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ET CETERA - More on the WWF in Japan. Educate yourself, fools.
by Jay Spree on 2002-01-24

I’m feeling a little down this week, so I’m gonna cut the obligatory preamble and get straight to the obligatory chase.

Since I got such a good response to it last week, and since they’ve announced the official card for the shows (and since I really don’t have anything to say about the Rumble other than THUMBS UP~), I’m going to focus again on the WWF’s upcoming Asian tour.

I know a lot of you couldn’t care less about puro, which is why I don’t bother too much covering it, but if the Fed can establish itself in Japan, it could mean a LOT of extra revenue for the company, as well as a potential outlet for some of the better workers on the roster who never really get a chance to shine here. Plus, if the opportunity ever arises to buy the PPV of one of these shows, we could really see some awesome action.

So anyway, there it is. Just scroll down to Code Blue if you don’t give a crap… which reminds me, I want to give a shout out to my main man Mel Dogg, who single-handedly keeps me from slipping (further) into mediocrity.



The WWF settled on the following lineup (although, as always, “CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE”) for the duration of their Asian tour:

WWF champion Chris Jericho vs. The Rock
WWF Intercontinental champion Edge vs. Test
The Dudley Boyz vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri and Funaki
Haku vs. The Big Show
Kane vs. Diamond Dallas Page
The Hardy Boyz vs. Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo
Billy Kidman vs. Hurricane Helms
with Torrie Wilson, Stacy Kiebler, Lita, and Molly also on the tour.


Fair enough, they sold out the Japanese leg in about eight seconds, but c’mon – given the talent they’ve got under contract, this is about as weak a show as they could put together.

Rock-Jericho is gonna be a great match, and is the best use of their main event draws (being as it’s Rock’s first Asian appearance and Chris Jericho’s triumphant comeback), but everything else?

Edge vs Test is NOT the right match to take to Japan. Firstly, much as I love Test (well, not love him exactly, just kind of mark out for his leather pants and Canadina-ness), his workrate is not up to working a show in Japan. What about Lance Storm, or Christian, or Kurt Angle?

And speaking of which, why the hell is Kurt Angle – the best and most consistent guy on the roster – not on this tour? I just don’t understand it.

The Dudleyz against Tajiri and Funaki is a hollow, hollow, HOLLOW attempt to woo the Japanese. I personally don’t believe the Dudz’ style is well suited to the Japanese audience (yeah, they’ve done an FMW tour, but that doesn’t count for anything). The problem is, who the hell else is gonna go? They haven’t got any tag teams left that could take their place. I don’t doubt that Tajiri and Funaki will make an awesome duo, but come on – if they’re gonna make up one team to appease the Japanese, Christ, they may as well send Rico Constantino and Brock Lesnar or TAKA and Jamie Knoble to go with them.

Haku VS Big Show I don’t have SO much trouble with, although I do have to ask “Why Haku?” I know he’s donw tours in the past, but it’s not like he’s a real draw or anything: aside from his hair and his pants, he’s a horrible, horrible worker, and if all they’re looking for is a guy to bump for Show, they’d be better sending Spike Dudley (who can at least work a match).
As I said last week, I don’t have ANY problem sending guys like Big Show – the Japanese love the freak show appeal of these guys, and mark out big for seven footers. If Show’d get off his fat ass and pull out at least a nip-up, and maybe his leap-frog over the top-rope too, he might even fool the crowd into thinking he can work.

Kane vs Page I’m definitely in two minds about. Again, I don’t mind the big guys like Kane being on the tour, but I don’t understand the logic of sending Page to work with him. On one hand, he’s too big to be a really good bump guy, and on the other, he’s not good enough to carry Kane to a decent match. And anyway, you book guys like Kane to be the monster big guys, not great workers, so no-one wants to see him work a match anyway, but what would I know.

The Hardyz against Billy and Chuck is a question mark too. Unless they’re fighting Big Show or Kane, you can’t book Billy and Chuck to be simply enhancement talent – the Japanese fans want to see an actual, competitive match. Which means that, since Billy and Chuck are the heels, they’ll be controlling most of it. WHYWHYWHYWHYWHY? It’s not even like the Hardyz’ highspots are gonna make up for it – they’re not even extreme by American standards any more, what with Matt’s total abandonment of anything riskier than a second rope legdrop and Jeff’s sloppyass Swanton. Trust me, the fans won’t be impressed – not with Sasuke and Liger performing down the street.

