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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
WWE Releases 17 Performers (including
Some Surprises), plus Lesnar, RAW, & MORE!
July 6, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

You know, for as much as I pride myself on these little pre-rambles and trying to give you a little slice of The Me before you selfish pricks get your Wrestling Fix, I'm gonna have to beg off today. 
 
Because this stupid column is taking up all my time and energy, dammit. It's only 2pm, and I've already had to rewrite two bullet points TWICE EACH, and it wouldn't shock me if I had to rewrite again before this thing gets published.

Please, WWE, I'm begging ya: you already know who you're releasing, so why not just make all the names public at

the same time, so that I can talk about the list as a whole? Instead of this stupid thing where I'm collating e-mails and voice-mails and comparing them against WWE.com's "official release list," and in generally driving myself insane trying to keep the rumored releases separate from the confirmed ones, all while trying to figure out WHAT IN THE BLUE FUCK WWE IS THINKING on some of these firings.

It's enough to drive a man crazy. Or at least, drive him to not have anything particularly clever or interesting to say by way of a preface. Sorry. But hey, I can pretty much promise you this will be the Greatest And Best News Update I've done in a while. WWE has sure as hell given me plenty of ammo, so sit back and enjoy:

  • So, OK, the big story of the day is that WWE has started announcing the victims of their "spring cleaning" (which is an asinine label to apply on the grounds that we're 3 weeks into summer, but that hasn't stopped some other websites from using it)... it's been known for a couple weeks that the roster cuts were coming. It was widely assumed that they'd probably be finalized at TV tapings this week. And sho 'nuff: yesterday we get a list of names.
     
    And then today, we get a few more. Then later in the day, a few more still. And just about 10 minutes ago, we got three more. The biggest problem is that the names are getting increasingly confusing... I actually went to bed last night after the initial list was confirmed thinking, "Well, maybe all those other rumored names didn't actually get released afterall; cuz I can live with this list. I'll miss Spike Dudley, but that's really about it."
     
    But now, as I (ahem) REwrite this, we're up to well over a dozen confirmed releases, with a handful more still in the "pending" pile, if rumors are to be believed.
     
    Without a doubt, the biggest shocks on the list are Bubba and D-Von Dudley. However, they are also referenced a different way than all the other releases. While WWE.com outright says the other guys have been released, WWE says they "will not pursue contract renegotiations" with Bubba and D-Von. The distinction is that they have NOT been released, and apparently will remain under contract to WWE until their current deals expire. Which I don't think is for another 2 months. Which makes glomming the Duds in with *this* announcement seem kinda weird.
     
    I don't know if WWE handled it this way because this is somehow part of a massive "work," or because they get their jollies doing slightly-off-kilter things to make us jack-offs THINK it's a "work," or just because they honestly don't intend to use Bubba and D-Von for the duration of their contracts so they figured they'd get the word out now. But it does strike me as odd.
     
    It's doubly odd that if this story is true and to be taken at face value that the Dudley's will have ended their WWE tenure essentially getting a 10 month paid vacation during which time they got to recover and get as healthy as they've been in years, just in time to be cut loose to the free agent market. I don't want to be one of those obnoxious types who sees "work the smarks" angles at every turn, but this really does have a funky smell to me. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
     
    A curiosity about the Duds: although they appear to be headed to the free agent market, I don't know about the disposition of the "Dudley" gimmick. Granted, it was created in ECW, and not in WWE... but WWE now owns all ECW assets, which MIGHT include the Dudley name/gimmick. ECW made different arrangements with different performers (e.g. Raven insisted on owning his gimmick, which is why he's been able to take it with him, but when "Sandman" went to WCW, he had to leave his name behind and become "Hardcore Hak"), and I honestly don't know (or if I did once know, I have forgotten) what deal Heyman had with Bubba and D-Von. But if the duo are not legally allowed to be "Bubba and D-Von" when performing for any televised wrestling company, that kinda reduces their free agent value, I think.
     
    This is something I"ll have to check on for you, but till I get back with you, chew on it for a bit, and see how you end up feeling about the Dudleys possibly having to find work without being "The Dudleys"....
     
    After Bubba and D-Von, the "star power" of the list takes a pretty big hit. But even if there are no huge stars, there are guys who I think were already valuable role players in WWE and who had a lot of upside and deserved better than what they got.
     
