Netcop V. The Mutants From Philly

Wow, does the general ECW fanbase need more bran in their diet or what?

I reviewed ECW’s “Anarchy Rulz” PPV this past Sunday, because that’s my

job, to, you know, REVIEW shows and present my OPINION of them. My

opinion was that it was an enjoyable show and I recommended it, but only

slightly because there was more bad than good.

You’d think I’d just admitted to shooting JFK from the letters I got for

DARING to not declare the show a tremendous victory for wrestling fans

everywhere and finishing with “ECW! ECW! ECW!”.

I mean, I know Paul E. and Dave Scherer have combined to brainwash the

general populace of the internet into thinking that Sabu is still an

actual wrestler and stuff, but really, let’s try a little free thought

here. You are welcome to your own opinion on the show, but given most

of you should know my stance on many of the guys from ECW by now, I

don’t see how it’s such a shock when it’s suddenly revealed that (gasp)

I think Van Dam is overrated, Sabu is a deteriorated piece of crap, and

Justin Credible only has a job in the industry because he’s friends with

Scott Hall.

Take the following piece of correspondence I received, for example. No

editing was done, this is how I received it:

>Oh my god your a complete idiot who has no business recaping ppvs. Sabu

>v Credible *1/2 star? Good lord you must be retarded. I guess you perfer

>non scripted matches where guys don’t work hard and do great non

>scripted exchanges like fuking up closeline spots. If you didn’t

>appreciated the hardwork those two put into their match then you are no

>wrestling fan. Ypu say it didn’t have any wrestling ;so what it was a

>grudge match that surpassed my expectaions. As of right now the “netcop”

>has just lost any respect I had for his reviews.

Oh, where to begin here…

1) Sabu has “fuked up” more moves than any one wrestler I can name off

the top of my head in the past two years, barring MAYBE Erik Watts.

Maybe. Go back and watch November to Remember 97 (if you dare) and

marvel at Sabu’s spot-blowing dexterity as he misses almost every single

move he attempts in a 20-minute marathon of agonizing pain (for the

viewer). Except for Rick Scaia, who actually PRAISED that match. But

anyway, even at Anarchy Rulz, it took him two tries to put Justin

through the table, which violates one of the top ten rules of wrestling:

Never repeat a spot. If you blow it, act like it’s part of the

storyline and move on.

2) If I put myself through a table like Sabu did when Justin

“bulldogged” him in the corner, does that make me a hard worker, too?

3) I agree — truly I am an idiot for criticising the lack of wrestling

in a wrestling match. I’ll try to avoid that sort of bad habit in the

future.

Hey, and another note to all of you who call me “ungrateful” or

“unappreciative” for not worshipping Sabu’s table-smashing expertise,

let me just point out that I spent most of 1993 and 94 tracking down as

much of his independent work against guys like Candido and Snow as I

could, and I’ve watched him ever since then. In other words, I’ve been

following his career longer than a lot of my ECW cheerleader

correspondents have been watching wrestling, so I think I’m qualified to

say that he sucks at this point. And further, if you ARE a “hardcore”

ECW fan, then you’re probably one of those guys who was chanting “Fuck

Sabu” back in 1995 when he jumped to Japan for a few weeks, then started

kissing his ass again when he jumped back, just like you do for every

other guy who actually wants to make enough money to feed his family.

I’d also like to point out that when Al Snow was doing this same

retarded character in ECW in a desperate attempt to get over, he was hip

and cool and it was perfectly okay for him to be talking to a mannequin

head (as long he slipped some insider lingo in there) but once he got to

the WWF and it was exposed as the bush league gimmick that it was,

suddenly the pop is gone because “he sold out” and it’s not cool

anymore.

I mean, look at this way: Jerry Lynn v. Rob Van Dam was hailed as a

great match by many of the ECW cheerleaders. So was Rob Van Dam v.

Ballz Mahoney. Those were the same words: Great match. Each match in

the RVD v. Lynn series was given more superlatives piled on it with each

pass: Awesome! Terrific! Better than the last! So where do you draw

the line? Everything with ECW fans is either a super-entertaining match

or a chance to sit on their hands. There is no middle ground, and if,

as a reviewer who is trying to be the least bit objective about the

whole thing, you TRY to take the middle ground, you’re criticized for

not being able to “just enjoy the match” or crap like that. Well, deal

with this: The Tajiri-Guido-Crazy match was OKAY, and that’s all it

was. It wasn’t the match of the year, it wasn’t the best match of the

card, and it was hardly even what I’d call good. It was okay. Okay is

not bad, it’s “okay”. Same for the RVD-Lynn matches. The whole reason

I use star ratings is that I need a scale to judge matches on against

each other if need be, and if I gave all the Lynn-RVD matches *****

indiscriminately because “it was a great, entertaining match” (which was

what most of the arguments against my reviews for the last couple of

PPVs featuring that match boiled down to) then it would pretty much

defeat the purpose of using a rating system, and doing a review in the

first place.

