Ringside Shadows #74: Your Weekly Fix.. the Concoction Only I can Mix.. Pick Up Sticks.. Yeah. It's the Tuesday Review
I suppose it was too much to ask... Two programs the caliber of which we saw during last week's Monday wars. For once, the old excitement was back. Both shows were neck and neck, and seemed to have the old spark that had been missing for so long. I'd thought the ratings might become something interesting again. Alas; no such luck.
Don't get me wrong.. I'm not saying that one show was superior in comparison to the other. No, this week the shows were more equal than ever. What I'm noting is the lack of energy in last night's programming. Sure, both shows had some decent matches.. but both shows also made a lot of mistakes. On Nitro, seeing Juvi/Malenko was brilliant. Giving them 5 minutes to work wasn't. On Raw, it's always good to see Jericho in the ring. Ending his match with a near-squash within a minute and a half isn't. Both of my favorite superstars were in action.. against two men I'd rather see following a horse-drawn carriage with a bucket (Benoit/Miller, D'Lo/Blackman).
It's really a shame. We could've had something again.
But I'm getting ahead of myself
-I wonder how over Hogan really thinks he is? The whole intro bit with the kids would've worked when he was popular.. something like 10 years ago. Sting ended up looking like a goon too,with his little "can I have your autograph too, Hulkster?" bit. Silly... silly..
-OK.. let's see how natural this progression looks.. You're feuding with Sid. You move on to a short feud with Rick Steiner. A World title match with Sting, and one week later a match with Ernest Miller?!
-Not only is it damaging to even involve yourself with the curse that is Ernest Miller, but to give him the majority of the offense? What a complete and total waste. "The Cat" went through his arsenal nearly a dozen times in this match, and in this case.. repetition does NOT mean excellence. Is anybody a fan of that sad little attempt at a People's Elbow variation? Give me a break.. If you want to act like that, toss your resume over to the WWF. See how fast your ass is out the door. The only thing that could've made this match watchable would have been a Benoit-dominated encounter, giving the Cat a chance to show us his selling. Still.. it felt good to see the Crippler deliver those chops.
-So much for rumors of Vampiro's push.. Bagwell must've decided he's above the Mexican-superstar's finisher, as he was back on his feet moments after it's delivery. Sloppy, self-serving ass like that is still what's tearing WCW down. Until somebody takes charge and makes a stand, it's gonna continue.. and get worse. Still; I understand putting Buff over in his hometown. He was monster over.
-Here I was, thinking the devil's whispering into Fat Tony's ear was just a lead-in to the ridiculous Lex Lu-..I mean..Total Package skit. Apparantly they're taking the butt-covered path with more than one angle. I've a solution for Schiavone's unpopularity.. Constantly insert bizarre comments from that voice into his headset.. ("Tony...goat cheese, Tony.. goat cheese. Think about it.." repeatedly should do). That way, our favorite portly announcer will go the way of the insane, and might actually make some sense for once.
-Uhhh.. just what was the Luger clip supposed to tell us..? And was it me, or was Schiavone salivating a bit much during the post-mortem flexing ceremony? "The deltoids.. the pectorals.. the luscious, glimmering hamstrings.. the glorious, edible biceps...achh!"
-If you didn't enjoy the Malenko / Rey match, I don't know what you're watching for. Though I blinked and missed half of it, the match was just unbelievable and stands for the whole reason I watch today. Meanwhile, the announcers display about every method in the book of avoiding conversation about the match at hand. They utelized everything from mentioning matches further in the card to cutting away to Sid and Steiner arriving in their P.O.S. If you didn't know that car wouldn't make it through the night, something's seriously wrong with you.
-This will more than likely make me an outcast in my community, but I enjoy seeing Goldberg on the set. He's cut some decent promos of late (remember the rumors that would swirl around his inability to speak in public?), and never fails to get a crowd into it. His ringwork is steadily improving, as is his endurance, and he's got "the look". The only things he's got going against him are inexperience, nagging injuries, and a near-complete negative image on the internet. He's proven himself as his own man, and not "just an Austin knock-off" as was commonly uttered in his early matches, and I think he's among the few deserving WCW main eventers.
-Berlyn still hasn't taken one cleanly, showing WCW bookers are heavily studying the book of "How to kill a gimmick in 4 easy steps". Somebody get that man some tan-cream.
-You know, it's sad when it's more entertaining to watch the morons behind Schiavone and Heenan than it is to watch a match. If Nitro had any hopes of claiming a ratings victory, they tossed them right out the window by giving us Harlem Heat / Rednecks back to back with Rick Steiner / Van Hammer. Who do they honestly expect to watch that filth? Of the 6 men involved, ONE is salvagable.. and they're killing him by teaming himn with his terrible waste of a brother.
-Candidate for sign of the year, with an explanation of "DFG" as "Dog Faced Gimp".
-Good to see Bret announce his complete return, as a face no less (though I'm not holding my breath). I'm not sure if he meant Hogan was the Elvis of wrestling to be a compliment (the king) or an insult (outdated, out-of-shape, should've died on the toilet years ago). The short angle he worked with Flair upon his arrival at WCW was nice, and I thought it ended a bit prematurely. I'd like to see these two go at it again sometime, but they work well as a team also.
