Wrestling News, Analysis and Commentary

News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

12/7:  With Ric Flair
December 9, 2001

by EC Ostermeyer


This is the WWF Byte This! report for Friday, 7 December 2001, and I'm E.C.

On today's show, Dr. Tom's in the co-pilot's seat, Droz gives his predictions for Sunday's Vengeance PPV, Tazz gets a second helping of crow for that big mouth of his, Ric Flair just charms the heck out of everybody concerned, and we finish up with Vince doing a passable Scrooge imitation, and the team's comments thereon.

Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, and, making his on-camera return, it's Dr. Tom Prichard substituting for Howard Finkel, who's heading for New Jersey at the moment.

Dr. Tom says things haven't changed since he left; he still can't hear anything on his headset.
Kelly asks if Dr. Tom's noticed the fountains and marble trim work?
"Anyway, it's good to be back," says Dr. Tom.

Sunday is the Vengeance PPV, which will be video-streamed on wwfdotcom, but Saturday's the last day to order that service, not to mention that the number of spaces left is limited. Byte This! producer Big Country remarks from off-stage that the fans have until the PPV to order by going online.

First topic is Mr. McMahon getting his comeuppance at the hands of The Rock, and the "cheeks" of Rikishi. The Kiss My Ass Club is on hiatus, perhaps permanently, while Vince washes the bad taste out of his mouth. 

(Man, The Rock made Vince's WHOLE HEAD disappear up Rikishi's butt! Now THAT'S a Classic Clip Moment if ever there was one!)

"Would you kiss Vince's ass, Kev?" asks Dr. Tom.
"Yep, you bet," says Kelly.
"Me too," says Dr. Tom.

(And wasn't that an especially sickening "Byte This!" Moment?)

The topic shifts to this weekend's Vengeance PPV, and the Unified Title match. Kelly let's the cat out of the bag, sort of, by remarking that The Rock and Steve Austin are looking forward to squaring off to be the Unified Champion, then covers himself clumsily by adding that Angle and Jericho are involved too. 
"Everyone wants to know who's the best ever," says Dr. Tom, "Jericho's on his game. Angle's been both WWF and WCW World Champion, so don't sell him short, either.

Darren Drozdov joins the show for an abbreviated "Droz's Two Cents" this week. Droz says that this is the first time in history that there's been a Unification Match, and its about time, too.
"The two Champions, Rock and Austin, want to find out who's the best; who's the Undisputed Champ," says Droz. "The Rock and Y2J square off for the World Title, and then Austin defends the WWF Title against Kurt Angle. The winners then face each other to determine who's the Undisputed Champ. 

"They'll be going on adrenaline alone, all four of them," says Dr. Tom. He then asks Droz if he thought he'd ever see this day, what with WCW joining the WWF.
"I've been looking forward to this for a long time," says Droz, "and no, I never thought this day would come. After Sunday, there's only going to be one man who can say that he's the Champ!"

Kelly asks what Droz thinks about the Undertaker's match with Rob Van Dam?
"The Undertaker still got his edge, no matter where his hair's gone," says Droz.
"The hair won't affect him at all," says Dr. Tom, "the one who's getting edgy is Rob Van Dam. The Undertaker's out to get some respect from Rob Van Dam"
"Yeah," says Droz, "but remember, Rob Van Dam is Mr. Pay Per View. He'll make it a great show, far above the outstanding job he puts on normally."
Kelly remarks that a lot of the fans are talking about The Undertaker's new look.

After a too brief comment or two about the Intercontinental Championship Title match between Edge and William Regal, they move on to Matt Hardy facing Jeff Hardy with Lita as the special referee. 
Droz opines that this could be the one match that finally breaks up the team once and for all. "Lita being in the match means that nobody's gonna win this one. This stupid rivalry of theirs has finally reached the limit." 
"This means nothing but problems for everybody involved," says Dr. Tom.

