The Week In Wrestling 2.4.02

Return memo to Eric S: Baldur’s Gate for the PC is probably my favorite game ever. I have both, and Icewind Dale. One MILLION thanks for the rogue expansions. I picked up the PS2 game because I wanted to try it. I didn’t think it would be Golden Axe 2k2. Starting in May, my buddies and I are planning to set up a Neverwinter Nights server… I can’t wait.

When you all saw the fumble return in the Super Bowl brought back, did anyone else think of a pinfall when the ref was knocked out?

I officially have something else to be pissed about. I found out on Friday, during my teaching time at Siena College, that they now give the basketball players free laptops to go along with all the OTHER stuff they get for free. Fuck Siena. This is the first time I’ve used the full f-word in a column, but this warrents it. I’m so goddam sick and tired of college atheletes getting EVERYTHING handed to them. They get the entire gym closed for two hours a day, they get preferred housing, they get preferred class scheduling, and now they get F*CKING LAPTOPS, too? Hey, I actually PAID to go to school AND I’m a computer science major can I get a free laptop, too? Fucking school. Fuck off. I hope if Siena makes to the NCAA’s again that they get raped in the ass with a sandpaper-laden traffic light in the first round on national television.

Oh yes and I want to do dirty, dirty things to sixties era Britney Spears.

Raw

Video package of Vince. Most of the overacting, frightening stuff from last week, with even creepier music. Oh yeah, if you hadn’t heard, Vince is going to destroy the WWF with the nWo.

Kane and the Big Show apparently remembered they were feuding… because they had the first match. The crowd was dead as possible for this match. In a show of ultimate ridiculousness, Kane got to, not only, kick out of the Big Show’s chokeslam, and chokeslam Show to death. I want to know why the WWF has made it their personal mission to completely destroy the Giant’s credibility as a wrestling star. Can you think of anyone withOUT a win over him in the WWF? Go back a little further and try to think of people, besides Hogan, who had wins over him in WCW? I guess when you have the ultimate drawing power, a guy who should be a legit threat to anyone has to be held under thumb.

The APA discussed the nWo with Flair. Bradshaw held back a bit by calling the folks in the nWo “lying, selfish, backstabbing sons of *bleeps*. I think he said “laptop wielding f*cks,” but I could be wrong. Flair told them he was on their side, because he knows how destructive a force the nWo can be.

Goldust kicks off his promo this week by making himself RULE even more by quoting “The Usual Suspects.” The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled was Convincing the World he Didn’t Exist. Hell yeah! Goldust cut another promo on “him,” and informed “him” that he watched him performed that week, and how the people admire “him.” Goldust continues to both creep me out and own at the same time. Let’s see who it possibly could have been that performed last week, and if any of them make sense:

  • Edge: I certainly hope not, he’s busy with Regal. Oh yeah, and NO ONE CARES
  • Kane: Pre-occupied with the Big Show, and makes no sense
  • Ric Flair: Possible. Had problems with him in WCW as Dustin.
  • Rock: Also possible, but it would destroy the build up, because there’s no way they’re putting Goldust over Rocky at a PPV, which means the return would basically be for naught
  • Hunter: Doubt it. He’s going to be preoccupied with Jericho and Steph
  • RVD: Would make absolutely no sense, but then again, it doesn’t make sense for them to kill RVD’s crowd response and pipe in Edge’s.
  • Rikishi: Unless they plan to have Goldie ENJOY the Stinkface before beating him, I don’t see the point
  • Austin: Busy with Jericho until No Way Out and, by the looks of things, with the nWo as well.
  • Jazz: Doesn’t fit any of the criteria, but is very possibly a “him.”

After further review, I still have no idea who it’s going to be, but I’ll put it at Rocky, Rikishi, or RVD. Unless he’s still bitter over the Stunner into the Porta-Potty, then it’s Austin.

Jericho granted Maven his title shot because 1) Maven was never officially eliminated from the Royal Rumble and 2) He’s a fighting champion.

RVD came out to something that is trying to be “Walk.” It’s not close to Walk, nor can anything compare to Walk. Since only the guys Vince WANTS to be over can get music by real bands, RVD will have to settle with a knock-off. If they fired up walk, RVD might get a reaction too large for Vince to ignore and we just can’t have that. RVD got a rematch against Regal for the IC Title, the Ref searched for knucks. Now… RVD beat Regal in less than two minutes on Thursday. Today, Regal gives RVD a low blow and gets DQed. Now, I would normally have very little problem with this, but since low blows happen EVERY match nowadays, it seems a little less effective of a DQ measure. RVD tried to beat up Regal post match, but the Dudleys (?) came out to make the save. Then Edge came out to make the counter save.

