It looks like The Preppie Killer is free and Phil Spector is gonna get sent up the river. Oh yeah, Elizabeth Taylor is on Larry King with a f*cking dog on the desk defending Michael Jackson. Ain’t life a bitch? Welcome back to another Tuesday! Hopefully I didn’t chase too many of you away with three straight days of typing, but it looks as though it didn’t work out all that bad. Big Contest going on!!! and the latest finalists will be announced tomorrow not today tomorrow. I can’t repeat that enough. Also tomorrow, I’ll probably talk about Phil Spector a little bit, so if you don’t know who he is, go look it up. The word “geniusÃ¢â‚¬Â is thrown around ad nauseum – Spector’s a genius, Vince McMahon is not. Or Spike Lee for that matter. But that’s tomorrow also tomorrow will be a review of The Japanese Hardcore PPV, seeing as no one else around here apparently gives a shit and if one appears before tomorrow As in now, I’m not checking, then I apologize. If not, I’ll take care of it tomorrow.
TODAY there’s a special surprise for you, something in which YOU can participate!!! We’ll get to that, but first
Don’t worry, he’ll be back!
We’ve got to install microwave ovens
Sometimes it’s like shooting fish in a barrel let’s take a walk down memory lane shall we?
This is from a Saturday Evening Post news column I did last year as a matter of fact, it’s almost a year to the day! From 2.9.02, my thoughts on Steve “StingÃ¢â‚¬Â Borden
(no italics Ã¢â‚¬â€œ when you see * * * * * * that means old stuff is over and we are back to NOW)
Nope, today’s top story will be the retirement of one Steve Borden, better known as former WCW icon Sting. According to the newsline Sting announced that he is retired and will stay retired. He continues to make over 1 mil per year from AOL per contract stipulations. He also mentioned that it would “take a lot to get him out of retirementÃ¢â‚¬Â and that the WWF is “raunchyÃ¢â‚¬Â. Which has pretty much been his opinion of the Fed for the latter part of his career.
Most people are thinking his “take a lotÃ¢â‚¬Â statement means he will come back for a big payoff. I don’t think so. He has been one of the highest paid wrestlers for the better part of a decade and has pretty much been stealing from AOL for the last 4 years, with limited wrestling and numerous “absencesÃ¢â‚¬Â. An argument could be made that the “up in rafters and be dark and broodingÃ¢â‚¬Â layoff could be attributed to bad booking, I have always thought if he wanted to, Sting could have has more of an influence on what his character was doing; point is I don’t think he put up to much of a fight, wink, wink.
Personally, I have never been that big of a fan of Sting. I respected his work ethic and think he was a good in ring performer but I never really “markedÃ¢â‚¬Â out for him and quite frankly would enjoy when Flair and the Horseman would kick his butt. I did like his matches with Cactus and also enjoyed his feud with Vader (one of my favorites; I was a big fan of Vader and used to love to watch him beat the heck out of Sting. That feud seemed like it lasted FOREVER!), but when I got right down to it, I was just never a fan of his.
I have always thought in some odd way, Sting has always been his own worst enemy. I questioned why he never went to the WWF, where Vince would have pushed him to the moon. He would have fit right in with Bret and HBK and know doubt would have been given a run with the WWF title sooner rather than later. Sting always maintained his loyalty to WCW (and this was before he found God). Flair had the same “loyal to a faultÃ¢â‚¬Â disease (except when they pretty much hand-delivered him to the Fed, but he came back didn’t he?). Maybe Watts and/or whoever else hypnotized these guys or something. Maybe it was the higher contracts and less work dates. I think everyone would agree that being the WWF Champion is the most prestigious honor in the business and for one of the top stars of a generation to have never taken the opportunity to be the recipient of that honor speaks a lot his feeling for the business.
Later in his career Sting found God and had a huge shift in values and his perception of certain aspects of wrestling in general. It was at this time he appeared to be “phoning inÃ¢â‚¬Â his matches and pretty much just stopped caring. Oddly enough, this coincided with the WWF’s “AttitudeÃ¢â‚¬Â period, something Sting abhorred and was pretty much the final confirmation that Sting would never join the Fed. We did get the match with Bret and it was damned good, but by then it didn’t have the aura or the excitement as, say, a main event match at Wrestlemania.
His final run in WCW featured a feud with Vampiro, in what featured several of the worst matches and most ridiculous angles in his career – which is pretty strong, considering he was also involved in the “White Castle of FearÃ¢â‚¬Â crapola. But at least we got a good match or two out of that angle. No redeeming qualities to the Vampiro angle. None. Zip. Zero. Unless you LOVED the “Fake StingÃ¢â‚¬Â gimmick. Yuck.
