|WWF Byte This! by E.C. Ostermeyer
This is the WWE Byte This! report for Friday, 4 October 2002.
E.C. at the controls, ladies and gentlemen.
Please fasten your seatbelts and return your trays to the full upright and locked position.
Start with a still shot of, I think, one of the Bushwackers, who appears to be experiencing Excedrin Headache #5. What a face he's making!
We then get a shot of hosts Kevin Kelly and Dr. Tom Prichard just sitting there in front of a blue screen.
Not the usual electronic blue screen that you are used to, but a sorta-blue backdrop that looks like it was done in finger paints and egg tempera by Mrs. Crosseto's Fourth Grade Class.
And I'm not sure but that might be an insult to Ms. Crosseto and her kids.
Kelly is looking offstage to the right, talking and pointing to his headset in an animated fashion.
This must mean that we open the show with no sound at all for the fifth week running.
There's a loud squeal of audio feedback and Kelly's heated voice can be heard in all its acoustic glory. All is not well on the set of Byte This! Again.
Dr. Tom's doing a slouchy "Mr. Bungle" once more.
He looks like Mr. DeRoller from my old neighborhood on one of his better days. All he needs is one of those wifebeater T-shirts and a can of Genessee Beer, and the likeness would be exact.
Kelly finally realizes that the cameras are on, and that his venom is being spilled out onto the 'Net. He quickly switches from "R" to PG-13" mode and all is sweetness and light once more.
Kelly says that if you just joined us, (huh?) you missed a video repeat of last Monday's little set-to between Raw's GM Eric Bischoff and the ever-luscious Lita. Eric decides because of comments Lita made over at WWEdotcom, that Lita's "Three Minutes" are up. Out come Rosey and Jamal, but Lita is saved by Jeff Hardy, Booker T and Goldust.
Dr. Tom says it's cool that Lita spoke her mind about how lame the Raw brand has been of late, but it seems that things are looking better.
"Speaking your mind can sometimes land you in hot water," says Dr. Tom.
Kelly reminds us that Lita's recovering from a neck injury she got doing a movie in Hollywood, but that she will be doing the color commentary on Sunday Night Heat for the next seven months, at least.
Here's Droz, who has recovered from his bout with bronchitis and is back at doing what he does each week. All things WWE Raw. Every week.
Topic shifts to the Kane/HHH match at No Mercy where the IC Title is to be merged with the WWE Heavyweight Title.
Droz says he'd hate to see the IC Title disappear, especially now that Kane is back.
"I'd love to see Kane come out on top," says Droz, "but I guess we will have to see what will happen first."
Dr. Tom says that the HHH/ Rob Van Dam match on Raw was totally old school, building the characters, pushing the story, telling the tale.
Talk shifts to the newly minted Smackdown Tag Titles and the tournament thereof. Droz thinks that there aren't enough tag teams to support two sets of Tag Titles, but he did like to see the return of Ron (Farrooq) Simmons on Smackdown this past week.
The Brock Lesnar/Undertaker "Hell In a Cell" match at the "No Mercy" PPV is discussed. Droz says that even though Lesnar broke Undertaker's hand, 'Taker is by no means the underdog here.
"He's got the experience in this type of match," says Droz, "This is his yard, not Lesnar's. Lesnar will have his work cut out for him to prevail in this kind of brutal match. As adaptive as Lesnar can be, he's got his "hands" full here. This is the one match that changes careers, and everybody knows it. Just ask Shawn Michaels."
Kelly winds things up, and Droz leaves, but not before wishing his wife a "Happy Birthday."
Kelly and Dr. Tom also send out best wishes to Paul Bearer over at WWEdotcom, who's leaving both the site and the company for pastures new.
"Just because one door closes," says Kelly, "doesn't mean another one won't open."
Dr. Tom says he's been noticing that Paul Heyman is getting too cocky about Brock Lesnar's success. Profound, huh?
We take a quick timeout to watch a video of the "Bikini Match" from Smackdown between Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson, and Torrie Wilson's stepfather...
"Is that Les Thatcher?" asks Dr. Tom with a laugh.
"Nooo," says Kelly, missing the joke. Again. "this guy's her stepfather, not Les Thatcher. Don't you remember, we saw him on "Confidential" the other night."
"You ain't makin' me believe that's her step-dad. That's Les Thatcher!"
Here's Tazz to settle the issue, except Tazz wants to talk about his new home security system.
Kelly drags him back to the task at hand, opining that nobody was the loser with the Bikini Contest, least of all, Tazz!
Tazz agrees with him.
Kelly wants to know when the balloon is finally gonna go bust on Smackdown, and they will run out of the great matches we watch every week?
