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SD!, TNA, Tons of Ratings News, Samoa
Joe Injured, Another Rhodes?, and MORE! 
May 17, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Well: so the last PreRamble I did, I talked about trying to make the best of a lethargic Couch Night by checking out my DVR of the season finale of "The Office," maybe continuing my catch-up on "Deadwood" reruns due to my anxious anticipation of the start of that show's third season, and hoping that maybe the Reds' game wouldn't get rained out so I could check that out, too.

Since I wrote those words, it's turns out that:
(1) The final five minutes of the season finale of "The Office" were soul-crushingly awful and a total deviation from everything I loved about the preceding 21-and-nine-tenths episodes.

(2) "Deadwood" is being cancelled after the impending third

season because of some silly dick-waving contest over HBO not "owning" the show and the DVD rights like they do with their other unmitigated crapfests such as "Rome" and "Big Love."

And (3) the Reds have lost four straight games, and are actually looking like the team everybody expected them to be.

Ugh. The Curse of the PreRamble strikes again. So I guess before I get started for today, there's only one thing I really want to say: I sincerely hope that JJ Abrams never wanders off into traffic and gets brutally killed before he can supply intelligent Americans everywhere with still more of his ultra-creative and super-compelling work! Especially his take on "Star Trek," which sounds like one of the greatest ideas of all times!

Yeah. Here's some wrestling:

