Tell Me Something Good
Originally Posted 5-18-03Hello, my intended...
Sorry it's been so long between doses of my patented wisdom, but I've had some family issues that needed some work - such as dealing with a brand new nephew, courtesy of one of the esteemed brothers of Fiendish and his poor, sainted girlfriend - but I digress...
First, a quick tip of the hat to the Right Honorable Professor McCreight and much luck and success to him as he pursues his dreams. I still don't know if he pronounces it Mick-Right or Mick-Crate, but hey, he's been way too busy with homework submissions to clear that up for your old buddy Bobo, and I'm not one to nag. Sorry to see you go, brother, but farewell wherever you fare. You did us proud, and I say make a tradition of it.
Second, a great deal of props and thanks to the rest of the family here at TRP. I've felt that this is one of the few places I can call home in this blistering binary, and while I might not splash around as regularly as I did (since everyone starts construction in the spring, and they need capable drywall guys, like myself) rest assured I'm not going any damn place - at least not until after I'm dead, but that's another story... and a crappy pun. Heh. The only thing I love more than putting my sick and strange vitriol up here is working alongside the actual fine talent assembled herein, such as recently with my good friend Der Kommissaar, and in the past with Annie and Dave. You'll probably all eventually have something from me to add to your fine columns, you have but to ask, mostly... Sometimes I'm just against it at work, though, so don't take it personally if I opt not to lower the quality of your pieces.
Third, a great deal of respect to one of my favorite wrestling writers out there, NormanB. I dedicated one of my earliest articles to him, and his legend continues to grow with the mighty R.D. Reynolds putting him over (TWICE), and deservedly so. Yet, imagine my surprise when this award winning columnist asked ME when MY next article was going to come through...? You could've knocked me over with a feather, folks. I mean, maybe it's just me, but I likened it to being told David Bowie likes to hear YOU sing. Then again, Norm always had strange tastes, so I'll just pop a grain of salt like I usually do when someone tries to tell me that I'm anything but a bitter old hack with a vocabulary. Not that I don't appreciate the kudos or anything, mind, but there's far better than I both here and on our 'ugly cousin' site Lethal which could use the affirmations far moreso than myself.
Now to business... Well, I saw Raw for the first time in a good long stretch this past week, and holy shit is it in the toilet! I mean, in all honesty, it's pretty tough to find anything good to say about it... But you know how I love a challenge, right? I mean, sure, you got all those thousands of articles out there decrying the place about HHH and the other egomaniacs politicking and the in general bitching about why aren't their favorites getting anywhere? The short answer, I suppose, is Steph only has SO many orifices. But since this is going to try to be a POSITIVE article, we won't mention that... Well, again, anyway... Ready? Let's go!
Chris Jericho. Lord knows there's enough people putting him over as being 'held down'. How if he only had a chance to shine, he'd draw. But you know as well as I do it's never, EVER, EeeeeeeeeeeeeeeVER going to happen... A Gain. So would you PLEASE... Shut the HELL UP? He's just out there to warm up the crowd before putting over the guys we all hate. Now, I'd say that is bad enough, but when he's tossed outside like a candy wrapper so that HHH can face off with Nash one-on-one, you can tell the poor canuck knows what a six-percent unemployment rate means. He can set the stage, but he's never again going to be a star. Ever. I wish things would be different almost as much as he probably does, but the only way he's ever going to get to carry the ball again is the same way that he carried the ball before - because there's just nobody else on hand to carry it. This leads to the whole 'champion against who?' paradigm that pretty much sank him before. He'll never get the title until there's NOBODY else but him to carry it, and without anybody that poses a credible threat to that title, there's no point in having it. Same thing with the other fan favorites that are patently ignored or relegated to tag teams.
