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RAW, ECW/Byte This, A Few Quick
Newsbites, and RAW is ORTON Booking!
November 22, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I'm gonna do the unexpected, folks.  Because there is NO freaking way I can do a Sports Anguish Pre-Ramble today and bring it in under 1500 words.  Sure I'm a Pacers fan, and cannot fathom how our season is over because of equal amounts Sheer Dumbness of My Pacers (which has been relatively fairly-punished) and the Boorish Instigation of The Pistons and Their Fans (which has been overlooked and GROSSLY under-punished because Determining Actual Responsibility isn't as sexy and doesn't make for as good of TV as reactively swinging haymakers at dickhead fans). To address that issue alone would involve all manner of explaining myself and tangents against the self-important douchebaggery of the likes of Bob Ley and Jim Grey.  And then, of course, there's the Flyers...  my beloved Dayton Flyers.  I was half-tempted to turn the front-page colors to Blue and Red TODAY because this is as close as the U. of Dayton will get to NCAA Tourney consideration.  Completely out-classed on our OWN HOME COURT by some team from the WEAC. It's just.... ouch.
But a relatively pointless bit of fluffery won't hurt my insides, much! Cuz just about the only good to come out of this weekend was sitting on my couch last night, and developing a completely stupid attachment to a particular player in a World Poker Tour "American Chopper" vs. "Trading Spaces" gimmick game.  And no, although I actually

do get a kick out of the Teutuls (and Mikey was at his possibly-partially-retarded-but-fun-to-watch-play-poker best), it was none of them I cheered for.  And no, although I couldn't shake how much she looked EXACTLY like Stephanie McMahon (the old cute-regular-girl Steph; not the late-model, implausibly-top-heavy Steph), this Amy Wynn person was not really inspiring me.

No, much to my own disgust, I wound up cheering for some dude named Carter OOsterhouse.  You get one guess why.  Yes, he really spells his last night OOsterhouse (he made a special point of mentioning it in his little bio thing).  So even though: (a) he was a pretty-boy (I mean REALLY pretty, he made Randy Orton look downright homely!), and (b) he was wearing fricking SANDALS (with jeans, and I'm sorry, in The Rick's Calculus of How To Be A Guy, wearing sandals other than with shorts when proximate to a body of water is a SUREFIRE sign of being either a Filthy Hippie or a Wanker With Possible Fruit-in-Beer Leanings If You Catch My Drift), and (c) his announced role was "Master Carpenter on Trading Spaces," which to the best of my knowledge translates to "Guy Who Knows Marginally More About Carpentry Than The Glorified Interior Decorators Who Host The Show, And Who, In A Pinch, Might Be Capable Of Actually, Possibly, Without Too Much Property Damage, Mounting A Towel Rack" (and make no mistake, I've never seen the show; if I'm gonna watch a home improvement show, I'll watch one with power tools and lumber and thick Boston accents where you might actually LEARN SOMETHING MANLY).

I actually caught the show already in progress, and the reasons to HATE the toolbox in Seat #4 piled up and I was LOATHING the guy until they finally had a reason to flash his last name on the screen.  And then suddenly: OOsterhouse didn't seem so bad.  It probably helped that the game came down to him against this schmuck "Joe" who I guess is the co-host of "Trading Spaces."  Talk about an utterly punchable individual; so despite all outward appearances, OOsterhouse ended up seemingly like an OK dude, and had my Full Support in the heads-up battle.  And unlike the Pacers and the Flyers, OOsterhouse did NOT disappoint me.  YAY!  Go OOsterhouse!

The lesson learned? Some pretty boy with a cOOl name beating some wiener on the World Poker Tour may have been vaguely vindicating, but still did VERY little to ease my Sports Anguish before bed last night.  But at least it gave me something to waste YOUR time with here today!  Wheee!  Never bet against "OO," people.

Here's some rasslin' talk:

  • Tonight on RAW, it's Phase Two of RAW's Guest GM Cycle. I'm putting my money on this being one of the two Chrisses in charge tonight...  because, as discussed Friday, Randy Orton is the most electrifying superstar in the history of this business, and you always save the best for last.  [And more on BETTER reasons why later...]
