Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 2.27.02

Damn, overslept, so all you get is what I can put out damn quick. I even have to postpone You’re A Moron, so put all the bets on who it is into escrow.



MY SMACKDOWN/HEAT RESULTS/COMMENTS STUFF…



Since Ashish has already posted the results, I’ll just leave you with comments:



Is it fair to say that performers who are primarily known for being ECW guys prior to their WWF arrival have been ghettoized (Van Dam being the exception who is allowed out of his cage once in a while)? Look at the Triple Threat on Raw and the Van Dam/Storm match on this upcoming Heat. Think about the fact that until the “rise” of the Faerie Queens, the tag titles were a completely ECW affair. The Dudleys were teamed with Jazz on SD to take on the No-Longer Biggest Gay Stereotypes In The WWF and Their Fag-Hag. They’re quickly getting trapped into an endless circle of fighting each other, kinda like the upper-mid-card last year at this time. Is there any WWF or former WCW wrestler who will buy into Heyman’s booking style, or is this being done because the former ECW contingent is going to be kept intact after the Big Split?



Flex is still otherwise occupied and is thus unable to grace us with his precious presence for SD. That increases the watchability of SD by a factor of five on its own. The cardboard cutout that Hogan talked to on Raw has more emotional range and better acting talent. And, please, stop writing to ask me why I hate him. Just accept that I do hate him and that, as writers here have said, I have expressed good and logical reasons for it. New readers or not, I can’t devote space every week to Why I Hate Flex, if only because it’d bore the old readers. I may do something next Wednesday on it.



I keep bitching about Jericho being given nothing to do with his title(s) and making it/them into a waste. I should start concentrating more effort on saying the same thing about Regal. I feel even worse for him than I do for Jericho. Van Dam’s victory at WM is almost as telegraphed as Trip’s.



And speaking of feeling bad about Jericho, get ready to feel worse for him after SD, as Steph begins turning him into her personal eunuch. Her existence can no longer be tolerated, I’m afraid.



Nice to know that even though UT’s involved in feuding with Flair, he still has time to f*ck with Maven (and how nice of them to remember about the 24-7 provision of the Hardcore Title, which only exists when convenient). And does Al Snow only get camera time on Raw and SD while Tough Enough is on?



A spinaroonie and a Worm in the same match. I think I’ll be passing on this SD, thank you.



AND IN OTHER WRESTLING NEWS…



According to the Torch, the final sticking point with Savage and his non-appearance at the WWA PPV was simply money (as it always is). Andrew McManus offered Savage an ownership position in WWA rather than the one-year, US$5M contract that Savage wanted. The exact level of ownership caused a roadblock in negotiations. Thus, Savage and his people attempted to find a way out by asking McManus to put US$250K into an escrow account as a one-shot fee in case they couldn’t come to an agreement. McManus countered with half that in the escrow account, and Savage told him no. Apparently, Savage tried this move late last year when they wanted him to be involved with WWA, and the WWA people balked at it then.



There was no problem with Jerry Lynn appearing. His WWF contract expired last Friday and he’d been told in November that it wouldn’t be renewed. Lynn, in fact, became part of a “let’s not disappoint the audience” effort by WWA, which included Rick Steiner and Ernest Miller. Now, if Bischoff, who was backstage, had appeared on camera, that would have made the audience forget about Savage pretty damn quick and would have been a helluva coup for WWA. Sins of omission are always the ones we regret.



Raw came in at a 4.7 rating, same as last week and higher than its average lately. Let’s see if it sustains those numbers past WM, though. If so, wouldn’t it be sad if, after all their efforts in popping ratings, it was HallNashHogan that succeeded in sustaining them? What does that say about wrestling fans?



I turned off my ad blocker in order to see if Chester the Molester added code to screw with AdSubtract, and I got content, proving that they are adding code into their HTML to foil ad blockers. Also, it laid seven cookies on my machine for ad pushing services. Greedy bastards.