"Who do you think will win the Unification Match, Droz?" asks Kelly.
"Austin's got the edge, but only slightly," says Droz.
"The poll over at wwfdotcom has The Rock leading slightly," says Kelly, "Angle's running fourth."
Dr. Tom adds that, even though there's been a lot of surprises so far, we can expect a lot more at Vengeance.
Droz packs up for another week, as Kelly sets up this week's Classic Clips Poll:

1989 Chi-Town Rumble: Ric Flair v. Ricky Steamboat
1992 Royal Rumble: Ric Flair wins the Royal Rumble
Wrestlemania 8: Ric Flair v. Randy Savage
Starrcade 1993: Ric Flair v. Big Van Vader

The winning clip gets played at the end of the show. I'm picking Flair/Steamboat myself. Just a classic!

Next up is Howard Finkel, who's just got on the New Jersey turnpike.
Fink says that this Sunday will see history made, a dawning of a new era.
"The WWWF formed in 1963," says Fink, "then changed to the WWF in 1979. The NWA eventually became WCW. This year, WCW and the WWF joined forces. And now, this Sunday, it's a whole new day for everybody concerned."
In honor of Ric Flair, this week's "Outthink the Fink" is about the Nature Boy's final match with the WWF back in early 1993. Who did he face in that match?

Fink complains about driving in New York City traffic, saying that he now knows how Tazz feels: miserable, driving in traffic, and in New York City.
Fink gives the upcoming WWF House Shows, and then signs off.

While they wait for Tazz to phone in, Dr. Tom says that Danny Davis, one of Ohio Valley Wrestling's co-owners, is working really hard. "I had a great time," says Dr. Tom, "it was great to see everybody down there."

Tazz arrives, by phone as usual, and pissed off, also as usual.
Dr. Tom welcomes Tazz and his "Tales From the Hook." 
"This is a new segment for this show, isn't it?" asks Dr. Tom, "I remember Tazz being here, though I don't remember 'Tales From the Hook.'"
"What do you think about the Unification Match, Tazz?" asks Kelly.
"As a fan and also as a wrestler, it's something I've wanted to see for a long time," says Tazz.

"I asked Dr. Tom about the endurance factor involved in this match," says Kelly, "will it have any bearing? Will two of these four men have the stamina to make it all the way to the Championship?"
"The first round winners have to win quick," says Tazz, "just overwhelm their opponents as fast as possible, and save their strength for the final bout. Remember, some of the recent Title defense matches shown on PPV have gone thirty minutes and more. These guys all know they can't afford to have their first match go that long, or they'll be blown up for the final, just worn out."

"How do you prepare for that kind of a match, Tazz?" asks Kelly.
"You drink a lot of coffee," says Tazz, "at least, that's what I do. Its hell on the wrestlers, a match set like this. The fans just love it, though. Think of it. They got to see WCW show up, then join forces with ECW. Now, the match to see who's the Unified Champion. That's cool!"

Kelly's in a playful mood, and asks Tazz if he's planning on doing a movie anytime soon?
"How about playing the Great Oz from the Wizard of Oz?" asks Kelly with a laugh, "what with that big head of yours darn near filling the TitanTron." 
"Yeah," says Tazz, "people always say I'm small, but Monday night, I looked really big, didn't I?"

Talk shifts to Edge vs. Regal for the WWF IC Title. 
"When Regal kissed Vince's ass," says Tazz, "I punked out on him. Well, Regal beat me; really shut me up. But if I ever get a rematch with him, it'll be different. A lot different. I got my chance last Monday because Edge wasn't there; he was at WWF NY."

"What about Undertaker facing Rob Van Dam, Tazz?" asks Kelly.
"Well, Undertaker's looking for respect," says Tazz, "but RVD's not gonna be the one to give it to him. He's too cool, too cocky. I got a piece of 'Taker right after the Jim Ross incident, right after Undertaker turned heel. Well, I squared off against him for nine minutes or so. Believe me, I felt it! And if RVD doesn't bring his A-Game facing the Undertaker, he's in big trouble. If that happens, my money's on the Undertaker."

Tazz also says that the Rikishi's return was "one of the funniest skits I'd ever seen in my life. You got to respect Vince, though. He's a team player. The ass-kissing angle wasn't working, so Vince swerved everybody, only this time, he wound up on the wrong side of the fence. It was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen in this business. The only thing funnier was watching Al Snow hug the kids on Tough Enough."

