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RAW, Ratings, Macho Sings, Chavo,
Mattitude Update, Other Midweek News
August 27, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


No time to chat today.  Just ducking in quick to give you a (probably abbreviated) update:
  • Monday's RAW?  I don't know... I didn't put a whole lot of editorial content in my recap yesterday, and it's mostly because my momma always told me if you don't have anything good to say, then just keep yer yapper shut.  And plus, my heart wasn't really in being really creatively vicious like Jeb was last week.
    Now, this was far from the worst RAW ever.  I guess I just allow myself to be swayed by one exceptionally poor segment that I remember RAWs with Katie Vick, Pepper the Dog, and other luminaries as being much, much worse than Monday's notably "eh"-worthy edition.
    Yeah, there was a ton of Heat-caliber material thrown out there with little rhyme or reason, and it tanked; but some of it shows promise for the future.  Yeah, Goldberg once again showed his utterly lack of mastery for swearing in a non-lame fashion; but actually, the flow of that confrontation with HHH was just about dead on, otherwise, and this should be a quality feud in coming weeks.  Yeah, there was way too much McMahon nonsense; but I also think they backpeddaled out of last Monday's Bischoff/Linda thing about as effectively as they could and killed THAT part of the crap off for us.  Yeah, the whole thing with the fire reeked of Hollywood-style entertainment ("Burn in hell, you son of a bitch" is a Harrison Ford line, not something I'd expect out of Shane McMahon); but it raises some interesting possibilities regarding how Kane will come out of this (realistically, he should probably be dead, but this is rasslin', and there's at least a possibility that this could be a total gimmick reset, as Kane now NEEDS that mask and voicebox... which might be neat).
    There was a little something worth bitching about in almost every segment on Monday.  Except maybe for the Bischoff/Coach/Austin/King/JR thing, which for some reason struck me as coming off pretty well.  Maybe that's just a guilty pleasure that I enjoyed, I don't know.  But minor bitches in every segment aside (and yeah, a few where the bitches were major), no one segment stood out as being so utterly pathetic and without value that this show could even be considered in the same breath with the worst offenders in RAW history.  I mention it only because in e-mail and on the boards, there is some sentiment for this being the worst RAW served up in the past year.  And I know it's not.  
    It wasn't pretty, but c'mon...  in the final analysis, I'd say this was just about on par with the previous week.  No single segment sucked as awfully as Bischoff/Linda, and nothing was nearly as strong as the way they tied all the six Elimination Chamber participants together in a series of segments.  The standard deviation on this week's RAW was much lower, but it centered around the same precise point, I think.  One that's a bit below average, probably, but the same point as last week, nonetheless.
    You're entitled to disagree, but this is one time when I feel pretty confident that my hesitation to make bold, sweeping proclamations has landed me in the right.
    Remember, the recap is here if you'd prefer just the straight, dry results from Monday.
  • The rating on Monday was back up a bit, to a 4.2 cable rating (up from 4.0).  That's probably a good sign, although a bit of a bump on the night after a PPV is common, and the real test will be to see if those people are back again next Monday.
  • Looking for Spoilers from last night in El Paso, TX?  They are right here.
  • For those of you whose interest I peaked a couple weeks back when I mentioned Randy "Macho Man" Savage's upcoming rap album, you can now listen to a portion of Macho's first hit single "Be a Man."  It's over at www.MachoMan.com.
    It is....  unique.
  • In the past two weeks, Chavo Guerrero has started a rehab assignment in OVW.  He was already worked a tag match or two, and there is talk that WWE could have him back on TV as soon as the next 2 weeks. 
    This puts Chavo over a month ahead of schedule based on the initial reports following his arm injury.  That's pretty cool, and hopefully, Chavo's not rushing anything.  It certainly looks like Uncle Eddie's going to be firmly entrenched on the upper-mid-card no matter how long Chavo takes to come back.
  • Meantime, Matt Hardy has been unexpected sidelined.  According to a report on WWE.com, Hardy was held off TV tapings this week (well, he was there in a non-wrestling capacity, seconding Shannon Moore) due to a concussion suffered last week in that match against Rey Mysterio.  The expectation is that he'll be back in action by next week's TV.
  • Alright, alright, I get it.  Sweet Jesus, I thought you people knew I didn't watch "Tough Enough."  That ain't a gimmick, folks... I honestly despise the practice of parading people no more interesting than you or I being around as stars under the guise of "reality TV."  Really. 
    So anyway, I hear you loud and clear, now:  the cute production assistant on RAW to whom I referred yesterday is "Jessie" from one of the first two Tough Enoughs (ha ha, not even you TE experts could agree on that!).  Seriously, I recognized her from a previous RAW cameo, and I said as much.  But apparently I missed the much higher-profile previous TV appearances.  I am stupid, and you are all much smarter than me.  I apologize.  Please, some day, could you find it in your hearts to forgive me?