    We learned last week how fun the Guest GM Concept can be; Maven pretty much only had to set the stage with a few matches fans could dig, and then sat back and watched the fireworks.  If it's Benoit, I think you go down just about the same route: one stage-setting address, but then you build the show around how those elements play out (and also: I won't lie, Benoit's week SHOULD feature about a 30 minute TV main event between Benoit and HHH in which Trips escapes with the title just by the skin of his teeth, because *this* is how you showcase Chris Benoit, NOT in 20 minute promos).
    But if it's time for "RAW is JERICHO"?  Well, in that case I'm going to insist upon The Highlight Reel to start, and then TONS of skits backstage (I think a make-shift Commissioner's Office, in true Mick Foley form, would be appropriate, and would facilitate many humorous -- and possibly some dramatic -- exchanges) to let Jericho shine as the lovable assclown that he is.  And of course, we should set aside a good 20 minutes or so for Jericho vs. HHH, as well.  Because for all the fun zaniness that Jericho could bring to the table as the most creative and charismatic of the four Guest GMs, his show will still boil down to his title shot.
    And really: that's the over-riding story of these next few weeks...  everybody taking their shots at HHH.  He escaped Maven last week, and needed a little bit of an assist to pull it off. Batista, Snitsky, Flair, and Edge were all involved.  And the tests only get stiffer with both the Canadian Chrisses on the horizon.  One can only assume that HHH will continue to lean on his pals, but one must also remember that HHH is NOT really pals with Edge and Snitsky... and that relations with Batista have become a bit strained lately.  Poor, poor HHH?  The assault on his title and the lack of reliability of his back up will have Trips front-and-center for the next few weeks no matter WHO steps up as guest GM at a given time.
    Again all conventional wisdom, and with so many dudes all tied up into what essentially counts as one big fat storyline on top, the tacit #2 Issue on all of RAW is Trish Stratus vs. Lita. Trish is sporting a broken nose at the hands of Lita, who has apparently re-discovered her XTremeness after a summer and autumn of being an obnoxious little drama queen.  And although *I* personally feel that the return of Lita's badassery would go over better if the target weren't so damned awesome, it seems its working on the General Populace.  Don't hate Trish because she's beautiful, people!  Hate her because throughout this entire feud, she's the one who's been consistently (a) funny, (b) sensible, and (c) right. Not to mention she's never once been impregnated by Kane and forced to over-bad-act in shitty skits as a result!  But hey, that's me; as long as people are reacting strongly, this is a big-time Good Thing.  Frankly, the women's division fricking NEEDS this to click.  Seeing as how the "division" consists of Trish, Lita, Molly, and Victoria, and there's not a whole lot of room for error.
    I guess your #3 Issue SHOULD be something involving Shelton Benjamin's IC Title.  Except that he pretty much killed the issue with Christian at the PPV, and last week's tag match didn't do much to establish a NEW feud (if anything, it seemed to set Christian up for a face turn? Which I'd argue is QUITE unwise, but who knows?...  I'd say you MIGHT be able to work Edge in as another contender, except that his entire gimmick lately is he considers anything less than the World Title to be a Consolation Prize, and if he backpeddals, it'll just be the sheerest laziness and lack of foresight by the creative team. Maybe Batista? If he can keep his filthy hands off HHH's gold for one week?
    The tag title picture is suddenly a lot more interesting.  Or at least, a lot more FUN.  William Regal and Eugene are over, they can work a good match, and 80% of the time, their skits are damned amusing.  Surely we can find some way to make sure the new champs get involved in something worthwhile, no?  Probably a rematch with La Resistance first, but then who knows?  I look forward to seeing Regal grudgingly playing along as Eugene directs traffic and forces him to co-operate on Your Favorite Double Team Shtick Of Years' Past.  Because (a) you gotta be careful to NOT over-expose Eugene ripping shit off the Rock and Austin and all, and (b) I *really* want to see the look on "Bad Ass" William Regal's face as he endures the ring introductions of "Road Dogg" Eugene Dinsmore.  Or how Regal'd react to being asked to GET THE TABLES~!  See, it's easy: just ROTATE who Eugene steal his shit from, and it's LOTS more fun!
