For many of us, the advantages of adult-ness more than trump the challenges of childhood. With every time we pine for the days of being carefree and irresponsible, there are ten other times we flaunt our ability to spend money without asking permission, eat whatever we want at restaurants and stay up MUCH too late listening to #NAI52.
Still, folks, there is one part of being a kid that all of you are missing, even if you don’t quite know it. We teachers know it VERY well - In fact, we know it even more than the students.
Those first hours of summer vacation.
Now, some of my loyal readers are young enough to still know what these moments feel like (#GOML - You know what it means), but for those who have been bogged down with full-time jobs all these years, let me paint you a quick mental picture.
The joyous feeling as that bell rings, or the last bus is called. The first minutes of being in your house, not sure what to do because seemingly suddenly, you have 9-10 weeks of relative freedom in front of you. Making lists (be them mental or physical) of the things you want to do, then falling into such a state of euphoric exhaustion that all you can do is lie down and barely watch TV.
That’s the feeling I’m encountering right now. I feel like I’ve been hit by a bread truck, but I am delighted for that feeling as well. So, I did what any wrestling writer worth their salt would do, now that I had, for all intents and purposes, unlimited free time.
I watched Smackdown.
I haven’t done a “DC’s Diaries” in a while, so let’s get back on the hoss’ and ride to the WWE show that practically nobody watches (except for this week). Let’s join the blue brand already in progress.
For all the flak he gets, Sheamus is a pretty good talker, and I liked the first 40-50 percent of his promo. Right around the halfway mark, though, he said something that totally took me out of the moment.
I feel like more than a million dollars. I feel like this briefcase is worth its weight in gold.
Obviously the teacher part of my brain is not fully dormant yet, for I immediately questioned that logic, and set off to do some research and some math.
The price of gold right now is around $1200 an ounce, and since there are 16 ounces in a pound, that means a pound of gold is worth $19,200.
That MITB briefcase only contains a contract, so it can’t be TOO heavy. It’s likely around 15-20 pounds, if that, but for our purposes, let’s assume Sheamus also stored a brick or three in there, so let’s say 50 pounds.
$19,200 a pound, times 50 pounds. Even at that irrational weight, that briefcase is still only worth $960,000, or 40,000 dollars less than a million.
(Aside: Is this what you might need to come to expect from your Chief of Staff now that he has a lot more leisure time? Maybe.)
Truthfully, that took me through the rest of his promo, Ambrose coming out, Kane coming out, the brief match and Reigns interfering. Thank you, math, for saving me!
By the way, was it really a “big announcement” or “breaking news” that the tag main event was what it was? Come on, WWE, give us some credit.
I’m not spilling government secrets here when I tell you that I don’t watch women’s wrestling, especially not on the main roster, so its not like I’ve been really up to speed on the goings on with Paige and the Bellas.
Having said that, I had an epiphanous moment as I watched the last seconds of the segment. (having not fast forwarded enough, and being too lazy to fast forward more) Brie had won, thanks to help from Alicia Fox, Paige looked lost and frustrated in the ring, and it hit me.
She’s going to get the NXT Divas as backup. Maybe not the entire Four Horsewomen, but at least Charlotte.
This is probably not “breaking news” either, but for me, I suddenly became more interested in the Diva’s division since. . . . . . .Hmm, that will take some thought.
This better be the way they’re going with this angle, otherwise Paige is just being buried.
Here’s a question for you all to ponder - When was the last time we saw someone like Kevin Owens in WWE? Someone equally gifted in the ring and on the mic, someone who so obviously and readily “gets it”, someone who seems, as the NAIpod boys said, to be a walking ATM.
The only guy I can think of is Jericho, and as I learned reading one of his books recently, even he didn’t have such a great start to his WWE career as Owens is having.
This guy could be a once in a generation star.
So he’s talking to Renee, being all amazing and such, and the camera pans back in that tell-tale way that lets you know somebody is about to enter the frame. Now I’d read the spoilers, heard the Twittering, even seen a picture of what was about to happen next. And I STILL marked out when Cesaro walked in. That’s how you know something is good.
I thought I knew what to expect with Seth’s promo - fearful, cowardly, whiny. I’m getting tired of that character, so I was overjoyed to see him get a little confidence and show us the champion we all know he can be. I still don’t know what in the world will happen at Battleground, but I’m excited to see it when it does.
As I watched Smackdown, I kept saying the same thing over and over again, so much so that I’m just going to thematically group these all together.
Smackdown should really be the “B” Show
Monday Night Raw is the flagship, there’s no denying it. It will always be the show with John Cena, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and the like. Rather than spending the entirety of Smackdown recapping a show that almost all of us have already seen, why not use the time more wisely?
We don’t need a brand extension or anything like that, but just leave the top guys off of Smackdown and let it be the show for everyone else.
Bo Dallas vs. Dolph Ziggler was fine and dandy - Bo got to do his Bo-things, and Ziggler got a win. Had they had 5-7 more minutes to tell an in-ring story, though, and it could have been even better.
Ditto for Neville vs. Xavier Woods. Those two (along with the rest of New Day and the PTP) could have done a whole lot more with 10 minutes.
