Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc., 12.05.05

I just watched an old man masturbate for over 2 good hours…and it passed off as a wrestling show. – KC Evers (no relation)

Well, well, welllllll….Sports Illustrated announced their Sportsman of the Year on Monday. It’s Tom Brady.

I think the boys in the Sports section know the three words I’m about to use, and I’m wondering if I should go off on that yet again. Guys, the proof just keeps piling up and piling up. Why can’t you see it? Even worse, Price says it’s starting to lessen. Not with this happening. You know what? I won’t say it. It’ll just give Pat and Price ten more minutes of material on IPSR. But it’s there. Oh, yes, it’s there.

Instead, I’ll focus on a positive. With three-fourths of the season in the books, the candidates for NFL Coach of the Year have essentially boiled down to three. Those three are Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, and Marvin Lewis. Now, what do they all have in common? They coach teams in the Midwest, thus putting a supposed lie to my statement above (and bolstering Price’s contentions)? Ha ha, very funny. Try again. Former defensive coordinators, you say? You know what? That’s the right answer. In a perfect world, that’s the right answer. But the success of these three guys points out in very stark clarity the coaching disparity in the college ranks regarding Afro-Americans and the fact that Tags has to have a program in place to “consider” minority candidates while hiring on the pro level. Maybe this is the year when skin color ceases to matter entirely and results are the only thing that counts.

I’m actually pretty proud of Chicago in this regard. We’ve always been regarded as one of the most racist cities in America. But look at the pro sports teams. One black football coach, one black baseball manager, one Latin baseball manager, one white basketball coach, and a Canadian hockey coach. The best college basketball coach in town, Jimmy Collins, is black (now if he’d only stop losing to the St. Xaviers and Chicago States of the world…maybe it’s a South Side thing). Now that’s diverse. Even Noo Yawk is the same way. One white, one black in the football and baseball realms, a legendary white coach working badly together with a legendary black GM (legendary as a player, of course) in the Garden, the geekiest white guy imaginable coaching the Nets, and a pair of Canadians on ice (what does it say when nobody knows who coachs the Rangers and Islanders, but everyone knows members of their senior management?).

But college football? Karl Dorrell, Ty Willingham, and Sylvester Croom, and that’s pretty much it in Division I-A, and two of them are on everyone’s short list for pro coaching hires. Certainly brings a new meaning to the bowl season as “White Christmas”, doesn’t it?

(Oh, yeah, Ron Prince was just hired at K-State, so that makes four. Yay.)

So why did I just go off on that particular tangent? Mostly because I was scrambling for a lead. There wasn’t really anything in the news per se that I wanted to talk about in the lead, and I pretty much blew my wad on Bears comments to Pomazak in a mail on Sunday, and he might want to use them in the Pancakes. So it’s yet more proof that I’m a socially-evolved white liberal. What do you expect?

Well, I could answer Raw Regular Joshua Crawley’s query to me about my comparative feelings toward Austin Aries and FudgePacker. I love Aries. In one caption recently, I said that he was quickly becoming What Made Milwaukee Famous. I, of course, loathe FudgePacker and am happy to see him gone for six months. It’s not only because Aries is ten thousand times the wrestler FudgePacker is. It’s because Milwaukee is much, much cooler than Green Bay. They have better German food there than I ate in Germany. Nice city that still hasn’t had its old-fashioned charm beat out of it by Urban Renewal. So that answers that.

But another Raw Regular, Steve Murray, goes a bit more into that:

Michael Wilbon, as you know, is from Chicago, and put across an interesting viewpoint on Tony Kornheiser’s show this morning: he feels it is his duty, as a native Chicagoan, to dis Green Bay whenever he can: its team, its athletes, its residents, and its fans. But, he feels almost defensive when someone *else* goes off on a riff on GB: almost like a protective “older brother” concept: you know, *we* can pick on them all we want, but nobody else can. I’ve seen your rants concerns Kennedy: do you feel the same way, or do you just think anybody and everybody should be free to insult Green Bay (or even the state of Wisconsin as a whole) at whim?

