Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 03.30.04


In Memoriam:  Sir Peter Ustinov.  Actor’s actor, bon vivant’s bon vivant, and all-around One Of The Greatest.

Well, I’m doing this column in between doing my taxes, so I’m in no mood for a long teaser graph.  The biggest pain in the ass in regard to doing my taxes is the fact that I tend to move around a lot, which means multiple state forms.  Thank God I never established residence in Iowa, which would have REALLY complicated things this year.  And next year won’t be any better either if things go according to plan.  Well, one of these days…so, on with the show.


It was a big weekend out on the links.  The men had the Fifth Major, the women had an actual major.  And the way the two tournaments ended is a perfect example of why golf is a great televised sport.

First to Sawgrass, or as it was known this year, Adam Scott’s Coming-Out Party.  The young Aussie virtually led wire-to-wire against one of the toughest fields in golf, the true mark of an Emerging Star.  Kid’s good, no doubt.  Yeah, he won a tournament last year here in the States, but even so, this is one of those ball-busters that show that you’re a Man.  But the way it was won showed that he’s a lot more mature than his age shows.  He had a huge lead going into the back nine on Sunday, which started to dribble away as players started a late charge, especially Paddy Harrington (who’d better do something really soon over here to avoid ending up becoming the Irish Colin Montgomerie).  Five shots dropped to two as he teed off on 18.  Tee shot, no problem.  Second shot?  Oops, into the water.  TV cameras show Harrington out on the practice tee with a phone (talking to his wife, we were informed later on).  Scott drops near the green in a shitty spot.  Chip is incredibly clutch given this course, coming to within ten feet.  Sinks the manly bogey putt, cashes in to the tune of one point four mil.  Harrington hangs up and starts heading to Augusta.  Drama manufactured from out of nowhere because of one errant shot at a point where you wouldn’t expect any drama to be.  And it was perfectly set up.  He flirted with danger at 15 and 16 as well, so you half-expected something might happen.  However, the place you expected it to happen was at 17, not 18.  That’s what that hole’s designed for.

Witness Friday at 17.  I love watching tournaments on Friday.  The TV guys always concentrate on the people near the cut line to see how they do (of course, there was added drama this week because Tigger’s Streak was in jeopardy, so more attention was paid to the cut line than normal).  The Island Green is the great equalizer.  The most heartbreaking story of the week there happened on Friday with Trip Howell.  He was right on the cut line when he came to 17.  His tee shot was well-struck, hit the green with a lot of room to spare, but then shot like a bullet.  Bounce, bounce, into the drink.  Second tee shot, same thing.  The look on the Impossibly Thin One’s face could bring you to tears.  Dude took seven and went home.  The sad part was that about ten minutes later, there was a small rainstorm.  This softened up the greens just enough to take the bounce out of them that killed Thurston.  If he’d been one group later, he would have stuck around for the weekend.  That’s the kind of drama you can’t buy, even on pay-per-view.

(And on the other end of the weight scale, Big John made the cut, but had a horrible weekend.  His spot at the Masters literally was hanging by a thread.  If the Unstoppable Kenny Perry was able to finish solo second, Daly would drop to eleventh on the money list for the season and miss Augusta.  Perry ended up finishing in a tie for third thanks to Harrington going ballistic on the back nine.  So John’s going to Augusta, and fun will now commence.)

The women did it a different way at Mission Hills.  The distaffs always bring their A game to the Nabisco, and this year was no exception.  The set-up was similar to the Players’ for drama.  You had a young up-and-comer facing off against a player whose career trajectory seemed to be in that terrific-but-not-quite category (for the ultimate men’s example, see Jay Haas, who continued his late-life surge at Sawgrass, enough so that the commentators were actually bitching about him not being out on the Champions’ Tour to provide some competition).  And even better, there were two up-and-comers.  Best of all, they appealed to the joshi fans by having all three be Asian women…was Jan Stephenson right?

