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SmackDown!, DTV, WWA, News on
New WWF Music, and More...
February 8, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


-  Last night's SD! has earned a 5.3 overnight rating, which is down a couple of ticks from previous overnight numbers.  Still, it's a strong showing in the major markets, even though the final rating will likely dip to around 4.0.  That final rating will be posted to the Ticker at some point this weekend.

I'm not sure why, but the show didn't really click for me.  I think, perhaps, it seemed thrown together, and not really cohesive.  Some of the stuff, like the Undertaker/Maven/Rock scenario, still managed to work out OK.  But a lot of the HHH/Vince/Steph/Brit Doctor type stuff was just "tagged on."  Like they're really making this stuff up on the fly and this is the best way they can come up with to tell these elements of the story.  The HHH/Vince confrontation ESPECIALLY felt that way to me.  

But I won't belabor the point.  If you want a full rundown and analysis of last night's show, check out Eitan's recap.

-  The WWF has announced that, effective immediately, they will once again be back on DirecTV.  The deal was finalized earlier this week, and No Way Out will be the first show to be broadcast under the new arrangement.  In March, the Fanatix Series also returns to DTV.

I assume the deal applies not only to home viewers, but also to sports bars/businesses, who had actually been permitted to continue using DTV to receive WWF PPVs up through December before finally being cut off.

This deal puts the Fed back in that 10 percent of homes for the first time since September, which should bolster buyrates by several thousand purchases.

-  Tickets for February 24's World Wrestling All-stars event in Las Vegas are back on sale through TicketMaster, signaling that all problems with the state's athletic commission have, in fact, been settled.

The event will be aired live on pay-per-view, as well, though there is nothing resembling an officially announced card available to fans at this point.  It is PRESUMED that Jeff Jarrett will face Randy Savage in the main event, and I've also heard that Sabu vs. Devon "Crowbar" Storm is a likely underneath match.  But not even those are confirmed at this point.

The WWA also continues to feature Scott Steiner -- who did compete for the group back in December -- in advertising for the event.  However, Steiner passed a WWF physical earlier this week, and could well be signed to the Fed before the WWA show in two weeks.  For months, the WWF has been fairly open about the fact that they would welcome Steiner to the company as soon as he had a clean bill of health...  so it's now only a matter of time before he rejoins the WWF.

-  Even though Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall aren't slated to start their take-over of the WWF until the No Way Out PPV, they've apparently begun their take-over of WWF.com.  

There are nWo interruptions on some WWF articles, and they provide links to nWo.wwf.com, which is a little mini-site dedicated to the three founding nWo members.  There's a Flash animation with Vince McMahon's mini-tirade about how's he's going to inject the poison of the nWo, followed by a chance to get bios of all three guys.

Though their prior identities as Diesel and Razor Ramon were acknowledged, I was surprised to see how down-played Hall and Nash's WWF pasts were. Their bios almost make it seem like they didn't become real stars until jumping to WCW.  Hogan's bio, at least, goes on at length about how he was a big part of the WWF's success in the 80s.

Just go straight to nwo.wwf.com if you want to check it out.

-  A few readers pointed me to an MTV.com news item about an upcoming SmackDown! Records album release...  it'll be called "Forced Entry," and will feature new entrance themes for and music inspired by top WWF superstars.

Confirmed for the album are Limp Bizkit (the Taker remix of "Rollin'"), Rob Zombie (Edge's "Never Gonna Stop"), Cypress Hill (Tazz's "Thug Superstar"), Marilyn Manson (SD! theme mix of "Beautiful People"), and Disturbed (Austin's entrance theme)...  we've already heard all these themes, anyway, and in most cases, they're songs available elsewhere already.  

Still, the compilation looks to feature some interesting new themes, too.  I think the most intriguing prospect is Kid Rock's cover of ZZ Top's "Legs," which will be Stacy Keibler's new entrance theme...  that should be good.  Curiously, Drowning Pool is listed as doing a new theme for Triple H, even though I think the guy's already got just about the best entrance in the biz. 

Creed's got a song on the record, too, and apparently, it's a big deal since Limp Bizkit and Creed hate each other, or something.  Whatever...  to me, they've ALWAYS been united in sucking ass. 

You can get the full 15 band/superstar pairings from MTV by clicking here.

-  OK, so what does it say about the current state of affairs when the WWF (apparently) has a star-studded front row in LA for SmackDown!, and only Paulina from Tough Enough (who?), and Rob Zombie get TV time?  The Motorhead guys were completely shut out, as was Dennis Hopper...

Laugh of the night might have been David Arquette popping in behind the announcers with a "Former World Champ" sign (with arrows pointing down to himself), though.  If the guy isn't gonna get some chyron lovin' from the WWF, he'll bring his own and sneak his way onto TV like a common fan!  Arquette's WCW title reign is a LOT funnier to me now that it's 2 years in the past and WCW's dead, for some reason.

- Ric Flair was in Toronto yesterday, as part of the WWF's official announcement of the Axxess fan festival that will take place in the days leading up to WrestleMania.  Tickets for the fan fest go on sale starting tomorrow (Saturday).  I believe there is a total of six sessions for fans to choose from...

-  The WWF taped its second "Weakest Link" on Wednesday, which will air sometime in early March.  The eight participants were Steve Austin, Edge, Kane, Jerry Lawler, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Debra, and Terri.

Actually, Chris Jericho was slated to be a part of the show, but had to pull out at the last second.  Kane, mask and all, was his replacement, and (SPOILER ALERT) he actually won the whole damn thing.  This, I gotta see.

-  The WWA PPV will have some competition on 2/24...  Pride's event that day (imaginatively titled "Pride 19") is being broadcast here that night on a same-day basis (the show will have taken place earlier in Japan).  The Pride show is notable to pro wrestling fans because it is being headlined by Ken Shamrock, who'll be facing Don Frye (who was heavily rumored to be joining WCW back a few years ago).

-  While I know I'm not the only one who's really down on the whole pregnancy storyline, a few of you are actually fired up, hoping that this winds up being the first pregnancy angle that actually doesn't suck.

In my in-box over the last few days, I've got people fantasy booking some supremely convoluted ways to pay the angle off.  Strangely, not one of them actually has "Stephanie gives birth to HHH's baby in September, and they live happily ever after" as its premise.  The biggest swerve of all would be no swerve?  That's twisted.

I guess if y'all are having fun coming up with scenarios for Kurt Angle or Chris Jericho to be a daddy (one reader even had RVD as the father of the baby!), then more power to you.  Me personally, I'm not gonna hold my breath for this to get interesting.

-  Last thing:  the WWF has recently changed the way they get online feedback from fans.  Instead of just sending them e-mail, you now register and log in to provide your thoughts.  I guess they want to track habits/changes of opinion over time...  or maybe they just want to be able to flood you with advertising for products featuring your favorite superstars?

Anyway, the most interesting part of the whole process is the fact that you have to agree to these terms that you waive all claims to any ideas you send to the WWF.  So if, while giving your thoughts about RAW, you come up with "it'd be better if..." scenario, the WWF can legally use it.

More than likely, they're just covering their ass in case the creative team would happen upon a storyline similar to something submitted by a litigious fan...  but still, just to be safe, I think I'll keep making the bastards come here to read what I think!  No waivers for The Rick!

Just go to the page for any of their TV shows over on WWF.com, and you can sign up and see the terms for yourself.

-  Happy weekend, everybody.  They'll probably be some new stuff/Ticker items added over the weekend, and then I'll be back with a full-length OO again on Monday.


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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