    On this portion of the list, Charlie Haas stands out to me. When he had good material to work with, Haas performed admirably (as part of the World's Greatest Tag Team); since going solo, he's had nothing but crap served to him by the creative team, and it's not his fault if he hasn't been able to connect with fans. A crappy soap opera storyline with Jackie and Dawn and a tag team with Bob Holly? Not even Steve Fucking Austin could have squeezed and lemonade out of those... intensifying my frustration over Haas' dismissal is the simple fact that a typical zoo animal could have easily seen the upside in Haas and the OBVIOUS storyline you do to give him a chance to either sink or swim: a move to RAW to either team with or feud with Shelton would have been Haas' chance to show what he can do. But he didn't get it. Because WWE is apparently being run by those possessing intelligence more on par with the multicellular parasites who live in the droppings of the zoo animals than on par with the zoo animals themselves.
     
    Matt Morgan is another guy I can't believe got axed so off-handedly. Again, if you opt to blame the gimmick, that's not Morgan's fault (although I honestly think Morgan would eventually have made a go of it, if they'd allowed him to move forward with it and morph into a babyface). But controlling what was his to control, Morgan seemed to be in possession of an awful lot of upside. His ringwork is light years ahead of most men his size, and even light years ahead of the Masterstiff, Chris Masters. And yet: gone. Odd. Because more than anything, you can't teach 7-foot-tall, and Morgan had that part down pat. In a lot of ways, MORGAN is the guy who Vince is giftwrapping for TNA, if you ask me. Because it wouldn't even be about name value (although, Morgan *can* keep his name, which is a bonus), it's about the fact that TNA is a company where they try to convince you that Abyss or Lance Hoyt (all 6'4" of them) are "big men".... but Morgan could show up (and assuming he's a bit more dedicated to the product than Kevin Nash was) and turn things upside down by being TNA's first TRUE Big Man. He's got the sweet-ass finisher, too. I could see WWE not wanting to waste their time on Charlie Haas (I don't AGREE with their decision, but knowing how they think, I can fathom that they would decide that).... but given Vince Big Man Fetish and the fact that Morgan actually seems demonstrably more talented than many in the system, this is another one that just doesn't smell right to me. I mean, you want big men, Vince? And you keep Heidenreich and Snitsky around despite their flamboyant crappiness, but tell Matt Morgan to get lost? That doesn't compute. But maybe I'm thinking too hard?
     
    Kevin "Mordecai" Fertig is gone, too, and I feel a much more-muted version of what I feel about Morgan for him. He's not quite a "big man," but he often played one on TV (since down in OVW, 6'5" is pretty ginormous); he's more a tweener, though, when on the main WWE Roster. He also never got a fair shot at the big time, and was saddled with the dumbest of gimmicks during his brief stint. Yet he also possesses in-ring competence, which if you ask me SHOULD put him ahead of Chris Masters on any depth chart. But nope.
     
    As mentioned above, Spike Dudley was actually one of the very first releases, and I'm not at all pleased about that. Going back to comments I made about Chavo Guerrero jumping to RAW being dumb, I think releasing Spike is also a bad move, just because he was a rare cruiserweight who had the ability to work as a heel. I guess perhaps this was a decision made because of the Bubba/D-Von thing, but if so, I disagree with it: because Spike showed (for 2 years, in ECW) that he could continue to be a valuable performer even without his Big Brothers working for the company. I'm really, REALLY put out about Spike being gone.
     
    And then, I guess I'm not entirely pleased that Maven was also let go. Heel Maven showed sparks of big time potential last winter, but WWE never really followed up on it. His PPV match(es) against Shelton Benjamin (where I think he lost three times in less than 20 seconds elapsed time) were a clinic in how to be a chickenshit heel, and the fans ate it up. Or at least, I did. I thought that was greatly entertaining. But again, WWE never really followed up on that, and Maven faded into the background to the point where most fans probably won't miss him. But that doesn't mean that I won't miss the upside potential he seemed to have, which should have been enough to keep his job secure ahead of those who appear to have no real redeeming qualities.
     
    Anyway, those are the seven confirmed releases that I just don't "get." I could easily come up with sevenTEEN members of the WWE roster who should have been let go before these seven, and who nobody would really have missed... but oh well: if we're not used to WWE's clueless personnel moves by now, it's our own damned fault.
     
    The other releases are a lot easier to understand and stomach....
     
    Mark Jindrak is gone. His name is only confusing because WWE actually went to the trouble of including him in the RAW/SD! trade last week. But other than that? This is a good move. Thinning the Useless Diva Herd is always a good thing, so getting rid of Pretty Mark Jindrak does not offend me one bit. I also get a kick out of the fact that this move gets rid of one of Randy Orton's few real backstage friends. Poor, poor Randy... with whom will you share Hair Product and Body Spray secrets with now, you gigantic douche?
     
