Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 01.22.03

Looking at the clocks on various walls, tables, etc., I can see that this column would normally qualify as a One-Hour Special, except…well, what are they going to do if I come in late, fire me?  Shit, I walked in an hour and a half late on Monday and no one blinked.  So I can take my damn time if I want to.  And you and I deserve that.

THE HIATUS IS OFFICIALLY ON

Memo to WidShish and Fleabag:  there will definitely be more than a six-day gap in between my news reports.  I received my temporary accomodation information yesterday, and I will be staying at the motel that I stayed at during my interview, the one where I fully expect to walk out of the shower one morning and see Anthony Perkins standing there with a knife.  This place makes your average federal maximum security prison look like Club Med.  I don’t even remember if there was a TV in the room, much less a quality cable system.  So therefore I will have to concentrate on getting used to my new job instead of doing more productive things with my life, like this column.  Life sorta sucks, but I am getting more money, etc.

AND LET’S GET STARTED WITH THE TRIVIATA…

Over the past couple weeks, there’s been a decent discussion of Victoria’s entrance music going on in this column.  Well, it’s established that the song is Tatu’s “All The Things She Said”.  I’m looking right now at my pirated copy of Tatu’s CD 200 KMH In The Wrong Lane, which features said song by said hot-looking Russian lesbos, and I see a very interesting name.  “All The Things She Said” was produced by Trevor Horn…

Trevor Horn!?  I haven’t thought about him in years.  For those of you who don’t know, twenty years ago, Trevor Horn was the hottest producer in music.  Former member of Yes, and one-half of the Buggles (with Geoff Downes, future member of Yes and Asia), which made him one of the first two men to appear on MTV, he turned to the studio to express creative endeavors.  His hand is behind some of the best stuff to show up out of the Early Eighties (which, as everyone knows, is my era of music).  Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Welcome To The Pleasuredome, ABC’s The Lexicon Of Love, Godley and Creme’s “Cry”, ABC’s The Lexicon Of Love, Grace Jones’ “Slave To The Rhythm”, Malcolm McLaren’s “Duck Rock”, Art of Noise’s “Close To The Edit”, Yes’ 90125…all Trevor Horn works.  He was even hot in the 90s when he produced Seal’s first two albums and did all of Rod Stewart’s inappropriate Motown covers.  I knew there was something that resonated in me with Tatu, and it was Trevor Horn’s production.  Talk about a flashback.

WITHOUT THIS, WE WOULDN’T HAVE THE PERFECT TERM TO DESCRIBE WWE

Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the Supremes’ decision in Roe v. Wade, probably the most divisive Supreme Court ruling in history.  If you don’t care to Google, it’s the decision that legalized abortion in the US.  Naturally, I’m in favor of legal abortion, being a good social liberal and all.  I think that a woman’s body is hers to do with as she wishes.  Especially if she allows me to do something with it.

This decision has had a great deal of consequences over the years.  It’s become the touchstone for conservatives to solidify opinion among their constituents.  It began the politicization of the Religious Reich.  It started the debate about “when does life really begin” (my opinion:  when a fetus is viable outside the womb, so at about six months).  It helped provide a new spark in the women’s movement.  It’s galvanized liberals into action to protect the rights expressed in the decision.  Some doctors have even lost their lives due to overzealous opponents who misconstrue the Second Amendment.  It’s one of those rulings like Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education (and for that matter, Bush v. Gore) that has changed American history.

Celebrate or denigrate as you wish today.  But remember that it’s decisions like this that should make us care about politics and the legal system, and that’s probably Roe‘s greatest legacy.

THE PIMP SECTION

Haley proves to everyone that I actually read other columns at this place, and even respond to them when they pique my interest.  Thanks for the quote, and I’m glad you loved it enough to give me an e-mail back saying that you wanted to use it.

Gamble‘s health is improving, and he’s getting back to being the God that he is.  I’m just happy that I was able to fit one final pimp for him in before the hiatus.

There’s one thing I’m going to miss during my time without a connection, and that’s Grut in serious mode.  I may not be a schizophrenic, but I know it when I see it.  Get some help, kid (and I do love you).

SMACKDOWN SOMEWHAT SPOILED

Ashish has got the results up if you want to look at them.  I rarely say this, but this one’s a must-see.  One phenomenal SE moment, Team Angle taking on Edge and Our Lord and Savior in singles action, Angle versus Rey-Rey…wow.  I’m not going to spoil it any further, because this one has to be seen, even with content involving the Bitch of the Baskervilles.  Again, wow.

