Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc., 03.15.05

Oh, boy, my life is crazy again…let me set the scene:

The Wednesday Excuse: My back was killing me so bad on Wednesday that I called in sick to work (thanks, stress). Fortunately, I anticipated this and told my shrink last Tuesday to give me some muscle relaxants. Unfortunately, my relaxant of choice, Flexaril, had contraindications with Risperdal. Shit. So what did she prescribe for me instead? Soma. Yep, the drug that killed Louie Spicolli and had half the people in wrestling locker rooms hopelessly addicted to it (at least this gives me two drugs that were in Lex Luger’s pharmacy cabinet when he killed Liz). So after I called in, I took a Soma and a Vicodin to relax me and try to get rid of the pain. For the next ten hours, I didn’t know where my dick was. Writing a column was impossible. Hell, taking a piss was almost impossible. I had to run my hand down my body in a general direction and hoped that it hit something.

Short Form Excuse: I had the Smackdown part of it done and Impact nearly ready to go. Then my video drivers decided to crash Links hard on me (I’ve switched video drivers since that). After rebooting, I brought up my text editor again, and everything other than the intro was lost. See, I upgraded my text editor to a new version and it somehow lost its configuration data, which included a five minute autosave. So, having lost everything and deleted SD off my drive, I didn’t feel like downloading it again and reconstructing it, thus wasting about fifteen screencaps I uploaded to our server. The autosave is still being a little flaky with me. I think I’ve got it set properly, but whether or not it holds on to its settings is another question. Expect more angst from me on this one.

Monday’s excuse: I was exhausted around 8PM on Sunday and went to bed, despite the fact that I’m working night shift this week. I woke up at quarter to one with a case of acid reflux*. I just knew I wouldn’t get back to sleep. So I took a Nexium, made a pot of coffee, sat down, and wrote the above (and I just saw that the autosave ran). I’m not surprised my stomach had acted up on me. My boss didn’t think I was doing a good job, which was true because I don’t give a rat’s ass about this job, just in getting promoted into a job that I know how to do; I did it with Illinois for six years without medication under harder conditions. He decided to put me into a “retraining program”, which forced me to shift after one week on night shift to two weeks on day shift, now back to this week on night shift, and then back to days for four weeks on what I consider the shittiest rotation we have. This abominable situation is mitigated by a few things:

1) I think I kept my job for now. I celebrated by buying myself a new pair of work boots that I definitely needed, but didn’t want to invest in until I knew my job was safe. And that prompted another little example of the disaster that is my life. I went to Wal-Mart on Saturday because they actually had work boots that I actually liked, and were cheap as well. So I went there and picked them up. I also remembered that I needed coffee, salt, and sugar, so I got those as well and checked out. I then went to a sub shop that just opened and picked up a roast beef. I then thought to myself, “Self, this’ll taste good with some barbecue sauce…”, then realized that I was out of barbecue sauce and ketchup. So it was back to Wal-Mart, where I picked up those along with the orthotic insoles for the boots that I also ended up forgetting the first time. Wally World should give me a f*cking discount card or something.

2) I have a couple things coming up next month: a week of vacation (some of which I’ll spend in Chicago just to get out of this f*cking podunk town) and the first chance to submit my promotion papers. In fact, the two are connected. I want to get a first draft of the papers done with the guys from work who know something about filling them out successfully (and they’re confusing as hell; I have no idea how to incorporate my experience into them…well, it’s federal paperwork, and with most of you US residents either having finished or are finishing up your taxes, you understand), then I want to have time to polish them up a little, type them into the handy-dandy fillable PDF of them that they have available (yes, I’ve already downloaded it), then send them into Minneapolis. I’d rather not be dealing with work as this process is going on. The problem is that I may have to wait until I have an annual review on file, and that won’t happen until June or July, which blows.

3) My Kansas refund is already in the bank, but I’m still waiting on my federal refund. Thank you, TurboTax and whoever put a torrent of it up (yes, I will even pirate tax preparation programs). And my check to Nebraska has been sent, thus eliminating my last connection to that f*cking nightmare.

4) My pills are still working.

* – This actually works in my favor a bit. I’ll be very, very tired when I get home from work about midnight, thus forcing me into somnambulistic states immediately. I’ll be able to wake up early on Tuesday morning to watch Raw and get this column done.

