Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 12.25.02


He gave me a feeling, such as I have never had from someone else, of being morally afflicted in some way.  His very physical presence was, to me, malodorous and sinister, as though he had some consuming illness. – Malcolm Muggeridge on Guy Burgess

So, is that reference directed to Trip, Flex, or Big Sump Pump?  How about all three of them, and throw in Steph to boot?

It’s Christmas Day.  Like there’s jack shit to talk about.  So, I’ll try to create something out of a few reflections and Mailbag, with a You’re A Moron, because, hey, nothing says “Christmas” like YAM.

Okay, let’s rock, but not before a public service announcement.  Sorry about not getting up to answer your call, Flea, but I was trying to sleep off a cold.  Merry Christmas to you, too.


We’re at the midpoint of Hogan’s semi-shoot interview with Michael Landsberg on Canada’s favorite wrestling TV show, “Off The Record”.  Part I of his interview aired yesterday, Part II tomorrow.  Let’s take a look at Part I to see where he’s telling the truth or outright lying to the audience, shall we (interview summary courtesy of 1bullshit)?

1) Hogan said that he had no problem jobbing to Brock Lesnar a second time, which was the original plan after his time off.

Lie.  Jobbing to an up-and-comer once to create a new star, fine.  But twice?  Hogan’s always been very protective of his image.  He never went into specifics about how people “misunderstood” this, only saying that he was disturbed by the “content of the show”.

2) The other plan for his comeback involved possible storylines that he objected to because they were Jerry Springer-like.

Truth, considering everything we’ve seen out of Steph’s writing staff, especially on Raw.  However, and there’s always a however, we’ve seen Hogan play the “creative control” card too many times in the past, especially in WCW, to know that his reason wasn’t completely altruistic in this matter, saving the audience from yet another Wonderful Steph Brainstorm.  He kept repeating that he wanted storylines to “take the high road” (well, so do we all right now).  He admitted, though, that he was very rude to Vince when they were talking about this, and said that he wouldn’t do anything until the New Year, where he only has two weeks left on his contract.  In other words, he’s toast.

3) Hogan denies that “taking the high road” means a reversion to the storylines of his glory days.

Lie, due to the fact that he vehemently denied it.  Methinks thou doth protest too much, Mister Bollea.  Everyone knows that he’d love nothing better than to go out the way he came in, and he even implied that by saying that he was booked incorrectly leading into the match with Lesnar.

4) WWE underestimated the reaction to Hollywood coming back and didn’t capitalize on it.

Truth (since we all know that WWE hasn’t been able to book itself out of a wet paper bag since the Invasion began), but yet again self-serving.  He states that going on a winning streak and then getting beat by Lesnar would have elevated Lesnar even more.  Sounds like typical Hogan methodology:  build himself up, get the IWC criticizing him, and then having that same IWC fall over with praise when he does the job to Lesnar.

I just wished that he’d learned the lesson of making someone else look good by jobbing back in his glory days.  I’m going to revert to my most popular “wrestling alternate universe” scenario.  Imagine if Hogan got it into his head during the planning stages of Wrestlemania IV that him swinging that chair and accidentally hitting Savage instead of DiBiase would be better for storylines and drama, and relayed that to Vince.  Instead of Hogan looking like the Invincible Hero Who Could Do No Wrong (and eroding Savage’s image in the process), it would have showed there was a human element to Hogan, that he too could make mistakes.  Imagine what that could have given us who were watching back then:  Savage and Hogan feuding at an intense level as two men and not Mega-Powers-In-Waiting, DiBiase as heel champion running roughshod over the whole organization…they could have moved wrestling up the evolutionary ladder at least five years by changing one simple thing.  But enough of that.  Back to the interview.

5) Hogan said that if the problems Austin had that led to his walkout were the same as his, he would have passed the torch and moved on.

