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CRASHING THE BOARDS
Memories of Titles — Kendrick! — The Rock's "People" — 
Heyman Must Be Catholic — Devo, Orton, The Brooklyn 
Bastard, Booker — My God, Triplets? — Hurricane's 
Superpower Obviously Isn't "Purpose" — Please, 
kill me... — Push Christian — Suplex Machines — 
And Whatever!!!

March 7, 2003

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

 

[Editor's Note: I guess I'll maintain this little canard that what I say here matters or entices anyone to read further. But, really, if you're already here, is one more fecund niblet of huckstering going to be the thing that pushes you over the edge and makes you read all of the following? Obviously not. No, the only sort of thing that would make you read on is if I told you that one of the words, in one of the headlines, was a link to an absolutely fantastic website. (And one of them is.) Or maybe you're just reading to see if your name is in here. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Kane! Goddamned media whore. — Ed.]

O'Haire Is Dead, But I'm Not Telling You... Nevermind
Scary thing to think about: they put all this effort into making promos and creating a look for this guy, hype him up for a couple weeks, but who has had more screen time?—Brian Kendrick, who is just supposed to be the guy waiting for his break, willing to do anything. Nathan Jones has even appeared in the ring (however unimpressive it was).
— cpdevine1

WrestleMania: "Bring me a mocha, my Ray-Bans and a sun hat — or an umbrella. Oh, and my 'Temple of the Dog' shirt. I'm going hungry."
I'm going to go off on a bit of a tangent here, so sorry in advance to anyone in Seattle.... Safeco field is open air, yes?

Does anybody else think this will kill the atmosphere in the early matches? I mean looking at all the really big WrestleManias, the crowd never really got going until it started getting dark. I think it is fair to say the big stadium WrestleManias sucked big until the evening haze began to set in (except SkyDome, as this has a dark roof).

The pacing and order of the matches will therefore be vital. Whoever is on first is going to have a very hard time getting the crowd involved in the matchup without the usual light shows to build the event up.

Am I the only one who cannot see "main-event players" like Jericho/HBK, Vince/Hogan, Rock/Austin, HHH/Booker or Lesnar/Angle going on too early? The crowd will barely be able to see them in the Seattle sunshine. So who will be sacrificial lambs?
— AnglesGoldMedals

Well, seeing as how I live in Seattle and am going to the show.... From what I've heard, the plan is that if the weather is great, to have the roof open. However, during the week, they're going to do tests and whatnot around 6 p.m. each night to see what the lighting and other issues may be, and the outcome of those tests will determine if the roof will be open or closed. I should note that they can close the roof during the show, as it only takes seven minutes [to do so].
— SuperRob


I'm Reminded of a Column I Read Once on OnlineOnslaught...
As a complete mark for the wrestling of the 1980s, I must say that titles in general are pretty worthless these days. It's not enough of an angle any more to have someone want to kick someone's ass simply because they are the champion.

There was, a long time ago, this mystical aura surrounding the titles. I remember the pride guys like Barry Windham, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson would have in holding their US or TV titles, cupped in their hands, like it was their baby, while cutting promos. These days, the belts are around wrestlers' heads (α la Bubba Ray), on backwards (α la Tito Ortiz), or just casually tossed aside before the match begins. Does the ref even show the belt to the challenger before the match starts? Or hold the belt high in the air like they used to? I forget.

I long for the days where I didn't know that the I-C title went to a guy who was a midcarder. Shoot, I always thought that the IC title/US champ was the number-one contender! The European title started out with a lineage of the British Bulldog, Shawn Michaels, HHH, and Owen Hart, before it went to shit.

I'm thinking that the writers pretty much have viewed titles as props to be used as part of the presentation. I think this view is a horrible mistake. Pursuit of the 25 pounds of gold is what all athletes and fans can relate to: to be the absolute best. It's the American way. Hopefully, they can turn Booker's pursuit of HHH to be more than just revenge for Goldy, more than just a pursuit to be SIX-TIME SIX-TIME SIX-TIME (er, sorry) world champ. No, I'd rather it be a pursuit to wear the gold simply because it signifies that he's the best. Period. What other motivation should their be? Shoot, if you're not in it to be the best, why be in it at all?

