|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer||
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 8 June 2001.
Y'all know who I am, don'tcha?
On today's show, Paul Heyman gives a tour de force performance as host, guest, raconteur, and consummate showman. Kevin Kelly models the new butt-hole that Heyman tears in him, and Howard Finkel waxes nostalgic about...Dude Love?
Shane McMahon's awesome swan dive off the TitanTron should count towards his Frequent Flyer Miles total. Kudos again to The Big Show for his supporting role as "Ground Zero" in this stunt.
The show opens with...
"Now I know you're not used to having a good-looking guy sitting here talking to you on Friday, but today's going to be, as they say, a little bit different!"
Heyman goes on to say that, no, he's not Kevin Kelly, because Kelly's too much of a big shot now to show up for work on time, "Which will make this show a much better product, I assure you!"
Heyman than proceeds to tear up this week's script, prompting an off -camera noise that sounds remarkably like Byte This! producer and utility veejay Big Country fainting dead away.
"Do we have nude pictures of Trish that we could show?" asks Heyman, which gets an enthusiastic response from everybody.
"How about Torrie? Terri? LITA! Something of Lita?! Nothing? NO nudity??!"
"Uhh, we've got a lot of pictures," says Big Country, who's only just now recovered, "but not so much 'naked', you understand..."
"But you don't know what to go to here, do you?" says Heyman. "When Kevin Kelly doesn't show up to work it screws EVERYTHING up on this show."
"The man has no conscience," says Heyman, in full-bore kayfabe rant mode, now. "He sits back and sees Jim Ross on 'Raw.' He sees Michael Cole on 'Smackdown' and 'Heat.' And he sits there and says (switches to baby-talk voice) "Ohhh, I on-ee get-too doo Byte This! (Heyman resumes normal speaking voice.)
"And he thinks he's such a big star, the BOB COSTAS of the WWF, that he's too GOOD to show up at 4 PM Eastern time for work!
"So we'll be talking with him whenever he - MEANDERS - his way in here on time because, we all know HOW IMPORTANT Kevin must be!"
"Can we get Tazz on the phone?" asks Heyman, "because Tazz is a professional, and will wait for WWF.com and Byte This! to call him at home, ON HIS DAY OFF, mind you, and Tazz will answer his phone 'bling-bling Hey wazzup brothuh' and Tazz will tell you what's on HIS mind this week.
Shows up on time.
"Because Tazz is prepared for Byte This! like he is on Smackdown and Heat.
"Because Tazz CARES about WWF.com!
"Because Tazz takes PRIDE in Byte This!"
Tazz is on the line, and thanks Heyman for putting him WAY over from the get-go on today's show.
"I appreciate your being at home, Tazz," says Heyman, "and for being enough of a professional to wait, at home, for WWF.com and Byte This! to call you, and for you to do your job!
"But I don't want you to knock Kevin Kelly," Heyman continues, " because Kevin's a very, very busy man. And he has reasons for being late to his own show!"
"Aww, for..." begins Tazz. "Of course, he had to do that cover shot today, didn't he? Or was it that commercial...?"
"Tazz," remonstrates Heyman, "don't knock Kelly, okay? The executive washroom DOES need to have the toilet scrubbed. Kevin's jobs here are very, VERY important!"
(Sounds of Tazz cracking up on the phone. The idea of Tazz, once described as "the sorriest, most miserable S.O.B. I ever met" by Paul Heyman himself, LAUGHING at anything, especially something Heyman says, just boggles the mind!)
Heyman's still chewing big chunks out of Kevin Kelly's reputation.
"...So I can understand why he could be late for his own Internet radio show!"
"You mean he NO-SHOWED?!" Tazz is incredulous.
"No he didn't no-show," says Heyman, "he's just too important to be here on time!"
"So now you gotta substitute for hi - WOW!" growls Tazz, who, truth be told, can be heard stropping a new edge to his wit, and just for Kevin Kelly.
"Nope, I'm not substituting," says Heyman, "I just TOOK OVER THE SHOW! Howard Finkel's pacing around in the parking lot, wondering two things in life. One, where is Kevin Kelly, and Two, does Terri go with Perry?"
"I, hahahahaha, I KNOW what THAT means, hoohoo hahahaha!" laughs Tazz.