"Heard anything from the show, Tazz?" 
"Talked with Big John the other day," says Tazz, "he said it's going great. I think it's because there's no 'mean people' there this time. Well, Bob (Holly) is there. Maybe his stuff will wind up on the cutting room floor like mine did."
Everybody gets a laugh at this.
"I told them to call me the moment Al Snow starts hugging anybody," laughs Tazz, which cracks everybody up even more.

Talking of Tough Enough alumni, Dr. Tom says that the Tough Enough champ, Maven is really being put through it down in Les Thatcher's Heartland Wrestling Association. "He's not being hugged or coddled down there," says Dr. Tom, "they're taking good care of him, and doing it the right way."
"That's great," says Tazz, "Maven's got a good attitude. He's a good guy, willing to pay his dues."
Kelly adds that Tough Enough Women's Champ Nidia is getting along real well over in OVW.
"Send 'em my love, wouldja?" says Tazz.

Speaking of Tazz sending love, he then launches into a five minute apology about the comments he made a couple of weeks ago, about how the Internet fans bury everything the WWF was trying to do, and how they'll never be happy. 
"I go online from time to time," says Tazz, "And I read the stuff that's there. Well, I stereotyped the whole bunch of them because of what I read on only a couple of sites. I was wrong in doing that, and for that, I apologize.
"I am not the same Tazz that I was in ECW," he continues, "and a lot of the fans aren't happy with me the way I am in the WWF. Just so you know, I'm real happy with what and who I am in my new role. Back in ECW, I was the big fish in a small pond. In the WWF, just like everywhere else, I've got to earn my stripes."

Kelly says that Tazz has changed a lot since coming to the WWF. 
"You're a different guy now, aren't you?"
"My life has changed so much on the past three years," says Tazz.
"That will lead to changes in your character, won't it?" says Kelly.
"Wow, you're a genius, Kev," says Tazz.
"I wanna be a man about this," he continues," I wanna say that I was wrong to bury all the websites and Internet reporters. I don't like being stereotyped, and nobody else does, either. I ain't looking to kiss ass or anything, I'm just saying I was wrong, that I jumped the gun. Only a couple of sites really suck, and I wouldn't mind if they both died a slow death."

"A lot of the sites are already dying a slow death, Tazz," says Kelly. "Hey, what about that article you've written for the WWF Magazine?"
"Oh yeah!" says Tazz, with some pride in his voice, " 'Tales from the Hook' in print! I can't believe it."
"Gotta preview for us?"
"I don't know if I'm supposed to," says Tazz.
"By the way," says Kelly, "Thanks for putting Byte This! over. We need the support."
"The magazine people wanted me to do something, a short piece," says Tazz, "said I could write about whatever I wanted. I decided to write about Droz, what he's done, and how there's more to this guy than people know. He's part of the WWF locker room, and will be for life."

"Droz has really worked hard in this business," says Dr. Tom, "he's a big part of the Byte This! show each week, and I hope, for many years to come."
"You'd think the guy could put me over at least once, though," says Tazz, back in kayfabe once more.

Kelly informs Tazz that the fans in the chat room are giving Tazz a big group hug for his on-air apology.
"Ohmigod, I love 'em all," says Tazz in mock arousal, "my nipples are getting hard!"

After the general hilarity from Tazz's 'nipples' comment dies down, Dr. Tom says he's waiting to see how Tough Enough 2 is going to turn out. 
"Then again, maybe I've already got a good idea," says Dr. Tom, "Bob Holly's not so much different than you, is he, Tazz?"
Ignoring this brutal, bilious insult of Dr. Tom's, Tazz says that they won't air any stuff of Bob's either.
"It's not the WWF, it's MTV, and they only want fuzzy feelings. They want the love."

On this point, Tazz leaves, trailing his usual cloud of misery behind him.

We see a clip of Ric Flair's debut in the WWF, and an impressive moment it is, too.

