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Before I get into the column proper, let me just take a moment to say this about all my readers:

You guys, ROCK.

Not only was my mailbox full, it was spilling over with letters welcoming me back and offering various opinions on my take of last Monday night. Good or bad, I loved getting each and ever letter and it just showed me that even though I took three months off, I can still be welcomed back warmly.

And here I was afraid I lost all my heat. Shows what I know.

Just wanted to get that out. Thank you all for coming back to the GBU so readily. Although I cannot promise to take time off now and then, I am here now and I have some more for you to play with.

Oh, and just to answer a burning question, the Vague References will likely not return in the foreseeable future. When I discontinued them a few months back, it was because I felt that they lacked the spontaneity that they needed to be interesting. Each reference felt forced, you know? So, while I will make pop culture references now and then, and you are welcome to try and pick them out, I will not be labeling them as official "Vagues."

Okay, let's move on.

Yes folks, I am Michaelangelo and I am here to throw my Internet weight around for a while, like it or lump it. Please, try not to lump it. That's just gross.

It promises to be an interesting evening for both federations. First off , the WCW is cashing in its first of two consecutive unopposed weeks as the WWF is pre-empted by the US Open tonight and next Monday night. Vince Russo has made yet another promise - apparently he will produce a personality that we haven't seen on TV for a while. Ho hum. He'd best deliver someone from the WWF or from the dead or else color me unimpressed and summarily disappointed.

Meanwhile, in spite of their pre-emption, the WWF is coming off a hot Summerslam PPV that saw some serious bumps, a laundry list of injuries, and the reported unmasking of Kane. Even though it's on later, it, too is unopposed, and VCR's count as viewers in my book.

So, without wasting any more time, let's do it to it.

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for August 28, 2000


OH GOD NO! An NWO video package leads in the show! No please do not reform them again!

GOOD: The possibility that this could mean the return of Bret Hart. If he is back to wrestle, I won't bitch about it too much.

CONGRATS: To Scott Hudson on the impending birth of his first child.

BAD: The God Damned ICP are still around. It's so wonderful that they put these assholes over real talented young wrestlers.

FUNNY: The Great Muta's commentary.

UNFUNNY: Madden's "translation" of Muta's commentary.

 BAD: The quality, or lack thereof of this match. It's slow and sloppy. 

EVEN WORSE: The ICP actually win this one. Ugh. I like Vamp winning, but for God's sake.

UGLY: The clusterfuck that this match turns into Tank runs in, Demon runs in, and Sting runs in. Who can keep track of who are friends or enemies with who? Ugh.

CONFUSING: Are we led to believe that Tank is a face now? Didn't he split off 3 Count because his ego got too big and he decided to screw the boys out of their record contract? Wouldn't that put him on the heel side of the feud? Why the hell would Sting help him? If Dale Torborg is a face now, shouldn't he shed the Demon makeup?

BAD: Here comes Russo again. God forbid we go two consecutive segments without him.

QUESTION: With guys like Jarrett, Nash, and Steiner in the ring, do we really need Russo to be the mouthpiece for this group? No, of course not. He's just a huge egomaniac that, despite what he says in "shoot" interviews, loves the sound of his own voice and the vision of his face on television. Fuck you, Russo. You want to put over the wrestlers? Step out of the ring and back behind the camera where you do your best work.

BAD: NWO or not NWO, this is the same stable, so no matter what they do, they have just circled back to where they were seven months ago.

WHAT...the hell is with the chain mail wig on Steiner? Is it supposed to look cool or something? He looks more like a robotic George Washington.

GOOD: Nash gets a pop when he handles the stick. He gets continued pops as he makes comments. 

GOOD: Nash makes an effort to explain why he keeps changing from face to heel and back again. 

BAD: Tony: "Look at the mastermind, would you?" Hee hee. I don't have the words for how absurd that is.

GOOD: Like him or not, Nash can do a good interview. He always could.

GUARANTEED: The main event of Booker T. versus Nash will end in a screwjob, despite Russo's best "efforts" to avoid it.

WHY...are the Natural Born Thrillers backing up the "established" stars? Isn't that the opposite of what they stand for?

