The Anti-Pulse

ENTRANCE SPIEL:

Riiiiight…

As a wrestling fan there are a few times when the only appropriate thing to do is look back on the week-that-was and think, with an appropriate lack of eloquence, “Wait, what the f*ck was that all about?” Not in a hugely negative way as with something like Over The Edge ’99, but in a bemused, detached way as with something like David Arquette: WCW World Heavyweight Champion. This was definitely one of those weeks. Okay, so WWE might not have become crazy enough to make some B-movie actor into their champion but, with Taboo Tuesday collapsing around their ears, they still managed to repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot whilst asking the fan to pay for the privilege of watching it happen. People quite rightly criticised TNA for the panic booking that ruined Bound For Glory, but Kevin Nash’s poor heart and unsteady Ultimate X construction are nowhere near as bad as the terrible booking, overbearing company policy, foolhardy business planning and complete and utter disconnection from their own fanbase that WWE (specifically the Raw brand) has been suffering from this past month. The worst part is that they genuinely do not appear to realise that something is not quite right with their product.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here. There’s plenty of ranting about Taboo Tuesday, Christian, TNA, Austin, the McMahons and the two lardos disguised as Goldust and Vader down below. Don’t worry though, it’s not all negative. Hell, I couldn’t be happier about Christian’s situation!


TOP 5 POST-INVASION WWE MATCHES:

1. Triple H vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels [WrestleMania XX]
2. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit [Royal Rumble 2003]
3. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle [WrestleMania XXI]
4. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit vs. Edge & Rey Mysterio [No Mercy 2002]
5. Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar [No Way Out 2004]


WWE TABOO TUESDAY 2005: AFTERMATH

“Canadians Are Above This Sort Of Nonsense” Match:
Rey Mysterio & Matt Hardy vs. Chris Masters & Gene Snitsky

Matt Hardy better put down the steroids (legal disclaimer: wrestlers do not take steroids) and stop doing all of that lame Kliq-style pointing because with his hair and gormless facial expressions he just looks like Scott Hall circa 1998. If you think that’s bad, just stop and realise that seven more years have passed and an infinite number of chemicals have passed through Scott Hall and picture just how bad he must look now. I’d throw in a legal disclaimer for that too but, really, there’s no need. Anyway, this opener set the tone for the rest of the show perfectly in having yet another change to the line-up. This one was out of their hands to a certain degree due to Edge’s recent injury. Those of us that have been paying attention, however, will be left wondering exactly how Edge continues to be put into such a prominent slot on the card when he keeps getting injured so much. They wound up pulling Lita out of the Women’s Division altogether after she turned into the ‘Kiss of Death’ (cheers, Trish) but Edge can’t use her curse as an excuse because this stuff has been going on for years now. It’s almost as though making a career out of jumping off ladders has some sort of long-term repercussion… Still, he’ll no doubt be a part of Team Raw come the Survivor Series, still has at least one PPV main event by virtue of his magic briefcase (probably New Year’s Revolution – a nothing stipulation for a nothing show seems appropriate) and will probably be put into another high-profile program after that. Usually WWE management does not look kindly on wrestlers who have a history of bad luck with injuries unless they are already established as proven draws, a term that nobody could possibly try to apply to Edge. They seem to be persisting with Edge for some reason, despite being incredibly hokey on the mic and thoroughly basic in the ring. It’s been seven years and still the fans cannot buy him as a legitimate world title contender. With neither the personality nor the athleticism to get them to change their minds (not to mention his unpredictable health) it seems incredibly futile for them to continue this charade much longer. As for his little pre-match speech… well, I don’t know how serious his injury is but he was healthy enough to get to the arena and go on-air so surely it isn’t too much to ask for him to take a little beating from Matt Hardy to keep that thing going. A little Matt attack before the bell rings sends Edge scampering to the back like a cowardly heel. Teddy Long appears to accept the default victory for Smackdown. Eric Bischoff counters and then brings out Snitsky as a replacement. The match goes ahead as planned (at the last-minute) and ends in the same result. Personally, I think that would have played a lot better than Edge’s little “f*ck this, I’m going to take my pay-cheque home and get my dick sucked for a week” speech.

