Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc., 11.28.06

Anyone who knows what kind of Douglas Adams fanboy I am knows how special this particular day is to me. I won’t get into it more than that, but some of you should be able to figure it out.

Okay, I’m over that good feeling now. A few quickies, then on to the crap.

Man, you know it’s a slow news day when the big story is Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson getting a divorce. Let’s face it, Hepatitis C is not the most stable foundation for a long-lasting relationship.

Okay, how the f*ck did 411 get a pimp on Google News? Who’s Ashish blowing at the Googleplex? And who do we have to blow to get the same coverage?

And, finally, a message to you sensitive types: shut the f*ck up, nigger.

THE PIMP SECTION

First of all, thanks to KC Evers (no relation) for having me on his weekly show yesterday on BCNI Internet Radio, broadcasting to all parts of Canada and beyond. Fun experience (no pun intended), and I’ll do it again if he wants. As usual, if I’m involved, it gets first pimp. Besides, I was still waiting on SurSer to get downloaded.

Vin-Man puts out his column a year early, because we’re going to be deluged with Montreal Incident Reminiscences then thanks to next year’s SurSer location and status as Tenth Anniversary. However, there are some points that must be made:

1) Overrated and Michaels as Old School/New School seems kinda weird knowing that they came to prominence at about the same time, if you discount Hart in Stampede. Hey, the AWA was still considered major at the time the Midnight Rockers came along. Would the Apter Mags and the new AWA DVD lie to you?

2) Vinny doesn’t say it, so I will: “Kliq” = Michaels’ name for his fanbase. “Clique” = the backstage coterie surrounding Michaels. Learn the difference. Know the difference. Appreciate the difference. Or else I’ll kill you.

3) The whole “Hart was the only obstacle between Michaels and unlimited power” hypothesis has one drawback as to its veracity. By 1996, there was another player in that arena. The Undertaker had already established his rep as a backstage influence by that point. The only reason you never really heard about it is that, at that point, UT kept his influence firmly sighted on what was best for him. Michaels would have certainly had his clout tested if his interests had gone up against UT’s, and I wouldn’t have counted on Michaels winning that struggle.

4) It was Overrated’s fault.

Hope that clears things up.

Biscuiti prefers to concentrate on TNA rather than on SurSer. Good man.

Daniels is not the first to underestimate the stupidity of the Tribune Company. Except for one thing, which someone from the East Coast Bias may not have noticed: rumors are hot and heavy around here that Tribune’s about ready to sell their non-existent baseball team (at last), so they could sign Soriano knowing full well that they won’t have to pony up to pay him. Let that burden fall to the new ownership. Although I have to admit that Daniels made TEH FUNNEH by calling Gay-Rod and Manny “first-ballot HoFers”. Got a giggle out of that one. Also, he angsts more about the Gicunts after they blew a lead to the overrated Vince Young.

Unfortunately, Pomazak decides to overrate Young himself.

I don’t really have much to add to Fernandez‘s latest opus except this: the marks of inspection on the pig are in the right places.

In answer to Mark B‘s queries from last week: in order, “No”, and “We’re supposed to be a big-time game site, so let’s wangle a PS3 from Sony North America and Nintendo US in exchange for valuable publicity”.

Bowen not only Gimmick Infringes on me by calling his audience sheep, but also Says No To Piracy. Actually, I’m a little bit ashamed by finally going commercial on Half-Life 2, but 1) it was on sale at Fry’s when I went in there on Monday and 2) bypassing Steam is a royal pain in the ass.

Eagle sounds like he’s in full PMS mode this week.

SURVIVAL IS NOT AN OPTION

Yes, it was another three-hour lecture on Booking For Retards (or more aptly, Booking For The Retards). It’s been a while since we’ve had an entire PPV sabotaged by bad booking decisions to the extent that Survivor Series was…

…no, I am NOT experiencing a case of Sour Grapes as per the Round Table results. The difference between Murray and myself is that I have the firm belief that, if given a choice, people will think and make decisions in a logical fashion. No matter how many times I am confronted with the evidence to the contrary, especially in regard to WWE, my belief is unshakeable.

Yes, I will send you a postcard from Vulcan. Don’t be a smartass.

