The Week In Wrestling: 3.24.02

Big response to last week’s column. A whole lot of you really liked Wrestlemania, and got angry with dissenting opinions on the matter. For Instance:

I like to read wrestling columns from time to time, and when I read one as slanted as yours, it makes me laugh. Bottom line kiddo is this, if you couldnt sit back and enjoy that show last night, and sit there and think about everything that is wrong with wrestling, then you need to do something else with your spare time. I sit and try to think how someone could write something like “no Wrestlemania moments came out of this show” and i come to this conclusion. This kind of opinion kills what little credibility you have as a writer, and i will add your column to the short list of columns that i will not read.

The fact I have an opinion kills my credibility? That’s an interesting take on the world. I won’t exactly wake up nights if a guy with that view on the world doesn’t read my stuff. Yeah, I did sit back and enjoy ‘Mania, but it doesn’t mean it was one of the better shows I’ve seen in my life. A main event based around dog poop, Austin mauling the nWo, and a match created over a shampoo commercial doesn’t rate on my high list of “Wrestlemania Moments.” And, for that matter, if you can’t infer what I mean by a Wrestlemania moment (ie: Shawn Michaels winning his first WWF World Title, Ultimate Warrior making his big return, Hogan pinning Andre, etc), then that’s your problem, not mine.

For a regular fan, WrestleMania was brilliant. I found no problems with the show, and was well worth staying up until 6AM and then sleeping for 2 hours and going to school. You obviously can’t look at the show as a MARK!!! That’s who they use to book for until the Smarts got bitchy and kept moaning and moaning so the WWF tried to book for them. And look where it took them! If you ask me, they are at their best when they book for the Marks. They get their fun, and the Smarts get entertainment. So try not to be SOOO objective, okay?

The WWF hasn’t been booking for anyone but themselves in a quite a while. Wrestlemania wasn’t much different. They are at their best when they mix the two and actually listen to what the fans want, rather than listen to what the locker room wants. The fans want RVD on television weekly. The fact he may or may not fly first class and forgot to pick up the Undertaker’s dirty boxers is irrelevant. The fans DON’T want Stephanie on every week. The fact she is in charge should be irrelevant.

And many other such things, which all said that I’ve forgotten how to enjoy wrestling and I’m far too negative. Well, I haven’t I have however, lost the ability to just watch and not get annoyed by various storytelling errors. I’ve also lost the ability to just watch whatever they feed me and not ask questions about it. Everyone should have this tremendous ability and it shouldn’t just be limited to wrestling.

Hey buddy, I was anxious to see what other people thought of what I now

consider one of the greatest wrestlemanias ever. I was very dissapointed

when i read your column

Now that one’s just plain out there.

The rest of the mail was either agreeing with me, thanking me for pointing out the fact Mania wasn’t exactly the Mecca it used to be and those who decided I couldn’t have possibly been on Spring Break, because I write for a wrestling website and, by default, I must be a fat loser who only sits in front of his keyboard and masturbates to Japanese wrestling videos. All I have to say to that is: doesn’t everyone? I mean come on, you get a look at some of those maneuvers those guys pull off, and it’s just Poetry in Motion, man. Not to mention their tight little

Channelling Grut there for a moment sorry.

To these folks I just say: “whatever.” I thought E-Flaming became passe about five years ago, give or take a year. If you get your jollies about firing off an e-mail about how someone is a fat loser, it’s normally either jealousy of some sort, or making up for having a small penis. But, I’m nothing if not a helpful human being so, if it makes you feel better about yourself to call me names, please… send them on in. In fact, I’ll print the best e-flame in my column every week. Because, to this day, I find e-flames amusing… the fact people enjoy so much being tough and brave behind a keyboard and monitor. Hyatte (welcome back by the way) had the most amusing solution to this… by printing his address and phone number in his column. Did any of the Internet Tough Guys ever come find him? I doubt it.

Anyway, enough about last week let’s get into this week. The last week before wrestling as we know it changes completely again or something. I mean, it’ll still be wrestling.

JR completely changed his tune after Wrestlemania. He Insists Hogan’s reaction is now not nostagalia, but tremendous respect. No more “mixed reactions.” Hogan’s reaction in Montreal is, again, insanely huge… Hogan returned to full face mode, dressed in his nWo gear. Hogan mentions the Rock’s name, which gets a set of boos. He gives up some Rock love. This love earns a “Rocky Sucks” chant. Could the fans see what the WWF has been missing for about a year? That it’s time for a Rock heel turn, and not an Austin one. For Wrestlemania 17, I predicted a Rock Heel Turn, because it would have worked heads and tails better than an Austin one. Why? Because Austin was as much the WWF flagship as Hogan ever was. People had trouble booing him just as they did Hogan. Hogan promises a rematch… which earns the Rock’s attention, which really earns a mixed reaction. Rock immediately begins working his interview in his near forgotten heel style. If it was a couple days later, I think the sick sideburns would be back. People manage to boo Rock, yet still chant along with his catchphrases. They seem to be trying to drown out “Rocky Sucks” chants. Hogan and Rock show each other mad love, which eventually drew out the nWo, because the turn is Hogan’s fault, not Hall and Nash’s. The plan was to take out one guy at a time, starting with Austin. Hogan screwed up the plan by taking the big match with Rock. The whole thing turns out to be a big promo for a tag team match tonight. Well, it’s still a tag match, but at least it’s some new wrestlers. I really hope this leads to some new members of the nWo, because if it doesn’t, this is just silly.

