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RAW Ratings, Macho Man, Lots More...
December 12, 2001

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


-  Whew.  The WWF didn't live down to my worst fears on Monday night:  Chris Jericho is still the champ.  There's no faster way to ruin a guy's heel status than to job him out 24 hours after the biggest win of his career.

Babyfaces can lose and stay over.  Heels?  To be a top level bad guy, you gotta take care of business.  And Jericho did that Monday.  It's too early to start making predictions, but it's possible that he'll eventually slide into the Shawn Michaels role that has been vacant for so long, now...

It's not the only thing the WWF did well on Monday, either...  the handling of of the Taker/Spike and Regal/Kane matches were fine examples of getting the right storylines across to the fans.  Regal could really catch on with this brass nux shtick (provided they keep coming up with plausible ways for him to circumvent the officials), and Taker's chokeslam on Spike was brutal.

And how effective was this:  I did not WANT Rock and Trish to win, but even as I was actively rooting against them, I thought for SURE they would walk out with the tag titles.  I realize I'm probably in a very tiny minority here, but man did I love it when I got that little pleasant surprise.  Actually, no matter what you were cheering for in that one, it was really well-constructed, psychology-wise, and probably got you hooked in with the drama.

Not so effective: the whole Matt/Jeff/Lita thing.  Maybe I just don't watch enough Jerry Springer, but c'mon...  that's not how people behave in real life, is it?  It just seems hokey and bogus.  Plus, the finish of that handicap match was (as CRZ noted) was really a clunker.

And here's a multiple choice question that I think we'll all get right...  What percentage of the audience knew Lance Storm's "mystery opponent" was going to be the Big Show well before he was announced?  Was it:  (a) less than 10%, (b) 10%-24%, (c) 25%-50%, or (d) every single member of the TV audience with an IQ greater than their own waist-size?

Knowing something of the average home viewer, I will say the correct answer is "(e) Both  B and D."  HA!

As always, I only wanted to toss a few pennies worth of thoughts in...  for complete RAW results, you are to check out CRZ's Recap, pronto!

-  The RAW ratings are in, too, and if you didn't check 'em on the Ticker yesterday, the news was good.

RAW did a two hour composite of 4.7, peaking strongly in the second hour and overrun.  Hour One did a 4.3 (about on pace with the last few weeks), but the second half of the show shot up to a 5.0 average, peaking for the cage match main event.

The combined result is that the 4.7 matches the three-weeks-ago number achieved by the Fed...  are people just showing up once a month to see what happened at the PPV they were too cheap to buy?  Or is there something else at work here?

-  Randy Savage has emerged from the shadows to issue a challenge to Hulk Hogan.  Savage wants to fight Hogan at a one-time-only event in Florida, with all proceeds from the event going to the All Children's Hospital Fund. 

The Macho Man is giving Hogan until Christmas Eve to respond to the challenge.  If Hogan does not accept, Savage will instead donate $10,000 to the Fund in the name of "The Hulk Hogan Coward Club."  If Hogan does accept, Savage says the fight will take place sometime during the first quarter of 2002.

Savage, who has been out of the wrestling spotlight for about 2 years now (and who has a featured part in next Summer's "Spiderman" movie), made the public challenge on 1Wrestling.com.  You can also go there to hear the full audio version of the announcement.

Doesn't quite have the same sizzle that Savage's challenge to Hogan on the WWF radio show 8 years ago had, now does it?  Nevertheless, perhaps Hogan and Savage will be able to get together and raise some money for a good cause here...

-  The "Best of 2001" special that is going to air in place of RAW on December 31 will be a three-hour show.  You can vote on what matches will be shown by visiting WWF.com.  There are like 25 choices to pick from, with 10 of them eventually making it onto the broadcast.

There are definitely 10 worthy choices on that list...  but some total fluff, too.  Women's matches, the Gimmick Battle Royal, even Taker/HHH from WMX7...  these things won't make anyone's Top 10 list for 2001, will they?  Just off the top of my head, one glaring omission from the list of nominees:  the TLC match from SmackDown that added the Canadian Chrisses into the tag title mix!

