~~~~~THE TBL NEWSLETTER~~~~~
Volume 3, Issue 7!!!
Official Newsletter of:
The Balrog’s Lair
”Still an Internet Original!”
The Editor’s Intro
Hey there! Hi there! Ho there!
Wow, what a week we had at TBL last week. The Unforgiven coverage was phenomenal, with the Roundtable, the trivia, and the columns. Then we came right back with our amazing RAW coverage (headed by yours truly) and debut columnists all over the place. If you haven’t been by in a while, you’ve got to check out the place!
And the fun keeps on coming!
In this issue of the TBL Newsletter, you will get an exclusive interview in the Two Sheds Review, SamJerry takes a look at RAW, and Violent Jay is back with our Reader Column. And debuting this week in the Newsletter (we are all very excited about this), the one, the only Eddie will be his version of The Rundown (not The Rock’s Rundown, mind you). Of course, you will get all the important news from the week and one or two other surprises along the way!
As always, we want your feedback on what you think of the world of wrestling and we are always looking to add new writers to our reader’s column. All you have to do is email me with whatever you want! Simple huh?
Let’s do this!
Roland G, Editor-in-Chief
Lance Storm Injured
Lance Storm was not at RAW this past Monday due to a pelvis injury he suffered at the hands of a Mark Henry powering into the turnbuckle at the 9/15 show. It is said that his entire pelvis went numb. He was in so much pain that night that he needed crutches to leave the building, but was able to walk unassisted by the middle of the week. Doctors found that nothing was fractured and it is expected that Storm will be back on the road this weekend. (Credit 1wrestling)
Unforgiven Injury News
According to WWE.com, Lita suffered a badly chipped tooth, bit through her tongue completely, and had a large knot under her chin as a result of her match last Sunday. However, she toughed it out and had a match the next night on RAW.
Shane McMahon’s leap from the set at Unforgiven had been well rehearsed. Under the platform where he landed, there was air-filled padding, much similar to those used in packaging materials so that it doesn’t move around. Once Shane hit the floor, a switch was hit to deflate the padding. Shane was seen earlier in the day, practicing the bump. (Credit RFVideo)
Vince No Longer a Billionaire
Vince McMahon’s picture is on the cover of the current Forbes magazine which features the 400 richest people of America. The problem is, he’s on the list of people who dropped off the list. A blurb inside says he’s worth $575 million, well below the $1 billion mark of a few years ago.
The Rock Out of Wrestling?
The Rock’s new movie The Rundown opens in theaters across the country this weekend. It is widely expected that it will do well as critics have been kind in their reviews. The Rock also has been letting important people in Hollywood know that he does not plan on going back to wrestling full time, even though he loves it, because it is too difficult to balance a movie career and a wrestling career. Also, on The Late Show with David Letterman this week, he mentioned he is pretty much done with wrestling.
Universal is also working hard to get Spy Hunter into production in the spring of 2004. Rock has been cast as the lead role of Alec Sects and will not be available to work in the WWE during that time. It is possible, however, that he could work Wrestlemania XX, as long as the storyline is not long-term.
More Movie News
Triple H has already started preparing for his role in Blade:Trinity. It is not expected that he will be on WWE Television for some time, due to the movie and his impeding nuptials to Stephanie McMahon. This will most likely be explained at RAW next week, in addition to Triple H’s statements of, “You need me more than I need you,” on RAW this week.
An article was placed on Fozzy.com’s forum page that Chris and Jessica Irvine are the proud new parents of their son Ash Edward. The tike was born on September 24 at 8 p.m. TBL wishes to congratulate the family and their new birth.
According to WWE.com, Batista will begin working in OVW this week in preparation for his return. Jazz also has healed from her shoulder injury and is ready to come back at any time. She is just waiting on a call.
Kevin Nash May be Out
Kevin Nash is currently off television due to a combination of an injury, his recent filming of his role in The Punisher, and a lack of storyline for the WWE to put him in. But, the rumor is that Nash might be out in the first quarter of 2004. That is when his contract is up. And since his downside guarantee is around $700,000 a year, the WWE most likely feels he is not worth the money for a renewal, since he has been ineffective since his return in 2002. If they do renew him, it will have to be for a sizable pay cut. Despite this, there is some speculation that the WWE may book him in a major feud with Goldberg in the coming months due to the two’s history together in WCW. That is just a rumor and seems unlikely, though. (Credit The Torch)
Al Snow Offered a Contract
The word going around is that the WWE has offered Al Snow a new contract. The catch is that they want him to move to Stanford, where all the other announcers live (with the exception of Jerry Lawler). Management likes their announcers close so that it is easy for them to come and do voiceovers when needed. (Credit Prowrestling.com)
WWE Stars to Jump to NWA?
Rikishi is said to be getting very upset about how his negotiations with the WWE over a new contract and is reportedly considering all other options, including the NWA:TNA. He is also reportedly upset about how he has been used in recent months.
There has also been a rumor going around that Paul Heyman might jump to TNA, but that rumor is said to be false at this time. Heyman still has two years left on his contract and would not be able to go anywhere unless he was released by the WWE. (Credit PWTorch Newsletter)
Wrestlemania Tickets Go Onsale
Some pre-sale Wrestlemania tickets went on sale Friday morning and were sold out very quickly. 17,000 tickets were sold in less than five minutes. (Credit prowrestling.com)
Roland Rages the News
Lot’s of news this week, but two things in particular caught my eye. Both of them have to do with wrestlers that might be done with the WWE.
First, there is Kevin Nash. Now, before you start you’re chants of, “Hip, Hip, Hooray,” let me say that I’ve always kind of liked Big Sexy. Yeah, I know I rag on him a lot in RAW Rage because he’s slow (and he is) and because he has been useless since coming back (and he has), but I’m not so sure we should all be going around blaming Kevin for the way he’s been used. Is he lazy? Yes. Without a doubt. He’s lazy in the ring and he’s lazy outside of it. But since he was brought back with the N.W.O. he has been used so poorly, it’s laughable. First, there was the whole n.W.o debacle itself. That wasn’t Nash’s fault – it was more the WWE’s failure to market something that had potential. See, the WWE and those in charge rarely push something that is not their idea. Then Nash got hurt…and hurt again. When he finally did get his shot at the title, the WWE never let him do what he is good at: talk. Take away the wrestling and the lethargy in the ring – Nash knows how to talk. And if someone would just give the guy a microphone, he may still have some kind of future with this company.
Of course, even bigger news is that of the Rock basically saying that he is done with wrestling. I, personally, haven’t heard him say that. What I have heard is really just Mr. Johnson saying, “I’m done with wrestling right now.” He has to try this. And can you really blame him? Wrestling will always be there for Mr. Johnson. I cannot even imagine a time when Vince McMahon (or his children) wouldn’t welcome him with open arms. And the fans will do the same. But he has to do this. Sure, we would think he was really cool if he turned his back on Hollywood and proclaimed himself to be only about the business, but that’s not going to happen. And let me ask you this: if someone sat you down at a table and gave you a choice of one million dollars or one billion dollars, which would you take? Oh, and if you take the million, you get to get beat up on a daily basis. I think the choice is clear. Plus, I don’t think he will ever be truly away from wrestling. The Rock will always have a place to do something for the business that is in his blood and probably for the rest of his life. Good luck Rock! Come by any time.
THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW
by Julian Radbourne
She was considered one of the best wrestling writers on the Internet. Her weekly “Assorted Babblings” column was read by thousands around the world, on numerous websites and newsletters, inter-mixing personal happenings with her views on the wrestling world.
Changes in the wrestling business and in her personal life took her away from the wrestling business, but now the woman known around the world as *Graysox* talks in this exclusive interview.
Hi Sox. How are you doing?
To start off with, could you tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, that sort of thing.
My “real” name is Melissa Sue, and I’m a 20-year-old kid from a shitty little town on Long Island. Currently, I am in my third year as a Writing and Rhetoric Major (with a minor in Media Studies) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate Geneva, New York (my PO Box is 3013 if anyone wants to write me letters or send me porn). After 2 years of dorm living, I am currently living in a small on-campus, college-owned house with my boyfriend and 2 of our female friends. We’re having a blast playing house: cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning.
How did you first get interested in wrestling?
Well, I was a kid in the 80’s. Who wasn’t into wrestling?
More specifically, from the time I was 3 until I was about 6, my mother and father both worked crazy hours, so I stayed at my grandmother’s house a lot. My youngest aunt and uncle (who were both still in school) usually ended up entertaining me, and my uncle was huge into wrestling. I would watch with him and his buddies, and it was the best time! I just continued to follow it.
I’ve always been a huge sucker for a good story. I am a huge Joss Whedon fan, because I can’t get enough of good, solid storytelling. At the time, the WWF was telling a great story and I got sucked into it and stayed with it for years.
Which wrestlers and matches have been your personal favourites since you first got into wrestling?
I always hate this question. There are the obvious favorites: most recently, I loved HBK and H3, Mick Foley. I have a long-standing love affair with the Raven character. But over ten years of watching wrestling, there have been so many good characters and angles, how the hell could I even begin to pinpoint a favorite?
Why made you decide to write about wrestling, and how did you get your first column published on the Internet?
I really have no idea, it was so long ago! It was a time when there was a lot of writing about wrestling online. I think I began with e-feds. But I probably just read something in a newsletter and said, “I can do that!” And I know I got into op boards after reading WU. But how I originally began is anyone’s guess.
You received tons of feedback about your column, much of which you shared with your readers. Is there any piece of feedback that made you realise just how popular you were? And alternatively, was there any pieces of feedback that upset you?
I think the best were the ones where I developed real relationships with the readers and got to talk about things other than wrestling. And, of course, there was always the negative stuff. I always wondered about that?why in God’s name does anyone waste his or her time writing negative feedback? If you really hate something that much, why keep reading it? Why not just tune it out if you find something so offensive? Waste of time for both the writer and the reader if the criticism isn’t constructive.
Why did you stop writing about wrestling?
Honestly, I stopped for a number of reasons. First, I was tired of wrestling, it became seriously uninteresting to me. Boring story lines. Rehashes. Blah.
Second, I was tired and bored and jaded about the Internet scene as a whole. There was just too much drama; it stopped being fun.
Third, I really didn’t have the time. I spent one summer in Pittsburgh studying journalism. Senior year was crazy and punctuated by college visits. I met Rob, my boyfriend, at about this time. I was really engrossed in MELISSA instead of in the digital world or the wrestling ring.
What have you been up to since your departure from the Internet wrestling scene?
I am currently working on a film documentary about the Adelphia cable company (I may be able to hook interested parties up with a copy if the school gives me enough fundage). I’m a Writing Colleague (read: I tutor students in elementary school, college and, starting this term, high school), and I’m fairly active in the community (I love doing community service). I’m also the copy editor of the Herald (school paper).
I spend a ton of time (read: ALL of my free time) with Rob (my boyfriend). I am totally crazy about this guy, we’ve been dating since freshman year, and the whole experience has really changed me. I am about ten times more confident and I just feel better about me as a person. There is nothing in the world like someone telling you how beautiful you are every morning. Nothing like having someone really listen to what you say and engage you in trying to grow and learn. I’ve never been so happy.
Between the community service, getting out on my own, and Rob, I really am a totally different person than I was 4 years ago, but that’s to be expected!
Do you think that the Internet has a negative affect on the wrestling industry, that perhaps some people can be too critical at times?
I used to think that. While I was writing, I used to really think that people were just overcritical assholes, how do you completely rip something you love? But time and distance (and life experience) have allowed me to see it in a different manner. I think that Internet wrestling writing is good. It gets kids writing (let’s face it,the majority of internet wrestling writers are young adults and teens who couldn’t care less about being literate or school work), and it is hard to make kids want to write these days.
Internet criticisms could potentially also serve as a sounding board for the big wrestling companies. I know for a fact that big movers and shakers in the wrestling world read the stuff written on the Internet. If used correctly, why couldn’t they use some of your ideas or revise their ideas to give the viewers a product they want to see? The Internet could be a totally powerful resource for the big companies if they’d use it properly.
Any thoughts about coming back as a wrestling writer? I’m sure that there are many people who would welcome you back!
A few months ago, actually, I was invited to write for Lethal Entertainment, which is a subsidiary of Lethal Wrestling ( http://www.lethalwrestling.com/), a site run by one of my dearest friends, Barbwire Mike. It wouldn’t have been a return to wrestling writing so much, but a return to ‘net writing. I did consider it, but ultimately decided that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing – getting involved in board politics and other people’s shit – I am super busy, so I don’t really have time for it.
It’s been a while since you’ve given your views on the wrestling business. What’s your view of the industry today, and, in particular, the WWE?
I don’t really have one, really. Since I’ve stopped watching wrestling, I’ve really stopped following it. My only remaining tie is RingSideRants, a wrestling themed e-group. If you’d like to hear some opinions about wrestling you can read most of their work at http://www.theringpost.com/ .
Outside of wrestling, what ambitions do you have?p> Hopefully, when I graduate, I’m going to spend a few months at NYU getting certified, and then I will get a job in magazine publishing – preferably glossies, like Cosmo or Vogue. I am seriously intoxicated by the idea that so many American woman read these magazines religiously – if you could use that as your platform, you could get across to so many women?you could educate them about so many things. I’m looking for internships in that area for this summer and the future, if anyone can toss any info my way or hook me up with some contacts.
Rob is actually an Asian Languages major (he is fluent in Chinese and semi-fluent in Japanese). He plans to do 3 or 5 more years at university after I graduate, so we’ll be apart for a few years – if we can manage that (and I think we can), I would really love to get married and have/adopt a kid – just one or maybe two.
I was kind of a wild kid – I did the whole punk rock thing for a few years, but, within the past year and a half, I’ve been totally indoctrinated with that whole “growing up” thing. I want to get a job, and be a wife and mommy. I want to be myself and be really good at it and everything else I do. I want to learn new things and be happy. They aren’t such lofty ambitions, I don’t think. Ultimately, I think it’s what everyone wants.
This is your opportunity to say anything about anyone, a shoot if you will…..
Do what makes you happy, fair readers. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, just keep reaching for your own brass ring.
Check out Strongbad ( http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail.html), X-E ( http://www.x-entertainment.com/), and Scotsmanality (http://scotsmanality.com/). You should read John Irving books, watch Joss Whedon programming, and drink lots of kiwi-strawberry Juicey-Juice. Learn to slow dance. These are the only ways to survive in this world.
To those who I’ve lost contact with, feel free to get back in touch with me! I’m still at Graysoxbabbler@hotmail.com, and my AIM is Graysoxie. Yea – I’ve tried some other handles, but I keep coming back to that one.
Make lists. I would be so dead without lists. And listen to Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You while you’re making a move – girls love that shit.
Where on the Internet can we find out more about you?
My website is still there at http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/graysox, but I rarely update. I want to, but I just don’t seem to have the time or the motivation. All the site is really good for is looking at old columns and stuff.
I have a free open diary ( www.freeopendiary.com). It’s mostly stories and occasional updates, because FOD sucks. The user name on that is Josie Donaldson.
I also keep a Live Journal ( www.livejournal.com). The user name is mspish (childhood nickname) – but most of my entries are “Friends Only.” I am always interested in amassing more friends, though – so any Live Journal Geeks should totally get in touch with me!
Sometimes, you can read the school’s newspaper on the web, but we have been having some troubles getting that up and running. Eitherway, if you’re interested in seeing what a rag it is, you can search for it at www.hws.edu .
And finally, will you ever reveal your real name, or put a picture of yourself on your website?
My real name is Melissa Sue (I told you think already!), and, I’d love to share a picture – but I don’t have one. You’ll all just have to keep sleeping secure in the knowledge that I am not anything special.
Graysox, it’s been a pleasure!
And now, here is SamJerry with his weekly Newsletter Exclusive column:
“ROUNDING THE SQUARED CIRCLE”
“THE ERA OF $OLDBERG, THE CROTCH AND THE SNOW JOB HAS DAWNED”
“RING OUT THE OLD, RING IN THE ????”
VISIT MY HOME PAGE: http://members.aol.com/samjerry.
This was the first NITRO II following Unforgiven. It was the first NITRO II with The Man Of Steel as World Champion. It was the first NITRO II with The Crotch and The Snow Blower as announcers. It was a sad day in Dudleyville. Grandpa Dudley hasn’t spoken a word since Unforgiven (which really might not be all that bad). As a long time WWE fan, he is wearing a black arm band. The take over of RAW by WCW is complete. The only things lacking are Fat Tony and The Ancient Perfesser (which makes The Crotch and The Abominable Snow Man a lot easier to swallow). Looking at NITRO II:
The Man who won his first 3,678 matches (my count is as good as the ones WCW used to give). Of course that ignores his loss in a “Dark Match,” applying one of the main tenets of wrestling: “If it didn’t happen on TV, it didn’t happen,” began with Crotch and Yellow Snow strutting in to a thunderous silence. Then came Super-Duperman to spout a bunch of barely understandable grunts. You can’t blame the guy if English isn’t his first (or even fourth language).
Luckily, Stone Cold Beer Man (SCBM) came out to save us from Super Guy. Forgetting the day that they almost came to blows at some fan thing a couple of years ago, SCBM congratulated Super Person. Imagine two bald guys that wear black trunks making it in this business; shows you how much Good Old Eric (GOE) knows (knew)? SCBM drinking brews with Hercules? Heck, Sharon might throw one at Arafat … a grenade, not a beer. Speaking of The Devil, out came GOE, making it a Trifecta: Beer, Hype and Bullsh*t. Anyone who couldn’t see a Spear coming can leave the room now. Poor GOE, SCBM nails him with Stunners every chance he gets, now Hype Man Spears him. Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. Wonder Man must have been off his feed because he delivered more of a Flying Clothesline than a Spear, which bounced poor GOE’s cranium of the bottom rope. Our new Champion can’t sell water in the dessert, now he can’t deliver his own moves … and you guys complained about HHH.
In a surprising move, we actually got to see a match. It was The Royal Canadian Mounted Asshole (Christian) , defending Intergalactic Championship against RVD. As he has done countless times, Asshole retained the Belt as the match ended in a DQ.
Y2Jock Strap wandering around backstage ran into GOE who was in critical condition from the momentous Spear he took. Jockstrap tried to salve GOE’s wounds by asking for a Title Shot against The Spear Master. Mumbling thru the pain, GOE agreed to it. See, you can’t say I didn’t tell you WCW has replaced The WWE?
Hey, we are about to get another match! Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade headed down the ramp. It didn’t happen. HHH, Slickie and Cowboy Orton III (Evolution to their friends … all two of them) jumped them and sent them home to their mommies. HHH played the crowd and said Amazing Man will be seeing him in a rematch, but not until he becomes Mr. Princess. His buddies picked their noses as they hung on every word he uttered.
We eventually got a second match. Teddy “Screw Whitey” Long led Rodney (I Be Chuggin’, Muggin’, an Buggin” Mack and Mark Henry to the ring. After a few remarks aimed at healing the rifts between blacks and whites, Henry, who has muscles in his sh*t, bounced Tommy Dreamer around like a beach ball. He put him out of his misery by slamming him thru the mat, the floor, and twenty feet of earth under the arena. He was retrieved by an earth mover.
Returning to the staging area, Jindrak and Cade, joined for some strange reason by Snow Guy’s boy Maven, were banging on HHH’s door. It would appear that Jindrak and Cade aren’t the brightest bulbs in he box, having had their asses kicked once, were asking for a second ass kicking. What the F Maven was doing with them is something only the writing team knows. Anyway, they wanted a six-man tag team match against Evolution. HHH, never one to back away from an offer like that, agreed.
Delicious Trish and Lita headed to the ring. As they did, we heard someone giving directions to a camera man. A faux pax that should never happen. Heads will roll.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch SCBM informed The Royal Canadian Mounted Asshole that Good Old JR would get a chance to get his job back. He will face The Crotch next week. Echoing what most of the civilized world feels, Asshole said enough of this non-wrestler crap. SCBM also told Asshole that he would again face RVD next week, in a Ladder Match.
Back to the ring where Delicious and Lita faced Lardass and Gail Kim. Why a tag team match when Lita kicked both their asses by herself at Unforgiven? Hell, she can handle both of them wearing a straight jacket. Lita looks better than ever, and showed it.
Off to the parking lot where Legs was begging forgiveness from Roid Man for costing him the match v. Test at Unforgiven. Enter Test telling Roid Man to carry his bag, golf clubs, bowling ball, etc., into the arena. Roidy is now Test’s bitch, which leads you to wonder if Test sleeps in the middle, or if Roidy sleeps at the foot of the bed. Roidy took care off the luggage, sailing them into the arena on the fly, while Test led Legs away.
Off to a “secret” place where The Prince is recovering from his swan dive at Unforgiven. Our fearless announcers told us earlier would see him at a “secret” place, but in another apparent f*ck up, they showed where he was. The place was so “secret” that The Monster found it. Another whipping for The Prince. There was some concern that Kane might eat the nurses (get your minds out of the gutter), but he just scared the crap out of them. As he left two security guards confronted him. One will occupying the bed next to The Prince when they peel him out of the wall; the other went home to change his shorts when he stopped shaking. Two more wannabes from the minors paying their dues.
Another match! This time it’s The Flying Green Thing and Rosie The S.H.I.T. v. The Ex-Tag Team Champions, French Toast, with Benedict Conway. The French MF’s were Toasted. The best tag team of all time and the apples of Grandma Dudley’s one good eye, Bubba Ray and D-Von joined Greenie and The S.H.I.T. They went around ringside and shook hands with some of our wounded heroes from the War To Liberate Iraq.
Next up was a clip of The Emperor and a bunch of the boys attending a Hip Hop Get Out The Vote gathering.
It was time for Jindrak, Cade and Maven (Maven?) to get their asses kicked again by Evolution. Jindrak and Cade just don’t know when to quit. In Maven’s case, being Snow Dummy’s boy, it gets him some air time … well deserved … yeah, right. I can’t wait for Batista to return. Batista and Cowboy III will both hold the World Championship in the future. Maven? If it wasn’t for Snow Ball, he’d be down on the farm.
The moment the world has been wait for finally arrived. Off to Hollyweird we go for the World Premier of The Rock’s latest flick. Mark Lloyd, one of the wannabe announcers, is there to interview him. It looked like The Rock was talking to a brick. The only thing of interest was The rock saying he can’t wait to get back. In the meantime we are seeing reports that The Rock’s asking price for his next movie is $10 million. That puts him in the “Superstar” category, along with Arnold and Tom Cruise. If he gets the $10 million, what do you think the chances are that he’ll be spending much (any) time wrestling. Let’s see: $10 million or The WWE … The WWE wins going away. Belle dat … and I got some great acreage to sell you … ten miles due east of Miami.
Main Event time. It’s Colossal Man (C) v. Y2Jackoff for The World Championship. I hope Jackoff brought his lunch because he’s in for a long night. How did it go? Jackoff used some dastardly tactics to get the upper hand. That lasted about 37 seconds. It was Spear, Jack Hammer, Count, End of Game. Jackoff can make The Brooklyn Brawler look good, but not Gigantic Man. He’ll keep the Belt warm and shined for HHH, who will heal (hopefully), swap bodily fluids with The Princess, and return to get “his” Title back. The question is who (other than Kane) will make an acceptable opponent for Our New Champion?
