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RAW's Eliminationing, SD!'s Spookiness,
TNA's Sting-ifying, plus Lesnar and Lots MORE! 
December 12, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


"The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" makes 70 million dollars this weekend? And just like that, another series of books you read when you're a kid is probably going to become a lucrative series of movies that today's parents can send their kids to go see instead of -- oh, I dunoo -- buying them the actual books to read...

Then again, who am I to talk? I stopped bothering with the "Harry Potter" books after the fourth one, but I can only assume that I'll still end up seeing all seven movies as they keep on coming out. At least I can be proud that I slogged through all of "The Lord of the Rings" books when I was younger, which is more than you can say for 75% of the

people who made Peter Jackson a billionaire.

But where's this trend end? The "SuperFudge" trilogy? Utilizing cutting edge technology to release the first ever Choose-Your-Own-Adventure movie "Showdown at Deadwood Gulch" (no doubt written by the prolific Edward Packard)? Or the 7-part "coming of age" series of Hardy Boys movies where Frank and Joe Hardy solve mysteries of increasingly complexity while also attempting to solve the mystery of which one of them will get to bone the suddenly-blossoming Nancy Drew?

I keed, I keed. But answer me one thing.... I managed to narrowly avoid seeing "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" (*finally* got to see the Johnny Cash movie, instead), but when the hell did the main reason to endorse the Narnia series become its Overwhelming Christian Overtones? Either it's a good fantasy story, or it's not... as I recall, I didn't make it past the second Narnia book when I was a kid because I didn't find it particularly exciting. I didn't realize that forcing your kids to go to this movie to reinforce their Christian Values was going to be such a phenomenon...

Then again, even if I didn't know the series was so overwhelmingly Jesusfied, I shouldn't be surprised... it would explain why teachers at my Catholic school always suggested the Narnia books (when all i wanted to do was read my heathen, godless Star Trek novels), and why (in an already fairly-religious family) it was my most religious aunt who bought me the boxed set of Narnia books for Christmas one year. But till the big whoop-de-doo at the end of last week, I had somehow managed to whiff on the religious implications of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."

No wonder -- here in George W. Bush's America -- it made so much money this weekend. But still (tee hee) only about two-thirds as much as the new Harry Potter made it's first weekend. You know? Harry Potter, the book and movie franchise that was clearly sent here by the devil to lure impressionable kids away from the Jesus and towards Satanism and Witchcraft.

So there you have it, silly religious fundamentalists: if you simply *must* insist upon viewing pretend, make-believe, secular movies through hidden-religious-agenda-colored glasses, you have no choice but to just admit it.... Satan is 33% more popular than God. ZING~!

Aaaaaannnnd.... that was officially a long way to go to get in a jab on religious fundamentalists. But anytime the road getting there includes me somehow pulling the name "Edward Packard" out of my ass, I vote that it was well worth the ride. Still: ride's over, and here's your wrestling....

  • I've spent the past couple weeks talking about how RAW has plenty of time to get things set up for their New Year's Revolution PPV on January 8. But here, with a SD!-only PPV still coming up first, RAW's time before their next PPV suddenly seems to be running a bit short.
    Next week's show will be a no-storyline special show from Afghanistan. You can completely axe that in terms of building up to the PPV. And then the two following weeks? The day after Christmas is sure to be a low-rated show; the day after New Year's (complete with a full slate of college Bowl Games, which are being displaced from Sunday by NFL games) could be an even less-widely-seen show. 
    So if WWE's going to capitalize on recent ratings momentum, they kinda need to do it tonight, and get the next PPV line-up fairly-well established. And it turns out: that's actually what the Fed's gonna do.
    Following up on last week's entertainment-heavy show, tonight's RAW looks poised to swing the pendulum a bit back towards the wrestling side, with 5 big Qualifying Matches that will be used to determine which five stars join John Cena inside the Elimination Chamber at the PPV. And four of the five have the makings of being very good, competitive affairs. 
    The other one inexplicably involves the comically-unqualified Chris F. Masters trying to weasel his way into a completely undeserved title match by defeating the even MORE comically-unqualified Viscera. Oy.
