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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Online World of Wrestling Fan Jam 04/2006
Short Columns by Obsessed Fans


Has Triple H jumped the shark? by Brad Dykens

When have we ever seen the three letter guy do something drastically alternative to affect his character? There has never been a Triple H DVD or Triple H biography (the "Making the Game" book doesn't count). There has never been an A&E biography on Paul Levesque, nor has there been any other character glorification pieces done on Triple H. It's always been a part of WWE tradition that whenever a wrestler puts out a book or DVD that means they are most likely either nearing the end of his or her career, or their career is in need of a boost. WWE does its best to milk every one of their on-air characters by putting out book after book and DVD after DVD, all for the purpose of making a few more dollars at the expense of exposing its wrestlers. Maybe this lack of exposure is why Triple H has been so consistently dominant for so long.

For your average WWE superstar, anything that happens in his or her personal life is fair-game for WWE writers (McMahon) to exploit and destroy. For example, Matt Hardy, Edge, Lita, Steve Austin (no shows and health problems), The Undertaker (his pregnant wife), Ric Flair (road rage), Shawn Michaels (relationship with God), Chavo Guerrero (loss of his beloved uncle), all the guys with neck injuries, and the list goes on and on. When has Triple H ever been exploited? His relationship with the boss's daughter is common knowledge by now yet they have never acknowledged it in storylines, until now, sorta. Recently, Triple H has begun his steady transformation into a babyface after years of heel dominance. He is now more receptive to the crowd, making funny jokes at the expense of his opponents. While he is still technically the heel, he is up against John Cena, who is technically the face. They might be portrayed as such, but the perception among fans is the other way around. Rest assured, Triple H will be the one coming out of this feud looking like a golden god, or the King of Kings, so to speak. So why turn now? It has been said that Triple H has become more open to playing a babyface for the rest of his career. But why, Hunter, why? Here's why. Triple H scheduled to become a daddy, the women carrying his baby is Stephanie McMahon. What father would not want to be his baby's hero? Fortunately for Paul Levesque, he's got the "pull" to request a "push" for a character makeover. As of this posting, WWE has yet to announce the relationship between Triple H and a clearly pregnant Stephanie, although they were shown sitting together at the Hall of Fame ceremony. Will they reveal it? Your guess is as good as mine. But that won't stop them from exploiting it to turn HHH into a good guy.


Barry Windham: One Under-rated Lone Wolf! by Steve Loewen

I recently got my hands on the complete Clash of the Champions collection and in it relived some great matches in what I now consider one of the most underrated careers in wrestling, Barry Windham.

I recall when watching a documentary on the career of Jake the Snake Roberts, Paul Heyman had said that Jake had "it". Now, "it" can mean a lot of things, but I completely understood what he meant. If Jake Roberts had "it", then Barry Windham absolutely had "it". In the early Clash of the Champions cards he wrestled with Luger against Blanchard and Anderson, defended the US title against Sting and Brad Armstrong and teamed with Flair against the Midnight Express. Granted, Blanchard and Anderson can make anyone look good, but Windham carried Luger through that match. Luger was set to be pushed to the limits in the NWA and Windham did the job making him look like the star of the team (when any fan knows better).

When he joined the Horsemen after that match, he really came into his own. He made Brad Armstrong look like a real star, carried Sting to an outstanding match and did enough to make Flair look unreal against the Midnight Express.

I read a lot of Lance Storm's columns on his website and he talks a lot on how today's wrestling is missing ring psychology. If anyone needs to see what Lance is talking about, pop in Windham's match against Too Cold Scorpio from a Clash in '93. Or, against Dusty Rhodes in the '88 Bash.

I could go on and on, but all I will say is, when Windham became "The Widowmaker" in 1989 WWF, the NWA lost the one guy who could propel future stars to the world title picture. We saw a glimpse of what Windham was when he returned to WCW in 1990, but his run in 1988 was spectacular.

Let the cards fall where they may, but in my opinion, Barry Windham deserves to be a Hall of Fame inductee!


