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JBL Emphasizes the Positives (and
Leaves the Headlocks at Home)
January 13, 2005

by PyroFalkon
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I realized something this week: Rick Scaia and I are polar opposites. If you read my stat breakdown from New Year’s Revolution and Rick’s Monday news, you’ll see that we have basically opposite opinions of the show. I guess as long as we both hate Orton’s character though (no matter what the reason), it’s all good.

That said, I want to make a quick comment about something he said in his Wednesday news. He mentioned that the tag title situation is going to hell with Eugene out for who knows how many months. But you know what? I’m HAPPY that he’s gone. And I’ll explain why…  

I love Eugene, I really do. He was part of

my favorite skit from last year, and I appreciate him more than a lot of smarks seem to. I’m not ready to say that he’s found the glass ceiling forever, even if he has in the short-term. I take far more interest in his character and antics than I do 90% of the RAW roster. I want to see him climb to being at least the IC champ eventually, although I’ll concede that seeing him as World champ would just suck and blow because he’d be completely mis-utilized.

However, one thing that I’m absolutely amazed that Rick didn’t mention is that if Eugene is on the shelf, this frees William Regal to do other things. I’m starting to really like Regal, and I want to see him do something other than being saddled in a tag team. Especially if it’s temporary, I would love to see him start expanding into other feuds. I don’t want him and Eugene to break up permanently, but I hope that Regal gets more face time and starts feuding with, I don’t know, Christian maybe? The story is already there for that, and I think Christian and Regal could put on some good singles matches. Just keep Regal the hell away from Tomko, or at least try to keep the focus on Regal/Christian instead of Regal/more than Christian.

Plus, I think if it’s handled right, it adds fan appeal to Eugene by association when he comes back, and secures Regal for being on the card for something other than Eugene’s manager. It would deepen Regal’s character, and perhaps give him the notoriety he used to have years ago.

But that’s just my opinion, and remember that I’m a Casual Fan, so maybe I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. But no matter at what place on the fan pecking order I am, I do know that More Regal is not a bad thing, and Eugene’s injury (as shitty as the situation is) should give the WWE an excuse to give Regal some more stuff to do. Wanna vindicate me, Rick?

Anyway, we’ve got Byte This!, which was actually pretty good this week. It was no ECW Special, but it still was pretty damn hot. Wanna know how? Read on…

Intro, Guest Rundown

Hey look! Josh isn’t here today again! And I don’t care! But we are going to be blessed with the presence of JBL and Jim Ross. Supposedly, Kane was going to come too, but Snitsky’s attack on him on Monday prevented him from doing so. Bleh. Media hype, WWE Fantasy shit, same old same old.

Marc Loyd reports that Lita tore her ACL and is out many months. If you read OO like you should, you know that already. However, Rick wasn’t sure what the extent of Eugene’s injury is. Assuming Marc wasn’t kayfabing, he said Eugene suffers from a “ruptured patella.” I’m not even going to pretend to know how serious that is, but maybe Rick can fill you in on Friday. Some crappy recapping of RAW and New Year’s Revolution, and we’re off to.

[video break 1]

Droz’s 14 cents

Droz is in and sounds drugged. He’s sick, or drunk. Whatever. All I know is that he and I thought alike for NYR. In his predictions, he went 4-2, missing Lita’s defense (like I did), but he also picked Randy Orton to go over in the Elimination Chamber. Wouldn’t that have sucked.

Droz drones on about the Elimination Chamber and OMG BATISTA~!, but doesn’t really contribute anything. He also drones about Maven and puts over his feud with SB (because I’m too lazy to type “Shelton Benjamin” every time). Droz then hypes saying that Orton RAWKS and will get the title REAL soon, because he’s FOCUSED~! and READY~! and is great when he PUTS HIS MIND TO THINGS~! (Like REMEMBERING HIS LINES~!)