Oh, never mind the racism.  On the one hand, you had Grace Park, who was taught a very important life lesson at the US Open last year:  don’t f*ck with Annika.  Annika eliminated herself with a shitty round on Friday, so that obstacle wasn’t there.  But waiting in the wings were the Girls Gone Wild contingent, seventeen-year-old Aree Song and fourteen-year-old Michelle Wie (who I have spent enough electronic ink talking about; she’s for real, and stop bitching about it).  Wie’s experience with the men didn’t spoil her, as she shot well all weekend and ended up fourth (with Karrie Webb finishing third; remember when Webb was the big up-and-comer?  It wasn’t that long ago.).  Song was in the last group with Park.  The finishing hole is a par 5, and the LPGA types decided to shorten the hole a little so that the golfers could go for it in two (still a reasonable distance at 485, though).  The two were trading the lead all day.  One or the other would flub something, and the yo-yo went for another downward spin.  Park came into 18 up by two.  Song went for it.  Song’s second was absolutely perfect, Park’s less so.  Park was sitting three six feet away.  Song needed to nail a thirty-foot eagle putt in order to have a chance.  Dead f*cking clutch in the center of the cup.  Just think about that.  Down by two in a major, needing to make eagle to have a chance, and you end up hitting a perfect drive, perfect approach, and sink a thirty-footer.  Goddamn.

And what do you do if you’re Park?  The kid just put up the ultimate “Beat that, bitch” in your face.  As any golfer can tell you, it’s the putts from five to ten feet that drive you nuts.  They’re the ones you want to make but always seem to f*ck up.  And after what Song did, if they had to go to overtime, she’d have all the momentum in the known universe.  She also didn’t want to have to go to extras in another major considering last year’s experience with Annika.  So she had to hit her birdie.  You couldn’t see one emotion on her face as she lined up.  Total dead expression as she took aim and let loose.  Right in the middle.  And then it all exploded from her as she followed tradition and threw herself into the pond next to 18.

Two tournaments, two different genders, both played at the highest levels, both providing drama in vastly different ways.  When you compare wrestling to golf, there’s no excuse for wrestling to rehash the same old shit and be as uncreative and uninspiring as it is.

How about a quickie YAM?  You like that?  Cool.


Just wondering why you don’t give Austin the benefit of the doubt.  It’s been almost two years and people do make mistakes at times.  Do you still constantly shout “wife beater” when you see Jason Kidd on the court? – Abid Malik, February 24th, 2004

WWE star Steve Austin was arrested today on assault charges after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, according to San Antonio, Texas station KSAT channel 12. Austin’s girlfriend, who was not indentified, told police that she was pushed down during an argument in Austin’s home, injuring “her hands and knees.” According to the report, Austin is no longer under probation from his case with ex-wife Debra Williams. The newscast promised further details later in the evening. – Mike Johnson, 1bullshit Junior, March 26th, 2004

That’s why, you stupid f*ck.  Because guys like Wife-Beater don’t change.  So take your Austin-loving ass out of here and never read my column again, you piece of shit apologist for a reprehensible human being.

And the Smoking Gun has the latest arrest report up here (thanks, Ralph) if you want to read the latest horror.


This one’s pretty sad.  I was doing a little research to help Biscuiti, Matt Isomer last week and started reading some of my columns from 2002.  I started running across some of the old pimps and asked myself, “Where the hell is Obal?  We need him!”  Well, shit, now he’s back.  Be happy, people.

Speaking of the B shows, Fried handles Epilepsy, Campbell, David Variant is starting to prep for the New ECW by covering the show that’s in its slot currently, and Foist does his OVW thing.

Campbell, Mike Variant speaks a home truth:

Basic rule of the thumb for AJPW, if any match involves all of the Four Lords, or Jun Akiyama in place of one of them, if its under **** it’s a disappointment.

Damn f*cking skippy.  I still don’t like Taue, though.

Melchor respects the power and gives it its due.  Also, it’s not that I hate SD, it’s just that I don’t feel like watching it.  I end up reading spoilers and letting it go instead of wasting two hours.

Presiloski may be Canadian, but he hates Courtney Love, and that makes him aces in my book.

