Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 03.23.04


Sooner or later everyone who grows old must face the sober fact that their strength is fading… and that it is irresponsible to carry on.

In Memoriam:  Juliana of the Netherlands, the quotee above.  It’s advice that we all should take.

But let’s look at Juliana’s situation and make a comparison.  She had four kids.  A couple of them married rather inappropriately.  Her husband slept around on her like nobody’s business and caused major scandals due to acts of sheer stupidity.  Sound like another royal family everyone knows?  But her kids grew up well-adjusted with happy marriages, and she projected an air of humanity that caused people to fall totally in love with her.  When she stepped down twenty-four years ago in favor of her daughter, she didn’t gain respect for stepping out of the way because she was old and she didn’t want her daughter to sit around waiting (hint), because she already had it in full measure for her actions before that.  She will be missed.

In Memoriam II:  Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.  Gotta admire a guy who carried on a major terrorist operation from a wheelchair.  Essentially, he was the anti-Charles Xavier.  If I’m Arafat, I’ve just gained a LOT of breathing room.

In Memoriam III:  Everybody’s brackets after Gonzaga, Stanford, Mississippi State, and especially Kentucky lost in the second round (the end of that UK/UAB game was something).  I could hear Smilowitz crying from here.

In Memoriam IV:  Tigger’s phenomenal streak at Arnie’s, dead at the age of four.  Congrats to Chubby Chad for pulling off the win in a truly chaotic tournament, but, really, if we wanted someone other than Tigger pulling off the One For The Thumb, it was another chubby white guy (who finished tied for tenth, but could have done better if he hadn’t done the last four holes at four over…by going double, eagle, bogey, triple, no less; he’s got to do well at the Players next week to make the Masters, because that ninth on the money list may not hold up).

Rest In Pieces:  Veterans’ Stadium.  If there’s any justice in the world, Wendell Davis would have been the one to flip the switch for the implosion.

Ah, it’s wonderful to live in a world where things are so f*cked-up that a movie where the entire dialogue is in not one, but two dead languages can top the $300M mark at the US box office and I can download the entire run of Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, the same cartoon that, a few years ago, I was going to do a column comparing the Invasion to.  When the weird becomes normal, what happens to us who have our feet firmly planted in the Weird and are proud of that?  Do we have to move, or do we honor the fact that the world has finally come to us, as we all said it would?  I don’t know the answer to that.  After all, I’m just a wrestling columnist…


This year’s Fortune 500 was announced on Sunday, and the magazine’s headed to subscribers everywhere as we speak.  I’m really excited for Fleabag; this is his equivalent of the SI Swimsuit Edition.  I can just imagine what’ll be going on at his house over the next week:  “(THUD THUD) Honey, I really need to use the bathroom!”  “I’m busy, Desi!  Give me a few minutes!….oooh, yeah, look at those big numbers in retail…ooooh…”  “What the hell are you doing in there?!”  “Financial analysis, okay!  Just hold your horses!…boy, that Carly Fiorina knows how to give good synergy…”  “If you’re doing what I think you’re doing, I’ll break down the door, send Emily in with the digital camera, and e-mail the photos to Hyatte!”  “You wouldn’t dare!”  “Of course I would!  I’m in marketing!”

Ah, to be in Florida when the F500 comes out…

Oh, by the way, here’s the Top Ten:

1) Wally World
2) ExxonMobil
3) GM
4) Ford
5) GE
6) ChevronTexaco
7) ConocoPhillips

8) CitiCorp
9) IBM
10) AIG

Now look at those entries in bold.  Doesn’t the reason why the US attacked Iraq become a little more obvious?

On to the pimps and wrestling…


So why wasn’t Randle put in his proper place in the news section and in the lead?  Has he been demoted or something?

Vanderhorst hasn’t been pimped in so long, he automatically gets the God Slot.  However, he deserves it for a great breakdown of the last WWE draft.

Glad to see that this is finally done.  You should have seen Biscuiti, Matt Isomer, sweat out some last-minute stuff regarding Bossman.  Fortunately, we were there for him in his eleventh hour of need.