Next, Droz and Marc turn their mad journalistic skillz to Muhammad Hassan and Manager That I Forget How To Spell. Have you noticed that the WWE has mounted a massive offensive at turning the attention to the fact that they “don’t represent Arab-Americans”? Rick mentioned that we need to hate them for being assholes and not for their race, and the WWE says “we’ll listen to The Rick this time, but instead of doing something clever, we’ll just TELL the fans what to think! BRILLIANT~!”

They say some crap about SmackDown! and WWE Fantasy, and finally they shut up.

[video break 2]

Ross! Ross! By Gawd it’s Ross!

Good ol’ JR is in, but he sounds like Droz, which scares the shit out of me. They open by chatting about the Elimination Chamber and how wonderful it was. JR doesn’t mention anyone by name, but he basically says “that headbutt was cool” as he puts the whole thing over.

Someone in the chat room asks what Ross and Lawler could have done differently to win their match. Ross actually PUTS OVER Hassan for a moment, but then remembers he has to be in-character and mentions they suck for their opinions, or something. He says Jerry will get his revenge. How about Lawler and Hassan… in a Pink Slip on a Pole match???

They switch gears to the Royal Rumble, where Ross ACTUALLY SAYS SOMETHING PROFOUND. He mentions that it’s actually a workout to commentate about, because it’s over a solid hour of talking without a break. Think about that… normally the commentators get about a 5- to 8-minute break between matches that are, what, 20 minutes at most? And usually closer to 10? That would be a severe change.

Ross goes over some history with the Royal Rumble, including reminding us that whoever wins can jump brands because of preference, which is an interesting tidbit. He says that there has never been a bad RR match, and some guys like Kane are good at them. He says a lot of guys look back at the RR and say how good they were in it.

Marc asks Ross a loaded question about where Ricky Steamboat should be in the Hall of Fame, and Ross puts over Steamboat in detail (which is a compliment). He praises Ricky’s feuds with Ric Flair, and says he is a really classy and standup guy. He says that the number 1 choice to the HoF this year is Hulk Hogan (although Ross QUICKLY says “Hollywood Hogan” after saying “Hulk Hogan” in case Marvel is listening).

Marc asks if Ross should be in the HoF, and he answers that Gordie someone or other should go into the HoF before him. Ross then shares the opinion that the HoF should NOT be for people who are still active, or at least who work on a regular basis. He feels that he doesn’t qualify yet, but wouldn’t mind being in. Marc is all “your time will come.”

An fan’s e-mail wants to know if Ross has a particular Wrestlemania moment that he likes most of all. He answers the whole of the Bret Hart and Steve Austin match of Wrestlemania 13, then goes off on a tangent about the fans of different places (including on putting over Canadian fans over pretty much everybody else, probably in preparation of next week’s RAW).

Ross also mentions something kinda funny… He says he mentioned to Lawler about next week being hard because they’re both named Chris, and it’s real easy to mix them up in the heat of a match. He said he’ll probably call Benoit “Jericho” or Jericho “Benoit” at least once and hopes he catches himself.

Ross fires a non sequitur about how hard wrestling schedules are, how guys have to deal with Elimination Chamber in Puerto Rico and then fly to Canada three days later. He says that NFL players couldn’t do it, and the NBA couldn’t do it unless there’s an Elimination Chamber in the audience in Detroit, or something. I understand what he was going for, but there had to be a better way to say it.

Marc says that UFC Toolbox is going to be entrant #1 in the Royal Rumble, and he asks if he’s got a chance to win. Ross says, “He’s a got a chance,” in the tone that says, “but he won’t.” Marc reminds Ross that Maven eliminated the Undertaker some time ago, so Ross hits the “anything can happen in the WWE” punch line.

Marc then asks if Ross has any books coming. Ross says no, but wants to get highly involved in 24/7 as a side project. Although, he turns that sentence into about 4 minutes of blathering.

Ross thanks Marc for not mentioning the Rose Bowl, but Marc says he’s a fan of Florida State and can’t say much. Ross talks for a minute of OU crap, and how great it is being a fan of Stuff, then clicks off.

