Oh, God, not one of these days…
There is very little wrestling news that I consider important or interesting to talk about (and that includes Sting; I don’t buy TNA and still have zero desire to, plus I have Jimmie Daniel to keep me abreast of what’s going on). So count this one as a filler to Grut, who’s probably going to be in the same boat I am.
THE PIMP SECTION
Murphy has one of those sappy Fathers’ Day columns on tap. Read at your own discretion.
RADIO KILLED THE WRESTLING STAR
According to 1bullshit, a radio station in Toronto is making the following claims about SummerSlam:
Goldberg versus Jericho Part II is certain due to Goldie’s bad reaction to being called a waste of money by Linda McMahon. Oops.
So, who does that leave for Trip’s opponent for the title? Mick Foley.
Also, next year’s SummerSlam will be taking place in Toronto, and this’ll be announced late this year.
Again, take it all with a grain of salt.
AND SPEAKING OF 1BULLSHIT…
Yesterday, they put up a column written by Vince Russo concerning the booking for Bad Blood and Raw, and, being Russo, it was mostly critical, but praised a number of areas. You can’t read it, because 1bullshit pulled it off at the request of TNA. However, Matthew Michaels was able to get a copy of it over to me prior to that, and I do have to admit something: he’s got a lot of good points to make. Since it’s been reprinted on every whiteboard known to man, I think it’s fair to say that we can do it here too:
Even though it was the best thing for both the WWE and I to part our separate ways a year ago, I’d have to say that the high spot was that I didn’t have to sit through “RawÃ¢â‚¬Â and “SmackdownÃ¢â‚¬Â anymore. As a television viewer, to put it bluntly, both shows were flat atrocious. I vowed to never watch another WWE show again unless new writers were hired. . .or I got paid to watch it.
Starting now. . .I get paid to watch it. So now the question: Why did I not only agree to critique Raw, but rather suggested it. . .the answer is two-fold. First and foremost–the money. I’m looking to get out of this ungrateful business in two years and retire to the mountains of Colorado . When I do I won’t be able to live on my lumberjack salary alone. Number 2Ã¢â‚¬â€for the past eight years everything I have ever done, said or written has been critiqued by everyone who of course knows more than I do, so I figure that now it’s MY turn.
Before I start the bad review let me first say that I do realize that there are problems in my own backyardÃ¢â‚¬â€NWA/TNA. Can the show be better? Yes. Is there some inconsistency? Yes. Holes in the storylines? Some. HOWEVERÃ¢â‚¬â€there is a reason. Despite what you’d like to believe the “AlmightyÃ¢â‚¬Â Russo is not writing the show solo. I’m working with others who I have never worked with before on a creative level. There are some adjustments to be made; other philosophies to understand; growing pains. And, we’re working them out. So now I askÃ¢â‚¬â€what is the excuse of the WWE. The same writers who weren’t doing their job a year agoÃ¢â‚¬â€are still not doing it today. Who do they know? What do they know? When they were writing “FriendsÃ¢â‚¬Â, which is some of their claims to fame, why wasn’t that show so LOUSY? Why can you write for, say Phoebe, and not Eric Bischoff? What is the difference? Bischoff is a good actor. Or, were you really writer’s on “FriendsÃ¢â‚¬Â, or just getting the coffee for the writers?
Here’s why the show’s so bad.
First of all, isn’t it copyright infringement to rip off “EvolutionÃ¢â‚¬Â from TNA? I could have swore that I said “Evolution is the SolutionÃ¢â‚¬Â on a pay-per-view only days before they came up with the familiarly close; “EvolutionÃ¢â‚¬Â. But never mind thatÃ¢â‚¬â€I don’t collect residuals for many of the things I contributed. OKÃ¢â‚¬â€let’s start with Mick Foley. There is NOTHING to say negative about Mick. . . EVER. You just don’t do that. Mick can do no wrong. Yes, it’s true, Foley really IS God. But the trouble started when JR asked the question, “Are they (Evolution) going all the way down to the ring?Ã¢â‚¬Â Where else were they going to go JR? But that’s nit-picky and I know it. But this isn’tÃ¢â‚¬â€Randy OrtonÃ¢â‚¬â€who looks great and talks greatÃ¢â‚¬â€just shouldn’t use the words the writer’s give him. . .unless that is he wants to look stupid. Orton actually referred to Foley as a “loserÃ¢â‚¬Â. What are six year-olds watching this show? Is that the best that the “FriendsÃ¢â‚¬Â writers can come up with. In that situation would one grown man refer to another grown man as a “loserÃ¢â‚¬Â? Now that’s some ol’ time heat there. And, as if that wasn’t bad enoughÃ¢â‚¬â€then came the BAD FAKE WRESTLING. Mick got feed, after feed, after feed, with no member of Evolution ever trying to defend themselves. AgainÃ¢â‚¬â€say this was “realÃ¢â‚¬Â–am I just going to run into a guy’s right hand again, and again, and again? It’s phonyÃ¢â‚¬â€unbelievable. IT NEEDS TO CHANGE. Then Triple H (nothing personalÃ¢â‚¬â€everybody does itÃ¢â‚¬â€it’s what they know) takes 5 straight shots in the face without ever once covering up. That to me is BAD wrestling. Over five years ago Vince used to pitch a bitch when Bret Hart would get hit in the corner again, and again, and never cover upÃ¢â‚¬â€WHY IS IT STILL HAPPENING 5 PLUS YEARS LATER? Rethink your work guys. The more you just go through the motions the more fake it looks.
