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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
The Rick Makes the Diva Search Fun and
Entertaining! Plus Hogan, Sting, and MORE!
July 21, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

So yesterday, it's the 35 Year Anniversary of man landing on the moon... and I know my homey from down a few miles south on State Route 48, Neil Armstrong, makes it a pain in the ass to get interviews and stuff, but does the occasion really call for a celebration that consists of nothing but "documentaries" on Moon Landing Hoax conspiracies?
 
Seriously, I'm a HUGE fan of the entire genre of Weird Shit (not a believer, necessarily, but a fan of doing the mental gymnastics of a debunker and an appreciator of some of creativity displayed in some of the more elegant/believable theories those types put forth, especially when  

presented in the guise of "infotainment" like Dan Brown's books), but there's not even enough compelling material for a 5 minute segment, much less a one-hour special, when it comes to how we "faked" the moon landing.  And yet, I get home last night, and at both 11pm and midnight, there's big-ass TV Specials milking that precise topic for all its worth.  At least the one at 11 concluded (after a tortuous ride) that hoax believers were idiots; I didn't bother to check out the second one. 

Why must America be so dumb, dammit?!?  EVERYBODY knows the REAL best-kept secret in all of history is how Space Aliens From Atlantis Built the Pyramids!  But wait, perhaps I've said too much....

  • Per custom, we begin today's rasslin' discussion with a glance back to Monday's RAW.  But not too lengthy of a glance, since in my own humble estimation, yesterday's RAW Recap was absolute GOLD, Jerry, GOLD, and you can just read that to find out what I thought about the show.
     
    But to you lazy and impudent sons of bitches who don't believe I can take a show you've already seen and make it REALLY FUN to read about again, I'll summarize:
     
    The Edge/Orton main event was outstanding, it blew away their PPV match, and not just because it was 10 minutes shorter and thus, tighter and devoid of pace-killing chinlocks.  They also set the stage with a GREAT Orton/Edge promo in which Edge got the killer lines and Orton stood their like a dumb guy and took it, and in so doing, they got fans on the same page (Edge is the fan favorite, Orton is the bad guy).  It all came together in the form of a very good 15-plus minute match.
     
    But even more so than that, the coolest thing to happen on the show was the announcement that next week's RAW would feature a 60 Minute Iron Man Match between Triple H and Chris Benoit. It was kind of out of left field, but after a week where RAW essentially hyped the Diva Search as its main event, it was heartening to get back on track in such an over-compensatory type of way.  Iron Man lives again!  HHH also opened the show with an OK-but-overlong-promo (the better part was once Bischoff came out to make the Iron Man Announcement, and then I thought things REALLY went well once William Regal hit the scene, but before that: eh), and they did a sensible little angle with Benoit having to face Batista on Monday so Batista could soften up Benoit (no desire to win the match, just a desire to give Benoit a concussion), too.
     
    Beyond those two things, though, RAW was a dodgy proposition for the middle 90 minutes of the show.  Probably because out of those ninety minutes, more than 20 of them were dedicated to Diva Search nonsense in the form of the Highlight Reel/Office Ransacking, the Diva Special Recap, the Bikini Segment, and the Two Rules/Phone Number Summaries. All of which were just horribly pointless (but we'll talk more about this later).  Then you throw in I think about 35 minutes for commercials, and even when they were doing fairly logical things (like slow building to Tajiri/Rhyno vs. La Resistance, or having Rosey finally graduate to Superhero Status), it just didn't feel important or big because the pace and intensity of the middle 90 minutes was just non-existent.
     
    This is not a made-up problem or something I've invented in my head as Another Reason to Hate the Diva Search. It's just my honest after-the-fact attempt to figure out why a show that had some good to it still failed to really strike me as a strong and exciting top-to-bottom show.  And I don't apologize for coming to the realization that for the middle part of the show, it seemed like every other segment was an awful/pointless/spirit-sapping piece of nonsense that made it hard to sustain interest.  And it's not just me, WWE: your live crowd rebelled against the Diva Search, too.  And it's your own fault: you could just have put the Diva Search into a little 5 minute ghetto, quickly hosted by the Coach and quickly fast-forwarded by The Me... but no, you had to go and get cute and have the Diva Search intersect with the Highlight Reel so that even Known Assholes with DVR Technology Such As Myself Who Suspect Jericho Is Capable Of Saving Anything would be compelled to watch all the crap.  So WWE, I apologize for nothing, and hope you're happy that now I have no choice but to tell the world all about the Crap you made me watch!
     
    And for now, I've said my piece. RAW had some good. But it also had some serious pacing issues, and at the end of the day, the thing I walked away MOST excited about was not the RAW I'd just seen, but the fact that the RAW coming up next week has the look of a kick-ass show.  Bring the RAWK next week, HHH and Benoit!
     
