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Stay on Topic, Columnists! — Tough 
— Cameos — The Elusive Raven — 
Praising the Brand Split — and "Big 
Show's Not So Bad" — Raw is Roids! — 
This Is a 411Wrestling-style Headline — 
and More...
December 20, 2002

by YOU, The OO Readers
Compiled by Jeb Lund from the OO Message Boards


[EDITOR'S NOTE: There were interesting thoughts I would have liked to include, but I left them out for two reasons: one, I'd found three long pieces with great ideas; two, many interesting posts had no punctuation at all, and it was hard to follow the ideas in them. For instance, if someone said, "he jobbed to hogan but hogan was what the fans wanted and his going over anyone but hogan at that point would have sucked so taker took care of him 'cept for the raw and that win was great for him," I got confused. I wasn't sure what was good for whom. Was it good for 'Taker? For Hogan? Or for "Him"?

In the end, I picked out comments that were interesting to any first-time reader. Hopefully, many of you will agree with me. And, before I forget, keep sending stuff in, and keep posting!]

An Open Letter to Wrestling Writers
I've recently turned 30, and I've been reading wrestling articles and "news" on the internet now since 1996. Back then, while there weren't nearly as many pages devoted to the sport as there are now, the quality of the writing was nearly always high. MiCasa, The News From Dayton, et al, provided some superb reading, and even Scott Keith hadn't yet degenerated into the bitter, bored, almost self-parodic online journalist of today. 
Hell, even X-Wrestling, love 'em or hate 'em, were fresh, fun and often far more insightful than they were given credit for.
However, I've grown increasingly fed-up and frustrated over the past couple of years with the contents of many web site's. It seems to me that making an attempt to provide original, debate-encouraging, thought-provoking and above all serious wrestling writing has been tossed aside in favor of articles that are simply a series of pathetic, risible, uninspired snooze-fests, in which 95% of so-called "columnists" spend their whole time engaged in what is nothing more than the equivalent of literary masturbation.
Frankly, if I want to read about the love-life of a geek, I will buy a copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary. If I want to read about some office-bound desk jockey's job, I will simply ask my colleague to start posting his own column on the 'net every day. If I want to read about why one writer hates another writer so much, I will call up my Pa and ask him for his thoughts on Ernest Hemmingway.
And why anyone would think that I, or anyone else on the face of this planet, would want to know anything at all about their roommate is beyond me. Hey, it's your life buddy — try and be proud of it, 'cos it's the only one you've got, just don't expect me to give a toss about it, 'kay?

It's time wrestling writers understood one or two things:
(1) You are not an insider. You do not know any major-league wrestlers personally; you do not hang out backstage at any shows, and you do not have access to "privileged" information. You pick up on rumours, hearsay and conjecture — nothing more. Stop trying to pretend you are a fountain of knowledge and the answer to all of our prayers. You report gossip, that's all. Report it as gossip and rumours, rather than news, and at least try to make it interesting and above all credible gossip. Frankly, the idea that Randy Savage is about to main-event Wrestlemania next year should be a ridiculous idea even to a five year old, so don't even bother posting it.
(2) Nobody from the WWE reads your column. Vince McMahon probably doesn't even know you exist; he doesn't give a toss about your opinion, and he's certainly not about to swoop down and sign you up because you think you know a good idea for an angle. Wrestling angles have been around for many, many years. Do you have any idea how hard is it to come up with something original and entertaining after all this time? It ain't easy bro, so why do you imagine that just because you say it would be cool for Kane to smear Triple H across all four corners of the ring that you've hit ratings gold? By all means, tell us how you think the product can be improved, but at least try to be rational and make sense, rather than just spout on that Triple H is the anti-christ and the root of all evil. Want to make things better? I can admire that. Inform me how, don't just hit me with "RVD is cool, and knows some good moves, and gets good pops, so they should put the belt on him." I can see that Booker T and Chris Benoit should be pushed harder and given a genuine, bona fide run at the top, but how? Don't just tell me you think they should be at the top of the promotion; tell me how they can be and why, and make it more valid than simply saying "because they rule." Be creative, be original, be inspired; don't be insipid.
(3) I imagine that nearly all of us readers go to wrestling websites to read about wrestling, not stocks and shares, or relationship problems or politics. So you write a wrestling column, buddy, good for you. Try to entertain me, try to inform me: don't preach to me, and don't assume just because you have a "platform" — no matter how small in the scheme of things — that I want to hear what you think about anything other than wrestling. And if you really, really must talk about something other than the squared circle, at least try to make it worth reading. I have no problem with diversity; I like the idea of a one-stop website where I can read game reviews and film reviews, but stick to the subject matter at hand. If you're going to write a wrestling news column, write wrestling news. And if you're struggling so much to fill the space every day that you need to waffle on about your love-life, then only post once every couple of days, or even longer if need be. Just cut the crap, okay?
      — Andy Logan [logan@bwfcworld.co.uk]
Regarding the Cryptic Comments Made About This Column
I'm more interested in [Jeb's] "evil plan" than I've been about WWE programming lately....
      — Eli
Use Your Voice, Dammit!
When a baby cries for the first time, it proves something. Not that its lungs can't accept the exposure to oxygen when it first enters the room. No, what it proves is that this child has a voice. And not just a voice, but rather a loud voice. One that people will notice and hear. And one it can use to get the reaction it wants from the people the child wants it from. So why is it that after that great moment of independence, of shouting out do so many people not use the voice they were born with?