    David "Gangrel" Heath and Marty Jannetty are both gone. Both were signed last spring when they made effective Guest Appearances during the Road to WM21, but then the creative team never bothered finding fulltime spots for them on the roster. No loss, if you ask me. The biggest upside to Heath was that he might bring Luna Vachon (his wife) with him and give WWE at least one more woman who could actually do something other than stand around and look vaguely-pretty, and we knew that would never be allowed to happen. And the biggest upside to Jannetty was a brief run with Shawn Michaels, but Michaels' injury screwed up the timetable on that, some legal trouble for Jannetty further muddied the waters, and now Michaels' heel turn means it won't happen at all. So I don't think we have any business really missing either guy....
     
    Billy Kidman, Akio, and Shannon Moore are gone, too. Of the three, Akio's the one I'll come closest to missing, but truthfully, because of WWE's handling of the Cruiserweight Division, I don't think any of these three will really leave a gaping hole. Cruisers aren't allowed to really develop full-formed characters or connect with fans, so these three can just be replaced by three other (possibly cheaper) talents. Kidman's dismissal is semi-interesting if only because I know WWE had kind of wanted to ditch him in the past (I don't think I'd be saying anything all that controversial if I said Kidman's pretty much an under-motivated shell of his old self these past few years), but didn't because they were concerned about how Torrie Wilson (Kidman's wife) would respond. I don't know if this means that they've reached an understanding with Torrie to keep her around, or if they've just decided that Torrie's already been naked in Playboy twice and her value to the company is used up.
     
    Jackie Gayda and Dawn Marie round out the list of releases. Jackie is Haas' wife, and also had only very limited value as a performer (her wrestling career is still defined by The Worst Match Ever, contested over 2 years ago, but still recalled by all fans who saw it; and her acting/personality? not much better going based on what we saw the last 8 months or so), so I'm neither shocked nor offended there. Dawn is an interesting case, though, since she at least had mastered the art of being the Best Useless Diva She Could Be: maybe not ring-capable, but at least energetic and personable when carted out to do stupid things (hey, maybe Dawn is what Spaz should aspire to be?)... but on the other hand, Dawn is also in her second trimester, and is gonna be a mommy. So taking bumps and being eye-candy is out for Dawn for the next several months; and then after that, there's more time when Dawn would want to put her baby ahead of her career, so WWE might have been thinking it'd be at least a year before they got Dawn back in any meaningful capacity. *If* they would get her back at all. So that's another dismissal I'm totally fine with.
     
    So that's, what?, 15 releases, right? Sixteen if you count Marc Loyd from last week.
     
    FUCK~!
     
    Another e-mail, another one off the "rumored" list and onto the "confirmed" list. Kenzo Suzuki is gone. He's another that WWE went to the trouble of trading last week, and yet he's still released... odd. But perhaps not totally shocking: Suzuki never really got on track. But one must assume that Hiroko (his wife) is also gone, and she actually had some funny bits back last fall and winter, in my opinion. She seemed pretty natural and relaxed and was clearly just having fun with her character, which comes through nicely when she's surrounded by nothing but glossed-up, trying-too-hard, fake-everythinged Useless Divas. And hey, my understanding is that Hiroko actually did have some training back in Japan to wrestle, so that was something else I was curious to see about her and Kenzo's jump to RAW. Point's moot, now, I guess...
     
    If any other releases get confirmed before I hit "upload," I'll just tack them on here. Fuck the massive rewriting. But for now, let's jump to another bullet point that hopefully won't be so affected by this Developing Story....
     
  • Because taken as a whole, this is probably WWE's biggest single lay-off that I can remember. Usually, these things come in flurries of 4-6.  But now we're 17 and counting.
     
    And you know that thing I said a few weeks ago about how no one person is enough to "save" TNA (this was in regards to Matt Hardy, I think), just because no matter how good one person is, if they aren't Steve Austin or the Rock, they are not gonna be big enough to carry a whole company with as many glaring holes as TNA.
     
    Well: 17 talents (of varying value) all hitting the market at the same time? Along with some of the other names out there and available (Rhyno, Matt Hardy, Molly Holly, Gail Kim)? That starts to approach being a situation where there's enough talent out there to plug the holes; and then once that is done, you can try using the upper tier talents (Dudleys, Matt Hardy, maybe even Matt Morgan if used properly) to bolster the star power and main event picture.
     
