|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 7 September 2001, and I owe you all an apology for missing last week's report.
Here's my inflamed and highly infectious gall bladder as compensation.
As I am still in recovery, this week's report will of necessity be somewhat abbreviated.
Just the facts, folks.
Man, I wish CRZ's buddy, Cubs Fan, would do a vid-analysis of the Byte This! Opening Credits like he just did for the new Smackdown Opening Credits. It's fast becoming the quickest way to tell which wrestler's getting the push in the WWF. (Toddle on over to CRZ's site, crz.net/wrestling, and check out CRZ's Smackdown review to see what I mean.) (Did this plug make it onto WrestleLine? HAR HAR HAR but it's slashwrestling.com now ;-) - CRZ) Anymore these days, it's sorta like back during the Cold War, when checking out who was standing next to Stalin on top of Lenin's Tomb was a good way to see who was in and who was out in the Soviet Politburo.
And a good seventy percent of you out there don't know what the hell I'm talking about.
Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Howard Finkel, and it looks like Merchandising Gnomes from the old "WCW Worldwide" show have finally found a home at WWF ShopZone, because there's just loads of WWF related stuff all over the place.
First topic for tonight is the long-awaited breakup of Edge & Christian. Kelly and Fink compare it to the great breakups of pro-wrestling. Classic backstabs like Owen Hart turning on brother Bret in 1994, Jake Roberts turning on the Ultimate Warrior in 1991, HBK and Marty Jannetty in 1992, Andre tuning on Hulk Hogan in 1987, or Paul Bearer turning on thew Undertaker in 1996. We'll get to vote throughout today's show on which turn has been the biggest.
Kelly says now the true mettle of Edge and Christian will be determined as they both enter singles competition for the first time. They've been a tag team for so long, that they will have to re-think not having a partner to back them up in the ring when things get hairy.
Fink says that Christian finally let all that pent-up emotion go on Smackdown, all of the having to live in Edge's shadow, being the junior partner, even going back to their days in the Brood, Christian never got as bright a spotlight as Edge did. Kelly said we all wanted and explanation from Christian, and we got it Tuesday night on Smackdown, with no excuses, and no remorse. Now, with their IC Title match scheduled for Unforgiven, the IC Title is secondary to the resolution both Edge & Christian are seeking.
Droz joins the show at this point, and reinforces Kelly's last statement, saying that the breakup occurred in Toronto, Edge's hometown, and right in front of Edge's mother, who was shocked, beyond belief when they dragged Edge to the back. As for the Title, Christian may be out for the gold, but Edge is out for blood.
Brother turning on brother is always bad, so Edge doesn't care about the Title. He wants retribution.
Kelly shifts the topic to the match between Rob Van Dam and Steve Austin. Droz says that it was a surprisingly good match, see-sawing back and forth like it was, and the Kurt Angle screwjob on Austin was the best part. Angle is really messing with Austin's mind by now, so much so that Austin's become the "What-tlesnake!"
Fink wants to know what's next for RVD? Droz says that RVD doesn't have a thing to worry about; that the fans were chanting his name before and after the bout, and are impressed with everything he's shown them.
Discussion shifts to the continued erosion in the Alliance, with Chavo Guerrero, JR, and Shawn Stasiak getting beat up by Austin this week. Droz says that it's Austin who is destroying the Alliance by beating up the members. He may call it "tough love", but it's hurting more than helping.
Over to the newly installed AOL Instant Messenger Service for a quick email for Droz. The emailer wants to know if the comic-style characters like Hurricane Helms that are appearing in the Alliance will ultimately help or hurt?
Droz says he was surprised at how well the angle is being received, and had high praise for Helms and the Big Show's performance this week. Kelly wants to know if Helms' superhero character will have a Clark Kent alter ego? "Without question," says Droz; "it has to be."
Fink wants to know who the Lois Lane character will be?
"Ivory?" opines Kelly.
Topic shifts to Austin/Angle at Unforgiven.
Droz says that Angle's firmly seated in the driver's seat on this one. Austin doesn't even know which state he's in, unless it's the state of "Confusion!"
