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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
Repairing RAW and Weekend News!
May 28, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

I forgot the other big thing that kind of set me off on my Rock 'n' Roll Ranting on Wednesday...  in addition to having just seen Velvet Revolver on Letterman, I'd also seen the new Andrew WK show on MTV2 a day or so earlier.  And I like Andrew WK in pretty much the same exact way I like AC/DC: the part of the show where he was going out and helping people was cool, and they did 2 or 3 music videos to flesh things out to 30 minutes, and the choices on this episode were the Beastie Boys and the Darkness (and it don't get much better than that as far as entertainment value goes).  

So while you're buying your CDs these next few days, set aside 30 minutes to check out that show, too.  It's on about a billion times: I told my DVR to start recording it, and I shit you not, I had to go in and delete about two dozen repeat airings from the schedule, so you should be able to find it with no trouble.

And today, kind of a column in two parts...  let's shuffle up and deal, eh?

Fantasy Booking Interlude

I didn't set out to do this... I actually kind of had this idea in my head for a "brand cycle" theory/opinion piece, noting how RAW seemed to be winding down and maybe that meant SD! would be picking up the pieces and improving as they've got PPVs in both June and July.

But then I started thinking about it, and the ideas for how SD! would improve were all along a particular stream of thought.  And then Jeb's column yesterday (the part about HBK/HHH) shoved that thought process along... and I realized I didn't so much think that brand success was cyclical as I thought that Monday's RAW was a misstep and needed to be fixed before the Bad Blood PPV, and it just so happened that fixing that could ALSO help make SD! a better place.

And all of a sudden, the ideas came rushing in, and I kind of had a fantasy booking scenario for the next couple weeks all in place.  Like RAW needs it... I know, I know: they'll probably salvage things just fine on their own, and it's SD! that needs the help.  But like I said a couple weeks ago, I'm not entirely sure I'd WANT the SD! job considering where they're at.  But tweaking RAW, where they've got all the horses and the momentum, is kind of a fun bit of mental gymnastics.

So: here's how I'd do the next two editions of RAW to fix lingering problems and build to a Bad Blood PPV that's something OTHER than just "Hell in the Cell and then a bunch of crap."