Dr. Tom says that Ric Flair's return to the WWF was one of the greatest moments in the history of the WWF. "Not only is he back," says Dr. Tom, "but he's half owner of the WWF. That's called 'timing,' something Flair's always had. Imagine you're Flair, riding that kind of wave, and this Sunday is Vengeance, where they crown the Undisputed Champ out in San Diego. It's something that Flair and his generation have been waiting for. Flair's gonna be the one presenting the Championship to whoever the winner is.

To the strains of his entrance music, Ric Flair joins the show, live on the phone.

Flair's excited to be a part of the WWF once more, and says so. "It's nice to be a part of something that's moving forward for a change," he says.

Kelly says that Sunday will put paid to all those old arguments about who was the better champion, Flair or Hulk Hogan.

Flair says that Sunday's match will declare the one and only World Heavyweight Champion.

Dr. Tom remarks that, when WCW was purchased by the WWF, a lot of the wrestlers came over at that time, but Ric Flair wasn't one of them. Now, he's made his move, and is 50% owner in the bargain. "At Vengeance, who's your pick to be the Champ?"
Flair says that he can't make a choice, because each of the contestants is awesome, and each possesses a unique style. The matches should be awesome, no matter who wins.

"As a former Champion," asks Kelly, "how tough is it to be sitting on the sidelines while all this is going on?"
"I get this a lot," says Flair, "and really, it's not hard at all. If I had made the transition when everybody in WCW did way back in March, it would have changed my life drastically. As far as I was concerned, WCW was finished. To have the WWF buy WCW guaranteed that there would be dignity and respect for the product, and that they would take it to the next level."

"What caused WCW to collapse?" asks Kelly.
"You know," says Flair, "I really think it was the competition with the WWF that finally did them in. It got to be an obsession with them, beating the WWF in the ratings war."

"The last real ratings war was between the WWF and the NWA, back in the 1980's," says Kelly.
"When I walked out as the NWA or the WCW Champion," says Flair; "I wasn't comparing myself with anyone in the WWF. I was the Champion, I was the man, and that was my job. I wasn't stupid enough to go out and take a shot at anyone else. It wouldn't make sense. I competed with myself. If I was obsessed with anything, it was to have the best match every time I got in the ring. I didn't care about something that was going on somewhere else. MY opponent was whom I was concerned with. I was the better wrestler over the years. And if it came down to me passing the torch to some other wrestler, then whatever I did in the ring that night was better than somebody else could do. It's the way I was brought up in this business."

You always seemed to have the passion, Ric," says Dr. Tom. "No matter what was happening in the business, that passion separated you from the competition. The fans could see that." 
"Y'know," says Flair, "the only time I ever cared about what was going on outside the ring was back in 1989 when everything was going down with Jim Crockett. A lot of wrestlers went to the WWF, but I knew they were just doing it for better money. When we met up on the road, we didn't get into comparing. We just partied, and got drunk, and had a good time talking about the matches we'd been in. That Smackdown tag match was as good as it gets, especially that bit at the end between me and Stone Cold. When we locked eyeball to eyeball, that was a magic moment. It was a moment that caught me, just like it did to a lot of the fans. Austin was awesome. Usually, when kids get rich, it goes to their head. Everybody in the WWF made me feel like the Ric Flair of old, like it was 1985 again. That was so much different from when WCW closed down."

Dr. Tom says that we are seeing a return to the old way of wrestling, where the wrestler could not only put on a great match, but get the crowd going as well.

"There are so many awesome performers her," says Flair, "take the Hardy Boys for instance. I could NEVER in my life do what those guys do. Awesome. Just Awesome."

(Mid-show Classic Clips Poll results have the 1989 Flair vs. Steamboat match in the lead. Yes!)

"I had a chance to sit down with Bubba Ray Dudley," continues Flair, "The man weighs over 300 lbs. I could never in my wildest dreams do the things he does. That's what I mean when I say that these guys are at a whole different level; so many of them are good at so many different things."

Caller One wants to know where Ric got the "Whooo!" from?
"Believe it or not," says Flair, "Jerry Lee Lewis. 'Great Bal-l-ls O' Fire!' That's where I got it, and that's the truth."

