Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc., 11.29.05

At first we feverishly wanted to be heard. But when we say that they were not fooling with us; that they demanded silence and inaction from us; that our talent and intelligence were doomed to grow torpid and rot at the bottom of our souls; that any bright thought was a crime against the social order, when, in a word, we were told that educated people were pariahs in our society; and that a soldier’s discipline was considered the only principle; then, our entire young generation became morally depleted. – Alexander Nikitenko

Amazing how much the Russia of Nicholas I resembles the America of George II, doesn’t it?

Another Sunday, another Bears win…I could get to like this, you know.

I told this to Nick over in Sports: sometime near the beginning of October, some kind of weird celestial configuration formed, and its only apparent effect is on Chicago sports teams. Look at the evidence. First the Sox win the World Series. Then the Bears start going on a tear, seven games and counting. The Bulls are even winning games on the circus road trip, which they haven’t done since MJ was still there (and one of those wins was against Phil and the Lakers). You have to reach for the cosmic to explain this. I can’t think of any other reason.

But it all comes to naught if the Bears can’t make it eight in a row. That’s because The Game is coming up this weekend. Yes, The Game. For those of you with no clue, let me give you a wrestling-related hint: “KENNEDY!…KENNEDY!”. Now do you know who the Bears play on Sunday?

It’s one of the weirdest rivalries in sports, and doesn’t get the recognition that Yankers/Dead Sux does for two reasons: 1) We’re not on the East Coast. 2) Both teams are rarely good at the same time. That, of course, is the case this year. But that just provides extra emphasis toward winning. The Bears want revenge for the fact that the FudgePackers have made them their bitch for so many years. The FudgePackers know that people in Green Bay won’t give a shit about them stinking up the joint every week if the team comes out with wins on Sunday and on Christmas (and the old canard is true; we Bears fans don’t give a shit if the team finishes 2-14 if the two wins are against you-know-who, and the converse is true as well). Both teams need this win, not for this season, not for any other season, but for personal, private reasons that have everything to do with two legendary, ancient franchises who share the western coastline of Lake Michigan. It’s beyond record or every other reason. The moments in the rivalry have become shorthand; mention to any Bears fan the words “Charles Martin” or “The Don Majkowski Game”, and you can see the bile rise and you know it’s time to duck. It’s Texas/Oklahoma or Alabama/Auburn or Celtic/Rangers, only without religious or white-trash implications…well, without the white-trash stuff on one side, at least. After all, the University of Green Bay doesn’t have over sixty Nobel winners.

(That being said, the last time I was in Chicago…you remember that trip, the one where I eventually made it home after the tranny on the Damn Vaninator blew up…I was able to make it down to the University in order to replace the T-shirts that I still have since I graduated nineteen years ago and have since turned into tissue paper. Imagine my surprise when I found that they sold the bookstore’s rights to Barnes and Noble and Starbucks. Oh, could I have used some Starbucks quad-shot lattes back in the day. But my immediate thought, after popping $75 on a couple T-shirts and a sweatshirt, was “If they’re selling rights to the bookstore to big corporations, why do I get two pieces of mail a month asking me for money?”)

(Of course, I am free to provide any anecdote concerning The University of Chicago inside material dealing with the Bears for one reason: the Midway (as in “Monsters of the…”) is on the U of C campus.)

So, what was I talking about? Oh, yes, Sunday. There’s extra added impetus for the Bears in defeating the bugbear known as history. Every year since 1991, they’ve been swept by one of their division rivals. Yes, even in 2001; the Bears only lost three games that year, and two of them were to…you can guess who. Beat the FudgePackers on Sunday, and that streak is over. 1991 was also the last time they swept the FudgePackers, and that’s definitely doable this year. They’re also trying for their first perfect division record since the magical year of 1985 (yes, they went undefeated in the division in 1987, but that was a strike season); the fact that they have to win only six games now instead of eight is irrelevant. However, I’m not putting them in for a win in indelible ink (and neither should Nick) for one big reason: if there’s any place Number Four loves to play in more than Lambeau, it’s Soldier Field. He’s had some of his career highlights there, like tearing apart the Bears in the Monsoon Game on Monday, Halloween Night in 1994, and ruining the opening of the Spaceship. If he’s on the field, they have a chance. I don’t need to be on drugs like Michael Irvin to make statements about the greatness of Brent; I’ve seen it too many times to have any doubts.

