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SNME Returns (and Flops), TNA, Steiner,
Ratings, RAW, and Lots More Stuff 
March 19, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Yet another chapter of "The Rick's Been Watching Way Too Much TV, and You're Paying for It in the Pre-Ramble" today....

So someone has to explain to me how in the hell there's an "All New Season of Prison Break" coming to TV tomorrow...

I actually subjected myself to 2-3 weeks of the show last fall when it sorta looked like the commercials were interesting during the baseball playoffs on FOX. Bzzzzt. Not only was the show badly acted (seriously, the main character has got to be on of the most 

personality-free and least-engaging and uninteresting leading men in the history of network television), and not only did it make me stupider with every minute I watched.... but the WHOLE FUCKING POINT OF THE SHOW was that at the end of the season, either the main character's brother would be killed on death row, or they'd -- you know? -- BREAK OUT OF PRISON (as the title suggests).

It's not exactly the kind of subtle, complex premise that leads itself to on-going, layered storytelling after your first slate of episodes. Unless you want to dumb the thing down even further and have the Henry-Rollins-looking-guy get re-arrested again, and have his fucktard brother decide that getting himself thrown into jail is the most logical way to remedy the situation over and over again, season after season. Or do an endless series of mind-numbingly stupid cliff-hangers where the main character's escape plots fail, but Henry Rollins keeps getting stays of execution. Which you can't do. Can you?

I look at it this way: one ridiculous premise gets you one season. It's sort of the "24 Philosophy." At it's core, "24" asks you to buy into some pretty silly premises, but because of its unique pacing, you're usually too distracted to get too annoyed by it, and then at the end of the season, everything resets, and you know you'll get an entirely different ridiculous premise to solve next January, and then that one will be dispatched before you can get too annoyed by it, either. But if "Prison Break" is back, they are officially recycling the same utterly ridiculous premise (without the benefit of the accelerated pacing) for a second season, which is just plain retarded.

Just like anybody who can fucking stomach that show.

In other TV news, a quick counterpoint to a commentary I made on Friday about TV-shows-standing-the-test-of-time.... I guess the host of "Press Your Luck" ("No whammies, no whammies, BIG BUCKS, no whammies!") died recently, and there was a marathon of that show on today. I VERY fondly remember "Press Your Luck" from when I was 10 years old, and checked it out (as I thought it would be less painful than watching my brackets be further busted on CBS) for a bit. You know what? Not a very entertaining show at all. Pretty lame, actually. Hey, I was young and stupid.

You know what game show re-runs I've seen during my hiatus that DID hold up really well? "Card Sharks." Honest. Fun show, with some quirky questions that actually tease the brain a bit. Plus, it's very fun to weakly mock players from your deathbed when they act like a 5 is a bad card to play, and then turn around and get excited about playing a Jack, without realizing that -- in the rules of "Card Sharks" and by the laws of probability -- THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME CARD.

Here's some wrestling for you this Sunday afternoon:

  • Last night's Saturday Night's Main Event was....
    Well, let's be charitable and first admit that it was probably a more entertaining two hours than WWE's put on in a while.
    But then let's be brutally honest and admit that that's damning faint praise.

    SNME was a lot of bells and whistles. A lot of sizzle without any steak. Hell, outside of the quality Michaels/Shane brawl, there wasn't even any hamburger here.
    SNME endeavored to be a 2-hour infomercial for WrestleMania 22. That meant not doing a whole lot to impress us, the Loyal Fans Who Continue To Sort of Pay Attention To WWE TV Even If We Use DVR and Fast Forward Alot. And trying to do things that might entice a casual viewer or non-fan to check out WM22....
    I'm sad to report that I think WWE failed in this regard. For two reasons. One: I don't think WWE got any casual viewers/non-fans to watch (more on that in the Ratings Report). And two: the only WM22 match that had a "value add" segment on SNME was Foley/Edge. Yes, they did directly address five other WM22 matches (that I can remember off the top of my head), but none of those were "plus" segments. They didn't add to my interest in the match(es). Hell, one actually diminished my already-tenuous interest (hi, Boogey/Booker!).
    Let's try to be positive for a bit here for a second, though: the night was not devoid of Rick Pleasing Moments....
