Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 02.03.04


Shit.  Fleabag doesn’t have time to work on 1ryderfakin or any columns (call me; I have an intriguing concept to ameliorate said problems that you yourself brought up last time you called me), and the A-List site isn’t going to be updated until April.  What a pisser.  Fortunately, I contribute a few thousand words of new content every week to this joint on a very regular basis.  I’ve become a responsible contributor to the discourse floating around the IWC, even if the wrestlers who read me don’t understand what they read in here (as I’ve heard from responsible sources).

Well, I’ll keep up that contribution.  With Hyatte filing early, it leaves me a little room to play with stuff, and that always helps.  Now if only Sytch would start writing me…of course, I’ve said that she’s a skank too many times for that to happen, but you never know.  I forgive her that for giving my views on Austin some backup, so maybe she’ll forgive me too.

Let’s get on with it…


(Memo to Raw Regular Derrek Croney:  How did you know this was coming?)

I just have one word to say about the Super Bowl:


First of all, we saw this same ending two years ago.  Having AV miss those two FGs in the first half doesn’t mean they “creatively changed the booking”.  We complain about this all the time in wrestling.  And this time they tipped the cap to the fact that it was booked.  Who handled the kickoff after the winning FG?  The only time all game he touched the ball all game, I believe?  Yep, it was He Hate Me.  I’m sure you can connect the dots.  They even got incredibly sloppy on the Carolina TD prior to the Pats’ final drive.  Ricky Proehl getting the touchdown with a minute and a half left for the eventual losing team?  They used that spot two years ago too, when he was with the Rams.  Shit, we keep demanding that Vince get new bookers?  Tags and his group get first dibs.

I told you the fix was in, didn’t I?  The moment Brady, the same man who won the Super Bowl MVP (hmmmmm…), showed up at the SotU, you could figure it out.  Of course, you didn’t want to figure it out.  I told you anyway, you didn’t believe me, you wrote me and bitched about it (mostly it was New England fans), but now it’s f*cking obvious.  Dubbaya had this one fixed.

Look at it from a PR point of view.  The word “patriot” can be exploited for positive connotations among the American body politic so easily it’s not worth the effort for pros like me to do so.  But the Junta feels different, especially under extraordinary circumstances.  September 11th happens, and to get America to feel good about itself again, the White House arranges for the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.  The conflict in Iraq is losing support, and it’s an election year, and Kerry is now ahead of Dubbaya by more than the poll’s margin of error, so let’s have the Patriots win again.  All the damage the term has taken from the monstrous Patriot Act is washed away in one fell swoop.  It also helps that the team’s on-field leader is Jack Fucking Armstrong, the All-American Quarterback From Michigan, and he shows up for the SotU and all that.  Of course, the good news is that the Super Bowl Market Curse will kick in due to an original AFL team winning, the economy will go south, and the Junta will be driven out.  But they’re too dumb to know that.

So how was the fix done?  Simple.  It took one phone call, which happened near the end of the second quarter.  AV had already missed one shortie and had another blocked.  Carolina had more three-and-outs than a hooker servicing the Sixth Fleet on liberty.  It was nothing-nothing, and there was trouble.  All of the Americans were already out of the Aussie Open earlier in the week (and let me offer a hearty Welcome Back to Marat Safin, despite losing to Federererer in the finals), the FBR Open had already finished (congrats to Jonathan Kaye for not f*cking the final holes up like everyone else in the field), and the commercials weren’t that great this year.  So a call came from the White House, where one of the SS guys who has to watch while Dubbaya’s eating pretzels makes a quick call to Tags.

“Look, Mister President’s ready to lose it.  Tell them to stop playing defense, right now, or else small parts of you will be included in next year’s Lombardi Trophy.”

