Well, hell, folks, I’m employed again. And, if trends hold, it should be for a while. The job’s here in the Chicago area, where I have a habit of staying for extended periods of time. It’s on a pretty independent basis, with me traveling from place to place. And the money’s good. And the owner put me on the payroll as of Thursday, with me starting on Monday. I think this one may be a keeper. However, that hasn’t stopped me from doing other things to guarantee employment. For instance, not only did I interview in Ohio on Monday (and send them back completed forms for references and a background check), I interviewed at a place in Indy on Wednesday and did a phone interview with a second company in Indy on Thursday. Look, anything to prevent that painfully tingly feeling one gets with an assf*ck.
So, what did I land up in this time? I’ll be in charge of cleaning crews at about a half-dozen or so food plants. No, I am not a janitor. No, I do not do clean-up myself. I run the staffs. I make sure they’re doing their jobs by doing follow-up inspections…boy, are they in trouble. Yeah, it’s great money and pretty good hours (in the dead of night, avoiding the wonder that is Chicago traffic). It’ll mean a change in logistics in my Tuesday column, but, hell, you’ve been through that before, and so have I. But I’ll be making money again and won’t be getting dirty looks from Wallace, who thinks I’m living off the public tit.
Now, combine those facts with the other fact that it’s Open Weekend, and, obviously, I’m not paying attention to wrestling that much. Matt Sforcina said that I was a little flat last week, but blamed the uninspiring SNME for that. Well, if I’m uninspired this week too, there’s your excuse right there. You also have the fact that we’ve got Great American Bash on tap this weekend. That’s always the worst PPV of the year, and thus its Smackdown lead-in is pretty much guaranteed to blow chunks. Combine that with Impact coming off a pretty mediocre PPV, and you can see why I don’t have that much hope for this puppy. Let’s see if I can do something with it…
THE ECW SHORT FORM
Now here’s how f*cked up my schedule has been. I’m starting up ECW at about 11:30AM on Thursday. I couldn’t watch Tuesday night (even if I did want to do it live) because I was in bed at eight; I had to leave for Indy at about 4:30AM on Wednesday morning. Obviously, I spent all day Wednesday driving to Indy, doing the interview, and driving back, then getting to bed early in order to get to my new employer du jour at 8AM to finalize the arrangements (including discussing money). Then I had to drive back from suburban Chicago through a f*cking thunderstorm on Thursday morning. And I just saw David Duval sink an eagle putt, something I thought he wasn’t capable of doing anymore. Somehow, I think my attention and mental acumen are slightly compromised right now. Oh, well, it’s only ECW. Like I need a brain to comprehend it.
Mike Knox over Sandman, Extreme Rules Match (Pinfall, kick to the Sandnads): And let us welcome the Angle Advancement Match to ECW Mark II. Kelly gets caned and Knox abandons her, Sandman staggers away after only two kicks to the balls (oh, come on, we’ve seen him take a helluva lot more in ECW; we’ve seen him take a helluva lot more in WCW, for that matter)…oh, heavens, “creative” firmly has their hands on the wheel here too. I’d weep, but my ducts are completely dry when it comes to ECW.
There is a disturbance in the Force. Tigger sunk a twenty-foot eagle putt on 18 to put him within one of the lead (remember, I’m writing this on Thursday). Be afraid. Be very afraid.
(That, of course, was written on Thursday, before Tigger decided to bitch-slap the entire field on Friday. Chalk up another successful prediction, despite the fact that it wasn’t much of one. Just look at those final two pairings for Saturday, folks: Woods/Els and DiMarco/Goosen. Even people with no interest in golf have heard of these guys and are interested. I’m also thinking about something else when looking at those pairings: wouldn’t you love to see a Ryder Cup-style one-shot between the US and South Africa during the Silly Season? Your Presidents’ Cup captains would happily repeat their effort for this, I think. Yeah, just a little mini-competition. Jack versus Gary in match play, then Furyk versus Immelmann in stroke play, then hit them in prime time with Tigger/Lefty versus Goose/Boring Ol’ Ernie in a best ball. ABC would drool for that.)
This was more exciting than the match
Sabu over Stevie Richards (Submission, camel clutch): Well, we really clamored for this rematch, huh? The SNME match was dull enough. Now we get to have it repeated without the only possible form of entertainment: to see how Sabu would f*ck it all up. No chairs, no tables, no possibility of Sabu killing himself…no interest. Sorry, Stevie.
