By Mike Mooneyham
Sept. 9, 2001
Just a few months ago Diamond Dallas Page was looking forward to a nice run in the World Wrestling Federation. His home- based World Championship Wrestling, where he had been a three-time world champion, was folding and options were limited for the 45-year-old performer. Either stay home and collect the more than $1 million he had coming to him as part of his cushy guaranteed Time Warner/AOL deal, or take an early buyout and his chances with the WWF.
Many observers, and probably DDP himself, now have to be wondering what he did to deserve the treatment he’s received thus far in the WWF. The ego-driven Page, who left money on the table to make one final splash in the WWF, has served as little more than squash fodder for The Undertaker since his arrival. With a lame stalker gimmick to boot, DDP probably wishes he would have stayed home and collected his paycheck every two weeks.
To make matters worse, DDP had to work the Summer Slam pay-per-view with a torn meniscus and participate in a cage match the following night on Raw. Page later underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in Atlanta and is expected to be out of action for at least a month.
[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]DDP had hoped his friendship with former WCW cast-offs Steve Austin (Stunning Steve) and The Undertaker (Mean Mark Callous) would provide him with a smoother landing in the WWF, but from the looks of his losing skid and embarrassing defeat at the hands of Taker’s wife, Sara, any influence they might have on his push appear to be negligible. The fact that he was Eric Bischoff’s next-door neighbor and confidant probably didn’t win him any points with Vince McMahon, either, despite Page’s strong work ethic and passion for the business.
What remains for him in New York is anyone’s guess, but it is apparent that the powers-at-be don’t have him penciled in for many high-profile storylines anytime in the near future.
At this point, Booker T appears to be the only ex-Atlanta star to be getting any kind of major push in the federation, and even he has been cast as an ineffective challenger going up against the likes of The Rock, who will face both Booker and Shane McMahon in a handicap match at the Unforgiven PPV on Sept. 23.
Perhaps the most over performer in The Alliance is not a former WCW star, but ex- ECW TV champion Rob Van Dam (Rob Szatkowski), who finally appears to be on the brink of major stardom in the WWF. Just a year ago Van Dam’s career seemed uncertain, but he now looks to be a major player on a much larger stage than ECW ever provided.
Look for the 30-year-old Van Dam, whose house matches this past week with Chris Jericho drew rave reviews, to continue to be pushed despite a growing uneasiness from a number of WWF performers, some of whom don’t like the daredevil, often risky style Van Dam employs, while others see him as a possible threat to their top spots in the promotion.[ad#MikeMooneyham-468×15]
Steve Austin, who broke a thumb and needed two stitches to close a wound caused by Van Dam’s Van Daminator maneuver, reportedly wasn’t upset with “Mr. Monday Night” following their match.
_ Kane (Glen Jacobs), who has been sidelined with a severe elbow infection, is expected to return to the ring soon.
_ Billy Kidman remains out of action with a knee injury.
_ The Labor Day Raw dropped to a 4.6 rating. The number was the lowest since the July 2 episode. Not helping matters was a satellite transmission miscue during the overrun period that dropped that segment to a 3.3.
_ Kevin Nash was backstage visiting friends at last week’s Raw. Sources say Nash is a virtual lock for employment once his Time Warner/AOL deal expires at the end of the year. Nash and longtime partner Scott Hall are scheduled to reform The Outsiders at New Japan’s Tokyo Dome show in January.
_ Hulk Hogan commented last week that serious financial backers were needed for his Universal Studios wrestling promotion. Hogan, who has been hyping the promotion for several months, appears to be blowing smoke in hopes of attracting some major money marks who are looking to part with their cash.
_ Stacy Carter, estranged wife of Jerry Lawler, has filed for divorce and seeks half of everything the King and Queen acquired over the 12 years the couple was together. They had been married for less than two years.
“I guess some things are meant to be,” lamented Lawler, who quickly rebounded by announcing a “Replace the Queen” contest.
_ The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) pulled some strings to bring longtime friend Brian Adams back to the WWF. Adams, who worked in the late ’80s as third Demolition member Crush, will rejoin Bryan Clark as Kronic. Clark, whose last stint in the WWF was under the moniker Adam Bomb, also performed in WCW as Wrath.
_ Vince McMahon announced last week that Wrestlemania 18 would be held at the Toronto Skydome on March 17, 2002. McMahon said he expected to top the 67,000 attendance record Wrestlemania VI set at the Skydome in 1990 for a main event between Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior.
_ Quote of the week comes from Val Venis (Sean Morely), who told the Libertarian Party online newspaper, “Hell, here in Canada we have an extra year of high school just to make sure that the government has liberalism deeply embedded into its slaves.”
Venis has been out of action in recent weeks while recovering from hip surgery. _ Jim Ross reported last week that Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler recently shot an AT&T commercial with comic Carrot Top.
_ Big Show and Shawn Stasiak are scheduled to appear on next Saturday night’s WWF Excess show. The rating for the second edition of the show dropped 0.1 of a point from its debut edition, scoring an 0.8 rating last week.
_ The Chicago Sun-Times reported that former WCW wrestler and color commentator Steve “Mongo” McMichael is being considered for an analyst position on a Chicago sports show.
_ Referee Billy Silverman has left the WWF.
_ The Rock said last week on the Howard Stern show that he would never leave the wrestling business – even if his movies did well.