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THE ROCKTAGON
W/ JAMES SWIFT

Before we delve into this week's venture into the eight-sided vestibule of nostalgia, let's state one or two things about the human condition that are unquestionable truths.

You see, unlike most people, I am aware of who I am and what I believe. I took the time and effort to sit down and figure out things on my own, as opposed to letting people spoon-feed me convictions. As a result, I'm a fairly happy person, but more importantly, I'm an authentic person. My actions and sentiments I know are of a genuine nature.

Now, let's annex the majority population into this mix. Let's say you have a guy that hasn't quite reached level 6 on Kohlberg's moral development scale as I. Say you call him out on this notion. Perhaps you expose this person is being fraudulent in his convictions. You know what happens next?

"There Will Be Blood II". That's what happens.

It was the damndest thing I've ever seen, folks. If you expose someone as a fraud on one level, eventually they'll expose the entire fraud of their being. And when this occurs, it is SPECTACULAR. Very rarely does one encounter someone that is suddenly overcome by unadulterated psychotic rage. Believe you me, it is something beautiful.

All I can say is that I sure am glad that no bowling pins were readily available.

Anyway, in correlation with really bad planning, let's take a trip back to the early 90s, shall we? Back in my day, you got four double-double-F shows a year, and that was it. That means there were entire seasons in between Pay- Per-Views, and if you missed one show, it was tough shit, pal.

Then, one foggy evening, a new idea was proposed at Titan Tower. "Hey, why don't we have a fifth Pay-Per-View?" said some low-level executive. Vince then clubbed him to death with a ceramic whale figurine before looking at his business colleagues and stating "So, how about we do a fifth Pay-Per- View?"

The ensuing result was "This Tuesday In Texas", an event that occurred in December of 1991. Now, before we even begin to dissect the actual show, can you spot at least three things about this idea that could be deemed, as the famous economist John Maynard Keynes once so eloquently phrased, "a big ole pile o dog shit"?

Let's see: First, there's the title. When you order a wrestling program, you want something intimidating, or at least, descriptive. Royal Rumble, Bash At The Beach, etc. "This Tuesday In Texas" sounds like the title of a K.D. Lang album, which makes it gay on a whole hell of a lot of levels. Failure #1.

OK, then there's the timing. Just weeks earlier, there was already a Pay Per View, and in a few weeks, there was to be another Pay Per View. That's called "over-saturating" the market, and it's bad. Remember how you used to like Sanford and Son, and then the local affiliate started playing it six times a day and after awhile you just stopped caring? Well, the WWF didn't. FAILURE #2.

And finally, the PPV took place on a TUESDAY night. Vince may have well trained a goat for money-eating competition instead. ULTIMATE FAILURE. (No, not James Helliwig).

This is proof that not all nostalgia is good, folks.I present unto thee, This Tuesday In Texas!

OK, we start things off with Sean Mooney and his newsman-grade quality coif running down the basic schematics of the evening. Behind him is a giant, MS- Paint worthy facsimile of the Texas state flag, although I think it's missing a leprechaun or two. Cue the official "This Tuesday In Texas" video graphic, which is without question the single gayest looking thing this side of Chris Jericho's current hairdo. Sean throws it to Gorilla Monsoon, and out comes The Hitman.

This is an Intercontinental title bout, and his opponent for the evening? Why, none other than Skinner, whose overall contribution to the world of being shitty earned him a permanent spot on my official Rocktagon banner. For comedic value, I'm hoping that he lives up to such lofty levels of sucking, but since his opponent is probably the greatest in-ring technician the sport has ever seen, I'm worried that I can only cram in twenty "Wow, Skinner blows" jokes in the next paragraph instead of thirty. Tough break.

Let me just take this opportunity to state that Bret Hart's early 90s music was among the greatest aural annexations this planet has ever had the pleasure of hearing. In fact, I'm assuming that in the year 3000, musical eggheads will look back on his theme song and place it in the pantheon alongside Mozart and Wagner: "Ride of the Valkyries", "Moonlight Sonata" and "wizzah-wizzah-wizzah-wizzah-wizzah-wah-duh-duh-duh-DUH". The future is going to rule so hard.

Man, is it great to hear the tandem of Monsoon and Heenan coupled with the visual of Bret Hart sans the omnipresent fear of an oncoming stroke. Now, I'm no anti-Semite, but I've always wondered why Stormfront hasn't utilized Goldberg's errant kick as a mechanism to further the neo-Nazi movement. "DER JUDE.hording the world's money supply, controlling the media and ending the careers of all the wrestlers halfway worth a shit."

