MY TWO CENTZ
Invasion weekend is finally upon us. I've been playing the mark lately, forsaking Smackdown spoilers in favor of being surprised on Thursday night. Since this is a Pay-Per-View weekend, I'd usually read the spoilers, then write this column Wednesday night, so I could send it in to be posted by Friday. But, since I sent in last week's edition on Thursday night, and it was up by Friday, I decided to try the same thing this week. I held off on the spoilers and watched Smackdown. And I wasn't disappointed.
Return of the Tejas Rattlesnake? I'm willing to give it a chance, but in the aftermath of RAW and Smackdown, I think the WWF might have sacrificed the Austin heel turn for the sake of furthering the Invasion angle. All is not said and done yet, so it's possible that hasn't happened. But having Austin play the uberface and clear the ring twice bodes ill for the future of the heel Austin. But, let's go back to last year: Triple H played the face during his feud with Kurt Angle, then took less than 10 minutes to return to being the Most Hated Man in the Business. That can work for Austin, too. He can play the de facto face for this week, but then, if the WWF wants to maintain Austin as a heel, his cowardice has to cost Team WWF the match at Invasion. It's also necessary for Team OuiCW to win that match in order to establish them as a viable, long-term threat to the WWF. Don't get me wrong; I'll be rooting for Team WWF. But as far as compelling future storylines go, Team WWF needs to do the J.O.B. on Sunday.
My Olympic Hero and Hometown Savior Kurt Angle: Kurt Angle is fast becoming my favorite wrestler. His match with Raven on Monday, even though it was basically a squash, showed an intensity and a violence to Angle that we hadn't seen since his feud with Benoit earlier this year. Angle was willing to resort to (and succeed at) brawling, even though he's better suited to technical mat wrestling. The spear at the beginning of that match, the Gold Medal shots on Raven, ripping the shirt off Raven, and then choking him with it, it all looked brutal. His attempts to injure Raven after the match were reminiscent of "breaking" Scotty 2 Hotty's ankle in May(?) and "Tap out before I break your fuckin' ankle, Rock" at No Way Out. His promos with Austin have been nothing short of hysterical. He's shown a constant ability to adapt as necessary. I can't think of a bad match I've seen him put on since he won the King of the Ring in 2000. He's also been getting progressively larger face pops each week. I can't wait to see what the WWF's going to do with him next.
Marking Out: This whole invasion thing has caused me to have many mark-out moments. And there's nothing wrong with that. You've got to suspend your disbelief in order to enjoy this wrasslin' game of ours. So go ahead and do it. Last week on Smackdown, when Angle and the Undertaker cleared the ring, I marked out. A little bit later, when all 6'10" and 328 lbs. of the Taker pulled off that no-hands plancha, I marked out. When I saw Kane and Jericho come down the ramp and (briefly) get the better of OuiCW, I marked out. When I saw Classy Freddie Blassie stand up out of his wheelchair, blatant rip-off of FDR in "Pearl Harbor" or not, I marked out. I marked out when Angle stood tall (at least for a little) at the end of this week's Smackdown. Hell, I even marked out a little bit when I saw Austin pull up and run through everyone and everything in his way. Yeah, I'm a cynical, grizzled wrestling columnist. Yeah, I know, logically, I should've had a problem with some of that stuff. But for a little over 4 hours each week (and more on a Pay-Per-View week,) I take off my Smart Cap and just watch as a fan. After the show's over, I'll analyze, see what I thought worked and didn't, and where it's going to go from here. But while I'm watching TV, I'm in Mark Mode. Give it a try on Sunday.
Linda Mac as a heel? Something that has yet to be explained to me, for storyline purposes, is why Vince is allowing OuiCW personnel in his arenas at all? If Stephy and Shane sold their WWFe stock, then their only legit reason for access to WWF arenas is gone. If they sold their stock, then who bought it? I know, I just went on a rant about suspending disbelief, but little things like that add a lot in terms of storyline continuity. I think they should've brought out Linda on RAW (much as I detest seeing and hearing her) in order to cut a promo in which she acknowledged that she, as CEO of the WWF, was allowing OuiCW access. She doesn't want Vince's money; she wants to [exaggerated Vince voice] "...put you out of business!" Then, Vince does the Big Gulp O' Fear. Linda turns heel, Vince turns face, AND provides a reason for OuiCW to be present at WWF events. It's just the little things sometimes.
