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David Flair is a gimp

Big Sexy, Kevin Nash

Little Spike Dudley

Slobberknockers abound
Ringside Shadows #98: An Eve of Unpleasant Surprises and Such

Hmph. Just when I had good reason to get pissed about North American wrestling, they pull out an evening that, instead of giving me ammunition, actually entertained me. That's right, I like being a bitch.. when there's nothing left to critique, what use is a critic? I suppose, though, that I can go happy. On an evening that saw Edge and Val Venis go to a clean finish, there was also a Bossman match and a prolonged Rock interview. The proverbial something for everybody, I guess. There was a good bit of something to enjoy, and something worth tearing apart in my column.

So, following this mother of the weak intros will come a new format for the Tuesday Review. After only 97 consecutive columns (a great majority of which were crap), I realized something; I was sick of writing these long winded columns every Tuesday. For some reason I felt some sort of duty to comment on everything that went down on any given Monday, so I produced more than my share of crap. As a general rule, if you don't like what you're doing.. it shows. If you're halfway into writing a column and bored out of your mind, the reader's probably been bored for a couple paragraphs. At any rate, last week I tried something new. I'd been gone for some time and needed a way to get caught up in a quick fashion, while not dating myself by skipping over the events of one evening prior.

Hell.. this is my long-ass way of saying here's the new format for the Tuesday Review. I think it's a lot easier on the reader and the writer, but what do I know? Toss me an e-mail. Let me know. What was I watching this week?

David Flair's Odyssey with the Tag Straps

It's official; the whole David Flair gimmick is officially old. He suddenly had rhyme to his reason as of Thunder, officially ending the true unpredictable 'psycho' trait that made him different. He's spending more and more time in the ring, and his offense hasn't improved a step. Worst of all, he's going over struggling workers that need the wins much more than he does. Saturn nearly killed himself (and most certainly broke a few ribs) in his spectacular dive from the rafters, and was rewarded for his efforts by jobbing to baby Flair. There's something to be said for paying your dues, and Ric's eldest has done nothing of the sort.

I think it was the beginning of the end when David got his own music, coinciding with his inane laughter.


They've gotta be doing this on purpose.

I hate to even mention their names, as the subject's been more than beaten to death during their reign.. but the observation just doesn't work without it. So bear tight, here it comes. Remember when Russo and Ferrera (Ngaaaaah!) were first making their leap from the WWF? Interviews were up almost instantaneously, and one of the questions frequently answered was "Will you be appearing on camera?" I won't remind you of the answer, as it should be obvious by now. Now it's 2 and one half months past the big shift and not only is Ferrera playing a recurring role on television, but he's fighting Madusa for the fucking cruiserweight title. On a pay per view. So now, aside from stroking their egos backstage by flexing their power, they have the gall to ask us for $30 to watch their misguided athletic aspirations. Hey guys, how about this? Fuck you. Fuck you and the high horse you rode in on. End this crap and move on.. bury the cruiserweight belt if you like. Have a great time. I've waited through worse than anything these two could possibly throw, and I'll wait through this. In the end, I'll still be watching WCW while they're out looking for a job. That, or rolling in their money. It could go either way.

The 'Old Age Outlaws'

The name's funny. Give it 2 weeks, and I guarantee it gets overdone. That's not the point, though, and I'm sick of talking about the two bastards in charge. The Terry Funk commissioner angle has life again. As quickly as it blew over last week, it's come back with a full head of steam this go-around. I could talk about WCW's labelling as an old timer's home and how they've been trying to escape that for so long now, and I would. But damn, if it wasn't fun going back in time once or twice this week.

It was great to see George Steele again, especially back to his old tricks. It's safe to say he was among my favorites growing up (come to think of it, the same can be said for all three men they brought in) and seeing him take out a turnbuckle was a welcome flash back a dozen years. That spot always brought a smile to my face before, and didn't fail to do so again this time. Tito, on the other hand, only served to show us why he retired in the first place. It was almost sad to see the shell of himself Santana had become. His body was out of shape, he's lost more than a few steps, and the hurried nature of the match quickly took it's toll. Once the shock of seeing his return had subsided, things went downhill quickly. That brings us to Snuka...

If you had half a mind for history, you could put 2 and 2 together before the match even began. It's a cage match. It's Buffalo. Anyone other than Superfly would be cause for a riot. Once you got through the disrespect of the match itself (consisting of Snuka hiding in the corner while Benoit & co. pounded Jarrett into the ground), you find Snuka and Benoit atop the cage in one of the coolest spots of the year, with one exception. Snuka jumped first. This may be the only time I criticize a Chris Benoit maneuver, so heads up. Benoit's done the dive before. 3 times, at least. Snuka's jump was legendary. A recreation of the leap makes any program on it's own, but you can't top it. Benoit tried it. He should've let Snuka finish the match off on his own, rather than scooping the attention and delivering the finishing blow himself. Other than that, it was just f'n sweet.

