Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 05.06.03


You know, the introductory section usually hits me pretty early on and I can go with a good flow through the article.  It’s now twenty minutes before Raw, and I’m writing this.  In fact, I finished the entire column except for the Short Form before writing the intro.  As you read through, you’ll understand why.  There was a lot I had to get off my chest in this one, and, believe it or not, everything in this column deals with wrestling, so no Dubbaya material (however, I do not guarantee such absences in future columns).

I realize that I’ve just written a meta-introduction:  an introduction about introductions.  I never thought I’d have to stoop that low for material before.  Let’s just get on with it before I start writing an introduction about this paragraph…


Better get this at the top again…

Deonandan makes me confess that I’m not sure what all that radiation I absorbed in my nuclear physics classes did to my genitalia.

Here’s a proper link for NoSoul, and let’s hope he forgets that I once referred to him as the Last Czarina Of Russia.

Nason, I said take a day off once in a while.  You’re going to destroy yourself keeping up with all those indies.


Now for the serious part.

I know, you’re probably tired of everyone on the site writing something about Miss Elizabeth.  However, since this happened after my watch, I think it’d be appropriate to get my two cents in on this.

Now, I could go along with the flow and tell everyone how hot she was in the day, which she undoubtedly was.  I could also mention that she paved the way for the Superstar Woman Valet.  Miss Elizabeth wasn’t the first female valet, but no one before her combined looks and continuous top-card exposure, including being a key element in important feuds.  So there’s no denying her importance to the industry.

I’d like to talk about something different.

Elizabeth Hulette, dead at 42.

Richard Rood, dead at 40.

David Smith, dead at 39.

Brian Pillman, dead at 35.

All of them my age, plus or minus a few years.

This hits pretty close to home with me.  I’m going to apologize in advance for the extended rant I’m going to go on right now, but I’m pissed off about this whole situation.

I can rationalize all of this by saying that I’m not living the lifestyle of a wrestler.  I’m not banging myself up a number of times a week (even if you know how to fall, you still get hurt; trust me on that one).  I’m not traveling from city to city, staying in hotels half the year.  I’m not separated from friends and family where my only contact with them is via long-distance or e-mail.  I’m not going around to do my job and missing my children grow up.  I don’t have to deal with the fact that the only time off I’m going to get is when I get hurt.  I don’t need diversions from thinking about those facts.  There’s lots of psychological baggage involved there.  Now, add the physical pain on top of that, and you have a situation that can be intolerable.

In those cases, you may feel the need to turn to something immediate and obliterating if the pain’s too great.  Maybe the pain is still there after what you’ve taken has worn off, and you need some more.  You leave yourself open to dependence in order to function.  Witness Brett Favre and his painkiller addiction a few years ago.  Look at boozers like Scott Hall and Steve Regal (and you can add Steve Austin to that list).  Look at the guys who need to go through rehab like Eddy Guerrero.  Look at Marty Jannetty, the man who set the standard for wrestlers doing tootski.  And, please, if you can take it, look at Jake Roberts, Mister Cross-Addiction 101.

I avoided this.  Is this part and parcel of wrestling?

I’ve only been on two addictive drugs in my time:  hydroconone (trade name:  Vicodin) and clonazepam (trade name:  Klonopin).  The latter, of course, I’m on now.  I have to be extremely careful about how many I take and how often I take them.  Wrestlers generally aren’t when it comes to those substances, whether out of apathy or ignorance (witness no one in the locker room giving a damn about anabolic steroids, despite all of the literature detailing the harm they can do).  Daniels says that I have a veritable pharmacy, and they’re all legal.  Vicodin is legal if prescribed by a doctor (and I would have killed for some over the weekend when my knee was killing me).  So is Klonopin.  So are codeine and other analgesic opiates.  The five different medications I have that say “May cause drowsiness or dizziness; do not operate heavy machinery” are all legal.  And they’re all designed to blank out my physical and psychological pain.  So why the hell aren’t wrestlers turning to their doctors for advice on what to take?

