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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
Christian Gone from WWE, Kane/Edge
Injuries, Jarrett/WWE Update, and MORE 
October 31, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Help me out, here, peoples.... because usually I am the Master of Daylight Savings Time going away and the clocks "falling back." But this year, I had no idea it was coming until shortly after the prescribed falling back happened at 2am, and it became an issue with regards to what should be the Legally Mandated Last Call for us Halloween Revelers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there some big news story over the summer with Daylight Savings Time being changed/extended and farmers being happy about it or insurance companies being pissed off because it would mean more early morning school bus accidents, or something like that?

I *swear* I remember that being a story, anyway, and it's why I wasn't mentally penciling in the "fall back" for another couple of weeks. And since I know my brain didn't invent something as specific as people complaining about school bus accidents happening because it'd be darker longer in the mornings, I have to assume I've got the particulars pretty close. Except: the clocks still fell back over the weekend, and I didn't even have time to prepare and make use of of the extra time. 

Oh, who am I kidding? I made exactly the same use of the time as I would have if I'd known in advance. But still: does anybody else remember there being some kind of flap over extending Daylight Savings Time? I can't be the only one, can I?
  

Also, in TV Notes (as I was recovering from making such noble use of the extra hour by slothing on my couch on Sunday):

(1) I was loving "History's Mysteries" week on the History Channel, even though it seemed like all they did was chop up past 60 minute specials and package them into four-packs of 15-minute highlight reels of each mystery, as hosted

by Captain Quantum Leap. As I was scanning through my last set of recorded episodes yesterday, I actually came across one segment I hadn't ever seen before, about Vlad the Impaler. At one point, just as we were learning of one of Vlad's most infamous dinner parties, some vaguely familiar music kicks in. So familiar that I actually had to rewind and re-listen 4 times, because if I didn't figure out what it was, it was going to annoy the hell out of me. Finally, I got it: Goldberg's entrance theme. I don't know who the joke is on -- perhaps on me for not being able to recognize the music a lot sooner than I did, but also possibly on Goldberg for now being irrevocably tied to the historical inspiration for an entire genre of stories about supernatural homosexuals who like going around all dressed to the nines and compulsively sucking things -- but I got a kick out of that.

And (2): Last night's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" was the best since the Krazy-Eyez Killah one. I don't even know where to begin, and if I did begin trying to explain why it was so fricking funny, it wouldn't sound like it was funny to you. Except maybe the soon-to-be-classic line "I'm using the ass as a lever." But the rest: you kind of have to see the whole episode. So why don't you? It's only going to be replayed a billion times in the next 6 days, and I think it's one of the rare episodes of the show that stands alone very well without you having to know a whole hell of a lot about the past stories or the season-spanning story arc.

With that, I've more than fulfilled my obligation for pre-rambling. Let's get on to a big ol' bowl of rasslin' news:

  • No having to look for or invent big news here today. A huge story has been gift-wrapped for us by WWE, with the fancy bow likely being placed on the package by none-other-than everybody's favorite clueless sycophantic prick, Johnny Ace.
     
    Christian has left WWE.
     
    WWE.com has acknowledged the situation, and in a bit of attempted Damage Control, is trying to spin Christian's move as him quitting the company. The terse statement about Christian doesn't even offer the usual bland pleasantries about wishing him well in future endeavors. Probably because they think it'll turn some fans against him by presenting him as having an attitude problem or being a quitter or whatever. Nice try, monkeys, but I doubt much of anyone will buy that.
     
    Some readers are also saying they think this must be a work, because the WWE.com statement doesn't refer to Christian by his real name (Jay Reso), as most past WWE.com statements about releases/firings have. Sadly, that's also not the case.
     
    Instead, this appears to be a much-accelerated version of what WWE -- under the watchful and astute eye of Director of Talent Relations -- did to the Dudley Boyz. Christian, with his contract set to expire, was offered an extension at last week's TV tapings; everybody just assumed he'd sign it. As of last night's SD! tapings (held on Sunday because of the Taboo Tuesday PPV taking place tomorrow), he still hadn't signed it on the grounds that the terms were inadequate. Prevented from negotiating on the grounds that he was told "This is what WWE has valued you at, so either take it or leave it," Christian left it.
     
