Well, that was an interesting trip, actually. The interview in Minnesota was fine. Everything that surrounded it, though…it actually focused on two issues, really. The first was the rental car. The passenger side lock wouldn’t work on it at all, something I didn’t discover at the outset because, hey, I was travelling alone with one small bag. No need to use it. It would come into importance later on. After my interview, I was getting into the car, ready to get to my hotel and check in, when the driver’s side lock was broken as well. Couldn’t get into the trunk either. I had to call the rental car company, who finally came by in freezing temperatures and got the door open a couple of hours later. I got a replacement rental, fortunately, and got my clean clothing for my flight back the next day.
The flight back was the other fun element. I had to change planes in Minneapolis. Turns out that my flight arrived at one end of the airport and my connecting flight was at the other end. If you’ve never been to Minny, let me inform you now that the airport is one long-ass terminal with very little tram service. It was essentially a two-mile trip, and I’m not exaggerating, and the tram covered maybe a fifth of it. Add to that the crowds of Christmas Week, and it was definitely a hellish experience. My shoulder is still hurting from carrying my bag for all that distance. Not to mention my feet; Bill Blass makes very attractive shoes, but they’re not meant for a forced march.
But that’s really a minor concern. I’m back home, I’m trying to relax, and I’m excited because I get to watch the Bears for two consecutive weeks, something I haven’t been able to do since I lived back in Chicago. Fuck the holidays; they’re a horrible time of year. But being stuck in the middle of Kansas and being able to watch the Bears play helps relieve the pain. It also helped that it was a great week for liberals and people with more than two working brain cells. Both intelligent design (which I will not attempt to legitimize in any way as science) and California’s “violent video game” ban were struck down by courts, victories for right-thinking people everywhere. Unfortunately, there’s no relief from this. I’m stuck watching a Smackdown “Best Of” special.
I do this for you. Have pity on me.
THE BEST OF SMACKDOWN (HA HA) SHORT FORM
Of course, we’re going to experience one of the greatest challenges ever presented, namely how they can get a two-hour “Best Of” out of what happened on Smackdown in 2005. They couldn’t fill up a PSA with their best moments, much less a two-hour show. I personally know that I could be doing something better than watching this shit. Plunging a broomstick up my ass comes to mind immediately; God knows it’d be less painful than watching this. Of course, I don’t have a broom handy, which means I’d have to go to Wal-Mart to get one. Not on Christmas Eve, bucko. So I’ll just experience the torture of this show…
Trip/Batista, WM21: Just to show you how barren the year was for Smackdown, their “Best Of” starts off with a Raw match. Yes, it was a very good match, and yes, Batista’s on Smackdown now, but at the time, he wasn’t. I don’t need to see this match again, thank you. Once was enough. So I caught a screen cap and went to the end. Batista’s been riding on the wave of this victory since, and he’s done well with it. That’s all we could ask.
Evolution’s version of “tough love”
Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match, Birmingham (the one in the UK, not Alabama), April 28th: This was during the period when I really wasn’t giving two shits about Smackdown…okay, I don’t give two shits about it now either, but at least I’m doing these columns. I skipped doing the Short Form for about two months this year, and this show was during that period. I’m not even sure I watched the show that week. So, I paid a little attention to this match. All of the worries were about one guy in it: TBS. We knew that Angle and Booker would bring things to the table, and we were just becoming assured that High-Quality Speaker Boy was actually motivated and would provide no worries, especially in an atmosphere where his deficiences could be easily covered up. But if TBS wasn’t motivated, the whole match would just fall apart. It’s an intricate, delicate structure, these Fatal Four-Ways. You just can’t throw any four guys in there (unless you’re the X Division) and expect it to work. However, TBS decided to bring his game, and things turned out well. Not something worth celebrating, I believe, but it still turned out well, despite the fact that all three pinfalls were decided by foreign objects (two chair shots and an announce table).
