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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
SD!, Ratings, the Truth About Jericho,
ROH/WWE Stuff, and Lots More 
July 29, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

You know how it is with me and TV: I like to make jerky observations about how much of it sucks, and why y'all are so stupid for watching it.
  
My beliefs tend to be reinforced every summer, when the networks cart out paralyzingly retarded crap like "Dancing with the Stars" to fill up timeslots. And when you, America, decide to make such shows hits. Dammit, if the networks are gonna half-ass it and not put out quality first-run programming during the summer, don't let them off that easily! Go out,

catch a ballgame, do something. But turn off the TV: don't encourage the network monkeys to spew forth this nonsense every summer! 

That said, my DVR caught something VERY strange tonight: not one, but TWO television networks utilizing an Alternate Summer Filler Programming Strategy. That strategy? To run blocks of shows that, while acclaimed, have not yet found an audience. And to run those blocks in unexpected slots in hopes of catching a few extra eyeballs.

From 8-10pm (eastern) on FOX, it's four episodes of "Arrested Development." And from 8-10pm (eastern) on CBS, it's two episodes of "Veronica Mars." Don't know which episodes they're showing, but for stunt-programming like this, I have to assume they'll be wanting to put their best feet forward. I'd be put out that they're being forced to do it against each other, except that really, these little "mini-marathon" things tend not to be too successful.

If you've got nothing to do tonight, for once, I won't call you a loser. Instead, I'll tell you you could do a lot worse than checking out one or both of these shows. Of the two, "Arrested Development" is the one that you would get attached to the quickest, even if the episodes are culled from the slightly-less-funny second season. Cuz I'll spare you the story of how I got hooked on a UPN Teen Drama, but it took 3-4 weeks, so I'm not sure (even if they picked two of the absolute best episodes) that "Veronica Mars" can win you over in two hours. I also think it's funny that they're trying to pimp a Teen Drama on CBS (the network for old people)... if Viacom wanted to do cross-network promoting for their UPN show, wouldn't MTV be a better place? Then again, the simple truth is that if *I* am a fan, it's not just a Teen Drama, and it's a show that honestly can appeal to adults of above average intelligence. I don't know what CBS usually shows on Fridays, but maybe this is a move designed to get a boost in that demo for a show that isn't just targeted at high schoolers?

So if you're just staying home to wallow in your own crapulence tonight, there's a couple choices for things to keep you occupied. And for one: Rick Approved Things! There aren't many of those on TV.

And here's a wee spot of wrestling news to keep you occupied, too:

  • SmackDown! last night? Ugh. You know what it felt like? It felt like if you took the Bash PPV and last night's SD!, crammed all those storyline elements/happenings into a big pot, you could not POSSIBLY have picked a less satisfying or compelling way to ladle out the final product than the way WWE did.
     
    And look, I know the Hassan Thing probably screwed things up a bit. But they had THREE FRICKING DAYS to figure something out. So that's no excuse to be serving up JBL as #1 Contender for one of the biggest shows of the year.
     
    It's a five hour span of TV that I just couldn't have booked worse if I tried. The Bash could have easily been rebooked to account for Hassan, while also making the PPV itself a little more exciting (honestly, why not use Orton at the PPV?), and opening the door for SD!'s Road to SummerSlam to get off on a much better foot than it did last night. And by "better foot," I mean no JBL in the main event, no matter what. I'm sorry, but until WWE gets it through their thick skull that JBL is used up, and that his repetitive patter only works when he's actually holding a title, they're gonna be doomed to SD! feeling like a bush league show. And JBL's ineffectiveness as a challenger is only gonna hurt Batista's chances of legitimizing himself, too. Double whammy.
     
