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WRESTLING COLUMNS

I GOTTA SAY THIS
The One Man Round Table
June 20, 2004 - by Brad Dykens

Everyone's favorite topic of discussion these days is WWE's "loudmouth wrastler" Bradshaw! As a neutral Canadian, I found Bradshaw's speech this past Thursday to be highly entertaining. "Americans are what's wrong with America!" Bradshaw shouted as he stood by himself inside a WWE ring surrounded by rabid American fans. The only other person to achieve this kind of "REAL" heat in the last few years is Triple H. Let's face it, fans HATE Bradshaw with a passion. All the other heels are just booed because we're told to boo them. It's that old-school mentality that makes Bradshaw a legend. Yes, I said it, a Legend! He has put aside his personal gratification and sacrificed himself to protect the integrity of the product and be the best heel he can be. Other heels pretend to be a heel, but are seen as actors who go back home to their natural lives as "good people". Bradshaw has everyone believing he is a truly evil human being!

I have to take a moment and talk about one of my new favorite wrestlers. A few months ago I got my hands on a copy of CZW's Cage of Death V show that took place in December of 2003. One of the matches that took place was a complete fluke. Chri$ Ca$h and Joker were scheduled to be tag team partners, but their opponents did not show up for the event, so CZW owner John Zandig turned it into a Ladder Match between Joker & Chri$ Ca$h. The match simply stole the show and is hailed as sleeper hit of the year and catapulted both men to the next level. Joker is the man I want to talk about. After seeing that match, Joker quickly became my "favorite" wrestler. He only started wrestling a few months before, and already he was performing at a spectacular level of intensity. Recently I learned that Joker has put his wrestling career on hold, in order to serve time over in Iraq. It is a highly honorable decision and I wish him luck and look forward to his safe return to American soil to resume his life in the wrestling ring. [Note: Chri$ Ca$h vs Joker from COD5 can seen by going to the www.OnlineWorldofWrestling.com Downloads section.]

Speaking of Iraq, former ECW wrestler Chilly Willy (real name William Jones) has recently returned from his second tour of Iraq. He was stationed outside of one of Saddam Hussein's palaces. Jones was actually shot and wounded while in the heat of battle. Upon his return, he received a purple heart for service in the United States military. The reason I bring this up is because I heard a rumor that the WWE is interested in signing Chilly Willy! This would open up a whole new series of opportunities as far as a gimmick for Willy. I'm sure Vince McMahon is thinking more about the positive media exposure it would bring to the WWE. Personally I think Willy would be better off in TNA, where he wouldn't be blatantly exploited. But no matter where Chilly Willy ends up, I think he deserves every bit of success that he gets.

Moving on to TNA; I've had mixed emotions towards the product that I have grown to love over the last 2 years. They have worked extremely hard and have finally been rewarded with a spot on Television. It just bugs me when they do certain things that are just so darn ludicrous. Issue #1 is Jeff Jarrett, yes I know you're the boss and you call the shots, and you have the most experience, but why are you the Champion?

Now that TNA is seen on free Television, what better opportunity to show the new crop of fans something NEW. If I had never seen or heard of TNA, and tuned into TNA Impact and saw Jeff Jarrett with the strap, I'd just think it was some WCW reject show. I've had the opportunity to watch a lot of old NWA lately, and I've watched the great Ric Flair defend the NWA World Heavyweight title against an array of challengers from coast to coast, representing the throng of NWA territories. In the tradition of all the great champions before him (Dory Funk, Harley Race, Jack Brisco, Terry Funk etc), Ric Flair fought a new opponent every night for years on end, making everybody look great. Jeff Jarrett has barely left the Asylum. He had one match in Pennsylvania against Adam Flash, and that was a few days AFTER he dropped the title to AJ Styles. I understand Jeff Jarrett has a lot of responsibilities in the TNA office, so why is he Champion? The World Champion should be a full-time wrestler capable of touring the country and defending the title in various NWA territories (oh yes the do still exist) such as Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, California, Virginia, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and many others. After all, it IS an NWA belt. Why don't they just call it the TNA World title?

For this weeks "Big Idea" I'm going to try to fix the Tag Team division on RAW. I'm sick of it! La Resistance are great champions but I have a better Idea. Let's turn Edge heel and reform E&C (Edge & Christian) as a heel tag team. Give them the belts too. Imagine E&C vs Jericho & Benoit! Let's also put Matt Hardy & Val Venis into a team to challenge E&C. Rhyno & Tajiri would make a great team too. Bring Johnny Nitro back as a face and put him in a team with Stevie Richards. The key to a healthy tag team division is for the duo to BE A TEAM; don't break them up right away, give them time to learn to work together, dress them up in the same colors so they LOOK like a team. Give them a Double-team finishing move, instead of each of them using their own finishers. The best tag teams are ones that have jelled together as one; The Dudleyz, The Bashams, La Resistance, The FBI (The ECW version at least). I think back to the 80s (God I loved the 80s!) and you had the Killer Bees, the British Bulldogs, the Harts, the Rougeaus, the Bolshivics, Demolition the list goes on and on; They LOOKED like tag teams!

by Brad Dykens


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