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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
SD!, Ratings, Lesnar, and Other
Contractually Obligated Content!
August 27, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

For all my Big Talk about the magic of my DVR, the thing can still confuse the hell out of me sometimes.... 
 
For one thing, it increasingly has a mind of its own as to how much disk space is left. Just last night, I was futzing around instead of paying attention to the TV, and I walk in and find a notice that "You do not have sufficient disk space left to record 'The Daily Show'."  So, I figure, I need 30 minutes of time, right?  So I delete some superfluous episode 

of "Seinfeld" that had been recorded earlier in the night, but which I probably don't really need to watch for the 148th time. But it doesn't start recording.  So I axe a "Simpsons" from earlier in the night, one that I'd probably seen more like 312 times already.  Still nothing, though. 

Now granted, this was about 1am and I'd had a couple drinks, but shouldn't one hour of deletions MORE than make room for 30 minutes of "Daily Show"?  I'd think so, but DVR didn't. And it gets better: so after my one hour of deletions didn't take, I noticed that for some reason "The Daily Show" was a repeat anyway, so all of a sudden I got distracted by something else for a bit and don't think any more of it. And the next time I DO bother thinking about DVR is this afternoon as I finally got to watch SD!, and I notice that my one-hour of deletions that WEREN'T enough to make room for the 30-minute "Daily Show" WERE enough to make room for NINETY MINUTES OF OTHER STUFF OVER NIGHT ("Family Guy," "Futurama," and "Newsradio").  Baffling.  DVR must be using some kind of funky New Math.

And then there's the part about how, in the last few days, DVR's functionality seems just slightly different. Moves faster between menus, picture-in-picture doesn't make it hiccup anymore, and mostly, the FF speeds are different: there are 3 fast-forward speeds, and I'd gotten REALLY GOOD at knowing how many beats there were in your typical-sized commercial breaks at top speed. I swear: I could do it blind, if you made me, and you'd miss less than 10 seconds of show.  All of a sudden, now my top FF speed seems WAY too fast, and keeps catching me off-guard. And when I noticed that, I tried the middle FF speed just for shits and giggles, and sure enough THAT one felt "right" (the same way the OLD top speed used to be). So something screwy is going on.

My theory is that on whatever night it was that the two Russian planes crashed, Time Warner did something to reprogram the box. Cuz I'd just been checking some e-mail/checking baseball scores before bed when I read about the Russian planes for the first time, and it sent me scurrying back to the TV to see if anybody had any news about it.  Of course, at that juncture, nobody had anything except a little blurb in the bottom screen crawler, so I eventually gave up and went back to watching (take a guess) the 1am "Daily Show" instead. And in the middle of the show, the box just stopped working, and I had nothing but black screen.  That happens sometimes, so I did what I always do: I unplug the thing, count to 10 and plug it back in.  Still nothing.  Huh.  Unplug, plug it back in.  Nothing except "r----" on the display, instead of the current time.  And it stayed like that for at least 20 minutes.  I begin to think "Oh shit, did I not pay the cable bill or something?", but relax as soon as I realize that my Road Runner and my non-DVR box in another room are working fine.  I just chalked it up to a temper tantrum by DVR, and went to bed, and everything worked fine the next morning.

Well, maybe even BETTER than "fine." It's kind of annoying for now as I learn the new FF pacing, but on the whole, if my suspicions are correct, and this week was a software upgrade for Time Warner's DVR cable boxes, I consider this to ultimately be a good thing. 

And you probably are sitting there considering it an Annoying Thing on the grounds that I'm rambling even longer than usual.  Sorry folks, but if you knew what I know, you'd be trying to kill time up here, too.  This is the very dictionary definition of a Contractual Obligation Column. I'm only doing it since there's no Brad/Rocky Special Feature (but that SHOULD show up here next week, still, unless something has gone horribly awry and I've not been told about it), there's no Erin (school's back in, and Erin's appearances, to hear her tell it, may be very spotty; apparently she has opted NOT to emulate The Rick's old "Relax, Screw Off, Procrastinate, and Drink Your Way to Magna Cum Laude Status" technique), and if I don't do this, it'd be the All Show Recap Weekend Update here at OO. 

