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RAW/Ratings, Angle Update, Gail Kim,
A Bit of TNA, and Other News
November 19, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Well, it's not exactly a rocket buster of a news day, and I already blew my best Pointless Recent Anecdote on Monday (yeah, the Waterproof Blonde one), so I don't even have any really amusing way to preface the column with the type of barely relevant story I like to use to pad the column when I know it's gonna be short.

Damn.  Will you ever forgive me if I just start in on the rasslin' talk?

  • I pretty well covered my initial opinions of Monday's RAW over in the RAW Recap.  Just read it, fer chrissakes.  It's good, I promise.
    But as usual, an extra day of perspective and an extra day of getting e-mails from folks with differing ideas about the show means we can talk a little more about what worked and didn't work and what we'll end up really remember about Monday night.
    So of course, all talk today must being with Jackie's Nipple!  Ha!  Just kidding!  But not really!  People apparently love talking about Jackie's Nipple, no matter how brief its appearance!  It shames me to say, but I actually missed Jackie's Nipple while watching RAW Monday.  So my only knowledge of Jackie's Nipple is second hand, and as such, I'd feel wrong expend vast amounts of energy talking about it here.  I'm afraid I'll just have to move on..
    So maybe we move onto Hot Topic #2, which as I predicted, involved Triple H remaining in the World Title picture even as just about every other storyline around him was changed.  The only thing I have to say about that is that if they want to give us a "free-per-view" HHH/Goldberg match next week, I'm cool with that.  I really think you folks need to cool off a bit: Goldberg vs. Kane seems to be where the focus will be AFTER next week.
    And the easy Hot Topic #3: the Jericho/Trish and Christian/Lita bits.  I'm very happy I'm not the only one who felt like Jericho and Christian flipped roles on Monday: that Jericho seemed a bit more heelish and Christian seemed very earnest.  But at the same time, there are alternate explanations for the actions of both...  for one, Jericho could have been the victim of Very Awful Writing converging with Bad Romantic Acting; they might have intended for him to remain very sincere and genuine, but neglected to realize that crappy lines about "chemistry" and then tossing in the Awkward Toying with Trish's Hair would ring very false.  And two, Christian might have just used his One Wish because he still only cares about is getting in Lita's pants and this week remembered not to make an evil face at the camera once it seemed to work.  You see, both guys could still go either way....  and like I said in the recap, it's the ambiguity that keeps this interesting even after I thought this week's Trish/Jericho segment was the first misstep of the month-long ordeal:  Chris either needed to be less slimy or Trish needed to tell him "not tonight," because the surprisingly-engrossing build up deserved a more memorable (more "right-feeling") first kiss.
    And if I may repeat myself again: yes, I make myself sick with how much I'm finding myself caring about this insipidly soap opera-ish angle(s).  ALMOST as sick as I am with the people who keep mailing in to say that both Christian and Jericho need to quit screwing around and just traumatize Lita and Trish so they stay heels, godammit.  I may be a soft touch, but those people are just smarkish jerks.
    Only other issue that came up a few times:  the "What the hell is going on with Booker T?" question.  Yeah, he got his "heat back" from Survivor Series by pinning Mark Henry.  But he had to cheat to do it.  And on top of that, they completely ignored the "I Still Remember" angle from the week before.  From the sounds of things, many OOsters feel Booker deserves better.  I tend to agree.
    Not really a whole lot else came up in terms of additional topics to dissect...  I gather people are split on Randy Orton getting the IC Title push, but considering the option 4 weeks ago seemed to be Scott Steiner going for that title, I'm probably in favor of giving the heel with the as-yet-unknown ceiling the shot over the known commodity who works pretty well as a heel but only has a middling ceiling at this point of his career.  And plus, Steiner/Test as a heel tag team has its merits, too, and I like that they are lined up as challengers for the Dudleys (and having Stacy in the middle is alright, too).
    No, there wasn't anything that stood out as a wrestling match on Monday, but it was still a pretty cool show for putting new storylines in motion: having Bischoff in charge means decks can be stacked against babyfaces, which is usually the dynamic you want.  The chase is the thing, and fan favorites will be doing a lot of chasing for the next month heading into the December PPV.  Works for me.
    Again, full recap is here if you need it.
  • The rating for Monday's RAW:  a 3.6...  that's down a single tick from the week before, but still a little above the October average for the show.  You might hope for a little bit of a bump for a post-PPV show, but for a show without Austin and with a semi-predictable main event of Goldberg vs. all of Evolution, the ratings trend was a good one...  the number went up pretty steadily for the 2 hours and did peak for the over-run.
    As discussed last week, when RAW was dipping below 3.5, they were NOT peaking with the over-run, but instead peaking around mid-show and then losing viewers over the second hour.  And that's not good.
  • Speaking of doing a good rating without Austin...  I stand by what I said on Monday: that it's not gonna be long before WWE has him back on TV.  They wouldn't write him out without already knowing how they're going to bring him back, bottom line.  You don't just send one of your top drawing stars into oblivion (unless there are political or contract issues... which there are NOT in Austin's case).
    I expect another week or two of Austin being gone to sell the Survivor Series stip before he shows up in some capacity.  Let Bischoff have his fun next week with RAW Roulette, but then, all bets are off, and Austin could show up to launch the next phase of the storyline at any point.  That's my guess.
  • And speaking of using "speaking of..." as a segue: speaking of guys being back sooner rather than later, the word from the wrestling side pretty much backs up what we talked about on Monday regarding Kurt Angle.
    Assuming Angle's procedure went off without a hitch, he will be back in the ring by mid-December.  He could be back on TV in a non-wrestling role either next week or the week after, depending on how badly they think they need him.  I know the plan was to start using Cena and Angle as a tag team (at least on many house shows), and there's no limit on the kinds of fun backstage things they could do, so it wouldn't surprise me if they ask Angle to be back on TV as quickly as possible.
  • Somebody who won't be back in a wrestling ring until 2004:  Gail Kim.  She snapped her collarbone in a match against Trish Stratus that will air Sunday on Heat.  Gail, a tougher broad than you might have given her credit for, finished the match as planned.  In fact, until encouraged to check with a doctor, she thought it was probably just a nuisance shoulder injury and she was gonna work through it.
    New prognosis, though: broken collar bone and a return right around the New Year (plus or minus a week or two).  
  • FYI: for complete Heat results, not to mention the details from Velocity tapings, check out The Spoilers.  I know you kids can't get enough of those shows.
    Oh, and on the off chance you care, the full results from tomorrow night's SmackDown! are in there, too.
  • Figuring (quite accurately) that I'm not one to pay money to see the Brendan Fraser "Looney Toons" movie, a few readers mailed in to clarify Goldberg's role in the film...  all I knew when I talked about it Monday was that it was significantly more than the cameo I'd assumed when I first heard about it 18 months ago.
    Turns out, Goldberg plays the head goon for Steve Martin's character.  And although he does not have many lines, he is onscreen for upwards of half the movie (according to "Rudy," who says Goldberg, Martin, and even Fraser are good in the movie and gives it a Thumbs Up).  
    Hearing that, I'm kind of surprised WWE hasn't at least MENTIONED Goldberg's role.  I mean, a quick cameo you can ignore.  But even if they don't have a slice of the "Looney Toons" pie, wouldn't the Goldberg Persona benefit from a quick aside by JR about how he's in a major motion picture?  Not that I really care, but honestly, it doesn't seem like it would do anything but help him out...
  • And since Goldberg and movies are the topic, let me quickly pass along this gem...
    A couple of readers saw an item on the Dark Horizons website about Goldberg starring in a movie called "Santa's Sleigh," in which Goldberg would be a criminal who dresses up as Santa Claus, or something.  Specific details include a January start date for filming in Edmonton, AB, and a schedule that will not conflict with Goldberg's WWE schedule (which, let's be honest, consists of about 5 days a month).
    I'm not exactly sure what I should make of this news, but a big part of me wants to say "I'll believe it when I see it."  And the rest thinks even if it pans out, this sounds like about as good an idea as the Rock in "Instant Karma."
    We'll see...
  • I mentioned an interesting little Ricky Steamboat interview in my column Monday, and of course, I proceeded to forget to include the link to it.  Or did I forget?  Maybe I'm just trying to keep those upstarts over at IGN from getting the "OO Rub."  Yeah, that sounds about right.
    Anyway, you can check out the interview right here.  Again, the most interesting thing, from my perspective, was Steamboat (for the first time I can recall) actually admitting an interest in a potential final farewell match.  In WWE against Ric Flair, no less.  Sure, it's an interest he doesn't think is mutual, but it's a start...
    Sorry if you don't share my interest in this, but the Dragon was pretty much my first favorite wrestler back in grade school, and even the slightest hint that he might get the sort of send-off that I, personally, think he deserves is a bit of a mark-out moment for me.
    Oh, and apologies to everybody who had to mail in to pester me about forgetting to include the actual link....
  • Perhaps, if you want to start finding out just how and why Steamboat was a favorite of mine, you could find some good examples in the Ultimate Ric Flair Collection 3-DVD set...
    Steamboat's greatest WCW/NWA run came in 1989 when he traded the NWA Title with Flair, and BOTH awesome matches the two had are on the DVD.  I haven't gotten out to pick it up, yet, but I will... and already two folks who have seen it have sent in raves about it.  And not just raves, but "I haven't even gotten through half the stuff, yet, and this STILL rules" sorts of raves.
    That, my friends, is how you do DVD.  I'm glad to hear WWE did this one right.  Something like 11 hours of footage may sound like an arduous viewing task, but I can't imagine how you'd immortalize The Nature Boy in any less time...
  • Lastly for today, a quick rundown of tonight's NWA-TNA show...  it's an interesting show from where I sit.  Not so much for what they've got lined up, but for how the show performs with fans.

