Define “annoying” – the Pulse Wrestling main page loading in Firefox, then immediately jumping to the bottom of the page just as I go to click on something, then loading a pop-up whenever I do click anywhere on the page.
Want to see where I live?
‘Scuse, I just had to remind myself how nice Edinburgh can be as I gear up for the overwhelming feelings of fear and loathing that will consume me now that Tourist Season is drawing ever closer… and just as we were about to get rid of the STEW DENTS too…
And, just for the hell of it, here are two of the Magnificent Seven of my music collection teaming up:
If anybody has it on MP3 let me know.
So how about that rasslin’, eh?
Nothing especially exciting in the news this week:
– Somebody called Cole Konrad wins the NCAA tournament and now is obliged to take out a restraining order against Jim Ross…
– Melina is disliked by most people in the Raw and Smackdown locker rooms but she’ll still get naked for the price of a tin of paint…
– Single brand PPVs have been stopped by WWE. No, they still have 16 PPVs a year, it’s just that now John Cena gets to headline all of them and so the world must be a nicer place to reside in, right?
– Simon Inoki resigns as NJPW President. Phil Clark has the analysis.
– Edge has a sore jaw, ostensibly from an RVD match but bound to happen anyway. It takes a lot of effort to carry that tongue around.
– WrestleMania XXIV goes to Orlando. With the scarcity of decent wrestling options around there, I’d expect street-party celebrations on par with London when they got the Olympics.
And in case you needed to be reminded, Batista is irritating people just as much as Melina.
But the story that I was most interested in was the one about WWE finally realising the fact that Rey Mysterio is a legitimate main eventer. They say that he is going to be booked as one of the ‘eight big stars’ of the company when he comes back, which should now be as early as May rather than July. I’d imagine the other seven main commodities are Cena, HHH, HBK, Batista, Undertaker, Edge and Lashley. Kudos to them for actually acknowledging Mysterio’s appeal and for intending to treat him with the same protective promotion as other headliners receive, i.e. no more Guerreroploitation, but at the same time it only highlights how backwards their modern recruitment policies are. Mysterio is an anomoly in his own right but not in regards to how WWE might lose out by being so stringent as to only want to hire people with physiques like Cena. After all, look at the following and how they initially appeared to the promotion:
Mysterio – small, bland speaker, masked, luchadore
Foley – out of shape, unattractive, heavily reliant on weapons
Austin – well-known star in another promotion, unproven draw, no unique look
Rock – rudimentary grasp of the basics, outdated persona, lack of charisma
Michaels – small, high-flying style, unreliable
There are other examples too but, just looking at the above, how many of them would stand a chance of even making it onto one of the main WWE rosters today? If they did, how many of them could even hope to make it to the level of, say, Carlito? Most would become persona non grata, like Paul London. The company is being ridiculously restrictive in telling Laurinaitis to go out and only hire people who fit into their preconceived notion of what all their wrestlers ought to look like, with physical attributes given far greater priority than the ability to genuinely entertain and/or have good matches. Meanwhile, those who are brought up are immediately thrust into a pre-destined spot on the card and for the most part are made to stay there for as long as possible before being cut because the crowd has been given no reason to remember them. Although in a sense more upper-card spots have opened up after the brand extension, the lack of brand-specific PPVs will make upward mobility even more difficult and even at the moment it really is not that straightforward. WWE remains hung-up on their big-men fixation despite numerous examples of the likes of Luger, WOYAH, Goldberg, Lesnar, Sid, Nash and Steiner having absolutely no long-term benefit. Now they’ve woken up to Mysterio, scrapped pushes for big lugs like Daniel Rodimer and tried hard to sign Mistico. It would seem to be the start of a seismic shift in company policy were it not the case that they still have Kane vs. Khali booked for WrestleMania.
Ach, let’s move on to the e-mails and forget the whole damn thing:
David Rindone has an addendum to the news-bit about Jake Roberts losing his false teeth during a match a couple of weeks ago:
“That jogged a memory of when I was ring side during the 2002 Superstar Billy Graham Benefit show in Wakefield, MA. Ox Baker was in heel manager mode and he went to attack his charge’s opponent as he fell out of the ring. Ox went to get his the face’s…face and his false teeth popped out and landed on the poor guy’s chest.”
I’d like to see Jake Roberts back in WWE so he can feud with Johnny Nitro, take out his teeth and use them to disrupt Melina’s ring entrance in ways best left to the imagination.
