Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 04.20.04

Halle-f*ckin-lujah. One more overpriced, too-heavily-baggaged, overly injured, formerly-great, currently-crippled, primadonna, woman-beating, alcoholic, tv-time-wasting, troglodytic, piece of shit waste of a human being off of my tv.

Well, at least until they need another two week ratings bump. Then, it’ll be open arms and broken glass once more.
– The Ravin’ Cajun

Well said, Beau.  Well said indeed.

I got my wish, didn’t I?  He’s gone for now.  And gone for good, if wwe.com’s statement is anything to go by.  Am I happy?  No, I’m not happy.

This should have happened when that motherf*cker walked out the second time.  WWE should have FIRED HIS ASS at that point.  Throwing a hissy because they wanted him to put over Lesnar, then beating his wife?  That’s the sign of a prima donna at best and a sociopathic egotist at worst.  Vince should have known that no matter how much money he could draw, and his draw power was decreasing due to the fact that he couldn’t wrestle anymore, he wasn’t worth the problems.  He even alluded to that on the Raw Tenth Anniversary Special, and that actually gave me some hope that he really was gone, even though I knew in my heart that Vince would try to bring him back due to the anemic ratings and the lack of any assistance from “creative” in getting new guys over.  But he had to be coaxed back because Vince was desperate and the sheep still reacted to him.  You wonder why I hate wrestling fans?  This is a good reason.  Because of those retards (and by that, I mean a good portion of the reading audience of this column), we suffered through an entire year of Steve Fucking Williams jacking himself off every week in our face.  Hope you liked it.  Christ knows that I didn’t, and I had to watch that goddamn spectacle every single goddamn week to do this column.

But he’s gone for now, and the blowoff statement is one that’s traditionally used for a permanent departure.

Vince had better see this as a chance to make a clean break once and for all with his glory years of the late 90s.  Austin’s now gone, though not in the proper manner and definitely long past his sell-by or point of normal tolerance for his behavior.  Let Flex have his freedom and have him do his movies without worrying about ever having to wrestle again.  Let Foley go into permanent retirement.  Let UT get one more roll around the block, give him one last good feud, then have him retire at WM with a win to keep his streak intact.  Trip…well, he can’t be ditched now, he’s family, and that means that Michaels also has a job for life, or at least until Trip and Steph divorce.  But both of them have been on good behavior recently, so that might be a a good sign.  Or a sign of the Apocalypse, I don’t know which.  It’s not a clean break, but it’s a chance for a refocus.  Now they HAVE to try to push the younger and/or newer and/or underutilized guys instead of living off past glories.  It’s working with Shelton Benjamin.  Now let them expand the program.  Give Tajiri something interesting to do.  Give Charlie Haas a chance instead of doing that quasi-negative push that they’re giving him right now.  Fill in any name you want to here that’s on your favorites list.  The logjam’s been broken.  Now take advantage of it and give that camera time that that asshole hogged for so long to other people who could damn well use it.

Sean Shannon, bless his rancid little soul, wasn’t right about many things.  But he was definitely right about one thing:  after Montreal, he was the only one who said that Bret’s departure would be a catalyst for positive change in WWF, that his absence would break WWF out of the doldrums that it was in at the time and, if correctly channeled, that momentum could be used to positive effect.  Shane and Vinny Ru were the channelers, and it was positive, for the organization and for wrestling as a whole.  Let’s hope that history repeats itself.  Up to a point, of course.

Ding, dong, the redneck’s dead.

Oh, f*ck this.  Another bunch of graphs about f*cking Austin.  Can’t we just talk about whether or not Stewart Cink illegally improved his lie on Sunday?  At least that has the ramifications of ruining the fact that he came from nine strokes back at Harbour Town to win in that playoff (another good tournament to follow the Holy Shit of the Masters…golf is on a real roll these days).  No, I can’t, because a few people wrote in last week to complain that I was talking about golf instead of wrestling.  Well, f*ck them.  As has been said many times, this is my column, and I do what I want, and you love me for doing that.  So let’s get on with the pimps…

THE PIMP SECTION

Of course you get a pimp back, BAXLEY!

