|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer||
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 8 February 2002, and I'm E.C.
Nature Boy Ric Flair demonstrates the fun of Freeze Tag.
Your hosts, Kevin Kelly and Howard Finkel, are having one heckuva time getting Fink's headset to work. (Things just haven't been the same since Lucas left.)
Kelly's solution appears to be typical, i.e. just sit there and complain in a "Where'd my balls go?" whiny voice to Byte This! producer Big Country.
Fink keeps talking even though nothing's coming through.
Durn them tekny-kul difficultee gremlins, enny-way!
Finally, BC walks onto the set and produces Fink's real headset. (He's been sitting on it the whole time, and wearing somebody else's.)
BC doesn't get paid enough to put up with this crap.
On today's show, we anxiously await the re-nuptualizing of HHH and his now gravid wife, Stephanie, (whose Lakota Sioux name translates as "Talks Like A Hinge.")
Droz makes fun of his affliction.
Tazz speaks of losing his virginity about the same time he lost his training wheels.
We hear from Maven, who is still working in the minors even though he's the new WWF Hardcore Champ.
Finally, Worldwide Internet Baby Doll and the sole owner and operator of them thar REAL Canadian Rockies, Trish Stratus speaks on the grueling career of the WWF Diva.
We have a contest going in the ChatRoom:
Name HHH and SMH's baby.
Jeez, I can hardly wait.
Time for "Droz's Two Cents," Darren Drozdov's weekly review of all things WWF.
Kevin's still on about how bad today's show is, and how it's all BC's fault.
He ends by calling BC a woman, then demands that BC put the by-now notorious "BC's Mom" picture up on the chyron.
Country's way ahead of ol' Einstein there, and replies that he's deleted the pic off the database.
(By this action, Joanie "Chyna" Laurer just lost her last publicity spot at the WWF.)
Kelly makes a noise like a punctured whoopee cushion. Fink looks like the fat kid at school after we stole his lunch money.
Kelly greets Droz, and says that the show sucks today, nonetheless.
Droz is suitably impressed with Kelly's candor, and says so.
Obligatory NWO spot at this point, and great is the wailing and gnashing of teeth therefrom. Droz says that the locker room is just waiting to see what will happen when Nash, Hall and Hogan show up. Whether by in-ring action, (of which I suspect there will be minimal,) or the more likely backstage antics and skits, the NWO are bound to have some kind of effect on the WWF.
On to the hot topic of the week, namely HHH and Stephanie's impending re-nuptials, and Stephanie's just-announced pregnancy.
"Yeah," says Droz, "when I heard that, I got out of my bed and WALKED!"
High hilarity bounds. Droz then casts aspersions on Stephanie's truth-telling ability.
(SMH is eight weeks along according to her doctor's diagnosis on Smackdown. So what was HHH doing eight to ten weeks ago? Wasn't he still incapacitated with the quad injury? Hmmmm. This means that there could be a paternity question on the horizon, with the obligatory DNA test.
Here's a twist for you to consider. The DNA test reveals that the baby isn't really HHH's. It's Kurt Angle's. This would revive that whole HHH/Stephanie/Angle triangle from last year, provide great continuity, and restore my respect for the WWF Creative Team. It would also kick the Kurt Angle/HHH feud up another three or four notches.
Or, how about this for a really nasty twist:
Have Evil Vince be the father!
I can hear it now.
"Do you really love me Stephanie?
"Show me how much you love me, Stephanie.
"Show me how much you want to be 'Daddy's Little Girl' once again!"
Thing is, I wouldn't put it past the guy! Sound plausible to you?)
Baby names from the ChatRoom so far:
"HHH Jr., Fred, Danielle, Jean Paul, Little Terror Rising. Pokey's L'il Dog, Devil Spawn, and my favorite, Kurt Hunter Helmsley."
Droz also says that Arkansas is possibly the best place for HHH and SMH to renew their wedding vows, since the state's relaxed that law about first cousins marrying, ho ho.
On to Maven's winning the WWF Hardcore Title in a wild three-man gang-up on the Undertaker.
Droz says that it took three guys to take the Title from 'Taker.
"Even as big and powerful as the Undertaker is," says Droz, "nobody can beat three to one odds."
Fink remarks that he didn't expect The Rock to get involved in the match, even though he had the opening spot on the show where he called 'Taker out and got Booker T instead. But one well-timed Rock Bottom is what cost 'Taker the Title.
