The Monday Edition 7.22.02

My advice is to always pay by mail because if someone tries to take advantage of you, you can contact the USPS Postal Inspectors and charge them with mail fraud.

– Dave Scherer, every f*cking day, in the Lariat

Hello again! I’m Flea and unless BOSS and Hashish have turned this into a pay site in the last 12 hours, you are reading this for free. Although I can’t blame them if they want to charge, or even throw up a pop ad or two, cause from what I hear, this site ain’t cheap to run. As a matter of fact, I was given a dollar amount for site upkeep awhile back and offered to TRIPLE that amount to make this place into a real f*cking player. If I remember correctly I was scoffed at; but then this place DID turn into a real f*cking player, which had nothing to do with my backing, influence or knowledge. But I have all the respect and gratuity in the world for BOSS and Hashish and am glad they turned this site into something special. Regardless of the fact if either one of them had MY money, they would throw theirs away.

So, welcome to Monday as I sit in for the Monday News while Hyatte Mops Up the PPV. However, I did receive notification today that there will, in fact, NOT be a Mop Up this week. Hyatte can tell you why if he wants, but I can tell you that it has nothing to do with protesting the return of Bischoff. Or Stephanie. Or the fact that Kevin Nash is on the shelf. Although I think he may be a little perturbed that Chasey Lain has cleaned up her act and is not so easily accessible as she once was. I can also tell you that nah I’ll let him tell you. Next week or something.

Once again HELLO!, and welcome to The Monday Edition.

Come on, let’s go

FIRST OFF

WWE Undisputed Title Match – The Undertaker vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle

Well, how do you not like this one? Crowd jacked? Yes. Non-Stop action? Check. BLOOD? Oh HELL yeah! Sorry, Angle’s blood smeared all over his chrome dome reminded me of someone. Pretty much a give and take brawl until each of the guys started stealing the others’ finisher, each of which resulting in a heart stopping 2 count. Did I mention the crowd was up for this one? Hell, Detroit Rock City was howling for everyone tonight, including the Cruisers Match, which we will get to in a second. Let’s talk about the Undertaker first. He did his job, like a professional, and carried the belt for a little bit, until Rock – E came back and business could start picking up for the Summer. So give the guy a break. Not to mention he looked great out there compared to two much younger and quicker athletes. I will also mention how good his timing was for the finishing sequences, which saw each man deciding that ripping off his opponents finishers was not worth the trouble, so time to pull out some finishers of his own. Rock – E with some Rock Bottoms, Angle with the Anklelock and a few AngleSlams and UT, of course with a chokeslam and some Last Rides; the latter two competitors got the worst of the deal as Rock – E took the gold with a pin of Angle, with UT just a HALF SECOND away from breaking things up. As I mentioned, great timing, a fast pace and a super hot crowd made this one a top notch main event, three or fours steps above the last few PPV mains. Rock now awaits The Next Big Thing at SummerSlam, buildup and hype start tomorrow.

WWE Intercontinental Title Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Brock Lesnar

Speaking of which, here was another good match, with Lesnar finnaly getting some reaction from the crowd, all that was needed was RVD (in his home state) bumping around like a pinball for a TON of power moves. Hey, folks can chant “Goldberg” all they want, I’ll take Lesnar 7 days a week. He’s still trying to find a style between Powerful Monster and Moves Like a Cat, but I think he’ll catch on pretty quick. RVD, as usual, was all over the place, hitting all his trademark moves, including the ***** Frog Splash for what seemed like a sure victory but nope – Heyman yanked the Ref out of the ring, drawing the DQ. There is some irony in the man who reinvented the whole “No DQ” rule getting his “Client” disqualified by pulling a move that NEVER draws a DQ. Maybe I’m the only one who noticed that. After the match, Lesnar hits the F5 on RVD, squishing his face first onto a steel chair. Lesnar moves along to tangle with Rock – E and RVD is still IC Champ, contender to be named at a later date.

WWE Tag Team Titles Match – Hulk Hogan & Edge vs. Lance Storm & Christian

HO-GAN HO-GAN HO-GAN. Guess who is still over? Hey, I think this is the perfect set up – stay in tag team action, give Edge the rub for a few months, pop the hell out of the crowd and then WHAMMO Edge turns on him, is super-over and just may be the recipient of Hogan’s farewell job. All sources say that Hogan loves the kid, so who knows. What I do know is people need to learn a little patience as far as turns are considered. Hell, these guys have only teamed for a month! Why turn Edge now when you can milk this sumbitch at the very LEAST until the fall. The Anti-American Canadians win with a run in belt shot from none other than Some Other Guy, who apparently will join his Canadian brothers in the fight agaynst America. Guy needs something to do, so here, for all you Fantasy Bookers, are The Canadian Horseman. Yee-Haw, eh?