And this one was previewed by both Biscuiti isomers.  You know, they’re rarely found together in nature.

Nute doesn’t give us his highly-anticipated blast in the direction of Happy Fun Brock, but does provide a retrospective on his finish.  And I must reiterate this:  if you are playing a cleric in Neverwinter Nights, F5 is the default hotkey for Turn Undead.  Apparently Brock tried doing it, blew the throw, and decided to retreat from the battlefield.

Bret Gagnon, on the other hand, wasn’t highly-anticipated (because it wasn’t expected), but definitely enjoyable.

Campbell, Matt Permutation does his Jap shit thing, but throws in a graph about WM as well.  But if you’re disappointed about that graph, he reverts to form in this one.

Poffel demonstrates 1) why I don’t go on AIM and 2) why I feel nothing but contempt for my audience.

Presiloski invects against the modern Muzak.

Oh, just take over from him, Daniels.  You’re a man.

Memo to Coogs:  CNN is owned by Time-Warner, not Viacom.

Fried never gets pimped by me because 1) his column goes up late Saturday/early Sunday and 2) he recaps a B show whose A show I usually don’t watch.  Shame on me for ignoring him for those reasons.

Same goes for Campbell, David Permutation, so he gets pimped too.

Ditto Foist.

Melchor kicks ass, as usual.  Full agreement re:  the Wilburys, BTW.

Memo to Morrison:  considering upcoming changes in my life, I can definitely confirm that this is, indeed, 1992.

Laflin does really need to get out more.  And anything involving Dance Dance Revolution does not count as “getting out”.

But, Lucard, that commercial for the game you’re reviewing (you know which one) should take it down about two points by itself, don’t you think?

Hayhurst explains all about the fiasco surrounding Superman II, among other things.  Of course, it’s worth watching for other things.  Believe me when I tell you that you can get a lot of mileage out of the line “Kneel before Zod”.

And, finally, a big shout-out to KYR Wrestling Torrents, your source for mixing the pleasure of wrestling with the ease and deviousness of BitTorrent.  You need to change your name, though, if you’re going to get any more pimps from me.  I refuse to countenance blatant Flex promotion.  And tell whoever scans in the Observer and Torch to stop using f*cking Paperport, pirate a copy of Acrobat Full, and scan them as .pdf files.  This way, it’s not weasel-bullshit-incompetence.


This just goes to show you that no matter who you are, sometimes you have to just pucker up.  According to one of the dead-tree Torch’s unpaid stringers, who was sitting near Shane McMahon, the following occurred:  “Halfway through the Eddie vs. Angle match, Linda McMahon came and sat in the row in front of me right behind Shane.  It seemed like after Linda showed up, Shane was a lot more into the matches.  He was standing up more and clapping a lot more.  He even stood on his chair a few times.  He made it seem like he had to get more excited because his mom was watching him.”

Jeez.  You’re part of the programming in a big way.  You’re related to the people who own the company.  But you do have a family to support, including the First Grandson In The Family.  So I guess it’s better to play it safe and fake your orgasms.  That way, someone you love won’t be disappointed.  But it is indicative of Shane’s attitude to the business.  Unlike his sister/kennel-mate, Shane’s known to be not that enthusiastic about wrestling.  His attitude comes across much of the time as “I’m only doing this because it’s the family business.  If I had my way, I’d be a vet or something.”  He’s become resigned to his fate, though, and has come to the conclusion that, no matter how he feels, he should be professional and do the job right (highly commendable, in my book).  If that means getting the shit beat out of him by Kane or putting on an “I’m glad to be here for this” attitude in front of Mommy, then so be it.

I have this feeling that if Trip and Steph have a litter one of these days, little Declan McMahon is going to be presented with all options and only go into the business if he wants to, not because Shane and Marissa are going to push him into it.  I just hope that Declan comes to realize early on that he’s not obligated to do so just because the business puts food in him.  If that was the case, I’d be working for the Chicago Board of Education and feeling really miserable…well, more miserable than I usually do.

