The Midnight Mystery Starring GRUT: The Grut Report

Thank you for choosing to read the Monthly Monday Melting Pot. You will not be disappointed.

This week, we will be discussing WWE’s loss of the person who should have been their next big superstar, Christian. Then we will take a look at how bungled Matt Hardy’s return has been, and if there is anything that can be done to fix it. Next we turn to Taboo Tuesday, the train wreck which received favorable reviews but bored me silly. We will focus on the job Joey Styles did as well as the job Chris Masters did. Our fourth topic concerns Batista vs. John Cena vs. Rhino and/or Jeff Jarrett: Who is the true world champion of professional wrestling? It’s definitely not Rhino, that’s for sure. Finally, we will wind down with a review of Jake the Snake Roberts new DVD. How much coke can a coke whore snort when a coke whore snorted coke? I’m willing to bet that question is answered.

Before we begin, I have some questions for you guys for next month’s column in reference to the topics I will be covering.

1. How much does Jeff Hardy have left to give to the wrestling business, and is there any reason he should give it?

2. Not being able to deny the incredible charisma of Samoa Joe, is it a mistake to have him in the X-Division and not fighting for the world title?

3. Was Jim Ross the greatest announcer of all time?

4. Wrestlers and acting: where do we draw the line? (Hint: Eye Scream Man.)

And 5. UFC versus Pro Wrestling. I became a bigger fan of the UFC this year. Will real men committing real violence be what finally destroys our pseudo sport?

CHRISTIAN LEAVES WWE TO PURSUE DREAM OF BEING RELEVANT

Make no mistake about it, letting Christian go is the biggest mistake Vince McMahon has ever made. The XFL, the WBF, the WCW invasion, and even the hiring of Scott Steiner do not compare to this monumental blunder.

WWE is currently going through a rebuilding stage, creating tomorrow’s stars today. Whereas Chris Master, John Cena, Batista, Carlito, Randy Orton and Ken Kennedy are learning how to make money while in the main event, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, when WWE was at its peak, they were doing the same thing on the undercard with Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Ken Shamrock, Edge, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Triple H, The Rock and Christian. Remember when Steve Austin fought the Undertaker, Kane and Mankind for about a year straight? The next year, The Rock and Triple H were ready to grow into their roles as company leaders for the next 5 years. Kurt Angle was soon to follow.

Most of the wrestlers I have mentioned, for one reason or the other, did not work out as top stars. Shamrock never had “it”. Chris Benoit can not cut an interview where he isn’t screaming to save his life. There is a way to fix this, but we’ll focus on that later on. Jeff Hardy lost his battle to drugs, and the simple truth of the matter is that his style is great as a special attraction, but jumping off of things people should not jump off of does not have main event gravity. Eddie Guerrorro is on the fence, featuring all of the tools he needs to make the company money as a huge star but seemingly lacking the spine. Matt Hardy I will go into more detail on shortly, but a lack of management’s faith and flat mike skills led to V-1 becoming a joke. He has been given a second chance and they are doing it to him again. Edge… hmm. Edge. Edge, who has NEVER developed a catchphrase. Edge, who has NEVER had a five star singles match. Edge, who can cut incredible interviews while NEVER saying anything memorable. Edge is apparently a main event superstar. I do not mind seeing him on television, but he should be fighting for the IC title until he comes up with something they can put on a t-shirt. Hell, Eddie was in one of the stupidest feuds of all time recently and still came away with a new t-shirt from it.

And then we come to Christian. Good matches? Check. A variety of catchphrases that could be slapped on t-shirts? Check. A SYMBOL, a giant gold C that could be merchandised like Stone Cold’s skull and Rocky’s Bull? Check. Amazing interviews? Check. CROWD REACTION! He was getting incredible crowd reaction. It had taken a better part of a decade, but by investing time and money in Christian, the result was a ready made superstar. A main eventer who could be thrown into the HHH/Cena/Michaels/Angle mix or the Batista/Orton/Undertaker/Guerrorro mix and could conceivably become the biggest star in either feud. When a company is building tomorrow’s stars today, having yesterday’s projects finally completed is an essential part of the rebuilding process. But instead, he’s gone. And what’s worse, it is completely the company’s fault.

