Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 05.21.02

In Memoriam: Stephen Jay Gould, who did for evolution what Stephen Hawking did for cosmology, and pissed off the Religious Reich to no end. For that alone, he’s worthy of admittance into the Pantheon of Science.

In Memoriam: Walter Lord, who made sure that the sinking of the Titanic was “a night to remember”, and in the process pioneered the genre of narrative history. Studying the past would never be dull again.

And, of course, In Memoriam: Davey Boy Smith. Thank you for everything that you did and everything you went through to do it, even the stuff you shouldn’t have done. You entertained us and gave us a number of happy moments to remember you by. You and Owen are going to make a kick-ass tag team in the Afterlife.

After that moment, the normal bile and bitterness is going to seem a bit out of whack, won’t it? Deal with it, fanboys. We live in a world sick enough where Wendy’s is going to exploit Dave Thomas’ corpse for ad campaigns and everyone thinks it’s fine. So face up to reality, kids; it ain’t pretty.

JUST A FEW WORDS ABOUT A VERY DULL PPV

Yeah, sleep won again as a choice over a WWE PPV, but I wasn’t going to put out money for this one. So some short reflections, but nothing more:

Undertweener as new champion? We can only hope that this is second in a series of Sunset Cruises for Service Rendered To Vince. Hogan was a miscalculation, but one that they were easily justified in making considering the pops that he was getting. But, as was said last week, he’s not the solution to bad ratings (and he’s certainly not the cause). And if you consider levels of pops to be an indicator of potential ratings winners, according to Raw, Kevin Nash should be your next WWE Undisputed Champion.

What worries me is what’s next. Who will UT feud with? If they stick to the pattern (and I know that two data points is not enough to make a pattern), they’re swapping shows with each new PPV challenger for the title, and now it’s SD’s turn again. Trip’s the top face over there. Will he get the shot at KOTR? If so, then what’s the purpose of a Trip to Hogan to Tweener to Trip transition? Ratings hot-shotting? Trying to shore up Trip’s failed face turn? The Return of the Bitch of the Baskervilles? Everyone’s so thrilled with getting the belt off the Goblin that they’re not looking ahead, as usual.

Consult the Gay Boys/Fatass match section of the Round Table and allow me the pat on the back for being the only one to consider Rico as the Mystery Partner. Now pity all of us viewers because I wrote that as a semi-joke, never thinking they’d be silly enough to actually do it.

Can we please consider Edge/Angle blown off? Ditto Van Dam/Guerrero? They were great feuds, but their sell-by date was about a month ago.

Just a general comment: How sad is it when Bradshaw and Goldust are considered peripheral elements of a main-event feud? It’s getting to the point where I preferred Mister Leyfield as a guy who kept yelling out like a moose in heat in the ring, and as for Mister Runnels, I’m starting to miss his spontaneous erections. It’d certainly add something to the character.

Oh, enough about that abomination. Let’s turn to another, the US Government…

GEE, WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF, YOUR ILLEGITIMACY?

Professor Rice says that she and the Junta oppose public hearings to find out what the alleged administration knew in advance of September 11th because it would hurt the War To Keep the Democrats From Taking The House…uh, War Against Terror. Former Secretary Cheney is putting out FUD about another attack in an effort to distract. John Sununu, being a complete ninny, is blaming the late Senator Frank Church for everything for holding the 1974 hearings that exposed the abuses of the CIA. GOPers in Congress are whining that all the caviling is purely partisan and might hurt the United We Stand Bumper Sticker salesmen. Oh, please. Look, the White House had enough indications in advance that something would happen, yet delayed until it was too late (the memo to send the spooks into Afghanistan was on Dubbaya’s desk on September 10th when he was in Florida negotiating the quid pro quos for the November Fix). And now bin Laden’s doing his Carmen Sandiego act on videotape again, thumbing his nose at the Junta and making the fact that more innocent civilians were killed during the Afghanistan action than were killed at WTC look even more horrid than it is.

Do they have a clue that keeping this stuff secret is only hurting them? Haven’t they learned from Nixon? Hell, haven’t they learned from Clinton? The damage to the Junta would be a lot less if they just came out and said, “Hey, we f*cked up. Things like this happen.” No, it’s time for the Grand Cover-Up. As usual. Governments are like mushrooms: they flourish in the dark and grow with a diet of bullshit.

Madeline Albright’s characterization of the Junta’s foreign policy as “untreated bipolar disorder” is appropriate, if rather insulting to the people with bipolar disorder. They don’t have a damn clue what they’re doing. It’s said that people get the government that they deserve. Given everything that’s taken place in my lifetime, both Demo and GOP administrations, do we really deserve this government? From Tonkin Gulf to Watergate to Whip Inflation Now to Malaise to Iran to Morning In America to Iran-Contra to Going To War For Oil to Hillary to Monicagate to Florida to this, it’s a thirty-seven year parade of abuse of power intermixed with doses of incompetence large enough to make Dr. Lawrence Peter spin in his grave. No country deserves that.

