I do firmly believe that the world will be safer and more peaceful if there’s a regime change in that government – George W. Bush
Yeah! Finally, something I agree with Dubbaya about…oh, he was talking about Iraq? Well, you can’t have it all. The world is already safer knowing that David Hasselhoff is locked up in Betty Ford, so there’s always a silver lining…
In Memoriam: Oh, heck, there’ll be a lot of bitching if I don’t say Ted Williams, won’t there (especially after the whole freezing-his-head-sell-his-DNA thing)? However, John Frankenheimer meant a lot more to me. Sure, Williams may have batted .406, et al, but did he teach Angela Lansbury to be creepy? I’m going with Frankenheimer here.
I do have one thing to say about Williams, though: if ESPN does the same necrophilic orgy with Ernie Banks when he dies, I’ll stop complaining about East Coast Media Bias forever.
And it’s the beginning of another Tuesday here at 411, with the usual complaints, bitching, and occasional wrestling coverage. I’ve just finished celebrating the High Holy Days Of Chicago Golf, otherwise known as the Western Open (and congrats to Jerry Kelly for a great winning performance in the absence of You Know Who), and I’m in a good mood, especially since L. Brent Bozo was made into Vince’s bitch so thoroughly that even I feel a bit sorry for him, so let’s cover the complaints and bitchings first.
BRINGING ANOTHER COLUMN TRADITION TO 411
For the last couple years, I’ve been pontificating about the inherent stupidity involved in Northern Ireland’s marching season. This year, I really have reason to bitch. Two dozen cops injured at Drumcree? Why? Just because they’re enforcing a ruling that someone can’t march down a certain street in order to piss another person off (in other words, keeping the peace, which is kinda like the JOB of the police)? How wonderfully ironic that people “celebrating” a victory over the Divine Right of Kings have automatically assumed that they’ve gained a Divine Right To Lord It Over Other People. Now they’re going out to injure the police.
What the hell is the Orange Order thinking? Here’s a group of people who, forty-nine weeks a year, is your typical benevolent organization, helping out the community, supporting a number of wonderful charitable efforts, etc. Then, the other three weeks of the year, they decide to behave like Philadelphia sports fans. All of the positives pissed away by their insistence on these marches. What’s wrong with, say, holding a carnival where the most offensive thing would be a Dunk The Pope booth? Or if you have to march, how about taking a cue from the Shriners? Dress up in fezzes and drive down the street in micro-cars. Hell, break formation and start giving out candy to Catholic kids on the sidelines. It certainly helped Americans create a good image for themselves during WWII (and, if you give candy to the right comely Irish Catholic lass of the correct age, might get you the same results as the American soldiers had). Hell, turn Derry into New Orleans East for a few weeks and make it just like Mardi Gras. That used to be a festival with religious overtones; now it’s an excuse for people to get loaded and show their erogenous zones in public. Can’t anyone in the Orange Order recognize that the current situation isn’t creating the best image? Certainly there are ways to boost the image of the organization without being purposefully antagonistic (as everyone reaches for the e-mail link to call me a complete hypocrite; look, I’m not a benevolent order, so I can afford to be purposefully antagonistic).
Let me reiterate this in an objective manner for the people there: you’re celebrating the victory of a humorless Dutch midget over an effete Scottish snob. Moreover, you’re celebrating a victory that took place in 1690. Let. It. Go.
Oh, hell, the chances of them letting it go are about as good as high-level politicians in Afghanistan not being assassinated. See wall. Bang head against.
One of these days, many years from now, we’re going to discover how the Williamses decide these things. I think the conversation went something like this: “Okay, Serena, it’s heads, so you win this one. Straight sets or go all three?” “Straight sets. I want to get some shopping in.” “Bitch, you do all your shopping over the Net.” “Shut up, Venus. You’re just pissed because I won the coin flip again.” “No, I’m not pissed. I’m sick and tired of holding up that goddamn plate. You try it and see how heavy it is.” “Hey, at least we get to try to figure out if the Duchess of Kent had more plastic surgery this year. I’ve had to take your word on it the past couple years, and I don’t believe you.” “Sister, believe me, that woman’s been to the doctor more often than Cher.” “So, has the deal been set up for the doubles?” “Yeah, we’re taking that. We let those chicks have the French, so we get this one. They’d better not go back on their word.” “And if they do?” “Daddy will have a little talk with them afterward, and they won’t be playing the US Open, or any other tournament, if you know what I mean.” “Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.”
And just exactly who did Lleyton “I’m The Australian McEnroe, Really, I Am” Hewitt beat in the finals? A twenty-year-old Argentine playing his first grass-court tournament? The 28th seed? Remember what I said two weeks ago: “Who are these guys?”. Men’s tennis is officially dead. I said so.
A SPORTS-RELATED MAILBAG QUESTION
Spy683 just wrote me a little while ago asking this: On the right sleeve of Bears jerseys, there are the letters “GSH”. What do they stand for? I thought you might know, being as you are a Bears fan. They stand for “George Stanley Halas”, the late founder of the team and, for that matter, the whole NFL. Glad I could help.
HOW CAN SOMEONE BE RACIST IF HE BANGED MARIAH CAREY?
I am not going to even touch the issue of Michael Jackson accusing Tommy Mottola of racism. It’s just too damn easy, same reason I haven’t gone after Worldcom (well, that and the fact that I’m afraid my long distance service will be cut off). However, I do love the photo that cnn.com put up of the King of Pop standing next to Al Sharpton. He looks like a cross between Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson.
