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Oh Lord, Not Another Wedding...
and Other Monday Newsbites!
February 11, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


-  Well, it's been my mantra for a week, now, and it's time to cross the fingers and hope I was right: we're seven days into the "Stephanie is pregnant" silliness, and hopefully tonight's Renewal of Wedding Vows will get things back on track, rather than get us even further off on a tangent.

Certainly, the first HHH/Steph wedding was a bit of a saving grace (though admittedly, it took a bit of hindsight to realize it), and it didn't come till after months of sappy nonsense between Steph and Test.  Here, we can sack the soap-opera BS immediately, and get on with a storyline that people give a damn about.

Everybody assumes that when HHH and Stephanie renew their vows, somebody will come out and interrupt...  that's just how pro wrestling works: nothing ever goes off without a hitch.  Kurt Angle is HHH's No Way Out opponent, and has a bit of a history with Stephanie, so he's certainly Option #1.  [Chris Jericho is HHH's slated WrestleMania opponent, and Test's own history with Steph can't be disregarded, either.  Along with Grandpa Vince, they'd be three other viable interruptors.]

But will the interruption come from someone claiming paternity of Steph's baby?  Again, this is a widely-held assumption, based on my in-box and on the "It's not yours" chant directed at HHH last week... but while I certainly don't disregard that as an option, it almost seems too obvious a swerve to spring on us so quickly.

I'm not sure WHAT I expect, to be honest.  I just have this naive belief that the storyline couldn't suck any worse, so whatever happens, it'll be an improvement.  History tells us pregnancy storylines and pro wrestling don't work, so here's hoping we start the back-pedaling, pronto!

Elsewhere on RAW, Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho is the other top upcoming PPV match to have its storyline advanced tonight.  Jericho sacrificed Will Sasso on the last SmackDown!, so it's probably time for something a bit more physical between these two.

The Rock vs. Undertaker PPV contest will have to be hyped in the absence of the Rock.  Between movie re-shoots and his WWF TV schedule, the Rock hasn't had a day off in over a month.  When re-shoots on "The Scorpion King" wrapped, the WWF granted him this week off.  In storylines, he'll be selling the brutal attack by Taker last week on SmackDown!, and NOT enjoying a deserved vacation, though.  Wouldn't shock me to see Undertaker decimating Maven for shits and giggles, tonight, instead.

What else do we have tonight?  Goldust/RVD and Regal/Edge look to be two other PPV-ready matches, and it'd shock me if Jazz vs. Trish Stratus wasn't on the bill, too.  Tag champs Tazz and Spike Dudley also need some challengers, if you ask me.  [Possibly humorous aside:  weeks ago at my house, we arrived at the conclusion that Spike and Tazz should go by the team name Spazz (SPike and tAZZ), but I decided that wasn't very clever and deemd it Not Ready for Onslaught.  Last Friday, it was deemed Ready for Byte This, however!]

Check out RAW tonight (or early Tuesday morning, if you're stuck with TSN's delayed-by-Olympics coverage broadcast in Canada), and then come on back to OO for our coverage of the show, including CRZ's recap on Tuesday!

-  Through their pals at 1Wrestling.com, the World Wrestling All-stars have announced key undercard matches for their 2/24 PPV...  

A six-man cruiserweight elimination match will feature:  Shark Boy, Lo Ki, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Tony Mamaluke, and Nova...  Sabu will face long-time foe Devon "Crowbar" Storm...  Disco Inferno (previously rumored to be handling color commentary duties for the PPV) will step into the ring against Brian "Grandmaster Sexay" Christopher...  and a big three-way dance will pit Psicosis vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. Eddy Guerrero.

Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, and Randy Savage are all also slated to wrestle, though no top level matches have been finalized, yet.  Bret Hart should also be at the PPV in a non-wrestling capacity.