    For one, the opening 3 minute Promo Montage was cheesy as all get-out, but it was also a perfect homage to the heyday of Saturday Night's Main Event, when EVERY show would start with that rapid-cut montage of cheesy promos. Complete with annoying background music. I used to LOVE that, and it used to set the tone for the entire show for me. I was not old enough to stay up and watch SNME in real time back then, but I'd get home from church on Sunday, pop in the tape, and those cheesy promo montages almost ALWAYS set the stage for me being massively entertained for 90 minutes.
    Again, recalling the pre-ramble, I would like to point out that at the height of SNME, I was 10 years old. Young and stupid. But as dumb as it seemed to my Thinking Mind last night, I couldn't help but be oddly fond of the throw-back open to SNME. Nice touch of nostalgia, and if WWE gets another shot with SNME, I think the logical move is to update the gimmick so that the opening promo montage is a bit less-stilted, and a bit more 2006. Or at least 1996; I'd settle for it being an ECW/"Pulp Fiction" style montage. But the 1986 has gots to go....
    And the second good thing: Jim Ross being back in the saddle. He wasn't without a few rough edges (and if he never utters the phrase "Wrestling Aristocrat" again, I'll die a happy man; it's called beta-testing, JR, look into it; I know I always do before I unleash an attempted new Rick-ism here on OO, and even then, I only get about a 33% hit-rate).... but he was mostly on top of his game, proving that you never forget how to ride that bike. A good mix of the enthusiasm, but with the self-respect to not sell himself out too much, and acknowledge things like Cena getting booed.... this is why JR has the fans trust in a way no other announcer really does; for whatever reason, he's the one guy who seems like he doesn't ALWAYS have to listen to the voice in his headset. And who's earned the right to not do so (sadly, Joey Styles has not, and gets heat if he tries the same stuff).
    I think -- and this is more a guess than stone cold fact -- that we might have glimpsed the Great Compromise that'll keep Stone Cold on good terms with WWE for a while and get JR to re-up his contract later this year, too.... I don't see Ross coming back full-time on RAW, but I really did think the JR/King/Tazz trio worked well together. Jim Ross was presented as being "Above the Brands," while Lawler represented RAW and Tazz represented SD!.... thus, I think this threesome could/should be our new Full Time Cross Brand Show Announce Team. Instead of those awkward transitions between teams or unwieldy five-man booths, all cross brand shows should have a team of JR, Tazz, and King. Mania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Rumble, and I guess future SNME's, too. I think the only thing I'd miss would be the Joey/Tazz interplay.... but I'd give that up in favor of the stability of a solid three-man booth on the biggest shows of the year.
    After those two plusses, though, SNME had a lot of "mehs" and minuses. I think the only other thing I really got into was the Edge/Foley segment.... and the problem is: I felt guilty for doing so.
    When Edge shoots pretty straight and admits that "if I beat Mick Foley, it won't mean anything," that hurts. Because it's true. It's something we've been talking about, and something Jeb wrote a column about. But then, by acknowledging that, he draws me into the story again. Just a bit. "Where are they going with this?" I wonder. And then where they go is Edge tries to get Foley to lose his "teddy bear, Muppet" persona and get back to being hardcore, so that when Edge beats him, it DOES mean something..... good enough, so far.....
    But then, THAT leads to Mick going face-first into a pile of thumbtacks, smiling like he likes it, and methodically plucking them out of his face -- while blood spurts out of every puncture wound -- while eventually standing over Edge's lifeless carcass. That's so bad-ass, so Foley, that you want to cheer.... but then you realize: Mick's done his bit for king and country. And I don't care how bad WM22 sucks: this one is NOT on Mick Foley to step up and save the show (like Eddie felt he had to do at the 2004 Bash where he bladed like a madman to distract us from the suckitude).... Mick's retired, Mick's done more for us fans than we had any business asking. He doesn't have to do this. And so I feel guilty thinking of that as one of SNME's all-too-rare highlights.
    But then I think: Mick's also a proud man who always wanted to know he gave the fans their money's worth, and who also -- in a very real way -- is concerned about the fact that he never delivered a memorable performance on the WrestleMania stage. And maybe this is all his way of trying to rectify that situation. He's not doing this for king or country (or to "save" a shitty WM22 line-up).... he's doing it for Mick Foley, to fill in that one blank spot on an otherwise remarkable resume. And then I wonder, "Is it OK if I let this display of insane stuntman selflessness get me fired up?".... and I kinda think it is.
