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18.12.18 0727
The W - Pro Wrestling - SmackDown! Spo-Dee-O-Dee...
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Boston Idol

Since: 17.2.03
From: San Jose, CA

Since last post: 4386 days
Last activity: 4179 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
Spring and Wrestlemania are just around the
corner, so it's time for the Punxsutawney Phil
of pro wrestling to stick his head out of his
seventies tape filled hole to see if there are
any signs of spring coming to SmackDown!
the nuclear winter of sports entertainment.
Needless to say I'm not looking forward to
this, but JDW told me if tOA didn't start
getting more hits, I could end up covering
the Forty Niners on a full time basis, so I
devised a plan to get me through this night.

Taking a page from fellow journalist Dave
Scherer, I decided to give my pro wrestling
pallet a little lubrication in hopes of being
able to enjoy the show without thinking
too much. I had considered taking a drink
every time Paul Heyman appeared, but after
glancing at the spoilers I realized I would
need a much bigger bottle or a much smaller
glass, so I've decided to pour as needed.

My companion is a 2001 Benziger Merlot
from Sonoma County. It's a soft merlot with
dark cherry and raspberry fruit finished with
cocoa and just a hint of tannin. It's a smooth
wine which is very important when one knows
one is going to be drinking the whole bottle.


SmackDown! opens with "Super Genius"
Paul E. Heyman telling us he has decided
to let Brock Lesnar and Eddy Guerrero
give interviews. Interviews? Heyman
makes it clear that he is in control. Given
Paul's derivative writing, I'm half expecting...

Do not attempt to change the channel.
Do not attempt to find wrestling matches.
I, Paul Heyman, am in control.
I, Paul Heyman, control the booking.
I, Paul Heyman, write all the promos.

Lucky for us Paul Heyman is a genius.
Just ask anyone who relies on him as a
source of inside information on the WWE.

The sound of shattering glass is followed
by the appearance of Brock Lesnar riding
on an ATV. Lesnar's four wheeling makes
the American Bad Ass Bikertaker look as
slow as Hollywood Hogan. Lesnar starts
talking and the crowd gives him the "what?"
treatment until they lose interest. Lesnar
shows a video of a crowd being excited
by live action. Lesnar starts talking again
and a halfhearted "Goldberg" chant starts.

Call me a wine snob, but if Goldberg is
leaving the company after Wrestlemania,
shouldn't the plan be to rally support for
Lesnar winning this feud? This booking
is like booking the Von Erich kids to lose
to the Freebirds and never return to Texas.

Job Corps Holly runs in to shatter my train
of thought. Holly gets the jump on Lesnar,
catching him with his pants down, but not
off. Such are the perils of live television.

Holly catches Lesnar with an elbow drop
and goes for a cover. Lesnar catches Holly
with a spinebuster and goes for a cover.
Who are these guys kidding? Lesnar slaps
on a laying down bear hug which Cole
describes as a "gut wrench." Somewhere
Nikolai Volkoff is embarrassed for Lesnar.

Holly whips Lesnar into the ring post, hits
a pair of stomps, and tries for another pin.
Lesnar catches Holly with a back elbow,
but misses a lariat and eats two dropkicks.
Lesnar misses yet another lariat and eats
a backdrop suplex for a near fall. Lesnar
gets up, scoops up Holly, and hits an F5
for the win. This is why I review shows
from tape rather than doing a stream of
consciousness gimmick. I must have
missed the transition, but I can roll back
the tape to see it... Hoo-boy! Time for
another Glass of Benziger 2001 Merlot.


Scotty Too Hotty jukes out for a singles
match against Danny Basham. Scotty
does a lot of shuck and jive stuff which
Basham answers with strange arm whips
leading to a wakigitame. Basham needs
tOA Eye for the Indy Guy. The Bashams
pull the switcheroo while Scotty is doing
the "worm." Scotty misses a lariat and
gets rolled up by the wrong Basham for
the pin despite also being the fresh man.

Time for another drink. Maybe I should
have picked up two bottles after all, but
don't worry, I'm eating garlic bread so
I won't be deemed "unable to continue."
The garlic helps to bring out the cocoa.
Why don't I do this every Thursday?


Up next, an interview with Kurt Angle
via satellite. Does the satellite gimmick
turn fans off because they assume Kurt
Angle won't be around to, you know,
wrestle a match during the show, or do
they all see through the gimmick by now?

We return to a shot of Kurt Angle getting
"mic'd up" prior to his interview. Great!
They only show this unprepared nonsense
when there is an angle coming. Otherwise
people just show up and cut their promos.

