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RAW, Dudleys Dicked Over, Jericho Seals
Own Fate, and Lots of Other News 
August 29, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Hey, yo. Survey time.
So I'm sitting around wondering: in a few years time, when we look back on Sunday night, August 28, which will be considered the more horrific disaster.... Hurricane Katrina's landfall, or R Kelly on the MTV Music Awards?

I mean, one had already done millions of dollars in property damage and torn the roof off the New Orleans SuperDome

when I woke up to do some reading.... but the other was a singularly-intense, rectum-clenchingly-bad Vortex of Suck to the point where you need to start looking into galaxy-altering forces like Black Holes for reasonable comparisons; this was no "Category 4" VMA Performance, folks, this was a bonafide Matter-Eater.

How our universe escaped with no apparent damage is beyond me. A possible theory: that R Kelly's performance, despite being mind-blowingly-bad, also featured enough other harmonic Suck Factors that it all somehow evened out. I mean, when you take material THAT bad and you add in "just lip synching and not even trying to hide it" as well as "remarkably hilarious Attempting Stage Acting," perhaps the destructive tendencies of R Kelly's Hip Hop Soap Opera are reduced, allowing for a very, very rare cosmic phenomenon in which a catastrophic Vortex of Suck is somewhere rendered stable and observable.

I know I observed it. And with a grin on my stupid little face the whole time. I know R Kelly thinks he's being taken seriously, but he's not. I've not even seen/heard the whole 5-part crapathon (but curiously, I've seen/heard the think mocked/parodied at LEAST five times that I know of in the last 2 months, by those who recognize it for the nonsense it is). But I just had to take the time to see how it played "live." BWHHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Magnificently bad. I mean MEMORABLY bad. Gloriously bad. Satisfyingly bad. For now, it's a race against the clock: how long before the rest of the record-buying populace realizes what SHOULD have been apparent immediately and takes R Kelly off the top of the Billboard charts, and installs him at the top of "The Most Ridiculously Awful Thing I've Ever Seen Granted Airtime" Countdown on VH-1. Don't believe me? Well, just ask yourself: who was mocking Limp Bizkit years before pop culture decided "Hey, wait, those guys DO suck ass"? That's right: The Me. It's a gift, people: being able to tell, with crystal-clear certitude, who the spoiled, dim-witted teenagers of today are embracing that they'll be JUST BARELY smart enough to turn against inside of three years. R Kelly? Believe me, it won't take three years before this stupdenously-poor display is being vilified by people a lot further down the Intelligence Foodchain than I.

Sadly, I don't think I'll continue my Annual MTV VMA Post-Mortem. Why? Cuz other than R Kelly's show-savingly-awful performance (and also the 3-4 Beavis and Butthead segments, which always hit the spot), the show mostly left me cold. And anytime I'd breakdown a show by putting Shakira on my list of Top 3 Favorite things? And for reasons that, if I'm honest with you, are not ENTIRELY related to her pants? That's an analysis I probably shouldn't make. Especially because I realized last night that 2 or 3 VMA's ago (before Shakira was even that famous), I had already done that. Go ahead, look it up; I'm too lazy (and also, I really don't remember if it was 2 or 3 years ago), but in her "breakout year," I remember I blithely noted that I liked Shakira's performance almost as much as the Hives. And this odd behavior in me must not be allowed to continue. Shawhonow? Don't know who you're talking about.... nope, no clue who she is.

Of course, that attitude I cop? It's because I'm a "rocker," and must keep up my public image of wanting to Kill All Pop Stars. But I can't even get excited about this fabricated notion that "The Rock" is back after last night's awards. So Green Day won a bunch of awards. Big deal. It's not gonna change anything. It's a one-year blip, a year where I watched three-quarters of awards be handed out and didn't cringe when the winner was announced. But MTV won't switch gears overnight as a result. Especially not when "the rock" has to hang its hat on what was on display last night; Coldplay, for instance, is a decent band with a tolerable body of work, and yet, they are held up as The Greatest Rock Band In The World, which simply is no way to resurrect a genre. And the case of the Killers: I almost feel like I've done a 180 on them, but if so, it's for the simple reason that "Mr. Brightside" is a fucking obnoxious arteestic display of whiny emotive doucheyness that is in the bottom third of the tracks on their album, and yet IT is the one that gets to bludgeon me over the fucking head, non-stop for months, while I simultaneously come closer to the realization that I *really* wouldn't mind face-punching the lead singer every single time I see him perform live. 

