The Monday Edition 4.08.02

Howdy out there! I’m Flea and this is The Monday Edition. I think that’s enough of an intro. Exciting stuff for you today and thanks to each and every one of you who are joining me.

Note to all – the follow up to last Monday’s Austin thoughts is located in Saturday Evening Post. Go check it out.

Come on, let’s go

FIRST OFF

I think I will take this time to revisit one of the upstart wrestling promotions, the XWF. For the most part, this is the brainchild of Jimmy Hart, with assistance for such wrestling luminaries as Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Brian Knobbs and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Three experienced veterans who still have a love for the business but are not included in the plans of the only national game in town, the WWF. If you have been reading for a while, you may remember that I did a column when the XWF debuted their TV tapings, titled A Day With The XWF. If a link does not appear right back there, just go to the archive section at the bottom. I think it’s worth your while and gives a little insight into what these guys are up to. Or were up to at the time of the taping.

Fast forward several months and the XWF looks much different than they did that day. Gone are Hulk Hogan and Curt Hennig, two of the central points of the future plans of the XWF. Also gone is Jerry Lawler, who was the color commentator for the television tapings. Why would three of their biggest stars leave before the fledgling fed got of the ground? Vince McMahon came calling. Nuff said.

It has been rumored that Vince is hell bent on remaining the only viable promotion in North America and the recent troubles of the XWF have done little to quell what folks are saying about Vinnie Mac. Not only has Vince plucked the talent from the XWF but he has also gone after the ranks of the WWA, most recently re-signing Eddie Guerrero, oddly enough when he was planned to be a focal point of the WWA’s future plans. But back to the XWF. Hogan made it clear at the time that he would not say no to another WWF run but would do whatever possible he could to assist the jump starting of the XWF. Lawler was the epitome of a free agent, doing work with various promotions until he and Vince settled their differences. But Hennig? Odd that Vince would bring him back when he had numerous opportunities in the past. Evidently this has raised some eybrows in the ranks of the XWF. Greg Valentine and Jimmy Hart were recently interviewed and had different views on the situation. As normal , Hart was positive and kept his mind focused on the task at hand – putting over the promotion and their willingness to play second fiddle to the WWF, all they want to do is present fans with an alternative to Vince’s view of the wrestling universe.

Valentine was not so pleasant. Matter of fact he came right out and said that it’s his opinion that Vince deliberately sabotages the organization, even going so far as to book house shows in possibly viable markets for the XWF. Apparently Vince is not satisfied at being number one, but wants to be the only one as well.

Eh, who knows. The fact of the matter is that Vince IS number one and most likely will stay that way for quite a long time now. WCW had extra years added to it’s life with the influx of Time Warner money or else this may have happened much sooner. Whether or not Vince is taking the time to plot the demise of every other promotion in North America is matter for argument but not from me. I’m simply sitting back and taking what is offered for me and hoping what is presented is enjoyable on some level or another. For every moment that I have to wonder if Chris Jericho can ever overcome the stigma of being “Some Other Guy” to me, I get a moment like Flair gave me last week wrestling Kurt Angle – back into the corner, let the heel think he’s doing everyone a favor by giving a clean break and the POKE HIM RIGHT IN THE FUCKING EYE! Ha ha ha. And then Flair goes the extra mile to STRUT like he just invented electricity or something. It’s moments like that that have kept me entertained.

Or how about this – for every time I have to wonder what the hell is going through Austin’s mind when he walks out and despising him for it, I was right there with him when he made his return and showed why he’s still number one in the promo and attitude department. And I know his return can only mean I’m going to continue to see my favorite wrestler on my favorite program as well as on PPV busting his ass for my enjoyment. I guess, in hindsight, that makes the whole walkout thing worthwhile.

So good luck to the XWF. I hope they get off the ground as the promotion did provide a great atmosphere from a fans point of view. However if they do fail, or if Vince puts them out of business, well, that’s business. I can only hope that my enjoyment it provided for and in the 25+ years I have been watching I can always latch on to something that I enjoy. Always the optimist, am I.

HAVE YOU HEARD?

