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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
Test, Hogan/Jarrett in Japan, SD! in Europe, 
plus RAW Preview and Other News
October 13, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

If I'm brief today, blame the fact that I'm finding it damn near impossible to type at full speed.  I had to go help take down a big 40 foot tree at my mom's yesterday, and between taking sporadic tumbles and playing with various sharp tools, I have managed to render about 3 fingers completely unusable for the time being.  You try hunting and pecking with only one of your index fingers.

This fricking sucks.  So quickly, before I lose patience, the Show:

  • Well, it looks like two RAW tag teams may be in trouble.  Both of 'em heel, both on the cusp of big things. 
     
    Test injured his foot at a house show on Friday night, and is expected to miss up to 2 months with the broken bone(s).  The injury came when Shane McMahon landed on his foot when delivering a Van Terminator as part of a Test/Jericho/Christian vs. Shane/RVD/Storm...  Shane now has huge heat backstage and could find his job in trouble as a result.
     
    HA!  Just kidding.  You know those Teflon McMahons...  actually, in so far as there is any talk on the subject of blame, some people are saying Test shifted his position trying to protect himself better once Shane had already jumped, and that that is what caused the accident.  I think attempts at blame-laying are pretty stupid on something like this, though.  Isn't it simple enough to just say, "When guys are jumping 20 feet across a ring, shit happens."  And then move on.
     
    Test's injury comes at an especially inopportune time, as he and a freshly heel-turned Scott Steiner were headed towards a big feud with the Tag Champ Dudley Boys.  Not only was Test to be integral in Steiner's establishment as a heel, I'd have wagered quite heavily on the two taking the tag titles in the coming weeks.  What may happen now is Steiner receiving his heel push in a singles setting... and who's to say, if it takes off, that the Fed will move to reform the tag team when Test is ready to return immediately after Survivor Series?
     
    The move also puts the Duds and the whole RAW tag division back to square one.  The biggest problem over the summer was that La Resistance were an utterly one-dimensional duo, and I could not get fired up over seeing them uncleverly garnering cheap heat while holding the Dudleys at bay for what seemed like six months.  Now, La Resistance is the only heel tag team left at RAW's disposal, really.  And that leads me down a depressing line of thought...
     
    But what of Mark Henry and Rodney Mack?  Well, in addition to being a significantly less intriguing team than Steiner/Test (at least, after Teddy Long stops talking), they are also facing at least a couple of weeks of inactivity.  Mack was also injured at Friday night's house show, and as yet, no word has trickled down as to how badly his knee was hurt.  It might just turn out to be a tweak, though he missed other RAW house shows this weekend, and it's not known whether or not he'll be at RAW tonight, even in a non-wrestling capacity.  
     
    Not only does this weaken RAW's tag division, but it also handcuffs WWE in terms of a top level storyline.  Mack and Henry were tormenting Goldberg, and along the way, incurred the wrath of Shawn Michaels.  This was expected to be the tag team main event of tonight's RAW, with more trouble popping up between Goldberg and Michaels to set up a mini-feud between them.  There are, of course, other ways to accomplish that goal, but it's another exceptionally inopportune bit of timing for such an injury.
     
  • I guess while the topic is still fresh in my mind, I oughta quickly run down a few other things by way of preview for tonight's RAW....
     
    In addition to the Mack/Henry vs. Michaels/Goldberg match that has not been officially announced, but which was being widely anticipated, there is a Ric Flair vs. Maven match that IS officially signed.  And as far as I know, neither one of those guys is hurt too badly, so that'll go on as planned.  It's an outgrowth of Maven/Young Guys vs. Evolution feud that in turn led to Maven doing a bit of verbal taunting last week that in turn led to the open challenge for this match.  Oughta be an alright deal... but I find myself hoping that, with the bad luck experienced by RAW tag teams, that they just do the obvious and use Evolution (Flair/Orton, or perhaps Orton with a returning Batista or other new member) in the tag division.  These one-off mini-feuds are nice as a way to involve young talent with Flair, but the greater good would be served by using Evolution's over-ness to provide at least one plausible opponent for the Duds.
     
