|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 19 April 2002, and I'm E.C.
We get a video featuring Steve Austin getting the stuffing beat out of him by the sneaky, pipe-wielding Undertaker, just before the
Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Dr. Tom Prichard.
Kelly and Dr. Tom run the card (sort of) from the upcoming Backlash PPV, beginning with Steve Austin facing The Undertaker in a #1 Contender's match for the Undisputed Championship.
Dr. Tom says that Stone Cold and the Undertaker not only want to have a good match, they both want to be that #1 Contender.
Dan from New York, a regular caller, was at Barnes & Noble, and found Missy Hyatt's new book a "good read." Dan asks Dr. Tom about Missy's book.
Dr. Tom feigns a recurring inner ear problem in response.
Changing the subject, Dan is also looking forward to the three potential show stealer matches at Backlash: Tajiri/Kidman, RVD/Eddie Guerrero, and Edge/Kurt Angle.
Dan sees Eddie Guerrero as the new Jerry Lynn, perpetually chasing RVD for the Title, and catching him on occasion.
Kelly says that Jerry Lynn was everybody's favorite "Never Got the Big One" wrestler, and maybe that was why he never hit it off in the WWF.
Kelly shills for the Backlash Online mode of getting the PPV.
Back to running the card once more, and the topic is Hulkamania running wild once more, this time on Undisputed Champ HHH.
Dr. Tom says that Hogan's got so much momentum now that he will be impossible to stop.
"The fans are the ones doing the pushing," says Dr. Tom, "Hogan's just riding the wave!"
Time for Droz's Two Cents, Darren Drozdov's weekly review of all things WWF.
Kelly tells Droz to stay tuned for later in the show, when they will be showing a match between Dr. Tom and Shawn Michaels, way back in the Eighties Big Hair days of wrestling.
Droz says he can hardly wait.
We get a pic of Dr. Tom in Eighties Big Hair mode on the chyron, followed by the now-famous pic of the SkulletMaster himself, Paul Heyman.
This pic naturally leads to the topic of Brock Lesnar's coming out party on Backlash.
Droz says he hopes Heyman can keep Lesnar under control.
Droz then talks about Edge vs. Kurt Angle, saying that if Edge beats Angle, it will put Edge into the upper echelon of the WWF top card.
Caller Jeremy asks Droz if he enjoyed Raw or Smackdown this week. Droz liked Smackdown, saying it won hands down this week.
Jeremy says he can watch all of Raw but only an hour of Smackdown each week, so he's leaning towards Raw.
Oh, and the fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin is on Raw may also have something to do with it.
The guys get a couple of big laughs talking about Sean Stasiak's latest "debut" and haircut.
Droz says that Stasiak's new angle is really easy; it's just Stasiak being himself, and that's the best kind of angle to have.
"He's like that in real life, folks," says Droz, "I swear to God, that's the real deal there!"
Kelly moves on to the slobberknocker match from Raw, Bradshaw vs. Scott Hall of the NWO.
Droz says that he thinks Bradshaw's gonna clean house on the NWO.
"There will be blood in the aisles on this one!" says Droz.
A Byte This! Chatroom question asks Droz about the Tajiri/ Kidman bout. Droz says that it will be the Match of the Night, a high-flying spectacular luchadore-style wrestling match, and a really good introduction to the WWF fans on what the Cruiserweights are all about.
The Tag Title match between Billy & Chuck and Al Snow/Maven appeals to Droz.
He likes the "Master/Student" relationship that Al Snow and Maven have, (sort of like Obi Wan and Luke, huh, Droz?) and says that we may get a surprise for the outcome.
Kelly disagrees, saying that the presence of Rico will tip the balance in favor of the Tag Champs.
We get a brief descent into silliness, as Kelly cons Seth Mates into putting up Dr. Tom's Eighties Big Hair pic once more, and superimposing Big Country's Mom's picture on it. Big Country doesn't even bat an eye at this foolishness, and the joke falls flat.
