Thursday, October 28, 2004

#94. Wrestling, Peter and the Starcatchers, Carlito, Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, Red Sox World Champions, NaNoWriMi, Roddy Bosset

Now, let's get a little Yesterday Part II action going on. Poor Dan Murphy, if he happened to have fallen through a blackhole and read our humble remarks at the Monk, was probably screaming that it was he, and not the irascible Harry Burkett, who actually sits there and writes the PWI 500. I'm not sure, but I might also have misrepresented Steve Austin as a 12 in 2002, when in fact he was a 13.

But I'd rather be wrong about trivial things like that (sorry, Dan!) than bungle a top slot in a PWI 500, as has happened at least twice very outrageously. You might recall my giving Bret Hart some smack in the past, but it's nothing compared to what the folks at PWI did to him in 1997 when they declared Dean Malenko as somehow being the pacerunner at the end of that particular grading period rather than "the best there is, the best there was, and the best there will ever be." This was when Hart made Austin, mind you. King of the Ring and Jake the Snake in 1996 might have seemed to make him, but people didn't really take Stone Cold seriously until he stood toe to toe with the Hitman, the Excellence of Execution. What's that Ric Flair always says? To be the man you have to beat the man? Well, that's what Austin did, a year before he did it against Shawn Michaels to become champion. All Hart had to do was surrender all pretenses of being a face. The guy was always a snarky little heel. C'mon. Do you remember that vengeful sharpshooter over Jerry Lawler, at Summer Slam 1993? The illusion was created out of thin air by two Yokozunamanias for Bret, plus a protracted feud with his even more dastardly brother, the late Owen Hart. (A footnote here, I recently purchased Austin's autobiography, The Stone Cold Truth, which I'll read after Dave Barry's co-written Peter Pan and the Starcatchers, and a number of other books, unless the spirit moves me to bump him up.)

And that wasn't the last time someone was robbed! But what made it even worse was that PWI couldn't even manage to put Bret in the top ten that year. He barely made the top twenty, coming in squarely at 20! The innanity! Clearly someone had lost favor in those offices, and all he'd need to win back the graces of the wrestling community was the holy trinity of horrors: his last night in the WWF, Owen's last night two years later, and the kick from Goldberg...

The second guy? None other than Chris Jericho, who in 2002 more than eclipsed Rob Van Dam, who incredulously was called the best in an "unexceptional" field. The ignomony! What does one have to do, be the first undisputed world champion in decades or something? Oh wait...And that wasn't even the first of Y2J's successes during that period. He won his very first heavyweight title not long before that, too, and after losing the championship scene went on to a stellar feud with Triple H, who somehow managed to wrestle about the same amount of time in that calender year and be graced with a top ten finish while Kurt Angle and Goldberg this year were denied as such for arguably equally successful or better all-around showings...

But let's move on to other matters. Carlito Caribbean Cool debuted on Smackdown a few weeks ago, punking John Cena not once but twice, the first of his dignity and the second of his U.S. title. This in Cena's hometown of Beantown! (And where is Cena gonna be to celebrate the Red Sox world title tonight? On the movie set of The Marine. Is it a little early for him to be pulling a Rock like this?) "I spit in the face of people who don't want to be cool." Yeah, this guy ain't too bad, as it turns out. He's a good wrestler, and he's actually got a personality (not that I'm saying oddly endearing karaoke machine Kenzo Suzuki of not having personality). He's a welcome shot in the arm. Let's see what develops.

Maven got his routine Tough Enough buzz going this past Monday, getting the win over the much put-upon animal that is Batista (Always on a Leash, should be his motto). If WWE continues these Tough Enough challenges indefinitely, Maven could even be heavyweight champion by 2009, when Conan takes over the Tonight Show!

And speaking of Batista, Gene Snitsky is succeeding where that Evolution pitbull has been consistently failing on Raw. He's a new brute possibly getting somewhere. That's another thing we'll see about.

The PWI debacle reminded me of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda this summer, running a poll to determine the top ten scenes through the first four seasons. The biggest vote-getters weren't bad (you should be able to find the list at its homepage, if you're interested), but the one I voted for, the ending to the second season's spectacular "Immaculate Perception," was nowhere to be found. Keith Hamilton Cobb, who many will still argue was the best thing that ever happened to that show, never had a finer moment than when he was called upon to have Tyr Anasazi try and fool Dylan Hunt into believing his son had died.

Part of what obviously screwed that scene's chances is that fans, current and bygone, are still delusional enough to think the show's best days ended at the end of the first season. Indeed, most of the scenes came from that season. Never mind the fact that its best period was early second season, and that post-"Ouroborus" was not half as bad as everyone automatically assumed it'd be and so thoroughly convinced themselves of sight-unseen, and that the third season was widely worth watching, and that the fourth season was even moreso...The fifth has begun, and as I understand it we're now in the final year. Ironically, we're finally having that Hercules vibe everyone was always so concerned about (star Kevin Sorbow's previous series). I'll die a fan of Andromeda.

Did I mention jubilation over the Red Sox??? The team finally got their heads screwed on properly in Game 4 of the ALCS, getting all of their considerable powers to actually work for them. If you want to know more, Stephen King is co-writing a book on this season, Faithful, to be published in December. Hopefully he'll have put Nomar Garciaparra into greater perspective than most of the knuckleheads I've haggled with since July 31, and earlier.

The comments feature should now be available. I found that if you click on the post-time by the author's name you'll be taken to a new page where you can find it. This might be useful when I insanely participate in the 50,000 word Blogger novel challenge next month. I've never written something that long, but I have to start somewhere...The story is entitled "Roddy Bosset," by the way, and I can't decide whether I'll be posting it here as I write it or at a sister blog...

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