The incredible showings from Triple H and Chris Jericho on RAW, ECW and more
April 18, 2000
By Fritz Capp
Well, I have to say that the WWF knew they needed to turn it up and they did last night. Lately, the WWF’s product was becoming a bit stale and very predictable. Now while it was still somewhat predictable, it wasn’t stale.
Maybe it’s because they are taking Jericho up to the next level. I have received a lot of e-mail from people telling me how horrible it was for them to strip the WWF title off of Jericho after having him win it on RAW last night. For all of the talk on the Internet by a lot of people as to how "smart" they are, they still really do not understand the inner workings of pro wrestling. Chris Jericho was elevated in status last night, plain and simple. He went from Euro title and Intercontinental status to main event status by that match and those happenings. If you do not think that the "suits" in the back did not hear the State College crowd pop for Jericho when they thought he won the match on the first false finish, you are sadly mistaken. When Jericho won the match, I am sure the place was deafening. Then when they stripped him of the belt, I was expecting another swerve to get it back on him, until I heard the announcement that Austin was going to be in the Rock’s corner. This I thought basically put the Jericho incident out of everyone’s mind, because the pop for that news was huge. To bring it full circle, they then had Jericho and the Acolytes in a 6-man against DX. Triple H beat Jericho, thus finishing last night’s story line in one nice neat package. Jericho got the rub, got the pin, got the belt, but when it was all said and done, Triple H got the final victory, his belt and a huge setup for his pay-per-view main event match. Now that my friends is pro wrestling at it’s finest. Amongst the swerves and story lines that went on, you had psychology as the biggest winner.
On the other channel you had WCW once again showing that they are indeed going out of their way to once again become a player in the game. Gone are the stale plainly lit camera shots of the crowd and gone are the people in the ring that used to just "walk" through their matches. WWFish? Sure, but the difference this time is that they are copying a style, not the actual product. This is a huge advancement for World Championship Wrestling as far as product perception is concerned and one that they addressed and have come out on top on.
As being one of the biggest detractors of Hulk Hogan for the past year and a half, I have to say I like what he is doing now. Gone are the days (it appears) of the old Hogan who worried so much about his legacy that he refused to do anything that might hurt his "immortality" in the sport. I am also glad that he has changed his look. The "red and yellow or yellow and red" days are gone for Hogan. Those were a huge part of his past and should stay just that. Many rungs of the ladder of his career were carried by those colors and that is how it should remain - a smaller part of the larger whole that will one day be talked about as the legacy of Hulk Hogan among wrestling historians in the years to come. The only thing I would change is that Hogan should consistently wear the bandana completely covering his head instead of Rambo style as he did last night. It gives him a younger appearance (not much, but somewhat) which would only serve him better.
What kind of credibility does it give ECW to have Tazz walk out as the ECW Heavyweight Champion and he cannot even win the WWF’s Hardcore Title? It doesn’t matter that Hardcore Holly interfered and he was up against Crash Holly and Perry Saturn. ECW is known for being "Extreme". They coined the phrase "hardcore" and took it to heights they probably never expected. Sure, they got the rub by having their belt on television and by having their name mentioned, but it reminded me of the failed’ ECW Invasion" a few years back when Vince refused to allow the ECW workers to shine while they were on WWF television. In my mind, the best thing would have been for Tazz to overcome "all" odds and obstacles and to take the Hardcore Title since everyone in the wrestling world knows that Tazz for the most part is a total ECW product. It would not have hurt Vince’s product in the least to have allowed Tazz to "capture the gold" on RAW and to have him carrying two belts for the short time he will have the ECW title. In fact from my perspective, it probably would have helped Tazz’s legitimacy as a "tough" guy in the WWF. It surely wouldn’t have hurt the ECW Heavyweight title belt either showing that it takes "real men" to hold that title.
Keeping with the ECW theme for a moment, How many times has Paul Heyman denied any association with the WWF? Does anyone out there really think that this has all just happened overnight? This association started back in 1996 and has not let up since then. I have gone on record many time at pwbts.com and around the Internet stating that the WWF/ECW coalition was not dead in the water as Paul would have liked you to believe. Of course, many people vocally came out against my position stating that I did not know what I was talking about, trying to hurt my credibility while trying to protect the company line. Once again, as is usually the case, time shows that what I said to be true. There is no way Vince McMahon on a whim, is going to just allow one of his workers to go to a rival promotion, win their highest title and then parade it around on his main television show without having ongoing affiliations with that company. Wrestling is getting very interesting lately and it will be much more so in the upcoming months as battle lines are being drawn behind the scenes once again, only this time ECW is going to be a more up-front player in the game.
For someone who wanted to be out of wrestling, Rena Mero sure loves to keep her ties to the sport doesn’t she? She was at the premier of "Ready To Rumble," she always mentions her pro wrestling career, etc. Rena Mero is nothing but an ingrate. She owes everything she is and has to Vince McMahon but she spit in the face of the man that created her. If she still thinks that she is going to be a huge Hollywood star she is only deluding herself. Her in-ring mic skills in the WWF tells the tale of her abilities. Her nasal voice, her constant stopping in mid-sentence, trying to remember what she is supposed to say shows that Rena is far from the star that she thinks she is. While she is a bit more articulate than Nichole Bass, both have something lacking in the brain department. I wonder what Rena is going to do when her plastic body starts to droop? There is only so much surgery you can have before you start to look like Joan Rivers or Phyllis Diller. Considering that Rena already needs heavy makeup to hide her age, the upcoming years will be fun to watch to say the least.
And with that I am outta here. Remember wrestling is nothing more than it appears to be.
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