What up, my peeps? I hope you all had a safe and happy week, but I will settle for your week being just good enough for you to come to this site, click my link, and read this article. Yep, aim low. That's the way to go if you want to impress yourself on a regular basis.
A quick aside about a past format element of this column. I am getting a few letters asking if/when I will bring the "Vague References" back into the fold. For those who don't recall, or didn't read my earlier columns, the "Vague References" were pop culture quotes that appeared in the body of the column. These usually consisted of movie quotes, song lyrics, or other reasonably well known tidbits from American society. The object was for you, the reader, to guess as many of them as you could each week. I eventually discontinued them because, frankly, I was running out of ideas after a year of doing 4-5 per week.
So, will they come back in this incarnation of the GBU? Not anytime soon, as far as I can tell. If I happen to get inspired while watching RAW, maybe one will sneak out here and there but the formal process is not going to be implemented right now. It might show up in the future. Who can tell? At this point, it's all I can do to pump this sucker out on time each week so I think I'd best do that aiming low thing I mentioned above.
Hope this clears things up!
Things are getting more and more lukewarm (as opposed to hot) in the WWF as the countdown to No Way Out is now inside of a week. The word is the nWo will make their WWF debut at the PPV so I suppose that makes it special in some way. The audience reaction to nWo propaganda at televised events seems kind of mixed. The pops aren't as loud as you'd think they should be. Maybe everyone is just as curious as I am about how those four old guys are supposed to destroy a multi-billion dollar company with the power of their sparkling personalities.
I guess we will see...or maybe we won't, and that's what I am afraid of.
In other news, a shady obstetrician (who had a penchant for using the word "smashing") met with Mr. and Mrs. HHH on Thurdsay and "verified" that Stephanie does, in fact, have a bun in the oven. So, either they are going to make this some uber elaborate plot whereby everyone other than HHH is in on the ruse, or they are planning another awful miscarriage angle. At least this angle isn't happening in the WCW because Stephanie would give birth to a bunch of photos of Chris Jericho before engaging in a table dance on top of the announcers' desk.
Wouldn't it be great if they actually went to term with this thing? Stuff Stephanie full of pillows and cotton and make her appear to actually be carrying for 9 months, have the baby, and see how that affects things with HHH. Of course, that would be a risky investment in time and writing and Steph would have to appear fat for at least 6 of the 9 months and we all know how she loves to mug for the camera, so that won't work at all.
I shudder to think where they are going with this mess. I really do. The nWo isn't going to kill the WWF, Stephanie McMahon's asinine pregnancy angle is. Sell your stock folks. The end is near.
I think I read somewhere that Armageddon will be ushered in by "The Billion Dollar Princess" in a wedding dress. Well, guess what we are going to see tonight. Yep, Stephanie and her erstwhile hubby are scheduled to renew their vows in the ultimate act of narcissism on Stephanie's part. Will they go back to Vegas so HHH can drug his wife and go through the drive through chapel again? Will they actually make it through the whole ceremony without being interrupted by a heel promo? Will Test show up to stake his claim on the night? Does anyone really give a shit?
Oh yeah, and Chris Jericho is the WWF undisputed champion...but we don't need to focus on that, do we? The WWF sure doesn't seem to think so.
Okay it's time for this week's show. Seeya at the end of the column.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly for WWF RAW, Televised on February 11, 2002
BAD: How can they describe HHH and Stephanie's marriage as "storybook"? It was anything but. It was deceitful, manipulative, and borne in dishonesty. I guess they are trying to be clever and ironic here, but I am afraid the irony is lost on me.
GOOD: Torrie and Stacy in a bikini match. If we have to see them, at least we don't have to pretend that they are wrestlers.
INTERESTING: UT is out first tonight? Cheap heat perhaps?
BAD: He's still getting major pops. Heel turn, my ass.
YEP: Here comes the cheap heat...making low intelligence and bad odor comments about the Arkansas audience. When is he going to start harassing the local sports franchise?
GOOD: I like the line about not bothering with people who don't respect themselves...it has a touch of style to it.
