Mop-Up Nitro 02.05.01
I have nothing really to say here... no pithy little brief remark to ease us in... umm...
Oh, wait... Dave McClane... the WOW guy... looks and acts like the retarded Vince McMahon!
There you go... pithy city, baby!
NITRO (or: The Steiner Show!)
-opening the... NO?
-starts off MID-PROMO with Ric Flair and Road Warrior Animal in the ring yelling at Kevin Nash who, of course, is OUTSIDE of the ring. How should we take this? Well, I guess you can do the whole "Half-Full/Half-Empty" scenario...
-Half-Empty: Just another example of the HORRIFIC, BACKWARDS ASS STRAIGHT OUTTA BETWEEN MOMMA'S INBRED LEGS PRODUCTION VALUE ON NITRO!! GOD, WHEN WILL THESE COUNTRY FED, BIB OVERALL WEARING GOOD OL' BOYS GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER AND DO ONE, SPOTLESS SHOW????
-Half-Full: Just another example of WCW's CUTTING EDGE, IN-YOUR-FACE, REINVENTING THE WAY WE SEE LIFE, PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES!!! THE ACTION IN WCW IS SO HOT!!! SO FEVERISH!! THAT THE COMPETITIORS CANNOT WAIT UNTIL 8 PM TO GET GOING!!!! THEIR INNER FURY JUMPED THE GUN!!!! THEIR LUST FOR EACH OTHER'S THROATS COULD NOT WAIT ONE, SINGLE SECOND LONGER!!!
-Pick either... just go with your GUT!
-Tony quickly brings us to speed. This is WCW. This is Monday. This is Nitro. That's Ric Flair. He's CEO. That's Animal. He's the CEO's bodyguard. That's Kevin Nash. He's waiting until he can get Scott Steiner at whatever PPV is coming. That's all you need to know.
-Flair asked Nash if he was aware of the fact that he (Flair) is a "Limousine riding, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheeling dealing, son of a gun?" Nash asked how could anyone be an offspring of an inanimate object that fired small projectiles? (Good question)
-Nash also said that he thought Flair was just some "crazy old jackass". Flair was angry. (unfortunately, later Flair was seen getting a colonic dressed as Santa Clause (MY GOD!! NASH WAS RIGHT!!!)
-Flair dared Nash to get into the ring. Being sure to insert Animal as an obstacle. Of course, Nash took out Animal rapido...
-Nash moseyed up into the ring. Flair started screaming, "ANIMAL!!! ANIMAL!!! GET UP!! ANIMAL!!! ANIMAL!!! GET UPGET UP ANIMAL!!" (heh... sounds like me before I discovered Viagra)
-Nash entered the ring. Tony seemingly forgot that Flair has been kicking ass for THIRTY YEARS IN THERE AND WAS MORE THAN ABLE TO HANDLE THIS!!!!! Instead, he screamed, "OOOOH, THE BOSS IS IN FOR IT NOW!!!!"
-Nash kneed Flair into the corner, then jammed his foot onto Flair's neck. THUMB TO THE EYE, RIC!!! GET'CHER THUMB INTO HIS EYE!!!!
-Holding that position, Nash took the mic and was screaming something when...
-OUTSIDE... a limousine just arrived!!! Scott Steiner and his troop piled out. Mike Sanders ran over to them... paused... inhaled deeply and said, "WHOOA... GROOVY! WHEN DID THEY HIRE ROAD DOGG?" Then shook off and told the crew what was going on. Steiner rationally said, "Okay guys, let's huddle up and formulate an intricate plan!" Luger barked, "NO!!! LET'S GET OUT THERE NOW AND SHOW OFF OUR BODIES!!!" Steiner couldn't argue with that logic. They took off.
-Meanwhile, Nash just booted Flair in the face. He got on the stick and said that he was tired of Flair calling the shots... now it was time for HIM to call the shots. Then he sent us off to some video footage of himself, Hulk Hogan, and Torrie Wilson at a shooting range.
-Nash pounded Flair a bit... then said that he was going to embarrass him by stripping him naked. (fagGOT)
-The coat and shirt came off.
-Nash bent over the fallen Flair and unbuckled his belt... (Umm.. KEVIN??? YOOO!!! KEVIN!!!!! HELLOO!!!! AREN'T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE THE COOL ONE??)
-Flair's in his boxers now. Nash admits to this being "pathetic". He says that it's "Time for the Killer to put a period on the END of this sentence". (why do I have a hardon, all of the sudden?)