(Now, it must be said for the sake of full disclosure that my maternal great-grandfather had some business dealings with Armour and that my maternal grandfather ended up working for Armour and ended up dropping dead in one of their plants in Chicago.  However, there are mitigating factors to my entering the meat industry over a decade ago:

1) I have gone a very non-traditional route, staying on the technical and regulatory side.

2) My grandfather dropped dead seventeen years before I was born.

3) My dealings with Armour’s successor-in-fact, ConAgra, have been on a confrontational level.

4) I have never attempted to get a position with ConAgra despite now living only fifty miles from Corporate Headquarters and having a little bit of stroke from the outside that would ease my way in.

So I think that charges of hypocrisy are minimal, to say the least.)


Every major restart we’ve seen from both companies, from the WCW invasion, the later brand extension, the Raw re-start when Steve Austin quit and Ric Flair was made talent, and later when Eric Bischoff was brought in, as well as WCW twice under Vince Russo, has resulted in an early ratings increase and an eventual decline a few weeks later to consistently lower levels of business than before. – Da Meltz, Dead-Tree Observer, March 22nd, 2004 edition.

Well, f*ck, Dave, congratuations.  You finally stated what I’ve been going on about for three f*cking years now, what I’ve codified into the buzz term “Two-Week Pop”.  Every time there’s a big return or a Mega-Event like the Draft, I bring this topic up and state exactly what Da Meltz just said:  ratings will go up for two weeks, then the audience becomes jaded and feels like they’ve been conned, tune out, and stay tuned out.  It’s what’s brought WWE’s ratings down to the point where the core audience has become the vast majority and the casual viewers have left and stayed away in droves.  And I’ve received hell from the lemmings for stating this, defamed for my “negativity” and so forth.  Is Meltz going to get the same hate mail that I do?  Doubtful, because he’s DA MELTZ and I’m just the third-biggest draw to the largest independent wrestling site on the Net, a person that GETS MORE HITS THAN MELTZER.  Oooh, but I haven’t been doing this for twenty years and I haven’t made it my full-time job, so I don’t have the rep to fall back on…okay, I’ll give you that.

For once, he’s right.  Look at the Smackdown ratings from last week.  They were artificially inflated due to the anticipation of this being the “last” Smackdown prior to everything getting changed, so it was not only one final opportunity to get a look at the old crew, but it also had the attraction of possibly finding out more information about what would happen Monday or provide more clues to what may happen that the audience could parse.  Except for Simmons’ termination, both kayfabe and real, nothing was presented that would provide any indication of who’s going where (other than Bradshaw to Raw), so it was a waste.  But it did draw the audience in.  We can expect similar behavior over the next two weeks.  After that, it’s anybody’s guess.  If they actually go against type and do something that might interest casual viewers, then they might buck this trend.  However, given the evidence of the past three years, it’s not going to happen.  I’ll have more about this in my draft analysis.


There’s trouble down in OVW according to the dead-tree Observer.  Rip Rogers, one of the most famous JTTSes of an era that produced a lot of the greats in that field (Horowitz, Lombardi, etc.), has been canned from his trainer position.  The reason for this one was simple:  he’s had two rotator cuff surgeries that haven’t worked out well, so he couldn’t get in the ring to pass along the skills he possesses in psychology, transition, and especially selling (he was always one of WWF’s best sellers in the ring).  Da Meltz points out that this job has been the Slot of Death in recent times.  Danny Davis, Bobby Eaton, Ray Traylor (which answers a question some of us in the writers’ forum have been wondering about), and Rocky Johnson (who should have been castrated prior to breeding) have all passed through the Valley of Death and not come out intact prior to Rip.

So what exactly are they looking for in this position?  Do they even know?  With the uncertainty in this position combined with the seeming unwillingness to make new stars in the big leagues, what chance does a guy from OVW really have?  The window of opportunity was open for Cena, Batista, Benjamin, Haas, and the Bashams, but has it been closed?  Are they fated to become perpetual minor-leaguers who are grateful for a cup of coffee and a squash match on Heat or Epilepsy?  Time will tell, but you can’t be optimistic.