Lita now has better music than most of the federation. Go figure. And yet, they still insist Jazz is the one who should have the belt. The Lita/Trish match was an excuse to bring back Ivory, and unite her with Jazz. Isn’t setting up alliances kind of silly being that it all should be switching next week?

Speaking of which, Linda McMahon made the big announcement of the split or “brand extention.” I’ll use split because it takes less time to type and it’s less annoying. Ric Flair gets Raw and Vince gets Smackdown. Just like a divorce, only with less kicking and screaming. There’s a talent draft for each of the two men next week on Raw, except for the women’s and men’s champions, who are available to both sides. Well, this is good, is something new. She doesn’t, however, address HOW THIS WILL AFFECT HEAT AND JAKKED!!!! I miss this roster split by one week. I go to Raw on April 1.

Vince, honestly, wasn’t too happy about this idea. He actually just came out to say goodbye to the Raw crowd. While I find this a great idea and it might help breathe some life back into this, the writers can’t even keep one set of storylines straight… much less two. It earned Vince a “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good-bye” chant. This brought out Ric Flair. Flair blurted out some fun comments… as in “you used [Raw] to shove your worthless daughter down our throats.” I’m going to pretend he was saying that to Eric S and me. Ric managed to draw a “You Screwed Bret” chant without even trying. Vince actually made a “get on with it” signal to Flair, before the crowd could get too into it. It ended with a fight and a figure four. Vince gets first pick come Monday. I wonder if the illusion of competition will make them work harder.

Edge pinned Angle… whatever. I guess this week doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, though.

How often does Maven masturbate to the though of where he’s ended up in life? Yeah for the second reference to masturbation this week. I’ll wager not NEARLY as much as I would. And that’s on TOP of the sex. What put me on this is a hardcore match of Al Snow vs Maven, which ended up bring out Spike Dudley, and also brought on the Raw Debut of Brock Lesnar. I saw him wrestle a dark match the last time the WWF was in Albany. I guess he’s ready for TV now. He made an impressive debut, spinebusting Al through a garbage can, giving Maven a fireman’s carry into a Diamond Cutter thing, then picking Spike Dudley off the ground, directly into powerbomb position… then not allowing Spike to hurricanrana out of it… then doing Jericho’s old double powerbomb thing… but making it a triple instead. I think that qualifies as “putting a little stink on it.” No one in the arena knew who the hell he was, but seemed solidly impressed by the debut. Oh yeah, and apparentely Paul E is his manager. There’s probably a couple people in the crowd who thought he was Scott Steiner… they should just stick with Brock instead. He’s less overhead. Give him a Goldberg push. Unfortunately, he decided against pinning Maven for the title.

Regal reminded us that tag teams and relationships could be split by the big draft next week, buzzkilling a hot moment by Matt and Lita. I apologize for using Buzzkiller in a sentence and attempting to remind you all of Syxx. In reality, every damn tag team should be split, because Vince and Ric hate each other enough to draft the second member of each tag team, just so the other can’t have him.

I’ve decided, once again, that Billy and Chuck own everyone, simply because of their new music. I predict it as a top 40 hit within the month. The match was just a tool to have the Dudleyz turn on Stacy, I’m still not sure who was supposed to come out of the turn as the face. It’s an odd world we live in. Stacy’s legs actually wrapped around Buh Buh thirty-six times, and held on to the ropes to counter the powerbomb. Luckily, D-Von was prepped with the feather, to tickle her feet and break the counter.

HHH came out. JR did mention Jericho, just to say that HHH beat him on his best night. He reminded us he Pedigreed Steph last night. This brought her out. Wahoo. She demanded Chris Jericho’s rematch. Hunter said he’s got it next Monday… IF Steph puts her careeer on the line. Steph had the only good line of her career, when the crowd busted out with the second “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good-bye” of the night, she said “These people love me… look, they even sing for me.” This doesn’t excite me… this is finally when Steph ends up as the undisputed WWF championship. A loser leaves the WWF match for Steph. That buys us, what, like four weeks? While the premise of the match is great, it boggles my mind why they’re giving it away for free. People would pay good money for Backlash if it was to see the “end” of Steph on WWF TV.

Hogan skipped on the nWo music in favor of “Voodoo Child.” They’re either waiting on “Real American” for a PPV, or this is all a big set-up.

The big announcement of the night was that the Jericho/Steph vs HHH Handicap Match for Raw is being scrapped in favor of a HHH vs Steph vs Jericho match for Raw. People think it’s a good stipulation? It just makes it even EASIER to make Steph the Undisputed Champion. Everyone rolls their eyes it’s coming. Think I’m kidding? Yeah, Vince Russo would never win the WCW World Title either.

