Another day, another intense backache that kept me out of work. This one was accompanied by a throbbing pain in my left heel that made it even more painful to walk when I needed to (i.e. to get to this computer and to get to somewhere more important, if you catch my meaning). I have no idea what’s causing the heel pain. It isn’t plantar fasciitis, because the pain’s in the wrong location. Maybe it’s bad footwear. Since I’m off the production floor and doing detail work on data, I’ve actually been dressing a little nice and wearing wing-tips. I’ll see if I can transfer my insoles to them and still get my feet in. Enough about me; on to shit about other people…
SOMETIMES I DO GET SERIOUS AND REGRET CERTAIN SINS OF OMISSION; THIS IS ONE OF THEM
Unless the Army’s really lightened up since I was in, Jeremy Botter isn’t reading this column today. Despite certain differences we’ve had in the past (specifically l’affaire Babs), we stayed friends and he said many times that I was a must-read, even though he’d throttled down his presence in the IWC. He went off to Basic five days ago, and I’d planned for weeks, ever since he told me of his career shift, to say goodbye to him in my New Years’ Day column, because JJ deserved a public goodbye and good luck considering everything he’s meant to Internet wrestling readers over the years. I forgot to do that, and I have no excuse for not doing it other than being a stupid idiot. I know it’s too late now, but I would like to wish him good luck getting through that mindf*ck and hoping that he makes it. JJ, if somehow you are reading this, please, drop me a line the first chance you have and tell me how it’s going, please. And I truly am sorry.
GOOD NEWS FOR EVERYONE
The new version of the A List, everybody’s favorite site for summaries of the best nasty celebrity gossip, is up. Hey, Hyatte’s on sabbatical, so someone has to pick up the slack on this important issue. Some good updates in this latest one, so head over there before f*cking Geocities’ bandwidth limits kick in.
BAD NEWS FOR DEMOS
Dick Gephardt has officially declared as a candidate for 2004. Why us? Why the Eyebrowless Wonder? The last thing the Demos needed is someone perfectly set up to be the GOP Whipping Boy. Dear God, let John Kerry officially declare, please.
NO MEA CULPA, BUT CREDIT GIVEN WHEN IT’S DUE
Well, the Ohio State fans started inundating me with letters on Friday night, indulging in a little schadenfreude after their rather improbable victory over Miami to win the national championship. Slick Rick and BFM, Ohio State fans both, even chimed in. Okay, I didn’t watch the game, except for the first quarter when I was at a bar where the employers were fronting the tab for our monthly Happy Hour (something I normally blow off, except this one was five minutes away from my apartment, so I had no excuse; oh, yeah, I was not disobeying the “Do not drink alcoholic beverages” warning on my pill bottles, and stuck to Diet Pepsi). Okay, I give in; good job by OSU in pulling off a huge upset. This would have even been considered a moral victory for them if they’d lost during overtime. So, congrats to Jim Tressel and his charges. But that’s the last nice thing you’re ever going to read me from about Ohio State.
THIS IS HOW THE BIG BOYS PLAY
Pro football fans were stuck with a pair of snoozers on Saturday (other than my complete joy at seeing Michael Vick turn the FudgePackers into his bitch), but sure as hell made up for it on Sunday. Wow. First, the Steelers pulled off a last-seconder on the Browns, who were bitch-slappping them every step of the way (and BFM is still trying to find black clothing in his wardrobe, but is still promulgating the “glass half full” spin). Exciting as hell, but the best was yet to come with the late game. The Noo Yawk Midgets treated the Niners like a red-headed stepchild for two and a half quarters, then suddenly someone flicked a switch and the Niners were scoring at will. But, Jesus, they kept it exciting. You knew something was going to happen when the Niners blew the two-pointer after their last touchdown and then went into a “prevent” defense, which doesn’t prevent anything, allowing Kerry Collins to work some magic to get them into field goal range. Whoops, blown snap. And now we have the standard post-hoc controversy, in which the zebras admitted that they blew a pass interference call on the Niners on that bizarre field goal (that’s all we need, pissed-off Noo Yawkers). Weird endings all around, and perfect justifications on why I remain a football fan despite the Bears.
WHAT ABOUT MARTY?
