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RAW's Road to WM, Crazy SD! House
Show, Legends Ahoy, and LOTS MORE!
March 21, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I usually get a huge kick out of those Comedy Central Roasts of famous comedians... but not unsurprisingly, last night's new one -- of noted hack Jeff Foxworthy -- is the first one I've ever seen that I just didn't get.
I once saw an episode of Foxworthy's "Blue Collar" TV skit show, so I knew not to expect a lot out of a couple of his even-bigger-hack friends. That Ron White guy was actually quite funny, though, and I'm not sure where I've seen him before, but I know it WASN'T on Foxworthy's TV show, so I'm not clear on why he seemed to buddy-buddy with

Captain Redneck... other than that, Nick DiPaolo was predictably hilarious, and reminded me that there was at least one reason why I was mildly disappointed about the cancellation of "Tough Crowd." And besides that? I'm kinda blanking on anything laugh-out-loud funny.

Not only was Foxworthy's re-roast at the end of the show mega-lame, but somebody HAS to explain to me about the George Bush impersonator. Was I supposed to recognize the performer, cuz it sure seemed like he was getting RIDICULOUS reactions from the crowd for not actually being funny at all. He was basically doing Will Ferrell's "W" impersonation, plus looking-a-bit-more-like-Bush, but minus any actual jokes. And yet, everybody was cracking up? What was I missing? Was the impersonator some beloved member of Foxworthy's extended redneck family, and thus the preferential treatment from the audience? Or is Foxworthy's audience as simple-witted as he is? 

Bleargh... I will say this, though. As I was doing some Sunday evening TV viewing, I also checked out my recording of SNL, and heavens-to-betsy, there were not one, but TWO laugh out loud moments. That's more than there's been all season. The one that goosed the mightiest guffaw out of me was the tagline to the Federline Underwear Ad ("Federline: Man-Panties for Wiggers"; HA!)... but Zell Miller's appearance was a jim-dandy, too. If only he wasn't retired and I was legally able to cast absentee ballots in Georgia, I'd do anything I could to keep that straight-shooting coot in the public eye. But for now, I'll take the SNL impersonation that includes such gems as ranting against steroids in baseball and declarations that "In my day, Mordecai Three-Finger Brown had nothing to numb the pain but a handle of whiskey and good ol' fashioned opium." Ahhh... it's funny because it's true.

Alright. You know what else last night was for me, TV-viewing-wise? The one year anniversary of watching the spectacle of Randy Orton drinking a Corona with Lime! I would just like to point out, in case you don't click the link to relive that magical moment with me, that it was also one year ago today that I beat the entire internet to the punch by six months, and became a Batista fan, when I wrote: "Batista?  He drinks Heineken.  Even with his glossy metrosexual sheen, Batista suddenly seems a little bit cooler to me... a little bit less the bitch of Evolution...." Chalk another one up for my Preternatural Knack for Extrapolating the True Nature of a Person Based on Flimsy Evidence and Minor Character Quirks!
And man, has it really been a year already? How the time flies... 

Unless you're enduring a lengthy pre-ramble, in which case, the passage of time is, I'm sure subjectively much slower for you. Sorry. Here's some wrestling:

  • Tonight's RAW doesn't quite have the same sizzle on it that I thought it could have, as the counter-point to and concluding chapter of "Pick Your Poison."
    Not disputing the inherent value of making sure fans view Kane -- despite being the "odd man out" in a ladder match setting -- as a legit main even tthreat heading into WM21... but his spot tonight as the opposition for Batista in Triple H's "Pick Your Poison" match was predicated on the laziest and least compelling storytelling that took place on all of last week's otherwise-stellar RAW. Resurrecting the dead-and-buried Kane/Snitsky feud (and all the silly Lita drama that goes with that) to provide the flimsiest of pretext for Kane doing a run-in on a Batista/Snitsky match that (a) was an undeserving main event, and (b) had nothing to do with Kane at all... that just chapped my hide a bit.
    But I've already talked about that, and at length.
