|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
This is the WWE byte This! show for Friday, 21 June 2002, and I'm E.C.
are preceded with Vince McMahon's in-ring tribute to Steve Austin on this past Monday's Raw show.
We've got a special edition of Byte This! with very special people indeed.
Kevin Kelly is on special assignment at the World in NYC watching half-naked women in the WWE Divas Undressed taping.
Byte This! producer "Big Country" obligingly show the "El Baldo" pic of Kevin Kelly.
Jeez, he looks like Vic Grimes of ECW's "Da Baldies!"
Speaking of ECW alumni, Dr. Tom Prichard, sitting in Kelly's chair, is joined by ECW's "Innovator of Violence" himself, Tommy Dreamer.
First up is, of course, the "Austin Walkout."
Dr. Tom asks Dreamer's thoughts on the subject?
Dreamer says he can't say anything bad against Austin, because if it weren't for Austin, Dreamer wouldn't be in WWE.
This, of course, leads to Dreamer's thoughts on Brock Lesnar and his chances in the King of the Ring tourney.
Dreamer says that Lesnar is an animal, but he's still backing RVD to become KoTR.
Chyron shows the bracket diagram on how the KoTR Elimination Tournament panned out, with Chris Jericho facing Rob Van Dam, and Brock Lesnar squaring off against Test in the two semifinal matches.
Dr. Tom somewhat delicately alludes to Dreamer's latest vomit gimmick.
Dreamer says that he stumbled on it while he was trying to beat his pre-match sushi eating record, and well, he "couldn't hold his oatmeal there!"
We get more discussion on KoTR, this time about Flair/Guerrero.
Dr. Tom backs Ric Flair, while Dreamer picks Eddie Guerrero.
On line is Droz with his "Two Cents," the weekly review of all things wrestling in general, and happenings in the Raw brand in particular.
Droz laughingly says he's suing Tommy Dreamer for gimmick infringement.
Droz gives his run-down on KoTR. He says Taker and HHH are gonna knock each other's heads off.
Dr Tom gives a brief history of KoTR and how the winner seems to ride it to a Championship.
In the RVD/Jericho match, Droz says that if RVD can get past Jericho, he should be okay, but he feels that the overall winner will be Jericho in their semifinal match
Topic shifts to Jamie Knoble, Nidia and the Cruiserweight Title match against the Hurricane.
Droz says Light Heavyweights and Cruiserweights always interest him. He also thinks Nidia had maybe heated up Hurricane's mask too much, and she's "getting it all warped or something!"
Caller Brian from Vancouver wants to know who is going to win KoTR? Droz says Jericho of course, Dreamer's backing RVD, and Dr Tom is torn between Lesnar or Test.
Dreamer says Lesnar vs. Test should be a slobberknocker.
Dr. Tom asks Droz about Vince Russo's return?
Droz says "Never say never. Right, Dr. Tom?"
Droz says he remembers Russo from when he was in WCW, and also that Jim Ross may have something to say about Russo's return to stay in WWE.
Dreamer says he hopes David Arquette doesn't get the Title anytime soon. and everybody laughs.
Droz and Co talk about today's guest, Shawn Michaels.
The "Montreal Nightmare" comes up, of course.
Michaels said on "WWE Confidential' that he never knew what was gonna happen that night; he was just in the opposite corner. Everything that went on was between Vince and Bret Hart.
As Droz leaves, Dr Tom says Tazz isn't here. He's picking up a shipment.
"Stacker Two?" asks Dreamer with a wink.
Caller Jim from Massachusetts wants to know who Dreamer's toughest opponent was?
Dreamer says Raven was the toughest, but everybody he faced in ECW was, each in their own way.
Jim wants to know if Lesnar really is the Next Big Thing? Dreamer says yes, especially if he's got Heyman yelling in his ear all the time.
This brings out this week's airing of the Paul Heyman "Skullet" on the chyron.
Dreamer says that Heyman/Brock is a Use/Use relationship, and that the day will come when Brock drops him and comes to the ECW alumni's side of the fence, those who see Heyman for what he really is.
