Wrestling News, Analysis and Commentary

News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

A Play in Two Acts: 
PPV Preview and Some News
July 25, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Pardon me if I'm not my usual enthusiastic, ebullient self today.  I wound up trying to out-drink two former Dayton Flyer legends last night -- one of whom I went to high school with, and one of whom was the greatest rebounder in D-1 ball during one season or another in the past few years.  Frankly, I think I kicked ass, so to protect their reputations, they shall remain nameless.  But the price I paid upon waking today was a stiff one... let's just say I'm a step slow and a bit behind schedule as I address you, now.

But, since I'm still trying to make up for May and June, when I took a good month's worth of Fridays off, I'm here, contractually obligated to do a bit of PPV preview (mostly so that I can have my predictions on record for the 2003 Year in Review), and more than willing to toss a few newsbites out there to conclude the column.  


WWE Vengeance PPV Preview

On Sunday, SmackDown! will follow in RAW's footsteps and present a brand-specific PPV...  I don't know if it's a good thing or not, but they don't exactly have huge shoes to fill.  Last month's "Austin/Bischoff presented" PPV didn't exactly blow anyone away with its fluff-laden, slightly-jacked-up-edition-of-RAW atmosphere.

In the month while RAW was building to that PPV, SD! kind of sputtered, directionless.  But in the last four weeks or so, they've cut some of the fat (Hogan and Piper are gone) and gotten down to business.  I think the end result is a very marketable pay-per-view card with a fairly high ceiling on both the ringwork and entertainment fronts.

I'll go so far as to say that if they don't kick the ass of last month's "Bad Blood," something is very, very wrong.  The lessons learned at Bad Blood, combined with a couple of can't miss match prospects (the likes of which RAW is not equipped to offer), SHOULD equal an improved product come Sunday.

Here's a quick rundown of what to look for at Vengeance:


Storyline-wise, Angle and Lesnar have been buddies for the past six weeks or so since Angle's return to action.  It's been a Mutual Respect sort of thing, after Angle took Lesnar to the limit at WM19, but lost the title to him.  Underlying that friendship, however, has been Angle's desire to regain his gold and Lesnar's desire to keep it.  The mutual respect became a friendly rivalry, which just last night blew up into outright hostility during a tag match.

At Big Show's end, he seemed all used up after a blow off match against Lesnar two months ago on PPV... a half-year-long feud between Show and Lesnar finally seemed over.  But nope.  A few weeks later, Show re-emerged as a top contender, and in the past month, has scored pinfalls over both Lesnar and Angle in tag team situations.  Though they're not likely to mention it, he also pinned "Mr. America" Hulk Hogan in what turned out to be his final match.  After teetering on the brink of  irrelevance after losing that big PPV match to Lesnar, Show has come storming back.

Show's resurgence, however, doesn't mean that he's much more than a prop in this match.  Lesnar/Angle is not just he superior match-up, workrate-wise, it's also the match more fans care about.  So here, I see Show playing the role of singular heel early on, as Lesnar and Angle put Thursday's flare-up aside and work together...  but later on, the story will be the inevitable break-up of the Lesnar/Angle partnership, which should open the door for Show to hit big moves here and there and tease "stealing" the win.  But really, fans will be focused on Angle vs. Lesnar, and I think that's where the match will be decided.

In calling Show "a prop," I don't mean to diminish what he can contribute to the match; mostly I just mean that he's the one guy in this match who I really don't see having a shot at walking away with the title.  The past month and a half or so, Show has come off really well in the matches he's had, and here, the formula stands to be duplicated, as Show is not working one-on-one, but rather has other guys around him who can keep the pace up, allowing him to punctuate things with power moves.  Show's offense simply comes off better that way, as opposed to when he's got to carry entire 20 minute matches on his own.

SD! main events the past few weeks have been consistently solid, and here, I anticipate a final match that -- though it seems overshadowed by other workrate showcases lower on the card -- should deliver the goods.  You've got some promise for in-ring work, and with the percolating Lesnar/Angle feud and Show's physical dominance you've got tools to tell a good intra-match story.

