Saturday Evening Post 12.13.03


Hello! I’m Flea and if you ever want to see what Kurt Angle’s wrestling would
look like if he SUCKED, pick up some OVW and watch Eric Angle, Kurt’s brother.
Holee-sheeut, does he need to practice – he apes Kurt’s moves and haircut, but
he ain’t even close to mediocre. I’m having a blast watching a whole bunch of
OVW (circa November 2k2 – February 2k3)…it just strikes me as odd that
Cornette is in his own little word, practically running a show based on 1980’s
principles and when these guys finally get called to the "big leagues"
they are given stupid gimmicks and 2 minute matches. I think I’d stay in
Kentucky. And thanks, once again to Drew Deuce, who sent me the tapes 
along with a nice (3 months late) Birthday Card of the Rock ("IT DOESN’T
MATTER HOW LATE YOUR CARD IS!")…h aha ha ha ha. I should have sent one of
those to Eric S. 

Of all things, in my haste last week I forgot to wish Eric a Happy Birthday!
Although, knowing him, there ain’t nothing happy about it. What do you get for a
guy who, for the most part, HATES everything? I think knowing ME is
enough…Happy B-Day, Eric – although next year’s will be * so much more fun!
*     

Also, the Wrestling Dead Pool is
moving right along – go check it out. 

And congrats to Mick Jagger. Or should I say "Sir" Mick Jagger.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all…I guess the Queen and Company never
picked up the Some Girls Album…

White girls they’re pretty funny, sometimes they drive me mad

Black girls just wanna get f*cked all night, I just don’t have that much
jam

Keith Richards when told the Knighthood Knews: "Mick’s always been a
f*cking queen anyway…" 

Classic.  

Let’s Get to it…

TOP STORY

Right on! A PPV Weekend makes the news easy! And the Monday News
too…Armageddon takes place in the lovely city of Orlando, Florida with not a
Autograph signing and/or personal appearance announced. Yeah, it’s not like they
don’t have anything to sell and it’s nowhere NEAR Christmas time…so why cater-
ugh…THIS is when the company is baffles me, not when they allegedly fail to
push RVD or Booker T. Would it have killed them to have Austin and Trish do a
meet and greet? A buddy of mine would have gave his left eye to meet Lita,
regardless of the fact I tried to tell him she’s a skank and he would be better
of standing in line for JR’s cookbook. You know, I take that back…Lita (with
considerable help from Vince and Company) has cleaned herself up quite a bit
since I knew her (ECW days), so I shouldn’t be mean. My point is, Orlando (and
Tampa, where RAWr will take place) are hotbeds for wrestling and it’s just plain
dumb that they wouldn’t cater to the audience, especially when it ’tis the
season. I think I’ll bring that up on the next conference call. At any rate, I
won’t be at either show as I now live in Hilton Head…but I probably would have
flown down if anything special was happening…shame on them. On with the
matches…

WWE Raw World Title – Goldberg vs. Kane vs. Triple H

Foley told a good story in "Have a Nice Day" that most of these
"Three Way" matches come about due to Management’s lack of faith in a
two person main event. Whether or not that was the case here is a matter of
opinion, but I can’t see any reason why it * shouldn’t * be. If this was WCW,
Goldberg would beat both of them in about 2 minutes, which would make some
people happy, but would make me feel like I just got cheated out of a Main
Event. Goldberg going for more than eight to ten minutes is never a good idea,
but that would still leave a gaping hole in the program, time wise. I think that
was the reason a three-way match was made – with the proper booking, they can
get 20 minutes out of this without slowing down to a snail’s pace and the result
can come out the same – Goldberg, the bad ass that he is, fights off two
contenders (and possibly a run-in or two) and retains the Belt – leaving the
possibility of a Kane – Goldberg rematch for the Rumble, where Dead Man UT shows
up to cost Kane the title – boom! There’s WMXX booked for you, as Goldberg would
move along to fight Brock, or whoever is Champ on Smackdown. HHH can take care
of himself, and doesn’t really need the belt to do it – Hollywood is calling, yo.