Wilbon is a South Side boy like I am, actually, so I know where he’s coming from (except his baseball treason). He has it exactly right. The Packers are OUR rivals. They have been our rivals since the NFL was born. We are the perfect rivals. We are the only teams that share the shores of Lake Michigan. We are city versus small town. We hate the living shit out of each other. Small-scale wars are started in downstate Wisconsin on the Kenosha/Racine county line, where the dividing line between Bears and Packers lies. We are each others’ unique and exclusive enemy. As such, we do measure ourselves against them, as they do with us. If someone from the outside insults the enemy, we both feel the pain. This is common on both sides; I know Packers fans who hate it when someone capriciously insults the Bears. We prefer that any comparison of who’s better takes place on the field twice a year, not by some pundit throwing out some random statement.

That being said, it isn’t as patronistic and exclusive as Wilbon points out. If the “someone from the outside” who does the insulting mentioned above is a Vikings or Lions fan, that’s cool. But it has to be someone who’s a longtime fan of that team doing it, the type of person who says “NFC Central” instead of “NFC North”. It’s in the division, and those four teams have been part of the same division since the Vikes came into the league. When you’ve been playing a team twice a year for over four decades, contempt is natural. When bad things happen, you can take both pity and schadenfreude. You don’t know how much enjoyment I’ve had this year courtesy of my team’s rivals in the division. But the opposite isn’t necessarily true. We don’t mind it too much if outsiders insult the Vikings or Lions. There isn’t that depth of hatred there. That’s something that takes a long, long time and the right circumstances to build up.

As for the rest of Wisconsin, it mostly by and large sucks. Kenosha is cool because it’s Bears country and I lived there for a year and a half. Madison’s okay because it’s more liberal than Berkeley and has scads of hot college chicks who will put out. As I said, Milwaukee’s fine by me. But the rest of it is a toilet. And I can’t believe I’m considering a job offer there.

On to the Pimps…

THE PIMP SECTION

Flea talks about Ric Flair’s wasted life (including the fact that he turned Beth into Elizabeth Flair) and what might happen soon in re Congress going after WWE. Actually, Vince is trying to hold out until next November. There’s a f*cking great chance that the Good Guys will be able to take back both houses of Congress. If that’s the case, Vince is in the clear, because the GOP will be on the defensive and start fighting like rats in heat. No one will have the energy for a “diversion” like a steroid probe of wrestling.

Lucard discusses ephemera and catfish.

Wallace is back with his current set of previews and speculations. One thing, though, Danny: I cheered when I heard about FudgePacker’s injury. None of him for at least six months satisfies me completely. Yes, folks, that’s what is known as a “sore winner”. One other thing, Danny: “lose”.

Smith did our live Raw report this week. Honestly, the way we go through live recappers, I’ll end up having to do it one of these days.

With friends like Hatton‘s, you don’t need enemas. And it’s “bouffant”.

Hevia put Smackdown spoilers throughout his column with no tags. Of course, I won’t condemn him for this because of what I did with the fifth Harry Fucking Potter book. By the way, Daivari has spoken English a number of times before, which only makes sense because he’s always been promoted as an American (which he indeed is).

Morrison looks at comics’ most dysfunctional romantic relationships, but never once speculates about beard tangles.

Basilo had to shovel snow. Surprisingly, we haven’t had any of the white shit here so far, even during that full-blown north-to-south blizzard.

BAXLEY! goes roaring down the road with his XBox 360.

Schwob has this week’s Top Ten at the box office. He does underestimate how good Chicken Little is, though.

Pomazak did use my letter to him. Thought he would.

