The Smackdown Short Forum 07.30.04


Okay, here’s what’s going on…I blew off Black this week because I was called into work early on Wednesday and was completely trashed after I got home from work on Tuesday (and doing it late was no option, since I had an appointment with a shrink early on Thursday morning).  
In fact, I had to go in early on Friday as well, but Usenet had Smackdown available when I got back from work on Thursday, so I woke up early in order to watch it and do the Short Form for you.  As for Tuesday, honestly, there was a column, and in point of fact, I’ll be reprinting it in today’s column after the Smackdown Short Form due to numerous “Where are you?” mails I’ve received (“lost in the aether” is my only explanation for its non-appearance).  
Seems that you need some Vitamin Eric in your diets, and I’m happy to provide.

(This had better not continue.  I’m going to be on evenings until the end of September due to a trade-off with another inspector.  Hey, I’ll do anything for the shift differential pay, but it does leave me open to early call-ins.  Fuck-ups by Symantec Anti-Virus Corporate, like the one that screwed up my first mailing of the Tuesday column to WidShish, are beyond my control.)

As per the other issue presented last week, my mail ran 60-40 in favor of longer columns with more material (like Mailbag!, for instance).  In fact, it seemed oddly divided.  Regular mailers wanted more material, while people I’ve never heard from before wanted only Smackdown.  
So I’ll compromise.  After this week, the column will be the Short Form and Mailbag!, with only wrestling-related e-mails from the previous SSF and Tuesday columns.  I’ll even forego the anti-spyware section.  But that’s it.  Who says I don’t listen to my audience?

And apparently some people are confused.  I had one “gentleman” accuse me of not watching the show and doing the Short Form from the spoilers because I mentioned the ballshot that Angle gave to Vince last week.  Remember, I have to download Smackdown due to not having UPN.  
Those downloads are usually not taken from the UPN feed, but from the unedited satellite feed.  So I get to see stuff like apres-show happenings and things that you UPN viewers don’t.  And sometimes they get mentioned in the Short Form.  But I actually do watch the show.  
How else can I mention in-match moments and such?  And to the person who accused me of not watching it, I already told you in private, now I’m telling you in public:  f*ck you.

(And memo to Goforth:  Yes, I am a big <i>Doctor Who</i> fan and have been since 1979.  And Huw is a perfectly good Welsh first name.  That way you know whether or not the guy f*cks sheep…oh, not back on to that subject again…)

So let’s get on with it…


<b><i>Match Results:</b></i>

<i>Spike-Spike over Rey-Rey, Cruiserweight Championship Match (Pinfall, Acid Drop, New Cruiserweight Champion):</i>  Spot artist versus bump artist, and they mat wrestle.  Yeah, typical WWE counterbooking.  But you can always luxuriate in the fact that you saw a match in which the combined weight of the competitors doesn’t equal that of Bob Ryder.

<i>Paul London and Billy Kidman over Buh Buh Ray and D-Von Dudley, Tag Title Match (Pinfall, London pins D-Von, small package):</i>  Damn, that was painful to watch.  It’s so obvious these days when the Dudleys don’t give a f*ck.  
Standing around, dragging half of their respective fat asses around the ring…I fast-forwarded through this one and it was still painful.  If they only give a shit when the booking is going their way (like in the interference spot in the first match), why do they still have jobs?  
Oh, right, because they’re the default “let’s give them the belts” team.  Too bad, because I liked them once upon a time.