The John Cena Facts by Dirk Mason

As everyone with ears has been noticing lately the WWE Champion John Cena has been receiving his fair share of hate from the audience. He has basically been shrugging it off and on occasion making a joke about it. This leads to the question: how long this will continue? At all the events you get the boos, you get the boring chant, and you even got the fans cheering for the long-time-hated HHH.

There are a few things that could happen. It is highly unlikely that the Champ is going to all of a sudden out of the blue get cheered without a drastic event happening. Cena used to be a man that was full of ruthless aggression and that is just gone. Is it gone for good? We just don't know. What the fans want to see is the champs' ruthless aggression; after all that's what his character was based on in the beginning and that is why the fans felt an attraction to him. He has gone without this aggression for such a long time there may be no turning back as a face. Maybe a heel turn is in the cards for the WWE Champion John Cena.

Couldn't you see it happening though? We'll say at Backlash he retains his title and still gets no respect from the audience, we'll say he goes through all hell to retain his title and gets booed in the end. The next night on RAW he just comes out and does his thing by trying to be nice then he still gets booed. All he has to do is make some derogatory comments about the fans in attendance, and say how he has done all he could for the people and gets no respect and its over. He can say there is no more Chain Gang, there is only him. At this point now the fans have something to boo about and Cena can do what he does best - be the bad guy.


Take This Clown Seriously

by Luigi DePasquale

If you look at any forum board or article that asks "Who is your favorite legend?" you will see a list that looks like this: Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, George Steele, The Undertaker, Sgt. Slaugter, etc. I adore each and everyone of those wrestlers yet there is one who no one gives credit to. Doink the Clown.

Doink was one of the greatest gimmicks ever created. He brought a new age group of fans to the WWE. He helped video game sales go through the roof. (Appearing in two classic WWF games.) It gave something for the younger children to enjoy while still having some moments that intrigued older people. He won matches in creative ways and brought a new method to the ring. He was smart if anything.

He began as what people thought was a fan simply parading around the audience as a clown. However when he made his debut in a match against Mr. Perfect, it was evident that he would stick around.

Doink may not have had any major one-on-one matches in his career, yet he was the basis for some of the most amusing matches ever. Most of them took place at Survivor Series. At the 1993 Survivor Series a team that was billed as The Four Doinks was due to take on Samu, Fatu, Bastion Booger, and Bam Bam Bigelow. However when Doink's music hit The Bushwhackers and Men On A Misson (Mo and Mabel) came down to the ring in complete Doink The Clown Paint. The match was not one for the history books but it certainly was one that was and still is remembered for its comedy. The Four Doinks won and as Bam Bam Bigelow returned to the back he was greeted by a pie in the face by the real Doink.

Doink also made a great appearance at the following years Survivor Series. In a match that was billed as The Royal Family vs Clowns 'R' Us. Jerry Lawler and three midget wrestlers in matching Lawler costumes named Sleazy, Queasy, and Cheesy took on the infamous team of Doink and Dink accompanied by similar midget clowns aptly named Pink and Wink. Although the match was not one of serious wrestling work it was one of the longer comedy matches ever. The rules were special and it had to be "big men against big men and midgets against midgets". The match lasted fifteen minutes. The first ten minutes were of Doink against Lawler and it was mostly Doink playing little jokes and funny moves on Lawler. Eventually Lawler managed the pin. He then "helped" his little friends get the pin against the other little clowns. After The Royal Family won Lawler preceded to mock his own teammates and eventually all six midgets began to chase Lawler around until Doink returned with a pie to Lawler's face.

Those are just a few of Doink's moments which were amusing. Since Doink was played by many different wrestlers (roughly six in total) it would be easy for him to be immortal. Yet somewhere along the time line people decided that Doink was no longer a worthy wrestler. I strongly disagree and think that Doink would be a great wrestler to have on any and all wrestling rosters. So for all those out there that agree Doink should be a legend. Speak up or people will forever see him as only a clown.


Davey Richards: The Future of Wrestling - by Mike Hartnell

I just read the other day that Ring of Honor signed one of my personal favorite Indy wrestlers, Davey Richards. I'm incredibly happy for him right now, as he is one of the most solid in ring performers I've ever seen. Many of you are probably thinking, who is this Davey Richards and why haven't I ever heard of him? Well, I'm writing this column for those people.