    The upshot is that tonight, HHH has decided to metaphorically pluck Kane out of his proverbial ass, and throw him at Batista. RAW's two signature Hosses have crossed paths before, and to some extent, the unfinished Slobberknockery between them will make for a bit of excitement, I'm sure. Problem is that by going the power/brawling route, you're not going to let Batista show us anything he hasn't already... and heading into his first PPV main event, I remain of the opinion that giving Batista the opportunity (i.e. the RIGHT OPPONENT) to show fans that he can carry the in-ring load and deliver a match worth your money is what WWE should have done. I don't think Batista vs. Kane is the kind of match that can last much longer than 8 or 10 minutes and be all that exciting... compounding things is that the psychology/chemistry of the match is gonna be off-kilter, since putting Batista in the ring against a fellow babyface without FIRST setting up some storyline reason for them to be prickly towards each other (which was the genius of my Benoit Booking last week) means fans won't be as into the match as they could be. Just another way WWE's doing Batista no favors here tonight, just 13 days before WM21.
    Of course, the possibilities abound that you could actually start planting seeds for a Kane re-heel-turn or something along the way tonight. If WWE plans on using the "Money in the Bank" match to establish Kane as a contender to Batista, then obviously, there are storyline opportunities tonight. We'll have to see how it goes, but hopefully, before Batista and Kane do battle, we'll get some combination of Batista/Kane segments (or possibly even Kane/Evolution segments) that give us a little context for the match.
    For his part, Triple H will probably be content tonight to do just that kind of puppet-mastering... he's got no need to wrestle tonight, he should just sit back and enjoy the show, and enjoy pressing some buttons to make sure Batista is as softened up as possible heading into WM. Last week, they kind of started what I hope becomes a little story thread: Evolution and Snitsky worked over Batista's knee. If HHH can somehow orchestrate (even just subtly reminding Kane of the injury) a continued assault on Batista's knee, it creates a little piece of psychology that HHH and Batista can weave into their match at WM21.
    The only other option I can think of for HHH would be if they wanted to "blow-off" the silly little angle he's got with Hurricane and Rosey: getting it out of the way before WM might mean doing a tag match tonight, since you won't want to divert attention away from HHH vs. Batista next Monday... but honestly, I wouldn't waste the time: much like HHH's win over Benoit was presented in as impact-reducing a way possible so as to ensure HHH gained nothing from it, beating Hurricane and Rosey at this point would ALSO do nothing for HHH, except eat up valuable TV time that could be spent on someone/something else.
    On the second line, obviously you've got the Six Man Ladder Match. This week, Kane's the one pre-occupied with other business, while Benoit can interject himself into the mix a bit more. Some combination of Benoit, Jericho, Edge, Shelton, and Christian will no doubt carry a heavy load tonight, both in terms of enhancing the five-way storytelling, but also in terms of delivering at least one 15-minute "anchor" match (since the Batista/Kane match won't really fill that bill, despite main event status). After last week, Edge vs. Jericho seems the hottest little sub-plot, except that those two already wrestled just 2 weeks ago... and though it was a semi-disappointing affair and both guys might like a re-do, I'm naively hoping that WWE had this little story arc pre-plotted in a way to avoid doing re-runs. Actually, this week, Jericho/Shelton vs. Edge/Christian would be a nice little follow-up. 
    Not sure where that leaves Benoit, but that's WWE's own fault. By all logic, Benoit should have been the one pissed at Evolution at the end of RAW last week, and the run-in should have been his (not Kane's, who had absolutely ZERO reason to care about the match)... and if WWE is so intent on making sure that nobody remembers that Benoit got screwed in the match against HHH, I'm not exactly holding out a lot of faith that they'll come up with the best way to keep him in the spotlight here tonight. Jericho/Shelton vs. Edge/Christian just makes a lot of sense, and Benoit might be the odd man out, unless he somehow gets woven in the HHH/Batista/Kane deal tonight. Which wouldn't be bad, I just don't think it's what WWE has in mind, based on the decisions they made in the main event last week...
