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RAW, Ratings, Macho's Madness Screws
TNA, Plus WOW/Diva Ranting and MORE!
December 8, 2004

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Remember Monday when I talked about my brother's Network Television Debut? 
Well, in An Hilarious Turn of Events, it didn't even air in its entirety here in Dayton, OH! I'd been all discombobulated going back to the weekend, when I kept telling friends "See you Wednesday night for the next Dayton Flyers game," but it turned out I realized yesterday afternoon that the game I was speaking of was on TUESDAY night. And further: it was being

broadcast by our local CBS Affiliate! The Power Of The Big Brother shall not be denied: not only did I arrange for the Flyers to score their second win of the season in front of a raucous UD Arena crowd (inching towards .500, baby!), but I also utilized my Jedi Mind Powers to cause the game to become close in the final five minutes so that there'd be lots of free throws and time outs!  And so "Judging Amy" (written by and guest starring Hollywood Stephen Scaia) was joined in progress like 20 minutes late!

YES! Sure, everywhere else in the Union, I'm no longer the Greatest and Most Famous Scaia, but I have protected my reputation here, where it matters, in the comfortable bubble that is Dayton!  I'm such a dick!

Although, even just 15 miles south of here where my mom lives, they actually get the Cincinnati CBS affiliate on their cable system, and were able to enjoy the whole show. So maybe my bubble is a bit smaller than I thought. That's OK. I'm not really much of a Suburbs Kind of Guy, anyway...

I'm a running-short-on-time-and-wanting-to-get-this-over-with Kind of Guy, though. So let's hit it, shall we?

  • Obviously, we must speak of Monday Night's RAW a bit more... because although I think I made my case pretty clearly (there was bad and there was good; maybe more bad than good, but the good ended the show, so I wound up not TOO pissed off), I got e-mails that crunched the numbers a bit differently, which is becoming a more and more common thing.
    I mean, it used to be there was some level of consensus after a wrestling show. I mean, fringe elements aside, I'd check e-mail and it'd be a good 85% leaning either towards "mostly good" or towards "mostly bad." Lately, it's not just closer to a 50/50 split, but it's a VEHEMENT 50/50 split.
    In the last 24 hours, I've had people (even OO's Very Own PyroFalkon) asking why I didn't tear Monday's RAW to shreds like I did the one the week before, people who thought maybe I was too kind. [I say they're wrong, because unlike last week, Monday featured a pretty solid 2nd hour with BIG plusses in the forms of Edge/Orton, Batista's development, and the women's match. I also say they're wrong because one of those big-ass No Conscience Recaps takes WAY too long to write, and you folks didn't donate enough money to make that worth my while every Tuesday!] 
    In the same period of time, I've had people tell me that I'm thinking too hard, and if I just relax and enjoy the show, I wouldn't care so much about Vince McMahon's arbitrary rulings and stuff like that. [These people are also so very, very wrong, because they make the mistake of embracing mediocrity and expecting that everyone else should, too; listen, this is NOT just me upset about these elements... did you HEAR THE CROWD on Monday? They booed the shit out of Triple H losing the title. Not out of love for HHH, but out of hatred for the shitty way WWE went about doing it. Plain and simple; if it was just me over-reacting, fine, tell me to relax. But do you really think it's your place to tell the Vocal Majority of Wrestling Fans to "sit back and enjoy whatever WWE does"? Because if you do, I hope your last name is McMahon...]
    It's crazy, and I think it's all a by-product of a suddenly inconsistent on-screen product. It's not like I'm demanding a TV show where every fan should be able to exactly predict what's gonna happen... but I think that you DO want a show where there is a sort of "Viewer Expectation Level."  I'm talking about a week-to-week consistency where fans can come in and know that what happens this week will, at least, follow logically from last week. And RAW's not had that since the summer (when, for as dumb and misguided as it was, they actually seemed to Have A Plan for Randy Orton). Which has created this feeling of going into each Monday night not knowing what will show up on our screens. A few times, we've been pleasantly surprised by a one-week return of Dr. Jeckyl; but a lot of times, it's been a soul-crushing appearance by Mr. Hyde. Clearly, fans aren't all on the same page, and it's because RAW isn't on the same page from week-to-week (and sometimes, ESPECIALLY during the continuity nightmare that was RAW is ORTON, not even on the same page from segment-to-segment).
