MY TWO CENTZ
Well, another week has passed. That means it's time for another scintillating, thought-provoking edition of My Two Centz. The only introductory stuff I have this week is to say that WrestleMania VIII will be the subject of my review piece. I should have it done within the next week or so. Now, on to more recent happenings.
Conspiracy Victim? What the hell has happened to Chris Jericho? Who did he piss off over the course of the past month? He's not feuding with anyone important and he's doing skits with friggin' APES!!! Does the WWF really think that was funny? I was willing to give it a chance, in case there was somebody cool in those ape suits, but when there wasn't, the whole damn thing fell flat for me. I know they probably think that involving him with Steph is an elevating thing, at that might be true if Trip was still around, but how many times can Jericho be in some sort of match with the Dudleys? They're not on his level, and they're dragging him down with them. A couple of week ago, I said this: "[Jericho's schtick] has gone a little stale. Maybe a heel turn is in his future, in order to freshen up his character?" The only problems I have with a Jericho heel turn at this point is that he can still pop an arena pretty darn loud, and he stands just as big a chance of getting lost on the ECW/WCW side. I'm not a proponent of the Glass Ceiling Theory to explain his absence from the Main Event, I just think Jericho (along with some others, like Edge,) has gotten lost in the shuffle of this Invasion thing. The Invasion is too much of an all-consuming storyline. EVERYTHING has to revolve around it. If your angle isn't involved in the Invasion, then it's not important. The end result of that is that guys like Jericho are left to dangle in meaningless sub-feuds simply because they don't have anything better to do. Remember when Jericho first came into the WWF, with the Millennium Countdown? They built that up over the course of a month, then he interrupted The Rock and said he wanted to "save the WWF" from boring promos and stale in-ring work. Why don't they just go back to that? Or they could go back even further to his WCW days, the whining, bitching pretty-boy heel. He's got all this potential, and it upsets me to see it going to waste in these pointless, go nowhere matches with the Dudleys. What does a feud with Rhyno accomplish for Jericho? He's already above Rhyno's level, so beating him is no big thing. The only other way they could go is to job him at Summerslam to elevate Rhyno, which hurts Jericho's credibility even more in the eyes of the average fan. Of course, jobbing him at Summerslam could be the catalyst for the heel turn I've been talking about. Either way, he's got so much potential there. It makes me wonder when, if ever, the WWF is going to make full use of it.
The Bookerman: While we're on the subject of people who aren't being used right, let's talk about Booker T. It's about damn time they're making him look like intimidating. I think he cut one of his best WWF promos in the ring on Smackdown this week. That's what he needs, to get over based on being a badass in the ring. Putting him over the Undertaker with minimal extracurricular involvement on the 2 August Smackdown would have helped a lot. Putting him over the Rock at Summerslam will help even more. Let me say that again: Booker MUST go over the Rock at Summerslam. Establishing him as a bona fide ass-kicker is the way to get him over as a credible champion, not that stupid comedy B.S. that makes him look like a joke. That can be used to make him well rounded, after he's accepted as an ass-kicker (i.e. Austin,) but he's gotta be established as a badass first.
Booking on the fly: Speaking of badasses, I've got a problem with the American one. So now he and Fun Brother 2 are the WCW Tag Team Champions? Great. That means his boring feud with DDP will take up not only the WWF Tag Team Champions, Page and Kanyon, but the WCW ones as well. Is the Titan -- excuse me, WWFE -- brain trust even trying anymore? Are they coming up with their booking ideas on napkins at lunch on the day of the show? This whole stalking thing is dead in the water, and has been for a while now. Putting all these belts on the participants does nothing to make it more intriguing to me. As a matter of fact, it makes it less so. I thought the whole idea of this feud was that it was "personal." What does adding this many titles to the mix accomplish? The guy is stalking his wife, and belts are supposed to matter to him? Why not put those belts on someone else and get another feud kick-started? This is just another of example the Invasion being all-consuming. Instead of having as many as three separate feuds (Taker/Page, Palumbo & O'Haire vs. Somebody, and the APA vs. Somebody,) we've got all the tag belts in one feud, and it's one I don't give a damn about. I just want it to be over. Then, hopefully they can put those tag straps on some other people who, you know, actually need them!
