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RAW, Randy and Hunter and Benoit OH MY,
Plus Lesnar, Ratings, and Lots More...
July 28, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Ugh.  My Wrestling Brain is still semi-exhausted from the second-longest RAW Recap of the year.  And worse, life's just been kinda boring the last few days so I don't have any of my Trademarked Top Shelf Anecdotes to share here in this spot. 
Which is problematic, because this new format (with the box ad that has been mandated by my advertising agency) dictates that I can't start putting the bullet points in until I work my way down past the box ad. You know what I mean, right? It'd just look really awful if I had an indented bullet point, one word, and then the box ad. So I must ALWAYS have

introductory paragraphs of at least 125 words so as to accommodate the box ad placement.

What? You say I've made it? Outstanding! I'll just get on with the wrestling then, and try to have my A-Game back by next time:

  • Just because my Wrestling Brain is exhausted does NOT mean that it has been dormant.  On the contrary, he's got a lot to say... he's just not sure he's got the energy to say it.
    And all discussions really do start with Monday's RAW, and then they diverge into a few different directions. All associated with RAW's immediate future direction, but along a couple paths all just a few degrees separated from the core.
    In fact, let me say this first: Monday's RAW was essentially two segments, a Battle Royale and an Iron Man Match.  There was 30-plus minutes of sheer and utter crap in between them, which I am COMPLETELY SERIOUS when I say I consider it to be one of the worst contiguous 30 minutes of WWE TV in recent memory. I don't know how or why it was permitted to happen that way, but WWE took a guy (me) who was SO excited over a night of TV wrestling that he jettisoned his normal viewing habits and forsake his FF Button, and they made me CURSE that decision. How can you be so retarded about putting together your format that you send me from "Practically Giddy with Excitement" to "Thinking About Going Outside to Mow the Lawn Even Though It Was Dark and Rainy"?  
    What was the thinking: "We're giving them 60 minutes of wrestling, so the least they can do is sit thought a consecutive half-hour of NOTHING that has to do with anything"?  Pure genius, if it was.  I'd even mentioned it specifically on Monday, when previewing RAW, that I didn't think they'd QUITE make as good a use of their Non-Iron Man hour as SD! did last September... but I couldn't have imagined that WWE would be THAT dumb about it.  Again, for as good as Iron Man was, that simply does NOT excuse the (il)logic and poor planning that rendered the opening hour of RAW a chore to watch.
    Even the Battle Royale didn't get really good till the closing 10 minutes, and for the opening half-hour was more about bludgeoning fans over the head with the sheer randomness and non-planning that seems to have gone into future storylines.  Smarks such as myself saw the Battle Royale hit the screen and thought, "Dammit, I guess they were right about suddenly pushing IC Title Loser Randy Orton into main events."  And casual fans, the Marks, if you will, were sitting there thinking, "Wow. SummerSlam's main event is SO IMPORTANT that Stevie Richards and Rodney Mack could be working in it!".  Seriously: as good as the final minutes were, this was NOT a particularly exciting or compelling opening 30 minutes, either.  Very tolerable and all, especially as compared to the second half hour, but wrong for many reasons, as well.  Which I'll get into in a second.
    Then you had Iron Man 4. No complaints there.  That's an hour of TV that pretty well encapsulates what I like about wrestling.  Athleticism, drama, twists, turns, physicality, just a touch of humor in the Eugene character.... all blended together in the right mix so as to be enthralling for 60 minutes. RAW had problems on Monday.  None of them existed in the final hour, though.

    In the final analysis, I decided that's more than enough to still give the show a strong Thumbs Up endorsement.  You can get my full thoughts, and complete segment-by-segment analysis/results, in the aforementioned brain-draining RAW Recap. It's good stuff, kids.