Sting did come back for one final mark-out moment – a match against his archival Ric Flair on the final Monday Nitro, signally the end of an era (figuratively) and the end of a wrestling company both men lived for, WCW. Good match with all the signature spots and the appearance that for at least one evening, Sting rekindled his the love for the sport. However, the whole match all I could think of was that so called of a scaffold match with Vampiro. Remember? The one where mindless brawling led to Sting being set on FIRE and pushed off a 50 scaffold to a stage below. And no, it never bothered me that it was a “cushioned matÃ¢â‚¬Â Sting landed on, I don’t want these guys to kill each other. What bothered me was that it wasn’t even Sting who did the big bump. It was a stuntman. A paid performer who took the fall for Sting in an angle that wasn’t even needed. Because Sting was afraid and /or saw no need to take the swan dive. Which I think is the perfect epitaph for the career of Steven “StingÃ¢â‚¬Â Borden:
A man who never had the nerve or desire to really take the plunge for the wrestling business.
RIP Sting. Who’s Next?
– FLEA, Saturday Evening Post, 2.9.02
* * * * * * * * * * *
And sure enough, here we are one year later, and Vince is about to bend over and kiss Goldberg’s “light scheduleÃ¢â‚¬Â ass and pay him big bucks for PPV’s and “special appearancesÃ¢â‚¬Â. The statement “This is turning into WCWÃ¢â‚¬Â is getting more and more true by the day. One year later, Sting has decided to wrestle a few matches overseas (including a WWA PPV next weekend, already in the can) and not surprisingly his tune has changed just a tad. From a recent radio interview recap
Sting said he has not closed the door on working for the WWE. He has talked to Vince McMahon over the last year and would entertain the idea. He said Wrestlemania last year was almost a done deal but it wasn’t done in time. He wants to come in with a great storyline and give the fans true bang for their buck. Sting did say he will not go on the road full time. He would do TV once or twice a week and certainly a pay per view once a month.
First of all, we have Hogan to blame for this. Strike that Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it’s all the Canadians fault for cheering that old goat at last year’s Wrestlemania, which lead to another Hogan run, which begat the whole “nostalgiaÃ¢â‚¬Â trend, which begat Vince apparently telling the wrestlers currently under employment that he plans to continue to make monetary exceptions for those he deems “special attractionsÃ¢â‚¬Â. I have no problem at all with Hogan or the impending “Last run! I swear!!Ã¢â‚¬Â that will hopefully culminate with a Hogan vs. McMahon blow-off at WM , so long as The Hulkster is not a mainstay. Also, I think the time has come to re-evaluate this so called “glass ceilingÃ¢â‚¬Â and look at the big picture. Is it any wonder why guys like Austin, HHH, Undertaker, etc. claw and fight to hold onto their Main Event level status? Because when they are out busting their balls at house shows and working 20 dates a month, “iconsÃ¢â‚¬Â like Sting and Goldberg have sat idly by, collecting massive payoffs and badmouthing Vince and WWE every chance they get. “It’s filth!Ã¢â‚¬Â “No way would I be associated with a product like thatÃ¢â‚¬Â all the while proving that the old saying “money talksÃ¢â‚¬Â has more meaning than any kind of faith or values that either of these two possess.
The way I see it (and I’ll include Steiner and Lex on this list) everyone of these assholes should be forced to do the J.O.B. on P.P.V. Not one of them had the time of day for Vince McMahon when he needed them Ã¢â‚¬â€œ i.e. when the Invasion actually had a chance to make a difference. At least DDP had the common courtesy to accept a buyout and try to get back into the thick of things Ã¢â‚¬â€œ for the love of the business. Of course, if he knew he was going to get the shaft the way he .no a guy like DDP would have been there anyway, instead of attempting to pilfer a desperate Vince McMahon out of a couple million dollars. So just like Goldberg, Sing has extended the olive breach of “will wrestle for millions, just don’t make me workÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬â€œ and we only have a few months to see how much of a sucker McMahon really is, especially for a guy best known to the “Attitude EraÃ¢â‚¬Â for sitting in the rafters. And real quick, are Vince’s grapefruits big enough to suspend Sting 50 feet in the air after what happened with Owen?