-Nash takes the straps off and puts Flair's head between his legs. I am thoroughly convinced that Nash is WELL aware of how all this looks.
-Steiner and the crew come out. Buff waited until Steiner gave him the cue, then RAN over to him before he could DIVE INTO THE RING AND STOMP NASH INTO GOO FOR HAVING DARED LAID HANDS ON THE MAN WHO NEARLY GOT STEINER FIRED ALMOST A YEAR AGO!!!!!
-Nash put his boot on Flair's neck and warned, "If you come in here I'll break his neck!" (YEAH!! If this really was the case, with the exception of Luger... everyone else would probably hit the ring faster than Scaia hits the gay porn web sites)
-Everyone held back... Steiner screamed, "I'LL KICK YOUR ASS, NASH!"
-Nash asked for someone to give these girls a mic, to see what they have to say. Steiner was handed a mic and screamed, ""I'LL KICK YOUR ASS, NASH!" (oy... no poet, he)
-Nash said that he thought it was time for a little negotiation... and asked for a special "negotiator" to come in for this.
-Ernest Miller's music came on, the heel crew turned around... ready to kick some African ass! (white bastards!!)
-BUT... Miller and his girl (SHE they kept?) hit the ring through the seats... and stood there laughing at the white boys as they started dumbly at the entranceway. (score one for the Brotherrs!!! WCW recognizing February as Black History Month!)
-Miller asked Nash if that was ANY way to treat his "Grandpaw"... (yeah... Nash is a real youngster)
-Miller said that IF they charge, Nash will break Flair's neck, and IF that happened, Miller will be in charge, and IF that happened, Miller would send all of them home for the night. (night off? The end of Flair? What's the downside again?)
-Miller had a whole show to book tonight... but first asked Flair if he could take charge tonight. Flair garbled something in "pain"
-Miller told Steiner that he'll be working 3 TIMES tonight! (bet'cha combined, they won't last much past 8 minutes)
-Flair screamed "YES" when asked if Miller could put his boy to work tonight. Nash held Flair's head between his hands at the time
-First, Miller put Steiner against 4 cruiserweights in order to run him out of steam.
-Then, Miller booked Steiner against DDP
-Finally, Miller put Steiner in the ring for the world title against Nash himself, then added if Steiner loses, Flair has to resign as CEO at midnight that night! A quick jerk of Flair's head, and Flair yelped agreement.
-and just for shits and grins, Miller gave Nash a mystery partner too.
-Miller summed it up. If Steiner loses, Steiner loses the belt. then he mentioned that Steiner's "losing his hair anyway, he's already lost his mind". This caused Steiner to really freak. He was overhead yelling, "HE SAID I'M LOSING MY HAIR?!?" Buff had to pat his hair to show that he still had it. Funny moment.
-There was some more humphering (huh?)... then things wrapped up tightly. Tony screamed, Hudson shrieked... Nitro came to a screeching halt by way of some...
-Flair was being helped out by his cohorts. Steiner stayed in the ring and took his shirt off. (he KNEW he forgot something when he came out there... DAMN!)
-Ironically, just as the shirt came off, a ad for a WCW Steiner T-shirt flashed. Yes, I said, "a ad"... yes, I am perfectly comfortable with my gross and flagrant abuse of proper grammar... yes, I'm the one currently f-ing your girlfriend while you're at work.
-As Steiner waited, the Jung Dragons and the Knoble-Karagias pair came out. They charged the ring... not just fighting under Miller's orders... but FIGHTING FOR CRUISERWEIGHTS EVERYWHERE!!!! WITNESS AS THE SMALL GUYS MAKE THE DEFINITIVE STATEMENT AGAINST GLASS CEILINGS AND THE OLD WAYS OF WCW!!
-Steiner took them all out. There was a cool moment where one of them hit Steiner with a big flying guillotine legdrop while he was doing push-ups... and there was a big quadruple team thrown in...
-But Steiner Gorilla Slammed three of them out of the ring, then gave each of them a big suplex... then he laid three of them on top of each other and gave a Triple Recliner. So far, every segment on this show has been gayer than a meeting of the Society of Frustrated Cub Scout Leaders (coined "SOFUC" for short)
-Steiner won... I think that Midajah chick gained 10 pounds during this segment.
