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Dan Doomsday





Oops, sorry. Wrong Madness. In any case, this is the most electrifying column in sports entertainment today, the Device. I'm your party host, the World's Most Dangerous Columnist, the Pride of 2Dope, the SEMI-GRAND SHIT DISTURBER AND RIGHTFUL WCW INTERNATIONAL WORLD CHAMPION TRIPLE D, Dartmouth Dan Doomsday. And I almost had a typo on "Dartmouth," which surely would have invited a lot of questions as to my intelligence. Speaking of which, here's your EXTRANEOUS BULLSHIT:

IT'S TOURNAMENT TIME, BABY: Well, Dayton just got knocked out, so the Rick won't be celebrating any time soon. My personal pick to win it all is Duke. I don't know a whole lot about college hoops though, but if you want to put your 5 bucks where I put mine, that's what you can do. Look for Stanford to go no further than the Sweet Sixteen, though.

GOING DOWN FOR THE THREE COUNT: Consider this skeptic as having been silenced. No longer disgracing the good name of my old radio show, Shane, Evan, and Shannon had a nice spotfest against the Jung Dragons, and I would gladly tune in to the first hour to see that kind of match, week in and week out. Between Three Count and the Dragons, I think WCW has six definite keepers for the future. Ladder match, anyone?

MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY (MAC): You know how great Vince's return on Monday really was? This is how great it was: you knew it was coming, you knew when it was coming, but you still marked out like a kindergartener. Now THAT is booking.

LAKERS UPDATE: So the Lakers couldn't make 20. Anyone else won 19 in a row lately? I didn't think so.

All right, enough extraneous bullshit, let's get on to the RELEVANT bullshit. Here's this week's Device, entitled...

Man the Watchtowers

Outside in the distance, a wildcat did growl,
    Two riders were apporaching, the wind began to howl.

    -Bob Dylan (as if you didn't know who it was!)
Things couldn't seem to be more certain in the world of professional wrestling. As I discussed in last week's Device, the WWF is riding an all-time high. The Rock has really come into his own as the marquee star of the WWF. Triple H has become the best heel since Ted Dibiase, a fine "evil" to match the Rock's "good." Just below, Rikishi Phatu, the Big Show, and Kane round out the upper card. The undercard is populated by talented wrestlers like Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, Kurt Angle, Tazz, and X-Pac, not to mention personalities like Crash Holly, Road Dogg Jesse James, and the Godfather. The tag ranks are populated with exciting teams like Too Cool, the Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, Al Snow and Steve Blackman, and of course, "those damn Dudleys." Things couldn't be better.

But they could sure as hell get worse.

The WWF's immense popularity is making people forget the traditionally cyclical nature of the wrestling business. As the fans eat up the Rock and Triple H with a fork and spoon, it's hard to believe that there will come a point when they'll push away from the table, pat their bellies, and say "I'm full."

That time will come, and it could be sooner than anyone thinks. It won't be like a stock market crash; it'll happen gradually and over time. But there are a few things happening that scare me.

First of all, there's Mae Young's parade-o-bumps. I can't deny that I jumped out of my seat when Mae took that Buh Buh Bomb from the stage on Monday's RAW, but I'd also be lying if I said that it was a good idea for the WWF. Too much more of this, and one of two things could happen: a) people can get sick of seeing Mae on TV, and change the channel one by one; or b) people can start listening to Phil Mushmouth. Either way, it ain't good.

Also, with such a deep talent reserve, there are some WWF stars who seem to be getting lost in the shuffle where they had once been upper midcarders/main eventers. The best example is probably Test. Before Survivor Series, he was involved in a hot angle, and came extremely close to becoming WWF champ (the fans were ready for it, too). Now, Test is jobbing to the Radicals and going absolutely nowhere. And Test isn't the only one who's been displaced. D-Lo Brown can't be too happy with his current role in the company. The former Intercontinental Champion is now near the bottom card, and I doubt that he's pleased. These are young wrestlers with a lot of ability, good looks, and good personalities, personalities they could conceivably take with them to WCW if they so chose. And when you combine Ted Turner's money with a thinner roster that would allow a lot of advancement, Test and/or D'Lo just might so choose.

And how can we forget the impending returns of Steve Austin and the Undertaker? Where will they fit into the picture? Austin, as wrestling's top drawing card before his injury, might expect the Rock to hand him back his spot upon his return. And where will Mark Calloway fit into things? I wouldn't put it past Vince to let wrestlers' egos destroy his company, since it has happened before (See also: Hogan, Hulk; Kliq, The).

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those guys who walks around the park with a sign that says, "the end is near." I may be Dartmouth Dan Doomsday, but I'm not predicting doomsday for the WWF. All I'm saying is that Vince can't get complacent. According to Bill Apter, whom I spoke with earlier this week, the crowds at RAWs and tapings have been unhappy with the prospect of the Triple H/Big Show main event for Wrestlemania. The continued TBS/HHH feud was a symbol of WWF complacency. They thought that they could dick around with the fans, but they can't. By keeping things on track for the TBS/HHH main event, the WWF was starting to venture into that territory of "insulting the fans' intelligence" that Vince always says he stopped. So Vince can't fall asleep at the wheel here. When Austin comes back, let him try being a babyface a while, and if the Rock keeps getting bigger pops, tell Austin that he's going to be a heel and he's going to like it. Let him shave off the People's Eyebrow or something. Rock vs. Austin @ WM17, anyone?

It'll be a while for the Undertaker, but I say that when he comes back, he should work on the same side as Kane for an extended period of time. I don't want to see UT vs. Kane, but uniting the Brothers Grim as a tag team has definite potential. UT/Kane vs. DX could be a viable feud for months.

I'm not going to get into specifics. Well, too late. Anyway, the WWF is doing well, but they can't let themselves get distracted. Not by the XFL, not by egos, not by anything. Until next week, I'm Dan Doomsday, thanking you for reading, because READING IS FUNDAMENTAL!! Goodnight, everybody!

Dartmouth Dan Doomsday

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