Christian peaked as soon as he “broke up” with Trish Stratus. He and Tomko were incredible together. The crowd was reacting, the catchphrases (peeps, that’s how I roll) were flying out of his mouth and into the heads of the fans. And yet, Christian lost. He lost and lost and lost. The crowd got louder with every interview and quieter every time he laid down. He did not stop trying, he did not quit, and his interviews against John Cena were the best given in 2005. So of course he laid down cleanly for him and was then moved to the other show. They had gold in their hands and they threw it back into the river. If I did an amazing job at work, quite possibly the best job in my entire office, and then watched as I was passed up for promotion time and time again, I’d quit too.

So WWE, way to fumble the ball. Christian, I know you mentioned you have other interests, but I’m begging you to go to NWA:TNA. That is not because I want to see you crush Vince, you won’t. You’d be a welcome addition and you’d be close to home, but TNA will never compete with WWE, at least not until they get on before 11 PM. Do it because now should be your time. Now should be when you are a superstar. Now should be when you should be a champion.

THE HORRIBLE CURSE OF MATT HARDY!

That’s right. He’s cursed. The man is cursed. We all remember his first interview when he returned, first shaking Vince McMahon’s hand before explaining the whole situation and saying he’d be happy if Edge was hit by a car. Here is how it should have gone immediately following his shaking Vince’s hand and Vince leaving the ring:

“Hey, Vince? We really haven’t talked outside of contract negotiations, but I just want to let you know I can’t believe you let Johnny Ace fire me. He was trying to destroy you while my brother and I were jumping off ladders to make you money, and you let him fire me. It was the ultimate slap in the face, and I’ll never forget it. You better keep me under contract for a long time, because part of me is dying to run to the competition and make you pay for your contempt, for your short term memory. Don’t try to explain yourself or apologize. Don’t talk to me. You have a message for me, have Johnny Ace deliver it. He’s the only prick back there who had the decency to show me his contempt up front.

Now, on to Edge. I’m back, it’s because of you fans, so I assume most of you know what happened. You don’t know, ask a friend. He doesn’t know, google Matt, Lita, and Edge. Edge cost me my dream woman, my dream job, my future and made it seem like I wasted my past. I’ll destroy him for that. And if his whore gets in my way, I’ll destroy her too. They tried to kill Matt Hardy, but Matt Hardy WILL NOT DIE! You two, you should have finished the job. But hey, once Lita gets hers, she’s never one to finish the other person off. Right, Adam? Right, A.C.? He knows what I’m talking about. I’m gonna rip his throat out.

My time is almost up. I’m cutting into Vince’s son-in-law’s spitting time. I just wanted to sincerely thank you fans. I had nothing left, and then I turned on the tv and I heard your chants. I had nothing, and then I realized I had you. Well, you guys have me. Others will let you down, others have let me down, but I’ll get your back and I know you have mine. Thank you.”

And there you have it. It’s short, to the point, and it doesn’t have to be read with much emotion to cover the fact that Matt Hardy doesn’t have the greatest promo skills. It sets Matt up as anti-management (which would lead to a HHH once the Edge feud was finished), anti-Edge and Lita and pro-fans. Instead, he rambled on for what felt like 20 minutes, explaining every nuance of the situation. It was too much, it seemed as though he was acting, and maybe he was so numb to the situation at that point that he needed to act to get through it. I have a feeling he meant every word but it didn’t come out that way.

So management didn’t see him as a priority. He jobbed to Snitsky, to Conway, and over and over to Edge. He got one win in the entire feud, and now he’s on Smackdown in the middle of the Raw/Smackdown war, or as I like to call it, mid-card hell. It looked like he’d be working with Christian, but that’s not going to happen. He’s talking about Internet fans like they’re his gimmick now. The whole thing has gone sour quickly, and yet it can be fixed rather easily.

Matt comes out next week on Smackdown for some kind of tag team match involving Holly, JBL, Ken Kennedy (I assume Christian’s replacement in the 5 on 5 feud) himself and Mysterio. After the match, Teddy Long comes out to tell them that they are the five people who will represent Smackdown at the Survivor Series. All of them are pretty excited, except for Matt for some reason. He takes the microphone.