Anyone who knows anything about Hogan knows that this is such utter, complete horseshit that it isn’t worth commenting about.  By the way, Hulkster, if you were having the same problems as Austin was with WWE’s direction, why didn’t you go sit down with him and talk about those problems after his first return and try to come up with a more positive direction that you could have suggested (not forced through, although your combined leverage could have accomplished that with ease)?

6) Hogan says that the fans have finally figured Flex out:  he’s only using wrestling as a springboard to an acting career.

Truth, but it’s really a “Duh” level of truth, totally self-obvious.  The IWC is finally coming around to the truth that I recognized three years ago about Flex.  That makes all the harassment and trouble that I’ve received from this point of view worth it.

7) Hogan says that he decided not to take a leadership role backstage like Undertweener does because he didn’t want to alienate anybody on a personal level, causing a situation where a person jobs or goes over someone due to a personal vendetta.

Truth, because he didn’t need a leadership role to alienate anyone.  His ego did it for him.  As for personal vendettas, he could have stopped a few of those.  Imagine what he could have done by going to Bischoff and telling him that Sullivan was purposely trying to bury Benoit because of the situation over Nancy, and that he wasn’t going to stand for something like that.  Bisch, being the supreme brown-noser to Hogan that he was at that time, would have gone to Sully and taken away the responsibility of booking Benoit’s matches from him.

8) Hogan says that Mick Foley wouldn’t be having the physical problems he is right now if he’d trained instead of being a couch potato.

Not necessarily true.  I was in the best physical condition of my life while in the Army, and that’s when my knees started to go.  Even wrestlers who don’t take severe bumps can have physical problems.  Hogan, I’ve seen your buddy Kevin Nash need two people’s help walking up a set of five stairs, and he’s not a wrestler that you normally associate with bump-taking.  Hogan touched on this during the statements leading up to the trashing of Foley, when he said that his body wasn’t in the best of shape right now, and that he’ll have pains for the rest of his life.  That’s true of any athlete in a contact sport.  Don’t use Mick Foley as an example of the need for training.

By the way, Hogan, you forgot “say your prayers” and “take your vitamins”.

9) Hogan says that Trish Stratus won everyone’s respect backstage by her dedication to actually becoming a wrestler and her willingness and ability to take bumps.

Truth.  I don’t think he’d lie about that kind of thing.  Remember when Trish came in?  She was so abysmal on promos and as a manager (and was stuck with Test and Albert) that we all gave her six weeks, tops.  She knew, though, that she didn’t have the skills at that time that it took to survive, and started to improve them day by day.  You could literally see improvement with each passing week in her promo ability and then her wrestling skills.  She’s turned herself into a legit wrestler and sports entertainer by force of will to do so.  She should be a role model for some of the guys back there.

I guess that Ashish will cover the last part of this interview on Friday.  Hope he does.


On Sunday, I was reading some of Scott Keith’s Retro Rants (forgive me, Oh Hyatte, for I have sinned).  It had been a while since I read some of those, and it reminded me of something.  Keith loathes the Freebirds with a passion, and gives good, substantive reasons for doing so.  On the other hand, I’ve admitted many times to have been a Freebirds mark back in the day, and still consider myself one.  I also have substantive reasons to do so, and it illustrates the gulf that still exists to this day between smarks who enjoy shows and wrestlers for their entertainment value, and smarks who “know too much”.

You have to remember what it was like in Chicago twenty years ago.  We had two choices.  Either we watched the Nick and Verne Show (with Terry Bollea as The JTTS), or we watched the time-filler-on-Sunday-morning-TV indy shows (Vince was still a couple years away from unveiling his Master Plan).  Those indy TV shows at the time still relied on Dick The Bruiser-era wrestlers to get some ratings from the older audiences who still remembered wrestling being on network prime time TV in the early days of television.  It was painful to have a choice seeing old men jacking themselves off up in Minneapolis or old men pretending to be young men in Chicago.  At least Keith had Stampede to rely on; we didn’t have dick.  However, if pressed, I will admit to a fondness that still exists to this day for Moose Cholak.  What he could have done in a national promotion had one existed at that time…

…oh, Dear God, how did I get on the subject of Moose Cholak?  This reflection is supposed to be about the f*cking Freebirds.  Instead, I’m name-dropping someone 99% of the audience has never heard of.  Trust me on this one, Ol’ Moose was damn good (even in his older days), and if he was young and in WWE, he’d be getting the same push Big Sump Pump’s getting right now.  Okay, enough about Moose.  Back to the story.