Naturally, Tags, scared shitless, makes quick connections to Belichick and Fox, and the scoring floodgates open, providing some interest to The Person In The Audience Who Executed Texans Like There Was No Tomorrow.  Of course, this was Houston, Dubbaya’s town, so there was someone there on the Carolina sideline to inject Delhomme with 100cc of Montana Factor, which made him into a working facsimile of an actual NFL quarterback (it was obtained semi-willingly from Steve Young and John Elway earlier in the week for such an emergency).  That’s the explanation for the Longest Yet Ugliest Touchdown Pass In Super Bowl History.  Naturally, they don’t test for this particular drug, and it’s hard as hell to isolate.  That’s why the FudgePackers have kept the secret laboratory buried below Lambeau busy in an effort to clone Fav-ruh (what, you thought they renovated the place for comfort?).

Ah, but I’m getting off-track.  That secret cloning lab can wait for further revelations to appear, but it’s government-funded.  Tommy Thompson hid it in the HHS budget when he was in the cabinet.  Hey, I lived in Wisconsin for a year and a half.  I know about this stuff.  Back to the fix.

Okay, so now we have offense and scoring, and interest by Dubbaya.  But that left Tags and his bookers in a quandary.  How to book the ending of the game, and do it quickly?  Admittedly, they were trying to do this during halftime, but got distracted by both Janet Jackson’s breast and the comedic effort by Justin Timberlake to look heterosexual (look, if Britney and Christina couldn’t do it, ripping off Janet’s top sure as hell won’t).  Their concentration broken permanently by the streaker who showed up before the second-half kickoff, they decided to turn to the previous booking for inspiration.  Not feeling particularly inspired, they ripped that off completely.  Rumor has it that Belichick thought it was a total crock and would look obvious, especially that whole Ricky Proehl thing (and Bryant Gumbel will be sent to the secret concentration camp for Media Members Who Reveal Too Much until next football season for blowing the cover off that one), but he overruled his conscience because, hey, he was going over again.  And that last Carolina kickoff?  Hey, Fox loves his gig as Miracle Worker too much to disobey Tags, and Kasay loves his status as Last Original Panther to disobey Fox.  It’s simple.  Of course, by doing it this way, they’ve got the big-time gamblers on their case for having Carolina cover the spread, but I’m sure most of them were in on it too.

So that’s how that was done.  Oh, by the way, you reality series fans, Dubbaya’s medication didn’t kick in in time and, of course, he doesn’t know how to change channels, so he was able to watch the beginning of Survivor All-Stars.  Hence, the fix is in on that one too.  The last two survivors will be Richard and Rupert, with Rupert going over because we can’t have an Evil Disgusting Faggot winning America’s most popular reality show again, can we*?  That wouldn’t play to Middle America in an election year, while Rupert, the embodiment of manliness in some neocon Bizarro World, projects the perfect American image of the gentle giant who’s loved by everyone.  Just remember that as the events in the Pearl Islands play out.  You do know that the cast members don’t know who the winner is yet, do you?  So they can fix this at any time.  It doesn’t matter that the episodes have already been taped.  One call to Les Moonves and boom, Rupert wins and Richard is disgraced.

* – No, Martina losing in the mixed doubles finals at the Australian doesn’t factor into this, because everyone loves Martina, and nothing Dubbaya can do about it can change that.

You don’t have to believe me, but you’re a lot better off if you do.


Thesis One:  I prefer Coke to Pepsi.

Antithesis One:  I prefer Diet Pepsi to Diet Coke, which I think tastes like turpentine.  However, for some reason, I did like Tab when it was still around.

Thesis Two:  Steve Jobs is evil.  Incredibly evil.  As in “more evil than Bill Gates but less evil than any member of the Bush family”.

Anthithesis Two:  Jobs is good friends with Roy Disney, and thanks to Roy’s stock holdings and Pixar’s “f*ck you” announcement last week, combined with the general pathetic treatment they gave to Ol’ Nephew (enforcing retirement age on him when they never did that before, and, oh, gee, just at the time when he started to criticize Andre the Giant for his abysmal treatment of the theme parks and the Florida Feature Animation Unit), they may have driven the final nail in Evil Emperor Eisner’s career in the Magic Kingdom.  Anything that gets rid of Eisner, who is more evil than Jobs yet still less evil than any member of the Bush family, is a good thing.

