Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 06.04.03


…a mutual masturbation society with a bunch of leftover hippies baking and walking around with an elephant trail of male genitallia and the taxpayers subsidize it. – my fascist bud John King on the subject of National Public Radio

Agreed.  NPR is one of those things, like Ted Kennedy, that makes me ashamed of being a liberal.

BTW:  John, have you ever had a look at shoppers in a Wal-Mart on a rainy Saturday afternoon?  If that’s where Bill O’Reilly sells his books, then one good judicious use of explosives eliminates two major problems:  the books, and those people actually breeding another generation of beings like themselves.

And it’s obviously a cheery Wednesday here at 411 when I start off with a line about committing genocide in Wal-Mart.  But where better to commit genocide?  Just consider it another Roll-Back and put a stupid f*cking animated smiley-face next to the corpses…

…dear God, the cynicism’s running rampant around here.  Let’s see what I can find to talk about other than to be even more cynical regarding a certain local minor-league baseball team and its bush-league mega-star.  Cork, indeed…


What happens when you dare go beyond Ted Williams Popsicles…

Regular HBK826 decides to get into the Abuse The Insta-News People game:

Please beat Ashish within an inch of his life.  In the news section, under a heading of “News on Who the Special Bad Blood Ref Will Be” the following is written:

“Steve Austin announced on RAW that he would be bringing in a special ref for the Triple H/Kevin Nash Hell in the Cell match at Bad Blood. Right now, there is a chance that the ref will be Mick Foley. Foley has a new book coming out soon and would likely want to get some exposure for it on WWE TV.

Of course, it is not known for sure that Foley will in fact be the ref.”

This isn’t even reporting a rumor let alone news on who the ref will be.  I mean, honestly, is this kind of thing necessary?  All its saying is Foley might come back because he has a book to shill, but you know, he might not because there is no report that the WWE is talking to him and no rumor that he even wants to come back to shill the damn book.  This was credited PWTorch.com, proof, yet again, that not only should everything not be cut and pasted, but also that someone should anally rape Ashish.

Aaron, I’ve gone on and on about this.  I admire the fact that WidShish and Hewitt keep this site updated a number of times a day with News McNuggets, but they have got to develop mental filters about what to put in the Insta-News section.  I really don’t think 411’s going to fall apart if we don’t reprint everything that the Big Three shove on to their main pages, and I don’t think the world will end if those cut-and-pastes are edited to remove opinion, judgment, and irrational bullshit.

I want to summarize my feeling about the whole situation, since I think that Hewitt is under the impression that I don’t like him (not true):  I want 411 to look good and professional.  The way the cut-and-pastes are done does not make us look good and professional.  So let’s keep doing them, but change our methodology to eliminate verbatim C&Ps and include our own opinions in them if necessary.  That way, I don’t have to stock up on Ass Cream ™.

Memo to Gamble:  Nice idea, but it isn’t time problems preventing me from performing said road trip, it’s money problems.

Murphy over in the Music section says he talked about the FCC stuff last week.  I believe him.  Look, except for Biscuiti, I don’t read anything in the music section.  Jesus, look at these artists:  Callenish Circle, Chinchilla, the Blakes…I don’t know who any of these people are.  Furthermore, I don’t care who any of these people are.  I’m old.  I’m not on the cutting edge anymore.  If a good pop tune by a modern artist comes out of the radio while I’m driving, I’ll listen, but the last time that happened was Train’s “Drops Of Jupiter”.  I’m leaving music to the young guys, and the section’s theirs.  More power to you for talking about the FCC, Ryan.

However, that being said, Murphy…you’re trolling in my waters this week, kid.  I’ll take your premise as given, but you forgot to go one more step down the chain of causality:  the person directly responsible for that mess was Mick Jones (listen to anything by Big Audio Dynamite and you’ll know instantly), they hated the cliched clothing look that eventually emerged (the Bernie Rhodes influence), and the disease was there from the beginning (“1-2-Crush On You” and the pre-recording Jackson Pollock paint-splatter look, anyone?).

One more thing:  “Iris” is one of the rare songs from the Nineties by a Nineties artist that I liked, Murphy, so watch it.  By the way, have you ever tried singing the lyrics of “Piano Man” to the tune of “Iris”?  Pretty good fit and some great subtext.

BFM brought the Geek Test to me.  I only scored 53.0572% (it’s that kind of test).  I feel ashamed.


After debating about it, I decided to leave the whole Peter Deeter situation in the capable hands of Jay Bower.  Deeter’s a complete mental case who needs to have that Anthony Robbins book he brags about forcibly taken from him and burned before his eyes.  I got stuck on this cocksucker’s mailing list and read his latest screed and…oh, my God.  This is either a demonstration of total insanity or an incredible pastiche of someone with total insanity.  I can’t do it justice, period.

But if it is real, I’m sure that I can find a way to kneecap him, and then remove his eyes and fingers so he won’t be able to type bullshit like that again.  And I’d do it.  You’ve been warned, Deeter.


