WWF in Boston
|Guest columnist: Alex Beckers|
Four friends and I went to Tuesday night's Smackdown taping at the Fleet Center in Boston. We had decent seats, we were behind the Ovaltron but could see the ring and the entranceway.
Gregory Helms & Chavo Guerrero vs. Kaientai
Gregory Helms & Chavo Guerrero vs. Kaientai
Mark Jindrak vs. Jerry Lynn
UK Heat Taping -- I think.
Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Shawn Stasiak
Word on the street... that is, certain rumors, certain whispers... I hear that the Yankees suck. Huge chant breaks out for the first of three or four times.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Albert for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
Justin Credible vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri and the Mop)
Someone who isn't the Fink shills merchandise. The posters of Lita and Trish get a big pop.
Big Show (BOOM!) & Billy Gunn vs. Hugh Morrus & Chris Kanyon
We get the Smackdown! ring ropes and other sundries.
Lillian Garcia sings the National Anthem, I swear she sings it better every time I see it.
Michael Cole comes out to "My Way or the High Way", and then his secret mystery parter is... Jim Ross.
We get the WWF Attitude imagery.
We see a replay of Thursday, Vince trying to call out the old Stone Cold Steve Austin. Then Monday, shots of SCSA at the Tap in between shots of the rallying meetings. Then he returns (to the music from The Rock -- the movie not the wrestler) and destroys everyone.
Tonight -- The Brothers of Destruction & Tajiri vs. The Dudleyz and Tazz! SCSA & Angle vs. Booker T and Rhyno!
Shane and WCW come out, followed closely by Steph, Heyman, and WCW. Time for the monster promo. Shane says that the future of the business is in the ring right now. "Asshole." He rattles off the 5 WWF guys (although he had to stop to remember I think) to big pops. What's on the line at the inaugural brawl? Well, everything, EVERYTHING goes to the #1 in the business... the best ad rates, the top money, all the best wrestlers. They won't have to raid the WWF talent after they win, the WWF wrestlers will WANT to swtich after the WWF loses.
This is the best rationale for the Brawl being important that we've heard yet, incidentally.
Heyman gets the mike. This isn't just about business. Vince Senior, who was responsible for his death? Vince JUNIOR was for pushing his father out of business! (This was pretty harsh.) Maybe Vince's kids will give him a job after they put him out of business. Maybe he can start a football league in his spare time! The WWF is going to DIE.
Steph's turn. "Slut!" Maybe someday they can all make up? Not possible. After the WWF dies, how long will Vince live? Maybe a couple years, tops. At this point some people on the other side of the ring from the camera manage to peg some guys in the ring, or maybe the turnbuckle, with a cup of soda. I lose track of what Steph is saying, but come back when she says that even SCSA won't be able to save the WWF.
As they pose and start to head back, we see Vince and Jericho on the Ovaltron. Vince says actions speak louder than words. The *OLD* SCSA is in Boston. Jericho is facing DDP tonight. Jericho apologizes to Vince for what he said to Steph on Monday... Vince is upset he didn't insult her MORE.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Jericho
Meanwhile, in Regal's office, Heyman is there. He's in Regal's chair, with his feet up on Regal's desk. Heyman flatters William, tries to recruit him, but Regal flips out at him, tells him to go to hell, drives him off. Crowd eats this all up.
Small pop as Hebner comes out to ref the next match.
Lance Storm (w/Mike Awesome) vs. Christian (w/Edge)
Backstage, Sgt. Slaughter tells Vince that AUSTIN IS HERE! I've *never* seen Slaughter look that happy before.
We get a nice shot of the FleetCenter from I93 north, which will someday be underground thanks to the Big Dig. No, that's a GOOD thing.
Backstage, Torrie Wilson and my GODDESS, my STAR Stacy Keibler are... um, greasing up? Nick Patrick limps in and says that even though he's hurt, he'll still be able to ref their match coming up. They are grateful.
