This has not been a good week, people. Let’s start off:
Thursday night, my cable modem went on the fritz. No problem. I’m still renting a modem from the cable company. All I have to do is plug it in, call the company to register the new MAC, and I’m on my merry way.
Oh, but it’s not that simple when it’s me. Turns out that, somehow, my account was placed in cancellation status (no, I did not cancel anything during the abortive move phase). After a number of different discussions on Friday morning with Comcast Technical Scripting…Services and their accounts department, they said they’d have to rebuild my account, but it would take 24 to 48 hours. Business hours. It’s still not up (this sucker’s being sent through the Shitty Dialup that I established in Iowa and fortunately didn’t cancel).
But my asshole was just starting to hurt. On Saturday, I found that my two internal CD burners weren’t working correctly. The one that would recognize high-speed blanks was staying in PIO mode. The other one wouldn’t recognize them at all. So I did some diagnostics and, yes, both of them were FUBARed. So it was off to Best Buy on Sunday morning to pick up two new ones. Now I have to make this into a bargain by praying they give me the rebates for both of them by mistake.
The fun and games didn’t stop there, though. Monday morning, I spent two hours trying to rewire the router system at the office to get one network port recognized. Emphasize “trying”. Boy, is that thing f*cked up. I decided to take a powder and head to my old plant for billable hours. There, I found out that the guy who took MY computer (and it’s still my computer, no matter what he says) was trying to alter one of the forms that I created, also known as Mission: Impossible (I set those forms up as my lockdown for a guarantee of return; no one knows how I did them but me). So I got paid for doing that. However, the frustration of having to deal with other people’s screwups is grating.
The only good thing that happened to me since Thursday night was the 164-yard eagle I shot on Links 2003. Beautiful shot. Almost makes up for everything else. The healing power of golf should never be underestimated.
Now I have to deal with Raw, among other things. So let’s do a short one today because I’m in no fit condition.
ANY WRESTLEMANIA COMMENTS?
Look, my Net access went down the toidy right in time for the High Holy Days of the IWC. The first time I knew what had happened was during the opening montage of Raw. That being said…
Let’s put it out there in a simple fashion: there were no surprises going into this. We pretty much all knew what would happen given the booking, promos, and injuries, which is why I didn’t bother buying it. The only thing that was in question was the women’s title match, and making it into a Mod Squad three-way didn’t help that.
(In case you’re too young, the tagline for the old Mod Squad TV series was “One black, one white, one blonde”. Highly appropriate for the women’s title match. Also, I always sorta had a crush on Peggy Lipton when I was young, so I can take the asinine Stratus win with a spoonful of sugar.)
I guess that Wrestlemania depends on your philosophy of life. It all depends if you’re goal-oriented or result-oriented. If results are what matters to you the most, then WM was a disappointing piece of crap. If getting there is half the fun for you, then, yeah, WM was worth it.
I’m a result-oriented person. That’s why WWE booking at present leaves me pissed off. Either their ideas are no-starters (viz. Trip/Big Sump Pump), or they have good ideas and don’t follow through with them with the care and attention that the idea deserves. We’re getting this right now again. How much impact would Goldie’s entrance on Raw have had if they wouldn’t have done the goddamn pimp shots of him wrestling at Backlash (it also ruined Bisch’s “the ink is still wet” surprise)? Goldberg/The Rock? Good idea, as I discuss later. The execution? If this was a “serious” form of entertainment, no one would stand for it.
There’s no such thing as a surprise in wrestling anymore. The standard culprit for this is, of course, us, the IWC, and our insatiable appetite for inside material. We are to blame, somewhat. However, we don’t deserve all the blame. We knew that Goldberg was signed weeks ago. However, it still would have been a surprise to us, and a shock to the marks, if nothing was said about him prior to Raw and he showed up. It’s a matter of timing and presentation. Witness August 9th, 1999. All of us knew that Jericho was coming to the then-WWF. However, the way they did it (using, ironically, the same person that was in the ring on Raw when Goldie made his entrance) was superb. The way they did Goldie (and Big Sump Pump, for that matter) was horrid. It’s fine to pimp someone if they’re an unknown coming in with a lot of hype behind him (like Nathan Jones). But for a known quantity? No, leave the audience guessing a bit.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GUESS THAT IT WOULDN’T BE ONE OF MY COLUMNS WITHOUT A POLITICAL THING
Ah, being cut off from instant news sources sucks. However, Jesse Baker asks a question that’s on the minds of a lot of people right now:
How wide of a window of opportunity do you think Bush currently has to take Iraq before the media and the people start turning against him for not getting the job done quickly? Given the number of casualties we’ve suffered so far as well as the knowledge that the Iraqis have US troops as prisoners, how long do you think it will be before the media and the masses starts turning against Bush in massive numbers for sticking us in a war which was infinitely hyped by nearly everyone involved in orchestrating it as being a simple “in-and-out” military action?
