Oh, boy…I just want to describe my day on Friday. I was at an interview at 6:30AM…yes, it sometimes happens that I do interviews that early. The old guy who owned the company loves me, but his son does all the hiring, and he’ll probably call me on Monday about what might go down. I then had a phone interview at 11:30 with a company in Minnesota. That lasted long enough that I barely made my 1PM interview, which didn’t go off because the guy who was supposed to interview me went to lunch. So, I filled out their application, left my resume, and blew out of there after a show of waiting for him. When I got back to the Damn Vaninator, a voice mail was waiting for me from a company in Ohio. I called them back, and I had a choice: either go there Monday morning for an interview, or wait until next week. So, I made the arrangements for a Monday morning interview (they’re paying mileage and motel, so I’ll leave Sunday morning). When I got home, I had an e-mail waiting for me from a company in Indianapolis. They want me to call to arrange an interview, but I got home a half-hour after the guy left the office, so I have to call him on the way back from my interview in Ohio.
“On the dole”, Wallace? Even if my unemployment benefits ran out months ago, you can’t claim that I’m not trying. The upshot is that I won’t be doing a Tuesday column (Hevia will be covering) due to travels, so I have to try to make up for that now by giving you the extras that you demand.
Hey, it’s either talk about this or talk about the situation in Lebanon right now. The short answer is that neither side is right. Frankly, it’d be better at this point if we just ban all religions and install the One-World Government to enforce that. With me as benevolent dictator, of course. I’ll put Ann Coulter’s execution on PPV, I promise.
Well, four shows to discuss this week. I’m throwing ECW in here as a test, just to see how it works. You want to keep it, please write and tell me, otherwise I go back to two next week, I promise. Let’s dive in…
THE ECW SHORT FORM
Test over Tommy Dreamer (Pinfall, rollup): Nothing to discuss here. Let’s face it, this could have been (and might have been) a middle-of-the-first-hour-of-Raw match in early 2002. Test has learned a little since then, but not much. Until he gets involved in a full-blown Extreme Rules Match, we can’t really judge what kind of contribution he’d make to ECW.
And speaking of the Extreme Rules Matches, has anyone, including Da Meltz, found out if limiting the number of mayhem matches is coming from Vince, Bonnie Hammer, or someone higher on the food chain in NBC Universal? If Vince is being pressured into toning down the content, then it’s understandable. If it’s Vince’s decision, though, it’s just another demonstration of how he doesn’t “get it”. Jesus, can’t the guy see that the only good show ECW’s done so far is the one where he had no involvement (the second episode)? Vince, please, get a f*cking clue, now.
Being Raven’s bitch, that’s one thing. Being Test’s bitch, though?
Justin Credible over Sabu (DQ, Using Tables In A Non-Extreme Rules Match…this is ECW?): Apparently, Sabu having to take a DQ loss to Justin Asshole is his punishment, and now we can move on. And, hey, we can be happy for Peej too. This is the closest he’s going to get to a win for a long time.
Sabu attempts to knock the last remnants of the yellow jockstrap to hell
The Big Show over Ric Flair, Extreme Rules ECW Championship Match (Submission, cobra clutch backbreaker): Ric Flair using a steel chair, a barbed wire bat, and thumbtacks? Is this what wrestling has come to? Oh, man, only in McMahon World, folks.
And here’s something I’d like to add: for ten years, Paul Wight has shown time and again that he’s a failure as a heel. It absolutely mystifies me that just when he gets on a roll as a face, they turn him and have him descend into the abyss again. This has happened in WCW, WWE, and now in ECW, yet no one has figured this fact out. I think I know why this is so. Because of his size, whenever he goes heel, he’s always pushed as a monster. Paul is a mild-mannered kind of guy by nature, the cliched gentle giant combined with the equally cliched farmboy personality. He gravitates naturally to a fun-loving, humorous, genial type. It’s a total effort to turn that into the unstoppable force types that he’s been condemned to play. When put into that role, he doesn’t know how to react, and because everyone’s convinced him that his size alone will get him over in that capacity, he’s never tried to work at it, nor been taught how to do it. Maybe it’s a mental block on his part, thinking that if he goes a bit Stanislavsky into this, he’s going to become that cliche and it’ll extend into real life. He loves his wife, he loves his kids, and he’s seen the consequences of wrestlers who get into bad-ass roles too much (viz. Wife-Beater). This is definitely a case of wrong person in the wrong role, but the thinking of people who run wrestling organizations can’t overcome the perceived cognitive dissonance of a big guy who isn’t a bruiser and bully. Sometimes I feel sorry for Paul Wight. I really do.