    For a more complete breakdown of RAW's results and complete analysis of every segment (instead of just random rambling about the highlights), you have no choice but to check out the OO RAW Recap.  Seriously.  It's against the law to leave without reading it.
     
  • The final rating for RAW is a 3.7, which is exactly the same as the week before.
     
    And while the conclusion of Edge/Orton was the highest rated segment of the night, many have noted that the Highlight Reel came in second and drew a 4.0 rating.  And because of me and my stance, I've had it thrown in my face as "evidence" that the Diva Search is a ratings draw.
     
    I can only assume you are the same dumbasses who honestly believe man never walked on the moon. C'mon: use your fricking heads, people. On Monday and again today, I've BEATEN THE HORSE DEAD about how much I'd like to fast-forward all Diva Search segments. And FF'ing is the DVR equivalent of flipping the channel. And yet, EVEN I STAYED TUNED ON MONDAY.
     
    Why: because WWE tricked me with Jericho and the Highlight Reel.  Jericho plus Babes equals "OK, let's see if he can make this not suck" in my book.  And he didn't: and worse, I think it was pretty obvious he wasn't really trying to and hopefully won't be asked to do the same thing again next week. Or ever. As stated yesterday: you send the Coach out there to tank with his precious Diva Search crap, and don't drag Jericho down with it.
     
    But even if they do? Well, hell, fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on Vince. I'm sure I'm not the only one who deviated from INTENDED Diva Search behavior this week, but Jericho or no, integrating the segments into the rest of the show or not, I think we all will be looking to get back on the FF'ing/Channel Flipping Plans next week.  And WWE would be wise to make it easy for us to do so, because bottom line, there's no Fast Forward Button for the live in-arena audiences, and you don't want to keep trying their patience.
     
    My point: RAW, holding steady at 3.7.  Diva Search, not to thank for anything.
     
  • Actually, if I may:
     
    Another reason to despise the Diva Search and anyone who is even remotely amused by it has come to my attention.  In short: the voting doesn't matter and WWE can make whoever they want win the contest, and it's OK because it's IN THE RULES that they can do that.
     
    Seriously. Look, it's one thing for me to be a cynical asshole who thinks there's not a damn REAL thing about Reality TV, and you to be sitting back there telling yourself, "Well, that Scaia, he's a crotchety old man with no grasp on pop culture who just doesn't realize the Reality TV is AWESOME and EVER SO HIP." We just have to kind of eyeball each other suspiciously and try to co-exist.
     
    But it's another when I can whip out PROOF that I am right and that you are wrong for ever having doubted me.  To wit, I quote to you from the WWE's own stated Rules and Regulations: "WWE reserves the right in its sole and exclusive discretion to grant immunity from fan voting in any given week to finalists. [...] Finalists who win immunity in any given week cannot be eliminated from the Search."
     
    Don't believe me? It's all available for your own reading pleasure at divasearch.wwe.com/rules.html.  Then again, you think we hoaxed the moon landing, don't you, so how used are you to actually reading up and checking facts?
     
    Needless to say, I'm more confident than ever that WWE has their hand-picked winner decided upon already (I'm still assuming it's the Playmate of the Year, based solely on nothing, but I also don't give a shit if I'm wrong), and that anybody who gets sucked into the "drama" of the Diva Search is an even BIGGER fricking moron than I'd already suspected.
     
    FYI: "voting" has concluded for this week (seriously, how many of you surrendered your e-mail addresses or home phone numbers to WWE's marketing list by voting, you suckers?), but WWE is keeping results Top Secret till next Monday.  But I know who the loser is: THE ONE GIRL WHO DIDN'T GET IMMUNITY FROM WWE THIS WEEK!  BECAUSE IT'S ALL RIGGED!  HA!
     
  • And one last thing about the Diva Search, because if there's anything that's more fun than using my Rapier-like Wit to skewer total garbage, I don't know what it is....
     
    Actually, I'm thinking this HAS to be a joke. I can't track down the root source, but a ton of people have mailed me what appears to be a press release from somewhere about a company that's suing WWE over who "invented" the Diva Search concept.  Needless to say, I did not receive said press release from the company myself (not surprising, as if you invented the Diva Search, would YOU have OO on your list of Friendly Places?), but I guess it's appeared on other websites, and many Helpful Readers thought it'd be something Right Up My Ally, so....
     
    The gist is this: something called "Push!ing the Lope Entertainment" says they came up with the Diva Search idea about 8 months ago. With help from Trish Stratus (who sounds like either a friend or business partner of these dolts), they got a meeting with WWE 6 months ago. WWE started ignoring them 5 months ago. WWE announced the Diva Search Contest 3 months ago. These idiots claim to have begun legal proceedings 0 months ago.
     