Tazz says that it will never happen, because the writers have turned the corner, and have a number of compelling storylines working right now. Also, there's plenty of new talent coming along.
Dr. Tom says that he's glad there are storylines to identify with
Tazz says there's no big mystery here with Smackdown, the backstage vignettes can be used to "lead" or "slug" a storyline in the ring.
"People want to see action," says Tazz, "and that's what we give him."
We get an interruption from Tazz's kids acting up, so Tazz gets to play "Daddy" once more, (and what a horrifying thought THAT is!)
Dr. Tom wants to know if the Raw brand will experience the same numerical level of viewers that Smackdown has?
Tazz says they've got a lot of top card talent with plenty of depth, so the ingredients are there.
What Raw needs to do is "let the players play!"
Kelly wants to know what Tazz's favorite match would be on Eric Bischoff's "Wheel of Fortune?"
"Barbed Wire Cage Match," says Tazz, "I like the barbed wire matches."
Kelly wants to see an old-fashioned "Lumberjack Match."
Tazz says that Lesnar/ Undertaker is going to be brutal...
...and Tazz's phone goes out!
Back on line once more, Tazz tries to continue but he's not getting through. A few technical fiddlies and Tazz comes back to say that Lesnar will need all the tricks Paul Heyman can bring along to beat 'Taker.
Tazz leaves, as Dr. Tom says he's taking next week off to go help out with the new "WWE Divas" photo shoot.
"What's your role over there?" asks Kelly, sounding envious.
"Well, you know, I hand them a water when they get thirsty, paint their toenails, towel them off when they get out of the pool...or the shower... or..."
Dr. Tom's thoughts seem to have wandered a bit, folks.
The Chatroomers want to know why HHH won't put anybody over anymore?
"Good question," says Kelly promptly, and then just as promptly ignores it.
The Chatroomers also want Kelly to tuck in his shirt.
Kelly also sends out condolences to Tazz for Nebraska losing this week.
Another video break, with highlights of Eric Bischoff's giving Lita "Three Minutes."
We cut back to Kelly and Dr. Tom cutting up in the studio, making fun of what's happening in the clip.
We got sort of a low-rent "Mystery Science Theater 3000," when the cameras are off, folks.
Back to the studio, where we've got Rosey and Rico live on the phone, way out in Boise, Idaho.
Rosey sounds like he's been heavily medicated on top of a bad case of jet-lag.
Kelly asks if Rosey's happy with the way he and Jamal have been handled in WWE?
"Very happy," says Rosey, who then mumbles on a bit about how things are just going great with he and Jamal.
Kelly asks Rico how he's liking the move to Raw?
Rico says he likes the "live" aspects of Raw, the 'being on the edge' all the time that you only get from live TV.
Kelly asks Rico to recount his journey to the WWE.
Rico says he's been a police officer, a paramedic, a bodyguard for rock groups performing in Las Vegas, worked Six Flags, then got into Empire Wrestling in Los Angeles in 1999, when he was signed by the WWE and sent to OVW for development. He then debuted as "The Stylist" to Billy & Chuck just this year.
Kelly asks Rosey how he got started, mentioning that Rosey's got extensive family background in the sport.
Rosey says it started with his father being "Sika the Wild Samoan," who with his uncle once were known as the "Headshrinkers."
Rosey says he played high school football in Pensacola, FL then went to Hawaii to play college ball and get a degree in graphic design.
Dr. Tom asks if there was any reason why Rosey went out to Hawaii. Girls, perhaps?
Rosey says that U.Hawaii's known as "Little Tokyo," and that he went there because of the beaches, the scenic beauty, and, well, yeah, okay, the girls!
"I have no regrets about where I went or what I've done," say Rosey.
Kelly asks if Rosey faced different challenges getting into wrestling, since he had such an extensive family background in the business.
"The opportunity to get in wasn't as hard," says Rosey, "but, once I got in, I faced the same uphill climb to succeed that every other aspiring wrestler faces."
"Even though your dad was Sika?" begins Kelly, "didn't it made you like a "fraternity legacy," sort of."
"No," says Rosey, "It wasn't like that. When I get in the ring, it is me wrestling in there, not my dad. It's not what your family is doing in there, it's what you are doing."
Dr. Tom asks about how Rosey's work in Les Thatcher's HWA helped him to get where he is?
Rosey says that the conditioning he received there helped him to get his weight under control, that weight control and diet has always been an issue with him and Jamal.
"It wouldn't have been handled any better, anywhere else than in HWA," says Rosey.
Kelly asks where Rosey wants to be, weight-wise.
Rosey says when he first weighed in at HWA six months ago, he weighted 447 lbs. He now weighs 360 lbs., and wants to get down to 350 lbs., but due to the injury he received, he has missed his cardio routines. 350 lbs. is his target weight. For now, at least.
