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Taboo Tuesday Results, Plus a Huge
Batch of News (Austin, Christian, MORE!) 
November 2, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


I was in the right ballpark when I thought that the clock-changing "fall back" night was supposed to be a week or two later this year.

Just as I remembered, there was a big flap over the summer when Congress passed an energy bill that included, as a provision, the extension of Daylight Savings Time by three weeks (starting two weeks earlier in the spring, and lasting one week longer in the fall).

But what I got wrong was the fact that, even though the bill

was signed into law by W., it apparently does go into effect until 2007 (and even then, it's only probationary so that the Department of Energy can study the effects on energy consumption, and it can be rescinded by Congress at any time if they feel it ends up being harmful). Ahhhhhh-ha. 

Well, that explains my confusion. Combine me thinking that the "fall back" night had been pushed back into November with the fact that I didn't exactly spend Halloween Saturday doing a whole lot of constructive news reading/watching so I didn't see any of the usual warnings of clock changing, and you have me being pretty confused at around 2:30am. 

And after sharing that confusion with OO Nation, I thank the many who wrote in with the pertinent information that unconfused me. And who have now contributed to the education of OO Nation, many of whom I just know aren't as good about reading their current events as they should be.

Online Onslaught dot Com: the only place where you go for the wrestling talk, but get tricked into learning the details about an energy bill signed into law and how it will effect YOU! Just not till 2007...

Enough useful information. Here's today's entertainment. By necessity, it is broken into two parts: Taboo Tuesday PPV result, and then other newsbites. Enjoy.

Taboo Tuesday Results

As fate had it, and due to a convergence of factors (at least one of which is that I just didn't care, and to make myself care would have involved at least six beers, and I didn't feel like getting blitzed on a Tuesday night), I didn't see Taboo Tuesday with my own two eyes.

But I did get regular updates, and I've collected tons of e-mail feedback about the show, and I think I can, at least, do a competent job of telling you what happened.

I think I can even say (credibly) that the show was yet another mostly-mediocre entry into WWE's PPV library. Only two matches registered as good and PPV-worthy in all the feedback I got, and the rest of the show ranged from horrible to flamboyantly average. Needless to say, an ever-increasing number of people had issues with the finish of the show, which was John Cena retaining the WWE Title.

But on the strength of the two good matches, most feedback I got seemed to consider the show generally tolerable. Flair/HHH and Cena/Michaels/Angle were the only two matches that lasted longer than 10 minutes (in fact, both were around 20), and as such, are going to be remembered a lot more than all the other throw-away crap. 

One other area of agreement with all viewers: Joey Styles was very good on commentary, although in sort of an Alternate Universe Version of himself. He was still snarky at times, and still had a lot of his trademark calls, but more than one reader noted how it seemed like he had to lower his threshold for getting excited and shill-y by about 40% from what was normal in his ECW days. You probably gotta chalk that up to the voice in the headset feeding him lines. But Joey did know his stuff -- from moves to characters to storylines -- and even if it was only just in comparison to Coach, the consensus was that Joey was a third highlight of the show.

Anyway, here's the rundown of results:

  • On Heat: Matt Striker and Kerwin White beat Shelton Benjamin and Val Venis. There is no reason to Shelton to be in this position. None. I challenge the WWE creative team/talent relations offices to offer an explanation. Oh, that's right, I forgot: they know what fans want better than the fans themselves. And the fans clearly want the guy that they like and who is capable of having matches better than 98% of the roster to be jobbing on Heat.
  • Rey Mysterio and Matt Hardy beat Gene Snitsky and Chris F. Masters (Mysterio/Hardy win fan voting). Snitsky replaced Edge, who is injured in real life, and who cut a promo talking about how he doesn't care about beating Matt again or defending RAW's honor to explain pulling out of the match in storyline terms. Snitsky and Masters? I doubt RAW could fashion a tag team I would be less interested in watching. Of course, the talent downgrade made RAW an underdog, and that's how things played out. Mysterio pinned Masters. Reportedly not a good match, given what was offered on the RAW side, but a few readers pointed out that Masters was once again satisfying to watch as Rey Rey's bitch. Gotta admit, I would have assumed they'd just job Snitsky, and would probably have been pleasantly surprised to see Masters laying down for Mysterio.
  • Eugene and Jimmy Snuka beat Rob Conway and The Lovely Miss Tomko (Snuka won fan voting). Apparently, this was made a tag match as part of some WWE.com exclusive. Whatever. A lame formulaic match that tried to skate by on personalities rather than anything resembling in-ring action. With Eugene as the only remotely marketable personality at this point, this failed miserably. Snuka pinned Conway.
  • Mankind beat Carlito Cool (Mankind won fan voting). A surprising amount of venom about this match... many said that Foley looked bad, and was clearly just phoning it in. Others were upset that Foley would agree to put over a load like Randy Orton in a match where he was clearly motivated to perform well, but took a win over Carlito here in a match where Foley looked physically out-classed by a younger star. Didn't see it myself, I'm just reporting what I heard/read enough times to tend to put some stock in it. Foley won with the Mandible Sock.
  • Shawn Michaels was presumably revealed as the winner of fan voting for the main event title shot at this point, or some point prior. As losers in the voting, Kane and Big Show get a tag title shot.
  • Kane and Big Show beat Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade to win the Tag Team Titles. Kane played the babyface in peril for what was described by one as "27 minutes," but which I'll assume was an exaggeration meant to indicate that instead of this being a squash, Murdoch and Cade stayed in the match WAY too long for it to be plausible given a lack of any interesting friction between Kane/Show. In the 28th minute, Show got a hot tag, and the match was over soon. New champs, but another crappy, unentertaining match.
  • Batista beat Coach and Vader and Goldust (Street Fight won the fan voting). Because of the match stipulation, it was essentially 3-on-1 the whole time. Heel triple teaming for an entirely more believable amount of time than in the tag title match, then Batista made his comeback in short order, and pinned Coach with a Batista Bomb. Short, yes, but nobody called it sweet. Consensus: Goldust looked good, Vader did not. And sadly: Coach didn't take any kind of massive ass-whupping (really just the one big bump at the end), so it's not like they did anything to "write him out" of the commentary gig.
  • Trish won the Women's Battle Royale (Lingerie won the fan voting). Hilariously, I got a ton of e-mail from people pissed off that (other than Maria the Mic Stand, apparently), the lingerie wasn't hot enough. Most of the girls were wearing regular wrestling boots and full-cut bikini-bottoms instead of stockings and lacy panties, so that they could, you know, do some wrestling moves. HA~! Screw you, losers! That's what you get! Now go back to spanking it to your Victoria's Secret catalog and your high-class pornos with the 4-inch fake eyelashes and big poofy hair and the chicks never take off their stiletto-heeled stripper shoes along with the rest of their clothes, despite the imminent threat of puncture wounds; with tastes like that, I'm sure you'll never, ever be disappointed with any girls you meet in real life. And it wouldn't have been a problem if you'd just voted Cheerleader! Apparently, nothing much interesting happened until the end, where Trish was about to be eliminated by Victoria, but then Mickie James stepped in at the last second and took the bullet, and got double eliminated with Victoria so that Trish could retain her title. Nobody had much good to say about the main portion of the match, but several liked the creativity and possibilities of the finish.
  • Ric Flair beat Triple H (Cage Match won the fan voting). A lot of people said it was really long and really good. But nobody offered any real explanation of key spots or what action took place to make it so, other than to mention that both guys bled like stuck pigs. My interpretation: it probably WASN'T really "good" in the workrate sense, but the blood and the personalities involved made it very "dramatic," instead. And there's not a damned thing wrong with that. In fact, it's probably the most reliable way to get Flair back up around the fabled four-star territory at this point in his career. Doesn't matter how you get there. Just matters that you do. Apparently: this got there. Flair made an escape out the cage door after beating HHH to a bloody pulp for 20 minutes, and then finally using something testicle-related to put him down long enough to escape.
  • John Cena beat Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle to retain the WWE Title. I gather that Cena's problems with regards to fan response were as bad last night on the PPV as they've ever been, with hearty boos for him, and cheers for Michaels and Angle, even when they would heelishly team up on Homey the Clown. Several readers who attended PPV gatherings in public places (it didn't matter if it was at a strip club in Vegas or a theatre in Canada) said that fans at those venues were the same, and were not really behind Cena. Too funny. Finish was EXACTLY what I predicted on Monday, with Cena intercepting Michaels after Michaels put down Angle, and hitting him with an F-U for the win. So Cena retains, but Angle can come back and claim he's still undefeated against Cena. Nobody was a big fan of the finish, with Cena retaining (again, outside of adolescents and girls with bad taste, even the live crowd had kind of turned on Cena), but most praised it as a very good match. It split between this and HHH/Flair for Match of the NIght. Several quipped that this was definitely Cena's best match ever, but it was not because of anything he did. I'd counter that by saying that even if Michaels and Angle were awesome, and made this a great match, you still have to give Cena credit for his street fight against JBL last summer, which was good and to which Cena himself contributed substantially.