JR: “MY GOD!!!!!!!! MAE YOUNG’S GONNA WRESTLE!!! Again, am I supposed to get excited about this because I think JR is? Stop insulting my intelligenceÃ¢â‚¬â€I’m beggin’ ya!!!
Great to see the Dudley ‘s still giving 110% . But againÃ¢â‚¬â€Nowinski got HOW MUCH of surgery done to his nose? Did you say $30,000, JR? OK, OK, I’ll stretch my imagination a little. However, you could probably CLONE the guy’s nose for less!!!
Kane/Van Dam promo? Now, I really haven’t watched “RawÃ¢â‚¬Â for about five years, so I have to ask: Did they ever explain why Kane can now speak normal English? I mean, he called Rob Van Dam a “DUDEÃ¢â‚¬Â. Didn’t he used to have a voice box and the whole thing? Wasn’t he a monster badly burned in a fire a few years back? What happened? Forgetting all that, what this was was a really bad soap opera. I’m sorryÃ¢â‚¬â€people just don’t talk like that in real life. They only talk like that if they’re part of a bad television show.
GREAT “Bad BloodÃ¢â‚¬Â package. The WWE still does what the WWE does bestÃ¢â‚¬â€production. Even though many people don’t realize thisÃ¢â‚¬â€and never willÃ¢â‚¬â€Executive Producer Kevin Dunn is just as valuable to that company as Vince is. Without Kevin that television product wouldn’t look the way it does.
AUSTIN ‘S “BORINGÃ¢â‚¬Â SEGMENT.
WOWÃ¢â‚¬â€I really don’t get this one. You’re telling your entire audience that you’re putting a boring guy in a boring segment on primetime Monday Night. Why would I watch this if you’re already telling me it’s boring. Now, don’t get me wrongÃ¢â‚¬â€ Austin was greatÃ¢â‚¬â€ Austin is Austin Ã¢â‚¬â€but I question the whole cluster!@#$. Are you going to tell your audience that the show is boring in mid-October when the Bucs and the Eagles are tied 21-21 at the half? Vince would have NEVER allowed this five years ago. Did Rachel ever come out and tell Monica that this particular episode of Friends was BORING? WOW guys, you should be BitchSlapped for this one.
ThenÃ¢â‚¬â€to add insult to injuryÃ¢â‚¬â€the quick roll-up from behind? Let’s put a little bit more thought in the finishesÃ¢â‚¬â€shall we?
All right, everybody knows he’s not one of my favorites, nor am I one of hisÃ¢â‚¬â€BUTÃ¢â‚¬â€Bill Goldberg does not deserve to be “just another guyÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬â€because he’s not. Let me explain myselfÃ¢â‚¬â€when I had the opportunity to work with Goldberg it was very difficult for me. I mean, how do you book a guy who had done so muchÃ¢â‚¬â€so fast. It was hard to know what to do with Goldberg because at WCW you just weren’t going to top what he already done. But what’s the excuse here? The guy was away for two yearsÃ¢â‚¬â€and had never been in the WWE before. Why not make him that monster again? The fact is you have a whole new audience today than you did five years ago. Let Goldberg do what Goldberg does best. You can see signs of political BS, putting Goldberg in his place, yada-yada-yada, but what you’re doing is killing a guy that you can’t afford to kill right now.
PSÃ¢â‚¬â€love him. Or hate him, NOBODY has the intensity that Goldberg STILL has.
