Wednesday, September 19, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 20


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 Cougar

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 on Sunday.

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 attacks.

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 wrestling topics -- and hoping for possible publication -- can e-mail responses to

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) vs. Christian

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.

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