|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
we get yet another "Get the 'F' out" commercial, followed by a video of last night's Smackdown Main Event with Edge/HHH squaring off against Kurt Angle/Chris Jericho.
Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Dr. Tom Prichard, both lovingly wearing bright red golf shirts. Kelly's is so red it's strobing the video feed.
Dr. Tom says that last night was quite a night on Smackdown what with Kurt Angle holding up Michael Hayes' hair in the middle of the ring.
Kelly just about falls out of his chair at that comment.
Kelly tells us that HHH and Kane will be on today's show, and asks Dr. Tom what it's got to be like for Kane to sit at home, chomping at the bit, waiting to get back in the ring?
Dr. Tom says he can only imagine what Kane is going through, especially with X-Pac wearing Kane's mask to the ring each week.
Time for Droz's "Two Cents," Darren Drozdov's weekly review of WWE Raw happenings.
Droz keeps the Hayes' hair topic going, to Dr. Tom's vast amusement.
Kelly asks Droz's thoughts on Austin vs. Flair/Big Show at Judgement Day.
Droz says that Austin's walking into a hornet's nest, because Flair can make that match into whatever he wants.
Kelly says that Austin's got a lot of adversaries out there; the latest one is Ric Flair.
Droz says that Austin's "Don't Trust Anyone" attitude may need some adjustment, Sunday night, because Austin looks to be needing all the help he can get.
Next up is Droz's take on Raw's "A Day in the Life of Tommy Dreamer."
(Also known as "WWE Copies MTV's Jackass!")
Dr. Tom says Droz can relate, and leaves it at that.
Thankfully, so does Droz.
The match between Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler is next, and Kelly says that it will be all the more remarkable because it will be the first time that D'Von and Bubba Ray Dudley have faced each other across the ring since the Draft.
Droz says D'Von has the charisma and skills to succeed in the match. His violent streak is also a plus. Then again, he's facing brother Bubba Ray, who is "riding the rocket" right now as far as his career is concerned.
Booker T's move to the NWO is discussed. Kelly says he never expected Booker to be the one making the move, especially with his wearing that lumberjack outfit during the backstage promo.
Droz shills his "Two Cents" column for this week, touching on the tremendous ovation Hulk Hogan got on Smackdown from that hot Montreal crowd.
We go to the phones and get Dan from Chicago, a regular caller. Dan says he's sorry Tough Enough's Jackie has gotten injured, especially because she was really making her move on the show.
Kelly and Dr. Tom agree, but say we should watch Tough Enough next week to see how it turns out.
Dan says that Hogan's done at Judgment Day; he's physically exhausted because of the scheduling, and the number of people gunning for him.
Dan also says that Tazz needs to promote the Byte This show on Smackdown. Kelly says that Byte This producer Big Country couldn't handle the extra load, and anyway, "we like working under the radar!"
Dan leaves, as Dr. Tom says that Hogan/Undertaker is too close to call. Sure Hogan is injured, but he's ready, and 'Taker is boiling mad about Hogan wrecking his bike and "taking his place."
Somebody in the Chatroom suggests Kelly needed a raise to buy some other kind of shirt other than the one he's wearing. Dr. Tom and the Byte This studio audience, (who appear to number about three souls this week,) agree.
Time for Tazz's Smackdown recap.
Tazz is in the dumps because of Alex "Big Dick Dudley" Rizzo passing away this week.
"He was just like a big teddy bear who could tear out your throat, and make you laugh while he was doing it," says Tazz, "Never a finesse kind of guy, but he always stuck by you like a friend. You cross him, though, and he could hurt you. Bad. Rest in peace, Big Dick."
Kelly says that Big Dick's passing will weigh heavily on both Bubba Ray and D'Von Dudley at Judgment Day.
"Coincidences happen," says Kelly.
(Which means exactly what, Kevin?)
Tazz runs the card for Judgment Day, and is impressed with the bouts.
"The one that sticks out is "Hell in a Cell," says Tazz, "this will be the real rocketbuster of the show."
Dr. Tom wants to know Tazz's thoughts on the tag match between the Hardys and Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman.
Tazz says that Heyman should let Brock wallop the Hardys good, tag in quick to get in at least one shot on Matt and Jeff, and then get the hell out of the ring.
Kelly recalls that this is the same Paul Heyman who lost an arm wrestling match to Missy Hyatt, which cracks Dr. Tom up big time.
Tazz says that the new guys like Rico, Brock and Randy Orton continue to impress everybody.
He continues running the card, touching on Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam's bout for the IC Title, tagging it to be a possible "Match of the Night."
The Edge/Angle "Hair vs. Hair" match gets a couple of comments as well, mostly involving a barber chair and Tazz's barber, "One Eye."
On to the latest from the "Tough Enough" show.
Tazz says that he was surprised that Hawk walked away last night, especially since he wanted to be a WWE superstar so badly.
"Sometimes," says Tazz, "you have to get your own head on straight before you try for any goal. If you don't have it all in line mentally, you won't succeed physically no matter how much you may want to."