    It could be interesting to see if TNA would go that route; although some of their talent decisions with regards to picking up WWE cast-offs has been confusing (why Billy Gunn, Jeff Hardy, X-Pac, and Zach Gowen, for instance, but no Spanky, Jamie Noble, Rhyno, or Test? Yeah, Test! If idiot TNA fans can find some reason to even TOLERATE Lance Hoyt, then they'd have to LOVE Test!). So who knows what they look for in free agent pick-ups, really?
     
    Hell, there's almost enough talent out there now to start a whole NEW company. Or maybe even [cue dramatic music] a new BRAND. Again: of the list of releases, the Dudleys and Matt Morgan just strike me as too odd and out of character for WWE. WWE covets big men (witness that Snitsky and Heidenreich are still around, and that Heidenreich -- despite outright sucking for 2 years and countless character recreations -- was never let go), and Morgan's about as good a one as they've had come through the system since Glen Jacobs. And WWE appreciates loyalty (otherwise, you'd have a real hard time making me understand how Bob Holly still has a job and why JBL is permitted to behave the way he does backstage), which makes cutting the Dudleys loose doesn't fit the usual MO.
     
    I refuse to get into a whole big conspiracy theory, but I also can't help but note these incongruities. Whatever the reasons, you take the top seven or so of today's releases along with some of who was already on the open market, and you got damn near a dozen useful performers who range between bankable and extremely promising.
     
    I might only sporadically be able to get myself as excited to "fantasy book" for SD! the same way I do for RAW, just because the starting material there is so bad that it wouldn't be as fun a job.... I might have a NEGATIVE desire to give the same treatment to TNA, just because the thought of writing good material for AJ Styles only to see him tank it in the deliver or having to come up with some way to make Jeff Jarrett interesting or trying to come up with ways to make storylines and backstage skits compelling despite TNA's Cable Access Production Values all make me vomit in terror; I'm good, but I'm not a Booking Messiah.
     
    But that said, I could get REALLY excited about just plucking about 20 free agents off the market and Fantasy Booking an entire new promotion. Assuming there'd be the financial backing and production know-how to do a TV product that's closer to WWE's than to OVW's (which I continue to think is a big problem for TNA and is why ROH will never be taken seriously other than as a niche alternative product no matter how good the in-ring content). There's just too many good and interesting talents out there. And the best part is, if I did it well, I could so TOTALLY see it taking off to the point where I'd be in position to cherry-pick the small handful of TNA stars who are actually worth watching to be a part of the NEW #2 National Wrestling Company.
     
    Give me Matt Morgan, the Dudleys, Rhyno, Matt Hardy, Mike Awesome, and Sabu, and I think that's a decent "top tier" of guys who have some name recognition and who could be believable main eventers. 
     
    Give me Charlie Haas, Maven, Dustin Rhodes, Luther Reigns, Rikishi, and (goddammit does it feel good to have an excuse to mention the name of) D'Lo Brown, and that's a nice second tier.
     
    Give me Kid Kash, Jamie Noble, Akio, Shannon Moore, Spike Dudley, and Spanky Kendrick, and we can have ourselves some cruiserweight matches.
     
    Give me Molly Holly, Gail Kim, Jazz, Nidia, Jacqueline (not "Miss Jackie"), and Terri Gold (from WOW, cuz we need at least one cute blonde in the batch to be a Prototypical Babyface until I can manage to convince you all of how super-awesome Gail Kim is, despite being an evil-looking, untrustworthy Chinawoman, you ethnocentric dastards), and I'll give you a women's division even YOU would like.
     
    Give me a few tag teams so the Dudleys aren't the only ones (I'm thinking maybe Palumbo/Johnny the Bull, Doring/Roadkill, etc., but over time, storylines would develop that would make tag teams out of our existing wrestlers, too). We can pick up a few "projects" like Mordecai or Jesus H. Kidneypuncher just to see if we can milk anything more out of them than what WWE got, too. Kevin Kelly is my play-by-play man, and I'm sure we can figure out somebody to do color commentary who will expose Don West as the worthless windbag that he is. Marc Loyd? Don't be waiting by the phone, pal...
     
    And if it all goes well, I only really want to poach a small handful of TNA performers (because there really isn't a whole lot there I'd crave): I'd want Raven, just because you can do so much with him. I'd want Chris Daniels, because he can wrestle and he can talk and he is NOT limited to a cruiserweight division despite his size. I'd want America's Most Wanted just because they'll probably never do anything as singles, so to freshen their tag act what the need to do is move up notch.  I'd want Chris Sabin, Michael Shane, and Elix Skipper, just because they are the 3 best non-Daniels reasons to watch the X-Division and thus could bolster the cruiser division. And I'd want Tracy, because (a) she's super-hot, (b) she seems pretty charismatic and personable, and (c) she's built like she could probably take a licking and keep on ticking. I guess I'd take an AJ Styles if he could be had cheaply, but I've already got one AJ Styles on the roster in the form of Charlie Haas.... unless they want to form a tag team or feud over who is the least compelling personality, I'd only have the energy to write for ONE extraordinarily talented Sack of Duh.
     