Oh, come on, Ric, get real
No, I don’t believe it either
It Worked For The Old ECW, So Why Not?: Listening to Heyman blame the ECW fans for Rob Van Dam’s current fate reminds me of something. What could it be? Oh, yes, Dave Scherer’s rant in 2000 blaming the ECW fans for injuries to New Jack when he botched a balcony dive in a match against Grimes. It was that incident that made me start calling Scherer “Milord” due to his noblesse oblige attitude to the fans who enabled him to make money and a name for himself in the IWC. However, Scherer never got messianic in his blathering. Heyman did, and we’re all the better for it. Heyman has that wonderful ability to extend his promos into unexpected areas and routinely get positive results from doing so. It’s not going off on tangents, because he always sticks close to the subject matter, and it’s not Waryr-type incoherent rambling, because he’s always clear as a mountain stream just as the winter snow’s started to melt. It’s explorations of the dead zones in left field, the areas where no one dares to tread. It shows that no matter what their personal feelings are about each other, Heyman definitely paid attention in his younger days to Corny and Heenan and extended the line one more generation. If they want to get another generation out of the line, though, Shaun Daivari had better start doing the same thing with Heyman, because he’s virtually the last hope.
Accept him as your personal savior, and the afterlife will consist of daily Flair/Steamboat matches
Heyman was forced to tell Dreamer that Vince wasn’t holding his road agent spot open for him to come back to after this sucker flops
Okay, I have to admit it, that’s hot
This is what happens when you let Lucard hold the book
Hasn’t anyone learned not to piss off Sandman by now?
Sorry, Punk, but you still need to fill the jar up
Man in center of screen, bullet on left, bullet on right…is it possible to reconcile three contradictory images?
I don’t respond well to threats
THE IMPACT SHORT FORM
Abyss over Norman Smiley (Pinfall, Black Hole Slam): Norman’s your typical Englishman, oh so graceful even in complete defeat. Gotta love him. You gotta. Please, someone love him, because TNA sure as hell isn’t.
Stop, in the name of love, before you break my face…
Low Ki over Jerrelle Clark, Non-Title Match (Pinfall, Warrior’s Way): Yet another squash. Whoopie. Clark must be happy, though, that he’s not in the same position as his former partner, Mikey Batts. So at least there’s a light at the end of this particular dismal tunnel.
It’s not Low Ki, so we don’t care
A. J. Fuckin’ Styles and Christopher Fuckin’ Daniels over Alex Fuckin’ Shelley and Johnny Fuckin’ Devine, Non-Fuckin’-Title Match (Pinfall, Styles pins Devine, Styles Clash): Oh, nice little match while it lasted. Please, let them keep Shelley and Devine together a lot longer than they probably have planned. They make a fantastic team and a pair of credible singles wrestlers. That’s so rare these days, especially in guys that young. It’s actually special to see. We’re witnessing the beginning of something great. A lot like watching a certain indy wrestler and a guy stuck in the dregs of the cruiserweight tag scene in WCW back in 2000 and spotting the potential that lay in both. I wonder if Styles and Daniels look at these guys and see themselves six years ago.
Shelley’s not used to guys spreading their legs for him. Normally he’s the one…no, no, no gay jokes about Shelley. He’s too good for that.
The Ex-Buh Buh Ray Dudley, the Ex-D-Von Dudley, Rhiyno, and Jay Lethal over Petey Williams, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, and Alastair Rouse, Team Canada Must Break Up If They Lose Match (Pinfall, Lethal pins Rouse, diving headbutt): And so ends the longest ongoing subplot in TNA. Team Canada, formed for the first World X Cup and expected to dissolve afterward, turned into TNA’s Swiss Army Knife, if you’ll pardon the mixing of metaphors between partial-Francophone nations. If a face needed a quick and dirty feud to get some camera time, Team Canada was always there. Their service to TNA definitely went into the above-and-beyond category, and their unexpectedly long shelf life helped the stable members.
I understand why they were broken up: D’Amoron wants to concentrate on booking and training more than on the on-camera stuff. All well and good. But was the collective identity hurting the boys? In Petey’s case, the answer may be yes. The audience has been wanting to turn him face for a long time now. But the other guys? Roode doesn’t have the personality yet to go without a manager, so the stable helped him maintain a pretty high position in the midcard. Young was definitely not hurt, although he now has a really good shot at getting over on his own. Devine’s with Shelley now, so he’s okay. And the silver lining in this particular black cloud is that we may never have to see Rouse ever again.
So, I’m pretty sad this day’s come. This was a gimmick that definitely worked, killed with a bit of shelf life still available. Godspeed, Team Canada, and let’s hope that this break-up means good things for the individual components.