Speaking of alternative wrestling promotions, the WWA held an event in Australia over the weekend and saw an new Heavyweight Champion crowned. His name? Nathan Jones! For those of you not familiar with him he does his thing Down Under. Hometown crowd and send em’ home happy I guess. He beat Jeff J-A HA HA-DOUBLE R- HA HA- E-DOUBLE T-HA HA, Brian Christopher and Big Bad Booty Poppa Pump in a 4 way dance for da belt. Congrats to Mr. Jones. These guys have a PPV coming up in a couple of weeks so here’s hoping that Vince doesn’t come in and take THIS guy away. Hell, pretty soon the only star NOT on the payroll will be Double J. But are bridges ever really burnt? Guess we will find out if the WWA has any modicum of success.

News is going around today that although the Undertaker is bummed out about the rug getting pulled out from under him for the Backlash Main event, he holds no hard feelings. He is well aware that a majority of the fans are in Hogan Nostalgia mode and will not settle for anything less. As usual, UT is the ultimate professional and stepped aside to do what’s good for business. I thought I would point that out as everyone else seems to hate the guy with a passion normally reserved for X-Pac or in rare circumstances Rock-E. Like I said yesterday, I thought another H / UT match could have been built properly and solid. However, that does not take the place of Hogan’s farewell tour and I will gladly accept the replacement match, if only for another chance to hear the crowd go apeshit over The Hulkster. I could have lived with out the Red and Yellow, but so be it.

And finally, Ken Shamrock is still up in the air whether or not he wants to make another run with the Fed. The offer is there but Shammy is fielding other offers that may be more conducive to his schedule and lifestyle. I’m sure there is a place for him in the post attitude fed and personally, his matches with Owen were brutal (in a good way, stiff) to the point of being a perverse highlight of that time period. I f he does make a comeback, I would like to see him tangle with Benoit or Regal, someone who will really lay in the shots and can take them as well. No word on when or if Shamrock will make up his mind.

ANOTHER WEEK OF THIS CRAP

RAW will be in Yuma, AZ an will most likely explain how the UT got screwed out of the title shot. Only question is who will UT fight at Backlash? And for that matter, who will Austin fight? Many questions need to be answered as the PPV is only a couple weeks away. I’m psyched for the impending RVD feud with Eddie, so that alone will make me tune in the channel.

And as far as my follow-up on RVD that I mentioned last week? Well I might as well do it here because I have other plans for Page Six. I was dismayed last week when I heard that RVD may not be happy with his position in the Fed, due to the fact that he can’t have the type of match he likes. If memory serves me correctly, the matches he likes entail 20 minutes entrances and periods of stalling to the point of extreme distraction when he is wrestling. Don’t get me wrong, I think RVD is super talented and I think the time he has spent in the WWF has been to his benefit, not to his detriment. Having his stalling and goofing around curtailed has made his matches a lot more enjoyable, albeit predictable. For him to pass up or question this opportunity is strange, because I can’t think he would be happier on the Indy circuit as opposed to the WWF. The Fed obviously has big plans for him but they have been put on the slow cooker while some of the older, more established veterans have there last moment to shine. RVD will get his chance, that is almost guaranteed and he most certainly is not getting “buried.” “Buried” is what happened to D-Lo Brown. RVD is now the IC Champion of what still remains (for the moment anyway) the Fed’s flagship show, RAW. He is also about to enter his most interesting and possibly his most promising feud to date, and that would be the upcoming feud with Eddie Guerrero. This one has the possibility to be a show stealer and hopefully they drag it out for more than one PPV. Hell, if they gave Edge and Regal 3 months, this one should get all summer. This is where RVD will get his best chance to make a name for himself and Eddie for sure has something to prove. Every “crowd adored babyface” needs a jerkface heel to oppose him and I can’t think of anyone better for that job than Eddie. Not to mention these matches have the high probability to be marvelous, fantastic and all of the above. What more could I want? Well the only thing I want is if in fact RVD is unhappy he changes his tune and put all his energy into his role with the Fed. He has a great chance to really be “the Whole Fucking Show” and a little patience is all he needs.