<i>Booker T over (in order of elimination) Charlie Haas, Rene Dupree, Kenzo Suzuki, Billy Gunn, Luther Reigns, John Cena, and Rob Van Dam, Eight-Man Elimination US Title Match (Gunn eliminates Haas, Pinfall, Dumbasser; Reigns eliminates Dupree, Pinfall, spinning inverted DDT; Suzuki eliminated, DQ, Fun With Belts; Cena eliminates Gunn, Pinfall, F-U; Cena eliminates Reigns, Pinfall, F-U; Booker eliminates Cena, Pinfall, Van Dam Five-Star Frog Splash after blind tag; Booker eliminates Van Dam, Pinfall, scissors kick, New US Champion):</i>  
Not as much fun as the Battle Royal on Raw due to the very, very slow start of the match.  It only got into gear when the Final Four was decided, and that was thanks to Luther kicking it into gear (a big surprise on who the catalyst was considering the other three guys left).  
Luther’s for real.  Unfortunately, Dupree has been placed in the second-rank category with Haas, Suzuki, and…oh, Jesus, Billy Gunn, a place he doesn’t deserve to be.  Well, at least he got the French tickler in.  Well, Smackdown’s going to be two out of three for SummerSlam with the obvious Booker/Cena match added to the card in addition to Angle/Eddy (I won’t talk about the championship match, and it was wonderful that High-Quality Speaker Boy only showed up in that video retrospective).

<b><i>Angle Developments:</b></u>

<i>Belee This:</i>  I had a lot to say Tuesday about Teddy Long becoming Smackdown GM, and you can read it directly below this.  Right now, he seems to be targeted toward face mode.  I wonder how enjoyable that’s really going to be.  
When he’s up against great promoing heels like Booker or Angle, it’ll work, I believe, but we all saw what happened when the Bitch of the Baskervilles tried to play face.  Scares me a bit, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.  I do have to wonder about something:  
how bad does a rotting wildebeest smell?  Let’s face it, my smell scale is a bit off considering I work in a slaughterhouse.  What makes others vomit is just another day at the office for me.

<i>The Back Of The Truck:</i>  The auction of the old GM set on for charity is a nice gesture.  The stuff could have gone into the storeroom at Titan Tower or to Kurt’s house, but, instead, it’s being used for a good cause.  
Congrats to them.  And it was a good promo by Eddy to boot.  I’m not going to bid on any of it, but if you’ve got the cash, do it.  I’d definitely bid on a private match between Kurt and Eddy, though, and give it to Burnside and Williams for a present to decide that whole “Who’s Number One?” issue once and for all.

<i>The (Dis)Advantages To Downloading:</i>  The unedited satellite feed presented all the entrances for the guys in the eight-man elimination match.  In case you actually gave a damn.  Of course, it did give me a shot of the nice “respect” handshake between Cena and Van Dam.  
Nothing eventful, but it’s those little extras that get me to actually download the thing in the first place.  Of course, this column requires it, no matter what people might think.


Ah, and another weekend is in the books.  It’s tough to believe that Lance Armstrong’s dominance of the Tour de France encompassed all of Ricky Williams’ pro football career and beyond (or for that matter, Happy Fun Brock’s entire wrestling and football careers combined).  
The Joy of Six, indeed, and I’m surprised no one that I know of used that as a header considering the French’s prediliction for <i>l’amour</i>.  What’s wrong with a little punning and cunning linguistics?  Ah, I don’t care.  Enough about that.  
Hell, I won’t even tell you that the early episode of DS9 on Spike Monday happened to be “Trials and Tribble-ations”, and that’s a must-watch, so that delayed doing this a bit.  Let’s continue on to the column…

<b><u>THE PIMP SECTION</b></u>

<A href=”“>Widro</A> (and his mother) needs some help from people who served in Iraq on a living history project.  
Give it to him, fellow vets.

<A href=”“>Williams and Burnside</A> have Part One of the Big List for you, just like they promised.

<A href=”“>Nute</A>’s girlfriend finding Benoit and Foley “cute” explains a lot regarding the fact that Nute has a girlfriend to begin with.

<A href=”“>Hazard</A> talks about piracy, but not the kind I’m interested in.

<A href=”“>Shaffer</A> does his part to try to save WCW in retrospect.

So does <A href=”“>David</A>, but in a vastly different way.

The B Shows are here in force with <A href=”“>Fried</A> and <A href=”“>Obal</A>

<A href=”“>Gamble</A> has run out of foreign languages, apparently.

<A href=”“>Daniels, Bryant Subordinate</A> comments on the Ricky Williams situation.  
All I know is that Fleabag was so pissed about it I had to sanitize my phone after the conversation and The Proud Graduate Of Dartmouth wants me to comment in detail.  Guys, was he a Bear?  No.  Then I don’t give a shit.  Let him retire into his ganja haze for all I care.  
And, frankly, if I had an opinion on it, it’d be positive, because anything that hurts Wannie is fine by me.