    What would I have done? I dunno. I guess if management wouldn't trust Christian with the spot, I'd do Benoit vs. Batista at SummerSlam. And it'd have been easy as hell to do. First, unmake the #1 Contender's Match between Taker and Hassan at the PPV; do an ECW-style thing and shoot straight with the audience, admit that win or lose, this is Hassan's last match on SD! due to "network pressure." Have Teddy say he'll address the #1 Contender situation Thursday on SD!, playa. And have Hassan cut a follow-up promo in which he basically says, "I'm fired? This is my last match? Well then, I can't possibly get in any more trouble than I already am, so Undertaker, get ready, because if you thought what I did to you 3 weeks ago was controversial, wait till you see what I have in store for you tonight. If the Great Muhammad Hassan is going down, you're coming with him, Undertaker." And then that's the justification for the return of the Terror Cell, and gives fans a feeling that even if Hassan is gone, he still might steal the win. But of course, he doesn't, and you can play that match out the same way you did on Sunday, complete with the Last Ride. Only difference: one of the Terror Cell should reveal himself to be Randy Orton, and he should interfere in the match, to REALLY add to the drama that Hassan might steal a win after an RKO (but again: no dice; Taker can kick-out, Zombie Sit-Up and shoot a Death Glare at Orton, which will send Young Randall scurrying to the back like the good little wussbag he is, not to be seen again until Thursday night). So Taker still wins, Hassan still gets buried, but Taker's not the #1 Contender, and in fact, already has his next opponent (Orton) lined up and ready to go for Thursday night.
     
    Then re-book the US Title match a bit... Benoit punked out OJ before the match (on Heat), so do the logical thing and have OJ want to settle the score BEFORE the match. Have Benoit's music hit for the introductions, but no Benoit. Camera cut to backstage, and we find JBL and Jordan both kicking the shit out of Benoit, who should be bloodied and clearly in trouble. Have JBL powder out and tell his protege to take it to the ring, now. Which he will. Once both men are in the ring, the ref will have no choice but to ring the bell, and it's on. You do 2 minutes, TOPS, of Jordan beating on Benoit, then you do a big-ass hope spot for Benoit, which I'd bet the crowd would have eaten up: suplexes, chops, et al, leading up to the Swandive Headbutt. Which, of course, takes a lot out of the already battered Benoit, so he can't make the immediate cover. When he does, Jordan kicks out at 2. Benoit can try a submission move or 2, but Jordan makes the ropes. From there, just when the crowd thinks Benoit can still win, come up with some spot to explain OJ getting his US Title belt and whacking Benoit in the skull with it (without the ref seeing it), and give OJ the cheap pinfall win in a 8 minute match that I'd wager would have had the crowd rocking a whole lot more than the 18 minute match on Sunday did.
     
    Also: just have Batista fucking pin JBL at the end of the show. That should have been a no-brainer, in any case.
     
    Cut to Thursday, and Teddy Long makes good on his promise to address the #1 Contender Situation. He announces that tonight on SD!, we'll have the #1 Contender match that we didn't have at the PPV. The Undertaker is still one-half of the match... but his opponent tonight will be another former champion who hasn't had a shot recently at the gold.... Chris Benoit. Cue JBL's interruption, as I can already hear him bitching about how Benoit "cain't even beat my Chief of Staff, Orlando Jordan," so he doesn't deserve a World Title shot. Eventually, JBL will talk his way into tonight's #1 Contender match, since you need somebody in there to play the heel. In the match? Benoit and Taker sorta team up to pick on JBL, forcing Jordan to get involved. But then, in a poetically just moment, Benoit will be able to grab OJ's US Title and use it to KO OJ; officials escort Jordan to the back, and he's a non-factor the rest of the match. You obviously use a run-in from Orton to cause Taker to powder out. And in the End Game, it's Benoit just destroying JBL with a flurry of suplexes, chops, etc... until he manages to make JBL tap out to the Crossface. Benoit is your #1 Contender; Taker's got his thing with Orton set-up; all is ready for SummerSlam.
     
    Also: don't fricking make Batista invisible on SD!... have him out there doing guest commentary during the main event, talking about his prospective challengers. You set it up right, and I think that you could easily establish a Batista/Benoit mutual respect deal that would carry this match for SummerSlam, and do a MUCH better job of showcasing Batista in a flattering light than more feuding with JBL will. They don't have to take any aggression out on each other, either. Rather, they have mutual enemies in JBL/OJ, and Benoit/Batista vs. JBL/OJ would be a no-brainer of a SD! main event a week or two before the PPV. Set it up that they don't hate each other, but they each feel they are very, very good, and want that damned title for his own self. Figure Batista goes over at SummerSlam, but at least he does it in a good match, and Benoit can get the rub of a post-match Handshake of Respect so that his work here is not forgotten. And by then? It's probably just about time for Brock Lesnar to show up. Which would be perfect. And if not Lesnar next, then Orton might be ready to take a stab at his old Evolution Buddy. Either way, Benoit's just a band-aid. An ultra-talented band-aid. And a fresh band-aid that fans aren't already tired of.
     
