If you know and read Powerwrestling.com, you might know that we USED to be Fox Sports’ official pro-wrestling website. As of May 2nd, we’ll no longer have that honour. Instead, you can probably count on nwatna.com of doing so. Seems like Fox didn’t want a site put in a position that can make their TNA project look bad, so we were expendable. For this reason, I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to publish my news reports in The W. If you want to read them, and the daily reports on PW along with a bunch of columnists that I’d stack up against any other site on the IWC in terms of writing talent, then read them at PW from now on. Please do too, your clicking on the site puts money in the pockets of the owners, and trust me that money goes right back into keeping the site up. I’ll still publish my L2C columns here whenever I write them if CRZ and Guru Zim allow me too, and I’d like to thank them for letting me contribute.
Oh yeah, and if you liked this column but thought it too long, I’ve decided to split it in half over the weekend. One on Saturday, one on Sunday. So now you’ll get me in smaller and probably better intervals. Today though, I’ll give you everything I’ve written for the whole weekend so far. Read whatever tickles your fancy. Enjoy and I hope that I’ll see you on PW.
THE STORM IS OVER, THE STORM IS O-VER NOW
Lance Storm is retired and, just when RAW that it was safe, it’s entire foundation came crumbling down. C’mon though people, Lance Storm? I know thousands of message boards will be crying as if missing him on Heat was any different than its going to be from now on, but it’s time to face facts that Lance just ain’t worth the hype. He was talent-enhancement from the get-go in WWE, and should consider himself lucky to ever grace a SummerSlam curtain jerker. Problem was: he somehow convinced himself that his Dungeon training made him some semblance of a household name and he deserved better than he got. Perhaps if he’d have shut up like Steven Richards, he could’ve at least earned himself a regular spot on Heat and, whenever he got placed on the RAW card, be given some sort of respect as opposed to the utter shit he was dealt instead.
But NOOO, Lance was trained by STU HART GODAMNYOU, and he deserves MAD PROPS. Sorry Lance, but you were always the odd one out in the last Dungeon class. You never had the flair and fluidity of Jericho, the work ethic or technical brilliance of Chris Benoit, the presence of Davey Boy Smith or the charisma mixed with natural ring dominance of the Hart brothers. Lance was a solid wrestler at best, but a wrestler who was always suited best when out of the spotlight, be it in a tag-team with Jericho or behind the pair of tits in Dawn Marie. Lance could get it done in the ring, as his last match reportedly confirmed, but once he signed the dotted line for the E, was never going anywhere fast.
The major problem with Lance was that amidst a sea of LOLs after unfunny attempted one-liners left an angry, egotistical and bitter man, as seen in his columns. He begrudgingly laid praise on others, with hope of it being reciprocated. He was WAY too outspoken for his spot (his problem with Brock getting a push should he return exemplifying this) and he always believed that he was dealt the bum hand his fellow Dungeon compadres weren’t. He, and all of his other Stormtroopers believed that WWE just didn’t ‘get’ him.
Now in the next five seconds, try think of a way YOU as a WWE writer would revitalise Lance Storm’s character. Five seconds too short? Well it really shouldn’t be seeing as everyone who is anyone in this community knows EXACTLY what misused wrestlers they would push, how they would do it and the effects of their stroke of ingenuity. Example: Rey Mysterio was recently told by management that they had no future plans for his character. EASY! Stick him against Bradshaw once Eddie’s done with him. I guarantee a better match than Eddie can drag out of him because here JBL will actually look the part of the bully he should AND Rey can play into the cruiserweight/heavyweight dynamic, whereas Eddie’s smaller physique has been downplayed to a dead issue since winning the gold. This doesn’t mean that WWE should’ve forgotten about Eddie’s smaller than average heavyweight build, but that perhaps Bradshaw would’ve been better suited to facing off with Rey first at J-Day, while Eddie’s angle with Big Show from a couple weeks ago was drawn out to the PPV.
Anyhoo, see what happens when you get one of us idiot smarts going. Point proven.
