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Matt Spaulding



Big-Ass Monkey Wrench

NOVEMBER TO... AH, THE HELL WITH IT: 1 of the 4 that actually went down the way it was supposed to... What do you MEAN, Rhino no-sold a guitar shot?... Hey! Swinger's back! Yeah, you're right, I'm too excited... That's what happens when you try to keep ECW women out of catfights, Steve... CORINO'S the new champ?! Sorry, people, but I can't get behind this one.

LINE OF THE WEEK: Last week: Chris Jericho: "Well first of all, it's a little bit unsettling to find out that a seven foot tall, 350 pound grown man finds me to be...pretty." Indeed.

This week: Eddie Guerrero: "OH MY GOD!" (SmackDown!, Nov. 15, after Austin extinguished his Latino fireplace on the ringpost) I can honestly say I haven't enjoyed a segment as much as that one in quite some time.


At first, the ending of Raw two weeks ago had me asking one question:

1. Why Triple H?

I may be the only person who doesn't think this twist absolutely sucks. An Austin heel turn would have been preferable, but this will do for me. It's like I said before SummerSlam: "...he's been a complete asshole. And now, because he's lost his precious WWF title and the manipulative bitch she married seems to have a thing for Kurt Angle, we're supposed to root for Triple H? Obviously, the WWF is banking on the notoriously short-term memories of wrestling fans, because, at least in a real-world context, it looks to me like the son of a bitch is getting what he deserves." I HATED Triple H as a face because I didn't want to cheer for him for JUST THAT REASON. That's part of what I think made the swerve so good (and again, I seem to be the only one who thinks this); there was never one particular moment where anyone could definitively say that he "became" a face.

After thinking about it, not only does it make perfect sense that Triple H was involved, but we probably should have known it all along. Remember the circumstances surrounding that night. Triple H was WWF Champion at the time, leading a reformed heel DX and feuding with the McMahons, Rock, and Austin. That night, Austin, Rock, and HHH were scheduled for a Triple Threat match for the title. Vince cost Hunter the belt, but Hunter ended up, as he said, marrying the boss's daughter and running the whole show.

An Austin-Triple H feud is fresher than an Austin-Rock or Rock-HHH feud at this point. They haven't done every match imaginable; really, until last year their paths really haven't crossed that much. And if it keeps Hunter away from the title for a while, so much the better.

2. Why not the Rock?

My reason for not wanting Rock to be the accomplice was simple: it would have led to heel Rock vs. face Austin, and we did that two years ago. If the end result was meant to be Rock/Austin, a face Rock vs. a heel Austin is somewhat more effective, if only because they're on different sides now than last time.

For argument's sake, let's assume that heel Rock vs. face Austin would end at You Know What X-Seven (Aside: The HELL?) with Austin going over. Given the circumstances surrounding the attack, it only makes sense that the title also is at stake. If that had been the plan, then why have Rock lose the strap to Kurt Angle at No Mercy? Better to turn him heel with the belt, then have him evade Austin until he wins the Rumble.

And from a logistical standpoint, how would you explain Rock knowing that Austin would be in that part of the parking lot at that particular moment? Or, really, at any time that night? Or that Triple H would try to lure him there? Unless there was a third man (and doesn't a three-man conspiracy to HIT A GUY WITH A CAR seem like overkill?), you're not gonna implicate him now.

3. What about Kurt Angle?

On the surface, it's the Angle situation that suffers the most. This is where I question the timing of HHH's turn - it leaves the new champ in the lurch with his most obvious feud on the cutting room floor. And he was right about Triple H being a bad guy! It's true!

It also stands to reason that barring a title switch, he'll be champ until the Royal Rumble, where, if I'm on the right track, he'll likely lose the strap to Triple H. Could a face turn be in Angle's future? Seriously, think about it. Heel-heel feuds suck. Everybody hates Triple H right now, and Angle WAS right about him. What? You don't think Angle can be a face? They got you to cheer for Triple H, didn't they?

The key to Angle's immediate future is what they decide to do with Stephanie - are the fans going to hate her more for being his, ahem, manager, or will most of their venom still be directed at Triple H? And how will she react? Remember, we haven't seen her since the night HHH revealed himself as the man behind this whole scheme.

4. What about Rikishi?

My hunch about Rikishi being just a pawn in all of this was right, too. But the big man wasn't getting the kind of heel heat you'd expect for a guy who did what he did - maybe because the fans also sensed something wasn't quite right. Still, if he can get some kind of rub off of Triple H, whether by playing the evil accomplice or if it turns out that he's being manipulated as well, it'll be a good thing for him.


WWF Women's Title Match: Lita vs. That Scary Chick Who Works At The Library
WWF European Title Match: William Regal vs. Hardcore Holly

I'm getting conflicting reports here: Meltzer reported that the Euro title match is signed, but nothing was set up on SmackDown!. I'm ALSO hearing that Ivory injured her ankle this week and may not be able to work the PPV.

Quickly: Regal retains or Lita wins.

Double Menage A Trois: T&A & Twitch Stratus vs. CRZ's Favorite Wrestler Ever, The 24/7 Kid & Miss Molly Madness

With the Acolytes out of action, T&A have taken over their office. Crash tried to stop them, but, well, failed. There were some hardcore matches involved with Blackman interference. Then Molly, Crash's other cousin, showed up to kick Trish's ass, and the world became a Better Place.

