Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 04.29.03

You are erratic, conflicted, disorganized.  Every decision is debated, every action questioned, every individual entitled to their own small opinion.  You lack harmony, cohesion, greatness.  It will be your undoing. – Seven of Nine

Apparently the Collective knows about the IWC.  Fortunately, we’re safe, because there’s no way in hell they’d want to assimilate us.

(And forgive me, Hyatte, for I have sinned.  I only watched the damn show for Jeri Ryan’s tits, honestly.)

Well, goddamn.  I was one Kevin Dunn away from having my prediction about Schiavone come true.  That sucks, folks.  I would have loved to have seen Fat Tony tell Lawler to shut the f*ck up.  Also, they could have gone work-shoot on Bisch telling him what to say.  Everyone knows that Schiavone ruined his rep as a damn good wrestling announcer because he was forced to tell the world what the f*cking control room wanted to get to the audience with the unspoken threat of losing his job if he didn’t.  Hence, the “let’s ignore this great cruiser match that’s being shown in favor of pimping a main event that no one gives two shits about” syndrome that ruined Nitro for a lot of people even before Mark Madden showed up.

That being said, when Ross would have come back, they could have established the three-man booth, yet another step toward Nitro.  They could have kayfabed a lot of disagreement at the announce table, which would have been nice compared to Lawler changing his ethos at the drop of a hat, which, even more than “Puppies!”, has turned him into a complete joke.  They also would have had Schiavone there to cover up the weaknesses that Ross is showing, and those are increasing week by week.

You know, I once thought that Kevin Dunn was the smartest guy back there.  But that was when Nitro was still on.  Dunn’s WWF production values were terrific; Nitro looked like the camera work, lighting, direction, and basic control were all being done by brain-damaged lemurs.  However, this decision shows that his brain is getting an eentsy-weentsy bit sclerotic.  Raw is f*cked up on so many levels that he couldn’t do any more to hurt it than it already is.  Why not do something like that?  It might just work.


You know I’ve got the flow going when the Pimp Section is up here.

Zucconi is allowed to use my trademark for Ass Cream ™ and a YAM format any time he wishes.  Why?  Because he’s that damn good.

Baisden has been dipping into my medicine cabinet, I see.

Biscuiti shows how fluxed up his family is.  And the last Raul D. Dice will be up late tonight.


Let’s hope Hogan was bullshitting Bubba the Love Sponge yet again and pray he doesn’t come back as Mister America.  First of all, Mister America should be a heel, teaching Benjamin and Haas while their mentor is away.  Second of all…dear God, it’s Hogan, folks.  Do we really need a flashback to those days?  Piper, Snuka, talk of Warrior, now this?  What’s next?  Is Don Muraco going to make a comeback?  Will Classy Freddie Blassie become the Big Show’s manager?  Are they going to exhume the corpse of Adrian Adonis?

Just the thought of this one rekindles the desire never to watch Smackdown again, just as I was coming slowly off my Bitch of the Baskervilles-related hiatus.  If this happens, the entire creative team deserves to have their anuses attached to power transformer lines.

Thinking about it, I realize that there’s a worse possibility:  Luger.  Considering that possibility, I’m hoping it is Hogan.


“Goldberg/The Rock Match Now Online For Free”

Look, if you can’t get something online for free, you’re pathetic.  Just looking around me, I see Corel Draw 11, Encarta 2003, Bowling For Columbine (that should piss off the conservatives), Anger Management, Office 2003 beta 2, the entire run of Birds of Prey, among other numerous things, and I’m downloading about eight Hitchcock movies and the two latest episodes of South Park (because I’m too lazy-ass to turn on Comedy Central) as we speak.  All for free.  In fact, you should be able to get all of Backlash for free somewhere on Usenet.  So why the hell go to Goldberg’s website for some shitty RealVideo version of the match?  Get it in its alleged glory.

And speaking of Backlash…


I dunno about Haas and Benjamin retaining the SD tag titles.  Like I said in the Round Table, I’d like to see them try to do the “pissed-off heels out for revenge” act to see if they’re ready to not need a mouthpiece.  The only thing I could think of with them retaining is if Angle isn’t as hurt as everyone thought, and he can make an out-of-ring comeback soon.  It’d be a good counteractant for the Mister America crap.

I don’t want My Beautiful and Beloved anywhere near f*cking Sable ever again.  There’s only so much Lysol in the world that I could spray her down with.

Ditto Big Sump Pump.

The difference between our two champions becomes quite clear courtesy of the Lesnar/Cena match:  Lesnar sells offense from other people and carries it through like he’s hurt.  And then there’s Trip, but that’s going to cause me to get nasty things written about me on the message board like Dino had.  Of course, like Dino, I don’t read it, so who cares?

