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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
Edge Hurt, but How Bad? Plus Lesnar, 
Aussie Tour, and Lots More News
August 30, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

I'm not saying I'm getting old. But I think this weekend I finally realized I don't care if I am. Because the kids today, frankly, a lot of them suck. 
 
It started with going out on Friday night and being slapped in the face by the fact that this was the first week the University of Dayton was back in session. Now, this'll actually be a GOOD thing in a few weeks, once the obnoxious kids realize they'll have more fun at frat parties or at an evil UD establishment known as "Tim's", leaving the cool kids, and ONLY the cool

kids, to populate my roster of Real Bars.  I actually got so annoyed by the "We're back, and we must go out drinking in packs" mentality displayed by these lads and lasses ostensibly of college-level-intelligence that I put a bullet in my evening before last call on Friday.  I suck.

And then just last night: the MTV Video Music Awards.  First, what happened to Thursday night?  It's ALWAYS on Thursday night, and I'd kind of assumed it was this NEXT Thursday.  I guess this is what I get for not watching commercials anymore.  And it turned out not to matter anyway: I accidentally happened across the VMAs and it took me all of 15 minutes to realize that this show was no longer meant for me, anyway.  For the entire late 90s, I held on to the idea that the Cobain-theorized "10 Year Cycle of Rock" would be reprised, and Music Would Be Saved... but we're now a full 2 years past the projected Return of Rock, and MTV is still serving up nothing but a steady mix of cookie-cutter pop and not-much-more-creative rap/hip-hop.  Want my Go Ahead I Dare You To Send Me Flame Mail Jackass Comment of the Day?  How about "Usher is just like Randy Orton: pleasing to the eye for a certain percentage of the audience, but if not for a talented group of people around him to make him look good, he'd probably be in big trouble."

I hate you, MTV.  I hate you so very, very much.  And I hate you Kids for lapping it up with a spoon.  And for swarming my bars and putting shitty music on the jukebox and making it impossible for those of us who'd been here All Summer Long to get a drink in under 10 minutes. Now get off my lawn, you whippersnappers!  Fetch me my slippers!  And put Paul Harvey on the Radiola!  Cuz it's finally time for The Rest of the Story:

  • Biggest story of the weekend is also one where we don't even know how it ends.
     
    At a Saturday night show in Salt Lake City, UT, a Chris Jericho vs. Edge match ended abruptly after just a few minutes.  Edge took an over-the-top-rope bump, and stayed down. After some communication with the referee and Jericho, they just did a count-out finish, awarding Jericho the match (but not the IC Title).
     
    Trainers and EMTs had to come out to assist Edge, who (depending on reports) did a pretty bad number on either his leg or hip.  I'm pretty sure Edge did NOT get sent home after the injury, though, which might be a good sign; or, at the very least, if Edge went home to get checked out (possible, as he was not present in any capacity on Sunday's RAW house show), he's still, as I understand it, expected to be available in a non-wrestling capacity for tonight's RAW.
     
    Obviously, with so few details as to Edge's injury available, if/how they address this matter on TV tonight will be VERY illuminating.  If the diagnosis is relatively positive, you might just keep Edge off TV and make a passing mention of an injury suffered at a weekend live event, and pick up the story with Jericho next week.  But if there's reason to suspect Edge WILL need an extended break, you might have to cart him out there and explain it with an angle of some kind.  The guy IS holding the IC Title and is just starting a major storyline with Jericho, so just writing him out with a sneaky "backstage attack" (as was done when Edge needed to be written out with his neck injury) might not be possible.
     
    Since I don't know any more about the injury, I guess I'll just sit with you and wait till RAW tonight to find out how they play it.  I just hope it's nothing too serious, otherwise Edge is REALLY gonna be in the running for Shittiest Luck Of All Time.
     
  • Ironically, as Edge was (maybe) beginning another brief injury hiatus, his erstwhile "brother" and former tag team partner made a return to the ring: Christian was on the weekend house shows, teaming with Tyson Tomko against Eugene and William Regal.  If the guy had ring rust, apparently, it was very hard to spot.
     
    On one hand, it's cool to hear that Christian's back without missing a beat... on the other, I'm not so sure about saddling him with Tomko as a full time partner. Not to harp on the overall value of "The Lovely Miss Tomko" in the grand scheme of things, but I'd rather see Christian tag up with Trish for a bit (as part of the blow-off to the Trish/Victoria feud, with Stevie Richards getting back into the mix), and then head off on his own as a solo heel, with Tomko as the Dumb Muscle and only SOMEtimes tag partner.  Christian really should be visibly the "leader" of his little army, and a full time tag team with Tomko comes dangerously close to painting them as equals; which would have the net effect of dragging Christian back down a notch or three, instead of raising Tomko up.
     
    We'll see what they do with him.  Obviously, once he starts making the rounds on house shows, he can pop up on TV at any time (maybe, since last we saw him, he was feuding with Jericho, there's room for him in however they address the Edge Situation?).  Which might mean tonight, or might mean a month from now.  As an example: Shelton Benjamin was on house shows again this weekend, but there's nothing imminent in terms of putting him back on TV....
     
