|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
This is the WWF "Byte This!' report for Friday the 13th, 2001, and I'm your reporter, ol' E.C. himself.
Trish Stratus indulges in her passion for leather straps a 'leetle' too much.
Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Dr. Tom Prichard.
On today's show, Jeff Hardy gets to gloat about his snatching the Intercontinental Title from a VERY surprised HHH. Brother Matt Hardy shows up later for more fun.
Kelly and Prichard also have some new "Lugz" shoe styles to show off, but that's for later.
Topic one is whether wwf.com was right to break the IC Title change before it actually happened on Smackdown. Prichard thinks it's a great idea. "Why not advertise the fact that this superstar, who achieved notoriety and fame before last Monday night, defeated Steve Austin, HHH, and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley on Raw. Then to defeat HHH for the IC Title on the next night ("Smackdown" is taped Tuesday for broadcast on Thursday) is a great accomplishment, and this raises the Hardy Boys and Lita's stock new heights in the WWF."
Droz (Darren Drozdov) calls in to say that the Hardys "have finally learned how to play the game here in the WWF. Austin, and HHH definitely went too far overboard on Monday night. But for Jeff to come back on Smackdown and become IC champ 'by any means", and "Well, he did win it fair and square because nobody saw what happened, I say more power to 'em for getting the Title away from HHH."
The conversation turns to Vince McMahon's current marital difficulties. Much snickering and snide commentary ensues. "The fans are definitely behind Linda McMahon, especially after her treatment at the hands of Vince, being drugged up and all, and for her to say she wants a divorce, it's a great thing!"
Talk shifts to the powerbombing the Big Show took at the hands of Undertaker and Kane. "I'm surprised his big ass didn't go clear through the ring!" says Droz. "And for the way he treated Kaientai on Smackdown, you gotta feel bad for those little guys getting stranded in the ring with two Godzillas like the Dead Man and Kane."
Right To Censor's current problems get discussed, with Kelly opining that this dissension in the ranks could spell the end of the RTC. Droz says that Steve Richards basically took a bunch of degenerates and made them into something artificial. "You can only keep people down and brainwashed for so long before they come to their senses and realize that something's wrong!"
Prichard wants to know why anyone would follow someone like Steven Richards. Droz says it's "the 'Cult'- thing." Kelly remarks that Richards' newfound leadership ability attracted a diverse and strongly independent group of followers, and you have to give him credit for that. Droz is surprised Richards has held RTC together as long as he has. "But this dissension in the ranks is gonna come back and bite him in the ass!"
Whoops, here comes Steven Richards in a high snit, tossing furniture and hollering about the "Byte This!" team's statement that he's losing control of RTC.
"I...am Steven Richards, and I...am in control of the Right To Censor, and if I have to get physical to take control, like I did last night on Smackdown, then I most certainly will."
"You mean take BACK control, don't you?" says Prichard.
"NO! I mean TAKE control!" hollers the enraged Richards. "You don't understand what I am doing here! To take control of my troops..."
Richards spends the next minute or so whipping the floor cabling around. He's so enraged he's almost to the point of drumming on his chest and pulling down twigs.
"YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO HERE!" he hollers. I'M TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING!"
"Take a Valium, Steve", says Prichard. "That'd be the right thing to do!"
"Steve, you've been lucky up to this point," says Droz, " but these guys are gonna come back and bite you in the ass..."
"...but that's okay. Hey, you've done a good job up 'til now, but as we can tell from your rankings and ravings, you're losing control!"
"(pant pant) How DARE you even accuse me of ANYTHING!" rants Richards. "I...am the leader of men and women! I am not some tattooed freak who wore a big hat here in the World Wrestling Federation! I control people! And I am in control of myself!" (Richards begins to froth at the mouth. What's next, chewing on the carpet?) "And Droz, if you would look into my eyes, just like these two men, then you would realize, just like everyone else in the WWF that I am the most powerful man here in the WWF, and I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING MORE TO SAY, EXCEPT..."