Speaking of Some Other Guy, he lost in an impromptu match to John Cena.

No DQ, No Countout Match – Booker T. vs. The Big Show

Coolest move of the night saw Booker put Show through the Spanish announce table with a Harlem Sidekick. Weirdest moment of the match saw Booker win with the Harlem Hangover and JR calling the move a “Houston Hangover”. Doesn’t have the same effect. Kinda like if Booker came out as GI Bro again, or something. I continue to marvel in amazement that the Fed never managed to get someone like the Big Show over as a credible threat. If you were wondering about the match, I thought it was decent enough to serve its purpose – get Booker over and move him along to something new. Where the Big Show goes from here is anyone’s guess.

Tag Team Tables Match – Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley vs. Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero

Boy, when I was surfing around for news today, EVERYONE was laying the bad mouth to this match. Damned if I know why something about Benoit and Guerrero being to good for this shit. I’m at a loss to explain that, but if you do feel that way, you sure ain’t gonna like this – Bubba wins after putting Benoit through the table. For a table match, it was hard hitting and kept up a good pace, especially after they dumped that stupid “tag” shit and went at it Texas Tornado style. Did I mention that Benoit did the j.o.b. in his return to p.p.v.? Well, I don’t recall the other GOD over doing a high profile job, at least according to the Bible. Maybe you ought to demote Benoit down to “John the Baptist” level, who was a pretty hep cat, at least until they cut his f*cking head off. Or think about this – instead of GOD, you can rename Benoit JOB, who, it just so happens, is ALSO a religious figure and one who had to put up with a lot of shit but still managed to get over. Eddie, however, still rules.

WWE Cruiserweight Title Match – Jamie Noble vs. Billy Kidman

And finally, my pick for “Match of the Night”. What might have been just a time filler, crowd killer Crusierweight match, may have reaffirmed the faith of those in the know. While the X-Division on NWA-TNA may have a faster paced “spot” oriented style, this match laid down a tad of psychology and a decent pace for the crowd to stay attentive without having to figure out when they could fit in their “Holy Shit” chants. I’m digging Knoble and his redneck antics, not to mention that he has some good ring work to back up his gimmick. Kidnam I always like, but it’s about high time he found something worthwhile to do. With Rey Jr. coming in next week, this will hopefully give the Cruisers 3-4 total segments on Smackdown, not counting if Bischoff keeps his “smart” gimmick and starts throwing a 20 minute Cruiser match out to start RAW. Of course, that might turn him face with the on-line crowd and that would just be toooooo weird. Knoble retains the belt.

WWE European Title Match – Jeff Hardy vs. William Regal

Boy, this was a dandy. Jeff comes out in several different Day Glo colors and Regal appeared afraid to touch the freak, which eventually allowed Hardy to retain the title. Never really caught a gear, what some might call a “clash in styles”. For any of you new to the Internet Wrestling Community, you will hear “clash in styles” quite often when Regal’s name is mentioned. You will also hear how Fit Finlay is just waiting to beat everyone in the locker rooms ass with one hand tied behind his back, just because he can. You may also hear that Jeff Hardy is a fruit. Believe any of those you wish. The only thing else I can add to this is that after his victory, Jeff ran into Flair and Hogan backstage who promptly “put him over” with kinds words and a handshake. Point of this is that Jeff’s “handshake” looked a little suspicious. Kinda like a “clash in styles” you know?

Also on the show was the continuing story of HHH and his choice of shows. He managed to finally sign the divorce papers with Stephanie, then hit the ring for an extended three way (of dialogue) with Steph and The Bisch. Before he could make his FINAL decision, HBK showed up and reminded him of the good times, oddly enough prompting a “DX” chant from the crowd. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised, they lead us right into THAT one. Bischoff was very pleased at everything that occurred, that is until Steph slapped the taste out of his mouth – drawing a HUGE pop from the crowd. At least until they realized who it was they were cheering for. She did manage to drop the shrill out of her voice tonight, which is a good thing I guess.

All in all, a very enjoyable PPV, especially the Cruiser match and the Main Event. Guess the Fed is gonna run with Rock-E now, at least until he has to go back to the movies. However, if you did NOT see this one tonight, I might suggest skipping it and spending the $30 on the next 3 NWA-PPV events. C’Mon, be a sport, competition is good! What a nice segue!

HAVE YOU HEARD?

