Powered by LiquidWeb Search all of OO for news, columnists, and articles about your favorites!
News  -/-  Recaps  -/-  Columns  -/-  Features  -/-  Reference  -/-  Archives  -/-  Interact  -/-  Site Info

Donate to Online Onslaught!
     Daily Onslaught
     Obtuse Angle
     RAW Satire
     The Broad

     Inside the Ropes
     OOld Tyme
         Rasslin' Revue
     Title Wave
Crashing the

     Smarky Awards
     Big in Japan
     Guest Columnists
     2 Out of 3 Falls
     Devil's Due
     The Ring
     The Little Things
SK Rants
The Mac Files
     Sq'd Circle Jerk
     RAW vs. SD!:
         Brand Battle
     Cheap Heat 
     Year in Review
     Monday Wars
     Road to WM 

     Title Histories
     Real Names
     PPV Results
     Smart Glossary
     Message Boards
     Live Chat 
     OO History

If you attend a live show, or have any other news for us, just send an e-mail to this address!  We'd also love to hear from you if you've got suggestions or complaints about the site...  let us have it!

PPV Fall-out, RAW, The Road to WM22,
TNA, ECW's Next Comeback, and MORE! 
February 20, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Well, goddammit.... it looks like college hoops is dead to me, afterall. A month ago, I thought I could at least count on my Indiana Hoosiers to maintain my interest well into March....

I thought wrong.

I don't care if it's because of injuries, or because of a lack of team chemistry, or (and this one's my guess) because Coach Mike Davis is a self-involved, whiny bitch of a drama queen... fact is, the Hoosiers are looking like a team that'll be on the outside looking in when Selection Sunday rolls around.

Bleargh. Hey, at least the World Baseball Classic is starting up in a week or two. That ought to be.... interesting. I'm fully anticipating the US getting its ass whupped by the Dominicans, actually. Have you looked at the rosters? We might have the edge over the DR in terms of pitching... but their 1-thru-8 line-up is a Major League All Star team -- hell, their BENCH is half an All-Star team -- and we have more than a few gaping holes. Especially in the outfield. Frenchy Francoeur from the Braves (on the strength of 6 excellent weeks, and then 8 shitty ones in his rookie season) is one of America's best 4 outfielders? Bzzzt, I don't think so...

I will reserve the right to rekindle a touch of basketball interest in May if the Pacers rally strong.... but for all intents and purposes, The Rick has entered Baseball Fan Mode. Thanks for nothing Flyers! Thanks for nothing Hoosiers!

And more on-topic: thanks for nothing, WWE! I should still have WrestleMania Fever to overcome before I shift over to baseball, but I'm almost completely asymptomatic. Let's get on with talking about why: 