You all know the old Chinese wish, “May you live in interesting times.” It’s moments like Sunday that make me remember why that’s considered a curse. These are very interesting times indeed for the Bears, and waiting for the other shoe to drop is always the tensest time imaginable.

There’s a very interesting football question that cropped up this weekend that doesn’t involve the Bears, so I’d like to throw it out there. Everyone knows that the top three ground-gainers in NFL history are Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders. Number Four, though, may surprise you, unless you have East Coast Bias: Curtis Martin. He passed the 14000-yard mark on Sunday. So, that begs the question: Barry and Sweetness are in Canton. Emmitt goes in first-ballot. What about C-Mart? Has his career been so quiet that when his time comes, the HoF voters will be surprised at his numbers and shake their heads in disbelief?

As for what I did on my birthday yesterday, well, I typed the above. Bears/FudgePackers is always a good lead-in, so why not? I found out thanks to some necessary dark driving that when the Damn Vaninator got fixed recently, the repair shop drones forgot to reattach the dash lights, so I’m taking it in today for more service. I sat at home waiting for phone calls from the place in KC that I interviewed at, the place in Indiana where I did a preliminary phone interview last week, and the place in Minnesota with the best opportunity I’ve had in a long time for a follow-up to my phone interview with them. And, of course, I watched Survivor Series. Birthday or not, I still have obligations to you, and this is a major PPV. Fortunately, there was a torrent up pretty quickly, and it downloaded while I was asleep. So that comes right after the Pimp Section…

THE PIMP SECTION

First of all, thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday. And Fuck You to those who didn’t. November 28th should be a goddamn world holiday as mandated by the UN in honor of me and my contributions.

Widro did a column? And just to remind him and everyone out there: he’s never had the balls to put me in the Hot Seat.

Lucard recovered from his culinary Thanksgiving “trip” to Southern France to provide you with stuff regarding Occam’s Razor…wait a f*cking second, I did an extended piece on Occam’s Razor a couple years ago after Scooter misused the term in one of his columns. E-mailer my ass. He didn’t have any material so he started trolling through my old stuff. I didn’t link it to Piltdown Man, though, so he’s forgiven for the obvious theft.

Hatton and his buddies shared the cost of the PPV between them.

West is leaving our Raw coverage. Am I the only one that sticks around?

It’s Price On Ice!

Basilo suffers from the fallout of no real good TV programming taking place on Thanksgiving week.

Paul puts himself through some self-evaluation.

And here’s Nick‘s NFL recap.

SURVIVE IF WE LET YOU

Damn, the copy I downloaded had out-of-synch audio, but I can live with that. I’m only paying attention to Joey and Tazz anyway. Besides, it’s fun to see shit like Michael Cole gesticulating wildly while Hugo Savinovitch’s voice is playing.

Booker/Benoit pretty much occurred the way most of us thought it would. Good, solid match, as usual, with Booker going over by a little bit of cheating to put Benoit in a hole and make his eventual comeback that much more heroic. I think, though, that we’re all going to end up pacing ourselves and look at the series as a whole rather than dissect each individual match for strengths and weaknesses. And that’s really the way it should be done. It’s a process here, after all.

By the way, Memo To My Colleagues who have been dissing Booker the past couple weeks, saying that since he’s TEH OLD!!1!!1! and that he’s “lost it”, he shouldn’t be in this position. Personally, I haven’t seen a marked decrease in his ability to the point where he should be sent to the glue factory. He can definitely keep up with Benoit (and in all their recent matches, I haven’t seen Benoit having to slow down to help Booker). He’s still competing at a high level. And the most important thing: he’s younger than I am, therefore not old. So get off his dick, guys.

Kudos to Cole for finally giving us a figure on Booker’s title reigns. Twenty-nine in all, about split evenly between tag and singles reigns. That bolsters my conclusion that he should be given another shot with the big belt prior to his retirement. He knows what to do with it, unlike, oh, Cena.

Get used to it, folks

Get used to this too

Now, we come to Vince and the so-called “N word”. Oh, are so many people having conniptions over this one, including Milord and Suck Woodhead. Here’s my response to them: what is the big f*cking deal?

