Justin Shapiro



Long time no pee!

Sorry. I got in another car accident. Actually, I was just lazy. Actually, my computer fried and I just feel weird writing wrestling stuff on my roommate's computer. I'm sure it would make him uncomfortable to have a file called "Bret Hart is Abloom" in His Documents. But I can't wait another week, not while /Weekend guy is CALLING OUT famous wrestling writers. Shawn Michaels (three years removed from being an important part of TV) getting sent home and Kronik released aren't exactly the best comparisons to Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan, and Scott Hall, three guys Vince is going out of his way to get and who will, one assumes, have really important TV roles.

Okay, so what's happened since December 25 ... my friend Triple Heche came back on January 7 to a remarkable crowd reaction ... the WWF gave away his first match back on TV - I guess they just forgot, like when Mike Graham booked a DQ loss for Sid on Thunder during his unbeaten streak ... Buff Bagwell got married to a woman named, get this, Judy ... WWA put on a pay-per-view that was probably not very good ... although contracts have not yet been signed, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall will be returning to the WWF in the immediate future.

Wow, right? I mean, Buff Bagwell is married to JUDY Bagwell. Unbelievable.

Then there's the NWO. That news was, let's say, unexpected - I'd have sooner expected Bret Hart to return than to see these three show up again, together, invading, probably doing the NWO gimmick and wearing the t-shirts and spraypainting and 2 suite. Where were you when this news first broke!?! (At a computer.) I believe I said something along the lines of "I'm speechless. I'm without speech. I mean, I know that initially it's going to probably be really cool, otherwise they wouldn't bring them in. So that's something to look forward to. Until any of them have a match. Wow. This is. Wow. What in the hell is going on." Had I done a /Tuesday last week, I would've written a lot about this. If only. :( My pretend dad Dave Meltzer reported in his Wrestling Observer Newsletter publication that sources indicate that Hall and Nash are coming in with similar three-year deals and downside guarantees in the $700,000 range. Hogan's deal hasn't been "agreed on from a monetary standpoint but is still considered an inevitability."

WWF had the Royal Rumble on Sunday and it was a real good show. Not as good as last year's show. But real good.

1. Spike Dudley and Tazz beat the Dudleys in a Hot Opener when Tazz made D-Von tapp to the Tazzmission. I was never a huge Tazz fan, but somehow someway, he got over with me as a babyface by getting jobbed into oblivion. This was way too short - it had all the spots that would've comprised a really good match, except the rest of the match disappeared.

2. William Steven Regal pinned Edge after hitting him with the ass fux (ha ha). It was alright. It was better than Vengeance.

3. Trish pinned Jazz with the bulldog, obviously not good but still better than you'd expect. I was expecting the finish to be Jackie turning on Trish and forming a Nation of Domination/Pretty Mean Sistas team with Jazz. It's funny because they're both black and women.

4. Ric Flair made Vincent Kennedy McMahon tap to the figure-four leglock. Did I - happen - to hear - Vince McMahon - say - he - was goin' - to hold - W - CW - in the palms - of his hands? Is that what he said? Just for trivia, Vince McMahon, do you know that in 1981 when you were trying to become an announcer, your dad was on the board of directors and voted for ME to be the world champion? How 'bout that? When was the last time you wrestled for an hour, cut yourself five times - bled for forty-five minutes - when - were - you - there? You weren't! You weren't! You were never in the dressing room, on the road forty days and forty nights, bleedin', sweatin', goin' to the next town, you weren't there, you can't hold people's lives in your hands. I remembered Meagan Flair as being hotter. Not that she isn't attractive. Good match, great heat.

5. Chris Jericho pinned the Rock in a superb bout. It wasn't on the level of their magical No Mercy match, but it was probably better than Vengeance. In terms of pressing shift+8, I think No Mercy was ****3/4 (and would've been ***** with a better finish), October Raw was like ***1/2, Vengeance was ****, and Rumble was ****1/4. But I don't really give star ratings.

6. Triple H won a very entertaining Royal Rumble by eliminating Kurt Angle. The match started off very slow, but then the Undertaker showed up and everything was grand. Hardys and Lita? Awesome. Maven dropkick? Awesome. Taker's expression? Awesome. Popcorn-eating? Awesome. Godfather? Neat. Val Venis? Roided! Austin? Ausome. Austin dominating like in 1996 and then the part where Bret Hart comes out but it was actually Hunter? Awesome. Hurricane? Hilarious. Mr. Perfect? Curt Hennig. You suck! What?

Only one great match, but a really wonderful show and a Rumble to die for.


A collection of my most hilarious excerpts from the year 2001:

"The decline in WWF audience started in September 2000 shortly after Raw moved to TNN (although the move itself was not responsible - the last episode of Raw on USA did a 5.81 and the first episode on TNN did a 5.54, so no one more than 220,000 people forgot that Raw switched networks that first week and never found the show again)."

"It's the very first example of either concession to ego or lack of long-term planning interfering with the company's top angles and best interests, two things that should sound really familiar as the WWF vs. WCW feud dies a slow, miserable death."

- 10.21

"I'll tell you what astounds me is that WrestleMania at the Sky Dome is going to break the record gross set at last year's show. 52,000 tickets sold? With business being on a downswing and the cold product?"

- 11.6

"Flair accepted a buyout on his Time Warner contract at, I assume, 50 cents on the dollar for a deal worth $800,000 that ran through February 2003. The WWF would be paying the other half of the $800,000 as part of whatever deal they agreed upon."

- 11.20

"The negative stigma among advertisers that the WWF picked up in '99 is still haunting them today and is partly responsible for the cancellations of Nitro and Thunder and the inability to get TV for the WWF-owned WCW."

"SummerSlam did a 1.11 buyrate, that show's lowest since 1997. Unforgiven did a .74, tying this year's Judgment Day for the company's lowest since May 1998. No Mercy did a .80."

- 11.27

"Without additional audience, the WWF is just adding more PPVs for their current fanbase to buy, with no guarantee that they're going to start spending twice as much money every month."

- 12.4

This crazy guy, he's so crazy. The voting period for the JMS 2001 MOTY ends uh ... tomorrow ... so be sure and get your ballots in to NOBODY because only I vote in my awards.

Yeah I do.

Justin Shapiro
[slash] Tuesday

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