Great globs of goo, I am in a grumpy mood this week. Fair warning. Don’t worry, I won’t blog you or bore you with the personal details behind the grumpiness. Instead, I shall just delve into the questions and intersperse them with fluid ramblings about various wrestling matters that help perpetuate and alleviate the grumpiness.
I’m also going to stop typing for now to go and have a cinema session. Perhaps by the time I get back to writing this tomorrow the movies will have suffocated the grumpiness? Read on and find out…
“I wish i’d thought of this before. Now i have to wait a week.
With RVD on the way out, probably in typical WWE ‘throwing the door at you’ fashion, it made me think that in recent memory, Trish Stratus is the only wrestler i can think of that got a decent send-off.
What, if any, other instances have occured in the WWE where a wrestler has left on good terms with the company and got a proper send-off to boot?”
Unsurprisingly, there haven’t been many. Vince McMahon seems to have a very petulant and selfish side to him that, coupled with his business acumen, means he simply would not want to put any of his performers over strong when they were leaving. It’s that old-school wrestling mentality that you should do the job on the way out of the territory, plus the obvious advantages of damaging guys in the eyes of the fans so any rival promotions might not be able to capitalise on them quite as much.
Still, there are a few that spring to mind. Roddy Piper’s bout with Adrian Adonis at WrestleMania III was (don’t laugh) meant to be his Ã¢â‚¬Ëœretirement match’ as he went off to Hollywood to become an action movie star. He got to win the match, using his victory as a chance to help Brutus Beefcake’s new babyface push, and got a good send-off from the crowd. Of course, it was only a couple of years until he returned. No doubt it took a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœvisionary’ the quality of Vincent Kennedy (LOL) McMahon to foresee that Piper’s movie career would tank. Something similar happened with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VIII, although I doubt anybody seriously thought that filming Mr Nanny would keep him away from the WWF for good.
Ric Flair got away from the WWF relatively cleanly in 1993. True, he never got as good a send-off as Trish Stratus received but he and Vince came to a mutual agreement that his contract could end and, after putting Mr Perfect over in a Loser Leaves Town match on Raw, he was free to return to WCW. Vince wanted to have Flair put over younger talent, just as he had done when he dropped the title to Bret Hart, but Flair wanted to remain on top and to return to a promotion where he would be able to do that. I don’t know if that counts as a 100% amicable split but there was no lingering heat between Flair and Vince and the two have retained a lot of respect for one another.
Likewise, whilst Dwayne Johnson never got a big on-screen farewell he left the company on good terms after his last match at WrestleMania XX and would be welcomed back with open arms at any time. Hell, WWE even came to an amicable agreement with him over the use of the name Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Rock’ in his acting career. He has popped up sporadically in recent years for various innocuous matters, such as hosting a pie-eating contest during the 2004 Diva Search or calling Umaga a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœshrivelled-up monkey penis’ in the build to WrestleMania 23.
Still, there’s nothing that I can think of that comes close to matching Trish Stratus’ WWE send-off. Well, short of the dead people. But let’s not dwell on them, let’s remember her:
By the way, the movies helped somewhat with the grumpiness Ã¢â‚¬â€œ eventually. Pirates of the Caribbean: Long Movie Title was a blathering heap with only one worthy scene. Zodiac was consummate and professional yet pointless. Then there was Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, which should be broadcast before, during and after each and every episode of Big Brother so that more people can keep an eye on the road instead of just their track.
“White RiotÃ¢â‚¬Â for Hornswoggle’s music.
But let’s go back to the wrestling thing
Matt Reed raises a query about this news item, when Vince McMahon told Paul London he would be fired on the spot next time he did an impromptu move on WWE’s banned list.
“Wow. Fuck Vince, man.
What does he care if wrestlers do certain moves?
It’s their bodies. London’s not exactly high on the roster or anything.
Unless, of course, it didn’t go down like I assume it did from the article…
Any insight on this?”
I’m not sure why this should be a contentious issue. Vince runs the company and has the final word on their policies. It is company policy that such moves should not be performed by company employees. London is a company employee and hit a move that violated company policy, ergo he gets a warning. It’s hardly 1984. London is free to do all the shooting star planchas that he wants to do outside of work. It wouldn’t endear him to people at bus stops or bars, mind.
