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Bladejob

Will The Last One To Leave Turn Out The Lights?

Will The Last One To Leave Turn Out The Lights?

Update of an update: Well, two days later and the sudden appearance of Raven in NWA-TNA, where he DDT’ed the champion and stole the title belt, renders all of the below charmingly quaint and mostly obsolete. Ah well, perhaps that’s my lot in life. But on the other hand, THIS update proves the previous update right – someone snatched him up immediately and the benefits were just as immediate! AND his appearance on NWA-TNA proves a stark contrast to the sluggish Raven described in the main body of the columns. So it’s okay! Everyone’s happy!

Update: So now Raven was fired. So I’m torn. On one hand, it makes this column even more perfect and full-circular. Kismet! On the other hand, I just might feel like a jerk for kicking a man when he’s down… Ah well, fuck it. The path is set. But now that I’ve gotta give something of a fucking career eulogy for the man, let me just say this, Raven (Scott Levy) is one of the most creative minds in the wrestling business today, and he had a whole hell of a lot more to offer than the WW*F* ever even considered using. Fuck’em all. Bye.

Back to the dog and pony show…..

And just who the fuck was that poodle-haired, underwear-clad, thick jobber on WW*F* Monday Night Raw who was sleepwalking his way through a match with Jeff Hardy and even inspired a pretty “uninspired” audience to break out the timeworn “Boring” chants? Was it Kendall Windham with a hair weave?

Oh yeah, it was that fella who used to be my favorite wrestler, Raven.

Raven? Are you okay, man? You look really bored and pissed off.

Jesus Fucking Christ WW*F*! What the fuck is this gimmick change all about? I don’t care if long hair is out, I don’t care if word came from the top that wrestling trunks are now de rigeur in a Bill Wattsian twist, shit man, I don’t even care what little obscure item of “locker room etiquette” was breached, leading to Raven being “stripped down” – you’ve made a guy with a unique and enduring look and a hardcore fanbase into a WCW Saturday Night jobber retread. I hope that whoever was supposed to get the joke is laughing goddamn hard, and then I hope that they accidentally swallow their tongue and choke to death on their own vomit.

As Bill Hicks would say, it just looks stupid, ya know?

Dammit, Raven was perfectly marketable as a glamdirtpunk deviant transgendered sleazoid. He really came into his aesthetic own during the height of his “exile” on Sunday Night Heat where he would be sporting a quaint little ensemble that included thick blond dreadlocks/braids, piercings, jewelry, makeup, a black vinyl kilt and, at times, a velvet coat that looks like something a gay Robespierre would proudly sport. Delightful! Neil Young as a rentboy! It stood out, it was marketable – look at Jeff Hardy’s current Great Muta-kissing-Rimbaud dress sense!

Let’s run down what’s wrong with this new look:

1. The fruity blonde bowl-perm — Do I even need to justify this? It’s like Prince Valiant after a trip to Super Cuts. Christ, this haircut (a.) sucks (b.) looks horrible on his face (c.) looks bush-league and (d.) makes his skin look worse. Leathery almost. The braids rocked, what the fuck was wrong with those?

2. Jobber trunks — Come fucking on, every bush league indy dickhead’s first wrestling outfit is a pair of plain, skimpy black trunks. Raven is a seasoned veteran, why the hell is he looking like Lash Leroux as Black Bart? This is ridiculous. Plus it makes his legs look too thick. Fuck you WW*F*, this outfit sucks. Plain black boots no less? Kill me.

3. Too much skin — Raven, I guess, has always been hyper-aware of the fact that, since he doesn’t have a freakishly bloated and roided physique, it’s better to cover up with a cool outfit and stand out that way. There’s billions of muscle-heads anyway, right? Right. Well, there was also another thing he was covering up that I never noticed before – an incipient spare fucking tire! The true indicator of a demoralized and uninspired wrestler. Who gives a shit when they shit on you? I hate to say this, I really do. Cast around the Ink 19 towers, look back at my review of the last WW*F* soundtrack album and you’ll say that I’m a Raven mark from waaaay fucking way back, but this time, the gloves come off, fuckers. So you’d think, to inaugurate the new-look, dare to bare Raven, would celebrate a new lease on life with a new trimmed-down physique? You wish. Those goddamn tights made him look all fucking thick in the middle. Shitheads.

