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Big Show, Ratings News, and Hot 
Vulcan Chicks(?)... Must Be Friday!
November 1, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


OK, so that bit last Friday about how it was great to have some REAL NEWS to talk about over the weekend?  Forget it... we're back in the shitter again this Friday!

Let's see how we can reheat, recycle, and rehash to make this seem like a worthwhile 25KB:

  • Last night's SmackDown! was good for many reasons, one of which came as a bit of a surprise.
    Look, I know Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show is not gonna be a good wrestling match in any traditional sense of the word(s).  But after last night, they just might be able to do something dramatic and entertaining nonetheless.  How?  Simply by beating us over the head with the concept that Brock is the underdog (no matter how ludicrous the concept of "Big Show as WWE Champion" seems to our rational minds).
    Think about it... Brock's a babyface for the first time.  He's an underdog for the first time.  He's up against somebody on whom he cannot perform his signature moves.  It doesn't matter so much that the pay-off will be eight minutes of plodding (if we're fortunate)...  what'll matter is that this role for Brock is fresh and interesting.  And more to the point:  what'll matter is when Brock still, somehow, manages to F-5 Big Show.
    Face it:  Heyman and the announcers harped on the idea that "Lesnar can't F-5 the Big Show" so much that you HAVE to know Lesnar will prove them wrong in the end.  And I don't give a damn if you call it "telegraphing" or whatever.  You can tell me I'm gonna see it, and I'm still gonna be amazed when it happens.  So even if it's not a **** match, we'll all still walk away with a vivid memory of the finish.  That ain't all bad.
    For as much as I am not a fan of the Big Show, I gotta tip my hat to everybody involved (from Show for his re-discovered physical dominance to the creative team for finding just the right tone to the feud) for making this not nearly as painful and obnoxious a World Title rivalry as I'd feared it would be.
    And last night, you also had the more "conventional" reasons for liking SmackDown!, too... well, "conventional" to the internet smart mark types, anyway.  And as usual, those reasons included such arguments as ANGLE~!, EDDIE~!, EDGE~!, and the ever popular BENOIT~!.  [No, I don't really know the significance of the "~!" thing, nor do I care.  It's just something I know I've seen a ton of that particular type of fan use a lot.]
    Even though spoiler reports pegged Angle/Eddie as match of the night, I think I got into Benoit/Edge a bit more.  But both were really good.  All the intertwining storylines between Angle, Benoit, Edge, Rey, and the Guerreros have clicked well, too.  That's on top of their matches ruling the known universe.  How about that backstage brawl with Angle and Benoit, with the simultaneous bottle shot/Olympic Slam spot?  Wicked...
    Rey/Lesnar was a cool match, too.  You saw it months ago on Angle's face, and Lesnar couldn't hide it last night:  these guys just have fun working with Rey!  He makes them look like a billion dollars and they know it.
    Not everything was perfect last night... the Bischoff/Steph confrontation-into-a-kiss seemed hackneyed, forced, and most of all, out of character.  I mean, Bischoff has never been accused of being the world's greatest lover, so what gives with him?  And unless Steph is trying to reprise her "slut" era character, why did she seem to enjoy the blatant harassment?  Why do I fear unnecessary complications and tensions are going to be written into what had been a reasonably simple and logical adversarial relationship?  Bischoff as a romantic lead is every bit as off-putting as Vince in his "creepy old man" role...  [I say, let's just have Steph sheepishly admit that, hey, she's a woman in her prime, but she hasn't gotten laid since she her divorce because she's been so busy with being a General Manager, so she had a moment of weakness, but it'll never happen again, nor shall we ever speak of it again.  Angle magically erased!  The Stupid Patrol strikes again!]
    I also oscillated between thinking the pacing of the show was great and thinking it was awful.  When we got a pair of four minute commercial breaks separated by only a pointless two minute Halloween party skit, I was bitching up a storm.  But when we were in the middle of a 12 minute match with only one short commercial interruption, I was all Kool and the Gang.  I'm sure there are very good TV/business reasons for doing things that way, but MAN, it sure is weird to flip-flop between fifteen minutes where NOTHING happens and fifteen minutes completely dominated by a kick-ass wrestling match.
    Still an overall very entertaining show, interrupted only by a couple of ingrate kids at my door who failed to realize that those of us who drink observed Halloween last weekend (taking advantage of the extra hour, thanks to the time change, natch!), and don't keep candy lying around the house.  [And who takes their kids trick or treating in a neighborhood populated mostly by students, anyway?]
    You can catch up on the complete SD! results right here.
  • The overnight rating for SD! is unavailable as of this Friday AM writing...  so that basically saves me the trouble of telling you that the overnight number doesn't usually mean jack, anyway.
    We'll, of course, still have the final rating for you in Monday's update.
  • But I do have some other ratings info that I forgot to include on Wednesday...  and it's not necessarily good news.
    The WWE Saturday Night block on TNN drew its worst rating ever (as far as I can remember), averaging a 0.6 for Velocity and Confidential.  The two shows aired earlier (in prime time), which should logically have meant a larger potential audience... but instead, it looks like viewers who were acclimated to the late night time slots simply did not find the show at its earlier time.