Can someone watch that Goldberg/The Rock match for me, keep track of the moves, and see if it doesn’t take more than both hands to count the number of them?

As for the booking…this is one of those “be sure to watch the individual shows for more” PPVs.  Thank God I didn’t spend the money.


Sorry, non-American sports fans, but for true sports fans here, this is a key moment.  No one gives a f*ck about baseball, the hockey and basketball playoffs are still in the “get to the real thing” stage, and we’re all waiting for autumn.  Now, since I don’t give a rat’s ass about any team other than my Beloved Bears (other than the FudgePackers), I’ll concentrate on them.

Two safeties…okay, they’ve got the Colorful Mikes, Brown and Green, both damn great, at that spot.  Larry Whigham’s the backup, but he’s their special teams stud.  But no cornerbacks?  Jesus Fucking Christ.  R-Dub’s terrific when healthy, but Jerry Fucking Azumah is starting at the other end.  All depends how Roosevent Williams develops, I guess.

Two fifth-round wideouts…dunno if they’ll stick, but it looks like one of them has to.  The incredibly wonderful (no sarcasm) Marty Booker is the key guy, but behind him are David “Stone Hands” Terrell and Dez “Whoops, Was That The Ball?” White.  Maybe Ahmad Merritt can get off return duty and into the lineup to replace Terrell full-time (gee, another wasted high-round pick by the Bears; what a surprise).  But they do need backups, and Justin Gage looks like the guy (and was a steal where he was picked at).

Now the first round.  Michael Haynes…terrific.  Great pairing with Phillip Daniels.  If Ted Washington stays healthy, Daniels, Washington, Traylor, and Haynes may end up being the best D-Line the Bears have had since the glory days.

Now, let’s talk about Rex Gross-Out.  No secret that I hate Florida quarterbacks.  The Bears have bombed with them before since all of them were mind-controlled by Steve Spurrier.  They could have stayed at four and got Byron Leftwich, or not swapped thirteen for fourteen and got Ty Warren like the Pats did as backup for Traylor or Washington.  I do have to question this.  Of course, without a first-round pick, Spurrier couldn’t get him for the Redskins, and dude was going to go in the first round anyway.  Besides, with Kordell at starter and with Chris Chandler, who’s older than dirt, as backup, maybe it was a good pick.  He could always learn from Chandler, I guess.  Just deprogram the SOB, please.

Fortunately, the FudgePackers had a sucky draft, so maybe the Bears can be a division threat again.  I’m crossing my fingers.

Speaking of crossing my fingers…


Match Results:

Novocaine Helms over Sean Morley (Pinfall, flying neckbreaker):  Okay, the cape thing may have been the first thing that I’ve ever liked coming from Shane Helms.  If Kane came out dressed like Kevin Nash, now that would impress me.  As it is, my general apathy toward anything involving Helms tones this down a number of levels.

(Oh, BTW, Lawler, dropping Ross’ name so much is kinda a big f*cking clue that he’ll be back no later than the next Raw.)

Teddy Long over Jonathan Coachman (Submission, Microphone Bitch-Slap) and, oh yeah, Rodney Mack over Some White Guy With Hair Shorter Than I Wore In The Army (Pinfall, not paying attention because, after all, it’s a Rodney Mack Match):  I think that says it all.  Oh, one thing:  Teddy, I do have to call you out on your selective amnesia.  Seems to me that along with those two white guys, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, the Celtics wouldn’t have won those championships without one Robert Parish.

Rob Van Dam and Kane over Trip ‘n Ric, Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Kane pins Flair, aftermath of Five-Star Frog Splash):  So how stupid is Trip?  He’s just used his finisher on Kane.  Kane is there pretending to be dead.  Nash’s music starts up.  By the time it takes Nash to get down the ramp, he could have had the goddamn three-count.  Instead, WWE theme music has the magical ability to paralyze a person from performing actions and the ability to cloud the mind from making judgments.  Yes, I know, suspension of disbelief, but this is Nash we’re talking about.  This guy moves like a slug because of those shot knees.  It doesn’t help suspension of disbelief when you have Trip in the middle of the f*cking ring for thirty seconds with his jaw hanging open.  Yeesh.

Test and Big Sump Pump over Chris Harvard and Rico (Pinfall, Steiner pins Nowinski, reverse DDT):  No comments about My Beautiful and Beloved until Angle Developments.  No comments about the post-match until Angle Developments.  No comments on what WWE is doing to Harvard because it’s pitiful.  No comments at all.