"Eighty pounds in six months," muses Kelly, "that's impressive."
Kelly then asks Rico how he would assess Rosey & Jamal as a tag team, comparing them to, say, Billy & Chuck?
Rico says they have no place to go but up, that he'd seen their work in HWA and OVW, and is impressed by how much their style and work-rate as improved.
"Their teamwork is getting better," says Rico.
Dr. Tom asks if Rosey & Jamal would invade Smackdown in the near future, to take the Smackdown Tag Titles back to Raw.
"I think that anything's possible for these two," says Kelly, "as long as Rico's got a hand in it."
Sweet Fanny Adams, here's the infamous Donovan from Syracuse, who wants to know, yes, really, if Rico is "shaved..."
"And he don't mean on your face, Rico!" says Kelly.
"Aw, jeez," says Rico. "Yeah, I shave. You guys both know me. How up front a guy am I?"
"What's this about the 'Rico Rock?'" asks Dr. Tom.
"That got started in military school," laughs Rico, "then, when I wrestled in high school, I was 4'11" and weighed 86 lbs. Before each match, I used to sit down in a chair, some place quiet in the arena, and rock back and forth thinking about all the possible ways my match could turn out. I'd go over and over them in my mind, thinking about all the possible outcomes, talking them through, and the more I'd think about them, the faster I'd rock. I still do it today, too. One time, I found a seat way up near the rafters and was just rocking away like crazy, talking myself through all the possibilities. One of the trainers down on the floor heard me, and climbed allthe way up to where I was. He wanted to know what I was doing. I told him, and he said, "Phew! What a relief! I thought you had Tourette's Syndrome!"
"I think havin' Tourette's in the ring would be kinda cool," says Kelly, which cracks Dr. Tom up.
"Yeah, it'll get in the way some, but boy, you bet people will pay attention to you!"
Rosey's participation in the "Three Minutes" nailing of so many celebrities is the next topic
Specifically, he and Jamal were guilty of splattering Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka during Snuka's so-called induction as a pro wrestling legend.
"Did this affect you at all," asks Kelly, "seeing that you are related to Snuka?"
"It was weird," say Rosey, "but we're on a mission to do what we gotta do. You feel bad, but you don't. We're not prejudiced; we'll kick anybody's ass!"
Kelly asks if Rico's adopted the "Three Minutes" philosophy at home?
"Yeah," says Rico, "my wife gives me three minutes to do the chores, or she kicks my ass!"
Kelly then asks Rico's thoughts on the demise of OVW's old Davis Arena in Louisville, KY, and for him to relate a story about Jim Cornette and the snake. Seems Shelton Benjamin found a snake just outside the locker room in the old Davis Arena, ("It looked like a Third World country," says Rosey.) and Benjamin wouldn't leave because of it's being there.
"So I walked out," says Rico, " picked up the snake, went over to Jim Cornette, shoved it in his face, and said "Hey, Jim! Look what I found! Now, nobody told me that 'Corny' was deathly afraid of snakes, so it was a surprise to me when he jumped about five feet into the air, screamin' and hollerin', and ran out of the building! I didn't kill the snake, though, I just let it go outside the arena."
"Shoulda let it go IN the arena," says Dr. Tom.
"Yeah," adds Rosey, " and how about the rats? The rats they had there were VERY ugly!"
Kelly asks Rosey if he saw Les Thatcher on Smackdown last night, which gets a laugh from Rosey and everybody else.
On a serious note, Kelly asks Rosey to comment on the Ross Report where JR talks about Rosey's weight. Rosey says that he welcomes comments like that from Good Ol' JR. "Sometimes," he says, "I need a good boot in my ass to set me straight."
Rosey goes on to say he's glad to get opinions from everybody; the input helps Rosey & Jamal do a better job. "Good or bad," says Rosey, "I can use it all."
Dr. Tom wants to know if Rosey had any idea the "Three Minute Warning" gimmick would catch on as much as it has?
Rosey says no, he thought it was a one-time deal, but that the fans liked it so much they obligingly kept right on doing it.
From the Chatroom, we get a fan wishing Rico a Happy 41st Birthday!
I am not kidding!
"Not many wrestlers go through their rookie year at the age of 41," says Kelly.
"You'll be chasing Ric Flair here pretty soon," laughs Dr. Tom.
Rico laughs, and says he trains five days a week, keeps active, as he has since he was twenty, and always is careful of his diet and weight.
"Dammit" say Kelly, "so that's how it's done, huh? Looks like I missed my window of opportunity.
"Just have fun with your life," says Rico, "By far, WWE is the most fun I've ever had and get paid for it, too! Dr. Tom saw me at the beginning, he knows what I can do."