Next up is the great job Mad TV's Will Sasso did providing a fake Stone Cold Steve Austin as a foil for Chris Jericho to rag on.
"Both Jericho and Sasso got in a world of hurt because of that stunt," says Droz, "but Jericho's still got the Titles, so he's still the man."
(Yeah, but Sasso's the one facing possible reconstructive jaw surgery from that Stunner SCSA gave him, so Jericho should count his blessings. For now, at least.)
Back to the HHH/SMH re-nuptials.
Droz is tickled that Vince was more or less threatened into giving Stephanie away again by HHH.
"I really liked it when HHH called Vince 'grandpa!' crows Droz. "The look on his face was priceless!"
Kelly asks what's going to happen next?
"I dunno," says Droz, "being a grandpa's gotta be rankling Vince's ego a lot, plus he's gotta give Stephanie away on national TV and all. Maybe he's got something cooking with Stephanie to get back at HHH..."
(Which would support my "Evil-Vince-as-the-baby's-father" hypothesis from six paragraphs ago.)
'...but anything that makes Vince squirm is just fine by me!"
"What about the Rock's condition after being on the receiving end of 'Taker's Tombstone Piledriver on the limo roof last night?" asks Kelly.
"I understand he's being evaluated," says Droz, "but there's no word if he'll be ready for No Way Out. I guess we will just have to wait and see."
(Read into this that the Rock is still doing re-shoots of the "Scorpion King," so you won't see him back until the PPV.)
Fink asks about Hulk Hogan returning.
Droz says that Hogan is Hogan, still the biggest, most widely recognized name in pro wrestling, and he knows the business inside and out. No matter what he's going to do in the WWF, you can bet it'll be really interesting.
Fink corrects himself on Hogan's name, changing "Hulk" for "Hollywood."
Droz closes his segment with a plug for his weekly column, and a bubbling, enthusiastic comment or three about the results of the Billy & Chuck/Torrie & Stacy swimsuit posedown.
The chyron obligingly shows that "Wowee!" image of the leggy Miss Stacy crawling up along Torrie's reclining, superbly bikini'ed form...
(To quote Dusty Rhodes:
"Sumbody git mah med-cine!")
Kelly and Fink are wheezing like a pair of asthmatic bellows at what's on the chyron.
Goodbyes are said, and Droz leaves the show...
...to be replaced by Tazz's "Tales from the Hook," this week broadcasting from inside Tazz's nursery/rumpus room, because his kid is just going crazy in the background.
"I'm watchin' the Discovery Kids Channel with my kid here," says Tazz, "It's all about an octopus who's rapin' a turtle!"
"Yikes!" says Kelly, "isn't that a little too adult for your kid, Tazz?"
"Nah," says Tazz, "he's gotta learn about these things sometime. Why not now?"
"Is this how you teach your kid about the birds and bees, Tazz?" asks Kelly.
"Yeah," says Tazz, "why not? We start early here in the Hook, probably because we don't live as long. Take me, for instance. I lost my virginity when I was, oh, I'd say, four years old."
"Four years old?!" says Kelly in disbelief.
"Yeah," says Tazz, with a hint of pride in his voice, "she was nineteen..."
Discussion shifts, (thankfully) to Tazz's former pupil Maven winning the WWF Hardcore Title.
"Maven's gonna be walkin' wit' a limp," he says, "because of dat horseshoe he's got stuck up his ass!"
Tazz has never seen a rookie wrestler advance so far so fast.
"He's catching a lot of the breaks they've been handing to him," says Tazz, "and he's also been catching some flak from the locker room about how come he's gotten all this notoriety all of a sudden. Not only here, but down in Cincinnati, where he still trains with the HWA. Well, some people reach for the ball and drop it, and some hang on to it and make touchdowns. Even though he's young, Maven's a cool kid, very relaxed in the ring."
(Chyron shows Maven getting the pinfall on the Undertaker, with a prominent "Moments Ago" ScreenBug visible. Kelly takes this opportunity to rag on Big Country's lousy production techniques once more. BC retorts that the still he just used was better than the one they had tried out earlier, so he went with this one, and for Kelly to keep his big bazoo shut.)
Fink asks if Maven will be able to defend the Hardcore Title?
"I don't know," says Tazz, "it's the toughest Title to defend. You usually see it held by a veteran rather than a rookie. But Maven's one tough dude. He'll do just fine."
Kelly steers the conversation to the Six-Man Tag match, and how he didn't know the "tag anybody" rule was in force. Tazz says he didn't know until they announce the match; he just assumed it would be an ECW Tornado-style match with all three teams going at it.