And anything that hurts Lars Ulrich is also in that same boat, which makes <A href=”“>Presiloski</A> a winner.

<A href=”“>Melchor</A> has a huge load of stuff to present to you.  
Music always generates more news than wrestling, lucky bastard.

<A href=”“>Hayhurst</A> answers your movie questions.

<A href=”“>Laflin</A> compares the payroll of the Chiefs to that of Manny Ramirez.  
Naturally, the Chiefs come out on top.

And <A href=”“>Burnside</A> closes in his comics guise.


Remember, this all started because the slugs at Enigma Software dared to advertise their piece of shit SpyHunter here at 411.  So I’m responding every single column with proper anti-spyware information.  And guess what?  People are actually taking this to heart.  
They’re asking me for help if they’re infested, or they’re writing me telling me that their browsing experience is less annoying thanks to the stuff I’ve been putting up here three times a week for a couple months now.

Big, big Kudos to the guys at <a href=”“>the Spyware Warrior Forum</a> for pointing out to everyone the extent of criminal activity participated in by Enigma Software, makers of the bane of advertising on this site, SpyHunter.  
Slimeballs extraordinare, aren’t they?  And in case you need more info about what flaming bags of shit they are, try <a href=”“>here</a>.  
<a href=”“>Suzi’s Blog</a> has a great list of other flaming bags of shit that promote anti-spyware programs that are spyware themselves.  
Consult it if you have questions.

(On a side note, those SpyHunter ads started over at <a href=”“>Reality News Online</a>, and BFM, a contributor there, spotted them.  
He told the webmaster, gave him those links that I cited above, the webmaster read them, the blood drained out of his face, and he contacted his ad provider.  No more ads for Enigma products on RNO, thank you.  So guess what?  If you provide the info, there are sites who will listen.)

One of the leading vectors for spyware is so-called free programs that contain this shit in order to “pay the bills”.  No one deserves that kind of treatment.  If you’ve got a question about whether or not a certain program contains spyware, head over <A href=”“>here</A>.  
It’s a nice alphabetized list of programs that do contain spyware and should be avoided at all costs.

Here’s a list of the programs you really need to help you get rid of menaces, and, more importantly, prevent them from occurring in the first place:

<A href=”“>Spybot</A> and <A href=”“>AdAware</A>.  
The ONLY two spyware removal tools to trust.  Do NOT buy any spyware removal tools, because none of them work better than these two, and all of them except these two are suspect.

<A href=”“>SpywareBlaster</A>.  Will nuke thousands of different potentially malicious ActiveX controls, and now has the ability to prevent a number of non-ActiveX methods of installing spyware for people who use Mozilla/Firefox.

<a href=”“>SpywareGuard</a>.  From Javacool, like SpywareBlaster.  
It’s a real-time scanner for spyware.  A decent first line of defense.

<A href=”“>IE-SpyAd</A>.  Throws numerous ad-related URLs into IE’s Restricted Zone, where they won’t display or affect your system.  
Bookmark this one, since it’s the only one that doesn’t have an in-program update.

A few people have recommended also installing the <a href=”“>Sun Java Virtual Machine</a>, since it’s Windows’ buggy, half-assed implementation of the JVM that allows a lot of spyware to install (less so within the past month and a half than before).  
I’ve resisted putting it here because of a couple things:  1) The MS JVM was removed in XP SP1a due to the Sun court case and replaced with a Sun JVM, and I’m not sure how many people have actually patched.  2) The link above is an automatic download, and that does scare some people.  
Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe.  I wouldn’t have put it here if it wasn’t.  But I STRONGLY recommend that you visit here and update your version of Java.

So many people have asked about a free anti-virus program that I’m also going to recommend <a href=”“>AVG</a>.  Totally free, and works really, really well, as well as commercial anti-virus programs.  
Frequent database updates, good heuristic detection, everything you want in an anti-virus package.

