|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer||
This is the WWE Byte This report for Friday, 11 October 2002, and I'm EC.
Prior to the
We get a "Knockaround Guys" promo.
Three out of four ain't bad.
So we wander over to the Byte This! set, live in Stamford, CT, and there's Kevin Kelly doing a passable "Jabba The Hutt" impression.
"Doraa gotooh datooda Bantha poodoo, Solo."
"Ah, ah, ah, ho, ho, ho, hoo..."
Oops, sorry, he's speaking English, and I just naturally translated that into Hutt-ese. Guess Kelly's impression is better than I thought.
Subbing in for the "absent with the Divas" Dr. Tom Prichard is the latest addition to the WWE Announce Staff, one Josh Matthews, charter member and "plank owner" from "Tough Enough 1."
Josh is looking attentive and alert on the set.
I smell "big break" here.
Kelly, cutting Josh some slack, asks him how he likes working for WWE?
Josh replies that everyone's been so helpful and kind to him, and he's just having a ball, I love my work, you are such a great guy, Kevin, etc. etc.
Kelly moves right on to the latest revelation about Kane's murderous past.
(Of course, it's just got to be WWE's fair-haired boy, HHH who spills Kane's beans all over TV Land. The planet would spin off its axis if HHH wasn't involved in some half-assed angle promoting his own career at the expense of somebody else's.
Y'know, I'll just bet that this whole "Katie Vick" story line has Kane, scarred and burned, spotting the beautiful Katie from his lonely room in the asylum. Being smitten with her, he woos her from afar with poetry and flowers. Upon falling for him, Katie demands to see Kane in person. Confronted with the real thing, scars and all, Katie is horrified; so horrified that she flees from Kane, and during that flight, has a fatal accident. Kane is exonerated, but the incident so torments him that he becomes the brooding hellspawn we all know and love. It's taken him ten years to really believe that "Chicks Love Freaks," and get a sense of self-worth back.
Only to have HHH stick his big bazoo in his personal affairs and spoil it all.
Naah, c'mon, this is KANE we are talkin' about here; the guy who choke-slams Pete Rose in front of children on Halloween night!
The truth is Kane probably went trolling for ho's with Tazz down to Hunts Point and got a little too, umm, "frisky" with Miss Katie, who wound up face down in Sheepshead Bay.
That's probably the best story line the WWE Creative Team could come up with, anyway.)
Meanwhile, Kelly is almost drooling in anticipation of the potential gory details of Kane's past.
Josh, in the best carny-shill style, isn't divulging anything, as he says we will have to find out Monday on Raw.
Droz checks in with his "Two Cents," and starts with how great the Raw TLC Match was, and how the fans got mad with HHH coming out and ruining the whole thing with the "revelation."
Droz continues with the Undertaker cheating on his wife, or so Brock Lesnar says.
"How can you explain your way out of that to your wife, even if you aren't guilty?" asks Droz.
Droz also picks 'Taker to win "Hell In A Cell," though he's going in against long odds with the mind games Lesnar and Paul Heyman have been pulling on him.
Kelly goes back to Kane vs. HHH, and Droz says that Ric Flair has to be watched.
"Kane can't trust Flair at all, here," says Droz, "and that murder charge, phoney or not, just adds fuel to the fire at No Mercy."
Kelly asks what Droz uses as criteria on picking a winner from Tough Enough?
Droz says they have to have the desire to win and do anything towards that goal.
Back to 'Taker, and how Paul Heyman can screw with people's minds. Droz says that Heyman bears watching by 'Taker; if he can come up with this "shacking-up" angle he's pulling on 'Taker.
Droz leaves and Kelly asks Josh how tough is it to switch what he's learned from working the "Tough Enough" ring to working the commentator job?
Josh says what he's found to be the toughest is how to move storylines along, and set up for each successive match. It is a lot harder than it looks, but guys like Kelly and Michael Cole make it appear effortless.
