The Voice Of Reason News Hour 02.14.04


It’s Friday the 13th of February, my last name is Widro and boy I have some wrestling news and commentary in store for you! Inside today’s report includes my No Way Out preview, thoughts of the week, feedback from last week’s catchphrase discussion, more on wrestlemania. Man this summary is boring, let’s get to the good stuff.

UPDATE – It’s Saturday at 1PM. Hey it’s better late than never right!

No Way Out Preview
Does anyone else feel like this PPV has snuck up on us? Not that I don’t like the brand extension, but it is a weird fit to have a smackdown-only branded sandwiched in between Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. I think they could have had wrestlemania in April and snuck 2 PPVs between those majors, but its not really a big deal.

Anyway, we only have a few matches announced so far, and here they are:

WWE World Title
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero
This has been given a very nice push considering it’s a title match of an in between PPV right before WM. The writers have done a fantastic job of making it seem as if Guerrero can and will win the title. Guerrero’s promo on Smackdown was very well done and the match has a real air of uncertainty going into the PPV.
Prediction: Guerrero

WWE Cruiserweight Title
Rey Mysterio (c) w/boxer vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. w/Chavo Guerrero Sr.
Chavo was QUICKLY taken out of the top card angles and shuffled into a feud with Rey Mysterio. It seems like this PPV is a test to see how pushing Hispanic wrestlers as top names can sell a PPV, as both Eddie and Rey were put into major feuds with tons of TV time given. Chavo is already damaged for being so squashed by Eddie, I feel like they could give him a run with the cruiserweight title, if only until Rey regains it at WM.
Prediction: Chavo Jr.

WWE Tag Team Titles
Rikishi and Scotty2Hotty (c) vs. The Bashum Brothers and Shaniqua
I cant even believe the champs are even still employed, let alone tag champs. Perhaps they sell a lot of merch? Back to the match, I haven’t recently seen a handicap match where the threes one, and the bashams need to be away from the titles.

#1 Contender Match
John Cena vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Big Show
At first glance it seems obvious that Angle will win here and send Cena and the Big Show to a one on one blowoff match for the US Title at ‘mania.
Prediction: Kurt Angle

The APA vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team
An odd PPV match that seemed to have come out of no where. I’m hoping it will set up a WM match of some kind, hopefully sending TWGTT into a Smackdown tag titles match at WMXX.
Prediction: The World’s Greatest Tag Team

Blindfold Match – Boyfriend vs. Girlfriend
Jamie Noble vs. Nidia
This whole storyline has been a bore to me, and the blowoff has no appeal. Whats the point here?
Prediction: Nidia

I gotta say, this PPV doesn’t look so enticing on paper. To make up for the lack of real money matches, I think WWE will pull the trigger and give the title to Guerrero, as a way to reward the diehards that will be the core of the buyrate this month. I hope it exceeds the 210K or so rumored for Armgeddon so far, and the drawing power of Guerrero and Mysterio will really be on the line with No Way Out.

Chris Pankonin will have full match by match coverage of No Way Out, and I’ll be here to try to make sure the site doesn’t crash! Fat chance, ha!

News and Notes
Couple more layoffs in the talent department by WWE this week, and I cant say I disagree with either of them.

I have historically been a fan of Ernest Miller in WCW, but he CLEARLY had no place in 2004 WWE. He was a very limited worker, not very large and wasn’t a good in-ring match for most of the Smackdown wrestlers. I’m shocked he had been employed by WWE at all and for so long, first as an announcer and then as a wrestler.

I also am a big fan of Chris Kanyon, but it was clear he had no role in WWE as well. He was doing well during the Invasion when Booker T gave him the US Title and he had a nice little run with his catchphrase, but once he started getting injured I could see WWE’s hestitance. He is in hid mid-30s, not a great look or size and not that great on the mic. Kinda like Benoit but not as good. I hope he signs on with TNA for more matches with Raven. Hey TNA could get Saturn too, that three way feud was awesome.

Smackdown did a 3.5 rating this week, and I think that is a very strong rating. Friends had Phoebe’s wedding! Smackdown’s ratings seem invincible to other shows, and they clearly have that base audience that is in no danger of leaving.

WWE was working on a new series for Mick Foley, and CBS has apparently passed. Luckily UPN has some interest!

Wrestling Marketing 101
I’ll have this followup next week, I’m already running super late!

The HOT Seat
He is currently on hiatus from 411 as well as his own site, but Flea had some time to sit down on the Hot Seat.

1. As you know, we always start with geometry”¦ Which of the following is not considered a parallagram: a) Square b) Rectangle c) Trapezoid d) Rhombus

Flea: The only thing I learned in Geometry class was my teacher passing along this piece of advice – he said: “My Motto? If it’s free, it’s for me”. And I bet you (and you, and you) will remember and get more use out of that in lieu of parallagrams.

