Our simple survival is not worth so much that it is to be purchased at the cost of intellectual stultification – Vannevar Bush
Let’s hope that someone from the WWF understands that.
It’s Nothing Special Tuesday here at 411, and I’m just here to be the Virgil for all of you Raw-watching Dantes. And speaking of Dante…
What is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act? – Dante
I will that this column take place, and therefore I act unhampered to provide it to you. Bask in the glow of my reflected genius and wit, you peons, and enjoy the fruits of my liberty. Let’s start off with something unusual for this column: wrestling…
I SENSE A PATTERN…
The more cynical and upset I become about WWF booking, the better I’m able to predict outcomes. Four out of six for RR, including the Rumble winner and Jericho (somehow, my prediction of Flair over Vince didn’t make the Roundtable e-mail; that was my fault, since I accidentally killed the entry section while doing deletes on the master e-mail). The problem was that these selections were no-brainers given the thrust of WWF booking at this point.
There was no way that Trip wasn’t going to win the Rumble after the last week and a half of audience receptions that rivaled a Nuremberg rally. It’s also a good storyline to work with, and it’s a vote of confidence in his recovery process. The WWF thinks that he’s well enough along that by the time WM kicks in, he’ll be completely back. The sad part about all of this is that both Scott Keith and I called an Austin/Trip main at WM before RR. Scott and I work from different approaches and processes when it comes to booking in our heads, and if the WWF is that obvious in its direction that the two of us can meet on common ground, there’s yet another bit of proof of creative stagnation. Yeah, as if we needed another bit of proof on that.
Yes, I’m pissed off about the no-sell on the double Lionsault. Talk about unneeded proof.
How does Hennig fit into the WWF situation right now? Actually, pretty well. The guy may be aging, but he can still go. His overselling is a bit ludicrious these days, but that’s the only flaw in his game. The problem becomes how he can make a contribution right now. Hennig would have to go immediately into the upper-mid-card in order to capitalize on his Rumble performance. That means he’d need an opponent at that level. Most of the people without feuds at that level right now are heels, though, and Hennig is much more compelling as a heel than a face. Either he stagnates while waiting for Benoit to come back, or someone has to be turned. May I recommend Booker for that? Booker’s dead as a heel and has zero credibility from that end due to having to be the evening snack for Flex and Austin. A heel Perfect (not to mention a perfect heel) and a face Booker cutting promos against each other and following it up with proven good ringwork could be a much-needed spark.
How does Goldust fit into the situation? You know, if Terri wasn’t hosting Excess, I’d go with the shoot angle of her inveigling wrestlers into facing Dustin as revenge for the way he treated her (remember, on camera, Dustin broke up with Terri during a Jim Ross interview segment). Or maybe they’d do it anyway and integrate Excess more into the WWF’s promotional machine (right now, it’s sorta thrown out there on its own with no real help from the announce crew viz. promotion). If that accidental promo was correct, he’s reverted to the creepy Goldust, the one who’s a mixture of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. Now this is the Goldust I liked, before the WWF pulled away from the abyss out of fear. How about going all the way with Dustin and turning him into Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve? Have him start reliving all of his old gimmicks at the same time and play it off as him finally snapping. The sight of him dressed like Seven and doing the Goldust “I Touch Myself” routine or him walking out as S&MDust and doing the Natural’s ringwork would be very interesting to see. Say that other wrestlers are terrified to have to face the guy because you wouldn’t know what to expect. The WWF wants to go full Soap Opera anyway, so why not a schizophrenia storyline? They’ve already done a hebephrenic one with Saturn (not very well, but still), so they’re not afraid to wander into mental illness. I just don’t want to see him hooked up with Gunn and Palumbo.
(We all know, however, that the real reason that the two were brought back was because the WWF was falling far short of its involuntary erection quota.)
How does Maven fit into the situation? They set the kid up for a major push with his false elimination from the Rumble match. Can they do anything with that? Doubtful. In fact, on Raw, they already started doing nothing, although they did make a veiled reference to the fact that he was never eliminated.