ALSOÃ¢â‚¬â€I love Jericho , but I’m beggin’ him to cover up before Booker’s chops REALLY do start to hurt.
I have to say thisÃ¢â‚¬â€Eric is a pro. To let Mae Young sit on your face? I just don’t know if I could allow thatÃ¢â‚¬â€workÃ¢â‚¬â€or no work. Again, no love loss, but Eric is good. I again have to ask the question, “Is he being punished for being Eric BischoffÃ¢â‚¬Â? I have to hope not because right now the WWE can’t afford the games.
WOWÃ¢â‚¬â€AGAIN!!! Who did Scott Steiner piss off to only get 5 seconds on the show and as a guest referee for a Mae Young match no less? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I DON’T CARE HOW BAD YOU SAY HIS WORK ISÃ¢â‚¬â€IT’S SCOTT STEINER!!! And, knowing ScottÃ¢â‚¬â€is he saying NOTHING behind the scenes?!!! Where’s the Scott I know and love? Does David Schwimmer get treated this way?!!!
ALSOÃ¢â‚¬â€what’s stopping Steiner from leaving the ring to get to Test. Are the ropes electrified? Or, is it just “one of those rasslin’ things?
I liked Jackie Gayda and Rico. The characters were so over the top that I got it. What I don’t get is when they’re over the top and not supposed to be.
JRÃ¢â‚¬â€”Test ran like a scalded dog.Ã¢â‚¬Â
And. . .six years later Lawler is still talking about puppies.
Maven & Orton. Both guys looked great in the ring. It was also great to see Mick and Flair out there helping the young guysÃ¢â‚¬â€very refreshing to see. Lawler said that Mick’s book is on the “best smeller’sÃ¢â‚¬Â list. Who is the WWE’s audience here? 10 year-olds? I love the King but unless your bedtime is 8 o’clock Ã¢â‚¬â€your just not laughing at this !@#$%.
The highlight of the nightÃ¢â‚¬â€SOCKO!!!! SOCKO!!!! SOCKO!!!
Still over after all these years!!!
Oh, and in the finish of the matchÃ¢â‚¬â€GOD FORBID we have an upset. So far I have called the outcome of every match. Where’s the unpredictability?
Le Resistance? The gimmick worked 20 years agoÃ¢â‚¬â€not today. In 2003Ã¢â‚¬â€guys like these just don’t exist. It’s a joke. It insults my intelligence and doesn’t suspend my disbelief. I don’t believe. It’s juvenile. It’s stupid.
Next week– Kane unmasked!!!
WOWÃ¢â‚¬â€we get to see Dr. Isaac Yankem again.
Two matches were interrupted in the middle to go to break. In my five years of writing “RawÃ¢â‚¬Â that was NEVER done. Every segment had either a match, interview, or ga-ga. Is the creativity so low that you can’t come up with !@#$% to fill the show. What if I go to something else during the break that turns out to be better and I NEVER come back to the boring match? AgainÃ¢â‚¬â€five years ago Vince would have never allowed that, but today he does. WHY? That’s the million dollar question.
Man, that felt good. Now I understand why you guys do that to me every week. But, not only was it good. . .it was easy. Bottom line: Unless you’ve ever been in that spot you have no idea how difficult it is.
BUT. . .they still need to be better. . .much better.
And there, in a nutshell, is why they didn’t want Russo back, and why Heyman’s had his booking slot taken away: they’re honest to their feelings. And what Russo’s feeling right now is that a product that he, by and large, made a critical contribution in creating (the modern-era WWE), is a complete piece of shit, and that someone needs to get a clue. It’s not going to be him, of course; he’s busy flexing his booking power in TNA. However, something has to be done, and someone has to step up to the plate to do it.
This is something that a bunch of us who have not written wrestling shows have been saying for a long time as well. The creative aspects of WWE are horrible, possibly worse than…well, Russo’s WCW. At least WCW was trying something different under Russo. It wasn’t successful, but it was different. We’ve been inundated with the same shit for years now, as Russo said. Of course, it was shit that Russo created in the first place. But at the time, it wasn’t shit. It was new, and fun, and interesting, and attention-getting.