    The thing is: as much as Masters and Viscera don't deserve to be wrestling anywhere other than Heat, and have no business trying to win their way into PPV main events, the other 8 men in the other four qualifying matches are all very deserving and compelling competitors. I don't know whether to be more excited for those four matches or more frustrated that 4 of those 8 men will be shut out of the Elimination Chamber match while one of Masters/Viscera is guaranteed a slot.
    Oh, who are we kidding? Of COURSE Masters will win. That'll make 2 PPV main events in a row for WWE's single most baffling convergence of no-talent, no-personality, and a ginormous push.
    The other four matches, though? Should be good. They are: 
    Shawn Michaels vs. Big Show
    Triple H vs. Kane
    Kurt Angle vs. Ric Flair
    Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito Cool
    You could pretty much see any of those 8 fitting into the mix of the Elimination Chamber. Being realistic, though, it seems a pretty solid lock that HHH and Angle will qualify (over Kane and Flair), though, since those are the two guys on booking sheets through till next February as working against Cena (sometimes even in three-way matches).
    Then, if you want to try to make sure there are other compelling matches for New Year's Revolution besides the Chamber, one way to do that would be to have Michaels vs. Shelton on the card, which would mean that Show and Carlito win tonight. But another way to round out the PPV card would be to have Show and Kane together for another inter-brand tag match, which would mean that Michaels has to win (and which would mean having Shelton in the Chamber with him would make more sense). So see: you might "know" who's gonna win three of the qualifying matches, but there's those other two which could go either way.
    For that reason, I think tonight's RAW should hinge on Michaels vs. Show as the main event. Not only could it be the best of the five matches (Show's certainly been dusting off his heel chops on SD! lately, and this is the perfect scenario for Michaels to bust his ass as the sympathetic uber-face), but the inevitable appearance by Shelton could put a little storyline sizzle on it, too, and also insure that whatever's next for Shelton's character, he's doing it in the spotlight, instead off on the undercard... if you're turning him heel, at least get him off to a good start, and then let him sink or swim; you don't nancy it out of the gates and then when it flops blame it on Shelton.
    Anyway, point is that there's four matches here, all of which should go 8-10 minutes (maybe a little less for Kurt/Flair, since the story there should be that Flair's still beat-up from Survivor Series, and maybe not able to muster his best; but maybe a little more for Michaels/Show). That's a hell of a lot of bell-to-bell time for the gripers out there who didn't like last week's entertainment-heavy show.
    Although: there will also still be entertainment aspects to tonight's show, as well. If nothing else, WWE's selling this as the "first RAW since 2002" where Eric Bischoff's not in control (ahem, I assume I don't even need to make the smart-ass factual observation, right? You're all on top of it? Good.). We need a new General Manager to run the show...
    Two weeks ago, it seemed pretty well set in stone that Shane McMahon was the guy. But then Shane was curiously absent from last week's show. That could be a genuine sign that WWE had a sudden change of heart, and has a surprise in store for us tonight... but it could also just be standard WWE procedure of keeping Shane off TV to raise expectations, so that when they do the expected, everybody who let themselves start speculating about other things are sure to be disappointed.
    And you know the standard OO procedure in these cases: we don't try to facilitate any of that wild speculation, cuz we don't like having it be OOur OOwn goddamned fault when we end up feeling underwhelmed. So I figure that Shane's still the odds-on favorite, and if you want a "dark horse," then maybe you could make a case for Mick Foley after last week's show. But that's about as zany as I'd get.
    And plus: coloring my opinion on this whole "new GM" thing is the widely-accepted notion that Eric Bischoff will be back on TV in the New Year, and unless it's in an announcing/managerial capacity (or somehow related to a coup of ousting Teddy Long on SD!), we probably shouldn't get too attached to any new RAW GM.
    But we still conservatively pencil in at least 15 minutes or so for GM Drama... and putting that with the expected ring-time for the five qualifying matches (not to mention that those'll also include the yin and the yang of over-long ring entrances: Chris F. Masters' shitty one, and Triple H's good one), you're suddenly starting to run short on time, even though you still have a TON of stuff you'll need to squeeze in.
