Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 06.25.03


Your intro, and in fact much of the column today, can be summed up in one simple phrase.  It’s the phrase I live my life by, and I use it as the underpinnings of my entire belief system:


In Memoriam:  Leon Uris, patron saint to anyone who overwrites.

Oh, this is going to be a bleh one, folks.  I spent all day in bed yesterday sick with God knows what, and I feel like I’m on my third trip through the ringer right now.  However, I’ll get through it to get this out to you because, hey, that’s the kind of guy I am.

Let’s start it off…


Grut vs Daniels vs Flea.  That’s an interesting combo.

Haley has the seat next to me on the Chris Harvard Bandwagon.


Raw delivered a 3.9 rating last night, whcih is a number I’d consider disappointing considering the hype and what they were offering as a main event. – Dave Meltzer

Jesus, Meltz, what happened to the old objectivity?  Don’t tell me you’re behaving like 1bullshit?  Oh, sorry, you’re not, at least this week.  This is what Scherer wrote:

This week’s edition of Raw did a 3.9 cable rating, with a 6.3 share. That is down from last week’s 4.1. The show did hours of 3.5 and 4.3.

No commentary, no statement.  Come on, we expect this opinionation of Raw’s ratings from Milord, but not from you, Dave.


Robert Hawkins mailed me with this, and I think it’s worthy of discussion:

A little bit of insider information I picked up on, Vince McMahon apparently met with Trish Stratus and told her she is being demoted to Heat jobber girl for at least a year.  The thinking is that Trish might overshadow Lita upon her return, and therefore needs to go, because Stephanie and the writers view Lita as a bigger star. 

So basically Trish is the female Kurt Angle.  What’s your thought on this?  Do over wrestlers need to be used exclusively to put over those who aren’t over?  Is that kind of a mediocre game plan?  Keep everyone at medium levels?  I mean looking at the boom periods for the WWF business wise Hogan and Austin weren’t jobbing week in and week out (1984-1987, 1998-1999)

Will this shit ever blow up in Vince’s face?  I mean its not as if Trish needs the money or anything, and I have heard Kurt has a year left.  I know you hate Flex, but maybe he at least did the right thing in trying to expand beyond wrestling (I don’t think it’ll work, but it is a smart idea).

Okay, let’s go on the basis that this information is correct.  I haven’t seen it anywhere else, so if it does end up happening, you get full credit for breaking it.  Now, as to what it might mean…

First of all, I think we can all agree that Trish Stratus has been overexposed to the point of being turned into a joke, even in the humorous-by-nature WWE Women’s Division.  No one wonders whether she’s going to win the title again.  People wonder whether “Creative” is out of ideas for the women, so they have to throw the belt back on Trish.  She’s been carrying the face side of the women’s division for a long time now, and they’ve long since run out of ideas for her.  So putting her on the back burner might be a good thing for both Trish and the women’s division.

What disgusts me a little about this is the apparent fact that they can’t handle having more than one popular female face as an active wrestler (don’t start citing Ivory; in this context, her push against Jazz can be seen as a graceful way of getting Trish out of the way and using Ivory as a transition to Lita).  It’s apparent that they don’t have a clue about how to establish one.  If they can’t place a female face in the context of being a valet, they have no sense of what to do with them.  Female faces aren’t allowed to have a sharp edge to them, the way their penile-equipped counterparts can, and I have no clue why.  At one point, when Trish was with the Dudleys, they seemed to be giving her an edge, but that was quickly abandoned.  The result of this is that you have two compelling heel women in Victoria and Jazz that have been developed in the last year, and no one on the other side to compare.  Trish has been running on momentum alone.

Is she the female Kurt Angle?  No.  Angle’s use to get Benjamin and Haas over did no damage to him (unlike Lesnar).  In fact, it probably ended up helping him.  He’s got some good short-term feuds out of it so far, and he’s still top-card.  That being said, their relative success with Angle may be a template that they’re going to use for Trish in regard to getting a better Women’s division together.

Do over wrestlers need to be used exclusively to put over those who aren’t?  It all depends on the situation.  If a performer is past his or her shelf life and the audience is becoming bored with him or her, yes, then do it.  That’s what’s happening right now with Trish.  She’s over, but they haven’t done anything with her and it’s clear that they don’t know what to do with her anymore, since the way that they’ve booked her has limited her opportunities to expand her character.

If Trish is being demoted to give rubs to younger women competitors, I have no real problem with that.  She’s the only woman wrestler in WWE with the ability to give a rub, and a stronger Women’s Division can make a more compelling situation in the Raw brand (and they desperately need something, ANYTHING, at this point).  I don’t think they’re keeping her at a “medium” level.  I think they’re putting her in a place where she can be of more use to the Fed right now than what she’s been doing.  If it takes demoting Trish to make a stronger women’s division in the long term, then it has to be done.  It’ll definitely weaken the division short-term, though.

