Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 04.15.03

He and I as colleagues on the same site would have engendered screams from the vicinities of Dayton and Toledo that would have, by sheer sonic force alone, destroyed Al Snow’s hometown of Lima when the wavefronts collided. – Me, October 23rd, 2001 (my first column here), about me and the guy doing Mondays again.

You know, if Daniels is the foreplay, then I’m the afterglow.  That means I’m a couple of cigarettes glowing in the dark and sticky, wet sheets…you know, that sounds like my sex life.  Too bad I don’t have a partner to enjoy it with.

And I’m here, standing in the Baghdad-like rubble of 411 News after the completion of Operation Hyatte Freedom.  The Two-Man Ego Trip is back, folks, destroying your psyches three days per week.  As New Order put it:  In the end, you will submit; it’s got to hurt a little bit.

AND SPEAKING OF THAT PERSON…

You know, the only reason why I didn’t grab a complimentary review copy of Keith’s book was because I didn’t know what address it should be sent to at the time.  We all know how that situation worked out, so no need to go any further.

So, therefore, I will let Hyatte’s words stand as his opinion of this magnum opus.  Or, if you’re Hyatte, .357 magnum opus, since you’ll want to shoot yourself in the head while reading it.

You know what, Chris?  I have a idea that I’d like to present to you in public, because we’re about full disclosure and all that (plus, the idea’s in public and archived, so if some son of a bitch decides to pimp this concept, we’ve got his balls in a vice lawsuit-wise):

There are two people at 411 who are more popular than Keith.  Those two people are you and me.  The only thing he has on us is the fact that his name is across the spine of two books.  Therefore, I suggest the following:

Let’s contact Keith’s agent (or another agent if need be), get him or her to represent us (I think we have a publicly-available portfolio), and have him contact Keith’s publisher, since they seem willing to print wrestling books.  Get a contract for the two of us to do a REAL wrestling book, one that actually discusses what wrestling means to fans, what we learn from inside information, and what reporting the news and forming opinions on it for an Internet wrestling column is about (meta-textual and meta-conceptual exegesis of content, as Syl might say).  Put us in a hotel room for a week, stock us up with booze and pizza (Chicago-style; I’m still out to prove you wrong on that), get a good drunk going, pop some of my Klonopin, get a transcriber (or do it ourselves), and you’ve got a book.  Then, have the lawyers cut three-quarters of the content for libel and slander, and we’ll still have more substance than Keith’s book, and all of it original.  Hell, throw in Grut too.  He’d love to get in on this, and he’d really spice things up.  We’d have to sacrifice some things (I couldn’t use the s-word and f-word, and you couldn’t refer to anal rape), but it’d be worth it.

So what’s in this for us?  Hero-worship when we name-drop certain people in the book in positive terms.  Adulatory reviews from the rest of the 411 staff because they’re scared shitless of us.  Big suicide potential for Scaia when he sees our names on the cover; ditto CRZ (hang himself with his own hair, perhaps?).  The chance to open our little hermetic world to a mass audience, thus recruiting more victims for our Satanic rites.  A chance to ride on Nash’s Ego Dildo ™ for a while.  And, of course, money.  We might even be able to bribe Justin Credible to sell us the photos of Heyman and the donkey that got him that world title run in ECW; that’d be a helluva lot nicer for the center than WWE-licensed crap.

If you think this might be worth it, and you have an in with a literary agent (or know someone here who does other than Keith), mail me and we can get the ball rolling.  We could probably meet halfway…say, Dayton?  You bring the eggs, I’ll bring the tomatoes and TP, Grut can make the Molotovs.

By the way, I’m serious.  I think that if Keith has the name to get a book published, you and I sure as hell do too.  And you know we’d pimp 411.

AND SPEAKING OF PIMPS…

You know that when I put the Pimp Section this high up in the column, I’ve got something that flows either into the Short Form or something that needs to flow somewhere else.  In this case, it’s the former.

Our dear Matthew of the Biscuiti Brothers has the second of his four “quasi-insider” columns available.  The material contained is pretty much a “duh” for smarks, but may just be a great revelation for marks on how politics in wrestling really works.

Williams lets his reader mail do the talking.  Yeah, like I’m going to criticize him for that.

Livingston proposes a boycott on May 5th and pimps joshi…and you think the newswriters scribble weird columns.

Nason doesn’t talk about joshi, just indies.