Of note: babyfaces won in each match. I know we've had a PPV in the last year or so when all heels won, but does anybody know the last time the fan favorites had a clean sweep like this? I'd prickishly joke about how this is probably WWE's lazy idea for how to trick fans into liking the show, except that honestly, outside of the main event, I think they made the right decisions in every match. 

And even in the main event, they could have had Michaels go over with intriguing results, and it still would have been a sweep by the babyfaces. So I'll vote for "coincidence," instead of "conspiracy," here.

Feel free to fire off an e-mail if you had any seriously dissenting views about the PPV. Or direct me to a torrent for the show so I can investigate for myself. But for the most part, the above represents a pretty solid synthesis of many mostly-consistent reports.

Midweek Newsbites

  • Obviously, the final Taboo Tuesday line-up was much different from the one planned.
    The biggest of the changes is that Steve Austin pulled out of the PPV. Essentially, the match that Batista won was the match that Austin was asked to lose. The only difference is that Mark Henry may or may not also have been involved in the original plan.
    Now, some circles spin this as "Austin refused to job," like he's the bad guy here. I disagree. For one, I suspect that Austin's concerns over doing a job were more related to how he realized that if he did, he was essentially facilitating Jim Ross' own burial in terms of ever coming back to TV. And for two, if Steve Austin doesn't want to do a job to a trio (or possibly a quartet) of men whose combined in-ring credibility is roughly equal to that of Gene Snitsky, I say that's his right. Unless your argument is that Steve Austin is obligated to job to  Snitsky if management asks him to, I don't see how you can tell me that one of the biggest stars and money-makers ever in the wrestling business has to lay down for an announcer, a has-been, a never-was, and Goldust if asked to.
    To me, the fault here lies entirely with WWE. First, the fault is theirs because if they were planning ahead and communicating well with their talent, this would not have come to a head 48 hours before a PPV. Everything would have been out in the open and settled before Austin even made his first appearance on TV to jumpstart the feud with Coach. Minus several points from Creative for clearly NOT planning ahead (honestly: you have an entire army of writer monkeys, and nobody has a clear vision of what's going to happen 2 weeks from now? Inexcusable.). And minus even more points from Talent Relations (and since Austin's kind of in a different league from your average star) from other WWE higher-ups (including Vince) who no doubt contributed to failures to communicate openly, honestly, and civilly with Austin throughout this process.
    And even if everything does come to a head 48 hours before a PPV? How's about somebody in the company applying some common sense, and realize that Austin's not asking for the world here. He's not ruining any long term booking plans by beating Coach. The fact that it was so easy to send Batista out there to squash Coach is a testament to the fact that what Austin asked for was completely reasonable and do-able (not to mention 100% less-retarded). But WWE had a retarded idea for burying JR for good and getting heat on Coach and making sure Steve Austin was "tamed," and bah gawd, once WWE has a retarded idea, they stick with it. A company more terrified of swallowing its pride and admitting error you will not find.
    In "WWE Think" they saved face by not letting Austin dictate terms to them. In real life, you don't save face to alienating on of your few bankable personalities and coming up with some lame-ass replacement for him. In the name of "saving face" with anybody backstage who might have sided with Austin (which is probably just about everybody) or a few internet fans, WWE LOST face with the general mainstream audience. Great work, dumdums; head out of your ass, comically misplaced priorities, blah blah blah. You've heard me say it all before, and you've been hearing me say it for over a year now. Well, these last few days, tell me there isn't finally enough evidence that you believe I'm right and all my excess blustery verbiage was justified...
    What this does in terms of Austin's standing with the company is unclear. He remains under a WWE Films contract, and that won't change. But his work on WWE TV was a separate issue, worked out on a case-by-case basis. WWE totally blew it with this case, either misleading Austin until 48 hours before a PPV or by not-having-a-plan (or changing a plan) at the last second to something that Austin (rightfully) considered unacceptable.
    But it's worth noting that another case WWE wanted to work out with Austin was a match between him and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 22. I already would have been interested to see how they worked out the politics of that one, but it mostly would have been because of Hogan; now with Austin having less faith than ever in WWE's creative vision, I'm betting he'll be even more protective of his own legacy and image than he would have been before this flap.
