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PPV Fall-out, The N-Word, Orton, Flair,
The SD! Special, RAW, and Lots MORE! 
November 28, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Just curious, but you manly men out there who actually pay closer attention to football than I do: if *you* had a Fantasy Football team that so happened to include Drew Brees and Kurt Warner as your two QB options, who would *you* have started this week?

Me, I'm not football wizard. I mean, I can watch a game and generally have more-accurate observations than the idiot announcers do, but what I mean is: I don't then spend 2 hours a day, every day, the rest of the week reading about the games and the silly minutiae. So my thinking was "Warner's playing Jacksonville, and should probably get

crushed, but Brees is playing Washington and should have a field day." I thought, for a rank amateur as myself, that was a pretty good, pretty well-informed call.

So of course, Brees is good for 2 whole Fantasy Points this week, while Warner continues his streak of scoring more than 20. Resulting in me losing only my second game of the year. Well MOSTLY resulting in the loss. My running backs didn't help much this week, either. And my High Scorer wound up being my Tight End, who I always enjoy talking about, because he is the humorously-named Algernon Crumpler. Go ahead, say "Algernon Crumpler," and tell me you don't feel just a little bit of a giggle coming on.

Anyway, I needed that giggle, as it turns out that even if I don't really care as much about football as I probably should, once I managed to waiver-wire my way to a kick-ass fantasy team, I do NOT want to be losing, dammit. At least: not because I out-think (or under-think?) my way into making bad roster management moves.

Here's some wrestling:

  • Last night's Survivor Series seems to be an odd bird, public opinion-wise... or at least, based on my in-box, it is. Then again, maybe I brought it upon myself given the way I critiqued the show in the recap.
    From people who watched the show, I got mostly feedback saying the show was really good and I could have been a touch more complimentary.
    From people who didn't watch the show but read about it, I got mostly feedback saying it didn't sound like they missed much and I shouldn't be so concerned with trying to cover up for WWE's lack of creativity by being as positive as I was.
    Huh. That is weird, wacky stuff.
    Then I realized: People who watched the PPV? Probably mostly WWE's core audience, the ones who have been whittled down to low-mid-3's for RAW Ratings. They still like what they see in WWE, and so sure, they're going to look past the lack of memorable/unexpected moments, and just praise the fact that WWE put together a top-to-bottom solid 3 hour show. Which WWE did, even by my own admission, do. But the people who didn't watch the PPV? They're in that fabled Secondary Audience, and there's a reason why they've become fringe viewers, awaiting news about a show that actually sounds special and interesting again. So when WWE serves up a PPV that is, from a booking perspective, more of the same-old, same-old, that set of "fans" is not gonna care about the fundamentally fun fluff on the show, they're just gonna care that they didn't read about a single reason to bother tuning into RAW or SD! this week.
    I think that logic holds together pretty well. And then I think back to my recap and once again realize that I'm a "Secondary Audience Member" trapped in the ego-driven body of a Primary-By-Necessity Audience Member. As I sat there watching the show, I couldn't come up with a whole lot in terms of frustration at the level of Suckiness; what would have been the point? I mean, I'm there, I'm watching, and if the show's generally amusing, I oughta enjoy it, right? But lingering in the back of my skull is that idea that if I was doing something else, I wouldn't exactly be missing anything that important; and then, but the end of the night when I had to do the recap and roll it around in my brain a bit, I realized that it's because nothing happened that fundamentally changed the face of WWE or the mind-numbingly dull direction its heading.
    So I think as anti-intuitive as it seems, the two sorts of feedback to mesh together to form one cogent critique of Survivor Series: it was a show that more than placated WWE's loyal fans, but which didn't do enough to attract the rapt attention of any of the increasingly large group of lapsed fans.
    Just because I thought it was funny, and I guess I don't really care who I piss off, I'll go ahead and repeat this line from last night's recap: with it's top-to-bottom good action, but no real sizzle to speak of, Survivor Series 2005 was the Best TNA PPV Ever. EVER~!