My Prediction: Lesnar retains.  SummerSlam should be Angle vs. Lesnar one-on-one, and at this point, the way that works best is with Lesnar still holding the title he won from Angle at WM.  One option would be to have Lesnar pin Big Show so that Angle can claim he wasn't beaten, but what I'd prefer to see would be Lesnar pinning Angle to make Angle that much more "driven" going into a one-on-one match (you can still have Show factor into the finish to "save face" for Angle, too... maybe have Lesnar's win come on the heels of Angle getting chokeslammed, or something).

CHRIS BENOIT vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (US Title Tournament Final)

For as easy as I usually find it to make fun of smarks for sucking up to Benoit, thinking his matches will always be the best on the card, I, uh, think this will be the best match on the card.  But I also sort of think it'll be a two-man job.

Eddie has been spectacular in the past three or four months, to the point that you can take the Cole/Tazz "there's a large Latino population here in Southern California" rationalization from last night and cram it, because Eddie's gonna be the more popular of these two, even in white-bread Colorado on Sunday.  Benoit will bring the ring work, but Eddie's the one who'll bring the personality, charisma, and connection with the audience.  Those are the factors that can take a fantastically worked match and turn it into a memorable Match of the Year candidate.  You need just a bit of that sizzle to go with the steak.

Story-wise, you need go no further than Eddie's rant last night: these two have been friends for a long time, connected at the hip in real life and in storylines.  Even just in terms of WWF/WWE lore, they are both former allies (in the Radicalz) and former enemies (having last squared off on PPV late last year).  This feud is a rich one, and that these two emerged from an 8-man field to face each other in the finals of a tournament to crown a new US Champion is more than just happy coincidence.

Here's hoping that Benoit's not afraid to play up a bit of heelishness early on to really suck the fans in.  By the end, my instincts tell me fans won't be cheering for either man so much as they'll be cheering for the great action, provided they've been lured into the match from the beginning.  WWE made their bed by promoting Eddie's lying, cheating, and stealing ways as virtuous (or at least, cheer-able), now they must deal with the fact that we love it every time he does something devilish.  In this case, that means Benoit, all his skills duly noted and logged, will not be the most popular man in this contest.  They oughta make use of that.

My Prediction: I think Tajiri makes his return and plays a role in this match.  He could show up and accept Eddie's (transparent) apology and try to help him just as much as he could show up to screw his former partner.  They key, to me, is to not just keep Benoit vs. Eddie alive for future matches, but to get Tajiri involved as a player, too.  Just as they had three team (the "SmackDown! Six") carry the new tag division last year, they could have a three-way feud carry the new US Title to legitimacy if they work Tajiri in right.  I'll predict Benoit over Eddie (with the assist from Tajiri) in terms of who wins the title... but if the SD! creative team is smart, the REAL winner in this could be Tajiri, who should find himself positioned higher on the card than he's ever been coming out of this match.


The counterpoint to the previously reviewed match, this has very little going for it in terms of pure workrate.  But it should be a fantastic Sports Entertainment Segment.  On the heels of the evaporation of Zach's "mentor," Mr. America, they've done a pretty decent job telling the tale of Zach getting a WWE contract and basically pissing off Mr. McMahon in the process.  I mean, Zach's a guy with one leg, and Vince is a dickhead boss: it ain't chess.  I think fans will be into this one.

I expect that they'll have a lot of leeway in this one in terms of the rules. Vince is always best when they've got a No DQ stip or something along those lines to cover for his lack of in-ring experience.  Here, it would serve the double purpose of helping to keep Zach from completely blowing his wad: a gimmicky brawl would allow him to hold some of his moveset back for a later match.  I think protecting Zach in that way -- helping to make sure all his matches are special and good in this early stage of his career -- will ensure his long-term future.  If he goes in there and gives us everything in his repretoire, there's less reason for us to come back, and a greater likelihood that Zach would be viewed as a sideshow, rather than a sustainable top level talent.

My Prediction: well, Hogan's gone and Angle and Lesnar both have more important things on their plates...  so unless they're gonna write somebody new into this storyline, this one should be one-on-one.  The way I see it, that means Vince beats the holy living hell out of Zach for a bit, but then the kid makes a courageous comeback and wins against all odds.  It's the feel good story of the summer.  Probably they relax the rules so Zach can use a gimmick to put Vince down, then it's a moonsault, and Zach wins.