One more from the radio show
Sting’s favorite superstars to watch are Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy. He loves how they both work and could watch them all day
Preferably he watches them while staring up at the lights for 1,2,3. “Pin Me, Pay MeÃ¢â‚¬Â as Al Snow would say.
Money for nothing
That song always reminds me of Sting. Sumner, not Borden. Why do you ask?
YEAH, BUT THAT MYTH ABOUT THEIR DICKS AIN’T TRUE!
I might as well throw my two cents in on this one my comments here were originally posted in CRZ land.
From 1wrestling.com a few days ago
This one will crack you up. I got word yesterday that Mike “Nova” Bucci was told to cut off his long hair by order of Stephanie McMahon. Why you may ask? Well, she reportedly thought that he looked too much like HHH with the long hair he was sporting. Amazing.
So if you read into the whole “Nova gets a haircutÃ¢â‚¬Â rumor (which is what people, including Scherer, are doing) it’s all HHH’s and Stephanie’s fault for asking Nova to clean up. Right on.
But then Scherer says this in the “Rhetorical and Unanswered QuestionsÃ¢â‚¬Â re: Smackdown
Am I the only one who thinks that Redd Dogg looks a lot, facially, like his wife?
Reading into THIS statement with the same conspiratorial mindset, Dave must think all black people look alike. I don’t think that qualifies as “enlightened thinkingÃ¢â‚¬Â this day and age.
Just remember kids, by reading too much into things, even you can become SMART!
RAW IS WAR
I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking that I’ve finally done myself in with drugs and booze. The show * did * start in another language, correct?
But once in got started, damn, what a good show. Maybe the brain cells are finally gone, but everything in the show made perfect sense tonight. Even RVD and Kane. Well not initially, but they had the mega – cool combo of a twisting RVD Frog Splash followed up by some pyro and it worked, much above the level that I normally associate both Superstars.
Eric Bischoff went to every jerkwater bar in Texas searching for Stone Cold Steve Austin. He didn’t find him, which will undoubtedly bring another week featuring tale of drunkenness, cruelty and bait / switch. And that’s only in TOMORROW’S NEWS!
Za ZIIIIING@! .HEY GRUT! I gotta tellya!
But seriously folks. It’s called suspense. Don’t let the IWC work you up into a cheeseburger frenzy when a big plate of Braciole and pasta is waiting for you.
The Dudleys and 3 Minute warning had a slugfest which resulted in Rico (appointed special ref by Val Venis) going through a table via power bomb from the top rope. I never get tired of seeing that. Especially when it’s done by people who know what they are doing. In layman’s terms, I watched back to back NWA- TNA and Japanese Hardcore Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I cringe every time those geeks get near an inanimate object.
Victoria looked like she killed Molly Holly with the coolest finisher I have seen in years. Someone needs to steal that pronto. Except for Nova Ã¢â‚¬â€œ he has enough troubles without healing his conscious through reverse gimmick infringement. Jazz made her presence known. JR says Mrs. Trish Hyatte is a home convalescing. HELLO!!! MRS. TRISH HYATTE! GET WELL SOON!
The Goldust and Booker T segment was classic “give props to both guysÃ¢â‚¬Â. This eventually led to Evolution assaulting him while he was lamenting his future plans, complete with the updated version of the “baseball bat beatdownÃ¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ SHOVE THE DRAG QUEEN INTO AN ELECTRICAL BOARD. Dusty would have been proud.
After the aforementioned Kane / RVD segment, which featured Jeff Hardy running in and getting his ass kicked, HBK came out and tried to talk some sense into the fruit. Jeff grabbed the mic, warbled and HA HA HAHA HA! Sweet Chin music right in the mush! If this never leads to anything else, that’s cool Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I’ve waited to see that for years.
You are nothing but a slave. They are stealing you’re money. You’re hard earned money. So, why do we even need to pay taxes? They’re nothing but a scam. And who’is gonna know? Do you think the IRS has time to go after a little guy like you? They are way to busy tailing the real fish. Besides, paying taxes is Un-American. Remember what our forefathers said: “no taxation without representationÃ¢â‚¬Â and right now your elected officials are not doing a very good job of representing you. What has the Government done for you? Think about it. Who needs your money more, you or Filthy Rich Uncle Sam? Hey, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know
Never even mind. But this show is hitting the mark tonight.