“Why? Hmm? We beat them at Taboo Tuesday, we beat them on their turf. I’m finished with Edge, I’m finished with Lita, I’m finished with Johnny Ace. I came back for the fans, and they rewarded me with the most votes at Taboo Tuesday. They want to see Matt Hardy represent them as world champion. I’m finished screwing around here, Teddy. Management has never been on my side, and I see no proof that you’re not the same way. Either this match has something to do with me getting a world title shot, or maybe you can get Simon Dean to take my place. Up to you.”

This, of course, gets all of the Smackdown wrestlers talking, and now they all want title shots for taking part in the match. The next week, Teddy Long reveals that whoever eliminates a RAW wrestler during the match gets him or herself a title shot. This immediately elevates everyone involved to world title contention status, sets up feuds for Batista from now until the February PPV and the build up to Wrestlemania. Matt Hardy unfortunately does not have enough credibility to launch himself to the next level, the level he was at upon his return, but he has enough credibility to pin Snitsky at the PPV and get a title shot. He can still play the anti-authority figure. I honestly hope it’s not too late. I’m a huge fan of his.

TABOO TUESDAY SUCKED

Positives

Joey Styles on commentary was brilliant. I thought it was the biggest mistake WWE could have made, and I was dead wrong. Joey Styles is a fan first, and I believed that would lead to him shitting all over the product, which was crap that night. Instead, Joey Styles brought up history, he brought up old injuries, he spoke about the matches like the small details would actually have an impact on the result of the match. So many times I’ve watched wrestling and felt like I was being talked to like a child, like a fool who would swallow whatever tripe was being fed to me. Joey talked to me like I was a wrestling fan. I’ve been a fan for a long time and I didn’t recognize all of his references, but he didn’t dumb it down. I’d rather go “huh” for three seconds than hear another southern cliché.

The girls looked amazing, and Maria is an invaluable part of the broadcast in my estimation. I can’t remember the last time someone came in with so little to offer besides a hot body and responded by growing perfectly into her role. Wait, yes I can. Trish Stratus. Maria plays her dumb blonde character so well that she should win a slammy or whatever the hell it is. Also, she’s incredibly beautiful. An amazing talent and an amazing woman who made me pop wood and laugh in the same PPV. Good on her.

Ric Flair winning. I had a feeling Hunter would be willing to do it for his hero and to continue the feud, but I was so happy to see Ric Flair getting a big win in the near main event of a PPV. Match was pretty good too.

Negatives

The main event. Maybe I’m off here, but I thought it was just standard fare. In addition, you should not be able to tell who’s going to win thanks to a pre-match interview. The “Benoit Formula”, and this may be only the second time it has been used, but it is now the most predictable formula for a triple threat match in all of wrestling. I said during the match, “We all know who’s going to win, right?” And everyone said, “Yeah, Cena.” Granted, I was in smark heaven, but with Angle and Michaels involved you expect something original. It got great reviews, but I didn’t dig it.

The entire undercard. Snitsky filling in for Edge. What, Shelton Benjamin is too black? God forbid an actual wrestler we’d pay to see got that nod. Masters lying down while pale, flabby Snitsky was on the outside? What’s the point? Mick Foley embarrassed himself out there, and I honestly don’t blame him. Why is Carlito badly doing the Mick Foley/Randy Orton feud while Rob Conway is badly doing the legend killer Orton feud? And that match, yeah, great, Eugene and Snuka versus Tomko and Conway. I would NEVER pay to see that match, and that’s exactly what they were asking me to do. If it weren’t for Joey’s commentary during the tag title match, it would have been the same match we saw on Raw with a little more Kane beat down. Crap, all of it. A waste of life.

The stipulations we could vote on. Besides getting to see the Divas in lingerie, the choices were all meaningless. The only one that was not forced down our throats by WWE was which legend should be with Eugene, and the fans couldn’t even give me my Hacksaw fix. Jerks. Last year the voting was unpredictable in more than one case and at least produced Benjamin/Jericho. Nothing came from this voting that WWE did not want, and calling it interactive and pretending the fans mattered was an insult. Feel free to load up any PPV you want with this crap, but don’t turn around and tell me it’s my fault.