Here’s what Milord said about the sequence:

I just don’t get Vince, I really don’t. Oh wait, it was to set up the hilariously funny line from Booker where he said, “Tell me he didn’t say that”. That was a hardy har har moment if I ever saw one. Well, in fairness, Booker did play it as well as he could have and did what he could to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse, but still, it left me surprised that Vince would play such a low card. Then again, maybe the surprise here is that I was surprised Vince would do it. I should expect it from him by now, especially after Dr. Heinie and they way that he crapped all over Jim Ross and his legacy. Class isn’t a required attribute in Vince’s world. In fact, it is probably a detriment if you possess it.

Jesus Fucking Christ, this guy is a respected writer in the IWC? He’s a complete imbecile. Just for the sake of comparison, let me bring up a movie that’s celebrating its Silver Anniversary of release this year: Airplane!. Does anyone remember the Barbara Billingsley “I speak Jive” scene? This is the same situation. The humor there derived from the fact that June Cleaver was communicating with large scary black men in what would now be called Afro-American slang. Here, Vince McMahon, extremely white billionaire, is trying to speak to John Cena in street slang and uses a certain term that’s tolerated in said milleu, but not in the more polite society where he originates. It is an attempt at humor through incongruity. It’s a tried-and-true method of obtaining a humorous response to a situation. Fish out of water, period.

Let me bring up another comparison: the character of G-Money in Orgazmo. Here’s a Japanese sushi chef who dresses up like an Afro-American and speaks street slang, including using the particular word that Vince used. Is the character silly? Yes. Is the character funny? Yes. Is the character offensive? No. Trey Parker and Matt Stone definitely know where the line is on offending people (and how to attempt to derive humor from it; witness the gay puppet blowjob scene in Team America, which was in a sense offensive), and they didn’t cross it with G-Money.

The point is, this was not a conscious attempt at bad taste, as was the Dr. Heinie sketch. This was an attempt at finding humor in an old white guy attempting to sound young and hip. It’s from the same source of humor as laughing at a bald man who wears a bad toupee or a man of a certain age which I’m rapidly approaching buying a fifty-thousand dollar muscle car in an attempt to find his lost virility. The joke is the same here as if Vince was shown on camera taking Viagra.

Oh, but he used THAT WORD! Let me tell you this: forty-five years ago, a gentleman who sits at the Right Hand Of God named Lenny Bruce dealt with this same subject and the same word. You know what he said? “The power of the word lies in the fact that it’s taboo. If the President came on TV tonight and said, ‘I’d like to introduce you to the niggers in my Cabinet’ and then looked at the camera and said, ‘NiggerNiggerNiggerNiggerNiggerNiggerNiggerNiggerNiggerNiggerNiggerNigger’, the word would lose its power.” In other words, any offense lies in its context, and its context is what makes it taboo. Was Vince using the word in question as a racial epithet in order to demean Afro-Americans, which is the standard way in which the word is offensive? No, he wasn’t. No harm, no foul.

%0
A%0
AAnd that applies to anyone using that particular word. If I wrote to my old pal Charlie Owens or Chris Arrington or any of my other Afro-American readers today and used that word, they’d look at the context carefully, because they know that I’m not attempting to either shock or offend when I say something like that (well, maybe shock, but it would be for an important purpose). Vince gets that same benefit of the doubt. Was he trying to shock or offend? No, he wasn’t. He was trying to entertain in a humorous fashion, with no malice aforethought. The crime here is that it just wasn’t funny, not that he said “nigga”.

So get off his back.

“Straight outta Compton, crazy muthaf*cka named Ice Cube
From the gang called Niggaz With Attitude…”

Okay, let me just put this one out here: now that I’m 41, spontaneous erections are mostly a thing of the past with me. But when Styles and Tazz got on commentary, the blood started rushing downstairs. I’ve dreamed of that for a long time…no, not getting an erection, Styles and Tazz in the same booth. Oh, you kiddies have a lot to learn about the male aging process. However, I do admit that when Joey yelled “Catfight!” during the match, ejaculation was close.