Brock Lesnar made his second appearance of the week, this time destroying Mighty Molly and the Hurricane. A giant killer and a manager. Smell the old-skool.

Oh yeah, speaking of managers: Billy and Chuck got Rico, who’s just about as manager-ish you can get. I’m just waiting to see if Paul is going to form a stable. That would be interesting.

The end of the show saw a Nash vs Rock match, which ended in a schmozz. It also saw the return of Syxx to the nWo. I’d prefer them to call him Syxx and not X-Pac considering he hasn’t been in DX for five years or so, and “Pac” became outdated around the same time. I figured he’d be the fourth member, so he could be “Four-Pac,” because nothing says gay like a Four Pack of Wine Coolers and X-Pac.

The Week In Wrestling

This week was rather forgettable, minus the five thousand uses of the words “brand extention.” The federation did manage to score it’s highest ratings in quite a while and did a damn good job at building to next week. In spite of themselves, they have a great storyline in the working here. There’s no reason at all they can’t maintain the rating next week, and keep it going until Backlash, just out of the curiousity factor. Watching Raw next week is going to be fun, just to see how it changes same this week with Smackdown. Thing is, people aren’t going to keep coming back if they don’t DO something with it.

So, instead of going over an auto-pilot week, I’d like to throw my take on some of the news items that have been being reported all this week, starting with Steve Austin.

I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve read anything about Steve Austin playing a creative control card, and flat out refusing to go along with a storyline. Apparently, Vince and the nWo was supposed to do a run-in, causing Hall to get the big duke at Wrestlemania. I guess Austin getting main event wins at three of the last four Wrestlemanias didn’t satisfy him. Instead, the WWF decided to go with Austin beating Hall five or six times in the same match. Funny how everyone expected the nWo to be the problem, and so far it’s only been the existing WWF roster.

Austin’s main problem is damage to the Austin character. Newsflash, Steve-o, nothing is going to hurt the Austin character any more than turning him into a bitch for six months. Having Austin overcome by three or four people isn’t worse than that. Him falling to four guys is realistic. If Nash, Hall, or Hogan had bitched out on a planned storyline that is supposed to carry the federation for the next six months or so, people would be screaming for their heads. Not so much when it comes to Austin and I wonder why. If I was Vince, Stevie wouldn’t have gotten paid for Wrestlemania, and he could have flown straight home to Texas and sat there for three months for all I cared. I still have the Rock, I still have the split, and I still have everyone else. That, and the fact I can bang a huge rating when I bring Mr “I won’t Job at Wrestlemania” back in time for King of the Ring. The WWF already proved they can survive six months without Austin. Let him stew at home for a few months, and don’t pay him. Maybe next time he’ll be more forthcoming when you tell him what the script says.

I have very little patience for things like this, and from everything I’ve seen, Vince has less. Last time he let the help get uppity, it almost wiped the WWF out from under him. Now, he has his top star doing something similar. Wonder how long he’ll put up with it this time.

So, supposedly now, it’s not only Austin upset with the current direction of the WWF, but many wrestlers are now. I guess they would prefer the current direction which is what, exactly? Can anyone tell me what the current directio nof the WWF was? The only direction I saw was the Invasion falling flat on it’s face, which was basically can’t miss and the nWo entry, which was also pretty much, can’t miss. Maybe that’s the direction the locker room wanted. More nonsense and things not making sense that sounds like a smashing way to keep the company going.

Oh yeah, and the locker room also is supposedly bitching that X-Pac gets inserted back onto TV into a major angle. “HELLO, DID THEY WATCH WRESTLING THREE YEARS AGO?” So far, this is one of the FEW things they’ve done that makes sense over the whole storyline. Of course X-Pac’s going to jump on the wagon he was IN the damn nWo. I don’t like having him back on television anymore than anyone else does, but dammit if he shouldn’t be there. Maybe if they let some other people who were around during the original run of the nWo have something to say about it, the storyline would make even more sense like that Diamond Dallas Page guy, who feuded with them for a damn year or that Big Show guy who WAS IN THE DAMN THING!! Right, I guess Big Show is too busy doing other things like jobbing to guys two feet smaller than him for no good reason and teaming up with Kane.

And of course, now the small fact there’s going to be two shows. I wonder if they have any plans following this Monday at all. Ryder says they plan to keep one set of writers for both shows, which is just plain stupid. Didn’t they want it to seem like two different shows? Having the same writers do two shows kind of take from the separation thing.

They also apparantly want to have a new set for Raw. This is a great idea, but then, they want to have a new sweeping overhaul of the logo and everything else. I think it would make sense to use a new logo and stuff for Raw, but everything else should be left alone. Ric should have his own set, logo, and look for Raw in fact, I think they should create a WWF logo in the style of the old WCW logo, with the big block letters and whatnot but then again, Vince doesn’t seem to want to remember that he owns WCW and if he does, it’s only to make it look inferior to the WWF.

So, we embark on yet another brand new direction storyline. This one also seems like a can’t miss.

Let’s see what they do with it.

End Transmission