Vince is letting the stagnation happen because it’s made him money before, and because there’s a minimum audience level he will be able to attract with this product, one which he can use for baseline spending purposes. Steph is letting the stagnation happen because she smells money on the backend. Daddy’s let her have the book because she’s heiress apparent now that Shane has shown he doesn’t have that much interest in running the whole schmeer, and she’s not going to f*ck that situation up. She can f*ck the booking up as much as she wants (and I’ve said many times that most bookers would have been turfed for f*cking up one-tenth as bad as she has), but if she f*cks it up in a way that doesn’t go against Daddy’s perception of what wrestling should be like, everything’s fine. Everybody else is a hired hand, there at Steph’s will.
In other words, nothing is going to change until such time as someone convinces Vince that the direction is entirely wrong. The last time that happened, the person who did that was…well, Vince Russo. But there’s no WCW killing them in the ratings every week that would convince Vince that something has to be done. Russo’s message, therefore, is simple: “Vinny Mac, I’m not there to help right your ship again. This time, I’m with the guys who will take advantage of your weakness and sink you. There’s no one there with the balls to do what Shane and I did last time, so you’re a wide-open target. If the Jarretts get half a chance to go at you on cable or broadcast, we’re going to kick the living shit out of you.”
It’s no wonder TNA asked this thing to be pulled. It’s a declaration of war.
SMACKDOWN SOMEWHAT SPOILED
Picked up the results this week from the Torch, in case you gave a rat’s ass.
Okay, it’s now official: the APA is back. And who’s the first person they ally with? Of course it’s UT. Now we can relive all of those fond memories of the Corporate Ministry.
Okay, it’s also now official: the US title will be back as of the next PPV, and it’s going to be a tournament. Tune in to see which match that should have been reserved for the finals is pissed away in the first round.
We also find out what the real reason for the Meros’ breakup was. It seems like Sable can’t resist the animal magnetism of Tenacious Z…oh, yuck. On both ends. Of course, it’s just a ploy, since Sable really can’t resist the animal magnetism of Vince…oh, yuck. On any scale you can comprehend.
This week’s Match That You Can Watch And Fuck The Rest Of The Show: Kanyon/Rey-Rey. Or maybe Angle/Haas depending on your whim.
And speaking of Haas and Benjamin, they pick up their new role model this week. Welllll, it’s a big mistake, in my opinion.
THE BOOBY HATCH
So, Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the few Republicans I’ve actually admitted to respecting, just put his foot in his mouth big-time yesterday by advocating the RIAA’s most extreme principle of “copyright control”: hacking other people’s boxes and destroying their software. Catch this Yahoo News article (how appropriate) for the details.
Naturally, something as asinine as this deserved a response. Naturally, someone as asinine as me wrote one. Here’s something I posted to Slashdot that I thought would be fun to put in here. It’s a hypothetical memo written a year from today:
18 June 2004
Gordon B. Hinckley
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
50 West North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150
The Honorable Orrin Hatch
135 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear President Hinckley and Senator Hatch,
I am very, very sorry that we cannot come to an agreement to bridge the differences between us on this issue. However, as Senator Hatch’s law stated directly, the importance of protecting ones’ coprights is paramount over all other issues, and demands the highest priority.
I hope you understand the actions we have taken and are about to take to protect oursevles in this matter, which follows the guidelines that Senator Hatch set out last year in his speech to the US Senate Judiciary Committee.
In my encyclical of last September, I made it perfectly clear that the Roman Catholic Church was unwilling to tolerate further theft of copyright and theft of concept regarding its well-known properties Jesus Christ ™ and its variants and the various and sundry trademarked images and copyrighted concepts of the Passion, the Crucifixion, the Sermon on the Mount, etc. The encyclical, as you remember, gave sixty (60) days for all churches violating those copyrights and trademarks to accomplish a licensing deal with RCC.
Within that sixty-day period, I had received compliance on this issue with the Church of England, Church of Scotland, and numerous Protestant denominations. In fact, the discussions were quite fruitful, and I hope that Senator Hatch will be among the official United States delegation to the Reunification Mass at Westminster Abbey this autumn.
Also, as you know, after the sixty-day period was up, I released a follow-up encyclical giving a second warning, as Senator Hatch had provided for in the aforementioned discussion. After the second encyclical, most of the other holdouts, including the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches the various Baptist sects in the southern United States, and even J. K. Rowling, acknowledged our rights and made licensing deals.
The LDS Church, however, did not. The deadline for compliance passed on 15 June 2004, and thereforde, we will have to take the following actions:
1) Any religion following the precepts of the teachings of Jesus Christ ™ will be required, as part of the licensing terms, to acknowledge that you no longer have any rights to use those teachings as part of your religious philosophy. Your people, should they not convert to a license-compliant religion, are damned to Hell, never to see the face of God.