GOOD: Booker telling Russo to shut up. Testify!

BAD: Booker going to the ring? Is he nuts?

GOOD: The Cat in a cowboy hat. "I'm gonna dolomite your ass." Sonofabitch is funny. Consider it a guilty pleasure.

GOOD: The subsequent schmoz. The Filthy Animals participation was unexpected, but at least they have decided to go full face with them and committed to it.

BAD: No Goldberg during the big brawl as the faces are left laying.

GOOD: I kinda liked that grave-digging thing. It certainly was over with the fans...since I got into it, I will overlook how similar it was to the stuff Austin used to do when he was around and Russo was writing for him.

QUESTION: So are Booker and Nash on for tonight?

BAD: Why does Goldberg's voice still sound on the phone even after Russo throws it away?

GOOD: Three way hottie match. A little T&A now and then is appreciated by the wisest man. 

BAD: They announce Tygress as the winner at the onset of the match, it continues, and ends abruptly? What the hell happened? 

HUH? They cut to the back and play a vignette of the Filthy Animals beating down the NBT and then go to commercial? Methinks the girls blundered.

BAD: Tygress is taking the role of a heel here, even though the rest of her stable has successfully turned face. Let's have a little consistency.

FUNNY: A pickup full of guitars. Finally we get to see where Jarrett gets his supply.

BAD: Mike Awesome in retro clothes? New music that rips off Barry White? Oh Jesus.

BAD: Mike calling Pamela Paulshock, "Paula Pamshock." If he meant it, and I think he did, I love it.

GOOD: Kronik. I still like these guys. Putting them in a feud with the Harris Boys is a great way to show off the strength and high impact moves of both teams.

INTERESTING: There is a camera inside the cage. It makes the ring look funky, but it's still cool looking.

BAD: Tony on the cage breaking: "I have never seen that happen!" Is tonight your first night or something Tony? Didn't Goldberg throw Jarrett through a cage a few months back? Yes, he did.

BAD: Why is security getting involved with a match?

OH: A fan got involved apparently. I rewound the tape and looked at that spot again. I didn't see the "fan" do anything out of the ordinary before the Harris guy decked him. Is he a plant? I can't tell. Since the announcers bring attention to it and since the cameras actually showed it, I'd have to say it was planned, but if so , why?

GOOD: Lance Storm. Gotta love this guy. He has it all. He is a great wrestler and he is good on the stick.

INTERESTING...way to beef up a stable roster artificially, create a match where they get to take a member of the other stable's team. I bet Storm wins and takes Major Gunns.

BAD: General Rection booking AWOL in a tables match. If memory serves, the big goof has yet to actually win a table match.

YEP: AWOL loses again and Storm grabs the woman. Now that makes no sense. Why would Storm take her? He needs a wrestler to back him up, not a valet.

GOOD: Stinger on the stick. He's got the goods.

BAD: They keep him languishing in this never-ending feud with Vampiro. 

THANK GOODNESS: Awesome's backstage music and clothing is only for least for now.

SO, I AM TO UNDERSTAND...That a Bunkhouse Brawl is just another name for a Hardcore Match?

JUST SO YOU KNOW...I am ignoring most of what Madden says this week. 

GOOD: For those who do not bother with Thunder on Wednesdays, Leia Meow returned to join up with the Jung Dragons. Unfortunately, she was not dressed as a cheerleader. Ah well, we take what we can get.

INTERESTING: Booker T. Versus Nash at the 9:00 hour in spite of Nitro being unopposed. What up with that?

BAD: Russo on the stick, and promising a title change tonight. *Sigh* I suppose it was just a matter of time before Nash pushed his way back to the championship.

HEH: Jarrett seemingly selling out Russo's clan. Come on, we all know it's a swerve...well, at least I know it's bullshit.

GOOD: Booker and Nash actually put on a good match tonight. 

BAD: Did Russo just say "horn yakker"? My God I think he did, twice.

BAD: Sound tests start coming in during the match. Still with the bush league production issues? Please.

OF COURSE...Jarrett and Russo set up the whole "dissention" thing. I called it.

BAD: Booker drops the title to Big Sexy. I knew Nash would never lay down for Booker. The more things change...