On the phone is Tazz, who thanks Josh for remembering his birthday.
Kelly asks if Tazz is doing anything special for his birthday?
"Nah," says Tazz, "but I got a ring on the roof. We hold a match up there, then set it on fire and roast midgets. It's the Red Hook tradition."
Kelly asks about Tracy the Tomato showing up to accuse 'Taker of shacking up with her.
"We don't know the particulars here," says Tazz, "So I don't judge anybody. Yet."
Josh asks about Heyman's role in the whole affair?
Tazz counters by saying that Josh really should have been doing "Tough Enough" with Heyman running things, "so you could be exposed to the full horror that is Paul Heyman!"
Kelly asks Tazz about Josh learning the ropes being a commentator.
Tazz says Josh has the ability and the drive to be a great commentator. WWE never has enough commentators.
"He's been in a ring and been bumped around," says Tazz, "and that's rare for a commentator. But if he gets too cocky, I'll shut him down."
"Thanks, Tazz," laughs Josh.
Speaking of "Tough Enough," Kelly asks how Tazz knows if a contestant has the drive to succeed.
"You look in their eyes," says Tazz, "and you can tell right off if they have what it takes to succeed. Fear can be there; it usually is. But if I see determination there, too, I know they have what it takes to be a champion."
(Chyron shows a picture of Maven and Steve Nowinski looking pensive.)
Tazz says he's been a part of the TE cast, and that the TE 3 group have a good mix, although there are a couple of ringers in there. He also takes a couple of shots at "Big," mostly for his being a Penn State fan.
Tazz says he's real excited about TE 3, especially the way Bill (Hugh Morrus) DeMott works as a trainer.
"This guy is just phenomenal," say Tazz, " and I hope the fans get to see just how passionate he is about this business, and what a great trainer he is."
Tazz leaves, but not before dubbing himself "Tazz, The Human Shill Machine," which gets a laugh from everybody.
"Smell that Josh?" asks Kelly, "that's new merchandise being sold!"
"I gotta go roast another midget," says Tazz, "'bye now."
We go to the phones, and caller Mikey from New Jersey, who wants to know if Josh will ever think about going back to the ring?
Josh says he's happy doing what he's doing right now, and has no plans about going back to the ring.
Mikey then asks who Josh's favorite TE contestant was? Other than himself?
"Maven is my choice," says Josh, "although we haven't seen too much of him since he got injured. He'll be back before too long."
It's time for "Big," the "Tough Enough" house-meister, live on the phone. Josh even makes up a cool, on-the-spot intro tune for him, which cracks Big up no end.
"Wow," says Big, "you guys are scary. And I am glad to see that Josh is doing well for himself."
"Thanks, Big," says Josh.
Kelly wants to know about the drama that has surrounded TE 3, starting with the fracas over the house in Malibu, and one Kelsey Grammer.
Big says that TE 3 is gonna be great, which is surprising, considering all the grief they had just getting a house for the kids to live in.
"We found this house in Malibu, right on the ocean," says Big, "very MTV-style, but it was a block away from Kelsey Grammer's place. He filed an injunction with the town council, which pretty much bashed our show and bashed the wrestling public, it was pretty demeaning and upsetting to me. But the upshot was, we actually had people calling us, telling us about potential houses for the show out there. We found one, up in the Calabasas Mountains, which was just gorgeous. I can honestly say that this is the nicest house we've had on the series, in fact, that ANY house that MTV has used on any of their projects. Also, it's kind of apropos that it looks DOWN on Kelsey Grammer's property, too."
Josh says that he's a big fan of TE 1, (surprise surprise,) and wants to know what we can expect from TE 3?
Big says that TE 1 was a great opportunity for all concerned, while TE 2 showcased the athletic women.
"This season," says Big, "we received over a thousand videotapes, and from them selected the best seventy five to come to an audition in three regional city. We wanted to know if they had the passion. Then the twenty three we picked went to California and trained with Bill DeMott, Al Snow, and Ivory for three days to see if they could cut it physically, could stand up to the rigors of training. That helped us pick the best of the best of the best for the show."
