The Monday Edition 3.11.02

Hello and Happy Monday. I’m Flea. Get ready for a Monday report chock full of goodies as I actually planned ahead for a non- PPV weekend. You are probably not impressed but I am. Not to mention I’m feeling good after a Sunday of champagne and poolside fun. Yes, the cold weather has once again left the Sunshine State and it’s 85%! That means fun in the sun and overall amusement that some areas of the country are still cold. Brrrrrrrrr, I feel your pain! Just last week it was 50 here and I was miserable. Summertime is coming and the living will be easy. The fish will be jumping and the Flea will be high. But before all that, we have Wrestlemania on the horizon so let’s get busy.

Quickly, I saw the promo for the news Star Wars movie; it played right before X-Files. I thought it looked appealing and should be a worthwhile sequel to the maligned First Episode. No sign of Jar Jar but I could swear than I saw Jimmy Smits giving Obi Wan some advice.

The new movie plays May 16th . Like we ain’t going to be there. Speaking of Susan Dey, how would you feel about some wrestling news?

Come on, let’s go

FIRST OFF

Well, this is it kids. One week away until the biggest spectacular in Sports Entertainment. “The Granddaddy of them All”, “The Crown Jewel”, “The Whole Fucking Show”(?) is next Sunday and looks to be a make or break show for the Fed. Why do I say that? Surfing the net over the last few weeks I see people threatening to do grave thing if this show ain’t to their liking. My opinion hasn’t changed. I made a New Year’s resolution to sit back and enjoy until WM and I have done so. That is until last week’s Smackdown.

Go back and check out Saturday Evening Post (my other weekend news report) for my views on that topic. Bottom line is I thought the show was rotten and find myself wondering why in the hell the Fed is making a mockery out of the n.W.o angle. Nothing really more than that and nothing that is going to sway my final opinion of the product overall, it was just a show I didn’t enjoy. As far a WM goes, I think the show is going to be top notch, as the talent will step up and deliver a first class show. I also expect the crowd to be heavily into it, which always helps the broadcast. Whether or not we get the finishes we want and expect is the only area of question at this point.

And while we are at this point, it looks like we have a finalized card according to Da Meltz

WWF World Heavyweight Championship

Chris Jericho (champion) vs. Triple H

The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall

Ric Flair vs. The Undertaker

WWF Intercontinental Championship

William Regal (champion) vs. Rob Van Dam

Kurt Angle vs. Kane

Booker T vs. Edge

WWF Tag Team Championship

Billy & Chuck (champions) vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The APA

WWF European Championship

Diamond Dallas Page (champion) vs. Christian

But let’s face it – this show is being sold one way and one way only – Rock vs. Hogan. A BIG TIME media blitz is gonna happen this week and this show is a one trick pony. Will Hogan pass the torch? Well, the last time he was in this building for WrestleMania he did. I expect the same thing this time, the difference being in the future results – Rock-E ain’t no Jim Hellwig. The rest of the card is a moot point but will provide for some Grade –A matches, I think. I’ll do a full review next week but just wanted to get in some quick thoughts on Rock and Hogan before they get shoved down our throats this week.

Speaking of all that, RAW looks to be interesting tomorrow as we get Rock/Stone Cold vs. the n.W.o. I’m hoping they just beat the living shit out of the faces and this time making it stick. I would prefer not to see the last RAW going into WM end with Austin and Rock chugging down beers in a celebratory fashion. That just makes no sense at all a week before a couple of blow-off feuds.

Still, my advice would be use this time wisely and don’t make any rash decisions. I’m counting on the Fed to deliver and get back on track after what appears to be a couple of stumbles out of the New Year’s gate. As for myself, I’m going to view this as the end of a year long brainfart in which the WWF never seemed to get their act together, in a year that should have redefined “Sports Entertainment” and ushered in a new “Golden Age of Professional Wrestling”. It started at last year’s WM and well let’s just see what happens this year. I have stayed positive and will remain that way but there eventually comes a time when that glass is half empty.

