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Get the "F" Out...  Plus RAW Preview,
and More...
May 6, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Big news to start off the week, so let's not dawdle:
  • The WWF is no more.  The World Wrestling Federation will now be known as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).  Press releases have already been issued, and the campaign to get fans on board with the change will start tonight with RAW.
    The WWE name may be used more for business purposes, while the more generic "World Wrestling" looks like it'll be the on-air designation...  or at least, the new logo that's already in use is simply the two stylized "W's" (and no sign of an "E") in the same basic shape/font as the last chicken-scratch style WWF logo.
    The announcement of the name change tries to make it sound like the switch is being done to "emphasize entertainment" and therefore expand the marketplace for the WWE product.  That argument, of course, is really just a cover story... no matter what opportunities may exist for emphasizing the entertainment aspect of the product, you simply don't rush to throw away 20 years or more of brand recognition.
    So that leaves us with the real reason for the name change: the World Wildlife Fund.  It was becoming increasingly obvious that the World Wrestling Federation's use of the "WWF" initials was going to be heavily impaired as a result of the World Wildlife Fund's successful court case.  WWF appeals to regain rights to use those initials were also turned down.
    I've said it before, and I'll say it one last time:  to me, there is no conceivable reason why both WWF's shouldn't have been able to co-exist.  There is absolutely no possibility of confusion in the marketplace.  It boggles my mind that the situation could reach this point.
    Then again, I'm probably just bitter because I'm so staunchly against all forms of change.  Change is evil, and this is about as fundamental a change as is possible for us -- as fans -- to endure in this little part of our lives where we enjoy spending out spare time.
    But really, this is a change in name only.  It'll be a pain in the ass to get used to the new initials, and I'm guessing it'll probably take me a year or so before I can completely stop myself from referring to "the Fed" in my writing (I had the same problem quitting calling the company "Titan" after they went public, too)...  but in the end, nothing else about the product is gonna be changing.
    The Fed is Dead.  Long live the Fed!
  • As a sidebar to the name change:  the internet domains for all World Wrestling Entertainment websites are being rolled out along with the new name...  starting with WWE.com, all the websites will be reflecting the change.
    Basically, any web address that had "WWF" in it, you can just replace those letters with "WWE," and you'll have the new address.  Adjust your bookmarks accordingly.
  • So, tonight's RAW now becomes the first of the WWE era... and we already know that the night's main event will be Ric Flair, Steve Austin, and Bradshaw taking on the nWo in a six man match.
    The match was set up by Flair because he is intent on "proving himself" to Steve Austin.  Austin was not impressed with Flair counting a pinfall in Austin's favor last week even though X-Pac's foot was on the ropes, so Flair's gone that last step and will be stepping into the ring as one of Austin's partners.
    Of course, the way things have been presented on TV, we're all supposed to be VERY aware of the possibility that Flair is in cahoots with the nWo, and could be turning against Austin tonight.  But then again, the very fact that announcers (especially Jerry Lawler) are so heavily pushing that theory kind of makes me think that that is NOT the creative plan for tonight.  They usually don't telegraph things quite that clearly...
    In any case, that match and the hoopla surrounding it will be one big portion of tonight's show.  The other should be the on-going hype for the Hulk Hogan/Undertaker feud.  Hogan's had a week to stew after Taker thrashed him at the end of last week's RAW, and after surviving a challenge from Chris Jericho on SD! last week, should be all set to focus on Taker, now.
    An Eddie Guerrero/Rob Van Dam rematch is also in the works...  look for more with Booker T and Goldust, too; it's looking like this could be the storyline that ultimately turns Booker into a babyface...  and you gotta wonder who'll be the next lamb sacrificed at the altar of Lesnar...
    Check out RAW tonight, and then come on back to OO for CRZ's big ol' recap, and Lee's off-the-cuff commentary about the show on Tuesday.
  • The WWF's Europe-only Insurrextion PPV took place Saturday night, and although nothing really note-worthy took place, most fans who wrote in seemed to have enjoyed the show a lot.
