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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1394

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  • Colin Vassallo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 6, 2002
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      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1394
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Friday, September 6th 2002
      \___/|_|\_|____|___|_|\_|___| http://www.wrestling-online.com
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      By Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]

      Hello folks. Anyone attending the weekend house shows, please drop us
      some notes from the events with results and other interesting tidbits
      that happen.


      Post your comments/feedback on the news at our new Reader's Forum at
      He is the immortal Hulk Hogan, perhaps the biggest superstar to be
      associated with the wrestling business. Now for the first time ever
      on DVD, the history of the Hulkster and Hulkamania re-lived inside a
      2-disc special edition titled 'Hulk Still Rules'. It's 360 minutes
      of Hogan action and you can order the DVD or else the VHS tape from


      > RATINGS
      - Smackdown! received a 3.2 rating for yesterday's show with a 5.0
      share, up 0.1 from last week. The show was pre-empted in several markets
      including one of the largest, New York. (Ratings compiled by Nielsen
      Media Research and put online by 1wrestling.com)

      - W-O Newsletter reader Michael Holmes attended Smackdown! this past
      Tuesday at the Resch Center and sent in word that there were a lot of
      drunken people running around and spilling beer in the crowd. Chaos
      started after the Billy and Chuck segment and tons of people were
      ejected and some arrested after a brawl in the stands.

      - WWE.COM today reported that RAW ring announcer Lilian Garcia signed a
      deal with Universal Records to release her first debut album in 2003.
      EMI Music's Evan Lamberg will be in charge of developing the work while
      Meredith Brooks will co-write and produce her album. Her first single,
      'Shout' will be released on radio on October 8th. Garcia sang mostly the
      US national anthem during NBA games and other sports and of course sings
      the US anthem at WWE live events. Occasionally she does a small concert
      at The World in Times Square.

      > STOCKS
      - Stocks closed the week at 9.65, a 2.12% increase over the previous
      trade. The day's range was 9.32 - 9.66.

      - The Associated Press today ran a story that former WWE champion Stone
      Cold Steve Austin has dropped divorce proceedings against his wife
      Debra. Austin filed for divorce on July 22nd, just a little over a month
      after police was called into their house after Steve attacked Debra
      leaving her with several marks on her face and back. The report says
      that a Bexar County court last week dismissed the divorce case saying
      that Austin no longer wished to pursue it. Steve still faces a
      misdemeanor charge and no trial date has been set. The charges were
      brought forward by Bexar County and not Debra who refused to press
      charges. The couple have been married since September 13th 2000.

      - Stranger things have happened, right? Right. 1wrestling.com broke the
      news earlier saying that Honky Tonk Man and Road Dogg were contacted by
      WWE to be part of the Billy & Chuck wedding set to take place next week
      on Smackdown!. WWE agent Johnny Ace contacted Road Dogg - who left the
      WWE on bad terms years ago - to be part of the show. Road Dogg agreed
      however Vince McMahon and Jim Ross both shot down the idea and refuse to
      do business with the former tag team title holder. Honky Tonk Man wanted
      more than just a cameo appearance when contacted by WWE agent Tom
      Pritchard although HTM couldn't make it to the show due to his son being
      involved in a wrestling tournament on the same day. Again, a long-term
      HTM involvement in WWE didn't sit too well with the execs and the idea
      was scrapped.


      By Andrew Bulik, [andrew.bulik@...]

      Hello Clothesline Citizens! How are you all? I'm totally into the WWE
      just now, I don't know why as I'm about to spend about 3000 words
      criticising it, but regardless I am interested in all tings wrestling
      once again.

      I'm about to head off for a field trip with my University course to a
      place in the north of Scotland called Balmacara to make some maps, so if
      you see me, say hi. My next few columns I've written together which will
      be why there aren't many comments about recent events in the ring.

      Before I get to that I want to talk about a couple of things that
      happened this week in the world of pro wrasslin. The biggest thing I
      have a problem with was the main storyline on Raw, with Triple H
      becoming the new Raw champion. I have no problem with that and am glad
      they found a use for the historical gold strap, which also separates the
      two brands further, the way it should be. What I'm getting at is that
      Raw is quickly turning into the Triple H show. He was presented with the
      belt, he defended against Flair and then took on Flair and Rob Van Dam
      in the shows main event. He was also involved in other segments. When is
      Vince McMahon going to get the message: Triple H does not get ratings!
      Trippers has become so prominent on Raw lately and the ratings have
      continued to fall at an alarming rate. Sure he has his place on the
      roster, even as a part of the main event roster but he is NOT the ONLY
      main event performer. I am sincerely hoping that this potential feud
      with RVD leads to a victory for the former ECWite, but deep down I can't
      help but feel that this won't happen due to Triple H's reluctance to put
      over new talent.