Living in Southern California, I've had the pleasure of watching Davey Richards perform in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Pro Wrestling WAR for a while now. He has been part of some of the best matches in both promotions in the past year. He's fought some of the biggest Indy names such as Samoa Joe and Low Ki in singles competition, and tagging with Super Dragon, he's fought some of the Indy's top tag teams like Roderick Strong and Jack Evans, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, and AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels.

Davey Richards boasts an impressive arsenal of moves. He's got stiff elbows and kicks that look like they could take a head off. He can perform an array of suplexes to perfection. He's got an awesome Tiger Driver, which looks like it could kill someone and to top all that off, his Shooting Star Press is the best one I've ever seen.

Davey has had a successful career since his June 2004 debut. He won the 2005 Best of the West tournament and the 2006 Super 8. Not to mention he and Super Dragon have been Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Tag Team Champions for the past six months.

My friend and I have been saying forever since the first match we ever saw Davey in that we would love to see him in Ring of Honor. I believe he could put on some classic matches with the likes of Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries, Homicide, and many more. I've been wowed by many of Davey's great matches, and now that he's signed with Ring of Honor, many of you will be wowed too.


Samoa Joe To Turn To The Heavyweight Championship - by Alex "The King" James

There has been a growing intrest in the Samoa Joe turn to the NWA Championship hunt after dominating the X-Division. He is a great X-Division competetor but if anyone watches TNA then you will admit he is a lot unlike any other X-Division star. I know the X-Division slogan is "There is no weight limits" but X-Division is about quick highflying action and Samoa is a good X-Division star but you never really see him doing an high-flying 450 splashes or flying headscissors or even a moonsault. He has some great kicking action but i believe that he would be a far better star in the NWA Championship which will be lacking in entertainment after the departure of Christian Cage after Lockdown. With Abyss as champion the only real NWA Championship competors will be Monty Brown, Jeff Jarrett and possibly Ron Killings or Scott Steiner. Even way it will be a boring title reign since Jeff Jarrett will obviously be envolved and he is unbelieveably over-rated. If Samoa Joe goes to the NWA division then it will hold some great matches and some originality as Joe has never faced Monty, Jarrett or Abyss in a TNA ring and there will be some good encounters.


Raw's Main Event Found the Mix? - by Curt Rosler

Good God Almighty! No I'm not talking about Vince McMahon. I'm talking about the last three weeks of Monday Night Raw's main events. Triple H, Edge and the WWE Champion John Cena have put on some great matches in recent weeks. The chemistry with those three in the ring has been off the page. The crowd is vocal which was something that has been missing for a few years on Raw, I think it is because of John Cena.

If the WWE can find the right mix, there going to find it by studying the Edge, Triple H, and Cena storyline. It has been great. I haven't been this pumped up during a Raw main event since The Rock and Stone Cold were still mainstays in the WWE.

Triple H is the established heal, Edge is the wild card and John Cena, is well John Cena. All three of those characteristics are giving the crowd the right stuff to feed off of. Mass hysteria and confusion. If you can get a crowd to compete with each other just like the Rock fans would do with the Stone Cold fans than there is a definite recipe for success and a bright future for World Wrestling Entertainment's Monday Night Raw.

Now "Smackdown!" has to find a mix of there own. I believe that mix will leave out the Worlds Strongest Man Mark Henry and the Undertaker. I think that establishing a strong feud with Kurt Angle could generate some great matches and ratings. Maybe we will just have to wait for someone to have enough charisma to fight Angle. The only ones that could pull that off that are main event guys right now are suspended or sidelined. And Batista and Orton aren't exactly my top two choices either but they are the only ones that can be helpful to Smackdown!


Why I love and hate the Return of the King Of The Ring - by Kyle Pakeman

I have been living is Spain for the last six months and haven't seen a great deal of wrestling in that period. However upon returning to the UK last week I was delighted to discover that the WWE is bringing back the King of the Ring. Admittedly, I would prefer it if it was in its old Pay-Per-View format (so many of the PPVs are indistinguishable from each other these days) but I love it none the less.

