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/ _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1565
| (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Tuesday April 8th 2003
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>> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITORBy Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]
OK two mistakes from yesterday's issue. The link to the RAW pictures is
http://www.wrestling-online.com/infocentral/special/raw310303 and the
Backlash poster is now up with the correct link at the InfoCentral page.
It was linking to the 2002 poster yesterday. Sorry about that.
If you're going to Smackdown! tonight please drop us a line with the off
camera notes from the show. Thanks.
Get the new WWE Divas DVD & VHS video 'Desert Heat'
So you wanna see Torrie Wilson in all her glory? We mean, ALL her
glory? Wanna see her how that lucky Kidman sees her every single
night? Well, here it is! The May issue of Playboy Magazine featuring
WWE Diva Torrie Wilson! She follows the footsteps of former WWE stars
Sable and Chyna to be on the cover of the popular magazine. Must be
18 years old to purchase. Go to WWW.WRESTLINGMEGASTORE.COM to order!
>> WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWShttp://www.wrestling-online.com/news
> RATINGS- RAW had a 3.5 rating with a 5.0 share off hours 3.3 and 3.7. That is
down 0.2 from the previous week. In other weekend ratings, Velocity did
a 0.6 with a 1.0 share; Confidential did a 0.5 with a 1.1 share and Heat
did a 1.0 with a 1.7 share. (Ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research
and put online by 1wrestling.com)
> NASH TALKS ABOUT RETURN- WWE.COM conducted an interview with Kevin Nash regarding his return to
the company. It's been 10 months since Nash suffered a torn quad and has
been sidelined ever since. In the interview, Nash talks about the Diesel
gimmick, being back after so many months and much more. Check it out at
> STOCKS- Stocks closed the day at 8.05, a 0.62% decrease over the previous
closing. The day's range was 7.96 - 8.09.
> WHAT DO YOU THINK OF GOLDBERG?- That's the question that several WWE superstars were asked for a
feature on WWE.COM yesterday. "We've had our differences in the past,
but I'm looking forward to having him here, working with him, and
beating him," said Jericho. "We don't have a 300-guy-deep talent roster
to feed him 200 wins. He's going to have to get over in a different
way," added Triple H. Eric Bischoff, Matt Hardy, Hulk Hogan, Trish and
others also threw in their comments regarding the former WCW champ. You
can read at http://www.wwe.com/news/headlines/1210128
>> CLOTHESLINE CITYBy Andrew Bulik, [andrew.bulik@...]
Time for a song Im back! And more bitchy than ever! Yes sportsfans,
your mayor has returned as the saviour of this newsletter. I did write a
WrestleMania preview but I didnt get it to Colin in time (or he thought
it was pants) so Im going to review WrestleMania for you. Now I know
youll read dozens of these but I just want to give my opinion on the
biggest show of the year.
But first I want to get some random thoughts off my chest: -
The WWE have decided to scrub the King of the Ring from the PPV
calendar, or at the very least make it a Raw only production. I feel
this is a huge mistake as the KOR PPV provides a natural opportunity to
have both rosters clash providing a unique identity for this PPV.
I know the system I advocated about a month ago is similar (3 solo PPVs
for each roster, the big five a shared PPV and the December PPV for the
winners of Survivor Series) but I am beginning to have doubts about
whether either Raw or Smackdown could carry solo PPVs.
I realise the lower level guys will get bigger pay-offs as they are more
likely to be able to get a slot on PPV but do you really think the WWE
is going to give more television time to Tommy Dreamer to build a PPV
feud if it means taking away precious TV minutes from Triple H? I dont
think so. I really hope Im proven wrong but I can see these PPVs
consisting of 3 built matches with decent storylines and 5 matches of
TV-style thrown together bouts with no apparent reason for their being.
Time will indeed tell.
One point Id like to bring up is the dire need for midcard titles in
the WWE. This is especially so if they are to prepare for solo PPVs. The
likes of Christian (who didnt even have a WrestleMania match!), Chris
Benoit, Kane, John Cena and Rey Misterio need something to fight for as
I cannot foresee any of these men becoming WWE/World Champions (again in
the Cripplers case).
So what went down on March 30th?