Dave from California wants to know why the former ECW wrestlers haven't had a good run in WWE in relation to former WCW and WWE wrestlers. "Eddie G. Raven. The Dudleys," reminds Dreamer.
Dave asks why, and Dreamer says it's all about dues-paying.
"We are asked to hit singles and doubles now, in preparation for hitting triples and homers later," says Dreamer. "ECW wasn't the minors by any stretch of the word, but us former ECW guys still have to step up and take their opportunity being offered here in WWE. We have to earn that opportunity.
Aw jeez, here's Kevin Kelly, live on the phone.
A lot of booing can be heard going on in the background.
Kelly is having fun at the New York "Thong-A-Thon," as Dreamer calls it, where the WWE Divas are all vying for the "Golden Thong" award!
"They are trying on their outfits right now," says Kelly with an audible leer. He also says that they have plenty of tickets left for the event, and that the fans in the New York area ought to drop by.
Dr Tom asks if Coach is on site and lurking with intent, even though the show will be hosted by Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler?
Next, Dr Tom wants Kelly to get us some Diva interviews on the phone. Right now.
Kelly says he will try really, REALLY hard to do just that, and gets booed once more.
The connection gets broken, so we go back to the phones once again.
Caller Tina from Who Knows Where gets cut off.
A ChatRoomer wants to know if Dreamer will be going up against Bradshaw for the Hardcore Title?
Dreamer says no, he doesn't want to get his ass kicked THAT badly, but thanks for asking.
Dreamer also says that Steve Richards is obsessed with Shawn Michaels.
Dr Tom agrees, saying that Richards is a little strange, anyway.
Next caller wants to know where Ric Flair stands in the company?
"Flair could get a five star match out of a broomstick!" says the caller, "so why doesn't he get the matches with the top-carders if he wants another shot at the Title?"
Dr. Tom wants to see a lot of Four Horsemen hand signs in the crowd; that it just might have the effect the caller is trying to come up with.
Dreamer, still thinking about Kevin Kelly's plush gig over at "The World" right now, says he should have had a webcam with him when he was at the World last night! Think of the online webcast shorts we'd be seeing right now!' he moans.
Dr. Tom shills the new "WWE Raw" magazine, the one with the luscious Torrie Wilson on the cover!
"Wow, what a shot!" says Dreamer.
"VERY nice, indeed!" agrees Dr. Tom.
WE take a break, and get a video of Shawn Michaels punching up the NWO, and laying a little bit of "Sweet Chin Music" on Booker T.
"From this day forward," he bellows into the face of the unconscious Booker T, "nobody will ever, and I mean EVER... steal the spotlight of the NWO again!"
Classic HBK all the way.
Best thing that ever happened to the NWO angle.
I don't think I've seen Kevin Nash look this pleased, this happy in a long time.
"Booker T's been treated like a, like a ...chump!" hollers Good Ol' JR.
Back to the studio, where Dr. Tom and Dreamer are still waiting for Shawn Michaels to call in, and discuss the rebirth of the NWO angle, and how HBK decided that Booker T. "didn't fit the mold!"
Matt from Vancouver, a regular caller, is on the phone, and compliments Tommy and Dr. Tom for the great job they are doing on today's show. Dreamer, obviously pleased with himself, thanks Matt for the compliment.
Matt then asks if Brock Lesnar will win KoTR? Dreamer says that he predicted that very thing.
Matt says he predicts Lesnar will meet HHH at "SummerSlam" in "a five star match!"
Dreamer asks if star ratings for matches is something new the WWE just started?
Matt says "that's the system Meltzer uses."
(Dave Meltzer of wrestlingobserver.com.)
"Who?' asks Dreamer with a smirk.
"I don't know anybody by that name," says Dr. Tom, who starts giggling.
"I don't understand the 'Solar System Method' of rating matches," says Dreamer, which cracks Dr. Tom up.