Well, there goes any and all Bar Mitzvah invites I may be receiving in the intermediate future.

Skinner, believe it or not, is riding an undefeated streak at the time of this PPV. As the pre-match ritual goes, Bret Hart gives his flimsy ass shades to some prepubescent female fan who then proceeds to have a hysterical fit. (Insert random Jerry Lawler joke). Heenan calls her a bimbo, because he's the greatest person that's ever lived.

This is definitely one of Bret's off nights. I'll give the wardrobe department props for Skinner's costume, though: he's so grungy and nasty looking that you can almost smell him through your TV screen. Basic collar and elbow tie-up, a leapfrog or two, dos atomic drops, Skinner rolls to the outside.and pause. Two presidential elections later, and Skinner finally returns to the ring. Bret works the arm for a couple of years. You know, Skinner reminds me of a cross between Necro Butcher and Zeke The Plumber from that one episode of Salute Your Shorts. He also sucks. Had to say it. Bret decides to work the arm SOME MORE. If Bret had Turtle Wax on his hands before this bout started, Skinner's biceps would look like the Silver freaking Surfer. Gut kick by Bret, and Skinner FINALLY gets some offense in, by throwing Bret into the turnbuckle in a spot that looks legitimately nasty. Bret sells like, well, himself and rolls to the safety of the outside mat. Bret's back in, and Skinner wastes no time stomping him like a flaming bag of.kittens. Skinner begins to dominate. We've got axe handles, we get an abdominal stretch, with a little leverage from the ropes. Who'd thunk a guy from the Everglades would skirt the rules so? Shoulder breaker! Just a two. Bret turns the tide but misses the second rope fist drop. That's always embarrassing. I remember one time, back in seventh grade chem. lab, I also missed a second rope fist drop. I feel for you, Hitman. Skinner hits Bret with a claw of some kind. I think it's supposed to be an alligator paw or something, but in reality, it more closely resembles a Frankenstein fist. Prop department, for shame! Close up of Skinner's aluminum can. Wow, and I thought today's economy was lousy. Skinner continues to utilize the basic heel laundry list of foot chokes and other under handed tactics. Time for the requisite Hart sternum first turnbuckle bump! Still impressive today. Blatant choke and a thumb to the eye! Skinner lands his finisher, an inverted DDT (of course, this being 1991, everything is called a "neck breaker"). Bret kicks out. Skinner goes up top and Bret makes him eat boot tip. Without the special sauce, it just doesn't taste as palatable. Bret begins his comeback tour, and Skinner over sells like Don West in a late 90s memorabilia pitch. Bret lands a Russian leg sweep, or as Monsoon calls it, a "neck breaker". What was I telling you? Supplex, back breaker and THEN he lands the fist drop. That's 4/5 thus far. Roll up attempt by Skinner leads to some outside scuffling. Nice counter-counter transition spot to get things back into the ring. Skinner spends a few months on the turnbuckle, so Bret tosses him like Candace Michelle tosses Uncle Taker's salad. Sharpshooter, and Skinner picks up his first of many, many, MANY losses in Vince's backyard.

WINNER: Bret Hart. This guy could carry ANYBODY to a decent bout. I mean, seriously, how many times can you say that you witnessed a GOOD Skinner match?

Backstage, Sean Mooney is chatting it up with Jake The Snake Roberts. OK, here's the plan: Let's see if I can get through this recap without uttering a SINGLE crack joke. Boy, this is going to be difficult.

In actuality, Jake was one hell of a performer on the stick. His promo here is pure gold, even if he does throw in one too many "d"s when he states the word "drown-DING". It's like those people that add an "r" to the middle of "wash"; it just frustrates me so. Mooney cowers like Debra after Steve pops too many Steveweisers as Jake proves that he should've been cast in Cape Fear instead of Bobby DeNiro.

Mean Gene is backstage with Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Dear God, between the Macho Man and Jake the Snake, I believe I may have overdosed on sheer rasp. You really can't get audibly lower on the decibel scale without going into the "Lemmy Kilmeister with laryngitis" range. Randy is moderately attired and proceeds to cut a promo that I can't decipher because I left my Navajo cryptologist at home.

Cue Jake's killer theme music. Before he can enter the ring, he's Pearl Harbored by The Macho Man. Just out of curiosity, do you think that we'll reinterpret the term "Pearl Harbor" to a more modern day analogue in the future? "Uh-oh, John Cena, Jr. just got NINE-ELEVENED by Triple H The THHHIRD!" Well, I'm getting my ass kicked now.