Kelly wants to know how Bill DeMott fitted in with the rest of the trainers, and what he brought to the show?
Big says that DeMott gave him some concerns because of his background from WCW, but Bill hit a home run with the show.
"He's not afraid to voice his opinion,' says Big.
Kelly asks Josh when the "friction" in the house will start?
"Two or three weeks," laughs Josh, "unless you are Darryl, who got on everybody's nerves within two to three HOURS!"
Kelly asks at what point can we expect to see Big in the ring?
Big laughs, and says "Big don't bump!"
With that, Big leaves the show.
Kelly asks Josh if Big has ever been in a bad mood?
"Big always has a special place in his heart for Mondays," says Josh, "when we walked into the gym and Big said "I feel like doing something BIG today," look out!"
Kelly asks Josh how he likes working and living in Stamford, CT?
"I really like it a lot!" says Josh, enthusiastically.
We take a quick time out and watch a video clip of highlights from TE 1.
Man, Ivory's just kicking the hell out of the contestants.
She likes Chris Nowinski, though.
No accounting for taste, huh?
Hey! There's Tori! Remember Tori? Kane's girlfriend, Tori?
Back to the studio, where Kelly's getting hammered by the Chatroom. Lot's of talk about "tucking in his shirt," and "man-boobs."
Josh is laughing fit to bust over one comment that says Kelly could breast-feed if his wife is too busy!
"Guess you'll need another kid to check that one out, huh, Kev?" laughs Josh.
Kelly, looking for a way out of this, brings TE 1 champ Nidia on the show.
Kelly points out Nidia's new-found multi-lingo talent in slinging the "Espagnol" with Rey Mysterio on Smackdown last night.
Kelly also says that if Josh doesn't cut the mustard in commentator school, it's pfft! back to the indys!
"Are you gonna take that from him, Josh?" asks Nidia.
"Uh," says Josh, "I guess I have t-WELL, NIDIA, how are things being a superstar in WWE? Tell me all about it!"
Kelly asks what Nidia received from TE 1, besides an trophy and a fat check?
"And friendship with me?" adds Josh.
"Work hard and good things will come from that," say Nidia.
Kelly pushes the WWE Diva group, and mentions the work Fit Finlay has been doing with them.
Nidia says that Finlay taught her how to use her anger, her emotions, take them to the ring and control them, make them an integral part of her in-ring persona.
Josh wants to know where Nidia learned Spanish?
"I was born in Puerto Rico," says Nidia.
"Boy, you really got to know these people you were in the house with, didn't you Josh?" says Kelly.
On the Rey Mysterio incident on Smackdown, "I told Rey that I had a cup of ice and about fifteen minutes," says Nidia, "but the guy was a little slow. He asked me if I was gonna make a cocktail or something? I had to be more clear about it, telling him we should take his "6-1-9" and leave the "1" out. I don't think he appreciated that too much. Hmmm. Maybe he likes men!"
Kelly says his grade school Spanish had Rey saying "he'd rather lay down with a dog in the alley than do anything with you, Nidia."
Kelly also asks if there is any trouble with Jamie Noble stemming from this incident? Nidia says that couples have troubles from time to time, but this shouldn't affect their relationship.
Kelly then asks what advice Nidia can give to the TE contestants?
"Stick with it, whatever happens," says Nidia, "because it is all worth it."
Kelly asks about how important it is for the contestants to get along in the house?
"I'm on the road living with the people I work with," says Nidia, "getting along with all of them is very important. It is a skill that, if you don't have it, you need to learn it, and fast!"
The Chatroom says that the only reason Nidia lost the bikini contest was because of the lame-ass dance she did!