Today’s Excuse: It’s the Ides of March. And I work in a place where everyone has knives.

Tomorrow’s Excuse: I might be able to watch Destination X, as I’ve completed the download, so maybe I’ll have some screencaps and other shit, given enough time. That is, if I’m not called into work early like I was yesterday. Doing an eleven-hour day while totally trashed from insomnia is an experience I don’t want to repeat.

Enough excuses, even though they’re fun to read from a schadenfreude standpoint. On with the show…

THE PIMP SECTION

Bob Iger, for getting the top job at Disney come September, gets a definite pimp although he’s an “insider” there. But we’re finally rid of Andre the Giant. Les Moonves was one of the finalists for the job, and if he’d recieved it, the amount of spooge coming from Star Trek fans would fill the requirements of ten sperm banks for five years because Moonves is getting the bulk of the blame for canning Enterprise. But he’s got his eyes on Sumner Redstone’s job when the old guy croaks, so he isn’t going anywhere.

I know some of the Goth bands Lucard talks about, but I’ve never really been a fan. I don’t need music to be depressed. And the pesto part sounds good, but I loathe mushrooms.

Gloomchen is right: there’s no such thing as an accident. It’s a fluctuation on the quantum level involving the Uncertainty Principle and other mind-numbing bullshit that I won’t get into. What that has to do with music mixes is beyond me.

Hevia is broke, so help the guy out. Of course, you bastards didn’t help me when I was out of work and broke, so I don’t expect it.

Fothergill-Brown summarizes the ECW DVD.

It’s B-ShowMania as Paul has Heat and Bottomline, and Hollyric was able to cover my ass in re Impact.

I like Ambrosia because he said some nice things about me four years ago at Bobob. I remember these things.

Scisco has a look at what Wrestlemania was like ten years ago.

Sumner tries to get TNA out of its mode of wanting to be mid-80s Mid-South.

Fernandez links Chicago with septic tanks. The man’s brilliant, I tell you.

Peterson explains paintball to all of us who prefer real ammo inside their weapons. Like me.

Aulbrook discussed free agents in a league that probably won’t ever exist again.

Porter freely discusses the rarely-touched-upon topic of Ref Abuse.

Misha is in a bad situation: he has PSP games being released in Europe without the PSPs to go with them.

Urciuolo does Bracketology.

So does Toner, but in a different way.

Nguyen goes for more of a chess approach this week.

Memo to Cameron: like Keith Olbermann said, Ron Santo’s career spanned such a huge period of time that his main rival at the beginning was Ken Boyer and at the end was Clete Boyer. I don’t know why he’s not in the HoF either. They didn’t hold the “No Series” thing against Banks et al.

THE ANTI-SPYWARE SECTION

I’ve been asked by a number of people to remove this because they hate scrolling down past it. I’ll give in. So if you’ve got private questions about stuff, just e-mail me and I’ll try to answer you as best I can (I’ve got problems with answering e-mail due to time constraints).

PLATEAU BARGAINING

Milord is saying that a lot of people at WWE are a little pissed off that Spike made their announcement about eliminating WWE programming (presumably with their stablemates UPN in tow) while they were deep into negotiations with Universal/NBC/USA, thus undercutting all leverage that WWE might have to get a better deal. Well, no shit. Let me explain the situation to you if you haven’t been following this closely:

About a month ago, SpikeTV fired its head honcho. The first thing that the new guy said was that he wanted to change the nature of programming on Spike to fit a different demographic*. Presumably, this was a justification to turn it into the All-CSI Network. Raw et al was not targeting the demographic they were going for, and thanks to the rights fees paid out by Viacom combined with lackluster ratings, Spike was actually losing money on Raw. So Vince was willing to give them a fig leaf to protect their dignity by saying that the two sides couldn’t agree on rights fees (with his ridiculous demand for a nearly fifty percent increase in said) and were parting amicably. Spike rejected that approach and announced that they were no longer interested. That shows how bitter these negotiations have been. Spike’s willing to poison the well for WWE. A deal will be made with USA, no doubt, but now it’ll be at a lower rate than Vince would have wanted.