[Take] a quick trip to any or all online discussions about wrestling, and you are bound to hear somebody say that they are going to stop watching wrestling. Dig a little deeper and you are sure to come across some expert proclaiming that Vince MacMahon has lost touch with [the] audience and doesn't know what they want. Continue on this quest for knowledge from the group with the most access to backstage and "insider" info and what do you get? Cries over Wrestler A not being pushed. Long and drawn out rants about how Wrestler B is holding down another wrestler to protect his spot. The bookers are stupid. This match sucked because of this, this interview fell flat because of that. The more you go, the more you see this group of fans using their voice. Except unlike the newborn child, these fans aren't using a boisterous scream. They are whimpering.

Watching the WWE's latest PPV, Armageddon, you would never guess that there were "smarks" out there who prayed at the alter of Benoit. No, because when arguably the greatest technical wrestler to ever walk on earth was in the middle of a spectacular match against Eddie Guerrero there was a chant heard from the crowd. A chant of "BORING... BORING... BORING..." that was clearly audible. And while this was going on, what did the die-hard WWE fan do??? Nothing. In Canada, there is no more beloved hockey team then the Toronto Maple Leafs. There is also [none] more hated. So when the Leafs play on the road in Canada, eventually without fail a "GO LEAFS GO" chant will start up. This is ALWAYS met with the fans of the home team cheering on the home team. These fans are USING their voice to show support for who they like. The fans in [Ft. Lauderdale] however seemed to not care. Maybe they were too into the match to care. Or maybe the fans that populate the internet have forgotten how to cry.

That's not to say they don't whine and complain, but they don't cry. When a baby cries out in the middle of the night, its target is the person the child will eventually call mom. When a wrestling fan complains on the internet, who is he (or very rarely she) complaining to? Very simply, they are complaining to other wrestling fans. How many people have you heard say they are going to stop watching RAW??? How often did you read about how somebody was disgusted about Katie Vick and they were never going to watch RAW again? But how many of those same people actually stopped watching RAW??? How many of them wrote letters to their cable companies saying how disgusted they were over seeing that on their TV? How many people wrote or called the WWE to complain??? Not that many. You see, despite how "smart" these fans are, they always whimper to the teddy [bear] they are in bed with. Hardly ever do they let 'er rip and let mom know that the load of crap in the diaper is just too damn much.

Now I'm not trying to say that I'm not guilty of the same crimes that most in the online wrestling community (perhaps the funniest phrase I've ever written) are guilty of. I complain as much as the next guy. Mostly I complain about others complaining. I'm the bigger kid telling the little kid to shut his mouth and stick his hand down the gutter so we continue playing hockey. But when I was pissed by the WWE for pushing Kane, I emailed them. When there were polls about Kane, or mentioned him in the least, I voted against Kane and in favor of something else. I used my voice. But not only did I use my voice, I directed [it] at the people who I needed to. When Trish Stratus was in the WWE's Babe Of The Year Contest, I tried to make sure that Trish won [in] every small way I could. How many people will likely bitch about something like "Milk-a-mania" being one of RAW's greatest moments when they didn't even bother to vote?

