Thank you, Sky News, but we already know that.
In Memoriam: Don Adams. I honestly think that if you went out and asked people today, “Name two movie or TV secret agents from the 60s”, the answers would be James Bond and Maxwell Smart. Goodbye, 86.
In Memoriam II: Thomas Bond, a role model to bullies for three generations.
Ah, it was a weekend of weird confusion all over, folks. Let’s just take the situation in Poland as an example. Elections were held there this weekend, and the new Prime Minister-designate, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is in an unusual position. He’s the twin brother of presidential candidate Lech Kaczynski (the presidential election will be held in a couple weeks). Jaroslaw said that if his brother wins the presidency, he won’t take office in order to avoid having look-alike leaders. I truly fear for my co-ethnics sometimes. You bet that some demented weird-ass author is going to turn this story into a novel? I just know Tom Clancy is drooling over the possibilities.
And the spate of confusion continued everywhere. Rita evacuees were returning to see what was left. The world got to continue its conundrum at what Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher see in each other as they got married. Louisville football fans are dazed and confused as a conference change for both teams didn’t lessen the apparent ire that the University of South Florida has for them. Ditto Steelers fans in re Adam Viniateri’s foot. Andy Roddick won a match on clay at the Davis Cup. Lynndie England is probably still wondering why she was convicted of abuse. Ensign Ro commands a battlestar now, while the IRA’s given up all its weapons. And I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept of Chris DiMarco, National Hero…
(Memo to KC Evers (no relation): Yes, we all know that he took Tigger to a playoff at this year’s first major, but, remember, this is primarily a wrestling column. Please, do not use the words “Chris” and “Masters” in the same sentence. You’ll upset people, namely me.)
…ah, yes, people, the Presidents Cup was everything I’d said it would be during my appearance on IP Sports Radio. Tight, exciting, terrific play from everyone, and it came down to the end with DiMarco going CLUTCH, which he can’t seem to do when money’s on the line. Other than that, I just can’t do it justice. This was a thing of beauty and joy, to be certain. Thus, it would be better to stay silent and let guys who are actually paid to write this kind of stuff scribble it. You know where you can find them.
Actually, I’m morally opposed to gushing in any way, shape, or form, as most of you can probably tell. So, my internal governor automatically turns my enthusiasm down. That’s why I can make fun of you losers who mark out over stuff. It helps maintain the fact that I am, indeed, morally, emotionally, and mentally superior to all of you. It’s a difficult struggle being Emperor of the Land of the Morons, but I put up with it. Mostly because I get off on it.
Now, let’s get on to other things, shall we?
THE PIMP SECTION
Lucard discourses on the history of Latin. Although, as is my wont, I’d like to inject a couple of points. First, Latin really got replaced as the lingua franca by French due to the Reformation. A lot of the new Protestant rulers in Europe didn’t want to be forced to speak the language of Papacy in order to communicate with each other. Since French was at the time a mature language with consistent orthography, spelling, and grammar (which English didn’t have until the 19th Century), it became the obvious choice to communicate in a clear, unambiguous fashion. Second, as per Spanish replacing English as the lingua franca in the future, uh, no. English has a lot of traction thanks to the efforts of the Brits as colonial masters. Thanks to them, it’s the most-spoken and/or official language of commerce and government in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, and, most importantly, India (among others). It’s a language that the sun never sets on, unlike Spanish, which is concentrated in Iberia and Central and South America. Most importantly, it’s the language of the Internet. Never discount that.
The full story of Deep Throat is incredibly fascinating and is worth researching and seeking out (if you want the story, with all its contradictions, head to your local bookstore and get “The Other Hollywood” by Legs McNeil and Jennifer Osborne; if you want, here’s the Amazon link to it). McCullar reviews a new documentary about the film out on DVD. However, I won’t be buying it because they don’t have Linda Lovelace’s doggy films on there as extras.
Hevia breaks down in a wonderful fashion why we in the IWC hate Phil Mushnick. How is it that we non-professionals here at IP have more jouralistic integrity than someone with a job at a major metropolitan rag?
West did his usual good job doing Raw live. Isn’t it wonderful how our little former Heat recapper’s grown up?
Neeley closes out the era of Velocity On Spike in style.
And Zarur doth doeth the same with Heat.
