The Man Behind The Curtain
EXTRANEOUS P: Late word is that the Bischoff purchase of WCW is all but a done deal now.
The VCR stopped working for TWO days. I STILL haven't seen Raw.
NO MASSACRE HERE: 4 for 5. Did I mention I LOVE ECW?... So they went the easy route and put Dawn Marie with her actual boyfriend... Hey, wait a minute. What about all that "we honor ALL of our stipulations" stuff?... You know, Nova invented money. I'm just saying... Well, like I said, six months after it should have happened, Doring and Roadkill win the tag straps... I keep telling you people, Super Crazy RULES it... I guess Sandman wasn't happy about being left off the card.
LINE OF THE WEEK: Rock's Raw promo gets a special mention. But the week's best line goes to Buh Buh Ray Dudley: "If putting people through tables is wrong... then I DON'T WANNA BE RIGHT!" (SmackDown!, Dec. 6) Two prime examples of how delivery helps a promo.
Vince McMahon showing back up on Raw got the wheels turning. It's a week before the pay-per-view; what's he doing here? Coming back to fuck with the main event, no doubt.
Or is he?
It's my opinion that he probably is, but there's a chance that Vince has made himself a red herring - a diversion to distract attention from the real issue.
The WWF has actually done this a couple times before in this year alone. When Steve Austin was put in Rock's corner at Backlash, the Internet lit up immediately with speculation that Austin was going to turn heel on Rock and cause him to get screwed out of the title for the second time that month. It didn't happen, and it wasn't going to - why turn Austin six months before he can wrestle again?
The next month, then-WWF commissioner Shawn Michaels reappeared six days before the Iron Man match and made himself the special referee. I fell for this one, as the WWF did a good job casting doubt in both Rock's and Triple H's minds about whose side he would take, even going so far as to dig up the footage from the SmackDown! where Michaels, as a special referee, superkicked Rock to help HHH keep his newly won WWF Title.
Turned out that while we were waiting for Michaels to turn, the Undertaker was lurking in the shadows (well, as much as you can lurk on a Titan motorcycle) to wreak havoc in the final minute of that match.
Most recently was the Unforgiven match between Triple H and Kurt Angle where Mick Foley made himself the referee. Triple H was about as close to being a face as he'd ever get, and he and Mick were actually getting along, leading some to believe that Mick would turn on him and cause him to lose, citing bitterness over having his career ended by Triple H. Again, nothing came of it - the swerve was that there WAS no swerve.
So what's Vince doing here, aside from apparently losing his mind?
PREDICTIONS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
Tag Team Title Match: Right To Censor vs. Street Dogg & K-Kwik vs. The
Dudley Boyeez vs. Messrs. Photogenic
Tag Team Title Match: Right To Censor vs. Street Dogg & K-Kwik vs. The Dudley Boyeez vs. Messrs. Photogenic
EVERYBODY wants a shot at RTC and tag team gold these days. Dogg & Kwik and Edge & Christian split top contender's matches this past week. The Dudleys appeared to join RTC on Raw, but it was all revealed to be a SHOCKING SWERVE as Richards went through yet another table. Therefore, all four teams go for the titles.
What I'd Do: Hmmm... it's the Dudleys' time now, I think.
What They'll Do: All signs point to the Dudleys.
European Title Match: William Regal vs. Hardcore Holly
Hardcore and Regal had an impromptu matchup at Survivor Series, which Regal won. Cousin Crash (with Molly's help) beat Regal for the strap last weekend in England, then Regal won it back on Monday after stretching out both Crash and Molly. Hardcore... actually took umbrage to this.
Hardcore nearly KO'd Benoit with a clothesline on Raw - remember, he's got a metal plate in his left arm from when Kurt Angle broke it.
What I'd Do: They mentioned the plate in Hardcore's arm for a reason. He's winning here.
What They'll Do: Hardcore wins with Clothesline From Hell 2001.
Chyna vs. Val Venis
Val and Chyna haven't gotten along since Val hooked up with Trish and T&A. Now that he's with the RTC, they like each other even less. Chyna took Val's Intercontinental title from him, while Val tried to get Chyna's Playboy spread censored.
What I'd Do: Eh... I'd put Val over here.
What They'll Do: Val will win, most likely.
Women's Title Match: Scary Library Chick vs. Twitch Stratus vs. Miss Molly Madness
Spunky Molly doesn't like stuck-up Trish, nope. And prudish Ivory doesn't think either one of them deserves her title. I feel like I've just written a Sweet Valley High book.
What I'd Do: Notice I'm NOT going for the obvious joke here. Anyhow, since they've gone to the trouble of putting Molly in the match, why not have her win here?
What They'll Do: Keep the belt on Ivory until they send Lita back after it.
Last Man Standing Match: Chris Jericho Is A Handsome Man vs. Big Red
Kane's quest to turn Jericho into Leatherface continues.
What I'd Do: The problem with this feud is that in order for Kane to win the blowoff, he'll actually have to disfigure Jericho, and I'm not convinced the WWF wants to do that. With that in mind, if it were my choice, I'd put Jericho over.
What They'll Do: It seems hard to believe that, in real-world terms, a guy with Jericho's size and offense has the moves to bring someone Kane's size down for a ten-count. But I say Jericho wins - maybe with something new.
Intercontinental Title Match: 2 vs. Da Crip
After approximately 4,251,983 shots at it, Billy Gunn finally won the Intercontinental title from Benoit's stablemate, Eddie Guerrero. Benoit's decided he wants it back.
We can't just call him "Billy Gunn?" Do we have to keep sticking him with these asinine nicknames?
What I'd Do: I'd give the belt back to Benoit. Even though he's probably above it, he could use the legitimacy. Besides, it looks better for your stable if the leader has gold around his waist.
What They'll Do: The WWF keeps trying with Gunn, but something tells me Benoit's going over here.
Hell In The Cell Six-Pack WWF Title Match: Olympic Villain Kurt Angle vs. That Traitorous Samoan Bastard vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Our Champion vs. Hell On Wheels vs. Lazarus Helmsley
As you can see, Foley's had enough. These six guys are running roughshod trying to destroy each other, and no one's guiltier of this than Angle, who's managed to piss off everyone in this match. Thus, Foley brought out the Cell.
I've said in the past that you can't put more than four people in a cage or it gets too crowded. Six can work within the context of HIAC because you can fight around the ring and even on top of the cell.
It's still a question as to whether or not HHH's back will hold up well enough for him to work the match.
What I'd Do: Well, there's the rumor that the title will eventually end up going to the Royal Rumble winner, which would likely mean that some sort of no-contest is going down. But if I were to put the belt up for grabs in the Rumble, here's how I'd do it:
I'd have Angle retain in this match, but then he'd branch out and start causing trouble among the entire roster, which eventually leads Mick to decide that Angle's not getting his own match at the Rumble - he's going into the Rumble itself. At No. 1. And he has to win the Rumble to keep the title.
What They'll Do: There's nowhere for Angle to hide in the Cell, which is the point - he's gotta fight this fight by himself. And just like Triple H at last year's Unforgiven, Angle will win and gain some credibility as WWF champ before he loses the belt at the Royal Rumble. That's my OFFICIAL prediction.
But who's gonna take the standard HIAC bump?
He'll make his way down to the ring in a crazed state and do something to mess with Triple H - maybe drop an elbow on him from the top of the cell. Then Austin will toss him through the side wall. Then Stephanie will show up and help Angle keep the title - maybe by distracting Rocky or UT.
Also, look for something involving some combination of the Hardy Boyz, Lita, and the other three Radicals.
NEXT WEEK: Lack-Of-Starr-Cade.