  • Before I diverge into some OOpinion-y stuff about RAW's overall direction, let me first just mention this:
    Even with Iron Man hype and the "show up on time, or else you'll miss the start of the match" promise and all, RAW did a 3.6 cable rating, the same as last week.  This is one of the rare times where I really WISH I could get my Math Dork Swerve on and check the quarter hours (how vindicating would it be if RAW started with a bigger than usual QH, then hemmoraged viewers until 10pm, and then started building back up again, resulting in a bigger than usual final half hour, but with all the crap in Hour One KILLING the overall rating?).

    But I don't.  So I can only dream.
  • OK, as promised...  some in-depth analysis from The Me regarding where RAW's headed for the next month or so.
    Their top two SummerSlam matches are Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton, and then Triple H vs. Eugene.  I think you can Score One For the Jack-Offs, and the internet rumor mongering is CLEARLY right after the finish to Monday's RAW. And to me, the sad thing is that the most interesting RAW contribution to the PPV card is one that still only exists in my head: I think Edge vs. Jericho (possibly also vs. Christian) for the IC belt is more sensible and compelling in every way than those top two matches are at this point.
    The core of the issue, to me, seems to be something that was already in evidence on Monday.  Yes, now Benoit/Orton and HHH/Eugene are our top two PPV matches.  But the top STORY is HHH vs. Orton; even before HHH/Benoit happened, JR and King spent more time talking about Evolution vs. Evolution at SummerSlam than they talked about the Iron Man match itself. With Orton missing from the final moments of HHH's loss, you can't expect me to think anything OTHER than friction will CONTINUE to develop between the two.
    And hey, guess what? That's cool with me; I think it's a GOOD story, and it's something I've been expecting since pretty much the week Orton debuted his "Legend Killer" gimmick and made it clear that the day would come when he'd HAVE to (to stay true to himself) "kill" the legends ahead of him on the Evolution depth chart. What's NOT cool with me is having your top story be disconnected from the matches you're presenting in this way.
    Orton's insertion into a World Title match comes as a result of a Battle Royale win. Completely random, completely out of nowhere, in no way built up upon some Very Real and Very Good reasons why he might have asked to get "promoted."  I hate that. Again, to bring back something I mentioned in the recap: I'm not entirely sure that the best way to do Orton's push is to do it this suddenly/soon, and POSITIVE it shouldn't have been the result of something quite so random.
    To wit: more work should have been done to play up the cracks in Evolution's foundation back at Vengeance and in the couple of weeks since.  Not to harp on this, but WWE went out of its way to keep the focus OFF the Benoit/HHH main event to that show, because they kept investing SO much time in HHH/Eugene, and then by extension, in teasing us with Evolution's not-so-happy reaction to HHH/Eugene.
    Go back and check the Vengeance PPV Preview we did. We're all smart and logical, and most of us couldn't help but propose scenarios based on varying levels of Devolution.  Especially good and detailed was Erin Anderson's, since she was gonna write a column about this topic that week until the Boss stepped in and reminded her that, goddammit, she had to do her PPV Chores AGAIN that week.  I don't feel like completely rehashing, but the short version went something like this (and to be honest, my own PPV picks were practically identical, and it's because I envisioned similar scenarios myself):
    (1) All TV leading up to Vengeance suggested a break-up of Evolution, with the Orton/Batista/Flair group taking up together against HHH because HHH was way to involved in his stupid Eugene Plan
    (2) Thus, when the split comes, Orton leads Evolution, and HHH is ousted from the very group he created
    (3) So, for this to work best, it seemed like Orton should win and retain his IC title, while HHH needed to lose because of Eugene to lend further weight to Evolution's claims of HHH "losing it"
    (4) From here, you can spend a month continuing to tease the split, having HHH placating Evolution saying "I know I screwed up with Eugene, but now he's taken care of and I'm gonna get my one-on-one Benoit rematch at SummerSlam and I'll SHOW YOU how it's done," and having them give him a pass at least that far, but still making it VERY clear that he's on thin ice. 
