Hello all my loving fans, both of you. Mom and Dad.
Okay, just Mom.
Before I go any further, I would like to take a moment to restate, as I have before, that this column (and it's current format and unique style) was started way back in July of 1999. Check the Slashwrestling archives if you want to verify this. The reasons for me bringing this up again may well become evident next week. Just be patient, and all will be revealed.
On another unrelated note, I am in the market for a new gaming system, but can only afford one. I have narrowed the scope to two systems, either the Playstation 2 or the XBox. I am looking for a system with lots of great action, fighting, and role playing games. Can you offer advice? Send your take on the pro's and con's of each of these systems to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate any and all help that you can offer.
Ok. Now then, on to the reason you bothered to load this page: Wrestling!
The WWF is really kicking HHH's return into high gear, aren't they? (Note the sarcasm there.) Between RAW and Smackdown last week, The Game had about 15 total minutes of TV time, and half of that was him soaking up the cheers as he walked to, or around, the ring. I am willing to let this definitive lack of a real return go for the first week, but I have to say, if he doesn't do something a little more substantial between now and the Royal Rumble, I might just have to get angry. And, Mr. McGee, you won't like me when I am angry.
Sorry...I guess it just seems to me that, considering all the hype behind his return, he should actually be doing something more than just pedigreeing random WWF superstars for cheap crowd heat.
But that's just one man's opinion.
In other Smackdown news, Booker T lived the dream and vomited all over Michael Cole after taking a Rikishi stinkface. Evidently, Rikishi had some gastrointestinal issues that day and it made the experience all the more disgusting, as if having your faced shoved deep into the crack of a 350 pound Samoan's ass isn't gross enough for you. I'd be lying if I said that the image of Booker blowing chunks all over Cole didn't make me laugh out loud, but I also recognize that it really was over the top and inappropriate by most standards.
It was a week of returns as it was announced on Smackdown that no less than four superstars will be coming back to the ring at the Royal Rumble. Seems Val Venis and The Godfather will be digging up their old gimmicks (Want ratings much, Vince?), Dustin Runnels is going to break out the bra and garters to assume the guise of Golddust once again, and Mr. Perfect, Kurt Hennig, will have another chance to demonstrate just how it's supposed to be done.
Personally, I'd fall out of my chair if Hennig captured a victory at the Rumble. But alas, as cool as that would be, I know there's "no chance in hell" of it happening.
Word on the Internet is that Nash, Hall, and Hogan have all signed deals with the WWF. God help us all if there is even a shred of truth to this. I hope they job Hogan out to everyone from The Rock to Jeff Hardy to The Brooklyn Brawler. Teach him a lesson in humility, I say.
Okay, time to get one show closer to the PPV. I bring you....
The Good, Bad, and Ugly for WWF RAW, airing 1/14/2002
FLASHBACK: HHH kicking the Big Show in the Junk twice to get a pedigree landed on the big man. There's only one way for The Game to bring a man that large down, and it's good that he remembered what it was. If you recall, he used the same strategy when he won the title from Show all those months ago.
GOOD: Whooooo! When Flair is out, you just have to sit up and listen.
BAD: I hate the term "bleeding like a stuck pig." It's grotesque and overused. I charge my readers to come up with a better line and e-mail it to me. Maybe I can get the WWF announcers to start using some other simile.
GOOD: A tip of the hat to Kerri Von Erich. Rest in peace, Tornado.
WHY...would Flair show footage of his own destruction from last week? I sure hope that it's for a reason other than appeasing McMahon's ego
BAD: Adding a sound effect to the pipe smacking Ric in the face. Okay, most of us saw it last week and we didn't hear the pipe then, so why do we hear it now? I promise you, Vince, your fans are not stupid...well most of us aren't.
GOOD: Hot babe holding a "whooooo" sign. It has to be good to be Flair.
BAD: Flair and Vince in a street fight. I want to see them in a bell to bell affair that's on the mat and by the book. The idea of a no holds barred contest leaves the match too open to overbooked screwjob run-ins.
GOOD: Flair bouncing around the ring in a fervor challenging Vince. Classic Nature Boy. How does he get his face so damned red?