So Goldberg’s not making the trip to England, huh?  Normally, this might be seen as a good thing by Brit wrestling fans.  However, his slot in the main event of Insurrexion will be taken by Scott Steiner.  It’s statements like these that make me realize why Dante gave his image of Hell specific levels.  There are degrees of evil, reaching down into an abyss.  The problem is that a Thirteenth-Century mind could not conceive of something as depraved as this.  There is no Tenth Circle that this whole situation can be placed in, and there’s no way we can pull Aligheri out of his grave for a quick script polish.  Therefore, we can only rely on the vocabulary and imagery we have available to us to describe what this is like.  Frankly, I don’t think I’m up to the challenge.

Memo to Brit wrestling fans:  if it means anything, I’d like to apologize on behalf of Americans for 1) the possibility that Goldberg was actually going to go there to wrestle and 2) the fact that he’s being replaced by Big Sump Pump.  I know, it’s not enough, but it’s all I can give you.


From the Torch via Ashish:

The finish to the HBK/Kevin Nash/Hurricane vs. Triple H/Ric Flair/Randy Orton match on RAW did not go as planned.

Well, duh.

The match was supposed to end with the Hurricane getting the pinfall victory. However, ref Earl Hebner forgot what the finish was set to be and instead of counting 1-2-3 for the Hurricane’s cover, he made it a two count. Realizing he made an error, he then just called the match off.

WWE officials were disappointed at the error, but aren’t mad at Hebner.

That’s because they got very, very lucky.  This boner plays right into the mini-ref-strike over HitC.  Hebner’s lassitude can be kayfabed as being a statement about the refs’ general dissatisfaction with being around Trip and Nash.  That is, if they have brains enough to take advantage of it.  Let’s see what happens next week.  Something as obvious as this begs for an explanation.  If they blow it off, then the creative problems are continuing.


From the Observer via Widro:

With Kurt Angle very likely to return as a face, there are a lot of talks about how WWE will book the top card of Smackdown for the rest of 2003.

Recent reports have that Angle and Lesnar will form an on-air alliance. Chris Benoit and Rhyno would be turned heel, possibly with the backing of Team Angle and/or Paul Heyman, and feud with the super-team of Angle and Lesnar.

Then, closer to Wrestlemania XX, the pair would split and begin a build towards a World title rematch for the big show.

If this was thrown out on some whiteboard somewhere, it’d be rightly ignored as yet another wishful-thinking fantasy booking turd.  In point of fact, that’s exactly what it is:  a wishful-thinking fantasy booking turd, planted by WWE and delivered into Da Meltz’ sweaty little palms.

I’m sorry, folks.  I’d love to see this happen.  But it’s just too good to be true.  Our Lord and Savior and Rhyno getting the pushes they deserve?  Heyman being a facilitator?  Angle and Lesnar forming Mega-Powers ’03?  I’d expect a twelve-year-old to come up with this.  It’s also too good of an idea to have come from the WWE “creative team”, unless Heyman’s back in the Bitch of the Baskervilles’ good graces.  I don’t see it happening.  No way, no how.

Okay, though, let’s say it did.  Are you confident in the “creative team”‘s ability to pull this off without wrecking Rhyno, doing serious damage to Benoit, destroying what’s left of Lesnar, and putting Angle in a hole that even he will have a hard time digging out of?  If you are, you’ve been hiding inside a large cavern for the last two years.

Please, don’t wish for this to happen.  I’d rather see this angle remain as unrealized potential than to see it go on, bomb, and put all four of these guys and Smackdown itself in a hole.

And speaking of Smackdown, let’s see what’s on tap for this week…


Okay, in case you’re wondering, yes, Angle is coming back as a face.  The process starts Thursday.

Oh, for f*ck’s sake…a guy in his late fifties and a guy who’s pushing fifty will be arm-wrestling next week to see if a one-legged guy can get a contract to become a wrestler.  There’s a reason I’m finding excuses to miss this damn show.

But then there’s reasons I’m finding to not miss the damn show, like, oh, Our Lord and Savior versus John Cena.  And Rey-Rey/Hardy.

You know, there’s not much to say about this episode.  Those two matches I mentioned above are golden, but when you mix in the Tenacious Z shit and the pathetic state of the SE on the show (yes, more Sable focus this week). it becomes a real test to see which side wins.  Raw may be dull and grey, but it’s a consistent shade of grey.  Nothing is too damn great (with the exception of a few bright promo moments), but nothing sucks too bad.  Smackdown, though, is about at 0x000001 compared to 0xFFFFFE.


The Pride of Dartmouth is not only back, he’s talking about wrestling!  Take it away, Elliot…

While some (COUGHscooterCOUGH) may groan at the prospect of another Kane push, I was glad to see this segment.  Knowing as we do that Vince loves big guys, Kane’s the least offensive big guy that we’ve seen in a while, and his last couple of pushes have been screwed up by forces outside his control (first the bicep injury, then Katie Vick).  If the work with Austin can revitalize Kane’s character and get people to care about him again, I don’t see any problem.  It’s not like we’re talking about Nash here…oh wait, we do have to talk about Nash.

