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Craig Reade



SummerSlam Warmup

Not much time tonight, so I will get right to it

Raw Thoughts

An average show. It did not suck, but it was not nearly as good as last week. Being the last show before a PPV, I really think that is to be expected. I have some serious high hopes for next week though.

Yes! Down with the 24-7 rule. I feel like Miss Cleo.

Good to see the Island Boys take down someone somewhat serious, even if it was the Big Show. They should have beat on him for a lot longer. And I just loved how Eric just shouted out "3 minutes!" That was fantastic. I always liked Creative Control in WCW, and as of right now, the Island Boys seem to be in a similar enforcer role. Maybe a Big Show/Island Boys handicap match is in the cards for the PPV- if so, I do not like the Big Show's chances in that one.

I thought Fozzy was decent. Yeah, they had that "live suck band" feeling, but who doesn't nowadays. I am seriously considering checking out the album.

The whole HHH/HBK non-sanction thing is retarded. Who really cares, is all I have to say. Nice to see HBK show up and superkick the hell out of everyone. I still think it will be a good match, as long as it stays in the ring for the majority of the match.

Still not enough wrestling. I would love to see Raw start off with an actual match, and THEN go into the promos. I find myself getting other things to do for the first 20 minutes...

The Meaning of Matches

After seeing things like the "Tale of the Tape" on NWA:TNA, I began to think about the lack of meaning in WWE matches. Speaking strictly from a character perspective, why does any wrestler care if he loses a match? If you think about it, all a wrestler has to do in the WWE to get a title shot is to piss the champion off enough to get a match. In fact, that was the EXACT angle used to get Jericho a title shot against HHH all that time ago. But, with the exception of Brock/Rock, and the RVD/Benoit automatic title rematch clause (I am always surprised when the WWE remembers that little rule) at Summerslam, nothing I have seen in the last several months match wise had anything to do with rankings or title picture whatsoever.

HHH, the character, is a WWE wrestler, and former champion. The ultimate goal of ANY such competitor, be it boxing, tennis, or "wrestling" in this case, is to be the best. #1, the champion. How is this match with HBK supposed to lead to an eventual HHH title shot? Granted, this is "sports entertainment," and feuds like this are necessary and bound to happen, but in this case it makes no sense. HHH as a character would stop at nothing to win the WWE title. In the position he is in now, he would be looking for that one win to put him right back in the picture. Sean Michaels is not it. The backstage bullshit made sense, because HBK threatened his ego, but that would not necessarily mean that HHH would take a match with HBK at the drop of a hat to "prove a point," especially not at a PPV. Sean Michaels is a RETIRED wrestler with no ranking, so to speak. HHH gains nothing by beating him at Summerslam. The logical way for this feud to produce a match would be for HBK to goad HHH into a match, to make him forget about the title picture because it is that personal. Right now, it really is not at that level.

Matches for number one contendership are great. I loved Goldust asking to make the Booker T/Lance Storm match a number one contender's match. It made sense, and it made the match more believable. That was a logical build-up to a title match, and now the tag-title contest at Summerslam has purpose, unlike-

Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio. What? I do not like the match between "my favorite all time wrestler" and "the only reason I watched WCW near the end?" To put it simply, yes, I am sure that the match, despite the difference in styles and size, will be fantastic. But who really cares about this match? YES, Kurt Angle got pinned by Rey. Who cares? It was a tag match and meant nothing to Kurt's standings, so to speak. Kurt very much wants to be the Undisputed Champion, and a match with Rey will do nothing to further that. And if he loses? For a Heavyweight contender to lose to a Cruiserweight in a high profile match would be disastrous. Better to take out your aggression on the little guy for beating you in a meaningless match outside that venue- Run in on his matches, rough him up in the locker-room. But don't put your standing in the rankings on the line! Now if Rey came in week after week and found ways to beat and humiliate Angle, the match would make more sense, but not this way.

Managers did a lot to make certain that matches made sense, from a story perspective. THEY decided whom their wrestler fought. That is why I like Paul Heyman as Brock's manager. It makes sense- he adds to Brock's gimmick, and gives the character focus. What has been Brock's goal since coming to the WWE? The Undisputed Title. And he has not wavered from that once. Every one of his matches was designed to move him up in the rankings, and give him more and more credibility. It shows a surprising amount of long-term planning on the part of the WWE, and I like it.

Also, the Rock and Brock have been kept completely apart, adding to the importance of the match. This Main Event has been staged perfectly from day one, and I love it. If you want to see Rock vs. Lesnar for the title, order the PPV. That is what the WWE is saying, and they are sticking to it. If only all of the major title matches could be like that, I would be ecstatic. All it needs is a "Tale of the Tape" type intro, to give it a "real match feel" and I do not think there is much that could go wrong.

