Wrestling News, Analysis and Commentary

News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

RAW, Austin's Status, Incoming
Cruiserweights, and More...
March 25, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


-  Well, tonight's the night...  over a year ago, we thought there'd be a huge battle between the WWF and a Shane McMahon-owned WCW, complete with splitting up the Fed's existing prime time shows and everything.

Instead, we stand here today with the whole WCW Invasion as a bunged thing of the past, and the Monday vs. Thursday battle boiled down to Vince McMahon's WWF versus Ric Flair's...  uh, WWF.

Tonight on RAW, each man will draft his roster of superstars, with Flair's picks being showcased on RAW and Vince's working on SmackDown! starting next week.  The draft (and it's fall-out) is likely to spill over into this week's SD!, too, as the entire roster is once again slated to be at Tuesday's tapings before splitting up next Monday.

The fact that fans are no doubt intrigued by the concept of "dueling promotions" does not eliminate the riskiness of this venture.  The fact that fans did not respond to the WCW invasion (no matter how shoddy the storytelling was) is proof that if we don't REALLY think there is a reason for two factions to compete, then we won't give a damn.  Last year, we all knew the WWF owned WCW, anyway, so *poof* there goes the reason for caring...

This year, they're being upfront about this actually being WWF vs. WWF, but at least now we're going to have a genuine schism:  two distinct shows, two distinct rosters.  It SHOULD be easier to manufacture some competitiveness, this way.

Still, if the whole thing tanks, and fans get upset about being "held hostage" (forced to watch both shows in order to see all their favorite stars), then watch this thing peter out in about six months, never to be spoken up again.  Much like WCW, it seems.

In any case, it'll be good to finally get past the Pure Speculation Phase...  one big Fantasy Draft column is about all I can stomach for now.  After tonight, we'll know who goes where and can start trying to predict which show will do better.  I doubt the show will be dedicated to 40 rounds of guys sitting around getting picked like its a recess game of kickball...  but I'm sure that a majority of the show will be dedicated to telling the stories that will be part of the draft.  With Triple H and Jericho sure to go on LAST tonight (as part of their big stip/title match), I'm also thinking that maybe all of the drafting won't be done until SD!...

And that HHH/Jericho match does raise a bunch of possible issues with regards to the draft.  Depending on how the champion (who is obligated to roam between shows) is treated in the draft, it could change the draft status of both men.  Then there's the possibility that you could use this match to once again split the "Undisputed" title into two (HHH and Jericho each pin Steph simultaneously?  c'mon, you KNOW you're dreading that finish!).  Lots of options, and we won't know until after the match which contingencies will be part of the final draft storylines.

Another thing to keep an eye on is a continuing trend towards returns/debuts as the Fed tries to bolster the overall roster... last week we saw returns from Ivory (complete with either a re-upgrade or a spectacularly effective wonder-bra) and X-Pac (complete with his first substantial wardrobe change since debuting 10 years ago), while Brock Lesnar and Rico Constantino each debuted after simmering for a while in the minors.  Randy Orton and Victoria are the next developmentals with the strongest buzz, so look for them as possible debuts in the near future.

I don't see tonight's show being able to exceed last week's pitiable grand total of 19 minutes of in-ring action...  but like last week, I don't think I'll mind.  This is unique enough a scenario to warrant a little lee way.

Check out the show, and be sure to come on back tomorrow for full draft results and a big RAW Recap from CRZ.

-  One of the biggest questions going into tonight's show isn't storyline-related, however...  it's the very real question of whether Steve Austin will be present at RAW.

Upset with the company and his character's direction, Austin took the week off last week, flying home to Texas immediately after WrestleMania.  Everybody expects that he'll be a part of TV taping again this week, however, and that he'll honor house show commitments later this week, as well.

BUT, it should be noted that OO Reader Chris Allen heard a radio interview with Debra earlier today (Monday).  He reports that as part of the "Big D and Bubba" show on South Mississippi's K-99FM, Debra said today was a "day off" for her and Steve, which Chris took to mean that the pair would not be traveling to RAW.

These interview are often pre-taped, however, and this one could easily have taken place last week (or even earlier).  At this point, the preponderance of evidence has Austin showing up tonight on RAW, and has internet types blowing the entire situation out of proportion.

