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Couples Night on ByteThis!
November 10, 2005

by PyroFalkon
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Intro, Guest Rundown: It occurs to me that I’ve spent the last few recaps heading this section with “Intro, Guest Rundown, Media Hype,” but Todd hasn’t pimped any of the magazines here for weeks, if at all.
Anyway, we’re going to have Ashley and Matt Hardy tonight… but the bigger story will be next week, when my favorite wrestler ever will be in the studio. It will take an act of God to make me miss seeing Bret Hart live again.

Todd switches gears and talks about Batista’s injury, which you should already know. According to Todd, Batista talked

to James Andrews, who gave him two options. Basically, Batista can simply try to rehab it, or he can take back surgery… I infer that the surgery will be a “more complete” cure, but if Batista goes that route, he’ll be out around 3 months. That luckily is a lot better than Rick’s worst-case-scenario that Batista will be out through Wrestlemania.

Of course, this brings us to whether Todd’s information is accurate or whether they’re distilling the situation to ease our minds, or whatnot. I suppose Rick will be able to bring the real story with better details on Friday, but for now, this is all you get. Ha!

Todd then hypes Heat and Velocity and recaps RAW. I always get a kick out of it when a guy gets confused about what camera is being used (Steven Colbert seemed to have this problem with the first couple episodes of The Colbert Report), and it looks like Todd is having the same issues here. Then again, this is the first time they’ve put more than one camera in the BT studio.

Todd pimps a new DVD that spotlights Jake “the Snake” Roberts, goes on about it for a couple sentences, and is joined in the studio by Tazz and Michael Cole. Um… what? I want to see Tazz insult Todd, but Todd just wants to insult himself: “It’s good to see real talent on the show besides me.” Tazz: “Yeah, yeah, good ass-kissing.” Heh.

Tazz & Cole Need a Hug: So, why is the B announcing team on Byte This!? Why, they’re there to give a history lesson of the Internet. Cole says that when he started in the company a decade ago, the Internet shows were given no respect, and guys like Cole were thrown into some back locker room to do them. He gives a seventh-grade insult to Tom Pritchard since he had the displeasure of doing these shows with him… He’s in the middle of this rant when Tazz tells Cole to cool down since he’s on SmackDown! and doesn’t need to be a hater.

Good segue, as Cole says that this is exactly what it’s about. Cole is pissed because he’s tired of people calling SmackDown! the B-show. He complains that even WWE seems to feel that way, because we had a SmackDown! announcer hosting Byte This! (Steve Romero), but WWE decided to throw a RAW guy in to “save the day,” and Romero got fired. Um, Michael? That’s because Romero couldn’t host his way out of a little league baseball game, and he had all the charisma and presence of pistachio pudding. I don’t remember Rick reporting that Romero had been fired from the company, but he deserved it if it’s true.

Tazz takes us back one more announcing generation and reminds us of the abortion that was Josh Mathews, and how he was a SmackDown! guy also relieved of his duties on BT. Okay, I concede that Josh had some semblance of timing and charisma, but he also was as grating as Canadian Bulldog. Josh had all the energy of a 12-year-old, and the personality to match, which is not what I want to see in a show.

Now, before I go any further, let me say that I get the point of this segment. I know Tazz and Cole are just trying to feed fuel to the whole SmackDown! vs. RAW fire, which probably not-coincidentally is coinciding with the soon-to-be released WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 on the PlayStaion 2, which is also not-coincidentally coming a couple weeks before Survivor Series where we’ll have a SD vs. RAW match. I get it, it’s a big storyline. But really, this is annoying me.

Anyway, Michael goes on to say that it’s not just the dot-com that’s flaking his parsley. It’s also the fact that JR, Lawler, and the Coach get columns in RAW Magazine, but Cole can’t even get a column in SD Magazine. He says that behind the scenes, we’ve got an SD writer who’s contributing to Byte This!, and an SD producer who is producing Byte This!, and yet SD announcers still can’t get any face time on the show, or the website, or the magazine. Michael Cole would probably want his security blankie right now.

Tazz actually draws a reasonable conclusion when he articulates that guys get open forums on the site for columns and such when they aren’t even on WWE TV anymore. I guess he was referring to Droz there. But anyway, Tazz says this is all gonna change, especially on the site, so there.

Cole asks who the guests are, and says that Todd needs to ask Matt Hardy whether SD is really a B-show. Tazz agrees that Todd should ask him, and then says they’re leaving, having said their piece. Then he warns Chris Chambers (Who the hell is that? The WWE.com webmaster?) that SmackDown! will have a voice soon. Uh huh.

