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!

A Column in Two Parts....
May 17, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Alright...  so I'm back home, now, and able to get back to my regular site-updating routine.  Just in time for the site to be down most of Friday due to scheduled server maintenance, but hey, them's the breaks...

FYI:  there is no truth to the rumor that Jim Bowden is in negotiations with my agent to have me accompany the team on all future road trips.  Despite the Reds four game sweep of the Brewers while I was in Milwaukee, the wins are not being attributed to my presence.  Rather, as one expert noted, the victories by the Reds were due to the fact that "the Brewers suck."

Still, I had a great time consuming sausage, cheese, beer, and baseball in Milwaukee.  But now I'm back in cold, rainy Dayton, OH, and we've got business to take care of.  Today, we'll start with some news items that fell through the cracks while I was slacking off... and then we'll close with an abbreviated version of my usual PPV preview for this Sunday's big show.

Let's roll...


  • I didn't see RAW, but thanks to CRZ and the SCJ, I feel pretty solidly up-to-speed on events...  sounds like the Hogan/Flair match may have been a fun tip of the hat to nostalgia, even if the Hogan/Taker stunt was not exactly convincing.
    Of course, the Bubba/Trish vs. Richards/Jazz thing finished the way it did (with Trish winning the women's title and Jazz getting tabled) due to Jazz being out of action for about 4 months following an ACL injury.  Trish is now able to appear on both shows...  bad timing for Jazz, who had been dominating that division for months.
    Booker going into the nWo has people puzzled and/or speculating...  it had seemed so near a thing that Booker would be going babyface (in a feud against Goldust), and then this nWo heel (re-)turn?  Well, let's just say that a lot of people are already predicting that Flair/the nWo are going to turn on Booker for being ineffective (just as Flair cut Hall loose), giving Booker a stronger feud than Goldust for his first babyface run.  We shall see...
    The RAW rating came in at a 3.9, a drop of over half a point from the week before.  Whatever sigh of relief was breathed when the 5/9 SD rating came in at a respectable level may have turned back into a gasp of panic...  the 3.9 is back to the ratings nadir the Fed was suffering through prior to the return of Hogan and the nWo.
  • I did, however, get to see SmackDown! immediately upon my return home.  I don't know what they are putting in the water up there in Canada, but man, do those canucks ever love the Hulkster.
    In spoiler reports I got, people referred to the ovation Hogan got as "10 minutes long," so I don't know if they exaggerated, or if the Fed actually edited some of the cheers out...  but that segment went a long way to giving this nostalgia run for Hulk-a-mania a few extra weeks worth of legs.  Not that I would be in any hurry to see Undertaker with the Undisputed Title, but certainly, I've not seen the "Hulkster magic" in evidence in a few weeks now, and the act was starting to get tiresome.  
    But on SD!, Hogan and Vince had about as effective a segment as you can have, considering one-half of the PPV match equation was not allowed to be on the show.  I thought at the time it was just a way to get Vince out there to build up some heel heat in preparation for his appearance on "On the Record with Bob Costas" (later in the night)...  but as it turned out, Vince and Costas had a lengthy and VERY civil conversation (I strongly recommend you check it out during replays over the next week). 
    The Angle/Edge/HHH stuff was solid, and I like that they went with HHH almost as a tweener for a second week in a row.  It may be counter-intuitive, but playing his character like that WILL make  him a more effective babyface.  Just that tinge of asshole will keep him way more over than always acting like the Good Guy.
    Not having seen RAW, I can't make a comparison this week, but my guess is that SD! was the stronger show again.  At the very least, I enjoyed it, which seems to be more than the rest of you were saying about RAW.
    The overnight rating for SD! came in at a 4.4, which is down just one tenth from the last two week's overnight numbers.  However, it should be noted that two weeks ago, the final rating settled at a record-low 2.9 (last week's number rebounded into the mid 3's).
    The Immolator's SD! Recap should also be available soon for those of you interested in getting further details from the show.
  • Some Rock news...
    He has been officially added to the Australia "tour" (really just one big show) set for August.  The SmackDown! roster is making this trip, but of course, the Rock's not exactly been with them full time lately.
    But to boost ticket sales, he'll make the one night tour.  Hulk Hogan and Triple H are both confirmed for the show, as well, meaning just about all the Fed's big guns except for Steve Austin will be there.
    Also:  rumors spread this week that Hollywood executives are counseling the Rock to quit wrestling altogether.  Between the expensive insurance that studios take out on the health of their stars (which is even more expensive when a guy like the Rock is putting his health on the line day in and day out in the ring) and the stigma that is attached to being a "rassler," Hollywood thinks the Rock would be best served to focus on JUST being an actor.
    Others, however, realize wrestling fans are a big part of the reason why the Rock's first starring role was such a success, and the Rock himself has said he'd miss the interaction with a live audience.  I expect this issue is one that won't be settled until we know just how big a star the Rock is...  if he can top the success of "The Scorpion King" the next time out, then he just might start thinking about heeding Hollywood's advice.  But if he finds himself treading water, the Fed will always be there for him to find work.
  • Rey Misterio Jr. will be reporting to the WWE developmental territories soon.  He's just gonna get rid of some rust and get used to working WWE rings before making a TV debut...
    Though some suspect HE will be the "arch-nemesis" of the Hurricane, this word seems to indicate that he won't be on TV until after this storyline plays out.  To be honest, though, there is something to be said for using Rey in that role:  he's already known for working under flashy costumes and masks, which would be something you can't say for Shannon Moore (the former partner of the Hurricane's who other suspect will be the evil villain).
  • WWE has announced its new direction in terms of video-gaming:  the PS2/X-Box/Gamecube game will be called "Crush Hour," and will pit WWE superstar-themed vehicles against each other.  Basically a rip off of Twisted Metal and other "car combat" series...  allow me to opine:  yawn.
    I actually have a KILLER idea for a new direction WWE video game.  I won't give it away here, but suffice to say, it'd be called "Tough Enough" to capitalize on the success of that show, although it wouldn't actually be anything like the TV series.  I mean, you wouldn't sit through 24 levels of bad-mouthing at the hands of Bob Holly, would you?  
  • Joanie Laurer taped an appearance for the sequel to FOX's "Celebrity Boxing" special.  She faced Joey Buttafuoco.  Although the bout has been taped, there is dissenting opinion based on what actually happened...  mostly because FOX wants to keep outcomes a secret, so they circulate mis-information.
    If you really give a rat's ass, just watch the show when it's on (May 22).
  • Ach, celebrity boxing...  I think that's just about enough catching up...