The women’s title match wasn’t disappointing. The booking of it was. I attempted to ignore my fellow Round Tablers who kept going on about “The Women’s Division should be on Raw bleh bleh bleh Melina would have no competition whine whine whine”. Melina winning the title would have been more beneficial to WWE. It would have provided a bit of inter-brand focus between now and Royal Rumble, because Melina’s main competition would not have been the improving Christy Hemme or even Jillian Hall (that was another complaint, that Hall was a heel and so was Melina; uh, they’re in the process of turning High-Quality Speaker Boy, and Hall goes with him), it would have been MickieLexis LaJames.

Trish holding on to the title during her absence proved that the Women’s Division was stale (and speaking of stale, Trish needs new music, and has for a while). It needed a little fresh air. Melina could have provided that, along with an uncertainty factor that always helps a title chase (namely the fact that she’d have a bunch of contenders, none of whom would have to be manufactured to keep the chase fresh). File this one under “blown opportunity”.

Maybe it’s another sign I’m getting old, but all I can think of when I see this is, “Jesus, those boots are tacky”

I don’t think there’s a guy in the audience who wouldn’t want to be on the “landing” end of this

Well, Trip/Flair wasn’t for the Intercontinental Title, a possibility I took into account in my Round Table prediction. And as I said, if it wasn’t for the strap, Trip wins it without question. As for the match itself…ouch. There is a word for people involved in matches like this. That word is “sado-masochistic” (you may substitute the term “batshit insane” at your discretion). Men with two baker’s dozens of world titles between them (the official count, of course) shouldn’t have to descend to this level of barbarity. One might almost say it’s beneath them. But the fact that they’re willing to do so says volumes about the individual characters of the men involved. One is doing it to gain a last measure of glory before he’s forced to give up what he loves doing due to the ravages that Time entails upon all of us, the other out of respect and love for the man he’s facing and the willingness he has in giving that man his aforementioned last measure…

…jeez, I just made Trip sound noble. Well, things happen.

Yes, it was bloody. Like we didn’t expect that. Yes, it was brutal, but, again, that was expected. Was it a great match? Damn right it was. Was it as good as the cage match? No, it wasn’t. But that’s simply a sin of damning with fainter praise. Flair and Trip are on a two-man mission to expose the audience to what was common currency in wrestling twenty-five years ago, something that Flair knows from experience and Trip from stories. In certain territories, these types of matches were an everyday thing. They were done around the horn to house show audiences, since those territories didn’t have the advantage of PPV outlets (and no broadcast or cable channel back then would have let them do this). In a sense, they’re performing a public service by giving us a history lesson. It isn’t a freak show like CZW and their glass-laden overkill matches, or Japanese death matches, or something like that. It’s a presentation of what you could expect from a house show in the late 70s-early 80s in some areas of the country. It’s a hidden bit of wrestling history from places like Memphis and Charlotte and numerous small towns in the Deep South. For this, and for the effort they put forth in both these matches, they deserve our kudos. Yes, even Trip.

Ric Flair with a kendo stick…and who says that ECW didn’t change the face of wrestling?

Trip’s taking the SurSer tradition of screwing people a bit too literally

Three announce tables at ringside, and it just HAS to be the Spanish one. Nice cliche, Trip.

Well, at least he saved the big move for the Raw announce table. Now that’s brand loyalty.

Trip discovers how his idol Lemmy hits high notes

It’s an honor, even for Trip, to get a chair shot from Ric Flair

For some things, time doesn’t change, only the opponents

I think this picture sums up Ric Flair’s entire career

OV-ER-RA-TED! Clap, Clap, Clap Clap Clap!

Skipped the Edge/Dmitri Young thing. I’ll pay attention when the Only A. J. That Matters is on Impact, thank you.

I’ll go a bit into the whole Angle situation a little later on. But if he’s depressed and on “death watch”, I don’t blame him one bit. He’s forced to compete against Cena in shit matches like the one at SurSer where he’s forced to carry him 100% of the way. I’m not sure how he feels about helping Daivari get over again, but he may not like that either. You know, he was the only guy that WWE really got over between Flex and Cena. He’s given a lot to the company (including the sacrifice of his marriage), and his health is paying for it. And they’re tossing him aside like a dishrag in favor of someone with one-fiftieth the talent and lesser mic skills because girls think he’s cute. Do you blame him for being depressed and upset?