Thesis Three:  I don’t use iTunes.  I don’t even have iTunes for Windows installed.  I don’t see any need for it.

Antithesis Three:  It’s an easy download, and it’s not too invasive, and I hear it’s decent.  And I do like QuickTime.

Thesis Four:  Green Day f*cking sucks.  Always has, always will.  I do, however, put them in my category of “artists I hate yet like one song from them”, that being “Basket Case”.  They join such musical paragons as Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, and Ace of Base.  Just to further show you how bad that is, the Gin Blossoms actually have TWO songs I like.

Antithesis Four:  There is no Antithesis Four.  Green Day f*cking sucks.  If iTMS is all about artists’ rights, then how about Apple and/or Pepsi forking out some bucks to license the Clash’s version of “I Fought The Law”?  Now that would have made the commercial.  Hell, I think even Strummer would have thought that would have been cool considering the content.  Or use the Bobby Fuller Four’s original.  I don’t care.  Just not f*cking Green Day.

Thesis Five:  I like stuff that’s free.  That’s had some ramifications that you, the plebes, don’t need to know about.

Antithesis Five:  But the stuff from iTMS really isn’t free per se (and here we go with the Linux crunchie “free as in speech versus free as in beer” bullshit).  It’s loaded down with Digital Rights Management encoding.  Of course, it can be circumvented easily (burn file to CD, then re-rip), but not without loss of quality unless you’re doing stuff like intercepting the stream like DVD Jon showed.  So you’re paying for limited use, unless you own an iPod.  I’m poor, so I don’t.

Synthesis:  I’ll wind up buying Pepsi if it’s on sale, and if I win music from iTunes, I guess I’ll download the stuff and do what I need to to make sure it’s my music.  Hell, it’s not the first time I did that in regard to Pepsi.  Last time they did a mass giveaway, I ended up winning a Baseball All-Star Game cap, which has been useful.


I will give a gold star to the Bud Light “Horse Fart” commercial, because it broke the barrier and made intestinal gas valid to use in ads (after erectile dysfunction products, it was one of the few barriers left to break).  However, you do have to wonder how a company whose image is built around horses (enough so that their primary brand used a touching sales point of a donkey wanting to be a Clydesdale in another ad on the show) could green-light this one.  Not to mention the fact that it was in really, really bad taste, although not as in bad taste as the Charmin ad with the center with the toilet paper sticking out of his ass and the quarterback fondling said buttwipe with great joy.  Normally, I’d applaud that, but not this time.  Yeah, a horse farting really makes me want to go out and buy beer.  Hell, I’m more persuaded by Monroe telling people that Mexican beer looks and tastes like piss, which it actually does.  Hell, I don’t drink beer anymore anyway due to two and a half years of living in Germany and no desire to search for imports of products from Binding to get that feeling back for a little while.

So, was there anything else that touched my fancy?  Yes, there was.  The NFL Network’s “Tomorrow” ad was terrific.  Okay, I’m a sucker for show tunes.  And if the show tune in question happens to be “Annie”‘s show-stopper sung by Jerry Jones, I’m in.  Anything that makes Jerry Jones (and Warren Sapp) look like a complete ass, I’m there for.  And this did it perfectly.  Now follow that up by having Jones (or better yet, the NFL Network’s pimp Rich Eisen) sing it to Julius Peppers, who proceeds to beat the shit out of him.  Look, I’d pay money to see Rich Eisen get the shit beat out of him.  Maybe Sytch can tell her friends at TNA about that one.  It’d get me to fork out $10.

I also liked H&R Block’s Willie Nelson ad.  Of course, a lot of people are going to say that Willie playing off of his well-known problems with the IRS is a little tasteless to sell tax preparation services, but I laughed my ass off at the redneck who bought a bass boat instead of investing wisely.  I thought it was one of Flea’s relatives who didn’t get the memo.

The Staples “Godfather” ad?  I’m sure that many of us have been in the situation where we’ve had to deal with the Office Supply Nazi, so we could relate to it.  And it was a good ad, too.  “Half a danish?  Then you get half a folder.”

