Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc., 07.25.06

Yeah, this is a little late, but I had to leave for work right after Raw, and due to me attempting to get my sleep cycle in some semblance of order, I wasn’t able to get GAB done until I got back from work this morning. I gotta get some kind of schedule together. Let’s get to business, though.

Since I seem to have a modicum of popularity, there’s a decent chance that this might get through to the particular party targeted. So let me go for it…

Memo To the African-American gentleman who drives a silver GMC Envoy, Michigan license plate number AET5499: you don’t know me personally, but you probably know my vehicle. I was the guy in the green Ford Windstar whom you tailgated and bird-dogged for sixty miles up I-65 last Wednesday afternoon. Since we got to know each other reasonably well (as much as most Americans know each other these days), I’d like to prevail upon our relationship to make the following observations:

1) I don’t know what the conversation was about, but if you must use a cell phone for an entire hour in a vehicle, at least consider pulling over somewhere and continuing the conversation while you are stationary.

2) By custom and in some cases by law, the right lane here in the United States is for slower-moving traffic. Switching over to the right lane and accelerating, therefore, is rather counter-productive. I’m certain that the drivers of the four trucks you almost rear-ended while doing this repeatedly can also tell you this. They are, after all, professionals.

3) Driving lanes are traditionally marked with white lines, either solid or broken. It is usually good practice to stay between those sets of white lines. The driving lane does not normally consist of half of the marked lane and half of the shoulder.

4) It is usually more efficient to drive in a relatively straight line. Continuous swerving does not help the life of your tires.

5) Drivers other than you have cell phones. Hopefully one of them other than myself called the Indiana Highway Patrol out on your ass.

You don’t know how utterly relieved I was when you got off I-65 and went away from Chicago, thus allowing me to conclude my journey in relative peace and tranquility. If you, dear readers, know this person, slap him in the face for me. If you, the driver, happen to be reading this, know that if I ever see you again, I will take measures to ensure that you never drive near me again. Those measures will be violent and bloody.

It’s too bad that the Indiana Sniper didn’t get you. However, it’s a good thing that Seymour, Indiana is now known for something other than being the home town of John Mellencamp.

Now that that’s out of the way…oh, Goober commented heavily about the Open Championship. I don’t really have much to say about it other than that I knew it was over on Thursday, the moment Tigger sunk that long eagle putt at 18. That’s his usual signal to the world that playtime’s over. Kudos to DiMarco for turning Hoylake into Augusta East and making a game of it, though. Either story would have been great (and been identical). But seeing Tigger sink that last putt and breaking down into tears as he and Steve exchanged a manly hug, and then him going over to Elin and doing the same…did I actually experience something? Real, honest emotion? Why, it was.

So, is Tigger God yet? No, not yet. If he wins the PGA, though, definitely. He is, of course, the odds-on favorite now. He’s won a major at the course before, he loves the Chicago area (witness his record in the late, lamented Western Open), and he’s winning in new and interesting ways. It’s gonna be fun to watch, that’s for certain.

What wasn’t fun to watch was Great American Bash, and I guess I have to cover that in here. After the Pimps…

THE PIMP SECTION

Lucard discusses undead magic-users and dead ducks.

Vin-Man also wants the best for Lethal, and that’s good.

Memo to Daniels: I’d say that if the guy you spoke to was nuts, then I’m nuts, but we all know that anyway, so that isn’t saying much. However, I will expand that and say that all Sox fans are therefore nuts, because, frankly, all of us prefer Joe Crede to A-Rod. We. Don’t. Want. A-Rod. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth, and no amount of East Coast Bias Deafness can block it out.

Why is this so? Two reasons, mainly:

1) We on the South Side have zero tolerance for overpaid, whiny prima donnas. We don’t want them anywhere near 35th and Shields. A-Rod is, among other things, an overpaid (extremely overpaid) whiny prima donna. “But, Eric,” you whine in tones only dogs can hear, “how can you and your people reject a future Hall Of Famer?” This wouldn’t be the first time, oogums. Frank Thomas was dead to us even before he left for Oakland. We refused to accept Albert Belle. We turned our backs on Tom Seaver. And the moment that Carlton Fisk opened his yap, we told him to f*ck off. The reaction to A-Rod at the Cell dressed in the black and white wouldn’t be cheers. It wouldn’t be boos either. It’d be stone dead silence. He would not be accepted one bit by the fans.

