Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1721
- CLICK TO UNSUBSCRIBE: mailto:email@example.com
Exclusive wrestling news being broken around the clock at
_ _____ ___ ___ _____ _ ___ _ _ ___
\ \ / / _ \ __/ __|_ _| | |_ _| \| |/ __|
\ \/\/ /| / _|\__ \ | | | |__ | || .` | (_ |
\_/\_/ |_|_\___|___/ |_| |____|___|_|\_|\___|
___ _ _ _ ___ _ _ ___
/ _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1721
| (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Saturday, November 15th 2003
_ _ _____ _____ _ ___ _____ _____ ___ ___
| \| | __\ \ / / __| | | __|_ _|_ _| __| _ \
| .` | _| \ \/\/ /\__ \ |__| _| | | | | | _|| /
|_|\_|___| \_/\_/ |___/____|___| |_| |_| |___|_|_\
>> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITORBy Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]
Hey guys. Nothing to rant about today. Back tomorrow before the PPV.
Get the new Steve Austin biography 'The Stone Cold Truth'
from http://www.wrestlingmegastore.com for $17.99
Olympic Sports is the ONLY SPORTSBOOK offering WRESTLING BETTING on
pay-per-view and weekly matches. Check out our lines each week at
http://www.thegreek.com/dw/welcome.asp?ap=WrestOnline and sign up
>> WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWShttp://www.wrestling-online.com/news
> ANGLE TO HAVE SECOND SURGERY- Kurt Angle is scheduled to undergo surgery again this Monday in
Pittsburgh under the hands of Dr Jho, the same person who originally
operated Angle just after WrestleMania. Dave Scherer of 1wrestling.com
reports that MRI results revealed a bone chip in his neck and surgery is
the only way to go to remove it. No details on how long Angle will be
out, but the former champion will be working the pay-per-view tomorrow
despite the pain.
> OFF AIR NOTES FROM SMACKDOWN!- W-O Newsletter Joe Leschinskie attended the Smackdown! tapings on
Tuesday and sent in these off air notes from the show. After cameras
stopped rolling, Lesnar told the crowd that even though his team lost
this one and if they lose the match at Survivor Series, he'll still have
the title around his waist. Bob Holly then came out for an impromptu
match and had the upper hand until Lesnar gave Holly a low blow and
Lesnar got DQed.
> IDENTITY OF POLICE OFFICER ON SMACKDOWN!- W-O Newsletter reader Rob Hayes sent in word that the man who played
the New Jersey State Police trooper skits with the Bashams and the
Guerrero's was Fred 'The Bone Crusher' Sampson from the Independent
Wrestling Federation based in NJ. He's currently their IWF champion.
> SMACKDOWN! RATINGS- Smackdown! did a 3.7 final rating for Thursday's show, up 0.1 from
last week. (Ratings compiled by Nielsen Media Research and put online by
> TICKETS ON SALE- The following shows went on sale earlier today. Live event on Friday
December 5th at the South Florida Fair Expo Center in Billings, MT.;
Live event on Sunday December 14th at the Concseco Fieldhouse in
Indianapolis, IN.; RAW live from the St Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL.,
on Monday December 15th; Smackdown! tapings at the Veteran's Memorial
Arena in Jacksonville, FL., on Tuesday December 16th. For more ticket
information call the arena box office.
> STOCKS- Stocks closed the week yesterday at 10.81, a 2.52% decrease over the
previous closing. The day's range was 10.80 - 11.09. On a related note,
the company's board of directors declared a $0.04 dividend on all Class
A and Class B common shares. The record date for the dividend is
December 31, 2003. The payment date will be January 9, 2004.
>> CLOTHESLINE CITYBy Andrew Bulik, [andrewbulik@...]
Once again, a wrestler has been taken before our time. I was shocked
when I read of Michael Crash Lockwoods death as it was pretty
unexpected. As far as I could tell, he was a young healthy guy who just
liked to party a little. I was always a Crash Holly mark, from
rebellious cousin to Mattitude Follower, I always loved what little
Crash got up to. Unlike many superstars today, despite being a
midcarder, he had loads of personality.
