t bother waiting for next year for Jim Kaat either. Maybe you’ll look less like assholes that way. Ah, to hell with it. Just be complete assholes, suck up to Noo Yawk like we’re all supposed to nowadays, and put Keith Hernandez and Donnie Baseball in there…Michael put up 51. Seen it…If Michael Strahan gets one more sack, does he get to f*ck Brigitte Nielsen too?

HE’S GOT A KNIGHTHOOD, BUT THE DAMN FOOL WON’T WEAR IT

The Queen released her New Years’ Honours List, always good for a chuckle. This year was no exception. The Bee Gees received a CBE, while Sade got an OBE; I think that honours should be reserved to people who’ve had hits in the last decade, personally. Lennox Lewis’s CBE just makes you go “Huh?”…guess it’s the tourism thing, just like when the Beatles were honored. This year’s Actor’s Knighthood goes to Ben Kingsley; no joke here, the guy’s an Academy Award winner and a great actor (personally, I couldn’t pull off playing both Gandhi and Meyer Lansky). I’m disappointed that I was, yet again, passed up, but not being a British subject may have something to do with that.

THIS IS HOW THE MEAT INDUSTRY WORKS, TRUST ME…

AP Wire: A company has recalled about 250,000 pounds of ham products that a disgruntled employee may have contaminated with nails.

(As someone who’s worked in quality control and regulatory activity in the meat industry for the last ten years, I can’t pass this one up, folks…)

Memo to the QA/QC/QS Department at Cumberland Gap Meats: e-mail me for my resume, ASAP. Looks like you need someone with a brain in your department. You know, there’s this little thing called a metal detector that you might have heard of. If you’re producing hams, you put it in between final trim and smoking. That way, it’ll catch things like parts of knives that have broken off, or even an employee putting nails in the product. Well, that’s what happens when you work for a bunch of moral nonentities like Tyson/IBP. Enjoy that USDA-mandated recall, guys, along with the compliance investigation (I’ve not only been through those, I’ve been a part of those from the other side as well, and they’re as pleasant as doing a hemmorhoidectomy with nail clippers). And don’t try to blame your troubles on USDA either, or on “terrorist activity”; they’d ask for a recall even if September 11th wouldn’t have happened, and don’t tell me that you’ve never done a mock recall (maybe you haven’t; your loss). Take a nice, long, hard look at your HACCP plan and point the finger at yourselves, right where it belongs. My techs always caught employee sabotage of product, and they were a bunch of no-hope losers; what’s your excuse? And memo to cnn.com: In this case, the hams aren’t “tainted”, they’re “adulterated”. “Tainted” means biological contamination, “adulterated” means physical contamination. Please get the terminology right.

Look, be happy I’m not going to explain the difference between “ham”, “ham with natural juices”, and “ham water added”.

AND NOW TO WRESTLING CONTENT, AS THE WWF LOOKS BACK ON ITS SPACE IDIOCY…

Raw presented its Best Of show for the year in lieu of new content (live Smackdown Thursday, which means nothing for me to talk about again tomorrow). Let’s recap that show and see what the WWF sheep voted as the Top Ten WWF Matches of the Year:

10) Chris Benoit versus Chris Jericho, Intercontinental Title Ladder Match, Royal Rumble: So there are nine better matches than this during 2001. I am now firmly convinced that WWF fans are the same mouth-breathers who think Audiogalaxy’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, which, added to their propensity for populating message boards, gives me perfect reason to justify euthanasia. Nice way to start off the show, though, especially seeing Benoit in the ring. I didn’t realize how much I missed him until that moment.

9) The Undertaker versus Triple H, Wrestlemania 17: The match in which Trip impersonates Flair and UT plays the broomstick. I had this rated as the second-best match at WM (behind Benoit/Angle) and gave it a rare-by-my-standards ****. The excerpts they showed on Monday (the out-of-ring stuff; great material, obvious padded mat notwithstanding) firm up my judgement. I know why Scott Keith wasn’t too high on this match: the fact that he was on his Trip’s-holding-everyone-down extended rant at the time must have combined with the apostasy of watching his beloved Flair being impersonated and made for a very bad taste. This match’s What I Miss Moment: Paul Heyman on commentary. I can’t miss Trip; he’ll be back next Monday.

Ric Flair introduced us to the Top Five Shocking Moments in the WWF in 2001, and these went as follows:

5) Steph buys ECW.

4) Jericho wins the Unified Title

3) Drew Carey in the Royal Rumble

2) JR kisses Vince’s ass

1) Ric Flair shows up as co-owner

8) Kurt Angle versus Shane McMahon, Street Fight, King of the Ring: The match that converted everyone from respecting Shane’s ability to take a bump to worrying about whether or not he was suicidal. The double Jannetty, the Olympic Superslam…it was Whack-an-Heir as Angle and Shane did their best ECW impersonation, even getting a few Holy Shit chants from the crowd in the process. It’s not a complete masterpiece of violence, but it comes close to one in comparison to the rest of the nonsense in this abysmal year.

7) Triple H and Steve Austin versus Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, WWF Tag Title Match, Raw, May 21st: The match that Trip would like to forget. None of us would, though. This was the best match on free TV in 2001. Everything clicked in this match: the performers, the booking, the circumstances, even the afterstory. The whole thrust of the WWF was forced to change in an instant after Trip went down. The horrendousness of the Invasion can almost certainly be traced to the moment that Trip wasn’t able to be there to support the plot. It was this match that made us serious fans figure out exactly how important he was to the WWF’s plans. It was a story that didn’t have to be written the way it was, but, you know, for the want of a nail and all that.