Dissention in the nWo and DX

The lines were drawn on either side of the spectrum, and the similarities were more than just passing. Had the problems in the nWo or the breakdown in DX happened one week later in either case, a call would've gone out across the net against the apparant plagiarism. As is, I think both were sorely needed, and really helped the evening's programming out. Bret Hart drug a kicking and screaming Kevin Nash from his laziest slump and forced him to work a decent match. X-Pac found a gem in HHH (but did it really need to be non-title?). If this keeps up, things could be headed uphill for a change. The cracks in the current incarnation of the nWo came to a head this week, with the obvious issues between Bret and Nash beginning to be adressed. Meanwhile, Stephanie played the 'Yoko Ono' of DX, and actually threw out a believable line or two before she was through. I'd scream of oversaturation of a similar angle if they both didn't work so well.. it's obvious the writers of both sides have been building up to this for some time, and I'll be the first to say they've worked out perfectly.

Quality Matches??

What the hell...? Quality matches in the WWF? It's true... Edge/Val, Hardyz/Angle and Blackman, Chyna and Jericho/Hollys, and Rikishi and Too Cool/Headbangers and Snow all went to a clean finish, with some getting a decent amount of time to develop first. What station am I watching?! I'd like to leave it here for a while. HHH/X-Pac wasn't clean, yet it was a good match given time and the finish served an immediately identifiable cause. Kudos to the WWF, but in the immortal words of 'the wolf', "Let's not start suckin each other's dicks just yet". Though it leads to a future breakup, the Road Dogg/Ass match was weak as can be imagined (Ass was pissed when Road Dogg beat him, but he was taunting like a bitch throughout the match?), and a card that sees the Bossman in action is a card that has room for improvement. Still, a step back is a small price to pay for 4 steps forward. I'll give the much-maligned writers behind the WWF a bit of well-deserved credit. They do know how to book a show worth televising, after all!


I'm looking for a turn. Don't think the little tidbit HHH dropped was without reason. They were already planning to reinstate him? There's something behind all this, and I wonder if a big turn might be coming soon. He's in the right position.. the fans love him, the Rock has finally accepted him, and HHH is in a can't-win situation. Oh yeah, the safe money's seeing him as a top heel before long. I know, I've heard the stories about how he'd like to retire on top at Wrestlemania, and how 2000 is likely his last year. It isn't that easy to just up and walk away. After this big Cactus Jack/ Helmsley deal is through, HHH comes out with the strap and a new ally.

As is, though, it's great seeing that familiar "bang bang" on the air waves. Call me a nostalgic bast, but I could go to bed happy after seeing George Steele, Cactus Jack, and a Snuka leap from the cage. Hell, the only thing that could top all that would be another Flair/Steamboat go 'round.. but you don't think..?

At any rate, it's good to see Mick back, no matter how short his absense was. Raw just isn't the same without him.

Guilty as Charged Comments

I didn't see the PPV but for a few spots here and there, so I'll keep this short. The Crazy/Tajiri swerve was brilliant, and completely fucked with John and I's predictions. As Wayne Edmondson noted in his anaylsis, it would've been just that much cooler, had Heyman sent Lynn over to the TV title match and forced Corino to tag with Little Guido. Tajiri, Guido, Crazy and Corino in one ring is enough to take the roof of the place without the sweet future storyline developments it could've brought about, but Lynn's the next best choice.

Raven and Dreamer lost the straps, as all the fanfare would have suggested.. and Raven took the pin after saving Francine. Don't think this was an accident..

Finally, we come to Mike Awesome and Little Spike Dudley, who worked their asses off to deliver one of the finest main events in recent memory. Between Spike killing himself by bumping like he wants to meet God in person and Awesome ready to help push him through the gate, the action was just amazing. I'd thought I was one of Spike's larger supporters in a match many thought he didn't deserve, but even I didn't really expect him to put on this sort of a show. During John and I's preview, I noted that even a DQ victory would result in a huge rising of Spike's stock. In this case, a clean loss amounted to that and more. If anybody knows how to build a competitor, it's Paul Heyman. Great show.

And what say we close up with a couple..


G MEN27@aol.com touched on a couple points in his dual mailings;

"Is technical wrestling your favorite style of wrestling?"

I realize this question was made as a joke, but I'm also not too bullheaded to realize my own shortcomings (get your mind out of the gutter, I've no trouble in that department). I hold a pretty high standard, and when I see something I don't like, I'll compare and contrast it with something I do like.. more often than not, technical style. In all honesty it's something I'm trying to cut down on, because I do it way too much. To answer your question though, no.. technical wrestling isn't my favorite style. Currently, my favorite is anything Yoshihiro Tajiri pulls out. His is a mixture lucha/puro/submission/how-the-hell-did-he-do-that?!. So I guess that should be considered my favorite..

His next letter reads;

"I know you hate Chyna but she receives pretty big pops from the crowd. Like it or not, the matches that have had the most heat with Jericho in them have involved Chyna, just get a tape of Survivor Series 99.

Also, Ric Flair refused to be on Nitro, so that is why Russo did not use him.