And I could go on, but I realize that what I'd envisioned as an apologetic "Well, I don't really have anything to say about the VMAs" pre-ramble has, in fact, stretched into one of above-average length. Just be happy I'm not half-singing/half-rapping it over some third-rate keyboard arrangement, leading up to my Intended-as-Climactic, but actually Fist-Pumpingly-Retarded, Punchline about going back to my wi.... I mean, the Wrestling:

  • After that particularly venom-laced rant, I don't want to shock you too much by turning into a naive optimist... but tonight's RAW *could* be a very strong one.
    You've got a new main event heel who we all love. You've got 2 matches announced that -- even if they won't be "good" in the traditional 15-minute, **** workrate sense -- should be interesting and satisfying. You've got some underneath programs starting to brew as RAW gets its ducks in a row for a looming brand-only PPV.
    In other words, you've got no reason to suspect RAW will leap back into the toilet after last week's solid outing.
    On top: we know that John Cena vs. Kurt Angle is the WWE Title match for September's PPV. These two have had interactions before (back on SD!), and I think they only scraped the surface of what they're capable off. Obviously, there's one implication there that Angle is just the guy to help drag out of Cena the kind of ringwork that he seems ill-equipped to display on his own, which should be good. But there's also just something very perfect about these two characters playing off each other when they are being presented correctly. The trick is not making it too cartoony (which WWE seems intent on doing with Cena at every turn, sadly), and just let Cena's innate casualness and Angle's innate rod-up-his-ass-edness magically blend together to create both comedic undertones and convincing Prickly Heat.
    Of course, ANOTHER thing I'm going to enjoy watching in this feud: keeping an eye on fan reactions. Cena had trouble getting full support from fans against Jericho, and Angle has been winning crowds over remarkably well lately. It's not that I will take pleasure in Cena failing, or anything; it's just that I *will* take pleasure in there being a measurable, audible, tangible manifestation of ALL the things I've been saying about Cena and his presentation for the past year, and that maybe the creative team will finally fricking DO SOMETHING about it to fix it.
    The alternative, of course, is that they don't, but Kurt just decides, "Screw this, I'm awesome. So awesome I can figure out a way to STILL get these people to boo me." And then somehow pulls it off. We'll see, but till then, I really am looking forward to seeing Kurt and Cena start meshing, and my interest exists on at least 3 different levels, so that's a good thing.
    After that top level, PPV-ready storyline, RAW also has two matches announced for tonight.
    First is Edge vs. Matt Hardy in a Street Fight. Hmmmm. You know that the story so far is that Edge has beating Matt in a match, and then kicked his ass again last week, and that Matt is probably suffering a concussion or something.... which is why he was able to lose to efficiently to Rob Conway, and why he'll surely be Not At 100% in tonight's streetfight. Making up for the not-at-100% thing? The match stipulation, which will open up all manner of foreign objects, wacky brawling, and outside interference.... me, I figure Kane's GOT to stick his nose in here at some point, don't you? I mean, we're inching away from the "No, dammit, we INSIST this storyline is real!" aspect of it, so we can bring Kane back out of mothballs, and start focusing on the Entertainment Value and tell a story that might not be "real," but which might hold together a bit more cohesively now that you're not trying to insist on that. 
    If nothing else, it'll be curious to see how they play this; Matt's injury status would make him prone to losing another match to continue that mini-story, if the goal is to make him into the Ultimate Sad Sack Underdog (and make it take months before he ever gets his revenge on Edge). But I don't know if Matt has "months" in which he'll retain the fans' interest, so it could also be a chance to strike now and use the match stips to give Matt his first real victory (moral or otherwise) over Edge. 
