Double M’s Rasslin’ Report 11.05.05 By: Michael Melchor
Double Impact: Making Amends By: Michael Melchor
Hey there and thanks for checking in. Been a while since I’ve been here, I know.
Of course running one zone and appearing weekly in another over at 411 – not to mention expecting child #6 (!) and dealing with the rest of everyday
life – will do that to someone.
I’d initially planned on filling the spaces here with reprints of the Double M Rasslin’ Report, but even that’s gotten to be a crunch. Instead of taking the cheap
way out (which I’ve been accused of already), I figure I can use this to explore topics off the beaten path of the usual
news and comments. Topics that I care enough about to get a little in-depth in.
Topics like...Vince Russo.
I’ll go ahead and say it – I’m a fan of both the man and his
work. His work because, in my eyes, nothing is as cool as the Millionaire’s Club/New Blood feud could have been.
The man, because, right or wrong, he gave all of himself and went with his vision, right or wrong. I don’t even know
if I can come up with a handful of people that have that kind of guts or integrity anymore.
But people are human, and they screw up. Russo himself knows this, and has set about to
correct a mistake made long ago.
If only the McMahon family could apologize like this...
EVEN THOUGH WE DIDN’T ALWAYS AGREE---JR DESERVED BETTER
Since my life has taken on a new direction some two years ago now, I must admit that I
really don’t watch wrestling anymore. Having a new outlook on life, courtesy of God, the things that appealed to me
for a good portion of my life—42 years to be exact—just don’t “float my boat” any more—pardon
But I will admit, I still flip around during commercials—a habit which none of us
will ever break. This past Monday night between innings of the Yankees/Angels game, I happened to “flip to” Raw
when Jim Ross was in the ring.
Why would this concern Russo enough out of his shell to comment? My, don’t we have
a short memory?
You know, I swore when Jesus saved my life I would never comment on “mainstream
wrestling” again, but this time I have to—not because it has anything to do with wrestling, or an angle, but because
it has to do with everything that’s wrong with society.
In my book “Forgiven”, that’s due out in a few weeks, —
Ah, ever the plug machine – even in Christianity. Toldja he sticks with what he
is & knows.
I talk at great length about Jim Ross, and my relationship with him. I’ll
be the first to admit that there were times when I was tough on him, and it wasn’t personal—it was strictly business.
But, at the time my view was clouded . . . much clouded. Why? Because I never put myself in the shoes of Jim Ross. I had never
walked one step in his boots. Put aside the personal setbacks in his life; the bouts with bells palsy, the death of his mother—who
meant the world to him, I’m talking about the taxing job called “Talent Relations”. Fans of the business
really have no idea the thanklessness of this job—yes, even more thankless than that of a television writer. Forget
about having to please a roster full of wrestlers, many with egos larger than the average man could ever fathom, but the demands
from Vincent K. himself . . . you just had to be there to understand. But with unexplainable patience, Jim Ross did it. From
a personal level did I always agree with his decisions, of course not, but then again—we’re all guilty of being
Tuesday morning quarterbacks. Could I have done a better job? Probably not—but then again—I would have never wanted
the position in the first place.
I’d venture to guess that, no matter how much the armchair bookers in the IWC claim
otherwise, none of them would, either. Imagine the responsibility and headache that comes with a gig like that for a multi-milllion
dollar corporation and every pertinent employee in it. No fucking way I would want that headache. Anyone that does is either
a kiss-ass (like the current holder of said position) or suicidal. The pressure that comes with it is immense, and Russo acknowledges
In wrestling we all have egos, some bigger . . . much bigger . . . than others. I’d
be lying if I didn’t say that JR didn’t have an ego—and I think he’d tell you the same thing. But
the difference between JR and some of the boys was that JR truly, truly, loved his job. That’s much more than I can
say about myself. JR took great pride in being, “the best play-by-play man in the business", and he should have—because
he was. To him—being out there every Monday night was what he lived for. The truth? There was no better. Was he a bit
“over the top” at times, of course he was—but—his love, heart, desire, and passion for what he calls
“the game” wasn’t, isn’t and will never be matched.
