The Midnight News 5.17.01 

Posted By Hyatte on 05.17.01

Smackdown, A great interview, a so-so interview, Piper, WWF, Rikishi, this news recap is PACKED! 

Hey there.

I'm feeling guilty. This week's Mop-Up wasn't any good, really. Not my best work. 

So, to try to make up for it, today's news recap is jam packed. TONS of stuff.... TONS.

Let's roll.


The deal on this tomorrow’s Smackdown is.... well....

Let's just say that maybe NEXT week they'll start turning things around.

From what the spoilers tell me, look for a "screwjob" so obvious and so typical that you very well may kick in your TV screen.

Y'know, Shannon Doherety is leaving Charmed after this season.... I don't watch it, but maybe you should instead of what the WWF is serving us? Go see Ms. Doherety lower herself to television one last time before she becomes a movie star like Julia Roberts.

And I don't even care if I spelled the damn last name wrong.


Word is, Rikishi is hurt. Bad. He has a tear in his shoulder that will need surgery.

He worked Smackdown last night, but it was only a tag match. I suppose he stayed outside for most of it.

The WWF is jammed with talent. Rikishi knows this. Rikishi also knows that his Heel turn sank harder than a lead fart. Rikishi is going to work the PPV on Sunday and maybe even the TV shows next week, just to show the WWF that he's a company man. Hopefully, they will remember this while his shoulder keeps him out for another three months.

During the shoulder MRI, Doctor's also found Max Mini lodged in Rikishi's rectum, looking for his car keys. I kid you not.

Every site had this news (well, most of it).... but href="">Scherer gets the honor here.


The WWF is said to be satisfied so far with the heel heat Austin is getting. The general consensus is that the problem lies with his current opponents. Certainly, the Undertaker and Kane (more UT, really) are solid faces right now, but Austin needs a fresher Babyface to really put him over. 

I'm thinking Jericho. But McMahon could really give the "new" WCW a rub if he gave Booker T a respectable run at Austin before putting him back with Shane.

RF Video was kind enough to write this initially.


Former WWF Chick Champ, Rena "Don't Call Her 'Sable"" Mero, seeing her shot at resurfacing in WCW after her WWF contract expired and becoming Hulk Hogan's valet vanish, has joined CompuServe.

At the Web Service's "Celebrity Page", Mero will be doing an "Ask Rena Mero" advice column. Basically, you ask her anything you want. She'll pick three and answer them in her column. This is a once a week deal, by the way. Four would be a strain.

"Rena's major league star power makes her one of the most searched for celebrities on CompuServe, and we are thrilled to provide our members with this exclusive new feature so they can hear Rena's expert advice, and get to know her better." said Bob Kington, Vice President of Programming at CompuServe. "We continually strive to reinforce our position as the value leader in Internet access, and Rena's new advice column helps us achieve that goal." 

When asked about CompuServe's far more popular rival, AOL and how Rena can help the service, Kington giggled, "It's ON!"

Rumors strongly suggest that Mrs. Mero already has her first week's set of questions. "Honey, how do I work the stove?", "Honey, How do I tie my shoes again?", "Honey, what's my name again?" Unfortunately, her husband is not allowed to participate and his questions were rejected.

This started yesterday, by the way.

My boys at A1 Wrestling reported this.


Shoot 'Em Up Scherer, or at least someone at 1wrestling is reporting that Vince McMahon is tired of TNN not treating the WWF as the crown jewel of the network like they promised! (Jeeze, get the rights to Next Gen, and DS9 and everything changes!). Vince is rumored to be sniffing around the USA Network to see if they'll be open to a reconciliation. The ratings just ain't improving, so of course.... Vince has to blame someone.

If he tries to break away from TNN, he may use the old "Breach of Contract" approach and tell a Judge that TNN lied about how many households they are actually in. Plus, they can't market the product for the life of them.

None of this affects UPN or Smackdown, by the way.

This may be a huge story. You read it here fourth!

This may also just be an excuse for Vince to go to court and use the word "niggardly" again.


RF Video, who I didn't even KNOW about before taking over 41... err, the NEWS, is reporting that Edge and Christian have split the WWF into two WARRING FACTIONS!!!!

Well, not really... but while many WWF folks want to split them up and give them a singles push, there are those backstage who want them to stay together as a team, because they are considered the best team in the business today, and serious contenders for "Greatest of All Time"

Newsflash: That honor and 50 cents will buy you a newspaper. And maybe a free beer from a drunken Mark.

