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.
Matthew Damascus, a trash-culture obsessive at best, has for too long ventured beyond the comforting fold of metal and noise-music criticism to vent about his unfaithful love, wrestling. He pouts too much during Monday Night Raw to be of any use to WWF fans, and he doesn't have the money to buy tapes. Frets about Raven quite a bit. He feels very silly right now.