During the Raw boom in the late 90’s, I’ll tell you right here, right now—I
wanted to replace both Lawler and JR. At the time we’re talking about the “Attitude” era, when sports-entertainment
was as close to reality as it was ever going to get. Personally, I just had a problem with a guy wearing a crown and a guy
in a cowboy hat selling it to me. When all else was as “real” as wrestling could ever get—in my opinion,
we had two blatant “characters” trying to sell it. But, that was all about personal “taste”; it had
nothing—NOTHING—to do with the ability of Lawler, or Ross.
So in hindsight, I can understand the WWE brass wanting to replace JR—things change—you
have to evolve. Growing up I can remember Ralph Kiner, Lindsay Nelson and Bob Murphy calling Met games. Man, in my head I
can still hear their voices—but that was then—this is now. Things just change . . . look at me. No, I don’t
have a problem with the “business” decision, but as not only a Christian but as a human being, I just have a problem
with the way they did it.
This coming from the guy that created “Oklahoma”? I mean, he still saw fit
to take shots at JR, no? Let’s find out why, shall we?
You know what, there are a lot of things you can say about Vince Russo back “in
the day”, BUT one thing I will say—I never—NEVER—treated anybody disrespectfully. Yeah, my button
was pushed on a few occasions, but all-in-all I treated people the same way I wanted to be treated. Even though JR and I weren’t
on the same page at many times—I can sit here and say that when I worked with him—and when I wrote for him—I
never made him the butt-end of a joke. One of my personal, professional highlights came when JR had his own announcer’s
desk built during an episode of Raw—to me that was entertainment---and JR was priceless.
But on the other side of that coin---when WCW backed me into a corner—when they
wanted ratings yesterday—I did the despicable. I sent Ed Ferrera out there and asked him to do a parody of JR. There
is much more about that in “Forgiven”, but let me just say—if there is anything I could ever take back that
I did in the wrestling business—that was at the top of my list. Again—at that time we were going after the WWF,
and we were going hard—I was stopping at NOTHING. What a horse’s !@#$ I was. Again—you will never understand
the pressure I was under—if you think for one minute that I was thinking straight—you’re wrong—but
still, that’s no excuse. I ask God everyday for forgiveness—and I hope this column serves as an open, public apology
So, there you have it. It’s already been admitted (not here) by Russo himself that
he and JR didn’t see eye-to-eye about a lot of things. Now I’m not sure if “Oklahoma” was a personal
attack on JR or the down-home hayseed he came off as on Monday nights. I’d still bank on the former, but, unlike the
people that JR worked for, Russo at least sees the error of his ways then and wants to make up for that now.
BUT—with that being said—what’s the WWE’s excuse? I mean, not
only isn’t there a ratings war—but the guy is on their team! Why, do they make a guy who has been so loyal to
their company—the butt end of their jokes? Well, there’s only one good reason for that—because they can
. . . they will . . . and they don’t care.
Yes—it’s all a work my friends, all “made-up”, all “make-believe”.
But—there isn’t a single person in that company who doesn’t know what announcing means to JR. From having
him kiss Vince’s butt to having Linda low-kick him—JR has been degraded as a human being every way humanly possible.
And that’s the problem I have with the business. Replacing JR was no doubt traumatic to him—NO DOUBT—if
not for anything else—why not let the guy go out with dignity? Why not let the guy go out on his own terms—with
his head held high and not squirming on the mat like a helpless imbecile? Why? Because it was funny? I don’t know .
. . maybe it’s me . . . but I wasn’t laughing. I wasn’ t laughing because there was just more evilness behind
it then you’ll ever know . . . but again that’s the wrestling business and that’s why I now play for the
That’s an interesting statement to me...there was just more evilness behind it
then you’ll ever know. Like what? Does Russo know something about the specific incident he’s not letting us
in on? Probably not; he’s just worked with the McMahons before and knows how they play.
But, you know what—there also needs to come a time when you just say to
the boss, “Sorry, Vince . . . I’m just not going to do that.” I completely understand that that is easier
said then done.
And he should know. Continuing on...
There is a lot of money at stake . . . and everything else that goes with it . . .
BUT . . . you know what really comes with money—NOTHING. Take it from a guy who once had it, doesn’t have it any
more, and doesn’t want it. Money is not worth anybody’s dignity. JR is talented enough to get a job calling whatever
he wants. And at the end of the day, if his dreams come true and he’s up there in that Sooner booth—guess what—he
doesn’t have to worry about anybody kicking him in the jewels to get their jollies—that just doesn’t happen
out here in the “real” world.