No real story here.  In fact, if anything, it's anti-story: Haas and Benjamin have been working SD! main events the last month, involved with Big Show/Angle/Lesnar, and also with Vince/Zach.  There is aboslutely ZERO hostility here.  This is simply a case of the titles being worth fighting for: "The World's Greatest Tag Team" own them, and Rey and Kidman want them.

The Rey/Kidman team is a bit forced: Kidman started showing up at ringside about a month ago, coming back from an injury.  His enthusiasm for Rey seemed a bit false, but the former Filthy Animals still wound up teaming together, and in their first match, won a #1 Contender's match over three other teams.

Forced or no, this is another seemingly Can't-Miss in-ring prospect of a match.  These four will bust ass and the match will be technically outstanding.  The only question: with the total lack of backstory, will the fans care?

My Prediction: Haas and Benjamin retain.  To me, it's a question of "when" and not "if" Kidman goes heel to challenge Rey for the Cruiserweight Title he still holds.  No way am I forking $20 over to Erin on that one.  Whether the challengers implode at the PPV, or if they lose clean and slow build to their feud is the only real drama here.


On the one-year anniversary of his joining the SD! roster, Cena decided to declare himself the veteran leader of the SmackDown! locker room.  This, obviously, didn't sit so well with 12 year WWF(E) vet, the Undertaker.  Cena's been rapping all over Taker the last month, and Taker wound up taking Cena out of the US Title tourney... that's basically what's brought us to this point.

The Fed might have another Babyface Inversion on its hands in this one, as fans really seem to want to cheer Cena.  Difference between this and the Benoit/Eddie match is that Taker has over a decade of goodwill built up and probably can't get booed no matter what he tries; the vibe here will be more "Hey, that Cena guy is funny: YAY!  Oh, but wait, that's the Undertaker: YAY, too!".

With a recently driven Taker and a starting-to-find-hit-his-stride Cena, this match should be very sound.  What remains to be seen is how it comes off, atmosphere-wise.  Ideally, Cena would be able to get booed as the heel, here, but that won't happen if his pre-match rap is so top-shelf that he's once again doing something as clever as rhyming "Mideon" with "Brand Davidian."  

My Prediction: Taker wins.  Because he's the Taker.  Cena's that lucky sort of Jericho-esque character that he can lose matches, but get the fans back beliving in him 10 seconds into his next promo.

APA Bar Room Brawl

Bradshaw, Ron Simmons, Rhyno, Sean O'Haire, two guys from Tough Enough 3, the Brooklyn Brawler, A-Train, Doink the Clown, Brother Love, and lord only knows who else will all show up at a bar and fight.

It ain't gonna be "good," but it might be entertaining.  It's the sort of thing where an undercard guy could step up and show us something unexpected... maybe be a breakout segment for someone.  It could also be a really lame attempt at comic relief where nobody comes out looking good.  It's a crap shoot.

My Prediction: I'd want to use this to either introduce or elevate someone fresh, but I'm sure the APA Bar Room Brawl has to end with the APA standing tall, somehow.


For a few weeks, I've been right there rallying alongside you all, saying there's absolutely no good reason for this feud to exist.  Leave it to John Cena last night to give me a reason to care: it's a good old fashioned cat fight.  And I likes it when two babes start tearing at each other's clothes.

For all the soap opera nonsense that started this (let us all collectively pretend the Vince-prostituted-his-daughter storyline never happened), this may still end up being a pleasing diversion.  I mean, Steph never does any of the usual "diva" stuff, so it was easy to forget just how much I would have given to be in Cena's place last night with that knowing smile and (later) that shapely rump pointed my way, and sure it's been 5 years since Sable was in her Playboy-era prime, but that does not take away from the fact that I should have been onto the titillating possibilities here much sooner.