2) Five years ago, the Archangel Gabriel descended over the Cell and spake thus: “I bring you tidings of good cheer. We have a third baseman in the minors. He’s good. Really good. If you are patient, you will be rewarded.” We were patient, and now we’re being rewarded. Crede is One Of Us. He’s even got the perfect South Side name (three guesses what my middle name is). He’s our guy, and we want him to be South Side For Life. Any replacement would have to be the reincarnation of Brooks Robinson, and since Brooks isn’t dead yet, that’s a pretty tall order (by the way, I wrote that before Robinson came to A-Dud’s defense).

And, finally…

3) Crede was a key contributor on a World Series-winning team and has a ring to show for it.

So, yeah, “We don’t want A-Rod” is a perfectly valid reason. Just because you can’t fathom why any team wouldn’t want him doesn’t mean that it isn’t true.

Floyd Landis is a terrific story, Goober. Don’t blow him off like that.

Gloomie‘s problem is simply solved: don’t play any music at all.

Cameron does a little navel-gazing.

Paul contemplates YouTube’s licensing terms.

Basilo should try running some anti-spyware programs on his system.

Hatton and Stevens are both gearing up for San Diego.

THE FIRST TWO WORDS, NO. THE LAST ONE, IT’S WHAT WE’RE ALL DOING TO IT

Oh, I love the Great American Bash. It’s the one PPV each year that’s guaranteed to bring the entire IWC over to my corner. Sometimes it’s lonely being a cynic and critic, especially given the propensity for the IWC to cheerlead the product for no reason other than to justify the decision they made to be a wrestling fan. But GAB’s history for producing atrocious cards brings out the knives in everyone. It’s nice to see you here, folks. Cash bar in the corner.

And this year gave us all the moral weaponry we needed. Four matches were forced to be changed before the show due to injury or various and sundry problems with liver enzymes. Another match probably had its ending changed because one of the workers involved is about to be suspended. One worker was beaten hard enough to require twenty stitches afterward. A femme worker was taken to the hospital afterward. Great American Bash certainly lived up to its history. But what about the individual elements? Let’s take a look at them…

The opening tag title match was being tipped by everyone as the probable Match of the Night. However, we got a set of desultory performances and a bleh ending which neutered the goodness of the match. We didn’t know why this was happening until we heard the news about Kid Kash’s impending suspension. That ruined any chance of a title change. It now also ruins any chance that the tag team situation will improve on the show, since they typically threw all their eggs in one basket with Kash and Noble. How much of this was done out of necessity and how much out of inclination has yet to be determined. So now who do London and Kendrick face? Kash and Noble was their safety valve, the guys they could turn to if things got desperate. There aren’t any established, regular teams on Smackdown except for Funaki and Scotty Go Potty (this makes the Mexicools break-up look even more foolish and short-sighted). They may have to bring over Cade and Murdoch from Raw, except that those two are Raw’s safety valve, and the valve may have to be triggered unless they end up getting two teams out of the break-up of the Spirit Squad (with My Illegitimate Son Ken Doane being the obvious candidate to go solo). Look, just pull the trigger on either merging or just getting rid of the tag belts, and bring them back when there are enough guys to create quality tag divisions. That way, we don’t have to suffer through this shit.

Lil’ Naitch comes to a realization that this is what gay porn is like

You know, Michael Cole’s been doing so well on commentary lately that he actually surprised me during the Finlay/Regal match with a shocking blow-off. When High-Quality Speaker Boy was mentioning welcoming people to this country, how could Cole have missed not calling him out on his treatment of Mexicans? Come on, Michael, that was too easy to have missed. And, no, Michael, the fans were not chanting “Boring” because Lashley wasn’t in there; they were chanting “Boring” because they were retards who can’t appreciate a match like this. You have to be of a special mind to do so, and fortunately, I am. It was a very good match. The problem was that I, and many others, were expecting a great match, one that would blow us away. It’s damned by faint praise. I also would have preferred Regal going over, but I never get what I want from them. Regal, though, was a little desultory, and I can imagine the reason why. High-Quality Speaker Boy even implied the reason, but couched it in commentary about himself (as usual). If people are being suspended for “elevated liver enzymes”, then Regal’s screwed. The shit he’s taken has done long-term damage to his liver, especially in the quantities he’s popped. Who knows when the tap on the shoulder will come for him? So, yeah, he was a little distracted. Who can blame him? Certainly not me. Remember, from a pharmacological standpoint, he and I have a lot in common.

