It’s tough for a midwestern boy like me to understand wind-borne natural disasters. Therefore, I don’t have that much emotional investment in the goings-on in the South right now (as I didn’t every time Fleabag got blown to hell and back last year). However, I will note this: this is New Orleans we’re talking about. They’re not only survivors, they’re partying survivors. Southern Decadence, the gay Mardi Gras (although how you can get more gay than Mardi Gras without traveling to the Castro is beyond me), is scheduled for this weekend. Everything will be back to normal by then, because New Orleans will be damned if they can’t throw a good party. It’s a matter of civic pride, and fleecing boozing people out of their money, which in New Orleans goes hand-in-hand. Laissez le bon temps roulet.
(If you can afford to get there. Katrina’s caused wholesale gas prices to rise. Like any excuse was needed for that to happen.)
Well, the US Open’s started, and already the women’s defending champ is out. No, it’s not THAT Russian, but another one, Svetlana Kuznetsova. Man, the women’s draw is wide f*cking open. This is going to be worth watching, if only for the outfits. And if Serena’s already had one wardrobe malfunction (one of her $40000 earrings came loose and fell off), you know that another will be in the works. As for the men, it’s Federerererer or nothing, so we’ll all give a big shrug.
Let me get this straight: Brad Faxon won a golf tournament? Screw the Little League World Series, this is news!
And speaking of news, I’ll cut off this lame attempt to open this column and get right on to that, after the pimps…
THE PIMP SECTION
Lucard prepares haunted shrimp, and also has some game reviews floating around. But since they’re not for PC games, I don’t give a shit.
Hevia is fat and tattooed, which brings him to a few teeth removals away from TNA’s ideal viewer. And he’s begging for someone to hire him. I wouldn’t sink that low…oh, wait, I would and probably will in a few weeks if something doesn’t come up.
Zarur covers the last days of Heat like the trouper that he is.
Hollyric gets the main coverage of Impact this week as I decided to blow it off this weekend.
Basilo keeps you up on shows I don’t watch.
The Comics Roundtable almost, but not quite, go off on Rob Liefeld. Come on, guys, let your inner haters loose.
Paul proves that information is never free.
Porter has yet to explain why the Ashes are better than the Davis Cup. He definitely can’t explain how the Ashes are better than the Ryder Cup.
And Sports has definitely pussied out in not inviting me on IP Sports Radio yet. Bite the bullet, guys; you know you want to.
Gottfried sounds like she needs a good, hot lay. Not from me; I’m too damn old and too lousy in bed. So I’m told.
MILORD IS, AS USUAL, A WHINY BITCH
Well, I was actually going to mention the whole Dudleys trademark situation and give my view of it, but it’s a lot more fun if I can do that while thrusting the Walking Ego known as Dave Scherer into the mud as I do it. Over on 1bullshit Junior, Scherer decided, in his usual ham-fisted, grasping-in-the-dark manner, to give his uninformed and idiotic view of the situation. So, I get to turn my view on this into a nice snark session. Shall we begin?
In case you missed it over the weekend, the team formerly known as The Dudley Boyz was notified by WWE that they couldn’t use the Dudley name outside of the company as WWE sent legal letters to anyone and everyone who was using the “Dudley” name in their advertising, telling them to stop. At the Wrestle Reunion 2 convention and show, they worked as Team 3D.
I don’t think that anyone who follows wrestling missed it. It was one of the biggest stories of last week. But thanks for recapping it anyway.
When they left ECW for WWE six years ago, ECW owner Paul Heyman told them that he was giving them the rights to the name as a payback for all they had done for his company during their time working for him. He made it clear that he was doing so that in the event they ever left WWE, they could take their professional names with them.