    So seriously, folks: can you sit through that simple re-booking of the past 5 hours of SD!-brand programming and tell me there's anything even remotely defensible about how WWE opted to do it? I mean, if I was having to resort to crazy gimmickry to have my good ideas, that'd be one thing: but this stuff is sitting right there in front of them, and they don't seem to realize it. It's so frustrating.
     
    But enough fantasy booking for one bullet point....
     
    Thursday's SD! was just more of the same as the Bash. A whole lot of "bleh" leading up to a not-very-good main event... how am I supposed to get excited for sitting through an average show when I know an over-long, under-good JBL match is the cherry on top of the sundae, again? It just doesn't work that way.
     
    A few other thoughts, above and beyond the lameness of the #1 Contender situation:
     
    The ONLY good that might come out of OJ retaining the US Title the way he did last Sunday is if they capitalize on the way the Booker/Benoit vs. Christian/OJ match played out last night, and are intending to move the title directly off a heel onto another heel. What I mean is: OJ now has reason to be miffed at Christian. Benoit still has reason to be miffed at OJ. They could easily get into a Triple Threat situation. Or Booker could even say, "Ahem, guys?" and get himself into it, too, for a four way. In that match, Christian wins the title, and proceeds to use it to finally establish himself as one of SD! top heels. Because with his matches ruling and his promos sizzling, the US Title would INSTANTLY see its profile rise. It might only be a "secondary title," but part of Christian's shtick would be to not care; and plus, I think it'd be great cheap heat if Christian, a proud Canadian, used every chance he got to remind us that the United Stats Title is now being held by a Canuck.
     
    And what in the blue hell is going on with Jillian, MNM's "fixer"? What a totally retarded character idea, straight from the minds of some idiot failed sitcom writer. Why are we supposed to care about the "deformed' hot chick, exactly? Are we supposed to be grossed out? Boo her? What? What is the intended goal with this character? And doesn't it seem like whatever doctor performed that unfortunate surgery to Jillian's chest would probably have been qualified to fix any sort of odd facial growth? This just doesn't compute on any level.... and what the hell was up with the blurring of Melina's rear during her match? She had to know that skirt (while quite fetching) wasn't gonna cover the goodies in a match, and be wearing the appropriate underthing. And yet: blurring. Is UPN really just THAT hyper-sensitive now that a bethonged ass is trouble? Or is this some sort of double-secret reverse psychology attempt by WWE to make us think they are Rucking the shit out of some Fules?
     
    And Eddie/Rey? Oy. I dunno what to say. I mean, I guess Eddie being Dominick's father was pretty much the only possible outcome, but still... I almost would rather have seen Rey's win be the end of it, with no secrets revealed. Unsatisfying? Maybe. But at least it doesn't outright SUCK. Because where do you go from here? Huh? Eddie's "book of bedtime stories" seemed to have four more chapters, if the back cover was any indication. It can only get dumber from here. What's the next play? Dominick turning on Rey to side with Eddie? Yawn. Dominick wanting to find his biological mother, too? Double yawn. I just can't see anything good coming out of this. Even another Eddie/Rey match doesn't really tantalize me, because if Sunday was any indication, even they are not capable of overcoming the overshadowing lameness of the storyline. A storyline which, simply put, has no business in wrestling. Like terrorism imagery, or Kurt Angle's horniness, or pretty much everything Kane/Lita have done in the last 15 months, there's just no way to do this type of story in a realistic/compelling context in wrestling. I don't care how many Hollywood Writers you hire, that still will never make WWE into a shitty FOX Soap Opera. Be a goddamned wrestling show, and be a good one, WWE... don't try to be "The OC."
     
    SD!'s got me really annoyed right now. Last night did nothing to sooth my vaginal sandification. Three weeks till SumemrSlam, and there stands a good chance that SD! will present a grand total of zero (0) matches I care about on the second biggest show of the year. That takes some real doing. Seriously: Batista/JBL is tired. Taker/Orton: it's good to have Orton back as a heel, but we'll have to see if he has totally left the Suck at home. Benoit/OJ rematch? Bleh, that ship has sailed. MNM/Animal/Hawkenreich? Oh, you know it's coming, and you know you don't care, cuz you didn't the first time. And even if you squeeze the cruisers/Mexicools onto the show, they'll only get five minutes. So how am I supposed to be fired up about the prospects, here? Oh, right: I'm not.
     
