|WRESTLING BITS AND BITES||WRITTEN: September 20, 2001|
NOTES TO YOU
- Yes, I'm feeling better. Thank you for your letters of sympathy. (All one of them.) :-)
- Get this month's PPV predictions in to me by Sunday at 4:00pm EST latest. For details on what exactly I'm talking about, read the bottom of this report. (We did this back at InVasion, where I finished dead last with a record of 1-7 on the night.)
I TOO GET LETTERS
As you may or may not have noticed (depending on whether or not you read the Bits and Bites dealing with RAW) I was quite displeased with the tag-team title change Monday night. I normally don't care about title switches to the point where I'll get angry and rant about it, but this one was about as senseless and stupid a title switch I've seen in a LONG time. The Dudley Boyz NEVER hold the titles for a particularly long run, nor do the titles help their credibility as a team. That coupled with the fact that the tag-team titles are whored around like no one's business REALLY set me over the edge, in my sombre and dopey state. No one team EVER gets a real run anymore. I can understand wanting to keep them moving, but will a 6 month title run hurt anyone? Honestly now?
Thankfully, alert reader Eddie Hawn was on the ball and ready to back me up:
"In your most recent article, you mentioned something about tag-team title reigns not being as long as they usually are. I hadn't really thought about that, but when I went to check, I found that you're most *definitely* right!
We're not even at the end of the year yet, but so far 13 tag-team title changes have taken place in the WWF-- 14 if you include 'Taker and Kane winning the WCW tag-titles from Palumbo and O'Haire.
Edge and Christian won the tag-titles in mid-December of 2000 from The Rock and The Undertaker. They were tag-team champions going into 2001, when they lost to the Dudleyz on Jan. 21.
Since then, the Hardyz, E&C, the Dudleyz (again), E&C (again), UT/Kane, Austin/Triple H, Benoit/Jericho, the Dudleyz (yet *again*), the APA, Page/Kanyon, UT/Kane (again) and now the Dudleyz (yet *one more time*) have all won the straps.
The longest title reign in this time? The Dudleyz held the straps from 1/21/01 to 3/5/01-- less than two months. The worst time to be a tag-team champion was on 3/19, when the Hardyz began the night as the champions and lost to E&C, who promptly lost to the Dudleyz."
Thank you Eddie. If anyone cares to justify the WWF with the tag-team title situation, please, I encourage you to write an article for Slashwrestling or send me an e-mail if it's just a shorty and I'll throw it into Monday's report.
With that behind us, let's move on to Smackdown!
WWF SMACKDOWN! NOW
Let's go back to last Monday where Jericho and Angle kicked the crap out of Austin and RVD. Austin will NEVER forgive Angle for this night says Heyman. I have a real hard time believing that for some reason.
Unforgiven is 3 days away. I REALLY have to remember to call my cable company to figure out all the ordering stuff - I'm used to the satellite dish which involves pointing and clicking. If I don't I'm going to have at least 2 other angry people coming after me.
Steve Austin's in the house. Kurt Angle has made his life a living hell - but no more. Austin is a man's man. I wonder what Steve Regal thinks about that. Austin's not waiting until Sunday, he's got someone to call out. Fans want RVD. Austin calls out Torrie Wilson(?). Good lord, those jeans are HOT! Austin wants to know if she's proud of herself. OOOOOHHHHH, I'm only NOW catching on to what his problem is. She cost Kanyon the US Title. Torrie starts to cry. And now, Austin reminds us that she's hanging out with "Tie jiri". I like heels mistreating women as a way to get over occasionally, but it seems every heel has been using it ever since Jeff Jarrett left the promotion when he used it so effectively. Maybe I'm getting sensitive. Then making me smile, Tajiri rushes the ring to kick some ass. Awww crap, he's NOT kicking ass. There goes THIS feel good segment. **grumble** STAND UP! Here comes hero #2 - Kurt Angle. And to ruin this run in, Tazz is on the ball for the first time ever. But forget that - OLYMPIC SLAM! Doh, Austin promptly takes back over with plenty 'o cheating. PILEDRIVER!!!! God - when was the last time we saw one of those busted out? JR is out to check on Angle - I guess he's a doctor now? Austin seems to be somewhat sorry? Maybe? He certainly looks concerned. And now we're taking a commercial break.
Hmm, during the opening segment, I was rooting for the babyfaces, and booing the heels. Am I becoming a regular mark again? Or has the WWF figured out a formula that turns smarks into marks whether they want to be or not? That's something to ponder. After that segment, I really want to see Austin get his ass kicked.