In the KOTR's heyday it was a great stepping stone for many young guns to establish themselves and go onto big things; winners include Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Steve Austin, HHH, Kurt Angle, Edge and most recently Brock Lesnar. True I hear you cry Mabel (Viscera) won it, as did Billy Gunn, but two misses in ten years isn't too bad. However my major concern with this years tournament is the lineup of men chosen to compete. Now I don't know entirely what's going on with Randy Orton and his suspension, but I'll assume he's out, Mark Henry cannot win (that 10 year contract's running out right? I hope so) and it seems unlikely that Finlay's in line for a mega push. So that leaves 5 men, and I just can't see where this is going. Kurt Angle doesn't need to win, and yet it is utterly ludicrous for him to lose to a mid-carder in this tournament.

Chris Benoit? Yes a deserving winner, and I'd love to see him beat Angle in the final, but does it seem like something WWE would do? You know, give us a great match between the top two wrestlers on Smackdown!? Which brings us to Lashley, Booker T and Matt Hardy. Some would argue Matt is deserving of a singles push, his performance in the Money in the Bank match was reminiscent of the good old TLC days. But is the real purpose of this years KOTR to put Lashley on the map? It seems that way, he is feud-less at the moment and could well have a easy time reaching the final (JBL costs Benoit the match with Finlay anyone?). So, to the crux of my concern; is Lashley deserving of this type of push, and if he does win, where will he go from there? In my opinion, a win for Lashley should not involve legit victories over Angle or Benoit. Sure he is a great athlete, big, powerful, but in what I have seen he is hardly in amongst the elite on SD! It would seem unbelievable for him to scale so many heights so quickly. I think, whether he wins KOTR or not, a feud with JBL would push him in the right way (even though matches between those two would be soooooo slow) and we can see if he's got what it takes to be a main-eventer someday soon.


Mick Foley: Rated M for Misused

by Brendan Flanagan

Back in the day, Mick Foley was the man. Mankind was among the most loved and most hated superstars in the WWF, not to mention Cactus Jack's bloody legacy in wrestling history. Who can forget when Foley got his ear ripped off, or the Hell in the Cell match with The Undertaker at King of the Ring '98 by getting thrown off and through the roof of the cell? Well, obviously Vince McMahon has, because he has turned the career of perhaps the greatest hardcore wrestler in history into a huge joke.

Last Sunday at Wrestlemania 22, Foley was defeated by Edge in a hardcore match. Honestly, this makes me sick to my stomach. How could the decision be made for a guy Edge to defeat Foley in the style that made him a legend? Or the feud with Randy Orton, where Foley lost in-you guessed it-a hardcore match. Foley is a former champion, as are Orton and Edge, but why a 3-time WWE Champion is having his reputation destroyed to push younger superstars is confusing. Hulk Hogan did the same with The Rock, but Rock had already established himself as the company's top guy. Edge and Orton both have great futures ahead of them, but Vince is using one of his most popular superstars of all time to get them further along. Foley had unforgettable feuds with guys like The Undertaker and Terry Funk, but now is reduced to this.

For a man who has fought in some of the most brutal matches in wrestling history, this is pathetic. If the WWE plans to use Mick Foley as a catalyst for the careers of younger guys who might not need it, the he should get out of there now. For anybody who is horrified by the sickening displays of misuse in the WWE, stop watching until Mick Foley gets his due.


Now I'm Stratusfied - by Vin C.

Mickie James is the new Women's Champion and about time too! A highly anticipated wrestling match (for me anyway) with a built up story line that started last October, which in the end saw the crowd rightly cheering for the heel. Even though it was obvious that Mickie would win the title soon, it was still a great moment. Not forgetting Trish Stratus who has been a fantastic champ, but unfortunately for her the title was beginning to lose meaning. It had been around her waist for over a year, and not forgetting for the sixth time.

Months before Mickie arrived, the only real contenders on RAW were Victoria (who Trish has feuded with multiple times) and Lita (a long-time rival of Trish, as they both debuted in 2000). Since Trish's first win back in 2001, talents such as Gail Kim, the powerhouse Jazz, and the technically sound Molly Holly have won the title, but were not appreciated enough, leading to their release along with 'veterans' Ivory and Jacqueline. With only Trish and Widow's Peak Freak Victoria left with 'Divas', it seemed that women's wrestling was gradually fading away; instead giving rise to bra and panties matches and pointless pillow fights.