Actually, I was grateful to hear the boos for Cena from the Detroit crowd. You can always count on the NFC North to bring some truth to the proceedings. But, I do have pity for you. We’ve already suffered through Dick Jauron, Head Coach. Now you get to do so as well. Enjoy it.

Just one more thing: four f*ckin’ refs?

C’mon, Kurt, twist it off!

As I said, I Heart Daivari

Cole/Coachman isn’t as good as Styles/Tazz. That may be one reason why Cole wasn’t moved over when they did the announcer switch. Speaking of that, has everyone given up on their Ross Fellation yet? He’s not going to be back, people. Sorry, but true. When Joey accompanied the boys to the UK last week, that was the last sign that the switch is permanent.

Ah, Bischoff/Long, a true tour-de-force of technical wrestling, magnificent brawling, and general…damn, I can’t be sarcastic enough to suit this spectacle. Best that I not comment at all.

“Well, at least my champion has workrate, playa!”

What did I say in the Short Form over the weekend about not seeing him in the ring?

Please note this fact: the entrances for the SurSer Match took over ten minutes. If you watched this on Sunday, you paid to see guys come to the ring for ten minutes. Suddenly, downloading these like I do sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?

Summarizing a Survivor Series match is almost impossible. It’s designed to be a series of moments, not something coherent. All of this, of course, is an excuse for me not to try to summarize a half-hour of I Don’t Give A Shit. I especially didn’t give a shit about the ending. Randy Fucking Orton as Sole Survivor for the third year in a row? Just so UT could come out and turn him into paste in preparation for the Hell In A Cell at Armageddon? A total waste of my time, and I include the time I spent downloading this. Since Time Is Money anyway, that means I did waste money on this despite my attempts not to.

There are a couple observational moments I’d like to make:

Lashley was definitely treated as a rook in this one, being the first eliminated. However, his quasi-breaking of the MasterLock did help him get over slightly. If only the MasterLock could be taken seriously.

How hard did they try to make TBS look tough? A 619, an RKO, and two Clotheslines From Hell? And he was still moving? But a Rey-Rey seated senton did the job? I’m confused.

With the action spots that High-Quality Speaker Boy was getting during the match, I really thought my Round Table prediction of him being the Sole Survivor would come true. He needed this status a f*ck of a lot more than Dorkboy did. With the uncertainty of where he stands face/heel-wise at this moment, a little bit of bragging rights could have helped clarify things with the follow-up promo on Tuesday.

Of course, having Michaels take out Rey-Rey and High-Quality Speaker Boy within twenty seconds with two superkicks…does the word “overkill” mean anything?

At least Regal got the…bump? honor?…of taking the Tombstone. Hopefully this means better things for him in the future.

I did say previously that retroactive abortion was legal for people holding up this particular sign. My mind has not been changed.

Oh, yeah, I’ve been waiting my whole life to see these two go at it…

Smell the steroids!

Chris Masters’ “Small Mexican Dead-Lift” has proven to be a popular workout in the Smackdown locker room

The real reason Lita left Kane

Batista might think it’s nice being someone else’s bitch for a change

One of these guys is a face. One of these guys is a heel. We’re just not sure which is which.

A resthold in the middle of a Survivor Series match. Dear God, just shoot me now.

As long as he’s beating up Gym Bunny, he’s fine by me

According to my count, this was the fourth 619 of the match. I’m now officially sick of the move.

If they’d listened to me, we could have had Michaels/High-Quality Speaker Boy, which would have been much more fun and had much less Dorkboy

You’ll pardon me if I vomit now

Okay, that’s cool. A little too Screaming Jay Hawkins for my taste, but cool.

All in all, a merely adequate show, lifted there solely by Ric Flair’s blood donation. And speaking of Flair…

ANYTHING ON THE NEWS BEAT?

Ah, yes, Milord comes through by publicizing a little story which Fingers put up pretty damn quick, namely the fact, according to a TV station in Charlotte, Ric Flair was warranted yesterday for a road rage incident down there. Details are sketchy at the time of this writing, but apparently Flair assaulted a man and his car on I-485 on the outskirts of said city. Actually, this one popped up on 1bullshit Junior while Fleabag and I were on the phone trying to get a reinstalled copy of Windows working correctly, and the first thing he asked was “Charlotte? What’s he doing there?”. Well, the immediate answer I had was “Selling the beating from last night. He did do a stretcher job.” Flea was, of course, relieved that “creative” actually did something right by having him stay home this week. Of course, if he’d have been in Cleveland with the rest of the Raw group, this wouldn’t have happened. I’m sure we’ll have much more on this to come.

