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The Rock, Rocky Maivia

The Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels

WWE Smackdown!

Slobberknockers abound
Ringside Shadows #65: A Little Bit of Everything

zup kids

It's been quite a memorable week, from the debut of ECW and WWF's Smackdown to the events that transpired in each program.. and... oh yeah! WCW still airs a Thursday night program, don't they? It's been a while, but I checked out the first hour of Thunder last night too.

But then again, I'm getting ahead of myself.. Let's start this beast out with commentson..


I liked just about everything about this show. The decidedly different color choices (blue in the place of red EVERYWHERE, including the ropes.. I'm surprised Kane didn't come out in blue), the dual, circular Titan trons,and the set... which was superb. Following the last airing of Smackdown,which saw the monumental forming of the 'corporate ministry', Thursday's offering was easily just as memorable, if not more so. There were acouple noteworthy points, so I'll delve right into those

-I was expectingan hour-long program, so needless to say I was pleasantly surprisedto see it continue to a 2-hour performance. Some things shouldn't berushed, and I don't think it would have been nearly as successful hadthe HHH / Rock match had been shoved into the same hour as theinterview that set it up.

-Good GODis the Rock over!!

-Mankindis god, on a mic and in the ring. Nobody can even compete with thisguy..

-On the same page,Al Snow played his part to a 'T' as the overly-worried owner.It would seem that Lawler's not the only puppy-lover seeing air timeon Thursday nights.

-The tag divisioncontinued it's destined journey down the toilet bowl. I knew these goldstraps would be used as a weak means to push Show & Taker ascomplete monsters, but I imagined they'd get a bit more inventive withthe tag scene itself. How long have we seen the Acolytes and/orX-Pac & Kane involved with the title match? Repetition leadsto boredom, which in turn leads to a different choice with the remote.

-Jericho's debut was slightly impressive, but he's showing a bit of rust from thelong absense, and he hasn't had time to adjust to the slight changesin the construction of WWF rings. Give him a couple weeks and a moresuitable opponent, and we'll start to see some magic. I was completelyloving the double powerbomb again though, and his Liontamer (er... "modifiedcrab maneuver", according to WWF.COM) hasn't lost anything.

-Following thematch, the Fink managed to be funnier than his initial 'warrior'appearance.. hey, at least he made his attack from the FRONT, beforebeing jumped from behind. Also, a Shamrock / Jericho programcould be beauty.

-Good to see there'sstill a TINY bit of unity in the former 'Union' as Mankind andShamrock have recently made saves for Test..

-Regarding HBK'sturn, even after reading the spoilers I enjoyed it.. watching the crowdget soo into him as the show opened, and watching exactly how eventstranspired sent shivers down my spine. I can only compare it to Jericho'sarrival on Raw a few weeks ago. You knew what was coming, but you stillcouldn't brace.

Overall Grade: A-

An overly-glorified Raw, quite a bit better than the offerings of onlya few weeks ago. Still, I wonder if the curse of a new show will strikeyet again. Seems everyone gets really excited for the debut of a newshow before, weeks later, it becomes dull and throwaway.

Moving on, let's take a look at..

I was running tothe supermarket with my girlfriend during the first 15 minutes of theprogram, so I must've missed the powerbomb through a table, as wellas a bit more commentary directed totally at TNN and it's televisionaudience. Aside from that, in the fleeting moments we were treated toactual ECW TV, I was very impressed... with the in-ring action. I enjoyedthe hell out of the RVD/Jerry Lynn match they gave us, with morethan a couple beautiful spots.. the most memorable of which was thesunset flip powerbomb from the ring apron into a table, and the multiplevan-daminators through chairs. I was sick of Alfonso and his whistleafter the first couple times I heard it, though. My question is this..is every broadcast set to include 40 minutes of commercial time?!?!Good god, we saw about 4 minutes of ring time, then went to a commercial.I think we came and went about 3 times during the said TV title match.That, and Styles needs to be ringside... with a color commentator. Bymentioning Austin, ECW as a whole came off as a cheap, bitter, poseurof a program and did very little to shake this image. The amateur-ishquality of the video, the interviews and the backstage bits furtherdismissed this as a promotion not quite ready for the big time. Havingnever seen Taz in action, I'd thought the tales of his legendaryno-selling were just exagerrations.. a quick squash later and I don'tsee a man deserving of this title. As a newbie, can anybody tell meif this bit about Sabu's American ban is legit, or a work? Goodto see Cyrus again, but who's he surrounding himself with?! Iguess you've gotta build mic skills somehow, eh?
All in all, I was completely impressed by the match quality and intensity,but was almost repulsed by the interviews, production quality and MOTHERLOVINGCOMMERCIALS!!!!!

