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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
SD! Stuff, WWE Scheduling, PPV Leaderboard,
and a Bunch of Other Weekend News
November 19, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

I've actually just gotten done watching last night's Letterman, kids, and as a result I've got a TON of shit I'd like to toss out in the form of a pre-ramble now...  so much that it's almost hard to know where to start, and kind of scary to contemplate how long I might go on when all you came here for was a little weekend news update...
  
But I'll give it a go... know that Howard Stern was the guest, and know that I'm not even really a Howard Stern fan; I mean, his show has never been on the radio here, and from what I've ever seen on E! of his show, I wouldn't have listened to it anyway. When the 30-minute HIGHLIGHTS version of his shows generally get boring and repetitive after you've seen a dozen or so of 'em, I can't   

imagine what five fricking HOURS of that EVERY DAMN DAY would be like.  But also know: Stern was painting himself as a victim and as a trailblazer, and for the life of me, I sat there buying every ounce of it.  It's not unlike his movie was a few years ago: you watch and you don't want to give a shit, but by the end, you're cheering for the guy.

In this specific case, it was a deal where I gather Howard is leaving conventional radio to go to satellite radio in a year or so, and it's to get out from under the FCC and the Christian Right.  And raised some very valid points about his own situation and how he can't even do a funny radio show any more because of the broadcasting handcuffs and how he can't get syndicated because stations don't want to get fined for airing his show... and then this all ties in to a bunch of OTHER disturbing things happening lately.

Like: "Saving Private Ryan" was on ABC last week.  But only in about 60 percent of the country.  Per a Spielberg stipulation, the movie can only air on TV unedited, and a TON of ABC affiliates (including mine in Dayton, and the one down in Cinci) pussed out because they feared that the FCC would fine them for airing an indecent movie. And sure enough, the FCC *is* fielding complaints and who knows? There may well be fines coming out of this.
 
And do NOT even get me started on this Monday Night Football idiocy. I actually saw the skit in question while waiting for my RAW Time Shift to accrue, and let me tell you: there was really NOTHING objectionable about it. At least, not any more objectionable than half the beer ads that I'm sure ABC showed during the game.  You even have morons MAKING STUFF UP about how it's "racially insensitive" because of the "Kobe situation".  WHAT!?!?!  I'm baffled that this is a story, I'm baffled that ABC actually felt the need to apologize.  The people who need to apologize are the dumbasses who managed to dupe enough of the right people into thinking there was a controversy here.

And that brings us to the crux of the matter.  I've made my Red State vs. Blue State jokes, and I made it clear when I grudgingly endorsed Kerry over Bush that it was shit like this that mostly had me terrified.  I think it's cool if there's a subset of Americans who believe strongly in certain moral values; and in your own house, you can worship how you want, you can raise your kids how you want, and you can watch and listen to what you want, and I think that's neat-o keen.  My hat's off to The Bible Belt and to the Moral Majority or whatever name they want to be called.

But then also: please report to Dayton, OH, to be punched in the face by me.  Because the SECOND you start taking your value system and try to make everybody else conform to it, you become a vile sack of crap.  I respect and applaud your decision to live your lives the way you want.  But you idiots have it in your skull that you have to go out and change the way others live theirs.  That's just not fair.  I'm sitting here telling you it's A-OK with me if you want to huddle around the TV for "Touched by an Angel" while holding hands and cursing unwed teenaged mothers to eternity in hell.  I don't care; do what you want.  But just leave the rest of us out of it.  Unless you want me to start some kind of evangelical campaign in which I try to force every American to drink whiskey, swear like a sailor, watch "Se7en," and like it.  Because as idiotic an unfair as that may sound, it's exactly what you're doing to us.  You'd be offended by my platform, and frankly, I'm offended by much of yours.

There are real problems in the world today, people, and NONE of them are Janet Jackson's boob or Terrell Owens getting jumped by a Desperate Housewife. People are not wrong if they have been offended by these things; like I said, I applaud everybody coming up with whatever value system works best for them.  But anybody who considers these to be issues of national importance, anybody who can't just decide "My, this is not for me, so I'll turn it off," and who instead feel the need to go out and actively campaign for the end of something that they could easily just ignore?  Well, kids, they ARE wrong.  People like Michael Powell, the Parents' Television Council, and all their ilk are deluded, selfish zealots.  And seeing them wield so much power (and amassing more with every passing day, it seems) is almost frightening.

And I know bitching about it here is neither the time, nor is it the place, nor will it likely accomplish a whole lot, since if you're still reading, it's probably because you're one of the Smart Ones who already agrees with me.  And if that's the case, how about I pick now, when you are nodding your head in agreement, to remind you that this would be a GREAT time to Donate to the OO Pledge Drive and keep us running smooth for another year!  And maybe I'll set aside part of the funds to start my campaign for the presidency in 2012.

