The Week In Wrestling: 7.14.02

Well, I had a semi-decent write up of both Raw and Smackdown ready to go on my computer. This week, I actually sat down and wrote thoughts as I was watching the show usually that leads to an all around better read for you guys, and it makes me look better because the column is better. Then, I came home to Nimda and my day has been anything but fun. Long story short a lot of my documents went the way of the Recycle Bin and, as cute a name as that is, you really can’t recycle your documents. So, if it sucks well, it’s the second time around.

Note to Grut: Why in the world you would want the NWA to fail is beyond me. Besides, the X-division alone is worth watching. Even with the sickeningly excessive exposure of Jeff Jarrett the thought of AJ Styles vs Low-Ki next week is enough to make me want to tune in. I have no interest in it failing.

Note to Jarek: Sorry I haven’t responded to your e-mail but I’ve had a hectic couple of weeks. I’ll keep you in mind for future reference though and when I have some extra Benjamins buring a hole in my pocket just waiting to have the dice rolled over them.

Note to Ken Anderson: What’s this Year in Wrestling Crap? I’m snaking that column name in December just to warn you now.

Note to Eric S: Send the ticket. And please note that a bullet from a .357 Magnum is faster than the reflexes of an alleged second-degree black belt. And what discipline are you a second-degree black belt in? Tae Yank Pud? I’d like you to know that single paragraph had me laughing hard enough to draw many a strange look in the computer lab.

Note to Hyatte: Didn’t see them smoking but Test and Val Venis have an unhealthy obsession with Denny’s. X-Pac also, allegedly, offered a lady friend of mine some sort of white, powdery substance at a nightclub when they were up here for the No Mercy PPV last year. I assume, of course, that it was a pixie stick in a bag.

Good to know that fixing extends even into the Fox Sports version of Boxing. Mia St John had a match with a young no-name Christy Fullner and got her ass handed to her for four rounds and still won the decision. Wonder how much Nike greased the judges for that victory. I love boxing but God at least wrestling admits it’s fixed nowadays. Split the difference and just admit it guys.

Regardless, let’s move onto this week’s crap:

WWF

Raw

Note to the folks who say I need to get over the F thing and start typing WWE. I made it quite clear I would be refusing to do that. I can’t get my little brain to change the association that has been fed to me since I was 4 years old. When I type, WWF comes out WWE I have to think about therefore, WWF will be what you see. I don’t think it’s a big deal, really.

There was a whole bunch of nonsense in the beginning of Raw a Booker vs Guerrero match and a Bubba vs Benoit match, all of which was nothing more than filler for run ins at the end they were all to set up a freaking ten man match later in the show. Just what we needed. Whole bunch of guys who can work great matches on their own, but lets stick them all in a ten man mish-mash at the end so we can get no wrestling in.

While I was a fan of Maven when he came in because at least he looked comfortable and had some redeeming qualities I think it’s high time to send Jackie down to HWA or OVW for a bit. If you can’t remember two minutes worth of lines before someone has to come and bail you out you might be in the wrong business. Also, if you can’t sell a Bulldog or a Drop Toehold properly, which must go something along the lines of “stand still until you feel the other yak grab you, and then just go down” and “Trip over her feet,” then it should be a pretty good sign that you’re not QUITE ready for the big leagues. I understand that these guys are new, but Jackie is more the Diva. Let her stay out of the ring until she’s ready. If you need her on TV, let her stay as Eye Candy. If she’s wrestling so bad it embarrasses TRISH, that might be a key. In Trish’s defense though, she’s no longer the worst wrestler in the federation. That must be a good feeling for her. It was like me last week when I realized I wasn’t the guy lifting the lightest weights in the gym. It’s one of those little bonuses of life.

Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash gave a rambling interview that eventually let us know that HHH was either with them or against them. Yes, we are quite aware of the “with us or against us” mentality. Well, I have to say I was thinking it was a no-go until Nash hurt himself, now I’m thinking he has to join them or else just flush the whole angle. More on this at the bottom.

Much like Tom Green, Tommy Dreamer has decided to stop being the gross-out guy. Unlike Tom Green, Tommy Dreamer might still have something to offer the company. Unfortunately, since he’s an ECW product who didn’t come of his own free will, he never will. Ah well, the WWF doesn’t have an interest in much of their midcard anyway, why would Tommy be any different?