Have you been watching the NWA – TNA PPVs? Why not? No seriously why not? Does your area not offer this program? Is $10 too much for you to spend every week? Not enough “name” talent for you to even consider wasting your time or money upon? Is it because you are just too cool for the room and just want to trash the program and make wise ass remarks about how they are not going to succeed? Why am I asking so many questions? Well, I’m just trying to convey in cybersapce a few of the many thoughts that may be going through Jerry Jarrett’s brain at the moment. Of course I have absolutley no basis for being able to read his thoughts, but knowing a thing or two about business practice and making some dough-rey me, those are the questions I would be asking. Apparently, I am not too far off the mark. According to numerous sources, The Real Real Double J posted a recent message stating that he may have “overestimated the viability of his product in today’s market”. Well, he didn’t say those exact words but what he did say disturbed me more than any “by the numbers” analogy that can be heard by anyone not making money these days. After only a month or so of programming, The RRDJ seems to be throwing in the towel, if not literally, then creatively. It seems that he know feels that the modern fan does not want an alternative to the WWE. This, of course, comes on the heels of Vince’s Russo’s hiring to write and produce the PPV shows.

So it appears we are back to square one. NWA-TNA had a relatively good thing going, although it is debatable how large their audience actually is. One thing I do know for sure – the recent programming (up until last week, that is) featuring innovative wrestling (from the X Division), comical interludes (anything having to do with a midget), a smidge of TNA without going over the top (as opposed to every segment featuring an unveiled attempt to stray into “double entendre land”), not to mention some of the best FREE publicity that they could have got – half the goddamn Tennesse Titans football team jumped the rail and forgot that this is a fake sport. They went to a-clubberin the top of Jeff Jarrett head until he smartened them up with a potato and a side order of chair. And you know what? That was fun to watch! And as mentioned, the incident made the news from coast to coast. But instead of building on that momentum and continuing to stick with the more basic, physical style and simple “old school” angles, right away Russo comes in and we do a 180 degree turn back to 1998 when a shoot was still a shoot and we still wanted to believe every stretcher job or possible “nipple slip” we saw.

That’s not necessarily damning Vince Russo. One thing that bothers me as much as anything I read online is the term “draw money”. Draw money draw money draw money draw money. What the f*ck does draw money mean? Oh, I know what it means, and it should only be used by people IN the business as a measuring stick to who stays gainfully employed and paid and who does not. It should NOT be used by supposed on line journalists who take that measuring stick, turn it sideways and reinvent history with the term “draw money” as in he/she did/didn’t draw money, therefore they should be worshipped/despised depending on if they “drew money”. But Flea?, you say, That’s how we now who is “over” and who should be “pushed” based on whether or not they “draw money”. But Flea?, you persist, Why the hell do we want to see and angle that (insert name here) wrote/booked when it will never “draw money”? But Flea?, (ok now you are starting to get on my nerves with all these questions) If a person’s ideas do not “draw money” why should anyone, much less people “in the business” give them the time of day, much less hire them?

Those are all very good questions and I am going to ignore every one of them because it makes no difference if I think that someone “draws money” or if anyone outside of the business thinks that any wrestler or any writer can “draw money”. What matters in what the wrestlers can actually DO and not what it is perceived that they do. Case in point – The Raw Brand of WWE had to cancel a recent house show in Michigan, scheduled to take place in a town called Battle Creek, home of WWE Superstar Rob Van Dam. Now then, if you listen to the current opinion/vibe on the street, RVD should be one of the top stars to carry us into the future with the Undisputed Championship around his waist and the WWE on his back. Yet, this hometown hero can’t get enough fans to come to the arena to support him and the show gets cancelled. But is he to blame? Or the bookers who did not get him “over” enough? Or the writers, who have not crafted enough story lines overall to fill arenas at house shows and tv tapings? Who is to blame for this? This is not a knock on RVD, I like the guy. I’m just using him as the most recent example. You could say the same for Hogan (MSG non-sellout), Austin/ UT / HBK (non full houses in Texas) etc, etc. Go back and re-read that list of names I just rattled off. Those four over the last 20 years have “drawn” more than that freak Van Gogh. And if I remember correctly, two of those names owe a majority of the success to the man who is now in charge of the next generation of superstars. Maybe The RRDJ wasn’t out of his mind when he made this decision. Maybe he realized the updated insider term “draw money” will now be changed to “makes them press that order button on their remote.”

Did any of the above make sense? I’m not sure. But that seems to be the constant theme of non-sensible explanations to why the business is “in the toilet”. Which brings back full circle as to why so many “hot shot angles” are taking place; too much thought is going into what will be perceived as “drawing money” as opposed to what needs to be presented as a solid, coherent product that will eventually put “asses in the seats”. Can’t go about to “drawing money” till them there asses have but put in those seats.

