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The CrossFace

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Guest TSMAdmin

Greetings and Welcome to the TheSmartMarks.com Crossface, a weekly series where our columnists go head to head in discussing the week's most controversial topics. I'm Stephen Popick, moderator of this series and the upcoming Pay-Per-View Roundtables.


Tonight, 3 days after the WWF changed its name to WWE and fired / reprimanded many WWE employees; our fearless "Wrestling Moves Expert Du Jour" Mark Goodhart takes on our "Highly Energetic Music Reviewer" Danny Gregory.


Stephen: Danny, we got the news about the WWF changing its name very early this week...When you first heard about, what were your reactions?


Danny: None. I thought, "Oh. How about that?" I really was not concerned about it. As they have gone out of their way to tell us, it is the same product with a small cosmetic change.


Stephen: Mark, did you think it was as small a change as Danny is making it out to be, or is this a new beginning for the WWE?


Mark: You know what Danny, why don't you wake up and smell the proverbial coffee? The WWF logo has been associated with wrestling for decades and now it's gone and replaced with a name that only heightens the belief that wrestling is some sort of soap opera. The word "entertainment" belongs in a name of a wrestling promotion as much as the word "woman" does.


Danny: You needed a one letter change in name to tell you that?


Stephen: Well did you Mark?


Danny: Yeah, Mark? Didya? Huh? Huh?


Mark: To tell me that wrestling has become some joke to the very people that profit from its existence? No. Is it symptomatic of the problem? You betcha. And that doesn't mean that I should let the slope keep slipping


Stephen: How would the slope not slip then Mark? You are the WWF facing this lawsuit...what do you do instead?


Danny: And not to BUTT in here, but that is the point. This was not a voluntary decision by the WWF. They were ordered to change the name.


Mark: By making the wrestling organization about... get this... WRESTLING!!! There are a billion names they could have used that didn't include the words "entertainment" And the panda huggers are still complaining. Good work on that Vince. Call wrestling organizations what they should be.... wrestling organizations. Its not a freaking arcade for Pete's sake.


Stephen: Danny? Final thoughts?


Danny: It's a matter of brand recognition. WWE is as close as you can possibly get to WWF. For smart marks to take this as part of vast conspiracy to remove wrestling from the WWE is typically reactionary and empty-headed.


Stephen: This week, the WWF *ahem* WWE mutually agreed to end relationships with Scott Hall and Curt Hennig, while Dustin Runnels and Bradshaw are in the doghouse for antics on an airplane. Now the nWo consists of an injured Nash, and old man in Flair, a big slow guy, and a worker past his cruiser prime... Raw seems to be incredibly hurt by this occurrence... Mark, start us off, what are your thoughts and where should the Raw brand go from here?


Mark: Its funny how the guys the WWE seem to cut are the ones they don't have a great deal of plans for. Yet the over-hyped monster Brock Lesner and "Look I have a Kane Mask" X-Pac get to stick around after fighting and cutting off ponytails respectively. Meanwhile, a fine wrestler like Curt Hennig gets the boot. Is this fair and even handed justice?


Danny: Here's the deal: All they lost was a drunk in Hall and an unmotivated guy who's years past his prime in Hennig. By all indications, Hennig instigated the fight with Lesnar and Hayes deserved what he got. As far as the RAW brand is concerned, they have the potential to be a lot better than they are right now. It is just a matter of pushing the right people, which they are not. But by distributing the talent a little more, WWE could easily solve this problem


Mark: Hayes deserved to get his hair cut for daring to SLEEP? That bastard!!! But what I don't really understand is why people are worrying about RAW. The RAW brand is not going to be hurt by cutting guys they weren't going to push anyway.


Stephen: So do some trades then...the hyped Benoit exchange that everyone is talking about. But will that solve the problems Mark?


Mark: Look Stephen, RAW's ratings are fine... SmackDown! is a mess. Why take away a star from the show that is struggling so Arn Anderson can be a manager? Move Arn to suit Benoit not vice-versa.


Stephen: Danny, are talent exchanges in order with the recent slip-ups?


Danny: I'd like to think so. But that's speaking as someone who cares more about the quality of the product than the ratings. And one begets the other, as far as those are concerned. Putting another talented guy on SmackDown! is not going to help anything, as they're getting bad ratings despite having most of the good talent in the company. RAW has been getting worse at a pretty alarming rate, in terms of show quality, and a trade could help that show infinitely.


Stephen: Mark, final comment on that?


Mark: Look, Smackdown! gets way less interest than RAW. It is sad but true. Taking Benoit away from a sinking ship is a bad thing. How better to prove that he is an actual draw than to have him resurrect interest in a slipping show?


Danny: That show is slipping because of lack of direction, not lack of talent. Benoit, if poorly booked, would not do anything to change that.


Stephen: Fellas, one last quick question


Stephen: If Stephanie McMahon were to come back at Judgment Day, how would you kill yourself?


Danny: Hemlock.


Mark: She is going down before I am


Stephen: Thanks fellas. This has been CrossFace...we will see you next week!

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