4. All accessories gone — jewelry is gone, kilt is way gone, most of the piercings are gone, even the ultra-pimping “Sandman” slogans scrawled across the chest are gone. Oh sure, he’s got tattoos, a lot of tattoos, but even fucking Batista’s got tattoos these days. Hope is gone. Oh Charlie Brown…

I hope the folks at scottlevy.com are all over this conspiracy. His work seemed lackluster too, he was blowing spots left and right (oh wait, Jeff Hardy has the lion’s share of the blame to shoulder), and seemed sluggish, like a kid who’s been dressed “respectably” by his mom and now has to parade around in front of his relatives. This fucking sucks.

(Oh yeah, the rest of Monday Night Raw sucked too. More erudite folks than I can point out why. Go to The Otherarena and read all about it.)

Even the smallest needle can break this camel’s back. I’m done fretting. I’m done. Seriously, I started out Bladejob writing about Raven, and I think I’ll end it now that Raven has been replaced by Barry O. I’m killing it! I can do it!

So don’t bother with the WW*F* for awhile, or ever, whatever. I don’t care, and they certainly don’t care, the way that they piss all over, patronize, and rip off the fans night after night. Vince McMahon is stuck in an old school of wrestling thought where wrestling fans are idiotic marks who don’t even know what they really want, so it would be just as good to “horse off” (Mr. Show!) for two hours and indulge in in-jokes, political games and even a dab of hazing instead of, say, wrestling. Ah, but to quote Neil Young at his bleakest, I’m “just pissing in the wind,” there’s no good outcome to this, and all I do is bruise my own knuckles when I rage against a mere (that’s all it is now) television show. Lighten up, it’s entertainment!

Aye, there’s the rub.

It’s better to be entertained than to be angry. Even for me.

Then why don’t we all just make a note to watch “The Smashing Machine” next time it comes on HBO – it’s a fabulous fly-on-the-wall documentary of the career of UFC prodigy Mark Kerr. It’s got more drama, spectacle, raw emotion, than WW*F* television, with an endless parade of fart jokes and double entendres so bad that even Benny Hill, from beyond the grave, bemoaned the lack of subtlety, has managed in years, and it had me either on my feet cheering or biting my fucking fingernails several times during the two-hour show. AND it even includes scads of beautiful, violent, intense UFC and PRIDE footage from the last three years. A real coup for HBO. Between this and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” they must be thinking they can walk on water.

I’m rambling about Larry David when I should be talking about how I’m, even as we speak, knocking Bladejob on the head, and getting out when the getting’s bad. I mean, let’s not even talk about that hideous “Raw X” special last night… If that was truly “the best” in the WW*F*’s eyes, from the past decade, well, then my decision has already been made for me, and I’m not really quitting, I’m being forced out – it ain’t for me, man. Time’s precious these days and there’s about 100 things I can think about that I’d rather be doing than watching wrestling right now. Crap. Annoying.

So goodbye, goodbye to all of this. Matt screwed Matt, now who would have thought that?

Good luck, Spanky.

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Bladejob

Bastard Obligatory Year-End List Mania Now

Bastard Obligatory Year-End List Mania Now

It’s a prevailing trend in journalism and pop-culture criticism, as a new year beckons ominously, to try and compress the Year That Was into an easily digestible nutshell list. This list should be funny, pithy, and thought-provoking all at once, and perhaps even make the readers feel that they didn’t completely waste their lives for yet another 365-day cycle. I don’t give much truck to this trend, I think it’s sloppy journalism, over-generalizing and way too subjective to provide any new and useful information. But hey, isn’t that what this column has been like since Day Fucking One? Let’s begin.

