And let’s get right into the important stuff, by my judgment…
MASTERS-BATION, THE AFTERGLOW
Well, at least one of my predictions for the Masters almost happened. Let me tell you, after seeing the weather totally destroy the scoring, I felt pretty good when I saw Tigger’s approach shot at 13. The moment that the ball came to a virtual standstill, then started moving ever so slowly, then faster, then faster, then faster, then came to a stop for a virtual tap-in eagle, I thought, “That’s it, he’s flicked the switch. The rest of the field is toast.” I should have known a little better when Zach Johnson had zero reaction when the crowd erupted as the Big Scoreboard changed Tigger’s number from “5” to “3”. Kid’s got some big balls. He just shot well coming in, posted his number, and stood back, the way he should. In fact, the tournament really wasn’t decided until two guys played 17 and f*cked up: Justin Rose’s poor chip and Tigger firing his approach into the bunker knowing he needed birdie to have a chance at a playoff.
Fortunately, no one’s comparing this to last year’s US Open, because those f*ckups 1) didn’t happen on the 72nd hole and 2) weren’t as deadly as what Lefty and Monty (among others) did to themselves. After all, Ogilvy was simply the clubhouse leader, not the tournament leader; Phil and Monty were in the lead when they stepped up to the tee at Winged Foot. The more apt comparison is Ben Curtis’ win at the 2003 British Open. He came in, no pressure, posted his number, then waited for someone to catch him, and when Thomas Bjorn muffed his bunker shots, his name could get engraved on the Claret Jug.
By the way, Johnson’s victory still doesn’t solve a problem that all of the golf pundits are going spaz over: who is the Next Great American Player Under 30? Johnson’s over that age. Right now, the only American golfer under 30 with a major in his bag is Curtis. He came back from the dead to win twice last year, but it’s a rather hollow pair of victories since he won’t get a chance to defend either title due to the fact that the tournaments he won last year were killed for the benefit of the FedEx Cup. One candidate is the guy who helped steady his good friend Johnson when they played together on Sunday, Vaughn Taylor. Dude’s got Ryder Cup experience (and was one of the better American players last year, which isn’t saying much). He didn’t wilt in front of the hometown crowd like Trip Howell has a habit of doing. There’s a major in this guy’s short-term future, maybe as soon as 2009 (not the US Open that year, though; that’s Tigger’s).
There are a couple good things to take away from Johnson’s victory. First of all, he’s not the journeyman that Curtis or Todd Hamilton were when they won majors; people have been watching him for years and have been a little disappointed that he’s only cashed in once (in other words, the Midwest version of Trip Howell). Seeing him get a big guaranteed appearance fee at the Grand Slam Of Golf and the Skins Game, plus his guaranteed payday at Kapalua next year, is a nice thing. Also, his being from Iowa meant that the CBS crew got to name-drop Jack Fleck. It’s a great reminder that, in golf, nothing changes. Fleck had to hold off Ben Hogan to win the US Open; Johnson had to hold off Tigger here.
The person I was most impressed with over the weekend was the Goose. Honestly, I wrote him off in my preview column because I felt he still hadn’t recovered from screwing the pooch at the 2005 US Open. Taking a three-shot lead into the final round and then blowing up the way he did does things to a golfer (and sometimes it can be emblematic of one bad hole bringing back the nightmares; look what happened to Lefty when he triple-bogeyed the first hole on Sunday at Augusta). He didn’t win anywhere worldwide in 2006, a shock considering he’s still at the top of his game. His weekend here has got to be encouraging. His problem, though, is the same one that his countryman Ernie Els solved a while back: he’s got to win a major not named the US Open. He’ll probably end up doing the same thing that Boring Ol’ Ernie did: win the Open Championship. He’s got the quiet fortitude to conquer the living nightmare they’re going to turn Carnoustie into. I now have him as my second favorite to Tigger there, and a win there by him wouldn’t be as surprising as it was a week ago.