    For my money, the hands-down match of the night was HHH/Flair, who had a very dramatic, well-constructed 25-plus minute brawl. It wasn't about work-rate or non-stop action, and half those 25 minutes were probably spent in long, drawn-out dramatic 10-counts. But it was a great example of telling a story within a match, and having two personalities strong enough to it got over great with the audience.
    Probably my second favorite part of the night was Edge's promo with "Da Meat Hook" Dmitri Young. That was, as a matter of fact, the only time the entire night where I actually perked up because I (a) didn't know exactly where all this was headed, and (b) I couldn't wait to find out. It had a ton of heat behind it, and I thought it went over so well that I actually DID (naive rube that I am) let it convince me that maybe, MAYBE, WWE was setting the stage for Edge to come out at the end of the night, cash in his Money In The Bank, shove his ill-gotten World Title in Dmitri and Detroit's faces, and give the fans something to remember Survivor Series 2005 by. Didn't happen, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Edge's segment did jump off the screen in a surprising, unpredictable kind of way that almost nothing else at the PPV did.
    Then you've basically got a tie for third place with me. Angle/Cena and the main event 10-man were both good, but had a few holes that kept them from reaching the same level of intensity as HHH/Flair. For one: both matches seemed shorter than they should have been. In the case of Angle/Cena, the match ended just when it felt like it was just hitting the start of End Game; in the 10-man, I think they screwed the Booking Pooch by eliminating some of the wrong guys early, leaving only one (or maybe 2) believable winners in the match among the final six, forcing them to rush eliminations to keep fans from realizing "What the hell is Chris F. Masters still doing in the ring this late into a PPV main event?". I also thought both matches suffered from cataclysmically unsatisfying endings.... Cena winning with a single F-U out of nowhere after spending the match getting his ass kicked? Lame. And in the case of Orton winning the 10-man, I know it's just my personal bias, but I'm never going to understand the reason for that. Even if my Logical Brain realizes that they only did it that way because they wanted to use Taker as the Happy Ending, my pissy, Jack-off Brain insists that there HAD to be a better way that didn't include Orton coming off like the new Savior of SD!. Because all that does is make me not want to watch SD! anymore.
    Both Booker/Benoit and Trish/Melina were very entertaining as well, and are right there together a notch below those other two matches. Only Bischoff/Long sucked balls, and it was also the shortest segment of the night. No real complaints.
    For more details, you can check out the Survivor Series Recap I posted last night right after returning home from watching the event.
  • Watching the show on TV at Hooters, I gather I missed out on something else that many of you Fine Readers considered a highlight of the show: the commentary. For cross-brand matches, I gather they just turned on everyone's mics and had a five man booth?
    Tazz stood out as he registered frustration at RAW always getting the spotlight and SD! always being treated as the minor leagues, despite SD! owning RAW's ass in every PPV match they've had the past 2 months. Huh, it's true, you know; well, except for Trish beating Melina.
    Some said it got to the point where they thought Tazz was "shooting" and the disorganization of the RAW team's response proved it. I dunno about that... I can confirm that the announcing last night was as "produced" as ever, and if there was RAW vs. SD! Announcer Tension, it was probably done by design. At most, Tazz might have gotten a little over-zealous, but I'd bet a body part that the intent was there all along to have the two announce teams sniping at each other.
  • As far as the announce teams being "produced" goes, I only mention it because it turns out that RAW's announcers did not acknowledge ANY of the anti-Cena sentiment from the crowd, and it's because they were under a gag order from Vince McMahon himself.
    That's right Vince: there's nothing wrong. John Cena is a hero to millions. He, in his current incarnation, is a perfect characterization of what is cool and likeable and what your fans want to watch. The problem is those gosh-darned announcers ever mentioning that maybe, possibly, there are 7 or 8 idiot fans out there who are voicing a dissenting opinion.
    No, it couldn't possibly be that the Cena character has been flawed for months, and that the fans are finally sick of it and are revolting against the misstep, en masse, forcing you into a situation where you MIGHT have to admit failure and fix things. Because the fans are never right, and WWE is never wrong!