Richards tears off his headset and throws it down, then goes lurching off the set stage right.
"Wow!" says Kelly.
"Those are $500 headsets..." asks Prichard.
"Yikes! is THAT how much they are?" says Droz.
"Don't worry," says Kelly, "Lugz will cover that! Well, there he goes, Steven Richards, he..."
"Who put him on?" asks Prichard.
"He's, he's running down the hall to the studio," says Kelly, "and yelling for..."
"Carlos? Was that Carlos I heard him yelling for?" asks Prichard.
"Yeah, Carlos, who's busy taking out the trash right now!" says Kelly, "He has LOST HIS MIND, Droz!"
"Heh heh, yeah, he definitely has," says Droz, "But you know, he's always been a little, ummm, "out there," and I think losing control has taken its toll on Steven Richards' mental capacity."
"And Tom," asks Kelly, "why was he all up in your space?"
"I dunno," says Prichard, "I guess he got carried away. I suggested that he take some Valium. Just take one, Steve, and you'll stop having those bad nights, too!"
Discussion shifts to what Droz got for his birthday last week.
Droz' wife got him an elk's head for their room.
Droz being an avid hunter, this makes sense. "It's a big head, with big antlers, and we're waiting for it to arrive so we can put it up in our room!" says Droz proudly.
Both Kelly and Prichard look off stage right at this point, as some hollering can be heard in the background.
"I think he (Richards) just converted Carlos!" says Kelly.
Droz bails out (email Droz at email@example.com) , after telling Kelly and Prichard to "watch out for Steve!"
Kelly notes that the tentative card for the upcoming WWF PPV "Backlash" can be accessed at http://wwfbacklash.com.
Prichard says that a lot of people are worried about what's happening with World Championship Wrestling, then catches himself and corrects it to "wondering" about what's happening to WCW.
Kelly says that a lot of the talent from that company are excited and hopeful about their future in the new WCW, what with having new leadership in charge.
"There's a lot of discussion," says Kelly, "but as far as decisions being made, I don't know of any as of yet."
"I think 'sooner rather than later,' " says Prichard, "a lot of answers are going to be made clear. Shane McMahon is going to do his level best to make WCW better than it was, and then some!"
"More information on this as it becomes available," says Kelly.
Kelly thinks that Tazz is due up next with his "Tales From the 'Hook'" segment, but "Byte This!" producer "Big Country" says that the Jeff Hardy clip is up next.
"Well, throw to it," says Kelly.
Country refuses, saying he's not on-air talent.
"C'mon, it'll be a first, Country," says Kelly, "You can throw to yourself."
"That's your job," says Country, "that's not my job."
"C'mon, it'll be great!" says Kelly. "You'll be both talent and producer, all at the same time! It's never been done before!"
"Yes it has!" says Country.
"How about I count you in?"
"Okay, " says Country.
"So, fans," says Kelly, "Here's Big Country with the Jeff Hardy clip."
"Wha...That's IT?" sneers Country. "What a crummy set-up!"
"Huh? You're supposed to do the set-up" says Kelly.
"Aww, for cryin'..." says Big Country, who then does a very long-winded set-up (as Kelly counts him in,) that runs a good five seconds into the video.
The footage shows Jeff Hardy's winning the WWF Intercontinental Title from HHH on Smackdown. Michael Cole and Tazz are really getting into the match. "These people hate...the Game's... GUTS!" says Tazz.
Back to the studio, where Prichard says that the Hardys and Lita stepped up to HHH/Steve Austin and provided good, dynamic competition.
"They needed this type of match to break through to the top card," says Prichard. "Two wins in a row against the likes of HHH and Stone Cold, the Hardys have got to be ecstatic!"
Kelly interrupts to say that Tazz called off-air to tell everybody that "He and 'Numbers' were meeting the trucks in Canarsie," which Prichard immediately interprets for his confused co-host.
"Byte This!" producer "Big Country" comes back on-air to say that the Hardys' phone interview will be ready to go in about five minutes. Kelly asks if Country can find them some callers who want to talk about whether or not wwfdotcom was wrong to publish the finish of the Jeff Hardy win prior to Thursday's Smackdown. Or anything happening in the WWF.