In 1982, I moved to Dallas to take advantage of a free-ride scholarship at a small college (I then transferred to a real school after I found that I couldn’t get a good education in my chosen field, and it was to the U of C that I went; this is the first example of me being pulled back to Chicago while trying to escape its gravitational field).  So, one Sunday morning, bored out of my gourd, I decided to turn on the TV and catch the local indy scene.  That local indy scene happened to be WCCW, and it turned my ideas about wrestling upside-down.  I got exposed to the style that Fritz was establishing, something I’ve called anglo-lucha in the past.  Watching guys actually fly through the ring!  Guys moving at a pace faster than a three-toed sloth!  It was Saul on the road to Damascus.  This was wrestling I could get into.

I had the privilege of watching some of the best young workers at the time, guys like the late David Von Erich, the late Kerry Von Erich, the late Chris Adams, the late Gino Hernandez, the late Terry Gordy…okay, now I’m officially depressed.  God, I feel older than I normally do, wallowing in the warm Jacuzzi known as nostalgia.  And I apologize for going off on tangents yet again.  Back to the Freebirds, dammit.

In addition to my infection with the disease now known as Workrateitis, I saw something else.  I saw three guys go to the ring to participate in the lucha-style six-mans.  One was a big bruiser.  The second was a muscular tough guy.  And the third…well, he was the hairiest human being I’d ever seen up to that point in time, long hair off his head flowing in every direction and long hair off his body flowing in every direction as he attempted to dance his way to the ring to Lynyrd Skynyrd (by the way, thanks to overexposure on radio, I loathe that f*cking song and turn the goddamn radio the moment I hear the opening guitar riffs).  These guys had something I’d never seen, being Flair-deprived:  swagger.  They were rough, and they knew it.  Also, they had some talent when in the ring.  They also had that undefinable yet measurable quantity known as charisma.  That was my intro to the Freebirds.  The first time I heard Michael Hayes open his mouth to cut a promo, I was a Fan For Life.  The guy could rock the mic back in 1982.

Thanks to my circumstances, the Freebirds were different, new, and exciting, and they seemed an organic part of WCCW at the time.  They fit in perfectly despite having a semi-old-school style, the one I was familiar with.  They acted as a bridge between what I was used to and what I was being exposed to.  Keith, as I said, had the advantage of his first exposure to wrestling being Stampede, with its technical style and young workers with kick-ass ability.  We started on opposite ends of the spectrum and eventually worked our way to the middle.  To him, the Freebirds are technically deficient and phenomenally dull.  To me, I saw them at their peak and can appreciate their true greatness.  Yeah, Terry Gordy got exiled to Japan, tried to make comebacks in the States, and abused himself into an early death.  Yeah, Buddy Roberts traded his talent for the bottle.  Yeah, Michael Hayes ended up managing Matt and Jeff Hardy.  But I prefer to think of them the way they were in 1982.

So what’s the damn point of this?  It’s today’s fans.  The kids out there who are the same age as Keith and myself when we discovered wrestling (me before him, of course) haven’t been exposed to things like we were.  Their memories stretch back only to Austin 3:16, the NWO, and GOOOOOOOOLDBERG.  They can’t understand why we’re so pissy about wrestling, because they don’t have the emotional context that Keith and I do.  He and I lost our ability to mark out in the full sense of the term a long time ago.  The kids out there don’t understand why we don’t do that over the possibility of an Austin return, or the prospect of Flex/Goldie at WM.  It’s because our discoveries took place during a different time under different circumstances.