It’s been a long time since I’ve shaken my head so much at the results from a PPV. This goes beyond “What the hell are they on?”. This goes all the way to the point of me trying to find out so I can buy stock in the pharmaceutical company or cut some deal with whatever drug lord has taken up residence in Stamford. It’s either that or the bookers take the short bus into work each day, and you know how I feel about retards.

Of course, there’s another, more insidious factor to this behavior. It was at this PPV six years ago that one Stephanie McMahon first got her hands on the book. Hmmmm, someone actually wrote about this fact six years ago this week, on November 25th, 2000, to be exact. Let’s see what that perceptive scribe said:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Stephanie McMahon was going to write and book a major pay-per-view. Survivor Series was her handiwork, and it certainly was a little car crash of a PPV. When the news came out, the pessimists among us felt that this was the ultimate sign that the WWF was stuck completely in a rut and had reached the point of desperation, or that the seventh seal of the Book of Apocalypse had been broken. The optimists felt that she couldn’t do that much damage as long as Jim Ross and Pat Patterson could ride herd a little and stop her from exercising her worst aspects of judgement, aspects that have been demonstrated vividly in the past in her acceptance of a movie role when she obviously can’t act her way out of a wet paper bag and her deciding to get involved in the whole Ministry of Darkness angle…

…the mind boggles as to how far she really wanted to go with stuff. We’ve already seen what happens when an uncontrolled id is given the book and allowed to twist a fed in a direction it’s clearly unsuited to go…

…it’s now blatantly obvious what Stephanie McMahon’s influences are in booking. And that’s not a good sign. The WWF in the early 90s was a barren wasteland of imbecilic gimmicks, inexplicable pushes, and gaps in logic large enough for Austin to drive a beer truck through. But being around the family workplace must have made an indelible mark on the impressionable adolescent Steph was back then. It probably was magical for her, being around such paragons of wrestling as the Repo Man, Friar Ferguson, and the good version of Doink…

…unfortunately, what (Vince) did with Survivor Series is the equivalent of a Hollywood studio head taking someone whose biggest screen credit was that of Best Boy on a low-budget summer escapist comedy, giving that person a hundred twenty million dollars, and telling them that they’re producing Star Wars: Episode Two, and, oh, by the way, Lucas’ writers came through with a really bad script, so could you do the rewrite?…

…just because your name happens to be McMahon doesn’t give you the right to automatically think that you can book a major PPV, no matter how much stock you own. Having the pull is only part of the position you’re in. Exercising that pull without the talent and experience to make judgements beneficial to your company can destroy that position. And believing that anything you do is beneficial because you’re in that position is not only delusional, it’s deadly.

Six years and one pregnancy leave later, nothing’s changed. It’s still the same old Bitch of the Baskervilles with the same old crap booking. All I can say is that I warned you, before the buy-out, before the Invasion, before the non-stop ration of shit we’ve endured. And yet again, you, the IWC, didn’t listen. Should I just legally change my name to Cassandra and get it over with?

(The worst part is that I can’t do a Kneel Before Zod on this because, having reread the piece, I made two fatal mistakes: 1) I said that Jeff Jarrett was worthy of standing with his father and grandfather and thus was a counterexample to the image of incompetent nepotism in the business and 2) I recommended that Steph bring in Johnny Ace to help. Yeah, some help he’s been.)

And so that sojourn into the nightmarish past brings us back to the nightmarish present. I think that the best indicator of what kind of a night we were in for was when the first “Bullshit” chant started eleven minutes into the broadcast. Thank you, Philly, you came through again.

Legends/Spirit Squad opened the show, because if it had started any later, it’d be past all their bedtimes or something. Both teams. Well, if you wanted a demonstration about how they’re not going to push anyone in the SS except My Illegitimate Son Ken Doane, you got it here (or you could have waited until Raw for further proof, although they faked it nice with Jeter being the last SSer in the ring at SurSer). Actually, the oldsters didn’t do too badly. They’ve got enough left in them to compete once in a while…wait a second, they already do that, and I think everyone has this feeling that Simmons is going to show up either on ECW to mentor Lashley and have an occasional bloodbath or on Smackdown to get insulted by his former tag partner on a weekly basis. So, this wasn’t as special as everyone hoped.

