MY TWO CENTZ
It's time for Summerslam, and a Pre-Pay-Per-View edition of My Two Centz. No opening stuff this week, except to say that the WrestleMania VIII review is coming. Eventually.
SummerSlam Predictionz: We'll get right into it, with my run-down of the card for SummerSlam, as it stood at midnight on the night of 16 August.
Dudleys/Test vs. APA/Spike: This could go to either faction. It's another blah match for me, either way. Even though I like putting the faces over at Pay-Per-Views, I say this match goes to the Alliance team.
Chris Jericho vs. Rhyno: I try to stay away from making long-term angle predictions, since they're usually wrong. That's still the case, but I'm doing it for this match anyway. Jericho gets the win when Steph turns on Rhyno. This sets up a heel Jericho vs. a firmly-face Triple H in November. In the meantime, Jericho abuses his position as paramour of the ECW owner to act all out of control, much like Triple H did during the McMahon-Helmsley Era. I think that would make for some damn good TV.
Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy: This match has "show stealer" written all over it. I'm going to break my own rule again and call for Jeff Hardy getting the win, via interference from Matt. RVD then moves on to feud with Matt for the European Championship.
Taijiri vs. X-Pac: X-Pac has done a good job recently (no pun intended) of putting Taijiri over while poking fun at himself. I think that pattern continues, with Taijiri getting the win, but it takes a little something extra, like two mist shots, to finish off the Pacster.
Edge vs. Lance Storm: If they want to salvage Edge as a King of the Ring, he really needs the win here. Storm doesn't really NEED the win the way Edge does. Edge wins.
The Fun Brothers vs. The Jersey Dyad in a Unforgiving Steel Cage: Oh, God, let me count the ways in which I am so NOT excited in the least by this match. It's taking up time and titles that could be better used somewhere else. It's nice to see someone like DDP getting in the mix with WWF upper carders, instead of a team of young whippersnappers like Palumbo/O'Haire. I could not possibly care less about this match, but out of loyalty to you, my readers, I'll make a pick: Much as I'd like The Paragons of Personality to get the win and make this dumbass feud between DDP and Taker over for good, I don't see that happening. Page and Kanyon use some sort of dastardly deeds to get the duke. But they need to drop both sets of tag titles, and SOON, to teams that actually need them.
The Rock vs. Booker T: They MUST put Booker over relatively clean. He needs this win a lot more than Rocky does. The WWF knows this, so Booker goes over.
Kurt Angle vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: If Angle wins, he'll be cemented in the upper card for the rest of his career. This can be the match that MAKES Kurt Angle. Austin/Rock doesn't need a belt to draw. Angle needs the belt. The WWF is too smart not to know this, so I'll pick Angle to bring the WWF Title back home.
Final score: WWF-4 Alliance-3 (I'm calling Jericho/Rhyno a wash.)
In many ways, this show is as crucial as last month's Invasion for the WWF. But for some of the people involved, this show, and the feuds building up to it, are MORE crucial. As I said, if Edge doesn't get the win on Sunday, he is in danger of becoming Billy Gunn 2001. If Rob Van Dam equals or surpasses his performance from Invasion, he'll be on a rocket to the top of the card. Chris Jericho may finally get some direction for the first time since before King of the Ring. Kurt Angle's transformation from Number 1A Heel to Number 1A Face can be completed. Most importantly, however, Booker T (and, by extension, WCW as a whole) can be established as a legitimate, independent threat to the WWF. Invasion didn't do that, since it was Austin (a WWF guy) who got them over. This time, they have the opportunity to do something on their own. I hope the WWF realizes that they have zero margin for error here. There is no going back. If they screw this up, some people's careers may be killed as a result, and the entire Invasion angle and the long-term future of WCW will be dead.