"Hey, don't we have footage of Tazz?" bellows Heyman at Big Country, who can be heard scrabbling around feverishly trying to locate some Tazz footage.
"Are we gonna have forty five minutes of the fans looking at ME?" continues Heyman,
"Who are we appealing to here? The thirty five year-old, fat, bald, Jewish demographic?"
(By this time, Tazz is laughing uproariously. As is most of the crew.)
"How many people, like me, are on the computer today?" asks Heyman rhetorically, "They're all in a CHAT ROOM for God's sake!"
Heyman then asks Tazz what's on his mind. Tazz, still trying without much success to get himself under control again, says that it's Heyman's job to ask the questions, not his.
This is all the encouragement Heyman needs.
"Tazz!" asks Heyman, "What kind of johnny brush do you think Kevin Kelly uses, in the executive washroom at the (Titan) Towers..."
(This sets Tazz to laughing once more.)
"... that caused him to be so late today?"
"The one with the horsehairs," says Tazz.
"Horsehairs?" says Heyman, puzzled for once.
"Yeah, the horsehairs," reiterates Tazz, with a knowing tone in his voice.
"OH!" says Heyman, getting Tazz's drift. "The 'Garcia' model, right?"
Tazz does a horse whinny, and then really loses it at this point.
('Garcia?' LINDA Garcia? "O'er the ramparts we watch'd..." Linda Garcia? And a horsehair johnny brush?) (Lilian, you mean? - CRZ)
Heyman compliments Tazz's excellent performance in the King of the Ring qualifier against Rhyno on last (4 June 2001) Monday's Raw. Heyman also manages to trash Kevin Kelly's reputation even further.
"Hey, MY cell phone's ringing!" says Heyman.
"Boy, imagine THAT!" says Tazz, laughing some more.
Heyman sees Howard Finkel off-camera.
"HOWIE? HOWIE! C'mere, Howie..."
"Where's Kevin?" asks Finkel.
"Tchah! Kevin, he asks..." says Heyman.
"Kevin who?" says Tazz with an audible smirk.
"Anyway, Tazz," says Heyman, "I wanta compliment y- please, Howard. One Jew at a time... Tazz I wanta compliment you. That match with Rhyno on Monday just blew me away!"
Tazz thanks Heyman for the compliment, saying that he and Rhyno had only wrestled a few times before in ECW, but never had a chance to do a big run. "It would have been great," says Tazz, "and I hope to eventually be able to work with Rhyno again real soon."
Tazz goes on to say that he thought he was going to have a lot of ring rust, but
"I don't know what happened," says Tazz, "I got in there, I got real mad, and I just worked. It was cool."
"You had a fire under your ass," says Heyman, "the likes of which I haven't seen you have since that Royal Rumble match with Kurt Angle.
"I mean," continues Heyman, "that was "Old School Tazz", in what was, for most fans, and ECW dream match that the ECW fans never got to see when either one of you was the Champion."
Tazz agrees, and takes a swipe at the Internet "smarts" for saying "the match wasn't a definitive "dream-match" because it was only a few minutes long. They don't realize the value of live TV. It's not about the amount of minutes you put in out there, It's about the intensity, the QUALITY of the match! And that's what gets past these schmucks on the Internet!"
Heyman agrees that it's quality time instead of quantity time, and cites a WCW dream-match that the WWF brought to us, that being Chris Benoit versus The Big Show.
Tazz says that the match was "just like in ECW, where we went out there and tore things up for twenty minutes, but we can't do that, as you know, on Raw."
Heyman agrees, saying that there are "different freedoms, yet different confines in every environment that you are in."
"If you, Tazz," says Heyman, "were able to have a good run in the WWF, with anybody here, in order to elicit that athleticism, to bring out that "Old School Tazz" once more, would it be anybody besides Rhyno? Or is it Rhyno, that you would like to do a long-term series of matches in the WWF?"
"Kurt Angle," says Tazz, without a moment of hesitation. "We always have great chemistry, and do great stuff together." Tazz then says that his feud with Angle was cut short too soon, for whatever reason.
Tazz's short list also includes Rhyno, Chris Jericho, and Chris Benoit.