A REASON TO TURN THE SOUND DOWN

Coachman replacing Ross for the time being…you know, all of a sudden Schiavone looks better and better as an option.  Team up a charismaless robot who is outshined in interviews by Terri Runnels with a man whose thought processes have degenerated so much (I blame untreated syphillis) that all he can say is “puppies”.  Oh, yeah, that attracts me as a viewer having to listen to this pair for two hours a week.  I thought Summerall/Madden for the last couple years of their partnership was bad.  More than three weeks of this, and it’s heroin, meet eyeballs time.

You know, it’s this type of news that makes me know who difficult my situation really is.  This column is pretty much written before Raw.  This news deals with Raw.  This column is published after Raw.  This is the fine line between reporting and opining.  With this type of material, all I can do is the second.

FATAL ATTRACTION

I was able to hit WeLoveTheIraqiInformationMinister.com before it got Slashdotted or Farked or even 411ed (you can choose which) last week, and laughed my ass off.  However…

According to CNN, this kick-ass site (not linked on purpose) was hosted on a server which is contracted by the website creators to get 2000 hits per month.  Over the last week, according to CNN, they were getting 2000 hits per half-second.  They ended up crashing four servers before moving to one that could handle the load on Saturday.  This one may be a good reason to set up a Paypal account and fork some money over to them for the massive overcharges they’re going to get nailed for.  As the website creator said, “How else are we going to have fun in this world?”

Well, I’ve got a couple of ways…

THANK GOD, A REAL SPORT IS FINALLY BACK

Everyone has to be a mark for something.  As longtime readers of this column know, I am a major mark for golf.  And the golf season really, really kicks into gear with the Masters.  So, therefore, I was definitely hooked to the television by ball and chain on Sunday to watch a great final round.  Now, that being said…

After all the Martha Burk fooferaw this winter, the last thing that the Masters needed was to contract a bad case of Indistinguishable White Guy Disease.  The final round showed that it’ll take at least ten years for the diverse kids inspired by You-Know-Who to make an impact, and golf’s going to look lily-white until then.  Thank God for Tigger, Veej, and even Ho-Thay Can You See (not only Spanish, but looks Spanish and therefore exotic enough to break patterns).  Lefty helps too due to his sinistral inclination.  However, this must have given the audience a major problem; I know that every time the camera cut to Mike Weir shooting, I thought to myself “Hmmm, that sure doesn’t look like Mickelson”.

However, big congrats to Weir for not only winning, but providing us with the second-best way a major can end, a sudden-death playoff (The best way?  Birdie putt of reasonable distance on the 72nd to win, viz. Mark O’Meara).  He and Mattaice were shooting the lights out all day, and watching them go to #73 with hot hands was exciting.  Well, it was exciting until Lenny decided to shoot like I normally do, but you understand the point.  Wonderful play all around from those two Sunday, and Bravo.

I’m writing this for two reasons, really:  The first I explained above about me being a golf mark.  The second is that this might mark the first and only occasion where Scott Keith paid attention to the sport.  It’s safe to tune back to the hockey playoffs now, Scott.  As Zach Singer, the only person in the world more liberal than I am, said, “What greater sign from above could there be against the war than the fact that a Canadian has won the Masters?”

If you want to know why I’m attracted to golf, a terrific example of it happened on Sunday.  Third hole (the one that treated the field, including Tigger, like lions treat a downed gazelle).  Jeff Maggert, leading at the time, finds himself in the sand.  His out hits the front wall of the bunker and caroms back directly at him.  Even before the ball settles down back into the bunker, Maggert turns to an official and yells “It hit me”.  The ball hitting the golfer who hit it is a two-stroke penalty.  Note again, he is leading at the time.  In a major.  Yes, he would have been caught if he’d lied, but he came out and admitted it immediately.

Golfers are probably the most honest people in sports.  This isn’t like American football, where the linemen hold on every damn play and bitch when they get caught, or cornerbacks claim incidental contact when they look like they’re dry-humping a wideout.  This isn’t like the sport that virtually the rest of the world calls football, in which any contact within the penalty box has the contactee doing an imitation of David Beckham every time Posh Spice uses the words “community property”.  How much solace would the denizens of Buffalo have had if Brett Hull had turned to the officials and said, “Whoops, I was in the crease”?  What if Marie-Reine Le Gougne had voted her conscience instead of playing I’ll Scratch Your Back If You Scratch Mine and kept what little bit of integrity figure skating judging had?  And how about Hue Hollins going “You my bitch now” to Scottie Pippen, an incident that even Noo Yawkers admit was a screw job (yes, us Chicagoans are still pissed about that one)?

