Real Name: Gerard Leggett Age: 17 From: Dublin, Ireland Nickname: Leggo Favourite Wrestler (this week): Uh, Bob Ryder... Magic 8-Ball, will this news report have more than 200 readers this week: Outlook not good PW Writer Since: December 2002 E-mail:Leggo@powerwrestling.com
I’m still trying to come up with a winning formula for this baby so, over the next few weeks, expect me to throw a lot of stuff at the wall. You think something’s stuck, email me at the addy above and let me know. Oh yeah, the non-wrestling section is gone until further notice for the simple reason that it only ended up being a movie review section anyway, Charles gets a promotion to second from top segment in reward for his good work and I got a whole other bunch of stuff lined up for testing.
I like this week’s report. You’ll note that it’s long, but hey, an hour reading me is better than reading ten Taking No Prisoners so stick around and enjoy.
THE OBLIGATORY PRE-PAY-PER VIEW HYPE SEGMENT
I’m beginning to think that Trips was shooting when he said that the chances of Benoit retaining the belt at Backlash were ‘impossible’. I mean, it’s not like WWE would’ve lied to us, or even misled us into believing that Benoit would retain. They slyly told us, plain and simple. They put the belt on Benoit and decided that he’d been champ long enough for the time being, why should we complain?
To me, it seems far more likely as Backlash draws near that the WrestleMania win was not the ushering of a new era on RAW as we suspected. Well, not in terms of Benoit anyway. Something tells me that they’re grooming Edge to be their new boy, and it’ll probably be the Edge match that kicks us off this Sunday. When Bischoff first announced this, inevitable styles clash apart, I was excited. The Edge/Kane match in it’s original form, to me, represented everything a pay-per view match should do. In one corner, you have the returning superstar with money written all over him. Across the ring: the monster. Neither can job cleanly, so how the eventuality of the three count transpires is an immediately unpredictability factor to the show. Would there be a clean win and how would it happen? Would someone like, say, Rhyno interfere and take responsibility for the attack that took Edge out last year, costing him his return match in the process? Instead, WWE took the easy way out by adding a cast to the play and making the finish about as obvious as a Cam Ritchie column.
But Edge isn’t the only ‘boy’ WWE seem to be grooming. Ohhh no, if that was the case then this segue would make no sense. Shelton Benjamin is looking to take his next step on the road past Booker-T and Rob van Dam in a match with Ric Flair. Now while the result is hardly a doubt, the intrigue factor in the match is instead given by how Shelton will carry Ric Flair. Yes. CARRY RIC FLAIR. Flair’s no longer skilful or verile enough to cover for half-assers in the ring, so this match will be a true test for Shelton. If it bombs thanks to him Luger-ing it, perhaps his career will to in one swift instant. After all, the threat of Matt Hardy taking your spot can be administered to anyone in Shelton’s position, the boy should think himself lucky to be getting everything so fast. Sunday, he’s going to have to earn his stripes.
Speaking of stripes, remember when Chris Jericho wore those tights that were striped (ugh, this can only get worse). Well stripey’s got another test this Sunday, AND IT AIN’T FROM THE FASHION POLICE ITELLYA! Nope siree, this Sunday sees Jericho square off against long-time friends, first-time enemies Christian and Trish Stratus in the bisexual’s dream match (not that I am or anything…or that there’s anything wrong with that sort of thing…I know one…Nice guy…). I really wish I could be psyched for anything about this other than the sweet pieces of ass on display (…on Trish of course…), but I’m not. Really, we’ve seen the best Christian/Jericho match at WM and, while easily treading in three-and-a-half-star territory, it just didn’t leave me gasping for more. Sure Trish can hold her own part in the match, no worries there, but it just doesn’t scream PAY FOR ME. To me anyway. Maybe I’m just a negativity whore though and will be proved wrong.
Of course, as Jericho pointed out on Monday, the reason Trish was in this match in the first place is because she just wasn’t good enough for the Women’s title match, losing in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-half-of-it Women’s #1 contenders battle royal two (or three?) weeks ago on RAW. Now it’ll be Lita vs. Victoria with the Women’s Title up for grabs. Apparently knowing something we don’t, Lita’s been very upbeat about her matches with Victoria in interviews, saying in one, “Damn that girl makes me feel like it’s 2000 all over, and I’m not talking about in the ring. Eh? Eh?” Yes Lita. Eh. The two did pull off a decent little shindig in RAW Roulette a couple months ago when they were put in a steel cage, but nothing would indicate a repeat of fortunes here except for Lita’s SLIGHTLY less sloppy ring work as of late. Storylines would dictate that Lita wins the belt here as a means of getting it onto Trish, with a feud between the two burgeoning, so that’s my pick.
Okay so …pick…AHA…Remember Rock made Kevin Kelly pick his nose? Well last month Rock teamed with Mick Foley, who on Sunday will revert to his original alter ego Cactus Jack when he challenges Randy Orton for the Intercontinental Title. Considering Foley’s talked about how he’d like to be the one to make Orton a star, this is another match without doubt in the outcome for us here smarts. Then again, WWE does like to give their wrestlers ‘salute victories’ in matches like these for whatever reason (see HBK/Y2J from WMXIX. God I’m sounding like Jericho now). Can you see any flaws to this angle? I sure as hell can’t, so figures we’re do one and prolonging it seems just like the WWE way of (man)handling the situation, so I half-expect Foley to go over here, although I’m not committing myself so I can claim I was right whomever the winner. MUWUHAHAHAHAHA!
