Saturday Evening Post 12.06.03

Hey, it’s Flea and I love that quote. I finally managed to track it down,
thanks to CRZ’s archives at slashwrestling.com. I remember Stevie Ray saying
that and it’s had me laughing for about three years every time I think about
it – maybe it’s one of those "had to be there" type of things,
kinda of like hearing the King of The Internet slowly develop a
sing-song-happy-drunk voice. How about some wrestling news?

Let’s Get to IT! 

TOP STORY

It’s always nice when people come
to their senses, but it would have been better if they would have waited a
week, or at least until I submitted this news report and then CROW that FLEA
was RIGHT

You see, I had a whole column
written earlier in the week that would detail my disgust at the
"rumored plans for WM XX, why it was wrong and how I was going to make
an ultimatum of a) not watching the show and b) not shelling out the dough
to go to New York to watch the show live this was based on the suggested
(rumored) card as follows:

Vince McMahon is extremely focused
on making WrestleMania XX the most significant event in wrestling history,
topping WrestleMania I, X, and the first Clash of the Champions.

As reported, WrestleMania XX will be five hours. The show will feature
roughly four hours of wrestling with an hour of special video packages
looking back at WrestleMania history mixed in. WWE’s production crew is
looking at this opportunity as their ultimate showcase.

Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg in a Champion vs. Champion match appears to be a
lock right now, assuming nobody gets injured. Same goes for Kane vs. The
Undertaker. WWE also wants to do Triple H vs. Mick Foley but a deal has not
been agreed upon between Foley and WWE yet.

Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin has also been penciled in as Austin has
expressed interest in returning for that match. Although whether it happens
will depend on how his neck feels in a few months. The only other high
calibar match worth Austin returning for would be against Goldberg or Hulk
Hogan, and it doesn’t appear as if those would work out.

The Rock has made it known that he will only return for something
"special." Kurt Angle seems to be the only major player available
right now without a match, but it is unlikely the Rock would return for a
match with Angle. If WWE can’t find a "special" way to use him, he
may just end up doing a cameo appearance.

WWE is strongly interested in doing a Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat match.
Steamboat retired in 1994 but has expressed interest in returning for one
last match against Flair.

With Randy Savage being featured in the latest issue of Smackdown Magazine,
talk has come up again regarding him being involved at WMXX. In an ideal
situation, WWE would want to run Hogan vs. Savage as the final conclusion to
the WWE careers of two of WrestleManias past headliners. Of course, Hogan
and Savage hate each other in real life, Hogan is on bad terms with McMahon
right now, and McMahon has insisted that he won’t ever bring Savage back (of
course, he said the same thing about Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash,
etc).

The feeling is that WWE will also be able to get Bret Hart to return, at
least to make an appearance, at the show. There has also been talk of
bringing in the original WrestleMania I crew (Roddy Piper, Mr. T, Paul
Orndorff, Jimmy Snuka, and Bob Orton, Jr.) for special appearances.

There is some concern that if Steve Austin decides not to wrestle, a
"special" opponent can’t be found for the Rock, and past stars
such as Hogan, Savage, Steamboat, and Hart don’t decide to return, that the
show won’t live up to the huge expectations.

– The Torch (via the Newsline) ,
12.1.03

But on Thursday, Keller decided to
recant his original line of thought and publish this

Despite dozens of rumors regarding
WWE bringing in past stars for WrestleMania XX, Vince McMahon is said to be
very against the idea of making the show focused on "old timers."

Big names from the past may still be involved, but not in major matches.
They may hold a ceremony or be spotted in the crowd or be involved in some
other type of segment. That doesn’t mean one legend may not return for a
match, but do not expect a match like Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage or Ric
Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat, as has been rumored.

Vince wants the focus of WrestleMania XX to be on the new stars and the
future of WWE, not the past.