The worst thing I can say about the whole show (having missed the Hi-Lite reel) is that Nash-Trip is going to BOMB.  The silence after the hot tag to Nash in the main event was embarassing.  The fact that Foley will be the guest ref (and it’s Foley: he was Austin’s buddy coming up, he has a new book out, and he’s famous for Hell in the Cell) doesn’t do much, because there’s NO WAY Nash is going over after that awful reaction on Monday, and a Trip-Foley feud really wouldn’t work, seeing as how Foley is going to stay retired and keep writing.

Despite the obvious Nash problems, you still have a good show, with Flair-Michaels buildup, Hurricane-Orton developing into a nice feud (I know you don’t like Hurricane, but I really get a kick out of the superhero character), and Kane/RVD-La Resistance getting more interesting as a result of the Austin segment.  I don’t get why people are so apathetic to this show.  Maybe you can explain it to me.

1) Kane has always been a big guy that the IWC gives a pass to for a number of reasons.  He’ll throw stuff out there on occasion that’ll surprise people.  He’s got great mobility for a guy his size.  He doesn’t embarass himself in the ring.  He’s got damn good workrate.  He’s shown dedication to his craft and loyalty to Vince by overcoming both Isaac Yankem and the Fake Diesel.  Most of all, in my view, Glen Jacobs knows how to play the character correctly, and he overcomes an obstacle that a lot of legit actors can’t:  he can convey emotion from behind a mask.  He’s one of the few big guys that Vince has ever had on his roster that deserves a push for reasons other than size.  He’s one of the few guys on the roster that has a synergism going between his wrestling skills and his SE skills (both moderate, but merging into something greater than the sum of the parts).  At the very least, he definitely deserves a make-up push for Katie Vick at this time.  The only problem is that his position stays put during the push, because his involvement with Tough Love Redneck takes him (for better or worse) out of the Trip Orbit.  So what he’s getting is more of an attention push rather than an elevation push.  There’s no choice at this time, and that’s Raw in a nutshell.

2) I think we all know that Trip-Nash is going to bomb.  This is a goddamn shame considering the care that they’ve put into this card in order to give a Raw-only PPV a patina of quality.  The rest of the card can’t really be argued with, except for Sump Pump/Test, but that’ll be over quick and it involves My Beautiful and Beloved.  About two and a half years ago, I wrote an article for the Smarks about the fact that main events tend to influence memories of the card as a whole.  I don’t want to see a good-on-paper PPV like Bad Blood potentially wrecked in the Permanent Record by those two circle-jerking the belt around.

3) Helms is very lucky that Orton came back when he did.  Otherwise, the guy would literally have no one to feud with.  Those guys are the two at the back end of the logjam.

4) Well, I know why I was apathetic to the show this week (and it happened immediately), but that reason doesn’t apply to the vast majority of people.  I’ll need The Priz! to take on this issue from the perspective of people who don’t retch at the sight of Flex:

Even with great moments on the show (the Flair/Michaels promo, the Austin/Kane promo, Jericho’s continued harrassment of Goldberg, Christian taking over The Highlight Reel), they’re not building anything. It’s stagnation, it’s old ideas, and thus the boring-as-hell that you described it as.

Thanks, Dave.  Lack of advancement was the whole problem.  All that happened was that we were introduced to the Replacement Ref and Redneck Triathalon concepts.  The card for Bad Blood, as I said, looks pretty good, but the buildup has pretty much been finished, and that left Raw holding the bag as being a filler show.

I really don’t want to talk about the Return Of Flex, but Regular Andrew Ormberg made a great comment about it:

I gotta agree with you on the Rock face turn.  It was just so much fun to see him as a heel again.  If they felt they *had* to do a face turn, what they should have done was have Rock be heel and endorse Christian, then have the sneak attack to give Christian more of a rub.  I think either Rock or Vince wanted Flex to be a face again for when his next movie comes out.  Does that really matter in this age?

Absolutely right.  Christian could have benefitted greatly from a rub.  The argument here is that Booker benefitted, but if you take a look at the long-term scale, any rub he might have received from the Flex-a-roonie is annihilated a thousand times over by the burial that Booker suffered against Flex when they were feuding.  And as for wanting Flex back for the movie coming out, no, it doesn’t matter.  Even the marks are savvy enough to realize that the Flex in the ring isn’t the same as the Flex on the big screen.  Publicity is value-neutral.

The Only Man More Liberal Than I Am, Zach Singer, wanted me to comment about an article that’s going around about Altnet’s new business plan to legitimize their strategic partnership with KaZaA.  More details here.  Read it, then come back here for my comments.

1) Well, Sharman doesn’t care about piracy.  They’re an Australian corporation that’s formally incorporated on Vanuatu.  Courts all over the world have been trying to somehow get around this fact since Sharman originally bought KaZaA and moved their incorporation to get them out of a pending court case in the Netherlands.  The remoras involved here are trying to make a justification of “we’re harnessing their powerful distribution service for the forces of good”, and no one’s buying it.