Speaking of oppressed, D’Lo and Maven fought it out. The crowd turned on them and chanted “boringÃ¢â‚¬Â. A perfect payoff would have been for Long, D’Lo and Maven to turn on THEM and say they are only booing because they are Nazi racist crackers who are proud of the black people they know – “everyone should own oneÃ¢â‚¬Â. D’Lo is still fun as hell to watch and Maven has adopted a new fancy “kip upÃ¢â‚¬Â into his arsenal. Ending comes when Maven goes to the top and D’Lo eventually creams him with a Sky Hi. Theodore Long preaches some jive, DOWN WITH DA BROWN. Once again, that’s code for white chicks who like stiff black cocks. Just so you know.
All of the “EvolutionÃ¢â‚¬Â segments were top notch. And just to help you out, you will most likely here this about 17 billion times from every hack in the IWC.
– Jim Cornette rule: Gimmick / angle theft is acceptable after seven years
Or something to that effect. In other words, yes, HHH, Orton, Batista and Flair are doing Horsemen revisited. Yes, HHH is pretty much reciting Flair in his prime. So f*cking what? That is why all that Four Horsemen shit is legendary! Just because it’s been bastardized for the last 15 years doesn’t mean the concept is wrong. And see? They didn’t need the Horsemen name. We get the hint. I just hope HHH gets healthy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you have to be able to walk the walk, etc.
Big Bad Booty Daddy Poppa Pump Freakzilla beat Some Other Guy in the Main Event.
To close the show, Vince showed up and badmouthed Val Venis, informing him that time is running out. And that time now is officially at SIX DAYS Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 21 hours and 52 minutes.
All around good show! Although I’m sure dissenting opinions will abound. I don’t care. Things are starting to gel and make sense Ã¢â‚¬â€œ kinda like they never did in the old days.
For a second opinion
THE PARANOID HOOLIGAN
Hey Flea if you EVER end up doing a Monday Wresting Recap, don’t make it a Mop Up, junior.
* * *
FLEA IS NICE
Two quick shout outs one is pretty goofy and the other one is serious and personal.
First off you know let me tell you something. More of you than care to admit miss Hyatte and anxiously await his return I have no idear when that is so don’t ask. But what you CAN do is send you well wishes and thoughts to
All that I ask is you don’t write a f*cking book. Just a couple of lines, wisecracks, or suspicious attempts at what might be confused as humor Ã¢â‚¬â€œ quality over quantity. Short and Sweet. Got it? Great!
That address again is
Don’t be afraid! All messages received will be 100% confidential. Remember it’s me, Flea I’m a professional.
Oh, speaking of professionalism – I know good and goddamn well what a bunch of dipshits some of you are. If any of you even think about maybe considering sending a virus or something to this address, you’ll be located. And that wouldn’t be a good thing. Remember it’s me, Flea I’m a professional
So send something! Well Wishes! Greetings! MARRIAGE PROPOSALS! (sit down GRUT) anything you want! Just remember, quality over quantity.
That address again is
All right, enough of that stuff. I just want to wish Ron Gamble the best. And good luck. Many personal sentiments look really lame in print, so just let me say Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if you need anything at all, you know where to find me.
Speaking of which, re-send that original request, the mail was deleted before I could copy it. I’m home now, so I’ll get right on it. And seriously, anything else, just let me know.
Ok, what else do we have today
A NIGHT AT THE IMPROV
Ryder Fakin: hey it’s GRUT!
VPJG: Flea. Well, well, well.
Ryder Fakin: that’s a deep subject
VPJG: Like how I took your advice and stole the joke?
Ryder Fakin: jeez, i only advertised it LOUD. You like my contest?!
VPJG: The one Daniels won?
VPJG: That was hilarious. GRUT FIRED LANCE STORM!
Ryder Fakin: no… the Netcop Free Book contest! autographed by FLEA
VPJG: What did one have to do to win the book?
Ryder Fakin: why don’t you read my column, you creep
VPJG: I did! I forgot.
VPJG: I had to read all that torch crap.
Ryder Fakin: bah…i’m influential! ha ha ha
VPJG: A lot of writing for you this week.
VPJG: A week in which Ashish schooled you.
Ryder Fakin: yeah really…that dude from games is taking Monday and how did Hashish “schoolÃ¢â‚¬Â me?
VPJG: A guy from games is taking Monday? Great. Ashish whipped you and Hyatte in the Awards.
Ryder Fakin: piss on them awards…I don’t see anyone else doing three columns and getting a GRUT sign on TV…and taking over the Torch Lounge…
VPJG: You took over the Torch Lounge?
Ryder Fakin: influence baby! where do you think that IWC Rumble came from?
VPJG: He admitted it was you. Hardly call that taking over the lounge.