A ChatRoomer wants to know "if that was REAL hair" (that Dreamer ate when he was at the barber's?)
"Oh, yes," says dreamer, "matter of fact, it was my own hair. I'm one of those afflicted with a small bald spot, so I figured consumption of my own hair clippings would help stop the process."
Dr. Tom, going a little queasy at that visual image, nevertheless recovers nicely, and asks Dreamer who would win in a ladder match between Tommy Dreamer and Shawn Michaels?
Dreamer, lost in thought for once, then says "Hands down, I'd give it to Shawn Michaels. He and Razor Ramon set the standard for ladder matches."
Dr. Tom says that Dreamer worked a scaffold match, didn't he?
"Yes," say Dreamer with a smile, "matter of fact, I hold the record for the most tables crashed through, that number being 'four!'"
Live on the phone is Shawn Michaels from San Antonio, who says that life is treating him very well, thank you.
Dr. Tom asks about Michaels' changed lifestyle, and how it has affected his family?
"What does your wife and son think about you being back on the road?"
"They think it's fine," says Michaels, "my son's only 2 1/2. All he knows is that I'm gone for a day, and then I come home, and its time to play again. My wife is wonderfully supportive: after all, it IS only one day a week!"
(While Michaels is talking the chyron is showing images of HBK's return to Raw."
"Did you watch much of the WWE before you came back?" asks Dr. Tom.
"To be honest," says Michaels, "I didn't watch any of it. For about the first year, I still watched, but when my wife and I were having a family, that went by the boards. Now, I'm trying to catch up with everything. I'm with a lot of guys I knew before, so that helps a lot. I'm still more in touch than I was, but I'm still trying to get my bearings, still trying to understand what's going on."
"For about the first two years," he continues, "Every week I would get calls from people asking "Are you climbing the walls, yet?" After four years, I was telling them, "look, you can stop with the calls, because I'm over it, really. I'm fine where I am.
"When I met my wife, she completed what I wanted out of life. Then my son arrived, and it put my life at peace, and I went in another direction. I'm not saying wrestling wasn't fun and all, it's just that I needed to take some time away. I'm glad to be back. Now I'm taking some time to get a feeling on where the business is and where I'm at in the business."
Dr. Tom wants to know what changed him from the Heartbreak Kid back into Shawn Michaels?
"Was it getting married and settling down that did it?"
"I had improved greatly from what I was before," says Michaels, "the change is in my faith. My wife Rebecca was a born-again Christian before she started working for WCW. Then, she got that job, met me, we got married, she left WCW to take care of me and our son, and a year into our son's life. She said she kicked Him to the curb because she was so focused on me and our son, and that wasn't what she wanted.
"So she started going back to church and to Bible study and worshipping God every day. I watched my wife change into a more fabulous woman; it was just a transformation, and I thought, "Jeez, I want to do that!
So she bought me three or four books about being a real man, being the kind of man God wants you to be. It is very easy to be a real man in Hollywood's eyes, but it is more difficult to be one in the eyes of those you care about, and who care about you.
"You make some sacrifices; I was putting myself first instead of God first, so I switched that around, and all of a sudden I fell deeper in love with my wife and my son, and now I am just in a sort of free fall.
"Everything is happening so fast, I don't know where to stop. I understand people being skeptical, and it will take them some time to understand this about me. The guys I work with have noticed the change, and they are the toughest one's to convince that the change is for real. They've been gracious and understanding. Those that don't, well, it'll take them a little longer to be convinced. My commitment is to my God and my family, and after that, there's not much else I can control."
Dreamer, genuinely touched, says that, if Michaels can look in the mirror and be pleased with what he sees, that's all that matters."
Then Dreamer, on behalf of himself, the Internet, and Stevie Richards, wants to know "if there is one more match left in Shawn Michaels?"
"I honestly don't know," says Michaels, "right now I don't think so. But I am training, and that takes time, so who knows? For four years, I'd keep getting calls for matches, and I'd think, "better stay in shape, you never know." Then when the calls stopped coming, I went on a chocolate chip cookie diet with my son for about six months..."
