It's been a rough week for me, personally, professionally, and journalistically. Let's get right into it.
First of all, I had a long and involved retort ready for The Torch's Derek Burgan and his recently posted reply to what I wrote in last week's column. In it, I talked about integrity, honesty, and courtesy. Well, after much thought and consideration, I deleted everything I wrote. I now realize that where we are is where we are going to stay and I am willing to accept my share of the blame for allowing this to get as out of hand as it did.
The matter was simple. I just wanted him to retract statements indicating that I had stolen his style for my column. Had he simply apologized in his recap, it would have ended there. He ignored my request and I shot back in my column last week. Was I right in targeting him and encouraging my readers to take issue with him? Probably not, but here we are anyway.
CRZ himself stepped in and gave Mr. Burgan an opportunity to address this matter here on Slashwrestling.com. When Zed handed him the rope, instead of tossing it to me for an honest tug of war debate, he instead used it to hang himself through lies, insane exaggeration, and insults to me, this site, and its readers. I have no more interest in engaging any further in this pointless "fued." Mr. Burgan has proven to me that he feels that slandering people on the Internet is acceptable and there's just no arguing with someone who holds those beliefs. As far as I am concerned, consider this matter closed. I wish Derek well and hope that, should he choose a professional career in journalism, that he take the time to understand how the business of ethics works (something I recently revisited myself).
Okay, now that that's behind us, let's talk WWF.
The big news is Vince's crazed "announcement" from Smackdown. Seems the nWo will be re-re-reforming in the WWF. Now I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't even a little interested in this angle and the possibilities that it holds.
Let's just hope that, this time, they forget Mike Jones' (Virgil/Vince/Shane) phone number.
Seriously, the dynamic that Nash, Hall, and Hogan could add to the mix is intriguing. If I know Vince McMahon, he will likely use the existing rumors of backstage tension about the upcoming changes as a springboard for the angle. This could very well work, if he allows the nWo to bring their attitude to the ring and the microphones without it becoming an issue behind the curtains.
Hulkamania needs to be kept on a very short leash, is all I'm saying.
Very short, indeed.
So, ok. That's all I got for you pre-show. Let's see just what Vince has in store for us this week.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly for January 28, 2002
BAD: Vince chewing the scenery last week on Smackdown is made even harder to stomach when they remix it for the beginning of this show. I swear the guy must have shit his pants at least four times during the filming of these vignettes.
BAD: Are they still calling it the "new" TNN? Hasn't it been over a year since they moved networks? How long can something be "new" before it becomes "old"?
BAD: MAVEN versus Jericho? Excuse me as I vomit out of protest for this booking.
UGLY: Kane's tanlines. Ew.
BAD: Show versus Kane. How many times have we seen this confrontation? A zillion? Yeah, that's my guess too.
GOOD: There's hope that this match might actually be watchable as these two men have improved their workrates (somewhat) in recent months.
BAD: I was wrong. This match chews. It's like a couple of tortoises crawling over one another to get the same piece of lettuce.
GOOD: Kane body slamming Show. That same move took Hogan a lot longer to get on Andre at Wrestlemania 3...although TBS is no Andre.
BEEEP: Show says "What the fuck!" when Kane kicks out of his chokeslam. That's another week suspension, I suspect. Remember when he called Kiantai "gooks"? Oh wait, he said "goofs," yeah that's the ticket.
WOW: Kane actually gets a pinfall on Show with the same move that he himself kicked out of 30 seconds earlier. Boy, I guess Wight really is just a giant jobber these days. Maybe that can be his next gimmick. I imagine it could work as the exact opposite of a "giant killer" type storyline. We could call him the "huge fucking loser."
GOOD: Flair talking about the nWo. I like the way he uses the "indoor voice" when talking about them. Shows he's serious.
HEH: Bradshaw and Faarooq talking about the nWo and using terms like "ass kissers," "ego maniacs," and "shit disturbers." Methinks my prediction may be coming true here and the kayfabe reputation of Nash, Hall, and Hogan are going to show up as part of this angle.
GOOD: I am starting to like the interviews that Goldust has been doing lately. I wonder if the rumors that he is targeting The Rock are true. I'd have to guess that they are, since Rocky is the only movie star currently on the roster and it would make sense for Dustin to obsess over him.