    And RAW's only other WM21 feud is Trish Stratus vs. Christy Hemme. For all the reasons that I've already outlined (now including Trish's very sincere promise-to-deliver-the-goods on last week's Byte This), I have reason to suspect we'll get ourselves a surprisingly amusing Sports Entertainment Segment at Mania... but the road getting there remains one that I'm not convinced WWE's gonna navigate in the best possible way. Or at least, not the best way for my tastes. Then again, I'm the one who thinks that when Spaz and Lita kick Helpful William Regal in the balls and then just laugh about it, it makes them vile wenches; and that when Trish talks about the women's title meaning way more than naked-posing, it makes my erection of the brain throb even harder. Another thing that I *know* is coming in the next two weeks that I'm quite confident will piss me off: Christy will wrestle a pre-WM21 tune-up match against Molly and win. I think this is actually a misstep, and it's something TNA would do (actually DID do, with that Elderly Shirtless NASCAR Announcer before his first PPV match)... don't try to raise fans' expectations of Christy. It's not like she'll have the tools available in a match against Molly to impress us THAT much, anyway. Better for everybody to be pleasantly surprised at WM21, when Spaz reveals she can hold her own against Trish, than to try to convince us BEFORE the PPV that Spaz is a Fully Legitimate Wrestling Threat. It's actually kind of an insult to the trained women wrestlers, and also to the fans. Spaz needs to be a SHOCKING REVELATION at WM21, not a girl going into a title match on a one-match winning streak. 
    [Not that you care, but: if you did do a Spaz/Molly match before WM21, the way to tell the story is to have Spaz LOSE. It underscores just how difficult a task she undertook to try to train in under 2 months, it sets up Trish to REALLY go over the top with her cockiness, which -- if WWE so desires -- would actually make a shocking upset win by Spaz at WM21 all the more compelling and satisfying for Spaz's fans. Plus, then you could have Molly showing up on RAW, boasting that she holds a win over the new champ, and use Molly as part of the storyline as Trish also angles for her own rematch. Spaz, the fluke women's champ under fire from every direction, and almost certain to crack under the pressure, except that she doesn't! Trish, caught off-guard and having taken Spaz lightly, regrouping with nothing less than the Lecterization of Spaz as her goal.  Molly, getting under Trish's skin by taunting her about how *she* beat Spaz, but Trish couldn't! Lita, waiting in the wings and almost certainly with title aspirations of her own come this summer! OMG~! A women's division with more than 2 wrestlers involved in storylines~! Four women, lots of animosity, plenty of drama, and just one precious title belt. Bring back Gail Kim as Molly's henchwoman and then turn her face, then repackage Victoria as the crazy heel she was meant to be, make sure to cycle in a few men here and there for added drama and mixed tag matches, and I bet I could tell one whole year's worth of women's division storylines that even YOU would be interested in. You don't need fricking Hugh Hefner and curiously-unhot, glammed-up bOObery to make this division viable, dammit. Somebody, just fucking give me The Book, already.]
    I'm of the mind that RAW needs one more match for WM21, and would most prefer it if William Regal and Tajiri got to defend the tag titles on PPV. But as absolutely great as they are (two of my personal favorites), we're at a point where the available competition is so dreadful -- and the time to build up someone deserving is so limited -- that even I can't defend putting them on the PPV card. It remains much more likely that we'll see Muhammad Hassan continue his bitchfest about not being on the WM21 card... only to get booked onto the WM21 card. Where many folks still believe he'll be pitted against Hulk Hogan in a Special Attraction Match.  Again, if this is the plan, I am of the opinion that it is best if they build up to that match pro-actively, and have Hassan actually CALL OUT Hogan. Rather than have it be some deus ex machina, Act of Bischoff, or other non-sensical surprise on April 3. But we'll see...
    After the RAW-only stuff for Mania, there are also the 2 big cross-brand matches. The one we care about, and the one we don't.
