|WWE in Boston
|Guest columnist: John Orquiola
July 2, 2002 (taped for July 4)
Before I begin, certain people, and you know who you are, have been emailing CRZ, asking him whatever happened to OUR so-called SPORT. Cut it out. CRZ was not affiliated with OSCS, nor did he play any role in its disappearance. Stop badgering him. And that doesn't mean you can badger me either. I can't be reached by email, IM, phone, or U.S. mail. If you must do something, go to www.redandyellow.com and bow down.
So around 3pm on Tuesday afternoon, I was trying to think of what to do for the evening. I knew one thing for sure: I wasn't going to the live Smackdown taping at the FleetCenter. However, it being summer, there's no TV I like to watch, it's 95 muggy degrees in Boston, and there's no A/C in my place. The prospect of spending several hours in the air-conditioned FleetCenter watching World Wrestling Entertainment started to look damn good. So I fire off an email to my lawyer friend Sean. Three hours, a bad slice of pizza, and $20 later, we find ourselves way, way, way atop the FleetCenter in Section 308, directly across from and above the big fist.
Lance Jr. meanwhile, who is so broke he can't afford even a shitty seat $20 ticket, wins tickets from his office and ends up 5th row next to the aisle. He was a pig in shit. He was close enough to touch the wrestlers, which is great for him but not so great for the WWE Superstars. But for this night, it's great to be the Jr.
The FleetCenter wasn't sold out, which is a common story these days, but the place filled up nicely. I would guesstimate a crowd around 12,000. Parts of the upper deck above the TV camera side were covered up and the upper sections had plenty of empty seats. Personally, I like that they weren't sold out. It worked great for me. More room to stretch out, fewer smelly humanoids to tolerate.
Tony Chimel gave us the mandatory speech about safety and what would get one ejected from the arena. Storm and Birdsey from WFNX introduced some old man who took his shirt off and posed for the crowd. Not pleasant to look at. They played the Kid Rock Desire video, which never gets old. Stone Cold Steve Austin elicited cheers and boos. Some love him no matter what. Deep down, I do too. Others hate him because he took his ball and went home. Hell, I can't hate him for that.
The Velocity lights and logo went up and we are off with our opening contest:
Funaki vs. Steve Bradley. I'm pretty sure it was Steve Bradley. Steve Bradley, Rob Conway, Randy Orton, John Cena, they all look the same to me. Short hair, same builds, non-descript tights... they remind me of the Natural Born Thrillers two years ago. A bunch of green guys who all look the same. Except for Chuck Palumbo, he had long curly hair so he looked different. And that's why he was over (with me). Seeing Funaki is always a treat. Funaki hit the Lana Star Facelift at one point, which is also a variation of the Stratusfaction. Ooh, Lana Star vs. Trish Stratus would be my dream match. What's that, smark? That match would be negative stars? Take those stars and shove 'em up your ass. I love those girls. Anyway, Bradley found out You Can't Powerbomb Funaki, who countered and got the win with a surprise school boy. Good effort from Bradley, good win for Funaki. TAKA is still in Funaki's Titan Tron, by the way. They should maybe update that. But then, Trish is still in the Smackdown intro and Molly isn't.
Michael Cole and MTV's own Al Snow come down for commentary.
Velocity pyro goes off and we feel the need for speed. It's cool to see these matches now since I know I won't be watching this show on Saturday night.
Tajiri vs. Kidman. Quite a rivalry that has developed between these two in recent weeks. It used to be about Torrie and the Cruiserweight belt, but now it's about something infinitely more important: pride. Or something like that. Kidman hits the Sky High, but calls for the Shooting Star and gets kicked in the face for doing so. Tajiri still doesn't understand that You Can't Powerbomb Kidman, and Kidman counters but Tajiri uses the ref as a shield, then tosses him aside and uses the Green Mist. A kick to the head gives Tajiri the victory. Very nice. Would have liked to have seen the Shooting Star, but you can't have everything.
Hardcore Holly vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. The Battle of the Tough Enough 2 trainers. First time seeing Chavo live for me. Chavo spent much of the match coming up with ways to counter the Alabama Slam, but he couldn't keep that up forever and was pinned by a rather weak one. Holly must have thought it was weak too because he gave Chavo a much harder Alabama Slam after the match was over.