As for the rest of the show, well, Flair went over, which was good. I don’t think that I can muster the energy to discuss the tag and women’s matches out of sheer apathy toward the whole situation there. In other words, a non-offensive PPV, which is just about all we can expect from the WWF these days.
Just one more thing: if you think that the WWF is going to let Jericho hold the title until RR just because it’s in Canada, you quality for a certain occasional feature of this column. Jericho drops the title to Austin next month, period, new paragraph.
THE PIMP SECTION
Avon Naturals Shower Gels. They’re on sale right now. Get the Green Tea one. It’s terrific, and that’s from personal experience.
The Boss chimes in with his on-the-spot Rumble report. It still reads pretty well even though the Rumble’s over. He’s a saint, dammit!
Flea is slowly qualifying for sainthood under the “martyr of charity” provision by recapping Excess.
Mahaud is claiming that he’ll be qualified for sainthood soon too if Heat keeps going the way it does.
Daniels, on the other hand, makes no claims to sainthood whatsoever. Personally, I don’t care about a draft anymore because 1) I’m too old and 2) I’ve already served. So let those punk bastards get drafted. Maybe they’ll learn a thing or two, like how to respect their elders. Me, for instance.
Buy The T-Shirt – Widro. Hang the DJ – Morrisey.
HUGH DOUGLAS MUST BE CASTRATED IMMEDIATELY
Enough said. And memo to Steve Spurrier: if you really want Shane Matthews in Washington as a “guide” to your system of quarterback mind control, please, by all means, take him.
Too bad about that game. Because of it, I was in no mood to watch NE/Oakland and evaluate for myself on whether it was a fumble or not. Of course, now that Al Davis is in an uproar, the NFL is looking into possible changes to be made in that particular rule. It’s nice to know that whether it’s Rozelle or Tagliabue as commish, the NFL will always cave in to the threat of Al Davis taking action.
SINCE I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS ABOUT FOOTBALL NOW, ON TO GOLF…
Congrats, Lefty, on getting the big two-oh and the Lifetime Tour Exemption. Of course, you’d still trade that for one major, wouldn’t you, Phil? And just an aesthetic recommendation: next time you take five months off, get in a little exercise, okay? You looked more puffy than Trip.
TENNIS COMES FROM THE LAND DOWN UNDER
Your highest-remaining men’s seed at the Aussie after fourth-round action is someone named Tommy Haas, which shows the state of men’s tennis today. How bad is it? Marcelo Rios is making a comeback (and he gets Haas next). After the whole Ivanisevic kerfluffle at Wimbledon and this, it seems that men’s tennis and the WWF have something in common: both feel more comfortable thinking that it’s 1998. The last attraction any American had to watching the men’s side vanished when Sampras lost in the fourth round to the only man left in the field who’s won a major, Marat Safin. On the women’s side, tonight has Venus Williams facing Monica Seles in a quarter-finals match that’d be a main event at any house show in the world. Venus goes over in three sets, book it.
THE OBLIGATORY DUBBAYA SHOT
You’d think that someone in this administration would understand to stay away from any situation involving the words “China” and “plane”, wouldn’t you?
MULLAH OMAR, SECRET MEMBER OF DVDR
According to his driver, Mullah Mohammed Omar, the former (?) head of the Taliban, was a big fan of gheijj, Pashtun-style wrestling, which sounds like a combination of Greco-Roman and sumo. It was one of the very few forms of recreation that wasn’t banned by the Taliban. Let’s see, hide the women away and have the men strip to the waist to hug each other and try to throw each other down. Maybe the provisional government can try to sell this place as a cheap tourist alternative to the Castro. No truth to the rumor that the mullah’s favorite WWF performers are Gunn, Palumbo, and Goldust, though.
And now it’s the time you’ve all been waiting for…
THE SHORT FORM
Rob Van Dam, Tazz, and Spike Dudley over Buh Buh Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, My Beautiful and Beloved Dudley, and Booker Dudley (Pinfall, Van Dam pins Buh Buh Ray, Five-Star Frog Splash): Glacially-paced match except when Van Dam was in there, but that doesn’t matter. What this indicated to me was that this Raw would have very heavy SE content. Usually, they don’t bother with six-mans, especially those featuring two upper-mid-card players like Booker and Van Dam, unless they’re planning lots of skits and promos (the main being an upper-card tag reinforces that). This being a post-PPV Raw, it’s no surprise.
