|Our 3rd Anniversary||
THE SLASH YEAR IN REVIEW.
So Slash wrestling is three years young..Congratz!
The Slash provides me with everything I need to know. Detailed reports on the shows, (mostly) in depth opinions about the current state of wrestling and then there is Wienerville. My one and only rumor source.
Now for those that also spend their time there, they might know me as 'dMp', someone who tries to enjoy wrestling and watches the events without thinking too much about politics and ratings. Oh I know very well what goes on, and I love to give my opinion on it, but when watching the shows I am 99% mark.
Ok. The title said year in review, and so we will look at the past year. That means July 2001 until June 2002.
Now that year pretty much started with the Invasion starting to take form. Shane McMahon had bought WCW and things were really starting to roll now. Including of course the night that the internet had one massive orgasm. You know what night I am talking about! However, as so many times in life what happens right after is a huge letdown..Instead of this extreme angle where Paul Heyman would take on the WWF, everyone's favorite girl Stephanie McMahon turned out to be the owner of the new ECW and she and Shane-O-Mac joined forces to create the Alliance.
At this point the world was still alright. Finally, RVD had arrived in the WWF, and with the reappearance of ECW we were all sure guys like Raven and Tommy Dreamer would rise through the ranks.
It all turned out differently though. While trying to bring back 'The Old Stone Cold' to help him, Vince forgot to treat Austin like the champ he deserves to be treated as, and as a result we had Austin turning Alliance.
This resulted in a summer full of amazing promos by The Bionic Redneck, in which he starting growing into his paranoid heel persona (maybe a bit too much as we would find out several months later). Austin terrorized the WWF AND his own Alliance and demanded respect from everyone. In one of the years most hilarious moments (just because it was so over the top and well played out) they tribute Austin with an appreciation night topped off with a special song but then there was Kurt Angle who drove in with a milk truck and sprayed Austin and everyone in the ring with milk the same way Austin had once sprayed Vince McMahon and his cronies with beer.
Booker T was another person who would become a huge star in the WWF according to many, yet in his feud with The Rock he never got the chance he deserved. From the start he was booked to job. It did show however that Booker was willing to go into new directions (with his over the top manners and persona) to keep his spot.
Often people say Vince breaks down guys that weren't his own creation to humble them.
In this feud I don't see it as humbling Booker T, but more humble WCW who once tried to bring Booker T across as someone who was better and cooler and whatmore than any WWF Superstar.
This was Vince's way of saying 'I don't think so'.
In the end I think it didn't hurt Booker T in the long run, as it did get him over with the crowd as that hilarious guy who looks at his hand a lot.
Austin in the mean time feuded with Kurt Angle, who was Vince's face sidekick. Following 9-11 Kurt became Mr. America and eventually got a title run but that sort of failed as there was no real thought or direction behind it.
The same can be said for the whole Invasion angle. There didn't seem a point to it, it wasn't really building up to anything. The WCW (and several WWF titles) were being passed around as hot potatoes, yet it didn't really elevate anybody. Well..maybe Rob Van Dam who at one point stood up to Austin and got some main event slots.
Then there was Chris Jericho. During the summer months this guy had absolutely nothing special going on.
Sure, he feuded with several big Alliance guys thrown at him by Stephanie, and was usually the tag team partner in main event random tag matches but there was nothing special about him.
At this point my friends and I called him 'bitch du jour' (bitch of the day) which was our way of saying 'whenever they need someone to be a sidekick or show up and job in a tag match they call Y2J'.
Towards the end of the year the WWF pulled the plug on the whole Alliance/Invasion story.
A good decision? Yes..However, the fact that (for whatever reason) they weren't able to make the dream of every fan work stands..
But then there was Ric Flair..The Man..he turned out to be the consortium to whom Steph and Shane sold their WWF stocks when they bought WCW/ECW..he was now 50% owner. And the people rejoiced!
Meanwhile, the WWF finally remembered what Chris Jericho is good at, whining, bitching, complaining and delivering good matches. In other words, they turned him heel and WOW! They made him the first Undisputed champion!! Everybody was happy with the world..