He's losing his mind, crying, beating up his own people. Angle's got Austin in his pocket.
Fink remarks that if Angle wins the World Title, it will be the first time in the history books that a wrestler has won both the WCW and WWF World Titles, not only in the same year, but the same state and city!
Topic shifts to pro-football, where Droz yammers on about the Minnesota Vikings, runs out of ideas, and leaves the show.
Kelly and Fink both have some fun with Byte This! producer "Big Country" about last week's Byte This! poll, where the fans all voted for Granger to get his hair cut. Big Country says that if Granger decides to do on the show, the classic video cuts for the show will be classic hair versus hair matches. Kelly likes the idea and we spend about three minutes listening to Kelly reminisce about hair versus hair matches he's seen.
A sad note as we all mourn the passing of Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf late of the Howard Stern Show. Turns out Hank was also a member of the WWF, back when Don "Jackyl" Callis was running the "Oddities," angle, and was actually a very nice guy despite his on-air reputation.
Another look at the progress of the "Famous Turns" poll shows the Owen Hart turn on Bret Hart leading with 31%.
Time for "Outthink the Fink." This week, Fink's got a brainbuster for us. Back in the '70's, the WWF, as the WWWF, had a "Rookie of the Year" award. The question: Who was voted WWWF Rookie of the Year in 1972?
Kelly's dumbfounded, and claims that nobody's gonna get that one, since most of the audience wasn't even born yet. Fink is unmoved.
Another email from the AOL/Instant Messenger asks why Byte This! doesn't have a kind of "Farm Report," the caller obviously wanting news from the developmental territories. Kelly ducks the whole question by misconstruing the request as one for agricultural info, crops and such.
This, of course, is a great time for Al Snow to join the show, so I guess we don't get any "Tales from the Hook," this week.
Al's here to talk about "Tough Enough," and how attached the trainers can get to the contestants. If it were up to him, everybody'd get a contract. It's going to be very hard to break it down to picking one guy and one gal. Kelly asks about the different training styles that we've seen on the show, and how different Al is in relation to Tazz.
Al says that Tazz is "just miserable," and that's the way he deals with the world. Al tries to joke around all the time because that's the way he deals with the world. Their confrontation this past Sunday night on Heat was Al finally having enough of Tazz's crummy attitude. "At some point, you gotta say 'enough is enough," says Al.
Kelly tries to wrap things up with Snow, who only wants to talk about how Hank the Dwarf was responsible for Tazz getting into the WWF. Lots of laughs all around.
Emails from the fans are complaining about how tough "Outthink the Fink" is this week. Fink is still unmoved, and won't budge about giving a hint. "If you haven't done your homework," sneers Fink, "maybe you should call somebody!"
Finally, after considerable wheedling from Kelly, Fink relents and gives a clue.
The 1972 Rookie of the Year is still with the WWF, and was a multiple co-holder of the WWF Tag Title in both the WWF and WWWF. Kelly, still bumfuzzled, says that the clue's no help at all.
Chris Jericho joins the show at this point, and is having a good time mocking Kelly's love of AOL's Instant Messenger.
Kelly asks how Jericho's handling the current schedule.
Jericho says they've had two days off in the last three weeks, it's been so crazy. Minor injuries don't have time to heal, and if you get a major one, you're off the schedule.
Kelly tries to stir up something about Y2J's relationship with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. Could it be love-hate? Jericho says its hate-hate, a little put out that Kelly would even consider such a thing as love-hate.
Kelly asks Jericho about who's been doing the writing of his promos.
Jericho says that he used to do all of it, but now its split fifty-fifty between him and WWF writer Brian Gewirtz.
Topic shifts to the Edge/Christian breakup, which Jericho characterizes at the biggest since Shawn Michaels turned on Marty Jannetty and shoved him through the plate glass window.
Over to yet another AOL Instant Messenger question, where the writer wants to know what the craziest thing was that Jericho ever got from a fan? Jericho says he once got a Chris Jericho clock. Another fan changed their name to Jericho so their license plates would be in agreement. Tattoos. (!)