Mark Henry vs. Christian. Watching Henry's Titan Tron of him doing weightlifting feats, Sean asks, "Is there any wrestling in his Titan Tron?" Me: "None, and there won't be any in this match either. But I was happily proven wrong when we saw it was Christian who was the opponent. Christian spent most of the match being lifted up and thrown around by Henry. The coolest spot happened on the floor when Henry had Christian in a military press, tossed him into a Hotshot-like maneuver onto the top rope, caught him back in a military press, walked up the stairs still pressing our Canadian friend, and hurled him into the ring. But them big muscles ain't as big as what's between Christian's ears, because a chair shot and feet on the ropes put away the World's Strongest Man. Henry waived the American flag around afterwards. Way to let your country down this holiday weekend, Mark.
Albert vs. Rob Conway. From this altitude, I could almost think Albert was Stone Cold Steve Austin. If he drank a beer, I'd be convinced. I was enjoying Velocity up till this point but this one wore out my patience. Conway countered the Baldo Bomb, but Albert debuted a new finisher: lifting Conway in power bomb position and dropping him onto Albert's shoulder as a backbreaker. It ended this match so it worked for me. Hometown boy Albert goes over.
Jamie Noble vs. The Hurricane. Not sure if this was for the Cruiserweight Title, but I'd guess it was. That year off TV did Nidia a world of good. She and Jamie Noble are awesome together. I've never been fond of Jerry Springer, but this is white trash I like to watch. Hot action here. Hurricane was dominant on the outset, but Noble started working on his leg - like an Anderson! Which one? Arn, stupid. Hurricane made the superhero comeback and went for the chokeslam, but his leg gave out and Noble capitalized with the Trailer Hitch. The Hurricane tapped! I can't believe it. He's a superhero, he shouldn't tap. But this is exactly how the Death of Superman storyline from ten years ago should have gone. Lois would have turned on Superman and joined up with Doomsday and we'd have learned that for all those years, Lois was only pretending to be a cosmopolitan reporter and she's really white trash. Doomsday: "Lookie here, Lois! We done killed us a real live superhero!" Lois: "Git 'im, daddy!" Jesus, I should be writing comics.
Finally, Velocity is over. Michael Cole runs up the aisle and comes back in a new shirt (Limp Bizkit) and Tazz (Cypress Hill) come down for commentary. Tazz's music had the heartbeat intro, but no pyro when there should have been.
All around the arena, little flags are given out. They're just like the little Canadian flags Jacques and Raymond Rougeau used to wave, only American.
Attitude. Entertainment. WWE. A recap of Edge's injury at the hands of Chris Jericho and his shocking return on last week's Smackdown is aired. And the beautiful people are here at last! Boom! Boom! Boom!
HOLY FUCKING GOD!! HOLLYWOOD HULK HOGAN AND EDGE VS. CHUCK AND BILLY FOR THE WWE TAG TEAM TITLES!! STACY AND TORRIE IN A BRA AND PANTIES MATCH!! UNDERTAKER VS. KURT ANGLE FOR THE WWE TITLE!! That's an unbelievably good card for Boston - we always get shitty TV tapings!
Lillian Garcia is in the ring to sing our national anthem. Normally, I'd be annoyed that a RAW talent is on Smackdown, but it is our nation's 226th birthday after all. Lillian's lovely song is then abruptly interrupted by Canada's Lance Storm, Christian and Test, who come to the ring and give us grief for this little national birthday we have to right to throw. Christian gets in a funny line about how American kids are so ignorant, they think "Independence Day is just a movie where Will Smith fought aliens", and he'd be right on both counts. Storm then gives us a history lesson of the U.S.'s unfair involvement in World Wars I and II and especially the Korean War. This is a killer promo and I wish I could hear it but the crowd FUCKING HATES THE CANADIANS. God, listen to that heat. It's unbelievable how loud they are. I think the Canadians have truly arrived, and they're over. Rikishi comes down the aisle and it's time to have a match.
Lance Storm vs. Rikishi. Rikishi flattens Storm and drags him to the corner for the Banzai, but Christian distracts the referee and Test hits the big boot from the apron. Storm gets the cover and the win. Happy belated Canada Day, Lance!