Though today, it's good to see that some of the 'Divas' are at least trying to learn wrestling moves, in between posing for their various photo shoots. Current Diva Search winner Ashley Massaro looks promising, as did Christy Hemme towards the end of her WWE career. I think it is a great shame that the Women's title is only exclusive to RAW, as there is actual competition from both Melina Perez and Jillian Hall. Let's hope Mickie winning the title be a sign of things to come. Pray WWE doesn't make the same mistake they did in '99 when Miss Kitty won the title from Ivory in a pool match (no pin falls) and then upon victory bared her breasts - no class whatsoever.


Outsiders Edge: What is the Real Book End?

by Denis Shkuratov


Hello wrestling fans! It has been a while since I put pen to paper, or more in my case fingers to keyboard to bring you another edition of the 'Outsiders Edge'. I put a question before all you readers out there what will be the real Book End? The question hangs over our heads as we wonder if Booker T the 5 time WCW champion will ever be a one time WWE champion. Join me, 'The Outsider', as I break down this issue and bring you yet another 'Outsiders Edge'.

Who is Booker T?

Just before we get into this discussion I just wanted to ask myself who is Booker T? Where is his place when it comes down to the best and the rest? I think in my mind Booker T's fantastic run with his brother in Harlem Heat, and it stands out as some of my favorite Booker T memories. Booker T was also a great TV champion and as we all know by the end he won the WCW championship an amazing 5 times. It was no surprise that he was signed on to the WWE where he has gone through a number of ups and downs. Through all that time in the WWE, working hard and doing what he could, nobody really felt like he was given a fair shot at the WWE championship. Not even to be a transitional champion.

Tell me you did not just say that!

Why hasn't Booker T ever gotten a fair shot at the WWE or World Heavyweight titles? He held championships many times before. In fact, he's the most decorated champion in pro wrestling history. Booker T has a very strong fan base and he can cut a promo on the mic. At WM 19 Booker T faced HHH for the title but t lost. While at WM 21 he won a battle Royal on Heat, not even making it to the actual WM telecast itself. Now that were approaching WM 22 with Booker T in a feud with the Boogeyman and only a few years left in his career, I cant help but wonder why doesn't Booker T mean anything to the WWE?

Is it because of WCW

Sometimes another reason comes to mind; this one much simpler then any other ones. Maybe Vince doesn't want to put the title on Booker T because he wasn't home grown on the WWE patio? Maybe Vince feels like he did not create Booker T, that WCW created Booker T and he doesn't want to put his belt on something that's not his.

Not much time left

Booker T unfortunately doesn't have much more time left in the ring. Who knows what kind of injury he may sustain cutting his career back even further. How many years does he have left while he will still be able to wrestle to his full extent? I don't think the WWE is planning on putting the title around Booker T's waist anytime soon and with that in mind, will we see Booker T walk out of the WWE never winning the biggest prize in the business today? As many Booker T fans sit and wait for him to get yet another push, he falls under the category of a yet another great wrestler that has never gotten a fair shot in the WWE. As the road winds down for Booker T, even if he wins the title right before he retires, I conclude with a quote by William Gladstone "Justice delayed, is justice denied". That is the real Book End!


Ric Flair: Keeping the Young Guys Down
by CT Pontes

Without a doubt, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair has had one of the most illustrious careers in the history of professional wrestling. He is a 16-time world champion, a feat that has yet to be matched by anyone (although it appears Triple H is well on his way). I want to preface this article by saying that I have no ill-will towards Flair; When his career finally comes to a close, he will be a first ballot WWE Hall of Famer in my book. I do, however, take issue with the fact that he is still wrestling off his name alone, at the ridiculously over the hill age of 57.