CYANINDIGO NOTICES...Tony is impatiently tapping his pen on the desk as Madden spews forth his endless stream of bullshit. Wethinks that Mr. Schiavone is losing patience with his broadcast partner.

GOOD: Nash says he worked up an appetite and he is going to, "eat a little Korean." I will have to check, but isn't he dating Chae? Isn't she Korean? A quick visit to the Nitro Girls Website says...YES she is! Nash is going to engage in oral sex with his girlfriend! Aren't you glad you have guys like me to spell this crap out for you?

UGLY: Kidman legitimately passing out from a botched strap spot at the last PPV. Yuk. 

COOL: Crowbar taking a 25 foot bump. Sure the landing spot was padded, but it was a hell of a fall.

BAD: Tony on Shane's actions against Crowbar: "WCW does not condone this type of action." Oh HORSESHIT. Just stop, please. If it is televised and happens frequently, then WCW not only condones it, they plan it!

GOOD: Franchise making a challenge to the roster.

BAD: Goldberg answering. Attaway to put Shane over, have the number one face just destroy him.

COOL: Goldberg juices hardway after the spear. Did he hit Shane's belt? 

BAD: Damn TNT wimps. Since Goldie is bleeding, they stick with a long shot. Come on, this is the kind of stuff that will get you ratings...blood sells. It's wrestling for fuck's sake. When a guy bleeds, that's generally a good thing.

BAD: Nash in the shower? Why? And in spite of the fact that they put a "blur spot" below his waist, you can see that he is wearing a towel. Oh, this shit is terrible.

QUESTION: Now I like Big Vito. I think he's a decent grappler, but what is with the pseudo push he has been getting lately? I hear rumors that he is a close friend of Vince Russo's. I suppose that would explain it.

UGLY: Vito's tights. Yeuch. Can't he wear something a bit more flattering? He looks like a Weebil.

BAD: The announcers spend a lot of time and effort putting Vito over as a legitimate contender to guys like Nash and Jarrett, but he still loses. Pushing a guy usually involves him getting a win now and again.

BAD: Jarrett's finishing move seems to be lacking a certain fierceness in it's delivery. I mean, the guys are barely even hitting the mat. Perhaps he should learn to deliver the move a bit more convincingly or give it up altogether.

COOL: Mike Awesome sends Jarrett into the truckload of guitars. The irony is delicious!

GOOD: Above Average on the stick again. I like this guy and I like this stable.

ON THE FENCE: This 5on5 match with the NBT versus the Filthy Animals. I am not sure how these two teams match up, but past efforts have shown that they can put on a good show.

I JUST REALIZED THAT...Tygress is actually wrestling twice tonight. Wow, of all workers to put into two matches... Staziak talking trash about Orndorff? Good money is on a Mr. Wonderful run in to take Tygress's place.

BAD: Madden says that this match is "Better than watching a bunch of old guys limp around, like we did for months." Reality check, Mark, one of the oldest guys out there is currently the champion. Nash is nearly as old as Hogan and limps only slightly less, so shut the HELL UP.

BAD: How the HELL can you count eight men out of a match at the same time? Only two were legal! Oh Jesus Christ. Can you say, "rushed booking"?

COOL: The sound Goldberg made "hitting" Steiner with the bat. Hitting the mirror was effective. Too bad Papa Pump didn't have his chain mail wig on, it may have absorbed some of the impact.

HEH: Vito gives Russo the "Italian Kiss of Death." Yeah, we all do that. Let's stereotype a little more, OK?

BAD: Russo again? Oh for...

GOOD: At least we know that Vito is going to punk Russo out.

BAD: Tony on the confrontation between Goldberg and Russo: "This is real life folks." No, this is Sports Entertainment and trying to put it over as anything else is just stupid.

GOOD: Russo getting his ass kicked. That much, that simple, I liked.

I JUST CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE! Madden is the worst announcer in the history of the world. How the hell can WCW think he is a better announcer than Bobby Heenan? He is loud, obnoxious, annoying, and he gets in the way of any decent commentating that anyone else may attempt. The only thing I can think is that Tony wants Madden there because he looks good by comparison. Please, WCW, please, rethink having him on Nitro as color man. Please, relegate him back to writing for the website once in a while. 

