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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
RAW, Bradshaw FIRED~!, Bad Eddie?,
And Other Midweek News
June 9, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

So I watched the Reds game last night... I'm extra-vigilant these days, what with Junior tearing it up en route to #500 and all.  But I gotta say this:

Credit to the Oakland A's: Way to hit that Bong, guys!  I swear, I have never seen a Bong hit so completely and thoroughly in all my years.  It looked like so much fun that even I thought I might like to step up and hit that Bong, and I've tried to keep myself out of such situations these past few years.  This was not a pretty Bong, but it was plenty hittable.  I mean, right off the bat in the first inning, that Bong got passed all the way through the entire Oakland line-up, serving up big hits to all!  That's one outstanding Bong.

Oh, I'm so sorry, folks.  I apologize...  but I've been dying to unleash these shitty as puns ever since the Reds picked up pitcher Jung Bong from the Atlanta Braves, and realized the fact that he was stuck in our AAA system meant he'd probably suck.  Sure enough, he finally got a call-up to the Reds last night, and the A's hit the shit out of that Bong.

You're just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  You're merely the first audience I've had for my five months of pent-up Bong humor.  I promise to make the remainder of my attempts at humor today at least 60% less hacky:

  • Monday's RAW was one that maybe shouldn't have had to happen quite this way, if only there'd been more thought and effort put into the preceding two weeks...  but as a rush-job of a pre-PPV show, you're not gonna do much better, folks.
     
    You had a hell of an anchor match in the main event, you FINALLY had the establishment of some reason to be concerned that Kane could take Benoit's title, you had a reasonably-well-handled (if out of left field) change of plans in the women's division, and you had the introduction of some intriguing possibilities between Benoit/Edge.
     
    Pretty good stuff, if you ask me.  And by being here and reading this, I'm assuming you are (even if only subconsciously) asking me.
     
    But alas, I don't feel like saying much more, on the grounds that I already said it in Yesterday's RAW Recap.  For whatever reason, folks, I got done with that one and felt like it was one of my Good Ones, so instead of making it easy for you to just get the Cliffs' Notes version of my analysis here, I'm gonna be a prick and make you Read the Recap.
     
    Also: sometimes I think that I'm the only one with my particular sensibilities or thought process...  such a misunderstood genius, am I.  But then, out of nowhere, somebody will declare my Front Page Headline of "Sexy Beast" with an intentionally-ugly picture of Kane (about 2 weeks ago) to be one of the Funniest Sights Ever, and I feel vindicated.  But yesterday, I'm feeling MEGA-clever when I bust out a particularly-demonic-looking picture of HHH to go with a "Sympathy for the Devil" themed headline (playing off HHH's devious Stones quotes on RAW), and I get NOTHING.  And a misunderstood genius I remain...
     
    Anyway, the Devilish HHH front page is a thing of the past, no matter how awesome I thought I was for thinking it up.  But the RAW Recap remains, and remains required reading, if you axe me.
     
  • The rating for RAW came in at a 3.4 cable rating.  I think I forgot to mention it after last week's holiday delay, but the Memorial Day RAW did a 3.2, which is abysmal.

    In fact, it's the only thing that keeps me from calling the 3.4 abysmal.  Which it actually pretty much is.  It's just not as abysmal as the 3.2 the week before.  Whatever magic RAW had working for it during that hot March to May swing appears to have evaporated, and now these last 3 weeks or so, RAW is kind of limping along in a position similar to SD!: with about 15% of its pre-WM20 audience gone missing.
     
    This is not a good thing.  
     
    Several readers wrote in both before RAW and yesterday to make sure I remembered to mention that RAW was head-to-head with Game 7 of the Stanley Cup.  So there: I'm mentioning it.  I don't honestly think it would have had a whole lot to do with RAW's rating, but I base that purely on my OWN personal disinterest in non-Olympic hockey.
     
    Then again, you should have seen Jeb throwing it in my face yesterday: funny, I never even knew he was a Tampa Bay Lightning Fan!  So maybe there is a wrestling/hockey crossover factor at some level.  And no, "Hulk Hogan's daughter singing the national anthem at Lightning games" doesn't count, which is why you usually don't hear me mention it.
     
    I'm digressing: the important point to remember is that RAW's rating was not good.
     
  • Folks, I've got good news and bad news.  The good news is: Bradshaw got fired!  The bad news is: it's from CNBC.
     
    Kidding: I don't wish unemployment on the guy.  I just wish A Swift Return to Velocity upon him.
     
    Yesterday, CNBC announced that they had released Bradshaw from his duties as a TV stock market analyst after his Nazi-riffic actions during WWE's latest tour of Germany.  They issued a statement using the expected synonyms for "reprehensible" and stating they want no more to do with such a boorish lout.
     