(It’s great to be able to type that again, you know.)

JJ and Wids have Backlash recaps, which I haven’t read yet because I’m watching the Benjamin/Flair match while I’m doing the Pimp Section.  I have zero attention span, you know.

Nute demonstrates the ever-growing LUV that we in the IWC are expressing for Low Ki.  As I watch more TNA, I’m slowly starting to feel it.

Campbell, Mike Variant keeps up his campaign to have Toshiaki Kawada declared an object of unconditional LUV by the IWC as well.  Which is a good thing.

Obal:Heat::Fried:Epilepsy

Coogan doesn’t touch on the main fact of why the first Joe Schmo Show was successful, namely that the audience (and the cast and crew) fell in love with Matt Gould to an almost Rupert-like level.  The two contestants will have a hard time matching that.  Also, there’s a great acid test over what the “public reaction” might be to Omarosa in the real world.  I do follow alt.gossip.celebrities in order to keep up in between A List updates, and the sheer number of threads about Omarosa on there, which still continue even after the show’s done, show that there are a whole lot of people out there who have a very, very negative opinion of her.

Hayhurst still hates me.  And he’ll hate me even more when I bring up the fact that he misspelled the name of the coolest guy in the galaxy, Ford Prefect.

I think I know a possible explanation for one of the food-related quandaries presented by Fernandez on Saturday:  shrimp, like a great many foods, especially fruits de la mare, has trace levels of arsenides and other arsenic-containing compounds.  Vitamin C is a moderate acid, which can promote the formation of As2O3 molecules.  But the amounts in question are negligible and would have a hard time killing a fly.  It’s like the old canard about eating almonds and dying because they form cyanide compounds in your bloodstream…

…terrific, I’m discussing inorganic chemistry now.  Just shoot me.

Presiloski does hockey.  And occasionally music.

Melchor does music.  And occasionally closes his href tags.

Lucard hits the Top Ten as the games allegedly get better.  But what the hell do I know?  They’re all console from this point on.  Plus he does pimp Pokesuck, which I still think is a blight on humanity.

Morse provides us with his usual perspicacious observations on the world of comics.  And having read the entire run of Young Justice recently, I know the man has good taste.

This week’s Comics Roundtable brings up the subject of the Bugs Bunny cartoon “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips” and its portrayal of Japanese caricatures during wartime.  Actually, the better analogy would have been the 1944 WB cartoon “Tokio Jokio”, which was even more incredibly offensive, so offensive that even the “we were enemies at the time” excuse doesn’t justify it.

LASHING BACK

I’m doing something a little different here in regard to Backlash.  I’m not reading the recaps before watching the show (which ended up finishing its downloads while I was asleep on Sunday night).  This way, I can remain a little fresh because I’m not fighting deadline while having to recap a PPV.  Therefore, the results remain fresh (and going over to the main page of 411 doesn’t hurt, because the results of the Foley/Orton and Triple Threat were so obvious that everyone in the Round Table ended up picking the winners in each.

So, I’ll start off the same way the show did, with Flair/Benjamin.  Pretty much what I and everyone else expected:  a mat-based technical match slowed down and simplified to accomodate Flair’s age.  The decision to turn this into a Flair’s Greatest Hits match was a good one, in my view.  Flair took on the attention of the audience by using his trademarks (two Flair Flops, a Flair Flip, a Figure-Four sequence, etc.), taking the pressure off of Benjamin to do something spectacular.  You saw how good a decision this was if you look at the ending.  Benjamin really didn’t do a great job on that flying clothesline, enough so that this move should be eliminated from the list as a finisher for him.  However, Benjamin gets a lot of credit for showing something that he hadn’t had a chance to show recently:  he can sell, and he can sell very well.  This should put him in good stead as he settles into the higher portion of the card, especially against guys like Batista.  So, no harm done by the ending, and a decent little match to start.  Although I think, as do most people, that having Flair jerk a curtain is a bit of disrespect.