Another program that I’d like to add here is a little tough to work with for noobs if it goes buggy (you need to know a little something about your Networking settings in order to debug if something should go wrong).  Protowall is a supplement to your firewall or NAT system.  
It hooks directly into XP’s networking system to block any and all traffic that comes from URLs on a list maintained by the program (all protocols, not just TCP/UDP).  It’s mainly designed for anti-P2P purposes (which will appeal to a great many of my readers), but it contains lists to block spyware and ads.  
Its blocklist can easily be updated using its supplementary program, Blocklist Manager.  I have Protowall running and a Blocklist Manager icon on my desktop, and I use Blocklist Manager to update the blocklist every couple of days.  You will have problems getting to some sites unless you shut down Protowall temporarily, like ESPN or Sports Illustrated, but it does have a tray icon you can right-click and shut down in a few seconds.  
It’s the third layer of anti-ad material for me, with IE-SpyAd and AdSubtract running alongside it.  Warning, though:  it only works with XP.  I’d recommend its predecessor, Peer Guardian, for other MS OSes, but it isn’t being developed anymore, and there were still bugs in it when development stopped.  
You can get Protowall and the Blocklist Manager (which will also work with Peer Guardian) at <a href=”“>Bluetack’s site</a>.

Of course, only download them from the links provided above.  And only download those programs; don’t fall for the ads that are shown here.

With AdAware and Spybot, check for updates using their internal update function at least once a week.  Run them at least once a week or whenever you think you might have problems.  Remember, the new version of Spybot has browser protection capabilities, so have that run at startup and leave it running.  
Check for updates to SpywareBlaster once a week.  It only needs to be run once initially in order to establish protection.  Then, after it downloads updates, just click on the line that says “Enable Protection For All Unprotected Items” and kill it.  
It doesn’t need to be active.  For IE-SpyAd, bookmark the site and check for updates twice a week, since it has no kind of internal updater.  Run the Blocklist Manager every couple of days to make sure that you keep up on the latest banned URLs.  
Since all it does is add Registry entries, it doesn’t eat up anything.

If you’re having trouble with spyware or a browser hijacker, or think that you do, head over to the <a href=”“>SpywareInfo Forums</a>, where the pros there can help you diagnose and get rid of stuff.  
I was promoted to Full Helper status there and ended up joining ASAP, the Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals.  Look for their symbol, which I’m not going to try to link to anymore because someone at the other end keeps munging it.

The Ravin’ Cajun asks me to recommend a good client-side spam filter for MS mail programs running under Windows.  Now, this is something I don’t have experience with because my ISPs have always had good spam filtering, plus, I use Thunderbird, which handles the remainder quite nicely, thank you.  
Some readers wrote in and recommended <a href=”“>SpamBayes</a>, which is totally free and supposedly works very well, so I’ll add it on to the anti-annoyance list that we’re building up here.

</b></u>WHAT DIDN’T HYATTE COVER?</b></u>

Damn him, for once he got a hold of a gob of wrestling news and covered it in his usual detail.  So now I’m picking the garbage for stuff I want to comment on.  God knows the actual “news” sites aren’t helping.  Milord thinks it’s imperative to run a poll of his suckers…uh, readers to see whether or not having that Iron Man Match on free TV tonight will affect PPV buys (hint, Dave:  
THERE’S NO FUCKING CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO!).  Oh, hell, guess it’s down to quickies.

First of all, Experience is getting moved to Sunday mornings as of next week.  So all you Ivory fans out there (as well as Campbell, David Variant), recheck your schedules and adjust accordingly.  As for me, I don’t watch it, I don’t want to, and it’s sure not going to get me turning on my TV at 10AM CT on Sunday even if I’m awake.

Now, as per the revelations from last Friday about the futures of Raw and Smackdown…

First of all, Teddy Long as GM of Smackdown.  Fleabag and I were talking about this, and we were both wondering why in the name of hell they need a GM in the first place.  I posited that they’ve bound their angles so heavily to the presence of a GM (on both shows) that they have no choice other than to have that authority figure.  
It’s de riguer these days to have one anyway (witness Russo in TNA), so it makes it easier on “creative” to have that person that they can fall back on.

