Wednesday, October 24, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 45


WWF stuck between Rock and hard place, needs new Angle

The Wrestling Report

Ed De La Garza

A funny thing happened while I was watching Raw.

It was during Rhyno's World Championship Wrestling U.S. Title defense against Kurt Angle. Halfway in, I stopped thinking like a fan and started thinking like one of those
people who make fun of pro wrestling. It was surreal.

I saw tens of thousands of people in Kansas City, Mo., watching two men in tights fight a scripted match. I heard the crowd chanting "U-S-A," completely ignoring the fact
that both "combatants" are Americans. I thought about what carefully thought-out feud had prompted these two men to settle their dispute by dressing up in Lycra and
fighting on a stage.

The idea of suspending one's disbelief was foreign to me. I couldn't understand why Rhyno wasn't being hauled off to jail for viciously attacking Edge backstage. I couldn't
understand why neither Rhyno nor Angle had died as a result of massive internal bleeding.

I couldn't understand why more wrestlers aren't alerted to their opponent's secret plans. There's always a camera around when wrestlers are talking backstage, yet they
fail to grasp the idea of videotape. Instead of running a pointless "Who ran over Austin" angle, why not just check out the surveillance cameras?

I wondered if The Rock always spoke in quick, rapid-fire phrases and how in God's name he could put eight phrases in the word "smell."

I thought to myself, what's so special about Kane that he can make fire shoot out of the ringposts just by dropping his arms? If you believe commercials, he can also
make pasta pop out of cans and onto a plate.

And how did the Undertaker go from a member of the undead into an outlaw biker? Riding around on a motorcycle doesn't change the fact that you're still a zombie.

I worried about The Hurricane. I don't think it's normal for someone to go around thinking he's a superhero, regardless of the fancy costume. Gregory Helms needs help,
not heat.

And how does Diamond Dallas Page find the time to be a motivational speaker on the side? I've seen Tough Enough. You have zero time to relax, much less visit
hotels to give little pick-me-up speeches. Even if he can find the time, why isn't he a champion? If he's so great at motivating, he should be able to motivate himself into
winning a title.

What's he doing instead? He's getting his arse kicked by a man who can set ringposts on fire.

But I'm just nitpicking. It was a great show.

Mercy bo coop

Somewhere, Bill Goldberg is sitting at home, counting the money he's getting for not doing a damn thing, while the man he deemed unworthy of lacing his boots is the
proud holder of the WCW World Title.

A few months before Chris Jericho's contract with the old WCW ran out, he was set to have a program with Goldberg. He even teased it by making fun of the big stiff's
unbeaten record. This was at the height of Jericho's comedic heel turn -- back when he was good.

But Goldberg vetoed the idea, saying Jericho was too small to be involved in the World Title mix, even if only for a squash match. Of course, that meant weeks of
preparation and interviews had been for naught.

Sunday at No Mercy, Jericho beat The Rock to win his first world championship. He didn't turn heel, but he was aided by the lovely Stephanie McMahon. Since he didn't
swerve Rocky during Raw's main event, it could end up being another slow turn, much like Christian's a couple of months ago.

I may not be the greatest of fans these days, but The Rock has turned it up a notch in the ring. One would think his newfound status as Hollywood actor would have
turned him into the modern reincarnation of Hulk Hogan, but he's not half-stepping it. You can only hope his program with Jericho lasts through Survivor Series.

In other news, Steve Austin retained the WWF World Title in his match against Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle. While having Austin keep the belt despite the best efforts
of a meddling Vince McMahon is big, the fact that Van Dam competed in the main event so short into his WWF career is even bigger. Anyone else notice he was the
only Alliance star to score a victory over the WWF on Monday?

Also, Edge regained the Intercontinental Title from Christian after nearly killing his brother in a ladder match; Undertaker continued to bury Booker T by scoring a clean win;
The Dudleys held on to the WWF Tag Team belts; Test shocked the world -- and the man who can set ringposts on fire; The Hardys defeated The Hurricane and Lance
Storm to retain the WCW Tag Team titles; and Torrie Wilson defeated Stacy Kiebler.

Well, if you believe the hype (and Lord knows I always do), Survivor Series should be one for the ages. As stated Monday, one match will decide the ultimate winner in
the battle between the WWF and the WCW/ECW Alliance for wrestling supremacy.

Can you not feel the power that is readied to flow from the long and storied annals of grappling folklore, ultimate ones? Bask in the greatest of magnitudes as the battle
between good and evil finally prepares to come to its awe-inspiring climax as the second year of this millennium draws to a close. Prepare, O ultimate ones. Warriors
unite, for the ultimate war is at hand!

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