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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
Full RAW/SD!/TNA Ratings Report, plus
JR, WWE Fining Wrestlers, and Lots More 
October 19, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Looks like my Monday pre-ramble wasn't nearly the educational bit of obscure trivia I thought it would be...
  
Lots of people mailed in with additional details/corrections about Hurricane Naming Schema, as it turns out I didn't exactly get it right.

My excuse: I wrote that on late Sunday night. And you lucky bastards all got to read the AP Newswire items that had the correct info included by Monday afternoon. At the very least, give me credit for

latching on to a topic that was deemed Important Enough To Report On! Better still: credit me for trying to have a little fun with a topic that was, come Monday Night, deemed Important Enough To Have A Little Fun With on the debut edition of the Colbert Report. I've already accused Stewart of stealing my material (or at least, of possessing an identical sense of humor and the absurd as mine), and now it looks like I'll have no choice but to lob similar accusations at Colbert.

Anyway: the REAL reason why Hurricane names stop at "W" is just because the Hurricane Naming People didn't want to have to come up with names for X, Y, and Z. Also: they skip Q and U. So there are 21 names for every year before they go to the Greek Letter Names.

Also also: I should probably have not bothered with my amateur storm path forecasting, because at some point after Sunday night, Wilma decided that it'll probably take a big ol' right turn and speed up and ram into Florida (or as I like to call it, America's Wang) no later than Saturday. Here's hoping TNA thinks ahead and tells all their guys to get into Orlando ahead of the storm, because if that's what ends up happening, I'm betting travel will be a mess all weekend long throughout Florida.

And how's that for a sweet-ass seamless transition between smalltalk about the weather and wrestling? Nobody does it better, I tells ya! Here's your midweek update:

  • A day later, and I still don't got much love for Monday's RAW.... but from the sounds of things, I've got way less hatred than most of you.
     
    C'mon, people! Limited Cena, almost no Chris F. Masters, the McMahon segments were way shorter and less intrusive than I'd have guessed... I know it was far from a good show, but can we at least band together and voice some appreciation for these decisions by WWE? If we don't give them positive reinforcement when they do stuff like this, they won't repeat the behavior in the future, dammit....
     
    So if things are back to outright sucking again next week, I will blame YOU for not giving some credit where it's due.
     
    I stand adamant that the only truly awful part of Monday's show was the announcing. And like I said: it's the part of the show that's easiest to zone out and not pay attention to... the one thing about the announcing that DOES frustrate me is the fact that I just know that WWE thinks Coach did a great job, because they WANTED him to be an awful announcer to get this storyline over. He was doing as he was told, and he'll be under orders to do more of the same in the future. And it'll be us fans at home who pay the price.
     
    After the announcing, the most disappointing part of the show was the main event Battle Royale, and the lazily presented return of Kane. Seriously: how does Kane not saying a single word about his absence or his future plans and then going on to squash 17 Heat Caliber Jobbers accomplish anything? 
     
    Beyond that, I thought most things were reasonably tolerable. The opening McMahon/Angle/Hurricane thing was OK.... Edge/Big Show was your standard crowd-pleasing Big Show outing (although I do have issues with the "What the Fuck?" factor of the JBL interruption)... the Cabana didn't sizzle like I thought/hoped it might, but it's still Mick Foley, and that's never a bad thing...  Michaels vs. Carlito never quite got on track, which is a bit of a surprise; but it also never stank out loud.... Flair's promo was good and intense and accomplished the mission of making him seem up to the challenge of facing HHH.... the right three broads did all the work in the six-women tag match to good effect; although I also don't deny I have real problems with WWE pissing away a potentially killer story here... and then I thought Steve Austin and Stephanie McMahon had pretty much the night's best segment, albeit mostly because it seemed like Austin was having fun and maybe not going totally according to script (which becomes doubly funny and deliciously ironic considering he was deviating from the script with the head writer right there in the ring with him).
     
    Granted, when you're peaking with an improvisational promo, that doesn't say a whole hell of a lot about the quality of the show... but even without any true highspots or anything, I think the effective removal of the Truly Sucky made Monday's RAW a step in the right direction after the previous week's effort.
     
    No, I'm not applauding mediocrity, I'm merely trying to make the relative comparison between recent WWE shows. Monday still wasn't good. But it was better than what preceded it, and I'm more than happy to point that out in hopes that somebody, somewhere, makes a note of it and keeps trying to steer the ship in this direction.
     
    You can get a much more detailed about of Monday's show (along with the usual insightful analysis and random digressions), in yesterday's OO RAW Recap. Trust me, it's not just the best one in all the land, it's also gonna end up putting a way bigger smile on your face than anything the actual TV show served up. And if, by chance, you disagree with that assessment of the recap's excellence? Well, at least it'll only take you 10-15 minutes to read, instead of taking up 2 hours of your life.
     
