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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
WWE TV Spoilers
March 24, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Well, Monday's RAW certainly got "Brand Extension, Phase 2" off to a rousing start...  and the best part is, they kind of had a little cliffhanger action going.  We won't know exactly how RAW and SD! both shape up until tomorrow night.

Or until about 90 seconds from now, if you happen to keep on reading this page.

You've been warned.

WWE Sunday Night Heat
(Taped Monday, Airs Sunday)

  • Garrison Cade beat Val Venis (probably a dark match)
  • Lita beat Jazz
  • Hurricane beat Some Guy
  • Matt Hardy beat Lance Storm (they flipped heel/face roles in this match)

WWE Velocity
(Taped Tuesday, Airs Saturday)

  • Rico beat Jamie Noble (probably a dark match)
  • Hardcore Holly and Billy Gunn ("The Grumpy Old Men" working together yet again!) beat the leaderless Akio and Sakoda
  • Mark Jindrak (making Matt Hocking's Straight-to-Velocity vision a reality) beat Some Guy
  • Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty retained the tag titles with a win over the FBI Remainders (Nunzio and Johnny Stamboli)

WWE SmackDown!
(Taped Tuesday, Airs Thursday)

  • Show opens with the lights going down and HHH's music hitting to a pop...  it runs for about a minute, but no HHH.  Eventually, Kurt Angle walks down to the ring... and he's wearing a suit?  Yep.  He starts making vague claims about how he has faith the the new General Manager of SmackDown! will take over and improve the show greatly... he has faith because the new GM is:  Kurt Angle.  OK, the crowd is unimpressed, but they'll play along for now.  Angle says he's gonna take a little break from wrestling actively (d'oh), and will apply his skill to taking SD! to new heights.  His first move is to craft the SD! roster to his vision.  And that means making trades with RAW.  Angle announces he's made two.  A-Train/Palumbo for Rico/Miss Jackie, nobody cares about so let's move on...  however, Angle has made a "blockbuster" that he thinks will greatly benefit SD!.  He's gotten three top stars for the price of one:  he's traded Triple H back to RAW, in exchange for the Dudley Boyz and Booker T.  Now the crowd is not pleased; apparently, they wanted to see HHH.  Booker comes on down to the ring, and is not pleased.  He considers this trade to be a demotion to the minor leagues, and is confident that he's better than everyone on the show.  Angle quickly placates Booker by telling him, yeah, he's really good, but with Kurt Angle running the show, Booker will get the opportunities he never got on RAW and will become an even bigger star.  Booker considers, accepts, and the two leave together.  And I guess that's a heel turn...
  • Rob Van Dam beat the now-solo Charlie Haas, but got a run for his money.  RVD was way over, and the crowd was hot for this good match.  In the end, Haas was on offense, but RVD reversed his way into a small pacakge/roll-up out of nowhere for the quick pin.
  • Rene Dupree beat Billy Kidman in pretty short order.  Dupree was again the "French Phenom," which is guess is a placeholder until they can figure out a more multi-dimensional gimmick.  After the match, Dupree was greeted to SD! by John Cena, who came out and rapped a little rap.  He kind of told the Story of SmackDown!, doing a rhyming couplet about most of the main stars on the brand as a way of introducing Dupree to SD!.  Then he started mocking Dupree and closed with the "Dese Nuts" gimmick for the second night in a row (will somebody please send WWE a clue about how not to have Cena wear out his welcome inside of the next six months?).
  • Backstage: champ Eddie Guerrero is making a goodwill tour of the locker room, mostly to welcome the new guys.  Spike Dudley and RVD accept Eddie's gracious welcome, but Booker T does not.  When Eddie gets to Booker, Booker mocks Eddie and his title and the entire SD! brand.  Eddie pretends like he's just gonna walk away, but after two steps, he turns around and charges Booker, and the two have a pull apart brawl.
  • The Dudleys beat the Bashams.  Minus their dominatrix, the Bashams finally decided the S&M gimmick was stupid, and had kind of a new look going here.  But it didn't help.  They were crushed in a pseudo-squash.  Only real offense for the Bashams was when they tried (but ultimately failed) with their Killer Bee Swap move...
  • Backstage: Booker approaches Kurt Angle, and says that he can't believe Eddie did what he did.  On RAW, Booker got respect, and here in the minors, he should get the same thing.  Angle announces that Booker can earn Eddie's respect later tonight... by beating him for the WWE Title in the main event.  Booker likey.
  • Chavo Guerrero beat Spike Dudley.  Bubba and D-Von had stuck around at ringside, but in the end, the Chavos managed to create enough chaos to allow Junior to pin Spike.  Good match, though.
  • The "New Bradshaw" (with new music/entrance, can a name change to John Bradshaw or to his real name of John Layfield be far behind?) hit the ring wearing a suit, and immediately went about the business of putting the crowd to bed.  He's great, he's smart, he's rich, he knows the stock market, he didn't need Faarooq, and so on and so on.  And we have another heel turn.  Bradshaw eventual ran out of steam, and left the ring.  One of my two on-the-scene reporters said this was a Strong Candidate for the Editing Room Floor and that they could probably tweak Bradshaw's material and make another go of it in another week, because the crowd just shat on it this time 'round.  I won't disagree that this might have been weak, but do disagree with the assessment that it might be Editing Room Floor material because....
  • Eddie Guerrero beat Booker T by Disqualification when Bradshaw interfered.  Can't do that finish without leaving in Bradshaw's big boring speech.  Not the greatest match you'll see out of either guy, and the crowd was only kind of into it, since they weren't really into Booker as a heel (maybe they were pissed about "losing" HHH, and having to make do with Booker?).  Match builds up to Eddie making the requisite superman comeback, complete with Frog Splash.  But just before he can make the pinfall, Bradshaw ran out and started pounding away.  Show probably ends with Bradshaw KO'ing Eddie with the Clothesline from Hell, and then celebrating.  But in the arena, Eddie made a comeback and left Bradshaw lying in the ring before the night was up....

Well, that sounds.... interesting.  You can get a bunch of additional analysis and thoughts about Angle as GM and the two trades in the just-posted mid-week edition of Online Onslaught.

This actually has the stench of made-up-on-the-fly to it, sort of like this was a show laid out entirely within the past couple days.  Maybe it was, I don't know.

But removing HHH from the equation and deciding to "promote from within" is a really risky proposition, especially considering that fans might not be willing to boo Booker for saying things that actually seem like they might be true and considering that fans might not be willing to give two shits about Bradshaw no matter what.  Big Show was MIA on this night, even after appearing on RAW.  Angle pretty much took himself out of the short-term equation.  HHH was traded back to RAW...  on a night when Rene Dupree comes off like your #2 heel, you're taking a BIG risk.

Or maybe it's just all part of a bigger picture, an on-going interpromotional storyline.  I'll tell you what: not to be a dick, but it's almost like they actually WANTED to convince fans that SD! is the minor leagues with this show, for whatever purposes.  You can't follow up what RAW did on Monday with this show and expect average fans to reach any other conclusion.  I wonder if they might not be able to use that as part of the continuing RAW vs. SD! story?

Stay tuned....  check out SD! on Thursday night (and Heat and Velocity, too), or come on back to OO on Friday for full recap and analysis of the show (or on Monday for recaps of the B-shows).  We got it all covered for you.

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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