Kelly and Droz discuss "The Scorpion King." Kelly says that the reviews are universally good. The Rock is on his way, folks.
As Droz leaves, he says that Hogan just might capture lightning in a bottle once again, and win the Undisputed Championship from HHH at Backlash.
Dr. Tom says the people in the industry all look to Hogan as the one person who had a big part in making pro wrestling what it is today, and they are all pulling for him.
Droz leaves, and we get Andrew from DC, who wants to know when we can see more of Tommy Dreamer?
Kelly says that Dreamer will be more in evidence, especially since he lost all the weight. Andrew says that the WWF Hardcore Division is getting pretty full of former ECW alumni, which is fine by him.
On a sad note, Kelly says that Wahoo McDaniel passed away last night.
We get a chyron image of Wahoo wearing that magnificent Cheyenne headdress of his.
Dr. Tom says that Wahoo had statues erected to him as the first professional wrestling legend.
"Wahoo had been in ill health for a long time," says Kelly, " now, he's finally beyond suffering."
Time for Tazz's "Tales From the Hook."
Tazz is saddened by Wahoo's passing, and says that the Heavenly Federation's got one heckuva lineup now that Wahoo's joined the roster.
Dr. Tom relates the matches Wahoo had with Ric Flair, Greg Valentine, Johnny Weaver and others.
Everyone agrees that a giant has fallen.
Kelly wants Tazz's perspective on the Hogan/HHH match.
Tazz says you can't describe the pop a live crowd makes when Hulk Hogan enters the ring.
"Week after week," says Tazz, "it's amazing."
Kelly says that what could have been Hogan's farewell tour has turned into the renaissance of Hulkamania!
"People watch pro wrestling to be entertained," says Tazz, "and Hulk Hogan is the one they want to see. Hogan was the first household name that everyone, not just the fans, but everyone associated with pro wrestling."
Kelly asks Tazz to run the Backlash card, beginning with Edge vs. Kurt Angle.
"That will be Smackdown's answer to Raw's RVD/ Eddie Guerrero match," says Tazz, "High impact, high intensity, but where Edge/Angle differs is that it will be more of a fight between Edge and Angle than just a technical exhibition. These two guys REALLY don't like each other!"
An Instant Feedback question wants to know what Tazz thinks of Tough Enough 2 becoming such a lame-ass soap opera?
Tazz shocks everybody by saying he enjoys the show, especially last night's show depicting how pro wrestling can affect people's lives.
"I felt bad for Jackie," says Tazz, "she got herself in a corner with that uhhh, "kiss" in the jacuzzi."
Kelly opines that wrestling and soap opera aren't too different, "especially when you are dealing with a cheap, lying skank like Jackie!"
Dr. Tom agrees forcefully with Kelly.
"Peck on the cheek?" he snorts, "What about all the canoodling with Pete at the club last week? And Pete's just a lying hound! All he wants is Jackie, but not so bad that it ruins his chance at winning the contract. Which is stupid, because that little smooch of theirs might wind up doing just that to both of them!"
"One thing," says Tazz, "if I was Jackie's boyfriend, Pete would be getting a doorbell ring one night. Bet ...your...ass!"
"You can see how your personal life can affect your training," he continues, "We saw that afterwards in the ring, when Jackie and Pete couldn't keep their mind on their training."
"These guys seem to me to be more interested in the outside crap that goes on than the last Tough Enough crew did," says Dr. Tom.
Tazz says that he initially didn't like the idea of doing Tough Enough, but then said he changed his mind. He liked the idea of showing how tough the business of professional wrestling really is.
"I like Jackie," says Tazz, "I mean, some of these girls get hammered by the booze, and the resistance just disappears. It is bad that it had to happen to her at this time in her training."
Tazz then reminisces about his training with Johnny Rodz
"It was just your typical old school wrestling horror story. We were lucky to have ropes on the practice ring!" he laughs.