EXCUSE ME? Sting and Muta is the main event? What the hell?

ONE QUESTION: When will Vampiro interfere in this match.

BAD: I'd love to write about this match, but the announcers seem to only want to talk about Goldberg and Russo.

BAD: I looked away for a second and saw that Vampiro has, in fact, interfered in this match. Sigh.

GOOD: Bret Hart is there. 

BAD: He will turn on Goldberg.

YEP: There it goes.

GOOD: At least he had ample reason to do it. Goldberg was the reason Bret has been gone so long.

BAD: Could we end one TV show with the faces winning? The heels have gotten the last laugh on at least three consecutive shows. Can't we send them home happy once in a while? 

OVERALL: Hard to call this one. In terms of storyline development, I suppose this was an alright show. However, in terms of overall entertainment value, I spent more time disgusted than happy. I don't need the good guys to win all the time or anything, but it seems like they are spending too much time trying to move a dozen different stories along and not enough time showing us decent wrestling. Oh, and by the way, Nash as the World Champion again? If he doesn't give the win back at the PPV, I have to chalk that decision up to the same bullshit backstage politics that fucked WCW the whole time Big Kev was booking.


GOOD: Mick and his cactus. I love this guy.

SO-SO: The card for tonight. I am apathetic about most of what Foley revealed would be going on. I kind of expected a little more...the problem is, I am not sure what.

BAD: I hear Lawler beat Tazz at Summerslam. That's wrong. Commentators should not be put over active members of the roster, no matter what the circumstances. Tazz should have beaten Lawler and another wrestler should have come to make the save.

GOOD: Acolytes and Jericho versus Benoit and T&A. I'm down with that. I like all six guys. 

GOOD: Jericho rushing Benoit as soon as his music hits. Great stuff.

BAD: I just hope they don't keep this feud going another month. Enough is enough.

BAD: Lots of injuries last night. I hear that Angle, Shane, Blackman, The Hardies, and the Dudleys were all hurt last night. I think they need to slow it up a bit before someone is seriously injured.

GOOD: This match. Great work gang! I liked when Bradshaw shoved his foot square in Albert's face! Holy shit!

GOOD: The progression of the Stephanie/Angle/HHH storyline. The pace is good and now we are set for a monumental Angle/HHH feud and the Rock can move on to a program with someone else.

BAD: X-Pac. I just hate the guy.

GOOD: Kurt isn't injured. 

BETTER: He is playing it up as if he were. You gotta love it.

BAD: We are in for another long in-ring interview segment. 

INTERESTING: Cyanindigo points out that JR is actually defending HHH in this feud. Looks like The Game is finally going to become a face. Perhaps over a long period of time, but I expect to see Steph turn on him soon to join Kurt. We shall see.

SEE? Major pop when HHH's music hits.

GOOD: Kurt's shit eating grin when HHH asks him where Stephanie is. Heh. Now those are good heel tactics. It's true.

BAD: This goes on entirely too long. It may be reasonably entertaining, but they should cut it down a bit. I love spaghetti, but I can't eat it every day for a week. Get the picture?

GOOD: Angle's comment that HHH's punch knocked sense into Stephanie. That drew tons of heat! Hunter's reaction was equally great, giving him a definitive face pop. Now this is how you start a war. Kudos to the WWF and all involved. I do look forward to seeing what happens here.

INTERESTING: Chyna's comment on HHH. Why would she make an on-screen comment about him now? Could they be sowing the seeds of a reunion? I think so...

GOOD: Chyna as Intercontinental Title. She's a good wrestler and a decent champion and now she is even more worthy of the belt than when she held it the first time.

BAD: Val out without Trish. Bummer. She's too hot to forget. 

YAY! There she is! 

I SUSPECT: Someone is going to turn on someone here tonight. Let's just see...

GOOD: Nobody takes a DDT like Val Venis. He just gets planted

BAD: Poor booking. I have a hard time believing that Val would give up winning the IC title just to chase Trish out of the ring. Nope. Bad bad bad.

