When everything feels like the movies,
yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive
– Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris”
So far, I’ve resisted the temptation to pull over next to a CTA bus, whip out a can of spray paint, and tag a nice big “FLEX” across one of those Scorpion King pimps (I came very, very close to doing that to the small SD billboard on northbound Route 41 just before the junction with Route 21 in Gurnee). God knows there’s enough opportunity to do it. That bomb has a marketing budget bigger than the money I’m going to make in my lifetime. The good thing about it is that SD might be watchable for the next few months while he’s out spending some of that promotional budget.
And it’s yet another All Quiet On The Western Front Tuesday here at 411, as I get to blow off some much-needed sleep to bring you news from the world of wrestling, combined with a lot of other stuff that many people find much more interesting. So let’s start it off…
THE PIMP SECTION
Terrific. I’ve got to follow up Flea’s farewell column. Dunno who’s going to be following him in the chair, but he’s got one helluva job ahead of him to meet those standards. Don’t be fooled, though: Grut’s lifting up one edge of the glass ceiling and I’m on the other, and as soon as we let that replacement through, it gets slammed down and caulked. But I do get one more remark to throw Flea’s way before he departs: viz. a hookup between Flex and My Beautiful and Beloved, like my column is two days of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows now?
Speaking of newbies, I’ve got to read all of them to find out their tendencies and make cute little references like I do with Letawsky, Nason, Mahaud, Artie Martie, et al. How dare you make me do work! Inconsiderate bastards!
Musso is your new Heat recapper. I’ll give him time to find his way out of the Keith Lite mode that he seems to be in. Son, it’s fine to have opinions. That’s what the readers turn to this site for. If they wanted a bland recitation, they’d go over to Rajah or the Torch. Just repeat after me: “Coachman…f*cks…sheep…Coachman…f*cks…sheep”. Now, write it into the column and let your soul be free.
Memo to Johnston: You’ve got some potential there, kid. Just let go of the inhibitions a bit more and give into your natural-born Flex hatred.
Nason, as per usual, keeps you updated on the indy scene, featuring big names that we used to be able to see. Why the hell not just rename the thing “Where Are They Now?” and get it over with, Josh?
WHO CARES ABOUT WRESTLING? IT’S MASTERS WEEK!
So they’ve turned Augusta into the Course From Hell, huh? In order to win there now, you need length, a laser-like short game, and a hot putter. Tigger ain’t got the last one this year, so I’ll bet against him this time. The best chance for a two-time winner to make it three has to belong to Ho-Thay-Can-You-See. He’s having a great year so far, and I have a feeling that this year The Cathedral will be playing like it did in ’99, when he kicked six kinds of ass out there. I’d go with him, except that the Goose is really, really hot right now, coming off a win and desperate to prove that last year’s US Open was no fluke. He’s also got the mad skillz to play Augusta the way it is now. I’ve heard Bob Estes’s name being thrown around as someone who might break through, but I don’t buy it. So I’ll go with Olazabal or Goosen as your winner. Hey, that’s the best you can do with golf. It’s not like it was scripted or something, like NASCAR (and an early happy birthday 30th tomorrow to Matt Kenseth, who won the rain-delayed event in Fort Worth yesterday…yes, I know I have a column tomorrow, but my chances of mentioning NASCAR are about the same as me saying a nice word about Flex).
HOCKEY SUCKS, BUT FEEL-GOOD STORIES NEVER DO
Welcome back to Saku Koivu, who looks like he’s beating non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma like Bob Probert used to do to wingers when he was coked up. Le Capitaine of Les Habitants should be on le glacee for tonight’s game against the Sens at the Molson Centre. He may not become the poster boy for athletes beating cancer (that honor will belong eternally to Lance Armstrong), but remission is always something to celebrate. Their opponents have their own version of this going on, though. For the last two regular season games on Thursday and Saturday, cancer-stricken assistant coach Roger Neilson will get a temporary promotion to head coach of the Ottawa Hockey Senators so he can be on the books as having coached 1000 NHL games (and set the record for number of franchises coached with eight). Here’s to recovery and revival of life.
That being said, while I’m on the subject of cancer, my condolences go out to Lil’ Naitch, Charles Robinson, who lost his wife Amy over the weekend to cancer (hence his absence on Raw). All of us who have lost a loved one to cancer (which includes myself and a good portion of this audience) can certainly sympathize, but the loss of a spouse is especially painful.
AFTER THAT BUMMER, HERE’S THE SHORT FORM
Buh Buh Ray Dudley over Booker T, Hardcore Title Match (Pinfall, Buh Buh Ray pins Goldust, TableBomb): I will ignore the pre-match festivities for the sake of my sanity. I will also hope that their booking strategy for Buh Buh Ray does not consist entirely of the phrase “It worked for Scott Taylor”. As for the match, it’s no news to anyone that Booker can work in any style (he proved he could do hardcore a long time ago), so it was a damn good fit. The energy was there too, which surprised me a bit considering that the HC strap is a bit of a comedown for both. Good for what it was before the Goldust run-in.
