Hey gang. Damn, these weeks go by fast. Especially the ones that have PPV's attached to them. Let's get right to it as this column is already a day late and there's much to cover.
First off, thanks to everyone who sent me advice about a game system. I settled on a PS2 and am really enjoying GTA3 and MGS2. XBox looks sweet, but I think perhaps this summer might be a better time to invest in one.
As for my request for a new term to replace "bleeding like a stuck pig," I wish to retract that request. Half a dozen letters referring to Stephanie's...time of the month...really made me regret asking. Consider the question withdrawn.
On a personal note, a lot of people have sent me e-mails asking what happened with CyanIndigo. I am happy to report that she and I are still together and share an apartment here in Rhode Island. Just in case you were wondering...
Finally, for those wondering why I reiterated my longevity in this business we call "Internet Wrestling Column Authoring," let me clear something up. Last week, another columnist (who has only been writing his recap for a couple of months) indirectly accused me of stealing his gimmick. Seems he uses a similar style to the one that I created back in the summer of '99. It's not identical, just similar. Our two columns are different enough that I could care less that his exists. However, his accusation that I plagiarized and recycled his ideas just does not sit well with me.
The first thing I did was contact him to make sure that it was in fact me that he was referring to in his column last week. He verified this and charmingly alluded that it was ok for me to steal his column's style since there are so few original ideas anymore. I sent him a very polite e-mail explaining who I was and clearly indicated that I started writing over 2 years ago and that there was no way that I could have based my column's layout on what he does. In fact, it could be alluded that he borrowed from me (although I recognize that this is improbable since I was on hiatus when he started his recapping). Regardless, I asked him to run a retraction this week since he obviously was mistaken.
He never wrote back to me, nor did he print any retraction.
Now, I am not a petty man. I don't really take much stock in Internet feuds. However, this punk pissed me off by ignoring me. Had he run the retraction, as I so graciously asked, I would have dropped it. He didn't, so if you wish to write to him and let him know that I was here first, by all means do so. Tell him Michaelangelo sent you. The column where he accused me of stealing his ideas can be found HERE. Godspeed, my friends.
Okay, enough of that.
The Royal Rumble. Yeah, I saw it. Wanna know what I thought? OK, I'll tell you.
I am glad that Tazz and Spike retained. Honestly, I was not expecting them to go over. It was a nice surprise, although I have to wonder if they are keeping the belts on them so that the Dudleys don't lose their heat when The Outsiders return to pull a Rey Mysterio Jr. on Spike Dudley.
Regal cheats his way to an Intercontinental Title. Does anyone else think that the whole concept of a "foreign object in the tights" is a bit dated? I mean, these days you can whack a guy with a chair and not get a DQ. What's the point of all the secrecy anyway?
Trish beats Jazz. Yeah, whatever. I wish I could care.
Flair and Vince was quite a nice little match. Nobody bleeds like the Nature Boy, and Vince tapping clean was great to see. I think they could have gone longer, but I can't complain all that much.
Jericho/Rock was a GREAT match with a decent ending. We all knew that Y2J had to cheat to win, but I think that a kick to the nards, exposed turnbuckle, and feet on the ropes was a bit of overkill. Eh, at least he retained.
The Rumble itself was pretty good. As entertaining as it was, I really don't know what the point of the Maven/UT spot was. I have to admit, the kid took a hell of a chairshot. I were on the business end of that whack, I wouldn't have gotten up. Hennig looked great, as did Venis. Golddust and the Godfather I can take or leave. HHH going over in the match was way too expected and I was hoping for some sort of swerve to keep us on our toes.
Well that's it in a nutshell. Let's get to the show at hand.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly for WWF RAW aired on January 21, 2002
NICE: Vince gives a brief and respectable tribute to MLK.
GOOD: Anyone else get a touch choked up hearing Gorilla Monsoon's voice in the Royal Rumble montage?
BAD: It sucks that we are reminded of Vince's win from a few years back. What an awful Rumble that was.
BAD: Has anyone found RVD's push? Seems that the WWF dropped it somewhere. He's wrestling curtain jerker illogical 6-man tag matches now. Same goes for Booker T, although his push was always kind of weak.
GOOD: I guess if two guys are going to have a feud, we can do a lot worse than RVD and Booker.
AS MY FRIEND SCOTT SAYS..."Booker's built like a brick shithouse. That's how a champion should look." If only Vince felt the same way.
I WONDER...if Booker feels out of place with all those ECW guys?
DAMN...Stacy looks good tonight. Calling Hugh Hefner...get that girl a photo layout.
BAD: Why do they have to make Booker so damned cartoonish with the Spinaroonie. I mean, Christ, MARK FUCKING MADDEN came up with that name. I really wish it would die. I don't care if it does generate heat...it's frigging lame.
HEH: Gotta love the way D-Von sells. He huffs, puffs, convulses, and shudders. It's old school.