    Edge's new interview segment certainly deserves to be reprised this week after last week's strong outing; whether he continues a mini-feud against The Stooges 2K6 (an easy way to get Edge some "matches" while he's still trying to protect and rehab an injury for the next couple of months) or goes in a new direction is the only real drama. Although I guess one way to save time and have no "Cutting Edge" tonight while still keeping Edge's new gimmick rolling would be to have the show "cancelled," due to it's controversial nature. Then you have Edge to backstage skits with whoever's the new GM, demanding to have his show re-instated for 12/26 (and also possibly verbally punking Hayes/Slaughter again if he bumps into them).
    Although this week's show certainly seems set up to be jam-packed and entertaining without even a peep out of John Cena, that's exactly what happened last week, too. And we all know how that ended: with Cena still being shoe-horned into the show in a forced and moderately nonsensical fashion. I would not bet against another Shoehorn Appearance by Homey the Clown tonight... it is, afterall, his hometown, and even if there doesn't look to be a whole lot of extra room tonight, expect WWE to MAKE room for Cena, since this might be one of the few remaining domestic metropolises where Cena won't be audibly booed. Or will he?
    Maybe it'll be nothing more than Cena doing some guest commentary to "scout" competition in one of the qualifying matches? Or maybe you could kill two birds with one stone by having Cena on "The Cutting Edge," where even if Boston threatens to mutiny against their hometown wigger, Edge's over-powering prickishness (and Lita's magical ability to instigate a "Slut" chant with little more than one heave of her amply-displayed bosom) will keep Cena a strong babyface. Plus: the new "say-anything" Edge might be just what Cena needs to quit suckling at the Hollywood Writer Monkeys' teats. To keep up with Edge, Cena might have no choice but to revert back to his once-compelling impromptu banter. Those two going back and forth without the benefit of Heavy Scripting could be good TV, and could be the kind of outing Cena needs to silence to boo-birds for at least a few weeks.
    We'll also need to make room tonight to address the women's division, where we seem to be inching closer to Mickie James going full-on Annie Wilkes on Trish... I still stand by my belief that we need more skit/promo/angle stuff here before we pull the trigger. So far, everything been done pretty much in the ring within the context of matches, but I think you need to do more than that if you want to get maximum value out of this feud. Maybe with tonight's show looking so full, this is a good week to make use of Trish's more-actor-y abilities. Nothing against a solid 5 minute women's match, but there comes a time when (to ensure strong interest in future women's matches) you have to sacrifice a few of those minutes and give them over to storytelling and character-building....
    One last thing I really would like to see shoehorned into tonight's show: some kind of appearance for Tajiri. This is his final date working for WWE, and it'd be nice if he got some kind of send-off. If this company is finding time to get Trevor fricking Murdoch singles wins on Monday nights, then I think they can find 5 minutes to give Tajiri a nice farewell win. Of course, even if this show wasn't already stacked like it is this week, I'm sure that's not something that's a priority for WWE.... oh well, at least Tajiri's not the one being asked to job for Chris F. Masters. That's something, right?
    [You know what's too bad? I found out about Tajiri opting to depart WWE only one day after coming up with a sweet Fantasy Booking scenario that I wanted to see play out in my now-blossoming vision for The Rick's Road To WrestleMania 22... it was this: since both Tajiri and Chavo had won tag titles with Eddie Guerrero, I think it would have worked really well to have them get together -- being realistic, people, Chavo still only projects as a mid-card wrestler, no matter what "sympathy push" you might want him to get -- and have them become RAW's top babyface tag team. Between Chavo's homagery to Eddie and Tajiri being a diabolical Jap with Powers Of Mist, I could really see them getting over as they lie, cheat, and steal their way to tag gold. Alas now, if I bother actually exploring the exercise further, I'd have to rewrite that entire chunk of my Fantasy WrestleMania 22.]