    In the last month, TNA has spent a bunch of time building up a Jarrett/Hogan feud, and has brought in both Sting and Lex Luger (not to mention Jim Duggan and Rick Steiner) as part of the hype.  Tonight, they're back to the core TNA roster from the sounds of things.  My concern, as voiced as soon as word of the TNA Mega-Super Sunday Night Show surfaced, was that TNA might condition fans to expect big guest stars... making their own core roster seem somehow less interesting.
    Well, how well tonight's event (the first focused on the core roster and not on guest stars in over a month) does might provide some clues.
    The main event?  Well, there's not really any one stand-out match... but three different matches are all the results of lengthy build-ups.  First is the return of Raven's Clockwork Orange House of Fun, as he'll team with Sandman and Erik Watts against Don Callis' Red Shirt Security Dudes and Joe E. Legend....  next is the finale of the "Triple Chance" X-Division tourney-thingie which will pit "X" vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Sonjay Dutt in a #1 Contenders match...  and finally is a tag team title match with Simon and Swinger defending the belts against Ron Killings and BG James.
    Also on the show: they will air footage from an angle taped Monday, when Jeff Jarrett attacked Jimmy Hart during a radio interview Hart was conducting...  AJ Styles will face Abyss...  and Sonny Siaki and Ekmo will take on CM Punk and Julio Dinero.
    We'll have Damian Gonzalez's recap of the show here for you if you miss it.
  • And with that, I'm spent.  See you Friday.


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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