Kevin Nash. For chrissakes, how powerful are you supposed to be when it takes a sledgehammer to drop you? And how badly can you RUIN that aura of mightiness when it takes you four swings with said sledgehammer to bust a fucking CAR WINDOW? The guy supposedly weighs over three hundred pounds, and it took him four shots? I weigh two-sixty, and I can do it in one WITHOUT a fucking sledgehammer. Note to Goldberg, or anyone else that for some reason needs to do this sort of moronic stunt: WRAP YOUR JACKET AROUND YOUR ARM FIRST. Broken glass can hurt you. And on a related note to these 'big' stars, such as Nash, Show, Albert, and et cetera... Does ANYONE think that the big stiffs lumbering around and pawing at each other is EXCITING? No, clearly not. Why? Because this isn't the eighties, and our attention spans are a little shorter. Write it down so you don't forget. Now, Nash is pretty much washed up as far as the ring goes, and everybody knows it. Even him, unless he's a completely deluded drooling yahoo. Does that mean he's done in wrestling, though? NO. The guy is still semi-decent on the stick, even if he's a little out of touch, and could be a viable replacement for either of the two grubsteaks in the announcers booth. I mean, come on! JR blows goats, and King's creepy leering is staler than Wham's Greatest Hits, and just as deep/entertaining... Nash could still be on TV all he wants, and help elevate the product. He doesn't need to be in the ring - and certainly not main eventing - he's just not built for it anymore... We've seen the stork legs enough to know that it's all a sham, and the sooner he stuffs those chickentwigs under the desk, the better.
Rob Van Dam. Try as they might, RVD is still a big favorite, and routinely get the biggest pops no matter how they waste him. Sure, the whole stoner deal is pretty lame, and sure the guy being all 'laid back' and such can be difficult to write. I mean, really, if everything's 'cool' then why should we care about the outcome of the matches? HE doesn't! It's INTENSITY we need, dude. The fans would go APESHIT if RVD just picked up a mic and said, "Hi. You see that dude over there? I'm gonna bounce his sorry ass all the way back to his HOUSE, and make a sandwich while I'm there... Watch." It's not even in question whether he can back it up, either. RVD as a heel was awesome, because he'd go out there and RUIN you, and never stop smiling in that bemused, 'What did you EXPECT, dude? I'm RVD.' way. Why? Because RVD is beyond talented in the ring, and a hearty 'fuck you' to all those assholes that say he works too stiff because it's not fucking ballet. They're out there pretending to FIGHT, for chrissakes, accept that one might get a booboo now and then, or that they should simply get the hell out of there. How am I supposed to believe these guys are so tough when they're scared to take a shot once in a while? I've accepted that RVD will never hold the title, ever. Giving the fans what they want is obviously way down low on the 'To Do' list over there at the Towers, and all the internet railing and crowd pops mean jack shit. RVD draws, but they don't care. RVD is charismatic, so they take him off TV except for when he's in the ring. How the FUCK they expect to make money like that is completely beyond me. Could the guy carry the show? Sure. Which is why he never will.
Booker T. 'The Book' still gets decent fan support, but of course that counts for nothing. Nobody would pay money to see a black man, obviously. A half-islander, now and again, sure, but not a completely black man. Forget it. They tried to turn him into a comedy character, and paired him off with Goldust to form a tagteam that went nowhere... Repeatedly. I mean when your 'big' angle is your tag team partner is suffering a crippling case of self-doubt, you really don't need the vocational guidance counselor to let you know that taming lions might not be in the cards. (Let's see who gets THAT one.) Booker is as over as someone that they don't allow to win any important matches can be, and it's 'people like Booker' that I tune in to see. No, I don't mean 'black people', I mean 'talented people'... Those of you that remember him from the WCW know what I'm talking about, and though the 'powers that be' have reduced his moveset to a few kicks and a spinneroonie, the man can go out there and WORK. You can see he's holding himself back from the stuff that he used to do when he was part of Teddy's Travelling Circus. There's been a few times it was pretty obvious, too... He gets ready to pull out some nice spot, and then stops short and lowers his head to take a punch from his opponent. Not that I blame him, of course, as people that outshine the 'upper echelon' in the ring don't enjoy a long career - ask Essa Rios, or Raven, or a ton of other people that 'used to' be there. Booker will never hold the 'big' titles, and a run at the top of the card could have been huge. But who needs a champion people LIKE to see, right? That couldn't POSSIBLY sell tickets.