-Flair was backstage, getting dressed in front of his guys. (what REALITY have I slid into?) Steiner blames him for all this. Flair, in turn, blames Sanders. Personally, I blame Remy "The Slammer" Arteaga
-Elsewhere, Miller, Nash, and Page enjoy the show. (Hmm, at least someone is)
-Brian Adams is there too... if not knowing why is a result of missing Thunder, then color me clueless and I'll wear it like a badge forever!
-Okerlund grabbed Rick Steiner for an interview. Steiner said, "I haven't been around... I'm out of shape... I bore everyone... but somehow, I have a STRAAANGE feeling that things are looking UP for me tonight! Then he wished Bischoff's second cousin Mildred a happy 56th birthday
-Okerlund and Brian Adams showed the world that Animal assaulted his partner last week and busted up his head. Adams scoffed that Brian Clark skipped the Hospital and instead went home, sewed his head up himself, and drank beers all week. (Oh, so why couldn't he DROP BY AND EARN HIS PAYCHECK??? HUH??? HUH???)
-Adams said Flair had Clark banned from the building tonight, or he would have been there... (*slaptotheforehead* OF COURSE!!! I should'a caught that one)
-Adams challenged Bagwell to a match... he also dropped the phrase "the fact of the matter is..." does EVERYONE have to say that at least once in their lives?
-Elsewhere... Buff goofed on the guy. can't say that I blame him. Luger suggested to Flair that they book Buff and Luger at Superbrawl in a "No Substitute match"... (what? the winner gets a new Porsche?)
-Douglas came out and cut a promo saying that how he will certainly NOT lose the US belt to Rick Steiner tonight. Then Rick Steiner came out and Douglas lost the US title. (LIAR!!! HE LIES!!!)
-I would have said more but... well... we're in cruise control this week, in case you didn't notice in the RAW recap.
-Ah, and Steiner got on the mic and messed up pretty much everything he tried to say other than that "Bite Me" line. How does he get laid?
-Ric Flair gives Chavo Guerrerro a pep talk... AND a mystery opponent to truly test his skills. It's INS MAN!!!! AND IF CHAVO DOESN'T MAKE IT BACK TO MEXICO WITHOUT BEING ARRESTED BEFORE THE TIME LIMIT!!! HE LOSES HIS PASSPORT AND HIS CRUISERWEIGHT BELT!!!!!!"
-Flair stopped mid-pep talk because...
-Dustin Rhodes stepped out. We are reminded that Dusty showed up last week to CUT THE PROMO THAT MADE GROWN MARKS WEEP!!!!!
-Dustin got on the stick and screamed, 'TUPELOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" Either that or he was giving the current weather (It's 2 beloooooooooow)... God, please don't stick him with the Meteorologist Gimmick!
-Dustin, "IS IT GOOD TO BE BACK OR WHAT??" (urm... or what?)
-Dustin reminds Flair that he is NOT finished stomping his behind! Then he interrupted Hudson and asked if everyone wanted to see Flair get a stompin'? Hudson was annoyed. I was waiting for the fans to start chanting, "WE WANT DUSTY!! WE WANT DUSTY!!!"
-Lousy fans... here, I'll start it... WE WANT DUSTY!! WE WANT DUSTY!!! WE WANT DUSTY!!!
-then I remembered that I was watching a videotape... on Tuesday night... of the REPLAY
-Dustin finished by saying that Flair will always remember the name... Dustin Rhodes! (unfortunately, WWF's Intellectual Property Attorneys now will remember his name too)
-Flair showed up on the Fusient-tron and raved about how Dustin is fired and how he doesn't belong there. He had WCW cut Dustin’s mic... then awkwardly shuttled us off to some more...
-We see Dustin get escorted out... breaking away JUST as he had something to say to the camera. If he was his old man, he'd have 15 minutes of UNINTERRUPTED mic time... he'd also have a big, red blotch on his belly... I call it a fair trade.
-After the Announcers talk about how Flair is this close to going back into the Looney Bin (with a cameo appearance by Scott Hall)...
-DDP comes out... we see snippets of the misery Flair has put the guy through lately.
-Steiner comes out... I found myself BEGGGING him to make a crack about Page's wife before stepping in there... just to see if Page would scream, "F**K THE SCRIPT" and start throwing haymakers.
-They started to punch... Steiner goes down
-Page with a Spine Buster
-Steiner gets some control... he thumps Page around...
-Steiner kisses the Elbow, then does push-ups.