OUTSTANDING brawling to begin the bout. Jake is wearing flame-bedecked pants that remind me of Eddie Guerrero's past ring attire. Macho Man, likewise, is still sporting his Pollock-inspired pimp threads. Savage lands a top rope elbow (but not THE top rope elbow) to get this bout officially rolling. Jake tries to stroll back to the dressing room, but his plans are politely interrupted by Savage. Jake begs for mercy, thus instigating utilization of the "blind-ref" cup shot. How HEELISH! ~ Extended outside brawling sequence. Savage is selling the ever-loving shit out of his elbow injury.

OK, so I guess at this point I have to explain the story arch to some of you young uns out there. You see, Jake the Snake decided to exact his unrequited love of Miss Elizabeth by the most rational means, which, of course, is tying up her husband and attacking him with a cobra. Whereas most municipal laws state that throwing a poisonous viper at a romantic adversary would constitute attempted murder, Savage foregoes any and all civil action and instead decides to settle his dispute like a MAN: by challenging him to a fight at a pay per view event with a shitty buy rate. Oh, and later on, somehow Sid gets involved, Ric Flair prints photoshopped pictures of he and Elizabeth in a sexual tryst in Double-Double-Eff Magazine, and after subsequently being buried alive by Roberts, The Ultimate Warrior goes postal and feuds with Savage for a year straight. Well, at least their real-life marriage was stable, right?

Back in the ring with an atomic drop. That's basically the default transition move in the WWF at the time, sort of like how that one face buster move was utilized by WCW circa 1993 is an all-purpose gap filler. Roberts attempts to rip the bandage off Savage's forearm, which is still reeling from the after effects of DEADLY king cobra venom. According to Gorilla Monsoon, Randy's adrenaline counteracts the neurotoxins in his bloodstream. Well, shit. Maybe if the Croc Hunter did some light cardio after getting clipped by a manta ray, he'd still be kicking today. Heenan then gives all the male viewers at home some sage advice: "If Savage would've stayed single, he wouldn't have gotten involved in any of this". Why didn't you listen, Lex?

Now we have BACK AND FORTH action, culminating with the ref making a rather acrobatic Capoeira roll to avoid danger. So, yeah, refs can perform Sam Fisher-worthy escape rolls, but a light shove equals COMA. Jake with a short- arm clothesline. Feigned DDT attempt, Macho Man goes up top, lands the elbow, and picks up the win. Post bout, Randy acquires a steel chair and seeks COLD, HARD RETRIBUTION.that he discards in favor of the ring bell. OK, that's like trading in a katana for a pizza cutter, but what the hell. Oh, and Jake takes advantage with the DDT. Both guys squirm in the ring. By decree of Jack Tunney (MY president 4 LIFE), Jake is barred from bringing reptilian elements ringside. Second DDT. Jake makes his way to the back, then stops halfway and returns to the ring. Maybe he wants to apologize for his previous behavior? Yeah, that's it! Roberts reaches under the ring and pulls out a black baggy. THAT'S IT, I GIVE IN: JAKE ROBERTS SMOKES CRACK COCAINE. I'm only human, folks. Elizabeth rushes to the ring to protect her man. Monsoon says Elizabeth is putting her life on the line for her lover. Actually, that's a different boyfriend she did that with, Gorilla. THIRD DDT. Utilizing today's standard, that's like getting hit by a Pedigree off the top of a building into a puddle of lava fifty feet below (but Cena still manages to kick out!). Jake opens the bag and slowly puts on his special snake handling gloves (he keeps them right next to the oven mitts). Jake says "ass" on early 90s WWF television! The world ends. Jake then proceeds to slap the taste out of Beth's mouth. A guy that uses rampant cursing, engages in regular woman beating and refuses to abide by company procedures? You know, if Jake would've shaved his head back in 96, he could've been a long forgotten 90s cultural meme, too.

As Macho Man writhes in agony and slowly makes his way backstage, let's establish the first pillar of the official This Tuesday In Texas Drinking Game, shall we?

Every time Heenan uses the phrase "broadcast journalist", take a swig.

Backstage, Jake is with Mean Gene, whom is offended by Roberts' thorough lack of chivalrous behavior. And also, the fact that he smokes crack. Two for two.

