Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc., 06.27.06

Hey, it ain’t that often that the two richest guys in the world are in the same shot. If so, you must print it.

In Memoriam: Arif Mardin, the man who taught the Bee Gees how to dance and got Aretha to sing pop like gospel.

I should say, this isn’t my whole life. It’s not all spaceships and stuff, ’cause I’m into all sorts of things. Uh, I like football, I like a drink, I like Spain. And if there’s one thing I really, really love, then it’s Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchesta, ’cause you can’t beat a bit of ELO. – Russell T. Davies, through the character of Elton, Doctor Who: “Love and Monsters”

Russell, get out of my head, dammit. But I can’t get it out of my head, can I?

Oh, God, my life has truly hit bottom. Let me explain what’s happened since I last joined you in our little party here at IP:

1) I couldn’t get my security clearance situation cleared up, so I lost the job with the Army.

2) I made some follow-up calls elsewhere, and I found that the job in Indiana was still available. So I still put all of my stuff into storage in Kansas. In the process, I lost my balance while moving a bookcase and it got me hard-way right above my left eye. .8 Muta, minimum. In point of fact, I did take aspirin prior to this happening, but not to get good juice. Moving shit’s hard on muscles and all that.

3) Headed back to Chicago, eventually. Got nailed for a speeding ticket around Joliet while I was fighting to stay awake for the last forty miles.

4) Then the started on the Damn Vaninator broke, again. The trigger wire was shorted, which was what caused it to short out the last time a couple months ago.

5) Then the job in Indiana fell through. Had an apartment picked out and was ready to move in and everything. I’m still getting billed for establishing electric and cable service, but I at least got out of the lease I signed.

So where does that leave me? In Chicago, still jobless, now sponging off the old bat until I find a job. Congrats to me, I’m now experiencing the worst cliche of a wrestling fan, living in the parents’ basement. Hopefully, it won’t be for long. I’ve already been interviewed by a scientific staffing firm for any position they’ve got that I can do, and I’ve got at least one face-to-face interview this week (with the possibility of another late next week in Indy). It’ll be easier to get a job here rather than in West Bumf*ck, I have to admit that.

Well, enough about that. On to other things, and I’m not going to bother with what I missed other than to say that I was laughing my ass off seeing Lefty’s 72nd hole at the US Open…

Is Ben Curtis really going to win a golf tournament today? Did Ben Curtis really DOMINATE a tournament the way he did the Booz Allen? Look, it doesn’t matter that the highest-ranked player there was Harrington while everyone who mattered was trying to recover from the bitchslap that was the US Open. He dominated the entire damn field. Ben Curtis, though? You know who’s really going to suffer for this? Todd Hamilton. He’s in the same position Curtis was in before this weekend, someone who you just sit back and wonder “How the f*ck did he win the British Open?”, but he got a free pass due to Curtis’ total inability to follow his win up with anything resembling good, consistent golf over the last three years. Now that Curtis has come back from the dead, the onus of Undeserving Champion goes right to Hamilton’s shoulders. Now he’s got to come out and prove himself.

Curtis didn’t exhibit the best of timing, though. The win at the Booz Allen gives him two years of exemption on tour. He still has two years of exemption remaining from the British Open win, though. If he’d have won next year, that would have given him the Immunity Idol for an extra year. Well, maybe he’ll win next year, but for now, he’ll be remembered not only as a fluke major winner, but as in all probability the last winner of the Booz Allen. The tournament’s probably going to vanish from next year’s schedule, or, even worse, be put after the Tour Championship as part of the Sweat Your Ass Off To Get Into The Top 125 Tour Of Marginal Pros.

Oh, yeah, one more thing: Jay Mariotti really is a fag. Any Chicagoan can tell you that. Now watch as Widro tries to send me to sensitivity training. Little does he know that I’d send the instructor into permanent residence in a rubber room within fifteen minutes.

THE PIMP SECTION

Lucard is generally right about grass-fed versus grain-fed beef. I’ll spare you the rest of the details. But let me just say this: who are you going to trust more around beef, a guy who knows his way around all the parts of a dead cow or some guy who gets harassed by so-called vampire hunters?

JJ rocks the recap thing, as he rocks most everything. Except when he’s doing a power ballad.

Murray goes slightly negative, which is a good thing. And I don’t remember if any of the TNA guys back in the day claimed Trinity, so you’re in the clear for now, Steve.

The retardedness of Hatton‘s friends is contagious, because Hatton just lost the ability to spell Melina’s name correctly.