-oh, and he dropped the elbow before doing push-ups... I guess I had to mention that to the morons out there.
-Page slips in a Diamond Cutter! The bell rang! What?
-Suddenly... I guess... all Page has to do is Diamond Cut someone in order to win.
-Page celebrated outside with the fans!! (He's the WHITE people's Champion!!!)
-Suddenly, Jarrett and some... FAN!! Attacked Page! The Announcers screamed, "A FAN!!! A FAN IS ATTACKING PAGE!!! WHY GODDAMMIT??? PAGE IS A HERO TO EVERYONE!!!! PAGE IS THIS GUY'S HERO!!!!!"
-oh... it was Kanyon. Kanyon's back. whoo hoo
-Jarrett and Kanyon left... Page was assisted away... Steiner recovered and limped out of the ring.
-DDP tried like Hell, but he was SO BATTERED that he fell down in the hallway. Unfortunately, it was JUST AS THE CAMERAS WENT BACK LIVE TO HIM!!!! (dammit... with luck like that, you'd think Page planned that intentionally!)
-DDP held onto his HIP! (ooph... I guess he forgot to tell that bone to act like a 35 year old) Nash offered him some encouragement. page moaned, "go win one for... for... for the Gipper!" (oh, gag ME!) Nash took off, presumably to goof on Page behind his back
-Jarrett and Kanyon dive into a Limo and take off! Hey, no Jarrett "slapass" promo!! ALL RIGHT!!!
-El Nino is in the ring... he's a fully covered Mexican star that Flair was talking to Chavo about. Fully covered as in leather... NOT as in benefits... heh... hehehheh... ho ho ho... did you really think... heh... for a SECOND... *titter*... that these guys... hee hee hee... were given... *snort*... benefits? BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA
-oh that's rich
-Chavo came out. We see how Animal helped Chavo take out the Filthy Animals last week. Why on Earth would they bring THAT up?
-They lock up. Tony brings up the word "Luchadors" for the first time in years. (oy... )
-Chavo make slight work of this hoser
-Chavo is toying with this punk.
-El Nino gets some offense... he flies off the top ropes and hits Chavo on the outside.
-Chavo throws Nino into the seats headfirst. Hudson shouts, "GOOD NIGHT!" (oh come on... it's not THAT bad a match!)
-In the ring, Nino gets off a top rope hurracarana
-Chavo regains momentum... and tries for several pin attempts.
-Chavo goes for a Tilt-A-Whirl... Nino turns it into a Head Scissors.
-Chavo throws Nino into the ropes... Nino does a middle rope spin out. The Announcers were all like, "Heeey, just wait a darn second!!!" (nobody sells a lightbulb going off in the head better than Tony Schiavone)
-Nino bounces over the top ropes and hits Chavo with a legdrop. He gets the pin.
-The mask comes off.. it's REY MYSTERIO!!! (man, he NEVER gets to keep his masks on!)
-Rey Rey hits the Bronco Buster for the hell of it... then leaves with a wide grin. The Announcers LOVE it!!
-One wonders why Flair would sucker Chavo into this... if you are that particular "one", I suggest that you maybe... I don't know... GO OUT AND LIVE LIFE A LITTLE?????
Click Here For Part 2!!!
-Team Canada came out. That's Storm and Awesome, by the way. Let's see how many times I write "Strom" instead of "Storm"
-"If I can be serious for a minute"... (heh heh... it still tickles me)
-Storm says that the question on everyone's mind is... will Flair be the Boss after midnight tonight? (umm... actually the main question on my mind was wondering if swallowing a tapeworm would help me drop a few unneeded pounds)
-Storm assures us that... oh, who knows.
-He wrapped up... Miller showed up on the Fusientron just before they could play the canuck anthem. Miller said that they will take care of bizness in two weeks, but for tonight, the Canadians have to work against someone... and that someone is...
-Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Hare step out. Tony, "the Natural Born Thrillas? THE NATURAL BORN THRILLAS??" (Jeeze Schiavone, it's not as if they pulled Ole and Arn out of mothballs or anything!)
-They prepare... they get organized... then Awesome and O'Hare lock up.
-They exchange meaty thumps... O'Hare ends up outside. Awesome runs over and dives over the top ropes and onto him.
-Palumbo hits Awesome with a Missile dropkick... he pops up and yells at the crowd. Storm waits for him, then hits him with the same move.
-O'Hare levels Storm and goes to work.