It was also just about the only “asset” that Heyman could compensate them for all of their unpaid efforts assisting in the office and such. Admittedly, it was a nice gesture by Heyman to do so. However, it was yet another example of Heyman being business-stupid. Heyman could have sold the Dudley trademarks to WWE to lessen the debt that ECW had toward Vince. If Heyman considered the trademarks a tangible asset, which he did considering that he characterized it as a payback for all that Buh Buh Ray and D-Von did for him, then he should have exploited the assets in the best way possible. Would Buh Buh Ray and D-Von had agreed? I’m sure they would have objected at first, but they understood the financial situation of ECW and would have realized that Heyman was trying to get the dogs off his scent. They would have then regarded the trademarks as something to be dealt with in contract negotiations with WWE. Other wrestlers have used their WWE-owned trademarks in bargaining before, and got them back. Buh Buh Ray is supposedly one of the smartest business types in wrestling. He could have got his ring name back at any contract negotiation since 1999 if this had happened. But it didn’t, and that was Heyman’s fault.
Well, apparently Heyman never filed the proper paperwork and WWE has retained the rights to the Dudley names.
Did WWE obtain those rights via the bankruptcy asset purchase? If so, those rights would have been listed among ECW’s assets that were purchased. That would have been the point at which Buh Buh Ray and/or D-Von and/or Spike should have brought up questions as to why the asset that had been promised to them was now owned by WWE.
They have made it clear that they intend to keep the men who created the characters from using them again anywhere but a WWE ring.
Yes. It’s called “enforcing the rights to your trademark”. Let me put it this way, Milord: if I was the creator of the logo for pwinsider.com and I decided to make T-shirts with the logo and the word “sucks” underneath, would you complain about it? Of course you would. But, under your logic, as the creator of the logo, I have the right to do anything I want with it.
Personally, I think it’s really a low move by Vince McMahon and WWE. If his company had created the Dudley characters and made them into recognizable names, it would be one thing. But, they didn’t.
Irrelevant. Try this out for an analogy: Viacom didn’t create Star Trek. It was created under the Desilu umbrella. But Desilu was bought by Paramount, and Viacom bought Paramount. They own the property, and it’s theirs to do with as they wish. A complaint about how Enterprise sucked from the estate of Lucille Ball would have had as much relevance to Viacom as a complaint for your average rabid fanboy, i.e. none.
Or if that’s too much for you to handle, let me use this analogy: The Damn Vaninator is mine. I hold the title to it. I didn’t build it; it was built at some Ford factory. Do I need permission from someone at the factory to go out and drive it?
The Dudleys were already an established team when they came to WWE, having made their name as the best tag team in the business long before they ever got to McMahon’s company.
“Best tag team in the business”? Ah, Scherer still hasn’t achieved escape velocity from Planet ECW after all these years (indeed, after the planet’s been turned into an asteroid field). Let it go, Dave; they’ve been dead for almost five years now.
Heyman made his intention clear to give the name to the team before they left ECW and if they had a large cash reserve, they could take WWE to court over this and maybe win.
Under what principle? WWE is the legal rights holder in this case. An oral promise carries no weight when there’s paperwork involved. If anything, the judge would throw this out because the Dudleys were guilty of negligence in the matter of following up on Heyman’s promise. Did they ever ask to see the trademark transfer paperwork before they left ECW, or even after they left? During the bankruptcy, WWE was charged with using ECW trademarks without permission. They paid a back penalty to the bankruptcy judge for that, which covered them. So WWE was retroactively in the clear on any trademark infringment. Here’s the fact: the Dudleys never owned the de jure trademark to their name. ECW owned it, WWE leased it while ECW was in bankruptcy, then WWE bought it. That’s how the law would see it, and WWE has the paper trail. The Dudleys wouldn’t have a chance to win, and any trademark attorney would tell them that. That’s why they won’t sue.
But, that won’t happen.
For the reasons I outlined, not the ones you did, Milord.
What makes it more galling to me is that, while they would say that they are just “protecting an asset”, it seems to me like WWE is just doing this because the Dudleys had the audacity to refuse taking a pay cut when WWE wanted to sign them for less.
