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WWE Confidential May 3, 2003, May 5, 2003
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Jun 21 2003, 01:21 AM
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WWE Confidential May 3, 2003

I know right off the bat many of you are going to doubt this, but YES I was planning on mentioning The Smart Marks birthday. I would have remembered with or without Dames’ excellent http://thesmartmarks.com/artman/publish/ar...ticle_876.shtml >year in review column.

I guess this milestone means a little bit more to me than it might for some of the other writer and here’s why. A little over a year prior to landing the spot on TSM, I was writing for a hole in the ground called Rantasia (If you are reading this Matt, no offense was meant by that). That site closed shop after I was writing for about seven months, I didn’t really have any place to go from there. I wrote for a couple ill-fated sites that died within a few weeks. I had a short run on an independent federation’s website as their TV reporter, but without a large group of readers, I lost most of my motivation.

So several more months past by and 411 Wrestling was looking for new writers because they were revamping the site. I sent in my usual samples. After losing to a guy with a shark gimmick and Claire Flynn Boyle, I was ready to call it quits. Let’s get serious here, CLAIRE FLYNN BOYLE! Well at least in the case of The Shark; I’m still around buddy, where the hell are you? In retrospect it is probably good 411 didn’t choose me, for then I wouldn’t be reviewing THIS show for six different websites.

Back on topic, a few weeks after that letdown, Scott Keith and friends abandoned The Smarks, leaving a few of the regular posters on the message board in charge. Next thing you know it’s decided that a new “independent” site would start up. Seriously, just about NONE of us really had the name value to propel the entire site. Instead we focused on churning out quality work week after week. And one year later, here we are. Obviously we did something right.

I would like to thank Damian, Will and whoever else decided to bring on board. If I didn’t end up writing for TSM, I probably would have thrown in the towel altogether. It’s pretty funny how things work out.

Not to mention, serious props to Dames for putting up with my consistent tardiness. ;-)

For once my introduction will also include some wrestling banter.

Steve Austin brought up the need of the mid-card title on Raw during his Byte This appearance. Many are speculating the return of either the WWE Intercontinental Title or the old WCW Television Title. Personally, I’m leaning towards the creation of a brand-spanking-new belt, but that isn’t really the point I’m trying to make here.

I have gone on the record several times saying “Online petitions accomplish NOTHING”. Earlier this week I get an e-mail about http://www.PetitionOnline.com/WWEBelts/pet...;THIS Online Petition devoted to bringing secondary titles back to the WWE. I deleted it the first time around, but the guy sent it to me again. Now the fact that his petition started up a few days before the Austin announcement boggled my mind at first. I write it off as coincidence though based on the fact that all of 15 people signed the petition, but I figured this would give a good segue into what I was really planning on talking about.

Those of you who post on TSM’s message know where I stand on the WWE Criticism debate. For those of you who don’t, I’m against mindless bitching on a message board that no one in the WWE will ever. I have always advocated submitting feedback through the proper channels. Usually when I say that, people respond with “my feedback will be ignored”. Well don’t fret my friend, for the other day I got an e-mail from WWE.com stating that the WWE actually WANTS your opinions. Now those of you who are constantly whining about the product had better get your asses over to the http://surveys.wwe.com/>survey homepage and you should also complete ALL four surveys. After you finish up all that, I will not mind how much bitching you do on any message board. Remember… Be PROACTIVE not REACTIVE.

This week on Confidential: Jesse Venture speaks and a Trish Stratus photo shoot.

Gene kicks the show off by briefly explaining just who Bob Costas is. He was the guy who called Hogan vs. McMahon the WWE’s version of the old-times game at Yankee Stadium. Why Confidential would waste time interviewing Bob Costas is beyond me, especially considering his opinion on the current state of sports entertainment. Well at least he wasn’t given the prestige of being the COVER STORY~!

Bob Costas first started watching wrestling in 1959-1960. He was a big fan of Bruno Sammartino, Haystacks Calhoun and Pedro Morales. Costas enjoyed how the shows used to seem to be “good natured”. He was also drawn to the announcers like Gordon Solie and more specifically Gene Okerlund. The one trait Bob always liked about Gene was his mock seriousness.

Costas relates a story of Andre the Giant scaring a tough guy in a bar and goes into how he once did radio commentary for the Hulk Hogan-Paul Orndorff match in St. Louis. Because he made his love of wrestling so obvious, the WWF allowed him to be the ring announcer for an event in St. Louis.

Bob credits wrestling’s fame to the mainstream exposure Hulk Hogan gave it during his run on top. He no longer believes that the product is catered for his age group and the shows (as well American culture in general) are a bit too crass for him. Nevertheless, he still respects the wrestlers and praises the Rock in particular, calling him more charismatic than most movie stars. As for heat with Vince McMahon; the two had a minor conflict on Costas’ HBO show, but the next day Vince called him and asked to be on the show again sometime. Although, the overall tone is too much for, Bob can’t speak for the 20 year olds, for obviously there is an audience for the current product. Eh, it’s not a pretty big one Bob, so I guess most people would be on your side of the fence when it came down to this issue. As I stated earlier, Costas’ really didn’t belong on a wrestling show and thus said nothing of note.

Segment 1: 0/1

For the second year in a row Trish Stratus is the WWE Internet Babe of the Year, so her big prize for winning such a cutthroat competition is her own Babe of the Year website. Obviously since this is a diva site, there has got to be pictures, because who really wants to read about Trish Stratus when you could just look at her? Well, I think she would be interesting to read about, but then again I’m not the majority when it comes to many topics. For this year, instead of going with the played out bra-n-panties route, Trish was dressed in normal, everyday clothes that she would wear either on the street, going to a club, or to a restaurant. Of course those clothes needed to be spruced up a little, but unlike the usual breast cleavage, this year’s main attracting is ASS CLEAVAGE. Trish is quite excited about this change of pace and I can’t really blame her. Nothing groundbreaking here, but Trish’s on-air presence made it worthwhile.

Segment 2: .5/2

Gene introduces us to yet another “weekly” segment that will be forgotten within two weeks… like that fantastic Fantasy Match concept they had going on for awhile. Now if you thought Fantasy Match was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Outside the Ropes: The Hurricane

For this new fascinating segment, The Coach sits down with a wrestler and asks them 10 utterly ridiculous and WACKY questions. I’m THIS CLOSE to pissing myself due to the excitement. Speaking of the Coach though, does any one else think that his voice is a breath of fresh air over on Raw? Too bad JR is due back tonight. Already the WWE forgets the name of their own segment as the Coach calls it “One on One”. Take your pick folks, because I could give a damn.

1. Who would win a fight between Superman and Batman?

Batman because Superman gave Batman a Kryptonite Ring incase Superman ever went crazy and started attacking civilians and joined the forces of evil. Do I really need to transcribe the rest of this crap?

2. Who’s sexier: Wonder Woman or Lois Lane?

Wonder Woman.

3. Does Michael Jackson turn into a superhero when he puts on his mask?

He turns into something, but not a superhero. TELL ME HE DIDN’T JUST SAY THAT! No one disses the King of Pop and gets away with it.

4. Do superheroes like amusement parks?

Yes.

5. What is Hurricane’s Kryptonite?

Broccoli. The way he said that so matter-of-factly was a little funny.

6. What ever happened to the Hurri-Cycle?

With the gas prices these days, it’s cheaper to fly. Admittedly, I marked for the clip of the Hurri-Cycle.

7. Who are the Hurricane’s biggest villains in the WWE?

Scorpion King, Triple H, and Eric Bischoff.

8. How does being a superhero compare to being a WWE Superstar?

He dodges this one by saying he fights crime in both elements.

9. How does wrestling in a mask affect you?

The mask intimidates his opponents. Yeah, along with the braces I’d be shaking in my boots.

10. After beating the Scorpion King and Ric Flair, who is next on the Hurricane’s list?

At the top of the list is Triple H.

OK, I’m not going to tear this new segment apart YET. Instead I’m going to offer a suggestion. Why not ask 10 wrestling-related questions? Or questions about a wrestler’s personal life? Or at least questions based on reality? Overall, I mark for the Hurricane, but this was completely asinine.