MasterCard had the Simpsons shilling them.  Visa had women playing volleyball in the snow in bikinis.  Now you know why I use Visa.

Bad taste was in display everywhere, so those ads really fit into the whole experience (including the halftime show, where they dared to remix “Rhythm Nation”, which should remain sacrosanct).  There was Cedric the Entertainer getting a bikini wax.  Those idiot motorcycle customizers who I can’t stand (I was dragooned by a friend into watching one episode of that asinine show and haven’t forgiven him for that) were shilling AOL, which I also can’t stand.  There was a horny monkey trying to get a hot chick in bed while his owner was grabbing a couple beers.  There was a mutt biting a neighbor in the nuts for the same beer involving the horny monkey.  There was a Japanese car company telling us to throw stuff out of the backs of our vans in order to see if a car’s steering and suspension can handle it.  There was performance art serving to sell travel arrangements.  There were senior citizens fighting over a bag of chips.  There was Tim McGraw, who’s living proof of the injustice of fathers pre-deceasing sons.  All in all, there was something to offend everybody in the main attraction of the Super Bowl.

I don’t think I’ve seen a crop of ads this bad for the Super Bowl lately.  Sad, really, especially when you consider the first quarter and a half of the game, when some great ads would have really settled down the “Fuck this, I’m going to play Links” feeling that I had.

You know, yapping about the Super Bowl took up as much space as one of my material-challenged columns alone, so let’s get on with the only pimps that count, namely mine for the writers here, and on to wrestling news…


Biscuiti, Matt Isomer is writing about wrestling again, this time in his BlackLogs.  So go over and read it.

(Memo to Biscuiti, Matt Isomer:  Begging for a pimp is sooooooo undignified.)

And Memo to Grut:  What the hell is new about people dying due to some act of mass moronhood during the hajj?  Hundreds of people die on the pilgrimage every year due to some preventable act of stupidity.  Nothing to fulminate about.

Nute pimps Alex Shelley, who sounds like he’s the Christopher Daniels of the Zeroes.

Ziegler not only slams Originals, which gives him a high rating in my book as a man of taste and discernment, but he also gives me a good excuse to pimp Music for a change.

Laflin is right in saying that Diet Rite isn’t bad.  It’s my second choice among diet colas to Diet Pepsi, in fact.  Maybe it’s a Midwest thing.  And True Crime coming out for the PC isn’t going to stop me bitching any.  As for Doom 3, it’s just a rebranding of Carmack’s latest-gen tech demo.  By all rights, it should be called Doom 6, with the three Quakes put in there as placeholders.


From the dead-tree Observer:

There are a lot of rumors going around that WWE may introduce a third brand, one that would be more “hardcore” and have an ECW-like formula. WWE owns the ECW name so they could use that name if they wanted. The thinking is that they could air shows for the new brand late at night. This was actually the idea that WWE had back with Shotgun Saturday Night, but that never panned out.

Shotgun was a pretty hard sell inside the company, if memory serves.  They wanted an ECW-like atmosphere and got it for the first few weeks (helped immensely by Terry Funk coming out and being, well, Terry Funk on the mic, among other things).  Then they got gun-shy because they couldn’t incorporate Shotgun into their overall programming.  However, the situation is very different now, and it’s not because there’s no ECW around to compare it to.  The Brand Separation provides them with the possibility of creating a stand-alone federation.  But they’d better not call it ECW unless they set it up for it to actually be ECW.  I’ll get to that later.

Of course, doing this would contradict the new “safer mat wrestling” formula that management is trying to establish with RAW and Smackdown. At the same time, WWE has more timeslots at their fingertips if needed and they basically have to do something very different for any new show to work.

They also have to do something different for the shows they have now to work, but they’re not doing that, are they?

After that little snide remark, let’s have a look at the logistics.  How do you initiate this?  The only way possible, especially if you’re using the ECW name, is to have someone perform a palace coup on Heyman and take over Smackdown.  Unfortunately, there is only one logical candidate, and that’s the Bitch of the Baskervilles.  So, therefore, we get Steph back on Smackdown.  Oh, joy.  Maybe Shane can join her to make it a “family” thing.  That would at least mean that the one show that has a McMahon in charge would at least have the one McMahon that we actually like.

