I Hate Lists
Could you believe that it took me nearly an hour to actually think of a descriptive enough title for this week’s ?Reality??
Before I go into my reasoning for this blatantly obvious title and the content of my column, this is no way a knock on any current WrestleView VIP members or fellow columnist Mr. V? wait? let me think for a second? no, that’s right, this is not meant as an insult towards ones who resort to compiling lists. More so, I just despise lists all together.
I am not one to ever say that a certain moment or match is better than another. Historical implications are never reason to rank one higher than another, nor are entertainment or shock values. I understand and value opinions better than anyone else, but lists to me are just insipid and time-consuming. I blame the coming of the millennium and the inundation of clip shows about ?the greatest? lists for my bias against them.
Recently WWE released its ?Top 100 Moments? of Smackdown that runs in conjunction with its 3-disc DVD set commemorating the ten-year anniversary of the program. After reading through the list and shaking my head at its lunacy and remembering some of the moments, I have decided to point out a few of them.
#54 ? 7/18/2008 ? Edge/Vickie Love Segments; Wedding Reception w/ Alicia
I attended this show live in Charlotte and I believe many will agree with me on this observation: Just because something sounds great for television does not necessarily mean that it is great live.
I enjoy Triple H’s comedic commentary about as much as anyone? but I seem to enjoy it more when it is on television and I have the option of changing the channel if I start to get bored with it. It’s very difficult to do that when you?re trapped in the confines of an arena, bound by the ticket you bought for the event, and your only means of escape is the restroom or the smoking area.
Again, sure it was funny on television? but in the eyes of someone whose wallet is a lot less heavy than what it once was, a twenty-minute long comedy routine in place of action in the ring is never funny and would never make its way on a list of anything that is considered ?great?.
#98 ? 7/10/2003 ? Big Show chokeslams Brock through announce table
Really? Big Show chokeslamming someone through a table is considered one of the top 100 moments throughout the existence of this television program? How many times have we seen it happen? Is it just because it was Brock Lesnar who was put through the table that it made the list?
I can reminisce about all the times we saw someone go through a table in some way, shape, or form throughout the course of any WWE televised program in the past ten years. Did fireworks go off when it happened? Did someone win a million dollars because of a stipulation of some kind? Maybe I just need to see the footage and remind myself of why this is such a demanding moment in the history of Smackdown.
#18 ? 7/4/2002 ? Edge & Hulk Hogan vs. Billy & Chuck
This was another Smackdown taping that I attended live in Charlotte. Big deal, right? Another typical tag team match? nothing special. However, apparently anything involving Hulk Hogan automatically skyrockets said moment into the stratosphere of any list that is being compiled.
This match sticks in my mind solely because of my personal experience at the taping. My brother and I were sitting in the stands, good $20 seats on the first level with a nice clear view of the entrance ramp and the ring from the main camera’s side. Our section of seats was pretty vacant in the old Charlotte Coliseum; two rows in front of us sat a group of four middle-aged men. From what we could gather, it looked like two men treating two of their cliental to a night of entertainment in order to broker a deal of some kind? I mean, who else in their right mind would come to a live professional wrestling event dressed in suits?
It’s near the end of the contest and Hogan is doing his all-too-familiar ?Hulk up? routine. With his fists pumping up and down and Hogan circling the ring in his ape-like posture, my brother and I begin yelling in-sync with Hogan’s actions?
?You!? Hogan points to his opponent and shakes his finger. ?I don?t think so!? Punches in-sync. ?One! Two! Three! Sling ?em to the ropes!? Hogan Irish whips Chuck to the ropes. Chuck rebounds back. ?Boot to the face!? Hogan raises his leg which seems to weigh a ton. Chuck’s face careens off his archaic foot. Hogan bounds for the ropes. ?Off the ropes! Leg Drop!? Atomic Leg Drop. Hogan covers and the ref lays down for the count. ?One! Two! Three!? The ref does so, the bell sounds, and a sarcastic ?woohoo? erupts from my brother and I.