As per some of my other predictions, Veej was there on Sunday afternoon until he hit Amen Corner and the wheels fell off, so I’m calling success on that one. Lefty didn’t blow his chances on Saturday, but the first hole on Sunday was definitely within an acceptable margin of error. Furyk never got it going, just like I thought would happen to him. Luke Donald got some good coverage on Sunday, then faded. Paul Casey hit some great shots, which also got coverage, and had a decent tournament. So, the people I recommended you to watch, in general, were allowed to be watched by CBS in between shot-to-shot coverage of Tigger. I’m not too ashamed. Attempting to handicap a golf tournament is like herding cats, supervising Mexicans, or attempting to pick WWE PPV results if your name’s not Vinny. Yet, I’m going to be doing that four more times, minimum, this year, depending on what I decide to do in regard to the final events of the FedEx Cup. I just might boycott due to the treatment of the Western Open. You don’t know how much that frazzles my balls. The weird part is that I’ve shot Cog Hill, but I didn’t have the guts (or the available money) to do Dubsdread. Unlike Slayer, I’m not a masochist. So, my affection for the Western As It Should Be is slightly detached.
Hmmmmmm, six graphs on golf this week (but it is a major after all), centering my lead last week around the season premiere of Doctor Who instead of Wrestlemania…you’d think I’m actively avoiding talking about wrestling, and you’re pretty much right. We’ve got a TNA PPV on tap for this upcoming Sunday, though, and I think I’m going to try an experiment: I’m going to answer the Round Table when I’m still non compos mentis from the anaesthesia on Thursday. Maybe if I’m drugged to the f*cking gills, I can make accurate predictions. Of course, getting high-quality f*cker-uppers like those will be a problem for future PPV purposes. So, let’s start talking about wrestling, after the Pimps, of course…
THE PIMP SECTION
People (on staff) are wondering exactly how I can get so many pimps in so accurately. My secret is simple. I use Firefox with the Make Link extension. It enables me to do the Pimp Section in a tenth of the time. In fact, finding Make Link was the last thing that prevented me from going to Firefox full-time a couple of years ago. I have no regrets. Just give me Firefox with Make Link, Greasemonkey, NoScript, and AdBlock Plus, and I’m a happy camper.
Burnside fails to link to my discussion in the ECW Short Form last week regarding Stevie Richards, and doesn’t smack his querent into the ground for wondering where Christian is these days. I write this off to his being drunk when writing the column.
Vincenzo states perfectly why a lot of us are so high on Punk, which is something that mystifies Fleabag. I can’t state it as well as this because I’m emotionally involved with supporting the Local Kid.
If Wheeler hadn’t made the analogy to the third hour of Nitro, I would have slapped him silly. Plus, his icon is probably giving Burnside a hard-on.
Brashear goes into details about the problems between CMLL and El Hijo del Santo. Sounds like both sides need to be booked in a Women’s Title Match, because they’re both being cunts.
Fernandez anticipates EXACTLY what I was going to say in regard to the Beatles photo story and cuts me off. He’s a Chicagoan, so I let him get away with it.
Daniels fellates the Braves, who really don’t need any more fellation from the media. Yes, they’ll be better this year. Yes, they’ll be back in the playoffs. Yes, they’ve got all of their games on basic cable so we can watch as it happens. Yes, they’ll lose either or both Joneses after the season, so this is a “last shot”. We get it already.
Bambers reviewing Patti Smith is a dream combination. Read it. She’s also right about the documentary part of the Horsemen DVD; it’s definitely something to watch and behold.
Kennedy shows what a pain in the ass Midway can be. My problem there is always with security. For some reason, whenever I fly in a suit, I’m manually searched. What the hell is so suspicious about a white guy in a suit? And he doesn’t mention the real pain in the ass there: all of the food is past the security gate, so if I want my traditional pre-flight Starbucks, I have to clear security first, or else hit the Starbucks at 47th and Cicero, which always gets my order wrong when I use the freakin’ drive-thru (cue Joe Pesci). That’s what I liked about Kansas City International: all of the food was outside the secure area.