Hey, at least we've got a NEW RECAP debuting this week: you might remember PyroFalkon (who did spoilers from Cincinnati a few weeks ago, and they were so nice, I published them twice, making them, essentially, the SD! Recap for that week, too)... he's decided to take on the challenge of making "Byte This" entertaining to read about!  So check that out!

But only after you slog through this Alleged Wrestling News:

  • So anyway, the reason this update will be extra late is cuz I just got around to watching SD! this afternoon... and well worth the delay, it was.  Well, at least it was for me.  I guess if you're so attached to OO that you've been lurking around hitting "refresh" every 5 minutes wondering where my newest drivel is, it might have been an inconvenience for you, but for me: I say this week's SD! was very strong.
     
    Or maybe it just felt that way as compared to RAW?
     
    Nah, it was really good.  For one, there was some WRESTLING.  And good wrestling, at that.  Angle/Rey was the easy Match of the Week; I appreciated not just as the display of OMG WORKRATE~! but also as a proper use of each guy. Periodic 100% clean wins like this for Kurt are the kind of thing that a heel of his type needs to get to keep his "bad ass" side up on par with his "comedic schmuck" side; and Rey's just the PERFECT guy to give up the loss to Kurt, since he can do it, and it seems like it's a huge win for Angle, but it also doesn't hurt Rey at all, since it's an "out of conference" loss (if that makes sense; I just mean that Rey can do these periodic losses to heavyweights, and he will lose NO credibility at all, since he also sometimes gets wins over other heavies).  Good stuff there.
     
    And it also works as set-up for next week, when we'll get a Free Per View caliber contest pitting Eddie against Angle in a best-of-three-falls match.  They're calling it the Rubber Match between them, and pardon me if I pre-book this thing and declare that they'll split the first two falls and go to the Rubber Match of the Rubber Match. And it'll be All Good.
     
    The whole scenario, actually, was well played.  Eddie did a brief but good promo, was matched for a moment or two by Luther Reigns (who, is it wrong of me to say this?, just might be a better promo guy than Randy Orton at this point, at least in that generic heel kind of way), and then they hit the parking lot for what turned into a little bit of comedy, once it was revealed that Eddie trashed GM Teddy Long's car, and NOT Kurt's.  Teddy MIGHT have overplayed the anguish a little bit, but I also think it might have been for a reason: if this doesn't end with Eddie Guerrero either buying Teddy a new ride or fixing up his old one in grand style, WWE's missing a huge opportunity for a fun one-off backstage segment.
     
    I think the worst thing you could say about this show is that not even Paul Heyman's prodigious verbal skills were enough to make John Heidenreich seem like anything worth watching. A beatdown on Josh Mathews is fun for the whole family, sure, but c'mon: unless they are REALLY careful with how they book him, Heidenreich will reveal the fallacy of Heyman's over-sell within 30 seconds of any match he works.
     
    Everything else was good or better, on this night, though: from the fun-if-predictable way they amped up the intensity in the Taker/JBL feud to a better-than-Match-One Booker/Cena contest to a quality RVD/Suzuki outing that just MIGHT be leading to the Suzuki/Dupree pairing that I'd mentioned last week... "Carlito Cool" might be interesting, too; am I too late, or can I still be the first to proclaim a serious "Razor Ramon" parallel, here?  Same sort of cockiness, just instead of oozing machismo, he's oozing cool; they might start him as a heel, but if he's good enough to back up his words, Carlito's future will be as a babyface, just like Razor... 
     
    You can get the full report in Big Danny T's SmackDown! Recap.
     
  • The prelim rating for last night's SD! was a 3.0, which means that (barring an unusually large swing once the final number is released) SD! actually lost a few eyeballs from last week. It seems that whatever momentum the brand had there for a while in late July has evaporated again....
     
  • Oh, and since so many have mailed in asking if it's true: yeah, the 10 minute over-run for RAW did a big 4.9 rating.  Like I said Wednesday, unlike the previous two weeks, RAW grew its audience steadily for 2 hours, resulting in a strong over-run rating.
     
    I think maybe I glossed over the actual number on Wednesday though, on the grounds that I'd rather not contemplate the possible implications once WWE gets a look at how "popular" the Kane/Lita crapfest was.  All I can say is, hey: people slow down to look at car wrecks, too, WWE.  Doesn't make any of us wish that there were more of 'em.  Well, except for the NASCAR fans, since that's GOTTA be the only reason they endure all the thrilling and exciting left-hand turns...
     