-Palumbo is tagged in and goes to work.
-I do not like Palumbo... I think he is a douchebag.
-Storm stays down for a while, but finally manages to tag in Awesome.
-Awesome goes for the Running Awesome Bomb... O'Hare muscles back and out. He tries for a back swing kick. Awesome ducks. He gives O'Hare a back suplex. Palumbo is in and Awesome GETS a back suplex. Storm is in and gives Palumbo a Superkick. O’Hare gives Storm a back swing kick.
-Things get retarded as a dazed Storm gives Awesome a single legged Boston Crab (oh come now). He drops it as soon as he realizes what I doofus he looks like.
-"Prime Time" is in... mostly so Palumbo can clothesline Storm over the top ropes and into him.
-Awesome took a Senton Bomb and was pinned. Boooo... or YAAAAY... whichever.
-Meanwhile, Stasiak and Jindrak watched this and decided that they'll STILL win the tag straps in two weeks.
-Number of times I called "Storm" "Strom" by accident?... I ain't telling... HMMPH
-Buff Bagwell came out.
-Brian Adams charged out and kicked Buff right in the gut! It was on.
-Adams with a Gorilla Slam. Buff rolls out to recover.
-Buff takes control with a long CHINLOCK!!!!! (GOD!! WE ARE SO BLESSED WITH WRESTLING EXCITEMENT TONIGHT!!!)
-Lex Luger runs out to end this... Brian Clark showed up to block him! The fans yawned.
-Animal was out... it got ugly.
-The ref called for the bell... he decided that this was a Draw. Suddenly, there was a time limit and suddenly, it expired. Go figure.
-None of this stopped Luger from putting Adams in the Torture Rack... because this makes the chicks HOT!! (and quite a few guys too... purrrrr)
-Steiner was all set to work against Nash and someone else. Flair tried to talk him out of it.
-Adams SCREAMED bloody murder while Gene held the mic... two promos by Brian Adams in one night has GOT to be someone's private little Hell.
-Nash & Steiner were all set.
-Steiner is out.
-Nash is out. He has a mic and says "You knowww" (you thought I was kidding with this, didn't you? You were probably thinking that there was no WAY Nash opened with one of these three lines all the time, didn't you? WELL GUESS WHAT, SPARKY!!! I'M RIGHT!!! I'M ALWAYS RIGHT!!!!)
-anywhoo... Nash said that Konan inspired him to choose his mystery partner tonight (KONAN?? DEAR GOD NO!!!)
-see, Konan told Nash about "familia"... so Nash took that as law and chose...
-VILLANO VIII (The Tax Assessor)... HOLY CRAP!!!! LA FAMILIA IS BACK!!! THE CARTEL IS BACK!!!! FROM THE JUNGLES OF GUATAMALA... THE VILLANOS ARE B...
-oh... it was Rick Steiner... oops.
-it's been a long, long time since I dropped that reference. Long enough for most of you to have no F-ing clue what I'm rambling on about.
-So, Rick joined Nash and the entered the ring... Brother attacked Brother and it was on!
-Scott took a beating... it spilled outside
-Nash was in... he had Steiner on his knees. He cornered him and went to work.
-Midajah interfered... Nash looked at her. Scott crotched him.
-Scott kicked Nash around, then spat on his Brother.
-Surfboard on Nash.
-Nash fights back... he dumps Scott on the top turnbuckle... then hits the boot.
-Nash gets the Jack Knife off. He goes for the pin.
-Rick drops and elbow on him... thus sealing the single lamest, most obvious HEEL TURN SINCE... SINCE... well, since just about every single heel turn we've ever seen on Nitro, quite frankly... the show pretty much SUCKS with it's consistently horrific heels turns.
-Brother rolls Brother on Nash and Scott wins. Didn't they both tie Nash up in a straight jacket not too long ago? DIDN'T WE SEE THIS ANGLE ALREADY??
-The Brothers leave. Tony is about to wish us all courage when...
-Nash grabs a mic and invites the boys to come get more. It would have been more thrilling if he wasn't on his side sucking up air. The Brothers head back for the ring...
-DDP shows up from the backstage, announces that he's their "huckleberry" (Tombstone in case you were wondering) and said that the "Jaybronies" didn't finish the job. He charged with a chair... Tony screamed, "OH WHY CAN'T WE BE THREE HOURS AGI..."
-The show ended.
