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I was not released from the WWF.


Smackdown Thoughts
Smackdown was another ok show by the WWF and I'm getting tired of typing that. The WWF really needs some competition to bring the exciting edge back to their programming. Smackdown didn't have any bad moments, it just had several moments where I thought there might be something more entertaining on. The writing staff continued to destroy Jericho's credibility by having him tap out to the Rock just 3 days before their match at Vengeance. Vince McMahon didn't have to kiss the Rock's ass but rather Rock made him inspect the inside of Rikishi's colon. The segment went long, but the pay off was good and hopefully it's the last we've seen of the "Kiss My Ass Club" gimmick for a while. Undertaker attacked Rob Van Dam to add some heat to their match on Sunday, but after 'Taker smacked RVD down, why didn't he pin him for the Hardcore title? Technically anyone can pin RVD at anytime to take the championship. Stealing a man's title belt before the match is a way to add heat. For that matter, why have 'Taker beat up RVD at all. Since RVD just won a brutal match with Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy should have run in and beat RVD for the title. Matt would have been super pissed off that Jeff stole the title he'd just fought for. Anyway, a fine show with nothing to write home about other than Rikishi's return. I'm sure we'll be tired of him by Monday.

WWF Releases Nine Wrestlers
Essa Rios, Jimmy Yang, Kid Romeo, Lash LeRoux, Allan Funk (Kwee-Wee), Elix Skipper, Russ McCullough, Evan Karagias and Reno were released by the WWF this week. All of them had been competing in the HWA, a WWF developmental territory, and were given their releases in meetings with Johnny Ace. Road agent Ricky Santana is being reassigned. Most of the guys were picked up when the WWF bought WCW as part of the deal. Essa Rios is the only WWF native, but his lack of English has been a source of problems for years. Russ McCullough has been a WWF prospect for a while but I don't believe he's ever been on TV or in WCW. I'd expect several of the guys to end up working for XWF before too long. Now that the guys in the minors have received the axe, it won't be too long before the WWF starts cutting its B level talent.

The ratings for Raw dropped for the second consecutive week. The show did a 4.2, down from a 4.4 last week and a 4.7 two weeks ago. Smackdown scored a 4.2 broadcast rating. That's the same rating that they scored last week. Last week of course the other networks were in reruns and this week was new episodes, so the WWF can feel good about that number. Raw needs something new to hold the viewers attention.

Rock to Finish Scorpion King
The Rock is going to have to put on the Scorpion suit again. Key fight scenes were left unfilmed from his upcoming film, The Scorpion King. It was decided during production not to shoot the scenes due to the feared industry strike (which never happened). Now Rock will have to finish shooting the movie so the Universal can release the film in April of 2002. Rock is not expected to miss much time since he will be filming in L.A. You know, near the pyramids.

Grand Master Sexy Injured
Brian Christopher suffered a scratched retina in a match this week while working for the WWA in London. Christopher was examined at a local hospital and released. The injury is not considered serious, and Christopher is not expected to miss any shows on the WWA tour.

WWF Sued
The law firm of Lovell & Stewart has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of everyone who purchased WWFE stock against WWFE. It alleges WWFE (the parent company of the WWF, in case you were confused) and certain of its officers and directors at the time of the IPW violated federal securities laws by issuing and selling WWFE stock pursuant to the IPO without disclosing to investors that several of the underwriters had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions from certain investors. Also named in the suit are Bear, Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Piece Fenner & Smith, Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., Wit Capital Corp., Donaldson, Lukfin & Jenrette Securities Corp. and Chase H&Q. The claim is those companies got WWFE stock at $17 per share by agreeing to purchase additional stock once it hit the market to immediately rocket the price upward (it went to $34 first day), claiming it was an artificial price inflation enabling everyone to make enormous profits. The complaint alleges the defendants required customers to kick back some of their profits as a secret commission calculated after the fact based on how much profit the investor had made. It's all sneaky wall street crap. The WWF had this to say about the law suit, "Based on the assertions of the law firm of Lovell and Stewart, we categorically deny any wrong doing."

Nash on Nikki
Kevin Nash will be on the TV show "Nikki" Sunday on UPN. Nash plays himself on the show, which was filmed about six weeks ago in Los Angeles. Filming lasted about a week. "It's a great show and good comedy," Nash said. "This might be the only time fans get to see me taking bumps on U.S. TV this year. I do the job on the show because I don't have the ego some people seem to think I do." *coughbullshitcough* I'd lay down for Nikki Cox long before I'd lay down for Goldberg.