Oh, and kudos to Hardy and Mysterio for making the actual match itself rather pleasant. They make a pretty good team.

“At Least There Were No Coconuts” Match:
Eugene & Jimmy Snuka vs. Rob Conway & Tyson Tomko

Well, that surely was some sort of a thing.

“Fuck You, Austin” Match:
Mankind vs. Carlito

Another wrestling chat with Ross Williams threw up a rather disturbing idea – what if, given the results here and in the previous match; they are building up to a Survivor Series match between the legends and the young heels? Theoretically, they could have Mick Foley, Eugene, Jimmy Snuka, Jim Duggan and Kamala on one side and Carlito, Rob Conway, Tyson Tomko, Chris Masters and Gene Snitsky on the other. Quite a scary thought, isn’t it? It’s even scarier to think that given the company’s recent form it would make for a perfectly plausible bit of booking, shite as it would be. The result of this match was utterly bizarre. My theory is that Foley was originally scheduled to lose but after Austin made such a fuss about losing his match they changed this one to a Foley victory. Trying to further anger Austin by giving preferential treatment to another semi-retired superstar is such a pointless and petty exercise that it seems to be the exact sort of thing Vince would do. There’s certainly no other reason for the result other than building up to a decisive Carlito victory in a rematch, which brings me back to that dreaded Survivor Series theory, which makes me go rapidly through the anger stage and out the other side, where I’m just exceptionally tired and everyone else is speaking German and Ben Affleck is President of the Universe inside a clown suit. Hey, it’s my mind and I have to live with it. Anyway, Foley was clearly half-assing it here, which is in keeping with his half-assed form ever since he dragged his whole ass back into WWE at the Raw Homecoming show. Everything from his appearance on the Cabana, to his various in-character promos, to his random backstage skits to this match has been stale, uncreative and tiresome. I certainly don’t enjoy criticising Foley, he’s one of the most entertaining wrestlers I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch, but it’s clear that he just isn’t feeling it right now. Maybe he just wanted to turn up to try and shift some more copies of his book. Maybe he’s having some sort of mid-life crisis and is desperately trying to recapture his glory days without the spark of desire that he had back then. Whatever the reason is, when it is this apparent the fans notice it and they’re left as rampantly apathetic as the crowd at Taboo Tuesday was. The silence that greeted his patented cheap-pop in the Maria skit was shamefully embarrassing but entirely justifiable. It’ll take a hell of a lot for the fans to actually turn on Mick. They still want to cheer him and he still wants to please them but there’s something in the way, yeah, mmm… I would suggest that Mick has a long hard think about what he really wants before mounting another comeback.

Highly Prestigious World Tag Team Titles Match:
Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs. Kane & Big Show

My, Kane sure seemed happy after this one. We’re either going to see the start of Super Fun Happy Kane or his back injury has put him on some tremendously enjoyable painkillers. There’s nothing quite like ’em. Credit must go to Big Red for working through his injury (pay attention, Mr. Copeland) but that’s the only possible positive from this match. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – tag team wrestling is not essential to a wrestling show. If they feel they don’t have the ability to introduce and promote three or four reasonably capable tag teams on Raw then they simply don’t need to keep up this charade of having the titles around. Unfortunately, it’s the Raw version of the belts that has the lineage dating back to 1971 while the Smackdown version only started in 2002, so they are unlikely to kill off the Raw version due to their baffling, pick-and-mix sense of tradition. This means we’re stuck with perennial jobbers the Heart Throbs and the emphatically boring Cade/Murdoch combo as the only real teams on Raw. I haven’t seen them do a great deal with Val Venis and Viscera lately, but since Triple H kindly beat the crap out of the latter in less than thirty seconds it will be quite the stretch for anybody to care about them. The rumoured Tomko/Dupree team was scuppered after Dupree’s injury and was seemingly going to become Tomko/Snitsky, though not a lot has happened with that yet. The Big Show and Kane are left ruling over this sad little roster with nowhere to go other than to start fighting with each other, probably dropping the titles by some fluke loss to another random pairing. If only there was some way to salvage the situation. If only some under-used talent like Shelton Benjamin could be paired with another great wrestler to breathe new life into the tag division. If only we could find a partner for Benjamin… nope, can’t think of anybody… surely they wouldn’t have been silly enough to have let a suitable partner for him go… would they?