Speaking of evil laughter, why do the bad guys in kung-fu movies always laugh the exact same way? One person who might be able to tell you is Japanese Buzzsaw, Tajiri, who just happens to be taking on resident Sunday Night Heat commentator, Jonathan ‘Coach’ Coachman on Sunday. I could complain, but really why bother? I mean, it’s getting Tajiri a PPV spot in a non-cruiserweight situation and both men have the charisma to pull off an entertaining little match to transition the two main events. Plus it could lead to a re-match from Monday between Tajiri and Al Snow in a match that was EXCELLENT while it lasted. Huzzah for Coach.
And so we reach our main event. An event too important for silly segues. Folks, it’s the Final Encounter (in 2004), it’s Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H and I think we all know that based on logistics and the fact that he got the fall on the show before the PPV, Shawn has no chance of winning. This leads us down to the resident Adolf Hitler of RAW versus Monday Night’s answer to Martin Luther King. Now everyone wants and believes Benoit will win, but I can’t see it. I mean, where does he go from there? Sure a Shawn Michaels feud going into Bad Blood would be great, and it would mean that when RAW comes here in May we’ll likely get to see an advanced screening, but they can easily go non-title. Keeping the belt on Benoit leaves both Triple H and Edge in the cold. If they have Trips go over, they have a direct antagonist to Edge as he completes his return with a World Title reign, which is undoubtedly the route WWE is going to go with him. They can give Benoit back the belt anytime, he’s had it now and is established in the main event. More urgent matters are at hand. Hey I’m with all of you in having enough of Trips as champ, but I just can’t see it ending any other way.
CHARLES’ CORNER Sell it to Me, Baby One of the most important things in all of wrestling in my mind, to help viewers 'believe' the in-ring action, is the 'sell'. Making it look like you've been hurt, and maybe even hurt bad, by what your opponent is doing to you. And, obviously, while all of the top WWE Superstars are good at selling, it's the *little* things that can be missed, that distinguish the REAL sellers from those more going through the motions.
Another way to say it, is, 'it's the little things that count'. After all... anyone can groan in agony and hold their midsection when punched there. Anyone can go 'AH!' when Ric Flair chops them across the chest... but what I'd like to do right now is point out those little extra tidbits that can make a match just THAT much more 'visually correct', as it were.
For instance... I've seen it said here on PW at one time that Booker T's axe-kick takes 'too long to set up'. Therefore, it looks 'phony'. Ah! But... not if the person TAKING the axe-kick helps set it up!
After all... which looks 'better'...?
The Book kicks someone in the midsection, and they bend over. And. ...
Waiting. For the axe-kick.
Compare that to...
Someone takes a kick in the gut... they bend over. They stagger back, down to one knee maybe, then stand back up. They hold their midsection, and writhe a bit. They make it LOOK like they're in agony and not just WAITING for the 'finisher'.
*That* is selling it to me, baby!
It's the little things that can really, REALLY help a match seem better. The above example was one. Another, is a specific person whom I mentioned last week. Bubba-Ray Dudley. Remember the days when Jeff Hardy was in the WWE? One of his famous moves was the 'Whisper in the Wind', where he'd get slingshotted toward the corner... Jeff would climb the ropes, and do a twisting backflip onto his opponents.
Sometimes... well, sometimes, Jeff would take a moment to properly right himself on the way up the ropes. Nothing he could really do about that. But the person who 'slingshotted' him to the ropes... most would just sit there. Stare. And...... wait.
Bubba used to turn around when he slung Jeff toward the corner. Like he was putting his ALL into whipping him into that corner, as HARD as could be. He'd take a bit of time in that spin... then take a moment to 'look' for Jeff, like he lost track of him. And in that time Jeff managed to orient himself, then deliver the Whisper! Again... we've made a potentially 'unbelievable and slow move' look *better*.
Now, I'm the first to say I can miss things and forget things, too. But in my mind... Bubba, Christian, Jericho, Eddie, Benoit, and the Undertaker are the ones that come to mind immediately that are 'expert sellers'. I'm sure some will disagree with me, and I'm sure some people could think of other examples, but those are the ones *I* have to mention at the moment. Those who go the little 'extra mile' to not only make their opponent but the whole *match* better. And there's some other people in this equation, too, that seem to have lost a bit of the art of selling...
Remember the days when someone would slap a sleeper-hold on, and they'd wear down their opponent. Then over comes the ref! Asking... asking... asking, if the person wants to give up!
These days, the 'sleep-ee' usually just slowly powers out. BUT! Ah, for those old like me... there USED to be a day more often when the ref's would grab the sleep-ee's arm! Raise it.... drop! One! ... Raise it... drop! TWO!... Raise it... dro---...NO! up the arm came, clenched fist signaling the comeback!!!
Now, maybe some people got tired of that. Maybe the WWE itself cut it out to save time in matches. Or... maybe. Maybe it's just a lost art, these days. But it's one in my mind that DESERVES to be as much a part of the match as any other good sell. Wrestlers aren't the only ones who need to sell things to us, the Ref's need to keep up their part, too, and I for one like seeing a good ref, as much as a good match. When it all comes together for a great match...
I've been sold!
