THE BREW SPEW
Welcome to the first Brew Spew of 2002! I had a nice little sabbatical over the last two weeks, watching very little wrestling except for a tape of Super J Cup '94 and '95 which Good Samaritan Of The Year markingsmart sent me. More on that a little later, but I'm proud and excited to say that I've experienced my first Japanese wrestling experience, and I feel so much more worldly for it. Now I just have to stop myself from saying "BLACK-UH TYGAAAA~!" out loud all the time.
Spewin' On Raw
Vince Clubs Flair - Nice little segment to get the ball rolling - the 80's and 90's clips of Flair in action were terrific. Did anybody else think the music along with was originally made for Steve Austin? Vince HAMMERED Flair with that pipe - don't believe me? Check out that slo-mo replay!
RVD vs. Test - Test has dyed his hair, I think - man, I hope he's not 'buddies' with Gunn and Palumbo, if ya know what I mean. Test shoving the ref into the ropes was great - false finish with White shovin' Test was AWESOME. Test losing SUCKED - but I'm biased. Any time you've got the crowd chanting the count with you, it's all good.
The Coach waits for The Game, but sees Angle - Angle says he's got a big announcement, and that it's HIS night, not HHH's. I say HIS gold medals are different. But, HIS neck is wider than HIS face, so if I were The Coach, I'd just leave HIM alone.
Trish is at WWF New York, but so's Terri! - Does Terri have anything on underneath her top, or am I just staring too hard. Hey, Terri's got MUSCLES, too! But none of that matters, 'cause we get a Wet T-shirt contest! $5 TSN censors it - I'm sure it's for our own good.
The Ambiguously Gay Bodydonas vs. Biggie Smalls - Oh my god, they really ARE gay. Thank god Albert and Scotty interrupted before Palumbo could "whip out his hose". I think the ol' head-to-the-groin spot at least proves that they're gonna run with this "maybe they're gay" thing. Nice DDT by Scotty on Palumbo, a BEAUTY of a superkick by Palumbo on Albert, and the Gunn/Palumbo win says "stay tuned for more ambiguous gayness"...not that there's anything wrong with that. Call me nuts, but maybe - just maybe - this will get over. Picture this vignette - Vince: "Palumbo and Gunn are on it!" Angle: "yeah....when they're not on each other." Vince: "Now, you don't know that!" .......just a thought.
The Champ Addresses US! - Jericho rules, but please, please, PLEASE don't job him to Rikishi. Please.
Austin Addresses US! - Austin rules. What? Austin rules. OHHHHH He saw HHH backstage! OHHHHH Austin's in the Rumble! Verrrry interesting. Austin's so into his promo he's sweating! He's blown up! What? He's BLOWN UP!! That was pretty darn funny stuff, but I'm feeling CRZ's pain right now.
By the way, does anybody else think Limp Bizkit's "Old New Songs" is a total ripoff? Or am I just too damn uncool to understand? You be the judge, our lines are open.
Edge vs. Lance Storm - Edge's pops seem to get bigger and bigger; hard to really tell though, 'cause the MSG crowd (God love 'em) cheer EVERYbody. That was a BEAUTY reversal into the Edge-a-cution (OH MY GOD ROSS GOT THE NAME RIGHT), but an awfully short match for these two. Regal knux shot re-kindles the feud between him and Edge - I would've liked to see a little more than just one kunx shot though. I mean, Regal had what, THREE surgeries because of Edge? I guess it's one knux shot for every three surgeries. Good thing he didn't have a fourth, I guess.
Angle and Christian complain about The Game - "I tore my quad this morning, and I'm fine!! I'm jumpin' around!" HAAAAAA!
Booker T/Boss Man vs. Rock/Austin - Bossman's back in his riot gear, but has dropped "big" from his name. Well, he DOES look a little smaller. How in the HELL does Austin no-sell an ATOMIC DROP? That outright scares me. Say what you want, but Bossman still has the best looking right hand (punch, that is) in wrestling today for my money. And any time Booker uses the Book-End, it RULES. Perhaps a little sloppy here and there if you wanna nitpick, but the crowd (God love 'em) ate it all up.
Jericho Does a Test Impression - Please, don't let him lose to Rikishi. Please. Pretty please. Please.
Rikishi vs. The Champ - Jericho tells a fan "This is MY belt!" Awesome. Hey, Jericho won! Hey, Jericho didn't get the Stinkface!! And Jericho proves he's SMART by proving the "If you don't succeed with the WWF Belt shot, use the OTHER belt!" theory correct. Hey, wasn't Rikishi supposed to be feuding with Test?