You know, it’s probably in a commentator’s nature to draw out what he’s talking about, and I think he prattled a few too many times. However, his entire interview, for the most part, was pretty interesting. Who’d’ve thought JR would be a really interesting person?

[video break 3]

Is JBL breaking out?

John Bradshaw Layfield is in, and he accuses Marc taking him away from a huge party in New York City. He says he ran into Hulk Hogan (forgetting to avoid those Marvel devils), who called him “champ,” and is all happy about that.

Marc asks about his title reign, and JBL puts himself over for like a solid minute. They recap JBL’s matches against Shannon Moore and Kurt Angle and Big Show or something. JBL calls Big Show everything from Shrek to the Hindenburg, then says he’s better than The Rock, Steve Austin, Tito Santana, and everyone else who’s ever held the belt because of all he’s been through his reign.

Marc asks about the cabinet, and JBL hilariously sees a World Heavyweight title reign for Orlando Jordan, and says OJ is the best champion SD has ever had, or something. He puts over Useless Diva #6, and says that every one of them without exception (yes, including said Useless Diva) will be a breakout star. Unless they mean Useless Diva is going to break out of her WWE contract, nothing good is going to come of it.

Marc asks about who JBL wants to face, past or present. He says he’d like to take on the Undertaker, but if he’s picking his “dream match,” it would be against Ric Flair. Apparently they have never faced each other in a singles match.

A mousy female caller asks who JBL would like to wrestle who’s currently on RAW. Marc answers Flair for JBL, but JBL then says he’d like to wrestle Triple H. He then also hilariously says, “Then there’s Randy Orton… you know, I wrestled his dad once 14 years ago in Japan,” and then never mentions young Randall again. Burn!

JBL then becomes approximately 5000% more interesting by getting out of character. Marc asks him about an article he wrote on wwe.com concerning Iraq. JBL chats about how he met a bunch of soldiers who were victims of a suicide bomber, including chatting to a soldier whose face, hair, and ears were completely burned. He had some shrapnel in his knee and was blinded, but asked for JBL to shake his hand. The soldier said that in the instant of the blast, he said he was glad to take it because he took it for his kid brother and guys like JBL and everyone else in America; and that he really appreciated JBL coming to talk to him. JBL says how humbling of an experience it was, and that it will be impossible to replicate the warm fuzzy feeling of the moment for the rest of his life. JBL says he can’t get over being thanked by the soldier when it should be the other way around, and that was one snippet of his column.

JBL then turns the props to Vince McMahon for making it all happen, and calls Vince a great American. JBL then collectively bitch slaps everyone who insults Vince for his efforts in Iraq, and says that the accusations about the WWE going over there is too political, or something. Then he says that it was his idea to go there because he made an offhand comment to Vince about going there, but Vince is giving JBL too much credit about it.

They switch gears to talk about Ron “Farooq” Simmons, who is as most of you know retired now from the WWE. JBL and Simmons are still very much talking to each other, and Simmons is even JBL’s best man for his marriage in four weeks or something (which is news to me). JBL or Marc (I don’t remember which) mention something about how great it is or will be to retire and relax, or something.

We end with JBL quoting Snoop Dogg, which is extremely funny for some reason. He clicks off, and Marc wraps up the show with uninteresting hype for the next RAW and SmackDown!.

How weird… in a million years, I’d never guess that JBL and JR would be the most interesting guests that Byte This! had over the past few weeks, especially since guys like Flair have been there recently. But if you notice, JBL got REAL cool once he left character. I don’t know how many times I’m going to bitch about this, but everyone on BT has GOT to be out of character. The show gets GREAT when they do, and it gets boring or stupid when they’re not.

Thumbs up, although I don’t think it’s QUITE worth listening to, unless you’re a JBL or JR fan. Droz was boring; I think we need to get Tazz in to do the opening guest rundown from now on.

See you guys next week!



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