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Craig Reade



Billy, Chuck, and Raw

Your 9/11 commemorative-free wrestling column!


So Billy and Chuck are going to tie the knot on Smackdown this week. That is, well... huh? To be honest, I really do not know what to make of this story line. For one, it is clear that neither Chuck nor Billy are actually gay. If they can pull of a convincing "union" then I will be impressed. Second, I never thought that Billy and Chuck were definitely gay anyway. They always seemed to me to be the "ambiguously gay tag team."

Needless to say this engagement angle is totally out of the blue. I am wondering where the WWE plans to go with it. What is this going to accomplish? For one, they are heels. But in a PC world, the faces HAVE to support Billy and Chuck. Which leaves heels like D'Von being the only ones who can make any issue out of a same-sex union.

So, are Billy, Chuck, and Rico faces now? Is something else going on where Rico is the third wheel in some kind of love triangle? Is Chuck really straight?

Yes, there are a lot of things that can be done with this angle, but still, I do not like it. It has nothing to do with the fact that is it a "gay wedding," I couldn't care less about that. The issue here is wrestling. I cannot think of a single possible angle where this would lead to a match of some kind (besides with D'Von, and that is an awful lot of effort for such a low-profile match). The WWE is supposed to be about wrestling, and a Billy and Chuck wedding has little to do with that.

I am keeping an open mind about the whole thing, because even though I have some misgivings, it is definitely something new. I am sure there will be much more to talk about next week.


Oh my god, they started it with a match? Wait, why start Raw with a match when you have someone as over as HHH to open the show with a 20 minute promo. Instead we get Kane? Lance Storm? William Regal joining the un-Americans? An overall quality opening 20 minutes?

The King and HLA

It has been said over and over, but I have to add my 2 cents. Jerry Lawler makes me sick. I knew from the moment he opened his mouth on Raw for the first time that there was SOMETHING having to do with perversion, and the WWE delivered with HLA.

On the whole, I did not think the HLA thing was all that bad. A little predictable, but I thought it had an element of entertainment. But Lawler ranting during every single match about HLA just went to far. Doesn't the WWE realize how much Lawler is taking away from the show? We had a great opening match and Jerry couldn't say a thing about it. All he wanted to talk about was Lesbians. JR asks the King about the fatal 4-way for the highest title Raw has to offer, and the King can't understand why JR would want to talk about that when there are lesbians in the building. Frankly it makes me sick.

Get rid of Lawler and I thing you could even bring "HLA" as a tag team. That would be fine with me. But his dirty old man ranting has become far too much. I did not like them when he left the first time, and I would not shed a tear if he left again.


I get the idea that the WWE really wants to put the Women's Title (or a Raw equivalent) on Stacy Keibler. Unless she improves 1000% in the ring, this will be a travesty. Either way, I predict she will have the belt by some means within six months.

Regal and Harvard

I like William Regal in the Un-Americans. I can't wait to see where the WWE takes the angle from here.

And I also like that they have seemingly dropped the whole Nowinsky/Molly Holly "busting her hymen" angle. Nowinsky is far better without that garbage.

RVD and Jericho

Now the number one contender's match for the World Title was very good. Granted, it was obvious that RVD was going to walk away with it, but I actually have no problems with that. I am pretty atypical net-fan in that I do not think everything RVD does is golden. I rolled my eyes after each post or article I read about how RVD needs to be pushed to the moon, and how he is the best in the company, and blah blah. Well, he is not as good as all that. His mic skills are average, and his style in the ring leaves much to be desires. Yes, I can recognize that he works hard, but that is not enough.

However- I think the man has improved a great deal in the last several months, and a title feud with HHH is due, and I think he is ready to be there. I do not think he will walk away with the title, but I think the timing for the shot is perfect. I think within a year, RVD will be a solid upper-main event player, and you will hear no gripes from me.

Jericho impressed the hell out of me in that match too. I loved the spot where Jericho got the Show DQed! If you want a wrestler to be a smart-ass heel that will do anything to win, that is the way to do it. Jericho's in-ring character during his title reign was a man who was not ready to be the champ, who was a total coward, but would cheat to win out of desperation. This character was terrible, and was a big part of Jericho's failure as a champion. But now, Jericho is portrayed as a smart, cocky, bastard who IS good in the ring, who is not a total coward, but will use every opportunity to win not because he needs it, but because it would not be smart not to. I like this incarnation of Jericho, and I hope it sticks around for a while.

The Best of the Big Gold Belt

Well, only one person wrote about their favorite match involving the title now known as the World Title, so His gets shared-.

Jesus, this is like asking me to pick a favorite Queen song... But it can be done. The Great American Bash 1989 - Ric Flair defended against Terry Funk. The attack 2 months prior at WrestleWar '89 (after Flair successfully defended against Steamboat in what SHOULD be my favorite, but I'll cover that in a minute) was a great setup. At the time, piledriving someone through a table was UNHEARD OF! and it looked like Flair was out, maybe for good. Then the Bash happens. Flair returns, and BOY is he pissed! An excellent match overall, but add in the emotion of Flair's return (thanks to an angle well done) and this was historic. Even the Muta run-in and Stinger Save were exciting as a new twist was added to what would become one of the NWA's greatest feuds ever. And that's probably why this one beats WrestleWar '89. The Flair-Steamboat series was dynamite in terms of wrestling. There was some angle to it - the playboy Flair vs. family man Steamboat - but that was just a rivalry. Funk and Flair was an all-out WAR that NO WWE show could do correctly today. And any great match should have a well-built history as well as solid in-ring action. And for that, just rewind to Baltimore, MD on that night in July of 1989

Throwing in my 2 cents,

Michael Melchor

South Daytona, FL

I have never seen this match, so I will have to take his word for it. Anyone have a different opinion out there?

I would not mind seeing this one, though, so if anyone out there can help me with a copy of this match, or any WarGames cage match, I would appreciate a line!


Well, I found both Raw and Smackdown decent shows. Looking forward to my trip to San Diego in 2 weeks for Smackdown as the show quality seems to be holding steady, and the WWE does not look to be hotshotting much anymore. Check back next week for some thoughts on Tommy Dreamer. See ya!

Craig Reade
Wienerville: Pool-Boy

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