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Nash Hospitalized, Rhino Wins Title, Lots of
Other TNA, Taboo Tuesday, and Ratings News 
October 24, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


You know how I crap on the essential dumbness of 90% of television shows, right?
Well, what I want to know is how a show that I once watched mostly just as a guilty pleasure because of it reveled in its dumbness has, over the past several years, become one of the most consistently clever and satirical shows on TV.

I'm speaking of "South Park," which has apparently started new episodes

up again... cuz I caught a new one over the weekend, and within about 3 minutes, could not stop giggling. Any show that has the wit and the temperament to take two soul-crushingly awful (but fundamentally unrelated) things, tie them together, and then spend 22 straight minutes mocking them to hell and back again probably deserves some kind of award.

In this case, the two mockery-worthy things were (1) the response many self-righteous douchebags had in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with all the blame-laying and paranoia, and (2) the movie "The Day After Tomorrow." Ingenious.

I got a kick out of it, anyway... it appears that "South Park," like The Rick, just gets better with age. Allow me to try to prove it with the finest possible effort I can muster on this Monday afternoon:

  • Obviously, the big news of the weekend is that Kevin Nash was pulled from the TNA Bound For Glory PPV main event, and replaced by Rhino (who then went on to win the NWA Title from Jeff Jarrett).
    Nash's story is a messy one, with a ton of conflicting rumors and absolutely no clear information about his current status, other than that he was not present in any capacity last night in Orlando.
    TNA's official story is that Nash made a 911 call on Saturday afternoon from his hotel room. Initially, they reported that it was still likely that Nash would be medically cleared to compete on Sunday night; that story then changed by Sunday afternoon, as Nash was pulled from the main event slot.
    Other stories seem to indicate that Nash was hospitalized on Friday, before any of the weekend fanfest activities even kicked off, and that TNA was aware of Nash's condition no later than Friday evening. I honestly don't know what to make of the diverging stories, other than to wonder how hard it is to get the day of Nash's hospitalization right when trying to spread the word.
    At this juncture, there are lots more questions than answers about Nash's situation, and I can't presently shed much more light on the issue. I'm as bewildered as you as to what to think about all this. 
    But I guess at least one important question was answered when TNA decided to go with Rhino as Nash's PPV replacement, and even went so far as to put the NWA Title on him. In the 24 hours between word of Nash's medical condition getting out and the PPV, most speculation centered on Raven getting the title shot (which would have made a hell of a lot of sense, given that he was the champ before Jarrett and still hasn't gotten a rematch; in fact, for about 2 weeks, there were rumors that Raven would play some kind of role in the scheduled Nash/Jarrett main event, possibly as a third entrant)... however, in the end, TNA went with Rhino, who was the final ECW Champion, then devolved into essentially a jobber for the WWF/E, and is now back on top as the NWA Champion.
    It was the climax to a show that has been the subject of a wildly mixed set of reviews. Widely expected to be TNA's most-watched PPV of all time, some say that the company delivered exactly what the needed to, and showed new fans that their wrestlers go out there, take risks, and bust their ass... others have written in to say it was a frequently-sloppy spotfest, with at least one match totally ruined because highspots are given precedence over psychology and logical flow. 
    I guess it comes down to a question of what you look for in your wrestling product.... but just from e-mail accounts, the one thing I think can be safely said about Bound For Glory is that they tried hard to make sure there was at least a LITTLE something for every type of fan. You had the flippity-floppity, you had the technical wrestling, and you even had some personality-driven entertainment segments. It's probably a wise move for TNA to try to do what WWE isn't right now: putting out a few flavors of wrestling, and letting the fans decide what items from the buffet to load up on. They'll find an identity eventually, and it'll be one decided by the fans...
    You can get lots more details about the eventful show in Jason Longshore's TNA Bound For Glory PPV Recap. [Note, if the link is presently dead, just wait a bit. Jason assures me the recap will be in my hands at some point Monday evening, and I'll get it posted as quickly as I can.]
  • Going back in time to cover the weekend's other wrestling shows....