“Seriously Austin, Fuuuuuuuuuck Youuuuuuuu” Street Fight:
DAVE vs. Coach/Goldust/Vader

For those who continue to doubt that Smackdown is the better WWE product at the moment (and has been for quite some time) then just take a good look at this match. Raw managed to give more attention to a feud between the retired Austin, the non-wrestling McMahons and a couple of announcers than they even gave to the WWE Championship in the past month. After Austin pulled out they had to turn to the Smackdown roster to find a suitable replacement because anybody they could have found on Raw would have been as big a let down as Savio Vega was on the inaugural No Way Out show. Had they not chosen to put such a big focus on non-wrestlers or retired wrestlers, not chosen to give so much air-time to wrestlers that are failing to get any kind of substantial reaction from the crowds, and not chosen to continually overlook or misuse talented wrestlers like Benjamin, Tajiri, Chavo, Dinsmore, etc., then maybe Raw would be capable of standing on it’s own two feet. It sure is telling that all of this Raw vs. Smackdown nonsense feels like a necessary addition to Raw and an unnecessary distraction on Smackdown. Screw recombining the rosters, they should just recombine the damn writing teams so at least some good ideas could seep through to the two shows rather than just the one. By the way, I wouldn’t have been so harsh on them had they just left this as DAVE coming out, beating the crap out of Coach for a couple of minutes, posing for the housewives and then sauntering off backstage. The fact that they actually thought adding Goldust and Vader to this would make it any better shows a staggering lack of intelligence. I am honestly scared that one of these bookers will do themselves serious harm when they try and dress themselves in the morning. Vader hasn’t been relevant since 1994, which is before the casual Attitude audience they are desperately courting even started watching. At best, those people would have vague memories of him threatening some TV host in Kuwait. Goldust lost any semblance of credibility when they effectively raped the character in 1997. Okay, yes, he had an enjoyable stint with Booker T a few years ago but, a) Booker is on Smackdown so if they have to bring back Dusty’s son then they should have done it there and tied it into the Sharmell storyline and, b) there is no reason whatsoever for Coach to want to bring back a theatrical sexual deviant in order to try and beat either Austin or Batista. By this point Mr. Sense has been released by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., who wish him all the best in his future endeavours, and he is just sitting in the dark corner of a seedy bar trying to kill his pain with cheap whiskey while Johnny Cash rules the jukebox. I would offer up more suitable replacements for them but really, any fantasy booking should be chiefly concerned with not doing this idiotic storyline in the first place.

Women’s Title Lingerie Battle Royal:
Trish “Wonder Woman” Stratus and various associated skanks…


Mmm… lasso…

This was actually better than it had any right to be considering there were three non-wrestlers involved (and not just because of the lingerie). Does that speak highly of the Divas or speak poorly of the rest of the roster? Answer carefully…