Rest in Peace Crash.
Down to Business.
WWE, 10 Things I hate about you:
No. 1 - WRESTLERS BEING TOLD NOT TO USE CERTAIN MOVES
I think this is the one that upsets me the most. First piledrivers were
banned without special permission. Now in the last couple of months
overhead belly to bellies have been scrapped which are key moves in Kurt
Angle, Brock Lesnar and Chris Benoit's arsenal. But I suppose it doesn't
affect Triple H, so that's okay.
This week also The Hurricane has been told NOT to use the chokeslam
anymore. Why? Because it's not convincing that a wrestler his size
should use it! Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Not convincing? Of course
it's not bloody convincing! That's the whole point - he's a superhero
dammit! His whole character is a caricature for crying out loud. And if
booker's don't understand that then they shouldn't be in the business. I
think the reasons for banning Hurricane's choke slam are the most
ridiculous I've ever heard.
And this week too, Paul London, Billy Kidman and Spanky were urged to
use the 'less is more' WWE approach. Ugh! This is just Vince's fear of
the cruiserweights upstaging big oafs like Nathan Jones. Vince moans
about house show attendance going down, well it will continue to go down
if guys aren't allowed to perform their signature moves! Think about it,
if you've ever attended a live wrestling event, when do all the camera
flashes go off? Yeah, when Bret had someone in the Sharpshooter, Stone
Cold hits a Stunner or a cruiserweight hits some amazing high-flying
No. 2 SO MANY GENERIC WRESTLERS
Ive talked about this one before but well this is a compilation. I
realise that the WWE creative department has a lot of work to do but so
many wrestlers are being presented as generic nonentities. I mean the
likes of Jindrak, Cade, Jordan, Bashams (sexual fetishes do not a
gimmick maketh), Paul London, Spanky etc. They are presented like
jabronis so the majority of the crowd react to them that way and the
likes of London and Spanky arent even allowed to use the full extents
of their talent to get over.
I think the (not so) Creative Dept are just praying that some of these
guys develop John Cena like qualities and pull a gimmick from nowhere.
Yeah, John Cena was once a dork, as were Steve Austin and The Rock when
they debuted, but these guys all have charisma to carry themselves and
Jake Roberts said in a recent interview that when he watched WWE he sees
guys that look the same doing all the same moves. Hes so right.
No. 3 MISTREATMENT OF TALENT
Matt Hardy, Shannon Moore, Ultimo Dragon, Chris Kanyon, Lance Storm,
Sean OHaire, Goldust, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Christian, Chris Jericho,
Spanky, Paul London. These are just some of the guys who the WWE is
completely disrespecting on a weekly basis.
Ultimo Dragon is a living legend in the business, he genuinely came back
from what should have been a career-ending injury to compete in the WWE,
the only game in town. But because Vincent Kennedy McMahon does not like
his wrestling style, in that its not generic WWE style, The Dragon has
been demoted to bit-part player status.
Chris Kanyon is immensely talented and incredibly innovative but for
some reason he has never been allowed to strut his stuff since being the
entertaining Alliance MVP. Jericho, Booker, RVD and Christian should
have RAW built around them but have never been allowed past the glass
ceiling that Triple H stands on. OHaire and Goldust were pushed to the
side when their respective partners went in different directions and the
WWE hasnt known what to do with them since. Shannon Moore, Lance Storm,
Spanky and London are all treated like total jobbers for no other reason
I can see other than that they are not the size of Hulk Hogan.
As for Matt Hardy, well, Ive attended two Smackdown house shows this
year and it is not an exaggeration to say that Version 1.0 was easily
one of the most over guys on the card! He was cheered like crazy, V1
signs were flashed by many hands and there were countless guys (myself
included) in the Senseis t-shirts. Why then, is he made to job to Zach
Gowen? Which comfortably brings me to my next point.