Jeff Hardy won the Euro Title from Regal. From a world title feud to the European belt in one week. Well, that’s certainly some consistent writing there, isn’t it. After the match, Regal collapsed into tears. Most people thought it was from losing the belt. What really happened was, before the camera turned on him, Vince informed him he was locked into another three years. Remember the respect he’s been treated with thus far (IE: The Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club), he realized he had nothing left to live for.

And, in the main event after three months on the shelf, Kevin Nash goes for a big boot and tears his Quadricep. Post match, Shawn made a threat to HHH that this would be the beating he would get and yadda yadda yadda. However, the threat was not quite so intimidating with Nash crying like a girl in the background.

Smackdown

Opening match was a big tag title rematch from last week. Billy and Chuck lost a second time to Edge and Hogan. This is a great way to use Hogan, though, I have to say. Keep him in a tag team with someone who can actually work a good match still. Let Hogan get the hot tag, do his Hulk Up stuff, and get the pin. Send the fans home happy.

Undertaker had the line of the year thus far. John Cena is his tag partner for later this evening, but Undertaker doesn’t need any help. A bit later, Taker sees a limo pulling up and assumes it’s the Rock. It’s Angle and Jericho, though, who proceed to poke fun at the “Undertapper” until Taker attacks and gets punked out by the two of them. Later he finds Cena and gives us:

UT: Now, I need to know do you have my back or not??

Cena: Yeah, sure.

UT: I DON’T NEED YOUR DAMN HELP!!!

I found it necessary to watch that single segment three or four times and it kept getting funnier.

For the third week in a row, Bautista and D-von beat Randy Orton and partner, only this week it wasn’t Orton that got pinned. I fail to see where this is going. Either put them in a full-on mid-card feud, or get over it. Burying Orton week after week isn’t doing him any good.

Rock came out for an EXTENDED interview segment which involved a bunch of nonsense with Busta Rhymes. Busta revealed that Michael Myers doesn’t get him in the movie, thus completely destroying any reason I’d have to go. Other than the fact I’ve always liked Halloween. Rock points out that the bad stuff in the movies usually happen to the Brother first. Some stupid singing nonsense went on and then Angle came out to call Busta “Puff Daddy,” again making me laugh hysterically. This set up Rock/Angle for next week. Hey, if you gotta sell the show with a PPV main event, you gotta.

Test faced Rikishi with members of the Storm Foundation on commentary. Rikishi got a phat Beat down “Canada-Style” which is a bunch of guys stomping on someone saying “WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOOT THAAT, EH??” until the guy vomits from laughing so hard. For some reason, Hogan and Edge came down to make the save. I fail to see any logical booking reason for this, other than they want Edge to turn on Hogan at Vengeance. I will also point out that Hogan is back to Voodoo Child for his music, which makes me quite sad.

For a while, I wondered why Tajiri and Jamie Noble connected so much, then I realized that Noble was an Asian on the Jung Dragons for six months. They feel each other, man they’re on that Asian wavelength, whatever that may be. They had a Noble/Tajiri vs Kidman/Hurricane rematch. It was a five minute match trying to be the X-Division, but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, a good match just can’t develop in three freakin minutes of screen time. You know, WCW had a cruiserweight division with 10 or 15 minute matches for a lot of years. Think we could give them at least seven to let something develop? Nah.

Mark Lloyd is the new guy, so Coach has been promoted from being “Rock’s Bitch.”

In the main event tag match, Cena got the pin over Jericho. It’s going to seem sooooo much less important when he’s jobbing to Crash in a couple of weeks.

NWA: TMF’nJ

Besides the great X-Division matches in NWA, there is one constant. You will see Jeff Jarrett more times in a two hour period than you’ve seen him on WWF and WCW television combined for the last ten years or maybe it just feels that way.