Thanks for the anecdote, David. We’ll add “You’ve Got False Teeth For Crying Out Loud” to the list of blatantly obvious reasons why wrestlers really ought to learn how to retire properly and with dignity.
“‘Losing to Tomko and getting beaten up so many times on TV recently is punishment as the booking team are very unhappy with Joe’s remarks in ROH about ‘hurting his knee tripping over some bad booking’ in TNA. Some are so angry that they don’t want him to get the title at all.’
So what does TNA do when someone complains about their booking? They book him badly. That oughta show him “
YEAH! JEFF JARRETT NUMBER ONE OK!
Booking TNA is like writing out the number pi, the end is never reached. Chances are good they’ll delay Joe’s title win until the fourth King of the Mountain Match, then delay it until the first regular two-hour Impact, then delay it until the next Bound for Glory since it’ll be held somewhere new, then by that point nobody will care and so they’ll try to refresh his character by revealing he is actually Samoa Joe Arquette and his actor brother is out for revenge…
My main man Lester wanted a try-out for a Pulse Wrestling columnist gig. Here is his test-test-this-is-a-test article, apparently inspired by this:
“Wrestlemania is soon and I’m going to watch it. Here’s the card and my
Shawn Michaels vs John Cena
Cena is a guy with a belt and Michaels ha s e belt too, Cena has two of them
and the people like him, I think this will be a good match betcause Shawen
HBK has good matches at wrestlemnanai.
Undertaker vs Batsitia
This won’t bwe as good as the other matdch but at least it wa s good, I
don’t think they’ll take Batistia the win because hr’s not the undertaker
and the Undertake rgoes to lose at Wrestlamanai.
Edge vas Orton vs Hardy vs Yardy vs Hardy vs Kewn Kennedsy vs Benoit vs CM
Punk vs Finley vs Hardy vs King in an Bank money match KENNEDY! (LOL!!!)
There’s a ladder to wbe won and lot sof spots to be done and I think this
could steal the show unless it doesn’t steel the how but with michealr ins
the main event that cxould be a show stopper, it think Kennedy wcould win
this one if none of the other do.
Giant Garey vs Kane
Phew these guys are big and I todn’t think they will have a good match but I
could be wrong but I could be eright , I guess we will see at Wrestlemanai
whan Kane fights the Giant Gary in a match.
Ashely vs Melina
This won’t be very godo btu I need a piss oso I’ll have apiss hopefully not
in kmy pants HAHAHAH KENNEDY!!!! (LOL!)
There’s some other match too, I think asomething about a match with Carlito
too and oh yes
Billionaire Baldy Austin vs Donald vs Vince with Bobby Lashley and Umanga in
a Barber Shop Matcxh
I think thuis would be good and they have powtnentional to be the next Stone
Cold AUstin with the baldness and the corwdn popping for Vince to get
shaved, I hope they go with it and don’t do a chape DQ win and someone gets
their head cut off with the barber headclippers I say bring back Burtus
Befcake and let him cut them off, burtus was a good one, he should
beprobably go into the hall of fame, i always liked his matches, they were
good, especially the one with Mr. Perfect, it ihe is goint ot he hall of
fame why should n’yt Brfcake?
KENNEDY!!! Ha LO(L)!!!”
Giant Gary? This guy?
The producers of Lost should bring back Walt and have that guy play him. Then he can run around the beach touching Claire… with Vincent… and the Jesus Stick… and she’d deserve it to, for being so stupid as to attach a paper message onto a seafaring bird and expect it to reach Australia. Oh, and for shacking up with a junkie while caring for her newborn.
Are we not to talk about wrestling? It keeps slipping my mind, like Lester’s fingers slipping over the keyboard. I guess in a literal sense it still counts as touch-typing. He’d be wasted on Pulse Wrestling though. Far better all round for him to ply his trade with Total Nonstop Guff and concoct episodic storytelling on iMPACT!!! that involves one or more of the following:
– a bird poos on Sting’s windscreen and so he converts to Judaism and starts dressing up like Herschel Shmoikel Pinkus Yerucham Krustofski to teach God, played by Sammy Hagar, a lesson
– Kurt Angle gets a double cheeseburger, portion of onion rings and a strawberry milkshake from a fast food joint. He eats it. Later, he poops some of it away. His toilet is satisfied but SWERVE it’s really a bidet (rolling on the floor, lolling my ass off!!!!)
– Billy Gunn eats a banana in a provocative manner whilst hiding in Vince McMahon’s wardrobe one night.
