Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 08.26.03

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In Memoriam:  Chicago’s own Wesley Willis.  He took schizophrenia and turned it into a profession, saying that writing, singing and performing were therapeutic in helping to quiet the voices that had tormented him since 1989.  The man began as a street singer and after opening for several local bands (and becoming a cult figure in the process) was signed to American Records.  Willis was best known for singing amusing (often hilarious) pieces about everything from the voices in his head to riding on the bus to McDonald’s.  I met the guy a few years back at Exit, had a Pabst Blue Ribbon with him, and talked about our favorite cereals.  Upon leaving, he f*cking headbutted me.  We’ll miss you, Wesley. – 411Music’s Jeff Fernandez

I hesitate to think what the Chicago music scene would have been like without Wesley Willis.  Without him, the whole Wicker Park scene would have suffocated on the collective ego bullshit of Billy Corgan and Liz Phair.  He was sick for quite a while, and we lost him at far too young an age.

Busy, busy, busy, that’s what I am.  Knocked out a column for Fleabag yesterday, finished up a review for the Games section, and now I have to do this one, Games news for today, and this column tomorrow.  Someone had better start to consider financial recompense for my services…

…well, if there was any wrestling news to speak of.  There’s only one story, and thanks to Hyatte’s absence, I get to do the first post-mortem on that DOA PPV that they had.

GOING OFF ON SUMMERSLAM

How in the name of God’s green earth do you support an organization that keeps finding new bottoms to the barrel they’re sinking down?  Well, it isn’t an issue for most of us per se, because we gave up on supporting WWE a long, long time ago.  But that asinine PPV should have just about killed not only any support they may have had left, but probably prevented anyone from supporting them again for a long, long time.

Let’s face it, when you broadcast a major PPV whose biggest turn was that of the third-string announcer, you’ve got more problems than anyone can help you with.

Let’s take a long, hard look at the fallout…

They got the ending to the Angle/Lesnar match right.  Angle should have gone over, Lesnar should have tapped out, and Vince should have stayed out of the decision.  However, that doesn’t obviate Vince actually taking a serious active role in this thing.  Jesus Fucking Christ, you’ve got two guys who know what they’re doing technically and from an SE standpoint in there.  Vince is NOT needed for anything.  Putting himself in the middle of this feud was a mistake to begin with.  Lesnar could have been turned without him.  So where do they go from here?  Another program with each other?  That’s just about the only thing I can think of off the top of my head.

Eddy should have dropped the US title.  It doesn’t matter to which of the other three he dropped it to (although Benoit would be the logical choice, and they could have used the strap to get his feud with Rhyno up to a higher level; ditto in reverse with Rhyno).  With Chavito ready to come back, they could have played off an Eddy loss in so many ways that it makes your head spin.  Does he start doubting Cheat To Win?  Then Chavito can bring him back from the abyss of actually having to wrestle a fair match once in a while.  Does he start going off?  Then Chavito’s there to calm him back down or to try to take him out.  Keeping the title on him was a lazy decision by “creative”, and did nothing for the other three guys in the ring.  Now this sad-ass booking is starting to dig hold of the part of Smackdown I really like, and that bugs me to no end.

How about retiring the Raw tag belts once and for all?  If all we have to look forward to is Dudleys All The Time and La Res becoming a low-rent, non-costumed Demolition (instead of Grenier getting booted down to OVW for some Corny LUV and Conway taking his place), then it’s time for a mercy killing.  Have La Res dump the belts into a garbage can, saying that since they’re American titles, they’re worthless, or throw them in a river, or send them UPS to Paris.  Just get rid of the tag titles so we don’t have to sit through this shit anymore.

Oh, yeah, Memo To Widro:  I’m sure you’ve been getting this in your mail for the past day or so, but let me do it in public:  Conway was playing a member of the Air Force, not the Marines (E-3, I believe?  I could never decipher AF rank stripes.).