    I dunno. I guess what I'm saying is that Foley/Edge's segment stood out in a way that nothing else on SNME did.... but that I'm not entirely comfortable with myself for feeling that way. But if flaming tables and thumbtacks in the face are what we got last night, I guess I need to make my peace with this issue soon, cuz we might get something even more insane at WM22, and selfishly, I might want to just kick back and enjoy that, conscience be damned....
    After that segment, everything on SNME really ended up being mediocre or worse.
    The opening tag match was stupid and pointless, just like I said it would be. If that match made you want to see either Cena/HHH or Angle/Rey/Orton any more than you wanted to at 7:59pm last night, raise your hand. And then, fire up your e-mail program and tell me why. Because I don't understand.
    The SD! threesome were basically relegated to minor league status, and were props in the match, when all was said and done. The "story" was Cena/HHH, and that story didn't go as planned at all. Back in the big city (after Monday's aberration), Cena was back to getting at-least half-boos, and when HHH Pedigreed him, it was a huge babyface pop. This, after they (apparently) tried to book things so that Cena came off like a babyface in earlier stages of the match (at least some of which must have happened during a commercial, because JR said that Cena had -- while we were away -- refused to go along with some of HHH's shenanigans). When will you learn, WWE? You are not in a position where you can base your entire company on a guy who sells well with misguided teenage girls and Beaumont, TX.
    That said, the opening match DID underscore something interesting about the difference between Cena and Orton. Cena, at least, appears to have the "it" factor where fans will enjoy booing him. When Cena and Orton started the match, fans were lustily booing Cena (and starting "Cena Sucks" chants), but were giving Orton NOTHING (not cheers, not boos, not anything). That's the difference between a guy who has what it takes to hold up his end of a main event and a guy who doesn't. It's just sad that the guy who doesn't have it still gets the shot, and the guy who DOES have it is being booked as a babyface despite being one of the more bitch-slappable on-screen characters in recent WWE memory.
    Let's see.... what was next? Probably some of the Booker T/Boogeyman drama. And if you don't know the many ways that was god-awful, then you just really need to pay more attention to your OO. Because we've touched on it many a time. It starts with Boogey bringing the Gay Spooky, and ends with WWE violating all common sense laws of Camera Logic.
    I guess Austin/JBL wasn't too hateful. In fact, by The Rick's Own Rules, it should be commended, as it obviously was NOT scripted. It was just two guys who know how to work a crowd going out and amusing the audience (and at times, each other, as Austin had to cover an involuntary smile 2 or 3 times) while sticking to only the vaguest of outlines. 
    Problem was: on a show that I described as "an infomercial for WM22," it did nothing to add to anybody's interest in WM22. The run-in by Benoit counts for zero points, and more than anything, this just felt like another prong in WWE's marketing campaign to try to trick people into thinking that WM22 has the same line-up as WM19 by carting out Austin (I'm not joking about this; if you have digital/on-demand cable capabilities, check your Free Extras section for the WM infomercial, and tell me whether we're in 2003 or 2006).
    Women's match? Short, and nothing but a prelude to Mickie James' heel turn. Which was painfully obvious and counts as 2006's worst-handled storytelling to date. Seriously: you create the obsessed "#1 Fan" character, and you not only render her completely un-scary, but you wait until two weeks out to pull the trigger on the heel turn? This is the sort of thing that should result in firings at Titan Tower. Or at least, should result in soul-crushing mocking of the Writer Monkeys, which should then lead to resignation. It's a story that almost writes itself, and WWE still found the way to fuck it up. I'm 99% sure this is just Concern For the Product and not my Protective Man-Crush on Trish, but I really feel sorry for the woman; she was a hairsbreadth away from being a 1986-caliber-Hogan-esque-babyface in what could have been a kick-ass anchor match at WM22, and now, she'll be stuck in a match where WWE's asshatted storytelling has SOME fans convinced that the psycho lesbian is the babyface, because chicks who pretend to like chicks are OMG HAWTTTTT~! So dumb....
    Undertaker/Mark Henry. PLONK. And 'nuff said. I'm all for carting out Taker for his well-deserved cheap pop, but prefacing that by giving Mark F. Henry 5 minutes of mic time? That is indefensible. Everything you needed to do to get the most out of a kick-ass Taker cameo could have been handled in 2 minutes flat.... but instead, they extended it into 7-8 (and even spanning a commercial break). Ugh.