S Squared does his usual quality job summarizing The Week That Was in Broken Dial.
I’ll purposely make this a mediocre pimp for Paul.
Morrison writes his column looped on cold medication. I tried doing that two weeks ago, and it was fun.
Wong summarizes the latest PRIDE thingy. Still not into MMA, so caring is minimal on this end. But he still should be congratulated for doing his part in getting his SO preggers; the baby’s due around the middle of October.
I am an eentsy-weentsy bit mad at Cynthia: she took the 120×120 that I created off of a screen cap when I reviewed Cinderella III and used it for her column, without credit or attribution. Oh, hell, it’s part of our huge picture database anyway.
Fann is our pissed-off version of Stuart Smalley, and we love her for it.
York had his hands full moderating VS this week.
Sutton reassesses From Dusk Till Dawn.
People have wondered why I don’t do anything for Prime Time Pulse. Well, the only thing I’d want to do is Doctor Who, but Murtz doesn’t want to piss off The Powers That Be by acknowledging the existence of BitTorrent. That being said, I have the first three episode of The Tudors on my HD, which I’ve heard great things about. I just need time to view them.
Padilla predicts the end-of-season awards for the NHL. Of course, the fact that it’s the end of the NHL season is a surprise for most of us.
Well, what to do about this? Let’s just knock out some quickies and get to Raw…
SINCE NOTHING IS WORTH COMMENTING ON IN DETAIL…
Glenn Gilberti busted for illegal gambling in Atlanta: This was a high-class operation. Yeah, it was run out of a suburban home, but it was a ten-thousand-buck ante, they had waitresses serving drinks, etc. The only thing that could make this perfect would be if Gilberti wore the Disco Inferno outfit. He seems to be one of the organizers, since he was one of the few charged with a felony. He’s pretty much toast on this one. He’ll do at least a couple of years for this. Too bad, really. He was always a guilty pleasure among comedy wrestlers for a lot of people. But that’s the price you pay when you try to get away with something.
Jesus, a suburban home? How did they expect the neighbors not to complain about the number of people going in? The idea was fundamentally sound (disguise the traffic, etc.), but the location was a complete bust. Which is what it turned out to be in the end.
Second hour of Impact?: Oh, God, we’ve been hearing this since Impact started up on Spike. This is nothing new. They haven’t arranged anything since their initial deal except the move to prime-time. That hasn’t panned out at the level that Spike would probably want it to be at (half the ratings of Raw would be an easily-established target). They might have even lowered their expectations to “Start beating ECW on a regular basis”. I don’t expect anything to come out of this. Too bad that Wheeler had to waste an entire column on this groundless speculation.
Ross Replacement: Are we really talking about this again too? I’ve made enough comparisons between Ross and an old, incontinent sheepdog to make my feelings clear. The replacement problem is now more acute than it was last time. Styles is needed on ECW, Cole has proven to be an awful fit with Lawler (he needs a color man who’s willing to take over at times, as Tazz and High-Quality Speaker Boy are wont to do), and no one is in love with the idea of Grisham. If Bisch were still around, I’d say go for Schiavone, despite the fact that I’ve heard through various and sundry that he looks awful, having blown up to above Mark Madden weight, but that’s not an option now either. Keeping Ross on the air is the best of a series of bad choices. Yeah, we’ll suffer through it, but it’s not as much suffering as we’d have with Grisham on Smackdown.