The ex-Dudleys’ going-away gift for Bobby Roode
When ECW went under, Rhiyno was left holding the bag
Frankly, Madusa’s more manly
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, ECW is dead to us…
The f*cking Batphone is still there, I see
(And Memo To Dougie: I made the Batphone remark last week. You don’t read me, do you? You know what the crime is for that at IP.)
THE SMACKDOWN SHORT FORM
Matt Hardy over FudgePacker (Pinfall, small package): Oh, come on, do you really expect me to care about this match, given the people involved? There’s not enough psilocybin in the world to enable me to do that. I let the match run in the background and occupied myself with other endeavors, like trying to figure out if Ross will say on SNME that Michelle Wie got a case of the limbertail out in the Quad Cities on Friday. How does someone from Hawaii get a case of heat exhaustion? Please.
It’s always fun to play Meet The Ringpost
Jamie Noble over Paul London (Pinfall, dropping gutbuster): Okay, I loved it, but it’s because they’re great wrestlers, not because I have a crush on London like some other Smackdown columnists here. I’ve liked Noble ever since the Jamie-san days, so I’m always receptive to anything he does, and when he’s in there with someone of London’s quality, there’s definite synergism. This is what WWE wants a cruiserweight match to be, fast pace and high impact. The problem is that it’s only acceptable at this level of skill. They’ve got very few guys who are able to get up to that level on a consistent basis (the four guys here and Super Crazy, and that’s about it). So a match like this is a definite treat to watch, but it’s not something to expect on a consistent basis. Unless you end up feuding these teams for about a year, in which case the IWC backlash against all of them will start around October.
Noble finally gets his Troy Hepple Moment
David Fuckin’ Fit Finlay over Bobby Lashley, US Title Match (Pinfall, Use Of A Truly Foreign Object, New US Champion): All right, let’s be honest. No one had much hope when it was announced that Finlay was going to leave his trainer’s position and go back to being a full-time competitor. Man, was Smackdown desperate for someone to come in and actually wrestle (and they actually tried to play it off that he made his decision before Eddy died). A half-decade of ring rust, for most people, fuses the gears shut permanently and no amount of mental or physical WD-40 can get them loose. Then he started to cut loose, and everyone felt a little better. Then came the announcement about the leprechaun, and everyone feared the worst. Somehow, someway, they got that incredibly dubious concept to actually work. Then he began to mentor Bobby Lashley, and got him to the point where he doesn’t have to be carried in a match. He revived that incredible chemistry he had with Regal in WCW, and they used that chemistry to help get over the concept of King Booker. When does the Luck of the Irish stop being a cliche and start becoming a tangible fact? Or has this gone beyond luck? I don’t really care at this point, because I’m getting off watching the other DAVE in the ring and his nearly-unparalleled brawling skills. Yes, the face turn is coming eventually, but maybe by that point, High-Quality Speaker Boy will be recovered enough to go back in the ring. Considering that Layfield’s now got his fire back, a match between him and Finlay might be a masterpiece of the art of the brawl.
Hey, you get your optimism where you can these days.
Rey-Rey over Mister Regal, Non-Title Match (Pinfall, top-rope splash): I think it’s high time I complimented Michael Cole. He’s been spritzed on from the beginning, when we considered him a second-rate Todd Pettingill. However, this match showed that he’s damn close to the top echelon of PBP announcers (well, not really the top echelon; Solie and Ross are in a category of their own). Confronted with the spectre of a reenergized Booker and a High-Quality Speaker Boy who’s become a human dynamo on the mic, I wouldn’t have blamed him for clamming up and letting them take over completely. Instead, he provided a wonderful flow in the announce booth, being both PBP announcer and traffic cop, which enhanced what we knew going in was a good match. It’s taken a long time, but he’s showing how much of an asset he really is to a show that needs every asset it can get right now. Bravo.
It doesn’t matter how much of a popular face the victim is, it’s still a beautiful thing
Well, since I don’t discuss anything involving Khali, contract signings, or the Diva Search, I’m pretty much shit out of luck for Angle Development material this week. So it’s screen caps only, I guess…
Regal knows that in the realm of King Booker, a man can have both a wife and a husband. Unlike Nebraska.