X-Suck over Kane, No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere Match (Pinfall, chair/pipe/2×4 shots): Why is it that whenever Nick Patrick refs a match featuring an NWO member, I keep thinking he’s going to rejoin them? Well, it’s better thinking about that than about this match. I’m a little split on the mask theft. I kinda like the old-school feel of a feud over the mask, but I think that time has passed the simplicity of something like that by. Besides, the feud does involve ‘Pac, so there’s enough reason not to care right there.
Spike Dudley over Billy Brass Knucked, European Title Match (Pinfall, knucks-assisted right cross, New European Champion): Does it count as a match when the opening bell gets rung during the three-count? Of course, it was worth having Regal humiliated in order to see Coachman get a Slurpee poured over him by TBS. Guess you can also make Buh Buh Ray’s face turn truly official with the reconciliation with Spike as well.
The Undertaker over Rob Van Dam, Number One Contender’s Match, Non-Title (Pinfall, Last Ride): The answer to the unasked academic question “What would an Undertaker match booked by Paul Heyman be like?” As the match started, I asked myself, “So when’s Eddy doing the run-in?”. As the match continued, I told myself, “Eddy, please, PLEASE do the run-in and stop the blown spots”. As Eddy did the run-in and the match still continued after that, I just shook my head. And why the hell was UT so incredulous over all those two-counts? Apparently he’s never seen any of the eight billion Van Dam/Jerry Lynn matches, which followed the same formula.
Molly Holly over Trish Stratus (Pinfall, bow-and-arrow rollup): You want puppies. I want women who know how to wrestle and no more abortions like last week. This was an adequate example of my wishes, not yours, so tough shit.
The Big Show over Curt Hennig (Pinfall, chokeslam): Fast-forward fodder.
Steve Austin over Scott Hall, Number One Contender’s Match (Pinfall, Stunner): FFed through most of this one too. Typical end-of-show mass run-in match, and a rematch from WM that no one clamored for to boot.
Texas Rattlesnake Or Norwegian Blue?: Do you know how close Austin came to the Dead Parrot Sketch during the opening promo when he was talking about UT’s dead man rep? Well, if you must steal, steal from the best.
Memo To The Guy In The Sixth Row: The only thing Scott Keith fears is me, dumbass. Well, me and the WWF’s lawyers. And a certain software company. To summarize, Scott Keith fears me, the WWF’s lawyers, and a certain software company. Oh, yeah, and the release of certain pictures from an old Wrestlemaniacs Christmas party featuring him, the Gooney Bird, and a calf that was being weaned. But that’s it. And how close did I just come to the Spanish Inquisition?
Enough Of Python, And Back To The Opening Promo: Here goes UT shooting again, I see. Is he going to try the Austin Approach and do a runner sometime between Backlash and Judgement Day when Austin gets the “Number One After Backlash” slot (well, we all wondered what Austin and UT would be doing at Backlash)? And talk about front-loading a show. You’ve got your three major attractions featured in the same opening promo (one might say the only three attractions if one were cynical). Is that a desperate cry for improved ratings that I hear emanating from Stamford?
Nash Gets Suspended: So how can you tell?
Ignorance Of History, Volume 3789427: Why should Terri be confused about the viability of Kane’s plumbing? He’s fighting X-Pac tonight. How did that feud start? Because of Tori, who definitely tested the pistons and gears on the Big Red Machine. Of course, since Tori’s gone, they can’t mention her, can they?
Anger Management Course, Stat!: Was Regal about to pop a vein during his promo or what? Yeah, the guy does “being upset” really well, but this was intense, even for him. Wonderful work as usual from Regal.
Defining “Tweener”: Having Heyman as a manager and running roughshod over everyone makes Brock Lesnar a heel. Beating up the Hardys makes him a mega-face.
For more on Raw, tune into Keith and/or PK. Or if you can’t stand watching the show and would rather live out a better version of it, look at Morse.
AND IN OTHER WRESTLING NEWS…
HEAT TAPING RESULTS:
The Observer had ’em up, so I’ll give them to you:
Crash Holly over Jackie: Memo to Mister O’Grady: Two words: Disco. Inferno.
Goldust over Shawn Stasiak: The stip here was that the winner could disclaim completely that he ever slept with Terri.
Matt and Jeff Hardy over Stevie Richards and Justin Credible: I wonder…if Lesnar appeared on Heat, would the ex-ECW guys keep getting buried or would Heyman’s presence prevent that?
Bradshaw over the Big Bossman: Set phasers on “ignore”.
SMACKDOWN UNIT HOUSE SHOW RESULTS:
The WWF ran its SD house show in Yuma while the Raw crew was on TV. Here’s the results from that, courtesy of the Torch:
Billy Kidman over Tajiri and Helms, CW Strap three-way: With Kidman and Helms involved, Tajiri must have been wondering what kind of three-way they were actually going to do.
Lance Storm and Albert over Scott Taylor and Randy Orton: Well, it didn’t take Albert too long to find a new partner. Too bad it was Storm, who deserves much better.
Val Venis over D-Von Dudley: While his erstwhile half-brothers get major pimps on national TV, D-Von does the job to a guy whose gimmick is dead and can’t draw audience reaction if he put ten thousand volts through each of the seats. Who got screwed?