This might have worked if it was Stevie Night Heat
The Undertaker over The Big Show, ECW World Title Match, But Not Under Extreme Rules (DQ, Khali-ference): Now that it’s happened again, we have to ask ourselves this: are the WWE guys doing this of their own free will? Flair, maybe not (who knows what kind of legal help Vince gave him during his recent troubles?). But UT? Yes, he has to be doing it of his own free will, with nothing more than a “Vince asked me” needed or necessary. And UT isn’t doing it to suck up. He’s the f*cking Undertaker, guys. He doesn’t need to suck up. However, he does play intense politics. He knows Vince wants ECW to succeed. He knows that his presence will help ECW’s ratings. He also knows that, due to his rep as a locker room leader, there’s extra impetus if Vince needs someone else to go over and help for a week. If that someone gets a little recalcitrant, UT can just go to that person and say, “Flair did it. I did it. You can do it.”, and stare him down until he cracks. And he will. Oh, will he.
Now, how do I know for certain that UT was totally willing to do this? Simple. He didn’t half-ass it during the match, like he’s wont to do under unwilling conditions. Hell, I would have half-assed it if I’d known the apres would be a PPV Pimp.
Speaking of the apres, anyone else get the mental image of Daivari going to ECW as a manager and occasional performer? Anyone else actually like this idea? I do. He’d fit in perfectly. Dude’s been batting .250 on his managerial charges; maybe a change of venue will help him in that area. Also, if the rumors are true about Jim Mitchell trying to get in, Daivari would have someone to learn from. Right now, Osama is blowing him away in the promo department, and that has to change, tout suite.
Because this is what everyone thinks of when they hear someone say “ECW”…
I knew there was a reason I like silver
Memo to Paul Heyman: Will you please stop stealing my lines, not to mention my public (and private) persona? It’s disconcerting enough trying to watch ECW Mark II without you attempting to impersonate me. Please, empathize with me in regard to trying to educate, enlighten, and edify the morons of the world (and, yes, too many morons, too little time), but don’t go further than that. And if you are doing an impersonation of me, please, don’t close it off with a Kiss of Death, especially to Tommy Dreamer. Although considering that Dreamer’s in deep shit with Stamford right now, a Kiss of Death may be more appropriate than anyone thinks.
This should be enough to turn Hepple straight
THE IMPACT SHORT FORM
Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas over Frankie Kazarian and Matt Bentley (Pinfall, Stevens pins Bentley, double-team missile dropkick): A pair of musical faux pas in this one. First of all, despite all the managers and similar critters that the Naturals have had, they’ve always retained their entrance music. Having them come out to that “Perfect Strangers” knock-off to show how much they’ve subsumed themselves to Shane Douglas is just wrong. It goes beyond “Shane’s now managing them” to “Shane’s now getting his balls tongued by one of them while the other’s licking his nipples”. And Memo to Matt Bentley: you’re a little too young for this, but I’m inside of the correct age range, so I can inform you of this. The best minds of my generation (not including me) were suckered into believing that Bret Easton Ellis, Jay McInerney, and Tama Janowitz were great novelists; the fact that any of them can still get published today is a testament to the long-term damage done to our society by cocaine. Naming your new self-composed-and-performed entrance theme after the title of an Ellis novel is…disconcerting, to say the least. Please retitle as necessary.
The match? Pretty good, as is to be expected when you have these guys in here (and the fact that the match was good must make TNA happy; they can more easily get away with breaking up AMW with these two teams in the wings ready to go). And I like Kazarian’s haircut. How much did it cost him? At least a couple million over the length of his career. It had BETTER be a damn good haircut for that price.
The T is classic. But the facial hair and the sunglasses need a rethink.
Insert Scylla and Charybdis joke here
Rhiyno over Robert Adams (Pinfall, Goar Goar Goar): Oh, come on, like you want me to come up with something on a squash and a promo afterward. Sure. However, it did set up the match with Joe, and that’s fine with me.
This puppy’s over
Jeff Jarrett over Jay Lethal, World Title Match (Pinfall, second-rope Stroke): I’ll comment about Lethal in Angle Developments. I’ll talk about Jarrett here. Has Jarrett figured out how much of an asset Lethal is? He’s rarely made a title challenger look as good as he made Lethal look, even in the process of jobbing the title. It may be the most extensive and inexplicable sell job by a top-carder for an up-and-comer who’s clearly not at that level since Trip made TAKA look like a billion yen. There is, though, the negative way to go with this: namely, Jarrett doesn’t see Lethal as any sort of threat, now or ever, to him, and therefore he could sell like crazy for him and not hurt his own position. Jarrett’s scummy, but he’s not that scummy. He may be taking a long view of the situation, knowing what Lethal will be in, oh, seven years or so barring catastrophic injury, when Jarrett’s pretty much out of the way as a top-card performer, and setting him (and his organization) up for that future. Botter said this week that reports indicate that TNA’s booking for the long term. They may be making booking plans for way longer than we thought.