I guess that the sense of honesty that golf has also attracts me to wrestling as well.  The carny mentality has pretty much been abandoned despite Vince’s efforts to put the Kayfabe Genie back in the bottle.  They admit that everything’s fixed and that it’s now Sports Entertainment.  It’s no longer a dodge to be able to juice in Maryland without a doctor being ringside.  It’s wrestling’s identity, and wrestling may be better off for it.  It’s freed wrestling in a way that allows the creative teams and bookers to concentrate on things that would bring the casual audience into play (that is, if the creative team had three active brain cells between them).  It shows the world that wrestling is, by nature, fun to watch, and that’s why we write about it and you read about it.

Yes, folks, if I want to link something back to wrestling, I can.

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Chris Jericho over Test (Pinfall, Lionsault):  Nice of Coachman to remember the feud between these two a few months ago.  Bra-friggin’-vo.  But otherwise, he’s fingernails on blackboard.  I really pity Jericho now, though.  He has to curtain-jerk with f*cking Test and service a lovers’ quarrel feud.  Yeah, let’s talk about Undisputed Champion again, shall we?  As for My Beautiful and Beloved, only she could pull off a long floral-pattern top and Daisy Dukes.  On anyone else, it’d scream “white trash”.  Actually, she could wear a chador, just as long as she’s there.

Victoria and Jazz over Trish Stratus and Ivory (Submission, Jazz over Trish, modified STF):  Okay, when did Ivory turn face?  Did I miss the memo?  There were two damn good things about this match, though:  actual use of psychology by Jazz viz. Trish’s knee, and Teddy Long essentially calling Coachman an Uncle Tom.  Oh, yeah, Richards wasn’t involved, so make that three good things.

Rob Van Dam and Kane over Lance Storm and Sean Morley, No-DQ Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Kane pins Storm, VanTerminator):  Okay, so Van Dam blew the VanTerminator spot, but that didn’t ruin the match.  It included possibly the best setup for the VanDaminator that we’ve seen in a while, with Buh Buh Ray pretending to hand the chair back to Morley and Van Dam nailing the kick.  The pacing was a little strange, though.  It almost seemed as if they forgot that the match was no-DQ.  The moment Storm used the garbage can, though, it shifted from first to fourth gear without bothering to go through the gears between and the accelerator was pushed.  Nice work, even with the damn commercial break.

Goldust over Christian (DQ, Setup For Goldberg):  Well, someone finally listened to me there and cut the “at last you’re on your own” out of Christian’s entrance theme.  Badly.  Not to mention deleting the chorale about “away from my brother”, which is what really made the entrance theme.  Other than that, nothing to say, really.

Booker T and Hurricane Helms over Trip and Ric Flair, Get The Ring Rust Off Flair Special Stip Match (Pinfall, Helms pins Flair…oh, Dear God, give me a minute while I weep, please…, Michaels-ference):  And on top of this we get the Wacky Face Miscommunication gimmick going.  However, it will be interesting next week to see how Booker’s going to get buried again.  But, as Slick Rick (I’ll be mentioning him again later) says, Must be nice to be in the Clique and only have to work the first and last 10 minutes of the show…  That is what power is all about, my friend.

Angle Developments:

As I Say Later, Slick Rick is Back:  As the man says:  Nice psudeo-kayfabebreaking arrangement. Good smarkish references. This could be a good show for a change.  Well, I’ll have to take your word for it.  I missed the last half of the promo because a recruiter called me and I had to e-mail him an updated resume.  However, the first half was the best promo that Trip’s cut in a long time.  Remember, the Clique inspires each other to go one step beyond normal.  It’s looking like it could be a great dynamic.

It Puts The Lotion On Its Skin:  I had the mute on during the side promo prior to the Test/Jericho match due to the recruiter, so I have no idea what happened.  I know it involved hand lotion and a copy of Playboy.  This should be the siren call for My Beautiful and Beloved to come home to Daddy.  No hand lotion in here, trust me.