At least an American is making decisions about the US title

Pretty much skipped the Helms/Hardy match. Well, you knew that I would. I don’t like either of them, never have, don’t give a shit. This match may sound the death knell for the cruiserweight division. There are six legit competitors for the cruiser title. Four of them are f*cking around with the tag titles. The other two are f*cking around with each other. Ironically, Super Crazy’s medical suspension and Kid Kash’s impending disciplinary action may be the salvation of the division. It frees up Jamie Noble and Psicosis to challenge Helms. Before you say something, yes, I know they’re both supposed to be heels, but in a match against Helms, I have no problem buying either as a face. Personally, I’d like Noble to be the one to take the strap away. He’s not only a great competitor, but the irony of a piece of white trash like Helms only being able to be beaten by a bigger piece of white trash like Noble is too tasty to resist.

Just like back in OMEGA, except with less bisexual orgies

The Punjabi Prison Match…okay, I FFed through it. I wasn’t going to put up with this. I wasn’t going to put up with it when it was Khali instead of TBS. With Khali in there, let’s be honest, it would have been a rival to Kennel In A Cell. It was a dumb idea to begin with. Now it should be dead forever, unless Khali hangs around, in which case it’ll be pulled out once a year for some “special” feud. God help us all.

Just a reminder that GAB also stands for Goofy-Ass Bullshit

Bra and Panties Match…yeah, like I’m going to talk about that. Piss Break Match, pure and simple.

Jillian Hall knows the purpose of this match. The thing is, she’s a wrestler.

So, FudgePacker had to get twenty stitches after the match from being opened up hard-way by DAVE, huh? Too bad the twenty stitches weren’t applied across his mouth. I never want to have to hear him again. A good portion of you feel the same way now that you’ve finally seen through his no-working ass. Remember, I was against him from the beginning, and all of you who fellated him are now regretting your words. I don’t have to regret anything. That’s why I’m better than you are and always will be. I am always right when it comes to things like this, and I stand my ground despite your abuse. I make your average Ayn Rand hero look like a wimp. Kneel before Zod.

Crush his larnyx and the check’s in the mail, DAVE

Well, it f*cking took long enough. I’ve been begging for them to give Booker a world title for four years now. Glad to see that they’ve listened at last. And, gee, all it took was an end-of-career revival that’s virtually unprecedented among wrestlers. Booker worked damn hard for this, despite being consistently humiliated ever since the Buyout. Do not, I beg you, make him a transition champion with a token reign. We know DAVE will get the strap back. Just let Booker keep it until Survivor Series. That’s not too much to ask.

By the way, how appropriate was it that two old WCW stalwarts and standard-bearers got the main event at Great American Bash? I wonder if that was in “creative”‘s mind. I doubt it. But the apres made it even sweeter. Yes, Chavito’s turn was the worst-kept secret in the universe, but he’s also ex-WCW, and his interference being the key to the end was the closest you’re ever going to come to a WCW tribute. Good touches all around, and a pretty good match to boot, despite the predictable ending.

No, Booker, Eddy can’t help him. And neither will Chavito.

That’s all for this. I’m not wasting any more labor to describe an edition of Great American Bash. Let’s see how they play this waste out on Smackdown.

WHO THOUGHT THE ANTI-CHRIST WOULD BE NAMED “AURORA ROSE LEVESQUE”?

