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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
Penny Wisdom, RAW and Ratings, 
SCANDAL!, Bachelor Party, And Other Crap....
September 10, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Just so you know: my annual molting has taken place.  I have shed the Cincinnati Reds for the year.  No matter how perfect the porch-sitting/radio-listening/beer-drinking weather is these days, I can't bring myself to listen to the antics of a mélange of AA and AAA players and pretend like I still care.  I'm gonna want to get down to one more game in Cincinnati in person, just in case it's Larkin's last hurrah, but otherwise, my plan is to now concentrate on willing my Yankees to hold off the hated BoSox...

And if you care: I'm not even bothering to START caring about the Bengals. Then again, even when they made the Super Bowl back in seventh grade or whatever, I don't think I started caring until after Christmas.  I'm a NY Giants man in football.

And I'm a spine-tinglingly witty, insightful, and eloquent man in the world of pro rasslin' commentary:

  • First order of business: fer chrissakes, people, invest the 2 hours and ONE DAMN PENNY on NWA-TNA's show tonight.  
     
    Assuming you have cable, you will be able to receive TNA's special "Best of" show tonight for just one lousy cent.  Even if you are only a casual watcher of WWE programming, the novelty of getting a pay-per-view event for essentially free should be enough to entice your to check out TNA tonight.
     
    You'll get to see what has become of Raven, D'Lo Brown, and Jeff Jarrett, too.  You'll get to see what the fuss is all about with regards to this AJ Styles guy (the one who TURNED DOWN a WWE developmental contract last year so he could stay in the indies, and wound up maturing into TNA's major success story).  You'll probably also be underwhelmed by the production side of things, but you'll also be overwhelmed by the quality of the ringwork.
     
    Now, the slate of matches TNA is putting together for the one-cent special has changed since I wrote about it on Monday.  Now, TNA is hyping a card that looks like it might feature more full matches.  These are the only matches now listed for the show:  Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles vs. Raven (Styles wins NWA Title), Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven, Triple X vs. America's Most Wanted (cage), Styles vs. D'Lo Brown (cage), the ill-fated Ultimate X highwire match (which should actually rule if they edit it well), and Sting's lone match for the company (teaming with Jarrett against Styles and Sean Waltman).  That looks like a very nice sampling of TNA's recent best...
     
    Word of warning: satellite/DirecTV viewers will NOT get the one cent special.  Negotiations to run the gimmick didn't pan out with them, so instead, TNA is offering you a chance to check out their upcoming DVD release (a collection of the Best NWA Title matches they've had so far), but at the full $10 price tag.  Sorry.  [I think it's possible that I got my lines crossed, and the line-up I discussed on Monday is actually the line-up for this DTV/DVD show for tonight, so take that under consideration.]
     
    Also: my understanding is that all TNA replays this week WILL be subject to the one cent price tag.  There are multiple replays scheduled over the course of the next week, including an All Day Ticket on Thursday.  So you will have plenty of chances to check this out...
     
    And then, I believe TNA returns live next Wednesday (they've been kicked out of the "Asylum," which is located at the state fairgrounds and is in use this week).  And they hope some of you who check out the one cent show will be willing to come on back for more...
     
  • Now, stepping back to Monday's RAW... there's not a whole lot that I can that I didn't already say in yesterday's RAW Recap.  But in the interests of those of you who don't care to read a recap of a show you already watched...
     
    By simply excising the Suck Factor, WWE made Monday's RAW a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  Was it a blow away show, loaded with memorable moments and matches?  Not really.  But it was a good, fun wrestling show.  The kind of show that got me hooked to the point that I now think spending four hours a week on this hobby is worthwhile.  
     
    Kane and RVD had a good and very effective cage match.  Much to my pleasure, there was no nonsense with car batteries or electrified cages.  Just a brutal beatdown by Kane, a few impressive hopespots from RVD, and then a decisive win for the Big Red Machine.  In the long run, bloodying opponents and chokeslamming them off the top rope will be a LOT more important to Kane getting over as a monster heel than jumper cables and testicular defibrillation.  
     
