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Todd Thomas




Hello again, faithful reader(s). The plan was for me to do a weekly column to keep practicing my non-work related skills, but over the past two weeks real life intruded and made sports entertainment seem insignificant for a while. In fact, I'm still not really into it. I haven't watched Rollerjam in weeks; I watched a bit of Nitro tonight, but I find I'm much more interested in Boston Public. The RAW main event is on right now, and truth is I hardly ever watch Monday night main events, although I will watch most of the rest of the show.

Another reason I hadn't written much lately was that, just as I was preparing some epic missive on the state of smarks and marks, both CRZ and Scaia made comments on the subject that were far more concise and eloquent than I could have made. So I'll make this brief and to the point. Or more likely, rambling and incomprehensible, but what the hell...I'm pissy and I need to vent.

The issue that has me peeved at the moment is the WWF creative team. Rumor has it, while I was away and not checking the internet, that Stephanie McMahon had been given some creative responsibilities. So of course, the internet has taken this and run with it and blamed her personally for every bad segment of WWF programming over the last week. Others are claiming that this is yet another sign of the end for the WWF, as they desperately tranfuse new blood into the creative team. This brings up two things I'd like to share my opinions on--the WWF creative team, and the attitude of the smarks.

First of all, I've always been under the impression that the WWF creative team is a combination of wrestling gurus, a la Jim Ross or Pat Patterson, and writers, and the whole thing is vetted through Vince McMahon. I seriously doubt, as many seem to be suggesting, that the WWF shitcanned this entire formula in place of Stephanie McMahon personally dreaming up the angles and the events of each match and whatever her little heart desires. I read of one criticism directed at her today because the angles/matches on last week's shows were derivative of angles and matches from other parts of WWF history. Imagine that, a recycled angle. That's never happened before in the history of wrestling. That's some valid criticism right there.

This leads directly into my second thought, which is also the idea I had for my original column. There's a store down the street from my apartment, where they make great subs. Jim is the owner/manager, and he does the best subs. His teenaged daughter, now that field hockey season is done, is working more and helping out with things, since someday the business will be hers. Sometimes, if Jim is busy, she'll make my sandwich. Is it as good as Jim's culinary masterpiece? Not really...there's a little too much mustard and a little less Swiss than I'd like. Is it a horrible sandwich? No, and in fact, each one she makes she gets a little better. After all, she's been in that store since she was a child and certainly has seen the process enough time, she just needs to refine it and find her groove Does it signal the end of the company and the demise of the local sandwich economy that one turkey and swiss on wheat wasn't up to my arbitrary personal standards? A ridiculous question, but I'm sure you see where I'm going with this, (which was actually a true example).

So what that Stephanie McMahon has some say in the show. Either it will get better with time or her father will find something else for her to do. I haven't seen anything so utterly terrible in the past epsiodes to convince me there has been a change. Wrestling fans online pay far too much attention to the here and now rather than the longer term view. Benoit loses tonight, so instantly that's read into as he must have fallen out of favor, he's unappreciated, he never should have left, etc. and so on. Maybe its part of a two or three week storyline leading to something. Maybe Jericho hasn't been used as well as possible, but the way he has been used has created an entire history for him in the WWF, where he can now build angles and matches with a variety of other wrestlers anywhere in the card instead of just being inserted into the top as many internet fans wanted, where a vast majority of the fans would have windered what the hell was going on. To the average mark, Jericho in a main event right off would have meant that some WCW midcard comedy act was at the same level as the WWF top talent.

Sure, there could have been things done differently in his WWF stint, but there's also the question of his attitude and working ability. Which is another rant entirely--I'd just wanted to address that not everything that goes on can be laid at the feet of poor booking.

The internet as a whole just needs to calm down and go with the flow a little more...there's a wide distinction between being a sheep and marking out for everything and being a reasonable person that can watch and give a company time to tell a story.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read throught this. I'd recommend you all check out TCF's Rollerjam recap. Until something else pisses me off enough to write, I'm outta here.

Todd Thomas

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