Billy Brass Knucks over Edge, Intercontinental Title Rematch From Last Night (DQ, use of foreign object): So, which feud do you think would be better, Regal/Nick Patrick or Edge/Nick Patrick? You do have to admit, though, that Edge has now become the favorite wrestler of Oakland Raiders fans. He did what all of them wanted to do on Saturday night: beat up zebras.
Val Venis versus Curt Hennig (ND, Austinis Interruptus): Never thought I’d be typing those two names in ever again. Whew. Well, we know what Mister Morley’s been doing with his time in the minors: studying old Rick Rude tapes. It was eerie to see him do that routine. Came damn close to disrespecting the dead.
Up-Chuck and Silly Billy over The Big Show and Kane (Pinfall, Gunn pins TBS, Fameasser): Who will rid me of this turbulent push? Billy Gunn has now officially replaced Bob Holly at the top of the “I’ll Do Anything To Keep My Job” list. Before you ask, Wight’s on a different list; he’s at the top of the “I’ll Do Anything To Justify My Contract” list.
Trip ‘n Flex over Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho (Pinfall, Flex pins Jericho, uranage): Okay, Flex got his pinfall back over Jericho. Everyone happy? All in all, nothing special, just your typical end-of-show tag match.
Revisionist History: Everyone’s going to bring this up, so let me be the first. Uh, Trip, Jericho has beaten you, one, two, three, in the center of the ring. Just because Earl Hebner was forced to reverse the decision doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. So, therefore, Jericho has beaten everyone that counts in the WWF and we should honor him. I expect Flea to start calling him “Jericho” again. Yeah, that’ll happen the moment I start calling Flex by the name he used to have as a heel.
Cryptic? Then You Don’t Read Wrestling Sites: Well, we know what (and more precisely who) Vince was talking about in his promo. Yes, I’d consider bringing those three in something that Vince would regret. Just not in the way that he thinks. I’m regretting those three already, and they’re not on camera yet.
A Moron Says “What”: Can Paul Henning’s estate sue for that Austin promo? Litigation, that is. Copyright infringement. High-paid sharks. Cue banjos.
Proof That Canadians Are More Moral Than Americans: Well, it’s a good feud for both Storm and the Godfather (another name I thought I’d never type again). Just don’t let Storm go overboard. As for the escort thing, they couldn’t think of this twist to GF’s character before having him join RTC? It could have avoided a lot of pain.
AND NOW FOR THE REST OF THE WRESTLING NEWS…
To the one person who complained about this site not giving this type of news out, there’s some more word on Hayabusa. An FMW spokesdrone said that Hayabusa now has movement in his hands and legs and is well on his way to a good recovery. Happy?
The number that the Godfather gave out on Raw (1-800-463-3284) is active, and, according to Chester the Molester, leads one to an unusual personal ad linking to an e-mail address at Indiana University. The ad reads as follows: Greetings Kafir: My services are for hire. Look at the kindred to either side of you. Will one of them pay me to kill you? The Protection of Allah will put your worries to rest. Who would dare kill you, knowing, that my wrath will fall upon them? Hey, sounds like an escort service to me.
Before I cut out for a day, I’ll make the same offer that Flea did: get me a ticket to No Way Out, and I’ll kiss your ass so heavily in this column that it’ll be as tender as milk-fed veal. Here’s the deal: floor seats, third row or better only. No nosebleed. On your tab as a favor to 411 to have someone on site for the event (admittedly, I am the writer here who lives the closest to the Bradley Center). If no one comes through, the WWF shall comp me or I’ll Groundhog Day their asses: six weeks of horrible plots leading into and out of WM. It’s in everyone’s interest for me to attend on someone else’s tab.
Okay, I’m closing out. Tomorrow, more news, Smackdown and Heat results, Mailbag, and You’re A Moron. Until then, have a good one.