WWF stars help America
cope after tragedy on 'Smackdown'
The Wrestling Report
Ed De La Garza
If Smackdown aired on one of the real networks
(ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox), would the World Wrestling Federation have put on
a show Thursday
just for Houston fans?
Mauro Alvarez/The Daily
The Rock proudly displays
the WCW Championship belt at the Compaq Center at last Thursday's live
taping of Smackdown. The next
pay-per-view for the WWF is Unforgiven
The implication is that with all the networks
turning into 24-hour news services, the WWF would not have aired its special
edition. With that in
mind, UPN allowed it to go ahead with
a live show rather than a taped event. The Sept. 11 taping was postponed
(for obvious reasons).
Sorry. It's just easy to become cynical
when dealing with the same company that turned Owen Hart's death into must-see
television the following
night. But if it helped fans and wrestlers
escape reality for a couple of hours -- the ultimate goal of any professional
wrestling show -- then the
WWF's reasons don't matter.
The show itself wasn't about wrestling.
There were matches, but the story lines played second fiddle to vignettes
of WWF superstars offering
their reactions to the terrorist attacks
on New York City and Washington, D.C.
While most talked about America coming
together and persevering, Tazz may have said it best when, echoing the
feelings of many Americans,
he demanded death for those guilty of
The show goes on. But it still doesn't
seem right to talk about wrestling as though it's this all-important thing.
It's not. It never has been. It's just an
That said, the WWF will donate clothing
to rescue/ recovery workers, victims' families and anyone else who needs
it. It's all Hulkamania apparel,
but it's the gesture that counts.
Anyone wishing to comment on this or other
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Don't forgive or forget
Speaking of escape, the WWF will present
its annual super-card, Unforgiven, on Sunday (7 p.m., pay-per-view). It'll
be a show to end all shows.
It'll be the greatest collection of sports
entertainment superstars ever assembled. It'll be the one PPV you cannot
… Ah, let's get on with it.
As always, predictions are for entertainment
purposes only and should not be used to place illegal bets.
WWF World Title: Steve Austin (champion)
vs. Kurt Angle
Exactly when did Austin turn into the Iron
Sheik? Texas is one of the United States, correct? If that's the case,
then why would fans chant "USA" if
Angle dethrones Austin? People never seem
to realize that when cheering for a patriotic babyface. I never particularly
liked those types of good
guys -- until recently. Prediction: Angle's
raising Old Glory after the match.
WCW World Title: The Rock (champion) vs.
Booker T and Shane McMahon
Will it be pie or strudel? Great as he
is, The Rock doesn't seem well suited for a WCW Champion reign. Booker
T spent years lost in the shuffle
in the old WCW. It's his belt and should
be handed back immediately. Prediction: Booker.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Edge (champion)
It's a sad day when people pay to see two
brothers spill blood on the mat. It should be the best match of the night.
Prediction: Edge retains the
most awesome of non-World Title belts.
Hardcore Title: Rob Van Dam (champion)
vs. Chris Jericho
Van Dam is finally getting a chance to
earn his "Mr. Monday Night" nickname. No one should miss an opportunity
to see RVD wrestle. He's one
of those rare stars whose skill matches
his charisma. Jericho used to be like that. Prediction: RVD.
Other matches on the card (as of now) feature
the Undertaker and Kane defending their WCW Tag Team straps against Kronik,
Tajiri putting up
his United States Championship against
Rhyno and a probable confrontation of some sort between Raven and Saturn.
Predictions: Kronik rolls the Brothers
Grimm, Rhyno wins the U.S. belt and Moppy is reincarnated as particleboard.