The Saturday Matinee News Report 10.12.02

Hello out there this is Flea and it’s the weekend, if you hadn’t noticed. Sun is still shining and for some reason a dickweed is ruining everyone’s day by shooting them like animals. Some people will do anything for attention. I have a lotta ground to cover here so it would behoove the both of us not to waste anymore time. “Ain’t wastin’ time no more ..” remind me to tell you about the time Gregg Allman got locked up in Jacksonville and couldn’t find a soul to bail him out for $1,000. That’s pretty rude. “Ain’t wastin time no more ..”

I will take this time right now to say how disappointed I was to see not one, but TWO Elvis columns over in the music section. I am the definitive Elvis fan on this site and I should have been axed first. Whatever. By the way, I have the new Elvis compilation. Want to know what I think of it?

Let’s get to it


You asked for it, that’s all I can say. In an effort to increase rating so that “wrestling doesn’t go bankrupt”, Vince McMahon has Pandora’s Box wide open and is delivering Sports Entertainment, complete with the ever popular “murder mystery angle”. Hey, I’m all for it, at least if it’s done right. Before I get into all that, let’s attempt to stay on point here: my point being is Vince now knows the bottom point of his viewing fanbase. These are the hardcore viewers, no matter how rotten things are, that will still watch his wrestling shows. A portion of this is YOU, the so called “smart fan” who, despite vehement protest to the contrary, will still tune in, if only to make notes and then post to message boards / write columns about how much things suck and how you would fix them. Up until several weeks ago, I think there may have been some panic at Titan Towers, but the bottom was found and now is the time to start attracting the “casual viewers”, knowing there is only so low * you can go

(*) is a common literary trick is to place an asterisk in the middle of a thought so you don’t get sidetracked and can come back at a later time to expound on that point. I normally refrain from this because I ramble anyway, but I thought this would be something different to try – I’m sure you feel better knowing this. The reason that (*) was there after “low” is because although the net’s definition of low is “OH MY GOD 3.2” Fangol to that. Fucking TNN AVERAGES a 1.0, so by my math that makes WWE look pretty damn good. Hockey (nationally televised) and Baseball (cable and occasionally national) can’t break a 2.0, even for playoffs, so things aren’t as bad as some would lead you to believe. Besides, I think we all prefer quality, so unless you have a vested interest (i.e. you are spending dough advertising), I would say that the ratings issue is moot at best, null and void if you look at the grand scheme of things.

Before I kicked out your asterisk (SEE GRUT I CAN DO COMEDY TOO!) my point was along the lines of Vince knows the bottom and will now attempt to get back his mainstream casual viewers. Full court national media press on the Greatest Angle You’ll Ever See Televised (G.A.Y.E.S.T – Billy and Chuck’s wedding), followed up by some kick ass shows have made Smackdown the best wrestling show on TV. Now Vince is ready to concentrate on turning RAW into the Monday Night powerhouse it once was.

Kane has been promoted as a major threat since his return, winning the tag belts, the IC Title and is fixin to Main Event No Mercy (as advertised, I love that Pete Rose commercial) against HHH in a unification battle. You think that would be good enough for some, but many have taken this time to ignore Kane and concentrate on what a pig HHH is. I’ll get back to that in another section. But you know, first off, let me tell you about the RAW program last Monday, the big bombshell, and the fact that everyone tries to be a f*cking comedian but no one is funny –

I enjoyed RAW last Monday as good as any RAW I have seen in quite a while. Why? It had a feel of spontaneity, good humor mixed in with good action and a red hot crowd that even POPPED for Al Snow! According to Cactus, this is an aberration on the scale of Cosmic proportions, seeing as no one gives a crap about Al. I can be just as entertained at stuff like that as I can a 20 minute Flair match, as long as the proper perspective* is used