Going to a doctor or a shrink, though, is a sign of weakness unless you absolutely have to, in the minds of some.  It’s not “masculine” for a wrestler to admit weakness.  You’ll get razzed in the locker room.  Your employer may think less of you.  That is, unless you go to the fed’s resident Doctor Nick, who’ll hook you up with what you need to perform.  He’ll give you the high-strength painkillers you need to get you through a match.  He’ll give you that cortisone shot to take down the inflammation in that joint so you can walk to the ring.  What he won’t do is tell you that the painkillers are addictive or that if you have too many cortisone shots, the muscles you’re putting it into will turn into hamburger.  He’ll turn his head if you’re in the locker room shooting Dianabol up your ass in order to look physically impressive.  Doesn’t this seem like a violation of the principle of “Do No Harm”?  Even if your doctor turns away from this, shouldn’t it make sense for you, the wrestler, to realize what you’re doing to your own body?

Drug tests, at least in WWE, are a joke.  They’re a smokescreen Vince used to get the feds off his back after the steroid trial in order for there not to be a repeat.  Their only use is as an excuse for what might be a decision that could alienate part of an audience.  What do you think the public would accept more:  “We fired Jeff Hardy because he was a danger to himself and his opponents” or “We fired Jeff Hardy because he blew two drug tests”?  Mind you, they never specified the drug in question, but “drug tests” is enough to raise the red flag.  “WWE was protecting itself from an irresponsible employee, and their testing program is effective.”  My ass.  I’d love to see the results of Van Dam’s piss tests for THC levels.  No matter how much I’d like to see the situation changed, pot is still illegal in this country.  Drug tests are a wink and a nod unless they want to get rid of you or your situation becomes so decrepit that rehab’s the only option.

This situation may be what changes that.  If Miss Elizabeth’s death is due to an accidental overdose, wrestling has to look at its situation very carefully.  A wrestler is one thing, a valet is another.  This is the “gone too far” step.  If she ODed on purpose and committed suicide, the obvious reason is that Luger was beating her on a regular basis courtesy of ‘roid rage (and only got caught once), and that she couldn’t take it anymore.  In that case, wrestling again has to look at itself and think about the effects of anabolics.  Abuse on the part of one misguided wrestler would have caused the death of one of the most popular women in the history of wrestling.  The question is, would they have a good look at themselves, or will it just be business as usual?

Wrestling doesn’t have to change, but the wrestling lifestyle does have to, and quickly.

Thus closeth the rant.


From 1bullshit through Ashish:

WWE is working on “slowing down” their in-ring style to help cut down on injuries. Agents have been working closely with talent on changing their styles to a slower one.

Yeah, because we all know how much it takes to keep up with the action in one of those Albert/Undertaker matches.

Vince McMahon even spoke to much of the roster at Backlash regarding the changes in style. WWE is hoping to deliver a style that isn’t as risky and dependent on big bumps and “spots.” Instead, they want to carefully book the matches to tell a story.

And exactly how many people on the roster have any clue about things like match flow and psychology?  How the hell are they going to do this?  Chris Benoit and Ric Flair teaching classes backstage?  Kurt Angle informing people that doing a resthold in the first two minutes of the match is bad form (hello, Mister Steiner)?  Perform DNA tests to see if anyone on the roster shares certain genes with Jeff Hardy?*

All I know is this:  if they go through with this, Rob Van Dam is seriously f*cked.

* – Except for Matt, of course.


Get this guy.  He calls himself A. P., the chickenshit, and I have no idea where to even start with him:

Who do you think you are? Just because Triple H is getting married to the”Bosses daughter” you think you can hung shit on him. What are you jealous because you can’t get the bosses daughter into bed.

Hold it.  Aren’t I the designated person at 411 who’s on Steph’s ass all the time?  I say very little about Trip compared to a lot of other writers here.  Frankly, I don’t give a damn if Steph is f*cking Funny Cide.  But, if she booked him to win the Kentucky Derby on Sunday, then I’d have a problem with that.

(Okay, I know Funny Cide is a gelding, which prevents him from performing that activity with the Bitch of the Baskervilles.  But for the sake of example and for the purpose of me being au courant, let’s ignore that fact.)

Let me explain some of the business to you.  There’s an old KGB motto that applies to this.  It translates as “sniff out, suck up, survive”.  That’s what Trip’s done, and done very well.  Let’s go step by step:

Sniff Out:  Trip knows that you have to make your own opportunities.  He figured that out in 1996 when he became the fall guy for the MSG Incident.  He had his first substantial push taken away from him when his punishment cost him King of the Ring.  He then saw what Austin did with the opportunity that he had taken away from him.  Remember, KotR 1996 was the night Austin 3:16 was introduced.  If given the chance to get a push, increase your audience visibility and try to fill a void.  So that’s what he did.  When DX came around, he was ready.  And he’s had a push ever since.

