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Weekend Newsbites...
April 26, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Nothing too big to talk about this weekend...  just some SmackDown! thoughts and then some minor newsbites.  So let's say we pull out the Old School "bullet point" format from back in the Pre-WrestleLine era, OK?  OK.
  • Last night's SmackDown! saw a return to form for Hulk-a-Mania...  where St. Louis served up a kinda mixed reaction to Hogan, Peoria was 100 percent behind the Hulkster.  I wonder if there's any deeper lesson to be learned there?
    The Hogan/HHH promo (eventually Vince joined in) was pretty effective, I thought.  The Undisputed Title continues to be the ultimate goal for everyone in the Fed, and HHH's "This is my religion" spiel reinforces that.  Considering that the title seemed like an afterthought at times in the past few years, that's a good thing.
    The other big in-ring promo -- Angle's t-shirt ceremony ruined by Edge -- was also amusing.  They have GOT to get the "You Suck" t-shirt up on the ShopZone website in time for me to ask for it for my birthday!  [May 9.  Tick tock.  Tick tock.]
    The Mark Henry Experiment is oddly entertaining.  I mean, on one hand, I got sick of those World's Strongest Man things on ESPN2 several years ago.  But on the other, it's kinda funny to see the same group of mid-carders gathered together each week to place bets on the latest Feat of Strength.  And even funnier to always watch the heels lose their money.  Dummies.
    Question:  is Faarooq the NEW Godfather?  Cuz he's sure doing a lot more pimpin' than the other Godfather...  I hope Mark Henry gets a cut of that sweet, sweet action.
    Also (and no, I can't believe I'm going at at such length about Mark fricking Henry, either):  the bear hug is a TERRIBLE finisher.  I don't care how strong you are, that move has BARELY an iota more credibility than the Abdominal Stretch.  I say Henry needs to be a bit more creative:  BRING BACK THE HEAD VICE!  Yeah, it's also a visually un-stunning move, but it's so old that most fans don't remember it and how bad it sucks.  I think with Henry's strongman gimmick, the move could have a quirky charm that would make it effective, too.
    Other quick thoughts:  Randy Orton's "Aww, shucks" farm boy like-a-bility is sure to have people turning on him soon (as if having Stacy Keibler all over him isn't cause enough for rampant jealousy)...  Kidman pinning Tajiri in that six man match will simply HAVE to lead to CW Title rematches, which is a Good Thing...  the triple pantsing of Billy, Chuck, and Rico, on the other hand, has got me seriously worrying about the SD! creative team and their sudden dependency on the be-thonged male ass as a storytelling element...  the actual in-ring wrestling was terribly lacking on this night, until the main event, that is; HHH and Jericho put on a great match, probably close to 15 minutes total time, even spanning a commercial (have we seen that at all since last May's TLC match on SD?).
    Of course, this is just a Cliff's Notes version of what happened on SD!...  for the full report, check out the Immolator's SmackDown! Recap.
  • The overnight rating for SD! was a 4.9, which is up three ticks from last week's overnight number.  Hopefully the final rating will also be on the rise, as SD! has lost a lot of momentum since the roster split.
  • Interesting note:  the two separate hours of RAW are no longer the top two rated weekly shows on cable TV.  Since over-taking Nitro 3-plus years ago, RAW has only been topped in the cable ratings by special events and sports broadcasts, but never a regular weekly TV series.  Until now, that is.
    For two weeks straight, the Tuesday night edition of "The Osbournes" on MTV has out-drawn RAW.  Couldn't have happened to a better show!
  • The Rock is gonna be on Letterman tonight...  that could be cool, since I know Letterman has -- in the past -- displayed wrestling fan tendencies.  
    But oddly, Letterman is just about the last major talk show (since wrestling's mid-90s explosion) to break down and actually have a wrestler on as a guest.  Maybe Dave just feels like he can't top the 1982 appearance by Jerry Lawler (you remember, the Andy Kauffman one)?  [Actually, I do remember Vince McMahon as a guest on Letterman at some point in the late 80s, too...  but that's about it.]
    I hope that with Dave being Dave, this'll be more entertaining than the Rock's other media appearances...  something more than the "I knocked out Michael Clarke Duncan for real" story, anyway.  Remember to set the VCR, kids!
  • I caught Triple H on "Last Call" on Wednesday night, and that definitely fell into the "interesting interview" category.  By claiming an ignorance when it came to wrestling and what sorts of questions are appropriate to ask wrestlers, Carson Daly managed to get HHH to talk about some cool stuff.  
    The blurring of the line between reality and performance was talked about.  So was HHH relationship with Stephanie McMahon.  Of course, HHH couldn't help himself from mentioning how he tore his quad and kept on working the match back last year, too!
    Oddly, Andrew WK was the musical guest on the same show.  Is he following around the WWF guys when they make media appearances, or something?  Not that I'm complaining!  I'll take Andrew WK over most of the other crap out there today...
  • The XWF, which was scheduled for a tour of Texas this week, has cancelled the entire set of shows.  Originally, just the first night of the tour was called off (due to poor tickets sales)... but now the entire thing is off.
    The wrestlers were reportedly already paid for the tour, so at least the workers aren't getting stiffed in the deal.  Though it's gotta be tough for the promoters/organizers to finance something like this...
  • The reason that the Spike Dudley/William Regal Euro Title feud has been placed on the back burner is because the Fed is saving the big pay off for the UK-only PPV being held in London next weekend...  hey, having a European Title match as a centerpiece on a show actually taking place in Europe?  Makes sense!
    The headline match for the show is gonna be Triple H vs. the Undertaker (even though HHH is supposedly a SD! guy, he's making this trip along with the RAW roster).  Austin vs. Big Show, Eddie vs. RVD (IC Title), and Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Booker T are the other top matches.
    The line-up for an event in Glasgow (preceeding the PPV in London) is interesting, too:  Ric Flair is stepping into the ring to team with HHH against Undertaker and Regal.  Austin vs. Big Show is the headliner, and Eddie vs. Jeff Hardy (IC Title), Lesnar vs. Matt Hardy, and Spike/Bubba vs. Booker/Goldust are other big matches. 
  • Sharmell Sullivan, who has been training for an eventual in-ring role despite being used solely as a TV interviewer so far in the WWF, tore her ACL last week.  She'll need surgery, and will not be able to continue her training for 4 to 6 months.  Tough break...
  • A Sports Illustrated article on the real-life sports background of current pro wrestlers includes some interesting tidbits...  but most noteworthy is another confirmation that Kurt Angle is seriously pursuing a return to the Olympics in 2004.  He'd mentioned it in the past, and in the article, he says he's already gotten permission to take up to 2 years off from his WWF schedule to go for another gold.
    Of note, though, is the fact that even Angle only assesses his chances of making the team as 50/50.
  • I think that I might be close to getting the Forums back up and running... or at least, after a bunch of teases and false starts, I now think that the support guys are on the right track.  
    If all goes well, the forums will start operating again over the weekend or on Monday, without any need for anyone to sign up for a new account or anything like that.  We might lose a day or two of messages, but that beats the hell out of starting from scratch.
    And judging by my e-mail some people were letting the flamewars get WAY out of hand, so maybe losing the last day or three of messages and having a week long "cooling off" period isn't such a bad thing?  Or maybe I'm just trying to come up with an explanation for how having a part of the site break without warning is a good thing...
  • I do believe that on that note, I'm gonna call it a week.  Keep an eye out over the weekend for the final SD! rating and other news on The Ticker...  and then I'll be back in full voice again on Monday.
    Enjoy the weekend!  


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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