(*) there it is again! Sub-point this time is that if it takes hanging around people not deemed “worthy” of smarkdom (i.e people you think are “marks”) are needed to refresh your perspective on wrestling and the enjoyment of it, you should probably just not surf the net, or better yet take a long walk of a short pier. If I read one more column about “you know, I never realized that people could actually LIKE HHH, seeing as he is a backstage menace and blab blah” I’m going to puke. Make your own f*cking decisions! It ain’t all that hard, dope(s). I also have a point to make about people wishing that they could go back and relieve the days “when they were marks”, but out of respect for Ken Anderson, I won’t – he busts his ass on his columns so I can overlook that paragraph. What I’m saying is that there ain’t a damn thing wrong with enjoying a show like Monday’s RAW, even though it’s not “cool” according to the standard of people that wouldn’t know “cool” if a truck full of ice fell on them. That ain’t a bad idea actually

Back to RAW. Rolling right along with a hell of a TLC match (hey, it’s free TV and they are killing themselves – what more do you want?) and BOOM! Here is HHH with a shocker – Kane is a MURDERER! And off we go, using the old “make the match and insert said reason for match later” principle that worked like a charm back when Flair fought Savage. Now then, all of the “smart crowd” pissed and moaned about how ridiculous this is, not even giving this angle a chance to get going. “Stupid” is a word that was thrown around like dollars at a strip club, never once even considering that “Geez, they might have a plan for this!”. Granted, Vince and Co. have made a mockery of just about every “sure fire angle” over the last year, but this one cannot be classified as “sure fire” because it opens the door for numerous possibilities. Did Kane do it? What does HHH know? Did Kane, in a hasty retreat, leave a girl for dead? Is she still alive? This is what is known as “episodic television”, something which all you people that watch “normal” television should be familiar with. Does Buffy have magical powers in real life? Can Clooney really perform surgery? Why doesn’t Spock’s “Vulcan Nerve Pinch” work in a real fight? This is what is known as “suspension of disbelief” and it is the basis of what Professional Wrestling is. “Corpus Delicti” is not a requirement for television and I think that applies to our little “rasslin” program as well. Yeah, it’s way cool to trash this angle and proclaim it dead on arrival *, but the fact is, I think Vince and the Gang appear to have a direction with this, with I do not believe is equal to a one match / one PPV blow off. He has his “hardcore audience” number and now he rebuilds.

Because he’s knows YOU will be watching.

(*) I personally think that the “dead on arrival” analogy is way funnier than most of the “humor” I have read on this topic, but humor is a very subjective term. And have you looked up the term “Corpus Delicti” yet?

Moving along to Smackdown, the in ring action was a little suspicious, but damn, the backstage vignettes kicked ass! Nidia, should be every smarts favorite girlie, seeing as everyone went apeshit over Lilian Garcia speaking Spanish. Hey, I don’t speak the language and getting bitched in English (and sometimes Italian) is enough for me but to each their own fetish. Knoble and his redneck act, then Eddie/Chavo in their set up act on angle made for good TV. Hey! You think that was an ACTRESS doing the part of UT’s skank ho? You don’t say! No really! DON’T SAY! Tell me again how the FUCKING WHEEL ON RAW WAS GIMMICKED YOU DUMBFUCK YOU! Jesus f*cking Christ suspend disbelief once in awhile! while I’m on the topic

I’m having a BIG party next year for WrestleMania. Details to follow. But the first time ANY FUCKING PERSON says “oh he should not be such a backstage politician” I’m gonna brain them with a f*cking 9 iron. Ernie Els 9 iron, seeing as he will be about 4 houses down and can give me some tips. Personally, I would just drown you, but I’m moving up to a higher class of ne’er do well. FANGOL

Anyway, Smackdown rocked and I blame it all on Heyman. Eric S. had it right the other day with blatant Freebird worship I’m right there with you dude. Ain’t NO ONE was cooler than Michael P.S. Hayes back then. I can understand anyone under 30 saying they suck, though. Actually no I can’t but some stupid memo went around saying we (meaning everyone but Hi-8) ain’t allowed to overtly bust other 411 writer’s balls .but back to Smackdown, oh that’s about it remind me to expound on the PAUL E. EFFECT sometime and why he is the reason for all this trouble not tonight, I’m dreaming about Dawn Marie and wondering if she still remembers that bar tab I picked up for her in ’98.