Suck Up:  Trip figured out that the way into Vince’s heart was to be loyal to the company and not to bitch so much.  This is how the Undertaker and Bret Hart succeeded.  So what did he do after his post-MSG depush?  He shut up and stayed with the WWF instead of calling up his pal Nash and asking him to put in a good word with Bischoff so that he could go back to WCW with something a little bit more than a possibility of tagging with Regal.

It also helped that he had another person he sucked up to:  Shawn Michaels.  By getting into the Clique, he had a direct line into the power center of the WWF.  Michaels knew that Trip took a bullet for him vis-a-vis MSG, so Michaels owed him one.  DX was the payoff.  Trip had a Friend backstage who could help him the moment there was daylight, a very powerful Friend indeed.

Survive:  His loyalty to Vince carried him through the post-DX days and into the partnership with Stephanie.  Of course, no one knew at the time that all that time together doing that angle would cause romantic attachments to form (shades of Chris Benoit and Nancy Sullivan).  Then, another piece of luck struck:  in November 2001, Steph was given the book.

The book is the wrestling equivalent of Tolkein’s ring:  you will succumb to its power and proceed to abuse it.  Abuse can take many forms:  promoting your friends and punishing your enemies, pushing untalented family members, and acting like a stupid idiot are the most common.  We’ve seen the first happen with Dusty Rhodes, the second with Bill Watts.  There’s a race to see who’s the most stupid booker in the history of wrestling.  For years, Ole Anderson wore that crown of thorns.  Now, Steph has beaten him for that title by light years.  Only a complete bozo could have f*cked up the Invasion, yet she managed to do it.

Unfortunately, her ass can’t be canned because she possesses half of Vince’s genome.  So, we have a person holding the book who can’t be fired sleeping with a top-carder whom Vince trusts due to loyalty and an extended period of drawing power.  But, and there’s always a but, he has also succumbed to the power of the book.  He has nearly full control over his future (subject to Vince’s approval, but since Vince thinks he’s the cat’s ass…), as long as he does the occasional suck-up.  This explains the Katie Vick angle, which was Vince’s brainfart.  He sits in on creative meetings and suggests ideas, which Steph proceeds to implement no matter how stupid they seem.  Worst of all, he’s using the power he has to self-promote.  He has changed the endings to four main or semi-main PPV matches in order to make him look good (and those are the four that we know of).

It’s a lot more than getting Vince’s daughter in bed, moron.  It’s the abuse of power that comes with it.  That’s why we’re on Trip’s ass, and I’m on Steph’s, because she’s booking by estrogen, not using her brain.
I think this will be a good match Triple H v Eric Szulczewski So get off your ass and show us what you can do.

He can bring in his sledgehammer, I can bring in my .357.  Guess who wins that one?

You say the fan are sick of him well I am not and I know a lot of people that watch raw and main events just to see Triple H.

Well, good for you, oogums.  You and the pixies who live in your head enjoy watching him.  The rest of us, we’re sick of him hogging the spotlight.  The sound of crickets accompanies him to the ring, yet you don’t seem to hear them.  Selective listening is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?  Get out of your delusionary state and join us here in the real world.  It’s a blast.

And what about the Rock yes he is a star now but he was always a star.”jealous.”

You know, so many people have used the word “jealousy” in connection with myself and Mr. Johnson that it’s incredibly old.  Are you trying to be witty and think that you’ve come up with a new insult?  You didn’t even do it well, jagoff.  No creativity; that’s what puts you in YAM territory.

Oh, yeah, “always a star”?  Obviously, you weren’t watching during the Blue Chipper Rocky Maivia Era.

(Now, as per the statement, as I’ve said many times, I just don’t like him.  I’m bored with him.  Face or heel.  Period.)

And you want to start on Austin in his word “WHAT WHAT”

I’ve been on Austin’s case since “What?” became a catchphrase.  He’s a thirty-eight-year-old cripple with no reason to be in the ring, playing off the same tired tricks he was doing five years ago.  Remember, he walked out twice in the last year, TWICE, because he got pissy about his booking, beat his wife in the interim, and Vince allowed him back due to desperation on WWE’s part.  I think everybody here would love to tell his or her boss to f*ck off when given an assignment that you don’t want to do, beat your significant other, then come back three months later and take up right where you left off.  Let me suggest that you try it.  That’s something that I’d like to see, just like you want to see me in the ring with Trip.

So f*ck off, troll.