Intercontinental Title (Apparently) Cage Match:
Ric Flair vs. Triple H

This was a good match, pure and simple. There seems to be a lot of people overrating this one, which I suppose is understandable. Sitting through the rest of this card and then getting a good Cage Match is like sitting through Titanic to keep her happy and then getting an adequate blowjob afterwards. Sure the end result was fairly pleasing, but it probably wasn’t really worth the wait. Then again, there also seems to be a growing tendency to overrate anything remotely not bad that involves Flair these days. Let’s face it, we’re like the diehard fans of some over-the-hill metal band, insisting that the new material is just as good as the old classics even though it won’t chart anywhere outside of Lithuania. It’s fair enough really. With everything that Flair has given us for the past thirty-odd years, he has more than earned our unwavering respect. In comparison to where the rest of the people who were on top with him in the NWA back in the ’80s are today, the gulf in quality today is bigger than it ever was back then. Of course, most of the rest of them are either retired or dead so it’s probably not a particularly fair comparison. It could make for an interesting marketing slogan though – “Ric Flair: Buy The DVD Before He’s Dead!” Anyway, yes, a good match but not a MOTYC when put up against the likes of Angle/Benjamin or Styles/Daniels/Joe. Hell, I even preferred the Edge/Hardy Cage Match – and seriously, it pains me to say that. Still, it’s not a ‘great’ match when one of the competitors has a moveset that is limited to chopping and touching his opponent’s crotch, it’s not a ‘great’ match when blading is an essential part of the story rather than a striking supplement, it’s not a ‘great’ match when only one of the competitors bothers to sell the effects of the extended application of the figure-four leg-lock, and it’s not a ‘great’ match for me when my mind kept wandering to the Flair/Race Cage Match at Starrcade ’83 instead of focusing on this one. That’s obviously what they were going for and they do deserve credit for a good effort, but let’s not go crazy here. In saying that however, it felt like a great match and at least gave the impression of being one. That’s what the mere presence of Ric Flair can do for us nowadays. I also have to give credit to Joey Styles for his work during this one. I’ve never been a big fan of him (mainly for the simple reason of his voice irritating me) and knowing what we do about him I certainly couldn’t buy him being remotely interested in any of the other crap on this show, but he too is in awe of the Flair legend and his subsequent commentary really helped create the aura of greatness for the match. The only major complaint here is the continued subjugation of the Intercontinental Title. This feud will surely continue and if neither man needs nor wants the belt to further it then Flair should drop it as soon as possible. The sensible thing to have done would have been for him lose it to Carlito the night before this, which would then also have let Carlito defeat Foley in a title match. Really, I can understand the Tag Team and Women’s titles being treated badly considering the lack of genuine contenders to them (even though that is management’s fault too) but there are numerous options for the Intercontinental belt. Flair got his victory and gave us all a wonderful moment at Unforgiven, but he’s moved on now and it’s time the title did too.

WWE Championship Triple Threat:
John Cena vs. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

Speaking of titles moving on, how much longer does Operation: Chin have to continue? How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man? How many arenas must the babyface champion be booed in before they finally turn him heel? Seriously, the next time Raw comes to MSG it is not going to be a pretty sight when Cena turns up. Well, I’ll enjoy it at least. It will bring back wonderful memories of Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series ’96. Those of you who haven’t seen that show really need to track it down because the main event is the most unintentionally hilarious ‘headline’ match outside of Lesnar/Goldberg. Of course, the problem with turning Cena would be that it leaves Shawn Michaels and Big Show as the only major faces on Raw. Oh, and Kane too, I guess… he’s meant to be a face this week, right? I forget. Anyway, it’s still slim pickings. Perhaps if they hadn’t sent Matt Hardy off to Smackdown then he could have at least tried to accomplish something in the main event. And perhaps if they hadn’t booked Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho so poorly in the past then they could return and believably stand a chance at winning the title rather than the only believable non-Triple H champions being the two future cripples that Cena faced here. The sad part is that Cena’s character is actually enjoyable as a heel (or at least not quite so annoying) but a lack of opponents would still make his title reign farcical. Just compare him to Batista and it’s obvious who the man is and who the boy is. Dave does what he does and he does it well. Cena does what he can’t and he does it badly. Seriously, in ten years time you will all look back at this and wonder what all the fuss was about. The boy is a pog.