    (5) Remember that in this scenario, Orton's still the IC champ, and Edge would NOT have forgotten about that thing where for no reason he started cutting promos on HHH the week before Vengeance. You could even do a thing where HHH/Edge is your "free per view" match (instead of Iron Man), and he BEATS HHH, although Orton had beaten Edge at the PPV, further doing a subtle little tease of why Young Randall might think he has surpassed the master.  [Note: this last part is my own invention, because as exhausted as my Wrestling Brain is, it's still a mighty, mighty force for good.]
    (6) It'd all lead up to HHH losing again to Benoit at SummerSlam, Orton still being the IC Champ, and after a month of teasing you FINALLY start the full-on split after the PPV.  In the split, a still-heel Orton Evolution would turn on a more-sympathetic HHH (who might even rekindle a GENUINE friendship with Eugene once he was abandoned by his old friends; again, just thinking out loud). Simple, well-built, not-at-all random, and from there, WWE's on it's own again.
    Instead, the new Tale of Evolution seems to be: 
    (1) Everything's perfectly fine.
    (2) Then Orton suddenly wins a randomly generated Battle Royale and gets a World Title shot.
    (3) More than likely, HHH is jealous.
    (4) At some point at or after SummerSlam, HHH's jealousy will get the better of him, and now, it looks like it'll be a heel HHH splitting off from a babyface Orton Evolution.  Or something. It's so very confusing and not at all well-built or non-random.
    Along a slightly different tangent, I also think it's unconscionable that we're just going warp speed into a poorly conceived left-field push for Orton that MIGHT be based on the "Strike While the Iron is Hot" philosophy.  Maybe the reason TV leading into Vengeance was the way it was is because WWE HAD laid out plans not unlike Erin's/ours... but then they shifted gears because "Oh my god, the crowd cheered Orton instead of Edge" or something.  Now they think they've got the next Rock or Steve Austin or something: the superstar so big that the fans DEMAND he turn.
    And not to be a dick, but getting cheered over Edge is NOT that big a deal: WWE hadn't given fans much of a reason TO cheer Edge.  Orton, at least recently he's fallen in thumbtacks and quit stuttering like a moron... Edge, though? Mostly mute, and when he DOES get a promo, it's non-sensically against HHH when his PPV opponent is Orton. No wonder fans mutinied in that match.  I may finally have to grant that yes, Orton has his appeal and I'll just have to cope with not understanding it...  but I'd also point out that a week later, WWE got the chemistry RIGHT between Edge and Orton (giving Edge some killer lines in a pre-match promo), and guess who was NOT a resounding babyface anymore?
    I don't know, maybe that's an unnecessarily conspiratorial twist on the story.  Maybe they really always intended to (not) tell the story this way by having Randy win a battle royale so as not to appear like a "bad guy" in taking over Evolution.  This way, he can claim it's just circumstance, instead of building up his take over on HHH's incompetence like a villain would do.  If so, I say "boo" anyway. And I also question whether it'll work or not.
    Look, I briefly mentioned this in the Recap, but that backstage promo before Iron Man is VERY illustrative of what might go wrong if the plan is for Orton to be the good guy, here.
    Granted, some of this is based on my own biases. It was at the RAW live in Dayton that I realized that a lot of Randy Orton's fans exist because, for some ungodly reason, they look at him and think "THAT is the kind of guy I want to be." And sure, I guess some of my own heuristic for who I cheer and don't cheer is who I wish I could emulate in some way. And for me, there's nothing particularly appealing about dropping 80 IQ points and putting fruit in my beer. So I, personally, am always just gonna be a little more resistant to enthusiastically cheering for Young Randall.  In fact, pitting Orton vs. HHH, well... let's just say if I'm gonna emulate one of those two, then Make Me a McMahaon-in-Law, baby.
    But personal bias of mine aside, there's a bigger issue at play here. If people ARE looking up to Orton and that's why they're cheering him, he needs to remain "cool" in the same way he is now. Brash, cocky, hanging out with actual cool people so that it rubs off on him... you know what I mean.  There was NOTHING "cool" about Orton in that exchange with HHH on Monday night.