Last week, I said that the newly-minted Sir Ridley Scott may have been the best director since Hitchcock not to be honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. That was the cue for all the Martin Scorsese fans in the audience to pipe up. Now, I could just blow this off by saying that he’s from Noo Yawk and therefore doesn’t count. The truth is that I was being a bit anticipatory. I think that the Academy is going to rectify their past mistakes in their upcoming awards by giving the gold to Scorsese for Gangs of New York. The field’s pretty weak this year, and Marty did a phenomenal job, especially in making DeCaprio look like a serious actor (and we already have past precedence for the Academy shelling out the little gold trophy to someone who can do that with James Cameron). If he gets rooked, it’ll be to Peter Jackson (although the Academy might reserve that one until next year). So it’s not necessarily another “My Bad”, but I may have to culpa those meas again if Marty doesn’t get his due.
TRADE SECRET? WHAT TRADE SECRET?
After posting the Arby’s pepper bacon recipe (but not including the ingredients of the cure, which would really have got me in big trouble with a certain large agri-conglomerate who shall remain nameless (*coughConAgracough*)), Slick Rick decided to try it. However, he used salt pork instead of bacon. In his words:
…Salt Pork, as much as it resembles a short block of Bacon, isn’t. I discovered this the hard way. I was smart enough to test a couple slices first, after treating the block. Bacon it ain’t, but the rest of the pepper treated salt pork is going to make what I think will be the best batch of pork and beans I’ve ever made.
So you have it straight from the mouth of Slick Rick, and who better to trust? If you’re into Pork and Beans, take a look at my New Years’ Day column again and grab that recipe.
By the way, as an FYI, here’s a list of the fast food chains that should not, under any circumstance, piss me off, unless you want your bacon formulas revealed: Burger King, Subway, Hardee’s, Dunkin’ Donuts (interesting new cure formula you’ve got there, DD; salty as shit, but interesting), and Steak ‘n Shake (I’m sick and tired of trying to satisfy you bastards with all those cure changes; oh, and your secret bacon ingredient is molasses, neener neener neener). I expect better service than I’ve been getting from some of you.
Oh, yeah, here’s another big secret: Burger King, possibly as soon as May, may offer pepper bacon on their sandwiches since it’s been a hit for Arby’s. It’s their standard bacon with that pepper coating I was talking about. You heard it here first.
NOW ON TO WRESTLING, WITH MORE ON THE STASIAK AFFAIR, FROM THE OTHER SIDE
For some reason, I’m on No Holds Barred’s mailing list (hey, I didn’t ASK to be on it, I just am; my opinion is that if isn’t WrestleThis (which, in fairness, does share a portal with NHB), it isn’t real wrestling radio). Last Friday, they sent out a Special SpinMail to everyone on the list laying out their side of the Stasiak Affair. Since e-mail sent to me is my property to do with as I wish, I’d like to share it with you:
The No Holds Barred Radio Show has become aware of a situation in which Shawn Stasiak is claiming to not have spoken to us about a future return to the WWE and he has even gone on record conducting an interview with Chris Yandek from www.1wrestling.com to dispute this claim. NHB stands by it’s story for the following reasons.
First of all, the interview was set up by Chris Yandek who provided us with a direct phone and e-mail contact to Shawn. We spoke with Shawn initially 2 weeks ago about this interview which was to take place on Sunday December 29th and he agreed to do the spot. We then spoke with Shawn the day of the interview to go over the direction of the interview for that night. Shawn told us he was scheduled to return to the WWE and didn’t want to say anything negative about the company which could hurt his return. He was assured this would be the case.
Later that night Shawn pulled a no-show on us and we made several attempts to find out what led to the cancellation but were not granted a courtesy phone call or e-mail to explain his position. We then decided to proceed and inform the wrestling media of Shawn’s comments regarding a return to the WWE and this has since led to Shawn denying this story.
We then received an e-mail from Chris Yandek who asked us why we ran with this story as he felt it could damage Shawn’s opportunity again with the WWE (see e-mail below).