    For those interesting in finding out what actually happened on SD! last night (instead of reading about the many ways it pissed me off), that's what Big Danny T's SmackDown! Recap is for. He's got all the details and results for you. Check it out.
     
  • The rating for last night's show was a 3.2. Which is holding steady, but holding steady about a third-of-a-point below where WWE and UPN would like it to be. No post-PPV bump, either, which cannot be construed as a good sign. That pretty much means that nobody cared enough about the Bash to tune in to find out what happened... or that if they cared enough to find out, they might have done so on the internet, and knew that it was one of the worst PPVs in recent memory, so they didn't bother tuning in.
     
    Either way: not good.
     
  • Monday's RAW rating, for the curious among you... a 3.7 cable rating. I think roughly the same as the week before, but again, not back to May/June standards when things seemed to be rolling a bit more smoothly and they had the Draft Lottery adding excitement to the show.
     
    I mentioned it last week, I'll mention it again: WWE's getting to the point where they are training their audience to only perk up for gimmicky stunts (drafts, Hogan coming back, etc.), simply because the weekly episodic nature of their shows is so poorly done. That seems unconscionable to me, but it's the case.
     
    How's about starting with people and ideas who can make every week of RAW a fun 2-hour ride. Maybe not every one a grand slam of a show, but sustainable episodic TV where you can do entertaining things week in and week out, and they build on each other, and they satisfy the fans and home viewers? And then, if you got a stunt you want to pull, instead of being a one-week ratings savior, it's just gravy. A bonus for the fans.
     
    Just a thought.
     
  • And OK.... the big news of the past two days. And I'm kinda pissed that WWE stole my thunder on this, because I was DYING to do this column today, railing everybody who flew off the handle with "Chris Jericho is leaving WWE" reports. Well, to mock them, and also to, as a secondary mission, to offer the true facts as consolation to Erin so that Our Favorite Broad knew not to worry about losing her sweet little Jeri-kins... or worse: to worry about having to endure TNA to see him. 
     
    The story is pretty straight forward: Jericho's contract expires this fall. He has, for a few weeks, had a mutually-agreed-upon contract extension in his hands... the money's fine, everything's kosher, it's just that he hadn't signed it, yet. Why? Because Fozzy's gonna be having some opportunities this fall, and if they click, maybe Jericho didn't want to be tied down to WWE commitments... or maybe there's still that "X Factor" of just wanting to ply your trade somewhere else. But in terms of money and being amenable to staying in WWE, things were OK.
     
    On top of that, Jericho is, like I said, taking a break from full-time WWE bookings this fall to do Fozzy stuff.
     
    So I gather (and I don't know where this started, but I have an idea, and that person/website should really learn how to present information in a non-sensational way so that the idiot Jack-off Populace of the internet can't twist it around and cause a mild stir) that for about 36 hours, the fact that Jericho hadn't yet signed his extension was being held out as rock solid proof that he was quitting WWE at the end of his current contract.  And the break for Fozzy? Somehow that got twisted around into "SummerSlam will be Jericho's last WWE Match EVER, because he's leaving to be a rock star, full time." Great.
     
    I knew instantly that this was a gross exaggeration and distortion of fact.... I could not wait to set the record straight with a lengthy bullet point about Jericho still being very likely to sign his extension and just taking a little time off in the fall, but NOT leaving WWE forever.
     
    But then today, WWE.com trumps me. The announced today that not only are the internet reports of Jericho leaving WWE false, they actually confirm that Jericho *HAS* signed his contract extension as of Monday evening at RAW tapings. A quote from Jericho says it all, "I'm not going anywhere." So in your face, internet!
     
    It's not exactly shocking. I think Jericho's at a point where, as long as the money's fair, he'd prefer the security of a WWE contract, rather than taking a chance on TNA contract that might be no good in less than a year, depending on how the company performs. Plus, if Jericho wants to keep Fozzy going, only WWE provides him an outlet to millions of fans per week who might be interested in checking his band out. TNA, Japan, the indies? No Fozzy Leverage there, at all.
     
    So here's to Erin and many more years of her crippling Jericholism! After the debacle with the Dudleys, it's good to see that WWE did right by another veteran when it came down to dollars and cents...
     
