Powered by LiquidWeb Search all of OO for news, columnists, and articles about your favorites!
News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

RAW, Ratings, WM21 Celebrities Already?,
Konnan, The Mail Bag, and Other News
May 26, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


[Note: As I prepare this column, my Road Runner is out, probably due to the weather that passed through earlier today.  Lord knows how long it'll take me to figure out how to reconfigure my PC for dial-up and find the necessary password, so I'm leaning towards just waiting this one out.  However long it takes.  I apologize if this is tardy, and assure you that this represents the Finest and Most Insightful in Wrestling News and Views as of the afternoon of May 26...  regardless of whenever it is you finally get to read it.]

I'm not prepared to make any rash statements, but it ALMOST seems like music isn't sucking as bad this year as it has in the past.  Maybe it's just a passing phase, but if so, I guess I'll enjoy the ride.
I'm talking about stuff like the Beastie Men finally putting out a record after six years (and the first single is pretty cool), and Loretta Lynn's latest Jack White-championed album, and the Pixies getting back together.  And what made me think to mention it here today was seeing Velvet Revolver on Letterman last night: leave it to the 40-year-old dudes what were in bands back the last time Rock didn't collectively suck ass to come out and remind us how it's done.  They didn't re-invent the wheel or anything: they just came out and mixed the perfect amounts of balls and glam, the perfect amounts of heavy riffing and masturbatory soloing, the perfect amounts of head-banging and fist-pumping...  and it was good.  Nothing that'll influence the weather or cause World Peace ot break out, but just solid rock 'n' roll the likes of which has been lost in the mess of crap spawned over the last half-decade.  There's a reason why these guys'll be filling up arenas this summer, while nobody's heard a peep out of Fred Durst (other than getting booed off the stage while attempting to open for Metallica) in a good long time.
Leave the rocking to the pros, son.  Oh, wait.  Durst is pushing 40, too, isn't he.  That fucking tosser.  But nevermind: he ain't worth the trouble.  My point is: I hope you kids out there who didn't come of age with Grunge and are too young to remember the last time Rock was alive and healthy have a few bucks saved up to pick up some CDs here, since who knows the next time we'll have this much good stuff all hitting at once?  You'll probably be back to having to hang your hat on vapid, fabricated fluffery like fricking Blink 182 and Avril Lavigne by the fall...

And before you start calling me an old man for endorsing ancient rockers like Velvet Revolver, let me just say that I *could* rattle of plenty of new/current stuff by guys my own age or younger...  I'm still hip as can be.  It's just I'm trying to limit myself here to bands that might actually show up on the mainstream radar, here, and most of what's good today is decidedly underground.  And I won't bother boring you with too much of that.

Whether you believe me or not, rock 'n' roll is one of the few things I'm good at in this life... but it's not the one you're here for.  So let's just get on with that one, shall we?  The rasslin':

  • So I pretty much stand by my malaise towards Monday's RAW.  Even with an extra day of hindsight, it's a show that was certainly adequate on its own merits, but which raised a few warning bells due to the direction they seemed to set up for the near future.
    I do not like this Kane/Lita thing.  I do not like it in theory, and I HATED it in production/execution on Monday.  If it was existing in its own little universe, that would be one thing: a 5 minute ghetto of suck every week might be tolerable.  But problems arise when you realize that Kane is now in the process of moving into a World Title feud against Chris Benoit.  And it's something I'm not entirely sure he's in position for because he is surrounded by this aura of Suck.  Even when he tried to cut a 90 second promo introducing the idea of wanting Benoit's title, it was overshadowed by everything else that's going on with the Kane character right now, and it accomplished nothing.  I have strong concerns not just about finding a satisfactory pay-off to Kane/Lita, but to RAW being able to build up Kane vs. Benoit into a bona fide main event level feud over the next 2 weeks.
    I do not like this "Diva Idol" concept, either.  I respect that some folks get into "American Idol" to see the performances, but like I said yesterday, there is no performance aspect involved here.  This is carting out babes and voting on how hot they are.  And hot babes are not without their charms, but how in the blue hell do you turn this into compelling TV?  I don't think you can, but it's clear that this is NOT gonna be some throw-away internet-voting thing (like the one that Jaime Whatshername won) where there is a fringe audience of adolescents who maybe don't know where to look for porn will show up and get excited about looking at pretty pictures and voting on them (while those of us with lives just waited till we found out Jaime Whatshername once posed naked as Candice Whatshername, and got a bit more interested in THAT).  Nope, this is gonna be WWE trying to duplicate "American Idol" by doing extended segments and voting ON TELEVISION, WASTING MY TIME every week.  And unless this is all just a pre-planned work/angle/storyline to introduce a new character, I think it's gonna be cataclysmically stupid.
