Offbeat Shenanigans #2

Kevin McElvaney


Thanks to everyone who sent in their comments regarding Volume 1 of Shenanigans. Thanks, especially, to the wealth of readers who pointed out my little foible, regarding the Khali-Punjabi Prison scenario. Khali did not, in fact, lose the first Punjabi Prison match, at last yearâ<80><99>s Great American Bash. He actually didnâ<80><99>t compete in the bout, due to elevated enzyme levels in his liver. Big Show was his pinch hitter, and HE was the one who actually lost the match.

Whatâ<80><99>s odd is, I actually had this in mind when writing the column. I watched that pay-per-view last summer, and I remember thinking how odd it was that Khali wouldnâ<80><99>t be competing in his new signature match. Compare it to a casket match between Big Show and Khali. But yes, Iâ<80><99>m human and made an error. Thanks to everyone who pointed it out

Before I get into my planned topic for this weekâ<80><99>s writing, I also need to put in my two cents on the SAVE_US222 video aired at No Mercy. The clip refers to Revelations 22:12, which is a vague biblical passage that could be applied to almost anyone. Verse 13, however, is the famous â<80><9c>I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the endâ<80> quote. Jericho used to use this line in his promos, and Iâ<80><99>m really shocked that no one has picked up on this yet. My guess is that WWEâ<80><99>s creative / production team mistakenly grouped verses 12 and 13 together as verse 12. Also, note that No Mercy began with a quote from Genesis, the bibleâ<80><99>s first book. Revelations is the bibleâ<80><99>s last book. Alpha and omega. Booyah.

And, if that wasnâ<80><99>t biblical enough for you, hereâ<80><99>s todayâ<80><99>s scripture.

â<80><9c>A Lesson Learned from Riddick Bowe â<80>

Okay. So, I promise I wonâ<80><99>t do this every week, but, once again, Iâ<80><99>m going to dip my writing bucket into the inspirational well of my younger years. This time, Iâ<80><99>ll be referencing a video game – specifically a title for the Super Nintendo console, known as Riddick Bowe Boxing. You may remember Riddick Bowe as a heavyweight boxing champ, who twice defeated Evander Holyfield. I, however, remember him as the guy in the video game who gave me pointers in between fights.

And one piece of advice that Riddick gave me was, â<80><9c>As a wrestling promotion, you canâ<80><99>t really compete with WWE unless you willingly meet them face to face.â<80> Wait, actually he advised me not to fight boxers who were ranked lower than I was, since it wouldnâ<80><99>t help me climb in the rankings. But the premise is the same. Iâ<80><99>d fight guys who were less tough than me and, despite claiming that my fighter was a contender, Iâ<80><99>d shy away from the big guns. Sound familiar, TNA?

This is not to say that TNA really NEEDS to compete with WWE. Far from it. The company would do quite well to market themselves as an alternative. But, according to Dixie Carter herself, the goal isnâ<80><99>t just for TNA to succeed on its own merits – but also to be able to compete with WWE. In a press conference last week, Carter said that the â<80><9c>idealâ<80> timeslot for iMPACT would be on Monday nights, competing with Raw. So TNA wants to compete, eh? Then why, pray tell, arenâ<80><99>t they?

WWEâ<80><99>s No Mercy was October 7th. TNAâ<80><99>s Bound For Glory is October 14th. The two events are NOT on the same night. Perhaps Iâ<80><99>m wrong here, but I believe that the current 600+ plus channel cable systems would be able to air two wrestling pay-per-views on the same evening. Iâ<80><99>m pretty sure there are two spare channels where such programs could air. Wouldnâ<80><99>t we found out, then, just how many people prefer TNA over WWE?

Maybe Iâ<80><99>m wrong, and the cable companies wouldnâ<80><99>t go for such a setup. Fine. How about this…NWA used to run free events on TBS / the Superstation on the same nights as WWE pay-per-views. TNA could do the very same. What does the company have to lose? Iâ<80><99>m sure Spike would give them a Sunday night, just to see how it worked. And hey, they might get a few people who arenâ<80><99>t sold on the WWE show. I like both products, but Iâ<80><99>d take a quality, free TNA event over a shoddy, underpromoted WWE show.

And, failing that, a two-hour iMPACT special, aired head-to-head with one of the underwhelming new Saturday Nightâ<80><99>s Main Event broadcasts. The new SNMEâ<80><99>s certainly arenâ<80><99>t match-centric, and most fans of the more athletic style of wrestling would probably prefer the TNA product on such an evening. How could TNA not seize this opportunity for potential converts?

I understand that TNA doesnâ<80><99>t have Spike eating out of its hand, yet. But it certainly seems to have the network feeding from its bowl. Every new thing that TNA has requested, Spike has eventually given them. So why not try some of these crazy experiments? Wouldnâ<80><99>t it be really interesting – if itâ<80><99>s even a feasible idea – to see two wrestling pay-per-views go live on the same night?

Personally, Iâ<80><99>m not even sold on the idea that wrestling promotions need to compete. Why canâ<80><99>t two companies coexist on the visual and mental planes of wrestling fans? The tactics Iâ<80><99>ve suggested above are ruthless and gutsy, and Iâ<80><99>d have neither the bravado nor the aggression needed to undertake any of them. That said, Iâ<80><99>d never be a good wrestling promoter. Remember, Iâ<80><99>m the guy who was afraid to touch gloves with Riddick on the SNES.

Come to think of it, I just remembered another piece of wisdom that Mr. Bowe imparted in that classic 16-bit adventure – â<80><9c>If you want to really be great, itâ<80><99>s best to feature Shark Boy at least once every night.â<80>

Kevin is also a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler. Email comments to kevin@cheapshotphilly.com.

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