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RAW Stuff, Aussie News, 
WrestleMania 19, and More...
August 7, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Usually, Wednesday is the day when you come to OO looking for spoilers... well, we've had 'em since Monday, you fools!  For SmackDown/Velocity results, click here.  And if you want Heat spoilers, they are at the bottom of CRZ's RAW Recap.

Now, the rest of the mid-week news:

  • Monday's RAW was... well... not exactly what I was hoping for.  It seemed clear that the "Who attacked HBK?" was gonna be the story upon which the whole show depended on to carry it, and after a promising start (as part of the amusing "Jericho keeps getting interrupted" opening promo), things went downhill.
    From the start, let me say this:  Triple H is the right guy for the job.  There's enough depth to the HBK/HHH relationship that this makes some semblance of sense (above and beyond Michaels' tendency to get punked out in parking lots and HHH's tendency to set up parking lot attacks), and since we've always seen cliquesters get that much more motivated to have good matches against each other, it's probably the ideal pairing for Michaels' comeback match.  
    But that said, I'm not sure about the execution.  I'm not sure this is the right story or the right time to have made HHH be the guy.
    First off, I've done my "they should have stretched this storyline out" spiel enough times that I don't have to tell you that I think this is one angle that need to play out over time, instead of in one 5 minute face-to-face promo with cheesy video-distortion special effects.  Maybe you don't let it lie dormant and then bring it back like Austin's parking lot attack, but take a little time, and then let "Michaels' injuries" be an excuse to delay his actual in-ring return a bit longer beyond that.  Using the one week later/"surveillance camera" gimmick just didn't do it for me...  and CRZ's right:  if GTV were still around, at least THEY would have gotten the image centered and at a watchable resolution!
    And secondly, as far as HHH's explanation went...  "I was trying to protect you" is lame beyond words.  If it's supposed to be a serious indicator of the depth of feeling between, I'm not buying it...  but maybe it's supposed to be more of a "Triple H is looking for some dumb excuse and this is the best he could come up with" vibe?  I guess in that case, it works?
    And in the execution, they should have shut her down shortly after Michaels said, "You're damn right" in regards to if he was issuing HHH a challenge.  Because from there, we just degenerated into what felt like an eternity of Kenny Rogers' lyrics.  Ugh.  [Trust me, all of HHH's stuff about HBK's bad back and how he would cripple Michaels and ruin his personal life would have played just as well as part of future week monologues instead of as part of the face-to-face on Monday.]
    But I sit here two days later, and it's not like it was so bad that it's stuck in my craw...  it was more an annoyance.  Two days later, what's stuck in my head is the fact that Shawn Michaels comeback match is now less than three weeks away.  Ultimately, that's something I'm fired up for.
    Some other things I had a problem with:  Eric Bischoff pushing a movie commercial as a big special event gave me a serious Nitro vibe, in a bad way...  dusting off Sgt. Slaughter isn't necessarily a bad idea, because he's surprised us a few times with solid outings for an old guy; we didn't get that on Monday, though...  and Jerry Lawler with Molly Holly was so one-note-annoying in a way that only a sixth-grader spouting his first double entendre could be that I wished I could reach through the TV screen to slap him.
    Outside of that, RAW had some good stuff:  
    Chris Jericho had a great night, with some funny old school heel stuff in his opening promo, followed up by a very good main event match against Rob Van Dam...  I think he and Flair should click well together for an extended feud, and have been saying as much since Flair debuted back last November.
    Booker/Goldust vs. Regal/Nowinski was also a surprisingly good match.  Work the arm, Harvard!  Now, Nowinski's hiring may go a long way to supporting my thesis about the pointlessness of the "Tough Enough" concept (the game show where the losers win!), but he's rapidly showing himself to be worthy of his spot, both in terms of early in-ring development and his despicability as a character. [BTW, I'm surprised it took them so long to come up with the idea for Mini-Dust...]
    Also, please don't think less of me, but Lillian Garcia and Howard Finkel in Bischoff's Three Minute Warning segment was another guilty pleasure of mine.  These bits are not only a cool way to get the Island Boyz and their basic moveset over, but it's a nice piece of development for Bischoff's character.  Here's to future Three Minute Warnings!
