SPELLING IT OUT: One of the advantages that you and I have, with our long-term relationship of (alleged) writer and (alleged) reader, is the longer back we go, the less I have to actually SAY because you can actually pick up my vibe and know what I mean, how I FEEL *without* me having to actually come out and be obvious and all that shit. Nonetheless, I'm not the WWF and I can't take for granted that I'll never pick up a new reader who doesn't have the advantage of the die-hard, hardcore whatever huh. So let me come out and say what I've pretty much been hinting at:

I'm not happy, not happy at all with the way that these past few months have played out. The time between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania is supposed to be the high mark of my year - the slow, steady builds that lead to a crescendo of can't miss, must see matchups that actually make us QUIVER with anticipation because that magical Sunday night CAN'T come soon enough! I'm talking about WRESTLEMANIATILDEBANG You know it!

But, I mean DAMN. It just hasn't happened. These shows have been BAD, people. SmackDown! was a big steaming pile of suckitude that had ONE thing going for it - Undertaker - and you can damn well bet that THAT ain't enough to bring the entire show up from the bottom.

And you know, it's not even that - one show is tolerable. Hey, everybody has an off night now and again. But lately....well, it's been that we've been lucky if they'd had an ON night now and again. Lately, they've seemed to occur further and further apart - all this DESPITE bringing in what we'd normally dub "can't miss" elements with astonishingly regularity...and then just as astonishingly finding the worst ways possible to intergrate those elements into the swampy crud that's been the Neighbourhood of Make Believe known as the WWF.

And therein lies the problem. When it becomes a trends - show after show after show of "eh" AT BEST? The way these shows have been going...it's all been a cumulative effect on my psyche - maybe yours, too, but I don't want to speak for you - and I've just been getting more and more nonplussed with each passing show. The resonance just isn't there like it should be. It's not *singing* to me.

We're coming up on the biggest event OF THE YEAR, people! Is there ANYTHING on this card - what little we know of it at even this late date - that gets you HALF as excited as Austin/Rock did last year? A THIRD as excited? A TENTH?

Rock/Hogan is a great IDEA to love...but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have my doubts about that idea being moved from "in theory" to "in practice." Don't get me wrong - I said as recently as a couple years ago that I thought Hogan had a four snowflake match in him, but I was talking then about his opponent being Bret Hart...not the Rock.

Triple H/Jericho might as well be "Triple H puts the Pedigree on Stephanie" because there hasn't been SHIT done to get ANYBODY excited about this Championship match. Triple H has been so busy preoccupying himself with People He's Sleeping With (Well That's What I Hear) that he's forgotten to remember to put over the fact that he lives and dies by the World Wrestling Federation championship - but hey, who can blame him, since Austin used to say the very same things and what's HE done about the title lately?

Instead, Austin's concerned with Scott Hall - they've been so busy concerning themselves with Who Has The Cooler Props that we can only hope they remember how to take it to the mat on Sunday. Normally, I'd be thinking this is a great matchup on paper, but the problem with that is somehow Kevin Nash has to be involved...

Undertaker/Flair has had the best buildup, but the problem is it's so hard to look forward to the actual match - Taker's still working with a bad hip, and Flair's could break at any moment. And I love BOTH of these guys, and I hate to be pessimistic, but I have been dragged down by a month of "not great" shows, and it's really worn me down.

And hey, last year we at least had a Gimmick Battle Royale With Cheese to look forward too. Don't underestimate the effect that had on raising our excitement while simultaneously lowering our expectations - both of those in combination are just what the doctor ordered to help make the eventual show seem that much better in retrospect.

By now I've devolved into gibberish, so let me wrap it up and get to tonight's 128. You know me - you KNOW me - or at least You Think You Know Me. I'm the biased bastard who unflailingly and unflinchingly praises EVERYTHING the WWF has EVER done, right? Remember that? So If *I* tell you I'm not happy.....shit, isn't it REALLY time to start worrying?

TONIGHT: WrestleMania is six days away - heeeey that's not tonight! That's later! But aha, Stone Cold & The Rock vs. The N.W.O IS tonight - so get excited! Or, at least, as excited as you CAN be...

QUICK QUOTE: WWF 15.40 (+ 1.04, last year: 11.93, two years ago: 13 3/8) - well, SOMEBODY thinks this thing's making money...shows what *I* know, huh?

T(O)N(I)G(HT): "Ensign Ro" - wellll it was PRETTY good, but a lot of the introductory stuff and plotpoints for the Bajora(ns) was later completely counteracted and/or forgotten in later episodes...not to mention by "Deep Space Nine," so instead I'll just say WOW MICHELLE FORBES sure is kinda hot kinda

kinda rarrrrrrr


One World Leader Attitude - TV-14-DLV - CC - WWF!

Opening Credits

PYRO! But no music - oh there it is. Ooh also a brief look at the Chef Boyardee Replay - well ain't *this* an auspicious beginning. Coming to you LIVE from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI 11.3.2 - 16,567 in the house, a couple hundred in WWF New York, TNN and TSN on the teevee screen (transmitido en espanol SAP), you and me on your favourite website and who could ask for more? Well.....me. And you, too. But let's not whine about what we DON'T have...I did that already up there at the top

TONIGHT: Stone Cold & the Rock vs. the NWO in a Handicap match!

