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Catching up on News....
September 4, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I guess we all know what my word's good for, eh?  I wound up taking Monday off, and after I said I wouldn't...  well, it was one half just not feeling up to it and enjoying a restful day; but it was also one part not really having anything to talk about.  I would have had "well, apparently, the plan is to add a second world title, possibly as soon as tonight's RAW," and that's have been about it.

There's still not necessarily a ton of news-y type stuff even today, but it's definitely time to get caught up:

  • As mentioned, Monday's RAW saw Eric Bischoff bring back the old "World Title" belt (itself a mock-up of the long-time NWA Title belt) and award it to Triple H.
    There's a time not so long ago when I would probably have gotten kinda pissy about just creating a world title out of nowhere.  But mid-2002, this is a strange landscape.  Between the recent title contractions on RAW (Hardcore and Euro Titles are gone) and the fact that they need to take steps to build genuine brand disparity, I think having two World Titles might actually be a good move.
    I think some of you might even go that far with me.  But I also get the impression that you wouldn't follow me quite so far as saying Triple H is the man for the job.  Because he's a bad person who has only gotten where he is today because of his political clout, right?
    So you say.  I say given the atmosphere on RAW right now, you want a heel in that spot (because this way, your RVD's and Booker T's can join "The Chase" as they attempt to break out as main event faces).  And HHH's mixed fan reactions aside, he'll be the best man to get chased.  Chris Jericho's the only other even remotely feasible option out there... and trust me, I like Jericho as much as anyone, but I just feel like if you're gonna have an atmosphere like this one, HHH is way more convincing a guy to have to chase down than Jericho.  Or rather: it'll mean more if/when RVD or Booker gets over on HHH than if they got over on Jericho.
    So I liked the way a lot of the HHH stuff on RAW played out. He got handed the title, which is a bit weak, yes, but it's a heelish way to get it.  He semi-legitimized it with a decent little match against Ric Flair, but then set up a lot of future storylines by getting pinned by Rob Van Dam in the main event.  See what I mean:  RVD pinning HHH gets special mention.  But if it'd been RVD over Jericho in the same situation, it'd have been an afterthought, almost...
    Also good: Shawn Michaels interview, which was about a billion times more effective than the last time he joined up "via satellite."  So when he comes back, all withered away and in a wheel chair, what happens?  Is it (a) he winds up being miraculously recovered and stands up to attack HHH once HHH turns his back at the wrong moment? Or (b) they stretch the feud out even longer by having HHH attack a wheel-chair-ridden HBK?  I'd like the latter one, just because everybody's gonna be expecting the former.
    And Terri/Stacy was good in the guilty pleasure sort of way.  It was short, it was eye candy, and even my brain got a bit of something out of it.  Because the line of the night was either the King saying, "Use your monkey on her."  Or it was JR noting that the King had something sticky on his hand, "not that there's anything new about that." Tee hee.
    Big Show/Dreamer was kinda pointless, as was this week's excuse for a Three Minute Warning (Crash Holly defects? Whoop de doo!).  And even if Lawler might have gotten in some humorous innuendo in the pillow fight, he was downright awful and obnoxious during the mixed tag.  It usually seems like his emotional development ceased at age 12, and not, we can also guess that his understanding of basic female physiology ceased to develop at roughly the same time.  HYMEN!
    CRZ's got the full details from Monday's show right here.
  • RAW ratings are being held up by the holiday weekend.  I'll have them on Friday, no dobut...
    Other WWE weekend ratings (Velocity, Confidential, and Heat) were either very slightly down or pretty even with past performances. But when you're talking about the difference between "around 1.0" and "a little under 1.0," I don't know as that it matters much...
  • The final rating for last week's SD! wound up being a 3.1, which though down about a half point from recent performances, might not be as bad as expected.  The show was pre-empted in almost a dozen markets, including the nation's biggest (New York City).