I remember watching Ric Flair wrestle in the early 90s, myself no more than 6 or 7 years old. He played his heel character well, and always generated some serious heat from the fans. One match in particular stands out in my mind. I'm not sure what venue it was at, and I'm not even certain of the participants, but I remember is was a big tag match. If memory serves, it was Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect taking on Razor Ramon and Flair. Although Ramon and Flair went on to lose, Flair was masterful in the match, both technically and in regards to his work as a heel. Shortly there after, Flair left the WWF for WCW, and I began to lose track of his career.




In the late 1990s, I tuned into WCW Monday Nitro one night to see Gene Okerlund interviewing Flair. I'm not sure what was going on, but Flair had a heart attack in the corner of the ring. Not knowing if it was real or kayfabe (I suspect the latter), I remember saying to myself "How old is this guy anyway?". Fast forward to the present, and we see Ric Flair still participating on RAW. I do not understand why Flair continues to wrestle when he could, I suspect, easily get a job behind the scenes for the WWE, or better yet, retire all together. Instead, Flair won the Intercontinental Title from up and comer Carlito, and was put in a feud with one of RAW's top performers, Triple H. Flair, who is clearly not in Triple H's league, won a cage match at Taboo Tuesday, using his terribly stale move set, which consists of chops, knee clips, and the figure four leg lock. Is anyone else sick of Flair flopping around the ring, screaming "Oh My God!!!" at the top of his lungs whenever he is hit with a power move?

I was certain that Flair's TLC match for the WWE title against Edge on RAW would be his last hurrah. He performed reasonably well in the match, and there were points where I thought he could actually win. Instead he lost, in spite of the cheers from the hometown crowd, including his daughter. Unfortunately, this would not be Flair's swan song. Flair finds himself in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Wrestlemania, with at least one of his opponents, Bobby Lashley, less than half his age.

Flair's career has been a remarkable one, but all he is now is a shell of his former self. It reminds me of when Michael Jordan came out of retirement to play for the Wizards: He was already a Hall of Famer, but his comeback caused him to lose a little of the magic and luster that he once possessed. I'm tired of seeing good young wrestlers like Carlito not being pushed, just so Flair can hold on a little bit longer, living off nothing else but his reputation. Although I will always have the ultimate respect for Ric Flair, especially coming back to wrestle after the plane crash, Flair should do a service to professional wrestling and hang up the boots after Wrestlemania, this time for good.


Two Guys In Need of a Return to Their Glory Days
- by Stephen Rokitka

Hi! I'm from Buffalo, NY and I just wanted to make a quick comment on two wrestlers that need to get their acts straight and turn back the clock on their careers, so to speak (and some may take this as a putdown on Smackdown!, but what can I say?):

John "Bradshaw" Layfield: God, I hate this gimmick. From the moment I realized this was the same guy as the beer-drinking, ass-kicking Bradshaw from the APA (I've been out of wrestling for 5 years), I hated this. Sure, he may have had the longest title reign since Diesel, but this stock-market analyst angle is dead. Hell, they've reduced him to dragging Jillian along for the ride! Finally, other than the fact he got his ass kicked at the end, did anyone enjoy that beer-drinking contest? Imagine the old Bradshaw against Austin, I would have tuned in just for that! I don't need anymore Lesnar look-a-likes (sorry Lashly) or a Road Warrior turned heel (Animal looks like crap) or a tag team constantly losing the belts and turn getting it right back (how many times have MNM won them?). I want JBL gone and the hard-hitting Bradshaw back in his place.



Tazz: I don't know when he became this suit-wearing stylish "Tazz," but his commentary's getting annoying as hell...almost to the same level as The Coach. I tried looking up some info to see if he suffered an injury or something that would have taken him out of the ring (and if there was, please put it out), but I've found nothing but Mr. McMahon putting him there. Why?! Do I want to see this...or the "Platinum Rage" back in the ring? With what the Smackdown! roster has to offer, a resurgence of Tazz would be a nice boost and a nice twist. Hell, if they're going to do another One Night Stand, might as well get him back in the ring for a few matches...as much as I loved him choking out Angle last year, he needs to be in the Main Event for the upcoming ECW pay-per-view. Is this too much to ask? Can't WWE see that these two guys/gimmicks are going to hell? Time to go oldschool, WWE, and bring back their old gimmicks.


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