    The only real difference is that when WWE under-valued the Dudleys, I guess nobody expected them to stay under WWE's terms; supposedly they also assigned a value to the Dudleys and knew that that value probably wouldn't be enough to keep them around, so they didn't even really offer extensions or enter any kind of negotiation period. But everybody just assumed Christian would take his contract and sign it with a smile. Not so, apparently.
     
    Although what I'd really hope for is that cooler heads would prevail, that Christian's move will not be held against him, and that negotiations would re-open and result in both sides getting what they want out of a contract extension, I'm not gonna hold my breath. It's not WWE's style to swallow their pride like that and go begging somebody who just stood them up to come back to work...
     
    Reports are VERY inconsistent with regards to his current contractual status. Some people think his contract expired in October, and he's been working per-appearance while the extension got sorted out. Others say his contract expires in November, possibly as soon as this week, and that they've heard that Christian fully intends to honor his remaining days/weeks (including appearing at Taboo Tuesday to keep up the illusion that he could, conceivably, be voted into the match). If so, you gotta respect the guy and hope that WWE doesn't take advantage by booking him in a way that buries him in his remaining TV appearances.
     
    The one thing that seems universally agreed upon: the second Christian's contract expires, he's an unrestricted free agent. Because his contract lapsed, there is no No-Compete Clause. He can go to work instantly.
     
    For the unimaginative out there among you, allow me to jump start your metaphorical Workrate Erections by suggesting: Jeff Hardy/AJ Styles vs. Christian/Chris Daniels vs. the Dudley Boyz in a semi-resumption of the Tables/Ladders/Chairs tradition. Even *I* might pay to see that.
     
    Although: chances are good that Christian won't be allowed to be "Christian." Yes, it is true that he worked as "Christian Cage" before coming to WWE. But as the lesson of the Dudleys has taught us: unless you were thinking ahead and filed all the proper paperwork before going to work for WWE, chances are good that they took ownership of your name while you weren't paying attention.
     
    Now, allow me to editorialize for a bit....
     
    Because it already appears that WWE has begun the subtle smear campaign to make it look like Christian up and quit on them (and thus, on the fans). But I urge everybody out there to be a bit quicker on the uptake than that. It's one thing when somebody is outright fired or released, but this accelerating trend of guys (and one girl) willingly walking away from WWE is getting to the point of critical mass.
     
    I mean, when Spanky Kendrick nuts up and asks for his release, that's a minor story (and when he wusses out and asks to come back, that kind of undoes the story)... but then you work your way up the card to Molly Holly doing the same thing. Then the Dudleys have no choice but to walk away. Chris Jericho decides "enough of this horseshit, I'll go pretend to be a rock star for a bit." And now Christian essentially tells the Fed to take this job and shove it.
     
    At some point, you cannot use lame excuses like "recharging the batteries" or "burnt out" or even "attitude problem" to explain why somebody doesn't fit in with WWE and wants out. By definition, anomalous "attitude problems" should be the exception, not the rule... and yet, hardly a week goes by lately where you don't hear some story of Wrestler X being fined for some Dress Code Infraction, or Wrestler Y is displeased and is acting like a dick backstage, or Wrestler Z said something he shouldn't have in an interview and is now in big trouble.
     
    This isn't two locker rooms full of miscreants and assholes. But you wouldn't know it lately. If morale is so universally low, if talented performers are willing to walk away from their jobs, it's not because of one or two bad seeds. It's because WWE has put an incompetent farmer in charge of over-looking the acreage (if I may extend the metaphor about 30% further than it should have been).
     