    Again: I almost have to assume this is a joke.  And not just for joke-y reasons like "I can't believe anybody would be stupid enough to WANT to claim ownership of such an awful and money-losing idea."  Also for very good reasons, such as:
     
    (1) A quick bit of searching does not reveal ANY web presence for "Push!ing the Lope Entertainment" (and yes, that's how you misspell their name, and yes, I actually spelled it right FIRST while checking before realizing their clever use of punctuation and checked again, and got no hits either way).  Even my brother's little "production company" that he created in college and which never did anything other than a couple school projects on a Massive Three Figure Budget gets hits if you type it into Yahoo, so Christ... I either have to assume this company doesn't exist, or that if it does, they make the Guy Shooting Pornos In His Basement look like a professionally-run, responsible, upscale entertainment operation.
     
    And (2) For somebody to think that the Diva Search idea had to be "created" in the first place is retarded. You don't get money for watching TV and ripping off something you just watched, which is all the Diva Search is. It'd be like me saying that I have this great idea for how Vince McMahon should come on TV and issue an open casting call for Business School Students who would then be whittled down to 10 finalists and each would join Vince McMahon as something not unlike, hmmmm, let's say "apprentices," while Vince takes over as Interim GM of SmackDown! once Kurt Angle is dismissed, and then votes one protege off the island every week until only one is left and that person is granted a $250,000 contract and the job heading up one of Mr. McMahon's successful subsidiaries, in this case the job as full-time SD! General Manager for a year. I could SAY that's my idea, but I'd be an IDIOT if I did.  That said: WWE, this is MY idea, and the only way you can steal it is if you rig the contest so I win.  Yeah.  I also have an idea for a movie!  It's called "Indiana Jones 4," and I think it'd be GREAT!
     
    I don't even care if this IS a real story, and everything went down EXACTLY like it says in the press release. Nobody's right on this one, and everybody (including the fans) are losers.  Allow me to preside over this case in the Court of Common Sense.
     
    For the crime of Being Absolute Morons and Contributors to the Dearth of Creativity that Permeates Pop Culture, I sentence "Push!ing the Lope Entertainment" and all affiliated personnel to be jettisoned directly into the Sun. Trying to lay claim to "inventing" such an awful and awfully-derivative concept cannot be tolerated!
     
    For the crime of either Stealing Bad Ideas from Absolute Morons or possibly even Having In-House Morons Who Honestly Did Generate the Bad Ideas on Their Own, I sentence WWE to 10 weeks of declining ratings and mutinous live audiences as a result of their stubborn refusal to just eat crow on this one. I also sentence them to 10 weeks of my Ingenious Skewering, with an option to reprise my wit and wisdom for Additional Mocking in year-end pieces.
     
    As compensation for Having Her Good Name Dragged Through the Mud, I reward Trish Stratus a Night With The Rick at a venue of her choosing.  As the target of my copious charm, she'll forget all about being accused of consorting with Known Jackasses! And if the discussion must turn to wrestling and if she really is a vile jezebel who helps WWE steal ideas from hapless victims, well, at least if she's hanging out with me, the only ideas she'll be taking home will be AWESOME ones.
     
    And for Being a Loyal Fan and Clever Son of a Bitch, Rick Scaia is awarded all assets of the now-incinerated "Pushing the Lope Entertainment" as well as WWE's intended $250,000 diva prize money. The money will go towards therapy to keep him sane throughout the rest of the stupid Diva Search crap. And also towards turning the aforementioned night with Trish into an unforgettably lavish affair. And then probably towards whiskey with what's left over when my brain finally realizes that this Trish Fantasy will never happen and once the therapy fails to work and I need another way to excise the crap from my memory.  Lots and lots of whiskey can be had for a quarter million....  mmmmm....
     
    Anyway, I still think there's no way this story can be real, and again, I can't find any root source for it (or even evidence that the company in question really exists), can't find anybody on the fringes of the wrestling business and who talks to me who knows anything about it, and only know it's popping up on other wrestling sites and has been forwarded to me a few times.  Normally, that's not adequate for me to talk about something... but damn if it's not SUCH a hilarious and implausible yarn that I couldn't resist having some fun with it. Just know: I'm not taking this one seriously, and neither should you.
     
  • A week ago, I mentioned that Alert Readers had seen one of the ESPN 25 Year Anniversary shows and that Vince McMahon had popped in at #20 on the "Most Outrageous Characters" list...
     
    Well, the same set of Alert Readers were watching the Big E last night, I guess, because they've mailed in to let me know that the XFL showed up on the List of Biggest Flops.  It was #2. Sounds about right....
     
  • A potentially messy situation is developing as WWE continues to ramp up it's "24/7" Video On Demand service... obviously, a GIANT part of WWE's back video catalog doesn't just feature Hulk Hogan, it's part of what has retroactively become known as the Hulk Hogan Era.
     