2) The whole thing, though, is an attempt to ride on the geek awareness of the WASTE situation, something I honestly meant to talk about yesterday but didn’t due to time constraints/mental lapses.  Let me explain.  Late last week, Nullsoft, the creators of Winamp and wholly-owned thorns-in-the-side of AOL Time Warner, released a program called WASTE.  What is WASTE?  It’s a key-encrypted secure small-scale private network program with IM and file-transfer capabilities, meant to be used on a small scale (no more than 50 people in the link).  In other words, exactly what Altnet’s trying to do.

Now, what happened to WASTE?  Someone put it up on the Nullsoft website on Friday morning, releasing the software under the GNU General Public License (in other words, you can use this software for free if what you create out of it is released for free, with the source code; I know, it’s more subtle than that, but it’s a good generalization).  By Saturday morning, AOL had forced them to take it down.  Nullsoft also put up a disclaimer that whoever put it up wasn’t authorized to (almost certainly to cover their own asses).

But it’s out there, and it got spread fast and wide thanks to Slashdot doing a story on it early on Friday.  Despite Nullsoft’s statement of unauthorized release, Open Source projects based on the GPL-ed WASTE were registered at SourceForge as early as Friday night.  The program’s still in a rather raw phase of development, but the source is out there, and someone will make good of it (I grabbed a copy from Nullsoft on Friday and had a look; decent first effort, needs a lot of work, but an incredible idea).

How can I say that for certain?  Because of the fact that this isn’t the first time it’s happened with Nullsoft, AOL, and Open Source geeks everywhere.  Nullsoft created the Gnutella protocol, the basis behind the file-sharing of BearShare, Morpheus, LimeWire, etc.  They released it under a free software license (not the GPL).  A few days later, AOL had realized what had been done and clamped down.  You see how well the clampdown’s worked.  At the time, it didn’t seem too important that Gnutella got into the wild, since Napster was still Lars-free.  But when the shit came down on Napster, Gnutella was developed enough by that time to provide an instant alternative.

(Oh, are the conspiracy theorists out in force on this one.  There are a whole bunch of people thoroughly convinced that Justin Frankel, the heart and soul of Nullsoft, did this to f*ck with AOL’s heads yet again, knowing that this project was as hot a potato to AOL’s core business people and lawyers as Gnutella was.  However, he’s a very proud guy when it comes to his software creations, and felt that this puppy needed to see the light of day.  There’s a bunch of other stuff that’s been bandied about, including the possibility that AOL released it on purpose and pulled it back in order to become Microsoft’s proxy for a court case challenging the GPL (and Microsoft would love nothing better than to see the GPL declared invalid, since that’d screw over any Linux distro in an instant), playing off the fact that M$ ponied up three-quarters of a billion to AOL to settle the Netscape litigation and cement some other “considerations”.  But it’s all speculation, and no one will ever come out and say what really happened due to litigation possibilities.)

So, I think that a pattern’s being followed.  KaZaA’s FastTrack network was a response to the sluggishness and inability to scale of early Gnutella implementations.  What Altnet wants to do with their crap is the same thing, only this time to that other Nullsoft idea, WASTE.  And since the geek antennae are vibrating, it’s a good time to get some free pub.

Ah, the FCC bend-over to Big Business…I had a YAM candidate that went along with this, but I can’t find it; I probably deleted it due to the fact that this guy was such a complete yahoo that my fascist bud John King would have skipped the LART stick and went right for the justification for his NRA membership.  Therefore, I’ll turn this one over to Jeff Proctor, who actually works in the news media, for an educated voice:

Thank God someone else sees just how vile the FCC’s vote was. Every f*cking nightmare scenario you can imagine about the media seems so possible right now. I produce a local television newscast in a small to mid-size market where it’s very likely one company will soon own 2 of the 4 stations that do news, as well as the only newspaper in town. How much shit gets swept under the rug thanks to a phone call and the promise of a favor down the road?

How about the really big markets? The FCC did away with all cross-ownership regulations in markets with 9 or more TV stations (NY, LA, Chicago and probably a couple others). Do we really only want one incredibly rich voice for New Yorkers the next time there’s a terrorist attack there (and there will be sooner or later) and people want answers? You sure as f*ck won’t get any from the media then.

The sad thing is, I pitched this as a story idea weeks ago when people could have complained to the FCC about it (not that it would have mattered), and no one in the newsroom gave a shit. I pitched it again Monday, with the idea that we could at least explain to viewers that they’d just been bent over and given the Vern Schillinger “Royal Welcome”. Once again, no one gave a damn. Several of my co-workers seemed to think the FCC vote was a good thing. I know for a fact there’s a liberal media bias in some newsrooms (CNN, CBS) but nobody should make the mistake of thinking that there’s not a conservative bias in others (Fox). The conservatives just scream louder than the liberals about it (when Al Gore tried a few months ago, people listened for a minute, then realized he’s Al Gore, and went back to ignoring him).

