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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
PPV Fall-out, SD! and TNA Ratings/Analysis,
More About ECW, and Angle's Absence... 
May 1, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

It's official: Stephen Colbert has Balls.
  

He doesn't just claim to have Balls. He doesn't only have "TV Balls" for the purposes of playing the character he plays in front of his own studio audience. He has real-life grapefruits.

I know -- for all my comparing myself to Colbert -- I wouldn't have had the stones to wait until I was standing on a stage 10 feet away from

the President of the United States of America and in front of an audience of the assembled Washington Press Corps to savagely mock both to the ground in a 10 minute speech that was at least as funny as anything you'll see on one of those Comedy Central Roasts, but not nearly as well-intentioned.

Not surprisingly, the media no likey being worked like that (and I can only imagine who on the President's staff will be next to go after watching "W" squirm uncomfortably for the last half of the roast, once he realized the nature of the joke), and I didn't really run across any particularly useful articles among the reputable sources to point you towards. But I guess this one will give you the idea. Good times.

And if nothing else, it's like it says at the end of the article: you'll probably get to hear PLENTY about the speech tonight on "The Colbert Report" which is on the very short list of shows where -- if you don't anxiously watch every single episode that airs -- then there's simply no way you and I can ever be friends. Check it out; it's easy to find, too. They only replay it five times per day.

Enough pimping the TV version of the internet version of the character I try to play. Rule #1 of Acting Like a Calloused Blowhard: never put anybody else over more than yourself. So the only way to segue into today's news? Is to assure you that it is the greatest and best news ever compiled in one place. So enjoy, OO Nation:

  • Feedback to last night's Backlash PPV has been... well, way more negative than I would have guessed.
     
    Frankly, as I was watching, I got the notion that there wouldn't end up being enough on either extreme end of the spectrum to rile people up, and that my assessment of Backlash as being "slightly disappointing given expectations" would end up holding up with most of you.
     
    Nope: lots of hate for this show, and very little on the other side telling me I had underrated the show.
     
    Everything with Kane and Big Show clearly stands out as sucking. Not just sucking as a match, but then with oodles of sucky storytelling heaped on at the end. But I think that you cancel that out almost entirely by the McMahons/Michaels match, which was exceptionally entertaining as a match and which AVOIDED the sucky storyline elements for the most part (the religious/God stuff peaked at "silly" and never got to the point of being insulting or distracting).
     
    That leaves nothing more disappointing on the show than the decision to job Ric Flair so ignominiously to Umaga, which is hardly grounds for savaging the entire PPV. The Carlito/Masters opener was decent, despite Masters' best effort to make it suck. The Women's match was clicking along nicely until Trish's injury, which you can't exactly blame on anyone. RVD/Shelton was very good (and excellent in the final 5 minutes or so). The Striker/Eugene skit was a pointless piece of fluff, but the Striker character seems to have a gift for riling live audiences, so whatever advances that is fine with me (I still vote for Striker easing more into a Daivari-type role, with less wrestling and more mouthpiecing for his new Special Needs Student, Chris F. Masters). And the main event was an exciting WWE Main Event Style Brawl, complete with a couple of VERY neat highspots. It's just too bad that one of them wasn't the finish, which instead struck me as a tepid anti-climax.
     
    Certainly nothing here worth raving about, nothing worthy of going out of your way to see on replay or DVD. But also not exactly worth the uninhibited hatred that I've seen in a few e-mails.
     
    If you didn't see the show, you can try to decide for yourself by reading my quick-and-dirty Backlash PPV Recap from last night.
     
  • Jim Ross called the entire show alongside Jerry Lawler, and WWE will make that arrangement permanent, possibly starting as soon as tonight. Since Coach's functions in the three-man booth over the past year were: (1) to ease into the full-time play-by-play role when Vince knew he was gonna sack JR, and then later (2) to balance out Joey Styles with a reliable Vince-protege when Vince decided Coach didn't have the gravitas of a full time announcer and he'd try Joey and then decided Joey sucked.... I think we can assume that the 3-man booth experiment is over, and that Vince will trust Ol' Reliable to call the show with no extra baggage.
     
    I'm all for Jim Ross' comeback, and his work last night was spot-on and a reminder of why he never should have been shoved out in the first place. But I do see a missed opportunity here: not turning Joey's departure into a storyline. Whenever they go full-speed with the new ECW, Joey "defecting" should be a big deal. It would create the sense that ECW gained something and that RAW lost something, and in general get the show kicked off on the right foot. But oh well....
     
  • At present, there's no meaningful additional information on Trish Stratus' shoulder injury that they didn't already tell us about on the PPV last night. She's certainly had it checked out today, though, and we might be able to discern what sort of diagnosis Trish got based on her activities tonight on RAW.
     
  • Another tidbit from the PPV before moving on...
     
    For the first time that I know of, Jim Ross explicitly stated that the Money in the Bank title shot allows Rob Van Dam to go after the champion of EITHER brand. Huh. So this year, they don't make the effort to tease that the Rumble Winner can switch brands if he wants, but they suddenly make the MitB winner into a possible free agent? Weird.
     
    This opens up a lot of other angles for RVD and the new ECW, needless to say. But we'll do those another time...
     
  • Things are going from bad to worse for SmackDown!... Kurt Angle isn't just off house shows for the foreseeable future (that's something we've known about for about a month), now WWE is pulling him from TV tapings, too.
     
    This weekend, they explained it by having Mark Henry splash Angle through a table. That was NOT the cause of Angle's injuries, and in fact, there hsan't been one single moment or root cause of Angle's current status. Obviously, the man's had serious neck issues going back to the '96 Olympics, and he also takes great pride in his WWE ringwork and throws himself around as hard as anybody.
     
