It only happens once a year. It’s an exciting moment for any true fan, especially one like me who’s been watching since the late 70s. Expectations are high, and everyone involved is pumped up to fulfill them. It simply becomes a matter of following through on the potential to turn it into actuality with Aristotelian Alchemy. So, did it happen?
Yes, it did. The season premiere of Doctor Who was terrific. Tennant’s got the Doctor down now after a few shaky moments last year, and Freema Ageyman is already showing the potential to be a top-class companion. She’s got a great character to work with in Martha and she displayed the skill to pull it off. Combine that with a nicely-constructed script by RTD that unusually contained very little potential for buttsex, and…
…Wrestle-what? Oh, that. Yeah, that was this weekend too, and it actually had more potential for buttsex despite London and Kendrick not being on the card. Well, it’s obligatory to talk about it, so that’ll happen later on. But let’s be honest. Wrestlemania for me is the thing that ruins the good feeling I had from the DW premiere and takes time away from the Masters column that I need to do for Tailgate Crashers (I’ll probably throw a major set of props to Morgan Pressel in there as well; becoming the youngest player of either gender since Young Tom Morris to win a major will do that). But, it’s the biggest event of the year in wrestling, and this is still a wrestling column, despite seven years of me trying to pretend it isn’t. So, I’ll have the correct views on it later on, and all of you should adjust your opinions to what I say, because, as you know, I’m always right in that regard.
So, on with the Pimps…
THE PIMP SECTION
Pandich ended up doing the Rabble with Hatton instead of doing live coverage of Raw. Oh, poor Tom.
Burnside provides a lot of information and a great deal of substance behind it. Good for him.
PK goes voluntarily from Detroit to Dayton in order to officially become a WWE groupie. All those years of playing with dolls have officially taken their toll.
Vinny demonstrates exactly why he always seems to win the Round Tables. That phrase is meant as an insult, but not necessarily toward Vin. He just has the ability to tap into the Retard Groupthink that WWE panders to. He does suffer some damage, but not as much as I would if I were exposed to such Raw Stupidity (pun intended) for any extended amount of time.
Biscuiti (the real one this week) brags about how he called everything and so forth. See above for my view on that.
It’s the biggest sports week of the year (Opening Day, the NCAA Finals, the Masters), so patronize Tailgate Crashers. The guys over there are a tight-knit, intelligent group. I’m sort of their crazy uncle that they don’t like to talk about.
Memo to the DVD Lounge staff: I still have two reviews to do, I know that. If not for that case of stomach flu, they’d have been done last week. Now I’m debating over whether I have the time to do so this week, and if not, I’ll definitely have the time late next week after my knee surgery.
Paul lays out the evil of Starbucks having a record label, and has about as much faith in the music-buying populace as I do in wrestling fans.
I never pimp Double S for some reason, but his Broken Dial recap column is worthy of perusal, so you can catch up with things there.
Morrison crosses over to Prime Time Pulse to discourse on a comics fan’s view of Heroes. No, never seen an episode, and don’t plan to.
Fernandez informs me that Mary Weiland has set an example that I must somehow live up to. How come I never have the cool reactions like that to my medication?
Erhart makes excuses for not keeping up with his burgeoning music collection. But his intentions are good, so he’s still on the side of the angels.
Kozuh does a retrospective on Leonard Cohen. Hallelujah.
Benincasa introduces herself. But, Sara, my dear, we are more than a blog. We are Inside Pulse, something sui generis in this wild land of the Internet. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
Patricia should do what I did: I gave up Christianity for Lent one year. It stuck.
Price underestimated Meet The Robinsons a little. Then again, I think I’m more favorably disposed to time travel material. I used the film as my appetizer for Doctor Who and enjoyed it. Not great, but definitely worth more than two buckets.
Mackay reviews shows other than Battlestar Galactica here. That’s a good thing, because he’s too good of a writer to lay fallow for nine months until Galactica comes back.
Memo To Marsh: Does the world really need the ten billionth retrospective of The 7th Guest? It’s one of the most overanalyzed games ever released.
THE YEARLY DESCENT INTO HELL
I’d start with the pre-show, except that it was nothing but twenty-five minutes of Todd Grisham introducing pimp videos. Oh, I miss the good old days where we’d at least get a match out of this thing, but they have to sell DVDs some way, and putting “exclusive content” (read: a dark match) is one way to do it. Too bad. But, hell, it was a five minute download, and I’ve got time to waste while waiting for the whole schmeer to get on my system, not to mention some time to waste before seeing my physical therapist. Took me two minutes of scrolling through it to determine it was entirely useless.