    And the second match: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris F. Masters. They're actually billing it as a Shitty Full Nelson Challenge, not a regular match, but near as I've ever been able to tell, all that means is that any outcome that ISN'T Shawn submitting to the Full Nelson is a victory for HBK. As I noted last week, I'd wager cold hard currency that Michaels is going into this with the goal of Polishing The Turd that is Chris F. Masters; all in the name of once again proving himself to be the Wrestling Industry's Foremost Luggage Handler; he proudly claims TONS of deadweight carried since 1992! Noble or not, I still don't necessarily see this being a "good" match in the context of it being all about the Shitty Full Nelson. But anytime I can sense the end of the road for over-rated, under-talented, channel-flip-inducing choades like Chris F. Masters, I can bring myself to see the silver lining. It might not be "good," it's not a particularly logical or interesting story (again, what the hell happened to the story thread of BIG SHOW being the guy who was poised to squash Masters like a bug?), but it might have a satisfying outcome. So I'll endure it.
    My only fear: Michaels' "tweenerness" might result in an unsatisfying outcome. I mean, I'd hope that as carefully as Michaels defends his turf, he wouldn't actually tap out to the Full Nelson... but I could envision other, less decisive outcomes, when all anybody really wants is a superkick and for Masters to be beaten and taken out of the prime time spotlight till he can say or do something interesting. Is there a "time limit" to the Shitty Full Nelson Challenge, like there was for the Angle Invitational? Cuz I could totally see Michaels "going the distance," but then WWE being too asshated to not just give him the decisive win. Because their booking philosophy lately: ask yourself "What Would Rick Do?" and then do the opposite. Cross your fingers, kids...
    Although I don't know if Edge/Hardy have another PPV match in them, and I'm *positive* I don't want to see Michaels/Masters stretch out past this week, there is definitely one other PPV-ready feud that's simmering. Carlito Cool and Ric Flair crossed paths last week, and it seems Flair might be on the brink of taking a stab at the IC Title, which is one he's never had (and which would make him a WWE Triple Crown winner; even though they are called the "World Tag Titles," the RAW tag belts share the lineage with the WWF/WWE Tag Team Titles, and Flair has held them). The match won't be a non-stop, catch-as-catch-can display of crisp wrestling action, but my money's on it being entertaining as hell. And on the mic work and build-up to the match being perhaps the most entertaining of all. Carlito's pretty much my new favorite promo guy on RAW; and Flair, well, he's Flair... an in essence what Flair might lack in spry-ness or what Carlito might lack in moveset, the two of them will make up for by being quite obviously masters of playing their archetypal roles to perfection. And that? Thas cool.
    Beyond that, at least a few more things had better fricking step up and develop. Cuz a 2 or 3 match PPV card ain't what the doctor ordered. Some possibilities: Diva Search Ashley was attacked by Torrie Wilson and Boobies McTitsalot last week, and the sooner this leads to Ashley faking her way through a wrestling match with one or both of them to prove that she's already a more serious "wrestler" than either one of them, the better.... Shelton Benjamin is criminally doing nothing right now, but should be; only less personally-offensive to me is that Big Show is being wasted on shit like dealing with Gene Snitsky's foot fetish... the tag champs remain semi-invisible (and are better known as Jobbers In Singles Competition than anything at this point), and if I had to wager a guess, it'd be that they're probalby just keeping the titles warm until the duo of Cade and Murdoch arrive.... whither Eugene? He got booed twice and now he lost his Head Cheerleader; per our discussion last week, I really hope they aren't thinking "repackaging" or "heel turn".... and hey, I just realized: where the frick has Tajiri been? I don't even think I've seen his name pop up in Heat Recaps with anything resembling regularity (of course, I only realize that because he DID pop into this weekend's recap: as Kerwin White's Job Boy; d'oh). Somebody, PLEASE: more Shelton, Tajiri, Show, and LESS Snitsky, Viscera, Masters. Unless you're daring us the change the channel, anyway.
    Again, I happen to think the pieces are in place for an eventful and interesting night of RAW. Last week was a solid effort, a definite step in the right direction. And that's the sort of thing that sets you up to deliver a second good show in a row, and then a third, and then a fourth, and so on... that's Sustainable Episodic TV, and it should be the goal of WWE. So tonight, they've set the table for Solid Outing #2; it'll all just come down to the execution. Will they send us home satisfied? Or convinced that they let the monkeys back in charge of the Random Booking Machine?