ROB VAN DAM and HARDY BOYZ (with WrestleMania graphic: 4 corner tag team championship elimination match!) v. DUDLEY BOYZ and WILLIAM REGAL (with Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown!) - New match for WrestleMania - Hardy Boyz vs. APA vs. Billy & Chuck vs. Dudley Boyz in a four corner elimination match for the tag team titles! Snap judgement: that should be okay. Stacy and Lita aren't around for this match as we'll see them later tonight in a Divas tag. Whoopee! Lawler points out that Regal's interference in Thursday's hardcore title match was completely legal, so what's the big deal? Hey, good point. van Dam decides a pescado is in order, and lands on Regal...but the Dudleyz quickly turn it around with a double team. All six men outside - Katie, bar the door, it's DAMN smoky in here. The bell rings to start the match after Regal puts van Dam into the ring - several southpaw forearms as he takes him to a corner. Opposite corner whip is reversed, van Dam with a tumbling run monkey flip. Rolling Thunder off the ropes gets him 2. Forearm, forearm, forearm, Regal with a knee, then a knee off the ropes. "RVD" chant. Tag to Bubba, held open for the right - forearm in the back by Dudley puts van Dam down. Open handed slap, right, into the ropes, van Dam ducks the clothesline - Dudley ducks the roundhouse kick, but not the reverse leg sweep - tag to Jeff - Jeff with a dropkick. Right, right, right, climbs up top for a Ten Punch Count Along and gets seven before Regal runs the apron - Jeff with a leap from the second rope to head him off, and Regal falls to the floor. Meanwhile, D-Von is going for a table - so Jeff dropkicks the table into HIS face! Off the ropes...but Bubba drops down and puts him over the top to the floor (kinda). Geez soooooo much smoke. Bubba gives van Dam and Matt free shots, then argues with referee "Blind" Mike Chioda while Regal works over Jeff on the outside - then feeds him back to Bubba. Scoop..and a slam - free shot for van Dam to bring him in, distracting Chioda while D-Von lands the headbutt to the graun. D-Von stays in without a tag. Crowd chants "We want tables" because the heels...wait a minute. The crowd's STUPID! D-Von right hand. Right, right, right, right, right, right, Chioda pulls him off. Into the opposite corner, but Jeff stairsteps up and hits the corkscrew moonsault (which GOOD OL' JR calls the "Lita and Stacy aren't at ringside"). Both men are down. At 3, D-Von tags Regal - and Jeff tags Matt! Matt with a clothesline, clothesline, ducks Bubba's charge, gutshot, DDT - free shots for D-Von - right for Regal - whip into the corner - Jeff in with Poetry in Motion! Matt with the Side Whatever He Called It Last Week on SmackDown! (GOOD OL' JR: "takedown") for 2 - D-Von saves. All six men in again - kick for D-Von, kicks Bubba to the outside and follows - Matt and Regal (the legal men) also go out. Jeff and D-Von trading blows on the inside - whip is reversed and Bubba is back in to give Jeff 3D - Matt quickly gives D-Von a Twist of Fate - but Bubba is in to give HIM a big clothesline. Matt put into the ropes, where van Dam makes a blind tag - Bubbabomb for Hardy, but van Dam is off the top with the kick - Regal back in, HE gets a spinning roundhouse - van Dam vaults up for the Fivestar and golly, Regal IS the legal man, isn't he? 1, 2, 3, van Dam just pinned the champ. (3:53) Give it a replay - two angles. Crowd chants "RVD" while Regal makes a face.

Your hosts are a pair of kings - LARRY & JERRY - big news! There was an "Emergency Board Meeting" at the WWF World Headquarters! Fortunately, as we all know, nothing's EVER done around these parts without a WWF cameraman present...

EARLIER TONIGHT: we took a look at the WWF Headquarters in Stamford, CT

Inside, we have a camera on Vince at one end of a long table - and a camera on Ric at the other. Hoo boy, it's gona be one o' them DRAMATIC things, isn't it. A table has fourteen other exec types (including Linda) around it - and back against another wall are three more people (hey, Kerwin Silfes!). Vince talks "I'd like to bring this emergency session of the board of directors to order, please. Quite frankly (1), in my view, that's exactly where the status of our company is - in a state of emergency...due to (points) THAT MAN right there. Ever since Mr. Flair 'acquired' his 50% ownership of this company, I think you all as the board of directors will agree that our company has been like a ship without a rudder - still very much afloat. Me (Vince McMahon) with proven leadership wanting to take the ship in one direction, that man (Ric Flair) wanting to take it in another. So tonight, I'm asking for all of you to do the right thing - not for me, not for Mr. Flair...but tonight you must choose. You must choose which direction this company is going to go, and more importantly, who is going to lead this company. I intend to prove tonight - I intend to prove that this man is not in the right emotional state of mind to lead this company. I intend to prove to all of you and I am asking for a unanimous vote that one of us must lead this company - one of us - either Ric Flair or Vince McMahon must have absolute authority and power. That's the quest before this august group of board of directors tonight."

Oh man, and I bet they're going to drag this out ALL night...

"WWF Flashback: WrestleMania's Greatest Hits" ad - it's tomorrow on TNN! Remember, TNN stands for THE NEW TNN!

The Boot of the Week is brought to you by LUGZ! From SmackDown!, Kurt Angle interferes in Kane's match with Chris Jericho - then ambushes him in the parking garage a bit later.