  • The rating for Monday's show was a 3.7. This means that RAW is now pretty much back to where they were during their last 3 months on Spike (July-Sept., RAW averaged a 3.6 rating). And BELOW where they were earlier in the year on Spike. RAW averaged a 3.9 rating on Spike during the first quarter of the year, and a 4.0 rating during the second quarter, before dropping to that 3.6 in the third quarter.
     
    If there's a happy story, it's that the 3.7 is still well above the average rating for RAW's last month on Spike (when they averaged only a 3.4 after a huge nosedive). But that happy story is easily offset by the observation that RAW gained a shitload of viewers for their return to USA, and they've already lost over 20% of that audience in only their third week on the network.
     
    I'll just repeat what I said last week: you can do as excellent a marketing/promotion job as you want, and get people to check out your product (which is what WWE and USA/Universal did in the month leading up to the network jump).... but they'll only stick around if you're delivering a quality program. Which WWE has not done yet in their three weeks back "home."
     
    The result? Is what you see in the ratings. People show up in droves to see "Homecoming," which turns out to be a disappointing show (2 good matches, sure; but also the awful McMahons skit and a horribly paced final hour leading to a lame main event). Fewer people show up the next week, and the ones who do are treated to another subpar show with an extremely terrible main event "firing." And in the third week: fewer people still. And from the sounds of things, those people were less tolerant of the show than I was, so who knows what effect that'll have on ratings next week?
     
    It's not like I take pleasure in declining ratings, but in this case, I almost hope that things continue like this, since it might be the only way for those in control at WWE to realize that maybe they should consider a medical procedure to correct their rectal-cranial inversion, and start producing a product that is what the fans want to see. Instead of the product that WWE feels like delivering.
     
  • Not all ratings are declining. The final rating for last Friday's SD! has been calculated, and it's a 2.5 broadcast rating. That's actually up one-tenth from the week before, I believe. Of course, it's also a full point below where it should be and a half-point below SD!'s final month average on Thursday.
     
    If RAW's declining ratings are reason for alarm, I don't see how SD!'s audience being less than three-quarters of RAW's at this point is any kind of good news...
     
  • TNA's week three ratings are in, and they are STILL holding steady. Impact did a 0.8 on Saturday night, and a 0.5 for the Monday night replay. All parties involved are satisfied with this level of performance.
     
    In fact, TNA begins to look attractive as a programming alternative when you consider how badly Spike's UFC ratings have tumbled without the WWE lead-in. The two-hour Ultimate Fighter block on Monday only averaged a 1.0 rating this week. I'll repeat this again, too: I laugh in the face of anybody who thought that UFC on Spike would somehow be the start of a new Monday Night War. 
     
  • Spike is happy enough with TNA's performance that they are taking an already-planned preemption of Impact and turning it into a special two-hour primetime broadcast.
     
    It's been known for weeks that Impact will not air on Saturday, November 5 (as Spike has a UFC event scheduled for that night, which will run till midnight). My understanding is that TNA was told they would receive a replacement timeslot at 11pm on either the preceding Thursday or Friday night. That changed earlier this week.
     
    Now, TNA will run a two hour event on Thursday night, November 3, starting at 9pm. The show will be taped next Wednesday in Orlando, FL, making the next 7 days just about the busiest in TNA history. Three shows in four days! The PPV on Sunday, regular Impact tapings on Tuesday, and then the primetime taping on Wednesday! It's almost like they're a real wrestling company!
     
    I'll say this: with Impact failing to deliver a distinctive product in its first few weeks, and with my theory being that the one-hour time constraint is the problem, this prime time special is VITAL to TNA if they want to grow past 0.8 ratings. This is a golden opportunity for them to present the kinds of matches that fans simply don't see in WWE. They need to deliver nothing less than a PPV caliber event... if they do, that's what could drive TV ratings and eventually have an effect on PPV buyrates.
     
    Of course, then that opens up a can of worms if the weekly Impact show is still pretty tepid, with TNA trying to cram too much into that one hour.... but hopefully they'll still keep tweaking that formula and get things fixed so that there's a reason to be excited about Impact, and a way to keep fans who might catch the primetime special onboard from week-to-week.
     
  • Jim Ross underwent colon surgery yesterday. Though information is limited and non-specific, WWE.com has quotes from JR's wife, Jan, who says that the past 2 days have been rough, but that they are pleased with the surgery, and that Jim is hanging tough.
     
    A few readers who are doctors and have tried guessing at JR's condition from what information has been made public have written in and said that it would not be uncommon for JR to remain hospitalized for up to a week following an ideal procedure, and possibly longer. I mention it just so that nobody out there gets it in their head that JR will be at Taboo Tuesday in any capacity... even if WWE does the right thing and admits the plan to remove JR was foolish and misguided, it'll probably be a little bit longer than Taboo Tuesday before he's ready and able to return.
     