Booker T over Christian (DQ, Three Morons, No Warning):  Now let’s buy another E-ticket for that Mister Toad’s Wild Ride known as WWE Booking.  Does fighting Christian mean that Booker’s being pushed down the ladder?  Or has the rub that Christian’s received from Goldie and You-Know-Who brought him officially to upper-mid-card (in other words, on the same level as Booker)?  If the first case is true, then why is Goldie giving a rub to Booker?  Or is Goldie giving a rub to Christian in the guise of giving a rub to Booker, continuing the second possibility?  Or is Goldie giving both of them a rub, which Booker doesn’t really need, but Christian does so that he can be perceived as being a fit opponent for upper-midcarders?  And what the hell are all of them doing giving rubs to Three-Moron Warning?  I’ve figured out quantum mechanics problems easier than this.

Eric Bischoff over Trish Stratus (Pinfall, Giving Those Protesters A Reason To Protest):  The Ravin’ Cajun puts it perfectly:  For that matter, the least he could have done for the match was take his damn wedding ring off.  Ah, but lechery has its privileges.  Like making a play for the CEO of the company you work for.

Angle Developments:

One For The Hi-Lite Reel:  Okay, what are the odds of Jericho, Christian, and Goldberg all cutting good promos in the same segment?  And combining a little work-shoot in it too?  Hope you people have this one on tape, because this comes around as often as Halley’s Comet.  The blind pig known as the WWE Creative Team, meet the acorn.

Bleep This:  Reader DimensionXFear, along with a good portion of the audience, heard Stevie Richards say one of the Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say On Television (the one that starts with “f”).  Okay, we know that Richards knows this word as an expletive.  However, considering the last two women he’s been hanging around with in WWE, we’re still not sure he knows it as a verb.

Suggestion to My Beautiful and Beloved:  Just put those two yo-yos against each other in a steel cage match, leave the building, and come home to daddy.  I’ll make you forget about those two bad, bad men and give you the hot, sweaty rhino sex that you deserve.

Big Gimpy’s Peter Gabriel Moment:  And I’ll turn this one over to Slick Rick:  At least Nash is smart enough to use a sledgehammer on the limo window.  They should leave that tape in Goldberg’s lockerroom for training purposes, until he gets his “stripes”.

Menage-a-trois:  People have been writing me about what I think of the team now known as La Resistance (sorry, text editor, so no diacriticals available).  I haven’t commented about them for one simple reason:  I loved Ray and Jacques Rougeau, whether as heels or comic faces, and even though the Statute of Limitations on angles and gimmicks is passed for this one, I think it’s a bit of a disservice to them.  Also, they’re supposed to be heels, but anyone who pounds the crap out of Big Sump Pump should get a f*cking medal.

Big Whoop-De-Doo:  Raw’s in Boston.  Boston is within a short driving distance to Stamford.  This gives Linda an excuse to get a night out of the house for once and get dressed up in a blazer that looks like a tailored cut-down shower curtain.  She bitch-slaps Bisch and brings back Austin in an “un-terminatable” capacity.  Austin reinstates Ross next week, thus saving us from Coachman until he joins Teddy Long’s stable.  In other words, business as usual, including the fact that I don’t give a f*ck about Austin.

However, what if this was a real company?  Here’s what a real Board of Directors would have decided:

1) We’re going to discipline a man with a proven track record of success working in the same capacity for a much bigger corporation because he’s trying to get a little on the side?  Yeah, we’ve all heard about the Gold Club stuff, and he did this recently in front of millions of TV viewers, but he actually made a profit in WCW!

2) This is the Post-Lewinsky Era.  Older man using his position of power to get some trim from good-looking women?  Big deal.

3) If you want to do a co-GM type of deal, why not appoint a woman?  Giving us a two-to-one female ratio in GMs might shut up those goddamn protesters.

4) So who do you want to appoint as co-GM, Linda?  A guy who ran out on the company twice last year because he couldn’t get his way?  A guy who was arrested for beating his wife and making national news shows for doing it (oh, yeah, like that’s going to quiet those protests)?  That’s a nice bit of public image enhancement, Linda.  Look, we don’t care how much stock you and Vince own, we’re publicly traded.  We can’t afford a PR disaster like this and drive the share price down.  You’re staring into the barrels of a stockholder suit, you know.

My fear is that younger people watching will actually think that what goes on on WWE broadcasts is actually a reflection of the business world.  It’s either a cold dose of reality or send them to get MBAs.  Both options are cruel and unusual punishment.


Kelly Bryksa thinks he/she caught me in an error on a subject I brought up in the Round Table

Ok, I know your stance on what the “Clique” is vs the “Kliq,” as you bring it up rediculously often.  Why then, did Scott Hall have “Kliq” on the back of his tights at times in wcw?  Is he that big of a Micheals fan?  Its no shame if you can admit that you are wrong.  Or just deny it, I hate that.