Plus, only a poor wrestler would need to rely on one move in order to get a reaction from the crowd. Shawn Michaels would get by just fine if the superkick was banned. Bret Hart would have had a great career even if he had never been allowed to apply the Sharpshooter. Take the RKO away from Randy Orton and he would hmm, well, you see my point. Yes, Paul London’s body is the one at risk when he does such flippy high-flying manoeuvres but Vince McMahon’s company’s image would also be hurt if anything went wrong. Hell, the shooting star press literally came within an inch or two of ruining WrestleMania XIX altogether. It might seem strange that the WWE should be so concerned about a couple of moves whilst still encouraging things like Ladder Matches that can so very easily cause injury (see: Mercury, Joey, now filed under Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfired’), continuing to put guys like Mark Henry in the ring despite their track record for hurting themselves and their opponents, and allowing politically-charged exceptions to the rule such as The Undertaker using the Tombstone despite the piledriver ban, but what would WWE be without blatant hypocrisy? It doesn’t alter the fact that Paul London ought to be smart enough to comply rather than complain, although I’m sure it was just a case of him getting caught up in the moment.
Hopefully one day London will once again get a chance to showcase his jumping skills the way he used to:
In breaking news, my exclusive hidden contact in Ring of Honour has exclusively revealed to me in a world-exclusive purported conversation that ROH is not the greatest thing that ever there was in the history of stuff Ã¢â‚¬â€œ so take that, intranet nerds! Yes, it seems that no matter how many snowflake storms can be spread over Joe/Morishima or Dragon Gate, more people are still willing to pay to see Batista/Undertaker or John Cena instead. So does that make them wrong or the intranet nerds arrogant? I suppose it’s the same when it comes to reviews of music and movies and such, the grand ol’ game of trying to pass off personal preference as general consensus. Perhaps we should all try to remember that ROH is not the fountain of greatness, that WWE in general does not fail to entertain and that TNA can pause the suck from time to time. At least that way we would be thinking in a more layered manner than sheep.
By the way, did you ever see an ROH party in session? It looks a little like this:
Patrick Robinson examines the Hs penis envy:
“First of all, I couldn’t stop laughing at your Roundtable Predictions for Judgement Day. I am nominating that you do all RTP like that in future!
Anyway, I managed to find a copy of the Triple Threat Rematch at Backlash 2004 for the World Heavyweight Title and I was wondering because I couldn’t find it anywhere, why exactly does the ref allow the sledgehammer shot to HBK’s back? King and JR keep saying that “there’s nothing he can do about it!!!” etc. and I was looking around and I wasn’t able to find out if that match was a No DQ or not.
Can you help us out?”
The match wasn’t explicitly billed as no-disqualification or anything but it did feature a Canadian champion defending in Canada, which says plenty. WWE really can’t let the Montreal Screwjob go, even as they pour on the irony by having their announcers tell the audience that they ought to drop it whilst making comments about Ã¢â‚¬ËœBizarroland’ every time they head to the north. Anyway, Mike Chioda had been in charge of the match but knocked out by a Shawn Michaels’ flying jalapeno. This led to Earl Hebner running down to take charge of the match, teasing another screwjob as Michaels had Benoit in the Sharpshooter only for Triple H to break it up before the bell could ring. The Hs then low-blowed Michaels in front of the ref, nailed him with the Replacement Penis Sledgehammer of DEATH too, and tried to Pedigree Benoit onto the ring steps. Hebner ran the match as though it was no-DQ because in the moment it benefited the Hs and, in the storyline, he was under the thumb of the Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff, who was trying to keep in with Evolution.
Now, I haven’t finished downloading (in a thoroughly legal way, so far as I’m aware) the PPV yet but apparently my Roundtable predictions wound up at 6-2. I really hope that one of the picks I got wrong was Cena/Gary but it was probably just the Tables Match and the Pudding Match or something.
Man, even just writing the words Ã¢â‚¬ËœPudding Match’ fills me with shame. One of these days they’ll just snap and get classy to the extreme with a First Blood Down There Match in which foreign objects are so very legal.
Except for Gary, mind.
Canadians don’t count either, since in WWE newspeak they’re all just retarded Americans anyway.
So we’re going to have another WWE Draft Lottery. The general response from us seems to be asking why. The general argument from them is to ask why not. The previous draft lotteries have all had an easy-to-grasp reason for happening. The first draft lottery proper, discounting the initial brand extension, came in March 2004 and was in keeping with WrestleMania XX’s Ã¢â‚¬Ëœnew beginning’ motif. The second one came in June 2005, ostensibly teasing the draft becoming an annual tradition but really just being a way to get Cena onto Raw with maximum hype and minimum effort. There was no third one in June 2006, merely a mini-draft as one Raw guy and one Smackdown guy got switched to ECW as the company put their efforts into creating the third brand. Of course, the two guys moved were RVD and Angle, which more or less sums up how successful WWE’s initial vision of the brand turned out. Now it’s June 2007, there are three brands with weaker rosters than at any given point in the past five years, there are more titles than they know what to do with, there is a greater distance between the PPV class and the TV class wrestlers than ever before, and a third draft is going ahead. You might think that simply paying more attention to detail and to continuity, plus giving the wrestlers more creative license and lessening the homogeneity of the shows would help them out more. You might well be right. And who the hell are you anyway? Who the hell am I? It’s their game and they want to shuffle the cards yet again even though there are jokers in the pack and the rule card is lost. Perhaps one day they’ll figure out that you don’t have to cut the deck three ways and kill off ECW. Yeah, yeah, Sci Fi, yah boo. Do you think Sci Fi gives a shit about specifically having ECW or simply wants an hour of new WWE programming to show on Tuesday nights? After all, the ratings only proved sustainable when the show was focused on things that can only be described as WWE creations. Kill it, kill it, kill it. Bang, one less title to contend with. Bang, they can just get Lashley onto Raw already and build to the inevitable Cena feud. Bang, they can get Punk to Smackdown and have Benoit and Finlay work him into greatness. Bang, they can remember that they don’t need a distinctive brand for one of their lesser shows to have a distinctive look (Shotgun) or exclusive storylines (Heat) or decent matches (Velocity). All this plus the odd bit of star-power, plenty of opportunities to pimp the stuff that really matters to them, and plenty of room to groom the newbies to boot. Sensibility is extreme.