This is yet another PR blunder from the good folks at Viacom. Every time that Les Moonves speaks, he puts his foot in his mouth. UPN is a disaster area, undergoing another “demographic refit”, and Dawn Ostroff doesn’t know how to spin it in order to make it look good. CBS is giving Brannon Braga a series to helm, despite driving one of Paramount’s prime moneymaking franchises into the ground. Even Spike has cut its own throat by publicly announcing that they’d love to broadcast Enterprise, but that Paramount wasn’t going to un-cancel it and shop it around (Spike is actually looking at slightly long-term benefits; it’d bring in a lot of profits to Viacom and a lot of attention to Spike by having all the modern Trek series on its network for the 40th anniversary next year (Voyager goes to Spike in 2006)). Talk about blowing leverage, even though it’d be a right-hand/left-hand deal within Viacom.

For wrestling fans, the villain here is definitely Viacom. For business people (and I’m sure Fleabag will agree with me if he didn’t own that block of WWE stock), it’s the usual game. But Viacom is so bad at it that they shouldn’t bother playing.

* – I mentioned the change in management and the announced alteration of demographic focus at Spike on a Trek board soon before the cancellation of Enterprise and said that with those changes, the show would now be a good fit on Spike. People ignored me telling them about the management alterations et al and near-flamed me, with loads of “I don’t want Enterprise on Spike” messages. Since then, about forty-seven people have started threads about Enterprise on Spike. Fuck them.

MATT HARDY, SCHMUCK AT LARGE

Here’s Matt Hardy’s view on his breakup with Lita becoming public news courtesy of Net news sites and his feelings about Edge:

Just for the record, I never told anyone the story in it’s entirety until news sites on the internet started breaking the story (and there’s still a ton of appalling things you guys don’t know). I took down Amy’s pictures on my site and in my house because they were sickening to look at. When the story started coming out, in no form or fashion was I going to allow myself to look like the bad guy. I couldn’t afford personally or professionally to let incorrect versions of the story stand. I just wish you guys could have experienced the truth and saw what actually happen. You can take my word for what it’s worth–in your eyes and heart. Adam Copeland is feces. As upset as I am with Amy now, I still care about her and I would hate to see her destroy her life. The feces’ track record speaks for itself. I have never ask anyone to take sides, I have only told the truth.

Does someone seem a little bitter here? Saying that pictures of Lita sicken him? Saying that Edge is a piece of shit? Isn’t he about ready to come back from his injury? How is this going to play in the locker room? Thanks to Vince’s bathysphere of information retention, we don’t know how the boys and girls feel about Edge and Lita, but look at their roles at Wrestlemania. Edge will be in the six-man ladder match (and is the favorite to win it). Lita will be at ringside (and will get involved heavily, injury or not) in the women’s title match. They’re getting pushed. Matt will end up being on Heat if he’s lucky after this tirade.

Here’s a little advice, Matt: if you can’t stand seeing Lita, and you can’t stand being in the locker room with Edge, go to Vince and ask for a release from your contract. TNA has already reunited the Harrises; Jarrett would cream his jeans to reunite the Hardy Boys. Think of it, Matt: Six Sides Of Steel matches against AMW, tag-team Ultimate X…and you get away from your demons at the same time. Fleabag tells me Orlando is pretty nice. Why don’t you try getting there?

A QUICK ONE

According to Da Meltz, the masked guy that Monty Brown pinned in the “mind games” ending of his match with Trytan was actually Dennis Knight, better known to us as Phineas I. Godwinn and Mideon. No wonder no one recognized him:
he was wearing clothes.

And the Emperor wears no clothes either, so let’s see what kind of tackle Raw has on display this week…

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Kane over Christian and Tyson Tomko, Handicap Match (Pinfall, Kane pins Tomko, chokeslam): How exactly do you end up booking a handicap match as a squash for the handicapped person? I’m still shaking my head about this one, but “creative” has done this so many times my head’s been detached from my neck.

Shelton Benjamin over Edge (Pinfall, T-bone suplex): I had a bad feeling about this match due to two things: 1) the beatdown at the beginning and 2) Mike Chioda getting mic time and a bump. However, that bad feeling was erased due to marvelous booking. “Creative” can do something right for a change, but only given the right people. I’d love to see these guys at a future PPV. Fifteen with them would be something. And if you wonder why I love Benjy, look at the top-rope flying sunset flip. That’s demonstation enough.

Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty (I don’t believe I’m typing that) over Rob Conway and Sylvain Grenier (Pinfall, Jannetty pins Grenier, Rocker Dropper): Welcome to the audition match for Jannetty. Given the results of this, where Jannetty looked damn good, WWE could sign him as a tag specialist. You also know that Jarrett was watching this, and if WWE passes, TNA would certainly sign him given the geriatric factor that’s been going around down in Orlando. Other than that, the nostalgia factor was off the charts. The Rockers music, the tandem moves (although Michaels blew the flip-up), Michaels playing Ricky Morton in order to show off Jannetty…for a greybeard like me, it definitely takes me back to better days. Absolutely beautiful, and kudos to La Res for playing along with this.

Well, should I blow this one? Everyone involved has described it as “abominable”, so I might as well. If you don’t want to know something about the last episode of Enterprise, scroll down.

Trip (dies in the last episode of Enterprise) over Chris Benoit, Non-Title Pick Your Poison Match (Pinfall, Pedigree): This is one of those “going in, you know it’s going to be good” matches. The bookers played to the two’s greatest combined strength: mat-based mayhem with an eentsy bit of aerial. They gave it the proper length, the guys were at the top of their game, Benoit pulled out nine Germans…one of the best matches on Raw in a long time. I was enthralled by this match. There’s no higher compliment. And here’s the real secret of why it was good: Benoit is one of the few people that Trip will sell for. He knows that Benoit will look good regardless, and there’s no shame in selling for him. It makes him look like a more realistic wrestler than the dominant id that he is backstage. So Hyatte isn’t the only one who can say good things about Trip.

Dave Batista over Gene Snitsky (DQ, Nature-ference): Well, at least they kept it relatively short. That’s a rather undisguised blessing. As for next week, Batista/Kane was so obvious that I thought they’d pull something different. It’s going to be an…interesting match, that’s for certain.

Angle Developments:

Public Service Announcement: Jake Roberts is a walking ad for not doing drugs. Do tootski and other stuff, and end up looking like David Crosby. That’s a strong message for every one of you kids. As for his appearance (and Jannetty’s), Semi-Regular Chris Arrington believes that Vince’s meds for his torn quad are responsible, and I have to agree. The question becomes who gave them to him, and how can I get some? Thank God he didn’t say anything about blackjack when he was talking games.

For That Matter…:And, Randy…how do I put this? We all know that you’re going to have to play the heel at WM against the Undertaker, but why are you starting prematurely, extending the actions on Bisch last week? Unless “creative” plans on turning you heel anyway, but you’re working better as a face than as a heel. Another ill-timed turn is in the offing.

Cheers To The Extra Man: I don’t normally compliment the crowd, but the Atlanta group was really getting into everything and cheering their asses off. Atlanta crowds were always great for WCW, and they’ve always been at least at a minimum of good for WWE. Atlanta’s definitely one of the best wrestling cities in America, right up there with Philly (but with a more markish tone). Bravo.

Chick Kicks: Since I know that Trish faithfully reads me, I might as well send a pimp out to her once in a while. Cutting an effective promo, name-dropping Hannibal Lecter, beating the shit out of Maria…man, if you weren’t Hyatte’s, and My Beautiful and Beloved wasn’t mine, I’d do you in a second. You’d seem like you have enough patience to deal with me.

Some Confusion Clarified: According to sources, someone on Wienerboard claimed that my use of the term “Sand Nigger Special” for Hassan’s finisher is an act of overt racism. This guy doesn’t read me well. I explained when I first used the term that it reflects on WWE’s racism in Hassan’s booking, and to remind everyone of that, I was going to use the term until they came up with an actual name for it. So no racism involved. I hope that clears that up.

Speaking Of Geriatrics…: Was Flair on or what? This was mid-eighties Flair, where the tone of voice never was less than intense. He demonstrated yet again why he’s probably the greatest promo guy in the history of wrestling in addition to being one of the greatest wrestlers ever. Christian could learn something about what charisma actually means, because if he could capture some of it oozing out of every pore of Flair’s body, he’d really become something.

As for me, I already am something. And I’ll pull a rabbit out of my hat tomorrow come Hell or high water. Until then, have a good one.

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