First of all, yes, Scott Hall is that big of a Michaels fan.  They’re both members of the Clique, after all.  Second of all, Michaels had popularized “Kliq” by that point, and Hall was advertising his connection in a way that the audience could understand; in other words, it was an obvious shout-out to a pal on the other side.  Third of all, kayfabe still existed at that time, and using “Clique” would have exposed the business.  Fourth of all, why would Flair have referred to the “Clique” during his promo with Bisch a couple weeks ago on Raw vis-a-vis Nash, Michaels, and Trip?  Michaels admitted back in the day that the “Kliq” were his fans.  You’d know this if you were watching back then.  Fifth of all, Meltzer and Keller used “Clique” in their backstage reports back in ’95 to refer to Hall, Nash, Michaels, Waltman, and Trip (and they were the sole authorities back then).  Sixth of all, I do not deny anything when I’m right.  Seventh of all, you’re a troll.

Fuck off.

(By the way, it’s “Michaels”, “it’s”, and “ridiculously”.  Also, you should have used a semicolon in between “Or just deny it, I hate that”.  What would YAM be without spelling and grammatical corrections?)


Smitty is a lord and master and definitely deserving of Regular status despite being infrequent:

Now that I have the morning joint (My version of Prozac) and a few cups of coffee in me, I figured I’d check in with my favorite liberal on a certain intemperate thought.

If you want to get off weed to try something more mellow (and more legal), get your doctor to prescribe some Klonopin.  Makes its cousin Prozac seem like shit.

Celebrities. One thing I think these twits fail to understand is that when we the general public go to a movie, concert or whatever, it’s to escape from the usual daily bullshit.Day in and day out we are inundated with war, politics, terrorism, death doom and gloom, so when we go to a concert/movie we want to forget about all that for a while, but when they start making political statements on or off stage it takes away that release from reality for a little while that folks look for. The deal is, you entertain us and we’ll shell out the dough for it, we could basically give 2 dead cats less what you think, just shut the f*ck up and do your job.

Damn right.  I don’t need to that crap.  Pushing personal political agendas should be reserved to things like Sunday morning talk shows and wrestling news columns.

Case in point, on the weekends I watch no news, read no news sites, my TV stays on comedy central (So glad they brought back Jiminy Glick, one promo shows him asking Mel Brooks, “So what’s your big beef with the Nazis?”) or Cartoon Network because I don’t have to worry about Courage the Cowardly Dog stopping in mid-scream to tell me what a Nazi regime the Bush administration is or that we’re all going to die from SARS.

Dilworth needs to do more episodes of Courage ASAP.  That being said, I could watch “Human Habitrail” until the cows come home.  The sheer weirdness of it is phenomenal.

(Okay, that being said, let’s move on to another cartoon topic.  A lot of people know how I feel about Scooby-Doo:  first set of cartoons, great; everything else, complete and total crap that can induce hatred.  The new ones…well, they’re damn good.  Go back to what made the first series terrific, then add an element of breaking kayfabe.  Very modern, self-knowing, and entertaining; the first Scooby I’ve actually liked in over three decades.  It’s also great to know what Mindy Cohn’s been doing since The Facts of Life ended:  Velma’s voice.)

People need that escape, and when reality is injected into it, it pisses em off. I actually found myself agreeing with Tim Robbins on the whole Baseball debacle, imagine that.(And I don’t even like Baseball).

Again, somewhere that politics does not belong.  Bull Durham is a f*cking movie where the greatest political opinion expressed in it is “I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone”.  It’s probably the second-best baseball movie ever made, with only The Pride of the Yankees above it.  And I didn’t even like Bull Durham.

Also if you and Hyatte hit the road, consider bringing me, I will supply the weed and other recreational pharmaceuticals, no road trip is complete without a good stash master.

I’ll bring the prescription stuff.  Take three Klonopin and you start seeing things that Hunter Thompson never dreamed of.

BTW:  Your software list.  I have every one of those programs, and versions beyond, like the Office 2003 beta I’m thinking of installing.  But thank you for the offer.

Regular The Joe In Me points out an interesting little factoid that went under the radar of my normal high level of trivial knowledge:

Backlash was the first pay-per-view that Kurt Angle has not appeared on since debuting in 1999. That is almost THREE AND A HALF YEARS worth of pay per views. And that is really f*cking impressive.

This fact really is impressive, considering it took a horrid injury to keep him out.  But the key fact here is that WWF/E did Angle correctly when it came to development.  Pushes were performed at a proper rate, turn timing was correct, he refined his promo ability as he moved from mid-card to upper-card, and he had good programs.  Luck?  Dunno.  But he should be the model by which new stars were made.  They’ve screwed up with Lesnar so far (someone teach him how to do a proper promo, please), and I’m worried about John Cena in the “too much, too soon” category.  Just shows you how desperate they are at this point.