One of the few irrefutable proofs of God’s existence
And speaking of entirely useless, they decided to piss me off right away this year with Money In The Bank. When I read the results…well, it took me ten minutes to clean up the projectile vomit. The worst part is that it drained me of any vomit I might need for later in the show. There’s nothing worse than Wrestlemania dry heaves.
Apparently some of you haven’t received the memo regarding FudgePacker. Therefore, let me lay out the reasons, in a clear and simple fashion, in a final attempt to get you to understand that cheering for him makes you a complete and utter waste of oxygen, space, and evolution-granted intelligence:
1) He’s from Green Bay. Therefore, he’s a faggot. Period. You may not understand this unless you’re a born Chicagoan like me, but if you don’t, just trust me on this one, okay?
2) He is over simply on the ability to say his name. In other words, you’re cheering for him for something any two-year-old is able to do. What’s next, praising him for making a boom-boom all by himself?
2a) Catchphrases are dead. They’ve been dead since Flex went off to become a movie star and Wife-Beater semi-retired to his life of alcoholic-haze oblivion. There isn’t even a retro-cool aspect to catchphrases. Falling for a catchphrase makes you a sheep. And we all know that sheep get f*cked by the shepherd.
3) His victories over seven or whatever world title holders in the last year? He was carried in each of those matches. Yes, including the ones against Undertaker and Lashley. When UT and Lashley have to carry you, you suck in the ring. Again, pure and simple, because God knows you can’t understand anything more complex than that. He sucks in the ring, period. He can’t even do WWE Main Event Style well, and that doesn’t require too much ability. So why are you cheering an inferior wrestler, especially given who’s holding the secondary title on the show he’s on?
Do I need to give you any more reasons than that? No. That should be sufficient. Hopefully, you’ll behave like the puppies being paper-trained that you are, catch the whiff of the shit that FudgePacker’s laid on the floor, and be revolted by it. It then comes to mind, though, that I’m dealing with wrestling fans here, a group of people that makes a puppy look like Einstein. Oh, well, keep enjoying his noxious brand of bullshit, then. And I’ll keep insulting your intelligence for doing so. Status quo’s the way to go.
As for the match, better than last year, not as good as the first, but the call was impressive. All six guys worked together incredibly well. You’d think that they’d be stepping over themselves, but they kept control at all times and let everyone else in if they were on a roll. Notice that Lawler took a back seat to both High-Quality Speaker Boy and Tazz. I wonder if they rehearsed this, because interplay like that usually can’t be done spontaneously. Great job by them, really.
This might just be an interesting feud if they’d pull the trigger on it
When shopping at Home Depot goes horribly wrong
If he hits it, Mattsy-Poo is paste. If he misses it, he breaks his neck. Either way, I win.
Well, here’s the Jeffykins spot we all knew was coming
You kinda knew the RKO off the ladder was coming too
But not really an uranage from Booker
Magical midgets? Perfectly acceptable. FudgePacker winning MITB? Now that’s beyond belief.
Do you know much I would have spazzed out if Punk…oh, but it’s only a dream, isn’t it?
Kane/Khali? Well, it lived up to its billing as the Piss Break Match. Too bad it came a little too early in the show for that purpose. Plus, it came on too soon for anyone to get drunk enough to watch this, especially if you were concentrating on MITB rather than your alcoholic beverage of choice. Bad timing all around.
Oh, yeah, here was the whole problem with booking Khali to win: that means that this feud will go on and they’ll have a redo at Backlash. Look, we didn’t want the match the first time. What makes you think we want it a second time?
What ultra-technical, sophisticated offense here
He wouldn’t know what to do with them, so why bother?
Screw giving him to Cryme Time. Let Slick manage Haas and Benjamin. That’ll get them over.
Lest we forget, he celebrated the twentieth anniversary of a pretty important match himself
PK was impressed with Porter during the US title match. PK plays with dolls and is easily impressed. Our Lord and Savior carried his ass completely. The only thing that was strange about this match was the ending. It’s been a long time since Benoit got the pin off of the flying headbutt. Watchable, but not much more, and it was all Benoit. So get a clue, PK, for all our sakes.
Hey, Porter, let him carry you. He wants to do it. You might have a watchable match for once.