Some Things That Didn’t Make Me Change The Channel This Year:

1. The Great Muta Returns To WCW.

For one shining moment all was right with the world. The Jacksonville, Florida crowd was treated to the comeback of Japanese sensation the Great Muta, when he helped the Jung Dragons defeat Three Count and Tank Abbott. Dragon-screw legwhips, erratic kicks, green mist spray and chewing on the ring ropes, and the fans ate it up a spoon. How could WCW mess this one up. How about a one-night Title Reign, tons o’ jobbing to just about everyone, saddling him with the Insane Fucking Clown Fucking Disphit Posse (of all things), and having him get squashed by Sting in ten-seonds NUMEROUS times. Even with Yoshihiro Tajiri showing him up on ECW tv at least once a week, its not hard at all to get the Great Muta over, just let him wrestle and spit green mist at people. Sadly, WCW couldn’t even get that right. Fuck Sting. Fuck WCW. Fuck Insane Clown Posse. Fuck Vince Russo. Fuck Muta’s crrrrrrrrrreaky knees for deteriorating.

2. Triple H’s loooooong-ass WWF title reign.

Goddamn, consistency never seemed so cool before. And Triple H was a fighting champ in every sense of the word. Amazing matches with the newly-defected Chris Benoit, Tazz (as ECW champ), Cactus Jack, and in an incredible moment of surreality, TAKA (snotty cool ass punk) Michinoku. Triple H even became the first heel/villain to retain the belt during a Wrestlemania main event, which made the whole fucking night for me. He was willing to sell smaller guys’ offense to make them look like credible opponents (remember that 2.999999995 count that almost clinched TAKA the title?) and in the end, almost everyone looked good in a Triple H match.

3. Radicalz show up on Monday Night Raw.

Cool, cool yeah. Everyone else already covered this in good’nuff detail. I’m a lemming baby (so why don’t you kill me).

4. Chris Benoit as Homicidal Maniac.

To get to the crux of the matter, Chris Benoit looked like a glorified pussy during his WCW stint. He was EVERYONE’S bitch. The WWF fine-tuned his character to devastating effect. “Crippler” became more than mere hyperbole. First, they made him take out the caps in his teeth, giving him a gap-toothed snarl that was equal parts malevolent “Deliverance” hillbilly and, yes, “rabid Wolverine.” Second, they make him an arrogant, vicious dick who is completely aware of his reputation as the “best technical wrestler in the world” and revelling in it. Third, they make his finishing move (Crippler Crossface), y’know hurt people. Fourth, those loving final touches, like headbutting Stephanie McMahon, slamming a door on Lita’s head, and all sorts of other subtle nuances.

5. Kurt Angle

Whattaguy. Whattapal.

6. Lance Storm as WCW Triple-Crown Champion.

Lance Storm’s winning streak was truly the feel-good hit of the Summer. Makes me kind of sad to see him desperately try to breathe life into truly shitty and worthless opponents nowadays like Doctor Kevorkian in reverse.

7. Juventud Guerrera’s Ecstacy Freakout!

Lucha Libre innovator discovers the positive healing power of rave ten years too late! Freaks out, strips naked, fights with cops, injures cops, gets fired from WCW in process! There is continued speculation as to whether glowsticks were involved in this heinous affair. Juventud fucking rules, baby! E’s Are Good! E’s Are Good! I couldn’t stop laughing. Go to RFVideo and buy the shoot interview NOW NOW NOW. I feel love. (Disclaimer: Juventud’s great. I love him to death. This just gives him a much needed mad-eyed edge.)

8. Raven FINALLY shows up in WWF.

He looked a lot like Jim Morrison circa “American Prayer” in Eyeliner. It was truly and without a doubt, all good. Plus, if a plus was even necessary, he had his working boots on, and showed himself to be a bump machine of oft heroic proportions. Hey, he’s got a belt now, so shut the fuck up.

9. Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Steve Corino, ECW PPV.

I’ve written about this extensively about this match before, so I’ll just lazily pull out a quote. Howzabout: “The blading that Corino pulled off at ECW Hardcore Heaven just plain oozed crazed testosterone
insanity. It certainly wasn’t plasma, my friend. The ring was covered in blood, Corino was covered in blood, his long platinum white hair even turned a sickly cotton-candy pink. At one point in the match, Corino was hanging upside down from the ropes as Tajiri was sizing him up for a dropkick to the face, and the blood was pouring out in thick
sticky puddles, not the weak little trickles we usually get from wrestlers on pay-per-view. Did I mention that at several points in the match, blood splashed on the camera? Coppola would have killed for that…”

10. Atsushi Onita just being Atsushi Onita.

My brother may sarcastically call him “The Fonz”, and he may be nearing the end of an incredible career, but Onita had tons of extracurricular moments of wonder. He threatened to show up on WWF television, had that excellent DDT match, got squashed by Ricki Chioshu and acted like a total drama queen about the whole thing (tears, blood, ambulances), dressed up like KISS, kept his own wrestling organization going, dyed his hair blonde, kind of wrestled for American indie XPW, hung out with American porn honchos amidst whispers of XPWJapan, kissed and made up with All Japan (for like four seconds), showed Sandman how a cigarette and leather jacket should be properly utilized, and basically acted like an icon should.

11. Akira Hokuto’s low-key GAEA comeback.

A comeback is a comeback any way you look at it. Think about maybe Bob Dylan at the Woody Guthrie Tribute show. Akira! I love you! Self-indulgence!

12. The Birth of WOW (Women Of Wrestling)

Women-only indie federation masterminded by the fella who brought you the feminist watermark known as GLOW (Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling, natch). WOW not only knocked out the ECW syndicated show on my local cable outlets (now THAT’S hardcore), it also has the distinction of being the most surreal viewing experience you’re going to get in North American wrestling. A basketball player, a cowgirl, an ice queen, some convicts, lifeguards, an ice queen, spoiled actresses, a cheerleader, some butch Biker women, a jungle girl, ummm the gimmicks keep rolling out. Are you sure the guy who created the Village People is really dead? Here’s the kicker: it’s rather watchable.

Honorable Mention: Sandman’s Pensacola StripTease

And just what the fuck was that all about anyway? Disturbing, grotesque, and Dada in all the worst ways. This merits a mention because it was too goddamn weird to be left out (and I don’t feel much would be accomplished with a “Worst” list).

***

Neat and pre-packaged enuff for ya? That Was The Year That Was… The Year that Wrestling’s mainstream appeal began to die a slow and painful death. What ever shall I do?

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Bladejob

What We Talk About (When We Don’t Talk About Wrestling)

What We Talk About (When We Don’t Talk About Wrestling)

I’ve been told it goes a little something like this…

Someone: (cue slight smirk, perhaps a faintly arched eyebrow) So you, uh, like “wrestling”? You don’t look like someone who would like wrestling.

Me: (immediate defensive posture, eye you warily, as I would an accuser or a particularly pushy uncle.) Um, yeah?

Someone: (sort of aggressive, nearly but not quite mocking tone) Oh, so you like (twang) “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the Rock. People’s Eyebrow? I see it flipping through the channels on a Monday night. The Rock is soooo funny. (softly) I always think of you when I see it.

Me: (too much defense mode) No, I fucking hate the fucking Rock. And Stone Cold and all of that Pavlovian crowd-response shit. People’s elbow, too retarded… Monday Night Wrestling makes me want to smoke crack… (which is probably why I keep tuning in week after week after week after week after week)

Someone: (very confused, cuz this IS Vince McMahon’s world and we’re all just happy to be here) Well WHAT do you LIKE about it then? From, the way you dress, I bet you like the Undertaker, right?