Whatever happens I have a feeling that Mick Foley is laughing his ass off.

HAVE YOU HEARD?

Talk about a guy that has no luck. Jerry Lynn, late of the WWF and seemingly every other wrestling promotion, got SCREWED over the weekend, this time by the CZW. These guys had a wrestling show over the weekend at the famed ECW arena, with Jerry Lynn making a surprise appearance and beating the reigning CZW champion, Justice Pain. According to reports, Lynn won the match, was declared champeen and given the belt. The catch is that the ref, Brian Logan, was not clued in that it was a NON TITLE MATCH. Oops. So “all apologies” say CZW and a “too bad for you” to our old pal Jerry Lynn. I think they should make this whole thing into an angle and make that ref Logan into another Bill Alphonso (Fonzie). Hey, it worked the first time around and it ain’t like the fans in Philly are that hard to fool. If in fact Jerry did again get screwed, well bummer. It seems that everyone loves the guy except for the people who pay to see the shows, the promoters, the bookers, the other wrestlers and quite possibly a Witch Doctor who sticks pins in his “Jerry Lynn Doll”. But hey, the Internet loves the guy, so at least there is some comfort in life.

In quite possibly the funniest thing I have seen this week, BOB’s site reported that Kevin Nash’s site (kevinnash.net) has the following message for our perusal:

“There is a person using the IM name of “WCWKevin” claiming to be the actual Kevin Nash. This is NOT Kevin Nash. Mr. Nash does not correspond on the internet at this time. He does not have IM, email, ICQ or any other internet identity. He does not post on message forums, guestbooks or visit chatrooms, other than his official website at kevinnash.net. All claims of this nature to be Kevin Nash are fraudulent.”

If the Internet rumors are true, this imposter should be too f*cking lazy to post. Where’s the scandal?

ANOTHER WEEK OF THIS CRAP

RAW is in Detroit this week – expect Wresltemaina hype

SmackDown is in Cleveland this week – ditto.

Nuff said.

THE LINKS ARE ON ME

E.C. has the full report of Vince on Byte This available. You should already be there. But while you are still here, please keep reading. Good stuff at the end.

Brower continues to go ape shit with his teaser but did manage to include the following in his Jakked report:

And while I’m dishing out 411 praise, it seems that I’ve never really pitched Flea before. He does a TON of work here (Saturday Edition, Excess, Monday News, etc.) and he always keeps it high energy. I bitch about my one report so I can’t even fathom taking on Flea’s work-load, much less at the level of quality he attains. Go, Flea!

It’s about damned time someone noticed. Most people on this site can’t be found with a FUCKING SEARCH WARRANT when the weekend come around. So thanks. And next time name drop me in the teaser!

Hey guys and gals! Yeah YOU. Do you like video games? Then 411 is the place for you. We have an entire section dedicated to reviews as well and helpful guides for the latest and greatest items in the world of video games. Matter of fact here are a couple of links for you

Right HERE is where Greg Brown gives you at the details on what’s doin’ over in the Japan Gaming world and

Right HERE is where the dude in charge of things over there, Jonathan Hurtado, is asking for YOUR help. 411 is hiring again, providing you are proficient in game playing and have an interest to write down your thoughts and share them with the 411 readers. Me? I’m relegated to writing about wrestling on the weekends because I get my ass kicked on a regular basis my seven year old daughter on these games. It got so bad I bought an Atari and Intellevision, hid the Xbox, and proceeded to WIPE THE FLOOR WITH HER CANDY ASS OLD SCHOOL STYLE~! Wah wah is what SHE said but I wasn’t even trying to hear that. So I give her back the Xbox and expect a little mercy but no – ASS KICKING 101 is on Flea’s agenda with a hearty HA HA HA from a kid that has no respect for her elders. So what did I do? I bought two of my favorite “arcade” games, KUNG FU and Wrestling Superstars, the old one with Andre, Dibiase, Hogan, etc. and trust me when I tell you I rule. What do I get for my troubles? WAH WAH WAH .I want my Xbox back!! So once again I caved in and once again I get my ass kicked trying to play a stupid car racing game and not even having a joystick. Bull – and- shit.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Go check out the 411 Video Game section and tell em Flea sent ya! If they don’t hire you, I will. I’m gonna need someone to tutor me to win at this Xbox shit before I get really out of hand ship my kid off to school in Europe.

