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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
PPV and RAW Stuff, Heyman, Movies,
New Wrestling TV Show, Lots MORE~!
September 13, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

I won't even bother with the apologies, people. So OO was missing in action for a bit longer than I'd thought last week; I'm sure you all dealt with it.
 
I also won't bother with allegedly amusing stories about my week-long Cross Country Trek. Except for one thing: in the backwater burg of Hermiston, OR, there was a Denny's next to my hotel, and the Denny's had a bar in it. I'm not just talking "this Denny's served alcohol" (which itself would have baffled me), but they had an entire back room with a jukebox and funky 

lighting and everything. Now a Denny's Fan I'm not, but this struck me as a smart move, and I can't believe this is the first/only Denny's I've ever seen that served booze.  I mean, I'm a major believer in Breakfast at 3am (albeit at Waffle House and not fucking Denny's), and based on the crowds of others enjoying the same thing, I know that I'm not the only person in the land who enjoys a little post-cocktailing omelet action.  So why not bring the boozing and the late night breakfast together under one roof?  

I thought that was kind of interesting, anyway. Anybody else have similar Denny's around them, or is this as much of a rarity as I think it is? And if not, once the novelty wears off, it's still Denny's, right, and it's still over-priced, ferociously-mediocre, and ultra-lame, right?

Anyway, although my absence was extra-long, I'm not back, safe and sound, in the Mythological Land of Dayton, OH, and I'll have to attempt to get back into the swing of things, now.  Starting with your Usual Monday News Update (including going back and hitting some of the important highlights you might have missed while I was gone, assuming that even one of you is a Loyal and Monogamous Reader, instead of the dirty little Torch-reading sluts that I know you you):

  • I guess Current News-wise, we start with last night's PPV and tonight's RAW...  and I'm not sure how to say this, but I honestly think that RAW has officially lost it's title as the WWE brand I care more about.
     
    Now, some of this just might be Vacation Malaise -- and my DVR, as vigilant as it is, betrayed me while I was gone and I did NOT get to see last week's show when I got back, which took away some of the sense of immediacy from last night's PPV -- but I honestly think that over the last month, SmackDown! has done the superior job putting together more entertaining top-to-bottom shows where I catch myself caring about just about every story and match.
     
    SD!'s only glaring weakness is that as long as JBL is their champ, their main event matches are gonna be sub-par. But though JBL The Wrestler has had a grand total of one commendably-good match this year (cage match vs. Eddie), JBL The Personality has grown on me to the point that I wish he could hilariously fake neck injuries EVERY week.  He's cutting promos good enough that I'll gladly give him 10-15 minutes of TV time a week.  Just as long as little or none of it is spent attempting to have a match.
     
    And up until a month ago, RAW's strength this year has been it's main events: Benoit, Michaels, and HHH have ensured that just about every PPV main event of 2004 will end up in the "Also Receiving Votes" section of "Match of the Year" voting. Sometimes RAW stumbles on the undercard (and 3 months of Diva Search crap has REALLY underscored WWE's misplaced priorities in terms of what talents/stories deserve attention), but you could count on main event stories and matches that kicked all kinds of ass.
     
    Then all of a sudden: enter Destiny, enter Randy Orton, and enter a mind-numbingly over-rushed Implosion of Evolution. Oh, and Exit Chris Benoit.  I'm not saying it should be mentioned in the same breath as the way the then-WWF fumbled the WCW/ECW inVasion story, but the break-up of Evolution and emergence of Randy Orton simply SHOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER TOLD.  Not rushed into 4 weeks, not plucked out of thin air and predicated on such an idiotically-lazy concept as "destiny."  They should have known their end game and spent MONTHS building towards it.
     