Well, Vince now has that granddaughter to spoil that Shane hasn’t been able to give him. As Todd Grisham announced during Raw, Steph gave birth to a girl, eight pounds, seven ounces, named Aurora Rose. And the event that we all feared from the moment that we heard that Steph was dating Trip has happened: a successful breeding. The End of Days is come, folks. Just remember, I was the first person in the IWC to call the pregnancy (one month before it was officially announced), so I am the best qualified to become the IWC’s Cassandra/Jeremiah. Listen to me, and maybe you can save your immortal soul, should you value it.

Okay, let’s get cynical, cynical, I wanna get cynical, let’s get into cynical…Memo to Gloomchen: You know that article you wrote about local radio and its weirdcasting? We’ve got that in Chicago as well. The local Lite Rock station actually programs heavily toward late 70s-early 80s, with what amounts to all-disco weekends every weekend. What was once the province of Richard Marx and Celine Dion is now KC and the Sunshine Band once an hour, every hour. That’s just one of the strange elements of Chicago radio. Remind me to tell you sometime of the one radio station that played “Comfortably Numb” at least three times a week between 4AM and 4:30AM.

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, the Demon Seed and cynicism. How much do you want to bet that Steph was induced? The McMahons are, among other things, media-savvy to the extreme. Of course they’d want to announce the birth live on Raw. But Raw has to be from the right locale. They don’t want anywhere on the East Coast, where the announcement would get booed. Same with a location like Chicago or St. Louis; any good wrestling town is out because they’d do the same thing. But then there’s Cleveland. The most momentous Raw in history took place in Cleveland. The night of the Final Nitro, remember? The Cleveland audience is the one that cheered at the sound of Bagwell’s and Goldberg’s names during Vince’s introductory promo. Obviously, Cleveland Marks (just one reason I hate the f*cking place). No risk of them booing the fact that Steph gave birth. So you had the right night in the right place. Yeah, why not induce? You have to admit that it was a rather short labor for a first child.

“But, Eric,” I hear you whining again, “doctors won’t induce unless it’s necessary, especially for a first child.” Doctors will do anything they’re paid to do. Must I remind you of a certain monarch of Great Britain who was given an intravenous overdose of morphine and cocaine so that his death would be timed to be in the morning papers rather than the afternoon ones? Yeah, they’d induce given the proper incentive.

So, what assumptions can we make right now? First of all, we know that Aurora will be going over MickieLexis LaJames at SummerSlam for the Women’s title. It’s not too early to start those title reigns, you know. Plus, it’ll give them the chance to mention that this is the first mother/daughter combo to hold the Women’s title. Second, we know that she’s going to have one helluva nose on her. We all know about daddy’s proboscis, and there are those of us who remember what mommy’s honker looked like before she had her nose job (and I didn’t notice until after I wrote this that Pandich also got the nose joke in during the live coverage; good work, Tom). Third, this might be a way for them to reintroduce the Muffy character that recently got re-featured on WrestleCrap. After all, Steph will need a personal trainer to take off the preggers weight.

Maybe I should stop at that. I’m getting rather mean-spirited, even for me. So, I’ll just give the happy couple congratulations and hold off on more snarking until circumstances warrant it.

“JINX” IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT

Over in the Den of the Smelly Proles, also known as the Pulse Forums, Fingers has created a running list of the disasters Smackdown has suffered over the past nine months, starting with Eddy’s death. Since I don’t link to the forums, you’ll have to find it over there yourselves. It’s a list that makes your eyes pop out. And we’re still adding to it. Super Crazy is victim number three in the Great Liver Enzyme Purge (and this one may actually be hepatitis*; we’ve got an easily-obtained chain of infection with Cowboy Bob -> Juvi -> Super Crazy). Kid Kash is likely to be suspended for reasons unknown, but I think we can easily figure them out, since it’s Kash, who’s never seen a bad attitude he hasn’t liked. Kristal Marshall was hospitalized after GAB for, again, unknown reasons. FudgePacker needed twenty stitches after bleeding hard-way during his match with DAVE. Usually, Great American Bash is only a creative disaster, not a physical one.