TOP 5 LONGEST-REIGNING INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONS:

1. The Honky Tonk Man [454 days]
2. Pedro Morales [425 days]
3. Randy Savage [414 days]
4. Don Muraco [385 days]
5. Greg Valentine [285 days]


ANTI-NEWS:

“What do atheists scream when they come?”

As you all know by now, CHRISTIAN told WWE that he would not be signing a new contract with the company. His old contract ran out last week and the new one they offered him would have meant a substantial drop in salary and this, combined with his general malaise about his prospects in WWE since his move to Smackdown, was enough to convince him to leave instead. He did make scheduled appearances on Raw and Taboo Tuesday this week whilst out-of-contract however, which shows his professionalism and his respect for the company that had employed him for about eight years. The general reaction online has been to rant and rave at Vince McMahon and WWE for letting such a talented performer go rather than using him more effectively in the upper mid-card, which is missing the point entirely because this is the best thing for Christian right now. Let’s be honest here, the way things were going there was no chance of him getting moved back up the card anytime soon. Smackdown already has Batista, Guerrero, Orton, Undertaker, JBL, Benoit, Booker, Mysterio and Hardy higher in the pecking order than the former Captain Charisma, while youngsters like Kennedy or Lashley are more likely to be granted some upward mobility than he was. At some vague point in the future, if this set-up was damaged by injuries or other unforeseen circumstances, then maybe he would have been able to get a little one-month program with the champion or something. However, for that to happen he would need to consistently show the same quality performances that he was showing on Raw at the start of the year. With his disillusionment about the company becoming more-and-more apparent each week it’s clear that he wasn’t going to be able to do that.

Now he’s putting his own happiness before his job and going off to do his own thing before it’s too late, and for that he deserves some serious respect. Some people seem to think that this is the end of his career altogether, which just goes to show that there are people out there who have been effectively brainwashed into thinking that if a wrestler is not in WWE then he’s a failure. Some might prefer to be in WWE (James Gibson keeps harping on about it in recent interviews) and that’s fine, but those that would prefer to have a bit more creative flexibility and the chance to place a greater emphasis on the sports side of sports-entertainment probably prefer to be in TNA or ROH or elsewhere and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Hell, if you had trained your whole life to be a wrestler and had successfully managed to build a genuine rapport with the fans and you were stuck interviewing Stacy Keibler over a tabloid news item about her making out with Jennifer Aniston’s boyfriend, would you not be more than a little jaded? Instead, Christian (or whatever legally cleared moniker he uses) will be free to go to TNA and see if he is capable of being a major main-event name. Sure, it will be on a smaller stage and will still require a drop in salary. However, they do have TV exposure and working a fewer number of dates for the company means he can still top up his wages with work elsewhere. Plus, the guy already lives in Florida so his travel costs would be drastically reduced. All in all, it should lead to a happier and more motivated Christian, which would be reflected in his work for the benefit of all us selfish wrestling fans.

The fun doesn’t stop there, however. It’s recently come to light that none other than CHRIS BENOIT is facing a similar situation to Christian. His current contract expires in January and the new one they are offering him is said to be for a far lower salary (according to some reports, it’s half what he currently gets). I’m having a hard time believing that WWE would deliberately try to force somebody as popular and as well-known as Benoit out the door. Despite not really doing anything outstanding the past year, his performances are consistently great and the fans have responded. Only Undertaker and Batista get noticeably better pops than Benoit, who is probably on the same level as Mysterio and Hardy. Plus which, they could slot him into absolutely any level on the card and he would be an immediate fit. They could start a program between him and DAVE on the very next show and people would buy into it. They could have him feuding with the midgets and it would still be worth watching. Not offering him a more reasonable contract in light of Christian’s reaction is incredibly short-sighted. TNA would collectively shit a gold brick if they could sign a former WCW and WWE World Heavyweight Champion, let alone one that is still putting on great matches, let alone one that made Triple H tap out in front of millions of people all around the world. Fuck, I would shit several gold bricks like a diarrheic alchemist if I could watch Chris Benoit vs. Samoa Joe.