You gotta love Daniels, and for that matter Tierney too, because they hate the non-existent baseball team in Chicago. You know, the one that hasn’t won anything in a century.

In tribute to Ronaldo’s pair of goals last week and Shaq winning another title, Goober gives love to fat people everywhere. This does not include me. Hey, I’ve spent the last fourteen years, ever since I got out of the Army, sitting at two spins at six foot even, which is classified as “stocky” for my big Polack build.

Paul mourns the upcoming end of Top of the Pops. As do we all. The sick part is that TotP premiered the year I was born.

Butterscotch schnapps, Wallace? Oh, man, start writing about wrestling a little bit more before people get the wrong impression.

Basilo goes after Bitchney, which is always cool.

Gloomie reviews Depeche Mode. This is just so fitting that there’s nothing more I can say.

Sebert honors Gay Pride in his own little way.

AM I HAPPY THAT I MISSED THE FIRST TWO PPVS OF THREE IN A ROW OR WHAT?

God, I hate having to get my groove back on a PPV weekend. Of course, if I’d have come back last week (which I could have done, except I hadn’t caught up on everything), I would have had to deal with Slammiversary. If things had gone as planned, I would have had to deal with One-Night Stand as well. Maybe I should have delayed until next week. However, I did say to everyone in the Super-Secret Writers’ Forum that I’d be back this week, so Vengeance must be covered.

This wasn’t the best PPV to come back to. After all, most of the IWC still has the warm fuzzies about last year’s Vengeance, so if it’s horrid and I print something good about it, the screaming ninnies are going to be after me. And if it’s actually good and I behave like I normally do, the screaming ninnies will go after me for that. Personally, I don’t need this shit right now. My life is horrid enough without idiots complaining to me in barely-comprehensible English. This is why I avoid the Forums here like the plague. Ah, but I must soldier on. Let’s see what happened…

The Angle/Orton curtain-jerk broke down very simply for me: excited when Angle was on offense, bored to tears when Orton was. Yes, Orton tried to keep up with Angle, but booking this as a pure wrestling match may have been a huge mistake. Orton couldn’t help but look weak, and Ross and Lawler’s insistence on pointing out the discrepancy in mat wrestling talent between the two, more than once, didn’t help the situation. However, kudos to Orton for taking those eight consecutive suplexes…speaking of that, I think I’ve figured out a pattern. Angle does love his suplexes, admittedly, but there seem to be two conditions under which he relies on them more: whenever he’s on the same show as Benoit, or whenever he’s on the same show with Tazz. He’s got that little competitive fire with those two in re suplexes, and feels the need to prove himself superior to them in the art of flipping a guy 270 degrees on to a mat. Well, good for him if that’s the case. I just wish he could have suplexed Orton into an alternate reality. Of course, having seen the spoilers for Saturday’s episode of Doctor Who, I think I might just retract that.

Orton trying to wrestle Angle is like Adam Sandler trying to out-act Jack Nicholson, and we all know how bad Anger Management was

Well, Vince did hire Zach Gowen…

I won’t say anything about the Jamalga/Retard match except for this: do I make the check out to Umaga, Jamal, Osama, or Armando?

Can anyone detect one active brain cell in this bunch?

Flair/Foley…well, consider this a peace offering. These two guys have been pissed off at each other for over a decade, and it looks like they’ve successfully worked through any personal, behind-the-scenes issues. They’re old-school, so I don’t believe that they’d play this up to the audience without having resolved things backstage first. This isn’t Edge/Hardy by any means. And there is an element of mutual respect there. Foley has had a much higher profile lately than Flair has, but he let Flair go over in Charlotte. And Flair could have used his particular clout, especially given the location, to not have to deal with the apres (but we all know Flair’s always game for a little self-bloodshed). Each of them enhanced the experience for the benefit of the audience. Joey Styles may denigrate the term “sports entertainer”, but I can’t think of a better one to apply to Flair and Foley and what they did at Vengeance. Sometimes, sports entertainment is a good thing, you know.

Oh, yeah, that’s nightmare fodder

This, however, is not

Time to be totally honest, because I don’t think anyone’s said this yet: Johnny Nitro was given the IC belt as an apology for the shit that happened with Joey Matthews and Melina Perez. Without their f*ck-ups, he doesn’t sniff this strap, period. Because of them, he had a highly-successful tag team get blown up and got him transferred to Raw because his current cooze made herself pussy non grata in the Smackdown locker room. This is management giving him a bit of encouragment: “We know it’s not your fault about what happened. We know that you took a lot of shit from other workers because you were involved with Tough Enough, and we know that you were thrown into a bad situation when you first came in as Bischoff’s flunky. You’ve been through a lot, and you’ve come through it with flying colors. So, here, have a belt we’re currently not using to any great effect. Maybe you can do something with it.” I’ll lay you odds that’s EXACTLY how the conversation went with Nitro.

