|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer||
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 26 October 2001, and I'm still E.C.
On today's show, the guys expand the show to a ninety-minute format. That means more time for a couple of new segments to be added. Today's show also has the return of Dr. Tom Prichard! Eddie Guerrero joins the show for an update on his return to the ring, and Mick Foley does some shameless plugging of his new book, "Halloween Hijinx!"
Your hosts, Kevin Kelly and Howard Finkel, open the show with Kelly whining about how he's gonna lose 25 lbs. by using the Body Solutions plan.
Fink eyes Kelly's current rotundity.
Must be wondering where Kelly will start?
How about between his ears?
Opening credits. New! Improved! Honest! We aren't kidding this time!
Lots to do, so it's time for "Droz's Two Cents," Darren Drozdov's weekly review of all things WWF.
Kelly and Droz spend a good five minutes shilling for the upcoming Survivor series PPV, and how it's going to mean the end of the WWF/Alliance rivalry. Droz says that the showdown is long overdue, (as do a lot of the fans, ol' buddy.) Fink adds a cautionary note by saying that he doesn't know what's going to happen afterwards. Droz says the fans don't know, either, and that's gonna throw a scare into them.
As for the week's events, Kelly remarks that a lot of Title belts change hands this week. Droz says that one of the biggest was Chris Jericho winning the WCW World Title from The Rock, and then the two of them teaming up to win the WWF Tag Titles. Droz says that it's shaping up to be a war for the next few weeks, right up to the climax at the Survivor series.
Fink says that the cleaning house in the Alliance may have produced an unexpected windfall for the WWF when Chuck Palumbo got fired. "He never got a chance over there," says Fink, "because he was overlooked." Kelly says that, in addition to Palumbo, there's a lot of prime talent the WWF could pick up, such as Lance Storm and Booker T., Tazz, Tommy Dreamer and Raven are also mentioned.
Droz says that there will be a lot of competition for what jobs are left after the Survivor series PPV happens, and that it's going to be a long road to get there for everyone concerned.
Kelly says that this week's Raw should be good, with Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon going at it. Droz agrees, saying that the fans will all be looking forward to it, and mentions that two of the up and coming WWF superstars, Sheldon Benjamin, and Brock Lesnar will be competing in a tag team Dark Match on the same card.
Kelly thanks Droz for his time this week, and shills for "Droz's Two Cents" over at wwfdotcom.
Time for "Outthink the Fink," and this week, Fink's got an easy question. In 1985, NBC and the WWF teamed up for the first "Saturday Night Main Event," which featured Hulk Hogan and Cowboy Bob Orton as the Main Event. Also on the card was the Junkyard Dog. Who was his opponent? The first three correct answers received at email@example.com each win a copy of Mick Foley's new book, "Halloween Hijinx," (on sale at bookstores everywhere.)
Time for Tazz, and this week's installment of "Tales from the Hook."
Tazz is miserable, as usual, though the misery seems to be in his general vicinity. There is so much kid noise behind Tazz, it sounds like he's doing a live remote from a playground.
It's Halloween in the Hook, and Kelly wants to know what Tazz is doing to make the season special? Tazz replies that he and his buds have started a pumpkin farm, selling, ummm, "special" pumpkins to the unwary.
"We gotta Tazz T-shirt inside each pumpkin," says Tazz with some pride, "and some pyro. You pull on the thing on the lid and it blows up!"
Fink wants to know what Tazz wll be handing out to the kids this year. Tazz says hat the neighborhood kids are afraid of him and his place, so they don't come round anymore. Kelly wants to know what Halloween was like when Tazz was a kid? "Everybody had one costume; a black leather jacket," says Tazz. "We all went as Fonzie. A-a-a-a-y-y-y!"
General hilarity ensues, before Kelly gets things back under control, and smoothly segues to this week's events.
Tazz remarks that the Dudley Boyz made history this week, their winning of the WCW Tag Titles making them the first tag team ever to hold the World Tag Title belts from WCW, ECW, and the WWF. "Cactus Jack did it," says Tazz, "but he had three different partners.
Kelly adds that he learned that Tazz had a hand in the development of the Dudleys' angle.