'Awesome PW-Ite', PW Fan Forever, and the 'PW Beast', -Charles- LATER! ; D
THE THINGS I DO…
On Tuesday, the annual Divas on Holiday magazine comes out for those too cheap or lazy to buy porn. Ah so many memories come flooding back (pun very much intended, alllright!) with these magazines as I had some good times before I discovered squirter girls online. So, in the tradition of it all, yours truly has made the ultimate sacrifice and checked out the teaser (read: shows everything but the text, and who reads that anyway?) website and rated this year’s lucky inductees in my personal preference order for you, Johnny Virgin (hey I am too, but at least I’m not 26). In descending order:
14. Jacqueline Really, why bother? Is Jackie meant to bring in the black, middle-aged man demographic? Why not just hire some chick from a random rap video and have her shake it like a Polaroid picture during JR’s and King’s post match debates. Now that I think of it, hiring some ghetto chick would be an AWESOME angle. She could bang John Cena and then tell JC he’s pregnant, but just as he’s contemplating quitting the ring in order to raise his new found child, ghetto chick (let’s call her Laticia), goes into labour at three months and has the kid, telling John that it was just REALLY premature. John shows Laticia the door but she comes back with her ‘boys’, who take Cena out in a drive-by, sparking the ‘Who Shot JC?’ angle that’ll revolutionise WWE and television as we know it…Not with Jackie though.
13. Jazz Now see there’s always been something with Jazz that’s had me thinking ‘Heh, I would given the chance’. She looks like the lion out of the original Wizard of Oz movie, but she’s still doing something right. Maybe it’s just that while banging her you probably wouldn’t know whether to say her name or tap out, I dunno.
12. Lita When she wore T-Backs and took off her top as soon as the fans chanted ‘Lita!’, I would, but since she came back, it’s not only her wrestling skills that have gone DOWN-hill. Her ass has either flat-lined or else the thong distracted me, but Lita doesn’t do anything for me anymore. Also she sounds like a giraffe crying.
11. Ivory At times I look at her like ‘DAMN!’, but most of the time it’s just meh. Seems like a girl you’d have a chance with in a club considering she’s 40, probably horny and looking for young blood. Hey I got that in abundance. Nothing special.
10. Stacy Keibler I’m not a leg man and would rather do this lookalike than the real thing. No ta-tas=No appeal. Of course her ADORABLE face redeems here above the previous four.
9. Molly Holly Molly’s becoming somewhat of a cult heroine around here since she dropped the whole ‘fat ass’ gig, although I can’t say that I got into her until hearing her speak on Byte This. Oh yeah her face is nice and her body is o-kay, but she’s just an average looking chick that I probably wouldn’t look at twice in passing. Then when I heard her speak, she won me over. I don’t know, but nice voices can have a LOT of pull with me. In pure vocal hotness, Trish probably has the market, but with Molly you have the whole ‘get freaky with the girl next door’ aspect that scores her some major points.
8. Sable Easily the best looking face on the roster. Her body’s too spindly though and it doesn’t seem as if she’d get as freaky as porn poses like this would let on.
7. Nidia Don’t ask why she’s so high. She just is. I can’t explain it.
6. Gail Kim If I worked in WWE, Gail is probably who I’d spend most of my time trying to get stuck into. She’s WELL doable, yet accessible. And Asian. Why do men dig Asian girls so much? I don’t know but I’m digging.
5. Jackie Gayda The Missy Hyatt/Sunny of 2004, probably minus the coke but double the easiness if Tough Enough 2 is any indication. Seems like the sort of girl you wouldn’t want any sort of relationship with though for fear, no wait, knowledge that she’d be banging about six other men at the same time.
4. Torrie Wilson Looks fun to play with, but like Sable doesn’t seem as freaky as she lets on. I’d say she could actually get quite boring and played after a while.
3. Victoria You just know she knows what she’s doing when her clothes comes off. None of her pics in the collection really do it for me, but then some others are hotter than any other I’ve seen of a diva.
2. Dawn Marie Undoubtedly blew her way to the top and has an edge over Sable and Torrie in the believably freaky stakes.
1. Trish Just look. Any self-respecting male (and female now that you mention it) wrestling fan should’ve seen this pic of her in the shower with Torrie Wilson and, although it’s doctored without a doubt, that won Trish my heart forevermore. Wow. You want 2,000 words on why she’s hot, read a Hyatte column, ANY OF THEM, guys got an endless list of superlatives for the girl, but I’m just leaving it at…wow.
I HEARD IT THROUGH THE NEWSLINE
Stone Cold Steve Austin has officially parted ways with WWE. WWE.com had this to say on the matter:
After months of negotiations, the WWE and Steve Austin have been unable to come to terms on a new contract and as a result have mutually agreed to part company.
Both parties have left the door open to work together again in the future and the WWE wishes Steve the very best in his future endeavors.
Of course if you had been good little boys and girls, you’d know my thoughts on the situation after reading last week’s column.
Ultimo Dragon will imminently be taking a leave of absence and returning to his native Japan to work in his upstart fed Toryumon and help out in his wrestling school. I think we all see this as the ‘give Ultimo something to do until his contract runs out’ ploy that it is. Sad really, but I don’t watch Velocity so I’ll live.