Cameron will get pummeled by me the next time I see him for picking the Sox fourth in the AL Central.

Laflin bemoans the lack of diversity and originality in PC games.  Tell that to Lucard and the hundred millionth permutation of Pokesuck that he was pimping last week.


Big news, top-of-the-page stuff, from the dead-tree Observer:

WWE has put an offer on the table to get Goldberg to return to the company. The deal would apparently include limited dates only and build to a huge program with Steve Austin. Right now, Goldberg seems to be debating whether it will be better for him or worse if he stays off TV for awhile. The general feeling now is that Goldberg will be back when the time and money is right.

Well, duh.  Did anyone not predict that when Lesnar rabbited, they’d make every effort to get Goldie back on the farm?  Let’s face it, if Happy Fun Brock hadn’t pissed off, they would have waved goodbye and not looked back.  But now Goldie’s in the catbird seat.  They need him, and they’re going to fork over for the privilege.  He knows it.  There’s only one money match left in WWE, and that’s Goldie/Wife-Beater (thanks to Trip’s machinations, the money status of Benoit/Michaels has been severely damaged).

Last year, I stated a number of times that this was the match they’d build to for WM20 in order to give the event a Hogan/Andre type of feel.  These statements were made, though, before Goldie’s contract situation reared its ugly head.  If they would have settled with him before, say, Royal Rumble, it would have been Goldie/Wife-Beater at WM.  So this type of program is no surprise.  The only question would be when they pull the trigger on it.  Austin turns 40 in December and has already abused his body along with the body of any woman who sleeps with him.  WM may be a little late for such antics.

As for what he should do, other than soak Vince for every single goddamn penny he can as punishment for WWE’s stupidity, he should stay off TV for a while.  The memories of the debacle at WM are way too fresh in everyone’s mind.  They should slow-burn this, keep him off Raw for a while, and then bring him back all pissed off at what Wife-Beater did to him after the match at WM.  The only tragic part about this is that he can’t be booked as the face in this, when he damn well should be.

Oh, God, the last thing I wanted to do was lead with a f*cking Goldberg story.  Ever.


More bad news from the dead-tree Observer:

Jeff Jarrett is still trying to get Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall to all come in and work for TNA. He has apparently told them that they don’t have the money they once had, but that they would be given great merchandise deals. At this point, Hogan and Nash feel that the show looks minor league.

Jesus Christ Almighty…

Exactly what kind of merch deal would be sufficient enough to make up for the fact that TNA can’t pay them what they believe they’re worth (and for that matter, what the Jarretts believe they’re worth)?  100% of the retail plus two blowjobs a night from the people working the counters?  Hall once got the best per-show deal that the Jarretts put out (back when they still had some VC money to blow on luxuries like a greasy-haired cokehound and boozer), and that wasn’t enough for Nash.  So now they’re expecting that merch can make up for that?  Asking for Jarrett to get a f*cking clue is too much, because if he had one, Styles would have had the belt by now.

And Hogan and Nash are right.  The show does look minor-league.  It is minor-league.  It’s WCW Worldwide with worse lighting*.  It has the appearance of being cheap, and Hogan and Nash don’t want to risk their reputations with the marks on being associated with something that isn’t up to the standards that they’re used to.  I definitely understand their concerns in this area.  If I was at their particular level of fame, I wouldn’t compete on Wednesday Night Slapnuts either.  Plus, the joint’s filled with has-beens, never-weres, guys WWE doesn’t want, or guys trying to get noticed by someone in WWE, like every other indy fed.  It’s not an environment they’d be comfortable in.  And if Jarrett tried to make them comfortable, he’d alienate everyone else on the roster due to the grasping, controlling nature of Nash and Hogan.  The show would turn into a low-rent version of Nitro circa 1997, with Russo taking Bisch’s place and the X Division doing a great impersonation of the cruiserweight division.  Would you pay ten bucks for this?  Shit, I don’t even pay ten bucks for it now because it’s so damn tacky.  That’s what BitTorrent is for.