Kane. I'm no fan of Glenn Jacobs, folks, but I think the guy's unsinkable. He's soaked up more shit angles than anyone, and has managed to survive them. I mean, come on. As bad as the 'Fake Undertaker' or any of the other dumbass angles Mark's been in, they just don't touch the shit that Brother Glenn's survived. Remember when that goggle-eyed sack of jelly Percy fucking Pringle said he was the man's DAD? Remember when X-Pac betrayed him and took his girl, Torrie? Remember the firestarter thing where he burned down Commissioner Regal's office? Remember Katie Vick? And those were just as Kane! That's not even getting near the 'Christmas Creature', 'Black Knight', 'New Diesel', or 'Isaac Yankem' debacles... And dubious distinction that it is, aside from Brock Lesnar they don't have a big man on the roll that can TOUCH the guy in the ring. Period. Strangely, for a guy that's been through what he's been through, he still has no problem putting over the younger guys - as his atrocious record against Dave Batista readily attests. The fans love the guy because he's one of the last 'larger than life gimmick wrestlers' there is in the big league. Like I said, I'm no fan, but the guy deserves respect for continuing to swim upstream despite everything and the kitchen sink thrown out to stop him.
Test. I absolutely can't stand this guy - and that's going back to when he was 'involved' with Steph (before the whole fake funbags and Weight Gain 4000) - who I wasn't fond of because they were putting him over as the second coming of Nash. So he got some of what I call 'Hate Rub-off', which isn't his fault... Then when one considers the angles he's been in; I don't wonder why the guy still has a job, since he does anything they tell him. No, I wonder why he hasn't Kerry von Eriched already. Sure, he's banging Stacy and all, but does that REALLY counterbalance all the shyte this lug soaks up...? Y'know, now that I think of it... Moving right along. Even when they find something that COULD get him over, they completely shitcan it. Does anyone remember the One Year Immunity deal the guy won? Who wouldn't have LOVED to see the guy run roughshod over people in the back... Slapping the refs, making the cameras show his matches upside down, giving Flair a wedgie? And through it all going, "So what? I've got immunity. I'm running the show now, get it? I can do anything I want!" Ahh... FUMBLE! The fans love a guy that can tweak authority, and even with that whole 'suspenson' thing they had co-owner Flair do to bring him 'under control', he could still have defied the Nay Cha Bwah and showed up. What are they gonna do if he violates his suspension? FIRE him? NOPE. He CAN"T BE FIRED. Sigh. They could have even made it an 'Unofficial Title' much like the crown for King of the Ring used to be... And to prevent it from becoming stale, send people out there to 'stop' him and take away the Immunity for themselves so THEY can 'settle some scores'. It could MAKE people, moreso than a title EVER could.
Christian. God knows I don't like him. Not one bit. But he's still trying like hell to make it work now that 'he's finally on his own', and I respect that. Sure, they've made a total wreck of him from a character standpoint... He's a cowardly heel that actually is trying to leech heat from the Rock to get himself higher on the card. That's understandable. Heels are opportunists. However, the fact is that the silly bastard is LIKABLE, in a goofy Foley-esque style. Did anyone see that Confidential segment where he was in Japan looking for Hot Milk Soup? Classic. Him trying to teach the lyrics of his theme song to that local in the Dudley Boyz shirt was hilarious. A face turn should get underway for the guy... YESTERDAY. He's tried to be a heel for years, so I say 'give up' and be 'good'. After all, brother, when you and Edge were a babyface team you were over HUGE. Edge as a babyface was on the road to being huge before Fur-Berg fucked things up, so when you look at the evidence I've shown you... Buy a fucking white hat and take a stand - maybe against Jericho, since they'll never give you any wins against the 'top heels'. The matches you two could have against each other, though? Wow.