Ryder Fakin: close enough…f*cking awards my ass….but you are the best columnist
VPJG: DAMN FUCKING STRAIGHT!
VPJG: Hope I can get this Burgan guy to come over, maybe not.
Ryder Fakin: why?
VPJG: He’s really funny. Sent me some of his stuff.
Ryder Fakin: I didn’t know we turned into a COMEDY site
VPJG: Only wrestling, right Flea?
Ryder Fakin: well, just to be COOL…I’ll do all jokes next week
VPJG: You’re the coolest, Flea.
Ryder Fakin: damn straight…what do you call James Brown in a dress?
VPJG: I don’t know.
Ryder Fakin: * Canadian * !!!
Ryder Fakin: ha ha ha….wait till next week! COM – E – DY !
VPJG: That’s going to be so racist!
Ryder Fakin: do you know why Greek men never leave home?
Ryder Fakin: they hate to leave their brother’s behind!
VPJG: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! FAG HUMOR! I LOVE IT!
Ryder Fakin: what do you call a boomerang that won’t come back?
Ryder Fakin: A STICK ! oh man! I’ll show you guys! then let Derek Burgan take my place! yeah!
VPJG: That’s actually really funny for some reason.
Ryder Fakin: Just call me Funnyman Flea and his Gaggle of Geese
VPJG: You have Geese?
Ryder Fakin: well, Grey Goose Vodka…and more than one bottle, so yeah, that’s geese
VPJG: Now I see why you’re funny. You’re drunk.
Ryder Fakin: And you’re a CHUMP. I’ll be sober in the morning. Well not really but we’re counting punch lines now, right?
VPJG signed off at 8:03:37 PM.
AND I THINK IT’S GONNA BE A LONG LONG TIME
Well, they went and did it again. No, not NASA – the mass media. After swearing on a stack of bibles that they wouldn’t go ape-shit with over – saturated media coverage the next time a National Tragedy happens, here come the vultures with the cameras and opinions. Not two hours after the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated, here were all the major news outlets rounding up every ex- NASA employee they could find to attempt to find some insight on what happened. And boy, did they turn up some doozies. I’m about an hour away from the stomping grounds of retired, half brain dead old drunks who LOVE to tell stories of their times spent on the space program, starting in the 50’s and continuing trough the glory years of Space Exploration when this country still gave a shit. And I’m a sucker or every story they tell – we are at the beach every summer and it’s common to belly up to a bar with a dozen of former NASA geeks, and being fascinated with space and the entire “sceneÃ¢â‚¬Â from those days, I eat these old stories up with a spoon Ã¢â‚¬â€œ some of the greatest minds working on the most ambitious project of Human existence, attempting to confirm that we are not alone in this universe. The rest of my clan has no patience with my curiosity for this topic and my sickness for hearing the same story about how “Buzz was self absorbed prick who had no business being associated with historyÃ¢â‚¬Â, so they usually bail, leaving me in peace to live vicariously through a group of men too senile to realize they are repeating themselves and too drunk to care.
Which is all well and good in the confines of a beach lounge on a Saturday morning. Where they should NOT be is anywhere near a microphone, recorder or camera, attempting to be goaded into “sound bytesÃ¢â‚¬Â instead of “storiesÃ¢â‚¬Â. The ignorant gang of journalists on radio and TV barely let these pioneers get a word in edgewise before finding it “ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY PERCENTÃ¢â‚¬Â necessary to get back to their * own *thoughts on “this tragic day for AmericaÃ¢â‚¬Â – not to mention the morbid tales from “onsite witnessesÃ¢â‚¬Â who were lucky enough to find an arm or hand or piece of shuttle. One of the more comical exchanges I listened to was a local know-it-all cutting off a detailed explanation of the Apollo 11 disaster to instead tell his thoughts on what it was like when he was in “seventh gradeÃ¢â‚¬Â and watched the Challenger explode. “Oh it was so tragic, oh it was so traumatic, woe was me in my formative yearsÃ¢â‚¬Â.
What a load of shit.
I was sixteen and in high school here in Florida and watched it explode live and in color. You know what the general consensus of ANYONE who was in school at that time?
– Hey man! You know what NASA stands for?
– NEED ANOTHER SEVEN ASTRONAUTS!!
– Hey man! Do you know what color Astronaut’s eyes are?
– BLUE! ONE BLEW ONE WAY ONE BLEW THE OTHER!