I wonder whom coined/made popular the phrase “putting asses in the seats”? I LOVE that phrase!

Welcome home, Uncle Eric.

Also in the news is something that I find personally depressing. Mick Foley, aka Cactus Jack, has included in the paperback version of “Foley is Good” what he considers to be his greatest career accomplishment. Hell in the Cell? Nope. King of the Death Match? No way. It’s Your Life, Rocky? Lord no. The Hardcore Legend considers the time he let perky little Katie Couric hold his new born son while he read stories to a room full of children. Normally, that’s a sweet thought but NOT FROM MY GODDAMN FAVORITE WRESTLER! Man, all the years I have followed Cactus and literally JUMPED out of my seat and cheered when he won the top belt in the business, only to have his greatest accomplishment come at the hands of a sappy display of humanity as opposed to blood soaked madness topped off by someone taking their body to the limit for the enjoyment of his fanbase. Well good for Mick, I guess. It just breaks my heart that his mind thinks that way now. Maybe all those chairshots ARE bad for you. Are we sure Mrs. Foley’s baby boy still knows how to find his way home? Anyway, go spend eight bucks and pick up a copy of Foley is Good in paperback bonus chapter damn.

ANOTHER WEEK OF THIS CRAP

RAW and Smackdown both play in Michigan again again. Be on the lookout for the reformation of DX, the formation of The Canadian Horsemen, and a hell of an ovation as Rock will presumably be on both shows walking the walk and talking the talk. But this time with the Undisputed Title, which by 9pm tomorrow will have had a chance to be re-engraved with Rock – E’s name instead of The Undertaker’s. Oh, you didn’t hear? The scheduled vigil is instead of lighting candles, we are to pick the slightest, most minutes details from each show an DOCUMENT THEM! Keep the Faith! Ugh DIG-NA-TEE ! DIG – NA –TEE!!

THE LINKS ARE ON ME (with a Vengeance!)

E.verytime I make a run, girl you turn around and C. ry I axe my self why O why. Oh sorry, just singing and trying to maintain my street cred. Speaking of which, E.C. gets his mack on with a new version of Mind Squeezins AND his always stellar Byte This report. Go visit him and be sure to ask him why longtime readers of his call him the “Grim Reaper”. Honestly, I haven’t thought of that in a couple of years and it made me laugh when I was typing this plug. So go tease him, for your old pal Flea. Thanks.

Pat Fucking Brower must have a memory like a steel trap. He KNEW it was PPV and that yours truly would be making his monthly appearance, so he WHIPPED OUT his teaser and flaunts the damn thing all over the front page. Hey, no skin off my back, I’m at the TOP OF THE COLUMN! But that teaser used to bury my f*cking EXCESS reports, which if you ever get the time I suggest you go to the archives and check out. EXCESS was a great show, before they changed from the original format. Coach + Trish = some good memories. Oh yeah, go read Brower.

And the other show that replaced EXCESS, WWE Confidential, is recapped by Brad Jennette. I caught the show on tape, just cause I wanted to see how they twisted this Bischoff thing into the Fed’s version of a “shoot” .OOOOOOOO Jim Ross has his HAT off HE’S SHOOOTING!!. Wait let me read the report so I don’t steal any thoughts. Nope, The Bradster didn’t say that. Now YOU go check it out.

Ahhh yes..the Rasslin Roundtable is posted so go check out the preeminent prognosticators on premises.

And don’t forget BOSS’S REAL TIME PPV COVERAGE available exclusively at 411. BOSS can type and watch at the same time folks! Not to mention, if he doesn’t like something he sees he just gives his opinion instead of closing the door. And for all of you guys out there, Guru hit the nail on the head – dignity, kids DIG – NA – TEE! DIG – NA – TEE!

PAGE SIX

On Page Six today, I would like to share something that I recently wrote and had a great time writing, both for the content and the purpose. Below is the column I submitted for SlashWrestling.com’s 3rd Anniversary, which CRZ kindly posted. Many of you may not have had a chance to read it, all things considered. So if you ain’t done read it, feel free to do so now

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THE PERILS OF INTERNET WRESTLING COMMUNITY FAME

Hello out there! For those of you who do not know me, I’m Flea from 411Wrestling.com. You may also know me as RYDER FAKIN, famous for the ever popular Six Degrees of Ryder Fakin, where I continue to prove that not only wrestling, but the entire world revolves around Bob Ryder. I know what you are thinking (cheesy gimmick) but hey, it got me a high profile gig at one of the top sites in the IWC and isn’t that what everyone wants to do? What’s the point of doing a column if no one reads the damn thing? And evidently everyone wants their opinion to be heard, hence the popularity of Message Boards like Wienerville or the forum at 411, just to name a few.