So, given all that, let’s ask the question: did Dubbaya let September 11th happen? We won’t know for years, unless there’s another Deep Throat willing to come forward, and it would be jumping to unfounded conclusions to say yes at this point. BTW, it’s perfectly fair to ask this question given the speculation about Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor, a situation that’s now becoming a lot more analogous to this one than first thought. Except that this time, there’s no General Short to be used as a patsy. The blame goes right to the Junta.

STRIKEOUT

I don’t really approve of Fidel Castro. He’s just a small-scale dictator who wrapped himself up in Marx to get money from the Soviets and put a burr up the US’s saddle. I think that if you say you’re Marxist, you should get your economic advice from Karl and not Groucho. But those pictures with Jimmy Carter at the baseball stadium…that’s a mindf*ck. Here’s one of the rare presidents about which you could say that he’s a really nice guy at heart and sincere about his convictions. Seeing him with a man who’s been demonized in this country for forty-three years is a little like seeing a centerfold of Mother Teresa. Maybe the message being sent is that it’s finally time to end this little charade and open up to our closest neighbor that we don’t actually border. Of course, this could be the Demos’ way of telling Florida to go f*ck themselves.

That’s the way Dubbaya thought about it, apparently. He got his ass down to Miami post-haste and cut a “no support for dictators” promo (oh, yeah, his brother’s up for reelection in November down there). Of course, we in the US never, ever support Latin American dictators. Just ask all those people in Guatemala who were grateful for CIA assistance in 1954, and the Chileans who were freed from the onerous yoke of their democratically-elected government under Allende in 1973, and the Nicaraguans who were thrilled to see their nation devastated courtesy of covert US funding in the 1980s. Hmmm, what’s the common thread among those? Oh, yes, Republicans in the White House. But that’s just a coincidence, right?

WHAT’S THE NUMBER FOR 911?

The Transportation Security Agency voted against the establishment of a toll-free emergency number for airplanes yesterday. Good. Finally, some sanity is beginning to enter this whole situation. An emergency number for planes? Like, who’s going to respond to the call? I would have liked to see this one go through, though, since the first time some paranoid freak calls it because there’s an Arab guy sitting behind her and he looks “menacing”, the lawsuit resulting from that would be something beautiful to behold.

SOME “REAL” SPORTS SHORTS

Nick Price is still alive? Okay, so he had to wait until Tigger was out of the country, but it’s great to see him back and winning like he did at Colonial. It’s even more great to see a Senior Tour guy finish in the Top Ten like Tom Watson did. Despite Tigger’s Departure to Deutschland for the weekend, I still watched and saw a terrific tournament. Speaking of Tigger, he ended up beating Monty in a playoff in My Former Foreign Land of Residence. You know, he got two mil for his appearance fee, plus he gets the first prize money again, and he’s got that hot girlfriend. So why do I only envy his swing?

Memo to the Houston Rockets: Please, please, please take Yao Ming with the first pick in the draft. That way, the Bulls can land Jay Williams without any Hamlet-like trauma from Jerry Krause. Besides, taking Yao will drive Krause nuts, something every Chicago sports fan desires even more than the Bears winning the Super Bowl. Look, think of it as 1984 all over again. You get your new Hakeem, and we get the next Michael (only one pick sooner this time).

If War Emblem wins the Belmont, I’m going out and shooting the first horse I can find. And then severing its head and sending it to the White House, since I’m now certain they’re behind this. They just won’t tell anyone, will they?

THE PIMP SECTION

Daniels is the Count Dooku to my Darth Sidious.

Bower is the Mace Windu of the Smarks news staff.

Mahaud is so wise, Yoda comes to him for advice.

Cole is to the international scene what Padme is to weird outfits.

Nason covers guys who get less respect than Jar Jar Binks.

Hey, you gotta give props to a hundred sixteen mil in four days.

And you gotta respect the power of the Short Form. All you need to know about Raw in one tight package. Of course, if you need to know more, you silly person, you can always consult Keith or PK.

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Matt and Jeff Hardy over the Neutered World Order (Pinfall, Jeff pins X-Suck, rollup): What a fast trip for the NWO into irrelevance. Four months ago, they were the poison that would kill the then WWF. Now they’re the sidelines to the Booker/Elvisdust demi-feud. I’d say “What did they do to deserve this?”, except we all know what they did and, yes, they do deserve this.

Trish Stratus over Jacqueline, Women’s Title Match (Pinfall, bulldog): Decent for the time they gave it, but in complete service to the angle it was accompanying. See below for more on that.

Buh Buh Ray Dudley over Billy Brass Knucks, European Title Match (DQ, Lesnar-ference): See above. And why no mention during the match about Davey Boy being the first EuroChamp? Or did they feel the intro memorial was enough?