Then the new year came..and the new year brought the rumors of the nWo coming to the WWF. The new year also meant Triple H was going to make his return. After eight-uh long-uh months the Game was going to be back. But would he still have it? Would he still be able to deliver the goods? Well he did win the Rumble which was quite an interesting one. Several legends returned, Taker started a feud with Maven, Austin cut some great promos regarding his lower center of gravity and the whole 'WHAT?' craze was only slightly annoying at this point.
So HHH was going to Wrestlemania. Would he face Jericho or would the WWF have the obvious Austin-HHH or Rock-HHH match? They did the unthinkable and Jericho would actually headline Wrestlemania!
No wait... Thanks to some bad writing the story became all about HHH and Stephanie's divorce and even though Jericho was still there the focus was no longer the title but when would H pedigree Steph. THAT headlined the main event. Now I don't care if it was HHH's plan to keep Jericho down this way, because if it was it was a stupid one since he lost most of his heat as well thanks to the divorce angle.
In other news..the nWo invaded the WWF. They made their presence first known at No Way Out yet the impossible happened. Fans (ALL OVER THE WORLD-NOT JUST CANADA) refused to see Hogan as that evil backstabbing Hollywood guy. So what that he tried to kill the Rock? This is Hogan we are talking about, brudda! The ovations he received should have made it obvious. After doing the job to Rocky at WM-X8 he became a face and red and yellow ruled, as he even became champion once more.
In my opinion they handled this very well. Right after the nWO's return it became obvious Hogan couldn't stay heel. And where would be the best place to turn him? Wrestlemania. The next night Nash made it clear what the problem had been with Hogan and all was well.
The nWo in the mean time would go through hard times, Nash was injured, Hall was jobbing to Austin left and right and eventually he was fired/resigned, X-Pac joined, Big Show joined..nothing could hide the fact that they weren't the poison they were supposed to be.
So..Wrestlemania came and went, and then suddenly there was the split. From now on Raw and Smackdown would have their own rosters. People were either confused or thrilled. Now our favorite jobbers would get more of a chance to become the big stars we always said they would be.
Kane showed that given the right time and persona he could become a main eventer..until he got injured.
In the first weeks Raw was the more interesting show yet injuries and a lack of direction did them in and now Smackdown is usually the better show.
Austin in the mean time left for two weeks, due to burn out, but many said it was due to differences with the direction he and/or the show was heading.
And after a long lawsuit between the World Wrestling Federation and the World Wildlife Fund the Fed had to change its name, and they became known as WWE- World Wrestling Entertainment.
And so we headed towards May and June..perhaps the biggest Nitro..errr months ever when it comes to shocking news.
Stone Cold Steve Austin walks away and is pretty much done for with the WWE. Many imply that Austin has demons to deal with, but we still don't know exactly what happened. On top of that he hits Debra and the IWC declares Austin an outlaw.
The WWE now has to fill the void that Austin left and tries to do so by bringing more new guys in. One of them is Brock Lesnar, a huge monster with potential and with Paul Heyman as his mouthpiece. The verdict is out on him still though..does he have the goods to become a big star?
In the mean time we have the return of Shawn Michaels, the Heart Break Kid who shows up on Confidential saying he will never be back as HBK yet returns the next Monday to join the nWo. Two weeks later he pretty much blows it for me by just coming across as the obnoxious brat he always was.
Vince takes back Raw following Austin's departure (this is seen as a desperation move) and yells about Ruthless Aggression, a line that CRZ seems to love as he even keeps count on how much it is being used -grin-
Brock Lesnar becomes King of the Ring. Some claim it's too soon but heh..you have to try something, right?
So what will the next year bring us? The ratings are down, but the product is improving.
They have introduced several new up and comers. All of them having the look and the skills to back up the hype.
They have some great established stars who can carry the show and bring us great matches.
Oh yes..last year might have been a bumpy ride at times, but it might have been what the WWE needed. Without competition the only way to find out you aren't doing the right thing is by doing the wrong thing.
Who knows..when we celebrate the 4th year of Slash wrestling we might remember that awesome best of 7 series between Benoit and Booker T for the WWE Undisputed title. Or that amazing six month feud between RVD and Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho's constant battles with The Rock and a rejuvenated HHH that always deliver **** matches or higher. Oh..and let's not forget Rey Misterio Jr winning the rumble?!
Who knows..everything is possible in the WWE!
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