Welcome to the post-Smackdown edition of Scott's Feedback Feedbag! The book is almost done, as I'm just finishing off 2001 and getting some trusted people to look it over and make suggestions.
Before we begin, Cactusbix wanted me to point out how weird it was that people would actually buy me stuff just because I tell them to. What can I say? I am the opiate of the masses. (Mr. Bixenspan is no longer on speaking terms with me.)
Speaking of people on opium, our first letter is a threat from Erin and/or Ken Fasolo:
"listen you , i want you to leave this website! NOW! i will start a campaign to get you removed, your column sucks and no one reads it.
You have 2 weeks!"
Oh no, not a CAMPAIGN! Oh my god, maybe they'll even do one of those online petitions that the WWF worries about, like the "Save the Meanie" one or the "Give Billy Gunn Even More Steroids To Even Out His Pecs" one. Okay, I made the second one up.
James Greene has another question for me:
"Another question for you. What do you think of fantasy wrestling? Do you prefer role-playing feds or sim-based? Do you think it's a worthwhile way for people to constructively use their creativity, or is it just a total waste of time?"
As with most things in life, it depends on whether or not it directly involves ME in some way. For the most part I think it's all a total waste of time (a feeling I have about most RPG-related things), but in the case of the WCWF (which was quite awesome and hilarious and well worth my time or anyone else's and not coincidentally the product of my writing) I can make an exception.
Ryan Latimer, who apparently reviews video games on 411 (who knew?) wants a forum to vent, and even though this strictly speaking is about massaging MY ego, I can make an exception because he made sure to suck up at the beginning. Ryan sez:
"I've been watching the WWF for a long time, but I've never witnessed the company take such a slide before (save the 1993-1996 period, where I was young and stupid) and one day I decided to finally get my thoughts out on paper. The result was What Happened? The Year Everything Went Wrong. 2001, a column done for and by myself. In it, I finally realized a main problem that the WWF is suffering from that no one has seemed to catch.
The trouble is, I'm merely a video game reviewer on 411wrestling.com, and therefore have a very small audience. You, on the other hand, reach lot of people, and I was hoping I could pass my idea on to you to get it out in the open:
We all know that through the years, the WWF goes through phases and generations, and therefore, different "looks." Take a look at any "Best Of" video if you need visual aid. But for the past couple years, the WWF hasn't changed a thing about its broadcast appearance, and I dare say this is a huge problem that needs to be fixed. I watch RAW nowadays bored out of my mind before anything happens, and I wonder why. I finally got it. RAW (and even Smackdown, for that matter) just "look" outdated. I don't know if its the production, the colors, the mood, I don't know. There is something I cannot put my finger on or put into words, but all I know is that something about WWF programming recently just looks flat out OLD. I'm convinced that shoddy storylines and horrid booking make up a good deal of the boredom, but I dare say this may have something to do with it. Case in point: Would the nWo have been so successful if Nitro didn't look so dark and grim? I doubt it. The "atmosphere" of a wrestling show is important, but its not discussed much.
I hope this makes sense. I'm just crossing my fingers that the WWF does something to make RAW new and fresh again."
I agree that RAW desperately needs a makeover -- the look is VERY 1998 and they haven't had so much as a major set change in two years. (Going on 12 years now, unless you count EVEN MORE EXTREME screens!) Unfortunately it appears that all their talented art directors died in a tragic bout of spontaneous combustion or something, because the FIST OF DOOM on Smackdown is really fucking stupid no matter how you slice it. It reminds me of Monster Chiller Horror Theatre more than anything. (Oh god, the giant fist set. At least it was distinctive, I guess.)