2) All LDS temples will be destroyed by crack squadrons of Swiss Guards.
3) All copies of the Book Of Mormon will be seized and pulped. All copies of the Holy Bible not endorsed by a license-compliant religion will be seized and pulped. However, in the interest of compromise, we will allow you limited copyright use of Jesus Christ ™ in the name of your religion.
4) No LDS service shall use any of RCC’s trademarked phrases or any copyrighted concepts. Also, various Lutheran demoninations have requested that we act as a clearance house for their copyright on the serving of punch and cookies after services. On their behalf, we are denying your use of this as well.
5) Brigham Young University will be turned over to the Society of Jesus.
6) All intellectual property allegedly belonging to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be confiscated and, as a penalty, placed under permanent copyright of the RCC. The Choir itself will be retrained to sing Gregorian chants.
7) Donny Osmond shall be provided with a high-ranking Franciscan for a manager.
Any and all resistance to these measures will be dealt with in the highest of terms.
We apologize in advance for the inconvenience this will give you, but you put it upon yourselves by failing to respect copyright and trademark.
Yours in Christ,
His Holiness John Paul II
CEO and COO, Roman Catholic Church, LLC
MAYBE MAILBAG WILL BE INSPIRING…
I never gave Regular Phil Watts the God Spot before, so here goes:
Whenever people think of a wrestler who holds down talent, people automatically think of HHH, right? Even though HHH is guilty of it, to say that he’s the only one doing it is a boldfaced lie.
Take that wifebeating piece of shit Steve Austin for instance. Now we all know that Lance Storm isn’t the most charismatic guy on the roster (even though I’ve seen worse, like…say…Tenacious Z). But what Austin did to Storm on Raw was despicable. That was probably the worst burial that Lance Storm ever went through since that shit Flex did to him (in fact, Flex buried 2 people in that one segment, not only squashing Storm in a 3 minute match, but also ruining Booker T with Midget crap). I still haven’t forgotten how Austin took all the WCW and ECW guys and turned them all into his ass-kissers, either.
Austin and Flex. The WWE’s two biggest stars. This is all the more reason why new talent needs to be created…and fast!
Have you see the spin that a lot of the “pros” are putting on the Storm promo? Jesus, the Wadester’s going through hoops trying to justify this whole situation. Again, I didn’t see it, but having read very accurate recaps, the only way it’s going to do Storm favors is if it leads to an Austin pep talk, like with Kane. There had better be a follow-up to this.
BFM’s chiming in, and he’d like to remind wrestling sites that, as official correspondent for the Tough Enough series on Reality News Online, he had definite confirmation about the existence of TE4 three weeks ago. the BBC as per attitudes toward the US and the Junta seen from around the world…including the US. It’s very, very interesting.
And if you’re a fan of NOFX or their type of music, here’s a little Flash animation to warm your heart, courtesy of Zach.
Memo to Regular Josh Crawley: Loved Spider-Man, liked Daredevil, moderately disliked The Hulk. And memo to JP0379: Yes, I f*cking saw Finding Nemo. I could even give you the ed2k hashes for it if you’d like so you can download it just like I did. As to why I didn’t like it, I thought it was inferior to all other Pixar/Disney films, which is the only benchmark you can use to judge it. Yes, it was even worse than Toy Story 2. I didn’t like the story, didn’t relate to the characters, and didn’t care about the characters. Maybe it would have been different if I was a parent, but I’m not. I think it’s an inferior film from a studio that’s brought us some great ones.
Semi-Regular George Sirois has a wrestling comment:
Notice how Getwerp waited until now to let us know the amount of work he’s been investing in Helms, Nowinski, and Christian? If he had come out today and said, “You know, I always liked that Batista guy, so I’ll see what I can write up for him when he comes back,” then went out and wrote something that helped him get over, THEN we could give him the credit he would have deserved. Next thing you know, he’ll be taking credit for the video production team’s work.
There’s something about the video production that I had a problem with that I forgot to mention yesterday. Why in the name of hell did they come up with a full video and music for Evolution when the video’s going to have to be reedited when Member #4 is introduced as soon as next week? How about holding off a bit until that happens?
