Ain't nothing like Friday, baby..... For those of you who care when I take a day off, yesterday was the day I packed up all of my stuff in my dorm and took it all home. It was a very busy day for me, and tiring, too, because carrying such items as a 20 inch television up and down several flights of stairs isn't really fun to do.
Enough for the excuses. I told you Thursday might be my "day off" from now on. Last night, I caught Smackdown twice..... The first time, I was unpacking, but I had the TV on. I taped the show in the other room, so I could re-watch it later on for anything I missed. I watched it again when my brother came home, so I think I can review this one pretty good.
Again, a reminder.... I'll be taking Monday and Tuesday off for Finals. After that, I'll have a week off from school, which I should be writing everyday, and then I'll start the summer session. Yes, I'm crazy enough to take summer courses, but whatever gets me out of school faster, works for me.
On to the PDC.
For Smackdown, I'm receiving a wonderful trade-off for my area. At home, UPN comes in at a really poor condition, with somewhat of a fuzzy screen. At school, Smackdown comes on at 10 pm EST on a WB station. So now, I get the show 2 hours earlier, but in worse condition. I'd rather take it 2 hours later in better quality, easily. I guess I can enjoy shows later at night than I can at earlier times. For instance, there were some Thunders I really enjoyed when I watched them at 1 am in the morning, and the next day, I saw reviews hating the show. Then, I'd watch Thunder at its normal time, and bam, I'd write a review tearing up the show too. I guess for late night, I'm a little more relaxed than I am at normal wrestling times, for I'm usually wired on sugar or caffeine. Whatever.
The show started out with a 20 MINUTE INTERVIEW, to you know, possibly book just 2 matches, if that, and to make sure Vincy-Poo gets to stroke his ego on television. Oh wait, he'd do that later on in the main event, as he was the "enforcer". The interview was decent, but no where near as fun as Monday's, where Jericho just ripped the hell out of Vince.
Our first match of the night was Kane vs. Edge, which is booked for whatever reason. Maybe since Edge/Christian fought Taker/Kane on some shows during April? Speaking of months, it's June already! Holy cow! Anyway, the match was pretty decent, as both wrestlers work completely different styles and differ in sizes. I am especially glad to see the WWF making Kane WIN as champion, because a good title reign for the big man is quite deserving for him.
Pretty good tag match between the Hollys and the Dudleys, which had a disturbing ending for me. I guess Crash Holly decided to pop in Wrestlemania 5, along with drinking a pitcher of Cherry Koolaid and eating animal crackers when he got an idea for the finish of this match! Shame on the WWF for allowing that kind of ending for this match, or has Pat Patterson, the finish guy, lost his mind? The WWF attempted it sometime last year, I believe, which is sort of sad. Oh well, the lasting impact will never be as great as when Bobby Heenan cheaply screwed the Ultimate Warrior in his match against Rick Rude with the finish the Hollys did to the Dudleys. Of course, this is just a television show, and that was a Wrestlemania, one of which did one of the highest buyrates ever.
Our next match is Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho, which was pretty good overall. Before the match, Kurt Angle just ripped into Canada for the Gold medal stripping of Ben Johnson. So harsh..... Anyway, I think they sort of missed the boat with the Shane McMahon run in, where they could have used Lance Storm, again. But I guess it was held off because the WWF is pushing for Shane McMahon vs. Kurt Angle, and not Kurt Angle vs. Lance Storm. Hell, both are good, either way. Why doesn't the WWF just sign Shane-O-Mac as a full time wrestler instead of just a part owner of the WWF and the guy who will run WCW?
Blah. I'm probably letting my favortism getting in the way of this, but I'm severely disappointed with the role of Tajiri. Yeah, I know he's small and I know his rather stiff style can't be utilized in the WWF. But to have him as a slave to Regal and also a whipping boy for Angle in a segment? Did the WWF really go out of their way, fighting with visas and customs, to sign Tajiri for this very role?
Excellent Hardcore match between Rhyno and Raven. Rhyno took some mean trashcan shots in this match, WHICH IS HOW YOU USE TRASHCANS FOR HARDCORE MATCHES! It's not the Holly-style of Hardcore match, mmmmmk? The spear through the trashcan was just nasty, but the drop toehold onto the top of a trashcan was even worse! That can didn't budge at all, and I'm sure part of Rhyno's face was hurting after that. Rhyno is a bumping machine, good God! Rhyno won the match off of a good finish, which involved Raven getting air-gored through a table in the corner. By the way, Raven appears to have dropped the shiny shorts in favor of returning to the jean shorts. Good move.