Of course, the missing tooth that your tongue is poking at was Piper. I don’t like Piper that much (although I don’t outright loathe him like Fleabag does), but the latest news on him does make me feel sad. Hopefully they caught the lymphoma early and he gets through it. Look, if Piper could survive the drug habit he had, one that made Keith Richards go “Woah”, he can beat this.

Honestly, tell me, if you were on the other end of this, wouldn’t you shit your pants too?

Oh, High-Quality Speaker Boy, you make so few mistakes that I have to call you out when you do. You referred to Chavito as a “second-generation wrestler”. Of course, he’s a third-generation wrestler, Gory to Chavo to Chavito. Of course, this is where the PPV started to run off the rails. Not with the performances in this match, of course. It was as technically solid as you can get, and these guys both know how to tell a story, so it was engaging (surprisingly, even Vicki contributed in a positive fashion to that effort; if the ring storytelling was going to fall on its face, Vicki would have been the culprit). That being said, I’ll just have to pull out the oldest phrase in the Smark Handbook: the wrong guy went over.

What the hell is their problem with Chavito? When Eddy died, he was the obvious beneficiary of a post-mortem push. Instead, it was given to Rey-Rey in a fashion which will live in infamy as being tasteless and insensitive. Then, when they discovered that Rey-Rey was too hurt to go on, that push was made Chavito’s, and it was amplified in a natural manner by involving Vicki (by the way, I don’t think I ever said this, but I approve greatly of Vicki’s presence due to the fact that it makes the whole proceedings a great deal less tasteless). If Booker and Paisley weren’t on Smackdown, Chavito and Vicki would be the best heel pair on the show (and they might just be the best in the WWE right now since Nitro and Melina have reacquired their missing third). In other words, Chavito was finally being set up for an extended high-level push. Then, they gave him Benoit in Benoit’s first feud back after his recovery, and gave Benoit the US title in the bargain as a prize to fight over. This was the ideal opportunity to secure permanent upper-mid-card status for Chavito. And they don’t pull the trigger. What the hell is going on here?

No, it’s not better to extend this chase and have the title switch at, say, Armageddon (which is probably what’s going to happen in order to get Benoit into the Rumble Match). The worst example of the treatment being meted to Chavito is the fact that Benoit kicked out of the Frog Splash. With Eddy or with Van Dam, it was/is acceptable to do this. Not with Chavito. Why? Because the first two had credibility to spare, and by having someone no-sell their finisher, it enhanced their opponent because the audience did a WTF when it happened. Chavito has not established the Frog Splash as his own yet. It still needs to be sold as a finisher. Benoit giving into it would have done two things: 1) made it look more dangerous and 2) given the image that a Frog Splash as performed by a Guerrero was more “special” than when done by anyone else, thus establishing Chavito as the heir to the entire family, not just Uncle Eddy. That’s the whole point of this exercise, really. The way to make it less necrophilic and more palatable is to start along that path. If they want to neuter the Frog Splash, no problem. Have Chavito start using the Gory Special as a finisher.

But it may be too late for him. The rep’s been destroyed again, and it may have been fatal this time. Also, Chavito’s no spring chicken. Yes, Smackdown’s become the Land Of The Superannuated, but Chavito’s stuck in that weird middle ground at 36. All the pushes seem to be going to the kids on the roster or to the over-forties (and near-over-forties like DAVE, whom we’ll get to later in the worst example of Booking In The First Degree of this PPV). This might have been the last chance to grab some credibility, and it was tossed away.

Why? Was it that Smackdown couldn’t have two power couples with belts? Well, they solved that problem later on. Now neither of them do. I can’t think of any substantive, logical reason why Chavito shouldn’t be US champion right now. Neither can most of the Round Table; most of us picked him to win it. Could it be that they were pandering to the Philly audience, preferring to do the title switch in a more markish town? No, Chavito has a great rep with the smarks. Talented in the ring, able to get dubious premeses over (not only this one; think back to Pepe). He’s in red figures on the Smarks Leaderboard, Sponsored By Rolex.

So why? Someone please answer this question.