Me: Hmmm… That’s funny that you ask about the Undertaker. About two years ago, the last time I went to a WWF show with some friends, this total redneck guy approaches me and says, “Who did you come here to see? I bet I can guess.” And I say, “We like Triple H…” And he says, “Naw man, it’s alright, we (nods at his family) came to see the Undertaker too.” But no, I don’t care for the Undertaker, besides he chews dip on camera all the time now. Too gross.

Someone: (confused, can’t tell if I’m being a dick and making shit up or simply answering the question or both) Didn’t he used to be a zombie?

Me: Don’t worry about it, times change, characters get more… something. (Upon reflection, any time an opportuny arises to actually try and TALK – as in converse- with a non-wrestling fan about wrestling, I become an moody, autistic jerk. I’ll never tell.)

Someone: I guess… Wrestling seems so popular now, that one girl Chyna was in Playboy-

Me: That photo shoot was an abortion. Christ, I was embarrassed to be a wrestling fan. Playboy… It’s all just bastard Hef, skulking around like a skeleton in silk pajamas, ogling anything in high heels. Dirty old man.

Someone: I don’t get it, everyone tells me you like wrestling, I hear you talk about it sometimes, but all you’re saying is how you hate this and you hate that- What’s the deal?

Me: Look, I mean, there’s always a very large part of me that loves to be negative about EVERYTHING. But I gotta tell you, besides about five musicians at the moment, wrestling is the only thing I can derive a pure, geeky fan-worship-joy from anymore. It ain’t mere kitsch or cheap kicks for me, baby. When I see something like Muta spray his green mist in the air (even though all his hair is fallin’ out right in front of me), or Triple H do that weird “demon-unbound” pose, or Steve Corino bleeding heroically, or even Kurt Angle suplexing the Undertaker around like a big redneck rag doll, all objectivity flies right straight out the window for me. It’s Iggy Pop rolling around in broken glass, it’s Atsushi Onita hitting the exact SAME proto-punk-airs when he rolls around in barbed wire. This is the stuff of legends. (look of panic, said too damn much)

Long Goddamn Pause

Me: Um, I dunno, do you want me to bring in a picture of Onita sometime in full-on Brando glory, maybe a visual aid would help?

Pause Pause Pause

Someone: So do you wanna be a wrestler or something?

Me: No way, it would break my skinny ass down into atoms. Plus, its weird, I like to keep my distance from wrestlers, they’re pretty much the new rock and roll stars. There’s some strange sleazy behavior behind dark corners going down. I knew this girl once who wanted to be a manager in WCW, and she’d hang around those TV tapings waiting to give someone in charge her sort of audition tape. And I went with her one day (mostly cuz the tapings were free and I knew I’d get to see Psicosis and La Parka wrestle like six times, good deal), and she gave her tape to the correct parties, I think it was Jimmy Hart, and later this wrestler guy and announcer guy were talking to her about what she needed to do to break into the biz. And they were just secreting sleaze from every pore and they were totally all about how she’d have to do whatever she was told, and how she’d have to lose a few pounds and especially, ESPECIALLY she’d have to suck loads of cock to get anywhere. I don’t think they were dealing in metaphors either. Pretty disturbing.

Someone: That’s a horrible story. And you still like wrestling?

Me: Always, its just….. The best way I can explain it is to relay it back to musicians again, do you want a rock star to be someone who you can sit down and have tea with, or do you want a rock star to be a wall of manic nihilism? Though I’m not defending sleazoids, let’s face it, wrestlers don’t have the patent on sexist behavior.

Someone: Do you even know what you’re talking about?

Or Maybe It Was This—

Someone: Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, I’ll let you get back to watching your “Wres-tling”…

Me: Yeah, heaven forbid I be interested in something other than…

Someone: Heaven forbid you be interested in someONE.

Me: It’s not like that… (but I’m probably not sure)

Categories
Bladejob

Ms. World Will Kill You (Part I)

Ms. World Will Kill You (Part I)

I hear that she’s trying to break into the pro-golf circuit in Japan these days.

