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Best. Show. Ever... plus
Weekend NewsBites
September 27, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


We're probably gonna come up a little shorter than usual today...  well, either that, or I'll stretch this out to full-length with opinionated ranting and non-wrestling-related tangents.

In the name of eliminating the latter from consideration, let's just get down to business:

  • Last night's SmackDown! was, simply put, the best 2 hours of free wrestling television that I can recall all year.  Hell, if booze hadn't robbed me of my long-term memory, I'd probably be confident enough to call it the best 2 hours since the Fed's last renaissance in May 2001...
    Let's start with the obvious and say, yes, there was an amazing Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero match.  It definitely tops Eddie/RVD's ladder match for "Free TV Match of the Year" honors at this point...  and more importantly, it was so exciting and entertaining that I didn't once have a chance to stop and wonder, "Well, if THIS is the blow-off to their feud, then what the hell did I pay $35 for on Sunday?"  Nope.  Smart ass internet guy took a vacation, and I sat in my house, all alone, shouting, clapping, and jumping up off the couch as the match reached it's crescendo.
    At the time, the close of the match, where they left the cameras on Eddie Guerrero as he got a post-match standing ovation, struck me as odd.  I know they do that sort of stuff live at the arena, but usually it doesn't make it onto TV (as it dilutes the heelishness of the character).  But as the show wore on, and Tazz and Michael Cole went to great lengths to hype the "spirit of competition" aspect of SmackDown!'s athlete's over RAW's, the idea of fans giving Eddie an ovation didn't seem like such an alien idea.  SD!'s roster already delivered a PPV match where fans were cheering the athleticism (Benoit/Angle) and not the characters, so this was just another chance for fans to do the same (and to condition the fans who are lagging behind on the learning curve that it's OK to cheer bad guys when they bust ass in the ring).
    Or maybe I'm overthinking the whole thing, and Eddie got his cheers because of San Diego's heavily-Mexican population, and all that other stuff was just a bonus.
    Also, the Benoit vs. Angle vs. Rey Mysterio main event was played perfectly.  Angle kept ousting Rey from the match so he could get his revenge on Benoit, and the two worked great together, as usual.  But eventually Rey got involved and got to hit his highspots (the double (619) was sweet!).  And of course, letting Mysterio score the pinfall win (over Benoit) in his hometown was a really cool moment.
    Rey was, quite possibly, the most over man in the building last night.  And on top of that, the finish of the match just might mean that Rey vs. Benoit is something we can look forward to next week.  Given that Cole closed the show by saying "Tonight was good, but we're determined to top ourselves next week," I'd be fired up for that prospect!
    What else?  Both the Lesnar/Funaki and Lesnar/Undertaker segments were outstanding bits of storytelling, and had some good action mixed in.  In the case of Funaki's interview with Lesnar, we got some impressive power moves from Lesnar (rendered all the more impressive by Funaki's bumping).  And prior to Lesnar bloodying up the Taker, we had a similarly one-sided-but-effective wrestling match with Taker and Matt Hardy. [Question:  why were we allowed to see blood when it was in the arena, but when they cut to Taker stumbling around woozily in a dressing room, the footage was black and white?]
    Even the Bikini Contest (which normally translates into "Throw-away Time Killer") was pretty fun, what with Nidia's busting of several moves and all.  And it segued seamlessly into a Billy/Chuck vs. Tajiri/Knoble tag match, too, which was really nicely done.  The four had a solidly worked match, and if it meant keeping two broads in swimsuits at ringside for the duration, well, no complaints here. 
    Actually, the way they paced the show, I think that just about covers all the results:  segments were longer and more drawn out.  The "anti-Crash TV" style meant fewer overall segments and fewer guys got to be on TV, but it also meant that what we did get was allowed to develop really nicely.
    Oh, wait, I did forget one thing:  Rikishi pinning Chavo Guerrero in the opening match.  Really good outing for Chavo, and Rikishi's win was a "crowd pleasing" way to kick off the show.
    If you want all the result put in the right order, then you can click here for those results.
  • The overnight rating for SD! came in at a 4.3.  That's down from 4.9 two weeks ago and 4.6 last week. Blame season debuts of Survivor, CSI, NBC's Must-See TV, etc...
    Of course, the really important number will be the final broadcast rating, which will be included in Monday's OO.  If the final number doesn't decline much, then there's nothing to complain about.
  • When "Road Dogg" BG James worked Wednesday's NWA-TNA pay-per-view, it was said to be despite a car wreck over the weekend that caused injuries sufficient for James to miss some bookings.
    However, I was contacted by a representative of an independent promotion who said that James' story of a car accident was suspect.  In fact, James has in the past used the precise same story (including the internal injuries and "knees banging into the dashboard" details) to get out of working shows so he can accept higher-paying bookings, according to this person.
    The interpretation one might make, then, is that James recycled his car wreck story this past weekend, and that the promotion(s) that James could not wrestle for spread that story.  They might have been surprised to see James working (the no-doubt well-paying) TNA PPV with no apparent ill effects, just four days later.
    If that inference is erroneous, and James really was shook up in a car accident, then all apologies to him, and we're all happy to see he recovered fully...  but if not... well, I guess next time, he'll at least need to come up with a new story, eh?
  • This week (actually, in mere minutes!), "Byte This" will eminate from The World in Times Square (formerly WWF New York)...  no confirmation on whether the move is gonna be a permanent one, but the thinking is that this is the sort of thing that could boost business for The World (which has started struggling of late).
    Tommy Dreamer, Dawn Marie, and Steven Richards will be the guests live at The World.  No, it's not an ECW theme show... it's just that all three live in the area and can easily make the trip in to Times Square.

  • OO Reader "Bob from Boston" mailed in yesterday with something that sounded pretty cool: wrestling matches between characters that dress up like they belong in old Japanese monster movies!
    "Kaiju Big Battel" held a live event in Boston, and Bob had a blast (though he notes, "Scott Keith would hate it"... apparently, the monster costumes are a hinderance to top shelf workrate!).  I checked out their website at www.kaiju.com, and nearly busted a gut. The informative dossier on Hell Monkey (member of Dr. Cube's Posse) and the revelation that Silver Potato uses his dreaded Au Gratin Style Kick to beat his foes were just some of the things I enjoyed.  I was also dismayed to hear of the passing of the infamous Club Sandwich. [Note to the Kaiju people:  send me free videos, please!  I suspect once I see the spectacle that is Kaiju with my own eyes, your prize would be non-stop glowingly positive plugs here in OO!]
    You can get full results from the Boston show at the website (in addition to the hilarious bios and such).  Also, they've got info on their next show -- at New York's Roxy on November 14th -- there.  In addition to a big "Battel," they'll have guest DJs that night, including Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (how sweet is that?).
  • Hey, I said today would be a bit on the short side...  I gots stuff to to do this weekend, anyway.  Tonight, the National Drink returns to Elbo's after plying its skills elsewhere for the past 2 months, and then tomorrow, I continue my consecutive weekends leaving Dayton streak (Indy, for the Formula 1 race).
    So if I seem to be in a bit of a rush to ditch you people, that's why!  See you Monday, though... 


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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