Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 04.30.03

Ah, Spring in Chicago…sunshine followed by just enough precipitation to remind me about my knees.  Got my coffee cup in one hand and my cane in the other so I can get to the coffee.  What a drag it is getting old.

(Look, with the amount of pills I pop, I think that Mick and Keith would give me permission to quote “Mother’s Little Helper” without approbation any time I wish.  Even though I just gave them such in a rather indirect way.)

Let’s just get straight to it, shall we?

THE PIMP SECTION

It’s Grut Vs. Daniels time again, but I think my purpose in life is more than coming up with cute nicknames for wrestlers, Joshua.

I love the chance to pimp Gamble.  It’s pretty rare now, and I relish it.  LilDwayne also annoyed me with that, but I ended up getting better material for YAM, and I couldn’t reproduce the sick orange background that he used.  Kandrisian is definitely semi-regular to me, and ready to get elevated.

As for who would have been a better choice than Austin, my money would have been on Paul Heyman.  The thought of someone who would try to take revenge on a work-shoot level for all of the talent raids would have been smark heaven.

And here’s the final edition of Raul D. Dice for all of you.  Enjoy.

SMACKDOWN SOMEWHAT SPOILED

Hogan is, indeed, Mister America.  There’s no need to talk about anything else.  I went over this whole issue yesterday and don’t need to repeat myself.

OH, LOOK WHO’S SAYING THIS…

…the Rock grew frustrated with Goldberg’s lack of skills in the ring, reluctance to work on them or take any criticism. – the Torch and Observer via Widro

You know, at first I thought this was Grut or Ashley who planted this one.  Apparently, though, this is serious.  Mr. Johnson criticizing someone for lack of moves or taking any criticism…there is only so much one can shake his head before his eyeballs pop out of their sockets.  This is the same guy who’s used the same four moves in every match since 1999, only adding the World’s Shittiest Sharpshooter to his arsenal in that time.

You know, let’s analyze this a little.  I think it’s worth looking into.

There are two main-eventers who get criticized by the IWC on a regular basis for their lack of moveset:  Goldberg and Trip.  This criticism is valid.  If Goldberg can do anything other than the spear and jackhammer, we’ve yet to see it.  Trip seems to avoid any move requiring him not to use his knee.  Yet, somehow, The Rock seems to avoid said criticism for that deficiency.  Why is that?

First, let me state this.  At one time, Trip and The Rock were quality wrestlers.  They were technically sound, had good match flow, and a decent if not Benoit-esque arsenal.  They had potential to be considered second-echelon ring tacticians.  That potential disappeared the moment that Trip started banging his wife-to-be and The Rock discovered that he could cut promos and could use his charisma to excite the audience.  They found other ways to get over and/or maintain their power base, so they turned it down to One-Quarter Ass and locked it there.  Goldberg’s dial, of course, never went beyond One-Eighth Ass.  But one of these things is not like the other.  Let’s see the standard excuses used to ignore The Rock’s lack of moveset:

Great promoer:  Until his heel turn, he used the same damn promo, customized for his opponent, for three years.  If Gewirtz really did write all his promos…you know, I’ve always dreamed of getting paid to do nothing.  Brian Gewirtz, in this aspect, is my hero.

Willing to lay down for guys:  And bury them in the process.  Trip is blamed all the time for his backstage machinations.  If Raul D. Dice is right about Backlash, that’s four times that we know of that he’s changed the result of a main event or semi-main that he’s been involved in.  Again, the criticism is correct.  If Trip were a good company man instead of becoming the McMahon family remora, he’d lay down and put over guys.

However, getting guys over is not the same as laying down for them.  Mr. Johnson has a habit of making wrestlers look like goofballs during feuds through his promo abilities.  He destroyed a lot of Booker’s rep during their feud in that manner.  Ditto Jericho.  Both of these guys are easily in the top five of WWE’s best promoers, given the right material.  Yet their scripted promos were made to be inferior to the Artist Known At That Time As Flex.  They were destroyed even prior to any match result being decided.