Regular Jack Bartram brings up a point which should give everyone nightmares:

Sorry, but Benoit is getting worse than the Nowinski treatment.  At least Nowinski isn’t pretty much guaranteed to have to work with a load like Nathan Jones, who makes BPP and 3MW look like Misawa, Liger, and Kawada.  As now both Jones and Benoit (and a shelved UT) all have issues with the FBI, it appears likely that Stamboli/Palumbo (and/or Nunzio) vs. Benoit/Jones is a near certainty in the immediate future.

This might be the ultimate test for Our Lord and Savior.  Can he carry four broomsticks to even a one-snowflake match?  If he pulls that off, we should declare him the Modern Flair.  And here’s the sick part:  Benoit cuts better promos than all of those bags of flaming shit.

Regular Joshua Crawley sorta defends Jeff Hardy:

you promote me as a regular, and now i feel like i have to come through with an email.  well, since i have beena jeff hardy fan for a while… i’ll write about him.

“Jeff doesn’t have the same passion for the business that his brother, Matt Hardy, has. Jeff has saved much of the money he has earned in the last few years, and doesn’t have to wrestle anymore. It will be interesting to see what he does now.” (1wrestling.com)

wow,  so they’re telling us jeff know what a savings account is? this should be news? interesting? no. it just means he’s smart enough to know he’s going to have to pay for medical costs later in life.

Hey, no pressure to get a letter in all the time, Joshua.  As for 1bullshit, they’re almost as bad as the Torch when it comes to printing trivia disguised as news.  We can only hope that he’s taken some investment advice from Bradshaw and that he gets a job with medical insurance that will cover preexisting conditions.

and as much as i appreciate Elliot Olshansky representing for jeff, i disagreed with some of his points. he mentions jeff & matt “…paving the way, and establishing the style of their group, and forcing WCW to answer in its dying days…” i disagree because not too long before that, WCW had lucha libre guys paving the way for them (mysterio being one of my faves). of course, many points can be taken back to “this paved the way for that.” the first
time i think i saw the hardyz in spandex, i thought of the rockers.

Well, I think what Elliot was saying was that OMEGA might have shown WCW that there was a future in cruisers when they could have abandoned that line of thinking due to the luchas’ lack of ability to cut promos and provide SE content.  No matter how many guys Konnan could bring in, there was still that void.  As it was, WCW was relegating them to curtain-jerking.  They did provide SE content for the lighter-weight guys when the anglos came in during the dying days (I believe Helms and Moore were in OMEGA; correct me if I’m wrong).

as for people mentioning jeff going to TNA… i’m kind of doubting it. and i prefer TNA over WWE probably about 99% of the time. but hey, if they can land him… let’s hope he shows the WWE again how much their creative blows (as many people seem to do when they go to TNA).

In the creative aspect, WWE seems to be replicating WCW circa 1994-5.  “We can’t think of anything to do with them”.  Well, the WWF could with WCW castoffs courtesy of some creative booking.  You know some of them:  Trip, Austin, Foley, Nash, Hall.  Of course, that time was the transition to Bischoff’s booking and his luring of Hogan and all his goddamn cronies.  What’s WWE’s excuse?

I agree with Hardy not going to TNA.  He’s lost his zest for the business.  You could see the apathy over the last six or seven months that he was performing.  All he seemed to care about was getting his spots off and extending his body paint so far that he could come out nude and no one would notice.  That being said, expect a WWE return in about two years for him.

Shari Broderick wants to invade Man’s World:

I think your Gonzo-like road trip idea is an excellent one.  However, I see a problem.  There’s no female element.  At least, no non-drugged-into-submission female element.  Why yes, I would be more than happy to come along!  I needed a vacation anyway.

Only if you put the butt plug into Albert.

Sperry goes golf on me:

First off, welcome back. Reading 411 without Hyatte and yourself  was like watching a golf tournament sans Tigger, viewable but not enjoyable. Speaking of Tigger, is it just me or can you draw some parallels between him and Cripple H? By this I mean the manner in which their supposed contenders seem to vanish after they have had their souls crushed. RVD-Sergio, Booker-Vijhay, Big Steiner-Phil Nippleson, Kane-Els, soon to be Goldie and Weir. Big props for Weir though, as he has been my favorite non-Tigger golfer for years now. Something about the little guy with the big game I always liked, not to mention the extremely professional manner in which he conducts his business on the course.

Props to Weir, who didn’t choke at the Masters.  Let’s hope Goldie doesn’t behave the same way.  As for your analogy, that’s terrific.  Raw always has to have its Trip moment; golf telecasts always have to focus on Tigger as much as possible until he’s out of it.  No insult to Tigger, of course.  As for the comparisons, there’s only one I really disagree with:  Kane has more of a personality than Boring Ol’ Ernie.