  • While we're on house shows...
     
    SD!'s tour of Australia was a rousing success, at least at the box office.  A couple reports I got (from the first and third nights, at least) kinda made it sound like the undercards were shoddily-constructed and that Taker/JBL just didn't come off that well, but who knows?  They were packing 'em in, though, and that's good for business and for morale.
     
    I don't really consider this a spoiler (since I doubt they'll air it in its entirety on SD!), but if you're hypersensitive about such things, glance away till the next bullet point: Booker T defeated John Cena in the 3rd match of their Best of Five Series.  Booker leads 2-1, now.
     
    Eddie vs. Angle matches (Eddie won both) and Kidman/London vs. the Dudleys (sweep for the champs) were among the best reviewed matches.  Taker vs. Angle (which headlined the middle show) was said to be very good, too, even if the finish was decisively squash-tastic in Taker's favor (not a good tour for Kurt, eh?).
     
  • Speaking of Angle...  with the conclusion of the Olympics, we've got the expected amount of chatter going on about what Real Wrestlers might give up the sport and hook up with WWE.
     
    Rulon Gardner is officially retired from wrestling after a bronze medal performance, and was wooed by the WWF after he became the first (and only) man ever to beat Alexander Karelin in 2000.  Problem with people wondering about Gardner: he turned down the WWF's best offer in 2000, and that was when he was a gold medallist and the WWF's best offer would have been quite substantial.  Also: not to put too fine a point on it, but Rulon Gardner ain't exactly TV pretty, nor in possession of a typical "WWE Physique."  Not saying that he couldn't still make it as a pro wrestler if he wanted to (hey, if Mick Foley can do it, any fugly sumbitch can!), but I swear to you, it's four years ago now, and I *still* think that the money wrestler between Gardner and Karelin was the guy who lost.  Karelin could have made a mint as a pro wrestler.  Too bad for us he's such a Responsible and Socially-Conscious Renaissance Man who goes and selfishly does things like runs for public office and enjoys classical music and appreciates art and stuff.
     
    I also saw an article on Yahoo suggesting that Freestyle Gold Medallist Cael Sanderson could be Real Wrestling's "next big thing."  The article went out of the way to mention that Cael's dominance was "Hulk Hogan like," and also mentioned Kurt Angle's transition from amateur to pro wrestling.  I'm not sure why, though: my understanding is that Sanderson has already shunned pro wrestling, and can barely stomach the spotlight of amateur wrestling (this is NOT a slam, I'm just saying not as many people watch amateur wrestling, and if Sanderson's make-up is such that he doesn't like even THIS much attention, then obviously, WWE is not for him).
     
    That leaves the #1 Prospect for WWE to be imported from overseas.  Specifically, Egypt's Karam Ibrahim.  If you watched any of the freestyle wrestling this weekend, you had to have seen him: his flamboyant celebration after winning the gold medal was all over the place.  The guy is exuberant, charismatic, and to be honest has already discussed his future with WWE officials, and my understanding is that there was mutual interest, but interest that would only REALLY ramp up from WWE based on Ibrahim's performance in these games.  A gold medal does nothing but enhance his value.
     
    The guy goes 6'2", but is built a bit slighter than Kurt Angle (Angle, though shorter, almost certainly outweighs Ibrahim). That almost certainly wouldn't be a problem, though, as I'm betting nobody would love to quit having to cut weight than Ibrahim (he didn't compete as a heavyweight, but rather in the second-highest weight class, where he was one of the bigger guys).  Also: he's got time to develop.  At 25 years old, he's lots younger than Angle was when he finally decided to try pro wrestling; and he also doesn't have a broken neck on his resume that might come back to haunt him in later years.
     
    So remember the name Karem Ibrahim, folks.  Unless I miss my guess, his performance in Athens probably made him a lock for a WWE contract offer.
     
  • Another former amateur wrestling champion who will have to find a new job: Brock Lesnar.
     
    My understanding is that it doesn't become official until tomorrow, but that he WILL be cut by the Minnesota Vikings as they star paring down their roster for opening day.
     
    We talked about this Friday, and this really shouldn't be a shock to anyone. To me, the question that needs to be addressed is whether or not Brock will find his way back to WWE.  There was no small amount of sour grapes over the way he left the company; not only was Lesnar upset with the WWE lifestyle, but the way he chose to leave so suddenly frustrated many wrestlers and officials.

    But the public stance has always been that the door is open to Brock's return, if HE is interested.  Certainly, WWE has been very helpful in supplying videotape and promotional materials to ESPN and the NFL and other media outlets over the past several months, so they still consider Lesnar a viable commodity not worth pissing off.  If the feeling is mutual, who's to say Brock couldn't end up back in WWE?
     
    Something that seems certain at this point: Brock (in the latest round of interviews) has NOT sounded like a man who intends to bust his ass anonymously in NFL Europe or in the CFL in order to hone his skills and earn an NFL roster spot.  His comments have taken on the tone of a man who is thankful to have had an opportunity and who's coming to grips with moving on.
     
  • Chavo Guerrero's concussion may keep him out of the ring for another week, but the hope is that he can return after Labor Day to pick up the storyline in which he and Jamie Noble are the top contenders to Billy Kidman and Paul London's tag titles.
     