That's why when it's time for Chris Benoit to claim his run at the World Title, I hope they make it a memorable run, a run that culminates in a 40-minute main event with a clean victory, so that we can be reminded about how much these belts can mean, to the fans and especially to the performers.

The belts mean little these days, but I think they should and could mean everything. Maybe its that ten-year-old inside of me just trying to get a bit of his childhood back, but damn it, bring back a guy like Arn Anderson, build a minor title around him like the TV title did, and show us that these titles aren't just props, but that they're measures of success, of pride, and that they fucking mean something to those who wear them. I mean, seriously, the way Kurt Angle's character is portrayed, does anyone have any question what's more important: the gold around his waist or the gold around his neck?
— Icon

I'm thinking back to the first half of 2000, when HHH and Rock had a running storyline about the title. HHH was a cowardly heel champion with a large faction behind him (or, should I say "facgime"?). Rock was a "lone wolf" in silk shirts that, according to Lawler, got more and more expensive every week. I think they were up to about $3000 apiece by the end.

And every week, Rock would come out and insist that he deserved a title shot. And HHH would weasel his way out of it by making Rock fight DX, or someone foreboding, in order to earn what he already "deserved" (in the eyes of the fans). Once, Rock had to beat Hunter in a non-title match in order to earn a title shot the following week. And of course, HHH and the facgime would consistently screw the Rock out of "his" gold.

Now that sort of thing can get the title over... the idea of a quest for the title. Whether it's beating a different guy each week, for a month, in order to earn a shot, and then getting screwed out of it (either the shot or the title) — or a tournament, or something that centers around how much someone wants the title.

I think they've got some good heat of this kind with both Booker T and Brock Lesnar. Lesnar's is watered down a bit by the whole Heyman thing, but still.... On the other hand, Lord help us, they still have four weeks to introduce HHH's dog Lucy into the title hunt.
— Murray

The problem is not number of title defenses, it is number of opponents. As it is now, for the most part, the title gets defended against one guy; then win or lose, the champ moves on to the next contender. For example RVD v. HHH: they had their PPV match, which HHH won with the help of Flair. After that match, they both moved on to other things, but they could have kept the storyline going and [had] RVD fight HHH again and continue to another shot — fighting against the odds and trying to keep Flair at bay. Feuds are not long enough and can be strung out much longer. At the rate they go, the champ has faced everyone within the year, and there are no more matches where someone faces the champ for the first time.
— cpdevine1

January and February 2003: HHH v. Steiner
October and September 2002: Brock v. Taker
September and August 2001: Austin v. Angle, Booker v. Rock
April and May 2000: HHH v. Rock
January and February 2000: HHH v. Foley

Three years, and on only six occasions has the world title been the subject of a feud that's lasted longer than a month. The problem here is that the writers are afraid of taking a long-term gamble, just in case it doesn't pay off immediately. Last year, RVD lost when Flair turned on him: why not have a HHH v. RVD rematch the following month, but add a stipulation? For example: a cage match, so that Flair can't interfere. Or whip out the old "Province of Quebec" rule from 1993: that way Flair could interfere, but wouldn't want to, as it would result in HHH losing the title.

(The "Province of Quebec Rule" was used in January 1993, when the Steiner Brothers were in a feud with the Quebecers. It was a simple stipulation, where the title could change hands on a DQ or count-out. The heel Quebecers used this to their advantage on an episode of Raw, getting a less Freakzilla-like Scott Steiner DQ'd in order to win the Tag Titles.)
— Censor The Raven


A Decent Solution to This Recent Spate of Wrestler Accidents
If only Vince could find some way to get rid of the Wrestling from WWE, then no one would get injured.
— d-rock


Paul Heyman is the WWE Version of Big Daddy Dudley
Did Heyman really need to add A-Train to his group? In my opinion, he's just watering down what was once a very promising stable. Adding a cruiser or a woman would have been one thing, but do they need another monster with the Big Show already there?

I have no problem with Albert maintaining a loose affiliation with these guys, but I think it should have stayed unofficial. Heyman is getting over-exposed. Albert may need a voice, but why Heyman? The result is that it's just not as unique to have him as a spokesperson anymore.