AND IT’S THE LAST MAILBAG FOR A WHILE…

You know, there’s nothing like a farewell message that brings out the best in the 411 staff.  Let’s start out with Sylvain Parent (and I’ll be around long enough to read your column):

Oh and wouldn’t it have been nice if Jericho reverted to his old heel self and said “Oh my God! I killed Stacy!” and made that goofy expression he had when he killed Juvy?

I think it would have been great, except that Gewirtz and the idiot bookers wanted to go for a bathetic moment for My Beautiful and Beloved courtesy of JR and Lawler, who were at their worst (compare this to when Ross found out that he had to wrestle, and that Lawler truly cared for Good Ol’ You-Know-Who despite his dickish behavior all these years, in some of the best asides a wrestling program has ever produced).  It also demonstrated that they’re totally clueless about where to take Jericho.  A face turn makes sense on only one level:  they’re going to bring back Flex as The Rock and use Jericho for a safe reintroduction using a spark from Royal Rumble 2002.

By God Daniels wrote in too, stating that he attended the SD tapings this week, and they’re a little less than the spoilers proclaimed.  Hey, I trust his judgement, and if he says it, it must be true.  And consider your musical equivalent to my wrestling column pimped.

Sam Hough goes political:

Motherf*cker you write an entertaining column! I just wanted to say that first off. I also wanted to say, at what point did the Republican party admit to being a bunch of arrogant pricks? Lord knows I don’t approve of affirmative action (not for the reasons you think) because I’m sick of old money white dudes gettin’ ahead of me. Listen, if Shrub’s last name had been Henderson would he have gone to Yale? Fuck no, right now he’d be lucky if a stripper would take his dollar! Either that, or screaming Jesus Saves! at a rehab clinic. And don’t get me started on Connie Rice, what the f*ck is she trying to prove? But I swear to you, if there’s one person in that administration I hate, it’s Ari Fleischer. He just needs a good kick to the nuts.

The Republican Party started admitting to being a bunch of arrogant pricks on Election Night 1980.  You weren’t around then, so I forgive you for not knowing.  Condi Rice is trying to prove that she’s got balls, which a woman has to do to survive at that level, kinda like Janet Reno and Maddy Albright (and that’s a damn shame that it has to happen).  As for Ari Fleischer, he deserves a lot more than a kick in the balls, that egotistical son of a bitch.

I didn’t do the wrestling stuff, Sam, because I’m in complete agreement with you.

Gino Solis says the obvious, but it’s worth printing here because it shows that people agree with me about the Royal Rumble match:

I just wanted to say my opinion the Royal Rumble that just recently passed had its ups and downs. Most of the matches to me dragged and from a person that has been following the WWE since the mid 90’s I’d have to say that the Royal Rumble itself is getting way too predictable as in the way the outcome is going to be. I miss the days when you would actually have to wonder who was going to win it, not now when it’s going to usually be one of the last ones, and its going to be one major superstar. The only match that I really enjoyed had to have been the Beniot-Angle match. That is what the WWE is lacking to me. More excitement and less drama. The have to go back to Wrestling instead of “ENTERTAINMENT”. No one seems to be intrested any more because its changed so much.

The Royal Rumble match, a lot like King of the Ring, could be used to elevate a near-upper-carder instead of being used as a red flag for WM.  But I’ve said too much about that yesterday and every year that I’ve been doing this.  I’m almost in favor of scrapping the Rumble match altogether if it keeps getting misused.

Quinn, who I’d say is Mighty except for the fact that Dylan’s lawyers might become a little angry, attempts to make me into Letawsky:

Ignorant person here-what is the “Jackie Gayda incident”? I have seen references to it, but must have missed it when it happened?

The Jackie Gayda Incident happened on Raw on July 8th, 2002.  It was a mixed tag between her and Chris Harvard versus Trish Stratus and Bradshaw.  There was lots of hope for this match, considering that Jackie had done a good job on the June 24th Raw, teaming with Stratus against Molly Holly and her Tough Enough co-winner Linda Miles.  On July 8th, Jackie blew more spots in one match than Erik Watts did in an average year and did such a horrendous job that the match veered into “exposing the business” territory.  It provided the IWC with a major raft of criticism for Tough Enough (especially since she was teaming with Harvard, who didn’t even win but who’s still getting a major midcard push to this day because of his skills).  She even dragged down Trish to one of Trish’s worst performances of 2002.  Jackie has not appeared on Raw since, for very good reasons.  Hope that answers your question.