    But this isn't about me fishing for e-mails telling me how I so TOTALLY have to do my whole big Fantasy Road To WM22 like I did five years ago... this is about tonight's RAW, which seems to be loaded with enough goodness in the ring (and one CFM match), have plenty of possibilities for interesting developments on the entertainment side, and which I must admit I am actually pretty interested to watch. Which isn't a feeling that I've been all that familiar with over the past several months.
    Hell, throw in a double-shot of "Arrested Development" before RAW and then Jack Black on Letterman afterwards, and this is the most excited I've been to sit my ass down on the couch for a full Monday night of TV Crapulence since May... let's hope WWE does nothing to, as the filthy hippies say, "harsh my buzz."
    And even if they do, you know you can come on back here to OO tomorrow for the RAW Recap, which is guaranteed to make any show -- no matter how crappy -- fun to read about. Do check it out.
  • Going back to this weekend's SD!, briefly....
    Good golly was it ever a study in contrasts. The stuff with Undertaker and Orton is just getting to the point of mind-blowing retardation. "Gay spooky" no longer even does it justice... "gay spooky" was coined to denote attempted spookiness that instead came off as flamboyantly silly, frilly, and harmless. [Before y'all launch into the "I'm so totally straight, but you shouldn't use the word gay like that, dude" e-mails, just remember: this usage is endorsed by many homosexual readers who realize that I'm not making a comment on sexual orientation, but on the sometimes-comical way certain members of that orientation choose to broadcast their orientation.] But the last two weeks have taken things past the realm of the utterly unthreatening and unscary and into the realm of the So Very Stupid.
    WWE is just having downright-lame ideas for how to further the Taker/Orton feud; cutaways to a bloody Bob Orton that (more realistically) only Randy should be able to see? WWE Diva Josh Matthews speaking in Undertaker's voice? Cars driving themselves? Everything I said on this topic last week goes double again this week... an Undertaker who is freakishly attached to funereal imagery and likes to play mind games can be a very interesting character to watch (and to write for), which is why he got over in the first place. But an Undertaker who we are to believe honestly has supernatural powers (which only started to seep in years into Taker's run, after his babyface turn) becomes nothing more than an excuse to shake your head in pity at anybody who likes this shit.
    And what this boils down to is the simple fact that by booking things this way, it creates a situation in which both Taker and Orton's characters are wounded. Taker by becoming more and more ridiculous; Orton by believing the ridiculousness, instead of being able to laugh it off like the rest of the viewing audience. My stance on Orton has always been that -- for all his shortcomings as a performer, and what I secretly do suspect are shortcomings as a person -- he's still got all the tools necessary to be a very effective heel inside the wrestling ring. It's the reason why Orton flopped as a babyface champ, it's the reason why the Orton/Taker feud actually did work out so well at WM21; but since Orton came back from injury, the combination of some lackluster performances on his part and now the silly booking by WWE have really hamstrung him to the point that Orton can no longer "win" this feud. He can win matches, but his crappily-acted skits where he has to honestly be terrified of WWE's crappily-conceived Gay Spookiness now mean that he cannot come out of this feud better than he went into it.
    It's doubly frustrating because Hell in the Cell should be a really good and memorable match... in Young Randall Orton's 4 year career, he's only had two of those (vs. Foley, and then Taker at WM21), and the chance to add an all-too-rare third to the resume is something that should have been handled more carefully by WWE. But the way this thing has been booked, the ONLY way I'm thinking of to have Orton come out of this better than he went in is if he not only loses, but loses in the most spectacular of fashions. Orton can no longer "win" by winning the match, just because of how horribly the storytelling's been, and how Taker has just magically come back from "the dead" anytime Orton has scored wins in this feud. But Orton could -- maybe, possibly, perhaps -- "win" some measure of credibility by losing spectacularly. Hell in the Cell has been without a "signature bump"/stunt-man type match for years. If Orton could conceive of and execute something visually impressive, then suddenly you could retroactively CHANGE the story... Taker wins the match, but a few weeks later, Orton can return to TV and do a promo where he says, OK, Taker beat him. But Taker beat him because Randy crashed 20 feet through four tables and thumbtacks and flaming barbed wire baseball bats, and NOT because of retarded supernatural powers. Orton will have lost a wrestling match, then, not a jacked-up game of Ouija, and can get back to the business of being a douchebag heel, who has to do nothing other than be himself to get fans booing him.