    It'll be interesting to see how all that pans out over the next several months. But at least for the short term, it looks like Steve Austin now joins a select list of people who've decided to just walk-out on a job with WWE instead of stick around and put up with the aggravation of a company that seems intent on driving itself into the ground (and possibly taking a lot of talented people with it). Austin, Jericho, Christian, Molly, the Dudleys: all would probably still be on TV every Monday if they were willing to do it on WWE's terms. But they aren't. I'd say it's "good for them, but bad for us," except that maybe if this Civil Disobedience from people who know the difference between a competently run wrestling company and the present day WWE continues, it might finally lead to the changes that we fans want and need. Then those "walk-aways" might come back, and we wouldn't have to worry about any more of the frustrating "get-losts" that WWE issues to talented performers (JR, Charlie Haas, Gail Kim, et al), either. And before long: we're back in Wrestling Nirvana.
    C'mon: I can dream, can't I?
  • Comments from Christian have been posted on WWE.com, shedding almost no real light on his situation, but sort of tacitly confirming the widely-circulated story about his decision to leave the company.
    Christian teases that he's gonna go off on a wild shoot interview, but then says he's not, because his departure from WWE was anything but dramatic. It was a personal decision and handled in a professional and subdued fashion. 
    He also left open all options, including working with WWE again. But in reality: he does not have a no-compete clause and is an instant free agent. TNA should be (and probably is) salivating at the thought of bringing in such a talented and versatile performer.
    In TNA, Christian could obviously step back into TLC/tag match situations with Jeff Hardy and the Dudleys, and before too long find himself in a position to be TNA's most compelling challenger to [the conclusion of this sentence deleted, because I just realized I almost repeated the same mistake I made last Friday]. Suffice to say that absolutely none of TNA's homegrown talents possess the combination of personality, credibility, and in-ring ability to be a franchise player. And most of the WWE cast-offs they've collected have a certain taint to them (because I think most fans know why guys like Billy Gunn and X-Pac are slumming it instead of still having jobs with WWE, and it's because fans gave up caring about them long ago), and are not ever going to be truly compelling main eventers. 
    The Dudleys don't have that taint at all... and Christian would be completely devoid of it, too. I don't know if that's somehow related to TNA's core base of more internet-centric fans subconsciously attaching different value to guys who are unable to agree to contract extensions with WWE vs. guys who are just outright fired/released, or if it's just as simple as fans knowing what they like, and still liking the Dudleys and Christian a lot more than your Road Doggs, Jeff Hardys, and Gonnads. But it's a real phenomenon, and Christian (with the right new name/packaging) could benefit from combining the Big Time Credibility of being a dominant ex-WWE star with his obviously copious charisma and talent with the vibe that he left WWE on his terms and came to TNA of his own free will. One reader even mailed in to say that a partnership with Shane Douglas resulting in the passing of the "Franchise" nickname/gimmick would be the ideal way to build Christian up as a centerpiece of the company. Like Douglas did before he got stale, Christian could lay claim to being a mishandled talent who was held back by politics in one company and who is now coming to a new company to prove what his old one never did. He'd be a guy whose pedigree and resume is undeniable, and a guy with the personality to air his grievances convincingly and with intensity. A guy who would appeal to TNA's existing core of fans. And a guy who would be instantly recognizable to any casual fan who was watching wrestling at any point between the years 1999 and 2005. 
    Then again, the second he adopts that gimmick is the second that Jay Reso can kiss any chance of a WWE return goodbye. And he seems like a guy too smart to burn a bridge if he doesn't have to. But if he's got faith in TNA's ability to make it in the long term, you never know...
  • While on the subject of releases, apparently Torrie Wilson is still with the company, but on a leave of absence to tend to personal business.
    When she was pulled from the Taboo Tuesday PPV, rumors started flying, rumors that were fueled by the fact that Torrie had ditched out a day or so early on last week's overseas RAW tour. That's not something you do if you want to keep your job.
    But either because they heard Torrie's excuse and sympathized, or just to screw with the internet, WWE has decided to keep her around, and did the Leave of Absence thing instead.
    I obviously hope all is well with Torrie and that she's back in a Happy Place soon. But till then, if I may lighten the mood with some crass assholitude, at least we fans can take solace in the fact that there's not a whole lot Torrie could do that Boobie McTitsalot can't. Finally! Vince's fetish for stockpiling ring-incapable eye-candy pays off! Viva la Diva Redundancy!
  • Joey Styles' appearance on last night's PPV, while universally praised as "Better Than Coach," is still being sold as a "one night stand." Because, see, the last time Joey was on TV, it was for the ECW One Night Stand PPV, so that's the pun that everybody (including Joey) is making.
    With Coach not taking a brutal beating, there's really no storyline reason for Joey to stick around, unfortunately, so despite SOME grumblings that Joey will get another look or two (possibly through Survivor Series) by way of a probationary try-out, I'm not sure I want to get my hopes up only to be subject to Coach and Lawler for all eternity.