Opening match was the NEW tag team champions Styles and Lynn vs Devon Storm and Slash of the Disciples of the New Church. Devon fits in the group, kinda, but why they had to give him a mouthpiece is beyond me. Vandenburgh (or whatever) is a creepy enough guy, but I don’t think Storm really needed him. Regardless, it was a really good tag match with dissention brewing between the champions already. Yep, Russo’s definitely there. An hour or so later, and we’d be brought into the back where Lynn gave AJ Styles a cradle piledriver on top of an equipment case. Trouble in paradise indeed. Going with the Heyman one heel and one face as the tag champions.

Scott Hall called in to set up a REVENGE match with Brian Christopher for next week.

In response, Brian Christopher comes out for an interview. He comes out and rails on how bad a father Jerry Lawler was because he was never there and whatever. He goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about it. I guess so he’d get heel heat in Memphis because he hates Lawler? Whatever. And after railing on Lawler for three or four hours, he then concludes that he’s no longer Jerry Lawler’s son and he will now go by Brian LAWLER!

Um call me silly, but if he didn’t want to be associated with Jerry Lawler anymore, shouldn’t he KEEP going by Brian Christopher? Regardless, he beat Norman Smiley with the Hip Hop Drop, minus the goggles. I guess he’s getting serious now? DOES THIS MEAN HE WON’T BE DOING THE SHOVEL ANYMORE???

Jarrett was on SOOO much this week. First to find out why he wasn’t the number one contender. The NWA VP informs Jarrett that he’s suspended.

Hermie Sadler’s match with K-Krush was inoffensive as celebrity matches go. Krush pinned him with his feet on the ropes, and then the ref reversed the decision so both guys get what they wanted I guess.

Jasmine St Clair is part of the NWA now. In the funniest bit of the night, she was giving a Strip Tease to Borash. One of the NWA officials came down to cover her up, and Ferrara speared him so she could keep going. THAT was classic.

THE FLYING FRIGGIN ELVISES make their big return, minus Yang and his Sideburns. They won, and the best be receiving their title shot shortly.

Shamrock vs Omori sucked. If you wonder what Omori looked like, picture Bradshaw then make him Asian yes, it is kind of odd. The match didn’t have a finish as the Chosen Son broke up the match and leveled everyone, including Harley Race, with a chair. When you need to beat up Old Dukers, give Jarrett a call.

The six man X-division match was about forty minutes long and as good as the rest of the stuff they’ve been doing. Great spots included Elix Skipper (I think) avoiding a kick by falling over into a bridge, which Mike Tenay informed us was the “Matrix Counter.” Low-Ki won the match with his finisher, which I couldn’t hear the name of because the room exploded when he handed it out. It starts as a Perfectplex and ends as a piledriver. You picture it.

After the match, the Chosen Son came out again to tell us all he isn’t happy. I can’t figure out why, because he gets more screentime than anyone else in the federation. He says HE’LL be getting a title shot next week. He then comes to ringside and runs down a couple of huge linemen from the Tennessee Titans calling the chokers and the like. They take offense to it and two of them hop the railing and start beating the living Christ out of Jarrett. I’ve read this wasn’t supposed to happen and the Titan’s guys got carried away. Heh, makes me laugh to see Jarrett get the hell kicked out of him. Make fun of linemen see how far it gets you. Usually when a fan jumps the rail it’s a 98 pound punk who twelve security guys man-handle. Somehow, I get a little satisfaction watching a 350 lb lineman go to town on the tough guy security guards. I want to see a lineman take orange skinned WWF security guy apart. That would be worth the price of a ringside ticket, and an arrest, in my book.

Next week: Scott Hall vs Brian Lawler, AJ Styles vs Low-Ki, Puppet vs Meatball, and possibly Jarrett vs Shamrock?

The Week in Wrestling

The WWF is seriously reaching a point where they have no idea what to do. Things that worked before to spike ratings just aren’t working anymore because it remains more of the same old, same old. Rocky, who was a guaranteed ratings spike for years just isn’t anymore. Of course, the fact that he’s never around for more than a couple of months at a time might have something to do with it. Oh, the Rock’s here big deal, he’ll be gone in a couple of months again. The Rock, in extended storylines, is a winner as a day player, not so much. As I’ve been saying for months the thing the WWF needs is logical writing. Paul E made ECW feuds seem fresh and interesting for years. WCW made Savage/Page interesting for 18 months. The WWF, out of necessity, was able to make McMahon/Austin last for years, and THAT only involved one wrestler. Now, you have a ridiculously fat roster, and you can’t come up with a feud that can take center stage for more than a month?