Chris McCune has some good comments about the Four Horses’ Asses routine on Raw:

Regarding the “Four Horsemen” incarnation of Flair, Trip, Batista, and Orton that the 411 writers have been commenting on– I can see how the WWF might be creating such a obvious ham-handed allusion to the Horsemen with these four, but have you noticed that they are doing a similar situation on Smackdown with Angle?  It’s not quite as obvious, but you have a semblance of a stable with Paul Heyman in the JJ Dillon role, and Angle as Flair, cheating like nuts and letting the rest of the group (Big Show, Haas, and Benjamin) running interference before putting on four star quality matches on the PPVs with the top face.  Obviously, the group needs someone to step up as the Arn Anderson “Enforcer” (NO ONE will buy Big Slow in this role for very long), but I think it has a lot of potential to recreate a semblance of the magic that the true Horsemen produced.

I agree with Team Heyman having a lot of potential as Horsemen, but considering the involvment of Howard Roark and the heelish orientation of the group, the comparisons are going to go more into Dangerous Alliance territory than Horsemen.  That will save the Smackdown guys a lot of grief, because the Horsemen have been sacred cows for the IWC for as long as the IWC’s existed (okay, except for Paul Roma, and I feel bad about the mixed metaphor between bovines and equines).  Due to Flair’s presence with the Raw group, the comparisons to the Horsemen are easier to whip out.  It just shows that the IWC, including me, are lazy.  Matt Keller agrees that the group shouldn’t be considered the Horsemen, but the analogy is just so close that it’s irresistible to everyone.

RAMS145 puts out a great recommendation for Team Reverse Racism:  bring back Ron Killings and have him claim that his first WWE stint was curtailed by WWE’s attitude toward minorities.  It would also provide a spark to the tag ranks by giving them built-in excuses to go after the white-bread teams and to charge people like Booker with being Uncle Toms.  I agree, but they’ve got to be careful with this one.  Too much Black Power, and the audience is going to eventually end up being offended.  However, the chances of that happening are less than, say, five years ago.  Look at the Billboard charts this week and check out what the Number One single is:  Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”.  If a white rapper has credibility in all communities (something you need these days to top the Hot 100), maybe society is more willing to accept something like this, especially for the sake of entertainment.

Frequent correspondent Cabbageboy says that RR wasn’t the time to give Benoit a title run.  Well, I’ve always put the proscription on that as being that the run would only be for one month as a test to see whether he can carry the belt and have the audience respond.  I agree that KOTR is a good target for Benoit to have an extended run.  And I haven’t picked up the DVD of Trouble In Paradise yet, but it’s high on my list.

LBD NyteTrayn puts out this proposition:

Also, I’m just going to take a wild stab at the No Way Out main event, on the Smackdown side:  Team Angle, Big Show, and A-Train Vs. Chris Benoit, Brock, Edge, Rey, and whoever else is involved in this mess (it’s late here, so I can’t remember if there’s another.  If not, mystery opponent unless they add someone in the meantime).  Anyways, what do you think?  Likely?  I think so.

Good idea.  They have to keep something on the burner for No Way Out to be able to extent the Lesnar/Angle situation, and a ten-man seems like an ideal way to do this.  As for Number Five on the face side, I’d say Eddy except that I think he and Chavito are going to be involved in tag action at NWO.



Memo to now-frequent-correspondent Jack Bartram:  I haven’t had the chance to install Battlefield 1942 yet, so I can’t give an opinion one way or another.  However, I will say that it’s been winning Game of the Year awards right and left.  In fact, if GotY isn’t Neverwinter Nights, it’s B42 in the opinion of people in the know.  So it’s definitely worth eating up HD space for.

Now it’s time to start getting out the Major Frequent Correspondents as a last tribute before the hiatus.  First up is Aussie Bureau Chief Brett Wortham, who notes that cable systems in Sydney have essentially eliminated all WWE PPVs, just like they got rid of SD about a month or so ago due to a major hike in rights fees.  He had to watch RR on a one-day delay at a movie theater down there.  If WWE wants to alienate a large English-speaking nation, that’s their business.  But considering the fact that they pimp TSN all the goddamn time, it’s rather hypocritical to shut off the pipeline to Down Under.  Oh, by the way, I’m freezing my ass off here in Chicago, so I’m really jealous that it’s summer down there.

