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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
RAW, Details on WWE Dismissals,
SD! Writer Fired, Fake Controversy, MORE!
November 8, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Well, I'm guessing some of you Long Time Readers might have been sitting at home thinking that, somehow, Online Onslaught became massively profitable in 2004, since the Rick was about 2 weeks late in beginning his Annual Begging For Donations. 
 
Sadly, I must report that this is not the case. I did, however, contemplate making this the year in which we implemented alternate ways of wringing money out of you Fine Readers, ones that would make me feel like less of a jack-ass for just pleading with all of you (whether you're regular visitors and a drain on my resources, or just a sporadic visitor) to

give me money. Actually, about a month ago, I settled on a scheme that would charge people if they wanted access to archived content more than 2 weeks after it was published (you've seen this exact same thing on a lot of newspaper websites). But as I thought about it and started working towards implementing it, I mostly just realized that even if I was trying to be "fair" by only charging those who really consumed a lot of bandwidth by researching old news stories or referencing old TV show results, it wouldn't matter, because there were about a billion ways to UNfairly get around my security measures, and I'm actually pretty unsophisticated when it comes to developing this kind of stuff.

So instead of that, OO continues to just put everything out there for free, but I again have to prostrate myself before your Collective Mercy, and hope that you'll feel that OO is worth donating a few bucks towards, so that we can continue to guzzle up ricockulous amounts of bandwidth for another year!

You can get all of my Begging and Groveling (along with Three Easy Ways To Donate, including: Credit Card/Amazon, PayPal/E-Check, and cash) if you visit the OOfficial 4th Annual OO Pledge Drive Page. Seriously: your life might not become a barren wasteland without OO, but it's GOTTA be worth a few bucks a year, right?  

Of course, thanks in advance to each and every one of you who will be enduring One Straight Month of Blatant Panhandling! And TRIPLE thanks to any of you who do decide to step up with a few bucks!  Maybe even QUADRUPLE thanks, depending on how generous you are! Just give what you can... or at least, whatever you think OO is worth to you. Because chances are, we're looking at another year when a little less than 10% of you step up and really help subsidize things for the other 90% of slackers! (Prove me wrong, slackers, prove me wrong!)

Perhaps now is when I just thank you the way I know best... by delivering the Finest in Wrestling News and Analysis:

  • I might have had a weekend where I did massive damage to myself and slept little (if at all) and wound up spending half of Sunday afternoon and evening trying to make up for it with a series of uneasy naps.  I might even go so far as to say that this weekend made Halloween seem like a walk in the park. And last weekend, my friends, was the one that left me in no mood to watch (much less recap) RAW.
     
    So what's different this time around?  Well, for all my aches and pains I don't think tonight's RAW will suck.  In fact, I'm kind of excited for it.  Edge has been too awesome lately, and Chris Benoit has been too awesome for too many years, for tonight's show to be anything less than outstanding. At least, that's why I'm telling myself as my ass drags this Monday afternoon...  tonight's is a show that sure as hell FEELS like it will rule, and that's making it easier to pep myself up.
     
    So watch as they somehow manage to bungle this entire operation, and I'm left in a brain-dead haze at 11pm, having spent the last half of the surprisingly-shitty show half-asleep and listing 45 degrees to my left...  c'mon, WWE, let's do this one up right tonight!  The Rick needs another pick-me-up!
     
    And while there's no denying that tonight's Big Story for ME is Edge vs. Benoit, and how fun it should be to see Edge again play the Massive Dickhead Card in segment-after-segment and then pay it all off with a 20 minute Free Per View match against the always-tremendous Benoit, I also realize that their match exists in the context of a bigger storyline.
     
    And any time that Bigger Storyline has Randy Orton at its core, I tend to get a bit nervous. But that said, last week was a VERY well-executed week for Project Orton, and though I'm sure he continues to desire the World Title held by Triple H, we had some subtle elements introduced to the story that made it seem like we should NOT just pencil Orton in as the Rumble 2005 winner.  That's not saying the anvil won't be dropped on us later, but for now, it seems like other things are over-shadowing Orton. As well they should. Until the FANS are reacting to Randall like he's the star of the show, I hope and pray WWE quits shoving him down our throats like he's the star of the show.
     
    So Orton and Benoit (and Jericho and Maven) are all gonna be watching each others' backs tonight. One might wonder if Tajiri could get in on the fun.  Well, *I* might wonder if Tajiri might get in on the fun, but I have an illness.  More than likely, Tajiri's assist from last week will only mean that he gets to be served up to Batista to squash, or something.  Which'll suck, but my Wrestling IQ is high enough that it can tell my Wrestling Fandom to sit the fuck down because that'd be a decent play...
     