Do we have a full MONTH of Nitro wins????
nope... Raw had better actual wrestling... but neither show has much to brag about.
Nor do I... but I had to rush through these things. I'm very, very important in life.
I DO have some energy left to talk about Al Isaacs a bit... well, that's because I wrote this three days ago... but anyway...
Now it's time for the closer. It's a mini-AAT that I like to call...
AL & ME
In 1997, after a year of getting booted off AOL and Prodigy, I decided to hook up with a wrestling site. Back in those days, there wasn't much to work with. Those days, wrestling web sites were mostly owned by one person, with all content supplied or linked by that one person. It wasn't much to look at, quite frankly. Mike Samuda reporting what he heard on all the phone hotlines were pretty much it.
Then I found Scoops.
The only reason I had even HEARD of Scoops were through the signs on wrestling shows. No one talked about the site... no one linked it up. I learned about it strictly through a variation of the proverbial "word-of-mouth" form of advertisement.
So I went there, and liked what I saw. The famous red stripe over black, the daily news update that didn't appear to be taken off a phone message. A new column for each day of the week. You got the sense that in 1997, this was as close to a "professional" wrestling site as the web could get. So, I wrote to Al Isaacs and asked for a shot.
Her wrote back and said, "I'm up to my eyeballs in columns now, try again later."
Instead of giving up, I sent him a bad sample column, something about how too many egos will ruin WCW and how many stars will run to the WWF... blah, blah. He wrote back and said that they needed a Monday night recapper. I jumped at it. I outlined the simple design of the recap... Opening paragraph, recaps, closing thoughts. He loved the idea and on June 24, 1997... the first Mop-Up was posted.
I will tell you right now, without Al Isaacs, the Mop-Up that you are reading right now would not exist. Through two and a half years at Scoops, the man maintained a true "hands-off" approach to editing my columns. Sometimes Al laughed, sometimes he cringed, and sometimes... very rarely, would he edit something out of my columns. He sat back, and let me evolve. He sat back and watched me blow up, both in column size and in readership, and didn't once try to get involved. He took the abuse too, from irate readers who demanded to him that he fire me. They went ignored. When I had my (ex)girlfriend write a recap, Al was FLOODED with e-mails from furious people demanding that he get rid off me. The only thing he did was write me an e-mail and asked me to chill out with the extraneous crap for a couple of weeks. That was the closest Al Isaacs ever came to reprimanding me. Later, Remy Arteaga tried to put a more tighter leach on me, but by then I was way too big to care.
I want you newcomers to get a sense of what I put the site, and Al, through. See, Al is about as confrontational as lamb. He does NOT like to stir up trouble among the Internet. To him, we are ALL fans just trying to get the message of pro wrestling out. He hates controversy. In fact, his biggest flaw, (if you can call it that) is that he's sometimes too sensitive. Occasionally, he takes things a bit too seriously. Which brings me to the first time I ever specifically addressed another web person on the Internet.
About 6-9 months after I joined Scoops, a site named ScoopThis came into being. Looking for some quick attention, they posted a parody columns that called Al Isaacs a drug addict and DDP his dealer. Not being used to stuff like that, Al had a cow. NoSoul, who ran STC and wrote the goofy piece, loved getting under Al's skin and the attention it deserved and wanted more. So, in a big interview with Rick Scaia, NoSoul basically tore into Al and made some incredibly inane comments. Quite honestly, the interview was much more bitter than amusing and cast NoSoul as a guy who disliked Al for no apparent reason.
Now it was MY turn to have a cow. After begging and pleading with Al and Remy to do this, I wrote a nice little "rebuttal" which took each and every major line in the interview and responded to it in form. It wasn't the usual ass ripping that I do these days, but it was smart, articulate, and professional. So much so that NoSoul lost his taste for going after Scoops with such a passion. That was my first taste of "net feuding"... and I have to admit, I sort of liked it.
As time went on, I found myself slowly introducing new thoughts to the Mop-Up, and if they stayed in the posted text, I would keep them in and use them more and more. During my 2.6 years on the site, as I grew and grew and grew in popularity, I started playing with profanity (you cannot imagine my surprise when the sentence, "Glacier is a douchebag" first made it on the site)... I started taking mild shots at web people... and I started talking about a little fellow by the name of Pat Patterson. Al let it all go... Al kept it in... even though he KNEW that big players in the business read the column... and that there was a risk to his friendships and connections by having me... he KEPT ME ON AND LET ME EVOLVE.