Reverend D-Von and Bautista vs. Randy Orton and The Big Valbowski. Crowd likes Orton, but no love for Valbowski? They look exactly alike. Funny how on both brands, all of the Dudleys are back in tag teams. Bautista shows some Ruthless Aggression and gets the pin on Orton with a sidewalk slam. I'm sure some dumbass smark will use his two fingers to pound an email to the Torch about how Orton is being misused. Bautista looks like the Smackdown brand's Brock Lesnar, and the Next Big Thing doesn't impress me, so I don't think much of the defrocked ex-Deacon. When both of them learn to connect with the audience and draw them into the ring and make them a part of what they're doing, I'll be impressed. Until then, I don't dig the 'monsters'. Except for Hulk Hogan. And the Undertaker. Both of whom should always job, while Brock should never sell for anyone. Right. Brilliant.
Stacy Kiebler, wearing a stars and stripes tank top, taps on a babyface locker room door. Mark Henry answers, but of course Stacy's not here to see him. Mark gets John Cena at Stacy's request and Cena learns that Mr. McMahon wants to see our new rookie superstar in his office. I can't get over how much better that stars and stripes shirt looks on Stacy than it did on Lex Luger.
Chris Jericho hates smarks and so do I. Jericho also hates Edge and he lets Vince know his displeasure at Edge humiliating him last week and what'll do to Edge as retribution. McMahon then informs Jericho that he knows what Jericho wants: a match with Edge at Vengeance! (long pause) Jericho: "Well... " Haha! Jericho rules! John Cena comes in and McMahon officially introduces himself and then officially introduces Cena to the first-ever Undisputed WWE Champion. Jericho is not pleased to meet this punk and tells him so, so Cena SLAPS Jericho like Debra did Stephanie and the crowd gasps. If I were McMahon, I'd whisper in Jericho's ear that Cena thought his match at King of the Ring was the drizzling shits. That'd get the Ruthless Aggression out of Jericho.
In their locker room, Chuck stretches his ass muscles and Billy has a surprise for him: since it's July 4th (in Smackdown time), they're gonna eat hot dogs. Rico is incensed at their dietary choices, especially when they're facing Edge and Hollywood Hulk Hogan tonight! This is the greatest challenge they'll ever face. To make his point, Rico waves a weiner at them, and then throws it aside and gets the champs ready. Why don't Chuck and Billy listen to Rico more? Why don't we all listen to Rico more?
WWE Tag Team Title Match: Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Edge vs. Chuck and Billy. Edge comes in first to a big pop. He's wearing red tights with yellow trim, like a good Disciple would. As tag team partners go, Edge is better than ten Brutus Beefcakes. Then REAL AMERICAN plays and Hollywood Hogan comes down waving the American flag and wearing red, white and blue feather boas. The FleetCenter explodes in cheers and HOGAN chants and they sing along to Real American. Hogan dominates the early going to the crowd's delight, but Edge tags in and falls victim to double teaming by Chuck and Billy. The champs do a great job of cutting the ring in half and keeping Edge on their side. Crowd chants "We want Hogan!" Edge comes back and goes for the spear, but Rico trips him. No way, brother! Let me tell you something, dude, Hollywood Hogan has gone up against the best heel managers there ever were. He's handled Jimmy Hart, Slick, Mr. Fuji, and Bobby Heenan. Rico is good, but he's no Heenan. Hogan drops Rico groin first onto the barricade and the momentum shifts irreversibly to the red and the yellow. Hogan and Edge whip Chuck to the ropes and give him a double big boot! Edge shoots off the ropes with a legdrop! Now Hogan fires off his legdrop - look at those flash bulbs go off! Edge with the cover - one, two, three, and let me tell you something, brothers, for the first time in his career, Hollywood Hulk Hogan is WWE Tag Team Champion! Massive celebration, God is it loud in here. This is awesome. I can't believe I wasn't even going to attend this show, and now I've seen history made. I wore a smile on my face the rest of the night. It's still there as I type this.
How do you follow that? Well, Chris Jericho hates smarks vs. John Cena try. The crowd is still coming down from Hogan's title win and some jackoffs in the crowd chant Boring! I hate Cena's green and white tights, but I hear he's a hometown boy so he's wearing Celtics colors. Cena nearly gets another upset, but Jericho pins him with his feet on the ropes. I love it. Feet on the ropes, the exposed turnbuckles, the handful of tights... all classics and all have made a comeback in recent weeks. Jericho offers Cena a handshake and returns the BITCH SLAP. Just like he'd bitch slap each and every one of you smarks.