The thing with Lance Storm is that he’s one of those guys all of us like to call horribly misused, yet we are at a loss to come up with any surefire better use for him. Hence, he’s not a character that screams USE ME to the writers, especially when they’ve got to cater for thirty or so others who reek of potential money. Yet he constantly bitched, cried and moaned underhandedly in his online musings ad nauseum.
But all is not lost for our favourite Stormtrooper, Lance will still be able to impress some of his DUNGEON BUILT KNOWLEDGE on the kids down in Louisville as part of OVW. Good idea. Sure Lance couldn’t light a fire under anyone’s ass with a can of gas and a thousand matches, but it is his capability in the ring and his knowledge of setting the rhythm of a match on which guys with more natural charisma can latch onto and prosper. So all is not lost. It was just never meant to be for Lance.
The following is something that's a bit old, now... five or six months. But I still would like to think it provides some insights into wrestling, by the time the end is gotten to... and provides a slightly 'different point of view', that while I have seen on occasion here in PW... even here, it's something I don't see *often*. So... if those reading will 'indulge' me... I present the first of at least a two-part column, broken up due to size constraints.
The Fairer Sex
One thing that seems rare to find on internet wrestling websites, at least in my experience, is the point of view of the women. Maybe net sites for wrestling are mainly for male techno-geeks or something, or maybe they just don't have as loud a voice as the majority of males do. Whatever the case, I thought it would be interesting to pick the brains of some female fans to see if there's any considerable difference in 'how' they view wrestling and what they think of it.
And, as it just happens, I happen to know a couple lovely young ladies who are like sisters to me, and on top of that, both have more than a modicum of wrestling interest. So, without further adieu, I give you the viewpoint of a couple of ladies, for a look into 'the other side of wrestling', as it were... ::chuckles::
Our two guests are Synder, 23 years old, a wanna-be writer who's been watching wrestling for maybe about five or six years. Also, we have Jax, 21 years old, and an aspiring writer/artist/musician. She's been watching wrestling on and off most of her life, but regularly for the past three years or so.
Me: Synder. Was there any one thing in particular about wrestling that 'caught your eye' when you first saw it those five/six years ago? Related, was there a specific reason you remember why you watched, and then decided to tune in again next week? ::And don't be afraid to say 'the men look good without shirts', if that's the reason!:: ; D
Jax: ::Which it probably is. hee::
Me: ::If it's the truth, preach it baybee!:: ; D
Synder: The moves, maybe, might have drawn me in a bit more into watching wrestling. It really does just amaze me how the wrestlers will do just about anything for a good match. I think the main reason I started watching, though, was because I wanted to see Stone Cold. After that, the story lines pretty much kept my interest. But yeah, the shirtless guys don't hurt!
Me: ::Hee:: Same questions, in essence Jax. But for now, relate it in regards to when you started watching more 'regularly' three or so years ago. What caught your eye then/kept you around?
Jax: Er, Jeff Hardy dancing? Literally it was the first thing I saw, when Synder prodded me back into watching, and watching the Hardy Boys is the first thing that kept me going. I've always been more into WWE than WCW, but it was still around back then and I'd watch both, though WWE always seemed more polished to me. I was just about amazed to still see some of the guys like Undertaker around, and to really be getting my first taste of Stone Cold. Of course I knew a lot about him just from talk without really ever seeing much of him and it was awesome. The Storylines are neat too, though some of them seem silly, certain angles unbelievable, but a lot of them really grab you, and it's why you tune back in.
Me: ::Hee, good old Jeffers. And SOMEone sent her a themesong, too... hee!:: Thank you, perfect! Okay, first divergence of questions. (I.E., different one for each person). You both mentioned Stone Cold, but Synder, you specifically said 'you wanted to see him'. Remember *how* you heard of him in the first place?
Synder: Mostly talk I would hear around various places from people who did watch wrestling. I think a few times before I really got into it I saw him someplace on tv, possibly a commerical for WWE (WWF at the time, of course) and he just seemed to be interesting.