Basilo goes a little batshit with numerology.
Pandich gets through his vomiting enough to put out something.
Morrison, unfortunately, can’t get rid of his refugee relatives long enough to get something out. Good deed indeed, but a bad result.
Hatton alerts us on the Marvel side. The ever-reliable Stevens does the same with DC.
KISS ME DEADLY
As Fingers pointed out yesterday in a news break, Mark LoMonico, the former Buh Buh Ray Dudley, has filed for trademarks through his personal corporation for a new apparent Dudley collective identity. Apparently the characters will now be called “Brother Devon Deadly” and “Brother Ray Deadly”, the team as “The Deadly Brothers”, and the finisher as the “Deadly Death Drop”.
Oh, guys…I don’t know. I really don’t.
First of all, when I think of a team that could be labeled “The Deadly Brothers”, for some reason, my mind immediately shifts to Undertaker and Kane. That’s not really a comparative image that you want floating around, for lots of reasons (the most important being that UT and Kane absolutely suck as a team, as has been demonstrated a number of times). I know, they wanted to have something close to “Dudley” and this seemed to be an appropriate adjective.
But is it really that appropriate? Is there Truth In Advertising here? The ECW Dudleys, yes, they were definitely deadly, both in the ring and on the mic. However, we’ve seen the Spikified Dudleys, the ones they’ll have to be for TNA and its new broadcasting partner. “Deadly” is not necessarily the adjective I’d use in this case. Even when they were putting women through tables, “cuddly” would have been more appropriate. This is especially true when they’re faces, which they’ll definitely be going into TNA. They’re going to have to be very careful to live up to the name in that case, especially since they’ll almost certainly be programmed against AWM, who’ve established a kick ass/take names rep.
(That, of course, leads us to the obvious question: how in the name of heaven is TNA going to establish “The Deadly Brothers” as a real threat against AMW? AMW has been severely weakened recently due to bad booking decisions and hooking themselves up with Jarrett, which is the kiss of death for anyone in TNA. If they’re not very, very careful, “The Deadly Brothers” could end up killing any heat AMW has left. TNA can’t afford to lose AMW from its top-echelon teams at this moment. If it should happen, expect them to reunite the New Age Outlaws, since they’re the only ones with enough mark cred to compete against “The Deadly Brothers”. But if that happened, the audience would want a feud between NAO and 3 Live Kru, which I might go for if 3LK replaces Road Hogg with, oh, Charlie Haas…you now understand what a slippery slope TNA has itself on.)
Will the audience buy the identity switch? Yes, they will. There’s no doubt about that. TNA has a very smarkish audience, despite what Jarrett wants, and they know about the situation. For those people coming in due to the premiere on Spike, they’re likely to be WWE refugees who are programmed to accept name changes and gimmick changes, so it’ll be the proverbial water rolling off one’s back. The number of viewers who would be confused about the change can be counted using one’s fingers and toes without resorting to dropping your pants to get to 21. And this audience is pre-sold on these guys. TNA hasn’t been shy about using reps established elsewhere, so there’ll have to be no massive sales job by Tenay and The Idiot Don West. So, no worries on that front.
But it’s the name itself that’s the problem here. Honestly, when I saw this for the first time, I started to giggle. It’s a name that manages to be both overblown and bland at the same time. It verges on being ludicrous. It’s like the line in Johnny Dangerously where Marilu Henner tells Michael Keaton, “You know your name is an adverb”. I suspect that I’m not alone in this, especially among longtime smarks. If I have to stop myself from guffawing every time that Tenay and West say “The Deadly Brothers”, I’m not going to be paying much attention to the matches. Or, for that matter, taking the boys seriously in the ring.
I understand that they wanted to keep it as phonetically close to the old name as possible while still creating something unique enough (and far enough away from the old name not to be litigous) to be trademarked, but I question the wisdom of this choice. It seems to me that if there was a choice between staying close with this one or moving completely away, I’d go for the latter and make a clean break. As I said, the TNA audience knows who they are already. There’s very little risk in going with a divergent (but not completely new) identity. Wrestling fans are very accepting of this. All they’d need to do is go into the ring and do what they’ve been doing for a decade now, and it’d be a dead issue.