"Which worked to our advantage," says Tazz, "because Spike tagged in Bradshaw and let the APA whup on Billy and Chuck while we rested up."
Kelly remarks that the crowd pops differently throughout a Tazz/Spike Dudley Title defense.
"At the start of the match, "he says, "they pop sort of like, 'oh no, this match is the one they lose the Tag Titles at!'"
"Yeah," says Tazz, "and then, when we win the match, the pop is like 'Wow, how'd they do that?' It's great to get that wide a reaction from the work we do.
"You know," he continues, "a lot of people say that Spike and I are mis-matched, that we shouldn't be the Tag champs. We don't dress alike, and we don't act alike.
(Tazz is responding to comments Arn Anderson made last week on Byte This! about what it means to be a tag team member.)
"Where is it written that Tag
teams have to dress alike, act alike, and have double-team moves? We gotta be doing something right, because we are surviving, just like a lot of the other tag teams out there. There's no "quit" in us, just like there's no "quit" in them. The odds have always been stacked against me and Spike, even when we were in singles. Nobody thought I'd make it, just like nobody thought Spike would make it, but here we are!"
Fink asks Tazz about having Kurt Angle on Sunday Night Heat this week.
"It's bad enough I gotta sit in the car for hours and listen to this guy," says Tazz, "now I gotta sit across from him and hear him some more!"
Some chatter named "Jimmy Galaxy" says that he's got the inside scoop: he says that Tazz's friend, Joey Numbers is the father of SMH's kid!
"That would explain his being in Tempe, Arizona," says Tazz, "he's hiding out from HHH!"
"Waiting until the heat dies down, hah?" says Kelly.
On the Renewing of Vows, Tazz accidentally (on purpose?) says 'Stephanie and Shane," which gets a hoot from everyone, even more so because it'll be taking place in Jonesboro, Arkansas and "they're used to that sort of thing out there."
Kelly suggests that they should renew the vows in The Hook.
"Yeah," says Tazz, "I'll bring the tiramisu, the espresso, the whole nut! We'll do it in the back of a station wagon. Real cozy!"
"Tiramisu?" chokes Kelly, who's laughing fit to bust.
"Either way," says Tazz, "it should be a blast."
More baby names:
"Big Momma Helmsley and Kamala Helmsley."
"Ouch," says Tazz, "that last one was uncalled for/"
A new name for the Spike Dudley/Tazz tag team:
"Ha ha, very funny," growls Tazz.
Email from a fan wants to know why Tazz's matches are always smoke-filled?
Tazz gives credit to Kevin Dunn for post -production work on Tazz's pyro. "That way," says Tazz, "the fans won't see how terrible I really am!"
Fink wants Tazz's thoughts on the new WWF Women's Champion, Jazz.
"I was in Birmingham with ECW, and we were having try-outs for the company where the hopefuls got in the ring with a veteran to show us how good they were, and maybe get a match.
"Well, Jazz was in the ring working with Mikey Whipwreck, and was just beating the hell out of him! I looked at Paul (Heyman) and said 'Wow! We gotta sign her up!' Since then she's gotten so good in the WWF that I'd pay to watch her and Jackie go at it. She's one tough broad, all right."
Speaking of Jackie, Kelly wants to know what Tazz thinks of Jackie getting her referee's license?
"With those stripes like that?" laughs Tazz, "You didn't know vertical stripes could protrude out like that, did you?
"Is it distracting," asks Kelly, "having a referee with such a big rack on her, Tazz?"
"Does it matter or what?" retorts Tazz.
Fink asks Tazz's thoughts on the impending arrival of the NWO.
"What are you gonna do?" replies Tazz, " they work here. It's the only game in town now. Where else are they gonna work? If the ratings go up when they arrive, it'll be good for business. We got three big names, three of the biggest in this business, so it makes good business sense to have them working for us. I don't know what they were like in WCW. I've met them here, but I can't make a judgement until I see them perform here. Anyway, I hate everybody and everybody hates me, so what does it matter?"
Kelly asks if Tazz ever wanted a dream match with Hogan?
"It's never been a dream of mine," says Tazz, "I'd be honored to wrestled Hogan, but not as much as if I were to wrestle Stone Cold Steve Austin."
Tazz also thinks that the Goldust/Rob Van Dam feud is going places.
"Goldust is in great shape," says Tazz, "and his promos are always dead on and perfect. It should be a great match-up."