Yeah, I know. Isn’t life fucking weird?

There’s a recent picture of her in a new issue of Ladies Gong Magazine… she’s playing golf. Are you gonna buy it?

Nope. Man, you gotta keep some images sacred.

So what then, are you ashamed to admit you know her, just because she likes golf now? Is it too painful to cotemplate?

Fuck no, man of all wrestlers, MALE AND FEMALE, Bull Nakano has earned the right to do whatever she wants. Even if it means washing out the blue hair dye and hitting the links. Bull Nakano has earned a rest. Besides isn’t the real essence of teenage kicks rock n’ roll/punk rock in knowing when to quit before you become a parody, a Keith Richards-esque dad swaggering around and melting under the stage lights. Let’s face it, walking away while you’ve still got it is the new rock and roll.

Wait, wait. Are you gonna try and mythologize her now?

Try?

Everyone’s talking about the rebirth of Women’s wrestling, ever since Lita won the WWF Women’s Title a few weeks back in a *gulp* straightforward (if sloppy) wrestling match. Mona this and Lita that, man I ain’t even hearing ya. Yer just makin’ a bunch of noise. If you’d turn off the WWF for one second, you’d realize that Women’s Wrestling never died, shit, it never even had a hot flash. This “rebirth” is just some more WWF-centric revisionist history so we can feel all special and fuzzy every Monday night. Interestingly enough, this WWF revisionism conveniently chooses to ignore the fact that Bull Nakano held their Women’s Title for awhile. Aja Kong was even slated to make a few appearances, and who are we supposed to swoon to now? Chyna? Blech. A female friend of mine shows me a video of Akira Hokuto executing three merciless piledrivers (with full impact to the head) on an opponent, and I’m supposed to swoon when Lita does a sloppy moonsault that makes the Great Muta lose just a little more hair? Curses.

I’d rather talk about Bull Nakano.

Dontcha remember her in 1996 when she surfaced in WCW one last time to work a series of matches against her old enemy Madusa. Dontcha remember the shit-scared look on Madusa’s face when Bull Nakano came striding out with foot-high blue spiked hair, screaming her own name like every Melt Banana record played at the same time? And dontcha remember Nakano tossing Madusa around like a friggin’ rag doll? Well, forget all that, it wasn’t nearly her best work.

Sadly, or maybe not, I don’t know cold hard facts about the career of Bull Nakano. I know that her real name is Keiko Nakano, but that’s about it. If you’re the objective sort, you can go HERE to find that. I’m more interested in myths and images.

The first image I have of Bull Nakano is blurry taped mid-80’s footage of a very young woman with a metallic-blue mohawk being beaten bloody by her towering former mentor. This younger Nakano is much more slight than her more familiar present image, and the vengeful Dump Matsumoto is striking her again and again. Striking against her youth, striking against her (individual) beauty, and maybe even pummeling a mirror image of herself. After all, it was the outrageously attired Dump who took Bull under her wing once and taught her that it’s brutality that really counts.

Now the sound on the tape is bad, I’ll admit, but why don’t you come on over one day and I’ll show you… I mean let you hear something incredible. It’s the sound of what must be a goddamn legion of young Japanese girls simultaneously chanting and stomping their feet to one particular cadence. NA-KA-NO. NA-KA-NO. Every time I hear it, I get chills. It’s the sound of young women asserting their voices in a culture that isn’t quite ready for them to have one. It’s the sound of girls claiming a hero worthy of their adoration. Fuck Barbie, or even the Japanese equivalent, these girls are gonna grow up to be more assertive and well-adjusted than you or I could ever be. How could they not? They’re spending their formative years cheering on incredible women in scary iconic epic battles, that left both participants and spectactors drained emotionally physically, and mentally. Yep, they had some heroes, all right. And all I had was Iggy Stooge. Damn life’s unfair sometimes.

Too Be Continued Shortly…