Puts asses in seats:  I’ll give him that one.  Yet, due to his presence (and Austin’s), how many other people are given chances to see if they can do the same?  Admittedly, no other people can do it at that level, yet the Raw roster has a few candidates (namely the usual suspects:  see above) that, with a little care and attention by the “creative team”, could be brought to that level.  Now, with Mr. Johnson gone for a bit, Goldberg had a chance to prove that he could draw audiences to house shows and Raw broadcasts simply to see him.  Yet, here’s Austin back again.

Vince absolutely hates to take risks.  Attitude was sold to him by Russo and Shane using the “desperate times for desperate measures” reason.  But Russo’s gone and Shane’s out of the creative loop, preferring to stay in his niche.  There’s no one there to sell Vince on a change of focus, partially due to Steph and Trip’s influence and partially due to the fact that people know Vince’s attitude (I think that this is why Heyman was removed from the SD creative team; he wanted to institute a change and bring in some ECW-influenced booking).  So he’s going to milk every bit he can out of Austin and The Rock.

Familiarity breeds contempt:  Trip has been dead-assing it since his return from injury, and we all know why.  Goldberg used the monster act in WCW for so long that the creative team there couldn’t figure out a way to stop it without losing his heat.  They opted for Scott Hall and a taser and then couldn’t figure out a way to get his heat back to the level it was at.  The IWC is also down on Goldberg because he destroyed Bret Hart’s career.  But Mr. Johnson goes off to film a movie and is away long enough for the audience to accept his return doing the same old stuff.  This has partially worked for Austin as well, albeit through other, more asinine, circumstances.

There’s another side to this.  Trip has kept himself in the main event for so long that audiences are sick to death of him no matter what he might do to improve his heat.  Goldberg was kept in the same position for so long in WCW that he was losing his heat before the Scott Hall taser incident (I remember the “Getting Old-berg” signs that were showing up on Nitro).  But Mr. Johnson’s frequent departures have worked in his favor in this aspect.

Hence he builds immunity to criticism.

POINT PROVEN

This week, Raw did a 3.9 with a 5.8 share. Hour 1 did 3.7 and hour 2 did a 4.1. – from 1bullshit.  Verbatim and complete.

No commentary, no remarks, no anything, unlike when the ratings go down.  Anyone out there who still doesn’t believe that Bob and Dave are prejudiced against WWE, change your mindset, stat.

CassiusMaxim has a great comment that goes along with this:

Involving Bob Ryder and Dave Scherer’s anti-WWE attitude and how it affects the way they interpret the ratings: Given that at least someone (i.e.: you) knows about the reason for their patterns, and most likely quite a few other writers do, then why is there no concerted effort to retrain yourselves to ignore that philosophy? Or is such an effort already underway? It seems like 411 would be the perfect vehicle for such, since your site now has more readership than 1wrestling does. Not to mention that 411’s staff and Ryder/Scherer seem to have slightly less than cordial relationship, so why would 411 want to help put over a pet attitude of theirs?

At any rate, attitudes that hold a specific grudge against WWE like Ryder and Scherer have (as opposed to hating the product) are counterproductive at this point, because WCW ain’t coming back from the grave, and TNA will *never* be able to challenge WWE. It’s a one-promotion market in North America on the level that matters, and the death of WWE means the death of wrestling in North America for a long time, possibly forever. I’m fairly certain that everyone in the IWC can agree that would be a bad thing, no?


Well, there’s pretty much a blanket policy here at 411 not to go after writers at other sites, so we try to stay away from flame wars.  Notice that my comments yesterday took the form of an explanation rather than a flame.  A lot of the noobs don’t know about this, so I felt that an expanation was in order.  I didn’t go after them per se, but I did blame them for the mindset.  Their biases are very clear, and they’ve shown willingness to promote their own and denigrate WWE (witness Ryder’s “Raw Is Porn” column and Scherer’s blaming fans of ECW for a blown New Jack balcony-to-table spot that injured New Jack and Vic Grimes).  So, this is nothing that isn’t on public record.  I don’t think that 411 would descend into the policy of other sites to insult sites on purpose.  Except for Rick Scaia and OO, of course.