Big Show, Tajiri, and Torrie talk about The Game - Angle is still mad it ain't all about him. Show's "please calm down" at the end was great. Da heck's with that hat on Tajiri?
Dudleyz bug Tazz and Spike - Tazz promises an ECW-type match - cool! Buh Buh makes a 'little' joke - funny! Buh Buh steals Tazz's catchphrase - partially! Really well done vignette. Will Tazz win in his home town? I doubt it, but hey, you never know.
Tazz/Spike vs. The Dudleyz - WHEN ECW COLLIDES! Buh Buh's garbage can shot on Tazz was the most vicious sounding shot in recent memory. Buh Buh whispering "Get the Tables" RULED THE WORLD - maybe THAT'll get the fans booin'. T-bone Suplex through the table (sorta) was VICIOUS. The Dudley Dog was MORE VICIOUS, and OH MY GOD, TAZZ AND SPIKE WON!!! NEW CHAMPS!! NEW CHAMPS!!!! TAZZ HAS A BELT!!!! SPIKE HAS A BELT!! This is Tazz and Spike's first belts in The Fed (besides maybe a three-second Hardcore title holding), I think. Good stuff, and the "hardcore rules" stipulation nicely leveled the playing field. I wonder where they'll go with them from here?
Taker Talks From Who Knows Where - hey, that was a great little heel promo.
Wet T Shirt Contest - this has nothing to do with wrestling, but excuse me while I wipe the saliva from my keyboard. I apologize for my shallowness. Wow, you can actually WATCH Terri's nipples become erect - And you wonder why I love her so. :) At least TSN didn't censor it. HEY, Jazz assaults Trish! WOW, WHAT a DDT!!!! AND JAZZ ASSAULTS LAWLER!!!! AWESOME!! I LOVE IT!!!!! But why does Jazz look like Chyna?
Time To Play The Game! - I think it's safe to say that HHH is juuuust a little pumped for this. :) What a kick-ass moment - for him, and for us. I wonder how many orders the ShopZone has gotten for the new HHH T-shirt already? Who cares - The Cerebral Assassin is BACK, as a face, no less and HE'S IN THE RUMBLE. VERY interesting! Angle comes out while the fans chanting "You Suck" along with the music was GREAT. Wow, KURT's in the Rumble too! Man, EVERYBODY's in the Rumble this year! Of course, Angle takes the obligatory beating from HHH, but who cares if it was predictable. If you were like me, you cringed a little while HHH delivered his kicks, but he looks great.
Overall: Well, the Rumble build-up was pretty darn good - not too much build-up for anything else...but The Game returning was a great mark-out moment for all. And now the next question - now that he's back, and now that he's a face - who gets to feud with 'em? I dunno, but we'll have fun finding out.
Spewin' On Current Events
I must admit, I was a little surprised to see The Rock get the nod to take on Jericho at the Rumble. Whatever happened to the nice Jericho/RVD feud we were getting? Ol' Robbie was all MAD and everything! But, from what I read in CRZ's SmackDown! report, it sounded like they were setting up a groovy Jericho/HHH feud .
Now, I'm all for more Rock/Y2J goodness, but with this new little twist, I fear that Mr. Jericho's reign as The Man will be coming to an end at the Rumble, seeing as after said Rumble, there's only about eight weeks of TV (and a PPV) to build up whatever the main event of WrestleMania is gonna be. Jericho has been doing an outstanding job as a heel champ, and while marks like me would like to see him get more clean victories, he's playing his character beautifully - so well, in fact, that maybe - juuuuuuust maybe - The Fed will let him carry the belts into 'Mania. However, I must acknowledge this as a long-shot at best, and assume that Jericho will drop the belt(s) before 'Mania - either at the Rumble or at No Way Out. I personally am hoping he lasts at least until No Way Out, when they'll no doubt set up whatever the main event will be.
Speaking of said main event.....
It's pretty tough to guess what the main event of Mania is going to be this year. given the current state of where the main-event talent resides. With The Rock and Steve Austin all playin' the 'face, one would think one of them has to turn in the foreseeable future. So, who will it be? My guess is.....The Rock.