Dreamer laughs, and says he's been on that diet, and
"Sometimes when they drop on the floor, I still pick 'em up and eat them!"
Dr. Tom, looking ill, manages to say "Uh, ver-y good... I think."
Michaels can be heard snickering in the background.
(The Byte This! chyron is now showing clips from the controversial 1997 "Survivor Series" from Montreal, Canada. I wonder if Michaels can see this? Or Bret Hart, for that matter?)
"I think the way to do it would be to let me hang out at ringside," says Michaels, "maybe taking a few easy bumps, or put me in a multi-man match where the other guys could camouflage me. In my earlier matches, it was always about me taking the bumps. Now, I've go to learn a completely different style from what I had learned before."
Dr. Tom says that Michaels had a reputation for controversy that was reinforced by Montreal. "Do you ever think about how that match affected you career?"
"It does, but just a little bit," says Michaels, "our business is the only one where guys can stay around forever. We have a history like other sports, like baseball or basketball, and our fans remember particular incidents a lot longer. For a long time there, every time I'd leave my house, people would ask me if I was wrestling again? "Hey, I'd say, if I was wrestling, you'd already have heard where and when, right?"
Dr. Tom asks about how Michaels liked the "WWE Confidential" show? Michaels says it gave him a chance to tell his side of the story, as distinct from the events as related by Vince McMahon and Bret Hart.
"I got to tell the truth about it," says Michaels, "I was told what answer to give, and like a good soldier, following an order. I gave it. I get accused of downplaying the incident. I know there was a history between Bret and I, but it wasn't in evidence on that day. We let bygones be bygones. He and I talked, discussed some things about the match, and we had shaken hands as friends.
"The whole incident was between Hart and Vince McMahon; I was the lucky stiff who got caught being on the other side of the ring. I just wanted to finally tell the truth. It wasn't anything earth shattering. I just gave an answer to those who said "I knew he did," and those who were saying "I knew he didn't!" It was something I wanted to get off my back. I knew that Vince wouldn't care, because he and we all have moved on. Even Bret has moved on."
Joe from Rochester (NY?) wants to know about how Michaels' going through the levels back in his early career, disposing of Marty Janetty (sp?) and others, differs from where he is now?
Michaels says that it's a long way back to where he started, and things have changed, the face of wrestling has changed a lot since then.
"I developed the reputation that some people didn't like," he says, "I believed that I could be more than I was, and at times, I'm not sure it was the right thing, but I wasn't going to accept that I was a little guy in a big man's business. I was told that 'you are only going to go so far in this business, all because of your size. Well, the fans put me where I am today, because I convinced the fans I belonged up there with the big guys. Once you win over the fans, you can go anywhere."
Dan from Chicago, a regular caller, says Michaels is his favorite wrestler, and asks if he keeps in touch with Marty Janetty? Michaels says that he hasn't talked with Janetty personally in over a year, but a friend of his keeps in touch with him, and he says that Marty Janetty is as crazy as ever!
Dr. Tom asks about the return of Vince Russo coming back to WWE?
Russo's return is fine with Michaels, who says that Russo knows the veteran wrestlers. Also, most of the writers in WWE don't come from a wrestling background, whereas Russo does!
"Everybody does their best under Vince McMahon," says MIchaels, "Russo always wrote great stuff for D-X and the rest of us."
Dr. Tom wonders if the rest of the locker room feels the same way, what with Russo bailing out on WWF in the past, to go work for WCW and all?
"I can't say how the other guys will get along with him," says Michaels, "but there are guys in the WWE locker room who did the same thing as Russo did, and are now back in WWE the same as he is. It's ultimately about the money. So it really doesn't matter, because it always goes back to Vince, and Vince always wins. Vince will only be in 2nd place for a very short while, and that's the truth."
Fred from New York wants to know if Shawn Michaels is in WWE only for the name boost?
Dreamer says since Michaels' answered Fred's question before, then why doesn't Fred just say hello and be a person with HBK then?
