You are here
Guest Columns

Tom Dean




I got the 56.6 dialup... holla if ya hear me.

I'll kick off, as usual, by answering my voluminous reader mail. Remember, if you write in to this column, YOU will be published on the INTERNET! Just ask Gareth Smith, who writes:

Wow - I always wanted to be published on the *internet*


I havent seen this weeks Raw yet (we don't get it till Friday) but I agree things seem to be looking up. Eddie, RVD getting major feuds plus Brock and Bubba (and Edge etc over on SD!) = much juicy goodness (but sadly no marrowbone jelly).

Hey, if you like juicy goodness, you'll love what Tommy Dreamer does on RAW!

PS I had this great idea for KOR in which the whole of each roster would be ranked, the top few seeded, and have some qualifying matches the week after Judgement Day. Then every week you'd have the next round of a knockout tournament. Culminating in a RAW final, a SD! final and the overall final on the PPV. I had RVD beating Austin and Brock beating Bradshaw on RAW to go on and Angle beating Taker and Jericho beating HHH (with the assistance of a returning Benoit) to set up some killer matches ending , of course, with an RVD win.
It would give structure to the whole month, you could further or create minor feuds (Rico/RikishivBilly/Chuck or Regal v D-Lo) and you'd get some match ups you wouldn't normally see and it would really make the Final mean something, as it would be the only real Cross-Promotional match.
I just thought it would be cool y'know?
Too late now though

Yeah, I've seen it suggested a few times that everyone be put into the King of the Ring. I think it's pretty obvious why they don't do it... it would give away a bunch of matches that could otherwise be spread out over several PPVs. And it'd probably be hell politically trying to get the big stars to job (sad to say, but surely true). It kinda sucks that it has to be that way, but I guess I understand it. Don't even remind me about D-Lo... boy, does it burn my ass that they had him do one run-in and then never put him on RAW again.

I do think that KOTR will have a "RAW winner" against a "Smackdown winner", with no inter-show matches until the final. It just won't have every wrestler entered, that's all. As a general point, I say this... I had six million great ways to book the Invasion and was devastated when they managed to fuck it up, but, it's over and dead now. I don't think, in general, that there will be particularly big money in "RAW vs. Smackdown" matches. Nor do I think it's a big deal if the shows are not kept completely inviolate and separate. I just don't think people would be able to suspend disbelief far enough to think there was a real rivalry there.

Milan Kacar writes:

Hello. Nice job being somewhat positive with the article.

Well, y'know, I feel like if they give me positivity, I radiate it back, and the opposite too...

The split is doing wonders as far as elevating new talent. And the new matchups are certainly exciting.

That wasn't true for a long time, but thankfully, it has been true the last couple of weeks.

I also agree that WWE is having a hard time miking the crowds. I've read a few reports that said the Judgment Day crowd was dead, but I was there, and it was anything but dead. I've been to six shows, so I have something to compare it too, and it was loud. That's all i got.

Good enough for me!!

Gang, I am watching the TV, and I am liking what I am seeing on the TV. Let's start with Smackdown. First, the gripes... I will never, ever, ever appreciate the "fans, just hang on two hours for the big mystery at the end" tactic. Especially if it's a swerve, as it was here, but even if it isn't. Plus, like I said last week, they spoiled the swerve here already by running a Hogan-centered commercial for the next live show. (Although that's not nearly as bad as spoiling the Tough Enough cuts with a commercial, which they also did.) If there's one thing as bad as that carny tactic, it's the next thing I will gripe about, which is the abuse of the taped nature of Smackdown. Ever since the split, the Smackdown production crew has obviously had a lot more time to devote to making Smackdown sound totally fake. You can't tell me that everyone who walks down the ramp or appears in a pre-taped segment gets a huge response. And you can't tell me that the crowd laughs uproariously at every joke in a backstage skit, either. We've all seen enough live shows to know the difference easily... actually, their sound samples just sound so fake that a first-time viewer could probably tell. Finally, in spite of any efforts to disguise it, it's obvious that D'Von and Billy/Chuck/Rico are just dying out there from the lack of heat.

All that can be forgiven though, because... the matches were good! Even stuff like Test-Orton and (could you believe) Y2J-Mark Henry were entertaining! Y2J deserves a medal. And HHH-Storm and Edge-Maven/Angle-Christian are of course gonna be good ones. The matches were a little short for my taste, natch. But there wasn't much wasted time on the show... Angle's new hair was pretty hilarious. The big thing I like seeing, because I think it addresses the essential problem the fed has been facing, is when we see matchups between guys who were formerly on different "levels" in the hierarchy. So things like HHH "deigning" to face Storm, and Maven and Christian getting into that tag match, makes me very happy.

