Ah yes, it's Friday. This weekend, I'm at home, so if you are expecting a rapid reply on e-mail, you better think again (sorry!). Since I'm at home, I'm using the lovely Compaq computer. Yes, it's that Compaq that has forced me to rewrite about 10 columns over the years by freezing up at times. It's funny, because I basically save about once every 5 minutes writing this column when I'm on this very computer.
BOOK NEWS: Thanks to Mr. Rubel, the Buzz on Professional Wrestling, by Scott Keith of Rantsylvania.com and Wrestleline, has arrived in the mail. With this short time I have before I have to really start studying for finals, I'll try to read this one quickly. I've read the first Chapter, and it seems like a fairly easy read, so I should have something up by the end of this week (I hope). I won't be able to read Chyna's book until sometime at the end of March, so expect a review on that for very late March or early April. It's hard to shove in wrestling books during the school year!
PHAT PHARM NEWS: I'm going to revamp the Pharm soon, so that it could have more writers than it currently does and try to make it easier for myself to update. Right now, I'm not hiring anybody just to wait for the revamping, so if you have sent a column within the last 2 weeks, I haven't looked at it yet. For those who sent in columns before that... I have saved about 10 or so columns that I'm interested in, but rather than to hire them now for the Pharm, I'll just wait for the revamping. It should be noted that if you never get a reply, then that means I wasn't interested in your column. I'm not doing that to be a prick in any way, but my time is very limited to reply to many columns at a time. Please understand that.
Well, now that I've got the business issues out of the way, on to the PDC!
Ok, in previous weeks, it's said that the Kat was showing an attitude backstage to writers and wrestlers. So that building momentum led to No Way Out, where she reportedly had a few disagreements with the bookers and wrestlers participating in the Steven Richards vs. Jerry Lawler match. After weeks of tolerating her, it was said to be the last straw from wrestlers and writers with the Kat. Then, on the Tuesday before Smackdown, after Jerry Lawler left the production meeting, some discussions about the Kat obviously happened. There, probably some of the writers and wrestlers came up to Vince McMahon with their problems with her. Vince then decided to show everyone backstage that he rules with an iron fist by firing or releasing the Kat! He did that without thinking, too.
But the Kat and the King didn't know about the build up of tension backstage over the Kat's attitudes. The Kat was never told to settle herself down, either was Lawler told to talk to her. She got the axe without warning! Vince did it so quickly, that he didn't even consider the consequences. Duh, guess who she's married to? Jerry Lawler, the man who is doing 4 Hours a Week of television time with RAW and Smackdown, 3 Hours a Month of Pay Per View commentating, and about 3 Hours a Week of announcing for Vince's failed project, the XFL. There is NOBODY else out there who was dependable like Lawler and who was always consistant. He's the best, simply put.
The fact is that everyone knows he's the best. Especially with Monday Night RAW, where the team of Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross have been the dynamic duo for years now. When Vince McMahon fired the Kat, he totally failed to consider what could happen. When Jim Ross told Lawler about the firing, Lawler immediately quit without even condsidering to stay with the WWF. Basically, the Kat was never given a second chance to improve, like guys like Road Dogg, Razor Ramon, Shawn Stasiak, and more have been given. Yeah, some of those are for drugs, but still, it's the same thing that they got 2nd chances and the Kat was just cut off.
I'm glad Lawler stuck up for his wife. It was well deserved for Vince McMahon who reacted without thinking, and in the long run, it will definitely hurt Vince. Why? Just imagine Jerry Lawler showing up on WCW Nitro. A main poor thing about WCW now is their announcing teams. Tony Shiavone just totally sucks, and he's taking down Mike Tenay and Scott Hudson with him! But throw in Lawler.... If you remember back then, many considered Ross to be too boring back then since he "knew too much about wrestling". If you've listened to pre-Lawler Jim Ross, you'll know that he just called the match without much intensity. It wasn't until Jerry Lawler provided a spark to Ross's career that we see the sometimes loud JR now. I'm already thinking that Lawler could work well with Scott Hudson, especially, since Hudson used to react well with Bobby the Brain Heenan.