Angle gives us yet another of his "sober"
Interviews where he sounds just like Bob
Backlund. Sure, Angle is a heel and this
gimmick is supposed to be a parody of
Bob's All-American schtick, but Angle's
reading is so dry that there is no humor.
It's just like a longer, less effective, much
more sanctimonious Backlund promo.
Hopefully it wont hurt Kurt's chances
of getting into the WON Hall of Fame.
After all, he's just playing a character.

Chavo Guerrero Junior comes out with
his father, Chavo Guerrero, the "old guy"
whose picture tOA BOOK fans used to
complain to Travis about. My bottle is
about half empty, er, half full, but Im
not enjoying the show any more. Maybe
I should have tried Plank Road instead?

Chavo gets distracted and Funaki hits the
schoolboy of death, but Chavo kicks out,
showing fans he is stronger than Scotty
Too Hotty. This is really well laid out.
Chavo misses a lariat and eats a forearm.
I'm devoting more time to reviewing
these matches than the workers are
devoting to wrestling them.

Funaki hits a top rope flying body press
but rolls off so that Chavo's father can
distract the referee when he actually
makes the cover. Chavo hits what Bill
Mercer would have called a "head drop",
then misses hooking the leg for the pin.

This stuff is like faster paced Mid-South:
Three or four minute popcorn matches
full of clichs and indifferent execution.


Damn, at this rate I'm not going to finish
this review until Saturday night, after I
make a couple of trips to Safeway to pick
up more wine. Pardon me if I decide to
pick up the pace now. Just think of it
as "reviewing WWE style", okay?

More blah-blah with Heyman. I thought
he lost weight? Heyman looks like Tony
Soprano with a pony tail. Dawn looks like
Silvio Dante with fake tits. It's all I can do
to keep from changing to "The 5th Wheel."

Heyman issues a demand to Eddy Guerrero.
He orders Eddy to come to the ring to give
an apology. Cole and Tazz go into their
tiresome face announcer vs heel announcer
schtick to explain this angle. Thanks, Jesse.

While Eddy and Paul banter in the ring, the
camera catches a fan holding an nWo sign.
Oh, the irony! Not since the dying days of
WCW have I seen a promotion so hell bent
on going through the pyro and loud music
motions as their fanbase eroded to nothing.

Eddy does some good facials, though he
looks totally lit which kinda ruins the
reformed drunk gimmick. Heyman does
his usual vaudeville schtick. Who was
Paul's acting coach, the late Sid Caesar?

Eddy finally gets to the point, bragging that
he could beat Heyman with both hands tied
behind his back to set Up the unbelievable
main event. It took six minutes to get to this
point. I rewound the tape to make sure, just
like my idol, Columbo. This reminds me of
an Indy show where the promoter sends two
guys out to stall for time while he tries to
sober up Jake Roberts backstage. It takes
another two minutes to explain the angle.
Heyman will face Eddy in the main event,
but Guerrero will have to wear handcuffs.
Tazz tries to tell us this is "big" and "huge."


Ultimo Dragon, Rey Misterio, and Kidman
hit the ring to face Akio, Sakoda, and Tajiri.
Cole points out that five of these six men
will be competing in the cruiserweight open
at Wrestlemania. And at least two of them
are future WON Hall of Famers, their roles
in this throwaway bout notwithstanding.

Kidman looks like El Hermano Del Dreamer.
His pinup days are long behind him. At this
rate he'll be lucky to avoid an F.B.I. cameo.
Tazz and Cole play up their heel announcer
vs face announcer schtick to try to generate
interest for the "also ran" invitational. Thanks
again, Jesse. I dont know what we'd do for
sports entertainment without your old clich.

The body of this match just lays around. Is
it my imagination or does the WWE sweeten
the sound less for the juniors? The crowd
eventually breaks into "rally time" clapping
for the faces. Dragon and Misterio respond
With some cool spots before taking it home.
Akio and Sakoda are interchangeable fodder.

Pauly Soprano lectures Silvio Dawnte about
Eddy Guerrero. I sense a turn coming. Either
that or Silvio just ate some bad capicola.

The World's Most Overrated Tag Team hits
the ring in APA costumes to cut an MCI
"pin drop" Commercial. Everything dies a
thousand deaths until the mention of Georgia
gets a mild pop. A subsequent incest joke
gets a mild boo and puts the crowd back to
sleep until a spontaneous "you suck" chant
erupts, not in response to a specific joke, but
in response to bad lines and worse delivery.