[And] why did Albert need to be an explicit member? Why not just keep it as a casual alliance? It made it a little more interesting that way because you weren't guaranteed that he was going to interfere in all of Big Show or Team Angle's matches. Now it's just a given. That seems more dull.
— Milky


"Get your ass to Mars" — Or to Any Cattle-Call Audition
Just watching Good Day Live, and they are on location where people are trying out for the new reality show, where they become the next action hero. They were talking to a bunch of people in line, then they got to Hawk, who said, "You've heard of the Rock, now make way for the Hawk." I died laughing. He didn't make it on the wrestling reality show; now he is going to try to make it on the "Action Hero" reality show.
— cpdevine1


Kendrick! Worthy Kendrick! Little Emo-Haired Kendrick! Or: "This guy must have every MXPX and Get Up Kids album at home."
He's not puny the same way that Spike is. He just looks like a kid. He looks like he's fifteen. I attribute it to the hair, but there might be more to it. He looks very young.

And yeah, his match with Angle was really entertaining. The guy can bump, and he's got some good speedy offensive moves. I liked how he did the enzuiguri without Kurt even grabbing his foot. It looked like he was using Kurt's hip as a step ladder and then took his other foot and gave him a vicious kick.
— Slade

I think the WWE is playing up the young rookie thing, so they've probably got him dressing to make him look as young as possible. It's a good angle with a lot of potential if they do it right. I was impressed by his match with Kurt. He seemed prepared to take some nasty-looking bumps. I hope they have him steadily work his way up through the ranks of the cruiserweights. They could have it as a storyline that runs for months, as he finally gets to work here, and his matches get better and better, until eventually he's challenging for the cruiserweight title.
— eoghann

I hope that it was more of Kendrick being good against Kurt than it was Kurt helping him look good. If it is the latter, however, kudos should be given to Kurt for working so hard to make the match look the way it did. He sold the offense as being effective, yet he got the point across that Kendrick is supposed to be young and inexperienced. Hence Angle's after-match critique of Kendrick in the ring.
— BoerboelLVR


What to Do with This Sudden Devolution — Besides Whip It
Well, they can run an injury angle with Booker T and a returning Goldust punking out Orton and Batista backstage. ("You back down to 34%....sucka!") The potential storyline of Triple H, bereft of backup to hide behind, losing at WrestleMania, is good.

I have to say, though, I bet this news disheartens Vince McMahon. Orton and Batista seem like prototypes for what he would want to push, and I always thought the long-term plan was for one of them to eventually turn on Triple H and become a main eventer as a result.
— PostModernBoy

Does anyone else feel this to be reminiscent of the nWo in 2002? Hall got fired, Nash got injured, and they dropped the whole thing. They tend to allow history to repeat itself in times like this, so I'm willing to bet it's the end of Evolution.

On the other hand, Randy might be able to play some sort of valet character (he's got working in a cast in his blood). All it would take is a good worker to sub for Batista, and they could maybe keep it going.
— Murray

I doubt they'll drop the Evolution storyline for the simple fact that they haven't hit their stride yet, and there is still interest in where it can go. While I see the parallel, the nWo was a pretty dull shadow of its former glory. In any case, we should see what the results from their check-ups are first.

Either way, having Booker decimate Orton and Batista backstage (with or without Goldust's help) is actually a pretty good positive to take from all this. As long as one or both of these guys are capable selling a decent beatdown, if Booker does this convincingly, this could be just about the last piece of the puzzle to making him a very legitimate and strong contender to the World Title. Having Triple H act worried about all this can also go a long way. I've almost convinced myself that the positives and negatives may just work out about even. Hope Randy and Dave recover quickly.