Are they destroying her?  Not necessarily.  Until someone can be built up to come along and take her place as Alpha Female (the way Trish was after Chyna’s departure), she’ll be the top woman in the Fed, Heat appearances or not.  Even afterward, she’ll still be an attraction.  I wouldn’t worry about her status at this point.


Okay, here’s the situation.  The Son Of The Greatest Mayor Who Ever Fucking Lived won’t allow corporate sponsorship of Soldier Field (and he’s allowed to do that, since the Chicago Park District owns Soldier Field).  The Bears want some of that delicious sponsorship money, though.  So what do they do?  Sell the rights to the team’s games.  Instead of watching a Bears game, you will now be watching a Bears game presented by BankOne.

Corporate sponsorship of an event is not an unknown phenomenon.  Virtually every tennis and golf event has a corporate sponsor.  All of the college bowl games do now.  The Triple Crown in horse racing is sponsored by Visa.  Soccer teams all over Europe sport a big-ass corporate logo on every uniform shirt.  WWE PPVs have long had a single major sponsor behind the event.  But the big US pro sports seemed to be immune from this level of corporate involvement.  To see the first step into the Abyss happen here, in my home town, and coming from my own f*cking bank no less, is a little disconcerting.

I know, it had to happen.  But it still doesn’t make me feel good.  I’m going to chalk this up to a sense of lost innocence.  I’d prefer to think of times a decade ago here in town, when the United Center was still being built and there were hopes that it’d be called Chicago Stadium.  Before the Rosemont Horizon became the Allstate Arena.  When the place the White Sox play was still named after Charles Comiskey rather than a mobile phone company.  Chicago is one Tribune Field (McCormick Field, maybe?) away from corporate saturation now.

Maybe this is one of the things that has drawn me to wrestling heavily over the years.  The focus on money is still there, but it’s a lot more subtle (the PPV sponsorships).  We don’t get our faces mashed into the fact all the time.  It’s amazing to think that a fake sport beats out the others in integrity in one critical area, isn’t it?

Talking about wrestling’s integrity and then moving over to cover Smackdown…that’s incongruous, even for me.


Got the results from 1bullshit…man, it’s always a sad day when Rajah doesn’t have them first.  Thank God for ad-blocking and popup-blocking software.

UT, as part of his eternal effort to get the young guys over until they can be mashed by him, gives a bit of a rub to Orlando Jordan this week.  Good for him.  Of course, you could balance that out by saying that he’s also giving an effort to get the older guys over considering who he’s palling up with right now.

They’re going to be ripping off the DDP “financial windfall” angle for Jamie Noble and Nidia, but given how those characters have been developed, this time, they have a winner with lots of source material.  The Beverly Hillbillies did run for nine seasons, after all.

Something you’ll not see on camera:  After the Steph/Tenacious Z exploitation vignette, Vince ended up throwing Gowen’s cane in anger, and it ended up hitting a woman in the audience.  After the cameras cut, Vince came out of the ring and checked on her while she and her boyfriend were led backstage so that she could receive medical attention and, presumably, a boob job and the chance to become Rikishi’s valet.  As the group was departing, the ever-sensitive Noo Yawk crowd started chanting “Lawsuit!”.  Gives me hope that even Noo Yawk can be saved.

This week’s reason to watch:  Dragon’s here.  Period.  Say no more.

Next week’s reason to turn away:  Zach Gowen and Stephanie McMahon versus The Big Show.  Would I lie about something like that?


Okay, let’s start out with the Harry Potter situation.  Oh, have the Screaming Ninnies been out in force because I blew the surprise death.  Let’s go with some quotes from readers:

Just because you personally hate J.K. Rowling gives you no reason to reveal a major f*cking plot point like that.  Albeit, you probably didn’t even know what that statement meant, but for those of us who like the Potter books, that’s f*cking cruel. – Ed Novak

Frankly, I’ve been dying to spoil this one ever since I found out about the death happening.  I think everyone knows by now that I have absolutely no sensitivity to the feelings of my audience (look at YAM, for God’s sake), and this was a surprise shot to remind everyone of that fact.  I’m one of the few writers in the IWC who will not only admit to being an asshole, but who takes pride in it.  That’s a big reason why people like me.

I was just writing to let you know that as of now, I am no longer going to read another article of yours again…I know you hate Rowling, but does that mean you hate fans of her’s (by the way, I am not one of those freak, hardcore fans that will dress up in costumes and wait in line for hours on end to see the latest book or movie)? Do you hate me? I love Harry Potter, but I’m not such a bad guy. – Nathan Steele

Too bad.  You’re going to miss getting yourself quoted.  And you’ll be back, Nathan.  My column is the Hotel California.