Big Country is trying to get Heyman to incorporate Howard Finkel into the mix. "they want me to 'not talk so much about Tazz on the show', y'unnerstand."
"Who said that? Country?!!" says Tazz, bristling.
"Nah... it was one of Kelly's boys..."
"Which one? Boy, I oughta..."
"Now, now," soothes Heyman, deftly changing the subject. "What do you think Howard Finkel thinks of Tazz?"
Tazz says he was honored to have Howard Finkel ring-announce his debut match in the WWF. "It was like a dream come true."
Heyman, not getting the typical venom-laced answer from Tazz for once, tries to stir things up on Finkel's end.
Well, Finkel is too smart to go wadin' in THAT stream, and says that we have not seen the best of Tazz yet. "But, since he's become a commentator, we haven't seen his wrestling skills much in evidence..."
"Oh," says Heyman, "so you think commentators can't be physical, hah? Did you see the way I used my jaw to break the Undertaker's hand on Monday?
Finkel and Tazz are both laughing like crazy.
"THAT hand will never be the same," concludes Heyman. "We some bad guys here, Howie. Just like "The Sopranos."
Tazz and Finkel reminisce for a bit about Tazz's debut match. Tazz wants Finkel to do the "and NEW WWF Champion..."-bit. Finkel says he has to get his voice in shape, and maybe later in the show.
Tazz asks Finkel if he knows where Kevin Kelly is. Finkel doesn't know, "though I suspect that you will hear a 'traffic jam' excuse upon his arrival. Or that he had a phone call..."
"Now, let's be HONEST, shall we?" pontificates Heyman. "The Tower is one...block...AWAY! If it's one block away, how much of a traffic jam could you have been in?"
Finkel, getting in a dig of his own on Kelly, says that he was out in the parking lot, looking for Heyman's three o'clock.
"Thank you, Howard" says Heyman, "that was very considerate of you."
"I'm da mensch," says Finkel.
"You da mensch, all right," says Heyman.
"Oy vey, let's move on, " says Tazz.
This week, it's Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura who gets "Pulp Fiction-alized", complete with footage, music, Mick Foley grinning big enough to split his face wide open, and Vince McMahon looking like a constipated Howdy Doody wearing a pompadour toupee.
Lo and behold, here's Kevin Kelly, who says that the reason he's late is because he was in a meeting with the new sponsors of Byte This! Nintendo, specifically the GameBoy Advance.
"... no kidding, Kevin," says Heyman, "if you've got anything bad to say about Tazz..."
"I have NOTHING bad to say about Tazz, Paul," says Kelly, a bit perturbed at the current state of affairs on "his" show.
"So this lame-ass excuse about why you were late..."
"I TOLD you, it was a high-level meeting with the new sponsors..."
"You're going to blame OUR sponsors for YOUR un-professionalism?" says Heyman, with just the right accusatory tone in his voice.
"Well, the translation took a bit longer than we antici-"
"Tazz, help me here, wouldja?" hollers Heyman.
"Uh, I was told that I was not supposed to be on the show no more," says Tazz, "as usual, no respect for Tazz, so I'm just gonna leave..."
"No Tazz, stick around," pleads Kelly, who sees he's got way more Heyman-started fires to put out than he originally thought. "I really enjoyed your match with Rhyno on Monday..."
"Well, thank YOU very much," says Tazz, in a monotone voice.
"Tazz," says Heyman, "do you think Kevin does a better job of kissing your ass when he's late or scrubbing the executive washroom toilets over at Titan Towers?"
Kelly, deciding to go along with Heyman's "little joke" says he's got Comet under his nails, and anybody got a nail file?
Tazz isn't sure about what his answer is going to be, but if he had, oh, say one of those new GameBoy Advance numbers...
Kelly assures him that his own personal GameBoy Advance is on it's way as he speaks.
Heyman spends the next minute or so needling Kelly, who responds that he's just finished his sessions with his therapist, the ones that he had to take after Heyman's last appearance on the show, and repeats that he was late because of the meeting with the Nintendo GameBoy Advance people.
"You know," says Kelly, holding up his GameBoy, "up to four people can play this game at the same time? Or that you can play regular GameBoy games on GameBoy Advance?"
