NO MERCY, RAW, AND KANE'S FACE
I've got a couple of things I'd like to start with.
First off, I heard last night about an injury Hayabusa suffered at a FMW show. This injury was caused after he undershot a Lionsault and landed with his head on the canvas. He was conscious but has been paralysed from the waist down. For those of you not familiar with Haybusa, in my humble opinion, he is one of the greatest talents to come out of Japan. I first discovered him after buying an ECW DVD. He was teaming with Jinsei Shinzaki taking on RVD and Sabu. Like most of the crowd I had no idea who Hayabusa or his partner was and was just watching to see Van Dam and Sabu. It was obvious that RVD and Sabu would win and retain their Tag Titles but Hayabusa amazed the crowd doing moves like a 450 Splash. He really opened my eyes to Puroresu, After looking for more his matches I found one from FMW against TAKA Michinoku, this is still one of my favourite matches. For anybody who hasn't seen Hayabusa I recommend that you download some of them, buy some FMW videos or buy ECW Heatwave '98. I know he will never wrestle again, but I hope his status improves.
Now onto something a little lighter, My No Mercy Predictions, I got 3 out of 8 which I think is my worst result ever. I knew as soon as Test beat Kane that it wasn't going to be a good night for me.
So No Mercy has happened, we have a new WCW Champion. Neither Rock or Jericho actually turned. Stephanie managed to keep her appearance on the PPV down to only a couple of minutes, Shane managed to appear for a few minutes after one promo and his interference in the Main Event, Less McMahon on a PPV sounds good to me. Stone Cold managed to get the win over Angle and RVD. Austin ended the match covered in blood but unlike I predicted it was Vince that opened him up with a chair, not Van Dam. The Edge/Christian Ladder match was great and a clear improvement on their match at Unforgiven, Edge and Christian are the masters of the ladder match and they reinforced that on Sunday.
On Saturday I decided that today's column would focus on the possibilities of what can be done with the Alliance. I was actually kind of looking forwards to doing that but after Raw this InVasion will be coming to an end. Vince put it perfectly on Raw: "I've had it with this Alliance crap, this inVasion crap" this is exactely what most wrestling fans feel. The InVasion had amazing potential, it should have been incredible. This was a feud that should have been a hundred times better than WCW/nWo. But it all went wrong. I'm against what seems to be quite a common explanation which is WCW were missing the big names, Goldberg, Flair, the Outsiders. Having them around wouldn't have made a long term impact. Sure that first Austin/Goldberg match would be highly anticipated and the buy rate would be huge as soon Goldberg's lack of talent was revealed to the Masses no one would want to see him again. There was two big mistakes made, the first is that the WCW weren't made into much of a threat, nobody thought Booker T could beat Austin. Nobody thought Shane could outsmart Vince, I think that was why Heyman was brought in as the leader of ECW. The second was that they didn't do anything which stands out. It's a worrying time when the most innovative thing to happen was Stacy Kiebler winning Test the Hardcore Title by dancing in front of Rhyno. I'll carry on with that theme of Innovation, if you look at WCW activity on Raw and Smackdown, Lance Storm interfered by Superkicking Perry Saturn, Hugh Morrus gave (I think) Christian the No Laughing Matter then Booker T gave Austin a Axe Kick then Sidewalk Slam. There's nothing new there, it's like any other wrestler interfering in his enemies match. They should have done something that's never been done before. What if during a Vince and Austin Promo they suddenly cut to Booker T and Shane doing one in a small Studio, or if Raw started and suddenly they cut out of JR and Heyman and went to Scott Hudson and Arn Anderson doing commentary. How cool would it be if JR and Heyman are just walking about ringside trying to work out what was happening. The simple fact is that the WWF had the most important feud in American Professional Wrestling but wasted it by not doing anything new, anything which would stand out.