It might be an asshole thing to say, but at this point, I'm more likely to be sold by the very-promising (from an in-ring perspective) undercard than anything the WWA can slap together, main event-wise.  Too bad there probably isn't a huge percentage of the wrestling audience that shares my tastes...

-  Nothing earth-shattering in last week's WWF.com Ross Report...  but JR did address one burning issue that I kept forgetting to talk about here:  Mr. Perfect hasn't already left the WWF, again, so don't fret.  They are, in fact, filming new vignettes for him which will precede his return to TV.  So be ready for those.

Other than that, it's mostly injury news, the most notable of which is word that the Big Show is having knee troubles, though a final evaluation of the injury is not yet known.

-  The WWF's last weekend of split-crew house shows went off well, as far as the reports I got indicate.  A-team shows out west were headlined by Steve Austin getting DQ wins over Chris Jericho (HHH over Booker T provided the strong semi-main event).  B-team shows in Missouri were headlined by the ever-popular Rob Van Dam over Test (which has been heading the B shows for like a month and a half, now, it seems).

The Fed's schedule indicates that they are back to one show per night, leading up to the proposed split sometime after WrestleMania (and we've already discussed, at length, scheduling options for after that point).  If nothing else, the four-month experiment with returning to split crew shows got some of the upper level developmental talents a good opportunity to work in front of WWF-sized crowds...

-  Tickets for the "Axxess" Fan Fest in the days prior to WrestleMania went on sale over the weekend, and they sold fast.  The Fed has already sold out both Saturday sessions, though tickets remain for each of the two sessions of Thursday and Friday.  Wouldn't surprise me if they added a Sunday afternoon session, too.

Speaking of Mania, cable companies have received new artwork to replace the Jericho/Steph placeholder poster that we talked about last week.  The new promotional image is a classy WM logo-on-black thing with a "The One and Only" byline, but with the "nWo" logo spray-painted over it.

-  In a recent interview, Steve "Sting" Borden said he is essentially retired from wrestling, and wants to stay that way.  He didn't completely slam the door shut on a return, but sounded quite content to sit back and collect on the rest of his AOL/Time Warner contract, before fading off into the sunset.

-  More depressing news from recent interviews...  Chris Benoit has recently been quoted as saying he will not be ready in time for WrestleMania in March.  From the time of his surgery back in June, it was known it would be a tight schedule, recovery-wise, but everyone was still hoping he'd be ready for a big return in front of his Canadian fans at WMX8.  It's not to be, though he should be back in April or early May.

In the same interview (available at tsn.ca), Benoit also comments that he recently got a chance to catch up with Ric Flair, and that he hopes the Four Horsemen might make some sort of a comeback.  I know we went through all those possibilities months ago, but I still think that'd be a great way for Flair to combat the nWo! 

-  WWF.com also has a big write-up on Rhyno, who -- like Benoit -- is out of action with a neck injury.  Unlike Benoit, Rhyno's looking at another six months or more on the shelf.  In the interview, Rhyno says he's feeling great, but that he's listening to doctors and taking the time to recover fully so that when he does get back in the ring, he won't be risking a re-injury.

-  Random thought of the day...  when the WWF tours internationally, will Steve Austin alter his "What?" shtick?

I don't even know what the appropriate translation would be in Japan or Malaysia...  but how about WMX8 (and the next two nights of TV) in Canada:  Will "What?" be replaced with "Eh?"

I think there's an upcoming Europe tour, too.  Perhaps it'll be "Pardon?" in the UK...  or "Was?" in Germany...  I think I've already seen more than one sign wondering, "Que?", as well.

Hell, there's Steve Austin's next t-shirt:  the word "What?" on the front and then have it translated into every imaginable language on the back.  The first-ever educational wrestling shirt!

-  I'm outta here for today.  If all goes according to plan, they'll be plenty here on Tuesday (including CRZ and Lee's RAW-based material, plus the second part of Denny's Black History Month themed "Circa", and more), so come on back for that.  Then Wednesday, it's spoilers and another full-sized OO for you.

See you 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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