Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc., 12.04.07

Honestly, I had a column finished and ready to go last week when the site went down. Pretty good one too, actually. By the time the site came back to a semblance of normal, it was too late to post it. My columns must be posted right away. I work in the immediate. Even a delay of a day can be fatal to the content. Oh, well, time to talk about this, that, and everything else.

Honestly, I really don’t want to do a column this week. There’s a simple reason for that. My workplace divides itself into thirteen four-week periods per year, and the Monday that starts a new period (i.e., yesterday) is a royal pain in the butt for me. I’m overloaded with paperwork and meetings in addition to doing what passes for my normal job, and I always trash myself out on those days. Right now, I’m mentally and physically exhausted, and I’d love to blow this off, except for…well, last week being down, there’s a PPV, etc. So there’s a need for one of my columns right now, if only so that you can use this as a refreshing little sherbet designed to get the bad taste of what passes for wrestling out of your mouths. As for me, I’m using wrestling as a refreshing little crapcake to mask the taste of the vomit I hurled when I heard that Billie Piper was headed back to Doctor Who for three episodes this upcoming season. I have my priorities straight. I also have my mouthwash handy.

So, is there anything of interest to talk about?

Well, there was a death in the InsidePulse family a couple of weeks ago. When I was headed to work, the Van Daminator’s engine started to make rather ominous sounds. The knocking of a migraine is a highly appropriate analogy, because my headache was growing and growing, knowing that the last repair on the SOB wasn’t paid for yet. I pulled a huey, went to the repair shop, and they told me the engine was shot. That was it. Two days later, I had a new car. In fact, it’s my first new car since 1990. A 2008 Honda Fit*, as in what I frequently throw in these columns. No nickname has been decided for it, although Silver Bullet has been dismissed due to the possibly unsavory political associations with Coors. Your participation is appreciated on this issue. We cannot have a column without a nickname for the vehicle.

* – The fact that Honda uses my beloved ELO in their ads had nothing to do with my choice of brand. Honestly. It was what I wanted and the price was right. Really. Would I lie to you?

By the way, it’s a great car. Handles well, has a lot of oomph for such a small engine, the mileage is terrific. I’m happy with it. Now I just have to pay for it. Seems that I’ll have to have that discussion with Widro that I’ve been putting off, or use Kyle Paul’s pull at ECW Press to get that book contract that all of you know I deserve (oh, by the way, Kyle, I’m sorry for not getting back to you, but I accidentally killed that e-mail after I read it; great job so far, lots of nice truths in there. Keep up the good work.).

Speaking of fates worse than death, our period for year-end awards consideration closes on December 15th. Under the circumstances this year, I’m going to recommend we push the Big Red Abort Button on the awards. Seriously, the only people that I can recommend for Wrestler Of The Year without triggering projectile vomit are Punk and Morishima, and I don’t feel too comfortable about either of them. ROH has booked itself into a hole with Ol’ Tubby, with no real competition set up for him. He’s been used like the Undertaker by ROH, without someone with the mark reputation of Batista to threaten his position. And as for Punk, they had to give him the ECW title under the threat of losing whatever ratings they have left. Plus, the title was seriously devalued by his two predecessors. This situation is what really pisses me off about the booking of the Raw title match at SurSer. If Michaels was booked to win this, it would have at least given us an out. With a title reign during the nominating period, a lot of people would have no trouble giving it to Michaels.

As for the other awards, is there any competition for the Briscoes for Tag Team? Seriously, Aaron’s been trying now for seven months to make them eligible for Wrestler Of The Year. That’s how bad things are out there. We keep telling him that tag teams aren’t eligible, but that’s the only reason we can come up with. ROH is default for Promotion. There’s no one anyone wants to vote for for Woman with the possible exception of MickieLexis LaJames; they totally destroyed Beth Phoenix’s booking with that Glamazon nonsense.

Oh, God, help us poor scriveners. We shall need your sympathy.

And speaking of sympathy, I feel it for any college football fan, having to watch The Ohio State Den Of Faggots go to another BCS Championship Game in preparation to get walloped by the Louisiana Losers. In fact, there’s no compelling reason to watch any of the big bowl games this year. The matchups outright suck. There’s no good storyline. All of the whackiness in college football this year has burned any interest out of the system. When the best BCS bowl game matchup features Illinois, something’s very, very wrong. Oh, well, March Madness is fast approaching. God knows there will be nothing of local interest for me until that point. Maybe.