AHA: So they are going to use the fact that Maven was "never officially eliminated" from the Royal Rumble to justify his title shot. Too bad he was eliminated or I might almost buy this shit.
GOOD: As much as I hate to admit it, that was a damned good drop kick he nailed on UT at the Rumble.
BAD: Too bad that move hasn't been used as a finisher in 50 years.
GOOD: Jericho's promo against Maven...but then, all his promos are good. I think I like the term "undisputed beating" most of all.
SARCASTICALLY GOOD: RVD is now in the second match of the night. Looks like he's moving back up the card!
BAD: RVD and Regal really seem off their game tonight. Their spots are sloppy as hell.
AWFUL: A DQ for a low blow? Oh come on. Is Regal the Honkey Tonk Man 2002?
HUH? The Dudleys run in? Edge runs in? Can you say insta-feud?
BAD: Now the Dudleys blow their 3D spot on RVD. What the heck is going on tonight? Maybe everyone's in the midcard is half assing it since the nWo is coming in soon and they know they will just get held back some more anyway.
GOOD: Austin versus Angle. Now this is a match I can watch again and again.
BAD: Why do I get the feeling there will be some sort of run-in at the end?
GOOD: HHH versus Booker T. I hate to see Booker job again, but I think that they might just put on a decent match.
BAD: AIGH! Stephanie, please please please take half the money you use on your overdone eye makeup and buy some fucking acting lessons already. You suck, plain and simple and we are all getting tired of humoring you.
SOOOOO...The Godfather is all new, how? Other than his wardrobe, how has he changed really? He still has the cane, the hos, and the same music.
UM: Godfather and DDP as a tag team? Sheesh, they really are jonesing for teams in the tag division.
YEAH, RIGHT: DDP used the Godfather's escort service last night? Isn't he married to Kim Page? Why would he need to hire poontang when he has an Amazon babe like her?
GOOD: Heh. Lawler mentions that the nWo has shut down companies in the past...that's an interesting dig at what happened to WCW. Remember the rumors in 1999 that Nash was trying to bring the company down from within by his lousy booking? Maybe there was some truth to that all along.
OWCH: Storm nails a nice high dropkick and then lands square on the Godfather's neck. Egads.
BAD: True to form, the commentators spend a lot more time talking about the nWo than the match going on in the ring.
GOOD: Crowd chanting "DDP." That's a start.
BAD: Is it me, or is this show just creeeeeeeping along. It's only 9:38 and I feel like I have been watching it forever.
GOOD: Page gets the Diamond Cutter and the pinfall. The push continues. Let's hope this leads to an Intercontinental Title win soon.
GOOD: Page old schooling out through the crowd. Lose the "that's a good thing" catchphrase and the glimmering teeth and we might just have something here.
WHAT ACTING: Vince does paranoia, confusion, and incontinence all in the span of 45 seconds! Wow! Look at him walk like he has a load in his pants. Get the fucking Emmy ready. "And in the category for best actor in a cooking, fishing, or sports entertainment show, the Emmy goes to...Vince McMahon for the 'I did a boom boom in my pants' vignette!'"
QUESTION: How can Flair and everyone else be so concerned about a stable that consists of three old men? I mean, don't you expect that Austin, HHH, and Rocky alone could pummel Nash, Hall, and Hogan into the ground fairly easily? What made the nWo as dangerous as they were in WCW was that the superstars didn't know they were coming and they were taken by surprise when they saw Rey Mysterio Jr. being tossed into a trailer like a lawn dart. In this situation, the roster has advanced warning so they should be ready for them and can neutralize them quickly. Bah! I am just trying to inject logic into a place where it doesn't belong.
AWESOME: The Kid Rock video. If you didn't get teary eyed at some of that old footage, you just ain't a wrestling fan.
EH...Flair getting so scared that he is willing to do anything to keep Vince from bringing the nWo into the company? As good as the promo is...it just makes no sense. He should know that they aren't that much of a threat really. All you have to do is avoid allowing Nash to do the booking.
INTERESTING: Vince puts the fate of the WWF in Flair's hands. I like the directions they are going with this...and they are putting it off their arrival until at least next week.
UGH: Please put Nidia back into whatever closet she's been stored for the past 8 months...or at least have Taylor pimp her out.