In my opinion, the WWE needs to make a much greater effort to make the matches have importance, to make them seem like actual contests where the results matter, instead of simple brawls. Do "Tales of the Tape." Keep the wrestlers who are going to be facing each other in the PPV apart. Work harder to make the matches on Raw and Smackdown have more importance. Feuds were always supposed to supplement the match, not be the entire reason for it. The WWE has forgotten that-

Brock Going Down?

I really get the feeling that Brock is going to lose his match against the Rock. Yeah, I have heard all of the arguments that "the Rock is leaving to make a movie" and "To have Brock lose would kill his character." Well, at this point, I have to disagree. There are many ways for Brock to lose that would not only help his character, but also make the title story line a lot more interesting. Imagine this- Brock loses in spectacular fashion. Be it by a Paul Heyman mistake (which results in the decimation of Heyman by Brock) or the Rock just beats him senseless, or Hogan (either during the match or after) comes out and destroys Brock, it would result in a berserk "Next Big Thing." Think about Brock's mega-push like a war- if you advance too much too quickly, you can outrun your supply lines. The same is true here. For Brock Lesnar to be a legitimate Main Event contender, he needs more depth of character. He needs adversity for that. Brock needs to lose, not because he is not a monster, but because he is not indestructible. The resulting rampage Brock could have (without Paul Heyman to temper him) would be spectacular. And maybe, who knows? The Rock still has a few more weeks, maybe when it is close to curtain time for the Rock Brock can exact his revenge, and brutalize him so badly that he would be unable to return for months (conveniently the length of time the Rock is supposed to be gone). The result? A champion who cannot defend his title, redering it vacant.

Many things could happen then- a title tournament being one of them. Normally these are frowned upon because it takes away from the title's prestige, but as of right now, the WWE needs something like that. They are embarking on a new era, and the one thing that has really gotten no serious shake-up is the Undisputed Title. The last "new blood" champion we have had in about the last year was Chris Jericho. If the WWE needs to elevate some younger talent to that level, and that cannot be accomplished by just having Brock win the title. Guys like Booker T, Kane, and Jericho need something like a tournament to get them firmly on the level of guys like HHH and the Rock. I mean, a first round win by Jericho over the Undertaker would be phenomenal. Or maybe hold the belt over until the Royal Rumble to build some serious story for it?

Another possibility is splitting the belts between the two promotions. It has been said before, and I still agree that is the best thing for the WWE to do. And what better way to do it than to have the General Managers fighting over possession of a vacant title?

Next to Jump Ship

I do not read spoilers, so if this HAS happened, I had no clue. But I get the impression from Bischoff's mud match comment "no one cares about Women's Wrestling anyway..." that the next batch to jump to Smackdown are the WWE women- aside from Stacy of course. Molly, Victoria, Ivory, Lita- the actual WRESTLERS. Seems like a good way to establish a firm reason for jumping ship, rather than just hopping into a limo....


Just some predictions on some of the already-confirmed Summerslam matches-

Chris Jericho vs. Ric Flair

Jericho comes out on top here. Not only does he need the win, badly, but Flair is definitely on a retirement tour of sorts. Flair goes down to the younger man like a true champion. Not much more reason than that.

Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle

Wow.... I have no idea. I am going to GUESS Rey Mysterio. Kurt Angle would be more entertaining is a loss anyway. But Kurt is going to kill Rey after the match.

Undertaker vs. Test

Undertaker wins this one. I can't see having the evil "Unamericans" winning this one, because by appearances, it is more important (the American Badass sticking up for his country), but the loss will really do nothing to kill the heat of the UnAmericans, especially after-

Booker T and Goldust vs. Lance Storm and Christian

The UnAmericans win this one. They need those titles to remain a serious threat. Besides, if my idea about the Undisputed title is right, Booker T would be hurt by holding the tag titles. He will be needed elsewhere.

HHH vs. Shawn Michaels

Shawn wins this one. Just a gut feeling.

RVD vs. Benoit

I think RVD wins this one. Benoit will be needed the same way that Booker T is- for the title picture. And as much as I admire the way RVD has improved over the last several months, I still think hew is not ready to have a real shot at the Undisputed Title. Soon- just not yet.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock

Again, the Rock will take this one. One reason I did not mention was the fact that Brock has never held the Intercontinental Title. I really can't take a champion seriously in this day and age who has not held that belt first.

On paper, Summerslam seems like it is going to be fantastic. There are several matches on the lineup where the men involved have not met in the ring all month (for the most part) so I get the feeling that everything will be very fresh. Hopefully they put on some great matches. I would like to see more of this from the WWE.


That is all I have this week. Summerslam better be worth it- I don't want to rush home from work to a pile of crap. But maybe that is just me. Oh, sign my petition here- Marvel had the GALL to cancel my favorite (and yours too, admit it) comic character, and I want it back. What? I am not a geek if I watch wrestling, but I am if I read comics? Screw you? Anyway, thanks, and see you next week...

Craig Reade
Wienerville: Pool-Boy

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