But is Teddy Long the right guy for the role?  Not if it’s the Teddy Long that we’ve seen as a manager.  I just don’t see the paranoid borderline racist act being able to be flexible enough to cover the demands of the SE in re a GM’s role.  He’s going to need some added dimensions to his character in order to create a believable general manager.  
Witness what Bisch has been able to do with his character on Raw.  He’s far from one-dimensional or a one-trick pony, and it’s helped the situation on Raw immensely.  One might even credit the deepening of Bisch’s character as the start of the revival of Raw as a creative force.

So what do they do with Teddy Long and how can they do it?  If they keep him as is, they have an immediate problem with a heel Long and a heel Bradshaw having opposing views (not to mention the presence of the whitest guy on the WWE roster holding the strap in a brand headed by a “proud black man”).  
There’s no conjunction of views between Teddy and High-Quality Speaker Boy like there is between Bisch and Trip.  That can only hurt Smackdown by neutering Long’s role by essentially keeping him out of the top-card feuds.

So what’s to be done?  Turn Teddy face?  How?  Use Bradshaw, naturally, but that might just leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths coming so soon after the Sieg Heil incident.  Keep him as a heel?  Thats too problematic.  So why exactly are they giving him this position, supposedly?  
Well, we may find out as soon as Thursday, so stay tuned.

Now, about Randy Orton…too much, too soon.  Flea and I both agree on this.  Orton has been on fire recently from an SE standpoint, but he still has to be carried in the ring (as he was by Jericho during their brief solo bit on Raw.  No, it’s too much to ask that every single WWE champion be Benoit (let’s face it, there’s only one of those), but it isn’t too much to ask that they pull their weight in the ring.  
Bradshaw is getting credit for making an effort to do so, but isn’t there yet.  With the prospect of him holding on to the belt past SummerSlam (the match with UT is a formality; they’re not giving the strap to a part-timer), you now have another non-credible champion on the other side with Orton.  
All of a sudden, Jeff Jarrett is starting to look good.

And speaking of looking good, what happened on Raw, other than an Iron Man match featuring said Benoit?  Let’s find out…

<b><u>THE SHORT FORM</b></u>

Okay, I had to exchange the VCR that was eating tapes for another one of the same brand, and use a virgin tape, but, dear God, it actually worked.  We’ve struck Raw, and that means the Short Form returns in all its glory.  Let’s rock it…

<b><i>Match Results:</b></i>

<i>Randy Orton over (in order of elimination) Mr. Regal, Tyson Tomko, Chuck Palumbo, Val Venis, Matt Hardy, Novocaine Helms, Stevie Richards, Rodney Mack, Rosey, Sylvan Grenier, Rob Conway, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Ric Flair, Rhyno, Kane, Maven, DAVE, Edge, and Chris Jericho, Number One Contender’s Battle Royal:</i>  
And so it begins.  Will this path lead to World Champion Dorkboy (tm Randle), as Milord would have it, or is it just to give some main-event push to Orton to see how he handles it?  For the record, I don’t mind an Orton/Benoit main event at SummerSlam, just as long as Benoit goes over.  
But if you thought the reaction to High-Quality Speaker Boy, World Champion was nasty in the IWC, wait and see what happens if Orton goes over at SummerSlam.  The knives will be out and poised.

KC Evers (no relation, maybe) has some comments:

<i>How the Hell did Maven make it this far in the Battle Royal?????????????</i>

He had to stay in long enough for Ross and Lawler to bring up the whole UT elimination thing.  How the hell did Rhyno make it that far, for that matter?

<i>Considering Jericho and Edge worked so well together throughout the Battle Royal, wouldn’t it make more sense for Y2J to let Edge get back in, to help him out against Orton?  And couldn’t this slight error be a factor in Jericho not Main Eventing at S-Slam?</i>

No, because they had to include the “every man for himself” spot in there somewhere, and since it wouldn’t do for any member of Evolution to be exhibiting that sort of behavior, it had to be those good Canadian buddies Jericho and Edge.  It just wouldn’t have the same impact if, say, Grenier and Conway did it.  
Obviously, the match must service the spots.