    So some weeks, you'll hit a jackpot with Fan Segment Delta, but alienate Fan Segments Alpha and Beta, while Fan Segment Tango couldn't really care either way. The next week, you'll shuffle those segments around again, usually satisfying SOME, but never satisfying all.  
    I bet this sounds like some made up theoretical thing to some of you: but the real world symptom is plain for all to see...  the live crowd reactions. Randy Orton is obviously the Poster Boy for this, but mixed reactions where WWE has invested a lot of time and energy to create a consensus babyface are all the proof you need that the RAW creative team has a lack of focus, and has failed at some very basic level to compel all fans (or at least, a majority of fans) to be on the same page.  Recent fan mutinies with regards to Batista, and the fact that even the Canadian Chrisses are not immune to smatterings of boos depending on what town they're in and who they're facing shows that WWE's randomized storytelling of this autumn has created (or exacerbated) a very segmented audience in which it's harder than ever to create a show, much less individual characters, that everybody will like.
    I'll talk more about this later, since it'll tie into a little Orton/Batista thing that I want to do (probably Friday, since I'm rushed today), not to mention being a huge tentpole of my envisioned Year End State of the Union Column...  but in short: this is not a problem that'll just go away next week.  It'll take a good 4-6 weeks of careful planning to chip away, and get fans trusting that what happens this week will follow logically from what happened last week, and to start "reacting like they're supposed to." And hey! Once you have a product so well-crafted and compelling that your existing fans are responding to it, en masse, that is when you might have a product good enough that it'd rope in new fans!  Or at least, some of your old fans!  See how it all ties together!  I hope the fact that it's kind of a difficult/longer-term project doesn't mean it's something WWE will be too lazy to try....
    Getting back to a few more of the specifics about Monday's RAW...
    Obviously, Problem #1 is that I do not like Vince McMahon appearing as the World's Laziest Plot Contrivance, to just introduce a lame-ass "vacant title" story. I remain adamant that this is not a place WWE should even WANT to be; we've had our share of random/uncompelling Title Feuds this year. Kane and Randy Orton both won title shots in battle royales, which struck me as pure laziness by the creative team to shoehorn somebody into the title picture that didn't belong there. Now, what are we looking at next week? Bischoff can go one of two ways: (1) he can keep it simple and have this be a three-way deal between HHH, Benoit, and Edge, which although sensible, would also be underwhelming now that they've had Vince come out and make a big fat hairy deal out of the Vacant Title. Or (2) he can do essentially a total re-set, which might fit since he's not gonna want to make things easy for HHH, and might freshen up the main event picture, but which also flies in the face of the VERY PLOT CONTRIVANCE USED TO CREATE THE VACANT TITLE. Remember: Vince stuck his nose in here and started all this crap because he "can't have Steven Richards as his World Champion." So if Bischoff really shakes things up with something like a 16-man tourney, or a battle royale, or whatever, shouldn't Vince show up and say, "Ummm, no. I said no Stevie Richards. In fact, I'm even saying no Jericho."? It's really frustrating to think that the "more interesting" option is one that simply SHOULD NOT be allowed to happen according to current WWE storylines....
    And Problem #2 on Monday: well, I just made the off-hand joke 4 lines ago... it's the fact that Chris Jericho basically endured a Public Castration of his character. Even just doing a few simple little things could have helped him save face. But none of them were done, and the end result is that Jericho -- who had every right to bat "clean-up" for the Guest GMs -- wound up weakly delivering only the third best of the Guest GM shows.
    For one: Jericho should NOT have asked Vince to come on out and make a decision about the World Title.  Jericho should have been cocky, Jericho should have been IN CHARGE~!  Jericho should have been in the process of putting himself into a World Title Match (maybe one-on-one against HHH, maybe make it a four-way main event). And then, and ONLY THEN, if you're intent on stinking up the joint, that's when Vince McMahon appears, uninvited. And THAT is when Vince makes his dumb little ruling, overriding the Guest GM and forcing his unbidden decision upon us. Which leads directly to a second thing you should have done: instead of having Jericho slip backstage to host limbo contests, book matches for Simon Dean, and sip drinks with umbrellas in them, you should have let Jericho express at least SOME amount of frustration at Vince. You needed to let Jericho vent about how this was supposed to be HIS NIGHT, and now he can't even get his own World Title shot; but nope, instead they make Jericho look perfectly content to be Johnny Midcard on a night that SHOULD have been his. Can anybody defend this?  Even a little bit?  Note that I will NOT accept, "Well, WWE clearly changed gears since they came up with the Guest GM concept, so this is probably the best they could do."