The TWoMOTT starts singing. The "real"
APA lumbers in, but the Bashams show up
to help TWoMOTT beat down the APA.
Rikishi and Scotty finally run in to run off
the heels after the damage is done. Was
this a match or what? Did Heyman clear
that long promo? Who's writing this shit?

Coming up next... the A-Train.


John Cena comes to the ring. Cena cuts
his usual hip hop promo. He mentions
the WWE cutting out his lines, a notion
that might have been effective if the
punchline had been bleeped out on UPN.

Prince Albert levels Cena with a shoulder
block. Cena is a guy who writes checks
his ass can't cash, except he's a babyface.
Get it? Me neither. Cena takes charge
after yet another missed clothesline.
That transition never, ever gets old.

A-Train hits the elbow drop to the leg after
accidentally letting go of the leg. He must
be studying old David Von Erich matches.
Cena kicks A-Train into the post to save his
heavily braced knee and set up a mid-match
commercial break. I'm out of garlic bread
and fading fast. Time for Hersheys Kisses.

We return to rapper in peril. A-Train works
over Cena's knee. Cole notes this, but does
not mention the huge Stone Cold TM brace
on Cena's knee. Seems like an obvious plot
point to me. Cena fights back to a standing
position and throws a series of punches which
Cole describes As a "pound and ground attack"
even though both men are standing. Albert
misses a hippity hop kick in the corner. Cena
hits a hip hop fist drop and what Jim Ross
would call a "modified body slam" for the pin.

But before Cena can celebrate as we cut to
a commercial, "Big Show" the Giant comes
out to cut a promo setting up his match with
Cena at Wrestlemania. Paul Wight has some
comedic talent, but he ignores that to cut a
serious, deadly dull promo that leaves the
"Word Life" kid speechless in the ring.

I'll ask again, is Heyman writing this shit
or is he hiding behind the human shields
in WWE creative? This "serious" approach
smacks of Heyman's influence, ignoring
whatever ability the performers bring to
the table in favor of "making it look real."

Pauly Soprano and Silvio Dawnte cut yet
another promo to set up the main event.
There isn't enough wine in Napa to make
this match appealing, but I've come too
far to turn back now, so I will press on.


Cole and Tazz introduce a promo for the
upcoming WWE Hall of Fame inductions.
I want to know who got ballots, but after
taking Scott Williams advice and thinking
for a bit, I realize publishing such a list
isn't feasible. I'll say this though, if Dave
Meltzer had been born ten years earlier,
Don Muraco would be in the WON HOF.

Pauly Soprano comes to the ring to face
Eddy Guerrero. Eddy is reluctant about
letting the referee cuff his hands, but the
referee knows "no" means "yes" because
Eddy went to the trouble of taping up his
hands and wrists to prepare for the cuffs.
Maybe Eddy should have watched Mel
Gibson's "Passion" to see how to do this
right. No second thoughts, please.

Heyman throws a "modified" punch so
wwful that even the WWE's clichd
camera cut can't hide Heyman missing
Eddy's head and punching his own open
hand to make a slapping sound. This
is why choads from creative shouldn't
be involved in in-ring action, but try
making the obvious comparison with
Vince Russo to Heyman's legions of
sycophants in the dirtsheet industry.

Eddy ducks a couple of punches and
fires back with kicks and headbutts.
Heyman crawls away, wild-eyed.
Now Heyman looks more like the
late Gordon Jump, an improvement
since he is supposed to be a stooge.

Heyman waddles up the ramp past
Eddy's low rider, then Kurt Angle
steps out onto the ramp. Eddy plays
horror film damsel in distress,
fumbling with his handcuffs and
looking around helplessly while
Angle slowly removes his shirt.

This segment grinds to a halt as
Angle stalks Guerrero. My mind
starts to wander. Where are all
the SmackDown! babyfaces?
What happened to Rikishi and
Scotty? Don't they care as much
about Eddy as they did about the
APA, or are they on their way to
their shared room at Motel 6?

Angle gives Eddy the slow, mild
stomping of his life. Tazz tells
Eddy to stay down. Maybe Tazz is
as tired of this booring segment
as I am. Eddy struggles to his
feet and yells "C'mon, hit me!"
Angle drops Eddy with a single
beltshot. No commentary. Just
as I thought, Tazz and Cole are
halfway to their rental car.

The show closes with Angle rampant
and Eddy laid out in the middle of
the ring. In the old days the WWE
would have staged a cheesy comeback
where the babyface laid out the heel
after the cameras stopped rolling to
protect himself and send the crowd
home happy. Oddly enough the WWE
seems to have dumped this gimmick.