    And in a move sure to put another black mark on the Internet Smark Permanent File, I thought the highlight of the night was, appropriately enough, the mid-show promo featuring Steve Austin, Christian, and Chris Jericho.  All three got to shine, and along the way, we forwarded a few storylines, too.  And the sheer entertainment value of Jericho and Austin ad-libbing after Jericho dropped the beer cannot be overstated.  It was real and genuine, and yet, still in character...  a perfect handling of the situation.  Although it did serve to fully expose the later Shane/Bischoff verbal sparring as the overly-scripted, completely-hackneyed claptrap that it was, too.
     
    But in the end, the show, to me, was defined by what was missing, rather than what was there.  After a month straight of simulated sexual assaults, dumpster fires, and nut roastings, a RAW that never once made me shake my head in befuddlement is a welcome change of pace.  Thank you, RAW, may I have another?
     
  • The rating for RAW, however.... oh boy, I really don't want to do this.
     
    The rating for RAW on Monday was a 3.6, down almost three-quarters of a point from the previous week's crap-o-rama.  Now, I'll sit here and tell you that I've always thought of ratings as reflexive in nature: in short, this week's show only marginally affects this week's ratings, but it has a larger impact on NEXT week's (if someone was entertained this week, they tune in next week, and maybe bring some friends along for the ride; if someone was not entertainined, they probably still stuck with the show till the end, and don't register their displeasure until the forget to tune in the next week)... but I'm sure that my theory can be easily debunked with someone with access to better data.  Someone who might want to prove that the last three week's worth of shows were actually quite good, and that's why they all scored 4.0 or better...  this hypothetical someone might also be plotting the Return of the Suck, in hopes that it will bring RAW's rating back up a half-point.
     
    So let's just drop the topic, and blame the ratings aberration on the debut of Monday Night Football, which did a huge rating and led ABC to the ratings win for the night.  That's a theory everybody's likely to agree with.
     
    Of note: the highest rated segment was the Austin/Jericho promo. Not even the over-run managed to score that well.  That might be because between the promo and the main event/over-run, RAW actually scored it's lowest rating of the night for the quarter hour featuring the Announcer Feud (it tied the very first QH, which is USUALLY low).  The show could not build back up after that.
     
  • FYI: Spike Dudley is, surprisingly, perfectly alright after that sick looking bump on RAW.  Even I, as an untrained observer, thought that one was pretty clearly La Resistance's fault (they either over-rotated or under-elevated Spike), and I guess that's also the feeling backstage.  Even with Spike surviving with little more than a bump on his head, it's been made quite clear to me that the Duds and La Resistance won't be trading holiday greetings this December....
     
  • We're onto you, Jamie Koeppe...  or should I say, "Candice"?
     
    On Monday, I joked that I finally remembered her name only because of the lingering shots of her sweet, sweet ass on "Confidential" this past week.  But with a little looking, there's a whole lot more by which to remember her out there on the internet.
     
    I was visiting the ol' OO Forums Monday night, and read about how the closest thing I've got to an arch-enemy had finally made himself useful...  he'd uncovered Jamie's past as an adult model.  Turns out she has done a number of nude photo spreads under the name "Candice."  Whatever she wants to call herself, it's all good.  So very good that I think I'll be remembering BOTH her names, now.
     
    Now, not to make this sound like a scandal or anything, the news really did come as a surprise to me.  WWE is usually VERY territorial, and doesn't like the idea of somebody other than them making money off their talent's nakedness.  I thought for sure they'd have narrowed the "Diva Search" field down to only finalists with sufficiently "sanitized" modeling pasts.  Not so.  And just to be clear: I've done the, uhhh, "research," and there's no doubt about it.  "Candice" is Jamie Koeppe.  This isn't like the "Trish Stratus Porno" or other crap that people have sometimes tried to pawn off on unsuspecting fans.
     