    Some other stuff: sadly, I am less than enthralled by two of RAW's newest characters...  Simon Dean is just a one-note song that was already boring last week; it stinks of Vince McMahon's poor sense of humor; to be honest, I'd have rather had Comic Book Dork Brian Gewirtz's poor sense of humor take over for Mike Bucci, and just introduced him as the tried and true "Super Nova" from ECW, who could have been The Hurricane's Archnemesis Super Villain or something.  And his first feud?  Could still have been with Rosey, and then maybe could have led to Hurricane's heel turn on Rosey, as the two former SuperEnemies team up to chase tag team gold.  Or something.  Hey, I know this is gay, people, but it beats the holy living shit out of "Simon Dean hates Rosey because Rosey is fat".....  and one of these weeks Mohammed Hassan is gonna show up in the arena, and by christ (or by Allah), if Sgt. Slaughter shows up that same week, I *will* probably break something.  May we please have characters that have NOT been imported from 1984, please? 
    We'll see how it goes, folks.  Obviously, a LOT hinges on the top level Guest GMs vs. Triple H and His Tenuous Pals stuff. You've got 8 or 9 guys involved there, and among them, they can carry large portions of the show, and do it in style.  Come up with something for Shelton, keep the Fun coming in the tag division, and give me more reasons for thinking Trish is awesome and Lita is a vile wench, and you got yourself a show.  
    So check it out tonight. Or alternatively, you DO have the option of placing your faith in The Rick, who will be here tomorrow with the finest RAW Recap in all the land.  Or you can do both.  That's probably what I'd advise, actually.
  • Next up: I took the PyroFalkon Challenge, and did indeed check out the latest Byte This.
    And I do not dispute a single thing PF said in his recap about *this* being a fine example of a GOOD edition of Byte This.  Practically a must-see (or must-listen-to) edition, really.
    I'm not so sure it's a blueprint for anything, though, since the beauty of this show was how it was so in-depth on one issue: that of ECW.  When the topics turned to anything Current Day WWE-Based, results were mixed (there was SOME honesty about what's wrong with WWE today versus why ECW clicked, but there was also some hemming and hawing, and I get the impression they made sure to drive the Conversation Truck towards very specific areas... like allowing for the "Shocking Revelation" that WWE "handcuffs" RVD, but you notice at no point was it fair game for e-mailers or callers to ask about how Paul Heyman is being handcuffed with Heidenreich... it kinda felt like they knew their audience would be more of the Textbook Internet Jack-Off, so they probably got the OK to cover such ground as RVD hand-cuffing and Cruiserweight Underutilization).  So for one week: LOTS of fun to listen to.
    We'll see how they follow up.  But not this week.  Because of Thanksgiving.  Which gives you PLENTY of time to either visit WWE.com to watch the archived show, or to at the VERY least devour PF's Byte This Recap (which does include a chance for you to download an audio-only version of the show, too).  HIGHLY recommended people.
    Three bonus observations about the show:
    (1) The ECW DVD is sold out in Dayton (as well in all the other places they made it clear the DVD was sold-out on the show).  Or at least, it was at the one Best Buy I tried on Saturday.  I kinda wanted to check it out, but wasn't in much of a mood to spend my early evening driving all over town to find it, either.  [A Dayton Tangent: I call "bullshit" on Paul Heyman for talking about all the towns where ECW drew big crowds, but never ONCE mentioning Dayton, where he held 2 PPVs and an additional TV taping, and drew 2 of ECW's 5 biggest-ever houses in so doing. Some respect, Paul E., please.]
    (2) If Tommy Dreamer wasn't wasted off his ass, I'll eat a bug. I'm not necessarily making a value judgment of any kind, folks, I'm just observing.  Although, for as much as I brag about my mighty whiskey skills, even I kinda have to wonder if 9pm on a Wednesday would be an appropriate time to be honing them....
    (3) Although it *was* kinda cool when Dreamer spontaneously shoved the phone in his wife's face and made her carry on a VERY uncomfortable conversation with some caller.  Folks, Beulah McGuillicutty has returned!  For 20 seconds of "banter" with some dude whose best line was when he realized how awkward he must have seemed and just said, "So OK, it was nice talking to you, Bye," out of nowhere.  [A Beulah Tangent: I call "bullshit" on Paul Heyman for saying Beulah was the equivalent of "10 Miss Elizabeths."  I think MAYBE he was just caught up in the moment and used Liz because his main point was how much people liked Beulah and how they couldn't turn her heel, but honestly, it was a bogus comparison.  In part because honestly, the two characters were never THAT similar.  But probably also just because, I don't think I've ever had a thought about the demure and passive Miss Elizabeth that doesn't stem from an innocent 11-year-old place in my head. Which is a LOT different from the sort of appreciation one can work up for Beulah if one has seen her with her ankles behind her head in a Men's Magazine and seen her make Bill Alfonso lose 30% of his body's blood supply in a Wrestling Match.  A big difference there.  Beulah was not "10 Elizabeths," she was exactly ONE (1) Beulah, which might have had elements of Elizabeth -- as well as of some of Lita back in her bad-ass days, a dash of your choice of WWE's Playboy divas, and probably a few other flavors -- but was entirely original.  I think Paul's equivalency short-changes both women.]