    But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. Point is: there is a LOT of talent hitting the market here. There was a goodly amount already out there (including guys like D'Lo Brown, whom time has forgotten). And this is without resorting to Nash/Hall, or Lex Luger, or Dallas Page... yes, you'd have veterans around to fill certain roles (I think Rikishi and Dustin Rhodes are fine examples of what my "Veteran Philosophy" would be: they wouldn't really be pushed as top guys, but they'd be presented in a way that fans would still be able to have fun with them and latch onto them, and THAT way, when they put over a younger star, it means more since we hadn't diluted their appeal beforehand). But most of these names are guys in their primes.
     
    It's certainly a unique situation, and I get excited talking about this stuff because the one thing that really would be best for WWE is if somebody could compete with them and force them to get their collective head out of their collective ass and start getting inspired to deliver amazing shows week-in and week-out, instead of just trying to get by doing whatever it is that these Hollywood Writers have had them doing the past few years. Again: I don't think this is Rocket Science, but WWE makes it look like it *is*.... so if they can't be self-motivated to put out strong material, I'm gonna root for somebody to step up and FORCE them to get motivated.
     
    Be it TNA swooping in to plug their roster holes (and then finding somebody backstage who can help them plug their even bigger creative and production holes), or some new company/brand starting up that'd be a bit different than the "competition" between RAW and SD!, I just would love to see this "talent bomb" explode in such a way that WWE takes some collateral damage and has to take notice. Because only then can the healing begin.
     
  • And if you think all THIS is big news, then brace yourselves, cuz I'm not done, yet...
     
    Brock Lesnar will be meeting with WWE (or possibly already has). And most interesting of all is that WWE.com is reporting this, and doing so in a "storyline" kind of way, complete with in-character "Mr. McMahon" quotes.
     
    Meh, whatever. WWE just doesn't "get it" when it comes to how to present "smart"-oriented web content. For whatever points they gain today by openly posting a list of released wrestlers and admitting that they will be having a meeting with Brock Lesnar, they lose right back when they can't present those stories straightly and honestly. I fricking HATE the New Work. Either shoot straight with us, or don't, I don't care; but quit straddling the line and PRETENDING to be shooting straight, because that is not only annoying to me, but it actually creates MORE problems for WWE in terms of creating the Wrong Kind Of Fan (by encouraging pseudo-smartness and trying to quash real smartness) than if they just addressed us honestly.
     
    Anyway, it's not exactly the most shocking development in the world to hear that WWE and Brock Lesnar will be speaking. Going back about 2 weeks, Brock's first public mea culpas to WWE had me feeling pretty sure that he'd at least get a sit-down meeting. 
     
    But what *is* shocking is that WWE would present it in a storyline fashion. Because now, anything less than Brock Lesnar returning to TV will be a huge let-down for fans. By admitting to the meeting in storyline-style, they basically telegraph that as the likely outcome. And if it's NOT the likely outcome? Well, then why would they bother? This only raises our expectations by reminding us of somebody we'd like to see on TV but have been missing...
     
    Then again, this is the company that busted out Matt Hardy's entrance music a few weeks ago for reasons STILL not adequately explained.
     
    But OK, let's take this as "Brock Lesnar will probably be coming back to WWE." I cannot be happier. Because I don't care about how big an asshole the guy is, or how much love and dedication he has towards wrestling. Couldn't care less. What I care about is that he was the best wrestler in the world in 2003, and on the grounds that I like being entertained, I would like to see the guy back on TV. Simple as that. Perhaps a bit selfish, but not really: because YOU like to be entertained, too, and assuming that you have a reasonably good eye for talent, you know Brock can deliver that for you.
     
    Some questions, though.... if Brock comes back, how does that work? Is he still property of SD!? A "free agent"? Does he come back as a babyface (because most returning superstars have a real hard time getting booed upon coming back from a long hiatus)? Or does he come back as a heel (because that's what he was when he left, and some jack-off fans might still want to boo him over the way he left)?
     