Another thing to imagine is that the NON INTERNET fans probably don't know that Jerry Lawler is gone from the WWF now. They flip around, and then see or hear Lawler commentating on Nitro. That would come to a total shock to them, and create a spark needed for a possible rise of WCW. It's definitely one of those special events in wrestling that start chain effects. But what about those who are loyal to Jerry Lawler in the WWF? Remember when Vince Russo left, he took several bookers and commentators with him. Lawler has been in the WWF for quite sometime, and I'm sure he's made better friendships there than Russo ever did. All it would take is for someone to not agree with Vince McMahon's decision, find a way out of their contract, and also show up on Nitro.
If I were Fusient, I'd throw money to Lawler's way right now! This is the kind of deal that makes any squabbling over contract issues end, because it's well worth it to get someone who will equal instant ratings! I bet you that if he shows up for WCW soon, he'd bump the ratings by at least 0.5. At least that. WCW would be crazy not to offer Lawler a very lucrative deal right now. 7 figures too! This is indeed an event that WCW could capitalize on, and at the same time, better their wrestling product.
WWF will learn their mistake when fans don't catch on so quick with the new announcing team. We could talk all day about possibly acquiring Bobby Heenan, Cyrus, Joel Gertner, and Mark Madden, but I'll agree with the best results man on the net, Nick Ponton, on this issue. Instead of bringing in an outsider, all the WWF really needs to do is to push one of their current announcers. They have quite a few "paying their dues" on the lower WWF shows, like Kevin Kelly, the Coach, Michael PS Hayes, and a few others. I'd say that Kevin Kelly would be a bad choice to move up, for his calls on Jakked/Metal and what he used to do for RAW in 1996 aren't exactly great. Kelly reminds me too much of Shiavone, only possibly worse. Coachman is improving, but he acts too happy for the usual heel commentator spot. PS Hayes would probably be the best choice as a heel commentator or 2nd guy, since he's filled in for Lawler before.
Then you have Tazz. No, I didn't forget about him. You know, it's time that all of us marks realize that Tazz is too short for the WWF. Yes, Tazz is a VERY talented wrestler, don't get me wrong there. But he's wrestling in a world of very large wrestlers, as compared to his old days in ECW. He's starting to hold his own on Heat, and working with Michael Cole very well. By the way, I think Cole is doing an excellent job where he is, doing Heat and Smackdown. I'd put Tazz on Smackdown with Michael Cole, since they already work well together.
But nobody is Jerry Lawler. Nobody can be as consistant, reliable, funny, or as talented on the mic as Lawler. I feel it's a Kingsize mistake by the WWF to let something like this happen, which if Lawler gets out of any WWF ties, he'll make a major impact for the competition. I'll even go as far to say that Vince McMahon should come begging to Lawler for him to return. Sure, it might not make Vince a strong person backstage, but it will at least show that he's human and can make mistakes. McMahon is too worried about covering his own ass, and not seeing what damage this incident may cause.
This show was pretty good overall, as we have our best week of wrestling in a long time! No totally disappointing shows for the first time in long time. I usually rely on something bad from WCW or one bad WWF show to always keep the terrible streak going, but this week, both WCW and the WWF put on some great shows. Here's what I say about that: it's about damn time!
Opening interview provided a snoozer of Sports Entertainment, but I guess it set up two matches for later that night. This one was about 25 minutes or so.. I wish the WWF would do these segments at the end of the first hour, because it would provide for a great bathroom break or food run.
Solid match with Lita/Matt Hardy vs. Crash/Molly Holly. I still can't get over that Crash is called "Crash", and not Crash Holly anymore, especially since he comes out with his cousin, Molly Holly, all of the time. Lots of good move selling in this one on all 4 competitors.
My gosh, Chris Benoit was just on pounding X-Pac tonight, making the match good for the short 5 minutes it was given. Benoit and Eddie Guerrero are leaning towards a feud, baby! I hope the WWF doesn't decide to make them fight on an upcoming RAW or Smackdown, and holds their match for Wrestlemania. If you haven't seen the 100 times they've fought in WCW, then you are in for a treat once they finally wrestle. It would be wise of the WWF to have Benoit vs. Guerrero as the hot opener of Wrestlemania, but that's just my opinion.
William Regal vs. the Rock..... was exactly what I expected, since the Rock wrestles the same match every night. Oh, by the way, the Right Hand punch count was 13 tonight, in their 7 minute or so match. 13 punches... my God. I wish I kept count at No Way Out. Kurt Angle ran in for this match, yay. I bet we'll see another Rock vs. Angle match sometime soon on RAW or Smackdown, and then I bet we'll see Angle shoved down to the midcard. I predict an Angle vs. Jericho match at Wrestlemania for the IC title. Seriously.