Rikishi then introduced us to the Five Best Kisses of 2001, and let’s list them too:

5) Regal kissing Vince’s ass

4) Matt and Lita fooling no one about Matt’s sexuality

3) Vince kissing Rikishi’s ass

2) Trish and Flex making everyone vomit

1) Angle kissing his medals after retrieving them from Benoit’s tights

We were then regailed with a montage of “great” Sports Entertainment moments from the year. I think I’ll skip this for everyone’s sanity.

6) My Beautiful and Beloved Stacy versus The Ten-Buck Tramp Torrie Wilson, Lingerie Match, No Mercy: The 11000 deviates who voted for this one can’t be wrong, I guess. I must admit, though, in the interest of full disclosure, that I have thought about Stacy, black lingerie, and a whip. My particular thoughts in this area do not utilitze a wrestling ring; however, whipped cream and Hershey’s chocolate are prominently involved.

5) Winner Take All Match, Survivor Series: The night the WWF decided that its only possible future lay in its past and began to turn the clock back. It thus turned into Ouroboros, except that its ass consumes its head. It’s well on its way to having its body completely up there. And Flex got the final pin in the match, which makes it awful by any intelligent standard. The only good thing about this match is that it put the WWF on the path of Chris Jericho, Undisputed Champion, even though he’s done nothing with it and won’t until he drops the belt at the Rumble or No Way Out thanks to the WWF’s inability to come up with a decent angle.

Trish then gives us the Top Five Slaps of 2001, and male-on-female violence is nowhere to be seen for the benefit of the Canadian viewership:

5) Debra slaps Vince

4) Molly slaps Austin

3) Debra slaps UT

4) Trish slaps Vince

5) Steph slaps Linda

This was followed up by a Tribute To “What?” that I consider a desecration of Beethoven. At least it was the Fifth Symphony and not the Sixth or Ninth.

4) Rob Van Dam versus Jeff Hardy, Hardcore Title Match, Invasion: The beginning of Van Dam’s extended run with the Hardcore Title and the most gratifying push of the year. Van Dam’s ability to get himself over on pure workrate is heartening to us old-schoolers, and that’s why a lot of us support him. If we can’t have Benoit around as the shining example of that principle, then Van Dam is a decent substitute. The match deserved a high ranking due to its teaming of the WWF’s most creative practicioner of stylistic violence and the WWF’s most willing masochistic rag doll.

Flex then comes on and introduces a segment on the Top Five Put-Downs by trying to put down a tech on the set. In the spirit of that, I will keep putting down Flex in 2002 at every opportunity. Here’s that list:

5) Flex telling Steph what she can do with the quarters she’s obtained from whoredom.

4) Edge totally destroying what was left of X-Pac’s credibility.

3) TBS doing his DDP impersonation (I still think he didn’t get the voice down right).

2) Jericho delineating Steph’s cosmetic surgery.

1) Flex daring to insult Booker’s intelligence. Pot, kettle, black.

3) Steve Austin versus Flex, WWF Championship Match, Wrestlemania: Thank God this wasn’t Number One like I’d thought it would be. Maybe the Great Unwashed have some taste after all, but I doubt it. Highly overrated by certain people (yes, Scott, I’m looking at you), generally dull. Deserves to be on the list, but much lower.

Another Top Five List, I think involving promos, but I can’t be bothered to pay attention because 1) I’m trying to write this column and 2) Flex is involved.

2) Three-Team TLC, WWF Tag Titles Match, Wrestlemania: Three matches from WM, and the best one, Benoit/Angle, isn’t one of them. You’re a bunch of retards for voting that way. Not as good as the first, too many contrived spots, blah, blah, blah.

1) Triple H versus Steve Austin, Two Out Of Three Falls, No Way Out: Might there have been a little fixing going on the voting considering who’s coming back next week? Great match, but one that I’m not sure will stand the test of time.

As one Mistah Keith might say, that’s three hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

AND IN OTHER WRESTLING NEWS…

Surprisingly, we’re the only major site with the news about the Hardys and Lita being suspended, which means 1) we scooped everyone or 2) it ain’t true. Considering it’s coming from Amy Dumas’ official site, I believe #1 is the correct answer. That means that no further details are forthcoming until Da Meltz decides to let us know what he put in the print version of the Observer about this.

According to various reports, The Scorpion King is a disaster in the making, with retakes above and beyond normal having to be done as part of a salvage effort on the film. You don’t know how much I’m smiling right now thinking about that.

Negotiations are going so well with Nash right now that he might end up being part of the Return of Trip angle Monday on Raw, so sayeth the Torch. No word on whether X-Pac’s going to be a part of this too. Hey, the WWF is turning the clock back, so why the hell not? And it is in Madison Square Garden, so maybe they can drag Michaels in there, get Hall poured on a plane, and have those two, Trip, and Nash give a two-hour hug to each other in the ring.

Just a note on the XWF house show cancellation: They should have known better. If you are a wrestling organization and pass within my fifty-mile Field Of Influence without giving me the Respect I Deserve As A Major Internet Wrestling Personality (i.e. comp tickets and royal treatment once I’m there), you are on your way to failure. Just ask ECW and WCW, who, last year at this time, did that to me within a week of each other. Just ask the WWF, who I cursed to suffer a creative failure much earlier this year when they went around the horn here. You will pay for your sins. I guarantee it.

A lot of my Canadian readers are telling me great things about Jacques Rougeau’s promotion up in Montreal, and just reading the results from this weekend’s show there gives me more hope than XWF does (although Jacques letting his twelve-year-old kid do a squash job is a little disconcerting…how long before the WWF does this with Reid Flair?). Good old-school stuff. Can a money mark give Jacques the capability to come down south with his shows, please?

That’s it for me tonight. Stay off the roads if you drink, and have a good day off. I don’t have one, since I’ll be back tomorrow night with more stuff.