No 4 ZACH GOWENS SUPERPUSH
Now dont take this the wrong way. I have a great deal of respect for
Zach, I think what he has overcome and achieved in his life so far is
nothing short of astonishing. But he has been rammed down our throats.
He took over Mr. Americas feud with Mr. McMahon when Hulkster bailed
out and was given far too much exposure. He was then put into a feud
with Matt Hardy AND scored the victory over him! Now Ill admit, Im a
dedicated MFer but that is not why Im sick of Zach. Should Zach not pay
his dues like Spanky, Paul London and Orlando Jordan are doing? What did
he do to deserve a high profile victory over Mattitude? I dont know
where Gowen goes from now, and aside from an appearance of Royal Rumble,
I dont see where the youngster goes from here.
No 5 VINCES PRESENCE
In the past Ive enjoyed Vinces parts he has played. From Evil Boss (v
Austin) to Doting Dad (v HHH) to Not-So-Doting Dad (v Shane). I even
thought he was pretty funny when he was the panicked WWE owner worrying
his kids were going to kill his company. But most of these roles were
punctuated with fairly lengthy sabbaticals. Vince has been on our
screens every month this year. He was threatening Bischoff with the sack
at the start of the year, feuding with Hogan and Gowen through Spring
and Summer, beating on his daughter in Autumn and this Thanksgiving,
hes taking on the Dead Man. Its too much, especially since he has been
playing the same overexposed character all year.
I dont think I need to go on at length about his kids. Stephanie and
Shane are being portrayed as more important than most of the talent.
Backstage that may be true, but it should not be the case on-screen.
No 6 HOSS SYNDROME
Watch out, here comes another list: The Big Show, A-Train, Matt Morgan,
Nathan Jones, Undertaker, Bradshaw, Faarooq, Kevin Nash, Mark Henry,
Batista, Scott Steiner, Triple H, John Heidenreich. What do all these
guys have in common? They are either past-it, too green or over-exposed.
Oh yeah, and they are all huge and tough.
Ironically most of them hail from the Smackdown brand, which is supposed
to be the wrestling brand, whilst RAW is the sports entertainment
brand. All these guys are being pushed ahead of all the guys in Reason
No 3 for no other reason than they are huge (or in the case of the APA,
Undertakers buddies). Every single one of these guys makes me want to
flip the channel.
No 7 TRIPLE HS REMARKS
It seems to have become a pretty regular occurrence for Trippers to
shoot his mouth off to whoever will listen. He is of the opinion that
wrestlers on the undercard should know their place and not put on
shows that will put the main event in the shade. Now I do see his point
in this, however, surely it should be the job of the main eventers to
put on an unforgettable show.
He does not seem to comprehend that fans would rather see 7 or 8
showstealing bouts on a PPV rather than 7 lame ones and a slightly
main event. I think that is why the Cruiserweight Title match this
Sunday features the two most ground-based cruisers on the roster.
Another Triple H favourite comment is to blast internet fans and
writers. He attacks us claiming that until we have spent time in the
ring paying our dues, we are not qualified to comment. Excuse me, but I
dont think that is the case. Many football (soccer) supporters may be
armchair fans but they can still make valid points on how their team
is performing. That is the way I see it, Ive been watching long enough
to know what is good and what is bad.
Ive been watching wrestling for almost 12 years now. I have been a
smart mark for about 8. I know what a good match is and I know what a
good angle is. It is one that can make me forget that Im a smark. It
is a match that totally encapsulates the audience and makes them feel
like that 9 year old kid they once were, when wrestling mesmerised them.
However, today, when I watch wrestling, that does not happen.
No 8 LACK OF RESPECT FOR TITLES
The United States and Intercontinental Titles have become meaningless.
Christian was given the first reign of the re-inaugurated strap in
promising fashion (getting a rub from Jericho & Booker). But he was
continually made to look like a loser who didnt deserve to be a
champion. I dont think Christians won one bout cleanly as the champ.
