|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 5 October 2001, and I'm still E.C.
On today's show, Droz tells the fans to shut up and keep watching, Tazz tells Kevin about punking out Tough Enough champ Maven on Smackdown, and Christian sells his new singles career, backing it up with the "Un-Prettier" for those who are insufficiently impressed with his qualifications.
We get a new video montage and NEW MUSIC for the
Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Howard Finkel.
Kelly and Fink both like the new show opener. They slide right into a big promo on the upcoming Monday Raw show, where Kurt Angle will defend his WWF World Title against the returning Steve Austin.
Kelly says it should be the biggest Raw of the year. Fink agrees, but miss-calls the bout as Austin v. The Rock.
Kelly covers for Fink's faux pas by shifting to Tazz's match with Tough Enough Champ Maven on last night's Smackdown. Fink says that Maven's performance was "encouraging. A great match, in the classic "Student against Teacher" genre. Maven never sold Tazz short, and neither should anybody else.
Darren Drozdov makes his appearance in "Droz's Two Cents", his weekly review of all things WWF. Kelly asks his thoughts on the Tazz-Maven match. Droz says that, unlike his own debut in professional wrestling, Maven's debut was on national TV in front of millions of fans, so the kid had to step up and deal with that pressure in addition to squaring off against his former teacher, Tazz. Droz says that Maven handled it all like a professional, did a good job, even got some "Maven" chants going from the fans at ringside. All in all, a good first bout for the youngster.
Kevin asks Droz about the upcoming Austin/Angle bout for the WWF World Title. What is Angle thinking about Austin being gone for the past two weeks? Is Angle's confidence shaken having to wait for Austin all this time? Droz says that Angle must have it in his mind that Austin is going to do whatever it takes to get the Title away from him.
And, lo and behold, Kelly drops a bombshell by asking Droz about Monday's less-than-stellar Raw show. Don't tell ME these guys don't pay attention to the fans! Droz, playing the role of the WWF's Minister of Propaganda, puts spin on the deal by saying well, these guys just had an off night, but you got to expect that, considering they work each and every week. "Some nights," says Droz, "people are gonna be a little off. It happens. Critics of the show should realize that, and until THEY step into the ring, they should just keep quiet."
Kelly agrees, saying that, just like TV, some episodes you love and some you hate. "52 weeks of TV, you're gonna get bad shows from time to time," says Kelly, "Our people hear the criticism, and they respond to it. That's the reason for this coming Monday's cranked-up effort!"
(So, let me get this straight. The company's excuse for last Monday's Raw show is that it's the TALENT'S fault. Not the bookers or the Creative Team, but that ALL the wrestlers involved were somehow off their game. The only wrestler who fits that particular bill is ol' 'Taker himself, as his sloppily executed "Last Ride" on Test nearly took both of them over the top rope.)
Fink asks Droz's thoughts on today's guest, Christian. Droz says that he and Christian joined the WWF at about the same time. "Normally," he says, "when a tag team breaks up, one member traditionally does better, while the other falls by the wayside. That won't happen here, because Christian raised the level of competition when he split from Edge.
Caller One compliments Droz on the promos he did when he was wrestling, then says that he (the caller) agrees with Droz about Christian, that he thought his singles start wouldn't be successful. Droz agrees, saying that there were a lot of people thinking the same thing, but that Christian surprised them all.
An Instant Messenger email asks Droz what his favorite story line is? Droz ponders for a moment, then says that the Kurt Angle/Rob Van Dam storyline is great, as is the Hurricane Helms saga.
Kelly wants to know how THAT storyline is going, to which Droz says that the addition of Molly and that HurriCycle of Helms' will help make it a great angle.
"What about Helms trying to chokeslam The Big Show?" asks Kelly.
"You mean using his super strength?" laughs Droz. "Well, he keeps trying, doesn't he?"
Everybody gets a laugh out of this.
Droz gets in a plug for his "Two Cents" column once more, and then leaves the show.
This week's Classic Moment involves four different moments with Christian: the awesome TLC match from SummerSlam 2000, his winning the Intercontinental Championship Title, his winning of the Light Heavyweight Title, and finally, the infamous "chicken suit" incident from Sunday Night Heat.
While we are on contests, how about this week's "Outthink the Fink?" Fink takes us back to the venerable and entertaining Slammy Awards show. There were four cities that hosted the Slammy Awards, with nobody getting a return date. What were the four cities/ Three winners get a copy of the "Tough Enough" music CD.
Time for Tazz's "Tales from the Hook," and Kelly jumps right on Tazz's beat-down of Maven on Smackdown by saying that the emails he's gotten about the match have been positive. Tazz thanks the fans, and says that Maven made him proud, and that his first match was a good one. "When I had my first match,' says Tazz, "it was in front of thirty people. Maven's was in front of a worldwide TV audience on Smackdown, and he was awesome. They booked the match as "Student vs. Teacher," a classic match-up. I got mad during the match, but Maven showed that he has heart. He's one hell of an athlete, and is able to handle a terrific ass kicking. I'm really proud of him. As for me being a bully, well, kiss my ass! You don't know what being a bully is!"