Steph wants to know why Flair booked HHH against Booker T. I want to know why she’s concered. Booker T hasn’t won a match in three months or so. He seems to be Number One Contender Bitch. Flair says Vince booked the match.

DDP and the Godfather teamed up in a match. Apparently, DDP is a mix between old DDP and new DDP. He’s still annoying public speaker guy, but with all the old DDP mannerisms. DDP uses Godfather’s escort service. I guess Kimberly just isn’t enough. They faced off against Christian and Lance Storm.

Vince arrived, which brought Flair out to the ring. Illiterate sign of the night “To Be the Man, you have to beat Vince McMan”. A new “Desire” video was put together which was actually quite good. Going back through the history of the last 50 years or so… 20 years or so of which I remember. I will note there was no mention of the Gobbeldy Gooker, but he was apparentaly all that was off limits. It showed the initial beginnings of the nWo. Bischoff getting powerbombed through a table by Nash would have been a nice tough. Flair asked Vince to come to the Ring after the video. Flair proceeded to try and talk Vince out of the nWo. Flair offers an apology for anything he’s done bad enough to get Vince to bring back from those people. Flair basically said he’d do anything to stop Vince from doing what he’s thinking. Vince said the only way he’ll do it is if Ric sells back his 50% for the price he bought it. Vince wants the whole company. If Ric sells it back, Vince will call the whole nWo thing off. If he doesn’t, the nWo invasion begins.

Maven had a fun little match with Jericho. It was good for what it was. Post-match ((Jericho won, in case you were wondering)), Undertaker came out. People already forgot he chokeslammed the Rock on Thursday. Um, note to the WWF: to make the Undertaker a heel, the first step is to change his music. Besides, Limp Bizkit is quickly becoming yesterday’s news. Fred has so thoroughly sold-out to the MTV corporate types, that they barely make music that isn’t candy packaged. (See Also: Stefani, Gwen). If the new album has balls like Three Dollar Bill did, I’ll officially eat my words. Without Wes, though, I think it’ll just continue to suck. The remixes are possibly the worst garbage referred to as “music,” since the last N’Sync album. Undertaker came out and beat up Maven a bit more, then left. JR was thoroughly appalled. The Virginia crowd was overly into the “What” thing. It was WAY annoying. I’m sorry, Undertaker still knows how to define cool. Come to the ring, slowly put on your beatin’ gloves while stalking around. He’s still got it.

Billy and Chuck were stretching. So, they’re gay again now? They wrestled with Jazz against the APA and Trish. I pressed Fast Forward. There’s only so far I can go for you people. The only good part of the match was the end. Billy powerbombed Trish, and then made like he had cooties.

Michael Cole informed us that Austin was in a foul mood. This is news? Has he been watching the same shows for the last five years?

Booker T wrestled HHH. Christian came out and gave HHH an Impaler/Unprettier/whatever he’s calling it now. HHH kicked out of it. Christian got up on the apron and Steph came out to get rid of him. Can you see where it went? Steph made Hunter lose. Hunter was understandably pissed. I mean, he lost to Booker T not even Max Moon loses to Booker T. I guess they both forgot about the last time they started breaking up… back when Steph was causing him to lose matches before…?

You know, if they keep making Hunter act EXACTLY like he was as a heel… the pops may not necessarily continue. If they make Steph TOO sympathetic a figure, the whole thing might backfire. Just my opinion.

Angle and Austin had a match. After a ref bump, Angle beat the holy crap out of Austin. By the time Hebner got up, Angle tossed the chair. Somehow, Austin got to kick out of it. Angle went to the Anglelock, Austin made it to the ropes. Angle went to the Angleslam, Austin got a foot on the ropes. Well this is just silly. It’s pretty much the finish of Wrestlemania 17 in reverse. Austin, fortunately, got to pin Angle after just one Stunner. Well, good to see things back to normal. Jericho came out for a sneak attack and got a Stunner. That wasn’t much of an attack. Yes, things are definitely back to normal.

Smackdown

Tazz decided to stick up for Maven by taking on Jericho. Even though, last I remember, Tazz turned on Maven to welcome him to “the big league, punk.” Then proceeded to beat the hell out of him for three shows and leading to a match with Al Snow. Just when you think they have some continuity going…… Jackie was the ref and tried to step to Jericho after the match and it earned her the Walls. Heheheh.

LL Cool J made an appearance, along with Rebecca Romaijn-Stamos and Chris Klein. They hung out with the APA. Rebecca supposedly pounded a beer… somehow I doubt it, especially considering the beer was already opened. Can you say “water in the beer can?” This was all a promo for Rollerball. These people were in 5 segments or so, and that was 6 too many for me.