    To refresh your memory, HHH walked in on Orton's celebration, and Orton was all "I can't wait to meet you at SummerSlam, I hope you beat Benoit, good luck tonight," and HHH's response was, "That the difference between you and me, kid. I don't need luck."  Then when HHH left, Orton turned to Flair and sputtered something like, "Oh yeah, that's what I meant, he's so TOTALLY gonna kick Benoit's ass tonight." In searching for my words, I briefly posited that this made Orton seem wimpy and deferential to HHH.
    But that's not exactly right. This is another Brought To You By Erin Anderson Classic, actually (mere coincidence, the topic came up as we were scheming up a plot for her Friday column): she was trying to convince me I was wrong and actually wound up just further convincing me I was right, but just for different reasons.  Orton wasn't wimpy, fair enough.  But he WAS sort of young, overeager, and ready-to-please.  Which to Erin makes HHH an asshole for talking down to the kid.
    NAY, says I!  It was the re-labeling of Orton as an "overeager kid" that nailed it for me, actually.  If this continues to be the vibe between Orton and HHH, then here's the analogy: Randy Orton is Luke Skywalker, and HHH is Han Solo.  And admit it, not ONE of us liked Luke more than Han after we were much older than 5 or 6.  The cocky scoundrel is ALWAYS gonna be more appealing than the whiny bitch.
    I will refrain from spinning you a yarn about how I suspect Young Randall Orton was absent from his Evolution Duties at the end of RAW because he begged off to go to the Toshi Station to pick up some Power Converters...  but just know that I think that I think WWE's barking up the wrong tree if they intend to make Orton a full-fledged fan favorite in this equation by having him ACT like a babyface. If he's the victim instead of the aggressor, if he's constantly back-peddaling and reverent towards HHH, NObody's gonna still think he's "cool."  Trust me on this one.  [FYI: Erin LOVES Star Wars, and found my comparison to be sheer genius. She'd love to hear all about your original 1982 Boba Fett action figures still in the original packaging!]
    And while I have all these misgivings about how they are poorly-telling the story of the implosion of Evolution, a separate issue is "What about Chris Benoit?"...  the guy is the World Champ, and he's reduced to a pawn in somebody else's storyline.  Even if he beats Orton at SummerSlam, he's STILL not the story of RAW; in fact, a great injustice of the past 4 months is that he's rarely, if ever, been the main story on RAW... and if Orton beats him, well.... game over, Sally.
    I still think it's unconscionable that WWE could be pushing ahead so suddenly and so rashly with Orton's main event push and how it ties into an Evolution power struggle, when they haven't even bothered to give us closure on Benoit vs. HHH. Two matches.  Two screwy finishes.  They NEED a match in which Benoit (and not Eugene) beats HHH, and THEN they can move on.
  • Anyway, there's a lot wrong going on here, and I need to reset with a new bullet point... because this is the part where I wrap it up with a few thoughts about how All Is Not Lost.
    I want to make it clear that this is NOT (contrary to a lot of e-mail speculation) a thing where I'm so anti-Orton that I just can't stomach him in main events.  Jesus people, so I think he's a bit of a pretty boy and possibly of sub-normal intelligence... but I've also gone out of my way in the last 2 months to make sure to mention that he's become a more than tolerable performer who even displays glimpses of Above Averageness! Do I want to grow up to be Randy Orton?  No. But I'll watch him on TV, and I'm completely at peace with the fact that he'll be winning world titles and main eventing PPVs for years to come.  I might spend the majority of those years cheering for his opponent, but c'mon...   confuse me not with Jeb Lund!
    In fact, I'll go so far as to say that if WWE decided RIGHT NOW that they wanted Randy Orton vs. Triple H in WM21's main event for the World Title, I'd be OK with that.  Maybe not enthusiastic about it, but if they had 8 months to plan, and were willing to slow down and tell the story right, I think that'd be perfectly acceptable.  So please, quit telling me about how I'm letting my Orton-hatin' get in the way of my good sense.
    If anything, I've come to like Orton just enough that I don't want WWE to screw him over by mishandling his first main event push.  I'm not saying DON'T push Orton.  I AM saying slow down, though.
