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Tiding You Over the Holidays
December 22, 2003

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


OK, so it has come to this.

Only the hottest, wildest, most perverse of my Dayton Flyer wet dreams these last few months had us making it to this point of the season as one of the 17 undefeated teams in college hoops.  And yet, here we are.

So why do I feel so unfulfilled, so consumed with dread?  Could it be because, since winning out in Maui, the Flyers have played a cupcake schedule at home, and yet not had a SINGLE FRICKING GAME where the other team didn't have a chance to win in the last five minutes?  Maybe...  but it's also because tomorrow, we'll be playing the  similarly undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats in a game with National Implications.  And frankly, we've been UC's bitch for just about as long as I can remember.

I don't know exactly how the polls will work out later today, but my guess is that UD will be either #22 or #23, and UC will be either #14 or #15 when we play on Tuesday night.  It sounds like a great match-up.  It'll look cool when it's SportsCenter's second biggest game of the night.  But if my boys show up turning to ball over with reckless abandon and shooting 15% from the 3-point line like they have lately, it could also be a long night. I am a Flyer Fanatic through and through.  But I'm also a realist.

Perhaps adding to my discomfort: a friend of mine won a big ass Wing Party at our local Hooters, and picked tomorrow night so that we could get together, drink, and gorge ourselves on fried foods while watching the game on a big screen TV.  I've long had this vague uneasiness about "Hooters," like I know I should have more fun when I go there, but I never do.  I could not verbalize it, could not even explain it to myself in my own head.  And then I saw that new South Park a week or so back.  The "Raisins" one.  I still can't verbalize my uneasiness my own self, but I can point you to that 30 minutes of TV and say, "It's something along those lines."

Not that I'll care.  Would a guy whose hottest, wildest wet dreams reportedly involve Flyer basketball really let himself be distracted by short-shorts and halter tops?  Sadly, probably not.  Unless the Flyers win in thrilling fashion after I've personally downed about 3 pitchers of beer.  Because hell, if I'm already fantasizing about a 9-0 record, then miraculously get the tenth win over the Hated Bearcats, who in the hell is gonna keep a determined, drunken The Rick from the harem of willing Hooters Girls to which he is so clearly entitled? 

What, you want a wrestling column?  Oh, alright...

