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Welcome to another edition of "...And Marking Out." This column is very much a work in progress, so please bear with me as it shapes up. Last column, I commented that although I am looking forward to the Rock-Austin feud, I feel that neither of them should have the WWF Championship belt. More on that in another paragraph, but first, some letters ('cause, *I* get 'em, too CRZ!!):

Fratboy wrote:

Ok...not bad for a first time, but I think we have other players. You see, Rikishi comes clean with the "I did it for you, Rock" show and the Rock gives us that look of utter amazement/disgust. I am buying that Rock could have made that initial request, I doubt he begged...It could have been just a simple as a "if only..."

Rikishi probably hates all beer guzzling, gun toting and Ford drivin' white he figures what the hell, I am going to take the SOB out and my buddy the Rock (who has the tools to make a great Champion) can step up a little easier.

But now the secret is out and SC is kicking everybody's ass for just walkin' down the hallway. Rock says to himself, I need a little distance I am not doing anything to aid this situation...He wasn't driving the limo that night when RK stepped from the shadows to level that guy(name?). Someone else...a friend with misguided loyalties...a pawn if you will...eager to please and make a name for himself/ not overlook the woman scorned...she can be a terror to reconcile.

We will see...I will keep reading...I AM A CONSPIRACY GUY...there is no Way Oswald acted alone

Wow. One column, one fan. At this rate - sheesh, I don't wanna think about it.

On to the matter at hand. Here it is: Two Reasons Why neither Austin or Rock should have the belt (in 100 words or more or less).

Reason Number One: The WWF Championship is the pinnacle of the company. It is the most important title a wrestler in the federation can hold. When placed on the right person, it elevates them to a completely different level of recognition and existence within the "wrestling world." The belt can make a former mid-carder seem like a perennial main-eventer, or make a long-time main-eventer seem instantly more credible.

One example of this was Jericho's victory over Triple H on Raw in the spring (boy, was that a mark-out moment or what?). Even though it turned out to be a Dusty finish and Triple H retained the strap, those brief moments with the gold around his waist validated Internet fans' cries and cemented Jericho into the main event. He went on to have an extended feud with Triple H - mostly over calling Stephanie names, but whose keeping track - that culminated in that awesome Last Man Standing match. What happened to his push after that all-to-brief feud is beyond me.

Another example of the belt making the wrestler is Triple H's run as champion through the end of 1999 and the first half of 2000. No one really thought that Triple H could become a top-tier player (boy, were we all wrong). He was funny in DX, and he had a good workrate, but could he really be taken seriously? Turns out that the answer was a resounding YES! His great heel run brought back memories of an 80s Ric Flair to many and gave him a permanent slot among the other main-eventers. And it doesn't appear as if Hunter will be relinquishing his spot any time soon, either.

Reason Number Two: The Championship should seem more important than the wrestler who wears it. The belt should seem like everything. It should come before the wrestler, as in Lilian Garcia announcing, "Please welcome, World Wrestling Federation Champion....Triiiippllle HHHHHHH" I've already talked about Hunter's heel run, so let's speak on Kurt Angle as he is a perfect example of the "belt should be bigger than the wrestler" rule. Because he is vulnerable - and let's face it, he gets his butt kicked in virtually every match he's in - Angle will never seem more important than the belt. The belt makes him, not the other way around. And he wears it, for goodness sake - what a concept!

Frankly put, neither the Rock or Austin can make the cut according to these two reasons. Quite frankly, they are TOO OVER. Is there a such thing as being too popular? Probably not, but their individual popularity is so high, especially now (I know Rocky has been getting booed of late, but bear with me) that the WWF Championship would do little for either one of them. Don't believe me? Think back to the Rock's recent title reign. He was a champ without a story or a real contender. He had no angle. How does that happen?

When Rock was champ, it was like "IF YA SMELLLLLLL (pardon me, CRZ)!!!!!" with crazy pops and cheers coming to the ring, cutting his promos, whipping candy ass, and laying the smack down all over the place. And oh yeah, by the way, he was also the WWF Champion. The belt was an afterthought on the Rock. He was bigger than the belt. The belt became secondary, as was evidenced by Triple H having the hot angle and all the TV time during Rock's title reign. Same goes for Austin. He's so over, having the belt doesn't really matter. As long as he stuns someone and drinks a few beers, most viewers go home happy. The are both simply too popular to hold the title, if that makes any sense.

Maybe the WWF will put the belt on whoever ends up playing the heel and create fan interest in the Wrestlemania payoff match that way. The Fed has been known to make even the unthinkable work now and then. I personally don't need them to battle over the championship. Their angle is getting hotter by the day and with their respective skills as entertainers, I know they can and will put on a good show for the fans.

Save the championship feuds for the wrestlers that need the rub. Next week, 10 Things I think I think about wrestling. Until then, send feedback to

I'm out.


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