|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 18 May 2001, and I'm your reporter, ol' E.C. himself.
Opening credits. Linda McMahon tries to make her foot disappear, but husband Vince's ummm, "Genetic Jackhammer" gets in the way, with unfortunate results.
Your hosts are Kevin "Short-Listed-for-the-WCW-Broadcast-Booth" Kelly, and Dr. Tom "Oops-My-Medication-Needs-Adjusting-Again" Prichard.
On today's show, Droz goes for the gold (and the "jewels", too), Tazz gets shoved onto the morning "shock jock" circuit, with predictable results, and Chris Jericho gives us something old, something new, something borrowed, and something black and blue.
What is the name of Sweet Fanny Adams is wrong with the freakin' visuals this week?
Jeez, if it ain't the phone system breaking down, it's the dad-gum web transmission. Where'd they get the webcam anyway, Suckit City? Mercifully, show producer "Big Country" sees what's going on and hammers down on the kill switch, bringing the whole shebang to a grinding halt about two minutes into the broadcast. Things go dark for about a minute or two, and then the whole thing gets cranked back up once again. Jeez Lou-weez, Linda McMahon must have been aiming for Vince's tonsils with that kick of hers. Her foot disappeared up to the top of her freakin' ankle!
We are 72-plus hours away from the Judgment Day PPV, and boy, it sure looks like nasty ol' Stone Cold Steve Austin has finally done it this time, says Kelly. Prichard agrees, says the Undertaker's gonna make good on his promise to rip out Austin's heart, use Austin's lungs as pool floats for his kids, turn Austin's colon into an unusual high-fashion boa for wife Sara, etc. etc.
Kelly gulps queasily, then changes topic to who's going to be Chris Jericho's mystery tag partner in the Tag Team Turmoil Match at Judgment Day. Prichard thinks its Kelly, Kelly thinks its Prichard, given Prichard's career. Dr. Tom's wandering a bit off script at this point, but that could be his, ummm, "allergy medication" kicking in.
Kelly spots this, and quickly shoots us over to Howard Finkel's "Outthink the Fink" segment. For this week's question, ol' Fink sets the Wayback Machine for 1984, and the old Tuesday Night Titans show.
"Who was "Butcher" Paul Vachon's bride?"
Back to the studio. Kelly has no idea at all what the answer is, and asks Prichard if he could hazard a guess. This is a mistake, as Prichard immediately goes on a long, disjointed ramble that degenerates into a series of grunts and burps.
Kelly quickly gets Droz on the line for his weekly wisdom dose. Re: the Judgment Day Main Event, Droz thinks that 'Taker will win the World Title, as long as he keeps his cool. But Austin's got him riled up, and that's a sure sign that 'Taker's attention has wandered. Droz thinks 'Taker's wearing the World Title belt once again is long overdue.
Topic shifts to Eddie Guerrero's stupid-coy relationship with the Hardys and Lita. Droz thinks Guerrero's just "got the hots" for Lita, pure and simple. He liked the way the Six-Man Match on Smackdown turned out as well.
Over to the Three Way Dance for the Hardcore Title, this time involving Test, The Big Show, and the current champ, Rhyno. Droz thinks Test is on his way to the top, and only needs a Title belt to prove it. Still, he's up against Show, and the awesome Rhyno.
The Benoit/Angle match is discussed next. Droz says that if HE had been the one to stick his hand in Benoit's trunks, he'd have grabbed the gold AND the "jewels" as well! Much hilarity ensues, with Prichard laughing so hard he has a coughing fit.
The Tag Team Turmoil match is up next, with Droz saying that the one to watch is Albert, who's having a great time, just lots of fun.
Droz disappears, to be replaced by Tazz, with more "Tales From the 'Hook."
It seems that Tazz is on his way to Shea Stadium. He's apparently going to throw out the first pitch at the Mets/Dodgers game.
(That's BROOKLYN Dodgers to Tazz. He thinks they never left.) More funny anecdotes with and about the denizens of the Red Hook section in Brooklyn.
You know, I'm beginning to think Tazz has appropriated a copy of a Damon Runyon anthology from somewhere, because some of the names his comes up with are right out of the 1940's New York "Five Families" era.