GOOD: Jericho appearing in Vince's place. I don't need to tell you why I like this, do I? Okay, one more time. Vince is a megalomaniac, self absorbed, over powerful ass who needs to spend a lot less time on television...and convince his kids to do the same.
UGLY: Jericho's pants. My TV set is having trouble rendering them...they look like a Magic Eye painting.
BAD: Note to all crowds at live events, ENOUGH WITH THE "WHAT?" BULLSHIT.
GOOD: Jericho makes a great point about the champion being the center of the federation's attention, not the owner. Amen, brother. Keep shooting while you got that gold, 'cause you ain't going to have it forever.
I WONDER...if Flair feels like he's watching a younger version of himself while Jericho is spewing his rant. Great stuff here.
AWESOME: Jericho denying that Bush is his leader. Took a lot of you a second or two to get that one didn't it? Even the Canadian born CyanIndigo had to think about it for a moment.
EVIL: Jericho: "At the Royal Rumble, you are going to do the same thing President Bush did yesterday. You are going to choke!" Talk about hitting a country below the belt. Can you get much more heelish than that?
GOOD: Flair nailing the low blows to regain the advantage. Dirtiest player in the game...gotta love it.
FUNNY: Vince's face as he charges the ring to make the save. He looks constipated.
WEAK: Looks like Vince and Flair were a little off kilter during their physical confrontation. Flair seemed to miss the first pipe shot and Vince's attempt to kick Flair in the junk was just sloppy. Hope they get it right in time for Sunday.
PLEASE: Put a stable together with the four young Canadians. Jericho, Christian, Storm, and Test. These four really need to form some sort of official group. When Benoit gets back, he can join too.
GOOD: Bradshaw. I still contend that this guy could have been a singles main eventer if he ever bothered to lose that beer gut.
SHINY: Stacy has a new leathery skirt this week. What are the odds that it will be pulled down at some point during this match?
FORMULAIC: Spike versus Buh Buh Ray. Lemme guess. Thursday, Tazz will fight D-von.
BLEAH: I just can't get into this match. I am just tired of seeing Spike and the Dudleys fighting one another over and over again.
INTERESTING: Spike gets a clean win over Buh Buh and Stacy's skirt stays on. It's a night of oddities.
HOLY BREASTS: Christ, Stephanie's tits are monstrous...it's almost absurd. No, wait, it is absurd. How does she balance herself while hauling those things around?
GOOD: Sewing the seeds of dissent between Steph and HHH. Will he turn on her or will she turn on him...or will they both fake it. Yeah, that's the ticket.
GOOD: Hurricane is back. Now if he can just get past this lame gimmick.
BAD: Chuck and Billy. Just say they are gay and get it over with. It's not too much to ask for a little honesty, is it?
BAD: They have got to find something better to do with Torrie Wilson. She's too good looking to be a midcard jobber's valet.
GOOD: "Flame on!" If you got that, you're a geek. I got it, so what of it?
BAD: "Puppies." Fuggin Lawler.
GOOD: Decent little match. Good example of cruiserweights trying to take out a couple of larger wrestlers. The larger guys went over, too. That's always logical booking.
AND THE "ONE OF THESE GUYS WILL WIN ONLY IF HELL FREEZES OVER" AWARD GOES TO: Scotty too Hotty and Albert for entering the Royal Rumble.
BAD: Angle has to write all his promos around the assumption that every pause will bring a "What?" from the crowd. Goddamned sheep. STOP!
GOOD: He cuts a decent promo in spite of the crowd.
BAD: Having Stephanie and Deborah "perform" a vignette that serves no purpose other than to frustrate and anger those of us who can't stand lousy acting.
HOLY CRAP! Now those were two serious slaps! Do I smell a match at the Rumble? Battle of the Boobs!
SIGH: Here we go with the damned "moments ago" crap again.
OH, PLEASE: Jackie versus Jazz. I wonder who's gonna win this one. Oh me oh my. How can I possibly predict this fucking match outcome?
BAD: Hey, why is Booker T wearing a bikini top? Oh wait, that's Jazz.
BAD: Could the crowd be any more dead? It's a shame because the two women fighting now are about the best female wrestlers on the fed's active roster.
GOOD: The match ended before it began, thankfully.