    I won't even get into the grand philosophical discussion of who should be the face, who should be the heel, and who should be leading Evolution. The story could probably work in many different forms, even if I, myself, do have particular thoughts/tastes on what'd have worked best. All I'm saying is that doing things the way WWE has done, they have effectively: sabotaged Chris Benoit (he jobbed twice to Orton and is now a forgotten man), sabotaged Randy Orton (was there even one memorable moment in his one-month title run? a reader sent me an e-mail last night joking that instead of "the next Rock," Orton is now shaping up to be "the next Tommy Rich"... HA!), sabotaged HHH (he was never able to beat Benoit, which was a forgotten and never-paid-off story, really; and now he only wins the title by beating Orton in a ridiculously-interference-laden match), and thus, sabotaged the entire main event/World Title picture.  I don't have a sense that there's anything really IMPORTANT going on, I don't have a feel for what I should be cheering for to happen next... it all just seems so rushed and jumbled, like they're making booking decisions on the fly.
     
    Well, actually, I guess now I do see the overall picture: HHH is a bitter, possibly-out-dated veteran who had to resort to every trick in his bag to take the title from the Next Big Thing. And now, Young Randall will have to chase the title.  OK, so this actually makes more sense than Randy HAVING the title. But I guess my lingering frustration stems from the fact that if THIS is where you wanted to be, there are only about eight dozen more effective ways to have gotten here that would NOT have entailed wasting Chris Benoit and having Orton's first Brush with Gold be such a forgettable four weeks.
     
    But wait... I thought I was gonna keep this limited to last night's PPV and tonight's RAW...
     
    So, OK: last night's PPV had a trio of good, long matches. The best of the bunch was Kane vs. HBK; the Jericho/Christian ladder match and the Orton/HHH main event were a notch below, but none of the three is really gonna stand the test of time as a Video Keeper.  I also found myself very much enjoying the tag team opener and the Trish/Victoria match. The tag title match was a bit disappointing, I think (and crowd reaction made me think that, although I'd endorsed the idea of STILL milking this feud for another month, that they should have done the title change, afterall), and the less said about Tomko/Richards, the better.
     
    There was enough good last night that you'd have to be a real ass to come down hard on the show. But that general sense of un-compelling storytelling (the confusing mess that is the World Title picture, and trickling down to how HBK/Kane COULD be an awesome feud but by necessity must constantly be overshadowed by Kane/Lita's story, and so forth) resulted in a show that was devoid of a single really-satisfying pay-off, and worse: devoid of anything that made me excited about a future satisfying pay-off.  PPVs are about Sizzle, and Unforgiven had little, if any, of it.  
     
    So yeah, I was able to analytically sit there and go, "My we had three fairly well-worked matches on this show" and appreciate Unforgiven on that front.  But at another level, this ain't about analysis: this SHOULD be about being excited about RAW PPVs and the next night's show and stuff like that. That's missing, right now, and the last time I was excited about sitting down for a RAW was probably the Iron Man free-per-view two months ago. 
     
    Which I guess is OK, as long as SD! keeps giving me all these reasons to be excited about sitting down on Thursday nights.
     
  • Ugh, I'm rambling.  Sorry, I'm out of practice, folks.  Either that, or I have 10 days of pent-up eloquence that's trying to escape my fingers, and it's pouring out at breakneck speed, making it impossible for me to stay focused.....
     
    So, a new bullet point for me to quickly say that Unforgiven was not a "hit" with me, but it was also three hours of reasonably entertaining (if utterly forgettable) TV.  You can get the full report on what I thought clicked and what I thought didn't in last night's Immediate Post-Show PPV Recap.
     
    Which brings us to tonight's RAW.
     
    It's quite telling that as of this writing, the only thing WWE has officially announced for tonight's show is something called the Seattle Slugfest, featuring the Diva Search contestants.  I guess the deal is that after they announce the final eliminationee tonight, the final two girls will have a boxing match, and THAT will be the final challenge before fans vote for the overall winner.
     