On a side note, with as much flak as we give the writers, this is a perfect example of how long-term planning can mean nothing in wrestling. This is a tough business on those writing the scripts. I almost feel sorry for those guys, knowing that they're going to be busting their asses through the night and weekend on this.
— Milky


Randy Orton: Likely to Have More Potential in a Wheelchair Than You Can Shake a Crutch At
Orton is becoming wrestling's Eric Lindros. Lots of hype and interest in the beginning, but if he continues to get hurt all the time, no one will care. [But] instead of being known as the guy who used to date Kate Hudson, Randy will be forever known as the hot guy who ripped his pants.
— cuddlemonkey

I think this could actually be good for Orton. Hell, even if he isn't really injured again, at some point he could constantly fake injuries and argue about being unable to compete because he's only up to X%. He could just argue that he's the future of the business and that wrestling at anything below 100% is a disservice to himself and the fans. It's a totally dickish heel thing to do, and could get him heat with the smarks as well as the average fans.
— angstboy


You Think Triple H Is Bad? Read This:
The Brooklyn Brawler was playing backstage politics. He was the WWF's number-one jobber for years. He kept the spotlight off other great jobbers like Dwayne Gill and Barry Horowitz. Every time a guy came into WWF, that was the first match. I'm telling you, the first J.O.B should have been going to Barry Horowitz.
— DennisIsEvil


Big Poppa Edge
Someone said they couldn't see the silver lining in Edge's surgery and recovery time. Personally, I think there may just be one....

He could use the time off to get seriously pumped. I'm not talking Steiner/HHH "I'm so large I can't dress myself," but he could use another 20 pounds of muscle. He's got the height, the looks and the skills. But personally there's something in the back of my head that keeps me from taking him seriously as a heavyweight title contender due to his lankiness.

Rey Mysterio is a good example: during a long layoff in WCW, due to injury, Rey put on a good 15-20 pounds of muscle. Not so much that it hampered his movement in the ring, but enough to where it made him look like a credible threat. If Edge could do the same during his time off, it might make the audience take him more seriously when he does return.
— Laner


Shut Those Little Bastards Up (You Decide Who He's Talking About)
My wife and I were blessed with triplets three weeks ago. None of the little tykes is on the same sleep pattern. As such, a large chunk of my time is spent staring glaze-eyed and slack-jawed at nothing in particular, as one of the little poop-machines expresses displeasure at around 120 decibels. This past Saturday, I found myself staring glaze-eyed and slack-jawed at Velocity... again, nothing in particular.

Don't get me wrong. The guys on the show worked as if they were on the big stage. Rey and Shannon Moore's match could have easily been on Smackdown! I would imagine that quite a few in-ring gems are never seen simply because they are on Velocity.

But... the announcers.

Josh "Jackie Gayda is tougher than I" Mathews is the single most annoying person currently on television. This guy puts an emphasis on everything happening in the ring with a loud "Oooh!!!!!" Collar and Elbow tie-up: "Oooh!!!" Right step: "Oooh!!!" Left step: "Oooh!!!" Inverted spinning reverse Samoan tilt-a-whirl eye gouge: "Oooh!!!" Glaring scowl: "Oooh!!!" It sounds as if there is a bare metal wire wrapped around his bean bag and that some guy in the back gleefully pushes a button each time a wrestler does something even vaguely looking like a move. I developed a small facial tic listening to his play-by-play.

The Cat. For the love of God! What happened to this guy?!? The Cat was one of the most consistently entertaining things about WCW while he was the commissioner, especially with the Jung Dragons as his "Cato." This guy was a great, spontaneous worker on the stick. Now, he literally reads off a sheet and allows Mathews to dictate the flow of the commentary. Looking at the guy, he seems resigned to his fate. His only saving grace is the look he gives Not Tough Enough everytime he says, "Oooh!!!" It looks as if he wants to give Mathews a taste of the back of his hand.

I would like to give this show a chance simply because I know I will be awake from now until 2005. Smackdown's undercard is as interesting as the upper, in my opinion, given that they are properly matched up. I remember reading in the recaps that Heat had a show-specific storyline between Raven and D-Lo. I would like to see the same on Velocity... but maybe it's just the coffee talking
— SpinningToeHold

I thought Marc Lloyd was doing a decent job. The one Velocity I saw with him on play-by-play and Michael Cole on color was just about the best damn combo on TV at the time. But maybe they just had a nostalgic old-school kind of feel that I liked, but that the WWE thought was unadvisable. Besides, who ever heard of a senior announcer playing "second fiddle" to the new guy? I'd guess the only reason Josh is there instead of Lloyd is the "name" value of him being "Not Tough Enough."
— Murray