Heelz and Faces: To clarify some points I made last week, I am NOT calling for a Return to Hulkamania. One of the reasons I hate Goldberg so much is because he's an Unstoppable Face. I like a lot of heels. Triple H is my favorite wrestler. Yes, the Triple H of the sledgehammer, and the steel chair, and the DX run-in. Violence doesn't bother me. Pointless violence does. There was always a point to Triple H's violence. He was doing what was needed in order for him to get to, and remain at, the top of the business. Drugging and marrying the boss' daughter? Arranging for Austin to be run down? Ending Mick Foley's career? All of those served a purpose: To get Triple H to the top and keep him there by removing any and all threats. I can understand that. The man is upwardly mobile. I can respect that.
The Rock was different. And the reason I said "was" gets its own section next. Pre-suspension Rock's heelish tactics served no purpose other than to feed his (the character's) ego. Was Kevin Kelly a threat to the Rock? No. Michael Cole? No. So what did picking on them accomplish, character-wise? Nothing, short of making him look like an arrogant jerk. Hey, if that's what people want to cheer, then let 'em. But I won't.
I don't want the bland, say-your-prayers-and-eat-your-vitamins stuff I grew up on. That was fine at the time, but I've grown up, and I expect my entertainment to grow up with me. I have no problem with Vince's "shades of gray." I will cheer for who I want to cheer for, and so should you. If you thought it was funny when the Rock told Kelly to stick his finger in his nose, then by all means, root for him. I'm just a columnist. This is just My Damn Opinion. All I ask is that you think a little bit about who you're cheering and why. Were you cheering the Rock and booing Triple H because you wanted to or because that's what everyone else says you're supposed to do?
Jumping the gun? But what I mentioned above was the Old Rock. In my last column, I may have been a little too harsh on The Rock a little too early in his comeback. He had a perfect opportunity to exhibit some of that classic Rock arrogance and heel tendencies with Angle and the milk on RAW, and I thought for sure he was going to take it. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe this IS a different Rock than we've seen in the past? I would think this is because the WWF can't run the risk of a backlash against the Rock, what Austin already being the Number One Heel in the company right now. Because of that, they're taking the safe route and avoiding any potential pitfalls with the character. I don't really care what the reasons are. I just know I have a much easier time rooting for THIS Rock than the Rock that calls Kevin Kelly a "hermie."
I guess Vince "If the don't speak English, they can't get over" Russo ISN'T booking this shit after all: Taijiri's got a title! Whoo Hoo! [right now I'm doing a little dance around my living room.] I still stand by my opinion that Taijiri was misused against RVD on the 31 July RAW, but they went a long way to making it up to me by putting the Light Heavyweight strap on The Japanese Buzzsaw this week. Let's see, in my column of 29 July, I said this: "How long do we have to wait until Taijiri gets some gold?" Apparently 10 days. Now, he needs to set his sights on getting the European Title away from Mr. Congeniality, Matt Hardy.
Mutual Admiration Society: I wasn't going to do one of these this week, but as I was cruising around the Net yesterday, I happened across a very well written piece about Brian Pillman. Since it's the week of the Pillman Memorial Show in Cincinnati, I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you. You can find it here.
If ECW/WCW are the bad guys, then shouldn't they be "the Axis" instead of "the Alliance?" Hey, the McMahon/Heyman Axis. Has a nice ring to it.
I'm glad Kanyon found a way to get his "Positively Kanyon" wig on TV again. Those skits from the Kanyon/Page feud were one of my few highlights from the end of WCW.
It's too late. Summerslam has officially Bizkitized Drowning Pool's "Bodies." I'm already sick of hearing it. And we've got another two weeks to go. Ugh.
Are Edge & Christian funnier when they have a straight man to become the target of their "offbeat shenanigans?" Their act seemed fresher when it served the purpose of deflating Lance Storm's ego a little bit. I think if they want to salvage Edge as a King of the Ring, he needs to take the Intercontinental Title from Storm at Summerslam.
Since bucs792 plugged me in his column, it's only right that I should return the favor. He should have a new column on the best rivalries in wrestling up on Monday. Be sure to check it out.
Kurt Angle has the best-looking moonsault in the business, period.
Until next time, I'm Chip Boots, and this has been My Two Centz.