How to score brownie points with your boss in wrestling: powerbomb him during his entrance
LD-50: I want the best for Jay Lethal. He has the most upside of anyone his age or near in wrestling right now, and that includes My Illegitimate Son Ken Doane. What I don’t want is the Too Much Too Soon Push that’s helped cripple Randy Orton and nearly destroy Bobby Lashley (Lashley should be using his tongue as toilet paper for Finlay, Booker, and Regal on a daily basis to thank them for short-circuiting that). Yes, Lethal’s a vet despite his tender age, and TNA’s shown in the past that they know how to handle guys in their early 20s whom they want to give pushes to (see Sabin, Chris). However, one misstep, and all that work will be for nothing. And let’s hope that Lethal responds in a low-key, humble way and keeps improving (just one thing, Jay; don’t use Chris Benoit as a model for how to do promos like you were doing with Borash at the beginning of the show). He’s got it in him to be one of those once-in-a-generation talents; he just has to let it out the right way, and in the right place at the right time. Let’s hope that he and TNA realize this.
Semioticians are going batshit over the way this shot’s framed
The Best Is Obvious: Of course Madagascar’s better than Japan or Mexico. After all, Dreamworks never made an animated film named after Japan or Mexico, did they?
Johnny Devine shows everyone why he’s considered the best oculist in wrestling
Unlike his people, Konnan likes to make things legal
THE SMACKDOWN SHORT FORM
Kid Kash over Brian Kendrick (Pinfall, Dead Level): Obviously, no complaints here. The tag match at GAB will be superb, showing that even this blind pig of a PPV can still find its acorn. And, hey, let’s admit it, how long has it been since we’ve heard the name of Ricky Morton on a WWE broadcast? High-Quality Speaker Boy is going places that Ross abandoned a long time ago, and, damn, it feels good every time he does it. No wonder Botter has him up there on his Best Color Guys list. I wouldn’t put him up there that far yet, but…oh, it just makes me afraid that they’re going to tell him to throttle down. However, unlike most color guys, he’s got the stroke to tell them to go to hell.
Why have I turned a commentary on a damn sweet match between two competitors that I love like Kid Kash and Brian Kendrick into yet another encomium for High-Quality Speaker Boy? Because he’s that f*cking good, that’s why. He’s one of the key cogs in Smackdown winning the Best Promotion end-of-year award for this year, a development we would have considered shocking in December 2005. And the guys in the ring are two other reasons, just to be fair.
And here’s Kash’s Troy Hepple Moment
Jillian Hall and Ashley Massaro over Kristal Marshall and Michelle McCool (Pinfall, Massaro pins Marshall, rollup): Yeah, it did surprise me greatly that they actually attempted to wrestle. Except for Hall, they’re all at the Ten-Buck Tramp level of wrestling skill, but they’re giving it a go. I think they could have pulled off about ten minutes of a Fatal Four-Way legit match at GAB (especially if it’s Hall and McCool in there for a good portion). So why make it Bra and Panties? Why not encourage them to develop as wrestlers by putting them in legitimate matches? It worked for Hemme (up to a point). With Trish leaving for good in a couple of months, they need some women there who can actually wrestle. Otherwise, Moolah’s going to end up with the Women’s strap again.
By the way, it’s great that all the women have last names again. Thank you, Tony Chimel.
Kristal makes a stand for Diva Search losers by making a stand on a Diva Search winner
Bobby Lashley over Mister David Fuckin’ Finlay, US Title Match (DQ, Fun With Chairs): A PPV Pimp Match for a match that will now not happen…what a waste of all that time in the transition period and all that effort to produce what was a very good match. By the way, in case you can’t translate wrestlingese, “elevated liver enzymes” is a code word for hepatitis. This, of course, makes you wonder about the whole Bob Orton situation again. I’ll leave you to speculate on the type of bodily fluid transfer that took place between them, but I’m not going to pay one cent toward getting that mental image out of your mind. Remember, I hate my readership.
No, not the beer arm…
Super Crazy over Psicosis, De Facto Number One Contender’s Match (Pinfall, crucifix rollup): Very choppy pace to this match. I’m not sure exactly what was going on with the match booking, but it went from first to overdrive in one shot. The right person went over, though, and his match with Novocaine at GAB should be great, if they’re allowed to do a few spots here and there.
For some reason, I don’t mind Mexican-on-Mexican Violence too much
Rey-Rey over Booker T, Could Be A Premature Title Match, Probably Wasn’t (Pinfall, West Coast Pop): PPV Pimp, no doubt. But also Angle Advancement? Only if they’ve decided on the angle that Chavito is going to have. Since I’m certain they haven’t come up with anything substantial for him yet, I think it’s safe to say that this match was under the GRAS level for Angle Advancement. Decent match, but it makes the GAB match a little more stale.
Booker’s earning his blowjob push in a unique way
“DAVE’s gonna kill you…”
Being near Mizanin is enough to elevate anyone’s liver enzymes
I defy you to find a bigger loser collection than this. And finding them at a science fiction convention doesn’t count.
I’ll end this now so I can concentrate on a weekend involving the Open. You take care of yourself and your livers until Tuesday.