The Iceman Retire-eth: I know, I know, you've probably seen four dozen variations on that title in the aftermath of Dean Malenko's announcement at the Pillman Memorial Show that he will be switching gears away from in-ring competition into more of a teaching and behind-the-scenes role. But I still wanted to put my two cents (that's why the column is titled the way it is) on the Shooter's change of plans. I'm sad that he won't be competing very much anymore. But, all things considered, it's better this way. There's nothing worse than when athletes hang on past their prime. Whether it was Franco Harris with the Seahawks or Willie Mays with the Mets, it sucks to see one of your sports heroes hang around too long. It happens in wrestling, too (I'm looking at you, Ric Flair!) The pull of the spotlight is too strong for some. Those who can't step away wind up embarrassing themselves and tarnishing their legacy. I'm glad Dean Malenko won't be one of those people.
Kurt Angle rules the world, so you better recognize: I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I've been on the Kurt Angle Bandwagon since he was EuroContinental Champion. I'm really glad the WWF recognized his talent and gave him an according push. I didn't really like his previous World Title run, because, as Our Fearless Leader said at the time, he was Honky Tonk Man 2000, with his cheap wins and non-title jobs. But now, he is the Number 1A Face in the WWF stable. He damn well better win at SummerSlam, or I'll be One Seriously Pissed-Off Dude. Personally, I can't wait until he does the Milk ad, in which he wears the Milk Moustache and the caption says "Nobody spills my Gosh-darned milk!"
Enough with the damn chants already: Look objectively at the body of X-Pac's work over the past month. He has put on some good matches, bumped like a fool, and helped elevate Taijiri into one of the WWF's next stars. I've been as guilty of dismissing X-Pac out of hand as anyone else. I was wrong. Yeah, he's not the Lightning Kid or the 1-2-3 Kid, or any other Kid anymore. So what? He's doing what he needs to do to get booed. He's helping his opponents get cheered. He's made some pretty good bumps. He's made his opponents look good during their matches. He, along with Regal and Taijiri himself, deserves a share of the credit for Taijiri being as over as he is. It's time to give the Devil his due: X-Pac does NOT suck.
Retraction: Remember all that stuff I said a couple of weeks ago about feeling sorry for Jerry Lawler? Well, I take it all back. The webmaster of his personal site, which I'm not going to link, is running a contest for the King's next trophy wife. If this contest is tongue-in-cheek, it's in bad taste. If it's serious, it's the sickest thing I've seen in a long time. Either way, I'm disgusted. I have no more sympathy for you, Jerry. It's been replaced with contempt.
Mutual Admiration Society: More wrasslin' humor this week. Jeff Gardner does a column called "The Hanging Gardens" over at 411wrestling. He's running something now called The WWF Real World. Basically, it's MTV's Real World, with Steve Austin, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, William Regal, Mick Foley, Taijiri, Undertaker, and Tazz as the cast members. I think it's pretty damn funny. There have been six episodes thus far, but you can find the first one here.
I kind of miss Ivory's "Repressed Librarian" look. For an older chick, she's fine. But she really looked hot in that librarian outfit. Oh, well. Maybe I'm just a freak.
What is with Austin changing his theme music every couple of weeks or so? I thought his music from the first post-Invasion RAW was really cool, and worked right in to his solid heel persona.
Shawn Stasiak's stuff from RAW was laugh-out-loud funny. HaHaHaHaHa. Wile E. Coyote. HaHaHaHaHa. I think the guy has a decent personality. If he can find a gimmick that can get him over, he'll do just fine in the WWF. And who says WWF fans have no sense of history? I heard the crowd chanting "Meat!" while Stasiak was talking to Stone Cold.
Speaking of Austin, his "What?" catchphrase is wearing thin on me. It is just not making sense every time he uses it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The "My name is Stone Cold Steve Austin and I do not deserve this" catchphrase worked much better.
I've fixed my EZboard account, so I'll be able to take feedback there on "My Two Centz" as Chip Boots. This is in addition to the regular email questions/comments/bitches/moans/complaints.
Few things are funnier when you're drunk than reruns of "Married, With Children" on WNPA, Pittsburgh's UPN-19 at 2 o'clock in the morning.
See ya after SummerSlam!
Until next time, I'm Chip Boots, and this has been My Two Centz.