Or maybe not...  Here's the Weekend Update: 

  • Last night's SD!?  Nuh uh, no way.  First I sat through it live, then I wrote about it for 3 hours, and then I did sit through the TV broadcast last night.
     
    I've put just about enough energy into that show, and I'm so close to it, I honestly have no conception of if it was any good at all.  I loathe it in a way that has nothing to do with its quality.
     
    I'll say this: they did complete axe the Chavo/Kidman match, which is something I maybe should have considered as a possibility. Although they only flubbed the finish, the match had almost negative heat from the fans, and might play better somewhere else.  As a result, there was a bit of shuffling of the segments from how they played on Tuesday night.
     
    For reasons that shan't be delved into just now, Danny is not here with a recap of the as-aired version of the show.  So what I've done is kind of a "re-mix" recap.  It was an experiment, of sorts, to just take my whiskey-addled memories from Tuesday, take some sections out and change the order to match the show that aired last night, and see if it was still a passable recap.
     
    Let's just say: I call this a Victory For Me.  I'm just that damned good, people...  Enjoy the SD! Recap, if you need details about last night's show.
     
  • The prelim rating for last night's show is a 3.6, which should hold up within +/- a tenth or two.  And that is good news for WWE, which has seemingly resuscitated SD!'s rating back to where they were back about a year ago, when the brand was really clicking.
     
    Now if only the show quality and live attendance and stuff like THAT would pick up to last year's levels, we might have something...
     
  • WWE has shored up its schedule for December, and it looks like they are basically taking two weeks off for the holidays.
     
    They have the tapings on Dec. 13 and 14 following Armageddon, and then nothing till the tapings of Dec. 27 and 28.  I think you can probably infer that this means the SD! crew will be heading over to Iraq for the edition of SD! that airs in that middle week; meantime, the RAW crew gets to chill out and probably 12/20 is just a "Best of" show for RAW, like they did last year.
     
  • Also, glancing at the schedule: my jokes on Tuesday night about the "Kurt Angle Invitational" rolling through San Antonio (if, indeed, there were any plans to use this gimmick as the way to jumpstart an Angle/Michaels feud) are just that... jokes.
     
    A look at the schedule for the near term actually has no really compelling cities hosting SD! tapings.  [In fact, San Antonio gets a SD! house show at some point soon, so that's right out...]  If you wanted to grasp at straws, I believe I saw a SD! taping in Tampa, FL in early 2005...  and doesn't The Orange One himself habitate there?
     
  • But ALSO glancing at the schedule, I *did* notice a VERY intriguing possibility for RAW coming up.
     
    Assumption #1: Randy Orton's night as GM of RAW will be the last one.  Because he's Randy Orton, the most electrifying superstar in the history of WWE, and you always save the best for last.
     
    Assumption #2: there will continue to be little cracks in the foundation of Evolution.  Batista fondling a belt here, maybe Ric Flair getting disrespected by HHH there...  and the Guest GMs will maybe start to notice this and try to fan the flames a bit.
     
    Fact #1: Randy Orton cannot book himself into a title match against Triple H.
     
    Fact #2: The last night of Guest GMs will be on December 6, live from.... Charlotte, NC.
     
    "Wouldn't It Be Cool If..." Conjecture: so on 12/6, Randall Orton is the Guest GM, but since he can't give himself a title match, he instead tries to fuck with Evolution... by giving a title shot to Charlotte's own, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair.  You have all manner of possibilities at that point, and this is a proven successful formula (Flair vs. HHH was awesome fun back last year, and in THIS case, I think it'd work even BETTER, since it'd be in Flair's home town, and you'd have the added layers of drama from this being the fourth straight title defense by HHH and he'd be tired and beat down by Jericho and Benoit, and you'd almost be able to bring yourself to believe Flair might win).
     
    Just tossing that out there, folks....  as with all my good ideas, though, all I've probably done is set us all up to be disappointed by whatever WWE actually ends up doing, instead.
     
  • Some fun reading for you kids, today, if you need even MORE rasslin' talk.
     
    Shelton Benjamin did some PR work in the UK recently, and folks directed me to this interview he did for Silvervision (which is a WWE home video partner in the UK).
     
    Actually, one reader who passed along the link specifically directed me attention to the last question/answer, in which Shelton seems to be Speaking My Language.  His final answer could almost be translated as, "I want to work hard, take my time, and not rush anything, so that I don't flop massively like Randy Orton has."  Between that mindset and his known Molly-Holly-grown-man-crush, Shelton seems like he might be the Rick's kind of sensible guy.
     