While Kane is "not scheduled to be here" as a result of the injuries sustained on SmackDown!, apparently KURT ANGLE *is* scheduled to be here, because here he comes to share a few words with us. But first, an extended "You suck" chant from the crowd which Angle regards with great disgust. "I would like to take this time to talk about something that you people in this city are very familiar with...crime. And no, I'm not talking about carjacking or mugging or whatever it is you idiots do here in Detroit...what I'm talking about is something even more important - ROBBERY. Specifically, my bein' robbed of my WrestleMania title shot. You see, two weeks ago on RAW, I had Chris Jericho right where I wanted him - I was about to win the WWF title for the third time - when that big burnt moron Kane had to interfere and cost me my title shot. Now Kane, who the hell do you think you are? But I guess you experienced firsthand, last week on SmackDown!, how I treat people who cost me WrestleMania title shots. You see Kane, you cal yourself 'the Big Red Machine.' Well I want you to meet the Big Red, White and Blue Machine, pal! And you think that chairshot to the head last week on SmackDown! was bad? You ain't seen' NOTHIN' yet, pal! Because I talked to Mr. McMahon, and with his approval...at WrestleMania...I'll be facing you, Kane. And I'll make that whole childhood burning thing seem like a paper cut! ["Ass hole!"] Now Kane, I realise it's not your complete whole fault that I'm not wrestling for the title at WrestleMania - there is ANOTHER reason, and the *other* reason is...the utter stupidity of the WWF fans. Oh yeah, you people are idiots, you're dummies, oh it's true, it's damn true. You see, every time I walk out here, and my music is playing, YOU people, you idiots are chanting 'You suck!' Stop it, cut it out! CUT IT OUT! You people are freakin' morons! You're idiots, you're pathetic! Would someone PLEASE, anyone tell me how the WWF fans got so freakin' stupid!" You know, these lines...never mind. (That was me being subtle again, in case you need me to point it out to you, ah ha ha.) At this point, BOOKER TIO interrupts. Huh? "Listen up! This has gone on long enough. I'm sick and tired of you coming out here running off at the motuh, telling these people they're stupid! You're about - you piss(beep)ing me off. I see these people in the arena...ain't 'nam one of 'em stupid. You see, these people in this arena right here...they're BEYOND stupid. They're brain dead! See, THEY'RE the reason I lost my Japanese endorsement deal...let alone a title shot. Don't you people get it? This is my first WrestleMania - and I ain't got no title shot! Hell, ain't even got the (I have no idea - "pr---"?) That ain't right, man - that ain't right!" "You damn skippy it ain't right, homie. I mean, what in the dealio, people?" Before we can bask in the glow of Angle continuing to talk "street," KING EDGE makes HIS entrance. "Booker - Booker, Booker. I can't believe you're out here complaining about not having a title shot at WrestleMania. I mean, didn't you hear? You already HAVE a title - you're officially the dumbest man in the entire company." "You didn't say that - tell me you didn't just say that! Yo yo, I've watched the Weakest Link last night, and oh yeah - you're the dumb one - YOUR ass was voted out first - now can you dig that?" "Yeah, you know, Booker, I thought you would bring that up, and yeah, I was voted off first, but...I got a grand total of one question wrong, and...I got a little question, I mean... How did YOU do when you were on there?" "I don't remember." "You don't remember, well let me refresh your memory because I have a little surprise for you - can we please roll the footage of Booker T on the Weakest Link?" (Courtesy: Weakest Link Productions, Inc. & BBC - T misses many questions) "I find it strange that someone with the word 'book' in his name has apparently never read one. Hehehe, but hey Booker Man, cheer up. You may not have a title shot at WrestleMania, but if you want an opponent, you're lookin' at him. Now can you dig that, sucka?" "You damn straight I can dig that!" "Yeah, crisp and clean with no caffeine, bro." "What the hell was THAT? Do you not realise what all these Edgeheads know? You're not the Red, White and Blue Machine...you're just really, really...white! Quit tryin' to be cool, it's just not your thing!" "Whoa whoa whoa - it's not me? Well hold on a second, pal - 'cool' is my middle name. I have more soul in this little pinky finger than this entire arena combined! Check this out!" Angle puts the mic down and asks T to give him some more room - drops down and shakes his hand...then drops down for a...well...let's call it some "stop and start" breakdancing. T fights back laughter while trying to be encouraging. Edge laughs. "Detroit, we just witnessed the first ever Dorkaroonie - that was brutal!" "What a minute, what are you, jealous? Book my man, I know you can beat this chump at WrestleMania...but how about we do a little practice start tonight? Whaddayasay you and I tag team together against this idiot and whoever he chooses - whaddaya say?" "You know I can dig THAT - whaddaya say, Edge? You find a partner - one Kurt hasn't bashed in the head with a chair..." "Oh, it's true." "To quote you, Booker, oui oui. And although Kane isn't here tonight, I'm sure I can find someone to team with. In the meantime, I'd like to cue up Kurt Angle's music so we can all practice our 'you sucks.' Thank you very much." You know, it's funny - the word "brutal" actually came to my mind more than once during this segment. Well, there's two MORE matches just made for WrestleMania (which is six days away)...

Tough Enough 2 ad

Catch the WWF live! Tomorrow, Cleveland! Sunday is WrestleMania in Toronto and it's SOOOOOOLD OUT! Monday is RAW in Montreal, also sold out - and Tuesday is Ottawa!

Hey, look, it's a dog - and she's talking to Lucy! "You know what, Lucy? You are the ugliest, smelliest, fattest dog I've ever seen in my life! You're not even like a dog - you're like, like a little pig - farting all the time, snorting all the time. You know I hope you liked being in that cage today in that airplane, Lucy, 'cause you're gonna be spending the rest of your life in a cage. You know what else? Your daddy - he might love you - but I HATE you. Ohhh..." "Lucy!" Here's Triple H - he shoves her away and grabs the dog. "Speak of the devil..." "Hey! How's my baby girl? How's my baby girl? Did you miss your daddy? Huh? Oh, you did miss your daddy, of course you missed your daddy - I missed you too. Steph, I tell you what. We've done some horrible stuff to each other." "Like my 'Vette?" "Well...sorry 'bout that. Thanks for bringing my dog - I appreciate it." He tries to walk off but Stephanie grabs the leash and pulls him back. "Oh, Hunter...I'm sorry, but Lucy's not YOUR dog anymore." "What are you talking about?" "According to this court order, Lucy is mine." Stephanie produces a piece of paper helpfully marked "Court Order" for the slower amongst us. "You see, I went to the judge and I told him how you beat Lucy, how you don't feed her, you mistreat her--" "Whaaat?" "--so the judge issued Lucy to me, until the divorce proceedings are final. So tell me something, Hunter...who's the BITCH now?" "Well if that's the way it's gotta be." "Oh, that's the way it is." "Tell you what, Steph." "What?" "I'm warning you. Do not screw with my dog." "Or what?" "Try me. Here." "No, no!!" He puts the dog in her arms, and she collapses back onto the sofa. "You know what? You're right - whoo - she does stink. Doesn't she, Lucy?" "You know, Lucy...your daddy's just jealous because he's no longer the WWF Champion, but I'm gonna introduce you to a real man, a real champion, the Undisputed champion, who hates dogs even more than I do." Oh oh, next you'll tell me Jericho hates babies, too! We zoom in on the dog