Me: ::Nods:: Thankee. May come back to that, but for now... Jax, you mentioned in your 'bio' that you've been watching wrestling on and off for most of your life. What's your earliest wrestling memories? What sort of names can you pull up to indicate when you got your 'official' first taste of wrestling?
Jax: I don't remember too well. ::snickers:: But I know for sure my first big time 'favorites' were Macho Man and Jake the Snake. I remember some Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair stuff from way back when too.
Me: Still allows for something of a time-frame! ::nods:: Synder, Jax mentioned WCW. Did you see much of it, when you got into wrestling? If so, any thoughts about that promotion or any people you saw?
Synder: I did originally watch WCW before WWE stole me away. I do agree with Jax, WWE does seem more polished. WCW had some good wrestlers but it could never really seem to keep my interest firmly enough.
Me: M'gonna go with that a moment before 'switching' to Jax again. Do you know why it couldn't keep your interest? Were the storylines or the wrestlers not as interesting? Was the in-ring action less intriguing to you? All of the above?
Synder: Likely a combination of them all.
Me: ::Chuckles:: Gotcha. Okay, Jax. To you... explain what you mean by the WWF(E) being more 'polished'. Storylines? Sets? In-ring action? Better looking wrestlers? Again, all of the above?
Jax: Yeah, pretty much all of the above. There were some guys in WCW I thought were underrated, and some I thought were seriously overrated *Goldbergcough*. But I think the WWE guys definately had more style in-ring, which is what kept me watching, though I watched WCW up until it crossed over to. My big comparison, which is kind of ironic considering the converging paths of their careers, would be Shannon Moore and Jeff Hardy. Obviously they have similar styles and do some of the same moves, but I never felt Shannon's heart was in it, where as with Jeff you always felt he was giving it his all.
Me: Interesting comparison! I've always felt the same about Sean Waltman/X-Pac. No question he's talented to some degree, and a 'real' martial artist, but aside from his 1-2-3 Kid days, I never thought he was 'giving it his all'. This has all been a good background and 'start', that I've appreciated. Giving a look into some of the 'behind the scenes' thoughts from the female mind... which, in my opinion... hasn't seemed all that different from a 'regular' fan. SO! Let's get to the nitty gritty, then. Synder. Being honest... how much a role DOES the fact these are, for the most part, well defined men in little clothing play, for you? If they were all, say, facially unappealing to you... would you still watch based on in-ring action and storylines alone?
Synder: Probably, so long as the story lines were interesting and the in-ring action captivating. If a particular move is enough to make me cringe in sympathy, I consider it a good attention getter.
Me: ::Hee, cringing is fun!:: Same question, Jax.
Jax: Well considering Kane is one of my favorites I'd have to say 'facially appealing' goes out the window a lot of times. But I'm with Synder on that one. It's why I still watch NWA when I can, even though there aren't any guys that get my attention in that way there. But hot shirtless guys certainly keeps the girls watching as much as the Diva's do the guys.
I'll end things there! So far, we're seeing that these two young women, at least, are as much interested in the in-ring action as *well* as how good the guys, look. One can draw you in... but if the in-ring is good enough... they don't need to be 'hot guys' for some women, at least. Next time, we'll see what their thoughts are on the *women* wrestlers, and if space allows, conclude things as well with our two lovely ladies!
'Awesome PW-Ite', PW Fan Forever, and 'The PW Beast', -Charles- LATER! ; D
Yeah it’s a recycled name from an old column of mine, but hey, you think of a better pun!
So this week I watched my first full TNA match believe it or not. In the past, I’d attempted to get some action off WinMX (on dial-up no less) and usually gave up, disheartened, after a week’s worth of downloading only gave me half of the matches. Since getting broadband, strangely enough all TNA action has disappeared leaving my only hope at EVER getting a look for myself in the special on-Demand offer they have going at NWA-TNA.com. For free, you can watch a match of their choice on your PC, so why not? Yesterday, I watched Sting take on Jeff Jarrett in a nice little ten minute flick from December last year, and know what? It sold me. When I eventually get some moolah, I’ve a list of 16 of their first 80 shows made out that I intend on buying at their somewhat reasonable price that should set me back around 110 euros. I consider that a sound investment. If anyone’s interested, the renowned Triple X/America’s Most Wanted cage match is on display right now and for the entire month of May. Check it out. I’ll be reviewing it next week and seeing if it was worth the hype given last year.