I just hope that Mark and Devon haven’t crippled themselves and their image by doing this. Under pressure of losing their old name and having to come up with a new one, quick, they cracked a little and went with what, on the surface, seems to be a bad choice. Let’s hope that they treat this as a transitional identity rather than a permanent rebranding.
ANY GUESSES WHEN WE’LL BE ABLE TO SEE THEM AS THE DUDLEY BOYS AGAIN?
According to a site called Wrestling Update Online, WWE has made One-Night Stand a yearly event. Supposedly, it’ll be held next year on June 11th. Location at this point is unknown, but it’ll likely be the Hammerstein Ballroom again.
Personally, I’ve never heard of the site in question, so I take this with a grain of salt. However, 1bullshit Junior is passing this one along, so there may be some, if not much, credibility to this. WWE has not updated their schedule of PPVs past next year’s Backlash, which will be at the end of April. Therefore, this is totally unconfirmed.
I’ve got mixed feelings about them doing it. Obviously, I want to see something after this year’s succes d’estime. However, nothing’s special the second time around. Look at Wrestlemania II, for instance. Or how many of you remember the second time you got laid…okay, there’s not enough of a sample audience among my readers in re those who have been laid twice in their lives, so drop that. But I think my point’s made. Heyman’s going to win Promo Of The Year for what he did at ONS, and it’s already being considered one of the greatest promos ever cut. How does he follow that up? I fear that the aura’s not going to be there, and that’ll take away from its uniqueness. Plus, they promoted ONS perfectly on Raw and Smackdown, and we all know that for “creative” to come up with an idea just a good next year would be about as impossible as Jerry Falwell, Pope.
All in all, I think they should have gone with making ECW an ongoing concern. I understand why they couldn’t have. They’re now pressed for TV time as it is due to the deal with NBC/Universal, and there’d be none to give to ECW. The only way to turn a second One-Night Stand into something is to make it the springboard for something ongoing. That’ll require some finesse between WWE and NBC/Uni, but if Raw is a success for USA, who knows what might happen? If I were in charge at NBC/Uni, you know what I’d do? Throw an hour of ECW each week on Bravo. Just to f*ck with everyone’s heads.
THE BIG REVEAL
During the last Round Table, I mentioned that I had a way to save the Kerwin White angle, but that I wasn’t going to put it in print because of the usual curse: if I put it in print, it would never happen. Well, now that WWE has made it clear that they aren’t going in this direction, I think I can meet the demand from the public that I put out.
The problem with the Kerwin White angle is that you simply can’t take Chavito seriously in his desire to become middle-class Caucasian. It’s not the idea of assimilation that’s the problem (although, admittedly, that statement’s coming from a 40-year-old ofay), it’s the fact that Chavito seems to be isolated in this regard. It’s a lot more common than you think for recent immigrant families to believe that the American Dream is to get a house in the suburbs, play golf, and convince your established neighbors that you’re just an Average Family who poses no threat. The obvious thing to do, therefore, is to have someone else in there who believes in this fashion, just as Kerwin White does. Someone who believes that what Chavito/Kerwin is doing is the right thing, and that it’ll lead to acceptance by the “majority”.
WWE already has the template for this kind of move. Has anyone taken Shannon Moore more seriously than when he became Mattitude Follower #1? Giving Moore a push in the slipstream of Version 1 worked out well for Moore, a lot better than the Prince Of Punk did. Now, take that same framework and strap it to Kerwin White. Give him a follower who believes in his philosophy of assimilation. The question then becomes who the follower should be. It has to be someone who is “ethnically challenged”, but who wants to become part of Mainstream America. It would help if that person thinks that he could become a role model for other members of his ethnicity in how to get along in today’s society. It also helps if that person was a little bit over in his last identity, moreso than Moore was. And it makes sense if the “change” could be made into a logical extension of that last identity.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the perfect choice for Kerwin White’s disciple: Shawn Daivari.
It would have worked perfectly. All it would have taken would have been one promo by Daivari, stating that he had tried everything to gain acceptance for people from the Middle East, but it didn’t work. Therefore, he’s going to give in. Kerwin showed him the light, a way for him (and by extension his people) to gain the acceptance and trust of other Americans. No more screaming in Farsi, it’s now sweater vests and six-irons for him (along with screaming in English, because Daivari’s incredibly entertaining as a ringside annoyance).