"I had a long talk with Bob Holly last week," Tazz continues, "and asked him about Maven, who has become a good worker inside of only two years. Holly said that these new guys like Maven, Kurt Angle and the Rock got started right, with the right training by the right people, got the right guidance, and that makes them lucky, really lucky. Way luckier than how Holly or me had it coming up in the business."
Tazz says he isn't bitter about guys like Maven having a faster track; he wouldn't change anything that happened to him when he paid his dues.
Tazz winds up his segment by asking why his cussing never makes the transcripts?
Kelly says the transcripts get auto-edited.
"Really?" Tazz is impressed, for once.
"No, not really, we just don't write the cussing down," says Kelly.
Suddenly, Tazz makes a noise like stepped-on roadkill.
He then leaves abruptly, saying his kid just whacked him in the nuts.
Ah, the joys of fatherhood.
We take a break with a video of the Undertaker and Ric Flair walloping on each other at Wrestlemania X-8.
Pipes and chairs are wielded. Blood is spilled.
Jerry Lawler sounds like his hormone shots need to be adjusted.
Taker's Tombstone Piledriver sure looked stiff from here!
The top of Flair's noggin looked like it actually made contact with the mat.
Man, oh man, what a heckuva move!
Lawler says that was quite a match.
Good Ol' Jim Ross says that the carnage in the ring is appalling.
"Ric Flair is down! Arn Anderson is down!" says JR, "the referee is down..."
"The Undertaker is up!" says Lawler, "he's ten and oh at Wrestlemania, a perfect record! A decade of destruction!"
Back to the studio, where Kelly says that the best man will win in that match at Backlash, especially with Ric Flair as special referee.
Taker is still ten minutes away in his car, according to Big Country.
So, with some time to kill, Kelly bets that there will be a "Big Country's Mom" sign at Backlash.
"Only if they keep in clean," says BC, "Otherwise the sign will get pulled. I am not kidding." (This last was directed more to the fans than to Kelly.)
BC also says that his mom wants to be on the Byte This! show, but that he's not too keen on the idea.
Kelly, flabbergasted, asks when the day will be?
BC says if his mom comes on the show, the "BC's Mom" bit will be over and done with, "and you won't have anything to talk about, will you, Kevin?"
Joe from Rochester says that Hogan can't compete with HHH in the ring.
Dr. Tom says you're never too old to compete, especially where Hogan's involved.
Kelly says that Hogan always works at a very high level to please the fans who come to see him wrestle.
Dr. Tom says that "you'd be surprised how much energy you can get from 20000 screaming fans who want you to win. Adrenalin is an incredible high!"
Mike from New York City is really Ronnie from Rogersville, TN (flannel-mouthed southern accent and all) who wants to send the crew a signed picture of himself and Dwight Yoakum. He hands the phone to his brother Mack so he can get the address where to send it.
Kelly asks Mack how Ronnie's campaign for Governor of Tennessee is going? Mack says ... something. It sounded not nice at all.
Ronnie and Mack get put on hold at this point, because the Dead Man himself, Good Ol' Undertaker joins the show.
Taker says that the upcoming match with Austin will be unlike any of the others they've had before.
"And this time," he says, "I gotta keep looking over my shoulder with Ric Flair as the special referee. You can be sure he's gonna try something."
Taker says that, for the first time in a long while, both he and Austin are healthy at the same time. That means the intensity they will bring to the match will be at the highest level ever.
Dr. Tom asks Taker who will win the Undisputed Championship?
Taker says he doesn't care. He will win the Title from whoever holds the Belt.
"I beat HHH, no problem there," says Taker, "and though Hogan may be riding the wave right now, sooner or later that wave will hit the beach. I'm the beach."
The next caller says that Smackdown needs to have a testimonial award show about Undertaker's unblemished Wrestlemania record.
Taker says he's proud of that record, and that he wants to push it to 11-0 at Wrestlemania 19.
Kelly asks if the Undisputed Title is a good idea?
Taker says yes, because it settles the question of who is The Best once and for all.
"The Title of Undisputed Champion has brought a whole new meaning to being a wrestler," says Taker, "Who wouldn't want to wear that Title Belt around their waist?"