I do have to credit myself for being one of the very few to select Jonathan Coachman as the winner in his match with Tajiri.  I don’t give any credit to myself, though, for getting the interference wrong.  I didn’t expect it to be Cade, and most people in the Round Table didn’t (we were split between Snow and La Res).  What did surprise me is that they didn’t play it for comedy at all, and that Coachman rose to the occasion.  Coachman didn’t embarass himself in a wrestling match against someone at Tajiri’s level.  Not only that, but he actually did the psychology part well, not to mention the trademark heel moves.  Jonathan Coachman?  Okay, it’s not a masterpiece, but it certainly exceeded expectations.

Playing the Coachman/Tajiri match seriously made sense in retrospect considering how much of Jericho/Christian/Trish was played for laughs, and you really could have two comedy matches back-to-back.  One thing that I always look forward to when Jericho and Christian are in the ring together is the chemistry they possess, whether partnering or facing each other.  That chemistry was totally lacking at Backlash.  They tend to set up a near-seamless match flow, which was disrupted beyond repair due to the fact that they had to get Trish in occasionally.  Then they destroyed the booking of the match by not allowing Trish to do any wrestling.  All of her moves were straight out of bimbo valet territory, ignoring the fact that she’s actually become a pretty accomplished wrestler.  She’s faced men before in the ring; she should have had no trouble with exhibiting some actual wrestling offense considering who she was in there with.  This wasn’t a match, it was an excuse to cover the Canadian Content regulations.  Not a shining moment on the CVs of anyone involved.

Just a couple of comments about the Benoit video package:  1) It was wonderful to see Nancy on camera again.  I know she wants to do the housewife thing, but one thing that Evolution needs is a female presence, and no one would work better for that than Woman.  2) His sister’s pretty good looking.  I’d do her.

Memo to Victoria:  I know you’re still getting used to it, but, honestly, Vic, being a woman face means more than copping moves and facial expressions from Ivory and calling it quits there.  Develop your own style, or else you’re going to be buried.

The women’s title match was the only match I got wrong in the Round Table.  However, I’m glad about this.  The reason I picked Lita was strictly cynical, and I definitely didn’t want her to have the strap again.  Of course, the run-in explained why Gail Kim’s tits and Baldy Holly were in the building, which was something I was wondering about during the whole Dinsmore skit.  And I do have to admit to having this visceral thrill when Lita and Kim hooked up during the apres-match.  It was like watching the inevitability of a car crash without seeing the crash.  Well, maybe on Raw…

Wids, did you really call Foley/Orton an MotY candidate?  Only in a pathetic year for wrestling, which this hasn’t been so far.  Does it live up to the standards of Foley/Trip?  No.  Does it live up to the standards of Benoit/Sullivan?  No.  Does it live up to the standards of the Japanese death matches?  No.  Was it a rather dull match only livened up by the unexpected capacity of Randy Orton for pain and Foley’s undeniable showmanship?  Yes.  In other words, Wids is pimping this thing because it involves Foley, whom the marks all love, love, love to death.  Thanks to ‘Bag and his untiring efforts to get me away from Unconditional Foley Worship, I was able to look at the match more objectively, and I found it wanting.  Between Wids’ pandering to the marks and Ashish’s inability to say no to an exclamation point, it’s no wonder we’re not taken seriously.  Thanks, guys.

As for the La Res/Super-Faggots match, shit, I ignore that when it happens on Raw.  And even giving that much attention to Edge/Kane would be doing it a service.  So let’s just go right to the main.

First of all, it’s wonderful to see Michaels take out his frustrations on his greatest opponents, the Spanish announce table and Canadian crowds.  It was also very strange to see a bump set up in a previous match, since Edge was the one to dismantle the SAT for Michaels to do his bump on it.  You’d think the ring crew would have had time to reassemble the table for Hugo and Carlos* by that point.

Second, this match was less formulaic Triple Threat than the WM match was, but it still wasn’t as good.  Yeah, Fleabag made the case for back-to-back identical high-profile matches, but it still isn’t the optimum way to do things.  A break would have helped this match.  What made this match lesser than WM was the slower pace that they established just after the clusterf*ck start.  The WM match was longer and seemed shorter.  I’m not going to call this match slow, but I am going to call it a little too methodical for my personal taste.

