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RAW's Suckage Explained, Ratings,
Austin, Hogan, and Lots More News!
August 25, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I've figured it out: I'm the David Letterman of online wrestling dudes! 
This epiphany came as I was watching his show last night, and for the fifth or sixth time in the last couple months, there was a completely mean and unwarranted slam on the Montreal Expos (one of the Top Ten Signs Your Team Won't Win the Olympics Gold Medal in Softball: "Six members of your starting line-up are on loan from the 

Montreal Expos")...  it got no laughs from the audience, but Dave seemed amused. And for reasons related to having an idiot brother who actually is an Expos' fan, *I* was laughing my ass off.  But I'm in the minority, probably.

Fuck Jay Leno and his lowest-common-denominator pap. Dave goes out there and is at his funniest when he doesn't give a shit and just says and does stuff that is funny to him. You can join him if you like, but he ain't gonna change his act to win you over. Running second to Leno in the ratings is preferable to doing a show as unwatchable-by-intelligent-humans as Jay's!

And how's it tie in to me? C'mon people, it's obvious: Randy Orton is MY Montreal Expos, for one. And for two, if you think I'm gonna change my act in the quest for more readers, GUESS AGAIN! At the end of the day, OO has gotta be a website that I would actually read myself even if I wasn't running the place.  And let's just say 80% of the writers on [I'm not dumb enough to actually put a real website's name in here] wouldn't make the cut by that heuristic.

Just a little something I realized about me last night: that I suffer delusions of grandeur and enjoy comparing my little dog and pony show to a multi-million dollar late night enterprise!  Or something.  Enough small talk, though, let's get onto today's Online Onslaught.  Or as I like to call it, America's Fastest Growing Party Sensation:

  • We can start no place other than Monday's RAW... but we can also kind of do this quickly, since I don't particularly feel like beating on a dead horse or harping on negatives.
    Bottom line, this was not a good show on the wrestling side (Edge/Jericho was severely hamstrung by timing/pacing issues and placement of ad breaks, and had a VERY sloppy and unclear finish; Flair/Regal never really got on track). And as spectacle or storytelling, you MIGHT make the argument that Randy Orton/Evolution had a good night. But mostly, I'd argue that the stuff between Orton/HHH SEEMED strong by comparison because the other main story-based segments were such crap (Rock hosting the unfunny and WAY over-long Diva Search bit, and the Kane/Lita Wedding), but was really only passable.
    You can get my more involved and detail analyses in yesterday's OO RAW Recap, if you like.
    One more thing I'd like to add about the Wedding From Hell, though... a ton of e-mail has suggested that I need to chill out and just enjoy it as comedy, because that's how it was presented.  But people, I think I explained myself pretty well in the recap: WWE has played this story 100% serious up until this point, and just because now they finally INTENDED to do something that was comically-bad-on-purpose does NOT make it OK.
    Look, you can tell me to chill out and that I'm over-analyzing and whatever, but (not to try to coin a new catchphrase or anything) I Know I'm Right.  I got the same kind of "chill out, dude" e-mails when I was ranting and raving every other day about Kane and Katie Vick back about 2 years ago.  The parallels are remarkable, too: Kane/Katie Vick was introduced as a real story, but was so comically retarded that fans turned on it instantly, and within about a month WWE had to shift gears and try for comedy (corpse-fucking and surgery to remove HHH's head from his ass, or whatever that skit was). Today, I can call that entire debacle any bad words I want to, and NOBODY is gonna mail in telling me to chill out.  Cuz I was right then, and even WWE had to admit it (in their own refusing-to-admit-it kind of way, though; to me taking a seriously-intentioned story and making it into a purposefully-bad joke is as close to an admission of failure as you'll ever see out of the WWE creative team).  There was nothing good about Kane/Katie Vick.
    I suggest it's the same thing with Kane and Lita, now.  They wanted this to be deeply serious and emotional and whatever. Except that nobody at WWE has any concept of how to handle the Kane character, apparently, and nobody took into account that this particular role wouldn't (ahem) Play To Lita's Strengths As A Performer, either.  You're telling me to chill out and take it as the comedy WWE intended.  I refuse to give them that cop out.  The story up till now has been shit.  The anticlimactic wedding (even if meant as comedy) was shit. And 2 years from now, when WWE's latest experiments in shit are taking place, I'm quite confident that I'll be able to point to the Kane/Lita Story of 2004 as Universally-Agreed Upon Shit, and that I was right to be crapping all over it then, and that nobody would bother taking the time to tell me to chill out if I wanted to crap on it in 2006.
    If that wedding was your idea of the right time or place for comedy, and if you actually thought the entire 2 hour show on Monday was actually a good example of a Quality Wrestling Show, then I again state that we just have VERY different ideas about what goes into a good wrestling show...
    My final main gripe about RAW: the clarity with which Chris Benoit's demotion could be seen by even the densest of fan. From World Champ, to Eugene's sidekick in 8 days. And folks, this week, Benoit's working on Heat.  Wow.  Just: wow.  For all my "slow it down with Orton" talk, the un-stated secondary goal of that was to keep Benoit in the mix and to give him a sound Exit Package when he did drop the belt...  this consideration has been completely ignored by WWE, and I am quite frustrated about that.
    Again, the more detailed thoughts and analyses are yours for the taking in the OO RAW Recap.
  • The rating for Monday night: a 3.6 cable rating.  That's up two tenths from the week before, so "Yay!" I guess.  It's still not a blow-away number though, is still not up to where RAW had been just a month or so ago, and cannot be considered a rousing endorsement for the level of fan interest in the Kane/Lita Wedding (which gave this RAW a major selling point... if only fans really cared).
    Interesting to note: the 0.2 gain can all be attributed to something that RAW has NOT had the last few weeks... namely, an increasing audience as the show goes on.  In fact, this week's show started with almost the EXACT same number of viewers as last week's.  But rather than hold steady, RAW gained steadily in viewers for 2 hours, and the second hour averaged a 3.9 rating (to the first hour's 3.4).  On a show as bad as this one was, I prefer not to think about how or why the rating grew...  but as a wrestling fan, I'll just take some kind of perverse solace in knowing that ratings are on the rebound, and try NOT to pay attention that they are rebounding on the Power of Suck.
  • Also from Monday's RAW: in the recap, I said the "Having My Baby" song that played in the background of Kane's video scrapbook was so horribly bad that it had to be a WWE creation solely for the purpose of this campy garbage.
    I was wrong.  In fact, based on approximately 1.7 million e-mails I'm guessing I'm the only person in the universe who didn't know that that was a real song, and a mild hit back in the early 70s.  My only defenses: (a) I wasn't alive in the early 70s, and (b) I don't like crap.
    The song is "Having My Baby," penned and most-famously crooned by one Paul Anka.  Just about everybody who wrote in to tell me about my heinous error made it clear that we did NOT get the "Anka Version," and a few even thought that WWE probably did re-record it on their own to give it that extra-crappiness that we got on Monday.
    I have also been told by a few Astute Readers that when the often-hilarious Dave Barry did a countdown of the Worst Songs of All Time, "Having My Baby" finished #3.  Number 3?  I can't imagine there being ANY song possessing a worse line than "The need inside you, I see it showing / The seed inside you, baby, do you feel it growing?"...
    In fact, it was that line, specifically, that made me so confident that this could NOT be a real song, and WWE had to have made it up for the occasion.  Because nobody, and the Rick means NOBODY, could write that line without intending for it to be laughed at.  Except, apparently, Paul Anka.
    Sorry for misleading any of you folks with my wrong guess.  I guess if ANYTHING about Monday's wedding is funny to me now, it's the fact that this shitty song is for real.  Which really has nothing to do with WWE's creative plan... it's just a really bad song, and I think it's funny that it was ever allowed into existence.
  • Oh...
    Many (not quite 1.7 million, but still) folks mailed in about my off-hand remark that Eric Bischoff's reading could NOT POSSIBLY be anything out of the bible.  I was right.
    But the folks who wrote in to confirm that also noted that, in an inexplicable bit of attention to detail, if you look up Ephesians 5:25, you really WILL get a passage on husbands and wives.  Huh.  Glad to know that WWE's creative team is putting time into at least getting the chapter and verse of throw-away bible verses right, even if they can't be bothered to make sure the segment as a whole doesn't suck balls.
    Anyway, I looked it up myself (what can I say? I've got a bible on one of my bookshelves; it's a nice little reference item to have around! Just to be a cock, I DO always make sure it's put back in upside-down, though, since that's CLEARLY gotta be as evil as an inverted crucifix, right?), and sure enough, Ephesians 5:25 is a lot of "Husbands should love their wives as they love themselves, for they have become one" talk, and bears NO relation to the vaguely-misogynistic stuff Bischoff was spewing on Monday.
  • Backstage at RAW was apparently a more interesting site than watching it on TV... because not only was The Rock there for his 30 Minutes of Crap, but there were a couple other guests.
    Chief among them? Steve Austin.  As noted however many times in the last month, Austin's in LA for a bit role in the new Adam Sandler remake of "The Longest Yard."  So he popped in backstage in Anaheim, and mostly seemed to fit right in as he hung out with the fellas.  However, it is my understanding that he did disappear briefly and talked privately with Vince McMahon.  About what, nobody seems to know, but Austin was in good spirits both before and after the meeting with Vince, so I'm sure it was nothing too dramatic.
    I begin to feel bad about my bold proclamation after WM20, where I said it would just be a formality and that Austin would surely be back in WWE and back on TV by the end of 2004... who knows if it'll really work out that way or not? But as long a both sides are talking, I can hold out hope of not being wrong there...