So, how sad is my life? I actually lined up at quarter to five on Black Friday, in the freezing cold, in front of a Best Buy to make a stab at getting their “doorbuster” $400 laptop. They ran out by the time I got in the door, but I did pick up a nice widescreen monitor cheap, along with an actual MP3 player to plug into the AUX port on the new car’s stereo (2G clip-size player for $35? Sure, why not?). That’s the good. The bad is that the plumbing in my apartment building is clogged, and we’re not sure when the plumbers are coming to do the unclogging. So, I’m having to use some judicious control over my bowels, taking showers at the gym on the way to work, and making the backyard of my apartment complex my personal urinal. It’s cold out, by the way. Very, very cold.

Oh, on to the Pimps so I can defrost a little…

THE PIMP SECTION

Wheeler can go screw himself.

Vin-Man seemed to enjoy the latest ROH PPV.

Brashear has his typical load of Mexi-bits for you.

I love all the acts in Wind‘s Triple Play.

Eagle hands out awards. I don’t get any. He should know better.

Fingers, as usual, is wrong. It all depends on the musical trends going on. In my case, I was too old at about 33 or so, because the music of the mid-90s reeks.

TURNING STOMACH POINT

I’ve had some low-grade nausea combined with some high-grade acid reflux for the past five days or so. I thought that it was standard, everyday job stress getting to me and somehow getting through my prescription-grade pill-armor (a condition that, by the way, caused me to blow off the ROH show here on Saturday; my apologies to Cary, Gabe, Syd, and the boys and girls for that lapse of gastric control; the fact that I work about ten minutes from ROH’s standard Chi venue may also have a little something to do with that). Nope. Somehow, my subconscious realized, even when I didn’t, that there was a TNA PPV this weekend, and scheduled on the card was Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, wrestling together again. Well, that ended up not happening due to a Hall non-appearance (read: drunk off his skull; I know food poisoning when I see it). However, the rest of the disaster was on display. Shall we go through this?

Good news/bad news starts immediately. Good news: Shelley and Sabin teaming up with Lethal. No, let’s make that extremely good news. Bad news? They’re in a tables match against the ex-Dudleys. Unlike in WWE, TNA has a policy of people winning “their” matches. So, we already go into this knowing who’s going to win, even if the ex-Dudleys are teaming with Johnny Devine…let me just divert for a second to say this: after having not watched any wrestling for six months, I am still shocked and surprised, in a pleasant fashion, at the pushes given to Frankie Kazarian and Johnny Devine. I had left them for dead during the whole Non-Specific Neurotransmitter thing, certain that their burial was permanent. Now, Devine’s given more visibility than he ever had in Team Canada, and Kazarian’s getting an (undeserved) main event-level push, one which, according to the news reports, will continue. When you least expect it, hope floats.

Now, you want some more bad news? This is addressed to the ECW-era veterans in my audience, what few of you remain. Real ECW, not what we get every Tuesday night. Ten years ago, could you have imagined in your worst nightmare that Buh Buh Ray would be reduced to trying to get heat by repeatedly saying “You suck” to an audience? Once upon a time, this man was almost as creative in his use of actual obscenities as I am. Unfortunately, we’ve both been reduced to having to abandon them in the face of looking “professional”. However, I will never, ever descend to repeated uses of “You suck” on my audience, no matter how much I may think that they do. I think I’m better than that.

Oh, yeah, image uploading’s still borked. We can post columns, but not images, so that means no screencaps again. Sorry. I do know you like them.

Now, back to the match. According to Aaron, the Shelley-Sabin/Briscoes match that I was honored to witness at Good Times, Great Memories is only the third-best ROH match of the year according to some poll or whatever (yes, the site’s barfing on me again). How good must those other two matches be? That match was freakin’ brilliant in every single respect. In fact, let us return to April 28th, back when I was recovering from knee surgery, still had the Damn Vaninator, and my one job was at night, and let me repeat a very trenchant observation:

As the match went on, I started getting more and more upset at Vince Russo, Dutch Mantell, and the “creative forces” behind TNA. By the end of the match, I was almost frothing at the mouth with a desire to go down to Orlando and bump them off. Why? Because I was focusing on Chris Sabin and his body language. Whenever Sabin walks out on Impact or on PPV, he gives off that same vibe as someone going into work on Monday. TNA is a job to him, somewhere where he makes his money, and he’s learned to treat it that way. Here, he was having fun, and he was communicating that sense of fun to the audience. It was a delight to watch him in this match. I got upset at TNA for what they’ve done to that sense of fun, something he used to have. The guy’s 25 years old and he’s already jaded thanks to those rat bastards.