  • Chavo Guerrero's diagnosis: a mild concussion.  After watching last night's SD!, it seemed pretty clear he was just fine up until the very final spot (Kidman's Shooting Star Press), and I think it's just as clear that he took a knee to the head when Kidman landed a bit high on Chavo.  That'll do the trick, I'm guessing...
     
    Chavo was pulled from this weekend's SD! tour of Australia, and is recovering at home.  He should have a more complete diagnosis from his personal doctor when he arrives for SD! tapings next week, but the hope is that he'll miss only very little ring time.
     
  • The latest from Minneapolis is that Brock Lesnar's NFL prospects might be fading... a recent newspaper article quotes Vikings' coaches as saying that Lesnar earned their respect by working far harder than anyone would have guessed he would, but that earning a roster spot will be almost impossible for Brock.  
     
    After showing massive improvements early, Brock is repeating mistakes and just needs more time and more repetitions to be able to win a roster spot.  Although it's not stated specifically, the article makes it sound like Brock might be a candidate for the Viking's first round of cuts this week, which would mean he won't even make the practice squad (which had become Lesnar's more-realistic goal).
     
    Brock is quoted as saying his body is beaten up and that the summer has taken its toll on him, but that he wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  Again: assuming all the talk pans out and Lesnar's an early cut and not on the practice squad, one can only wonder if the toll one summer of football put on Brock's body will leave him with a greater appreciation for the pro wrestling business.  Or if he might have gotten the football into his veins enough that he'd keep plugging away and give NFL Europe a try.
     
    The real moral of the story: don't doubt The Rick when he says Brock Lesnar's not gonna make an NFL roster, no matter HOW MUCH hype he gets on ESPN or whatever.  Oh, and the other moral: if you want that Lesnar #69 jersey, you should probably order it real soon!
     
  • From the "normally I wouldn't care enough to mention it, but today I got nothing better" file....
     
    WWE Films is really close to casting the female lead for opposite John Cena in "The Marine."  Unless something wacky happens, I'm told you can expect it to be Kelly Carlson, who I gather is the star of the FX show "Nip/Tuck."  Or is at least on the FX show "Nip/Tuck." Sorry, but my knowledge of that show is limited to the commercials shown for it during "Rescue Me" (that knowledge is: no way in hell could I stand en entire 60 minutes of "Nip/Tuck").
     
    Also: Linda McMahon made it clear that as soon as "The Marine" wraps, they want to be moving forward with their second feature film. My understanding is that the only other thing WWE has developed that could be that close to ready is the horror film we'd heard about back during the winter, and which MIGHT be a vehicle for Kane. But be careful with that: it's a fact that WWE has at least gotten their hands on a script for a horror/slasher movie, but this idea of just inserting Kane as the star seems like specious fan-boy speculation.
     
  • You think the "WWE Dress Code" non-story is a funny thing for idiot fans and idiot websites to be obsessing over, as if it could possibly, in a million years, make a difference to anyone?  Well, I got a new one for you:
     
    The "Diva Search Contestant Rule" is apparently the newest idiot craze sweeping the IWC. Or at least, it is according to my in-box.  Why you would possibly care that WWE doesn't want Randy Orton spending his time hitting on Carmella is baffling to me.  Although: I think those two SHOULD get together!  They'd have babies that were Ever So Pretty.  But which would also turn into some of the most stultifyingly dull and stupid people to have ever walked the earth.
     
    Anyway, I'd think there's an element of common sense here: of course WWE would prefer not to have the eventual winner of the contest be dating a wrestler, lest the wrong impression be given. But I also don't think that there's some huge, Orwellian structure in place to create and enforce a Code of Conduct.  For instance: when Jericho's band Fozzy played a show Monday night after RAW, there were some wrestlers in attendance, and there were at least 1 or 2 of the diva search girls there, too.  And yet, the world continues to revolve around the sun!  

    You know, this might not be a story, but it's kind of fun to make fun of... maybe I'll make this a weekly feature: every Friday when I got nothing better to talk about, I'll come up with the one brain-musheningly pointless non-story people have been asking me about, and I'll mercilessly mock anyone who even remotely cares about the issue!
     