Fuck you right back, Eric…I’m disappointed in you. I generally consider you to be a very intelligent guy with a legit interest in movies, books, etc. Spiling the ending of something just because you don’t like the series was a surprisingly jackass move. Thanks a lot. – Dan Katz

Yep, it was a jackass move.  It was a jackass move done consciously and with malice aforethought.

Using your forum on 411 to be a jerk is not cool.  Please take this into consideration next time you decide to spoil something. – Jeremy Miles

But I am a jerk.  Everyone knows that.

…it was quite classless of you to reveal the major spoiler of the book without at least warning people about it first…you are no better than those bastards who leak out results to the media and then no doubt claim innocence with the tired “you don’t have to read it”
tag…If you hate Harry and Rowling, fine.  If you want to give spoilers away as some lame-ass protest of her and her work fine.  But at least have some respect for those people who disagree with you, and put a spoiler warning in front it next time.  Not everybody wants to
have the surprise ruined for them.  But again that would take class, something you lack.  It only took me eleven paragraphs of your writing to figure that out.  Maybe you should read some HP before revealing spoilers on your site.
– Jamie Jamison

Now who ever said that I have class?  I could go through the litany of things I’ve said that offended people, starting with Barbara Olsen and Korey Stringer and moving down the line from there, but it’d be a waste of time.  Most people here know my rep.

And if given the choice between reading a Harry Potter book and having my balls chewed off by rats, bring on the rodents.

To summarize:

1) I did it because I could.

2) I did it because I wanted to.

Cue Aleister Crowley.

A lot of misconceptions floating around about my condemnation of CIPA being upheld by the Supremes on Monday…

I understand that you think the federal government should give you everything, including pornography, on a silver platter, but please give me a break.  Let me get this straight:  your ACLU.com bookmark doesn’t work because they have another brief in support of NAMBLA, and because you’re TOO FUCKING LAZY TO ASK THE LIBRARIAN FOR HELP, you want MY taxpayer dollars to fund unlimited access to porn?  You expend a great deal of energy to make an argument that boils down to 1) even though I can ask the librarian to unblock a legit site, I don’t wanna, and 2) filters don’t work anyways.  Most forms of protection don’t work perfectly; should we stop implementing them altogether until we find one that’s 100% effective?  If only you were consistent on that point, my taxes wouldn’t be funding condoms in middle schools either.  The errors can be either false positives or false negatives.  For the false positives, there’s an easy way around that:  ASK THE LIBRARIAN TO UNBLOCK THE SITE!  For a false negatives, you’re no worse off than not having any filter at all.  If a group of librarians want unlimited access to porn, they can jack up the price of the late fees on books and stop acting like they’re entitled to federal tax money. – Fuck, I Accidentally Deleted The Mail, So My Apologies

Why do you chastise the Supreme Court for their decision on pornography in Public Libraries, yet remain silent in your condemnation of them as they allow the most un-American of policies (Affirmative Action) to continue…? – Paul Walfish

Like a lot of people, you’re missing the whole point of CIPA.  The whole porn issue is a smokescreen, designed to give the technically-ignorant politicians receiving complaints from their technically-ignorant constituents something to point to and say “See!  We’re doing something about this!”  Witness Joe Brown’s statement to me:

From a staunch GOPer, great points on the Children’s Internet Protection Act!  Every time one of these feel good laws is passed by either side of the political spectrum, it just weakens respect for laws in general.

The whole issue here is the fact that, in order to receive federal funding, libraries have to put clamps down on the information that people can receive through the library’s Internet systems, and some of that information is located right on the library’s shelves (thus a double standard).  If you’re pissed off about the fact that the entire country of China is firewalled to prevent any kind of message against the government from coming through (and you should be), then you should be pissed off about the fact that, in order to get federal funding, libraries have to firewall their patrons, using products that have a subtle yet unmistakable moral agenda, and in the process, constitutionally-protected speech is being filtered out along with the smut.

And as for affirmative action, I’ve said a number of times that I’m against it.  People should be judged on merit without any ethnic bias.  Remember what Dr. King said about being judged on the content of one’s character?

(And In Memoriam to Lester Maddox, who ended up eventually agreeing with that statement.)

Ryan Horton, a self-admitted Republican, gave me a phenomenal statement on this whole issue:

I’m sure I am not the only Republican that was disgusted by the Supreme Court’s decision. 

As you mentioned in your rant, these filters don’t stop with filtering porn alone.  They also filter out other “offensive” content.  This is a truly frightening precedent for a country that prides itself on its freedom of speech.  The politicians should never have been allowed to trade in our First Amendment rights in the name of making it easier for bad parents to protect their children from porn on the

I had faith that the Supreme Court would do the right thing when this case got to them, as it seemed like such a clear-cut case of a law infringing on a Constitutionally protected right.  I was just as let down as I was when they ruled on Eldred v. Ashcroft.  The Supreme Court is supposed to be our last line of defense in keeping legislators (and the large corporations and special interest groups that bankroll them) from infringing on our rights, but they have become just another cog in the machine.  It is time to start lobbying for term limits on the Supreme Court, if just to get these jerks out of there.