The sad part is that Jarrett believes that he needs these guys to drum up business.  The saddest part is that if TNA doesn’t come up with something soon that will attract an audience beyond the proposition of “We’re Not WWE”, he’d be right.

* – And it’s incredibly ironic that if they get the deal with Fox, TNA will also end up taping in Orlando.


From 1bullshit Junior via Ashish:

WWE developmental talent Nick Dinsmore worked the RAW house shows this weekend as “Eugene.” The Eugene character will be an over the top simpleton who loves wrestling. His character is apparently based on Warren from “There’s Something About Mary”.

Dinsmore will be filming vignettes soon to hype his on-TV debut.

What the hell did Nick Dinsmore, a very good wrestler and high-quality sports entertainer, do to deserve this?  “Eugene”?  This is verging very, very close to Beaver Cleavage territory, not to mention the fact that it’s the horribly-botched tribute that served as a middle name for both Wesley Crusher and Tom Paris.  “Over-the-top simpleton who loves wrestling”?  Does anyone with two functional brain cells think that this even remotely resembles a good gimmick?  Didn’t they try something like this with Heidenreich and fail so spectacularly that he can’t even get a slot on Heat?  And can’t they find any fresher source material than There’s Something About Mary, a movie made reprehensible by the presence of the loathesome Cameron Diaz?

There is no way in hell that this is good on any level for Dinsmore.  I absolutely wanted him to come up from OVW.  The guy was ready, he draws heat like no one’s business, and he’s learned a whole bunch from Corny about how to take an opening and run with it.  But slapping this gimmick on him?  Why bother doing that in the first place?  Dinsmore’s a guy who can get over without a gimmick, but they’re so afraid that someone with a normal name and an average look needs something “extra” that careers end up getting crippled because of asinine moves like this.  Dinsmore’s erstwhile partner Rob Conway was in the same boat.  They could have given Conway some mic time after he was brought up and he could have been a solid mid-card heel on the rise by now.  But instead they threw him into the La Res sewer.  And if I ever have to hear the words “French sympathizer” out of Ross’ mouth again, I’m going to strangle that fat, senile f*ck.

Why does WWE insist on eating its own young?  The taste can’t be that appealing.


From the dead-tree Observer:

Due to how weak Smackdown’s crop of heels currently is, WWE is actually considering headlining the May 16th Smackdown-only Judgment Day PPV with a Eddie Guerrero vs. Bradshaw WWE Title match. To add a little edge to Bradshaw, WWE may have Paul Heyman manage him.

Most backstage are in shock that Bradshaw will likely be getting a main event push despite his horrible in-ring work.

Well, shit, if SD’s heel crop is so weak, then why isn’t Trip on that show?  You know, the guy who got “drafted” by SD last week and then got traded back to Raw the next f*cking goddamn day, thus forcing me to put up with his antics every week while I’m trying to do a column?!  Oh, for f*ck’s sake…

I do find the fact that they’d be teaming him up with Heyman to be humorous.  If there’s anyone in WWE who needs a good financial advisor, it’s Heyman.  Maybe if he had Bradshaw back in the day, ECW wouldn’t have gone under.  At the very least, Heyman wouldn’t have been terrified for his life when he had to tell the locker room that their paychecks were going to bounce.  It’s also advantageous because they have a ready-made name for the duo:  “Steers and Queers”.

And what the hell is so “shocking” about Leyfield getting a blowjob push?  Isn’t this the same “brand” that had Bob Fucking Holly wrestle for the title a few months ago?  The same “brand” where Billy Gunn has established residence like a remora on the belly of a shark?  He’s just the latest in a long line of marginal talent that receive a reward for loyalty, the ability to put up with bullshit, and the fact that they draw a low but consistent level of heat from the audience.  And for some reason, they all seem to be from the South.  Just wanted to point that out.

(By the way, don’t include TBS in this bunch.  The reason he gets pushed is because Vince was stupid enough to sign him to a long-term for big money, which I believe is rapidly coming to a close, thus explaining why Wight has a fire up his ass right now.)