And Johnny gets his just reward…

Despite the fact that the Van Dam/Edge title match was buried on the card (being done halfway through the show is fine for Raw, which goes by hourly ratings, not so for PPVs), the result shows something that was wondered about prior to the PPV. It shows that WWE is serious about ECW, and serious about Van Dam. Most people expected Van Dam to job to Edge here (obviously not in a clean fashion). The fact that he didn’t shows that WWE wants to keep Van Dam looking as strong as possible while he’s holding the ECW title. Even though that title wasn’t up for grabs, losing the WWE title would still give Van Dam a patina of weakness, especially with Angle being booked to be strong as well (the result of the match with Orton notwithstanding). This explains perfectly the Triple Threat that’s been announced for SNME. That’s where a title swap will take place (unless the results of that are non-conclusive and they do a repeat at SummerSlam), and it doesn’t have to involve Van Dam at all. Do the swap there, involve only Edge and Cena, and they can begin to disengage ECW from the rest of WWE and have it act on a more independent basis. Everything makes perfect sense in that context. I just wonder if they’ll do something tonight in re Van Dam/Angle to give Van Dam an “excuse” for blowing the SNME match in a couple of weeks.

By the way, f*ck you, Lawler. I’d rather watch golf than listen to you any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. Final rounds of tournaments are usually better than your shitty PPVs.

Looks like Edge doesn’t want a piece of that

In regard to Kane/Fake Kane, I’ll just echo what most people have been saying, namely that there’d better be a goddamn good payoff for this thing. If there isn’t, it’s going to do damage to Glen Jacobs for a while. This isn’t an Underfaker situation, where Calloway was strong enough to withstand this assault to intelligence. Besides, that was then and this is now, and this kind of sheer stupidity isn’t tolerated by the audience anymore like it was back then. Please, “creative”, Be Good To Glen. And be good to the guy who’s playing Fake Kane as well. After all, a decade ago, someone was stuck playing Fake Diesel, and “creative” gave him an opportunity for redemption. He’s run with that pretty well, don’t you think?

Even Jack Doane wants to see who’s behind the mask

With Cena/Sabu, they were actively trying to make me not give a shit. Everyone knows how much of a waste I think Cena is. Sabu, I haven’t been able to get into him for a long time. I credit Sean Shannon with this. Shannon’s evangelism of Sabu when he was deep into ECW just turned me off of Sabu completely. The fact that Sabu’s been continuing with his human freak show act for all these years makes me wonder if he’s got anything else. I mean, it’s fun the first couple of times, and it’s fun if you haven’t seen it for a while, but the act grows tired, very fast. The fact that they decided to job Sabu heavily (really, how much offense did he get in during this match?) didn’t help the situation any. Set phasers on ignore, and be happy about it.

Sabu throws out the white trash

The main event was a nostalgia experience and freak show combined. It was a strange combination of youth being served and savvy veterans being placated. That’s a common situation in wrestling, but rarely are both sides satisfied. Despite all the supposed reservations that they had (and personally I don’t believe most of the reports; Michaels has subsumed his Christianity if he knew there was money at the other end, and Trip needed something to do until he’s back in the title chase, so why not do it with his Bestest Best Friend?), Trip and Michaels were obviously having loads of fun out there. They knew the kids could keep up with them, and they also knew that the kids were having a great time being in the main on a PPV as well. If all goes right, maybe there could be a little mentors/students thing happening here. The SS Boys could hardly do better than to learn from a mature Michaels (especially My Illegitimate Son Ken Doane, who needs to have his ego deflated). Let’s just hope they don’t learn how to do business from Trip. After all, Vince only has one daughter.

In point of fact, we were ready

Shawn, don’t you think he’s a little young for you?

The moon shines bright over Carolina…

Just your typical middling PPV, I guess. Nothing offensive, nothing really truly outstanding (although I have to give credit to Edge and Van Dam for their match). Certainly not worthy of the praise the marks are dishing out, but not worthy of censure either. Of course, we’re all saving up our censure. Great American Bash is less than a month away, after all.