<i>Our Lord and Savior over Trip, Iron Man World Title Match (4 to 3: Benoit, Pinfall, crossface into rollup; Trip, Pinfall, Pedigree; Trip, COR; Trip, Pinfall, powerslam; Benoit, Submission, Sharpshooter; Benoit, Submission, Crossface; Benoit, Pinfall, Retard-reference):</i>  
MOTY Candidate, Wids?  No, I don’t think so.  It was fifty minutes of an MOTY Candidate…okay, fifty-five minutes.  But the moment Dinsmore showed up, the ending went right in the toilet.  There’s that old actor’s saying that I bring up now and then for moments like this:  
never screw up your first entrance or your last exit, because that’s what the audience remembers about you.  The presence of the retard screwed this whole thing up and spoiled the enjoyment of the experience for me.  Otherwise, though, give Benoit and Trip full credit for what they did.  
The pace was great, the restholds made sense, even the count-out worked.  I can even forgive DAVE and Flair for being there because it made sense in context (and Orton’s absence was totally explainable given his status as Number One Contender and his position vis-a-vis Trip).  
But that ending?  No.

The Ravin’ Cajun has a good question to ask in regard to this:

<i>Which is more of an intriguing storyline- Benoit taking on the “Legend Killer,” or Orton having to face his mentor and the possible breakup of Evolution?</i>

Neither.  Both involve Randy Orton.

I’ll let Tad Dixon have the last say on this one:

<i>Since ol’ Mr. Keith had technical difficulties in watching Raw (see: whipped beyond belief), I jaunted over to the Torch (sorry) just to peruse what the general population thought of Raw last night.  Now, if you will recall, last night’s show included the Iron Man match (60 minutes straight of wrestling), and a battle royale that lasted 25 minutes.  
To get 85 minutes of wrestling out of a 120 minute show is freaking incredible for the WWE on free TV.  So naturally, every other person that gave their two cents bitched about the Diva search, and how there were “only two matches.”  Oh, the stupidity doesn’t stop there!!

Everyone else bitched about how weak the ending made Benoit look.  What the hell is wrong with these people?  He made HHH tap TWICE IN THE SAME DAMN MATCH, and they’re complaining?!?!  I lose a little bit of respect for the IWC every time I read crap like that.  
I’ve got a memo for the Benoit fan-boys out there:  If two years ago someone told us that Benoit would become World Champion at WrestleMania 20, hold onto the title for five months, make HHH, Kane, and HBK tap in that period of time, and beat HHH in an Iron Man classic, you all would have taken it with a kick to the junk.  
For God’s sake, GROW UP…I always have to tell my 6-year old “be happy for what you have, don’t cry for what you don’t”.  Damn kids.</i>

Your numbers are even better than you think.  It’s 120 minutes minus commercials, which makes it more like 85 out of a 100 minutes of programming.  That’s sweet.  Let’s see them do that more often.

You’re absolutely right about the bitching and moaning.  The battle royal was the best option to get the boys some camera time considering the rest of the show.  It was a good idea.  I’m not too crazy about who won given the revelations of last Friday, but you can’t win them all.  
And the Iron Man match was pretty sweet.  I’ll take a show like this over what they’ve been doing recently any day.  And if I’m won over by this, there’s a problem with the fanboys.  Like we didn’t know that already.

<b><i>Angle Developments:</b></i>

<i>Seduction of the Idiot:</i>  I’ve not been paying attention to this whole Diva Search thing because it’s f*cking stupid and a waste of my time and the viewers’.  However, bringing back Kamala for the seduction routine was a stroke of genius that <i>Joe Schmo</i> wishes it could buy.  
Again, KC Evers comments:

<i>Just imagine the level of conversation Kamala could have with Eugene.</i>

Or you can just watch an episode of O’Reilly and get that same level of discourse.  Or participate in a booking meeting at Titan Tower.  The number of incoherence analogies are near-infinite for this one.  Just insert your own.

Pretty good column, wasn’t it?  Next week, hopefully everything will be back to normal.  So enjoy yourselves this weekend and I’ll see you in August.<