Now with that said, it DEPRESSED me to read the recaps this week and last. You know, I think Russo had us all fooled. He’d gone to NATIONAL PRESS for fuck sake and talked about how he had changed both behind the book AND personally. How anyone could see last week’s AJ Styles title victory as more than a masked bait and switch is beyond me. What does Russo get out of misleading fans that way? He had his PAYING customers emotionally invested in Chris Harris and his title quest, with promises of a good match after their reportedly solid showing from a few weeks ago, and yet he just pulls it for no discernable reason at the last minute. How must Harris feel? How must anyone who went out and bought AMW merchandise to support Harris’ mega-push feel? How does anyone who Russo had convinced about his change feel? I’m one of the latter and I’m pissed. I don’t care how loud Styles’ pop was, I don’t care how good the match was and I don’t care how much of a relief for TNA fans it is to see Jarrett off the top and the likes of Styles and Ron Killings on, if this is your case for last week’s actions being acceptable, then you’ve missed the boat. Russo hasn’t changed a bit. We all gave him a bit of leeway for plastering his face on TV again, because he seemed genuinely behind his character. We even let him throw in a few veiled shoot comments. If it was for the mighty cause, we could afford him these habits of old. It wasn’t.
Fast forward to this week. In an instance that I find myself scarily familiar with too often nowadays, I agreed with everything Dave Scherer and Buck Woodward said in a 13-minute diatribe on their Pro Wrestling Insider elite audio show. It STANK Russo. Or as Buck said, “It frustrated him,” which, if you listen to Buck a lot, know that they are strong words. First, you had the shoot interviews. You had Russo referencing actions outside TNA and demeaning the company itself. You had a [RANDOM ITEM] on a pole match. You had Erik Watts. In other words, it was too much of the same old crap Russo had us convinced he was done with. I’ve always maintained that TNA don’t have the resources to be a viable WWE competitor. Another PWI writer, Mike Johnson, said that TNA and RoH were not like WCW and ECW back in the day, but more like SMW and ECW respectively. I agree. Although I don’t see TNA being a success on turner-like levels (barring an unprecedented and unforeseen takeover by Billionaire Ted), they’re still a company I’d like to see do well and put out an entertaining product. It’s more wrestling. People who know me well online know that my passion for wrestling is only growing and if I can watch TNA AND WWE, with a bit of RoH as a special treat now and again, then great. I don’t want to watch Vince Russo’s masturbation sessions. I was lucky enough to avoid it in WCW (at least visually, I’ve been reading about it for seemingly forever since), and now I’m prepared. I don’t care if Styles is potentially the best pro-wrestler alive today and the only place I can watch him is on TNA, I won’t watch him under Russo’s circumstances.
Its time for TNA to make a decision. They sold me on 20% of their previous shows with ONE match yesterday, but as I read the recaps later that same day, managed to deter me from paying for any more of their shows in the near future, barring a massively impressive supercard with minimum Russo GUARANTEED. With the Fox deal in their pockets, do they want to please Vince Russo and Jeff Jarrett, or do they want to please Rupert Murdoch and the fans? It’s their call. It’s mine and Rupert’s (fucker) money.