WWE Intercontinental Title Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton – Cactus as
Special Referee

This should be a cluster f*ck. Instead of the "Special Ref"
gimmick, they should have made this a Ladder or Stretcher match, something that
will force RVD to think outside the box as far as match planning…have you
noticed, unless there is an inanimate object involved, RVD has been wrestling
the same match since about 1997? Luckily, Orton is still learning the ropes and
will not go totally apeshit when he works on RVD’s leg for 5 minutes, only to
have the guy not sell – it looked to me like Flair legitimately wanted to punch
RVD for pulling that shit a few months ago (Tag match? I can’t remember, I just
recall Flair getting a total look of disgust on his face.) I’m thinking Orton
will probably win this one, as him holding the belt and bragging about it makes
sense. On second thought, he’ll probably be on the wrong end of a Mr Socko,
which will incapacitate him long enough for RVD to take it home with the *****
Frog Splash. For the record, I’d prefer the
former.         

World Tag Team Titles Turmoil Match- The Dudley Boyz vs. Garrison Cade
& Mark Jindrak vs. La Resistance vs. Val Venis & Lance Storm vs. Rosey
& The Hurricane vs. Scott Steiner & Test

Tag Team Turmoil matches are usually entertaining – again, using the
"Three Way" match theory, the more, the merrier. I like how La
Resistance got the "rub" from Rock’s verbal abuse and Foley’s alleged
physicality, whereas if HHH or UT would have been the ones to do it, it would
have been decried as a "burial". Isn’t it wrong that they can’t beat
up a movie star and an author? Oh, I’m sorry, it’s the ROCK. and MICK FOLEY. The
Rock and Sock Connection. Do you see how all this political stuff is very
subjective and horribly ridiculous? Rumor has it that Rock has
"vetoed" the idea of a WM match with John Cena, but is still generally
accepted as "one of the boys" with a "good attitude". Must
be that million dollar smile that distracts people while the Rock steals money
from their pockets. Oops, I’m getting a little negative and cynical here, which
is against the ground rules. This match will walk the line between Comedy
and…nah, it will be a comedy match. Maybe the Duds will get screwed out of the
titles…but all that would mean is they would win them back in about two months
so I don’t know what that would accomplish. I’d like to see them bring in
America’s Most Wanted from NWATNA, who are the best team going today, but I sure
that they would probably end up with the Smoking Gunns old gimmick and Jeff
Jarret’s old horse. You know, I’m all over the pace here and should probably
cheer myself up…"but OciFer, don;t you know I’m the KING OF THE INTERENT?"
ha ha ha hawr, much better…less move along….   

Mrs. Trish Hyatte & Lita vs. Some Other Guy & Christian

This one will be fun, although it may be hampered by Lita’s injury at the MSG
show Friday Night. According to reports, she hurt her knee, but was able (with
Mrs. Hyatte’s help) to do a run in on a Dudley / Some Other Guy and Christian
match later in the show. Hopefully, she is okay, but that may limit her
involvement. 

UPDATE! Scherer says it was a work so she wouldn’t have to j.o.b. in the
ladies match…back to the news…

I seriously doubt this will be the end of the relationship between these
four, as…well let’s just see what happens. Oh yeah, Netcop is stupid. I don’t
use that term often, but the guy is just plain stupid. I usually would always
give him him the benefit of the doubt, as his arrogance is semi-amusing, and I
always kind of felt bad that everyone would jump on his case for any misstep
that he made – hell, I’ve practically watched him grow up online and always
enjoyed his Rants, etc, but he’s really showed what a dunce he is over the last
few weeks. What he managed to do was upset someone who is really nice and * does
* take the time to chat every once in awhile, but because he * knows * so much,
he dismissed it in a manner that caused the offended party to use language that
made me proud. 

If I had any thought that this was the real deal, I wouldn’t have
printed the letter or even mentioned it, because most of the people in the WWE
I do talk to start with that kind of disclaimer anyway.