    The anchor leg of the Guest GMs wasn't just awful for Jericho, it capped off a month of massive missed opportunities for WWE to tell better stories in a more focused fashion, and even missed opportunities for them to get to THIS EXACT SAME END SPOT in a MUCH more entertaining fashion. Again: this ain't just me, this is an entire audience of live fans booing HHH losing the title, people. I'm too lazy to explain them, but I'm telling you there are many more better ways to have accomplished the same things WWE wanted to accomplish.
    After those two MASSIVE problems that soured my mood for just about the entire first hour of RAW, I had other Little Problems: I am bored to tears by the Simon Dean gimmick, and seeing him wrestle his first match hurt me even more, since I remember when Mike "Nova" Bucci could be counted on non-stop action, instead of non-stop shtick that would have been bland and dated in 1986...  they missed a huge opportunity with "Captain Charisma"; I explained in the recap the brainstorm that I'd had on Monday night, and feedback to the idea since has been voluminous and positive; I think it would have been excellent for two reasons: (1) keeps Christian in the spotlight while still keeping a comedic/flukey edge to him, and (2) on a night where Jericho's balls were stolen from him, this would have given him ONE "legacy" from his night, would have given him one knife to twist in somebody, and I'd be as big a fan of continued Jericho/Christian skits as I'd be of more Jericho/Trish ones... and of course, there's nothing I can say about the limbo contest that you couldn't predict, so I just won't bother saying anything...
    But then, some good stuff...
    I'll reserve my biggest praise for Trish and Lita, who I thought brought RAW home in style, delivering the night's 4 or 5 best, most entertaining minutes at the climax of their match. I'm doubly happy with their match because it wasn't just good, but it got the crowd rocking and rolling, and it just kinda vindicates this sense that I have that WWE is so very, very dumb for making a few of their more recent talent decisions with regards to the women.  How much more promising and interesting would Lita's win be if there were chances for her to defend against Gail or Jazz while building up to a rematch with Trish, and while we rehabilitate Molly enough that she can be the next post-Trish challenger?  You won't have women headlining RAW every week, but here's your proof that it CAN be done, and done in style. And you'd have a better chance of it happening more than once every 3 years if you had a women's DIVISION, instead of what WWE's got now.  Which is 2 women wrestlers, 2 women jobbers, and then 5 or 6 pieces of eye candy.
    But again, none of my snarky theoretical bitching is what matters here and now; what matters here and now is that I'm a guy who does give a lot of weight to a main event, and in this case, I give it up to Trish and Lita for delivering a main event good enough that I could forget SOME of the transgressions of the preceding 2 hours. Good stuff.
    I also liked: Batista, who is entering his fourth or fifth month of slowly adding Normal Guy Likeability, which is perhaps not all that electrifying, but when you pile on enough of it, it does reach a critical mass and fans will latch on to it (it's notable that Batista still has no real "hook" as a babyface, which comes after him being perhaps the most painfully generic and forgettable of heel personas, but that something about the guy and the story he's in has got fans cheering for him even though he's largely still a blank slate)...  Maven's match with Eugene was fun; largely because of Maven's douchebaggery; nicely conceived little "story match," and it'll lead to EXACTLY what I was talking about for the last week (a "stacked" feud in which Maven will next have to face Regal, and will probably get a rematch against Eugene, and this thing practically writes itself, and comes down to whether or not Maven can keep bringing the assholitude)...  and Orton vs. Edge was a really fun segment; it's clear to me that Orton's at his most watchable when he's not trying to be likeable (but hell, that's been clear to me since July), and going Intensity vs. Intensity and Zinger vs. Zinger with Edge was just plain ol' good TV; it's a slippery slope though, since I think Edge was as important to Orton's success as Orton was. What do I mean? Simple: there are very few heels on the RAW roster now who are as hot as Edge, and the fact that Edge is engendering kneejerk boos for his selfish revisionist history makes it easy for Orton to seem "in the right," here. It's also funny that the isolated incident that deluded WWE into thinking Orton should turn face came against Edge, and now we're back full circle with the two aligned "correctly."  Of COURSE this should click really well...