Smackdown! will also be in Arizona and this show will no doubt be centered around Hogan and HHH. Curious to see if they continue anything between Rock E and Some Other Guy and if Angle fits into that in any way. Based on last week’s show Angle and Edge have issues, so my money is on seeing a tag match between these four men. And more Vince! Getting his mack on with Stacy Keibler! Oh man, all we would need is for Stacy to fall for the Rock and well .let’s just say your Tuesday and Wednesday News columns would be vicious. But I think Vince and Stacy is acceptable. In comparison to Rock-E, at least Vince’s stale act is lecherous and deviant. You can never get enough of that.

THE LINKS ARE ON ME

Let me say that I did get an email from 411’s resident Video game reviewer Jonathan Hurtado. Seems as the whole Game Section has new reviews, new reviewers and even MORE new ways for you to become and expert at the latest in video game excitement. The whole section is highly recommended so when you get a chance. Tell em Flea sent you.

As for the rest of the plugs. Well you are here at 411 which is bar none the best site on the web. Everyone is recommended and I suggest you take some time and surf around.

PAGE SIX

If you have made it this far I would like to thank you. I would also like to thank you for your readership and response over the last six months because this will be my last column for 411. Nothing major or nothing spectacular, but it is summertime and I simply do not want to have my weekends tied up. I came to this conclusion Wrestlemania weekend but was informed by someone whose opinion I value that when I sit down and write I would realize how much I enjoy it. Well, not in so many words but that was the point said person was trying to make. Anyway, that was correct and I said as much that Saturday in the news. However, I saw the next weekend coming and thought about ending it again but refrained because it was APRIL FOOLS DAY and I figured no one would buy it. That led to this week. I was psyched for Saturday and that held through EXCESS but when I got to this report, I felt it would be best to end it this week. And so I shall.

Big thanks to the following people –

BOSS – for allowing me all the leeway I want and for publishing this in general. All around good guy in general and everyone doing stuff around here should worship the guy. And wish him Happy Birthday. Widro rules!

Eric S. – it has been an honor and pleasure to be published on the same site as you. Consider yourself comped the next time the WWF plays Chi Town. Just remember to remind me.

Grut – where have you gone? We used to be so close. Will this bring you out of your shell and back to the comforts of the only one that truly loves you and truly understands you? What the FUCK am I talking about. Good luck and you know where to find me.

The Rat Diva – you’re input on EXCESS was much valued and appreciated. I’m sorry that we haven’t done one lately and it was no offense against you. I knew I was winding things down and didn’t want to prolong anything longer than it needed to be. All apologies. On the bright side, the EXCESS gig is now wide open. Turn something into BOSS and it could be all yours!

And while I am apologizing a special apology goes out to Ms. G. I’m sorry if what I write offended or upset you in anyway. That was not my intention in any way shape or form. I am a big fan of your columns and will continue to be so. AOLIM is Ryder Fakin and you have the email address if you would like to discuss further.

And also, E.C Ostermeyer. His plan to take over the web is nearly complete. But you didn’t hear that from me!

Umm, who else.

Everyone else. All the other writers on 411 and everyone who ever sent me feedback or chatted with me on AOL. It’s been a pleasure. And thank you.

Also two people that have been invaluable to my IWC “career”.

Chris Hyatte, who first started me out by adding Six Degrees of Ryder Fakin to his news columns. He also put a good word in for me when the EXCESS gig came about. I had the honor of writing the obituary for The King of the Internet as well as following in his footsteps picking up various pieces of news when it broke. Many thanks to the Glory Dog.

And finally thanks to someone only identified as 411 Reader Sean Lewis, who sent in a house report show covering the WWF in Davis, Ca. This was his intro to the main event match:

WWF Title Match

Triple H (Champion) Vs Some Other Guy

I read that and smiled. Because I knew where Some Other Guy reference came from. It came from someone who had a blast bringing you some weekend fun over the last six months. Glad to see that it was not all in vain.

Thanks for reading THE MONDAY EDITION, Saturday Evening Post and EXCESS, I’m Flea.