LOCKER ROOM RAT AJ Styles is at it again. Well, not really, but NWA President and Styles’ agent, Bill Behrens, has been causing a ruckus in the NWA board room (read: stable) over bookings for the former NWA World Champion. Turns out NWA promoter, Rich Arpin, had Styles booked for a show on July 4th, only for Behrens to rescind that booking, citing a bogus clause in Styles’ contract and booking Styles in a TNA-related event in the Netherlands on the same day. Turns out WRESTLING WEBSITE RAT, Bob Ryder, landed his boss in it informing Arpin of the non-clause leading Arpin to have heat with Behrens over selling out an NWA member and instead going after the big bucks. Wow, and you thought wrestling political scandals couldn’t get more mundane.
Bret Hart isn’t expected to show for Backlash. Just how long do you expect us to keep giving a crap Mr. Hart? Do you think that if you hold out for juuuuuuust a little bit longer we’ll forget all the hatred you’ve shown for VKM and how you said you’d never work for him again? It’s inevitable Bret, just pull a Sunny on WWE and come in, get out quickly, act like it ever happened then jump on Shawn Michaels for claiming differently.
Ric Flair’s attorney has informed us that he’s “pretty certain that there is a very different version of this story from the ones the plaintiffs are telling,” in regards to the Flight from Hell suit, which I discussed here. PRETTY SURE?! PRETTY F***IN’ SURE!?!?! Wow I bet Flair’s confident of winning this case…
Apparently Grandmaster Sexay’s return on RAW was the real deal and he wasn’t just brought in as a one-night JTTS. Big whoop?
This report seems to be gaining a reputation as some sort of a press office I see, with a couple emails headed my way looking for publication. N’kay..I guess that’ll work…So here’s what we’re gonna do. If you work for a small-time site and want to advertise looking for posts or just get the name of your site out, I’ll gladly oblige if you send me the email. The first-ever pro-wrestling classifieds eh? Well knowing how well things go when I ask the reader for help, it’ll probably never get off. Anyhoo…
There’s three wrestling rings up for sale on eBay. Bidding starts at $3,500 and there’s about 5 or so days left to get your hands on it if you’re interested. The ring is the same size as used in such shows as World Wrestling Federation Monday Night RAW and World Championship Wrestling Monday Nitro and, if you manage to buy one of these babies, Buff Bagwell will personally deliver it to your house and give you a wrestling match himself. He’ll even job if you pay him! Why don’t you give this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity a shot and click here to fulfil your dream TODAY.
Man if I don’t become a journalist I’m SOOOOOOO going into advertising. Next up is an announcement from the returning Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame.
For immediate release:
The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame will be holding the 2004 Induction the weekend of May 7th & 8th in Schenectady, N.Y. There will be a golf outing Friday morning, May 7th at the at the Stadium Golf Club, Jackson Ave., followed by a V.I.P reception at the Holiday Inn in Schenectady, N.Y.. For information on the golf outing contact Mark Keefe at (518)274-7240.
Friday evening Northeast Championship Wrestling will be holding a show at the Pat Riley Gym, Schenectady High School on The Plaza. Bell time will be at 7 pm. For information on the show contact Gene Petit at (908)672-2369.
Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm there will be a convention at the Holiday Inn, 100 Nott Terrace in Schenectady, N.Y. No admission will be charge to the public.
A Meet & Greet will be held from 3 pm to 4 pm also at the Holiday Inn. Admission is $10 to enter. For information on the convention or meet & greet contact Mike Capano at (518)725-5272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, May 8th starting at 6 pm, the induction dinner and ceremony will be held at the Holiday Inn, 100 Nott Terrace in Schenectady, N.Y. Tickets are $50. For details on the induction dinner and ceremony contact Tony Vellano at (518)356-3473 or email@example.com. The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum will be open Saturday and Sunday which is currently located at 123 Broadway in Schenectady, N.Y. No admission will be charged to visit the museum.
And that’s quite enough of that. Remember, got news, let me know at Leggo@powerwrestling.com, and if it’s legit (or even sounds it, I’m desperate here), I’ll publish it.
Remember that this is recapped from the early morning British version of SmackDown, so I may miss out on some parts due to Sky’s anal editing rules.
- Footage of last week’s ULTRA-EXCITING conclusion to SmackDown airs. Cole then intentionally insults our intelligence by telling us upon introduction that we’re watching the ‘number one show in sports-entertainment’. Tonight, Rob van Dam takes on Booker-T, because obviously pleasing Indianapolis is more important than making money on this feud.
- Eddie kicks us off, wondering why his dreams of being WWE Champion are somewhat unfulfilled as of yet. Kurt’s been blowing up his phone all week demanding he apologise. He doesn’t have a problem with apologising, but he does have a problem with John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield being considered a great American. Eddie gives his definition of what being American all about. In America, you know how they get the women? (Shakes tongue) JBL isn’t a great American, he’s a great American sell-out. Money doesn’t make you smarter, better or classier than anybody (what is this? Barney?). A presidential campaign-like video package airs, running down Eddie and praising Bradshaw. Eddie admits to lying, cheating and stealing, but that’s okay. Bradshaw THROWS MONEY INTO PEOPLE’S FACES. Eddie’s like a Hispanic Robin Hood. El Robin. Robin wants a match right here, right now, but instead of getting Bradshaw (tell me of one time that’s worked) he gets Kurt Angle. Angle gives him the match, but a bull-horned limo with a JBL inside it interrupts and Bradshaw moans about being tired from campaigning all week. Campaigning for WHAT exactly? He’s been kissing babies (LOL ILL PRETEND U SAID 18) and some baby-mommas all week, and has a better course of action for tonight, which he whispers into Angle’s ear. Angle agrees with him and declares that the long-awaited Eddie/JBL match will be at Judgment Day, not tonight, as tonight Eddie will be facing, THE BIG SHOW!