"Nor do I care," says Heyman to both.
(Ouch! Man, Heyman just violated Commandment #1 of the National Association of Broadcasters: "Thou shalt not piss off the sponsors!" Sheesh!)
So, in other words," says Finkel, never one to miss an opening," you are going to promo GameBoy Advance and then be GONE again?"
"No no no, I'm sticking around, I promise..." says Kelly, suddenly conscious of the possibility that he just might NOT be "sticking around," if Heyman has anything to do with it.
"Then why are throwing Tazz off the show?" says Heyman in an accusing tone.
"I'm NOT throwing Tazz off the show..." says Kelly heatedly.
"...but now I can't stay," says Tazz, "because I've been insulted!!"
"Tazz..." pleads Kelly.
"I got stuff to do," says Tazz, "I got 'Toy Story Two' to watch with my kids. So I gotta go."
Kelly finally gets Tazz to talk about Sunday Night Heat and the Tough Enough" show that's coming up 21 June 2001. "The buzz about this show is incredible, Tazz," says Kelly.
"...and there's nobody like Kevin Kelly to kill the buzz," says Heyman, "is there, Tazz?"
Tazz says he's been to a sneak preview of the show, and that the part he liked was when he got up in everybody's face, doing his best Red Hook kayfabe.
"Anybody who didn't belong there was...just ...GONE!"
Kelly asks if Tazz was the star, to which Tazz says no, the whole team, Al Snow, Jackie, Tori were the stars. "It's a group effort!"
By no means, rejoins Kelly, Finkel and Heyman, who all say that Tazz is the star.
"Ahhhh, if AL SNOW was on the show, you guys would say the same thing about him," says Tazz, who, despite himself, does sound pleased.
Kelly shifts the discussion to Sunday Night Heat (10 June 2001) which has Mick Foley guest-hosting and plugging his new book, "Foley is Good" (on sale in bookstores everywhere. No kidding!)
"We'll see what happens," says Tazz, "though, it being Foley..." and leaves that statement hanging.
There is a brief confab over just "whose house" WWF New York is. Heyman settles it by saying that it's YOUR house, Tazz, but it's in MY city!"
(I thought South Philly was Heyman's patch? Oh well...)
Tazz says it surely is Heyman's city, and says "Night...MARE!"
Heyman grins and hollers "Night...MARE!" himself, confusing the hell out of Kevin Kelly.
"It's our house," says Tazz.
"We gotta get a moat," says Heyman, which cracks up Tazz.
"Huh?" says Kelly.
"Inside joke, Kevin," says Heyman.
"Hey, Kevin," says Tazz, "With such a sharp guest as Paul Heyman,
how the hell does the GUEST start the show with you NOT THERE, huh? 'Splain that to me, wouldja?"
"If the guest is Paul Heyman," retorts Kelly, not budging an inch, "he does whatever he wants!"
"That's true, that's true, " say Tazz, and Finkel.
Finkel wants to know what we can expect from next week's Tales from the Hook?
"Uhhh, YEAH, thanks for your question Howard," says Tazz, "and I'm sure we will all be anxiously awaiting further developments..."
"Thanks for being here this week, Tazz," says Kelly.
"Hey!" says Heyman, "you aren't the host this week, Kevin, I am! I'm the one that says, 'Tazz, thank you for joining us very much!'"
"The truck is... you know where it is, " says Tazz to Heyman.
"It's in Canarsie, right?" says Heyman.
"Huh? Oh. Yeah, that's right. Canarsie," says Tazz.
Tazz gets cut off, which Heyman immediately attributes to Kelly's high-handed way of running things.
"Get off my back, Paul," says Kelly, "what am I, Ma-frickin' Bell?"
"Ma? Frickin'? Bell?"
Heyman, stunned, is at a loss for words.
"Let's talk about what you've been doing here in the WWF, Paul, " says Kelly, trying to wrest control of the show from Heyman's grip.
Heyman isn't being cooperative
"LANGUAGE, Kevin!" he roars.
"What? Language? What'd I say?"
"Tsk tsk tsk," says Heyman shaking his head.
Kelly finally gets the interview started (forty minutes into the program, mind you!) by asking Heyman how he's adjusting to the WWF in the two months since he arrived.