Although I don't normally care for Right To Censor segments, I will agree with Skull Captain (Calvin) in that Val Venis did some good acting there. This feud with the Kat was eventually going to stir this group up, since Kat would sleep with Val Venis and eventually Ivory! But since the Kat is gone, what can you do? Oh yeah, I forgot, SHE (Chyna) is coming back soon. Joy, joy, joy!!!! Out of the frying pan and into the fire! Well, Chyna is for Ivory or Steven Richards, but the WWF really brought out the repetitive stuff with the Acolytes running down. How many times must we see that feud?
What a vicious chairshot by Christian on Buh Buh Ray Dudley! I guess that's what happens after taking years of punishment by New Jack in ECW, eh Buh Buh? It gave a good excuse to have a 6 man match with Undertaker/Kane/D'Von against Christian/Haku/Rikishi. It was a bad excuse of a match, especially on the terrible wrestling of Haku and the Undertaker.
Yet another good match by Kurt Angle and Stone Cold Steve Austin. It was a bit more scientific than the previous matches, but I can appreciate those kind of matches, unlike the 1998 WWF fans with very short attention spans. Of course, in the 3rd match, Kurt Angle is yet to get a win of any kind over Austin. He was a World Champion last month, you know? Oh, we must hide that fact under a rug. This match did have another good ending with Austin and the Rock, which is the focus of the WWF right now. Ok, I guess I can see why they didn't have Austin lose to the guy who just lost his title to the Rock. I'll swallow that bitter pill!
Good show overall, but it was just strange to have Cole and Ross as the commentating team. Ross didn't sound prepared or quite happy to be there that night. I don't blame him at all though. I'll give this show a B, because of the Sports Entertainment and he less than average performances by Haku and the Undertaker in that sloppy 6 man. I thought the WWF once bragged that the older wrestlers will put over the younger ones, unlike WCW? Well, you're two dinosaurs of the federation aren't losing or looking bad at all.
My "Opinion" section is above with Lawler, ok?
4. X-Pac: 3 good matches this week. Could that be because he wrestled Benoit 3 times this week?
3. Chris Benoit: Helped to carry or carried each of the matches he was in this week. I guess that's why the WWF grabbed him last year.
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin: Face it, he can wrestle well again.
1. Triple H: Busted his ass at No Way Out, and for that, he gets no mention on the television shows. That sucks.
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@Well, that's all for today. I HOPE to have a column for you tomorrow. I see a few things coming up here at home, so if you don't see me tomorrow, I was unable to get to the computer. Plus, it's History day, and I'm scared that I won't find the time to do an in depth column. Hmmm...
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Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.
The XFL has just added a NEW RULE just after the 4th week fo the season, eliminating the "bump-and-run" rule. Before, offensive receivers and defensive backs were allowed to have contact with each other before the ball was thrown or caught. The XFL is basically doing this to stimulate either more interceptions or more catches by receivers in their recent low scoring games.
Dick Butkus, the director of football competition in the XFL, will be replacing Jerry "the King" Lawler in the announcer's booth for the 2nd NBC game this week. NBC/Vince McMahon is hoping that the new rule change, the celebrity status of Butkus in football, and the feud between Jesse Ventura and Coach Tillman from the NY/NJ Hitmen can finally show some improvement in the ratings.
Click Here for the latest XFL Newsletter for lots of hype for this weekend's games.
WrestlingObserver.com is reporting that Coach Tillman of the NY/NJ Hitmen isn't exactly thrilled with the hyped feud. Here's what he said: "They're trying to manufacture something, an I'm not going to do it. I've said it all along, if it's like the WWF, people are not going to like it. I'm not going to do it their way. That's not me."
As for Jerry Lawler.... I've kept my eye on the headlines, and his quitting of the WWF/XFL is getting coverage by the media, especially with the Butkus replacement. Lawler's XFL contract is reported to be with the XFL, and not with the WWF. So I guess if Lawler isn't under contract with the WWF, he does have an XFL contract. It would seem odd to me that he'd have an XFL contract, and not a WWF one? It could support the evidence that he's under WWF contract, but I don't know. It would be a good laugh if he jumped to WCW, but was then forced to call XFL games.