I’d like to knock this one out quick. I have that Masters column that I need to do, and I’m downloading the documentary part of the Four Horsemen DVD right now (which I desperately want to see before getting the DVD, by purchase or by crook). Plus, there is a match on this show that I do want to see. I have no clue why they didn’t make the Wrestlemania match Extreme Rules. They’re doing a lot of things ass-backwards lately. The only recent miscalculation on this level that I can think of is TNA putting the bog-standard Christian/Rhiyno match on PPV and reserving the infinitely more entertaining (and infinitely better) cage match for the prime-time premiere of Impact. At least that one I can understand, since the prime-time premiere was, in a way, more “special” than a PPV. But there was no reason to have the “normal” eight-man at Wrestlemania while reserving the Extreme Rules match for free TV.
Actually, there is a reason, now that I think of it. Could they have been using WM as a tease to draw an audience for ECW on Sci-Lie? If that’s the case, that’s very cynical of them. Understandable, considering the desperation that ECW has demonstrated at times, but cynical. Oh, well, are we really expecting anything more from WWE at this point? I think Blatt’s description of the WM match as “worthless” is perfect, and I can add nothing to it, other than correct his spelling of Bettie Page’s name.
Memo to Wheeler: I vote for “miracle worker”. After all, we know how close Michaels is to Jeebus. He might have got some of the latter’s rub.
Additional Memo to CB: Loved your breakdown of MITB, and I have the feeling like you that FudgePacker’s going to be moved over to Raw to challenge Cena, who seems to be the designated target of whoever wins MITB. And you’re absolutely right about Scooter being out of his mind in giving Michaels/Cena four and three-quarters. Chalk it up to enthusiasm on his part in regard to the match being better than it had any right to be.
Oh, yeah, one more thing: after the treatment of Noble, Albright, and Claudio (and, in a way, Punk), I’m looking forward to seeing how WWE will bury Cunt Cabana. I approve greatly of this signing for that reason. Now who’s being cynical?
Let’s just get on with it…
CM Fuckin’ Punk over Stevie Richards (Pinfall, Go To Sleep): Every time mass cuts begin in WWE-land, any mention of “who’s next” always seem to include Stevie Richards. No one knows exactly how he’s able to keep his job. The best assumption is that he’s on the short list for a trainer position, but he still has some wrestling ability. He’s a go-to guy in case they need a jobber on short notice. Also, in case they want to give him a push, there are some people who still remember the phenomenal job he did with Right To Censor. So, Stevie keeps his job in the same way, really, that Tommy Dreamer does. The only difference is that Stevie gets less TV time. However, he makes the most of what he gets, as seen in this match. Playing rag-doll for Punk is harder than it looks, you know.
Everybody gets a kick out of Stevie
Gene Snitsky over Bob Holly (Pinfall, kick to face): What can I say? It’s a Snitsky match. Not even Holly can successfully bring the Mean in this case. As per the apres, I think Blatt’s right and Holly’s elbow is acting up on him again, thus necessitating an excuse to put him out for a bit.
Blatt’s Revenge can strike at any time
Elijah Burke, Monty Brown, Kevin Fertig, and Matt Striker over Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Sandman, and Tommy Dreamer, Extreme Rules Wrestlemania Rematch (Pinfall, Burke pins Sabu, head through table): Why? Why couldn’t this match have been done at Wrestlemania? Would it have been too “lowbrow” for such an exalted occasion? Lowbrow? On the same card as Khali/Kane and the Show As Many Tits As You Can In One Shot women’s title match? Lowbrow for a night that centered around Vince getting his head shaved? What were they afraid of? Vince getting his point disproven when eighty thousand people started chanting “E-C-Dub”, as they would have if they were given this match?
This match had the same feeling as the entire night of One Night Stand 2005. If this was meant to be the last gasp of the Original ECW, it went out on a high note. For God’s sake, Vince, watch this match. Listen to the crowd response. Look at the eight guys in the ring and see how much goddamn FUN they were having doing this. ECW Classic still has some life in it. The performers who made ECW Classic still have some life in them (not only in this match either; Richards seemed inspired and raring to go when he was put in the ring with Punk). It was the correct decision to bring the brand back, and this is the reason why. This kind of action is infectious, not only with a live crowd, but with the television audience as well. The creative team had the right idea when they were booking one Extreme Rules match per show. They just did it the wrong way. Now you have guys in there who have shown that they’re willing to do it. If anything, this match injected the True Spirit Of Extreme into Burke, Monty, Fertig, and Striker. There’s quite a bunch of Extreme Rules singles and tag matches in these groups. Start booking them. Let this feud run until, hell, SummerSlam and put the blowoff in a cage (or, dare I say it, Hell In A Cell with weapons and make Lethal Lockdown look like a f*cking tea party).
Look, you’re already rating this show TV-14 DSLV. You can’t go further than that unless you start doing live sex in the ring. Bonnie Hammer is a pretty brave person. She can withstand complaints of excessive violence. Work with the power structure to bring back what the letters “E”, “C”, and “W” mean. It can be done. You just did it. So why not do it on a regular basis, unless you’re trying to prove a point? A point, Vince, which you proved in 2001 when you buried WCW. There’s money to be made, Vince. This one’s going on the next ECW DVD and you know it. So how about being able to fill up that next DVD with stuff like this? We’d buy it, Vince. You know we would.
Remember, it’s Extreme Rules, so this is legal
Let The Bobby Hit The Floor: I think other people have implied this, but let me just state it directly: the problem with Bobby Lashley is quite simple to break down. He’s just so freaking nice. He’s probably a sweet guy in real life who’s respectful to everyone (that’s something the Army does drill into you, by the way; you can tell how well it worked with me), and due to his…deficiencies in creating a character, they’re using that as a basis for his wrestling persona because he doesn’t have to work at it. There’s no disconnect between thinking of him as a nice guy, like there was with Goldberg posing with kittens. Because of this, he can’t really do “angry”. If he tries to do it, like last week’s promo, he comes across as mildly peeved. He’s the Ned Flanders of the WWE, only without the traces of irony or parody that makes such a character tolerable to watch.
Somewhere inside of Bobby Lashley’s psyche, there must be some Monster From The Id aching to get out. Maybe he’s repressing it because, if he let it loose for once, he’d really kill someone. For his sake, I hope so.
This is NOT a good combination
The first thing Timbaland should ask Van Dam for is the address of the nearest VD clinic
If there was any justice, this would be for the ECW title. Hell, if there was any justice, this would have been for the NWA title two years ago.
And now that the wrestling stuff is over, it’s on to golf. Hopefully the good feelings of the first round can help me get through Impact. See you for at least three more columns this week.