I blew this off last week, although I did half watch it while flicking through ‘Have a Nice Day’ and, while it was the best episode since the pre-brand lotto episode (mainly due to Paul Heyman’s presence and the bong), the main event seemed to just drag and Café de Renee was HORRIBLY disappointing. And can someone tell me why WWE seems hell-bent on excommunicating itself from the rest of the world of wrestling? Be it JR’s comments on Japan on Byte This or blowing off the ENTIRE wrestling entity of Mexico by putting Paul London under a hood and calling him ‘Champion of Mexico’? WHAT exactly can they gain from doing this? Oh well, SmackDown’s starting, enough of my ranting about last week, its time for THIS WEEK on the GREATEST SPORTS-ENTERTAINMENT SHOW ON EARTH (on Thursday’s)…(on UPN)…(in that timeslot)…
- Speaking of offending people, Kurt Angle does his best Stephen Hawking impression as we kick off. The fans respond as you’d expect when he, a heel, was chokeslammed off a ledge by another heel and it was treated as a travesty. Do they cheer? Boo? ‘You Suck’ chants abound as Kurt hobbles up onto the steps with the help of BatistaTyson Tomko some big dude. Footage was shown of the drop that caused this, making it pretty difficult to see how his leg broke considering that he was dropped on his back. Kurt gets choked up in the ring (I wonder if he does Joey Tribbiani’s tweezers routine). He wanted everyone to know that he’s seen numerous doctors over the past couple of weeks and they’ve all told him that he’d never wrestle again. His knee is injured beyond repair, his internal injuries are irreparable, his life is over (BONG). But despite the pain, there was no way he wasn’t going to show in Oklahoma…because he wanted to confirm that the people are to blame for this. He goaded the audience, saying that they were a pack of bloodthirsty animals. Of course they cheered. He references the ‘I’m Still Alive’ show on UPN (whoa, there are other shows on UPN?), and compares himself to the people on the show who nearly died. He blames the fans, he blames Big Show, he blames…oh! And then there’s Torrie Wilson. He’s expecting a MAJOR blowjob in return for this, calling her out minus the music. FACE! Barbie Drama Queen makes her way out to the ring ahead of her match with Renee Dupree tonight. There’s only one person Kurt blames for all this (aside from the Big Show…and the thousands of fans): her. He orders her over to him (I told ya), sending Luther (?!) over to bring her. She’s not perfect. She’s pathetic. He can’t have sex with his wife anymore while she can prance around like nothing’s wrong with the world. She has a match with Renee Dupree, its no disqualification and its next. Lycra Girl acts (HA!) shocked as Luther (from that name alone you KNOW he blew Pat Patterson to get this gig) rolls Kurt on out of here, as he promises that he WILL get the last laugh.
~ Break ~
Renee Dupree and Torrie Wilson fought to a no contest (shudders, oh, and DUD)
Oh ENOUGH with the French ‘jokes’ Cole. He contrasts Dupree with the French Army: nowhere to be found when things get going. Well if I was Dupree I’d just say, “Hey, you were the people talking about how you didn’t need us and now you’re getting your collective pompous asses kicked.” Cena runs down and catfights with Dupree, who soon pussy’s out into the waiting paws of Fifi. Well then…I guess that’s that.
- Tonight, Rico and Charlie Haas defend against the Basham Brothers.
- Renee Dupree is backstage complaining to Kurtski about what happens, and Kurt adopts the Paul Heyman ‘anti-rap’ stance, saying how much he hates Cena as champion. He never thought he’d say this, but he’s going to be proud to have a Frenchman as US Champion when the two meet at Judgment Day.
Chavo Guerrero defeated Nunzio via pinfall to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at 02:55 (1/2*)
Honestly, I had trouble remembering who the Cruiserweight Champ was while Nunzio was waiting for him. Then The Undertaker’s music hit and really fucked with my head. Smoke fills the ring and, with Nunzio in there, of course hilarity ensues as he attempted to blow it all away. You blow Nunzio. You blow. Anyway the match gets underway and Scherer can FINALLY rest easily knowing that Nunzio is getting his title shot. The fans chanted for Eddie to get on Chavo’s back. Nice. Sometimes I underestimate American WWE fans. Then again, they haven’t invented any phrases by themselves since ‘asshole!’. If you’ve seen one Chavo title defence, you’ve seen this. It seems as if WWE is just fascinated with having a meaningless CW title match every week to shut the smart contingent up. I love their characters, but WWE aren’t doing anything for the Chavos by giving them five minute flicks weekly. Anyway, Chavo won with the Gory Bomb after his daddy interfered. WWE then channel my thoughts (wouldn’t be the first time I tell ya!) and Chavo makes an open challenge to any Cruiserweight in the world who he hasn’t faced before. TAKA Michinoku comeback anyone?
