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Matt Spaulding



Means to an End

THE PEOPLE'S MAILBAG: Brandon Boon wrote in to say that there's a 2-0 2/3 falls match in one of Miguelito Fierro's Wrestling Classics recaps. Specifically, this one. It's the first match... a TAG TEAM match, no less. Boon adds: "Never mind that I had to go back to the mid-60's to find this reference."

SUMMER SLAMMIN': 6 for 9. And this was a good show, so my theory about only doing well on crappy PPVs goes out the window.

I was, however, way off base in the ECW Tag Team Tournament, as Mikey Whipwreck and Tajiri (my third choice) won, only to lose the belts the next night to the FBI (who were about eighth on my list)

Did we decide if Kurt Angle suffered a real concussion or not?

And how come I never noticed The Kat's ass until now?

Uh, moving on...

EMZEE'S BACK: Maybe they'll get it right this time.

OWF UPDATE: Still Cruiserweight champ as of this writing on Friday (since with CRZ's computer problems, I don't know when this will see the light of day), as I beat Scott Christ at Epic after a Dusty finish involving Bob Uecker and Mike Tyson. (Long story.) But he wants a rematch. I'll have to think about that.

GAME BOY: Madden 2001 FUCKING OWNS. That is all.

And expect an "ECW Anarchy Rulz" game review from me sometime this month once all the rental copies are back in the store.

Remember how I teased that this week's column would be about finding new roles for certain wrestlers?

Well, forget that.

I want to talk about what happened on Nitro. You know, the show where Kevin Nash's latest insidious plan came to fruition.

There was actually a rumor floating around that Nash was campaigning backstage to win the title from Booker T before Fall Brawl. His reasoning was that if Booker was able to beat him and regain the title, he'd be more over than he is now.

Now, I don't want to say this as much as you don't want to hear it, but... Nash may have a point.

Before you all write to flame me, think about this: Booker T. beat Jeff Jarrett - a champion who wasn't over and was booked to look weak - for the World title at Bash at the Beach after the Hogan situation. He beat a still not-over Jarrett again at New Blood Rising before losing the belt on Monday. In between, he's had relatively forgettable title matches against Mike Awesome (who's been fucked by Russo's booking more than anyone... well, except for...), Goldberg (another not-over heel at the time, and the finish was screwy), and Sting (where the Paint J.O.B. Squad got involved). And let us never speak of Chuck Palumbo again.

(Here's a scary exercise for you. In the above paragraph, replace "Booker T" with "Triple H", "Mike Awesome" with "Mankind", "Sting" with "The Rock", and "Chuck Palumbo" with "Billy Gunn". Watch your jaw drop at the startling similarities.)

My point is that Booker hasn't been made to look like the No. 1 guy in the company, which you expect a babyface world champion to be. When your highest-profile title victory is over a guy who actually lost to Vampiro on PPV, something's not right.

This is exactly the kind of situation I was worried about when Booker initially became champ - he hadn't been in a high-profile feud before then. Hell, he was G.I. BRO and fighting SHAWN STASIAK at the Great American Bash. That's a big jump to suddenly winning your first world title a month later. And because of that, he isn't seen as a "star" by the marks, so he hasn't gotten the reaction that a main eventer should be getting. (Admittedly, part of this can be attributed to the fact that nobody goes to WCW events - a recent house show in Mankato, Minnesota drew 622 paid.)

But back to my main point. Nash believes that Booker needs to beat someone like him to gain credibility as champion with the casual fans, and he's right. But - and this should get you back on my side here - Nash didn't have to win the title to accomplish this. The same thing could have very easily been done by having the heels line up against Booker - sort of an "old guard tries to take out one of the guys they held down who found another way to the top" deal.

Or... we could have had Booker T win the U.S. title tournament at Spring Stampede, and let him hold it until Bash at the Beach, where the same thing could happen - he'd lose it to Kanyon, then, following the Hogan incident, he'd go over Jarrett for the World belt.

OR... (and now we're really getting into the realm of fantasy here) let's say Russo doesn't "strip" Hogan of the belt at the Beach, and the Cat instead makes a match with Hogan defending against Booker as a way of punishing Jarrett for interfering in the Booker-Kanyon match. Booker somehow beats Hogan (maybe load the match up with stipulations or something), and it goes right into a feud with Jarrett, who's angry that Booker now has "his" title. Any of these would have gotten Booker more heat than losing the belt to Nash in a screwjob you could smell from Utah.

Who's hoping he gets it back on Monday?

Small Packages:

  • Speaking of Mondays... "Russo's Revenge?" On who? Us? What did we ever do to him? I'll be watching Monday Night Football until Raw comes on, thank you very much.

  • The great thing about the Triple H/Stephanie saga is how many other wrestlers have been elevated because of it. Jericho, Angle (obviously), even Lita, and now Eddie Guerrero's gotten involved in a bizarre way.

  • I sort of wish it was Ivory instead of Jackie who was feuding with Lita over the women's title. I think her personality's a better fit when you also add in the Hardyz/Edge & Christian factor.

  • I'm with CRZ - let's NEVER see Paul Orndorff again.

    Matt Spaulding

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