    The only storyline way around that was suggested (in slightly different forms) by a few readers. Because last night at the PPV, Vince was berating Eric Bischoff about RAW losing matches to SD! on RAW's own PPV (both Rey/Hardy and Batista won). So dependign on which variation you like, Vince himself could be pissed at Coach, or Vince could be pissed at Bischoff, and Bischoff could get pissed at Coach. And in either case, Coach could be removed from commentary.
    Although I don't like the random, lazy practice of just turning Vince back babyface (as he'd pretty much be in this deal) because WWE's writer monkeys can't be bothered to plan ahead, I'd say it's be most poetically just to have him be the one to fire Coach, since he's the one behind firing JR, and seems to have some kind of fetish for Announcer Drama. This option also leaves open the possibility that once Bischoff regains the confidence of Vince, Bischoff could reinstate Coach, which could be an inevitability unless Joey and WWE are really gonna bite a pair of bullets and go into full-time business with each other.
  • WWE and USA Network are very proud of themselves, according to another round of press releases from the people at NBC/Universal.
    USA was back on top of the cable network heap for the month of October, a position it held regularly back when the WWF was there, and a position it contended for even without WWE programming. But with their Monday night ratings essentially doubling thanks to WWE, that's enough to make USA the #1 Cable Network in prime time once again, a perch from which it'll be tough to topple them.
    I mention it only because this is bad news for wrestling fans. It's a tepidly offered platitude that "Without competition, WWE is not motivated to put out a good product." But right here is the cold, hard evidence of exactly WHY WWE doesn't care if ratings and house shows or buyrates are down from peak levels, or if there are tons of fans out there who have ideas for why that is.... because even performing at mediocre levels, WWE is still making money and is still a cable ratings leader.
    They're a difference maker! They single handedly saved USA! Ratings that have already reverted to SpikeTV levels are still worthy of praise and commendation! 
    It's as simple as this: the WWF didn't get good again back in 1998 because the company was worried about making more money. Despite the folklore of WWE's "grave financial peril" at the time, the fact is that the company would have been more than capable of cutting costs and staying profitable if they'd wanted to. But no: they didn't want that. WWE didn't get good again because WCW punched them in their pride, beating them in every measurable facet of business AND (at least for a year or so) in the court of public opinion.
    So in 1998, instead of cutting costs and staying profitable and accepting dwindling (but still desirable-by-cable-standards) ratings like they are today, WWE took out a big loan, paid Mike Tyson a ridiculous amount of money, marketed the shit out of Steve Austin and WrestleMania 14, made it their mission to put on a kick-ass, must-see 2 hours of TV every Monday, spent the next three years hiring the best available talent (like the Dudleys from ECW and Benoit/Eddie/Jericho/Big Show from WCW), and in general had about the most all-around entertaining 5 year stretch that I remember as a wrestling fan. Even with aberrations like the bungled inVasion, I think WWE remained pretty consistently strong till maybe late 2003, when the focus stopped being on stuff like Brock/Angle IronMan matches and started being on Katie Vick and other nonsense. That's really where I think the problems started, creatively, even if the true vaginal sandification didn't start till after the brief renaissance with Benoit/Eddie around WM20.
    Without anybody driving WWE to deliver a good product, all the company cares about today is delivering a profitable one. They don't have the pride to face criticisms or to turn their gaze inward to recognize creative or organizational shortcomings, and then FIX IT. They're willing to limp along, a shadow of their former self, just so long as no other company comes along and starts stealing their thunder. WWE has gone from being must-see TV to being a shitty mid-summer replacement series that only gets on TV because it's cheap enough to produce that it's still a money maker for the network even if nobody of import is watching the damned show. That, my friends, is weak.
    What really sucks is that WWE would care more if I had millions of dollars, a prime time timeslot, and a wrestling show that vindictively aimed to crush RAW in the ratings than they care about me (as one of a class of MANY fans, including all of you) who don't want to crush WWE.... we voice our opinions in the hopes of HELPING. But as long as WWE can tell itself that we're not a threat to them keeping ratings above 2.5 on Mondays, they can tell themselves that we don't matter. And they can pull their heads back into their caves (which may or may not resemble an anal cavity) and tell themselves they are still doing just fine, and that everything is dandy.