    I still, however, stand by my belief that -- unless they intended for her to come across as monumentally stupid for feeding Rosey that line about the "guy with a gun" -- the only logical explanation for her actions on Monday was that she REALLY had it in for the t-shirt guy and set him up on purpose.  That whole bit was another festering piece of ill-conceived, unrealistic dialogue from RAW, just lucky enough to have been hidden in an essentially inconsequential skit that I forgot to mention it above.
  • The Mike Tyson vs. Bob Sapp fight is reportedly a go in principle.  The way I've heard it laid out: should take place in late December in Japan, and be made available over here on PPV (either live or virtually live with a small tape delay to account for time differences).  Tyson stands to make $4 million for one night's work with K-1.  Rules are still unclear, but if Sapp's gonna be allowed to do any kicking and grappling, you have to assume Tyson will NOT want to have big bulky boxing gloves on and be limited to just punching.  The notion of Tyson purely boxing and Sapp doing  K-1 style doesn't seem realistic to me.  I'd imagine they'll both have to end up fighting under the same set of rules, which will mean each adopting a bit of the other's style.
  • WWE's investor conference call for the first fiscal quarter of the year took place on Monday, and was almost completely devoid of any interesting news for fans.  Investors cottoned to some of the numbers crunched (which included WWE starting to get out from losses associated with The World), and WWE stock was up slightly the last two days as a result.
    For fans, the most interesting talk was about the Fed's video library.  Apparently, they are thinking about doing a video-on-demand thing for cable systems, making use of their own old footage (somehow, doing it this way, instead of on video, circumvents the World Wildlife Fund jerk-offs, so they don't have to completely revise all mentions of "the WWF") and also tape libraries belonging to WCW, ECW, and the AWA.
    You know, much like Cosmo Kramer, this was an idea I conceived of long ago, despite possessing none of the resources necessary to do anything about it.  I'm amazingly prolific that way!  Having seen the way HBO-on-Demand and other networks have implemented the concept in the past year or so, I'm even MORE confident that this could be an awesome project for WWE, albeit one that might only appeal to a core group of super fans.  And that's the rub: seeing if there's enough of an audience willing to fork over the $6.95 a month for the channel to make it financially worthwhile.  I mean, on WWE's end, there's next to no cost involved in taking the already-produced programs and getting them ready to air; once the cable systems take the cut and pay for the infrastructure and delivery system, if there's ANY money left over at all, this is probably a worthwhile project for WWE.
    And yeah, I DEFINITELY think you have to do it the way the HBO-on-Demand thing works, with a moderate monthly fee getting you access to a weekly-rotating set of available shows.  I'm a huge wrestling fan, and I'd almost never patronize a wrestling-on-demand service that was run like the PPV-movie-on-demand service (where you pay a smaller fee for every time you buy a program). I mean, somehow 7 or 8 bucks a month to have access to a constantly-shifting 30 hours or so of wrestling seems like a decent investment in terms of making sure I'm never bored.  But if bored, plopping down 2 or 3 bucks for a 2 hour block of old rasslin' seems like a mighty dumb waste of time.  It's a subtle distinction, but one I think is important and hopefully held by other fans so that the marketing research folks will notice it and consider it when implementing this project....
    Note to WWE: I also have killer ideas for the new media department and your videogame people that I fully expect to be taking credit for retroactively, since I'm sure you've got people who've already reached conclusions not unlike my own! 
  • And I think with that, we'll close with some quick TNA preview and be done....
    After last week's debacle with the Ultimate X match, there are fewer variable and a ton more reasons to be excited about tonight's show.
    The main event will be AJ Styles defending his NWA Title against Raven, winner of last week's #1 Contender gauntlet.  Unfortunately for Raven, I'm sure his issues with Shane Douglas and the New Church are far from over, which might mean he'd have to overcome more than just Styles if he were to win the belt.  He's got some back up of his own, too, so look for this one to get crowded and busy.
    Also tonight:  Michael Shane defends his new X Title against Jerry Lynn...  America's Most Wanted defend the tag titles against Simon and Swinger...  Dusty Rhodes is back again, this time to face Glen Gilberti in a bullrope match...  3 Live Krew takes on Shane Douglas and the New Church...  D'Lo Brown faces Sonny Siaki...  and Sandman faces Abyss.
    Main event should be quite good, and the X and Tag Title matches look like winners, as well.  Check out TNA tonight, or come on back Friday for Damian's full report. 
  • With the exception of the next part of the Monday Night Wars going up as tomorrow's OOld School, I'm also out of here till Friday.  See you then....


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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