"Surely this man is such a fan favorite that doing nothing with him will be fine. After all, he will make 'nothing' electrifying! And while we're at it, look at how this wax protects this car even when it's lit on fire!"
Rey being on Velocity is a demotion. It's as much of a demotion as if he worked in the cruiserweight division. Now I rather the cruiserweight title not be deemed an immediate demotion... and I'd rather Velocity/Heat not be an immediate demotion. But realistically, it is. It means the WWE didn't have the storylines/drive to give you something to do on the big show, so they put you on the second show. Rey had nothing to do on Smackdown, so he headlined Velocity. RVD had no Raw exposure (unless you consider his early dismissal in the Battle Royal or his role as valet for Kane) so he headlined Heat. It doesn't mean either one is there to stay, but at least for Rey it's a bad sign. After all, he's steadily been dropped down the card since his debut.
— LuckyLopez


A Surprising Reason to Not Watch Heat
Seriously, one of the main reasons I don't watch Heat is because Lita is on there. She's absolutely horrible on commentary (with Coach being hardly any better), as well as barely attractive. Lita for ratings. Wonderful.
— MrJustinB

Lita just grates. She sounds like she's chewing her tongue the whole time, and very little of what she says makes much sense to me. As for Coach... *shudder*
— eoghann

Lita clearly doesn't want to be there. She is often outright rude or nasty to Coach, calling him on his mistakes, and it personally amuses me.
— LuckyLopez


The Worst Has Happened: WWE's Short-Term Plan Paid Off
Well, for all those people bitching that Austin wouldn't help the WWE, I think you were wrong. Considering the WWE [this Monday] got its highest rating in almost a year, I think this shows that there is definite interest in a Rock v. Austin feud. Even if this only has a lasting power of four weeks, that is still four weeks to showcase Booker T, Hurricane, Jericho, Triple H and every other Raw star, and to get fans back into wrestling.

A ratings increase will not be kept by just Austin, but rather in how the rest of the show evolves during the honeymoon period Austin's return brings to Raw.
— bigfatgoalie


Please, Jesus (or the WWE Facsimile Thereof), Just Let Booker Win Against The Rock Next Monday
Booker has to go over Rock next week, since I assume this is how they are going to build up Booker (since Evolution has de-evolved into limpy and cripple). If Rock wins and still chooses to fight Austin, then Booker loses his momentum and appears to have backed into WrestleMania because the real contender has better things to do. If the Rock wins and picks to go after gold, then what do you do with Booker? (A match v. Austin?) Again, Booker loses his face momentum.

Rocky needs to job to Booker, and job clean. Booker then looks more and more like a viable rival for the gold, and Rocky still goes on to face Austin at WrestleMania.
— OOMike


Dear God, Won't Someone Think of the Suplex Machines?
Benoit was out; Edge and Kurt are down for the count.... So when will Eddie need neck surgery?

Jesus, as much as we love all of the suplex-intensive wrestling matches, maybe it's time to do away with them. I love matches that are fast and have lots of German suplexes and overhead belly-to-belly suplexes and gutwrench suplexes, but all of the guys that work these kinds of matches are going down to neck injuries. More of the elite Smackdown workers are getting put on the shelf by their 5-Star suplex specials than workers have been put on the shelf for botched piledrivers. I realize that a piledriver ban was put in place, but had there not been one, I doubt that neck injuries sustained via botched piledrivers would have been a recurring problem.

In considering a ban on the stiff suplex match style, we have to determine what is more important to us — weekly 5-star wrestling matches, or the health of the men performing these weekly triumphs. I would welcome a reduction in the frequency of certain kinds of suplexes used during matches, if it keeps the performers that we love to watch healthy and means that fewer, or no more, of them will require surgery that will put them in a neckbrace and take years off of their careers (on top of the year they miss in recovery time for having had neck surgery).
— Slade


If He Could Be Turned... Would He Be a Powerful Asset?
I'd like to see Benoit get the shot, but I really think that Benoit has finally found his niche, and to turn him now would be counterproductive. Benoit has never really been over as a heel, so why push him in that direction again? Hell, before now he's never been over as a face either. The difference is that the fans have finally started to cheer for him because he works his ass off in the ring. That's just something that you can't turn into boos.