Well, here’s an older story that everyone missed, including me.  The fact that this was missed was rather irresponsible, because people in the IWC reported on the first part of this story last summer.  God bless erstwhile 411er M. Sylvain Parent for cluing me in to this one.

You know Tony Halme.  Most of you know him better as Ludvig Borga, of course.  Well, if you were around in the mid-90s, you know him.  He’s not only been blanked from the from the WWE’s collective memory, but also from the IWC’s collective memory as well.  That’s because things got so desperate that Vince was yay close to putting the world title on him at one point.  If you don’t know him or don’t remember him, the best comparison I can think of is Albert.  Only you have to imagine Albert with a blond buzzcut, no piercings, and no back hair.  That’s Ludvig Borga in a nutshell.  Vince gave him a gimmick as a maniacal Finn, which was pretty close to real life (and indicative of the level of his talent).

Well, Halme left the WWE and went into shoot-fighting.  After he got sick of that, he decided to go back to Finland and go into politics.  He became a right-wing member of the Finnish parliament.  Last year, he got in the IWC’s radar again by being found by police unconscious in his home after the neighbors had called in, saying there was a ruckus going on at the Halmes’ place involving a loud “bang”.  Halme was hospitalized for an extended period of time, and apparently they did some blood work after he arrived at the hospital because of what happened next.

There was no follow-up on the reporting that he’d been hospitalized, and the follow-up turned out to be better than the actual story.  After Halme regained consciousness, the cops hit him up on the following charges:

1) DUI for supposedly driving home prior to the incident while he was sloshed.
2) Firearms violations.
3) Reckless endangerment.
4) Smuggling a gun into Finland illegally.
5) Possession of said illegal firearm.
6) Drug use.

There was a verdict rendered on January 30th (seven weeks ago; ample time for someone in the IWC to have found this out).  Halme was found innocent of the DUI, guilty of everything else.  The judge, though, was in a good mood and sentenced him to a year and a half probation, three months in the clink (suspended), and a fine of about 4500 euros.  There’s also been a movement to have him ejected from the Finnish parliament due to his conviction.

So why wasn’t this reported, at the very least as a follow-up to the first story?  Well, Syl mentioned the main reason to me:  it’s Ludvig Borga, who cares?  But that doesn’t explain Meltzer and Keller.  Meltz is a completist.  He’ll report every burp and fart if it deals with a wrestler.  Look at the Torch’s on-line daily reports sometime; they’ll mention anything and everything even tangentially connected to wrestling (like their infamous media references that may or may not have something to do with wrestling).  Neither of them bothered to tell the world that a former WWE upper-mid-carder and shoot-fighter (one of Da Meltz’s big side interests) was convicted of five crimes.  Just because he’s out of the wrestling world’s eye means that he gets ignored?  Technically, Jesse Ventura wasn’t doing anything connected to wrestling when he was MinnGov (except for a couple of appearances on WWE television and XFL coverage), but his actions were still reported by the dirt sheets and the IWC whiteboards that masquerade as legitimate sites.

The only explanation I can think of that makes sense is that this happened in a foreign country that doesn’t speak English as its first language.  This makes a lot of sense when you consider how much coverage is given on mainstream wrestling sites to lucha and puro:  if it doesn’t happen in the States or Canada, it doesn’t happen at all.  And those of us who actually want to know about what happened with Tony Halme, and I was one of them, get kept in the dark by the people who put themselves into a position of responsibility to report news like this.

That’s disgusting.


An uncredited blurb put up by Ashish:

WWE has purchased the domain name newecw.com. The name now redirects you to wwe.com. This could support the rumors that WWE is considering bringing the ECW name back, or it could mean nothing.

It also means that they couldn’t get Ryder to sell ecwwrestling.com to them, despite 1Bob not having any use for it.  Of course, if they approached Bob about buying it, then it’d be all over the Net within twelve seconds and speculation will be running rampant.  As if it isn’t already from this blurb, of course.