    One last thing about RAW that I'm not sure if it was a good or a bad: Jerry Lawler.  I made a big deal in the recap out of the many ways he pissed me off during his 10 second boner-sporting after Lita's Kiss of Death on Trish; I don't take any of that back. But I got a bunch of e-mails (none of them disputed that Lawler's "woohoo'ing" and other crap after the kiss was wrong) that noted that Lawler was surprisingly good during the women's match itself.  Frankly: I didn't notice.  And for Lawler, that's a win...  for once, he must have done his job competently, cuz those folks are right... I don't remember a SINGLE MOMENT of the main event where I wanted to slap Lawler. And mostly, good commentary is forgettable commentary (it's hard to be so good you're memorable, but VERY EASY to be so bad people don't forget). So boo on Lawler for making light of the Kiss of Death, but yay to whoever coached him to keep it in his pants during the match itself. It added to the sense that this was a legit main event, and not some catfight....
    Which leaves me with just one final comment about RAW. Which is that if you want more comments about RAW and haven't read it yet, the RAW Recap remains available for your enjoyment.  Check it out.
  • For whatever it's worth, Monday's RAW did yet another 3.9 rating. That's four of those in a row, which just goes to show that whatever my grand thesis about RAW's rampant inconsistency may be, they've built up a consistently SIZED audience.
    Or at least an inconsistent mish-mash of tuner-inners and tuner-outers who somehow keep adding up to a consistent final audience.
  • I don't want to say I was waiting for this story, but.... well, I kinda was.
    In the latest panel of the hilarious comic strip that is TNA's backstage scene, Randy Savage is out of the company. Which is funny, since just days ago, Savage was booked to pin NWA Champ Jeff Jarrett on PPV, setting up a title match main event for TNA's next PPV in January.
    And it's doubly funny since Savage was booked to do so after walking out on TNA just days after their PREVIOUS PPV, but decided to come back and was still plugged immediately back into the spot as the company's top babyface.
    Much to my bemusement, there actually seem to be two versions of the story going around: one is that Macho Man Savage walked out on the company over a dispute regarding the finish of the January NWA Title Match. The other is that TNA dismissed Savage and sent him home after a dispute regarding the finish of the January NWA Title Match.
    Pardon me while I titter.
    I mean, if the second story doesn't stink of a Really Dumb, Misguided Attempt to Save Face, I don't know what does... then again, this is the company that thinks they are accomplishing anything by trying to invade a WWE commercial taping and utilizing Vince McMahon impersonators, so I'm not entirely convinced they've got their priorities straight, anyway.
    Look, I'm not defending Savage, either, he seems quite loony. Or at the very least, convinced that he's still a hip young lion in this business. Which, if you heard even one track off his "rap album," you'd know is pretty fucking funny. But at least I can see how Savage would pull a diva act and walk out on TNA if he didn't get to win the NWA Title...  it's logical.
    What's not logical is this cover story. I mean, TNA and Savage have a meeting, and at that meeting, there is a dispute over the Savage/Jarrett PPV match, and Savage says, "Alright, I disagree with you, but I'll stick around and we'll work this out," but then TNA says, "Nope, sorry Macho, you go home now, because we are the Big, Bad, Not Even Remotely Desperate Or Mismanaged TNA, and we don't need you, especially if you're going to stand there and attempt to be reasonable by working TV tapings until an amendable solution can be worked out. Get Lost!"?  Makes no fricking sense... if Savage didn't walk out of TV tapings yesterday, there's no way TNA would have sent him home.  At best, this is a "I Quit/No You're Fired" mutual parting of the ways deal... and in any case, there's more important things for TNA to worry about than saving face with some miniscule percentage of fans who want to believe in TNA.