    For whatever it's worth, WWE's response to the situation is to keep trying to make Kurt Angle an even bigger dickhead and heel. They tried Daivari, but the Evil Ay-rab wasn't enough; now WWE.com is pushing a backstage Kurt video pretty hard, and in it, Kurt doesn't do anything except talk shit about the idiot fans (50 of whom were cheering for him in the match) and America. In essence: Kurt is being asked to make his character sound like a retard by pretending the fans hate him (when at least half of them are cheering him), and then using his ranting against the pretend hatred as the reason why fans should all be booing him. It's a circle of retardation, since NONE of this has much of anything to do with Kurt. Against a strong babyface, he'd be getting booed sufficiently enough; the problem here is that Cena's not a strong enough fan favorite. But WWE doesn't see it that way. There's nothing wrong with Cena. There's something wrong with Kurt. So let's have Angle go out there and commit Character Suicide by saying and doing irrational things that are not in any way connected to reality.
    Way to be, WWE.
  • Reader "Lightcastle" passed along an observation about Orton winning at Survivor Series that I hadn't thought of... since breaking out as a semi-star, Orton has been involved in three Survivor Series elimination matches. And in all three cases, he's been the Sole Survivor. In 2003, he was the Sole Survivor against Team Austin. In 2004, the Sole Survivor against Team Bischoff. This year, the Sole Survivor against Team SD!.
    Could WWE, completely by-accident, be writing a Future Legacy for Young Randall? I think Lightcastle e-mail with this on the grounds that I might take it as a reason to sort of relax and see the Bigger Picture of why Orton might have won last night... and on some level, it's true that this could turn into an interesting Point of Emphasis come next November. But it's also not quite the same as Taker's WM Streak... Taker's done all that alone (even a scheduled tag match, he went it alone in a handicap match, instead). But Young Randall Orton: "Give me 4 actually-talented partners, and I'll douchebag my way to a cheap victory every time!"
    We'll see if WWE recognizes that they've got a little mini-streak going here, or if they bother using it for anything come next year.
  • Last bit of fall-out from the PPV...
    Last night, in a skit with John Cena, Vince McMahon closed the discussion with "You're my nigger" before walking away. Or at least, I think he did; sound at Hooters is always a crapshoot, but on promos and skits, I try to perk up and pay super-close attention... in this case, I perked up because the skit started with Vince/Bischoff and I was hoping that they'd put some kind of stipulation or context in for the RAW vs. SD! matches, but no dice. But I was still listening in as Cena crashed the skit, and then Vince went all "street" with Cena, and hit his N-word punchline.
    I gather this has created quite the controversy? Let me end it right now: this was funny, it was done without an ounce of malice, and nobody has any justification for being even the littlest bit pissed off. Anybody who is trying to fan the flames so this IS a controversy is a fucking bunghole who wants to draw attention to his blog or newsboard or whatever and get you to click a link that doesn't deserve clicking.
    Those of us who are reasonable adults know this, and should take it upon ourselves to brutally mock anyone who would dare try to make an issue out of nothingness. 
    Then again, I still think the Krazy-Eyez Killah episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is the funniest thing broadcast on Planet Earth in the 21st Century to-date, and a goodly part of the episode revolved around a sub-plot of the extremely-caucasion-and-Jewish Larry David going around uttering the phrase "Yes, I'm your nigger." And I guess my "gimmick" with some of you people -- judging by how some of you prefaced your bitchy e-mails with "I know you hate political correctness, but I hope you finally criticize WWE for going over the line last night" -- is that I am difficult to offend.
    Well, guess what, wieners? I'm still not offended. In fact, in this case, I actually laughed out loud. Not only at Vince's comically inept attempt to be cool, but also at the REAL punchline, which was Booker T -- himself a documented African-American -- registering a perfect combination of bemusement and disgust at Vince's usage. 'Twas all in good fun, trust me.
  • We've got the full details on tomorrow night's UPN SmackDown! Special... the show WILL, as it turns out, air live from the middle of SD! tapings in Cincinnati, OH. There will be two big marquee matches:
    One is a cross-brand showdown between Big Show and Rey Mysterio. The other is Match 2 in the Booker/Benoit Best of Seven US Title Series. Throw in one other promo or short match, along with requisite video packages/filler, and you've got yourself a full hour. Probably a pretty decent one, too: those are two matches *I* am interested to watch, anyway. So maybe remember to set a tape or do whatever you gotta do... don't let it slip your mind, and as a man who had to make a Special Effort to make sure my Retarded DVR records it, don't just expect your Device to automatically know to record the show (it has some funky title).