When teaming with Shelley, Sabin’s been able to maintain that sense of fun, but it’s damn hard to communicate it in situations like this match. For them, this match was Detroit Suck City. Booked correctly, they’d be the competition for the Briscoes for Tag Team Of The Year. But this is TNA. The chances of them being booked correctly are slightly better than Mike Huckabee choosing me as his veep candidate. Or for that matter, Mike Huckabee getting the Evil Republican nomination.

(I had a big thing in last week’s column about Huckabee’s background after Flair endorsed him. However, if you’ve been paying any attention to the news over the past week or two, you’ve seen more things about Huckabee than should be conscionable by any signatory to the Geneva Convention, so that work was a bit of a waste.)

This match took an unconscionably long time, so much so that I went into my Default TNA PPV-Watching Mode: surf for porn, let the PPV play in the background, and wait for Tenay to get excited before paying any attention. This match was very limiting to the faces. We all know what they’re capable of, and they weren’t allowed to cut loose. Shame on the bookers for that one. Maybe next month they’ll get something better.

By the way, it’s kind of nice and secure to know that the TNAndroids are still the same as usual. Johnny Devine putting himself through a table does not deserve a “Holy Word Not Allowed On InsidePulse Anymore” chant.

Thank God for chyron. Now I know the official spelling is “Roxxi Laveaux”. The only thing that could make it better would be to shift the position of the final “x” and make it “Roxxxi Laveau”. You’ve still got the faux-Cajun aspect and you’ve enhanced the slut aspect tremendously. Or won’t Spike allow that? In fact, I think I’ll keep that spelling if I get back to doing Impact Short Forms. Now I have to do something about “Velvet Sky”…oh, wait, I’ve got it. She’s got that horse-face thing that Jillian Hall’s got going for her, so it’s obvious. She’s now National Velvet. Not as good as when I was calling Chyna “Mama Sitzbath”, but I can only work with the material I’m given.

Their match? Who cares? It’s a women’s tag match…oh, wait, these women can actually wrestle, so it’s worth paying attention to it. It’s great that the TNAndroids are making ODB a face. The problem here is that the booking team has the same attitude that Vince used to have: stick to your ethos come hell or high water. Come on, guys, you want to do it. And it’s so easy too. Let me give you a hand, Vinny Ru. This is right up your alley: intergender match, ODB versus James Storm, Six-Pack On A Pole. There. I think I’ve hit all your buttons.

The Storm/Young match I ignored for a couple of reasons. First, don’t they have any better way to book Eric Young by this point? The underdog act is very, very stale. Second of all, I’m a little bit disgusted with Jacqueline using the beer as a “motivational tool” for Storm. There’s a word for people who require that form of inducement. That word is “alcoholic”. I’ve had two relatives die of alcoholism, so I tend to take this a little bit more serious than the average person. This isn’t a joke to me. It certainly isn’t funny to me. It’s not the height of bad taste, but there’s enough of it there to make me reach for that mouthwash that I mentioned earlier.

And as soon as I mentioned things on a pole, here comes the Feast Or Fired Match, one of TNA’s specialties, the Incomprehensible Gimmick Match. I remember the comments we all made the first time King of the Mountain rolled around. To summarize, the nearly-unanimous opinion of the IWC was, “What the hell is that?” TNA bucked the odds, though. The execution of that first King of the Mountain was good enough that it enabled most of us to understand the rules, and we became used to it. However, virtually every other Incomprehensible Gimmick Match remained incomprehensible afterward. This one continued that trend. Where the hell was the payoff? We were promised that someone would get fired. Now we have to wait until Impact to find out who? Anticipation of payoff works for Money In The Bank because we all know the rules: someone has until the next Wrestlemania to cash it in for a title shot. Now, we’re going to have three people holding Money In The Bank while some schmuck gets fired? The reason why MITB works is because there is one, singular winner. Unless I’m sadly mistaken, Petey Williams, Road Hogg, Low Ki, and Big Sump Pump…hold it, there’s a 25% chance that Big Sump Pump will be fired. Okay, I’m all for this match. Except for one little thing: they’re not going to open the briefcases on Impact this week. What?

One person who won’t be fired is Awesome Kong. Let’s face it, she is awesome. This happens to be one area where TNA has it over ROH. No, not that they finally have a women’s division. It’s obvious that Kong’s going to have to get the strap sooner or later. Given her size, you can equate her to Morishima. Unlike with Morishima, though, the women’s division actually has someone who can compete with Kong on the size and brutality basis, namely ODB, and she’s already moved into a fan favorite position. ROH doesn’t have anyone who can directly compete with Morishima on a purely physical basis stature-wise. So, it’ll actually be a good thing when Kim loses the strap and goes into the obvious feud with Roxxxi. The backup plan’s in place.