Tazz's dog is sneezing like crazy. Allergies.
Tazz is also building a Lego "Spiderman" police car with his kids.
And no, Tazz won't go see "That Clones Thing."
"Star Wars SUCKS!" says Tazz.
Kelly says he wants Tazz to interview the goofs waiting on line for "Attack of the Clones."
"I could watch a tape of that and that "Tommy Dreamer" thing all day long," laughs Kelly.
Tazz shills for the upcoming talent search for "Tough Enough 3."
"Tough Enough 3 will be very different, but in a positive way," says Tazz, "Next week, I'll have really big news about 'Tough Enough' but that's all I can say right now."
Kelly says he'll see Tazz on "Heat' this week.
"How will you do that?" says Tazz, who has taken up residence on Smackdown as we all know.
Tazz leaves and we hear from with Jason from Tallahassee, FL who wants to know if there is any inside skinny on who Rikishi's mystery partner is?
Kelly and Dr. Tom claim they don't know yet, because Mr. McMahon hasn't decided yet.
Jason also wants to know if the Undertaker will make Judgment Day his last shot?
Kelly says no, 'Taker is in the best shape of his life, and he's not going anywhere after Judgment Day.
On the phone is Kane, who gets right into describing how he got injured.
Kane says he "was doing shoulder strokes of 400 lbs on a weight machine, when he heard a sound like you'd stepped on a bag of potato chips."
Kelly, Dr. Tom, and everybody on the show (including me,) do the reflexive wince thing.
Kane says tore the tendon completely of the radius bone at the elbow, and the biceps muscle insertion as well.
Kane says that he went to Birmingham, AL to Dr. Youngblood, who repaired the injury, and set Kane on the road to recovery.
Kelly says that it was bad timing for a Kane because he was just getting into his new persona, and then this happened. Kane agrees, but says he's got a good attitude, nonetheless.
Dr.Tom asks how long the "Kane-enites" have been around?
"About three thousand years, actually," laughs Kane, "The Israelites knew all about them."
Kelly asks if Kane had ever thought about hanging it up?
"Absolutely not," says Kane, "this is the first time I've really been injured, and if it's the worst thing that happens to me, I'm way ahead of the game. I won't be retiring for a long time yet."
Topic shifts to all the events in WWE since Kane's injury.
"I was gone for three weeks," laughs Kane, "and they changed the name of the company."
Kane likes the brand extension, especially the number of wrestlers who have stepped up to the plate and hit home runs because of it.
Dr. Tom asks if Kane feels the same thing in the pit of his stomach that Hogan feels every time the crowd pops for him.
Kane says yes, and he misses it.
But he's been working out, doing the cardio, working with weights on his left side, getting ready for the day when he can get back in the ring.
And when that happens:
"I'm coming back in better shape than I've ever been in," says Kane, "everybody better look out when I get back in the ring."
Kelly asks Kane about the 1998 "Hell in a Cell" match between Undertaker and Mankind.
"I was in awe of the punishment Mick Foley could take during that match," says Kane, "and I was wondering, 'How am I going to go out there and top THAT?'"
Kelly says that "Hell in a Cell" changes careers, that's for sure.
Kane winds things up, saying that it's time for his rehab workout once again.
He says that he looks to be back in the ring in about two months, bigger and better than ever.
Kelly thanks him for coming on the show, and Kane leaves.
We take a break and watch Mark Lloyd interview HHH backstage on Smackdown about the upcoming "Hell in a Cell" match at Judgment Day.
"Chris Jericho will be alone in that cage...with all his fears and insecurities... and I will be in there with him!" says HHH, "I end careers in that Cell. Just ask Mick Foley, just ask Shawn Michaels, Jericho!"
Edge arrives to put the icing on the cake, as it were, by doing a dynamite promo off HHH.
"I guess I could be the champ doing it the "HHH way," and sleep my way to the top..."
"Do it any way you want to," say HHH with an evil grin.
Live on the set is HHH himself, to talk about "Hell in a Cell."
"It's brutal, it's violent, it ends careers," says HHH.
Kelly asks what kind of mental preparation HHH will make the night before the match?
HHH says you have to disconnect the pain in your mind, and keep focused on your goal.
Dr. Tom says that Chris Jericho being HHH's opponent might way on HHH's mind because Jericho was the one who almost ended HHH's career.
"You got to understand and accept the fact that, if you don't make it," says HHH, "you don't make it. Jericho hasn't gotten that into his head yet, and it's scaring him. You can tell just by his body language it is scaring the hell out of him."
Kelly asks if this will be the final chapter in the feud between HHH and Jericho?
"This will close a chapter of it, but not the feud," says HHH, "He's looking to end my career, and I'm looking to end his. Simple as that."
Kelly asks how tough it was for HHH to shake Hogan's hand after Hogan took the Title off him at "Backlash?"
