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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
PPV Fall-out, The Latest on ECW, Ratings
Report, and Lots More News... 
May 22, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Before this 2005-2006 TV Season ends, I just have to mention one thing: that old-looking, lightly-retarded guy on "American Idol"? I totally called it.
  

I didn't even think anything of it till about 3-4 weeks ago, when he started to become a late night talkshow punchline and a recurring character on SNL, but the truth is that way back in January, I (only semi-jokingly) predicted that guy would be the star of the show.

I saw either one of the last try-out shows or the selection show back

4 months ago (one of the ones where you get all of 30 seconds of singing, and then phenomenal quantities of Seacrest being useless, and "get to know the contestants" video packages that only serve to give you ample reason to keep on not giving a shit about any of the contestants). That was the only 60 minutes of the show I have seen (or will see) this year. But that's all the time I needed to determine that the old-looking, lightly-retarded guy was just about the only memorable character in the bunch.

If necessary, I guess Erin Anderson could vouch for me on this, as it was talking to her at some point that same week where I was all excited because I could use my newfound "American Idol" expertise to formulate grand theories about one of her favorite shows. I told her that the only possible star of the bunch was the old-looking, lightly-retarded guy. I was promptly told, "One, I don't think he's retarded. Just socially-awkward when he's not singing, and he acts way too much like Joe Cocker when he is. And two, he's not old. Just prematurely gray. He's talked about it alot and I can't remember for sure, but I think he's the same age as you, jerkface."

Of course, none of that stopped me from my full-speed-ahead riffage as I nicknamed the guy "Oldy McDownsyndrome" and prophesied that America would keep him around at least for a few weeks, even if just to quietly laugh at him behind his back before finally bringing the hammer down. He just had that sort of grating faux enthusiasm that sort of makes all sane humans chuckle on the inside; but since he's ultimately harmless, you humor the geezer for a while.

Now, here we are at the finals of the show, where even the runner-up is guaranteed a record deal (and at least a year of indentured servitude to American Idol). Turns out, my half-ass joking 4 months ago was disturbingly accurate. And now YOU, America, will have to pay the price when Oldy McDownsyndrome actually tries to poop in your earholes with an original album. Mange.

Here's a little bit o' wrestling for your Monday: 

  • Last night was SmackDown!'s Judgment Day PPV. For lack of a better description, it turned out the show "Exceeded Expectations." But considering that this is a compliment of the same ilk as "You're the prettiest girl working at the DMV," I wouldn't go ordering the replay, or anything.
     
    It sounds like it was an almost technically-perfect show in terms of what it accomplished in the ring. Every single match hit its absolute peak potential, according to most people. But meeting workrate-potential still has absolutely nothing to do with the entertainment/sizzle side of things (unless your goal in life is to duplicate the TNA Experience). And with an announced card decidedly lacking in any dramatic cache, you basically get into a situation where it's 3 hours worth of matches that nobody cares about that are reaching their "potential." And to me (and to a lot of fans), that's not a pay-per-view. That's a house show.
     
    So plus 10 points to the hard-working talents involved who did their best to bring their A-games to the table.... but WWE itself pretty much told you how much effort they were gonna put into the build-up to this show when they didn't bother with a live pre-show (which has been the standard for basically a decade, now). Instead, they just showed a canned highlight package on the PPV channel (and didn't make anything available on their website, either). Way to basically tell the fans: "We don't care about this show. You shouldn't, either!"...
     
    I, personally, did take it as permission to watch the Yankees game instead, last night. Then after about 2 hours of that, I grew frustrated with the Yanks' inability to have major-league-caliber starting pitching (other than Mussina, anyway), and even tried checking out the OO Chat Room. While there, I feigned an interest in talking about late 80s sitcoms and took multiple potshots at Dave Meltzer. Because it turns out that even in the "PPV Chat," nobody was watching the damned PPV. There were just 1 or 2 guys hitting "reload" on Meltzer's running recap. Oy. Then I remembered I had that kick-ass 90 minute "Family Guy" waiting for me on DVR, so I just said "to hell with this" and I watched that instead.
     
    I feel pretty good with my time management choices.
     
    If you did like me, and took a pass, then what you need to do to make yourself feel as good as I do is check out Adam Gutschmidt's dandy Judgment Day PPV Recap. Turd polishing is what we do around here.
     
  • Probably the only really newsworthy or surprising item out of last night's PPV is the fact that not only did MNM lose, they broke up, and after that, Nitro and Melina was "fired" on the air by GM Teddy Long.
     
    This is one where there's probably more to it than meets the eye. Sadly, I am not a "wrestling journalist." And I don't have "sources" so much as I have "guys on the fringes of the business who like shooting the shit with me," and even though I end up getting the news pretty right most of the time, there are just some things where I'll hear the story and mentally think "that's too stupid to be true" and I won't ask the logical follow-up question.
     