On Wednesday, I tuned into NWA-TNA again, and still kind of have mixed feeling on the whole thing. I thought the Tag Title match was pretty damn good in an old school meets indy spots, but was totally turned off by the Four Way Iron Man X-Division match. I now proclaim Low Ki as the most overrated wrestler on the planet. His backstage vignette with X-Pac was just embarrassing, as compared to Pac and Styles, Low Ki came off with the personality of a potted plant. Before you email me “he let’s his ring work do the talking” I have this for ya – if his ring work does the talking, he should probably hire and interpreter. His calling card is the “stiff kick”, which looks a million times better when Tajiri does it and the rest of the time It’s all spot, no sell, spot. But he is over with the crowd, so go ahead and push him – which they did. Hell, they even jump started a program with heel manager Mortimer Plumtree that used the real life confrontation between Low Ki / Candido / Sunny as a low blow. Vince Russo at his finest! Ki fumbled over the next few lines and lost the feel of things, naturally. So there’s some of my thoughts on him. Back to the X Division – in their haste to become “different and innovative” they have now become “stale and predictable”. I have nothing against Pac winning, as he is far and away the most talented of ANY wrestler on the show (not to mention they may just build up to a killer Lynn / Pac series), but damn. The idea of the X-division is “no weight class, just style”. Well, for my money, the most stylish thing that could of happened is for Jeff Jarrett to come out and clobber everyone with a guitar and FINALLY get some singles gold around his waist. They said everyone was invited, right? But I understand that this is their way of featuring the crusiers and high fliers, so they ain’t going that route. Hopefully with Pac being the featured performer, he can slow these young indy guys down enough to make a decent match out of things instead of Triple Lindys that only get two. Also on the show, Curt Hennig made his debut as the mystery partner – look for his heel turn sooner rather than later as the dude is a much better sneaky heel than a “fight for what’s right” face. Jarrett continues to be solid in his role as anyone in wrestling and the only really weird part of the show was the injury angle on Jerry Lynn – I just don’t like the awkwardness of and angle like that on a live broadcast because it takes up WAAAY to much time. And this ain’t free TV. I think it would have helped just to have one more beatdown on the way to the ambulance – sure, that’s been done but a cliché is a cliché for a reason – in this case in would have kept the show moving. All in all, decent show and I think that have me back as a regular viewer.

HEY GRUT! Austin went to trial this week! It doesn’t matter!

The dumbest rumor going around is that Lennox Lewis is gonna fight Brock for $5 million dollars. Dumb dumb and dumber, even though it came from a noted British tabloid, and you know how reliable THEY can be! Well, you probably don’t. anyway, all reliable sources tell me to ignore this story and I think I will. Besides, I think imported British beer sucks a wanker and Princess Di led to Elton making a fortune.

DAVE’S NOT HERE (he’s also not all there)

Sometimes enough is enough. For the last few weeks I have seen a disgusting circle of crap going on and I think I’ll take the time to address it. Every Friday, Jim Ross releases the Ross Report, which is as close to an “insider report” as you will find from anyone in the business, at least at his level. It’s full of fun facts, mysterious messages and doublespeak, most of which is goofier than a pet coon, but hey, he ain’t telling us everything, just because he doesn’t have to. By the time Monday roles around, all the “net” insiders have developed their own “inside gossip” opinions and use “sources” to confirm that JR ain’t telling us the whole story. I don’t need an “expert” to tell me this, much less beat it into my brain that I’m stupid and should disregard anything I hear from anyone else, except for this person, who is the know all and end all of the true inside goings on. Yes, the most ignorant and condescending report on the web of “insider news” can be found at on Mondays in the form of Dave Scherer’s Premium Hotline Report. In his last report, he made a challenge to refute anything that he attempts to pass as “fact” and from here on out, that’s exactly what I will do

Dave starts of with his favorite catch phrase “First and Foremost”. He says this quite a bit in his written column, but beats the phrase into ad nauseum range when he talks to you. Or I should say talks DOWN to you as his method of delivering “inside gossip” comes off like a lecture usually reserved for when a child does not eat their dinner. So when Dave uses First and Foremost, he means business, as in you don’t know a damn thing about “the business” so shut up and listen.