RIKASHMONEY (with "Flashback: WrestleMania's Greatest Hits" hype) v. THE NARCISSIteST (with Let Us Take You Back to Heat) - This match was set up when Test interfered during 'kishi's match with Mr. Perfect last night. Sign in crowd: RIKISHI ATE MY NACHOS Here we go: 'kishi ducks a clothesline, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, Test right, right, right, into the corner, follow clothesline, into the opposite corner, follow clothesline, kick, kick, kick, kick, standing on the neck until referee "Blind" Teddy Long pulls him away. Whip into the ropes is reversed, 'kishi wants the BELLY-to-belly but Test hits the bell clap to release the waistlock - 'kishi ducks the big boot and hits the RIKISHIKICK...then Test staggers into a Samoan Drop. He's warming it up - off the ropes, off the other ropes - EARTHQUAKE! Test makes his way to the corner as 'kishi slaps his rump again - fat ass splash in the corner. Test dutifully flumps down...but before he can follow the formula MR. PERFECT is out and up on the apron...'kishi meets him with "Iblockyourpunchyoudon'tblockmine," brings him in the hard way, right, into the ropes, right hand puts him up and over and onto the floor...but then 'kishi turns back to eat the Wotsitolla Boot - and Test gets the easy 1, 2, 3. (1:58)

Short version: Stephanie, Jericho, dog poop, FUHFUHWID

Long version: "Get DOWN. Get off of this sofa, go, get off, Lucy! Just in the nick of time." "What is THAT?" "This is Triple H's dog..." "It reeks!" "...and I want it off this sofa. Get it off, Jericho, get it off now! Hurry! Get that thing off my couch!" "It smells!" "That's fine Italian leather!" "Ow, my hands just reek now, it's terrible!" "I reek too, you know what? It was all worth it, because the look on Triple H's face when I showed him that court order - he was so MAD - 'don't hurt my dog!'" "You know what you're doin'? You're screwin' with his mind right before WrestleMania - that's a great idea." "Oh yeah. We're right there." "And speaking of WrestleMania...you're not bringing Lucy to WrestleMania, are you?" "Well, I was thinking maybe she could (sniff) be in your corner...I mean, like a, (sniff) like a mascot." "(sniff) That's not a - what is that smell? It's not the dog, it's..." "It sorta smells like, uh..." "Oh, n--" They look down. Several pieces of chocolate have appeared. "Oh, no." "It's disgusting - it's right in the middle of your office, too, it's..." "It pooped!" "It's filthy!" "Oh, ew, oh the leash is all dragging in it! Jericho, here - here." "You're crazy!" "Take her for a walk!" "No!" "C'mere, take her, take her for a walk!" "Oh, disgusting!" "Go! Get her outta here and get someone to clean up this mess. I can't believe it, go! Go now!" "I'm a champion!" "I know!" "I hate dogs!" "Ewwwww - ewww it smells."

Go ahead, read my mind. It's probably funnier that way

Wanna get a Rock/Hogan poster, T-shirt and program? Buddy, you best visit the Shop Zone STAT

Drowning Pool CD cover - "Tear Away" is a WrestleMania theme and don't forget you'll see them perform at WrestleMania

Visit wwf.com to register for the streaming video! Look at those pictures of Rock and Hogan! Rock and Hogan! Rock and Hogan!

Here's a look at the Joe Louis Arena - where it's ALWAYS Miller time

To the outside we go - those cameras are EVERYWHERE! "C'mon, Lucy - I'll take you for a walk. It's FREEZING out here - I am a living legend, and I have to come out here in this cold and take Triple H's dog for a walk - the Game's dog for a walk. You know what, Lucy? You like games? You like poopin' on the floor? You like smelling? You like playing games? You know what? I like playing games too. Yeah. And here's a game I like to call 'I'm gonna tie you to this door handle and leave you out here in the cold.' Do you like that game - LUCY?"

To the catering table, where Page is chatting up a PA. "Bro, what you really need to do is take some of these carrots - great for energy, and makes a great juice." Christian appears behind him and flashes HIS smile. "Hi! Nice headset." "I gotta go." "Dude, this isn't working, I'm just not a positive person." "Bro, bro, you're doin' fine - you just gotta be more...natural." "Natural?" "Yeah. Let's work on your smiling techniques." "Better." Well here come Billy & Chuck. "Whoa! What are you two doing? Two grown men staring...smiling at each other? You know what that means!" (together) "Those kinda people." "What do you mean, 'those kinda people?'" "You know...losers." "Losers?" "DDP, when are you gonna learn - this guy hasn't won a singles match in forever and never will, and the last thing a loser like him needs is a bigger loser like you leadin' the way--" "HEY! I'm not a loser! I am not a loser, and I'm gonna prove it. You know something, DDP? I think I'm ready to snap this losing streak tonight...and I can't think of a better opponent than Precious over here." "Who you callin' Precious?" "Who? Lemme see...the guy who was once called the Ass Man." "OHhhhhh hoo hoo hoo!" Chuck checks to see that Billy does indeed possess an ass while Billy says "I don't know what you're trying to imply, but I don't like it. You want some of this, you got it. I'll see you in the ring, Christian." "Yeah, and once you lose, why don't you go ahead and throw one of those...hissy fits, I mean, that IS what you do best, isn't it?" They walk off while Page holds him back. "...stay focused, okay? I know you can beat that chump tonight...and then you'll be back on your winning ways. And let's just say, that's not a bad thing...that's a good thing."

Back to the emergency meeting. "As you deliberate here tonight, you can either give me (Vince McMahon) your vote of confidence, or Ric Flair. As you deliberate, I would like you to consider this embarrassing piece of footage, and I know it will be difficult for many of you to watch this over again - nonetheless, this was last Thursday night."

Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown! where Flair took it to the Undertaker - and, unwittingly, to a front row fan. Later, he was arrested.