And finally, some quick capsule thoughts about the as-announced card for Sunday's Judgment Day PPV.
Remember, I'll be here in the hour after the show with a full recap.  On Monday, we'll follow that up with Scott Keith's PPV Rant and other fall-out. 
And a new feature:  I HOPE that a new OO Chat Room will be functional in time for Sunday's show, so you can gather and dissect the event in real time with other fans.  If I get this running, a link will appear at the very top of the OO Main page, so keep an eye out!
And now, Sunday's matches:

  • Triple H vs. Chris Jericho (Hell in the Cell) -- I don't care which one is the title match...  THIS is the main event.  HitC has (with maybe one or two exceptions) always been a show-stealer, and remains one of the least-used, and therefore, most-intriguing of all gimmick matches.  Throw in the long simmering hostility between these two and the fact that both can flat out work their asses off, and you've got a recipe for a potential Match of the Year.  I look for this to fit more the Taker/Michaels mold, where it's just non-stop, intense action inside the Cell (not the later stuntman/highspot-driven matches like with Foley or Rikishi's insane dives).  Prediction:  Jericho wins, since he's gotten NOTHING on PPV since February.
  • Hulk Hogan vs. Undertaker (Undisputed Title) -- It's the title match, but hell, it's probably about the fourth or fifth most interesting match-up on the card.  Sure, the combined age of 90-something doesn't help much, but it's been proven time and time again that you don't ALWAYS have to have killer workrate to have an entertaining match.  Taker and Flair worked just such an affair not two months ago.  What lessens my enthusiasm is the use of motorcycle-driven skits and drawn-out and pointless Taker promos to build this feud.  Sure, we'd take the lack of "workrate" in stride, but the lack of sizzle that we've got means we're also not gonna be getting any benefit from the storyline side.  Not promising.  Prediction:  Hogan wins, just because he's the more over of the two cagey veterans.