    One way or another, the Goldberg/Michaels story will be told tonight, by all reports to set up a match between the two for a RAW "free per view" type show (like SD! and the Iron Man Match last month).  Whether it's Mack/Henry or other bounty hunters, somebody will give those two an excuse to team up tonight for the sole purpose of violently breaking up.
     
    Kane/Shane...  it ain't going away.  WWE has tried to keep the presentation of the limo wreck more realistic, instead of mysterious and dramatic (as they did with the dumpster fire), and has reported that Kane's condition has been upgraded, and he's now "stable."  Yee haw.  Just muzzle Lawler, and keep letting Kane and Shane do wild brawling (preferably with limited access to motor vehicles or their accessories, including car batteries and jumper cables), and I'm more than willing to get excited for another match between the two.  Just please, no more like last week.  I'm beggin' ya...
     
    In the absence of anything even remotely interesting going on in the tag ranks, the IC division might be the one that needs to step up.  Last week, there were three guys in a tag match alongside RVD, the IC Champ.  Any iteration of those four will continue to deliver quality entertainment, whether in a tag setting or in singles matches jockeying for IC Title shots.  I happen to think that RVD/Jericho would be a great way to give Jericho a compelling in-ring agenda to go with his extracurricular activities with Austin.  Another possibility:  with Test shelved, Scott Steiner might not be a bad guy to push as an IC Title level heel.  His act plays better as a heel, and if anybody (besides Michaels) can make his power offense look awesome, it's RVD.
     
    Women's division also continues to easily outpace the tag ranks in terms of intrigue.  You've got Trish and Victoria doing one thing over here, and Lita and Molly doing another over here... sure the two intersect at times, but it's remarkable that the Fed has finally gotten to the point where they've got the women to carry more than one "diva" storyline at a time and a creative team that's not been afraid to capitalize on that.  And also that fans are buying into it, too.
     
    Check out RAW tonight, or come on back to OO for full recap and satire tomorrow.
     
  • Of note for RAW:  while they might be losing a few guys, it looks like Booker T could be back, possibly only about 1 week behind schedule.  After missing scheduled dates last weekend, Booker DID make a surprise house show appearance this weekend, and might return to TV as soon as tonight.
     
    Booker's expected to keep a lighter-than-most schedule upon his return, as his back condition is one that won't totally go away and needs to be carefully managed.
     
    Shawn Michaels and Goldberg also made (relatively) rare house show appearances at the same show in Wheeling, WV, which was said to be a really fun time by a couple of readers who mailed in about it.
     
  • Big news from Japan...  Hulk Hogan was over there this weekend for his first match since departing WWE in July, and his first match as "Hulk Hogan" since WrestleMania.
     
    Hogan was over there working a big NJ TokyoDome show, and he defeated Masahiro Chono.  Then he held a press conference afterwards, and told reporters that he was interested in regaining the IWGP Title and winning his first NWA Title before he retired for good.  
     
    As if on cue, Jeff Jarrett rushed the dais and attacked Hogan.  Jarrett pasted Hogan with a guitar shot that left Hulk bleeding.  Jarrett closed with a few words of caution for Hogan, telling him something about how this is just a taste of what Hogan might get if he comes to TNA looking for the NWA Title.
     
    Obviously, this is phase one of Hogan's agreement with TNA.  Footage of the incident is slated to air on this week's TNA PPV...  last week, I'd said that Hogan would be included on weekly TNA shows leading up to his wrestling appearance at the big full-price Sunday, November 30 TNA event.  I guess this fits that bill, though the impression I'd been given was that Hogan's deal called for him to do more exclusive-type appearances (not just letting TNA  use footage of him at third-party events).  We'll see as time goes on...
     