Kelly asks Prichard if Jeff Hardy loses the IC Title to HHH on the upcoming (4/16/01) WWF Raw, does that diminish what he was able to accomplish?
Prichard says no, that even if Jeff loses the Title, the Hardys still have a lot to look at and a lot to say about what they did this past week.
Caller Jennifer is on the line, and doesn't like wwfdotcom putting the "spoiler" on the site's front page. Jennifer says that a lot of fans that can't make it to the shows like to...
Jennifer disappears in a crackling static haze, and the phone connection gets broken once again, just ike last week! Looks like the phone gremlins are still in the "Byte This!" system.
Next caller is Rob who says that it took guts for Jim Ross to sit down with Vince McMahon and Stone Co-...
Kelly and Prichard are getting p.o.ed about this. Kelly calls out Mike Pachuda from behind the board. "its Mike's turn this week to sit in the third chair," says Kelly.
Pachuda comes out, wearing a "Paradise On A Hanger" Hawaiian shirt. Looks like the "Mellow Yellow" model. (Plug: check Mike's shirt out at www.hotshirts.com).
"Is this 'Hawaiian Shirt Friday?'" asks Kelly sarcastically.
Kelly's obviously using Pachuda as filler while Big Country gets the phones back in order. Pachuda gets asked what he does on the "Byte This!" show, plus other shows that are put up on the wwfdotcom site.
"Video clips, commentaries, that sort of thing," says Pachuda. His opinion about wwfdotcom putting up the Jeff Hardy spoiler is that it was a good thing because other wrestling websites produce spoilers on upcoming and taped events, so wwfdotcom just decided to go the extra mile and do a vidcap with theirs.
"I accept full responsibility for putting the Jeff Hardy graphic up on wwfdotcom," says Pachuda.
"And if anybody out there objects?" asks Kelly.
Pachuda snorts. "Who cares?" he says with a laugh.
Talk turns to fantasy baseball and Kelly's rotten season with fantasy XFL football. Side bets are made about the upcoming games.
Big Country tells Kelly to toss Pachuda ("Get rid of this low card talent!") because the Hardy Boys are on the line.
Prichard opens the conversation by saying he thinks that wwfdotcom was right in putting the Jeff Hardy spoiler up as soon as it happened.
Jeff Hardy agrees, saying it was the highest profile match that they'd ever been in.
"You all are on that 'elevator', you realize that, don't you?" says Kelly. "How's it sinking in, the feeling that 'This is OUR time!"
Jeff agrees, saying that it's totally exciting to be on that elevator to the top. "What more can you ask for?"
Matt Hardy, continuing the elevator metaphor, says that the Hardy Boys started out in the basement, made it to the lobby, and now they're hitting floor 24, and 25, all the time reaching for the penthouse. "We're getting close, we're getting close!" says Matt.
Jeff says it's all about attitude, to which Kelly rejoins that "the guys who leave right after the "Jakked" matches, generally STAY on the "Jakked" matches. Jeff agrees, calling the WWF "...a big learning tree. If you want to learn, you stick around and watch what goes on at the very top!"
To Kelly's question of whether or not Steve Austin "crossed the line" in manhandling Lita (on the 4/9/01 Raw show), Jeff says that, though the treatment was "definitely harsh!", he can see it as a part of the Steve Austin change to heel status. He understands it from a sports entertainment aspect. Personally, though, as a Hardy Boy, and with a Hardy Boys' perspective of that beating, it was vicious and uncalled for.
Kelly asks about Jeff's defense of the IC Title at the Pensacola house show against X-Pac. "Was the crowd response different, louder, were they shocked?"
Jeff said that seeing his name in the program as defending the WWF IC Title was a big shock to him, but that the crowd really got behind him.
