Look on the Bright Side

Good morning, class. Not a lot of filler this week: you wouldn’t believe how utterly swamped I am at work. Thank goodness I’m telecommuting full-time now – otherwise I’d be losing my freaking mind.

The You Tube Video of the Week

Feast your eyes on the original, unaired pilot to my favorite show of all time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The People’s Front

Fellow IP writer Jeremy Lambert was the first to offer this alternate theory on the Heyman/Dreamer kiss:
I like your reasoning explaining the Heyman/Dreamer kiss but I’ve got another one. It’s straight out of the Godfather with the whole Kiss Of Death since Heyman and Dreamer were like brothers.

Yup – makes perfect sense, especially with the attack by Test immediately afterwards. (Oh, and that kiss between Michael and Fredo was actually in Godfather II.) It’s at least as legit as my “cult leader” thought. I believe the next couple of weeks will tell us which way Paul E is taking the character.

The strangely named Yogizmo330@aol.com (c’mon, people – include your real name) writes about the Best Wrestler list:
I don’t know that I’d give Austin a 7 in technical wrestling. Sure, he was an excellent worker back in WCW in the early to mid 90’s, but in the WWF his technical skills regressed quite a bit from 1996 until his highpoint in 1998-99. Beats Hogan being on top though.

My primary reason for that rating was the match Austin had with Benoit on Raw, after Benoit challenged him to simply a “wrestling match”. Austin absolutely kept up with Benoit move-for-move (amatuer style), and showed that he could wrestling that style, if he felt like it. Changing his wrestling style to keep the crowd happy never implied that he lost all of his ability (of course, it did help that he had someone like the Crippler in there to help make him look good).

Johnny writes in with additional points for the Happy Fifteen:
I think that you are one of my favorite writers here at IP. The way you can put some positive spins on some things that are just utter crap is a real talent, but I think that there were a few things you missed.
* How funny was it when Grisham said the Shelton/Carlito match was for a shot at the Cruiserweight Title. I couldn’t stop laughing for about 5 minutes.
* Mark Henry’s injury. Now while I don’t wish anything bad on him, it was a very serious injury
(Henry tore his patella tendon completely off the bone, and also split his patella (kneecap) completely in two) it will only help the WWE as this will be a chance to bring Kane over from Raw (there had been rumors) to face Batista.
* The “Miz” comment by Trips when Shawn was stuttering out WWEShop.com was just hilarious. I’m loving this gimmick, just because it’s my first time around with it, but I do agree that they need to add someone new into the equation to keep it interesting.

First off – thanks for the compliment, it’s muchly appreciated. As for the additional items: I completely missed on the “Cruiserweight” announcement. As for the other two – they’ve been commented on multiple times by other writers here at IP and elsewhere, and one of the guidelines for my list is to point out The Little Things that aren’t getting enough attention. But again, thanks.

The Happy Fifteen (or so)

Love the concept? Hate it? Think I missed something important from last week? See something this week that you think should be here? Email me by Sunday evening.

Friday Night Smackdown

Welcome to the most cursed roster in the history of wrestling.

1. Kennedy played his part in the opening segment damn near perfectly: his usual arrogant, cocky role in laying out the challenge, and then obviously backing down from Batista after Big Dave talk about the pent-up anger he had going on (although honestly, I thought Dave played that a little too laid back – I would’ve appreciated more intensity). The “handshake deny” was a nice touch, too. I find it hilarious that the backlash against Kennedy is starting already: I realize that, as a Bears fan, Eric is required by law to hate anyone from Green Bay – but what’s everybody else’s excuse?

2. The snapmare into the ropes by Kid Kash on Kendrick was truly unique. I enjoy watching someone come up with new moves when they follow the “pick one body part and completely destroy it” strategy (also known as: “Every match Bret Hart ever had”).

3. How many times do you Chavo was called “Job-o” backstage before Booker decided to utter it on camera?

4. So, let me get this straight: Jillian Hall now has a move where she shoves her opponent’s face into her boobs and shakes them vigorously? Okay, then – where do I sign up to be her sparring partner?

5. The Diva dance-off was a mix of “okay” and “bad”. But at the very least, it did give us insight into which of these girls might have a pair of clear heels in their wardrobe.

