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Tom Dean




Well, that was a week of television best described as "crap on a crap cracker." Smackdown was virtually all comedy skits, and none of them were funny. And Mark Henry... I can't believe some people think he is over... he is not, and he won't be... that whole thing is fucking awful. And they took an ad break in the middle of the one good match.

As for Raw, the only entertaining thing was the Bubba vs. Jazz match. I am developing such a new appreciation for Bubba. He pulls out absolutely every stop out there trying to entertain. I'm not entirely sure what the point of booking that particular matchup was, but who cares, it was great Sports Entertainment. Austin-Flair by all rights is an intriguing storyline -- Flair is playing it very well -- but somehow it's not coming off like Austin gives a shit, y'know? Eddy has been *the* highlight of RAW for me ever since he came back, but Eddy-Jeff Hardy was a big disappointment this week, and the William Regal thing was incredibly fucking stupid.

And yet, despite all this NONSENSE, I'm psyched to see Hogan vs. Undertaker. Why is that? I dunno. Maybe it's because Undertaker has been so great as a heel... he's somehow managed to add a chickenshit aspect to his character, and still remain the only heel in the federation who can win without cheating 12 different ways. Maybe it's because they put together a good commercial for Judgment Day. Maybe it's pure, unadulterated nostalgia. I dunno. It's a match I wanna see. And y'know what, I wanna see Hogan vs. Angle... I wanna see Hogan vs. Austin... I wanna see Hogan vs. Jericho (although of course, since it's Jericho, the WWF will give that one away on free TV). There's probably nothing they can do to change that feeling, in my case.

But, I'm not sure if the WWF can count on everyone feeling that way. Can Hogan really maintain fan interest for that long? And, does he HAVE to be the damn Undisputed World Champion while doing all that? And, after he does it, what do you do with him then?

It's just really unbelievable that they're USING HOGAN'S 1980'S CHARACTER. That's what bothers me, honestly. I don't really care that he's old, fat, and can't wrestle. It's the fact that the character is so uninteresting and gets old so quick... and that they deliberately changed him from a more complex character back to this ancient relic. YEARS of "we don't talk down to our audience anymore, we're way beyond cartoon superheroes" philosophy was thrown out in a second, and whammo, we're all of a sudden supposed to feel like it's 1987 Hulkamania again. It's mindboggling... and it can't be a sign of an organization that's very sure of itself.

The funniest thing about Hogan is that he blows spots before he even gets to the ring. Half the time, he lip-synchs the second line of the song before Jimi gets to it. I guess he hasn't been using it as his intro music long enough.

You know what would at least help? If Lawler and Tazz would take some shots at Hogan. What is the logic of this? Heenan was always hilarious with his anti-Hogan rantings. Why should the heel announcers kiss up to the face champ?

I was surprised when on Monday, Austin did the Thesz press and J.R. called the move without mentioning Thesz' recent death. That said, does Dave Meltzer know that Vince McMahon forbid mention of it? Meltzer is clearly implying it, but he doesn't say it. If he doesn't know it to be true, he shouldn't imply it; if he knows it to be true, he should say so.

I don't like Lita, and I've wasted a lot of my time expressing that in Wienerville... but, it's a damn shame that she suffered such a terrible injury, and I hope she gets better soon. Diamond Dallas Page... pay attention! According to your doctors, you could be permanently crippled if you continue to wrestle! Don't be a hero... retire, before you hurt yourself. I'm neither a DDP fan nor a DDP hater... I just don't wanna see a guy commit suicide.

I wonder if this sizzling Booker-Goldust feud will be blown off at Judgment Day, or will it explode on free TV?? It really says a lot about so many things that you're not even sure anymore whether Booker T or Diamond Dallas Page will be on the pay-per-view.

I caught up on the last couple weeks of Tough Enough via those handy-dandy weekend repeats. All I can say is... oh ma gawd, oh ma gawd, oh ma gawd. Pete is a dick who is only saying it for his own selfish reasons, but he IS right: Jackie's boyfriend is a bastard. It's total textbook "men who hate women and the women who love them" stuff. Jackie's mother is a bitch... so naturally, Jackie seeks out a boyfriend who mistreats her in the same exact way that her mother does, because she's used to that kind of treatment. It's a sad thing... happens to so many people. Of course, it's not like Jackie's mom is the bad guy, because surely SHE's like that because of how SHE was raised, y'know? No one ever is to blame. Don't dream it's over... but this column is.

Tom Dean
Wienerville: T.R.
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