    Perhaps that #1 Most Important Thing: figuring out what to do about January's PPV main event. Although the lesson of November (where Savage walked out, then came back) might lead us to believe we're still gonna get the Jarrett/Savage match, it might be time for TNA to look at what worked this past Sunday, and to look at a few of the ideas I put forth in Monday's column... because while there is certainly some value to using Savage to draw in a casual audience, TNA will realize no long term value from placating and centering an entire promotion on a Randy Savage who is only SLIGHTLY less-laughably-uncool than Jeff Hardy.  If Savage doesn't want to reign it in, act his age, and be a Legend, his value really approximates zero. At least in my mind.  There are ways to age gracefully, to still be a valuable performer AND a legend (Flair's run since returning to WWE is a textbook case of how to do it at the very tale end of a career; of the "younger" guys just starting to cross this bridge, I've been very pleased with the way Sting has always recognized his voluminous past while not completely writing off his future, and hell, why TNA hasn't bent over backwards to get HIM on board is beyond me), but Savage ain't doing that.
    So what do we do about January's PPV? If I'm somehow put in charge, I don't even TRY to book a replacement for Jarrett's title defense. Instead, I tell the TNA locker room: "Somebody else is gonna have to step up this next month, we'll try to tell some good stories, we'll set the PPV card, and when January 16 comes around, we'll put the match that deserves it on top. Cuz it sure as hell worked last month for AMW/XXX." Maybe it'll be some younger guys, maybe you can find a pairing for AJ Styles to get the main event, maybe you book some kind of big gimmick match that you know will blow people away. And if none of that really clicks, and you want to rely on vets: I'd honestly have no problem with asking Raven and DDP to up the ante and carry the show.  TNA has plenty of crowd pleasing options, they don't have to be married to this idea that Jarrett must defend the title against Savage or Savage's replacement in next month's main event.  [The "Kings of Wrestling" gimmick alone makes it easier to "hide" Jarrett in PPV tag matches and give him less meaningful title matches on Impact, too.]
    But then, if TNA IS intent on running an NWA Title match next month as the main event? My one observation is that they sure as shit better make it against somebody "from the inside." I know I just said I'd like to see them spending their money on Sting instead of Savage, but honestly, you want the title match to have a story and make sense, and just importing Sting, you ain't gonna have time for that.  And further, not just "from the inside," but it should be one of TNA's homegrown stars. Which, of course, almost instantly limits us.  

    I cannot tell you the many ways that "Jeff Hardy PPV Main Eventer" makes me laugh. And also to not want to tune in. I think DDP needs to stay with Raven for another month or three, cuz knowing how Raven's mind works, we've only scratched the surface there. Raven's a heel, as are Nash and Hall, so unless you do something wacky, they're out. Which really does leave us to pick from the slim selection of TNA's homegrown stars.
    Would I be wrong for suggesting that it leaves us with a choice between AJ Styles and Monty Brown?  I know if you give me that choice, it's a no brainer, and I tell AJ to get in there and kick some ass. But hell, as much as I cannot understand even the slightest fascination with Brown (seriously, he's a fun little 5 minute diversion on the lower-mid-card, but if I want intensely unintelligible promos and sloppy power wrestling, I *will* picket WWE HQ until they release "The Best of Ahmed Johnson" on DVD), I'd rather see TNA get it through their skulls to take advantage of whatever fresh, in-house talent they've got rather than constantly thinking that the solutions lie among 50-something cast-offs. I mean, would *I* buy a TNA PPV headlined by Monty Brown? Nah. But I'm probably not buying it no matter what... so why not fortify your fanbase, TNA? I have my tastes, but I'm also not blind: I think your fans would gladly accept Monty Brown as a challenger (and if he and Jarrett could improve a bit on the match they had on Impact last week, you'd also have a MATCH that they'd accept as PPV-ready), so play to that.
    It'll be interesting to see what TNA does. There have a couple alternatives that I'd find acceptable (in order: 1, Demote Jarrett from PPV Main Event, Let Some other Match/Story Shine in January; 2, AJ Styles challenges Jarrett; 3, Ahmed Johnson Jr. challenges Jarrett), but the underlying basis of all of them is: cut bait with Randy Savage.  It just doesn't seem worth it to me.
  • Many have written in saying that one of Jericho's "Limbo Assistants" is former Women of Wrestling semi-star Lana Starr. Upon pondering the issue, they are clearly right. I'm actually kinda surprised I didn't realize that myself... since Jericho actually DID call her "Lana" all night long, and I *did* kind of get into WOW's second half as a bit of a guilty pleasure.