    If I had to guess? Brock as a heel on SD! would probably be the best fit. RAW, especially after Michaels' turn on Monday, doesn't need anymore heels... but Brock as a heel on SD!? Mmmm: I'm not one for sharing Vince's Big Man Fetish, but something tells me that a Batista/Brock Slobberknocker might actually be pretty exciting. I think that's what you gotta do; JBL's usefulness will be used up after the Great American Bash, and WWE seems intent on wasting Muhammad Hassan by sacrificing him to Taker... so a bad-ass heel is exactly what SD! needs to keep Batista's title reign rolling. Or, perhaps, to derail the title reign and give Batista somebody convincing to chase (although that might not quite be WWE's MO, since they'll probably want Brock to re-prove himself before going and handing him titles).
     
    Then the final question becomes: does Brock need a manager/mouthpiece? Paul Heyman did a great job helping out on that front, but by the end of his tenure, Brock's character seemed pretty strong, and he was as comfortable on the mic as he was in the ring. I think he can probably fly solo, but in terms of making sure he keeps heel heat on him, surrounding him with a manager or lackeys is something I wouldn't completely rule out.
     
    This'll be an interesting situation to watch develop.... it seems it's already a "storyline," so it wouldn't surprise me if they actually included some part of this on SD! tomorrow night. And if they do that, then I'd have to assume it really *is* a done deal that Brock's coming back. Color me happy...
     
  • FUCK~! AGAIN WWE.com has changed their story while I'm in the middle of trying to write a column. They've taken down the in-character "Mr. McMahon" quotes talking about Lesnar, and now have a few quotes from Brock, instead. 
     
    They are essentially the same exact things Brock said two weeks ago in those interviews I already referenced. He's very conciliatory and is asking for his Second Chance. I guess if it played well in a tiny South Dakota newspaper, WWE.com figures it'll play well on their website.
     
    Anyway, the new item says the meeting between Brock and Vince is happening tomorrow (Thursday), so I'll repeat what I said: that this could be something that shows up inserted into SD! tomorrow night, and if it does, you can probably just pencil Brock in for the SummerSlam main event against Batista.
     
    I never thought I'd say this: but if you really want to keep up on the story, I guess you have to check WWE.com. New Work or not, they seem to be running this as an Internet-Only Angle for now...
     
  • Alright, let's try to take this back down several notches and talk about less-exciting things... I don't need you people overstimulated and thinking that EVERY OO should be this chockful of gOOdness.
     
    We'll start with noting that John Cena's current filming his second music video. Why, I'm not sure, since the only place where his first one was ever shown was on WWE TV, but hey, whatever makes him feel like a rock star....
     
    I don't even know which track it'll be for. I obtained several of the tracks off his album, and frankly, nothing has changed my opinion that the one I like best is the one he's using for his entrance theme. That's not saying one of the ones I haven't heard is good, but considering the track they picked for the first single was a steaming turd, I'm not holding out any faith.
     
    Best case scenario: the song much suck balls, but they again come up with another super-fun video so that you don't notice so much the noises emanating from your TV.
     
    Also: Cena will be doing his first live performance in Philly this month. I'll spare you the pontification about how Absolutely Wrong It Is to have an album out before you've even attempted a single legitimate live performance, but it looks like Cena will finally be rectifying that. Or at least trying to. First, he'll have to have a better Live Debut than Macho Man Savage did two years ago.
     
    We all remember that hilarious story, right? Or should I spin the yarn again?
     
  • Many alert readers with a grasp on my basic sensibilities wrote in to tell me to check out the website for Bob Holly's new wrestling school.
     
    Some of them figured I might take joy in the fact that it looks like Bitter Old Bob is finally making plans for life after WWE.
     
    Some figured I could make jokes about the training regimen involving getting punched repeatedly in the face by Head Trainer Bob Holly if he's in a salty mood that day.
     
    But what nobody counted on was that I'd check out the website and feel too much pity to make any snide comments at all. 
     
    And now, my loathing of Bob Holly grows even stronger, because before I could even turn my "no snide comments here" into a double-secret-reverse Super Snide Comment, it turns out he took down the website that I saw and just replaced it with a one-page note talking about his plans to open a new wrestling school.
     
    DAMMIT BOB, the world wanted to see your exploding fireworks clipart and dancing jesus animated .gifs and lord knows what else you had hidden in there! It was like a trip back to 1996, when the world was just starting to understand the joy of Graphical Browsers, instead of Lynx! And you've taken it away from us before I could share it with OO Nation!
     
    What a bastard.
     
    I'll still give the plug, though, and tell you that if you're interested, the website is www.bobhollyacademy.com
     
  • And while I'm tangentially mentioning products or services I don't actually endorse, I got a freaking HILARIOUS e-mail yesterday...
     