At the Survivor Series we're gonna have the sequel to the Main Event of Invasion with Innaugral Brawl II: Elimination Style. Its gonna be interesting to see the teams because the logical teams will feature people like The Rock, Jericho and Angle on Team WWF with people like Austin and Booker T on the Alliance team. But it looks likely that the Rock will be getting his rematch with Jericho which will take both of them out. Also if Austin is gonna fight RVD like some people are predicting that's gonna take him out to. As the loser of this match will be dismantled, expect the WWF to win. All the Alliance guys are gonna be given the option to either come to the WWF or just go and obviously they'll all come to Vince. I hope that the Creative Team do something interesting with the talent to make new heels and Faces after 4 or 5 months where everybody in the WWF (except X-Pac) was face and everybody in the Alliance (Except RVD and Torrie Wilson) being Heel. It'll be too easy for them to say "He was in the Alliance so he'll be heel" or "He was WWF he's Face." There will be certain people who might be hard to change so the Creative Team are gonna have to try hard and come up with imaginative angles.
As for the four McMahons I'd like them to do something good with them but I have the feeling they'll do something lame like turning Vince Heel and having Stephanie (and maybe Shane) decide that they like him again. Don't think that's likely? let's go back to a Smackdown in December 2000, just before Christmas. Vince had a big argument with Stephanie which resulted in him calling her a Rich Bitch. She walked away crying, the Stooges were disgusted by Vince and went with her. They had the opportunity to do something interesting with Stephanie, with a little more work they could have made the fans sympathetic towards her but they didn't. On Raw Stephanie walked out and revealed that Vince now had full control of the WWF. He fired Foley and they were all happy again.
On Raw we saw DDP's first appearance in a WWF ring since Summerslam. It was also his first interaction with either 'Taker or Kane since they kicked his ass at Summerslam. During one of his motivational speaches Kane appeared and after a little talk from DDP about his face he chokeslammed him. I think this is gonna be the beginning of an angle between DDP and Kane. There's been a lot of talk recently about Kane losing his mask. This would be the perfect way for it to happen. DDP starts talking to Kane more often, he helps Kane like Kane and one night on Raw, with DDP's support he removes his mask and shows his face to the world. It was interesting in '99 to see Kane develop his emotions with X-Pac showing him friendship and Tori showing him love. With DDP's help he can be happy as Kane. Now I think I'm getting a bit too emotional myself so let's stay on the topic of Kane but focus on violence. On Raw in his Tag Match against Booker T and Test he won the match by giving Test a Tombstone Piledriver. This year we have seen four piledrivers. The Undertaker's Tombstone at Wrestlemania and the 3 Austin gave Angle. Now The Undertakers Tombstone was probably done because it just wouldn't be a Wrestlemania without a Tombstone and 'Taker winning. Also it was in his home town so it was sort of a sentimental Tombstone. The 3 Angle received were done to reinforce a storyline. It was there to show that Angle could come through everything Austin threw at him but still beat him at Unforgiven. But Test and Kane, this is just an uneventful storyline that's been going on for about 3 weeks. Is it possible that the ban on Tombstones has been removed?
Now onto some brief thoughts about Smackdown. After the WWF won 4 titles on Raw expect the Alliance to get a little revenge by winning some other titles. As it stands the WWF has 9 titles (WCW Title, Intercontinental Title, US Title, WWF Tag Title, WCW Tag Title, European Title, Light-Heavyweight Title, Cruiserweight Title and the woman's title) while The Alliance has only 2 (WWF Title, Hardcore Title). It's possible that they will win back the WCW Tag Titles but like I said in my No Mercy Predictions I don't see that title changing hands this early. So that leaves us with the Light-Heavyweight Title, it's possible Billy Kidman will take that, to be honest he and Helms are the only Cruiserweights in the Alliance who are actually getting TV Time. I wouldn't expect to find out anymore about Survivor Series because if it's gonna be like InVasion they won't announce any details till maybe 2 or 3 weeks before the PPV.
I'll finish with a few comments and rhetorical questions about Raw that are in no way like Rajah's one liners.
Did anyone else think it would be cool if Torrie did her handspring elbow on Billy Kidman during the match?
It's cool that the US Champion is a US Olympic Gold Medalist.
Why did the Rock hand Jericho the chair, he said he would need it in their rematch. Does the Rock want smashed over the head or something?
Coming up in my next Column I'm gonna do a little piece for Edge and Christian and following this I'm gonna armchair book the InVasion.