Other than that, nope, nothing, really. Krystal, the Designated Bitch from this year’s Diva Search, is now training in OVW, presumably to become a bigger bitch. So where’s Elisabeth? She was the only one of the bunch I wanted to see again.

Some unpaid stringer for 1bullshit Junior sent in a notice to Milord that local ads for New Years’ Revolution are confirming that there will be an Elimination Chamber match. Yearly tradition now for a truly useless PPV?

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I mean, what do I want to talk about? Da Meltz’s revelation that Angle’s campaigning hard for another run with the title? Hell, I agree with him. I think he should have won it last month. I can’t get hot enough to start scurrying all over the place on this issue. I’ve typed in enough stuff about how inferior Cena is as a wrestler and a champion to choke the proverbial equine, and Angle is the best choice as a replacement in the role of champion that I can think of at this point.

Ah, screw it. I’ve got a little mail to take care of…

YOU ASK, I ANSWER

Larry Oji put together some very common questions that I get asked, so common that I thought I’d tackle them in here rather than just e-mail him back. So, what does Larry ask?

1) Are there any archives collecting your body of columns?

Not as far as I know. Obviously, my work for Inside Pulse is collected here. I’m not sure if 411’s archived my columns or not. The largest collection of my material that I know of is on my hard drive, and even that’s not complete. After suffering a hard drive crash on (oh, ironies of ironies) September 11th, 2001, I lost almost all of my early material, including the feature columns I did for The Smarks (which included the consensus classic by people other than me “Fear and Loathing In Houston” and the Jamie Kellner rant/warning I mentioned in here last week). I don’t know of anyone who’s really collected my material in toto.

2) Apologies, but how do you pronounce your last name? (Sool-ZOO-skee?)

sul-CHES-key. Possibly the question I get asked the most.

3) Can the Spyware section make a once-a-month or otherwise periodic comeback (perhaps when the column needs padding)?

The reason I started doing the Anti-Spyware Section was that, at the time, there was very little public awareness of spyware and what it could do to your systems. People were floundering around, wondering why their homepages had been hijacked, where those porn sites that were suddenly in Favorites came from, and why their firewalls were going batshit. Today, the situation has changed. “Spyware” has become a household word now (at least in households that have computers). AOL is advertising its anti-spyware measures. Microsoft has an anti-spyware program. People are a lot more aware that there’s such a thing as spyware and that it can be damaging. They’re a lot more apt to put up counter-measures. Common commercial products are even including a measure of spyware protection (such as Symantec’s anti-virus programs). Due to the effort that’s been put forward behind identifying and eliminating spyware, there has been a substantial decrease in spyware attacks over the last year or so. In fact, phishing has become a greater concern than spyware. So, I’m willing to retire the section permanently and say “My work is done”, unless a situation demands it.

Besides, tons of people got pissy about “having” to read it every week and wanted it out.

4) Is your idiotic hatemail drying up, or have there simply not been any worthy YAM candidates?

Both, actually. YAM became, as I designed it to be, the nuclear deterrent of hate mail. People are really, really brave when they can shoot out semi-anonymous hate mail to someone, but threaten the mailer with public exposure, and suddenly their bravery vanishes. Yes, I’d love to have idiots like Kotex Long and the Infamous Jason Gallo to tear apart on a weekly basis (2002 was truly the Golden Age of YAM), but the mailers have to have the balls to offer themselves up to me in the first place. And being the cowards that they are, it just isn’t happening as often. So YAM’s become an almost special-occasion type of thing (as it was last month).