    In terms of Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle, I'm still not sure that Michaels has contributed positively to the feud... or at least, not as much as Angle has. Angle's had the best promos, he's won more of the brawls, and over on SD!, he's in the middle of his "duplicating everything Shawn did in his whole career" shtick, which is cool. Meantime, Michaels has mostly stuck to standard fare in talking about the match: being the Show Stopper, showing off on the Biggest Stage of All, and so forth. And then, in the middle of all that, he's pausing to do a Rockers Reunion, and not really doing much to sell the WM21 match with Angle. I'll say the exact same thing I said last week in this spot: here's hoping tonight's the night that Michaels brings a little something to the table and matches Kurt in terms of making me REALLY want to see this match.
    And then there's Randy Orton vs. the Undertaker. It might be the match and the "feud" (but that's WAY to strong a word, considering how half-assed the storyline here was) that put Orton back where he belongs on the heel side of the roster... but it's still also nothing that I'm particularly fired up to see. Trying to project out an interested subplot, the best I can do involves the relationship between Orton and Bischoff: Bischoff (both on RAW and during his SD! guest appearance last week), made a big deal out of Orton beating Taker so that RAW can go 2-0 versus SD! at WM21... but assuming (as I think is safe to do) that Orton gets decimated by Taker at the PPV, Bischoff won't be too happy with Young Randall. Throw in that RKO from a few weeks ago, and Bischoff might even be downright salty. I think that sets up the means for Orton to get dished over to SD! in the anticipated post-WM lottery/trade season: he's banished from RAW by Bischoff, and walks into a hornet's nest on SD! where he's gotta deal with the Undertaker every damned week after having run his mouth. One might also cheer for him to take Stacy with him to SD!; maybe RAW could get Michelle McCool in exchange, in accordance with Newton's Third Law of Diva Conservation? It ain't great, but it'd be something.  Perhaps something to keep a eye on tonight, as they try to find some way to further Orton's angle without Taker being there in the flesh... 
    So there you go: two weeks till Mania, and RAW's got plenty to occupy itself. Three brand-only matches (one of them involving six guys), one POSSIBLE Special Attraction RAW match, and two cross-brand matches... if it's me, that's where I keep the focus tonight, and don't mess around with too much chicanery that won't have any payoff at WM21. Sorry Regal and Tajiri: you get dicked over again, I guess. I ain't happy about it, but as Mr. Spock once said: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
    As always, whether RAW adequately addresses our needs or not, the OO RAW Recap *will* scratch you where you itch come tomorrow. The finest recap in all the land, will detail matches and happenings for those of you who miss the show, and will provide an insightful (and often SHOW-IMPROVING) slant on those happenings for those of you who saw the show but crave more. So come on back for that.
  • Some semi-surprising Hogan news over the weekend... WWE has announced that he'll be inducted into the Hall of Fame by Sylvester Stallone.
    Color me... not impressed. And maybe even vaguely-insulted on behalf of a few other guys.
    The connection here is that Stallone "discovered" Hogan back in 1981, when he was getting ready to film "Rocky III." When the movie was released in 1983, it catapulted Hogan to nominal semi-stardom (perhaps it'd be best categorized as "National Awareness," even if it wasn't quite bona fide celebrity). Vince McMahon saw dollar signs in Hogan, plucked him away from the utterly-clueless Verne Gagne, and then turned Hogan (and the WWF) into household names.
    To me, while you can't ignore Sly's importance to Hogan's career, I really don't see Stallone as being qualified to give this kind of speech. You want somebody from "Rocky III" who might understand a little bit about what Hogan meant to the business? I'm gonna stump, once again, for Mr. T, dammit! I just don't see Stallone as being equipped to discuss the things wrestling fans are gonna want to hear about when they see Hogan inducted into the Hall of Fame. Or, if Stallone is handed a "good script," I don't see them buying those words coming out of his mouth. This reeks of a joint publicity stunt (WWE gets to say "Hey, look: a guy who hasn't made a successful movie in 12 years!" and Sly gets to say "Hey, watch my crap-ass new reality show, since I've decided to just give up on film!"), and not something that will genuinely add to the specialness of the Hall of Fame event.