    Really quickly about "Impact," I'll just say it was a fourth straight deal where it's not like the show sucks.... but it's also a deal where I'm not exactly feeling like I'm being given reasons to consider TNA "must-see" destination TV. Also: The value of a pre-PPV episode is measured by how much it enhances my interest in said PPV; Saturday's Impact was pretty much a failure in this regard, as every single run-in/confrontation seemed like essentially a predictable repeat of things we'd seen in the previous three weeks.
    Oh, and I think I figured out something else about TNA that gives me the gripes (just as much as the fricking laser beams and Don West do).... the fans. In my experience, I've seen something similar first-hand at the Formula One race in Indianapolis, where the (mostly foreign) fans seem to be more fans of BEING FANS than they are fans of the actual event they are attending. Does that make sense? They've got lame sing-songy shit and stuff for half the TNA roster, it seems, and none of it really seems cool or applicable, much less catchy. Cheering for a sports event shouldn't ever require much more than a few chants and fervent screaming, punctuated with firm high-fiving... any group of sports event attendees who would require me to learn a song-book before I could join them can kindly kiss my ass. Cuz that's not what going to cheer on your team/favorite wrestler should be all about. You go, you watch, you respond to what you see (quite possibly loudly), but you do not get together with the other attention-craving jack-asses in Section 108 to try starting some lame sing-along for Abyss or "Bentley Bounce" or anything else that will only serve as a distraction to the fans who came to, you know, PAY ATTENTION TO THE ACTUAL EVENT ITSELF. 
    A small thing, but something I wanted to get off my chest about certain sports fans' insular "groupthink" that seems to put off potential new fans, instead of welcome them into the fold, and how it applies specifically in TNA's case.... plus, it's not like there's any real point breaking down the events of the show itself, since it was superceded by the events of the PPV, which we've already discussed.
    For whatever it's worth, Jason said he'd have a capsule summary of Impact at the very start of the PPV Recap, so you can get more details there.
  • And then there was SmackDown, too, which was actually a fairly interesting little show.
    You start off with a US Title change, and that's nothing to sneeze at... 'twasn't nearly as exciting a match as we might have hoped for given Booker T and Chris Benoit's past series of matches for the US Title (I think we got more chinlocks and restholds in this one match than we did in that entire 7 match series back in 1998), but for a free TV match that was more about the story, it'll suffice. 
    That story? That Booker only won thanks to the interference of his wife, Sharmell, but doesn't know it. Booker thinks he won fair and square, but Benoit knows otherwise, and is upset at Booker's wife. Booker's response, naturally, is to defend his wife... but one has to assume that Booker's not a retard and will eventually make use of this magically thing known as Instant Replay to find out that everything Benoit's been saying for two weeks about Sharmell's interference is true. And then, my friends, things'll get interesting, since Booker will either be a Good Guy who feels guilty about this... or he'll just say "screw it, I'm winning, and that's all that matters" and go full-on heel.
    Either way, one has to assume that (better, more action-packed) Booker/Benoit matches will be the result, and that between the two of them, the profile of the US Title will continue to rise. Orlando Who?
    The Rey/JBL match was, I'm assuming, pretty much the same deal the two did at the PPV for about 8 minutes, and then they also went to an intriguing finish, as Edge ran in from the crowd just as Rey seemed poised to win.... and then Edge attacked Rey? Huh, I thought he wanted him some of JBL.... but I guess this works, since it means that JBL loses the match by DQ. Then JBL and Edge brawl out of the building, and for reasons unexplained Chris F. Masters shows up and puts Rey in the shitty full nelson until the lockerroom empties of all of SD!'s b-level talent, captained by Bob Holly. Ugh, the Hosehead is right: the thought of Holly and Masters in the same ring against each other *is* enough to drive a man to drink. Or in my case, to drink even more than usual. 