So Cole gingerly walks away, and Tazz walks off-camera as well with the exact same strides as if he’s going to the ring for a match. Todd looks at the camera and says we’re going to get back on track, and that he so totally didn’t know that was going to happen.

And here comes Tazz again, saying that Todd is trying to imply that this is an “angle.” Yay for using insider terms! I so believe this is a shoot now! This is not “a work to hype Tazz or Cole to be the co-host next week,” this is “the truth.” So sayeth Tazz. And then he leaves again.

[break: clip from Jake Roberts’s DVD]

The Required “Why Even Bother?” Segment: Todd appears, and tells us that we have Ashley in the studio. Then we get a camera shot of Ashley’s crotch. After hanging there for a couple seconds, the camera moves up to breasts. After a few more seconds, we’re shown that Ashley does indeed have a face. She smiles and tilts her head and blows kisses for an uncomfortably long time, then we go to break again.

[break: montage of the Undertaker, immediately followed by an ad for Survivor Series]

Ashley For a Couple Seconds: I don’t know why, but I always prefer seeing the BT guests in the studio instead of on the phone. We of course must talk about the photo shoot she’s done for Flex magazine, and, well…

[break: clip of Ashley’s photo shoot]

Ashley Fields Dumb Calls: Wow, I’m so glad I saw that, as it was not at all boring. To their credit, Todd and Ashley are fairly low-key about it, pretty much saying “That clip was cool, let’s move on.” Todd then has a Freudian slip as he says, “On BT we take phone calls, and the phone lines are jammed right now with people who want to get inside Ash- inside the Ask Ashley thing.” Ashley either didn’t pick up on it, didn’t care, or made sure she SEEMED like she didn’t care. Smoother than a baby’s ass.

Our first caller asks when Ashley is going to mollywop Mickie James, but Ashley dodges and instead just says that Mickie is cool and a great in-ring worker, but her devotion to Trish is over-the-top. Which is pretty much a summary of Mickie’s character, and completely not necessary to be stated.

We go from that to her Halloween costume, the dark angel thing, which you can buy on WWE’s auction site. I’ve already said my piece on the whole auction thing, and just hearing it makes me very, very tired. Speaking of making me tired, she says that she’s dating Matt Hardy, which I think Rick already reported on, but… in an effort to continue the Online Onslaught tradition of Not Reporting Retarded Crap, I’m not going to bother recapping this.

Second caller in who asks what Ashley wants to accomplish and what match she wants to be in. Ashley says that she just wants to train and work on her skills, and she wants to wear the women’s title belt one day far down the road.

Third caller in, who asks if Ashley would want to go one-on-one with Victoria (because Ashley’s been doing tag matches all this time). Ashley is all for it… and that’s pretty much it. Lame answer.

Fourth caller asks how she felt about the diva battle royal on Taboo Tuesday. Ashley: “It was cool.” A shitty answer for a shitty question.

[break: ad for the Wrestlemania Anthology DVD set]

Matt Hardy: Matt is in the studio sitting beside Ashley. After the lame opening, Todd asks a question that was on my mind… He mentions the relationship with Lita (although he hilariously does not mention her by name), and asks if Matt is leery at all about basically doing the same thing again. Matt basically says, “If I let the bad stuff get to me, I’ll just die, and this relationship rocks right now.”

Matt blathers about his ladder match with Edge, but they were showing a clip of the match too, and I was too distracted by that to actually pay attention to what Matt was saying. So, uh, forgive me for that one.

Todd decides it’s time to relay Michael Cole’s question, so he asks Matt if SD is any different than RAW. Matt, instead of just doing the predictable thing and putting over SD blandly, goes into details. He thinks the main reason that SD is viewed as a B-show is because it’s taped. He sagely admits that most of the people watching BT know what’s happening on SD, something that RAW doesn’t have to deal with. If there’s a disaster on TV or a girl’s top falls off, Matt says, you’ll see it on RAW. SD isn’t like that, and Matt says WWE sensationalizes the difference, which just leads to the view stronger still that SD is the inferior brand.

That conversation took about three minutes from start to finish, and it was one of the best single conversations I’ve heard on Byte This!. I don’t know why, per se, just because it was logical and honest and all that. Didn’t seem like a work like 90% of the interviews.

So we’re moving onto a caller, who asks who Matt would like to form a tag team with right now, and who he would like to face in a dream match. Matt pimps his team with Rey Mysterio and how cool it is, and says that a match with Shawn Michaels would be awesome.

Second caller in, who asks whether we’ll ever see the Hardy Boys together again in WWE. Matt gives a resounding “maybe.”

