Welcome back to the Phat Daily Column. Yesterday, I took the day off. Why? Well, I did say I had something to do that would keep me away from the computer all day, but besides that, I'm somewhat burned out on doing History columns. Sure, I could do ones, like requested, of Chris Benoit, the 4 Horsemen, Midnight Express, Sting, and many others, but those topics are the ones that take 3 hours or MORE to type up. The Clique and Booker T columns took me 4 hours to do, and the New World Order one took me 5 hours. Triple H's history was a 3 hour one, along with a few more others. History columns, for me, take a lot of time and effort because I somewhat go overboard on details.
So I've decided to stop doing history columns for every Saturday. I will, however, break out one of the bigger History requests on special occasions, just like I do for the Angles predictions. The problem now is "what to do on Saturday". My plan to keep the columns "daily" is failing, as I figured I could just review and bullshit about the news in my Daily Apples segments. However, the lack of news makes it very hard to even produce a Thursday column. Yikes, this is looking scary.
Here's how the PDC schedule looks now: Sunday is the screw with your head day, meaning that I'll just whip out any offhand topic and discuss it. For Monday, I'll hype up Monday Night RAW, as I've done traditionally, and I might rip on Heat if I watch it. For Tuesday, I'll have a full review of RAW. Wednesday remains to be Ratings Analysis day, along with more Monday Night feedback. Thursday will have Daily Apples and the newly added Smackdown Hype. Friday is my Smackdown review, along with my Jackson 5.
However, for Saturday, I have an idea, which I believe I've tried in the past. How about a Week in Review column??? Maybe I could move the Jackson 5 over to Saturdays, and then discuss the best moments or worst of the past week in wrestling. Maybe give out awards for "Best Wrestler" or "Best Match" for the week. To me, that sounds like a decent idea, and that's where we're headed for NEXT Saturday. I'd like to at least attempt to keep this column daily, unless I keep whithering away due to time and burn out problems.
So unless you didn't read the 3rd and 4th paragraph, here is the NEW PDC Schedule:
Sunday: Screw with your head day
Monday: Monday Night Hype and a possible Heat Review
Tuesday: RAW is WAR Review and Grade
Wednesday: Ratings Analysis and RAW feedback
Thursday: Daily Apples and Smackdown Hype
Friday: Smackdown Review and Grade
Saturday: Week in Review
Does that look good? It sure feels comfortable to me, and it looks to be something I could easily keep "Daily". Of course, this is the plan, and who knows if it will be followed.
Well anyway, on to the PDC!
Wait a second, what the hell does this have to do with Professional Wrestling? Well, this is nothing like the comparison I made with the NBA and wrestling the other day, so you may close your Hotmail accounts NOW! But this column will be dedicated to wrestlers who were working hard, for years, in pro wrestling to finally see a great gain at the end of their careers, in the form of a World Title.
Take, for instance, Rick Martel. He busted his ass in 1997, and made his WCW debut in early 1998, looking in his best shape of his career. After a few weeks, Martel immediately made a big splash in WCW by winning the WCW Television Title. To many of the newer fans, it may not have been a big triumph, but for the old school fans, this was indeed big. Martel was out of wrestling for years to work, full time, on a career in real estate. Martel had great success in the 1980s in the AWA as a former World Champ, and he was a former tag champ in the WWF, also in the 1980s.
Before the "Model" gimmick basically killed all hope of a great all around wrestler, Martel was considered, by many, to be one of the torch carriers in professional wrestling, once the current big guys got out of the way. However, things didn't turn out for the better, and Martel lost interest in wrestling. His comeback was HUGE, and his television title victory was a sign that his true potential could have been realized in WCW. However, he destroyed his knee at Superbrawl 1998, and then destroyed that same knee when trying to return after that. But the point remains that his television title victory was a big thing for Martel's comeback, although injuries held him back from even topping that achievement.