Everybody gets in a shot at Michael Cole's new hairdo, with a suitably damning chyron accompanying.
"He (Cole) is a mean, bitter little man!' says Tazz, which cracks everybody up.
Tazz winds things up by saying that he will be attending a toy fair, to which Kelly and Fink warn all toy vendors within the sound of their voices to get ready, because Tazz is gonna "work the room," again, and schmooze their collective asses off.
Tazz leaves, and it's time for Outthink the Fink.
Fink wants to know which former WWF Women's Champ sang the National Anthem at which PPV?
Winner gets a 2002 WWF Divas Calendar. Even though they won't be able to use the January part of it.
Maven joins the show, and Fink wants to know where he found the magic carpet that he's taken to the top so fast?
Maven replies that it's been like a dream come true. Tough Enough was a lot of hard work, but it's paid off in matches with Booker T, Chris Jericho, Tazz and the Undertaker.
"My match with Chris Jericho got me a lot of ring experience," says Maven, "even though I didn't win, I learned about pacing and timing your moves. It was great!"
Fink asks Maven to respond to criticism that he's gotten too much of a break, and way too soon.
"I got into this business in a way others haven't," says Maven, "I know where the critics are coming from. It's not the magic carpet ride they think it is. I am working harder than I ever have before in my life. The situations that I've been placed in, well, I'm doing the best that I can with the opportunity that I've been given, is all. They gave me the ball, and if they give me the ball, it's my time to take the opportunity and go as far as I can with it. I give 110% every time I climb in the ring, and I think I haven't dropped the ball yet."
"You haven't dropped the ball at all," says Kelly.
Maven goes on to give credit to the folks in Heartland Wrestling Association for the training and guidance they've given him.
"I am still not as polished as I should be," says Maven, "but what they've taught me has stood me in good stead when I climb into the ring with the likes of the Undertaker and Chris Jericho."
Kelly wants to know how he prepared for the Hardcore match with the Undertaker?
"They called me in the early afternoon and told me to get on a plane," says Maven, " that I would be wrestling the Undertaker that evening. I had an hour to go home and get ready, made the flight, and was in the ring 45 minutes from the time I arrived at the arena. I didn't have time to think about the match, and that helped a lot. I had a week to think about my match with Chris Jericho, and I got really wound up about it. The match with the Undertaker was thrown at me so quick I didn't have time to get nervous."
Fink asks about how Maven will defend the Title.
Maven says that being the Hardcore Champ hasn't sunk in yet, he's still living the dream.
"I'll be a good champ and defend the Title any way I can, to the best of my ability, each and every night. "
"Will being the Hardcore Champ interfere with your training in the HWA?" asks Fink.
"No," says Maven, "it shouldn't. I won't change something that's working as well as this is. To do so would screw everything up."
Fink segues this into a plug for "Tough Enough 2" and wants Maven's thoughts on the new show.
"I've been through what the new guys will be going through," says Maven, "so I can feel their pain, too. I've worked with this new group, and they are fine people. What most fans don't realize is that they will cram a whole year's worth of training into about ten weeks, up really early in the morning, and not get home until 10 or 11 at night. You gotta feel for what they are going through."
Maven's segment wraps up, and we get a break with a video showing Trish Stratus winning the WWF Women's Title at the 2001 Survivor Series.
Trish Stratus joins the show, but the ol' technical problems come back, and it's several minutes before they are resolved, notwithstanding more of Kelly's pointless whining.
Trish is feeling a bit under the weather with a stomach virus, to which Kelly and Fink fall all over themselves to get the ChatRoom to come up with suggested remedies.
Trish thanks everybody for their concern, adding that it is a big thrill to be voted "Internet Babe of the Year!"
"It's real special, because it wasn't affiliated with any magazines; it was a special shoot for the Internet. To win the accolade over seven or eight other contestants is quite an honor."
Kelly asks about losing the Women's Title to Jazz.
"Jazz was focused on one task alone when she climbed into the ring with me," says Trish. "Jazz was the mystery opponent at the Survivor Series, and has achieved the goals she set for herself. She's a tough competitor, very resilient. I know, I've been in the ring with her."
Fink remarks that Trish is resilient, too, and how did she come by it?
"My competitive nature," says Trish, "I want to be the best I can be in everything I do. When I want something, I focus on it. Like when I injured my hand, I was determined to get back to where I was before the injury."
"Did the injury play a role in your loss to Jazz?" asks Fink.