Man, we need to re-think were we’re at. Don’t give me that angle nonsense—we
need to start treating people with dignity and respect—especially in the wrestling business. The change has to start
somewhere—and I hope it does here.
Again—JR—to the world, I’m sorry for any pain I’ve ever caused
you, and I have to deal with that every day, but my friend—I’m telling you—you deserve better . . . much
I won’t get into that one like I did Russo’s, but Ed Ferrara alsoapologized for his part in the whole affair. Where Russo goes, Ferrara follows – that much has
always been accepted. But Ferrara at least had the guts to admit he did wrong and own up to it.
Vince McMahon didn’t. Neither did his wife or daughter. It’d be understandable
if the payoff was Austin going out on Taboo Tuesday and kicking Coach’s ass from one side of the building to the other
and, as a result, JR got his job back. However, Austin walked out again because
he was told that, win, lose, or draw, JR wasn’t coming back.
The McMahons not only humiliated him on national television, but they left it as the last
time we see the man – the voice of Raw and one of the best announcers to have graced the industry – on TV.
But, of course, God forbid they recompense that with a tribute or anything of the like.
No, the whole story is dropped now and everybody moves on.
Except for Vince Russo. He did JR wrong and, despite how he felt about him back then,
publicly apologized for it. Say what you want about Russo’s writing technique or his desire to grab what attention he
can when he can, but, in this case, I say good for him. He at least had the wherewithal to step up and do what JR’s
own bosses wouldn’t.
Michael Melchor is a longtime – if infrequent –
contributor to The Wrestling Fan and former show recapper. He also runs 411 Music and contributes his weekly thoughts on the world
of wrestling at 411 Wrestling. He is also a
proud husband and father of 5 (soon to be 6) children. In his spare time, he—oh wait, never mind. He doesn’t have
Double M’s Rasslin’ Report 09.10.05 By: Michael Melchor
There's too many men, too many people, making too many problems. Hey
there and thanks for checking in despite the fact that it’s been a little while... For those that know me, I’ve been burdened down carrying on as
the editor of 411 Music for almost a year now. Lately with that, dodging hurricanes (which is tricky, because
Shane Helms is a quick little bastard) and lots else (like yet another lovely move), it’s been tough doing this regularly.
Alas, circumstances may come about that I may be doing this weekly. We’ll
see. For now, I figured that I’d peek my head in the door of the Rasslin’ World and see what’s going on.
But first... Okay, This Is Boring – What Else Is
There To Read?Looks like it’s been a bit since quite a few of us have been able to update.
Hope no one was caught up in Hurricane Katrina (wonder if that’s Helms’s girlfriend?)... Seems DA BOSS is suffering the same fate as a lot of us. I hope he comes back sooner than later
because that man writes one of the funniest columns on da whole intraweb. And that’s a total shoot. Gags is spot-on when it comes to the humor as well. See, when I try to be, I’m about
as funny as a can of paint – which is why I appreciate those that are.... ...like TWF newcomer Joe Merrick. THAT was some good shit! Richard Waters makes a damned good point about PPV/free TV matches. And people wonder why I didn’t
bother with SummerSlam (aside from knowing that the Orange Goblin would beat Michaels, despite how bad I wanted the reverse
result). I’m also rather proud of Cameron Burge for holding down the job I once had quite well. Remy rules~!Christ, after reading James Walker, maybe I should stay out of the news as well. He’s got that handled quite well.
And finally, I have to point out that, yes, I’ve gotten into the Podcasting
racket (part of what’s kept me so damned busy). The WMMR homepage at Ourmedia.org is the main source to download 2 out of (so far) 3 episodes (There’s a long
story to episode 2 involving copyright law which can be read at the MySpace Blog). Podcast.net also hosts the shows for your listening pleasure. Episode 3 centers on – you guessed it – Hurricane Katrina and plays some music I
can actually get away with playing. Feel free to give it a spin or even subscribe to it. And finally (no, I mean it this time), you may know (at least you would if you
already visited the Music Zone today) that Evocator Manes’s band (?) The Mighty TFG has finally released their first EP, Snow Black. Go check out the link to see how YOU can score
YOUR copy before anyone else! But, before you do, here’s a way to save a little on it... Now, I ain’t one to gossip and you ain’t hear this from me –
BUT, if you go to The Mighty TFG’s website and plug in a coupon code with your favorite website (that would be “411 Mania”)
AND any of the writers here (that would be, oh, let’s say, “Melchor”, for example), then that’s a
dollar off the EP right then and there. Remember that – 41 mania Melchor = one dollar off the already dirt-cheap price,
making for a total of seven bucks for probably one of the best music releases this year simply because you read us...and me.