    For once in my life, I'm upset at my Heroic Tolerance that prevents me from ever getting black-out-drunk (to get to that point, I think I'd have to be legally dead), cuz I know Masters/Holly is coming, and I'd already like to pre-forget that it ever will have been happened. And while you're working out those convoluted verb tenses, this is also the perfect chance for me -- while we're on the subject of my drinking prowess -- to note that last weekend marked the ninth anniversary of my last vomit. I should open a clinic or run a weekend-long seminar or something... because most people just don't fricking know how to drink properly and end up blacking out, or causing property damage, or inventing new personality traits because they are psychologically broken and think booze is medicine, or otherwise sullying the good name of the Truly Professional Social Drinker. But I digress (blame the Hosehead for starting it)...
    The same basic "it wasn't that exciting of a match, but it had an interesting ending" thing applies to the main event, in which Randy Orton and Ken Kennedy took on Batista and his Best Friend Eddie Guerrero. I'm loving the Batista/Eddie story, and how Eddie seems more and more sincere every week in his friendship to Batista... this week, he even stepped in and took a chairshot meant for Batista (causing a DQ win for the good guys).
    I'm telling you: in this day and age of crappy, ham-handed storytelling, Eddie re-turning against Batista has a chance to rival any memorable heel turns of our youths. For some of you younger ones, that might be back in 1998, when the Rock was flirting with being a de facto babyface, but then viciously turned on Mick Foley to side with Vince McMahon and the "Corporation." For me, the greatest and most memorable heel turn ever was Paul Orndorff (after also only flirting with babyfacedom for about 8-9 months) tried to act like Hulk Hogan's best friend, but then, in one of the most shocking moments of the summer between fourth and fifth grades, turned on Hogan during an episode of "Superstars of Wrestling."
    Eddie has a chance to recreate that, since he never really turned face officially, but is being treated as one by fans SOLELY BECAUSE they now believe he is Batista's friend. To me, that means if you milk this for a while longer, when you do the actual "reveal" and have Eddie turn against Batista, it'll go over like gangbusters and be something the next generation of Internet Jack-offs are talking about 10 and 20 years from now. Given how well it's gone so far, I have faith it will play out successfully.... I'm also more convinced than ever that the "end game" scenario here should include Eddie's heel turn coming at the same time he defeats Batista for the World Title. After that, I'm being completely serious when I say that Batista re-chasing the title and facing Champ Eddie at WM22 is something I would consider.
    Or at least: consider more than a Batista vs. Randall Orton WM22 match, which I'm thinking would go over about like a lead balloon given the way fans seem to (not) react to Orton when placed in spots that require a bit more gravitas than his 260 pounds of duh can muster.
    Beyond that, there were some throwaway bits interspersed with the three big matches. Some good (like Bobby Lashley again looking impressive), and some bad (like anything involving the Boogeyman)... but the three big stories scored pretty well with me, at least, and as always, I was well-equipped to FF past anything that looked like it would piss me off. Viva la The 70-minute Version of SmackDown!
    You can get the full report on the show in The Hosehead's SD! Recap.
  • The prelim rating for SD! is a 2.5, which is about on par with the last two weeks, and should result in a final rating in the low-to-mid 2s. Yay for consistency, I guess. But boo for being consistently below expectations.
  • The full card (with votable stipulations) has been unveiled for Taboo Tuesday. WWE.com released the card over the weekend, and voting will begin tonight either during or after RAW.
    The main event will be a WWE Title match with John Cena defending against Kurt Angle and a Mystery Opponent. The votable stip: fans can pick the third man from Shawn Michaels, Big Show, or Kane. [Michaels is probably a virtual lock to win, just as he did in a similar spot last year.]
    Then, the two non-participants from that match will team up to face Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade. Who are they? The Tag Team Champs, not that you'd know it from watching RAW the last month. [Big Show and Kane are certainly a formidable duo, and as long as they get along, probably oughta squash the champs like bugs.]
    Ric Flair will face Triple H. The fans will get to pick the style of match from: "One Fall to a Finish," Submissions Match, or Cage Match. [The "one fall" match sounds basically like an anything-goes, ECW-rules type match, and is what I'd vote for in a heartbeat. But remember last year when dimwitted fans picked a Cage Match stip from a list for Flair's match? Yeah, me too, so that might be what we get, instead.]