"If I had any thought"…that’s the problem. As far as re-capping
Wrestling Events, Nectop is the Tops. However, he is a one trick pony and should
realize that additional commentary outside of the realm of re-capping is a
little beyond where his mind can go. The thing about being a one-trick pony is
that if you attempt to deviate from that one trick, the pony will end up looking
like a horse’s ass. I’ll expound on that
later…        

Shawn Michaels vs. Batista

Keller wrote a good column the other day about HBK and his need to "update
his image", seeing as he now plans to be more than a part-time wrestler. I
agree with most of it (HBK should have a defined purpose for being around and
they can use his history to build matches, instead of assuming everyone knows
the reason he’s great) but I would stop short at changing his entrance music.
Some things, like Flair’s music, are just the perfect definition of a character
and are timeless…"I’m just a sexy boy…I’m not your boy
toy"…yeah, that’s a little outdated and maybe a bit cheesy for a pushing
forty, recently reformed, Man of God, but come on. What’s he supposed to do,
come to the ring to "Desperado" like Terry Funk? Hey! Here’s an idear
– he could adopt Evlis’s version of "How Great Thou Art" which kicks
all kinds of ass, allows him to pay homage to God AND defines who he is – just
make sure the pyro is on the downbeat. As far as Batista, on the OVW tapes he is
"Leviathan – Demon of the Deep" and is some piece of work – Great
Gimmick and storyline. I’m surprised that they just didn’t let him keep that
gimmick when he got to the Big Leagues – oh yeah…he’s was Preacher D’Von’s
"muscle". Jesus! HA! That was funny GRUT! I can’t imagine HBK walking
away winner here, but you never know. What I do know is that HBK will go out of
his way to make Batista look like an animal, which is why this match is
scheduled – whether or not he does the j.o.b. on the p.p.v is another story –
even though he’s a Man of God now, the Bible doesn’t have a Book of Snow that
exposes the Holy Word of "Pin me, Pay Me". But Batista should
win…much like Orton should. Oh yeah, I hope Flair is in Bastita’s
corner…added bonus. 

Mark Henry vs. Booker T

I honestly don’t know what to say about this one. I have no doubts that
Booker making the talk show rounds last year saying "I gots two years left
and then I’m out of the business" was probably the worst thing he could
have done for his career, as any kind of Main Event Push withered away. That’s a
classic example of shitting in your oatmeal, ladies and germs. They gave him
commercials, plenty of TV time and he was well on his way to being a playa, but
next thing you know, he’s making future plans and loses to HHH at WM (something
for which HHH took all the heat) and now look where he is…But at least he
ain’t Mark Henry – Henry has been f*cked over more times than anyone not named
Big Show, regardless of the consensus opinion that he just doesn’t have the
"it" that everyone talks about. Yes, it is kind of tough to take the
guy seriously when he’s made to look like a fool, gets his dick sucked by a
transvestite and then ends up being the proud father of a Hand. Believe it or
not, people cared about Henry when he would beat the crap out of people, but
that was 6 years ago…at this point, you can pretty much stick him with a fork,
he’s done. Shoulda Coulda Woulda and all is fair in hindsight and horseshoes, as
they say.  

And there is the card. Seems a little weak, but the HBK match should be good,
as will the Main Event. I’m also looking forward to the Ladies / Jerky
Boyfriends Match, if only to see the direction it goes and if it lives up to the
expectations of people who expect wrestling to be anymore than it is.

HEADLINES

A couple of items from WWE Corporate and then an
explanation of…well, just read and see…

World Wrestling Entertainment Launches New Ad Campaign
for WWE SmackDown!

$2 Million Multimedia “Smack Your TV” Initiativeover Next 4 Months Designed
to Attract New Viewers

STAMFORD, Conn., Nov. 17, 2003 – With its eye on the prize of greater television
ratings and record-setting pay-per-view buys for its WrestleMania XX, WWE has
developed a new “Smack Your TV” ad campaign to support its flagship program
on network television, WWE SmackDown! (9 p.m. ET/PT on Thursdays on UPN).

“SmackDown! is the perfect antidote to the Thursday night primetime line-up of
blah, blah,” said Kurt Schneider, WWE Executive Vice President, Marketing.
“We want to encourage current and potential viewers to ‘Smack Your TV’ and
tune-in to SmackDown!.”

Beyond having a major impact on the show itself as a tagline and in on-air
promos,
the multimedia campaign will run in Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated and
on AOL’s online service until WrestleMania XX on March 14, 2003. Commercials
will be seen on Cartoon Network’s late night “Adult Swim” programming and
in other programs on TNT and TBS. The “Smack Your TV” concept will also be
included in all future SmackDown! radio spots.

The campaign was developed in-house; the tagline, “Smack Your TV”, was
created by the Wong Doody ad agency in Seattle. The total media support for the
campaign over the next five months is valued at more than $2 million.