"This is HBK here," says Dreamer, "a great man. Talk to him. Say hello. Represent New York!"
Fred says of course, but if he's a fan, his wife is a stone fanatic over HBK!"
Dr. Tom asks if she ever went to shows without him, which cracks up the Byte This! "studio audience."
Well, we get about five minutes of reminiscences from Fred about his wife and HBK, before Dr. Tom gets control of the show again.
On the subject of Steve Austin leaving WWE, Michaels says that, yes, it will hurt. He doesn't want to give an opinion, because opinions have a way of turning into an accusation.
"If Austin wants to talk, I'm only a few miles away from him in San Antonio," says HBK.
Dreamer says that, with the new writers, and the Rock coming back to the Raw show, it's all gonna be getting really good really fast.
Mike from Ohio wants to know why HBK names his finisher "Sweet Chin Music?"
Michaels says that he heard it during an interview, and decided to keep it.
Dr. Tom asks HBK who he thinks will be the future superstars?
Michaels picks Rob Van Dam over everybody else, because of his unlimited ability, and learning ability. He also says that X-Pac is under-used.
"In the King of the Ring elimination bout, we saw RVD and X-Pac do eight minutes of solid wresting," says Michaels, "maybe we should give them twenty minutes, and then let's just sit back and be amazed, okay?"
Michaels also says that Booker T is talented.
"Then what'd you kick him in the face for?" asks Dreamer.
"Well, you know...he didn't fit with us... but he has ability!"
Katy from Richmond, VA is just excited to see Michaels and Nash working together, and asks if the "Clique" is gonna get back together, meaning Michaels and HHH?
(Didn't HHH have Michaels ambushed and beat up in a snowstorm back in the "Degeneration X" days? Does Michaels remember trhat? Do YOU remember that?)
Michaels says that they had written a skit for him postulating a reunion with HHH and have him joining the NWO, which in essence would put the Clique back together.
"It's not out of the realm of possibility," says Michaels. "Time will tell."
Dreamer recalls the Smackdown match between HHH and Billy Gunn, calling it yet another DX reference.
Speaking of the "Clique," Michaels picks HHH to win the Undisputed Title from the Undertaker at the PPV, and Brock Lesnar to win King of the Ring. Though he does say that Rob Van Dam/Chris Jericho is the one to watch. "Lesnar vs. Test is the "Battle of the Dinosaurs," says Michaels.
Dr. Tom and Tommy Dreamer thank Shawn Michaels for coming on the show, and Dreamer says that they held up all of Stevie Richards' emails and phone calls so he wouldn't bother Shawn Michaels.
"Richards is a strange, strange man," says Dreamer.
"Boy, you guys are really hard on him, aren't you?" laughs Michaels, "After all, he's My Biggest Fan!"
Michaels leaves the show, and Dr. Tom thanks Tommy Dreamer for sitting in with him today.
Dreamer asks if Big Country's got any more potentially embarrassing pics of Kevin Kelly to put up on the chyron?
BC obliges by showing Kelly as Santa Claus with a kid on his lap, (the kid looks REALLY uncomfortable!)
Then we get one of Kelly eating a Twinkie.
You don't have to be Fellini to figure out what Big Country and the rest of the staff are implying!
Dr. Tom says that Kelly never called back with the hot ladies to interview from the WWE Divas undressed taping.
Dreamer says that, next time he's on the show, HE himself will bring the half-naked ladies along, since Kelly is so unreliable!
"Whenever I have a Friday off," says Dreamer, "I will be here!"
Next week's guest is scheduled to be Brock Lesnar, so you know that it'll be one hot show, because Paul Heyman is almost guaranteed to be there as well!
We close the show with the obligatory shot of WWE Phone Tech Chris Vallo taking a squat in the WWE men's room.
The video clip closer is from Monday's Raw, where the Rock returns with a big announcement about his showing up at "King of the Ring," and, oh yeah, Mr. Stone Cold Steve Austin, here's your pink slip!
And don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out!
See you next week.
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