MY TWO CENTZ
I actually got responses to my review requests. The finalists are Royal Rumble '92 and WrestleMania VIII. If you have a preference between those two, drop me a line. I'll hold the voting open all this week, until midnight Eastern on Thursday, 9 August. After the winner is chosen, I'll talk to my tape hookup within the next week or two, then I should have a review piece in to Our Fearless Leader a couple of days after that. If you have any suggestions for other shows, send 'em along. I'm going to try to do one retro piece per month.
Strike whilst the iron be hot: I'm really happy that the WWF is going to let My Olympic Hero and Hometown Savior Kurt Angle run with this Austin feud for awhile. This is the right thing to do. Rock/Austin will draw anywhere, anytime. Angle/Austin is hot NOW, and needs to happen while it's hot. Angle has been getting huge pops lately for everything he does. Yeah, they're not Rock-sized, but Kurt's only been a face for less than two weeks. Did you see the flashbulbs going off when he hit those Olympic Slams on RAW? He had the crowd in the palm of his hand at the beginning of Smackdown. That's all pretty impressive, if you ask me. I think Kurt has benefited from this short program with Booker T. It's really helped solidify Angle as a top babyface. When he won the WCW title, Angle prevailed despite tons of heel interference. When he lost it, he didn't, but he did get his revenge afterwards, by cutting through the OuiCW locker room and running both Booker and Austin out of the arena. I liked Austin not accepting the challenge right away. It really added to his paranoia and self-delusion. It was in keeping with his new, cowardly, all-talk-and-no-action character. I'm glad the match is official. I was preparing for the Big Swerve to knock the wind from my sails. Once again, I'm glad my pessimism was wrong. Booker T has also benefited from this mini-feud with Angle. WWF fans are starting to take him more seriously as a legit threat. He's beaten a former WWF champion in Kurt Angle. Yeah, it was Austin-assisted, but Booker's a heel, so he has to win at least somewhat cheaply. The clusterfuck ending on Smackdown was too much, though. They had an opportunity to give Booker some credibility (there's that nasty word again,) and they squandered it.
I smell what The Rock is cookin'. Smells like shit! Chip knows he said he wanted The Rock back. Chip's already apologized for that. Even when The Rock was at the height of his popularity, there was always something that didn't sit right with Chip about The Rock. And Chip could never quite put his finger on it, until this past February. When Kurt Angle did his interview with Kevin Kelly before No Way Out, he hit it right on the head. The Rock hasn't shown this yet, but he's only been back for 2 shows: The Rock is a bully. He's a popular, talented bully, but he's still a bully, and Chip doesn't like that. The Rock is a heel. He's never really stopped being a heel. The only things Rocky does differently now than he did when he was a heel is shill to the crowd with cute little sing-along catch phrases and get his ass beat by heels. He constantly abuses Kevin Kelly. It always makes Chip squirm when Rock calls Kelly a "hermie" or tells him to stick his finger in his nose. It even bothers Chip when Rocky picks on Michael Cole. Mistreating the helpless is the act of a heel. But Chip is all about looking down the road, toward potential. Chip will tolerate Rocky for now. Chip just hopes someday we'll see a rehash of Rock/Angle, only with Angle as the face and Rock as the heel, the Olympic Hero vs. The Arrogant Jerk, the way it should be. Chip also knows Rock is gone to make movies full time whenever his contract is up. Chip just hopes the man allowed to send him packing out of the squared circle is The Smartest Man in the Business, The New Man, The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, He's Better Than You 'Cause He's Boffing Stephy Mac, Triple H, Hunter Hearst-Helmsley. Get well soon, H. The millions (and millions!) of your fans need ya back! Okay, maybe there's not "millions." There's me, Mario Perez, Llaktor, Y-Pac, and Our Fearless Leader. But it's the QUALITY, not the quantity that counts.
The Hardy Boyz are really heelz: In keeping with the theme of faces who act like heels, I present the following argument: The Hardy Boyz are really heels. It was first put forward by a friend of mine named Mike Crayton, who is now at Ft. Lee, Virginia, undergoing supply training, so he can begin his new pogue job as a Chairborne Ranger in Hawaii. This one's for you, Mikey:
"Hey, is Vince 'If they don't speak English, they can't draw' Russo booking this shit?" Taijiri was hilarious on RAW when he was wearing the Rock's sunglasses and raising the Puroresu Eyebrow. But they made him look like a jobber against RVD. Does Van Dam have the Undertaker's old "impervious to pain" gimmick now? He took almost everything in Taijiri's bag o' tricks. Taijiri sick kick? Yep. Didn't do shit. Cartwheel Van Damninator? Nothin'. Baseball slide into two chairs on Van Dam's face in the Tree of Woe? Uh-uh. I don't have a problem with Tajiri jobbing in that situation, but why have him hit all those moves if Van Dam is going to be invincible? Geez, they could've had RVD survive the Tarantula and the Blinding Green Mist, then he would have single-handedly rendered Taijiri's entire arsenal worthless. The only purpose I can see is to make Rob look like his namesake, Jean-Claude, cutting through scores of incompetent Hong Kong mobsters. The WWF booking team are a bunch of fucking douchebags for using Taijiri like that. Squash matches are why they keep guys like Crash Holly and The Godfather around. Taijiri's promos are laugh-out-loud funny, his matches kick ass, and they're not spotfests like RVD's, since Tajiri actually knows, you know, WRESTLING HOLDS!!! I may be alone in being pissed off about that match, but I don't care. If Taijiri's going to get over as "The Japanese Buzzsaw," then they shouldn't have used him like that.