    One story that I know I completely whiffed on last week was the way the heel side of this 4-on-4 feud may NOT necessarily be all on the same page. Triple H was absent last week, and that forced Batista and Flair into a handicapped match.  Those two could conceivably be pissed at HHH.  And at the end of RAW, Batista seemed pissed at Flair, so who the hell knows how on-the-same-page Evolution will be tonight? Throw in the fact that Edge -- for all his pure douchebaggery lately -- has predicated his assholitude on wanting HHH's title, so is *he* a great partner for guys who already aren't getting along?  And Snitsky's just... well, he's Snitsky. He doesn't seem to work and play well with others, in general.
     
    Eric Bischoff's own shades of gray (and NOT his hair) factor into this 4-on-4 match, too, since he's awarding a month of control over RAW to the members of the winning team. There really are a ton of layers and interwoven elements here... so many, in fact, that I am hesitant to even start ejaculating the ideas swirling in my head, because if I do, it'll be Tuesday before you read this, and it'll be 300 KB of Fantasy Booking that won't have anything to do with reality.
     
    But hey, I like it when RAW is interesting enough that I actually do have these ideas pop into my brain... means they're doing something right if I care this much.
     
    Second level on RAW is Christian challenging Shelton Benjamin for the IC Title. Should be pretty basic stuff, with Shelton playing the Plucky Babyface Who Overcomes The Odds Card... keep piling on with Christian softening Shelton up (more guest Problem Solvers? at least another concerted Rib Attack, I'd guess!), and then when Shelton scores the win on the PPV, it'll be sweet.  A case where you have two exceptionally talented performers who are so good at what they do that you can resort to the most basic of formula and have it click.
     
    Third level: Trish Stratus defending her title against Lita. Storywise, it seems like I'm in a sick, twisted minority who thinks Trish is so becomingly snippy and bitchy, while Lita's just kind of a dumb girl who spent the entire summer being a hapless victim and is now more worried about being called "tubby" than she is about winning a title or anything. I honestly don't know how ANYbody cheers Lita in this one (guys, you gotta be with me, just because the marriage of hotness and coolness that Trish is bringing in her performances lately is almost debilitating; and ladies, Trish might remind you of the bitchy cheerleader in high school that wouldn't be your friend, but doesn't Lita remind you of dumb-ass, Springer-esque, high-drama sluts that are even MORE loathsome?). But that's how they present it, and I guess it doesn't really matter TOO much, since these are probably the two women on the roster the fans respond most strongly to.  The direction of the Response Vector isn't as important as the MAGNITUDE of it...  a women's match with good sizzle to it should be cool.  And Trish and Lita are good enough in the ring to make it work, too; I might not see why Lita's character gets cheered, but I'm happy to grant that no woman on the roster has a highspot-laden moveset that gets more cheers than hers.  
     
    RAW will probably have to add one more match, too.  The tag titles are back with La Resistance, and those could be easily made the subject of a match at Survivor Series.  Problem is that there are no clear cut challengers; WWE has pissed away whatever momentum Tajiri/Rhyno had as a tandem.  Hurricane and Rosey are in the middle of what may or may not be a break-up. And the potential Eugene/Regal team has been too busy messing around with Snitsky to even REMOTELY focus any energy on the tag titles.  Maybe just go with a four corners match, or something?  I dunno.... they're gonna need something to flesh out the RAW side of the PPV, though, and I figure it might come out of some combination of these 8 guys.
     
    With the top storylines on RAW all effectively parmesaning my pizza (even if, in the women's title feud, it's doing it in the reverse of WWE's desired response), and with a promised Benoit vs. Edge main event, I'm pretty excited for tonight's show.  You oughta check it out.
     
    And if you don't, well, that's why I take it upon myself to immerse myself in every detail of the show (except for the parts that are recaps, or crap, or recaps of crap) so that I can deliver you the Bestest RAW Recap in All the Multiverse. You can come on back to OO tomorrow for that fine document!
     
  • Something I mentioned last Wednesday: the "Interactive RAW" thing has actually been running both of the last two weeks according to a few readers.  They just haven't bothered mentioning it on TV yet.  Which is odd.
     
    One of these weeks, they'll give it a solid push, though, as MY understanding is that the intent was to make it a really neat feature with real-time voting on stuff that would affect the show, and all.  As it stands, the readers who've signed up for the thing made it sound SUPER-lame.
     
    I suspect that this might be a "working the kinks out" deal, and once they're ready, they'll push the thing on TV and add some cooler elements.
     