A separate campaign is in development and will be instituted for WWE Monday
Night RAW on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET/PT, Mondays).

and as promised….

New Multimedia Ad Campaign Urges Viewers to “Escape
the Rules by Watching WWE Monday Night RAW!

World Wrestling Entertainment to invest more than
$4 Million in Marketing Initiatives for RAW® and SmackDown!™ Programs During
Final Countdown to WrestleMania® XX in March 2004

STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 9, 2003 – World Wresting Entertainment today unveiled
its new multimillion dollar marketing campaign for its WWE Monday Night RAW
cable franchise.

This is the second major advertising initiative it has announced within the last
few weeks as it eyes greater television ratings and record-setting pay-per-view
buys for WrestleMania XX on March 14, 2004.

Kurt Schneider, WWE Executive Vice President, said the “Escape the Rules”
campaign takes universally accepted axioms, such as ‘don’t take candy from
strangers’ or ‘look before you leap’ and shows how RAW turns those
conventions upside down. The ads show viewers that by watching RAW, you can
truly ‘escape the rules’ vicariously and safely.

“Our whole lives are governed by rules; it doesn’t matter who you are or how
much you make, since birth, you were socialized by all these regulations,”
said Schneider. ”RAW is that two-hour escape every week from these rules. We
do all the things everyone has always been telling you not to do. We do it so
you don’t have to.”

Beyond having a major impact on the show itself as a tagline and in on-air
promos,
the multimedia campaign will run in Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated,
D.C. Comics, Mad Magazine and on AOL’s online service. Commercials will be
seen on Cartoon Network’s late night “Adult Swim” programming and in other
programs on TNT and TBS. The “Escape The Rules” concept will also be
included in all future RAW radio spots, outdoor ads, and promotional marketing
programs. It will play a prominent role in WWE’s huge guerilla marketing
effort for WrestleMania XX.

The campaign was developed in-house. The total media support for the “Escape
The Rules” campaign over the next four months is valued at more than $2
million. WWE recently launched a “Smack Your TV™” ad campaign with similar
media support for its flagship program on network television, WWE SmackDown! (9
p.m. ET/PT on Thursdays on UPN).

“Response to our ‘Smack Your TV’ campaign has been great,” said
Schneider. “We expect the ‘Escape The Rules’ campaign to add to the buzz.
We continue to strike an external chord with fans that are, fans that were, and
fans that will be.”

Sounds simple enough – WWE is pushing their product via advertising, making
the hard sell building up to WMXX. Makes sense to me…and then I read some
insightful comments around the Web actually TRASHING this idea and my jaw
dropped.. Actually, when I thought about it, I wasn’t surprised at all…I was
going to pull several comments, but someone, in their infinite wisdom, managed
to capture the "Stupid" sentiment quite rightly…

I think I can speak for everyone when I ask "Who are the ad wizards
that came up with this one?"

Of course, it’s weirdly ironic that they’re basing an ad campaign around
"breaking the rules" when their entire problem is one of rigidly
conforming to routine and traditionally accepted types of stars.

Plus how generic a philosophy can you get? I mean, sure we knew before that
wrestling was perpetuating a kind of oddball desperately faux-macho image to
hide the essential gayness of the guys rolling around in their underwear, but
to come right out and start throwing action movie cliches (what next, a main
star who’s a loose cannon that won’t trust anyone else and plays by his own
rules? Oh, wait, did that too) at the audience just comes across as really
pathetic, like one of those guys with a really tiny dick who overcompensates
by picking up loose women in dark bars and wearing lots of cologne.

Even more scary is that they’re paying $4 million for some guy who’s like
"Hey, here’s an idea: Breaking the rules!"

Of course, this leads back to Jerry Seinfeld, who once asked what the purpose
of referees in a sport with no rules was.

I forget my point again.

 – Netcop, 12.10.03

I think your point is you should stay with what you know. I wasn’t even sure
if I wanted to take the time to explain this, but I may as well. Of course, this
will just be written of as "Scott Bashing", much like Hyatte’s story
was, but it’s not my fault that 1) Hyatte nailed the "Scooter"
character perfect and 2) the guy goes out of his way to look stupid, especially
with statements like the above. Look at it this way – if anyone else would have
made the above commentary, I would have used it too –  it’s just most
people with half a brain or any kind of business sense would have known to keep
their mouths shut instead of trying to be a second rate Dennis Miller with
"witty" and "ironic" comments. So I guess that leaves it up
to me to explain a little bit about advertising…

two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on
a sesame seed bun  

Any idea what that is advertising? I bet you do and I bet, like me, you can
recite it off the top of your brainwashed noggin…here’s another one…

plop-plop, fizz-fizz, OH WHAT A RELIEF IT IS

How about one more…

Start me up! When you start me up I’ll never stop! Start me Up! When you
start me up, I’ll never stop! 

