In Memoriam: Ruth Handler, the woman single-handedly responsible for making three generations of American women think that ideal measurements are 48-18-36, thus driving them to anorexia, bulimia, fad diets, obesity surgery (“surging in popularity” according to cnn.com), and constant questions of “Am I too fat?”. Oh, by the way, Ken’s gay and Skipper turns tricks on the side.
In Memoriam II: Alexander Lebed. The Russian Jesse Ventura, in all the good ways. His death in a helicopter accident brings out one of the major differences between Russia and America. In America, it’s the conspiracy nuts who bring up theories about accidents not being so accidental. In Russia, it’s government ministers who do it.
The ultimate In Memoriam, of course, goes to Lou Thesz, whose effect on everyone reading this can’t be measured. Pro wrestling wouldn’t be what it is today without Lou. “Legend” just doesn’t cut it for him, and I really can’t say anything that would do him justice. However, I think the announcement of his death on a certain site that shall remain nameless should have been done without putting in a plug for the site’s merchandise. That was just tacky. Jeez, and people think that I disrespect the dead…
(Just an aside: How sad is it that cnn.com had notices of the deaths of Handler and Lebed, but nothing about Lou? You know, if Turner still owned a promotion (and still owned CNN), there damn well would have been something up there. Oh, well, ESPN didn’t have anything either, but they hate wrestling, so it’s expected. And for that matter, how sick is it that Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes gets more post-mortem coverage than all of them combined? TLC = the Three Degrees with more of a push.)
And it’s another joyous Tuesday here at the aforementioned site that shall remain nameless. Box office is up, ratings are down, and someone’s going to correlate the two and piss me off, as if that tagline for Vanderhorst’s column didn’t do that already. Here’s some advice: don’t do it, not while I’m still on a habituation dose. And memo to Gamble: Is predicting the WWF’s booking something that you should really be proud of? Just asking, that’s all. Let’s move on, shall we?
THE PIMP SECTION
Ashish has the Heat taping results, for those of you who don’t bother wasting your Sundays trying to find MTV on your cable system.
Cole has your international news, for those of you who want to know about that stuff.
Nason hasn’t realized that Bill Simmons has been putting wrestling references into his espn.com columns for a long time now, and admits he’s a fan. Also, I did the whole pop-up-stopping program thing a couple months ago, so he’s stealing from me without attribution. Baliff, whack his pee-pee. BTW, if you direct someone to a program, Josh, don’t just tell them to go to a big distro site like download.com. Either link directly to the program or tell people to go directly to the website of your recommended program. For instance, Panicware Pop-Up Stopper. Or AnalogX Pow!. Or better yet, direct them to pirate sites like FOSI (try all their mirrors listed on the main page; they have a slightly different set of software at each site) or 51soft. Not that we encourage that sort of behavior here or anything like that.
BABY JESUS HELD HOSTAGE, DAY THIRTY
Okay, you have people who practice one religion hiding out from people who practice a second religion inside one of the holiest sites of a third religion. That’s the whole story of the Middle East in microcosm. Sheesh.
You know, Lenny Bruce always used to say that if he could wipe out fifty words from each language on Earth, he’d be able to stop war forever. May I suggest starting off with the word “God”? Religion has become a detriment to the human condition. It’s time to ditch it. And memo to Karl Marx: if you said that religion was the crystal meth of the people, then I’d believe you. Of course, methamphetamine wasn’t invented until fifty years after you died, so I guess you had to go with what you could work with. But you should have known that all opiates do is make you want to lay around and do nothing. That’s what they make me do.
So, Dubbaya “pleaded” with Ariel Sharon for some kind of deal with Arafat, huh? My guess was that the plea went “Please, you’ve got to do something before my inept foreign policy pisses away my popularity. And could you do it before the November elections?” Colin Powell has been a disaster for Dubbaya in this instance; hell, the Brits have done more so far, and that’s pretty sad. The prexy’s relying on Powell’s rep to carry this, and it ain’t working, if the Saudis are any indication. Time to Kissinger Professor Rice into the big chair at Foggy Bottom, methinks. Everyone respects her. Hell, I even respect her (despite her role in being primary spin doctor over the asinine “Axis of Evil” comments).
THE TV GUIDE ASSHOLES STRIKE AGAIN
Did you catch that list of the so-called Greatest Shows Of All Time? This was a list of the most “influential or entertaining shows in American pop culture”, right? So what the f*ck is that piece of masturbatory shit Seinfeld doing at #1? Over I Love Lucy, which created the sitcom as we know it (including the standard three-camera format)? Over The Honeymooners and All In The Family (those three shows mentioned finished #2 through #4)? What exactly has Seinfeld contributed to our culture other than the phrases “No soup for you!” and “Master of my domain”?