So basically, the small amount of fame that I have garnered can sometimes go to my head. Well, not really, but I do take a certain amount of enjoyment knowing that RIGHT NOW I can converse with anyone who is anyone in the IWC and not be treated like a troll or a f*ck. Can you say the same? Do sometimes you wish that YOU could be the one in this position? Of course you do. But with this small modicum of fame comes a price that I overlooked until a few weeks ago.

I have a (now) sixteen year old cousin who is a HUGE wrestling fan and has been since he was a child. I’m partly to blame for this because in his formative years, I was the one carting him to the matches and had available for him almost any wrestling tape or program he would ever want to watch. As he got older and “smartened up” so to speak, I continued to attempt to educate him in “smart” viewing, i.e. how a wrestling show should be watched without the hindrance of “mark goggles” but not totally overwhelm him with the “smark” bullshit that goes along with it. In other words, to mold him in my own image. I, myself, am still a huge mark and refuse to get bogged down in the negativity that everyone seems to revel in to the point of sheer stupidity. However, I am also old enough to know the difference between the two a can block out 98.4% of it. I always thought that he could not and would become jaded. But finally, after many, many hours of contemplation I decided to introduce him to the Internet Wrestling Community.

I should point out that up until that time, my cousin did read the Internet, but only the “big” sites like WWF.com and WCW.com. Basically a homogenized version of “insider news” (that’s because we, as proud members of the IWC know the REAL story, they ain’t foolin us, by gawd) but enough to wet the appetite of a young fan who thinks Austin, Rock-E and HHH all tell the truth in those ever popular “shoot” interviews that the Fed feeds to us. Baloney! But it’s definitely a step up from when I was growing up, having to depend on PWI, The Wrestler and Inside Wrestling. Oh, how I loved the Apter mags but times have changed and so has the common fans perception of wrestling.

Anyway, I finally sat him down and showed him the proper way to surf for the “inside” scoop in regards to wrestling. I kept him away from the Observer and Torch and instead pointed him in the direction of TOA, 411 and of course Slashwrestling.com. (as a side note, I also sent him to 1wrestling.com where the prevalence of pop-ups crashed his computer several times! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha HA! “Flea, you are an asshole! he says, but I have a hard time taking seriously anyone whose voice is in the “changing stage”. Croak croak.). Once exposed to this new world of “smart thinking” it was like opening Pandora’s box…ain’t no turning back…

So our conversations quickly turned from “Hey, it’s cool to have Rock -E back” to “why won’t the Undertaker sell and why is HHH holding down Jericho?” Although I’m German – Italian and not Jewish, I still slap my head and yell “OY VEY” every time he starts with that stuff. “Where are you learning this? I ask politely, (not wanting to smack the kid or even worse call him a “stupid motherf*cker”) and his answer is normally “I read it on the net”. I suppose I have no one to blame but myself for this, but I can live with that. Recently, I have managed to straighten him out a little, at least to the point of still being able to enjoy the shows instead of being so goddamned critical of every little thing that happens. Hell, it worked for many of the readers of my news columns and EXCESS reports over on 411, so there is a place for positive thinking as opposed to thinking that you can book, write and manage better than the professionals.

Which brings me back to my original theme of Internet Wrestling Community, the fame and the perils. For most of his life he has known me as Flea, but until just last week, he never put two and two together and realized I am THE Flea from 411 wrestling. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I had not written a news column since April, when I decided to take the summer off. My cousin kept seeing references to “Flea” through out various columns at 411 and decided to probe the archives and found my entire winters worth of news columns and EXCESS reports. When he realized that I was THE Flea, he immediately brought it to my attention that he had read my writings. Needless to say, I was quite honored and, for lack of a better term, feeling like a BAD MOTHERFUCKER as I just knew he would have a million questions about what it’s like to be a prestigious member of the Internet Wrestling Community, not to mention worshipped and adored by many fans. So we sat down and I prepared to answer whatever he wanted to know, maybe even possibly letting him include some of his thoughts in a future news column.

Giggling like a little school kid, he asked me the one question that had been on the tip of his tongue since he discovered my “fame”.

“Do you REALLY know Hyatte?”

And people wonder why I drink.

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I liked that one .

Thanks for reading THE MONDAY EDITION, I’m Flea.

Flea