    One way to find out: check out RAW tonight. Another way to find out: come on back to OO tomorrow for the Greatest and Best RAW Recap in the World. And as always, I suggest doing both, since at least in the case of the latter, there is ZERO chance of you being disappointed with the End Product. And in the case of the former? Well, c'mon: if we were all fiercely loyal wrestling fans, we wouldn't be reading OO and trying to focus so much of our energy on fixing things, would we, so you know you're gonna watch, anyway.... 
  • And now, onto the latest JeriTwist...
    After teasing fans with a TNA logo on his website for a brief period of time late last week, Chris Jericho has posted a commentary that pretty sews up all the loose speculative ends that people have been getting worked up about.
    I won't bother quoting vast tracts of it, since (a) Jericho's obviously better-qualified to speak for himself than I am, and (b) that said, he still says a lot of the same things I've been saying here for the past couple months (as they regard some fans getting carried away with certain speculations). But I will just do one line: "If Im going to be in the wrestling biz, it will be with the WWE." 
    With that line (and along with the rest of the commentary), Jericho tells us, he tells WWE, he tells everybody what his intentions are. And to go against those intentions at this point? Well, one must assume that Jericho has seen the backlash Matt Hardy suffered from a vocal minority of jackass fans who turned on him because he "worked" them... and more importantly, saying these things in public (after saying them in private for the past few months), only to show up in TNA or something? That, I do believe, would constitute bridge-burning of the highest order as it regards WWE. They wouldn't like to be played for chumps in this, and I doubt Jericho would believe it worth his while to piss off the one company he knows will always be there with a paycheck waiting for him, once he's ready to start collecting them again.
    Jericho mysteriously notes that his little hiatus may last "one month, or one year." And on that, I'm sure he's not trying to deceive... there's a lot to be said for finding out how vacation and pursuing your hobbies and all that other stuff treats you before you decide how long you're going to be vacationing and pursuing your hobbies. But there are still many who say they figure Jericho will get the itch to be in the mix by WrestleMania next year, which pretty much means a Royal Rumble return. That's still a solid 4 months off. A lot of battery recharging can be done in 4 months.
    The wrestling world will be a slightly suckier place without him, but I think we could all stomach that from a guy who pretty much worked non-stop for the past 6 years. For the full explanation, straight from the horse's mouth, check the link to Jericho's website above.
  • And now, onto some free agents who might actually be contemplating a trek down to TNA... and who might have been given ample motivation for making that move last week.
    For, you see, the Dudley Boyz are no longer the Dudley Boyz. And WWE waited until last week (the final week of the Duds contracts) to inform them of this. Up until that point, the Dudleys had assumed that they would retain the rights to their names and likenesses.
    The deal was: upon leaving ECW in 1999, Paul Heyman "gave" Bubba and D-Von the rights to their characters. Apparently, this was done via a handshake. Which is not, as it turns out, legally binding. In reality, Heyman's lack of administrative detail meant that paperwork officially reassigning the Dudley names to Bubba and D-Von was never filed. So somewhere, in between hiring the Dudleys themselves and then also acquiring all of ECW assets, Vince McMahon became the owner of the Dudley Name.
    And now, he's decided that they may not use it elsewhere. [Somebody might want to check, but if this has happened to the Duds, then might not The Sandman -- who I understood got the same sort of deal from Heyman to "take over" his own name -- be in trouble for working under that name?]
    Over the weekend, the Duds first indie booking (against Matt Hardy and Rhino) saw the team work as "Team 3-D," with Bubba dodging the name issue by cutting a promo about how "You can call us whatever names you want to call us" and then distracted the audience with tables. Clever man. [That show in Pennsylvania is also, I believe, Matt Hardy's final commitment outside of WWE, as he'd signed on to the show before he learned of his WWE return. In a funny sidebar: at RAW shows over the weekend, announcements that "Matt Hardy is not in the building" were designed to be met with angry boos and chants. They were met with nothing. D'oh.]
    D-Von's real first name is, I think, Devon, so he can at least still call himself that. But Bubba's name is Mark, and that just doesn't have the same ring to it.
    WWE's decision? Hey, it is pretty jerktastic. But it's also their standard operating procedure. Since the start of the Hogan Era, the number of guys who have gotten their "name" from WWE to use elsewhere probably numbers in the low single digits. Unlike Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon doesn't see the value in making casual deals to repay loyalty with intangible naming rights or anything.... he just sees the possible tangible results of somebody trading on a name he helped make famous. So that's it: the "Dudley" name is dead and buried. At least until Bubba and D-Von decide they want to return to WWE.