~ Break ~
- The latest reality show craze over here comes in the form of the ‘Million Dollar Hoax’ where people convince they’re families that they’ve won the lotto. WHAT can possibly go RIGHT about that scenario for the contestants?
- Backstage, Kurt and Bradshaw laugh evilly over their dastardly plan when Big Show walks in and protests about his match tonight being non-title. He hushes our dastardly heels and figures that the only reason he was chosen was because he can get the job done, whereas Angle and JBL can’t. In fact, he’s so confident that if he doesn’t win tonight, he’ll quit.
John Cena defeated Chavo Guerrero via pinfall at 05:42 in a non-title Champion vs. Champion match (*3/4) Cena’s got a pretty bad case of rapper’s block if tonight is anything to go by, spouting off two pitiful lines garnering cheap pops from the Indiana faithful. Chavo interrupted him conveniently and we were underway. Things were going Cena’s way until, well let’s let Cole and Tazz explain:
Cole: (Chavo Sr.) just hit him with his shoe. Tazz: Actually, that’s his boot. Cole: Yeah you’d know a lot about cowboy boots right? Tazz: …How?…I’m from Brooklyn. Cole: And now Chavo into the ring. Tazz: Yeah good comeback I think.
I don’t care if ya think I’m some pimply-face nerd living in my mother’s basement, I love ya sometimes Tazz. The match was decent, if a little run through the motions, with Chavo dominating until Cena fought back and hit the deadly thug rapper combo (Throwback, Five-Knuckle Shuffle and F-U) to win.
- We took a look at RVD’s and Booker-T’s first nights on SmackDown.
- Renee Dupree was dining with Fifi in the old ‘Allo ‘Allo restaurant, airing his thoughts on the US. He doesn’t like them y’know. Next week, he’s going to debut the ‘Café de Renee’ segment and his first guest will be Torrie Wilson. Is it really a good idea to give a guy still not completely proven on the mic an interview segment of his own?
- Backstage, Charlie Haas is stretching prior to his match when Jamie Noble walks by and scares him with tales of Rico’s ring prowess. Haas isn’t in the mood and walks off as Noble warns him not to let Rico get him from behind. He walks into Nunzio and gets a slap on the ass for good luck. LOL?
Rico defeated Charlie Haas via count-out at 04:30 (**) I don’t care what you say: I like Rico. He can work his gimmick and does so with more vigour than probably anyone else could. It’ll probably keep him in a job for the rest of his career. Cole was verbally drooling over Rico for the matches entirety, telling Tazz how he loves his flamboyance and panache. I’m not even usually jumping on Cole’s gayness, but it was really noticeable here, and not in a good way. Rico’s repertoire for the match was based around his little ways, and credit to Haas, he was perfect selling his simultaneous shock, horror and anger. The end happened after Rico kissed Haas, causing Charlie to duck out of the ring and gag as Rico showed off his pink thong resulting in a count-out. I can see Scott Keith’s report now, “This doesn’t belong in a wrestling ring etc. etc. etc.,” but hell, it was something different and it entertained me enough to garner it’s two stars.
- JBL thanked Show backstage and promised him some pizza in appreciation, but Show’s not doing this for Bradshaw or Kurt, but for himself. He’s quitting for himself? He’s a dumbass.
Eddie Guerrero defeated Big Show via pinfall at 11:17 (**1/2) This eleven-minute little sleeper outdid the two men’s effort at No Mercy and turned out a nice mid-show breath of fresh air. The story worked for both men, with Eddie doing ANYTHING to try and take down Show (stomping on his foot and raking his chest air) and Show pummelling Eddie in the meantime. Not much juice for play-by-play however until Eddie was knocked out of the ring after a headbutt. As Show tried to pull him back in, El Robin put a wrench found underneath the ring into Show’s boot. Show took out the invading wrench and was reprimanded by the ref, who disarmed him allowing Eddie to low blow and DDT Show and follow up with the Frog Splash to win. Afterwards, Eddie led the obligatory ‘na,na,na,na goodbye’ chant to the dismal Big Show. It’d be funny if he tripped over Rico’s catwalk on the way out.
~ Break ~
- Does anyone watch Tru Calling for ANY other reason than Eliza Dushku?
- More highlights from RVD’s and Booker’s first night.
- Backstage, Big Show walked past Jan the make-up lady (does knowing her name and being entertained by Rico make me gay?) and Torrie Wilson laughing and got in Torrie’s face, demanding to know what she was laughing at. She told him it was a joke and Show apologised. A scared Torrie then left. Why was she here anyway? Does she just show up at the arena, get make-up and leave?
- Teddy Long had an erection over Mark Jindrak in the ring, obviously forgetting his hatred of all things Caucasian. Speaking of Caucasian, you can’t get more white than Spike, who interrupted leading to this.
Mark Jindrak defeated Spike Dudley via pinfall at 01:40 (1/2*) As you can see from the amount of time elapsed in the match, not much to speak of. Jindrak hit an impressive dropkick to knock Spike off the top-rope. Cole is just plain pissing me off here tonight. Earlier he called Charlie Haas a wanksta (I don’t know either) and here he robbed a phrase from Bart Simpson that even Bart said had gotten old, telling Teddy Long cheering Jindrak on at ringside ‘not to have a cow’. Shortly afterwards, Jindrak countered a Dudley Dawg with his back suplex/uranage combo to win.
