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Ian Challis

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CUT!

"And now, the hardest part of a boss' job, the cuts. LeRoux, cut. McCullough, cut. Skipper, I like your hustle-that's why it was so hard to cut you. And the rest of you made it. Except you, you and you. Now hit the showers. Oh, Rios, you don't have to-you're cut."

I don't get it. I JUST don't get it.

The list of cuts brought a tear to my eye when Meltz Doggy Dogg broke the news yesterday. After shelling out so much for the old WCW contract holdovers, you'd think that McMahon might at least try and make money from them. But it wasn't to be. Eight months after this bullshit "invasion" was born, half of the opposing side is fired without even making it onto the battlefield. And that's a damn shame.

What's even more of a shame is the dubious outlook of light heavyweight wrestling after these releases. With the notable exceptions of Russ McCullough and Rick "Reno" Cornell, all of the cut guys were south of the cruiserweight limit. Those guys could have been used to bolster the dead-in-the-water cruiserweight division and generally add some excitement to WWF programming. But instead of giving the little guys a chance, like Good Ol' JR preaches so often in the Ross Report, seven cruisers are released without even a shot at proving themselves. Whether McMahon hasn't realised their value, or whether he's unwilling to learn a lesson from the old WCW, remains unclear. But the fact remains that they could have kicked royal ass for the WWF. Hell, even as low-grade tag team partners for boosting THAT division they could have brought in some bucks. Imagine the heel value of 3 Count in the WWF, or Skipper and Romeo tearing it up on Metal and Heat-or even RAW and SmackDown. But no, not even a vaunted "WWF Opportunity" is wasted on these guys-they're farmed out and fired when the time is right.

When looking at the outrage and criticism aimed at Vince McMahon for his sins I sometimes wonder if it's accurate at all. Arguments about his vulgarity, his ego and his general nature can often seem inflated at best and ridiculous at worst. But seeing this cut list after watching Vince parade his ass around for two weeks makes me agree with every one of those arguments. With the Flair/Vince angle just getting started, it looks like Vince's pig-headed egotism will be around for a long time to come-but we can all pray, can't we? And who knows-maybe the XWF will take those cuts and turn them into stars. I hope so.

Right! VENGEANCE!

Four Men, Three Matches, Two Titles, One Champion, WHOO!
Steve Austin/Kurt Angle Vs. The Rock/Chris Jericho

Like many other I am REALLY not grasping the reasoning behind Jericho's treatment over the past few weeks. The slow-burn was executed to perfection, as was the turn itself, but the followup left a HELL of a lot to be desired. Kane's retarded Lion Tamer sell didn't help matters either. For Jericho OR the titles to mean anything, Jericho has to win here. Austin, Rock and Angle all have something better to do than hold the gold. Jericho needs it to legitimatise his stardom in the eyes of the fans.

What I'd Do: Jericho beats Rocky in a *** match, and Austin goes over Angle in a **** bout. Then Jericho pins Austin in a *** main event, after intereference from the Tripper himself.

What They'll Do: They'll throw us a SWERVE for sure. I'll stick with the first round choices, but Austin unifies the titles when Hunter interferes.

Double Crown Continental Title Match
Edge Vs. William Regal

Edge is building up some solid momentum, Regal's getting ready for nasal surgery, and the title is on the line. Simple really-Edge wins and Regal takes time out. EVERYBODY's HAPPY!

What I'd Do: As above, Edge beats out Regal with the EdgeCution in a ***1/4 match.

What They'll Do: Ditto, but I'll gamble and say Booker gets involved somehow. Unless he's booked against Rikishi in the pregame show, which is a distinct possibility.

Double Crown Tag Team Title Match
Kane/The Big Show Vs. The Dudleys

I don't even wanna know who's idea this was. Suffice to say, I'm pissed.

What I'd Do: Dudleys retain with a 3D on Show-clean-to give their "Best Tag team" monicker a little credibility. Nothing above *, of course.

What They'll Do: I have a really REALLY nasty feeling that Kane and Show will get the titles here, in a pathetic attempt to build up the tag division. IDIOTS!

WWF Hardcore Title Match
The Undertaker Vs. Rob van Dam

The laws of wrestling are against me on this one. After all the hoo-ha about the backstage run-ins with these two and Taker's recent "attitude problems" I am POSITIVE that van Dam will win here. BUT he got the last laugh on SmackDown! Oh, it's so hard to choose...

What I'd Do: van Dam retains with help from, oh, let's say Kane. ***, and I'm being optimistic.

What They'll Do: Undertaker takes van Dam for the Last Ride and wins the Hardcore Title, to give that heel push some oomph.

Brother Vs. Brother, Girl In the Middle!
Matt Hardy Vs. Jeff Hardy

This could rule it, or this could suck the high hard one. It's a pick 'em in that respect. I really hope they've been practising this match-this is your big chance, boys.

What I'd Do: It's another Swerve City, this. Matt wins and offers his brother help up, but Jeff shocks everyone by turning on him, beating the crap out of him while Lita watches in horror. The conventional tag team breakup just ain't working, after all. This will be either **** or **.

What They'll Do: Matt will win with Lita reluctantly counting the pinfall, after which Matt beats the holy Hell out of Jeff, just for kicks.

WWF Women's Title Match
Trish Vs. Jackie

Pfft. Who cares?

What I'd Do: Have Jazz run in a kill both women for the no-contest. Then have her legally murder Trish on RAW to win the belt.

What They'll Do: Trish wins to keep that push a-rollin'.

And there ya have it, boyz 'n' grrls. I'll be back for that Vengeance recap next week. Until then, TOODLES!

Ian Challis
R.I.P The Shooters

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