Speaking of mail…

MAILBAG!

Let’s start with Regular Andrew Ormberg, who’s never had the top spot.  Wonderful points all around, Andrew, but if I printed all of them, I’d never finish this one.  So I’ll isolate on a couple:

I don’t think Shill-Vone on Raw is the greatest idea, but it would be kinda fun to hear Tony for a short time, instead of Girls Gone Wild Star Coach WTF-Do-I-Have-A-Job-While-Kevin-Kelly-is-Unemployed.

What I was looking for with Fat Tony was forming the three-man booth (giving a tip of the cap to Nitro) and someone to counteract Lawler and cover for Ross’ premature senility.  He was a damn good announcer back in the day, and I still think he has a little left in him.  Plus, it’d give him a chance to recover his badly-damaged rep.

Speaking of Kane dressing as Nash, I actually think when Nash goes full Diesel they should have Kane turn on RVD and become Fake Diesel.  Admit he isn’t Taker’s brother and is actually Sean Nash, Kev’s bro. (The Sean is for Waltman, gotta have da Clique refs!).  Give them the tag belts- with Diesel Power x2 fueling the WWE business will BOOM bigger than ever!

You know, why the hell not?  It’s a stupid enough concept to be good-looking compared to some of the crap that’s been on Raw lately.

Actually, I was looking for Trip/Flair to win the tag belts on Raw in order to set up a reunion of the Michaels/Nash team to clash with them for that particular bit of gold, hence protecting Trip’s singles title until he can drop it to Goldberg at the appropriate time.

As far as La Resistance, I think they’ve got their French mixed up.  I know they had Les Nouvelles when Keith reminded me it should have been Les Nouveau (sp?).  I don’t know if Resistance is feminine or not.  Heard Rene is the bomb-diggity.

I have enough problems remembering which nouns in German are masculine, feminine, and neuter to remember the same about French.  I think that WWE would go with La Resistance no matter if Resistance is a feminine noun or not.  Americans would grasp “Les” as being pronounced “Lez”, which would give a really bizarre subtext to the team.

You want me to keep you grounded, eh?  That YAM wasn’t it’s usual goodness.  There just aren’t enough quality idiots these days.

I know.  People are afraid to write in these days with asinine comments.  I did have a candidate for today, but I didn’t feel it was worthy of inclusion in the Pantheon.  I pretty much did that one because it showed enough ignorance to be included.  Plus, I get very few moronic responses to Round Table entries.  In other words, I was half-assing it.

The Pride Of Dartmouth, Elliot Olshansky, must be quoted in full:

OK, so how is the Austin-Bischoff Facgime (thanks E&C) going to succeed where McMahon-Flair didn’t?  After all, it’s basically the same angle, except that Austin actually has a reason to hate Bischoff, as opposed to Flair being debuted to a huge pop and settling into a face role.

For starters, I don’t know that McMahon-Flair *failed*, per se. I liked a lot of it, until they hit the WM Austin-Hall snag in the whole nWo thing, which made the brand extension look dumb.

That said, this isn’t the kind of gold-mine money drawing angle that’s going to vault WWE back to its 2000-01 popularity.  I don’t see anything doing that for a while, unless Flex (and I mean FLEX, based on the babyface pops he was getting toward the end of his most recent stay) gets a HUGE fifteenth wind building off of Welcome to the Jungle or whatever his crappy new movie is called.  However, it is the kind of angle that can keep the core audience entertained, and won’t offend anyone, either from a decency standpoint or a quality standpoint.

OK, so we start by getting JR back…that’s a no-brainer.  But then what?  Do they revive the aborted Austin-Flair feud (and maybe Flair as Austin’s “assistant” in the process)?  Does Austin butt heads with Trip?  I’m guessing the Dudleys will be brought back in short order, as a point for some contention between Austin and Bischoff…but that’s more of a Morley thing.