I said something about this possibility in our private, you’re-not-allowed-in-there writers’ forum, namely that an ECW revival would be used as a temperature gauge for any kind of possible WCW revival in the near future.  The draft, of course, determines everything.  If the right names are mentioned, then I’ll bring it up at the appropriate time.


From TNA’s official press office, 1bullshit:

Jeff Jarrett and Abyss needed police escorts as they left a show in Mexico City on Sunday night. Jarrett defeated Latin Lover of AAA in the main event which enraged the crowd and caused them to start throwing garbage at Jarrett.

Can the guys at the Asylum start doing this the next time Jarrett puts himself over Abyss, Styles, or Raven?  Maybe then he’ll get the message that NO ONE WANTS HIM AS FUCKING CHAMPION!

And speaking of wanting, let’s see who’s going to be left wanting after the draft as we suddenly change from Raw to Red Vs. Blue…


Match Results:

Chris Jericho over Rene Dupree (Pinfall, enziguiri):  Strange ending, admittedly, but a decent short little match.  Of course, Wife-Beater had to come out and ruin Dupree’s moment afterward, so f*ck him.

Kane over Rico (Pinfall, chokeslam):  Next.

Christian over Spike Dudley (Pinfall, Unprettier):  There goes Spike, playing Angle Enhancement yet again.  Next.

Ric Flair and Dave Batista over Booker T and Rob Van Dam, Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Batista pins Booker, DaveBomb, New Tag Champions):  Well, that was nice and convenient, wasn’t it?  Evolution was already broken up per se earlier in the show, so that now allows “creative” to send Van Dam over to Smackdown…I hope.  I want Booker on Raw.  I don’t care how good it’d be for Eddy to have him over on SD.  I want him to stay.  Please let it happen, please…

…honest to God, I wrote the above during the commercial break.  I never expected it to happen right as they came out of said break.  More comments below.

Chris Benoit over Rhyno, World Title Match (Submission, Crossface):  So, this is what I was missing all those weeks last year when I was blowing off Smackdown, huh?  Sounds like I made the right choice.

Eddy Guerrero over Trip, WWE Title Match (DQ, Christian-ference):  This one was really too surreal to comment on.  It’s Monday night and Trip’s in the main event.  Okay, so far so good.  But he’s facing Eddy Guerrero.  For the WWE title.  Brian Hebner’s the ref.  Tazz and Cole are commenting.  Too many paradigms being shattered simultaneously to allow for good concentration.

Angle Developments:

Unctuousness Never Looked So Good:  Bisch is a very smart individual.  He allowed Heyman to do the lion’s share of the posturing and pontificating, knowing that 1) Raw audiences would regard this as something different and interesting (hey, it’s been a while since he’s appeared on Raw in any substantive role) and 2) nobody’s better than being a slime than Paul E.  If you can’t beat ’em, get out of the way.

One-Upsmanship:  After Heyman’s coup of having the WWE title match on Raw, Bisch had to respond, and respond he did.  I absolutely loved the idea of “the next person I draft gets Benoit for the title tonight”.  Unfortunately, they then pissed away that idea by having it be Rhyno, Benoit’s little buddy.  Wasn’t the purpose of this draft supposed to be NEW matchups?

The Perfect Ending:  Nothing in the last two years has sold the brand separation like the brawl that ended the show.  For the first time, Raw and Smackdown seemed truly separate.  It’s a damn shame that they took this long to pull that off.  But it was a masterpiece of mayhem.  The one thing I would have liked to have seen a little of was hesitation in the eyes of the victims of the draft, Van Dam in particular.  Oh, well, you can’t get everything.

The Joe In Me begs to mildly disagree, and throws in a very good point:

That match was going along great before the schmozz ending.  They could have finished the match first and then began the schmozz, which was a pretty neat visual in itself.  I didn’t like Kane making an appearance, because you could tell looking at him that he was just going through the motions and only going out there because everyone else was.  That, and it just doesn’t fit his character to help anyone other than himself out.