So what do we get out of this move? First of all, it makes us take Kerwin White seriously. His quest for assimilation seems less quixotic if there’s someone else joining him. It gets Daivari back on TV, something that most of us want. Most importantly, it gives Raw another tag team to play with at the same time it saves Chavito’s career. I consider a Chavito/Daivari team Raw’s parallel to Smackdown’s Mexicools: a light, quick team with the wrestling chops to be taken seriously in the tag ranks. They can also compete in singles if necessary. This would definitely help Chavito. No one takes him seriously as a threat to the IC title, which is what they’re pushing him towards eventually. However, with Daivari at his side helping him, he’s definitely more of a threat.
Unfortunately, WWE decided not to go this way. They’ve given Kerwin a caddy, thus bringing Chavito closer to Mike Rotundo “I Don’t Believe This Shit” territory. Down in Deep South, Sheik Daivari has made his debut, thus opening up the nightmare of us eventually experiencing Daivari back on Raw or Smackdown with the Iron Sheik as his manager (a passing of the torch to another wrestler of Iranian ancestry). They could have done better by both with just a little application of brain power and a tinge of self-plagiarism.
But who knows? It could work out. Remember, a few weeks ago, I said that TNA should have made right by Alex Shelley by giving him a shot at Jushin Liger at Bound For Glory. Well, that isn’t going to happen either, and they still haven’t made right by Shelley. But we, the audience, are going to get Liger and Samoa Joe. Right now, I’d take that trade-off.
Well, I’ll close off the wishful thinking part of this column…well, actually, I’m not closing it off entirely. Raw these days is complete wishful thinking, hoping that they’ll come up with a good show. And given the emphasis on what’s happening next week, I don’t expect anything from this puppy. So, let’s close out the Spike Era of Raw in the usual fashion as I attempt to find USA on my cable box…
THE SHORT FORM
Trish Stratus over Victoria, Women’s Title Match (DQ, Skank-Ho-ference): Yes, people, there are still women on the WWE roster who can wrestle, and Missus Hyatte and Missus Hevia did a wonderful job demonstrating that fact to all of us. The only problem with the match, though, was with the apres. Does anything say “blatant troll for an audience” more than a Handicap Bra-and-Panties Match? Yeah, that’s gonna be one technical tour-de-force, won’t it? And here’s another issue: Torrie’s outfit covered less flesh than Candice’s underwear, so why is Candice the one who’s embarassed?
The Big Show over Gene Snitsky, Street Fight (Pinfall, Greco-Roman kitchen sink): Well, we found out two things here: 1) TBS can wrestle a good garbage match. Snitsky, however, cannot. Too bad Rhiyno’s no longer around for TBS to pummel. 2) TBS enjoys wrestling garbage matches. That’s going to come into play if those rumors are true about using him as a “special attraction”.
Chavito over Shelton Benjamin (Pinfall, reversed suplex): See above concerning how Chavito is now officially damned. The only good that’s going to come out of this is the fact that Benjy/Nick Nemeth will probably be a pretty good match. Better than this one, that’s for certain. Dammit, Chavito, I know there’s still a wrestler in there somewhere. Let him out.
Val Venis and Viscera over Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Non-Title Match (DQ, Fun With Refs): This isn’t the way I would have played it. What Cade and Murdoch need right now are legitimate challengers. A clean victory by Team Sex Machine would have given them that cred. I mean, let’s face it, they’d have enough cred if anyone remembered that Val is a former Intercontinental champion and Viscera is a former King of the Ring, but those topics aren’t going to be brought up because Val’s reigns were during High Russo, when everyone and his dog wore the IC strap, and Vis…well, we all know about KotR ’95, and that’s not a subject to be brought up in mixed or, for that matter, any company. They needed the clean win here, and I don’t want to hear anyone bitch about Cade and Murdoch losing heat. They have no heat to lose.
Rob Conway over Nick Dinsmore (Pinfall, Ego Trip): I’m going to say this to you once more, just so you get the point. I told you when the retard angle was in the planning phases, even before Dinsmore came up, that it was a force for evil. But you didn’t listen to me. You got the retard over. You kept the retard over. Oh, yes, some of you have been saying for a while now that I was right, but none of you agreed with me at the beginning. I told you. I f*cking told you. And what has it led to? It’s led to Rob Conway, one of the best wrestlers on the roster, committing stuffed animal abuse in the ring.