    Enough rambling retortery to Byte This.  It won't make sense till after you check out the show (or the recap), anyway.
  • Following up on something I half-mentioned on Friday, but has now festered and blossomed into a full-fledged Fantasy Booking Notion.
    Ric Flair: World Champ Once More.  I'm REALLY attached to this idea.
    Because what started as a vague idea stemming from a Trick of Geography COULD be used as a very central, very effective plot point in RAW's top level storytelling.

    Some of the additional, expanded concept:
    You do "RAW is JERICHO" tonight, and then "RAW is BENOIT" next week.  You have each of HHH's title defenses get progressively longer and more grueling.  The match against Benoit should be pure hell, a good half-hour, and in it, I don't even think you have HHH win; he survived Maven, he survived Jericho, but Benoit?  Too tough.  HHH might just get DQ'ed.  And Benoit, if it is necessary in the future, can still claim HHH never beat him.
    And then in two weeks?  It's December 6, and it's live in Charlotte, NC. And Randy Orton is the GM.  I envision this scenario: HHH opens the show in the ring with Flair, dressed to the nines, sporting various bandages and a limp, but also smiling. Because his Month of Hell is over.  Tonight, Randy Orton is the GM, and by law, Randy Orton can't book himself into a World Title match.  So after surviving Maven, Jericho, and Benoit, HHH is ready for a well-deserved night off.
    So we cue up Young Randall's "Theme From Dumb Guy," and out comes GM Orton wearing a mighty smirk.  Randy declares that while he can't book himself into a title match, that doesn't mean HHH gets the night off.  Orton says he's got another challenger in mind.  For the sake of my storytelling, take it as read that the preceding two weeks included plenty of Awkward Evolution Moments in which HHH took Batista and Flair for granted; nothing overt (no Anvils, if you whee-el), just a general sense of tension.  And so Orton drops his bomb: tonight, he has booked Triple H to defend the World Title against...  Ric Flair, Charlotte's own favorite son.
    Now, Flair won't need it, since the announcement alone should send his hometown crowd into an orgy of panty moistening, but this would be a spot where Orton fires up some of his tried-and-true "I want to bring back the OLD Nature Boy" shtick.  Talk about how this is Flair's last chance to remove his lips from HHH's ass, and do it for his hometown, to prove he can still be "The Man."  He's done two versions of this promo already, and I think he can be trusted to hit some of the same notes again.  My sense is that if he lays it on thick enough, Charlotte will even start to boo him a bit for patronizing Ric.  Which is EXACTLY what I want.
    Throughout the show: you have HHH begging Ric to not take the match, or to just lie down in the ring, since he's REALLY banged up (in fact, make sure HHH has a knee injury after facing Benoit!) and would rather not fight tonight.  Flair, ever the loyal foot soldier, considers this; but the lure of the gold is too strong. He announces he's coming after HHH tonight, and HHH had better bring his best to the ring; like Orton, Flair and HHH had a chance to do something similar last year, it went over gangbusters, and I think you can reprise that with great success here, only AMPLIFIED because of the HHH injury stuff and the hometown advantage for Flair.