I’m sorry, kids, but Rob Van Dam is a BAD WRESTLER, and all the

flippity-flops and pre-match bongs in the world aren’t going to get him

a ticket to the Big Two until he fixes about 10 different things that

are wrong with his wrestling style (for WCW) and general attitude (for

the WWF). And when put in the ring with a *very* limited wrestler like

Ballz Mahoney and even given about 10 chairs to use as props, he becomes

seriously exposed as a weak wrestler. Hey, but the chairshots looked

great, right? So the question becomes, if both RVD-Ballz and RVD-Lynn

were “great matches”, then how can you tell which one was better?

That’s where those ugly words like “workrate” and “psychology” and

“transitions” come in. Because in order to do what I do, and others do,

which is watch the match and tell you, the viewer, how it stacked up

against other matches we’ve seen in our lifetime, you have to learn how

and why things are happening the ring the way there are, and learn how

to recognize them when they are (or in RVD’s case, AREN’T) happening.

Look at this way: Not to mention any names, but a lot of ECW reviews on

the ‘net seem to come down to…

“Some Guy #1 v. Some Guy #2: Great, entertaining match to get the crowd

into it. Lots of highspots. I really liked this one, and Some Guy #1

is one of my favorite wrestlers.”

And so on.

But I mean, what if you were checking the movie reviews in your morning

paper and they all started sounding like this…

“Hey, went to go see this weekend. Great,

entertaining movie to get the crowd into it. Lots of explosions. I

really liked this one, and is one of my favorite stars.”

That’s nice to put on a video box as a blurb, but it doesn’t really tell

you much about the movie, and I personally would be annoyed beyond

belief if movie reviewers suddenly started doing them that way.

The point is, whether or not I was “entertained” by Sabu v. Justin

Credible is immaterial. The question is, was my annoyance at the stupid

things they were doing enough to overwhelm the entertainment value of

the spots they did? The answer in that case is “Yes”, although many

times it’s “No”, which is why I have given high ratings to dumb brawls

before. If I started blindly praising everything that entertained me,

however, I’d lose much more credibility than by having a rating that

disagrees with the viewer’s enjoyment of the match. The viewer is

welcome to think for themselves and enjoy the match as much as they

want. It is, however, my job to provide a more sober look at what I’m

watching, in order to hopefully do my part towards educating the viewer

that much more.

There were other major faults with the show besides Sabu-Credible, which

decreased my enjoyment that much more. To wit:

– The braindead positioning of the World title match third from the top

and the RVD-Ballz match as the main event. As I said before and will

say again, that was a golden opportunity to move both Jerry Lynn and Rob

Van Dam up in stature, which was wasted by Paul Heyman. Even more

wasted was the opportunity to expose the ECW audience to Johnny Smith,

as an alternative to the chair-swinging, spotty style that currently

permeates the shows. I know that ECW fans’ big crowing-point is that

ECW focuses on wrestling because they used to have Benoit, Malenko and

Guerrero, but the only one since then even close to that level that

they’ve had is Lance Storm, and ECW fans won’t even recognize what a

huge talent they have under their collective noses until WCW signs him

up and develops him into a much more rounded wrestler. Then ECW fans

will take credit for him.

– Someone actually wrote to me to say “I know that it would have been

great to see ICP v. Raven/Dreamer, but you have to judge by what we

actually got”. As a hint to others who hold this viewpoint, you could

have stuck Benoit/Malenko in there as the mystery team and it would have

sucked because Dreamer and Raven are both nearly crippled by injuries at

this point and ANY match is necessarily going to be 30 seconds long.

The titles never should have been given to them in the first place.

THAT was my point in trashing the tag title match at the PPV, not

support of ICP, who are quite possibly the only team in WCW worse than

Public Enemy at this point.

– It’s nice to give newer guys a spot on the PPV, but I’m pretty sure

that the Simon Diamond debacle was not the way to go about it. At least

present a video package for the guy so we know what the hell is going

on.

– I agree with Mark Madden’s stance on the Taz farewell: It was phony

and contrived and I didn’t buy it for one second. Joey has spent the

last three years hammering home how much everyone in the locker room

hates the guy, and NOW they all come out to wish him well in the WWF?

Right. The fans are booing him out of the building on his entrance, and

cheering him when he leaves? Why? Did he suddenly un-sign with the

WWF in the span of losing to Awesome? Or was it just another

“politically correct” moment, created by Paul Heyman to put forth the

illusion of a truly caring fanbase where none exists? Hint: These are

the same people who took pride in dipping their ticket stubs in Terry

Funk’s blood at one point. Draw your own conclusions.

The point of all this? ECW’s fanbase bashes other feds for the same

things they do themselves, just like every other fed. The PPV was

pretty good, not the best, just like every other fed this year. So get

a grip, stop being so defensive when I happen to turn the poison pen on

your beloved ECW, and if you enjoy the show, enjoy the show, but please

try to refrain from calling me a “retard” because I don’t find Justin

Credible going through a table twice and then blading himself on camera

to be the ***** classic that you thought it was.

Can’t we all just get along?