  • Last night's No Way Out PPV has generated an odd mix of reactions. 
    Some fans just can't get over the excellent work done by Kurt Angle and Undertaker in the main event, and praise two very strong undercard matches (the Cruiserweight Schmozz and Benoit/Booker), and consider it one of the stronger PPVs they've seen in a while.
    For the life of me, I read those e-mails and my knee-jerk reaction is to chide those people for being so impressed by the simple fact that WWE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TOO STUPID. For the most part, the things that worked were part and parcel of a pared-down wrestling show where you just put the show in the hands of the workers.
    But then there's other people who look at sucktastic decisions like having Tatanka show up as Matt Hardy's partner to beat MNM, and the way the whole Orton/Rey/Chavo/Eddie's-wife stuff played out, and who try to put this show into some kind of over-riding context, and they come up blank in terms of any reason for this show to make them any more excited about the SD! product heading into WM22.
    Those e-mails resonate with me a bit more.
    If I want wrestling PPVs where good-to-great matches exist in a vacuum, and don't have anything to do with storylines that intrigue and interest me, then I wouldn't be on a tape-delay getting my hands on TNA shows.
    I look at it this way: Angle and Taker had the night's best match, and probably the absolute best match they could have had under the circumstances... but in the absence of any build-up or any reason to care, their 30 minute effort -- at best -- counts as the START of a possibly-compelling rivalry between two unbelievably competitive and proud grapplers. If that doesn't seem ass-backwards to you, if that doesn't result in a few docked points, if that doesn't just take away a bit from the pure joy that a crackling, red-hot wrestling show can deliver, then I guess we're just two different types of wrestling fans.
    And the sad thing is, I really don't read the SD! Title situation as being all that interesting after last night's show.... yes, there are six weeks till Mania, and that means there might be time to sneak in one additional Angle/Taker match (SNME, anyone?). But it's like I said in the PPV Preview: this is no time for Taker to be involved in a title match/title feud at WM22. The man's a part time legend who probably doesn't rate a full-time title run. And the man's got a WM Winning Streak to protect. Unless you're envisioning the Undertaker leaving WM as the champ, then you can kindly quit submitting your convoluted fantasy booking scenarios for "fixing" things on the SD! side.
    I'm afraid that we have to resign ourselves to Orton being The Guy at Mania. Not just the challenger to Angle, but also the likely winner. Dragging Batista out as another "surprise" last night had the reverse effect with me: instead, Batista's promo might as well have been closed captioned with the same sentence repeated over and over again: "WWE is under the misapprehension that Batista vs. Orton in a World Title Feud of Former Evolution Partners will draw big-time this Spring." Great.
    At best, you might hope that WWE's decided to keep Rey in the mix, possibly for a three-way title match at Mania. Reportedly, they re-booked and re-worked the Rey/Orton match throughout the weekend before settling on the finish they did, and settling on the post-match storyline where Chavo and Eddie's widow only briefly consoled Rey backstage. I don't know the significance of the re-working, but it does seem the Ghost of Eddie Guerrero is going nowhere, and if he's going to motivate Rey to get back into the title picture, I guess that wouldn't shock me.
    But it still would strike me as just about the least compelling fashion possible to continue telling Rey's story.
    So again: I guess what it all comes down to is what you want in a wrestling show. No Way Out did succeed as a show that featured some surprisingly strong in-ring action and exceeded almost non-existent suspicions. But it didn't succeed as a show that made me care. Sorta makes my closing line from the PPV Preview all the more prescient, doesn't it?
    Jericho's not the only one capable of predicting the future around here....
  • And while SD! gives us all indications of limping towards WrestleMania after last night's PPV, RAW is in the process of doing the same thing. We'll know for sure after tonight, but it sure seems like Triple H vs. John Cena is the main event we're headed for at Mania...
    The main event on tonight's show will be HHH vs. Big Show vs. Rob Van Dam to determine the #1 Contender to Cena's WWE Title. With HHH as the only heel in the mix, it's hard to expect WWE going in any other direction tonight. Cena has a hard enough time getting cheered against heels; putting him in the ring with a babyface (without it being a purposeful attempt at a heel turn) would be a disaster.
    It goes without saying that things would be a LOT more wide open if Edge were the champ (any one of the three could conceivably win, especially since HHH has been showing signs of babyface-ishness lately)... but Edge appears to be on a collision course with Mick Foley at WM22. What Edge has to say or do with regards to Mick tonight should be another deal where we cement a Mania match.