I’m just going to say this to the kids out there:  twenty years from now, if you’re still watching, you’re going to look at the product that’s going to be presented at that point.  Steph will own WWE and have about eight plastic surgeries by that point in order to keep her television appearances alive.  Dewey Foley will threaten to leave because, even though he’s world champion, they want him to job to Reid Flair, even though Reid’s considered over-the-hill (but a ratings winner).  The Net will be bitching, though, that Steph’s got an obvious plan, since her teenage son Vince Levesque is already training.  Everyone’s saying “world champion in the making” and that he’ll treat the locker room just like his dad did back in the old day, jumping to conclusions years before the fact.  Everybody’s saying that the women’s scene is now firmly established.  The feud between Dakota Runnels and Noelle Foley is going hot and heavy (and everyone’s saying Noelle’s better on the mic than her older brother).  The scene, in the minds of the kids who were introduced to this product, is looking pretty good.  However, guess what?  You’re going to be bitching that it isn’t like the old days, with legends like Austin, Flex, the Undertaker, and GOOOOOOLDBERG walked the Earth like the Titans they were.

In other words, you’re going to be like us.  Live with that fact.


Memo to Scott Keith:  Jesus, Scott, please stop using the term “bipolar” in all your columns.  I’m getting to think that you’re getting back at me on purpose for Fear and Loathing In Houston.  Damn, son, when you hold a grudge, you hold a grudge, and you pull the knives out so subtly that you don’t even feel it going into your back.  So I beg you, please stop.


Unlike last year, I definitely agree with Time’s People Of The Year.  The Whistleblowers are a worthy set of recipients, risking their careers in order to expose the excesses of high-powered entities and the shenanigans and cover-ups that went on in the FBI, Enron, and WorldCom.  However, I find that WorldCom’s attempt to spin this whole thing and praise Cynthia Cooper for bringing to the board’s attention the $4 billion discrepancy that helped sink the telecom megalith to be repulsive in the extreme.  However, since my long-distance is provided by them, maybe I’d better shut up.

Well, the biggest fait accompli of 2002 took place when Bill Frist officially replaced Trent Lott as Senate (Barely A) Majority Leader.  As I said, I think he’s a little less partisan than Lott and a lot more apt to go to the other side to reach consensus, so I’m in favor of this one…well, as much as I can be, that is.  As for Flea’s hate mailer that he published in Monday’s column…for God’s sake, I may be liberal, but I refuse to agree with the sentiment expressed in there.  That was simply rude, and Flea didn’t deserve that.  Strangely enough, I said things similar to Flea in my column last week, and I didn’t get any mail like that.  I think it was because it just seemed so strange that I wouldn’t condemn the guy that it fritzed out some neurons.  All I know is that if Flea had asked me to borrow YAM for a column, it would have been my pleasure for that letter.

The membership of the House of Savoy, the former ruling house of Italy, visited Italy for the first time in fifty-six years over the weekend.  Essentially, what they did was land, visit the Pope, then piss off back to Switzerland, like formerly-exiled royalty should do.  However, the stage is being set for a constitutional monarchy for a country whose experiments with parliamentary democracy have been chaotic, to say the least.  Prince Emmanuel Filiberto, the heir to the nonexistant throne, is not only one handsome guy, but he’s done commercials and wants to work for Italy’s biggest broadcasting service in an on-camera capacity.  If he gets one trampy Eurotrash blonde at his side, the monarchy gets reestablished the moment the old man kicks off.

I’m not even going to put out an opinion on Dubbaya’s Christmas Pardons List.  The offenses are so pussy in nature it’s ridiculous (a moonshiner?  a man who tampered with a car odometer?).  I can understand trying to avoid controversy, but, for God’s sake, at least put something in the list that people can disagree with.  You’ve got to feed the Sunday news shows with some material, you know.

