WARMIN' UP THE BAND
Will someone please just go to Miami and kick Elian's ass back to Cuba? EVERYONE knows the only Cuban defectors we allow to stay here in the States are talented pitchers!
I'm sorry...those things just come into my head sometimes - you know, I'm paid to read the news aloud every 30 minutes, and usually I have Sportscenter on. It is quite the irony to see George Steinbrenner paying for his own illegal alien to help his team win, when all these people are making a fuss about some six-year-old kid. Hey - slavery is alive and well, folks!
Anyway, who the HELL appointed Gloria friggin' Estefan as a national spokesperson? TURN THE BEAT AROUND...
I realize about 45% of you have no idea what I am talking about, so I'll dumb things down for you. Happy?
Damn, I am just SO excited that Eddy Guerrero is in the WWF. You can take that sentence any way you feel like. Sarcastically would probably be the suggested means.
Okay...time to get some focus going on this column. It has been QUITE a long time since I last checked in. Well alright, it was like a week ago. But that must have seemed like ages for you, I'm sure. Since that last time, I have:
Let me just say this about Enron Field...in all honesty, our Pony League stadium had a deeper left-center porch. It's amazingly sick how small that park is...and beer is $5.25 a can. Yikes - you only pay that price for alcohol when there are fake ta-ta's bouncing in your face. But the stadium is really beautiful, for those of you who care.
As for the "new" regime in WCW...I decided to take a week or so to evaluate what I thought. Okay, I actually didn't...that's just how long it took me to write this - but it has saved me the embarrassment of not marking out in a published work over what was looking to be a sweet Kidman/Hogan feud. Yes, you heard me correctly - I thought Hogan did a hell of a job...LAST week. Sure, he bladed on camera, but come on...at least he bladed - and it wouldn't have been THAT noticeable had the stupid WCW production crew noticed it on the replay. But now that we have had a few more shows to look at this feud, Hogan destroyed Kidman on Thunder...Hogan destroyed Kidman at Spring Stampede...and Hogan destroyed Kidman on this past Nitro. Hey, you see a pattern? I'm sure Hogan will take Torrie on this week's Thunder and then completely obliterate Kidman at Slamboree. By that time, I don't think ECW would have sounded like such a bad idea to Kidman.
As for the rest of things...I REALLY don't like the entire focus of the product being on Bischoff and Russo. Don't get me wrong, I think Eric Bischoff is a tremendously charismatic and completely awesome on-screen persona, in fact I would say he has a better on screen heel act than Vince McMahon. But that doesn't mean I want Bischoff to be the guy feuding with Hogan instead of Kidman. Let me put it this way, if the feud were to blow off right now, Hogan would be facing Bischoff at Slamboree. Same goes with Russo and Flair.
I think a bad telltale sign for WCW is that NO ONE is talking about Spring Stampede, which means one of two things. Either no one saw it, or the WWF marks that dominate the Internet and bash WCW programming without watching it thought this show was alright and aren't saying anything. I don't mean to sound like Bob Ryder here, but be honest...most of the WCW criticism comes from people who don't even spend five minutes watching their programming. They read CRZ's recaps and make their own decisions, which is fine and dandy, but discredits them in my eyes as having a genuine right to complain. It's like people who bitch and moan about their government, yet don't vote. If you're going to bitch, at least go through the agony of WATCHING WCW - believe me, your pain will be MUCH more genuine.
Do I think this is a step in the right direction for WCW? Well obviously, simply because they couldn't get much worse. I still think WCW should just focus on a solid wrestling product with great ppv matchups, even if they don't feature spectacular storylines, simply because I am of the opinion that wrestling has about another year or so left of this insane popularity. Then the Vince Russo's of the world will be back to being magazine writers because the base fans of wrestling will still be around, and the 14-year-old Rock fans will have moved on to the new fad. If they went with that approach, they would win in the long run. Oh well.
But hey, that's not to say the WWF has exactly been lighting the world on fire. Any show that dedicates at least 75 minutes to HHH is a failure in my book, BECAUSE HE'S JUST THAT DAMN ANNOYING. Ahem, sorry...but that's a REALLY lame catchphrase. It's one thing for him to suck in the ring and look completely clueless without Foley or Austin around, but it's another to have him ramble and ramble and ramble every friggin' segment. Ack. It's nearly as bad as me rambling on and on in this column.
How about that Bossman, though?
Speaking of Mr. Bossman - if Chris Jericho is suddenly a main eventer by staring up at the lights to HHH, I point to the above-referenced prison guard. He has fought in the same amount of main events lately (if not more), and he manages to NOT GET PINNED. Sort of makes you wonder what incriminating evidence Bossman holds on McMahon. So they hotshot the title onto Jericho...his title reign lasted three-minutes longer than mine, last time I checked. If this turns into a full fledged program over the belt between Jericho and HHH, that's good for them, but until that happens, I wouldn't be so quick to anoint Chris Jericho in the upper tier. Hell, I don't even have HHH in the upper tier, so that tells you what I think of him.
And besides, had this been the Jericho of about two or three years ago (you know, when he was actually good AND entertaining), I might care. Instead, it only gets a couple of cynical paragraphs instead of a whole column dedicated to it. Understand?
Now as far as Taz is concerned, I think something is up. No, I'm not among those in LA-LA Land that think ECW and the WWF are merging - but I think ECW HAS to be giving something up in return for Vince McMahon to tell Jim Ross to put ECW over on their TV show. Remember, Taz still has to lose the belt, so they are going to have explain that in order to not sound like WCW. An invasion angle could/would be really sweet, drawing in the disenchanted fans that don't care enough about WWF programming by itself (like me) to perhaps fork money over for a ppv. Imagine Benoit/Tajiri, Eddy/Lynn, and a Corino-Angle tag team to go REAL old school! Throw in a disasterously (is that a word?) bad main event of RVD/Rock and the marks would eat it up, as would the smarts other parts of the card. Back to reality, I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of bigger talent exchange on ECW's part, to make up for the favor WWF paid them.
Anyway, TAJIRI HAS GOLD! TAJIRI HAS GOLD! TAJIRI HAS GOLD!
And finally...I watched this week's TWA show with great interest as they showed the bunkhouse brawl between Venom and HBK. It was by no means a "classic" in certain terms, however I know I, for one, got goosebumps watching my favorite worker of all time working MUCH harder than I thought he would. I talked to Shawn about two weeks before the 4/4 match, and he told me he was going to go as hard as he could...but I expected to see him dishing out a lot of offense and taking close to none regardless. Instead, he got it handed to him for quite a while, taking cane shots, garbage can shots, and crutch shots all to his back. Venom took some absolutely man-sized bumps, including a hip toss from a ten-foot stage through double tables. Sounds bad enough there, but he missed the tables a bit and looked to have thumped his head pretty hard on the concrete. The ending was botched when Shooter Schultz missed a table suplex spot with Venom and re-tried it two more times (never getting it right), but both Venom and HBK had great blade jobs, and I really enjoyed the match. I'd give it about ***, which is something considering one of the guys hasn't wrestled in two years and can hardly bend his back.
I think I got through everything I wanted to talk about. If not, I'm sure you'll hear from me later.
Questions? Comments? Ideas? Email them to email@example.com.
Catch y'all later.