    And then I think the last thing was the main event, which was the only real wrestling match of the night (seriously: 2 hours of TV time, and 25 minutes of match time? I'm not an internet wanker, and even I think that's a TOUCH out of whack).... mostly a spotfest, kind of lacking the non-stop intensity of a standard Street Fight.  But with Shane, that's what you pay for, and that's what you get. They did the most with what they had to work with, and really nailed both the highspots. Got my juices flowing a bit.
    What didn't work for me was the stupid finish, which has me convinced that Vince is still nattering away at Bret Hart, trying to convince him to make some kind of in-ring cameo at WM22, despite the fact that Bret has already turned him down multiple times.
    Why the hell won't Vince fucking learn? He leveraged this entire WM on the notion that he'd have Hogan vs. Austin, and HBK vs. Rock, and Bret vs. Himself.... but when there's no interest from those parties, and he's left actually having to craft a compelling show from his Everyday Roster, he's got no fucking clue what to do. And we fans pay the price. And yet, we get a nonsensical Montreal-esque finish last night, and I can't help but think that Vince is still leveraging his entire vision for a watchable WM22 PPV on somehow cajoling Bret Hart to show up and punch him in the face.
    That's not exactly a faith-instilling notion upon which to end a show. But it's what Vince ran with last night. Oy.
    Anyway, it's like I said: I'm pretty sure I know what WWE was trying to accomplish with its prime time Infomercial last night, but I don't think they succeeded. And if I'm right about that, it's no wonder they failed to amuse me -- a relatively loyal fan -- outside of a few brief spots. Didn't really add up to the kind of home run show that I would have liked/expected out of WWE in a rare opportunity to run in prime time on a real network. Oh well....
    Get the full report in the Cubs Fan's Saturday Night's Main Event Recap. Just because you mostly know him as the b-show guy around here doesn't mean he didn't bring his a-game in covering SNME. When the chips are down, you can tell Cubs comes from the CRZ "Actually Pay Attention To Detail" school of thought, which I always loved.... but which I usually fail to emulate. Lots of detailed transcript-y goodness awaits you in Cubs' recap.
  • The rating for last night's special? A meager 3.2 broadcast rating, according to prelim results. That puts SNME pretty much smack-dab between RAW's current average audience and SD!'s current average audience.
    WWE was clearly hoping to draw significantly higher than that. But instead of besting RAW's weekly crowd, they drew roughly what a decent episode of SD! SHOULD be drawing. D'oh.
    That showing resulted in NBC finishing last among the four networks who were on the air last night. And the poor showing wasn't just in total eyeballs, it also extended over to the demographic numbers, where WWE and NBC were hoping for a happy story (drawing a lot of teens and young adults). Instead, WWE also finished dead last in the key 18-34 male demo.
    Part of the problem may have been that CBS easily won the night with NCAA hoops (a huge draw with young males). I know that I didn't watch SNME till later in the evening, after I had suffered through my Indiana Hoosiers losing to Gonzaga. [Side bar: does that Morrison Guy have nobody who loves him? Not a sister or platonic girlfriend to tell him that until he gets a haircut and shaves that dirt-stache, no woman will have sex with him? Not a father or a male friend who will tell him that he looks so ridiculous that every guy will collapse in laughter-induced asphyxiation everytime he leaves the room and they mock him behind his back? I knew from highlights that he had quite the comical appearance, but last night was the first time I was subjected to 2-and-a-half hours of his ludicrous mug on my TV, and I truly got to appreciate what a choade he looks like.]
    But a bigger part of the problem could be that even among wrestling fans, it was a fairly weak-sounding line-up, to the point that not even RAW's entire audience bothered showing up, and that on top of that, Vince McMahon is also a deluded moron if he thinks that his current gimmick-y creative direction will draw in enough casual fans to offset the lack of interest among relatively loyal fans.
    Just sayin' is all...
  • For whatever it's worth, the indications are that WWE already has a return date for another SNME in July.
    What's not certain is whether this ratings performance will impact whether or not NBC airs July's show in prime time, or kicks it to the late night SNL slot (where SNL will be in the midst of poorly-rated summer reruns). 
    Remember, for reference: NBC usually draws mid-4's for Saturday night reruns of some of their weeknight dramas. And WWE pulled a low-3. Which is good if you're on UPN. But no so much if you're on NBC.
    Unless you're "Joey." HA~!