Finally, do you think the Rock will ever be a good worker? Do you think a Rock-Flair feud could be in the near future?"

Hate is such a strong word... I'd rather say I hold a strong, strong dislike for Chyna. There are probably about 3 people I've ever seen that I'd say I hate, and Chyna's not one of them. And honestly, gauging from crowd heat doesn't necessarily make one a contender (or vice versa). Look at Rocky Maivia in his first run.. he was as over as a stone wall, but he was pushed to the moon anyway. On the other hand, there's Buff Bagwell. He's over huge (god knows why), yet he lingers in the midcard. Sure, Chyna was over at the Survivor Series. Look at her opposition.. arguably the best heel in the business (until his recent face turn). Given time, I think Jericho could get Steve Blackman over..

The Ric Flair deal was something I learned about after the fact, but still.. not including him in any way, shape or form and then pushing this big, mysterious new commissioner angle right in his backyard was a huge mistake. They should've at least delayed it until they were in another town or given Flair some time (on or off mic) to speak his piece with his home crowd. To not do so shows a total lack of respect. As for Rocky, he wasn't really all that bad to begin with. For someone with his lack of experience, he showed surprising potential, actually. It wasn't until he made the big time that he started slacking off. With the current position he's been put in, I'd be surprised if he ever returned to form. He just doesn't have to when the crowds know no difference and he can get by with much less. And a feud with Flair is out of the question. Ric has over a year left on his current contract, and WCW would be dumber than they seem to give him his release. Besides, wasn't Rocky one of the more critical of Flair when he was rumored to be making his big jump a year and a half ago? Flair's got a good memory, and I don't think he's really looking to do anything with someone that holds no respect for his achievements.

thanks for the e-mail(s).. moving on, hitman (ECWRaven95@hotmail.com) had some comments on the "World's Greatest GAC Preview";

"You say Spike Dudley hasn't beat anyone credible? HELLO, He Acid Dropped Big Vis!!!! You don't get any better than Big Vis. (I hope you know I am kidding.)

Rob Van Dam is the best wrestler in North America (If you don't sense the extreme sarcasm here than you deserved to be punished with a Best of Hogan vs. Sid video)

I am pretty sure Masato Tanaka won't be on the PPV due to the fact that he is back in Japan, which is why he isn't booked. I think he returns in February or something, so he can work a program w/ Awesome. I am not exactly sure, but I've heard something like that.

I have found John C's secret. John, you claim you got the "smell ya later" quote from Nelson on the Simpsons. In the aggravating words of Steve Austin, "UH-UH!" If anyone's ever played PokeMon.... you'll notice that Gary says "Smell Ya Later" I can smell conspiracy all over this one, PokeMon boy!"

A great letter, and not one that I feel I should clog with an unnecessary follow up. I do need to point out, though, that in my Pokemon Blue game, the aforementioned Gary is instead named "bitch".

Finally, here's RVDDreamer@aol.com with a couple random tidbits;

"I just wanted to drop a couple of lines and let you know about a few interesting things I saw on television this past weekend. First, while flipping through the channels at about 2 am Sunday morning I came across the religious channel, there was no good porn on the pay-per-view porno channels, and who did I see but Jake "The Snake" Roberts. I am almost 100% positive that this interview was back in 1996 around his return to the WWF (he was talking about having a place to talk to the world about God). He was talking about finding God and getting help with his drug and alcohol addictions. If I am right about this being from '96 then he obviously lost God given his recent actions at the Legends PPV if in fact he was drunk or stoned from what I have heard and read. The second thing is I ordered last nights ECW PPV and during the pre-show a message from ECW scrolled across the top of the screen saying that The Sandman would not be wrestling because of a serious family emergency. My satellite company is Dish On Demand and I don't know if this message was given to everyone and I don't remember hearing anything about The Sandman during the PPV. I might have missed it however since I refused to watch New Jack's match and began playing Medal of Honor on my Playstation. One more thing, Joel Gertner was hilarious last night and seemed pretty damn over. What did you think about it? '

I can't say anything about the ECW PPV, since I didn't see it.. but I did see that Sandman wouldn't be there posted everywhere on the net early that morning. No excuses there.. :P

Ah, the saga of Jake Roberts takes another poke into the light. Honestly, his is one of the more sad stories I've heard, though Mick Foley claims he's always been a ripe bastard. For a few years in the 80s, he was the shit and appeared to be going places quick. His persona fit the gimmick to a "t", right down to his ringwork which was accentuated by the sweetest DDT you'll ever find. Hearing about his condition on the 'Heroes of Wrestling' flop just reopened the wound he's left behind on his legacy. From what I understand, a large chunk of it had to do with Neidhart being a bitch, but there's still no excuse. Roberts is a man forever haunted by his own demons and it's a shame that not even the man himself could help him out of that hole.

At any rate, thanks for your letter and for reading.. I'll be back with John for our Souled Out Preview (in this month of PPVs) Friday, and I'll try to get a little something else put together for my 100th, coming up in about a week. A new banner should be the bare minimum...

until next time, i remain

The Triad


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