Lance Storm. Yet another heel in a sea of them on Raw... Lance was never really 'stand out', but he's got the talent and skill to put on superb matches. They just don't let him. I say to hell with the tag-team bullshit and just send him over to Smackdown with the other cruisers to do what he does best - wrestle. I honestly like the guy, but the one time they actually USED the fact that he hasn't got a personality (when they teamed him up with super-goofus) they killed it in a month. Why? Because it was working. Hurricane was even FUNNIER with Lance as contrast, and him reluctantly humoring the silly caper was priceless. They were the comedy team that Booker and L'il Dust could only (shattered) DREAM of being. What do I see in his future? Well, to be honest, I think they'll pair him up with La Resistance. Yay. Foreign Heels for everyone. At least it makes more sense than them using Nowinski...
Christopher Nowinski. How's that for a segue? Heh. Harvard Geek, you could be somebody... You could be the second coming of Curt Hennig. You're somewhat good on the stick, fair in the ring, and in the short time you've been there you've gone through no less than FOUR bullshit angles. Al should be proud you've not only learned from him, but your career is almost Xeroxing his own. There's only two things you need to do... Ready? One, get a goddamn finishing move, and I don't mean using a loaded dictionary, either. Two, get the fuck away from Scott Steiner. FAR away. You could have a pretty bright future in the business if you pair off with someone that can make you look good, and as a hint, La Resistance sure ain't it. The only thing fans are less into than foreign heels is foreign heel sympathizing turncoat bastards. You don't need to be a heel, Chris. You'd be MUCH better as a role model, no shit. You're a fucking Harvard graduate. You EMBODY the fact that you can make your dreams come true by staying in school. USE IT. Make a few run-ins to save the day. Turn on La Resistance - a Chris Cross, if you will. Then start making fun of the heels... You can do it, and it would work.
Scott Steiner. Folks, I've been a Steiner Brothers mark forever, but not too big a fan of either of the parts that comprise it. The ring rust is slowly coming off, and if he stays healthy another five or six months (long enough to shake it off completely, judging by his progress thus far) then he'll be back in the running. But for the love of God, not as a face. Freakzilla is a born heel. Have him turn on Test, and take his chick while he's at it... Not because he particularly wants Stacy, just because he CAN. Have him smash Stevie Richards and drag off Victoria as well. No chick is safe - except maybe Jazz; Steiner's a freak, not desperate. Though I will admit that Steiner taking Rodney Mack's White Boy Challenge should be pretty entertaining for the two minutes it would take for Scott to tear off all his arms and legs... "Is that your man?" Heh. Also, break out some of those killer moves from back in the day, such as the Steiner Screwdriver. The BTB overhead suplexes are overdone, bro. Mix in some other suplexes and some mat wrestling. Nobody would expect it, and it would make you stand out as 'something different' amongst a field of three move muscle monsters. You were an All-American, remember?
Hurricane. I love this little green bastard. I really do. The guy's a comedy genius, and can work like a ten-year old Taiwanese kid at the Nike factory. The fans are behind him, too. WORK IT. He's the ultimate underdog. A little fella that's trying to fight the good fight against impossible odds with nothing backing him up besides a CAPE. People like that sort of stuff, and to be honest, so do I. I actually laughed my ass off when he tried to chokeslam Big Show, but you just HAD to admire the balls on the guy for trying it. Big Show's facial mugging didn't hurt, either. The look on his face when Helms tried to pick him up for a body slam was PRICELESS. Have him take the gimmick to the next level, and start a Good Guy Faction. Brothers united in meritorious purpose (BUMP, for short) could provide the strength in numbers the faces need to battle the heels on equal terms, which goes a LONG way to getting both sides over. I mean, if the good guys obviously don't have a chance in hell, the match is a foregone conclusion. But if it could go either way? MONEY.
Dudleyz. Remember when they were the ruthless monsters that put CHICKS through tables? Remember when they broke Sandman's neck after they broke his GIRL'S neck (Beulah, IIRC)? They don't work as faces, people. The Dudleyz are bastards, remember? Make them bastards already! And give them some more goddamn moves while you're at it. I love 3D. I love Wassup. But that shouldn't be it for their team-moves. The best heels are vicious and unpredictable... Get with the program already. Have them decide that they LIKE being Eric's Enforcers, and to prove it they should destroy 3MW for being an embarrassment to the place. Not to repeat myself, but putting some of that old fashioned MENACE in them would probably be an important step to, I dunno, making the tag scene MATTER again. Hell, have them go after anyone Eric points them at, and massacre them. Vicious Tweeners at the command of the villainous Uncle Eric could elevate not only them, but everyone they battle.
