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Tom Dean




I'm pretty good. Yerself?

Well, RAW sure was weird, huh? My first reaction to the announcement of Steve Austin vs. Mr. Perfect as the main event was, "Okay, this definitely gets changed before the end of the show." I believed that up until the moment the bell rang for the match (which was, what, like 10:59?), at which point my thought became, "I have never seen a more obvious setup for a nWo run-in in my life." I suppose I was wrong on both accounts. Still, it WAS damn weird to have Perfect in the main event. I don't think he was ready. First of all, we just don't have enough reason to care about him yet... cheating at chess doesn't cut it. Also, his promo was really bad. He sounded like Ice Cold promising to freeze the WOW title belt, because you'll feel the chill, and I'll leave you out in the cold, and it's getting chilly, and it's ice cold out there, and I was left out in the cold as a child, and I'll cool you off, and I'll give you the cold shoulder, and it's getting cold out there. I'm not exaggerating by much... according to CRZ's recap, Hennig said "perfect" or "imperfect" nine times in ten sentences. Curt needs to update the act for sure. (And seemingly, so do the other Royal Rumble returnees -- Val Venis, Godfather, Goldust... well, ok, Goldust shouldn't change ANYTHING.)

Speaking of women's wrestling, Jazz just absolutely sucks. I'm sorry. Yes, she knows more moves than the other women wrestlers. Yes, she is certainly not being helped by the fact that Lawler and Ross are both burying her on commentary. But she doesn't execute the moves she knows particularly well, and more importantly, she has no charisma. Either bring up Nidia and Victoria and have some sportz entertainment matches with people about whom we might care, or sign Riot and try to do something REAL with this division. Ehhh, they'll probably just do Trish over Jazz at Wrestlemania for the cheap hometown pop, and convince themselves that it meant Jazz was way over as a heel, man.

Speaking of Ice Cold, that's what the crowd was like after having to sit through Jazz-Molly (heel no one cares about vs. heel we haven't seen in weeks), Jericho-Angle (two most hated heels in the company), and Austin-Perfect (superman vs. very new, yet de-pushed until now, arrival). I dunno what to say about it... I WOULD, when all is said and done, rather see Austin-Perfect than have the Random Tag Team Generator spit out Jericho-Undertaker vs. HHH-Austin or whatever as the main. But there's gotta be something even better. You can't expect the crowd to retain its heat through a final hour like that.

All that said, I don't wanna come off like I hated the show, because I really didn't. Taker's beatdown of Arn Anderson was SUPER... I love this angle. Booker rules the entire multiverse. Christian's attempt to smile was great, and who knows, maybe his trials will lead somewhere. Regal, even with some stumbling, was quite funny on commentary. RVD-Regal honestly sounds like a "snack break" match in the ring, but in terms of the "hierarchy", it's a good way to move RVD up the ladder. Hell, it's nice just to know the PPV matches more than a week in advance. Angle-Kane isn't exactly set up compellingly, but, at least it's set up. The nWo taking out Austin surely made sense. I am really curious to see what kind of match Austin and Hall will put on... I don't think anyone can have any idea. I (guiltily) enjoyed the Jericho-HHH-Stephanie rankout session... and I loved the way Angle subtly got over the idea that he wanted to rip Steph's new lover to shreds. Now that Austin-Hall is set, are we gonna see HHH-Nash at Wrestlemania, and Jericho-Angle with Jericho playing face for the night? I think that might be the best option. I dunno what the hell you do with Nash, really.

I am NOT loving Billy & Chuck anymore. The WWF Law of Bad Gimmicks -- "Any gimmick that starts off as even a little corny soon becomes completely over-the-top" -- seems to be asserting itself yet again. For example, why did B&C change their theme music? Their gimmick originally was that they THOUGHT they were macho heterosexuals, but they obviously were gay... obvious to everyone BUT THEM. The old Billy Gunn cheesy-as-hell "hard rock" music fit this idea absolutely perfectly. Why make their theme a Backstreet Boys rip... and ruin the joke? Then this gay bar thing... again, I thought that they weren't supposed to KNOW they were gay! I'm hoping that on Smackdown, Billy & Chuck come out (ahem) and say, "Wow, those guys in that bar sure were strange, huh? Go figure." That would be funny, and it would keep this gimmick from getting uncomfortable. If they don't do that, I think B&C could be something that could go "over the line"... and may not be something they wanna put in front of the world on a Wrestlemania that figures to draw a huge buyrate.

Tough Enough 2 on Thursday... I'm psyched. Supposedly, they didn't take indy wrestlers after all... I very much hope that's true. LET THE DARRYLS AND BOBBIE JOS OF THE WORLD REIGN SUPREME!!

Tom Dean
from Wienerville: T.R.
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