– The Honky Tonk Man isn’t booked for a show, doesn’t come to a show and is not referenced at all in any way on that very same show
– They replay the video of Jeff Jarrett beating up Hulk Hogan but with Osama Bin Laden’s face superimposed onto Hogan’s body. Later, Jarrett awards himself a plastic medal of honour and smashes a guitar onto a passing pidgeon to celebrate.
– Jay Lethal decides to change his gimmick to a Yokozuna tribute and eats nothing but chicken skin for a year
– Goldberg doesn’t come… but he might!
– In the interests of science, an entire PPV is held underwater. Everybody who isn’t A.J. Styles winds up in hospital, where Rhino spontaneously begins a feud with a commode he mistakes for Peter Gabriel.
– Mr Backlund begins to rip off Ken Kennedy’s “Kennedy…KENNEDY!!! Ha LO(L)!!!” bit, but the “…BACKLUND!!!” addendums appear at random twenty to thirty minutes later, popping up on-screen arbitrarily with brief scenes of him walking naked down the street, chasing a ferret.
– Raven finally gives up and admits his favourite author is John Grisham.
– Mike Tenay breaks down mid-match and makes hysterical comments about he can’t cope with “this f*cking shit anymore”, that he’d be better off “announcing the opening of a cereal box” rather than a show with one-ninth the purpose of “that ECW crap”. Don West tries to console him but Tenay pounds him into submission with his penis, all the while screaming to the heavens “WHY??? WHY MAKE ME DO THIS, LORD????” It all turns out to have been the dastardly influence of Christopher Daniels, who uses Tenay’s penis to intimidate the other wrestlers into walking out on matches. He embarks on a lengthy undefeated streak but since titles can’t change hands on a count-out in TNA or else Africa dies of AIDS, he has to suck off Tenay to draw the DQ and beat the champ. But Earl Hebner gets to the cock first because IT CAN’T END LIKE THIS and THE MATCH MUST CONTINUE. The show ends with a broken guitar. TNA introduces a Wellness Program to combat STDs. Christy Hemme is suspended.
– Scott Steiner tells everybody that he has a bigger undefeated streak than Samoa Joe managed in TNA. He doesn’t believe anybody that says otherwise. Borash shows him the tapes but Steiner says if it didn’t happen on TV then it doesn’t count. Borash points out that they are watching the tapes on TV but Steiner quite rightly points out that they aren’t happening on TV right now so they still don’t count. To shut him up, Joe challenges Steiner to reinact all of Steiner’s TNA matches now on an all-night Spike TV marathon, back-to-back. Ratings go through the roof for other shows on other days. Chase Stevens passes away.
– Kevin Nash takes up bellydancing with comedic intent, which helps Senshi get over.
– Eric Young buys two coconuts. He eats one and is hit on the head by the other. The blow leaves him confused and irritable. He now thinks that he is a coconut tree and is ashamed of having killed one of his children. He dresses up like a tree and stands in a big pot. He is lowered to the ring for his matches, which he wins since nobody can knock down a tree. Then he gets booked in an Ultimate All-Star Infinite Lumberjack Match against Canadian-Samoans and loses, but regains his marbles and returns to shopping for condoms with other men.
– The X Division matches are replaced with footage of the X Division wrestlers playing X Division matches on the TNA video game. Locker room morale takes a turn for the worse when a backstage request to get a Wii is rejected.
– Dixie Carter finances a sitcom about wrestling nerds who get all wet about TNA signing Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Mr Fuji and Trish Stratus, since they are now convinced buyrates will improve and they will get laid for owning Elix Skipper action figures. One of them is played by the guy who played the replacement third-string Stiffler in American Pie V – VD Via DVD.
– Every time the audience starts a duelling chant the taping is immediately stalled while So Cal Val is kept off TV, women who are not Goldylocks are put on TV, and Rudy Charles can read Bible passages out loud. Only when the audience interprets them correctly does the action return to Total Nonstopness.
– Petey Williams gets a bit of a twinge in his knee. This is high-quality drama for people who struggle to count the number of syllables in ‘unreliable’.
– Russo hires a Polish wrestler so everybody thinks he’ll book a match involving something on a pole, but he won’t, so he’s swerving them all ha ha ha
– They start a new chat-show segment called This Is A Shot, Brah (it was meant to be This Is A Shoot, Brah but there was a typo and Dixie didn’t give them the money to replace the backspace button) in which people can really say what they really feel for real. Jeff Jarrett goes first and reminisces about his matches with Booker T in WCW and how he was not surprised about ‘that uppity nigger’ fighting with Batista in WWE. Controversy Creates Cash and The Money Is In The Chase, so Ron Killings is promised the title at some stage but only after putting over Tomko.