SWEET: RVD's little acrobatic corner to corner move. Pretty nicely choreographed.
UGLY: Buh Buh Ray missing a spot, followed by Booker missing a spot and RVD missing a spot. Domino effect of poor wrestling.
BAD: Booker does a textbook sidewalk slam and JR calls it a spinebuster. What the hell does it take? He calls every damned move a sidewalk slam, except the real thing.
GOOD: Nice touch, Jericho has a sign that proclaims him the "Undisputed Champion" on the door to his dressing room. I wonder who carries that from show to show.
COOL: Jericho's trash talking, belt kissing ring entrance. You gotta love a cocky heel champion who does it right.
HA! Jericho's promo. "Well well well..." I LOVE the faces he makes during these interviews. He's channeling the spirits of Ted DiBiase, Rick Flair, and Randy Savage all at once. Don't see it? Look again.
HERE'S AN IDEA: I got a radical thought. Jericho doesn't make it to Wrestlemania as the champion. He drops the title at No Way Out to someone to whom the initials of the PPV have special meaning...Hulk Hogan. Who better for HHH to win the title from to mark his return from a nearly career ending injury than the man who MADE wrestling what it is today...The Hulkster. It's a good idea. Admit it! I love it so much, I may marry it.
GOOD: HHH being all badass and reminding Jericho that the one man Y2J has yet to beat is him. I like how he asks Jericho whether he'll make it to Wrestlemania as the champion. Anyone wanna place their bets?
BAD: They don't have Jericho remind him that he was part of the reason that HHH was on the shelf for eight months. I'd think they'd start playing that card right away.
BAD: Angle now? Jesus this promo is running long.
GOOD: The crowd has really gotten into singing "you suck" to Angle's theme.
BAD: I can do without the "You suck! What?" chants...and all the subsequent "What?" chants that follow...but you know that, don't you?
WOW: HHH getting beat down. You don't see that very often.
BAD: Rocky making the save. Has he forgotten all the crap that HHH has done to him over the years? I mean, the last time the Rock was in the same ring as The Game, he was on the business end of HHH's sledgehammer losing a title match to Austin. Why can't they, for once, have a guy make a face turn without getting the immediate support of all the locker room faces? Wouldn't it be compelling to have a guy who was as evil as Hunter was come back and have absolutely no support from anyone considering the bridges he has burned in the past? I think the idea of a former heel having to go it alone, take a ton of beatings from faces and heels alike until he proves his sincerity would really make for a great long-term angle.
BAD: Edge vs. Regal II. I hate when they offer up free rematches from the previous night's PPV card, especially when I paid for the aforementioned event.
BAD: Regal is a good wrestler, but I have to concur with most of my Internet colleagues in that his style really clashes with the federation's other wrestlers. My friend Scott says that Regal's physique and in ring demeanor indicate that he should be wrestling in the 70's, not the year 2002.
INTERESTING: Regal tosses Edge from the floor to the ropes on the apron. I don't ever recall having seen that before.
BAD: Are rest holds really necessary in TV matches? These things don't go more than 2-4 minutes each for crying out loud! How tired can you get in 3 minutes?
INTERESTING: JR makes a point of emphasizing Edge's "ferocity" in this match. Could he be headed back to being a crazy goth freak? Seems to foreshadow some sort of character change or else why would JR bother?
BAD: Edge forgets to hide the brass knuckles before making the cover. Wait a sec! How did the ref even know he used them?
HA! Nick Patrick sells the Brass Knuckles blow like he got shot in the face. He rules.
WOW: Mega ref bumpage. Nice job guys!
BAD: Moments ago...again. No, I won't stop pointing out how redundant these replays are...even if I seem redundant in doing so.
GOOD: Looks like Edge will be some crazy freak from here on in. Can't say that upsets me. He has the teeth of a lunatic.
GOOD: Show offering the hand of respect to Kane.
UGLY: Look at those stretch marks on Show's arms! Ew.
FUNNY: Now, granted, I am not crazy about Chuck and Billy, but the "KANE" bandana was pretty hysterical.
YAY! Hennig is still here! Word is that he's staying and I couldn't be happier.
GOOD: Flair promo incoming.
BAD: It's a promo...and I think we've had enough talking already.
BAD: Count on Vince doing some talking in this segment as well, making it all the longer.
GOOD: Naitch is styling in that suit. The man doesn't just have class, he is class.
GOOD: Flair's promo is obviously from the heart. Is he getting filled up? I would not be surprised since he seems to be telling some truth there about leaving his kids behind.
GOOD: "To be the man, you gotta beat Vince McMahon." Cheers, Naitch.
BAD: Did Flair call the big screen the "Titan Tron"? That isn't what it's called anymore, is it?
HEH: Vince and Flair in the photo. Ha!
AS EXPECTED: Heeeeeeeere's Vince.