Earl Hebner vs. Nick Patrick:
Earl Hebner vs. Nick Patrick:Who cares? Let's shock the world and say Patrick via screwy officiating. "What, Nick Patrick involved with shoddy officiating?" Yeah, I know it's a reach, but bear with me. Hebner doesn't have a spotless record either *coughSurvivorSeriescough*, but I'm still going with Patrick.
Tazz vs. Taijiri: My man Taijiri with the Blinding Green Mist.
X-Pac vs. Kidman: I'd rather have seen someone like Taijiri holding the WWF LHW belt going into this feud. But, I'll go with Kidman, since X-Pac's been baked out of his mind on TV for two weeks straight. Pac should now move on to feud with RVD over who gets a better price for QPs of Acapulco Gold. They could even bring back Road Dogg to be the guest referee.
Canadian Blondes vs. Team Canada: I'm going out on a limb here by saying that the Canadian team will win. HaHaHaHaHa! Team Canada gets the duke via dissention in the ranks of the Blondes.
The A.P.A. vs. Palumbo and O'Haire: I'm tempted to go with the Acolytes here, but I think they're close to splitting up, and a win over the A.P.A. would really help Palumbo and O'Haire get some much-needed credibility with the fans. Palumbo & O'Haire get the win.
Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy (Hardcore Title): I think they'll put Van Dam over. It's his first WWF match in 4 years, and most of the people watching on Sunday have never seen him before. Jeff Hardy is already over, so he doesn't need the win. RVD needs to be established, and beating Hardy and winning a title is a good start.
Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Stacy Keibler & Torrie Wilson: Who are the real winners are going to be? The fans, 'cause everybody wins when hot chicks are stripped down. Seriously, Trish's wrestling has really improved, and that should make up for Lita's recent sloppiness. The WWF divas get the victory.
Team WWF (Y2J, Kane, Taker, Angle, Austin) vs. Team OuiCW (Rhyno, The Dudleyz, DDP, and Booker T): Team WWF has to job here in order for the Invaders to have any future credibility. They do, when Austin abandons whoever's playing Ricky Morton/face-in-peril at the end of the match (my vote for that role is Angle.) Then it can go two ways on RAW:
1) Austin gets major heel heat by saying that he's the WWF Champion, he's got what he wants, and he doesn't give a damn about the company, the fans, or anyone else.
2) OuiCW blackmailed him into jobbing by threatening to do "very bad things" to De-bra.
Either way, you heard it here first.
Final Resultz: WWF-2, OuiCW-6. All is not well in Stamford.
Luke Johnston vs. Chip Boots in a Hell in the Cell for the rights to
"My Two Centz(s)":
Luke Johnston vs. Chip Boots in a Hell in the Cell for the rights to "My Two Centz(s)":It turns out that it was all a big misunderstanding. Luke Johnston writes a column at The Shooters called "My Two Cents," but he hasn't put out an edition in about a year. Sorry for the mix-up. To be frank, I'm glad there aren't any problems between Luke and I, since my personal gorilla war against Dave Richard is all I can handle right now.
Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah, Hey, Hey, Hey, Good-bye: Speaking of Richard, I don't want to take credit for it, but he's leaving most of his duties at Wrestleline. HE says it's to work at NFL.com *I* say the billions and billions of little Bootsamaniacs ran wild on him. Draw your own conclusions: I sent him an email and punked him out in my column for two weeks. Then, all of a sudden, he got a job at NFL.com? Coincidence? I think not! Don't let the door hit you in your fat ass on the way out, you incompetent yutz. And Goldberg still fuckin' sucks!!!