Good As Gold:  Okay, let’s read into the Goldberg/Goldust promo for a minute.  Is this an attempt to humanize Goldberg?  If so, is this also an attempt by the bookers and writers to get the backstage heat off Goldberg by showing that he’s willing to be “one of the guys” on-camera and participate in silly WWE sketches?  If not, was this a rub for Goldust while Booker’s otherwise occupied?  One thing’s for certain:  Goldberg looked pretty good in the blond wig.

Is A Fun Whore More Whore Or Fun?:  Bischoff’s whoring session for merchandise was absolutely perfect as a promo.  It didn’t increase my desire to order the product, but, damn, the guy’s good.  What’s with all the good promos on Raw?  Are they doing it consciously, or are we due for a good night?

Memo To Chris Nowinski:  I feel for ya, bud.  Fortunately, I’ve developed a solution to the problem you found yourself in on Raw.  It’s called You’re A Moron.  Tends to stop retards dead in their tracks.  Of course, I don’t have access to your method:  put the retard in a feud with Three-Minute Warning.  Startlingly effective, I must admit, but a little cruel for my taste (not even Big Sump Pump deserv…wait, he does deserve it).  Maybe we should get together and compare notes, being graduates of elite colleges and all.  We can invite Olshansky too.  Maybe he can provide some inspiration.  Goodness knows that we can give him some inspiration, not to mention solace, due to the fact that his Song For Life is “What A Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera.

As for the debate itself, let me mention again that I’ll be mentioning Slick Rick later and let him have the floor:

I think, though, that more important than the unproven links between Iraq and financing of terrorism, is that a good portion of the existing terrorism against the US was inflamed by the US “not finishing the job” after the original Gulf War. We came off as even more untrustworthy and fickle than most Arab or Muslim nations already saw us. I’m still hoping there won’t be a further invasion without STRONG justification. I’m not liking the saber
rattling I’m hearing regarding Syria.


I’ll agree with that, especially regarding Syria.  I’d consider invasion threats to be a rather cynical move to get them to start playing nice with Israel, especially about the Golan Heights.  The smokescreen, of course, will be “supporting terrorism”.  If Dubbaya can keep this going as long as possible, people aren’t going to be paying attention to the economy very much, and that’s good for him.  Bad for the country, but good for him.

MAILBAG!

First of all:  Jimmie Daniel, I love your NWA:  TNA live reports.  Keep sending them to me.  Gives a better indication of the atmosphere than a recap does.

Slick Rick is back (I told you I’d be mentioning him)!  And he’s got some great comments about the alleged war like the one above:

We’re not exactly on the same page on the war, so I’m not going to debate you on it really.

Well, I do have that “support the troops but not the administration” thing going, which is no real surprise to anyone here as per both sides of my feelings.

I did a lot of study on Arab regional psychology etc, so the current situation isn’t a suprise to me. I’m hoping this is the end of the attack behavior from the Bush administration. I saw this as resolution of the aborted war 12 years ago, and Iraq in violation of its terms of ceasefire.

Well, I look at it from this perspective:  You have weapons that violate the Geneva Convention, whether signatory or not, specifically chemical weapons.  Iraq has them.  So does the United States.  We all know what goes on at Fort Belvoir.  The Russians do as well, and everyone knows about it.  However, the press keeps quiet about it, and there’s no complaints from the UN considering the situation of those two countries being permanent members of the Security Council and will veto any resolution on the subject.  However the second, Iraq has used them against enemies of the state, which the United States and Russia have not (we don’t know whether the Soviet Union did, and that info is going to be kept shut away somewhere until the end of time if it hasn’t already been destroyed).  The world is disgusted by that, and by the fact that the UN inspection teams were treated like dirt.  So, naturally, public opinion is against Iraq on this issue, which it should be.  Sanctions haven’t worked.  Resolutions haven’t worked.  Inspections haven’t worked.  But I feel that there was one more thing that might have worked without going to war:  initiate an rapproachment with Iran.  Oh, would that have scared Saddam.

As per the continuation, remember, I was in the Army at the time, and we even wondered exactly why this was being done.  The only answer was oil, and we didn’t want people to die for that reason.

I agree with you on the attack mentality, but if the polls start dropping afterward due to the shitty economy, all of Cheney’s and Powell’s CYAing of their decision not to continue in 1991 will come up and bite them on the ass.