"Thanks a lot, guys," says Nidia, getting a bit kayfabe, "I think the real reason I lost was because Torrie (Wilson) is a blonde, just like Billy & Chuck (the "judges") are blondes. A brunette like me didn't have a chance in there! What's worse, none of them are natural blondes! Not a one! Lame-ass dance! Hmph!"
Kelly asks if she is having fun?
"I am having a blast," says Nidia, "I am doing what I love to do and get paid to do it!"
A fan asks what Nidia thinks about Linda Miles and Jackie Gayda?
"They are working their little backsides off right now," say Nidia, "don't worry, they will be back soon enough!"
Nidia tries to expand on that but Byte This! producer Matt Duda says Chris Nowinski is on the phone, and for Kelly to wrap it up with Nidia.
Kelly, of course, passes this info on to Nidia, who says that the next time she's in Stamford, her foot is gonna be so far up Matt Duda's-"
"Whoa, thanks for coming on the show, Nidia," says Josh with a laugh.
As Nidia leaves, Kelly and Josh joke around with Byte This! producer Matt Duda.
Caller Hope from Illinois wants ot know if Josh keeps in touch with Greg these days?
Josh says he hasn't spoken with Greg since TE 1's finale, but he thinks Greg is wrestling in the Pennsylvania indys, still pursuing his dream.
Kelly shills for the Canada house shows next week.
Live on the phone is Chris Nowinski.
Kelly asks Nowinski how he's doing since the jaw surgery?
Chris says he should be back before too long. "Besides, " he continues, "Chicks dig scars!"
Kelly asks how difficult it has been to watch Raw, and be out injured.
Chris says he had a great time watching TLC and the Blindfold match.
"I really liked the Vegas Showgirls" match, too. What a way to nail William Regal's big ego!"
Kelly asks what the key to being a good contestant on TE would be?
"Get along with your housemates,' says Chris, "everyday you get tested and challenged, and you can't have any bad days, in the ring or out."
The Chatroom wants to know if Nowinski has a girlfriend?
"This is probably some fifty-year-old guy in his underwear," laughs Kelly.
Nowinski expands on what his schedule has been like, working the road three days a week, then tapings back with OVW, then training.
"It still beats pharmaceutical sales, though," he says with a laugh.
Kelly asks about the talent in OVW.
"Lots of superstar material," says Chris, "they really do some amazing things down there."
Kelly asks when we can expect to see Nowinski back in the ring?
"Couple of months," says Nowinski.
Kelly says he should watch out for Tommy Dreamer, too.
Chris Nowinski leaves the show, as caller Markie from Illinois wants to know if we could see a TE champ go against somebody of HHH's caliber?
"It wouldn't be fair to either of them," says Josh, "I don't think we will see that anytime soon."
On the phone now is TE 1 Champ Maven, who is still recovering from his injury.
Maven and Josh have a big reunion. Maven says his return ETA looks like by the end of October to do training and workouts in OVW.
Josh asks Maven what his football picks are?
Kelly says that the lock is Miami over Florida State.
As for the pros, Maven tells Josh to bet all the points-over games.
"Uh, we don't support ILLEGAL GAMBLING on Byte This!, Josh," says Kelly.
"Illegal?" says Josh innocently, "we bet with pencils!"
Kelly asks Maven how his mom is doing fighting her cancer? "When do the doctors say she's in remission?"
"Unfortunately," says Maven, "with the type of cancer she's got, there in the bone marrow, she will never be entirely free of it. But she's strong, and is dealing with it day to day. Every day is another victory to her, and to me."
More fun with the football pools, and then Kelly tells Maven about Josh's Internet dream girl, and does Maven have some dating advice for him?
"Josh needs no advice from me," laughs Maven.
Kelly asks what Maven looks for in a TE contestant?
"It doesn't matter how big you are," says Maven, "Heart! That's what I look for. Who wants to be a WWE superstar bad enough?"
Josh adds that you never know just what the WWE people are looking for. Add to it that you didn't know who would be cut."