HOW ADORABLE: Maven has his little shorts with the little "Maven" logo on the front. He's playing wrestler! Awwww!
NOT BAD: Maven's initial offense is pretty impressive, all things considered. Too bad it isn't going to last that long.
GOOD: I have to admit that this was a pretty damned good match. Jericho really cranked in those Walls at the end too. Nice little bit of work with a good finish.
FUNNY: Jericho laughing when he hears Taker's music, realizing that Maven is about to get his ass beaten once again.
GOOD: UT putting on his ass kicking gloves before laying into the Tough Enough winner. There's a certain element of style there that just makes me smile.
BWA HA HA HA! Jericho is cracking me up! The shit eating grin on his face as Maven gets his neck Pillmanized is just classic.
YEGADS: Is Undertaker cutting a promo about Maven?
OKAY GOOD...now he's on the Rock again.
GLEAAARRRRGLLLEEEEEE! Billy and Chucky "stretching." I have gay friends and, lemme tell you, they are nowhere NEAR as gay as these two guys are. I mean, who the hell does groin stretching exercises anyway?
HOLY MUSCLES, BATMAN: Look at the size of HHH's biceps. They are like tree trunks. That's borderline unnatural.
BAD: I wish they would just get around to giving Jazz the women's title once and for all. Does anyone really give a shit about this feud anymore?
BAD: More random booking here as Jazz teams up with the Ambiguously and Obviously Gay Duo to face Trish and the APA. Remember when T&A lost the strip poker game against the APA, forcing Trish to get nekkid in front of them? I do. I really do. I bet the APA does. I wonder if Trish does.
GOOD: Chuck making the "yukky" face when he covers Trish for the win. That was pretty entertaining.
BAD: That whole segment was an Angle interview? It was a short one too...what the fuck?
BAD: I am glad that HHH is back but can we cut back on the entrance time please? It took longer for him to get to the ring than the entire last segment.
BAD: The two guys look great, but is it necessary to douse themselves in pork fat before each match? How greasy do you need to be anyway?
GOOD: Booker T gets a win over The Game! I liked the scripting of the end of that match, it advances the breakup angle and gives T a nice win for the books. He's making a career out of getting wins that allow other storylines to take major steps forward.
BAD: Is it me, or is that door to Hunter's dressing room opening each time Stephanie pounds on it? Perhaps they should, oh, I don't know, hold it shut so we at least maintain the illusion that it's really locked.
ENOUGH: Stephanie's acting is causing me physical pain...please make it stop, Mommy. It hurts.
BAD: No Rocky tonight? I guess that The Scorpion King needs a few more reshoots, eh?
GOOD: Austin selling being thrown into the turnbuckles "Val Venis" style (bouncing off the corner and falling to the ground). The only person who can sell that better is Hart, who used to go in chest first. Man, I loved that.
GOOD: Austin's HUGE spinebuster on Angle. Wowwee!
WOW! Angle posts himself right out of the ring. Good gravy! Nice fucking bump!
UH OH: Hebner seems to have hurt his right leg there...he's still limping on it and walking strange on that foot. I wonder if he hit that chair when he got knocked down.
OF COURSE: We knew that Austin was going to win this match as we needed a face to go after the heel champ, but still, it was a nice little show.
HEH: Austin getting a stunner on Jericho with a beer in one hand. Nice touch.
OVERALL: Not a bad show overall. The first few matches started off pretty lousy, but got better as the night went on. I also noticed that the fans in the arenas aren't chanting "what" during every promo anymore. Maybe they are finally starting to understand where it works and where it doesn't. I think that prolonging the nWo's first appearance is a smart move. Building to the inevitable will have the fans frothing at the mouth by the time Nash, Hall, and Hogan arrive and that's something they failed to achieve during the "Invasion" angle. In order for this to be successful they have to hit on all cylinders from the get go. There's absolutely no room for mistakes here, so taking the time to do it right is essential.
Well that's it for yet another week. I am pretty proud of myself. I am still going strong with this comeback of mine...at least for now. Thanks for reading, gang. See you on the Wienerville boards and then back here again next week.
Questions, comments, the putrid stench of death? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All letters will be answered or brewed in the finest barley hops.
I am Michaelangelo and will be for a while.Michaelangelo
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