In front of us, one of the suited gentlemen turns around amidst all the exultation and asks the two of us how we knew that was going to happen.
?It’s Hulk Hogan,? my brother replies, ?He’s been doing the same damn thing for thirty years! How could you NOT know what was going to happen?!?
#31 ? 6/22/2005 ? Vince wants divorce/makes out with Trish in front of Linda
It’s amazing, isn?t it? A moment such as this ranking so high on the list of greatest ever? and a moment that could be played on a loop to be used against Linda McMahon in her quest to gain Connecticut senator seat in the U.S. Congress.
?Dammit, Doug!? you yell sharply. ?I thought you said you would never bring politics into your columns!?
I?m not? I?m just stating the obvious. It’s absolutely mindboggling that Vince and WWE practically gift-wrapped such a detrimental video clip for Linda’s potential political opponents. Hell, why not just make a convenient high-quality download of Linda McMahon being wheel-chaired down to ringside at Wrestlemania X-7 for the street fight between her husband and son?
#81 ? 4/20/2000 ? Triple H vs. Tazz
I have a confession to make? I marked out to this contest like a virgin male that saw his first set of female breasts. I had been following Taz(z)’s career ever since being introduced to him through my first viewing of ECW in 1995.
At the beginning of the program, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon continued their obnoxious reign over all of the WWF and it was of course time for Triple H’s typical five-minute rant about nothing. The heartbeat resonates throughout the arena? the drumbeat pulsates? the first guitar chord sounds and the pyro follows? out walks the newly-crowned ECW champion Tazz! He stood there microphone in hand? my pupils immediately dilated and I believe I ended up curling into a fetal position.
After verbal jabs left and right, the match was made? WWF Champion versus ECW Champion! I could not tear away from my seat, bodily functions be damned. Granted it was not the greatest of endings (Tommy Dreamer accidentally cracks Tazz with a chair and Triple H grabs the pin fall), but to any wrestling fan who has their own ?favorite?? it was definitely a match I will never forget.
I am not going to be a drooling mark, clouded by my fanaticism and say it should be the # 1 moment in all of Smackdown’s history? but it’s definitely a ?moment? I will not forget as a fan of the industry.
#21 ? 4/27/2000 ? Austin blows up the DX bus
Again, another live event I attended in Charlotte. If there’s anything we have learned about Stone Cold Steve Austin, it’s that he has one hell of a commercial driver’s license that crosses state lines. We?ve seen him commandeer Zambonis, monster trucks, and semis hauling gallons of adult beverage. He could also maneuver a crane? on television.
Near the finale of the Smackdown taping, after DX and Stephanie McMahon rejoice in their conquests, The Rock appears and invites them to watch the Titantron. Austin yells incoherent curses from the insides of an industrial crane. A steel beam dangles from the crane’s clutches hovering over Degeneration-X’s customized tour bus. The beam drops? then stops? then raises? then drops? then rises again.
Inside the ring, Triple H and Road Dogg Jesse James are laughing in hysterics. The crowd is stunned silent? except for me and my friends. We have joined Triple H in the hilarity. Apparently the pyros to ignite below the bus were not ready yet and Austin was halted in his ?lowering of the boom?. I only wish YouTube existed back then? and I also wished that I could remember the one-liners shouted by Triple H.
This was definitely a moment I would never forget and am always reminded of whenever I watch Smackdown; a professional wrestling television program is far more entertaining when it is done live without the corrective power of post-production. Needless to say, the rest is history. Although the pyro did ignite nearly a half-second before the girder dropped on the bus, the point was made.
Those were the moments I remember in no particular order? actually these are the moments I chose to reminisce about. Moments and matches are not meant to be ranked or listed based on entertainment value in the eyes of one or historical relevance in the eyes of many.
Moments in professional wrestling history are meant to be talked about and glorified by those who can place them within not just the context of the industry but in the content of their own personal memories.
That’s why you will never see me compile a ?list? of any significant moments or performers? my own personal experiences and feelings as a wrestling fan cloud any kind of relevancy it would try to harbor. I hate lists? they demean what I may value.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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