Did I mention there are stickers to be had as well? All The News That’s Fit To Post
Now, it’s already been disclosed that I’m not one for good comedy. Therefore, I
don’t do any. This is all just straight opinion of the latest big news. You’ve been warned of potential boredom.
Let’s get to it... · According to WWE.com, The Uh-MAHR-kin Dweam, Dutty Rhodes, has not only signed on to be a part of the Legends
program, but is now on the SmackDown Creative team. Rhodes takes over for Dave Langana, who now goes to WWE’s (and,
more specifically, Shane McMahon's) newly revamped New Media division. All over the world, several hundred betting pools open
up immediately on how long it is before the dreaded “Dusty Finish” turns up on Friday nights, starting the latest
craze in betting games and making Texas Hold ‘Em, like, so 5 minutes ago. Honestly, Dusty can probably bring a little oomph back to SmackDown. The key
here is that Dusty himself is not involved in the storylines in anyway, thereby foregoing the normal egotistical desire to
see one’s self at the top of the card that befalls 99.44% of wrestlers/bookers (See: Kevin Nash, circa 1998). The man
does have an excellent creative mind – one that may actually make me tune in to the show, forgetting about the
fact that Eddie Guerrero and Rey Rey actually settled a fucking child custody battle inside of a wrestling ring.
And we wonder why non-fans look at us a little weird. · WWE.com also featured an interview with RVD about his impending return. Allow me to quote
the part that really got my attention: RVD: (excerpted) After the ECW One Night Stand I think I made an impression
on some people. That was a moment to extend the ECW spirit on WWE ’s platform, which is something that was never done
before and definitely needs to be done again. My part, since I wasn’t cleared to wrestle, was just to get on the mic
and speak my mind and from the heart. It was completely unscripted, unrehearsed and unapproved. Nobody asked what I was going
to say – not Paul Heyman, not Vince, nobody. So, I went out there and was able to tell everyone what I really wanted
them to hear. They liked the fact that I had a side of me I actually liked to show instead of just a side they pull out, which
is just a very, very small side of who I am. I never felt like they’ve understood me. When I first came to WWE, they
thought I was a surfer. They totally didn’t get me, and they still don’t, and maybe that’s part of me being
one of a kind. Let me explain myself to you, and I think that’s what they like now. When I went back for the draft they
wanted me to show that same energy I showed at One Night Stand, to show that same spirit. I expect more of the same in the
future, and hopefully that will put me in a more important role in the show. I had several very important people come up
to me and basically emotionally hug me and say, “That’s it, that was the missing ingredient, that’s what
you needed, now you have it all.” I’ve always had that. Now that I’ve shown it, let’s see what
else I can show you.It’s about fucking time. And, over the four years and numerous dozen people
online and in the company that have gotten on RVD’s case for being uninspired, Now at least you have some clue as to
why. If I knew I was capable of a lot more than the company I worked for was willing
to let me show, I’d be a little pissed off, too. In fact, I’ve walked into a job to start a shift with street
clothes on and a resignation letter in hand for that very reason. I’m surprised Van Dam hasn’t done the same,
but then I’m not. Where else is there to go? (Never mind that last statement; that’s a discussion that could continue
well into Survivor Series.) Instead, Van Dam stuck to his guns and got himself over based on what he could
do verbally. Have to tip my hat to a man like that and hope that now they let him do the same in the ring with someone who
can hang. He did express his desire to wrestle Shawn Michaels when he gets back – a match that would be all sorts
of excellent if done right (despite what guys like Newton Gimmick would have you believe). · Courtesy of PWInsider, it seems that WWE plans to – *GASP!* – BURY the Ultimate Warrior on DVD! An ad in SmackDown
Magazine has pretty much confirmed this, and if that wasn’t enough than an “inside source” stated that the
DVD is a total burial of the former star to the “point of ridiculousness”. First of all, no burial of the Warrior could be as cool as the one the Undertaker
did on Paul Bearer’s Funeral Parlor back in 1991 and that’s all there is to that. Secondly, I thought the purpose of putting out a DVD of someone was to make
money off of them in a not-so-“Jerry Springer” way. Seems a little ridiculous to potentially shoot yourself in