One of the smelly proles actually pointed the reason for a Smackdown Jinx, if there is one, but did it in the typical blind, stupid, stumbling way that forum readers usually do, without making that key final connection. All of this (and you have to include Christian’s departure in the mess) started after Matt Hardy was switched to Smackdown. How did Matt Hardy debut in WWE back in the mid-90s? As a member of…the Jynx Brothers. At long last, karma is striking at the heart of WWE. Fingers wonders why Hardy can’t get booked or get a push. If you carried the potential baggage for a curse like this one, you shouldn’t be booked. Hardy is Typhoid Larry. He shouldn’t be pushed, he should be released. Or thrown into the heart of a live volcano along with a prayer to the animistic god of your choice.

No, I’ve never liked the guy, not even during V1. But this gives you a reason to join the correct side without feeling too bad about admitting that, yet again, I was right.

* – Keller’s now saying that it might be Hep C that’s going around the SD locker room. Hmmmmm, wasn’t I the first to say “hepatitis” (assuming that it was Hep C or non-A/non-B/non-C, since the only other option is to assume an enormous gay orgy backstage)? And wasn’t I pooh-poohed by Burnside? Iain, I know about this stuff (it was part of my training for my Army position, believe it or not). Listen to me for once.

DESPITE ALL THAT, THE PIMPS ARE STARTING…

Not news per se, but here in Chi, the CW Network is starting to get major billboard coverage. And, yes, surprisingly, this includes Smackdown. While out shopping on Saturday, I saw the first CW-related bus pimp for Smackdown. Naturally, it features DAVE as its photo element. It’s the first bus pimp for WWE I’ve seen since the infamous “The McManos” signs. At least these are in better taste. That puke green color, though, has to go.

Here’s a little fact that no one’s explicitly mentioned, not even Milord or Big Johnson: the CW Network station here in Chicago will be WGN, which is currently a WB quasi-affiliate. WGN, of course, is a national superstation like TBS; numerous cable networks carry it. However, your preemption problem may still be there even if you get WGN and thus have a second potential CW outlet. WGN does have a lot of sports coverage. The Bulls are broadcast on WGN, for instance. Also, it’s rumored that WGN’s owners also own a baseball team. They’re said to not play many night games at home, but road night games are still broadcast. Therefore, if you’re relying on WGN to assist you in watching Smackdown (as I would have had to do if I were still in Kansas, since my cable outlet had no UPN/WB affiliate but did get WGN), don’t bet the farm on it. Hell, torrents are still the way to go.

Now for the only show I don’t download…

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Mike Mondo and My Illegitimate Son Ken Doane over Rory McAllister and Robbie McAllister, Tag Titles Match (Pinfall, Doane pins Rory, multifaceted interference): Well, feuds have to start somehow. I just wish that they’d started this one in a less boring fashion. Or with less boring wrestlers. I’ve never bought the Spirit Squad as a concept (although the guys do have talent), and, let’s face it, the Highlanders are not the type of wrestlers to appeal to someone like me. However, like the walking disaster that is the Smackdown tag roster, the Raw tag roster is running out of options. I’m just waiting for the Highlanders to win the tag titles and begin feuding with Cade and Murdoch. That way, everyone gets to relive the vivacity of a Godwinns/Bushwhackers feud, only without sheep and pigs.

Shelton Benjamin over Carly Colon (Pinfall, kick to the RicaNads): Weird to not see them fight for the IC strap, I have to admit. However, this is the first Carly match that I’ve actually enjoyed. I have no clue whether or not he fights to the level of his competition or not. After all, most of his booking has been against stiffs like Masters or in four-minute specials. In longer matches where he’s had his chances, he shows that he can actually wrestle should he desire. Apparently, he did in his match against Benjy, and Benjy was willing to go with it. Benjy cuts loose when he knows his opponent can handle it, and apparently he had confidence in Carly to do so. It paid off in spades. Good length, constantly entertaining, definitely Carly’s best match since he came to WWE. This amounts to a nice surprise.

MickieLexis La James over Candice Michelle, Apparently Not A Women’s Title Match (Pinfall, roll-through off of a flying bodypress): Wait a second…Candice Michelle, Credible Wrestler? It’s going to take a little time to wrap my mind around that one, thank you.