Speaking of offensive elements, The Warlord is in the ring. Hey, Harvey Whippleman! Good to see him again. Making his second consecutive appearance in The Rocktagon, Davey Boy Smith struts down the aisle like Viscera with a shit load of super market coupons. Shoving contest and pose down to begin. Davey Boy falls for the old Greco Roman Knuckle Lock trick. Davey Boy secures the leg and drops the Warlord with the dreaded "let me bash your ball sack with my forehead" routine. And the say wrestling's in no way, shape or form homoerotic! As Warlord takes a spill to the outside, Gorilla spouts the old "immovable object, irresistible force platitude". Springboard to the outside by Smith, Warlord catches him. Cue the tried and true ring post method of chiropractics. It just noticed something very peculiar about the Warlord: he's brandishing black "X's" on his hands, which means that almost two decades before CM Punk, Warlord was representing sXe in the WWF. Back in the ring, Davey Boy gives the tunrpost some head.The Warlord's head, that is. Shitty dropkick from the Bulldog, and the Warlord gets knotted up in the ring ropes. Harvey Whippleman riles up the crowd as Warlord executes his most scientific hold, the bear hug, and Monsoon states that he's even doing that wrong. Davey Boy channels the strength of the crowd and/or finally has his painkillers kick in and it's time for the Bulldog to kick ass. A belly-to-belly gut wrench supplex squelches the second British invasion. Warlord showboats. Well, wouldn't you? Bulldog finally gets going, and it's time for the usual pile driver-reversal-sunset-flip-pin-pin reversal spot. Warlord signals for his finisher, the full nelson. Huh, a muscle bound hoss with no discernable in-ring talent utilizing the most elementary of grappling rest holds as a coup de grace? Never heard of such! Holy shit, he can't even do a full nelson correctly. Jesus Hernandez Christ. After fifteen years in the hold, the Bulldog finally escapes. Warlord kicks out of the Bulldog's supplex. I lose any and all respect for Bobby Heenan when he states, and I quote, "This is a great match!" No dice on the initial power slam attempt, as the Warlord utilizes the ropes as a blocking aide. Crucifix out of nowhere gets the win for Davey Boy. Winner: Guys with hairstyles that perhaps, in a post-ironic sense, actually resemble that of poodles.

Backstage, your hero and mine MOONEY is with an absolutely livid Macho Man, whom still manages to conclude all of his sentences (OK, fragments) with the signature line of ". . . man." I'd transcribe the interview, yet, unfortunately, I do not speak the language of KER-RAZY.

Now's a good time for pillar two of the official This Tuesday In Texas Drinking Game, don't you think?

Every time Gorilla utters, "Will you stop!" to Heenan, do a double shot.

Cue the single greatest entrance theme of all time as Ted Dibiase marches down the aisle. Accompanied by the Sensational Sherri, his tag team partner for tonight's gala is none other than The Repo Man. They'll be taking on the combined forces of Virgil and El Matador.

Yeah, I really don't feel like doing a straight up PBP for this bout because I'm, what's that word? Oh yeah, SANE. Rather, let's take this opportunity to examine the psychoanalytical basis of this bout. Obviously, the entire angle betwixt Dibiase and Virgil was based on racial prejudice and, in sundry ways, can be interpreted as a metaphor for upper class harvesting of the lower economic bracket sector of the United States. That's pretty much a given, and the feud was pretty great, too. Now, finding out what The Repo Man/ El Matador rivalry is about is a far more daunting sojourn. Since both guys are essentially nothing more than repackaged cartoon characters, one must begin with the prospect of identity, specifically, cultural identity. In that sense, El Matador represents the cultural plight of the Latino American in the current socio-dynamic (meaning, does one embrace one's own past ethnical background as a distinguishing characteristic or does one adapt the traits of "mainstream" culture to satiate and establish one's self- acknowledged ideals?). The Repo Man, in this sense, is in actuality an analogous character. However, this is from the perspective of "mainstream culture", meaning does one relinquish his or her ideals as a vessel to promote future cultural tranquility or does one embrace his or her own cultural traits and characteristics at the expense of limiting the influence and sway of others?

Now, just to balance the equation, here's some low-brow insight: Virgil has a big dong. Google it.

By the way, Dibiase and The Repo Man won, if you give a hoot. You don't.

Winner: Attempts at bringing socially significant philosophical discussion into a satirical wrestling site.

Backstage, it's Mean Gene and some orange guy wearing lots of yellow.

Time to recap the feud thus far: Hulk Hogan drops the belt to The Undertaker at Survivor Series after interference from Ric Flair. In reality, Hogan was SUPPOSED to drop the title clean to Flair and set-up a big money WM re- match. The problem, of course, is that Hulk doesn't want to lose EVER. So, instead of putting over Flair, he decides to put over The Taker, changes his mind days after the bout and uses his colossal backstage clout to set-up a PPV JUST SO HE CAN WIN HIS DAMN TITLE BACK. So anyway, the moral of the story is, do steroids.