Right there are three of the most successful advertising ad campaigns of the
20th Century. The first of course, was McDonald’s jingle for The Big Mac. The
second may not be familiar to younger readers, but that was for Alka-Seltzer, as
sure fire remedy for a 6am Booze / Cocaine hangover. Both look pretty corny on
paper, right? But by using a corny "catchphrase" / "jingle",
both companies hit gold…and their advertised products became American
Institutions. However, it’s the third one I want to focus on…

Start me up! When you start me up I’ll never stop! Start me Up! When you
start me up, I’ll never stop! 

For those of you that do not remember – when Bill Gates was ready to release
Windows 95, he KNEW he had a product that would revolutionize the world, but it
was still up in the air on how many people would actually * purchase * the damn
thing, as the technology boom of the late 90’s was still in it’s infancy.
Gates’s marketing strategy was NOT to appeal to egghead computer geeks, who he
figured he had by the balls anyway, but to the "casual" computer
user…someone who * wanted * a computer but was hesitant due to the
intimidation factor of something that was not, for the most part "user
friendly" at that time. Let me add a quick disclaimer before I get hate
mail form the tech wizards out there…

"User Friendly" as described above, does not really apply to most
of us as we grew up in the Computer Age. If you remember, Commodore made a
fortune with the Amiga based on it’s "user friendliness" opposed to
the products supplied by IBM. What Gates realized is that by making a product
that was practically "dummy proof" he would find a whole ‘nother
market besides the people who knew how to manually boot a computer. He was
targeting the "casual" consumer, who needed something they could just
"turn on and operate"…i.e. – the money rich Baby Boom generation who
thought that prior computer purchases were only for the "kids" to play
"games". Gates wanted to show how easy his product made operating a
computer but also needed a subconscious hook to stick in their minds while they
were driving to the local Computer Store to empty their wallets…

Start me up! When you start me up I’ll never stop! Start me Up! When you
start me up, I’ll never stop! 
    

So Gates turned to Mick Jagger. The story, as urban legend has it, is that
Gates approached Mick and said he wanted to use the the song. Mick replied with
some outlandish figure (between $3 and $12 MILLION dollars, depending on who is
telling the story) and Gates, on the spot, shelled out the dough. He knew he had
a winner of a product, he just needed a "hook" and money was no
object, especially since he felt the "sky was the limit" as far as
gross earnings. And he proved to be right. 

Now then, Vince McMahon needs to jumpstart his product and get it back into
the public eye, where lawsuits and deaths have taken Front and Center over The
Wrestling Product. And I think this is a calculated marketing strategy as the
theme is, basically, "Live Vicariously Through Us", which is the root
of why we watch wrestling. Well, maybe not why * we * watch wrestling – we, for
the most part, are die-hard marks. WWE’s target for this campaign is the
"casual" viewer, who * does * view wrestling as "escapism"
and something "cool" – remember the theories on why The Late 90’s
Wrestling boom occurred? People were looking to "escape the norm" and
found something in common with a character like Stone Cold Steve Austin – he was
doing what THEY wanted to do – telling the Boss to go f*ck himself. Society has
not evolved one damn bit from that time period – if the truth be known, there is
probably a more viable market today for the wrestling product than there was a
back in 1998 – the only difference being is that the US economy has not again
reached the point where "casual viewing" = "frivolous
spending", but I think that’s what WWE is betting on – get the WWE brand
back into the public’s conscious (certainly by now the stigma of the XFL
association is over, except for the cynics, who really don’t matter anyway) and
let the upswing in the economy run it’s
course.          

Of course, it’s weirdly ironic that they’re basing an ad campaign around
"breaking the rules" when their entire problem is one of rigidly
conforming to routine and traditionally accepted types of stars.