It also takes a certain type of mail to be a YAM Candidate. Obviously, incoherent screeds written in chatspeak don’t cut it; I end up deleting them. Also, quick potshots like the ones Matthew Peters specializes in don’t do the trick either. Intelligent, well-reasoned counter-arguments to stuff I present certainly don’t qualify; I respect people if they can present their side in a fashion that’s both passionate and well-written. What’s required to be a YAM Candidate is a screed that covers two basic lines of thought: 1) “I disagree with your opinion but can’t tell you why I do in a rational, objective fashion.” and 2) “You’re a complete idiot for not believing the way I do.” It also helps if someone makes a completely asinine opinion sound like a solid fact. Let’s go back to Jason Gallo. What opinion did he express that started the bandwagon rolling, the one that encompassed things like his friend “the second-degree black belt” threatening me with a beating and Gallo saying that he was a police academy student and that he’d get away with cold-blooded murder? Well, this:

You idiot! I am sick and tired of you bashing the most underrated wrestler in the world today, X-pac. He is one of the top three most talented wrestlers on the roster. He should be maineventing every Raw. He deserves a run as the WWE Undisputed champ. (from my July 3rd, 2002 column; ironically, this is the first column that I really deal with spyware, thus providing unexpected linkage)

When a mail starts off with saying that Sean Waltman should have been given a run as WWE Undisputed Champion, that, people, is the very definition of a YAM Candidate.

All in all, I think I summarized my qualifying process for YAM quite well when responding to Kotex Long on July 2nd, 2002:

There’s a difference between stating a contrary opinion and being a rude little f*ck. You were the latter. If you’d stated it in a nice way, you wouldn’t have qualified for YAM.

Really weird to read through all those Kotex/Jason mails again. Makes me kind of miss the old days.

Hope that answers your questions.

And there’s one question left to answer: what did WWE decide to give me for my birthday on Raw?

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Shawn Michaels over Carly Colon (Pinfall, Sweet Chimp Music): You know, there are limits to what even Shawn Michaels can do. We thought those limits were stretched when he was f*cking around with Masters. But Carly’s a whole different kettle of rancid, spoiling fish. Michaels not only carried him completely, but he knew that wasn’t enough, and so started his injury selling in order to further cover up the stench. Colon is completely useless, and it’s only a matter of time until his mic work can’t cover that up anymore. Let’s hope that WWE finds that out quickly.

Kurt Angle versus Maria Kanelis (ND, Cena-ference): Admit it, folks. You wanted to see Maria get the snot beat out of her. I know I did. So I had no problem with her getting the Angle Slam. But, Kurt…teaming up with Gym Bunny? That, my dear man, is unforgivable.

Trish Stratus, MickieLexis LaJames, and Ashley Massaro over Missus Hevia, Candice Michelle, and the Ten-Buck Tramp, Twelve-Pack Match (Pinfall, LaJames pins Victoria, Stratusfaction(!)): Yeah, this was a real change from the status quo that will assist the Women’s title. C’mon, boys, tell me again why giving the title to Melina last night wouldn’t have been beneficial; I need a good laugh directly into your faces. So we can watch the beginning of the soon-to-be-very-creepy LaJames turn, you say? Yee-haw, I’m so excited about that. And then there’s the Ten-Buck Tramp, her fuzzy boots, and her f*cking puppy…no, not Kidman; she had a real canine out there. This match gave me stomach cramps.

Sometimes I wish I could summarize things like KC Evers (no relation) does in regard to the Ten-Buck Tramp:

Only Torrie Wilson can rip off the British Bulldogs (bring a dog to the ring) and John Nord (those boots) at the same time.

And I thought I was cold.

Trevor Murdoch over Shelton Benjamin, Ah Don’ Lakh Niggers Match (Pinfall, rollup): A lot of the people backstage are very high on Trevor Murdoch; Da Meltz and Keller have both said that, so I’m not pulling that out of my ass. They essentially used and then discarded a pretty talented guy in Lance Cade to get him introduced, they put him in a high-visibility match with Ric Flair last week, and now they’re having him go over Benjy. This begs the question: WHY?! What is so special about him? Okay, he may look like a young Dusty Rhodes, but, admit it, folks, that’s not someone you want to be physically compared to. Can he actually wrestle? We haven’t seen anything from him that would justify the amount of optimism that the boys backstage are instilling in him. Please, do something interesting with him before giving him that push. And have it not involve Benjy. Seeing him pushed aside for someone like Murdoch is incomprehensible.