    A third match of less-than-thrilling potential will probably be made official before too long: Shawn Michaels will be stuck facing a puppet of Vince McMahon at Mania. Possibly Vince himself. More likely Vince's son, Shane. Or maybe both. Who knows? It's not really about creating a big-drawing wrestling match, it's just about presenting a heavily booked Sports Entertainment Segment at WM.
    A fourth WM storyline could kick in, as Shelton Benjamin is slated to face Ric Flair tonight for the IC Title. Just about everybody and his uncle assumes Shelton is taking the IC Title to Mania, where there's a good chance that he'll be defending against Rob Van Dam (in what could, admittedly, be an awesome spectacle, especially if they take the time to build it up right).
    Trish and Mickie James are still -- near as I can tell -- in need of blowing off their increasingly-lame feud at WM, too. EXACTLY as I had feared, Mickie donned a Trish wig last week to up the Suck Factor of this vague retelling of "Single White Female," but I'm going to cling to hope that they'll re-unfuck this pronto. Done right, a "Misery-esque" storyline could have catapulted Trish to top babyface status as part of an intense, sympathy-inducing feud. Done *this* way, it's almost embarrassingly bad, and Trish loses out as she's required to be a clueless, gullible moron in order for the Hollywood Writer Monkeys to tell their stories. Or maybe that's just me and my Completely Reasonable Belief that there should be no "Privileged Information" in wrestling (if it happens on TV, then all the wrestlers should know about it the same as we do)...
    Whatever the case, I expect further developments on that front tonight, and I fear that they will be dumb.
    Anyway, there you have your five issues that will certainly be addressed tonight. Then you probably have to figure out some way to make room for Chris F. Masters (he's gotta "get his heat back" (HEE! Heat? Masters? Hilarious!). It'd suck if there wasn't room for Carlito. Now that she's in Playboy, Titties McSuperbowl will be all over TV (and, I dread, doing a storyline with Torrie Wilson over which of them is the more vapid, shallow, narcissistic bitch; seriously, among Mature Adults, can there possible be a babyface in a feud that boils down to two bimbos arguing "No, I'm hotter than you"?)...
    Oh, and WWE is promising that another inductee into the Hall of Fame will be announced tonight, too. You've heard most of the likely candidates' names already. Eddie, LOD, Dusty, and maybe Owen.... we'll see.
    Check it out tonight, and then, when the show fails to meet your high standards, come on back to OO tomorrow for the Greatest and Best RAW Recap in all the land!
  • Completing the Brand Trifecta, this weekend's TNA was a pretty decent show in terms of parlaying the momentum coming off a strong PPV into their next PPV line-up.
    I'm not sure I can envision Samoa Joe hanging from the Ultimate X wires, but what the hell? They want to bust out a re-rematch between Joe, Daniels, and Styles, and at some point, you just have to take it on faith that these three can't have a bad match together. That'll be interesting...
    Christian really toed the line in his first promo as champ... and at times I thought he stumbled over it into the realm of Insulting Hyperbole. Look, good for you, Captain Charisma, but remember: the point of winning this title should be to pull the stature of the company and the title up, NOT to drag yourself down to the level of the company. I know some would argue that it's selfish or Nash-like to do things that way, but you also have to accept that there's an audience of casual wrestling fans out there -- roughly 5 times the loyal TNA audience -- who will see Christian on TV, saying ridiculous things about the value of a title belt that is a comically-ugly and cheap-looking bauble, and their reaction isn't going to be "Whoa! Maybe this is an up-and-coming federation." The reaction is gonna be "Jeez, looks like Christian's really slumming it." Getting cheap pops out of 800 wankers in Orlando is not worth risking losing out on 800,000 potential TV viewers.
    I've talked about this with the Dudleys before, and I really think it's something that the company and its handful of proven stars need to be aware of. You don't go out on TV and try to shove the notion that "This is the biggest and best wrestling company on the planet" down our throats. You just put the best WRESTLERS on the planet out there on TV and let them do their thing, and let US decide when you're a grown up, real wrestling company, OK? Otherwise, you'll turn off as many fans as you turn on.
    To the Dudleys' credit this week, you could tell they were really having fun brushing up against some of their old catchphrases (ones which WWE is under the impression that THEY own), without really going overboard. That was kinda cute.
    And is it just me, or does this whole retarded (and horribly-acted) nonsense with Jackie Gayda/Jeff Jarrett seem like a deal where TNA just threw something out there, and now they have no fucking clue how to come up with a compelling finish, so they just keep milking it, which has the net effect of making it impossible to actually satisfy fans once they finally DO decide on a conclusion? I've already gone from Mildly Intrigued to Not Giving a Shit.... and now I'm teetering on the brink of Really Starting to Loathe This Storyline.