That is such bullshit. Milord is now making up an excuse where there’s none needed. WWE is protecting an asset. Let’s just take one aspect of this into consideration: DVD releases. What if Buh Buh Ray or D-Von gets a wild hair up his ass and decides to deny WWE the right to use the Dudley name for some future DVD release (“Best of TLC”, let’s say)? That scuppers the DVD right there. It doesn’t matter that WWE owns the match in question. If the Dudley name has to be bleeped out of every occurrence in the match, it provides a very dissatisfying viewing experience, so WWE would never put it out like that.
There’s nothing personal going on at all. WWE owns an asset. They don’t wish for that asset to be exploited by someone not with the company any more. That’s all there is to it. They’d do the same thing if Shawn Michaels was in the same situation. They’re doing the same thing right now to people like Billy Gunn and Road Dogg. Or haven’t you noticed that they’re not going by those names in TNA?
Get it straight, Scherer: there’s no room for personal vindictivity, even by someone like Vince McMahon, in a publicly-traded company. Well, not at this kind of low level anyway.
After all, why would Vince care where they use the name since he has said that he doesn’t see TNA or the independents as “competition”?
Uh, because the trademarks are his property to do with as he wishes, and it’s good business sense to not allow those trademarks to be used unless he’s getting something in return?
If that were true, he wouldn’t be so concerned with seizing something that wasn’t even supposed to be his.
But they ARE his. Don’t you get it? Here’s an old cliche that I’ll drag out for your benefit, Milord: “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”
So, it just comes across as spiteful to me, especially when you consider what Heyman’s stated intention was back in 1999.
Exactly what sort of “spite” is involved here? Oh, I get it. If it happens to someone else, it’s just business, but when it happens to your friends, it’s spite. Way to suck up to your old pals there, Milord. You’ve always been the biggest ass-kisser in the IWC, especially when it comes to anything ECW-related. I suppose I have to give you credit for consistency.
Again, it’s not as if Heyman wasn’t on record as saying that he gave the Dudleys the name back when they left.
It’s irrelevant whether it’s on record or not. But what is relevant is that Heyman didn’t do the paperwork for the trademark transfer like he supposedly told the Dudleys he would.
But, Vince found a technicality here and seized it, just because he could.
What technicality? Is ownership of a trademark a technicality? No, a technicality is something like a guy being caught at the scene of an axe murder with the hatchet in hand, blood on his clothes, and bodies all over the place, and getting off because the cop forgot to read him his Miranda rights. Vince owning the trademarks and working to protect them is NOT a technicality.
Was he within his rights? Yes.
Glad to see you admit it, Milord. But it’s hypocritical to admit to this after spending half a paragraph (and this was one long block paragraph) saying that he wasn’t within his rights.
Was it morally wrong to do? In my opinion, oh yes.
Two things here:
1) Apparently he’s pulling out the definition of “moral” from the same dictionary that he pulled out the definition of “technicality” earlier.
2) As any good Republican (sorry for the oxymoron) can tell you, morality has nothing to do with business.
It’s just another example of what Mike Johnson talked about on his hotline recently, you don’t cross the boss in WWE. Sad, but true. It certainly sends a message to the WWE current talent, and the message is not a good one.
No, the message being sent is a good one. It goes as follows: if you’re an independent contractor signing an employment contract, be certain to take care of your business. Hire a lawyer to go through the contract. Be certain of where you actually stand with your employer vis-a-vis your rights as a contracted employee. And know that unless it’s on paper, it doesn’t exist from a legal standpoint.
That’s the message here, Milord. Not the bullshit that you spout because a couple of your friends got themselves in a bad situation. Cry me a river, bitch.
Da Meltz asked this question yesterday:
What do you think is the most famous match in wrestling history? Not the best, not the biggest money match, not the most watched match but simply the most famous.
I know how this came about. It’s because that glorified blogger on si.com mentioned Montreal as being the most famous match in wrestling history. I don’t think it is. No, it’s not because of my statements about
Bret. It is very, very famous, but that fame mostly extends to us smarks, you know, the people who would actually watch Wrestling With Shadows. It’s in the top five, but not the most famous.