MAKES YOU LONG FOR THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF HEPATITIS

According to 1bullshit Junior, all of TNA’s workers took blood tests at the Impact tapings last week in order to determine who’s carrying what and if it can be transmitted through in-ring activity. If they’ve got some bug, apparently they’re off the card until such time as they can get a doctor’s clearance. All well and good. Blood-borne illness is not fun, and there’s a new concentration on mat sanitation thanks to several recent incidents where wrestlers have contracted something from contact with a contaminated mat. Workers right now are looking at poor Bob Holly, who will probably never recover fully from his bout with MRSA, and saying there but for the grace of God go I. There was also the Bob Orton revelations in re his long-standing case of hepatitis. It’s now become a concern, and TNA’s reacting to it in a positive manner. Excessive, but positive, especially if it leads to firings as Big Johnson suspects might happen (although with his simian brain, tracing the pathway that leads to that conclusion is impossible for someone of normal intelligence, let alone my superior attributes in that area).

However, this being 1bullshit Junior, there’s always one outright lie that slips past the ever-watchful guardians of truth there, and Big Johnson gives us this one:

TNA management made the call to do the blood tests not based on an incident that led to the decision. The decision was made internally for the good of the health of the wrestlers in response to the amount of heavy blood TNA has used.

Ignore the strangled syntax if you will and concentrate on the content. “…not based on an incident”? Really? Might there be someone on the TNA roster who recently suffered through an infection obtained from a mat? Might that someone have just an eentsy bit of clout with TNA management and could push them into doing something like this? Might that someone be named Samoa Joe? I think you can follow my line of thinking on why this is being done.

In the meantime, here’s a suggestion for not only TNA, but small wrestling companies that want to spend little but save a lot of money on liability suits: call up your local Zep dealer (you can call 1-877-I-BUY-ZEP or go to www.zep.com). Order some gallon bottles of Zepamine A (they come in cases of four one-gallon bottles; it should set you back only about $75 if memory serves). Get some empty one-quart spray bottles. Use one capful of Zepamine A per quart of water and shake up the bottle. During intermission and after the show, and if necessary during the show, spray the mat with said bottle. Zepamine A is odorless, doesn’t require a rinse, and kills just about anything at that concentration, including HIV. It’s simple, it’s cheap, and it can save a guy’s life.

Who says that a life in food safety is a life wasted?

I will tell you what is a waste, though: watching Raw. And you know what that statement means…

THE SHORT FORM

Now this is why I hate f*cking being at the house: my cousin’s in from Dallas, and guess when she decided to pay a visit here? Yep, during Raw, so I had to be the good host instead of doing my duty as columnist. That means I had to wait to download Raw, and that delayed the column. So, as a consolation gift to you, I’ll make this one of the few Raw Short Forms that has screen caps. You’ll have to be satisfied with that, you snarky little bastards.

Match Results:

MickieLexis LaJames over Trish Stratus, Women’s Title Match (Pinfall, impaler DDT): Usual good match between them, but it was all for naught as it turned into Angle Advancement in the apres, setting up both the Trish/Melina feud that we wanted and the Carly/Nitro feud that we didn’t. Expect an intergender tag for SNME (I’m sure that these particular women can hang with these particular men). That won’t be too bad, really, as long as the women are in the ring…hold it, does that sound as weird to you as it does to me?

If all the loonies at the Bingo Hall didn’t do so many “Welcome Back” chants over the weekend, I’d throw one out here

Stratusfaction is only guaranteed if it’s Trish on the giving end

Jamalga over Kamala (Pinfall, Samoan Spike): Lawler said that he’d never seen Kamala afraid of anyone or anything. Hasn’t Kamala been afraid of UT and Damien? Well, Lawler wasn’t with WWE at the time. I do have to wonder about one other thing, though: you think that Patterson ever asked Lombardi to wear the Kim Chee mask while…no, that’s skirting pretty close to libel, or to Steve attempting to beat me up (although he takes a better beating than gives one). Better being beaten up by the Brawler than watching this match again, though.

At least we know who’s behind this mask

I’ll let you make your own joke. All the ones I have would piss off Hepple.

GarriLance Cade and Trevor Murdoch over Viscera and Val Venis (Pinfall, cameraman was busy focusing on the outside to actually film what was going on in the ring): Cade and Murdoch, former tag champs, are back together and they don’t even get an entrance? They don’t get an entrance going up against the Love Machine? And the match wasn’t an excuse for a run-in (no, Charlie Haas doesn’t count)? And it turned out to be Angle Advancement for something they’re not even remotely involved in (and for that matter, Venis isn’t remotely involved in either)? Yeah, that’s what I call respect. But they did get the duke, which was nice of “creative”. Not to mention unexpected.