    It really is that simple: the more you ask Randy to do, the weaker it'll make his character. Because if you just let him do what comes natural, he's gonna make just about every member of the audience who isn't a slimeball fratboy or a dimwitted teenage fangirl want to slap him in the face. And sadly: there is NOTHING natural or realistic about this latest chapter of crap with Undertaker. And it's hurting both guys' characters and making for vast tracts of laughably bad TV on Friday nights.
    One good thing about SD!'s Taker/Orton crap.... at the very start of his promo, Orton uttered the line, "Undertaker, you have to stop with these mindgames. It's just not fair." I believe that is worthy of a mighty "snerk," the onomatopoeia that indicates a snort of laughter directed at something that is "funny because it's true." The proverbial shoot-that-wasn't-meant-to-be-a-shoot, if you wheeee-el. Because it looks like Randy himself is admitting that anyone who enters into mindgames with him is going to war against an unarmed man. Of course, Orton didn't even seem to register that he'd said a pretty comical thing, and just kept rambling in his standard grammar- and logic-mangling way until he got to something resembling the point (hey, he *did* correctly manage the "finish what we started" concept~!). But if he thought I was gonna let that gem of his slip under the radar, he was so very, very wrong.
    I did like most of the rest of SD!, though. Good main event, good Booker/Benoit match, they effectively "re-heeled" JBL after his flirtation with babyfaceness, and for some reason (possibly due to enjoying a snowed-in solitary-man drunk on Friday night) I got a huge kick out of Cole and Tazz's commentary all night long. It was almost like somebody told them to remove a filter and just bicker like an old married couple as was their wont. 'Twasn't quite Monsoon/Heenan, but it struck me as being close at times...
    Oh, and the Boogeyman? Still sucks. Even if he gets over as a novelty act (which is still a dubious proposition), what the hell do you do with him? He has no legs, no shelf life... he is future WrestleCrap, that is all. Bad, writer monkeys, bad.
    You can get full details on the show in the OO SmackDown! Recap, this week supplied by long-time reader (and the man who claims to be responsible for unleashing PyroFalkon upon OO) Jeff Snider. The future of the SD! Recap is still in question, but it's not due to a question of the quality of Jeff's work (it's more that there are "precap" options I want to explore with some Canucks and a Brit, first), so definitely check it out.
  • BTW, the rating for Friday's SD! was a 2.8, which is down a tick, maybe, but still roughly in line with recent averages. It's likely that ratings will take hits the next several weeks, with this weekend being a big "holiday party" weekend, and then Christmas and New Year's the next two weeks... but it does appear that SD! has settled into that high-2's range the last 6 weeks or so.
  • Following up on Friday's Brock Lesnar story....
    Brock wrestled on Friday night in Japan (actually, I guess this would be more like our Friday morning), which was before WWE's motion to get a restraining order against Lesnar was addressed by the courts. 
    Then, the courts denied WWE's request for a restraining order. And then, Brock wrestled again on Saturday night in Japan, and appears to be in the clear to wrestle on a big upcoming TokyoDome show, pending the outcome of all this litigation.
    Now, on Friday, I said I assumed that a restraining order would be granted, given all the available information. And I was wrong. Because what I lacked is the -- you know? -- actualy legal knowledge.
    Turns out there is very specific language dictating whether a restraining order or injunction will be granted by a court... essentially, a plaintiff has to be able to demonstrate that they are in danger of suffering "irreparable" harm if the court does not step in.
    And while most lawyers who wrote in concurred that WWE is occupying the high ground on this particular case, they let me know in no uncertain terms that there was no way a court would see Lesnar wrestling two matches in Japan (after he already wrestled one back in October) as likely to cause "irreparable" harm to WWE. Whatever Lesnar is doing now, whatever laws or contracts he's violating, that status of WWE/Lesnar litigation means that a court would see the damages done by Lesnar's Japan matches as minimal, and something that can be repaired or made right in a subsequent ruling against Lesnar and in favor of WWE.