    And oh, by the way: Jericho's still losing to Cena at SummerSlam. Because some things never change.
     
  • WWE.com canNOT lay claim to trumping anyone with another story they "broke" this week. They say that WWE has officially offered Brock Lesnar a contract, and he is considering it.
     
    So patronizing is the new WWE.com. If dillholes within the industry can degradingly call us "smart marks" and condense that down into "smarks," I think I'm gonna take a page out of PyroFalkon's book and try to get a new name for WWE.com annoying worky shootiness over with my fellow smarks. Is this horseshit they're peddling a "shork"? Or maybe a "woot"?
     
    "Shork" sounds more degrading. But on the other hand, I can inappropriately capitalize "wOOt," so that everybody knows which dashing and clever website invented it.
     
    In anycase, WWE.com's misleading the fans again, as they are about 3 weeks behind the times in terms of Lesnar's position with the company.  
     
    I guess credit to WWE.com for the Jericho thing (even if I would have reported largely the same thing today even without their help, it seems the rest of the internet needed the assistance), but this play with the Lesnar thing is stupid... either put it on TV as a storyline, or don't waste my time.
     
  • Here's something more than a bit surprising (which of course means WWE.com hasn't reported it): both Jamie Noble and Spanky Kendrick are coming back to WWE, according to buzz at Tuesday's TV tapings.
     
    If you recall (and you should, if you're able to quote OO chapter and verse like the good little Ricksciple you oughta aspire to be), those are two of the guys who I singled out as being part of TNA's misguided decision making when it comes to which WWE cast-offs to pick up... two more talented and versatile performers you will not find on the free agent market, and as a bonus: in TNA, their size will not be a hindrance, since so few of the other TNA stars are all that big. Yet: TNA goes out and makes sure they get Billy Gunn locked in, instead. Odd.
     
    So I can't be any happier to hear both are coming back. Noble was dismissed originally because of drug issues that we shan't rehash, but Spanky left of his own accord, actually asking for his release because he wanted the creative freedom that WWE wouldn't offer him. In Noble's case, we simply assume he's got himself cleaned up, but in Spanky's case, this is almost a reason to be optimistic if he thinks NOW he'll have a bit more leeway to be the performer he can be on the WWE stage. He didn't come back to be a Velocity jobber. Mostly because there won't be any Velocity after 2 more months, so he's agreed to return for a reason. 
     
    Hopefully a good one.
     
    Noble's a great pick-up just because he's one of the rare cruiserweights who actually has the moves and personality to work as a heel. Spanky's just Spanky: about 250 lbs. of charisma and offense poured into a 180 lbs. package.
     
  • Curiously enough, Noble (wrestling as "James Gibson," since WWE owns the Noble name) was performing so well in Ring of Honor that it was thought by many that he'd be the one to take the ROH Title from CM Punk.
     
    And why must the title come off CM Punk? Because, he's been signed to a WWE developmental deal for a couple months, and is actually slated to "debut" on TV Sunday night on Heat. I put "debut" in quotes because he's actually be on WWE's b-shows quite a bit in the past, but always just as a jobber. His appearance on Heat will mark his debut as a real character; he'll even have a valet, in the form of the former Alexis Laree (from TNA). Alexis is working under some other name, however... in "WWE Think," I wonder if it's got anything to do with Diva Search Alexis getting the name on TV a few weeks before Laree? Somebody should get to the bottom of this red hot controversy!
     
    Punk gets to work as himself, but is NOT acknowledged as the ROH Champion. Because unlike TNA, WWE doesn't feel like an ROH title means enough that it'll help get a guy over with a new audience. They are probably wise to do so. But Punk is allowed to work ROH dates, where one of these days, he's BOUND to drop that title to somebody who actually works for the company.
     
    Which we now know won't be Jamie Noble.
     
    Maybe letting Matt sneak an ROH plug in a few weeks ago was WWE's mea culpa to a fledgling promotion that they're "raiding"?
     
    It'll be interesting to see what becomes of Punk in WWE. He's undersized by the Fed's standards, right on the cusp of being a cruiserweight (a little under six-foot, but not as ripped as a Benoit or Eddie; in fact, not ripped at all). He's extremely talented, but I must admit to being long dubious of how his style and character would fit into the "WWE Style." I guess I should DVR Heat on Sunday and find out, eh?
     
