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RAW Preview, Steiner vs. Sid?, Rock
Reviewed, and More...
April 15, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


-  Hope everybody got their taxes done and out of the way...  otherwise, the federal government will be left with no choice other than to sic Irwin R. Shyster on your dead-beat ass!  Just remember:  you can use his tie to choke him.  And keep an eye on that briefcase.

-  Tonight's RAW ought to be an interesting affair, if only because it's a show that needs to set up a few PPV matches for this Sunday...

WWF-SD already has four big matches contributed to the PPV card (including the Undisputed Title match), while WWF-R only looks to have two contests of its own (Austin vs. Taker and RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero).  Given Taker's little workrate renaissance from last week and my own unabashed anticipation for RVD/Eddie, it's not like I'm complaining...  but I am kinda looking for some fresh developments tonight.

Well, maybe not 100% "fresh," but at least amplifications of situations that are just getting underway.  Setting up a Brock Lesnar vs. Hardys handicap match seems like it should be an easy enough thing, for instance.  Although it's kind of an awkward pairing, you could do Bradshaw/Kane vs. Hall/X-Pac in a tag setting (or just go for the singles matches with Bradshaw vs. Hall and Kane vs. X-Pac), too... in fact, expect Kane's unmasking last week at the hands of X-Pac to be one of tonight's bigger storylines.  [Apparently, Kane only has the one mask, because he had to "win it back" from X-Pac at this weekend's house shows...]

WWF-R will also be supplying Backlash's women's match, though it's unclear right now if it'll be Trish vs. Molly or Trish vs. Jazz (or some kind of tag or three-way situation to take advantage of Trish's heat with both of the other women)....  and just like that, you're up to five PPV matches supplied by Ric Flair's roster.  It ain't rocket science, folks.

Depending on how many matches you want to book for the PPV, you could even resort to another Spike/Regal rematch (which could be good if the proper stipulation/motivation is provided).  Bubba Dudley and the hardcore division are getting a big push, too, it seems, so I doubt he'd be absent from the PPV; it's really silly, but seeing that Booker T is although without a partner for the PPV, perhaps he and Bubba will continue their dance-related feuding from last week?  I'd rather get guys like Raven and Dreamer into the hardcore mix, but Bubba/Booker wouldn't be anything to sneeze at...

Be sure to check out RAW tonight to see what goes down... or if you happen to miss it, just come on back to OO tomorrow for CRZ's detailed recap and SCJ's own Keibler-defilement-free slant on the broadcast.

-  For those of you scoring at home, the four WWF-SD matches I referenced above are HHH vs. Hogan, Edge vs. Angle, Kidman vs. Tajiri, and Billy/Chuck vs. Al Snow/Maven.  Notably absent from current plans is Chris Jericho; the fact that the Rock is otherwise occupied and that two top babyfaces are meeting in the PPV main event has left Jericho -- as a top level heel -- to circulate on the fringes of the Hogan/HHH feud (where he was very effective at stirring the pot last week), rather than with an opponent of his own.

Other possibilities for matches to be added from the WWF-SD roster include Rikishi vs. Albert (which seems very logical based on last week's events, even though I'm not exactly relishing the thought of them eating up valuable PPV time), and a match for the new look D-Von Dudley.

But more on that as we gear up for SmackDown! on Thursday...

-  Speaking of D-Von, he did debut his new look at WWF-SD house shows over the weekend...  wrestling, ironically enough, against Val Venis, D-Von was said to be the spitting image of the old Right to Censor uniform, right down the to dress shirt with the sleeves cut off.

D-Von used a top rope head butt to get wins over Val.

-  Scott Steiner is the new WWA Champion, as he defeated Nathan Jones in the main event of the WWA Eruption pay-per-view this weekend.  The show -- which was taped Saturday in Melbourne -- has not received the highest of praises from fans who tuned in.  Most believed the show was several notches below February's live event held in Las Vegas.

The Steiner title win was coupled with the debut of Sid Vicious as the new WWA Commissioner (replacing Bret Hart).  Sid's night consisted of barring former champ Jeff Jarrett from the building, and then getting directly involved in the business of the man who has taken responsibility for Sid's being on the shelf with a bad leg for the last 15 months:  he first cut a promo talking about the seriousness of the injury he suffered while facing Steiner last January, and then after the main event (in which Sid was an outside the ring "enforcer"), Sid tried to raise Steiner's hand as a way of saying "No hard feelings," but Steiner responded by promising to break Sid's leg again, which effectively sets up their title feud for whenever Sid is healthy enough to wrestle.