    Because, OK, maybe there's a market out there for "ring worn" gear or stuff like that. I'm not sure that the market isn't populated by people who I might prefer to see jettisoned directly into the sun before their genetic material is allowed to be passed down to another generation. But for as long as signed lingerie is being auctioned off on WWE.com, I guess I just have to deal with it...
     
    But what I don't have to deal with is reading embarrassingly awful ad copy for such retarded items without mocking it! The product is a WrestleReunion halter-top, GUARANTEED to have been worn by Kimberly Page. It is dubbed the "Scent of a Woman" t-shirt, and the copy reads: 
     
    Each shirt has been personally worn by Kimberly ... that's right worn by her, and you can still smell the beautiful sexy scent of her perfume. "Ooooooooohhhhhhhh!  How sweet it is!  The shirt has been next to her silky smooth skin" 
     
    And that gets a big ol' [sic], too, since I cut and pasted and none of those mistakes are mine.
     
    The only possible excuse I can think of for such soul-crushingly dumb ad copy is that nobody was supposed to read it. Because the e-mail also included a picture of Kim. And she is still insanely hot. But me and my stupid sick perversions: I just could not keep my eyes off the strangely fascinating shapes UNDER Kim's bOObs.... and I wound up being subjected to horrifying stupidity the likes of which I've not seen in a while.
     
    And the thing that's really confusing? The shirts are $50 a pop (this isn't auction-style), which leads me to believe there is a stock of these shirts somewhere, which leads me to believe that somebody asked Kim what perfume she wears, and scented a few crates of these things. Either that, or she spend a day wearing all these t-shirts for 7 seconds each so as to ensure a full supply for all her most loyal olfactorially-befetished fans.
     
  • Here's something significantly cooler: WWE Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays are teaming up to do a "WWE Day at the Ballpark" later this month.
     
    WWE has arranged to buy-out all tickets in several of the cheaper pricing levels, and is reselling them at only $2 each. And before and during the game, Roddy Piper, Bobby Heenan, and Gene Okerlund will be acting as in-ballpark hosts of the night. They even promise a special Piper's Pit segment. Neat. AND you still get the ballgame, too. [Baseball truly is the greatest SOCIAL sport to attend live, but I'll spare you the long treatise on why!] And all for TWO FREAKING BUCKS.
     
    It takes place on Wednesday night, July 20, and I think if you can check it out, you should. It seems like a neat little promotion. So neat, in fact, that I'm even restraining myself from making my long-standing knee-jerk joke about how Toronto's baseball team is the BJs.
     
    Although that then causes my mind to wander; and then to wonder, "Why isn't Trish Stratus appearing?".... she can't possibly have anything better to do on a Wednesday night, right? Unless: she probably doesn't even like baseball. She likes (ewwwwww) hockey, I bet. Damned Canadians trying to have their own unique culture and stuff....
     
  • Something from a week ago that I figure I'll mention, just in case you were like me, and this blindspot was causing you go go a bit nutso....
     
    The "Hola Amigos" guy from the Onion that I mentioned and then riffed on last week? His name is Jim Anchower. I knew that, it was on the tip of my brain, honest. But thanks to everybody who mailed into bail me out on that.... I suppose if it was so important, I could have gone to the Onion's website, except that I actually get the hard copy mailed to me... and then I only usually keep the two most recent issues on top of my crapper for my Reading Pleasure, and neither one had that filthy, stinking, whiny, hippie slacker loser in it, so I really was blanking on his name.
     
    What I WON'T thank you for is the entirely predictable phenomenon of all but two (2) of you who mailed in prefacing your message with "Hola Amigo." You trying to be clever, dammit? Then at least keep the facade going long enough to also treat me to some pitiable-but-still-perversely-humorous (in a trainwreck kind of way) yarns about your car being broken and you can't get it fixed because your boss is a total douche who docked you $20 to pay for your uniform shirt and you're not feeling well but you can't afford to go to a good doctor because your drug budget has already been used up on some kind bud and all your friends are mooches who don't pick up any rounds of drinks and how riding the bus sucks and how it's all OK cuz someday you'll get yer shit all straightened out and get a boat and just live on that so you don't have to deal with paying bills or having a job or anything.
     
    As the wise man once (kinda) said: here I am now, entertain me! Don't "hola" me and then not pay me off with a sampling of the rest of what makes Anchower so magnificently awful, dammit!
     
  • And last thing today? Let's just quickly cover some RAW thoughts.... because this is normally the midweek tradition, and it's doubly so this week since I haven't had a chance to share any of my thoughts yet.
     