~ Break ~
- Are people deaf or just stupid nowadays? I’ve had too many arguments with my friends about whose better, I say D12 and their rebuttal is G-Unit. Yeaaaaaaaahh. Then again, these are the same people who think that Bizarre should go solo on a basis of his performance in ‘My Band’. You know, the song talking about how Eminem’s the only star in the group and how the rest are barely known. Oh yeah, that album would SELL!
- Highlights from last week’s RVD/Booker-T split. Apparently, being ‘Mr. Thursday Night’ is a highlight of Van Dam’s career. The match is NEXT.
- We REBOUND from RAW on SMACKDOWN and no, there’s still NO POINT AT ALL.
- During the break, Big Show turned over Torrie’s car. So now his profile reads: fat, stalker and woman beater. He’ll be a fully-fledged babyface by the time he comes back.
~ Break ~
- Fast Food Worker: Double Bacon Cheeseburger. Yeah it’s for a cop. Cop (joking): Yeah what are you going to do now, spit in it? Fast Food Worker: Yeah don’t spit in the cop’s burger. - Super Troopers
Rob van Dam defeated Booker-T via disqualification at 07:49 (**1/4) The match was over really before it got started. At times, both men’s work looked fluid and things were looking to gel, but it never got going. I guess it was an effort to hype the resulting blow-off at Bad Blood and really, that would be fine if it had been treated as such. I guess on paper I’m happy, but in practise it’s disappointing considering I had resigned myself to the fact that this would be blown-off prematurely tonight. Anyhoo, the match ended when Van Dam got tied up in the ropes and Booker hammered away on him despite referee Nick Patrick’s pleas to stop. He didn’t, busted open RVD, got disqualified and did the Spinaroonie. Show over? Oooohhh no.
- Conveniently enough, the cameras were running on Kurt Angle backstage when his random backstage stagehand informed him that Big Show was holding Torrie Wilson over a ledge and threatening to throw her off. Sure enough, there they were. Angle threatened Show to stop or there would be SERIOUS REPURCUSSIONS, so Show chokeslammed him off the ledge. See I told you he’d be a face before we know it.
My Two Cents: Are we meant to feel sorry for Kurt or be glad that our evil General Manager has been taken out? I think WWE are trying to make us side with the lesser of two evils, but it’s not clear. I mean, Show was cheered earlier for standing up to Kurt and Bradshaw, now that he did it again we’re supposed to hate him.
The show was a bit more like it. It was eventful and thus made fans feel they weren’t wasting their time. That said it wasn’t anything to write home about, but if you’re a wrestling fan, at least you got an incidental show as opposed to the throwaways that have become commonplace on Thursday nights. For your two hours, in return you were treated to a Champion vs. Champion match, Rico’s debut, the opposite for Big Show, a look at Mark Jindrak just in case you’d never caught him on RAW and the General Manager’s, uh, death.
The non-finish in the Booker/Van Dam match pissed me off. Now I’m not usually someone who’ll complain about non-finishes just because there wasn’t a clean pinfall or submission, as DQs and count-outs can be sufficient endings when suitable, for example in the Rico/Haas match, but it seemed as if the match was only hitting it’s stride when boom, the main event they had spent the evening building up was done with. They could’ve at least had the Big Show losing his job as the main event and slightly altered the situation leading to him taking out Angle, at least it would’ve felt more wholesome as the end of the show. The whole concluding half-hour just felt like one big anti-climax as it happened, and directly contradicted the feeling that this wasn’t just a show leading to an even bigger show (that, if you think about it, is just an extra 45 minutes long and you have to pay for it), and SmackDown can’t afford to do that unless they build an anticipation towards the bigger show. At the moment, the only match on the card is the title match, and you missed the continuation of that feud if you missed the first fifteen minutes. Saddest part is the first hour and a half did so well in conveying that this was a show in it’s own right, but the feeling we’re left with is a sunken one with thoughts of what could’ve been.
Overall, I enjoyed the show more than I perhaps indicated in my synopsis, but that only goes to prove my point of how detrimental the anti-climax ending was to an overall decent effort.
And I guess Mordecai isn’t coming to the UK after all.
This Week’s Rating: 3.7
Last Week’s Rating: 2.6
Average Rating: 3.4
THE DRESS DOWN
Some of you reading my via PW may remember ‘The Dress Down’ from my short stint on Q&A. Actually, you probably won’t as the week I introduced it was the ‘black week’ for me here at PW when I left and came back like 4-5 times. Anyway, the concept of The Dress Down never got off the ground.
It’s simple really. Someone…ANYONE has something to say I don’t agree with to the point of revulsion, I air it out with them in public. Now don’t expect any AIM convos saying “SHUT THE **** UP ****ING **** SUCKER” in here every week, this is going to professional and vicious. Also, this won’t be a weekly thing. I’ll vary this with the ‘Because There’s More to Life Than Wrestling’ segment and if I come up with another closer that’ll give me a chance to throw something out of my ass, I’ll mix that up with this anyway. Anyhoo, whatever I include is reliant on content so…bah what am I explaining myself for, just read.
If you read PW, you probably know Cameron Ritchie. Scratch that actually, chances are you’ve never heard of the guy and, if you clicked that link, don’t want to either. Cameron writes the Taking No Prisoners column I referenced at the top and it was this column that started things between us.