Nothing the UN involves itself in is pure or straightforward, so I tend to discount them as nothing more than a glorified charity organization.  I’m not conservative, I’m not liberal, I’m an Objectivist, meaning I’m for anything that furthers or protects my well-being and that of those I care for, and I make no apologies for not sacrificing what is mine for those I do not owe.

I never bought into the Ayn Rand stuff, but self-interest is in the human brain, and it’s going to take generations of conditioning to get rid of.  I’m not sure that’s worth it either.

I think that there is much to question motive-wise in the Bush administration’s action, but the result is still good.

I’m still split on the philosophy of the end justifying the means, especially in this kind of situation.  I’m in favor of it when it comes to self-interest, though.

I also think there is much to question motive-wise in France’s action.

Oh, you bet your ass.  Whether it’s weapons sales or anti-US reflex, the spirit of De Gaulle still lives.

If the UN had been able to stand together in threatening enforcement of Resolution 1441, there would not have been a war. Saddam would have been scared shitless and we would have had the truth without this f*cking war.

I’m not going to call that hypocrisy with what you said earlier, but if the US has the right to start a war due to self-interest, don’t the French have the same right?

France wants two things. They want to distract the world from their involvement in Cote d’Ivore (The residents of that country like France less than Willie the Groundskeeper from The Simpsons does)

A bloody massacre that the press here doesn’t pay enough attention to because, well, it’s Africa and every country down there behaves the same way, so nothing new.

and they want very much to prevent us from finding the “Armee de la France” markings on the chemical equipment we will be finding shortly. Their self-interest has caused this war.

Again, if the US has the right, blah, blah, blah…

I’m not a huge fan of GWB, but I respect him for not backing down like his father did when asked to by the UN.

I just hate the UN being neutered by an action like this.  The UN has had its hands cuffed since its foundation due to the Cold War and national self-interest overriding its purpose.  Dubbaya’s actions may have the same effect on the UN as the US’s refusal to join the League of Nations did on that body.  That would be regretful.

Sorry about the debate thing, Rick, but your letters always inspire me to respond in copious, some say nauseating, detail.

Let’s handle Jack Bartram next (yes, Jack, you’re a regular now).  He wrote a wonderful essay on his love for Jimmy Snuka and why Muraco/Snuka was one of the greatest feuds ever that I can’t print in full.  All I can say is, Jack, your point is acknowledged and is damn convincing.  Bringing Snuka back for the coconut shot to put a close to his feud with Piper once and for all would be a nice touch.  Like you, I think they set up a one-shot for Snuka.  Maybe a match on PPV where Snuka goes over?

Jack also name-checks GRUT!, which definitely means a full quote:

Grut mentioned in his column that there has not been a single instance where HHH and either Rock or SCSA have been onscreen together.  Doesn’t that strike you as somewhat odd, on the surface?  Obviously, underneath the surface, we know that Steph doesn’t want anyone to outshine her buttboy.  But it’s just odd, to me, that there has not been a single instance where they’ve been together.

Believe it or not, I don’t think this one can be hung on the Bitch of the Baskervilles.  And it doesn’t seem odd to me.  What’s happening here, I think, is different booking styles.  Trip is booking his jobbers well in advance (and I don’t mean “having them booked”; we know damn well that he has a level of creative control that Hogan would cream his jeans for), probably using the excuse that it gives some of the upper-mid-carders more visibility (should I pause a moment while we laugh our asses off?).  Now, look at Austin and The Rock.  Austin’s return was accomplished very quickly (and who knows when he’s going to have another piss fit?), and no one knows what The Rock’s availability is going to be like, and for how long.  Therefore, they have to book by the seats of their pants with them.  The Rock/Austin feud had to be blown off at WM, so that ate up a lot of time.  Now, The Rock has to be used to get Goldberg over with the WWE audience (their rationale, not mine).  Austin is being led into a replication of Austin/McMahon with Bisch.  Their booking paths don’t cross Trip’s.

Now here’s another substantive reason:  those two are so over that they don’t need a belt no matter who they’re feuding with (and at this point, who’d give them one?).  Trip’s feuds need the world title behind them in order to have some substance and give Trip some kind of validation as a quality wrestler.

Let’s say that Matt’s insider was correct that Trip changed the booking of his title matches against Van Dam, Kane, and Booker.  I think I can churn out the rationales that Trip used to get those results changed:

Van Dam:  “Can’t cut a coherent promo to save his life.”