Like Ian Hamilton, I am also in the UK and the 2am-6am shift that was
WrestleMania really was a struggle. I fell asleep during the Womens and
Tag title matches but was wide awake for the rest of the event. I
watched the matches I missed on tape the next morning.
Heat was more entertaining than the usual pre-show event. Nunzio and
John Cena being star turns. But I ask myself, could the Dudleys, RVD,
Kane, Morley and Lance be disrespected more by the WWE? Not only were
they bumped down to the free show but within seconds of their match
commencing we were send to commercialville! This division is the pits at
the moment and is clearly a dumping ground for wrestlers which the WWE
does not know what to do with. RVD is World Champion material but hell
quickly become the next X-Pac if something is not done. His repertoire
has been seen hundreds of times by fans now and if he is stuck in the
midcard, a stagnant midcard at that, he will not be able to grow and
Rey Misterio and Matt Hardy went at it in the first match. The match was
promising as everyone knew it would be. This undercard battle had the
potential to be a bit of a showstealer. Then BANG! Matt Hardy got the
win. What just happened there? Two of the WWEs hottest performers and
they get barely 5 minutes at the hottest show on the card. The show is 4
hours with only 9 matches for crying out loud! It was a good match while
Ill tell you exactly why this happened? There are certain wrestlers and
officials higher up in the WWE who are so damn scared that these guys
will steal the show. And steal their thunder. Why can they not realise
that the cruiserweights have their place on the card and given time on
television and PPVs can help draw money and make everyone richer. Matt
and Rey and the entire cruiser division must be furious about this.
There is a history of this sort of occurance in the WWE. At Backlash
2000 Scotty 2 Hotty and Dean Malenko stole the show with an amazing
performance. At Backlash 2002 Tajiri and Kidman had a superb match.
After these matches the Cruiserweight stocks took a stunning nosedive
which was inexplicable given the stunning bouts which had just been
The answer? Its simple. The higher-ups, Vince, Trippers and co were
faced with the fact that it was not only the big men and gimmick matches
that can steal the show. I can tell you Im getting pretty sick of
talented wrestlers being stepped on by the men with power in the WWE.
It does not bode well for Nathan Jones career that he was knocked off
the card at the last minute. However I will give the WWE credit, it was
the right decision. Ive seen Jones live twice with the WWA over the
months and neither time did his in-ring ability look good. Sure the guy
has the look, kind of like a bald Test, but no matter what Vince tells
you, its a guys competent ring ability that will get him over more than
looking like an ex-con.
The match itself was not the total black spot on the card that I thought
it would be. Its probably the best Albert match Ive seen, but then
again, thats not saying much. Nathans martial arts kick on Big Show
was a belter!
The Womens title match was a good match, but then again I am a fan of
the womens division. Thats for their wrestling ability though. I wish
Molly had been a part of this match given that in my opinion, she is the
all-round performer in the womans division. Trish became the Womens
Champ for the umpteenth time. This convinces me that these lovely ladies
need new blood if their division is going to grow, given theat there are
only about 5 of them vying for the belt. My suggestions are Nina Myers
and Sherry from US TV series 24, they are super power bitches and they
The Smackdown Tag-Titles match was not at the level that the division
reached last Autumn but it was still a decent match. Team Angle held
onto the belts but I dont know, I found myself not really caring. Eddie
Guerrero and Chris Benoit need better than this. The tag divisions are
on life support in my opinion.
Ill take this paragraph in order to talk about the extra entertainment
which was on the show. Im not a fan of Lumpy Biscuits and dont think
they should have had stage time for two songs. And as for the pillow
fight girls or whoever the hell they are ridiculous. They had
something like 3 segments, including an on-stage cat-fight!
I cant believe that the Raw Tag match was bumped and the Cruiser match
compressed in order to make way for this tripe! I agree that the
celebrity element is what makes WrestleMania special but come on why
was so much time dedicated to these no-talent tramps? And those women
shouldnt have got so much time either.