BAD: Michael Cole asking questions of the wrestlers in an obviously biased manner. "You mean to tell us that..." The best interviews don't need to be pushed in one direction or the other by the actual interviewer. 

GOOD: Looks like Angle is setting up HHH tonight by throwing a hotel room number out. I think we are seeing another side of Mr. Integrity, a sinister one. I like it!

GOOD: The RTS. I like the angle. I like the gimmick. I like the mic work we have been seeing.

BAD: The RTS. I hate the theme music. I hate the ring gear. I hate the 10 minute promos that they cut every week where they say essentially the same thing over and over again.

GOOD: Lillian Garcia's legs. I'd love to see Richards check out the length of her skirt and give her shit about it when he enters the ring.

UGLY: Rikishi's ass. I almost agree with RTC on this one.

BAD: That's the match? Richards gets beat down and runs away? What the hell was that?

BAD: Admittedly, I am starting to tire of the Too Cool/Rikishi dance thing. How long has it been? A year?

GOOD: Chyna offering her opinions on relationships to HHH. 

BETTER: Eddie's reaction to seeing them hugging. I laughed out loud.

BEST: HHH's final comment: "Has everyone lost their mind around here?" Finally someone noticed.

WOW: Edge and Christian are looking weary tonight. Edge looks like he's been through a paper shredder.

GOOD: Edge and Christian turning face? This has to be a swerve.

LOL: Yep. Midget versions of the Hardies. 

BAD: Is this the ultimate insult or what? Every time a wrestler wants to make fun of another, they dress up midgets as their enemies. Kudos to HBK for being the first to do it, but now it just seems to be a carbon copy of the Hitman thing from way back.

GOOD: Edge and Christian's in-ring personas. References to the Bushwackers and Techno Team 2000. "The real Hardy Boys don't get to speak, so why should you?" The 37 second pose. You gotta love these two guys.

GREAT: The Hardies breaking up the festivities. No matter how hard they work, they continue to push and push. You have to give these guys credit.

BAD: They could well cause serious injury to themselves if they continue at this pace. I hope these two take some time off soon.

GOOD: Angle pushing Eddie into a battle with HHH. I have a new "I" for Kurt, "Ingenious."

GREAT: The thought of an Eddie/HHH match tonight. That will be a four star affair for sure. 

GOOD: Shane's bump. Wow. That's all I can say.

GOOD: Blackman wrestling means he was not inured last night. That's another piece of good news.

GOOD: Blackman at the top of the Hardcore division. Finally, they found a place for him that makes sense. The man is lethal with weapons, so why not fight in a division which allows weapons?

BAD: Tazz loses again. I fail to see how this helps his career. All I can hope is that Lawler returns the favor from Summerslam very soon.

GOOD: HHH chasing Joe out the door before he can even speak. Now that was funny.

COOL: Eddie's impassioned challenge to HHH. I particularly liked when he answered Hunter's comment about writing a check his ass can't cash by saying, "You know what? Come and cash your check."

WOW: They brought Jackie back just so Lita could have someone to defend here title against? 

GOOD: Jackie and Lita put on a better match than most of what I saw on WCW this week. Jackie knowing that Lita was "injured" by a spear from Edge last night and her subsequent attacks on Lita's midsection was a nice touch.

GOOD: The post-match beatdown. See, you wait for the match to end before you do a run-in. That's how it works. Your fans appreciate seeing a pinfall before the entire locker room clears out.

GREAT: A surprisingly good promo by Kane for his match with the Rock tonight. Wow. I must admit, I was impressed. Maybe it's time for him to lose the mask, so we can make out what he is saying a little better.

BAD: If Kane does lose his mask, he risks losing the mystique that makes his character so appealing as well. So, it's a real gamble. Tread lightly Mr. Jacobs. Don't be too hasty.

GOOD: Eddie and HHH. I Have high hopes for this bout.

GOOD AND BAD: The match has intensity but lacks polish. They seem to be working it on the fly, which is alright because both are coming off a tough PPV and probably had little time to prepare.

BAD: A run-in interrupts the match before the pinfall. As I said above, that's a no-no. Angle could have chaired the combatants after the three count and it would have been just as effective.