Kelly asks Tazz about the IC Title "Chain Match" between HH and Kane. Tazz says that even the guys in ECW never put on a chain match, because it was too dangerous "You can hide a lot of things in wrestling, making them look like something they aren't," says Tazz, "but you can't fake a steel chain. There is NO way to lessen the pain!"
Kelly asks what Tazz has been doing this morning.
Tazz has been busy today, as he's been on the "Opie and Anthony" radio show already.
"They were all drunk over there," he says. "I went out to get a cuppa coffee, and they locked me out of the studio!"
Back to wrestling, Tazz goes on to talk about the great Boris Malenko, and recalls his chain matches with Chief Wahoo McDaniel. Kelly compliments Tazz's commentary about Malenko on Smackdown last night. Tazz says that Malenko's son Dean was also quite pleased with Tazz's kind words about his father.
Whoops, Tazz's cell phone cuts out. "Must be going through the Midtown Tunnel," says Kelly.
While "Big Country" attempts to re-establish contact with Tazz, Kelly relates that he once worked for Boris Malenko in Florida, when Boris was promoting matches in Tampa. I wonder if they ever did supper after a show? Man, Boris Malenko and Kevin Kelly chowing down at Berne's Steak House in Tampa; now THERE'S an image for you!
We have a winner in "Outthink the Fink" who guessed that Paul Vachon's bride was named Ophelia, and gets a Chris Jericho T-shirt as his prize.
Looks like Tazz is gone for good this week, so it's straight on to...
Chris Jericho, who gets the complete "Pulp Fiction" treatment this week, loud rock music, quickie video dissolves and cutaways, etc.
We are shown footage of his World Title "win" from HHH on Raw, that was, what? over a YEAR ago? The "win" of course, was reversed seventeen minutes later in the show, and HHH remained the champion.
Kelly welcomes Chris Jericho to Byte This!, asking him how the "win"
feels now, one year on. Jericho says it was the high point of 2000 for him. Bet it would feel even better if he was able to hold onto the Title instead of giving it up seventeen minutes later!
Kelly asks how Jericho thinks the feud with William Regal is going. Jericho is very enthusiastic in his response, pointing out the strong plot and character development between both himself and Regal. The WWF "Insurrextion" PPV in the UK was their best match, according to Jericho.
Talk shifts to the IC Title "Chain Match" between HHH and Kane. Jericho is no stranger to chain matches, having worked one with Perry Saturn back in the old WCW.
Was that before or after he made Saturn wear the dress?
Jericho says chain matches are dangerous, since all the normal moves, like tossing your opponent out of the ring, become increasingly hazardous when twelve feet of steel chain is involved.
A quick dive into the old Email Bag comes up with the perennial mark question, "When did you (Jericho) realize that you wanted to become a wrestler?" Jericho replies that he was a fan of the old AWA back in the 70's and 80's. Then was a fan of the Hart's Stampede Wrestling promotion. He called the Hart's wrestling school and was told he had to be 18 to sign up. After two years of college, Jericho joined at age 19.
Prichard asks if Jericho has any fond (?) memories of Stu Hart's legendary "Dungeon?" Jericho has only one memory of the Dungeon, since all of his training was done in a back room of a pink (?) bowling alley. The "Dungeon" memory is of Stu Hart trying to wad his head into a ball.
To the phones, where the first question asked is about what Jericho says on his way to the ring? Jericho laughs, and says nothing in particular. (Maybe he's doing his impression of Tom Hank's cap-tip from "A League of Their Own." You know, the teeth-clenched, smiling "All you jerks can kiss my rosy red...!" The heelish Y2J ain't all THAT far beneath the surface, I'm a-thinking.)
Next caller wants to know who Jericho's "Mystery Partner" will be for the "Tag Team Turmoil" match at Judgment Day? Jericho replies that it wouldn't be a mystery if he told him.
Jericho also says that he wants a chance to face Steve Austin. The match would be interesting, he says, both from their respective characters and the background similarity between Austin and himself.
