In Memoriam: Lou Rawls. Oh, man, that’s a bad one. We on the South Side, black or white, treat our homegrown musical stars with the respect and love they deserve. Lou was one of the greatest, period. And I was happy that he was still healthy enough to do the Anthem at Game 2 of the World Series. He had to wait for that honor, and it came just in time. Thank you for the voice, Lou.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Idiot Bill Simmons had to put up his Friday column at espn.com and voice what we in Chicago all secretly desire but would never say because it won’t happen if we do: the possibility of The Rematch. Every twenty years, just like a plague of locusts, the stars align in a certain way. Add that to the bizarre sports-related mystical field that descended upon Chicago at the beginning of October, and it might just happen. But has the field dissipated? The Bulls have been losing like crazy lately, and this isn’t Wall Street, where bad news for Bulls means good news for Bears. Simmons wants The Rematch because he believes that it will redeem him from childhood trauma. I want it for one reason: to cause Simmons more mental anguish and hopefully drive him to suicide so we don’t have to read any more of his drivel. I want to be able to masturbate to a continuous loop of the AP Defensive Player Of The Year turning SI’s Sportsman Of The Year into someone who wishes that he felt as good as Ariel Sharon on the turf of Ford Field, with the thought of Simmons hanging from a belt attached to his shower curtain rod providing that extra added erotic frisson.
And speaking of that creep from Michigan, that line he pulled about his team not getting enough respect…what, the continuous fellating from the media isn’t enough now? Getting put on the cover of SI for a regular-season game while the World Series Champions are relegated to a corner photo was just a reach-around? Maybe the UN should send a delegation to Foxboro and offer you undisputed rulership over the world. Will that satisfy you, you piece of shit?
Ah, the bile is out. Must be a PPV weekend. And so it is. Well, we got the Round Table up early for a change due to various and sundry, so that’s out of the way. Fortunately, since it’s a Raw PPV, I don’t have to dwell on it here. I can just wait until Tuesday and do the electronic equivalent of projectile vomiting over their booking mistakes, shitty matches, and sundry poor value for money (which I refuse to spend on them). Instead, I get to do the stuff that’s broadcast right now, things I don’t have to pay for. So let’s try that…
THE SMACKDOWN SHORT FORM
High-Quality Speaker Boy over Matt Hardy, Falls Count Anywhere Match (Pinfall, garbage can to the skull, pinfall takes place on the hood of the limo): Well, I’ll give them credit for this: normally, when they have an FCA match, most of the action takes place inside of the ring. They kept the action almost entirely outside the ring for this, which is where an FCA match should take place. However, this is another area where they show weakness to TNA right now. Just like the X Division totally blows away SD’s cruisers, the Grievous Bodily Harm Division overshadows matches like this. Maybe WWE’s learning from them in this regard with the booking of this match. Hopefully, they were, because they’ve got guys on the roster who are solid wild-ass brawlers, and they could be far more entertaining with garbage matches like this than they’ve been.
I don’t care where you beat him up, just do it
Oh, God, not the ladder. What a cliche.
Mark Henry over John Troshke, Gus Harlacher, and Bob Eckos, Gauntlet Match (Submission, torture rack; Pinfall, spinebuster; Pinfall, front powerslam): First of all, apologies to the jobbers if I got your name spelled wrong. But with no chyron, you can’t be sure. By the way, love the mullet, Gus. It works for you. And I’d rather comment on Gus’ mullet than think about this match. Just a quick one to reestablish Henry in the bigs. Oh, Jesus, Vince, what went through your mind when you signed him for that f*cking long?
Kid Kash over Juventud Guerrera, Cruiserweight Title Match (Pinfall, Dead Level): Well, this turned out to be Juvi’s last WWE match, and he didn’t disgrace himself in the ring. He and Kash put on a damn good match. If Juvi had confined himself to in-ring performances, he would have been all right. But he just had to be a complete asshole outside the ring, and now he’s gone, thus forcing WWE to come up with some kind of long-term program for Kash. Does this open the door for Paul London? Let’s hope so.
Now drive your ass straight back to Mexico
“No deseo ir! No deseo ir!”
Our Lord and Savior over, yet again, Kid Antichrist, yet another Best Of Seven Proxy Match (DQ, Jordan-ference, series now tied at three): The only reason I enjoyed last week’s match was due to Booker’s commentary. This week, though, he sounded like a spastic on crank. And top it all off with Orlando Jordan doing the interference…yeesh.