THE PIMP SECTION
The Bosses are in the process of grading everyone in the WWE for the first half-year, and you’d better read it and agree, or else. I don’t agree with most of their assessments, but I have some clout here and can do that with impunity.
Shit, Hyatte pimped everyone else, so I’ll just exit by noting that it’s finally raining here in Chicago after days of threatening to do so. Thank God. Of course, it’s now raining with a vengeance. It’s the precipitation equivalent of Catholic-convent-school-girl-out-on-the-town-for-the-first-time.
Of course, Jerry Lawler would make a play for any Catholic schoolgirl out on the town, and that makes for a nice transition into…
THE SHORT FORM
Zigeler has already cranked out his report, so go for it if you want details.
Booker T over Eddy Guerrero (Pinfall, rollup): This match illustrates an old acting lesson that I learned a long time ago: be sure to make your entrances and exits memorable. If you can do that, the audience won’t remember if you f*ck up in the middle. Well, the opposite also applies. This was a pretty good match marred by an asinine intro and a bad ending (prior to the beatdown). The intro especially was horrendous. You know, sometimes it’s a lot better to have no justification for something than to have a weak justification, and the justification for this match was so incredibly weak that it was almost painful to watch. Of course, the “pain” reaction is normal for me when Guerrero promos. Goddamnit, stop speaking that Spanglish shit, Eddy!
Our Lord and Savior Chris Benoit over Buh Buh Ray Dudley (Submission, Crossface): The match wasn’t anything to write home about, but the beatdown afterward was. Benoit and Guerrero, when they’re on, create violence and mayhem in an absolutely beautiful fashion. Bravo.
Trish Stratus and Bradshaw over Chris Harvard and Jackie Gayda (Pinfall, Stratus pins Gayda…uh, how to charitably describe this…”flying bulldog attempt”, perhaps?): I will be charitable tonight…oh, hell, no, I won’t. Buff Bagwell was fired for blowing less spots than Jackie did in this match. Of course, Ross gave her an in-built excuse during that intro with that “they’re green, they’ll make mistakes” routine and the “she just needs ring time” speech during the match. So no termination, I’m afraid. Besides, she’s been through matches on TV without blowing them before. Besides the second, she’s got a great pair of tits.
Ric Flair over Stevie Richards (Submission, Figure Four): Somewhere, in a place far away from here, somewhere without cable, Scott Keith is weeping over the fact that this match took place.
Jeff Hardy over Billy Brass Knucks, European Title Match (Pinfall, Swanton, New European Champion): The quid pro has quoed for Hardy making the Undertweener look good last week. Of course, the match was Another Stylistic Mismatch for Regal (and seeing Hardy try to mat wrestle is like seeing someone from Online Onslaught try to write: they’ll make an effort, but you know going in that it’ll be futile*). Everything, though, was made terrific by that post-match interview segment, with Regal being comforted by Chris Harvard. I was just waiting for Regal to snap and tear Coachman’s head off (despite the fact that that would have turned him face instantly). The fact that it didn’t happen was a pleasant surprise.
* – Unca Ed, of course, is the exception that proves the rule.
Our Lord and Savior Chris Benoit, Eddy Guerrero, Kevin Nash, X-Suck, and the Big Show over Buh Buh Ray Dudley, Spike Dudley, Booker T, Goldust, and Rob Van Dam, Ten-Man Tag (Pinfall, TBS pins Booker, chokeslam): I’ll agree with Rick McBride again: nice cover on the pinfall considering what happened. At first, I thought it was Nash’s knees again; the guy’s kept a half dozen orthopedic surgeons in German luxury vehicles over the years. However, as Trip can tell you, a quad is nothing to sneeze at injury-wise. I’ll get more cynical about him in tomorrow’s column, I think.
It’s All About The Benjamins: How in the name of heaven can they have Goldust dress up like Ben Franklin, give a speech to the Dudleys about banding together to fight the NWO, and not use the “hang together or hang separately” line? Jesus, doesn’t anyone at WWE have a copy of Bartlett’s?
E-C-Dub! E-C-Dub!: Why did Heyman’s promo seem so damn refreshing? We’ve seen him do his routine a hundred times before…oh, yeah, the fact that it was in Philly gave him the opportunity to go shoot-angle. Most wrestling fans treat shoot-angle as something akin to the mumps: uncomfortable, highly contagious, and if caught at the wrong time, can make you sterile. Personally, I like shoot-angles, especially if they’re well-executed. ECW did shoot-angles better than anyone, and the longtime ECW guys are comfortable in that mode. Unfortunately, except for them and certain members of the NWO, none of the other members of the roster is that way. It’d be a mistake to go heavy on them. But, as I said, it is refreshing to see a well-done one after a long drought without them. I’ll also echo my pal Rick McBride in saying that it was great to see the Innovator Of Violence appear instead of the Eater Of Inedible Things. Well-executed, and the VanTerminator at the end was just the cherry on top.
AND IN OTHER WRESTLING NEWS…
Look, I said I’ll cover more on Nash tomorrow, when we’ll probably know more anyway. We don’t speculate on everything like 1bullshit does. After scanning the injury moment like the Zapruder film, it looks like the big oaf took the same misstep that Trip did, so the injury happening to the quad is not a real surprise. However, if there’s a reevaluation (probably by Doctor James Andrews, who’s done work on Nash before) and it’s his knee, don’t be surprised. The guy’s knees are like ground chuck, or ground billy if you prefer that half of the former tag champions.
Ah, hell, Ashish will keep you updated regardless. Me, I’m going to decide right now whether to take a legit shower or just run out naked under the stars. I’ll leave you with that image until tomorrow.