The conversation shifts to comebacks, and, quite naturally, to Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards. 
Kelly opines that, like Jordan and basketball, Ric Flair's name goes with wrestling. Flair thanks Kelly, then says that, when Jordan had to sit out, he took time to apologize to the fans, because he knows what it means to them when he's not playing. 
"So what if some people are disappointed with his comeback," says Flair, "Jordan's doing just fine in my book. If it were any other team, he'd be averaging 35 points a game. Jordan brings more than just talent to the table. He's a class act."

Kelly says that Flair always gave his money's worth, no matter who he was facing. "I've been very fortunate to be around professionals who made me realize just what a responsibility I had. They made me feel like I could do anything, never mind the time away from home, or how much I was getting paid. I was being the best I could be, and thrilled about doing just that. Back in the 80's it was great, but the 70's were just awesome. I was in the Carolinas at that time, and I didn't think of what I was doing as a job; it was something I was having fun doing, just having a great time. When I was in the WWF back in 1991, I was having so much fun, I told Vince the other day he should have paid me for the time I was there; the work was so good, and the roster was so complete."

Kelly reads an email, which asks Flair if he was planning on starting a new Horsemen group in the WWF, and who would he pick?

"To be a Horseman," says Flair, "you had to both wrestle good and talk good. Looking at the WWF today, I'd pick The Rock, Austin, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, HHH, and Kurt Angle. The Horsemen weren't just four guys who liked to hang together; they were four professionals who were each capable of performing at a high level, whether in tag or singles competition.

Kelly shifts the topic to the Main Event at Vengeance. 
"How tough will it be for the winners to change gears, and get themselves up for the Main Event?"
"Under normal conditions," says Flair, " it would be an impossibility. But these guys are at the top of their game. The training, the diligence, the professionalism has each of them at a higher level. Then too, think what the prize is! They won't have any problem getting up for the Main Event. At this level, they are so similar, that it'll be The Big Man Upstairs who decides who the Champ will be."

The segment winds up with Kelly and Dr. Tom thanking Flair for being their guest on today's show, and that they're looking forward to having him back on the show very soon.
"'Ric Flair on Byte This!' I've always wanted to say that," says Kelly, as Flair leaves the show.
Dr. Tom says that Flair always found time to meet and greet everybody backstage. "He'd shake everybody's hand, like he'd known them for years," says Dr. Tom, "It made you feel like you'd met the Champ himself. And so he is; he works like a Champ, and trains like one, too. Just a class act."

Talk shifts to the progress that David Flair is making in the developmental territories. 'He's progressing," says Dr. Tom, "but he's got some big shoes to fill. You know that's got to be wearing on him. He's got to realize that he's not his father. Once he's past that, he'll be okay. He's the hardest critic he's got. Give him time; he's got promise, and will be a great entertainer."

Speaking of the developmental territories, Kelly wants to know how things are since the roster cuts started.
"It's a tough decision to cut anyone from the program," says Dr. Tom, "but it has to be done. The Internet rumor mills have blown this all out of proportion to what is really going on. It's a business decision. Nothing more."
"Right now," he continues, "the WWF opportunity just isn't there for some of these guys. That doesn't mean that there won't be anything there later. You never know just what's going to happen. Things could change for them in as little as 90 days. The ones who got cut still have a great future in wrestling. Anything can happen. That's the way life is. Take the new stars we're developing in OVW and HWA. The Island Boys and Prototype are all three going to be big in the WWF, but only if they apply themselves.

Kelly likes the way Jamie Knoble has taken off in OVW. "He cracks me up every time I see him. It's like you can see he's got what it takes to succeed in this business."

The answer to today's "Outthink the Fink" question is "Curt Hennig."
The Classic Clips winner was Flair/Steamboat, a no contest winner with a whopping 74% of those voting.

Dr. Tom is looking forward to being back on Byte This! once again, and Kelly says c'mon back anytime, we'd love to have ya! There's always room for three!

Fink will be back next week, when Byte This! hosts Jerry "The King" Lawler!

The show closes with the 1989 Chi-Town Rumble match between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat.


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.