  • We now know the stipulation that fans will vote on in the Mick Foley vs. Carlito Cool Taboo Tuesday match.... according to Mick himself during a radio interview, fans will get to pick which persona he wrestles under: Cactus Jack, Mankind, or Dude Love.
     
    And I'm betting a body part (my appendix) that HHH vs. Flair will be a Pick The Weapon match, too, although that isn't official.
     
  • Speaking of RAW's announcer situation, many readers have mailed in to tell me that in my not paying attention to the announcing on Monday, I missed a golden opportunity to fire up my (apparently beloved-by-many) mockery of John Cena.
     
    Seems Homey the Clown gave away the finish of the Battle Royale early in the match, leaving Coach and King to try to cover for him with lines like "Well, that's assuming Kane wins, which isn't a sure thing."
     
    Dammit. That's exactly the kind of thing I should have noticed. Looks like you folks (and Cena) get a break this week, though. I completely whiffed on hearing that. But even if I hadn't, I wonder what I would have said about it? I mean, it's not like I could blame Cena for feeling the same way I did: that there was only one possible winner in that entire Battle Royale...
     
  • Since this is a semi-issue in the Sports World these days, I'll quickly mention that the NBA isn't the only entity that has a retarded dress code that is ruffling feathers...
     
    WWE is cracking down on a lot of their stupid little personnel rules, resulting in a big series of fines being levied against SD! wrestlers last week and RAW wrestlers this week, including many top names.
     
    Without getting into specifics of the rules violated or the wrestlers involved (because, frankly, the whole thing is silly, and the details will do nothing to enhance your fandom), you should know that WWE's been putting a lot of energy into enforcing a dress code, punishing tardiness, and (this is a good one) not letting wrestlers play videogames backstage or watch anything on TV other than wrestling tapes. Apparently, some wrestlers play a bit fast and loose with these rules, but that's ended the past week or so.
     
    You want to know what I think? I think it's yet another case of pitiably misplaced priorities. WWE gets bad ratings news or something, and they're just too clueless to know how to fix the Big Problems, so they go and try to fix a Tiny Problem. Or in this case, a Non-Problem. It makes officials and higher-ups feel like they're doing something, like they are taking action... it's the only thing that makes sense to me.
     
    So bravo, WWE, for enforcing your silly set of rules and collecting a couple dozen $500 fines this past week... you are truly a Classy and Professional Organization. A Classy and Professional Organization that seems less and less capable of presenting a product that appeals to fans with each passing day. Bravo, indeed.
     
    Why don't you just grade employees based on whether or not they do their jobs well (instead of what they wear or how they like to waste their time when they aren't working), and put your energy into FIXING THE DAMNED PRODUCT? Christ...
     
  • I will mention one incident, specifically.... because if third-hand reports are true, Kid Kash (who debuted on Velocity last week) didn't get fined for a dress code violation, he actually get taken off the road and sent back to Deep South, with his scheduled SD! house show bookings all pulled.
     
    That's just bush league, if true.
     
    Then again, that's also just my personal sense of morals, where just because a rule exists doesn't mean it has to be followed. There are a lot of stupid rules and laws, some of which should apply to certain people who need them to get through life, but which don't apply in other situations or to other, more capable people. This is why I could never be in the military... because the first time some guy dumber than me asks me to perform some task or follow some rule that makes absolutely no sense to me, I'd ask "Why?" and he'd say "Because I said so and I outrank you" and I'd say "I don't care, because I'm smarter than you and I don't see any good reason to follow that order, so either explain it to me so that it does make sense, or get out of my face" and then I'd be court-martialed, and be no better than Randy AWOL Orton.
     
    Less time trying to get the enlisted men to dress the way you want when they're at the airport, WWE. More time trying to come up with compelling and entertaining things to do when they're in front of an audience. It's that simple....
     
  • Looking ahead to SmackDown! (in a refreshingly spoiler-free fashion), you can expect Matt Hardy's SD! debut this week. WWE.com itself has made the announcement; what's frustrating is that at first, Matt was scheduled to be a guest on the Peep Show, but now they say he just has a match, instead. Dammit, the potential dynamic between Matt and Christian (Edge's TV Brother) could have allowed Matt to make a big splash (and give Christian something worthwhile to do for the first time since July)... but just like Kane, it sounds like they're deadset on making this as underwhelming a return as possible for Matt.
     
    Also: Benoit defends the US Title again Booker T, and the MexiMidgets were scheduled to be at tapings last night the last I heard. Not that topping RAW this week would be hard work, but EVERYBODY loves midgets! That could put SD! over the top...
     
  • I think that's all I got. I might not see you folks again till Monday. Barring unforeseen newsworthy developments, this coming weekend belongs to TNA, which means your attention belongs to Jason Longshore and His OO Forums Cronies, who'll catch you up to speed on everything you need to know about TNA's Bound For Glory PPV. I might take Friday off.
     
    So see you when I see you, kids...


  
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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