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RAW, HHH, Nash, Other Monday News
August 4, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


No time for stupid chit-chat today, let's just get a move on:
  • The RAW brand stars are back in North America, following last week's tour of Australia.  Tonight, they'll be giving us a live RAW in Vancouver before getting a much-deserved week off.
    At present, it seems as though the Fed IS expecting Triple H to be present tonight.  Although no follow-up prognosis regarding his groin pull/possible hernia has been forthcoming, it should go without saying that whatever HHH does tonight, it'll be in a non-wrestling capacity.  He's also been pulled from house shows next weekend, so that should give you an idea that this is a pretty serious deal.
    Addressing the HHH/Goldberg World Title situation will be a tricky issue, since they probably don't want to "give away" on TV just how hurt HHH really is.  Fortunately, tonight the focus is on a Goldberg vs. Ric Flair match (set up last week), which might mean that HHH will be able to lurk out of the spotlight, doing just enough to remind us that he's Goldberg's SummerSlam opponent without exposing the severity of his injury or putting himself at risk for additional injury.
    In Goldberg/Flair, RAW's got its first shot at a bona fide main event wrestling match for the first time in over a month.  As much as Goldberg benefits from 60 second squash matches, I gotta consider the fact that Ric Flair ain't Stevie Richards and that there's more depth to this story (HHH and Orton could both get involved, making Flair's offense more credible)... so I find myself hoping that this develops accordingly.
    If it doesn't, the reason why will be Kane.  He's found himself in various main event angles/brawls over the course of the last month....  sometimes to good effect, sometimes not.  I'm not sure what new shocking development might be enough to justify another main event non-match with Kane, but you never know.  Me, I think shoring up the Kane/Shane McMahon feud can be handled in a mid-show promo or something, letting the wrestling finally take back the final slot on the show.  But I'm pragmatic enough to realize that holding back Kane and Shane (and possibly a returning Rob Van Dam) for a final segment might be what the Fed has in mind, since they can look at the ratings numbers in recent weeks and do the math on what's working.  
    Other storylines percolating underneath:  Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Nash both seem like locks for the SummerSlam card.  What we don't know is what path we'll take to get there.  Michaels and Nash's schedules might keep them from advancing these storylines each and every week... and tonight, Nash's medical condition is another added question mark (more on that later).  I'm almost a fan of throwing in the towel on keeping these two feuds separate; combine them, and Orton benefits by having a more over heel to do his talking, while Michaels' presence can help cover for Nash's in-ring limitations.  The only downside: having Orton team with a non-Evolution member is a bit nonsensical... but I'd be willing to forgive and forget.  We'll see how it goes.
    The Dudleys vs. La Resistance is your Tag Team Title Feud.  I'm not sure whether I could care less or not.  The Women's division is actually marginally more interesting at this point: Molly Holly's the new champ, Gail Kim's sure to think she deserves a rematch, Jazz has yet re-appear to avenge her non-elimination from that battle royal a month back, and Trish is pretty much automatically in the mix (if for no other reason than she and Gail have cost each other matches in the last month).
    The IC Title picture is kind of a crapshoot at this point.  On one hand, Booker's got the title, and Christian makes for a hell of an entertaining heel most of the time.  But on the other, we've been seeing these two go back and forth for about 2 or 3 months, now, and the act is getting a bit stale.  Test and Scott Steiner are now tangentially involved in this scenario, too, so maybe that'll freshen things up a bit.
    With Goldberg/Flair locked in for tonight, and with Shane/Kane ready to take another step forward, there are some cool things on the table for RAW.  Check it out, or come on back here to OO tomorrow for full results and analysis.
  • More on Nash: we talked on Friday about how he was pulled from the Friday show in Sydney, Australia, with undisclosed medical problems.  I guess the story is that he feinted/passed out at an autograph signing, and was held off the show as a precaution.  He was held off Saturday's show as well, even though doctor's couldn't find anything specifically wrong with Nash.
    Nash's regular stateside docs will probably get a good look at him, and hopefully be able to give him a clean bill of health here very soon.  
  • The final night of RAW's three-show tour of Australia was headlined by the Dudleys beating La Resistance....  the catch: it was a non-title Tables Match.  You know, that might actually have been kind of interesting if they'd done a title change Down Under: makes them Aussies feel like that got to see something special, and makes us domestic fans perk up and take notice of something -- you know? -- ACTUALLY HAPPENING in the tag division. 
    Packed houses all around on the tour -- including an attendance record at the venue in Sydney.  And even with the injuries and shuffled cards, most fans have reported nothing other than having a great time at the shows.
  • A roster anomaly: Lance Storm didn't join his RAW comrades overseas, and instead worked with the SmackDown! crew over the weekend.  As the Fed sometimes does, they flopped Storm over so that he could work a match in his hometown.
    In Calgary, Storm was beaten by Eddie Guerrero in a very good match that had the fans hot.  Nary a "boring" chant to be heard.
    Hometown defeat or not, this means Storm's probably gonna be the freshest of the RAW guys tonight...   so of course, he'll probably work a Heat match, or something.
  • Also making some noise up Calgary way this weekend was Bret Hart, whose newest Calgary Sun column will probably whet a few appetites...
    Bret talks about having his first dream about being back in a wrestling ring...  a dream that had him slapping Kurt Angle in a side headlock.  And although such a match would also be a dream for us fans, Bret pulls back and spends the rest of his column telling us just who of today's superstars he most enjoys watching work.
    You can read the whole thing right here.
  • The Rock is also working up in Canada these days -- Vancouver to be precise -- but took some time off this weekend to participate in the Teen Choice Awards.  He presented an award along with Britney Spears, at the event taped in Los Angeles.  It'll air Wednesday on FOX.