If it's been years since Sable was posing for Playboy, it's been just as long since she introduced us to the concept of divas-who-actually-do-cool-moves.  The girls over on RAW have since taken that form to all new levels, and I don't expect Sable will be wowing us in terms of workrate.  Steph has been hit and miss in her in-ring work, but has definitely displayed the McMahon knack for great Sports Entertainment Segments (I remember really good ones against both Lita and Trish) in the past.  It might be lame, but I do think if they leave serious pretenses at the door and just have some fun with this, we might end up with something that's maybe not a **** wrestling match, but which IS very amusing.

My Prediction: hopefully, they'll take a pass on telling a parallel "female McMahon in peril" storyline, and just give us the titillation and the win for Steph.  I think that's the way to go here.  The real drama: will Sable lose her top for, like, the fourth time since her comeback, and what might we see since it's PPV?

BILLY GUNN vs. JAMIE NOBLE ("Indecent Proposal" Match)

Since inheriting a ton of money a month ago, Noble's been offering Torrie Wilson an ever-increasing amount of it to spend the night with him.  This has had 2 effects: (1) it's pissed off Nidia, who was not at Noble's side this past week, and (2) it's drawn the ire of Billy Gunn (who, ever the adulterer, is the "boyfriend" of the recently-wed Mrs. Kidman).

Gunn beat Noble last night, leading Noble to issue a challenge for a re-match.  That, in turn, led to a very confident Torrie saying OK, the rematch is on, and if you actually beat my man, THEN I'll sleep with you.  Nee haw?

My Prediction: nobody will care about the match, because it's got Billy Gunn in it.  And I won't care about the finish because, even though the logical thing would be to have Nidia show up and screw Noble, you just KNOW that Noble wins this so that they can do a totally retarded skit next week on SD! where nobody is satisfied by the pay-off.  So that's my prediction: Noble wins and the "Torrie sleeps with Jamie" bit next week is painful to watch.  How is it that Torrie constantly ends up in these shitty storylines?

That's it... five legit wrestling matches.  Two Sports Entertainment Segments.  And one bar room brawl.  I think they've got a nice mix, there.  We'll see how it goes.  

Check Vengeance on PPV Sunday night, or come on back here to OO immediately following the show for full results (my recap should be up by midnight on Sunday night).

Quick Weekend Newsbites

  • I liked last night's SmackDown! very much.  Eddie/Rhyno was outstanding, the opener was very good, and the main event was A-OK.  Story-wise, the spent time focusing on the right things (less Vince, and, as outlined above, doing a nice job reminding me that there ARE redeeming qualities to the Steph/Sable match).  And John Cena, despite not wrestling, just might get my Gold Star of the Night for his aforementioned role in underlining the good parts of Steph/Sable and then finding a fitting rhyme for one of Dennis Knight's more ill-advised gimmicks.
    SD! will be getting the Battle of the Brands nod from me this week.  As of this writing, I have no idea how the other OO-ites will score things...
  • SmackDown's rating for last night was a 3.4, the same as last week's final number.  Of course, last week's rating didn't include viewers in LA, and this week's is not suffering from any major pre-emptions, so....
    Well, you do the math. 
  • Undertaker was absent from SD! tapings this week due to the death of his father.  He had been expected to show up to put some final touches on his PPV feud with Cena, and had to be written out the day of the show.
  • Weekend WWE programming update... contrary to what I'd reported earlier this week, Heat and SmackDown! will remain in their usual time slots.  Rather than swapping the shows around, WWE has decided to simply swap the brand allegiances for each show.  SmackDown is "taking over" Heat, and RAW is relegated to Velocity. 
    If you ask me, it made a bit more sense the other way.  This just further reduces the importance of the b-shows in the grand scheme of things...  it doesn't matter who "owns" them.  Then again, if Stevie Richards can call himself the GM of Heat, and not get any response from Bischoff or Austin, I guess maybe those shows didn't matter, already.
  • The former Crash Holly made his TNA debut this week as "Mad Mikey."  I guess Vince Russo doesn't read me, anymore.  The "Elroy" idea I presented a week or two back was way better, if you ask me.
    Mad Mikey... that's going nowhere, I promise you.  Even faster than "Angry Elroy" would have.
  • Alright, I think that about does it.  See you Sunday night with Vengeance coverage, kids!


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.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.