    So how would I fix things, if you gave me carte blanche to do so?  Simple.  A little Fantasy Booking Music, please, Paul?  Good:
    (1) Immediately and without reservation we make the decision that Randy Orton, Ric Flair, and Batista will come out of this as heels; HHH as a babyface.  This is necessary for a few reasons, including just because I honestly think more people will get behind HHH than Orton, but also because we need to keep Flair and Orton together and as heels for a while longer (because that's gonna be the easiest way to tell the Foley vs. Flair story later this year; also, I have this idea in my head that the next time Rock is around, he should be a Legend in the crosshairs of the Killer, if you catch my drift; it just fits together better for SO many reasons).
    (2) But we toy with the fans' minds a bit, kind of like what the WWF did with the Rock back in 1998... let the vocal minority THINK they are turning him face, and then have him reveal his true colors in a Shocking Swerve (sorry kids, but I know a lot of you HATED Survivor Series '98, and as a wrestling show, that's fair; but it was DAMNED exciting TV).
    (3) Next Monday, have Triple H confront Randy, and have HHH insist that Orton HAND OVER his World Title match at SummerSlam...  Orton is hesitant, but again he plays the deferential "Randy Skywalker" vibe a bit and DOES give it up; here, I think fans WOULD take Orton's side, because HHH was being a bully and taking advantage, instead of hitting a cool, bad-ass one liner.  The upshot of it all: HHH again has a shot against Benoit at the PPV and Orton has been "screwed"/manipulated by his mentor.
    (4) HHH uses his stroke with GM Bischoff to get the new title match approved. And further, he gets Bischoff to make him an EXTRA match for SummerSlam: Orton, Batista, and Flair vs. Eugene in a 3-on-1 handicap match.  HHH again seems heelish because he's clearly the one pissed at Eugene for screwing in his business, but he won't even dirty his hands.  And "Evolution Lite" seems like his pawns, perhaps to be cheered?  Or at least one of which should be cheered?
    (5) As we head to the PPV, Randy starts to show signs of realizing he's just doing HHH's bidding, and he is NOT enthusiastic about teaching Eugene any lesson.  But Flair and Batista are 100% behind beating the piss out of Eugene.  It seems like a mild riff, but it's there, baby.  It's there.
    (6) In the 3-on-1 match at SummerSlam, Evolution wins, handing Eugene his first loss.  William Regal tries to come out to help, but he's neutralized.  After the match, Batista and Flair want to keep beating on Eugene, but Orton won't join in, and eventually corrals them with a "C'mon guys, he's had enough, don't you think?" gesture.  Flair and Batista act like they don't necessarily agree, but they leave with Orton.
    (7) In keeping with Jeb's idea about the REAL "Ultimate Pay Off Match," we make Benoit vs. HHH 3 at SummerSlam a "Match Match." By order of Bischoff, no run-ins, no wackiness, just two guys who will go to a clean decision, anybody who interferes is instantly fired.  They have a 40 minute classic wrestling match, and Benoit goes over clean.  Important touch: this MUST be the last match of the show, and when it's over, we have a Very Special Moment. Respectful of the three tough matches HHH has given him, Benoit goes to shake HHH's hand.  HHH considers.  But he shakes his head and sneers and does NOT give the Handshake of Ultimate Respect. But he also just leaves the ring, and doesn't punk out Benoit or anything.  So he's an asshole, but maybe not THAT big of an asshole.
    (8) The next night on RAW, it is announced by GM Bischoff that at the next RAW-only PPV in a few weeks, Randy Orton has been granted the World Title Shot against Benoit (see, I TOLD you I'm not against him headlining).  The fans have begun to pick up on Randy maybe semi-turning face, and they NOW think this is a viable PPV main event (which it wouldn't have been at SumemrSlam).
    (9) The week after on RAW, HHH again makes the same request of Orton: Give Me Your Title Shot.  This time, in an in-ring promo.  And this time, Orton sort plays to the fans to the fans, who let him know that they do NOT want him submitting to HHH again.  So Orton refuses.  HHH is indignant, and in backstage skits with Flair and Batista, it seems like they are on his side.