I could go on and on but you get the point. Having the talking heads attempt to present this as the “worst thing everÃ¢â‚¬Â is just sick. I felt sorry for every old coot they dug up that day to “tellÃ¢â‚¬Â of their experience with the space program and attempt to share their knowledge on a subject that most of us can only dream of knowing. Hell, the closest that the majority of us will ever get to Space is an overnight flight to Atlantic City and the knives are already sharpening to make sure any funding to change that will be slashed like the prices on day old bread. “NOW is the time to give up all this unsafe and unproven exploration and experimentation when the money would be better served to help humanity and civilization!Ã¢â‚¬Â That is a valid point I guess Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who would want to leave this planet when “civilizationÃ¢â‚¬Â is going so well?
And just to let you know, an interview with HHH is up over at WWE.com. I glanced through it and there was nothing of note, except that if he keeps getting these knots on his muscles, he may have to retire. I’m sure many of you are rejoicing and for that well it looks as though the HHH ball busting days are coming to an end while everyone is sharpening their knives for
HEY! Here’s a game! Why don’t YOU pick the one who is the next IWC Whipping Post! The IWC has wore out the UT, disgraced X-Pac, shit on Austin, and crucified HHH. I think it’s high time to start busting someone else’s balls for being a self Ã¢â‚¬â€œ serving cocksucker Ã¢â‚¬â€œ be the first one on the block to anoint a new scapegoat!
I’ve been watching the business wires for the latest on the Ted Turner saga – it seems like not more than a week ago Good Ol Ted was a lock to not only regain his past glory as the premier provider of Braves baseball and Barney Fife, but also dive back into the “rasslin businessÃ¢â‚¬Â. Of course, by weeks end it was determined that Turner would prefer to ride of into the sunset as opposed to dealing with the “new generationÃ¢â‚¬Â of micro-managers and continuos mergers of conglomerates, none of which has panned out. Not more than 6 years ago, both Turner and AOL Chairman Steve Case were about as bulletproof as you can be in the business, financial and entertainment fields; now both are unemployed and to a certain extent, “brokeÃ¢â‚¬Â when you compare their wealth during the boom of the 90’s to now. Of course, that’s a severe exaggeration seeing as both of these visionaries still have more money than God, but to see a highly anticipated merger of two companies that can best be described as the ultimate pinnacle of the American Dream go up in smoke has to leave a bad taste in their mouths. Both companies were created with the foresight of revolutionizing the way we communicate and learn Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it seemed natural to combine the two under an umbrella that would branch into every form of entertainment. Naturally , it didn’t work out that way, as Turner was given nothing more than a figurehead position, only to wash his hands of the whole thing and resign last week. Good for him, I say Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I have always admired Turner, only because after you take away all the money and dreams, he is nothing more than an eccentric hillbilly with who would rather watch a ball game and feel up Jane Fonda than make an ass of himself on the French Riviera or high powered cocktail parties. I can relate to that. From what I’ve read and heard, Turner no longer has the ambition to recreate his magic, which is probably for the best – the days of simple programming to entertain the unwashed masses has become a sick display of “realityÃ¢â‚¬Â, with everyone struggling to get their 15 minutes of fame before the executives in charge of this bullshit wake up and smell the coffee. Sure, the programs are “ratings winnersÃ¢â‚¬Â and cash cows at the moment, but fads wear off and all that will really be proven in how creatively bankrupt the entertainment industry really is Ã¢â‚¬â€œ especially when they can’t get a whore or a queer, much less the “neighbor next doorÃ¢â‚¬Â to f*ck a live sheep on camera. Then where will we be? Most likely watching re-runs of Andy Griffith and Matlock. Ted Turner, just like a simple rube, prefers substance over flash and style Ã¢â‚¬â€œ which is what ultimately did him in. The young turks on the block have traded “visionÃ¢â‚¬Â for “instant payoffÃ¢â‚¬Â and I don’t blame Turner one bit for giving them the one fingered salute as he sails away on his yacht.
By the way, did you know that Ted Turner is the largest private land owner in this country? Maybe when these ignorant f*cks in charge of programming finally go belly up with their plastic dreams he can rent them a commune and do his * own * reality show Ã¢â‚¬â€œ “How To Get By Without Winning Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Saga of Perverted Weasels Who Were Beat When They Decided To Be SomeoneÃ¢â‚¬Â. I would watch that.