Is something wrong with Mike Chioda?  In the Benjamin/Flair match, he was a complete lump out there.  The only thing he did in the main was to get himself bumped out of action.  This isn’t the Chioda we’re used to.  He’s always been one of the more activist refs in the ring (not as activist as Nick Patrick, of course, but very few refs are).  If he’s taking a less activist approach toward his in-ring activities, he has to be careful about losing his ability to assist in the pace and flow of a match.  He should study tapes of Randy Anderson on how to do that.  He’s a pretty good ref as he is, so I hope that his very sad performance at Backlash is because he’s got a cold or something.

Trip’s booking was very savvy.  He knew that once Hebner was in, the focus would be on Hebner, Michaels, and Benoit, and Trip got out of the way in order to build the crowd up.  Even when he was in there with Benoit for an extended period after the Spanish Announce Table Bump, he consciously performed at a lower profile in order to let Benoit take center stage.  No matter what I’ve said about him, I’ve always acknowledged that he’s one of the more wrestling-savvy guys in the business.  He’s definitely a student of the interlocking elements that comprise wrestling and knows how to do things like engage a crowd properly.  If that calls for him taking a lower profile, he’ll do it, especially in matches where he’s not going over.  Now if we can only get him to put people over on a regular basis instead of just over the last month or so…

There are a few moments that I can still stand Ross.  The guy’s going senile, but he can still come out with a good one now and then, like his remark to Lawler, “You know who Verne Gagne is.  You wrestled him!”  Now if they’d start using Lawler’s age as an ego thing on a regular basis, maybe it’d add something to the dynamic.  It’d definitely put some context into any and all remarks Lawler makes about someone’s tits.  Memo to Ross:  send an e-mail to JJ right away.  He’s the guy to go to if you want to learn about making fun of someone’s age.  Trust me.

Here’s an observation for Haley’s Little Things:  when Trip and Benoit were out on the floor and Trip started screwing around with the stairs, Lesbian Garcia calmly got up out of her chair at the timekeeper’s table and walked back against the retaining wall, with her body language saying “They’re within two meters of me, so I’m getting the hell out of the way because I have no idea what’s going to happen next.”  It was a nice fake-out, because I was convinced that they’d use the timekeeper’s table for something and didn’t.

As for the ending, I think that’s what made this match less than WM’s.  As JJ pointed out, Michaels tapping out to the Sharpshooter in Alberta against a Canadian opponent with Hebner as the ref seemed too much like a plea for forgiveness for Montreal, for not only Michaels but for Hebner and Vince as well.  Secondly, I actually called the ending in the Round Table:  …this time Benoit gets Michaels to tap after Trip does a number on Michaels’ back. (remember, Mister Sledgehammer made an appearance).  Lastly, the moment wasn’t magical like WM’s was.  You always remember your first time, but you never remember your second.  Mostly because of the fact that it happens too quickly after the first and doesn’t last very long.

A good PPV, but nothing to really write home about.

* – As opposed to Duke Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma, who, as far as I know, is not a wrestling commentator.

A SPECIAL DISSECTION

So, I was watching TNA last week…no, I didn’t pay for it.  TNA is what BitTorrent was made for, not to mention the fact that giving Jeff Jarrett dime one of my money makes me queasy.  But never mind that.  I was watching TNA last week, and one thing came to mind while perusing the show:

What kind of bush-league operation does Jeff and Jerry run down there?

Never mind the fact that they’re trying to get a contract with Fox Sports.  Hell, that’s a case of the lesser of two evils.  I hope they can get some News Corp money in their pockets, really.  And Fox Sports isn’t too bad per se.  One of their channels always seems to have a good Premier League game on during the season.  Of course, this won’t happen, but I wouldn’t care if it did.