A general murmuring fills the room - we cut between shots of Flair and Vince and Flair and....take an ad break? Lawler says "embarrassing" a lot but I don't he's talking about the same thing I'm thinking about

Tough Enough on video ad

And now, a WrestleMania moment, presented by Sour Skittles! From WrestleMania XIII, Undertaker pins Sycho Sid to regain the World Wrestling Federation championship. Vince: "The dark days of the WWF have begun!"

WWF HARDCORE CHAMPIONSHIP: GOLDUST (already in the ring) v. AL SNOW - Goldust tries to start early, throwing a golden trashcan at Snow, who manages to duck - Goldust meets him on the floor, right by Snow, right, kick, uppercut, uppercut, uppercut, into the ring we go. Goldust with a golden trashcan lid WHACK to the head. Head to the buckle. Goldust with an uppercut. Right hand. Into the opposite corner (where it looks like several turnbuckle covers have been removed - but nobody notices). Goldust sets up Snow's legs, then slaps him one. Winds up for the Shattered Dreams...but Snow manages to sit up and avoid the kick - big squirt with the golden fire extinguisher! And there's the Snow Plow on the trashcan! (GOOD OL' JR: "Brainbuster!" Jesus CHRIST Ross, it's only his FUCKING FINISHER) 1, 2, 3 - ladies and gentlemen, we have a new hardcore champion. (1:02) Yikes, these short match times remind me of - of - dare I say it - "Crash TV"

Back outside, where we take a look at Lucy. Jericho is outside and talking to Stephanie on a cel phone - I guess because he's afraid to go back in a smelly office? Anyway, she asks if he can go get some air freshener. The chauffer says he can take him to an "all night store" - Jericho says "Junior" a lot and tells him to step on it...of course, he doesn't know Lucy is tied to the door - the limousine backs up over a speed bump and we hear some pained barking. He stops. "I think we just hit something!" Jericho leaves the limo making a funny face. "You're damn right that YOU just hit something. You better check out the mess you made...you're in big trouble, Junior."

Big Show shills Stacker 2

When we come back, Triple H happens to happen by and find the chauffer looking under the limo. "There's a dog stuck under the car - she's still alive but it's hurt!" "LUCY! Get help, you idiot. Jesus. Lucy, hold on, hold on, girl, okay? Somebody'll come right out, hold on. Get help! Dammit. Hold on, girl." What was it that Jon Lovitz always said? "ACTING!"

KURT ANGLE (with RAW credits, transmitido en espanol SAP, TV-14-DLV & CC boxes) and BOOKER TIO (with "Fame for 15 Marathon" on TNN hype) v. KING EDGE and WELL IT'S THE BIG SHOW - Wow, I could have *sworn* it'd been Kane, but in retrospect, if Kane's not around who ELSE could it be? We are told that Triple H is outta here, taking Lucy to the trauma center or something. Show and T start. T ducks the swing, gutshot, right, right, forearm, forearm, whip is reversed into a big short clothesline. T sent into the corner, but he gets the boots up. Body shot by T, and a tag to Angle. Doubleteam punching, into the ropes, but Show hits a big double clothesline! Angle put into the corner hard. Well it's the big scoop...overhead press...and drop. Well it's the big slap in the corner. Well it's the big headbutt. Show tosses Angle by his neck across the ring. The fog (from Show's pyro) has rolled in once again tonight. Well it's the big headbutt. Shoved into the corner, well it's the big knee. Scooped up on the shoulder, but Angle (listen to him giving directions!) breaks free and shoves Show into the corner sternum first. Angle takes advantage with a chop block...to the Anglelock! But Show manages to roll onto his back and kick Angle to the ropes and over to the floor. Here comes T - Show blocks HIS punch and puts HIM over the top to the floor. Edge climbs up on Show's shoulders and plummets to the floor onto the pile! Guess that was a tag - Angle put back in - Angle runs in and falls to the half nelson faceplant - 1, 2, no. Sour Skittles provides the Replay. Angle goes to the eyes, then whips him into the unfriendly corner. Edge gets the boots up, so T pulls him back to the mat. Angle with a German suplex. Tag to T. Head to the buckle, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, referee "Blind" Tim White tries to pull him off but T SNAPS a backhand that accidentally connects - OMG T JUST BROKE TIM WHITE'S NOSE!!! Edge put into the ropes - Edge ducks, then hits the Viscera kick off the ropes. Both men are down and the count is on - Show leading the claps as Angle is tagged - WELL IT'S THE BIG TAG! Clothesline by Show, clothesline, into the ropes, big boot, big boot for T, choke for Angle, choke for T...double gutshot to break it - they want a double suplex but Show reverses (listen for the "ready - go") DOUBLE SUPLEX of his own! Edge in with a clothesline for Angle - and one that puts T on the floor. Gutshot for Angle - wants the Edgecution (GOOD OL' JR: "Impaler") but Angle laces the leg to block it - then dumps Edge over the top rope to the floor. Angle turns back and ends up in the choke...but T is in with the Harlem sidekick to break it up (GOOD OL' JR: "scissors kick") Edge is back in with the spear, but Angle is busy with the OLYMPIC SLAM ON THE BIG SHOW!!! Angle puts on the Anglelock...and THIS time, Show taps. (4:40) White takes off like a shot post-match, presumably to get his broken nose checked. Replays of the Olympic Slam..and the anklelock.

In the office, Stephanie is aghast...I guess she was watching on a monitor. Or has the ability to READ MINDS. Jericho meets up with her again. "Stephanie, Stephanie..." "Jericho, did you understand what you did?" "Listen, it was that limo driver, he couldn't drive--" "I don't care, you ran over Lucy, you ran over Lucy, that's...Triple H is gonna KILL me. You don't understand how much Hunter loves that dog, that dog means the world to Hunter, oh my God...I'm dead in the water!" "Hold on, hold on. Relax, relax, relax, relax." "I CAN'T relax!" "Relax. If Triple H dares to come back here, I've got a little something in store for him. Let me take care of it...okay? Sit down, let me tell you about it. Just relax! Relax." "It better be good." "It's good..." ...and then - well, shit, the camera fades out just when it gets to Jericho sharing his plan. Damn that director!

