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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1035

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  • Colin Vassallo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2001
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      Exclusive wrestling news being broken around the clock at

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      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1035
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Tuesday, July 31st 2001
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      By Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]

      Hey folks. Welcome to issue #1035. If anyone is going to the Smackdown!
      tapings tonight, drop us a line with the stuff that won't appear on

      Some interesting news in today's issue, plus an article from our own
      resident King!


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      - The Rock = ratings. Yesterday's broadcast of RAW Is WAR pulled a 5.7
      composite with a 9.1 share off hours 5.2 for the first and 6.1 for the
      second. That is up 0.3 from last week's show which pulled a 5.4. Quarter
      hour breakdowns are as follows: 4.6, 5.0, 5.4, 5.6, 5.8, 5.7, 6.0, 6.4
      and a huge 7.1 for the overrun. (Wade Keller) That 7.1 overrun is the
      highest in over one year.

      - Livewire did a 0.9 rating; Superstars did a 0.9 rating and Heat
      received a 1.5 while the replay did a 1.2.

      - Wrestling-Online Newsletter reader Jason Barton was at RAW yesterday
      at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, PA. He sent in the following
      notes from the show. When cameras stopped rolling, the action in the
      ring continued. Alliance members Lance Storm and Kanyon came out to beat
      on The Rock but both got a Rock Bottom in return. Rock then called Shane
      McMahon back in the ring and promised the boy wonder that there will be
      no Rock Bottoms or People's Elbow executed. After Shane started dissing
      Philly and its sports teams, the crowd proceeded to give him a 'Shane's
      a pussy' chants. The Rock then asked for a 'Let's go Sixers' chant which
      obviously the home crowd agreed. Rock then told Shane that he wanted to
      shake his hand. Shane extended his hand and hugged the Rock but found
      himself in a Rock Bottom. Rock grabbed the mic and called for Vince to
      come back in the ring and give Shane O Mac the People's Elbow. "It was
      shitty," said Jason. The Rock then showed Vince how to do a proper
      People's Elbow by doing another one on Shane.

      - WWF stocks took a nice dive today after the company released their
      financial guidance for 2002 which included one bad news. It was revealed
      that the WWF are still trying to negotiate a deal with DirecTV for their
      twelve pay-per-view extravaganzas. Their previous agreement which was
      stretched till August from January will expire at the end of next month
      right after SummerSlam airs. If an agreement is not reached this would
      be a major blow to the WWF's pay-per-view business since DirecTV offers
      the service nationwide. Even though the WWF is the biggest and strongest
      in the PPV industry at the moment, meetings between the two parties may
      not come to a happy ending. When the announcement was made, stocks fell
      to around 10%.

      - Wade Keller and Dave Meltzer reported earlier today that sources
      within TNN - the home of RAW - have reserved the 10PM-Midnight timeslot
      every Saturday night to World Wrestling Federation Entertainment
      programming starting August 25th. Superstars and Live Wire are getting
      dropped from their timeslot in the morning as a result of this change.
      It's not known what will be in the show or which format will the WWF use
      for the show but sources close to the situation say that it's not
      reserved for a WCW/ECW show yet. The WWF made no mention of this
      whatsoever yet and it looks like it was being kept a secret until a
      report leaked out from TNN offices.

      - Two new videos and DVDs were released today by WWF Home Video. These
      are the VHS and DVD editions of Judgment Day - the May 2001 PPV - and
      Triple H's 'All About The Game', also in both video formats. These new
      videos and DVDs can be purchased from the WrestlingMegastore.com

      - Jerry 'The King' Lawler updated his commentary on his official website
      KingLawler.com addressing the rumors that he and his wife Stacy split up
      last week. Lawler didn't actually reveal if he split up with his wife
      yet in his first part of the commentary but at the end of his first
      update, he ended the commentary saying that his friend Jackie Fargo once
      told him that if he brings his wife in the business, he will end up
      losing her. Lawler said that he will give the outcome in his second
      update. In the meantime, you can check out the whole commentary which
      covers how he met Stacy at

      > WWF STOCKS
      - Stocks reached the 52-week low today as they closed at 10.50, down
      18.54% from the previous trade. The announcement of no PPV deal with
      DirecTV yet and Pacific Growth Equities downgrading the WWF stocks to LT
      Buy didn't help matters. It's probably one of the largest drops in a day
      for the WWF. WWF stocks haven't been this low since the announcement of
      the XFL back in February of 2001 was made.


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      By The King [king@...]

      WrestleMania IX was a terrible event, full of dreadful matches and
      woeful outcomes. Looking back, the only highlights are:

      - A mediocre opener between the up and coming heel Shawn Michaels, back
      before his legendary ego took over, and the awfully average Tatanka (I
      never got around to saying it before, but the interview he did with Kish
      was incredible – if he genuinely considers that he was a major player at
      any point in his career, he is amazingly disillusioned).

      - A spirited performance by Bret Hart, carrying Yokozuna to a reasonable
      bout before the ludicrous Hulk Hogan shenanigans started (sadly, Hogan’s
      shenanigans weren’t offbeat).

      - It being the last time we’d ever see Brutus Beefcake “perform” in a
      WWF ring.