Booker T and RVDs title reigns have not been inspirational either. I
dont blame either of them for that. Both have been given the strap as
compensation for not being allowed to go over Triple H (him again!).
As for the U.S. Title, I thought Eddie Guerrero had a fantastic reign
with the strap and it helped him to really get over, and did wonders for
the belt. But then the WWE go and turn that completely around and give
it to the big lummox that is The Big Show. The belt should be around the
waist of guys like Eddie Guerrero, Matt Hardy and even Rey Mysterio. It
should not be used to justify the stupidly large contract that The Big
No 9 CRUISERWEIGHT CRISIS
Yes, I am aware that the Cruiserweights have been more active as of
late, but as Ive already mentioned it seems to be getting moulded
around the more grounded cruisers with the exception of Rey, whose fan
following the WWE cant ignore. It has an immense wealth of talent which
could easily provide 15 minutes of escapism every week like they used to
on Nitro. However, the WWE seems intent on making the Cruiserweight
Division a miniature version of the Heavyweight Division. Who really
wants to see that? The Cruiser Title may as well be called the European
Title for all the meaning it has.
No 10 GOLDBERG
I couldnt believe when I read this. And please bare in mind its only a
rumour so may or may not be true. Goldbergs push has been set up in
such a way that it is designed to fail. What? They are scheming to make
their champion look like crap? Is this why hes getting involved with
and isnt allowed to score a clean victory over the likes of Batista?
This all goes back to Vinces complete intolerance for anything other
companies have achieved. It is why WCW was completely trodden on when
they came onto WWF programming. And as mentioned already it is why
Ultimo Dragon and the Cruiserweights are continually buried. Goldberg
was the WWEs chance to have something fresh on their programme, but he
has been continually badly booked. If he loses the title this Sunday,
then something is terribly fishy.
And there you go, I know, Im a moaner. But please dont take this the
wrong way I love everything WWE. I really do! Which is why it pains me
to see the show I love so much go down the pan. I believe it is going
down the toilet for the reasons listed above.
Last Sunday I had the pleasure of purchasing WWE Smackdown 5: Here Comes
The Pain for the PS2. Its a game Ive been looking forward to for
months, so I was delighted to be able to call it mine. Heres my opinion
Firstly, there are 63 wrestlers, which is pretty good I thought. But
then I discovered that about 10 of these guys are WWE Legends. Iron
Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Sgt Slaughter, Ted DiBiase, Jimmy Snuka, Roddy
Piper, Old School Undertaker, Legion of Doom and Hillbilly Jim are all
included (Ill let you decide if some of these guys are legends *ahem*
Jim). What disappointed me is that while these guys entrance moves are
pretty cool (the are brought to the ring by a ring-mobile a la WMIII and
VI) none of them have theme music. Whats more, they have been included
at the expense of the likes of Billy Kidman, The FBI, Billy Gunn, The
APA, Tommy Dreamer, Rosey, Jamie Noble and Nidia, Dawn Marie and La
Resistance. I know Dupree and Grenier debuted around April, but so did
Ultimo Dragon and he made it into the game.
The playing style has changed to previous Smackdowns, with the focus on
wearing down an opponent before you can score victory. The new playing
style also allows for a lot more grapple moves and can let you develop
your own tactics, which is pretty cool. What I do find annoying is that
if you choose to go a cruiserweight (I went Matt Hardy my first time
round), you will not be able to perform any powerful moves on big guys
like Taker, Albert and Lesnar. Whilst I understand this makes sense, it
is easy to forget in a fast-paced match up. So you try to pick up a big
guy you are left cursing yourself as your little bundle of Mattitude
tries in vain to lift the hulking Brock. And then as your poor little
Matt is clutching his sore back, Mr. Lesnar is allowed a free
hit/grapple at you Doh!
The exhibition matches are great with such matches as the Elimination
Chamber and Bra and Panties matches keeping you entertained for hours on
end. So 2 player fun is a hoot, but what about the season mode?
