Well, SmarkDVD is gone, and I’m back to only having to do one writeup a week. Hopefully, this should encourage me to update regularly and on time, although as I write this, I’m already a day late. Still, just to make a complete whore of myself, if anyone wants a DVD newscapper for their site, hit me with an email.
Played my first game of basketball in a about a year today, and I had a great time. I’m hopelessly out of shape, by knees are completely broken down and every joint in my shooting arm still hurts like hell, but I hit a nice drive over three guys and a couple of sweet turnarounds, so I still got a little game, baby. Phuck Jordan – The Spre has returned to the hardwood. Now I just got to figure out whether I prefer “Jumpshot Jay” or “Fadeaway Jay”. And whether I’ll actually be able to walk tomorrow.
Shockingly, there’s no real PPV rundown from me this week, as RAW was a far bigger event, but suffice it to say the show was average, largely due to its unspectacularity as opposed to lack of workrate or effort. I’d have given it another star if they’d given Regal-Tajiri more than three minutes on a THREE HOUR SHOW WITH ONLY FIVE MATCHES.
Anyway, let’s rock.
WCW is dead. Long live…WCW?
How ‘bout that sh!t. Everyone and his dog writes about how suckass the WWF has become, and the WWF do nothing. But THE WEEK AFTER Jay Spree gives his two cents on the matter, Vince gets his ass in gear and fixes things. All hail the most influential smark on the net.
So the Survivor Series was disappointing. It was well-worked, and had at least one great match, but everyone was just waiting for Hall, Nash, Steiner, Flair – ANYONE to run-in and get things jumpstarted. Perhaps it’s unfair, but because the Series never delivered that, it couldn’t help but disappoint. Plus the fact that we all knew what was going to happen.
That left a bitter taste in the mouths of pretty much everyone online, for whom the Series was a make or break event they had pinned their hopes on.
Then came RAW. And we all marked out.
I’ll tell you this much: Whatever any of us do or don’t think about the King, he’s one of the all-time colour men, and has an unparalleled chemistry with Ross. More than that, he was one of the primary reasons that casual fans watched RAW. I remember high school, every morning after RAW, there was far more said about the King’s one-liners than almost anything else on the show. And while I’m certainly not suggesting that Lawler’s departure from, or Heyman’s taking up of, the commentary duties was the reason for the ratings nosedive, we all know that it played a significant part. And for all Heyman’s strengths, and for everything that he brought to the commentary, I’m glad that Lawler is back.
Note to smart asses: Don’t even bother firing up those hotmail accounts to flame me for dissing Lawler all those months. I still think he made a bad move, and I still think he was an asshole when he was gone. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate, or even like his commentary. After all, Shawn Michaels was one of the biggest assholes to walk the earth.
Then there’s Ric, Whoo by God Flair.
Y’know, it’s one thing to make the fans mark out; it’s another thing to actually keep that momentum going. ECW had so much potential before they turned it into the Alliance and shafted the hopes of every smart fan. So while I am of course excited about this whole Flair thing, I just can’t help but be a little cynical about it.
What have we really got? ANOTHER COMMISSIONER. Jesus Christ, we just got rid of two – why do we need another one? I know, I know – “It’s Ric Flair dammit!” But I’m not Scott Keith, and that just doesn’t cut it for me. So what if he can cut awesome promos? Mick Foley could cut awesome promos too. And if they’re just going to rehash the same old sh!t all over again, why should this turn out any differently? Why does the fact that it’s Ric (Whoo by God) Flair ‘booking matches on the fly’ instead of Shane or Stephanie or Vince make it any better? And it’s not like we’ve got the great matches any more. I know he said that he looked forward to facing guys like The Rock, but realistically, the only thing we’re going to get is maybe a match with Vince.
Not exactly Flair-Steamboat, is it.
I know, I’m being too pessimistic. Hey, can you blame me after the WWF’s last six months? I’m happy as hell to see Flair back. It’s fresh, and with both him and Lawler coming aboard the same night, it does bring back memories of the “what’s gonna happen next?” era of RAW and Nitro. If they’re smart, they’ll bring back someone else next week to keep that shock value momentum going. You still have to question why they didn’t bring in Flair at THE BEGINNING of the Alliance angle, rather than the end of it. Christ, they bought out his AOL deal – what the hell’s a few months’ pay to guarantee the success of what should have been the most profitable angle in history? But yeah, it’s great to have him back.
Let’s keep things in perspective, though. These are moves in the right direction, and the King especially is an important step towards restoring the quality of the product. But there are still a lot of problems that need to be resolved.