    This *really* hurts their marketability, too, especially as it regards TNA. Look: there is one class of fan who won't care what name you're called, as long as you're delivering the same things in the ring and on the mic. This fan is a rarity, though. To the other 90% of fans, seeing the Dudleys in a TNA ring working under some crappy new name will only reinforce the idea that WWE is the Big Time and TNA is the Bush Leagues. All of a sudden, all that value I saw in the Duds coming to TNA to help be identity-makers for all of TNA's talented-but-forgettable roster of faceless/nameless tag wrestlers is undone. Because if the Duds themselves are nameless, how are they supposed to be the big fix?
    In my memory, the list of guys who have left WWE without their names who STILL made it big somewhere else is even shorter than the list of guys who got their naming rights from WWE.... the only two I can think of off-hand who lost WWF Personalities and still went on to bigger and better things: Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. And I'm not sure if Bubba and D-Von are capable of quite that same sort of "lose the name, keep everything else" transformation. Because the name ties into the gimmick at so many other levels that... well, I just don't know if it could happen.
    The one alternative? Maybe try a double-secret-reverse-psychology thing where the Duds try to create All New Personalities that we aren't supposed to recognize, but then all the fans DO recognize them, but then the fans are in on the "joke" that they aren't legally ALLOWED to recognize them. It could be as simple as having them wrestle under masks, but not doing anything else to hide their distinctive builds or movesets... you could make it a bit more complicated than that, with some kind of a total make-over that STILL wouldn't fool anyone. If you want them to be heels, you have them set up for signature spots (like "Whassup?") but then not do them, gesturing (Broadly, as is the manner of all the finest gesturing) to indicate that they are not permitted to do that move. BOOOO~! Or, if you want them to be babyfaces, you can still do all the signature moves and encourage fans to chant all kinds of subversive, Dudley-related things during shows. Cuz lord knows Vince can't sue the fans for having opinions counter to his own. Can he? Oh shit, I better look into that, since I know I'm on at least one of the McMahon's shit list already....
    You could even turn the chanting into a storyline and into a throwback to 10 years ago. When fans would chant "What's your name?" at Bubba. Because back then, in ECW, he stuttered heroically. But this time, they could chant it at him, because they'd now that -- no matter what TNA's dimwitted creative team came up with -- his name is NOT Tubby O'Tablecrasher. Bubba could tease them that he was FINALLY going to disobey WWE legal orders and bring back the Dudley name.... but of course, he probably never would follow through. But still: it'd be good shtick. And it'd be as close as TNA could get to having "The Dudleys" on their show without actually calling them that.
    Of course, this is all speculative at this point, anyway. The Former Dudleys have a few indie bookings over the next month, but nothing really significant.... significant in the "TV/PPV" kind of way, at least. And at this point, their arrival in TNA is still in the just-a-rumor phase. This might not even be an issue, depending on what kinds of other offers and what level of motivation the Duds have.
    Quick Question (since I'm nothing if not an intellectually curious sort): what do you think happens if Paul Heyman decides he wants to book the Dudleys for some OVW shows? It's not JUST developmental guys who work down there, you know... could they be the Dudley Boyz in OVW? Or would going to OVW and letting Paul Heyman (instead of the clowns at TNA) come up with their next gimmick (be it along the lines above or something completely different) be a wise move in and of itself?  Hmmmm....
  • The "World Wide Wrestling Alliance" -- formerly known as NWA-Ohio -- still has me on a mailing list. I guess they're not checking up to see what I say about them, eh?
    Anyway, this time, I mention them because they have announced that they'll be doing a PPV event in October, from Orlando, FL. They even have a logo and everything, so I guess maybe this is bordering on legit. Or at least, moreso than the claim that one of their toadies sent me about a Saturday afternoon ESPN timeslot starting right in the heart of college football season sounded... but in addition to a logo, they also have a talent roster starring.... well, Hacksaw Jim Duggan is featured prominently.... and.... ummmm.... well....
    Just check the website out for yourself. See if you see "Ready for PPV" there.
