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Jim Saccaro




I was watching RAW Monday and I noticed something strange. It seems Triple H was gearing up for a world title defense against Rob Van Dam. That's not the strange part. The strange part is that he was also starting a feud with Bubba Ray Dudley. And challenging Ric Flair. And berating Brock Lesnar. And having a match with Jeff Hardy. And threatening Chris Jericho. Oh yeah, and feuding with Shawn Michaels. I guess you could say that HHH's plate is full. I guess you could say his plate is so full he's gonna need two doggy bags and one of those foil bowls with the white cardboard top to bring it all home. You see, I'm not disagreeing with making HHH the first champion of the RAW brand. He's their biggest name. He's also the most accomplished wrestler on the roster, save an aging Ric Flair. Giving HHH the strap lends it instant credibility. But therein lies the problem. They literally GAVE him the title! No Tournament was held. No battle royal was waged. No fatal four way was booked. Not even a measly one on one match was made for the title. Eric Bischoff just brought out a title that was rendered all but worthless by the past year's invasion crap and handed it to HHH right in the middle of the ring! Meanwhile, the undisputed unified champion, who won his title from one of the best wrestlers of the past decade clean in the middle of the ring, is defending his belt exclusively on Smackdown .

This brings me to an even bigger problem. It seems a certain young lady is taking the battle of the GMs a little too seriously. At this point I can't tell if it is Vince McMahons master plot to destroy Eric Bischoff, or if Stephanie McMahon is taking the battle of GMs personally. Either way you slice it, the GM situation boils down to this:

1. Stephanie is the babyface GM. Bischoff is the heel.
First of all, this is a problem in itself. Instead of making each GM a babyface on his/her own show and heel on the opposing show, they are trying to push Stephanie as a babyface throughout the promotion and vice versa. Ok.. fine. This leads me to a second problem..

2. Stephanie repeatedly gets the upper hand over Eric Bischoff.
This is where they are really dropping the ball. With each "babyface" act by Stephanie and each "heel" act by Bisch, the WWE is accomplishing nothing more than making me like Bischoff, which is something I never will forgive them for.
First of all, if you want to push Stephanie as a face, why isn't she ever in distress for more than a few hours? On the rare occasion that Bischoff gets to one-up Stephanie, she always retaliates with something 2 times better. If they wanted to build up Steph as a babyface, they should actually have gone through with Bischoff raiding Smackdown talent and attacking Smackdown week in and week out. Steph would then retaliate by focusing on improving her product until Bischoff pushes it too far and Steph finally has to fight back. Instead we get Bischoff making a descent move against Smackdown, and Stephanie just blowing him out of the water with a move of her own, often within the same two hour show!!! Is that supposed to make me side with Stephanie?

I think the biggest slap in the face is the fact that Brock Lesnar took his unbroken and undisputed title lineage to Smackdown while Bischoff is busy promoting a bogus paper champion. Why can't each brand have their own champion, and still get the opportunity to wrestle for the undisputed title? I'll tell you why. So Stephanie will, for whatever reason, have that huge advantage over Eric. I guess that's supposed to make me like Stephanie. But lets weigh in on who is more of the babyface here.

Bischoff is sadistic and goofy. He continuously degrades women and cares about nothing but what's best for ratings. He also had two fat Samoans beat up some annoying women, annoying old people, midgets, and Jeff Hardy. He also brought us HLA and ruined a gay wedding.
On the other hand, Stephanie is a controlling bitch who seems to be continuously toying with Bischoff at will.
How isn't Bischoff the babyface in this scenario?!?! The more f'ed up Bischoffs character gets, the more I like him. The WWE's current strategy is working well, however. It works so well, that Bischoff got one of the biggest pops of the night Thursday for ruining the wedding and an even bigger pop for having Stephanie Samoan dropped. It works so well that Bischoff now has to work the crowd before shows to squelch his babyface heat and establish himself as a heel to the hometown crowd.

With this in mind, lets go back and examine the HHH situation further. The WWE should be building around 6 men only right now. Those men are: RVD, Booker T, Y2J, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit and Eddie Gurrero. Everyone else on the roster is either not ready yet or needs to step away from the main event for a little while. I don't buy that crap about losing your spot anymore either. This is for two reasons:

1) Vince signs his top guys to million dollar contracts. I seriously doubt he's gonna pay someone 2 million a year to jerk curtains for a few years.
2) Supposedly, the WWE has transcended "Rassling" and evolved into the genre of "weekly episodic action/adventure". If that's the case, that makes the wrestlers no different than sitcom actors. For a guy like HHH to force himself on top every week strictly out of fear of losing his spot would be like Conrad Bain forcing the writers to have him be the focus of every episode of Diff'rent Strokes because Gary Coleman gets pops the live studio audience huge with his "whatchu talking 'bout" catchphrase. So what if today's episode focuses on Arnold getting molested by a weird old bicycle shop owner? Next week, Mr. Drummond will get amnesia and be the focal point of the show. Having a different character in the spotlight from time to time keeps things fresh and interesting.

So if HHH wants to do the right thing, he will drop the title to RVD at the PPV, and take a brief hiatus from the main event. He'll be busy enough feuding with the 8 guys we've seen him messing with, even if the Flair confrontation is just a ruse to get Ric as his manager.

Somewhat ironically, the best thing for the WWE right now is for both HHH and Stephanie to lose their respective matches. Lets see if they do it.

[slash] wrestling

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