So, therefore, a PPV main event will again be wasted due to WWE short-sightedness, the asinine reward policy, creative constipation, and various and sundry other reasons which no one with a rational mind can explain.  I don’t even have a clue as to why this is going to happen.  My best guess is that Leyfield’s probably hung like a moose.  That’s probably a better reason than anything anyone else can come up with, and it did explain Eric Embry back in Texas a decade and a half ago.


Again from the dead-tree Observer, this time concerning what plans are being made for the transferred Raw guys:

Rob Van Dam: RVD isn’t expected to move up the ladder on Smackdown. With The Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero, John Cena, and Rey Mysterio, there isn’t room right now for anything above a mid-card face, which is what RVD is expected to be. WWE had been planning to move RVD to Smackdown for awhile now. He may end up feuding with Booker T.

Bullshit, if SD is going to try to resurrect their tag scene.  They need those two to stick together if that’s to happen, since there’s no one on SD with any goddamn credibility in the division.  Ross and Lawler got a lot of commentary mileage out of the fact that the first time they tagged together, they won the straps.  Cole and Tazz can do the same.  Besides, Booker knows how to make guys look good, and there are enough spotfests on SD without Van Dam adding his formulaic bullshit to the mix.

Rene Dupree: Dupree will likely go back to a variation of his “French Phenom” gimmick from OVW. He is also expected to feud with John Cena for awhile.

And the better place for him to have done that would have been Raw.  Let Conway carry Grenier for a while and see if the kid has what it takes.  I am a little afraid of putting him up against Cena, though.  They’ve got to be careful not to bury him at this point.  I can see him turning face eventually and having Cena as a mentor.  French raps would be interesting, to say the least.

Spike Dudley: He will be the new Cruiserweight fall guy.

Gee, no shit, Meltz?  And here I thought that Spike would be UT’s next feud.

The Dudley Boys: The Dudleys are expected to eventually turn heel, replacing Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas as the top heel tag team. This sets up potential programs with face teams like RVD & Booker T (if they are paired again) and Scotty 2 Hotty & Rikishi.

Of course, Da Meltz is completely oblivious to a little factoid that most sane people doing this stuff know:  it’s impossible to turn the Dudz heel anymore.  Nothing works.  Not even putting the Ten-Buck Tramp through a table will do it.  Just let them do their thing, then move them over to the New ECW.

Teddy Long: Will likely manage Mark Jindrak.

Thus making Jindrak into the new Akeem.  Oh, just team Jindrak up with O’Haire again and give them Teddy as a manager.  Now them you can turn heel, and they’ll have a good mic guy behind them just like they had Sanders in the Natural Born Thrillers.

Booker T: For now, he will be used as a upper level heel which is what Smackdown needs. Look for him to work programs with all the top faces such as The Undertaker, John Cena, Eddie Guerrero, and Rob Van Dam. He may also go back to teaming with RVD at some point.

Of course, this is a complete contradiction to what Meltz said above regarding Van Dam.  If Van Dam is a mid-card face, then Booker would automatically be a mid-card heel if they feuded, not upper-card and not upper-mid-card.  However, he’s right when he says that he’s going to team with the Spotty Polack again.

Rico and Jackie Gayda: Rico isn’t expected to get any sort of push following his move. The main reason for this move was so that Smackdown can use Jackie in their bikini contests and such.

Again, duh.  We all know that Gayda can’t wrestle, but she is willing to pull out her tits on national television.  Feud her with Dawn Marie or something.  But wasting Rico is a bad thing.  The guy’s got talent, he’s actually getting the Adrian Street gimmick over, and he can have some great goddamn matches with any number of guys on the SD roster, mostly on the cruiser end.  He’ll end up on Epilepsy within a couple months.

I’m certain that anyone out there can come up with better ideas than this.  Of course, I’m certain that anyone out there would have never done the post-draft stupid trades that put SD in this situation in the first place.


Shelton Benjamin: It is somewhat of a question what they will do with Benjamin, as well as Charlie Haas. Benjamin may team up with Garrison Cade who also does not have a partner now. RAW’s tag division is very weak with the loss of the Dudley Boys and Booker T & RVD.