    Alls I know is that I'm apparently going about this annual pledge drive entirely the wrong way. I just want everybody to chip in a few bucks to help keep OO up and running for another year.... but I'm setting the bar WAY too low. Because if that website has a million dollar backer whose underwriting a PPV, then OnlineOnslaught.com freaking deserves to find a Dumb Money Mark who will buy me my own entire Island of Sin where I can lounge in luxury, munching on the finest foods, swilling the finest booze, and keeping the finest company, rendering me relaxed and in the ideal mood for delivering the Top Shelf Wrestling Content you expect out of me. Because that's at LEAST as good and noble an idea as a freaking WWWA (or "3WA," if you want to be a hep cat) pay-per-view event.
    So c'mon, Dumb Rich Guy: where are you? I wanty my island!!!! If you don't want to handle the arrangements yourself, just plop about $2 million in my PayPal account, and I figure I'll do your leg work for you. Some Money Mark you are, though... and the rest of you! You don't have to donate $2 million, but I figure if I have an Island of Sin, my appetites should be upgraded to Hoity Toity Levels. Every little bit you drop in the bucket means I'm closer to having crates of 25-year-old Scotch in storage on my non-existent Island. So pony up the cash, already! I'll let you come visit the Island for a weekend, if you do. You'll just have to follow three simple rules: do not approach The Rick, do not speak to The Rick, do not look directly at The Rick. And I'm sure everything will work out just dandy.
    Or you can forget this Island Fantasy, and marvel at the kind of Amazing Writery Skill it takes to effortlessly and seamlessly turn a mocking bullet point about a bush league indie fed into a reminder that if you like OO and don't want more ads or required subscription fees, you oughta think about dropping some coinage in the basket that I'm passing around this month during our annual pledge drive. Just sayin' is all...

  • The Cubs Fan, in his preface to his B-show Recaps this week, finally seems to be losing faith in the shows... don't worry, TCF, just ride it out four more weeks, and depending on how the syndication stuff works out, there'll probably be no more B-shows to recap.
    The problem, especially pronounced on Heat, is simply that WWE axed upwards of 15 TV-ready personalities, and in their places, have not had any great success introducing new ones. Frankie Kazarian quit as soon as he got on TV. CM Punk never MADE it to TV. Johnny Swinger and Matt Striker already have the Stink of Jobber on them.... so this is how Tyson Tomko becomes a centerpiece of Heat? No thanks.
    This might be changing. At least on Velocity. Velocity is where Ken KEN NEH DEE was born. And over the weekend, I gather Paul Burchill (or Burchall, I'm not positive) debuted as William Regal's new... well, "enforcer" or "partner" or something.
    Burchill is a "late bloomer" when it comes to wrestling, not starting his training until his mid-20s. He debuted less than 2 years ago, and then was signed to a developmental deal by WWE about 8 months ago. I haven't seen a LOT of him, because the majority of his time until the start of this year was spent wrestling in his native England, but I've talked to some who describe him as "a more-talented Mike Awesome," and what little I've seen bears that out.
    Of course, that instantly makes me wonder if WWE will have any desire to let him actually display the kind of things that got him his buzz over in the UK to the point where he earned a WWE deal. The "WWE Style" doesn't seem to be too friendly to guys who like to wow you with high risk type moves. But if WWE let him: Burchill is basically "Rock-sized" but does things that would make Rey Mysterio green with envy. A unique mix, if they let him show it. 
    And with Regal there to guide him along and handle speaking duties? That would be a big ol' bonus, too. So is the fact that he, cosmetically, looks WAY different from the last time I saw him. Less weenierific, more ruggedly badass. We'll see, but this might make Velocity 2-for-2 on "debuting characters" in its death throes. Too bad what SD! REALLY needs is a BABYFACE tag team, not another strong heel one.
  • Somebody whose been notably absent from Velocity the past 2 weeks: Paul London. After not really mentioning it because the word going around was that it was an excused absence to tend to a family matter (and thus, none of our business), there's a new twist making the rounds now...
    That London fell out of favor with Vince McMahon a month or so back (following an edict from management to lay off a few high-flying moves including London's 450 Splash, except during excused exceptions on PPVs)... he confronted Vince directly, and before you knew it: he inexplicably lost the Cruiserweight Title to a guy he'd beaten in matches about three billion times previously on Velocity.
