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WRITING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
By Drew Kannegiesser

Payoffs.

Okay, confession. I cracked on a resolution of mine not to see any footage of The Dark Knight until I saw the whole thing. After Batman Begins, which kicked way more ass that I ever thought it could, The Dark Knight would only be better, because as sequels are often less talk, more rock. Look at X Men 2. Story is for fags, said the English major in a The Who (nN) baseball shirt. But I finally had to do it. I watched the trailer, and nearly shit myself. I also really liked the trailer. Anywho, it's gonna kick you so hard in the balls you puke all over your balls, and also your ass. But the point is, waiting for it made seeing it so much better. Nothing like a good payoff. Ask anyone who's ever lasted more than four minutes in the sack.

But how come that doesn't exist in wrestling anymore? Look at TNA handling Angle's debut. Within a month, they teased, pushed, and booked a feud between Angle and Samoa Joe. I still feel bitter over this, but I would even if I wasn't a Joe mark. That man is literally twice my weight and he could still outrun and outwrestle the rest of the roster combined. Ironically, he actually DID this, going unbeaten for forever and a half. Thank God they didn't keep count like Goldberg. The guys doing the math on the streak were probably the ones doing their accounting and ratings analysis for the better part of 2000. Yet as soon as the ex-WWE guy, who fucks horses, shootfights, looks like a shaved monkey and is COMPLETELY FUCKING NUTS debuts, they book him over Joe. Wow. Essentially, they're saying that any day of the week, badass Samoan wrestling machines, bred and groomed by TNA brass themselves, will always be weaker than...um, Simian wrestling machines? Basically, the booking completely buried not only Joe, but the whole fucking roster, because it basically said that castoffs from the majors can kick their stars' asses in a heartbeat. Worse still, they completely rushed it. They finally got it right for their last match, because they, inexplicably, LET IT BUILD. They cut killer promos, had great video packages, and built up so much heat the match couldn't do anything but be awesome, simply for the fans alone. Look at RVD-Cena or Goldberg-Lesnar. Sometimes the crowd makes the match.  Why did they cheer? Because like Pavlov's dogs, they rang the bell for months, so we salivated till we were ankle deep, and when we finally got fed, it was awesome. Better than awesome. Transplendant (TM Woody Allen).

Today I read that Steph is planning more long term booking. This is a good sign, as opposed to the week by week basis it seems to usually follow. Apparently the writers have tried before, but Vince vetoes anything he wants to change. True or not, long term booking just makes sense, whatever way you look at it. Swerve booking is like really bad art films. There's a lot of twists and things you don't expect, but none of it means jack shit to you because they're only doing it for its own sake. Look at the tag team divisions in both WWE and TNA. It seems there is no other fate for a tag team other than lose two matches, have one walk out on the other, brief shoving match following another loss, then feud. Damn, destiny sucks. Just ask Oedipus. I actually Oedi lot of pus(sy). Yet the Dub has done right with one duo: Miz and Morrison. Honestly, I hated these fuckers so fucking much I wanted to fucking strangle both of them with their stupid fucking pants. Plus they won over Matt Hardy and MVP. It still depresses me that these guys don't work together much anymore. Their chemistry alone stole every episode of Smackdown. Actually, I'm not surprised. I hear MVP has a lot of practice stealing shows....and people.

Yet after a few months, I have to give the new M & M credit. They've both improved a hell of a lot in the ring (though Morrison got over Punk way too much to be anything other than a JBL-style push....I'll let you figure out where), but even more on the mic. When they summoned the ghost of Paul Bearer, I laughed so hard I nearly cried. They have been given the opportunity to build both their own skills and their skills as a tag team, and they have made the most of it. Why a month of the mid-card becomes a reason to turn one partner into a transvestive/drunk/adulterer/Judy Bagwell and the other into a Haas-heat heel (which Triple H will one day get, karma willing) is beyond me. The basic fact is that a tag team can only become legendary by remaining a tag team. The LOD may have dealt more potatoes thanIreland (at least, since 1852) but everybody went nuts when they walked in. The APA became badass by doing it as a tandem. Look at the two of them solo, then compare how miniscule that is next to them together. The lesson is pretty obvious.

While WWE and TNA at least have consistency with their world titles, the problem is that they don't do enough with their feuds to keep things interesting. Unless you've never seen a headlock or a shoulderblock or some other words that rhyme, odds are the Orton-Cena feud wouldn't keep you interested. Ditto Angle winning about eighty times in a row over Christian Cage on PPV. Even Edge-Batista or Edge-Taker (which is a bad sign, considering Edge is the champ) have gotten stale in a hurry, despite the fact that each encounter is exactly the same as any other, only a different man comes out on top. Kinda like Sean's girlfriend's house during the week. The TLC match kicked ass, truth be told. So did Sean's girlfriend.

So what is the answer then? Fuck off, I'm doing this without pay. But if I had to guess, I'd say somewhere in the middle, but leaning to long-term. How else can you build up legacies if you swerve to something else every week? In memoriam:

  • Muhammad Hussan, gone by way of Poochie and BJ Whitmer. You both made me laugh, but for all the wrong reasons.
  • Vince's son. How many times can you say "who cares" before suicide is a viable option?
  • Vince's death. See above.
  • Vince's own religion. See above.
  • Vince's Kiss-My-Ass Club. Good stroke material, but see above.
  • To give Vince a break, "Eddie's in Hell"
  • Benoit Fakes Death (coming in 2009)

These angles were introduced to shock and offend and surprise. Yet do we remember any of these fondly? I do secretly love remembering Vince McMahon tell Cena in his Vince McMahon voice that "You know...I may have done your mom," and wish he was talking to me. I'm way hotter than that fat fuck Shane. He looks like he's melting half the time and acrylic the other half. But what does the short term get us? To go back to the sex example, it gets you a bit of intense reaction for a brief period, but then you feel guilty and kind of want to wash your hands.

 

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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.).