Well, that’s one way to get out of the Crossface

Let me be less smarmier than usual. Memo To Amy Dumas: yes, people have said a lot of negative things about you over the years, mostly to do with sleeping with everything in sight from Mexico to Florida to OMEGA to ECW to WWE. So you slept your way to the top. No problem. It’s been the easiest route for lots of women before you and as many after, and to hell with the regular partners of the people you did it with. Lust is one of the main motivating factors for the human male, as you well know. But you never forgot to give it all in the ring when you competed. Yes, you went a little too far at times and hurt people. You went a little too far and hurt yourself as well. But coming back from an injury that should have merited retirement or at least reassessment of your goals was a meritorious action. Now you’re leaving for new vistas and new challenges, and I’d like to wish you good luck. Of course, it probably won’t work out and you’ll be back in the ring by this time next year, but sometimes you just have to do it. So, from me to you, thank you for your hard work, and it was only fair that you went out in the same city where you first really made a name for yourself in the business as Miss Congeniality, and in the process revived the “She’s A Crack Whore” chant that’s been sorely missed.

Yes, I was serious.

One final moment of glory

And after the women’s title match, it was back to Asinine Booking 101. The Team DX/Team Heel match not only had the wrong team going over, but going over in a shutout to boot. What the hell was the purpose of this result? Who benefits from it? The only one who might is Punk, and he’s going to gain a helluva lot more respect on Sunday in the Elimination Chamber than he could have got from this match (albeit not in front of an audience as large). Meanwhile, Edge and Orton really needed the victory. Orton could have gone to town with keeping his SurSer streak intact, and Edge could have claimed this as revenge for Lita’s loss. Instead, what does this set up? The Orton-Edge/Hardly Boys match on Raw and the MNM/Hardly Boys match on ECW. Yeah, that’s really something, huh?

You know what? I don’t blame this on Shawn or Trip. This isn’t their type of move these days. They’re a lot less blatant in powermongering than they were ten years ago. There’s something else going on here. I have a feeling that this has to do with something like Trip not touching Steph since Aurora was born, and this is her way of trying to get him interested in her again. Look, we’re talking about the McMahons. Nothing would surprise me.

Mike Knox doesn’t realize that to get a push, you don’t give a push. Especially to Trip.

Let me put it to you bluntly, since you don’t seem to understand me when I’m being tactful: if you’re a FudgePacker fan, you’re a complete and utter ‘tard. You are getting off on a guy whose only skill is speaking his name. Also, he’s from Green Bay. Don’t forget that. Since you are ‘tards, you deserve death and deserve no attention from me other than to make sure of your death. You’ll take your place with the Flex fans, if you’re not already there. The revolution will come, and I’ll be sure to put you up against the wall, ram a bayonet into your crotches, then cut out your heart while it’s still beating and devour it in front of your eyes.

Now am I clear?

It’s only fair. You make me want to vomit, FudgePacker.

And on to our next example of Crack Booking. The whole Team Cena versus Team Big Show thing should have focused on the Cena/Jamalga feud, the most important of the set of feuds within the teams (no, ECW crazies, TBS/Van Dam and TBS/Lashley are irrelevant, especially given the obvious ending of the Elimination Chamber match on Sunday). So what do they do? Disqualify Jamalga in the first two minutes of the match. I totally lost interest at that point and skipped over the rest of the match. What the hell did Lashley need the rub for? I think that we buy him as Next ECW World Champion, especially given the situation at December To Dismember. Meanwhile, a win by Jamalga would have accelerated the feud with Cena into high gear, but they didn’t pull the trigger on that. So what the hell were they thinking here?

This is what it should have been about

And for the rancid cherry on the booking shitcake, we have the only world title match on the card. Apparently, a lot of people bought into DAVE’s “I want to win the title at Wrestlemania” line of nonsense and assumed Booker would win. I didn’t buy it. I believed that Booker would win because, right now, DAVE can’t carry a world title feud in the ring. It’s obvious that he’s never fully recovered from his injury. Watch any match since his comeback, but you’ll have to watch carefully, because they’ve protected him, except in one instance. That was in his first title match against Booker, where he reeked. So, instead of doing the right thing and giving Booker an interim feud until DAVE was back to a semblance of himself, they did the rematch, knowing in advance that it’d suck ass. And they decided to shift the title to a guy wholly unsuited to carry it at this point.

