WWF REGAINS ITS MAGIC
for a night, at least
Hello and welcome to my first column at Slash Wrestling. I'll keep the intro short because when reading columns I usually hurry through the intros to get the meat inside.
My name is Steve. I was born in Jersey but I now reside in Boston, MA where I am a full-time student at the wonderful institute of learning they call Northeastern University. I am actually on CO-OP right now which means I work and am not in classes, but lets just keep it simple and say I'm a college kid. I have watched wrestling for as long as I can remember, and I am 19 right now, so I guess that means I can tell you everything that happened since I passed out last weekend (j/k). Anyway, after seeing yesterdays RAWZONE or whatever JR calls it nowadays, I felt inspired to write something that will be (hopefully) half decent so here it is:
THE WWF REGAINS ITS MAGIC (FOR A NIGHT AT LEAST)
Last night we were presented with a show that I could have mistaken for a RAW of 2-3 years ago. Yesterday's RAW ws not the best ever, and maybe not THE best this year, but it WAS the best I've seen since we saw ECW reunite a few months ago. Maybe even better than that one.
First, some background on how we got to this RAW. The WWF has, in my opiniion, been putting up lackluster shows for the last few months, to the point where I have been very tempted to NOT WATCH A RAW OR SMACKDOWN IN PROTEST (God forbid!). We have seen Angle's new "badass" character which is really nothing more than an early 90s typical babyface. This new Angle character has not been nearly as entertaining as his previous role as a dorkish crybaby heel. That heel cut some of the best heel promos I've seen Shawn Michaels in 97-98, neglecting perhaps Triple H's always-great mic skills. But we saw that character disappear in favor of a new babyface who's interviews basically consisted of Angle vowing to "kick Austin's ass" time and time again. And, eventually, he did beat Austin and win the title at Unforgiven. And, with the Sept. 11th attack fresh in everyone's heads, in went over as a good booking: The American Hero wins. Fine. But still, Angle just has not lived up to his face push, and I don't think it's entirely his fault.
FAST FOWARD TO: Last night's RAW.
Austin, having won the title back from Angle at the next PPV (No Mercy), is holding this promotion together. Angle's weak promos are more than balanced out by Austin's hillarious "WHAT?" and his ruling over The Alliance like a king with an iron fist. Austin lays off no one: not the crowd, not his fellow alliance members, not even his wife Debra, as we are quickly finding out. He claims there will be a defection tonight. Someone from the WWF, he says, will join the Alliance tonight. Yet he won't tell anyone (not even Debra, again...can you say abusive husband?) who it will be.
Chris Jericho respons by rounding up the WWF wrestlers in a meeting and preaching pro-WWF and anti-WCW. However, he encounters some in-house competition from The Rock, who he already had lots of friction with, and Taker and Kane, whom are insulted by Jericho's subtle accusations. Rock and Angle develop some friction when Angle annoucnes he is meeting with Stone Cold. However, Angle scares the hell out of Austin by bringing a 2 x 4 to the meeting and acting like a madman. Angle continues to preach his pro-WWF legislature, as does everyone on the roster.
So who do we, the audience, think the defector will be? I was positive it would be Jericho. The internet smarts as well as the mainstream crowd think his gimmick is getting stale. If not him, I was sure it would be either Taker, whos gimmick has gotten terribly old in the past few months, or Rock, who I didn't think was likely, but certainly would have cause a monstrous surprise if it was. Kane and Vince of course were small posibilities but those 2 have turned so much (especially Vince), that would just cheapen their characters too much. And Kane has a chance to make a title run soon, in my opinion.
Boy, was I wrong.
Instead the WWF chose to shock both casual fans and internet fans alike by turning the American Hero, Superface, fairly recently turned good-badass (since mid 2001, at least) Kurt Angle heel.
What an incredible call! (ns)
This brings about a whole new set of possibilities. The Alliance is now stronger than ever, with 4 credible maineventers in Austin, Booker T, Angle, and DDP. And Van Dam I believe is still in The Alliance, albeit probably not for long, maybe not even for a week. Angle/Austin could be a dominant tag team. Who will Angle feud with now? What will Triple H think about all this whe he returns within a month? What does Angle's former infatuation, Stephanie, think of this now that they are on the same team? Will it be Rock v Angle, Jericho v Angle, RVD v Angle? Who Knows?!
I think the biggest question is: Which Angle will be joining the Alliance? The goofy crybaby we all loved to hate, or the dull babyface we all hated to love? I think it's safe to say he won't be a babyface, but will he drop the badass and return to hillarious goofiness?
...And now onto some random observations, recent thoughts and peculiar happenings in the world of wrestling...
Kanyon - one of the top workers in wrestling / he really is "the innovator". I would pay $30.00 just to see Kanyon v RVD.
Raven - exceptional mic skills / great hardcore wrestler best hasn't done well in a WWF ring.
Tommy Dreamer - on the tail end of his career but a great hardcore worker and great technical skills.
Lance Storm - main event potential / needs to get out of Hurricane's shadow (which he never should have been placed in).
Mike Awesome - amazing agility for his size / could be the next Kane or even bigger.