Kidman and Helms is probably the only match other than the main that I would agree with – two of the best cruisers the US has to offer, getting to bust it in front of an educated audience who will actually appreciate what’s going on. But the rest of the card? Sheesh…

Yeah, they sold out Japan. BIG DEAL. It’s the first time they’ve been there in a decade – selling out this time isn’t the issue. But the strength of this show is what will sell out the next show, and by the looks of this? Ain’t gonna happen. What they need to do is take a look at the guys they’ve got, and just consider for half a second “Hey, Test can’t work. Let’s send Henig”. One match they really should put on is Dean Malenko vs William Regal. Malenko’s already established in Japan, and he could work a KILLER match with Regal, exchanging chain wrestling sequences and submissions. If they had half a brain, they’d send Tazz to work some head-dropping, strong style action that the puro fans love so much. They could hire back Eddy and let him run wild with just about anyone. Hell, give him back his Black Mask and let him go nuts. If they were REALLY smart, they’d even take up Hashimoto on his offer, or try to strike a deal with Mutoh or Ka Shin, or any of those New Japan guys that are jumping ship. Or NOAH – Misawa vs Guerrero would suit me just fine. They could even use Vader, who at least could work the same style. Or even a couple of All Japan guys – Williams, Rotunda and Bart Gunn have all worked in the WWF, and guys like Kawada could have AMAZING matches with Kurt Angle or Tajiri. In fact, there’s a MILLION things they COULD do, but it looks like, just like their domestic shows, they’re just intent on screwing things up.

But hey, I’m not a billionaire (or a billionaire’s daughter with REALLY huge tits), so what the hell would I know. Maybe when I get three-five years’ episodic TV experience and a degree in film, I’ll be more qualified.

Anyway, I’m out – feedback at the usual address, if you have any.
Take it easy.


E!’s doing a Vince McMahon story? Wow. Exactly where do you start?……Mutoh, Ka Shin and Kojima jump to All Japan with five front office workers, so New Japan retaliate by trying to sign Kawada and sending Liger to NOAH for some cross-promotion. Sure beats the hell out of going on Nitro and giving away the RAW results, don’t it?……BIG SHOW IS DOING A STACKER 2 COMMERCIAL????……If I was that guy that Goldberg threw in the lake, I’d claim the thing was a complete shoot and sue his ass for at least half his AOL deal……If anyone needs further proff that boxing is just as worked as wrestling, just look at that Tyson-Lewis sh!t. I almost expected Brian Pillman to post-humously appear in the ring and shout “SMAAAAAAAAAART MAAAAAAAAARKS”……Sandman and Sabu are headed for FMW? Hey, better there than here……Mick McMAnus is appearing at the FWA show? I PLEAD with anyone who goes to start a “SNITCH~!” chant as soon as he appears……Teri helped Dustin get another shot in the WWF? Wow. She must REALLY want her valet gig back……It’s sad that the girl who ran Lita’s official page had to shut down the site due to Lita and the WWF’s spin control bullsh!t. That girl put a lot of effort into the site, and it’s a damn shame that Lita didn’t have the balls to stand up and do what’s right……Having said that, after that radio interview she gave, she’s forgiven: She does anal? She swallows? She thinks about chicks? She’s been photographed during sex? OHMYGOD~!……I still think Kobashi returning in February is a REALLY bad idea……The Talksports UK show at Crystal Palace is really shaping up: Guerrero, Grandmaster Sexay, Doug Williams, Jodie Fleisch – it’s apparently being taped to air on Bravo on Sunday 3/3. Hey, I’m there……Yuji Nagata says he won’t be working any of Inoki’s shoot matches and will concentrate on his New Japan duties. Hey, if I got destroyed in twenty seconds, I’d do the same……I was SO stoked seeing Perfect back in action at the Rumble. I almost pissed myself when he outlasted ol’ 3:16……I was also highly amused by the way he ditched the XWF gig in Las Vegas in favour of going to RAW on Monday. Good old Curt……DDP’s retiring in two years to become a motivational speaker?……Booker T’s retiring in two years to work with kids?……The Iron Sheik got detained at an airport in Rochester because they thought he was a terrorist! BRILLIANT! They made him take his shows off and everything! I hope he said “IRAN, NUMBER ONE! RUSSIA, NUMBER ONE! AMERICA – HAGH, PUH!”……So, who wants to take bets on where Buff’s actually going to be on Friday night?……Hayabusa’s able to move his hands and legs on his own now. Keep him in your prayers……1-800-GODFATHER? “Greetings Kafir: My services are for hire. Look at the kindred to either side of you. Will one of them pay me to kill you? The Protection of Allah will put your worries to rest. Who would dare kill you, knowing, that my wrath will fall upon them?” So, Charles Wright is a terrorist, then?……Wow, ANOTHER new promotion running the ECW Arena, 3PW, and another new women’s gourp merges, WEW. Hey, this is how much I care……Scotsman……Scotsman……Scot……

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