3MW and Rico. Another smooth segue for the Fiendish... Heh. Listen, fellas, you're not bad in the ring... But you're not all that damn good either. It's not your fault, I know, you're big lugs - and big lugs have a history of not being stellar workers. But you know what? Fuck that. Get out there and scramble like there's no tomorrow. Have Rico take Rodney Mack's White Boy Challenge and get destroyed - and then YOU TWO destroy Rodney Mack. The crowd will eat it up, and it not only helps Mack's storyline - it helps YOU. Get up there and tell them that you didn't crush Mack because he was a black man - you did it because he massacred your manager. And when Teddy Long comes out talking shit, massacre HIM to even the score. Tell the people that you're both tired of this racial bullshit, and you'll make it your mission to wipe out all that crap. Massacre the French team while you're at it... The crowd will LOVE you. And if that doesn't work, get thee to Smackdown and back up your cousin in his feud with Piper - and get even with Big Show while you're there. SD's only 'Big Man Team' is Show and Albert, so go get 'em!
Goldust. Brother Runnels, I know you're trying your best to sell that Tourette's thing. Honest. But without the 'Evolution' around to take revenge on, you're just spinning your wheels. You've come out from your father's shadow, and that's to be applauded... There's only a handful that can claim they managed that - Curt Hennig, The Rock, and Bret Hart among the short list. That's pretty good company, buddy. Therefore, since you're sticking with the whole cartoon character bit, turn heel and go after the other cartoon character. Hurricane. You play a damn good demented genius, Dustin, so be the supervillain that Hurricane sorely lacks to play off of, and get both of you over. What's more, get some henchmen... Villains need fearsome henchmen to strike fear in the hearts of the common man. Plus, it would be funny to have them stand there looking confused while you're trying to give them orders between Tourette attacks... Heh. Declare war on Booker T... Where was HE when you were getting creamed? Why didn't he HELP you? You were PARTNERS! TEAMMATES! FRIENDS!! It's as much HIS FAULT as Evolution's that you're a stuttering wreck, and he's GOT TO PAY.
Shawn Michaels. Well, I have to admit that HBK was once a pretty decent worker - which is as much due to the fact that he's wrestled some damn talented people as it is due to him being damn talented himself. To paraphrase Piper: Would Hart be as beloved as he is were it not for you being a complete scumhook? Would HHH be as over as he thinks he is if he didn't ride your coat tails as the Lieutenant of DX? Would Nash, Hall, or Waltman even HAVE careers if you weren't pals? The Kid has made LOTS of people in the business, and you can't take that away from him - even if you wonder about his methods. Therefore, I say he continues to do it. Only not in the ring... Behind the announce table, with Nash. Sure, you're both a little out of touch with the kids today, but nowhere NEAR as bad as Lawler and Ross. If that doesn't float your boat, be a manager. Make Lawler one, too, just for grins. The place is full of talented kids that could benefit from your mic-work, and you could get dragged into the ring now and then to boot, since you insist on wrestling on occasion anyway.
Bill Goldberg. The guy brings something to the table that many of the 'monsters' on the roster lack. Verisimilitude. The guy has an intensity and air of menace that nobody else is carrying at the moment. Simply put, he's fucking scary in a larger than life way that gets the marks buying tickets. I'm not saying the guy needs to start a new streak, but he's not exactly showing us much feuding with CHRISTIAN. Sure, the guy has an ego that makes Jim Hellwig look humble, but he can play either side of the moral spectrum - and do it well. Give him someone to play off of already. If he's a 'good guy', send him after the heels. If he's not, send him after the faces... Or even better - make him a tweener and send him after EVERYBODY. Fuck, have him align himself with Eric (the guy that 'made' him, so to speak) against SCSA (the guy everyone says Bill is a stencil copy of) and you've got some potential, there. Dream Match + 'Real' Heat = MONEY.