Monday, May 31 / 9:00pm-11:00pm

  • Cold Open: Motorhead kicks in and HHH comes out straight away (no theme music, no video package).  Alone.  Says some stuff about ending Shawn Michaels, acts unconcerned about the HitC gimmick, says he wouldn't have it any other way, says beating Shawn in the match Shawn "invented" will make it all the sweeter.  Shawn comes out, pauses on the stage like he's gonna talk, and the just sprints to the ring and the two start brawling.  Locker room empties like it did last week, and after three or four attempts, they finally get Shawn and HHH pinned down in opposite corners.  Bischoff hits the ring and says "I've had enough of this from you two."  He announces that he's realized that Shawn and HHH cannot co-exist in the same building, and it's hurting his entire show.  So at Bad Blood, the Hell in the Cell match will now be a "Loser Leave Town" match: the winner stays on RAW, the loser is gone.  Bischoff expounds and says he never thought that he'd have to get rid of a talent like Shawn or HHH to SAVE his brand, but that's what this has come to.  Further:  both men are ejected from the building for the rest of the night, and they'll only be invited to next week's show on the condition that they have no contact with each other at all, otherwise BOTH will be immediately fined and even the winner of HitC will be suspended after the PPV. [ads]
  • Backstage: footage of both Shawn and HHH being escorted out. Then a cut to the rest of Evolution.  Randy Orton's acting all bossy, saying it'll be OK even without Trips in the building, Evolution will still kick ass, and tonight, they get back the Tag Team Titles when Flair/Batista face Benoit/Edge.
  • Victoria/Lita vs. Molly/Gail. The Russian Lesbians are back, the dancing and "Vickishi" are gone.  Let's say they do about 4 minutes of good stuff, then Kane appears on the TitanTron with a little "Leeeta... LEEEEEEEta... come here, I need you" thing.  Lita looks conflicted, but goes over, tags in Victoria, and leaves.  Victoria is confused and pissed... and quickly dominated by Gail and Molly.  Eventually, Gail locks in her armbar/head-scissors submission, but it's near her corner, and just as Victoria is about to tap out, Molly tags herself in, hits a Northern Lights Suplex, and scores the pinfall.  [ads]
  • Backstage: Eric Bischoff gets off the phone, and Johnny Nitro asks what's up.  Bischoff says it was Vince McMahon, and Vince is NOT happy about Bischoff getting rid of one of HBK or HHH.  But Bischoff says he knows what he's doing, knows the two can't be on the same show, and says he'll come up with a way to score big ratings off their departure.
  • Also Backstage: Lita emerges from a side room and is WALKING. Matt Hardy finds her, and asks if she's OK and if she'll come out with him for his match.  She says everything's cool, but maybe Matt should go it alone tonight, cuz she's got something else she needs to do.  [ads]
  • Matt Hardy vs. Tyson Tomko.  Matt puts up a surprisingly tough fight, and (hopefully) draws a surprisingly competent match out of Tomko, but it goes to hell when Trish interferes. With no Lita to counter-act Trish, Matt quickly falls prey to a Big Boot of Suck and gets pinned.
  • Backstage: Randy Orton comes out of Eric Bischoff's office, with a Big Smile on his face.  Whazzupwidat? [ads]
  • Shelton Benjamin vs. La Resistance.  Before the match, Lillian Garcia announces Special Referee Randy Orton, and announces that Shelton Benjamin will only be granted an IC Title match if he can win this match.  D'oh.  Deck's stacked, but Shelton is game.  Out of the gate, they do a few fast counts and what not to establish that Orton is evil as the ref, but then they settle in, since Randall realizes that all he's really gotta do is call the match straight, and the 2-on-1 will catch up to Shelton.  So this is a good long match with some [ads] in the middle.  End game is Shelton making his comeback, so both Conway and Grenier are in the ring, and it's mild chaos.  Orton tries to interject himself, and is going to clothesline Shelton from behind.  But Shelton moves/ducks, and Orton takes out Grenier.  Conway is PISSED, and gets in Orton's face.  Orton doesn't want to take the guff, and the two start brawling.  Shelton, meantime, hits the Stinger Splash and then his T-Bone Powerslam on Grenier.  Makes the cover.  A second ref comes out.  1, 2, 3.  Shelton wins.  Good 15 minute match, and Benjamin has an IC Title shot. [ads]