    Allow me to say: who the fuck cares?  I might make jokes about them, I may not think they'd be much fun to hang out with or talk to, but WWE is missing the point if they think they can trick me into caring with the promise of The Red Headed Spaz or the Idiot Playmate getting punched in the face.  I'd say I'm a gentleman and don't condone the violence with women, but that's not even it, cuz lord knows I've probably used My Words more viciously against Carmella the last 3 months than anyone would use boxing gloves against her tonight....  it's just I hear about this, and it strikes me as more Spring-esque, low-brow, idiot TV where there is not even an iota of chance that one of the girls will come off well and win over fans as she embarks on a year of wasting my valuable TV time.  Again, it's not even really the girls' faults, it's just a stupid idea for a contest, and if WWE wanted to dedicate more TV time to women, well, there's at least a half-dozen or so of them already on the roster who freaking deserved it more.
     
    End rant.
     
    But seriously: that's the only thing WWE has lined up in terms of an official preview for RAW, so I feel fine taking my potshots at their misguided sense of what fans give a shit about.
     
    On other fronts: it seems obvious that HHH vs. Orton is now here for the long haul.  If they are smart, they do NOT just shoot their wad with a rematch tonight, and not even with a rematch in a month at the Tuesday night PPV.  If they're gonna try to do the story right, then you have to have HHH act dismissive of Orton (but make it obvious that HHH is actually afraid of Orton) and make him go through Evolution, and have it played as a numbers game.  I say this because it's the only way we'll ever get back to a situation where a HHH vs. Orton PPV match will honestly mean something, and also because if HHH purposely avoids a rematch with Orton, it opens the door for something like a month long side-project with Benoit coming back up for a shot at the belt (or for HBK getting into the title picture).  But make no mistake, that WOULD only be a side project, since HHH vs. Orton should be simmering in the background on a slow burn.
     
    In fact, the thought of Orton maybe trying to surround himself with some allies to counter Evolution's numbers advantage might be cool.  It's as good a time as any to mention that Shelton Benjamin is on his way back, and was no friend of Evolution's when he left.  If Orton needs a running buddy, Shelton could be it; then again Shelton also had his problems with Orton, specifically, before he left, so maybe he could join Evolution, too?  Orton also did the Mutual Respect thing with Benoit at SummerSlam, so there's another possible ally.  If Benoit comes, maybe Regal comes along, too?  And what of Eugene?  I still can't stop chuckling at Orton coming to Eugene's rescue two weeks ago...  those two Intellectual Equals were MEANT to be together, and if you give me Steph's job, I'm promising you MONTHS of Quality Comedy, as Randy Orton reveals he shares Eugene's love of Games... but then when the two play (everything from chess to Trivial Pursuit to thumb wrestling to Candyland), Eugene out-foxes Young Randall every time!  And Orton has to drown his dim-witted sorrows in fruit-flavored beer!  And the fans go mild, but *I* laugh uproariously!

    Yes, kids, there's a reason WWE wants no part of Rick Scaia, Master Booker!
     
    What was my point?  Yeah, that Orton vs. HHH should be a main storyline, but one that maybe goes into the background as part of an effort to cast HHH as a slightly cowardly heel champion hiding behind his Evolution mates.  Specifically, I'll say this right now: the way *I* would do things to get things aligned would be to headline tonight's RAW with Orton/Benoit/Regal vs. HHH/Batista/Flair... and in that match, have Benoit score the win for his team.  Because Orton "took a beating" last night on the PPV, it doesn't make him look bad to defer to Benoit here, and it immediately catapults Benoit back into the World Title hunt if he tops HHH in a non-title setting.  I think a finish like this, combined with the right kinds of promos from HHH about Orton, will take NOTHING away from HHH/Orton's feud, will ADD a month-long side-bar feud with HHH and Benoit to the mix, and will also facilitate all kinds of possible interactions for an uneasy Benoit/Orton alliance.  Something like this tonight at least gets my head back in the game, curious and semi-excited about future prospects.  So we'll see if this is even CLOSE to what WWE serves up.
     