Matt Ravas has a nice long missive on the pathetic condition of WWE booking right now that ties into George’s letter:
First, I just can’t resist commenting on Gewirtz’s claim that he’s taking special care of Helms, Christian, and Nowinski. Until Christian won his IC belt, what special care had he been given? He was only even supposed to be the IC belt’s placeholder for a Booker T hometown title win until someone somewhere realized that Christian actually had talent. Helms gets dragged out twice a month to get a beating, which is Barry Horowitz level special treatment. Hell, they even completely screwed up a golden opportunity to give the Hurricane a nice storyline and some decent PPV time when they decided to shove Steiner down our throats. Just a week ago you had Test going all Stone Cold on Stacy (making Test somewhat intriguing for the first time in forever). This would have been the perfect time to have Green Lantern-lite come in and save the day. Test-Helms, while not a match-up for the ages, would’ve been far more effective (I know
you’d hate the idea of Helms protecting Stacy, but it has to beat her pretending to sleep with Steiner. At least with Helms she wouldn’t have to even pretend to sleep with him, as our superhero wouldn’t be in it for the sex) than having Steiner yell incoherently while staring at Keibler’s ass.
Christian has been very protected ever since the split from Edge. By all rights, he should have been stuck on Epilepsy by now with all of the second-rankers. However, he’s been given certain opportunities and a couple of damn good rubs from Jericho and Flex, and he ran with them. The only way I’d tolerate My Beautiful and Beloved around Helms is if she doesn’t buy into any of the superhero stuff, but he continues doing it. That’d be an interesting bit of dramatic tension that they haven’t used in a while.
Now where is Nowinski’s special treatment? Teaming with Rodney Mack is not special treatment, it’s being named Captain of a ship right before a torpedo slams into its hull. Mack is not over and has essentially no in-ring talent; he’s only managing to tread water thanks to Long’s superb mic work. Nowinski would be better served breaking free from them and using his intelligence to brainwash a couple of lackeys (think a cleaner Raven). No matter what the future outcome of Nowinski is, all the current booking shows is that Gewirtz’s special treatment of his favorites is roughly equivalent to Uday’s special treatment of Olympic athletes.
Agreed, and before anyone says anything about Harvard not having the mic skills to pull a Raven, let’s face facts: very few people have Raven’s mic skills. However, Nowinski would at least give it a go. And he’d have one major advantage on his side: he has Stevie Richards there, and it was Richards’ skill that helped sell a lot of Raven’s act in both ECW and WCW.
Speaking of Nowinski, I will agree with you that he has big things ahead of him. My only real concern is with his in-ring training. I cannot even begin to comprehend what kind of training is going on in OVW, because none of the “new generation” of wrestlers appear to know any moves.
I have this feeling that OVW is similar to the NBA and college basketball. Corny wants to teach them good old-fashioned mat and chain wrestling with storytelling, but the kids just want to learn the high spots and the attention-getters. So there’s a tension there, and the result is that the guys and gals at OVW don’t end up learning anything to any degree of proficiency.
They seem to have a general sense of when to put a match together, but all that guarantees is that we will have a whole generation of
Stings. This isn’t a slight against Sting, but if Sting had ever wrestled himself, we’d all have fallen asleep. He was great at putting together matches, but boring as hell on offense, thus he needed someone like Vader or Ric Flair to make things interesting from a wrestling standpoint. The Maven-Orton match on Raw should be enough to prove this. The two obviously knew how to put together a match, but neither have the moveset to create a unique experience.
And the only reason they know how to put together a match is because of Cornette, period. They’ve learned transitions. They just haven’t learned what to put between the transitions.
Their punch, clothesline, kick, sleeper offense occasionally punctuated by a basic move like a suplex is simply not going to cut it. This can be seen with all of the recently promoted talent: Dupree, Grenier, Cade, Orton, Cena, the Bashams, even O’Haire (I never saw the fascination with O’Haire other than the fact that he looked too big to deliver a spin kick, but, ever since being demoted, he seems to have been stripped of all his former potential.) While the uninteresting movesets would be bad enough for most wrestlers, it is more blindingly obvious with Orton, Nowinski, and Cena because they are three heels of variously high-profiles. Heels are supposed to control the offense for 75% of a match, but they simply cannot do it. Orton slapped a sleeper on Maven for about 4 minutes of a 5 minute match. Now I’m not advocating that everyone do the whole, overrated indy thing where you know 400 useless and overly-complicated moves. Angle, Benoit, and Eddy do not use too many particularly flashy moves, but they know more than enough to keep things entertaining. That’s all I’m asking, entertain me. These young guys can kill on the mic, now kill in the ring.