  • Highlight Reel.  Jericho comes out, and the first thing he does is talk about himself and his issues.  He lays out a challenge to Tyson Tomko, and says he wants a 1-on-1 match at Bad Blood.  Then he gets on to his guest tonight: The Coach.  He sets it up with plenty of mocking while showing footage of Coach being embarrassed by Eugene/Rock on the JeriTron 5000, then brings out Coach.  Coach is not happy, and says he's got an open challenge of his own for Bad Blood: the Coach, Undefeated PPV Superstar, wants to face Eugene 1-on-1 at the big show, and he'll show us all that the Coach is not someone to be laughed at.  Eugene picks that moment to come on out, and he's very excited and happy, but Regal handles the mic work: he says Eugene may not be ready for a PPV match, but the young lad really wants to accept the challenge, anyway.  So Coach has his match.  For our punchline, Eugene sprints to the ring, and in anticipation of his first big PPV match, does a big over-sell of the Staredown of Ultimate Intensity, getting right up in Coach's face.  Coach is perturbed by this, but when he blinks first, Eugene celebrates with Regal and Jericho to a big ovation, and we're out. [ads]
  • Backstage: Lita is walking, and comes across Chris Benoit in catering.  Benoit, ever the gentleman, asks if everything is OK with her.  She says not really, and there's something about Kane that she really needs to talk about but she doesn't feel comfortable telling Matt, so maybe.... Benoit says, "OK, honey, unload on me," and Lita and him find a private spot down the hallway... and just as Lita says, "Well, the thing Kane asked me was...." Kane pops out from the nearest doorway behind Benoit and attacks him.  Kane also just gives Lita this look, then a smile, then she leaves.  And then the brutality is ON, as Benoit has his ass handed to him.  Kane uses all the nearby props, and Benoit is brutalized and bloodied.  For our finale, Kane pushes a big scaffolding or something over on Benoit.
  • Big Announcement:  Eric Bischoff hits the stage and has a few things to tell us about next week.  First, he has approved his nephew Eugene's PPV debut at Bad Blood; but as a condition of getting the PPV match, Eugene must go one-on-one against Garrison Cade next week on RAW.  And then: Vince McMahon may not have been happy about Bischoff's decision to dump one of HBK and HHH, but he'll love this... because to milk it for all it's worth, Bischoff is dubbing next week "Last Chance to See" Week, as it'll be the last time RAW fans get to see one of these two legends on Monday night.  And to make it a memorable night, he has a plan, a parting gift to the two guys, if you will.  Next week on RAW, both HHH and Shawn Michaels will be given WHATEVER MATCH THEY WANT AGAINST WHOMEVER THEY WANT.  All they have to do is ask, and they will get their Dream Match against their Dream Opponent, and no matter which one is gone after Bad Blood, they'll have had their last night on RAW be a Proper Farewell.  Wow.
  • Backstage: Benoit is a mess and being tended to by EMTs.  No way will he be able to compete tonight. [ads]
  • Edge vs. Flair/Batista (Tag Title Match).  We are shown footage of Benoit being loaded into an ambulance, and there's no way he'll be competing.  So Edge must defend the titles by himself.  Heels get the advantage early, but then Edge fires up, hits some kind of big high risk spot about 6 minutes in, and all three men are down so we can look at [ads].  Then we come back, and it's right back where we started: Edge getting beat down.  Flair works a knee in anticipation of the Figure Four.  Batista, this week, tags in and WORKS THE SAME KNEE!  Yay for Batista!  Edge eventually makes another come back, but it's for naught.  After a solid 15 minute main event, and a couple near falls on Flair, Batista comes in and puts an end to Edge.  A big powerbomb, and Evolution again hold the tag team titles.  But that's not enough: the show ends with Flair directing traffic while Batista hits powerbomb after powerbomb.  Evolution poses, JR is indignant, and we finally fade out...

