3rd Man in the Ring

By "The Ref"
Column #24 - March 1, 2001

Dare I say that we have a winner who shouldn't have won?

First off, thanks to ALL of you who supported the contest and those who entered. The numbers of entrants received were ridiculous and for that, I thank you. My computer thanks you as well for the space that the contest has freed up now that it is over.

I contacted the first winner over a week ago telling them that they had five days to respond. Never would I have thought that that would have happened, but it did. Either this person was on vacation, forgot their password, or something because they never responded to my inquiry. So, via the rules we went to another person! When we do something like this in the future, PLEASE remember to check you email address.

But congrats are in order to 19 year old Chad Jamison of Evanston, Illinois who won the WrestleMania drawing! Godspeed Chad. I wish I could've helped you with airfare but, $750 for two people isn't bad, is it? By the way, has anyone ever been on Continental? God, I hate flying.

Before we close this chapter here at the NET, again, thanks to the entire staff and my readers who supported me throughout this contest, and I promise you…something like this will be done again in the near future.

Someone please tell me that I wasn't the only one who couldn't close my mouth when I heard the news Thursday night about Jerry Lawler. Unbelievable. One of the cornerstones in the WWF has now left (although signs tell me not for good) and while we are all waiting for the diplomatic "one day I'll tell my story" Ross Report, one has to wonder where the whole thing went wrong. Did none of us notice that Jerry missed a good chunk of airtime on the PPV AND Raw? Were we so blind? Yeah, we were.

Stacey Carter. We'll miss her terribly. Now, let me go to my homepage and type in the words SEX SITES. How many pages come up? Okay…

Let me bust out my Armageddon tape. Oh yeah, those are nice. Lets see that again. Rewind. Stop. Play.

Stacey was no more than a nice piece of ass that fans wanted to see strip at the PPV's. Could she have been suffering from depression? Did she have a fight with her mom? Did Jerry give it to her too hard the night before? Does anyone give a shit? No. Show us those perky little baby suckers and I'll be happy. Ooh! Kudos to the WWF's wardrobe department for somehow getting her skirt shorter. Now step under that bottom rope baby. Oh yeah.

Raunchy? Yes. Is it what your mind is thinking? No doubt about it. Lets face it folks: RTC is quickly fading and there needed to be some new life. Another Rena Mero/Ultimate Warrior ego we didn't need to expand the storyline. Lawler wanted more $$ in the bank account just in case the business goes downhill after WM and he wanted to be riled up ready to…um… "explode" right after each television taping. Lawler has been a great P.R. machine for the WWF and a loyal worker, and I'm sure that he is a nice guy, but he reminds me of someone who you would find on a Megan's Law CD-ROM at your local police department. The guy is sex sex sex to the point where I wouldn't have my mother, sister, girlfriend, or whatever near him. He slobbers more than your favorite dog who mops your kitchen floor by breathing. The combination of Ross and Lawler will be missed for awhile, and for business purposes Vince and Jerry may make up and set up this huge return at WM (which I think would be a great angle), but its not the end of the world for the WWF. NBC is probably grateful that he is gone after his cheerleader gawking on NBC (though the ratings would never show it). Stacey was a cancer in the locker room and Jerry did the right thing by standing up for his wife to save face (which shows that Stacey does more for him than be a flexible jazz dancer), but I really do believe that cooler heads will prevail.

God, how many times has that phrase been used in the past 48 hours?

So, lets say it doesn't work out? Who replaces him? Lets go down the list:

Tazz: No way. Heat is a great starting point for him, but the man has showed that he can't handle a PPV well. WCW Worldwide material yes, but not the television that the Federation is producing.

Michael Cole: Doesn't work. Two straight play-by-play men don't work. Never has, never will.

Jim Ross on Smackdown!: Great. Just what the man needs. Saturday night XFL, Sunday PPV, Monday RAW, and Tuesday Smackdown! Oh yeah, and hire, fire, and do your other V.P. duties. The man has gone through enough. It was stuff like this that caused him to get Bell's Palsy in the first place.

Vince McMahon: Too prominent on television now to be the WWF Superstars commentator that he was. Besides, he'd get burnt out really quick.

Bobby Heenan: Heenan is nearly 60 years old and thinks that the XFL is on the S&P 500. The man would be a good short-term fix but nothing long term, unless you can get that bourbon away from his hand. Bobby, do you know who is up for picture of the year? Its not Gone with the Wind.

Tony Schiavone and Larry Zbysko: Ha! You knew that for a second they thought, "Maybe I could get that position?" These two belong on TNN, but on the Monster Truck Show as their PA announcer.

Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman, Kevin Kelly, and Curt Henning: Hmmm….comments?

I'm going out on a limb here and am going to name my personal pick that I haven't heard anywhere yet. Remember though, it started here first:

Howard Finkel.

Finkel is great at pumping the crowd up, and he can do the same for us at home. Those of you who have been to a TV taping know that when Howard comes out, not only does he get a good pop but he starts moving his arms pumping up himself, the crowd, and the ones who have stood outside waiting to be the first at the souvenier stand since 11am that day. I really miss the guy on television. Lillian has had her chance and she's failed. This will be Howard's 17th WrestleMania. SEVENTEENTH! The ONLY one who has participated in every WrestleMania. WM X leaves a sour taste in my mouth, but hey, at least Tony Chimmel is good! I would be good too (Shameless plug to send feelers out to the WWF).

The WWF could incorporate Finkel as a "you're the heel so you must be right" by aligning him with a HHH or a Vince McMahon. Over the course of the next few weeks Howard could be given shots on Heat and Smackdown to see how he reacts with Jim Ross and the entire broadcast staff. Maybe Howard is bald and overweight, but Vince made that mistake with Ross and look what happened! I know that I am the biggest mark for Howard, but think about it. Imagine what a great job he would do!

Howard has my vote and I pray that before they give Tazz or Heenan a shot, they let the man who has been religiously faithful to the company a chance to shine. All they can do is say no. I think though once the headset is on, the Stamford suits would have a Pinky smile.

I thrive on your feedback!

One, two, three.