    Following up on SD!'s happenings, Edge and Chris Masters will team up to face any two SD! stars. Fans will get to pick the team from a list that includes: Rey Mysterio, Matt Hardy, JBL, Christian, and Bob Holly. [Umm, Mysterio and Hardy should win, if there's any justice. Remember, Rey would be wrestling in front of his hometown crowd, and Matt would still have heat with Edge, so that'd just work best.]
    Carlito Cool will face Mick Foley. Fans will get to pick which persona Mick wrestles as.... Cactus Jack, Mankind, or Dude Love. [I'd probably pick Mankind, just because Dude Love is a comedy character, and when Mick wrestles as "Mick Foley," it's essentially the exact same thing as Cactus Jack, so Mankind would be a fun change of pace.]
    Steve Austin vs. Jonathan Coachman is on tap, too, with fans getting to pick which kind of showdown they have. Street Fight, Arm Wrestling Match, or Verbal Debate. [Uhhhh, Beavis? What a lame set of options... anybody who doesn't vote Street Fight is a retard.]
    And finally, there will be a six woman Battle Royale with Trish's title on the line. Just as last year, fans will get to pick the wardrobe for the women. The choices will be: Cheerleader, Olympic Gymnast, or Sexy Cop.... no, wait.... those were the three things that sprang into my mind during a recent discussion about a friend's possible Halloween Costumes. So strike that. The real three choices are: Cheerleader, Victoria's Secret Model, or TV-PG Dominatrix. [I'd vote "cheerleader," partly because I still have an unscratched itch from back when no cheerleaders would even talk to me in high school, but also partly because it's the one choice that would allow this match to be contested in sneakers, which might actually make it, you know, halfway decent. But you know that "lingerie" will win because 14 year olds think that elaborate stocking-and-garter ensembles are the embodiment of sexy, and also don't recognize that there's something fundamentally wrong with the idea of an attempted wrestling match with six women wearing stiletto heels. At least I'm pretty sure that the fetish brigade are too small in numbers to push the leather-and-whips option through...]
    It's interesting that Steve Austin and Mick Foley's returns to the ring are both taking place on this show, and it STILL somehow lacks a certain sizzle. It doesn't help that Austin's return is coming against the freaking COACH, as part of a lame storyline, I guess, but still....
  • To answer a shitload of e-mails.... yes, there is currently a very good chance that Tajiri will leave WWE when his present contract expires. He has, if you recall, had two lengthy leaves of absence in the last few years so he could return to Japan and spend time with his family, and I gather that's something that's weighing on him a lot these days.
    So with his wrestling career stagnant (a situation that earns WWE an eyeball punch), he is thinking of moving back home permanently.
    I believe his current deal runs through till sometime next spring, so a lot could change in that time, I guess. But I'd also guess that if this is something that's weighing heavily on Tajiri's mind, he could also negotiate an early release, and I think WWE would be amenable, since it doesn't sound like Tajiri has any interest in jumping to TNA or otherwise continuing his career on this continent.
  • The Rock's new movie "DOOM" opened in the #1 spot at the box office, but only raked in about $15 million (which is more a statement about the weakness of the box office at this time of year than a testament to DOOM's popularity).
    For whatever it's worth, I got to see the movie (for free), and my official opinion is: it pretty much sucks ass, but sucks ass in a frequently breezy and also very-violent way, so it might be worth a cheap matinee or something if you are entertained by such fluff. Best example I can give would be to compare it to the first Resident Evil movie. Not because they are both videogame movies (hell, I've never played either of the videogames in question, so I couldn't care less about that aspect), but just because both movies have some cool violence and special effects, and have a reasonably personable cast playing shittily-written cardboard cut-outs of characters and that makes it a bit easier to feign interest in their antics.
    So I guess: if you liked the first Resident Evil movie, then DOOM should be good for you. [Note, if you liked the SECOND Resident Evil movie, you should get to the theatre pronto, because DOOM is gonna be better than the greatest masterwork of the test tube love child of Shakespeare and Beethovan, as far as you're concerned. Either that, or you should pop off back behind the garage and put a bullet in your skull, because anybody who liked -- or even tolerated -- Resident Evil 2 is Part of the Problem.]