Before we start, condolences to Chris Jericho on the death of his mother. It’s awfully difficult to lose a parent, even if later on you piss on his grave…but enough about me. Let’s get to the news…

MAYBE IT’S FINALLY ENDING

Everyone remember the Lionel Tate case? The one where a twelve-year-old heavyset muscular boy killed a five-year-old girl that he was babysitting? And Tate’s lawyer claimed that he “accidentally” killed the girl because he was imitating wrestling moves? Remember the black eye that gave to wrestling, being the main prompt to the “Don’t Do This At Home” promos that WWE occasionally runs, among other things?

Well, during the murder trial in 2001, the jury didn’t buy the wrestling excuse (good for them). Tate was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to life. He was freed in 2004 because his lawyers made a case that he had diminished mental capacity. He ended up back in court for violating his probation when he pulled a gun on a pizza delivery guy in May of this year, and could be sentenced to life again.

It transpires that Tate might not be working under diminished mental capacity at all, but rather…heightened mental capacity, shall we say. Here’s part of the AP Wire story:

In his handwritten letter to the judge, Tate said that his public defender, H. Dohn Williams, didn’t understand “my mental condition.” He continued: “I stated to him before that I was hearing voices and that I wanted to kill myself.”

So, in other words, he’s really, really f*cked up. The question becomes, of course, whether he was f*cked up when he was twelve and decided to brutally murder Tiffany Eunick. Of course, the standard answer to that is that anyone who beats a five-year-old to death is f*cked up. But that didn’t stop his lawyers from attempting to blame wrestling for a senseless death, thus siccing the “family” watchgroups on our beloved Sports Entertainment. The Lionel Tate case did more than anything else to end the Attitude Era, push Vince toward a “safer” viewing experience, and even drive ratings down as the right-wing loonies got more and more press for saying that wrestling caused the death of a little girl, causing parents of the Future Generation Of Fans to tell the kids to turn it off. And this happened at the worst time, during the final death throes of WCW and during Vince’s indecision on the approach he wanted to take to the amalgamation of WCW with his organization. The Lionel Tate case is rarely mentioned as one of the major causes of the end of the wrestling boom (even by Scooter and Reynolds in their books), but it deserves a lot more attention.

Well, now it’s almost 2006. How is the wrestling angle being played? As a discredited defense ploy. This is what AP had to say about it:

His lawyers initially claimed the girl died accidentally while the 160-pound boy was imitating wrestling moves he saw on television, but experts said the girl died of skull fractures and a lacerated liver suffered in a beating that lasted one to five minutes.

In other words, it’s now being blown off. But at the time it wasn’t. Trust me on that. The Lionel Tate case put the entire IWC on the defensive (not to mention putting Vince on the defensive as well). Of course, we got outshouted by the “family” dodos because, let’s face it, right-wing pressure groups always get more legitimate press than columnists who cover a “fake sport”. We were trying to tell our audience the message then that Tate was an unstable kid, and even if wrestling was involved, no kid who was remotely stable would do something like this in imitation…

…yeah, our message really came across and sunk in. Witness the stories that came out last week about the backyard wrestling retards. Thanks, guys. Thanks a whole f*cking bunch…

But, anyway, we no longer have to be on the defensive about this. It’s just that when anything comes out mentioning Lionel Tate, I have flashbacks to 2000 and 2001, trying to rally the troops and keep morale up, telling everyone that this too shall pass, like the kidney stone in the body of Sports Entertainment that it was. The thing is, it also reminds me that I never, ever want to have to do something like that again. And if Fleabag’s assertion about Washington attention to the steroid problem in wrestling comes true, it’s going to be months more of back-pedaling and defending. But this time, it’s going to be more difficult, because all of us know the problem is there. Despite the fact that we
condemn it, it’s there, and we can’t do anything to stop it. But the mainstream media doesn’t read our stuff, doesn’t look at the perpetual condemnations that we put out toward juicing. They’ll treat it as some kind of new phenomenon that no one’s brought up. Even worse, they’ll probably end up condemning us because they haven’t seen the denunciations. Even worse than that, they’ll probably end up doing multiple impersonations of Phil Mushnick. And how can we fight that? They have the reps, they have the legitimate outlets.