    For full details from Monday's RAW, I -- as always -- point you towards CRZ's RAW Recap.  [Please note:  if the Fed actually buys Z's theory about his recaps and RAW ratings, then I'm afraid I'm also going to have to demand $1000 a week to NOT PUBLISH CRZ's recaps.  As a free service, I'll also not get anyone to replace him.]
  • Speaking of RAW ratings, they held steady this week.  Another 3.7, with slow, steady growth in the audience throughout the show.
    Now, just holding steady isn't necessarily the greatest of news, but in this case, RAW was up against a pre-season edition of Monday Night Football (which featured the New York Giants, who are bound to draw well in some of WWE's key northeast markets).  Also, some suspect that the debut of E!'s attempt to cash in on "The Osbournes," a reality show focused on Anna Nicole Smith, could have an effect on RAW's main demographic.  But against it all, RAW held steady.
  • The final line-up for this weekend's "Global Warning Tour" show in Melbourne, Australia, has been issued.  And both Hulk Hogan and Triple H are absent.  Needless to say, both were a big part of advertising done for the show, so time will tell how the huge Aussie crowd of 55,000 reacts when the final bell is sounded on Saturday night...
    The main event will now be a SummerSlam preview, with Brock Lesnar going up against the Rock for the WWE Title.  Compounding the key absences is the fact that the Fed will almost HAVE to go with a non-decisive finish in the main event, since they'll want to keep the strap on the Rock without ruining Brock's streak of having not been pinned or made to submit.  Hope you like DQs down under...
    Edge/Chris Jericho and Rikishi/Kurt Angle are the other top matches slated for the event.  Most of the crew is already in Australia, and a final round of promotional appearances has begun.  The Fed wants to make a good impression, so that future tours can be scheduled...
  • Weak rumors that Seattle's Safeco Field was an early favorite to host next year's WrestleMania are intensifying.  In fact, it is possible that an official announcement could be made while WWE is in town for next week's back-to-back RAW and SmackDown! tapings.
    An interesting aside:  this year's WM venue was announced last year when the Fed was in Toronto for back-to-back TV tapings...
  • Canadian readers have mailed in to say that their edition of RAW is once again being edited in key spots:  the last two weeks' worth of appearances by the Island Boyz have been excised, since they represent violence against women that is forbidden by CRTC restrictions.
  • There are entertainment industry reports that Rob Cohen -- director of both "The Fast and the Furious" and the new "xXx" -- is interested in hooking up with The Rock for a quasi-bio-pic about Hawaii's King Kamehameha.  The earliest you would see production on that begin is mid-next-year, since both men have commitments to a project before they could get to it.  [As you know, the Rock begins filming on the Christopher Walken vehicle "Helldorado" after SummerSlam.]
  • OO Reader Jason Winter has been tracking this for a couple weeks...  
    On Monday, Jeff Hardy completed a damned impressive (in a trivial way) streak of RAWs:  he competed for five different titles on five consecutive editions of the show.
    Starting five shows ago, Jeff competed for the Undisputed Title.  Four shows ago, he won the European Title.  Three shows ago, he competed for the IC Title (and lost the Euro Title in the process).  Last week, he competed for the Hardcore Title.  This week, he reunited with brother Matt to compete for the Tag Team Titles.
    It's kind of a cool string of shows for Jeff, though I'm sure he wishes he'd walked away from it with more than one week of holding a now-defunct title...
  • Finally, a bit of preview for tonight's NWA-TNA show...
    Rick Steamboat will again be in the house overseeing happenings in his figurehead capacity.
    The main event will pit "The Truth" Ron Killings against NWA Champ Ken Shamrock... but most eyes will be focused on AJ Styles defending the X Division Title against Low Ki and his own tag team partner, Jerry Lynn in what should be the show-stealing match of the night.   Those two matches should pretty well carry the show...
    Other stuff promised for tonight:  Jeff Jarrett vs. Apolo...  Don Harris vs. Malice in a first blood match...  the Flying Elvisses take on the Spanish Announce Team and Amazing Red... and because no TNA show is complete without some VRap,  "Bruce" (formerly Kwee Wee) takes on Taylor Vaughn in an evening gown match to determine who is "Miss TNA".
    Give TNA a look if you like, or just come on back to OO to see how much longer CRZ will keep recapping the shows for us!
  • See you all again on Friday with another full-length OO... but don't skip us tomorrow!  Jeb Lund and Kyle Maxwell will both have new columns for you, and they both promise to be outstanding...


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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