TONIGHT: Stone Cold & The Rock vs. the N.W.O.! Handicap match! Yes!

WrestleMania ad - no, wait - they cut it to show a "Flashback" ad instead

"WWF Divas: Sex on the Beach" spot

It's Times Square!

Inside are TORRIE, JACQUELINE and TERRI, who come out and slut it up on the stage. A shocking coincidence indeed!

BANDANA BOY BILLY (with Bandana Boy Chuck) v. POSITIVELY CHRISTIAN (with Diamond Dallas Page's music - and Diamond Dallas Page) - I am EXTREMELY disappointed that Billy & Chuck walked out in cowboy hats last night on Heat and not ONE "Smokin' Gunn" joke was made. Page joins the commentators and let's just ignore that. Chuck tries to grab Christian's ankles, which turns him around long enough for Billy to grab the early advantage - right, right, right, right, right. Into the ropes, Christian ducks, head down, Christian kicks - Christian right, right, right, but runs into a REALLY fast tilt-a-whirl slam. 1, 2, no. Head to the buckle by Billy - right, kick, kick, kick, right, right, right, right, shoving away referee "Blind" Nick Patrick who wants it out of the corner. Opposite corner whip - big splash in the corner - gutshot - and jackhammer. Billy dares him to get up so he can give him the Fame-Ass'er...but Christian slips out of the ring instead...then goes to work on a temper tantrum. Page leaves the commentators and joins Christian to calm him down with some cleansing breaths. Patrick goes outside to break up this confab - and while putting Page away, Chuck comes in with a clothesline on the floor, then throws him in to Billy for the Fame-Ass'er - now with Patrick tending to Chuck, *Page* comes into the ring and gives Billy the Diamond Cutter! And the best part is that SOMEHOW, Patrick completely fails to see this up on the GIANT video screen! Christian drapes an arm over him - 1, 2, 3. (Strictly for the 2:09) At least they play Christian's music THIS time. Page is in to say "Bro, you won" a lot - Christian's celebration resembles to a *happy* temper tantrum. Christian then gives Page a slop drop, mounts him and flails away with rights, lefts, rights, stomps, forearms in the back, and climaxes with a Tomokaze. Why? Nobody knows. Christian yells "I'm a winner!" several times - maybe this is his Owen Hart impersonation?

Back to the Emergency Board Meeting. "How embarrassing. Each and every one of you must be humiliated. You must be so embarrassed over the actions of the co-owner, Ric Flair. It's one thing to attack a WWF superstar...it's another thing to attack a fan. I mean, so consumed with your personal agenda that you don't give a damn and you go into the audience and attack a fan, and then beyond that, you're taken away in handcuffs. You're taken down to the precinct. You're fingerprinted! That wasn't just that man that was taken to the precinct, it was each and every one of you. Ric Flair doesn't give a damn about anybody in this room - he doesn't give a damn about what that WWF logo stands for. Ric Flair cares about one thing and one thing only, and that's himself and his personal agenda...and this isn't the first time we've seen it. I'll remind you of the Royal Rumble, when Ric Flair forced ME into a match. And humiliated me. But this isn't about me - it's not about Flair, it's about each and every one of you doing the right thing. There needs to be a vote of confidence here tonight. One person - and one person only - is capable of leading this company. And I'm asking...for that vote of confidence for all the right reasons." Linda: "Well, it's very apparent this board has some deliberating to do. We need to adjourn to a private area, where we can discuss this, and make what is a very important decision with far-reaching effects." Vince makes a face.

UP NEXT: Lita & Trish vs. Jazz & Stacy! PUPPIES

Big Show shills Stacker 2

Another gander at the Saliva CD cover - "Superstar" being a WM theme - and Saliva being another live performer on Sunday

The graphic don't lie: it's Lita vs. Jazz vs. Trish in a Triple Threat for the WWF Women's Championship!

CHEATA and TRISH STRATUS - THE FITNESS MODEL (with RAW is brought to you by Roadrunner Records' "Resident Evil" soundtrack, "National Lampoon's Van Wilder," and Snickers!) v. STACY DUDLEY and JAZZZZZZ (with Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown!) - GOOD OL' JR pronounces Lita "full of energy. Multi-orgasmic, if you will, in a cosmic sort of way." SEND HIM TO THE GLUE FACTORY ALREADY Hey, I think I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that this match takes about half as long as all these entrances, ads and clips. They rush the ring - Jazz with a spinning sidewalk slam on Trish, and she and Stacy get to stomping while referee "Blind" Jack Doan puts Lita in her corner. Stacy put in her corner. Ross would rather tell us Lucy has a broken leg than call this match - actually, that might be the best choice. Trish with a forearm, Jazz with a right. Trish put into the ropes, BIG back body drop. Trish backs to her corner and Lita tags herself in - lockup, side headlock by Jazz - Lita elbows out, shoves her into the ropes, tilt-a-whirl slam, 2. Forearm, into the ropes, head down, kick by Jazz. Right by Lita, but runs into a hot shot. Double chickenwing...but drops her before she gives up. Tag to Stacy. Kick, kick, kick, kick, stands on the neck to get all the boys hot. Does it again. Jazz with a hidden slap. Into the ropes, Lita ducks the roundhouse kick, and hits a scoop slam. Folds her up with the wacky split-legged cover for 2 - Jazz pulls her off. All four ladies in now - forearms into Jazz's face - kicks, forearms, meanwhile Lita has Stacy in the corner, she tries to go up and over, but Lita just shoves her to the floor. Forearm in Jazz' back. Double into the ropes, double flapjack. Trish with a forearm, Lita with a right, Trish with a forearm, Lita holds her but Jazz ducks, so Trish's kick hits Lita (it would have anyway, but who's counting) OOOH DISSENSION - Stacy trips up Trish while Jazz rolls up Lita and grabs the pants as well - 1, 2, 3. Well, I was wrong - entrances took three minutes, and the match went all the way up to (2:25) GOOD OL' JR fails to notice the tights grab and instead says it was probably Trish's errant kick that had the most to do with Jazz getting the fall. Stacy is happy about winning but Jazz doesn't look like she wants to have much to do with her.