Agreed on everything. I was never high on O’Haire either, from the beginning (I honestly thought that their first appearance on Nitro was a swerve, with O’Haire and Jindrak being jobbers, and were legitimately surprised when they won their match). The same excuses, though, that are used for O’Haire are one day going to be used for Rene Dupree (held back by tag partner, silly booking, etc.)
This segues nicely into my next area of concern, Rico. The Adrian Street gimmick, while nice in theory, cannot possibly work because Rico will never be given enough leeway to actually go out there and kill someone. He had Spike Dudley, the world’s greatest 150 lb selling machine, and the best they let him do was choke him on the ropes? That’s not the killer instinct. He needed to rip off a turnbuckle pad and bash Spike’s head against it till he bled and then torture him with a particularly vicious submission hold long after the finishing bell rang. This isn’t rocket science, but creative will never capitalize on the potential of the gimmick.
Again, agreed. Rico should have done something more than finish the match up in the usual way and have Jackie Fucking Gayda crawl between his legs. However, I think that “creative” has doubts about this whole thing in the first place, and they wanted to gauge reaction before continuing. We know about Adrian Street, but the audience out there by and large does not. They don’t have the context that we do to put it in. So I can understand their apprehension.
To make things even worse, how is Rico supposed to get over while beating on Spike? Everyone beats on Spike. How is Orton supposed to get over as the next arrogant heel by beating Maven? Everyone beats Maven. While it’s nice, in theory, for the WWE to keep sending new blood to Raw, none of them stand much of a chance of getting over.
A problem that could be solved quite easily if jobbers still existed. But now the jobbers are lower-mid-carders, and they have reputations of their own to uphold. It isn’t in their best interest to make the up-and-comer they’re booked to lose to look good. They need to make themselves look good too in order to get out of the rut and back on to Raw/Smackdown.
Raw’s biggest problem is that essentially no one is over anymore. Other than a spinarooni pop or a Jericho entrance, the crowd is silent. They couldn’t have cared less about Rico or Maven or Orton or Nowinski, because they’re not in feuds with anyone of importance. There are a bunch of matches every week between guys who aren’t over.
Those guys would be feuding with people of importance if the feuds themselves were given importance, don’t you think? The audience doesn’t care because they haven’t been given a reason to care.
Cena, on the other hand, had a bunch of matches against guys who were over, and even though he lost more often than not, he has more or less made it.
And that’s due more to Cena’s charisma and the fact that the booking committee, out of a lack of options for Cena, allowed him to take a chance with the rap gimmick.
Michaels/Flair, Triple H/Nash, and Jericho/Goldberg isn’t going to help anyone’s career.
What it’s going to help are ratings and buyrates, and WWE has set their priorities on present-term to short-term due to the decaying financial situation. Did you catch the ratings for Raw? That’s the type of reaction they want at this moment. I credit Foley for most of that, though.
Michaels/Orton might. Jericho/Hurricane might. Flair/Maven might. But we don’t get these matches except when they need someone squashed in under 30 seconds in order to excite us over the next time Nash Rascals his way down to the ring.
The matches alone won’t help. There has to be rational reasons why these matches take place. Anyone reading this can cobble up bunches of scenarios that would lead to the first two of your matches (Flair/Maven, I don’t see under any circumstance). But WWE has to be willing to pull the trigger on giving us those reasons. They aren’t.
Triple H, love him or hate him, is a genius in this regard. All of his opponents look bad and, in the long run, lose all of their heat. He stays on top by default.
This is the same thing Flex does, by the way, but no one calls him out on it because he isn’t f*cking the boss’ daughter and can cut a better promo. Well, I call him out on it, but I’ve caught a lot of hell over the years for doing so.
Now that he’s run out of any opponents whose heat he hasn’t completely sucked out, he’s managed to bring back Mick Foley to completely ruin the man’s legacy. I sympathize for Foley, he never really wanted to retire, but he also never wanted to end up like Nash or Michaels and be crippled for life. Now that he’s back, he has the itch and will probably keep climbing back into the ring for the next year or so.
Mick would also love to put over the younger talent either through his in-ring ability (like he did with HHH) or his speaking ability (like he did with those numerous backstage Edge/Christian skits). Instead, though, he’s being brought back so that Triple H can complete his Anne Rice rip-off of a career (in more ones than one, since they’re both talentless hacks) and devour the rest of Foley’s essence as a wrestler. I love having Mick back, but I hate to see him get raped just because he loves the business. (Speaking of homoeroticism, didn’t Triple H sliding his fingers across Orton’s chest and stomach followed by a backstage skit where Orton had his hand lovingly draped on Triple H’s shoulder just seem so very, very eerie?)