That’s the whole thing behind this:  there are media biases.  There are biases on both sides of the political fence.  There are regional biases in the realm of local news.  In order to counter those biases, as many voices as possible are needed to cut through the haze and the FUD.  What Michael Powell and his band of GOP bitches did was silence those voices.  I don’t want a media that’s predominantly conservative in direction.  But I also don’t want a media that’s predominantly liberal in direction either.  Information is a public trust, and the media companies should provide enough information of various inclination for the public to be able to make an informed decision on their reaction to certain stories, not be spoon-fed some didacticism that happens to fit in with the owners’ outlook.

Oh, BTW, the cretin whose mail I discarded snagged on to my mention of Rupert Murdoch to claim that my “liberal bias” prevented me from seeing the “liberal bias” in the media other than Fox.  Well, in order to answer him, I’ll again turn this over to someone who’s more of an expert on the subject of a Murdoch-dominated media, Aussie Regular Timothy Byrne:

In Australia we have federal laws that one company/conglomerate cannot own both a television station and one or more newspapers in the one capital city.  So you have someone like Rupert Murdoch, who owns SIXTY-SEVEN PER CENT of newspapers in Australia, but is restricted from owning television stations in the same capital cities.  A couple of facts, and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions :

(1) Rupert Murdoch has a controlling interest in 175 newspapers/periodicals worldwide, the majority of them being in Australia, the United States and Britain.

(2) Without exception, EVERY SINGLE ONE of those 175 took an editorial stance in favour of the war in Iraq.

(3) In Australia and the US (and perhaps Britain) bills are on the verge of being passed by conservative governments to relax restrictions on media ownership, of whom the main benefit will be ……. Rupert Murdoch.

For the Australian perspective on this situation, I refer you (and anyone else who’s interested) to MediaWatch.

Let’s also not forget that Murdoch became an American citizen in order to get around laws at the time that prevented certain concentration of media ownership by non-US-citizens.

The laws described in Australia are similar to the ones that were scrapped in the US.  If you owned a newspaper in a town, you couldn’t own a TV station as well, unless you were grandfathered in by owning both before the FCC came up with those rules (viz. the Chicago Tribune and WGN).  Let’s link back to Murdoch in the case of…well, Chicago, since I’m quite familiar with that.  In the 80s, Metromedia sold its half-dozen major market independent TV stations to News Corp., Murdoch’s company.  Murdoch had already bought Fox, and was planning on using Metromedia’s stations to become the core of a Fox-based “fourth network” (ah, how we all laughed at the time…).  There was a snag, though, in Chicago:  Murdoch, at the time, owned the Chicago Sun-Times.  The FCC would not give him a waiver to own both.  Since the TV station was far more important to his future plans than the newspaper, he sold the paper.  Just wanted to put that one out there.

Wrestling talk?  Maybe…okay.  VZE26PJV’s wrestling stuff first, on the subject of HitC’s quasi-mystery ref…

The WWE would never miss an opportunity to pop a rating.  If Foley was showing up, they would have announced it as soon as possible.  Truth is, they don’t have Foley, and they want us to THINK that they have him for the match to pop a rating.  If they had him we would have known about it
three weeks ago.  The ref will either be Kane or Austin or something predictable like that.

Not even they’re stupid enough to spooge the load right away on Foley.  Keeping it a bit in question might be their idea of a sense of total mystery; let’s face it, nothing’s beyond their thought process.  Keep an open mind until the announcement of who it is is actually made.  I’m not betting the farm on Foley, but Raw could have been a flyer to try to gauge audience expectation.  If they have Foley on board, then it’s cool from an audience attraction standpoint given the reaction.

It could be worse.  Derek Reinecker thinks that it might end up being UT.  God help us all if it is.

Actually, in addition to Terry Funk, I have another idea on who it might be:  Arn Anderson.  Announce it early, then play the “will he follow Flair’s lead?” game in terms of bias.

The Priz! has another idea about who it could be:

Foley would be a waste as special ref, if nothing else because of the three people he has history with (Trip, Austin and Flex), he wouldn’t be helping a face directly. He could help Trip, but that would just suck ass, as they’ve feuded for the longest time. Hate this thought, but if they wanted to preserve character a little bit, they’d bring in Hall. He’s crazy enough, and would be enough of a wild-card to add intrigue (which friend does he choose?). It would still suck, but at least there’d be an interesting SE moment.

I’ll raise a toast to that idea.

I would be remiss if I did not place the comments from Mistah Matt Buscuiti in here at this point on said subject:

It HAS to be Foley now.  You think he comes back on a semi-regular basis, or just a one-shot deal?  You realize that the rate they’re going, in 2003 WWE will have had EVERY major (US, living) wrestling star from the past 20 years on the payroll, except Warrior, Savage, Chyna and Sting?  I actually have no problem with it, as long as they USE the old big-names to draw casual fans in, and then KEEP the fannies hooked with smart storylines and quality wrestling by the younger guys.  As long as Hogan/Piper stuff isn’t the main event on SmackDown!, they’re kind’ve doing that, but with less star power than RAW.  Thing is, outside of Orton, it’s hard to figure out WHO the “young” future stars on RAW actually are!