Kelly remarks that Maven must have been really nervous about the match. Tazz says that he himself was wound up way tighter, because Maven was doing the winding on him all day.
Fink wants to know how the locker room treated Maven on his first day? Tazz says that Maven was a gentleman to everyone, and made sure that he went up to everybody. "He was travelling with me all day," says Tazz, "and we talked a lot about the business. Once the guys saw the match, saw how Maven could go in and mix it up, take some punishment, and still give as good as he got, they began to respect him, even getting into his match last night. Maven didn't complain; he stepped up and did. He knows just how lucky he is to be here."
Kelly asks if Maven will be sent to one of the developmental territories? Tazz isn't sure, but says that, if it happens, it could only help Maven's career to be working with a group of seasoned veterans. "Maven's got the star power from Tough En-" says Tazz, who gets cut off in mid-sentence. Kelly fusses for a bit about Tazz's communications problems, just as Tazz gets back on the line. And gets cut off once more.
(I'm beginning to think that Tazz's local electronics store, Jimmy the Hat's Car Trunk & Midnight Electronics Emporium, had better check the quality of his products again.)
Tazz rejoins the conversation, as Fink asks him about his upcoming appearance at Madison Square Garden. Tazz is pumped, ""as are a lot of the other guys," he says. "It's gonna be a great show at the Garden."
Fink asks Tazz's thoughts on today's Byte This! guest, Christian. Tazz says that he's a big mark for Christian, and that Edge was the one holding him back all those years during as a tag team.
Fink shifts topics to Monday's match between Steve Austin and Kurt Angle. Tazz says that Austin will regain his Title, and his place as leader of the Alliance. As for his absence over the past two weeks, Tazz says that Austin's "been on vacation."
What about Rob Van Dam's increased leadership presence in the Alliance? RVD wore Kurt Angle down says Tazz, and "he did the right thing for the Alliance when he defeated Angle on Smackdown."
As Kelly winds up this week's edition of "Tales from the Hook," Fink asks Tazz what he's going to do next week? Tazz says he's keeping that under wraps for now.
After Fink corrects his earlier "Outthink the Fink" blunder (four cities instead of three, remember?) Christian joins the show via telephone.
Kelly welcomes Christian, and asks if he's been enjoying his new career as a singles competitor in the WWF? Christian says that, being a tag partner for so long, you become dependent on the other person to bail you out if something goes wrong. As a single, you are on your own.
Fink asks if Christian originally wanted to be a singles competitor when he joined the WWF?
"I knew that would be part of The Brood when I joined the WWF," says Christian, " the pairing with Edge happened when The Brood broke up. We had a good run as a team and I wouldn't change any of it. We both developed our characters and perfected our promo skills. If we were singles, it wouldn't have happened that way, or as fast as it did."
Kelly expands on that, asking Christian about the importance of good mic skills. Christian replies that the fans need to know not only what's going on, but why, and that's where being good on the stick helps you. "You get to tell more of what you are doing and why," says Christian, " and the fans get to know more about your character."
"What about the timing of your breakup with Edge?" asks Kelly, "could it have been done any different?"
"No," says Christian, "it was timed perfectly. We had been building it up over two months, dragging it out as long as possible, and when the breakup happened, it had a lot of "Old School" quality to it, especially since it happened in our home town of Toronto. The Christian character felt Edge's accomplishments should have been his own. The one-man 'Conchairto' was the key. The sound it makes has a definite "finality" about it, as if we were saying 'the breakup is finally here, and it's for real!'"
Kelly checks in with the "Christian's Classic Moments" poll. The "Chicken Suit" skit is the clear leader, with the "SummerSlam TLC Match" in second place. Kelly expands on the TLC idea, asking Christian about what his favorite standout matches are.
"The first ladder match we did with the Hardy Boys," says Christian, "it was something that had never been done before. It made us all into superstars."
Kelly asks about Christian's decision to be a wrestler. Christian says that his dream was always to be a wrestler in the WWF, and that he's glad everything that has happened to him has happened in the WWF.
Fink says that being a singles competitor also means finding a way to rise above the pack, to get noticed, to be someone special.
Christian says that it's all in the way you are presented.
Fink agrees, saying that Christian's entrance music is one big presentation, all right, quite possibly the best in the WWF.
Kelly, apparently no fan of opera, can be heard making gagging noises in the background. "You either love it or hate it," says Kelly.
"Jim Johnston did the music, after I asked him to do a big production-type entrance for me," says Christian, " and he came up with a great one. Though it's taken some getting used to, it's beginning to grow on me. It really is unique. Nobody else has an entrance like mine. It's really different, and 'different' is hard to do, these days."