Next caller in who asks what Matt’s goals in SD are. Matt wants to win tag belts, and/or the US belt, and/or the heavyweight belt. Well, that was bland.

Matt spends the next few minutes dissing Edge, then we go to our fourth caller. This guy is called the Chicken Horse, and Matt knows him somewhat personally it seems, which implies that he’s a poster on Matt’s official message board or something. The Chicken Horse asks a pair of pretty decent questions. First, what are Matt’s thoughts on Christian leaving the company, and “with his departure leaving a hole in the midcard, do you think you will be able to challenge Booker T for the US title?” Nicely worded.

Matt answers the first one by putting Christian over, saying that you have to do what makes you happy, and that Christian was to the point where he was completely unhappy with things in the company. Matt says that they’re close friends, and Christian was very emotional and torn whether or not to leave the company in the last couple weeks.

Everyone forgets (or ignores) the second part of the question, so it’s dropped. Todd says we need to get out of here, but wants Matt to play one game of Team Coverage… Ashley vs. Sharmell, who wins? Matt answers that Sharmell may be on a roll, but just five minutes with Matt will teach Ashley how to beat her. “Give Ashley to me and I’ll teach her to be the next big thing… well, not Brock, but the next big thing for the future.” Heh.

Todd closes by saying that Matt and Ashley are WWE’s first couple… I won’t even begin to comment on all the ways THAT’S wrong, but whatever. Todd shakes both guests’ hands, they play Ashley’s music, and we go to break.

[break: ad for the diva book, ad for Jake Roberts’s DVD]

Ending Noise: Todd apologizes for ignoring the BT chat room. Trust me, I’ve been in there: they should apologize to him for being retarded. But he says that he’ll field a question from them anyway, and he chooses to answer some moron asking if he’s going to put up his pants that Ashley took off him for auction. (In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Ashley depantsed Todd for a WWE.com exclusive clip this last RAW. They’ve talked about it all show, but I haven’t mentioned it.) Todd answers that while he would love to do that, Ashley threw his pants into the audience, so someone already has them. There’s a souvenir I wouldn’t want to take with me.

Todd takes a call that asks how he thinks of Joey Styles, and whether Todd will take over announcing duties eventually. Todd answers that he thinks Joey rocks, but doesn’t know how long he’ll be around and whether he’ll be able to get comfortable. Todd answers the second part by saying that while he’d like to take a shot at RAW (since he already does Heat), he doesn’t think it would be as much fun because being on RAW handcuffs you and forces you to announce a certain way. Also, he enjoys his work on BT and Heat and Experience (what’s that?) and a lot of international shows, and figures that if he took over RAW forever, he wouldn’t ever get to do those with them. He says he’s happy with his current position, and is interested in doing RAW once, maybe, possibly, in the future, but it doesn’t really matter. Wow, that was a rather poignant reply.

Last caller in, who pimps himself as a fan who should be Todd’s new co-host. This leads to a debate where the fan ends up looking like the Coach, and Todd ends up looking like the Rock. Todd supplies the jabs-that-don’t-sound-like-jabs, and the caller supplies the retarded replies because he’s one step behind the conversation. Todd eventually thanks him for the call, and he’s cut off as you hear him say “Wait!” one last time. Funny stuff.

Todd hypes Bret Hart’s appearance next week, and you’re damn right that I’m recording that one and recording it live. Todd signs off, then they make me wet my pants because they play Bret’s music and show a montage of Hitman clips. Good lord, what did I ever see in those oversized sunglasses he wore? Oh well… I’d give a lot to see him able to wrestle one more match at full strength… say, against Kurt Angle. Bret Hart truly is my absolute favorite wrestler ever.


Closing Comments: See? I even do his catchphrases better than he does.

Anyway, this was an above-average episode of Byte This!, which is to say an average episode of regular talk shows. Everyone did well, the retardedness was kept to a minimum, and I’m happy.

But I’m really, truly jazzed about next week. Bret Hart really puts the 11 herbs in my chicken, and I can’t wait to hear him live for the first time in forever. I know that his presence will be focused on hyping his DVD, but so what? The stellar ECW episode from a year ago existed to hype The Rise and Fall DVD, and yet set the bar so damn high that even Todd’s mastery won’t get within visual range of it.

Of course, I see already that I’ll probably be biased and call next week’s show the second- or third-best ever even if it totally blows, but so what? I’m going to treat it like a Free-Per-View… get some snacks together, record it, and I may just do the recap from memory instead of my normal method of “listen, pause, type, repeat,” which ends up taking me about 150 minutes of work for a 55-minute show.

All right, I’m outta here. Take care, all.



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