Tazz chuckles, saying that he and Raven came up with the idea of this ex-pro wrestler, Big Daddy Dudley, who you never see, but who's "been with a lot of broads across the country. So you got a Japanese, Chinese, Black, White, a Chick Dudley. Anybody new who joined the locker room, we said hey, let's make 'em a Dudley!"
This cracks up Kelly and Fink for a bit.
Tazz says that he's real proud of what Bubba Ray and D-Von have done, blazing past teams like the Midnight Express and the Road Warriors.
Kelly and Tazz get into a heated discussion over Tommy Dreamer's handsome-ness quotient, and Kelly's opinion that Dreamer was a couple brick short of a full hod in that department. Tazz remarks that Dreamer was handsome at one time, even was the best man at Tazz's wedding, but after being the "Innovator of Violence" for so long, he's pretty banged up. "I've seen him fall from scaffolding through ten or twelve tables," says Tazz, "and once, I suplexed him off the stage at the ECW Arena. It was a twenty to thirty foot drop, and he took it like it was nothing. He's tough!"
(High praise indeed from this guy.)
Kelly changes the subject by asking if there's a children's book in Tazz's future, sine Mick Foley's kids books are so popular?
"What, "Tales from the Hook: The Children's Story?" laughs Tazz, "that's a good idea."
Fink adds that Tazz could populate it with the actual characters from Tazz's neighborhood; Frankie, Joey Numbers, etc.
Speaking of Joey Numbers, Tazz says that they are working to get him out of jail, since he got moved from Idaho to Nebraska.
Fink wants to know if Tazz will have Tommy Ticket in the book, to which Tazz says no, they got Tommy ticket the other day; he's locked up.
Fink has the bright idea about sending the Byte This! camera crew to the Hook to do a live show from Tazz's house?
Well, Kevin Kelly isn't too pleased with that idea, saying that he'd be afraid for his own safety, never mind the camera crew's. Tazz cackles wickedly, and says nah, c'mon down here, KEVIN, it'll be fine, you'll see. Kelly says no no begs off once more, which allows Fink to announce that they have three winners already in today's "Outthink the Fink" contest, and he wants Tazz to give the answer. Tazz demures, so Fink says it was Pete Dougherty.
Fink then asks Tazz about his match with Al Snow. Tazz growls he's on a losing streak, okay, so don't rub it in. "Let's talk about the Game of the Century," says Tazz, "Nebraska and Oklahoma, where the Sooners are gonna be just another victim of Big Red! If nebraska wins, I'll be puttin' them over. If they lose, I'll be kissin' Jim Ross's butt!"
Fink wants to know about what Tazz has planned for next week's show. Tazz says "NOTHIN! I got too much to do this week!"
Fink and Kelly both wish Tazz a Happy Halloween.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," says Tazz, miserable as ever, and he leaves the show.
Kelly remarks that the online realtime Byte This! chat room is going great guns, and that he will be checking from time to time for any questions the fans may want to ask today's guests.
Speaking of which, it's time to welcome back Dr. Tom Prichard to the show. Hooray! Kelly says for everybody to give Dr. Tom the clap! Prichard wants to know what that's all about? He also says he's just finished watching a Busta Rhymes's video, and he's all pumped up.
Kelly says that Dr Tom "took some time off," (read "went through de-tox at Betty Ford,") and is now scouting the WWF farm clubs, scouting the up and coming WWF superstars. He will be reporting the latest news to us fans each week on Byte This!
Prichard says it's always better to see the new talent live, rather than watching them on tape, (which means the restraining order barring him from Vince's house and grounds must still be in effect. Looks like Dr. Tom won't be leaving the Ohio Valley anytime soon.)
Kelly wants to know who Dr. Tom likes?
Prichard says he likes Randy Orton, as well as Brock Lesnar. "Brock still has a ways to go, though" says Prichard, "he still needs to learn why he does what he does; why the powerslam segues to a clothesline. Right now, he's just going through the motions."
Fink agrees that Orton will be the first one to break into the big time.
Kelly, perusing the chat room, says somebody wants to know if Prichard could beat Chris Candido in a fight, and when the Body Donnas are going to be back?
Prichard laughs, and asks Fink if he gets this kind of crap every week, working with Kelly?
Fink says not every week, and smoothly brings Dr. Tom back on topic by asking who the best female stars are?