Some people like to call wrestling fans small children. Well in all honesty, that is insulting to children. Because they know not only how to USE the voice they were born with... they know how to direct that voice to the people who need to hear it.
      — BigFatGoalie
Cut Big Show and Albert Some Slack

I'm very impressed with the Big Show's work lately. So much so that I have no gripes with his spot as WWE Champ. Right now, I'd say he deserves it.

In my eyes, Paul Wight has never looked as good as he has this last month or two. I'm really digging his work. I like everything he's doing right now.

First of all, I like his new look. I think he wears that khaki coloured suit very well. Very cool. And his in ring outfit is a huge step forward from that old singlet he used to "wear."

Second, his mic work has been solid. Not brilliant, but definitely nothing to sneeze at. I find his lack of a catchphrase refreshing. Much like Edge, I'm not sure what he's gonna say when he gets the stick. I like that unpredictability. Nothing against Rocky or Austin, but sometimes it's nice to not know what's gonna be said ahead of time.

Yes, it helps that he has Heyman in his corner, but he hasn't stuttered or mumbled or anything. He's been clear, concise and has actually shown some emotion of the heel variety (jealousy, fear, anger, bulliness).

Finally, his in-ring performance has been pretty damn good. Solid. He's sold well, and I like some of the moves that he's performed lately. The way he worked on Edge's leg on SD was actually pretty convincing. Also his charisma and storytelling in the ring are better than ever. The way he taunted Edge and Angle in their tag match was great. And I loved the way he shied away from facing Kurt.

I mean, I never go into a Big Show match expecting him to move like Benoit or Angle or even Test or Kane. But he's far better than Yokozuna or Andre ever were. And these are the guys he should be compared to. I find him no worse than Taker lately anyway.

I think what we're seeing is the Show we should have always seen. I don't think the fact that he's been paired with Heyman can be underestimated. I think Pauly may be making something out of the Giant here.

I'm not saying keep the belt on him. I don't want that. But there's no reason we ever need to see him jobbing to Jeff Hardy again. He's proved to me he can still impress when booked right.

I'm not sold on Albert yet, but I'm not going to bash him like so many are, including the Rick. He's a pretty good worker for a big man. He's fast and has some original moves. I like his new finsher for instance.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it a wee bit hypocritical of Rick to call Albert one of his three least favorite wrestlers. (That's right, Rick, I'm talking to you!) I mean, just over a year ago, wasn't it Rick Scaia that was saying how impressed he was with Albert's development as an IC Champ when he was with X-Factor? I know he never went too far or impressed too much with that shot, but it seems to me that being placed in a stable with X-Pac and Justin Credible is pretty much a punishment, not a push.

I too would have liked to see Matt Hardy V. 1.0 pushed before A-Train, too. But he wasn't. I've bitched about it, now it's time to move on. Honestly, Albert is a decent second choice. It makes way more sense to me than Crash Holly, who somebody actually suggested the other day. Crash is funny, but he's not the knee-shattering type. I mean, c'mon!

The verdict is still out, but so far, if I try to stay unbiased, I'm not displeased with what I see.
      — Milky
Showing a Remarkable Bit of Prescience
And.. yeah it seems like we've got some talent here on the message boards. I wouldn't mind reading an article written by the boys.
      — Maestrom4

I think it's obvious that there's a few of the guys from down here in message-board land that would be interested in trying it [their own column] out.
      — Bonestein (Laurer-Waltman)
Applauding the Brand Split
...The split is working. Granted, it got off to a very slow start and a lot of the execution and continuity has been sloppy, but I think we've seen a lot of good things come from it.

Yes, the splitting up of the tag teams was dumb. I understand that they needed to thin out the division to give some new teams some room, but Vince was way too overzealous. Yes, break apart the Hardyz. Maybe the Duds. But why the APA? Neither Faarooq nor Bradshaw are over enough to warrant singles careers. They would have been better off putting over young guys like Billy & Chuck or Jamal & Rosie. Why not let the tag titles roam like the other belts?