Savage to Make Major Announcement
Randy Savage made a small announcement he will be making a "major announcement" this Monday. I have no clue what the announcement could be but here are my top 10 guesses:

  • Hogan vs. Savage will headline Wrestlemania X-8.
  • His brother, "The Genius" Lanny Poffo, isn't actually all that bright.
  • Slim Jims cause cancer.
  • Osama Bin Laden has kidnapped Miss Elizabeth.
  • He will be the new starting quarter back for the Miami Dolphins.
  • Andre the Giant isn't really dead, he's just sleeping.
  • He wants to be the first member of the "French Kiss Vince McMahon's Ass Club."
  • "Oh Yeah!" to be new 2002 Olympic motto.
  • He is the real killer of Nicole Simpson.
  • Bush/Savage in 2004.

    Vengeance Predictions

    Big Show & Kane vs. Dudley Boyz - Tag Team Championship
    If you're attending a pay per view party, this would be a good time to go get a drink. Dudley Boyz rarely have a bad match, but their act has gotten stale. No one really gives a flying clothesline about Kane and Big Show, so don't expect them to win. Dudleys win in the opening match to retain the titles.

    Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy - Special referee: Lita
    I outlined last week how I would have set up this feud and the WWF ignored me. Whatever. This should be a good match with plenty of high spots. The added intrigue of "whose side is Lita on" should make this an entertaining match. I predict Matt wins with help from Lita and they both go hardcore heel. Jeff is left alone with only thousands of screaming 15 year old girls to console him.

    Edge vs. William Regal - Intercontinental Championship
    Edge hasn't risen to the top like we'd all like him to since winning the King of the Ring and the Unifed Intercontinental belt. He had more popularity when he and Christian were the wacky heels. Still Regal isn't really a heat magnet either, so expect Edge to retain the title.

    Undertaker vs. Rob Van Dam
    I expected RVD to lose the hardcore title on Smackdown since he isn't putting it on the line here at the pay per view. What's to stop 'Taker from just saying that the title is on the line since RVD has to defend the title 24/7 anyway? RVD's push has cooled off in the last month and 'Taker has proven that he isn't ready to start jobbing out to everyone during the last few years of his career. In their last meeting RVD won, so I'd expect 'Taker to win this time.

    Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline - Women's Championship
    The WWF usually puts these kinds of matches on near the end of the show so that you can use the bathroom and cleanse your pallet before the main event. This is just a straight up wrestling match which means it will suck since Trish's abilities lean more toward T&A. Still, with no build up what so ever as far as a feud goes, I doubt Jackie will win the title. Trish will beat Jackie so that the fans believe she is a credible wrestling champ rather than just another pretty face. I can tell the WWF right now that will never happen.

    The Rock vs. Chris Jericho - World Championship
    Booking 101 says that in the week before a pay per view, the heel always beats down the face so that we the fans believe that the face might lose the match at the pay per view. However, Jericho lost clean to Austin on Raw and tapped out to Rock on Smackdown. Why should we believe that Jericho will win this match? I certainly don't. Rock wins to advance to the title unification match. On a side note, what happens if Jericho wins by DQ or count out? He'd have technically won the match, but not the title? Who would advance to the main event? I think it would be awesome if Jericho won by DQ and Flair ruled that the person with the title advances to the main event. That would give Jericho an excellent reason to continue to hate the Rock and add fuel to his bad guy fire.

    Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle - World Wrestling Federation Championship
    Going back to Booking 101, heel needs to beat face before the big match, but Angle lost clean to Rock on Raw Monday. Also, unlike the other three men in this double main event, Angle never got time alone in the ring to bitch about Austin and Rock. Again, why should we believe that Angle will win this match? The big money match is Rock vs. Austin, so Austin beats Angle to advance to the title unification match.

    Austin vs. Rock - Title Unification Match
    So, here is the big moment wrestling fans have been waiting decades to see. The title unification match between the WWF World Championship and the title formerly known as the WCW World Championship. Sure it's two WWF wrestlers fighting for it, but they are the two biggest stars in the world today. The only problem is that they are both fan favorites. If one guy pins the other, half the audience is going to be pissed off and that makes unhappy fans that feel gypped for paying to see their favorite wrestler lose. How will the WWF get around this problem? Well the obvious answer is that Rock and Austin don't face each other but rather one of them loses in the qualifying round. The other possibility is that neither man wins the unified title, but rather a returning superstar causes the match to end without a winner. That man is HHH. He's been featured on the Vengeance posters and ads for months, so what else should we believe but that he is going to return on Sunday. If he returns and causes a disqualification, then the titles don't unify (which is good since one of the titles will be split off when the WWF splits its roster in January to a second promotion) and neither the Rock nor Austin lose any popularity. That is the most likely scenario and the one that will make fans happiest (with the exception of those wrestling purists that just really wanted the title unified.)

    Michael Goodson




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