No, I’m talking about other things.  For weeks now, they’ve been hyping a match that takes place tomorrow night, namely Jeff Jarrett versus Chris Harris for the title.  The booking to get to this match was some of the most insultingly moronic I’ve seen this side of Katie Vick.  From week to week, the person Jarrett would be facing would be changed without a moment’s notice and for no discernable, logical reason.  At one point, they had five number one contenders.  Of course, there was a specific reason to do it this way:  it kept all of the focus on Jarrett, just like he wants it.  Look, Jeff, we know you own the company.  You don’t have to play Big Swinging Dick to prove it, and putting the audience through that clusterf*ck just to come out with Chris Fucking Harris as your opponent means that the dick’s getting bigger and bigger and swinging more and more in the fashion of a pendulum counting down the seconds to Doomsday.  In the meantime, poor Raven gets stuck in a f*cking tag match with goddamn Sabu.  Jesus, Jeff, rip off someone better than Heyman, why don’t you?

And all in this hype is in service of what?  A steel cage match?  Weeks upon weeks of hyperbole being spent on…a steel cage match?  We’ve gone back to 1974?  Do you really expect that we, the audience, would get all hot and bothered just because a steel cage will be involved in a title match?  We, the audience who’s been inundated with Hell In A Cell, TLC, Ladder Matches, WarGames, World War III, and various other gimmick matches over the last decade?  Steel cages are bleh.  Even when Angle and Benoit faced off in a cage, we were excited because it was Angle and Benoit, not because of the f*cking cage.

Then there’s the fact that Vince Russo is being booked as a face.  In what alternate universe are we in?  Now, I must admit to having an affection toward WWF Russo, the writer and occasional on-screen presence as Vic Venom.  But WCW Russo, the out-of-control ego monster, ruined that love for me and for a whole bunch of other people.  Then we all heard about his antics when given a little creative control in TNA.  You actually expect us to regard Russo as a face while letting us retain a little of our integrity?  Ooooh, he’s the Director of Authority…you know how I feel about Wife-Beater in that role.  You can expect how I’d regard Russo.

I’m not going to get involved with Jarrett’s glass ceiling, or the booking of Raven and Styles, or them giving only a lukewarm push to Abyss, or any of hundreds of little complaints that people have about the organization.  Everyone can name their own problem that they have with TNA.

All of my problems with TNA just seemed to coalesce during one moment.  It was during the Jarrett/Storm match on last week’s Wednesday Night Slapnuts.  Jarrett’s setting up Storm for a superplex.  Jarrett gets to the top rope, Storm’s on the second rope on the outside.  Don West, the only man in wrestling who can make Lawler look sedate, is screaming about the superplex like it’s the end of the universe (another evidence of their low class is their continued employment of West, who dresses and acts like he should be in the restroom of the Tribe offering his favors to all comers; that’s what he gets for trying to cross the looks of Toby Keith and Michael Hayes).  And right before the superplex is hit, the camera gets a wonderful shot of Storm obviously pushing off the ringpost with his right foot in order to give Jarrett momentum.

I think this is the most blatant expose-the-business moment I’ve seen in years, frankly (and this includes Randy Orton’s “Let me hold this barbed-wire-covered baseball bat over my genitals so you can leg-drop it on to me, Mick” routine from Backlash).  But TNA makes a habit of doing that.  I mentioned last week that Flea and I were talking a week ago last Friday about various and sundry, mostly about golf.  But our discussion did turn to TNA for a bit.  He was gushing over Hector Garza.  I told him that I liked Garza back in WCW (and he was sloshed enough to not remember Garza’s WCW tour), but that he’s become a bit chunky since then, which in his case is a positive because he needed some mass.  I asked Flea, though, if he’d seen Wednesday Night Slapnuts (now) two weeks ago, the X Cup episode.  He said he hadn’t.  Well, by that point, I had, and I told him what TNA had done with Garza, booking the entire X Cup around Garza’s knee.  Thanks to that idiotic booking, and West and Tenay going off like Garza would have to go from the arena to Vanderbilt Medical Center for an emergency scoping, Garza was put under a lot of pressure to sell this.  But at (at least) two critical moments, including the end of the final match, he no-sold the knee.  If the entire tournament hadn’t been booked around this, and if Tenay and West had turned down the hype a little, then we, the audience, could have blown it off.  But not after that.  I don’t blame Hector.  It’s hard to get the match done if you have to concentrate on selling your knee all the damn time.  But they shouldn’t have booked the matches in such a way that he’d have to no-sell.