Adam Gallegos writes with an idea for another book:
"You have written rants on almost every PPV and wrestling super card ever created. Have you given any thought to putting together a book including all of these rants, a guide to every wrestling PPV? Better yet, let me put this another way, because I'm sure that you have not only contemplated this, but have had others suggest it as well: a book covering all wrestling supercards from The Wrestling Classic to whatever date you want to use as a cut off (right now, I would say December 2001 and Vengeance) would surely sell as well as Buzz has, if not much better. Not only would it appeal to tape collectors and long-time followers of the game, but newer fans hoping to learn more about wrestling's past could benefit as well. Granted, some of your older rants would have to be rewritten entirely (one that always comes to mind is your review of Uncensored 1995, which didn't even have star ratings); additionally, such a book would benefit from an explanation of what led up to the event, how much the event succeeded (or failed), and what place it holds in wrestling in history. This is a fairly rough idea, I know, but I think it has a lot of potential."
Actually, it's Uncensored 96 that you're thinking of, but that's beside the point.
Anyway, yes, I have often considered doing just as you suggest (kind of a movie guide for wrestling PPVs), but there's several mitigating circumstances that would surround such an undertaking.
1) It would be a HUGE book. Even limiting myself to WWF rants, there's still a ton of them. Publishers don't want huge, they want 80-100,000 words because wrestling fans don't read, apparently.
2) The style varies from my early days up until now, and it would make for a disjointed reading experience. Not everyone would notice the differences, but I would, and that's what counts.
3) If I did that, and this is the big one, I would no longer offer the tape review archives for free on the website, if at all. Frankly it would be pretty stupid business to give away the cow when you're trying to sell the milk. I know that the Straight Dope offers free versions of everything in the book, but then Cecil has already sold a gazillion books.
But yes, as an author I would love to do that sort of a book, because it's ridiculously easy to compile from my end and features my best writing outside of Lear and Lazarus, so don't think it's not on the proverbial backburner. But I'm pretty sure The Last Days of WCW (which I STILL don't have a great title for) is my next project. (Interesting how Kindle was pretty much MADE for exactly what this guy is describing.)
Matt Cayuela gets the last word tonight, with yet another take on the Maven Issue:
"I am sick and tired of people saying Maven wasn't officially eliminated, and getting there facts wrong. I know this is sad but i consider myself a Royal Rumble specialist since I know them all by heart... but anyways. You have the largest audience of wrestling readers so you can settle this all with my facts.
Maven WAS officially eliminated
89 Rumble- Andre the Giant eliminates Jake Roberts. Jake Roberts comes back in later with the snake causing Andre to eliminate himself.
Akeen and Bossman eliminate Hogan- Hogan pulls down the top rope causing Bossman to be eliminated.
(No physical contact in both cases but but bot times an eliminated man caused someone else to be eliminated)
90 Rumble- Piper eliminates Bad News Brown. Bad News reaches up and pulls Piper out. (Physical contact this time)
92 Rumble- Randy Savage voluntarily jumps over the top and both feet hit the floor. (Savage was allowed back in the Rumble)
Sid Justice eliminates Hogan. Hogan aides in the elimination od Sid Justice.
93 Rumble- Giant Gonzalez eliminates Undertaker (Gonzalez not an entrant in the Rumble)
96 Rumble- Shawn Michaels eliminates Vader. Vader comes back in the ring and eliminates Michaels, Hakushi, Bob Holly (All 3 were allowed back in the ring)
97 Rumble- Ahmed Johnson eliminates himself, Mil Mascaras eliminates himself also. Ahmed comes back into the ring and eliminates Faarooq. (Physical contact and AHmed also went back in the ring)
98 Rumble- HHH eliminates Owen Hart (HHH not a participant)
99 Rumble- Kane eliminates himself
2001 Rumble- Drew Carey eliminates himself
Well according to history it looks as if the only way you're not eliminated when both feet hit the floor is if you're in the title match at Wrestlemania (Savage and Michaels). The fact that I am breaking down pro wrestling rules is kinda sad but anyways past Rumbles dictate rules in my book and in 10 of the 12 controversial cases the participant is eliminated. So Maven was gone end of story... please but this to bed for me.
Keep up the good work"
See, if an AOLer agrees with me, it HAS to be true! (What’s a “Maven” anyway?)
And on that note, I bid you toodle-fucking-oo.