- Highlights from the Dudleyz’ week. As much as I like the heel turn and feel it gives their characters a new lease, something about them just tells me that they’re always other people’s bitches. Think about it, any time in the past two years they’ve been in an angle, it’s been when they’ve been under orders from others, be it Bischoff and Morley and now it seems like Paul Heyman. I no like it.
- Judgment Day looks to be built around Taker if the newest hype video is to be believed. AND?
~ Break ~
- Rob van Dam comes out and challenges the Dudleyz without saying ‘dude’ ONCE! Holy shit this is INNOVATIVE! Paul Heyman interrupted and said that Rob shouldn’t take it personally, he was but a victim of circumstance. The Dudleyz took initiative while he didn’t. But he did call them out tonight, and ask and you shall receive. But he won’t get the Corporate version of the Duds, OOOOHHH NO, he’ll get Paul Heyman’s Dudley Boyz (see?). With that, the Dudleyz attack through the crowd and beat down Rob until Eddie makes the save. Exhilarating. So things are cool with Booker-T now right?
- Speaking of Book, he’s psyched about his match with Billy Gunn next (eh, o-kay). He wasn’t going to stick around when the bong went off and the smoke filled the ring last week. He’s not scared of Undertaker, and if Taker wants to get all up in his face, he’d slap the dead out of him (HUH?!). You dig? So apparently Booker’s now happy with his home on SmackDown and he’s a rapper?
- Paul Heyman told the Dudleyz that one of them had a match with Eddie tonight, and RVD was banned from ringside, while he, the VIP guest for tonight, wasn’t.
Booker-T defeated Billy Gunn via pinfall at 04:06 (**)
The minor league deal seems to be done with now that the casual viewers seem to be responding in kind by switching off. Seriously, what else did you expect? This gem came as Cole desperately tried to convince the fans that they had a reason to care about this match:
Cole: Booker-T has his work cut out for him tonight. Billy Gunn has held as many tag-team titles as Booker-T.
Tazz: Well guess what genius? This isn’t a tag match.
The match tried to be dramatic, but just came off as flat. Booker countered a Fame Asser attempt with a back heel kick. Then an attempted Bookend was blocked by an elbow to the head. Gunn went for a splash but missed and a scissors kick ended it. The ending ran smoothly, but didn’t really do much for me. Sowwy.
Cue the bong (Rob van Dam: HUH?) as Undertaker and Paul Bearer make their presence felt. Their DEADLY presence felt. Booker wasn’t scared though, he’s just been through a match so it ain’t happenin’ tonight. You dig? Strange, I just watched Shaft last night. Anyhoo, it seemed as if Taker did ‘dig’ (his own GRAVE. HA!) and Booker went to leave, only stopping to nail Taker with his urn. NO SELL ALERT. KILL KILL KILL. As Taker sits back up, Booker rushes through the crowd.
~ Break ~
- Kurt Angle demanded to be called Mr. Angle from now on when addressed by Josh Matthews. He traded Triple H for Booker-T for a reason, because he feels Booker could be the biggest superstar on SD, and he can prove it at Judgment Day by defeating The Undertaker. Oh yeah, and like Angle, Taker hasn’t wrestled since WrestleMania. Only difference is: he doesn’t appreciate being in the ring. He’s not getting a free ride (yeah LAST RIDE!) to J-Day and will be in action next week.
- Backstage, Rico and Jackie G. have stolen Charlie Haas’ shorts and replaced them with a pair of Rico’s. Charlie feels stupid wearing them but doesn’t want to risk losing the belts, so he’ll meet them in the ring. OH GOD IMAGINE THEY WERE PINK!