Plus how generic a philosophy can you get? I mean, sure we knew before that
wrestling was perpetuating a kind of oddball desperately faux-macho image to
hide the essential gayness of the guys rolling around in their underwear, but
to come right out and start throwing action movie cliches (what next, a main
star who’s a loose cannon that won’t trust anyone else and plays by his own
rules? Oh, wait, did that too) at the audience just comes across as really
pathetic, like one of those guys with a really tiny dick who overcompensates
by picking up loose women in dark bars and wearing lots of cologne.

Even more scary is that they’re paying $4 million for some guy who’s like
"Hey, here’s an idea: Breaking the rules!"

Right there, in a nutshell, is why WWE doesn’t cater to the allegedly
"smart" crowd, and, for the most part, think they are a joke. The
audience that the WWE is targeting is not all that concerned with the assumed
"inner working knowledge" that us folks online are convinced matters –
for example – they’ll pay large money to come see John Cena rap and are really
not all that worried that Rock "won’t put him over" at WMXX. The type
of fans Vince wants more of are the ones that will buy the Old School Logo
shirts that Cena is pimping, and while they are at the arena, maybe get
themselves a few more souvenirs…then drive to the mall and pick up the latest
DVD…then purchase the PPV on Sunday…then tune in Monday…and then
Thursday…all the while telling their friends "hey, did you see what
so-and-so did? That ruled!" or "that sucked! but he’ll get
his"…THAT’S who this Marketing Campaign is aimed towards – what I
described above is what * we *, as Vince’s "hardcore base audience"
already do – spend money on his product. We don’t need the extra hook to get us
to watch and spend.

Even more scary is that they’re paying $4 million for some guy who’s like
"Hey, here’s an idea: Breaking the rules!"

Hey! Here’s an idea! Invest $ 4 million in an Ad Campaign targeting a very
suggestive audience with the idea that the product is "cool" and then
gross about 150-200 million dollars! Yeah, that’s real scary. Again, I don’t
mean to "bash" Netcop, but for a guy that portrays himself as smarter
than most people, he really has a tough time seeing the forest for the
trees. 

Bottom line is the fans are there and have always been there; it’s just
sometimes they need to be reminded that regardless of what Axl Rose thinks about
Vicarious Existence, it is NOT a waste of time and appeals to a very broad
spectrum of our society. And doing it now as an accompaniment to the buildup of
the Biggest Show in the Company’s history, I think, will pay off in spades.

ROLL THE DICE

Shares of WWE closed at 12.54 today,
a new 52 week high. The stock soared .69 today. The rise in price seems to be
most related to the overall growth of the market which has topped 10,000 now.

How about that? $12 is a good price to
buy, but I wouldn’t wait much longer. $15 a share is pushing it as an entry, so
my advice would be to buy now and hold. At least one or two shares that you can
frame and put on your wall. C’mon…it’s good for business.   

PAGE SIX

For Page Six today, I’ll do some non-wrestling news, but it will tie together
at the end as you will see…a nice F.LEA Bailey flashback awaits, but first,
check this out…

WARWICK, R.I. (Reuters) – Three people were
charged with involuntary manslaughter on Tuesday in the first criminal counts
over a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people and injured some 200
in February.

Capping a nine-month investigation into the blaze at The Station
nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a grand jury returned felony
indictments against two of the club’s owners and a tour manager for the rock
band Great White.

In what became the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history, The
Station went up in flames on Feb. 20 when sparks from a pyrotechnic display at
the start of a Great White concert spread to flammable foam on the club’s
walls.

During separate arraignments in front of Rhode Island Superior Court
Judge Netti Vogel, club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, and the band’s
tour manager, Dan Biechele, were each charged with 100 counts of involuntary
manslaughter with criminal negligence, and 100 counts of involuntary
manslaughter in violation of a misdemeanor. All three pleaded not guilty.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, prosecutors
said.

Vogel set bail at $10,000 cash for Biechele, and at $5,000 cash for each
of the Derderian brothers.

Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch noted that the indictments
do not allege — and the crime of involuntary manslaughter does not require —
proof that the defendants intended to cause the deaths of 100 people.

Accordingly, he accused the Derderians of failing to properly maintain
the nightclub by keeping the foam on the walls. He accused Biechele of
lighting the pyrotechnics that started the fire.