Since no one asked... I say have them challenge Austin and HHH for the tag belts. God, even more than Kurt Angle, the fans really reallyWANT to cheer for these guys.

Of course, the final fate of these two will all be decided when HHH is damn good and ready.


More Scherer news. The word from some WWF sources is that Paul Heyman's writing influence is actually the one thing keeping the scripts from completely bottoming out. Heyman is not thrilled with the direction of the company, as of late, and is fighting to improve things. The problem is, Vince gives the writers a general outline and they have no choice but to work within it. So don't give Heyman any crap. he knows the score. 

Blame STEPHANIE!!!! (that's from ME... but I'm sure Dave would agree)


This may be the gayest wrestler website I've ever seen. 

'nuff said.


Much to the surprise of everyone, Tom Zenk has emerged as the best damn shootin' wrestler to ever work the Marks. The Torch posted this radio interview he did with a Toronto show.

-He said that he had all six televisions in his house running XFL games in order to help the ratings. Just to show Vince that he wasn't bitter.

-He expressed sympathy for the WWF wrestlers, who had a semi-pro football team built on their backs.

-Zenk said (he read) that McMahon has 733 XFL staff members under contract, some for two or three years, "with minimum XFL contract obligations around $50 MILLION a YEAR until 2003".... and it's now up to the WWF to supply the money.

-Zenk said that the XFL failed, just like the Bodybuilding group, just like everything else Vince tried to build. He didn't build the WWF, it was handed over to him by his Father.

-Zenk said that Vince's "success" in wrestling is simply built around the greater failures of his competition. He cited guys like Bischoff, Verne Gagne, and the Von Erichs as examples.

-Zenk suggested that Vince's self esteem is in shambles and he should "get into his wife's pill bottles, medicate himself, and take a few week's off" (Man Alive)

-Zenk, who is from Minnesota, says that Governor Jesse Ventura has given himself a solid supporting cast and is more or less a "figure head". 

-For WCW, Zenk said that they need Goldberg, Steiner, and Ric Flair's "legacy" (I assume that means Flair's stamp of approval, or something). Goldberg is a priority, though. he suggested that Shane should show up on WWF TV one night, out of nowhere, with Steiner and Goldberg by his side. Shake things up and get people freaking out. (can't argue with him there).

-Zenk said that Vince claims to be able to run his locker room, but really doesn't. He said that back when HE was in the company, Pat Patterson and Terry Garvin were "out of control" with their style of "hands on management" (whoa.... WHOA!!!)

-Zenk said that Wrestling is in the worst shape it's been in for a while. He called on these political, backstabbing wrestlers who claim to love the business to "give back", before Vince snuffs them out for good.

-He said that the backstabbing that we've heard about before will be NOTHING compared to what will happen now that everyone has to the jockey for position under one massive company.

-Zenk really sold Goldberg as the big savior. He claimed that Nash and Hogan can't draw, and booked the company into the ground.

-He said that while everyone blames Ted Turner for WCW's failure, the real blame can be found way back when Dusty was quietly building his son and pushing guys like PN News and Erik Watts. Zenk now accuses Dusty of "rewriting History" (HA!!! ME TOO!! Not THAT Dusty, but another one!!!)

-He goofed on Lawler for "crying" to Vince in that letter he posted. He also asked about the rumor that "Brother Love" was secretly dating Stephanie McMahon. (wasn't true... thank bloody GOD!!!). He blamed Lawler for starting that rumor.

-He called DDP a "classic case of what NOT to do with Ted Turner's money.

-He scolded everyone at WCW for watching Nash beat Goldberg for the title and NOT standing up and saying "That's wrong!"

-He prays that Vince has a "battle plan" because he doesn't see anyone in his organization that can run WCW right now.

I have two reactions to this.

1: Zenk is one bitter douche who never really caught on even though he was SHOVED as the "WWF Rock & Roll Express" with Rick Martel during the heyday of Morton and Gibson and is still upset over it.

2: He's one f-ing great interviewee. Whew.

To read the full interview. Well, the link is up top.


SLAM has an article that might interest you. It's tough to explain, but I'll try.

No I won't. I'll let the article author, John Powell, explain. Roddy Piper has put out a video that... well...

