The LIttle Things 08.26.03: Vince, Flair, Matt Hardy & More


Let’s do this.

This column is special because it will be the only column I write for awhile. I lost all of my cable last Thursday (apparently the Do It Yourself Network and Speed TV aren’t just some oddball channels one gives away for free) and I will not get it back for another two weeks. I do not know of any wrestling-friendly television sets in my area, so this pay-per-view will have to do for now. Let’s catch up on some mail before we head to the main event

Readers’ Picks I: Neither O’Haire Nor There

Ross Williams, the man behind the Top 50 US-based wrestlers for 2002-2003 column, checks in with a Velocity nugget involving Sean O’Haire:

Sean O’ Haire vs some jobber was pretty formulaic, but there was a priceless bit when Sean had the scrubber in a chinlock and demanded the ref “ask him” – which he did. When the jobber screamed “no!!!!”, Sean looked at the ref and asked “no?” in a voice as if to say “you’re kidding, right?” and then got up, punted the squash boy in the centre of the spine and went right back to the chinlock. He even did the “ask him” thing again before letting the guy go and kicking him in the face. It was a tremendous thing that made me smile. As did his Military-Press-into-Widowmaker, which was a thing of beauty. That’s my lot!

What would have been better is if the announce team had pointed out that Sean was trying to break down his back area using the kick. Of course, I would not know if that happened, because I can’t watch Velocity without cable, either. Excellent call by Ross, though.

Readers’ Picks II: If This Were A Real Emergency

From last week’s RAW, the readers gave the weekly pick to Test’s faking of the leg injury and Jericho’s retort to a ref’s admonishment with “C’mon ref, I’m the King Of The World!”. It is good to see that not much has changed while I’m away from the show. An AOL user,MeGotAmAgickStick, summarizes nicely:

I think the gems for this week are from the Canadians. After Jericho removed the turnbuckle pad while wrestling Nash, Earl Hebner admonished him only to get this reply from Jericho “But Im the king of the world.” Funny because of how serious he was. The second was Test. The guy did a great job of making it seem like he really landed wrong on the big boot. His total collapsing of the leg was very convincing. If only Steiner
wouldn’t have been running around the ring like a moron then everyone would have bought it.

Darnell Thompson, Chris Hynes, Ray Tugman, Oooga Chucka and Jason H. all factored into the tie this week. Pretty good volume for a week with no column, I must say.

To the readers who are sending in thoughts on the lesser known performers (Nidia, The Bashams, Rosey and so on), don’t worry, you’re going to be heard from very soon. If I can find the time while not watching television, I plan to write a couple of new columns. One on the lesser-known stars of both brands, and another on some of the great little things from past wrestling stars, the first of whom will be a surprise for next week.

Enjoy it while it is here, people. Here is the Little Five for SummerSlam 2003, written from the farm of my good friend Bill, he of the Harvard education:

1. Ringside Seat

I could not take a break without mentioning a funny facial gesture. There is none better to give us our daily dose than Mr. McMahon himself, of course. The “too bad” look of sorrow on Vince’s face after he waxed angle with that chair from behind was priceless. That he tucked his hands behind his back while doing it was even more hilarious. And to show that he has a vast repetoire, I honestly thought his face was going to explode as he winced on the canvas after the Angle Slam. Like him, hate him, hate his daughter, whatever, you have to admit that Vince is very entertaining in spots.

Brock Lesnar should also get credit for matching Vince in terms of exasperated looks when he failed to pin Angle after his F-5.

2. Ringside Seat II

Vince has nothing on Ric Flair, however. It was almost surreal seeing Ric propped up between the railing and the cage with both feet, flipping off Goldberg and keeping HHH inside his chamber. I mean, really, how many times do you see that in a wrestling show? All great wrestlers save their A material for the major pay per views.

Extra credit for the nature boy came from his impeccable timing in shedding his jacket like a crazy old lunatic just as Shawn Michaels superkicked HHH back into his chamber. You really get the sense that Ric is going to lose his mind over what goes on in the ring. These are the signs of an excellent manager.

3. Rules Are Meant To Be Broken

Myself, Bill and Dave Meltzer have all caught this, so I thought I’d bring this to the attention of the 411 faithful – since when does the ref NOT break the hold when a wrestler reaches the ropes? Brock made the ropes about 5 or 6 different times while in the Angle lock, but was kept in the hold the entire time. What else does the guy have to do? And what have I said about ignoring the rules leading to the suspension of disbelief going out the window over time?

This was especially funny because they really did a good job in giving the feel of a competitive athletic event in the beginning. The ref gave both men a pre-fight talk a la boxing and Angle and Brock know how to do the amateur style better than another two wrestlers on the roster, perhaps. The lack of a handshake during that talk, by the way, was an excellent touch.

4. Throw Your Hands In The Air

There is something particularly hilarious about a wrestler like Matt Hardy telling the ref to do his job and administer a countout victory and then shrugging off the gesture of raising his in victory with the next movement. Adding that he “hated to win that way” made it that much better along with the “Zach the Novelty Act” line. Why they couldn’t find a match for him quick is still confusing me. And let’s not even get into John Cena, people.

5. Whodunit?

Bill was particularly impressed with the camera work for the Coach heel turn. The camera was positioned so that we could all see Shane getting the kabong, but not the person wielding the weapon. Excellent stuff that kept us wondering for a few interesting seconds.

Coach should also get props for a pretty funny play by play job in the ring as well as some surprisingly good taunts on Austin, with the finger waving just in front of his body.

And that does it. Keep the suggestions rolling in and I will try to squeeze as much wrestling out of my schedule as possible.