Monday, June 7 / 9:00pm-11:00pm:

  • Cold Open (again, I love those things: screw the opening theme music and video packages!)...  Eric Bischoff standing alone in a darkened ring, announcing that tonight will be the final time that fans will see either Triple H or Shawn Michaels on his show. And to make the night special, he's giving each of them a Dream Match, whatever they want to say farewell to the RAW fans.  He says right now we find out what those Dream Matches are.  First, HHH is out to the ring.  He says that in three tries, he hasn't been able to defeat Shelton Benjamin, but tonight will be the night: HHH wants Shelton and he wants it to be No DQ, Anything Goes, and he's gonna teach that punk kid a lesson.  Bischoff says "Make it so," and then reminds HHH that he and HBK cannot have any contact or else BOTH will be punished, so HHH leaves the ring.  Then Bischoff calls out Michaels to reveal his dream match.  Shawn gets on the mic, and is kind of emotional.  He says he considers the last two years since his comeback to be "borrowed time."  And he says there's one guy he's faced in that stretch that it's been an honor and privilege to battle, who brought out the best in HBK and helped him get back to his peak form.  Tonight, Shawn says, if this is the end of his "borrowed time," he can think of no better man to face than...  Chris Jericho.  Yeah, that'll RULE!  Bischoff says it's on, and we have our two Dream Matches.  [ads]
  • Eugene vs. Garrison Cade.  Regal and Coach are both in the corners, and both are very involved in the match.  For whatever it's worth, Regal does nothing but help Eugene, and counters Coach's every interference.  Cade controls a lot of the match, but Eugene's unorthodox style makes it hard for him to sustain momentum.  Finally, it seems like he's got the match won after the Macho Man Elbow, but the ref is distracted by Coach and Regal at ringside and is slow to make the count.  Eugene kicks out!  Cade is pissed, and spends his time berating the ref.  Bad idea: Eugene recovers, shakes the cobwebs out, looks to Regal, and the two share a Secret Signal.  Something eventually clicks in Eugene's head, and he goes all CHAIN WRESTLING on Cade's ass, working his way into the Regal Stretch after about a minute.  Coach tries to make the save, but Regal yanks him out.  Cade taps out.  Eugene is STILL undefeated, and Coach/Bischoff's plan to soften Eugene up for the PPV appears to be a failure after this fun little 5 minute opener.
  • Backstage: Bischoff has called both Molly Holly and Gail Kim to his office.  He says both have scored non-title wins over Victoria in the last month, and he's not sure WHO to give the PPV title shot to.  Molly smiles and suggest "Hey, why not make it a triple threat?" and Gail likes this idea, too.  But Bischoff says, no, he's got a better idea.  Tonight, it's Molly vs. Gail, and the winner gets the shot at the women's belt at Bad Blood.  Molly and Gail are indignant, but then eyeball each other with intensity to close the segment. [ads]
  • Backstage: Evolution is talking, and think that they'll settle all business over the next week.  They've got the tag belts, they'll finish off Benjamin and Michaels, and it'll be all good.  But then Edge barges in, still bandaged from the beating he took from Batista and Flair the week before.  He's in pissed off mode, and says he wants Batista and Flair again at the PPV.  Evolution thinks this is cute and funny, and don't take him seriously, they don't even think he should be here tonight...  but Edge has maneuvered them so their backs are to the door.  And that's when TAJIRI STRIKES.  Edge and Tajiri are fists of fury and actually hold their own against all four members of Evolution until officials come in and break it up.