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho was the match of the night in my
ever-so-humble opinion. Both men told a great story in the ring and it
was impossible to tell who was going to get the victory. Im liking
current role of limited use and believe he should remain in a limited
role. It seems hes going to head to a rematch at Backlash. I just hope
Shawn stays healthy as with every performance he gets more used to using
a back that is not fit for ring activity. One bad move and it could all
Triple H vs. Booker T was the weakest match on the card given the
standard of wrestlers in the ring. I disagree with Ian Hamilton as he
said that Trippers sold Bookers moves. I disagree with that. Booker was
hardly allowed to string some offence together. Triple H has been guilty
of this before, look no further than his match with Kurt Angle at (I
think it was) Royal Rumble 2001. Kurt barely got 2 moves in. The match
ended with a simple pedigree, which surprised no-one. The crowd was
soooo not enthused by the match at all and didnt believe for a second
Booker would get the win. Sigh another missed opportunity.
The WWE had done a good job of building Booker T and showing how much he
wanted this title and to be involved at WrestleMania. Now he joins Rob
Van Dam, Chris Jericho and Kane on the World Title scrapheap. These are
whos careers have been severely damaged by the egotist of Triple H. But
Triple H has to be looking over his shoulder nervously now. He is on the
same card as Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, (possibly) Kevin Diesel
Nash, The Rock (for a while anyway) and now Goldberg. All men are going
to be wanting that title belt and unlike RVD, Y2J and Kane, all 5 men
have political clout and will not stand for Big Noses shenanigans. Its
not a good time to be Paul Levesque.
Vince and Hogan did exactly what I thought they would do. They gave us a
match that on paper was a stinker but the bout actually was watchable.
It was more than watchable, it was damned entertaining. I cant believe
much weight Roddy Piper has put on and you gotta love the evil French
referee. But it took three Hogan Legdrops of Doom to bury Vince er
yeah right. Interesting ending with Shane, looking very coiffured going
down to the ring to check on his father.
The Rock and Steve Austin also did exactly what I thought they would. A
great match, not of the standards of their previous WrestleMania outings
but still a very entertaining bout littered with false finishes and good
exchanges. I was disappointed the WWE could not find something new for
either men to do at the big show but it was nice to see Steve return
that favour he owed Rocky.
Brock and Angle was a good match, but as Ive said I dont think it was
the best on the card. This may have been because the crowd just werent
into it at all. They were more into the Womens match. I do believe this
was because word had spread that Kurt just wasnt going to win the
match, eliminating a lot of excitement from the bout. I really feel it
was a shame that Brock botched the Shooting Star Press because if he had
hit it, the crowd would have been into the end and would have popped big
time for Lesnar rather than the stunned silence he received. Surely
Kurt saw that Brock was far too far away to hit the move? He very nearly
did make it but because he was trying to travel so far he botched his
landing. My respect for Brock went up tenfold after he had the strength
to get up and hit a third devastating F-5 on poor Kurt. You could tell
after the macth he was shattered.
So that was WrestleMania. It was a good show but too much of it reeked
of politics in my opinion. Did it build any new stars? Well Brock yes,
but apart from that, no, not really. The show did nothing for Rob Van
Booker T, Rey or Matt Hardy, wrestlers who are super-over with the
crowd. This is a shame and a missed opportunity I feel.
Another missed opportunity was the debut of Goldberg. I dont know HOW
he would have entered, maybe he could have helped Hogan beat Vince or
something but I feel he should have ran-in. An appearance on
speculation about an appearance on Raw the next night would have boosted
Raws ratings somewhat. People would have told all their friends Oh my
god, Goldberg was on WrestleMania last night, hes gonna be on Raw
tonight! which would have boosted Raws ratings AND increase buys for
the repeat of WrestleMania.
All in all though a good show, but it does not knock WMX-7 off my top
spot of best WM ever.
A few random thoughts before I sign off.
The Rock puts The Hurricane over so Triple H has to beat him well
Hurricane should be grateful, he was allowed to get some moves in.
These Rock/Triple H/heel Appreciation Nights on Raw seem to happen more
often than surprise parties in the Vic in Eastenders! (only UK readers
will get that one).
And in disagreement with Ian Hamilton (again) I think the stills of
troops in Iraq during the opening song by Ashanti was a classy touch by
the WWE. We have to show support for our troops and this was a nice was
of doing so. However Jim Rosss rant about whooping Iraqi ass was not so
classy and bordering on poor taste.
That is all I have to say right now. If you have any comments email me
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