This match may have had one of the silliest announce moments of the year. The three other guys all teamed up to take out TBS on the outside. Angle hit the Angle Slam on TBS and rammed him through the announce table. What does Cole say? “Angle hit the Angle Slam through the announce table, and the referee never saw it!”. The possibility of this is so remote, even given WWE refs, that it’s ludicrous to attempt to even sell the concept. Of course, the ref in question for this match was Brian Hebner…
It’s Nuts To Butts Time in jolly old England
Rey-Rey/Eddy, Random Indian Casino, January 6th: Well, you know that one of their matches had to end up on this show somewhere, and this was a very good choice. It also provides me with the opportunity to cheat a little (call it a tribute to Eddy). Instead of actually, like, doing some work and coming up with something new, let me just repeat my comments from the January 6th Short Form…oh, come on, Scooter does this all the time and no one bitches. Except me, of course, when he doesn’t update his comments to reflect current conditions of wrestlers in re alive or dead:
The knock on Rey-Rey is that he can’t wrestle mat-based psychological matches. I think he answered all of his critics with this one. It was a terrific example of both psychology and anglo-lucha, something I’ve been a big fan of since it was pioneered in WCCW over twenty years ago. And it included an equally terrific ref bump that, for once, worked. Kudos to all involved for fifteen minutes of pure pleasure.
I’ll even throw in the original screen caps:
Apparently, the playbook that Rey-Rey is working out of is the Kama Sutra
Rey-Rey channels Shelton Benjamin for a moment
And repeats the channeling later in the match
Rey-Rey goes high-flying and gets a face full of mat for his troubles
A Quick Overview Of The Guys They’re Pushing Right Now: FudgePacker, Kid Kash, Bobby Lashley, the Mexicools, Paisley, MNM, Boogeyman, in that order…hold it, Paisley? Well, she gets more airtime than most of the midcarders do.
Booker/Benoit, Reno, October 21st: Since they’ve done this so often recently, the matches have obviously become a blur. This was the set-up match for the current Best Of Seven series. Wish I could rip myself off again, but this is during the period that I was stuck in Chicago while the Damn Vaninator was getting its transmission fixed, so, thus, no column to steal from.
The only notable feature about this one was seeing Benoit fling himself into the announce table while doing a plancha. Really, it has got to the point where they’ve done this so often with each other that individual moments don’t stand out at all. All the matches are of uniform excellence and high quality, so there’s no reason to complain. Yes, they aren’t up to the standard of the WCW matches, but now you noobs can sort of understand us greybeards when we talk about that Best Of Seven and gush over it. If they’re this good today, how good were they seven years ago? Think about that.
There’s one thing that I wonder about Michael Cole…okay, there are a lot of things that I wonder about Michael Cole. However, there’s one thing in regard to Benoit. Cole had absolutely no problem in calling the Three Amigos during Eddy matches. Referred to the triple suplexes by name, pimped them up, etc. Benoit’s Triple Germans are the prototype of that, and he’s been doing them forever (the joke is that he learned it in Stampede courtesy of his arms getting stuck around an opponent due to a situation involving Beef Wellington’s sperm, but I’m digressing). Yet Cole never calls the Triple Germans. It always seems to surprise Ol’ Vagina-Face when Benoit keeps his arms locked after the first. Can anyone give me a rational answer on why he does that? It’s annoying as hell.
Benoit shouldn’t have had the scampi for lunch
Smackdown Versus Raw Survivor Series Match: Now they’re really reaching into the depths. I think I’ll rip off my November 29th column for a bit of textual filler:
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.
Obviously, the few weeks since SurSer has not made me change my mind about this match. It’s still putrid.
Just a demonstration of how much Shawn Michaels worked at putting other people over in 2005
The advantage to a “Best Of” show is simple. It enables me to skip over all the shit that I’ve seen or don’t care about (like the interstitials recapping, say, the UT/Orton feud). It usually takes me about three hours or so to do an episode of Smackdown. This took me a little over an hour. Hey, it’s the holiday season. I deserve to work less too.