- Its time for WWE’s weekly propaganda segment. How someone can give up watching their children grow, instead opting to fight for their country isn’t admirable to me, it’s dumb. But hey, it’s SmackDown and although a political debate might be more interesting, I guess we HAVE to cover this ish.
Rico and Charlie Haas defeated The Basham Brothers via pinfall to retain the WWE Tag-Team Championships at 05:34 (**)
OMGLOL4EVA @ CHARLIE’S PANTS! Danny and Doug were the perfect pick for the defence in retrospect. They seemed like the kind of guys Charlie would go out of his way to prove he wasn’t like Rico to, leading to the inner conflict of whether Charlie sides with Rico and is successful or retains the respect of his peers. Decent match. The finish came after Rico kissed Danny and Charlie caught him reeling with a German Suplex to retain.
~ Break ~
- Here’s the rundown of Judgment Day so far: John Cena vs. Renee Dupree for the US Title
The Undertaker vs. Booker-T
Eddie Guerrero vs. John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield
I’m assuming Chavo loses the belt next week, so you can probably expect a rematch added to that, a tag-team title match of some sort, a table match with the Dudleyz against RVD and a partner (Jeff Hardy or Spike Dudley perhaps) and a Rey Mysterio match of some sort. Not AS bad as I expected, but still not worth $40. Fortunately, I don’t have to pay. HA!
- Another campaign video aired with JBL talking about how the Statue of Liberty was the first thing his ancestors saw when they came to the US, legally. He runs down people like Eddie Guerrero, who scrounge off self-made people like him and who rely on socialist schemes imposed to support these lazy people. JBL wants to help us retain the capitalist state that people like him had worked so hard to build. And he’s going to start by taking out Eddie Guerrero. Jesse Ventura vs. JBL for President in 2008 anyone?
- Kurt Angle made his way out to ringside for our (ahem) ‘main event’. Eddie looked to confront him, but Mr. Angle sent out Luther to block him off. Eh, if I’d beaten Brock Lesnar I damn sure wouldn’t be afraid of anyone, much less someone called LUTHER! Eddie was forced into retreat when the Dudleyz’ music hit and out they came. We gotta take a break. I gotta take a shit.
~ Break ~
Eddie Guerrero defeated Bubba Ray Dudley via pinfall in a non-title match at 08:25(**1/2)
Not much to speak of in the early going, except the WORST SPOT EVER as Bubba literally jumped into Eddie’s knees. They didn’t even bother to make it look as if Bubba was going for a splash and Eddie countered, it was just a jump that could only hurt Bubba. It was worse than that jump off the second rope into opponent’s boot spot that Triple H and Rock did about a hundred times during their feud in 2000. Eddie followed that beauty up with a splash to the outside off the top, taking out both Dudleyz. Edit job cut to Bubba taking control, which seemed to last an age until Eddie, well, let Tazz explain:
“Eddie’s firing up!”
There. Two rolling Guerrero verticals hit but the third was countered, leading into a ref bump. Bubba hit the Bubba Bomb as Brian Hebner came to, but Eddie kicked out just as Heyman yelped with joy. I don’t say the words yelped or joy enough. Eddie countered a second Bubba Bomb with a DDT, causing me great joy. Eddie went to the top-rope, but was taken off in an electric chair drop position, and as the Dudleyz went for the Dudley Device, but Eddie ducked and rolled up Bubba for the win. Afterwards, a double-team ensued but RVD ran down and made the save as the two laid out the Dudleyz, including the COOLEST low blow ever. RVD just did a tiny martial arts kick, but its like one of those moves in kung-fu films you just KNOW hurt like hell. They then followed it up with a dual Frog Splash that could only be made sweeter by the fact that both men hit the Dudley that was furthest away from them. As Eddie and RVD celebrated, SmackDown went off the air with Kurt announcing a tag match between the four next week and he WILL get the last laugh. Or yelp even?