    In addition to that, MTV's Video Music Awards wound up scoring a monstrous 8-point-something rating, with a huge chunk of that coming in the WWE's core 12-34 demographic.
    All things considered, a 3.1 doesn't look so bad, afterall...
  • After his success over the weekend in Tokyo, Bill Goldberg has agreed to perform for All Japan Pro Wrestling six more times in the next year.  The year-long deal, however, is non-exclusive, which means Goldberg is free work elsewhere (including here in the US), if he chooses to, as long as he honors his handful of commitments to AJPW.
    We reported on Goldberg's first match last week, and he was victorious over Taiyo Kea in similar fashion the next night: he won in 4 minutes.  Contrary to my report last week, though, he didn't use the jackhammer (either night) to win.  In fact, they sort of played this fact up, and made it into a reason by AJPW fans should turn out when Goldberg's next appears for the company (likely in November).
    My apologies.  I saw a report from the first show that called Goldberg's finisher some kind of wacky slam, which I just thought was the mangled-by-translation name for the jackhammer; turns out, it was just a chokeslam he used.  I think.
  • Tommy Dreamer's getting married in October.  And yes, 1Wrestling confirms what we all pretty much assumed: it's to Theresa Hayes, who was once the hottest babe in all of wrestling when she was "Beulah McGuillicutty."  Because yes, she was hot, but also because there was something about a girl so bad-ass that she once caused Bill Alfonso to loss like a third of his body's entire blood supply in a match that was way better than anyone expected!
    Congrats to both.
  • A word about NWA-TNA: the show is on a semi-hiatus, and returns to live action in two weeks.  At that time, OO will have a new weekly recapper.  It's all taken care of... but I don't feel the need to rush in with a new guy just in time to get something like tonight's recap show.
    Then again, if you haven't sampled TNA, yet, tonight's show would be a good one for you:  it's an all-X-Division special, which have been the matches that have single-handedly made TNA worth watching most weeks.  Yes, it's nothing new.  But it'll be mostly stuff that was damned good.
  • Apparently, you won't have to worry about any other NBA players ever stepping into the wrestling ring...  in an attempt to lower insurance premiums, NBA teams have written new clauses into contracts, one of which forbids players from pro wrestling.
    But what about doing wheelies on your motorcycle, like whoever that baseball player was (Jeff Kent, I think)?  You can legislate against wrestling, I guess, but not necessarily against stupidity!
  • Whatever malaise may have come over the rasslin' industry stateside sure isn't affecting things overseas.  I know three of the Fed's next Euro tour dates (with the SD! crew) have already sold out (in mere hours)...  and tix for Helsinki, Finland, just went on sale two days ago, and are probably either gone or close to it, as well.
  • Hey, if you got pissed off by my Video Music Awards rant last Friday, sorry.  Just remember, it's one guy's opinion, and you're not obliged to agree.
    That said, I took most heat from GnR fans, and I am compelled to respond.  Because as soon as Fallon did his little "Patience" tease before the last commercial, I was sitting there, wanting Axl and Crew to blow the entire last two hours out of the water.  I wanted them to kick ass, but I didn't think they did.  What makes it worse is that in talking to tons of people over the next few days, most of 'em felt the same way.  But hey, one performance does not a career make, and GnR has done some good stuff in the past, and will hopefully step up and have more good in the future.
    No real apologies about my Justin Timerberlake rant, though.  Except that one guy wrote in to tell me apparently, he actually does get writing credits on a lot of his (and NSync's) material.  OK, so maybe he does write some of a words, and gets to decide how many choruses until the "break down" for the goofy dancing kicks in...  my bad.
    And Emimen?  Let's just say I'll be glued to "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" tonight, as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is scheduled to appear!
  • Last thing for today is another OO Reader-run Fantasy Hockey league.  This one is roto style, with a live draft on October 5.  League ID# is 4187, and password is "eaton."  Enjoy.
  • See you on Friday with more news and views.....


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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