    And nope: although it's only about a 45 minute drive, I shan't be hitting those TV tapings. Even if I was in Cincinnati tomorrow night, the only ticket in town I'd care to get my hands on would be a few miles to the north, on the campus of the Dirtiest Program In All The Land, the University of Cincinnati, where the wholesome and virtuous Dayton Flyers will be invading to take on the remnants of the program left in shambles by the man known as Coach Bob Thuggins. Alas, that's a ticket I can't score, so I'll just be sticking in Dayton and watching the game on TV somewhere... probably just as well. We haven't beaten UC in Cincinnati since... well, not since I've been alive and aware, anyway.
  • The rating for last Friday's SD! was a 2.8. This is, of course, down about a third-of-a-point from the rating scored for the Eddie Themed Show a week prior. But it's still on the high-side of SD! recent average, which might be a promising sign.
    I actually thought that last week's SD! was probably the least entertaining the brand has had in a month or more, following a string of being pretty consistently better than RAW... with Orton poised to be re-invented as the Savior of SD!, and then with Taker poised to be his primary opposition in main event feuds, I'm not sure that slide won't continue. But we'll see. I just prefer Taker/Orton (finally reaching a resolution) as a side issue, a semi-main event. And then you do something actually fresh and interesting on top with the World Title. 
    But what do I know?
  • A news story that is probably being made into a bigger deal than it needs to be, but since so many people are e-mailing about it, I shall briefly mention it.
    Ric Flair is facing misdemeanor assault charges in his hometown of Charlotte, NC, stemming from a "road rage" incident last week during a Holiday Travel Traffic Jam. Flair had just flown home after what was no doubt a hellish tour of Europe, and was apparently in quite the bad mood as he got caught in a traffic snarl. From the sounds of things, the incident went like: (1) Ric did that Dick Thing of flashing his lights and honking at what he perceived to be a slow-moving car. (2) The slow-moving car did that Dick Thing of slamming on brakes just because he wants to teach Dick #1 a lesson. (3) Flair got out of his car and approached Dick #2. (4) Dick #2 claims that Flair shoved and shook him and also damaged his car.
    Not only does it sound like no serious damage was done, but it also ALWAYS takes Two Dicks to Tango in any situation like this, and I don't see there being any significant ramifications upon Ric Flair. 
    At the very least: this will have ZERO impact on his standing in WWE, and thus, zero impact on the on-screen product, which is, in my opinion, the thing with which we fans should be most concerned about.
  • Many theories about Ric Flair's stretcher job at the PPV last night... most of them including the notion that this might FINALLY be the excuse WWE uses to take the IC Belt off of Flair, if he can't defend it. Vacate it, put it up for grabs in a tourney, something like that.
    All I can say are two things: (1) that's a bit too similar to what SD! is doing with the US Title, in my opinion, and (2) I've heard no plans for Flair to miss significant time, such as the 30-plus days it would take before a move like that could reasonably be made.
    I'd propose an alternate theory: that Flair might miss a week, but when he returns, he's forced into an IC Title match. And because he's still hurting from HHH's attack, he'll drop the title in that match. Something like that seems more WWE's M.O. these days...
  • A week after we learned that December's SD! PPV, Armageddon, will be headlined by a Hell in the Cell match (Taker vs. Orton), the marketing for January's RAW PPV, New Year's Revolution, has begun, and reveals that its main event will once again be an Elimination Chamber match (other than John Cena being featured, the other 5 participants are unclear).
    Follow that up, later in January, with the always-fun Royal Rumble, and basically what you've got is WWE's next three consecutive PPVs featuring the company's three most-marketable gimmick matches.
    Desperation? Coincidence? I dunno... but either way, it's a good thing for fans.