    Now, obviously, there is also another prong to this issue, which is the creative direction of the company, and how it seems it's being completely mishandled. In Christian's specific case, his disenchantment no doubt has its roots more on this side of the spectrum (after earning his way up to the top of the card, and even upstaging Vince McMahon and John Cena in promos this past spring, Christian was forgotten and shoved back down to the mid-card by late summer).
     
    But as part of a bigger picture, I don't think anybody can ignore the significance of WWE's talent relations asshattery, in which proven, talented performers are undervalued and alienated while (with few exceptions) developmental talents and recent call-ups seem to fit a cookie-cutter mold despite being of dubious ability. I dare say that if wrestling was a baseball team, the director of talent relations (who shapes the roster) would be the General Manager and the creative team would be the on-the-field manager and coaching staff (who decide how best to utilize that roster). And in WWE's case, we're at the point where the incompetence on display in BOTH those positions feed into each other and facilitate each other's poorness. You begin to wonder where the owner is in all this, since he and he alone should have the ability to clean house and get non-retarded people in there to fix up the mess that has resulted in an absolute trainwreck in terms of "clubhouse chemistry" and morale, and has managed to turn off even more of the team's few remaining fans.
     
    So yeah, bad news about Christian. But it's also an object lesson about a much bigger issue, one that doesn't seem likely to go away any time soon.
     
    There aren't many of WWE's departees who really make me shake my head in wonder. The vast majority of them -- be they Billy Gunn or X-Pac or Jeff Hardy or A-Train or  whoever -- had probably reached their peak and were out of upside or future prospects. But Christian joins the very short list who should have been kept onboard at almost any cost. He's there with the Dudleys and Gail Kim, who I'd re-cherrypick back from TNA in a heartbeat. He's there with Charlie Haas and Matt Morgan, neither of whom seemed came anywhere NEAR accomplishing what they could have in WWE. And yeah, just because I can, let's put Molly Holly on the shortlist, too. Whether WWE released them or simply made them so disenchanted with things that they had no problem walking away, it's really only these few who I figure it's worth getting worked up over, and who never should have gotten away.
     
    But no matter: WWE's no doubt got the assembly line all greased up, and we'll just plop some other gay-porno-ready, ass-injecting dunderhead (or fake-boobed, aspiring-actress bimbo) on TV, and the fans won't be able to tell the difference! Way to be, WWE!
     
  • Following up on Friday's big news, and using all my skills of writery eloquence to make it seem related to today's big news:
     
    WWE was very proud of itself on Friday and over the weekend, as they believe the "stuck it" to TNA, by posting a story about TNA co-founder Jerry Jarrett visiting WWE headquarters and handing them a potential future star. That's right: Jerry Jarrett delivers a 6'6" actor to WWE instead of bringing him to the attention of TNA, and WWE wets its pants in glee and decides "We stole an actor right out from under TNA's nose! Who needs Christian?"...
     
    See what I mean about this being a much bigger issue and how the people in position of making the key decisions about talent relations probably oughta be dragged out back and shot... it's just baffling to hear stories about how proud WWE officials were of being able to present a story about how they essentially one-upped TNA in the case of some prospective wrestler with absolutely no track record and a resume that bears distressing similarities to Nathan Jones', all while ignoring the issue of convincing a talented, proven performer to stick with the company for three more years.
     
    WWE's self-congratulatory pride is misplaced for so many reasons. Thinking they "stuck it" to TNA is hilarious, since it's highly unlikely that TNA would put an untrained actor on TV or that their workrate-loving fans would embrace him if they did. And the company doesn't really have the resources to intensively train or develop the guy: they'd have to outsource him, anyway, before he'd be ready for TV. Plus: putting this guy Oleg Whatever on TV would just destroy TNA's already comical Bizarro Measuring System for wrestler heights. I think if Abyss is billed at 6'9", they'd have to have Oleg be 8'2".
     
    TNA didn't really lose anything, but don't tell WWE that. They really stuck it to those bastards at TNA! Stealing an actor! And then turning around and gift-wrapping Christian for them to have! WWE wins! 
     