The Sopranos is way overrated at #5 (it’s too soon to determine its influence), while The Simpsons coming in two places above Saturday Night Live is very dubious to say the least. Can someone please explain Letterman being at #7 while Carson’s at #12? thirtysomething in the Top 20? Friends ahead of M*A*S*H and The Twilight Zone (and thank God that that show finished ahead of The X-Pac Files, otherwise it’s postal time)? Roseanne ahead of The Bob Newhart Show and Taxi? Buffy the Vampire Slayer being on this list at all?
And here’s the biggest conundrum of all. Supposedly being “influential” is a criterion for being on this list, right? So where’s the show that TV Guide itself celebrated last week with a series of 35 collectors’ covers, Star Trek? One of its progeny made the list, but the original show didn’t? A show that spawned four spin-offs and nine movies not one of the fifty most influential series ever? Science fiction and fantasy make up 10% of this list (depending on whether you include Twin Peaks, which I have), and three of those shows don’t belong on the list at all. That’s almost as much of a slap to SF fans as J. K. Rowling winning a Hugo Award last year.
And what about foreign shows, especially from Britain? There have been a few that have had a huge impact on American pop culture, Monty Python first and foremost among them (no SNL without it, that’s for sure). Fawlty Towers? Playhouse 90 makes the list but the many great mini-series on Masterpiece Theater don’t get consideration? I’d certainly throw in a vote for Doctor Who as well. America is not the be-all-and-end-all of televised world culture.
Naturally, wrestling was not mentioned.
The lesson? Don’t do a list like this when you’re on mescaline. There has to be some mind-altering drug involved to come up with something like this.
A little sports, you say? I shall provide.
RODNEY DANGERFIELD’S GOLF TOURNAMENT
Whenever someone needs a contrast to the majors, it’s always the Greater Greensboro Open that gets dragged out for the comparison. “Tiger always brings his best to the majors, but he leaves his game at home for the Greater Greensboro Opens of the world”-type of statements always abound from the pundits. Let’s face it, the GGO is the Spike Dudley of the PGA Tour. It doesn’t have the greatest field in the world. It’s sponsored by Chrysler, one of the car companies that Tigger isn’t affiliated with. It doesn’t get a lot of attention. It’s even one of the few tour events that’s overshadowed by a Senior Tour event (The Tradition is a Senior Tour major; this changes next year when the GGO gets moved to October). But it’s still fun to watch, and it still produces some great stories. Robert Gamez may not have won, but he strung together some great shots on Thursday and Friday. He’s the American equivalent of Ho-Thay-Can-You-See: rocking the house as a youngster, then given up for dead following serious injuries, now on the comeback trail. And he wasn’t even the big comeback story of the weekend; Jim Gallagher, who really did disappear off the planet for a couple years, was. They’ve always been favorites of mine, and it’s great to see them playing well again. And, of course, congrats to Rocco Mediate for winning his second GGO. He won his first in 1993…you know, I didn’t think he’d been out on tour that long. Weird.
AGE DISCRIMINATION AND OTHER FUN THINGS
Staying with golf for a moment, the Masters will be instituting a policy after next year that former champions cannot compete past the age of 65 or unless they play at least 15 tournaments a year. Previously, in case you didn’t know, as long as you could still walk and swing a club, if you owned a green jacket, you were in. It was hard enough watching Arnie take his last round this year. Next year, we’ll have the same experience with Gary Player and the only-63-but-non-competitive Jack Nicklaus. The Masters should not be doing this. However, any course that I play on should. I’m sick and tired of waiting for the worm bait in front of me stumbling down the course trying to hit a three-wood on to the green from 100 yards, then spending five minutes contemplating a six-foot straight-away uphill putt. Get the ice floes and let’s play Eskimo. Of course, the same can be said about this young fogey considering Ty Tryon or Jake Grodzinsky, the Arizona high schooler who shot a 59 during a tournament recently (in a round that featured two eagles and a double-eagle (a 210-yard five iron…aarrrgh)). Youth is wasted on the young.
WHERE’S TOM THE ACTUARY WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
Five baseball managers sent to the glue factory since training camp opened, and at least another eight on the hot seat right now. Sheesh. Why don’t they take up something safer, like coal mining?
BILLIE JEAN IS NOT MY LOVER, SO SAYS MS. CAPRIATI
The lesson of the Federation Cup is clear: DON’T FUCK WITH JEN-JEN! Smart move, Ms. King. Throwing someone off the team for wanting to get in extra practice? Huh? Rules or not, logic should have prevailed in this case. But, then again, I think logic should prevail all the time, and you see where that’s got me with the WWF.
And that’s a good enough segue into Raw. For more details, please consult Keith. It’s nice, though, to know that PK is getting cured of his mark syndrome. Shock therapy always seems to work.
THE SHORT FORM
Eddy Guerrero over Jeff Hardy, Intercontinental Title Match (Pinfall, Doin’ It Froggy Style): People sometimes wonder what I’m talking about when I mention the anglo-lucha style being done by WCCW twenty years ago (what got me into watching wrestling in the first place). It was a lot like this match, except with a little more technical match wrestling involved. Not bad considering a Hardy was involved. The MVP of the match, though, was Lil’ Naitch. The guy just lost his wife to cancer, but he’s out there working, taking a king-size bump, and still selling better than 3/4s of the current roster. That’s a trouper.