Shawn Michaels over Jonathan Coachman, Vince’s Remote Revenge Match (DQ, Jamalga-ference): So, is this the beginning of a Michaels/Jamalga feud, or the beginning of Jamalga being completely integrated into the DX/McMahons feud? Considering how this show was ripped apart due to Steph, I don’t think they know for sure. However, it does give Jamalga something to do that actually involves some substance. Let’s see what he does with this.

Ric Flair and John Cena over Edge and Johnny Nitro (Submission, Nitro submits to Cena, STFU): Oh, bullshit. Talk about a “send the audience home happy” match. Did someone of Flair’s status and someone of Cena’s perceived status need to get a tag win over the primary and secondary belt holders? What was the purpose? We can damn well assume that it’s going to be Edge/Cena at SummerSlam, and that match doesn’t really need pimping given the relatively long history between them. And I guess there’s a peripheral connection there between Flair and Nitro with Foley going on and on about Melina. But, really, was any of this necessary? Or important? Or were they just stretching for some kind of main?

A keen observation from KC Evers (no relation): Both Top Champions are heels. The NWA World Champ’s a heel. I guess heels are in. Both secondary belt holders are also heels (although with Finlay, it’s a close call). The Raw tag champs are heels. The Women’s champ is a heel. The Cruiserweight champ is a heel. Fuck knows what Low Ki is, but they seem to be booking him as more of a heel. So, yeah, heels are in. But who’s getting the bigger pushes? Cena and Joe are definitely getting better pushes than Edge and Jarrett. DAVE will be getting a bigger push than Booker. We’re just in a cycle right now of build-up to major PPVs (SummerSlam and Bound For Glory), and everyone’s going for a “face chasing the heel for the belt” situation. What we’re going through right now isn’t that abnormal, really.

Slick Rick also goes observant, but about bling:

You’d think that now that Cena seems to be shaking the Wigger gimmick (as the pretty good promo he did earlier seems to indicate) they would lose the f*cking spinner belt and go back to a normal WWF title. He’s not holding the strap, so it should revert anyhow…It’s not like the Wife-Beater Skull belt lasted much past his last real run. At least that had some aesthetic value. Assuming Cena will eventually get the strap back, it won’t fit his gimmick anymore if they keep trying to rehabilitate his gimmick.

I have this feeling that they’re waiting for Cena to win the belt back before changing it, perhaps using it to finalize his image change. Dumping it in the garbage and saying “That ain’t me anymore” or something like that to cement a heel turn. I dunno. I’ve grown accustomed to it. Besides, Van Dam successfully took the piss out of the belt with the “It spins” crack. It’s become harmless and detached enough from Cena to be usable, which is something you couldn’t say about the Smoking Skull belt. Again, I dunno. Maybe they just don’t want to spend the cash on more hardware right now. I couldn’t blame them. They had to pop for a new ECW belt, after all.

Angle Developments:

Degeneration Next: That was actually a good way of explaining Trip’s absence. The only way to play this off, given the DX angle, was to go full smarmy, and Michaels is one of the best ever at doing that. Of course, I’m better than he is, but WWE hasn’t hired me (and considering how much they’re paying some of “creative”, I’m probably making more with my current job than I would be with them). Michaels/Coachman was a pretty decent decision for a holding pattern. Coachman does know how to take a beating, and Michaels knows how to dish out one. So, no complaints from this end.

Chain Reaction: I’m trying to figure out exactly who’s getting what kind of rub from the Flair promo. Is Nitro getting a rub from being in the same ring as Flair and Edge? Is Edge trying to rekindle his feud with Flair despite Flair being involved with Foley? Is Cena trying to get a rub from Flair, Edge, and Nitro? This is, of course, above and beyond the fact that it set up the quickly-cobbled-together main event. I hate these types of promos, I really do.

Interminable: After Hogan started talking, I went out for a smoke. When I got back, they were still going on. And, for some reason, Lawler got involved. Oh, who cares? It’s a gigantic pimp for the VH1 show and Brooke’s recording anyway, and it gives Randy something non-destructive to do. So, as long as you ignore everything, it’s harmless.

Well, that’s it for me. I’ll let you get on with your lives while I get on with mine. Have a good one.

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