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SD! Stuff, NWA-TNA PPV, Warrior Wrants,
and More....
June 7, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


The weekend is here and that means one thing:  boozing and whoring.  Oh wait, that's two things.  Which REALLY means that the weekend means THREE things, because we can't forget to toss in a healthy dose of those Weekend Newsbites, too.  Here goes:
  • Last night's SmackDown! saw Triple H earn the #1 Contender spot for King of the Ring...  he defeated Hulk Hogan in a one on one match after both were eliminated from a battle royal simultaneously.  That levels their "all time series" at one win apiece.
    After the match, HHH got Hogan back in the ring to do some posing, which was interrupted when Kurt Angle and the Undertaker attacked.  Looks like we got us some tag matches set up before we actually get to the pair of one-on-one PPV matches (HHH/Taker and Hogan/Angle), doesn't it?
    Also on SD!, Chris Jericho and the Big Valbowski both advanced to the round of 8 in the King of the Ring tournament.  Val beat Christian, while Jericho took a forfeit win over Edge.  Edge could not compete due to a shoulder injury that will require surgery; as part of his forfeit angle, Jericho attacked his shoulder viciously, further explaining Edge's upcoming absence.
    By the by:  Edge's promo was, I thought, his strongest and most convincing ever.  In the past, I've never bought the "serious Edge," and found him more entertaining when in the "goofy Edge" mode.  Last night's promo changed that, and actually lent some credence to his promise that when he gets back, he'll be going after the Undisputed Title.  I don't know if it's just his maturation as a performer or the from-the-heart nature of the subject matter, but the content and delivery both clicked, and the result was a very good promo that made Jericho's subsequent heel antics all the more effective.
    Let's see, what else should we talk about from last night?
    Well, the Hurri-Stalker has been revealed, and it was Nidia.  Nidia?  Yeah, that's what I thought at first...  but hold on, it all makes sense.  Nidia was looking to maybe rekindle an old relationship with Greg Helms; but he's "The Hurricane" now and was having none of it.  So Nidia promised that her new boyfriend would soon show up and kick Hurricane's ass.  And as if on cue, Jamie Knoble stormed the lockerroom, whooping it up like a pint-sized redneck as he stomped Hurricane to the floor.  Actually, I couldn't tell if they were going for "redneck" or "trailer park," but the latter is probably more accurate.  It came off almost like an over the top SNL skit:  the full of piss and vinegar trailer park trash and his ultra-libidinous girlfriend.  Whatever it was, it seemed to suit Nidia and Knoble well, and I can see this getting over.
    The match between Angle and Bob Holly was really solid, about even with Kidman/Storm for best on the night.  Angle and Holly went the stiff route, working a very convincing looking contest while the announce team did a nice job trying to give some historical context to their hostilities (bringing up Holly's broken arm at the hands of Angle).  Kidman/Storm was a little more fast-paced and loose, but loaded with action while it lasted; the sort of match that left you wishing they'd get 15 minutes on a PPV some day.
    On the story-telling side, we also got a hospital angle in which Torrie Wilson visited Maven and did some high quality banana work before Tajiri (in full doctor garb) could track them down.  The pay-off with Tajiri misting Torrie and attacking Maven's injured leg was worth some of the "Magic Camera" silliness, I thought... and there was also a bit of TE2 flava:  Jackie and Linda introduced themselves to Mr. McMahon (who was appropriately lecherous), pissing off Ivory in the process.  The upshot is it's Linda vs. Ivory this weekend on the Saturday night Velocity show.  [Nice to see Ivory on TV and doing some publicity work for the site in her OO jersey!]
    Pretty good show, all around.  Did a nice job of keeping me on UPN for vast stretches of time...  only a few times besides during commercials was I tempted to flip over to the MTV movie awards.  I saw the Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, and Panic Room skits...  did I miss any other ones?  I ask only because Jack Black is frickin' hilarious, and I know MTV will replay the show ad naseum this weekend if I want to catch it...
    In any case, this is probably the point where I'd tell you to check out the SD Recap if you wanted further details about the show... 'cept that I still haven't decided what the final disposition of the SD Recapping Job will be, and my stop gap measure -- one Christopher Robin Zimmerman -- is on a birthday bender (that wrinkly old bastard!).  So the above summary is all you get.
    Learn to love it.

  • The overnight rating for SD! came in at a 4.4.  That's down just one tenth of a point from last week's overnight number, though you'll remember last week's final rating came in at a rather disappointing 3.3...
    WWE may want to brace for another disappointment, since a lot of their target audience may have been attracted to the aforementioned MTV awards (Jack Black and top shelf tail will tend to do that) during SD!'s second hour, while the first hour of the show may have been hurt by a presidential address from W.  Not that big current events news from the White House necessarily appeals to the same target audience mentioned above, but...
    Ah hell, let's just wait and see what the final rating is...
  • Jerry Jarrett's NWA-TNA continues to load up their debut show in an attempt to lure wrestling fans to their PPV-only product.
    New names for the Royal-Rumble style "Gauntlet for the Gold" match (which will crown a new NWA Champion) include:  Rick Steiner, Konnan, Steve Corino, Norman Smiley, Devon "Crowbar" Storm, Vampire Warrior (formerly Gangrel in the WWF), and K-Krush (formerly K-Kwik in the WWF).  They join previously announced Scott Hall, Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock, Buff Bagwell, and Brian Christopher.
    Not all of these guys will be "full" time with NWA-TNA ("full" time meaning working 26 TV tapings per year, and that's it)... some of them are one-shot deals that the Jarretts are bringing in to boost interest in the debut show.
    As mentioned previously, former NWA Champs Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race, and Dory Funk are among those being brought in for the one-night-only crowning of a new champ.
    Also on the roster:  Jerry Lynn, Lenny/Lodi (with Joel Gertner, which could be hilarious), AJ Styles, Lo Ki, Joey Matthews & Christian York, the Harris Twins, and Jimmy Yang.  The T&A in NWA-TNA will be supplied by Francine, Elektra, the former Ryan Shamrock, the former Nitro Girl Tygress, Daffney, and indie diva Bobcat, who will all be competing in something called a "Lingerie Battle Royal."  Or maybe they're not all in that match, but they'll all be on the NWA-TNA roster, and the Lingerie Battle Royal will be taking place on the debut show.
  • A bunch of readers sent along a link to an article on the ESPN website that talks about steroid use, and how its use in pro wrestling may be a harbinger of what baseball will face in coming years.  Specifically, the article talks about the too-soon deaths of Davey Boy Smith and others, and how those deaths (and the degenerative condition of early steroid pioneer Billy Graham) are attributable to these performance- and physique-enhancing drugs.
    The thesis that baseball's current blind-eye policy towards steroids could lead to a pandemic similar to what pro wrestling faced (and still faces?) in the 80s, and then to the subsequent deaths and breakdowns of supposedly healthy athletes, is an intriguing one.
    I heartily recommend checking out the article at http://espn.go.com/magazine/assael_20020606.html.  And thanks to those of you who passed along the heads-up...