Let’s all take a moment to imagine just how good such a match would be…

Nope, it’d be better than that.

Well, almost…

Okay, I was going to write something about Paul Heyman possibly winding up in TNA too but the combination of Scarlett’s magic boobies and the greatest match we’ll hopefully see has me too excited to give a f*ck about some greasy fat guy in a baseball cap. Instead, I’m going to just go and have some badly needed bathroom time.

To be continued.

***

“I can’t watch TV longer than 5 minutes without praying for nuclear holocaust.”

Okay, I’m better now.

The first-ever TNA PRIME-TIME SPECIAL aired on Spike TV this week. Some quick thoughts…

– That was a great little wrestler/audience moment in the Monty Brown squash.

– Joe screaming in Styles’ face was the greatest damn thing he’s done in TNA so far.

– That six-man tag received near unanimous praise from the fans, the fans start clamouring for some X-Division Survivor Series action; and TNA goes ahead and books Daniels/Joe/Shelley/Strong vs. Sabin/Bentley/Dutt/Aries under elimination rules for Genesis. Ta very much.

– Team 3D looked very old and tired out there. The match would have been awful had Team Canada not worked so hard.

– Blimey, Rhino got a great pop… oh, well…

– We could be lucky and Jarrett could take his HHH fixation so far that he tears his quad and leaves the show alone for a year.

All in all the show was pretty good. It was a real sugar-rush that instantly felt more exciting than Raw or Smackdown, both of which became formulaic a very long time ago, but the constant adrenaline shots could be quite grating for a lot of fans. They don’t have to turn it down so much that the show blends in with the WWE standard and doesn’t stand out, but they don’t need to keep it up at 11 for the whole show either. Sometimes a good solid 7 or 8 is just what’s needed. That was one hell of a mixed metaphor. In fact, I’m not really sure what it was a metaphor for so feel free to use your imagination. Anyway, the initial rating for the show has it at a 0.9, which is more or less equal to the ratings that Impact has been getting on it’s late-night Saturday slot. Lots of people seem to be pointing at this rating and laughing heartily but, well, lots of people seemingly have an IQ that is outnumbered by Police Academy movies. There is no point in judging TNA ratings by the same standard used for WWE ratings, or for the old WCW ratings, or even for ECW ratings. This is a different product in a different age with different stars. They are emphatically not in competition with WWE for the same reason that Wales is not about to invade England. They are billing themselves as an alternative, which is exactly the right way to go. When the non-fanatical fans aren’t even interested in tuning into the main wrestling product however, the chances of them turning into an alternative one are very low indeed. All that TNA can do is to keep putting on the best shows that they can and hope that word-of-mouth and whatever marketing they and Spike TV can muster will slowly begin to draw in some more viewers. Of course, the presence of a long-term booking strategy that isn’t going to be thrown out and hastily replaced at the drop of a hat due to any unexpected developments (Spike TV, Kevin Nash, etc.) would help too. Paul Heyman could possibly be the man to help in that regard, but that’s a whole other rant. The most important thing however, is to not radically overhaul their style to try and get some WWE fans to watch. Just keep doing what you’re doing as well as you can and see what happens. Hell, the Monday replay of Impact drew its highest rating yet this week, which is yet another small victory for the company. Spike TV obviously have faith in the venture, since they’ve given TNA two more prime-time specials. The first will be at 10pm on Thursday 8th December, with the second kicking off at 8pm on Hogmanay. That one will be on for an hour and then come back for a half-hour at midnight to show the first wrestling match of 2006. If they do anything more than a 0.1 rating for that match then I will be so surprised that I will raise my eyebrows. Yes, that’s right – both of them.