At one point, Hogan says he is going to "bury" The Undertaker. You know how you hear that spiel about how bullies are just people that were bullied in the past and are cathartically exhibiting the traits of their aggressor as a coping mechanism? Well, there's probably some validity to that.

Cue the dirge. I thought the champion was supposed to come out last? Personal anecdote time: I didn't "get" the pun of Paul Bearer until I was 12. It occurred at an actual funeral. As my family cringe in maudlin tears, I dart up in the middle of the ceremony as if the proverbial light bulb of so many Roadrunner cartoons entered my cognitive essence. In that same realm, when I was five, I attended a high school graduation ceremony. As Pop and Circumstance play over the football field, I jumped up and yelled "Macho Man's here!" Long story short, five year old me ruled.

Rick Derringer gets a royalty check. Hulk storms to the ring, The Taker goes a stomping. Paul decides to make it a good old-fashioned father-son beat-off. I mean, down. Hogan arranges a meeting of the minds.

Hogan instigates the ten-punch ritual and the fans in the audience can't keep up. Actually, Hogan throws about 13 punches, so maybe he can't count to ten, either. Jack Tunney is ringside, to make sure no shenanigans are afoot. The Undertaker is still in his "I feel no pain, nothing can hurt me persona". In smart speak, that means he isn't selling shit. Taker absorbs some sort of magical power from the urn. Back in the ring, Hogan waffles the champ with strikes that really don't have that much of an effect (as they would in real-life). The Taker begins to dominate. During an extended choking sequence, let's establish the final rule for the official This Tuesday In Texas drinking game:

During this bout, finish the bottle. Trust me, you'll need to.

Back to the action, as The Undertaker continues to squeeze Hogan's trachea like

a.) Benoit does an unruly child.
b.) Linda does to Hogan's current assets.
c.) Me squeezing out the tired multiple choice joke
d.) All of the above
Speaking of old and tired clichés, The Undertaker does the tight ropewalk. Hogan takes the lightest tunrpost whip in recorded history. The Undertaker breaks out the claw. . . and even more blatant choking. I've had games of Battleship that constitute a more intensive cardio experience. HULK-A-MANIA Time! Funny moment when The Taker goes towards the ropes and trips on his way across the ring. Well, I guess being dead sort of inhibits your motor functions, so that's feasible. Taker kick, Taker flying clothesline. Taker absorbs even more power form the urn. What kind of power, you may ask? PILEDRIVING kind of power, that's what. Another rope walk is diverted. Hogan is making a squishy face. Out comes Flair. Hogan pops Flair with a conveniently placed chair, and with him, Jack Tunney, whom is apparently killed in the ensuing fall. Flair intervenes in the bout, and Hogan tosses him face first into Ric's metal seating arrangement. Taker no sells the big boot. Paul B tries to clock Hogan with the urn, and guess who gets hammered? Hogan spills the ashes, throws a clod of condensed dead person into the eyes of the Taker and wins it with a schoolboy. Post bout, a resurrected Tunney ponders the decision as Hulk celebrates his latest burial.I mean title win.

Winner: Political power, blatant disrespect for the dead.

All in all, I really can't call this one a "good show". I mean, for the love of all that is holy, the best bout featured freaking Skinner. That's like walking into a restaurant and saying "what's the best thing on the menu?" and having the hostess say "the mustard packets".

Anyway, with an election of some kind coming up here in a few weeks, I suppose it's my duty to lend support to the candidate I deem most suitable for commanding this great (OK, downgraded to "decent") country. Obama, McCain.they both suck. We need someone that can stimulate the economy, maintain leverage in wartime and best of all, find a way to yank ourselves out of the ensuing cluster hump that is the American mass market. And there's only one person capable of doing such as that:

Vladimir Putin. The guy turned Russia from a poorly managed, money-less economic hellhole to a respectable poorly managed, money-less economic hellhole in a matter of years. He already has a track record regarding throwing down with the Afghans. What's the point of complaining about housing prices when the government owns everything, including you? I mean, the dude knows Judo and hunts tigers in his free time.

Come this first Thursday in November, do the right thing. "Put in" your vote for Putin!

As always, good luck with any and all future endeavors, Your friendly neighborhood COMRADE
(XxjswxX)

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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

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.).