Welcome back, boys; you were missed for those few short days. Nice way to give a big Fuck You to the MPAA and its little whores the White House and the Swedish attorney general. And I loved those pics of the protests in Stockholm and Gothenborg on Saturday.
Okay, nothing’s ever as simple as it seems to be. The Army is currently denying me a security clearance due to my psychiatric history and a bankruptcy I had years ago. Actually, this isn’t a surprise. The problem here lies in how the regulations regarding granting of security clearances is worded. I’m trying to get around this by attempting to provide justifications. For instance, I’m actually in luck in regard to the bankruptcy. One of the provisions for granting an execption is “unforseen circumstances beyond the individual’s control (e.g. a major or catastrophic illness or surgery)”. Well, just so happens that the reason I declared bankruptcy was because I had three surgeries in 1998 (two knee, one back) and my HMO denied coverage on all of them. So, an explanation from me and copies of my latest credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian to show that I’m a good boy now should satisfy that condition.
The psychiatric thing, though, that’s more difficult. Essentially, to get around that, I need a letter from my last therapist. She’s no longer in the local office here. She’s at an outlying office, and is only available on Mondays. So I have to wait until Monday morning to contact her. I can literally dictate a letter to her over the phone on what needs to be in there, and she can fax it to me. Then, I have to get everything faxed to the Army. Then they have to either reinforce their decision or change their minds right away. I need to move out of here on Wednesday, and if it’s favorable, report to Texarkana on Saturday.
So what if it doesn’t happen? The job in Indiana still wants me and wants me to start on Monday the 12th. So the backup plan is in place. If it’s still a no-go, I still move out on Wednesday, but it’s back to Chicago to stay with my mother while I attempt to get an apartment in Indiana.
So, what does all this mean? If I get the Army to change their mind, I’ll have Net access right away in Texarkana, so I might be able to churn out a Short Form next week. If not, I’m moving to Chicago on Thursday of next week, as a stepping stone to get an apartment in Indiana, and I don’t know when I’ll get Net access back. Either way, no column on Tuesday of next week. So this will act as a temporary farewell of indeterminate length.
So, let’s just get on with this so I can get on with the semblance of what I call a life…
THE SMACKDOWN SHORT FORM
Kurt Angle over Rey-Rey, Farewell Non-Title Match (COR): Would anyone have minded if they’d given this match an hour instead of just twenty minutes? It was a little slow, but the slowness was countered by the fact that it was well-paced. Add the well-calculated pace to the ultra-high quality of the mat work, and you definitely have a Free TV MOTYC, and a fitting segue as Kurt becomes the first three-show superstar for WWE (I think I’d be comfortable in saying that even in ECW, Kurt’s still above Van Dam on the food chain).
People are finding fault with the ending, but I see it as the only logical ending. Rey-Rey’s been so beaten down lately that he couldn’t take the pin. If Rey-Rey pinned Angle, it’d have to be a clean pin given Rey-Rey’s ethos, and it would make Angle look weak on the cusp of ECW’s reintroduction. We’d all bitch and moan if there was a run-in. A DQ would have been nonsensical. So a count-out makes sense in this situation. I have nothing to complain about here, and neither should you.
Kurt’s wondering which body part to break as a farewell gift
Sometimes the jokes just write themselves
Matt Hardy over Nunzio (Pinfall, Twist of Fate): Everyone knows how much apathy I exhibit toward Hardy. I’m now doing the same for Nunzio. Hopefully, this is a farewell match for him too, because, right now, his only chance is to get back to ECW and get back to being Little Guido. He’s trapped in a bad SE situation on Smackdown with a no-hope angle. Right now, teaming up with Tony Mamaluke is paradise compared to that. So let’s cut to the Sicilian Slice and do what’s right by him.
