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RAW, Hennig, WM19, Test, TNA, and...
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!
February 19, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I was going to attempt to find the entertaining way of telling you the story of why the site was not updated on Monday, and put it right here at the top.  You know, 'fess up before getting on with business...

But then I realized, all I'm doing is trying to spin things so that it sounds like I had a decent excuse for slacking off.  So I'll put the self-indulgent tripe at the end, for those of you who actually give a damn about the Amazing Adventures of The Rick.  And kick things off by going to the rasslin' news, directly:

  • I thought Monday's RAW did a lot right... and when it went wrong, it was in areas that don't really matter so much.
    To wit: my biggest complaint from the show would definitely be the closing segment, the Bischoff/JR "main event."  It's actually not a horrible idea, storyline-wise... it's just that they obviously padded the segment and made it too long and awkward and boring, no doubt because they felt they had to justify putting it on last, in the main event spot.  And you had to put it on last because the other option would have been doing half the show without Jim Ross on commentary (and based on reactions to the Coach on last week's RAW, fans would not have viewed that as an acceptable option!).
    It would have been better to put Bischoff in there with someone who could hold up his half of a "match," too, rather than put Jim Ross in a position where he just did not look that convincing.  Have Bischoff promise a cataclysmic showdown against a mega-star, and then it ends up that he faces -- oh, I don't know -- the Brooklyn Brawler.  Chief Morley still has to help him out just a little bit, but when Bischoff wins, he's actually beaten a wrestler, and it maybe adds a bit of legitimacy to his Karate Fighter claims.  Plus, you could have snuck that in earlier on the show, and let an actual wrestling match take the main event spot.
    But I'm getting off target, now...  and ultimately, it didn't really matter, anyway.  This was simply not a story that they had to slam dunk to get people interested for the PPV.  People are pretty much going to be interested in Steve Austin's return to face Bischoff no matter what they do.  So the slight mis-handling of things here maybe resulted in a disappointing climax to RAW, but it won't affect the overall momentum of the company in the end.
    Another area where it seemed like they missed the boat a bit was by not building at all towards Test vs. Chris Jericho at the PPV...  but it turns out there was a good reason for that, which I'll address later on.
    I was much more enthused by the Booker T/Scott Steiner vs. Triple H/Batista match.  First, it was a pretty well worked match, considering that it had Steiner, Batista, and a banged-up HHH involved.  And second: Booker scored the pinfall over Triple H.  Assuming HHH retains the title this Sunday against Steiner (a decent assumption, even if you take into consideration that Steiner's looked less DUD-tastic in recent weeks), that would put Booker directly in line for a WM19 break-out match for the World Title.  And that, my friends, is exactly what the doctor ordered.
    From a pure wrestling perspective, both RVD/Lance Storm and the Jericho/Christian vs. HBK/Hardy matches were quite good.  No complaints there.  I guess I have no real complaints about the work done in the 3MW/Spike squash or the Hurricane's upset of Nowinski, either, although the pointlessness of those matches kind of hurt them, crowd heat-wise.
    Quick other thoughts: the way Bischoff set the table for the show with his big promo was cool (I like it when they establish nearly the complete card early in the show, and give each match a bit of time to percolate)...  I'm not 100% confident that they can do a quality Jazz/Victoria feud; my suspicion, however, is that if it works, it'll be because the fans will warm up to Victoria based purely on her hotness edge over Jazz; otherwise, things'll stay tepid until we get the purely babyface Trish back in the mix...  great Mr. Perfect tribute video, and a special OO Gold Star to Chris Jericho for busting out the Perfect Gum Swat...  I am dreading the return of "not quite right in the head" Goldust; if the result is even more outlandish-ness than before (like Luna Vachon-era weirdness), I might be OK with it, but if we're talking Cactus Jack-esque amnesia or Tourrette's Syndrome or some other crap, it could be craptacular... 
    Those are the highlights... at least, the important ones that I can remember right now.  If you want a match-by-match and segment-by-segment recap of the show, just click here.
  • No rating is available for RAW at this point.  The delay is due to Monday's President's Day holiday.
    My expectation is that there will be a bit of a drop off from last week, as the finale of "Joe Millionaire" and a couple of Michael Jackson specials both scored big ratings on Monday night.  I'd make some comment about those big ratings proving, once and for all, that pop culture has become completely retarded, except that watching pro wrestling instead is not exactly evidence of intellectual superiority, now is it?
  • Services for Curt Hennig were held over the weekend, and a veritable who's who in the wrestling industry were present.