Rob Van Dam over Booker T (Pinfall, Doin’ It Froggy Style Yet Again): Blah match, mostly because of Van Dam’s seeming complete disinterest in anything going on in the ring. When the audience can tell he’s just going through the motions, especially after blowing all those spots last week against Hennig, he’s in trouble. The normal solution for something like this is to put him in a tag team, but with whom? Mike Awesome, maybe? Lance Storm (to get him out of secondary-show purgatory)? Who will save Rob Van Dam from himself?
Brock Lesnar over Shawn Stasiak (Ref’s Decision, running powerbomb): There’s a difference between the negative pushes that Stasiak is getting and Christian has been getting. Christian had some heat prior to the negative push; Stasiak has never had heat. Negative pushes have never been good at establishing heat, and Stasiak is following in that pattern. Of course, since the WWF has been operating in the Bizarro World for the last two years or so, this may actually work. An over Shawn Stasiak? Weirder things have happened.
Steve Austin and Bradshaw over Scott Hall and X-Suck, Ric Flair as Special Guest Villain (Pinfall, Austin pins X-Bitch, Stunner): FF material, naturally. Just two things to mention, though, concerning this match. First of all, dubious push or not, Bradshaw’s trying to make the most of this situation. He knows this is his last big chance, and he’s doing his best to live up to it. It’s getting harder to remember him being a blond Stan Hansen clone. Second, New Daddy Kurt Dieckmann asked me, “With Lou Thesz gone, who’s going to teach Hall how to do a Thesz Press correctly?” What I want to know is, with Lou Thesz gone, who’s going to teach Austin how to do a Thesz Press correctly? That one he did in this match looked damn sloppy.
I’d normally reserve letters like this for You’re a Moron, but it has to do with this match, so let me print Ratdogtwo’s message here:
i have been hereing for the past 2 weeks that dx is comeing back soon to fight the nwo. Is it true or what. please help
And who exactly would comprise DX if this were true? X-Suck’s a member of the NWO, Trip’s on SD, Chyna’s fired, Road Dogg’s fired, Michaels is in purgatory, and Gunn’s occupied in his love affair with Palumbo, Constantino, and himself, not necessarily in that order. Silly mark. And, of course, please learn spelling, syntax, punctuation, and capitalization before writing me again. This is your final warning.
Buh Buh Ray Dudley versus Jazz, Hardcore Title Match (Pinfall, Stevie Richards pins Buh Buh Ray, guitar shot, New Hardcore Champion): In Dudleyville, they call this “foreplay”. And would the RTC have really approved of Stevie hanging around with someone like Jazz?
Spike Dudley over Goldust, European Title Match (Pinfall, Acid Drop): Okay, so it’s going to be Booker versus Goldust at Judgement Day. We get the picture. Now stop pushing it down our throats.
The Goblin versus Billy Brass Knucks, Non-Title Match (ND, Tweener-ference): You got more action between UT and Hogan in the beatdown than you’re going to see in the match at Judgement Day, folks. That beatdown, BTW, was one of those indicators of where you stand as a wrestling fan. The marks were worried, while the smarts were shouting “More! More!” at the screen.
Angle Developments, Quickies Format:
Blondes Have More Fun: I’m sure this comment will be repeated all over the Net today, but Booker in the blonde wig bore a very scary resemblance to Jazz.
Damned By Faint Praise: So, UT says that he’s better than Hogan is now, and better than he ever was in his prime. That isn’t saying much, is it?
Answering A Question: Anyone wondering why Regal’s getting pushed only had to watch his promo. He’s one of the best in the business at promoing, period, and that’s what counts these days. The best part, of course, was that it was completely shoot, just like UT’s promo.
Leitmotif: Okay, anybody else sick and tired of the “foot on the rope” bullshit? It’s as dull as “What?”.
AND IN OTHER WRESTLING NEWS…
Here’s the SD crew house show results from Erie, PA, courtesy of one of 1bullshit’s unpaid stringers:
Chavo Guerrero over Sho Funaki
Bob Holly over Randy Orton, returning the SD job from last week
D-Von Dudley over Tazz
Faarooq over Test
Yoshihiro Tajiri over Billy Kidman
Venis/Helms/Henry over Albert/Christian/Storm
The Gay Boys over Team Tough Enough
Chris Jericho over Rikishi
Edge over Kurt Angle in what was said to be a great main event
Also, there was a featured T&A segment featuring a bikini contest involving Ivory, the Ten-Buck Tramp, and my Beautiful and Beloved.
All in all, not too bad of a show. Naturally, the best matches out of those will be picked to be redone tonight for SD tapings.
Okay, that’s it from this end (yes, I overslept again…damn medication). Ashish will keep you kept up on the latest until I come back tomorrow with some commentary on the items he posts. Enjoy yourselves until then.