They even pissed away a very cunning angle by having Linda slap Bisch.  At the very least, it’d bring some balance into the family with both parents as heels and the kids as faces.  Why not have Linda portray herself as a horny old goat who, after getting some for the first time in years and finally getting a cheat back on her roving hubby, start humping Bisch’s leg at every opportunity?  I know what some of you are thinking right now:  they portrayed Bisch’s actions on Raw last week as, essentially, rape, and now I want to trivialize rape in general by having the victim fall for the perpetrator?  Yes.  They want soap opera, that’s pure soap opera.  What if Linda was resistant, then suddenly decided she was, well, laying back and enjoying it?  You do a month or so of Bisch being able to wrap Linda around his little finger, then all of a sudden she gets too possessive for him and he has to find a way out of it.  You’ve got potential for some serious comedy here, and overlooking that is just another sign of the full-scale rot this organization’s experiencing.

Kane/Van Dam…it was a trivial issue to begin with.  Kane needed someone to be fed to him, Van Dam was it.  Nothing special.  It didn’t even have the feeling of “old tag partners broken up and mad with each other” that seems to work well at the upper-mid-card level.  By making this into a triviality, they made Kane into a triviality.  That’s the one thing they didn’t need to happen with this push.

And then there was the Elimination Chamber…oh, dear f*cking God…you know, the way I had it booked, it was Goldberg as one of the last two with a member of Evolution being the other.  The only problem was that I had the Evolution member pegged as Randy Orton.  The logic behind that was this:  let Goldie have a low-pressure first month’s reign as champion, and see what Orton can do in a main-event-level feud.  If it bombed, then it’s only a month wasted and they’d have a good indication of 1) how Goldie draws as champ and 2) what Orton needs to improve upon to get to the main-event level.  Why wouldn’t they do something like that?  This is the same company that gave Big Sump Pump two months to get over and fail miserably.  But we can’t have that, can we?  The spotlight can’t be taken off of the Crown Prince Of Kiss-Ass even for a second, otherwise he’d vanish like the shadow that he is.

How in good conscience can he keep wearing that belt?  He’s drawing nothing.  He comes out to silence.  Ratings increases aren’t due to him.  Even he must realize that.  This was the perfect opportunity for him to drop the strap to Goldberg.  He could have let Michaels or Nash get the pin on him, then taken a backseat and showed us why he calls himself the Cerebral Assassin.  Simple logic, really:  let Orton be Evolution’s front man against Goldberg, have Orton beat him down as much as possible, and then he’s easy pickings for Trip.  And if Orton should somehow beat Goldie for the title, well, he’s a good little drone.  He’d lay down for Trip.  That’s the way that character thinks.  It’d be a perfect strategy for him to use.  But, no, that’d mean that he’d be without the belt until Survivor Series.  Oh, don’t dare put it on a guy who is legit over and starting to gain back a lot of his old WCW buzz.  Keep it on the man who can’t induce crickets to chirp.

I’d like to make a suggestion to all of you:  starting Thursday, don’t bother watching WWE programming anymore.  I have to keep watching Raw for the benefit of this column, but you don’t.  You can just read the Short Form or have Keith tell you what happened.  Ditto with Smackdown.  The only way they’ll listen is if the ratings start dropping below the Mendoza Line of 3.0.  We may not be able to get it that low, but if you could encourage your mark buddies to do the same as you, not watch and just hit the Net for the summaries, then maybe we can get enough of a reaction inside Titan Tower to make them know that we won’t put up with this bullshit any longer.

And if you actually like the direction they’re heading in?  Hit the back button, go to wwe.com, and stay under your rock.

You know, I think I’m going to stick to wrestling today, considering the fact that I also have to do the news column in the Games section as well.  Besides, I want to think about how to frame the Judge Roy Moore story for tomorrow so I can offend as many people as possible.  So let’s just go right to the final event…

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Agent Tits over Trinity (Pinfall, Stratusfaction):  I really paid attention to this match.  I wanted to see if the theory I posited last week about the Gail Kim Curse might be true.  Watching a women’s match with Gail Kim is like watching NASCAR:  you’re waiting for the crashes and the burning, and there’s no other entertainment to be extracted from it.  Sadly, they made Kim stick to the ground and Stratus stay with her.  So no near-fatality in this one.  Damn.