The principles and teachings stressed in our holy faith in Islam and called for by Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, require us to pause at them and derive from them the great meanings of confronting the enemies of Allah and humanity. – Saddam Hussein.  Talk about a mixed message.  Uh, Saddam, if you’re pimping Christ, how about reading the Sermon on the Mount?  “Blessed are the peacemakers” and all that?

And now, it’s the time you’ve all been waiting for…speculation has run rampant about the Christmas Day You’re A Moron.  To tell the truth, I had one lined up from last week who was way ahead of the pack.  However, a last-minute dark horse stormed in front and took the crown going away.  So I bring to you the holiday gift that only I can…


The winner is Robert Ashburn, for the combination of being totally clueless and for sending a copy of this mail to Dymond, who’s not used to receiving other people’s hate mail.  Don’t treat Dave like that; he’s a nice guy.

just a suggestion dude, if your attitude about holidays – such as Christmas were better……. maybe your columns would be better.

Uh, no.  Apparently you don’t realize something:  I have built a reputation for being, shall we say, a curmudgeon…no, let’s be clearer:  an asshole.  I say things that a lot of people wish they could say, but either don’t have the balls or forum to do so.  As such, I’ve built up a very large, very loyal audience who think my columns are spiffy-neato the way they are.  I’m satisfied with the work I do on a twice-weekly basis here, and I regularly get respect and tribute from my columnist peers here, who sure as hell know what quality writing is about.  So, if you think my columns are below-par, you’re in the minority.

loose all the negative and idiotic personal feeling crap that wastes readers time and deal more with columns such as Angle Developments, which shows more about your knowledge than how you curse. (the whole – ‘what about me?’ gimmick went out with Raven when he left WCW years ago)

I do loose my negative personal feelings…oh, you misspelled “lose”.  Sorry about that; I actually thought you were agreeing with me for a second.

Angle Development only deals with the advancement of sports-entertainment-related storylines on each week’s Raw.  Therefore, there is a finite amount of it to talk about.  There is also the fact that I don’t want to concentrate too much on the storylines they’re putting out, especially now.  My brains will end up turning to mush and I’ll start writing like Bruce Mitchell.

You also don’t seem to understand that every column here, every column everywhere else, and every piece of literature and art from cave paintings on are acts of masturbation.  We write about what pleasures or pains us, not the audience.  We rely on the audience to reflect our opinions or deny them, but not to write things for us.  We don’t write for the sake of courting popularity, we put it out there and let the audience discover us, and if they like us, they keep reading.

Now, let’s deal with the personal stuff.  I’ll throw out two examples of how this “personal feeling crap” has touched and helped people.  When I admitted to the audience that I’d finally been diagnosed as bipolar and was taking medication for it, I got a large number of letters from people who were bipolar themselves telling me that I was brave for admitting it.  Some of them wanted to know what I was on, whether it worked, etc. (and those letters continue to this day).  I think that I helped a lot of audience members cope with their condition by being public about it.

The second one is pretty personal, and I couldn’t publish the letter or even respond to the guy because I was so touched by it.  One person wrote into me a few months ago saying that he’d worn glasses since the age of two, and bifocals since the age of three.  His vision was so bad that people kept telling him that he’d be legally blind by the age of twenty-one.  Then, he read what a good experience I had when I had LASIK back in August, freeing me from glasses for the first time in thirty years.  He was jazzed by the fact that I had done it, said it in public, and was positive about the whole experience, and decided to give it a try after initially dismissing it as too expensive and that it probably wasn’t going to work (further disclosure:  my procedure cost $1600, pretty cheap for something like that).  He told me that he was writing this four days before his 21st birthday, four days before people said he was going to be blind, and that his vision was 20/20, and thanked me for inspiring him.  That letter alone makes all of the YAMs I’ve published worth it.

to be honest, i would think that your reports should be more informative than this:  ( Horrid-cane Helms over Chris Harvard (Pinfall, Shining Wizard):  Paid no attention, did not care.  I love Harvard and his potential, but stuck in a feud with Maven?  Yeah, it’s a natural, but where’s it going to get either of them? )

if you don’t care, how do you expect readers to care about your report.