the foot by turning people off to the product like that. Third, The point of a WWE monopoly is firmly driven home. If they like you and
you make nicey-nice with them, your career retrospective on DVD – about the only way your legacy
will be preserved – will be good. Just ask Bret Hart. However, if they don’t like you, prepare to be tarred
and feathered. And finally, with all that having been said, I don’t think it could have
happened to a nicer guy. I plan on buying the Ultimate Warrior just to send my message that I support the smear job they’re
gonna do on the nutbag. Go get ‘im, Vince. · Once again courtesy of PWInsider, TNA is getting ready for its close-up on
Spike TV – and Vince ain’t too happy about it. Good news is, he still has Mick Foley. Whoever saw Raw last week no doubt saw the commercials for TNA Impact premiering
October 1 on Spike TV. Vince and the higher-ups were a little pissed about this, despite the fact that they’re already
running commercials on USA Network for their return there. Billionaire, schmillionaire – you can’t have your cake
and eat it, too. However, Mick Foley has signed a new television deal with WWE complete
with signing bonus. The relevance here is that this was after entertaining an offer from TNA and a potential program
with Samoa Joe (thoughts on THAT in a minute). No, Foley didn’t use TNA as negotiation leverage; the initial deals were
for the same money. So, all in all, one of the week’s biggest stories ends in a wash. Vince
gets upset that TNA commercials air on his show, but then he re-gains Mick Foley after TNA almost had him. Aside from that, WWE has also recently signed Vader to a Legends contract (seems
odd but deserved, really), giving WWE the ability to do what TNA probably would have done with Samoa Joe – give Mick
a hard-hitting badass to overcome one more time. In TNA, it could have been to put over an up-and-comer, whereas WWE may have
used the opportunity to rectify the angle that WCW bent over the table. Nowadays, though, could Foley take the kind of punishment
that angle would require? Ol’ Cactus ain’t what he used to be, I’m afraid. Yes, I know that Gail Kim has signed with TNA and should debut at the 10/1 Impact
on Spike. No, I don’t care. · In terms of Vince’s migraines, though, TNA’s commercials in Impact
are nothing compared to the delay of the Friday night-relaunch of WWE’s secondary brand. Once again from PWInsider
by way of us, All six (!) broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN and The WB – will be airing a one-hour
commercial-free simulcast on Friday, September 9, 8-9pm EST entitled “Shelter From The Storm: A Concert For The Gulf
Coast” to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. This, of course, falls right on the night SmackDown was to move
to Fridays. Ouch. No word yet on whether the show will air a week later or at another time. I guess another night would be
pointless seeing as how someone boxed themselves in with the name “Friday Night SmackDown”. In related and worse news, John Heidenreich has yet to hear from his wife, children,
or father since Katrina blew through the Gulf Coast. In an interview with WWE.com, Heidenreich says he plans on venturing there after the taping of “Friday
Whatever Night UPN Can Fit SmackDown On” and seek out his loved ones, gun in hand (in case he runs into looters and
the like) and re-establish contact with his loved ones. You know, I could make several jokes here about going in “Rambo”-style
or making this his own “Deliverance” (still haven’t forgotten that angle with Michael Cole) or anything
else, but, really, I hope the guy finds his family and that they’re okay. Shitty gimmicks and shitty in-ring work don’t
justify losing several very loved ones to a bad storm, and I really hope he hasn’t. Happy TrailsWow, what a downer way to end a Rasslin’ Report, aye? Maybe we can change
that soon. I hear Thursdays is open. We’ll see. Anyway, thanks for putting up with my straight, dry style. Randle is a LOT funnier
and should be back here next week. In the meantime, feel free to click the feedback link below to let me know how I did and
I may or may not see you again here soon. L8. Thanks again for reading. For more interesting (?) reading, click here. Or even here. And remember, WMMR is On The Air
Michael Melchor is a longtime –
if infrequent – contributor to The Wrestling Fan and former show recapper. He also runs 411 Music and contributes his weekly thoughts on the world of wrestling
at 411 Wrestling. He is also a proud husband and father of 5 (soon to
be 6) children. In his spare time, he—oh wait, never mind. He doesn’t have any.
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).