Prichard picks Victoria, a former 'Ho of the Godfather; Jazz, the phenom from ECW, and Sharmell (WCW's Paisley) Sullivan as the best of the bunch. They all look good, and are really into what they are doing.
Fink wants to know about the WWF superstars who are currently working with the up and comers. Prichard says a lot of the new talent he sees is really green, and needs the seasoning influence and guidance of WWF professionals like Dean Malenko, Val Venis, Haku, and Steve Blackman.
"Their leadership and experience supplies what a lot of the youngsters have been missing," says Prichard.
Kelly remarks that, from what he's seen in the dark matches, they are training the youngsters to do TV "the WWF way." Prichard agrees, saying that if they learn it the right way the first time, they won't have to un-learn and then re-learn how to do it, a situation they ran into with the former WCW talent. "They are instilling professionalism into these kids," says Prichard, " so that, when they get to the WWF, they won't come swaggering in, acting like they've been on Raw for the past ten weeks. Like I said, it's a growing process."
Kelly thanks Dr Tom, saying that they'll be looking forward to next week's developmental report on Byte This!, and a chat roomer wants to know where Jimmy Del Ray is? (Boy, THAT'S a name out of the past!) Prichard laughs, and says that Jimmy's in Tampa, doing this and that. Prichard also says we should keep our eyes peeled for the Island Boys and the Haas Brothers, two of the fastest rising star tag teams ever.
In keeping with the "working in the developmental territories" topic, here's Eddie Guerrero, who still sounds a bit shaky, though he says he feels pretty good. Eddie has been working in the Heartland Wrestling Association, doing much the same work as dean Malenko et al, as he once again sets his sites on the WWF.
"I'm a lot better now, mentally and physically, than I was before I left," says Eddie, " and I'm looking forward to going back on the road again."
Fink asks what Eddie's gotten out of working with the HWA crowd, other than a reduction of his ring rust?
Eddie says it's like a return to his roots, a totally "Old School" environment, that focuses you. "It makes you grateful for the opportunity you've been given, and I'm also trying to give back by passing some of my experience onto the new talent that's coming along. It's building the fire inside of me again."
Fink asks about a possible encounter with his nephew, the Alliance's Chavo Guerrero Jr.?
Eddie says he'd be a fool to turn is back on the WWF after all they've done for him. Other than that, he's proud of what Chavo has accomplished, and hopes Chavo hasn't lost respect for his uncle.
Kelly asks Eddie how he'd feel competing for the WCW Title, since Chris Jericho has won it? Eddie says that his sights aren't set that high; right now, all he wants to do is to get back into wrestling. "I'm taking it step by step, and day by day," says Eddie. "I'll stay focused, and end up in a better place."
Kelly relates some of the background on the injuries that plagued Eddie when he first joined the WWF. "The first match you had in the WWF, you dislocated your elbow," says Kelly, "and then, you returned to the ring before you'd had a chance to heal properly. In light of what happened then, how do you feel now that you've had a chance to rest?"
"It's the best I've felt in four or five years," says Eddie, "when it used to get cold, my joints would ache terribly. Now, I'm not achy anymore, and it feels great! I'm wrestling without a brace on my elbow, too, for the first time in five years. I know I'm healing, but I can't get ahead of myself and come back too soon, like I did before. I just take it day by day, and I'll be back before you know it."
Kelly says the chat room is alive with fans who want to se Eddie Guerrero back in the WWF, and squaring off against Rob Van Dam. "The Battle of the Frog Splashes! Now that would be something," says Kelly.
Eddie says he did a frog splash the other day without the brace, and it felt real good. "A match with Rob Van Dam and his Five Star frog Splash, huh?" says Eddie. "well, mine ain't five star, but we'll see whose is the best!"
Fink and Kelly congratulate Eddie on his progress, and look forward to his return to the WWF. Eddie thanks them, saying that h has a whole new mental attitude now, something he's never had before in his life. "It's based on gratitude for what the WWF has done for me," says Eddie, "for their faith in me as a person, not just a wrestler. Whether the fans cheer me or not, I know I'm producing what they want to see. I've always done better as a heel, and I really enjoy that role, especially the "Eddie Sucks!" chants. It really motivates me. Look at X-Pac. He's been with the WWF for a long time, and the fans are still chanting "X-Pac Sucks" so he's doing something right being a heel. The best I can do is to produce, heel or not, just produce for the fans out there."