    My take: who the frick cares?  If you've even ONCE seen Bradshaw on CNBC, raise your hand.  OK, so that's about 18 of you.  The rest of us have no reason to give a shit.
     
    I could go into a big thing about how I STILL don't think what Bradshaw did is nearly as evil as most people are making it out to be.  I could ALMOST make a case for CNBC over-reacting, if I really wanted to.  But the fact is, I understand that from CNBC's perspective, the issue is not "Is Bradshaw a Nazi sympathizer?", the issue is "We must do the politically correct thing to save face."  And fine, from a PR perspective, Bradshaw probably became a PR liability (his true motivations aside) and if the network doesn't want him any more, fine, that's their business.
     
    But the thing that I *do* realize should be discussed coming out of this is how it actually puts heat on WWE from the same Public Relations kind of angle.  Look, I can say all I want about how "It's just symbolism, it doesn't mean anything, Bradshaw's not really a Nazi, so relax"... but you see, I've got this problem where I'm a Reasonable Man living in an Unreasonable World.
     
    People will, inappropriately, affix other motivations and implications (beyond Complete and Utter Thoughtlessness) to Bradshaw's actions.  I've found that out based on angry e-mails to me telling me MY reaction on Monday was an UNDERreaction, and I should stop tacitly mocking others for overreacting.  Since there seem to be an awful lot of you, a company that's in the business of pleasing the public and making money off them kind of needs to placate you types.  [Note: this doesn't include me, at least not till somebody writes in to show me how coming down hard on Bradshaw will violently spike my readership and somehow turn OO into a License to Print Money.]
     
    So CNBC placates: they fire Bradshaw.  To me, this puts a TON of heat on WWE.  Not because it makes Bradshaw's actions any more right or wrong, but because it sets the precedent that the actions were wrong enough for one of Bradshaw's two employers to terminate him.  And now, the ball is in the other employer's court...
     
    If WWE doesn't sanction Bradshaw in any public way, they run the very real risk of sending the message that Being a Nazi is OK With Us.  Unless a non-sanctioning of Bradshaw is accompanied by some kind of PR campaign of their own to smear CNBC as hyper-reactive, I think the majority of Americans would see WWE as the bad guys in this for continuing to employ Bradshaw after CNBC had seen fit to fire him.
     
    I can tell you this: I'm not the only one who sees it this way.  At TV tapings yesterday, the front office had no real intentions of doing anything to Bradshaw.  They were not at all upset with him (this does not follow all the way down, as there ARE some in the company who did take umbrage).  But they DID get furious when they heard about CNBC: partly because of the lost exposure for WWE and Bradshaw, but also, I'm quite sure, because they realized the pressure it was going to put on the company to respond in kind.
     
    For the time being, the response was to just put Bradshaw on TV as scheduled and keep building to a PPV main event later this month.  In all honesty, I think that's the right play, I think it's the reasonable play, and all the GOOD reasons for getting Bradshaw the hell out of a main event feud with Eddie have NOTHING to do with "Heil Hitlering" fans in Munich.  Hate him for any number of perfectly good reasons; DON'T hate him for trying (in an admittedly stupid way) to get fans to boo him.
     
    But I still think CNBC's move kind of puts a bit of heat on WWE to do something beyond the "reasonable" move of just letting this blow over.  We'll see.
     
  • In deference to those of you who apparently don't trust The Rick, and audit other wrestling sites for your news... you're right, Bradshaw's not the only one who acted up on that tour of Germany.
     
    But I'm almost embarrassed at the significance being placed on Eddie Guerrero's behavior by certain sites and fans: at the last show on the tour, a minority of fans responded negatively towards Eddie, and he kind of let it get to him, and "turned heel" for the night.  When "Eddie Sucks" chants started, he got on the house mic, and said, "No, Germany Sucks" and stuff like that.
     
    Now, I'm not gonna OVERsimplify this by comparing to how Edge turned heel on the previous weekend's UK tour.  Because it's not the same: Edge's opponent was Ric Flair, and Flair was getting heavy cheers.  Eddie's opponent was Bradshaw, and Eddie's antics left fans with NO ONE to cheer for.  It was probably a hot-headed reaction, but come the frick on, people: even as much as I wanted JBL's Nazi Workout to be a non-story, this is even further down the Cosmic Significance Continuum.
     
    I guess, yeah, it's the third time over the past year or so when Eddie has gotten into it with fans who dared to taunt him, but if anything, at least this time, it seems like it might have been reasonable for Eddie to be on edge: last show of an overseas tour, still not at 100% health-wise, and having to carry the gold for a brand that is sucking wind very badly right now... it'd be enough to drive me a bit crazy, too.
     
