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OO BYTE THIS RECAP
Chicken Soup for the Wrestling Soul
July 28, 2005

by PyroFalkon
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

It’s funny how life works. Unexpected twists in the natural, standard order of the day are the true tests to see whether we can bend with wind or break…with the wind. Or something. I think you see what I’m talking about.
 
What’s my point? That I was all set today to begin with a rant/story. See, I normally try to formulate my pre-rambles so they don’t end up sounding like a complete clusterfuck. And on Monday, ESPN changed the timing of my favorite show a bit, and I had already figured out the underlying reason, so I was ready to endlessly mock them. Oh yes, it was going to be a fun pre-ramble.  

 
Butt instead, at roughly 2:30 PM Eastern, the transformer behind my house exploded. It shut down power to damn near everything in this neighborhood (including the McDonald’s and gas station down the street), not to mention scaring the redneck out of some of our neighbors. When I went outside to see what was the matter, and a congregation of people were pointing at the damage. (One guy said when the explosion happened, “it lit up the area like a Christmas pole.” Say that with a southern accent, and it becomes fifty times funnier.)

After assessing the damage, we were lucky. See, I have a lot of video game and computer equipment. More than the average person (and probably more than what can be considered healthy). We’re talking a thousand bucks or more just on stuff that gets plugged into the wall. And considering that the computer and my video games make up two of my three jobs (counting OO loosely as a “job”), I need to protect my assets.

The point is, I surge-protect my stuff. To be accurate, I actually DOUBLE surge-protect my stuff. The outlet is a surge protector, and I plug additional surge protectors into that. We ended up losing my microwave, the backup TV I have in my bedroom, and one of my two garage door openers. And one of my surge protectors, but that one was my fault. But my computer, main TV, DVR, DVD/VCR, PS2, Xbox, GCN, SNES, and both computers came out totally untouched.

Unfortunately, this all went down this entire afternoon and evening, which means I essentially missed watching Byte This! live. However, in the interest of EXTREME JOURNALISM~! and KEEPING MY IWC CARD~! and NOT WANTING TO MISS A SCooP~!, I’m staying up late tonight to get it done. Be thankful, you ungrateful masses.

Cold Open, Intro, Guest Rundown, Media Hype: Todd Grisham… and no Steve Romero? Heaven opens, the angels sing, and I am starting out as One Happy Recapper. We’re going to have Marty Jannetty with us. But first, Todd is giving us an exclusive! (Told you I’d bring a scOOp.) This sure to be big news… Ready? Here we go!

WWE has offered Brock Lesnar a contract.

…Um, okay? That’s as surprising as… well, something that’s not very surprising. Seriously, does BT ever break any news story OO hasn’t talked about two months before? I mean, yeah, we only kicked around the idea that Brock was going to get a contract, but come on, it seemed pretty sure, didn’t it?

Whatever. I half-wonder that if the WWE is bothering to say they’ve made an offer, if Brock has already accepted it and they’re just cooking things for his surprise re-debut? Maybe I shouldn’t speculate; that’s Rick’s job.

Todd now says that we’re going to have Marty on for the whole show. Oh jeez, this reeks of the shoot-work crap they’ve been doing lately. And what gives, was every interesting superstar booked this week? Even the uninteresting ones? We haven’t heard from anyone of the Bimbo Search this year. Pack the five survivors onto the show, and you get at least 30 minutes of unintentional comedy easy.

[opening BT theme song; clip of Jannetty vs. Angle on SmackDown!]

Jannetty Rocks Byte This!: Check out this picture (courtesy of WWE.com), and come up with your own Clever Caption!

He’s a looker, I’ll tell you.

MJ is on the phone now. Is he drunk, or just overly hyper? Either way, he seems way too pleased to be on the D-show. Dumbass.

After exchanging pleasantries, Todd asks what MJ’s mindset was after signing the latest WWE contract a year ago (or however long it’s been). MJ says that it was greatest moment of his life. He generally goes on about how hard it was to get back to the WWE, which I buy, but he just kinda leaves it lie after that.