Steve Austin. I absolutely hate this guy's guts. No kidding. I mean, beating a woman is bad, beating your wife is WORSE, and pretending YOU were the poor misunderstood soul in the ordeal just sews it closed. They want this beer swilling fuckstick to be a HERO to KIDS? Yeah, good idea. Dipshits. But you know something? That's all personal, behind the scenes shit... In truth, the guy is charismatic and beloved, which draws money. And while he's not exactly in Main Event shape anymore, people still pull for him, and he could give the rub to anyone he chose. He's WASTING himself in a feud with Bischoff because Uncle Eric IS NOT A WRESTLER. People are simply not going to buy tickets to see Stone Cold put Bischoff through his paces in backstage vignettes, okay? Have one of the guys decide that Stone Cold's run was done years ago, and he just hasn't figured it out yet... This would easily get a heel over huge for 'going for the weak spot', or even a face could do it, since SCSA is a piss poor role model - and beer piss at that. Goldberg is a good choice for this mission, now that I think of it...
Triple H. Folks, I've hated this schmuck since his clubfooted run in WCW. Not because he was a 'bad guy', either. I just plain didn't like the whole 'Terra Ryzing' deal, because he just didn't strike me as much of a 'monster'. He still doesn't. But folks, I know you're gonna think I'm a nut (like you don't know I am already) but I LIKED the guy for a while. When he came back from that torn quad and took the belt from Jericho and such, the undercurrent had nothing to do with the belt. It had to do with Stephanie. Stephanie playing the manpulative hag trying to keep the guy under her thumb - with help from Daddy Vince - put the guy over as a FACE. Big time. Who amongst you DIDN'T chant 'It's Not Yours!' when she tried to get him back by pretending to be carrying a little Hunter? When he put the Pedigree on Vince and Steph at their second wedding, who didn't mark out? You're a fucking LIAR. The guy is best as a face, people, and I've followed his career for some time now. He's tried tweener and heel, and they don't work for him. They really don't. The guy is smart, though. You have to give him that. In the face of declining ratings and buys, he puts himself at the top of the pile any way he can (I give the marriage a year, tops. Who's in?) because he wants to be there when the 'cyclical business' makes an upswing - so he can take the credit, of course. It would be a DISASTER to him if he passed the belt and THEN the business took an upswing. He didn't even trust his 'mentor' and 'friend' Shawn Michaels (not that anyone BLAMES him for THAT) to hold the strap for any length of time. And the only reason it COULD be is that Hunter wants to be the guy that 'saved' wrestling. The guy that did what even HOGAN couldn't - bring the business back from the edge of entropy... ALL BY HIMSELF. Is it a ridiculous amount of ego? Sure. But the guy wants to bring the business back because he loves it, and he apparently wants it to love him back. The only thing wrong with that little plan is nobody loves him... We 'smarts' are too aware of the backstage politicking and pure unadulterated shenanigans that the guy uses to 'protect his spot', so he's iceskating uphill if he thinks WE will back him. Of course, 'he doesn't care what the internet fans think', which is akin to Piper ignoring and/or deleting any criticism that isn't a dripping rave. Paul, you're not gonna get too far taking pages out of Piper's book. Not with us. You want to say you're that damn good? Prove it. Be good. Beat Hulk Hogan at his own 'game', so to speak. Make the little marks out there look up to you. Dump Ric Flair while you can still get some matches out of him, and 'take a stand'. Do charity work. Visit kids in the hospital. Run in on the heels and clean house like you want to do AS a heel. No more sledgehammers or cheap shots. You can do it, I know you can. Fuck, HOGAN did it, and he's not half the wrestler HHH was - or even IS NOW.
Maybe I'm just pissing up a rope, folks, but I really think the shit could work. As before, to any WWe dude out there that might see this, don't worry about paying me for the consultation... I'll PAY YOU - and so will a BUNCH of us. Holla if ya HEAR ME!
You're welcome. See you SOON.