The answer to Meltz’s query is simple. The most famous wrestling match in history is Hogan/Andre from WM3. There are people almost twenty years later, and not wrestling fans, who can recite every sequence of that match by memory. It wasn’t a great match by any means. But as for pure fame…everything went right that day. Two of the most famous wrestlers on the planet. A jam-packed crowd in a stadium in Detroit. A build-up to the match that’s still the gold standard for booking. It expanded the wrestling audience like no other single match before or since.
As for the others I’d put on the list…well, I’d love to put down Flair/Von Erich at Texas Stadium, but that’s just my favoritism coming through. Montreal’s on there, of course. UT/Foley HitC would be on there. Hogan/Savage from WM5 and Hogan/Warrior from WM6. That just about covers it on the level of Raw Fame.
There aren’t as many choices as you might think if Fame is your sole criterion. There are matches, of course, that we wish were famous. Trip/Michaels/Benoit from WM20 is one that I think the entire IWC wishes was more famous (and some deluded fanboys think actually is famous). I’d like to see a little fame go to Trip/UT from WM17, myself. It’s definitely better than the main event featuring those two disgusting creatures of Ego Run Rampant. Misawa/Kawada from ’94 should be famous, but people have to be talked into seeing it because “it’s Jap shit”. Matches of today that we wish could become famous aren’t going to be, because the audience isn’t there right now. Yes, even with DVD releases. Benoit/Regal at Pillman 2000 has become almost an urban legend despite being on the Benoit DVD. It deserves fame. I think more than half the reason I haven’t attended a live event since Pillman 2000 was because of Benoit/Regal. I know I’ll never see anything as good in my life, and that’s including if I go home on vacation for WM next year.
It’s weird that such a broad question should have such a simple answer. But that’s the nature of the business. You can’t get famous if nobody’s watching.
Well, Mike Posey, the ref most famous for getting into a silly angle with David Young that forced him to wrestle and display his near-Wattisan dropkick, has been hired by WWE and sent to Deep South, according to 1bullshit Junior. Whether he is to be a ref or wrestler is still to be determined. Personally, I’d go for wrestler, because he wasn’t that great of a ref, even by TNA standards. But he’s still better as a ref than Mike Chioda.
Kane’s “autobiography” has been reported to be on the shelves at certain bookstores. So if you’re really desperate to see how they’re going to cover up all the continuity problems in Kane’s history, or knowing WWE, create more continuity problems, take a look at your local. If it isn’t there, go and buy something substantial. You know, like something without the words “Harry” and “Potter” on the cover.
People are bitching, moaning, and complaining about the new Friday Smackdown being preempted in some markets for baseball. This has been going on in a lot of markets since SD premiered, for Christ’s sake. I remember living in Ohio in 2000 and having SD preempted all the time for Indians games (the local UPN station I had was out of Cleveland). The two most notable markets for preemptions this time are Noo Yawk and Bahstan. OH NOES! That means we’ll have to suffer through Bill Simmons baseball columns instead of Bill Simmons wrestling columns.
And speaking of suffering, it’s time for Raw, and you know what that means…
THE SHORT FORM
The Big Show over Buck Quartermain and Some Other Guy, Handicrap Match (Pinfall, TBS pins both, chokeslam): We’ll ignore the match like we usually do, and just get on to the apres. Two things would have made the whole Snitsky run-in a little more fun: 1) If Joy Giovanni were still around and 2) If Snitsky would have taken TBS’s boot off of him in the ring and fondled his toes. The latter, especially, would have brought a dimension to the feud between them that might actually make me care about it.
Victoria over Ashley Massaro (Pinfall, Widow’s Peak): I was waiting for the real Victoria to make an appearance here. You know, the one who’d never let herself be used by anyone else, especially a pair of bimbos. I was waiting for Victoria to beat the living shit out of the Ten-Buck Tramp and Candice. If anything, the Abuse of Silver Lame by the bimbos justified it. But no. And I know that if I’m disappointed at this non-turn of events, I can hear weeping from a thousand miles away in the direction of Noo Yawk. Don’t worry, Hevia, she’ll come to her senses eventually.
