Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 07.08.03


Seven Braves are headed to the All-Star Game. But stars like Sammy Sosa…will not be going to Chicago. – cnnsi.com, July 7th, 2003.

Uh, hold on a second…does anyone at CNNSI have a goddamn clue?  Let’s be honest:  if the All-Star Game was being held at Shea, would CNNSI say that Jason Giambi wouldn’t be going to Noo Yawk?

In Memoriam…well, it was one of those “untimely” deaths for me (meaning any death happening too late for me to put into last week’s column and too long suspended from this week’s column to be pertinent), but, as a number of people reminded me, the fact that only cheap beer has helped more guys get laid than Barry White makes him worth honoring no matter when the demise took place.

In Memoriam II:  Buddy Ebsen, however, did have a timely death, and he deserves an In Memoriam because, let’s face it, Jed Clampett’s an icon and an inspiration to white trash everywhere who think they can win the lottery.

In Memoriam III:  Slick Rick’s server motherboard, dead from heat exhaustion.  Or lack of exhaustion of heat, as the case may be.

And it’s another steamy Tuesday here at Opinions, Etc. HQ, as we go through the IWC equivalent of the Running of the Bulls at Pamplona.  It’s your job to avoid being run over by the, in the words of Tom Lehrer, half-ton of angry pot roast that is me, and I’m afraid that some of you aren’t going to make it.  So let’s set off that skyrocket and begin…


As I told Fleabag, it’s obvious that he left #15 off of the Summer IWC 100 since no one could have followed me in that slot after I moved up.  However, putting me behind the Prick and Suck Woodhead again…that’s unforgivable.  You pissin’ me off, son.

Memo to Ashish:  I think we should stop printing No Holds Barred’s bullshit show recaps until they stop spamming me with them.  Hey, if I’m good enough to be on their mailing list, I’m good enough to be a f*cking guest, and until that happens, nothing they talk about is worth relaying.

Grut‘s assertion that I don’t read “A Wrestling Tale” is wrong.  I do.  It’s great.  You go and read it too.

Chris Biscuiti answered my question about who Ashton Kutcher was.  Really, I had no idea who he was.  Pop culture has been so dull since I decided to grow up.

Fernandez over in the music section wants another pimp.  Hey, I’m happy to oblige.  But you know what that means, Jeff…

I still think Elton John’s version of “Pinball Wizard” should have been on that best covers list.  Nice of you to acknowledge my other “where the hell was it” entry, though.

Siouxie and the Banshees’ first single, “Hong Kong Garden”, went Top Ten in Britain, so don’t keep with that American-only perspective about their level of success.

The Runaways were a complete put-up job by Kim Fowley, although giving the world Jett and Ford was worth the pretension.

Disqualifying the Pixies does not disqualify the Breeders, same person involved in both or not.  And they should have been on there.

Jefferson Airplane/Starship should have been disqualified for the same reason that Fleetwood Mac and X were:  reliance on male lead vocals in addition to female.  Or do you know something about Marty Balin and, later, Mickey Thomas that I don’t?  “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit” don’t make up for “Volunteers”, “Miracles”, “Runaway”, “Jane”, “Stranger”, “No Way Out”, etc.

Hey, you want to get pimped, you get critiqued.  You know the deal.


Okay, lots of bitching last week when Andrew Ormberg said that only Gail Kim and Christian had won belts during their first WWE matches.  I got inundated with mail about Jerry Lynn winning the LHW in his first WWE match.  True, but let me give out these caveats:

1) To anyone who said that I made a mistake, no, I didn’t.  Andrew did.  I don’t take blame for things I didn’t write.

2) I actually had to think about whether or not people were right when they wrote in.  I am saddened by the fact that Jerry Lynn could become so irrelevant in my mind.  To watch Jerry Lynn have to suffer in exile while Rob Van Dam, who isn’t half the wrestler he is, get upper-mid-card LUV is ridiculous.  Please, Jerry, do something to get yourself out of this quandary.

