So I’m sitting around chatting with a friend, and I mention to him that in honor of Vinny Ru taking over the site, I gotta pay tribute to one of his creations, the Machine. The dude tells me, “There weren’t any Machines in Russo’s WCW, that was Andre goofing around in the WWF, or something.”
“No machines?” I said. “Dude, Russo’s tenure there was full of them. And not just this week’s JOTW, mind you. And if you don’t believe me, let’s go to the dictionary.” I quickly opened the nearest one up, and went all Webster’s on him. Reading the various meanings of the word “machine” was like a trip down Russo memory lane, one which I secretly like to travel now and then when I’ve had it with guys like Benoit and their stinky five-stars matches!!! Let’s see here. The word “machine”…
Meaning #1: any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks
Ahhh, the devices. How in the blue hell would Se7en gotten over if not for Russo’s mechanical device which made Rhodes miraculously float through the air with the gracefulness of Suicide Hawk’s stunt mannequin?
Meaning #2: an intricate organization that accomplishes its goals efficiently
Have you ever read a better sentence composed that summed up the Russo-WCW era so well in so few words?
Meaning #3: an efficient person
Efficient? Heck, that’s Vinny with a capital “E.” How fast did he turn those ratings around? And when it came time to get a famous Hollywood star to carry WCW’s glorious championship belt, he didn’t shell out multi-millions for an A-list celeb. Go for the C-list guy a few people have heard of. That’s called pinching pennies. That’s e-f-f-i-c-i-e-n-t!!!!
Meaning #4: 4-wheeled motor vehicle; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine
Synonyms: car, auto, motorcar
Uhhh yeah. Here’s where Webster’s let me down. They’re a little outdated on that one, forgetting to mention Russo’s grand and spectacular Popemobile.
Meaning #5: An organized group of people whose members are or appear to be under the control of one or more leaders
Am I the only one getting sentimental about the greatest wrestling group of all time, Russo and Bischoff’s New Blood? Horsemen who? Evolution what?
‘Sniff,’ excuse me while I wipe the tears away from thinking about the memories of the good ‘ol days. It’s the following definition which gets us off the memory lane course and back to matters at hand – the Jobber Of Th Week. Let’s see….
Meaning #6: a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point
Hmmm, well I don’t know about that first part, but our JOTW the Machine was a master at “applying force at some other point.” Only problem was, he applied it not to his opponent, but to one of his points. More specifically, the most precious, tender, and treasured point on any man’s body. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to Thunder, in February of 2000.
As the usual excitement-packed episode of Thunder was unfolding, the announcers dropped a bombshell. Diamond Dallas Page had been challenged by a newcomer. One which they said was an unbelievable monster of a man. His name – the Machine. His goal – cripple DDP. As DDP “banged” his way to the ring, the mystery was in the air. Who was this dreaded mystery man? The crowd – all 1200 of ’em- were on their feet as the ominous music hit. Smoke, spotlights, and pyro filled the arena. What an entrance. Lookout DDP, here comes your certain doom. Here comes…..the Machine?
He was a “machine” alright. You might call him the “Pinto of Parts Unknown.” Maybe it was his bland, generic black boots and tights. Maybe it was his mask which looked like it was designed by an eight year-old luchadore on Arbor Day. Is that a tree branch design on his mask?
Either way, something about this Machine just screamed lemon. The rather unexciting match didn’t help things either. In fact, we probably wouldn’t be talking about this at all, if not for one ridiculous moment that occurred in the match. The Machine had floored DDP, and began to climb to the top rope, gearing up for what was sure to be a spectacular high flying move. However, as he was perched on the top turnbuckle, the fallen DDP sprung to life and bounced off the ropes on the opposite side of the ring. Great counter, but the only problem was that DDP hit them with the force of Tinkerbell trying to dent the front of Mt.Everest. The ropes didn’t even move a bit. The Machine, who was crouched with his knees bent, was sure to crotch the top turnbuckle, right? Wrong. After what seemed like five seconds, he stood up and did his best Carl Lewis impersonation, leaping six feet across the ring, all for the sole purpose of causing what appeared to be self-inflicted testicle torture. Might I add, during his leap, he was sure to let out the most ridiculous scream heard since Luke Skywalker’s hideously dubbed screech in the Empire Strikes Back Special Edition.
Somewhere out there, guys like John Bobbitt, former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe, and “choppy-croppy pee-pee’d” Val Venis cringed. All those three had had their “twig and berries” assaulted against their will. And here’s this guy, making one giant leap to being impotent for life. Thankfully, DDP’s wrestling offense wasn’t impotent that night, as he quickly hit the Diamond-cutter, thus sending this Machine back to the scrapheap for all eternity. The man behind the Machine’s mask, Emory Hale, fared a little better once he began wrestling as himself. He started piling up victories on WCW’s Saturday Night, and at one point was even managed by Jimmy Hart.
But sadly, much like the man Russo himself, Hale found himself on the way out due to the unstable, and soon demise of WCW. I demise which in my opinion, still stings a wrestling fan worse than any self-inflicted shot to the ‘nads ever did. May the memory of all of Russo’s “machines” live forever!!!!
Update from Blade: Upon posting this, someone informed me this character was based on the Nicholas Cage film, 8mm. Sorry, but when it comes to Nicholas Cage, if Elizabeth Shue isn’t on screen naked, I’m not interested.