Trump’s got an idea for the next season of The Apprentice
The Triumph Of The Will, WWE Style
When Dead Man meets Lens Flare
There’s a lot of favorable lip-fapping going on in regard to the UT/Batista match. I have a feeling that a lot of this opinion is due to the two striking moments from this match: UT’s plancha and Batista’s running powerbomb through the announce table. Add on the fact that the right guy went over (which caused the biggest crowd eruption of the night) and that Batista decided to prove himself a little to his numerous backstage detractors, and you get a match that, on an immediate basis, looks better than it will given time. It was a pretty standard power match otherwise.
Oddly enough, I haven’t heard anything from the quasi-purists about UT kicking out of the DAVEBomb. Normally, you’d hear babbling about “killing finishers” and so forth coming from that end of the spectrum. Why is that? Is it because it was UT kicking out of it, or are those people just getting off on the fact that UT is now holding the Big Gold Belt with all of its (revisionist) history? They’d be the ones who’d do that. But it’s Wrestlemania. I’m not expecting anyone to have the proper perspective. Except me, of course. That’s why you read me. Even if you hate me, you read me.
Batista going aerial deserves a screen cap
So does the Taker-Plancha
Anyone else getting serious Rosemary’s Baby flashes?
The Token ECW Match opened up the floodgates when it came to confusing booking. So, what were they going for here? All indications were that this was to be the Originals’ burial. Vince was sour on them, he sees a future in Burke and Monty, etc. So what happened to change that? The only thing I can think of was a cheap pop for Van Dam to get the pin in his home state, and that can’t possibly be the reason. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what’s going on here. Maybe we’ll get more of an indicator tonight on ECW. If there’s a New Breed break-up, who the hell is going to turn face out of the bunch? It has to be Burke and Monty, but can they work as faces given the fact that there aren’t really any developed heels on the show at their level? Like I said, confusing. A New Breed win would have provided a great deal of certainty. Burke could have started his feud with Punk, and Monty would become Lashley’s next sacrificial victim (a role he’s quite familiar with; thank you, TNA). But I can’t see any direction for anyone involved in this match with an Originals win.
The only positive I can see in this is that they’d put ECW in such a booking hole that they’ll beg Heyman to come back, hopefully at a substantial raise in salary.
Sabu plays catch with Striker
The Lashley/Jamalga match took…well, forever. Painfully slow, and incredibly overbooked, even for a match that begged for overbooking like this one. Yeah, I loved it when Shane got involved. However, given his presence and Steph showing up earlier, it made me wonder where Linda was during the shaving sequence. You’d think she’d be there to commiserate with and/or laugh at her husband. Come on, we needed a Linda appearance in this case. It would have been acceptable to everyone if she’d been there. Just as long as she didn’t try to cut a promo.
Lashley must have heard of that old superstition of kissing a Cuban for luck
Any time the ShaneTerminator is pulled out, it’s worthy of notice
A scene that does for barbers what Marathon Man did for dentists
Nice to see they recycled some of Trip’s outfit from last year
The bimbos? Who cares? Who really cares? The match was boring as hell. Even the catfight during the apres was boring. It reached transcendence even for a Piss Break Match. Next.
You have to do this to prevent the silicone from settling
I should have known something was wrong when Michaels made a rather desultory entrance compared to his usual. Oh, should I have known. I got those nasty little shivers down my spine when Scooter fellated this match to no end. Oh, he’s going to regret that in the future, I know he will. That’s why you should never do anything like star ratings until you’ve seen the match at least three times. First judgments are rarely, if ever, correct. But, then again, I’m a true scientist and he’s a hack author. I try to analyze things thoroughly.
However, there’s no way in hell that I’m going to watch this match three times. I do have a deadline, after all. But I also don’t do star ratings. I look at things from the correct perspective, and having Shithead go over here was a mistake. The belt needs a change of scenery, and Michaels was the best choice to hold it for a little while to get rid of the Cena-stench on it. Hell, even Scooter, who wouldn’t piss on Michaels if he was on fire, admitted that. Most of the people who voted for Cena in the Round Table have admitted that in their various columns. No one of any intelligence wants Cena as champion right now. This attitude has been consistent for the last year plus. Everyone was happy as hell during Edge’s cups of coffee with the belt. The IWC, virtually as a collective, wanted Trip to beat Cena last year. Jesus, they wanted TRIP to win the goddamn title. What does that say?