  • Interesting note: SNME was *not* live last night. It was on about a 75 minute delay, and started taping at roughly quarter-till-7pm (eastern). I have *no* idea why WWE would handle things this way, unless there were some kind of travel considerations or something, and WWE had to scatter its workers to places further away from Detroit than Toledo, OH.
    From the live reports I got, most seemed to think WWE pretty much went "live-to-tape" (that is to say, they didn't take advantage of the 75 time shift, and just did everything in real time, just an hour or so early). The only spot where 2 Detroiters thought WWE might have fudged a bit was after the Beer Bash, and they thought it took more than 3 minutes to clean up the ring before they brought out the women's match.
    I gotta admit: that was actually something I noticed.... the ring was a fucking mess after the beer bash, but one ad break later, it was pristine. I was almost expecting e-mails telling me that they taped the beer bit before the show, and then completely re-did the ring with a new canvas, and just inserted the JBL/Austin segment into the show later. But it turns out they just did a really good clean-up job.
  • And while we're on the subject: I also thought the pacing of the show was very odd. And not just because they put 25 minutes of wrestling into a 120 minute show.
    Back in the day, SNME always put the "main event" on in the #2 slot. They'd do the cheesy Promo Montage, and lead directly into a warm-up match (usually a crowd-pleaser featuring Hillbillies or something) at 11:30pm.... then the Main Event would come second, starting at about 11:50pm, so that they could get it in before people started getting tired and went to bed. Then they'd throttle down after that, and usually, they'd have one more pretty-appealing match that'd be a Workrate Wanker's Dream (usually with Strike Force or Ricky Steamboat) to anchor the last half-hour, once they were down to hardcore fans. 
    Back in the day, "front-loading" the show made sense, is what I'm saying. And even then, they remembered the importance of a warm-up match.
    So putting the ostensible "main event" on in the #1 hole caught me off-guard. I grant that Michaels/Shane ended up being the better match of the two, but both had shit-ass finishes, so I'm not sure I "get" why you'd send the subliminal message that your two WM Main Events are curtain jerking for Vince McMahon's WM match...
    I dunno... in the final analysis, it's probably not a big thing, but it did strike me as odd when WWE front-loaded last night's show, despite the fact that they were in prime time, and didn't have to. Just ties into my sense that WWE didn't make the most of their time management last night, I guess....
  • WWE wasn't the only one busy in Detroit this weekend. TNA held their first house show there on Friday night.
    By most accounts, it was a hum-dinger. Then again, all accounts come from card-carrying TNA fans who wouldn't tell you anything different no matter if the show sucked balls.
    Ah, I keed, I keed.... actually, there were a few notes of dissension, as everybody agreed that Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles stole the show (a match that may or may not be shown on Impact, depending on reports, but which I'm guessing will be hacked up and only shown in Highlight Form), but then a few fans actually shat on the Jarrett/Christian main event as being unexciting and predictable. Some even said the building was emptying before the match finished. Huh.
    For the record, TNA ran a 5000-seat theater/arena in suburban Detroit, and filled it about half-way. Sound underwhelming? Well, let me point something out to you: THESE WERE PAYING FANS! TNA has -- with about 1 or 2 exceptions for special anniversary/PPV shows -- never charged fans before (and even when they did, they didn't fill the building, and still had to let other fans in for free), and they got a little over 2000 paying fans in Detroit.
    For reference, this is on par with what some SD! brand house shows draw. That's nothing to sneeze at.
    I got about 5-6 reports from the show, but there's not a whole lot to report. Obviously, Christian retained over Jarrett, and then Joe/Styles was the only other really interesting match-up of the night (but I won't tell you who won, since if they show it on TV, that'd be a "Spoiler").... mostly, it sounded like a lot of high-energy action, where everybody brought their Working Boots, and the fans appreciated it.
    Sadly: one of my five-six reports said that if I was hoping TNA would draw a more "normal" base of fans outside of Orlando, I would have been very disappointed. She said that the fans were loathe to boo anybody but Jarrett, it seemed, and they were -- as they are in Orlando -- more intent on proving they appreciate good wrestling than they are on picking a favorite and cheering him over his opponent. Only one-out-of-six mentioned it, but if true, it doesn't speak well for TNA's Mainstream Chances.... it means that "normal" (ha!) wrestling fans aren't really showing up for TNA, so much as the 'net and 'sheet reading types are.