MAILBAG TIME



Here’s a list so far of cities where SD is occasionally preempted: Cleveland (Indians and Cavs games), Milwaukee (Brewers and Bucks games), Detroit (Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons games), Atlanta (Hawks games), Washington (ACC basketball, typically Duke), Philadelphia (Sixers games), Phoenix (Suns games), New Haven (Yankees, Mets, and UConn basketball games), Boston (Bruins games), Miami (Heat games), Houston (Rockets games), Muncie (Pacers games and minor league baseball), Sacramento (Kings games), and Dallas/Fort Worth (the occasional Mavs game). The most popular slots for makeups are right after whatever game is playing on Thursday, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night (usually opposite Excess), and Sunday afternoon. St. Louis gets UPN programming on a syndicated basis right now (they should have a UPN affiliate by the end of this year or the beginning of next), but that programming gets preempted for Blues games. Evansville, Indiana also gets syndicated UPN programming and gets preempted for Cardinals games or college basketball. Fort Wayne, Indiana doesn’t even get syndicated UPN programming. Let’s keep them coming so we can shut Keller up about making preemptions into newsbreaks.



Lee from STL made the same remark about Dubbaya not following family tradition and vomiting on the Japanese Prime Minister that I had ready for the abortive column last Wednesday, thus showing he has taste and intelligence. He also asks whether I’ve ever heard Bill Hicks. Oh, definitely. Arizona Bay is probably the best comedy album of the 90s, and his was as big a loss to the genre as Sam Kinison.



Larry Lilly’s heading to Rosemont for a convention which I attended a number of times many years ago when it was still in downtown Chicago, and wonders what’s good to eat over there, but it has to be inexpensive. The “inexpensive” part really screws you over. There’s a definite lack of restaurants of the non-hotel variety in the area that won’t Hoover your wallet. You’re going to have to drive quite a ways to find them (pretty much all the way to Harlem). The closest cheap place to eat is Mickey D’s over at Higgins and River Road. If you want to pony up, the restaurant in the Hyatt is pretty good and reasonable for hotel food. Nice bar there too.



Karl Barker seconded my opinion on why UPN’s survived this long (and adds Jolene Blalock as a reason for continued survival; agreed, but I don’t watch Buffy). He also wonders whether Ken Lay will end up in jail. No. I think he was a little too well-insulated from a legal standpoint from the shenanigans. He’s got underlings who will take the fall.



Memo to Chris Depetro: I was never going to Slash. That was a rumor started by Justin Shapiro and CRZ in order to attract people to Slash by making it seem that I was going there. After I left/was fired from The Smarks, the only place I was going was 411. And that was Scott Christ who got into the car accident. Turns out he faked it for a little sympathy.



JesterFTW asks if I go to any indy shows. The indy scene in the Chicago area has really gone downhill over the past couple decades, and they’re trying to bring it back, but it isn’t at the point yet where I’d go out of my way to go to a show. The Kenosha/Racine area gets the occasional indy show, but the booking’s mostly unknowns and over-the-hills. During his exile, though, Lawler did the occasional personal appearance around here.



Consensus opinion is that Mark Madden is a schmuck 24-7 and that Chuck Jones was God. John Dortmunder must be new here; he went into detail about the Kordell Stewart comments that got the Fat One into hot water that I reported on in my January 8th column. My old Shooters colleague Frank Winters, a PGH native, wrote me in detail about Madden’s continual provocateur act, and, frankly, anyone who think that Levon Kirkland was better than Jack Ham is out of his mind. Memo to Mark: Tell Tara the cartoon she’s thinking of is 1956’s “Rocket-Bye Baby” and it was indeed a Jones cartoon.



Memo to the ever-present Nunya Business: In the feud between Jericho and Trip, Angle is definitely a tweener if he stays involved. Jericho, of course, isn’t the heel in that feud; Steph is.



I’m gone. Enjoy Grut and Flea while I face the three-plus hour commute ahead of me.