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 21:55:22 EST
To: email@example.com (Jason Barrett’s personal e-mail account…e-mail forwards from firstname.lastname@example.org)
I can understand your frustration for Shawn no showing your show last night, but did you honestly really have to go into detail that he was going back to WWE? I honestly think there is a right and wrong way to handle things, and honestly by just stating things come up is a better way to do business then go into it. I understand your protecting your show, and honestly you have more then enough credibility to have to explain why Shawn no showed as you have had on everyone from Hogan to Macho to Goldberg. He is on his way back to the company, and didn’t want to take heat I suppose for doing an interview with your show which happens. I honestly think that you might have put him in a bad light, and no shows happen all the time, and things always don’t go as planned. If you don’t agree with my statements its cool, but I thought I would get my point across as a friend of Shawn, and was willing to help you get the interview in the first place.
Take Care Chris<<
The interview Shawn conducted with Chris Yandek is an attempt to protect his reputation with the WWE in order to keep the lines of communication open in the future. Some of you may question that simply because Stasiak has stated in the interview with Chris Yandek that he doesn’t plan on returning to the WWE. Well, this isn’t the first time Shawn has leaked a story about the company and while we don’t claim to know what the WWE think about it, we do know that he received a lot of heat last time he appeared on our program simply because he had revealed to us that he signed with the company and would be at WrestleMania 17 along with 24 other “WCW” superstars.
This is a cover up job for a few different reasons. First, Chris happens to be a close friend of Shawn’s and is simply trying to help out a friend. While we respect Chris and his work, we don’t feel this is the proper way to report a story. NHB not only has e-mail documentation to support our claim but we have phone which show conversations did indeed take place with Shawn. Additionally, during our conversation Shawn acknowledged our previous interview from 2001 and stated that he didn’t want to talk about it on the air because it created a lot of problems for him with the company.
If you’re not sure what to believe we simply ask you to consider the following points. Why would Chris Yandek openly admit in his post that he arranged an interview for us with a man who professed to be Shawn Stasiak and then all of a sudden have an interview with Shawn later that same week? If he was trying to track Shawn down for a long time as he claims in his post, then it’s pretty amazing that after all that time, he was able to find “the real Shawn” in just 6 days. Also, if an interview was arranged with an imposter and this person was trying to cause problems for Shawn, wouldn’t that person have showed up for the interview and said things to hurt Shawn even more? Last but not least, this is not the first time Shawn has done an interview with Chris Yandek (see www.neweraofwrestling.com) and therefore it would seem pretty odd that Chris would have a contact for an imposter when he has been able to get a hold of Shawn whenever he needed him.
In closing, NHB takes pride in reporting accurate news on the wrestling business and we enjoy talking with many of the superstars in the business about their line of work. While we do have a job to do and try to get to the bottom of a story, we also try to work with our guests to make sure the experience is an enjoyable one. Many superstars who have appeared on our program in the past would support this claim. We also are big supporters of Shawn and his career but feel this is a blatant attempt to hide the truth. Shawn can claim to have been set up by an imposter but there are way too many inconsistencies that figure into this equation that show this to be an attempt to protect his reputation by doing an interview with a close personal friend.
Lost in all of this argument about credibility and who’s screwing who is the fact that they’re arguing over Shawn Stasiak. Stasiak’s a guy who, if not a cancer, is certainly a benign tumor in the locker room, after his antics like the tape-recording incident. Also, he’s known to be a guy who is phenomenally desperate to get over, even for a second-generation product (and who doesn’t have the talent of a Bret Hart or the brains to recognize a good gimmick that he can take to the bank like a Dustin Runnels). Somehow, this all seems like a set-up to get both Stasiak and NHB over. All I know is that I don’t know, and since it involves Stasiak, I don’t care. It’s a piss in the middle of a hurricane, nothing more, and I have no clue as to why I devoted column space to this other than the fact that NHB’s side hasn’t been well-represented here.
THE PIMP SECTION
Memo to Mansfield: I honestly thought you were being accusatory toward the IWC with your “style over substance” comment by using a touch of sarcasm to defend your point. So I apologize for that. I tend to read into things more than any human should. Now, as to the core issue: Steiner doesn’t entertain me. He, in fact, embarasses me as a fan for all those reasons I’ve pointed out before. If he is entertaining in any aspect, it’s for the same reason that a village idiot (albeit a village idiot who somehow got hold of a year’s supply of Dianabol) is entertaining. If the marks should disagree with me, tough shit. If you disagree with me and express it in the way that you do (namely intelligently with reasons to back it up), I’m cool with that. So, no feud here, just a disagreement of opinion. And “delusionary” is a real word.