Matt, I know that everyone out there is chanting names like Helms and Christian fulfilling your final statement, but that’s wrong.  Those guys are established stars.  Outside of Orton, there’s no young up-and-comer on Raw really positioned to do anything.  I am hoping that their mid-term plans for the IC belt include actual elevations of newer guys to that level, with Ticket #1 belonging to Chris Nowinski.

This is where Trip’s logjam at the top is really going to take its toll.  You have legit upper-mid-carders fighting over the IC strap, ones that either have had or should have a main-event push.  But courtesy of the Clique circle-jerk, they’re not really going to get a shot beyond what, say, Booker, Kane, and Van Dam got.  So now you’ve got a big crowd that can be at the IC table, and very few seats around it.  The solution here is not to bring back the tertiary belt, since tertiary belts are pretty much a joke (the WCW TV title wasn’t, because it had a specific purpose:  it was a belt only defended on television, at a time when house show matches were still regarded as important and there were actual title defenses at house shows).

Now, VZE26PJV, as per your Franken/O’Reilly comments:  Franken caught O’Reilly in outright lies, which O’Reilly tried to spin.  Whose book is going to sell more or who has a bigger audience doesn’t obviate that.  Popularity does not spare someone from having to ‘fess up to his sins.  O’Reilly must pay for his lies just as Flex must pay for existing.

Memo to Russell Von Hagen:  I’m not religious, but I think your assumption might be correct on where the FCC thing might be headed on that basis.  If Eisner didn’t look so much like Andre the Giant, he’d be my candidate for Anti-Christ, but I’ll have to default to Murdoch, I’m afraid.

Simon Greer definitely does not want the offsides rule in soccer eliminated.  Simon Gray says to try it out in some international friendlies.  If any other Simon wishes to contribute an opinion on the offsides rule, you’re perfectly welcome to do so.

Memo to Bryce Lang: Don’t bother forking out for a program that can block Windows Messenger pop-ups.  There are a number of solutions that you can implement:

1) Steve Gibson has put out a free program called Shoot The Messenger, which will disable Windows Messenger.  No matter what you might think about Gibson, and he does have a way of polarizing opinion in the Windows security field about his occasional paranoid rantings, he writes good, small programs that help secure gaps in Windows, and they’re all free.  Definitely check out the rest of his site while you’re over there to increase the security of your machine.

2) Disable Windows Messenger manually if you don’t trust Gibson’s program.  Here’s how to do it courtesy of the SpywareInfo Support Forums:

For Windows 2000 and XP

* Go to start and click Run
* Type services.msc
* Double-click on Messenger.
* In the Messenger Properties window, select Stop, then choose Disable as the Startup Type.
* Click OK.

For Windows 95, 98, and ME

* Under Control Panel, select Add/Remove.
* Select Windows Setup.
* Select System Tools.
* Click Details.
* Uncheck WinPopUp.
* Click OK.

3) Set your firewall to block inbound traffic on TCP and UDP ports 135, 137, 138, 139, and 445 (at the very least, set it to block inbound traffic on TCP and UDP port 135).  ZoneAlarm even has pre-sets for some of those (look for something like “block NetBIOS ports”).

4) Pirate a copy of Pop-Up Stopper Professional (not Companion, but Professional).  It’ll also cover you for browser pop-ups and for pop-ups from programs that throw open browser windows for ads (hello, BearShare, are you listening?).

5) All of the above, which is the best way to go.

The only reason you should be running Windows Messenger is if you absolutely have to, and virtually every home user doesn’t have to have it running.

PLEASE NOTE:  Windows Messenger is not the same as MSN Messenger, the instant-messaging program.  So if you’re on MSN Messenger with folks, don’t worry about losing that capability while doing this.

Got a double from Nick Thibault here on two areas of concern:  concentration of media ownership and Quebecers:

Here in Quebec, we have our own conglomerate called Quebecor which now owns one major TV network, 10 major newspapers, 20 magazines, the largest record store chain, the largest cable/internet provider and all kinds of other media outlets. Beyond the obvious general freedom of speech and opinion control implications, I would like to point out the potential for sheer and complete annoyance this brings.

A few months ago, Quebecor decided to put ALL its weight behind a tv show called “Star Academie”. That show can best be described as a “live-in American Idol”. All the constestants lived in the same house, we’d see their daily lives and people would vote for their favorites on a big sunday show.

That all seems fairly innocent but keep in mind that they promoted the show on one major TV network, 10 major newspapers, 20 magazines, the largest record store chain, the largest cable/internet provider and all of their other media outlets. And not just via commercials or little articles, they treated this as MAJOR NEWS every day. A simple reality show became the
entire Province’s obsession for over two months. There was no way to escape it.