So then we get Morley and Storm into this…will Austin have his own chief of staff?  Will Austin give Morley orders?  I don’t know.  What I’m more interested in seeing is how this affects the top of the card.  We can start with some interaction with Goldberg, since the WWE is DUMB if they don’t give us Goldberg-Austin at some point.  Not that it’ll be a great match (I watched Rock-Goldberg online, btw, and I remember Goldy doing all of four moves…I don’t remember the Rock’s move count, though) but it’s the kind of dream match that the Invasion was totally lacking, and if Goldberg doesn’t completely fizzle out a la Sump Pump, it could main event WM XX.  Austin either likes Goldberg or gets pissed off because of the similarities, and Goldberg insists that he’s not an Austin clone.  Go from there.

Trip is interesting, since Austin and Trip never had their blowoff from the feud they sowed the seeds for in 2001.  Unfortunately, that feud had Austin as the heel, and doesn’t particularly work with him as a face.  Of course, Austin probably won’t do anything meaningful with Trip, since Trip is too busy with his little Clique love-in to feud with anyone else.

Then there’s the upper midcarders like Hurricane, Goldust, Christian (who could be important as “The Rock’s favorite wrestler,” given where Austin and Rock were at WM), and Nowinski, none of whom have particular history with Austin, but have entertaining characters that Austin can probably play off of well.

And spekaing of Austin playing off of people, he and Bischoff need to get their timing down.  Bischoff trying to answer Austin’s question wasn’t conducive to the “What?” bit that was developing during that segment.

It’ll be very interesting to see where this goes next week, in my opinion.


Agreed.  They’ve booked themselves into a corner with Austin at this point with this co-GM thing.  Morley’s whole push was based on being Bisch’s hatchetman (and was working), and if Austin starts giving him orders, it’ll destroy that completely.  We’ve also seen the Austin/Bisch mini-feud, and it didn’t interest anyone, so how can they think they can try this on a larger scale and replicate Austin/McMahon?  The next two weeks will determine how this goes.  I’m not expecting much.

And I have to throw in a bit from The Priz! to complement that:

You know, the situation is so bad over on RAW that I hope they put Booker back with Goldust, keep RVD with Kane and Jericho with Christian until Trip tears his quad again, Nash hurts himself (again) and Austin and Rock both permanently retire. None of them are going to get any kind of lasting push as long as those four are still around.

And now it’s Smitty Time:

When Hillary starts lookin good, then I’ll give up the weed, and what the f*ck kinda name is klonopin for a drug? Sounds like a f*ckin kids show. (“Hi kids welcome to the Klonopin the clown show, I’m Klonopin the clown and today we’re gonna,,Oh why bother”)

Well, it’s something to copyright, just like what WWE does to unique wrestler names.  And if you have enough Klonopin in your system, you do start acting like a clown.  As for Hitlary, ditto with Klonopin for me.

I’m not going to comment about your bowel movements.  Andrew wants me not to use “butt plug” anymore, and this might just be worse.

While we’re on the subject of Klonopin, I’ll throw in this one from Justin Norris:

What does Klonopin do?  Sounds interesting, and if it’ll make me happy (or just feel happy), sans sexual side effects, I may give it a shot.

Klonopin is chemically related to Valium (kinda the next generation of Valium), except much more powerful.  It definitely has the mellowing effect of good ol’ Val, and tends to last longer.  Also, I haven’t screwed with the Ritalin family.  It doesn’t help my psychological condition.  Personally, I’d combine Concerta with an SSRI to get rid of the depression if there’s no side effects from combining them.  I’d recommend Lexapro due to its targeting effects and lack of side effects, especially on the sexual side (in other words, stay away from Paxil like the plague).  Check with your doctor.

Regular Heath Peek warms my heart:

Hey!  The UN has a great record of military success… At least from what I’ve seen on TV.  They’ve countered invasions from Cybermen, Daleks, Sontarans, and big blob things that looked like guys wrapped in colored saran-wrap.  Don’t forget all those great military victories, especially under the leadership of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, when considering the success of the UN.

Being a Doctor Who fan of almost a quarter-century’s standing, I am really sick and tired of trying to figure out changes in continuity as per UNIT’s exact time period.  However, I must say this:  Brigadier Bandera is one hot piece of ass, and I’d definitely consider fraternizing with officers in her case.