Of course, who could Booker have feuded with? Another feud with Lashley? Lashley hasn’t improved that much. He’ll be an upgrade from TBS for the ECW title, but certainly not an upgrade from Booker. Regal, maybe, especially after Taylor was hurt? The audience would buy Regal as a face, but not as a championship contender. Kane, of course, would have suited the role quite well, but they decided to have him get Porter over. Options were there. They were not taken. And now…

Hey, what if DAVE is a little premature? What if he drops the title, then goes to win it again at Wrestlemania? But who does he drop it to? Booker again? That would leave a bit of a bad taste in people’s mouths. The next person on the food chain is Finlay, which might be interesting, but is he credible enough? Oh, please don’t tell me that it’s going to be FudgePacker. If Scooter can quit watching Smackdown because High-Quality Speaker Boy won the world title, I can do the same in that particular instance.

I won’t even talk about the hinky ending. Disgusting.

And why kill Booker’s momentum at this time? He hasn’t worn out his welcome. He’s done a phenomenal job wearing the purple, more than anyone who’s ever won King of the Ring (with the possible exception of Mabel). He has an engaging personality in his role, a way of carrying it off that perfectly expresses the delusions of grandeur, and Paisley’s become a terrifically annoying adjunct (a good thing in this instance). So why destroy it?

DAVE-majeste

All in all, this was a disaster of booking in the extreme. If it hadn’t been for the pyrotechnics of the Benoit/Chavito match, it would have been a complete waste of time. Too bad for you if you bought it, and God help Murray’s soul for having to watch it live.

And it’s time for the fallout…

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Trip ‘n Shawn ‘n Ric over (in order of probable success after the break-up) My Illegitimate Son Ken Doane, Johnny Jeter, Mike Mondo, Nick Mitchell, and Nick Nemeth, Handicrap Opener (Triple Submission; Mondo submits to Flair, Doane submits to Michaels, and Jeter submits to Trip): On the one hand, the thirty-time world champions had to win this match. On the other hand, they made my boy look good. So, thanks, guys.

Did anyone else have this particular pattern of thought, or was it just me: “Get the right fourth guy, a good brawler type, get Arn in as mouthpiece, and this could be the best incarnation of the Horsemen since the original, one that’s actually worthy of the Horsemen name.”? And do you also believe that they’re considering this option when the Horsemen DVD comes out next year?

This is the only way God will allow Michaels to moon anyone these days

Victoria over (in order of elimination) Melina Perez, the Ten-Buck Tramp, Maria Kanelis, and Candice Michelle, Number One Contender’s Battle Royal: The only thing significant about this is that Candice got her nose broken when Victoria gave her a kick that should have recommended her to Bill Parcells. Instead, they went and hired Martin Grammatica. The Gayboys’ mistake there. Man, did Victoria put some velocity into that kick. Ouch.

The kick that sent Candice to the Emergency Rhinoplasty Clinic

The retard over the bigger retard (Pinfall, swinging neckbreaker): You’re telling me no one in Pittsburgh has an RPG that they could have used to take out the ring during this match? What are you people, savages?

This requires a recalibration of the “how low on the food chain are you” scale

Jerry Lawler over Chris Masters (Pinfall, rollup): Lawler, Masters, and Carly…how much apathy can the universe take before it ceases to exist?

Not the normal area of the body for Masters and a fist

Mattsy-Poo and Jeffykins over Randy Orton and Edge, Tag Title Match (DQ, Greco-Roman belt shot): Thank God for the DQ. Otherwise, I would have taken a substantial portion of the Earth’s population with me. Nuke me from orbit, just to be sure.

Everybody take it to the top, we’re gonna stomp, all night…

Angle Developments:

No time, so caps only…

If there were about two more Spirit Squad members, you could pretty much call this even

Loving reunion of Evolution? Affectionate hug from student for mentor? Or has Steph not dropped the pregnancy weight yet?

Is he wearing his ninety-day medal around his neck?

Poor Randy always gets the shit jobs in this partnership

That’s it for this one. I need to get some sleep due to age catching up to me. Until I get ECW done, ta ta.

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