DURING THE COMMERCIAL BREAK *I* ATE HAMBURGER HELPER
Angle is still hurt, but he's awake and can't feel his arm. Angle gets placed on a stretcher and the fans start applauding. THIS is how to work an injury. Some might see it as poor taste, and to be honest I'm kinda uneasy at the borderline way they're handling it, but I also see where handling it like a work causes the fans to become LESS interested in the injury itself. Tough line to walk, and if I was booking I'd probably take the same route the WWF is taking with this injury, as long as Tazz doesn't come back to the table and try to sound sympathic. Chris Jericho and Those Punk Kids make sure he's okay. As the ambulance takes off I think I see Bradshaw joining the fray. And now it's time for another commercial break? Yikes!
WE'RE BACK WITH JR
The WWF understood EXACTLY what I was talking about earlier. Had Tazz sold it as real, it would have crossed that "Owen Hart" line that shouldn't be crossed.
Stand back, there's a Hurricane coming through. Does Lance Storm really have to be dragged down with Shane Helms? They're facing The Big Show and Spike Dudley! WOOHOO! But Spike Dudley starts, probably to play face in peril. Damn, I was hoping Big Show would start and play "huge guy kicking ass". Here comes Show - and Helms tries to slam him. Okay, that was funny. Helms catches Molly coming off the apron, and gives her a thumbs up. Hah! Helms tries to get in Show's face as he goes to Chokeslam Storm, but he shoves him off. Eye Of The Hurricane, and Helms pins Spike about a minute into the match. The hell? On the plus side, tonight was the first time I got some chuckles out of Helms' character, so that's a huge plus. Here's the Dudleys for No Apparent Reason. Big Show goes for a double chokeslam and LISTEN TO THAT POP. For the love of god - PUSH THE BIG MAN! Instead he takes a double back body drop through the table. Another potentially feel good segment pissed away. **grumble** Do I REALLY have to shell out $30 to feel good? (Yes.) Oh.
Austin gives a pep rally to the Alliance. They don't seem particularly peppy or chipper. It takes about 3 minutes, but the Alliance finally gets behind Austin.
Remember, on Saturday nights the best interactive show on TV is on TNN at 10:00pm. Oh, was Excess cancelled? After their first strong week, they've kinda gone downhill, and I really don't think Torrie and Stacy as guests are the solution to their problems. From the little bit I saw with Cole and Snow hosting last week, they would be a good start.
KRONIK HAS THEIR OLD MUSIC
I'm glad to see they have that music back - they weren't using it when they first showed up. Tonight, they take on Kai En Tai who get a pretty huge pop. Brian hits a Whatta Move on TAKA that looked pretty cool. (That's a desperate call for help move knowing readers. What was that underarm brainbuster slam thing?) Funaki eats a Meltdown, then a High Times. TAKA eats a High Times. That was a squash - but a really cool squash.
William Regal just spoke to someone at the hospital and they're running tests. Austin comes running in and sounds like a guest on the Jerry Springer show. Regal threatens to kick the crap out of Austin - but Austin wants Tajiri. Regal makes the match, and it's for the title. Austin glares at Regal. Maybe he still feels awkward about the time he, Regal, and Mick Foley were on a gay beach together? Or maybe not.
IF IT'S Y2K1 IS HE Y2J1 OR IS THAT TOO CONFUSING?
Jericho joins us for guest commentary. Austin went too far tonight. Come on Chris - I KNOW how much you want to make a snarky comment about the injury, PLEASE make the turn Sunday. Raven and RVD are fighting. This is a match 6 years in the making. JR screams a whole lot about Austin knowing what he was doing tonight. Jericho spends the better part of the match putting over RVD. Come on, this is beyond a shell of his former persona. RVD with a froggy splash, that's it. Here comes Saturn (without Chavo) to honour mops everywhere. This Sunday they'll probably have a match.
EDGE HAS NEW PYRO AND SONG
I think I preferred the old one - but hey I don't ever adjust to new stuff rapidly. Edge is taking on Kanyon. We've seen this one - but who cares. I'd like to see this one with some time to develop. There's good news and bad news with Kurt. He can sort of feel stuff. And the good news? Oh, that WAS the good news. He also has a hairline fracture in his spine. Wonderful. Christian makes a run in, but Edge is ready and leapfrogs the spear. One Brad Armstrong-er later, and we have a winner.