Kane:  “He was the reason for the failure of the Katie Vick angle.*  Also, he’s only had one world title reign, and that lasted for one day, so he’s unproven at the top.”

Booker:  “Would give the same results as Jericho’s Undisputed Title Reign.  Not made by WWE; look, he’s even using his old WCW music.”

* – When you’re in the catbird seat, lay the blame off on someone else; it should work.  The angle failed because it sucked, not because of Kane.

That being said, I think the game plan that they probably have in the works is in Trip’s favor.  Goldberg goes over The Rock, then wins the belt from Trip.  Austin turns heel (a serious heel this time; perhaps an accomodation with Bisch?) and starts making noises at Goldberg (if it’s with Bisch, it makes sense since Bisch can tell Goldie “I made you, and I can break you too.”, and why not use the Real Thing to eliminate the Imitation?).  At SummerSlam, it’s Austin/Goldberg for the title, a mark’s dream match.  I’ll say now that Goldberg goes over as Austin’s final bit of penance.  Trip then has a natural rationale to go after Goldberg courtesy of the revenge factor, and he convinces Bisch to let him take a shot at Goldberg.  Then you book those two at Survivor Series in an FCA, HitC, or Elimination Chamber match (you don’t need six guys to do the Elimination Chamber).  Trip then goes over Goldie.

If this happens, you can definitely make a better case that Steph’s protecting her Snuggle Bunny (or as Daniels would put it, her Ox Cock).  However, it can also be logically justified through acts of booking.  If The Rock isn’t there and Austin’s turned heel, there’s no reason for Trip to be f*cking around with them.

All being said, I wouldn’t jump to conclusions just yet about Trip avoiding Austin and The Rock.

And let’s continue with the regulars with an extension.  BFM’s pal Dale, whose book I pimped just after my return, has a great pair of comments:

Just wanted to thank you for promoting my Urban Legends book in your column a week or so ago.  Greatly appreciate it.  Looking on Amazon.com, I saw that people who were buying my book were also buying Keith’s book and I couldn’t figure out why until I remembered that Mike had say you were going to mention it.

Well, it was about a month ago, but time flies.  It does show, however, that there’s still a crossover audience between rock and wrestling, even without the presence of Cyndi Lauper.  And Keith’s book is still on that list.  Of course, so are three of yours, Dale.  With “Urban Legends”, that makes two more books, minimum, than Scott’s done.  That should give Hyatte some more column material.

Amazon’s also selling this puppy for US$12.57, compared to its list price of $17.95.  It’ll just take one more book to get your over the US$25 for free shipping.  So buy the damn thing.

Dale’s also probably the only one who makes more Jeff Hardy/gay jokes than I do:

If Jeff could act any more awkward about kissing a girl, I don’t know how.  Meanwhile, Trish looks like she can pull off the part as long as she doesn’t have to look at Jeff.  (She was doing great with the Rock, but when it came down to interacting with Jeff, she seemed to have lost her place in the script.  “Okay, I look at Jeff with concern and . . . uh . . . pat him on the shoulder?  Is he supposed to kiss me again?  Is he even looking at me?  Are we on?”)

I bow to the master.

A cute observation by bchisholm:

Watching Smackdown the other night, I suddenly realized who Sable reminds me of:  Put her hair up and she’s Patsy Stone from “Absolutely Fabulous”!

Except that you can tell that Rena Fucking Mero has eaten more than a crisp since 1974.

Oh, yeah, if you insult Joanna Lumley like that again, I’ll have your head perform a colonoscopy.

Joe Courbold gives us a nice take on past trends in WWE and what they could do about “what’s next”:

…WWE is looking for “the next big thing”.  Now my take has always been that the WWF/WWE has always been about 6/7 years give or take a year behind modern trends.  Disco with mens’
glistened up muscular bodies came out (so to speak) in the mid 70s, Hogan was there in the early eighties.  The mullet was dropped in most circles up to late 80s, it left wrestling in 1994.  Grunge and “alternative” music went huge in 1990, WWF got “Attitude” in 1997.  Hopefully you can see my point.


Yeah, I do.  WWF/E doesn’t react to current events very well.  Witness them trying to keep Nikolai Volkoff a heel during perestroika.  When they do react to current events, they tend to do it in the most asinine way possible (viz. Sergeant Slaughter and Iraq…hey, Steph, while you’re at it, how about reviving that?).  It’s safe to lag behind the trends, but just enough to tell if it was going to be a trend or just a passing fancy.  The lag time with WWE is too damn long, and it makes them look anachronistic.