There’s also one other matter that they didn’t bring up.  Everyone from both rosters was supposed to be there.  So where was UT?  I didn’t hear anything about him during the show (although I was trying to also work out a software problem and wasn’t paying attention as much as I should have).

And Raw Regular Joshua Crawley brings up another good point, this time concerning Wife-Beater:

When did Steve Austin switch from being an authority figure to a coach?  Even if he was just the Raw sheriff, shouldn’t he have been making
his show’s roster obey the rules, and maybe been kicking their asses?

Of course, heaven forbid WWE still evolve his character by slowly turning him into the same authority he despises by way of his position…

No, because that would actually be interesting.  They also blew a great dynamic.  Remember that Heyman, who made that match, had just quit and left the building.  The entire schmozz could have been given a great rationale with Bisch taking advantage of that fact and telling anyone and everyone on the Raw roster, especially anyone who hated Trip, to do a run-in.  Anyone, that is, except Evolution and Michaels.  It had to have been made clear that this was Bisch telling Raw guys to disrupt the Smackdown main event.  That way, the schmozz has a reason.  What the f*ck was Evolution doing out there before the schmozz?  Oh, if a little thought could be put into these things…

The Draft:

Rene Dupree to Smackdown:  Good for him, as long as the rest of La Res don’t come along for the ride.  The guy deserves a singles push, he’s got a great future ahead of him, and he has a wonderful cocky heel act that he can more fully exploit with a better level of competition.  I’ll miss him, but it’s best for the kid.

Shelton Benjamin to Raw:  Here’s another guy who deserves a singles chance.  Best of all, I never have to hear that disgusting phrase describing the former team of Benjamin and Haas ever again.

Mark Jindrak to Smackdown:  I’ll echo PK in the live coverage and say that I hope that this means a reunion between Jindrak and O’Haire.  I was never too high on them back in WCW, but considering the mishandling of O’Haire and the burial of Jindrak, getting together again may be the best thing for them.

Nidia to Raw:  Well, she’s got nothing to do now that the Noble thing’s been blown off.  Besides, one woman had to change rosters.  They did a decent job at a Tough Enough reclamation project with Gayda; maybe they can work a little of the same magic on Nidia as well.

Trip to Smackdown:  The moment this happened, I knew that they’d f*ck with Heyman.  I’ll comment more in the Heyman section of this missive.  But as for now, let me just say one thing:  OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER!

Rhyno to Raw:  Obviously Goldberg’s replacement as resident bruiser (Kane’s in another category altogether).  Plus, he’s Benoit’s running buddy, so there’s always a default match for Benoit there (witness this episode).  A singles feud with Booker?  Sounds good to me.

Rob Van Dam to Smackdown:  Good.  Get his spot-loving formulaic ass off my screen and on to a show I don’t have to watch for a column.

Yoshihiro Tajiri to Raw:  First of all, I love Tajiri, so it’s great to see him back on Mondays.  But this move really helps Smackdown more than it does Raw.  It opens up a slot for a cruiser of your choice to join Chavito and Rey-Rey as a legitimate title competitor.  I’d rather not see that person be Jamie Noble, because if you’re going to reunite O’Haire and Jindrak, why not go whole hog and team Noble up with Akio to do a partial Yung Dragons reformation at the same time?  Without Tajiri, Akio’s free to team with Noble, and maybe Sakoda can have a chance to strut his stuff in singles.

Teddy Long to Smackdown:  Who’s he going to represent?  Faarooq was fired and Benjamin moved over to Raw.  However, there are a lot of guys on the SD roster who need a good mouthpiece, and Teddy’s one of the best.  I’ll miss ya, playa.

Edge to Raw:  This move was the one that was most speculated by members of the IWC, so much so that it was a given.  Hell, we even figured they’d do it before the draft was announced.  And that pop when he came out…my God.  Randy Orton, your opponent at Backlash is here.  Be prepared to drop the title.