Segment 3: .5/3

Gene tells the story of Jesse Ventura before he entered professional wrestling. A lengthy montage of clips follows. Freddie Blassie and Gorilla Monsoon comment on his Jesse’s physique. No, Gorilla is not speaking from beyond the grave, the clip is from 1998, but I wasn’t looking at the TV when he started talking and I had to do a double take.

Once Superstar Billy Graham left the AWA, Verne Gagne needed someone to take his place. That is where Jesse Ventura came in. He got the name “The Body” from a fan at a live event. Gorilla thought that Jesse’s wardrobe was a bit outlandish, but he was able to pull it off. Blassie remembers Jesse as someone who would do anything if he could make money out of it.

Gorilla calls Jesse’s wrestling skill “limited”. He recalls Ventura’s catchphrase, “Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat”. Blassie remembers one time Gorilla told him to keep his men (Venture and Adonis) in the corner because Vince has the camera set up for that shot. After telling Jesse this, Ventura spent the whole match walking around the ring because standing in the corner was beneath him.

If there was one skill Jesse learned from wrestling, it would have to be performing in front of a camera. He learned how to think on his feet and ad-lib. A funny clip of Ventura insulting Pat Patterson is shown. “Hey Jack Patterson.” “My name is Pat Patterson” “To me all insignificant people are Jack. Isn’t that right Jack Patterson?”

Segment 4: 1.5/4

Two ladies, one of which had a butch haircut, won the opportunity to workout with Randy Orton and Jacqueline. Randy got a haircut and now looks like every other guy in his 20s. As you can see, this show just keeps getting better and better.

Segment 5: 1.5/5

From the Vault: Jesse Ventura

Curt Hennig was always cool with Jesse. Ventura’s greatest fear in life is to outlive one of his kids and now Larry Hennig has to live through that. He decided to pay tribute to Curt Hennig in this week’s From the Vault segment. A clip of an AWA interview where Jesse Ventura interrupts Curt Hennig is shown. So, does this mean that Vince finally got the rights to the old AWA footage? If so, VERY COOL.

Jesse Ventura w/Freddie Blassie vs. Curt Hennig ~ 1981
Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson are on commentary, so this match is from the WWF, not the AWA like the interview segment that preceded it. Surprisingly clean break from Jesse… I take that back as he gets a shot in on the next one. Ventura with an armbar, which Henning turns into a hammerlock. The Body makes the ropes, but Hennig goes right back to the hold. Ventura comesback with the usual 80’s cheating, including dragging Curt’s face across the top rope. Blassie gets in a shot with the cane. Jesse dumps Curt through the ropes. Hennig gets his neck snapped over the top rope. Ventura prevents him from making it back into the ring a couple more times. Finally Hennig hits a shoulderblock, which wakes up the crowd. He misses a blind charge and SAILS through the ropes. WOW! That was quite the spot for 1981. Back in, Ventura drops Hennig with a Canadian backbreaker for 2. He finishes him off with a variation of the torture rack. (6:04) * OK. OK. I know that since this was an old match shown in it’s entirety I should be thrilled, and quite frankly I am. It just wasn’t a very good match. Keep in mind Hennig was only 23 years old at this point and had only been wrestling professionally since 1979. He didn’t really come into his until the mid-80’s during his AWA stint. Not to mention the fact that he got all of two offensive moves in during the whole match. This was a squash match, which is why I don’t understand why Jesse Ventura would have chosen it. Personally I would have went with a big-time Curt Hennig match from his second run in the WWF that featured Jesse Ventura on commentary. Since Hennig was a heel and Ventura was on color, it all would have worked out fine. Nonetheless, they didn’t forget about the segment yet and I was thoroughly entertained. At this point, From the Vault is the sole reason to watch Confidential. Here’s to three weeks in a row.

Next Week: Jesse Ventura THE color commentator. Should be good if they squeeze enough of his one-liners in.

Segment 6: 2.5/6

THIS IS IT

If they keep on giving me lengthy old school matches, I will be happy enough to pass off the shows as average. This week falls into that category of average. In other words, just about everything sucked besides the match. Well, the Ventura segment was good, but nothing special.

Just wanted to remind everyone that May 17, 2003 marks the One Year Anniversary of Confidential. Maybe I’ll do something out of the ordinary for that show. We’ll see. If you have any ideas, shoot them over to me.

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