    For the record, if you missed any of the details on Friday: Jerry Jarrett may have co-founded TNA and may still have a minority ownership stake in the company (although that's now unclear, as it would be the corporation founded by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett when they started TNA that would retain minority ownership, and over the weekend, some people told me that Jeff bought his dad out long ago while I wasn't paying attention)... but he no longer has any official position with TNA, other than in an advisory role. My guess is that after publicly consorting with WWE, he probably won't even have that advisory role anymore, but who knows?
     
    Supposedly, Jarrett made it clear to WWE that he's prepared to sever all ties with TNA, as they've nudged him out of power over time, but would still like to work in the wrestling business. Despite the frostiness of Vince's relationship with Jeff, he's always had a lot of respect for Jerry, so stranger things could happen than Jerry leaving his baby in the hands of Panda Energy while he goes to work for the competition. We'll see.
     
    Oh, and as far as my speculation about Jarrett selling a Memphis tape library to WWE goes? Apparently didn't happen because it COULDN'T happen. Jerry J. sold his stake in that library to Jerry Lawler a few years ago... Lawler then sold the rights to some home video company, and I'm not sure as to the disposition of that tape library at this time. Thanks to all who helped me out with that info.
     
  • Another TNA newsbite/clarification.... on Friday, both my column and the Front Page of the site referred to Jeff Jarrett as "Current NWA Champion."
     
    My sincerest apologies to the three dozen or so devout TNA Fans who wrote in to ever-so-politely accuse me of being so TNA ignorant that I didn't even remember that Rhino won the title a week before. Clearly, you have me dead to rights. I'm so clueless about TNA that I fucked up and mistakenly referred to Jarrett as still being the champ. You are so right, and I'm clearly so wrong. I beg for your mercy and forgiveness. I'm truly the most mentally deficient, TNA-hating jerkface on all of the internet, and I just exposed by ignorance to millions on Friday. Three dozen or so of you: congratulations for clearly catching me with my pants down.
     
    And to the two dozen or so readers who wrote in suggesting another reason why I might have referred to Jarrett as "Current NWA Champ," and thought maybe I shouldn't have done that, well: my apology to you is actually genuine and not sarcastic. Your helpful observations about my oversight were appreciated, and were why I gladly corrected my error at my first available opportunity on Saturday afternoon.
     
    Why do I suspect I won't be getting three dozen or so apologetic e-mails by the end of the week? 
     
  • The Rock's movie "DOOM" tanked at the box office this weekend. After debuting at #1 a week ago, it fell to seventh place and only raked in $4 million.
     
    That leaves "DOOM" at $22 million overall, and unlikely to surpass the $30 million mark. It will, no matter what, be Rock's least successful film. Tossing out the aberration of "The Scorpion King" (which made nearly $100 on the strength of being a part of the "Mummy" franchise), all Rock's movies have made right around $50 million. "DOOM" ain't gonna come even close to that.
     
    Methinks Rocky's script selection hasn't been the greatest. Other than "The Rundown" (which was pretty excellent), he hasn't been in a movie that hasn't sucked. What's the make him? One-for-five, I think. He'll probably go one-for-six when his football movie comes out next spring.... then the jury is out on whether or not this "Southland Tales" thing turns out to be the good kind of indie movie (clever, unique, entertaining) or the bad kind of indie movie (annoying, arteestic, and too wrapped up in its own style to remember to be interesting or tell a story).
     
  • The injury bug has hit RAW, with injuries of still-unclear severity threatening the near-term prospects for both Kane and Edge.
     
    Kane injured his back on last week's RAW, and Edge is nursing a chest injury. Both were scheduled to get more detailed diagnoses over the weekend, but of course, me being on about the third rung of the information foodchain, I got no details at this point. 
     
    Working with out-dated info, both guys had worst case scenarios that would require surgery and lengthy lay-offs (Kane with a possibly cracked vertebrae, Edge with a torn pectoral muscle). However, both also had best case scenarios that doctors would find nothing that bad, and rest and rehab would be enough.
     