    In other words: legally-speaking, there's nothing Lesnar can do wrong by wrestling two matches in Japan that can't be made right later (garnishing his wages or otherwise providing WWE with compensatory damages). Thus: no "irreparable" damage, and no restraining order.
    Until the litigation with WWE is settled, Lesnar is not a contracted New Japan pro wrestler, which I gather is purely to limit Lesnar's legal liability should WWE's no-compete clause be upheld in court. But New Japan has announced their desire to lock Lesnar in as their highest-paid regular performer, as soon as it is possible to do so. The hope is that this would be no later than next spring. At that point, Lesnar would not just make sporadic wrestling appearances for New Japan, but would also become "the face" of New Japan in all their marketing. [If anything, this strikes me as being a plan that would make it even easier for a court to rule in favor of WWE on the no-compete clause, since WWE and New Japan are very-direct competitors in the world's second biggest wrestling market.]
  • On a semi-related note: something interesting that I had not thought to mention, but was brought up by a few Alert Readers...
    A month or so back, New Japan was sold to a Japanese videogame developer (Yukes). I didn't mention it on the grounds that you don't care. But you MIGHT care about it now, as no matter how little you care about the politics of puroresu, I know there are probably a few of you out there who like compulsively massaging your analog stick. By which I mean: play a lot of videogames.
    And Yukes has developed many recent WWE videogames, including the (I gather) widely-praised new one for PlayStation 2. Nobody really thought too much about it when Yukes bought New Japan, since by and large all attempts to market Japanese wrestling games in the US have tanked (there were at least two I know of; back when I was in school, and wrestling was peaking, and I was in my "wanker tape trading" phase, we played a couple, anyway, and I got to impress my friends with what a loser I was by actually knowing all the Japanese wrestlers), and there was no reason to think Yukes would see making lots of money developing WWE's games for the US market would be a conflict of interests. 
    Throw in what could turn into an ugly lawsuit or simply Vince McMahon Personal Animosity For No Good Reason (see: Viacom, TV Deal With), though, and the mess with Lesnar working for Yukes' wrestling company *could* have a direct impact on future development of your precious videogames. Since I know you gamer types out there are fond of the work Yukes has done for WWE's franchise, I figured you might like the heads-up....
  • And I guess the last thing for today... talking a bit about last night's TNA PPV.
    TNA actually tried to "top" itself: a month after debuting Christian, they closed the show with a tease that Sting would be returning to TNA. Oddly enough, feedback to this seems to indicate that TNA fell well short of "topping itself" among the internet jack-offs.
    Still, it's not among the internet jack-offs where opinion matters. Internet jack-offs are a big part of the problem why TNA's Orlando fans seem like such an exclusive bunch of self-important weenies. Among the mainstream, though? We're about to find out if Sting has any cache, baby....
    My gut feeling is that we either just have or are about to pass some intangible point of no return where Sting transitions from "legitimate competitor" to a guy whose only real value is as a gimmicky guest star on a WWE-sanctioned WCW One-Time Reunion Show or signing up to do a WWE-sanctioned Sting DVD Set. It is, afterall, coming up on five full years since Sting last did anything significant in the wrestling business, since he last appeared on weekly network TV show. I know we're close to that "point of no return" being crossed, and it'll be interesting to see how fans react, how Sting performs, and how TNA uses him to make sure that we stay on the good side of that line.
    FYI: my understanding is that Sting either has or soon will commit to a one-year deal to be a "full-time" TNA wrestler. Only for TNA can "three days per month" be construed as "full-time," but that's a whole other issue... he will also become TNA's highest paid wrestler.