I heartily recommend the Benziger
2001 Merlot from Sonoma County.
It doesn't make bad wrestling more
watchable, but it tastes really good.

As for SmackDown!, the WWE did
just what they needed to do to set up
Wrestlemania. They showed their
fans that if they want to see good
wrestling, they have to pay for it.



"On Thursday night everythings fine
WWE fans just drinkin' that wine
Watchin' SmackDown! is sure delight
When they get slop drunk they can watch all night
SmackDown! Spo-Dee-O-Dee! Drinkin' Wine.
SmackDown! Spo-Dee-O-Dee! Drinkin' Wine.
SmackDown! Spo-Dee-O-Dee!
Pass that bottle to me!"
- Jerry Lee Jewett
Promote this thread!
This Is Just Wrong

Since: 17.12.03
From: Toronto

Since last post: 5399 days
Last activity: 5344 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
ok, what the hell is this?
Big Brother

Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 3 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
    Originally posted by This Is Just Wrong
    ok, what the hell is this?
Why don't you try reading it again?

Boston Idol

Since: 17.2.03
From: San Jose, CA

Since last post: 4386 days
Last activity: 4179 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
> ok, what the hell is this?

Fair question.

It's not a parody of DEAN~!, though I could understand
wondering if it was. I didn't read DEAN'S~! "Schlitz"
review until after I had finished and posted my review
over on tOA. I would have cross-posted it here sooner,
but I was having trouble accessing my old W account.

It's also not meant to be an indictment of pro wrestling.
Before anyone asks "why do you watch it if you hate it",
the answer is that I don't hate pro wrestling. I'm not
necessary fond of the rushed, loose, spot heavy style
that I saw on Thursday night, but I wouldn't know that
if it didn't actually watch it for myself on occaision.

Reviews of this show at,, and here
at W were remarkably positive, so if I hadn't seen it
for myself I might have though I was missing something
good. Sadly I can't agree with those other reviewers.

But I'm not here to kill anyone's buzz. I tried to
include humor and observations without being totally
heavyhanded or trying to break down every bad segment.

If I had to pick one thing as an obvious flaw in the
booking and execution, it would be positioning Brock
Lesnar as a heel opposite Goldberg. I'm not a big fan
of either man, but since Goldberg is supposedly leaving
they should have tried to make him the heel opposite
whoever they wanted to be their franchise babyface.

If I could turn back time...

Goldberg wins title at first PPV after Mania 2003.

Goldberg blows through various heel challengers who
have been built up by beating top babyfaces except
the one chosen to be the next SmackDown! franchise.

Goldberg regularly teams with the next franchise
babyface (think once a month or so) on SmackDown!
They also save each other from heel beatdowns as
needed and generally become the best of friends.

Goldberg runs out of heels and while cutting a
promo with his friend at his side utters the old
phrase "who's next", but this time his babyface
friend says "what about me? I've always wanted
the opportunity to test myself against you."

A face vs face matchup is booked for the last
SmackDown! PPV prior to the Royal Rumble. A
clean, hard fought match ends with Goldberg
getting a tainted win after interference by
a midcard heel. Goldberg's friend, and I'll
just assume it's Lesnar from now on, asks
for a restart, but Goldberg just takes his
title and leaves.

On the next SmackDown!, Lesnar challenges
Goldberg to a rematch at the Royal Rumble,
but Goldberg declines, saying "I gave you
your shot" and then names the midcard heel
as his next rival.

Lesnar wins the Rumble match and declares
that he wants Goldberg at Wrestlemania.

Insert various heat generating tactics as
needed. The point is that Goldberg should
have been made to look like he wimped out
to turn him heel against the next SmackDown!
franchise, be it Lesnar, Angle, Eddy or
whoever you want.

It makes no sense to send the guy fans like
packing after Mania, especially if you never
plan to bring him back again.


Since: 3.2.04
From: west covina, CA

Since last post: 3716 days
Last activity: 3716 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.38
CZR, please do your thing with this thread, it's giving me a headache.
Big Brother

Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 3 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
    Originally posted by jerkflavorkoolaid
    CZR, please do your thing with this thread, it's giving me a headache.
Okay, you're banned. So's that other guy. Happy? I know *I* am! :)

Thread rated: 5.80
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I refuse to accept that any nine-year-old boy in Italy prefers wrestling to soccer (boy, I hate using that term). Call me old fashioned, call me naive, call me whatever, but I just don't believe it.
- Spank E, Italy loves WWE (2006)
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