Hulk Hogan is WWE Tag Team Champion. First time ever. Wow.
A recap is shown of Shawn Michaels' announcement on RAW that Triple H is joining the New World Order! I can't wait to see that. I know it will happen because HBK has NEVER lied about anything in his life, to the best of my knowledge.
Mark Lloyd talks to Kurt Angle but I couldn't hear it. The crowd chanted WHAT at Kurt. Oh, give it a rest. Stone Cold won't be back for a while. Angle is doing his best to carry off the bad ass bald look, but damn, I miss the wig.
Bra and Panties match: Torrie Wilson vs. Stacy Kiebler. Clips are shown of the Divas Undressed special with Torrie winning. I love the Divas but even I'll admit tonight's encounter wasn't all that great. Torrie and Stacy did their rollup/counter-reversal spot even though there are no pinfalls. Torrie ripped off Stacy's top, and then rolled off her bottoms soon after. Stacy scurries off, and Torrie then strips herself down to her bra and panties to give the audience what we wanted to see. Pretty girl, fantastic body, but still nobody cares about Torrie. Stacy got a big pop when she came out, and not just 'down there.'
Cut to a trailer park and a pick up truck arriving. Crowd chants "Austin!" No, it's another redneck. He's not alcohol fueled and he's not a wife beater, he's a girlfriend sharer. Jamie Noble surprises Nidia with a new trailer home that they can now afford because he's Cruiserweight Champion. The house has all the luxuries, a table, a fridge with food inside and -- running water! Hilarious. It doesn't take long for the lovebirds to find the bedroom and Christen it.
Mark Lloyd with the Undertaker in the back. He didn't look past Hardy, he's not looking past Angle, but he is looking forward to getting his hands on the Rock at Vengeance. Is he a heel or a face, then? Simple. He's the Undertaker. He's awesome.
Undisputed WWE Championship: The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle. Clever how they showed the latest Desire video of everyone backstage, because when Undertaker rolled down to the ring, I again totally missed how the stairs were suddenly gone. This match started off on the slow side with stalling and even elicited a few Boring chants, but crowd came alive when Undertaker went for the Tombstone(!) and Angle wriggled down and slapped on the Ankle Lock. Undertaker countered but found himself back in the hold. Another counter, back in the hold. The crowd is in a frenzy now. Half want to see him tap and half don't - one side is disappointed, but not as much as Kurt as Taker doesn't tap. Angle hits the Olympic Slam but Taker gets his foot on the rope. Here's where things get screwy. The Undertaker hoists Angle up for the Last Ride; while up there Angle slaps on an armbar and wraps his legs around the Undertaker's neck. Undertaker drives Angle down with a power bomb, but Angle holds onto his armbar and leg vice. Angle's shoulders were on the mat and Mike Chioda (I think it was) counted the pin, but at the three, the Undertaker's right arm made a motion that seemed like he was tapping to Angle's hold. The crowd was confused and a BULLSHIT chant started as Chioda waffled on who won the match. Both men raised their arms and both men got cheered. The official decision was a draw, and no one was happy with that. Angle leaves and Undertaker celebrates not losing the title. Then Lance Storm, Test, and Christian inexplicably hit the ring and beat down the Undertaker. Angle inexplicably returns and helps clear the ring. The Undertaker then chokeslams Angle and leaves on his bike still the Undisputed WWE Champion. Very, very weird ending.
But an awesome night. Best TV taping I've ever attended. The crowd was hot all night, the storylines are good, history was made, and it should be a good show on TV. Before I go, I would like to settle this 'Molly's ass is huge' thing once and for all, because from all the smark bitching going on, no one else seems to get it: Molly's ass is not big. Trish knows that. Coach knows that. Lawler knows that. The fans know it. Everyone knows it. Molly's ass is perfectly fine. It's not huge, the size of an IMAX or whatever. The only one who doesn't seem to realize it is Molly. She's insecure about it, and she's a heel, and thus, the faces and fans have found a weakness to exploit. Just like Piper's kilt wasn't a skirt. Just like Paul Orndorff's name isn't "Paula." Just like Bobby Heenan isn't a 'weasel.'
By making fun of Molly's ass, it gets Molly to 'show ass' (as the smarks would say), and isn't that the whole point of being a heel?
I be outta here.
Happy 4th of July, everyone!
Happy Third Anniversary, CRZ!
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