Heyman says that he has the easiest job of his life. "I can express my opinions, express them honestly, and don't be offended if my opinions aren't utilized. They take as much pride in my opinions as they do in anybody else's. Our ships all sail in the same direction. If I don't have books to keep and accounting to do, life is a simple process for me."
"Can you take us inside a WWF creative meeting?" asks Kelly.
"Uh, " says Kelly, recovering nicely, and continuing, "at the meeting, is there a lot of shouting, a lot of jokes, laughing, presentations being made...?"
"Is it like a dysfunctional family..." falters Kelly.
"Why do you have to slap the "dysfunctional" label on what we do, Kevin?" says Heyman. "Is it because of some deep-seated need of yours to..."
"Uhhh, the traditional "functional" family," begins Kelly, "always gets along..."
"Oh," says Heyman, "So now if we have disagreements, the creative team is DYSFUNCTIONAL? In YOUR opinion? If the US Cabinet got along all the time, they'd be doing the President a disservice. Right?"
"If the President suddenly says, "Let's go invade CANADA!" And one guy says "Hey, you know, there's a lot of oil reserves in Canada...!" And there's another guy saying "Wait a minute, you can't invade Canada..."
At this point Heyman wanders into the realm of geopolitics, and makes a pretty good case for the USA's immediate annexation of Canada.
Kevin Kelly, conceding the match, just sits there and lets Hurricane Heyman blow himself out.
"...and the President then looks around the table and says "I hear what you are saying, and what YOU are saying, and I respect YOUR opinion, and here's what I'm gonna do", and all the boats sail in the same direction. Just like the WWF's creative meetings."
Kelly shifts the discussion to the recent rise of the careers of Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, and Chris Benoit over the past weeks.
Heyman says that the WWF is not only about the opportunity that is provided for the wrestlers, but also how the wrestlers use that opportunity. "Benoit and Jericho," says Heyman, "have run with this opportunity like there's no tomorrow, and well they should. They've been given the ball, and told, 'Let's see if you can score!'"
As for Steve Austin, Heyman says that he took a big risk turning heel, especially during the biggest PPV event ever, but what else could he do, after the Rock and Wrestlemania X-7? Heyman went on to say that Austin's heel turn isn't finished by a long shot. "There's a lot more to come for the Steve Austin persona," says Heyman, "he's never one to rest on his laurels. If he packs a 25,000 seat arena, he wants to pack a 30,000 seat arena the next time. His motto is "I wanna go one step further."
Finkel says that the Benoit/Jericho/Austin matches have been some of the best that have come out of the WWF in a long time. "As we have yet to scratch the surface of Steve Austin," says Finkel, "so it is with Benoit and Jericho. Historically speaking, the best is yet to come for everybody." Finkel then pooh-poohs the nay-sayers. "Things take time," he says. "Rome wasn't built in a day. This evolution of Steve Austin is far from complete."
Finkel recalled that, early in 1995, Benoit had a try-out match against Owen Hart, but despite his giving 110%, he didn't get signed. "Lo and behold, it's six years later, and perseverance pays off for Chris Benoit!" says Finkel.
A quick dip into the Email Bag asks Heyman who the next WWF Main Eventers were going to be?
Heyman says Kane, without a doubt, along with Rhyno, "who's gonna be huge!" Heyman says that the Hardys, Dudleys, and Edge & Christian are all going to be top singles competitors; it's just gonna take time.
Kelly says that he was impressed by Albert's "Baldo-Bombing" of Kane.
Finkel says that he's been impressed with Brock Lesnar, who's an up-and-comer, and wrestled in a number of dark matches of late. Finkel thinks Lesnar is just this side of being ready for the WWF.
Kelly and Heyman argue for a bit about Heyman's blatant ass-kissing of Kurt Angle.
Kelly backs Heyman into a corner about whether Angle will win "King of the Ring" two years in a row, but Heyman refuses to get pinned down.
"So you are only opinionated when you have opinions, is that it Paul?" asks Kelly.
"Right! And I can only see when my eyes are open!" says Heyman.
Caller Joe on Line Six sounds stoned, and gets cut off by Heyman, a bit too abruptly, I might add.