Matt and Jeff Hardy over Booker T and Goldust (Pinfall, Matt pins Goldust, small package after X-Suck-ference): The Trip To Irrelevance continues at a full pace, and here’s Nash to drive this bus loaded with dynamite closer to the cliff. Yay.

Jerry Lawler over Raven (COR, Chickenshit): So how do they decide who jobs to Lawler whenever they’re in Memphis? Draw straws? Low card? Whoever hosts the most irrelevant TV show? The problem with that last one is that, given the evidence from tonight, Lawler would have to be facing JR.

Rob Van Dam over the Undertaker, Undisputed Title Match (Pinfall, Rolling Thunder, New Undisputed Champion); The Undertaker over Rob Van Dam, Undisputed Title Match (Pinfall, Last Ride, New Undisputed Champion): Hey, that’s how Garcia announced it and Lawler followed up on that. Flair restarting the match, though, kills any angle he had with UT dead. See below for more on that.

Angle Developments:

Cue Aretha: Since Memphis is the locale, Undertweener decided to be an old-school Memphis heel during the opening promo. He’s become a pretty decent promoer, but he just didn’t exude the menace that he should have. A Van Dam blade job does not a great promo make. And the promo was totally undercut by the segment with Flair, in which I suspect that Mister Calloway forgot his lines. Besides, they also undercut Flair, which is upsetting. Instead of doing the “we’ve buried our differences” routine, they should have had UT ask him if they’ve buried their differences, Flair saying no, then saying the match was for the title as a demonstration of that. Unfortunately, they’re choosing to dwell on Flair’s Austin obsession.

If that wasn’t bad enough, during the UT/Van Dam match, they buried the feud with the restart. The problem with all of this is the booking of Ric Flair. He’s now looking like a complete weasel and suck-up. Flair’s been a lot of things over the years, but a weasel? Never. That’s just not Flair. He does things with style and panache. Sucking up to UT just because he’s got the strap isn’t Ric Flair, it’s Vince McMahon. Any difference between Raw and Smackdown that might have been established gets neutered if you have the same character, the evil owner, being played by two different men on the two shows. Just let Flair be Flair, for all our sakes.

In Just Seven Days, I Can Make You A Man: Anyone else think that Heyman was going to break into “Sweet Transvestite” when he was cutting that promo with Trish (and would anyone have been surprised)? That would make Buh Buh Ray and Trish Brad and Janet, roles they are oddly suited to playing. Heyman can book a feud between anyone and any Dudley in his sleep, though, which bodes well for Lesnar. Let’s just hope he actually has some consciousness when he does so, though.

Tender Moments With Steve Austin: In case you forgot about Anderson retiring due to a neck injury and Austin almost having to retire from one himself, that very gentle Stunner that Austin gave Anderson (especially in comparison to Flair’s a moment later) was a reminder.

Singers Who Can’t Sing Mixes Perfectly With Wrestlers Who Can’t Wrestle: I’m ignoring the whole karaoke thing (FFed through, thank you, and I think that those ol’ vestiges of sanity were saved in the process). However, the choice of bar is another matter. I’m deferring to my pal BFM, an old Memphis resident, on this issue. He tells me that Mugs is about twenty miles outside of Memphis in Raleigh. Meanwhile, there are about twenty different good places to go within walking distance of the Pyramid. So, Austin and Debra drive twenty miles to a karaoke bar where, coincidentally, Eddy Guerrero is at, and never mind that the last place that either Austin or Guerrero would be at is a karaoke bar…aargh. They do this just to piss me off, you know. Of course, Austin’s choice might have been from old information he had when he was in Memphis. BFM tells me that Mugs used to be a hardcore biker bar, a place that Austin would actually go to. BFM’s recommendation for Austin: Tiffany’s Cabaret, “the best damn strip bar in town”. I think Debra would have been cool with that.

Low Velocity: If the promos are any indicator, the show should be called WWE Epilepsy.

AND IN OTHER WRESTLING NEWS…

Here’s the results from the Birmingham Smackdown crew house show courtesy of the Observer:

Lance Storm and Hardcore Holly over Val Venis and Randy Orton, Too Dull To Make Fun Of Match

Jamie Knoble over Shannon Moore, WCW Good Times Flashback Special

Mark Henry and Maven over Christian and Albert, First Names Only Match

Hurricane Helms over Yoshihiro Tajiri, Chavo Guerrero, and Billy Kidman, Four Corners Cruiserweight Title Match

D-Von and Deacon over Hugh Morrus and Faarooq, One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other Match

Hulk Hogan over Chris Jericho, Boo Hiss Who Booked This Crap Match

Rikishi and Rico over the Gay Boys, Tag Title Match

Edge over Test, Canadian Content Match

The Ten-Buck Slut over My Beautiful and Beloved and two other skanks (okay, Ivory and Victoria aren’t skanks, but still…), Swimsuit Competition

Trip over Kurt Angle, Supposedly a Good Match So No Smart Remarks

Ah, hell, Ashish has you all caught up on everything else. So I’ll be in tomorrow