In Regal's office, Regal is telling Tajiri about Paul Heyman. He tells Tajiri that his partners will be UT and Kane, and Tajiri flips out in joy. When the two brothers come in (with Sara, out of the hospital) Tajiri's still flipping out. Undertaker: "What the hell's wrong with him?" Regal tries to give a rousing speech and when he says, "If you're down, rise up!" Tajiri lies on the desk and does the zombie situp. Kane to Tajiri on the way out: "Freak."
SCSA and Debra walk into Vince's room. Vince says that tonight is magic, and Sunday will be magic because the old SCSA is back. Vince tries to hug Austin, but Austin stops him. Austin brought BEER tonight.
Boot of the Week: Dudley beatdown on Spike and Molly. (It's been a while since we've had a match at this point.)
Dudley Boyz & Tazz vs. Tajiri & Undertaker (w/Sara) & Kane
ECW music plays and WCW/ECW come out. We get the starting promo AGAIN, I guess they decided to re-film it. Crowd is NOT HAPPY.
Shane redoes his promo -- he's more intense but doesn't mention the ad money, and all the reasons why the Brawl is important. So more energy but less logic, not good.
Steph redoes hers, trashing Blassie before trashing her father again.
Heyman goes totally nuts, rants about getting rid of sports entertainment and bringing back real wrestling. He gives "last rites" to the WWF, in LATIN, while RAVING.
So Steph's was better the second time, but Shane and Paul were worse. In my opinion. Will be interesting to see which one they air.
Backstage, Lita talks to Trish. They have their differences but they need to stick together because they're both WWF. Hebner comes in and says HE will ref the women's match.
Bradshaw w/Faarooq vs. Sean O'Haire w/Chuck Palumbo
Nick Patrick limps out to boos while they set up... an arm-wrestling table? Ah, the ladies match is an arm-wrestling match. Hebner is out -- he and Nick tussle, Nick plays the total cowardly heel quite well.
Torrie Wilson (w/Stacy Keibler) vs. Trish Stratus (w/Lita) in an
Backstage w/Vince, Debra, and SCSA. Vince is on the phone. Turns out his divorce proceedings are on hold. Vince wants to celebrate, he has "just the idea", he leaves.
Lil' Naitch is out to boos.
Jeff Hardy & X-Pac vs. Billy Kidman & Rob Van Dam
Vince comes back to Deb and SCSA with a guitar. He starts singing "Welcome Back Kotter" only it's "Welcome Back SCSA". Austin suffers. He tells Vince that the guitar is out of tune, then takes it and CLOBBERS Vince with it. This was not a cheap Jeff-Jarrett-in-WCW-style guitar. This was SOLID.
Tim White comes out.
Tough Enough Ad.
Backstage, the WCW/ECW leadership pumps up Booker T and Rhyno.
Vince has an icepack on his head. In runs Kurt Angle. Vince is a little light-headed, seems oddly happy, sends Kurt to the match.
Something... a fight? Flasher? Happens on an upper balcony that I don't see.
Another Tough Enough ad.
Booker T (w/Shane McMahon) & Rhyno (w/Paul Heyman and Stephanie
McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Kurt Angle & Stone Cold Steve Austin
The three wrestlers lie in the ring.
In the parking lot, some...? WWF wrestlers attack DDP, I see UT there, Jericho, Kane maybe, but it's a trap! WCW attacks. The limo peels out -- SCSA jumps into another limo, peels out after it.
Meanwhile in the ring, Angle is up and has the anklelock on Booker T... but here come the Dudleyz! Angle tries to fight them all, GORE! They beat on Angle for a bit. Bubba Ray tries to pick him up... but Angle's not done yet! Anklelock on Bubbah Ray! But there are three other guys there to beat the crap out of him. Scissor kick. Whassup spot. "Get the tables"... gets booed! Wow! 3D through table. ECW music! Big heel pose. Trash rains down. TV probably stops.
TONS of trash rain down, and UT, Kane, and Jericho hit the ring! They clear it of the heels... but Angle is still DEAD.
My opinion... great show, with two exceptions. The ending angle was LAME LAME LAME. And depending on which ECW/WCW big promo they use, the big explanation for why the Brawl is important could be lost.
Still looking forward to Invasion, tho'!