Foley, if anyone, has the power to resist it. If he’s addicted to the limelight, he’s got his book and his book tour to handle that (and having a book coming out that can be a damn good seller courtesy of a halo effect from You-Know-Who and the Order of the Phoenix will only help the situation). If he still believes that he needs WWE for a boost on the sales charts, that’s mostly a self-image problem.
Finally, and I only bring this up because you touched on the deification of Bret Hart, I say screw Bret Hart. I haven’t read a single interview by him that shows him to be a good, caring man who did everything for the good of the business. Even wrestlers without a grudge against him, like Tom Billington, admit that Bret has always been out for himself above all others. He has always complained about doing jobs and dropping the belt. He was just as paranoid about losing his spot as Michaels was. The only difference is that Michaels had his nice, little influential group. Once they were weeded out, however, Bret ended up with one of his own. You don’t think Bret whined and cried until Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman were both pushed. Both men were useless when ’97 rolled around and had no business being a part of any important angles. This isn’t meant as an insult to either wrestler, but Pillman was crippled and Neidhart was five or six years past his expiration date. Personally, I think the Montreal incident came down to Vince being torn between Shawn’s whining and Bret’s. In the long run, he knew that Bret and his contract were far more costly than Shawn’s. If he was going to screw one of them, it might as well have been the one with the larger guaranteed contract. Neither of them were drawing crowds, both were a pain in the ass, so
screw Bret and let him go to WCW. A few months later, Michaels was crippled anyway, so good riddance to them both. Vince obviously made the right choice and I hope Taker received a nice bonus for shutting up Michaels for the next few years.
I’ll let that one stand so all of the Bret supporters can chew on it. However, I think you’re mixing up cause and effect when it comes to Montreal. Bret was already out the door. He’d signed with WCW when Bisch threw an ungodly sum of money at him, guaranteed (WWE has never given a guaranteed contract to anyone). Bret made his own bed by refusing to job in Montreal. Vince did not want him to walk out the door as reigning champion and give WCW something to crow about, so he got together with Michaels and Hebner and came up with the screw-job out of the interests of the WWF’s health. It wasn’t about Bret’s incessant whining or Michaels’ incessant whining; it was about the fact that Bret whined for one last time when it would do him no good.
Memo to Al Haigh: Yes, to Republicans, lying about a blow-job is worse than lying about a country’s terrorist links and weapons capabilities to start a war that costs the lives of civilians and military personnel. It’s also worse than things like lying about secret deals cut with a hostile country in order to make your party look good on the verge of an election, and lying about funding a terrorist group using money gained from selling arms to the hostile country mentioned in the previous part of the sentence. I know how people outside the US can get confused about things like this, but it’s true.
Memo to Sam Hillier: Foley’s probably not on the booking team for a number of reasons, like the fact that they travel with the guys and Foley wants to be a stay-at-home dad. Or like the fact that it’s a complete political mess and that he doesn’t want to alienate people backstage by, say, curtailing a push and having the person tell them “I thought you were my friend” (or being asked to use his influence to get someone a push). And, yes, “polack” is an insult.
Memo to Jason Mabry: The two best places to get correct screeners are the Usenet alt.binaries.vcd-type groups and off of the eDonkey or BitTorrent networks, especially if you’re grabbing stuff from index sites like ShareReactor or Agent as your newsreader (not FreeAgent, but the full Agent; a keygen for Agent is one of the easiest to find on the Net) and Shareaza as your eDonkey, BitTorrent, and Gnutella client. And do NOT download movies off FastTrack (that’s KaZaA’s network). Waste of time.
Memo to Ed Weinstein: I’ve talked about my attitude about the Israeli-Palestinian situation in here a number of times. What it boils down to is “make it the world’s biggest Hell In A Cell, last one out alive wins unless sanity prevails”. I am just sick and tired of seeing American tax dollars wasted on Israel when it’s the same old f*cking song and dance with them. Get a ring-wing government in, start cracking down on the Palestinians, see another intifada start up, panic, bring in a left-wing government, make some moves toward peace, get down to the issue of land, panic, bring in a right-wing government, etc. Cut off the goddamn subsidies and the support, and see what happens, just like the Russians did with Cuba post-commie.
And that’ll be it for me this week. Grut’s in tomorrow, and he’ll have some actual news. Until then, have a good one.
Oh, God, not one of these days…