Rodney Mack and Mark Henry over Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak (Pinfall, Henry pins Jindrak, fat-f*ck slam):  Remember above when I was talking about abolishing the tag ranks?  Do you need any more proof?  They’re not going to let Cade/Jindrak get over any more than they have already on Heat, and Niggaz Inc. sure isn’t going to help matters any.  Let the straps die a nice, peaceful death until such time as they have enough quality teams to hold a tournament.

Rene Dupree, Sylvain Grenier, and Rob Conway over Buh Buh Ray, D-Von, and Spike Dudley (Pinfall, Conway pins Buh Buh Ray, Greco-Roman belt shot):  Bleh.  Nice way to introduce Conway, though, and I’m really glad they’re not trying to kayfabe him as another fake Frog.  But I think this is the first time that Spike’s hit multiple Acid Drops since he left ECW, so we can celebrate that.

Randy Orton over Maven (Pinfall, Sweet Chimp Music):  Decent way to set up a Michaels/Orton program.  However, I still think that program should have been Orton/Goldberg, and I’ll defend that view no matter what.  Oh, and Maven did one of the ugliest cross-bodies I’ve ever seen.  He looked like a wet dishrag flying off the top rope.  Definitely not what Erik Watts is to the drop-kick, but ugly nonetheless.

Christian over Jerry Lawler, Intercontinental Title Match (Pinfall, rollup):  So, Christian is insulted about not being part of SummerSlam (and he should be).  He should be ready to blow up that he was put into a match with a guy pushing sixty and being forced to serve an angle featuring Jonathan Coachman.  I’d be making calls to the Jarretts if I were you, Jay.  And when was Memphis moved to Arizona?

Chris Jericho versus Shane McMahon (ND, Pyro-ference):  Is it legal to burn trash in Tuscon?  It is legal to rip off the ending to the #1 movie in America in Tuscon?  It it legal to use such a stupid, bullshit set-piece to get Kane back into a mask?  And who conned them into doing this in the first place?  These questions will never be answered.

Dusty Knutson, though, made a great observation:

Did you notice Shane O’s undershirt was the highlight Reel shirt? Interesting!!!

Yes, I did.  When I looked carefully, I noticed the Highlight Reel logo.  Either they’re trying to push the shirt in weird ways, or it’s not selling and Shane could pick up one to wear for an impromptu match at the merchandise stand without any impact to the paying crowd.

Angle Developments:

I’ll Take The Fucking Obvious For Eight Hundred, Alex…:  Title versus career?  Oh, anything but that stip.  Anybody got any suggestions on how to make the outcome even more obvious?  Maybe “title versus Goldberg getting his dick cut off”?  And worst of all, they’re going to try to inject some sense of uncertainty by having Goldie beaten down at every opportunity by Flair, Orton, or both.  I don’t know how I’m going to take the next month.

But, Quoth Derrek Croney:

Well, what do you know about that: 1) Triple H is sounding like a legit heel, 2) is successfully putting Goldberg over as a face in the
storylines, and 3) I’ll be damned if he ain’t gonna put Goldberg over in the ring.


But the second, Countereth Slick Rick:

Goldberg’s career versus Trip’s belt?  I thought Trip didn’t like to play the face.

Asshole’s Got A Gun:  Now everyone knows that I hate anything dealing with Novocaine Helms, and I think this whole superhero angle with Rosey is moronic in the extreme.  However, if they don’t follow up on the fact that Rosey attacked an “innocent” with some good old Marvel-style angst…Jesus, they’ve got a Stan Lee template to work from here, and if they don’t bother with trying…I just don’t know what to say.  I don’t even know why I’m saying anything about it.  Look, Rosey, just shove the gun up your ass and pretend the T-shirt is some weird type of male tampon, okay?

Memo to Rob Conway:  I was with you until you said that the American people were terrorists.  No, the American people, as reprehensible as they are, are not terrorists.  The correct statement was “The real terrorists…they’re in Washington”.  In regard to respecting the French, though, do you mind if I not respect French game companies?  It’d put a crimp in my game columns if I had to.