EH: I could really care less about a feud between Saturn/Terri and Snow/Kat. While I like seeing scantily clad women rolling around in pools of their own sweat, I think I've seen enough of it between these two.

GOOD: King on a close up of Terri's tush: "Oooh! Have I told you how much I love the WWF?"

GOOD: Saturn and Snow's ringwork. No complaint's here.

WHAT THE BLOODY HELL!?! Mideon streaking through the ring? It was disgusting, but I gotta admit, I was laughing. 

FUNNY AS HELL: Al's reaction to it.

I WONDER: Looks like it's HHH/Angle for Unforgiven. Who will Rocky's newest feud be with? Kane? Benoit again? A freshly heel turned Jericho? Time will tell.

INTERESTING: Kane looks a lot more buff with sleeveless gear. You can see his shoulders.

BAD: This's seems very formulaic and phoned it. It's as if they took a typical Kane match and inserted the Rock into the role of opponent.

BAD: Ref bump. Bleah. 

WOW: Kane kicks out of the Rock Bottom! They must be serious about this push.

BAD: UT runs in, ensuring that this thing is overbooked.

GOOD: UT lifts Kane about five feet in the air for that chokeslam. Holy crow.

BAD: The Ref thinks nothing of Kane being flat out in the ring after he and the Rock crawl back in?

BAD: What, no more info about Kurt Angle and Stephanie's whereabouts?

OVERALL: Not a bad show, but not fabulous either. It's obvious that the wrestlers were tired and weary from their efforts the night before. I can forgive that for this week, since I hear the PPV was quite intense. The storylines seem to be moving well, but it seems that some of the feuds just appear to be continuing on as if the blowoffs at the PPV did not exist. Honestly, I am not sure how many times I can see UT/Kane before enough is enough.

Well, that's it for this week. Before I wrap up, let me address a concern I have. Those of you who have read me in the past may think that I am being very hard on WCW. Perhaps, but let me say this, nothing has changed. I write what I see and what I feel. Period. I feel that WCW is in a really bad place right now. I do not like Vince Russo or the direction that WCW is going these days and I feel that it is my right and responsibility to impart my opinions.

After all, the Internet is the best forum for this kind of expression, isn't it? Just because I criticize WCW heavily, that's not to say that I ma a WWF mark. Truth be told, I am likely harder on WCW because I want them to succeed. Honestly, if they don't, and they are forced to close down shop, where does that leave the WWF? I'll tell you. I leaves them as the only game in town. Without competition, they can deliver steaming piles of dog shit each week and we would lap it up because it's all we have. With WCW around, we know that WWF will at least attempt to maintain their ratings lead by giving us quality programming each week.

In light of all this, I took the time to listen to WCW's Internet broadcast, WCW Live. The show I heard broadcast right after the Nitro show went off the air and took calls from people expressing their opinion on the show. The reaction was largely mixed, but one thing was made painfully clear by the broadcasters, Jeremy Borash, Mark Madden, and Bob Ryder: they think that if you dislike WCW programming, and actually have the nerve to express it in any way, you are either a WWF mark or an idiot.

Madden actually said that anyone who writes an Internet column that is anything but flattering to the WCW television product is "a jackass." 

 What the hell kind of mentality is that? So these guys are expecting us to believe that the only opinions worthwhile are theirs, in spite of the fact that each of them collect a paycheck from WCW every week? You see, that is exactly why the WCW is suffering in the ratings. They open a forum for their fans to express their opinions and then lambaste anyone who dares offer anything but praise. Week after week, the ratings slip, and week after week, Borash, Madden, and Ryder continue to lick Russo's ass and call it ice cream. I implore you intelligent wrestling fans like we who actually give a shit about the future of WCW to listen to the show and call in. Make your voices heard, because if they are loud enough, maybe someone who can do something will actually hear.


Okay, that's it for this week. I fully expect to get as many letters as last week, so click the e-mail link and write folks. It ain't that hard. Send me your questions, comments, and concerns. All letters will be answered or flushed.

Until next week, I am Michaelangelo and will be for a while.

[slash] wrestling

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