    Rob Van Dam beat Eddie Guerrero by DQ (Guerrero retains the title) in the night's best match.... Trish Stratus and Jackie beat Molly Holly and Jazz...  X-Pac beat Bradshaw (thanks to an assist from Scott Hall)...  Booker T (getting a big time babyface pop) beat Steven Richards to win the Hardcore Title; then Crash Holly came out, and got a cheapshot in to win the title from Booker; Booker re-took the title from Crash, but when Jazz ran out to assist Richards, he lost it back to Steven Richards for the night's final switch...  the Hardy Boyz beat Brock Lesnar and Shawn Stasiak (Jeff pinned Stasiak); after the match, Lesnar laid out the the Hardys AND his own partner...  Spike Dudley beat William Regal to retain the Euro Title...  Steve Austin beat the Big Show in a match that saw Ric Flair acting as special outside-the-ring referee (he did manage to run off nWo interference, including a run-in by Kevin Nash)...  Triple H pinned the Undertaker in an abbreviated main event; they were severely hampered when the top ring rope collapsed, no doubt leading to the shorter-than-expected match.
    OO Reader Tahir Mushtaq was there live in London for the event, and passed along a few additional notes:
    Security confiscated a "Hogan Sucks" sign, which just goes to show that even 10 years later, some things just never change...  Mr. Perfect pinned Goldust in a dark match...  lots of people in the live crowd were pro-Regal, even though he was trying to work as a heel...  during HHH's post-show celebration posedown, a fan managed to get over the barricade and was treated to an ass-whomping for his troubles.
  • A quick reprise of Friday's story about Goldberg's free agent status...  all signs seem to indicate that, as I'd posited, Goldberg is eye-balling a deal to work in Japan when his arm is healed.  So free agent or not, don't go holding your breath for an appearance in the WWF...  er, I mean, WWE.
  • No doubt on the strength of "Macho Man" Randy Savage's sizzling guest appearance, "Spider-man" made a ridiculous amount of money over the weekend...  over $100 million!  Of course, that sent the Rock's "The Scorpion King" down to a distant second place.
    But everybody is very pleased with "The Scorpion King's" performance, and talk is that there will be a sequel made for release in 2004.  The Rock's price tag for that could approach $20 million.
  • Speaking of the Rock...  while the WWF-R crew was over doing a PPV in Europe this weekend, the Rock was actually wrestling!  The Rock made the five minute drive from his house to the arena in Ft. Lauderdale, and headlined the show by teaming with Hulk Hogan to defeat Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle.
    After the match, Rock got on the house mic, and basically said that would be his last match for a while, since he's gonna be off being a movie star.  He thanked the fans for supporting his movie career, and did promise he'd be back in the WWF at some point.
  • The final rating for last week's SmackDown! was a 2.9, the lowest ever for the series.  They had a seemingly marketable main event in Hogan/Jericho, but I guess it didn't exactly capture the fancy of the fans...  hate to say it, but it's looking like perhaps the fans have had just about their fill of Hogan on top.  It's up to the top dog to be the big drawing card, and the trend in recent weeks has been a downward one.
  • The press up in Canada have picked up on the recent signing of Rene Dupre to a WWF Developmental contract...  Rene is the son of Emile Dupre, who wrestled all over the continent in the 60s, and is being touted as the youngest person ever to get a WWF contract.  He is 18, and just got out of high school.
  • The next WWF bio to hit shelves will be one centered on Hulk Hogan...  it'll come out this fall, by which point it's entirely possible that this fascination with Hulkamania will be completely dead.  In any case, it seems unlikely that Hogan's bio will duplicate the best-selling success of Mick Foley and the Rock's books.
  • Alright, alright, I got the message!  The very day that I lamented that the "You Suck" t-shirt was not yet available for purchase, it turns out it was unveiled for public consumption.  Unfortunately, they put a silly "It's True, It's True" on the back in yet another case of over-designing by the WWF t-shirt committee.  
    You may now cease and desist with the "The t-shirt is so on sale" messages.
  • As always, spoiler reports from anyone attending TV tapings this week are much appreciated.  We'll get 'em all -- SD!, Heat, and Jakked/Metal -- posted here on Wednesday, and any help you can provide in terms of getting accurate and detailed reports will be duly noted and logged!
    See you 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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