My Two Cents: I’m starting to see the method to WWE’s madness in regards to SmackDown now. A few months ago, I wrote about how WWE didn’t appeal enough to the child demographic, and while I’m not nearly insinuating it was my musings that influenced this (although it does seem a TAD coincidental….), SmackDown seems to be a lot more orientated at entertaining the family, while RAW appeals to the older group, the core 18-35 group. While liking one show probably means disliking the other, I have to cut WWE a bit more slack with that in mind. They’re broadening their horizons. The casual 18-35 will watch RAW religiously, while SmackDown makes for perfectly acceptable viewing for the family on Thursday nights. Hardcore fans will watch both. Vince seems happy not looking for hotshot 7.0 ratings anymore, and instead working on maintaining and even slowly building up the fanbase he has. So its unfair to judge SmackDown on that basis, instead lets look at it from what its trying to achieve.
The main event was a perfectly acceptable match. It wasn’t prolonged like last week’s encounter, it instead cut straight to the point and worked better for that. Its confusing to see Eddie sidetracked with the Dudleyz while WWE should be going for the hard-sell on the JBL feud, but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt here and assume they’re going somewhere with this. I’m again going to assume that this feud is headed towards an ECW-like match between the Dudleyz against RVD and a partner, perhaps Spike Dudley, which will make the show slightly less tedious I guess.
The Rico/Haas angle is no different from hundreds of movies based around overcoming differences to get along better and consequentially be more successful, which is a good story for WWE to go for if they’re appealing to children, and something their parents would definitely approve of. Rico’s character is hilarious and also would give the adults some laughs while watching, but at the heart this is a story about Haas fighting his pre-conceptions and accepting Rico. Tonight’s match was perfect to play into that as Haas had to face the conflict over whether or not to impress his peers (a well chosen pair in the Basham Brothers), or side with Rico and win the belts. Slowly but surely they’re getting there, and let’s hope WWE don’t forget what this angle’s aiming at by just turning Haas heel and putting him with Jackie. Let it play out like the Booker-T/Goldust angle did and it’ll do well.
Kurt Angle was used well tonight for the first time in his GM tenure. He managed to overcome the difficulties of having Torrie Wilson try and play the damsel in distress role and got across the angry, bitter and disappointed man he was. The thing I love about Kurt’s heel character is that, unlike the likes of recently turned Trish Stratus, you can still see the old Kurt that everyone loved and cheered for in him. It’s a realistic heel turn and an art very rarely mastered. WWE and Kurt Angle did so here and there’s still time to make this role work, and I believe that they will do this.
I don’t understand Taker’s motive for going after Booker. Is he particularly proud of his SmackDown heritage? Surely, as the grizzly old veteran, he’s seen people with Booker’s ego walk through WWE before. If I was in Taker’s position (and that’s a pretty big stretch of the imagination, what with him ‘dead’ and all), I’d just let this storm pass over instead of bothering to stick my nose in. Besides, remember what happened when he tried to bring Brock Lesnar back down to earth? Can he AFFORD another mistake like that? Do the dead even HAVE rationale? As cool as it is to see Taker back as the Deadman, a little character development wouldn’t go awry, and he even has Paul Bearer to do this for him. Let’s hope WWE do this next week.
I relish watching RAW on Friday nights, come Saturday mornings I sometimes dread watching SmackDown. However, for what its trying to achieve, as it dawned on me today, I can respect the show and even accept it as it is. Only thing that’s hard to comprehend is what message WWE are sending out to me, or more importantly, people who don’t know enough to be influenced by the political undertones of a show like this? In one quarter they show a pro-war segment supporting the troops, but the JBL character is a mock on Republicanism and more specifically the George W. Bush. Is Vince for Bush’s foreign policy but against his domestic one? With a stance like that, why bother playing the political card at all?
And that’s all. Hope you enjoyed it and continue to read over at PW. Please post any thoughts below, via email or U2U if you wish. I’m out for now.
I thought that those who actually read my TotI3 recap, but haven't got around to saying anything yet, might be interested in the following feedback that I DID get from IWS wrestler (& Quebec champ) TNT.