3) Factually correct or not, the Christian thing should have been brought up by Ross and Lawler.  Trinity needed the cred boost, and by comparing her splashy debut to Christian, a guy they’re actively pushing at upper-mid-card, could have given her some mark credibility.


Naturally, if there’s a golf tournament I care about, it’s the Western Open.  How can a boy from the Southwest Side of Chicago not love Cog Hill (I’ve never done Dubsdread, but I have done #2…I will say that it is better value than a hired dominatrix)?  How could you not love the Centennial Celebration of Chicago Golf?  But this sucker ended early.

How early?  How about the fifth hole on Saturday?  Par five.  Tigger puts his tee ball in the rough.  Blasts it out and comes less than a foot from an albatross.  Game Fucking Over.  Yeah, I watched it after that (too damn hot ‘n humid to do the real thing), but it was sort of an anticlimax.  Okay, you could say it was over when he shot that 63 on Thursday, but it’s still Thursday.  Besides, if I could do that on Links (and I’ve got the f*cking scorecard printed to prove that I did, in fact, shoot 63 on Dubsdread), it doesn’t mean anything.  And then what he did on Sunday…I felt for Dubsdread.  It’s supposed to treat other people this way, not be beaten into submission.  Ditto with the field.  Mike Weir, Jim Furyk, and Rich Beem, all of whom hold major titles right now (unlike Tigger), were his bitches.  Except for Beem, who was making it interesting, but not interesting enough.

In.  Fucking.  Credible.  As usual from him.  Watch out, Royal St. George’s.

Speaking of Rich Beem, I am glad to see him do really well this week.  He’s got a bit of a quandary coming up.  For those of you who don’t know, he may not be defending his title at the PGA because he apparently didn’t look at a calendar prior to ejaculation.  His wife’s due with their first during PGA week.  If she hasn’t dropped the kid, he’s going to do what Lefty did a few years ago and wear a beeper.  If she does, and does it on Tuesday or Wednesday, he won’t be there.  You gotta admire putting family ahead of golf, but this is a major.  Okay, it’s the PGA, but it’s still a major.

Kobe’s sexual assault?  Forget that.  Who the hell goes to Vail in summer?  It’s not like he has to take advantage of the cheaper off-season rates.

And the women also took part of the golf spotlight, what with them having a major and all.  Thank God that 18 on Sunday turned into Annika Sorenstam’s Collaps-o-Matic ™ to make things interesting (how nice of the second rain delay at Cog Hill coinciding with the twenty-minute ruling on Annika’s lie, a situation which probably ended up costing her the tournament).  If not for a tight, exciting finish, this one would have ended up in the books as the “Was Michelle Wie Pushed Or Not” Open (First she and her entourage said yes, then they said no…oh, come on, Mister Wie, start being a boorish sports father, please.  Look what they’ve done for women’s tennis.).  Angela Stanford’s hot-shit birdie at 18, Hilary Lunke playing out of her mind, Kelly Robbins’ comeback, Annika’s flub…and a three-way 18-hole playoff.  And then the playoff comes down to Lunke hitting a clutch, necessary birdie on the 18th playoff hole.  Now that’s the way to book a major.

The Tour de France opened up with a tour de force Tour de Crash that bruised up Lance and broke the collarbone of the only other rider in this race that matters, Tyler Hamilton.  Immediately afterward, the guy who won the stage immediately bitched at the race organizers for putting a hazardous turn a few hundred meters from the finish, when guys are going balls-to-the-wall.  I love the response of the competition director, though:  “If people tell me today that it was dangerous, then they should stop cycling.”  Gotta love the French and their well-known sensitivity to their fellow humans.

And speaking of France, the women’s finals at the All-England showed that the natural order of things had returned.  Guess the law is now that the winner of a major must be a Williams, but only if you’re in an English-speaking country.  Full credit to Venus, though, for not only playing through injury like she did (both in the semis and in the finals), but even taking a set off of Serena.  The Williamses now have the biggest-ass Table Setting For Four ever made, and more guests will be forthcoming.  Don’t cry for Kimmy Clijsters losing out to an injured Venus; she was able to take the Chanson de Bilitis Cup with Ai Sugiyama.  Presumably, they went back to the hotel and did a three-continent three-way with Hewitt, who had nothing else to do for the past two weeks other than to watch his girlfriend.