Todd updates the fans who don’t read OO that MJ is of course now released, so he wants MJ to describe the events between the time he signed and when he was released. MJ replies that there are many untrue rumors around the Internet, but the truth is “my past caught up with me.” He twists that into “Shawn and I played The Rockers, and we actually did that lifestyle.” That’s a lot of vague non-sentences, Marty.

He only marginally becomes more specific by saying that sex, drugs, and rock and roll was his life, and “sometimes that’s not the best way to go.” To show that this is at least a partial shoot, he breaks kayfabe and says that his life “fit the character,” but that he actually did it himself, and not just for said character.

He goes on and regurgitates the “my past caught up with me” phrase, says that he’s not the same person anymore, and he made one more mistake lately. The effects of that mistake were amplified due to his past, he says. I guess anyone with half a brain knows the direction he’s taking us; I just wish he swallowed his pride and directly said what’s up instead of dancing around like this. If he can’t speak about it due to legal reasons, fine; I just hope he’s not evading for evasion’s sake.

Now he decides to hear me (even though he’s given this interview hours ago as I type; fucking transformer), and sorta specifies. He was caught with a “domestic charge,” and he was already on probation for a DUI. Those two added together meant jail time. While he was in prison, he was unable to fulfill one of the bookings for his contract, so he was automatically released. He says he won’t get into details because they could take up all day, and we’ve only got a one-hour show. Okay, I guess I’ll accept that… If he doesn’t want to say anymore, I’ll buy that too. Again, I just hope he’s not dodging out of embarrassment or fear or anything.

Todd asks if MJ feels he got screwed, in the theory that MJ may have felt like he would still have a place to work after getting out of jail. MJ slightly dodges (or misunderstands) and says that he doesn’t feel like the legal system screwed him. Apparently everyone in his district, from the judges to the cops, agree that the probation period is ridiculously tough. So he knew getting into it that screwing up again would hurt.

MJ must have eased some more tension, because suddenly he breaks the chains holding him back from describing the charge. He and his girlfriend were arguing one night, cops were called, and… that was it? Huh, that was simple. Why didn’t he just say this four minutes ago? So anyway, this prison system of his doesn’t have bonds or bail, so he was tossed in the cell without a way to get out, and that led to the missed booking, which led to his release.

Todd has either forgotten or given up on his original question, and instead mentions an article on WWE.com written by Ted DiBiase. In it is an allusion to MJ’s desire to commit suicide a few years ago, and Todd wants MJ’s own elaboration. MJ prefaces his upcoming story by admitting that wrestling is his life, and that it may seem shallow to some people, but it’s no less true. He says that it’s what he was born to do, and - he admits this is corny - he feels that it’s all his life is about, pure and simple.

He feels that without it, there is no purpose to his life. He feels that this is not entirely a bad thing, because wrestling entertains millions of people and all that. (I have my issues with that, but I won’t get into them, because that’s an article in and of itself, and not so much appropriate for a wrestling site.) He goes on about the Rockers, and how he and Shawn did a bunch of great stuff for wrestling and so on. He calls Shawn the smarter one of the two, and that MJ himself followed along for the ride.

Eventually they split, of course, and he MJ made many “bad decisions” without Shawn guiding him; what decisions those are, he does not say, but he strongly implies they were personal (as opposed to professional) decisions. He goes off on a non sequitur that ends with him admitting all his mistakes were byproducts of partying. Todd pointlessly jokes “Stay away from the liquor, Marty!,” and MJ laughs at this. I roll my eyes.

MJ tries to go off on another tangent, but Todd sees it coming and cuts him off. Todd says, “So basically, you were just low, and you didn’t see any positives.” I think that distinctly puts how every single person who contemplates suicide feels. MJ agrees, and says that he got a DUI in 1999 which gave him a five-year suspension on his driver’s license, which pretty much killed his chance of having a decent career with the WWF. (I like how MJ is saying things like “WWF” and “wrestling.” By the way, do you realize that it’s been enough years that typing “WWF” finally feels weird while typing “WWE” finally feels normal?)