I won’t comment on the Thumbtacks match for one reason: I use a plain text editor and can’t get the backwards “k” thing going for BlackDust’s sidekick. And, really, do I need to comment on it? It’s Abyss, it’s Raven, it’s thumbtacks, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Typical Grievous Bodily Harm Division Match, nothing more.

The Booker-Kazarian/Christian-Roode match never seemed to get going. My attention drifted constantly, and the commentary didn’t help. Look, you don’t have to do this hard of a sell on Kazarian. He’s good. He’s very good. He’s still young enough to really make a mark on this industry. He’s got the skills to do it. Just don’t beat us over the head with it. We like the guy enough as it is, thank you.

As for the main event, it was overshadowed by Joe’s promo. When I saw Joe last year here in one of his last ROH appearances, he cut one helluva wicked promo. I wondered at that time why TNA never gave him the stick, preferring to do a Monster push with him. I knew at that time that their approach was a mistake. Now, they’ve got a clue. Joe has the potential to be one of the best promo men of his generation, if he’s only given the chance. He’s now getting it more and more frequently, and he’s picking up things by osmosis from guys like Christian who are past masters at The Art Of The Mic. Combined with his in-ring style and undeniable ability…he could change wrestling. I don’t say that very often about anyone, but he’s got that potential. From a historical perspective, where would I put him? Magnum TA just before the car accident. He’s definitely someone to pass the torch to.

The problem with Joe right now is that there’s no one there to pass it to him. Sting, maybe, but that’s about it. At this point, he needs to go to WWE. He’s a complete package, and if they recognize that there, there’s no stopping him. But you just know that WWE would screw it up. Jericho came into WWE in the same position as Joe, and Vince buried him at first to have him pay his “WWE dues”. They’d do that to Joe too. Or so my fatalism tells me. There could always be a miracle of sorts. They could put him with Flair for a bit, for instance, or Michaels. I just want Joe to get to the Summit Of Mount Perpetually Over. The guy deserves it. All TNA can provide for a vista is the Hillock Of Fan Favorites.

It wasn’t an atrocious PPV, but its inconsequentiality shone through at all times. Better luck next month, TNA. And next month starts with Thursday…

IMPACT SOMEWHAT SPOILED

Sheremetyevo actually wins a match! That’s the good news. The bad news is that Jimmy Rave is still stuck with Lance Hoyt. No, they’re not the opponents, just the apres.

ODB’s push continues as she gets a non-title win over Gail Kim. Yes, Kong shows up too. Three-way for Final Resolution? If so, any stips?

Low Ki loses his briefcase to someone who really, really, really deserves a world title shot. Of course, given our luck, he’ll have the pink slip.

Tables Match on Sunday, Ladder Match on Thursday. Second verse, same as the first. Oh, for God’s sake, give Sabin, Shelley, and Lethal a break, please.

A ten-man tag ends the show (I won’t reveal the participants; this is Impact Somewhat Spoiled). The show actually ends in a beatdown, which might prompt a face turn of high-level proportions and a strange set of permutations for title matches for the next few months.

Nothing much to this show, as usual.

That’s one hour of nothing on Thursday. Let’s move on to cover the two hours of nothing on Monday…

THE SHORT FORM

Match Results:

Beth Phoenix and Melina Perez over MickieLexis LaJames and Maria Kanelis (Pinfall, Phoenix pins Kanelis, delayed fisherman’s suplex): Wasn’t paying attention. May or may not pay attention during the title match at Armageddon. Still haven’t decided. The whole damn card of Armageddon’s leaving me as cold as my…see above concerning my lavatorial situation at present.

Chris Jericho over Jamalga (DQ, Orton-ference): Oh, how sad. You just knew that Orton was going to make his presence felt at some point. The only hope we had is that it’d be in the apres. Nope, it happened during the match. And it was a pretty decent match while it lasted, given Jericho’s obvious rust and Jamalga’s obvious limitations as a wrestler. Doesn’t anyone back there know how to book? Oh, wait, they’re all writing Smackdown. Forget it. I’ll wait until Friday to see if there’s anything going on that even remotely makes sense.

Literal Bastard, Ron Simmons, and High-Quality Speaker Boy (it feels good to write that again) over Carly Colon and Jonathan Coachman, No-DQ Match (Pinfall, Literal Bastard pins Coachman, assisted splash): So, what was this supposed to be? A teaser for next week? A promise that we can have the APA in any given situation if it can be justified money-wise? That High-Quality Speaker Boy got to use Vince’s plane on an off-night? All that is certain is this: Carly’s on his way out. He’s got no more than a couple weeks left, according to the actual news sites. But at least they’ve allowed him the dignity of not having to take the pinfall in this bit of ridiculousness.

