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Blatant Plug in My Own Self-Interest,
Plus Some Wrestling Content
May 21, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I won't lie, folks.  This isn't so much a wrestling column as it is a HOT OFFER for you fine readers who might be fans of (non-redneck) motorsports, with a few wrestling things tossed in; for the second Friday in three weeks, I had no intentions of being here but am churning out a column anyway.  It's just that this time, I'm not even gonna try to turn this into a stellar and witty display.  Bare bones, baby.  

Still better than anything you'll find anywhere else on a wrestling site this weekend, I reckon, but just not up to my own usual standards... what can I say?  Paul Bearer switched my magic baggie, so blame him.

This is being written after I enjoyed a Reds win with a few cocktails, which were prescribed medication (I have a doctor's note!) so that I would be in the midst of a whiskey euphoria and not too deeply annoyed by watching a judiciously-FF'ed edition of SD.  If there's any quality here, trust me, it's entirely by accident.

We ride:

  • OK, so here's the deal:  my mom tells me today that my "Hollywood" brother has crapped out on his travel plans, and now she's on the hook for our family's two (2) Indy 500 tickets once again.  And since I know more people than her, I'm in charge of unloading them, now.  
    Problem is, after being a big Indy car fan for my childhood, I got pretty much uninterested in all racing once NASCAR started taking over 10 years ago.  Or maybe it was the fact that that's when Rick Mears retired, and he was pretty much my favorite driver of all times.  Probably because his name was "Rick" at a time in my life when I was trying desperately to lose the "y" at the end of my name, and I looked up to him as a god.  But that's not the point.  The point is, I won, and the only people on this earth who still call me "Ricky" and don't get sac-punched are my two idiot brothers.  Yeah.
    No.  The point was that I don't go for the racing so much anymore, nor do any of my friends around here, so this pair of kick-ass tickets for the Grandest Spectacle in Racing (Sunday May 30) are YOURS... if the Price is Right.
    I forgot to check for sure, but I *think* the seats are Paddock Box 16, Row C.  Whatever the "official" locations, I can tell you from years of experience that you would be less than a dozen rows away from the track (actually, they are perfect, as they are the closest seats you can get where you're up high enough to see over the wall and check out the entire width of the track; anyone closer actually has a WORSE view than you), and within about 20 yards of the Start/Finish line.  You see all the drama and close finishes, all the hot pitstop action, all the Pre-Race Jim Nabors you can stomach!
    All kidding aside, they are awesome seats.  My folks got 'em even before I was born and my mom's kept 'em to this day, so these are tickets that are NOT available on the open market, trust me.  Only from secondary sources, like Your Wrestling Buddy The Rick.
    My instinct would be to gouge, but mom says face value (plus any shipping expenses) is all she wants back.  So these two tickets go for $180 for the pair (not labeled for individual sale, sorry).  
    The ideal candidate would have to pass through Dayton on the way to the race, or be within driving distance of me, because this would completely eliminate any need for money orders and overnight FedEx'ing.  But I'm more than happy to tack on an extra couple bucks if we have to play mail-tag, too.  I just want to help the mom out and get rid of her tickets because Hollywood Brother has failed.  You see, I'm the Good Son.
    So send me an e-mail if you're interested, and we'll work this thing out.  
    The rest of you: somebody remind me to make it up to you by, on a slow day, telling you my best tangentially-related-to-racing story.  It involved my trip to Indy for the US Grand Prix in 2001 and karaoke.  I *love* telling this story... and you'll love hearing it.  Trust me.
  • And with that, the only real reason I bothered firing up the keyboard tonight, out of the way, we are now free to move onto wrestling...
    So I watched SD! tonight, and yeah, I was digging the main event a lot.  Good match, great action... but a finish that, were I sober, would have driven me to tears.  Bradshaw vs. Eddie, a feud that (in my humble estimation) should probably have never happened (or at least, not now) is going to continue for the foreseeable future.
    But I'll get to Bradshaw in a second.  Or in a bullet, anyway. 