What a waste of a good catfight
Je ne souviens this, bitch
THE SNME SHORT FORM
Due to the fact that I’ve got to leave early Sunday for my Monday interview in Ohio, I didn’t have time to wait for an Xvid/DivX or MPG to get uploaded and decided to download one of the shitty NSV caps (and the cocksucker who uploaded it didn’t even cut out the commercials). That means I had to install MPlayer and a GUI for it in order to get screen caps from the stream, since BSPlayer Pro and VLC can’t do NSV video (anymore, in the case of VLC, which somehow lost that capability). Well, at least I can knock it out before I cut out…
DAVE, Bobby Lashley, and last and least, World Champion Rey-Rey over Booker T, Fit Fuckin’ Finlay, and Mark Henry, Great American Bash Hard-Sell Match (Pinfall, DAVE pins Booker, DAVEbomb): Of course, the good news coming out of this one is that Mark Henry broke his kneecap and also has a possible ruptured patellar tendon (which explained his absence for most of the match). He’s going to see our old friend Doctor Andrews down in Birmingham this week, and if he has to have surgery for the ruptured tendon, he’s out for about six months. Either way, the match between him and DAVE at GAB is off, thus saving us the spectacle of seeing DAVE work his ring rust off with Henry as his opponent. We dodged a bullet there, folks.
Insert “The Leprechaun’s taller than Rey-Rey” joke here
Carly Colon and Trish Stratus over Johnny Nitro and Melina Perez, Mixed Tag Match (Pinfall, Carly pins Nitro, back-cracker): Sorry, no screen cap because this section wouldn’t play in MPlayer and I was forced to play it in Winamp. The things I do for you people. Well, anyway, as per my speculation, the match was fine as long as the guys weren’t in there. As per the booking, this obviously isn’t over, but blowing this off on SNME is a sign that Trish is definitely on her way out. Melina will be her last feud, and you’ll see some emphasis in disengaging the male and female halves of this starting on Raw, with Carly concentrating on taking the IC strap away from Nitro and Melina making Trish’s life miserable. I’ll thank Trish for her efforts when the time comes, I think.
Trip ‘n Shawn over (in order of elimination) Nick Mitchell, Johnny Jeter, Nick Nemeth, Mike Mondo, and, making me proud again by lasting the longest, My Illegitimate Son Ken Doane, Elimination Match: So where do they go from here with DX? They’ve just about tapped out all the permutations. Trip’s going to go to bask in his potency. Shawn needs to heal up. They can’t do a “You’re Fired” angle, since the audience would just expect DX to show up everywhere and be annoyances rather than go meekly. There has to be a beatdown by someone. But who? There’s no one on the roster who has the credibility to do a beatdown angle that would guarantee to keep DX out for an extended period of time. Well, there is one person, but UT’s on Smackdown and he’s f*cking around with Khali (and will be f*cking around with TBS on ECW this week). They’ve booked themselves into a corner yet again. Gee, what a surprise.
If Ken had inherited my brains, this discussion would go faster
Sabu over Stevie Richards (Pinfall, Arabian Facebuster): Well, at least Stevie got some camera time. And, of course, there had to be one major f*ck-up (namely the table collapsing on one side), but at least this time Sabu wasn’t at fault for it like he usually is.
You get more service on Air Sabu than you do on Southwest
John Cena over Edge, WWE Title Match (DQ, Lita-ference): Hmmm, a reversion here. Well, I expected this. Dallas wrestling fans were raised on WCCW and know what real wrestling is all about. It was boos from the guys, cheers from the girls and kiddies again for Cena. You can bet that “creative” wasn’t happy about that. They’ve been trying damn hard to get rid of Cena’s stigma and it seemed to have been working (chasing the title, of course, helps in this regard). Now, this backslide. If this assists Edge in holding on to the title for a long time, hey, great.
Cena and Edge are in a corner. Just like their booking.
Babbling Brooke: So, how exactly are they going to play the Orton/Hogan situation? The match has already been made. Brooke wasn’t really used as a fulcrum for this, other than Orton presenting her with the cliched Single Rose. Are we going to get the deve aspects of Orton coming out later in order to create heat for this, or are they really going to do a Respect Match? With Orton? Considering what we’ve heard about Brooke’s record company objecting to this (and what we know about how protective Hogan is of Brooke), they might play it this way. In that case, it’ll end up a snoozer. Of course, it would have ended up a snoozer anyway, but now it’s guaranteed. Come on, guys, give us a little bit of the Ol’ Perv here. Orton’s creepy enough to pull that off with no problem, and it’ll at least add a bit of excitement to the situation.
The laws of genetics provide yet another confounding result
No, no jokes. The Von Erichs mean too much to me.
Fourteen feet, three inches of total apathy
Make that 21 feet, one inch
And that ends this off. As I said, I’ll be out on Tuesday, and Hevia will be covering for me. There might not be a Short Form next week depending on what happens with things. If there’s a Round Table up for Victory Road, read it (I know I’ll be in there). And, of course, be sure to enjoy what’s left of your weekend.
Tags: ECW, Raw, Smackdown, TNA, WWE