Matt Hardy says that, in a perfect world he can see the Hardy Boys taking on HHH and Steve Austin at Backlash in the Main Event. "When we got back from flying home to North Carolina, we were walking through the airport, and a couple of guys stopped us with 'Oh, man, The Hardy Boys! What's up, man? You're our neighbors, man, we love you guys!' We hear that comment a lot. And when you take someone like the Rock, with the great body, and the thousand dollar shirts, looks like a movie star, lots of the fans would like to be like him. With the Hardy Boys, our fans ARE us, medium build, putting a lot on the line every week, with the attitude that 'you can beat us, and beat us, but we'll keep coming back and never quit!' Jeff and I aren't big, superhero muscle-bound guys, we look more like an average person, which a lot of people can relate to. They look at us, not as superheroes, but as "Our Boys!"
Prichard says that the Hardys' match on Raw was a match like those he would watch as a kid, ("It'd stand the hairs up on the back of my neck!"), "I'd say 'I wanna be like those guys!' You took a helluva beating during the match, but you kept coming back!"
Jeff agrees, stating that determination is their whole M.O: "Matt and Jeff Hardy fight the odds from the get-go!"
Jeff runs through the possibilities and different pairings between the Hardys and HHH/Steve Austin.
Prichard says that he first spotted the Hardys in a dark match.
On the following "Byte This!" he remarked to Kelly about their skill. Prichard said that "those guys are crazy!" but Kelly said, "no, those guys are trying to get a job!"
Caller Kara is up next, but her question to Matt and Jeff gets another
"There you go," says Kelly, disgustedly.
Jeff Hardy says he's going to defend the IC Title for as long as he can. Prichard says that HHH may have something to say about that, but whatever happens it won't overshadow what the Hardys have brought to the WWF.
Topic shifts to the Hardys' "Tables, Ladders, & Chairs" #2 match with Edge & Christian and the Dudley Boyz at Wrestlemania X-7. Kelly says that Edge & Christian, who were on 'Byte This!" last week, called it the best match of their careers.
Jeff says that, after a certain point, the crowd noise in Houston was so loud you couldn't hear anything.
Prichard asked what Jeff felt like when, after climbing two ladders, the third one started tipping and leaning way over on him.
"Yeah, heartbreak, man," says Jeff, "because it was my bit, I thought of it. But it was just one part of a great match. It was all extremely good entertainment, especially with the work the Dudleys did!"
Prichard asks if Wrestlemania was the biggest crowd the Hardys had ever worked in front of?
Jeff: "Without a doubt!"
Kelly: "Yeah, but you worked in front of some hellacious houses back in the Omega days, didn't you?"
Jeff: "Sell-outs, man. We were stacking them in there four high on each others' shoulders!"
Discussion turns to what Lita has brought to the team.
Matt thinks Lita is a sexy female version of a Hardy Boy. "She's added to and built on our personalities so much. There's Lita's and my on-air relationship, and our romantic kiss; we actually got a chance to show different pieces of our personalities."
Prichard said that the Hardys interview segment with Lita on Raw illustrated how they work as a team, both in the ring and out of it. "You and Lita were discussing the upcoming match with HHH and Steve Austin," says Prichard, "and Jeff was just laying back, not saying much, until he rolled over and said, 'Look, Matt, this is our time, let's go for it!' "
Matt agrees, saying that he's usually the one who calls the game plan, but that, on this occasion, it was Jeff who was the motivator.
Kelly said that the Hardys being part of the talking segments of the show was his favorite, because the fans see them in action but rarely behind the scenes. Kelly says that Lita's interaction with Mr. McMahon was great. "The moments of hesitation in Matt's voice, worrying about Lita's welfare in the upcoming match, and then Jeff rolls out of his seat and says, hey, wait a minute, we're Team Extreme, we can do anything! Why can't we fight Austin and HHH and Stephanie?"
Discussion turns to Michael P.S. Hayes' appearance at the Gimmick Battle Royal at WM X-7.
Jeff Hardy says that he's been telling people that Hayes is his dad just to see the reaction he gets
Matt said that he had to get 12 staples in his head from getting hit with a ladder during TLC-2, but he held off long enough to watch Hayes in the Battle Royal.
