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Ratings Info, and Other Weekend
September 6, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Oy, the pain.  Who'd have known talking about the VMAs would get me more flame mail than my wrestling opinions?  Here today, I officially drop the issue...  maybe I'll just too old to be trying to relate to a network that seems to pander mostly to 13 year-old-girls, anyway?

So instead, it's on to analyzing the industry that panders to mostly teenage boys:

  • It's with a great sense of shame that I have to report that I did not watch SmackDown! last night...  so my "Official OO RAW/SmackDown! Battle for Supremacy" will have to go on hold for another week.  I can't rate what I didn't watch.
    But I did do the spoiler report, so I sorta know what went down.  And on top of that, I had a fairly detailed discussion about the show last night at the bar with another of Dayton's most enthusiastic fans.  That brought a few other things to light that didn't make the spoilers...
    Such as, Paul Heyman bringing Undertaker's wife into the Lesnar/Taker face-to-face showdown... apparently, Sara's pregnant, and Heyman doesn't want to be responsible for when Lesnar leaves the child fatherless, or something like that.  I'll say this:  pregnancy angles generally don't work in wrestling, as has been proven time and time again.  But given who's driving the ship, this one has a better chance of coming out Heyman (remember the hot lesbian action as the pay-off to his Beulah pregnancy?), than coming out Russo (remember Stacy's baby?  oh, you don't?  I wonder why?).
    Also, the Billy/Chuck gay wedding angle was made a centerpiece of the show, and was hyped as being a really big deal on next week's broadcast.  I'd have guessed a mid-card tag team would get a mid-card wedding, but they really played it up throughout the show.  Hey, for whatever it's worth, I say if you're gonna do a thing, do it all the way; it's about time they pulled the trigger on Billy and Chuck.  At least now, if the gimmick tanks, it'll tank spectacularly.  Fizzling away on the mid-card is no way to go...
    It's not for lack of want that the Fed has taken this long with B&C...  it's probably more a concern over ruffling feathers with something that's probably gonna be controversial to some.  Remember, back at the height of Attitude, the company wanted to do a gay wedding with Brian Lawler and Scotty 2 Hotty, but backed off (though I guess the participants, or at least one of them, wasn't gung ho on the idea, anyway).  But here we are three-plus years later, and it's gonna happen.  I hope the Fed knows what they're doing, otherwise, they might end up pissing off close-minded assholes or the homosexual community.  Or maybe even both.
    The only other thing I remember hearing about was that Brock Lesnar's win over Randy Orton was really impressive, with both guys looking good in their roles (even if Orton's was primarily "Brock's bitch").  Given that they worked together for a really long time in OVW, that's not surprising...
    Everything else was essentially as I remember it from the spoiler report.  And if you're like me and missed it, you can get the basic details from last night's show right here.
  • The overnight rating for last night's SmackDown! came in at 4.2...  that's the same as last week's overnight, a number which eventually settled at a mildly disappointing level due to pre-emptions in key markets (like NYC) and competition from the very highly rated VMAs.
    This week, there are more pre-emptions (including NYC again), and also the first regularly season NFL game on ESPN featured the Giants and must have drawn big numbers in New York.  And across the country, for that matter...
    A final number will be included in Monday's OO.
  • RAW's rating on Monday night wound up being a 3.6, which is down a bit from the previous week's 3.9/4.0 (final number disputed, depending on who I talked to).
    I would think that most people would have been back home and settled after the long weekend, so I won't try to pin this loss on the holiday...
  • Last week, Lycos reported that "WWE" rose impressively to the 16th most commonly searched for term on their site.  In prior week's it had falled as low as the 30s.  Which still is pretty impressive, but consider that it used to be a staple of the top ten a few years ago.
  • Ohio Valley Wrestling opened its upgraded arena with a big show on Wednesday night.  The WWE developmental fed was supposed to have the benefit of Brock Lesnar defending the World Title in the main event, but Lesnar is said to have suffered a minor elbow injury at the previous night's TV tapings, and did not compete.
    However, Lesnar did appear on the show in a non-wrestling capacity, and they did an angle at the start of the show in which Chris Benoit took over Lesnar's main event slot against "Machine" Doug Basham (who was accompanied by Victoria). Benoit was victorious.
    Other familiar names to appear on the card (which was hyped as being something of a "reunion show" for past OVW performers) included:  Chris Nowinski (lost to Charlie Haas), Randy Orton (lost to Damaja), Rico (lost to Lance Cade), Mark Henry (was on the losing end of a tag match), Sean O'Haire (lost to Mark Jindrak), and John Cena (lost to Nova)...  I think I notice a trend!  Hey, at least they let Benoit get one over on an OVW performer!
    Jim Ross was present at the show, no doubt primarily to get a first hand look at some of the developmental talent.  But he also lent his broadcasting skills to a couple of the matches, as the show was taped for future airing...
  • At some point in the next few months, RAW will be celebrating it's 500th Episode.  Or at least, I THINK they should make it to #500 before they hit the 10 year anniversary (unless there were more genuine pre-emptions -- ones where the show was NOT rescheduled to air in another slot -- than I'm remembering)...  somebody else want to do the precise math on this one for me?
    In any case, I mention it because OO Reader Guyver mailed in with an interesting idea...  building on my own half-assed fantasy booking idea from a while back, he suggests that the 500th Episode of RAW would be the perfect time for Eric Bischoff to pull an ultra-dick move of rebranding the show as "WCW Nitro."  As part of the operation, Guyver also thinks that the IC Title should somehow get shunted over to SD!, while Bischoff could re-instate the TV Title and its unique rules for RAW/Nitro's secondary belt.
    Works for me...  but the same caveat that applied when I mentioned the idea months ago still applies today:  Vince McMahon is highly unlikely to be willing to let the brand he's spent a decade building up get tossed aside in favor of the brand he invested so much in defeating soundly.
  • "Piledriver" -- a wrestling comedy show -- has returned to the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in NYC, every Saturday Night at midnight.  The premise of the show is that the WWCFW is a struggling independent promotion that has to sneak themselves (and a full audience) into venues covertly in order to do shows.
    The show is different every week.  Apparently, there are no reruns in wrestling satire, either!
    If the UCB Theatre is in any way related to the Upright Citizen's Brigade that was on Comedy Central, chances are good that "Piledriver" is pretty funny.  I think a girl from that show is on SNL, now, and one of the guys is on the Daily Show.  And hell, it's gotta be the same people, because now my vague memories of the show include an episode where Sting appeared (near the very height of his and WCW's popularities).
    The press release I got says you can get more info at www.ucbtheatre.com or by e-mailing swarmbill@yahoo.com.  And if you NYC types do check the show out, I'd love to hear what you thought about it!
  • Speaking of things you folks should check out:  this time, this applies to folks around Washington, DC.
    OO's own Mark Coale will be among those selling his wares at the 2002 Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD.  In addition to Mark's Odessa Steps Magazine, there will be hundreds of other publishers and comics creators represented at the event.  Get more info at www.spxpo.com.
    Not that Mark needs me to plug him...  apparently, he's got Kornheiser handling that department!
  • You can stick a fork in me, because I am done...  see you Monday.


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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