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SD!, TE3, Torrie/Playboy, and More...
January 24, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


A smattering of weekend newsbites for y'all:
  • Hulk Hogan returned on SmackDown! last night, and immediately set up a feud with Vince McMahon -- who came out to quip that Hulk-a-Mania and Al Wilson have one thing in common, namely that both are dead.  The match itself -- probably coming at WrestleMania -- isn't gonna be a ***** workrate classic, but it (and the build up) oughta be pretty entertaining, nonetheless.
    A bit of trivia:  Hogan's return aired on January 23, 2003, exactly 19 years to the day after Hogan's breakthrough WWF Title win over the Iron Sheik on January 23, 1984.  Kudos to OO Reader Stephen Wolf for making that observation...
    As for the rest of the show, well, I didn't actually see it.  I taped it, and was gonna watch it when I got in last night... but my band had played and I'd had a few (read, "many") drinks over the course of the evening and early morning hours, and didn't have the concentration to sit through first run rasslin' TV.  But it sounded like people really liked Benoit/Haas and Angle/Rey, on top of the big finish with Hogan, so I'm looking forward to screening the tape as soon as I'm done with this column.
  • The overnight rating for SD! was a 4.8, which is up a bit from last week.  Of course, that doesn't really matter much, since it's only the final rating -- which we'll have on Monday -- that counts in the end.
  • And also last night:  Tough Enough 3 crowned its two winners.  And though once again I did not actually watch it myself (for reasons much simpler than above...  namely that I hate all this damned "reality" TV), I understand that the John and Matt were the ones who got the WWE contracts.  
    I'll assume those names mean something to those of you who followed the show... all I know is that Matt is the guy what got his face kicked in by Bob Holly back a few weeks ago, so I was right in predicting that he'd get a contract (likely for the sole purpose of doing a feud with Holly in a year or whenever Holly's back from surgery and Matt's deemed ready for TV).
  • The rating from this past Monday's RAW wound up being a 3.8, which is a drop of one-tenth of a point from the week before, despite the fact that it was a post-PPV edition of the show.  Still, the 3.8 is a good, strong number, and an improvement over ratings from the latter two months of 2002.
  • Don't know the particulars, or even if it's 100% true, but word is going around that Torrie Wilson has agreed to appear in Playboy at some point later this year.  If it pans out, she'll follow Rena "Sable" Mero and Joanie "Chyna" Laurer as WWF/E divas who posed for Playboy.
    One would hope that she does not also follow them as divas who copped attitudes and got fired shortly after their first pictorial.
    In any case, it's like I said: I don't really have any other details.  But I thought you'd like to know this much, anyway.
  • When The Rock returns to WWE later this month, it'll be for a very brief stint.  The wheels are turning on his next movie commitment, a remake of a 1973 picture called "Walking Tall."  According to entertainment wire reports, if the I's can be dotted and the T's crossed, the Rock would jump on board the project, which would be fast-tracked to start production in June or July.
    The Rock would be the star of the film, reprising a role originally played by Joe Don Baker.
    He also has a bunch of other projects on his plate, including the lead roles in proposed "Spy Hunter" and "Johnny Bravo" movie franchises.  The Rock's also the top contender to play King Kamahameha in a dramatized bio-pic of the Hawaiian king.
    One OO Reader mailed in and mentioned that one of the reports about "Walking Tall" referred to the Rock as a "former wrestler."  If this sort of thing keeps up, that may not be too far from the truth.
  • Bill DeMott's arm injury -- suffered after a cane shot at the Royal Rumble -- has been diagnosed as minor nerve damage.  He was advised to take six weeks off to let the damage repair itself, but will instead be working through the injury.
  • The RAW crew -- plus Tajiri -- is currently overseas for shows this weekend in South Korea and Japan.  Tajiri is along for obvious reasons, and will actually be working a main event World Title Match against Triple H in Tokyo.
    The roster returns stateside on Sunday, and will have just a little bit of time to re-acclimate before Monday's RAW in Chicago.
  • The SD! crew is doing shows in Canada this weekend.  Cards for those shows are worth taking note of, as they include bookings for both Nathan Jones and Kanyon.  Jones was expected to be joining the SD! roster, but nobody had been saying much about where Kanyon might land.  Of course, working house show dates is far from a legally binding deal, but it probably indicates where each guy will be working once on TV. 
    Jones is working against Matt Hardy, and Kanyon is facing off against Bill DeMott.
    A ton of developmental talents are also booked on the SD! shows, including:  Nova is teaming with Rey Mysterio against Redd Dogg and John Cena, Gail Kim is teaming with Torrie Wilson against Dawn Marie and Nidia, and Brian "Spanky" Kendrick is going up against Jamie Noble.
  • In my ranting and raving about how WWE missed an opportunity to do something USEFUL (namely, make Jericho seem like a total asshole) with the Stacy-gets-injured-for-real angle from RAW, I apparently missed the obvious motivation for the storyline.
    A half dozen readers mailed in to say that it would make sense to write Stacy out if she was taking time off to get breast implants.  Special kudos to whichever one of you borrowed an OO convention and simply said "Two words:  bOOb job."
    I don't know... I don't think it's that "obvious" a motivation, no matter how strenuously you present the argument.  I mean, Stacy has long said in interviews that she was under no pressure from management to go under the knife, and that it wasn't really something she was considering too seriously.  
    I guess you'd put me in the "disappointed" column if this is what's going on...  but Stacy'll be back soon enough, and we'll all find out together whether or not a chairshot to the face somehow causes swelling of the chest.
  • And when I'm left with nothing better to talk about than reader speculation about a diva's prospects for breast augmentation surgery, it's probably best that I just wrap it up before the column devolves into something REALLY pointless and vapid.
    So I bid you farewell... see you again on 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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