  • Backstage: Bischoff and Johnny Nitro are watching this on a monitor, and Bischoff announces that he won't even wait for Edge to come to him... he's making the match for the PPV: Edge/Tajiri vs. Flair/Batista for the tag titles.  Yeah.
  • Backstage: Chris Jericho is hanging out, and in walks Shawn Michaels.  Michaels starts: he knows Jericho's got a lot on his plate with Trish and Tomko and Christian, but he's really happy that Jericho will be his opponent tonight and thinks the two of them will put on a hell of a show, in case it's Michaels Last Dance.  The Jericho's turn: he says the honor is all his, but he just wants to let Shawn know, Last Dance or no, Jericho's bringing his A-game and wants to win this match.  Michaels says he wouldn't have it any other way. [ads]
  • Triple H vs. Shelton Benjamin.  Good match, but the no DQ stip requested by HHH eventually comes into play.  When it looks like Shelton might score yet another upset win, out comes Randy Orton.  Shelton is distracted, announcers are confused, so we take some [ads].  Come back, and HHH is in control.  But Shelton makes a comeback, and this time, Orton's not just gonna be a ringside distraction.  He gets in the ring, and the ref can't do anything, cuz it's no DQ.  HHH and Orton put an end to Shelton's comeback, and Orton punctuates it with an RKO.  Then HHH cordially invites Randall to leave the ring, picks up Shelton's already-limp carcass, hits a Pedigree and FINALLY scores his much-need win over Shelton Benjamin in a solid 12 minute match that actually did more to keep heat on Orton/Benjamin than anything else. [ads]
  • Live, Via Satellite: Chris Benoit.  Benoit is still only at about 75% after last week's attack by Kane, and even though he could be at RAW tonight, the title belt means so much to him that he is following doctor's orders and trying to recover at be as healthy as possible for when he fights Kane in 6 days.  Then, in mid-sentence... PYRO ATTACK.  Kane hits the ring and interrupts the interview.  And he's got company!  Lita is with him.  Kane (minus lame-ass lighting effects) says he envies Benoit's Normal Life, his family, his title belt.  All Kane ever wanted was SOME of that normalcy, SOME of that respect and glory.  He says he's never put a hand on Lita, but to save Matt Hardy, she said "Yes" to standing by Kane's side and helping him in that quest.  She thought it was over after Kane got his title shot, but it's not: he wants to win the title, achieve that glory, and in so doing, he thinks he can win over Lita, and she will see him in a new light (not likely, says Lita's reaction).  So Lita set up Benoit the week before, and she'll be at Kane's side at the PPV, as well.  And when it's all over, maybe Kane will have the gold, maybe he and Lita will start a family, and maybe HIS life will be normal.  Just kind of a really sicko, twisted promo to reduce the Kane/Lita relationship down to the bare minimum while putting a bit more heat on Benoit/Kane.  (I know my logic's a bit twisted and the "question" is a huge anti-climax, but really, isn't all we want for this to be DONE, not for it to have more shocking swerves?) [ads] 
  • Backstage: Bischoff, flanked by Coach, has called William Regal in for a talk.  Bischoff says that Coach is an Undefeated PPV Superstar, and is money in the bank for RAW.  And Eugene is just a sideshow attraction.  Now, Bischoff knows that Regal covets a return to the active wrestling roster, so he re-opens the offer from a month ago: if Eugene loses the match at the PPV to the Coach, William Regal will be re-instated to the RAW Roster.  Regal gives us "Conflicted."