GOOD: Lawler reiterates the Undertaker's sentiment about the intelligence level of the audience by pointing out that some of the signs in the crowd are misspelled, and citing a couple. For the first time since he returned, I am impressed with his heel commentary.
GOOD: Excellent spot from last Thursday where the Undertaker tombstoned Rocky onto the limo hood. It was shot just right and really came across as a devastating move.
BAD: UT goes on and on about respect, even quoting Aretha in the process. Blah blah blah. He sounds like a broken tape recorder. Take a small abstract idea and build and entire gimmick around it -- that's the WWF way. Next week, Crash Holly starts his new role as a wrestler who just wants to be understood.
GOOD: Flair comes out to get this promo to go somewhere.
BAD: Naitch starts out a little slow...let's see if he gets going.
EH: He was okay but not nearly as interesting as he could be. He seems a little...reserved...to me. Maybe he's saving his strength for another interview scheduled for later in the show.
HEH: I guess Rocky's gonna be reshooting another batch of scenes for his film the rest of the week...the injury angle was just an excuse to keep him off TV until the PPV.
BAD: Jericho versus Edge? I am all for Edge getting his shot at the champ but do they have to book it to air so early in the night? Is it me, or does Jericho seem less like a champion and more like a midcarder who has to lug a few pounds of gold to the ring with him? I mean, shouldn't he be fighting guys like HHH, Angle, UT, Kane, Booker, or other top card guys rather than defending against RVD, Maven, and Edge?
UGH: That lame ass promo for the nWo of the three guys mugging like idiots in grainy black and white was about the dumbest spot I have seen in a long time. At least the ones that contain old WCW footage has something going on. This spot makes Nash, Hall, and Hogan look like three morons in front of a broken camera. That's the first time I have actually come to a brief realization that this whole angle could well crash and burn in short order. I sure hope I don't keep feeling that way.
GOOD: The No Way Out logo incorporates elements of the New World Order in it's look, at least in the promo.
BAD: Edge has internal bleeding, but bandages taped around his ribs. What, exactly, is the point of that? I'm no doctor, but I'd guess that if he really wants to help his condition, swallowing the bandages would do more good than wearing them on the outside.
BAD: Edge acting very heelish in attacking before the bell. Tut tut, Adam. That's no way to act.
I HOPE... Jericho goes over clean for a change.
GOOD: King points out that wearing bandages to the ring is akin to displaying a bulls-eye on your injuries. Heh. He's in good form tonight.
GOOD: Two young Canadians giving us some intense minutes in the ring. That's always a good thing.
COOL: Edge gets a near fall on a spear. Even the crowd thought he had the win. That's good storytelling.
BAH: Jericho uses the belt to get a win. He can't even beat a midcarder who's supposedly half dead from internal bleeding without cheating. Yeah, he's a formidable champion.
BAD: Michael Cole asks Vince what brings him to Arkansas. Um, he is the owner of the WWF, isn't he supposed to be at the shows? Isn't he always there? Cole, you suck.
BAD: Isn't it bad luck for the bride to see the groom before the wedding? Yeah, right. Like that matters.
HEH: I guess that Steph isn't wearing the same wedding dress she wore the last time. She'd be a little...um...tight...around the topside, methinks.
GOOD: Rob sold Goldust's attacks last week pretty damned well. I daresay, it was an awesome display.
OH BOY: It's the battle of the ass in the face versus the kick in the nuts. Where's Chuck and Billy when we need them?
UGLY: This match. These guys are missing their spots like crazy. It's shameful.
AHA: So this match was just a vehicle for an RVD run-in to "further" this pointless angle. Oh goodie.
OKAY, IT'S OFFICIAL...I am sick of the "What?" chant, even when it's applied to Austin. How much longer are we to be subjected to this.
BUT...his promos still rock hard, so it's really difficult for me to complain. Damn, he's good.
BAD: Yet again an interview makes up the entire segment. Bleah.
WHAT THE? Showing us the priest and the wedding singers...like that shit matters. There isn't going to be a wedding tonight...is there anyone in the audience that thinks it's actually going to happen?