Memo to The Joe In Me:  I owe you a keygen, and I’m going to try my damndest to get it out today.

And now it’s time for Smitty his own self:

Congrats on the new job, may all your co-workers actually do what the f*ck they were hired to do, unlike the non thinking moron I get to spend my long days with (Rotation and sanitation are not in this boys lexicon) It would seem though that our lives run  parallel, at the end of Feb I will be starting a new job with a computer networking company here. I can’t begin to tell you how f*cking glad I will be to thumb my once oft broken schnoz at the food service industry. I’ll have better hours, better dough, and the stress level I have to deal with now on a daily basis will be diminished greatly. Of course unlike you I wont be relocating to a place where I’m up to my nads in snow 9 months out of the year. (course that prolly wouldn’t be a bad thing considering in this state you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting 2 or 3 idiots just milling about, I think I could deal with the snow).  Godspeed on your trip and good luck with the job, it’s about time mentally questionable folks like us get a f*ckin break once in a while.

First of all, since everyone’s been saying it to me, I’m glad to be able to say it to someone else:  congrats on the new job.  Congrats especially for getting out of the food industry.  I know that I’m going to enjoy getting away from the clueless morons over here (despite the fact that the only ones who don’t want me to stay are my PHB and the no-counteroffer-givin’ VP of Operations).  Believe me, I’ve used my nads so little lately that the larger pay and concrete responsibilities are a fair tradeoff.  Maybe I can stop using goddamn Klonopin to go to sleep every f*cking night now.

Now, as we build up for the final act, it’s time for a double-shot from the Ravin’ Cajun:

Don’t know if you watched it or not, but if you did I have a question. Is Rey Mysterio doing a bronco buster supposed to be any less lame than when X-Pac does it? It’s still a crappy move, but is it cooler since it isn’t Sean Waltman doing it?

When Rey-Rey does it, it seems to be a lot less gay than when Waltman does it for some reason, despite the fact that Rey-Rey’s got the whole modified S&M thing going with the mask.  The fact is that the move sucks, period.

And as per my Austin comments yesterday:

I’ll call it for you now. Austin Returns, Two Week Ratings Bump. Tops.  Or do you think there is a chance he could actually do more for the ratings?

Standard two-week bump, then in the shitter again when the booking team can’t think of anything good for Austin to do.  And the sound card’s reasonably old enough that I can do with a replacement.

And there’s only one choice to close this thing off.  Big Daddy, you’ve got the floor:

So, I actually stomached RAW last night for the first time in months. Here’s what I saw:
*    Nowinski’s “Harvard Math” was the funniest bit of the night. Vince gives 30 day notice to Bischoff, and 7 days later Chris informs Bisch that he has 21 days left to prove himself. Funny as hell.
*    Bischoff’s bombshell is that he’s asked Austin to return? How lame. At least the crowd was smart enough to respond with pure, unblemished apathy.
*    When are they gonna change 3 Minute Warning’s name to “3 Minutes Tops?” Because at 3:01 and beyond in the match, they were exhausted
*    Nice to see Vince let all the black guys go over on MLK Day
*    And if you’re black and in the WWE, do you have to have a “d” in your name? D-Von, D-Lo, Ted D. Long. Hmmm….
*    And if Teddy’s all about being “down with the brown,” how come he’s not backing Flair? Flair’s at least two shades darker than D-Lo.


Actually, I’m taking the Harvard Math routine seriously.  Thirty days puts Bisch’s deadline on a Wednesday, so Harvard was referring to the fact that he only has twenty-eight days to get his act together.  I’d put it in the category of “good observation” more than humorous statement.

The reaction to Bisch’s bombshell proves that the audience doesn’t give a shit about Austin anymore.  They don’t want him back either.

The good thing about Three-Moron Warning is that they can last two and a half minutes more than Steiner before blowing up.  I’ll hand it to Bill Dearth for renaming them perfectly:  the Heatless Heavies.

And about the rest of it, I, as usual, am laughing my ass off.  Thanks, Kurt.

And thank you for reading.  Last time I took a hiatus, I thought it would be about three weeks.  That three weeks extended into three months thanks to a blown DSL installation.  I hope it doesn’t last that long this time.  I’ll try to respond to as much mail as possible given the time remaining.  Until I return, enjoy Flea taking my place, and enjoy reading everyone on the site.