MY TWO CENTZ
I've got to admit, in the wake of Summerslam, I was pissed. I was even so hopping mad I sent an expletive-filled complaint to the WWF that night. Soon afterward, I posted it on the EZboard in the "Summerslam 2K1 Thoughts" thread, if you want to look for it. However, as the saying goes, time heals all wounds. The wound left by the WWF making, in my opinion, very poor booking choices with long-ranging consequences, is not healed. But, it's not festering and infected anymore, either. I'll give credit where credit is due. Kurt Angle won't suffer from the booking at Summerslam. He may actually wind up looking better for it. The ending of RAW had me rolling on the floor laughing. However, squashing Taijiri doesn't save Booker T, and WCW as a whole is now dead. Putting the WCW title on the Rock at Summerslam killed any thought of WCW ever again existing as an "independent" entity. What was once an ambitious idea to do something different and take a shot at greatness has now passed the point of no return and turned into a standard angle. That's a shame, 'cause this one could've been great.
The only way for an independent WCW to ever happen would be for WCW to develop its own heels and faces. Rob Van Dam is already over as a face, but that's just on the basis of his matches, not anything the fans particularly like about his character. Booker T was a huge face in the waning days of Turner's WCW, so he would have been the most logical candidate to turn back. The WWF had the perfect opportunity to set that in motion, if Booker had retained clean against the Rock. That would have given him real credibility with the fans. If Austin then lost to Angle, that would erode his position as leader of the Alliance. Booker, somewhere down the line, gets fed up with Austin's crap, and takes a portion of the WCW locker room with him into a face turn, maybe even under the leadership of an incoming Ric Flair. This didn't have to happen within the next month, but it could have sown the seeds of splitting WCW off on their own sometime next year.
It's not that I have a whole lot of love for the WCW brand name. I was always a WWF fan growing up. WCW was the "minor league" down south, where the prospects came from and the veterans went to retire. I know better now, but as I said, that's when I was a kid. But now, I wanted an "independent" WCW for one simple and practical reason: TV time. The WWF has too much talent to fit in all the people that deserve it into a little more than 5 hours of first-run TV per week (I'm lumping Heat and Jakked together into that last hour.) If WCW got their own show, then there would be at least 6 hours plus of wrestling each week. That's plenty of time to get some deserving guys like Bull Buchanan, Essa Rios, Chavo Guerrero, and Mike Sanders or any of the other Natural Born Thrillers (another of the few good things about the Last Days of Turner,) the exposure they need.
Eternal optimist that I am, I'm holding out hope for WCW. But I'm deluding myself. They're dead. They just don't know it yet.
Battered Wrestling-Fan Syndrome? One of the criteria of battered women's syndrome is that the victims are unable to change her behavior and attempt to escape the situation. Right now, I think many wrestling fans are in the same boat. Where do we go? Just stop watching wrestling? That might be an option once Monday Night Football starts. But does anyone really think the WWF's target demographics are in danger of jumping to reruns of Ally McBeal or Third Watch? No, so therefore the WWF sees no reason to avoid making the predictable booking decisions that they've done over the past week.
Maybe I'm overreacting to all this stuff. I don't know. Believe it or not, I don't enjoy being pissed off about booking decisions. I don't like thinking about what the bookers must be smoking to come up with this stuff. I don't want to wonder what I'd do on a Monday night instead of watching RAW. I'm a wrestling fan. I want to watch wrestling. That I'm even theoretically (and it IS only theoretical,) mentioning a boycott should tell you how upset I am. As I said, I'm over being ranting, raving, foaming-at-the-mouth mad. Now, I'm disappointed and sad. The WWF had a perfect opportunity presented to them. These occasions don't come along very often. The WWF got one, and they dropped the ball.
Summerslam Predictionz recap: I'll choke the bile down from the back of my throat long enough to go through the rest of the Summerslam card, with my brief thoughts on each.
Edge def. Lance Storm: Storm doesn't really NEED the win the way Edge does. Edge wins. Well, I got that one right. I'm glad to see that Edge is finally getting the attention he deserves. Hopefully this means that they'll get the Canadian Blondes breakup out of the way soon.
Dudleys/Test def. APA/Spike: I say this match goes to the Alliance team. I'm two for two so far. I don't really care much for any of the participants in this one, except to say that Spike Dudley is a bumping fool. If he's not careful, he's going to turn into the Short Man's Mick Foley.
X-Pac def. Taijiri: 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. I forgot CRZ Axiom #423: X-Pac Never Jobs in Singles Matches. It serves me right for ignoring Our Fearless Leader. Oh, well. This was actually my favorite match of the night, after pre-screwjob Angle/Austin. Surprisingly, I'm not mad about X-Pac winning. I like the idea of Taijiri as the underdog face challenger chasing X-Pac, the devious heel champion. Just so long as Taijiri goes over at Unforgiven, I'll be A-O.K.