Then there was the guy’s side.  Okay, we know what the booking’s going to be now.  Let Roger Federerererer…hey, it’s hard to stop once you get started…win here.  Roddick will take the US Open and mark his emergence.  Could that semi-final match been the kick-off of the rivalry men’s tennis has needed from its young guys ever since Pete and Andre both got married?  They can only hope so.  Now if Federererer…goddamnit…didn’t have the personality of your average Swiss guy, things would be okay.

The real story at the All-England, though, was the mixed doubles.  Yes, I said the mixed doubles.  Care to check out who the “female” side of the winning team this year is?  Okay, you do it?  Yes, you are not reading a misprint.  You are not reading a reprint either.  Yes, that was the name “Martina Navratilova” that you saw.  The mixed-ds was her 20th title at Wimbledon, tying her with Billie Jean King for most ever.  It is utterly bizarre to think that Martina Hingis has had to retire because of injury, but that the woman she was named for has made a comeback at the highest level, at the age of 46.  And she says she’ll be back to defend.  Now I saw the last set of the match, and I have to admit that she was looking damn great out there.  For an old dyke, she can really move.  She carried Leander Paes through the last set, definitely.  She’s now officially become Ric Flair, and there’s no arguments.

And speaking of Ric Flair, what about the show he’s on?  Probably the last episode of Raw on the New TNN due to the Spike Lee suit getting settled, you know…


Match Results:

Booker T over Christian, Intercontinental Title Match (Pinfall, Scissors Kick, New Intercontinental Champion):  Hmmm, wonder if Scooter’s writing something about Canadians having to job in Canada right now?  All I know is this:  these guys have the chops to carry off some intricately-booked matches (witness the end sequence here, where Booker is able to pull off a few false scissors kick attempts before hitting one, and made it look realistic).  These two have produced a number of damn good matches and a very compelling feud, and this isn’t the blowoff.  As memories of Booker/Benoit back in WCW become dimmer, Booker/Christian is making for a nice substitute.

Derrek Croney went a little further than I did:  I keep drawing comparisons with early Flair-Steamboat matches.. ok, that may be a stretch, but these guys are performing well.

Chalk it up to hyperbole.

Rosey over Novocaine Helms (Pinfall, Fat Samoan Drop):  Oh, dear God, this is all I needed.  Now every time I say something about Helms, the weirdos are going to write into me saying “why ru down on hurricane?  he job ot rosie!”  That being said, decent decision by WWE regarding Rosey’s turn.  He needed something to do, and Mack needed a feud ASAP after Goldberg killed the White Boy Challenge.  So give them to each other.  No problem at all with that.

Gail Kim and Val Venis over Victoria and Stevie Richards, Mixed Tag Match (Pinfall, Kim pins Victoria, rana):  Good.  If Scooter’s still bitching about the first match, he can’t do it about this one.  Only in wrestling can you have an American duo come out to music by a Russian duo to face a Canadian duo who claim they’re from other places.  That being said, a Kim/Victoria feud has possibilities.

Test versus Kevin Nash, With Trish Stratus As Designated Tits (Like, who cares?):  Phasers were set on ignore, full spread.  Personally, I was playing a bit of Morrowwind, with both expansions installed, natch.

Chris Jericho over Mark Jindrak (Submission, Walls of Jericho):  Jesus Christ, Ross and Lawler, will you stop the f*cking kayfabe already?  Lawler making him out to be a raw rookie was such a goddamn joke.  What the hell’s wrong with saying, “Jindrak first made a name for himself as one of the brightest young talents in the last days of WCW, where he teamed up with Smackdown’s Sean O’Haire.  Since WCW went under, he’s been training and applying himself, and he feels he’s ready to take on the best here on Raw.”?