  • Molly Holly vs. Gail Kim.  To start, they do alot of broad gesturing that suggests that Molly would like Gail to just lie down and take the fall so Molly can have the title show.  Gail ALMOST considers it, but then decides she'd like the women's title, too.  So it's on.  Evenly matched for a bit, but then Gail takes over: during this stretch, Molly lands awkwardly and her knee seems to be seriously hurt.  Concerned for her friend and boss, Gail lays off... but it was a ruse!  As soon as Gail wanders near, Molly pops up and rolls Gail up AND uses a handful of tights... but Gail kicks out!  But now, Gail is angry, and the intensity goes up a few notches: no more mutual respect.  Eventually Gail gets her submission hold locked in, but too near the ropes: Molly gets the break.  Molly comes back strong, and seems like she's gonna win after a pinning combination where her feet are on the ropes for extra leverage, but Gail reverse out, and turns it into a pinning combo of her own... then she adds in a handful of tights of her own at the last second, and out of nowhere, Gail pins Molly to get the PPV title shot.  A reaction shot of Molly shows she is MEGA pissed.  But she quickly covers it up, and decides to offer Gail the Handshake of Friendship, instead, and the two leave together, Best Friends For Life.  But how long will that last?  Quality 7 minute women's match. [ads]
  • Backstage: Christian is sitting in an easy chair, still nursing his back.  Trish is on his lap, maybe feeding him cheesy poofs in as seductive a fashion as cheesy-poof-feeding can be.  A giant TV is in front of them.  Tyson Tomko is stationed behind them.  They are REALLY gonna enjoy tonight's main event match. Christian can't believe that Jericho accepted tonight's match against Michaels when he's gotta face the Problem Solver in just six days.  He says there's no way Jericho will be at 100% for the PPV, and Christian's Soldiers will LOVE feasting on the remainder.  And Trish, ever the sly vixen, notes that even if it looks like Jericho might escape tonight with a win and his health, they can always send Tomko down to the ring to Solve that little Problem.  Christian chuckles at her sheer evilness, and Tomko starts rubbing his hands together in anticipation...  but that's when Johnny Nitro walks in.  Shawn Michaels added another stipulation to his Dream Match: no interference.  And Bischoff wants to honor that, so anybody who interferes in the match will be fined and suspended immediately.  Christian, Trish, and Tomko seem mildly put out by this, but they still settle in because this match is about to ROCK.
  • The ring entrance of Chris Jericho.  Jim Ross hypes that we may be about to see the final appearance of Shawn Michaels...  right after these [ads]
  • Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho.  I couldn't do play-by-play if I tried.  Let's just say this much: this is a killer 25 minute match, spanning at least one ad break.  It's totally clean, but with both guys eventually showing some intensity and competitiveness (not unlike Michaels/Benoit a month before), too.  It's Free Per View caliber, and a fitting farewell if it is HBK's last night on RAW.  Let's say that at the 23 minute mark, they do the both-guys-down/double-count gimmick, then both guys are up, and they do an elaborate final sequence, with tons of near falls and false finishes.  At some point, I want to see Jericho set up for a Lionsault, but Michaels kips up and hits him with a superkick to the back of the head when Jericho's on the second rope.  Final spot, though, will be something quadruple-reversey, ending with the Chin Music out of left field and a pinfall win for Michaels.  Free TV Match of the Year, anyone?  Show ends with JR saying that if we've seen the end of Shawn Michaels, then we've seen his absolute best.  Tune in to Bad Blood to find out who wins Hell in the Cell and who will be on RAW in 7 days time!