    I honestly think that the guy best-suited for inducting Hogan would be none-other-than Vince McMahon. Without Hogan, McMahon's company would have crumbled to nothing by the mid-80s, and it was the creative synergy between Vince and Hogan that allowed for wrestling (not just the WWF) to explode the way it did. Nobody was more important to Hogan's career than Vince (and that includes Sly), and nobody was more important to Vince's company than Hogan. That kind of mutual co-dependence is rare, and it makes Vince the guy who SHOULD be inducted Hogan. Instead, maybe Vince is a bit self-conscious about appearing on TV while still rehabbing from injuries? And we get the publicity stunt instead? I dunno... or maybe Vince just wanted one "Rocky" to be present at WM weekend, even if it's not the one fans really care about?
    There are other guys also more appropriate to induct Hogan, guys who were WAY more instrumental to his wrestling career than Stallone. But two of them, well, two of them are getting inducted on the same night, so I guess that kind of eliminates Piper and Orndorff from sharing their thoughts on how Hulkamania came to be, eh? Jimmy Hart'd have some insights on that front, too, but he's also on the inductee list. So I guess maybe I'll just shut up and be glad that Brutus Beefcake isn't being dragged out of mothballs to collect a check by once again riding Hogan's coattails....
  • Based on last week's performance, Marty Jannetty has, indeed, been signed to a WWE contract. Huh. No word on terms, but with Jannetty likely to have received the E's standard low-end deal, it's probably one that rolls over every 90 days, giving WWE the option to renew or ditch you. So who knows? This could just be Jannetty popping in for 3 months... or he might still be around in a year.
    The talk now is that Jannetty shows up on RAW. Possibly even tonight. Some are saying WWE has tentative plans to put the Rockers back together after WM21 to help rebuild RAW's shitty tag division... but man alive, without a SERIOUS make-over, a "Rockers Reunion" was something that played well for one night, but might not play in the long terms. I mean, I'm talking new entrance music, no 1989 fringy tassle thingies, and a non-caffeinated personality for Jannetty (who can't just be the standard 80s pretty boy enthusiastic babyface at his age, and in the Year of Our Lord 2005). They'd basically be "The Rockers" in name only, but would really be "Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty: Two Essentially Normal Guys Living In The Present, Who Happen to Be Really Good At Tag Team Wrestling."
    I hope that makes sense... cuz I honestly can't see the Rockers, as presented in nostaligia form, really being of value to RAW. But I can definitely see the value of using Jannetty and his years of goodwill built up with fans to try to aid the tag division.
    The alternative, in my mind, would be to follow up on that little notion I mentioned last week: that Jannetty could turn heel on Shawn. This is actually the thing I'd rather see, since you could help out the RAW tag division by using Jannetty's presence to create TWO different teams. You could set this up by Jannetty inviting HIMSELF to RAW tonight, and Shawn clearly humoring him, but not really interested in a full-time Rockers Reunion. Maybe they do one more tag match before WM21... but after Mania, Shawn's desire to live in the present and not rehash the past means he kinda tells Marty to cool his jets. And so Marty snaps. If a plate-glass window can be conveniently located nearby when he does, all the better. I'd love to see Jannetty then go out and declare that HE carried the Rockers, and he can find a partner, and prove it. I think a guy like Maven could be a nice fit with Jannetty, and they do kind of a "Mirror Rockers" gimmick (getting booed to high heaven for doing all the cheesy-ass enthusiastic 80s style babyface crap; kind of like the "New Rockers" tried to do, but done with the clear-cut message that Jannetty and Maven are TAUNTING THE FANS and MOCKING THE PAST by acting like tools, and not deluded old men). Then Michaels finds a partner (if we could somehow get his real-life protege Paul London over from SD!, how cool a fit would that be? except that London needs to stick in the CW Division, probably; sadly, the only other HBK protege on the WWE roster right now is Garrison Cade, who I'm not sanguine about), and the feud is on... don't know how long it'd last, since Michaels is really just not a full time tag team guy, but Jannetty and his partner could be the heel team the division really needs right now, as La Resistance continues to be way over-extended...