"Not a lot of people can see the sacrifices pro wrestlers like Rico make," say Dr. Tom.
Rico goes on to describe the life of a pro wrestler, how he's away from home for weeks at a time, and when he does get home, there's bills to pay, and keepin' the wife happy, and raising the kids, and training, and keeping fit, and on, and on, and on.
Kelly thanks Rico and Rosey for being on Byte This! today, saying that, no matter how easy a road to success you had, like Rosey, (?) or how difficult a road you had, like Rico, you meet in the middle if you have the desire and the drive to succeed and be a star in this company.
Stingman, an emailer who sent in a question earlier, gets an apology from Kelly for mocking him for not knowing what a "Lumberjack Match" is.
Neither Kelly or Dr. Tom seem to know what a Lumberjack match is, either. Lots of talk of straps, and chains, and log-rolling in ponds, and flume rides.
We get a brief shill for the upcoming No Mercy PPV's "Winner Take All" match and the "Hell In A Cell" match, and then move right on to
This week's Point is made by Kevin Kelly is on the notorious "Shut Up and Wrestle" column of Brian Solomon over at WWEdotcom.
"If it's a balance of talk vs. wrestling, if talk is good, I like it. If I like the dialog, and if it tells a story, then that's entertaining. What I don't like is where the wrestlers go out and blather on to no purpose, just being long-winded and not telling a tale or anything. If I don't see a match in two hours, and if there's good talk, I'm happy."
(Uh, Kevin Kelly, I'd like you to meet Mr. Tony Schiavone, formerly of WCW...)
Dr. Tom, quite rightly, says that despite there being a place for talk and telling a story, the real point of the whole show is WRESTLING, for God's sake
"YOU can be entertained by talk," he says, "but good entertaining wrestling is what makes people tune in and watch. The fans can get the vibe off the wrestler who is out there working his butt off in the ring, giving his all to make the show entertaining, they get it more easily than they can off somebody who is talking rather than doing. The fans want a wrestler so into his sport that he'd be doing it for free if he had to. Take Eddie Guerrero. Combine him with Chavo Guerrero, and it benefits both wrestlers. Before, Chavo wasn't connecting with the fans; they just didn't know what to make of him. Now, he's working alongside his uncle, Eddie Guerrero, and the rub he's getting from Eddie is helping Chavo make a name for himself."
Kelly says that the first time he noticed Chavo was in a backstage vignette where Eddie was on the phone with somebody, and "that got me interested in the characters, and if they got to wrestle, that's fine too."
"You know," Kelly continues, "there may come a time when we could see a Raw show with NOT ONE MATCH AT ALL! And that's fine with me, because there have been "ER" shows where not one patient has been worked on. It's true."
"Well," says Dr. Tom, "I'm a big fan of the Hardy Boys. But... In The Ring! I'm not a big fan of them outside the ring, even though that bit they did with the Guerreros was really funny."
Kelly counters by saying that Booker T doesn't have to be in the ring to be entertaining. Ditto for Goldust. To see them wrestling for free, live on TV is a bonus to me."
Dr. Tom says it was the wrestling that got him interested in wrestling, not the talk.
Kelly bemoans the old school era of interviews like the ones that, say, Arn Anderson used to give.
"Arn said things, told you a story, and made you think." Says Kelly, "Then there are the real storytellers like Dusty Rhodes, and Ric Flair, who got you to wondering 'what's going on inside this guy's head?' When they wrestled, you knew what they were doing, and more importantly, WHY they were doing it!"
The Chatroom gets the last word by saying that the sign on the marquee clearly says "WRESTLING!" for cryin' out loud!
No clear winner here, so we close this week's "Point/Counterpoint" with Kelly saying that his co-host next week will be a container of orange juice, which Dr. Tom doesn't like one bit!
"You'll at least let me call in?" asks Dr. Tom, "I'm just over in Newark."
"Well," says Kelly, "we've been having these phone problems you see..."
"We get Tazz in Red Hook, don't we? What's the problem with Newark?"
Kelly changes the subject by asking Byte This! producer Matt Duda about how the Maxim Hair Color job is holding out?
Duda says he a babe magnet because of it.
Kelly wants to know about this "Unreal Tournament" sponsor that Byte This! picked up?
Duda says it's a hot game, and Kelly should get a copy.
We close the show with video from Thursday's Smackdown of the great Three Way match between Chris Benoit, Kurt Angle, and Rey Mysterio.
I am still laughing at how Kurt Angle sold the hell out of that wicked chair-shot of his. Angle took a swipe at Benoit on the ring apron with the steel chair, only to have it bounce off the top rope and hit Angle square in the face! You could almost see the birdies flying around his head.
Bugs Bunny himself couldn't have done it better!
See you next week!
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