– The Torch, 12.4.03

Now, my whole premise for this
week’s column was going to revolve around my disgust that WWE would have
the nerve to trot out this bullshit under the lame guise of
"tributes" or whatever the hell you want to call loading the card
with people that can no longer even make a match believable but the
"rumored" changing of Vince’s mind kind of did me in. But then I
realized that Keller is going to change his story probably about 4 more
times between now and February, Scherer will most likely have some kind of
scoop and Meltzer will be the only one right – which is par for the
course. So I just may as well type what’s on my mind and the rumor mill be
damned

WHY WMXX WILL SUCK AND WHY FLEA
WILL BE NOWHERE NEAR THE SHOW*

*Disclaimer – as the card is
subject to change, so will my opinion. It’s already balanced back in favor
of me watching the show, depending on which side of Keller’s mouth is
doing the talking

I started on my planned boycott
about 2 weeks ago when the big rumor going around was HHH was going to fight
some incarnation of Mick Foley, who, quite frankly I could live without
seeing on my screen again. Yes, I still consider Cactus my favorite wrestler
ever and enjoy the energy that Foley brings to any show he is on, but
Goddamn – it should have ENDED in Hartford, CT, the night Cactus
"lost his career". Foley has made a joke out of his retirement
stipulations and his subsequent return to WM that year (out of shape and
incapable of making it the 2 extra feet attempting to drop an elbow through
the Spanish Announcer’s Table) and pretty much pissed all over his fans
who think he "ruined his legacy" by returning for any kind of
match at all. Of course these are his hard core fans meaning FLEA as
anyone who * really * understands him or the business would hey! Instead
of rehashing this, go to the archives and you’ll find all you need
regarding what I think about Cactus and his feelings towards people like
me something about how my type would "mow Vince’s lawn" if he
asked in essence his "hardcore" fanbase would NEVER turn down
Vince’s offer to headline a Wrestlemania and we suck for even being upset
that he would ruin * his * legacy for doing so

It boils down to this – If Foley
wrestles at WMXX (as was rumored) I ain’t getting the show. The only
person I will ever give a free pass to piss on his legacy is Flair, just
because he can still wrestle a style that’s enjoyable, albeit about 3
speeds slower than he was 15-20 years ago. More on him in a moment

If Foley wants to come back in this
ridiculous "co-GM" role, that’s fine – he’s still among the
Top 5 in promos and is one of the best in "getting an angle over",
something that is much needed as the current direction of most angles going
can be best described as "stagnant". I think things would be much
better served by letting Bischoff be a rat prick for longer than a week at a
time, thereby allowing the payoff when the good guys get revenge to be
something worth waiting for, instead of re-hashing the same roller coaster
"pin me-pay me" style of short term booking that’s been going on
since the Invasion. But I’m not writing the shows

Where I draw the line is putting
people like Foley (and Austin) in these roles when it’s obvious to anyone
with half a brain that neither of them can cut the mustard in the ring, if
push did indeed come to shove. Come to think of it, I don’t have * too *
much of a problem with Austin, seeing as his bread and butter has been
intense brawling, which could still be done given the right match and
booking to where whoever he is fighting does not drop him on his crippled
neck. But Foley’s calling card has always been getting his ass kicked and
taking vicious bumps making his opponent look like a million dollars. In my
opinion, he used whatever "testicular fortitude" he had left in
the HHH series and should have gone out a winner (even in losing) . I have
no desire to see him return and thankfully, Vince McMahon (rumored) seems to
agree

After weeks of talk that Mick Foley
would return to the ring at WrestleMania XX for a match against Triple H, it
appears that WWE has turned against the idea. Right now, if WWE decides to
involve Foley at the show, it will likely be in a tag team match or as a
special ref.

The reason for the turn against Foley/Triple H is that most feel Foley will
not be able to get back into "ring shape." Triple H is also in
nowhere near the condition he was in when he and Foley had their classic
matches. Both Foley and Triple H are also somewhat against the idea of a
rematch, feeling that it is best to not come and spoil the legacy of their
past matches by trying to do another one.

Obviously things can change, but right now, WWE is no longer putting much
stock in doing another Foley/Triple H match.

– The Torch, 12.4.03

Okay, we appear to have The Foley
Situation under control, let’s see what else would turn my stomach

Any match involving Hulk Hogan – He
had his last "run", which was nothing short of disaster,
culminating in Hogan walking out over a disagreement on payment. Please note
that he has more money than God and most likely would want "main event
money" for doing something at WMXX – if there is any justice in the
world, Vince would tell him to shove it up his ass. Vince already bent over
backwards on the Hulkamania nostalgia trip which did nothing but stymie a
product that didn’t have much direction is the first place and got
burnt why ruin the 20th Birthday of "his baby" with
an ingrate? Luckily, Jeff Jarrett’s Japanese Chair Shot broke Hogan’s
knee or something, almost insuring that Hogan will not be in any condition
to stink up the joint. Hogan is another one who should have quit while he
was ahead – he had his WM moment with the Rock in front of a Canadian
audience so hyper with The Mania that they didn’t realize their cheering
would unleash a whole summer of standing ovations for a prick who would
disappear when his demands were not met.