The Pride Of Dartmouth His Own Self, Elliot Olshansky, decided to be more scathing:  You know, if WWE needed an idea about how to make us believe in Jindrak as something special, so we’ll be pissed when he joins Evolution, the least they could have done was watch his Nitro debut, back when Terry Taylor was running things.  Jindrak and O’Haire showed up out of nowhere on Nitro, and immediately got over.  Jindrak comes out to wrestle Jericho on RAW and draws “boring” chants.  And now WWE has done WORSE than WCW at introducing both Jindrak AND O’Haire.  How depressing.

Molly Holly over Trish Stratus, Number One Contender’s Match (Submission, lay-down camel clutch):  Hey, not bad!  Good transitions, good psychology, great pace.  I’m impressed.  Now let’s see what they do next week when Molly lays down for Trinity.

Rob Van Dam and Buh Buh Ray Dudley over Ric Flair and Randy Orton (Pinfall, Van Dam pins Flair, Five-Star Frog Splash):  You know what I said earlier about Jerry Lynn?  I think I’m feeling the same way about his perpetual opponent as well.  Talk about irrelevance at a high level.

Angle Developments:

My Sacrifice:  If it will provide us, the audience, with Austin-free, Bisch-dominated shows like last week, I, for one, will gladly volunteer my services as a food safety expert to WWE, gratis, so that Austin can perpetually suffer from food poisoning.

They Do Love Us Smarks:  Hmmmm, we’re in Montreal, and it took a grand total of seven minutes for them to incorporate the word “screwjob” into the show.  Bravo, guys.

Memo To Buh Buh Ray Dudley:  Did you ever consider the possibility that Dreamer did that to himself?  Look, if anyone on the WWE roster is capable and willing, it’s him.  Don’t go blaming Randy Orton despite the preponderance of evidence and the standard flow of wrestling storylines.

The Ravin’ Cajun came up with an alternative suspect:  Up until Rico said the name “Kane” I thought about who could be going after all of those poor jobbers and figured the following: “Let’s see… Rico, Tommy Dreamer… looks like Dreamer stole someone’s roids and Rico caught a view of the minicock. Yup. Trips is on the rampage again…”

What The Fuck’s Up With All The Canadians?:  Jesus, I know that sucking up to Canadians is SOP, but the first hour of Raw was ridiculous.  Christian in a highlight match, Gail Kim and Sean Morley teaming up, Test doing a vignette with Trish Stratus, revisiting Montreal with Chris Jericho…Canadians, every place you look.  There is such a thing as “too much”, you know.

Responsible Dave contributes with this observation:

No Hunter, Goldberg, or Steiner?  Was it some kinda Canadian holiday or what?

No, but it sure as hell made it a holiday for me.  Shit, if Austin hadn’t been on there, I would have proclaimed it the Best Raw Ever.

So Why Did They Bother?:  Great idea to do a Montreal-themed Highlight Reel.  Horribly botched execution, though.  Neither Michaels nor Jericho came off very well coming out of that.  Michaels could have played up the heel aspect, even up to the point of taking the kayfabe bullet and saying that he was responsible for the idea.  Jericho could have played off of him a little more.  Instead, they decided to go with the “Get Over It” direction, conveniently forgetting that “You Screwed Bret” is also a favorite of crowds in Toronto, Edmonton, and, of course, Calgary.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Add on top of that a horrid buildup to the match for two weeks from now, and you have a truly bad transition segment.

Flex Isn’t The Only One They Protect:  If Kane’s going to be booked as a bad-ass monster, then why the hell was Austin able to kick the crap out of him?  I absolutely hate WWE for protecting people like Austin and Flex when they think they have one more dime left in them to eke out, instead of pushing different talent (or, heaven help us all, new talent).  I’m not going to say that this neurotic attitude of protection is what makes me hate them (oh, no, it goes far deeper than that with both gentlemen, I’m afraid), but it doesn’t mollify things any.  Just have Kane run rampant on everyone, and put someone higher up the food chain than Dreamer in an ambulance next time.

Oh, screw it.  It’s decided to piss rain here again right now, and I’m in no mood to continue this.  Until tomorrow, when I decide which incomprehensible pro-Flex letter gets You’re A Moron, I’m gone.