TNA has no excuse for doing things in a slipshod manner.  There’s a group of experienced veterans behind the scenes.  The wrestlers are, by and large, long-time vets who know what they’re doing or talented youngsters who seem to be more willing to learn than guys in WWE developmental.  They’ve been around for almost two years.  They’re trying to impress money marks.  But they go out and put on weekly PPVs that fans aren’t buying because, by and large, they’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all a bullshit waste of their time.

So, if you are buying it, why are you buying it?  Please write in and tell me.  And don’t say “the X Division”.  You can watch AAA or EMLL on your local Spanish broadcast outlet for the same thing, or start buying the Jap shit.  Why do you watch Wednesday Night Slapnuts and fork out ten beans each week?  Because I don’t see any reason to do so.

(Memo to Gagnon:  Yeah, I know why YOU watch it, but I do have to say that at least I don’t have to pay extra for Raw.)

And speaking of that, since there’s nothing in the grapevine I want to talk about (“WWE impressed with Jordan and Jindrak”?  They’re the only ones.), it’s on to Raw…

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Christian over Chris Jericho (Pinfall, Tomco-ference):  Well, it was better than Sunday night’s match, but that isn’t saying much, really.  The one good thing is that, thanks to this interference, this feud might just be blown off once and for all.  It was nice while it was going on, and it was good to see an extended feud in today’s short-attention-span era, but it’s time to end it.  But why does Trish need a muscle?  Maybe she isn’t satisfied…no, that would be rude to suggest of Missus Hyatte.

The Joe In Me thinks less of our debuting slug:

“Tyson Tomco” is the best name they could come up with?  He sounds like he’s in the gay porn industry.

Oh, by the way, TIJM:  Vince constantly hires guys who look like Todd Pettingill to do announcing duties.  TP is like the one that got away or something.  You’re right to bring up Grisham and the most obvious TP Clone, Cole.  But you also forgot that if Pettingill had a deep tan, he’d be Jonathan Coachman.

Victoria over Baldy Holly, Women’s Title Match (DQ, blatant chokehold):  So this is what we’ve waited over a month for?  Very disappointing, and should have happened at Backlash.  I’ve also developed a few more worries about Victoria’s approach to being a face.  The kiss from the little boy at ringside is a little twee but acceptable.  However, the Shimmy is another of those in-ring telegraphs that I loathe (the exception to the rule being Michaels’ prelim to Sweet Chimp Music).  And what’s wrong with Molly?  She’s got a Judi Dench hairstyle, which I’ve always found rather fetching on Dame Judi.

The Joe In Me spotted an inconsistency with this match and something that happened later on:

Dave Batista has got Chris(t) Benoit in a rear naked choke, same as the one Molly applied to Victoria earlier in the evening.  He should be disqualified, by their logic.  And Mike Chioda might have been reffing the Molly-Victoria match as well, I don’t remember.

That just shows that something’s going on with Chioda, like I said earlier.  I just hope that one of the people in “creative” who reads me (and we know they do) sees this and does something with it.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a good ref-related angle.

The Ravin’ Cajun, though, has someone else’s tonsorial matters on his filthy little mind:

Call me crazy, but I think this might be a first for Trish in a long while- straight hair. I’d even go so far as wager that it was done purposefuly, sorta like a reverse Stephanie (in this case, curly hair=sweet, kind face and straight hair=”that jezebel” slut heel). Not that I’m, you know, paying too much attention to the hot girl outside the ring and not watching the big, sweaty men grapple with each other insi-

Wait, I take that back. I AM watching the hot girl.


Suuuuuuure you are, Beau.