Spike Dudley to Smackdown:  How many people right now are saying “Wrong Dudley”?  I know I am.  But what the hell was Heyman’s problem?  Spike was worth his weight in gold to him in ECW.  You would think that he’d be happy to have Spike back under his wing.  And Smackdown could definitely use a rag-doll cruiser considering how stiff some of those guys work.

Paul Heyman to Raw:  I’m going to lift the veil for you on a rather secretive world, the world of the 411 Staff Forums.  Oh, yes, my children, we who are above you Great Unwashed have been discussing the subject of the draft:

I don’t lend any credence to the WCW revival rumors. I do, however, lend more and more credence to the possibility of them using an ECW revival to set the stage for a WCW revival in the future. The WCW rumors are a smokescreen to discount the ones concerning ECW, I think, since no one in the IWC believes they’re going to try reviving WCW again after the massively botched job they did the first time.

If they do so, they’ve set the stage perfectly with Vince mentioning his family. The way they’d do that is simple: Bisch is allocated to Smackdown, and so is Heyman due to the “luck of the draw”. Meanwhile, You-Know-Who comes back to Raw as GM (this is just my luck; I’ll have to deal with Trip, Wife-Beater, the spectre of Flex, and now HER again). Naturally, Bisch and Heyman can’t get along (and this would be a perfect time to bring up the history between them in regard to the WCW talent raids on ECW). Heyman tells Vince he’s going to walk unless he gets some control back, and tells Vince that he has loyal guys who will walk with him. So Vince lets them walk…right into the revived ECW, taking over the Confidential slot. And they get Okerlund as their play-by-play guy with Heyman taking over color.
– me, March 16th, 2004

Eric, I wouldn’t be surprised if your favorite gal steph is brought onto RAW (or SD, replacing Heyman) as part of this whole shake-up…. – Biscuiti, Matt Isomer, March 16th, 2004

Get rid of Confidential, and replace it with an “ECW-like show.” I DON’T think it would take away from anything. These will be mostly guys that aren’t happy with their pushes anyway, and will be targeting a niche audience. House shows? Who needs ’em? Tape these matches before RAW and/or SD and run a houseshow once a month in a Philly bingo hall for all I care. After a few months, have Heyman start “buying ad time” on Raw and SD, maybe have him invade one of the two here and there to remind people they exist. Hey, you can hardly have LESS people watching the Confidential timeslot. – ibid

Of course, I ended up getting the shows wrong, simply due to the fact that I firmly believe that WWE hates me so much that they’d isolate me from both Bisch and Heyman and force me to watch a show for this column with the Bitch of the Baskervilles as GM.  On the rest of it, though?  Heyman walking?  Check, but a lot sooner than I thought.  The Bitch of the Baskervilles coming back as a GM?  Check.  Her and the hubby have to be together, Slick Rick.  She gets appointed GM on Smackdown, period.  And Heyman’s situation will be resolved quickly, probably on Raw within the next couple weeks.  Yes, this does mean the New ECW is coming your way in the slot to be vacated by Confidential.

Put Trips and Angle on whatever show gets Stephanie. That puts all THREE of them away from anything involving a title or up-and-coming stars. – Matt Nute, March 16th, 2004

And that’s exactly what happened.  Angle stayed on SD, Trip went there, and the Bitch of the Baskervilles will be on there this week.  And that’s why I’ll continue to be avoiding SD.

And the trade deadline that supposedly passed at midnight ET on Monday?

Was kayfabed like everything else.  Right after Raw, wwe.com put up a statement from Vince:

Earlier tonight, Paul Heyman – the former General Manager of SmackDown! – was drafted by RAW and subsequently quit. Therefore, due to the absence of a GM on SmackDown!, I have extended the trading deadline to 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, at which time a new GM of SmackDown! will be announced, and that new GM of SmackDown! will in fact announce all trades.

Get ready for your eardrums to bleed from the shrill sound of dog yelps.  And, no, it won’t be Shane.  The guy has a newborn.  Get that nice thought out of your mind.

So, I’ll let Haley announce all the trades and sign off.  Until tomorrow in Black, I’ll be filling out forms until my brain explodes.