    For the unaware: WOW ran one full season of TV shows back in 2000-2001, culminating in a PPV in late spring of 2001. Somewhere there exists a CRZ Archive of all the shows and then the PPV.  Z, as I recall, took it upon himself to champion WOW and make sure fans were all aware of the storylines, as they had been developed over 24 episodes, and then climaxing at the PPV (a few of the matches honestly did end up being quite good and dramatic).
    Now, the wiener who ran WOW is also the same genius that did GLOW back in the 80s, and did include a LOT of the same campy suck that made GLOW a travesty (although a travesty that I didn't recognize as a travesty until many years later; thinking back, I was watching GLOW when I was 11 and 12, and I can ALMOST see why there might be a market for Lingerie Fashion Shows and Limbo Contests today; mheh heh heh heh, cuz it gave me a stiffy, mheh heh heh heh).  But this time around, he also remembered to include a few talented (or trainable) wrestlers and have a handful of non-gay storylines.
    Lana Starr, I'm sad to report, was NOT one of the memorably talented wrestlers, nor was she ever able to escape the gay storylines. Lana's thing was she was the cookie-cutter-hot blonde who was a self-centered "movie star," and I think whatever passed for her main feud heading into the PPV was an incident in which one of her besmirched former assistants turned her hair green, or something.  I honestly don't remember.  Or maybe that was earlier in the season, and Lana was somehow invovled in the Hair vs. Hair match against Ice Cold by the PPV? [Actually, I think that's right, and that Lana might have somehow turned face and found humility, or something; and then the now-reformed Pretty Blonde won a match to make a psycho bitch get her head shaved.]
    But even though I don't remember exactly the caliber of Lana's charisma, it probably wasn't ever showcased properly anyway, given the caliber of storylines she was involved in. I do know that WOW had a pretty clear divide, though, between the "real wrestlers" and the "eye candy," and that Lana was ALWAYS pushed as the #1 star of the eye candy crew, so somebody must have seen something there. I wonder if WWE is seeing it now?
    Which of course motivates me to mention that I wouldn't be surprised if it did. Because a company that's making dumb decisions with regards to its own divas (firing Gail, hiring Diva Search losers) certainly shouldn't be trusted to make anything resembling wise decisions when raiding the old WOW Cupboard... I mean, there honestly were a handful of women there that I always thought had PLENTY to make it in WWE (looks, personality, in-ring skills).
    At the time, I certainly recall that "Riot" had a lot of fans, and rightfully so; I think I remember positing that the only reason she hadn't gotten a WWF job was cuz her character was a bit too close to Lita's. "Jungle Grrrl" and "Poison" (or was that "Danger"? Or maybe both?  Or neither?) are two more who seemed pretty complete performers, or who I thought improved so noticeably over the course of six months that I thought they could easily develop into WWF-ready performers.
    And of course, this is my bi-annual chance to remind everybody that I can't believe that Terri Gold never got a shot with WWE. I was a huge fan.  Her gimmick started out as this perky, almost painfully cheerful and innocent gymnast trying to give wrestling a go; and that worked cuz starting out, I'm not so sure she was comfortable behind the mic, so the "aw, shucks, give it the college try, girl next door" thing really worked for her. I'm a bit ashamed to note that I could not ignore the appeal of about 250 pounds of cute crammed into a remarkable 120 pound body, either. Just think of anything that made the original "Cousin Molly" so gosh-darned likeable, and you got Terri Gold. And it got a little better, too, since just as you might have gotten sick of the overpowering sweetness, clean-cutness, and good fortune that Terri had (she actually was the first WOW Champ), they had her lose the title late in the season. And all of a sudden, she started showing up on TV wearing leather jackets and having a personality and stuff. Still a babyface, though. But more interesting, and wanting to get her title back, and suddenly seeming capable of doing whatever it took to do so. Oh, and in the ring: I'm guessing Terri probably really was an ex-gymnast or something, cuz she was quite good. I mean, if you think Victoria's moonsault is pretty, it had nothing on Terri's. And again: she was also one of the girls who noticeably improved over time (she always had the highspots, but was clearly less confused on the basics and linking moves by the PPV, and that was WITHOUT WWE-caliber trainers).