    Except then you balance those qualities with what seems like an unhealthy interest in videogames and comics and bad movies, and....  well, he's still a hell of a wrestler, and his thoughts on his career to date and what he'd like to accomplish and WHEN he'd like to accomplish it still makes for a very interesting read.  So check it out.
     
  • Perhaps there's more to this than I'd originally thought when I mentioned it a month or so ago...
     
    WWE had started making noises about how "in the stockholders' best interests" they were going to shop themselves around at the conclusion of their current TV deals, rather than just re-up with Viacom/Spike TV.  And I chalked that up to WWE talking out its ass, since their ratings have been halved since they made the deal with Viacom, and they probably aren't as attractive a commodity as they were 4-5 years ago, and should consider themselves lucky that Viacom would probably love to just renew their current deals.
     
    But they still do draw in young males, and that's hard to do.
     
    And this week, industry trades have revealed that USA Network is going to be re-branding itself in the fall of 2005, and wants to become a more male-centric network.  Maybe not as DUMB-male-centric as SpikeTV seems to be, but still going after guys.  And all the talk for the properties USA wants to help them in this mission is centered on two things: USA getting involved with NFL football, and USA getting WWE wrestling back.  Those are the two things they crave.
     
    Getting NFL football is a dodgy proposition, but if a weekly USA game were part of a package in which NBC (which is now a sister network with USA) was the cornerstone network, it might happen.  And WWE wrestling?  Well, although it's a misguided notion, Vince and others blame Spike for WWE's declining ratings, and would probably love to jump back to USA just as a "fuck you."
     
    Could be an interesting situation brewing, afterall, and NOT just a case of a lot of big talk that goes nowhere.  I believe that with the extension of SD!'s UPN deal last year, all WWE shows are locked into Viacom until September 2005, but after that, it's open season, so, who knows?
     
    I actually expect that if this smoke really is indicative of a fire, we'll hear more about this VERY soon, since the nature of the beast is that ad sales and other strategies for the fall season take a lot of time, and both the networks involved and WWE would like to have this all sorted out sooner rather than later. Whether it's a jump to a new place or a Viacom renewal, we should know the score at some point this winter.
     
  • In his Byte This Recap, PyroFalkon notes that he thinks OO might have lost the Survivor Series Predictions Battle with WL by ONE SINGLE MATCH, and then tries to take credit for the loss, since he actually picked Heidenreich to win...

    Well, I'm sorry to say that I don't think I even realized that WL had done PPV picks (I checked last Saturday, anyway, and Denny hadn't posted them), and have been TOTALLY out to lunch on compiling/reporting even the OO Picks Results, much less worrying about if we beat WL.
     
    So no worries, PF; if anything, I feel dumb for taking damn near a week to compile This Very Important Data.
     
    The Survivor Series Prognosticatory Crown?  It goes to The Cubs Fan, who picked five out of seven matches correctly (and was also the only one of us who correctly predicted that Randy Orton would be the Sole Survivor in the main event).
     
    Tied for second place, Erin and I both went 4-for-7 (by a completely inexplicable twist of fate, we were also the only two who correctly picked the SD! main event of JBL beating Booker T, which I consider to be a totally worthwhile consolation prize; way to go the rest of you dum-dums! Picking Booker T like morons!  The SMART kids knew JBL would win!  The smart kids' 8 month running tallies also.... d'oh!).  Then you had a fourth-place schmozz, as Bulldog, Matt, and Adam all went 3-for-7.  PyroFalkon did, as it turn out, bring up the rear by going 2-for-7.  I believe that adds up to 24-for-49 as a Team, and if that's one win short of WL's team total, well, so be it.
     
    And I figure with 10 PPVs down since we started the Team Coverage Previews, and only ONE remaining, it's probably a good time to take a glance at the Running Totals to put the pressure on those at the top of the standings! And at the bottom, for that matter!  Who'll be the PPV Master of 2004?  And who'll be in the PPV Basement?
     
    There's only one more chance (Armageddon) to change your placement, trOOps! Here are the standings (nine QUALIFIED trOOps, only; fewer than five PPVs on your resume, and you don't count):
     
    NAME W-L
    Record
    PCT. Games Back
    1) The Cubs Fan 32-20 .615 --
    2) Canadian Bulldog 41-29 .586 3
    3) Big Danny T 29-21 .580 3
    4) Matt Hocking 37-33 .529 6
    5) Jeb Lund 30-27 .526 7
    6) "Immolator" Calum Macbeth 24-22 .522 7
    7) Adam Gutschmidt 34-36 .486 9
    8 (tie) 
    Erin Anderson
    Rick Scaia
    33-37 .471 10

    I think the "games back" column is the interesting one. Since not all of us have picked the same number of matches (Big Ups to Bulldog, Matt, Adam, and Erin for joining me in the Perfect Attendance Club!), we gotta go to decimals to determine who's winning...
     