    Some are concerned that Sting's presence might muddy the main event picture in TNA, where a lot of the internet fans want to see Christian be TNA's signature babyface... all I can say is: it's not always about the internet fans. A "full-time" Sting (not just a one-time Sting) is somebody who even casual fans would recognize, and if they believe he's going to be around for the long-term, they will obviously believe he can actually wrestle in and win title matches, and you stand a chance to draw in a lot more eyeballs. Also: even if they continue to use Sting more on the fringes of the title picture, rather than as the champion, the rights to use his likeness for videogames and action figures and other incidental businesses that TNA's trying to branch out into will help the overall franchise. Go find your friendly neighborhood sixth-grade wrestling fan and ask him if he'd rather have a Sting action figure or an AJ Styles one, and you'll see at least one other way Sting will help your precious TNA to start resembling a fully-formed wrestling company...
    Also showing up at the PPV: Chris Kanyon. Who had to wrestle under the name "Chris K." Because WCW owned "Kanyon." And WWE owns WCW. So therefore, WWE owns "Kanyon." Who betta than K? Well, last night, it was Raven, who continues to languish in this asinine storyline in which he must pretend that Larry Zbyszko is a worthy foil, while the rest of us just wait for him to get back to doing something cool.
    Key results:
    Jarrett defeated Rhino to retain the TNA Title. And thus, it's probably time for Rhino to either join up sides in a stable, or find himself a tag partner, or something. With no "normal" secondary title in TNA (and with Rhino not really cut out for the X Division style, I don't think), it's probably the best way to use him so he doesn't get lost in the shuffle. I just know that sacless, whiny drama queen Rhino (as seen in the two most recent of his 3-part vignette series) isn't a guy who stays in the main event picture after losing his rubber match to Jarrett. At least, not among the aforementioned more-mainstream audience. I'd really love to see Rhino end up with Father James Mitchell as his mouthpiece. Imagine the twisted Sinister Minister with both Abyss and Rhino under this mind control... throw in Evil Tajiri once his 90-day no-compete is up, and you have even *me* wanting to do some recreational TNA Fantasy Booking with that stable.
    Speaking of Abyss, he finally got beat by Sabu in a barbed wire match that sounds like it was a gruesomely outstanding example of the garbage wrestling genre.
    At the other end of the spectrum, Samoa Joe defeated AJ Styles for the X Title in what was widely touted as an outstanding example of the WRESTLING wrestling genre. It's a good move by TNA, as they also followed-up on the title change by doing the logical thing: Chris Daniels returned after a month-long absence to restart hostilities with Joe. It's what I would have expected, and it dovetails nicely into Daniels challenging for the X Title against the man what put him on the shelf. And this time, if the fans want to cheer Daniels, at least they'll be well within their rights to do so without being clueless wankers.
    In the two most anticipated matches of the night, WWE cast-offs got clean and decisive wins. Christian defeated Monty Brown via pinfall, and the Dudleys beat AMW in a Tables Match (which turned out *was* non-title). E-mail indicates that many TNA fans are upset that WWE guys are coming in and instantly running roughshod over "homegrown" TNA talent... but e-mail also indicates two other things: (1) anybody trying to take Monty Brown's side in any serious debate of push-worthiness against Christian is probably not the most-discerning observer of wrestling talent, and (2) another class of more relaxed fans said both matches were very good and entertaining and had some of the most drama and "sizzle" of the night. It continues to look like TNA might have to break a few jack-offs to make a weekly 1.0-or-better weekly rating omelet.
    I think those are the key developments from the show. But they are not ALL the developments. So, for a much more detailed breakdown of the entire card, I turn you over to OO's noted Overdressed-Prom-Date-Traci Fetishist (and TNA Guru) Jason Longshore for the TNA Turning Point PPV Recap. Enjoy.
  • I think that's all I got for today. 'Tis enough, I think. I defy you to find bullet points about each of RAW, SD!, and TNA that are this in-depth anywhere else! All tied up in a package with the disturbing image of the Hardy Boys tag-teaming Nancy Drew thrown on top as the pretty bow!
    Remember, between now and the end of the year, I am accepting your gratitude in the form of monetary donations to our OO Pledge Drive. We're trying to get to cofers built back up so we can keep the same level of gOOdness coming at you in 2006, so lend a hand, if you can. Thanks in advance.
    And on that note, I'll see you kids again tomorrow with the RAW Recap. Try to enjoy your night of TV Crapulence as much as I intend to mine....

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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