So I hated the hell out of this PPV. WWE told the fans to ‘pick A’ for the past few weeks, and then when the choice was made, “OH MY GOD! IT’S A!” Actually, that’s not completely fair. Styles never said that. He never treated us like fools. I liked the way he’d allow silence for periods of time. Shocked the hell out of Lawler.

Who is the real heavyweight champion? Hint: It’s not Rhino.

Three choices unless you count Bryan Danielson, and I do not. We have John Cena, Batista and Jeff Jarrett. With these are our choices, I am proud to declare that Batista is the true heavyweight champion. That’s right, Batista. No rapping, no guitar, good mike skills in a good feud with Eddie. He wins. That was quicker than I thought.

Jake Roberts Loves Coke

Jake Robert’s DVD is the best one on the market. It is absolutely incredible. Jam packed with matches that do not follow the same formula like Ric Flair’s DVD and most likely like Bret Hart’s DVD, and showcasing the tragic life story of a man who does battle with and loses to his demons, Pick Your Poison is a must have for any wrestling fan. You want to know the most amazing part of it all? The promos. I was watching the promos he did with Warrior, the infamous Warrior goes to the dark side promos, and while Warrior was horrible and his dialogue turned the whole thing into a huge joke, Jake was even brilliant there. Everything that Roberts said was chilling, calculated, and my God was the Junkyard Dog a racist character. I want to transcribe the JYD snake pit, if I may.

Jake: Well, come on out, Junk Yard Dog. Look what I brought for you, my man. Motions to Damien Huh, what do you think of this? Isn’t this nice? Awkward pause. What’s the chain for, anyway?

JYD: My momma didn’t raise no fool. I bought this fo Daymeon.

Jake: Hey. Now I know your people are superstitious and I know that you might be afraid of “ghost”, but the snake, come on my man. You know, when I think of the Junk Yard Dog, I think of a man, that if he was arrested, and tried by a jury and a judge and sentenced to die to be for a great wrestler, they would have convicted an innocent man.

JYD: And by the same token, if they took yo brain, and weaved it into cotton, a for knitten, they wouldn’ta had enough to make a natta boot.

Jake: Let me tell you something right now brother…

JYD: What?

Jake: If we ever meet in the ring, you make sure to bring that silly music, and you bring the words too, because I tell you something, I’m gonna make you sing.

JYD: You don’t make me do nothing. Only two things I’m gonna be made to do, and that’s stay black and die.

Jake: Let me say this. Jake motions to the snake Do you respect the snake?

JYD: I gotta respect, I’m gonna lay im to rest, so my man, JYD points towards the sky and convulses twice good man above, JC, won’t have Damien He pronounced it correctly this time and you on dis earth to be messing with.

Jake: Just remember, I’m the one your mother always told you about.

God almighty. Talk about racism. It wasn’t even hidden, and I was cheering for it.

Anyway, great DVD. Jake Roberts might be unreliable, he might be constantly high as a kite. Could you imagine if a promo man of his caliber was speaking for Chris Benoit, or even just writing promos for Chris Benoit. Chris Benoit is the type of wrestler who should NEVER scream, and his promos are all based around his getting furious and screaming. He should be 100% intensity in the ring, completely calm and cool outside of it. Chris Benoit with Jake Roberts promos would make millions for the company. I wish Vince would lock the two of them in a room for a day and see the results when Chris emerged, snuffed out of his mind and delivering the best promos of his career. Jake could have also saved Sean O’Haire’s character. Jake could be invaluable on the promo writing team, and here’s hoping some higher up realizes this. You don’t need to bring him on the road, he can do the job from home, but just have him do it.

Next month: Samoa Joe: The real future of wrestling? UFC vs. WWE. We cover the big news stories of December. Plus, what happens when Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels bump into each other when they’re both officially legends?

Your letters are always appreciated, and if you happen to know anyone looking for an apartment to buy or rent in Manhattan, let me know and I can take care of you. Have a good month, see you all soon.