Oh, there are supposedly people “coming around” to Cena and claim he’s improving. Bullshit. He’s just like Flex. His wrestling skills were put into escrow the moment he started to get over with his promos. I said that to Aaron last week, and not even he disagreed with that assessment. Yet Aaron still claimed that Cena was improving. Of course, he did so on the basis of the Benoit match. You can put me, a forty-two-year old bipolar diabetic with two bad knees and a bum ankle, in the ring with Benoit and we’d get three snowflakes out of it (of course, I know how to sell, something Cena has never quite mastered). Also, Aaron is our ROH Black Belt. He’s so used to quality wrestling that any alleged improvement from Cena would be considered cause for celebration.
Yes, Michaels carried him. Michaels is a true professional at all times (these days). Michaels will do so out of a sense of personal pride. He’s reached the fat and happy point in his career, yet he still has that drive in him to not disgrace professional wrestling. He’ll do anything to not look bad, put anyone over that he’s told to. It’s a point of professional and personal pride on his part. So he carried Cena here as much as humanly possible. That attitude is something that’s rubbed off on Trip, by the way; it’s a wonder what a sense of personal security can do to a person. But there’s no way in f*ck that this match was a hair short of five snowflakes, Scooter. A match at that level implies that both wrestlers are contributing to the best of their ability. Cena was there for the ride. He contributed only the minimum of what he was capable of, and that at the minimum quantity. But Michaels? Jesus, did he go above and beyond. He’s about my age, yet he whipped out an Asai moonsault on to an announce table. Add that to stopping a would-be streaker (viz. Meltzer), a Flair Flip, doing his normal messy blade job, performing a benefit to mankind by superkicking Mike “The Real Emo Warrior” Chioda, etc., and he showed his consummate professionalism at the highest level. Why would you not want a person like that to hold the strap for a while, especially considering that he’s 1) more over than Cena and 2) selling as much merch, if not more, than Cena?
Thank you, Detroit crowd, for doing what most of us thought you would, and booing the living f*ck out of Cena whenever he got in any offense. And the silence after the tap-out, the shot of people walking toward the exits five seconds after the bell, the guy giving a double bird to the camera and not impersonating Wife-Beater in doing so…you credit wrestling fans everywhere.
Here’s another thing I noticed: the pacing was oddly off. This match went in fits and starts, running from dead time to heat segment back to dead time. It was obvious that the heat segments were in there to stop the crowd from getting bored. Michaels is used to wrestling matches this long. Cena isn’t. The dead time was in there to prevent him from blowing up. Cena has a distinct inability to incorporate proper transitions into his matches, something Michaels mastered long ago. A good transition relies on both wrestlers being able to execute, and Cena just can’t do that.
All in all, an adequate main event for a Wrestlemania, but nowhere near the absolute classic that Scooter would have you believe.
Shawn, remember your wife, your kids, and your Jeebus. He’s not worth it, Shawn.
Come on, Shawn, no-sell the f*cker. You remember how to do that.
All in all, considering the complete disgust I have for the opening and the closing of this show (the parts where you need to make an impression, according to the lessons in my old acting days), I have one message to send to the bookers:
Man, I’ve been waiting to use that one.
AND IN OTHER NEWS…
Nothing much, really. Everyone’s reporting that no one was seriously hurt at Wrestlemania, which is a good thing unless you consider that FudgePacker and Cena weren’t hurt. Jimmy Jacobs, like me, will be undergoing knee surgery soon. Unlike me, he will be out for six to nine months. Hopefully, he’ll use his time off to receive that emo-ectomy that he so desperately needs. BJ Whitmer came out of that nasty-ass cage match a little bit better, with only a neck injury that will keep him out of a few shows. Doctor Keith is still a big ol’ whore, sending out his little tidbits of news to anyone who’ll listen. The item in question in that case is Mark Briscoe being released from the hospital after a big scare, where he had a seizure and was admitted to ICU for a while. Right now, Briscoe will make his comeback in a tag title match against Shelley and Sabin here in Chicago later this month…hmm, may have to ask Fingers to arrange another comp for me. The 28th is a Saturday, which means I’m not working. Well, if I can drive by that point, maybe I’ll go and help out Aaron in his quest to have the most complete ROH coverage of any wrestling site around and help out Gabe and Cary by bringing my six-figure audience to read about the goodness that they consistently bring.