      The former WCW Title being used as the Raw title is also a nice move.
      Like I said earlier it moves the brands further apart and gives it more
      of an identity of its own. When the brands split, many fans just saw it
      as two WWE shows with different wrestlers. However now with the
      commentary position, GM war and separate titles we can see the different
      looks of them both. I think a lot of fans are speculating that one day
      in the future Eric Bischoff is going to rename WWE Raw as WCW Nitro. A
      lot of fans would salivate over that prospect. Vince, here's an angle
      for free: slowly but surely Eric builds up a roster full of former WCW
      stars (a lot of the Raw wrestlers have been on WCW before: Flair, HHH,
      Jericho, Storm etc) such as Benoit and Guerrero, possibly with the
      addition of DDP doing a Jonathon Coachman type job. If they sign Steiner
      or Goldberg put them on Raw. A lot of people would still be oblivious as
      it still has WWE on the label. Then, one Monday, Bischoff invites Vince
      to see his superior show and brand new entrance ramp - and then BLAM!
      The Nitro set is unveiled and WCW logos galore. Vince is shocked and
      Bischoff announces that the Raw label has changed its name to World
      Championship Wrestling and has dissolved its relationship with the WWE
      (I doubt it is possible to dissolve such a relationship in real life but
      remember you have to suspend your disbelief). Eric goes on to declare
      war on the WWE. Et voila! A ratings winner (I believe) and a second
      chance at the WWE v WCW war, hopefully this time doing it right. To keep
      WWE fans interested in WCW, have weekly attacks from WWE wrestlers, as a
      safeguard against fans of WWE switching off their rivals. Okay so it's a
      bit of fantasy booking and it will never happen, but I can dream.

      Vince believes that Raw is the better show. I couldn't believe it when I
      read that he thinks Monday's show is superior as it uses the same
      formula that got him to the top in 98. That's the point though, 1998 was
      4 years
      ago, we need a new fresh programme. Vince please, for the sake of your
      company, please take note of internet ramblings and TV ratings, or it
      could be your downfall.

      Anyway, this is where I launch into a three part series looking at the
      current and future WWE rosters. I'm going to look at who's time has
      past, who are the current important players, how the new stars of 2002
      have fared since their entry to the WWE and I'll also speculate over new
      talent that the WWE could possibly get their mits on to improve the


      Perhaps that title is misleading as I believe some of the following
      wrestlers are useful and have their places on the roster, but a
      reshuffle is called for.

      The Undertaker - I was furious at the last episode of Smackdown when the
      Undertaker came down and defeated two of the best wrestlers in the WWE,
      Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. I had just written in my last column how
      the road was clear for new faces to rise to the top and out walks the
      'Big Ego'. So he's the number one contender for the (so-called)
      Undisputed World Title. Sigh. have we not been here before? I suggest
      that Undertaker takes The Rock route and starts to help less established
      talent over. I am guessing that Undy will put over Brock at Unforgiven,
      but unless it's a clean victory for 'The Next Big Thing' it will have
      been a worthless exercise.

      Rikishi Phatu - Stink faces are sooo year 2000. Seriously, I feel
      Rikishi has no place on the roster at the moment and would perhaps be
      better helping train new talent in OVW or even acting as an on-screen
      mentor to Jamal & Rosie. His arsenal is dated and his ass does not
      entertain me, personally speaking. I don't understand why he has such a
      high spot on the Smackdown roster.

      Billy Gunn - To rid us of this man why doesn't Chuck just run off with
      Rico, meaning Billy is too despaired to wrestle. Like The Undertaker AND
      Rikishi, Billy aka Monty Sopp has been on the cards of the WWF/WWE for
      around ten years. He has been many characters - a cowboy, a singing
      cowboy, a rebel, an ass appeciator, a 'One' and a bisexual (well he had
      a relationship with Sunny once). No matter what the gimmick, Gunn has
      never come across as a stellar performer. Michael Cole often refers to
      him as a tag-team specialist. I'm not so sure. Chuck and Bart Gunn
      are/were superior wrestlers, and with Road Dogg the first time round,
      the crowd were so into the antics of the Outlaws it didn't matter about
      their in-ring abilities. When Billy has gone it alone he has bombed and
      I see no future for him in the WWE. Chuck Palumbo and Rico Constantino
      are capable of bigger things
      should they be able to make the fans forget their past.