And God bless the ACLU.  While I don’t agree with every position they take, they might be the only ones left who are looking out for the citizens of this country.

I keep thinking that, one of these days, a lot of the people who support the Junta are going to wake up and see what exactly in civil liberties we’ve been trading away for so-called “security”, whether national or psychological.  And then I keep losing hope of something like that ever happening.

Of course, the ultimate responsibility for this lies elsewhere, as pointed out by my fascist bud John King:

I agree believe it or not. That is a slippery slope they are falling down.  Once again the government is being asked to be the surrogate nanny to kids while mommy and daddy both work so they can have matching Mercedes. Lord we may be just that dumb huh? I do believe that this would be the first step to getting into your home. It kills me because this is usually where I start the liberal bashing of getting a foot in the door with an entitlement program and then growing it, but Bush is doing that for me with the health and drug program so THAT’S shot in the ass.

But most of these kids have a freaking Dell power book in their room and their parents have no idea how it works. If a kid wants porn, or beer, or pot, or sex, they are going to get it no matter how much you are trying to stop them. Even more so if you actively try and block them. From the Sears underwear ads to boobalicious.com kids want to look at that stuff. Parents need to stop after the second scotch and watch their kids.

Thank you, John.  As usual, you come through magnificently.  Oh, by the way, I do remember the whole thing about clomipramine’s rather unique side effect.  We all thought that it’d be right alongside roofies as chemical “must”s for that big date that you’re not quite sure about.

A lot of thoughts about Kane’s unmasking.  My favorite was from RJJC, who knows how to appeal to me:

You know how Yosemite Sam looks right after an explosive he intended for Bugs Bunny goes off in his own face instead? That’s what “Kane Unmasked!” looks like.

Well, it sure as hell fits in with the “Duck Season/Rabbit Season” thing they tried to do with Austin and Bisch.

Regular Joshua Crawley comes in a close second, though:

I have to admit, he looked damned ugly. It’s not because i thougth he was scarred or anything ridiculous like that… it was the shaven front of his head and the mascara. The contacts at least helped a little, though. wait, no, they didn’t.

And full honorable mention goes to DRUMDUKER:

Actually I thought Kane looked like Larry from the 3 stooges with charcoal on his face.

Regular Cabbageboy316 comments about Raw’s musical interlude with La Res and my comparison to Casablanca:

How is singing the French anthem a heelish act?  The first thing it brought to mind was Casablanca, when Laszlo led everyone in a rendition of it to drown out Deutschland Uber Alles or whatever the Nazis were singing.  It’s kinda hard to get heel heat from singing a song that pissed off Nazis.

The great part about that scene was the moment before it happened, when the musicians look over to Bogart for his approval of Laszlo’s demand, and Bogie just gives a very subtle nod.  Brilliant.

A lot of writers from Canada chimed in about the fact that beef companies are clamoring for quality specialists after the recent outbreak of BSE, but they can’t offer me enough to emigrate to balance out the cost of the fact that I smoke.  So I’ll leave Canada out of emigration plans for now.  The Aussie audience, though, is giving me some good thumbs-up indications.  Cory Laflin of 411games also gives me some good advice on this subject:

I’ve worked in Canada before.  I’ve also heard countless stories from British expats.  Trust me, you’re better off staying here.  Pretty soon everybody will be on the campaign trail and nobody in the government will have time to actually do anything.  (It’s probably my favorite part of every 4 years. When Laissez Faire really takes hold for a little while, the country prospers; mostly because nobody is
actively trying to f*** it up.)  This too shall pass.

So will kidney stones, but I don’t know how much of this particular pain in the urethra I can stand.

Memo to Jason Foster:  Stay away from KaZaA’s main program.  It’s loaded down with spyware and extraneous crap.  Instead, get a copy of KaZaA Lite.  As for P2P networks themselves, KaZaA is only recommended because of the vast number of users.  For music files, Gnutella is better for high-quality files.  For programs, movies, and long videos, go for the eDonkey network.  For noobs on both, I recommend latest column. And I would be remiss without a couple of comments:

1) Simply Red’s lead vocalist is Mick Hucknall, and he’s as great as you say. Just listen to “Stars” sometime.

2) If Zeromancer wants a slightly bigger challenge in the Real Life vein, try covering “Catch Me I’m Falling”.

3) So where were Ike and Tina’s version of “Proud Mary” and Elton John’s cover of “Pinball Wizard”?

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for Grut. You know you want to.