Actually, that’s pretty tasteful
Jillian Hall over Kristal Marshall (Pinfall, victory roll): Hey, it wasn’t embarassing (and the evidence that they were having fun in there was infectious). Has Marshall reached the point where she’s viable in the ring? Say it ain’t so. And what the hell’s going on with Smackdown right now in regard to the women? They’ve got Hall, who’s an accomplished wrestler. They now have Massaro, who’s improving in the ring. McCool’s on board, and she’s been doing a good job in Deep South. Marshall looks like she’s actually willing to work at this (and I’m waiting for the inevitable Marshall/Funaki team-up). Are they trying to establish a women’s division? If so, is it to eventually replace the one on Raw, which has been declining despite the best efforts of Stratus and LaJames? Or are they just trying to blunt criticisms of the Diva Search as being a way to replace women with actual wrestling talent in favor of tits and ass? This is something to watch, and not for the chicks.
By the way, some people have commented that McCool has a Miss Hancock vibe going for her. Seeing as I fell in love with My Beautiful and Beloved when she was still Miss Hancock, let me tell you that they’re wrong. McCool isn’t giving off the vibe of intellectual eroticism that Stacy did. She’s just a pseudo-intellectual slut attempting to appeal to a fetishitic archetype (Hot For Teacher), and, worse, she’s trying to copy Matt Striker’s heat. So, right now, she’s simply useless. You want to fall in love with her, fine by me, but I’ll stick to the real thing.
Repeat performance, my place, any time you’d like, Jillian
Mark Henry over Paul Burchill (Pinfall, World’s Fattest Slam): So…a couple of weeks ago, Paul Burchill was getting a push and was regarded as being at US title level. Now, he’s Mark Henry’s bitch in a total squash. What exactly is going on here?
Okay, you don’t like pirates. We get it.
Mister David Finlay over Caden Mathews (who got chyron, lucky him)(Pinfall, Emerald Fusion): Nothing to say about the match, of course, but this is the first time I’ve seen the leprechaun. I’m gonna chime in with the rest of the crowd and say that as long as it’s treated this way, it is REALLY gonna go over great. They’re doing this right. I can’t believe it. After the whole Juniors debacle, I (and everyone else) smelled disaster, especially linked to someone like Finlay. But this? Hey, it’s cute. Let’s see what happens from here, though. They’re going to fall into the temptation of doing something stupid, we all know that, but let’s enjoy the ride.
Life’s good when you’ve got a jobber locked in your finisher
Bobby Lashley over Booker T, Non-Title And Non-Throne Match (Pinfall, running powerslam): Meh match, but it was all about the apres. It’s great to see Regal and Finlay in there together. Oh, if only Benoit wasn’t hurt, life could be so much better. Mustn’t weep for things we can’t have anymore. Just weep for the things we could have had and “creative” denied to us.
As Fingers put it in the Super-Secret Writers’ Forum, it’s Friday Night Blackdown!
Parasite: He had a tag team aborted due to Chris Cage’s immaturity. His confrontation angle was ended when Palmer Canon got sick of the hazing backstage. Now, finally, Mike Mizanin gets to the bigs as…a host? Is this really the best they can do? Yes, Mizanin has proven mic skills and MTV celebrity going for him. But isn’t Smackdown supposed to be the “wrestling” brand? Therefore, shouldn’t Mizanin actually be in the ring? Maybe that will come, but for right now, he’s the appendix of Smackdown, a vestigal appendage that serves no purpose. If you’re going to do something like this with him, send him to ECW.
Yeah, this is really going to attract me to watch
It’s like running into the ex-wife while going shopping, isn’t it, Cole?
The only way Piper can stand this is to think of the sweet coke binge waiting for him back at his place
Silver Linings In The Smallest Places: There’s a great deal of cynicism floating around about ECW, and I’ve contributed to that (although, surprisingly, I’m not as fatalistic as some people like JJ). However, when they have Tazz pull out “Beat me if you can, survive if I let you” (in regard to Lawler), some hope does arise. It’s also a clear sign that Tazz will be joining Joey in the booth. Just don’t let Mizanin be his replacement, please.