Flair came out for his big announcement. He started off with saying he made “the best decision for the wrestling world.” He came out to say good-bye, which was something he didn’t get to do a year ago. To keep the nWo out, and to protect the younger guys, he’s going to do what Vince wants, sell the shares back. Multiple “We Want Flair” and “Flair” chants during this. He said thank you and took a final bow.

DDP came out to what was probably his first pop since coming to the WWF. He gets his big shot at the European title. Oddly enough, Page seems to have no opinion on the whole nWo thing, even though he feuded with them for the better part of a year. Funny, when you think about it… in a sad sort of way. Fit page right next to Big Show in the line of guys the WWF really doesn’t like. Come to think of it why doesn’t BIG SHOW have an opinion on the nWo thing. He was friggin IN IT FOR A LITTLE WHILE. If Page would stop the random stupid smiling… he could almost be old Page again. In a spot I thought was the finish, Christian reversed the Diamond Cutter into his falling death drop thing. But, DDP kicked out, Christian went for the Unprettier, which PAGE then reversed into the Diamond Cutter. New Euro Champ, and in another shade of old Page, he left through the crowd.

Vince arrived with a team of lawyers. Vince, being Vince, decided that the legal documents had to be signed in the ring tonight. Which gives us something to wonder about. My booking would have Ric Flair beating the crap out of Vince and revealing an nWo shirt, but we’ll see.

Goldust is tired of the waiting and the hiding. On Monday, he will confont “him.” Ah, logical build, and a scheduled payoff to get people watching. DID they hire some new writers?

There was an interview between JR and Stephanie. Nice of Vince and Ric to allow her on the show, considering they both hate her. Steph and JR talk about the fans who think her career is on a slide. I challenge them to find five fans who CARE. At least when Shane got kicked off TV, he had the decency to stay off for a while. You know, when Steph is talking in a normal tone, she’s almost tolerable. And when she’s crying, she’s almost sympathetic. If you have to have her on TV, get her to Jericho quick, or people will start feeling sorry for her. Steph is going to prove to everyone how much HHH loves her.

Regal called Michael Cole a “a stupid little driblet.” He also called himself “a gentleman, albeit a villainous one.” Both descriptions should be woven into everyone’s daily speech. RVD and Edge wrestled the Dudley Boyz. Edge got the first hot tag of the match and the crowd exploded. Oddly enough, no one in camera view moved. Maybe there’s a purpose to burying RVD, but I fail to see it. He must scare the A-list.

Booker T: So you wanna kick ‘dey ass wit’ me?

Test: No, I just want to impress Rebecca Romaijn-Stamos, did you see her?

Booker T: Yeah, I saw ‘dat yak, and she wadn’t all ‘dat.

Booker T makes the debut of “yak” on WWF Television, thus making him immortal to me and anyone else important IN THE DAMN WORLD. And also completely alienating my girlfriends, who hates anyone who references the word “yak” in association with females. How she’s still with me, I’ll never know. How she still watches the Simpson’s after last week’s “Afternoon Yak” parody on “The View” I’ll also never know.

The APA came out with the cast of Rollerball to take on the re-unified TNT. I have a bad feeling LL is going to cause Booker to lose this match, but maybe I’ve been watching wrestling too long. I don’t think I’ll ever catch up with the whole Rebecca Romijn-Stamos thing. I don’t find her particularly attractive. Maybe it’s just me. I wonder if she has as challenging a role in Rollerball as she did in X-Men. You know, slither around in tight outfits and whatnot?

The “main event” started about 9:20ish, which was Angle/Taker vs apparently now good buddies Rock/HHH. If THIS is the main event, the Flair/Vince stuff is going to take quite a while. Personal Note to H: my girlfriend ordered my new logo shirt over three weeks ago and it’s still on backorder. Little bit of help, eh? Anyway, it was your standard pointless tag match that ended when H Pedigreed Angle, then Taker came in with a chair for the DQ. At the end, Taker ended up Rock Bottomed through a table, and H ended up in the Anglelock for a good two minutes.

The video again. Flair was about to leave when Arn stopped him for a handshake and a hug. Vince is headed to the ring to bring Ric Flair’s career to an end. Why do I not see this going off without a hitch? Vince comes out to gloat with some lawyers. It seems to be generally accepted that everyone in the federation will ignore “What?s” now. I really hope they regret ever starting it now. Only Kurt acknowledges it anymore.

Vince went on for QUITE a while about things, and it actually got quite boring after about 5 minutes. He said some stuff about there being a clause in the contract that Vince couldn’t bring in the nWo. Ric came out with a lawyer and Vince cut his music off. Ric comes out with an open collar, which throws my idea about wearing an nWo shirt all to hell. Ric seemed to have second thoughts, and Vince didn’t seem too happy about it. Vince kept needling. Ric signed his first name, and it ended up being Austin who interrupted. The lawyers scattered… for good reason I assume, since Austin went through a messy divorce a few years ago… and he does tend to hold grudges. The last time Vince and Austin were on a red carpet together, it went very badly for Vince. This did, too… as Vince ended up Stunned and sprinkled in contract pieces.