  • In fact, in confirming that the "Interactive RAW" section is live on WWE.com, I just noticed today that the entire website has gotten a total make-over.  The differences seem mostly cosmetic (the content is still 95% really pointless, albeit with an added emphasis on basically feeding fans videoclips in case they missed stuff on TV), though it seems they really did upgrade the navigation so you don't have to slog through that sometimes-buggy top nav-bar.
     
    Check it out, if you like.
     
  • Um, so you know how I don't like Reality TV, and how I fucking hate this "Tough Enough" thing eating up 20 minutes of my Thursday Night Wrestling Show?
     
    Well, apparently, I bit myself on my own ass (or something along those lines).  Except not really...  let me try to sort this out and explain:
     
    So on Thursday night last week, I was pretty much just taking it easy at home (in preparations for what I knew would be a liver-testing weekend); I was working the DVR like a maestro, and knew full-well to give myself LOTS of extra Time Shift on SD! because of how much time the "Tough Enough" shit filled up the first two weeks.  I actually gave it a full hour before I started watching SD!.
     
    And for about 2 minutes at the start of the show, I ALMOST got interested when Kurt Angle was the guy they carted out to the ring to engage the TE crew. But then I remembered when RAW tried to trick me this way by having Jericho quarterback a Diva Search Segment.  I dig Jericho, I think Angle's awesome, but guess what? I've learned, WWE!  A turd is still a turd, no matter HOW awesome the guy trying to sell it to me might be!  So I FF the whole thing (elapsed time, a soul-crushingly wasteful 20 minutes).
     
    But over the weekend, my mailbox fills up, and apparently, there's some massive controversy raging. Because one of the TE goons that there's no reason anybody should give two shits about "pulled a shoot" on Kurt, and "made him look bad," because he's a "real UFC superstar," and "doesn't respect the business."  
     
    There are not words to describe how bunched panties seem to be over this. And keeping in mind that I DIDN'T EVEN SEE THIS, I think you're all idiots if you're really debating if whatever this TE guy's name is should be punished, or if he's even more bad-ass than Kurt, or whatever.  If I didn't see it, how can I know you're over-reacting like a bunch of self-important douches?  Because I read the OO SD! Recap.
     
    And to a normal, sane fan, there wasn't a damned thing particularly interesting about the Dan guy who dared to last 35 seconds in the ring against Angle. 
     
    If you must, you can have your fabricated controversy; me, I'd get interested if I thought there was a chance we might actually get an Olympic Wrestler vs. UFC Fighter Shoot Fight, but we won't. If there was a storyline or if the Dan guy had actually don't anything THAT major, maybe I'd be willing to grant it a Conditional Pass on the grounds that WWE might spin this into an effective angle.  But those are the only two ways this is anything that's even vaguely intriguing.  If your obsessing over this, I hope to hell you enjoy your "Big Fat Stupid Boss" and "Survivor" and "Fear Factor" and lord knows what other tripe is being served up by uncreative morons pandering to useless sacks of crap who sit on their couch lapping it all up because they can tell themselves "if that loser is getting his 15 minutes of fame on TV, then maybe someday *I* will too, because I'm exactly as worthless and boring as he is!"...
     
    GOD, I hate this shit.  It's like an old Beavis and Butthead exchange that I'm probably going to mangle, but which I vaguely recall...  Beavis, deceptively perceptive fellow that he is, asks, "Butthead, why is John Tesh on TV?". And Butthead responds, "Uhhhh, because he's famous, assmunch."  And Beavis, still searching for information asks, "But why's he famous?".  And Butthead responds, "Because he's on TV, dumbass."  And Beavis says, "But Butthead, how did he get on TV in the first place?".  And Butthead goes, "Because, asswipe, he's famous."  This goes back and forth for the entirety of a John Tesh video.  And more than likely, Beavis ended up getting smacked around by his dim-witted pal because he wouldn't just accept the answer.  People, YOU are Butthead (happy to lap up whatever worthless mediocrity is put in front of you without question). But *I* am Beavis, and I'm not gonna stop asking "Why?"...  and if any of you turd burglers want to slap ME around, that's fine, cuz I'll kick you square in the nuts.  Thank you, drive through.
     
    And next week, it's the Tough Enough guys in a "Torrie Wilson Sex Test."  That CAN'T MISS, can it, people?  Early prediction: this may well bump ice-cream-licking and pie-eating down a notch on the list of "Goddammit Moments" we'll be voting on here at OO in another month and a half.
     
    Enough.  Let's move on...
     