Compared to what will eru
pt over a steroid controversy, Lionel Tate will end up seeming like paradise.

ONE IN, ONE OUT

There’s no real linkage here except for that wonderful thing known as synchronicity, but it’s mildly appropriate to connect the fact that Joey Styles finally signed an exclusive WWE contract and Christy Hemme was released.

Styles first. That five-year contract now makes it official: Styles will be the Voice Of Raw for the foreseeable future in addition to being the Voice Of ECW. And the people who were critical of change in the Raw announce booth are, shall we say, completely silent. Have they just accepted this as a fait accompli, or have they given up their vocalizing on wanting Ross back? We don’t know, because they’re not saying a word. Have they truly come to terms with the fact that Ross will no longer be there? I wonder.

Of course, I’m in the other boat, the one furnished by the Vikings. I’ve called for Ross’ replacement for years now, and there were only two candidates that I had to replace him: Joey Styles and Tony Schiavone. My support went heavily toward Schiavone during Styles’ “I’m not going to do it if they paid me a million a year, no siree, I’ll never work for Vince, uh uh” phase. Silly me, I thought he was serious about that. And for a long time, he was serious. After all, he had his reputation, he had his website (and the only reason 1bullshit is still alive today is because of him; the shenanigans that went on there should have destroyed Joey psychologically, but somehow didn’t), he had everything he needed, and developed his position as Commentator In Exile quite well. I think it honestly satisfied him and his ego to be the Backup Quarterback of wrestling announcing: the most popular guy in town while he’s on the bench.

But then he was put into a situation where no one could resist the siren’s call, not even him. When he did One-Night Stand, he got an inside view of the organization he excoriated for so long (and now you have to wonder how much of that dislike toward WWE had to do with Bob Ryder influencing him). They treated him like a prince and even gave him a free hand, although they stuck him in the booth with Foley, something that just didn’t work. And he found out that Vince was serious about making One-Night Stand work. He found out exactly what kind of a free hand Heyman was given for that show, and how far Vince was willing to go to make it as authentically ECW as it could be. He saw that they were promoting the PPV on Raw and Smackdown to the best of their chimp-like ability. He knew that they were serious about not denigrating the legacy of ECW, and he appreciated that.

Most of all, he found out that WWE corporate actually appreciated what he brought to the announce table. Vince figured out pretty quickly that one of the keys to One-Night Stand’s critical respect in the IWC was the fact that it was Joey in the booth. Without him, it wouldn’t be ECW. And Joey responded to this atmosphere, coming through with an in-his-prime announce job. It definitely kept him in the picture for when changes would be made.

Yes, he wasn’t the first choice for the Raw job. But after the Mike Goldberg situation blew up in Vince’s face and the experiment with Lawler and Coachman turned out to be an abortion of the first rank (as anyone who watched the first ten minutes of the first Raw after Ross’ departure knew), they needed a real play-by-play man. They needed a proven announcer who was known to the audience. They needed someone with an impeccable reputation among fans so that the backlash regarding Ross wouldn’t get any worse than it was (Vince’s fault, really, thanks to the Doctor Heinie sketch). And there he was, sitting right there.

Joey Styles was there when there was an opening. And he was not only wanted, he was needed. Tell me, if someone says, “We need you,” aren’t you going to get off on that a little? Being in that position means a helluva lot. It means a blank check, essentially, and for more than money. It means that you can get what you want from them. In Styles’ case, that meant creative freedom to be the Joey that the fans knew and loved. In fact, that probably meant more to him than the money. If it was only the money, he probably would have stayed at his advertising job and avoided the possibility that someone would charge him with hypocrisy (which, surprisingly, no one has). As an added bonus, it meant he was able to go back to doing something he loved.