Why? Well...it's his turn. And, it'd be a nice, refreshing change. A heel Rock/face HHH main event would be pretty awesome - maybe another Fatal Four-Way with Rock, HHH, Austin, and Jericho? Maybe throw Angle in there? Makes for some interesting speculation. At any rate, A Rock heel turn would certainly pique the curiosity of many - I wonder how many people out there deem The Rock capable of turning into a solid heel after achieving legendary babyface status? It's certainly dangerous to turn your most-over performer, but The Fed is under a little pressure to freshen things up, and just bringing up a couple of guys from HWA won't accomplish that. So, all that being said, a Rock turn at the Rumble would not surprise me, but it WOULD delight me. But what happens to Y2J if Rock goes heel? Ahhhh, there I go, thinking too much again.....
Am I the only one who was enjoying The Undertaker's dominance over the Hardyz? I thought the chair-to-the-throat angle was awesome, but apparently, The Powers That Be disagreed and killed the mini-feud. At least it was a nice setup for the Taker/Show feud - assuming that such a feud exists. Sure, their matches won't be high-flying death-defying acrobatics, nor examples of technical wizardry (well, there IS Taker's newly-acquired Dragon Sleeper), but add the Hardcore card to the deck, and a brawl between these two has some pretty decent potential. I must admit that Taker's selling against RVD at Vengeance had me COMPLETELY fooled - I was convinced RVD had given Undie a one-way ticket to Concussion Land.
I was also impressed with Show's intensity during his SmackDown interview. The cool thing about the Show is, it doesn't matter (or, at least, doesn't matter as much) how many times he loses - because of his sheer size, he will always be considered a legitimate threat to whoever he is wrestling. This gives him the ability to be put up against anybody at any time, and the fans (for the most part) will buy it. Either way, a showdown between the two big men, hardcore style, is enough to garner my attention.
I Think I'm Turning Japanese. I Really Think So.
Well, after watching the first two rounds of Super J Cup '94, I'd like to throw out to you, the good readers of this article, some things I noticed while watching. I wouldn't mind getting a little confirmation on my understanding of Japanese wrestling, since my entire experience with is is limited to about two hours of something which occurred almost 8 years ago.
a) Matches Are Generally More Technical - Lots of submission holds, lots of re-applying those same submission holds (a cool tactic), and polite applause for the guy who is locked in said submission hold when he's able to get to the ropes. As well, a "whooooa!" and polite applause follows for a performer kicking out of a potential finisher.
b) It Is MUCH Easier To Tell What The Japanese Fans Like - during submission holds, clotheslines, and even piledrivers, you could hear a pin drop. Only during a match involving Jushin "Thunder" Lyger (and then, it was mostly women fans yelling "LYGAAA~! at the top of their lungs) did I hear any of the fans yell.
c) The Japanese Love Their Lucha - anytime somebody is about to dive out of the ring in some shape or form, the crowd gets stirred up and the 1,873 cameramen around the ring scramble to get a good position. One thing I noticed that was ultra-cool; a guy tried to jump from the ring to the top turnbuckle to the outside, but couldn't maintain his balance after jumping to the top rope and fell back to the ring. Here, that guy would've had "You fucked up!" chanted at him, but what did the Japanese fans do? They APPLAUDED THE EFFORT. AWESOME. In another eye-popping spot, a much-younger Taka Mitchinoku, after being Irish whipped, jumped up the TOP ROPE (not in the corner - in the MIDDLE), and back-flipped over his opponent!! Then, when the guy he was wrestling (I think it was BLACK-UH TYGAAA) left the ring, Taka did ANOTHER top-rope back flip, just to show off!! That's just WRONG!!
d) The Japanese Ring Is HEEE-YOOGE - It takes 7 minutes to run it side to side! You could build a MALL in there!!
e) Japanese Referees Are HYPER-Accurate With Their Counts - Seemed to me that the time between counts was EXACTLY one second, and EVERY ref I've seen so far as been EXACTLY the same. Very, very cool - definitely adds to the match.
f) Japanese Wrestlers Are Acrobats Generally INSANE - They're doing moves I only thought to see in video games! Brainbusters! FISHERMAN'S DDT'S!! Craziness!!!
Other Random Points - I would LOVE to see Kurt Angle go against some of these guys in a Japanese-style match, and even as "White Pegasus", Chris Benoit STILL ruled!
There's a few things to get you started - if you'd like to pass other good Japanese tips for me to look out for, by all means!
Final Thought: I had a dream the other night that Hank Azaria was the European Champion. What's with THAT?!