However, if you want some concrete proof of why the split is a good thing, then look no further than guys like Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero. Do you really think that these guys would have been given the chance that they have been to showcase their abilities on such an overcrowded roster? Both would [have been] relegated to the cruiser division for life.

Without the split we wouldn't see guys like Edge, Benoit, Kane and RVD getting main-event shots. Maybe one or two of these guys, but definitely not all four. I for one think that Angle, Benoit, Edge, Eddy, Rey, Booker, Jericho, Steiner, RVD and Kane all deserve to be main eventing. Fuck the midcard. But would they get a fair shake with HHH, Taker, Michaels, Brock, Big Show on the same program? No way. What about guys like Matt Hardy, Cena and the Hurricane? Would they get more than 4 minutes a month of TV time?

I think that the SD Six will get old after a while, and I think both rosters have a depth problem. But that could be fixed by the further development of Steiner and Bautista, and with the returns of Taker, Nash, Rhyno, Kanyon and Orton. Also, we know the Rock will return again (if only for a few weeks), and who's to say with Austin and Hogan?

I'm open to dividing up the PPVs, but I don't think it's necessary. Would I like to see one supercard of all the best talent from both shows mixing it up? Yes, I would. But I think that's what will make the Rumble and Wrestlemania more special than ever now. Granted, I'm not sure what they're going to do with the winner of the Rumble and KotR, but I suspect Vince has a plan.

Give it a chance. We complain that the WWE has no long term plans, but then we, the fans, display the attention span of 3 year old ADD sufferers on speed.
       — Milky
More on the Brand Split
Look at all the new faces in the main event: Brock Lesnar, RVD, Big Show. And [that adds] to those who already are there. And getting very close [are] Booker, Edge, Rey. In my opinion, the split has worked very well.

We could have more main eventers, but Hogan's gone, Rock's gone, Austin's gone, Taker's out, Nash's out, but none of those have to do with the split itself. And if they were all around right now, We wouldn't be seeing as much of Edge, Rey, Angle, Guerrerros, Booker, Y2J, Christian, Storm, and Regal.

For Smackdown, especially, and even for Raw, these last 3 weeks have been quite good.

It split up popular tag teams that were getting stale. The split was just what the Dudleys needed. [It gave] us some time off to miss them, and now that they're back, we love them that much more. APA, really, it's not that big of a deal to me that they're done. Hardys? They've been trying to split them long before the expansion. This is the first time it's worked (for Matt, more then Jeff, surprisingly).
     — Salmonjunkie
Dave "Bautista" Davidson
I read the Rick say that Kane's appeal has been watered down so much that he can't give the rub to Batista. Well, I disagree. Look at what beating Kane has done for Albert... and Batista is EVERY BIT as good a worker as him!
      — Abdullah

I think Batista is doomed to fail. They're giving him the EXACT same push as they did Brock, and that's not going to sit well with fans. Just substitute dark hair for blonde, and Ric Flair for Paul Heyman. Yay, he's strong. With guys like Brock and Steiner around, that doesn't impress people anymore. Batista just feels like a rip-off with a really bad entrance theme.
     — Denethor

And maybe they can start calling Batista the "B train...." Oooh! Oooh! Wait! "The Bat-mobile!" Even better! Shit, I've used up all my exclamation points.
      — Abdullah, again
Tough Enough
Cut Jamie, definitely. I've heard the trainers say she's got the WWE "look." I'm not sure what that look is supposed to be, but it's not something I want to see on my TV.
      — Laner
Ice To See You — In a Cameo on WWE TV
[My favorite cameo] had to be Drunken Arnie schilling his new movie, End of Days, opening Thanksgiving weekend at a theatre near you. Only it went something like this: "Dat Kane hab a mask wit fire! Just like da debil een my noo moobie Ent ob Days (which iz opening dis tanksgibing at a theatah neah yoo)!"

I never laughed so hard in my entire life. Every time he was even near a camera, he had to segue the action going on with his movie. It didn't matter who was in the ring doing what, it always (in some bizzare fashion) came back to that awful film.

