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Goldust/nWo Info in our RAW Preview, 
plus Other Newsbites...
February 4, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


-  With Ric Flair's little piece of civil disobedience against Vince McMahon last week on SmackDown!, storylines are full speed ahead for the TV return of the New World Order.  Flair's decision (at Steve Austin's behest) to retain 50% ownership of the WWF means Vince will go ahead with plans to bring back Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall in an effort to "poison" the WWF.

Do not, however, expect the Fed to rush head-long into the comeback of the nWo.  The trio will appear this week in vignette form, not live in the arenas.  As we discussed last week, the likely scenario is that they will only be seen in pre-taped skits until finally making a splash at the No Way Out PPV in two weeks.  They would then wreak havoc on RAW and SmackDown! for a month leading up to their first major PPV matches at WrestleMania.

I like the idea of sticking with the pre-taped taunting, giving the storyline a slow build that should condition fans to think of this as a REALLY big deal.  The fact that the nWo had its name value diminished in later years and the fact that some "smart" fans don't see the benefit of having Hogan, Nash, and Hall back means that we can use these two weeks to trick everybody into getting on board.  Hell, if they could dupe us into giving a damn about "the Higher Power" and shit like that, they'll convince us that the nWo comeback is an interesting development.  Just tease us with it for two weeks, instead of shooting the wad all at once...  that's all it'll take.

The other little mystery that's occupying WWF storylines right now is who Goldust will be going after in his first feud since coming back to the WWF.  I know I'd originally reported that there was a Rock/Goldust feud in the works, set to co-incide with Rocky's Hollywood, leading-man debut ("The Scorpion King," which is released in April)...  that's probably not what Goldust is gonna be doing tonight, however.  Whether because response to the Goldust vignettes has been subpar or because I just bit on a piece of bum info, look for Goldust to start somewhere else tonight.

That's not to say there still wouldn't be time to do some sort of Hollywood feud between those two in two months time, but from the sounds of things, I was off-base to say it'd be Goldust's first one back.  It's not even a lock that the Rock will be at tonight's RAW tapings, as he could once again be detained an extra day by re-shoots for his movie.  [The Rock does resume a normal, full WWF schedule starting next Monday.]

Other things to look for tonight:  Rock/Undertaker and HHH/Angle seem to be the supporting upper-card matches for the next PPV, with Austin/Jericho as the main event, so look for further development there...  the IC Title picture's a bit cluttered, with both RVD and Edge holding decent claims to the #1 contender spot, so either look for one or the other to jump out to a lead, or look for a three-way IC Title match to be set up for the PPV...  the tag title picture's no better, with a makeshift team as champs, and no clear top challengers...  a Billy/Chuck vs. Torrie/Trish "posedown" was cut from SmackDown! due to time constraints, and will probably be reprised in some form or another tonight.

Come on back to OO after RAW's over for the start of our coverage of the show, which culminates on Tuesday with CRZ's RAW Recap.

-  BTW, you Canadian readers should enjoy the live edition of RAW tonight, while you still can...  the Olympics are going to be screwing with your normal RAW broadcast schedule, and the show won't be seen until midnight on TSN the next two weeks.  RAW gets pre-empted again on 3/4 for hockey, too.

I'm sure you Canucks have gotta be used to this by now, but I bet it's still a pain in the ass...

-  Last week, we talked about the edited "posedown" from SD!, but there was also some snipping done to the show-closing angle, as Vince McMahon's remarks were edited.  As noted in Mark Coale's spoiler reports, Vince directly referenced the names of Hogan, Nash, and Hall at that tapings, but those names were excised from the broadcast version of the show.

Unlike the posedown, this was not an edit made due to time constraints (less than 30 seconds was shaved), but rather for effect.  The Fed has apparently decided to keep us as in the dark as possible about who comprises the nWo...  though like I said last week, it's not like anybody's out there secretly hoping that they'll ACTUALLY be bringing in Horace Hogan, Virgil, and Scott Norton.

But I did my whole spiel on how I think the nWo angle could be made more impactful last week, and there's no reason to reprise that now, is there?

-  Oh, and the other thing on the "what the WWF is editing out" front...  for some reason, there's a buzz going around that RVD chants are being edited out.  Not only does that (a) make no sense, but (b) there seem to be equal numbers of RVD fans at the taped SmackDowns (where editing would be possible) as at live RAWs (where you couldn't edit out the chants).

