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Craig Reade



80's- Style Promos and Tommy Dreamer

Well, it has been an interesting week in wrestling to say the least. Smackdown saw the beginning of perhaps one of the best angles the WWE has seen to date - Billy/Chuck vs. the Island Boys. Now it may have been thrown together, but it definitely had the feel of something that has been in the works for a very long time.

The wedding on Smackdown was golden. I lost it when the "old man preacher" said three minutes- one rare mark-out moment. Having avoided the spoilers, I was totally in the dark as to what was going to happen (save one sad person who spoiled part of the ceremony for me on Weinerville - PLEASE, mark your Smackdown posts SPOILER if it has not aired yet!). And for those of you who read the spoilers in advance, I do feel sorry for you. I get the feeling that the scene would not have had any of its power had I known what was going to take place ahead of time.

The WWE built this "Smackdown run-in" up perfectly- whether it was an accident or not. The HLA segment on last week's Raw was obvious foreshadowing, and I am surprised no one called it sooner. Bischoff was saying that "gay/lesbian" angles were cheap publicity stunts, and he showed his audience just how he dealt with things like that - 3 minutes style. And he followed through on his implied promise.

This built to the I.O.W. segments on Raw. This I thought was very predictable (in fact, I was looking for Stephanie the whole time, but never found her), but necessary and VERY well executed. The showdown between Billy and Chuck and the Island Boys in the ring had a very main event feel to it- something that the un-Americans vs. the Dudleyz earlier in the night just did not have. In short, I am EXCITED for this tag match at the PPV, and I am officially BEGGING the WWE not to ruin this for me by having another run-in on Smackdown, or something similar. Just let Steph accept the challenge, and keep these teams apart until the PPV.

Raw thoughts-

I have never resorted to calling HHH anything like poocHHHie, but I am starting to wonder if that is not an accurate description of his these days. He had no business being in most of the segments he was in on Raw, and I am forced to wonder why. Everyone and their mother bags on the guy for being overexposed, so I try to steer clear of it, but some things you just can't let go by unmentioned. To say something good about him- I do like the sleeper as his new finisher. I am probably the only one, but oh well. I always liked it in the past, and I have definitely missed it. Now maybe I will be able to get a video game where that is a serious move...

Was it just me, or was Ric Flair's hand on the rope when Rico pinned him? Why didn't JR or the King mention that fact? Was Rico's reaction genuine surprise? Was this a big screw-up?

Man, did Bischoff sell that ball shot or what?

STILL waiting for that Chris Jericho clean win. He won clean you say? Really? I don't believe it! Amazing.... that explains the champagne more than anything, I think.

Jeff Hardy needs 6 months R&R. Please... this kid is killing himself, and it is starting to show.

80's Style Promos

If there is one thing from the Hulkamania Era of the WWF that I miss and wish they would bring back, it would be the 30-second mini-promos that they would show like 5 of in a row. No wrestler interaction in the ring or backstage, just pure, one sided, this is what I am going to do and why. Right to the point. This is something they could definitely update with some better graphics and production quality, still keep short and sweet, yet entertaining. It would cut down on the in-ring promo time, and leave a lot more time for matches (like the phantom 3-way dance for the Woman's title). Plus, if a wrestler screwed up his lines, they could always do another take. I think it would make a world of difference in the quality of the show. Maybe they should try it on Raw? That show seems to be a better testing ground for new ideas, and I think this one would be a winner.


This is something I was going to put in last week, but I was dead tired from studying for a final (Real Estate Principles, joy), so I will add it here this week.

I am not a "believer in what happened in the Bingo Hall." I watched ECW maybe twice- around the time when Tazz took the title off of Mike Awesome. I thought the quality of matches and overall production was poor, and I was bored to tears. I thought New Jack sucked. His matches were loud, boring, and overly predictable. I was bored to tears when Hardcore Hack (sorry, Sandman, I know how touchy ECW fans are about that) would stand there and pose to music for 15 minutes before wrestling. To be honest, there was very little there that I found redeeming about it, and God knows that I tried.

This, at the time, included one Tommy Dreamer. From everything I had heard about him, I was certain he was an upstanding and loyal worker, and a decent guy - the "Sting" of the ECW. I heard all about how he had never held the ECW title until the Mike Awesome fiasco, and did not care to. I heard what a great wrestler he was, and ignored it. I didn't want to watch ECW, and that was that.

Then he came to the WWE and ran-in during the infamous ECW reunion. I waited and waited, and still could not see the big deal. The guy did nothing. Granted, he was not booked to, but I waited all the same. Then, eventually, came the "Guy who eats strange things" angle. I watched intently then, because any gimmick at all is a start- it meant that Vince or whoever thought he was worth spending time and money on.

Then came the return of the "Innovator of Violence." Since I never really saw the original "IoV," I watched with more interest. Then it dawned on me-

This guy loves this business.

Maybe I am slow. This is probably something that all of you ECW fans knew from the start. But I saw a fire in this guy's eyes time and time again that betrayed nothing but love for entertaining. He this is a guy who does not care about politics, or "winning or losing," just making people happy. He is an example of what every single guy backstage should be like in the wrestling business. And I can tell all of this by looking in his eyes as he performs. By how he busts his ass constantly while in the ring.

Yes, I know all of the ECW fans out there know this already. But I thought you would all like to know, from someone who thinks RVD is only so-so, from someone who was bored to tears by the ECW product, from someone who was "WWF" 4"Life" (brother)- you were right about this one.

My Girlfriend's Wrestling Opinion of the Week

"Wrestling is stupid."

This does not bode well for next week's Smackdown... I will have to keep trying....

WCW title

Here is another (albeit late) email I got from someone about their favorite match involving a certain belt.

While I think that the Funk/Flair affair was fantastic and happened to be one of the greatest storylines ever used in the history of pro-wrestling, I feel it falls short to one match: Flair/Luger from Starcade 1988. The tension was phenomenal, nobody knew who was going to win (at least it was one of the few I personally didn't know about). As Lugar was surging to the top in popularity and skill and Flair was "The Man", it promised delivery on paper, which is a rarity these days. Finally, I feel it one of few seemingly perfect matches in terms of psychology, moveset, crowd reaction, storyline within the match and outside, and style, as Lugar and Flair complimented each other in every motion. WWE wishes they could produce two stars with that kind of charisma and talent to headline a show with THAT good of a match. People like Lugar, Flair, Steamboat, Funk, Sting... all are one in a million, and NWA had them in the same place at the same time and using them correctly. WWE (then WWF) had that window in the same time period. Hogan used to be able to wrestle his ass off and get the crowd more involved than anyone. Randy Savage Savage could carry a tin can to a ***** match. Roddy Piper, when motivated, was a HELL of a heel. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were both fully capable of wrestling well, but were stuck in tag teams. And finally, their biggest waste, Curt Henig, since he was given virtually no push and was the best worker on the roster (we are talking 1989-1990). Anyway, that is my opinion. Check out Lugar/Flair. It is one of the greatest matches of all time. Thank you for your time.

Frank Cook

So check it out. Any others out there?


After a week like this, I thought I would have more to say. I am praying for a Mysterio/Noble title match at the PPV, but somehow I doubt it is going to happen. Maybe a Cruiser battle royal? Oh, wouldn't that be too much to ask for. Well, to my 14 readers, thanks again, and see you next week with a "live" Smackdown report (after I get home- I hope I have the energy to write it!)

Craig Reade
Wienerville: Pool-Boy

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