I am a god among men! (Back by popular demand, it's Cheesy Movie Trivia: "I'm not THE God, I'm A god." First email with the correct actor, character, and movie gets the prize.) (It's Bill Murray from "Groundhog Day" - and if you don't mind my saying, "Cheesy Movie Trivia" is an INCREDIBLY weak gimmick to try to trick peopel into sending you email... - CRZ) Geez, first I run Dave Richard from Wrestleline, then I save The Smarks? Okay, maybe I'm not SINGLEHANDEDLY responsible for saving The Smarks, but I'd like to think a few people read my column last week and sent a good word to Scott and the guys. And okay, my column was a little down on the potential survival of the site. Seriously, I'm glad to tell you that reports of the demise of The Smarks have been greatly exaggerated. It looks like they've licked their server problem. Good for them. Regardless of my role (or complete lack thereof,) I shall continue to delude myself into thinking that my role on the Net is bigger than it actually is. I am the nexus of the Internet wrestling universe!!! (You're fired - CRZ) Okay, not really.
Mutual Admiration Society: This week, it's a two-for-one. I love to laugh. Good sources of comedy are one of the things I search for on the Net on a regular basis. If you like wrestling humor, then the guys at Our So-Called Sport and the twisted genius at The Whole JF'n Show are two sites that you should make a regular stop. The Learning Tree, with The Undertaker, at OSCS, and their roundtables, are all hysterical. Here's a sample from this week's WWF roundtable:
Rob: In many ways, Stone Cold is very comparable to an annoying girlfriend. He's clingy, he can't do anything by himself, and he's paranoid that you're looking at other wrestlers. What makes him different is that he'll buy you gifts. It's still unclear whether or not he'll give you a blowjob, but right about now, smart money isn't against it.
As for Mr. JF, "Pulp Bookerman" is one of the most hilarious things I've ever read. Somebody should win either a Pulitzer Prize or a one-way ticket to a padded room for thinking it up. It truly has to be seen to be believed. I read the whole thing from start to finish, without stopping. I don't want to give too much away, but it is a parody of Pulp Fiction, if wrestlers played the characters. Go here to read it.
Independent Showz: The Indy show I went to a couple of weeks ago was for the International Wrestling Cartel (insert your own Scott Hall/Brian Lawler/Road Dogg joke here.) I lost the flyer and forgot who they were, but I found it this week, so I thought I'd give them a plug. It was a good show with some REALLY good action. The crowd wasn't that big (maybe 200,) but we had ringside seats right on the aisle, and there were a couple of sections that were into the action, luckily including mine. Tommy Dreamer put over local worker Jimmy Vegas, who's got a good look and the talent to back it up. He should get some attention from a bigger promotion. Vegas came out and cut a promo mocking Dreamer. He was wearing an ECW T-shirt and a painted-on goatee, and then fell over while grabbing his back two or three times while coming to the ring. His manager interviewed him, but the only thing Vegas responded with was "ECW!" I thought it was hysterical. I should also plug a local guy I went to high school with, who wrestles under the name "Brandon K." I saw him in action and it struck me how much he looks like Christian (of Edge &) now. He was in a tag match teaming with a guy named Dirk Ciglar (who comes out to Guns N' Roses, which earns him points from me,) against Heart and Soul (Johnny Heartbreaker and Rick Cruise, from the NYC area.) They were all impressive, especially one of H&S (I think it was Johnny) who separated his shoulder. I hope it heals up okay, 'cause the guy has talent. The main event was a three-way elimination tag match between The Backseat Boys (a Backstreet Boys parody, but they were more talented than you'd think with, in spite of that gimmick,) Evolution (Nova and Frank Kazarian [sp? maybe one of you Cali readers can help me out with that] from UPW in California,) and Christian York/Joey Matthews. They all looked impressive, but Evolution especially should really get a close look from the WWF. They were easily the highlight of the show. There were some other guys on the card, but none of them struck me as really having any hope of moving on to bigger and better things.
I'm glad they're giving Lance Storm the Canadian Superhero gimmick again. That's instant heel right there. I'm a sucker for heels (hence my marking out for Triple H, old Kurt Angle, and WrestleMania-to-Invasion Austin,) but Lance Storm will make me boo consistently. I thought he looked really impressive in his match with Angle. Here's hoping we get Storm vs. Jericho for SummerSlam.
Speaking of SummerSlam, I hope it's not going to do for Drowning Pool's "Bodies" what WrestleMania XVII (X-7 is dumb) did for Limp Bizkit's "My Way," namely play it over and over and over and over, 'til I'm sick and tired of hearing it. I actually like "Bodies." Bizkit is over-hyped and played out.
Kudos to the WWF for finally fixing the screwed-up announcing situation. Like so many other things in this Invasion, it doesn't logically make sense, but does make for better TV. I just hope they quit arguing with each other and ignoring the match at hand.
I still don't want to see him back on my TV, but my condolences go out to Jerry Lawler on the (apparent) break-up of his marriage to Stacy Carter. I read his website comments and felt really bad for him. Every guy can relate to the position you're in now, Jerry. My advice to you is to start drinking heavily. It always works for me!
Until next time, I'm Chip Boots, and this has been My Two Centz.