    Meantime, the babyfaces are having some interesting exchanges of their own: Benoit, Jericho (and if he's still hanging around, Maven) will confront Orton.  They will wonder "Why didn't you just give HHH to one of us?  Or all three of us?  He's beaten, he's battered, he would have lost the title tonight, and then hell, I'd be man enough to give you your title shot, Randy."  Orton will play it smooth, saying, "I know, I know, and I'm sorry guys," at which point he will launch into a semi-smarmy spiel about how he just feels a real Connection with Ric Flair (remember that handshake at Taboo Tuesday? Well maybe NOW is finally a chance to mention it and have it serve some purpose), feels like they've been through hell together, and he Really Respects Flair and wants to give him the chance for one final swan song.  And then he lays it on REALLY thick by chastising Benoit, Jericho, and Maven for implying that Flair WON'T be able to beat HHH and that they are better than Flair.  Because, Orton announces, he's added a stipulation: he's barring everybody from ringside, and is confident that without outside interference to ruin things, Ric Flair is every bit as capable of winning the title as your three. Shame on you for thinking otherwise, says Randy, and then he exits.  Cue confused looks from Benoit, Jericho, and Maven, and cue boos from a crowd that is probably seeing through Orton's Fake Respect For Flair.
    And then: main event time.  For 15 minutes, they pull out the old Triple H vs. Massive Underdog playbook, and execute it to perfection.   HHH is a broken-down wreck after his Month of Hell, and you can milk it with a knee injury leading up to a Figure Four.  But HHH will bravely fight out of it and continue the match.  He might even rally with some manner of chicanery, and seem ready to steal the win...  but that's when we enter End Game, as marked by the sudden appearance of GM Randy Orton. Well, he's the GM, I guess he's allowed to un-ban himself. But what's he here for?  To distract HHH from finishing Flair, mostly, but then....
    REF BUMP.  Flair crashes into Earl Hebner, and knocks Hebner out of the ring; HHH capitalizes with a Pedigree, but oh my my, no ref.  So GM Randy Orton moves closer to the ring; and when a back-up ref sprints out to make the three-count? Orton yanks him out of the ring and clocks him with a right hand, and waves an index finger as if to say, "No no, there will be no back-up referees while I'm GM."  And suddenly, after a night of not being sure about Young Randall, Charlotte decides Orton's doing the Right Thing, and cheers as he gets in the ring to confront a LIVID Triple H.  A brawl ensues, and HHH actually gets the better of it, forcing Orton out of the ring, where he grabs a steel chair...  and uses it to savagely attack HHH's injured knee.  More cheers for Randy?  Yep.  After a minute of that, Orton tosses HHH's carcass back into the ring, where Flair is now starting to come to after the Pedigree.  Orton goes over and tosses Hebner back into the ring, and Earl is actually the first one to his feet.  Earl puts the double count on HHH and Flair; HHH tries to stand, but can't.  His knee is ruined.  Flair DOES make it to his feet; he saw none of Orton's attack and doesn't really know what's going on.  But he see's HHH nursing an injured knee, and 30 years of ring experience tell Ric what to do: The Figure Four, one more time.
    And this time, HHH sells it like a man having a red hot poker shoved in his eye socket.  Screaming, yelling, pleading for mercy; maybe he gets ONE moment of clarity where he sits up and asks, audibly, "Please Ric, don't make me do this" or something like that to indicate that the World Title means everything to him and that he hopes Ric might understand that and give him a break.  But no: Flair might make an almost apologetic face, might even waver for just one second, but then he audibly says, "Sorry champ," and cinches it in even tighter.  Maybe another 5-10 seconds of screaming in pain, and then...  Triple H taps out!  Ric Flair is the World Heavyweight Champion for the 17th (or whatever bizarro-math count they want to sue) Time!
    Fire up "Theme from 2001," and you had better damned well believe Flair celebrates like mad in front of his hometown fans. The cameras, however, they like Randy Orton's pretty face, and we get a few cuts to him...  and although he's smiling as he watches Flair celebrate, there's a whole lot of cockiness lurking in there, too; kind of a smirk.  Flair's celebration gets up to about 2 minutes, and he gets down off of one turnbuckle to go across the ring and pose to a different side of the arena when he bumps into the Forgotten Man.  Triple H has made it to his feet (well, his FOOT, he's on one-leg, and even now, is in massive pain).  