And here’s a good one from Heath as well:

Or… here’s an argument I’ve used to shut up several pro-war people recently: 

Suppose Putin decided he didn’t like that Bush was taking away American’s freedoms by pushing the “Patriot Act”.  Also, America makes no secret of the fact that we have TONS of WMD.  So, Putin decides to round up the Soviet Army, invade the US, overthrow Bush and “force” a new “democratic” election to choose a new leader.  Would that be ‘the right thing to do?’  Would you support that?


Well, it’s the Russian Army now, but no matter.  I don’t see Putin trying it, but if Yeltsin was still around and on a major bender, I think he’d try it.  There would be an advantage:  the Russian Army troops could give frats everywhere lessons in hazing.

Regular Ian Wright continues the Great Mustache Controversy:

So if Stacy said she hated moustaches would you then shave off the clit-tickler?

No, because I’ve had it for just about as much time as she’s been alive.  Plus, she’ll get to like it.

On a similar (slightly) topic is there any chance that by election time next year the phrase “trim the bush” might take off.

I’m hoping so, because it might just open up pussy jokes in regard to him.

I’m going to break format again and include Rob Brown’s comments about said facial hair here:

Well, I was reading your latest column on 411 and noticed the mustache comment towards the end.  Being a USAF veteran (1996-2000), I remember there was a regulation for how much facial hair you could have while on duty. It pretty much stated that you could just have a mustache if you wanted and that it couldn’t extend past the corners of your mouth, meaning it could only be about as wide as your lips, and that it couldn’t really hang down OVER your lips. I hope that this makes sense and that it explains the nature of the military-style mustache.

Absolutely correct.  The Army has the same regs, and thanks to mind control, that’s how I wear my mustache today.  Since you had to shave every day, it didn’t take too much time to trim your ‘stache while you were performing your morning toilette in that regard.

And let’s let Max Katz get in on this one viz. cops:

Moustaches on cops is actually deep rooted in tradition. You see, back in the day there were no female cops. The lack of female cops created a problem when the police forces needed bait for sting operations on rapists. So many a boy in blue had to resort to drag. They started growing the moustaches as a way to prevent being assigned this humiliation.

I paraphrased this from one of theose Cecil Adams books.


Being a longtime peruser of the Chicago Reader, I knew about Cece before he went syndie or on the web, so I trust him on this issue.

But Paul Murray gives a more practical explanation:

The cop facial hair thing is a matter of projecting intimidation and control.  Cops must seem intimidating to appear in control. Now many cops are 18-22 when they start out in the force and still look like teenyboppers. Thus they start the habit of growing facial hair to look a little older and the habit stays with them. Plus some of it is a peer pressure thing. Everyone else on the force has hair on their face. It is also why a lot of cops end of driving Jeeps or SUVs even though they were hot rod men before they joined the force.

I can accept that as well.

Semi-regular HBK826 scares the crap out of me:

I just had a HORRIBLE thought.  Who would be the logical person to come on to partner with Scott against La Resistance? Hint: They have the last name.  Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you need more drugs.

Please, don’t say that.  Please, don’t even think that.  I’d hate to see La Resistance being managed by Chucky.

And just a bit of trivia:  Regular Zach Singer, The Only Man More Liberal Than I Am, has the same birthday as Michael Moore.  Destiny strikes.

A lot of people liked me writing about the Bears’ draft.  Here’s some selections:

I think the Bears did well at QB.  Unlike most Gator QBs, Grossman does have a strong arm and the Bears QB coach knows him from trying to recruit him out of high school.  The safety in the 2nd round was a good choice because Mike Green didn’t play well last year at all, making me long for Tony Parish.  I think it was a pretty good draft, considering how it could have gone.  I don’t agree with your opinion on D. Terrell (at least not yet).  He was making strides and playing better than Dez before he got hurt and Merritt has stone hands.  All I can say is that I hope nothing happens to Booker. – Ramon Carcases

One thing that I don’t like is “system” quarterbacks.  Once out of that particular system, they seem to fall apart.  That’s why I’m down on Grossman.  He needs a lot of care and feeding, and I sure as hell don’t trust Kordell.  As for Mike Green, due to exigencies, he was forced into that starting role.  At first, he was their dime guy, then the nickel man, then the starter.  He’ll learn, especially if R-Dub helps him.  And I just can’t get over Terrell dropping those two sure touchdowns in that one game.