Oh, that was rambling, but, really, after having to watch Wrestlemania, my head’s not too clear. Guess I’ll go to work and, when I get back, download Raw to check out the post-Mania happenings. Of course, when I do that, you’ll receive another tradition, one that has been around since October 2001: the Short Form.
THE SHORT FORM
Shawn Michaels and The Guy Whom He Carried At Wrestlemania over (in order of elimination) My Illegitimate Son Ken Doane and Gym Bunny, Shad and JTG, the Retard Collective, Rory and Robbie McAllister, Douche and Dildo, Elijah Burke and Matt Striker, Rob Van Dam and Sabu, and Booker T and Finlay, Over-The-Top Tag Team Championship Battle Royal: The list of contenders in there shows that they weren’t serious at this point about switching the titles. No London and Kendrick, no Regal and Taylor, no Flair and Carly, no Haas and Benjamin. That should have been a tip-off. Of course, considering what happened next, the cast made perfect sense.
I really wouldn’t mind seeing this feud right now. Michaels could really put Burke over.
Mattsy-Poo and Jeffykins over (in order of elimination) Val Venis and Viscera, Messrs Regal and Taylor, Sandman and Tommy Dreamer, Johnny Nitro and Mike Mizanin, Shawn Michaels and Said Chunk Of Uselesness, Paul London and Brian Kendrick, Chavito and Novocaine Helms, and GarriLance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Second Over-The-Top-Rope Tag Team Championship Battle Royal (New Tag Team Champions): Very unusual point in the match for Michaels to pull the turn on Cena. Normally, you’d see something like this when they’d be down to one opponent. Unfortunately, at that point, I looked at the four teams that were still remaining. I didn’t necessarily want London and Kendrick because I could already hear the snickering of evil laughter coming from Scotland. But even that would have been preferable to the “Oh, shit, they’re still alive” realization that I had at that moment. You’ve never seen me root for anyone as much as I did for Cade and Murdoch when it came down to the nitty-gritty. All in vain, I’m afraid. The Hardly Men have another tag championship.
I blame you for this. I blame you for cheering for the Faerie Princes and buying their merch, just like I blame you for seeing The Marine and all that time you spent holding up Chain Gang signs. I blame you for showing outward signs of liking them because some girl you’re trying to impress thinks that they’re OMGHAWT!!!1111!!1!1 Because of you, the rest of us have to suffer through another of their title reigns. Please, let them just be transition champions to Haas and Benjamin, and let that time be as little as possible.
I hope you’re proud of yourselves. Hell, I’m so upset I forgot to do a screen cap.
Special thanks to Lawler in this one for referring to a certain gentleman as “Steve Regal”. I’ve never acknowledged the name change, and I’m glad someone else hasn’t. Yah Boo Sucks To You to Ross for correcting Lawler, though.
Ric Flair and Carly Colon over Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin (Submission, Haas submits to Flair, Figure-Four): If Haas and Benjamin had gone over, I would have said that this was a de factor Number One Contenders’ Match. But now? I suspect they have no plan for the tag division on Raw, and this is just an example of spinning wheels while they figure out who’s going to take the straps off of the Faerie Princes and how it’s going to be done. But it doesn’t help that the natural opponents for the Hardly Men are jobbing. Are they really going to go face versus face at Backlash?
Someone’s got to pay for them being left out of the Battle Royals
The Great Ha-Ha Khali over Super Crazy (Pinfall, chokeslam): Oh, poor Crazy. Well, at least he got on Raw. That’s got to mean something.
You just get this feeling in your gut that this won’t work
Bobby Lashley over Jamalga and Osama Rodriguez, ECW Championship Handicrap Match (Pinfall, Lashley pins Osama, running powerbomb): Reports state that people were walking out before this match started. Those people were smart. This match was a complete and utter bore. I can just imagine what it would have done to a one-hour show like ECW. Oh, wait, we have to have that time tonight in order to have the match we should have had at Wrestlemania between the Originals and New Breed. We can’t win. We can’t even try.
Samoan CPR may not look pretty, but it’s effective
There’s money in a revival of Kojak
You know one of them’s going for some upskirt shots
And that covers that. I’ll take a bit of a rest, then start to work on something that means more to me than Wrestlemania: the Masters. You occasionally deserve that sort of thing, kind of like rewarding someone for an A on a test or giving your hound a doggie treat when he does it on the paper. Until then, see ya.
Tags: ECW, Raw, ROH, Smackdown, WWE