So, yeah, he took advantage of this. A five-year contract is a helluva lot of security. There’s almost certainly some kind of side deal to lay off on the headset messages from the back. He’s easing into his role, as I’ve had to tell a number of people who were disconcerted about the alleged Pod Joey we were getting for the first couple of weeks. He’s now reached the point where he has signed paper in hand and is comfortable with his role. He’s also saying the right things about Ross to mollify anyone who’s still not on board. It’s obvious that he came back on his terms. And we should thank him for doing that.

And so we come to Christy Hemme. Christopher Arrington makes the case for a lot of us:

First off, my penis is in mourning for the loss of Christy Hemme. May the buoyant, flexible redheaded beauty get into the good graces of somebody, hopefully the owner of a sleazy strip club in Philadelphia.

This is a weird cut, people. Yes, I said a lot of bad things about Hemme over her year and a half on TV. As long as she was the bimbo du jour, I was justified in saying those things. However, she proved that she wasn’t useless. She was willing to participate in any stupid angle that they wanted to put her in (most notably with the retard). She also was working on her in-ring ability. I said a couple of weeks ago that she was actually ahead of Trish Stratus at the same point in their careers. She was going to head down to OVW to work on her skills, then come back and be a legit in-ring competitor. She again displayed complete willingness to do so. She wasn’t ordered to do it, she wanted to do it. And now she’s cut.

She gets cut at a time when they seem to be serious about having a semblance of a women’s division again. Wouldn’t that require actual woman wrestlers? And they get rid of someone who wants to be an actual wrestler instead of a piece of totty? In the meantime, they have a woman who can definitely wrestle, Jillian Hall, as a valet. So why get rid of someone who, with only a little more work, could be a credible addition?

The obvious reason, of course, is that the revolving door of bimbos is rotating yet again to bring more people in from the last Diva Search. We saw Krystal come back on Smackdown this week (and that hire is going to be inextricably linked to this). Might we see Leyla and Elisabeth sooner or later? And if so, who else is out?

Or was it a case of them having nothing for her to do? No. As said, she was headed to OVW, so she was going to be off Smackdown in any case. That’s a big reason why no one should connect her and Krystal.

Was she the most useless bimbo on the roster? Excuse me, but the Ten-Buck Tramp and Candice Michelle still have jobs, and they haven’t done anything with Massaro except to connect her by the umbilical with Stratus (and she’s been usurped in that role by MickieLexis LaJames). Would you rather see Christy Hemme attempt to compete in a match or hear another ear-splitting unfunny interview with the woman Hatton calls Boobage? Hemme has actually proven useful a number of times, moreso than any of them. Massaro can be excused because she’s still under her Diva Search contract, but the rest?

There’s got to be a reason for this. Could she actually be the first sacrificial lamb for Vince’s new “drug policy”? She does have a rep as a bit of a party girl, so it wouldn’t be a surprise. However, that’s clearly speculation and clearly unwarranted at this time. But there’s something behind this that we don’t know about. It’ll come out sooner or later. But for now, let me remain completely mystified at this one. This may not be the most confusing cut that happened in 2005 (that’s clearly Charlie Haas), but it’s close.

And speaking of mystified and confused, let’s see how Raw puts me in that condition this week…

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

The Big Show and Kane over Viscera and Val Venis, Tyson Tomko and Gene Snitsky, and Antonio and Romeo, Weird-Ass Handicrap Tag Match That’s Obviously Not For The Title (Pinfall, both men pin Antonio, Tomko, and Venis, triple chokeslam): Please, I was trying to eat.

Slick Rick took it better than I did:

Did enjoy what I saw of the Kane/Big Show victory. I’m not expecting a clinic from those guys, but stuff like the triple chokeslam (who’d Tomko piss off?) is very nice if they’re serious about pushing them.

And given the fact that they’ll be on a Smackdown PPV, they’re serious about pushing them. The problem comes when it’s time for them to drop the straps. Who’s going to take them from them?