    In any case, at age 44 (I think), Marty Jannetty is back in the fold. I'm not gonna say that I'm super-enthused, when there are guys already on the roster who might deserve some exposure... but I also can't deny that he EARNED his way back last week with his performances, and if his spot on the roster is to ultimately help those younger guys get their due exposure, then I'm totally fine with this.
  • Some really wacky news out of a tiny SD! brand house show in Mississippi on Sunday... after the full compliment of about 2 dozen wrestlers and 4 divas worked a show Saturday in Knoxville, TN (where once I was a HUGE RADIO STAR~!), Sunday's show featured only 6 (SIX!) SmackDown! stars.
    They got a little assist from developmental talents Joey Matthews and Johnny Nitro (and their valet, former RAW Diva Melina, who also had to handle all t-shirt gun duties and other fluffery for the night).
    But other than that, SIX guys carried the load for the entire show. The only reason circulating at this point is that there were mysterious travel problems (note, weather was not an issue, as far as I know), but this almost seems fishy... because the six guys who made it, they're six of SD!'s seven key performers. JBL, John Cena, Kurt Angle, Big Show, Eddie Guerrero, and Booker T carried the show.
    If you had to pick six guys to go to war with, those are probably the six SD! would pick, which strikes me as a mighty happy coincidence. The only other major SD! star missing was Undertaker, but he was off the road for the weekend, so he wasn't scheduled for the show to begin with. Of the guys who DID make the Knoxville show and who missed the Mississippi show, about the only one who is in SD!'s upper tier of stars is Rey Mysterio. Again: no idea how this all worked out, but it sure seems like SD! got damned lucky that the six guys that didn't have "Travel Problems" are also their top six guys. 
    Very weird, and if we don't have an update on what would cause upwards of 15 stars to all miss a show on Wednesday, I'll be shocked. At the very least, somebody (or several somebodies) must be in dire need of a refresher class on Map Reading... we'll see.
    Anyway, the six-man show started with Big Show squashing the developmental guys, and then it turned into a tournament for a shot at the WWE Title; because it was a five-man tourney, I can't quite make out how the bracketing worked, but basically, John Cena won, had a brief Title Match with JBL (which was said to be a total clusterfrick of disjointed brawling) that ended in a DQ, due to interference from Kurt Angle. So then Big Show came out, and they ended the show with a tag match.
    The final tally: John Cena wrestled 4 matches (2 tourney, title match, tag match), Big Show wrestled 3, and the other four guys all wrestled twice. That's what I call putting the company on your shoulders and DRAGGING them to the goal line.
  • Word on the street is that WWE is gonna keep trying to distract us with Smoke and Mirrors as we ramble towards WM21... that means dragging out more "legends" to create the sense that this time of year is really special. 
    I put "legends" in quotes because I'm not positive, but some are saying that Terry "The Warlord" Szopiniski is one on the docket to appear in the next week or two. Warlord was a poster boy for steroid abuse, and was quietly phased out of the WWF back in 1991, when they had to start cleaning up their act for the benefit of federal investigators. Then, if I recall correctly, he was actually busted on drug charges during the mid-90s, making the WWF's decision look quite prescient...
    As I'm wracking my brain, trying to come up with even the flimsiest justification for Warlord to get a call-back at this point, the only thing that occurs to me is actually making me Vomit in Horror...
    Cuz I actually watched "Heat" last night, and Noted Toolbox Chris Masters cut a flaccid, generic promo about his mighty finishing hold: the Full Nelson. Except to underscore just how craptacular it is, he kept pushing it as "The Masterlock" and that it's an unbreakable hold, and he issued and open challenge to the entire locker room to prove him wrong. Some jobber came out and managed to last 90 seconds without being permanently disfigured, but also couldn't escape the Thrilling Full Nelson of Extreme Awesomeness. Wheee.
    And you know what Warlord's finishing move was? The Full Nelson. And I *think* he even did the same "Greatest and Most Unbreakable Full Nelson In History" shtick.  Please, folks, forgive me for bringing it up! And I honestly hope that I am wrong! But the pieces, they sure do seem to fit, don't they?