Backstage, Those Punk Kids are coming to the ring. We'll probably see them in action after the commercial break.
GIVE IT UP FOR THE HARDY BOYZ
They're going to be at Unforgiven in a 4-way tag-team title matchup. But tonight, they warmup with the WWF tag-team champion Dudley Boyz. Kurt Angle has feeling in his arms and legs and hasn't suffered a hairline fracture in his spine. JR wants the Hardys to bring the gold back to the WWF. Well, if Unforgiven's rich history with the Hardy Boyz means anything, the chances of them winning the titles are 100%. Yep. Lita, as usual, cheats for the Hardys. The Hardys pin the tag-team champions. Way to build 'em up 1 day into their title run. And then one wonders why I complain?
RVD tells Austin that Kurt Angle has checked him out of the hospital and is coming back. What's all this he said, she said crap? When I graduated from high school I didn't want to go back and watch it on TV.
WWF WORLD TITLE MATCH
This isn't the main event is it? There's like 35 minutes left in the show. Well, actually, come to think about it, this SHOULD be the main event. However, I haven't seen any McMahons, Rocky, or Booker tonight so I assume this show is far from over. No, this match lasts all of 3 minutes. JR reminds us this isn't the same man he knew. Tajiri is about to take a piledriver, but Kurt Angle is alive! USA chant is loud. Kurt will never forgive Austin for throwing Americana over a bridge a few weeks ago. Kurt is shaking from the intensity. Austin looks scared to death. THIS is how to sell an opponent. The build up to this match reminds me a lot of Foley vs. HHH at RR2000. Now can they they back the hype up?
TIME TO HYPE THE PPV
I get the feeling this is another throw away segment. Oh, no, we have a Rock interview at the very least. Rocky sings Great Balls Of Fire with other words, and he does a really good job with it as well. His singing voice on Saturday Night Live was really nice - and if he really wants to jump into another form of entertainment there is no doubt in my mind he could transition with ease. That was a powerful interview!
Can you dig it sucka? Booker T and Shane McMahon are out. Looks like we're headed straight into the 6-man tag! Oh, no we're not. We're just going straight into Booker T's entrance, then commercial.
NOW IT'S THE MAIN EVENT
The Alliance is already in the ring when we get back. Here's the Acolytes, and The Rock follows closely. I SWEAR I saw this match in a non-elimination environment just a few weeks ago, but maybe I'm dreaming? Flair! Steamboat! JR reminds me of his 2 favorite WCW Champions. Hrmph, I can scream names at random too. Funk! Simmons! Rhodes! Sting! Russo! Vader! Those men stood for integrity dammit, unlike this Booker T. Every champion EVER EXCEPT that EVIL BOOKER! There, I think I've made my point loud and clear.
To the match, Bradshaw goes first. That's kinda surprising. I guess his rumoured push has been put on the backburner for now. Simmons is next - uh oh. Rocky's down 3 on 1. Rhyno drills Test by accident, and it's enough for Rocky to take out Rhyno. Still, how the heck is Rocky gonna overcome this one? Booker misses the axekick and I'm kind of surprised that didn't go into the Rock Bottom to be honest! Test almost gets Rock Bottomed but Booker saves. There's 3 minutes left in the show. Test misses the Big Boot which leads to the Sharpshooter by The Rock! Booker charges, and Booker's out! Rocky's got him on the ramp and A SPINEBUSTER ONTO THE RAMP! Christ there's been some good stuff on tonight's show! Rock Bottom for Test! He's out. It's down to Rock and Booker. Rocky knows it and tells Booker to Just Bring It! Booker T tells him to forget it and gets counted out. GREAT hype for the match! Now if Shane McMahon would come down with food poisoning and need to get his stomach pumped leaving just Booker vs. Rocky my night would be complete!
GET YOUR PPV PREDICTIONS IN
I love the Monday morning leaderboard that comes along with this game. You e-mail me your picks and I simply keep track of wins and losses. It's a silly game with the only prize being bragging rights but I enjoy it.
So quickly, so you know there's no funny stuff, here are my picks. Follow my example and send 'em in.
WWF World Heavyweight Title
WCW World Heavyweight Title
WCW World Tag-Team Titles
WWF World Tag-Team Titles
WWF Intercontinental Title
WCW United States Heavyweight Title
WWF Hardcore Title
Raven vs. Perry Saturn
Have a happy PPV weekend! I'll post the scoreboard after RAW!