By the way, I still don't get why the WWF had the Big Show beat Rhyno for the Hardcore Title, cleanly, last week on RAW. That still doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
You know what's great? My UPN was to the point where I nearly saw a black screen during Triple H-Stephanie segment. Oh boo hoo. Oh wait, I shouldn't say that, because the WWF will probably replay that somewhere since ONE person missed it. Shoot!
X-Factor vs. Uncle Eddie/Hardyz was OK, I guess, thanks to the usual boring ringwork of X-Factor. It's fun having Albert shoved down your throat by commentators. Tazz was pretty funny though, as he said that maybe someday he'll reach Albert's height of 6 foot 8 inches. That's sort of ironic for his position today as an announcer, as the WWF doesn't want to really use him due to his height. Anyway, X-Factor, the heels no less, get the CLEAN victory. It wasn't without controversy, as we saw Lita helping out Eddie, and distracting Matt Hardy in the process. I'm hoping for a great finish to this swerve by Eddie, for the rate at which it's going without explaining a reason for the alliance in the first place.
Next match left me breathless. Steve Austin vs. Chris Benoit was one of the most incredible matches I've seen during the modern WWF era (1998 and beyond), for it was rough, well worked, and loaded with drama. The WWF needs to travel to Canada more often, because the crowd really helped elevate Chris Benoit this week. For those of you who are griping about Austin getting out of about 4 or 5 crossfaces, remember, again, that Benoit is selling the rib injury, still. I thought Austin about killed Benoit on that botched suplex on the table. I believe Benoit is a quick thinker when it comes to landing, because he's avoided some possible injuries off of moves by quickly reacting, like he did with Billy Gunn two nights in a row a while back. But damn, the 10 German suplexes in a row..... that was mighty impressive. Both guys had to be so exhausted after that match. The ending, too, was far superior to the one on Monday Night. Vince McMahon tried to get involved and got his ass handed to him by Benoit, who was just blasting Vince with a chair. With that, Austin ran up and schoolboyed him, with tights, to get the cheap win. Now that's a good screwjob. This match rivals Triple H vs. Steve Austin at No Way Out 2001 for Match of the Year, easily, in my book at least.
LAST WORD: If we could switch the undercard of RAW with the undercard of Smackdown, we'd have an A+ for this show. But some stuff was just decent in this show, although most action was pretty solid for this show. I'll give it an A for this week's show. Wow, 4 great WWF shows in a row. I told ya, a little more effort into the shows will at least make the quality of the shows a lot better. If only the ratings could show that, then we'd be in business.
But who could this Stalker be? I've narrowed it down to a few people:
Big Bossman: Unless he's been released and I've missed it, this could be an obvious choice. Who else with proper training as a police officer could do a proper job of stalking? Plus, he did feud with the Undertaker in 1999, which led to the embarrassing Hell in the Cell match at Wrestlemania 15. And if he's not released yet, Bossman has been inactive for the WWF for quite sometime, and I don't believe he's injured.
Paul Bearer: Kane's real daddy, I guess, hasn't been on the scene for a while now for the WWF. However, you could rule this one out since he must wrestle this stalker at King of the Ring. You never know though....
Haku: This guy does have some beef with the Undertaker, you know, from the many hard-to-watch tag matches with Rikishi/Haku vs. Taker/Kane. However, if it's his voice using the Black Scorpion tone, you could probably hear his strong island accent still.... This is probably a good candidate.
Papa Shango: Why not? The Goodfather isn't exactly a good thing with the Right to Censor, and he's been begging to get out of that role for a while. Why not let him shave his head and any facial hair to bring back Papa Shango, who would be sick enough to stalk the Dead Man Walking. Yeah, this is a ridiculous idea....
I, very much, rule out Kane for this role. Why would the WWF want them feuding for the 12837874745664th time? It would make no sense, and Kane, as a heel, isn't exactly a good thing these days since he can't really build his own heat with fans that well anymore. As for bringing in another talent.... maybe we'll see another brother of the Undertaker come in, or maybe a cousin? Maybe some WCW talent will be the one responsible for the stalking, although I couldn't imagine who?