The Bad Blood PPV and Beyond

  • This sets up a Bad Blood PPV card that should be WAY more interesting, top to bottom, than where it looks like we're heading now.  And if I do say so myself, I think the two RAWs getting there would kick much ass, as well.  The PPV would be HHH/HBK Hell in the Cell (duh, you can't go wrong), Kane/Benoit (with their feud finally overshadowing Kane's Lita nonsense), Orton/Shelton (with Orton's final act before the show being heelishness NOT predicated on racism, and with the "earning the title match" gimmick the previous week putting some stank on the feud), Eugene/Coach (with Conflicted Regal as a sidebar), Tajiri/Edge vs. Evolution (good use of the returning Tajiri, and gives Edge something interesting to do), Gail/Victoria (with Molly's motivations as a sidebar), and then maybe one other match (which I have, admittedly, neglected) depending on how long you expect the top trio of matches to run. 
  • The biggest thing: HHH loses the main event.  Now, depending on his movie schedule, his departure might be for him to go to work filming.  But it could ALSO mean HHH showing up next Thursday on SmackDown!, where, goddammit, I still contend they need him.  If there's no movie, HHH does the big summer program with Eddie to mark time until Kurt Angle's back.  You can also do cross-brand storytelling with HHH trying to keep pulling Evolution's strings, but with Randy slowly taking over Evolution to set up HHH's return to RAW (via some later plot contrivance) around the New Year.  Hell, if HHH is making a movie, then you just push back the exact same ideas/stories till he's done, and THEN HHH makes his return to SD! this summer/fall, does the same stuff with Eddie/Evolution, and still returns to RAW around the New Year in the same spot (in an Evolution Power Struggle).  And best of all: this not only helps SD!, but it also address Jeb's concerns over what's really on the line in HHH vs. HBK Part Whatever.  This makes their Bad Blood match HUGE (and it also gave me an excuse to book what I think would be a super-hot "Last Chance to See" FPV RAW).
  • Benoit obviously goes over Kane, and the way I do it is simple: after a match where she was tacitly helping Kane, Lita finally decides in the end that she's had enough, and maybe sac-kicks Kane to set up Benoit's final rally and the win.  Then Benoit can move into a feud with the red-hot Michaels and Kane can maybe focus on Matt Hardy (which sets up Jeff Hardy's return) and rehabilitate himself THAT way after this past month of nonsense with Lita.  I admit that this is my weakest storytelling of the bunch, but it's also the Fed's weak point, and I think my way's STILL better: at no point in my booking must Lita speak or act, we can un-creepify Kane's Mystery Question and reduce it down to a simple proposition while still maintaining Kane's freakish/psycho vibe, we put a BIT of stank on the title feud with Kane's sneak attack and Benoit selling it with a week off, and the outro (Lita turning on Kane) not only helps rehab Lita's character but sets up a future story arc for Kane and the Hardys that should be OK.
  • Tajiri and Edge win the tag belts.  I think it's a great use of Tajiri to return and revenge on Batista (Smell the Continuity!), and it also might help balance out the tag ranks since Edge/Tajiri is almost like a normal (if mis-matched) team, and it'll be good to have the belts on something other than a "super team" (like Benoit/Edge or Evolution).
  • I think Orton retains the IC Belt. It's important since that's the way he can claim some legitimacy if he's taking over Evolution.  As long as it's a good match, and as long as they play up the cheating aspects (like Orton/HHH's double team 6 days before, in my Fantasy Scenario), Shelton will still be a viable contender and can keep chasing.
  • The door's wide open for Eugene.  Regal can turn on him and do Bischoff's bidding.  That way Coach remains an Undefeated PPV Superstar, and Eugene and Regal can do a feud (and you can even have it be a three-month-or-so program where Regal comes BACK around and realizes Eugene's a good kid).  Or you can have Regal give Coach and Bischoff the big FU, as well, and that'd go over, as well.  I just think it'll be entertaining as hell no matter what.
  • You can do a couple things with the women's match, too.  Depending on how long you want to stretch it out, you can either have Jealous Molly sabotage Gail's title shot and immediately commence the Gail face turn, or you can have Molly be friendly, and maybe put Gail over Victoria, and have Molly's jealousy (and eventual title win) seep in down the line.  I probably prefer the latter scenario, but either way, it's fine.
  • And that's that.  Two killer weeks of RAW, prospects for the PPV look up, and plenty of room for MORE cool stuff after the PPV.  Including the very next night, right here, in Dayton, OH (where the Fantasy Booking would probably include a kick-ass show, and then me somehow bumping into Molly and Trish at a bar and... HAVING A COUPLE DRINKS!  Where'd you THINK I was gonna go with that scenario, sicko?)...  you may all bow down before my obvious genius.  And now, you may also have to be disappointed when the Real Thing isn't nearly as cool starting this Monday night.

Weekend Newsbites

  • Just a couple REAL quick things here to close out...
     
    I watched SD! last night, and it took OVER AN HOUR.  That's probably about the least FF time I've had on SD! in a couple months.  That's not to say there weren't problems (more REALLY "gay spooky" in the Booker/Taker feud, for instance, rendering what I KNOW should be a "free per view" match next week just another Thursday Night Chore), but I was generally entertained.
     
    Sadly, I was generally entertained in the sort of way that I SHOULD have been entertained a month ago.  If they'd just served up this stuff and then done CLOSURE at the PPV, we'd all have been happier.  Instead, the sheer bludgeoning force of more Eddie/JBL, more Cena/Dupree, more Taker/Booker means they're finally getting it kind of right...  but only after my enthusiasm has been utterly sapped.
     
    The only one of the recycled feuds that really seemed to have substantial spark was the Dudleys vs. Rey/RVD.  And even there: why not do this a month ago?  Give the Duds the win, keep "master motivator" Paul Heyman around instead of giving him a month off only to reintroduce him...  but still, maybe having the Duds drop a pair of matches to Rey/RVD set them up for this spot where they FINALLY win, and Heyman can go a bit nuts in verbally abusing the Duds to motivate them further.
     
    And part of me has to admit that Heyman ending up with Paul Bearer's urn is kind of interesting.  Maybe a new Heyman stable?  The Duds and then will it end up being Booker T?  Seems like that'd make some sense.
     