    On the upside: WWE.com has addressed Kane's status, and confirmed that he's still a "go" for Taboo Tuesday, so fans should feel just fine voting for him if they want. Then again: you can still "vote" for Christian, too, so I wouldn't put much stock into that. [I'd suggest it might be funny to start some sort of last second grassroots campaign to flood the ballot box for Christian, but frankly, a match taped for Friday's SD! sort of makes it clear who WWE will insert into the RAW/SD! match tomorrow night. And it's not Christian. "Interactive," my ass.]
     
    Although confirmed as a "go," I'd say that Kane's almost certain to be working a tag match tomorrow night (just as Edge is scheduled to do), so that doesn't necessarily mean he's 100% healthy. Both guys can rely on their partners to handle the load. So while it's promising that neither has been scratched from the PPV, you still can't really get your hopes up until the updated diagnoses are made public.
     
    Here's hoping the best for both of them. 
     
  • Speaking of Taboo Tuesday, no, there will not be a standard Team Coverage PPV Preview. Why? Because even if it seems like we know what WWE expects us to vote for, the card is still technically subject to change, and it'd just be a logistical nightmare trying to collect 10 sets of predictions that would cover every possible contingency.
     
    So: the trOOps get the month off.
     
    Still, I feel compelled to do what I did last year, which is to make my own dual-pronged set of predictions. First, trying to pick the matches, and then from there, trying to pick the winner. And for shits and giggles, I'll also tell you who and what I think SHOULD win. Let's do this really fast:
     
    John Cena vs. Kurt Angle vs. ????? (WWE Title Match)
    Voting Won By: Shawn Michaels (Voting SHOULD be won by: Shawn Michaels)
    Match Won By: John Cena (Match SHOULD be won by: Kurt Angle, cuz I've had just about all the Cena I can handle, but WWE Think dictates that Cena go over, since he's spent the last 6 weeks jobbing to Angle in non-title scenarios; so instead, look for Cena to beat Michaels, and Angle to claim that he's still undefeated against Cena to get himself another rematch)
     
    Edge/Chris F. Masters vs. ????? and ?????
    Voting Won By: Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy (Voting SHOULD be won by: Mysterio/Hardy)
    Match Won By: Edge/Masters (Match SHOULD be won by: Mysterio/Hardy, but WWE won't do that because then they couldn't do the angle on SD! where JBL gets pissed off at them for losing to RAW, and thus takes over the Captainicy of Team SD!)
     
    Ric Flair vs. Triple H (????? Match)
    Voting Won By: Cage Match (Voting SHOULD be won by: submission match, because then we'd actually get an exciting anything-goes-type atmosphere, instead of 15 minutes of tired old Escape Teases)
    Match Won By: Triple H (Match SHOULD be won by: Ric Flair, but I have to assume there's a reason why WWE is carefully omitting any mention of Flair's title being on the line, and it's so he can lose to HHH, instead of pulling off the upset and doing the storyline the way *I* would like to see it done)
     
    One Face of Foley vs. Carlito
    Voting Won By: Cactus Jack (Voting SHOULD be won by: either Mankind or Dude Love, I really wouldn't care, but I'm sure the fans just associate Foley with Cactus at this point moreso than either other gimmick, so it's what they'll vote for, and it'll be exactly the same as if Mick wrestled as "Mick Foley")
    Match Won By: Carlito (Match SHOULD be won by: Carlito, since this is no doubt gonna be another of Mick's selfless acts helping get a young guy over)
     
    Steve Austin vs. Coach (????? Match)
    Voting Won By: Street Fight (Voting SHOULD be won by: Street Fight, since it's the only vaguely-compelling option of the three)
    Match Won By: Steve Austin (Match SHOULD be won by: Steve Austin, because nobody gives a shit about Coach, and it makes a lot more sense at this point to unfire Jim Ross than it does to fire Steve Austin and start even more silly, asinine Austin/McMahon drama)
     