  • I did not bother checking out "Victory Road" last night... needless to say, if it's taking RAW to snap me out of a funk 24 hours later, the TNA product was NOT gonna be a priority for me on Sunday night.  I put the Simpsons (and my first look at the funny-as-reported Arrested Development) and sporadic napping ahead of TNA on my Sunday evening depth chart...
     
    That said, I was curious enough to make sure to read up on the results before bed, just in case I'd made a mistake. I don't necessarily think I did. At the end of the day, it's still the utterly uncompelling Jeff Hardy in a PPV Main Event, and as good as it sounds like his match against Jeff Jarrett was, they still suffered from an indecisive and over-booked ending that had Kevin Nash and Scott Hall revealing they were in cahoots with Jeff Jarrett all along, but then just as the show ended, Macho Man Randy Savage came to the ring for purposes undisclosed.  Tune in next week to Impact, I guess?

    The main event sounded like the hands-down match of the night, but again, I just have issues with Jeff Hardy main eventing a PPV...  most other matches sounded like they under-delivered due to time constraints and some dubious booking choices.  Also: in addition to Nash, Hall, and Savage, there were also appearances by Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka, which maybe adds some star power to the line-up.... if this is 1989, or something.  I dunno; I'm not feeling like I missed much, though.
     
    But I am a Known Asshole who doesn't even bother watching Velocity or Heat 90% of the time.  My tastes are not necessarily yours, and that's why I'm VERY happy to tell you that if you want a more balanced look at the show from a guy who (a) actually watched it, and (b) enjoys the indie/underground wrestling scene immensely, then you can check out Scotty Szanto-Nicodemus' TNA Victory Road PPV Recap!
     
  • Speaking of Heat, I actually *did* see most of it last night (again, as part of the drowsing on the couch I did as part of my recovery upon returning home)...
     
    A few things occur:
     
    First and foremost.... MOLLY WINS~!  Christ, it's been how long?  When she suddenly decided to go to the top rope, it actually took me a moment to remember that she DOES have a finishing move!  Is it an Accurate Observation or just a Grown-Man Crush if I say that it SOUNDED like the very-impressive "Molly Go Round" got the start of a big cheer from the live crowd, which WWE dubbed over with boos?  Jerks.  Anyway, that was a nice thing to see, although pinning Nidia (who has since been fired) cannot possibly lead to anything in terms of continued momentum.
     
    Speaking Fired Nidia, it was practically an hour long showcase for now-dismissed talents. Rodney Mack got squashed. So did Chuck Palumbo. Nidia got pinned in the women's tag match, but Molly's partner was Jazz, and it was pretty telling that the final shots of Heat were Molly celebrating, Victoria looking kind of miffed as she tended to a beaten-Nidia, and Jazz crumpled on the mat.  Two of those women would have jobs on Wednesday, and two wouldn't, and it was pretty clear that WWE must have known something back at Monday's tapings...
     
    Finally, this is the first I've heard of Todd Grisham other than (a) being a slightly-more-compelling-than-usual mic stand on RAW, or (b) enduring Ivory on the first one or two "Experiences."  There are chinks in the armor, but with a bit more experience, I think this performance will smooth out, and he seems a bit more clever, at least, than Josh Mathews.  We'll see...
     
    I'd tell you to check The Cubs' Fan's Heat Recap, but as of this Monday afternoon writing, it's not yet arrived in my grubby little hands.  But it WILL arrive and you SHOULD check it out, along with the Velocity recap that I'm sure will feature a few farewells from THAT side of the roster.
     
  • Speaking of all the farewells/dismissals, it's kind of crazy how things played out last week, and because of my schedule, we never really got a chance to talk about the Final Tally. Not that it's necessarily final just yet....
     
    On the RAW side, you can say goodbye to:  Gail Kim, Nidia, Jazz, Rodney Mack, Chuck Palumbo, Test, and A-Train.
     
    On the SD! side, you can forget about: Billy Gunn, Johnny the Bull, and Rico.
     
    Right now, that's 10 talents who have been dismissed in what I guess I accurately called a house-cleaning based more on purging over-valued contracts than on any real displeasure with performance.  Other than Billy Gunn, all these men and women were in pretty good standing with the company, it's just that WWE perceived them as being over-paid for what they could do for the company, and their dismissals will free up some cash while opening slots for cheaper talents (with higher upside potential) to try to break through and prove themselves.
     
    I won't dispute that this is a kind of exciting prospect: slash and burn a few contracts, but this means that now we're gonna be seeing some new faces.... and frankly, most of the names who were slashed and burned won't be missed, at least, not by me.
     