    (10) The same vibe continues until the very last week before the September PPV, and that's when HHH, in a show of Ultimate Assholitude, demands that Randy meet him in the ring for a Final Opportunity.  In that showdown, HHH brings GM Bischoff with him and says, "I know it's late notice, but Eric will OK this if you just do the right thing, Randy. So give me what I deserve, give me my World Title Shot."  Randy refuses. Out come Flair and Batista to flank HHH.  "Randy, I hate to do this to you kid, but GIVE ME MY TITLE SHOT, or by gawd, Evolution will make sure that there's none of you left to wrestle at the PPV on Sunday."  Batista, Flair, and HHH make menacing faces.  But Orton's standing pat.  Finally, HHH decides he must Teach a Lesson, and announces, "Get him, boys."  And of course this is when Flair and Batista.... ATTACK HHH FROM BEHIND. Oh, c'mon, you saw it coming, didn't you.  Orton quickly joins in the attack, and overseeing it all?  Eric Bischoff is laughing maniacally.  Crowd quickly does a 180 degree turn.  As HHH gets beat down 3-on-1, Bischoff grabs a mic and starts babbling about how the "Game is over" because HHH couldn't even take out his retarded nephew, he struck out in 3 tries against Chris Benoit, and as GM of RAW he's made the decision to go with new blood, somebody who isn't a shell of his former self.  He's thrown in with Randy Orton.  Batista and Flair can hold up a bloody and battered HHH as Orton gets the mic and the punchline: some stuff about how he's younger, hungrier, and more talented.  And then, recalling HHH's earlier phrase-ology, "And I hate to do this to you, Old Man, but Evolution has passed you by."  RKO.  Fade to black.  THAT is a big finish.
    (11) Then at the September PPV six days later, you have HHH run in to cause Orton to fall short in his title match against Benoit.  In the doing, Benoit holds onto the title for a bit longer, a tenuous "mutual respect" relationship between him and HHH can start (hinted at in the SummerSlam post-match bit), and we can move forward in any number of directions (and sue me if the same part of me that still wants Jericho and Trish to realize the folly of their ways and get back together some day ALSO thinks it'd be really neat if HHH and Eugene could, somehow, REALLY be friends at some point).  But I won't expound upon any further just now.  I think I've made my point by working ahead in time 2 months.  That point: that stuff that WWE seems to be rushing towards NOW is stuff that should happen IN 2 MONTHS and after a proper build up.  Yeah.
    Enough.  I identified a problem.  I've now proposed a solution.  It's what I do, people.
  • What else do I have today....
    Ah, yes.  Brock Lesnar.
    After months of me telling you he wouldn't make it in the NFL, guess what? Brock's signed an NFL contract.  But only KIND OF.
    All sources tell me I stand about a 99% chance of still being right in the end... but yesterday, Brock DID sign a league-minimum contract with the Minnesota Vikings.  But while everybody's spinning this as "Brock has an NFL contract," it's really barely more than "Brock has been invited to training camp."  For the contract to kick in and for Brock to make his money (roughly one-tenth of his WWE contract, FYI), he has to make the Vikings' roster.
    Which nobody thinks is gonna happen.
    One friend and Viking fan has mentioned the possibility to me that Brock has been brought in basically as an "extra body" because the Vikes defensive line has been thinned a bit with injuries and suspensions, or something.  I'm not clear, but I guess Lesnar gives them an extra guy to run out there in drills for the first few weeks of camp (and maybe even into an exhibition game or two, though most theorized that barring a miracle, Brock would be cut before seeing any game time).
    That said, there is the sliver of hope that Brock's amazing physical abilities will somehow meld with a suddenly-materializing Football IQ and create a Sleeper Pick-Up for the Vikings.  He's healthier than he's been all summer, he's been working hard on his fundamentals, and hey, what if he DOES show a glimmer of ability?  At the very least, he'd drive the existing DE's to work harder to keep the new guy off the roster. And at best, maybe he'd wind up earning himself a spot, afterall....