    So just keep all that in mind before you smarks go around pontificating that Henry crippled another wrestler. Henry might (hell he DOES) suck balls and have a major credibility issue which renders his current position as SD!'s #2 Heel a SERIOUS problem for the brand... but he's not the man responsible for Batista and Kurt's injuries.
     
    As they have with Randy Orton, WWE has taken to calling Angle's leave of absence "indefinite." Difference with Angle is that if he's ready to come back in less than 60 days, he's allowed to.
     
  • BTW, this weekend's SD! did a 2.4 broadcast rating, dropping maybe one tick from the week before, but continuing the general trend of coming in below expectations.
     
    That's definitely a let-down considering the show was built around what should have been a very appealing Rey vs. Angle main event. Don't know if the continued sub-par ratings are an indictment on that main event, or on the 90 minutes of mostly underwhelming stuff that preceded it. [Once again, Booker T and Sharmell were a stand-out highlight, and it had nothing to do with wrestling, which kind of tells you where SD!'s at in terms of overall sizzle to the product.]
     
    Rather than get into a whole big thing about it here, I'll just point you towards Jeff's SmackDown! Recap, where you can get all the details from this weekend's broadcast.
     
  • I also want to mention TNA, who had what I thought was a very strong edition of Impact last week. I think in a one hour show, that's about as well as I've seen them mix all the elements that go into TNA into a single package.
     
    You had a good, intense "big man" (or what passes for "big" in TNA) brawl to open the show. So is TNA afraid of Rhino looking for other work come July 1? Or is my sinking sensation that TNA's looking for Rhino to "make" Bobby Roode (for no discernable reason) just really off-base?
     
    You had a decent little spotfest in the X Cup Match.
     
    You had an out-of-left-field tease when TNA promised an interview with Kevin Nash next week on Impact.
     
    You had a very effective "showcase" match with Samoa Joe. Even though you could technically call it a "squash" (because of how foregone the conclusion was), they padded it out and busted ass on it so that anybody seeing Joe for the first time would probably understand why he's one of the company's signature stars.
     
    And finally, you had the Sports Entertainment to close out the show, as Sting teased Jeff Jarrett with the possible identies of his Mystery Partner at the next PPV. Jarrett could have picked his own poison, but opted not to. So it WON'T be Lex Luger or Buff Bagwell. Whew. I don't read spoilers, but I get Intelligence Reports, and when I heard Luger and Bagwell were there, asked why, and was told "To be on TV as allies of Sting," I really got antsy. I didn't want to hear any more, and I began fearing the worst... but it looks like maybe these were just one time guest spots to underscore how far and wide Sting will go to find his Perfect Tag Team Partner? Let's hope.
     
    The show bounced back up to a 1.0 rating. If you can call fluctuations of 0.1 "bounces." Which you really can't. Actually, a lot of the time, you can't even call them "statistically significant." What's important is that in 3 weeks on Thursdays, it looks like TNA's hovering around the 1.0 mark. The UFC lead-in is hovering around a 1.6 average (a bit low), so I'm guessing Spike TV can't be too upset by holding onto two-thirds of their viewers as the clock strikes 11pm and overall TV viewership generally takes a bit of a dive.
     
  • FYI: I don't know if I'm joking about Rhino or not... it's just that I had a couple people write in after my Fantasy Booking last week (RVD crowning himself new ECW Champion, only to be Gored out of his boots by Rhino who thinks HE is still the champ), where I was unsure of the timeline, and they said they believe that if Rhino only signed a one-year TNA deal, then he's a free agent again on July 1.
     
    I'll say this: anybody who's heard Rhino talk about what ECW meant to him probably wouldn't have a hard time imagining him wanting to be back there again...
     
  • I can also confirm that in addition to the TV taping in Dayton on June 7 and the PPV on June 11, ECW has scheduled a show at the old ECW Arena (now called something else, but fuck that, it's always gonna be the ECW Arena for our purposes here) on Saturday, June 24.
     
  • MTV appears as though they're going to pick up a full 13-episodes of the "Wrestling Society X" thing that taped a pilot back in January. Why is this important? Well, it's not really, since from the sounds of things, no thinking human will be able to watch it... but it does have a trickle down effect, since if MTV picks up the show, then no-compete clauses go into effect for the stars used on the show.
     
    So: 
     
    Next time TNA has a "mystery man" coming in, it can't be Sean Waltman. 
     
    Former ECW Champ Justin Credible? Not available for the new ECW (and nary a tear was shed among fans, I'm guessing).
     
    And most disappointingly: New Jack is also unavailable to ECW, now. He missed last year's One Night Stand due to legal issues, and now he's gonna miss out on the first year of the revived ECW. Which sucks, since his garbage-a-thons were a tasty little change of pace once or twice a month.
     
    I don't believe there was anybody else of any national significance on the MTV pilot...
     
  • And lastly, I can finally confirm that the guy who played Palmer Cannon on SD! has obtained his release. WWE officials wanted to wait a week and see if cooler heads prevailed. They didn't. Palmer wants out, and now he's got it. Viva la JBL!

  • That's it for me today. I'm running late and only finishing this up around 5:30 (eastern), so I'll again eschew the RAW Preview on the grounds that it only has a shelf life of 3 and a half hours. And plus, not talking about RAW any more than I already did (in the PPV fall-out bullet point) means my mind and mood is fresh-as-a-daisy later tonight when Viewing Time comes around. And generally speaking, that means good things (a better time watching for me, and a better recap for you).
     
    So I'll see you tomorrow with the RAW Recap, and I'll have my fingers crossed that I get a Viscera-free, non-Gay-Spooky 2 hours to tell you about. Later on....


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
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?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

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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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