Really quickly, I'll drop in some thoughts on Thursday's

Sid's unjustifiedpush through the roof continued, as everybody's favorite job boys, ThePublic Enemy met their fate as victim numbers 2359 and 2360.. Thenight was later graced by what became a masterful piece from Rey,Kidman, Eddy and the Rednecks. Especially near the end, these 6threw together a dynamite performance that kept me at the edge of myseat beyond the ending. So many nearfalls in such a short amount oftime won't fail.. sheer beauty. Check the skies for the fourth horsemanof the apocalypse, but I actually enjoyed the opening of the Cat'ssegment. Creating a tie between Iaukea and TAFKA Prince was justhilarious, and Sonny's rendition of 'Purple Rain' was just tantalizing.Maybe Monday night we could hear a little "Pussy Control"? It was aroundthe beginning of the match itself that I decided enough was enough andit was time for some soup, so I readied my supper in time for Smackdown.Judging from the results I read, they handled the in-ring meetings ofSid and Benoit about as well as they could, consideringthe horrible push Sid's been getting lately. Is it just me, or doesthe big man really seem to harbour some sort of fear when confrontedby our favorite crippler? He didn't want any part of him Monday night,and both had their finishers applied at the conclusion of Thursday'smeeting.. I hope I'm reading this correctly, as putting Benoit overSid would be HUGE.

Finally, a quick word on

Remember when allthe hype went into the original Thunder airing? Sting and Hogan wereto meet and figure out what to do about the World Title, recently heldup. It was huge. Now Sting has it in his CONTRACT that he won't showfor Thunder, and you'd have a helluva tought time convincing Hogan todo show, as well. The same can be said for Heat, anymore. What was oncea good forum for expanding upon feuds has become a bit of a music videoshow, and a recap of the week's events. Still, the jury's out a bitlonger on this one for me.. for one reason. This deja-vu match deal,replaying important events in the WWF's history could be a VERY goodidea, if played off correctly. Unfortunately, it seems as though Vinceis still afraid of his past and won't mention anyone no longer underhis employment. A shame, as I'd like to see a Michaels/Hall Ladder matchon USA sometime.

Closing up, I recieved some viewer mail regarding some recent commentsmade in regards to D'Lo Brown. Hilgemann (djh@tznet.com) wrote in to say:

"I don't get it. First, it was Dale, and now you. Your both extremely intelligentguys as far as I can gesture, and hell you in particular are part ofthe triad. But, it's as if you expected something else to occur. NewAge Outlaws, Outsider's, Harlem Heat, The Steiner Brother's, The Rocker's,and hell you can go all the way back to Strike Force with Tito Santanaand Rick Martel. Mizark and D'lo were a Tag Team. Mizark turned bad,they are obviously both going to be going into single's action afterthis feud which had to take place is over unless Mizark tags with JJdown the line. D'lo is the next Rock only with great wrestling ability,so what's the problem? Listen to the ovation he gets. The guy is over,and I quite frankly think it's great that they decided NOT to have Mizarkreturn and tag with D'lo. Just wondering what your thoughts are. Ifyou really think about it, you know that's the way it had to be. Theycouldn't exactly just have Mizark return and not have anything to dowith D'lo. So, it's either D'lo tagging with Mizark upon his return,or Mizark turning on D'lo upon his return. I believe the WWF went thesmart route. Don't you? D'lo is a break out star in the process. D'lohas championship material written all over him. He's one of the selectfew. Ric Flair is able to do it, Shawn Michaels is able to do it, BretHart is able to do it, the Rock is able to do it, and many other's areable to do it, but these are the guys off the top of my head that doit really well. And that is being able to draw great heel and face heat.Triple H could get good face heat because of DX, but thus far untilthis Monday really he wasn't too capable of getting good heel heat becausehe really comes off more as annoying with his too intense, boring, andrepetitive I am the game comments, and makes you want to change thechannel, instead of a great heel like Vince McMahon. D'lo has shownhe can do it. He has drawn great heel heat. Just think back to the D'loSucks chants, now they've turned into just D'lo chants much like theRocky sucks chants turned into just Rocky. And all this without reallybeing able to show off his mic skills which from what he has shown arevery good. As D'lo Brown's #1 fan, I'm glad they decided to get thisfeud on now, so he can move onto bigger and better things. I'm lookingfor a response to justify your comments. Keep up the great work andsorry for the length."

Rare as this is,I'm gonna have to say it... you've changed my mind. After reading yourcomments, I can see that a feud with Henry, while a step down from hisintercontinental feud, was a necessary step in D'Lo's ascention to greatnessin the WWF. You really made some excellent points, citing the greattag teams of old, leading to the superstars of their respective erasand really impressed me along the way. My question is this: Since sucha turn needed to happen in order for Brown to logically move on, whycouldn't it have occurred earlier? He was riding such a surge of popularityduring this brief Intercontinental run that even the slightest errorcould have cost him (and the WWF) everything they've built to date.Why take that risk? Why not get this altercation out of the way beforethe status-raising feud with Jarrett? The fans' opinions are so ficklethese days that their views can change within days if workers aren'tfeuding with the right people. I fear that the upcoming revenge programwith Mizark will, in the end, result in a loss of fan recognition asa serious contender and could really hurt D'Lo's status when all issaid and done.

Great letter, and thanks for writing. It's good to see that more andmore people are realizing what a star D'Lo really is.

And that shoulddo it for me. I'll be back eeearrly Tuesday morning (I open work at7:30 am... yeowch!) for the Tuesday Review, so..

untilnext time, i remain


The Triad


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