The Sheik, The Love Brothers, Pampero Firpo and Waldo Von Erich. And guys I'd cheer for included Haystacks Calhoun, Big Tex McKenzie, Johnny Powers and The Mighty Igor. " />

 

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   Sun, July 4, 2004



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COMMENT





WWE has no punch
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


Let me start by saying I've been a big wrestling fan for more than 30 years. In the early days, among the guys I loved to hate were The Sheik, The Love Brothers, Pampero Firpo and Waldo Von Erich. And guys I'd cheer for included Haystacks Calhoun, Big Tex McKenzie, Johnny Powers and The Mighty Igor.

I'd giggle with glee as Lord Athol Layton would threaten to deliver a karate chop to Abdullah Farouk (The Weasel), The Sheik's obnoxious manager.

Growing up in Lindsay, Ont., I'd tune into Maple Leaf Wrestling. The matches were one-sided and often boring. But I'd tune in for the interviews. The wrestlers weren't as well spoken as today's breed. The "I'll take you on, anywhere, anytime," line was heard over and over. But it made for good TV.

Sometimes I'd be able to watch Big Time Wrestling out of Detroit. Awesome.

And on Sundays, it was Championship Wrestling out of Rochester.

In later years, living in Timmins, I'd be able to watch Grand Prix Wrestling, the Quebec promotion.

I'd watch the TV shows and write down the results, keeping a log. I collected posters from wrestling shows in small towns across Ontario.

And then came the WWF. Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, with Vince McMahon's backing, brought wrestling to a new level. And I bought it hook, line and sinker. I'd watch Saturday Night's Main Event, then in later years RAW became a can't-miss event.

But the spark just isn't there right now. Not sure what it is, or isn't, but I'm having a hard time getting excited about wrestling these days.

It could be because I'm a big fan of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Maybe I miss The Rock. No doubt, I miss ECW ... and WCW at least kept the WWF on its toes. And as much as I've grown to like Eugene's character, I'm not sure you can build a show around it.

WWE is in a transition period, trying to promote its stars of tomorrow. And with its bigger names, it's too often same old, same old.

I believe that it's soon time to have a rift within Evolution, a conflict between Triple H and Ric Flair.

I'd like to see guys like The Hurricane used more often. Rey Mysterio, too.

John Layfield is the new heavyweight champion after beating Eddie Guerrero at The Great American Bash. I don't buy into the JBL gimmick. It's not going to sell tickets. Not now, not ever. We can only hope JBL's reign is over before SummerSlam arrives in Toronto next month.

WWE's product is not bad ... it's just not as exciting as it once was.

- Here are other results from The Great American Bash: John Cena won a Fatal Four Way match against Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Rene Dupree; Luther Reigns beat Charlie Haas; Mysterio beat Chavo Guerrero; Kenzo Suzuki beat Billy Gunn; Sable defeated Torrie Wilson; Mordecai beat Hardcore Holly and The Undertaker beat The Dudley Boys, then still buried his manager, Paul Bearer, in cement.

- Eric Bischoff has appointed Eugene his interim GM of RAW.

- Diamond Dallas Page has separated from his wife Kimberley.


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