THE IMPACT SHORT FORM
Next week will be interesting, to say the least. They’re going to have the regular Impact on Saturday, then do that “First Match of 2006” thing. This, of course, will be the first match of 2006 only on the East Coast, which is irrelevant and biased. It will be the last match of 2005 for those of us in civilized areas, and, no, the fact that we have a leap second coming doesn’t help that. So I will adapt and conquer, as usual. On with this week’s stocking stuffer…
Christopher Daniels over Eric Young (Pinfall, Angel’s Wings): Too short to really develop an opinion about. But the outside distractions were at overload. First you had D’Amoron out there with Young, which is perfectly fine. Then Alex Shelley shows up. Then Shannon Moore. Excuse me, but Christopher Daniels is in the ring. We don’t need distractions from the action, thank you. We want to see the match. So, please, avoid this type of situation again, especially if it doesn’t contribute to any angle.
Why not brawl outside the ring? That’s where the focus of this match is anyway.
Abyss over Chris Sabin (Pinfall, Black Hole Slam): Just to remind you: Chris Sabin is a former X Division champion. He is constantly in the mix for the X Division title. He is not a jobber. Just wanted to make sure that you remembered.
Abyss tests Sabin’s aerodynamic coefficient
Ron Killings over Kenny King (Pinfall, axe kick): Well, at least King got some offense in this time. You know, maybe our little Tough Enough veteran can become a good midcard addition to the X Division…no, he either doesn’t have the distinctive moves or he hasn’t been able to show them. If it’s the latter, though, give it a chance. The guy tries his damndest to connect with a crowd, and a jobber’s life isn’t something he deserves.
Kenny King, K-Kwik…too many Ks in there
Christian over Chris Harris (Pinfall, Unprettier): Rudy Charles made an extremely bizarre move at the beginning of this one. He tossed James Storm from ringside, but not Gail Kim. Please note that Gail Kim is a trained wrestler. Former WWE Women’s Champion and all that. Isn’t she dangerous enough to the match that she should be ejected as well? Man, the spectre of Earl Hebner possibly coming in must be ratting Senior Ref Rudy. Of course, she’s out there for the potential of a Jackie Gayda run-in, a possibility accentuated by Tenay and the Idiot Don West with their constant comments about Gayda during this match. Oh, this is getting convoluted. Totally obscures the fact that this match was pretty good. Harris didn’t deserve that singles push a couple of years ago, but he doesn’t disgrace himself in the ring when he’s not in there with Storm. He definitely gave Christian something to work with.
Come on, Chris, y
ou’re not fooling anybody
All I Want For Christian Is My Two Front Teeth: You know, I can still remember when Christian was first given the mic in around, oh, ’97 or so. He couldn’t cut a promo if he had a gun pointed to his head. It’s utterly amazing to me that he (and for that matter, Trish, who was in the same boat) became such a terrific promo artist. The Jarrett Impersonation promo was terrific. The crowd, though, really helped. I said a couple of weeks ago that the TNA live crowd was the most smarkish since ECW, and I meant it in a good way. The chants of “Double C” and “Stuff Her Stocking” actually elevated the promo. Maybe if more WWE fans watched TNA, they’d realize that crowd participation goes beyond chanting “Asshole” and “What?”.
That would be a total of four “Ho”s, I believe
Suddenly, Christian changed his mind about what he wanted for Christmas
And, yes, the shirt did have a WWF logo on the back
Freudian Slip, Wrestling Style: Did Bob Armstrong call Shane Douglas “Shawn”? Considering what we know about Douglas’ history, that’s one helluva burn. Bullet Bob’s still got it.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Old Age Outlaws
The last thing that Dave Hebner should wear is an authorized shirt from any wrestling fed
That’s all for this. I’m going out right now for something to eat and to have a Merry Christmas sitting in front of the electronic fire to watch the Bears play. Masturbation is optional. Until Tuesday, eat, drink, and be merry, for starting in January, the bills come.