      There was a bright spot amidst this humungous pile of crap – the debut
      of Jim Ross. Yes, he was a little overwhelmed by the spectacle on his
      first day at work and his performance was not indicative of what he is
      capable of, plus he did look mighty silly in a toga, but the fact was
      that the WWF finally had their hands on the best play by play man in the
      industry. JR would come and go over the next 4 years before becoming
      Vince McMahon’s right hand man within WWFE (and, ironically, selling his
      soul to the Devil, to use his own analogy…) but one thing remained
      constant. His work was always solid and often flawless. By 1998, the
      combination of Ross and Lawler was peerless and it only continued to get
      better over the next 2 years right up until Lawler’s exit. The product
      suffered due to Lawler’s absence, and Paul Heyman was certainly no
      substitute, but JR was still there, dependable as ever. Of course, there
      was the expected level of corporate shilling, but nothing over the top.
      Heck, for the quality commentary, I was willing to forgive the constant
      pushing of sub-standard talents like Bradshaw and the weekly message
      that “Billy Gunn is the best pure athlete in the WWF today, folks”.
      Then, earlier this year, something started to go amiss. I couldn’t quite
      put my finger on it, but it just wasn’t the same anymore. I found the
      commentary at WrestleMania X7 intrusive and annoying – much of it must
      be down for Heyman’s ridiculous combination of shouting and, well, more
      shouting, but JR just wasn’t as smooth as usual.

      Following WrestleMania, I don’t think that I’m the only one who was
      wound up by his constant “Austin sold his soul to the Devil, dammit,
      what a son of a b!tch” and other such family favourites. Still, this was
      bliss compared to the drivel that we’ve been subjected to over the last
      few weeks. A few examples to hammer my point home, I feel:

      - Booker T is not a sellout – if anything, he’s the most genuine man in
      the business, since he came into the Invasion angle as a babyface, but
      when his company turned heel, he stayed with it. JR constantly tells us
      that he’s not a good champion like Ric Flair or Sting. I hate to turn
      the history books on you, Jim, but Sting was a terrible champion. He
      held the WCW a few times in the 90s and each time, his reign was a
      failure, especially his heavily built-up reign following on from his
      defeat of Hogan in December 97. Breaking kayfabe all of the time is NOT
      the way to justify a 15 month push to the top of the industry, Mr.
      Borden. Yet, I digress. JR is also a great fan of knocking the
      “spinaroonie”. Why? It’s not an offensive move; it’s a showboating
      maneuver that used to pop the fans in WCW because it was built up, not
      sullied. If you want truly ridiculous moves, look no further than The
      Worm or The People’s Elbow. Would JR knock these? Only if they defected
      to WCW.

      - The constant reminders that the majority of WCW are “works in
      progress” aren’t helping matters any. Add this to absolutely ridiculous
      statements such as “Palumbo and O’Haire aren’t a bad team, they’re just
      not as good as the APA” and you’ve got the recipe for disaster. He’ll
      happily put Kidman or RVD over, but that’s a far as it goes. As far as
      good ol’ Jim is concerned, the rest are all bums who can string together
      a move or two, but are nowhere near the calibre of seasoned athletes
      like Crash Holly, The Big Show or Albert, let alone anywhere close to
      the level of talent displayed by “the best pure athlete in the history
      of the world”. The truth is that Sean O’Haire is better than anyone in
      the WWF locker room with the exception of a select few. Kidman is a
      superb talent, Kanyon is probably the best technical wrestler in the US,
      Lance Storm isn’t far behind him and DDP is capable of so very much
      more. All Jim is doing is making it harder for the WCW talent to get
      over, which is the most important part of building a believable feud,
      surely? If we go with JRs opinions, the WCW don’t stand a chance against
      the WWF and only ever win when they cheat. This sort of feud was
      textbook when
      the Horsemen rode tall in the late 80s, but it just doesn’t wash now.
      Mr. Ross is shortening careers and causing a detrimental effect on the
      program. If he’s going to tell us how poor Booker T is as a champ, why
      should we believe that the WCW title is worth winning?

      - Plain stupidity. Once upon a time, Ross was a bastion of truth and
      would call a match straight down the line. If a face happened to step
      outside the rules, he would not attempt to justify it (unless it was
      Austin) but now, everything WCW is evil – especially Nick Patrick. The
      most cretinous piece of commentary that I’ve heard in years was during
      the Kane vs DDP match on Smackdown. DDP brings a chair into the ring;
      Kane grabs it and hits DDP in the gut. Nick Patrick calls for the bell
      and disqualifies Kane, which is totally the right thing to do. JR then
      condemns it as a questionable decision. I condemn JR as a questionable
      professional. Honestly, what do this type of ridiculous comments
      actually bring to the mix? I see them as wholly negative statements that
      do nothing but make JR look like a fool and insult the viewers’

      My theory is that he’s too involved now. He’s the first one to point
      this out on his weekly Ross Report on wwf.com, and I totally respect him
      for recognizing this. He absolutely admits that he is often going to
      rate the work more highly than may be deserved since he is “personally
      involved”. The obvious remedy would be to keep him backstage, but with
      the collective of idiots otherwise known as Kevin Kelly, Michael Cole
      and John Coachman as the only people who could fill in for him, he’s
      very right to stay behind the commentary table. However, he need to get
      back to the form that got him to the top and stop this absurd “WWF good
      anything else bad” attitude. There’s nothing wrong with the commentator
      being pro-WWF – this is good for the angle. However, making harsh
      character assessments and assassinations of talent is not going to
      accomplish anything except for making everyone involved with WCW and ECW
      look second rate – and what happens then when the angle folds? The WWF
      is left with a depleted roster and lots of personnel who have taken
      several steps backwards. I’m not blaming JR for the disappointing start
      to the Invasion, but he could do so very much to make it better – and a
      man in his position should know this and act on it.

      That’s my thoughts for this week, but I’d like to farm your thoughts for
      my next article: the question is simple – who do you think is the most
      under-used wrestler in the WWFE group? Hit me with your answers and
      views at king@... and I’ll post the most interesting
      comments and offer my thoughts next time.


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