Any match involving Randy Savage
– whatever in ring ability Savage had left in him flew out the window
around the same time he returned juiced to the gills I mean "oddly
and obscenely muscular". Speaking of unwanted

Anything at ALL involving Roddy
Piper – Man, was I happy when he was turfed out of WWE unfortunately,
he showed up (again) on NWATNA spouting his mouth of about how who cares
what he was talking about, even Piper didn’t know himself, I’m sure.
What I amsure of is that NWATNA’s decision to associate with him has cost
them $40 a month in FLEA money and will continue to do so until I am given
either a Gentlemen’s Agreement or something in writing from NWATNA saying
that under no circumstance will Piper ever be associated with the product
again my email address is ryderfakin@yahoo.com
– but I’m not holding my breath. Seeing that I was one of the few people
online that religiously supported and defended NWATNA from it’s inception
(until the first Piper appearance) and then started watching again, pimping
and defending and religiously supporting (until they burnt me again with
Piper) should mean something but come on – is anyone really reading
this? And do I care? I’m DYING to spend money in support of the promotion,
but will continue to boycott as long as Piper is involved in anyway same
goes for WMXX.

Any match involving Bret Hart –
For whatever reason, Kurt Angle has been all over the place saying his
"dream match" would be one against The Hitman, specifically if it
could be at WMXX. Granted, Angle vs. Bret would be great, if it was the Bret
of 1995-1998. Not now, especially considering Hart’s condidtion.
Thankfully, Kurt has pulled in the reigns and, in recent interviews, has
pretty much confirmed that Bret Hart’s wrestling days are over, not due to
the stroke, but because Goldberg punted his head into the fourth row a few
years ago, resulting in a severe concussion – the effects of which Hart is
still feeling to this day, meaning he CAN’T TAKE BUMPS. The irony between
he and Foley here is uncanny (and something I will save for a future column,
I think). I would love to see Bret return in some capacity at WM, just not
as a wrestler.

Any match involving Steamboat or
Flair, one or the other or a combination of the two. Nothing good can come
of this, especially since the real deal is available on a $25 DVD. Besides,
Steamboat / Flair is WCW history – it has nothing at all to do with the
history of WM. I would suggest that they just have a nice interview with the
two of them, maybe including Jim Ross, and just rehash the old days, when
wrestling was wrestling and Hogan was air-guitaring his way to the ring.
Anything but a match.

I’m sure there is more, but seeing
as the rumor mill has churned out Vince’s displeasure of having another
nostalgia trip, especially with the World watching, I’ll just leave it be
for now and maybe revisit the subject around February. One thing is certain
– nah, I’ll just wait and see how it turns out…no sense in backing myself
into a corner based on dirt sheet gossip and the fanatasy booking idears of
people who would put the World Belt on Rey Mysterio, despite the fact he’s a
midget.   

HEADLINES

Speaking of Rey Rey, I picked up his DVD "619" this week and
unfortunately for Rey, I watched this one on the heels of Steel Cages and
Naitch, so it just doesn’t even rate. Not that it’s bad at all, it just views
like a $25 version of Confidential. I’m never happy when "selective
kayfabe" is enforced – by that I mean that he spends a majority of the
DVD wearing his mask, and when he ain’t, the camera shots are from behind or
his face is blurred. Now, I can understand their logic behind it (MASKS SELL
LIKE HOTCAKES!), but for Rey to preach about the tradition of the mask when he
already LOST the damn thing is lame to the 9th degree. Not to mention that
Albert, of all people, is put over as a vicious monster, which again, plays to
a current storyline and really looks ridiculous, in retrospect. And if you are
not paying close attention, you would think the disc is the Kurt Angle
show…Dean Malenko and Johhny Ace say some nice things, as does Eddie
Guerrero, but for the most part, the DVD portion just isn’t very good. What
makes up for it is the extras, which features several stellar matches against
the likes of Malenko, Eddie and…well, those were the only 3 matches I liked.
My problem is that I’m not a big fan of the Cruiser style matches – although
watching it done at the level Rey performs is a marvelous thing, especially
after a diet of X-Division / Indy style matches. Contrary to what they attempt
to shove down my throat on this DVD, I find no believeability whatsoever in
Rey fighting people like Angle (although I liked that match just for the
contrast in styles), Albert or in the old days, Kevin Nash. Two of my
favorites, Eddie and HBK can allow me to suspend disbelief when they are
competing against the bigger wrestlers – they are smaller, but not midgets.
I’ve never met Rey, but I have met Juvy, who is about equal to Rey in stature
– he looks like someone’s kid that got lost. I guess it’s all a matter of
perception. I will still recommend purchasing this DVD, if only for the
Malenko series and the Eddie match – well worth the price and it’s doubtful
those matches will appear on any other disc anytime soon. But look for the
"on sale" version – no sense shelling out $25 if you can find it for
$17.