I think that’s a nice enough segue into your Tuesday Eric S. fix. The following is from March of 2001 and if my memory is accurate, Eric got this one in JUST IN TIME to look like a prophetic genius. No one (at least that I read) really knew the name “Jamie KellnerÃ¢â‚¬Â, other than he was a big wig who was taking control. Come to find out that he did come to TurnerLand with his axe swinging and eventually sold WCW for not much more than a the cost of a beach front house in Florida. Every time I hear about the continued financial destruction of the once mighty Turner Empire I think of the column below. And once again, Eric wrote this just a matter of days before the shit hit the fan, so feel free to tell him how great he is when he returns.
So here we go, an .
I don’t have a copy of “Jamie the Axe” floating around anymore due to the fact that my personal archives were wiped out a number of months ago. Maybe someone else has a copy.
– Eric S, in his Tuesday column, 3.20.02
So now you have it
No italics (except for the sections already italicized), for your pleasure and to save me from having to ask BOSS and Hashish to pay attention to what the f*ck they are doing
SCREEDS FROM THE CURMUDGEON
I thought that WCW couldn’t sink any lower in its management difficulties than it has. I should know better by now. WCW is an endless sinkhole of management bozos who have been overpromoted and overestimated. Now they’ve just been put in the noose courtesy of the guys who are trying to get rid of them.
Ignore the whole Fusient situation for a moment if you can. Let’s just concentrate on what’s happening in the endless fandango going on with Time-Warner and Turner Broadcasting. All of you know the history of the ten years since Turner took over WCW. First, we had the incompetent Jim Herd, who let Ric Flair go in a fit of pique. Then K. Allen Frey, who left no discernible trail behind him. Then it was Bill Watts’ turn, and despite moments of greatness, the Cowboy showed signs of Old-School Syndrome, not noticing the corpse of the AWA sitting in the middle of the road, dead from the same cause. Then it was Eric Bischoff’s turn; enough hard drive space on servers around the world has been wasted analyzing that era. Next came Bill Busch, overwhelmed by the cancerous politics of the locker room. Then the Bisch came back with Vince Russo in tow, with Brad Siegel in control, allegedly. Now the final steps of the dance are being mapped out, and if the Fusient deal falls through, WCW will beg for a mercy killing.
One of the least-noticed news items of the past week has been Steve Heyer’s resignation at AOL-Time-Warner. Heyer was Siegel’s boss, and he took a hands-on position only in regards to the sale of WCW. Most of the calls regarding the business end of WCW were done by Siegel. Emphasis on “were” here. You see, Heyer is being replaced by Jamie Kellner, the current head of the WB Network, who has been given a mandate by Case, Levin, et al., to merge the operations of the Turner and Warners television operations.
You probably don’t know the name of Jamie Kellner. But I do.
Most of you know that I’m an animation fan in addition to being a wrestling fan. I also follow the business of animation. So while all Wade Keller can tell you is that Kellner once worked with Brian Bedol at Six Flags (now the theme park division of AOL-Time-Warner), I can tell you a bit more about Jamie from his time as head of Kids’ WB, Warner’s children’s programming arm. The amount of sheer violence that he did there is completely unforgivable. He’s got a rep among animation fans comparable to that of Hogan, and for much the same reasons. Let me explain.
First of all, you may ask “Why should we care about someone who’s Siegel’s boss? They don’t get involved at that level.” You don’t know Jamie Kellner. By nature, he’s a meddling micromanager who drives his subordinates crazy. He’s going to be watching over Siegel like a hawk to see that some deal gets done, and he’s also going to involve himself in WCW programming. This would be good if the guy had one ounce of creative instinct. But guess what? The muse of creativity has passed poor Jamie by.
I’d like to paint a picture of what things were like at WB Animation back in the mid-90s. Warners had risen from the dead in 1990 courtesy of Steve Spielberg’s patronage and started to produce made-for-TV animated series again. In 1994, they reached a high-water-mark for TV animation in the 90s when Animaniacs premiered, a series perfectly balanced for entertainment of young and old alike. They were on a roll after that, creating two more classics in Freakazoid and Batman: The Animated Series.
And then came Jamie.
The first thing he did was tell them to wrap up Animaniacs, despite the fact that it was pulling in great ratings and stellar reviews. He alienated half the senior creative staff by doing that, and a good portion of them fled to parts unknown to escape. He proceeded to abort Freakazoid after two dozen episodes because he didn’t understand it, and if he didn’t understand it, how would the kids? He then told Paul Dini and his crew to make Batman a little lighter, since its dark atmosphere might be too scary. He thought that the relationships in Superman were too mature for kids, and told Bruce Timm to downplay it. Timm and Dini fled to what they thought was a safe haven inside the corporate structure of WB: Cartoon Network Animation, the former Hanna-Barbera Studios. Currently, they’re doing what they do best: superheroes, specifically the upcoming Justice League cartoon for CN (think a more mature Superfriends; it premieres in November).