Heyman, though, comes out on his last Smackdown to say that while Steph’s been away, he’s re-signed a number of wrestlers during their contract renewals to personal service contracts to him as GM of Smackdown rather than to Smackdown itself, and he invites anyone who wants to come with him to do so (remember, they’d be on personal services contract to Heyman, thus giving a kayfabe reason for the movement; some of us actually care about this, you know, like Biscuiti, Matt Isomer and PK, who are trying to work up a list for the site of transactions between the brands and are going crazy trying to find rationales for some of them).  This includes his choice for color man on the new ECW On Spike, Tazz.  A good portion of the old ECW wrestlers, plus guys with some tenuous ECW connections like the FBI, end up defecting, and they’re joined by some conveniently-timed contract-expiring people on Raw like, oh, Rob Van Dam and the Dudleys (anything to get them off of Raw and out of my face).  It just so happens that Al Snow’s contract with the Raw brand is expiring, so he joins up as play-by-play man (I think he can do it).  Heyman is also able to pull some wrestlers away from TNA like Sandman and bring back some of the old ECW guys who are working indies (metaphorically speaking, of course; give these guys WWE contracts and they’re outta Tennessee so fast it’ll suck the whole state into Kentucky).  I’d throw Styles into this, but he’s too busy trying to get new writers for his website…gee, Joey, why haven’t you contacted me yet?  Bitch.

In other words, give the show the feeling of “the band is back together” and put themselves on a basis that could recapture their core audience from the old days while getting some new blood in the viewership.  It’d put them on firmer ground than a simple reboot.  In the process, WWE can perform a talent raid on TNA to get back some of the old ECW guys (Mitchell and Callis, definitely, but I think Raven’s a lost cause, and God knows that Vince wants nothing to do with Douglas, especially with Trip in a power position and Michaels back in good graces) and some of the guys they let go because they had nothing for them to do (Ron Killings, anyone?), weakening the prospective competiton in the process.  It’d be just like the old days for Vince.  They’ve already made a good start and hired an ex-TNA cage dancer.

It would also allow for a mammoth realignment of the announce teams, which is apparent to even the most brain-dead among you is necessary.  You’d have Tazz and Snow on the ECW show.  Lawler can move over to Smackdown to join Cole.  Coachman can go to Raw on color permanently, and maybe they could bring Fat Tony in beside him (Bisch sees the opening and takes it).  Get a whole new team in for Heat.  And what to do about Ross?  They’re at least not pretending that all these brands aren’t owned by Vince, so Vince appoints Ross into the old Jack Tunney slot, on-camera president of WWE.  He gets to oversee all three brands and will only be answerable to Vince, and can also act as an arbitrator.  It’d also be a nice tribute to Tunney as well.

They should pay me for this suggestion.  Get me on staff, Steph; I have a bunch of others, and I promise not to call you Bitch of the Baskervilles ever again if you hire me.


From the dead-tree Observer redux:

WWE has scheduled its first ever Mexico show for April 3rd in Monterrey. The show will be at the Arena Monterrey which holds 20,000 people. Because of the exchange rates, it will be interesting to see what WWE charges for tickets.

If anyone down there can afford them.  Since house show revenue comes from the gate and merchandise, you’ve got to wonder how much they’re going to make down there.  It’s not like NAFTA’s brought Mexico up to the point where wages and compensation have created disposable incomes large enough to sell gobs of T-shirts and high-value tickets.  Otherwise, the modern-day braceros wouldn’t be up here being arrogant pieces of shit in all of those meat plants that I work in.  They’d be down there and I wouldn’t have to deal with them.

I do get a lot of mail telling me to lay off the Mexicans, but Fernandez agrees with me, and he’s a Chicagoan of Mexican origin, so I think I’m on solid ground.

It is unknown which brand will work the Mexico tour, but Smackdown would make the better fit due to the Mexican popularity of Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, and Ultimo Dragon.

