...AND MARKING OUT
Hey True Believers! Welcome to another fun-filled episode. I have just completed watching all of the Monday night happenings for the first time in a long time and have scribbled a brand new list of ten things I think. I was unable to watch Mayhem, basically because my neighbor who was supposed to call I he was going to watch, DIDN'T (yes, I'm calling you out, Matt!!), so I read the recaps and such that were posted all over the Net. Almost makes me look like a psychic for my Steiner column, no? I'm kidding. Really. In any event WCW has a good deal of my attention now-more than they have had in months -so you'll find this week's column has more of my thoughts on Ted's programming than usual. Maybe that'll silence the people who call me a WWF mark, ort maybe not. Lord knows, I don't. As a fan, I just like good TV (or at least I think I do and for the record, RAW was not good this week). On to the show:
10 Things I Think I Think (this week at least)
1. CRZ beat me to the punch in his RAW recap, but I think I (too) get it regarding Austin's heel turn. Since two counts of attempted murder and vehicular homicide on the two previous PPVs won't work, it is becoming obvious from the last two RAW main events that the WWF's plan to turn the casual fans against Austin involves (wait for it...) TECHNICAL MAT WRESTLING. If trying to kill people keeps the fans interest, how about boring them instead? Mind you, I loved his past two matches with Benoit and Angle, but the live crowds were not. Notice how they chanted, "Let's go Austin!!" as he went through a series of reversals and counters with our Canadian Crippler and our Olympic Hero? The live crowd didn't really get involved until Austin hit his formulatic Thesz Press, followed by punches and such. Nothing will get the crowd to boo like a sleeper hold, and armbar, or a hammerlock. The funny thing is, this plan could actually work. Austin's workrate could go up (yaaah!!) while his crowd approval goes down. Go figure.
2. I think that I have to take back some of my Scott Steiner praise from my last column. Frisco (a friend) may have thought it was hilarious (and he called me marking out and all just to tell me how funny he found it), but I personally thought that Steiner dropping Austin and Rock's names during his promo with Ric Flair was bad business. Does Steiner have the star power to do that? Yes. Should he? No. Vince didn't buy WCW, so fans know that Austin and Rocky aren't going to magically appear to be his mystery Starrcade opponent. So why draw attention to the company you're trying to beat? Steiner may have "beaten Austin's ass when he was in WCW," but Austin has drawn byrates that I would be astounded to see Steiner duplicate. Besides, didn't Steiner get into biiiig trouble once before during a promo with Flair when he talked about Austin, et al.? Maybe I'm the only one who remembers...
3. I think that WCW has no set formula for the elevation of their talent. For proof, just see Lance Storm and Mike Awesome. The WWF has a ladder that you climb. You wrestle, you win the European Championship, you lose it, you wrestle, you win the Intercontinental Championship, you wrestle, you lose it, and you step up to the Championship level. Following this same format, one would think that wrestlers like Lance Storm that have been fighting for the U.S. Heavyweight belt should now be in the title picture, but aren't. There is no way Storm shouldn't be at least teasing a chase of Steiner. If there is anything WCW can do, it's waste good talent. Sheeesh...Sid sits at home for months after having ill-timed surgery and is rewarded with a title shot at the company's biggest PPV? What sense does that make? Oh yeah, I forgot, this is WCW.
4. I think that I love Kurt Angle's newest tweak. Cunning, manipulative mastermind who becomes a boldface liar in the face of accusation and indisputable evidence is brilliant. It's just the right edge for Kurt. It allows him to still be the Olympic jackass we all know and hate, but makes him a tad more formidable (which gives him the extra credibility I had been begging for over the past few weeks). Teaming him with E&C also adds to the comedy, while sustaining their heat while they sit out of the tag title picture. Their interactions on Monday were the highlights of the show. That and Angle's prize smirks. Great work all around.
5. I think I'll forgive the WWF for their demotion of Benoit and Guerrero as long as the Radicals keep their collective heat by beating the hell out of other wrestlers. They took out Lita, the Hardyz, and Neo on Monday night. Not a bad night's work if I do say so myself. Benoit quote after clobbering Lita with the door was priceless: "She's just another broad." HA!
6. I think Goldberg needs to concentrate a focus more when in the ring. When is the last time you have seen anyone forget to sell a blindside chairshot?!? Luger hit him with that chair and there had to be a five second delay before Bill acted as if he had even been struck. Note to Goldberg: superman comebacks work best as part of the storyline of a money match. And NO, Luger-Goldberg is not a money match, no matter how hard they attempt to properly build it this time. Maybe they'll get it right this time. I just think it's too late already. Luger lost. And NO, lasting longer than Goldberg's ring entrance does not grant you another shot at ending the streak.
7. I think the Rock continues to slide down the WWF Face pole. His match with Rikishi started at approximately 9:46 EST. For crying out loud, doesn't the man at least deserve the top of the hour? He was only the number one guy (face) while Austin was having surgery and all. Whatever happened to respect? Dwayne cannot be happy about this. Perhaps that's why his match with Rikishi seemed so "off?"
8. I think that the proper way to enjoy the Monday night shows is as follows: Watch both (if you can, tape what you miss during the overlap hour). Read CRZ's Recaps. Visualize. .Laugh. Read Hyatte's Mop-Ups. Take Motrin from the stitches in your side. Or get a sense of humor and lighten up if you're offended. Only after watching the shows can you truly and completely appreciate their humor and effort. I read when I watch and also when I am unable to watch. It's definitely better when I have my own stupid thoughts to act as a backdrop against their opinions and sarcasm. Try it. You'll like it- Hey Mikey!
9. I know that I am totally depressed that ECW is not available in the Baltimore-Washington viewing area. I checked on their website. Here's hoping that Heyman finds a national network and soon, before the rest of his top talent like RVD, Rhino, and Justin Credible decide to bolt to the top two, where they will be promptly misused by WCW or buried in the talent pool of the WWF.
10. I think I also finally get the jimmy Hart thing. Hart is challenging disc jockeys for company publicity. Think about it. In theory, if he makes open challenges to any DJ, DJ's around the country should start mentioning his challenges on their shows. The more they mention Hart and his antics, the more intrigued listeners will become. Listeners will then peek at Nitro and/or Thunder to see what all the talk and hype is about and ratings will eventually increase. Wait...what do you mean that doesn't make any sense? Just think about for a moment --- oh well, I tried...
That's all the thinking I have energy for today. Until next time, click on the link to send feedback/hatemail.
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