You can have your 4 star matches, but I'd kill for another Arnie cameo. For about a month, me and a buddy at work were relating everything to End of Days. I hope and pray for his return for a drunken schilling of T3.
      — Krydor
On Raven's Rumored Departure/Cut
I think they missed the boat on this guy. He could've tagged with a bunch of different guys: Dreamer, Saturn, Kanyon. The WWE made him one-dimensional, just a hardcore wrestler. And with the hardcore belt gone they [had] no idea how to use him. My favorite Raven moment from this run was when he challenged Kurt Angle to a match and said, "ECW RULES." To which Angle replied, "You're on! Oh, and by the way, WWF rules."
      — Maestrom4

My favorite "Raven moment" was during his WCW run.... He was in a four-way hardcore brawl. Near the end of the match, he was cleaning house with a boat oar. As he stood in the middle of the ring [he] knocked the last guy through the ropes, [and] he thrust the oar down by his side as if sheathing a sword.... The crowd popped mightily.
      — Laner, who is apparently partially made of mashed potatoes
Re-actualizing the Unsuperstar and Unperson
It could be just me, but in HHH's video, they showed quite a bit of Austin getting hit. Usually when someone leaves on bad terms like Austin did, WWE tries to limit any and all references to that person, basically making them (as Orwell states) an "unperson." There are many other people that HHH has faced that they could have put in that video montage, but I think they purposely put Austin in just to get Austin back, in the eyes of the public. But then again, I may be looking [reading too] much into it.
      — Cpdevine1
A Brief Feuilleton On Vicious Chicken
I pushed the red button on the remote I had brought to class. At first, nothing happened. The teacher continued to prattle on. The dead girl continued to freeze over. My girlfriend continued to shiver. The students behind us continued to moan. I was still very bored.

Then, the classroom door burst open. There they stood, looking angry, thirsty for blood. My loyal army of killer chickens. "Bwak-AWK!" said the biggest one in a no-nonsense tone. The professor stopped and stared at the chickens in stunned silence. "Attack!" I yelled.

The chickens charged. There were easily five dozen of them, and they invaded the frigid room, three or four at a time, all clucking mindlessly. They lashed out at everything except for me and my girlfriend. Most of them charged the professor, although some strayed. One chicken ran directly into the small fire. One pecked at the eyeballs of the dead girl. A few raided students' backpacks for cash, jewelry, and portable CD players.

"You aren't composed of silica!" The geology professor cried in rage. "Get out of here!"

"BWAK-ARK!" One chicken screamed with murder in his voice. The professor was throwing rocks at the chicken. "Quartz! Limestone! Magnemite!" He cried righteously. But the chickens were too fast and too many. They circled the teacher, and although chickens cannot laugh, I knew they were laughing on the inside. One chicken pecked at the back of the professor's ankle. "Oceanic lithosphere!" He cried in pain. Another chicken dead-pecked his kneecap. "Divergent plate boundary!" He sobbed. A third chicken nailed him directly in the genitals.

"My little volcano!" He shrieked.

It was too much for him. He collapsed, and the chickens were upon him. 
      — ChrisIsGood517
Angle as Heel
Kurt is brilliant as a heel; people love to tell him he sucks, and he loves being called an asshole. You can see it in his face; he thrives on being a heel. The crowd loves it when he comes out; he slowly builds up face appeal. It usually culminates like it did on Sunday — [he lets] people pop for him, then they turn him heel again. It is the best way.
      — Timmy
Hardcore and Up-Front (but Understandable) Reactions to the Triple H/Steiner Raw Confrontation
Tonight was another fair Raw, even with Triple H being the hog he is, because the minute Steiner came out I thought [that] Steiner might just say, "Well, you know getting fired from here would be cool," and then shoot on Triple H. To be honest, I know many fans that would enjoy seeing Triple H getting shot on and removed "forever" from the WWE. I kept hoping that maybe Steiner was shooting in the ring, hoping for Trips to lose his cool, so Steiner could take him out right there and then. I wouldn't be shocked if this Main Event at Royal Rumble doesn't take place because Steiner ain't jobbing to nobody — and maybe he'll kill Triple H and rid him from stinking up my TV ever again.
      — Bud Ellock
Some Stats for The Last Few Weeks
Most Frequent Subject: Austin's worth v. Triple H's worth
Most Spammer-Like Poster: metallkid
Biggest Happenings: Eli and Denethor hit 1,000 posts. The server surrenders.


Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

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