    The secondary storyline on RAW: Kane, Lita, and Shawn Michaels. Though it was Sunday's best wrestling match, Kane/HBK is actually a virtual non-story, which is too bad. I'd love to see them getting tangled up for a months-long feud with more good matches down the line, but I fear that Kane/Lita will have to overshadow that.  We'll see how they play it tonight.  My guess is Kane is upset with Lita, and Shawn has to again bail her out.  I guess that works...
     
    The tertiary storyline on RAW: the IC Title picture.  Jericho, after long months of having nothing around that sexy waist of his, has finally gotten some gold agayn. But he got it in kind of a back-handed fashion, beating Christian to win an IC Title that technically belonged to Edge.  So it seems the story here is this: Jericho's gonna be the IC Caretaker for another month or two till Edge is ready, and then THOSE TWO will have a date with destiny.  So even though I think Christian should supply plenty of fun promos and rematches for Jericho in the near term, it's kind of feeling like a foregone conclusion that Jericho/Edge is gonna be the real story here.
     
    Some other stuff to keep an eye on: Christian's Soldiers might actually have too much on their plate to be worried about waging an all-out assault on Jericho's IC title. There seem to be elements in place that would allow them to do some sort of split in the faction; not only did Trish and Christian bicker at the PPV, but you could play up the fact that Trish and Tomko were both WINNERS in their PPV matches, but Christian (their ostensible leader) was a loser in his. Maybe all my jokes were more dead-on than I knew: maybe Trish really DOES wear the pants in this group?  We'll see...
     
    Also: Tajiri/Rhyno have every reason to get a tag title rematch, it's just a question of how soon and for how long they want to milk La Resistance's commendably-effective pussy tactics....   
     
    So we'll see how RAW comes off following an uninpsiring PPV outing.  With the added Tuesday Night event in October, they've got 5 weeks till their next PPV, and that'll mark five consecutive months in which the RAW brand has had to deliver PPV action (since June's Bad Blood), so hopefully this isn't a case of getting worn out and battle-weary... hopefully they can turn the ship around and get us to where we're EXCITED watching the shows (instead of having to wring our enjoyment out on an analytical level).
     
    Check out the show tonight, or come on back here to OO tomorrow for the Greatest RAW Recap in All The Land.
     
  • On the PPV Prognostication Front, well, I guess OO will get a forfeit win over hurricane-addled WrestleLine this month, or something.  Which we'll take gladly!  Forfeit, Forfeit, Forfeit!
     
    Our own internal battle for OO domination, though, was kind of an embarrassing effort this time around.  Our group percentage was below .500, as only newcomer PyroFalkon picked more than half the matches right.
     
    PF get the Unforgiven crown with a 4-out-of-6 night.  Then there's two big-ass ties: Erin, Bulldog, and Adam all got 3-out-of-6, and then me, Cubs Fan, Immolator, and Matt all got 2-out-of-6.  bOO to all of us!
     
    I don't feel like running down the entire cumulative standings, but I did quickly tally up the only numbers I care about, and will tell you that with this latest set of picks, Erin has broken the Last Place Tie of PPV Futility and moved one match ahead of me: Your Humble Webmaster and Alleged Wrestling Guru now stands alone in the PPV picks basement, with an abysmal 25-for-57 record in PPV match predictions since WrestleMania.
     
    I'd feel ashamed, except a very ego-centric part of me knows with certainty that WWE going against my picks is a big part of the reason they are in the mess they are in, now!  Do as the Rick predicts, and I bet ratings and house show numbers are better than they are; make me look like an idiot and put me in last place among my own staff, and alienate huge chunks of your viewership!  I'd rather be RIGHT and LAST PLACE than wrong and first!

    YEAH!
     
  • I'm not entirely sure I missed THAT much big news while I was gone, but I figure I'll try to make good on a few details... starting with ratings for anyone out there who is a completist in such matters: 
     
    The 9/2 SmackDown did a surprisingly solid 3.4 broadcast rating; this show was likely a beneficiary of one-part interest in the enticing Eddie/Angle Best of 3 Falls match and about five-parts DISinterest in the Republican Convention coverage on all the other networks.
     