Triple H has returned from the all-night veternarian and he's WALKING! Did he just set off the metal detector? Why, I think he did! Fortunately, there's no security there, so nobody notices except you, me and the cameraman

When we come back, there's nobody in the office - Triple H *does* find the Court Order, which he rips up. Hearing the music, he leaves to come after...

STEFFO bounds out to ringside. "Okay Hunter, I know that you're back. And I just wanna say that what happened to Lucy was a complete accident. I had nothing to do with it, Chris Jericho had nothing to do with it, it was a complete accident. Hunter, I know how much you love Lucy. And you know, I might have not said some - I might have said some very bad things about her, but I never wished Lucy any harm. I never wanted anything bad to happen to Lucy, Hunter, I know how much you love your dog...I'm sorry, Hunter." Well, he may be mad but he's STILL gonna make sure they place his music before he storms out - it's THE NEW MAN, hits the ring and the chase is on as she leaves. To the ramp...and he grabs her hair. Into the ring we go - she tries to leave again, but he grabs her pants, exposing the full moon... Yep, they're gonna tease that Pedigree one more time... this time it doesn't happen when MR. JERICHO gets H in the back of the leg with a sledgehammer! Jericho waits for H to get up. One more big swing to the FRONT of his leg! Crowd: "Jericho sux!" H flops around like a dead fish while the ring fills with REFS & OFFICIALS. "I think I tore my quad again!" Pffft. He and Lucy have something in common, then. As he has one arm over Slaughter and another arm over the acting head trainer, we take an ad break

Moments Ago, see last paragraph

During the Break, Jericho was even nice enough to come out one MORE time, giving Triple H a chop block. Well it's about TIME Jericho reminded us HE was in this title match!

Coming back live, H says "it feels like it did when it tore" - H takes a free gurney ride

The commentators make noise, then we go back to Stamford...

where the graphics STILL say "Earlier Tonight." Why didn't they just show us THIS clip, then, instead of all that other crap? Yeah, yeah, I know. "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the board for this emergency session tonight. I'm sure this decision has been very difficult. Have you reached your decision?" Linda: "Yes, we have a decision, but I'd like to ask Ric one question first. Do you intend, Ric, to go through with this match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania?" "Yes. Beyond the shadow of a doubt." "Then you leave this board no alternative but to grant to Mr. McMahon a unanimous vote of confidence with full authority to act." "Well, first of all I would like to thank each and every one of you for making the right decision. I will not let you down, I am a proven leader, you have made the right decision by REBUKING--" "Wait - wait wait wait. Vince, not so totally quick on your assumption. We do reserve the right, immediately following WrestleMania, to review this decision." Everybody looks around. "Well that's all right with me." "I, too, would like to thank the board for meeting tonight. As unfortunate that the circumstance might be for me myself personally, but...do you mind if I stand? Like Mr. McMahon did earlier - I think we all talk better when we're on our feet - I have had to watch my best friend, massacred. I've had to watch my son, beaten to a pulp. No one would enjoy watching that or living through it. As far as embarrassing you and your families, I am very, very embarrassed myself personally, and I'm very sorry for embarrassing you, but I too have a family, and I have responsibilities, and my main responsibility is to protect my family at any cost. And as far as my duties, I can accept the temporary suspension. But, no one in this room will EVER strip me of my pride. More than that, no one in this room will ever strip me of the name Flair. And more than that, at WrestleMania, I will even the score with The Undertaker...at any cost. At ANY cost...to myself personally. Thank you." Flair leaves. McMahon makes another face.

Shoot, take back what I said about building for the Taker/Flair match. They gave Taker THE NIGHT OFF? SHEESH!

WOW Vince has unlimited power during SmackDown! - SO WHAT

To the locker room, where Hogan and Hall are comparing the size of their biceps - in a strictly heterosexual way, I'm sure. "Look at me, guys - I got goosebumps! I haven't felt this way in years! It's six days until WrestleMania! It's six days until I get to show the Rock and the rest of the world who is truly deserving of legendary status. It's six days until I go down in history as the only icon of the World Wrestling Federation." "Yo, Hulk - six days until WrestleMania. Six days until I get to corner Stone Cold Steve Austin. And in six days, when I do, I'm gonna skin the Texas Rattlesnake alive. I'm feelin' it, man - I'm feelin' it." "Sweet." "Guys, guys...it is six days 'til WrestleMania, but tonight is a night of firsts. It's the first time the nation's gonna see Hogan, Hall and Nash. It's the first time the NWO has been in a WWF ring. But you know what, guys, the most important thing? Tonight, we gotta make sure that this handicap match goes down in history." "History!" "No doubt - let's make some history." "Bow down!" "What did you say?" "History making."

WrestleMania spot - Chris Jericho/Triple H OH MY GOD THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH SPOT oops Stephanie's in it oh well go figure

Tough Enough video ad #2

Flashback ad #I've lost count

WWF TV this week graphic - seven big shows in the next six nights! Fire 'em up! Tomorrow, Flashback on TNN! Wednesday, Divas Have Sex on UPN! Thursday is SmackDown! and Tough Enough, Saturday Excess, and Sunday is Heat leading up to WRESTLEMANIA