Mark Jaskowski noticed that Randy’s looking a little thin lately and wondered if that could have anything to do with the drug policy. Mark, there’s no drug policy. I said from moment one that it’s a put-up job, and time has proven me correct. However, Vince using the words “drug policy” has obviously been enough for some guys to stop juicing, and that’s exactly what Vince wants. This way, people in the media will notice that guys are less freakish and remark on it, saying that Vince is doing a wonderful job getting rid of drugs in wrestling. Meanwhile, Vince doesn’t have to spend a dime for testing because the mere threat of it is enough. And, thus, Vince wins yet again. But, yeah, Randy does look like he’s getting off the juice. Nice catch.
By the way, Mark is doing the right thing by his four-year-old and exposing him to classic Warner Brothers cartoons on DVD. Catch ’em at that age, and they’ll be fans for life. Mark also says that the kid won’t say a peep when he’s watching those cartoons, but can’t stay still attempting to watch Loonatics. I have utterly refused to watch an episode of that show, due to the fact that I consider it desecration of the highest order. But a four-year-old not being able to stand it? That either displays clearly that the show really blows, or this is one very sophisticated four-year-old. Either way, the kid’s better for it.
I love posting pictures of Benoit. I love posting pictures of Orton getting the shit beat out of him. So I love this.
Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro over Rey-Rey y DAVE, Steel Cage Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Nitro pins Rey-Rey, Henry-ference): Well, I have to admit that they did an adequate job editing it down to eliminate the failures that Henry had getting into the cage during the taping. I can imagine how boring that was for the audience, because this whole match bored me. It was the same old shit that they’ve done time and time again, only this time inside a cage. This was the first cage match in a long time where no one bled, and that’s always an attraction of a cage match. I’m sure that my fellow columnists here will mark out over it, though, which is why you shouldn’t read them and only read me. I will at least tell you the truth.
Oh, yeah, Memo To Tazz: Start reading my column. I, with the help of Vintastic, explained why Rey-Rey calls his Bronco Buster the 1904 both last week and on Tuesday. To repeat, in case you missed it, “19” means S, “04” means D, SD means either “Smackdown” or (more likely) “San Diego”. Simplicity itself.
Rey-Rey gets an assisted flight for a change
Okay, this got my attention
Yeah, like either of them want her
Oh, f*ck, he’s back
Brokeback Man-Mountain: Wait a second, did Mark Henry just proposition DAVE? Or was it just incredibly sloppy scriptwriting that allowed that particular nightmare scenario to form? Dear God, let it be the latter.
This is an attractive image that will take forever to burn out of my brain
Shanes! Come Back, Shanes!: “Gymini” is probably the stupidest pun that WWE has ever come up with for a name, and that’s really saying something from the company that came up with T. L. Hopper. I give it three months before they’re back to being the Shane Twins. I really hate twin tag teams. This means that I have to pay attention to which one’s actually in the ring in order to properly do this problem. Normally, I can just veg out during a match, and there’s no problem. Damn you.
We’re all excited about N’awlins being revived enough to host Mardi Gras, but you don’t have to start practicing for it
THE IMPACT SHORT FORM
The ex-Buh Buh Ray Dudley and the ex-D-Von Dudley over Buck Quartermain and Lex Lovett (Pinfall, the ex-D-Von pins Lovett, 3-D): It’s during squashes like these that I like to cogitate on the jobbers. Buck Quartermain, well, he’s the Barry Horowitz of the Zeroes. But Lex Lovett…the guy’s really popular in Florida, and he’s done terrific work. If he was given a couple of unexpected singles wins (too bad Jeffykins isn’t around; he’d be the perfect victim), I have this feeling the crowd would really get behind him. Thus, TNA could position him as a shorter, lighter Lance Hoyt, only with wrestling skills. Lex deserves a push. Maybe I’ll make him my Lost Cause for 2006.
“My name’s Buck, and I like to f*ck.”
Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas over Apolo and Homicide (DQ, Konnan’s Fun With Refs (see below)): Normally, this spot would be reserved for laments of “What are they doing with the Naturals?” However, since this is essentially the in-ring debut of Homicide, I’ll comment on that. Everyone loves the guy. Everyone wants the best for him. Maybe in the long run, he’ll be a good addition for TNA. But they’ve stuck him with Konnan. Hasn’t everyone figured out by now that Konnan automatically drags someone down? It’s a one-way descent into the Pit of Suck. There have been some who have been able to tread water, but their careers weren’t the same (see Killings, Ron).
