The Voice Of Reason News Hour 10.31.03: Halloween Edition


It felt good to be back in the writer’s seat last week, so Pank has graciously allowed me to once again fill in for Friday.

Last week I played a dirty trick on everyone and mentioned Hyatte in the teaser, but didn’t mention him at all in the report! I know, I was way out of line, but he’s been using me to get over for years, I figure he owed me.

Halloween is among my least favorite holidays, so I always choose cheap and easy costumes that generally mock the holiday. This year I dressed up in all orange, dyed my hair neon orange and put a white cardboard “s” on my chest – that’s right I was an orange skittle. Mock it all you want, the ladies ate it up and I was a hit with my boss at the company party. Me? A corporate sell out? There was a keg at the party too. But I don’t get drunk at company events anymore. Not since the Central Park incident.


This Week In TNA
If it weren’t for the return of the O.C. on Wednesday, I would have ordered NWA:TNA just for the Raven vs. Vampiro match alone. As the former WCWidro, one of my favorite all time stables was the Dark Carnival, and I’m thrilled to see Vampiro back in such a prominent role.

I was such a huge fan of the Chosen One gimmick too, but now I’m unable to stomach any Jeff Jarrett at all. And sending AJ Styles to the X Division seems to do more to put down the X Division than build it up. Sometimes TNA booking makes sense though, so I’ll reserve judgment on that for now.

They are doing some cool things with the X Division, and if they push Styles to the top and then have his title mean the same as the World Title (or close), then they will really have two major titles. Out of everything TNA does well or badly, they generally do a great job in promoting their titles as the centerpieces of the various divisions.

In The Land That Vince Built
Raw was a decent show this week, and the sensible booking continues to promote new talent. While I’m not totally sold on HOW they are doing the pushes, it’s nice to see Maven, Orton, Cade, Jindrack and Batista pushed as legitimate.

Over on Smackdown, I cant really understand the total shift from wrestling to skits. There were only three televised matches, and so many backstage vignettes that it was hard to watch.

I guess I’m light on WWE opinions this week, I had more last week though!

Austin vs. ?
Steve Austin appeared on the Sharon Osbourne show this week, and talked about training for an in ring return, and how that possibility was about 50/50. In wrestlingspeak, that means he’ll be back in the ring soon. The question now is: against who?

Goldberg would be my top pick, because Goldberg vs. Austin is a megadream match if promoted correctly. However, it might be a risk letting Goldberg in the ring with Austin, so I don’t know if you’ll ever see this match.

A match with Brock Lesnar also might be worth Austin’s time, and he certainly would be safer to work with. Plus they might be able to weave in some of the real life turmoil that originally surrounded this match, but a straight build might be better.

My sentimental favorite would be for a match between Austin and Chris Jericho, but I’m not sure how much impact that match would have at this point, nor do I think WWE would followup with a real push for Jericho.

Of course it will probably be Austin vs. Shane McMahon.

News ‘n Notes
Speaking of Hyatte, he gave me a nice scoop yesterday and insisted I include it in my report. Apparently WWE is aggressively pursuing women with in ring talent to bolster the WWE woman’s division – on Smackdown. The Raw ladies have already done a fantastic job of making a legitimate wrestling division for women, and WWE apparently believes that the same would bolster Smackdown. I’m not sure I agree, I still think the Cruiserweights are a better idea, but obviously that’s never going to happen, so the women are a nice consolation.

Matt Hardy was not booked on weekend Smackdown house shows, and was MIA from Smackdown this week as well. I’m not totally sure, but I don’t think I’ve seen him at all since his clean loss to Zach Gowen. The latest rumor is that Matt will be headed to Raw in some kind of transaction. It’s an interesting move for WWE, and it gives them a rare opportunity to take a mid carder and shoot him right to the top. By jumping brands, Matt will seem fresh and new facing all the Raw talent, and a possible on air pairing with Lita could also boost him up. Perhaps he is headed to Raw to feud with Christian and then Jericho?

Steve Austin’s book was released this week, and I’ve heard mostly good things, although it appears the WWE got ahold of some parts for some creative history. I will try to pick it up this weekend, although my book plate has been filled lately (Michael Moore is the man). We’ll have a featured review of the book on 411 over the weekend.

There is a chance I will be attending the Ring of Honor show at the RexPlex in New Jersey on Satruday night. I’m interesting in seeing what the hype is about, it’s just a matter of getting the time to get to Elizabeth from the city. If I do, I will report on that on the site this weekend. It’s like a 50/50 chance.

The HOT Seat
Borrowing a page from various gimmicks around the web and world of entertainment, I’m proud to introduce, the Hot Seat. Each week I will choose a 411 staffer or someone else you might know and ask them several questions. At the end, they will get a grade!

I just thought of this idea this morning, so the only person online and available was Daniels.

We always start out with geometry, do you remember the Pythagorian theorem? Can you use it to prove congruent triangles?

Daniels: yes, a2 + b2 = c2. And no, you use it to find the hypotenuse of a right triangle.

That is correct! 1 for 1 so far.

Where was your music news report on Tuesday? Do you feel guilty for letting everyone down?

Daniels: My music report was bumped in favor of our special on Mario Kart. The 400 people that read the News Release will understand.

No, I’m sorry that’s not correct – 1 out of 2

In ten words or less, describe for me a compelling wrestling storyline

Daniels: WCW’s Young Dragons set up Taijiri for blinding Nidia.

Followup: Did you mean the Jung Dragons? Would that include a masked Jamie Noble or just Kaz and Jimmy Yang?

Daniels: Yes the Jung Dragons… that would, in fact, include a masked Jamie Noble since he’s the one involved with Nidia.

I’ll give it to you, but I don’t love it2 out of 3

Who would be the ideal choice to replace Joshua Grumpyman on Thursdays starting next week?

Daniels: Aaron Cameron or ME!

On wrestling? 2 out of 4

And finally: Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke?

Daniels: Dr Pepper

How could you get this one wrong? 2 out of 5

Daniels scored 2 out of 5! That is weak sauce man.

Who knows if this worked well. I’m willing to tweak it. Tell me what to change! Or tell me how entertaining it was. Or tell me how I’m copying Craig Kilborn. Whichever.

Grutman Walkout: Day 9
As some of you might be aware, Joshua Grutman has disappeared from the pages of 411mania. Each week there is another reason he is angry or grumpy or upset with the site, so I have decided to set up an email address where all 411 readers can plead with Grut to return to the pages of and entertain the masses with his unique gifts.

Please send all well wishes, get well messages and words of encouragement for Josh to I’ll make sure that he gets all the best responses!

The Cream of the Crop
You can never go wrong when you lead off the plugs with Mr. John B Haley, and his latest little Things is awesome as usual.

It’s always good to have Ron Gamble back in the fold. Besides Ashish and myself, Ron is has the longest tenure at 411. Check out this week’s World According to Ron

Relative 411 newcomer Jay Fortunado is building a nice little niche for himself in the wrestling zone as well, and the new Jay Spot is well worth your time.

Evocator put together a really great piece on the murder of Jay Master Jay, which happened a year to the day, yesterday. It’s actually getting some buzz with the media, as we’ve already gotten response from an editor at Time Magazine! Check it out

I’ll catch some flack for kissing his ass two weeks in a row, but Ken Anderson continues to be my hero and yours, and has a great special feature on Halloween Havoc, PERFECT for today’s festivities. Check out the full thing from the beginning

Over on movies, Frank Dallas has put together a fantastic Friday the 13th package, and it is a great read.

Look for me at 411 Games sometimes this weekend!

We have some awesome features coming up in all zones, with 411’s Top 100 Guitarists of all time in music next week, as well as the beginning of a huge career retrospective of 2Pac Shakur.

It’s Coming
You’ll all be in the dark on Thanksgiving 2003.

How about that for a confusing conclusion. What’s coming? You’ll find out

That’s it for me as I need to get back to work. Have a good Halloween!

Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs