Badseed's Bottomline #382:
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Hey yo! Once again, I am going to look at the good, the bad and the ugly going on in the world of wrestling. Yep, this is similar to Bob Woodward’s column at Pro Wrestling Insider (he deserves the plug). Let’s get right into it.
The good news is that I think ECW is actually going somewhere with all the nonsense. First, on one hand, fans don’t like Big Show vs. Ric Flair or Big Show vs. Undertaker or Big Show vs. Kane, but actually, this is the best thing to happen to ECW. Never before in any promotion has the world champion been able to beat wrestlers who were supposedly not part of their promotion. I mean, during the Alliance angle, this happened, but it was on Raw and Smackdown. Big Show is the ECW world champion and he is beating wrestlers from both Smackdown on Raw on ECW programming. This is great for the belt. It legitimizes ECW’s world title status and if they start defending the title against wrestlers like Masato Tanaka and so on, as Heyman loves to do, then ECW will actually, on paper, look more legitimate than any of the other two world titles, which are pretty much only defended against wrestlers on their program.
Next, I was thinking this before Test interfered, but his interference actually confirmed it. The regular WWE-style matches, the Heyman heel turn, the push of all these new WWE wrestlers in ECW, the phrase ECW original; it is all leading to something. It started with Heyman helping Big Show win the belt. Big Show is not ECW. He never will be in the fan’s mind, especially with the opening entrance and long-term history with WCW and WWE. Next, Tommy Dreamer confronts Heyman and gets attacked by Test. Mike Knox is fighting Sandman, who previously was attacking anyone that went against the extreme model for ECW. Suddenly, Test attacks Sandman. Then Dreamer attacks both Knox and Test. Obviously, we will get Test and Knox vs. Sandman and Dreamer. Awesome.
But it goes deeper than that. Sabu demands an ECW title match, but Heyman won’t give it to him and would rather Big Show battle the likes of Kane, The Undertaker and the legend Ric Flair. That seems odd. Yes, Sabu is crazy, but the resume of the previously named trio seems almost more intimidating to someone like The Big Show. Heyman’s vision of ECW doesn’t include the original players. Sabu had to attack Big Show to get the attention he wanted and Heyman was not happy…but not mad…very concerned.
Little Guido is minding his business and Heyman has him attacked by the two security guards I think are going to turn out to be the Basham Brothers under a new name. Then they feed him to the WWE-style wrestler Fertig. We will see FBI vs. The Basham Brothers, I am sure.
Then we got something a little more interesting. Balls Mahoney was fighting Justin Credible and got disqualified for the use of a chair. He knew it was not an extreme rules match. They must have told him. Sabu made the same mistake and he didn’t seem to mind being disqualified. But Balls did and complained that it was ECW and that they should be allowed to use a chair. He then attacked the ref, which will surely make him a target of Heyman. I don’t know where Justin Credible fits into this, because for some reason he won both matches by DQ.
But here is what I can see happening. Kurt Angle, Big Show, CM Punk, Mike Knox, Test, and the Basham Brothers – led by Paul Heyman, will be at odds with Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Balls Mahoney, Sabu, RVD and the FBI. Francine will battle Kelly. There will be other wrestlers involved. Maybe we will see Steven Richards be on Heyman’s side and use his mic skills to bad mouth extreme wrestling. Maybe they will reveal on television that Vince McMahon has been pulling Heyman’s strings all along, convincing him that ECW has a better life if they tone the product down. Maybe Vince McMahon’s Kool Aid is stronger than Heyman’s. Wouldn’t you love to see the fans have an opportunity to scream out “F’ You Vince” at the Hammerstein?
So, with that being said, I am actually excited about how ECW will play out as the Originals battle the New Vision over how ECW is run. It could be fun. As long as I am right.
The bad. The WWE and their wellness policy is not good for their business. I know it’s weird to say. I don’t think anyone should be taking steroids, but the fact of the matter is that the WWE is scared. They faced this situation before when the government went after McMahon. Now, they are facing it again. Vince isn’t in trouble, but you know he thinks they will eventually target him again, so he set up this drug testing to supposedly stop the wrestlers from taking steroids and save his own ass. If a wrestler isn’t caught and finds a way to beat the test, I am sure McMahon is happy. But when a wrestler is caught, they get suspended and end up leaving the company for 30 days. And far more wrestlers are getting caught these days. Far more wrestlers are getting suspended, being given time off or getting injured and the WWE can’t lose anymore wrestlers. But they are going to. You can’t tell me they caught everyone. There are others and the product is going to get hurt because of it.
I am speaking as a wrestling fan. That’s obvious. But what pisses me off is that the WWE does little to discourage people from taking steroids. They promote bigger wrestlers. They promote an image of a steroid abuser. There are not too many wrestlers in the WWE who have not bulked up more than before. I have my suspicions about Kurt Angle, although I want them to be wrong. Look at Lashley. Look at HHH. Look at Test and Batista. Look at Chris Masters. I mean…when you reward the wrestlers who get more muscular, you sort of send the message that if you are a smaller guy, you are not going to go anywhere. You are setting up wrestlers to take steroids just to get that push they probably deserved beforehand. Do you think Scott Steiner would ever get out of the Steiner Brothers tag-team had he not bulked up the way he did? This is the image. This has to change before you can start testing wrestlers.
Once you start rewarding the smaller, clean guys, then other wrestlers will be like, “Oh, I don’t need to do steroids to make it in this industry. It’s time for me to clean up my act.” You can’t just go around testing people and at the same time not set an example. Vince McMahon is not totally buff because he works out and trains hard. He takes supplements. And when you encourage supplements, you encourage people to keep looking for that supplement that will give them a bigger edge. Remember, andro was once a supplement. It got banned. Creatine – the jury is still out on that. So, just because it is legal now, doesn’t mean it is right.
Now, for the ugly. What the hell is up with these liver problems. It can’t be drug use…unless there was a bad batch. Something strange is going on. Mono? Hepatitis? This is not good. And it is depleting the Smackdown roster. Lashley was in line for a major push. He’s out. Khali’s huge match with the Undertaker was just taken away from fans that may have actually been interested in the angle. Super Crazy’s cruiserweight push was taken away and messed up the story that was being worked out from Smackdown to the Great American Bash. Who else will go down? You have Benoit out. You have Mark Henry out. Kid Kash is being suspended and Jamie Knoble is sitting out. Matt Hardy was sent home for 30 days. Rey Mysterio needs time to recover soon. Undertaker makes appearances, but he is not there as much as he should. What’s happening to Smackdown? Do you bring JBL back? Do you import talent? Is Chris Masters ready? Bring him back. Can ECW invade Smackdown? What do you do to keep Smackdown interesting when all you have is Batista, Booker T, Rey Mysterio and The Undertaker. This is not just ugly. This is friggin scary. I hope they know what they are doing. We’ll soon see. Not a great way to go into the CW Network in a few months. Maybe everything will work out by then.
And there you have it. You couldn’t write a better drama. This column wrote itself. Until next time, this is the Badseed telling you to say no to steroids and yes to a better life. Peace
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