Haven’t seen anything like this since Bokassa was deposed
THE IMPACT SHORT FORM
Chris Harris and James Storm over Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas, Non-Title Match (Pinfall, Storm pins Stevens, Greco-Roman Punch To The Face): I’m not going to bother with the match. The number of AMW/Naturals matches must be in five digits by now, so we’ve seen this before. But I will ask this: why is it that TNA has a neurotic fetish with having someone become the Naturals’ “mentor”? We’ve had Jimmy Hart and Chris Candido, now it’s Shane Douglas’ turn. Is there some perceived weakness in their SE abilities that requires them to have a manager? They’re not that bad at cutting promos. I can see the need nowadays, though. You’ve got two teams who are grandmaster promo artists in the ex-Dudleys and NAO (as they both demonstrated over the past two weeks), and AMW is very effective at heel promos, so, without a mouthpiece, the Naturals may be left in the dust (even moreso than they have been). Plus, Shane’s a good choice for that role. We know how great a mouthpiece he is, and if he wants to get back in the ring a bit, he can always start using Triple Threat references (oh, so au courant these days thanks to you-know-what). And the final factor that leads into a decision is this: the Naturals have had such bad luck over the past six months with revolving injuries and depushes that anything that can get them back into the upper echelon is good. They didn’t deserve that to happen.
However, there might have been a better solution. What about hooking the Nats up with Christy Hemme? She can do mic work pretty well, and she said in a recent interview that she’d love to go at it with Gail Kim. Being with the Nats provides a natural segue into that situation. Given the fact that Jackie Gayda is preggers, Kim/Hemme is the only available high-level women’s match right now. Just an idea.
If you’re able to put enough pressure on someone’s throat to make them do a titty twister on themselves, you might just be a redneck
Jay Lethal over Alex Shelley (Pinfall, rollup after heel miscommunication): Okay, I drooled. Given the proper exposure and push, we have here a rivalry that will easily extend for a decade barring catastrophic injury. The thing is, will TNA be the place this rivalry blossoms? If ECW succeeds, it would be an ideal location for these guys. If Heyman can make a star out of Van Dam, imagine what he’d do with Lethal and Shelley. We’re seeing the beginning of something special here. It’s like watching Misawa/Kawada back in, oh, the beginning of the 90s. The best thing about this, though, is that we know that Kevin Nash won’t be involved when this really starts to get hot.
When Max Bygraves (and Malcolm McLaren) said that you need hands, I don’t think this is what he meant
Jeff Jarrett over Raven, King of the Mountain Qualifying Match (Pinfall, Stroke): Well, Raven had his moment in the sun last year at King of the Mountain (as a last-minute substitute for Jarrett kayfabe-wise, if memory serves, so karma is maintained). Besides, he’s got Larry Z to screw around with at Slammiversary. Besides the second, Jarrett not being in King of the Mountain was like a missing tooth last year. Until he dies or TNA dies, he has a permanent slot in that match. Jesus, it’s where his nickname comes from. So I don’t really have any objections per se to the results of this match. As for the match itself, nice and garbagy, playing right into Raven’s strengths; the fact that Raven brought the ultra-violence was a nice reminder of his Clockwork Orange image. Jarrett, though, should stay away from garbage matches at all costs. We still haven’t forgotten the Good Housekeeping Match, Jeff.
Raven, by the way, is probably the one ECW vet in TNA that I wouldn’t like to see in ECW Redux. Chubby!Raven is definitely not something to bring back a positive glow of nostalgia, no matter how many audience tours he makes.
Fill in your own “Jarrett=Trash” joke here
Since everything’s pretty much settled for Slammiversary, it’s photo collection time…
It’s not nice to deny the boss information
Right person to do it to, wrong person to do it
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Welcome to the meat industry
Now, what happens when I get back? Do I expand the Short Form to include ECW? ECW is going to be broadcast on Tuesday, and I hate covering stuff that old. However, it does deserve coverage. I’ll have to make up my mind on that. I’ll brief you guys on what happened after I get Net access back. Until then, I’ll see you when I see you.
Tags: Smackdown, TNA