  • Muhammad Hassan continues to generate press even now that he's "dead." He's getting jeered in TV Guide and getting front page headlines in his hometown (Detroit) newspaper.
     
    I don't know about you, but this has now moved past stupid into the realm of being truly annoying. Now it's not just an invented controversy obsessed over by thin-skinned douchebags... now it's an invented controversy obsessed over by thin-skinned douchebags that WON'T DIE.
     
    Jesus H. Christ, assholes: we get it, you think terrorism is bad, and you want to be patted on the back for your brave stance... so how's about you either go find somebody to bitch about that has really done something wrong (hey, here's an idea: REAL TERRORISTS!), or you shut the fuck up. OK?
     
    For whatever it's worth, though: Muhammad Hassan probably isn't dead. A "WWE.com Exclusive" earlier this week had Teddy Long announcing that Hassan was free from his SD! contract, and could go to RAW or to wherever he pleased. Teddy suggested going to hell. Way to talk a guy who just got injured on your PPV, Teddy.
     
    I'm assuming that means Hassan does return to RAW. Maybe not till the USA Network jump, but RAW is where he'll be. I still say that the character, handled right, was one of the better things going on SD!... the Terror Cell things was wrong, but only because it went counter to that well-built character. Not because it was offensive (I still don't understand how any sane, rational person could get offended by that bit they did; and if you did, how come there was ZERO outrage when the same basic Terror Cell Antics played out at the PPV?), but because that's not what Hassan had been about up till that point. Here's hoping that Vince McMahon's stubbornness doesn't mean trying to bring back the Terror Cell at the same time they bring back Hassan.... because Hassan doesn't need that to succeed in WWE. He really doesn't.
     
  • A couple of updates on our favorite Canucks.... first, Jim Ross recently did an interview in which he stated plainly that WWE wants to have Bret Hart back as part of the family so he can be front and center for Hall of Fame 2006 ceremonies.
     
    Something that was not stated so plainly is that WWE would like to have Bret back in the fold sooner than that, so they can do some things on TV to publicize the upcoming 3-disc DVD set dedicated to Hart. From the looks of things, I believe that's slated to be WWE's "tentpole" release for this coming holiday season, which means they'd want Bret back (and unlike Road Warrior Animal, Bret's condition means this would be a purely non-physical role) by the fall.
     
    At present, apparently the two sides haven't been able to make it work, though. WWE might have to go the Ultimate Warrior route and hype the DVD without the subject's assistance.
     
  • And then, there's Trish Stratus. Oh, how I pine for Trish Stratus. And not pine for the things you perverts assume I'm pining for... I just pine for there to be one female personality on RAW I can bring myself to care about.
     
    Lita's drama gets dumber by the week. Spaz is MC'ing the Diva Search crap, which isn't exactly stocked with talent (even if I do have a few favorites). Maria is.... I'll be nice and say nothing. And Victoria hasn't been seen or heard from in a month. Great.
     
    We need Trish. Badly.
     
    And to the best of my knowledge, she is feeling better and could return to action.... but now it's more a question of holding out for the proper creative opening. Matt Hardy's return threw a wrench into the original plans. [Two months ago, Trish would probably already be back on TV, and Edge would have been on his way to the SummerSlam title shot against Cena, if my information is correct.... but my how things change.]
     
    So let's hop to it, Writer Monkeys. Get Trish back on TV, pronto. If it's not yet time for the Trish/Lita stuff to kick back in, then I've already given you one good idea for how to waste a few weeks: Trish and Lillian's tag team ritual humiliation of Viscera. And then Viscera's disappearance from WWE forever. Even if it means losing the midget.
     
  • And speaking of Trish and the dearth of female talent on RAW, and then tying it back to stuff I said in Monday's column....
     
    A ton of people have written in the past several days, mostly talking about my apparent bravado when it comes to my own creative skills when it comes to wrestling. They fall firmly into two categories: people who read what I said, and think I am the solution to all WWE's problems (hey, don't preach to me! tell them, they're the ones who've made me persona non grata), and people who think I'm awfully full of myself and would be incapable of writing a show that average fans would enjoy and flock to, because I'd be all about satisfying the internet jackoffs.
     