-Torrie with Kidman? If it means we get to see her without seeing David, count me in..
-Just when I thought the Animals/Revolution feud can't get any better, a couple more damned good workers come out of the woodwork. A stable with Juvi, Psychosis, Chavo and Silver King (though I would've preferred Disco Inferno), all men who have had trouble getting over on their own, is a great idea. If the crowd latches onto these guys, all will be right in the world.
-DDP wasn't really saying much by praising the total number of championships on his team for last night. Between DDP's 2, Luger's 3, and Sting's 9.. that makes 14. The same number that Ric Flair alone has held.
-I'm speechless regarding the Psychosis / Kidman match. (well.. not speechless per se..) Pure beauty, booked to a "t" with Kidman's kick-outs from 3 finishers. It bordered on overbooked, but in the end served to elevate Kidman stupendously. Good job by the WCW execs in teasing a swerve, with the barber at ringside. I'm a bit disappointed we didn't get to see Psychosis' face, and I'd thought his hair was a wig.. so that came as a surprise too. One helluva match, and a good placement as the lead-in to the main event.
-Sting is still working as a face, and the crowd still reacts to him as one. Something's wrong here.. So what the hell does the silly little insignia on luger's shorts stand for? The 'M' with a dot above it, and a circle around? Maybe I'm not as knowledgable about Urban Legends as I'd thought.. I suppose that stands for "Bodybuilder-turned wrestler, who died.. watched his own burial as a ghost (with a shadow.. I didn't know ghosts had shadows..), came back within about a minute, and now wants to be called a descriptive noun". It's catchy.. it's got a good beat.. and I can dance to it.
-You had to know Hogan was coming out.. still, I wonder why nobody went after his knee? You've got 3 guys.. surely somebody can take him out with a tackle before he nails everybody.
Overall Grade: C
A "C", meaning average. Tonight's show was average.. it had a few notable high spots, and several forgettable low spots. It demonstrates how dire a straits the profession is in nowadays, when a show like we saw last night is considered average.
-When I saw Mankind toting the thing in the black cover, I thought he'd brought a Brahma Bull along with him. Maybe then Blackman would've had something to do..
-What was up with the censors screwing up last night? It was rather humorous.. quotes like "I'll tell you what, you son of a bi'll tell you.. son. Is what." were to be found everywhere. I rather enjoyed it, personally.. among the few things I could enjoy about last night's Raw.
-In a night that would go on to surprise me with word usage again, Jericho got away with calling Paul Wight a "waste of sperm". I guess I'm still used to the Jericho I saw in WCW, but I always thought of his humor as more of a clean act. Just another example of the WWF changing people, I guess. The match itself went worlds towards killing Jericho as a contender in the near future. Wight had him put away in what.. a mintue? Maybe 2?
-You know what I think's funny? People who type '@$$'. I remember the days when such thinly-veiled profanity was the only option.
-If I were an athlete in the WWF, I'd just jog out week after week and bitch at Vince McMahon about getting a World Title shot.. it always seems to work for Austin.
-It's never been illegal to use foreign objects outside of the ring in the past.. why is it so bad now? It's called 'continuity'. Try some, you'll like it. Meanwhile.. Blackman showed us what all those tools who jump the rail, trying to get into the ring, have done wrong. If you wanna beat WWF security.. get yourself a kendo stick.
-The Rock / Mankind bit was hilarious and all... (I can't believe Rocky got away with saying "poontang" on television.. twice.) but it belongs on Comedy Central, NOT Raw. The fact that they gave this over half an hour served as a slap in the face to everyone looking for entertaining wrestling anymore.
-Suddenly, X-Pac is content being the little guy who takes all the punishment again. Toss another angle out the window..
-I've seen it misspelled a couple times now, so I'll take the liberty to correct it: it's "the Fabulous Moolah".. as in cash.. money.. not "Mula". If you witnessed anything during the rock-n-wrestling fad of the 80s, (not to mention the cartoon!) you remember this vividly. Still.. there's no way these ladies should've been in an evening gown match. I'm confused.. did Moolah win the title, or was this a non-title match?
-Mega points for the camera angle during the Kitty/Debra catfight! If only they'd stayed on the mat a bit longer.. Yum.
-I wasn't all that impressed with Rocky/HHH XXXVI. It was a bit of a step down from their previous encounters, though the excitement was definately there for the finish. I'm not sure if Austin just wanted to fight the Rock again, didn't like HHH that much, or actually sided with the Rock.. there wasn't a real motive for his delivering the stunner. Questionable booking, and I doubt anybody thought Rocky would take the belt on this night.
Overall Grade: D+
A generally bad Raw gets major points knocked off for including the Rocky/Mankind segment, which took up one QUARTER of their damned product! There's something seriously wrong with that. Things are looking worse and worse for the WWF.
I'll be back some time tomorrow, probably, to answer a bit of mail.. So..
until next time, i remain