Death is not an option: One night with Martha Burk or one night with Steph?

That’s cruel and unusual punishment.  If sex isn’t involved, Martha Burk.  At least she and I can talk golf.  If sex is involved, Steph and her overinflated yabbos, under the following conditions:  1) She’s on top facing away from me, 2) I’m wearing a blindfold just in case she turns around, and 3) I have the best attenuating earplugs on the market.

Andrew Brown comes to my defense:

Memo to ITAGP:

Go check the archives. Eric actually agrees with conservatives from time to time, nevermind presenting points that counter his argument when appropriate. Calling him a “knee-jerk liberal” is like saying that Nash “has speed and a quality moveset.”

Very true.  Just ask Smitty, my fascist bud John King, and others who have presented views to the right.  I am very fair when it comes to presenting the other side.  That’s what a debate is about.  I often continue debates via e-mail due to the fact that this is my column, and, effectively, I get the last word.  That simply isn’t fair to some people who bring up good points on the other side.

Six feet, 200 lbs, eh? Pretty good for a guy who calls himself “old”. Rock on. 🙂

I got out of the Army at two spins and I’ve kept it off for eleven years.  That even amazes me.

Totally agree with you on the “lesser of two evils” idea for the 2000 election. Ye Gods. Since it’s been brought up again, I might as well toss this question your way. Do you think the electoral college is a good voting process or not?

It served a purpose back in the day when communication only moved as fast as a horse or barge could move, but it hasn’t been relevant since 1876, when the shenanigans that elected Hayes instead of Tilden should have prompted its death.  In fact, that election bore a great resemblance to what happened in 2000.  Florida, for instance, was decided on 100 votes toward the Democratic side.  Fraud was wild on both sides.  And the election was decided by people outside the normal electoral process.  Kill the damn thing, now.

And sticking with the political aspect, this time in the Middle East:

It’s interesting that EVERYBODY brings up Al-Qaeda when people mention Iraq helping out terrorists. Everyone points out that there’s no “Al-Qaeda connection” with Iraq and cites the secularist beliefs of Saddam. I’ll point out that Al-Qaeda isn’t the only terrorist group in the area (or the world). Sure, it’s the obvious group to pick, but Bush is all about “War On Terror”, not “War On Al-Qaeda”. (I’ll leave the vague wording of the “War On Terror” for another time. Ye Gods.) On top of that, Saddam’s son didn’t help their case any when he stated that “The women and children of those who fight are never safe” along with some other threats about “striking on your home ground”.

Dubbaya expanded the “War On al-Qaeda” which prompted intervention in Afghanistan to “War On Terror” since that was easier for Joe Average to understand.  Of course, no one defined “terror”, as you said.  That’s why I have a problem with this whole thing.  The goals don’t match the action.  That’s why I cited five different terror groups with five different agendas, some past, some present.  I’d like to cite one more:  The FBI went batshit on Randy Weaver and f*cked that up big-time.  So why don’t we have the Army, who are a helluva lot better at gunplay than the FBI, go after militia groups and extremists in this country?  A lot of them advocate sedition and actions of terror to achieve those aims.  Paul Murray will talk next about what that would require, and I think that anyone in the government who would advocate this policy has none.

The aforementioned Paul Murray goes political on everyone’s ass:

Nothing really to do with the column but please do keep encouraging the Dems to bring up the no Osama angle. Bush has proven he has balls by basically forcing a war that 90% of the world’s population wouldn’t have even thought of before he mentioned it. If one Democrat can’t even have the balls to actually attack what is thought of as Bush’s strength (foreign policy) then Bush will win his first presidential election in ’04 just because he has balls. When it comes to politicians the American public is like Jeff Hardy in the Laker’s locker room. We love them balls. That’s why Clinton’s approval ratings stayed high after Monica. It wasn’t like the majority of Americans actually knew enough to think he was doing a good job and it certainly wasn’t a sympathy thing like some of the press tried to say. We approved of the balls it takes to flat out lie about his sexual relations knowing full well that someone is going to catch him. Hell that’s why Nixon died almost a beloved statesman. We love them balls. So if the Dems don’t grow some grapefruits and attack then Mick Foley has a better chance of winning the election than they do. Americans are like horny husbands who say they hate porn as they bury their stash deep in the closet. We say we want honest politicians and no negative campaigning but what we really vote for the guy that lies biggest, best, and most ruthlessly. And now I’m out of lame similes so I close with this. Tell the Dems to say Bush attacked Iraq just because he found out Bin Laden was doing Saddam in the butt behind his back and they refused to let him join in. That will win the election.