And then came Jamie’s masterstroke. He wanted an all-new edutainment series for Kids’ WB, and turned to the only producer at WB Animation that he hadn’t pissed off, Tom Ruegger, to create it. Ruegger brought in as head writer Mark Seidenberg, the animation equivalent of Kevin Sullivan, insofar that everyone wonders how he keeps his job. What they created was fifty-two episodes of unbroadcastable crap called Histeria. Watching this series was like watching a -**** match; it was endlessly fascinating to see how they could screw things up. Presenting a humorous view of history was one thing. But doing it in the way they did was another. I never knew that George Washington sounded like Bob Hope, or that Abe Lincoln spoke like Johnny Carson. And I’m sure that General William Tecumseh Sherman must have loved looking down from the afterlife and seeing himself characterized as Pee-Wee Herman if for no other reason than that their names rhymed. This thing shouldn’t have been broadcast. It should have been written off as a mistake like their attempt at a mature western, The Legend of Calamity Jane. But it was put on the air to everyone’s regret. Why? It was Jamie’s baby.
And then came the biggest sin of all: Jamie Kellner brought Pokemon to the United States. Now you know who’s to blame for that. Death penalty offense? You bet.
As for what he’s done as head of The WB, just have a good look at the WB’s schedule sometime and weep at the state of television programming today. Purposeful narrowcasting to the urban market has created a situation of…oh, boy, there’s no way around using this term, so apologies in advance…ghettoizing The WB, perhaps on a permanent basis. No breakout series except for Buffy, no sign of large profits ahead, no sign that things are going to change any time soon. Newton Minow was right with that “vast wasteland” remark. The WB is a network that has no reason to exist other than the fact that it does. And Jamie Kellner got Peter Principled straight into that job.
So what’s he like as a businessman? As good as he is in judging creative work. The situation regarding Warner Brothers’ classic animation was a mess, with the broadcast rights split into three different packages thanks to decisions initially made in 1957. One belonged to Warners, another to Nickelodeon, and another to ABC. The contracts were due to run out in 2000, so Kellner made the decision that when they did, the whole package would be consolidated into one and exclusive broadcast rights would be held by one entity. The entity he chose was Cartoon Network, not the more logical and more profitable Kids’ WB, leaving it the PokeWasteland it is today. So if you have a hankering to see a Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck cartoon and you don’t have cable, you’re SOL. Well, that is, if you can ever see one on Cartoon Network. The amount of Scooby Doo broadcast on CN is still greater than classic WB material. If you think that I detest the Rock, get me started on Scooby Doo one of these days. You’ll see what hate is all about.
And now Jamie’s packed up shop in La La Land and headed out to Atlanta, to better oversee the final merger of Turner’s broadcasting empire into the arms of the Borg Collective. The mere fact that he’s going to have an office in CNN Center should worry Siegel. It’s one thing to ride herd on someone via long-distance. It’s another to be in the damn building doing it. The people at CNN Center, in Smyrna, and on Techwood Drive have incredible reason to fear. Anything that’s remotely losing money is a target. Anything that can be designated as redundant is doomed.
You shall be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
So why am I doing this column? It’s as an FYI. As I said, wrestling fans haven’t had to deal with Jamie-induced trauma. Animation fans have. I’m one of the very few crossovers in that area, so it’s up to me to sound out the first warning call. Jamie Kellner coming to Atlanta and being Brad Siegel’s boss is NOT A GOOD THING. It’s one of the worst things imaginable for someone who even has a little hope left that WCW can turn things around. The longer WCW stays in AOL-Time-Warner’s clutches, the greater the chance that Kellner will bring his Reverse Midas Touch to the organization, driving it further into the depths, reaching new bottoms to the barrel that we thought they’d already plumbed the depths of.
WCW’s best and only hope right now is for a quick sale to any party. Because at some point, you know that Jamie’s eye is going to turn toward this part of the Turner collection, and then the meddling begins to the point of complete, utter destruction. If WCW spends any amount of time under Jamie Kellner’s wing, there’ll be nothing left for anyone to purchase.
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This is Tuesday Hearsay, I’m Flea. And just remember looping various sound bytes of News and NASA into songs is f*cking ignorant and utterly ridiculous, even if it is American Trilogy by Elvis.