VICTIMS VENT ANGER

Jeffrey Pine, a lawyer for Jeffrey Derderian, said the brothers sent
their condolences and prayers to families of the victims but protested their
innocence.

"They are not criminals, they did not commit a criminal act and
should not be facing criminal charges," Pine told reporters after the
Derderians posted bail.

Earlier, Lynch discussed the charges during what was described as an
emotional and tumultuous meeting behind closed doors with victims and
relatives of those who perished in the inferno.

Survivors — some bearing scars of burns suffered in the blaze —
exchanged tearful hugs as they filed into a banquet hall in West Warwick to
hear from the state’s top prosecutor.

But witnesses said tears gave way to anger during the meeting as many
relatives demanded why others — including the entire band and city officials
— had not been indicted.

"It was a disappointing first step," Michelle Hoell, who lost
her sister in the fire, said of the charges unveiled against the three men.

In addition to the criminal charges against the Derderians and Biechele,
a raft of civil lawsuits has been filed against a wider group of defendants in
connection with the blaze.

Lynch said he expects it will be at least a year and a half before the
criminal cases go to trial.

 – Reuters Newswire, 12.9.03

Ain’t that something? Now, check this out…

Before we get started with this – why do I see more than one person
complaining about WWE’s use of pyro in wake of the tragic fire that burnt down
a jerkwater club in Rhode Island? I’m failing to see the connection – kind
of like the blurry lines between “tribute” “insensitivity” and “down
right morbid behavior”. Why is Chris Jericho cheered for the “gum swat
tribute” when all that did was remind me that Mr. Perfect is just another
victim? Why are the Owen “tribute” videos always met with such glowing
praise? It seems odd a simple act like the fireworks starting a WWE show (like
the last umpteen times, forever) is so vile as to be called “tasteless” and
“not respecting the tragedy that happened”. Of course the same thing
occurred when “Bodies” was pulled from the Fed theme music rotation on
account of 9.11. I thought THAT was bullshit, but I could at least see some
people points of view – sympathy and respect. But complaints about pyro or
even the idea that pyro should not be used means to me that you (or whoever) are
taking the side of the club owners, as they attempt to pin the blame on a washed
up Rock and Roll band.

As you may or may not know, I hate (emphasis HATE) lawyers. I know I have
readers that are in the law profession and appreciate you reading, but I do not
apologize for that statement. Hell, I hate my own lawyer and he’s been a
family friend for thirty years. It’s not my fault that he (or you) chose a
scumbag profession. But I do know the law and the court system fairly well, so
allow me to slip into F.LEA BAILEY mode and present to you the following

– Mr. Club Owner, could you please explain to me how a bar can practically burn
to the ground in 10 seconds and still be up to code?

– Mr. Club Owner, have you actually * seen * the “pyro” these bands use? A
child’s sparkler would do more harm.

– Mr. Club Owner, have you ever been around a grinder, possibly sharpening a
shovel, and been witness to the amount of sparks that fly off the tool in
question like a Fourth of July spectacle? If you haven’t, those sparks also do
not harm the human flesh – although if you let them ignite an oily rag, or
maybe a piece of ragged out insulation, you better know how to dance the
Charleston or, at the very least, Shuffle off to Buffalo, because you gots FIRE!

That’s all I would ask. Hopefully the jury is made up of 80’s rejects
attempting to hold on to the youth of their teenage years as well as attempting
to hold on to their fat old lady while not spilling their beer. Yeah, guys like
that. And Chris Hyatte.

THIS JUST IN – watching the news tonight, apparently an employee of said club
warned of the trouble with the “firecode” and “safety of the
building” it’s on like neckbone.

 – FLEA, The Mid Week News 02.26.03

We’ll see how this one plays out – the have Great White’s Tour Manager
included, because, technically, it was * their * pyro, but I say the liability
and fault is leaning about 90-95% towards the Club Owners, who at the the time
of the fire, were portrayed as victims, in a sickening display of blame
transference. It will really get ugly when they have to admit, under oath, about
all the shortcuts they took to beat the fire code, especially since members of
the victims families as well as permanently scarred survivors will be in
attendance. I know the world is a shitty place, but out-and-out negligence in a
effort to save a few bucks and then not even owning up to it is despicable. And
leave Great White alone – it’s bad enough the 80’s ended.

Thanks for reading, I’m Flea

FLEA – WWW.1RYDERFAKIN.COM