So, what does Vince retaliate with on Monday? Good question.

The Week In Wrestling

Well, they do finally have the idea of the “slow build” down. The only mistake I really think they made was not having some sort of cliffhanger ending to Smackdown. When Austin does stuff to Vince, it has a feeling of finality to it. As it stood, the only cliffhanger we got was who Goldust’s “him” was. While fun for me, it doesn’t exactly have the drawing power of the possibility of the nWo. Personally, I would have done something else AFTER Vince got stunned. Two choices, pick the one you like. Grut, I’d appreciate your input on this, if you still read this column:

  1. Cut to the back, into a locker room or something. There’s a monitor sitting there, with a picture of the ring. We see someone off-screen (possibly in leather Nash pants) kick the television in. Off screen, we hear a door get shoved open. Cut to a camera outside the door as it’s closing, and we see nWo spraypainted on the wall. The door swings shut to reveal it was Austin or Flair’s dressing room.
  2. During the celebration in the ring, the arena lights go down and nWo flashes on the Titantron, along with something like “it’s coming.” They can also feel free to hit the old porno entrance music. Preferably NOT the Wolfpack version of it.

The Goldust stuff is all sorts of good, but I’m biased because I really like Goldust. I’ve always thought the character was somewhat decent. Unfortunately, most of the shock value he used to have is worn off, because there’s not much the WWF can do with him that either 1) he hasn’t done already or 2) they haven’t done with someone else already.

I’m tired of Edge. Totally. People don’t like him, and the WWF is doing exactly what WCW was guilty of over their last few years. Piping in cheers to make the people at home artificially think he’s over. He’s not. No one cares. If you want to push a mid-carder to the top, do it with RVD. I find it odd they pipe in chants for Edge, when it’s obvious no one in the crowd is moving, yet they kill RVD chants when you can still see people doing RVD’s thumb thing in the audience. It makes absolutely no sense to me. Did RVD forget to do the ritual shaving of the Undertaker’s pubic hair or something? Was it disrespect? I believe he had one hell of a match with the Undertaker, then everything went to hell for him.

I still think it would have been much more effective to double turn Vince and Flair on Sunday. It easily could have been done, as Vince can go from loved to hated in back quite effectively in one show.

I very much enjoyed the new Desire video. It was nice to relive some interesting memories from my childhood, such as the Hogan/Andre thing and stuff. It also made me long to see some of those guys again. It really is true that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Like Shawn Michaels, for example.

Where do they go from Here?

I think it’s obvious some serious nWo stuff has to happen on Monday. It’ll be fun to watch, I think. The secret is giving just enough away to keep people watching, but not enough to blow their PPV load before No Way Out. They don’t really need to compete on Mondays anymore, and they can get a huge bang for their buck if they promise some nWo intervention on No Way Out which, for all intents and purposes, is shaping up to be better than Wrestlemania AGAIN this year.

They definitely are NOT going to put Ric Flair in charge of the nWo, which I still think would be smart, but, if not, I don’t think bringing Eric Bischoff back for a few appearances would be a horribly bad idea. If they can convince him to do it, I think it would be tremendously effective. Bischoff knows how to write television, love him or hate him. He knows how to end a show in a way that makes you want to see the next one. Bischoff’s only real problem was he waited WAY too long to pay things off to the point where, when he finally did do it, no one cared anymore. Occasionally, he wouldn’t pay them off period, like the whole Sting/Hogan fiasco. I will always consider Starrcade ’97 to be where WCW Jumped the Shark. The Nick Patrick “fast count” and the shitty way they paid off a year long build-up, that had Wrestlemania 3 type of recognition, was horrid, and I don’t think fans ever forgave them. People WANTED Sting to win that match, cleanly and thouroughly. If it happened that way, they STILL could have built rematches, but with Sting as the champion and Hogan chasing or they COULD have went to something new, since Hogan/Sting had dominated Nitro for the better part of six months.

Where was I oh yeah, Bischoff. Bring him in, put him on the writing staff just don’t give him the insane amount of power he had in WCW to hire and fire at will and give his buddies ridiculously inflated contracts. Maybe he can even convince Goldberg to come in with him, even though he really wouldn’t fit in the current scheme of things. He would have fit perfectly in the Invasion, but not in nWo thing.

Will the next incarnation of the nWo breathe life back into a flagging industry? We shall see. The WWF has managed to flub everything cool they’ve had an opportunity at in the last year. Let’s find out this week if they start flubbing this up too.

I’m in a much better mood now. Seven pages of ranting will do that.

See you next week.

End Transmission.