Well, last time I did my column, CRZ complained about there being "too much Scott Keith" in it. OK, Chris, you want me to do things YOUR way? Well, here's to ya:
I GET LETTERS TOO: Wow, I have a fan! Namely, Smark Crew writer Nick "Dragon2K1," who writes: Hey, Dan! Glad to see you continued into the Smark Crew from the Rant Loved all your old colmuns. I whole heartedly agree about the Undertaker just wanted to say hey and leave ya my opinion. I hope you continue columns and have them put up on the Crew. TTYL
Well, if Nick wants me to write, I guess that means I have to write...with that in mind, I welcome all of you to another edition of the most electrifying column in sports entertainment today, THE DEVICE. As always, I am your host, Your Karaoke Hero, the World's Most Dangerous Columnist, Dartmouth Dan Doomsday.
I know that in the end of my last column, I promised a look at Chris Jericho and what he needs to do to make his feud with Steve Austin work. Well, what I was GOING to say was that Jericho's offense needs to be more high-impact (think in terms of Chris Benoit's offensive moveset) in order to make him a legitimate threat to Austin. Having watched Jericho as of late, I've come to the conclusion that I was completely and utterly wrong about him, and Jericho's finesse-based moveset will suit him just fine in a feud against Austin, although it probably wouldn't hurt to add more of a ground game to his regular moves (think in terms of Bret Hart's FIVE MOVES OF DOOM). No, this week's column is going to be a bit more historical in nature, and it will deal with a revelation I had while watching this past Monday's RAW. You see, folks, the old cliché is right: the more things change, the more they stay the same, especially as concerns one Vincent K. McMahon. What do I mean? Well, let's just say that this week's Device is entitled...
Since the Cause Stone Cold Said So video is part of this month's promo at the WWF Shopzone, I figured I'd pull out my own copy and toss it in the VCR. If you've never seen the tape, it's highly worth owning. Besides the slightly clipped version of the Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin submission match from Wrestlemania 13, there's some great footage of Austin in ECW, most notably a hilarious Hulk Hogan imitation where Austin talked about "Steveamania running wild." Years later, Steveamania is running wild again.
We all know about Vince using the WWF as his own venting ground, mocking his detractors and competitors at will, regardless of its effect on the quality of the WWF product. WWF history is filled with instances of this behavior, from Ted DiBiase's bodyguard Virgil (a poke at Virgil "Dusty Rhodes" Runnels) to Irwin R. Schyster (following the IRS audit of the WWF) to more recent examples, such as "Billionaire Ted's Wrasslin Warroom" and the Right To Censor. Now, though, rather than take out his frustrations through the WWF, Vince is using a similar tactic to flaunt the WWF's defeat and purchase of WCW. As you might have guessed from the title of this column, it involves the WWF champion, whose name, in case anyone had forgotten, is Stone Cold Steve Austin. (On a side note, who wants to bet that the Rock's return to the WWF will involve telling Steve Austin that "it doesn't matter" what his name is?)
It is generally agreed that the fall of WCW had a lot to do with established stars, Hulk Hogan most prominent among them, getting nice and cozy with Eric Bischoff and/or other WCW bigwigs and using their political clout to stay on top, keeping down young, up-and-coming talent (like Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit), and undermining the quality of WCW programming in the process. Bischoff and Vince Russo even used this fact in their shared "New Era" that began in April 2000, as one of the major programs involved Billy Kidman feuding with Hogan over Hogan's refusal to get out of the way. Of course, Hogan mauled Kidman at every opportunity, adding absolutely NOTHING to anyone's credibility, and the angle was scrapped inside two months.
A year later, the WWF owns WCW, and Hogan is trying to do a deal with Universal to start his own promotion and keep himself in the spotlight THAT way. Meanwhile, in the storyline world of the WWF, Steve Austin is nearing the end of his career, but is obsessed with staying on top of the wrestling world. So, he makes nice with Vince McMahon, and uses McMahon's help to screw over younger stars like the Rock. When the fans don't like him as much as he used to, Austin talks about how his name is Stone Cold Steve Austin. When he's challenged by other young talent, like Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, Austin complains about his spot as champion being threatened, citing as a major reason for his complaints the fact that his name is Stone Cold Steve Austin. Hmmm...one of the biggest stars in the history of professional wrestling gets paranoid about losing his spot, buddies up to the promoter, and uses that relationship to stay on top, trying his best to keep the younger, up-and-coming talent down, even as the fans no longer like him. Now, where have I heard THAT before?
When Hogan arrived in WCW in 1994, Steve Austin was a young, up-and-coming star who was poised for a run with Ric Flair in a World title feud. Then, Hogan showed up, was given loads of money and plugged into a World Title feud with Flair, because his name was Hulk Hogan. Austin was unceremoniously jobbed out of WCW, with two straight losses to Hogan crony Jim Duggan. Seven years later, Austin is a wrestling legend after taking the business to new heights, Hogan is desparately trying to cling to the spotlight, and Austin is continuing to make big money while mocking Hogan's fall from grace. All I can say is...
It all comes back to you, you're gonna get what you deserve.
That'll do it for me this time around. I have no idea what I'll be writing about next time, but it should be pretty damn good. I'm Dartmouth Dan Doomsday, and this has been the Device. Goodnight, everybody!