    I also enjoyed the Chavos/Spike match and the CW title change.  The nuances that are missing from the spoilers made it a really cool little sequence: the pre-match promo with the Chavos (and Classic's "I know you're the best, sonny" to Chavo's face, and then his smirk after Chavo left) set the tone.  Then the finish, with Spike and Classic colliding and Classic landing on top of Chavo to score the pinfall?  Very interesting... Classic's response (first confusion, then jubilation) should put us in line for a father vs. son match.  And I think fans just might get behind Classic.  Smarks will gripe about how this is no better than Jackie winning the title, and really, it DOES amount to the exact same thing: but I thought the Jackie win and Chavo's regaining the belt was a win/win, so I think Chavo vs. Classic will be the same thing.  Nothing to gripe about.
    Note: sorry about the Spoilers, too (I said Classic pinned Spike).  That's what happens when you try to make sense of a show from 2 or 3 divergent reports where only one gave you the match finish.  I read "Spike hit the Dudley Dog on Chavo, then Spike and Classic collided and Classic landed on top for the pin," and I just assume Classic landed on top of Spike... all I did was make the ASS out of U and ME.  Wheeee!  [But blame WWE on the repositioning of Dupree/Cena... all spoiler reports agreed that was the semi-main event live, and they moved it to a first-hour position on TV.  Probably because Phase Two of an already-played feud didn't exactly go over that huge.]
    Pretty much the rest of the show, though, I could have left... more Cena/Dupree?  Bleh.  If you wanted to do that, then fricking PUT DUPREE OVER AT THE PPV SO AT LEAST I THINK SOMETHING HAPPENED IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS.  Exact same argument goes for the resumption of Booker/Taker, which would have made a lot more sense if Taker had to be the one who thought he got screwed at the PPV.  Instead, Booker T, in one of the most embarrassingly-poor lines of the entire year to date, blamed his loss on the fact that "Paul Bearer switched my magic baggie."  How Booker could agree to say that is beyond me.  Really, that was the quote.  Or damn close to it.  "Paul Bearer switched my magic baggie."  Put it on a t-shirt, WWE!  People like WrestleCrap, and they'll LOVE that line!
    The tag title match: boring.  Mordecai squashing the Cruisers: palatable, but a replay of the PPV and not very high-impact. Ummm... what am I forgetting?  Oh, the RAW Rebound was pretty cool!  Oh, wait, whoops....  No, I got it: the opening promo...  which wasn't bad, I guess.  I dunno, though.  Eddie just has to be Eddie, and people will like him (and Vegas did seem easily-amused all night long), JBL said nothing stupid (nothing overly-racist, overly-gimmicky) for once and just stuck to generic heel shtick, but... well, maybe I'm thinking too hard, but was the internal logic of the segment pretty much non-existent or what?
    Follow along, because your mind is probably operating more clearly than mine right now:  Eddie challenges Bradshaw.  Bradshaw says no because he already proved his point.  GM Kurt Angle comes out and says "No match, Eddie, and that's OFFICIAL, because all you want to to get in the same ring with Bradshaw and beat him with a steal chair again and get disqualified and I'm not gonna let that happen," which Bradshaw TOTALLY AGREES WITH.  But then, GM Angle continues, tonight's main event WILL put Eddie and Bradshaw in the same ring in a six-man tag so "Bradshaw can finish what he started," and Bradshaw STILL LIKES IT.
    So Bradshaw WANTS to be in the same ring with the guy who just wants to hit him with a chair and get DQ'ed as long as it's a six man tag and no title is on the line.  But put the title on the line, and Bradshaw wants no part of it?  And what's Angle's thought process here?  "I won't put these two in a match together, not in a million years, because it's not right... instead, for tonight's main event: THESE TWO ARE IN A MATCH TOGETHER!"...  my head was swimming, and it was in something other than Evan Williams' 10-Year Single Barrel, my friends.  Like I said: it was a good main event, and everything, and I'm happy it was there... but there just had to have been a less mind-bendingly illogical way of booking it.  Unless I'm missing something.  Please do tell, if you can explain...
