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Guest columnist: Justin Shapiro



Guess who's back guess who's back guess who's back. I got back from VEGAS (hometown of WWE wrestler Val Bowski) last night to find ChRiZ waiting for me at the airport. He said, "There's an emergency at my website. Sea 'MiCasa 2002' Dawg is dealing with some personal issues at the moment. I need a Tuesday." And I said, "Good god, is Jake going to be okay? Was he in a terrible car accident?" And Z said, "No. He is moving back to school." I was like, "Oh cool. Alright. LET'S ROLL."

Unfortunately, I got nothing for ya. I had nothing before. I don't even have anything for myself anymore. Because the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the greatest publication you'll ever see, had to be postponed last week because Dave Meltzer, the bravest, most fightingest kickass warrior in the world, had to attend to some family issues. (Big ups to Dave's mom.) So let's just wing it. I'll make something up.

WWE had RAW is RAW on Monday night, and in our top story, I thought it was good as the "go-home" show, as we say in this industry, before the pay-per-view. Waaay short on in-ring, but they did quite a hype job on SummerSlam. I refuse to believe it's the same fellow writing the show, but the entire Creative Dept. deciding, out of nowhere, to stop f*cking s*cking is f*ne by me. The conclusion of the show was hot but the booking was completely @$$ backwards - Shawn is supposed to superkick Hunter to end the match, then when security is distracted by the two of them, Brock hops the rail and lays out The Rock. Brock is not supposed to get blasted by the chin music. No no no. Regardless, 'Slam is the company's best promoted card since ... last year's SummerSlam, I guess, and on paper it looks far stronger than any show since Vengeance. Vengeance from December 2001, I mean. The one where it looked like we'd get three classic matches in one night and ended up with zero. Oops. I was thinking that there'd be no way this show couldn't deliver until I was reminded that the show is in (uh oh) Assau. I guess it's a reward for being the worst crowd in the country. Maybe that's how Anaheim got WrestleMania XVI. I can make a list of the matches if you want. (WWE apparently realized just this week that Nitro was gone so nobody would change the channel while they were running down the card.)

  • The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar
  • Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
  • Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Kurt Angle
  • Ric Flair vs. Chris Jericho
  • Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Benoit
  • Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero
  • The Undertaker vs. Test
  • Booker T. and Goldust vs. Christian and Lance Storm

    Every match there could end up being pretty good if everything goes perfectly (even Taker and Test could end up alright, e.g. their matches at No Mercy 2001), but they're all far from sure things thanks to the crowd, the size differential (Angle/Rey), and the fact that both guys are broken down (Shawn/Hunter). Wouldn't it be something if they had a great match in spite of all the injuries?

    So ... I guess that's pretty much it.


    Oh! I just got an urgent fax from "Seadawg."


      Whatup broseph? I got some PWCrotch tidbits for ya, credit to Wade, natch, and I think there's some leftover Observer info from last week that I didn't mention. After that, you could just go the bullshit 411 route and report news that was reported on other *websites*.
    • Hogan's future could be up in the air. Sources say he hasn't been happy with Vince since he got his WrestleMania check, which was less than what Hulk thought was fair considering his role in the big buyrate and his history with the company. He may have refused to go to Australia due to being mad at Vince for not giving him payoff information ahead of time, but the reasons like his injuries are true too and he's also expressed an overall exhaustion with his schedule. He needs time off to heal. How he's referred to on TV will go a long way in signaling where his future is.

    • HBK was interviewed by Ted DiBiase's website and talked about God.

    • Kane's return is being hyped on both shows, so he'll probably be a free agent type that Bischoff and Stephanie will compete over.

    • Val Venis suffered a freak injury while lifting weights and will miss some time. Maven's broken leg isn't healing as well as expected.
      "The feeling among the wrestlers is that Austin will be back sooner than later. Reports as of a few weeks ago were that he was training hard. Jack Lanza, who had talked with him, expressed to others that he thought Austin was starting to get bored at home. With Rock and Hogan both off the active roster for a while starting in a few weeks and Raw having to compete with Monday Night Football, that may make management more receptive to the idea as well." I think it's safe to come home, Steve. Although may the good TV of the last month was just a trick to lure Austin back and make him do more idiotic jobs on free TV to Brock Lesnar with no buildup (which looks more and more like a "receipt" from the creative team to Austin and less and less like a strong desire to give Brock a big win). Austin was arrested last week because of, you know, that Debbie stuff from June.

      "There is some thought being given to building Angle vs. Lesnar forever and never do the match until Mania. There were people arguing against Angle vs. Mysterio at SummerSlam because of the visual believability issue and trying to push for Mysterio vs. Tajiri instead (which was nixed and put on Smackdown instead)." Sometimes I think, what if SummerSlam had Rock vs. Angle, Brock vs. Hogan, Rey vs. Tajiri and I get a work-rate boner.

      "Rock, Flair, Undertaker, Michaels, Bradshaw, Trish, Dreamer, Sgt. Slaughter, and Mysterio were sent to Los Angeles for Tough Enough 3 appearances." I'd be really happy if the WWE signed the wonderful and brilliant Taylor Matheny to feud with Nidia, then declared a moratorium on all Tough Enough contracts.

      Raw did a 4.0 rating on Monday, the first slight upward movement since the night after Vengeance. Smackdown was up to a 3.5 last Thursday, so the improved quality of the shows (especially in Smackdown's case) just might be starting to pay off, though it takes oh so much more than one week of ratings to exhibit a turnaround. STAY TUNED.
    DA MAN
      Bill Goldberg is going to wrestle on on the August 30th and 31st All Japan shows against Satoshi Kojima and Taiyo Kea. He will also appear and do color commentary for the PRIDE Shockwave event on August 28th in Tokyo. His long-term goal, according to Meltzer, seems to be putting a deal together where he can work some WWE dates as well as some big Japan dates. WWE hasn't allowed anyone to put together that type of deal since Hogan in 1993 when he was working WWF and New Japan at the same time. Didn't that Sturgis stuff just happen, where Bischoff and Goldberg were going to ride harleys and Eric would try to bring him into the WWE?
    • They're not running any live shows until September 18. One of the Harriseses is a nazi or something. Gay Assman is probably still being sued. Budget cuts are being made. Who cares.
      I might be here next week, or, or, or, Jake might. A cliffhanger.
    Seadawg Justin Shapiro
    [slash] wrestling

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