For similar reasons, I liked the Tommy Dreamer-Undertaker thing on RAW. I dunno if it was particularly funny, but hell, it was Tommy Dreamer and the Undertaker!! I also liked that Dreamer interacted with Taker on the mic, instead of just standing there like an ass while Taker cut the promo on him. I do wish that UT had followed up on his offer to give Dreamer a championship match. I think that could have gotten Dreamer over a lot, if there were some near falls and it looked like he had a chance to win (no, I'm not going to suggest that Dreamer actually SHOULD have won such a match, I'm not insane.) The intergender tag at least made a ton of sense in storyline terms, going back to developments from a year ago! Rare. I wouldn't call it a great match. I do think that, if built up properly, Trish and Molly CAN have a great match, but that wasn't it. Nonetheless, I appreciated it from a sports entertainment perspective. I will quit bitching about Booker and the nWo, because I think they probably know what they are doing with that. X-Pac seems re-energized by the nWo re-organization. He was in full total dick mode... it was great. Brock was allowed to beat someone relatively high on the card (Bubba), and I think they both got over more as a result. RVD and Eddy put on a show -- not a flawlessly executed show, but sure as hell a show. I hope it was enough to legitimize them as main eventers. If it doesn't right away, they have to stick with it anyway, because these are two guys who can make people care about wrestling again. Unfortunately, neither RVD nor Eddy excelled on the mic last night, which would have helped. The "wait till the end of the show" surprise (Austin's appearance) was not made into a huge deal, although I did feel it detracted a tiny bit.

Pete got cut from Tough Enough, and THANK GOD. Now he can go home and bitch to everyone about how it was because he was small... not, of course, because he had virtually no personality and the little he had was that of a complete ass. Anni, who was my pick among the women, also got axed. It's still kinda strange to me, because Anni was so much like Pauline last year, who was also "the big girl with no self-confidence", except Anni was way better looking and not as whiny... yet the brass seemed to love Pauline, and you got the feeling she might have won last year if she hadn't gotten hurt. Maybe they wouldn't have loved Pauline so much if she had been around longer, or if she had better competition. I dunno. Anyway, now I will be seriously shocked if Jackie is not the female winner. They haven't really given us any reason to think Linda deserves it... Jackie has been shown to have the better attitude, and let's face it, the girl is hot and obviously not afraid to flaunt her stuff. You might think that by the same logic, I also think Jake is the male lock because of HIS look, but you'd be wrong, cuz I don't think that. Kenny isn't as diesel as Jake is, but I've liked his promos ever since the casting special, and it seems like he is a better seller and more fluid worker than Jake. I think that one's a tossup.

I flipped Velocity on a couple of times. Supposedly, there was an 11 minute Tajiri-Kidman match. I wouldn't know, because all I saw whenever I flipped it on was recaps of Smackdown. I think WWE said that the main purpose of this show was to fill people in who don't get a station that carries Smackdown. I dunno... is there really a huge group of people who 1) don't get Smackdown, 2) are such huge wrestling fans that they want to devote their Saturday nights to finding out what happened on Smackdown, but 3) are apparently unaware that they can find out what happened on Smackdown via Internet recaps (and, half the time, via recaps on RAW), and 4) will nonetheless only watch a Smackdown recap show if, in addition to the recapping, there are new matches done specifically for this show? I feel like they're targeting a very small audience at the expense of the rest of us, because I sure as hell am not going to sit through endless Smackdown recaps no matter what else you're showing me.

Confidential was fun. One day soon, I will weigh in with my unique take on Montreal (yes, I can just smell your excitement). For now, suffice it to say that even if you ultimately conclude that Bret Hart was in the wrong, to say that he refused to give up the belt to anyone under any circumstances -- which was what they said on this show -- is just total bullshit. But, they did drop a bombshell (that HBK knew about the screwjob), which they really needed to do or else this show woulda been dead out of the gate. Confidential's Excess-type segments (see the guy who designs RVD's singlets! see Trish's house!) seemed more lively and professional than they had been on Excess, although needless to say, they will have to keep dishing DA DIRT to get me to keep tuning in.

I think you betta recognize that that's it for this week.

Tom Dean
Wienerville: T.R.
Mail the Author
Visit My WOW Page

Comment about this article in Wienerville



Design copyright © 1999-2002 Christopher Robin Zimmerman & KZiM Communications
Guest column text copyright © 2002 by the individual author and used with permission