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Goldust and Perfect, "What about Maven?",
RAW Preview, and More....
January 21, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


-  Seems like reviews of last night's Royal Rumble PPV are universally positive.  Or as "universally" so as is possible when a vocal splinter group of agitators exists with the sole goal of getting themselves over, rather than with making a lick of sense.

Oh, wait, I guess I should hold off on that sentiment until AFTER I get Scott's PPV Rant...  he couldn't have disliked the Rumble, could he?

Anyway, the fall-out -- backstage news-wise -- centers on two men:  Goldust and Mr. Perfect.  Both were originally slated to appear for one night only in the WWF.  However, Curt Hennig has revealed that he will now be at TV tapings this week, talking about a more permanent position with management.

Even more intriguing is a vignette that aired immediately after the PPV for subscribers with satellite dishes (mostly bars)...  Goldust cut an extended promo, promising that he would get revenge on an old enemy.  He quoted a bunch of movies and made it sound like he'd be continuing to appear in the WWF on a regular basis.  A quick glance at the list of Goldust's most memorable enemies reveals Razor Ramon, Ahmed Johnson, and the Undertaker at the top of the list.  Only the Undertaker is still on the WWF roster.  Unless I'm forgetting someone...  

Hennig obviously got a chance to shine in the Rumble match, which is as good an indication as any that WWF management is serious about bringing him back...  it'll be interesting to see if this week's discussions bear any fruit.

As for Dustin "Goldust" Runnels, a lot of the bad blood and frustration that led to him leaving the WWF 3-plus years ago have been smoothed over.  In fact, a WWF.com article reveals that the rocky post-divorce relationship that Dustin had with Terri is now on firm ground, and that Terri was one of the biggest supporters of the idea of brining Dustin back for the Rumble.  It's unclear just what the extra promo that aired on the satellite feed of the PPV means, but Goldust was slimmed-down, and has a gimmick that I think could fit in well with the present day WWF.

And maybe we'll finally get some closure on that whole G-TV thing, too!

-  Another bit of fall-out from the Rumble that's more storyline based...  the dangling storyline with Maven.  Never eliminated from the Rumble match, he was just left for dead near that concession stand by the Undertaker.  Using the logic that allowed Vince McMahon to be the Rumble winner in '99, couldn't we say that Maven should still have been allowed to re-enter the Rumble match?  

Unless you want to interpret things a little differently, and say the Undertaker (although already eliminated) tossed Maven over the top, and took him out of the Rumble match.

I know I was joking about Maven being allowed to come back and win the Rumble, but that's only because I had drawn him in our little "fantasy Rumble" game that we played...  I couldn't believe how many people I got e-mailing in that said they hope Maven gets to do some kind of big storyline with Undertaker and Triple H tonight on RAW, since he should be going to WrestleMania.

Also, it seems to me that thousands of wrestling fans across the nation (myself included) simultaneously arrived at the same quasi-clever observation:  that Maven should, in light of this controversy, get a new catchphrase that goes a little something like "What about me?  What about Maven?".


-  Tonight on RAW, I'm sure the Fed will do the right thing and just ignore the whole Maven issue...  I mean, I wish the kid well, but c'mon, he just ain't ready for prime time, yet.

We will, fortunately, be subjected to Triple H, and Steve Austin, and Kurt Angle, and Chris Jericho, and so on and so forth, instead.

HHH and Jericho should, actually, have a lot to say to each other.  Though a lot can happen in 10 weeks, the current scenario has them facing off in the main event of WrestleMania.  I expect a confrontation of some kind between them tonight.

The WWF has also signed two matches for tonight, as well.  Edge will be getting a rematch for the IC Title against new champ William Regal, after Regal's shady win last night at the PPV...  and Rob Van Dam will join tag champs Tazz and Spike Dudley to take on Booker T and the Dudley Boyz.

Feuds and storylines always get shaken up after a PPV, as the focus has to be shifted to whatever feuds will headline the next big show...  in this case, we not only have to build to February's No Way Out, but we will also definitely be starting to set the table for WrestleMania, too.

And always looming on the horizon:  the rumored returns of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hulk Hogan (and possibly Shawn Michaels), and the long-awaited promotional "split" (originally slated to take off tonight, but now delayed until an as-yet-undetermined later date).  So the Fed's shuffling a lot of different cards as we get set for tonight's live RAW.

Be sure to check out the show tonight on TNN (or TSN, or whatever channel airs RAW in your part of the world), and then come on back to OO for full recap, opinion, and fall-out on Tuesday!

-  Tajiri was not in the Royal Rumble because he was in Japan with Chris Benoit and Torrie Wilson, helping to promote the WWF's upcoming tour of Asia.

As posted late last week to The Ticker, the WWF has announced the Rock vs. Chris Jericho as the main event of the tour, with the rest of the card being rounded out by mostly mid-card talent.  Top stars like Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, and Triple H are NOT making the trip, as I guess the WWF is hoping the mere novelty of taking their product to various Asian markets will sell tickets.

-  Jim Ross had a couple items of interest in his Friday WWF.com column...  most notable is word that Steve Austin has been tapped to appear on an episode of Mad TV in February.  This comes on the heels of HHH's successful appearance there a month ago, and amidst rumors that the Rock may be up for another SNL hosting gig in March.

Also:  another slate of WWF stars will be taping an episode of The Weakest Link in the near future...  and Booker T and Big Show will be the next superstars to film commercials (for Hungry Man and Stacker 2, respectively; though I'd think it'd make more sense the other way around).

Special note for CRZ:  Steve Blackman, whose neck is ailing him, will be examined by Dr. Youngblood (same guy who's worked on Benoit and Austin) in the near future, but the expectations are pretty grim.

-  As discussed on the latest Byte This, Kurt Angle is dead serious about a return to the Olympics in 2004.  Angle's current thinking is that it would take about a year of hard training to get himself ready to return to amateur wrestling, which would mean he would have to disappear from the WWF's active roster in mid-2003...

From one perspective, the Fed loses a top performer for upwards of 16 months...  but from a more optimistic perspective, they could be getting back a 2-time Olympic gold medallist, which would be a huge boon.

It'll be interesting to see if all the health and promotional elements remain in place for Angle to attempt his Olympic comeback, and even more interesting to see at what level Angle can succeed if he does follow through.  The Fed is currently rolling the dice on Mark Henry, who is entering this year's World's Strongest Man competition, so they clearly have an interest in expanding the resumes of their superstars.

-  Not to step on the toes of any other prominent wrestling websites, but I got an interesting Obscure Wrestling Reference in my in-box over the weekend...  

OO Reader AC Morton was watching a show on HGTV called "Inside Dirt," which was doing a feature on bonsai trees.  Included in the feature was a New York bonsai enthusiast named "Vincent Russo," who bore a resemblance to our very own Vinnie Ru.  AC wasn't willing to go 100% on the record identifying the suspicious character, but seemed fairly spooked by the bizarre sighting.

The sighting does raise another interesting question:  what the hell was a wrestling fan doing watching the Home and Garden Channel?!??

-  I think that just about does it for me...  I make the usual Monday request that if you go to Tuesday's SD! tapings, please pass along a report.  Every little bit helps me get timely and accurate spoilers up on Wednesday.  Which is when I will next pen a column of my own, complete with ratings, RAW thoughts, and ever so much more.

Till then, enjoy the other columns and the on-going Year in Review!



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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