As Eddie Guerrero leaves the show, Kelly and Fink set up this week's Classic Clip Moments.
This time, in honor of Mick Foley, there are four to choose from in this week's Byte This! Poll. We've got Foley v. Shawn Michaels, (Mind Games 1996); Hell In a Cell, (No Way Out 2000); Street Fight (Royal Rumble 2000), and, of course, Hell In a Cell, (King of the Ring, 1998).
Vote now, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they'll play the winning clip at the end of the show.
After commenting on some local events the WWF is participating in, we go to Caller One, who wants to know what the chances are of the WWF putting on a show at Penn State? Kelly says only if they build a four lane highway from Pittsburgh to State College, PA. The caller reminds Kelly of the perfectly good Pennsylvania Turnpike. Nope, only an new four-lane will do, since it will greatly simplify the WWF making connections to the State College area.
Caller two is all about Rikishi, and when is the big man due back? Kelly says he's in the HWA with Eddie G. working off the ring rust, and he will be back sooner rather than later. He's in the best shape of his life says Kelly, but he still has the big ass!
Caller Three wants to ask Mick Foley a question, but since he's not there yet, he'll wait, right, asks Kelly? Nope, says the caller, he just wants to know when Rey Mysterio Jr. and Big Poppa Pump will show up in the WWF? Kelly says for him to check the Ross Report, since Good Ol' JR is connected like nobody's business. The caller, obviously Canadian, says he wasn't able to go to the Smackdown in Montreal, and asks when the WWF will hold another PPV there?
"Of course," says Kelly, "Montreal is a great town. I got a lot of heat about what I said about Bret Hart recently, " says Kelly, "but that was because Earl Hebner took the week off when they were in Montreal, and not because of Bret. Hebner just had the week off."
(Looks like Kelly shot his mouth off again, since he's having yet another order of crow a la carte, and no gravy, too.)
Caller Four wants to know if the talks with DirecTV are still on? Kelly says not to his knowledge, and for the caller to look into sources other than DirecTV carrying the PPVs, such as the live webcast, for instance.
Caller Five wants to know if the WWF plans to be in Vancouver this year?
"Nope," says Kelly, "I've got the schedule in front of me here, and there's no Vancouver show on the books. But don't worry, we will be there, you can bet on it. Just keep watching."
Looks like Mick Foley's arrived, live via the phone.
He wants to know if Kelly's broadcasting from inside a cave or something? (Kelly's been having audio problems on today's show, and has been complaining about it to the show's producer, "Big Country," and somebody he calls 'the Long-Haired Guy.')
Anyway, the echo problem gets cleared up (more or less,) and Mick's here, just tickled to be the WWF Commissioner again. Although he doesn't feel he's got any power, since Vince McMahon's back. "I haven't had a chance to meet with Vince, though it's not for want of trying. I have been having fun with WCW Commissioner Regal. Last week I beat him in Connect Four, and this week I break out the Hungry Hungry Hippos."
Foley also had fun distributing food to the homeless, plus getting to participate in an ice cream eating contest, and pumpkin-flavored ice cream at that! "My favorite, you bet," says Foley, a confirmed pumpkin-aholic!
Next to Christmas, Foley like Halloween, and has had the Halloween decorations up since Labor Day at his house. Lots of gurgling and whining is heard in the background. Turns out Foley's got his new baby, Mickelson, on his lap, and he's kicking up a fuss.
Foley gurgles and coos some himself, which seems to calm the kid down, then talks about his new book, "Halloween Hijinks."
Kelly asks about the obvious swipes Foley takes at Al Snow and Test in the new book. Foley, pleading innocence, says the book's all about kids who don't want to be monsters on Halloween, they want to be WWF stars, but there are no WWF costumes left in the stores. Well, except for the huge supply of unsold Test costumes, (complete with Wedding Day left-at-the-altar-by-Stephanie wrinkled tuxedo and a set of genuine fake Test teeth!) Foley says the book's artist had a hard time deciding what to make for a Test costume, and finally decided on the tux and teeth route.
(Kelly and Fink are laughing fit to bust at this.)