GOOD: I liked Vince's promo. It was short and foreboding. It also seems to be a great way for him to bring Hall, Nash, and Hogan into the federation. The funniest aspect to all this is that he's shooting here. He very well may find himself regretting it.
BAD: Crowd chanting "What?" during this promo. Get a grip, you asses! Please, stop wearing it out!
GOOD: Vince's evil face. He's a master of sinister looks.
GOOD: Is it me, or is Val looking jacked up?
I WONDER...if he's still a porn star or did he go legit like the Godfather and now only makes late night soft core flicks for Cinemax?
FLASHBACK: Let's head back to 1997 as Val has a plant...er...fan...from the audience take his towel off.
YEAH, RIGHT...A "fan" lets him stick his tongue down her throat.
COOL! Hennig is gonna wrestle tonight! He looks pretty damned good, too.
BAD: He didn't do the spit/swat!
BAD: Cheap way to keep Venis and Hennig from jobbing in their first singles match back = have Austin make a run-in and destroy any chances we may have of seeing the end to what amounted to a decent batch of ringwork.
WHAT? Austin quoting the Beverly Hillbillies Theme? Now I've heard it all. This shit makes no real sense, and Austin has all the sheep in the arena chanting "What?" along with him. The crowd has officially become faceless.
GOOD: Once he finishes the whole sitcom theme song shit, his promo becomes mildly entertaining.
BAD: Isn't it about time Chuck and Billy got some new music? I have some ideas for suggestions, but I'd hate to offend people. Would it be bad if I offered up Abba or the Village people or is that too 70's?
GOOD: If you really want to make Billy and Chuck a dominating team, have them beat Kane and Show. Let's see if the WWF thinks the way I do.
BAD: Couple of missed spots there as Chuck tries to give Show a Jungle Kick and Show (sorta) swats it away and (kinda) follows up with a big boot. Looked really lame.
WOW: In the time I took to type the above sentence, B&C won the match. Well, ok.
GOOD: Rock asking HHH why he's so pissed off. I laughed. I am surprised Hunter didn't.
BAD: I hate Carrot Top. Don't you?
BAD: Mavin eliminating the Undertaker last night. If this doesn't lead to a feud, I fail to see the logic behind it happening at all.
BAD: Mavin was eliminated. There's no specific rules about elimination in the Royal Rumble. You can eliminate yourself by leaping the top rope and jumping to the floor (like Drew Carey did last year) and you can be eliminated by someone who has already been thrown out of the ring (Hogan pulled Sid over the top rope from the floor after being eliminated himself in the 1992 Rumble). If you go over the top rope and down to the floor, you lose. Period. No raw deal, JR, that's just the way it goes.
GOOD: Farouk saying "Damn!" That's the coolest catchphrase ever.
EH: The change to the Godfather's gimmick. It's really the same thing except they call it something a little different. What I want to know is what happened to the RTC?
GOOD: Admittedly, his attire looks better than the last two gimmicks...those ugly yellow pants made me want to puke and the stupid RTC shirt and tie thing...well...do I need to get into it?
GOOD: Storm cuts a cool promo. He really has this "lack of personality as a personality" down pat.
BAD: The Godfather still uses that stupid Ho Train finisher. What does he call it now, the Escort Train?
BAD: Golddust is back for good? Yegads. Couldn't they have come up with something a little better for this guy? I mean, he's not an untalented wrestler and this gimmick is so 7 years ago.
GOOD: At least he still remembers how to cut a good promo.
YIPES: It's official. Stephanie's breasts intimidate me. Good Lord. That's unnatural. One boob contains more mass than her whole head.
GOOD: Hunter finally tells Stephanie that the world does not revolve around her and then he tells her to shut up. I know it's scripted and it's just an opportunity for her to act all evil and diabolical but it sounded good in that one moment. If only someone would tell her that when the cameras are turned off.
BAD: One thing I hate about these "four singles wrestlers" tag team matches is the fact that it takes about 20 minutes for them all to get into the ring.
GOOD: You have four of the company's best workers right there.
OK: By the numbers match. Faces start strong, heels use dastardly means to gain the advantage...the crowd seems to dig it so far.
HEH: HHH whacking Angle's head against Jericho's jewels. Funny spot.
CROWD PLEASER: Rock gets his win back by pinning Jericho clean. I guess I can understand why it was booked that way. Closure is a good thing.
OVERALL: Not a terrible show. We had a couple of decent matches here, and that's always nice to see. I could have lived with a little less talking since the promos alone seemed to take about 1/4 of the show's total length. I like Vince's foreshadowing of the NWO coming in soon to combat Flair. What I want to know is, where will HHH side when his Clique pals return? As usual, time will tell.
That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, see you in the funny papers!
Questions, comments, lozenge? Write to me at email@example.com. All letters will be answered or stomped into the ground.
I am Michaelangelo and will be for a while.
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