RAW ratings came in, and they were low once again. Could we blame the holidays here? Like I've said before, I think the WWF has two really bad things going against them: 1) Trends... wrestling's trend is going down right now, just like it did after 1990. It's impossible to immediately fix. 2) I didn't mention this, but weather. It's time to go out and have more fun, than to watch wrestling anymore. 3) Nothing good to flip for on bad WWF parts. At least with Nitro, you could quickly flip over to keep some interest in watching television. 4) Finals. A lot of colleges are finishing up, and with the WWF being one of the top shows for the male 18-24 age brackets, this reason makes a lot of sense. Hell, it's going to affect me for Monday and Tuesday. I think the past 4 WWF shows have been solid enough to build an audience for weeks to come, or at least that's what I think.
OH WAIT!!! I forgot the 5th Reason. I really think the WWF is suffering without the Rock. Not that the quality of the shows have been worse lately, but many fans, the ones who love "sports entertainment", see the Rock as their hero. Whether you like the Rock or not, that fact is very true. The WWF has a nice wait on him, too, for he'll return on July 30th to probably hype Austin vs. Rock at Summerslam 2001.
I'm soooooo delighted that Booker T has signed his Time Warner/AOL buyout for his WCW contract. I'm tickled with joy! It shows great promise when Booker T just gives up on a guaranteed deal, one of which he could have probably lived off of for 2 years, to advance his career with the WWF. I seriously can't wait for him to show up on WWF television, and either could the #1 fan, Coolbeans. Booker T would be a big run in for a RAW show, especially since the signings of guys like Bill Goldberg, DDP, or Scott Steiner seem lightyears away.
The WWF gave Buff Bagwell a chance. Wow. Well, he does have some promise, since he's still young and he's a marquee name for WCW. I just fear he'll start his usual crying act once the booking doesn't go in his favor, or if his "indestructable" attitude comes back to where he'll feel above the law. Just have to wait and see, I suppose.
Speaking of trouble..... I guess reports are now saying that Grandmaster Sex-ay was not caught with some kind of muscle growing substance, but with methamphetamine and some cocaine! Oh wow, that's agreeable to get someone fired, which was what happened to Brian Christopher, who was caught with this stuff by Canadian border patrol. Now if it was the muscle growth drugs, I would have claimed that the WWF just wanted an excuse to fire him, but those two other drugs should end it for him. However, I still don't doubt that the Lawler-WWF war will be over, because if any WWF wrestler is currently using any drugs right now, don't be surprised if the word gets around about some WWF drug use. Why? Brian Christopher wasn't exactly the most loved guy in the locker room, so he just might not give a flying fuck about exposing the drug use in the WWF.
And you know what's a good thing? The WWF didn't even talk to Juventud Guererra when he came to visit the WWF backstage during the Califorina tour. Juvy was fired from WCW for being very high on ecstacy, and just trying to assault Australian cops while under the influence. What makes matters even worse are the rumors that the WWF is talking to Scott Hall about eventually coming in. Oh boy. Despite claiming to be sober for a while now, Hall has a legendary track record in terms of drug use and abuse. It wouldn't be good to bring him in anytime soon, or a lawsuit just may pop up from the Lawler family.
4. Rhyno: What a difference one federation makes. In ECW, he was somewhat overpushed. In the WWF, he's slowly growing into a fierce superstar. This guy can take more punishment than anybody in the WWF right now!
3. Chris Jericho: Two big wins this week, one being over Big Show and the other over Kurt Angle. Let's see how he'll work with Austin.
2. Steve Austin: It takes two to tango, and Austin worked hard, alongside Benoit, to put on 2 thrilling matches this week on RAW. Who says Austin still can't go?
1. Chris Benoit: Best week of wrestling in his life, in terms of success. His matches with Austin, especially the Smackdown one, will have thankfully given him the rightful push in the WWF, which his work ethic deserves.
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@That's it for me today. It's been a pretty decent sized column for today. I HOPE to be back tomorrow with some kind of history type column, if I could just figure out a topic to do. I could do a biography of a wrestler, but with finals, I don't have 3-5 hours to spare. See you tomorrow!
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Take Care, and Have a Good Weekend.