    And I don't like New Dancing Victoria, either.  By the by, results are in, and the OO-ites have spoken:  Henceforth, we shall call her... VICKISHI.  The dancing, the ass, it's too perfect, almost too easy.  Hey, look: I agree that Victoria, as the women's champ, has been diminished in the last month or two... she had no hook to her character, and she was dropping matches left and right.  I've got no problem with "rehabbing" Victoria a bit.  I *do* have a problem with the rehab being a completely ridiculous new direction when there was ample evidence to suggest that existing shtick would have worked.  Why did Victoria win over fans?  Because of her quirkiness and entertaining skits with Stevie Richards, and because she went out and had very solid matches.  Where you get "dancing like a moron" out of that is beyond me.  I'm also mildly disappointed to see that what I'd thought was a cool idea for the women's division (Gail's success against Victoria leading to Molly turning on Gail) has been scrapped as part of the rehab of Victoria.  Two months down the tubes, and now we're basically right back to where we were the day after WrestleMania.  Except for the part where Molly's hair keeps growing and that becomes less and less of a motivation for any kind of storyline with each passing day, which ALSO makes me wonder what the point of asking her to shave her head was to begin with.
    So were those things that, in and of themselves, justify me getting pissy?  Eh, not really.  But I hope you can see how I project this stuff forward and come up with a few reasons to be upset.  RAW has been kicking so much ass these last 3 months that it almost felt like they had it down to a science and could do no wrong.  Thanks to the over-riding goodness of HHH/HBK and the fact that most fans will look at that is ample reason to check out Bad Blood all by itself, RAW will CONTINUE to get something of a free pass, too, even from me.
    But I just hope you can see where I'm coming from with my antsiness from Monday night.  I didn't dislike the show... it's just for the first time in a long time, I didn't finish it and immediately want more.  And with SD! where's it's been at lately, it goes without saying that I'm putting a lot of pressure on RAW to be the brand that keeps me interested throughout the ENTIRE week.  That means delivering the goods on Mondays, and delivering enough of them that I stay excited for six more days.
    And that's something that didn't quite happen this time around.  Fair or not, that's my story.  You can also get the rest of my story (complete with actual details on what happened, and less of my bitching and moaning) in yesterday's ever-excellent OO RAW Recap.
  • The rating for Monday's show?  A 3.5 cable rating.  Ouch.  That is a drop of a half-point from the week before, and continues RAW's roller coaster ratings ride.  They started out the month with a strong rating for Benoit/HBK's "free per view," then dropped about a half point the next week despite having five heavily-promoted matches on tap.  Last week, they bumped back up to a 4.0 (even a little bit above the year-to-date average) with a show that grew its audience steadily over the course of two hours thanks to a surprise Rock appearance and a marketable Battle Royale.
    But now, they're back below the YTD average, and were not able to sustain any of the momentum generated by the Rock or the previous week's bigger rating.  In other words, fans who showed up a week ago were not necessarily motivated to show up again the next week.  WWE needs sustainable ratings grabbers, not one-time gimmicks.
    This past month also confounds me on another level: a week ago I said that trying to figure out the reasons beyond massive swings in ratings was stupid, and it was more important to look at the overall average/trend and not get hung up on anomalies.  Well, this past month is four consecutive anomalies with no discernable trend, so I'm stumped.
    The only rating that really makes sense to me is this last one: not only was it the least hyped/marketable of the four May shows, meaning fewer fans would show up at the start, it was also the one that was least thrilling as the show went on (and therefore less "sticky" and less likely to accumulate a larger audience over the 2 hours).  And actually, that doesn't tell a happy story for WWE, since they also didn't do anything to make NEXT week's show a really important "must-see" one, and unless they pull some massive amount of stickiness out of their ass (oh, JESUS, that sounds gross!  but it's OK, I'm a Professional Writer, and you knew what I meant!), they might be in more ratings trouble next week.