Daniels pulling double duty may be tough on him, but it’s terrific for us. He is, and shall always remain, God.
Cole pulls out all the stops recapping the latest action from Japan. Of course, he uses Zach as as source, and Zach’s the best when it comes to that. I’m still a little freaked reading about the fact that Mutoh actually jobbed.
Might as well give Nason some credit for getting the indy scene news up here while I’m at it. If I’m doing a pimp for puro, I might as well do some for the domestic stuff too.
Bush and I, despite sharing the same geographic locus, have never got together for some reason for a 411 Meeting Of The Minds. Maybe we should. Of course, I actually liked Gevalia when I got some as a Christmas present many, many years ago, so there might be trouble. However, if it ends up in a four-way with me, Bush, Lita, and My Beautiful and Beloved, all bets are off.
Brower has Epilepsy again…no, that didn’t come out right, did it? Needless to say, he got laid and he’s back. And…well, I can’t think of any reason for Albert to be on TV either.
Pankonin gets trapped into recapping the one-hour version of the two-hour show that we all saw last Monday.
Poffel is probably preaching to the converted (I watched Smackdown for the first time in a long time on Thursday, and I agree totally with his observations), but he’s worth a read.
If you want to send hate mail to Dymond, send it to me instead. It’s only fair when the guy receives some of my hate mail. This column, though, deserves none of it.
And, last but not least, I never get to pimp Ashish, but with him covering for Flea, I finally get the chance to suck up to the boss a little.
And now for the place and time where sucking up to the boss is normal, but the boss’ name is Trip, and “suck” seems to be appropriate in more ways than one…
THE SHORT FORM
Three-Moron Warning, Batista, Ric Flair, Sean Morley, and Eric Bischoff over Buh Buh Ray and D’Von Dudley, Give The Boys Some Camera Time No-DQ Handicap Match (Pinfall, Batista pins D’Von, RoidBomb): Let’s all admit it: abuse/punishment matches are everyone’s guilty pleasure. If there’s a purpose to it, like continuity and/or making a statement, it works in context and makes sense. The good part about all of this is that the Dudleys can take a beating with authority, something they learned in their ECW days, and they really had to sell this thing well to make it believable that Three-Moron Warning is an actual threat. Good job by the Dudz, and good job by Ross and Lawler in their taking blame for what was happening in the ring.
Victoria and Molly Holly over Trish Stratus and Jackie (Pinfall, Victoria pins Trish, Stevie-ference): Excuse me, WWE. You have your four most talented women wrestlers in the same match. You could let them go and see if they could win over the audience. Or you could let Stevie Fucking Richards decide the result and keep the thing short. Of course you’re going to go with the second option. That being said, Victoria’s entrance music is probably the best on the Raw roster right now, so we can take away some happiness from this mess by getting to listen to it twice.
The Commonwealth Connection over Booker T and Goldust, Tag Team Championship Match (Pinfall, Storm pins Booker, Billy’s Brass Knucks To The Rescue, New Tag Team Champions): What could have been a great match was booked as a complete clusterf*ck, three refs and all. Was anyone else waiting for Lil’ Naitch to revive and pull the Dusty Finish after Morley raised Regal’s and Storm’s arms? That’s what it felt like, a flashback match to the Bad Old Days.
Test over Chris Harvard (Pinfall, big boot): Let’s see, Test is finally getting over with the Testicles stuff. Harvard’s pretty much over at midcard level with the Smarmy Heel act. So let’s have WWE kill some of their heat to service D’Lo’s act. Look, it’s not as if I have anything against D’Lo (I thought he got screwed in the whole Droz fallout thing), and he does deserve a push. But don’t kill the pushes of other people when they’re ready to bear fruit in order to do it.
However, if you think about it, D’Lo and Harvard would make a damn good tag team. They could be the modern, hipper version of Money, Inc., with Harvard as the potential rich guy (as if Harvard guaranteed you a huge income with a diploma) and D’Lo as his personal accountant, anticipating a cut of the riches yet to come. It’d work and pay dividends inside a division that’s depleted enough to believe that teaming up Kane and Van Dam is a good move to prop it up.