The Rock or Kurt Angle can subtly change their schtick to become heels. Benoit, however, is more like trying to turn Foley, if Foley were to have no mic skills. You just can't do it properly. A certain percentage of fans will cheer him no matter what, and the rest will just not care because — outside of the ring — he can't manipulate a crowd well enough to be a big-time heel.

I say Brock should be the one to make the turn. I think he works better as a monster heel anyway. I also think that having Benoit as the underdog challenger makes this feud way more interesting.
— Milky

Can Benoit main event? Yes he can. Should he main event? Well... why not? He's more talented than quite a few past and some present main eventers. But, personally, I'd rather see him do it as a heel. I can't really say why, except that the crossface submission always seemed more of a heel finisher. The hold looks like it hurts, and when Benoit is in full heel mode, he always really looks like he enjoys inflicting that pain on his opponent. It's the kind of finisher that you don't let go of as soon as the bell rings.
— BoerboelLVR

If Benoit main events, it should be as a babyface. He is respected enough to be champion, and that 10 pounds of gold makes you respect him even more. When Triple H first challenged for the title I thought, "No way this guy can main event." A month after he won the title, I saw him in a whole new light. He was a legitimate threat.
— metallikid


Holy Hurri-Filler, Raw Creative Team! Now Is A Resolution to This Up, Up in the Air — or Is This Just Lazy Bullshit Again?
What the hell is the point of this? I mean, yeah, it's funny and all, but are they actually going to have some sort of feud, with a blowoff? Or are they going to waste time with Hurricane until Rock goes off to film his next movie, thus leaving Hurricane with nothing to do?

As it is, Rock is scheduled to face Booker T next week (where I think Rock will lose, somehow). And then, we have Rock-Austin at WrestleMania. We're still not sure if Rock will be around for the next PPV after WrestleMania. If so, is this where we'll see Rock-Hurricane?

As much as I enjoy seeing Hurricane on my TV, and as much as I enjoy seeing him trade barbs with Rock-E, I just don't see Rock-Hurricane as a truly viable program, for either guy. [My] first impression is that it would be a great way to give the rub to Hurricane, and make him seem to be much more than just some lower-midcard jobber/comedy act. But, can anyone truly buy into Hurricane being a real threat for the Rock? I sure as hell can't.
— Thom

Hurricane is cooling his heels. He's fun, so they let him act as a foil to the Rock. He gives Rock something to do since Austin is being held off a bit. He gives Hurricane a little bit of exposure.

Of course I'm willing to bet that when the Rock goes back to Hollywood, Hurricane goes back to... where the hell has Hurricane been? It strikes me the same as Kane/HHH, where probably the sole redeeming part of the Katie Vick angle was Hurricane getting a little exposure.

Helms has to escape the gimmick... Man... ESCAPE THE GIMMICK! I dug 3 Count and would love a Moore/Helms team... but neither one was all that cool until they stopped singing and dancing.
— LuckyLopez

I would be very happy seeing Hurricane and Rock get just one match before Rocky goes AWOL again. I don't expect a program, nor do I think it realistic to do so. But we are still roughly three Raws from WrestleMania, and I think its pretty safe to expect that Helms will issue a challenge for a match. Of course this all hinges on whether or not they plan to keep Rock and Austin from fisticuffs until the big day. I think with the buildup the two have been having, a match would be Hurri-cool!!
— 2HoT


Kyle Maxwell Meticulously Recaps a Lesnar v. Goldberg Match. (And the Scariest Thing of All Is... the Accuracy.)
"By GAWD, it's a BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX! GOLDBERG IS BROKEN IN HALF!!! No, he's up! SPEAR! SPEAR! Bah Gawd, NOBODY kicks out of that! He's going for the Jackhammer folks... REVERSED! F-5! He's HOOKED THE GAWDDAMN TIGHTS! GAWDDAMN HIM! GAWDDAMN LESNAR! The bastard STEALS one!"
— OO Kyle


"Is Booker over?" — a question ripe for endless baseless pontificating. But, hey, it turned out all right. Seriously. Keep reading.
I am all for the Booker push. Look at it like this: we are heading into a WrestleMania in which, to my mind, there are three (possibly four) matches that could be classed as Main Event. I don't mean workrate classics; I mean star power. There is much less emphasis on one particular match, usually the title match, to be the main-event show stealer.