    Or maybe not.  As slow as Fridays can be, even I know today is an exceptionally bad one, which is why I'm bothering...
     
  • If you're dying to know (I know *I* was curious), the two songs rated even WORSE than that horrible "Having My Baby" song from Monday's RAW are:  "MacArthur Park" (you know it, it's the one with "I don't think I can take it / Cuz it took so long to bake it / And I'll never have that recipe again / Oh NOOOOOOOO!" or something like that for lyrics), and the "Yummy Yummy Yummy, I Got Love in my Tummy" song.
     
    At least, those are worse according to Dave Barry. Thanks to Alert Reader Andrew Murchison for filling in those blanks.  I'd still have to say that I think "Having My Baby" is the worst of the bunch though, but who am I to argue with the esteemed Mr. Barry?
     
  • Uhhhh...
     
    OK, so another little thing from the mail box: people refuse to let my riffing on Randy Orton's "youngest ever" claims die. Some are mailing in with the facts and figures I could use to back myself up, others are trying to play word games to back up Orton/WWE's claims so that I'll shut up, and it's starting to get kind of annoying.
     
    Bottom line: I understand WITH CRYSTAL CLARITY the claim WWE would like to be able to make for Orton. It's just that it's such a pointless thing to want to give him that I really don't care, and can't imagine many other fans do either.  Especially because, to get it FACTUALLY CORRECT (and to NOT just have it be "youngest World Heavyweight Champion in the 2 year history of that title"), you have to attach all manner of qualifiers to the extent that it becomes really silly.
     
    What is Randy Orton?  He's the Youngest Man to Ever Win the Highest Singles Title Available To Him While Working For WWE Or One Of Its Predecessors Which Had an "F" In Its Name And While That Title Was Actively Recognized By WWE.
     
    Doesn't sound quite so sexy, does it?  It's kind of like one of those made-up statistics that desperate TV commentators will have because they think Americans are stupid.  You know, like "Scooter McCurveball is the first left-handed pitcher in major league history to hit his first home run right-handed in his 8th year with the same team after having an ERA under 5.00 in each of his first 7 seasons in the Majors and committing more balks than errors in his 1st, 3rd, and 5th seasons, while having more successful pick-offs than errors in his 2nd, 4th, and 6th seasons, and then having the exact same number of errors, balks, and pick-offs in his 7th season."  Be listening for Jackass Tim McCarver to be busting out this and gems like it come October on FOX. Between McCarver and Lawler, I don't know which one more frequently ruins something I really SHOULD be enjoying.  And for whatever it's worth, they've just this last week been joined in an Unholy Triumvirate of Announcing Suck by NBC's Al Troutwig.  If there were any justice in the universe, debilitating trachea blows would be theirs for the keeping!
     
    But I'm getting off track.  My main point: to the people who are with me on this one, thanks for the support, and I appreciate you being of sound mind. And to the people who think they can explain to me how Randy Orton's achievement really is so remarkable that all fans everywhere should care about it: No Sale.  
     
  • Attention students at Penn State University: apparently, there is a one-credit-hour course you can take dedicated entirely to the pro wrestling industry!
     
    Reader and Forums Regular Nate Corbitt found the information and passed it on.  Sounds like kind of a cupcake course, which means I'm sure that the football players get first dibs on signing up for it... I mean, the text is the comically-error-laden "Idiot's Guide to Pro Wrestling" (and I say "comically-error-laden" in the nicest possible way, as Capt. Lou Albano's ghost-writer was nice enough to put the old News From Dayton webpage in as a helpful resource for further reading!  Then again, the fact that this book is not just error-laden but is also at LEAST 6 years out of date only adds to the likelihood that this is a cupcake course).
     
    Little known fact: The Rick once guest-lectured for a class of students from (some university in the Carolinas that I forget the name of).  They were film students who'd gotten special permission to do a semester long project about wrestling, and took a week-long field trip that included some WCW live events in Ohio, and I got to give a 60 minute presentation and then stuck around for some Q&A in a hotel conference room.  That remains one of the weirdest experiences of my alleged celebrity...  
     
  • Alrighty, I think that about does it for me today.  Cross your fingers and hope for some cool stuff to happen between now and Monday so I've got substantive content to talk about then!
     
    Enjoy your weekends, all! 


  
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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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