    HHH and Flair go massive schnozz to massive schnozz.  HHH is seething, is FURIOUS, and Flair looks like a man ready to defend himself, but only if he has to; maybe a clenched fist, but a defensive pose, and kind of shaking his head to HHH as if to say, "C'mon, Champ, you don't want to do this."  And finally: HHH raises his head and instead of emitting a fountain of Aquafina, emits a mighty roar of frustration, and then lowers his head again to face Flair, suddenly calm.  He extends the Handshake of Respect to Ric.  And Ric takes it.  And there is no chicanery here: HHH raises Ric's hand and the crowd actually eats it up.  But then?  HHH turns Ric around, face to face again.  We get broad gesturing and the ring mics pick up the gist of HHH's statements, which is "Congratulations, Ric, you beat me tonight. But when my knee gets better, I'm gonna want a shot at that title, because it's MY title."  And Flair defuses the possible boos by gesturing clearly back that he wouldn't have it any other way. And also: "WHOOOOO!"...  seems to be a happy ending, as Flair and HHH share a manly embrace...  but somebody forgot the Guest GM pacing outside the ring!
    Just as HHH and Flair break their embrace, HHH turns around... and walks RIGHT INTO AN RKO.  Cameras close in on Orton's face.  And at first, that seems like a look of satisfaction at FINALLY besting his rival HHH, which is met with mixed reaction, since HHH did just kind of do a nice thing.  But then, Orton's face goes from satisfaction to an Evil Grin as he turns around to face the new champ, the Nature Boy.  The mixed reaction goes to 100% boos as Orton starts shaking his head and gesturing as if to say, "No, no, Ric, there will be no title defense against HHH. *I* am coming for you."  Flair is confused by the goings-on just long enough for Orton to close in and lay into Flair with a series of right hands.  After a brief pummeling, Flair is tied up in the ropes, and Orton goes out to grab a microphone.  He gets back into the ring, and with Flair wrapped up tight, he launches into a tirade.
    Something along the lines of: "Ric, Ric, Ric, I wish I could say that this win makes you The Man again. But it doesn't. It just makes you the Old Man holding *my* World Title belt. Cuz you see, I could have given Benoit or Jericho another title shot tonight, and they might have beaten HHH. Lord knows the poor guy has had the crap kicked out of him the last month. But why would I want to worry about chasing down Benoit or Jericho for the title, when I can take it from you, Nature Boy? You think you beat Triple H tonight? No, I did, Randy Orton did. And you think you stand a chance at beating me? No way, Flair. It'll be like taking candy from a baby. Because you're a joke, Flair, these idiots in Charlotte might cheer for you, but the wrestling world KNOWS it.  You washed up, you're done, you're finished. When I take my World Title back, it'll be the easiest 2 minutes of work I've had in ages. And you know what else is a joke? Evolution. Triple H? He's peaked, man. And he's getting beat by a 55-year-old man? That's not Evolution.  *I* am Evolution, Randy Orton is Evolution.  I'm 24-years-old, I'm still learning, and already, I'm better than you, Ric Flair, I'm better than HHH, I'm better than everybody in the back. *THAT* is what Evolution is all about: moving ahead to the future.  Not living in the past.  So get ready, Ric, get ready to give me my gold and get ready to watch Evolution finally pass you by, Old Man."  To punctuate his final point, Orton grabs the World Title belt, obviously intending to blast Flair in the head with it...
    And that's when HHH arises from his slumber... in fact, he's been regrouping quietly outside the ring, and has grabbed the very same chair Orton used on him earlier.  And as Orton turns away to load up his Belt Shot, HHH hobbles into the ring and gets up on one leg, and wields the chair, ready to swing.  Orton turns back to hit Flair, and sees (a) a one-legged HHH with a chair, and (b) a 55-year-old man tied up in the ropes.  And in true chickenshit fashion, Orton just smirks, drops the title belt, and leaves the ring, quite proud of himself.  HHH goes to Flair and releases him from the ropes while JR has an aneurysm ("Bah gawd, that punk Randy Orton set up Triple H and he set up Ric Flair, and now he's gonna take the World Heavyweight Title by beating up a 55-year-old man.  Disgraceful!) and we fade to black.
    Ric Flair is the World Champ.  Flair and HHH are babyfaces.  Orton is a heel.  The way I see it, this kills a few birds with one stone: for one, NOBODY wants to see Orton's Density win the Royal Rumble so he can nobly chase Triple H's title at WM21.  Nobody.  Just trust me.  For two: Ric Flair, World Champ in Charlotte is just a Feel Good moment.  For three: Randy Orton as a heel, it's what we need dammit.
    And basically, all I'm doing is setting up Flair as a transitional champ, because NOW we can tell the Orton/HHH story the RIGHT way (meaning: reverse of how WWE is doing it now), with Orton as the disrespectful punk "Legend Killer" and HHH as the man who MADE Orton and who must now learn his pupil a lesson in respect.  
