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ET CETERA - Jay is BACK. But is he going to stay?
by Jay Spree on 2002-03-21

So then, I’m “back”.

Two weeks ago, I voiced my frustration with the WWF product, and not even In protest, but sheer exhaustion with it, took some time off wrestling. I figured that, without the “pressure” (such as it is) of having to write about it, of having to analyse and critique it – in other words, without having to be smart about it – I could just get back to being a fan, and try to find some way to enjoy it. I watched RAW, I watched Smack!Down, and yes, I watched WrestleMania. So how do I feel now?

Pretty much the same, actually: APATHETIC.

Mania is generally considered to be a good-great show, but I think it was almost complete shite. In fact, aside from the Hogan/Rock match, WrestleMania WAS COMPLETE SHITE.

Of course, there’s a lot of controversy over the Hogan/Rock match as it is. Scott went as far as to say it was a pretty poor match, which a lot of people MISTAKENLY took to mean that it wasn’t entertaining, which isn’t what he said or meant. In fact, he said that it was “one of the best booked bad matches” he’d ever seen, and that’s exactly what it was. As a WRESTLING MATCH, which is how Scott rates matches, it was pretty bad. Hogan moved at sub-slowmo speed, blew “moves” such as a kick to the gut and blew “spots” such as going over the top rope, and looked really, REALLY old in the match. But to say it wasn’t a good match does not mean it wasn’t a very entertaining match, which it was. I just think it’s important for people to understand the difference before they go and start calling Scott every name under the sun.

I really enjoyed the match – except for the end, which includes how they played it out on Monday night. It seems to me that the fans cheering Hogan and booing The Rock would have been a perfect opportunity to turn The Rock heel. Yes, HEEL – God forbid he should actually be entertaining just because he’s got a film to promote. Christ, Hogan drove a semi into an ambulance and he was still a media darling – just because he’s heel doen’t mean no-one will go see his flick.

Everyone seems to be under this horrible, horrible impression that The Rock is somehow still entertaining, but whenever he’s cutting promos these days I JUST CRINGE. Take that thing with the Coach at Mania. WHAT THE SHIT WAS THAT? WAS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY? Ever since some assjack told him he could act, he’s been trying to show off his range in his promos. And from his “quiet intensity” to his “blue hell comedy” he’s just totally hamming it up – and not in a bad way. He is absolutely cringeworthy and DESPERATELY needs to go back to his monotone, edgy, badass promos from before.

Which is exactly what a heel turn would have brought.

I know I’m in the minority on both of those issues, but nonetheless, that’s how I feel. I mean, how long has Rocky been a face now anyway? Two years solid? Three? Even Austin needed a heel turn – no matter how ill-advised – just to keep him fresh. To me, The Rock’s act is totally stale, and the sooner he a) Pisses off to Hollywood, or b) (preferably) turns heel and does something new, the better. And the fan reaction at Mania would have been perfect for that. I mean, the whole “Rocky Sucks” and “Die Rocky Die” thing was the original reason for his badass Corporation heel run, so why not drum it up again?

Maybe I speak too soon.

Maybe this whole “Hogan and Rock versus the nWo” thing is a big red herring. Maybe it’ll be like Survivr Series, where they swerve us at the last minute and have Rock turn on babyface Hogan and join the nWo. Now THAT shit would be cool. Hall, Nash, Rock? Yes please. I will miss marking for Hollywood though. Much as I hate “Real American Hogan”, I mark out big for “Badass Beard Cheating Bastard Hogan”. But it’d be worth it (besides, if he bust a rib in that Mania “match”, he won’t be around too long anyway).

Hmm… maybe I was wrong. Maybe I’m NOT as apathetic as I thought. This column was going to be dedicated to bashing the WWF product – how badly booked Mania was, how all the wrong people won, how the Hogan/Rock match should’ve been last, how Triple H should leave the business… instead, I’m sitting here fantasy booking Hogan and The Rock. Instead, I’m sitting here wondering what they’re going to do with Brock Lesnar. Instead, I’m sitting here wondering how the split is going to work out. Instead, I’m sitting here thinking how cool the new cruiser division is going to be with Rey Rey and Eddy.

And as much as I know they’ll probably find a way to screw up ALL of those things, the WWF has actually managed to make me think about them, they’ve managed to make me wonder… they’ve managed to make me a fan again.

For now.

Peace.
J$


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Quotes from the boys: Moondog Manson says "The key to success in the wrestling business is by being humble, respectful, and paying your dues. With out these you will fail.".
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