When you first play through an entire season youll absolutely be in
love with the game. When you are not in storylines you can challenge for
specific belts or start mini-feuds with a guy you beat last week. When
you are in storylines you can expect to form factions and have your
tag-team partner throw parties for you. However, if like me, you tend to
play these games for hours on end, youll quickly see problems.
You tend to only have two options when you take part in an angle. This
means when you complete two seasons (a season being only 12 months long
this time round, as opposed to the 2 years last time) you have the
feeling that youve done it all. That is not exactly the case, but
after youve completed the season mode 3 or 4 times and unlocked all the
secrets, there is not much to go back for. However, like I say, this is
because I stupidly play the game quite intensively because I have no
The one area where the game is let down is the Create-A-Wrestler
options. It is simply a poorly disguised rehash of last years Smackdown
4 and it isnt even as good. It has almost all of last years options
for creating wrestlers faces (e.g. D-Lo, Tommy Dreamer, Essa Rios are
all there) but it does not include their outfits! And last years did!
Tut. The only really new preset movesets they have bothered to include
are those of Jamie Noble, Bill Demott and Rosey. The rest are taken from
last year. There are no decent options to make a generic pair of trunks
using underwear makes it look so skimpy and the less said about the
customised entrances the better.
I read Ian Hamiltons review of Raw on the X-Box and was actually
drooling when he spoke about being able to rip MP3 music and use it on
wrestlers entrance. That sounds fantastic and I wish it was something
the PS2 was capable of. And thats just it. Smackdown 5 has so much more
potential than it is allowed to have because the boundaries of the PS2
are starting to be realised. I think once the PS3 is out we will have
our ultimate wrestling game. I think if you combined Smackdowns
playability, season and match-types with Raws CAW mode you would have a
Overall Id give it 8/10. If youre looking for something vastly
different from Smackdown 4, then that aint going to happen, but if you
want to have an Elimination Chamber match with Benoit, Rey, Ultimo,
Brock, Snuka and Edge, which Im about to do, youll have a blast.
Before I finish, just some quick predictions for the Survivor Series:
Lita will bt. Molly Holly
Tajiri to bt. Jamie Noble (possibly with help of Ultimo I can only
Bashams to bt. Los Guerreros (resulting in their split which I dont
want to happen)
Team Lesnar to bt. Team Angle (possible heel turn for Mr. Benoit to
feud with new face Cena)
Team Austin over Team Bischoff (though I would love it if Team Bischoff
Vince to bt. The Undertaker (with help of Kane)
Kane to bt. Shane (hed damn well better if Shane goes over Kane Ill
scream and youll hear that over the Atlantic)
Goldberg to bt. Triple Haitch (again hed better!)
A few (more) points before I go:
- Are Nina Myers (from 24) and Molly Holly the same person? They are
both delightfully evil.
- Please please please put Mark Henry out to pasture!
- What are NWA:TNA playing at signing guys like Lex Fn Luger? I thought
they wanted to go places!
- Also, if you can find them online, look for the transcripts of recent
Jake Roberts and Teddy Hart interviews. Both of them are most
insightful. I finally found out after all these years why The Warrior
left WWF post SummerSlam 91! And Teddys interview makes me REALLY want
to see him in action!
- After watching the gimmick battle royal at WMX-7 (AGAIN!) I have come
to the conclusion that the WWE REALLY should think about releasing a
Best of Bobby Heenan DVD. The man is a riot. The funniest I ever heard
him was at Battle Royale at the Albert Hall in 1991 where he just kept
coming out with the funniest lines. I would love to be able to hear his
greatest commentaries again and see his best skits with Gorilla and Mean
Gene. Even if it was a section on a Best of the late 80s to early
90s DVD Id be a happy man.
Ach well, if you have any comments at all you can email me at
andrewbulik@... (I think!) and Ill be glad to email
back. Enjoy Survivor Series peeps!
Advertising Info - http://www.wonewsletter.com
W-O Network - http://www.wrestling-online.com
Contact Editor - Editor@...
© Copyright 1996-2003 Wrestling-Online Network