  • Steve Austin vs. Big Show/Ric Flair (Handicap Match) -- The two apparent newest additions to the nWo get to team up to take on their nemesis, Austin.  Oddly, this would have probably been a much more promising match if it was just Austin vs. Flair.  At least, ringwork-wise, I'd look forward to it more.  Flair may be old, but he's proven capable of having entertaining matches even at his advanced age.  Show, on the other hand, hasn't had an entertaining match that didn't involved dressing up in a funny costume in years.  But what Show DOES bring to the table is his physical presence, which actually puts the outcome of this match in doubt.  Austin vs. Flair?  That'd have been a no-brainer in favor of Austin.  Now, with Show out there (and with Booker, X-Pac, and Nash probably not too far behind), it's a whole other ballgame, storyline-wise.  Prediction: I like the Booker-goes-back-babyface idea, so I'll say Austin wins when Booker somehow screws up trying to help his nWo mates.
  • Edge vs. Kurt Angle (Hair vs. Hair Match) -- A next step after their feud of the past two months, this one pits Angle's sparse hair against Edge's character-defining mane.  Angle's won just about every run-in these two have had lately, including last month's PPV match and the deciding fall in last night's SD main event...  Edge would seem to be due for a win, here.  And certainly, Angle seems the likelier candidate for a haircut than Edge.  Even better than the haircut subplot is the fact that these two tore it up last month on PPV, and the prospects for a killer match are good.  I'm looking forward to this one.  Let's just hope the influence of Hulk Hogan doesn't mean that Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake comes back to administer the shave!  Prediction:  Edge finally gets a win over his rival.
  • Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam (IC Title) -- Eddie won the title last month on PPV in a match that fell short of what most fans expected...  and even short of what both Eddie and RVD know they are capable of.  No gimmicks here, just a straight up one-on-one match with both guys looking to improve upon the previous encounter.  That's the kind of motivation that can only lead to good things.  Storyline-wise, nothing much as changed in the last month:  these two still just don't like each other, and still both use the Frog Splash as their finishers.  That move will likely decide this match.  Prediction:  Eddie needs the title more than RVD to stay over; I think the chase is not over for Van Dam... he'll drop another controversial decision to Eddie here, with more rematches (hopefully a ladder match!) to follow.
  • Billy and Chuck vs. Rikishi/Mystery Partner (Tag Team Titles) -- Rikishi's stinkfacing of Rico (B&C's stylist) has led to this contest, where Mr. McMahon is going to name Rikishi's mystery partner.  So expect it to either be a heel (maybe even Rico?) who won't cooperate with Rikishi, or some schlub (hey, the Brooklyn Brawler's always available!) who will be of no assistance.  Either way, I find myself hoping that this storyline is building to the appearance of Rikishi's cousins, the Island Boyz, who would be great as contenders to B&C's tag titles.  Prediction:  There's no way Vince is gonna give Rikishi a partner who can help him win the belts...  Billy and Chuck retain.
  • Trish Stratus vs. Stacy Keibler (Women's Title) -- Trish just won the title on Monday, and then made a surprise appearance on SD to "steal" the win in a bikini contest from Stacy.  So Stacy demanded this match as revenge.  Her boss, Vince McMahon, didn't necessarily like her chances in a one-on-one match, so he assigned Reverend D-Von Dudley (and Deacon Bautista, I'm sure) to be in her corner.  Trish, thus, will be accompanied by Bubba Ray Dudley.  With Trish (whose in-ring improvement is noticeable and commendable) and Stacy (who remains a bit more limited to the role of eye-candy) being physically mis-matched, look for the Duds to be a big part of this match.  There could even be elements of the Hardcore Division mixed inhere.  Prediction:  Trish has gotta win, for any of a billion reasons, not the least of which is the fact that she can -- you know -- actually wrestle. 
  • The Hardy Boyz vs. Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman -- This is basically a handicap re-match from RAW, with the twinkling promise of MAYBE, just MAYBE, Paul Heyman getting his ass kicked added in as a bonus.  So of course, Lesnar will do most of the work as he embarks upon his third month of destroying the Hardys for fun and profit.  But Heyman will probably decide to tag himself in at some point when he thinks the Hardys are down, only to take a few bumps while the crowd goes berzerk.  That's simply how these things work.  Unless they REALLY want to build the heat up by having Heyman escape this one unscathed (and save the ass-beating for another month).  Hmmm...  Prediction:  in either case, the result is the same.  Lesnar wins.
  • Other stuff:  there will probably be more matches added to this eight-match card.  Even with HitC likely to last 30 minutes or more, there's time here to burn.  There certainly seemed to be a chance of doing a D-Lo Brown vs. William Regal Euro Title feud two weeks ago...  Other than Flair/Show, no nWo members are working (and neither is Bradshaw, which could be an ideal match-up)...  the cruiserweights had BETTER get a match (Hurricane is the new champ, and I'd love to see more development with this arch-nemesis storyline)...  and there is a whole phalanx of Heat/Jakked level mid-carder who might get a spot somewhere on the show (even if it is on Heat before the PPV).

Enjoy Backlash on Sunday night, and remember to come on back to OO around midnight for complete results.  Or come on back DURING the show to see if your fellow OO'ers are gathering in the Chat Room.  Or wait till Monday for the SK PPV Rant and other fall-out.  I don't really care.  Just come back, dammit!

Till next time....


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.