"No," says Trish, "we had a straight out match, nothing special, and Jazz won. I'll challenge Jazz once again, and next time, I'll come out on top."
Kelly wants to know what Trish learned from co-hosting WWF Excess with Jonathan Coachman?
"I was off TV with my injury," says Trish, "and they offered me that job. It was way different from what I thought it was going to be. I learned a lot about that side of the business, how to be comfortable in front of the camera and all. Then, when I was going for the Women's Title, I had to put Excess behind me and stay focused on the ring work, which is what I am doing now. Excess was good while it lasted, and I'm glad I was able to do it."
"Given the number of offers you had before coming here, from WCW among others" says Fink, "why did you choose the WWF instead of them?"
"I've always been a fan of the WWF," says Trish, "I liked the product and what they stood for. It was an honor that they even considered me."
Kelly wants to know if Trish misses being a fitness model?
"It's the same routine for both," says Trish, "you train, and get ready, and then they do the photo shoot. It's great experience for being in the WWF. It's all the same work, so I'm really not missing any of it. The only thing was, fitness modeling had lost its challenge to me. I needed something else to challenge me, and in the WWF, you are challenged every time and in everything you work for. It's that constant challenging that I love."
A caller wants to know if Trish has ever considered offers from "other publications," specifically Playboy?
Trish replies that it's not the right time for her.
"It was right for Chyna," she says, "because Chyna wanted to prove that you could be muscular and still be attractive. It's all about timing. I'm just not interested in doing it right now. It's a personal thing."
Kelly wants to know how Trish feels about Wrestlemania X-8 being in Toronto, Canada?
"It's the biggest event of the year, and having what could be the biggest match of my career in front of my hometown crowd, my friends and my family, it's just tremendous. Canadians are all so loving and giving that anywhere I go in Canada, I've got a hometown, I'm the hometown girl. Think of it. Last year, I wasn't in the running for the Women's Title, but this year, I could be competing for it at Wrestlemania!"
"What's the most romantic gift you've ever gotten for Valentine's Day, Trish?" asks Kelly.
"I haven't really gotten anything romantic for Valentine's Day," says Trish, which shocks the hell out of everybody on the planet!
"Nothing?" asks Kelly in disbelief. "no flowers, no candy, no romantic dinner for two...!"
"What romantic gifts have you gotten for Valentine's Day, Kevin?" asks Trish in a voice that would melt steel.
"Uh, oh, ah, uhh, guys don't get romantic Valentine's Day gifts," says Kelly.
"Uh huh," says Trish, "what a shame..."
Fink, covering for the flustered Kevin Kelly, asks the ChatRoom for some suggested romantic Valentine's gifts for Trish, and the WWFdotcom site just about shuts down from the volume of responses.
Trish says that she's off for Valentine's Day, so any romantic gifts, (furs, cars, jewelry, especially diamonds,) should be sent to her place, and be assured she WILL enjoy them!
We have a winner in today's Outthink the Fink question. Fink asks Trish if she knows the answer, and she doesn't.
The correct answer is: "Rockin' Robin sang the National Anthem at Wrestlemania 5."
Some guy from Omaha wins the WWF Divas calendar.
Trish gets in a plug for the new "Divas at Hedonism" show that UPN is running just before Wrestlemania.
Kelly asks about the lifestyle of a WWF Diva.
Trish replies that she's on the road 4 to 5 days a week, and having to maintain a level of physicality necessary for the work that she does. "You have to be strong physically and emotionally," says Trish, "you can't let anything distract you from the routine. It took me about a year to get the routine down. When I inured my ankle, I was amazed how tough it was getting back on the road. You get your schedule down, doing the things you need to, and get the training in. Soon, your body gets used to it, and you get used to it. The routine is what makes it all worthwhile."
Kelly thanks Trish of being their guest on Byte This!, and remarks that somebody in the ChatRoom suggested Altoids as a remedy. Trish likes the idea, and will try it.
Kelly holds up a copy of WWF Magazine, and shows the photo spread on the aforementioned Divas show.
Trish thanks everybody, and leaves.
Kelly brings out Announcer -in -Training Seth Mates, but not for push-ups until unconsciousness sets in.
Kelly asks several questions of Mates, but requires that Mates not speak, having not yet earned that right.
"Is Big Country a woman?"
Mates nods dutifully, but keeps his mouth shut.
We get another five minutes of sophomoric humor along this vein, before Big Country closes the show with the Classic Clip of HHH and Stephanie being married way back in 1999.
Next week's guest should be The Rock.
See you then.
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