"Not tough at all," says HHH, "remember, Hogan is like Babe Ruth. He's a legend in this profession. I meant everything I said before that match, because it's my time, and not his. He knows it, and understands me because of it, and so I was proud to shake his hand."
About the way Hogan won the Title, though...
"The Undertaker helped Hogan win that match," he continues, "so, if the Undertaker wins the Title from Hogan, he knows in the back of his mind that I am still out there, walking around, gunning for him, that I am still in the best shape of my life, and that I will be coming to take my Title back. When I get my chance, I am coming after him, full force."
About the recent push that Edge's career seems to be taking, HHH says that Edge looks to be moving up into HHH's territory with that promo he and HHH did on Smackdown last night. HHH says that Edge is on his way up, and deserves to be up there with the top-carders.
Kelly and Dr. Tom recount HHH's career from his first big push against Mankind in King of the Ring right up to today.
Dr.Tom asks how HHH's knee is doing?
Funny you should mention, HHH says that he actually BROKE the knee of the leg he had the muscle tear on right before Wrestlemania X-8, "but there was so much numbness from the surgery that I didn't feel any pain, although I did feel a tug."
HHH went to get an X-ray and an MRI and that was when he discovered the broken kneecap. The doctor at first didn't know what he was looking at, and then just shook his head.
HHH says that he and the Undertaker are the guys the locker room looks to for leadership.
"Something goes wrong, they look to you."
Not surprisingly, this brings up the "Plane Ride From Hell."
HHH says that the two guys who were let go weren't really let go, "they just misplaced their pants."
"We had just had a wildly successful PPV tour," says HHH, "and then we were on the runway for an hour or more. Everybody got to partying, and the party continued for the next eight hours of the flight. Unfortunately, during the last two hours things kinda tipped over the edge for a couple of people on the flight, and they paid for it."
Caller on the phone asks which "Hell in a Cell" was HHH's favorite.
The one with Shawn Michaels is the best," says HHH, "the scariest was Mick's."
We lose the feed for a few moments, and comeback to HHH answering questions about which brand has been the more successful, Raw or Smackdown?
HHH says that Raw's had the hardest time getting organized, mostly due to the troubles the NWO have been having.
"With Hall gone, and Nash injured, the NWO's got their work cut out for them," says HHH, "when Steve Austin can walk away from a lumberjack match where Ric Flair chooses the lumberjacks, something needs to be better organized over there. Maybe Ric Flair needs to keep creating his own style and brand, but it's taking a little longer than he planned. There a re a lot of factors why Raw isn't as seamless as Smackdown."
Dr. Tom asks if Monday's Flair/Hogan match should have been done differently?
HHH says it was a mistake to book the match when they did.
"It would have had the respect it deserved if it had received a better buildup and promotion," says HHH, "also, the young fans want to see the young guys from backstage wrestle, rather than two old veterans like Flair and Hogan. It was a great match, don't get me wrong; it was just promoted wrong."
Kelly asks HHH's thoughts about the new breakout stars like D'Von, Deacon Batista, and Randy Orton.
HHH says that Orton is a hot ticket now; he's on the move.
D'Von's got the inside track with his affiliation with Mr. McMahon.
Deacon Batista is a wait and see, but he's in the right company to do something spectacular like he did in OVW.
Kelly asks HHH if he's seen "Tough Enough 2?"
"I saw the episode where Maven and Nidia were giving advice to the contestants," says HHH with a sneer, "and I said to myself, 'Who the heck are YOU guys?"
"'Back when I broke into wrestling in 2001,'" begins Dr. Tom, which cracks everybody up.
Caller Vince from California wants to know how HHH works out to keep his physique in such fine shape?
"I've been weight training since I was a boy," says HHH, "and I always train not to bulk up, but to get stronger. The bulk comes with the strength. I eat right, and keep focused."
Dr. Tom says he's got his OWN training program, which cracks everybody up again.
Talk shifts to the Hardys/Lesnar/Heyman match at Judgment Day.
Paul Heyman is described as a badly wrapped jelly donut by HHH, who then says that he had a chance to wrestle Brock Lesnar over in Europe, and was very impressed with his skill.
"So long as he doesn't "lose his pants," he should be all right," laughs HHH.
Kelly asks about the WWF to WWE name change.
"The name may be changed," says HHH, "but the product hasn't. We are the best in professional wrestling. It's still New York, and still the show."
Colin from Seattle asks if there are any plans to re-form Degeneration X, because he's still got a D-X shirt hanging in his closet.
"I've done the D-X thing," says HHH, "and I don't see what re-forming it would do to improve over what we did back then. Still, in this business, you never say "never." If the NWO gets to where they want to jump on me, then we will see."
Kelly and Dr. Tom thank HHH for being on the show, and wish him luck in "Hell in a Cell" on Sunday.
There will be the special pre-Judgment Day PPV "Byte This' show this Sunday night from 5PM to 7PM just before the WWE Sunday Night Heat show.
We close the show with video of HHH's injury from, can you believe it? One year ago.
Jeez lou-weez, that makes me wince even now!
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