Big Daddy's Beefs
By DONNIE ABREU --
For SLAM! Wrestling
This week, I'll return to my roots. Rather than spend the entire column complaining about one topic, I'll try and hit as many as I can in rapid fire fashion. So much complaining -- so little time.
At first I thought I was the only one who noticed the inconsistency, because I love websites like movie-mistakes.com, but I've received dozens of emails from fans telling me they saw the very same thing. The ambulance The Rock was loaded into and the one that was hit were very different. They had different striping and logos. Look carefully. Fine -- we will look over that. Wrestling fans have learned to suspend their disbelief. The ambulance attendants take off, leaving The Rock on his own. Fine. Every wrestling fan on the planet knew that The Rock was just in perfect health, safe and sound... so why did the announce team decide to get somber and play it up like someone had just been killed?
Not since the Owen Hart tragedy have I heard Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler with that tone of voice for such a prolonged period of time. In the case of the Hart accident, it was obviously warranted -- even though the show should have been stopped cold. In this case, they were trying to make an obvious work appear to be legit. Remember gentlemen -- if you 'cry wolf' too many times you won't be able to play that 'listen folks, this isn't part of the show' routine later on when it is actually needed. Don't insult the fans.
Christian and Edge pose at an Air Canada Centre house show last year. (Toronto Sun Photo: Greg Henkenhaf)
There are very few members of the WWF active roster who need a makeover worse than Christian. Yes, I love his new cry-baby thing, and I enjoyed his run as the European champion, but visually, he still looks like that same guy who used to play second fiddle to Edge. Some new tights -- a haircut -- maybe a new nickname -- anything! He just needs something that visually reflects his new persona and his awesome ring entrance. Speaking of persona, do you think we can order one for the afore mentioned Edge? I've been a huge fan of Adam Copeland forever and ever -- but come on! What is his gimmick? He doesn't really have one, does he? The guy is an awesome talent with a great off camera personality -- let that shine through.
Ric Flair versus The Undertaker at WrestleMania? Does the Nature Boy have enough left in the tank for one more marquee match? The street fight snore with Vince McMahon wasn't much of a test. I still believe Flair can have a decent match with a broom... and apparently he's going to be given that opportunity. If I had my way though, I'd rather see Flair's last big run be against Steve Austin or The Rock when either man has the World title, with Flair playing the heel. The mic wars would be gold and the
eventual passing of the torch from one legend to another, would be tremendous.
I really feel for The Hardy Boys. The glass ceiling seems to be coming down on them. They have done everything they can possibly do as a tag team -- but the fans don't want to see them split. Their mini-feud in late 2001 was a colossal flop in the eyes of the WWF hierarchy and the hardcore viewers. The only way they can succeed as singles is to go their separate ways on 'good terms'. Perhaps when the much talked about roster split takes place -- they should be placed on opposite sides. Both can work as faces, and they won't have any crossover with each other. That way they can concentrate on creating their own individual identities. If not, I don't know how much longer fans will be interested in Team Extreme.
The WWF did the right thing at No Way Out when they kept the big belt on Chris Jericho and the tag straps on Tazz and Spike. Most of the internet crowd was betting on Y2J and the little tag team to drop their titles at the Royal Rumble. Sunday seemed like a foregone conclusion to most. Reason being, a lot of people didn't believe in their value as anything more than transition champions. By giving them prolonged runs (2 months with a title is an eternity in this era of wrestling), fans are starting to believe that they have long term credibility.
I look forward to Tazz eventually turning heel and moving up in the singles division. He has the talent.
Speaking of No Way Out, could the Milwaukee crowd have been any lamer? They barely made a sound throughout the entire show. It was like watching a Toronto Blue Jay game. If you're not going to be loud and cheer, why are you at a wrestling pay per view?
Goldust (Toronto Sun Photo: Greg Henkenhaf)
I can't say enough about Dustin Runnels. Ever since returning to the Federation at the Rumble, he has impressed me every time out. Granted, I've always been a Goldust mark, but he is clearly in the best shape of his life and seems to be working harder than he ever has in the WWF. The match he has with Rob Van Dam told a great story. It was a battle between two men with contrasting styles, but they meshed very nicely. The only thing about RVD versus Goldust that bothered me, was that we still haven't received any explanation as to why the bizarre one targeted the ex ECW megastar.
Criss Angel will be performing Wednesday February 20th at WWF New York. I've seen this guy in person before - if you're in the NYC area and planning to attend, make sure you don't have a weak stomach. This isn't a show for the faint of heart.
Why was Curt Hennig 'perfectly' squashed by Kane this week? Was it something he said? Or is this part of an ongoing angle where Mr. Perfect really isn't so spectacular anymore. If the latter is the case, and he is used simply as enhancement talent, then I feel sorry for the former Intercontinental champion -- who is one of the top ring generals of the last 15 years.
Note to the WWF creative team: take the cuffs off Lance Storm! Let him go -- he will be great.
There are quite a few talented performers worth checking out this weekend if you decide to order the WWA pay per view. Former ECW star Nova will be part of a match with Low Ki (former WWF devleopmental talent), Shark Boy, Tony Mamaluke and long time indy star Chris Daniels. Sabu, such that he is, will be in a no DQ match against Devon Storm (formerly crowbar). Juventud Guererro will be in against long time rival Psicosis and former WWF star Eddy Guerrero, and Disco Inferno faces Lawler's kid iGrandmaster Sexayi Brian Christopher.
One match that seems to have a few people interested is the WWA title match -- Jeff Jarrett versus the returning Macho Man Randy Savage. It's been a long, long time since Savage has been in action. Does he have anything left? What kind of shape is he in? Does he have the ability to physically keep up with Jarrett? I will definately be watching.
Missing from the card: Road Dog Jesse James, Konnan and Buff Bagwell. All three were featured on the previous WWA pay per view, but seem to have been dropped from this one. Go figure.
Till next week....