***

“Are there actually women in the world who do not like to give blowjobs?”

Continuing with the vaguely impressed TNA theme to the news this week, JACKIE GAYDA recently signed with the company. Her WWE stint was largely forgettable apart from the one wardrobe malfunction and getting most of the blame for one of the worst wrestling matches to have ever been on Raw (Gayda/Nowinski vs. Stratus/Bradshaw, 10.07.02). She did improve slightly after moving to Smackdown though, mostly by not wrestling and just hanging out in Rico and Charlie Haas’ corner. Since there thankfully isn’t a women’s division in TNA (yet) she should make a perfectly good addition to the roster, just like Gail Kim. The real intrigue here is whether or not her husband Haas is going to join her in TNA or not. The schedule on his website looks strangely sparse, with only two appearances for 1PW in January listed. Gayda also made some cryptic comments in the TNA press release about a “certain situation” that she was going to talk about soon. Make of this what you will.

***

“Fuck you, f*ck America. Fuck everybody. Go Saddam. Nuke everybody and f*ck off.”

At the start of the week the rumour mill said that TORRIE WILSON had been released from WWE. She was taken out of the Taboo Tuesday Divas match and replaced by… um… someone I can’t remember. Then it turned out that she was in fact still with the company and had just taken some time off to deal with ‘personal issues’ involving a family member. Hope all is well, blah, blah, blah, still don’t care. Seriously, she’s been in the business since 1999 and she’s married to a wrestler yet she still can’t do a damn thing properly in the ring?

***

“I don’t mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that’s how it comes out.”

JOEY STYLES turned up to do play-by-play at Taboo Tuesday for what he said was a one-night-only deal but, much like ECW returning to PPV in 2006, he will be sticking around for a little while at least. The current plan has him working the next two Raw tapings while WWE management decides if they want to make him a permanent replacement for JR and Styles decides if he likes the look of that petulant WWE contract offer. As I mentioned above, I’ve never been a huge fan of Styles but if it came down to listening to his screeching or suffering The Coach attempting play-by-play then I would go with the screech. I would also pick him over a returning JR or a brand-hopping Michael Cole. The cowboy simply no longer has what it takes to be the voice of the company’s flagship show, while the gaylord has a good rapport with Tazz that helps make even the weaker moments of Smackdown ever-so-slightly more tolerable. Their choices are limited but Styles probably is the best person for the job at the moment. What this means for the future of 1Wrestling.com is a debate best left for people who give a shit about that site, i.e. not me. Now all they need to do is ditch Lawler altogether and just leave it as Styles and Coach.


TOP 5 ALAN MOORE COMICS:

1. V for Vendetta
2. Watchmen
3. Superman: The Man of Tomorrow
4. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen II
5. The Ballad of Halo Jones


EXIT SPIEL:

MUHAMMAD ALI has only a few months to live, according to this article. Somehow Vince has heard this news and is probably considering the benefits of Ali’s posthumous induction into the ‘celebrity wing’ of the Hall of Fame next year. This is why Ali is eternally beautiful and Vince is forever ugly.

IAIN BURNSIDE reviews the first issue of the new Transformers comic book series, which contains no mechanoid nudity whatsoever.

KEVIN G. BUFTON remains thoroughly not nude as he shoves it in Steve Austin’s face.

DANI is a girl and she reads comic books, thus disrupting my belief system.

JEREMY LAMBERT has some more bits on TNA.

DAVID BRASHEAR takes a quick peep at Booker T’s short-lived voodoo phase.

BAMBI WEAVIL is exceptionally generous to Taboo Tuesday.

J.D. SPEICH wants the return of the Elimination Chamber but I want to go to the bathroom again so the column ends here.

AIM: KingKongBurnside

Iain Burnside is currently remembering to wash his hands…