  • FYI, the Rock's appearances on Late Night TV last week were all moderately amusing and just about completely devoid of wrestling talk. Poor WWE: they shill the Rock's movie, and he even when vaguely mentioning his old job, he can't even muster up mentioning their name on TV.
    On Letterman? Meh. On the Daily Show? Better. And as expected, on Conan is when The Rock really cut loose and had some fun. And luckily the two latter appearances will be easily accessible to any interested viewers who missed them.
    The Daily Show has repeats throughout the day on Monday (including, I believe, at 8pm eastern time, so you can use it as an appetizer before RAW). And Conan will repeat in Super Late Night (usually around 3am or 4am, but check your local NBC affiliates listings) this coming Friday night/Saturday morning.
  • For those wondering about Jim Ross' health, WWE.com has finally gotten around to officially confirming what was going around over the weekend: that JR's surgery went as well as could be expected, and that the growth removed from his intestines was benign, and JR is certified Cancer-Free. That is excellent news.
    Certainly excellent for JR, for whom I know we all wish a full and speedy recovery.... and possibly excellent for us if this could in any way lead to the surgical removal of a certain 230 lbs. growth on the RAW announce desk, and the reinstatement of JR at some point in the future.
  • And I guess lastly today, just a quick rundown of what to expect on tonight's RAW.... in a lot of ways, the rundown of the Taboo Tuesday card tells us exactly what to expect tonight. Most of the matches were pretty obvious, but the justification for the stipulations and stuff will be fleshed out tonight, I'm sure.
    Probably the thing I'm most looking forward to will be seeing how they play any possible SD! "invasion." Because looking at what's possible for Taboo Tuesday, you'd think that Rey might be the guy who shows up tonight. But more realistically, SD! has, for some reason, anointed JBL as their leader, so he might come to take a potshot or two at Edge to set up the PPV tag match.
    Originally, I thought that interference could come as part of a Michaels vs. Big Show vs. Edge three-way match tonight, but I guess the initial word I got about that match was wrong, and it'll now be Michaels vs. Big Show vs. Kane in a showdown of three babyfaces (which makes sense from a Taboo Tuesday Voting Perspective, but which might be a bit lacking in terms of storytelling and sizzle without a heel to cheer against). If Edge is exposed in some other match or promo, obviously, he still should be the lightning rod for any SD! interference...
    Other than that, RAW actually does have two pretty big and interesting matches announced. First is the aforementioned three-way match, which I'm just guessing will be won by somebody other than Shawn Michaels, since there's no way Shawn won't still win the fan voting next week. I'd use the match, maybe, to tease tension between Big Show and Kane, since that could then play into their eventual tag team title match next Tuesday night...
    And then, your main event will be Kurt Angle vs. John Cena, with Mick Foley as the guest ref. Cena is 0-for-2 against Angle in their current feud, losing two decisions (one via DQ in a singles match, the other via tap-out in a tag match) while still holding onto his title. My guess: with a babyface ref and with Cena not exactly setting the world on fire, he'll probably get his win back tonight to even the ledger heading into Taboo Tuesday. They might even make it as simple as Carlito getting involved and Mick having no choice but to call for a DQ, or some similar type of schmozzy non-finish.
    Beyond those two matches, the way RAW's been going lately, I wouldn't be surprised if the entirety of the rest of the show was all non-wrestling segments. Austin will need some face time, I figure. Ditto at least one McMahon. I figure neither Flair nor HHH will wrestle on TV till they wrestle each other at the PPV, and will also be limited to talking. You'll need skits or promos that set up some of the stips, which will probably rely heavily on Eric Bischoff. It'll just be a matter of mixing everything together in the proper ratios to render the show as entertaining as possible.
    So we'll see how it goes. You can, of course, check out RAW tonight. It's not like there's anything else good on. Or you can just put your faith in The Rick, as I'll have the finest RAW Recap in all the land for you here tomorrow.
    See you then, kids.... 

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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