I could probably find more things to gripe about, but I won't be anywhere near RAW on New Year's Eve, so why the hell should I give a shit?

- The WWF is tentatively planning a tour of Asia in early 2002.  A three-show tour would span March 1-4, and include events in Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Contrary to some reports, I do not believe the WWF will use these events as RAW/SmackDown! tapings...  though I have no doubt that the Fed would have cameras on hand just so that fans can get some international flavor, it's a more likely scenario at this point that they would tape the full domestic shows by doubling up tapings in the week prior to the tour, and simply include some of the foreign footage into those broadcasts.  The WWF would then return to a normal tapings schedule on March 10.

-  Against doctor's orders, Bob "Hardcore" Holly returned to action at RAW tapings on Monday.  He is still months away from receiving medical clearance, but as part of the presently on-going Tough Enough 2 competition, he decided to get in the ring while his "students" were watching from ringside.  Hardcore teamed with Crash against two developmental talents from UPW, which allowed him to limit his physicality somewhat (he did more than just stand on the apron, however).

Other TE2 trainers also wrestled at the tapings:  Al Snow beat Sho Funaki, and Ivory took on Jackie.  All three matches will air on Metal/Jakked this week. 

-  On the WWF/DirecTV front, I got messages from a few DTV subscribers who wanted us to know that DTV's language changed this month...  instead of just apologizing for a WWF PPV not being available, DTV put a message on the PPV channel saying that the WWF "refused to allow" DTV to distribute PPVs to residential customers.

I guess they decided to fight just as dirty as the WWF has the past few months...  the WWF urges fans to "go elsewhere" for PPVs, and now DTV says it's all the WWF's fault for "refusing" to do business.  Don't you love it when multi-millionaires start being whiny bitches to each other?

-  On Monday, I mentioned the item from last week's Ross Report where Booker T just made it onto Ebony magazine's list of sexiest bachelors... which spawned a ton of e-mail from readers who remember a Booker and Mrs. T story arc from Nitro a year or two back.

I don't know what to tell you at this point, except that I would presume Ebony and Jim Ross would have Booker's current marital status correct.  I honestly do not remember at this point if Nitro's "Mrs. T" was just a work, or what might be the case here...

-  And while I'm dipping into the mailbag, I might as well mention this before another 3 dozen people bombard me with it....

In all the hoopla surrounding Chris Jericho winning the first "Undisputed World Title" in wrestling since the first part of the 20th Century, we've apparently lost sight of another amazing acheivement by Jericho.  He is the first "Quintuple Crown" champion in WWF history.

That's right, Jericho has now won all five of the WWF's heavyweight titles (the Light Heavyweight evaded him, though it's "out of his class"):  the Hardcore, the Euro, the tag team, the IC, and now the WWF/World Title.  If he ever tosses a King of the Ring or Royal Rumble win on that pile, it'll look REALLY impressive.

For completion's sake:  Jericho is also a former WCW Cruiserweight and TV champ, and also a former ECW TV Champ.  Eight different Big Three titles is nothing to sneeze at.

-  If you missed spoilers for tomorrow's SmackDown, they are right here.  If you missed them on purpose, then just forget I mentioned it...

-  Finally, a site-keeping note:  I'm taking down the pop-ups on the main page and Ticker page (you know, the automatic two window pop-up)...  the people have spoken, and I'm just gonna give up now on trying to convince y'all that pop-up advertising is a necessary evil to finance a site like this.  Unfortunately, a limited number of pop-ups will remain randomly distributed throughout the site, as per my primary ad provider.  I can only take out the ones that I specifically control.

You can thank me by buying something from Amazon.com using one of my links (there's still plenty of time to get items shipped for Christmas!), or making an Honor System Donation...  all revenue goes to helping keep OO online and free for all!

I'll be back Friday...  but you keep coming back no matter what, cuz good stuff goes up every day!



Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


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