– That Whimsy Russo decides to reinact WWF shows from 1995 for a month. Kurt Angle doesn’t get to be Phineas Godwinn and quits. He is lured back by a better contract that promises a higher amount of probably legal, maybe not harmful at all horse tranquilizers that possibly have no side-effects whatsoever.
– Brother Devon drinks 100 cups of coffee whilst watching Futurama. We then get numerous POV shots of him looking at Brother Ray, who appears as HYPNO TOAD.
– Iain gets back to writing the rest of his column.
Ashley Williams laments the relentless ticking of life’s clock:
“Damn, Iain. That link to the quotes about WCW ended up costing me many hours. I should write a book about that. I’m better than that Scooter fella. Come to think of it, so are you. Why don’t you write a book about the death of WCW, Iain? Huh? Huh?”
I am writing a book but it’s got sweet F-A to do with wrestling. And in a couple of months I should even have the time to focus on it again so – bonus.
Besides, these guys have the WCW-bashing book market all sewn up.
The wonderfully monikered Kingduckman brings forth this:
“I was reading up about Vampiro on Wikipedia and it mentioned that he is
possibly willing to go back to TNA but the fact that Sting is on the roster
now means it will probably never happen. What’s the deal here? Is there some
kind of heat between these two? Does it have something to do with their
Brothers in Paint angle or the human torch match back in WCW? Thanks.”
I don’t think they ever had a major falling out over any one specific issue, but after their insipid feud in WCW failed there was certainly a lack of respect between them. At one point Sting said of the Vampiro feud “I’m trying to put it out of my mind. Vampiro was tough because I felt they were adding somebody to the company… The gimmicks were so close. He was looking more and more like me as time went on… That [feud] didn’t work.” Also, when Vampiro was asked if he would go to WWE he said no because “Undertaker is their dark guy and I don’t want to be second to no one right now.” So, basically, Sting has bad memories of their feud and is in no hurry to repeat it, which would inevitably happen if they were ever in the same promotion at the same time again due to the similarities between their characters – and that is enough to put Vampiro off of going to TNA just now too. I’m not sure whether to respect Vampiro for sticking by his principles, as egotistical as they may be, or to call him an idiot for being prepared to turn down a huge payday from WWE if they ever wanted to bring him in to feud with the Undertaker. I guess he isn’t that big of an idiot though, since ICP paid him in advance to work their recent tour and he didn’t even need to do it or pay them the money back. He did go to Detroit for the show and tape his promos, but then he told them WSX wouldn’t allow him to be on the internet broadcast of it or appear on the DVD, so they couldn’t use him after all, yet as he had already sent the money home to Mexico they couldn’t get it back. Nice non-work if you can get it.
Here’s the Sting vs. Vampiro Human Torch Match, a classically stupid slice of WCW 2000:
It’s things like that which explain why there is a Fire Vince Russo page on MySpace, complete with TNA wrestlers on the friends list.
Geoff dreams of a better world:
“I was reading the day’s news yesterday, and came across something that, astonishingly, was mentioned in passing. A NOAH spokesman stated that Mitsuharu Misawa would be coming to the US to wrestle for ROH in NYC at the end of the year. This is f*cking huge. Now, I was in attendance at Joe/Kobashi, and with the exception of my daughter being born, that was unquestionably the greatest thing I’ve ever been privileged enough to bear witness to. Now, what are the chances, do you think, of ROH managing to talk TNA into letting them have Joe back to wrestle Misawa? I would crawl to New York over broken glass to see that match.”
I do believe that would be the news at this link again, somewhat overshadowed by the gummy adventuring of Jake Roberts. Yes, all available evidence points to Misawa competing in ROH later in the year but I’m afraid there’s as much chance of him facing Samoa Joe as there is of him becoming WWE Champion. Unless TNA goes bust in the very near future (unlikely) or Joe gets incredibly pissed off with them and quits (almost as unlikely) then there’s no way they’re going to let one of their major stars wrestle a MOTYC for another group. Naturally, they’d rather have him wrestle, and probably lose or win in an unconvincing fashion, non-MOTYCs for them. Thankfully, there are a plethora of equally useful talents in ROH for Misawa to wrestle.
If anybody is unfamiliar with Misawa here’s a nifty tribute video that would make the WWE production team proud, complete with non-nifty yet popular music:
Cash Kerouac is back and perhaps black:
“I read a bit on wikipedia about Jushin Liger, specifically about his “Kishin Liger” character. I was curious to know more about the difference. Is this like a Mankind-Cactus Jack thing or closer to a Sting-Crow Sting distinction? Or is it something more rooted in anime, manga, or something like that? I just don’t get the transformation.”