And EXCESS will be up by Monday. I have my part done, I’m just waiting for my guests to sober up and get with the program. No names mentioned of course.

PAGE SIX

And that’s another weekend for you. I realize I made a typo in Saturday’s News and said I was going to talk about The XWF. Wrong. XFL!!! I did manage to correct myself later in the paragraph but it did lead to me getting a ton of mail laughing at my mismanagement of proof reading abilities. One word can change the entire concept of a thought, just look what happened to Vince when he said “niggardly”. So without further ado, lets go back in time to last year and Flea’s journey with an upstart football league, a megalomaniac who has the Midas touch (but only in his own environment), members of the media who wouldn’t piss on said megalomaniac if he was on fire and 20,000+ drunks who supported a lost cause.

The news that Vince was starting a football league was scoffed at when announced. Anytime the stigma of professional wrestling is attached to anything mainstream, much less America’s “real” national past time, the members of the media sharpen their knives and pull out their bag of overused cliches (“What, are we going to have The Rock running into the backfield and giving everyone a “stunner”?”). Well, no one said these clowns were factual in their critiques, but the power they wield over what appears in media publications is not something to take lightly. Vince being Vince, he goes out and does what he normally does: Give these guys enough rope to properly hang him and then count on his loyal fanbase to bail him out of embarrassment and financial downfall. Vince knows he will never get a fair shake from the press so therefore goes on the attack. Can’t fault a man who knows his lot in life and uses his own methods to win, but as history has shown, when McMahon gets out of his insulated world of wrestling, he just ain’t bulletproof.

“A new style of football!” “No more spoiled millionaires” “Our guys will have to PLAY to get paid”. Unbridled access to the sidelines and the inner workings of our player’s lives!” “GIRLS GIRLS AND MORE GIRLS!” This was the advertising blitz that trumpeted the arrival of the league, appropriately titled the “XFL” What did the “X” stand for? I don’t think we were ever told. Most folks assumed that it was “eXtreme” but I have no recollection of that being confirmed. What matters is that NBC bought what McMahon had to sell and promised the backing of NBC’s sports television division, which was still smarting after the loss of the NFL and still a couple years away from the Winter Olympics bonanza. Prime Time Saturday Night Football is what the XFL would be and it was quickly decided to get this thing started sooner rather than later – start date is less than a year way, lets get thing rolling!

It was announced that Orlando would be among the cities selected for an XFL franchise and the buzz spread like wildfire. Radio and local media promoted the league, with only a few snide remarks because if nothing else, the city of Orlando is a SUCKER for ANYTHING that brings revenue into the town. From a fans point of view it was great. Tickets to the game were between $10 and $30 bucks, not to mention it’s on Saturday and what better excuse to get out of the house and party on a Saturday during the “winter” months than a football game? Tickets sold like wildfire and your pal Flea scarfed up some season tix. 3rd row 50 yard line on the visitors side, where you want to be when there is any heckling involved. Think about it! In a so-called “interactive league” who the hell wants to side and play nice with your home team? Much better to have some fun with the opposition, especially when the whole section is nothing but hometown fans. Ain’t like no one is coming from Jersey or California for the XFL, you know.