    The entire McMahon family paid their respects.  Also on hand:  Brock Lesnar, Jesse Ventura, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Bill Goldberg, Rick Steiner, Harley Race, and a ton of AWA/Minnesota guys.
    Some wrestlers -- including Marc Mero and Sean Waltman -- have also contributed the stories/memories of Hennig to an online "guest book"...  you can read the over 70 pages of tributes to Hennig (mostly from fans) or contribute your own by clicking here.
  • Oh, and while I'm thinking of "The McMahon Family"...  it looks like a new member will be joining the family at some point in the next year or so.  Word is that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon got engaged on Friday.  Obviously, no date is set, and it's not like you're going to be getting an invitation, anyway, so why do you care?
    Congrats to the couple.  I hope they don't mind when the online asshole contingent figure out someway to spin this happy news into further proof that Steph and HHH have formed this union to increase their ability to destroy WWE!
  • As alluded to above, there was no mention or hype for the scheduled Test vs. Chris Jericho PPV match on RAW Monday... that is because Test and Stacy Keibler were stuck in Baltimore due to the blizzard conditions in the eastern US.
    Although "snowed in" strikes me as a very reasonable excuse, WWE management apparently felt that the pair should have planned ahead and gotten on the road a day earlier (it should be noted that nobody else missed the tapings).  You'll probably never get a straight answer for whether it's punishment, or simple pragmatism (since they could hype the feud at all on Monday), but the end result is that Test's PPV match is out the window.
    Based on Monday's RAW, it looks like Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho will be the replacement match.
    I'd say something like "Tough break for Test," except that being snowed in with Stacy doesn't strike me as too horrible a way to spend a weekend.  
  • Part two of Bret Hart's TSN interview aired last night.  The subject matter was more geared towards present day wrestling and wrestlers.  Hart had some interesting things to say about Hulk Hogan, HHH, and others.
    You can get a full recap right here.
  • A few readers who caught a radio interview with the Rock over the weekend mailed in to say that Rock pretty much confirmed that WWE has resigned itself to not getting its hands on Bill Goldberg. Though the Rock didn't say as much during the interview, the widely-held belief is that WWE and Goldberg are not even close to agreeing on a work schedule that would satisfy both parties.
    Rock further said that at this time, he thinks his WrestleMania 19 match will end up being against Steve Austin.  That's sounds pretty much like the scenario I laid out several weeks ago, so I likes it...
  • Speaking of WM19, a few thousand more tickets were released over the weekend.  As of yesterday, I know some still remained, but I don't know if they're still available now or not.  If you're an interested party, you can check with TicketMaster.com...
    Also of note:  WWE has expanded the "WrestleMania Weekend" to cover five days in Seattle, starting on Thursday, March 27.  The AXXESS fan festival will start with a Thursday night session, and then there will be two sessions on Friday and three on Saturday.  Sunday, obviously is the WM19 PPV.  And WWE has now announced that RAW will be live at Seattle's Key Arena on Monday.
    OO's Man in Seattle, Rob Stevens, has passed along word that tickets for the Saturday afternoon and evening AXXESS sessions have already sold out.  There are only 2000 available for each 3-hour session, for a total of 12,000 AXXESS tickets available over the span of the fan fest; with over 50,000 fans expected for the Mania PPV, you can quickly discern that those AXXESS tickets will be going fast.  If you're interested, you'd better hit TicketBastard's website, pronto...
  • We talked about it on Friday, but I never guessed things would happen so fast:  D'Lo Brown will probably not be appearing again on WWE TV.  I figured they'd take a week or two to write out/job out D'Lo, not knowing that they'd actually taped his farewell already.
    The segment, slated for RAW, but bumped to Heat, saw Teddy Long introduce Rodney "Redd Dogg" Mack as his new protege to replace the disappointing D'Lo.  Man, first he takes Bull Buchanan's spot.  Now D'Lo's.  This guy is a walking pink slip.
    The move from being John Cena's partner to RAW simplifies life for Mack, who can now travel with Jazz.  The two are a real life couple.
  • Again, backtracking a bit, to make sure that I cover the important stuff that I would have talked about on Monday...
    Tommy Dreamer has joined the RAW creative team.  He and Michael Hayes are charged with bringing a wrestling slant to the creative process, since the RAW team is headed up by a guy who is primarily a comedy writer.
    Dreamer will still be working as an active wrestler, too.  There shouldn't be any problems arising from this; Dreamer was a top backstage lieutenant for Paul Heyman back in ECW while he was an active worker, and I don't remember hearing about any difficulties then.
  • A WWA tour of Australia slated for this spring has been cancelled/postponed.  The reason given is a scheduling conflict with Sting, who WWA wants to bring back as a headliner.
  • Spoilers for this week's huge SmackDown! -- in case you missed 'em -- are right here.
  • During a recent interview on the No Holds Barred radio show, Bradshaw said he's been cleared to resume training, and when he gets back in the ring, it might be alongside his APA partner, Faarooq.
    Confirming last week's rumors, Bradshaw said that the door was open for reforming the APA, and that he definitely thinks that Faarooq (who late last year contemplated retirement after an injury) still has several good years left in him.
  • Tonight's NWA:TNA PPV is one you might want to check out.  The planned main event is Jeff Jarrett defending the NWA Title against AJ Styles in what should be a tremendous match.  Styles started targeting Jarrett a couple weeks ago, and is playing kind of a tweener character: he's a heel, but he's not affiliated with TNA's main antagonists, Vince Russo's SEX faction.  Rather, Styles is an island unto himself, managed by Larry Zbyszko.  
    Raven will take the week off from chasing the NWA title to again reprise his ages-old feud with the Sandman.  This week, it'll be in a tag match setting, with Raven joined by Lo-Ki, and Sandman teaming with another ECW alum, Steve Corino. 
    Also tonight:  Jerry Lynn's feud with Konnan should heat up, Kid Kash faces Paul London in an X Title match, and America's Most Wanted takes on the Harris Twins.
    Check out the PPV, or come on back to OO tomorrow for Damian Gonzalez's full recap.
  • OK, excuse time.  I apologize for not updating the site on Monday, but I really did have a good excuse.
    Friday evening, as [blatant plug warning!] my band Flight Risk was loading our gear up to head to Cincinnati for a show, I hear a massive POP and smell an awful burning odor.  I sprint upstairs and discover that my PCs power supply has exploded.  "Alright," I think, "I'll deal with this tomorrow.  I've got two hours before I leave tonight, but I'd rather spend it eating dinner and watching Seinfeld."   
    So we go down to Cincinnati, do our thing (and pretty well, thank you), and before you know it, it's 2 a.m., we're ready to head back to Dayton, and weather has become an issue.  Freezing rain turned to snow just north on Cinci, and it wound up taking twice as long to get back home than it should have.  Thank god I was in the backseat with an ass-pocket of whiskey to dull my nerves.
    I wake up Saturday morning to find out that we wound up getting over 6 inches of snow, and most of Dayton was under a Level Three Snow Emergency.  Which means if they catch you driving anywhere for anything less than a matter of national importance, you will get a ticket and be told to go home.  Of course, this puts the kibosh on my plans to buy a replacement power supply for my computer.
    We wound up getting two more waves of snow, each dropping like 4 or 5 more inches, on Saturday night and on Sunday night, resulting in pretty much a perpetual Level Three situation.  As a guy who has spent more than half his Christmases back east in Connecticut, I'm not easily intimidated or impressed by a foot and a half of snow.  But in this case, the way the snowfall was spread out, probably combined with the fact that nobody was in any real rush to get things fixed by Monday, since it was a holiday and school was out, anyway, it pretty much shut things down for three straight days.  The only times I left the house were (a) to attend the Dayton Flyers ass-smacking of the 25th ranked St. Joseph's Hawks on Saturday afternoon (a matter of national importance, trust me!), and (b) to lend my Herculean strength and power to clueless schmucks who got their cars/trucks stuck on the steep incline of the driveway/alley next to my house.
    Monday rolls around, and I decide to be pro-active.  I wish I could say that it was a commitment to YOU, the Home Viewer that motivated me.  But more likely, it was the three straight days of being snowed in and without any internet access to porn.  I couldn't stand the thought of another day of that living hell, so finally I got out a shovel and cleared as much of the aforementioned driveway as I could.  After a few hours of manual labor on Monday afternoon, I was free to head out and purchase a new power supply. 
    It was far too late (especially after a Monday night band practice and watching my tape of RAW took precedence over actually installing the replacement part) to bother with any kind of a Monday update, so I took a pass.  I am left to beg your forgiveness, and to make an empty promise that it won't happen again.
    Actually, this precise scenario SHOULDN'T happen again, what with a new power supply complete with 3 year warranty (which means it should outlive the usefulness of the PC itself)... next time I miss a full day of updates, I'll make sure it's out of sheer laziness!
    See you again on Friday.... 


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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