This is why you need someone like John Kerry as the opposition, someone who would say “Shit, I was over in ‘Nam while you were sitting on your ass in a National Guard unit.  What you did was try to prove you had balls instead of being a chicken-shit rich kid with a powerful daddy and a Senator for a grandfather.  And, of course, cover up for the mistakes your father made.”  However, despite America’s affection with testicles and what sexual partners can do with them, there’s one factor that’s more powerful:  America’s wallet.  We’ve already had one tax cut that did shit for the economy; now he’s proposing another one, ruining years of bipartisan work to balance the budget.  If the economy is still in the toidy by November of next year, he’s up shit creek.

That being said, Nixon was damn good at foreign policy, both in office and after he left in complete disgrace.  He opened up China, visited the Soviet Union (both shocking for one of the most rabid anti-Communists in Congress in his day), and told Kissinger to get some deal with Le Duc Tho ASAP that would leave the US with at least a modicum of honor.  He also provided a lot of good advice to his successors who tapped into his wisdom in that area.  So I won’t criticize him for that.  Everything else, though, is fair game.

Franko, the Random Aussie Bastard, brings up a certain Noo Yawk-based organization vis-a-vis the conflict:

I enjoy reading your thoughts on world happenings, and I would like to know your opinion of the UN right now seeing as any country with enough power (and enough nukes) can seemingly override the processes this body made to stop things like this happening after WW2. I seem to recall a similar organization just prior to the UN (see Nations, League of) that was in a similar situation the UN is in now. Do we just shut it down and save the taxpayers a truckload of dollars or do we indeed keep persisting with a system now that seemingly will keep the little guys in line but won’t have the gonads to stand up to the big 5 or 6 (I think you can work out who those are). What will now stop a conflict between two lesser countries that is started on half-truths and misinformation? They can now just point to the US and the UK and say well they did it too so why cant we? What comeback do ya have? Absolute bugger all. It would be a shame for an organization that went off well but in my eyes has disintegrated into a gravy train for life for some and one that has now kind of lost justification for others.

I brought up the League of Nations a few weeks ago in discussions about the UN.  What Dubbaya, and to a lesser extent, Blair have done is neuter it.  Some people would say that they were already neutered due to national agendas that turned the Blue Helmets into glorified traffic cops.  However, UN peacekeeping forces have done their job effectively in a number of areas under conflict; given a little more support, they could do a better job, but it’s the Might Makes Right people that are stopping that.

If you concentrate on the non-military aspects of the UN, though, there is a great record of success.  The entire world can agree on a lot of things, like trying to eliminate hunger and disease.  Maybe the solution to the neutering is to refocus the UN.  Concentrate on dealing with non-combat threats to the world (becoming more prevalent as the disparity between haves and have-nots is being focused on), and let them act as conflict mediators and eliminating post-war threats (imagine a UN effort in getting rid of minefields).  Maybe it’s the only way to save it.

And, finally, Steven Kowalczyk brings up a slight misunderstanding and a possible point:

So what is the hair up your ass with Meltzer and ratings? You are right that it takes ratings from an extended period of time to really judge anything, but wouldn’t the rating for a specific high-profile event also indicate something? Say an expected debut or conclusion to a long-running angle does a higher or lower rating than normal, wouldn’t that give at least some indication that it was of more or less interest to the audience?  Or demographic breakdowns skewing radically in one direction (Like the HHH-Steph-Angle love triangle making strides into the female audience)? Something like a Goldberg or Steiner debut would take weeks or months for the actual impact to be shown, but a major plot point or one-time event like a celebrity appearance could tell them something about where they are going or how their promotion methods are working…If for nothing else than comparing a string of ratings, a few tenths to a half a point swing might be worth noting. You know, you see a steady line and then a spike or a dip, you would want to know what happened there.

Sorry to cut out your great examples, Steven, but I wanted to get the crux of your argument in there.  Let me answer this point by point.

1) Given the pimping that WWE is putting on these “debuts”, the effect would take place on that particular night, and it wouldn’t take months to have an impact.  This phenomenon is what I call the Two-Week Bump:  ratings go up for a couple weeks after those debuts, then drop back down to what they were.  It happened with Steiner, it happened with You-Know-Who coming back, it happened with Austin coming back (both times).  The impact of a debut over time is negligible.  If you looked at a six-month ratings chart, it would look like an EKG of a patient in ICU.  Blip, down, blip, down, blip, down, etc.  Special events also don’t matter (you discuss stuff like the NCAA finals in the part I cut out).  In fact, there isn’t a significant ratings differential when one-time events happen.  Not even Monday Night Football digs into Raw’s ratings anymore.  If there is some kind of effect, it’s an extremum and can be cut out of the data analysis.