    The almost-too-obvious solution to the problem: this week, do the Noble vs. London singles match (as a counterpoint to last week's Kidman vs. Chavo match), and all Chavo's gotta do is hang out outside the ring, really.
     
    Oh, and FYI: WWE.com has released footage of Chavo being stretchered out at SD! tapings, and has acknowledged the injury, even if they made a quick cut and didn't explain it on TV on Thursday night.  From the tone of some e-mails, I guess some of you are riled up because you think WWE is exploiting Chavo's injury, somehow.  But that has the stink of "WWE Dress Code" on it: just some made up controversy that nobody cares about.
     
    If Chavo's OK, and there's people who get their jollies by watching a guy get carted out on a stretcher, I honestly don't see the big deal with WWE releasing the footage, and wish you wouldn't bombard me with your self-righteous missives tot he contrary.  The problem is that there are some idiot fans who really DO think "Oh, a real injury, I HAVE to see this," not that WWE has decided to keep us apprised of the aftermath of the real injury.  Or something.  I'm not explaining myself clearly, I know: mostly because I honestly have no desire to be talking about this nonsense.
     
  • Last thing for today: a quick look at tonight's RAW.
     
    In my mind, WWE would have to try really hard to top last week's effort.  And by "top," in this context, I mean "do worse than."  Which means this is my backhanded way of saying "Hey, at least this week should be better, unless they are WANTING to piss me off."
     
    I think tonight is the night when you have to try to make a star out of Randy Orton.  Two weeks ago, you turned him ostensibly babyface on the grounds that his friends beat him up. Not exactly the most compelling reason to like a guy.  Last week, Orton was mute but spat in the face of HHH and then ran away. Again, maybe this played to his strengths (getting back some of his disrespectful asshole vibe, and also Not Talking), but I still don't think it does anything to make the average fan look at Randy Orton as worth cheering for.
     
    Much as we might prefer it, Orton can't remain silent for ever. He'll have to explain himself, he'll have to speak up, he'll have to try to convince fans that HE is worth cheering for. Up to this point, all we've really gotten are angles designed to make us want to boo Evolution.  Tonight's the night that's gotta change unless they really want Orton's momentum, such that it is, to sputter completely.
     
    We know Orton vs. HHH is the main event of the next PPV; that part of the story has been told. Now we need to see the part of the story that convinces fans to cheer for one guy and not the other. Oughta be an interesting night for Young Randall.  Call it "Make or Break, Part 2" for him....
     
    That story should take precedence this week, and the aftermath of the "Wedding From Hell" should be rendered secondary.  WWE.com has taken to referring to Matt Hardy as Lita's "soul mate" (the poor kids were so obviously made for each other, if only Kane knew what he was doing; maybe Lita needs to feed him some Guatemalan Insanity Peppers so that the Talking Space Coyote can explain it to him?) and promises an update on his condition, as well as on the "Honeymoon From Hell."  Unless they really tone down The Suck, I expect all things related to this storyline to be Segments From Hell. Shawn Michaels cannot get back on TV soon enough to rescue Kane from this crap...
     
    As noted above, how they play things between Jericho and Edge will be a HUGE element of tonight's show, too.  It could be anything from Nothing (meaning Edge just needs a week off and can pick this back up again without a long lay-off) to an Emergency Title Change or anything in between.
     
    Other stuff: Rhyno/Tajiri need to do something other than play sidekicks to the Rock, as that marked the first stumble of their pairing (I continue to think that now that the match is on, you let La Resistance score a moral victory or two here before the PPV)...  Trish vs. Victoria is your next women's title feud, but before that, it seems like things are headed towards a mixed tag feud with Trish and Tomko (or possibly the returning Christian) dealing with Victoria and Stevie "Woman in Drag" Richards (also recall my advocacy of having Christian's return be as part of a swerve where HE is the woman in drag)...  Ric Flair and William Regal seem like they're being paired up for a PPV Brass Knuckles Match (or something); either that, or you package in Eugene and Batista for a tag match...  the biggest shame of all: Flair/Batista vs. Regal/Eugene is a nice, easy to manage package, but where does Chris Benoit fit in?  Not only is he being demoted to a mid-card feud, but there's really not even any room for him in that feud!  Baffling....  and of course, there'll be Diva Search Stuff, too.  After tonight, we'll be down to four.  At least, intuitively, it seems like the Diva Search segments should get significantly shorter the fewer there are of them left.  "But Rick, then why was last week's the longest one yet?"  My only answer: because WWE hates you.  
     
    They really do need to get on with fleshing out the undercard for the upcoming PPV.  Get the IC Title situation sorted out, figure out the Regal/Eugene vs. Evolution deal (and whether or not Benoit fits in there, or if maybe we have Sweet Merciful Justice forthcoming and Benoit will be wedged into the HHH/Orton match, instead), and so on...  should be an interesting night for RAW.  Check it out, or just come on back here tomorrow for the Full Recap, courtesy of Yours Truly.
     
  • That is all.  End communication.


  
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PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
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RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 

 
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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