Foley says that Judith Regan of Regan Books, his publisher liked the Christmas Chaos book so much that she wanted Foley to do the sequel. "I had the idea for the book in my head for about a year," says Foley, "I saw it in my head the same way I see my matches. I wanted the book to come across that way, so I could say to the critics that I wrote the book because I listened to what the fans wanted, and made them care about the characters. I want the fans to know that no novel I write is ghost-written. I write all my own stuff."
Kelly asks if Foley's got another novel in him. Foley says yes, but it's going to be a while before it comes out, because he's still writing and revising it. "It takes more than a year of writing and revising, especially if it's fiction. You want people other than wrestling fans to read the fiction."
Kelly mentions that the 1998 Hell In a Cell match is the runaway favorite in today's Classic Clips poll.
Mick's not to pleased about that, saying Hell In a Cell wasn't his best work.
Caller Six wants to know if Foley plans on doing anymore on the college lecture circuit?
Not in the near future says Foley. The last time, he had a book to sell and talk about. This time, he's got nothing, well, nothing yet.
Kelly tosses out the fishhook, saying that a lot of the fans are concerned about the direction the WWF has gone in, and what are Foley's thoughts about that? Foley sees the pit yawning at his feet, and deftly sidesteps it by saying that he thinks the WWF needs more humor in their programming. "They have also made some mistakes by not following up on storylines, and not finishing out character development," says Foley.
In addition, he continues, the sight of Kurt Angle being stretchered out of the ring the week after the September 11th disaster was such a good idea.
And then there are the guys he was Main Eventing with just last year, siting on the sidelines now. Guys like Justin Credible, Jerry Lynn, Mike Awesome, Tazz and Tommy Dreamer. They all can work, but why they aren't in the lineup isn't Foley's call.
"After Sept. 11th," says Foley, "we can't just not explain why things happen like we used to. Vince and Linda are back together now. The last time they were in the ring, Linda kicked Vince in the nuts! How'd we get from there to here? Huh?"
Kelly diverts the conversation by asking about whether Foley wants a "WWF's Funniest Moments" DVD? Foley wants to see "Rock and Sock connection" on it, along with "Mick and Mr. McMahon," ( and my favorite, "Mankind visits Vince in the Hospital.")
"I wish Hell In a cell would just disappear," says Foley, "I'd rather be known for the hokey stuff than the violence."
With the next caller, who asks if Hell In a Cell isn't Foley's favorite match, what is, foley replies that he always liked his match with Shawn Michaels from Mind Games, 1996.
Foley's last caller says that he goofs on his teachers at school by dressing up as one of Foley's three alter egos, Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love. The teachers all blame Foley because the kid read his book.
Foley tells the kid to have his teachers all watch the Today Show on NBC next week, because if Mick Foley's good enough for Katie Couric, he's good enough for them.
Foley also talks about the guy who hollered at him in Chicago and peed on his book. "An obvious plant to generate headlines," he scoffs.
Kelly asks Foley what his plans are for Halloween. "Mickelson will be dressed as a pumpkin," says Foley, "we'll go to WWF NY, and then do trick or treating. Tonight, it's off to the Haunted House. That's the real way to celebrate Halloween; you build up to it.
Foley also says that he was just on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," though he doesn't want to give the show away, just yet, since it'll be airing November 29th. Oh, and he's now part of the "Six degrees of Kevin Bacon" game since he got to hang with Bacon recently.
Fink and Foley reminisce about how far the business has come in the last five years. Foley says that, five years ago, you couldn't break character out of the ring.
Kelly says he's glad to hear that everything is going well, and what's the ranking of Halloween Hijinx? Foley says it's Sixth on the New York Times Bestseller List. "That makes me four for four, doesn't it," says Foley.
Mick leaves the show a bit early, which forces Kelly and Fink to natter among themselves about who they should have on the new, expanded show?
They manage to kill fifteen whole minutes before deciding that next week's guests should be Billy Kidman and the Iron Sheik. The Sheik gets the biggest pop out of the WWF online chatroom.
Kelly wants to know where Granger, the Byte This! technician who was supposed to get the haircut, is?
Big Country says Granger's gone.
"GONE??!! Gone where?"
"Gone away, Kev," says BC, " he's found other employment."
Sounds of strangulation and outrage emanate from the vicinity of Kevin Kelly as we
Fade to black.
See you next week.
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