    Only problem is that WWE doesn't own the name "Hulk Hogan." They license it (and all Hulk-based terminology) from Marvel Comics on an as-needed basis.  Their current deal to use the name apparently expires soon or has just expired, meaning Marvel is saying "You can't use Hulk Hogan's name to market your new on-demand service."  Which is a pretty serious set of handcuffs.
     
    I guess WWE thinks they still have a year of rights to the name under the existing deal, and Marvel's playing hardball on negotiating any kind of extension, and things are kind of sticky.  My understanding is that WWE would be within their rights to have as much old-school Hogan footage as they want on any on-demand service or DVD release, because they WERE paying for the name at the time those events took place. But the question here is whether they can create NEW promotional items using Hogan's name to SELL his old matches.
     
    Me, I have this crazy-ass "Reasonable Man Principle" I always fall back on, and I think the time when WWE owed Marvel Comics anything for the "Hulk" name has come and gone. Maybe there could have been marketplace confusion in 1983, when "Hulk" meant "Comma The Incredible" to everyone.  But today, both The Incredible Hulk and Hulk Hogan have achieved a mass market popularity that would make it impossible for ANYone to confuse the two.  I'd wish WWE could just flip Marvel the middle finger and keep using the Hulk Hogan name for the sake of historical consistency... but I fear this is another case, like the WWF/World Wildlife Foundation bullshit, where reason and logic take a hike, and the mere fact that WWE was foolish enough to sign a previous agreement means they are bound to those terms in perpetuity.  Though there was no real good reason to bow to pressure, they signed away their "F" in the early 90s and couldn't win it back; I just hope level heads prevails and we don't have to rewrite things so that "Terry Hogan" or "Hollywood Hogan" headlined the original WrestleMania the same way we've had to excise all mentions of the "F" in pre-2002 footage.
     
  • Umm, real quick: looks like another interesting edition of SmackDown! coming up tomorrow.  Maybe not quite as awesome as the past couple weeks, but with some intriguing developments that should keep the ball rolling nicely for the once-impotent-but-now-happenin' Thursday night brand. At least, depending on where the show ends.  You see, there's a "good" ending and a "bad" one, and my on-site reports diverged on what was for TV and what was just for the live crowd.
     
    If you can't wait till tomorrow, you may Check the Spoilers for full results and see what I'm talking about.
     
  • If you were wondering how long it'd take Rikishi to get back into action after being released from WWE last week, the answer is "Not very."  Without even getting into the issue of how he's working on an "injured ankle," we'll just say that Rikishi is scheduled to compete TONIGHT on a really huge-sounding show in Hawaii.
     
    Sometimes-columnist-but-mostly-slacker-like-his-buddy-Lund, Rocky Swift, has been in touch about the show, and it sounds like he'll be there in person. So should anything cool happen, maybe we'll get a first hand account...
     
    The line-up is stacked, with Sting and the Great Muta teaming up in the main event to take on Scott Hall and Satoshi Kojima.  Rikishi is involved on the card in a tag match with his still-employed-by-WWE cousin Rosey...  and also featured are such familiar names from BOTH sides of the pond as: D'Lo Brown, Glen Gilberti (both of whom obviously WON'T be taking a TNA booking tonight), TAKA Michinoku, Kaz Hayashi, and Rosey's former 3 Minute Warning partner Jamal.
     
    It's a giant show conducted under the banner of Hawaii Championship Wrestling, which is "Magnificent" Don Muraco's local promotion. They've been holding events for years, usually well-reviewed, and have been growing in size to the point where they're putting on this super-show.  It's actually a pretty cool thing, as Muraco and Company can take advantage of the fact that WWE's travel schedule makes Hawaii a tough market to crack, so bringing high quality indie wrestling to the islands is not only good for local fans, but it's probably a reasonably profitable venture, too.
     
    Sounds like a good line-up, and again, if anything big happens, hopefully we'll get word from Rockus.
     
    Oh: and Rocky also wanted to let me know that in all promotion for the show, Rikishi IS billed as "Rikishi" (which I'd assumed as a WWE-copyrighted name, and thus, quite illegal for Fatu to be using outside of WWE). But the worldly Rocky has also spent time in Japan and thus knows that "Rikishi" is actually a generic term for "sumo wrestler," and thus might not be anymore copyright-able than "Wrestler Rick" or "Grappler Greg" would be.  So there, in my face.
     
  • I think that's just about enough out of me today.  I have no idea what I'll talk about, but I'll try to dredge together SOMEthing for a Friday column (HEY, I got it! More Diva Search Mocking! No? Dammit...), and I'll probably see you kids then..


  
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E-MAIL RICK SCAIA
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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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