First caller asks about how Jericho works with Steve Austin. Jericho replies that Austin is somebody you have to bring your whole game against. Their match a couple of week's ago was a good case in point. It was "Old School" in the extreme, concentrating on one body part, wearing the opponent down. Matches with Chris Benoit are the same way, good chemistry, good mix of styles and abilities.
Kelly asks about how Jericho reacted to HHH being injured. Jericho replies that he'd been tossed out for the ring, and was waiting for HHH to come and get him.
Wen HHH didn't come over and get him, Jericho thought he'd made a mistake. Finally, HH told him he'd been hurt and to end the match ASAP. Jericho did the Walls of Jericho because he didn't want to injure him anymore, thinking HHH's knee had blown, since he'd had a history of knee trouble.
Jericho says that any time you go into the ring, the ultimate goal is that nobody gets hurt. When someone does, you feel terrible. But he's sure both HHH and Benoit will be back, and better than ever.
Next caller asks about why Jericho hates SMH so much. "She's the spoiled rich girl you knew in high school," says Jericho, "that you just wanted more than anything to put in her place."
Fink wants to know what's next on the horizon for Fozzy?
Jericho laughs, and says that Fozzy's got some big gigs in September and October, with a recording contract right in the middle of it.
Kelly asks if Jericho will be checking out the new movie, "Rock Star?" Jericho says yes.
Topic shifts to "Wrestlemania X-8" being in Toronto in 2002? Jericho says that it'll be great, both for wrestling, Toronto, and Canada. It'll be high tech for sure, and the biggest Wrestlemania ever.
Due to another Instant Messenger email, topic shifts to what Jericho considers to be the greatest matches. He names the famous "Double Shot" from Wrestlemania X, Owen Hart v. Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels v. Razor Ramon. Then there's the Shawn Michaels/ Undertaker Hell In a Cell matches. As far as matches he's been involved in, he'd have to say the Last Man Standing match against HHH, or the Ladder Match against Benoit. The tag match between he and Benoit facing Austin and HHH.
Kelly asks about Rob Van Dam, and what Jericho thinks of him. "He's got nowhere to go but up," says Jericho, "he's done great, and will only get better."
Kelly asks bout the changes in the Y2J entrance. Jericho says that he and Kevin Dunn decided to update it, make it more high tech, something that fits the Y2J persona better. "I think it's the best in the WWF," says Jericho.
Next caller asks what it felt like to be the WWF Champion for all of seventeen minutes?
Jericho laughs, and says that it was the culmination of his life's work, and who knows, maybe next time he'll get to wear it for, say, 19 or 20 minutes, huh?
Jericho goes on in a serious vein, saying that wearing the World Title should be every wrestler's goal. "If you don't have that as a goal, then maybe you don't belong in wrestling," says Jericho.
Next caller asks about training in the Dungeon with Stu Hart, and to compare it to today's wrestling schools. Jericho replies that it is easier to get started in the wrestling business today than it was back in the early 1990's. Back then, you had no developmental deals. Now, you show up at the school, and could be offered a WWF contract on the spot. While that's good, the "old school" ways are still better, because, when you finally get the contract, you have years of experience behind you.
This shifts the topic to Jericho's thoughts about the "Tough Enough" show. Jericho says that it has been interesting to watch, if only because it shows how tough it is to make it in the business, and how many are washed out. Because of his busy schedule, he hasn't been able to watch it lately, though he liked it when badass Tazz ripped the Goldberg poster off the wall. "That was more like the camp that I went to," laughs Jericho, "what with the abusive trainers and all."
Jericho does have a problem with the trip to the Bahamas they took. "That's not how I learned," he said with a laugh. Other than that, it's a cool show, and really entertaining to watch. Jericho also heard that "Tough Enough 2" is coming out, and that he'd like to help out, and show the kids what he went through.
With that, Jericho leaves the show.
Kelly announces that the classic clip contest was won by HBK and Marty Jannetty with 29%.
"Outthink the Fink" answer: Tony Garea.
Next week, Granger gets a haircut, and Booker T is the tentative special guest.
We close with the clip of the 1992 HBK/Marty Jannetty breakup.
See you next week.
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