    And I know it's anti-intuitive for a guy who comes at you via the internet to say so, but that's not really a recipe for success. It's not that there's anything wrong with being a 'net type.... it's just that if you're not tempering that with an understanding of what appeals more broadly, then you need to make your peace with being a fan of a niche product.
    And trust me, I say that fully aware of the irony that I'm currently accusing Vince McMahon of trying to appeal TOO broadly while simultaneously forgetting his "wrestling" roots. Let's just say there's a fine line here. But I also think we all know -- at a gut level -- when a company nails the equation. Last time we had that? Probably WWE from 1998-2001. Or maybe SD!'s one inspired six-month run in late 2003 and into 2004, if you want to be generous.
  • Monty Brown no-showed the Detroit house show. My intel says that he had some arthroscopic clean-up surgery on his knee last week... that kept him out of action, but the plan is that he should be capable of limited work at the next PPV, either in a "get his heat back" squash or in a run-in/storyline capacity. And I don't begrudge TNA guys for ditching on ROH or house show deals if it means they'll be healthy for TNA PPVs and TV tapings....
    Monty's no favorite of mine, really, but he's core to their current build-up, so here's wishing him a speedy-as-expected recovery....
  • There are some really strange mixed signals surrounding Scott Steiner's status with the company. On one hand, he's clearly been inserted into a key role, and on TNA's website and such is being presented as a full-time employee....
    But on the other, there is word that Steiner's on a week-to-week deal, and that TNA is -- in a way -- as leery of him as I am. I said my piece back on Monday, and just don't understand who -- in their right mind -- could consider Scott Steiner the solution to any problem other than "I cannot tank my wrestling company fast enough. Who should I hire to accelerate the process?". If Steiner's not under any kind of a long-term deal, I'd at least take that as SOME kind of spark of intellect from TNA management....
    Look: other than getting booed because he's a no-talent joke who hasn't done anything entertaining since 1994, Steiner's not really good for a whole lot. If TNA wants to ride him out and get those boos (out of an audience who -- as I just got done saying -- tends not to want to boo anybody), then I guess that's OK.... but I'd get really nervous if anybody started talking about Steiner and the TNA Title picture or Steiner and any creative plans more than 5 months down the line.
    I haven't had a chance to watch "Impact" for this week, yet, but I know that Steiner cut one promo and wrestled one "match" (kind of)... neither reviewed really well, but again: hey, he got booed. Maybe once I see whichever of those was slated for this week, I'll have a better grasp on what TNA's secret plans for Steiner might be...
    PS: at least WWE doesn't have the monopoly on continuity nightmare storytelling.... if anyone can tell me how it makes sense that Jeff "Mr. TNA" Jarrett going out and recruiting Scott "Never Worked for TNA" Steiner to be his Loyal Compadre in war against former WWE, WCW, and ECW invaders, I'm listening.
  • The timeslot hasn't been confirmed yet, but expect USA to air either a 1- or 2-hour version of the WWE Hall of Fame ceremonies on Saturday, April 1. Starting either at 10pm or 11pm.
    Best evidence so far for the broadcast? Spike has rescheduled TNA for that week to air on Friday night. Scaredycats. 
    If the current "inductee line-up" doesn't add any more real stars, I would almost be OK with a 1-hour telecast, and just getting the Eddie and Bret inductions on TV. I can live without Mean Gene (but then again: if they're paying Hogan to come back, they won't NOT put him on TV, right?), and of the other announced inductees, the one I'd be most curious to see would honestly be Sherri Martel. No, she never buttered my (then-blossoming-13-year-old) corn cob during her prime.... but if you look back, she was the first woman to contribute to the wrestling product in a way that today's women (the entertaining ones) still do. Without Sherri, there probably couldn't have been a Sunny, and from there launched a whole new generation of wrestling babes who did more than look pretty. And I still rate valets like Nidia and Melina based on my retroactive study of how much Sherri added to Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase's matches.... hand to god, in some of Savage's matches against Dusty Rhodes, Sherri was the hardest working man in the entire match. Melina really is the closest WWE's got to that today....
    But I digress. A 2 hour HoF show might be nice, but like I said: a tight 1-hour telecast would probably work OK, too.... and WWE already sent TNA a-runnin' for the hills, regardless.
  • Might as well mention this quickly.... SmackDown! continues to flounder: they did a 2.6 rating on Friday night. Don't know for sure about pre-emptions due to NBA basketball (which some say are holding ratings down), but I guess if you're looking for an excuse, NCAA hoops on CBS could again be your savior.