    And I crunched some of the numbers down, and basically the "games back" is the number of matches someone would have to pick accurately that Cubs Fan does NOT pick to chase him down for the title.  For instance, if TCF picks 3-for-7 at Armageddon, Bulldog or Danny could go 6-for-7, and pass him (and at that point, Bulldog would win on percentage points). Cubs, you had damned well better pick, too: no pussing out to "protect" your lead!  
     
    It also works the same way lower in the standings (like if Matt out-picks Bulldog and Danny by 3, he should end up in second place for the year).  And so on and so forth.
     
    Of course, the hilarity continues as I cannot break out of last place, no matter what I do, and I'm supposed to be the smart one here. I've GOT to remedy that at Armageddon: Erin and Adam, watch out!  The three of us, actually, are the only ones mathematically eliminated from winning (assuming a 7 match card, at most, we can't make up 9 or 10 matches on TCF) and who haven't even picked at a 50% clip.  
     
    The lesson: University of Dayton Flyers are dumb, and so are girls.  In fact, if PF (another Daytonian, albeit not a UD-educated one) qualified for these rankings, he'd also be a few games under .500; but with only 3 PPVs to his credit, that's not a big enough sample size to lump him in with the rest of us losers. 
     
    Strap in, kids: even if Armageddon doesn't have much in the way of fireworks, the Armageddon PPV Predictions battle is gonna be a hot one!
     

  • Oh, and speaking of PF and ByteThis: he STRONGLY endorses this week's show, and so I STRONGLY endorse his recap this week.  It was basically an ECW theme show, in conjunction with the release of the ECW DVD.
     
    And yeah, OK, I'll check out the show my own self at some point here.  I figure if I can endure a 15 minute version of "Impact" every week, I can honor PF's request that I give this BT a try...  more thoughts on the show from me will probably come next week, and till then, you got the Recap, and you got the option of braving WWE.com to see the archived show for YOURself, too.
     
  • A couple VERY final things...  first off, OK, jerkos, I get it, it's "Earnhardt" (with a "D").  I knew that, actually, it's just that with proper names, I'm so used to seeing the red squiggle of "Hey Dummy, You Spelled That Wrong," that I ignore it.  
     
    A simple typo.  Please leave me alone now, and go back to moistening your panties for the sure-to-be-super-duper-mega-awesome Made-for-ESPN movie "3."  Lord knows you poor, poor people need to have SOMEthing to fill your wretched lives with joy during NASCAR's interminable 6 week off-season.  Christ...
     
    And then, kind of a request for help: yesterday, I decided to let my inner TechnoDweeb out for a bit, and see what all the fuss is about with this Firefox thing.  Myself, I don't get too paranoid about stuff, and maybe Internet Explorer DOES let spyware onto my system, but as long as I don't notice it slowing me down, I don't really care much.  A decent anti-virus program and a personal firewall, and I'm pretty sure nobody's getting anything good off me, anyway.  But I have had enough dork friends -- they of the "if it's Microsoft, it must suck" crowd -- tell me to try Firefox as a replacement to IE that I broke down and tried it.
     
    To be honest, the only thing I've noticed different is that all my passwords seem to have been forgotten.  And I'm not one for writing shit like that down (except for a handful of important ones); I'm one for telling IE to save my password and remember it for me.  I *think* I ran the "import settings" thing correctly (since Firefox DID get all my bookmarks), but why did it not bring my passwords, too?
     
    This is a giant pain in my ass, and I never realized how many stupid places I go that require passwords until yesterday.  Did I screw something up?  Is there a way to remedy this easily, short of having all my passwords reset and e-mailed to me? And why won't Firefox's "plug-in downloader" work? It just sits there and hangs on me, and I can't get me my Strong Bad without Flash...
     
    In short: TechnoDweebs, you might have very good reasons for liking FireFox and for hating Microsoft, but for philistines like me, there's something to be said for just having things be EASY.  Do I lose any street cred if I just give up and re-set IE as my default browser?
     
    I think that's all I got today.  Enjoy the weekend.  Start of College Hoops!  Yes!  Maybe it'll be good for me to have Xavier to hate again!  Take some of the heat off of poor Randy Orton!
     
    I'll see y'all Monday.


  
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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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