    I don't know.  I'm not gonna say any more.  I'll just leave it to Big Danny T's SmackDown! Recap, if you need the full details from last night.  I thought there was good here, I just think that all of it was couched in an overall package that is VERY hard to care about.  We're basically replaying all the top three feuds from a PPV that was, by all accounts, the least anticipated in recent memory.  Cena/Dupree would have made more sense if Dupree had gone over at the PPV.  Booker/Taker: well, let's just say "Paul Bearer switched my magic baggie" is no way to re-ignite whatever passed for the fire in that feud.  And Eddie/Bradshaw: I didn't want it the first time, so you do the math.
    But wait: I said I wasn't gonna say any more.  So I'm done.  Now. Recap for you.
  • The SD! prelim rating is in as of this harried, noon-ish, pre-departure fly-by to make sure I didn't say anything too stupid while Under the Influence...  and last night's show did a 3.1.
    In other words: just about on par with where they've averaged since WM20, but close to half a point below where they were before WM20.  I'll make sure to have the final rating on Monday, and include it in the new Battle of the Brands.
  • The good stuff you can read here today instead of my usual outstanding Friday Column ALSO (in addition to the aforementioned Recap) includes: Erin's new Broad Perspective, as well as the start of Denny's new current-events column, Denny's Dungeon.
    Erin's piece is all about the "new Lita," and how the character has taken a turn for the worse these last few weeks.  As tends to be the case with Our Favorite Broad's work, I have nothing further nor dissenting of my own to add on this issue; so I'll just tell you to go read it now and enjoy.
    But you want dissent: that's what Denny's all about as he attempts to make the Case For John Bradshaw Layfield.  And to say I dissent with Denny's dissent would be an understatement.
    Is "JBL" just John Layfield "turned up to 11" and NOT a "gimmick"?  Maybe... but I'd also argue it's no more him turned up to 11 than APA Bradshaw was.  The guy is apparently at least as much a loud-mouthed low-brow as he is a competent stock broker.  A raging yin to go with a sobering yang, kinda like how I'm a lush with dreams of rock stardom AND ALSO the smartest, most eloquent Wrestling Thinker on the Planet. Point is, gimmick/caricature or "amplified real life tendencies," it doesn't matter: they guy just isn't that interesting.  That's just life: some people are interesting and some are not... just "being yourself" isn't a free pass to get on TV (though Reality TV suggests otherwise); hell, it's rarely even a free pass to be worth talking to at a bar.  So call it whatever you want, Bradshaw still has to go out there -- gimmick or "just himself" -- and compel the audience, and I say that hasn't really happened yet.
    And is "JBL" better than APA Bradshaw?  Maybe.  I mean, I won't dispute Denny that APA Bradshaw had pretty much reached it's ceiling and there was nothing left to do there.  But that still doesn't mean that the make-over should have been handled THIS WAY.  The road from mid-card tag-teamer to main eventer isn't a 4 week one: and what I'm complaining about more than anything is that they didn't give the JBL gimmick a chance to grow and succeed.  They just put it out there to headline what will probably end up being the lowest-grossing WWE PPV since the 90s Dark Days.  THAT is the problem with the new JBL, as much as anything.
    Well, that and the thing I said in the previous paragraph about the guy (gimmick or no, drinker or stock broker) not being all that interesting or compelling as a performer....
    I really thought I'd say more in rebuttal to Denny, but I'm kind of at the point where I either need to quit now or keep going and write a book.  And frankly, the anti-JBL thing has been done already, by me and others.  So no book.  I'll just tap out, maybe to explore the topic another day, maybe not.
    And also to encourage you to read Denny's column, where he's doing something that has NOT been done already: telling us why JBL is a Good Thing.  If nothing else, it's a tasty, exotic new flavor of brain candy, folks.  So check it.
  • Ummm, let's see, what else... 
    So Sting said in an interview this week that he would be open to working with WWE in the future.  This, itself, is not that big a shock.  I think most of us have known that Sting and WWE have talked in the past (or at least, you would if you read every single column of mine religiously).