  • The OO 2003 Year End Crapstravaganza is going exceptionally well, if I do say so myself.  Erin, Matt, and Bulldog have all gone already, and to my great excitement, we've got three different picks for Wrestler of the Year, and a generally very diverse set of memories and opinions.
    I can also tell you that my own ballot is done, and that I'm making it four different WotY out of four.  OK, I'll cop to it:  I'm voting for Brock.  But you'll have to wait till my entire Honor Roll is published to hear why.  There's a good chance that my ballot will go up either tomorrow or Friday (depending on what other content I have available)..  so come on back for the Thrilling Excitement!  And cross your fingers that I don't get all wimpy and decide to hold back until NEXT Tuesday, just because I'm concerned that HBK vs. HHH could somehow contend for Match of the Year.
    While on the site-related news, I'll also tell you upfront that there will be no updates to OO on either of the next two Wednesdays and Thursdays.  This week, I'll be at my mom's for a few days around Christmas, and then next week, I need to redeem my embarrassingly-wasted performance from last New Year's Eve with a solid all-day outing and subsequent day of recovery.  So if you have Wednesday/Thursday favorites, just cool your jets, and look for them on Fridays the next two weeks.  Probably the only thing that gets lost in the shuffle will be SD! spoilers for the week of Dec. 29.
    OK, administrivia: done.
  • Making up for the not having a chance to do Spoilers next week...  here's a quick dose of Spoilers for THIS Thursday's "Christmas in Iraq" episode of SmackDown!.
    The show was done by essentially a "skeleton crew" of SD! stars, with fewer than a dozen actual wrestlers traveling, and then another half-dozen or so additional "TV personalities."  The usual creative team and production crew also did not go over.  None of this was meant to skimp, but was rather a simple function of logistics and security concerns.
    The end result is one that was more like a "televised house show" albeit with a few bells and whistles.  I won't bother with hiding these spoilers on a separate page, partly for that reason... but mostly because I would not blame you if you knew, even at this early juncture, that you won't be watching wrestling on Christmas night.
    If you still want to retain the surprises, then please just skip over the next paragraph, and pick up reading at the next bullet point, OK?
    Here goes: Vince McMahon opened the show in sincere babyface mode, thanking the assembled troops, but when Santa Claus showed up with gifts for the troops but none for Vince, he went into heel mode; Santa un-bearded to reveal Steve Austin, and Vince, of course, ate a Stunner....  the APA beat the World's Greatest Tag Team...  Rikishi defeated Rhyno...  John Cena did a lengthy freestyle that got the troops super-fired up....  Eddie Guerrero beat Chris Benoit...  Torrie Wilson, Dawn Marie, and Sable did a lingerie contest thingy...  John Cena beat the Big Show to win the US Title...  after the main event, Steve Austin and the rest of the crew came back out to salute the troops in a finish that may or may not be included in the Thursday telecast.
    Thanks to "JoeC" for his quick highlights, and also credit to 1Wrestling.com for a few additional details about the show.
  • SD!'s got the brand battle to itself this week, too...
    There's no RAW to preview, as the show itself is getting into the OO Spirit of things and is doing a Year in Review tonight.  Based on commercials, I'm not so sure I agree with their idea for the brand's best, but then again, would that be so shocking?
    It looks like (rightly) HBK vs. Jericho is gonna be featured.  But it also looks like (not so rightly) Kane's unmasking will be presented as something other than the fumbling  misfire that it was.  So probably a hit and miss two hours of recap tonight...  but you're a wrestling fan.  You'll watch it.  So will I.
  • The final rating for last week's SD! was a 3.4 broadcast rating, the same as the prelim number I passed along on Friday.  That's a drop of a few tenths from the week before, and only the third (non-Thanksgiving) week in the past several months that SD! has dropped below a 3.5.
    No idea if that is a function of a bit of holiday ratings malaise, or if it'd be fair of me to say that people just might have been less-than-enthralled by a promised main event of Bob Holly and Shannon Moore vs. A-Train and Matt Morgan.  Considering that ratings peaked in Hour One, and then dipped down as the show continued, I might be on to something there....
  • Apparently, Dustin Runnels has received his official release from WWE, already.  It must have been a mutual arrangement, as the company and Dustin were should have been obligated to each other through mid-January (the anniversary of Dustin's 2002 Royal Rumble return).  But this way, WWE can get Dustin's salary off the books, and Dustin is free to begin pursuing other bookings... which is exactly what he's doing.
    Thanks to a bunch of readers who passed along word that Dustin is now accepting bookings through Northeast Wrestling (who also handles indie appearances for Dustin's dad, Jerry Lawler, and some others).  They are hyping him as "Lonestar" Dustin Runnels.
    Dustin is also slated for upcoming shows in Japan working for ZERO-ONE (a company that has hopes of expanding operations to the US, a well).
  • While Dustin has, bafflingly, been sent packing by WWE, fans can look forward to a returning mid-card star showing back up on TV soon.
    Billy Gunn's latest shoulder flare-up is taken care of, and he's rehabbing in OVW in anticipation of getting back on TV first thing in 2004.  And the crowd goes mild.  Hey, I got an idea: Billy's been here just as long as Bob Holly, so he MUST deserve a WWE Title feud!
    Just kidding.  I think.
  • There was a very interesting (but also very silly) item in my Dayton Daily News over the weekend...  apparently, the newly unveiled portrait of Jesse Ventura that has been added to the Minnesota Capitol Building is getting a bunch of attention for some anomalous choices by the artist.
    The article I read compared it to author Dan Brown's interpretations of various works in "The Da Vinci Code," and actually turned the phrase "The Ventura Code."  The artist has not denied he included hidden meanings/messages, and so people are going nuts trying to assign meaning to hidden faces, and subliminal appearances of the initials "WWF" in the wrinkles of Jesse's sleeve, and crazy stuff like that.
    Something else that did not show up in the article, but which I unearthed while trying to find a paper that actually included the AP Wire item on their website (the DDN website did not), is that artist Steve Cepello was formerly known as "Steve Strong" and wrestled as Jesse's tag team partner in the 70s.  Heh.
    Anyway, I did find an online version of the article for you.  It's right here.  But probably more fun for you will be this link, which has a nice color image of the Ventura Portrait for you to pour over at your leisure.
    Sleuth away, kids!
  • I honestly don't know what to make of this one...  I got this tracklisting about 2 weeks ago, and just assumed it was a "music inspired by" sort of deal.
    But now, WWE has issued a press release saying that January's "WWE Originals" album release will actually feature Your Favorite Superstars performing the tracks which bear their names.
    In fact, WWE music wiz Jim Johnston is quoted thusly, "These are authentic no-b.s. performances by everybody's favorite WWE superstars. Fans are going to be amazed by the talent level and the musical sensitivity from people that do something so ostensibly rough and tough. The goal of this is to not be a gimmick record."
    I want to believe, I think... but I also suspect that Shatner's people once made noises not unlike this in the 70s, if you catch my drift.
    Here's the tracklisting:
    1. Stone Cold Steve Austin - Where's The Beer
    2. Dudley Boyz - We've Had Enough
    3. Trish Stratus - I Just Want You
    4. Rey Mysterio - Crossing Borders
    5. Stone Cold Steve Austin - Did You Feel It?
    6. Booker T - Can You Dig It?
    7. Kurt Angle - I Don't Suck (Really)
    8. Lita - When I Get You Alone
    9. Stone Cold Steve Austin - You Changed The Lyrics
    10. Lillian Garcia - You Just Don't Know Me At All
    11. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero - We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal
    12. Chris Jericho - Don't You Wish You Were Me?
    13. Stone Cold Steve Austin - Drink Your Beer 
    14. Rikishi- Put A Little A#$ On It
    15. Stacy Keibler - Why Can't We Just Dance?
    16. John Cena - Basic Thugonomics
    17. Stone Cold Steve Austin - Don't That Taste Good?
    FYI: the Austin things are, I gather, spoken word comedy interludes (a la Tenacious D), and not five different tracks from everybody's favorite shitty karaoke enthusiast.
    Some of these make perfect sense, like Cena and Los Guerreros having their entrance music included on the grounds that they appear on the tracks.  Also, if Lillian Garcia wants to belt out a tune, a propos of nothing, that's dandy with me, she can use those pipes on something other than the National Anthem.  But was the world really begging for Bubba and D-Von to croon us a little tune?  And what of the Lost Track (#3b entitled Whoa, Really? That Was Easy by The Rick's Extremely Awesome Solo Project)?  What of it?!?!?

    The record comes out the third week of January.  So keep an eye out for it.
  • Man... I really think that's about it for today.  Sorry 'bout that.  
    I will do another column on Friday, and at some point in the next week, my 2003 Honor Roll will go up, too.  Happy holidays to everyone, and not just to those who (like me), make Christmas the holiday of choice in December.  Hopefully you'll all have the good times rolling over the next few days (hell, next two weeks!).
    And remember: Go Flyers!


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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