  • And I guess that leaves us to just really quickly touch on tonight's RAW. I will admit, even coming off a seemingly uneventful PPV, WWE's announced two things for tonight that do pique my interest.
    One is a scheduled Shawn Michaels vs. Carlito Cool main event. If it's me telling the stories, I like the idea of having Eric Bischoff channel all his self-esteem and insecurity issues into placing the blame for RAW's showing at Survivor Seres on Team Captain Shawn Michaels. A match against Fellow Team Member Carlito could be Shawn's first hurdle as he becomes the new object of Bischoff's annoyance.... meantime, others could come to Shawn's aid and point out, "Umm, boss, YOU lost at Survivor Series, too," resulting in a nice big intrabrand feud-dealy.
    Hell, going back to that last bullet point, I'd watch and Elimination Chamber that had Michaels, Show, Kane, Angle, Cena, and Carlito. Wouldn't you?
    Then the other thing is the debut of "The Cutting Edge," Edge's new "talk show." Poor Carlito: he finally gets out from under the Highlight Reel, and now this. Except I really do think Edge has the chops to pull this off in style. His best work the last year has come in one of two modes: (1) whiny, victim-y, me-wanty mode, and (2) snarky, quasi-shoot King of the Zingers mode. A "talk show" setting allows him to explore both; a good pre-ramble will always include an airing of Edge's own latest grievances ("me-wanty"), but then as soon as a guest shows up, let the zingers fly!
    Edge's first guest will be Triple H. Huh. I guess it's not enough that he brutalized Ric Flair last night, now he's gonna talk about it, too? The only other thing I can guess is that HHH tries to use his dominance of Flair to move past the Flair feud and into the World Title Picture. In which case, a guest appearance by Kurt Angle would be appropriate, claiming that he's STILL not gotten a fair shot at the World Title after the screw-job at the PPV with a SD! ref interfering in RAW business. Then Cena could show up. Or Bischoff. And Edge could remind everybody that he's still just on Bank Withdrawl away from his own title shot. And that's instant chaos.
    Maybe strike my previous statement. Carlito out, Edge into the Elimination Chamber.
    I guess my point is that in both of these two announced features there are just all these POSSIBILITIES that really do intrigue me. RAW's now in that same comfortable position that SD! was in 2 months ago: they don't have another PPV to worry about for about 7 weeks or so. They can get loose, try a few new things, cuz there isn't quite as much pressure. Two months ago is when SD! got good.... maybe RAW can do the same as they have all this time to get the pieces in place to tell the stories they want for New Year's Revolution.
    And then we just cross our fingers and hope that, unlike SD!, RAW is rocked with injuries and other tragedies just as they are really hitting high gear, causing all those well-laid plans to fall apart.
    Other than Angle/Cena not being over, and my notions for how we could easily get a whole bunch of other people all involved in one big, messy (yet-fun) story at the top of the card, tonight pretty much represents the start of a story-line re-set for RAW. There really don't seem to be many compellingly-pressing issues that will bleed over into the next 2 months, since so much energy the past little bit was on RAW vs. SD!. Now it's time to get back to RAW vs. RAW, and things are just wide-open for WWE to do whatever they want. 
    Probably the only thing we can count on for sure is that, in the Women's Division, Mickie James will be flipping out on Trish sooner rather than later. Everything else? Your guess is as good as mine.... I just hope that it's good stuff, focusing on the right people. More Shelton! Less Chris F. Masters!
    You can check out how RAW handles its reset tonight.... or you can come on back to OO tomorrow, when I'll have the finest RAW Recap in All the Land. Provided my cable doesn't go out. Wouldn't *that* be ironic?
    Stupid weather. Four days ago: single digits and frigid. Today: 70 degrees and thunderstorms, and I already had the power go out late this afternoon  (I'm assuming because of the insane wind, since the rain and storms only got here about 45 minutes ago, which is also about when the power came back). Anyway, that's not only why this column's a bit late getting the finishing touches and getting posted, it's also why you oughta cross your fingers for me. I think the worst will be passed by 9pm, though...
    Which means smOOth sailing, and the High Quality RAW Recap you count on... see you with that tomorrow, 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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