    Not a particularly strong show, I didn't think. I give them credit for at least trying to do SOMEthing with the SD! Main Event vs. RAW Main Event SNME match (by having Rey/Angle/Orton team up against MNM/Henry, and having Orton do nothing... well, except for blow the final spot of the match, where he couldn't even execute a simple blind tag without fucking up). But that'd be about the only nice thing I could say about the show.
    Also: if you're looking for evidence that my theory about the Writer Monkeys just throwing random shit out there and hoping it'll, somehow, work out retroactively (just like JJ Abrams' disciples do on his TV shows) is accurate, I point you to the Rey/Angle/Orton promo in which ORTON NEVER ONCE REFERENCED SHOWING UP ON RAW. Even though it would have fit in perfectly to the ebb and flow of "who's the team leader, who's the top dog, who's got whose back," Orton never once mentioned his randomly-generated RAW cameo. Why not? Because, it was the ass-spelunked creation of the RAW Writer Monkeys, and the SD! Writer Monkeys didn't have time to try to fit an explanation for it into their show. Brilliant.
    I will admit to being momentarily intrigued when they decided to announce Boogey/Booker for SNME, and then announced the "Last Chance Battle Royale" for the final Money in the Bank spot.... my thinking was that somebody decided to put a bullet in Boogey/Booker, and that Booker could win that Battle Royale so as to give SD! at least one (1) possible winner in the WM ladder match. 
    But not so fast: Boogey/Booker didn't happen at SNME and is back on for WM, just like I heard it was. Which means that SD! will field a team of no-chance-in-hell participants in the Money in the Bank match. I'm loving Finlay, and think he'll add a lot of creativity and bastardly brawling to the match, but he can't win. Matt Hardy? Well, he's fucking Matt Hardy, and he's not winning anything main-event-y unless WWE WANTS to tank. So who'll be #3? I dunno..... wracking my brain, the best case scenario I can come up with is that it sure seemed for a couple weeks like Chavo Guerrero was a de facto SD! wrestler. He'd fit in nicely, I think. But they'll probably do Lashley instead.
    Actually: Booker, Matt, and Chavo would probably be my Dream Scenario for the 3 SD! guys in Money in the Bank. Then you can have Finlay and Lashley in a one-on-one match (instead of Booker/Boogey), where you'd actually get good action, and where the finish (Lashley FINALLY getting the better of Finlay) might give the match a sense of purpose (which Boogey/Booker will lack no matter who wins or how).
    I digress, though. Get the full report on Friday's SD! in Jeff Snider's recap.
  • I think that about does it for today. I'd throw in a preview of tomorrow night's RAW, but at this point, WWE's announced nothing about the show other than that it will feature fall-out from SNME.
    And frankly, that does about as much to excite me as the notion that somebody actually thought "Prison Break" should come back for more shows.
    I think by way of a RAW Preview, all I really need to do is point out that we all know what matches are coming at WM22, and we all know that WWE has some serious work to do if they're to make those matches interesting.
    So that's the challenge ahead of them tomorrow night on RAW... can you find the right tweak so that Cena/HHH seems intriguing (instead of like your on-going misguided attempt to convince me that on-screen Cena is anything other than a dillhole)? Can you make Michaels/McMahon compelling in some way that has to do with the year 2006 (instead of 1997), and which doesn't involve urine? Can you remember that there is a tag team title match, and do something about it? Can you figure out someway to make Mickie James a compelling challenger in 2 weeks when you should have spent the last 2 months on this project?
    All very good questions. All without solid answers at this point.
    You have two choices: tune in and see what WWE serves up. Or come on back to OO on Tuesday. Hopefully, this little schedule tweak (where a Sunday update means I get a day off between writing) means I'll be on my well-rested a-game for the RAW Recap. Lord knows I'm not getting any help from Erin Anderson, who continues to work crazy hours and watch too much American Idol to be of any use around here. I wonder if I struck a secret agreement with the previously-lusted-for Erin Andrews to sneak away from ESPN to masquerade as OO's Trusted Sideline Reporter and Mind-Clouding Broad, if anyone would even notice to two-letter-difference? Hmmmm.....
    And anyway: even if my recap isn't a-game material? I promise the recap will be better than RAW itself. At this point, I'd have to even closer to death than I was 2 weeks ago for that not to be the case.
    I'll see you then, 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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