When I started a war with the nwwwo... and talked about raping "Slymm's" mother in the booty... he kept me on
When I made a bad joke about Goldberg in a Concentration Camp, which prompted such outrage that he had to personally apologize... he kept me on.
When I thumbed my nose at him and the people bitching by doing a "nice guy" column the next week... he kept me on.
When I did his news update on a Monday after a PPV while he was away, and I goofed on Wrestlemaniacs, called Goldberg a Catholic, said that Ryder and Scherer were secretly married and were honeymooning in "Greece" (although that may have been edited out), and told all the readers to suck my wang... he resisted all advice to get rid of me and KEPT ME ON!!
When I started talking about getting raped by "Z-Smooth" and his "King Niggaz" in prison, he kept me on.
When I posted Bob Ryder's phone number on ICQ... he kept me on
When I bitchslapped Brian Sullivan so hard he threatened a huge lawsuit on Scoops... he kept me on.
When I gave out Tony Schiavone’s e-mail address and encouraged everyone to bring fire on his ass... and Turner Security got involved... and Hell broke loose... he kept me on.
During every big deal with Scoops... where investors were scanning the product and thinking about doing business with the site... he let me do what I did without question... he kept me on.
Through all the weeks and weeks and weeks off... he kept me on.
That's Al Isaacs. He let me be me. He would tell other writers to LET me be me. He protected me, kept me by his side.
When he first sent me his phone number, and called me "part of the family now"... and when I called and we talked for an hour... with the first thing out of his mouth was "Right now, it's just you and me in terms of readership"... that may have been the best day of my entire decade. Over time, we talked maybe once a month... he would share stories about wrestlers that he would NEVER write about. I kept telling him, "AL!! YOU GOTTA WRITE THAT!!! YOU HAVE TO REPORT THAT!!"... he'd laugh and say, "no... that's personal business. It's not mine to share."
Towards the end of '99. Things got too shaky between me and Scoops. Al was taken off Mop-Up editing duties and Remy took over. Al told me that actually some intern was in charge of scrutinizing my work. I no longer sent the columns in online... I had to e-mail them in directly to Remy or Barbara (Remy's wife). It took two, maybe three days for the columns to be posted... once, the columns weren't posted until the FOLLOWING MONDAY!!! All hacked up and toothless. I eventually had to leave. I never called Al again... never even TOLD him I was leaving until one day when the Mop-Up appeared on the revamped ScoopThis. I guess they liked that approach, seeing how they up and took the site off without so much as a warning to anyone writing for them.
Throughout all this turmoil... Al stayed Al. Eager to be friends with everyone... not looking to cause trouble... just wanting to write his news and do his thing and hope people enjoy it. I was a little bummed when he didn't thank anyone by NAME in his final column (of course, by that I mean, ME)... and I'm bummed that he never really told anyone where I went... but I couldn't expect him to, really. It wasn't his style to pick sides. He just reported his news.
Now, he's gone. Up and vanished from the Internet. Scoops, of course, was eliminated and turned into IGN.com (and Freakboy is right there with them... what a good little soldier you are). No trace that there has ever been an Al Isaacs exists on the site now. He's a distant memory. It's a shame.
No, he wasn't the best news reporter. He took shit from people who goofed on his accuracy and his penchant for sometimes reporting wrong news. But you know what, we STILL lost something special in Al. You see, Al was a fan... first and foremost. Everyone else, from Ryder, to Scherer, to Keller, to Scaia, to Mitchell, to Meltzer, to Ashish, to CRZ, to Keith, to the Scots, to Johnston.... everyone is too busy trying to be "important" to allow the fanboy inside them to shine. Not Al. Al was a fan of the sport first, and an Internet guy second. He was a Mark... and he was damn proud of it. Now, he's gone.
So, I guess it's up to me to represent what Al believed in. I am going to try my best to be a mark. I will do whatever I can to show everyone that it's okay to be a fan on the Internet. Oh, the Mop-Up will be the Mop-Up... filled with jokes and rag outs and insults.... but I'm going to try to live up to Al's legacy and be a fan too. Actually, it's going to be easy. I love the sport... just like Al does.
Besides, it's the least I can do for the guy who let Hyatte be Hyatte.
So from me, and everyone else, to the Man They Call Al... after 5 years of wishing us well after each news column, allow me to finally return the long overdue favor.
Have a great one, Amigo
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