So to look for the next big thing in wrestling all one has to do is look for the big the big craze that started 6/7 years ago and you’re on a winner.  Let me think 1996/1997, what were the big fads that have still lasted today – there is only one that really sticks out in terms of popular culture – Reality TV.

Yes, I know that WWE had its Tough Enough run, but what if their entire focus of how to run a Wrestling promotion was turned around into a reality TV format.  Bear with for a minute… Imagine if a hot new wrestler were chatting to his on screen girlfriend and suddenly turned around to the camera and said – “Turn the ****ing camera off – this is personal”.  With one fell swoop, you could cut down the improbable… characters talking and not seeing the camera.


A cinema verite approach like this could work with a little creativity, and that’s something WWE has a distinct lack of right now.  You’re right, though; the “magic camera” tends to drive the IWC nuts and kills suspension of disbelief for the marks.  It lost any credibility when Hogan cut the promo in front of the mirror and saw the Ultimate Warrior looking back at him.  But, how do you sell the concept of the acknowledged camera?  GTV was a wonderful way to do it, but that got lost in the shuffle.  The only way I can see of doing it, on Raw at least, is for Bisch to go completely paranoid and have Morley and his gooney squad plant hidden cameras in the hallways and locker rooms.  Make sure that he says that he’s going to do it at the house shows as well.  Also, make sure that he does it in the ring.  The sense of paranoia would be so thick that you couldn’t cut it with a chainsaw.  Friends turning on friends, partners turning on partners, people afraid to speak and join the Bischoff Administration in order to actually say something, instant coverups for bad promos due to nervousness…if you think a six-year lag is bad, would a nineteen-year lag like this be something acceptable if presented in this format?

Also you could do the sit down interviews that we see all the time in reality TV but with the interviewers questions cut out…

“Gee, Trip, how’s Steph in the sack?”  That’d be interesting.  On Smackdown, put Cole in charge of the interviews and see him get his ass kicked in every week.  The IWC will be popping the champagne corks.

I don’t know if this kind of new direction could or would work… but it would be something different which is ultimately what we as wrestling fans want to see from a promotion such as WWE.

No, it wouldn’t work for the simple reason that they couldn’t pull it off.  I think that the time for “something different” is long past.  Right now, we of the IWC would settle for a little competence now and then.

Charles Mayo writes me with some great ideas on how to turn Raw into Nitro, a move that a lot of the IWC seems to be supporting these days (of course, I was calling for Bisch to bury the hatchet a long time ago, so, yet again, I’m ahead of the trend).  Nice way to do it, Charles, but I am skeptical of three things:  1) I don’t think Vince will ever be made to look humiliated (a heel, yes, but not humiliated).  2) Heyman has a long memory, and getting rid of his feelings for Bisch after three major talent raids that helped destroy ECW probably still leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.  And 3) Restoring a relationship between Bisch and Flair after the lawsuit might just be impossible, no matter how Flair is approaching this.

Chris Knowles says the following:

I posted my prediction of 2 RAWs for Nash on the Raw Forum message board. Since I posted it Tuesday morning I think I get the two week slot in the injury pool unless his email came before my post. Will Nash please lift a weight or something!

I think it’d be fine to split the pool should that happen.  Credit on this issue is definitely worth being shared due to the near-unanimity of the IWC on Nash’s probable level of contribution to the mess that is Raw.

J8891 apparently thinks I’ve taken over Ask 411:

I was wondering what ever happened to some WWE stars like Del Wilks,Ken Shamrock,Mike Awesome and Road Dog to name a few.

Del Wilkes:  Severe injury caused him to retire.  Sold the Patriot gimmick to, I believe, Tom Brandi.  Had his music recycled for Kurt Angle.

Ken Shamrock:  Having too much fun in Ultimate Fighting.

Mike Awesome:  Cut for lack of space in the midcard.

Road Dogg:  Cut for smoking more weed than Van Dam and for simply not being funny or relevant anymore.  Now in NWA:  TNA.

And finally, when I mentioned last week that if people wanted to know the quote that got me kicked off The Smarks, I’d tell them, I got so many e-mails asking me for it that I knew I’d have to do it here in the column rather than doing it the polite way through e-mail.  And to one requester, yes, it was worse than the stuff that Scotsman puts in his column every week.