Shouldn’t the porn star be doing the bitch-slapping, not taking it?

Randy Orton over Kane (Pinfall, RKO): Anyone who didn’t expect Fake Kane to show up and cost Kane the match, step away from the keyboard and keep walking. You don’t deserve to read me. However, we might get a rather freakish payoff here considering the mask removal. Kane Classic versus Fake Kane, both in masks? Weirdness abounds.

Yes, Kane! Right in the face!

John Cena over Rob Van Dam, WWE Title Match (DQ, Edge-ference): My point has been proven. I always felt that one of the main reasons why the audience turned on Cena was that he, like Flex before him, abandoned wrestling in order to concentrate on SE stuff. Now that he’s been forced to return to actually attempting to wrestle his opponents (thanks to his opponents’ ability in that area), the audience is responding positively again. It’s a good job of character recovery so far. But I’m still not sold. As soon as he transitions into someone like Trip, he’ll revert. If he doesn’t, maybe I’ll be positive on him again. It’s another waiting game.

Kane’s pyro always makes for a convenient target

Angle Developments:

As per standard procedure, this column will be ignoring the Diva Search until it’s over and I have to deal with the survivors who get signed. So if you’re new, I just wanted to bring you up to speed so you don’t start asking questions. Good?

So That’s How They’re Going To Do It: Now, suddenly, all those statements that Randy Orton’s been making about Hogan over the last week make sense. They’re going to use Brooke as the fulcrum for a feud and payoff match, probably at Wrestlemania. Anyone who’s watched Hogan Knows Best knows how protective the Hulkster is of his little daughter, and she’s just a bit too young for Orton, and…I don’t want to see this, and neither do you. It’s just too damn squicky.

Creepy on a whole bunch of levels

Yet Another Returning Tradition: Well, they had to respond to the employed-in-Orlando-half of DX, and, boy, did they respond. The McMahon impersonation will go right up there with DX Impersonates the Nation and the NWO Impersonates the Horsemen in that particular sub-genre of promos. Excellent work, just brilliant, and it wasn’t something that DX Classic couldn’t have done. Trip needed all this time and this level of familiarity with his target to get all those nuances down. And the use of the Slammies footage just drove this over the top. I don’t know if I can actually get together enough superlatives, especially after they’ve fallen into disuse in connection with Raw. It’s the old Catholic Schoolgirl thing.

That brings me to another point. I took Trip from the Summit Of Mount Perpetually Over ™ after his last couple botched face turns. Now, with the unqualified success of this turn, is he back there? I dunno. It’s special circumstances. If he did it without the crutch of DX, then I’d say that he’s back. But in this case…if they end the DX stuff and he stays face and he stays over with the audience, I’ll say he’s back there. Until that time, I reserve judgment.

And one final thing: if you take the DX segment and then combine it with the Flair promo that ran right afterward, we got twenty minutes of some of the greatest promo material of the decade, all in one shot. Now I think I know how Sid Vicious felt when he spiked his arm with nearly-pure heroin. Of course, Sid died from that needle. I was fortunate to survive this, and glad I experienced it.

And this is creepy on levels that Freud couldn’t even conceive. Especially given the fact that the conversation revolved around Dicks.

Tell me they’re not having fun

Never mind Copeland here. Is Dumas really trying for that Nancy Benoit Circa 1994 Look on purpose, or is it just by accident?

Charlie, just a reminder: Wife. Pregnant. Works in Orlando. Knows guys who can beat the shit out of you. Can wrestle herself. Don’t be worried about Big Vis, be worried about Jackie.

Just to end off, a number of people asked me whether or not I’d be incorporating ECW into the Short Form. Right now, no, for one good reason: the reason why the Short Form was created in the first place was because Scooter decided to drop doing Smackdown from his routine. Now he’s doing ECW reports each week, so therefore there’s no need for me to cover it, especially due to the fact that it’s a Tuesday night show going in a column that would go up, at the earliest, on Friday night. So, therefore, no ECW Short Form. And no Short Form this week. I have to fly out to the Land of Fruits and Nuts on Wednesday morning for an interview and won’t be back until early Friday morning, so I’ll blowing it off. Therefore, until next week, enjoy yourselves.

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