Plus, they’ve stuck him with Apolo. In my interview with Buttonhole, I said that TNA should get rid of Apolo, and I haven’t changed my mind about that. This team is a bit of a misfit on paper. Yes, Homicide’s talented enough to overcome that, but he needs a stronger tag partner. The problem is that there’s no one around right now who could be that partner for him. Maybe after Homicide gets established, they could transition him to someone like, oh, Alex Shelley. Now there’s an idea.
Plus, they’ve stuck him in a feud that will end up as a New Age Outlaws versus New Age Conquistadors match. This is a no-win for Homicide. There’s no way that TNA will allow a reunited NAO to job to anyone right now except AMW. Being on the losing end of your first big feud in a new company isn’t good.
I fear for Homicide.
Well, that’s a disqualification
Ron Killings over Bobby Roode (Pinfall, rollup); Ron Killings over Bobby Roode (Pinfall, rollup); Bobby Roode over Ron Killings (Pinfall, lariat): So, what was the point of this? Does anyone know? The only way this makes sense is if Killings joins the anti-Jarrett faction. Actually, that’s what I’m hoping happens, because that’s where the action is in his division. Without that impetus, he’s lost. I like him and I want the best for him, so let’s just hope that someone comes to their senses.
This was Fall One, in case you blinked and missed it
Here’s the second fall, in case you blinked and missed that too
Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, and Roderick Strong over A. J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Chris Sabin (Pinfall, Shelley pins Sabin, inverted Stratusfaction(!!)): Okay, here’s our early candidate for Free TV Match of the Year for 2006. Its only sin, as Neeley noted, is its short length. This one was f*cking wild. Given the participants, that’s not surprising at all. There’s another factor involved in that too. TNA knows how to do a six-man match, and not only in the X Division. Even their Main Event six-mans have been pretty decent. Here’s the difference when it comes to TNA and WWE: TNA’s writing staff is mostly wrestling professionals. They know about the tradition of trios matches in lucha, and are able to successfully Americanize it utilizing the talent they have. Plus, they throw in some interesting twists. A. J. Fuckin’ Styles playing Ricky Morton? Somehow, this works.
They were also able to successfully do one other thing in this match that TNA has had problems with in the past: transcending the face/heel dynamic. The only person you can remotely describe as a heel in this match was Shelley. The promo and the match successfully set this up as an old guard/new blood thing. The only thing slightly lacking in this was, believe it or not, Shelley. I would have preferred someone else in there with stronger connections to ROH than Shelley has. It would have made the contrast a little greater. Of course, if they did that, then we’d be on the slippery slope to an invasion scenario, and that’s not something we want. So maybe this was better.
Chris Sabin never does anything simple
Daniels puts in his claim for Strong to be his personal bitch
It isn’t that the move is painful, it’s just so damn humiliating
Gimmick Infringment: Memo to the ex-Buh Buh Ray: When you’re doing a promo, please, please, I beg you, don’t do anything in that promo that can remind an audience of Jerry Reinsdorf. Alluding to Reinsdorf’s statement that he’d trade all of his six Bulls championships for one Sox win in the World Series (and with whom did he make that bargain, and did he follow up on it?) in regard to the NWA tag titles, which pretty much haven’t meant jack shit since the late 80s, leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe it’s familiarity breeding contempt. In any case, please, don’t do it again.
Is there anyone who’s more money when it comes to an intense promo?
It could have been worse. They could have demanded a trade. By the way, does Roderick Strong look like Dean Malenko or what?
Well, it wasn’t Garbo in Anna Christie…
Plausibly Live: It’s very rare that this happens, so when it does, I need to remark on it. Both Impact and Smackdown benefitted highly from the fact that they’re taped this week. Both “main events” were horribly marred by f*ck-ups and unexpected happenings. Mark Henry’s inability to get into the cage was savvily covered up by judicious tape editing. The closing promo on Impact was such a disaster that it needed to be cut down in length and have the crowd noise potted down; they were even talking about trying to turn it into a vignette rather than keep it as an in-ring thing. It was so atrocious that not even Monty Brown and Christian were able to save it. However, they saved it in editing.
This is why I try to be a little more lenient with Raw. As someone who was a stage actor for twenty years, I know what can happen with a live audience. It’s also why I bow to the skills of the film or tape editor. Those guys make a living turning lemons into lemonade. So let’s salute the editors, the unsung heroes of wrestling television. They deserve love too.
And Neeley liked this?
Hence, this becomes closed. Enjoy yourselves, and I’ll be back Tuesday to enlighten you more during our short gap between PPVs.