Hmmmm, you think that Mexicans like Dragon or Mexican-Americans like Rey-Rey and Eddy might be popular in Mexico?  Sounds a little dicey to me, but, then again, according to Vince, I’m not to be spoken to, and according to people like Lance Storm, I don’t know anything.  So just disregard that.


From the dead-tree Observer a third time:

WWE will be reviving its Hall of Fame this year, with an event set for somewhere in Times Square the night before WrestleMania XX.

Too bad they don’t have, oh, a restaurant/club in Times Square so that they can do this right…oops.

As for who will be inducted, no names are confirmed yet. Bobby Heenan is one name that is likely. WWE also wants to try and get Bruno Sammartino to come but he has stated in the past that even if WWE ever invited him back, he wouldn’t show up.

Well, good for Bruno.  Vince f*cked him over on a lot of things over the years.  It isn’t just a matter of his no-talent kid getting the push Bruno thought he deserved (and considering at the time the push given to Greg Gagne, who David was better than, maybe he’s got a point), but all the money that Vince screwed him out of.  At least he’s remaining true to his word.  There’s not a lot of people out there like that these days.

As for who should get inducted if they do bring the HoF back…you know, let’s be honest.  If they bring back the HoF and don’t induct some of the more prominent deceased members of the wrestling community, it would be an insult.  Hennig should be put in, period.  The guy performed for almost two decades at a top level, and could draw heat and money like nobody’s business; plus, you have to admit, Mister Perfect was one of the greatest, longest-lasting gimmicks ever created.  The Road Warriors will probably get in.  The Lauranitis family has some stroke backstage at WWE, and they did mean a helluva lot to wrestling and made a substantive contribution to WWE during their periods with the company.  They virtually defined the gimmick tag team.

And so we come to three particular individuals who are deceased and would definitely qualify for a WWE HoF:  Stu Hart, Owen Hart, and Davey Boy Smith.  All of the lawsuits are settled.  Vince is trying to build bridges to the Hart family again.  Inducting those three plus Bret as a “Hart Family” entry, which would also cover Neidhart, might be a wonderful solution.  No one wants Bret to wrestle again, including Vince, but getting him to participate in a WM20 event like an HoF ceremony as an honoree and proxy for those who cannot be there…it’s definitely something to think about.  However, if the HoF is definitely back and Bret is not there, it would be a shame.  I don’t think he’s all that and a bag of chips like some people do, but the guy’s definitely worth honoring.  If Bret’s attitude prevents Owen or Stu or Davey Boy from being honored, then it’s Bret’s intransigence that’s to blame.

By the way, I didn’t mean to insult Heenan with the header.  God knows the guy’s in my personal HoF, and it’s his call of Royal Rumble 1992 that elevates it above RR2K4 in my mind.  Plus he lived on the Southwest Side of Chicago for a long time.  He’s definitely in.


From Milord’s new playground:

The plan now for the WrestleMania XX World Title match is to have a three way involving Triple H, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels. It was originally thought that Triple H and Benoit would go one on one for the title.

As the IWC start gathering torches and boiling oil for a march on Stamford…

Dear God, why…

…okay, forget the negativity for a moment and delve into the netherworld of the IWC, fantasy booking.  How can they make a set-up for a three-way interesting?  Here’s my thought:

Utilize the fact that Michaels and Benoit are the only people to ever draw #1 in the RR and win.  Either do an ego thing with Michaels or have Bischoff set up a “True King Of The Royal Rumble” match between Benoit and Michaels to determine Trip’s opponent at WM (preferably have Bisch do it, since both Benoit and Michaels are supposed to be faces), utilizing the fact that the last two matches between Michaels and Trip were inconclusive in the process.  Have this match ALSO be inconclusive while giving it thirty like Michaels/Trip was on Raw, but not a DQ and with zero run-ins from Evolution (yeah, it’ll piss people off, but it’s the only way this works).  Then, set up the match at WM to be a Three-Way Dance, not a Triple Threat.  This forces the match to have a definite conclusion, namely that Trip either retains by getting the final pinfall or he gets pinned in the process.  Then, for good measure, put it in the Cell or the Elimination Chamber.  No interference from Evolution will be brooked, because there must not only be a winner, there must be no controversy in the decision (incredible irony coming from Bisch concerning the ending to the Raw match).  You could even play the “no controversy” angle up by having two refs assigned to the match, just in case of bumps and/or bribery/coercion.  Make it Hebner (and definitely bring up Montreal in the process) and bring in Patrick to be his backup/honesty guarantee; getting Patrick from Smackdown as overseer will play up the importance of the match, since Heyman would screw Bisch over for this favor.  If booked so that Michaels is eliminated first, preferably by Benoit, we still get the result we wanted from the Rumble Match.  At that point, either Trip or Benoit could go over and get an incredible amount of mark cred in the process.  Three-Way Dance in the Cell or the Chamber also gives Michaels a cred boost because he’s the King of the Elimination Chamber and makes the whole competition appear more up in the air, especially given all of the draws or near-draws that these three had wrestled in the meantime.

If done this way, I’d tolerate it and might even look forward to it.  But if they pull the same old crap they’ve been doing, no way in hell.


Again from the dead-tree Observer:

The Big Show is having problems with both his knees and will need them scoped. However, the earliest he will get time off to get everything checked out and taken care of is after WrestleMania XX.

Because God knows that we can’t have Wrestlemania without Paul Wight waddling around with his bad wheels and extra poundage, huh?

Seriously, if the problem with getting him time off is because of the US title (You do remember that he holds the US title, don’t you?  He hasn’t defended it since he won it, but he does still hold it.  What ever happened to the 30-Day Rule?), then why not do an injury angle at No Way Out?  Just put him up against someone who can credibly give him an injury that could make him hobble.  Is there anyone at that particular echelon who could get mileage out of something called the US title and give TBS an injury that would gimp him?  Why, yes, there is.  Please enter and sign your name:

K-U-R-T  A-N-G-L-E

Now, Mister Angle, please tell us your secret:

“I use a submission finishing move that can cause a broken ankle and hyperextend a knee if I twist hard enough and also put some pressure on the lower leg.  Also, I’m known for dedicating victories to the troops overseas and it would be perfect for me to use the US title for that purpose.  Something like ‘I’m dedicating the US title to the US’s greatest heroes, the men and women of its armed forces, and will defend it in their name.'”

Can the bookers actually discern Mister Angle’s secret before the questions run out, or will Mister Angle come away with $50 and a carton of Winstons?

I do know this:  I’d bet $50 and a carton of Winstons that Raw won’t entertain me this week…


Match Results:

Our Lord And Savior over a Four-Hundred Pound Albatross Around Everyone’s Neck (Submission, Crossface):  Oh, it’s so wonderful to cover Chris Benoit matches in my column again.  It’s like a light appearing in a dark, dank cave.  Hell, it’s so good, I’ll even forget that this match was against Mark Henry and just bask in the reflected heat.  But The Joe In Me decides to curse the glare:

Mizark should be fired for f*cking up the Crossface and making Benoit look like he can’t apply his own finisher.  Just because Henry can’t do HIS moves properly does not mean that Benoit shouldn’t be allowed to do his.  Glass ceilings suck.

And so does Mark Henry.  Hey, a craftsman sometimes is only as good as his tools.  Or, in terms of mixed metaphor, if you lay down with swine, expect to get mud and slop in places that it’s difficult to wash out of.

Rico over Rene Dupree With No Diacritical In His Last Name This Week (Pinfall, spinning heel kick):  Let’s ignore the fact that this was a set-up for My Beautiful and Beloved to come out and get her track on Originals played while gyrating to my heart’s content.  Did you actually hear, like, noises coming from the crowd when Rico was wrestling?  Is he starting to get over?  Can he keep up his heat without Gayda flashing her Janets?  I counseled patience in regard to Rico a couple months ago; I’m glad that, for once, they listened to me.  Rico deserves a push for his work and his ability.