The ‘Three Faces of Foley’ analogy is very apt, although obviously Liger hasn’t changed between characters anywhere near as often as Ol’ Happy-Sack-Hairy-Sac has. Jushin has only turned into Kishin a handful of times and in each case it has been part of a story where a heel has pushed Jushin to the very brink of insanity, at which point the change occurred and Liger became even more dangerous than the heel, turning into a violent, bloodthirsty psycho who could take all the necessary steps to get the win that the regular Liger couldn’t. A bit like when Mankind morphed into Cactus Jack to beat the ever-lovin’ shit out of Triple H in 2000. It’s never been a permanent change as with Sting turning from a super-smiley surfer to a super-surly so-and-so but it does look just as cool, turning this:
And, because this week’s column clearly doesn’t include enough videos, here’s where it first happened, during Liger’s match with the Great Muta in 1996. It’s about 20 minutes long:
Japanese people are neat.
And there’s always time for striker64 of Mississippi notoriety:
“In 1997 I was kinda an on again, off again fan of the WWE. I hated the Royal Rumble event, so I didn’t watch for a few months afterwards. I come back and the main event at Mania is Taker/Sid.
Ok, Austin won the Rumble and HBK won the title from Sid at the Rumble. I know the story about HBK not wanting to drop the title to Bret in a WM rematch, or something. I guess I’m a little fuzzy. What exactly happened, and what was explained as to why Austin didn’t get a shot?”
Right, well, the best-laid plan, as early as 1995, was for Shawn Michaels to win the title from Bret Hart at WrestleMania XII and drop it back to him at WrestleMania XIII. There were no intricate details but after Bret decided not to go to WCW and signed a lucrative new deal with the WWF in 1996 everything still seemed to be okay. Along the way someone realised that Royal Rumble ’97 was going to be in San Antonio, Michaels’ hometown, and that they could get a pretty decent gate in having him prematurely drop the belt and reclaim it there. That led to his miniature, belt-swapping feud with Sid. Meanwhile, Bret had returned after a few months off and feuded with Steve Austin, which he had requested as he was a fan of Austin’s and wanted to try and establish him as a star. However, management were slowly coming around to the idea that their ‘New Generation’ line had failed because the fans were more excited by the anti-hero aspects of things like the nWo or ECW. Some realised this was why Michaels’ title reign as an underdog babyface had been so underwhelming and felt that Austin, ironically in a large part due to his work with Bret, represented their best shot at changing the direction of the promotion. The bookers started trying to make the faces seem less squeaky-clean, especially Bret, and the heels less fiendishly evil, particularly Austin, which led to the finish of the Rumble match. Bret had eliminated Austin but, since the referees never seen it happen, Austin got back in, eliminated Bret and won. The original plan was for Bret to win, setting up the Michaels rematch for Mania, but things were altered in keeping with the new approach the WWF was taking. Besides, it was now far more logical to do Bret/Austin at Mania instead. The Bret/Michaels match was still on, however, and it was only when Michaels threw a hissy fit and vacated the title that it was changed. In any event, Austin was never intended to get a title shot at Mania that year. In kayfabe, Michaels said his knees were so damaged he might have to retire, that he had ‘lost his smile’ and had to give it up and go home. In reality, he was at the peak of his egotistical powers and refused to drop the title again so soon, especially to Bret, especially at Mania, since the two did not get along. The WWF had already booked a Four Corners Elimination Match between Bret, Austin, Vader and Undertaker for In Your House 13, since they were the final four from the Rumble and it had ended so controversially. Rather than the winner getting a title shot at Mania, they would instead now win the vacant title and defend it against Sid the following night on Raw. Austin was the original choice to win here, since the goal was merely to get the belt back onto Sid the next day, but he (legitimately) hurt his knee quite badly during the match and so the ending was changed on the fly and Bret won instead. The title then passed to Sid as planned via an Austin run-in. You might ask why they didn’t just have Sid win on the PPV but that was just the way of it in the Monday Night Wars. Sid = RATINGS… right? The Bret/Austin dynamic escalated even further, with fans starting to back the Stone Cold anti-hero and turn away from the never-whinier Bret, building up to their classic Submission Match at Mania. Meanwhile, the title was still on Sid and he wound up losing it to the Undertaker because, well, Vince was really keen on the idea of a Sid/Taker match. The man is a genius.