And speaking of f*cking off…


Match Results:

Jerry Lawler over Sean Morley, JR’s Public Demonstrations Of Senility On The Line (Pinfall, second-rope knee and fist drop):  Who cares about the match?  Austin Stunnered Coachman afterward.  That puts the whole sequence at five snowflakes in my book…no, I’ll give it four and a half.  Austin didn’t slit Coachman’s vocal cords.

Rob Van Dam and Kane over Test and Big Sump Pump, Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Kane pins Test, Van Dam Five-Star Frog Splash):  Put yourself in the places of Rob Van Dam and Kane.  Six months ago, you were battling for a world title.  Now, you’re holding the meaningless tag belts, stuck after an angle-related match featuring Jerry Lawler, in the middle of the first hour of Raw, and have to further an angle featuring Test and Big Sump Pump.  Suicide is an option in this case.

Booker T over Lance Storm (Pinfall, scissors kick):  Look, it was great seeing Lance express some emotion for once and really work on a match despite the fact that he knew that, yet again, he was going to job.  Then Ross and Lawler have to ruin it all by saying he was sucking up to the home crowd in order to maintain his “heelness”.  And you wonder why people want to beat them with baseball bats.

Sylvain Grenier and Rene Dupree over Spike Dudley and Tommy Dreamer (Pinfall, Grenier pins Dudley, flapjack):  Okay, Dupree’s the one with the man-titties, right?  So it was Grenier who got the pin, because the one with the man-titties didn’t.  Unless Grenier has the man-titties.  I’m confused.  All I know is, I think I’m going to like La Resistance if they stay away from the Rougeauisms and if they stay away from Test and Big Sump Pump.  Of course, Slick Rick has one suggestion that might help:  If they’re going to do the Rougeau angle, they should at least try to LOOK menacing.  So no more berets, guys, please.

(Nice to see Tommy Dreamer, though)

Jazz over Trish Stratus, Women’s Title Match (Pinfall, Greco-Roman Belt Shot):  As total apathy reigns supreme yet again.  If Lawler hadn’t pointed out the lack of White Boy Challenge this week, I would have made a remark in this space.  In a perverse sort of way, I kinda like White Boy Challenge.  Gives me some good material to work with.

Bill Goldberg over…I have no clue (Pinfall on Rico, I think):  Confuse the audience for the sheer sake of setting up a steel cage match between Goldberg and Christian next week.  Does the word “sadism” mean anything to anyone at WWE?

Angle Developments:

Battle Minor Royal:  So, it’s a free-for-all for the new and improved IC belt with only former IC champs on Raw involved.  Hmmmm, who’s not occupied that’s a former IC belt holder?  There are a lot of guys back there who are IC belt holders who haven’t been announced for jack shit for Judgment Day.  Michaels…Jericho…Kane (assuming he and Van Dam drop the tag straps before that)…oh, shit, Morley.  Well, we can kinda figure out how this one’s gonna go in order to further this storyline, huh?  Especially if Morley turns face as has been prepped due to his firing.

Province Of Confusion:  Fifteen-plus minutes.  Trip going .9 Muta.  Nash selling Trip’s stuff.  Good hardcore material.  And this is a promo?  They shot the wad for Judgment Day, since the imbecilic world title match will definitely not be as halfway decent as this.

Waste Of Good Brew:  And the point of the beer bust was?  That the beer being served was kosher?  I have no idea.  In fact, I fell asleep during the middle of it.  So, all in all, it’s a non-event and therefore has zero relevance to anything.  Fortunately, Slick Rick brought me up to speed on what I missed:  Goldberg is actually slamming those Molsons. More of the beer is going down his gullet than down his chest. No one since Sandman has been able to say that, including Austin.

And the Ravin’ Cajun has a decent comment on the whole situation:

Seeing Austin and Goldberg in the ring together, drinking a beer, standing on the ringposts, that was just damned surreal. Why, that sounds almost as unrealistic as the Rock and Hulk Hogan in a ri- wait. No, more like Vince McMahon owning WC- damn. Oh, I know! It’s like Vince McMahon Hiring Eric Bisch- Fuck!

Or maybe, it was just another example of WWE blowing the wad too early to get some ratings.

Oh, so true.

I’ll be back tomorrow for more fun and games.  Mailbag, definite.  Hopefully I’ll get another good YAM letter, since this one was pretty fun.  And, of course, whatever else I think of.  Until then, the label is the law.