    Keep that in mind every time you see a press release touting WWE's ratings "success." It's not a reason to be anything other than pissed off that nothing's about to change. [And sad to say, the same thing goes every time you see a press release touting TNA's ratings "successes," which usually amounts to TNA celebrating being less than one-fifth as popular as the already-ratings-depressed WWE. They aren't equipped to punch WWE in their pride. They might have some of the horses, but they just don't have the sizzle, or the "cool factor," or other stuff to compete with WWE, at this point.]
  • Speaking of ratings, TNA was back to a 0.8 this week. Knowing what I know about the reliability of Nielsen's data collection, I would place absolutely zero significance on fluctuations of one-tenth of a point. Better to just say that after five weeks, TNA has found a steady audience, and has retained them.
    Also: SD!'s final rating last week was a 2.7, which is the best SD! has done since moving to Friday. And hey, I'll say it's relatively deserved. SD!'s had a string of pretty fun shows since their last PPV 3 weeks ago; Batista/Eddie is gold and I hope that WWE takes advantage of it, Ken Kennedy/Bobby Lashley/Paul Burchill are three guys who all seem like some of the best call-ups the company has made in the last year (although so far, only Kennedy has gotten the promotional effort to go along with that potential; Lashley may simply be on a slow burn because he's still learning; but Burchill's being flat-out screwed, since he and Regal should probably have been the tag champs weeks ago, or at least had higher visibility in terms of promos and angles), and Chris Benoit/Booker T has a lot of promise.
    No ratings data for this week's RAW, as yet. Is Halloween an official holiday that some people take off? Maybe that's the reason for the delay.
  • Many readers have sent along an item about John Cena being under consideration to play the lead in a remake/sequel of "Predator," where he'd either play Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, or the SON of Arnold's character.
    I have nothing to say about this, other than to joke that the Unintentional Comedy Factor of listening to Cena do his Wiggerspeak is already off the charts; and if forced to listen to Cena attempt Arnoldspeak for 90 minutes, I think my head might explode due to the incongruity.
    Then again, the role might be a return to his roots for Cena, who started out in wrestling as the no-nonsense, actions-louder-than-words wrecking machine known as the Prototype. Or as he was dubbed by the 40 or so people who would religiously show up at HWA shows, the Homotype.
    I'm sick of mocking Cena. Everything that everybody else is finally saying about him today is what I've been saying for 10 months. Welcome aboard, people. But since I'm not in the mood, I'll refer you to my archives, and move on....
    I'll just close this bullet point by instead mocking Hollywood. Because there is absolutely NO REASON to do a remake of a movie that still holds up perfectly well today. You do remakes to tweak stories/characters to appeal to changes in society, or to update the look/feel of a movie that is really old (possibly in black and white). But you don't remake a movie that still looks just fine, production-wise, and whose only comment about society was "It's fun to blow up dickhead alien creatures" (which is as true today as it ever was).
    But I gather my long-standing thesis that "Hollywood is run by fucking retards" is ALMOST as tired as my various theses about Cena's character, so....
  • Edge was pulled from last night's PPV, but was actually written out in such a way that he's not "written out" at all. In fact, his promo seemed to indicate he'll be staying on TV, and has a new element to his character where he cares only about himself, and not about the RAW vs. SD! feud.
    My best read on this: Edge got some good news about his injury, and won't require surgery, and will instead make do being inactive, trying to get healthy with rest and rehab.
    Well, either that, or Edge's lack of teamplayership will lead to a brutal beating at the hands of every single RAW star come next Monday and THAT will be how we write him off TV for a bit to get surgery. Who knows?
  • Kane's news is definitely better, as he'll be able to work through his injury. It's still unclear as to exactly what it is, but one guy said he heard it was something in the family of a "bone bruise," which probably means Kane's in pain, but he's not in a situation where he's in danger of actually suffering any more structural damage as a result. 