    Well, to those people, I propose to you this fantasy booking scenario, which came up in an e-mail exchange I had with someone who was challenging my "mainstream" abilities, and who thought that jackoffs like me are the reason why mainstream Hollywood Writers really ARE better equipped to write wrestling. But I digress: that person really was an idiot, but he managed to coax me into blurting out this fantasy scenario:
     
    Imagine it's RAW's sixth quarter hour on Monday, and as we cut to a break, we see the Diva Search Girls WALKING~!, because their segment is up next. But then, out of the shadow, three mysterious figures in hooded sweatshirts attack the Diva Girls. Hassan's Terror Cell again? Nope, because these are mysterious figured in SEXY hooded sweatshirts, sweatshirts the come off to reveal Molly Holly, Gail Kim, and Jazz. We cut to a commercial as they gloat over their handiwork. We come back from break to find Jazz dragging the last Diva Search Girl up into the ring, where she joins her three amigos slumping against the ropes. Molly gets the stick and says that it's time for tonight's Diva Search Competition. "And since it looks like the Coach is too big of a wussbag to come up here to MC it himself, allow me, Molly Holly, to announce that tonight's competition is the If You Want To Leave The Ring You Have To Go Through Jazz Competition." And if the girls don't want to leave the ring, Gail Kim will slap them around a bit. It'll be kinda like that Tough Enough Shoot Fight Crap, except scripted (it's OK, Coach will later announce that due to Molly's interference, there will be no voting this week) so that we end up with each girl trying to get past Jazz to escape the ring, but taking varying levels of beating before getting out. Molly would then say, "Don't forget to vote for your favorite at WWE.com. But if you want to vote for Gail, Jazz, or myself, don't bother. Because WWE would have you believe that women exist only to eat hot dogs or strip down to their underwear. Which is why we're here to set the record straight. We're not here to win any silly Diva Search. We're here to give you what you REALLY want from women on RAW... we've already exposed the Diva Search girls, and now, listen up. Because wherever you're hiding, Trish Stratus, you get back here right now, and you bring that women's title with you. Because if you can't defend that title with honor, then I'm gonna take it from you and do it myself." And that, my friends, is how you suddenly add three new capable performers to a women's division, and integrate them into storylines. Because first Spaz could come to the aid of the Diva Girls, and Molly could kick her ass. Then Trish could come back and not have to worry about tying up loose ends with Lita's silly drama until the time was right. And then, inside of 2 months or so, turning Gail Kim babyface would be the easiest thing in the world. Cuz trust me, guys don't want to boo a girl that smoking hot if they don't have to. And instantly you've got a division with Trish, Gail, and a still-learning Spaz on the babyface side, and then Molly, Jazz, and Lita on the heel side. It's that simple.
     
    So that was the scenario I presented to that guy... but here's the OMG SWERVE~!
     
    Because I presented it as an example of exactly the kind of booking I would NOT do if somehow put into a position to do so. I mean, I think it's an awesome idea and all, but it's also an example of the smark mindset, not something that's gonna go over huge with the mainstream audience. And plus, it flies in the face of too much backstage WWE politics to be feasible. If I started pushing for stuff like this, I'd be shitcanned for my self-serving booking.
     
    So see: I can tell the difference between "booking for me" and "booking for the millions and millions of other fans." I happen to believe that a lot of the things that I'd do that are "booking for me" would still go over well and help improve the product, but I want you critics out there to see that I'm not tooting my own horn unnecessarily. I honestly do think that most of the booking ideas I generate here are so simple, so in-line with WWE's own goals, and so devoid of any gimmickry or unrealistic stunts, and yet still so much better than what they present, that you should know that I'm capable of producing "WWE Style" content, without doing anything crazy that would confuse or alienate the mainstream.
     
    Just wanted to clear that up. Or maybe I just really wanted to go on record again with how stupid I think it is that anybody out there can watch recent WWE TV and honestly tell me that Hollywood Writers are the solution. Whether *I* would be a solution or not, we'll never know; but Hollywood Writer Monkeys have had their shot and PROVEN that they AREN'T the solution.
     
    I really think something needs to happen on the creative front for WWE. And judging by a growing (if intangible) sense that many of WWE's wrestlers feel the same way, and have lost almost all faith in the people directing them, it's clear I'm not the only one.
     
  • And on that happy note, I'll bid you all a farewell for the weekend. Enjoy it as best you can. And I'll see you again on Monday.


  
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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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