Hot Seat Judges:
The correct answer is c) Trapezoid
0 out of 1

2. Is it true that your contract ran out with 1ryderfakin, and your NEW site will be launched in the next few days?

Flea: The truth is I had several contracts put on ME for alleged misplacements on the IWC Lists. Oh yeah…did anyone bet Nute? He wanted action on how long it would be before I showed up in someone’s column. I figured it would have been Hyatte’s upcoming Tammy Flame Mail MidNight News, but I guess you found me first. Speaking of Tammy…

Hot Seat Judges:
For giving the Hot Seat your return, we’ll give it to you.
1 out of 2

3. In the spirit of the site this week, here is a three part Sunny question! A) What was the name of the Bodydonna’s replacement for Sunny? b) In what year was Sunny the most downloaded celebrity on AOL? c) On a scale of 1-100, how funny do YOU think it is that a fake Sunny fooled our boy Hyatte!?

Flea: Don’t care, don’t care and well, this would have been MUCH funnier in 1998. The way I see it, Tammy has been talked about more in the last few weeks than she has in years – and in a much more flattering way. Outside of Eric S. and me (verbally to Hyatte, not it print), I don’t think anyone called her a crack whore or junkie in about 3 months . I think what’s REALLY funny is that people think this in anyway tainted the name and standing of 411. Especially when Meltzer is slapping around Joey and Dave’s “inside information” with more glee and vigor than he has in years…it’s all a degree of how serious you take this and at what level of the food chain you are.

Hot Seat Judges:
Correct answers are: a) Cloudi b) 1996 c) 29
1 out of 3

4. If you were to make an IWC Hall Of Fame, using only personalities who are gone or virtually gone from the IWC, who would be the first 4 inductees?

Flea: Herb Kunze
Mike Samuda
Ollie Postlewaite
Al Issacs

Hot Seat Judges:
Looks good to me, correct answer given for any credible list.
2 out of 4

5. In 40 words or less, book the two main matches at this Sunday’s No Way Out (Lesnar/Eddie and Cena/Show/Angle) and explain how it leads to matches for these five at WMXX.

Flea: I don’t fantasy book. I’m just shocked that most people have no hope whatsoever that Eddy and Benoit will get anything more than “token” runs with the belt. The lack of faith is really a bummer sometimes, but I guess it’s easier to hope for the worse than look on the bright side. Just think – if Eddy wouldn’t have nearly pissed his life away and Benoit wouldn’t have commited multiple occurences of unprofessional behavior, we wouldn’t be here now. Doesn’t that make you think that there is more at work here than Glass Ceilings?

Hot Seat Judges:
I don’t see how that leads to the WMXX matches though
2 out of 5

Flea certainly had a lot to say, and very little of it actually answered the questions. Do you think he deserved more than 2 out of 5? You should talk about it on the 411 Fan Forum

Wrestlemania Countdown
The Raw World Title match is looking more and more like a 3way dance, although they could still do a mini tournament or some of the other creative ideas I spoke about last week. It does a good job of creating more matchups for Raw, PPVs and house shows after WMXX. But now there are odd rumors about HHH refusing to work with Benoit after mania, and would prefer to have Edge on Raw.

That’s one rumor that I don’t think is true. Benoit’s move to Raw was clearly designed to push Benoit to the top and have good matches on the Raw top card. Edge certainly would have that too, but hasn’t even had a chance to try out the new style yet, and he’s not primed to return to the ring until March.

Here is the card, as defined by me, as we head into the last PPV before the big one:

Raw World Title
Triple H (c) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels

Smackdown World Title
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Goldberg

WWE Intercontinental Title
Randy Orton (c) vs. Mick Foley

WWE US Title
The Big Show (c) vs. John Cena

The Undertaker vs. Kane

Chris Jericho vs. Christian

Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle

Sable & Torrie Wilson vs. Stacy Keibler and Jackie Gayda

More should be known after Sunday night.

Cream of the Crop
Zone of the Week: 411 Wrestling – lot of great stuff this week:

Writer of the Week: Ashish – good lord did you see all the news this week!

Quick plugs!

Evocator keeps begging me so here is a link to his Thursday News Report

Alex Williams continues 411 games’ lukewarm reaction to Sonic’s new games with his review of Sonic Battle although for this game I agree. Where’s my Sonic Advance 3!

I was of a week last week when I plugged our Toy fair coverage, but it commences tomorrow. In the meantime, check out Batesman’s last news report before Toy fair.

Headin’ Home
Sorry for the extreme lateness this week, Ross didn’t send until Friday this week anyway, and Flea is off! So I just shifted days this week. Yeah that’s the ticket.

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