  • In lieu of a ton of really exciting news, I'm gonna do a couple Mail Bag Items today, and given that we're on ratings, now is as good a spot as any to do this first one...
    A couple folks took issue with my "RAW did nothing to build to next week" griping, and said that WWE probably did it INTENTIONALLY, since next Monday is the Memorial Day holiday, and they wouldn't want to waste a "good show" on a day when fans will be in holiday mode.
    It's a nice idea, folks, but also a theory that I think I can shoot to smithereens.  For one, just on a common sense level: there is a big difference between blowing a "free per view" caliber show on a holiday and still putting on a good show.  No company EVER wants to put out a bad product; they might have to portion out the truly outstanding, but they never try to disappoint the consumer.  To this end, I don't see why RAW couldn't still have done a LITTLE something to give us specific things to look forward to next Monday, holiday or no.  I don't need the promise of Benoit vs. Michaels on an "off week" due to the holiday, but SOMEthing to anticipate would have been nice. 
    And then there is just the evidence that suggests that Memorial Day isn't really much of a ratings killer, anyway.  One of the most important, ratings-momentum-swinging Mondays in all of Time and Space was Memorial Day 1996 (when Scott Hall invaded Nitro).  The audience was there for that, and the Monday Wars turned almost on a dime that night (RAW had been kicking ass due to WCW's NBA play-off pre-emptions, and that changed just because of the "invasion" that happened on the not-so-"off"-night of Memorial Day.  
    To be honest, this makes plenty of sense to me: not to belittle our veterans or anything, but Memorial Day isn't the biggest of holidays.  Even those who "observe" it usually do so with gatherings on Saturday or Sunday (our kegger and cook-out is a Sunday affair, anyway), and Monday's more like business as usual.  Banks and schools might be closed, but most folks still go to work (and OO will still be updated) and even if you DID break from your normal routine, you'll be getting settled back in by 9pm that night.  No reason should WWE look at Memorial Day as a lost ratings cause.
    And then there's a third prong to my retort:  I wasn't so much specifically uncomfortable over the build-up for next Monday's RAW as I was over the general prospects for the entire next few weeks.  Yes, HHH/HBK will rule the universe.  But a miracle will be needed to make Benoit/Kane any good, and it's a semi-main event at the PPV.  Orton/Benjamin is a serviceable IC feud, I guess, but will need something other than racism at its core if it's really gonna spark.  Edge now has nothing to do for the PPV, and actually, the entire tag division (of which he is one half of the champions) is a gigantic mess.  The women's division is in the same directionless boat now that Victoria outright sucks (instead of being boring) and they've seemingly flushed a month of The Emergence of Gail Kim down the toilet.
    In a lot of ways, I will look at Eugene vs. Coach (and I'm still expecting that to be the PPV match) as the second most interesting reason to check out Bad Blood.  I know that's wrong and evil and you'll probably want to crucify me for saying so, but I'm only SLIGHTLY hyperbolizing.  I am THAT unconvinced about just about every other existing feud/storyline on RAW: certain characters have been mishandled, entire divisions have been neglected, but Eugene/Coach has been deftly executed and should be a lot of fun.
    So really, it's not just next week I was complaining about: it was the next month of prospects.  But still, don't get me wrong: I'm not THAT down on RAW as a whole.  When you've got an anchor like HHH/HBK Hell in the Cell, a lot can be forgiven, and in 2 weeks, a lot of my minor bitches can be fixed.  But for now, bitches they remain.
  • As if the SD! brand needed any more bad news...  they've cancelled a pair of June house shows in Louisiana due to poor advance ticket sales.  In general, RAW shows have been out-performing SD! ones, but SD!'s trend from a year ago HAD been generally a positive one as house show business had seemingly already bottomed out.
    Not so, apparently, as June 19 and 20 have been cancelled for the SD! stars.  No idea at this point if there's time to find friendly markets to run replacement shows, or if this just means two fewer pay-days for the guys.
  • As for SD!'s near-term prospects, you can spoil tomorrow night's show for yourself right here.  It's definitely a week in which RAW left the door open a crack, but honestly, what are SD!'s chances of busting it down?
    I actually don't know, as I got quality/reliable tapings recaps and just did a cut-and-paste job this week.  No compiling from half-literate, unpunctuated 78-word reports for me!  So I'm going in pure as the driven snow tomorrow night...  