"'The staples can wait,' I said, 'I've GOT to see this!'"
Everybody cracks up.
Kelly: "'I'll bleed to death, but I've GOT to see this!' Is that it?"
Jeff: "Yeah, plus watch Hayes "moonwalk" across the ring!"
More laughter, and this time the cameraman joins in, because the image is shaking up and down.
Kelly says that the Iron Sheik's victory in the Gimmick Battle Royal was due to the fact that he could not physically go over the top rope. Prichard takes exception to this, and says so.
Kelly, laughing, says if the top rope move wasn't possible, then at least put him in the camel clutch, or the cobra clutch, or whatever...
Prichard says he wanted to see the Iron Sheik break out the Persian clubs and do that "manhood workout" of his right there in the ring.
Topic shifts to current tag-team "third parties" like Rhyno, Lita, and Spike Dudley, and their effect on the WWF tag team competition.
Jeff says that Rhyno is a good balance for Edge & Christian, and Spike is a great addition to the Dudleys as the runt of the litter, but still as tough as the rest of them.
"It's really interesting," says Jeff, " you've got the white brother, the black brother, and the lil' runt brother, but they all play off each other really well!"
Kelly says that Daddy Dudley sure got around to all parts of Dudleyville, and Prichard agrees with a laugh.
ECW's influence on the WWF is next up, and Matt says that Paul Heyman is really good at inspiring people. "He will have you hyped up at a moment's notice! He's an excellent motivator. Idea-wise he's going to be a great contributor to the WWF."
Phone problems occur once again, as Prichard's comments get lost in the static. Kelly gets hot with "Big Country" for a bit, as Prichard reiterates that both Heyman and Vince McMahon like to see good, hard wrestling, and the Hardys have been doing just that.
Kelly does a 180, and asks Jeff Hardy about his hair. "We've had loads of calls and emails from girls wanting to color your hair, how do you decide which hair color to go with, tell us about the hair, would you?"
Jeff pays tribute to his hairstylist for giving him a signature look, and says that he got the idea from seeing a lot of fans with color jobs in their hair, so he adopted the gimmick. "I used to have a different color every month, but I've now started using something different that lasts a lot longer. I may need to change it if, say, my hair falls out, or something..."
Kelly wants to know what Matt and Jeff think about the parental responsibility question, and about some parents who get hot at the Hardys because their kids want to color their hair like Jeff, etc.
Matt says that the parents have the responsibility for their kids' upbringing, and nobody else. "I'll say this," says Matt, "Don't do any of the things that our characters do on TV. Do things that the people who PORTRAY the wrestler characters on TV do. Everybody in the WWF is a role model, and we work hard at it.
Kelly says that, if his son comes to him and says he wants to color his hair like Jeff Hardy, Kelly's going to tell him no, and also tell him why. "But don't get hot at Jeff Hardy because you can't do our job as a parent!" says Kelly. "Being responsible is the key, and if you don't agree with something your kid wants to do, tell them! You may not be able to stop them, and you may end up with World War Three, but don't blame Jeff Hardy because YOUR kid wants to color his/her hair."
Jeff agrees, saying that most parents would agree also, "but there ARE some few that are going to get hot about it and blame it on me anyway."
Kelly and Prichard wind things up, wishing the Hardys good luck with the upcoming week. Matt Hardy says that he might want to take a crack at wearing the IC Title himself, which Prichard says would be a great bout indeed.
As the Hardys leave, we get the roll-out of the new Lugz shoe style that Prichard is wearing, the "Black I-X-L"
Kelly notes that it doesn't have any laces, and looks very comfortable.
Producer Big Country says that Kelly's shoes are on order, and that the fans should stop by the lugzdotcom site (www.lugz.com) and check it out.
Next week's guest will be Mark "The Undertaker" Calloway,
"Chris Granger will work tirelessly to make sure the phone system works properly, won't you, Chris?" sneers Kelly.
See you all next week.
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