By the way, agreed with you on Heenan. It’s great to see him, and he is looking a little better, but he’s still death warmed over.

Missus Hevia over MickieLexis LaJames (Pinfall, rollup): It was supposed to be an Angle Advancement Match, with LaJames starting to lose to the Evil Divas on a semi-regular basis in order to complete the turn against Trish. But it ended up turning into a comedy match when the head flew off Candice’s wand. Either Joey and Lawler didn’t see it, or they were too slow on the trigger with a male orgasm joke. For Lawler in particular, that’s shameful.

I’m not the only one to connect something in this match to a penis. So does Steve Murray:

The ending of the James/Victoria match (when the wand fell apart, and Micki played it like everything went as normal) proves my point of “If you can’t whack off to it, don’t watch it”, when it comes to womens’ matches.

Chavito over Lance Cade (Pinfall, frog splash): I’m going to ignore the borderline necro involved in Chavito’s current push (but it would be nice to see him win the IC title in about six months if they’re serious about him). I think it’s just in better taste that I do so, because you could probably figure out what I might have to say about that and take serious umbrage, which I don’t feel like dealing with right now. Instead, let’s pity poor Lance Cade. In order to create the inexplicable Trevor Murdoch singles push, they’ve stuck him back in the singles ranks, where he’ll spend all his time being Epilepsy jobber fodder (ironically, the same thing that happened the last time he was in this position). And they’ve stuck him with those extremely ugly X-Men-villain tights on top of that. In addition, he desperately needs another hairstyle. His current one is far too reminiscent of Billy Gunn circa 2000 to get any good feelings going. Anyone think that he’s going to be on the next cut list?

However, I can’t resist comments about Chavito that connect into why Joey’s the better choice than Ross. Fortunately, I have Kyle McCowin to do my dirty work:

This also just drives home how much better Styles is than JR. I saw Chavo use a Gory Special/Gory Bomb a number of times and JR never once mentioned the significance. Yet Styles manages to connect Chavo’s tights to the family history in the first 15 seconds of the match. If he brings up that Eddie used the Frog Splash in tribute to Art Barr I will crap myself. Holy. Fucking. Shit. He actually did it.

The only time I remember WWE announcers pointing out the significance of the Gory Special was the few times that Eddy used it and Cole pointed it out. Ross, though, never.

Trip over Yoshihiro Tajiri, Pure Vindictiveness Match (Pinfall, Pedigree): Every time a Japanese wrestler is in there with Trip, I keep hoping that, somehow, this match would be like Trip’s famous match with Taka Michinoku in which Trip actually made us believe that the Japanese guy had a chance against him. And every time, I walk away disappointed. But you have to admit that this is better than his ten-minute promos that always seem to be without any content.

Steve Murray eerily enters the Great Minds Think Alike Department:

Trip’s match with Tajiri was depressing — mostly because it wasn’t half the match he had with TAKA a few years ago. I appreciate his effort to give a mid-level guy a few seconds in the spotlight every so often — but the fact that he can’t put on half the match he used to is just embarrassing.

People don’t think I’m representative of the so-called Average Fan because of various and sundry things (like the fact that I have a vocabulary and spell correctly without using a spell check). But here’s how the Short Form works: right after the match or angle ends, I go into my home office and type out my reactions. The only time they’re edited is if something in the show contradicts what I wrote earlier. At that point, I get embarassed and angry and delete the offending passage. That means that what I typed above was done during the commercial break after the Trip/Tajiri match.

Now, I don’t check the e-mail from my Raw Regulars until after the show; I even hold the column long enough so that everyone gets their mail to me (and I apologize to them if I get done quickly and their quotes can’t get in the column). In fact, I’m typing this in about an hour after Raw ended and about a half-hour after Steve sent his mail to me. So there’s no copying from anyone else. I’m an asshole, but I don’t steal people’s ideas and try to pass them off as my own. I just wanted to explain that in case anyone thinks that I’m using other people.