    I used to LOVE it when I could enjoy an unspoiled SD!.  Now, to be honest, I'm kind of half-dreading it.  How will I know when to just lay on the FF button?!?
    [triumph]I keed, I keed...[/triumph]
    [dangeresque]Or do I?[/dangeresque]

  • I caught the Leno show on Monday night, and as much as I didn't want to, I was massively entertained by Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young's appearance.  Though they were, indeed, there to plug the documentary "Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar" (about the pioneers of women's wrestling), they mostly just told funny stories from their pasts, and also had a few WWE clips to share, as well.
    I won't try to re-tell any of the stories, but I will say this: Snoop Dogg was the opening guest, and you haven't lived till you've seen him scandalized by an 80 year old women's former promiscuity.  Snoop's double take when watching footage of Mae getting squashed by 3 Minute Warning was also hilarious.
    Surprisingly amusing TV, so maybe try to keep an eye out for it in re-runs over the next month or two.
    The other notable wrestling item from the appearance is that Moolah closed out her bit by announcing that WrestleMania 21 was taking place right there in Los Angeles in April 2005, and she was personally inviting Jay Leno to be a guest of WWE at the show.  It was apparently a "shoot," as Jay seemed surprised at first, but then, he actually did accept and seemed enthusiastic about the idea.  And it sounded like Snoop wanted in on it, too.
    Don't know if that counts as a legally binding contract or anything, but maybe WWE just arranged for its first two celebrity guests at WM21?  Or maybe Jay was just being TV Polite.  We'll have to just wait and see...
  • Speaking of entertaining television related to wrestling...
    Don't forget that tonight on UPN is "Cheating Death, Stealing Life: the Eddie Guerrero Story."  It's an hour long documentary about Eddie's Battles With Personal Demons and subsequent emergence at the top of the wrestling business.  Should be pretty good.
    It airs at 9pm (eastern), right after the season (and possibly SERIES, if I recall the ratings disaster that is "Enterprise" correctly) finale of Star Trek.  I think I'll actually sit down and make a 2 hour night of it: see if/how they managed to salvage the season after they lost me almost immediately after coming back from an admittedly interesting cliff-hanger, if nothing else.  And if it IS the end of Star Trek on TV, then maybe they'll do something like kill somebody off since the show's not coming back next season, anyway!  And plus, I probably owe it to my latent fandom to check it out if it's the end, right?  Nobody was a bigger Original Recipe or Next Generation nerd than I....
    So there you go: a busy night of TV for The Me.  Even busier when you realize I'll also be trying to keep tabs on the Pacers game, the Reds, and I think it's a new World Poker Tour event tonight, too...  both receivers on the DVR will get getting a work-out tonight....
  • Three weeks after the start of the experiment, the new WWE timeslots on SpikeTV appear to be abysmal bombs.
    In the late Saturday night slot, the Velocity/Confidential block generally scored in the 0.8-1.0 range.  Not setting the world on fire, but all things considered, not embarrassing.
    But since Velocity moved to 7pm on Saturdays, and Confidential was replaced by "Experience" on Sunday mornings, both shows have been mired around or below 0.5.  And that IS almost embarrassing.
    I hate to say I told you so, but.... well, you know.
  • Of the trio of guys who we've been talking about the last week (all were backstage at the PPV a week ago), it seems like Konnan remains the guy who is most likely to get a WWE contract.  There is little to no buzz about either DDP or X-Pac, but Konnan apparently has a couple of champions in the form of Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio who are talking him up.
    I guess maybe that's where I got my lines crossed last week: Eddie might be going to bat for Konnan to get a job (as discussed, it's more likely something on the Spanish Announce Team side of things), but he's not necessarily looking to bring Konnan in to wrestle him in main events.  Whew.  That makes more sense.  Or at least, it doesn't send shivers of terror up my spine.
  • Two more quick Mail Bag things, and then I'm done.
    First is about the "Diva Idol" thing, and how I joked that it was basically like HotOrNot.com turned into a TV show, which struck me as stupid, since Hot or Not is basically only fun for about 10 minutes, then it seems mostly mean and stupid to be going through and saying "Do her, 9.  Do her, 8. God, what a hose beast, 2. Not with Lund's wang, 3. Do her, 8.  Shitty picture, can't really tell, 6. Do her, 9.  I bet she works at the DMV, 1." And so on and so forth.  Like I said, fun for a few minutes, and then who gives a rat's ass.