All In The Dysfunctional Family:  See what I meant above about the merits of Linda turning and hooking with Bisch?  They could have provided an interesting little dynamic.  Instead, what we ended up with was a Shane/Jericho match.  And who else expected the Bitch of the Baskervilles to show up for the full McMahon treatment?  That would have meant instant channel flip on my part.

I do love doing Point/Counterpoint with other people.  For side one, Quoth the Ravin’ Cajun:

What does it say when it takes Jerry “The King” Lawler to state the bleeding obvious? “Do they really need to air this dirty laundry in Public?” Doesn’t that pretty much sum up the entirety of any and all McMahon storylines since oh, around December 1999? I hate to say it, but the King just became my hero if only for a tiny moment.

For side two, Slick Rick:

We really really don’t want to know what Linda McMahon did or didn’t do.  Please, Jerry. Go back to obsessing over women that are 20 years too YOUNG for you. I don’t want to know anything about Linda’s sex life. Not even theoretically…

Actually, that’s more like Point/Reinforcement…here’s something more to the point, or points, from Semi-Regular Derrill Guilbert:

Did Linda McMahon get a boob job?!

Not as far as I can tell.  She’s still her same old saggy-titted post-menopausal self.  Maybe she was wearing a bra with good support and a little bit of padding.

One more thing:  to all the guys in Canada, did TSN bleep out the “asshole”s from Jericho’s and Shane’s speeches?  SpikeTV let them through here for the first time in dog’s years.

Just Give Me The Fucking Plaque And Get On With It:  I don’t believe it.  They’ve given Coachman a personality.  And it’s a sarcastic, nasty personality.  And it sort of works.  It’s not Addison DeWitt by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a beginning.  However, forcing him to fight Lawler next week?  Isn’t his beef with Ross?  And how about a few stips to this one, like Lawler having to fight for Ross’ slot…oh, wait, they did that one a while back, didn’t they?  Oh, just fire the two old f*cks, bring in Fat Tony, bribe Tenay to leave TNA, and let us all live Nitroly ever after.

The Final Act:  Since I had my say above, I’ll throw open the comments on the idiotic fire angle to the usual suspects.

Slick Rick:  Just once, I want to see a fire marshal jump in and say “You know what?  No.  Pull that shit, and your entire production crew is going to be in jail, and not getting out.”  I’m about sick of the pyro shit.

The Ravin’ Cajun:  So let me get this straight. Kane throws a bunch of gasoline into a dumpster (notice he threw it all into the FAR SIDE of the dumpster), sets it on fire (using a Zippo, too – someone reads your work), tries to throw Shane O’Mac into it only to get thrown into the fire himself?  And instead of, oh, I don’t know, CALLING FOR HELP FOR ONE OF YOUR COWORKERS, Shane throws out a pithy comment and the show ends. Call me crazy, but in this day and age isn’t this just begging for a lawsuit afterwards for negligence on the WWE’s part for injuries sustained by Kane? I mean, were Kane to die then his guardian Paul Bearer could sue for Wrongful Death, right?  Furthermore, methinks this indicates a return of the full body suit and mask for our tortured villian of the piece. Or, I could be thinking too much for this – not saying much, admittedly.

Also notice that he only emptied three of the eight or so cans that he had, and simply threw the rest of them in, away from where he poured out the original cans.  The resulting fire was a little too heavy and far too even for the amount of gas he threw in (also the wrong color, but it all depends what was in the dumpster when it comes to that).  After the matches incident last week, I’m glad it was a Zippo and I’m glad they read me, because God knows they couldn’t figure that one out for themselves.  And I wouldn’t worry about a wrongful death suit at this moment (and not only because good ol’ Perce doesn’t like the angle).  I’d worry about second-degree murder or attempted murder charges against Shane.  He kicked Kane in there on purpose, with that last line reinforcing it.  But, then again, no one ever charged Kane with attempted premeditated murder against Ross, so I guess it’s even.

Just one more thing:  I’ve never even seen a can of YJ Stinger and don’t want to bother to look for one.  If you’ve actually seen one, could you please verify for me that the name stands for active ingredients of yohimbine, jojoba, and bee pollen?  And if you’ve actually tried it, does it taste as disgusting as I think it does?  I’ll be in tomorrow, when hopefully I’ll have an answer to this.