That being said, that match between Trip and TAKA still sticks in people’s minds years later. Not just in the minds of the glitterati of the IWC, but in the minds of long-time viewers who don’t have columns. We still have vivid memories of it. And that memory reappears every time Trip goes into a ring with someone of the Oriental persuasion. He could be going in there with Akira Taue and we’d still think of TAKA. It’s something that connects us. We may not have much of a collective institutional memory, but what we do have of one fixates on particular moments. In this regard, I am representative of the Average Fan. And I also have a pretty damn good memory to boot.

Kurt Angle and Carly Colon over Shawn Michaels and Shelton Benjamin (Pinfall, Carly pins Benjamin, rollup): Hmmmm, an Angle Advancement Main Event? You already know how I feel about that, and you know that the participation of Carly in this match makes that feeling greater. However, if they’re going in this direction, this might actually be the Start Of Something Good. But in order for that to happen, Benjy has to turn heel. Does he have the gravitas to turn heel without the presence of someone to help him, like Angle did back on Smackdown? Possibly. Right now, it’s too early to tell. But we do know one thing: if they pull the trigger on this, the matches are going to be great.

Angle Developments:

Duke The Dumpster McMahon: So, other than getting Mick Foley on camera, what exactly was the point of the opening promo? Just a set-up for the remainder of the night? If such was the case, then why not just use Shane? We all know that’s what it’s going to come down to anyway. Oh, f*ck it, you know that I really didn’t want to see Foley. Especially since he only mentioned Bisch blowing the title win on the live Nitro opposing the taped Raw. Jesus Christ, Foley, you want to make a case for Bisch’s generosity, bring up the fact that Bisch terminated not only you, but also Wife-Beater and Trip, when he was in charge of WCW, thus giving WWE three of their most popular wrestlers in history at bargain-basement rates.

A Trial Kafka Would Be Proud Of, Part I: And our venue has moved to an actual courtroom, and our first witless…uh, witness is…the Bitch of the Baskervilles. Oh, huz-f*ckin’-zah. And at this point, I was still trying to eat. This sorta killed any appetite I had. By the way, the only crime committed with Bisch kissing Steph was Bisch performing bestiality (which isn’t a crime in a number of states, by the way).

A Trial Kafka Would Be Proud Of, Part II: I do have one question to ask Tajiri: why does the rhino in question have to be pregnant? Does that somehow make it worse? Now I regret not paying attention to those National Geographic specials more closely. And since they’re in South Carolina, obviously, Mae and Moolah had to show up, so I’ll forgive that.

A Trial Kafka Would Be Proud Of, Part III: Nice blowing of kayfabe there, Vince, by revealing Masters’ real name. However, it does imply one thing I’m not very happy about, namely that people of Polish ancestry have to change their names in wrestling to be successful. Look at Van Dam if you must. Just ignore Ivan Putski. And, of course, there’s me. I’ve become successful in my own little part of wrestling and haven’t changed my name. Be Polish, be proud, that’s what I say.

I Love Shoot Promos That Aren’t…: Well, you have to admit that Michaels is right. Benjy’s career really hasn’t gone anywhere. He wasn’t allowed to do jack shit with the IC title when he had it for eight months. His match against Michaels is going to be Free TV Match Of The Year, but he really hasn’t done anything since. But Michaels is wrong in insisting that Benjy needs an attitude. What he needs is a personality. He’s, in a bad use of the old cliche, white bread. He needs some kind of spark to him. If Michaels can’t help him to get over, nothing will.

A Trial Kafka Would Be Proud Of, Part IV: Moon Pies aren’t actually that bad. And RC isn’t only found in the South either. It’s all over Chicago, and since it was always cheaper than Coke or Pepsi, I ended up buying a lot of it and acquiring a taste for it. In fact, there’s very few diet colas I can stand, but Diet Rite is one of them. So kudos to the makers of RC and Diet Rite for their efforts to provide cola-y goodness.