Kelly takes this opportunity to bring up the subject of the "glass ceiling," a topic very near and dear to all of us wrestling marks, especially those of us with a computer, and access to the 'Net. Jericho says that the guys on top are there for a reason.
"If being held back is having a video made about you," says Jericho, "winning the WWF Intercontinental Title 3 times, holding the WWF World Title, even for only 17 minutes, working a PPV Main Event with HHH, and having tons of shirts and jerseys, then yes, Chris Jericho's been held back! There will be a time when I am on top. I am ready right now, but I will wait my turn. I know it's coming!"
Into the Email Bag again, where a listener remarks about the rise in submission-style wrestling of late in the WWF. Jericho says that half of all matches in Japan end in submission. When he joined the WWF, "Vince McMahon asked me what my finisher was, and I told him, 'a sort of standing boston crab thing. ' Vince said he didn't think I was a submission-type of guy, but my feud with Ken Shamrock proved that submission holds can be popular with the fans. So now, everybody has one."
Next caller wants to know how Jericho's herniated disk is doing, relating that she herself had a herniated disk, and was in terrible pain. "I stay drugged up all the time," says Jericho, having fun with the caller, "can't you tell?"
He then says that he's had great doctors who show him the right exercises to reduce the pain. Nevertheless, the pain returns from time to time. Jericho recalls a Boston house show match against Kurt Angle, he almost couldn't walk after the first bump, but stayed in for another fifteen minutes. "It sometimes gets real painful," he says, "but you just have to fight through it."
Kelly asks why Jericho doesn't wear his wedding ring when he wrestles. "It makes my finger swell up," says Jericho.
Next question from a caller asks what Jericho considers to be his most satisfying matches? "My World Title win against HHH, " says Jericho, "the 'Last Man Standing' match at the 2000 Fully Loaded PPV, and the 'Ladder Match' with Chris Benoit at the 2001 Royal Rumble. All were very satisfying."
Kelly asks if Jericho and his Y2J creation have matured since he joined the WWF?
(C'mon, Kevin, what's he gonna say? NO?!)
Jericho answers dutifully that he "came from a place (WCW) where nobody was ever given any help getting over." This resulted in his trying a lot of bad stunts. "My heel character was like Kurt Angle, but turned up to 10!" says Jericho. "But stuff like that didn't work in the WWF, so I watched the topcarders, like HHH, Austin, the Rock, and Undertaker, to do what they all do."
Additionally, Jericho does al he can to keep his act fresh.
Kelly asks if there is a "Comfort Zone" when you are "over"?
(Hey, good question, Kevin. Finally!)
Jericho replies that he had been in the "Comfort Zone", but he's been trying new moves to keep his act fresh. The latest idea is that he wants to work a match in the near future, WITHOUT any of his signature moves.
Now that should be interesting!
Another dive into the Email Bag asks who had the biggest influence on Jericho's career?
"The Dynamite Kid and Owen Hart were my heroes when I was younger," says Jericho, "I also look up to Chris Benoit and Paul Heyman. Vince McMahon, who calls the shots, has had a lot of influence as well." Additionally, Jericho includes both Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.
Byte This! producer "Big Country" seems to be having some difficulty with the phone system again, so Kelly pulls out another email, which asks what Paul Heyman is like ot work for now, versus working for him in ECW?
"I was in ECW back in 1996," says Jericho, "when ECW was just getting started, and Heyman was on his way to the top, creatively. An excellent booker of matches, but not so hot on organizational details, such as booking plane tickets. Now that he's in the WWF, Heyman can concentrate on what he does best, booking matches." Jericho also affirms that "Paul Heyman definitely isn't a "yes-man!"
Our final question comes from the Email Bag as well, and asks how things are going with Jericho's rock band, "Fozzy"?
Jericho laughs, and says that "Fozzy" will be appearing 8 June 2001 in Virginia Beach, VA.
As Jericho leaves, Kelly and Prichard wrap up this week's show, and again shill for Mick Foley's new book, "Foley Is Good."
Both take credit for the book topping the New York Times' Bestseller List.
Yeah, though I think all those folks who bought a copy might have helped out just a LEETLE bit!
See you next week.
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