    I further recalled (vaguely) that they actually DID do a TV show like that, and it failed miserably.  Turns out, I was right.  A few folks, including our Very Own The Cubs Fan, wrote in to confirm my suspicions.  I guess it was on ABC, it was called "Are You Hot?", and it was hosted by Lorenzo Lamas.  And it lasted like a month.  Take a note, WWE: *this* is the caliber of crap that you're duplicating, *not* "American Idol."
    Also about the Diva Search, a few folks told me to chill out, since it might be like the Nitro Girl search, and that's how we found Stacy Keibler.  I would again drudge up the more recent (and I think more applicable) example of Jaime Whatshername, who has amounted to a big ol' nothing as far as wrestling fans are concerned.  And plus, look, Stacy's a really pretty girl and all, but if I was forced to vote one EXISTING diva off the island, she'd be one I'd have to consider pretty early on.  Because fer chrissakes, if I need a dose of pretty girls shaking ass, it's like I said before: I can find myself some porn.  The WWE babes I reserve my unseemly grown-man-crushes for tend to be the ones who are more than window dressing, which is not what this Diva Search thing is looking for.  This just seems like it's gonna be horribly boring and one-dimensional.
  • And last: this is not something where I'm responding to a group of readers, but rather just to one.  But he (Kevin) raised a good point and this is something I feel I should address to the masses, just in case I've inadvertently contributed to Orton-hating, or anything.
    To wit: in yesterday's RAW Recap, I talked about the middle of the Jericho/Shelton vs. Orton/Batista match bogging down because of "restholds" working the arm of Jericho.  Although I tried to make it clear that I understand the psychology of slowing things down, working a body part, and trying to tell a story, I still used "restholds" to describe that portion of the match instead of something more flattering like "precision surgical attack."
    Kevin raised the issue of whether or not I might have used the more derogatory term because it's Randy Orton, and I (to date) am not a huge Randy Orton fan.  And to be honest, that kinda got me, because his question did hit a little close to home.  Chris Benoit dissects and arm, and I tell the story and recount the holds.  Orton does it, and yeah, I go all "match slowed down with the restholds."
    But although I'll try to keep an eye on myself in the future, I don't think I'm 100% guilty here. The fact that it is Orton probably does reduce my interest level by a couple percentage points, and the fact that Batista came in and started putting HIS restholds on the wrong fucking arm (and goddamn, I feel like such an ass for still being pissy about that!) didn't really do anything to help win me over to the "Jericho's arm gets attacked" part of the match...  and those two things are probably not fair to young Randall.
    But what would be a fair observation is that a week before he spent 5 minutes working the arm, Orton invested about the same amount of time in a really shitty and ineffective-looking mid-match resthold (the painless-looking-version of the Cobra Clutch).  And even in the Working Jericho's Arm phase of the match, Orton was necessarily cinching in the way that a guy like Benoit or Angle does to make you BELIEVE the hold hurts.  In fact, though he did bust out the short-arm scissors, I remember thinking, "You know, that'd look a lot more effective if he got it locked on tight."  I think Orton needs to build up good will (and again, this takes time, not just one night of being a human pin cushion) to the point where I'll buy his chicken wing the same way I do Benoit's.  Unfair?  Maybe, maybe not, I can't say for sure: it's just me being me.
    But thanks to Kevin's e-mail, I'll try to be more aware of this in the future.  Yeah, stuff like side headlocks (such as was witnessed in the Judgment Day PPV main event against all good sense) DESERVE the "resthold" label, and yeah, I'll try to be more understanding of when a guy is effectively selecting moves to target a body part during the middle portion of a match... and I guess maybe I just needed a little talking to after that match on Monday.
    Still: the WRONG FUCKING ARM, Batista?  Tell me that doesn't just un-do whatever good the extended "work the arm" middle part of the match was supposed to accomplish...  DAMMIT!
  • OK, that's all. Don't know what we've got in the tank the rest of the week at OO, but I'm sure it'll be something.  Jeb's having PC troubles, so he might be out.  I might try to scrape up the motivation to do a big OOpinion-y type piece that's been sitting in my brain the last couple days for Friday to make it up to you...
    So just come on back and see what there is to see, why don't you?  Later on, buckaroos...


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.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.