Contrary to some rumors that are circulating, the WWF is NOT going to immediately sign Scott Steiner just because he is now the WWA champ.  The Fed's top priority remains getting a HEALTHY Steiner, not screwing the WWA (which, if we're to be totally honest, has yet to prove that it is even a remote threat to the WWF).

Other results from the WWA show:  Disco Inferno and Jeremy Borash handled commentary...  AJ Styles beat Nova in a semi-final match of the Cruiserweight Title tourney...  Jerry Lynn beat "Chucky" in the other CWT semi-final...  in a battle of the Hardcore Midgets, Tio beat Puppet...  Brian Christopher and Ernest "the Cat" Miller beat Stevie Ray and Buff Bagwell... Alan "the Funkster" Funk (a Hulk Hogan impersonation from the artist formerly known as Kwee-Wee) beat Pierre Oulette...  AJ Styles pinned Jerry Lynn to win the vacant Cruiserweight Title...  Sabu used a fireball and a leg drop off the top of the cage through a table to beat Devon Storm in their cage match...  Midajah beat Queen Bee in an evening gown match...  as outlined above, Scott Steiner beat Nathan Jones in the main event to win the WWA Title (using the title belt as a foreign object).

Thanks to those who submitted their thoughts on the PPV...  perhaps we'll get a more in-depth Rant out of Scott Keith later today or tomorrow?

-  Reviews are starting to trickle in from folks who have seen advance screenings of "The Scorpion King," and the buzz is way more positive than anyone would have thought after the cast and crew re-assembled for a month's worth of last second re-shoots back in January.  But apparently, their attempts to "save" a film that some studio execs had lost faith in were successful.

Just about the worst thing anyone's said about "The Scorpion King" is that it's nothing more than your basic summer blockbuster:  a movie that isn't going to win any awards, but will send the throngs of people who come out to see it home happy.  [As somebody who heard the same things about the first two Mummy movies, and who disliked them both anyway, that sort of review doesn't really speak to me, personally, but...]

And truthfully, other people are being a LOT more positive than that.  Timid predictions that the Rock might be the next Schwarzenegger that seemed ludicrously premature last year are now being repeated in much more strident tones, now that that people have seen the movie and believe that the Rock is, indeed, capable of being a major Hollywood star.  Some reviewers have marveled at how the film (and the Rock, in particular) pulled off a romantic sub-plot and a ton of humor, without betraying the essential action movie vibe.

If the early buzz is true, then "The Scorpion King" will end up appealing to a lot more people than just wrestling fans...  and in the end, it could end up meaning that the Rock spends a lot more time in Hollywood than performing for those wrestling fans.  In a recent ESPN Unscripted interview, he even suggested that -- while he would never completely be able to walk away from wrestling -- his in-ring action could be limited to as little as one big show per year.

-  By the way, even if the buzz on "The Scorpion King" is really positive, the same can't exactly be said for the Rock's second go-round on Saturday Night Live...  I don't know if it was just cuz I was watching the show hung-over on a Sunday afternoon, or what, but I sure wasn't as impressed as I was two years ago.  Except for the Bigfoot/Neil Diamond thing; that was fricking hilarious.

I know having the Rock go against type and do singing and dressing up in drag worked well the first time, but it seemed like this time around, they beat that particular dead horse into a bloody pulp.  There are other ways to have a big, mean rassler be funny...  

-  Lastly, some quick injury updates from this weekend's WWF.com Ross Report...

Lita suffered a stinger while filming a guest role on "Dark Angel" (note from Rick:  Lita was back on house shows this weekend, but was visibly limited, and seemed to be favoring one arm quite a bit)...  Chris Benoit's next check-up is this Thursday, at which point he MAY be released to resume in-ring activity...  Perry Saturn had ACL surgery last week, and is now starting a 4 month recovery program...  Rhyno is about 3 months away from returning from neck surgery...  Mike Awesome (knee), Kanyon (knee), and Mike Sanders (foot) are all going to be cleared to return to action in about a month...  Rob Van Dam is working through a sore knee at present time...  

Also:  congratulations to Brock Lesnar and his wife.  Last Wednesday, according to JR, they became the proud parents of a baby girl.  Lesnar missed a house show, but rejoined the RAW crew mid-weekend and will be on TV tonight.

-  As is always the case, I'll remind you that any tapings reports (either from Heat/RAW tonight or SmackDown! tomorrow) are very much appreciated.  Anything you can do to help me spoil the rest of the wrestling week for tens of thousands of nosey bastards!

Plenty of RAW coverage tomorrow, and then I'll see you with those spoilers and tons of other news on Wednesday!


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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