Chris Jericho def. Rhyno: Jericho gets the win when Steph turns on Rhyno. I'll give myself this one, since Jericho did get the win. Plus, it's still possible that they could use that kiss to be the spur to the long-term angle of Steph with Jericho that I was talking about.
Rob Van Dam def. Jeff Hardy: I'm going to break my own rule again and call for Jeff Hardy getting the win, via interference from Matt. I guess Van Dam's not movin' on up the card just yet, and that's too bad.
The Fun Brothers vs. The Jersey Dyad in a Unforgiving Steel Cage: Page and Kanyon use some sort of dastardly deeds to get the duke. Wrong again. Hopefully, jobbing Page to Sara on RAW will finally put this one out of its (and our) misery. The Fun Brothers still need to lose both sets of titles soon, and convincingly, to teams that need them.
Kurt Angle def. Stone Cold Steve Austin (by DQ): 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. Apparently, they're not as smart as I thought they were. But Angle did get the win, so, to assuage myself, I'm putting this one in my "correct" column, since a win is a win, even if it is tainted. This was my Match of the Year until they pissed it away with that finish.
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. WRONG!!! Once again, I gave the WWF too much credit. Bye-bye, WCW! It's been fun!
Totalz: I went 4-4. I need to stop thinking the WWF booking team is smart. It's killing my winning percentage. I'm now 9-7 for the year, which also happens to be the best record my hometown Pittsburgh Steelers can hope for in the upcoming NFL season. Synergy rules!
All in all, I thought Summerslam was a good pay-per-view marred by some poor booking decisions. The booking mistakes loom large for me. If I'd paid $30, instead of the $15.50 I paid at Jocko's [that's $2 for the cover, $8 for 4 beers, and $5.50 for a dozen suicide wings, which are good, but a whole lot hotter than their regular hot wings,] I might be a little peeved. I give it a 6.5 out of 10. It would've been an 8 if they'd booked it right.
Finally, Funny Ha-Ha instead of Funny Sad: RAW was proof that the WWF can pull out the funny stuff when they want to. The Booker midget struck me as a little funny at first. But the longer it went on, the more uncomfortable I was with it. I was relieved when Lance Storm finally showed up. It was a mistake to use Booker as the target of that joke. It's NOT clear to the average Joe Six-Pack that Booker and Rock are equals, and the midget bit made Booker look weak. But the ending is what matters, and by the end of RAW, I was laughing my ass off. Having the entire Alliance in the ring, swaying back-and-forth We Are the World-esque, singing reworked Streisand to Austin was gold. Then Angle came out in the milk truck. I fell over laughing. I'm laughing now just thinking about it. Then Angle started chucking milk cartons at the ring. I was splitting my sides. I wondered, "Is he going to use the hose?" Yep, and my sides split even more. Then I thought "Boy, it'd be great if he got up on the truck and chugged some milk." Sure enough, that came next. Kudos to the WWF for sending me away from RAW happy. It doesn't erase the mistakes of Summerslam, but it's a good start.
Have some bloody respect for the Commissioner: Hopefully, having Commissioner Regal assert his authority over the WWF Championship on Smackdown will mean a more important role for him on TV in the near future. I've loved Regal's character ever since he debuted as the "Goodwill Ambassador." But, as commissioner, he hasn't really had a whole lot to do with the upper card lately. When Mick Foley was the commissioner, he was always getting involved in stuff and making Kurt Angle's life hell. That's what a face commissioner is supposed to do with a heel champion. Hopefully, now that Austin is healthy and able to compete on a regular basis, we'll be able to see that kind of interplay between Austin and Regal.
Mutual Admiration Society: I should really come up with a better title for this, since it's not really "mutual," now is it? Anyway, this week I plug another writer from a major site who doesn't need my help. The Scotsman does the video game reviews over at The Smarks. Even if you've never played the game in your life, and have no intention of ever playing it, he still writes an entertaining piece. You can find his latest work, on WCW SuperBrawl, here.
Hurricane Helms vs. Matt Hardy over for the European title? That has possibilities.
My mark-out moment of the week: Angle climbing up on the milk truck, then long-distance chugging those half-gallons.
Thanks for sticking with me through that opening rant. I don't like to be so negative in the column, but that whole thing just stinks to high heaven for me.
There are things funnier than being drunk watching re-runs of "Married with Children" at 2 A.M. One of them is being drunk watching Monkey Movie Super Shorts on TBS at 4 A.M. Any time monkeys dress up like people, it equals good comedy. What happened to The Chimp Channel, anyway? And what about Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp?
Until next time, I'm Chip Boots, and this has been My Two Centz.