    Also giving me the gripes: the New Age Outlaws. Or rather, Billy Gunn getting to have more of a speaking role than he did when they were the NAO. There's a reason he wasn't permitted to speak then. And there's also a reason why there is a verb-form of his name ("to Billy Gunn" as in "At least I'm not going to Billy Gunn my King of the Ring win away"). And if I'm just starting to Loathe the Gayda/Jarrett stuff, I don't even know WHERE to put this on-going crap with the Outlaws and Bob Armstrong and Konnan on my "Make it go away" Continuum.
    Some very good wrestling in the second half of the show, however, really sealed things... and again, the Duds were front and center on that, seemingly having fun with some of their old crowd-pleasing tricks. And bringing Ron Killings along for the ride, who looked about as sharp as he has in a long time once put into a match where fans were actually into it and responsive.
    An above average effort from TNA coming off a strong PPV, and that, my friends, is how you start to build some real momentum. You can get all the details in Jason Longshore's TNA Impact Recap.
  • Last week's ratings...
    RAW did a 3.3 on Thursday night, a drop of 25% from recent averages. But you can't really make any judgments based on that. I gather that there's a bit more competition on Thursdays, and it's also very possible that a few fans just flat out failed to follow RAW to a different night. We'll know more when we get the ratings for tonight's show.
    And SD! on Friday did a 2.8 rating, still a bit low versus where the show was performing back before the holidays. With the vagaries of Cable vs. Broadcast Ratings, however, SD! would have come DAMNED close to being watched by more fans than RAW last week, which hasn't happened in a while...
  • At house shows over the weekend, Paul Heyman and Tazz made special appearances to announce that another ECW Reunion PPV is coming June 11, once again from the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. They announced an April on-sale date for tickets, which was pertinent since both house shows were very proximate to Manhattan.
    I guess that makes it "official," although the plans for the ECW PPV have already been well-underway. WWE might even make it doubly-official with an announcement on RAW tonight. Though trying to use ECW to cheap-pop the fans at this time of year would have the net effect of telling you everything you need to know about how insecure and unsure WWE is of their OWN product heading into WM22.
  • Speaking of ECW: Johnny Grunge (real name: Mike Durham) passed away late last week. He was either 38 or 39, and his death has apparently been labeled a result of heart/breathing complications, which could pretty much mean anything.
    Grunge, along with his tag partner Rocco Rock (the also-deceased Ted Petty), formed The Public Enemy during the early expansion of ECW under Paul Heyman, and were just about as important as anybody in putting the promotion on the map. In fact, their early work with tables was the direct antecedent of the Dudleys' work, and it got TPE brief shots with both WCW and the WWF.
    Condolences go out to all of Johnny's family, friends, and fans.
  • Stacy Keibler has apparently made it to the finals of "Dancing with the Stars," and many jerkface readers are enjoying keeping me apprised of her status, since they think that she'll somehow come out of this a major star.
    Look, dum dums: J. Peterman from "Seinfeld" won this show last year. Where is he today? He's the pitchman for a third rate car insurance company. Which makes him slightly more famous than a CGI lizard, and slightly less famous than President Serrano from "24." Do you want to re-think your stance?
    Even "American Idol," the supposed Gold Standard of the Reality Show Genre, has turned out more Late Night TV Show Punchlines (Clay Aiken is gay, Rueben Studdard is fat) than they've turned out bona fide superstars (Kelly Clarkson).
    So just deal with the fact that fame is fleeting if you win an utterly pointless talent contest, and quit telling me that this is gonna be a HUGE boon for WWE. Few, if any "Dancing with the Stars" viewers are gonna turn into RAW viewers just because of Stacy. And I doubt very many RAW viewers are watching "Dancing with the Stars" just because of Stacy. There may be some cross-over there, but mostly: ne'er the twain shall meet. And WWE would actually be making a gross misstep if they try to make too big a deal out of Stacy's dancing when she comes back to TV, cuz that'll probably only have the effect of pissing off most wrestling fans. 
  • I think that's all I got for today. I can still catch some Olympic Curling if I rush. It's like Ice Bocce, and it is oddly soothing in its leisurely pace, and oddly engrossing in its strategery. It does not hurt that the US has two hot sisters on their team. Apparently, I'm not alone in thinking that, though I gather I'm a bit of an oddball in preferring the older one; not the Team Captain, but the smilier, less-albino one.
    That's some good TV to relax and unwind to in the late afternoon or early evening....  so I'm outta here, suckers. See you tomorrow with the RAW Recap.

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.




All contents are Copyright 1995-2014 by OOWrestling.com.  All rights reserved.
This website is not affiliated with WWE or any other professional wrestling organization.  Privacy Statement.