The Big Show and Kane over Tyson Tomko and Gene Snitsky, Tag Titles Match (Pinfall, TBS pins Tomko, chokeslam): Welcome to Vince’s idea of porn. This was the match we were all dreading ever since TBS and Kane first teamed up, and it had to be tonight that we got it. It didn’t disappoint in its rancidity, I have to admit that. Mercifully for all of us, it was short.

John Cena over Kurt Angle and Chris Masters, No Disqualification, No Countout Triple Threat Submission Match (Submission (duh), Masters submits to Cena, STF): I’m forced to watch a main event featuring two of my least favorite alleged wrestlers, with one of my favorites turned into a virtual bystander. Well, that’s not really true. This was one of the most blatant followings of the Triple Threat Formula they’ve done in a long, long time. Again, they kept it short, and brevity was a virtue. But it was still, at heart, an Angle Advancement Match, and for an angle featuring none of the wrestlers to boot. Also, I do a better STF than Cena. Fuck ’em.

I’ll turn to KC Evers (no relation) to summarize the show:

They booked the Tag Title match and the WWE Title match with Masters involved just to spite you. Maybe it’s Vince’s sick way of wishing you a Happy Birthday.

Angle Developments:

History Repeats: Ah, the excitement and thrill of another “Vince threatens Bisch” promo. I was just about ready to give up on the whole show when “Here Comes The Money” started to play. Somehow, someway, Shane just makes everything right. I think it’s mostly because most of us were convinced that it’d be the Bitch of the Baskervilles coming out. Of course, it’s damning Shane to say that we’re thankful he’s not his sister, but sometimes you have to be grateful for the small things. Like a penis.

I’m not the only one that feels that way about Shane. Witness Steve Murray:

I love Shane-o-Mac. I had considered dropping wrestling from my viewing habits until Wrestlemania (I just have too much on my personal schedule). But if he sticks around on TV, that will guarantee that this show stays on my TiVo Season Pass, and fights with MNF for my viewership every single week.

But he also has some reservations about where this is going:

Oh, Lord – am I torn on the Shane-Eric confrontation. On one hand, I know that Shane is allegedly a legitimate bad-ass – there are stories of him just PUMMELING random morons that have jumped over the barricade. Plus, you can tell he’s no small guy – he’s as tall as his father, and has several inches on Bischoff. But, he’s always been shown, storyline-wise, as a little punk who got his way because of his father — the only exception being when he was actually fighting *against* his father. And in that case, their physical statures weren’t an issue. But Bischoff is a legimate black belt – he shouldn’t be played as a physical coward against a non-wrestler like Shane, IMO. Ergh – like so many other things involving the Creative Team, my opinion comes down to: “Had great potential, but was executed in the worst possible way.”

Look, if Shane does a VanTerminator on Bisch, it’ll all come out good. I expect a match between the two at New Years’ Revolution; they have to do something to pad the show with an Elimination Chamber scheduled.

KC Evers (no relation) decides to pick up on the thing I wanted to avoid in this circumstance due to my feelings about Shane:

So one former WCW Leader’s gonna be replaced by another as Raw GM, possibly. Okay then. But then it’s hypocritical to refer to Bischoff as a failure, considering Shane’s run as WCW/Alliance Leader was less than stellar. But maybe Revisionist History’s taken care of that.

Vince owns the history. He gets to rewrite it as he sees fit. The Ultimate Warrior DVD should have taught everyone that.

Like Clockwork: Well, it’s time for Paul Wight’s annual high-profile feud. Last year, he had High-Quality Speaker Boy to play around with for the title on SD. This year, it’s a title-less Trip in a demi-feud that will lead to both of them being in the Elimination Chamber at New Years’ Revolution. It’s good to see that some things never change. It’s also good to see this feud, believe it or not. Wight’s been on a bit of a roll recently, and it’ll be nice to see what he can do with Trip this time. Sometime, somehow, all that money that Vince put into him will pay off. We just don’t know when.

Slick Rick agrees:

Maybe there’s another push coming for him. Hope he doesn’t f*ck it up like the last 8. I actually enjoy watching the guy a lot when he’s on his game.

Remember, folks, the Smackdown Special is on tonight, so if you haven’t been watching SD lately, take a view at it. It’s actually better than you remember it to be. Just ignore the Rey-Rey/TBS match, and you should be fine.