    That's the HOPE, anyway.  The reality is that Lesnar could very well be unemployed again by mid-August and this "contract" everyone's talking about would be null and void.  We'll keep an eye on it...
  • Spoilers are in for tomorrow's SD!, and as the show took place in Cincinnati, and as my influence over the SW Ohio Region is quite mighty, I got a Spoiler Report complete enough that I didn't feel the need to compile from multiple e-mails, and well... this is a rare week where I just avert my eyes, cut and paste, and actually get to watch SD! not knowing what's gonna happen next.
    It's not a perfect science.  I still see a few things as I format the page...  like I know that they do an 8 man tournament thingie for the US Belt.  That sounds like it might be neat.  But on the whole, I don't know if this SD! tends more towards the last three weeks, or more towards the preceding three months.
    But I'm also enthused by the more recent outings and AM excited to go into tomorrow's show (almost) fresh.  You can be like me and do it that way, or you can go ahead and check the excellent and detailed OO Spoiler Report sent in my J. PyroFalkon Habib.  
  • A quick Bad News, Good News thing....
    First: Sean O'Haire was arrested yesterday for assaulting two women at a club.  No details on what precipitated the incident, but when the conclusion of the incident is kicking a girl while she's on the ground, I'm kinda thinking there's no real good excuse.  And remember, I'm the guy you all got pissed at a few months ago when I told Steve Austin's girlfriend to settle the hell down if all she happened was she experienced some "redness" on her hand after being shoved down.  This doesn't sound like Sean O'Haire is a very nice man.  You can get the full report courtesy of this South Carolina TV website.
    But then some good news, that restores your faith that there ARE good people in the wrestling business:  in a story that he kept quiet since April, Perry Saturn suffered fractured vertebrae after being shot in the neck while stopping two men from raping a woman.  Apparently Saturn didn't want the story to get out till he was healthy and able to return to wrestling, because he didn't want the attention.  Of course, now he IS healthy and returning to the ring, and people just had to know why he was gone, and...  well, goddammit, we should all be as responsible citizens as Perry Saturn.  I tip my cap.  You can read more about Saturn's return to the ring (September 17 in NYC) at the USA Pro Wrestling website.
  • I guess last thing: I maybe owe Jerry Lawler an apology.  But only a back-handed one.
    I mocked him for his line about "I've read about these sternum injuries in USA Today" on RAW, when I thought a more appropriate way to broach the subject of Benoit hurting his sternum would have been to REMEMBER THAT HE WAS REINJURING IT FROM THE PPV....  OK, settle down, The Me...
    Point is, a bunch of people wrote in to say that USA Today actually did have a big feature story on serious/fatal sternum injuries in sports that very morning.  Huh.  Well, somehow I'm not shocked that Jerry Lawler would be a USA Today man when it comes to his news...  that's a nice Starter Newspaper, Jerry.  Let us know when you're ready to sit at the grown ups' table.
    But joking aside, OK, I get it: he was referencing a current event or whatever. I still kinda think he could have worked it in better, and AFTER somebody had referenced the Vengeance PPV, instead of having the first mention of Benoit re-injuring himself be some non sequitur about USA Today.  Like I said, it was not big deal, though.  Now that I know the Rest of the Story, it's even less of a deal, too...
  • And I think that's about all I got today.  I may or may not have a OO column on Friday.  That's because I may or may not do a SD! Recap.  And because I know Erin's got something pretty interesting coming already, and I don't feel particularly worried about entertaining you my own self.
    If you want the probabilities: I'd say 10% that I'll write nothing because I'm lazy, 60% that I'd cover Danny on the SD! Recap because it's got to get done by someone, and 30% that I'd do a full OO Column on the off chance that real news happens between now and then.  Obviously: the chance that I'd do BOTH a recap and a column is 0.0%.
    So 90% I'll see you Friday... but with what?  OH THE DRAMA! 

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


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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