Cesaro vs. Owens is the exception here, and even that was shorter than I thought it would be. If you gave us main events like those two, with 15-20 minutes each time, a whole lot more people would be watching Smackdown.
The main event was a blatant repeat of the events from RAW, so I didn’t even bother watching it. I guessed that either Bray or Orton (if not both) would get involved somehow, and I was right. I’ll find the Wyatt promo and save myself 10-12 minutes of Kane vs. anybody.
I’m guessing the Smackdown ratings will spike this week solely because of Cesaro and Owens. That hopefully will show WWE what people want to see, and they’ll start giving us more of it.
Smackdown could be a whole lot of fun - Just give it (and your entire roster) a chance, WWE!
What do YOU think? Be Heard.
The year was 2001. This future teacher was 2+ months away from graduating high school, and for some reason, he has no earthly recollection of any of the events from this Smackdown. Should be a good time.
Highlight: Realizing I have no earthly recollection of this show. I don’t remember the “Two Man Power Trip”, their feud with the Hardy’s, and I certainlyI don’t remember Linda demanding a divorce from Vince. All of this is new to me. Looking back, this is the time of my life when I had finally figured out how to talk to girls, so perhaps that’s why this time in wrestling is so hazy.
So What: This is obviously back when top talents elevated younger talents on a regular basis. Hint hint, WWE.
Following Wrestlemania 17, where Austin turns heel, he and Triple H open the show.
Highlight: Chuckling as Trips pokes fun at the Internet, even way back then.
Lowlight: Attitude Era or not, promoting male on female violence is never OK in my book.
So What: To paraphrase the Joker, “We’re going to do this dance forever, Triple H.” 10, 15, 20 years from now, he’ll still be poking fun at the Internet wrestling fan, and we’ll still be giggling along, even as we post our complaints on. . . well, whatever the Internet becomes in 10, 15 or 20 years.
Highlight: Entertaining match all around, but at one point Albert lifts poor Spike up by his belt and just tosses him back down. Looked like a Wedgie-Bomb.
Lowlight: I’m sick to death of the double-foot stomp, even though Spike’s 125 pound frame justifies it as an offensive move.
So What: We need the Dudley’s back in a WWE ring. The crowd will still go nuts for tables, if not the “Whazzuppppp”
So What #2 : I originally wrote this a week or two ago, but with all the Mighty Mouse talk, is Adrian Neville going to wind up as a more muscular, more talented Lil' Spike?
Highlight: Rhyno nearly killing Crash Holly by spearing him into the sliding metal doors.
Lowlight: Oh, the acting. . .The terrible acting!
So What: Vince McMahon, you bring the XFL back right this second!
Highlight: Watching a time when you had an incredibly dominant women’s champion and a deep division of challengers.
Lowlight: That Right to Censor music was just awful.
So What: Charlotte might not be the ninth wonder of the world, but she’s going to be this kind of dominant champion when she makes it to WWE. This I promise you.
Highlight: Just read the competitors names again. That’s the highlight.
Lowlight: Over far too quickly.
So What: I hope we’ll look back in 15 years and say “That Rollins, Balor and Ziggler vs. Owens and Zayn match was pretty phenomenal” in the same way people today feel about the Ruthless Aggression era.
Highlight: Bob Holly, consummate professional, makes everything look good.
Lowlight / So What: Cringing as I realize how accurate the Bull Dempsey (aka Goon McGoof) / Rhyno comparisons are.
Highlight: Storytelling at its best. From Big Show trying to find partners all night to the hilarious freak out Taka and Funaki have when they realize who their opponents are to ‘Taker trying to teach his little brother how to do The Last Ride properly. It wasn’t a great match and it didn’t have to be.
Lowlight: Realizing I’m enjoying this Smackdown from 13 years ago far more than any RAW I’ve seen in 2014.
So What: I might just live in WWE Network land now.
Highlight: Seeing Right to Censor beat each other up after the match. Always good to see a faction disband (I assume they did).
Lowlight: Honestly, not much. This is how good these cards were - even the toss-in matches were decent or better.
So What: Today’s WWE is too timid to respond to mainstream issues like they did with RTC. If the 2001 Vince had today’s attitude, we’d see Godfather, Venis and Bull Buchanan as the “New Day”.
Highlight: This is what you want from a wrestling TV show main event. Trips is on the top of his game here and Hardy isn’t far behind. Good match, surprise ending (should have seen it coming with all the “Matt Hardy is home resting” hints), title change. What more can you ask for?
Lowlight: Putting on my snarky logic hat, Trips should have been DQ’ed a couple times for abusing the referee. Come on Tim White, you hung out with Andre, stand up for yourself!
So What: When was the last time you had a main event guy hold the “mid-card” title? Perhaps its hindsight talking, but Triple H seemed to be one of the BIG heels in the company and he made the IC title bigger for it. This is why we need a Ziggler / Rollins program for the belt.
: A lot to choose from here. I’d go with the big handicap match of wrestling excellence, but it was too short. Honestly, my favorite was Big Show and Kai En Tai vs. Kane / Taker. A bit comedic, but wholly entertaining.
What were you doing in 2001?
When does the Attitude Era end and the Ruthless Aggression Era begin?
What do you think the name of our current era in WWE will be called? The PG Era? The Cena Era?