Lev delves in from down under:
You know I just sent this question in to Steve Cook at Ask 411 Wrestling, but then I remembered you and thought, you know what, you’re response will likely be much more timely and amusing.
Last night (June 2nd) the International Assault Tour, featuring Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness, Austin Aries, Kid Kash, and Billy Kidman came to Melbourne, Australia. And it got me wondering what exactly have Kid Kash and Billy Kidman been up to since parting ways with the WWE? (Kash in particular as he was one of the highlights of the night, jawing with the crowd and delivering a profanity laced promo that had the smarks in hysterics and the parents covering their children’s ears, before he proceeded to beat the living snot out of scrappy wrestler aptly named Mad Dog McCray. Kidman on the other was over with the kids but received nothing more than a ‘meh’ response from the rest of the crowd.)
Anyway, why no interest from TNA or any of the major Indy Feds for Kash or Kidman?
If you were in charge of TNA and yet weren’t a blathering idiot and you had an overbooked show with more wrestlers than you could fit into it and you had the chance of signing Kid Kash or Billy Kidman or holding out to try and squeeze in Rob Van Dam, or perhaps even Chris Jericho, would you bother bringing in the greasy midgets or hold off on signing anyone else that wasn’t a big name?
Anyway, Kidman was released by WWE in 2005. He claims in this interview that it was because he mouthed-off about being treated badly but basically it was because he just wasn’t that good and was rapidly losing interest in the business. By his own admission he overcharged promoters for bookings so that they would leave him alone and he could take a breather from it all. He took a break to recharge his batteries and came back to work for indie groups like NWE and the IWA, which to be honest are about as major as indy feds can get outside of ROH (so great). He and Torrie Wilson then got a divorce, which no doubt curbed his enthusiasm even further, whilst his tanning salon business in Florida has been keeping him busy too. He also worked a couple of dark matches for WWE last summer, wearing a mask and losing to Jimmy Wang Yang in one but beating Chad Wicks in the other. Word is that TNA might bring him in if they get more TV time but, really, what would be the point? It would only end with Kevin Nash making him dress up as Billy Schindlerman, drawing DQs with the use of foreign pork chops and kidnapping any Jews in the audience for their own safety.
Kash was cut in September 2006 and wound up wrestling a fair few dates across Europe, then heading to Memphis to team up with his mentor, Ricky Morton, and win the Southern Tag Team titles there. He has a reputation for having a bad attitude that no doubt puts people off of hiring him on a regular basis. One of the reasons WWE let him go was that he complained about the direction of his character, while he had earlier been in trouble for violating the company dress code and daring to wear jeans and a T-shirt at an airport. TNA had also had some problems with him bad-mouthing the promotion in interviews even when he was working for them. Recently he got into hot water for dragging a female photographer at ringside into the ring during a 3CW show in England, throwing her to the floor and frightening the veritable poop out of her in an unplanned moment of madness. To some, things like this are just effective modern ways of getting heel heat. To most, however, it remains the act of a numpty. Anyway, Kash is also running his own martial arts and wrestling training centre called Fire & Water in Virginia, which again means he doesn’t need to go bump all over the indie circuit to earn a living. He actually had a very good interview in the latest issue of Powerslam in which he is typically direct but presents a good case for his actions. He credits JBL with teaching him a lot about financial investment and inspiring him to start studying business management and administration too, so best of luck to the guy; he seems to be in a good place just now.
