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Montreal is RAW, SD! FPV and PPV Stuff,
Fantasy Booking Reprised, and MORE!
May 31, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


You think these cicada things are just punchlines for Letterman jokes, folks?  Guess again; for those of us who have 'em, they are a bona fide nuisance.  At a party I went to yesterday afternoon, they were so loud and ubiquitous it felt like we had to shout to carry on conversations, and you couldn't take a step without squashing one.  And apparently they were more ubiquitous than even I had realized: at a different, cicada-free party that night, I was struck by a sudden, unexpected case of chivalry and loaned my over-shirt to a girl who needed to dash from the backyard tent to the house when it was pouring down rain... when I found her later, she was not thankful, she was pissed: apparently two cicadas crawling out of a rolled up sleeve were enough to freak her out.  Damned pests, rendering me significantly less-smooth than usual!

But what the hell: let's let bygones be bygones.  Truthfully, there's not a ton of material to cover today, and my Road Runner service CONTINUES to be spotty-at-best (but at least I'm getting more than 4 minutes of up-time at a stretch, now), so I'm still not wanting to spend a whole hell of a lot of time in front of the PC.  Dial-up is no fun, folks, not when you've been spoiled for 2 years.  So let's just get this thing started so it can also be finished:

  • Tonight's RAW takes place in Montreal.  Which means that Shawn Michaels will probably be able to count on being booed no matter what he does.  Problem is, his primary foe these days is Triple H, who is held pretty much equally accountable for the Screwing of Bret Hart by the anal compulsive fans up there.
    So it'll be interesting to see how they play it between those two, maybe just use them as little as possible so that it doesn't cause too big a distraction...  not to sound like I'm stealing my own ideas, but after realizing we're in Montreal tonight, maybe just another big-ass, pull-apart brawl and getting suspended from the building by Bischoff isn't a bad idea.  Then let the live crowd get focused on the actual show instead of on being morons about something that happened seven years ago.
    And like I've been saying, HHH/HBK Hell in the Cell pretty much sells itself: you don't HAVE to do a whole lot.  Creative energy should be invested in saving this Kane/Lita nonsense and making sure Kane's in position to really be a challenger to Chris Benoit's World Title.
    And I'm not sure whether they'll be able to pull it off or not, but I do expect tonight'll be the night where they make a really big push towards this goal.  Maybe we'll find out Kane's Mystery Question to Lita to help define that relationship... and we should CERTAINLY get more than 90 seconds of general rambling by Kane addressing the Kane/Benoit feud.
    Below that, the key issues RAW has to develop are: Orton vs. Shelton for the IC Title, Eugene vs. Coach (and where Regal stands in all this), Jericho vs. Tomko, something in the women's division (Victoria vs. either Molly or Gail, or maybe a three-way), and figuring out what to do in the tag division since Benoit's still tying up half the titles and has other things on his plate.
    Tonight's is a show that doesn't have one, singular big draw already in place: but with a PPV less than 2 weeks away, it's a show that should (needs to be) tightly constructed and that gives us reasons to be excited about every single PPV feud that's on the docket.  If they can do that, even without a clear-cut, heavily hyped main event, they can still generate a lot of "stickiness" and make tonight's a fun show.
    So check it out and see how they do... or come on back here to OO tomorrow for the full details in the always-exceptional RAW Recap!
  • And I guess this is the part of the column where I should talk a bit about feedback to my two-weeks-worth of Fantasy RAW Booking...
    Because for the most part, it was VERY positive.  More so than even I would have guessed.  Somebody even said it was the best OO I ever wrote, which is kind of distressing, since other than kicking a few ideas back and forth on Thursday night in my head, it was pretty much a thrown-together piece.  And I've put LOTS more effort into other columns, so...  well, maybe I'm just not good at taking compliments, but if you folks liked it, that's cool with me.
    And I *did* think it was good -- maybe not best-ever, but good -- which is kind of why I got upset with a few folks REALLY missing the point.  They wrote in with criticisms that pretty much amounted to "All you did was pretty much the boring, expected crap that WWE might really do, and if you're going to Fantasy Book, you should do really fantastical things."  Note: of these folks, a common trait was "Scaia, you ignorant slut, RAW is in Montreal on Monday, and you didn't even write that into your booking.  You totally missed the chance to do something cool on that one, dumbass." 
    And again: to you people, let me again thank you very much for not possibly being able to miss the point any worse.  For one, even if I had remembered RAW was in Montreal and included that in my booking, I probably would have handled it EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.  Because until the day when Bret Hart actually appears in a WWE ring, I don't really care that much about harping on 7-year-old material.  Montreal fans might not be able to let it go, but in my scenario, I'd want to give them as little chance as possible to obsess over the Screw Job of '97.  So no: I didn't miss an opportunity.  I merely opted to live here in the year 2004.
    And for two, if the worst criticism you can come up with is that what I wrote up on Friday is "too much like what WWE might really do," then guess what? [bulldog]THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT![/bulldog]
    Seriously: you might think you're being dismissive or critical, but I think you just gave me a big ol' slap on the back.  Because any jack-ass could have come up with Fantasy Booking scenarios that would have involved the Return of Bret Hart and Free Per View Quadruple Ladder Matches and what-not.  But that style of fantasy booking has never really fascinated me: trying to come up with quality, episodic, sustainable material that could REALISTICALLY HAPPEN is what is fun for me.
    So you say I was predictable at times?  I say "Well, I didn't hear you predicting it until I wrote it down."  And I kind of think that it if you think it felt predictable in retrospect, it's more a case of it ringing genuine and realistic, not a case where anything was boring or trite.  "Yeah, that's something that might really happen" is a compliment to me.  And realizing that there's a class of fan out there who thinks fantasy booking is only any good if it's so out-of-left-field that it's wall-to-wall shock and awe is the only way I can conceive of anyone thinking otherwise.  Sometimes, I can almost see why the Bradshaws and HHHs of the world get annoyed at internet fans...  
    Anyway, I'm probably raging against about 7% of you.  The other 93% could not have been nicer or more complimentary or enthusiastic about the material I set out on Friday.  I'm glad you liked it: but like I said then, now I kinda feel bad because if they do something like totally suck ass with Kane and Lita tonight, it'll be MY fault for having raised your expectations!
  • Two other things people did nitpick about with the Fantasy RAWs....
    One is that I didn't include Jericho/Tomko on my list of PPV matches and didn't say how I'd have it finish.  Good eye, folks, and that was a bona fide fuck-up on my part.  Obviously that *is* the seventh PPV match, and much as it'll further enrage you, I'd probably say that Tomko (with an assist from either Trish or Christian, or maybe both) gets the win.  Because that feud ain't gonna be over after Bad Blood, and the way you keep it going is by putting the heel over now, and letting Jericho get it back later.  Plus, Jericho is increasingly striking me as "bullet proof" or "teflon": all he needs is 90 seconds with a mic, and he's right back at 100% credibility with the fans.
    The other thing people noticed and complained about is that at no time did I mention the RAW Diva Search or how it would be integrated into the show.  I wish I could say that was a pure fuck-up, but it was mostly just wishful thinking.
    I guess I could have done one of two things: my "serious" response would have been to just say that WWE will be taking several weeks to collect videotapes and photos, and so it'll be after the PPV before they can really start doing any Diva Search segments on RAW, and thus, my ignoring the whole concept in my Fantasy Realm was just fine.
    Or I could have done a "joke" response and included a follow-up vignette from Mr. McMahon where he announces that America cannot be trusted to select a winner in a matter of this much importance.  So, to ensure a judicious selection process, all photos and videos should be sent to: 
    RAW Diva Search
    c/o The Almighty Rick
    PO Box 212
    Dayton, OH  45409
    And instead of 10 weekly segments on RAW, an impartial Gentleman, Scholar, and Connoisseur of Fine Women will make a decision all by himself after reviewing the footage. And of course, I'd probably do a SHOCKING SWERVE~! since I'd get tired of watching the vapid tapes of Stacy wannabes after about five of them, and just declare Trish the winner on the grounds that (a) she NEVER wins these sorts of contests, and it's about time the poor girl catches a break.  Or maybe I'd name Online Onslaught's Own Erin Anderson the winner on the grounds that (a) she keeps insisting she can out-moonsault Lita, which is a big ol' plus, and also (b) I should probably get a finder's fee, or at least an "Appears Courtesy of OnlineOnslaught.com" byline, right?  
    Whatever: you folks got your Jericho/Tomko and Diva Search updates, and now I think we can close the door on The Me's Fantasy Booking...
  • The Jericho/Tomko thing might have to be prolonged for another reason besides "conventional wisdom," too: according to commentary on last night's "Heat," Christian is going to be out of action for upwards of 2 months, MUCH longer than previously expected.
    Don't know if we can accept Coach's prognosis as medical fact, or if he was maybe just doing a bit of heelish hyperbole, but if Christian's down till SummerSlam, it's GOTTA change plans for the feud with Jericho a bit...

