So On and So Forth, From South to North
by Sam Halsall on 2002-08-13
Someone has to say it, so I will: Eric Bischoff has been a great addition to WWE programming. No one sells the greasy prick gimmick quite like Easy E, and I find myself wanting to like him and hate him at the same time whenever I see him.
Stephanie McMahon, on the other hand, has not been a huge boon for Smackdown. Yes, she's nice to look at, but that's what Hustler is for. The sad fact is, Steph can't play a babyface character to save her life.
And that's precisely what she needs to be. Because right now, the whole Raw vs. Smackdown "feud" is utterly pointless. Think about it: the typical WWE fan watches both shows. Why do we actually care which one any particular performer is going to be on? If Rey Mysterio had been brought into Raw for his debut, then I'd be praying to the ring gods nightly for Stephanie to sign him to the Smackdown Cruiserweight Division. But otherwise, any important matches will take place sooner or later on PPV, so who cares?
Regarding the beating of Minidust by Rosie and Jamal: can someone please explain to me why the CRTC thinks it's acceptable for two 300-pound men to destroy a midget, but not for those same men to attack full-sized trained wrestlers simply because said wrestlers have breasts? I've said it before, folks, and I'm not the only one -- this weird form of sexism as practiced by the CRTC is damaging to female wrestlers and their ability to get over with fans. Note to CRTC: think. Then act.
Line of the night from this week's Raw had to be from Jim Ross as Booker T, Goldust and Minidust were en route to the ring to face the Un-Americans. Good Ol' J.R. told us that America was all about that sort of diversity. Mark my words, there were many, many fans across America saying, "Whut, niggers, midgets and fags ain't Americans!"
Attended a lovely ASW show last week in Ladysmith with Jodie, Dan, my best bud Todd, and his friend Chris. Only four matches, but not a klunker in the bunch. And I experienced one of my finest moments as a fan.
Rocket Randy Tyler had been promoting the show with his Basic Hygene stump speech. For those of you who haven't seen it, Tyler says that the people of Insert-Town-Name-Here clearly need some lessons in hygene, and proceeds to demonstrate the use of combs, toothbrushes, deodorant, and so forth as though they are novel concepts. Tyler is a lawyer in his civilian life, so his mind is razor-sharp, and fans never get the best of him in a verbal spar.
So Jodie and Todd came up with a plan. On the way to the show, we stopped at a dollar store and bought 24 cheap toothbrushes. Before the opening bell, we handed them out to the folks in the front row and told them to follow our lead.
Sure enough, Tyler came out after the second match and started his hygene promo. He showed us how deodorant worked. Then he held up a toothbrush...
"Now!" hissed Jodie. And we launched our brushes into the ring. And the other fans, God bless 'em, actually took the cue.
Tyler stood there, absolutely dumbfounded, as white toothbrushes rained down around him. For five, ten seconds, he couldn't think of anything to say. Finally, the radio personality/ring announcer said, "Well why don't you [people] use them?" And Tyler came alive again. "Yeah, why don't you use them?"
After the show, Tyler told us he'd been on the verge of tears because he was so blown away. WWE and other major wrestling recruiters take note: if an indy wrestler can inspire fans to arrange stunts like this with a simple promo on a cable access channel, imagine what he could do with national TV exposure...
Oh joy! The Hardyz are going to feud again! Gosh, it worked so well last time, didn't it?
I want an Un-Americans t-shirt. Seriously. I never thought this angle would get over, and openly questioned why WWE kept trying to recapture Bret Hart's former glory.
But I am chastened. It's working like a charm. At least in the States. Remember, the great thing about the Hart Foundation angle was that the group was hated in the United States, and revered as heroes everywhere else. If the Un-Americans get the pop to end all pops next time Raw broadcasts from Canada, I'll know that lightning has indeed struck twice.
How awesome is Brock Lesnar? This man could be the most convincing WWE champion in living memory if he wins at SummerSlam. Can you imagine anyone calling "boring" if Lesnar holds the title for a year or two? Me neither.
