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No, not the orange monster formerly known as Hulk Hogan. I think he's being bashed enough by the other writers enough. What more could I possibly say? ALOT actually, but that's for another day. I'm talking about the OTHER bald guy...the beer-swillin, swear-speakin, bird-flippin brawler himself, Steve Austin. You remember him? Seems like an eternity since that fateful night when he was run over by the car. I remember what everyone said... "Who would step up?" "Trouble for the WWF..." "Can H-cubed ever get over as a heel?"

Let the influx of hate mail begin because I think Stone Cold's injury is the BEST thing that could have happened to the WWF. Don't click that send button yet. Wait till I defend myself before sending those flames. Set the way back machine to one year ago. Stone Cold was on the road to Wrestlemania and EVERY Raw we had at least 20 minutes of interview time dedicated to Stone Cold and McMahon. Stone Cold was everywhere and it was obvious he was the main focus of the company. As everyone expected he won the title at Wrestlemania and everything seemed to revolve around him.

Okay, get that lost look out of your eyes and come back to the present. Steve went down, Russo left...what did they do? Handed HHH the belt and gave us one of the best heels ever. He may not have an extensive more list, but he knows how to get a crowd to hate him. I dare say he is as good if not better than ol Vince when it comes to getting people to hate him. MAJOR kudos to HHH for putting forth the extra effort. His last two PPV matches are both Match of the Year contenders. Mick Foley had a lot to do with them being so good, but HHH deserves credit for being able to keep up with Mick. He was willing to take some nasty bumps right alongside Mick and prove he's willing to do ANYTHING to keep that title! a little off track. Back to Steve. I mentioned that 20 minutes of Steve every Nitro. No more Steve...more time for wrestling. Granted we still get a 20 minute interview beginning almost every other week, but not as often and it's usually something different. A year ago you could predict each segment with Austin:

Austin: "You screwed me."

Vince: "I'm bad, I'm going to do bad things to you tonight and make sure you don't win."

Austin: "I'm going to be champion.... That's the bottom line..." You know the lines.

Rock: "Jabroni"

For better or worse, we've had a nice rotation of storylines and swerves these past few months. The WWF lost their main player and instead of throwing half-rate filler material at us, they created new players. The WWF reached an even higher level during Steve absence and it might be a little difficult for Steve coming back. Who is he going to feud with? Vince is off TV. Who's there for Steve to call an asshole each week? Who can he stun and give the obligatory middle finger to?

The smart thing would be to continue the "who hit Steve with a car" angle. Steve's a main eventer and no one will argue if he wants "his" title back. No matter who wins at Wrestlemania, Rock or HHH, you can make a GREAT angle out of this (I refuse to believe The Giant will make it). Let's say HHH wins Wrestlemania and retains the title. Austin comes back and does his first interview on Raw. HHH interupts and says, "I thought I finished you off for good with that car." Instant magic. The crowd gets right behind Steve and hate HHH even more (if that's possible). HHH knows Austin wants his ass so he enlists the help of....Chris Benoit. Benoit has the wrestling moves, Austin has the brawling skills...and these two could deliver some great matches. Here's a nice bonus... Benoit gets elevated to Main Event status. What more could you ask for?

Scenario number two: Rock wins at Wrestlemania. You can't say Rock hit Austin with the car because he is WAAAAYYYYYY too over as a Face. Bring Austin back as a Heel. It is easier to get the fans to boo Austin because of his absence. Rock is the fan's favorite. All Austin needs to do is deliver one interview where he rips Rock a new one and the crowd will actually boo Austin. Like HHH, Austin can get over as a monster heel.

The WWF needed the break from Austin. They've had the chance to push many of their wrestlers to the next level and give us more variety. Now, when Steve comes back, we'll get a little more variety. Personally, I've ha enough of the "you screwed me" angles. Give me something new, something different... gimme a set of main eventers that include: HHH, Rock, Benoit, Austin...hell, maybe even Kane and the UT. Just keep it different and keep me interested.

Still want to send that e-mail ripping me a new one? Think about it. Be as nasty as you want....pull no punches. Just don't expect me to pull any punches either. Till the next adventure...


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