In our super-secret Writers’ Forum, the one thing I made a point about regarding the draft and trades is that the tag divisions of both shows were wrecked, almost beyond repair.  Putting Shelton Benjamin together with Garrison “Can’t Call Me Lance” Cade isn’t going to solve anything.  In fact, it’s a sign of desperation that WWE can’t think of anything better for Benjamin than to team him up yet again with another moderately-talented vanilla white guy.

Nidia: She will be used as a wrestler in the women’s division. She will fill the spot left by Trish Stratus who will be serving as Christian’s manager for awhile.

Nidia can wrestle?  Does she remember anything she was taught on Tough Enough?  Did she even learn anything on Tough Enough?  We already have one train wreck in the women’s division with Lita; we don’t need another one.

Chuck Palumbo: WWE has hopes for him due to his solid physique and height. WWE has been planning to break him away from FBI for awhile now.

So why didn’t they do it on Smackdown, where they could have got a feud out of it between Palumbo and Stamboli while letting Little Guido head over full-time to the cruisers?  Now, I happen to like Chuck for one reason.  I was at Pillman 2000, which took place at a time when Chuck was just beginning to get a major push in WCW.  Chuck essentially jerked the curtain at the show with some HWA guy.  People were still taking their seats and the building was less than half full at the time.  He could have half-assed it through his match and no one would have noticed or cared.  Instead, the guy started working in perfect heel mode, playing to the crowd, and trying to drum up some heat, both for himself and for his opponent.  I came away impressed with his attitude, the first time I’d ever been impressed with the big lug.  So I’ve ended up cutting him a lot of slack over the years for this, and I want to see him do well.  Unfortunately, the only feud I can think of for him off the top of my head would be Kane, and that would be too far up the ladder.

A-Train: He will likely get another big push on RAW to take advantage of fresh matches with guys like Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. He may also end up being teamed with Chuck Palumbo.

Let me get this straight, Meltz:  you want to put together matches between Albert on one side and Michaels and Jericho on the other?  What the hell are you on?  What’s being described is Benoit/Rhyno with back hair, and we all saw what good Rhyno did for Benoit.

Edge: Is expected to get a HUGE push and may even be put over by Triple H due to the lack of other main eventers for Triple H to work with once he wins the World Title back.

This is assuming that Edge doesn’t get it directly from Benoit in a face-face match at Bad Blood.  The dynamic in a feud with Trip would be better with Edge holding the strap.  Let’s see if the guy can work first.  Put him up against Christian at Backlash.  It’d be the perfect reintroduction for the audience.

Of course, they didn’t listen to me about that idea.  Somehow, they think that having his offense neutralized by Kane will be better.  Well, f*ck them and put me in charge.

Tajiri: Being taken out of the Cruiserweight division will hurt him. WWE may throw him in a comedy tag team with Lance Storm or Matt Hardy.

Why does it have to be a comedy team?  Tajiri was never more over than when they played him seriously on SD.  The problem here is that Meltz is essentially correct:  he has no natural opponents and no one who works in a style that makes him look good.  Fuck the comedy team with Tajiri (although definitely team up Storm and Hardy); put him in a team with Christian.

Rhyno: It isn’t expected that he will have a better role on Raw than he did on Smackdown.

In other words, he’ll keep playing Benoit’s bitch when they run five minutes short and have to throw something in ASAP.

Of course, the entire world is Benoit’s bitch right now, and we’re happy about it.  Anything else?  No, I don’t want to talk about Bret and his goddamn persecution complex, taking something that Michaels said personally again.  He needs to shut his goddamn trap and not think that everything’s a personal assault on him.  That luxury is reserved for me.  And speaking of taking things as if they were a personal assault on me, let’s go to Raw…


Match Results:

Nidiot over Baldy Holly (Pinfall, rollup):  Memo to Molly Holly:  Look, I take a stand that whatever I might write in here projecting what could happen in WWE will never happen, because your bosses read me and actively conspire to prevent me from getting what I want.  I thus believed that writing in the WM Round Table that you would be shaved, wear a wig, and have said wig used for utter humiliation would keep you immune from this particular fate.  For once, I was wrong, and I am sorry.  And I’m even more sorry that you had to lay down for f*cking Nidia in that piece of shit match.  Sorry.  Really.