    So it might hurt like hell, but Play On....
  • Last thing for today:
    You can get WWE.com's Match Jukebox for free for the entire month of November. It was hyped as a special offer only for viewers of Taboo Tuesday, but there's no way for WWE to enforce that, and I assume they knew it. This amounts to them just wanting as many people to check out the free feature, and hope that they'll become paying subscribers after sampling the goods. So don't feel guilty if you didn't watch Taboo Tuesday, but still take the free offer.
    Just go to this page, and follow the link for "Step Two" in the top left gray box to sign up. Then, when prompted for the Special Code, enter "WWETabooTuesday" (without the quotes), and you'll be all ready to go. 
    I went ahead and signed up as soon as I got the flood of e-mail suggesting we spread the password around to "screw with" WWE.... I thought it was going to be an online version of the 24/7 service (in fact, it is billed as "24/7 Online), but it's not. The cable version of 24/7 actually features full shows and full length features and stuff. The online thing you get is just the match jukebox deal, where you can watch individual matches out of context in an a la carte manner.
    Still: just poking around the collection once I was signed up, it's probably more than worth your while to check out. You don't have to give away any real personal information other than an e-mail address (but any halfway clever person, if paranoid enough, can come up with a fake one of those as they can a fake name or birthday), and there had to be at least 150 matches to pick from.
    What's funny is that there actually are some REALLY crappy things mixed in there. The Gobbletygooker is there. I think I saw the Stacy Keibler bra-and-panties match that she loses because she has a miscarriage in there. Tons of old squash matches whose only historical value is that they were the debuts of various future stars. But there's also a lot of good. A LOT. As I type, I'm paying half-attention to a fondly remembered ECW TV Title Match (Jericho vs. Douglas vs. Scorpio vs. Pitbull) off on the right side of my screen. And I already did the same for the Benoit/Angle Rumble '03 match while I was half-assing stuff higher up in the column.
    In other words: I heartily endorse this free offer. I was disappointed that it wasn't the real 24/7, but hey: FREE! Take advantage. You have a whole month to skim through dozens of hours of footage, so why not get on it now?
    Some of you still struggling with 56K dial-up connections, you might want to quickly do some research. I know other WWE webcasts I've checked out have all had 56K options... but the player/interface they use for the jukebox is different, and I don't know for sure that option exists here. Even if it doesn't, you shouldn't be in too much trouble: most of the matches available are in the 15-20 minute range (with many shorter, too), and the file sizes weren't much more than 30meg or so. If you've got the patience to sit around for 10 minutes of buffering, you can probably go on to enjoy the matches just much as those of us who only get 10 seconds of buffering before we're ready to go.
  • And my ECW TV Title match is just about over, and I don't want to start another one. I want to wrap up this column and go have dinner and watch some TV or something. Enough sitting at a computer for today. MORE than enough.
    And enough wrestling for today. You folks realize that tonight is the only night this week when Truly Loyal Wrestling Fans get a repreive. We had RAW on Monday and the PPV last night. TNA's prime time special is tomorrow at 9pm, and SD! is on Friday. That's insane.
    I guess my method for coping was skipping the PPV and knowing that I probably won't watch my recording of SD! till at least Sunday, since my fricking TV (along with myself) will be away for a weekend-long party that requires four televisions, over 200 cans of beer, and a couple bottles of booze. And the food... don't even get me started on the food. SD! can't compete with that.
    But I think I will be trying to check out TNA before embarking on that noble excursion. You should give it a thought, too. Not because your eyeballs are the ones that'll suddenly turn TNA into a legitimate competitor to WWE, but because reports from the TV tapings were very positive, and you will finally get to see the TNA that fans who buy TNA PPVs see, instead of the TNA that those of us who haven't bought a PPV since the Weekly PPV Model ended get to see.
    If you miss it, Jason Longshore is planning on having full coverage ready for Friday, and I'll maybe throw some thoughts into a column on Friday, too. See you then, folks. 

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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