The weird thing was that prior to Kash’s release the new Pit Bulls team with Jamie Noble had shown a lot of promise, yet their spot was given to K.C. James & Idol Stevens since WWE wanted to put them over instead Ã¢â‚¬â€œ only to later change their minds and take them off TV since they were clearly not ready yet. Meanwhile, Paul London & Brian Kendrick’s shiny shorts were so short on challengers that they had to rely on the officially broken-up MNM and Hardy Boys, then dropped their tag titles to Deuce & Domino even though that team had, only a few weeks earlier, been demoted just as Stevens & James had been. Madness, madness, madness, madness, madness. I hope that one of these days somebody in a prominent position in WWE will realise that what made their boom periods so exciting was not just having a hot headline act but having a hot undercard to boot. Hell, go and watch a show from 2000. Acts like Right to Censor and Too Cool were getting almost as much heat as the likes of Batista can muster up nowadays. It’s like going to a restaurant and having a really good dessert but a bland main course Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you got something nice but you still don’t feel like you got your money’s worth.
So Ã¢â‚¬â€œ John Cena. He’s quite popular, right? As most of you probably already know, his mega-push stemmed from the heat he received after he switched from generic babyface to scathing rapper, a gimmick he started using permanently on-screen after dressing as Vanilla Ice for the Halloween episode of Smackdown in 2002. Well, it seems there was a little more to the story. You see, not only was Cena on the verge of getting cut altogether before then but it was none other than Stephanie McMahon that saw his backstage raps and thought they would make for good TV. So not only does Stephanie now have more power than ever before as Vince grooms her to take over altogether, but she can also take credit for discovering the company’s biggest new star this millennium. Does it send chills down your spine as well, or is it just mine? Think how differently things would be right now had Cena been released back then think how much else they have missed out on by cutting newbies before they have had a chance to find their role think how bewildering it is that the one project they persist with despite all evidence pointing against him is Randy “I’m Not NewmanÃ¢â‚¬Â Orton the world has a fragile brain
The Chad (not the other one, presumably) raises a good point:
“Okay, so try and explain this one for me: Kwang The Ninja Wreslter. What the fudgcicles was THAT gimmick all about? And who was he/it anyway? Looked like a reject from a bad porno version of Super Mario or something. Fucking 1990s.”
Mario porn is a magnificent concept. I’d be slightly more intrigued by Tetris porn, though. Just imagine it Ã¢â‚¬â€œ one of those sturdy square blocks drops down in slow motion, accompanied by a burst of Barry White, while those frisky little S/Z blocks dart around, looking for cover, playing hard to get although they love it and gag for it in all honesty I need to end this paragraph now. It’s scaring me. That’s more than Kwang ever managed to do, which is as nice a segue as could be hoped for into
Kwang was played by Juan Rivera, better known to the wide world as Savio Vega. Yes, they had a Puerto Rican guy pretending to be a Japanese masked wrestler. If you follow that train of illogic then it becomes perfectly reasonable that he had Harvey Wippleman as a manager. He debuted in 1993 and would go on to defeat such names as John Chrystal and Tony Roy in the ensuing year. Perhaps his most high-profile victory was against Scott Taylor on the 5th December 1994 edition of Raw, which meant nothing at the time since Scotty 2 Hotty had yet to arrive. After Wippleman lost the infamous Tuxedo Match to Howard Finkel on the 9th January 1995 episode of Raw, Kwang began to be phased out and the Savio Vega character would be introduced four months later. The funny part is that for years Savio would always deny that he had been Kwang, despite all the blindingly obvious evidence to the contrary. Perhaps he was simply trying to deny it to himself due to embarrassment, although Kwang was far from the dumbest gimmick in the WWF at the time, which really is a scary thought.
The first time I saw Kwang I was in a hotel bar in Portugal. I’m not going to elaborate on that point, I just felt it was important to contribute it to the internet.
Hell, somebody contributed this:
Oooh, that Purple Era. A true highlight of the f*cking Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ90s.
The new WWE Rankings are up. I’m not sure why, but there they are…
Pulse Glazer lists his current Top 25 Matches of the Year, whilst over on the forums the incomparable Shawn Smith modestly responds in style by knocking the out-dated snowflake ranking scheme. Five-and-four-ninth stars for his comments.
Widro is still doing his Hot Seat thing. If you don’t know what it is then you are not alone and neither am I.
Scott Keith is still keeping an eye on the Monday Night War series. I’m not sure why he wants to recap Kevin Sullivan vs Joe Gomez but draws the line at John Cena vs Great Gary but to each their (Canadian) own.
Big Andy Mac contemplates the Ring of Honour tag team scene. Mmm, the internet judges ROH to be doing something better than WWE.. novel… It’s like saying a bicycle is a better transportation device than an airplane because it has a little bell that goes *tingting*.
Steve Murray looks on the bright side. His draft picks are rather odd. I’m just insulting everything I’m linking to now. In my defence, it’s only because I’m typing.
Vinny T covers the latest batch of WWE firings and I can’t possibly even pretend to insult Mr Truncellito. He could have me killed, you know.