    Anyway, just an FYI so that you know Austin was there at The Pond in more than just spirit (as witnessed by the fact that the live crowd was about as amused by the crappy wedding as I was, and started "What?"-ing anybody who dared to speak from Bischoff's reading onward)...
    Also backstage: Sean "X-Pac" Waltman.  So I guess he's completed his program at Georgia's Finest Rehab Clinic, and is now free to schmooze about the cabin...  although Waltman has denied pursuing a job with WWE, and his rehab treatment was paid for PERSONALLY by HHH and the McMahons (not with WWE money), there is kind of a sense of inevitability that if Waltman is clean and physically-cleared, he would probably get a WWE contract if he wanted one.  We'll have to see...
  • Chavo Guerrero suffered a legit injury at SmackDown! tapings last night.  Neither of two reports I got could isolate a moment in his match where the injury happened, and Chavo DID finish the match, apparently as intended.
    But afterwards, he stayed pretty much motionless in the ring until trainers and EMTs could get to him.  They put him in a neck brace and stretchered him out; fans gave Chavo an ovation on the way out, and he was well enough to respond to it with a big wave and Thumbs Up.
    At this juncture, I have no word on what the injury was, exactly, or how severe it might be, but my understanding is that Chavo was back at the arena and walking around by the end of the night, so let's cross our fingers...
    If you simply can't restrain yourself, you can find out who Chavo wrestled and get the rest of the SD! tapings result in the Spoilers.
  • One thing that I think I can say without it being a genuine spoiler: SD! GM Teddy Long announced a major Free-Per-View Caliber match for next week's show....
    Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero in a 2/3 Falls Match.  Hell yeah!
    For whatever it's worth, Eddie felt better at house shows over this past weekend and is approaching 100% on his hamstring.  Angle has also reported no problems since returning to a full schedule about 3 weeks ago.  Folks, it's never too early to get excited for Angle vs. Eddie, ESPECIALLY if you consider that this might be the first time we actually see them facing each other with both at the top of their respective games....
  • Hulk Hogan's at it again, making some provocative statements in interviews... although ostensibly hitting the promotional circuit on his daughter's behalf, Hogan is always asked about wrestling, and is apparently never without something to say on the matter.
    This time around, he's mostly advocating a "make everything old new again" strategy, bad-mouthing the way current wrestling is so fast-paced and saying they've lost the "art form" of it.  In some spots, Hogan almost makes sense, but there's also a touch of old-man/out-of-touch naiveté that is exhibited when he does things like suggest it'd be possible to go back to the 1985 way of pacing feuds and storylines.
    There's a lot to be said for Hogan's POV, but there's also a lot of reasons to think that a show done his way would be every bit as tough to watch as one like Monday's wall-to-wall crap edition of RAW.
    One of Hogan's other statements: that he might be looking to do a "reality" show based on wrestling, where the "reality" aspect of it would actually be kind of business-related: it'd be a wrestling company built on big name former stars (Hogan dropped Austin, Goldberg, Sting, and others into the conversation), but we'd get behind the scenes perspectives on how they'd do things the "old fashioned way" and how they'd go after WWE and WWE's audience.  You know, part of me fears that as they tried to meld the two elements of the show, you'd end up with some insulting new variation of the New Work... but part of me almost thinks that could work.
    You can read the whole interview right here.  Thanks to all who passed it along.
  • Carly Colon will be joining the SD! roster in the next month or so.  You can check out his new look/gimmick in a vignette that should air tomorrow night on SD!...
    But he's not the only one likely to get a call up to the major leagues over the next few months: Mike "Nova" Bucci has tested out a fitness-guru gimmick ("Simon Dean," kind of a riff on Dean Malekno, who's real name is Dean Simon) and should be on TV on the RAW side soon...  Tough Enough Matt and Mark Magnus are also on RAW booking sheets this fall.... and I'm not sure, but some seem to be indicating that if the proper spot became available for him, Matt Morgan could be back on SD! soon too (HEY! How about in the spot soon to be vacated by the terminated John Heidenreich!?!)...
    Oughta be an interesting little phase of introductions here soon...  
  • And I think that's about all I got for you here today... in keeping with the "trying to do something really unique and cool a couple times a month" tradition here at OO, I'm hoping that a fun little collaboration between Rocky Swift and Brad Smoley will be done in time to publish tomorrow or Friday.  
    All you idiots who castigate me any time I deviate from the wrestling news can probably just take a pass; but the rest of you who "got" recent pieces like "Hail to the Crap" and Erin's Gymnastics Thing and "Behind the Bash" will probably love the hell out of this Special Feature.  Trust me, I don't put extra formatting work into pieces that I don't think deserve it!
    So keep an eye out for that.  And even if we have to hold that back till next week, we should still have plenty to keep you occupied here the next few days.  See you 'round, kids...

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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