MJ brings us to four-and-a-half years into the suspension. He says that without the license, he doesn’t even really feel human. But the night in question, this day some six months before his license comes back into play, he got a call from his brother was having heart complications. MJ borrowed a friend’s car to drive to Georgia (from where he doesn’t mention) to see him.

Other people tries to console MJ and assure him that his brother would be fine. To ease his tension, he went to a bar and got a few drinks in him. After getting loosened up, his friends drove him to the house he was staying, which a friend’s house because he was unable (for whatever reason he did not get into) to have his own place. He convinced his roommate to loan him his car, and MJ attempted the drive to Georgia.

MJ says he didn’t know the roads well, and on top of his alcohol level, he got lost. He wasn’t driving recklessly or anything, but it was obvious he was lost, and the cops eventually pulled him over for it. MJ even tried what many wrestlers try on cops: “I just finished wrestling a show and I’m trying to get away from the fans,” but the cops didn’t buy that considering it was 2 AM. Heh.

Todd hilariously understates, “That must have taken you to one of the lowest points in your life.” Don’t get me wrong, Todd is doing as good a job as can be expected when you just want your guest to talk, really, but he’s not exactly contributing much to the show here.

Anyway, MJ says that this all went down in 2004. He sidesteps his point to say that he and Shawn separated as the Rockers back in 1996, and ever since then they toyed with the idea of a Rocker reunion. With Shawn’s schedule, they hadn’t even had much of a chance to talk to each other. MJ says that now he realizes Shawn was just too busy to respond to MJ’s calls, but at the time MJ thought Shawn was just being a diva.

So all told, between being tossed in jail one night for that DUI, and a re-suspension of his license, and Shawn not responding to him, MJ figured it was all over. He said he didn’t want to deal without having a driver’s license or wrestling anymore, especially due to his 44-year age. He felt that he wouldn’t ever get back with the WWE despite all his attempts, and without any family or wrestling, he rationalized killing himself.

Then one day, he was taking a walk to try to think about things, and he took his friend’s cell phone just to have. He was walking, and had firmly decided to kill himself; he was walking just to decide where and how he would do so. He made a few calls as his final goodbyes, and the people he talked to (including his brother and then-girlfriend) tried talking him out of it, but he too firmly believed in suicide.

During the night of this walk, he decided to pray. He said that none of his prayers had been answered before, but what the hell, he was dying anyway so it couldn’t hurt. The prayer asked God to give MJ a sign if He didn’t want MJ to go through with it. And during this short prayer, his friend’s cell phone started ringing. MJ didn’t recognize the number, so he didn’t answer the call, but he decided to turn around and head to the house.

Once back at the house, he returned his friend’s cell phone. His friend told MJ a few minutes later that MJ needed to hear one of voicemails on the phone. That call during the prayer happened to be Shawn Michaels, who was inviting him to a weekend at an Athletes International Administry (or something like that; I Googled it and didn’t come up with anything, so I may have misheard or he misspoke). Something in Phoenix, Arizona I guess.

Anyway, MJ took that call and that message as the sign, especially because it was on someone else’s cell phone. After that, MJ converted to Christianity, including Shawn himself baptizing MJ. Within the last year, MJ has been fixing his life. He says that Shawn is definitely living the Christian life (he doesn’t just talk it, he walks it). Their conversations had been about women and rock and roll, but now is filled with spiritual content. MJ says that he’s still not totally converted, but he’s getting there with Shawn’s help.

Todd undercuts the story a bit by rushing things, saying that it all led up to the Rocker reunion day in March for their first match together in however many years. Todd also breaks into “Reunited” by Peaches and Herb. Hey, gotta give Todd some credit; he’s got a decent singing voice.

MJ jumps on this and just absolutely puts over the fans. He says that it was a small piece of Heaven hearing the crowd react as well as they did, as it all came together after seven years of hard work and trying to get his life back together.

And of course, because this is WWE and Byte This! we’re talking about, they decide to stop what’s making this interview kick ass; we go back to an in-character question about Shawn’s Sweet Chin Music against Hulk Hogan a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if MJ answers in or out of character (my guess is the latter, since he technically doesn’t really have a character at the moment), but he says that he’s not surprised by Shawn’s actions because at this point, Shawn is the one with the most say over his own career. Considering the hierarchy of wrestling (looking at JBL’s and Bob Holly’s stunts the last year) and Shawn’s value to the WWE, this would not surprise me.