They care because they’re reading someone who admits that they don’t care, which makes it fine for them not to care, if you understand my meaning.  Besides, everyone knows that I haven’t given a f*ck about Shane Helms since he debuted in WCW.

just had some spare time and wanted to throw you some suggestions on how to improve – because I know of a lot of wrestling fans here in the Nashville area, including myself – that can write reports better than this garbage. (and thats bad considering our education standards and TNA crowd samples)

Yes, the quality of the Nashville education system is exemplified by your impeccably perfect use of grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

You also don’t get it.  I am NOT writing a report on Raw.  That’s done by Keith and Jennette (or whoever’s doing it that day…no insult, Brad, but it’s yoyoed around so much lately that I’m not sure who’s doing the live stuff anymore).  I am writing brief summaries of my opinion on each match and each angle development.  That’s why the whole thing is called The Short Form.  Hence, my opinion that the Helms/Harvard match was not something to care about was valid.  I am not here to give you blow-by-blow or to praise every little wet fart of a match that WWE brings us on Raw.  If you want that, go to wwe.com and never come back here again.

I copied the better writers on this website that I’ve been reading for the last 3 years just so that you could get some creative help (like your Opinions,Etc. needs)…shout out to Ron – maybe you can help this guy out…….

So, in other words, you have no sense of creativity or style and have to steal them from others, and it’s your opinion that I need “creative help”.  Those who can, do.  Those who can’t, attempt to lecture others about what they do.  By the way, Gamble loves my style and my creativity.  He’s said so in his column a number of times.

a merry Christmas to all you who enjoy it and know the name Jesus – apparantly Eric thinks its Josh, but then again Eric thinks he knows sports entertainment.

Apparently Eric is absolutely right, because “Jesus” is the Greek form of “Joshua”, hence “Josh”.  Would you like a little lecture on the history of the creation of the Bible?  On second thought, shout out to Ron – maybe you could help this guy out.  That’s your expert field, after all.

This guy’s definitely in the pantheon of YAM.  Egotistical mark-who-would-be-smarks always leave themselves open for this.  Goodbye to you.


Wow, for someone who admitted that he had nothing to talk about, this column is sure getting long, huh?  I will go over one thing, though:  numerous readers have written in about the Great “Boom Shakalaka” Controversy.  Lots of people cited NBA Jam, of course.  One person even brought up the drill scene in “Stripes” (which, I believe, caused the phrase to enter into the back of our collective consciousness; kudos to Jack Bartram for that, and he’s well on his way to entering a certain list below).  It shall continue ad infinitum, I guess.

I’d like to concentrate on one letter, from Stuart Stauber (this was going to be the winner of YAM until Ashburn came along):

Love the column, regular reader…but could you please stop it with this HUGE FUCKING mailbag every week?  I honestly don’t need to have my web space filled with you and your band of whacky intellectual degenerate wrestling fans jerking each other off on the web.  Please stop- more content, less crap.

Oh and if youre going to do mailbag at least give us more background on the f*cking emails.  We have no frame of reference on any of this stuff.  Masturbatory bullshit if you ask me.

Well, I went over the “writing as masturbation” stuff earlier, so, yeah, I agree with you on that.  Hope your letter was as good for you as this column was to me.  As for frame of reference, sometimes it’s better to keep the audience guessing at what the original topic of the letter was about.  It keeps people interested and wondering “What the f*ck was that all about?”.