Personally, Rock/Austin will be the main match for me; then I want to see Hogan kill Vince — a guilty pleasure. Then I hold Angle/Brock and HHH/Booker on the same level. I think Booker T deserves his spot in this selection of matches. He is over, and this is his chance to take the title from HHH and run with it. The fed were right not to let Steiner have it, but I see Booker being ready and I honestly see him getting the win.

It is not like the entire PPV depends upon this match.
— Timmy

I think Booker is over, but one of the things that I always thought held him back was his gravelly voice. He's got "BigShow-itis" in that whenever he tries to talk with any degree of volume, his words tumble together into an oft incoherent bonanza of syllables.

Now, I can understand him fine; it's just I bet if I were a casual fan or someone at the arena, it would be hard as hell to understand what he was saying. But he is over, just give him the push and the cheers will get louder; I'm certain of it.
— Icon

Oh yeah, Booker is over to the fans. He's over to the smarts. But I'm with the guy who says that he's been rushed to the top too quick. It's why the IC title is missed a bit, because a good run with that could have helped. Of course the irony is that when he first came in, if WWE had pushed him from where he left off — instead of squashing him as a comedy act — he probably would already be in the main-event picture.
— LuckyLopez

Yes, Booker is over. It's a shame that the WWE has suddenly had so many legends like HBK, Austin, Rock and Hogan all return recently, or he might be even more over.

Last night's crowd was fairly apathetic to Booker, but it was a fairly shitty crowd. Also, they were obviously more excited for Austin and Rock than they were for Booker. It's the same as Rock/Hogan overshadowing the title match at last WrestleMania; some acts are just tough to follow. [Or precede.] Speaking of which, Jericho didn't get a huge response from the crowd either (despite a wicked segment), but no one seems to be discussing his value or overness.

I'd say he's the best option for Triple H at WrestleMania, and I think by the time he wins the Title (which I currently expect he will), he'll be one of the most popular guys in the company.
— Milky


Since The Rock Is a Hollywood Star, Should He Have an Entourage?
How about Goldust? Wasn't he originally billed as being from Hollywood or something? He wouldn't even have to be a legit member of the entourage, just a hanger on. Of course this would only provide comic relief for the angle. Also, if there were an entourage, it would seem reasonable that he also might be followed around by a group of photographers and press reporters, led by Gregory Helms perhaps.
—
BoerboelLVR

On one hand, you have Gregory Helms in the entourage (press agent, maybe?), while you could still have Hurricane as Rock's arch-nemesis. Of course, Rock seems to know, as well as all the other wrestlers, that Hurricane is Helms.

Hell, you could bring in Jackie Gayda as Rock's own personal Ho. Woo-hoo! Or not.... [And] maybe Rock could take Coachman under his wing, trying to make him cool. Good luck, Rock.
— Thom

• Jackie Gayda is his "Personal Assistant," so long as she doesn't actually wrestle.
• Put 3MW in suits, and they can be his bodyguards.
• Rico is his stylist (duh).
• Teddy Long can be his manager.
• Evil French Referee: Rock's personal referee.
— JJBRWESQ


Christian: Not Just an Enemy of Saladin Anymore!
You know, with the sudden injury title wave, I was thinking: if anybody really has the chance to benefit from this, Christian's gotta be one of them. It's always confused me why the WWE cut him off at the knees after his feud with Edge. I mean, if ever a feud had an awesome back story and good heat, that was it.

He's got all the right makings of a major heel (actually, interesting side note, if he were to win a world title, he would be the only superstar to have won EVERY single title that a man is eligible to win), but something seems to be holding him back. Personally, I think it's being paired with Jericho. They look too much alike, and their personalities are too similar; so Jericho is constantly upstaging him.