THE ROCK and STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN (with Sour Skittles presents WrestleMania X8!) v. THE NWO in a hysterical - I mean, HISTORICAL - handicap match - For the record, Nash DOES Diesel over the top rope. GOOD OL' JR says this is the first time in a WWF ring (wrestling) for Hogan in "about eight years." Disregarding the house shows, I think it's actually closer to eight and three quarters - since King of the Ring back in June, 1993. Ross should remember that since, as he's since told us, he "carried that broadcast!" Looks like it's Hall starting with the Rock. Rock makes the mistake of lunging at Hogan, who drops off the canvas to the floor, and this allows Hall to come in to get the first blow from behind. Right, right, right, right - Rock right, right, right, right, into the ropes is reversed, head down, so Rock takes it to the mat. Clothesline. Free shot for Nash, and again Hogan drops to the floor. Rock makes the international "just bring it" sign to Hogan, but he ain't comin' in. Hall spins Rock round - Rock blocks, and lands a right. Right, into the ropes is reversed, and Nash gets him from behind. Rock turns round and gives him ANOTHER free shot - then turns back to take a Hall clothesline. Nash is tagged in, let's see what he can do. Diesels over the top rope - yuck, AWFUL, AWFUL right hand that misses by approximately ten miles - even the quick cut can't save it. Rock sells like a champ. Elbow to the back of the head by Nash. Rock into the ropes, ducks, right, right, right, but Nash comes right back with a knee. Sidewalk slam, hooks the leg, 2 from referee "Blind" Earl Hebner. Scoops him up on his shoulder...then walks him to the corner for Snake Eyes. Hall adds an apron run clothesline. Hogan gladly accepts the tag. Right hand. Into the ropes, clothesline. Mount, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right. That was eighteen, thanks for asking. Death suplex! Hogan's out of moves, so he tags out to Hall. Is Hall wearing a Nicoderm on his left pec or what the heck? Hogan holds Rock open for a kick from Hall. Right hand, kick - Rock comes right back - right, back elbow for Nash, right for Hall, back elbow for Nash, swings and misses at Hogan, right for Hall, Hall stops it with a drop toehold and tags Nash. Elbowdrop - MISSES! Rock tags to Austin! Right, right, right for Hall, right for Hogan, right for Nash, right for Hall, Nash into the ropes - Austin press! Eight quick rights. Gutshot for Hall, into the ropes, whiplash spinebuster - stomp, stomp, head to the buckle, Nash tries to get a shot in but Austin whips Hall into a collision with him...then hits a double clothesline to put them both down! Austin's doing a lot of shaking of his left hand - looks like he was trying to pop it back into place, like he dislocated it on the whipbuster. Knee in the gut for Hall, head to the buckle, back to Nash, into the ropes is reversed, BIG BOOT! Nash tags Hall. Stomp. Stomp. In the corner, right, right, kick, right, drags him out of the corner, scooped up - fallaway slam! Cover - 1, 2, NO! Tag to Nash. Did the WWF ban chops? I haven't seen any tonight. Hogan chokes Austin on the bottom rope while Nash Diesels in. Nash puts Austin in the corner, knee, knee, knee, right, right, right, boy Nash's punches have gotten so much worse. Nash stands him up - back elbow. Back elbow. OH MAN HE'S FRAMING IT - crotch chop - but Austin ain't taking that SHIT and comes out with a right hand, right, right, right, right, right, right, Nash with a knee to stop the onslaught. Tag to Hall. Kick in the gut. Right hand. Into the ropes, hiptoss blocked, Austin's hiptoss blocked, Hall with a big clothesline, and gets 2. Tag to Hogan - another big roar from the crowd as Hogan gets involved. Scoop...and a slam. Hogan with a blatant chokehold. Picks him up - straight right. Head to the buckle. Tag to Hall. Right hand by Hall, kick, ahhhhTHECHOKESLAAAAAAM but no Giant imitation - straight to the cover - 1, 2, no. Thassit. Sets him up - but Austin counters with the backdrop! (You didn't think Hall would actually HIT the Razor's Edge on Austin's bad neck, didja?) Rock reaches for the tag - Austin with "Iblockyourpunchyoudon'tblockmine," right, right, KICK WHAM NO Hall shoves him to the ropes, where Austin uncorks a right hand on Nash, then turns back - and Hall gives him a big clothesline. Hebner puts on the count as both men are down - up to 4 as they both start crawling - HOT TAG TO ROCK, tag to Nash, Rock ducks, right, right, right, right, off the ropes, ducks, flying clothesline. Hall in - gutshot, DDT by Rock to put him down. But Nash is right back on Rock with the clothesline. Hogan asks for the tag - and with a flourish, Nash gives it to him. Hogan points to Rock and mouths off...not realising that Rock is sucking it up for the super NIP UP! But while Hogan makes funny faces to keep Rock occupied, Nash comes back in with a forearm in the back. Hogan picks him up - double thrust to the throat!! Whoa, Hogan busts out a new move. Head to the buckle. Right, right, right, right, right, into the ropes - no, Rock holds on - right hand, Rock comes back with a block, right, right, right, Hall in from behind, Austin over to Hall, and now Austin and Hall tumble outside - Hall into the commentary table - Nash coming to his aid - meanwhile, Hogan with a right, puts Rock into the ropes - big boot - off the ropes with a legdrop - 1, 2, 3!!! (9:13) Austin is immediately in with a spear and piston rights until Nash comes in to deliver an elbowdrop. Austin is picked up - and fed to Hall for his version of KICK WHAM STUNNER. The NWO raise their arms high as their music plays a second time - and Lilian Garcia announces the NWO as the winners. Raw Zone credits are up - and so is our time.

You know, THIS show wasn't that great either. Believe me, I'm not any happier about this than you are. Take that last match out and we got a bunch of 2 minute specials, angles that were sadly more confusing than anything else, dog poop and another Showcase of Vince's Magnificent Acting Ability (in three or four acts acts) coupled with another Showcase of Stephanie's Magnificent Acting Ability (in three or four acts). Are any of you buying WrestleMania for Vince or Stephanie?

Bottom line: there are a lot of us will buy WrestleMania for "WrestleMania." But if it's disappointing - if the WWF continues on its current course of lackluster TV building to subpar PPV - there ain't NOBODY that's gonna buy Backlash because of "Backlash." But, golly, you can bet there WILL be a SMALL "B" backlash.

(Okay, smart guy. How would YOU solve this problem?)


*That ain't MY job.*

[slash] wrestling

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