    Also, last week's Tough Enough drew a 1.5 cable rating.  That's still off pace from past TE performances, but is also still strong enough to be an MTV prime time staple.
  • Hollywood Hulk Hogan's autobiography is coming out on November 19th... so if the cynics among us are right, Hogan's got about two weeks to make his "comeback" so that he can pimp for the book on TV.  [Although, to be honest, now that they've accelerated Lesnar's face turn, they've taken away the "money feud" for Hogan's return... unless Hogan comes back as a heel again?]
    The book has been co-written/ghost-written by Michael Jan Friedman.  That name seemed really familiar to me, and it haunted me for about 20 minutes till I remembered why I knew it:  he's a guy who wrote a bunch of "Star Trek" novels back when I was still a fan of that particular franchise.  Star Trek/Wrestling Crossovers: they're not just for UPN bumpers on SD! anymore!
  • Trademark OO Non-Wrestling Friday Tangent:
    Speaking of Star Trek, if I ever needed evidence for why that franchise is in the dumps now, I'd just point to the "Enterprise" that was on about two weeks ago.  You know the one where they had the commercial that made it look like the entire show was going to feature the captain the Vulcan babe gettin' it on?
    Well, so I actually watched it.  Sue me, I think that the Vulcan chick is just about the hottest fictional character on TV:  looks great, possesses a degree of logic and rationality rare among females (whoops... did I just think that, or did I actually say it out loud?  D'oh!), and would probably be really impressed that I can get it up a bit more often than once every seven years!  Yeah!  Admittedly, I base this thesis on all of about a half dozen episodes of the show...
    Anyway, so I watch, and of course, I wind up being disappointed.  For one, there is hardly any half-naked groping.  I expected as much, though: I was a marketing major, so I know all about deceptive advertising!  But you never walk into a situation like that expecting a show to totally suck.  This wound up being one of those ship-bound character pieces (I think they do a couple per season to save money on special effects, alien make-up, and on-location shooting), which only works well when you have characters people care about.  "Enterprise" does not have that.  Or at least, not that I found any reason to care about beyond T&A aspects...
    In another wacky wrestling/Star Trek cross-over, I noted that the episode really went to hell when the captain started worrying more about a puppy dog than the more important issue: the fate of his ship and crew.  Substitute "captain" with "HHH" and "fate of ship and crew" with "World Title," and what does that remind you of?
    How close am I to 25KB?  Alright, looks like I may cease digressing, now...
  • OO Reader and boxing fan Ian Branaman wrote in about all those Lesnar/Lewis (and Angle/Moorer) rumors...
    Basically, he wanted to convey to us (wrestling marks) that among boxing fans, BoxingInsider.com is NOT considered to be a particularly reliable source for news.  He notes that "reliable boxing sites" are dismissing these rumors as little more than a publicity stunt by Vince McMahon.
    He also outlined a bunch of reasons why a Lewis/Lesnar shootfight simply makes no sense.  First of all, Lewis has agreed in principle to a schedule that should keep him busy for at least the next year: his next three fights will be against both the Klitschko brothers and against Tyson (not in that order).  Also, Lewis if 40 years old, and can make big money on these boxing matches, so he'd have little to gain by risking his reputation (and his health) for a lower pay-off in a shootfight against a wrestler.
    Ian also said that Angle/Moorer was more likely, simply because Moorer's got nothing else on his table.  But even the BoxingInsider.com report said that that match was only going to happen assuming Lesnar/Lewis was a done deal...  so maybe you can forget about it, as well.
    There you go:  as interesting as it is to consider, perhaps one should not hold one's breath waiting for this generation's Inoki vs. Ali....
  • WWE has announced that Madison Square Garden is now officially sold out for this month's Survivor Series PPV... after the struggle they had filling up the building last month in Little Rock, it must be a relief to come home to MSG, where fans always turn out, en masse, for PPVs.
  • During a recent TV appearance, Martha Hart said that somebody had obtained the rights to write a movie about the life (and one would presume also the unfortunate death) of Owen Hart...  not to belittle Owen, who was an amazing wrestling, and by all accounts an even better person, but I don't see something like that having a whole lot of appeal outside of hardcore wrestling fans.  And assuming movie makers came to that same conclusion, I think I'd rather just have them let it lie than try to squeeze a mildly-profitable, half-assed made-for-TV movie of the week out of the story.
    Surely, I can't be alone here.
  • Last thing for today:  you folks have got to got to WrestleCrap.com, pronto!  And not just to check out the Crap Sampler of whatever handful of items RD is featuring this week...
    No.  Much like Jeb Lund before me, I have to sing the praises of the WrestleCrap 2002 CD-ROM.  I just got my copy yesterday, and I've already wasted a couple hours on it without even scratching the surface.  Without a doubt, having instant access to the absolute worst audio clips of all times (without sitting through a download) is a fantastic convenience, too!
    If you sat through the Heroes of Wrestling, Saba Simba, The Shark, and "Choppy Choppy the Pee Pee," and have since successfully managed to purge those moments from your memory, well...  time to unpurge, Potsie!  This stuff is a lot funnier the second time around.
    Check it out at WrestleCrap.com...
  • Alright, I'm done for today.  See y'all again on Monday, with more of a RAW brand emphasis...  


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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