    The photos are actually pretty tasteful (Playboy-style), so it's not like this is as bad as Chastity's hardcore past coming back to bite her on the ass a few years ago.  But nevertheless, if you click either of the upcoming links, I'm going to blithely assume that you agree to the following statement, "As far as OO knows or can be held legally accountable for, I am 18 or however the hell old I'm supposed to be where ever the hell I live in order to look at naked ladies."
     
    In the interest of the public good, I now direct you to this page (originally found by a writer on another site and brought to my attention by OO Forums members, it features a couple dozen naked pictures of Jamie).  Or to this page (link mailed to me by a reader, this one purports to have Jamie's full nude modeling archive -- five photo sets -- but only if you join up).
     
     
  • One has to assume that the WWE boys won't be looking to the internet for their naked girls next week...  that's because Triple H's bachelor party is scheduled for next Tuesday, following SD! tapings in North Carolina.  
     
    A bit of buzz has built up about the party because essentially, the entire roster is invited, and a bunch of RAW guys will stay on the road the extra day so that they can join in the fun.  That could end up being -- what? -- fifty or sixty guys tearing Raleigh a new asshole...  wow.   And apparently, you usually have to pry Steph out of the titty bars with a crowbar, too.  [Honest Injun!]  Although I'm sure on this occasion, she'll let HHH and the fellas have their night.  If she's smart, she'll stay at the hotel and pray to whatever god she believes in that nobody ends up in jail at the end of the night.
     
    There is also the start of talk that WWE will cancel scheduled house shows that might conflict with the wedding itself... already, the company planned no shows on October 25 (the wedding date), but there is talk that shows for the 26th will be axed before tickets even go on sale.  That would allow the majority of the roster (almost all of whom are expected to be invited) to attend the wedding and have fun without having to worry about traveling to a Sunday house show.
     
  • It feels like it's been at least a year since we last talked about this, but I figure you might like to know: WWE's legal case against Lewmar, Inc. has finally made it to the courthouse.  Lewmar is the company that manufactured the harness that Owen Hart was wearing on the night of his accidental death.
     
    In a separate suit with the Hart family, WWE agreed, out of court, to pay them about $17-18 million.  Last year, they turned around and instigated proceedings against Lewmar to regain some or all of that money.  The WWE's case centers on the fact that Lewmar issued warnings overseas in 1996, limiting the appropriate use of their products to yachting.  The warnings were never issued in the US, and Lewmar's products were used by stunt coordinators through to Owen's accident and beyond.
     
    The case is being heard in Kansas City, and you can get the full local report right here.
     
  • Earlier this week, WWE announced a deal with TVN to distribute pay-per-view and "Fanatic Series" events via Video-on-Demand.  This follows up on vague mentions of utilizing VoD technology in the latest WWE, Inc. investors' conference call.
     
    TVN is the primary VoD distributor in North America, so basically, if you've got any sort of video-on-demand service with your current cable hook-up, this probably means you'll be seeing WWE events added in soon.
     
    The press release was pretty much just all fluffy language, and offered absolutely nothing in the way of a pricing information or a start date for WWF-on-Demand offerings.
     
  • Remember, SD! this week is only 90 minutes long, in order to accommodate the debut of "The Mullets" on UPN.  Do me a favor, give the show a look after SD!, and tell me what you thought.  I've been listening to my brother talk the damn thing up for 9 months, so I'm not sure I'll be able to look at it impartially and hate it as strongly as I suspect it'll deserve...
     
    By all accounts, the abbreviated SD! tapings were a big hit with fans in Alabama...  they even got a 25 minute bonus match to make up for the short-comings.
     
    Full spoilers are right here.
     
  • And I think that just about does it for me this lovely Wednesday afternoon.  After blowing through the entire Monday Night Wars feature in the last four weeks, OOld School is probably gonna take a rest tomorrow, so I'll see you again on Friday! 
     

E-MAIL RICK SCAIA
BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

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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