See over at the BIRTHPLACE OF INCIDENCE known as the PW Forums, I decided that perhaps we should actually have an incident. Thus the ‘I Hate You’ thread was born. Now before said thread was hijacked by a couple of people who belong to an ‘Internet Flaming Stable’ (I shit you not), it was actually a nice little bastion of controversy. One such controversial incident took place between myself and Cam, as we traded insults on each other’s respected columns.
Now anyone that knows me knows that I don’t take this sort of stuff seriously. I mean, even when the argument spilt out to the main site in Cam’s most recent instalment, it meant pretty much nada to me. Even at 17, I’ve heard just about it all as far as the creative Internet flaming society can get and, despite the fact that Cammy’s insults were slightly better worded than the usual ‘YOU SUCK DICK MAN’ crap some people will throw at you, it went right over my head. Instead, I’ve took issue with his column. Cam’s words are in italics, mine are regular text.
Taking No Prisoners :: The Devil, or the Internet, whichever.
Considering you’re right a column ON THE INTERNET, you’ve immediately aligned yourself to Satan. Nice going there chief.
Welcome, welcome to the greatest show on Earth. This obviously does not include any show featuring midget porn, or watching ‘Hardcore’ Gerard Legget in a ‘shoot’ fight! Because we all know that no one is as tough as the Gangsta from the Emerald Isle, the one and only potato muncher, the only Irish BOY who escaped Australia… Anyway apparently I am not being controversial enough in my columns, compared to the forums, so I decided I need a controversial topic. A topic which is so ‘dangerous’, ‘crazy’ and ‘rebellious’ that it may need to be censored, because I am a crazy controversial kind of guy.
NOOOO. Not. My. Nationality. Damn you know how to hit me where it hurts. Boy? Sorry I missed the memo on Internet writers having to be 18 or over, because lord knows us young ‘uns couldn’t understand such complex webs of storylines such as the ones detailed on RAW and SmackDown each week. I mean, Bradshaw’s latest gimmick has POLITICAL CONNOTATIONS! And have you seen Australia? Aside from the women, trust me there’s not a lot to live for.
As I am sure you have noticed the internet is about as popular as genital warts in wrestling circles. We post spoilers, we know too much, we find out their secrets, we know ‘backstage gossip’, in fact we are the scum of society. If there was one thing the wrestling world could eradicate, it unquestionably would be these vermin, vagabonds, vagrants (and poor users of alliteration) that occupy the internet.
Well here is a thought to the idiots running every wrestling company in the world: DON’T TELL ANYONE YOUR PLANS. How difficult is that? You tell someone you cannot trust and you expect them to keep quiet? There is more chance of Steve Austin leading a feminist revolution. Why would you tell someone your top secret plans. Keep to as few people as possible and the chances of it getting to the internet are significantly reduced. A radical thought perhaps, but perhaps the internet is not at fault, perhaps it is the stupidity and failure of people within the company to keep their own mouth shut. When the viewer does not know something there is a greater sense of anticipation, with few exceptions.
The Brock Lesnar/Goldberg match at WrestleMania XX was marred by the fact nearly every single fan knew neither man was hanging around after the match. Now admittedly the fans did find this out from the internet, but even if the internet did not exist it would be possible to read it in dirt sheets before the event. The internet is not at fault for the decline in wrestling viewers. If the WWE had not announced they had signed Goldberg to a one year contract, then the fans would not have known he was leaving. Simple logic really.
Yeah you’d think that wouldn’t you? Problem is, simply, that too many people have to know beforehand about these sort of things. For future storylines, both the wrestlers must know, the commentators and ring announcers must know, the producers must know etc. etc. etc. If one of these tell their families, and really it’s hardly unreasonable to tell your family about how work’s going and what you’re planning for the future, then it’s considered a leak. You also have to consider the possibility that perhaps wrestlers aren’t happy with their roles and could ring up the INSIDeRz as a means of venting their frustration at WWE. With some cash on the line in exchange for such a simple job as leaking in some instances, you have to figure that that’s a pretty handy way of earning a buck no? Sorry bud, your theory’s not go me so far. Keep going though, try showing me some facts perhaps.
FACT – Everyone who had more than a passing interest in wrestling knew certain men pulled the strings backstage. Be it Dusty Rhodes, Bill Watts or Vince McMahon.
True but what exactly does that have to do with anything?
FACT – Everyone knew politics existed. How do you explain Greg Vagne, Erik Watts and David Sammartino ever being given a chance in the ring.
Fact? That’s a fact by no means. I don’t know your story Cam, maybe you’re just one up on everyone else, but usually unless someone’s at least a tad bit clued into a situation, they wouldn’t suspect a thing. Non-net-going marks usually don’t know or care about politics and just take whatever they see as gold. I doubt ANYONE’S fantasy booked before in their lives before going online, and I say that knowing a strong casual wrestling fan contingent.
FACT – There was still spoilers for events.
Spoilers that weren’t exactly accessible at the click of a button.
FACT – There was still insider sources such as Apter.
Even kids who read Apter knew not to trust him on 50% of what he said, so that’s somewhat akin to saying such bullshit sites like Wrestlezone are insider sources because they picked up on the Lesnar story and ran it. Besides, even if the Apter mags were considered insiders, would they not be lumped in with the Internet? WWE don’t hate people who leak their stories because they have a particular dislike for the actual Internet, they’re just as likely to hate something being leaked on paper.