A couple of items from the newsline….

TNA management and wrestlers were not impressed at
all with Lex Luger’s short stint in TNA. At this point, it seems unlikely that
he will be brought back, although it isn’t a sure thing.

You mean having a self-centered, juiced up, can
hardly move murderer hanging around isn’t a good thing? So much for Hyatte,
Sting and his buddy God and everyone else that said "Give Lex a
chance." But with TNA you can never tell – they are liable to make a
shoot angle out of it.    

Many are starting to think that Kevin Nash will
not be able to return to wrestling. He is not recovering from his recent neck
surgery as well as past wrestlers have.

Nash’s contract expires on February 1st. He is currently getting paid $700,000
a year and it is extremely unlikely that WWE would extend his deal at that
rate. Even if he does retire from the ring, WWE will likely offer him sort
type of backstage job as a booker or in some other non-wrestling role.

 
No doubt that this will make a bunch of people happier than Pigs in Shit,
but that’s why…nah, there’s already enough animosity without me naming names
and being mean. I think they should get rid of Lawler and put Big Sexy on
Commentary – his strong point has always been the Gift of Gab. He sure didn’t
do well "Holding the Book" and I can’t see him hanging with Tony
Garea and Fit Finlay when a "pull apart brawl" needs to
be….umm….pulled apart. Dam, I lost where I was going with that as it would
be just plain dumb. Nash is too high profile to simply fade into the woodwork,
so they should at least give him something that he could have fun with – maybe
his own interview segment. Did you know he invented the "shoot"?
Oops, that was Shane Douglas that did that, but Nash did it better. Let the
Big Guy have some fun, why not…

ROLL THE DICE

According to the Military Newspaper "Stars and Stripes", members
of the WWE, specifcally members of the WWE that belong to the Smackdown brand,
will be visiting Iraq in a Goodwill Tour for the troops. This comes on the
heels on a visit to South Korea, Australia and Singapore, which leads me to
believe that life a a WWE Superstar is not a glamorous as we have been led to
believe…oh wait, Scherer has been telling us how bad the "boys"
have it for years. My mistake. Hey! Is anyone is Iraq reading this? I sawr the
other day that "Internet Cafe’s" are all the rage for the troops, so
if you happen to stumble across this, drop me a line! Just think – thanks to
the Internet we, as a society, have come together in such a fashion that our
words and feelings can be shared Globally! Which comes in handy when you need
to borrow something – God knows you don’t know your neighbors name, but the
people in Europe think your are Top of The Pops! Fangol.

PAGE SIX

Feel free to come and visit 1ryderfakin.com. I’m going to try my best to
get new stuff from GRUT up this weekend – by Sunday at the latest. Also, don’t
forget to play in the Wrestling
Dead Pool
!! Checking my inbox, I see more people have sent their lists
and, as with GRUT, I will get those up as soon as possible. In addition to all
of that, final tabulations are being made for The IWC 100 New Year’s Day 2K4
List – of you are planning on writing anything that you think is * really *
good (and haven’t done so by now) you have until 12.15.03. Who will be Number
One? How about Number 11? The ever elusive Number 100? Find out in about three
weeks. For now, if it’s snowing where you are HA HA HA HA HAWR HAWR HAWR HA!

Thanks for reading!

FLEA

******
UPDATE!!!!!!!!******

Jerry Tuite – p.k.a. – "THE WALL / SGT.A-WOL /
MALICE" – DEAD AT 36

cause of death?

"AN ACCUTE HEART ATTACK"

we have our FIRST WINNER! HB LOCKINGS! –
PLEASE CONTACT MEgo to 1ryderfakin.com for
details!!

*****