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SD! Thoughts, Ratings Woes, and
Other Weekend News
October 3, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Yankees: yay!  Arnold: boo!  There: am I being concise enough in my no-wrestling-content prefatory rant, today?

Actually, I'd love to piss you off with 5000 more words of rhetoric, but I just don't have it today.  What is "it," you ask?  For our purposes, the "it" that I don't have right now is everything except for a throbbing headache.  

Here's what I got:

  • I remain a bit baffled by some of the choices being made on SmackDown! as they head to a PPV...  but ultimately, if they keep on pumping out shows as overall-solid as last night's, I'm gonna be pretty happy.
    For instance: I don't get the Benoit/A-Train feud at all.  It's built on A-Train always losing to Benoit, which isn't exactly a thrilling premise.  [For more on this subject, visit your local library... or Erin's top shelf column, anyway.]  However, when we get a sweet little Benoit/Haas match to mark some time and advance us towards the PPV goal of Benoit vs. A-Train, I find myself softening a bit.  Or maybe I shouldn't?  I mean, if Benoit/Haas is good, and Benoit/A-Train will probably be not quite so good, then....  ah hell, I don't want to get into this.  My main point was that out of the not-so-enthralling Benoit/A-Train feud, we got ourselves a really good match last night between Benoit and Haas.  'Nuff said.
    Actually, not quite 'nuff: I got a tangent I want to do. A-Train doing guest commentary seemed a bit pointless given his level of input.  However, his comment about "Give me enough leverage and I can break any man" did stick out.  Not because it was particularly well-delivered or threatening... but because it allows me to quip that the "A" in "A-Train" must stand for Archimedes.  HA!  Look it up, kids...  because trust me, that's pure comic gold!
    Back on track... there was other good stuff, too.  In fact, three other matches besides Benoit/Haas get special commendations, if you ask me.  The Eddie/Hardy opener was cool, and I loved the finish.  Tajiri/Kidman was also exceptional, with Tajiri doing a great job of illustrating how one can be a wicked heel without saying a word (just with those kicks and his gestures, he comes off like a dick).  And the main event tag match -- Taker/Angle vs. Cena/Lesnar -- was perhaps the night's best; a well-constructed, well-worked match that gives me extreme confidence that those two PPV matches will both deliver.
    And in the end, it's all that good stuff that makes it easy for me to overlook a few lacking areas of last night's show.  I mean, really: I said my piece about Eddie/Show on Wednesday (summary: I think Eddie/Hardy would be the wiser and more effective PPV match), and if possible, the Fed gave me even more reason to be down on it.  A feud based on explosive diarrhea?  No thanks.  Seriously, what'd you guys do?  Visit RAW this week and ask them if they had any ideas so stupid even they dismissed them?  No doubt, Eddie's one of the characters you can turn to for comic relief, but that was just not a smart (or funny, for that matter) way of trying to integrate the comedy with the rest of the show.
    Still, a pretty good show on the whole.  Big Danny T's back from the power outage from hell to recap the show if you need the full report.
  • The rating for last night's show: a 2.9.  That's the final rating, and is a drop of two-tenths from the week before.  That's only the second time in the last three months that SD! has drawn below a 3.0, and is well below SD!'s September average of 3.3.
    Also, to update RAW's rating this week:  the final number was actually a 3.5 (not a 3.7, which is what I handed out on Wednesday).  That's a drop of one-tenth from the week before.  Of note: the audience peaked for JR/Coach, and dropped off from there, which absolutely sucks considering how tremendous the main event ladder match was.
    That means this week's combined audience for RAW and SD! was the smallest one for WWE in the last three months (since I started keeping track of that stat for BotB).  The combined audience has dropped a full 1.2 ratings points since the week ending September 5.  I, for one, thought both shows were good this week, and hope that the Fed doesn't go and try and desperation alterations to gain that point back.
  • Randy Savage's rap CD gets released next Tuesday, and he's making some rounds to promote it.  Along the way, he's flinging plenty of bile the way of Hulk Hogan.  In radio interviews, and even in the new Rolling Stone, Savage verbally punks out Hogan, who has yet to seriously respond to the public taunting campaign that Savage started a couple years ago.
    Oh, and the CD?  Well, I got a note from a reader who's heard the whole thing, and it's not pretty.  Savage himself has been saying in interviews that he knows he's not exactly a skilled musician or rapper, but that this is fun for him...  do not, however, expect it to be much fun for you as a listener.
  • A note about the Ric Flair (not-auto-)biography that I mentioned Wednesday...
    There will be a ghost writer for the project, but this book is a whole new deal, and NOT the continuation or outgrowth of the Mark-Madden-ghost-written Flair bio that was in the works at one point 2 or 3 years ago.
    I think the ghost-writer job is falling to the same WWE publications veteran who handled Freddie Blassie's bio, Keith Elliot Greenberg.
    Just wanted to clear that up, since I got 2 e-mails wondering about Madden being the ghost writer.
  • Damian Gonzalez had some technical difficulties, and won't be able to supply a TNA PPV Recap this week... and from the sounds of things, he picked a good week to have the VCR to tits up.
    TNA itself had severe technical difficulties on the audio side, rendering portions of this week's telecast unbearable to listen to.  On top of that, the in-ring product was below usual standards, with Dusty Rhodes wrestling in a tag team main event.  In fact, Dusty pinned NWA champ AJ Styles, which set up next week's main event: Dusty getting his first NWA Title shot in probably about 15 years.  Needless to say, this excited just about none of the readers who mailed in about this week's show.
    Since finishing up a strong summer's worth of shows, TNA has been floundering these past few weeks...
  • Confirming something from Wednesday: Booker T is definitely off all weekend house shows, and also is not expected to be a part of Monday's RAW tapings.  WWE's hope is to have him back by mid-month, however.
  • Tickets for the next joint-effort PPV, Survivor Series, go on sale next Saturday morning.  I mention it because TicketMaster is currently listing Goldberg vs. Triple H as the main event...
    One must assume that TicketMaster isn't going around just randomly making up a main event match for the show...  that probably came straight from WWE.  And thus, one can draw some conclusions about just how effective HHH's bounty hunters will be in coming weeks.  Sounds like he'll be back to do the job himself in 2 months time....
    Of course, "the plan" with regards to HHH changed very rapidly two weeks ago, and there's no telling how current TicketMaster's information is.  Still, sounds like you can, at the very least, pencil in HHH/Goldberg for Survivor Series.
  • I got nothing else.  Kind of a slow weekend, newswise...  and I'm not feeling up for any extending editorializing just now.  So you get a free pass to start enjoying your weekend a few minutes earlier than usual!  
    Or perhaps you want to check out some other quality stuff here at OO?  I already mentioned Erin's column and Danny's recap...  but if you're not also checking out Brad's "Cheap Heat," you're really missing out.  And there's BotB, too.  That's four, four, FOUR other fantastically worthwhile ways for you to waste some time.
    See you again on Monday....


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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