-  Event cards for upcoming split shows may provide some insights into how tonight's draft will go down...  and they also indicate that for all the rumors about the draft being used to break up tag teams, no established teams will be harmed in the taping of tonight's draft.  All of them are still together, per the announced cards.

As things stand now, split crew shows for later this week are populated like this...

WWF-1:  Steve Austin, Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Kane, Chris Jericho, Edge, Big Show, Test, Big Valbowski, Goldust, Tajiri, Billy Kidman, Trish, Ivory, Scotty/Albert, Stasiak, Mr. Perfect, Hugh Morrus, Saturn, Lance Storm, Randy Orton.

WWF-2:  HHH, the nWo, Rikishi, RVD, Regal, Billy/Chuck, the Hardys, Booker, Tazz, DDP, Christian, Jazz, Molly, APA, Dudleys, Brock Lesnar, Hurricane, and Spike Dudley.

It should be noted that these split crew house shows do NOT tell us anything about the Rock (who is not scheduled as he's gearing up to do tons of press for the release of "The Scorpion King") and Hulk Hogan (who is not obligated to appear at house shows).  My guess is that both would -- for TV purposes -- be part of the WWF-2 roster (which I, in turn, would guess to be Vince's WWF-SD roster, since Vince seems likeliest to draft the nWo).

Also not booked as part of these shows, but expected to be involved in one of the two rosters:  Maven, Raven, D'Lo Brown, Godfather, Bull Buchanan, Big Bossman, Chavo Guerrero, Al Snow, Crash Holly, Tommy Dreamer, Steven Richards, and a bunch of the injured-but-soon-to-return stars (Kanyon, Awesome, Benoit, Rhyno).

Then again, putting much stock at all into a few days worth of house show cards might not be too wise.  The small print, afterall, always reads, "Card subject to change."

-   As I said over the weekend on The Ticker, both Rey Misterio Jr. and Eddie Guerrero are expected to join the WWF before too long.  Rey is probably one of the most prominent cruiserweights on the open market, which is important as the WWF tries to re-establish that division.  Eddie's a fantastic all-around performer who could also fit into that division (though I'd rather see him as an IC Title-level heel).

Their arrivals are slated for no later than mid-April.

-  1Wrestling.com is reporting that -- as part of a contingency should the Fed lose its appeal of the pending WWF vs. WWF case with the World Wildlife Fund -- World Wrestling Federation Entertainment is  likely to unveil a new logo soon after the roster split.  

You may have noticed -- especially with recent bits featuring Linda McMahon and the "board of directors," that the initials WWFE have been bandied around casually.  Almost as if they are trying to get us used to the idea of calling the company "World Wrestling Federation Entertainment"....  

Could be an interesting development...

-  The final rating for last week's SmackDown! was a 4.3 broadcast rating, up three-tenths from the week before.  The show continues to perform very well for UPN, and is one of its only three really consistent ratings-getter.

-  Not a whole lot of note in the injury-update-laden Ross Report from WWF.com last week...  both HHH (sore quad, the same one as was surgically repaired... but nothing serious!) and Hogan (cracked rib) got hurt at WM, but are working through the pain.  

And there were some more concrete time tables for a few returning stars:  Chris Benoit starts light in-ring work-outs in Cincinnati (HWA) on April 1 with a mid-May target for a TV return...  Mike Awesome will be back from knee surgery in mid-April...  Kanyon is "six weeks away" from coming back (also from knee surgery).... and Rhyno's still at least three months out from getting back in the ring.

-  A correction to a Ticker item from over the weekend...  in the Ozzy/HHH newsbite, I said "Breaking Point" when I meant "Drowning Pool."  If you make that substitution, the thing will make more sense and actually be factually accurate.

Note to new bands:  it's not a good thing when your name is so forgettable that it can be easily confused with any other bunch of guys with long hair and a fondness for "-ing" words followed by a random noun.  Or maybe I can use this....

ANNOUNCEMENT:  I am now officially playing a brand-spanking new band called Stopping Distance.  Or how about Flying Lesson?  Chopping Block?  Drinking Problem?  Feel free to confuse me with any other moderately-successful band at your leisure!

-  I think that's about it...  as always, a humble request to anyone attending tomorrow's SmackDown! tapings to please pass along a report.  We likes to get them spoilers up here on OO as soon as possible on Wednesday morning!

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.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.