Rey Mysterio vs. Billy Kidman. It's inevitable now. And if it's even a tenth as good as their matches in WCW, it will be a mark-out extraordinaire. In fact, let's scrap the single-match idea and put them in a best-of-seven tournament. Maybe Terri Runnels could get back in the game and reprise the angle that made Edge, Christian, and the Hardy Boyz into stars.
I really like what I'm seeing from Hulk Hogan these days. The Hogan I remember from WCW's dying days was a deluded old fool clinging to his former glories at the expense of the future stars. It was at best annoying to watch, at worst embarassing.
What a difference a year or two can make. The new Hogan has a sense of humour about himself. Telling people he wants to incorporate the Swanton Bomb into his repertoire, claiming to be 29 years old... this is the mark of a man finally at peace with himself.
And even more impressive, he's putting over the young guns. Since his arrival in WWE, Hogan has tapped out to Kurt Angle, worked in a tag-team with Edge, and taken an absolutely horrifying beating from Brock Lesnar. Remember, this is the man who refused to make Billy Kidman look good in WCW.
For the first time since I became a wrestling fan, I actually look forward to Hogan appearing on my TV. And I will actually be sorry to see him go when he retires.
If you haven't yet read Foley is Good, Mick's second book, be advised that it is now out in paperback and every bit as good as his first outing. He tells more stories about your favourite wrestlers, but also goes into great depth about the PTC and the controversy they caused over Smackdown.
Of course, the book was written before the PTC was forced to publicly apologize for lying about the so-called "wrestling deaths" and Smackdown sponsors. I wonder what Foley made of that.
I'll let you in on a little secret, folks: I actually agree with the basic premise of the PTC, i.e. letting parents know about questionable shows on television. After all, thanks to a stagnating economy and unethical business practices, many parents have to work two jobs apiece just so they can afford to raise their kids. They simply don't have time to watch every second of everything ever broadcast on television. And while only a complete fool would accept the PTC's verdicts as gospel law (Holy Homophobia, Batman!), they do make a useful guideline.
Where the PTC loses me -- and damn near everyone else -- is with this bizarre and, frankly, inexplicable idea they have that it is somehow acceptable for them to enforce those guidelines on other people. Sorry, Brent, but that's where you cross the line between good advice and fascism.
On the subject of edgy TV, I'm very big on Spicy City these days. It's kind of in the vein of Heavy Metal -- violence, sex, and swearing. Watch for it Friday-Monday on Teletoon in Canada.
It's so nice to see Tommy Dreamer ditch that appalling gimmick of eating and drinking gross shit. The return of the Innovator of Violence is a welcome one, and the way it was achieved was a mark-out moment. Dreamer makes a fine Hardcore Champion, and his matches with Steven Richards lately have been brutal fun.
Nidia may not have gotten the push she deserved from winning Tough Enough, but I have to admit to a certain fascination with her current angle with Jamie Noble. Plus, her character's aggresive sluttiness seems to fulfill some sort of fantasy on my part.
Randy Orton, John Cena and Batista are going to be big in the next couple of years if WWE keeps the push on them. This is a good thing, because I'm impressed every time I watch these men in action. Please, though, someone tell Cena to stop trying to cut promos like The Rock. It's embarassing.
In the name of all that is holy, someone PLEASE pull the plug on the Finkel/Garcia angle. And any further angles involving non-wrestling personnel.
The WWE house show in Vancouver this past Sunday was, by all accounts, a flop. A year ago, the arena would have sold out all 15,000 seats. On Sunday, about 6000 people showed up. Less than 50% capacity. By comparison, the aforementioned ASW show did about the same percentage at the Ladysmith Amphitheatre with much less advertising, name draw talent, and promotional pull. This either bodes ill for WWE, or well for the indies.
Huzzah! Shawn Michaels is coming back! Huzzah! He's going to wrestle at SummerSlam! Huzzah! He's still crippled! Huzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
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from the boys:
Ed Moretti says "Grab a hold, kid...they'll get with it in a minute".