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Ian Challis




I'M BAAAAAAAAACKKK. Thought I'd give you a break for a week or so while I did the review thing-and the feedback I got was (suprisingly)positive, so expect to see more review-style things in the future. I've already had some requests for a couple of old faves, so I'll see what I can do. No angry emails from Scott Keith yet either, which means he a)Thinks I'm a hot young talent who deserves to take over his job, or b)Hasn't read my stuff. I wonder which one it could be....

So, back to looking at the Monday Night "War" for this week, and as usual I'll probably be bitching about something. Much like CRZ used to do, I'll put this disclaimer at the top of the column-I AM BIASED. I enjoy WWF more than WCW, I like WWF, I don't think WWF sucks, whereas I think WCW does. Please don't email me with complaints about WCW-bashing (actually, do-it makes my email more interesting). I probably didn't need to do that, seeing as most WCW fans have accepted the inevitable, but there's still some crackpots out there.

So let's see...Monday night, Monday night...Let's start with RAW, shall we? Good show, it seems, solid matches from the NEW main eventers (Triple H Vs. Angle, Rock Vs. Jericho), some decent angle advancement...but some of it just didn't wrk for me. Three months ago, when the pushes for the new guys began and Angle, Benoit (and by the way, where the Hell was Benoit?) and Jericho were given a chance at the top, most of us Internet types were INCREDIBLY enthusiastic about the whole deal. Then that turned to annoyance when the new guys were jobbed and pushed back down the card. So what did we get then? People saying "Have patience, you can't expect the new guys to go over the old guard so soon-there's no such thing as an overnight push." So, I waited. SummerSlam rolled around-and Benoit and Jericho once again wrestled each other, while Angle was hardly a factor in the main event. Next month-Jericho's in a feud with freakin' Sean Waltman, Angle jobs to Triple H, and Benoit's push is diluted by the dead weight of Undertaker and Kane. Next month...well, you get the idea. Take Kurt Angle, for instance. Sure, he's the World Champion. Sure, he's an amazing rookie who's done it all in one year. How many of the top guys has he gone over in meaningful matches? One-The Rock-in the title match. Three months ago he got crushed by Undertaker. Last month at Breakdown he jobbed to Triple H. There was NO building-up of Angle as Champion, no formiddable win/loss record. It just doesn't seem right. And since his win, he's had, what, three defences? Did any of those end with a pinfall? No-a cheapo DQ. Come ON, people. Angle's title reign is gonna fail if he's made to look like a jobber at every turn. Cut him some slack, give him a big win. Then I'll truly accept him as champion. Another case to consider is Jericho. Six months ago, he'd pinned both Triple H and the Rock in singles matches, and he was primed for stardom. So what the Hell happened? After Jericho's World Title shenanigans before Backlash, we were instead treated to Rock Vs. Triple H for another two months. Then, when that finally ended, Jericho was standing behind Angle and Benoit in the Push Queue. I know what you're gonna say-last night he fought the Rock in the main event. Yes, he fought the Rock for the number one contendership. And who won? The Rock. So who goes on to face the Champ in a big money match? The Rock. This was the chance to elevate Jericho after the X-Pac fiasco, to give him a chance in the main event. Look what happened. The Old Guard triumphed again. Where do they go with Jericho now? Back to his smouldering issue with Benoit? Why? Why not freshen both him and the World Title scene by combining the two? I can't answer that, because there is no answer. it makes no sense.

Well, that's my rant done with. Onto some smaller issues...The whole Undertaker/Regal thing came off well, alright, but was there a point to it? Is this gonna lead to a feud? I can't see that myself...Ditto the Stone Cold thing. Good match, but what now? It seems like Rock and Rikishi are headed for an issue, Triple H and Angle are tied up-so where next for Austin? Perhaps...Benoit? Jericho? That'd work, I think. Let's just see where it goes...So what's Billy Gunn's new name? Will he get new entrance music? Say it ain't so!...And one last thing-Debra. I'm praying that her new role doesn't require her to talk a lot...

Onto Nitro...Solid "eh" on the enjoyment scale. Some of the match-ups seemed really confusing, like Kwee Wee/Reno(why?) or just plain unnecessary ( Smooth Train squashing Dangerous Dave Flair), but the inring action, as usual was not overly awful. It's the angles that do me in. Like Rick Scaia said, the whole "Who's In Charge?" question is a really confusing one. Falir? Sanders? Russo? CLARENCE MASON?...Rection's celebration worked for me, but I'm glad that Storm's getting the belt back at Mayhem...Someone fire Lex Luger-or at least cut him free after Goldberg squashes him...Again, I insit on asking: WHY THE HELL DID THEY TURN KRONIK HEEL?...and, one more thing-give Mike Awesome a new gimmick-and put him in more main events. I love this guy.

So, there you have it. I'll be back on your screens soon, at the latest next Tuesday, and at the earliest later this week. Keep your messages coming at, and remember, I'm still looking for a new column name...

Ian Challis

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