NEITHER HERE NOR THERE: The Godfather. I think you all know my opinion of the WWF dredging up this dumbass gimmick.
BAD: CyanIndigo laughs at JR's statement about Angle's sneak attack on the Godfather as being a good idea since "you can't give him too many second chances." Yeah, like he's that dangerous an opponent. He might catch you unawares, run around in a circle, and drop a leg on you. *Shudder*
GOOD: Angle serves up a nice helping of SQUASH in this match. Good. Send the Godfather back to the dumpster of gimmick obscurity. Send the ho's to me, though. I've always wanted to open my own strip joint.
INTERESTING: Angle continues to support Stephanie while running down HHH. Are they teasing that he will cause their breakup or just desperately trying to maintain some sort of consistency? Either way, I am not sure this isn't going anywhere.
UGLY: They recycled the old Nitro clip of Hogan touching Nash, Nash dropping like a rock, and Hogan pinning him to win the WCW title. If memory serves, that was the moment that WCW officially started it's downward slide that ended the promotion altogether. I wonder if Vince feels the same way and chose the clip accordingly? Nah. He probably just thought it was funny.
EGADS: Is it cold in there Steph? You're a bit nipply in that dress.
BLARGH: I think I am developing a case of diabetes from this sickeningly sweet crap with the ring. Who'da thunk cubic zirconium would amount to so many crocodile tears?
GOOD: Jericho injects himself on the mid-show main event by attacking Austin on his way to the ring. He should have been booked to actually wrestle at the top of the hour, but I will take whatever I can get.
GOOD: The match continues. The WWF usually keeps it's booking promises. If this were the WCW we'd already be watching a commercial by now.
GOOD: These two old pros are actually on their game tonight. Even the Under-acher looks like he might be putting in an effort.
COOL: UT has returned to using the Tombstone as his finisher 'cause it's e-vill!
NATURALLY: We can't let either guy lie down so we have Jericho run in on the match and cause the DQ. Yeah yeah yeah.
GOOD: At least Jericho is appearing during this match in some fashion.
BAD: Ding ding ding ding ding ding! Like that's gonna make a difference here. Like the heels are going to stop the beatdown because they hear the bell ringing.
GOOD: Jericho hijacks Austin's cooler, drinks his beer, and beats him with the empty can. Jericho then proceeds to whack him with the cooler, spit beer on him, and finally stand over a beaten and beer-soaked Stone Cold. Jericho RULES.
BAD: I liked Tazz's old music much better than what he is using now.
GOOD: Quck, high energy match by these two guys. The spots are fast and the selling is rather good for both men.
BAD: Do they have to keep making such a big deal about the "spinaroonie?" Let's just move on please...nothing to see here.
GOOD: Booker gets the win.
BAD: Test helped.
UM: Are the Dudley's cutting a promo about the upcoming bikini match? Well, color me unimpressed.
AHA: Now they are talking about the tag titles. Okay there you go.
BAD: Lawler on the bikini match: "You think one of those bikinis might be coming off?" Yeah, right. If that happens, I'll eat my laptop.
BAD: They could at least prepare a couple of new nWo promo videos instead of recycling the same ones we saw a million times last week.
YEAH, RIGHT: We are expected to believe that Lawler is a fan of Rob Zombie.
FUNNY: When Stacy takes off her robe, Lawler says "I think I am getting a magic johnson." Okay I laughed at that one.
BAD: Okay, the point of that match was lost on me. Other than to have the two ladies run around in bikinis for a few minutes, there was no real point to having this match at all.
EW: HHH and Stephanie sucking face. Get a fucking room -- and close the door, tightly.
PLACE YOUR BETS...on who is going to interrupt the wedding ceremony. Kurt Angle - 3:1. Test - 14:1. The nWo - 8:1. Shane McMahon - 22:1. Eric Bischoff - 45:1. HHH himself - 2:1. Linda McMahon - 5:1. My uncle Chooch - 9000:1. Anyone wanna drop a wager?
HEH: Hennig cheating to win at chess and gloating over his win. I missed Hennig.