    ????? and ????? vs. Murdoch/Cade (Tag Title Match)
    Voting Lost By: Kane/Big Show (Voting SHOULD be lost by: Big Show/Kane, since they're the most interesting possible pairing out of the three main event contenders)
    Match Won By: Murdoch/Cade (Match SHOULD be won by: Murdoch/Cade, because plenty of options exist for Kane and Show to not get along, and especially if Kane's health is in doubt, there's no reason to not give Murdoch and Cade a little ooomph with a surprise upset win; of course, just wait and watch Show/Kane win, and then Kane's injured and unable to compete, so WWE has Big Show defend the tag titles single-handedly for months, because he's all, you know, BIG and stuff)
     
    Eugene and ???? vs. Rob Conway
    Voting Won By: Jimmy Snuka (Voting SHOULD be won by: Hacksaw Duggan, just because we already get more than enough of our fill of Snuka over the course of a typical year)
    Match Won By: Eugene and Jimmy Snuka (Match SHOULD be won by: Eugene and Hacksaw Duggan, but the important thing is that Rob Conway lose the "I'm the even gayer-than-Orton Legend Killer" gimmick)
     
    Diva Costume Battle Royale
    Voting Won By: Lingerie (Voting SHOULD be won by: Cheerleader, as everybody would not only look plenty tasty, but they'd also be attired in such as way as to do, you know, some wrestling moves, but that won't occur to the demographic who looks at the Victoria's Secret catalog as the spank-worthy paragon of hotness)
    Match Won By: Trish Stratus (Match SHOULD be won by: Trish Stratus, because there are plenty of interesting ways to switch the Women's Title, but having it be as the result of some crappy, random battle royale in which wrestlers and non-wrestlers alike are catfighting in stockings and high heels is NONE of them)
     
    I think that's it. An 8 match card, and thus, 16 predictions. We'll see how I do... I'm actually having a pretty good year, prognostication-wise. At least, as compared to last year.
     
  • And before we get to tomorrow night's PPV, which I may or may not personally witness (I refuse, on general principle, to pay my own $35 to sit on my couch and watch this card, so unless both (a) Hooters is doing the show and (b) I can find somebody else interested enough in the show to go to Hooters since I will NOT go there by myself and be one of those creepy Solitary Men at the bar who may or may not be stalking his favorite waitress, I might have to take a pass), we've got tonight's live RAW.
     
    The show will be headlined by a non-title match between John Cena and Shawn Michaels, as WWE continues to "telegraph" the way they want the fans to vote. It'll obviously be a chance for them to test out the dynamic between them, and also a chance for Kurt Angle to make his presence felt, probably by causing some manner of cheap non-finish that lets both good guys save face.
     
    Oughta be a good match, as all Michaels matches are. But I'll let you in on a secret: what I'm looking forward to most is the crowd booing Cena, no matter how hard Michaels tries to play the tweener.
     
    Also guaranteed tonight is a "Diva Halloween Costume Contest." All seven participants in the PPV battle royale will be strutting around in their hottest TV-PG outfits. I'm blanking on coming up with seven "Sexy Fill-in-the-Blank" archetypes (like Sexy Nurse or Sexy French Maid), so I'm officially declaring that I will be most aroused by whoever's costume displays the most creativity, instead of the most skin.
     
    Not guaranteed, but certainly 99% likely is that Steve Austin will be around, answering Coach's Open Challenge from last week. Here's hoping they have something planned that doesn't suck, or take 25 minutes, or involve 3 or more McMahons.
     
    I'd also bet on SD! showing up in some capacity, again, since not only do they have the PPV match to hype, but the brand feud will also continue into Survivor Series. To form up two teams, you'll need some additional interactions other than just JBL and Rey doing one guerilla attack.
     
    And hopefully along the way tonight, we'll get more than one wrestling match scattered among the costume contests and Austin/McMahon fluffery, too. We'll see how it goes.
     
    And no matter how it goes, I'll be back here tomorrow with the Full Report, which I promise will be just as top-shelf as ever. See you then, kids.... 


  
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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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