...AND MARKING OUT
I'm back again, feeling important enough to write down exactly what I think about our favorite guilty pleasure, email it to CRZ, and have it posted for all five of you to read. Before you either enjoy or hate what I think this week, I want to give crazy shouts Ian Challis for putting me over in his column last week for helping with the column's new name and all. I'm THE Drop now instead of Drop (at least according to Ian *) and I actually think that's causing me to feel even more self-indulgent than usual. The politically correct thing to do would be for me to give him his heat back this week, so here goes: If you haven't or you don't, go on over a check out the Monday Night Hangover. It appears poor Ian drinks as he watches wrestling and often needs painkillers the next day. See just how many pills he had to pop to recover from Raw and Nitro. Go ahead! You know you want to... I think the gimmick is going to be great; I would've used it for myself if I hadn't already stolen Peter King's. Which brings us to:
10 Things I Think I Think (I think):
1. I think that all things considered, Raw was better than Nitro. That's not to say that Nitro is not improving, because it is. The last two shows have had a very good flow and focus. They built everything to the final segment of the show nicely and certainly kept a lot more of my interest than usual. But, Raw was still better. Call me a WWF mark if you will (go ahead, I won't be offended) but I still see Nitro as a show that is hampered by bad production which results in a cheesy look and too many people I don't necessarily care to share my Monday nights with. A classic example of WCW's cut-rate production was that whole segment with General Rection and A-Wall talking in the foreground while Cajun and Chavo argued in the background. Did anyone else get the impression that this whole segment was filmed in front of a blue screen? Let's face it, Raw simply looks better than Nitro: it's "prettier," sleeker and slicker. The camera angles are much better at helping the viewer at home to suspend belief. If Nitro could just manage to look better, it would make a heck of a difference especially given their newfound sense of slow and deliberate build-up throughout the show. Time-Warner can certainly do better than this.
2. I think that as cool as it was to see the Dudleys come down the ramp in RTC garb (because the RTC is getting somewhat stale and Bull and GF are not making the grade as tag champs IMODO), it is all for nothing as this is one all ONE HUGE SWERVE. Here's why: The Dudleys are fan favorites whose signature moves all play to the crowd: from the Whaasuuup Spot, to Devon's War Dance, to The Dudley Death Drop, to Buh Buh shouting "Devon! [shove]...Get the Tables!" Simply put, for the Dudleys to effectively turn heel they would have to stop playing to the crowd. This would mean that they would have to develop and adopt a whole new in-ring arsenal, and I don't think that's happened.
3. I think that it was great to see Double A Arn Anderson back on WCW television. I've always been a big mark for the Enforcer. If others in the company would listen to his advice and watch some of his old stuff (in the ring and on the mic), they would only improve. I also figured that his return would somehow lead to him being punked-out by Steiner, but at this point I'll take what I can get of old Arn. Flair may have been the flashy front man of the Horseman, but Arn was surely the heart and soul of that treacherous foursome that most people surely loved more than they hated. It's a shame he can't really get in the ring anymore, I would mark-out hard for an actual wrestling angle that involved him. Hopefully better WCW ratings will mean more of him on screen in the future.
4. I think that the Rock had the single biggest mark-out moment of Monday night when he cut that promo on the Six-man Hell In a Cell Match. Is he auditioning for his next big movie role? He was right on the money with his impersonations. We had already seen his "Kurt Angle" and his "Triple H," but I could not have been the only fan on the east coast howling when he did the UT/Kane zombie sit-up and when he channeled Rikishi. I admit it [blank stare], "I marked out...for da Rock. I marked out...for da great one." I have officially rewound my tape at least five times to watch that promo. How he does that and still remains relatively humble is beyond me. And while I'm at it, I just want to piggyback an ongoing conversation over on the E-Z Board regarding marking out. Marking out is okay. In fact, you should mark out. It's expected. It's a requirement for true fans. If you are not watching professional wrestling with the hopes that someone like the Rock or Jericho or Kurt Angle or Edge and Christian will make you involuntarily howl, laugh, or spill your beer, what the heck are you watching for? 5. I think the following things following the Road Dogg/K-Kwik v. E&C match: a. Edge and Christian are dangerously close to being faces. Not that I would mind, but the crowd is always way into them and if they didn't do heinous things to people like the Undertaker and Rock, they wouldn't get booed at all. If it's not Vince's plan and the crowd keeps reacting like they are now, they'll have to turn much like Jericho. Their pre-match rap was my second biggest MOM of the night, but b. Their match with Road Dogg and K-Kwik had NO HEAT. As soon as the match started, it became obvious that no one in the arena seemed to care. Maybe they really were simply confused about who to cheer and who to boo. Here's my vote: E&C "Yaaahhh!!!" RD&KK "Booooo!!" Especially whenever they enter the arena with that live, God-awful Road Dogg theme song hip-hop remix. Somebody push the mute button already.
6. I think that Nitro will never again win a Monday night war if they continue to give viewers with trigger-happy remotes choices like this: watch the beginning or Raw featuring a decent UT/Rikishi match of watch 2 Count cut a promo. What were they thinking? Tony Schiavone, that pink slip is not a "while you were out message."
7. I think that the following individuals are either being grossly misused and/or underutilized: Eddie Guerrero, Mike Awesome, Lance Storm, Rhino, Al Snow, Goldberg, D-Lo Brown. I don't really think I have to go into any detail here.
8. I think that I am totally sick and tired of watching Goldberg squash people. The streak is stupid and everybody knows it. C'mon, is this television circa 1980-something when the squash match was all that most televised events were about? Do we really want to waste valuable television time with squash matches that don't (a) build up his stature and (b) potentially harm the future of guys who are fed to him like Reno?
9. Even though my buddy Freeman from Tennessee hates him, I still don't think I understand why the WWF won't give YJ2 a good, strong, lasting push to the main event. All he really needs is a good heel turn and a strong heel push so that his character can mature and grow. The formula worked wonders for Rocky Mavia the Blue Chipper, Hunter Hearst Hemsley the Snob, and the Steve Austin the Ringmaster. I have no doubt that it could work for Raw is Jericho as well. He'd have the same problem as the Rock in that his charisma would get him over in the wrong way (cheered instead of booed), but if he can really could manage to convincingly come across as evil, sick, and sadistic instead of funny all the time, he would be money in the bag.
10. I think that I will be glad when the APA is back on television if only because I am growing weary of all their imitators both in the WWF and WCW. From Test and Albert to The Harris Brothers and Kronik, the gimmick infringement must end. I can't really tell which one of the WCW teams is actually doing the gimmick best as the Harris Brothers seem to be protecting while Kronik seem to be acting as hired hitmen. Either way, they both suck.
Whew. I'm going to get off my soapbox now. Send feedback/hatemail if you feel the need.
Mail the Author