    The 9/6 RAW did a 3.6 cable rating, which is pretty much in line with recent averages.  I was away, so I didn't bother getting with my guy what has quarter hour info, so I have no idea if there's any unique story to tell about how RAW got it's 3.6, but I'm assuming not.  Just a not-remarkably-high, not-remarkably-low number...
     
    The 9/9 SmackDown! did a surprisingly poor 2.6 rating; unlike the week before, competition from other networks was stiff, as ABC had the NFL season-opener, and NBC debuted (ugh) "Joey" (I still can't figure out who decided "Friends" deserved to be a national sensation, much less who decided it needed a spin-off) and a new season of "The Apprentice" (insert generic Rick Reality TV Rant here).  Those two networks ran away with the night, and if this is how SD! is gonna perform up against stiff competition, that's a bad sign for WWE.
     
    It'll be interesting to see how RAW does against the first regular season Monday Night Football game and other first-run programming on other networks tonight...
     
  • Probably the only really major story I missed while I was gone is that Paul Heyman has officially re-joined the creative team for WWE.  The word I got at first is that he was backstage at the past two RAWs, and SOME think he's kind of in an "unofficial advisor" role for both brands, but then that was superceded by more solid information that Heyman is kind of sliding into a spot vacated by Bruce Pritchard on the SD! creative team.
     
    I actually thought last week's SD! did have some Heyman Flavor to it.  Not that it was a really excellent show, or anything, but there was a decided feel of misdirection and unpredictability that are earmarks of Paul E.'s work.  I'm talking about little things like the way Michael Cole was used (the standard Hollywood writer-y thing to do would be to not even THINK to use an announcer for an angle, but the wrestling booker-y thing is a bit different and it just felt kinda genuine and borderline-chaotic when Cole first stood up for his wussy little self but then bolted when faced with Heidenreich) and the swerve they pulled with Big Show (he's coming in two weeks? NO, he's here TONIGHT!).  I hope that makes some sense...  but I do, even if it's in throw away bits with announcers, that it's cool to see unpredictable bits apparently scripted by a Wrestling Mind, instead of wholly predictable bits scripted by sitcom cast-offs.  The worst thing a wrestling show can do is not surprise you once in two hours; SD! had a bunch of (admittedly minor) surprises last week, and it gives the show a nice edge-of-your-seat feel:  announcers might defend themselves, Kidman might implode and lose the tag titles as a result, the Big Show might come back two weeks early... good stuff.
     
    Anyway, if my intuition is right, and Heyman's helping to stir the SD! pot, I'm happy and even MORE confident that Thursdays will continue to be strong.  Except (ugh) for the part where the stupid-ass Tough Enough segments will be starting up soon.  Goddamn you, WWE, and your fetish for stupid, non-ratings-raising "reality TV" bullshit.
     
    The one thing I don't have a clue about at this point is exactly where Bruce Pritchard stands. I know he'd been on a "Leave of Absence" (euphemism alert, anyone?), and I don't think he's been outright fired or released.  And then there's an odd, but I don't think related development, as Bruce's brother Tom HAS been released from his duties (more on the talent development side) by WWE.  I dunno what's going on with the Brothers Pritchard, but Tom's definitely gone and it sounds like if Bruce comes back from his Leave of Absence, he'll find his job has been taken over by Paul Heyman.
     
    I also don't really care what it all means. Because as long as WWE is including Heyman in the creative process, it's a net gain for fans.  I kind of hope that there might be more to this story, and WWE is doing a bit of Creative Housecleaning after some of the directions they've gone the last few months.  Heyman coming back is a good start.  They may feel free to call me with a job offer at any time, too, if they want to continue rebuilding the creative team, and want to start a trend AWAY from comic-book-reading comedy writers and TOWARDS undisputed wrestling prodigies.
     