Dave has developed quite a hard on for what he calls the “HHH EFFECT”, which in case you didn’t know, is Dave’s sledgehammer attempt to ingrain a personal catch phrase into net terminology, much like he attempted to do with the term “SHORK”. For those of you who don’t remember “SHORK” was his combination of “shoot” and “work” which he used to describe what happened with Hogan and Russo at the Bash at the Beach PPV a few years back. Needless to say (and despite his attempts to beat us over the head with the phrase) no one else used it. As of this writing “SHORK” is as dead as Pillman and hasn’t been seen or used since.

So the latest phrase is the “HHH EFFECT” which means, in Davespeak, “HHH is ruining the business”. Not a new concept, but he goes after it with such glee that you have to wonder what the motive is. He even provides “facts” and challenges us lowly listeners to TRY and dispute his opinion. No problem. His first beef this week is the fact that HHH “put himself” over D’Lo in the blindfold match and how that just proves that he considers himself better than everyone else on the show. Dave does make the point that D’Lo is not on H’s level (correct) but then just buries himself by ranting about how “unprofessional” it was for H to “no sell” the Sky Hi (D’Lo’s finisher) and how that PROVES that H is evil. My response is that the booking behind that match was a “glorified gimmicked SQUASH”, which happens now and again. In the old days, top tier starts rarely bothered to sell ANYthing the squashee threw at them, but times have been updated, thanks to people like Angle, Lesnar and yes, HHH, who sell punches, at times, from midcarders like they are getting murdered. The no-sell didn’t hurt anything and will not devalue D’Lo in anyone’s eyes. Hell, the psychology may have been that D’lo could not properly connect with the move due to the blindfold (H did make it into the ropes, posthaste), so the whole “no sell” theory is just something else Dave is using to further his opinion that H is only in it for self promotion and the rest of the staff be damned. Dave also rails about the fact that Kane, Booker et. are getting the shaft, making the point that H doesn’t need a title to be over. Granted, he doesn’t, but the title does need to have a little value to it, right? Hell, the title would help Tommy Dreamer (just an example) get over, but who is buying him a champion? The funniest thing about his “HHH EFFECT is Dave using this forum to PLEAD (and yes I do mean plead) that “HHH does the right thing for business and drop the title to Kane”. Amazing. Like I said (!) above, I think they have a relatively long term plan for HHH vs. Kane, but that won’t stop Dave from either pissing and moaning about an H win (which I think he will, with Flair’s cheating), which by the way, has been described by Dave himself as a “money drawing” approach to business. Face chases heel. Having Kane win the belt right now would kill this “murder angle program” right out of the gate, which does no one any good. So the best way to further this angle is to have H win in an “unclean” manner. And in the long term, that’s what would be best for business. Right Dave? Oops, I forgot – the “HHH” effect is what’s

business. Make up your mind, please and try to stay objective.

Of course you know, if Kane does win, Dave will crow and crow about how his “pleading and opinion” led to WWE changing their booking plans by “listening to the fans”. I’d rather have a sharp object shoved in my eye than to read that next Monday.



Jerry Lawler is not wrestling in the 6-man tag this Wed. night!

I am (Brian Lawler) in that match, I’m begging you to get with the program. When do you recall the King signing with TNA! Come on brother, when you make a mistake like that it makes you look…let’s say “unprofessional”. That right there is just like Bob Costas saying Barry Bonds can’t wait to play left field for the Yankees this week. You posted that info on 10/04 and haven’t changed it yet. Just trying to help,


Now, I don’t post much reader mail, but I do make exceptions when they win something , or are THE RAT DIVA or when I need to make an apology

So on behalf of 411, sometimes things do slip. Personally, I steal from other places, bogart if I have to and am f*cking blatant about my grammatical errors .hey! I just did grammatical in one take! FLEA RULES!


E.C. Ostermeyer will always be my favorite.

A plug for 411 games would be nice right here especially Andrew B’s column .


Per the advice of someone who knows such things, my on line “career” ended at 3am 10-12-02. Some career, I didn’t get paid but I had fun.

Goodbye and try to remember to stay positive!


Join our newsletter

never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!