    Hmmm....  Rock and Britney, that's a step up in the awards-show-presenter-pairing category from Chyna and that nutjob from one of the "Survivor" shows, wouldn't you say?
    Meantime, don't look for Rocky to show up on RAW tonight, despite his previous announcement that he'd work a match on this show.  Whatever plans there were a month ago, they have obviously changed.  WWE's change of venue (Vancouver was originally supposed to get tomorrow's SD! tapings) will be all for naught, it looks like.
  • SmackDown! loaded for bear this week, with both Cena/Undertaker in a PPV rematch and Vince McMahon vs. Brock Lesnar with Kurt Angle as the special ref.
    It's probably the brand's biggest show since Hogan and Piper's (unintentional) farewell show from MSG, so wouldn't you know it: SD! will be pre-empted in New York this week.
    The biggest TV market in the country is getting a Giants pre-season football game on Thursday night.  There could, quite possibly, be a measurable impact on SD! ratings performance as a result of the loss of the NYC market.
  • FYI, the final rating for last week's SD! came in at a 3.4, which is exactly the same as the week before.  And the week before that, too.  
  • Got a handful of e-mails today, asking about this site.  Um, don't know where that came from, kids, but you shouldn't need me to tell you that it's 100% bogus.
  • If you have yet to check out TNA because, somehow, you find $10 to be a little pricey for two hours of wrestling, well, you're about to lose that as an excuse.
    On September 10, when state fair-related events prevent TNA from producing new shows, they'll be offering a 2 hour highlight show in their usual Wednesday night timeslot.  And they'll only be charging one cent for the broadcast.  
    The hope is that the gimmick will get a bunch of fans to check out the product with no risk, and then they'll come back as paying customers in future weeks.
    At this point, I believe the offer will only be available to folks with inDemand as their PPV provider, but that should be a vast majority of you.  If you don't check out TNA's one cent special, you oughta have your Wrestling Fan Card revoked....
  • I'm outta here for today.  Anyone attending WWE TV tapings, you are, as always, encouraged to e-mail with results and recaps...  that way, we can get the spoilers up on Wednesday in a timely and accurate fashion!  Thanks in advance. 


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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