Rhyno over Lance Storm (Pinfall, Gore):  Did Lance just turn heel?  Did Rhyno just turn face?  Does anyone care enough to answer those questions?  And, most importantly, will this help Lance actually get a match at Backlash?  He deserves it for the shit he’s been through.

Ric Flair and Dave Batista over Our Lord and Savior and The Guy Who Praises Him, Tag Title Match (DQ, Setting Off Nitro):  Ah, a good old fashioned tag match.  With a good old fashioned Dusty Finish.  Bleh.  And “Johnny Nitro”?  I have to admit that this is the best name for him yet.  But I couldn’t stand Lawler playing dumb about why the name was a suck-up to Bisch, especially since Ross missed the obvious plug for Monday Night War.  Why couldn’t one of them have been traded?

Yoshihiro Tajiri over Kane…Tajiri over Kane?! (COR):  Unfortunately, Tajiri’s expression won’t qualify as one of Haley’s Little Things since it was not only obvious, it was commented on.  However, he comported himself very well.  Give full credit to Jacobs.  He sold just enough to help out Tajiri (whom the Raw audience has forgotten about) but not enough to jeopardize his character.  However, take away a little of that credit for no-selling the mist.  NOBODY NO-SELLS THE FUCKING MIST!

Shelton Benjamin over Trip…Shelton Benjamin over Trip?!?! (Pinfall, Stinger Splash into roll-up):  The ground rules are clear now.  If Trip feels that someone is no threat to him, but can be an asset to the Family Business in ways that don’t impact him directly (unless it means a build-up for future competition that he can go over), then it’s perfectly fine to make that person look good.  For some reason, whenever he does that, he ends up performing in his best non-Michaels matches.  WM, now this one, both quality matches, and Benjamin just got a truckload of instant mark cred.  Plus the kid can do good mic work as well, as evidenced by his promo with Bisch.  The only thing cynical that I can say about this is that he’s obviously filling Booker’s slot on Raw, kind of like the Reagan “Administration” nominating Clarence Thomas for the Supremes when Thurgood Marshall retired.

Angle Developments:

Satisfy The Smarts, Then Satisfy The Marks:  Some of us will buy Backlash for Benoit/Michaels.  That part of “us” is normally called “wrestling fans”.  For those people in the audience who wouldn’t know a good wrestling match if they pulled it out of their ass, Vince endeavors to satisfy by giving them the spectacle of Foley/Orton FCA for the IC strap.  Something for everyone.  At least it came wrapped in a Ric Flair promo.  But it should have happened at WM, not at Backlash.  It’s just not “special” without that WM cachet.  But all of you pieces of shit had to have your f*cking Flex, didn’t you, and ruin WM for me?  Fuck all of you.

Taking Away The Edge:  You know, they not only read me column, but I’m sure they’re reading it while I’m writing it.  Don’t ask me how, I just know.  The last thing I wanted to see was Edge versus Kane at Backlash.  But Kane did need something to do, I guess.

Trip-le Threat:  Why do I hate Trip?  Because the announcement of the changed main at Backlash caused me to have to go back and edit a few lines above.  I hate having to f*cking do that.  Ruins the flow.

Absence Of Logic:  Call me silly, but I think trying to insult a woman who was making sexual innuendo about herself by making sexual innuendo about her isn’t very effective.  But, hey, rapid-fire blowjob jokes are always nice, and it’s great to see “trash-bag ho” pulled out of mothballs.  Thanks, Chris.  But no thanks to WWE for yet another WM rematch that wasn’t necessary.

Well, that’s all from here.  I’ll be back tomorrow with the Black portion of this week’s festivities.  And since Hyatte contributed to Black this week, maybe people will go and read it for a change.  God knows that my fellow writers here don’t, given a certain thread on the super-secret Writers’ Forum regarding adware.  So read it, dammit.