Are T&A over yet?

What I'd Do: Heels control the match, but Blackman pulls it out for his team.

What They'll Do: Molly gets to show off, but the heels will go over.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Radicalz (w/Terri Devil) vs. Street Dogg, 2, Chyna, & K-Kwik

After losing to Triple H at No Mercy, Benoit got the Radicalz back together. HHH responded by getting DX back together for one night to try and take them out. He turned heel one hour later. The Eddie/Chyna/Gunn angle is still being played out. Dogg and Kwik tagged against Saturn & Malenko on SD!

I wonder what Road Dogg thinks about Triple H turning his back on him like this?

What's going through K-Kwik's mind? One week on WWF TV and he's getting in the ring with THESE guys (and girl) on a Big Five PPV.

What I'd Do: I'm NOT picking the elimination order, but the Radicals should go over here.

What They'll Do: This'll probably be a "Show off the Radz and K-Kwik" match, because the new kid's played to almost universally good reviews in dark matches. Radicals win.

SSEM: Messrs. Photogenic, Not Goldberg, & The Bad Father vs. The Suicide Bombers & the Dudley Boyeeez

In their continuing mission to fuck with the Hardyz, E&C indirectly caused them to lose the tag straps to Bull and Goodfather. But Commissioner Mick Foley gave the title shot they wanted to the Dudleys, who have had issues with Right To Censor for months.

What I'd Do: Hmmm... let's put the faces over this time around.

What They'll Do: OK, I'll bite the bullet on this one. One Dudley survives.

Chris Jericho Is A Handsome Man vs. Big Red

Smarks everywhere are asking, "WHY? WHY is Chris Jericho feuding with KANE? WHY, GOD, WHY?" Um, to get Kane some heel heat, maybe?

The story here is that Kane is dangerously jealous and resentful of Jericho's good looks, and wants to hurt him so badly, he'll have to wear a mask, too. Doesn't pack much punch, but it fits somehow.

Aside: You guys want Jericho to get WWF Title shots? Pray he loses.

I'm serious; go back to Fully Loaded - Benoit lost at KotR and got a title shot. Angle got a title shot at SummerSlam after losing at FL. Kane got a title shot at Unforgiven after losing at SS. Angle got another title shot at No Mercy after losing at Unforgiven.

What I'd Do: Kane wins (to get him over), but Jericho's mug escapes serious damage.

What They'll Do: The same thing, most likely.

Our Champion vs. That Traitorous Samoan Bastard

Rock, naturally, is burned up that Rikishi not only claimed that he ran down Austin to help him, but that he then tried to put the blame on him when he didn't help Rikishi during the Austin cage match. Rikishi considers Rock an ungrateful S.O.B. for not appreciating what he did for him.

What I'd Do: The fans need something to get happy about in the last hour. Rocky wins.

What They'll Do: This one could go either way depending on how far they want to stretch this feud. Not too far, I think. I'll go with the Rock.

WWF Title: The American Olympic Villain vs. Hell On Wheels

Well, here's what they're doing with Angle.

They're taking his "heel Olympic champion" gimmick and making him even more of a hypocrite by giving him a whiny, cowardly disposition tempered with an occasional mean streak. This is what they were trying to do to build toward the Fully Loaded Angle/Taker match, but there was too much coward and not enough mean, if THAT makes any sense.

It was a year ago that Angle made his debut, beating Shawn Stasiak at last year's Survivor Series. I wonder whatever happened to that guy.

It was 10 years ago that Undertaker made his debut, also at Survivor Series. DiBiase brought him in as a "mystery partner" for his team in one of those elimination matches. He won his first title one year later.

Also of note: the WWF title has changed hands at the last six SurSers.

What I'd Do: Angle does what he should have done at Fully Loaded - cheat like he's Eddie Guerrero. Sneak in a chairshot, something. But he wins.

What They'll Do: It would not surprise me if the WWF did something it hasn't done in a long time and put the belt on UT at the PPV, only to have Angle win it back on Raw. This would happen only for historical and nostalgic purposes. Still, my official position on this is that Angle manages to retain.

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Fabio On Crack

Austin's still rusty, and HHH is really banged up.

What I'd Do: A HHH win makes sense this time, but Austin makes him pay for it.

What They'll Do: Triple H wins because this feud isn't over yet.

Small Packages:

  • You know, I don't watch BattleDome on BATTLEDOME. Why the HELL would anyone think I'd watch it on Nitro?
  • And I think it goes without saying that no angle that puts Rick Steiner back on TV can be a good one.
  • So the Thrillers turned on Nash. This makes them... still not over, I'm guessing.
  • Oh, look. Vampiro's quitting WCW again. Yawn. Next.
  • Good Foley. WCW's ripping off Observer interviews for angles now?
  • Does "cute and spunky" Molly fill that last niche among the WWF's female characters?
  • HHH's back hurts AGAIN?
  • That, by the way, is why we didn't get a SSEM with the top eight guys on the card.
  • All right, so Rob Van Dam hasn't quit ECW... yet.

    NEXT WEEK: Mayhem, baby... mayhem.

    Matt Spaulding

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