      Faarooq & Bradshaw – The APA were good for comedy value when they were
      together and were decent sometimes in the ring, but they were never a
      tag-team that could produce a 5-star bout like the other tag-teams of
      time could (Hardys, E&C etc). I’ve never been a great fan of either man
      but their segments on RAW and Smackdown avec beer in the filing cabinet
      were often hilarious. Sadly Ron Simmons’ time in the ring is long over
      and he is fairly injury prone. Bradshaw has never particularly impressed
      me with his ring work anyway. They have spent a combined total of 13
      years in the Fed (or the Ent) by my calculations, they’ve had a good
      innings, time to go.

      The Big Valbowski – Nobody has really given a damn about poor old Val
      Venis since he came back at the Royal Rumble, and did many really care
      before that? The attitude era is well and truly over so there is no
      place for the porn star image on WWE television. Val Venis’ ‘serious’
      character of summer 2000 didn’t really take off either. It’s sad as he
      is a moderately talented wrestler, but his WWE career highlight is
      almost losing his ‘little friend’ to a samurai sword wielded by
      Kaientai. Well I suppose his match with Eddie Guerrero at KOTR 2000 was
      a highlight too.

      Steven Richards – What has this man achieved since he debuted in 1999.
      The Blond Bytch Project was dropped after about a week and he was used
      sporadically afterwards before getting his haircut and creating the
      day JOB Squad in the Right To Censor. Sure the RTC had its moments, but
      it grew very tedious to many fans, and I don’t mean due to their heel
      tactics. Recently he’s been involved in the Hardcore Title stramash, now
      with the departure of that title, where does that leave him?

      The Godfather & Bull Buchanan – While we’re at it why don’t we can the
      remaining members of the RTC? Charles Wright aka Papa Shango aka Kama
      Mustapha aka The Goodfather has never been a great performer in the ring
      has never been the best talker either. It’s amazing he has lasted in the
      job for over 10 years. we would be better off if he was serving the
      remainder of his contract in OVW. I know Bull Buchanan is not part of
      the active roster at the moment, but JR recently said he would return to
      our screens on Smackdown. Why? He has never had what you could call a
      ‘presence’ in the ring, which is unusual for a man his size.

      D-Von Dudley – Always viewed as the less talented of the Dudley Boyz, I
      don’t know if that’s necessarily true or not as I saw both Dudleys as
      having limited talents individually which is why their breakup has been
      disastrous for D-Von. Being saddled with the awful reverend gimmick
      didn’t help either. What did it do for Slick’s career? I think we may
      see a Dudleys reunion soon, to kick Mr. Batista’s ass and spice up the
      tag division, otherwise it’s mid-card mediocrity for D-Von. It’s
      unlikely he’d be released as he and Bubba have just signed new

      D-Lo Brown & Mark Henry – One-time best buddies should maybe join each
      other in the dole queue. Mark Henry has displayed no reason to me why he
      should stay on the roster or even why he was brought back in the first
      place. Henry has been paid plenty anyway and being released from his
      contract would probably give him a tidy sum to get by on. D-Lo on the
      other hand does have a lot to offer I believe. It’s just as shame that
      those upstairs in the WWE don’t think so. It’s hard to believe guys like
      Billy Gunn are given title runs while D-Lo rots on the sidelines. The
      former ‘Greatest European of all time’ is a very talented wrestler and
      could be valuable on the roster, but he has barely been used since
      Droz’s accident which is a shame. Maybe he would be better wrestling in
      NWA:TNA, where I am confident he would be used properly.

      Shawn Stasiak – One Shawn on the card is enough, and he ain’t from the
      Planet Stasiak. Really just makes up the numbers on the roster.

      Justin Credible & Albert – The former X-Factor-ites serve no use to the
      rosters they both occupy. Justin Credible has not lived up to any sort
      of expectation since his entry last year, and now buddy X-Pac has gone,
      why keep him around? Like Albert, he is just a filler for the weekend

      The Big Show – I feel Paul Wight is a similar case as Mark Henry, the
      case being it is cheaper for the WWE to keep him on rather than release
      him due to the large compensation they would have to pay him. The Big
      Show had the worst title run of recent history and has achieved very
      little else in the WWE. He’s too big for the midcard and has been beaten
      far too many times to be portrayed as an unstoppable monster. Time is up
      for the Big Slow in my humble opinion.

      And that concludes the first part of my roster review. Feel free to
      email me your thoughts on any part of this article to
      andrew.bulik@... , I look forward to hearing from you.
      Next time I will be focussing on the new talent which has come into the
      WWE in 2002 and what future they have there. Until then, take care of
      yourselves – and each other. Ciao!


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