Caller Brad wants to know why Heyman retired the Paul E. Dangerously character?
"Because Paul E. Dangerously's time was up, Brad," says Heyman. "My career as a manager was over, and it was time to move on , and get somebody else into the slot, somebody who could do the job better than I could."
An email from Danny wants to know what Heyman looks for in a woman?
"Money!" says Heyman, without batting an eye.
Next caller, Ronny, (who sounds like some Yankee doing a real redneck put-on,) asks Heyman (I am not making this up):
"Whut hit felt lahk tew have th' Hundertakuh slapp'n yew t'othuh naht?"
(Footage from Raw shows Heyman getting not just a paintbrush, but the freakin' paint PAN across the face from the enraged Undertaker.)
Heyman, of course, has a field day with this guy's cracker-ass accent, before saying "It...felt...GREAT! I'd like that to happen once every hundred years! I can only say that I'm glad it wasn't Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley!"
Incidentally, folks, down here we don't have the funny accent.
Another email wants to know how the former ECW wrestlers are fitting into the WWF locker room?
"They are very welcome here, " says Heyman, "because of their experience in the ECW locker room, and the professionalism they gathered there, they know the score in the WWF. Then too, the WWF professionals are always looking for new opponents." Heyman mentions Tommy Dreamer, C.W. Anderson, and Super Crazy.
"We had a great locker room in ECW," says Heyman, "because of how well Terry Funk set it up when we first got started, and great locker room leaders like Dreamer, Sabu, and Tazz."
Finkel wants to know if any of the ECW women would fit into the WWF?
Heyman says that Electra, who he cannot believe has not been picked up for a part in "The Sopranos," (Sweet Mother of God!) would fit right in, as would Dawn Marie, pairing her right up with WCW's Lance Storm, and reuniting that famous ECW team. Nobody can out-heel Francine, and Jazz, a real phenomenon, could have matches with Lita!
(I myself would like to see Prodigette square off against Chyna.)
Heyman says that we can look forward to more "Surprises, surprises, surprises" as regards the upcoming King of the Ring, and leaves the show.
But not before telling Big country that, if Kevin's ever late again, "I'm just down the hall!"
We get a GameBoy Advance blurb that looks like the Nintendo folks got taken to the cleaners by their advertising agency.
This week's "Out-Think the Fink" question wants to know in what city was Mick Foley's character, Dude Love, debuted? Kelly gets in another plug for Foley's book, "Foley is Good," (On sale in bookstores everywhere.)
Time for Droz's Two Cents. Darren Drozdov joins the show for his weekly segment. We learn that:
1. Droz thought the Main Events involving Benoit, Jericho, and Austin were some of the best he's ever seen, and
2. The Undertaker in a scary situation, and somebody's doing a major head game on him with this stalking angle and all.
3. It's been a great week for Jeff Hardy, winning the Light Heavyweight Title from Jerry Lynn, who's not out of the picture at all, despite the Title loss.
4. WCW's Hugh Morrus' "invasion" of the WWF, providing the "equalizer" in Kane's match against Christian. "Shane's put the word out that 'you better watch your back'," says Droz, "and that means you'll never know when it's gonna happen next."
5. Shane McMahon needs to continue to aggravate Vince McMahon, because that's what sons are for.
6. Droz's Two Cents says that Albert's display was impressive, even though it was a group effort. "Kane's not gonna take Albert's continued interference lightly," says Droz. But, the only way for Albert to go is up, and Droz looks for him to keep getting bigger and better. With a few helpful hints from Droz, of course.
7. In Sixers-Lakers, Droz picks Sixers.
8. Game Seven of the NHL Stanley Cup, Droz picks New Jersey over Colorado.
Answer to the "Out-think the Fink" question is "San Antonio," and Barry Reed wins a copy of Mick Foley's new book, "Foley is Good" (on sale in bookstores everywhere.)
Kelly and Finkel then close the show, with Kelly saying that he's giving up a golf outing to be here next week. No mention as to who next week's guest will be.
Hey, how about they go over to Chyna's hospital room and do a live remote?
Maybe have fun with her I.V. drip, while they are there, hmmm?
Heyman absolutely RULED this show.
I think Kevin Kelly better get his resume updated.
See you next week.
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