July 27, 2003
Smackdown! has found the right formula
By TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun

Another countdown.

Another pay-per-view.

Probably another rousing success.

It\'s hard not to like the Smackdown! product these days.

And while RAW is coming off a stinky pay-per-view, there are some positives that could make that TV show the force it once was.

If there is a difference in quality of the product, you certainly can\'t blame the announcers for dragging RAW down.

Good ole J.R. and Jerry \"The King\" Lawler are without peers in the industry.

RAW boasts an all-star cast so the talent level isn\'t getting in the way.

So what is it? Why is Smackdown! still a bit better?

Storylines? Maybe, RAW scripts sometimes border on the bizarre ... that horrible necrophilia angle will never fade way ... although it\'s hard not to admire the current Kane storyline, one that could be drawn out for a bit.

There seems to be plenty of explaining to do. The Big Red Machine continued his psychotic run of destruction by choke-slamming Linda McMahon on Monday night, a scene that TSN blacked out.

But at some point, the storyline will have to explain why Kane has no scars or burns to his face, visible marks that were alleged to have been left in a fire when he was young.

And at some point, Kane, in real life Glen Jacobs and in a former WWF life, Lawler\'s monstrous dentist Dr. Isaac Yankem, will have to come to grips with his inner self. There are obviously demons haunting him.

An obvious conclusion to the storyline would involve his storyline older brother, The Undertaker. But WWE would have to lift him from Smackdown! to bring him face to face with Kane.

So while Smackdown! rolls into tonight\'s Vengeance pay-per-view on a roll, with several storylines coming to a head, RAW is trying to find its identity.

The Kane angle is boosting viewership ... and it\'s hard not to like the evolution of Evolution -- the trio of Ric Flair, Triple H and Randy Orton.

RAW needs to find the right mix of comedy, high-flying ring antics and violence. The comedy is sometimes plain stupid (Mae Young giving birth to a hand?) and the violence is sometimes over the top.

- Here\'s the lineup for Vengeance: Zach Gowen vs. Vince McMahon; John Cena vs. The Undertaker; Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Big Show; Stephanie McMahon vs. Sable; Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas vs. Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman; and Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit. And add to that Billy Gunn vs. Jamie Noble, with Gunn\'s gal pal, Playboy playmate Torrie Wilson, promising to sleep with Noble on Smackdown! should he win the match. You\'ve got to like the sounds of the bar-room brawl that\'s also scheduled. Included on the APA\'s guest list are Doink the Clown, Brother Love and Steve Lombardi (The Brooklyn Brawler). Speaking of Brother Love, wouldn\'t he be a great character to bring back?

- Who\'s next? Look for Goldberg vs. Triple H to headline next month\'s Summer Slam pay-per-view.

- The Undertaker (Mark Callaway) missed Smackdown! because his father, Frank, died at the age of 76 in Temple, Okla.

- Elite Wrestling Action has a big card at the Si Miller Arena in Cornwall on Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Among those appearing are Sakrilige, Soulrage, Danny Dallas, Dru Onyx, Face Of Death, Giovanni, Kona, Steve Royds, Oddyssey, Shaun MacMillan, Max Alexander, Heavy Explosives, Jokers Wild, X-Rated and The Ebony Express. Cogeco11 Television will tape and air the show locally.

- Bradsaw\'s book Have More Money Now: A Common Sense Approach to Financial Management is out. Bradshaw, actually John Layfield, has put together an actual book of financial advice.

- Veteran Ontario grappler Bullwhip Danny Johnson died in Stoney Creek at the age of 49 earlier this week.

- SLAM! Wrestling is reporting that Tony Parisi\'s widow, Clara, has taken over Big Anthony\'s Restaurant, at 5677 Victoria Ave, in Niagara Falls. There are many posters and items of memorabilia from the wrestling days of Parisi, who was known as \"Cannonball.\"

CANOE.CA SLAM!