  • Let's play a bit of catch-up, starting with last weekend's SmackDown!...
    It sucked. End of story. And yet, it did a 2.5 rating, which is a mild bump up from recent weeks (but is also still pretty sucky).
    I'm not joking when I say that about the only times I perked up while half-assedly watching the show were cute little asides by Tazz, where he'd chastise Cole for going into "Sports Entertainment Pitchman" Mode...  at least 2 or 3 times, I caught Tazz muttering "You know, it's OK if you just say WRESTLING, Cole." Not making a big deal out of it, and certainly not pursuing the issue.... but making it clear that Joey Style's kick-ass promo is not forgotten.
    And it's pretty sad if the most excited I get during a wrestling show is when announcers tangentially reference a promotion that hasn't existed for 5 years (and which technically still doesn't exist again, yet).
    Expect more of my venom and vile towards SD! to come this weekend in the Judgment Day PPV Preview. Till then, the less I pollute my brain by thinking about it, the better.....
  • Also over the weekend, TNA had it's Sacrifice PPV. As tends to be the case, the feedback I get is pretty predictable: established TNA fans like the show, but fringe fans/WWE fans just checking out a new thing are pretty underwhelmed.
    Tis TNA's cross, and it's an interesting little mental exercise: how to either create all new fans or to attract existing wrestling fans who think that "WWE" equals "wrestling"? Or to try to do both at the same time, without it being a paradoxical product. 
    Anyway, you've had two days to collect the results of the show from Jason Longshore's Recap... but there are a couple pieces of fall-out I feel compelled to mention:
    First, TNA had satellite problems during the opening match, and in a VERY cool "make-good" to fans, are currently offering the full, uninterrupted Liger/Petey match for free (either on their website or as part of their new thing with YouTube; but just go to TNAWrestling.com, and I'm sure they'll send you where you need to go).
    And second, despite a very convincing sell job, Sonjay Dutt was not injured in the least at the PPV. Twas all just part of the angle (in which it turns out I was right, and Nash is gonna be swatting a bunch of X Division gnats, so they wanted to "protect" Sonjay to be one of the later gnats, instead of the first one).
  • Also on the TNA front: last week's Impact did a 1.0 rating, which means things are pretty much holding steady. As we've been saying, ratings like this are just fine for an 11pm hour, but aren't exactly gonna create a clammoring at SpikeTV HQ to give TNA a 2-hour primetime show every week.
  • Some news that's still not totally clear: Samoa Joe tweaked his already-gimpy knee at TV tapings on Monday night. He had it looked at Tuesday in Florida, and the early word is that TNA thinks it's not a big deal, and that Joe will be able to tone down his schedule for a few months and still make all his TNA bookings (including the next set of TV tapings in 2 weeks).
    If *that* diagnosis holds up, the comparison that one guy made to me was to Victoria (who suffered MCL and PCL ligament damage about 3 years ago, but worked through it since it came right around WrestleMania time, and that's why she always has that big-ass brace today, since you never get back to 100% structural strength with just rehab and working through this injury).
    However, Joe was also planning on getting a second opinion today or tomorrow once he returned home to California, and you never know what a closer inspection might reveal. This *is* the third time in about two months that we know of where Joe's had his knee shut down on him in the middle of a match, so who knows?
    It's a tough situation in that Joe is vital to TNA storylines right now, but he's also a guy who's legitimacy is predicated on having kick-ass matches (which might be tough if he doesn't just shut it down entirely for 3-4 months to have the surgery and get this fixed 100%). In the near term, I guess a 60% Joe vs. Scott Steiner would still work, just because Steiner sucks so bad that even TNA fans will boo him with vigor (so you'll have a bit of sizzle to the thing, even if both guys are brittle)... but in the long term, what you want is a 100% Joe to become a legit main eventer.
  • Monday's RAW did a 4.0 cable rating. Solid, but towards the bottom end of the Average Ratings Continuum.
    For whatever it's worth, I thought the show did continue RAW's streak of entertaining outings. They've definitely been more "on" than "off" ever since WrestleMania. Foley/Funk stole the show for me, but you also had a very fun opening match (complete with title change), as well as an effective cliffhanger ending following the No Decision in the main event.
    Nothing fancy, nothing you'll remember years from now.... but solid, sustainable, episodic TV. And that's really all we can ask for, isn't it?
    Be sure to collect the full results and my analysis in the OO RAW Recap, too.
  • I'm probably also obligated to placate Matt Hocking by giving this week's RAW Satire a bonus plug here. We had a communications mix-up yesterday, which resulted in me not getting the Satire until after midnight, and which resulted in Matt not getting his standard exposure on the main page. 
    So yes: there was a Satire this week, afterall. And it's RIGHT HERE.
  • On Monday afternoon, Ric Flair was cleared on his "Road Rage" assault charges stemming for an incident last Thanksgiving. The prosecution couldn't supply adequate witnesses, and the guy who passed along the news item from North Carolina made sure to stroke me ego by telling me I was right six months ago when I said this sure had the stink of "superfluous litigation" to it.
    Which is not to say Flair doesn't have a well-noted wacky, spastic side to him.... it's just to say that there are certain things that simply do not require mucking up our legal system with unnecessary lawsuits. And I say "Having a crazy old guy shout at you on the interstate because he thinks you're driving like an asshole" falls into the category. Something like that: live and let live, baby. Because what you just got was "an Anecdote"; not "Grounds For Legal Action."
  • Speaking of unnecessary litigation, I believe a judge told Tod Gordon to cram it, and that he has no claim on the pre-1994 ECW Tape Library. He had been seeking to gain ownership of about 18 months of ECW TV from WWE on what amounts to a technicality.
    And I firmly believe in "reasonable man justice." In other words: the more loopholes, paperwork, and minutiae you need to justify your case, the less you deserve to win. A reasonable man, however, looks at a case like this, sees ECW as one contiguous entity, sees that WWE legally bought all assets ever belonging to ECW, and decides "go to hell, Tod Gordon, and quit poking around for table scraps."
    Ahhhhhh: justice actually being served twice in one week. How sweet it is.
  • Interesting item from a recent Chris Benoit interview I had forwarded to me: in it, he says he has not yet signed a long term WWE contract extension. Which could explain some recent booking choices. But also in the interview, Benoit is very much pro-WWE, so maybe it's still just a matter of time and a few dotted-I's and crossed-T's...
  • Cody Runnels has been working out in OVW the last week or so. He's Dusty Rhodes' son and Goldust's half-brother.... no word whatsoever on whether or not he's there on a WWE Developmental Basis, or if he's just trying to learn the craft by working for a reputable indie fed.
    I do know this: Cody has never worked, pro-style, in front of a paying audience, and it'd be rare for WWE to sign somebody like that, sight unseen. But I also know that Cody was a high school wrestling stand-out, and the exceptions that WWE has made to that rule are guys like Angle, Lesnar, and Lashley who they were confident had the skill sets to translate to pro wrestling. Who knows?
  • I actually think that's about all I got today. News be slow, and I'm not gonna waste your time or mine with things that are of no interest to an average, level-headed rasslin' fan.
    There actually are a few SD! things I guess I should have covered today, but like I said: my level of burn-out is running pretty high, and I know myself well enough that it's best if I don't go beating that horse today, when I know I have to beat it this weekend with a Big Ass Team Coverage PPV Preview. You'll get all those news and views soon enough.
    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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