    But I can also kinda fudge a bit, since my thoughts would fairly closely parallel most of what The Broad said in the recap: the show wasn't outright bad, for the most part, just really, really uninteresting and boring for vast stretches. I think a lot of you folks disagreed if the salty e-mail I got was any indication, but I really do think RAW was more forgettable than bad. Then again: I had the benefit of watching a 60-minute FF-version of RAW when I got home around midnight on Monday, so maybe that helped take some of the edge off?
     
    My highlights would be about the same as Erin's: I can't tell you how gratified I was to see them go forward with the Cena/Jericho feud. I advocated it in Monday's column, but I honestly didn't think they'd go that way. And for as forgettable as RAW was for 2 hours and 5 minutes, it's like I wrote in the Front Page Teaser Blurb yesterday: they sure as shit turned that all around with Michaels' heel turn at the end. I did NOT see that coming. I don't know how anybody could have, since it's not like RAW's not already overloaded with heels.
     
    If I could have, I would have added a third highlight, maybe: because I continue to be a big fan of Carlito. He held his own, personality-wise, in the same ring as Hogan, had a few snippy rejoinders, and also played his part to perfection in the tag match main event. Plus: WWE.com doesn't have it listed yet, but if that new t-shirt of his doesn't have any gay shit on the back, I would happily put "I Know cOOl" on my VERY short list of Desired Wrestling Items. I mean, c'mon: that's so me. And putting Carlito's 'fro on an apple? Genius.
     
    But I digress.
     
    Kane/Show vs. Snitksy/Edge is your longest match of the night? Zzzzzzzz. That one got a heavy-FF from me, since I knew I wasn't gonna have to recap it, which would have been the only way I'd have paid any attention to it.
     
    Same goes for Dupree and Viscera's matches. How does this rate as worthy of valuable prime time exposure? Talk about inviting channel-flipping (or fast-forwarding)... making matters worse: I actually had $500,000 left over on my WWE Fantasy Line-up this week, and so I spent it on Fifi (the only "talent" available that cheap). And we get Rene Fucking Dupree, but then I don't even get the 3 damned points for his stupid dog? It's like they're out to get me....
     
    The Diva Search wasn't necessarily as stupid as I thought it'd be (I thought the "obstacles" would be more like SEXY Obstacles, involving pools of viscous fluids and thin white uniform t-shirts), but it was still awful TV, just because it went on for SO FREAKING LONG. Until they get the field down to four, or so, no challenge or event should take long than 10 seconds. Instead of about a minute for each of them. Blargh was that ever terrible.
     
    But I guess that's just me: because I also got one of my periodic lessons in Casual Fan Behavior on Monday night. At the party I was at, I had to sneak inside to use the facilities, and walked through the TV room. No fewer than 8 dudes are riveted to the TV watching the Diva Search Crap. I try to alert them to the fact that this is an EVEN DUMBER version of American Gladiators, but they don't care because "Whoa, this one's hot," and "Shut up Scaia, one girl showed her hooties earlier, this is AWESOME." Compelling debaters, they were. So I peed, went back outside, and tried not to spoil their fun. Even though I really kinda wanted to.
     
    On the upside: somebody pat The Me on the back, OK? Because there may or may not be anything good to come out of this Diva Search, but if there is, it'll be in the form of a girl who can bring something to the WRESTLING ring. Somebody perhaps a bit athletic. Like the two chicks who completely blew away the rest of the field at the obstacle course. Who just so happen to be the two chicks I -- remember, I did this almost sight unseen, after just one brief video package -- found myself most drawn towards 3 weeks ago. Elisabeth and Kristal were the only two I couldn't really come up with anything to mock in my Initial Assessment, and here they are as the two girls who were head and shoulders above the rest in an actual Physical Challenge. What kind of sick witchcraft am I practicing here? Or am I really just that good a judge of character and that expert a connoisseur of fine women?  You probably don't care, but I *do* think it's pretty funny that this keeps on happening....
     
    And when it comes to a woman whose character is as fine as the rest of her, I guess it's a perfect opportunity to toolboxishly segue into the standard Closing Plug for the RAW Recap, which was this week handled by Erin Anderson. My rantings and ramblings are only part of the story... so for the rest of the details, analysis, and Standard OO Practice of Making the Recap Better Than The Actual Show, you are encouraged to check out Erin's bRAWd Recap.
     
  • No Monday ratings yet because of the holiday, so I think on that note, I am done for today. I think you got your money's worth out of me, folks.
     
    See you (probably) on Friday for more fall-out on the releases and Lesnar and ratings and all that good stuff.


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
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?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

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Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

 

 

 


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