A caller on Line One asks if Christian prefers singles competition to tag-team? "I've enjoyed being part of a tag team, especially in the WWF, but you have to change. I'm looking forward to being a singles competitor, so singles it is."
Another caller asks whom Christian admires most among those he's competed against. Christian thinks for a moment, then says he's admired the Undertaker the most. "The first time I faced him, I was terrified. But afterwards, after you've had many matches with him, it just helps your career out.
Kelly remarks that Christian does the Last Ride better than anyone else.
Christian continues his train of thought by including HHH, Edge, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and Steve Austin in the "most admired" category.
Fink asks, way back when you were just getting started, whom did you think you'd be facing. "Ricky Steamboat, Bob Orton, and Ted diBiase," says Christian, "Bret Hart, and guys I've been in the ring with, like the Undertaker."
The next caller asks about Christian's tattoo. Christian laughs, and says he was eighteen when he got the original one, (a rose), but his dad saw it and made fun of it. So he had an artist friend of his draw a bulldog around it.
Kelly wants to know what is in store for the WWF tag team division, now that Edge & Christian are no more. "It's hard to say," says Christian, "with the Hardys and Dudleys, you'll always get a good match. It's a chance for some other team to step up and do something, and there are lots of talented wrestlers in the WWF who will do just that. I'm not worried about any lack of talent in the WWF tag division.
Kelly, looking ahead to the "No Mercy" PPV, wants to know about Christian's upcoming re-match with Edge, and that he's heard a rumor it's to be a TLC match.
It's quiet on Christian's end of the line for a moment, then
"I haven't heard anything about that," says Christian, and there's a decided tone of apprehension in his voice.
Talk shifts to his brutal match with Edge at "Unforgiven." "There was a LOT of blood," says Kelly.
"That's not surprising," says Christian, " it was an intense match, and we were both cut open early on. It was a hard-hitting match, something we both expected. I knew I would get hit hard, and so did Edge. It raised the intensity of the match way up there. And you can expect more of the same out of our feud in the future."
Instant Message time again, and the fan wants to know the name of Christian's finishing move.
Christian asks Kelly what he would call it. Kelly says he's heard it called the "Un-Prettier," to which Christian agrees, saying that he's used the name for about a year now.
Kelly asks about Christian's new flamboyant get-up with the wild eyeglasses and everything. Christian says it's all part of the singles scene, because you want to stand out and get noticed.
(Jeez, sounds like a 1970's-era Guide for Dating.)
"I've got to be larger than life when I hit the ring," says Christian, "it goes with the entrance music."
Kelly asks if the fans will be seeing a Christian signature line of designer clothing and eyewear? Christian laughs, and says that his glasses are already a part of the WWF line, and that maybe his headwear will be included at some point.
"And there are some things that I haven't even tried out on everybody yet," he says slyly.
Kelly and Fink look at each other, then go to the final results of the "Christian's Classic Moments" poll. The hands-down winner is the "Chicken Suit' skit.
Talk shifts to Wrestlemania in Toronto. Christian can hardly wait, because he wasn't able to afford tickets to Wrestlemania VI.
Kelly asks what Christian would be doing if he wasn't a success in the WWF.
"I've never given it much thought," says Christian, "I'm already on my way to where I want to be, and the WWF's backing me all the way."
"Then the best is yet to come for Christian, right?" asks Fink.
"Absolutely," says Christian, as Kelly begins to wind up this segment of the show.
With congratulations and another plug for his upcoming match against Edge at "No Mercy" Christian leaves the show.
Kelly gets in a plug for his new column over at WWFdotcom, (jeez, they're letting him write now.) Kelly wants all of the fans' thoughts on the article.
(I predict an empty e-mailbox for ol' Kev. Or not, depending upon just how many fans can't get along without a weekly dose of Kevin Kelly. Show of hands, please?)
Fink gives Kelly a pitying look, then declares that we have a single winner of today's "Outthink the Fink" contest. The four cities are Baltimore, MD, Atlantic City, NJ, Chicago, IL, and Anaheim, CA.
More on the continuing saga of Byte This! crewman Granger's haircut. Byte This! producer "Big Country" says that God is removing crewman Granger's hair from the inside. "Why pick on Granger all the time?" asks BC, "what about the others back there?"
Kelly, seeing an opening, nails the rest of the crew for fouling up the networks and crashing the computer systems. BC says that it's not the crew's fault. This soon degenerates into a fuss-fest between Kelly, BC, and the crew.
Fink has a look on his face like he'd rather be anywhere but here right now.
Next week, it's Booker T making his appearance on the show.
We close with the Classic Moments clip of Christian's notorious "Chicken Suit" skit on WWF Sunday Night Heat.
See you next week.
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