Changing topics, Dr. Tom asks about Kane's recent injury, and how it has temporarily derailed Kane's latest push.
Taker says that he was there in the gym when the injury occurred. Not, as had been reported earlier, at the house show in Odessa, TX.
"It really got Kane down when it happened," says Taker, "but he's tough. He will be back, and better than ever. And God help anybody who gets in his way."
Discussing his personal life, Taker describes how his life has changed from being a party animal to the reality of training and rehabbing injuries, and training, and watching what he eats, and training, and upping his cardio to keep his weight at 305 rather than 345.
"Because of this," he says," I can still keep up with the young guys who are coming along."
Topic shifts to Bradshaw's latest push.
Taker says that Bradshaw never took himself seriously before.
"To make it to that next level," says Taker, "you have to lay it all on the line just to get there. Putting Bradshaw by himself on Raw has forced him to finally realize what an opportunity he has in front of him. He knows what to do. The question is, will he do it?"
Kelly asks Taker's opinion of Brock Lesnar.
"At 6'5", 290, Lesnar's a major force to be reckoned with," says Taker, "but only as long as he stays grounded and doesn't get the big head. None of this "Hey, I'm a WWF superstar"-bit. If there's somebody I think is stepping over that line, and getting too wrapped up in themselves, I'll step in and tell them not to settle for so little right now when you've got all this other just ahead of you. Sometimes they listen to me. And sometimes, they don't deserve what they get, so I let them hang themselves. That way, they wind up getting exactly what they deserve."
Next caller wants to know about the last time Taker faced Hulk Hogan almost eleven years ago, and if he could do it again?
"I beat him eleven years ago," says Taker, "I was a kid. Now, I've got way more savvy than I had back then. I'd beat the hell out of him now."
From the Chatroom, a really embarrassed girl fan asks Taker if he's a boob man or an ass man?
"If you look at my wife Sara," says Taker, "you'll get an idea of what I like."
Kelly asks Taker's opinion of Sara's "Day at the Beach" photo spread for the WWF Divas?
Taker says it was a side of Sara he'd never seen; she really got into what she was doing.
Dr. Tom tells Taker that Wahoo McDaniel passed on, and Taker says Wahoo will be missed a lot. "He was one of the reasons I am where I am today."
Caller Jason from Georgia has a sister who is too embarrassed to ask what the initials tattooed on Taker's arm mean?
"It's the initials of the club I ride with," says Taker.
Kelly asks Taker's opinion about the trouble Jackie and Pete are in on Tough Enough 2.
"My philosophy is that you never crap where you sleep," says Taker, "These people don't realize the opportunity they have. While they are caught up in all that drama, the others are moving further along in their training, and that will make the difference when it's time for the next set of cuts to occur."
Taker also says he has great respect for Maven.
"No matter how many times he gets knocked down, he keeps getting up," says Taker, "he's got a great future in the ring. Just so long as he's not facing me."
Kelly reminds Taker of ten years ago, when Ric Flair helped Taker beat Hulk Hogan for the Championship.
"Flair knows all about that, just like I do," says Taker, "and he also knows that if he tries anything like that on me this time around, well, in his own words, there will be hell...to...pay!"
Kelly and Dr.Tom thank the Undertaker coming on the show, and Taker leaves.
Kelly and Dr. Tom tell BC that they want to have one show where they show nothing but the wannabes' audition tapes they get every day at Titan Towers. Kelly and Dr. Tom both volunteer to do the narrating on each and every one of them.
Big Country sets up today's Classic Clip for Dr. Tom, where Dr. Tom wrestles the Heartbreak Kid.
Kelly says there were drawings of that match on cave walls.
Dr. Tom says at least he HAD a cave wall, huh, Kevin?
Next week's guest is Da Preacher Man, D'Vonn Dudley.
We close with the video, and get Vincent K. McMahon doing play-by-play.
Wow! That is a whole ACRE of hair!
Dr. Tom's, I mean, not Vince's.
See you next week.