I admit that I HAVE heard stories about fans getting their RVD signs confiscated by security, and those might be on the level.  But in almost every case, I believe that the signs were confiscated not because of any mysterious anti-RVD conspiracy, but because the signs included allusions of marijuana, which is a part of RVD's old gimmick that the WWF obviously doesn't want to play up.  If the Godfather can't light that blunt up anymore, then "RVD 4:20" is also verboten.

-  As I noted last week, Chris Jericho and Bill Goldberg were both a part of the Celebrity Challenge associated with the NHL All-Star weekend...  Jericho played on one team, and Goldberg as a guest coach for the other.

The two displayed no animosity towards each other despite the rumors that Goldberg quashed a Jericho mini-push back when both were in WCW, and in fact, they co-operated on a little angle during the third period of the game.  Jericho -- playing a cocky heel at all times during the affair -- got into a war of words with referees, leading up to Goldberg coming off his bench to hoist Jericho off the ice and into the penalty box.

Sounds like a fun little exchange.  If only WCW had run with that feud when they had the chance, eh?

-  I was ready to write of Jim Ross' WWF.com column as containing no particularly useful new info...  except that over the weekend, I got a pair of e-mails asking me if that was really Shane McMahon with a cameo in that "Rollerball" movie.

I mean, I know Paul Heyman is featured as an announcer in the film, but I had no idea how Shane-O might have wormed his way in...  but sure enough, there's JR this weekend, mentioning in an off-hand manner that, yes, Shane McMahon does have a bit part in Rollerball, too.

Usefulness of the info aside, I still feel compelled to mention that (from the looks of things) you couldn't pay me to sit through "Rollerball."

-  OO Reader Eric Ziengs pointed out something interesting... last week, I was advocating keeping the IC Title on William Regal for at least another month or two, and having him do so via nefarious means.  I thought that it would re-create that "Honkey Tonk Man Heat," where a heel inexplicably holds onto a title for way longer than anyone thought possible.

Well, Eric points out that there's an even more applicable example that you don't have to go back 15 years to dig up.  Instead of going for Honkey Tonk Man Heat, William Regal should just keep trying to recreate "Steven Regal Heat."  Regal, as WCW TV champ in the mid 90s, spent a goodly amount of time with the title, even though he'd do things like get pinned after the title's 15 minute time limit had expired.  Works for me...

-  Several readers wrote in to inform me that WrestleMania.com features a place-holding page for the WWF Title match that currently lists Chris Jericho vs. Stephanie McMahon as the title match.  Test pages like this are commonly thrown up until a match is finalized, and it actually just sounds like the dot-com crew at the WWF are having some fun with the fans who started obsessing last week when Jericho and Steph were featured in the first WM promotional posters.

-  Watching the Super Bowl last night, I was struck by two things...

One, it was great to be sitting there with one of my housemates who is from St. Louis, watching as his beloved Rams fought back from adversity, seemingly to gain total control over the momentum of the game, only to lose at the very last second.  Serves him right for taunting me when the Yanks lost Game Seven in similar fashion, the asshole!  I even got to turn the old "Oh, I wasn't really cheering against you, I was just cheering for a good game" argument back on him, which of course, we both know to be total bullshit!

And two, I shed a tear as I realized that football season is over for another 6 months.  If only somebody could capitalize on my love of the sport -- a love shared by millions, I'm sure -- and create another football league that would fill that void in my life that always follows the Super Bowl.  A football league that maybe even tries to be BETTER than the NFL, with new camera and audio techniques.  Yes, I think that would work!  I think it could make somebody a TON of money!  I think it would do huge ratings if you put it on in prime time on Saturday nights!

Alright, enough sarcasm...  god, do I ever NOT miss the XFL.  Good Super Bowl, though.  Bad year for the commercials; about the only one that I really liked was the Barry Bonds/Hank Aaron one.  [What in the holy living fuck is "mlife"?  And why do I still not care enough to go to their website even after being subjected to one billion of their stupid commercials last night?]

-  Now I'm just rambling, so I'll call it a day.  As always, I hope to hear from any of you lucky enough to be attending SmackDown! tapings tomorrow night in LA, so that I can publish spoilers here in a timely fashion on Wednesday.  I'll also have RAW ratings and other news when I next do a full-length column on Wed., so I'll see y'all then...



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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