Blaming the internet is merely making a scapegoat. People would still know about things going on backstage, just as we did in the pre-internet era. Admittedly more people can find things out, but then again who exactly is forcing you to read a spoiler. Last time I logged on to the internet, there was not, repeat NOT, a man standing with a gun against my head forcing me to read spoilers. Strange that, no man with a revolver against my head screaming:
“CLICK THE SPOILERS AND READ THEM! OR I WILL KILL YOU AND RAPE YOUR DOG!”
Do people often threaten your dog with rape unless you do something?
The WWE and wrestling in general have two options they can consider now that the internet is becoming a household implement.
1. They leave things as they are. Fans become more and more disgruntled and decide against watching WWE/wrestling in general as it is too predictable and they tire of knowing about the backstage shenanigans. This is a strong possibility judging by the number of people being fed up of HHH, etc.
The Internet Wrestling Scene was born around 1992, when the WWE started to slump. Since then, WWE has gone through a recession, a boom period, another recession and WWE are anticipating another boom period in the near future. The Internet isn’t detrimental to the survival of the business.
2. Start trying to use the internet to their advantage. Posting fake spoilers on message boards. Tell people the results and then they turn out to be wrong. If you post something claiming that a big star such as The Rock will be on the next show you will get a short term spike in the ratings.
Alternatively if you do not tell them about a return there becomes an uncertainty and people will start to watch because they want to know what happens next. Spoilers on the internet have been around since the internet itself was created, that does not necessarily mean that there has not been shocking incidents during this time.
Cam, are you seriously trying to tell me that you think hot-shotting the fans on a return of a superstar will provide a ratings boost, you are a suicidal businessman. Reminds me of Andy Kauffman trying to get ratings by trying to convince viewers that they’re television was broken.
Let me just indulge your memory in a few of these ‘rare’ occasions, all of which have occurred since the internet became a popular scapegoat for television.
• The Rock becomes champion at Survivor Series 1998 – Deadly Game. The internet was established by this point, yet nobody knew The Rock was going to win the World title, instead everyone assumed that Mankind was already going to win the title. • The debut of Eric Bischoff on RAW. How many people knew about this? Very, very few. • Or how about the debut of Ric Flair on RAW after the demise of WCW? • The Sandman being blinded in ECW. For those unaware he was apparently blinded, only to make his comeback at Exit The Sandman and proceeded to tell everyone it was a swerve and Singapore Cane everyone in sight.
Three incredibly big moments in wrestling history during the post-internet era, let us also not forget the Screw job which was another momentous occasion. Still that ruins the idea that the internet is of greater evil than Hussein, Hitler and Mussolini combined so forget all of that.
The last three remained surprising for one reason and one reason alone. As I stated earlier, if you don’t tell everyone your plans, then nobody will know your plans. I know many of you will be struggling to understand this concept, especially those of you from Ireland, but let re-iterate: If you do not tell someone your plan, they will not know about your plan. I shall provide you a simple analogy.
If Thomas tells the police he is going to go on a murderous killing spree, they will know his plans. Alternatively if Thomas does not tell the police, they have no clue as to what is happening.
Thing is, Thomas doesn’t need to tell numerous people beforehand about this happening, so the chance of the police finding out are minimal. The reason the surprises you outlined above were surprises was because only those closely involved in the project needed to know, if you want to book long-term storylines you can’t possibly go this route as I outlined above. Oh yeah, and way to alienate a portion of your readership who don’t get the Leggo-Irish connection and just think you’re calling all Irish people dumb. Nice job stud!
People make out that the internet is too blame for the slump in wrestling and while I am not denying it is a factor, the blame should not be solely placed its feet. Magazines and the internet can provide spoilers for soap operas yet people still watch them religiously. So why is the wrestling industry in a slump while a soap opera like Coronation Street, Eastenders, (insert US Soap here) continue to be a success?
Good storylines, good acting and in wrestling good in-ring performances are still required to attract an audience. Even if you know a result you will still watch just to see how good the match is. Example being when Easy E told WCW viewers that Mick Foley was going to win the WWF Championship people flocked to see it. A spoiler can boost the ratings of a television show.
I’ve never heard anyone with an opinion I’ve respected blame spoilers for the slump in business, as we learned by the failure of your friend Bischoff to detract people from RAW, so basically you’re creating a hypothetical situation, arguing with yourself and confusing your readers. You are ON FIRE today.
In closing my friends, if you are to remember one thing from this column let it be this: “The internet is your friend.”
And by saying so, you’ve omitted the controversy that you promised at the top of the column considering that your readers already consider the Internet their friend.
The Artist Who Was Formerly Known as Chico420 and Then Known As Chico And Now Known As TAFKAC.
Well he made me laugh. I don’t know at what though. Was it a Scotsman calling himself Chico? Was it Cam calling himself an artist? Or was it Cam referring to himself as known? I don’t know, but good one buddy.
That’s about it for this week. I would promise that Jay and Ace will be here next week, but doing so would risk lying to my readership, and you’ve had enough of that with the column I’ve just dressed down, so I’m not going to do that.
Welcome, everyone, to the latest edition of Inside The Ropes. I'm Canadian Bulldog, the man who SINGLEHANDEDLY invented the Internet (don't ask; long story). We've got a lot to get to, so let's hop to it. But first, a quick poll: