Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 12.23.03

Personally I am so tired of Steve Austin, I was very glad to see him off TV. It sucks that they are dedicating just as much time to him now, about wanting to bring him back. However, I do think Austin could be used at WrestleMania for 2 big matches, Versus Hogan, which I’d have Hogan win. And Versus Goldberg, which I would have Goldberg win. Just to put over Hogan as the best of all time, and Goldberg as the new icon. Of course, WWE will likely never have either of these matches, blowing some of the biggest payoff matches of al time.

Then again this is the company that completely destroyed the WWF Versus WCW angle…so you know, its not like they aren’t afraid to blow it. For the record I have no beef with Austin, but WWE needs to get off his jock and utilize their new talent. Austin’s last good run was a heel in the Alliance, he’s done now, stick a fork in him.


– Tammy Sytch, Hyatte’s column yesterday

Thank you, Tammy, for saying what I’ve been saying for the past year.  With your imprimatur on the correct opinion, maybe someone will actually listen.  And I take back the skank/drug comments I’ve made about you.

Oh, terrific.  Yet another wonderful day at work, and I’m stuck with less than an hour prior to Raw to scribble something down to lead this son of a bitch off.  Goddamn, am I sick and tired of days like these, days where literally everything was going wrong before I arrived and stayed wrong until I left.  Life has decided to throw me a shitball straight in the face.  Not only do I have to rush through everything here, but what I thought was a blown thermostat on the Damn Vaninator was actually a head gasket getting ready to go.  Fortunately, it didn’t, but there’s no way in hell I’m driving to Chicago with it in that condition.  So it’s fifty miles away and I’m using the company van until I can get it out of the shop tomorrow.

You might think there might be just one shining light on my life, but that light is the headlight of the train that’s oncoming.  For instance, I’m completely broke and living off credit cards right now.  But I get paid Wednesday, which is great, right?  No, it isn’t.  I’m not going into work Wednesday because I have business here in Lincoln, and I’m leaving straight to Chicago from there.  So I have to beg for my paycheck today and hope I get it or bum money off of the Bitch Mother when I get back to Chicago to have something for the weekend.

My life truly blows.  But then again, so does wrestling, and that’s what I cover here, allegedly…

DUSTED

So Goldust got an early release from his contract?  Well, that’s good news for him.  It sucks to be sitting in legal limbo.  He might have been paid for sitting at home, but Dustin seems to be the type of guy who prefers to be in front of an audience, no matter how asinine the gimmick, no matter what type of involuntary erection he might display.  So I’m happy that he’s able to take bookings.  He has two real problems, though, one personal and one professional:

First, the personal.  He’s going to be over in the Land of the Rising Yen working for Zero-One a lot over the next year.  How old is Dakota now?  Seven or eight?  That’s going to be rough on her.  Mommy has her in tow constantly going around to Raw events when she’s not in school, which is rough enough.  Now Daddy’s going to be thousands of miles away so that he can make a living doing what he’s good at (well, decent at, when he’s motivated).  Stepdaddy’s not a substitute for the real thing.  Considering that we know how much Dustin loves his daughter, the separations are probably going to be pretty rough, especially if he gets a major gaijin push and sticks around Zero-One a lot.  Flights to and from Tokyo are pretty damn expensive, not to mention rough on the body.

The professional one is one that we’ve all been thinking about.  The guy’s been around for over a decade now.  He’s been given a whole bunch of gimmicks, most of them lame.  He’s also been stuck with the six-hundred-pound albatross of his father and his intrusive, Wattsian/Gangian meddling in his career.  One thing and one thing alone has been able to separate him from the crowd, the expectations, and FatDust:  Goldust.  This is a gimmick that he not only went back to after abandoning it (and abandoning WWE for a while), but made work a second time in a format very different from his first success.  How tough is it to abandon a winning gimmick like that?  The problem is that there’s no way in hell that Vince would have ever given him the rights to the gimmick.  Maybe before going public, but not now.

Good luck to him, and I hope he makes everything work out.  No, really, I do.  He’s said to be one of the nice ones in the business, and those are few and far between these days.

That being said, Raw Regular Joshua Crawley has a question that pertains to something mentioned in this particular item:

What does Jonathan Coachman need a booking agent for?

Personal appearances, mainly.  Lawler makes a lot of money on the side doing things like guest appearances at indy shows, bar/restaurant autograph sessions, etc. (I remember him doing a couple of personal appearances in Kenosha during his exile from WWE when I was living up there, mostly the autograph thing, and he was making a good living out of doing stuff like this).  Coachman has similar potential, given his level of exposure on Raw lately.  A lot of indy venues might not be able to book a WWE wrestler for a guest appearance at a show (unless the wrestler has indy work written into his or her contract as an allowable side venture), but a commentator is a lot easier to obtain, and it still gets good attention for the show.  So Coach is in demand these days for those types of events.  Naturally, he’d need a booking agent to sort those out.  Good question, though.

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, JARRETT, START READING ME LIKE EVERYONE ELSE DOES

From Da Meltz:

Jeff Jarrett’s big announcement is expected to have something to do with TNA’s new TV deal with WGN. TNA should begin airing on WGN, which airs more or less throughout the nation, starting in mid-January.

Didn’t I tell him not to do this?  Didn’t I tell him, “Don’t cut a deal with the Tribune Company.  They’re going to f*ck you hard and f*ck TNA over big-time in the process.”?  Making a deal with Satan is better than making a deal with the Tribune Company.

Yeah, so most of us with expanded cable can now see TNA for free each week, and most of us probably focus on that area and say “Good.  Now we get to see what the excitement’s really about.”  But that’s what we thought four years ago regarding ECW and TNN.  Look how wonderful that turned out.  And Viacom, unlike the Tribune Company, at least has some morals and ethics.  The following will be how WGN treats TNA:

1) As late-night filler in between old movies.
2) As alternate programming in case of rain delays for the baseball team which does not exist.
3) As Sunday afternoon counter-programming to the Bears.
4) As fill-in material to pad Bulls games out to an even hour or half-hour.

If they’re lucky.

WHY DOES MELTZER BOTHER?

Again, from the Observer:

TNA recently had photos of talent taken for their upcoming video game. It still is unknown which company will be making the game. TNA management has promised wrestlers that the game will be heavily promoted.

TNA talent also recently had photos taken for upcoming action figures. Again, it is not known which company will make the figures.


So, in other words, there’s speculation but no concrete news.  Gee, Dave, thanks.

And as Yr Humble Scrivener has asked before, who is actually going to make a TNA game?  Will Atarigrames take a shot at a wrestling franchise?  Doubtful, considering they’re not really into sports.  EA won’t do it.  Acclaim, God help us, won’t, not after being burned by Heyman.  THQ can’t.  Microsoft still has some weird relationship with WWE that would preclude them from doing one.  So who the hell does that leave?  Is Eidos that desperate to get the rights and farm it out to one of their dev houses?

AND AFTER THAT BIT OF EXCITING NEWS, DA MELTZ DECIDES TO THRILL US ALL

Right now, the expected top matches for the Royal Rumble are Brock Lesnar vs. Bob Holly for the WWE Title and Kane vs. Triple H for the World Title.

Oh, be still my beating heart.  Yeah, that makes me want to rush out and buy the f*cker.  Bravo, WWE.  Your booking is getting more like 1990 AWA as every day passes.

MORE MELTZER BULLSHIT

WWE is considering turning Matt Hardy face because he seems to always get face reactions in the arena.

And no one’s bothering to investigate the sociological implications of young guys cheering a guy who beats up on his girlfriend.  Of course, these are wrestling fans, so it’s a non-issue.

KELLER’S SPINNING FOR VINCE AGAIN

Oh, get this one from the Torch:

Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Mick Foley have recently gotten very involved in the booking and scripting of RAW,

First of all, assume the “no shit”.  Second, recently?!  Michaels has been “very involved in the booking and scripting” since 1995, at the very latest.  Trip and Foley, damn close to that.  Recently…sure, Wade.

working closely with Vince McMahon, which many feel is the reason that the show has improved.

“Improved”?  Strangely enough, I haven’t seen this “improvement”.  Could someone point out what might be considered “improved”?  “Foley doing promos” is not an acceptable answer.

Before, many poor editions of RAW were the result of McMahon being busy and the writing team doing the script themselves without any input from “wrestling people.”

And whose fault was that?  Maybe it’s the fault of the head of the writing staff.  Maybe it’s the fault of the person who hired the writers in the first place.  Maybe it’s the fault of the person who, when advertising for new writers, wanted people with “five years of soap opera writing experience”.  In the case of WWE, all three are one person.  Now, who could that be, I wonder?  Could it be the wife of one of the people who have very recently got involved in the booking and scripting of Raw?  No names, now, because that would be pure speculation.

Okay, just to keep this relatively short, I’ll just say this:  Ashish is going to have the full list of the WWE’s Top Fifty Wrestlers up soon, and there’s going to be new ones from Gamble and Williams coming down the pipeline.  Now, let’s all get to review twelve whole months of misery compacted into two hours…

THE SHORT FORM

Of course, we got Best of Raw 2003 this week, so here’s a short recap of that since not-Scooter’s taking the week off:

Jericho/Michaels, Wrestlemania:  And just to show you how depressing Raw was this year, the Best Of Raw starts off with a PPV match.  Okay, this match was one of the highlights from WM, but, still, if you’re advertising a show as “Best Of”, you’d normally expect to see highlights from that particular show, right?

Trish Stratus/Victoria, Chicago Street Fight:  Now, I think this happened the first week of my Exile In Mulletville, because I remember bitching and moaning about having to leave Chicago when Raw was playing there (as I did when I moved to Ohio, which denied me the chance to see Jericho’s WWF debut).  So, I didn’t see this match before until tonight.  It did remind me of a positive development of 2003, though:  the positive development of the women’s division.  Leaving the whole Gail Kim debacle aside for the moment, 2003 was a pretty good year for women on Raw.  They participated in hardcore matches, serious intergender tag events (yes, even with Stevie Richards involved in a high proportion of them), and even a cage match.  Molly, Victoria, and even Trish to some extent impressed even the marks with their skill and willingness.  Let’s hope that this trend continues into the New Year, and with some new participants added (or even some old ones; get well, Jazz).

Christian/Rob Van Dam, Ladder Match:  What did I say about this back on September 30th?  Well, not much.  The Bears were on MNF that night, so I was concentrating on them screwing the pooch to the FudgePackers.  I was also freaking like a mofo because my moving plans to Nebraska were falling through by the second at the time.  However, I did say this:  Considering that a Ladder Match, by nature, is a spot-fest, I actually thought that the match was less spotty than your average Rob Van Dam match.  Not bad, guys, not bad at all.  Lots of dead spots, but that’s only because we’re used to seeing TLCs featuring multiple opponents.  This was a nice little throwback.  They even got the simultaneous-climb sequence in, and turned it into a nice transition sequence.  Bravo to both.  And my opinion has not changed after watching it again.

Hmmm, just thinking about this…the last two matches were from Raws held in Chicago.  At least they have taste.

Flex/Goldberg:  Well, this gives me time to fill in some other stuff in this column.  Josh Crawley’s letter above, for example.  Hell, I could probably knock out the Wednesday Black column if they keep this shit up.

Bischoff/Wife-Beater Rehiring, culminating at No Way Out:  Ah, one of the biggest misery-providers of the entire year for me, seeing Austin being brought back in a desperate, but ultimately futile, attempt to raise ratings.  Frankly, he could have and should have stayed away forever.  I will always believe that Vince’s decision to bring his sad ass back was one of the biggest mistakes of a mistake-filled year.  However, all you complete retards who regard him as wonderful, he’ll be back at Royal Rumble, and he’ll probably win the goddamn Rumble match on top of it.  So I hope you enjoy it, because one day, you’ll come to realize how completely moronic you are, and come crawling to me for absolution for opposing the True Word.  And I’ll laugh, kick you in the nuts, then piss on your face.

Shane/Kane, Ambulance Match:  Again with the PPV matches.  This is supposed to be Best Of Raw.  Oh, well, ignore that.  Let me just say this:  sometimes a gift is contained in the most unlikliest of packages.*  Even from the clip job done on this match, you can tell one thing:  the spirit of ECW lives in the body and soul of Shane McMahon.  And if he’s the guardian of that most precious flame, it’s in good hands.  After all, the guy did give us one of the truly great moments of the year:  he broke Test’s foot.

* – I wouldn’t know this personally, because none of you cheap bastards sent me any Christmas presents this year.  And after all I do for you.

Tribute To The Deceased:  Stu Hart, Crash Holly, Elizabeth, Hawk, Curt Hennig, and, of course, Freddie Blassie, respectively.  Tastefully done and not morbid.  But it’s a reminder, especially in the case of the middle four, that this industry eats its young.  And knowing that those deaths weren’t the only ones we experienced over this year makes it even more tragic.

Flair/Trip on Flair Tribute Night:  Seven months later, and people are still bitching about the booking of this match, especially the ending.  I’d like to repeat what I said on May 21st:

This was for the belt.  Trip’s victory was a necessity to maintain continuity, not necessarily the result he himself would have booked.  If it hadn’t been for the belt, you know Flair would have gone over, and I truly believe that Trip would have insisted on it, especially if it was the Retirement Match.  He can be a good guy when it suits him, and this would have been one of those times (if you want to be cynical, he could also do it to mollify some of the backstage rep, and even have something leaked to the dirt sheets about how “willing” he was).  A non-title loss would have had its post-match booked identically to what happened on camera.  The mistake made, if any, was that the strap was on the line.

The booking of the match was superb (I wonder if AA was given that task?).  Flair hit all his trademarks and did them reasonably well.  I was very impressed by the Flair Flip used as a transition.  The figure-four sequence was one of the best in-ring things that Trip’s done since the Two-Man Power Trip days.  Flair puts the pressure on, Trip looks up at him and yells “You son of a bitch”, Flair puts more pressure on…classic Naitch.


So stop your whining and light your votive candles around your Flair DVD packages.  Hell, I agree with you, the guy’s the greatest.  But the fact that the strap was on the line dictated the ending.  We should all be glad that the whole retirement rumor was false, though; the more Flair, the better.

And I just realized this:  the passage above was pretty much the last time I defended Trip about anything.  This one, though, he deserved a pass on.

SurSer Match, Team Austin/Team Bischoff:  Didn’t bother watching this because I was looking up my past writings for the previous paragraph.  What drove this match into irrelevance is Austin’s continued presence on Raw, albeit in non-physical form.  For once, let a firing stipulation stick, especially when it comes to Wife-Beater.  Of course, it must be reminded that I was only one of two people in the SurSer 411 Round Table who successfully predicted that Randy Orton would be sole survivor, despite the fact that the push was staring all of us in the face.

And I have to remind all of you to tune into Black tomorrow, where I get a few words off before departing to Chicago for the weekend.  Until that point in time, take care.