Stacks and Stacks of Letterz: Apparently, my shameless attempts to solicit mail have worked a little too well. Last week's Cheesy Movie Trivia award goes to John David, who got Tommy Lee Jones playing William Strannix in "Under Siege." John was quicker on the trigger this week. He also came up with a better (and hysterical) "Six Degrees of Wrestling" for the quote. Here it is:
The quote was done by Tommy Lee Jones, who starred in JFK with Gary Oldman,
Gary Oldman also starred in Lost in Space with Matt Le Blanc,
Now Matt Le Blanc stars in Friends with Courtney Cox,
Who is married to David Arquette,
Who was the biggest abomination in the Wrestling Industry in the past five years.
Thanks for the assist, John! As far as Arquette goes, I saw "Ready to Rumble" IN THE THEATER! Can't get the "L" off my forehead, baby! It was funny in a REALLY cheesy kind of way. You could do worse than picking it up at Blockbuster sometime. *coughAssaultonDevil'sIslandcough* Sorry, I must be coming down with something.
John Pilchowski gets the silver medal, and Jamie Hough gets the bronze. I just got too much mail to include anyone else. Except for "The Doctor," who also came up with a better "Six Degrees of Wrestling" for the quote. Well, maybe not "better," but certainly "more researched" or "geekier." :-) Here it is:
Tommy Lee Jones was in "Small Soldiers" with Robert Picardo,
Picardo was in "Star Trek: Voyager" with Jeri Ryan.
In the "Voyager" episode "Tsunkatse" (season 6, Ep. 135,) Jeri Ryan fought The Champion, played by Dwayne Johnson.
Dwayne Johnson also plays The Rock, our beloved ex-WWF Champion.
Yes, Doc, it WAS impressively geeky of you, but hey, it got you in the column, didn't it? I'm sorry to everyone else who wrote in and didn't get a mention, but everybody can't win every week. If you don't win one week, try again the next. John David is proof that it can work. Thanks to everyone who wrote.
Mutual Admiration Society: I decided to devote a little section of my column each week to another writer around the 'Net whose work I admire. Since I'm a newbie myself, this probably doesn't carry a whole lot of weight, but since it's MY column, I'm doing it anyway. This week, it's The Shooter, The Man of 1,000 Moves, WWF Superstar Dean Malenko, who writes the RAW Magazine reviews here at slashwrestling.com. He's also got his own site here. There, now will you let me out of the Cloverleaf, Dean? Please?
WWF, get a color man (or two) for the broadcasts! Michael Cole is (allegedly) a play-by-play guy. So is J.R. They don't mesh well together. Call The Brain. He's a color man. He's not doing anything. Or give Deano Machino a shot. Or Al Snow. Or Dr. Tom Pritchard. Or SOMEBODY!!! Just so I don't have to sit through another week of J.R. and Cole stepping all over each other.
I'll probably get some hate mail for not knowing this, but what does the "P.S." in Michael P.S. Hayes stand for?
If you don't read Chris Hyatte's "Midnight News" at 411wrestling.com, you should start. It's consistently hysterical. Unless you're Canadian. Then, he'll probably just make you mad. But really, aren't you just mad at yourself for being Canadian?
Where's Pamela Paulshock and why hasn't the WWF brought her on board?
Sometime in the near future, I'm going to try my hand at some tape reviews. I'd like to invite you readers to send in your suggestions. I'm going to focus on any of the Big Three from '95 on. If there's a show in that window that you'd like to see me review, drop me a line and let me know.
Sorry, no Cheesy Movie Trivia this week. The column's just too long. But I'd like to encourage you to let me know what you thought of the column, and any requests you might have for my tape reviews.
On July 20, I'm going to go see Tommy Dreamer on his farewell tour at an Indy show in Monroeville, PA. If you're there and you happen to see a gangly white guy with a goatee in a Disturbed T-shirt, it might be me. Come on over and say "Hi."
That's it for me. Enjoy Invasion. I'm Chip Boots, and this has been My Two Centz.