The Hot Topic: The Gag Reflex

Rob Taylor


Welcome once more to the first THT in a while… A lot has occurred both in the ring and out of it… First off let’s cast an eye over recent goings on…

WRESTLEZONE REVOLUTION IS HIRING! WZ’s new official E-Fed wants you… the Forums will be live within the next week… We have our first “Revolutionaries” signed, including Johnny Diamond & “The Enigma” Daniel Sturm. All levels of player are welcome, if you are interested in being part of the Revolution then mail me at robwilltaylor@hotmail.com!!

Burchill as a Pirate? Oh come on! Could they really not come up with anything better? Surely he could have even played a version of “Del” the Roadie from Wayne’s World 2 or some kind of English “gangster” type… The word Plank comes to mind…and not in a good way!

Goldberg is “interested” in TNA… For god’s sake don’t do it… TNA I mean… there is talent out there, walking free which could make TNA… Jericho is supposedly interested if he gets Sting’s deal… Would the Rock need much more? either would be the making of TNA… spend the same money and get both, though Rock not long term…spend it on Goldberg… Goodbye TNA…

I saw the Jake Roberts doc that WWE produced and it was extremely well put together… I have nothing short of high expectations for the new batch announced by WWE and am especially pleased that Brian Pillman is gonna get the respect he deserves in his own DVD. One hopes at least… Forget ECW; forget Austin or The Rock… Pillman was the true father of Attitude and his story is incredible… but is it really too much to ask for Davey Boy Smith & Rick Rude DVD’s?

WWE is reporting Simon Inoki is at Titan Towers today… Want to bet against a “shared” contract deal for WWE and NJPW over Brock? I wouldn’t…

WWE is getting ready for another ECW show…I’d rather they left it… cos this time it will clearly be about putting RVD into the main event picture in WWE, not honouring ECW.

Steph is pregnant… Someone is gonna need to cover her during maternity…It sure as heck won’t be Heyman…but maybe we will finally see Trips make the move to Smackdown to “wield the power”. The reduced pressure schedule of the more backstage role surely must appeal to any new father…not to mention recorded as opposed to live.

Ok, it’s time to get to The Hot Topic, and everyone is talking about it…

WWE has in recent months shown its best and worst sides… but at present, we seem to be getting to see more of the latter…

Eddie’s death seems to have triggered a reversion to the 1995 era of WWE booking, where stupid, almost insulting angles and characters replaced a promising era…

Not sure what I mean, think back, 1992-95 was a pretty promising time in WWE. Hogan was gone, but guys like Bret Hart, Undertaker, British Bulldog, Shawn Michaels and mid card talents like Bam Bam Bigelow, Tatanka and Razor Ramon were paving the way for some excellent times ahead… However, while the “Kliq” and the Hart family established their respective hold on the main event with stellar ring performances, punctuated by The Deadman and “Bad Guy” the show itself went into freefall…

At Summerslam 1992, we saw mid carders of the calibre of Ted DiBiase, Legion Of Doom, Rick Martel,Tatanka and Big Bossman. a main event of the calibre of Bret v Bulldog…even the jobbers were quality…

Come the same show in 1995, Diesel v King Mabel was headlining… we had a champion that had clearly failed but WWE was intent on forcing down our throats a while longer, challengers who were infinitely more capable of “running with the ball” and promising talents like Hakushi, Louie Spicolli, Sean Waltman , Shane Douglas, Chris Candido and Karl Oullete and even Glen “Kane” Jacobs forced into ridiculous gimmicks and angles… Dean Douglas? Rad Radford anyone? Jean Pierre LaFitte? Isaac Yankem DDS? the result, real talent was pushed out to the then still fledgling WCW and ECW… which were both just starting to get the financial clout to make “big signings”.

Seem familiar? It should do, cos we seem to be right back in the same situation…

Cena has bombed…let’s face it… people seem to genuinely HATE the guy as champ… he is the equivalent of Diesel, Vince loves him… he sells merchandise, he ticks all the right boxes on the “list” Vince uses to pick his stars… but as usual, Vince seems determined to force his choice down the fans throats, to the point where they have had enough… Diesel forced much the same reaction, many were pleased he got the chance, but by the end it was crying out for someone fresh, at that time Davey Boy Smith was the guy “most equipped” to end that reign, as WWE had a guaranteed bankable rematch between he and Bret to fall back on… but Vince wouldn’t be beaten and carried it to the wire…the stage where to have kept the belt on Diesel any longer would have done major harm to the business but more reputation…

Cena is in much the same position now, he is where he is, not cos he is the most popular, he is there cos he sells Shirts and the Boss’s son in law wants to be the guy to dethrone him… Cena in himself is not a bad talent, nor even a bad champion but is being pushed to the level that it’s even at the detriment of the fans respect of both the product and Cena as a performer… If these new rumours are true and WWE is now editing Cena’s pops. It is almost tragic cos it is likely to kill Cena as a performer, much over exposure killed Nash… he never recovered from being shoved down our throats for a year by Vince… Indeed he then went on to force himself on us in WCW but that was then…this is now…WWE is split in two…damn… it couldn’t happen twice in the same fed…at the same time…could it?

You bet it can… Over on Smackdown we have a similar situation brewing, it seems that WWE is intent on Randy Orton going to Wrestlemania, even if it has to piss over the legacy of Eddie to do it… I HOPE that this is purely a smokescreen, and Eddie’s induction is crowned with Rey Misterio lifting (his only ever mind) the World Title… but Vince “likes” Orton, he ticks those all important boxes, including the one marked “able to REALLY irritate”. That guys like Mick Foley are being so vocal in their annoyance at the direction can only mean Vince either doesn’t care… or is planning a real “fairytale” for WM22. Indeed there is no real sense to the direction Smackdown is taking… They have a guy, who is supposed to represent the network on there, if he was remotely realistic HE would be the guy banning Orton from the main event or the programme as a whole for his comments… Hassan was killed cos his buddies wore hoods… Orton is saying that a colleauge is in hell, just months after he died… dumb is not the word…

Orton has improved to the level where he would not look out of place as champ…but not now… he is the worst possible choice for a push right now, as it will be based on being forced for a 2nd time… In a year’s time, Orton could be the champ Vince…and the fans could bank on… but…I figure we will see the same old thing again…

The outcome of all this is realistic talent, guys who could have been where Cena and Orton are, are walking to TNA or much worse, that 3rd option which seems to be developing… Make no mistake, MTV getting into wrestling is a big move… they seem to be starting small, but if it takes off, they have the money, clout plus that “edge” that ECW had 10 or 11 years ago… Blood likely won’t spill on MTV, but you get the idea….

It is interesting that Edge has had a short reign, in that he was succeeding and it was stripped from him for political reasons in reality…It is interesting that RVD seems destined for the runner up spot in the Wrestlemania tournament. Perhaps Vince will listen and give us another WM20 moment…where 2 new guys win the belt and hit the “Big Time” but I doubt it…

WWE has a lot of potential right now, but they seem intent on forcing the same old stuff down our necks…and it’s starting to make me a little queasy!

What do you think? am I wrong about this?

As ever mail feedback to robwilltaylor@hotmail.com

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