    Obviously, I see Orton reforming Evolution around him (Batista will have to turn on HHH/Flair, I think that could be good TV, and he'll join Orton; then add two more guys, preferably a tag team, or at least two guys who can work as a tag team pretty naturally, and you're set).  Just, please: ANYTHING to get that theme song of Orton's killed for ever.  Further, when GM Bischoff is back, his "shades of gray" act would fit in PERFECTLY with him STILL being mad at HHH now, but having that make him a pure heel, who DOES like the New Evolution. Bischoff's rulings could go back to being pro-Evolution, but in this case, that means anti-HHH/Flair.
    I think at the RAW PPV in January, you do HHH vs. Batista, and then (per the Bischoff-stacking-the-deck storyline) Snitsky vs. Flair (since Snitsky seems like Bischoff's "new Kane," but this is a perfect chance for Flair to play up the underdog role and still use his savvy to come out on top) and then the main event can be some kind of fancy-ass multi-way match to determine a #1 Contender for the Royal Rumble (notice how Douchebag Bischoff also kept HHH out of contention by making him face Batista?).  I'm thinking maybe it's time the Elimination Chamber returns (Orton vs. Benoit vs. Jericho vs. Edge vs. Christian/New Evolution Member vs. either Maven/Returning Shawn Michaels, depending on if the latter is ready; Orton cheats his way to victory).  
    At the Rumble, Orton takes on Flair, and wins the title.  Maybe HHH wins the Rumble match?  He doesn't have to, but it'd certainly be interesting (in my opinion) if he did, and then you set up a major Orton/Flair rematch BEFORE WrestleMania in which you played up HHH's torn motivations (his hatred for Orton and his desire to FINALLY get his hands on him vs. the fact that he respects Flair and the two never did have their OWN World Title rematch that they'd hinted at on the 12/6 RAW), since he's locked in as the challenger, no matter which of Orton/Flair would win the match.
    Anyway, there's a few other incidental details, but I've rambled WAAAYYYY too long on this already.  The keys: Flair beats HHH for the title on 12/6 RAW, we do a double turn of Orton and HHH/Flair, and then full speed ahead to HHH vs. Orton at WM21 but just aligned the correct way.
    And now, you people know what kinds of things I think about when I'm sitting around my house, bored to tears and not really tired at 5am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. Just keep that in mind when WWE serves up something different that was devised by people getting PAID to be creative, and who spend their entire days coming up with ideas. 
  • And now, because I just took 45 minutes typing up a goddamned Epic, when I'd really just intended for a little space-filling bullet point, I'm rushing to get this down before dusk....
    Really Quick #1: WWE has gotten out from under "The World"/"WWF New York"... the failed theme restaurant/nightclub has been sub-leased to the Hard Rock Cafe, who will be moving in soon.  Whee?
    Really Quick #2: all indications are that the ECW DVD is on pace to nearly match the Flair set in terms of sales.  I don't know whether to make a joke or not about how telling it is that "Internet Jack-off Darlings" like ECW and Flair have made WWE the most money of anyone in terms of home video... cuz the joke might really be on us, since we're the only wrestling fans obsessed enough to buy DVDs.
    Really Quick #3: it might be every bit as bogus as the majority of Apter mag "interviews" from the 80s, but a few readers have pointed me to a VERY funny Eugene/Regal interview on WWE.com.  Like I said, it might just be some intern's fan fiction, but in this case, it made me laugh.
    Really Quick #4: because of my OWN pointless Fan Fiction, that's really all I got time for today.  I'll have the RAW Recap tomorrow, and then we'll see how the rest of the week pans out.  With Thanksgiving, we'll be shuffling things around a bit, but I think I can promise you that even if we take a day off, OO will be making it up to you by serving up a Very Special Bonus Feature at some point the next few days.  Brad Smoley has been photoshopping his ass off, and you, the Home Viewers, will be the real winners.
    And although Brad will see nary a nickle of it: you can make sure your appreciation for OO and its Holiday Features is duly noted if you do your civic duty and Donate to the OO Pledge Drive.  Seriously; we're more than halfway done with the pledge drive, and it'd sure be nice to see a little if we saw a little Late Rallying to get us up to past years' participation levels! 
    Later on, kids....

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28



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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