    Unfortunately, though TNA should get bonus points for negotiating a way to feature Hogan and jumpstart his feud with Jarrett well ahead of the major Sunday night event, I think they should get docked a few, too...  for apparently telegraphing the direction the company's going with regards to the NWA Title.  Jarrett has a title shot at AJ Styles next week; already, many had thought the result of that match was a foregone conclusion.  Now, with Hogan talking about chasing the NWA Title and then getting attacked by Jarrett, there can be no doubt that TNA's plan is to have Jarrett wearing the NWA Title by the time Hogan shows up.  Kind of clumsy...  maybe a necessary clumsy, though, if it means generating interest in TNA ahead of the full price show.  I don't really know which way I'd go on that issue.
     
    Anyway, the short of it: Jarrett bloodies Hogan over in Japan.  Footage at 8 (on Wednesday night).
     
  • While Hogan and Jarrett were making news in Japan, WWE's SD! crew were in Europe for a mini-tour.
     
    By most accounts, one of the cool highlights of the tour was a post-show birthday celebration at last Thursday night's (I think, damn you time zones!) show in Finland.  The main event was Brock Lesnar defeating the Undertaker, but afterwards, a heel run-in by Rhyno was countered by a save by Eddie Guerrero.  Once Rhyno had been neutralized, Taker got on the house mic and revealed that it was Eddie's birthday.  The locker room emptied and everyone came out to join in a celebration that was mostly led by Kurt Angle (doing some horrible singing) and Big Show (doing his "Showster" gimmick while roasting Eddie).
     
    Other shows were in Germany and England, both of which were headlined by Taker/Angle vs. Lesnar/Cena matches, and both of which ended with Taker pinning Lesnar.  Full houses and hot crowds all-around for the tour.
     
  • The final rating for last week's SD! is in... and it's a 3.6.  Huh.  Despite a lower than usual overnight rating, SD!'s final rating actually jumped back up to its lofty July averages.  This comes a week after the show did a turgid 2.9 the week before.
     
    SD! has only done better than a 3.6 once in the last four months, so the company's gotta be happy with that.  The fans?  Maybe not so happy.  I was massively unimpressed by last week's SD!, especially the completely inane main event angle.  I hate the idea that the Fed's getting the message that "sewage equals ratings."
     
  • In the delayed-by-events-beyond-your-control edition of Battle of the Brands, OO has spoken quite decisively about last week's SmackDown!, as well.
     
    The show earned the lowest one week staff rating in the history of BotB... and although RAW didn't score that high, either, it handily won the honor of Brand of the Week for last week.  The combined OO Staff Rating for RAW and SD was more than a point lower than the previous combined low.
     
    You can get the full ratings (both Staff and Nielsen) for last week in Battle of the Brands.
     
  • "The Rundown" cleared another 5-point-something million dollars this past weekend, and it remains on pace to top $50 million pretty easily.  It dropped from third to seventh this week in the box office rankings, and has earned forty-plus million and counting.
     
  • More armchair etymologists have come out of the wood work this weekend to help out with "ricockulous."  As of Friday's update, we had already determined that the word was derived by simply taking the "dic" out of "ridiculous" and replacing it with a "cock."  But what mastermind was the first to ever make this modification?  We could not say definitively.
     
    And we still can't.  But since I'm running out of stuff to talk about, I'll tell you that two theories were put in front of me over the past few days.  One credits Adam Carolla (Jimmy Kimmel's other half) for ubiquitously using the word dating back to his days on the "Loveline" radio show.  Given Carolla's ties to Kimmel and Kimmel's predilection for booking WWE guests, that one made sense...
     
    However, the other possibility predates Carolla:  "ricockulous" appears on an Infectious Grooves album, circa 1991.  And given that band's family tree and knowing Jericho's taste in music, that seems an utterly plausible explanation for where it came from.
     
    Man, I haven't had this much fun since I realized the correlation between the start of Jericho's use of "ass clown" and frequent airings of "Office Space" on cable!
     
  • And on that note, I'm outta here.  You can thank my personal misfortune for the rather curious lack of any Yankees/Red Sox content here today.  After Saturday's debacle, I have much I'd like to say, but not the time or digital prowess to say it right now.  You lucky bastards. 
      

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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