Of course it’s a lot easier to keep 5 million isolated French speakers captive than it is to capture the United States’ imagination but imagine if AOL or Disney put their entire promotional weight behind one product for a concentrated period… I think it would be pretty difficult to avoid…

Now this is why I don’t watch reality shows, folks.  The Quebecers come up with a hybrid of “American Idol” and “Big Brother” and think that it’s innovative.  And it gets pushed to the moon.  Oy.

As per your statement at the end, Nick, it can happen.  Both AOL and Disney own broadcast networks and can promo-push anything they want at any time they want.  One memo from Dick Parsons or Michael Eisner…that’s all it’d take.

Now, as to your Quebec comments:

As for your friend DBeefe’s opinion on French Canadians, well… Not to be rude to him or anything but it was fairly mean-spirited and, in my opinion inaccurate. I think the best analogy for the difference between European French and Quebec french is simply the difference between British English and American English. To my ears, the pronunciation differences seem very similar and the north american version of both languages seems flatter than its european counterpart.

Very true if you’re talking about the urbanized accents.  The rural ones, though…

Keep in mind that just like in the US, there are various colorful accents that defy explanation.

I lived in Louisiana for six months.  Believe me, I know.

The European French DO look at us as amusing cousins from across the pond and they really
appreciate the singers we send over there…

In that case, has there been a move in Parliament to give Celine Dion a one-way ticket to Roissy and a notice of revocation of citizenship?

I don’t think “bottom-feeding crack whores” or “bums throwing up” are anywhere near an accurate description of how the Quebecois are perceived.

No, but it’s certainly a good description of their Acadian cousins down in Louisiana.  See above for proof via personal experience.

As for elitism on our (the Francophones) part, refusing to learn English or whatever: That is complete bullshit. A lot of us speak English very well because it’s necessary for business
or to talk to the Anglos. Some Anglos learn French (I can’t give figures so I won’t guess) but a lot of them refuse to.

I am totally in favor of a person having a desire to retain one’s language in order to retain one’s culture.  I think that every culture has something to contribute to the community as a whole.  However, when it moves beyond pride into egotism, and/or when it provides a block on accomplishing more important things in an expeditious manner, then I have a problem.  That’s why I utilized my high school and college German to good effect while living over there.  I was also very, very disappointed that my fellow American servicemen made it almost a point of pride to NOT try to communicate in German with the natives.  That’s why I get pissed off when Mexicans won’t bother to learn even the rudiments of English, yet local governments bend over backward to accomodate them by, for example, letting them take drivers’ tests in Spanish.

I don’t want to start a big debate around this as I’m sure a lot of people don’t care but I couldn’t let your esteemed correspondant’s comments go by without getting a word in…

Hey, I let people say anything they wish.  It’s a topic I consider interesting, so it gets included.  And that’s why I’m going to give freedom to a person who just wants to be known as ST (but I can assure you that he’s French-Canadian), who wants some words on this subject as well:

I’m writing concerning DBeefe`s message.  Being one of those “incoherent bottom feeding crack whores” he talks about, i.e. a francophone in Quebec, I feel I must answer his insults.

First of all, your idea that there is tension between both communities (english and french) is somewhat exagerated.  90% of the people don’t have a problem with each other.  Most of the francophones realize we are leaving in a mostly english continent, and know that being fluent in english is a necessary things if you want to go far.  Most of the anglophones realize that Quebec is, either they like it or not, a French province, and that knowing how to speak French is a necessity.  The problem is the fanatics on both sides.  There are francophones who considers that Quebec should be 100% French (and believe me, it isn’t right now, as a really big part of Montreal is bilingual).  Anglophones fanatics, of which DBeefe is obviously a member, misses the time before the 1950s when the francophones were a people subservient to the Catholic Church and only anglophones could get economical power.

As for the supposedly superior attitude or arrogance, either from the francophone or anglophone communities, I’m living in Montreal, and can’t see it anywhere.  People outside the province only hears news of the situation here when fanatics like Mordecai Richler write articles in big U.S. journals about how we the francophones are acting like Nazis toward the other communities.  But you have to note this come only from a couple of very vocal individuals.  If they were right, why wouldn’t anyone else say the same things? Why would the englophone still form 15-20% of the population?  They should all have fled in terror!  From the Conquest in 1760, to the 1960s, the francophones here have been considered a conquered people by most people in Canada and english people in Quebec. With what we called the “Quiet Revolution” (la “Révolution Tranquille”), francophones have decided to stop being a minority in Canada and become a majority in Quebec.  This means making the english people in Quebec accept that they are a minority (although the best treated minority in Canada by far).  40 years later, most have accepted this situation.  Others have not.  I personally know of some people who were born and spent all their lives in Montréal and never learned to speak French.  I know of others who came from other provinces as adult and learned to speak French.  If you are in Rome, do like the Romans.

As his assessment of how Quebec is perceived by the Europeans, I’d like to know where he got his information.  I went to France a couple of times, met plenty of French and Belgium people in the course of my work, and never encounter this so-called bad attitude DBeefe mentions.  Yes, some of us swear a lot.  Like all other cultures.  People who want to complain will latch on the few who do it regularly and say they represent exactly what is wrong with the whole population.  Do I say that Kevin Smith, who I like a lot but swears a mouth full, is a representive of how the average american talks? Or even worse, his comrade Jason Mewes?  Of course not.