  • SD!'s really trying to build up this week's show as something special, something akin to a "Free Per View," but I'm just not feeling it...
    Taker vs. Booker T will headline the show, and they are also busting out the four-way bikini contest in an attempt to spike the ratings.  And spiking they need: the show was below 3.0 again last week, and there's just NO indication of things picking up as they continue to run with the same storylines that got them into this ditch...
  • The line-up for the Great American Bash PPV is out, and gives us a pretty clear indication that the company IS gonna be shaking things up on the undercard, even if we're in for another Eddie/Bradshaw main event.
    Some of this might be "Spoiler-y" to you, so if you're the sensitive-type, turn away till the next bullet point...  otherwise, here goes:
    Eddie/JBL will be a Bullrope Match....  Taker will face both Dudley Boyz (makes sense, since Heyman's got the urn)....  Cena will defend the US Title against Booker T...  Dupree will face RVD...  Rico/Haas will defend the tag titles against the Chavos...  Rey Mysterio will take on Mark Jindrak...  and Torrie, Dawn, Jackie, and Sable will have a four-woman summer-themed triathlon of stuff like Beach Volleyball and whatnot. 
    That's still a weak-ass main event, but the undercard seems like it might have a bit more sizzle than Judgment Day.  Assuming they build it up wisely, anyway...
  • FYI: word going around late last week is that the Judgment Day PPV was the least-purchased WWF/E PPV in years.  No surprise there, really... it just sucks that there WILL be an element who wants to pin this on Eddie Guerrero (and to an extent, it is true that the guy holding the belt is on the hook for box office performance), and that's not gonna be a good thing.
  • Last thing: RAW-brand shows in the UK this weekend featured an unexpected twist, as Edge worked as a heel against Ric Flair.
    However, domestic fans shouldn't read too much into it: it was just a case of Flair being so massively popular over there that Edge was unable to win fans over, so he just rode with the flow, and cut heel promos to FULLY turn the fans against him.  If anything, I'd expect Edge to be MORE popular than usual tonight when RAW's in Canada.
  • That's it for me, folks.  See you with the RAW Recap tomorrow, and then news/spoilers on Wednesday... 


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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