After watching his independently-produced 'Blackballed' video, I admire the man even more for the important message he is trying to get across. Blackballed isn't your typical wrestling video. It isn't a compilation of his best matches or interviews. It doesn't detail Piper's impressive career or his life, though there are smattering of remembrances included. Remarkably, it isn't even about Piper himself at all. By viewing it you aren't gonna learn about what it was for him to work with Ric Flair, how and where he grew up or what he likes to eat for lunch. What you will hear though are the truths about the dark side of professional wrestling. The things that nobody wants you to know and what modern stars try not to think about. How men who made millions for promoters and paved the way for today's superstars -- individuals like Lord Alfred Hayes and Johnny Valentine-- are callously abandoned, dishonored and betrayed by the very industry they helped build and by the very people they trusted as friends and colleagues. The truth more than hurts. It will make you sick inside. 

To read the full article, and find out how to order, go here


1Bob had 1hell of an interview with WCW Ref, Charles "Li'l Naitch" Robinson. Here are some select cuts:

-He got started in the business when he saw Christian Wrestlers talkin' God and Blading on a Christian TV show. Since Chuck is a Christian himself, he figured this was a message from God. (Man, that's what they ALL say. God doesn't work like that, people. He gave us FREE WILL!)

-His best memory EVER was meeting Ric Flair and getting him a Coke during the Intermission of a card in Rocky Mount, North Carolina in the late 70's. Flair let him keep the change. Ever since then, he's been Flair's biggest fan. (if he also said that Flair threw him his towel, I would have terminated this interview recap right then)

-A Referee has many duties. He helps rookies remember their spots, controls the pace of the match, keep ring activity going by moving about during "rest holds", remind the workers to play to face the camera, get the signal from the production truck or the ring announcer when to end the match. A lot of stuff.

-Robinson says that Bischoff never spoke to him really until his last days, so he never had any problems with him.

-He credits Kevin Nash with the idea of a "Heel Referee" (Umm, Danny Davis?), and the idea of the whole "Li'l Naitch" concept (which really was pretty fun to watch. I remember not hating it)

-He said that he trained for a week with Randy Savage, Mona (Molly Holly), and Gorgeous George (Back to stripping) for his match with George. He gained the obligatory "new respect" for what the wrestlers do.

-Robinson called the night Savage almost drove his elbow into his poor chest "my greatest night of wrestling". He hinted that he wasn't totally convinced on how "accidental" the bad spot was, but did say that Savage called him every couple of days to check on him and was a professional and friend. (someone was feeling guiiiiilteeee). Unfortunately, the whole "Li'l Naitch" gimmick died while he recovered.

-He blames overspending as the reason why WCW fell. (No WAY??)

-He tells a couple of fun backstage stories. He confirmed the rumor that "someone" put a bucket filled with "something that smelled really bad" under the ring during the one Nitro where the Ultimate Warrior had to spend the entire night waiting under the ring. (Ahem... that "something" was poop and that "someone" was Curt Hennig)

-He talked about how tough it was to Referee the last match on Nitro between Sting and Flair, and that he almost lost it once or twice.

-He expressed a desire to work for the new WCW.

I gave you the bare bones, you can go to the 1wrestling site for the full interview. He did the "word association" thing, and had nothing bad to say about anyone. The closest shot was to Tony Schiavone, "A great Kiss fan". 


Well, maybe this week's Raw Mop-Up wasn't TOO bad. I must admit to chuckling at a few lines when I was looking it over earlier.

411 Writers got a little busy yesterday, Ron Gamble showed up with another Explain THAT that offers reader explanations as to how Steve Austin healed so quickly from getting glass in his eye. Yeah, Shillenger took a hunk of glass in the eye on Oz and he's STILL scarred, four years later!

Meanwhile, Josh Nason has a new Fight Club that examines the difference between Giants of yesterday and Giants of today. I liked the column. A good read.

Of course, not that it needs mentioning, but the 411 Newsboard is always hopping. It's always jammed packed with useless information. 


For a final treat, how about some more fun from a guy who just doesn't seem to care... the Honky Tonk Man

Rumors are flying that Brutus Beefcake is getting another divorce and I don't mean from Hogan. Beefcake, not long ago, lost everything, cars, boats, motorcycles, homes, everything. He moved from the Florida beaches to Boston in hopes of saving his marriage. This divorce, if it happens, will be the third one for the Beefer.

And to think, I used to HATE this guy. He's a riot. 

Had enough? No? 

Too bad. I sure have.

This is Hyatte