BAD: Whoever RVD is about to fight, I hope he doesn't care that he is simply a cog in the great "angle advancement machine" for tonight because we all know full well that Goldust will be making the run in this evening.
BAD: I wish I could care about this match but the WWF hasn't given me any reason to.
WOW: Nice spot by RVD as he goes backwards off the top rope into a plancha roll up. If I were booking, I would have had that move come much later in the match and made it the pinfall spot.
GOOD: Not a bad little match...and it ends clean following a very funny spot as RVD hits the frog splash on Christian as he engages in a temper tantrum over getting only a two count on his last pinfall attempt.
SHAME: Nobody seems to give a shit about the insta-feud between RVD and Goldust. Both men are quite talented in the ring and they both deserve better, but there we are anyway.
HEH: Looks like the whole pregnancy thing was a clever ruse after all. I just didn't expect that they'd reveal it so soon. Short attention span booking...that's the NEW WWF.
HOLY MAMMARIES BATMAN! If Stephanie's tits were any bigger, she'd qualify legally as a parade float.
OH CHRIST: We get Steph and Vince overacting together...and if that's not bad enough, we get Howard Finkle doing his own "I am the nerdy interrupting guy who actually has useful information but you will choose to ignore me because I am such a geek" routine as well.
UGLY: That parting shot of Steph and Vince cuddling together. Does it get any more frightening than that? I think not, and I lived in Cleveland for a year.
GOOD: No bridesmaids or ushers this time around. I am not sure I could handle seeing the Hardys in tuxedoes again.
FUNNY: The crowd actually boos Stephanie when she comes out. Wow. Merciless sheep, they are.
INTERESTING: We are now waiting for the other shoe to drop as we all know that HHH has learned that Stephanie lied about the pregnancy. It's just a matter of moments before he reveals his hand. The tension actually makes for some pretty good television.
BAD: It ain't wrestling.
BAD: Fucking crowd doing the "What?" chant during the opening moments of the wedding. Am I wrong for wanting to hose the place down with napalm right now? Cheers to Vince for calling them on it...but too bad that just fans the fires of ignorance.
UGH: We have to listen to the whole song now? Can't we just cut to the chase? I am almost BEGGING for a Hogan run in right now, and that ain't good.
OBSERVATION: I think that Jesse Ventura should come out of retirement to commentate at any and all in-ring wedding angles.
BAD: Every word Stephanie says travels up my spine like an electric shock. Gah.
GOOD: You gotta love the look on Hunter's face when he gets his chance to speak. Just when you worry that the guy has gone soft, he makes up for it at times like these...that's the old cerebral assassin we know and love.
GOOD: The ending to the wedding sequence. HHH was in rare form and, aside from Vince misfiring on the first pedigree spot, it was quite well done.
WHOAH! Hunter boots the flowerpot into the audience. I think he realize what he did just after he did it as he lingered on its trajectory for a moment. I wonder if anyone got clocked in the head by that thing.
OVERALL: A lot of little things grated on my nerves during this show. I think that the nWo should be doing more than appearing in little promo spots before the PPV. I can't imagine that the thought of them appearing at No Way Out is going to up the buyrates all that much and the more we see the same grainy sequences, the more bored we get with these three guys. I certainly hope that they at least appear live on camera on Thursday night. As for the wedding angle, well, I am just glad they finally completed the HHH and Stephanie breakup thing. I suppose it could be interesting to see where they go next. As for Jericho and Stone Cold, to be honest, I am unsure why we need to have a title shot between now and Wrestlemania. It would seem to me that it would be more logical to build a huge feud between HHH and Jericho for the next two months rather and have the main event of the next PPV be a tag team match of some kind instead of a singles title match. I mean, if you plan to focus so hard on the nWo anyway, why not just make a disposable card for them to ruin? Eh. Just my 2 cents.
Okay folks. That's it for this week. Next week, we will have at least three new members of the roster gumming up the works and I am interested to see just how well that works (or flops).
Questions, comments, gum on your shoe? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All letters will be answered or use as adornments.
I am Michaelangelo and will be for a while.
Mail the Author
Comment about this article in Wienerville