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Hart Update, and Other Weekend
July 5, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


We may come in significantly shorter than usual today, but I figure a little something is better than nothing at all...  here's the weekend news:
  • First up is an update on Bret Hart...
    As I mentioned on Wednesday, Hart had previously committed to making an appearance for Premier Championship Wrestling on July 25 in Winnipeg.  PCW had been receiving assurances that Hart would be making the scheduled date.
    Unfortunately, yesterday, they were told the plans have changed.  Bret Hart will not be making the July 25 appearance, and PCW's promoter now wonders just how much of the previous word he'd gotten from Hart's camp (about his condition and scheduled release from the hospital in the next few days) might have been a snowjob.
    Obviously, it's best for all involved if the truth is out there, rather than reams of disinformation.  On one hand, it allows a company like PCW to move on and to schedule replacement talent... but on another, it allows Bret and his fans to be on the same page in terms of knowing what's really going on and that we still need to keep Bret in our thoughts.
    So again:  disregard Wednesday word of Bret Hart making a scheduled appearance on July 25 for PCW.  He remains hospitalized at this time, and we continue to send him our best wishes for a full recovery.
  • No overnight ratings are available at this time for last night's SmackDown!, but I'm guessing the news can't be all that good, what with it being a holiday and all.
    I just got done watching my tape of the show, and I thought that it was actually a very strong effort, given the fact that they had to know viewership would be down.  Hogan and Edge's tag title win over Billy and Chuck was probably the highlight for me.  It was cool seeing "Real American" make a one-night comeback.  It was cool seeing the "I can't believe I'm winning the tag titles with Hulk Hogan" look on Edge's face.  It was even cool seeing Billy go through the match with the "I can't believe I'm dropping these titles for like the 37th time in my career" look on his face.  
    I had a brainstorm, mid-match, that Edge should have turned on Hogan and joined the rest of the Canadians... if Edge wants to be a break out singles star, that might have really taken off (since it seems there's more potential room on the heel side of the roster just now).  The same "Fourth of July" vibe that made Hogan's "Real American" such a cool part of the match would have added extra oomph to Edge turning heel, too.  
    But Edge and Hogan as a team is cool, too...  maybe the time is wrong to toss Edge's popularity aside, so this is precisely the right move to continue to elevate Edge.  
    Kurt Angle was also as outstanding as usual, both in his mic work and in having a solid main event match with the Undertaker.  I'm not necessarily sold on the cutesy finish, but it certainly served its purpose:  putting Angle solidly back in the Title hunt, along with Taker, Rock, and HHH.
    For the time being, you can get the full results of last night's show right here.  We'll probably add the CRZ SD! recap once the man is back from his July 4 vacation...  
  • WWE has settled its federal defamation lawsuit against the PTC and the lawyer of Lionel Tate.  The Fed's belief is that the PTC made misleading and inaccurate statements about then-WWF programming and advertiser behavior, while Tate's lawyer used an unfair "pro wrestling made him do it" defense to try to get Tate off on the murder charges he faced.
    From the PTC, WWE will receive $3.5 million and has already gotten a public apology from the group.  Also as part of the out of court settlement, they'll get a formal apology from Tate's lawyer, Jim Lewis.
    The WWE's announcement of the settlement -- along with the full text of the PTC apology -- can be found right here.
    It's nice to see the PTC eat some crow...  everyone's entitled to an opinion, and to express it, but at the end of the day, a "watchdog group" oughta sit down, relax, and let the individual at home decide what he or she is going to watch on TV.  They can point out what they believe is inappropriate, but should ultimately have absolutely no say in what is available for us to choose from.
    Hey, the PTC's down $3.5 million... but the damage is already done for us fans.  We've lost crotch-chops, the Godfather's ho's, and thongs in the 9pm hour...  and I don't think they'll be coming back.  
    I'll be happy if I make it through my life without ever hearing the letters "PTC" strung together again...
  • Speaking of formal apologies, I guess Ed Ferrera (of NWA-TNA fame) had to issue one, too...  something about an inappropriate joke about the Special Olympics.
    I mention it not because I find it particularly news-worthy, but because in all of the falling all over each other to make the politically correct retraction, nobody is actually mentioning what the inappropriate joke was.  CRZ didn't even mention it in his recap last week...
    So, to somebody who saw the offending show:  could you let me in on what the heinous comment was?  I mean, c'mon, it can't have been any worse that that one article from the Onion a while back, and nobody got pissy at them!
  • WWE has announced March 30, 2003, as the date for WrestleMania XIX...  no venue has been finalized, and in fact, the WWE statement says that several different cities remain under consideration.
    I wonder if the return to the full roman numerals ("XIX") is going to stick, or if we'll eventually be treated to WM "X-9"...

  • Triple H was slated to be a part of the kick off to the OzzFest tour this weekend... but as you may have heard, the first few shows of the tour have been postponed, as Ozzy remains at his wife, Sharon's, side following her surgery to treat a recently discovered cancer.
    WWE was supposed to be a big part of this year's OzzFest, so I'm sure some superstar appearances will be rescheduled along with this weekend's shows...
  • The Rock's appearance on Saturday Night Live from earlier this year is being rerun tomorrow night on NBC.  Check it out, if you can... but don't go out of your way, or anything.  I didn't think it was as funny as the Rock's first outing on SNL...
    WWE would probably rather have you watching "Confidential" in that timeslot, anyway!
  • And with that, I'm about out of ammo.  Hey, I said this'd be shorter than usual...
    See y'all again on Monday with RAW preview and other news.



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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