    Still, there's a long way to go from "well, that didn't suck" to "I'm really excited to watch wrestling on Thursdays," so there's still work to be done.
     
    I wish I could tell you to check the Recap for additional details about what happened on SD!, but this is a week Danny's taking off, and frankly, I was more excited today to write about RAW stuff than I was to recap SD!, so...  well, you can go read Wednesday's Spoilers, and that should pretty much cover the details for you.  
     
    Sorry 'bout that, folks.
     
  • The prelim rating for last night's SD! is in, and it's more bad news:  a 2.8.  That means the final rating will probably fall in the 2.6-3.0 range: and no matter where it hits in that spectrum, it's yet another poor performance.  It's not just us internet wanks who are down on SD!...  a good 15% of the audience has disappeared since WM20, and it hasn't come back.
     
  • About my ripping on Batista working the wrong arm on RAW:
     
    Folks wrote in telling me to just shut the fuck up about it, it's not that big a deal.  And you're right.  Nobody feels like a bigger tool than I for (a) noticing such a minor detail and (b) getting pissed off about it.
     
    But I bring it up again because Indie Wrestling Commentator Jacob Pigott is another guy who wrote in, and he didn't tell me to shut up.  Instead, he offered an alternate opinion: that it's not Batista's fault I'm pissed off, it's the commentator's fault.  If JR had just picked up on it and said, "Lookit that hoss Batista, now going to work on Jericho's OTHER arm...  he's trying to completely incapacitate Jericho and make it impossible for him to apply the Walls of Jericho!" then all would have been right with the world.
     
    Nice save, Jacob.  I guess I'm just a glass-half-empty kind of guy...
     
  • And a couple things about TV scheduling, following up on past newsbites...
     
    A few folks wrote in and asked why I made a big deal about "24" moving to Mondays, but didn't mention "The OC" moving to Thursdays.  And though I hate to say this having never really seen much of either show, it's because (a) I'm under the impression that "24" is good and "The OC" is utter garbage pandering to the 90210/Melrose Place teenage crowd (not the young adult audience that is hooked on "24") and (b) I care so little about "The OC" that I didn't even notice it's placement on the schedule.  Sorry.  But there you have it: SD! *will* be competing with "The OC" in the fall, if such things are of concern to you.
     
    And also: after my Star Trek mention on Wednesday, I have to correct myself.  The show is not cancelled, afterall (and in fact, they ended Wednesday's season finale with a cliffhanger that I'm STILL trying to decide if I'm interested in or not; how many times can Star Trek use the Alien Nazi Gimmick?).  But it is moving to Fridays.  I'd complain, but fact is, with DVR, Friday's no worse than Wednesday; it's all just a matter if the show unsucks enough to be worth the hard drive space.  Oh, and the folks who shared that with me also said that they're talking about bringing back Shatner in some capactiy.  Whhhaaaa?
     
    So there: sorry if my comments gave any of you Trekkies heart palpitations or anything.  "Enterprise" lives on!
     
  • And after Star Trek on Wednesday, UPN did the Eddie Guerrero TV special.  I thought it was really good stuff.  Now that WWE owns the history of ECW and WCW (and is willing to negotiate for Japanese footage), they can really tell stories like these in  a way that rings true and doesn't unfairly emphasize a guy's WWE tenure.
     
    If you watched that show and didn't come out a bigger fan of Eddie Guerrero (the man, not necessarily the wrestler), then I don't know what the hell is wrong with you.
     
    The rating, by the way: not good, in the low-to-mid 1's (and a drop of about a full ratings point from its lead-in).  So that part sucks.  But it was still a really good show.
     
  • That's about it.  I hope y'all enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend, if ye be doing anything above and beyond the normal activities.  My own plans are all Dayton-centric, so I fully intend to have a normal OO Update here on Monday.
     
    So have fun, be safe, and I'll see you then...

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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