Ringside Shadows #79: A Short, Sweet, Tender Version of The World's First No Mercy Preview, Foaming with Loving Tenderness
You know what I hate? Long-winded columns that take their sweet-ass time in getting to the point. Don't get me wrong, there's definately something to be said for people in the know, and some subjects require a full bakers' dozen of pages to get the idea across. So, before my mailbox fills up with hatemail... I'm not knocking anybody with this comment.
I'm knocking myself.
You know what I tend to do more than my share of? Long-winded columns that usually take their time in getting to the point. That's why tonight, I'm taking a break on myself as well as the readers and offering a "bare bones" version of the World's First No Mercy Preview. Screw all that unnecessary lead-in crap, to hell with an in-depth analysis of why the WWF can suck an NFL-approved adult football through a coffee stir. You wanna preview that cuts through the crap, the skinny, the poop? It's right here...
Just as soon as you've finished reading that long-winded intro that's taken it's time in getting to the point.
WWF NO MERCY
Y'know what? This isn't a completely wretched card. Sure, there's the obligatory stinkers (Moolah? Chyna? The Acolytes? Billy Gunn?), but the WWF has taken about a 45 degree turn towards goodness with this card. Hey, maybe the departure of Russo and Ferrera was a good thing...?
Val Venis v. Mankind
Hooty-llama-hoo! A keeper! Just when things looked bleak for Venis, a heel turn, a new attitude and an upper-midcard elevation hit us in rapid succession. The bookers behind the 'new' WWF deserve a pat on the back for their work rediscovering and reviving the big Valbolski, and for providing us with this match. A win here could mean serious business for the lovable porn star with the heart of coal, but I'm going with Mankind to reclaim some much-needed credibility with the 'V' in this one.
The Bulldog v. the Rock
It's good to see Davey Boy back, even if he is rolling in dog excrement. Seems as though Vince is holding true to his word, elevating the former European champion straight to the top. Nobody's really mentioned this, but Vince has done more than please the British legend by elevating him this quickly. Anybody remember one of the WWF's major problems a few months back? It dealt with a lack of credible heel contenders to Austin's belt. Nobody would buy HHH (I'm still not sure they are, even now), Rocky was a permanent face, the Big Show wasn't ready, and the Undertaker had pretty much worn out his welcome with 2 feuds over the belt. Suddenly, The Bulldog's gone over a former World Champion strong and is next in line for a world title shot..
Winner: The Bulldog
Bradshaw v. Faarooq v. Kane v. X-Pac
? I'm a bit lost as to the origins of this one, but if it means an all-out war that kick starts the Kane/X-Pac feud, I'm all for it. If either of the Acolytes win this one it'll be nonsensical, useless, and will place into question the credibility of both the men involved in the upcoming feud and the importance of the feud itself. With that said, they'll probably put Faarooq over with a lame-ass powerbomb. I still maintain hope, however.. I'm going with Kane, the man who shouldn't be in the tag scene.
Chyna v. Jeff Jarrett
Chyna's more than likely being handed the Intercontinental glory here.. and that's a sick, sick thing. Not the fact that a woman's being given a belt... that's actually the only somewhat redeemable part of this storyline. I'll always root for the underdog, be it Rey Mysterio Jr. in his world title shot against Ric Flair all those moons ago or Chris Benoit in his feud with Raven's Flock even longer back. What bothers me is they're giving the belt to a woman who sucks... just to show they can. I wouldn't rule out yet another Debra swerve in this case, but the only thing that will make this result less bitter is if Jarrett moves on to a feud with Austin.
Fabulous Moolah v. Ivory
After this travesty, if I ever hear JR berate WCW for the age of their main eventers on-air again... it won't bt Chyna bitch-slapping him into oblivion on Raw. This..should..not..be. It's a general rule of thumb that your women's division is officially dead when you've gotta hand the belt to Moolah. I never thought that was a possibility this late in the game.
Winner: Moolah, sexy as ever
The Hollys v. the New Age Outlaws
I'm a bit confused over this one, after the proceedings on Smackdown(!) this evening. I'll bet Rocky says something about that being their last match ever, and the PPV match is once again for the tag belts.
The Hollys aren't bad.. but they're no Funk and Foley, either, and that's what it takes to carry the Outlaws to anything more than a match worth it's weight in llama chips. So this one will fall into monotony. Look at what's next!!
Winners: ehh.. let's give the Outlaws yet ANOTHER (groan) Tag Title
The New Brood v. the Old Brood
During this match, you'll more than likely hear 3 explosions. The first being Matt Spence exploding from the sheer anticipation and pleasure somewhere over in Maryland, the second being my own explosion, due to the same circumstances, and the third being Jeff Hardy hurling his body off the top of the ladder to the floor, or some incredibly insane, lunatic bump. If this match doesn't rule the largest ass ever conceived, I will eat my own butt. Seriously. My own butt. Quote me on that..
The match itself? I'll have exploded, so I won't mind either way. However, the old Brood needs a valet more than the Hardys right now, so I'd give them the nod.
Winners: Edge and Christian
HHH v. Stone Cold Steve Austin
There isn't much I have to say about this. The match will probably be above my expectations (as the Austin/Rocky match from Wrestlemania was), but HHH isn't the worker the Rock is (which means he's... a poor worker.), and Austin's just returning from a legit injury. I'd give this one an indecisive finish, and when the dust clears HHH is still holding onto the belt.
And that does it for me. Not as short as I'd hope, but it's no book either. Let me know what you think about the briefer preview.. and I should be back Monday with a good chunk of letters, and another of those 'opinion column' things...
until next time, i remain