Nothing really major to discuss, as you can tell. I’ll just get to Raw so I can get back to sleep…
THE SHORT FORM
MickieLexis LaJames and Candice Michelle over Melina Perez and Missus Hevia (Pinfall, LaJames pins Victoria, spike DDT): Was this an apology for the women’s match at Wrestlemania? Another fast-paced, hard-hitting women’s tag match of the sort that we’re now almost used to seeing. We know that three of them are willing to go any time, and now that Candice seems to have developed a little confidence in the ring (coinciding with her almost-invisible face turn, perhaps?), she was able to solidify things with a nice little Ricky Morton routine. Nice work, ladies. Nice work indeed.
Too bad for Melina that LaJames isn’t wearing her Odor-Eaters for this match
GarriLance Cade and Trevor Murdoch over Ric Flair and Carly Colon, Number One Contenders’ Match (Pinfall, Murdoch pins Colon, Cade clothesline): Okay, it was an Angle Advancement Match to produce a Flair/Carly thingie at Backlash. But think about the tag title match that we’re going to get there. Cade and Murdoch have their uses, and they didn’t do too badly when they were given a cup of coffee with the tag belts. But there are few teams in WWE that gel so badly with the Hardly Men. It’s a total mismatch, and neither Cade nor Murdoch have the level of ability to adjust their game this radically. It’s going to be construction-worker-armpit-after-work ugly. And smelly.
GarriLance Cade, Surface-To-Air-Missile Boy
Shawn Michaels versus Randy Orton, Number One Contenders’ Match (double pinfall); Chad Patten versus Jack Doane, Referee Bitch Fight (ND, silliness): Well, if they had to do a decision like this (in order to make the Fatal Four-Way at Backlash), at least they left it up to Michaels, probably the only guy left on the roster who could set up this ending with no credibility problems. Nothing else in this match other than yet another demonstration, as if we needed another, of Shawn’s ability to carry anyone. Great job by him all around, really. But that outfit…I had flashes to that Blackadder episode with Blackadder’s ultra-religious aunt and uncle paying a visit. That was really, really overdoing it, Shawn.
Oh, and why is no one overdissecting the use of “Sexy Boy” for his entrance music? Why haven’t we been deluged with “TIS IS END OF DX!!!111!11!” whiteboard-tard messages? Are wrestling fans finally stopping their habit of parsing everything to death? Probably not, but it’s a nice thought.
If he doesn’t get the knees perpendicular, he loses style points from the judges
Mattsy-Poo and Jeffykins over Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, Non-Title Match (Pinfall, Mattsy-Poo pins Benjamin, Jeffykins Swanton): Ah, the wonders of ignoring long-term booking. We know the Hardly Men are going to face Cade and Murdoch at Backlash. We know what the result of that match will be. So how about setting up a match for Judgment Day using this one as a basis? Or maybe setting up a Haas-Benjy/Cade-Murdoch dispute match about who really is the Number One Contender? Yes, I’m saying the Hardly Men should have lost this match in order to inject a little uncertainty and competition into the tag ranks. It was non-title anyway, and it was the perfect opportunity to put Haas and Benjamin in the drivers’ seat for the inevitable title change. Stupid booking on their part.
That Benjy, always doing it with class and style
Bobby Lashley over Shane McMahon, Title Versus Hair Match (DQ, ref punch): So, this couldn’t wait until tomorrow night for what reason, exactly? I still feel a bit uncomfortable with the ECW title being defended on Raw, especially since we knew going in that this was all about the apres. However, I do like the major Sinatra vibe coming off of Vince. He carries the hat really well. It still doesn’t make it worth that atrocious match that’s coming at Backlash, though.
As much as I appreciate punching Chioda, this just begs to lead to Sports Entertainment
Now this is the way to open a show
You’ve got to admit that they make a cute couple
Please don’t tell me that this was the kid’s wish
Shane attempts to bring back “Talk To The Hand, Sister”
Screw it, better get it in because I’ve got two busy nights at work coming, and I want to get some rest. I’ll knock out ECW as quick as possible, then get ready to go under the knife. Enjoy yourselves as much as possible.
Tags: ECW, Raw