Personally, I'd love for him to jump to Smackdown, lose the cocky/arrogant part of his character, and focus more on the mean streak he was demonstrating when feuding with Edge.
— JJBRWESQ

Christian has got to be a perfect guy to get the ball. The work he has been doing with Jericho is pure comedy gold. ("Yeah my name starts with C, too!" "I ain't not no sucka neither!") I think he has all the skills to get the tap. He is gold on the mic, he has a wide and varied moveset (bigger than Edge's, I would say). He is big enough to work with the big guys and small enough to work with the cruisers. A jump to Smackdown! and a feud with Benoit or Rhyno might be just what the doctor ordered. He and Rhyno have a history, so I bet they could have some great matches. He is not the biggest or the strongest, but he has a craftiness about him that could make wins against most of the roster believable, if handled right.
— 2HoT

I really think that Christian does have the size and the look, but he needs a Jenny Jones makeover. Cut the hair, throw on some cargo pants instead of "1980s Jobber Kit v.2003." He has the personality to stand out if given the chance and the push, and the in-ring skills (he can actually mat-wrestle, fly a little bit, and string moves together) to be believable. I'd love to see him get a few wins over some high-level talent.
— Bonestein

Christian.... Another one of the guys (Matt Hardy, D-Lo, and others) that I just don't get why everyone on the 'net seems love him. I only enjoyed his promos when he was with Edge and wearing those funky shades. And that was really only because he was goofing on other wrestlers. Yeah, he may have a decent moveset, but the way he carries himself in the ring is about as bland as they come.

Christian is good in a midcard role, very good in tag-team action, but I can't see him main-eventing anytime soon. Not unless they do a major overhaul with his character. If you've noticed, the crowds usually respond with utter apathy when Christian comes out for a singles match.

Oh — and get rid of that Godawful intro music. Keep the opera at the beginning, but the cheese-metal has got to go.
— Thom

What separates him from Edge? To me he has just as much talent as Edge. Why can people accept Edge as a main eventer and not Christian? Right now he isn't a threat, but I can see him being a Chris Jericho-type heel champion. He can do it. The WWE just needs to push him legit like they do for Edge. The worst that can happen is he fails and stays in the midcard.
— metallikid

The reason Christian isn't getting the big push is the same reason Scott Steiner is getting crammed down everybody's throats. Size and bulk do matter. Christian needs to gain a little mass before he can look dangerous in front of a guy like Test or Batista, much less Triple H or Austin. Either that or the WWE needs to really start pushing him as more of a threat.

Also, if [the latter is] the solution, then Christian needs to add some crispness to his moves. The difference between Christian and Benoit or Edge is that Benoit and to a somewhat lesser degree Edge add a little something extra to make their clotheslines look more impactful. It's part speed, part psychology.

In an ideal world, we'd take that extra 30 pounds that HHH doesn't need and throw it onto Christian. If only we could kill both birds with the same stone.
— Milky


This Week's Stats
Most Frequent Subject: People fantasy booking the full brand split, people fantasy booking WrestleMania, people fantasy booking Backlash, people fantasy booking a radical television restructuring of Velocity and Heat, people fantasy booking injury angles for Batista and Orton and Angle, people fantasy booking what Pauly Shore would do if confronted by orcs in the Bio-Dome.... Everyone knows how to save WrestleMania and make it better than the bestest thing ever. And, of course, Benoit! Benoit! Benoit! Benoit! Benoit!
Most Spammer-Like Poster: Promoter2003.
Most Encouraging News: None.
Most Discouraging News: People who write 1,100-word postings don't bother to include all their thoughts on one issue at once (forgetting that easily 400 of their 1,100 words contained no relevant thoughts at all). They then reply to other posters by issuing 600-word posts, then revise their old posts with barely new ideas in yet another 600-word post, clogging a once-lively discussion with endless screeds of turgid minutiae-obsessed and self-absorbed bloviating that makes you want to drill kebab-skewers into your own goddamned head — or, preferably, theirs. Then they add a 300-word post about how they agree with what you said.
Poster Most In Need of Banishing, an E-Mail Bomb or Repeated Kickings in the Ass: HulkRulez.


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