Now, to add context (and please note, this is a flashback to a time before I had the medication):  this was written less than a month after September 11th (October 2nd, 2001, to be exact).  People’s nerves were still on edge.  I was already over it, and decided to become partisan again.

The story came out that Solicitor General Ted Olsen was trying to get Bubba disbarred from the Supreme Court for lying under oath.  Olsen was one of the main hatchetmen in the Florida controversy.  His TV-political mouthpiece wife Barbara had written a book called “Hell To Pay” which butted into the personal lives of the Clintons to an almost voyeuristic extent (public figures can have private lives, you know, and the book was definitely a violation of private lives); this was only part of her scheme to make the Clintons’ lives a living hell.  She was on the plane that went into the Pentagon on September 11th.  After that, she was being deified by yahoos like Ann Coulter as a martyr.  All of this, of course, sickened me, as it would anyone of my political inclination.

In order to vomit in a literary manner, I decided to use the same type of dirty pool that Dubbaya’s campaign team used on John McCain in the South Carolina primary.  After all, what’s good for the goose and all that.  I decided to use Barbara Olsen’s death as a means of attacking her husband.  Here’s the full quote:

“And there was Solicitor General Ted Olson smiling on the sidelines as Bubba got spanked for his indiscretions.  He’s the guy responsible for Dubbaya being in the White House in the first place (well, him and Justice Anthony “I Have No Spine” Kennedy).  Look, the only good thing that came out of September 11th was that Olson’s troglodytic talking head of a wife, who was more right-wing than Hitler and had similar attitudes to liberals as the aforementioned did to Jews, got smeared all over the Pentagon…

…look, I didn’t take any shots at Dubbaya or his asshole buddies for three weeks.  Isn’t that enough of a period of mourning?  Yeah, it’s definitely one of those weeks, folks.”

What happened was that people focused on the part of the quote that is in italics, ignoring the context and the acknowledged fact that I wasn’t a happy camper that week, something I had already stated in the column three times by this point.  They were upset that I was using September 11th for partisan political purposes (oh, if we knew then what would happen…) and celebrating a person’s death in an act of terrorism, and doing it less than a month after the circumstances.  This is the same column that I began with this quote from Leon Trotsky:  We must put an end once and for all to the babble about the sanctity of human life.  I think that should have given them a clue right there that I was both capable and willing to write something like that.

Of course, due to the tunnelvision by the readers, many nerves were struck, and with the fraying of a few weeks before, shattered.  JJ and Keith started to get letters about five seconds after the column was up with people threatening to tell their advertisers about this and request they pull their ads from the site.  I got a boatload of letters that began “My (insert relation here) was killed in the WTC.”  I refused to apologize, JJ ditched me later that day.  When he e-mailed me after my first couple of columns here, he was shocked at how businesslike I was taking the whole thing.  I essentially told him that if I was in his shoes, I would have done the same.  That, and the fact that I publicly admitted that I had nothing against him, kept our friendship going.

So what did I plead guilty to in this disagreement?  Bad taste.  Here’s me quoting from my October 23rd, 2001 column again:

Was it tasteful to use the events of September 11th in a polemic against her?  No, it wasn’t, and it wasn’t meant to be tasteful.  It was about as tasteful as using someone’s marital problems to grind political axes, and, gee, that’s exactly what Barbara Olsen did in her book “Hell To Pay” with the Clintons, wasn’t it?  Conservatives are pussies; they can dish it out, but can’t take it.

So that’s pretty much the whole story.  It’s a year and a half, it’s water under the bridge, and it was good to present this to newbies again so that when I make reference to it again, people will know what I’m talking about.

Would I have done this if I was on the medication that I’m on now?  Probably not.  I think I’m chemically incapable of going off now.  Righteous anger?  Yeah.  Sarcasm that rips flesh like Frank Zappa’s weasels?  You bet.  All-out rage?  Nah.

Well, it’s good that we’re one Flea away from being back to normal, and it’s good that I don’t know what I’m going to do with this f*cking thing tomorrow.  No inside sources to tap into, no real news coming from the WWE bathysphere, no anal rape jokes about Ashish since that would be Gimmick Infringement again.  Well, tune in tomorrow and I’ll see what I can do for you.