|GRADING THE BOOKERMAN||WRITTEN: February 20, 2002|
|GRADING THE BOOKERMAN
WARNING: I read spoilers. I make references to spoilers in my writing. If you don't like to have Smackdown! ruined for you, you might not like some of the things I'll say in this column. Reader beware.
THE QUICK AND DIRTY
FROM AROUND THE INTERNET: A certain wrestling columnist wrote the following in reviewing the PPV:
Um, the APA? The oldest team in the promotion and the ones who have constantly flopped as a draw since almost day 1?
Now, Mr. Keith, I'm not saying that I disagree with you in that booking the Acolytes to win Tag Team Turmoil was a weird, unexpected, and totally convoluted decision by the creative team. But there's an important reason WHY the Acolytes flopped as tag team champion draws... they got caught in the middle. In one era, you had Vince Russo and his Team of the Century - the New Age Outlaws - and then the other era, symbolized by seven Edge & Christian title reigns, TLC matches, and general insanity all around. Sandwiched in the middle were the Acolytes, so that by the time Vince gave them a chance at the start of the Invasion angle (and even that didn't last long, because of Undertaker's politicking), the sheep had all forgotten what all the fuss was about. I'm behind Vince all the way on this one... if he's truly committed to building them up the right way; something he's failed to do over the past three years.
HOW'D I DO?
THE REPORT CARD
NWO RETURNS 2 CRE BK: B+ HT: A- OVR: B+ (3.3 * 2) = 6.6 TAG TEAM TURMOIL 4 CRE WRK: C BK: C- HT: B- OVR: C (2.0 * 4) = 8.0 RVD/GOLDUST 3 CRE WRK: B- BK: C HT: B OVR: B- (2.7 * 3) = 8.1 TAG TEAM TITLES 4 CRE WRK: C BK: B+ HT: C OVR: C+ (2.3 * 4) = 9.2 IC TITLE-KNUCKS POLE 4 CRE WRK: B- BK: B HT: B OVR: B (3.0 * 4) = 12.0 ROCK/UNDERTAKER 4 CRE WRK: C+ BK: A- HT: B+ OVR: B (3.0 * 4) = 12.0 ANGLE/HHH-NO.1 CON. 5 CRE WRK: B BK: F HT: B+ OVR: C+ (2.3 * 5) = 11.5 UNDISPUTED WWF TITLE 6 CRE WRK: B+ BK: B+ HT: A- OVR: B+ (3.3 * 6) = 19.8 ---------------------------------------------------------- 32 CRE TTL: 87.2 WORKRATE AVERAGE: 2.6300 (B-) OVERALL SHOW GPA: 2.725 (B-) BOOKRATE AVERAGE: 2.4750 (C+) HEATRATE AVERAGE: 3.1719 (B+)
NOTES & COMMENTS
At the very least, it does seem with the results of the PPV that Triple H/Jericho is set for Wrestlemania, which, as I set out in my last column, is the right decision for business. Hogan's challenger being Rocky, rather than Austin, does concern me though. There's no way the Fed would insert Rock in with Triple H at this point, but they could have Austin win it on a Raw while overcoming NWO interference, and the prospect of that frightens me. But at this point, I'll cross my fingers and hope that the Fed stands pat. On Smackdown, they finally made the Stephanie/Jericho "partnership" official. I'm happy that they finally did it, but seriously... if they'd kept the pregnancy angle going, revealed that Jericho was the father, and had Stephanie turn on Trips at the PPV, it would've come off tons more effective and the resulting matchup at the big show would be HUGE in terms of heat. This is like, "Well, I'm not surprised"; the other way, it makes the match.
On to other matters... with the hackneyed ambulance destruction incident on Raw, it looks like Rocky is gonna be off TV for an extended period of time so that he can catch his breath. Apparantly, he's been running back and forth now for weeks between WWF events and reshoots on the Scorpion King, and it showed in his performance at the PPV as he was unusually off his game, even though he was facing a guy he's never been able to carry successfully. I wouldn't expect to see him again until the March 11th Raw one week prior to Wrestlemania, as he's still scheduled to headline the Asian tour with Jericho the week beforehand. If that changes, Rocky might be back on the 4th. Undertaker, meanwhile, is making a beeline to get in the ring with Flair at the big show, and if there's one man who I wouldn't mind ending UT's eleven years of success at Wrestlemania, it's the Nature Boy. I'm also guessing he's going to join the NWO, which would suck in terms of a workrate perspective, but would make sense because he's an Old Has-Been just like the rest of them. Hey...
With Billy & Chuck doing a blowjob on the Pint-Sized Powers of Pain to win the tag titles at the Smackdown tapings last night, it looks like we've got Robert Smigel's henchmen v. Undertaker's former henchmen locked in for Wrestlemania. This isn't exactly the matchup that Vince needed in that division to shake it up. There are three things the division needs: 1) Edge & Christian reunion, as a face team; 2) Dudleys face turn, since their heel schtick is deader than dead wood; 3) Hardys heel turn, which would be the shot in the arm they need to get out of sameness and boredom. The only way I can see this happening: Lita wins the women's title, starts to overshadow both of the boys, and they dump her on her ass out of jealousy. It's true, after all, that over 80% of the Hardys' heat nowadays is a direct result of Lita.
Here's a good way to close things out...
CHRIS JERICHO'S WORDS OF WISDOM FOR
I'm burnt. Good night!