The Great American Bash

Just a warning – I didn’t hate this show. I think that makes me truly unique amongst wrestling fans on the Intraweb. (But yes, that Punjabi Prison clusterf*ck was horrible.)

1. Overall, I thought this show was really hamstrung by the crowd – they were truly terrible. They popped only for highspots, cared nothing about match flow and psychology, and pissed over all the Finaly/Regal stiff-fest. But I was amused by this sign in the crowd: “If Benoit shows up, we riot”. See, the new ECW is innovative!

2. That dropkick on London while he was trying to skin the cat back into the room really, really looked painful. Nice job of timing by everybody involved.

3. My snarky comment of the night comes because of this quote from Teddy Long: “I owe it to you, and all the WWE fans, to assure that this administration takes a long term view of your personal health.” Comedy highlight of the night, right there.

4. JBL had some fun with Lashley’s “elevated liver enzymes”, including referring to the fact that’s he’s drank so much his liver is “like Jake Roberts”. (To be fair, those hepatitis jokes just write themselves.) Plus, during the Helms/Hardy match, he got this line off about Helms: “His game has been elevated. His enzymes might not be, but his game is.”

5. I’m still enjoying the return of Batista’s entrance (yes, even the silly “fire a machine gun” thing he does at the top of the ramp). But by far the highlight was the 40-something cougar at ringside who made 3 different attempts to pinch Dave’s butt just before he got into the ring. I bet her kids are proud.

6. Even though just about everybody called it, the Chavo turn was still executed very well. Not to mention – WOW, was that a helluva chair shot.

Monday Night Raw

Wow, that Samoan drop from Big Vis must have done more damage to Lillian than we thought. Surely she didn’t decide to wear a sequined tube top with full possession of all of her faculties, right? Anyway, on with the list.

1. “Between you guy and me, I think… he knows who the father is.” Quite simply, we are never going to see a combination of in-ring and promo ability like HBK ever again.

2. I’m really enjoying the relationship between Carlito and Trish. You know, she keeps getting involved in good, well-developed, understated storylines. Can’t we start a petition begging her not to leave the WWE?

3. Edge, holding his belt up to Coach: “Look, it spins!” Nice little shout-out to RVD, Adam. Maybe you’re not as much of a scumbag as I thought.

4. Shelton and Carlito absolutely stole the show. Honestly, I am shocked at the improvement in Carlito over the past 6 months: ever since he broke free of his partnership with Masters, he has seemingly stepped up his game every single week: breaking out new moves in the ring, developing his tweener character, and (especially) developing a feel for how to draw the audience into his matches. I am just hoping and praying that Benjamin is paying attention.

5. Speaking of which: I’m getting a pretty strong feeling that those two will be the future of the company. Try and remember: it wasn’t that long ago that The Rock and Austin were fueding over the Intercontinental title (including the skit where the belt and Austin both got thrown over a bridge), or when Booker T and Benoit were having a Best of Seven series for a shot at the WCW TV Title. All of those guys have done pretty well for themselves.

6. Okay, I’m not naive enough to believe that someone in WWE is reading my column, but yes, I am going to crow that I totally called the Umaga beatdown on D-X (in this case, HBK) in last week’s column. Having Umaga chase away the Spirit Squad from a fallen HBK because he wasn’t done with him was a nice touch.

7. Excellent promo by Cena – his best in months, in fact. I throw this in here simply because I know no one else in the IWC will give him his due, and because he took the time to even mention Carlito.

ECW on Sci Fi

Well, I got to watch Mike Knox’s promo (not good) and match with Sandman (even worse); Tommy’s attack on Knox and Test (well done, and made perfect sense, setting up a good Dreamer & Sandman vs. Knox and Test (old school vs. new school) match; and then Paul E denying Sabu a shot at the world title (also good, building up Paul’s “cult leader” character).

And then, the power went out in my house at 10:15 pm, and didn’t come back on until sometime around 4:00 am this morning. Someone remind me to install a backup generator in my new house, please.

As for ECW, be sure to check out the live recap by John Cavanagh.

And that’s it for this week. See you next Wednesday.

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