  • Word I get is that Chavo Guerrero was cleared to return to house shows last weekend (too lazy to check if he did), but that WWE will continue to play up his concussion from 2 weeks ago as more serious than it really is on TV.
     
    The reason why is obvious: it plays into Billy Kidman's crisis of conscience, which I think is a really neat little mid-card plot for SD!.  Kidman can't use his finishing move because he used it to "cripple" Chavo, and as a result, loses the tag team titles.  It's a nice subtle story, it sets up any number of future directions for the Kidman/London team (London might somehow remotivate Kidman, and they get back to rawking; or maybe there's no choice but to split up, and if they do, I'd LOVE for part of the story to be London coming out of this using the Shooting Star Press as HIS finisher, as kind of a heelish "fuck you" to his estranged partner whose worst crime was feeling bad about hurting a fellow wrestler).  
     
    And plus, who was the guy who said he thought there was great potential in a full time Suzuki/Dupree pairing about 3 or 4 weeks ago?  That's right, it was The Me.  Goddamn, do I ever love being right.  It's a case of I think working together will end up elevating both of them, because they were both sort of on the CUSP of being viable singles stars, but neither had a real hook or enough legitimacy/tenure to be taken seriously.  As a tag team (and as the champs), they'll get TV time, they'll get to find their own niches, and I can't deny that I also look at these two and think they'll be good for plenty of Ethnic Mismatch Comedy.  
     
    For starters, I was giggling like a school girl when last week's title win celebration included a game Hiroko and a confused Kenzo attempting the French Tickler along with Rene.  Keep that up, and give Tazz a few weeks to add a few new lyrics to "Theme From The French Tickler," and kids, you've got comic gold.
     
    Good stuff.  Oh, and my point: Chavo is OK, but he might be held off TV for another week or two for storyline purposes.
     
  • Ummm... don't know if it really matters or will have an effect on WWE's plans, but Diva Search Contestant Carmella was arrested last week on assault charges.
     
    It was actually an incident last month at a club in Cleveland, OH, where Carmella was hanging out with her boyfriend (and Browns' quarterback) Jeff Garcia.  Also at the club was Garcia's ex-girlfriend.  If you thought the crap they did on RAW two weeks ago was retarded and Springer-esque, you can imagine what went down between these two.
     
    Actually, reports vary, and of course, it's a she-said/she-said deal as to who started it.  But it sounds like Carmella got it through her empty little noggin to FINISH it, including jumping the other woman from behind when she tried to leave.  So Carmella's the one who got arrested. The charge is a misdemeanor and Carmella's free on $5000 bond, so I really don't think this is any big deal as far as WWE is concerned.
     
  • While I was away, it was confirmed that Glen "Kane" Jacobs will be the central figure in WWE's SECOND film project; he'll be the scary bad guy (serial killer hiding out in an abandoned hotel where, lucky them, some teenagers happen to decide to hang out) in "Eye Scream Man," which will go into production shortly after John Cena's "The Marine" wraps up later this year.
     
    Sounds like a real winner.  But for us wrestling fans, it might mean thinking a bit about Kane's schedule this winter, since he might have to disappear from TV for a month or so in the middle of his wife's pregnancy.  Might be a few interesting possibilities there....
     
  • Speaking of movies...  it's looking more and more like the movie adaptation of the videogame "Doom," is gonna be a lock for The Rock's next project.  As discussed earlier, Rocky is expected to play the movie's lead villain, but the lead hero is likely to be character actor Karl Urban (bit player in "Lord of the Rings"), and it might be a case where the movie is more carried by the bad guy (think the original "Terminator," maybe).
     
    The "Doom" movie has recently had a change of director, but is still expected to go into production by year's end, with the goal of a late summer 2005 release; if it pans out, this means the Rock would pretty much wrap on "Spy Hunter" to start "Doom."  I'll pass along any other info as it surfaces.
     