BAD: The crowd is all to happy to spew "What?" between every line of every promo, but they fail to sing "You suck!" to Angle's theme music.
GOOD: Angle standing on his tip toes to face off against Kane. Heh.
HUH? Is that Charles Robinson officiating? Did they ever explain how he got to keep his job?
GREAT: Angle running up the ropes and yanking Kane off the top to block the flying clothesline. Nice spot.
EXCELLENT: The pacing of this match. I expect it from Angle, but Kane's work here is above par.
NOOOO! Kane, don't tap! I hate to see a guy like this submit.
WOW: Kane beats the Anglelock and kicks out of the Angle Slam then chokeslams Robinson and Angle simultaneously. What a great bump. If you have to take the ref out, that's the way to do it.
GOOD: Angle comes out on top, and he cheated to do it. I hate those tainted victories, but I didn't expect anything totally clean here.
GOOD: The crowd sings "You suck!" this time.
GOOD: HHH losing even more patience with Stephanie. I like the slow but efficient buildup here.
GOOD: Booker wandering into the APA's office. If that "lost" look on his face is intentional, he does it well.
BAD: Show versus Booker again. We've seen this over and over again.
BAD: The ref pats down Regal but doesn't bother to check his partner.
GOOD: Edge, RVD, Test, and Regal in the same match. This promises to be entertaining.
GOOD: Regal plastering Edge with the brass knuckles. There's something about that shot that I just love. Edge just drops like a stone.
GOOD: Regal's victory wave to the crowd amongst the boos of the crowd.
LIKE IT WAS A SURPRISE: Rikishi is the APA's partner.
UGLY: Booker doing the Technicolor yawn all over Michael Cole...in SLOW MOTION. Egads.
POOR BOOKER: Being dropped into meaningless single show feuds that lead nowhere. I never thought I would ever say this, but perhaps the WWF should bring Stevie Ray in to reform Harlem Heat. God knows Booker could use the direction and the federation's tag team division could use the shot in the arm. Besides, I miss hearing the term "froot booty."
UGH: Austin interviews are becoming hard to take, with all the "What?" crap.
GOOD: Okay, I laughed at the "center of gravity" line.
HEH: Cole and Stone Cold nearly lose it during the latter part of the interview.
INTERESTING: The start to the six man tag match. Nothing overtly exciting, just interesting.
COOL: I like the spot Bradshaw does where he delivers a big boot while holding one of his opponents for the overhead slam.
GOOD: The schmoz part of the match where everyone hits their special moves in a confusing collusion of attacks. Pretty decent.
GOOD: No stinkface this week.
EGADS: A zoom in on Stephanie's cleavage...it's like the Grand Canyon. What the hell was the doctor who did her breasts thinking? She could fit three grapefruits and a mango in between those suckers.
SHEESH: Once again we only get 5 minutes out of HHH (if we don't count the three brief backstage vignettes that were smothered by Stephanie's presence).
NIFTY: It's cool to watch all the flashbulbs go off when HHH poses on the turnbuckles.
GOOD: Looks like we are getting the promo that we were expecting last week.
COOL: Taker waffling both Austin and HHH with a chair. Good buildup for the PPV...I can't wait for the locker room clearing brawl that's sure to happen at Smackdown.
HEY! Is it me, or was there no Rocky this show?
OVERALL: Decent effort I think, certainly better than last week's shows. The in ring action was quite good, particularly Angle/Kane and the six man tag match. I think they need to announce a list of all the entrants to the Rumble sometime soon, though. They have been placing a lot of emphasis on the main eventers who have entered and that just serves to pigeonhole the winner of the Rumble before we even hold the match. It's obvious that it's going to come down to HHH/Austin/Angle/Taker, but making a few of the wildcards (Booker/RVD/Test/Show) a little more formidable, you might actually fool a few people into thinking it's anyone's game. I guess we will have to hope that that happens on Thursday.
Next week's column might be a day late. If it is, don't panic. I promise it won't be up any later than Wednesday morning. Have a good week and enjoy the Royal Rumble!
Questions, comments, fork in the eye? Write me at Michaelangelo70@hotmail.com. All letters will be answered or used to insulate my apartment.
I am Michaelangelo and will be for a while.
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