And KC Evers (no relation) is back, with this fine observation:
It’s rather telling that Ashley’s already got beter mic skills than both Torrie Wilson and Candice Michelle combined.
That isn’t saying much, of course. The bimbos’ delivery was atrocious, to the point of being painful to listen to. They seriously need some acting coaching.
Edge versus Matt Hardy, Street Fight (ND, dual stretcher job): Well, it’s been a while since they’ve done the “fall into the electrical pit” spot. Kinda nice to see it again. However, I have to question the wisdom of this match being on Raw. We could have had this same match at SummerSlam. This match could have waited until Unforgiven (it’s only a few weeks away). Why are they giving it away on free TV? After this, whatever match they might have at Unforgiven will be an anti-climax, with the possible exception of a TLC match (which this essentially was given the ladders and chairs). And I rarely comment about this, but the camerawork on this match was abysmal. We expect better of WWE broadcasts than this. It was sub-WCW level. Improvement is needed, guys.
Tyson Tomko over The Pet Fat Fuck (KO, boot to the face): Tomko still exists? And might be getting some kind of push revolving around knocking people out? Heroin overdose sounds so good right now.
Chris Masters and Carly Colon over Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair, Sort Of (Submission, Flair submits to Masters, MasterLock): You know, I have absolutely no clue as to what they were going at here. Normally, if a “backstage attack” scenario is done, it’s to boost the credentials of the guy forced to go in there alone. However, the guy in question is Shawn Michaels, whose credentials do not need boosting. On the other hand, Masters and Carly need serious work on their credibility, and that wasn’t helped by Michaels’ domination in the match. By the way, Masters did not increase his credibility any by MasterLocking a 55-year-old guy who had suffered “blood loss”. Again, we must ask the question: WHO IS WRITING THIS SHIT?!
I’m not the only one thinking this. Steve Murray, who thought I picked a “bad fight” against Simmons, said this:
Could they have come up with a lamer end to the main event? Well, I’ve spent an hour or so thinking about it, with varying mixes of the main even players, and my answer so far is: No. Damn, but I hate that Creative team now. They have no originality whatsoever.
Absolutely right. You needn’t worry about the ending, though. The whole damn idea was misbegotten.
Now as to Simmons, let me just say this: why is he doing a column on something that he admits to having infrequent contact with, enough so that he’s ignorant of the storylines surrounding the matches, which are an integral part of wrestling? Simple, so he can patronize wrestling fans with a superior attitude, as in “I’m too good for wrestling”. Let me just say that my mail was split about 50/50 between “How dare you go after one of your betters?” (sorry, sweethearts, but NO ONE is my “better”) and “Thanks for reaming him a new asshole”.
Landfill: Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels in the ring together to help get over Carly and the Gym Bunny…this is the biggest act of fraudulent waste since people went to the polls last November and voted for Dubbaya. It just screams out that nothing they can do can make the audience take either Carly or Gym Bunny seriously, especially the latter. So now they have to pull out the big guns. And it’s also an obvious set-up for a tag match. I never thought I’d see the day when Flair and Michaels would be teamed together against such low-rent opponents. What has happened to wrestling?
The New Arrival: KC Evers (no relation) also brings up this fact: TNA Impact, Saturdays at 11 PM???? Do they want NO ONE to watch this show???? Well, no one’s watching Epilepsy right now, and no one watched Impact when it was on FSN, so why change a good thing?
Finale: Well, Cena finally made the Geico joke…that’s it, folks, he’s finished. His promos have been going downhill for a while now, but I think we can all agree that he’s hit bottom. He’s so thoroughly uninspiring that he threw Angle off his game as well. Angle can usually cut a great promo in his sleep, but he didn’t even bother trying. He knows it’s just not worth the effort to do it with Cena. Maybe Unforgiven would be a good time to get the strap off of him…actually, a good time to get the strap off of him would have been a couple of months ago, just after the trade. But we have to suffer through a few more weeks of his shit before that opportunity comes up again. Let’s hope that they do it this time.
And that’s calling it off for this Tuesday. Everyone can enjoy themselves to their hearts’ content until I return.