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Todd Thomas




I've been so pissy about the election debacle over the past week that I haven't had much energy to write a column. To the one person out there that actually reads it, sorry about that. I've been spending all of my time either at work or flipping through law school catalogs trying to figure out where I should go to get even more in debt.

Not having MTV, I don't get to see Heat and observe Tazz the announcer. All I can say--"Good." Even better, if he's talking, I don't have to see Tazz the wrestler. I know Tazz has tons of fans out there, but I am quite comforable not being one of them. I hear that he has mic skills, but all I can recall is when he told Benoit that he'd "turn his frown upside down" as some sort of a threat. Maybe they were planning a fierce post-show tickle fight or something, but it utterly destroyed whatever the point of his interview was. Anyone can screw up a line or three--between Foley and Angle, its guaranteed on any WWF show, but this was terrible. And I'm probably a terrible person to build such impressions off one bad interview, but that's just the cornerstone. I've seen other WWF interviews and even old ECW mic work, and the best it gets is Stereotypical Bad Ass. See, Tazz may have a fearsome array of suplexes. Then, he has a fearsome array of suplexes. Then, he can do some suplexes. And I think I might have seen a wristlock once. Add to that, he's short. No other word for it. It isn't a case like Kidman or Jericho, well built men who are just dwarved by the giants around them. Tazz really is much smaller than the other men that work around him, combined with a physique that isn't spectacular. So we have a guy who can talk tough, in a not particularly original way, but with a limited moveset that is even more limited by the size difference. There are only so many times Kane could bend over a tie his shoe in a match, and that's about the only way Tazz could reach around him for a suplex or hook on the kaje hajime (or howevers it's spelled).

Related to that, it seems the current topic among WWF detractors is to take shots at the WWF for "misusing" pet talents, or to blame those talents for switching. Now, Perry Saturn is Tazz without the tough guy mic skills and with an extra couple inches of height. In WCW, he was a midcard role player. In WWF, he's a midcard roleplayer. But the clever thing to do is to comment that he made a mistake by switching federations. I find that absolutely ridiculous. WCW was a black hole where any shred of morale was sucked away by the intense gravitational field caused by Hogan's tremendous ego (or the suction from Bischoff's lips on Hogan's ass), only to be replaced by a true, good ol' boy network led by Kevin ("Isn't is nice that Chris is such good friends with my wife? It's sure to help their angle") Sullivan. Despite a history of severe cliqueishness, the WWF doesn't seem to have the backstage issues that have plagued the other company. I'm far from in the know about how wrestlers think, but given the choice between being the two, I'd think most of them would pick the place that would be bearable to work at even if it meant a slightly reduced role. I know that's how I feel about my job--if I'm going to be a loser in a cubicle, at least give me a place with people that don't drive me to drink. Figuratvely, of course. I'm always in the market for a good DD otherwise.

I was going to babble about the Chris Jericho situation, but I'm running out of steam. Simply, if he's hurting people and not working as smoothly as he is reputed to have done in the past, the company is well within their rights not to give him top billing because a lot of fans like him. But I think I touched on that last column.

So anyway, take home message here is, if someone isn't in the place in the company you want them to be, its probably for some reason other than a conspiracy against smarks like you. Writing rants just because your favorite wrestler isn't main eventing the next ppv just works to show anyone checking this stuff out how obsessive and singleminded a bunch we can be.

Todd Thomas

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