A couple of closing thoughts:
1. Lillian Garcia is great to look at, but she screws up more announcements that Clinton had “friends.” It’s time to bring back The Fink at No. 1 Ring Announcer, or at least until Lillian gets a clue.
2. Major League Wrestling (MLW) is also on Monday Night here in Central Florida (11PM – 12 Midnight). It is as close to ECW as you can get. Joey “Oh. My God” Styles is the announcer. He does the lead and color jobs (along with ten other things). Why The Emperor doesn’t hire him is a complete mystery. He could replace the entire bunch of WWE announcers, saving a ton of money, and make the fans happy. This week there was an Inter-Gender Tag Team Match, with Francine (The Original Trailer Trash) on one team and G.I. Ho on the other. When they say Inter-Gender in MLW, they mean Inter-Gender. The women take (and give) bumps with the men. We also got to hear Joey yell “Cat Fight, Cat Fight” during the match. Shades of Beulah and Francine. Those were the days.
All in all RAW was entertaining. It looks like the writers are finally getting the message. It’s about F’N time.
The Reader’s Column
Goldberg the Savior, A new era on RAW.
By: Violent Jay
Before you bash me for my title, let me explain.
Finally there is a new chapter beginning in the WWE. We have a new champion and the show just seems so much better. Instead of HHH trying to be a newer version of Ric Flair, with the styling, profiling, heel type; we have the pissed off at the world HHH, which in my opinion is the best one. The Cerebral Assassin character is why HHH became so popular as a main eventer. No one wants to see him just act like a normal jerky heel. We wrestling fans loved to see him play mind games with his opponents. Evolution is actually holding him back. Now that Goldberg is the champ and it seems an evolution shake up is in store, HHH will hopefully be going back to his old self when he returns from his vacation. HHH was right when he said on Raw, “You people need me more than I need you”, RAW needs him as his old self. So yes, you have Goldberg to thank for making HHH and RAW less stale.
The next bit of discussion is the intercontinental title. Is Christian a credible champ? Is the title becoming more important or less important? Lately he has been defending the belt but, the first PPV with the title he didn’t even have a match. Christian definitely has the mic skills and the hair cut to be a decent champion. The long hair is so 80’s it needed to go, and I’m glad it did. Christian is a strong performer who doesn’t really have “it” in the ring. His finisher is weak and it looks very awkward on wrestlers bigger than him, and 90% are. I would like to see him go to Smackdown where he could be a triple threat for the US, Cruiser, and tag belts. Would anyone buy a PPV with Champ vs Christian for the world title. Didn’t think so. I believe the longer Christian has the belt the less credible the belt becomes. Long Heel Runs just don’t work in my opinion. The fans get bored of knowing that every week the champ will either weasel his way out of a match or cheat to win. A good feud that goes back and forth with a high mid card face is the way to go.
Next the women’s division. Why is that as soon as they get a new wrestler, or a returning wrestler, they have to push that person to the moon? Gail Kim comes in, bam, champ. Lita comes in, bam, PPV win, RAW win. Talk about stale. Molly as been a pretty good champ but until they actually get some sort of storyline the women’s division will continue to be a joke.
Speaking of jokes, even more stale than HHH is the tag teams on RAW. We have the Dudleys who are a one hit wonder, tables. They haven’t done anything remotely interesting since their days with E&C and the Hardys. La Resistance are still a very green team, and their mic work is sub par. Adding a third member does add a little bit of intrigue. Who else does that leave? Hurricane is wasting away with Rosey, or is that Jama? I guess it doesn’t matter. Why is that Hurricane has to be teamed up with somebody 4 times bigger than him? First Kane, then rosey, who’s next big show? Lance Storm. Why oh why did they turn Lance into a Rikishi? A guy who is acting like a fool, just to garner any attention. His team with Goldust is a waste of time and instead he could be feuding with stone cold and making a name for himself. This leaves the Cade/Jindrak team who at this point won’t do anything for the tag division. Henry/Mack could be a good candidate for a feud for the belts, teddy long would actually make the belts seem like the greatest thing on the planet.
As for some of the other wrestlers, Steiner desperately needs to turn heel. He’s at his best when he’s pissed off at everyone and using his roid rage powers to destroy everyone. Kane should be a main eventer but is stuck wrestling Shane and beating up non wrestlers like JR and Bisch. Let him actually destroy a few wrestlers so that he can become a dominant wrestler instead of a bully. Maven is finally headed in the right direction. He has a nice little storyline developing with evolution and I’m excited to see where that goes. Chris Jericho is kind of in a limbo. He just received a world title shot and I feel he’s above the IC belt. I am excited about the new era of RAW. I hope that Goldberg’s title run, unlike HHH’s, will be very entertaining.
Email Jay Here!
And now the moment you’ve been waiting for…
Hey everyone. My name is Eddie, and I am the writer of News & Analysis over at TBL. Some of you may know me, some of you may not. At any rate, I’ll be doing a little section in the Newsletter that will run through the week of wrestling in WWE. There’ll be plenty of categories, as well as a paragraph of ramblings from your truly. What exactly am I talking about? You’re about to find out! Welcome to the first edition!
For the Week 9/19 — 9/26
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK — Bill Goldberg
– Bill Goldberg captured the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H at Unforgiven, ending the long reign of The Game! Controversy, Backstage politics, and The Game are now shut. At least, for now.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK — Test/Steiner storyline
– After months of events taking place between these two and Stacy, as well as months of changes and speculations for matches, we’re back to square one. A fresh change is needed in this storyline — it simply needs to end.
SHOW OF THE WEEK – SmackDown
– Even though there was a PPV for this week, I felt that SmackDown came out as the strongest WWE show for the last seven days. Tajiri captured the Cruiserweight Championship, Eddie Guerrero was in action twice, defending both his titles in awesome bouts, and two matches for the upcoming No Mercy PPV are already announced!
MATCH OF THE WEEK — Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio
– These two have been tearing down the house for weeks now, as their storyline has progressed nicely on SmackDown. Their title match was amazing and a great experience for me. It was booked well and executed perfectly.
TOPIC OF THE WEEK — Unforgiven 2003
– The World Heavyweight Championship changed hands, as in a historic match, Goldberg defeated Triple H. The Dudley Boyz captured the World Tag Team titles, Shane McMahon fought Kane in a Last Man Standing Match, and Lita made her return to PPV! What did you think of WWE Unforgiven 2003? Share your thoughts in the TBL Forums.
RAMBLE OF THE WEEK
Overall, a good week in WWE. Unforgiven wasn’t all that, but it certainly wasn’t a bomb either. After a better-than-usual RAW, I thought that SmackDown was a great show, as it delivered with some great action and storyline progression. Good move by WWE to announce the main event for their next PPV so early, as well as an additional match. As far as how I feel about both feuds, you’ll find out in the weekend’s News & Analysis.
Well, that’ll do it for a debut! I will be adding more sections/categories as we go on, so feel free to e-mail me with your feedback or with ideas for this section! My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your time!
The Editor’s Outro
Like I said before, The Balrog’s Lair is brimming with new talent lately and I want to introduce you to a few of them and maybe you’ll sample their fine work. Justin Weigel debuted a new column this week called One View. Check it out. Also Chris Vining busted out with a bang and told us Don’t Dis Da Divas . We’ll try not to Chris, promise. Big Bad Jonathan Carbo shot back and gave us all a Top Ten Following WWE Unforgiven 2003. Do all these new features and columns frighten and scare you, my little buttercups? No need to worry, all your regulars are hanging out too. Eddie (the hardest working man on TBL…besides me) never disappoints with his News and Analysis. Plus, I’m always good for a laugh with RAW Rage and if you check around, you may just find a new Roland’s Chamber that I call “Don’t Listen To Me.” I think you’ll like it.
Good golly, Miss Molly, The Balrog’s Lair is your one stop for all your rasslin’ needs. Peace out.
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