  • Brock Lesnar got a nice, polite send-off from Vikings' training camp a few weeks ago, with a lot of pleasant noises about how there might be a spot for him on the team in the future if he kept working at it.
     
    But now that the regular season is upon us, Vikings' coaches aren't being as diplomatic. They are focused on the players that are ON the roster, and in articles sent to me while I was gone, sounded pretty dismissive about bringing Lesnar back, even on the practice squad.
     
    Again, we have no indications at this point as to whether Brock intends to pursue NFL Europe or the CFL or what...  but all along, the football people I've talked to have been pessimistic about Lesnar making it in the NFL before 2006, and from Lesnar's side, I got the impression that he wasn't interested in being 30 before he got on an NFL roster, so I dunno....
     
    As I've said before, if the torched bridges and ill-feelings can be mended, nobody would be a bigger fan of seeing Brock back in WWE.  I think we just got barely an inkling of what he might be capable of in 2003, before he became disenchanted and limped through a feud with Goldberg and then quit.  We'll see...
     
  • Something interesting: PAX TV (which is kind of a Christian-oriented syndication network that provides programming for independent and low-power TV stations, but I don't think they've got a national clearance, you have to check local listings) is getting into the wrestling business.
     
    Well, kind of.  Obviously, if my impression of PAX based on wondering what the hell that is on channel 13 for 4 seconds before flipping past is correct, a Christian-oriented outlet wouldn't have any business in wrestling as we know it.  But how about REAL wrestling?
     
    According to published reports, PAX is gonna do a 3 month "season" of real, Olympic style wrestling matches, featuring names you might actually recognize from Olympics past and present. The wrestlers will be paid, so this will, technically, be PRO WRESTLING.  
     
    Rulon Gardner and Cael Sanderson (two of the biggest American names from this year's games) are confirmed.  Legendary Dan Gable is gonna be involved.  There will be dozens of other grapplers, too, spanning 7 weight classes.  They will be broken up into 8 teams, and the big pay-off will be final matches in all the different weight classes at a special live event next spring.
     
    All the preliminary matches will be taped at an event in California next month, over the course of October 8 and 9. They will air as part of hour-long shows starting in February on PAX, leading up to the live finals.
     
    It's a really interesting idea, and if there's a time to do it, it's now. Coming off Olympic years, there is always a heightened interest in sports that Americans don't care about the other three years between Games.  In Gymnastics, they've got it down to a science, and they do big-ass touring shows and fill up arenas for a few months after the Olympics (this year, actually, my understanding is that there's enough interest for TWO touring groups of gymnasts going around this fall).  NBC even realizes the opportunity, and is still flirting with the idea of an Olympic Network that would showcase Olympic sports 24/7 on cable and try to maintain the interest in those events even during non-Olympic years.
     
    So why not wrestling? The hour long shows will, by necessity, feature character-building bits and interviews, along the lines of the Up Close And Personal bits NBC does during the Olympics, and I think that we, as fans of the fake style of Pro Wrestling might keep an eye on this show.  If one or more of these real Pro Wrestlers impresses not just on the mat, but shines in interviews and "promos," then it wouldn't surprise me if WWE took an interest in them.  Even if the show is not a ratings success for PAX (it's a toss up; yes, they might just catch the last vestiges of Olympic fever, but it could also be a bust), it might be a nice little buffet of possible future stars for WWE to sample from.
     
    I'll pass along more info about rosters/schedules as I get it, but I think this is something we might want to keep an eye on.
     
  • There's a few other minor tidbits I've got piled up, but it's approached 5pm, and I'd like to get this column published before RAW starts, rendering my big-ass preview useless.  They aren't important, anyway.  And if they are, well, I'm back here on Wednesday with a fresh OO and more news and stuff.
     
    No more 10 day vacations to the ass crack of Oregon for me!  See you again tomorrow with RAW Recap and Wednesday with news and spoilers and so forth!  OO's back, baby!


  
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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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