    Now people are wondering if London's extended absence might have more behind it then tending to personal business. Don't know what to say, but I mention it because it sadly DOES fit the Vince MO to respond this way to somebody who dares to hold an opinion contrary to his own.
  • As mentioned above: just four more weeks of Velocity and Heat. WWE is shaking up their syndication packages, and its still unclear how all that will pan out (if maybe there will be some fresh "b-show" content on the new syndies), but once RAW jumps back to USA Network, those two shows are NOT going with it.
    Instead, USA has announced that WWE's extra weekend timeslot will be 10am on Saturday mornings. No format for the show has been announced, but one would presume it'll be a RAW/SD! joint magazine type show, recapping the events of the wrestling week. I can't think of anything more creative or edgy playing well at 10am on Saturdays. I know back in college, they tried the "LiveWire" (call-in show) experiment in that timeslot, and um.... well, let's just say that as I was starting to learn the magic of sleeping past noon on Saturdays to put my body right, I might have caught the show twice. And it hurt both times. And the format was scrapped inside of six months. So I look for WWE to have learned its lesson and keep any Saturday morning show lazy and cheap.
  • Remember how I expressed some mild confusion over the new Ross Report's tease about a "surprising" diva being the next one to pose for Playboy... because I had no idea which of the current batch was supposed to be "surprising," since I couldn't think of a one that would be all that shocking.
    Well, smack my ass and call me Sally.... because numerous readers decided to smarten me up with their own pet theory. And I gotta say: if you wanted me to be surprised, these guys got it right. So sayeth OO Nation (perpetually-wanking division): Stephanie McMahon herself should get nekkid. And THAT would open some eyes.
    I can't deny that. The thought had honestly never crossed my mind, either. Somehow, I thought that maybe JR was just trying to act like Victoria would be "surprising," since she's the closest thing to Chyna that they've got on the roster, or something. Which still isn't very close, but you get the idea....
    Anyway, you may bask in the original thinking and creativity of a half-dozen or so hornballs in the audience. But if you repeat this, remember, *I* never said it. I'm just telling you the theories of others...
  • Last thing: I think I can politely ask you to stop writing in asking for a job in the SmackDown! Recapper Rotation. I've gotten lots of requests/sample submissions/etc., and frankly, if I can't find what I need there, then I've got bigger problems...
    I've got this week covered (a week straight of whining and kvetching in every column apparently had its desired effect, and so, without me ever having the chance to ask directly, Erin volunteered to step in for Flake Boy). Then, I still don't know what I'm gonna do once the Move to Fridays kicks in.
    Over the weekend, I wound up doing some thinking and I got REALLY attached to this idea of finding a Canadian Recapper, as you'll be getting the show up there on Thursday nights, I believe. That way, a SD! Recap could be done and posted to OO before I enter my weekend phase of no wrestling and now webmastering. I've asked Domestic Recappers to stop bugging me, but I remain open to any of you magnificent Canucks who wants to be under consideration for this attempted circumvention of UPN scheduling. The deal is: in exchange for you getting a High Quality SD! Recap in my mailbox by 6pm on Friday nights, you would receive no payment and no compensation of any tangible kind. But you would receive my gratefulness and the adoration of tens of thousands of readers.
    A deal like that? How can you refuse? So Canucks: do be in touch, if you think you might be able to do the job. In fact, to start, I might even do a "rotation" thing even on the early-Canadian recaps, just to get a feel for everybody's work and to make sure not to OVERwork anybody, so you can even specify that you'd only be up for 1 or 2 recaps per month, too.
    And the "rotation" thing would DEFINITELY be in place if I decide I'll just stick with domestic Recappers covering the canonical American Broadcast of SD!. I've got three familiar faces already committed to my scheme, and I only need to pluck one or two more out of the huge pool of candidates who've applied if I decide to go this route. So I think I'm good there.
    But honestly: thanks for your interest and offers, even if it ends up that I can't make room for EVERYbody to do recaps. Tis appreciated.
  • I do believe that's all I got for you today. RAW Recap tomorrow. Midweek news and analysis on Wednesday. I'll see you folks 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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