    So there you have it: one of my random Terri Gold reminisces, this time in the form of "WWE, fer chrissakes if you're gonna hire somebody from WOW, hire her." I mean, if she's even still vaguely interested in the business, that is.  Woman's probably all settled down with a family and stuff by this point.  WOW was, what?, coming up on 4 years ago...
  • Speaking of the women, there's one final note I want to make with regards to Monday's main event...
    A number of people, including at least one Trained Wrestler, suggested that as sick as Lita's bump was, maybe I should have laid off Lita's recklessness and mentioned that Trish should have done a better job "catching" Lita.
    Huh. Didn't really think about that.
    But come to think of it, my memory is that Trish got plenty of body in the way for Lita, and it was more the awkward angle of Lita's body and her rate of descent that turned things ugly AFTER the contact.  I guess maybe if Trish could have seen that developing (probably a bit harder from her dead-on angle), she could have thrown an arm around Lita's chest or waist and helped adjust her bump, and I don't think anybody out there would be a big enough dick to have made a big deal about Trish "exposing the business" by "catching Lita." But at the same time...
    I dunno, I don't want to make this into a bigger thing than it is, but I did make the comment that I'd rather see Lita tone down the Potentially Fatal Highspots, and I've been called on it, and I kinda want to defend myself.  So really quick:

    I don't think asking Trish to put herself more in harm's way on that particular bump is the solution. Maybe it would have been the right thing to do to protect your Ring Buddy if Trish knew it was coming, but the ROOT of this problem is really that Lita scares the living shit out of me any time she tries anything much more complicated than a DDT.  Maybe she has the repetitions so I shouldn't be so concerned, but tell me her highspots don't look a little different, a little more dangerous than most. I don't think you can.
    Here's how I'd explain it: you know how gravity pulls things towards the earth at a rate of 9.8 m/s/s? Most wrestlers, they hit a high flying spot or something, and you can tell, they are working hard, but they're overcoming the 9.8 m/s/s with a little bit of safety room to spare.  Then you got a guy like Rey Mysterio, who just fucking blows my mind by somehow reducing the acceleration due to gravity down to about 5.2 m/s/s in his matches; seriously, he can hang and do things in mid-air that nobody else can.  And then at the opposite end of the spectrum from Rey? It's Lita, who just seems to be cursed with Extra Gravity in her matches; I'm talking about about 12 or 13 m/s/s worth of gravity. It makes everything she does a much closer call.  Even that spot against Trish: we've all seen Benoit "blow" that spot and not get "caught" because he's being a little reckless, but he still lands on his chest and sometimes rams his head into the ringside barrier... but Lita just had gravity working against her, and somehow she came down in heap on her face and flipped through in a painfully contorted bump.  Ouch.
    I hope you all know what I'm talking about. It's like in basketball when you got some guys who can mis-time a jump, but just hang in the air a split-second longer than people who timed their jumps properly to snare a rebound. And actually, the REAL correct analogy to draw would probably be to gymnastics, since we're talking about including all kinds of flipping and twisting at the same time as the leaping.  There's probably all kinds of Specific Gymnastics Terminology (better than "extra gravity," anyway) to describe Lita's highspots, but I'm not equipped to sling the lingo.  Maybe we'll get Erin to explain the Physics of Lita's Scariness sometime...  but till then, all I know is what I see with my eyeballs, and I'll be very happy if my eyeballs don't see Lita almost kill herself again for at least a few more Monday nights....
  • And I think that's about all I got today. 
    Well, I will tell you that I broke my New Spoiler Code Of Conduct this week (because I needed to just make sure of the Armageddon PPV line-up so I could get the trOOps ready for the Team Coverage PPV Preview), and although I still won't publish them, I'll non-spoiler-wise tell you that it looks like a good show this week.  I'm not sure it does a whole lot to make Armageddon a must-see, but there's some interesting stuff that goes down that has me thinking that SD! might be a rock-solid 2 hours of TV.  So check it out.

    And again: Team Coverage on Friday, and depending on how my time goes and depending on whether anyone surprises me with columns between now and then I might do a BONUS COLUMN too. In between now and Friday, Canadian Bulldog will rock your socks off tomorrow. So remember: stop by OO early and often!
    See you Friday, kids.....

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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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