Kane and Rob Van Dam over Chris Crass, Give The Quasi-Upper-Carders Some Camera Time Main Event (Pinfall, Kane pins Christian, Van Dam Five-Star): Uhhhhhh…dunno. Good? Maybe. Dull? Maybe? Just there? That’s just about the best I can say.
Right Year, Wrong Eric: If I’m not a worthy successor to Sid as Master and Ruler Of The World, then who is? This is my year, and I ain’t giving it up to a dyed-haired ass-kisser. Slick Rick, though, wondered if Schiavone was going to walk out and strap on headphones (considering two weeks ago, it was a logical proposition). Actually, I’m thinking it’ll happen, but not until next week when Regal meets up with Lawler, injures the King, puts him out until WM where Regal and Lawler will go at it again with Lawler triumphant and healthy enough to come back to the booth, whereupon Schiavone gets “taken” by Steph and put on Smackdown while Cole gets flushed down the nearest toilet like the turd that he is.
Royal Rumble Entrants And What They Tell Us: So far, we’ve got Batista, Jericho, and Michaels. What does that tell us? Jack shit, really. If they have no idea how Raw will be booked between RR and WM, we can’t either. If Michaels takes it, that means that Trip holds the title until or going into WM, but that’s the only conjecture we can make.
In Just Seven Doses, I Can Make You A Man: Words fail to describe the nausea I experienced during the Pose-Down and Push-Up bullshit. So I’ll let a couple others do the writing for me:
…that segment summed up EVERYTHING that’s wrong with Trip. The fact that he was at all comparable to the roided up Sump Pump shows how seriously roided up HE is, as in too roided up to have the kind of matches he had when he ruled the world back in 2000. The fact that he’s taking up massive amounts of RAW time for a stupid physique segment shows how self-serving and lacking in vision he is. I mean, this kind of crap sucked in 1989 when Warrior and Rude did it to build to their Wrestlemania match. It sucks even more over a decade later.
The reason wrestling got big in the late 90s was twofold. First, both companies were doing exciting storylines that hadn’t been done in North America (NWO invasion, Austin vs. McMahon). Second, there were exciting WRESTLING matches that kept people entertained. The segment we just witnessed had nothing to contribute in either department. – The Pride Of Dartmouth, Elliot Olshansky
I have a concealed permit. Smith and Wesson trumps Roid Rage. – Slick Rick
Well said, gentlemen. Well said indeed.
A Trick That Only Parent And I Should Try: So what were the hidden meanings behind the rolling promo begun by Jericho and ended by Kane? The feud between Michaels and Jericho will be conducted on a near-tweener platform, with the similarites between the two accented more than the differences, but with the differences making up the substance of the feud. With Jericho now in a more low-key promo mode, Randy Orton will be his successor in the Egotistical Heel role, and his appearance during the promo crowned him as the Heir Presumptive to Jericho’s throne. Van Dam and Kane are going to be stuck in their tag-team mode for a while until the logjam created by Big Sump Pump clears up. And Christian? Well, he’s Christian.
Run For The Hills! Vince is coming!: So Vince will be at Raw next week. Huzzah. However, combine this fact with the rumor that Vince is about to give Bisch full booking powers for Raw. Do you think this rumor is real, and next week will provide us with the kayfabe rationale for it? It’s always possible. I’m definitely in favor of having the reins of Raw turned over to Bisch, not only for the cruisers like Daniels says, but for the reason that the NWO’s popularity never blinded him to the fact that his second-stringers needed some care and attention as well. Of course, he got pissed when it happened without his permission (see Irvine, Chris), but he instilled in the midcarders an ethic to get better so they can get camera time and get a push. If he can establish that ethic and be seen not to have McMahon fetters clamped to him, it might help to improve the locker room. That and the fact that if the same shit keeps going on back there, we might see the return of Terra Ryzin. The New Bisch might have learned the lesson of the Old Bisch in the dangers of playing politics and favorites.
That’s enough for me today. I’ll be back tomorrow with Smackdown Somewhat Spoiled, as they return to their normal taping schedule, as well as some other crap that I’ll be brewing up on the spot. Until then, have a good one.