I really have to start making the effort to watch Smackdown again. Then again, if I do, I’ll want to do a Short Form. Of course, with ECW on Thursday this week, there’s a perfect excuse to do one. Yes, that’s a threat.

Jeffykins over Gene Snitsky, Intercontinental Title Match (Pinfall, Swanton): Smear. I wanted smear. You didn’t give me smear. I’m very unhappy at that. I didn’t even hope for smear in the apres because it was so damn obvious that Trip would show up to further his angle with Jeffykins. Now, let’s project a little. It’s obvious that Trip will win the match at Armageddon. Would we really mind at this point if he took the title from Orton at Royal Rumble? Isn’t anything better than Orton? No, don’t hope for Jericho. That match will end in shenanigans, and we all know it.

Randy Orton over Shawn Michaels, Non-Title Match (COR, FudgePacker-ference): Yeah, like we haven’t seen this match lately…well, actually, I haven’t seen it that much, if you understand my meaning, but, still, it’s Michaels versus Dorkboy. Dorkboy holds the strap. It’s a Challenge Match. You know nothing significant will happen. Michaels will look great like he always does. Orton will look like Orton. It’s a big pile of nothing that occupied the time needed for my anti-psychotics to kick in and for me to become sleepy from them. If that’s the best that can be said about Raw these days, WWE has a big problem. Let’s hope that next week provides something remotely interesting in those three hours of cameos.

Angle Developments:

Old Business: One of our guys, I forget who it was, said that he was happy that Jericho came out to his “original” theme music. Of course, he doesn’t come out to his original WWE music; he comes out to the abominable remix that they did of it. This is why they needed me back here. Someone has to keep our n00b writers in their place, and their place is at my feet, kissing, licking, and doing other degrading acts of groveling. Daddy’s home, little bitches. Time to behave.

If I Predicted It, But The Column Didn’t Run, Did I Actually Predict It?: In last week’s semi-non-existent column, I discussed the rationale behind the Hogan divorce. Let me…well, it can’t be a reprint if it was never a print. Recycle, perhaps?

So, now we have to solve the problem of why this is happening. Linda has gone through as much or more as a certain other wrestling spouse named Linda has over the years. She’s withstood Hogan’s coke phase. She knows that he’s screwed around as much as his celebrity would allow. She’s stood by, withstood all of that, raised the kids, and apparently been happy. So why now?

The obvious answer is that the kids are grown up, if you ignore Nick’s protracted adolescent rebellion and impending appointment at Betty Ford. I’ve seen this happen in my own family. Last year, my cousin’s husband filed for divorce after a two-decade-plus marriage, just after their youngest, my beloved goddaughter and heiress to what I might attain during life that doesn’t involve permanent bitterness, graduated from high school. Things have really turned out well for them. My cousin’s ex had to have a triple bypass, my cousin’s being a total and complete sponging bitch to my aunt and uncle, and my beloved goddaughter married a sailor whom I haven’t met and approved of yet. All in all, it’s a pretty sucky reason to get a divorce. It only prolongs the agony.

So, we have to look for another reason, and that reason it quite obvious: Hogan’s running out of money. Linda’s only shot at getting anything is to file now and get what she can out of the community property. Frankly, she deserves it. Having to live with that insufferable ego for the past quarter-century? Dear God, I pity her. This is one of the big reasons why I’ve never had a long-term relationship. Anyone who could live with me needs to be put on the short track to sainthood. Hogan’s that way. The Tampa Tribune’s reporting that she wants her share of their two houses, alimony, shyster fees, and child support…hold it, how old is Nick anyway? Child support? Anyway, she also wants custody of Nick and for Hogan to pay Nick’s insurance coverage. And if they can’t settle, she wants to liquidate and split the assets. Yep, this is a money grab, folks.

And you now know what’s coming next. Hogan will now need a big payday in order to pay the lawyers and pay Linda. You know what that means. And Orlando is a pretty short drive from Tampa, isn’t it? There’s no excuse for him NOT to show up there.

Focusing on Wrestlemania, I completely forgot about the three-hour special next week. However, this sets up that later appearance. I thought the build-up would begin at the Rumble. Hey, you can’t start early enough, can you? And so our pain only increases. But, hey, Trish is showing up, so that’ll help. Won’t it?

Since it’s conveniently between my birthday and Christmas, someone out there had better buy me the WCCW DVD, out today. All I can say is that if someone doesn’t pony up, there’s going to be hell to pay. See you later, deves.

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