    So anyway: to those of you who DO trust me, exclusively, to do your wrestling news, I'm sorry if this is something you would have wanted to hear about on Monday.  The rest of you: I swear if you decide this back-peddaling on my part means I want you to fill me on on all the latest HOT NEWZ about how maybe Torrie Wilson is "pulling a Sable" and the many ways Mordecai is displeasing management, just, please, don't.  Or else, I'LL be the one who goes crazy and turns heel for a night.  It's not a question of whats I knows, it's a question of whats I cares about and actually have documentation of!
     
  • As mentioned in the Bradshaw bullet point, he worked SD! tapings as scheduled.  You can get the full report from the show, a day early, by clicking here.  Note: since Friday is a PPV Preview day (Team Coverage returns, baby!) and I won't have a chance to directly discuss my thoughts about SD!, I've taken the liberty of adding in a few of my own smart-ass comments about the events, even though I haven't actually seen the show.
     
    Enjoy.
     
  • The latest on Christian's back injury seems to be that he'll be on the shelf for about another month (so Coach's comment about it being 2 or 3 months maybe just was heel hyperbole).  Obviously, this sucks for Christian, and here's hoping for as full and speedy a recovery as possible.

    But another loser has GOT to be Chris Jericho, who's being asked to carry a PPV feud with a guy who is essentially a leader-less henchman.  It'd be like Kurt Angle leaving TV just in time for Luther Rains to get a US Title shot at John Cena.  And that'd be silly.
     
    But a possible winner: Trish Stratus.  Because if Tomko has any heat on him, it'll be her doing.  And also maybe just Because I Said So.  Yeah.
     
  • Brock Lesnar and the New York Jets?  Who the hell knows, but apparently it was a topic of discussion on WFAN radio yesterday, and the general consensus from callers and host alike was that they wouldn't mind having Lesnar around NYC...
     
    As I said Monday, the Eagles of Philadelphia are one of the teams taking a pretty serious look at Lesnar, and I know it's NOT really for football reasons, it's because he'd be PR gold.  I don't know about the other 3-4 teams (Packers, Niners, Cowboys, and I think I'm forgetting one) and what value they see in Lesnar, but the Eagles are still gonna roll out the red carpet for Brock when he visits with the team later this month in hopes of getting him (a) on the cheap and (b) willing to do a lot of personal appearances and stuff like that. 
     
    I'd have to imagine Lesnar's PR value would actually be increased in NYC over any other market: I mean not only considering the market size, but also considering that it's a place where you basically have two football teams sharing a home stadium, and anything one can do to trump the other would be a good thing.
     
    We'll see how this goes.  I think Lesnar's work-out for scouts is either this weekend or next; the meeting with Philly is late in the month, and I'm sure in the interim, he'll entertain any and all offers.
     
  • Last thing today: in an attempt to keep you relatively on the ball with regard to TNA happenings, tonight's PPV will be headlined by AJ Styles return to the X Division to face X Champ Frankie Kanzarian.
     
    I don't think I explicitly explained myself, but I'm assuming this is a move to put the title belt back on the more-recognizable Styles as TNA enters the Impact Era.  And even if my instinct is wrong, I'd feel pretty safe predicting a really good match out of the two assuming they really do get the main event slot and get plenty of time to let it rock.
     
    Also tonight: Jeff Jarrett's first PPV back as NWA Champ will see him re-asserting his awesomeness, and then probably having said awesomeness doubted by Ron Killings and/or the rest of 3 Live Kru...  Raven and Sabu aren't allowed on Impact till they sign contracts, but everybody expects them to be feuding in TNA before long, and they CAN both appear on PPV, so look for that to start up...  and I know that after last Friday's tag title win, America's Most Wanted will be defending their belts against a Team of the Fan's Choosing tonight, as well.
     
    Give it a look.  Or do what I'm gonna do: keep kibitzing by watching "Impact" for free on Fridays until TNA gives me something to REALLY sink my teeth into.
     
  • Speaking of Friday, yep, it'll be another Team Coverage PPV Preview.  And another chance for me to try to get myself out of the PPV Predictions Basement I've been in since I started this gimmick...
     
    At least this time, I'm fired up enough about the show that I won't have to resort to absurd Andy Kaufman humor to make the preview a tolerable chore.  Although, between you and me, that document (regardless of the eventually shittiness of the actual show) wound up being one of my most favorite of the year so far, so...  maybe I WANT the GAB PPV to suck ass on paper?
     
    Nah, of course I don't.
     
    Anyway, see all y'all on Friday with the Preview.
     

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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