Anyway, MJ says this especially doesn’t surprise him, especially after Shawn superkicked him during a Barber Shop skit a few years ago. MJ says he still feels that kick. Faintly amusing, that.

Todd then asks if MJ thinks Shawn has a chance against Hogan at SummerSlam, and if Shawn did this because he’s jealous of Hogan. MJ replies that he’s definitely got a chance with that superkick that can come out of nowhere. MJ partially dodges the second question, but he says that Shawn is one of the best “entertainers” ever, but doesn’t get the credit, and that Hulk Hogan’s name is synonymous with wrestling. MJ finishes his thought by finally just saying, “Justified jealousy? Yeah, I think so.”

Todd then gets to brass tacks (whatever that means). “MJ: Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels. What’s your prediction?” MJ replies, “I predict… it’ll be a lot of fun.” Well played, Mr. Jannetty, well played.

Todd asks a final question: what’s next for MJ? MJ replies, “Well, you never know… one day you may see me sitting at ringside at SummerSlam, the next night… well, I’m not going to say anything more.” Huh. Let’s get the rumor mill started!

MJ goes on and succinctly and seriously says, “Really, I’m just looking forward to getting back to where I belong, and that’s in the WWE.” Cool.

Todd wishes MJ the best, and MJ says that he’s willing and ready to work yet again to get himself back into the WWE. That sounds as real as it gets, people.

Ending Noise: Todd barely recaps RAW, hypes SmackDown!, slightly recaps the Great American Bash, wishes us goodbye, and we’re out.

Closing Comments: For the billionth time, Byte This! shines when they focus on one topic, have the guests speak relaxed and out of character, and have the host show some semblance of knowing how to pace the show while asking intelligent (or at least semi-intelligent) questions.

Focused on one topic? Check.

Guest was relaxed and out of character? Check.

The host was pacing correctly and intelligent? Checkaroonie.

Best episode ever? Not a chance. Honestly, I need to just throw the two ECW episodes out of the equation for the rest of my life, because quite frankly I don’t think anything will live up to them. That said, this was a great episode of Byte This!. My kidding about Jannetty’s mug shot aside, this was truly an awesome 30 minutes.

Yeah, I feared they were going to get all shoot-work on me. But as I listened, I realized two things: 1) MJ is not that good of an actor, and what he was saying was real, and 2) a “shoot work” would be pointless because there is no “work” to the unemployed.

Okay, so I complained at first that it was silly to not have a non-WWE-employed wrestler as guess. I ate crow. MJ really kicked ass here, and this is definitely a must-listen-to episode if you have 30 minutes to spare, especially if you’re a Jannetty or Rockers fan.

Well, I will qualify this a bit… it wasn’t all peaches and syrup. Once they turned to kayfabe shit, it went downhill. “This is a really cool story, but let’s get back into character and talk about the storyline we’ve got going on Monday nights.” Dumb. Very, very dumb. And to me, it slightly insulted and downplayed MJ’s tale.

But the first 23 minutes or so really battered my shrimp. (See Rick? I can do it too!) If I have a complaint, it’s that they never took a call or even really acknowledged the fans. But that’s okay, I think, because I’m not sure I would have wanted MJ’s momentum destroyed.

MJ’s story itself was believable. I’m sure the less religious among us won’t really buy it or put much stock in it, but it’s still an interesting story nonetheless. Hey, if he really believes Shawn’s call during that prayer was God’s sign, who are we to argue? I have my own opinions of times I believe God may have sent a sign or two my way, and some of you may have yours.

But I’m digressing, and defending myself against arguments no one is making (yet). So I’ll shut up now and recommend again that you at least give the first 25 minutes or so a listen this weekend. It really was worth it.

If only all BT episodes can live up to this quality, or at least be semi-consistent…

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON

BROWSE THE BYTE THIS RECAP ARCHIVES


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
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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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
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RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
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RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
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PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 

 

 


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