Edge Of Darkness: Oh, that Edge promo segment was very, very well-calculated. They essentially defused the road-rage issue by making light of it instead of just ignoring it. And then just when they were getting to the REAL issue, namely Beth’s divorce complaint, they bring in the case for the defense in the presence of Michael Hayes and Sergeant Slaughter. As people know, I’ve been a major Freebirds mark for over twenty years now, so listening to Hayes cut that promo was a wonderful flashback to better times (less so seeing him overweight and doing the balding-guy ponytail thing, although since he was doing that as Dok Hendrix, it was easy to take). Essentially, the WWE’s position here to try to tamp down the firestorm is that Flair’s contributions to entertainment outweigh his sins, a weak argument to be sure. But when it’s done in the ring as a promo, wrestling fans are conditioned to accept it with greater weight than it deserves. That being said, though, it was still cool to see Hayes beat the shit out of Edge, and Edge got a lot of mileage out of the Terry Gordy line. Maybe a match in the future? If so, can they get Buddy Roberts involved somehow?

A Trial Kafka Would Be Proud Of, Part V: You kinda had a feeling that the Boogeyman would get involved in this some way, didn’t you? Well, it does give us hope for that Simon Dean/Boogeyman feud that I was talking about in the Short Form over the weekend (and according to Smackdown spoilers, we get a little more hope for it on Friday).

A Trial Kafka Would Be Proud Of, Part VI: So, they’re trying to expand Maria’s personality by apparently giving her the ability to turn into an erudite intellectual when Mister Socko is asking her questions. Please note this fact: Maria Kanelis is still drawing a WWE paycheck. Christy Hemme, who is on the cover of this month’s Smackdown Magazine, is not. Now go and contemplate the inherent fairness of life.

A Trial Kafka Would Be Proud Of, Part VII: Oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit. Don’t tell me they’re going to go for a reconciliation angle between Trip and Steph? I do love how Vince “introduced” them to each other, though. It would be just like him to forget that they were storyline married for two years. One thing, though: those looks that they had for each other…they really are in love. Neither of them are good enough actors to pull something like that off if there wasn’t something really there. So that leads us to this: why would they do a reconciliation angle? There’s only one reason I can think of: Steph’s pregnant. To repeat myself: oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit.

A Trial Kafka Would Be Proud Of, Part VIII: Well, why not? Everyone else has been fired. Now let it be Shane taking Bisch’s place (temporarily), not Steph or Foley. We need a Shane fix right now. As for Bisch, dollars to doughnuts that he’s Angle’s manager by Christmas (or whenever Bisch gets back from his vacation). And as for the Special Guest Wigger in the final segment, I’ll let Merwyn Haskett say everything, because he puts it perfectly:

When Wrestlemania XX ended the champs were Eddie and Chris, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. A year later the champs were Cena and Batista and everything had gone to Hell.

Cena has held the title longer than Eddie, and longer than Chris held his. If the idiots in charge keep him champion as long as Feb. 27 he will have held the title longer than both Chris and Eddie combined.

Why can’t Cena just lose his smile and never be on my TV again?

And you wonder why people are booing him. By the way, was Cena even watching this show? Bischoff is the king of censorship? Excuse me, who was it that had Hayes and Slaughter come out to interrupt Edge and Lita, thus censoring them? Hayes only referred to the person as “the boss”, and you know there’s only one person Mister Badstreet USA and the Sarge would refer to that way, and it ain’t Kevin Dunn…okay, so he was “at the trial” (courtesy of pre-taped segments) at the time, but he’s still Vince. Vince has the power to bend reality any way he chooses.

And so we come to another end of another column. Just hope you enjoyed the effort. I’ll be back on Saturday with the Short Form thanks to another TNA weekday “special”. Until then, ta.