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Dan Doomsday




I'm Dan Doomsday, yes I'm the real Doomsday, all you other Dan Doomsdays are just...wait a second, there ARE no other Dan Doomsdays!! Oh well. In any case, this is the most electrifying column in sports entertainment today, the Device, and as always, I am your host, the World's Most Dangerous Columnist, Dartmouth Dan Doomsday. Before we get started, I just want to send a quick get-well message to my boy Ken Wallace. Alright, I did that. Next, some brief recommendations: catch a rerun of Meat Loaf: To Hell and Back next time it's on VH1, and read All Too Human by George Stephanopolous. OK, that's out of the way. Now, it's time for this week's column, entitled.


As I look back on this month of July, I remember attending the Boston Pops Concert on July 4. It's not exactly a family tradition, but we go once every few years, and it's something we all enjoy. When we arrived at the Esplenade that day, around noon, I looked in the program, and was delighted to find that one of the guest performers was Don McLean of "American Pie" fame. Now, "American Pie" is a favorite of everyone in my family, even Mama Doomsday, who has almost never met a popular act that she likes (but I love her anyway).

As the hours to the concert passed, I grew more and more excited about hearing a live performance of one of my favorite songs. My family and I talked about the song, all the historical references in the lyrics, and how much we all enjoyed the song. The concert finally arrived, and I was pumped. I enjoyed hearing the Boston Pops, as they are a great group, and the crowd was hot. Arturo Sandoval had a great performance, and I enjoyed that. Linda Eder (currently starring in Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway) was pretty good as well, but I couldn't stop thinking about McLean. He finally arrived, and performed his other hit, "Vincent," which I was not familiar with, but found enjoyable enough. As he began to play "American Pie," I was in heaven. I sang along with every lyric, and clapped my hands in a way that would probably inspire Scotty Anton to sue for gimmick infringement. As I began to sing, "Now for ten years, we've been on our own..." I realized that I was no longer singing with McLean. He had skipped over that verse, along with most of the rest of the song. As he ended the song (at under 4 minutes, probably), I applauded enthusiastically, but I would be lying to you if I said that I wasn't disappointed. He had played "Vincent" in its entirety, but had shortened "American Pie." I would have rather he done the reverse, and I feel that most of the crowd agreed with me. As I walked out, even though I had enjoyed the concert, I felt somewhat cheated, especially since Linda Eder wasn't all that great.

That, my friends, is why we SMELLLLLLLLL-LA-LA-LA-LOW...What the ROCK...[sudden head movements, lowering of sunglasses] cooking every week on RAW and Smackdown.

The 4th of July Boston Pops Concert is a tradition in Boston. It's also a free concert, supported by various business organizations headquarted in the Boston area. The people will be back next year, and they will be back to hear a different set of guest performers. The fact that Don McLean shortened "American Pie," but played all of "Vincent," will not matter in the long run.

The WWF, however, is a business. If the people walk out of a WWF show feeling as though they've been cheated, it's not very likely that they'll open up their wallets the next time the WWF comes to town. And if the fans don't SMELLLLLLL-LA-LA-LA-LOW etc., many of them may walk out feeling cheated.

For the WWF, the wrestling is "Vincent." It's good, it's enjoyable, and it's an important part of the show. However, the characters, including mannerisms, rituals, and yes, catchphrases, are "American Pie." That's the highlight of the show, and the WWF has to give it to their fans in its entirety.

Don't believe me? The WWF gave us a lot of well-performed renditions of "Vincent" between 1993 and 1996. With the help of the trusty Rantsylvania Match Database, I found that there were 30 matches that Scott Keith rated between ***1/2 and ***** between 1993 and 1996. In the current WWF "Second Golden Age," there has been only one less match in that range, but the WWF's business has been infinitely better. Why? Because the WWF kept giving us "Vincent" (29 matches between ***1/2 and ******), ditched most of the Linda Eder crap (dumb gimmicks that no one cared about), and gave us "American Pie" out the wazoo (Smackdown Hotel, Suck It, 5 Second Poses, Just Bring It, People's Elbow, That Damn Good, It's True...It's True, etc.). Most of us were there between 1993 and 1996, but there are a whole lot of people who weren't, who came to hear "American Pie."

WCW is the opposite. When we think of the NWA/WCW, we think of Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair, the Andersons, Sting, the Rock and Roll Express, the Four Horsemen, etc. In WCW, wrestling is "American Pie," and the characters and catchphrases tend to fall somewhere between "Vincent" and Linda Eder. That's why Vince Russo's approach hasn't really been working until recently: he thought he was giving fans "American Pie," but he was really taking it away at the expense of Linda Eder and "Vincent." Terry Taylor, Johnny Ace and Fit Finlay have done a great job bringing the "American Pie" back to WCW.

I don't know if what I'm saying is necessarily all that new, but I think these are things we here on the Internet need to remind ourselves about every now and then. And, for the record, Sean Shannon is right about ECW, because at the moment, they're just giving us "Vincent" and Linda Eder (Justin Credible, Rhino, Network, Tommy Dreamer, BILLY CORGAN, etc.), while failing to deliver "American Pie" (Tajiri, Psychosis, Mikey, Guido WITHOUT Graziano, etc.) But I'm beginning to see why I can't get Shannon's attention: between Tammy Sytch, Justin Credible, Steve Corino, and Hyatte, it's easy for a guy like me to get lost in the mix. Oh well, I did get that "Paging Mr. Doomsday" comment a while back. But enough of that. Until next week, this has been the Device. Direct all e-mail to, and keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Goodnight, everybody.

Dartmouth Dan Doomsday

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