So after all the buildup, the time was here. 30,000 screaming DRUNKS welcomed the 8pm kick-off, having “tailgated” since early in the afternoon. Orlando’s first play from scrimmage? TOUCHDOWN! Talk about a way to start! Damn, this league is going to play, I thought, especially after watching 2 and a half hours of football, albeit mediocre football at times, that resulted in a high scoring affair with Orlando getting the duke. Much to my dismay the game was not “nationally televised”, where if memory serves me correctly, a more “appealing” game (the New York team) was shown to the viewing audience, a game that was mired in snow and resulted in a low scoring sloppy affair. Looking at the media guide and seeing that the Orlando team, which blew the roof off the joint, was not slated for national TV until the end of the year put a feeling of doubt in my stomach right away, but at the time I couldn’t understand why.

When the ratings came in, Vince crowed. “I told you so” was his mantra until the next week, where once again, in lieu of showing the Orlando team, a team that puts points on the board and fills the stadium with screaming fans, the decision was made to once again show the New York team, a team that quite frankly, couldn’t play dead. The ratings plummeted nearly 50% and then settled into a range that was downright embarrassing for prime time and pretty much signaled the end of the XFL before things even got started.

Sure, Vince postured and tried to put a positive spin on things, but the damage was done. The press, smelling blood, went after Vince and NBC with all that they had (of course ignoring that a sport like hockey had played in prime time and done worse) and buried the XFL. Make no doubt that it wasn’t the quality of play that killed the league, it was the media and their relentlessness in knocking Vince McMahon’s dick in the dirt. Sensing defeat, Vince tried one more ploy to garner interest in the league and finally got around to the city of Orlando to help him.

Yes, it was here that Vince showed up in person to attempt to do something “revolutionary” during a halftime show. “Let’s feature the CHEERLEADERS in a sex filled dream sequence during halftime for the prime time audience!” If you recall, that went over like saying “FUCK” in church and was treated as a joke by everyone who paid the ridiculous scene any mind in the mainstream press. Of course you would have never known that being in the stands that night as 20,000 drunks cheered in unison at the sight of a half naked breast. What I should add to that is a majority of the stadium was cheering at the women flashing before and after the “dream sequence” segment. Everyone pretty much snored and ignored what was playing on the big TV screen, because it was one of the most ridiculous things that we had seen outside of a goat-roping or an ape-raping. And we LAUGHED when we realized THIS is what was going out to the national audience when the whole year, Vince and NBC had ignored even bothering to show the best team with the best crowd on their prime time national programming until that point.

A few weeks later, the XFL closed shop. One season and $50 million dollars lost and it’s over. For my part I had a blast and have great memories of the game and fans. NBC managed to eventually wipe the egg of their faces with a strong Winter Olympics showing as well as the NBA. As a matter of fact they have signed on to broadcast Arena League Football, which is exciting in it’s own way but is not exactly professional level football. But will the media give this a fair shake and let the league walk before it has to run? Of course they will.

Vince it seems has never recovered. Whether or not it has been just one big coincidence or just a period of stagnation, the WWF has not been “must see” programming since Vince got involved with the football project. Do I feel bad for him? Not at all. He has a habit of digging his own grave and, as mentioned, expecting his fanbase to make him come out smelling like a rose. He bet everything he had to put on the first WrestleMania and we helped him. He said he would sell out WM3 and we helped him. Now the time is coming again where his loyal fanbase must dig in and be a foundation when he tries rebuild a stagnant and increasing comical (not in a good way) product. The time is coming to see if we are going to be there for him or not.

How would I have handled the XFL differently? I always think back to if that first game from Orlando. It’s a game that should have been broadcast to the national audience and had subsequent games shown featuring an exciting, high-scoring team. That might have garnered a little more positive reaction for a cynical press. Instead, Vince and company “catered” to the mainstream and mainstream markets in general and gave them a mainstream product, i.e. teams from “big market” cities to get the job done. And it flopped.

Think about that and then realize how lazy the WWF has been building up to their biggest show of the year. They will still promote it as such, but they are banking on the Hogan vs. Rock match to carry the show and the buyrate. Will it bring the “mainstream fans” back into the fold?

Or more importantly will Vince’s loyal fanbase hang with him this time.

Thanks for reading THE MONDAY EDITION, I’m Flea.