I think the Bears had a pretty good draft. Some people will argue that the Bears could’ve had Suggs or Leftwich instead, but you don’t get the 2 players they needed (a young QB & DE) in the first round. To be honest the Bears ran the risk of trading with Baltimore and not getting Suggs at the 10th pick. Grossman and Haynes will be help the Bears build a bright future. – JaGre2001

Again, I agree with Haynes, but Grossman just gives me the willies.  The Bears have had too many first-round busts lately to give me confidence.

While I’m not a Bears fan, I have to admit I have my doubts about Rex Grossman too… It seemed to me like Leftwich and Boller were light-years ahead of him and Da Bears were in a position to take either of them… – Nick Thibault, who’s ready to move up to semi-regular status.

Personally, I was rooting for Leftwich.  He could have altered John Shoop’s offensive philosophy to go more pass-oriented to take pressure off of Anthony Thomas and Adrian Peterson.

Grossman is a great pick, because he’s the anti-Spurrier QB. He played reckless and took chances. Did he f*ck up? Sure, quite a bit, but he also made plays, and I don’t mean the typical
UF “7 yard slant turned into a 57 yard TD” kind of play. The Bears need someone like that (although Kordell will f*ck up plenty, without taking any chances). Don’t give up on David Terrell yet. As a huge Michigan fan, I’m obviously biased a bit here, but he was starting to look good before the injury last season.
– Jeff Proctor

Well, as I said, I’m still scared of Grossman, unless he learns a lot from Chandler while he’s warming the bench waiting for Kordell to be Kordell.  As for Terrell…let’s be honest, when Michigan plays ND every year, I’m rooting for Touchdown Jesus’ boys.

Speaking of Terrell, Terrell1718 goes for redundancy:

Hey just a couple of things here. I am not saying that you’re right or wrong, but I want to point out something. If “kliq” was a way for Hall to shout-out to Shawn on the other side, why did he have the word “kliq” spelled that way on his tights during his match with the Rock on Smackdown last year? Just pondering.

Because wrestlers usually wear the same outfits in order to give a consistent identity to them.  For some wrestlers, outfits or parts of outfits have become totemic, like Ric Flair’s robe or anything Foley ever wore.  Audiences get used to them wearing the same outfits or variations thereof (viz. Austin’s theme, only changing his T-shirt to pimp his new line).  Also, there’s a practical reason:  wrestling tights cost money, so why not reuse them if possible?  There’s wrestlers other than Hall who have done that, with some bizarre results.  Witness Bradshaw and Simmons, who still have the Undertaker sigils on their tights when they aren’t injured.

And as for the protesters being given something else to complain about during the Stratus/Bischoff match, I do not see how. Bischoff never actually laid a hand on Trish, it was Vitoria and Jazz, two women. He only pinned her.

PhenomPS rings in:

Good use of the Star Trek quote, however, if RAW was full of Shane Helms, then maybe I would actually be interested in watching it regularly again.  I’m personally glad to see Jeff Hardy go; he hasn’t been interested in the business or interesting to really watch in a long time.

Thanks on the Trek stuff.  I’ve been wanting to use that one for a long time.  As for Helms, it’s a matter of taste.  I haven’t liked him since the WCW days, when he was being used to try to attract a younger demographic.  I’m too damn old to fall for that.

peopleschamp pisses me off with the handle:

hi is it true that sting will sign with wwe in june. also how true is it that the ultimate warrior might return to the wwe. and what about bret hart is it a all possiable for him to return to the wwe.

In answer to your questions:  Who cares?  Who cares?  Who cares?

And that’s a great way to end this.  See you next week.