Here’s the main reason for the HUGE FUCKING Mailbag, as you put it:  I get a lot of letters every week.  I’d love to respond to all of them personally.  However, my time is extremely limited to do so.  I don’t want to be like a lot of columnists and totally ignore my audience.  I want them to know that I’m reading their letters and listening to what they say.  Sometimes what they say is so idiotic that I devote a certain recurring column to them (see above).  However, sometimes what they say is so enlightening and intelligent that I think those opinions should be known to the world.  I have a forum in which to do so, a column on Wednesday that’s almost devoid of real wrestling news (for reasons I’ve gone over many times in the past).  So I devote a lot of space on Wednesday to sharing those opinions with you, the audience.

You know, doing Mailbag has actually helped some people.  First and foremost is my favorite obscurantist, Sylvain Parent, who you can now read here as a feature columnist.  I’ve enjoyed reading his stuff so much that it’s a pleasure for me to see that people here can read him all the time.  He’s got a unique (albeit very slanted) view on the universe that’s worth sharing.  And I’m happy to say that I gave him a little visibility here first.

What we try to have here at 411 is a tight crew, and we accomplish that.  We’re not only writing at the same site, we’re fans of each other’s work.  You might call this a circle jerk, but it’s legit, trust me.  It’s gratifying to see the ever-dignified E. C. Ostermeyer, high-profile veteran of major sites, suddenly being written up here as Unca Ed because I referred to him that way a couple times, and seeing him enjoy it.  We all cared a lot about Gamble when he was in the hospital recently, and are happy to see him back on the road to health.  Grut, Flea, and I love taking a few humorous shots at each other once in a while, because we know that we’re not serious.  Daniels had balls enough to take serious shots at me when I got here, I respected him for that, and now we’re each enjoying the others’ work.  What we have here at 411 is a family.  A completely dysfunctional family, but a family.

What I’m trying to do with Mailbag is to extend that family to the readers, to let them know that they’re in on the enjoyment and to not feel like we’re a self-centered bunch of, well, mutual masturbators.  Some writers have become so frequent in their appearances in Mailbag and in my mailbox that they’ve almost become characters in this column, and there are some solid Net friendships behind that as well.  Sylvain I mentioned above.  The Pride Of Dartmouth, Elliot Olshansky.  Big Daddy Kurt Dieckmann.  The Ravin’ Cajun, Beau Landaiche.  Slick Rick McBride, who always mails me during Raw to point out something that I missed.  Aussie Bureau Chief Brett Wortham.  Phil Watts, who always gives me a chuckle and is now firmly on my “Paul Heyman as Howard Roark” bandwagon.  Nunya Business (who recommended that I call Flex “Rocky Maivia”, thinking that was humiliating enough…no, there are some actual positive connotations to that one, since he improved before the Nation days enough to be given a shot with that angle).  The Joe In Me, who I help out with computer stuff (and I have no clue about what your problem is configuring to your servers, Joe).  Zach Singer, who’s even more liberal than I am.  My fascist bud John King, who’s at the other end of the spectrum from Zach.  The Priz!, although he’s been really busy with classes lately.  Andrew Ormberg.  Smitty.  Steve Rogers.  Ian Wright.  Heath Peek.  Rob Bemis.  And, of course, BFM, Mike DeGeorge, columnist for Reality News Online, who’s been with me since virtually the beginning of this column nearly three years ago.

Why did I just put out that huge list of people?  Because I owe them more than I can ever repay them, certainly more than just a pimp or an occasional Mailbag appearance.  They make me think laterally, think about things that I wouldn’t have ordinarily.  They bring up interesting topics, want clarification about things that I wrote (not only about wrestling, but about politics, meat, medication, and a number of other topics), or just want to pop in and say that they enjoy what I’m doing (or hate what I’m doing).  I don’t write my column for them, but it’s because of them that I keep writing it.  If they want to take their time writing me, I should take time acknowledging that.  Mailbag is the least I can do.

And now that I’ve shown my sentimental side, I think it’s time to get this thing wrapped for another week.  See you for the end of the year next week, and remember to be careful if you’re driving in the shitty weather that’s hit the most of the US.  Buh-bye.