Maven adds that he and Josh knew, deep down, that they would not get cut. The question then became " Who are the contestants we have to beat?"
More on pro football, with emphasis on the hapless St. Louis Rams.
Maven then holds forth on the spectacular rise of Brock Lesnar, to which Josh adds that Maven was the first WWE wrestler to feel the effects of Lesnar's "F5" finisher.
Kelly wants to see a return match between Maven and Lesnar.
Maven then tells Josh about the trick he pulled on Al Snow when they went out on the road the first time.
"I gave him a list of the hotel and restaurants that I would go to, and no others," laughs Maven, "you know Al, he never met a dollar he didn't save."
As Maven leaves the show, he and Kelly argue about using the next video clip now, or at the end of the show.
This takes an odd turn to talk of the recently-ended Nicole Bass lawsuit.
"Big win for WWE!" crows Josh.
Kelly says some of the best, drop-dead funniest lines he ever read were the one's (WWE attorney) Jerry McDeavitt cross-examination on Bass. "That trial transcript must be just hilarious!"
"I guess it just points up the fact that these frivolous lawsuits have got to stop, it is just crazy. Absolute madness!" says Kelly.
We take another break and watch exclusive, never-before seen video footage from the new Tough Enough 3 show.
Emphasis on "Tough."
Especially from Bill DeMott!
Live on the phone is Bill DeMott, Tough Enough 3 trainer, and from the look of those video clips, one genuine badass teacher, too.
"I don't remember ever yelling like that," says Bill, in mock surprise, "that's false advertising!"
"You get kinda passionate, dontcha?" says Kelly.
"I had the opportunity to give back to WWE and wrestling, so I wore my heart on my sleeve, and just brought it to 'em," laughs DeMott.
"Where does that tough philosophy of yours come from?" asks Kelly.
"I was brought into this business by the unpredictable Johnny Rodz," says DeMott, "and the first thing I learned is respect. You respect the trainers and everybody who knows more than you do. You respect what you are doing in the ring. Over the years, I've learned to respect a lot of people and this business. That's an old school philosophy, I'm sure, but there's more to this business than just being a TV star!"
Josh asks if Tough Enough is somehow an easier way into the business than the slog through the minors that DeMott had to go through?
"It's a shortcut," says DeMott, "but the business is changing all the time. As far as paying dues, a lot of the guys don't pay their dues like we used to. There's an old school mentality, but it's "new school" out there these days. If I could get into the business now, I don't know if I could make it through a Tough Enough today."
Kelly asks if DeMott felt that WWE asking him to be a trainer on Tough Enough meant that he'd never be back in the ring again, professionally?
"I still can't believe the time I put in was just three months, Kev," says DeMott. "First and foremost, I was flattered because I came from WCW rather than WWE. I was asking "Why me?" Then I thought this was the end of my in-ring career, and that I'd be teaching for the rest of my career. But no matter what happens to my career, it has been in my favor. I thought it was iffy, until I got my hands dirty training, and then I wasn't worried about the future."
"How soon before the fans call you Bill instead of Hugh Morrus?" asks Kelly.
"I was on the road just last week,' says DeMott, "doing a house show where they announced me as Bill DeMott, and out walks Hugh Morrus. I was hearing "Hugh! Hugh!" chants all night. A lot of the fans still don't know who Bill DeMott is, and they may not like him at all once they see Tough Enough. But they are - "
and we lose Bill DeMott's phone connection.
As Matt Duda struggles to get Bill DeMott back on the line, Kelly asks Josh if DeMott resembles the drill sergeant from "Full Metal Jacket," who is Kelly's idea of the "Original Hard-ass."
Josh says that he sees DeMott as the culmination of the hard-ass style of trainers for Tough Enough, following in Tazz and Bob Holly's footsteps, but kicking it up another notch; he is a proper, although somewhat terrifying, necessity for the contestants' success.