How about Bret Hart winning the WCW World Title in late 1999? Since he arrived in late 1997, after the famous Montreal Survivor Series 1997 screwjob, Bret had his sights set on a good career in WCW, as he could have matches with many of the legends who avoided him in the WWF, namely Hulk Hogan. But for under 2 years, Bret Hart was screwed in WCW. Hulk Hogan's creative control clause kept Hart away from him, and Bischoff wouldn't give Bret a proper chance to even go for the World Title, since by then, Bischoff was wearing out kneepads to keep Hulk Hogan happy 24/7.
Then, Bret went through a few injuries and the great tragedy of losing his brother in May of 1999. But come Mayhem 1999, Bret Hart won his 1st WCW World Title, as the opportunity was open with Hulk Hogan in hiding once Vince Russo came in charge. Bret could have been a solid champ, but Russo tainted this final great achievement for Bret Hart. Russo recreated the New World Order in a terrible fashion, making no sense with any of the reasons why it was formed with the certain wrestlers it had. Then, Bret suffered a few head injuries, and his career was sadly over. But the point remains that he FINALLY won the WCW World Title in a good fashion, when many wrote him off as finished because of the previous circumstances in WCW, and also, for the way he was turfed out of the WWF.
Then we have Diamond Dallas Page, who won a BIG and UNEXPECTED WCW World Title on Spring Stampede 1999 in a 4 way match for the World Title against Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Sting. Many had their money on the other 3 competitors, and they wrote off DDP completely! DDP came through with the shocking world title win. But his World Title win was bigger than most would think, for DDP has been busting his ass to become a professional wrestler for many years, even at the late age he started!
Usually, pro wrestlers start in their early 20s, on average probably. DDP started in his late 30s, I think (or early 40s, I can't remember from his book), and worked and worked to improve his ring ability to become a HUGE WCW Superstar, which actually helped WCW in 1997-1998, when they had a lack of faces against the powerful NWO back then. DDP went from an AWA manager, to a WCW manager, and then to a full time wrestler, who nobody gave the chance to succeed. DDP proved them wrong, and at Spring Stampede 1999, DDP got the big World Title win, making his early critics eat some apples.
Finally, we have Mick Foley. For years, Foley dedicated his body and his overall health to pro wrestling, somewhat fueling the Hardcore movement. As Cactus Jack, he just brutalized his body, wrestling in many death matches and taking some of the nastiest bumps anyone would ever see. But the problem with Cactus Jack was that many felt he wasn't marketable to hold a title. In the WWF, he was aptly renamed Mankind, and was eventually deemed a hero, by the WWF, for his lifelong dedication to pro wrestling. With that, and the added hype of the fans now loving him (and Mr. Socko), Foley would be the man to go after the heel World Champion, the Rock.
At a RAW taping in late 1998, Foley got his World Title match against the Rock. NOBODY expected what happened in that match, as Mankind won his first World Title, ever. Although it probably would have been better if the WWF did a live show for this crowning achievement, it was still well received because of the emotion Foley showed when he won the title. It was as though he just won the Stanley Cup for all of the hardwork he gave in the name of pro wrestling, and the fans went bonkers when he won it, just like the Colorado fans did when the Avalanche brought home another Cup.
Yeah, I'm sure there are more wrestlers that I could cover, or at least make a case for (guys like Ricky Steamboat, Scott Steiner, Booker T, etc). These are the 4 that immediately come to mind or at least nobody gave a real chance for their crowning achievements in their late careers. Martel, unfortunately, is finished from wrestling. Foley is too, although he may fight a few more matches just for fun. Bret Hart is absolutely finished, as he suffers from the concusion syndrome that guys like Troy Aikman and Steve Young are hurting from. Finally, DDP is not through with wrestling. You never know if he could make one more last run in pro wrestling, if he gets a proper AOL/Time Warner buyout sometime soon.
But in closing, I just want to give congrats to the Colorado Avalanche, and especially Ray Bourque and even Rob Blake, for winning the Stanley Cup this year. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are very exciting and are played with great passion, and it's been one of the best playoff series in recent memory. Great job to all of the 16 teams who tried to run the gauntlet known as the NHL playoffs.
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@That's it for today's column. I'll be back, tomorrow, with some Monday Night Hype, as the schedule says (har har)! So until then, STAY OUT OF TROUBLE! (© Bill Edgar from the Wrestle Palooza Audio Show)
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