    Of the 10 dismissals, it's telling that Gail Kim is the one that frustrates me the most. "But Rick, she's only a GIRL, and girl wrestlers aren't important," I hear you kvetching.  Yeah, well, deal with it, people.  That's just how boring most of the men on this list were to me.  I think Gail was an untapped well of potential who was probably a face turn away from joining the top tier of actually-marketable women wrestlers.
     
    Of the men, I'm not entirely pleased to see Rico and Test go. Test, I kind of explained him back on Wednesday, so I won't repeat (not that I was THAT fired up over it, though).  And Rico was undeniably entertaining at times, and an underrated in-ring worker; but given his age and the gimmick that WWE saddled him with upon his debut, there really wasn't gonna be a whole lot of advancement for Rico; we've probably seen the best that WWE would allow him to show us, so yeah, I'll miss that, but no, I won't bitch about it too much.
     
    If I had to pick a fourth dismissal I might protest, it'd be Jazz; because (a) I'm already suggesting Gail shouldn't have been fired and in fact should have been turned face which opens up a spot for a female heel, and (b) Jazz is uniquely qualified to be that female heel.  I know I've had it thrown in my face that for as attractive as I may find Molly Holly, she's not "TV pretty" (especially with the short hair), and thus, she HAS to be a heel; I dispute that vehemently in Molly's specific case, but I don't dispute that there's something to be said for having "The Look" of a heel (especially in the women's division, where Lawler's always gonna bring it back around to looks). And I say this not to be rude or crass, but Jazz is about an impressive physique and some bad-ass moves, and NOT about being TV Pretty, and in my mind, it makes her an ideal anchor for the female heels.
     
    Then you got six more, and I'd honestly have a hard time coming up with any indignity over any of those dismissals.  I find Nidia's departure interesting; that leaves Maven as really the only contributing member of the Tough Enough Alumni Association (yeah, Jackie Gayda, but c'mon?)...  it wouldn't surprise me if at least PART of the reason Maven was arbitrarily selected for this Survivor Series push is because in somebody's mind, it justifies the existence of "Tough Enough" bits over on SD!...  cuz the success rate of the show's winners has certainly seemed lacking....
     
    More cuts are possible, I guess, but might be held off till after Survivor Series (*couch* Heidenreich *cough*), if they come at all.  Keep your eyes peeled, cuz you never know when you MIGHT be seeing your favorite curtain jerker for the last time!
     
  • One more dismissal, but it's a guy who you've probably never heard of.  Dan Madigan, one of the WWE's top writers, was let go late last week.  On the list of Very Lame Idea Generators, I know Madigan often ranks up there with Brian Gewirtz in terms of being addicted to dumb-ass Hollywood/comedy/unrealistic crap, so I can't say I'm sad to hear this development.
     
    I AM sad to report that I've not been asked to step in as his replacement, and am still considered Utterly Unhireable by those inside WWE since I refuse to shut my fucking yapper about how I think things suck sometimes.  
     
    Anyway, Madigan's departure means that SD! is now even more firmly in the hands of Dave Lagana and the man who kind of mentored him along, Paul Heyman.  I consider this to be a Good Thing, though we all know the buck stops a level up from those two guys.  Because I know THEY probably aren't insisting on writing "Torrie Wilson Sex Test" bits; or at least, if they are, are doing it not quite of their own free will.
     
  • Something else about SD!: it certainly appears that things are set up for John Cena to return from his "punctured kidney" to team with Eddie Guerrero, RVD, and Big Show at Survivor Series... but I'm not totally clear on this, but it sounds like he's not yet done with shooting for his movie "The Marine," so it might NOT be for good; I dunno.  Mixed signals on this one, but they might be in a spot where if Cena needs a few more weeks, they do ANOTHER injury gimmick at the PPV (maybe have Jesus and Carlito team up with kidney punches, or something?  Simple, but probably effective enough...).

    We'll see...
     
  • Last thing for today: in a reprise of a story we talked about this past spring, Jake Roberts was finally in court relating to charges that he was negligent and killed his snake, Damien. I'm not making this up.
     
    But I *do* think it's kind of in the category of Stuff That's Too Sad To Even Think About, so if you want more, I'll just direct you to this link from the UK (where Roberts now lives).

    Thanks to all who passed it along.
     
  • And on that happy note, I'm outta here for today.  You can count on seeing me again plenty soon, what with a RAW Recap due to you and my usual midweek news and views coming Wednesday.
     
    Till then, remember: YOU PEOPLE FRICKING OWE ME!


  
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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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