Kane over Trish Stratus (either DQ, Interference2J or COR depending how you look at it):  Okay, so if Christian is Paul McCartney, Jericho is John Lennon, and Trish is Yoko Ono, then who’s Kane?  Mick Jagger?  Eric Clapton?  Linda McCartney?  Hey, you tell me.  I’m genuinely confused by this one.  The analogy was presented, so it must be extended.  But phony Beatlemania, as we all know, must bite the dust.

Bill Goldberg versus Kane (match called on account of fog):  Okay, this is just getting too damn silly.  Is getting the Dead Man back worth all of this bullshit?  Remember how we all laughed at this stuff years ago?  Why aren’t we laughing now?  I think there’s a factor of nostalgia coming into play here that’s going to be very hard for us more pragmatic members of the IWC to overcome.  Oh, by the way, wasn’t it interesting that Goldie actually, like, sold some of Kane’s offense?

Slick Rick, unfortunately, seems to be falling for this:

That worked, right up to the contrived “network interruption” conveniently followed by a commercial break.

They need to stretch this out as far as possible and not re-intro Taker until the WEEK before WM XX.

Agreed on the timing, not agreed on whether or not this works.  There’s just a thing as being too damn silly, and they crossed the line with the fog.

Booker T over Matt Hardy (Pinfall, scissors kick):  Just what you’d expect out of them, a pretty decent match with some great action.  Hardy’s sell of the scissors kick made the move look downright deadly.  They work well together.  I’m still hoping for a Booker/Benoit match at some point between WM.  I do, however, have to question the negative push that they’re trying with Hardy.  If they’re not very, very careful, he’s going to end up looking pathetic, and that’s not something he can easily overcome.  It was a miracle that Christian escaped from a negative push with his career.  Lightning can’t strike twice in the same place.

Trip over Spike Dudley, Send Benoit A Message Match (Pinfall, Pedigree):  So what was the message?  “If you weigh a buck and a half, I’ll beat the crap out of you so badly you won’t need to shit for a month”?

Ric Flair and Dave Batista over Chris Crass, Tag Title Match (Submission, Jericho submits to Flair, Figure-Four):  Okay, it’s great to see Flair get a win with the Figure-Four (and how long has it been since that happened?).  However, the fact that Jericho’s knee needed to be completely disabled beforehand…well, Flair’s fifty-five now.  Good match courtesy of a bare minimum of Batista.

Shawn Michaels over Randy Orton, Non-Title Match (Pinfall, rollup):  Well, I’d never thought I’d see the day when Mick Foley could ruin a perfectly good match, but he did.  This might have been Orton’s best match yet (yeah, that’s damning with faint praise), and it’s no surprise that he’d do good against Michaels, who knows how to make kids look their best.  But Foley did wreck the match.  A lot of people, from what I’ve heard, were surprised by what Flea said on Saturday.  Flea and I have talked about Foley with each other, and I know where he’s coming from.  He definitely feels a sense of betrayal on Foley’s part.  I really don’t, because I never invested myself emotionally into any wrestler (or any person, for that matter) the way he has.  But I can understand his feelings.  If I was a Foley Fanatic, I’d feel betrayed too.  The events of the last couple months are the most egotistical things he’s ever done in his career.  They don’t do anyone any good, except that they put more money into the Foley family bank account.  Sorry, but, personally, I value integrity over money, and I’ve put that into practice more than once to my own detriment.  Sucks having actual morals, doesn’t it?

Angle Developments:

Operation Shut The IWC Up Is Successful:  It was a simple plan.  Start the show with the Highlight Reel.  Then make Benoit the guest.  Then have Flair do the interruption.  Then have Bisch come out and change the plans for tonight.  That’s what’s called front-loading the favorites.  Hey, if it works, it works, and it worked.

Good Seat:  Please, for Eddy’s sake, don’t make Goldie’s role at No Way Out decisive.  I’d prefer Lesnar beating the shit out of Eddy than to see shenanigans take place that would devalue him totally.

And my shenanigans will continue tomorrow at Black.  Go over there for that, and stay tuned here for Haley giving praise for Bisch’s horn-rims.