I understand that ECW didn’t have to build to PPVs, so their story structure was entirely different but PPVs can come in stages. Now, they’re looking to oust their Raw writer, blaming the problems squarely on him. If it’s his fault, what’s the problem with Smackdown? Who can they blame that one on? The reason the split has had it’s problems is because there’s still too much intermingling between the shows. And now, why even have the shows split? The entire reason for it was because Ric and Vince couldn’t get along. Now, Vince owns it all? What would be his purpose for keeping the shows split? Just things like this that just don’t make sense.

And now, you have the N.W.O. on Raw with Nash gone. Before, I was thinking that HHH would give the big negative to the question at Vengeance, now I don’t see how they can’t add him. They now consist of X-Pac, who no ones gives two damns about. The Big Show, who’s been the jobbing boy of the entire federation almost since he came in and Shawn Michaels, who can’t wrestle. The fact that they were never willing to build the Giant into anything is now coming back to haunt them as he SHOULD be able to be enough of an enforcer to make any group legit but the fact that he’s everyone’s bitch is a problem. Now, they can try to make him look big and tough, but no one buys him and they won’t for a while. Without another name in the group, they’re nothing anymore. I see HHH joining up and if he doesn’t, you may as well chalk the angle up to another failure and do away with it. Wait for Nash to heal and, now that Austin is gone, bring back Hall and put the Outsiders back together after a year has passed and the dirt is out of people’s minds. You say that HHH would have to be traded? I say he wouldn’t the n.W.o was drafted as a group therefore, anyone in the group is part of Raw. Simple explanation and it works.

Regardless, to save the n.W.o, some drastic measures need to be taken, and sooner rather than later.

Dusty Rhodes is being brought on as a consultant. Who do you have to blow to get this job. You sit home, watch the show, and critique it the WWF then sends a check to him for a grand per week. Hey, I do that already and I DO IT FOR FREE! I mean, I know the Internet is overly negative but hey guys you have about fifty losers doing reviews of your shows PER WEEK! If I had Dusty’s job I’d visit ten or so sites, cut and paste various recaps, send it in and go cash my check. Problem solved. Or, even better, have one of your friggin office interns do it and put it on McMahon’s desk. Same idea much less cash. And DUSTY RHODES? Gimme a break, why don’t they bring in Kevin Sullivan while they’re at it. At least Russo has turned a company around ONCE. Dusty doesn’t even have THAT going for him.

Now, some folks have had problems with Russo’s idea of revising the Invasion. I say, at least it was an IDEA that’s something better than most of the creative staff can claim in the last few months. One of the columnists here ripped him for it. Whatever you know, I think the WWF could do very well without ever thinking about bringing Goldberg in for anything but redoing the Invasion with Bischoff, Goldberg, and some other WCW isn’t, in theory, a bad idea. The execution of it may be nigh impossible, but it doesn’t say anything about the interest factor. Remember, the original n.W.o angle started with a simple Invasion and went from there.

And reports are coming in that the Clique is back up to their old tricks which is why you saw the Big Show beat up on camera by Kevin Nash two weeks back instead of X-Pac even though it would have hurt X-Pac less. You know, having Kevin Nash look up to the Big Show and threaten to kick his ass if he lost was a funny visual in and of itself. If Vince lets it all go to hell again, then it’s his own fault and why not. Who says wrestling can’t be on a ten year cycle. It’s the early 00s right around 03/04 should be when it hits the bottom of the toilet and they’re well on their way to that. Let Shawn, Hunter, and Nash run the show let’s see where it gets them. Probably nowhere good.

But, there’s not a need to get the new stars built up, right? We can last a few years on the ones we have now. Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes. Rock, half gone. Hunter, becoming as much a hinderance to himself as an asset see also: Steiner, Scott. Austin, who the hell knows. Foley, happily retired. Undertaker, getting ready to ride into the sunset.

And a whole fresh crop of guys who should be big right now, and instead are thought of as glorified midcarders.

Ah politics as good for wrestling as they are for the nation.

End Transmission.