2) What we’re looking at here isn’t short-range effects, but long-range.  Does a debut or the introduction of a new angle increase an audience and keep them?  Blips don’t count.  Austin/McMahon drew in the casual audience and kept them for a long period of time.  Steiner’s debut sure as hell didn’t.  The Invasion angle, if done correctly, could have pulled some of the casual audience and a lot of the old WCW audience to the WWF, and kept them.  They botched their best chance for a long-term increase.  That’s what I was talking about with Meltzer’s hypothesis:  the core audience for a wrestling show is a 3.0 (back in the day, it was a 3.0 for Raw and an additional 3.0 for Nitro).  When you get close to that figure, it means you’re only appealing to the audience that would watch wrestling anyway.  When you go below that, as Nitro did toward the end, it means you’ve even alienated those people.

Now, let’s look at WWE right now.  Who can you credit for the 3.5s they’re pulling in with Raw?  Only a few people:  The Rock, Austin (when he’s around), and…uh, I can’t think of anyone else who’d put asses in seats (much as I would love to put Booker and Jericho in that category).  What happens when Mr. Johnson goes off to do his latest movie?  What if Austin’s put in a dead-end program?  You might lose what little casual audience you have.  Yet WWE hasn’t done a good job in building new stars that might reach that level (see the two people I listed above).  That’s why they’ve hauled in Goldberg:  it’s their last, best chance to attract a casual audience and some of those people who used to watch Nitro.

HBK826 amplifies this argument:

I think you’re missing the point.  The idea here is to draw older fans back when they hear of the returnees with matches that they had only been able to dream of in the past.  Of course with this Vince misses the point that former wrestling fans aren’t watching to see who debuts.

The only way to win fans (new or old) is good stories that create a buzz.

Damn skippy.  If you want to be Sports Entertainment, you have to provide the Entertainment part to attract and keep an audience.

3) I have no beef with Meltzer.  I agree with his hypothesis completely, and that’s what I based my argument on (it wasn’t very verbose because I’ve done way too much material on this crap in the past).  However, I disagree heavily with the concentration on present ratings as opposed to trends.  There are two people I blame for the “this week and last week” philosophy becoming established in the IWC.  Those people are Bob Ryder and Dave Scherer.  Look where Ashish gets his ratings info from:  1bullshit.  They’ve created this particular climate.

This stuff is going to be old news to the vets around here, but I think I should explain it to the noobs.  Bob Ryder’s involvement in WCW was very obvious; he hosted their pre-Nitro webcasts (and badly too, I might add).  Now he’s involved with TNA.  Both Ryder and Scherer were chest-deep in ECW; Scherer was business partners with Joey Styles and pals with a good portion of the locker room; Ryder owned the domain for their official website.  Both of them had what could mildly be described as a hostile attitude toward Vince McMahon.  About two and a half years ago, I was in an IM where Ryder was present.  We asked him a hypothetical question:  if Vince offered him a boatload of money, would he go to the WWF?  His answer was (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Under no circumstances would I work for Vince McMahon”.  Some vets may remember and noobs might have heard of Ryder’s famous “Raw Is Porn” column, yet there was no follow-up when Russo came to WCW.  Hmmmm.

What we have here are two people with an agenda when it comes to ratings.  Notice that whenever there’s a drop, even a .1 drop, the Cassandras come out and predict complete disaster.  However, when there’s a rise, one of two things happen:  it’s either rationalized away or it’s ignored.  Bob, Dave, and their drones over at 1bullshit are saying one thing on the surface, but are also using deep language at the same time.  To them, a ratings drop is a good thing, whereupon they lavish attention on that fact.  A ratings rise uses less detailed language.  Hence, they bring attention to the bad and try to establish apathy to the good.  Given 1bullshit’s prominent place in the scheme of things in the IWC, their message spreads very rapidly and effectively.  They’ve trained people successfully to ignore long-term trends in favor of the short term.

The Germans have a word for their attitude:  schadenfreude.  Taking joy in other people’s misery.  That’s what Bob and Dave are doing, and they’re slowly spreading that attitude to people who can pick up the in-depth language.

I hope that explains where I’m coming from on this.

Of course, he asks something non-wrestling:

PS: What is it with cops/firemen and those mustaches they all seem to grow? It’s not just a regional thing; I see them everywhere, from here in Syracuse to Boston and Buffalo, and every city on COPS has guys with them. Even the rent-a-cops at the hospital I worked in had them. Military guys gravitate that way as well, is that where you got yours?

I think it’s some kind of machismo thing with them.  Since I’m not a cop or fireman, I can’t tell you for sure.  As for me, I grew mine once I graduated from high school, so it was there a number of years before I went into the Army.

And that’s a good note to end this one off on, I think.  Tune in tomorrow for more of the same old crap.