Now DBeefe talks about how we transforms english words in french.  First of all so what?  And most importantly, the French themselves do this on a regular basis. For exemple, they will put their cars in a ‘parking’ instead of a ‘stationnement’ (the correct term).  They will go ‘shopping’ instead of ‘magasiner’.  Saying it is the fault of the francophones here in Quebec is ludicrous.

Finally, on the pronounciation.  Many french words that have been englicized are completely mispronouced. Lingerie is pronounced ‘lawngerey’, ‘Des Moines’ is pronounced something like ‘De Moyine,’ ‘Baton Rouge’ is actually more or less correct, ‘Mario Lemieux’ is pronounce ‘Mario Lemiew,” etc.  I’m not saying that to laugh at english people, but to ridiculize the idea that
mispronouncing things from another language is a proof of inferiority.  It only shows that each language has different phonemes that isn’t used by the other, nothing more.  Here in Quebec, we are lucky that we use both sets of phonemes.  That’s why we speak english with a much lesser accent than the French.

Hope that didn’t bore you too much.  I’m just tired of reading the same bashing again and again and again on the Internet.  When only one type of opinion is heard, it kind of becomes the truth.

If you look at anything in that, folks, look at the last line:  “When only one type of opinion is heard, it kind of becomes the truth.”  Basically, that’s the whole thing behind the FCC ranting in here too.  I’ll let the rest of it stand as is, though.  Great response.

Memo to Megatitawitz:  Van Dam for Faarooq trade?  Has possibilities.  Won’t disrupt the tag scene on SD.  Will provide Raw with a mark-credible tag team that can easily replace the Dudz.  I see no problems with that idea.

Memo to Local Chris Sperry:  Ultrasonic cleaning equipment for meat plants?  Too expensive to implement, and the current chemical bacteriocides do a sufficient job.  It’s definitely a future type of thing.

I love this little challenge by Eric Bryar:

It’s funny, each time that i’m done watching what I find to be a great RAW (like the past 2 weeks), I wonder how you and Scott Keith could possibly find negative stuff about the show. But somehow, someway, you make it happen. Be honest, the 2 of you have a secret bet on who can be more negative, right? (I’ll have to put you a bit in the lead right now).

No, there’s no deal.  I’m pessimistic, cynical, and critical by nature.  I never think anything good of anything.  So it’s part of my nature.  Ask Scott what his reasons are.

Seriously, I wanna know. Please describe what you’d consider a good RAW.


1) No Flex.

2) No Austin.

3) No Trip or only minimal amounts.

4) No Nash.

5) No Sump Pump and no Test.

6) No Novocaine Helms.

7) Matches other than the transition and main that last longer than four minutes.  Showcase some of the young guys by giving them time.

8) Backstage SE material that has actual entertainment value, in a quantity that’s reasonably balanced with in-ring action instead of dominating it.

9) Promos that sound like they were written by people reasonably fluent in English.

10) Booking that makes sense.

Not much to ask, is it?

Memo to SDeRuGG:  I don’t care if June Bugs is on Boomerang this weekend.  It’s f*cking Boomerang, the place where CN dumped all of the Hanna-Barbera programming when they decided that they had enough of their own material and quality Jap stuff to fill 24/7 (later supplemented by the Adult Swim material).  I don’t have a dish, so I don’t get it.  Even if I did have a dish and was able to get it, I wouldn’t watch it, because the only good H-B stuff was made between 1963 and 1970 (in other words, Top Cat to Josie, with a few shows on the ass end of that like Hong Kong Phooey), and I don’t feel like dealing with the rest of it.  I do have some traumatic memories of These Are The Days, you know.

Putting June Bugs on Boomerang is an abomination and an incredible act of disrespect to CN’s own tradition.  I’d rather see it not broadcast than see it on Boomerang.  Death to Brad Siegel.

And speaking of barely-animated things on the screen, I give Katie White the floor:

I’m surprised you haven’t made the observation that Pikachu puts his opponents over as often as Triple H…

I swear that little marshallow peep always has to get the last shot in as well…and is ALWAYS on the damn screen…much like a certain sledgehammer wielding f*cknut.

Yeah, but Pikachu has better workrate than Trip and cuts more coherent promos than Big Sump Pump, so I’ll cut him some slack.

And to close, I’ll let Semi-Regular Christopher Arrington handle the benediction:

I admit it.  I want to f*ck Stephanie.  I want to bang Nipple H’s sweet Hershey highway.  I want to come in the box The Game came in.  It’s a disturbing horrible idea I know.  But I want to do it so bad so that when she gets pregnant and Hunter is in that delivery room expecting his sweet Anti-Christ to come into his arms, instead he sees a sweet piece of mocha and all his nightmares come of out of that skanky McMahon cooch.  And as he wonders what will become of his career as he is obviously out of her life, I will laugh like a comic supervillain.  And then I’ll dump the bitch.