    But what is interesting is that Sting speaks very fondly of his talks with Vince McMahon and even revealed the precise details of a surprise appearance that ALMOST happened at WrestleMania 19 last year.
    For all the juicy tidbits, check out the interview at IGN.  And thanks to all who submitted this item to me...
  • Ummmm, let's keep seeing what else...
    So I was wrong about Philly and Digital Cable and TNA.  I guess you folks really are screwed.
    A few Brother Lovers (ewwww!) wrote in to tell me their situation is more complex because Comcast controls all cable systems in the greater Philly area... and Comcast runs its own regional sports network...  so Comcast does NOT want to give any opening for Fox Sports to enter the market and take away its audience.
    Thus, even on its juiced digital packages, Comcast does NOT offer the FSN options I talked about on Wednesday.  Additionally: Comcast does pick up SOME FSN content (more popular stuff like "Best Damn" I gather), but will NOT be picking up TNA's "Impact."  Which makes sense because TNA is paying FSN for the timeslot, NOT paying Comcast.
    So, OK: I was wrong, Philly.  But also: Comcast are dicks, and I could not have foreseen the sheer magnitude of their douchebaggery.  Even at my height of Time Warner hating, they weren't pulling crap like that: if there's an audience for a channel, it seems like I've got it.
    The rest of you, though: I think my explanation holds up... just go digital, add the $5 Sports Tier, and you should be able to see TNA every week.
  • Ummm.... still seeing what's out there...

    Oh yeah: thanks for all the help, you Magnificent Techno Dorks!  Some of it I even understood!
    And since, along with the assistance I got, I also got a number of folks who asked me "Rick, I'm having the same problem with infected e-mail from people I know, so if you get a solution, please include it in the column so I know what's wrong with MY computer, OK?", I'll tell you this:
    I'm not 100% confident, but since it doesn't seem to be impacting my performance, I'm going to take Techno Geeks' Proposed Solution #1, and just assume the problem is Other People's Computers because it's a much simpler solution than some of the other (scary) things they proposed.  Those of you who asked: you can feel free to do the same thing.
    The explanation here is that these worms/trojans get onto somebody's computer and steal e-mail addresses from their address book and cached webpages, and then sends infected e-mail TO one of those addresses FROM another one of them, assuming that Person A and Person B will know each other if they are in Person C's address book or web cache, and thus the mail gets opened and the virus spreads.  
    So that explains why I get e-mail from other OO Superstars infected with viruses: because SOMEBODY OUT THERE has me and them in their address both and YOU are infected.  Get away from me, leper!
    Although my rough eyeball-estimation leads me to some curious conclusions: Brad Smoley and Erin Anderson are by FAR the ones sending me the most infected e-mail.  A few from Matt, Bulldog's even tried to sneak a few past the goalie. Tuesday, I finally got one from Mike Samuda.  But so far, Jeb Lund has yet to appear on any of these.  So I know who you people are Address Booking...  and you've got 4-year-old MiCasa entries in there, but no love for Jeb?  What gives, folks?  Jeb likes e-mail, too, you know!
    Oh, and the "fake OO e-mail addresses" are another type of worm that generates the "from" based on the "to" it wants to send to.  So since I'm rick@, it figures I'd be a sucker and open an attachment from admin@.  Makes sense, I guess.  The same thing will probably happen with your ISPs, too, so beware of that element, as well...
    So there you have it: if you are/were having the same problems as me, it's not really YOUR problem.  Somebody who knows you is infected, though, and you just need to keep not opening the attachments and you'll be fine.
  • Ummmm....
    Tried to unload mom's Indy 500 tickets: check.  Talked some Smack(Down): check.  Pimped other cool OO columns: check.  Struggled for at least a couple other newsbites: check.  Imparted Techno Wisdom: check.
    OK.  I think my work here is done.  If you wake up on Sunday and you hear Chicago has been torn a new asshole, just go ahead and blame me and my dirtbag friends.  My weekend work won't stop me from being back here on Monday with more news and views, though...
    So I'll see you then.


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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