You. Owe. Me. A. Fucking. Apology. All of you.
Chris Masters and Carly Colon over Shawn Michaels and John Cena, Tag Team Tables Match: Ah, the cynicism drips like a seventeen-year-old with his first case of the clap. First, there’s the cynicism of having Shawn Michaels in a Tables match in the first place. That would be enough for some, but not WWE. We then had to have the match end by Kurt Angle putting Michaels through a table; having a party not involved with the match putting a participant through the table has never counted in a Tables match, if memory serves. Then there was the reason why this match was done in the first place. Consider who’s going to make their TNA debuts on Saturday. The Tables match here was, shall we say, a preemptive strike on TNA. After all, if the last image of WWE on Spike is going to be tables, certainly TNA wouldn’t want one of their first images on Spike to be tables. Some unknowing fans would consider anything that Mark and Devon do on Impact Saturday to be a rip-off of Raw’s final Spike main. And that’s the most cynical thing of all: that WWE thinks fans are that stupid to believe in a scenario like that.
We’ve Got To Burn Up The Three Hours Some Way: First of all, classy move by Vince thanking Spike for five years of assistance in getting Raw out to an audience. Not-so-classy move by Spike bleeping out two seconds of Vince’s speech after that. Now, as to starters, Vince, Angle, and Michaels in a co-promo…that is a good thing. It’s also the last respite for us before Trip comes back next week and starts to hog the opener. And as to what it set up, let’s see, Michaels and Angle in the ring against each other for a minimum of thirty minutes…oh, yeah, I’m there. Please, please, please, no Masters, no Carly, no interference by any damn body. Just let them wrestle clean.
And The Assholishness Continues…: Random flashes of the “technical difficulties” sign, constant bleep-outs on the seven-second delay…you know, WWE isn’t going out of their way to bury Spike or Viacom. It’s just a relationship that’s ending to them. But who the hell instructed the tech crew at Spike to have an itchy trigger finger? This is not very sporting, Viacom. You still have to work with WWE for a year. Remember that little show on Fridays that’s giving UPN pretty good ratings? Don’t piss each other off. You still have a chance to make money.
You know what pisses me off the most, though? Fucking Scherer predicted this would happen earlier on Monday. Goddamnit, Spike made Milord correct. This cannot and will not stand.
KC Evers (no relation) pointed out something that I originally missed in all this flim-flam:
Kinda surprised Spike didn’t have constant messages run across the screen about NWA-TNA during McMahon’s speech.
Or throughout the entire show. Or stack TNA commercials in the show, which they really didn’t do (it was all Ultimate Fighting stuff). However, maybe they thought that the shit they did was enough. Remember, as I said, Viacom still has to work with WWE.
Anticipation: So, Smackdown gets to make a match on Raw next week. Now, Vince didn’t say anything about restricting the participants to only Smackdown wrestlers, did he? It was just that Teddy could make a match. So why not shove a high, hard one in Bisch’s face and do something that Bisch can’t do? Eight-man tag. On one side, you have Our Lord and Savior, Chocolate Christ, Latino Jesus, and High-Quality Speaker Boy. On the other…reunite Evolution for one night. Screw face/heel dynamics and turn this into an Event. Three of the four primary or secondary strap-holders involved (Cena’s already busy), and a showcase for Trip’s Genius, which will put him in a good mood. I’d do it in an instant. It’d make the night even more special by mark standards.
Memo To Edge: Shut. Up. Seventy-five percent of the audience has already gone off this angle, and thus don’t give a shit about you, Hardy, Lita, the briefcase, or the ladder. They just want the angle to end, and will be quite happy with any result next Monday, since it will end the angle for the time being. The other twenty-five percent, what I like to call “the idiots”, are already sold on this match no matter what. So, by cutting that promo, you, in effect, wasted our time.
And I thank you for letting me waste your time. I’ll be back on Sunday sometime, I believe, with the Double-Team Short Form. Yes, I could do it on Saturday, but that means going off of the Impact spoilers instead of the show. That would be wrong. And I am never wrong.