Bill DeMott comes back on the line, saying that Hugh Morrus was trying to dial through, which gets a laugh.
Kelly asks what DeMott looked for in a TE contestant.
"That look in their eye," says DeMott, "I could tell who had the fire, and who was looking to just get on TV. Those last guys got on my bad list real quick."
Kelly refers to DeMott as the heart and soul of WCW, and asks him how he feels about WCW now?
"I could dwell on a lot of negatives," says DeMott, "but when the company was bought out, Bill DeMott made the cut. It is about whether you are in the business for the money, the short-term, or was I in the business for the long haul, to give back to the business that built my career."
Kelly asks if DeMott would be an agent if the opportunity comes around?
DeMott says that the way he is, day-to-day, his mood is light and happy. On Tough Enough, my role was a bad cop. For eight hours a day, my job was to be a hard-ass. As an agent, it's my job to make the matches work."
Kelly asks DeMott for some football picks for Josh.
"Go Giants, Josh," say DeMott, "I'm from Jersey, so I should know, right?"
Kelly thanks DeMott for being on the show.
Matt Duda asks Josh if there was anything between he and Taylor like there was between Pete and Jackie Gayda in Season Two?
"Nope," says Josh, "we were too tired."
Kelly and Josh then talk for a bit about the current "Real World" bunch and their somewhat casual attitude to sexual liaisons.
Whoops, here's Dr. Tom Prichard live from the WWE Divas shoot, calling it one of the most defining weeks in his life.
"Bikinis everywhere, sun, fun, Phoenix just rules," says Dr. Tom, "and then to come back to rainy gloomy Stamford. Man, that's just a bad, bad thing to come home to."
Dr. Tom then gives a synopsis of the Divas photo shoot.
"How do you have anything to do with the Divas shoot, Dr. Tom," asks Kelly.
"I spotted a rattlesnake in Scorpion Valley," say Dr. Tom, "but they had a ranger capture it and turn it loose up in the hills. Then I got to drive around in a golf cart, scouting likely photo locations. Then I got to play some golf. Then there was pool time. Then there was the photo shoot itself, with the towel-offs and getting the water whenever the Divas got thirsty..."
"You were "Security" then?" asks Kelly.
"Yes, I most definitely was "Security" for the Diva Photo Shoot!" says Dr. Tom proudly. (The chyron shows Dr. Tom's "Body Donnas" pic. Josh is impressed.)
The Chatroom wants to know if Dr. Tom walked in on Torrie or Stacy accidentally on purpose?
"Nooo, c'mon now, that's just lame," scoffs Dr. Tom, " I don't do things like that."
Dr. Tom then says that Ivory brought along her cat, but no kitty litter.
"So you got to mind Ivory's pussy?" asks Kelly.
Kelly and Dr. Tom then take a couple of minutes dissing WWE photographer Tom Fretas, and his unusual eating habits.
Kelly asks Dr. Tom for some football picks, which Dr. Tom does, but the picks are garbled.
We wind things up with Dr. Tom calling down God's wrath on the airlines for that crummy flight home.
The Chatroom likes the idea of "pussy" on the show very much.
Kelly says that he's looking forward to being in Florida in December.
"Florida's the place to be when the snow flies up here."
He also wants to know if Byte This! will be back at WWE's "The World" anytime soon?
Matt Duda says that there are a lot of question marks around that show, but things should be resolved by next week.
In closing, Josh says that he's currently working the International version of "WWE Bottom Line" and "Heat" shows.
Kelly says that Josh is also the guy who TSN cuts to up in Canada when the in-ring action gets too hot, "so when we go to Canada, Josh is the one taking the heat from the fans!"
Next week's guest is rumored to be Kane.
But don't quote me.
Kelly and Josh shill for the upcoming WWE house shows this week, and also for the "No Mercy" PPV.
"If you fans haven't seen a "Hell In A Cell" match live," says Kelly, as he closes the show, "you are really missing something!"
See you next week.
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