Well, if you’re Peter Arnett, you’re already disillusioned (and I think NBC screwed him over as a sop to the knee-jerk American patriots). That being said, I think the window is a lot shorter than Dubbaya thinks it is. There’s already an undercurrent of impatience brewing. Look at the polls right now. Two-thirds of Americans think the war is spiffy-neato. However, that same proportion also thinks that the US shouldn’t do anything like this ever again without the green light from the UN. I think, though, that momentum will carry through for, oh, another month or so. However, if Coalition casualties start going up like the number of SARS patients or Baghdad starts looking like Stalingrad (only with the roles reversed), patience will be drained quickly.
Speaking of patience being drained quickly, it’s time for Raw…
THE SHORT FORM
Trip over Hurriqueen (Pinfall, Pedigree): Let’s see, three Hs on one side, one more H motif on the other. That’s 4 Hs…4-H…OH GOD NO! NO IOWA FLASHBACKS! NO IOWA FLASHBACKS! PLEASE, DEAR GOD, HAVE MERCY ON ME!
(Hey, Hyatte’s not back yet, so I can do the flashback routine if I want. And congrats to Joshua Crawley for being the first person to identify where I was going to live in Iowa.)
That being screamed, what was going on here? Trip was selling Helms’ offense. Trip was relinquishing the spotlight to both Helms and Flair. Is this the Trip we all know and love? The one who wouldn’t let Booker go over at WM because of his ego? Something happened in the dressing room at WM. Either pods were involved or Steph was so turned on by seeing her father pull a .9 Muta that she gave Trip one helluva hummer.
Big Sump Pump over Chris Harvard (Submission, Steiner Recliner): I still have no clue about Steiner’s status vis-a-vis the card. Now that Harvard’s back in in-ring action, is he getting an elevation by taking on Steiner? Or is Steiner sliding back down to the oblivion that he so deserves? I still don’t have an answer to that, but it’s nice to know that something’s certain: Steiner and I wear the same shoe size.
Maven over Rosey (Pinfall, sunset flip): Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a wrestler in 2003 whose finishing moves are the most basic one-counters available, like backslides, rollups, sunset flips, and small packages? Maven’s well on his way to actually doing that and making it look realistic. If he doesn’t keep blowing suplexes, of course.
Booker T over Chris Jericho, Top-Carders Who Should Be Pissed Off Because They Got Screwed Over By The Clique At WM Match (DQ, Nature-ference): If this is a coda from WM, fine by me. Time to find new partners and continue the Great Dance Of Life. If this is a “switch partners” routine, I’m of a split mind. On the good side, you get lots of Booker/Jericho matches. On the bad side…the very, very bad side…you get Trip and Michaels jacking each other off again for the belt. Please, let’s decide something quick.
Jeff Hardy over Stevie Richards, Surrogate Revenge Match (Pinfall, Swanton): Actually, Stevie will have to shower after this match, for two reasons: 1) to get the body paint off and 2) to get rid of that unclean feeling that everyone has after having to wrestle Jeff Hardy.
Rob Van Dam and Kane over Buh Buh Ray and D-Von Dudley and Sean Morley and Lance Storm, Elimination Tag Title Match With Special Stipulation (Van Dam pins D-Von, Van Daminator; Van Dam pins Morley, Five-Star Frog Splash, New Tag Champions): Well, two-thirds of the participants are ECW vets, so why not do an ECW specialty match? Of course, that silly stip telegraphed the result, but it was still nice and fun to watch, and the post-match celebration for the team that was about to split up at the beginning of the show was the most truly joyous one that I’ve seen since Foley’s world title win. It’s moments like that that make us feel validated in watching wrestling.
The Rock Blah Blah Blah Night: Combine everything that’s happened to me with this little spectacle and with the show beginning with an Austin promo, said promo ending with the old medical thing and “You’re Fired” (and the Fed-Ex wink to the smarks)…okay, I’ve made up my mind. Death is an option, and life isn’t worth living. I don’t even know why I waste my money on the goddamn pills when I have to watch shit like this. Although I will say this: Bisch is right when he says Austin’s a liability to the company, but it sure as hell isn’t because of his neck.
The Not-So-Perfect Coif: What the hell was up with Flair’s hair? I’ve had my hair look like that before, when I mixed up the shampoo and conditioner and accidentally used the latter twice. This isn’t the wonderfully-done hair that we’re used to, and we Naitch fans expect. Someone get him and Booker over to Vidal Sassoon, stat.
As For The Ceremony Itself…: Two overpaid egotists with a half-dozen moves and a couple of shitty movies between them. Color me enthused. There’s just one small problem with this: it’s going to draw money like nobody’s business. It won’t draw ratings, though. You know the routine by now: Two-Week Bump ™. Of course, this routine, plus the opening promo, creates a beautiful cynicism which even the marks can understand: get Austin out of the way for a while so he can see his probation officer, give Goldie a main-event, high-profile feud, and delay the obvious Austin/Goldberg battle as long as possible (Summerslam, anyone?). Also, give Goldberg a program against Trip; there’s some nice bad real-life blood there, plus a title shot wouldn’t hurt Goldie one bit.
And that’s it for me today. Hopefully, my Net access will be reactivated by this time tomorrow, so my life can return to a semblance of normal. Until then, have a good one.