Test over Bob Holly: Test got a woman to show everyone her tits. This caused the two competitors to be distracted for most of the match. You’d think Holly wouldn’t laugh about the subject of someone exposing themselves in the ring (see Foley Is Good).
Billy/Chuck over Al Snow/Maven and Hugh Morrus/Chavo Guerrero, Tag Strap Three-Way: Gee, with that level of competition, you’d think that the Gay Boys would be toast, wouldn’t you?
Dallas Page over Christian: Page has spent more time with Christian lately than with Kimberly. For some reason, though, I think that both Page and Kim would be receptive to a menage-a-trois.
Chris Jericho over Rikishi: The Jericho humiliation continues as he gets the Stinkface.
Torrie Wilson over Ivory and My Beautiful and Beloved, Swimsuit Contest: No comment.
Edge over Kurt Angle: Nice main event. Wish they’d tried something like that on Raw while they still had the chance.
That’s just about it for now with that. More tomorrow if it warrants my attention.
It’s going to be All Memo, All The Time this column, I believe, so you get to drive yourselves crazy trying to figure out what they wrote me. I love torturing my audience.
Memo to Flea and a whole bunch of mailers: Yes, I know about the NCAA finals last Monday. I just didn’t give a rat’s ass because of the complete destruction of my brackets. Besides, it sounds like the same old excuse that the WWF always gives to explain below-expected ratings: “Well, Monday Night Football had a good game”, “There was a very special episode of Big Brothers Of Survivors Of The Amazing Race To Temptation Island“, “You don’t really know how popular the Westminster Dog Show is”. The WWF has a stable enough audience to stand on its own without the use of crutches to explain poor performance. Okay, let’s see what happens this week. I’ll follow up tomorrow.
Memo to Cabbageboy: Agreed on Bert Wheeler being one of the premiere drag artists of the 20th Century. You’ve got to also give credit across the pond to Danny LaRue as well. However, I was being serious about Forrest Tucker’s supposed endowment. Must have been real fun on the set of F Troop. I’d love to ask Ken Berry or Larry Storch if they ever snuck a peek in the dressing room just to clear that rumor up once and for all.
Memo to Andrew DeSisto: Oh, yeah, all the royal families of Europe are pretty much related to each other courtesy of Victoria’s policy of marrying her brood off into different royal bloodlines. Queen Margaret of Denmark and Queen Liz are third cousins, with both being great-great-grandchildren of Christian IX of Denmark (Prince Philip is a second cousin once removed of both through Christian). Ditto King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and Brenda, both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria (Prince Philip’s involved here too; his grandfather Prince Louis of Battenberg is Carl Gustaf’s great-grandfather…in fact, Phil and Liz are related in so many ways that it’s no wonder Prince Charles’ ears look the way they do). It was appropriate that the King of Norway showed up for the Queen Mum’s funeral, since he’s family too (he and the Queen have Edward VII of England as a common great-grandfather). So what the hell was King Juan Carlos doing there? Accompanying his wife, who’s Prince Philip’s cousin once removed. For more on the European monarchy family shrub, check out the Monarchies of Europe website, which has everything annotated and footnoted with appropriate hypertext links between the different lines. You should be able to get enough relations by looking over England, Denmark, Russia, and Hesse-Darmstadt. The family links between those four alone look like the Gordian Knot.
Memo to my favorite obscurantist Sylvain Parent: Thank you very much for that link. I really did need a laugh, and that came at the right time. However, I have seen Evangelion, and I do prefer Cowboy Bebop just on a purely personal taste level. Both are quality material, so it’s down to that.
Memo to Nick Milks: I’m glad you’ve seen the light, my son. And I love the suggestion of Bruce Campbell as the only one who could have saved The Scorpion King.
Memo to Elliot Olshansky: I don’t want to watch SD because it really gives me a vibe of Nitro circa 1998-1999, where the cruisers, Jericho, and Benoit were the only reasons to watch. I don’t want to go through that again.
Memo to Heath Peek: Hope that you got all of Freedom Force. It’s terrific. And thanks for the heads up on reminding me that it was out so that I could grab it.
Memo to Eric Dolhon: The movie may be a contributing factor on why they’re not turning Flex, but it’s not the only reason. I still think that the primary reason is their complete paranoia about alienating the audience. Remember, the Austin turn was the first major one done by the current booking regime, and they blew it so badly that they’re scared as hell about taking one of the money guys and trying it again (a rationale that also applies to UT, who is getting very stale very quickly).
Memo to EBailey140: Too bad that AOL won’t let you download something called “a sense of humor”. Too earnest for You’re A Moron, regrettably, but you did come close. Better luck next time, schmuck.
Memo to Phil Watts: Good point about Flex’s no-selling being part and parcel of the humiliation of Chris Jericho. And I told you that Flex would wreck that heel-on-heel promo. He always does that. He is the Black Hole of Heat, after all.
And I’ll let this column fall into a singularity for another Tuesday and prep for tomorrow, where I’ll rejoin you with SD commentary and whatever else might pop up. So enjoy life, etc.