Firstly, there’s the talent issue. I would NOT want to be a former WCWer right now. They’ve just seen “their company” – the only angle that most of these guys had – blown up in front of them. Why should anyone care about Hugh Morrus, or Lance Storm, or Chavo Guerrero, now that the threat of the Alliance is gone? And this is what the problem has been with the WWF – they didn’t bother building up these people’s characters, so now they are all lame duck personalities that nobody cares about. Don’t kid yourself – there’s a battle for jobs right now. Mike Awesome just completely destroyed his ACL – a six month injury for some one who DIDN’T have double reconstructive knee surgery two years ago – and he wants to work through the injury. And it’s not because he’s a tough bastard (even though he is); it’s because he knows that he is very dispensible at the moment, and he doesn’t want to see a pink slip in his Christmas stocking.
If you think about those twenty or so WCW guys they picked up, only a handful of them have actually got any sort of character or gimmick. Page, Booker, Helms, um…well, there’s Van Dam, but he doesn’t count because he’s already been given a WWF contract. So aside from those three guys, who’s REALLY likely to keep their jobs? Who do the casual fans really care enough about to warrant keeping on the roster? Well, Lance is kinda over, but they blew their chances with him by letting him hang around with Justin Credible. Awesome could be over, and could be a perfect WWF main-eventer if only they’d ever use him right (guess Paul E wasn’t so “professional” as we all thought). And that’s about it – everyone else is just biding time, unless the creative team get their heads out of their asses.
Which brings me to my second point. I don’t know why the hell they’re even bothering to advertise for all these writers. Christ, the problem isn’t that they haven’t got the ideas or the personnel – the problem is they’ve got Stephanie McMahon at the end of the table, and as hot and sexy as she is, she just isn’t a very talented writer, booker, or editor. It completely baffles me – they just took Heyman out of his colour duties so he could work full-time on the booking team, and he’s STILL not the head booker? And what the hell does Vince do round Titan Towers these days? Shouldn’t HE be head of the damn booking team?
Whatever they do, the fact is this: When there were two (real) companies, no matter how bad you screwed things up, you could always throw a bunch of money at someone to show up on RAW and get everybody talking.
They screwed up the InVasion, but they gave us Flair so we forgive them. Problem is, they’re running out of guys to bring back.
FOUR hotshot, “make things okay again” holy shit hotshot angles they can pull out. Which means they can only screw up four more times, because after that, we’ve seen everything the wrestling business has to offer. And if they fail to innovate any new ideas, there’ll be no reason for ANYONE to watch.
Bischoff’s GONE, Vince. You don’t have to fight him any more.
Heyman’s working for YOU, Vince. You don’t have to steal ideas from him any more – you can have him write them for you.
Just a little advice, VKM.
You know, much as everyone’s clamouring for the nWo, is there any reason at all they won’t blow that as bad as they did the Alliance?……MR. T? Isn’t he one of those celebrities that everyone thought was dead?……I was thinking that despite Hogan being involved, Eddie Guerrero might end up in the XWF. But then I saw that Kevin Sullivan was the booker……Did anyone REALLY buy Lawler’s line that he wouldn’t be at RAW on Monday?……This week’s asshole of the week is Kid Kash. After shooting all over some of the most talented wrestlers in history last week, he’ been wriggling like a maggot in a piece of crap trying to figure out a chicken sh!t excuse. Go here to see him squirm……And while we’re at it, may as well award Kash with the Bagwellism of The Week, too, for this little gem: “Rob Van Dam, is probably the most athletic athlete that I have ever seen.” And your a worker good, Kash……I know the XWF’s calling him “Kid Krash”, but until they’re a real promotion that doesn’t tape their shows Disney-style, I don’t recognise them or their stupid ideas……Speaking of assholes and Bagwellisms: “I don't ever start it, ever, but I won't stand for it. A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” Y’see Shaq, when Phil uses quotes Zen philosophy, it makes sense because he knows what he’s talking about. You wanna impress somebody, go hit a free throw……165 guys under contract? Damn, even Eric didn’t have THAT many. At least Linda confirmed at the conference call that they were still planning to run split crews……So MatRats have got a syndication deal? Way to go, Eric. Nice to see you’re going up in the world……If this really is the last we see of Mick, it’s a pretty sad way to see him go……Props to Helms for welcoming all the guys in Hurricane costumes backstage for a chat……And reluctant props to the XWF for letting the King go to the WWF. Don’t expect any favours though assholes……You know, I never liked Bob Ryder before, but that boy sure can shoot……Give Regal the strap. He EARNED a title reign on Monday……Jake Roberts……Jake Roberts……Jake Ro……