Garri-Lance Cade over Yoshihiro Tajiri (Pinfall, Savage Elbow):  Well, finally, some evidence of neural activity has appeared in “creative”.  Get Cade over by hooking him up with Coachman?  That may actually, like, work.  If only Cade would stop using Bradshaw’s old hair coloring from the Justin Hawk days.

Our Lord and Savior and Inflate-a-Pecs over Ric Flair and Dave Batsita, Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Edge pins Batista, Spear, New Tag Champs):  Ah, and here’s our suck-up to the Canadian crowd for the evening.  Shows you that a man from Alberta and a man from Ontario can, indeed, get along despite their vast geographical separation (see, some Americans know something about Canada).  It’s also a wonderful demonstration that they know f*ck all of what to do about the Raw tag situation.  Tell me why Booker and Van Dam got traded to Smackdown again.  I need a good laugh.

The Joe In Me has decided to spoil Edge getting into double-figures in tag titles in a slight but approvable manner, namely in criticizing Ross:

Correction to Jim Ross: This is not Edge’s first match on Raw in 14 months.  It’s his first match on Raw in 26 months, as Edge was on Smackdown since April 2002.

I wouldn’t have thought of it that way, but that’s mostly because I tune Ross out.  It’s come to the point where I’m seriously tempted of watching Raw with the Mute button pushed.  Plus, Joe, I already mentioned my view on Passion.  To requote Stan Marsh:  “It’s a snuff film.”

Angle Developments:

Memo To The Guy In The Third Row:  The asshole no longer works for the company.  So take your “What?” sign and shove it so far up your ass that you’ll burp the question mark.

Mulligan Stu:  The tribute to the late Mr. Hart expressed by Benoit, I think, is reciprocated by almost everyone in the audience, and was truly heartfelt.  We do owe him a lot, more than we can ever know.  The set-up for the world title match in two weeks was also done nicely.  Michaels put it into a perfect context:  it’s a respect match, pure and simple.  That’s the way it should have been approached, and the amount of build-up time will be good enough for another tag match involving the two next week.  My only problem with it is simple:  that match should have happened on Sunday night, and there should have been a ladder involved in it.

Too Much Too Soon:  So now it’s going to be Edge as the next victim on the Randy Orton Elevation Sacrificial Stone.  The night after his first match back?  Oh, dear heavens…so where does that leave poor Shelton, who would have been the perfect person to throw at Orton next?  Well, at least this time, the man Randle calls Dorkboy can have the belt taken off of him without any trouble.  And given his mush-mouthed “Duh, where am I?” promo this evening, I can understand why Randle calls him Dorkboy.  Edge’s tag title win does not alter this; in fact, considering that it was won from members of Evolution, it makes it more obvious.

Mister Regal, Meet Mister T-Shirt:  Seeing Dinsmore in there with the T-shirt gun definitely gives me flashbacks.  We had a word in the Army to describe that particular visual.  Two words, actually:  Eleven.  Bravo.  JJ will understand my meaning.

The Joe In Me’s back for this question:

Do you think the ballshot Regal took from Eugene was more because ballshots are funny, or because Regal’s facial expressions are probably the best in this business?

Facial expressions, of course.  Because, as any guy can tell you, ball shots are not funny.

For The Love Of A Walking Disaster In The Ring:  Did we just see Matt Hardy turn face?  And was it because of a rekindling of his love for Lita while she was under threat from Kane?  And do we care?  Yes, yes, and no, respectively.  Although we do have to thank Kane for saving us from a mixed tag match involving both Lita and Gail Kim.

FYI:  It is traditional for a Japanese emperor to be renamed after his death in order to provide a one-word summary (well, one word in Japanese) for his reign.  In the case of Hirohito, that name was “Showa” (which I didn’t even have to look up).  So why dishonor Showa in this way?  Or why not use “Showa” in the first place?  Seeing as how “showa” means “enlightened peace”, wouldn’t you think it’d be perfect for a wrestler?

And that’s it for me.  Tomorrow over in Black, I have various and sundry for you, including opinions on a couple of recent movie releases (which I’ve already written, so I know it’ll be in there).  Tomorrow over here, it’s Haley.  And next week, an announcement from me.  So until then, have a good one.