  • And I guess while on the topic of drug use and Davey Boy Smith, now would be as good a time as any to also mention that the (Ultimate) Warrior has chimed in on the topic as part of a very long missive on his website.
    Warrior, commendably, did not put forth any bogus schmaltz or emotion, though I'm sure that will result in a lot of people declaring him callous and self-centered.  Warrior basically posited that Davey Boy Smith died at 39 because he chose to; maybe not directly, but the choices he made led him to that end.
    It's probably as honest a take on the Bulldog's death as you'll read, and it comes from a guy who actually did know the specifics of Davey Boy's situation well enough to conclude these things.  For us as fans (who gauge our opinions and maintain our blissful ignorance based on the final product, the performance), it's probably not the sort of opinion any of us could dare to put forward.  But it's still probably worth reading.
    The rest of Warrior's lengthy return to the web covers a broad range of subjects:  he's a father and loving it (his daughter's name is "Indiana Warrior," or Indy for short)...  his legal battle with the WWF ended with an out of court settlement, but he then had to battle his own lawyers to get his share of the settlement...  he has no love for Hulk Hogan, and even tossed a few nasty words the way of Bret Hart (who recently wrote a pro-Hogan column in the Calgary Sun)...  he feels physically and mentally prepared enough to return to wrestling at any time, but does not know if he ever will (but does promise he'll never do so for WWE)...  he briefly talked with Jerry Jarrett about being a part of NWA-TNA, but now says that is no longer an option...  
    You can check out the entire message from the Warrior at www.ultimatewarrior.com/ww.06.06.02.htm. Be forewarned:  Warrior knows lots of big words and fancy (if not strictly grammatically correct) sentence structures, and likes to bludgeon you over the head with both.  

  • I just want to take a minute and clarify something from Wednesday...  I think some folks took my Confidential/Tough Enough 2 comments in the wrong vein.
    I was not saying this week's Confidential would suck because it features Tough Enough content.  I know anti-reality-TV is MY bias, and may not apply to you.  ["The Osbournes" worked because Ozzy is deservedly famous and therefore interesting to me...  Road Rules and The Real World and whatnot fail with me because they focus on uninteresting -- sometimes outright obnoxious -- every day people who may not even be worth a passing conversation if you met them in a bar.  This was less a problem on TE, since these people had a goal and couldn't afford to be total schmucks, but you get my point.]  I know a lot of you liked TE, and that's fine.  It had no bearing on my intended thesis...
    What I was really trying to do was call into question the value of "Confidential" and "Tough Enough" if both are simply going to be twisting "reality" into manufactured storylines.  People got excited about "Confidential" because it was real, a shoot.  But it turns out two weeks worth of Shawn Michaels talking about not coming back anytime soon turned into him coming back almost immediately.  Is it the "new work" or just a case of coincidence?  I don't know...  but it should underscore the fact that you need to be just as careful about marking out for something on "Confidential" or "Byte This" as for something on RAW or SmackDown!.
    And Tough Enough?  Let me just say this:  how "real" is the competition when there are just as many losers under developmental contract as there are winners?  The Fed can book storylines on TE, knowing that they can just turn around and still sign up somebody who has been cut...  again, it becomes no different than anything on RAW or SD, but it's under the guise of a competition and reality TV.
    All I was saying Wednesday was that sooner or later, people will catch on to the fact that maybe it's not so real afterall.  A lot of them already have.
    Or am I just way too cynical.
  • I screwed up on the front page yesterday:  I was anticipating receiving the Immolator's "The Ring" and put in a placeholder for it on a "staging area" copy of the main page.  Somehow, I uploaded the copy with the placeholder, even though I didn't have the actual column (and therefore no actual link)....
    Rest assured, Immo has filed his column now, and the link on the main page WILL take you to his latest exploits (with the Honkey Tonk Man, no less).
    Or if you're too lazy, this link will do the same thing!
  • I have been sent some good news just moments ago:  looks like WrestleCrap is back in a limited capacity (www.WrestleCrap.com).  It's not the whole entirety of the worst in wrestling, but you can still get yourself a nice little dose of suck.
    Hey, maybe if this OO Affiliate thing with AltWrestling works out, I could try to get the full Wr.....  [Dammit, Scaia, quit thinking out loud!]
    No need to put the cart before the horse...  
  • And no need to linger here any longer, either.  Let the boozing and the whoring begin!  I love the weekends...
    Party Hard!  



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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