    Christ WWE, this clock-rolling-back has gotta stop SOMEtime, doesn't it? At least limit yourself to ripping off the GOOD shit from the 80s. Cuz as I recall, even at age 11 or 12, I could barely bring myself to care about Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules in the Battle of the Full Nelsons.
    Pleaseletmebewrong, pleaseletmebewrong, pleaseletmebewrong... hey, maybe instead of the Full Nelson crap, and coming up with horseshit reasons to put Chris Masters on TV before he's ready for the spot, maybe Warlord's coming back in his "Powers of Pain" motif, perhaps to be the heel counter point to Tag Team Wrestler Marty Jannetty? And if so, can someone please fetch Mr. Fuji?!? 
  • Last thing for today, I just want to bring everybody's attention to an hilarious e-mail I received. 
    I'm not exactly shy about my tastes and tendencies, and at this point, I suspect you all know either are of the same basic mind as me, or you endure my little quirks without feeling the need to write and complain about them as if you're telling me something I don't already know about myself.
    My point: I've been joking the last few weeks about how I'm probably more fired up about the ECW Reunion PPV than I am about just about any other wrestling event that'll take place between now and then (WM21 excepted), despite the fact that I'm getting fired up over a long dead company. During the same stretch, I've continued to make my observations about TNA's various shortcomings, and offered my suggestions on how this still-alive company needs to improve before they can really compete with WWE.
    And despite my upfront honesty with regards to my feelings about the two groups, I get this deliciously stupid e-mail over the weekend:
    "ECW is dead.  Who gives a flying FUCK about Justin Credible returning.  Even when he was in ECW, I did not want to see him.  ECW is garbage.  IT DEAD! 
    By the Way, TNA is approaching it's third year of existing.   Well, it seems someone like the cheesy music and lasor lights.  You are a DOUCHE!"

    And we have a winner. I actually love contrary feedback; it helps keep me honest. But I prefer it if the contrary feedback shows some semblance of a grasp on what it's being contrary about. I've granted, all along, that ECW is dead, and that even if I'm not included in the demographic, there ARE fans out there for TNA. This guy writes in and thinks he's adding to my knowledge by telling me what I've publicly stated all along. What a chode.
    But for the record: even if I self-deprecatingly mention how I'm getting my panties bunched for a long-dead company's PPV return, and stuff, I'll make this simple statement:
    ECW's June PPV will, despite the company being "dead," generate at least triple the buys as ANY of TNA's full-length monthly PPVs. And it'll probably do more than that. In fact, depending on if they do a good job with the promotion of the show, it wouldn't shock me if the ECW PPV drew roughly as many buys as some of WWE's own lower-end PPV events. Of course, that's a big "if," as WWE is not well known for promoting anything that they insecurely think undermines their own brand....
    Bottom line: I try to apologize for my ECW-loving and TNA-hating just to make sure I don't step on too many toes... but I can't apologize for also being undeniably in the majority: ask an average wrestling fan what they'd rather see -- an ECW PPV or a TNA PPV -- and I think that Johnny Douchecaller would be rather upset to realize that it's AT LEAST 3-to-1 in favor of ECW.
    Just a little "how not to" lesson when it comes to E-mailing The Rick. Writing in to talk about something I already know some people don't like but that I'm also indisputably correct about and try my best to be apologetic about (all without adding a single relevant or realistic insight)... that's just a recipe for me laughing my ass off and wanting to print your e-mail in public. 
    Sorry to crush your hopes, though: but we'll find out in June that a dead brand still has more fan appeal than TNA. If not, I will, as is my wont, eat a bug. Thanks for writing in to play Who's The Biggest Misguided Loser In My In-Box Today?, Jeff Jarrett!
  • That's it. Mocking readers means that I'm out of material and also on tilt. Deep breath, a fond farewell to the rest of you, best wishes for tonight's The Week's Greatest Night of TV to be a good one for you, and I'll be back at you again with the week's Greatest TV Recap tomorrow. See you then...

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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