    Which is why I pretty much had this self-inflicted blind-spot on the matter of Melina and MNM.... "Melina's having some problems fitting in backstage".... "Nitro has heat with all the boys because he's spending time siding with his girlfriend instead of hanging out with them".... "They're talking about breaking up the only halfway-decent team in the company to send them a message".... all of those things were in the category of "Too stupid to follow up on" to me.
     
    To put it simply: Nitro and Mercury apart are nothing. Nitro and Mercury together were something. Nitro, Mercury, and Melina together were the best tag team act in this entire industry for the past year. Are there backstage issues? Apparently so, and not just ones that had people wanting to send Melina over to RAW (which was about as serious a rumor as I'd heard). But nothing in what I heard seemed to justify imploding the tag team. And plus: if Melina's at the crux of all this, I apply the simple heuristic that if Mick Foley has a mancrush on her, she MUST, at the core, be a good girl.
     
    Anyway, supposedly Nitro and Melina are now in a state of flux. Maybe RAW, maybe suspended, maybe even to the new ECW. And as far as I'm concerned, that renders Mercury pretty much worthless. I know it's a running joke around here that I can't tell "M" and "N" apart, but I'm just pretending when I do that. Because I'm not retarded. But it's a good way to make the point that "This information is below me." And with MNM, all you ever needed to know to enjoy one of their matches is that they're interchangeable, vaguely-annoying tools. Together, they added up to more than the sum of their parts. Which is why I'm still sorta confused as to how anything short of an Orton-caliber outburst of douchebaggery could justify breaking them up.
     
  • The other big news of the past few days is that WWE and NBC/Universal are apparently very close to finalizing a deal that would give ECW a weekly timeslot on the Sci-Fi Network.
     
    Yep, you read that right: the Sci-Fi Network.
     
    This is a deal where I don't have any exclusive or first-hand info available to me (in fact, the last I heard, the story was just that WWE was gonna go to NBC/Universal and prod them about a timeslot upgrade from 2am on Saturday, but there was NO mention of Sci-Fi). But other folks are reporting it as a Done Deal, with a Tuesday night (either 10pm or 11pm) slot as the likeliest possibility.
     
    What's ECW got to do with Sci-Fi? Well, nothing, really. But they didn't have anything to do with Nashville, either, when they signed to TNN in 1999. And I guess despite being the "Sci-Fi" Network, the channel also has a focus on horror movies, where there's nothing futuristic or supernatural going on. Just lots of blood and gore. So if ECW wants to brand itself as the Blood and Gore promotion, they can try to do something with that.
     
    The one thing in all this that has me concerned? There's still a chance that ECW will be taped along with SmackDown!. Which is just utterly inane. ECW does not and should not look like a WWE product. And further more, you remember Joey's promo? Where he mocked WWE fans? I LOVED that, and it was spot-on, because ECW at its best is not a mainstream product. So mocking the half of the WWE audience who would never be able to care about the ECW product is awesome, if you ask me. But it loses some of its wisdom if WWE's booking philosophy is gonna be to tape ECW in front of a WWE crowd. So dumb.
     
    But none of that is set in stone yet, so hopefully less-retarded heads will prevail.
     
  • Last week, local advertising for the ECW TV special in June finally changed to reflect that ECW will be involved. Previously, the TV commercials called the June 7 event a "Special Telecast of RAW."
     
    Now, it's being sold as a one-time-only WWE vs. ECW special. They hyped Cena and HHH from RAW, Angle and JBL from SD!, and representing ECW: Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, and Terry Funk. Oughta be interesting to see what they're building towards. I suspect (hope) that we start finding out tonight on RAW...
     
  • The rating for this weekend's SmackDown! was a 3.0, which if it holds up will be about as strong a rating as the show has done in ages. And up more than a half-point over recent averages.
     
    It would also be fortuitous for WWE, since there was nothing particularly interesting or amusing about the show, but it *was* the final push to a PPV, so upwards of a million extra eyeballs can't hurt.
     
  • Last week also brought final confirmation that SD! would remain on the new "CW" Network, and in its Friday timeslot. This was widely-expected, but given the velocity with which CW execs have been making decisions and then changing them and then changing them back, you kinda had to wait till they finally made the announcement to be 100% sure.
     
  • Last week's Impact did a 1.1 rating, up a single tick from the week before, and continuing TNA's trend of retaining between half and two-thirds of UFC's lead-in.
     
    I thought it was a largely enjoyable show, doing a quick-table-setting in order to begin the push to the next PPV. I'll say this: King of the Mountain NEEDS to be Christian vs. Abyss, Jarrett, Joe, and Sting. Joe needs to beat Steiner to qualify for the match (giving Impact a rare "free-per-view" match), and then in the match, Steiner needs to attack Joe with his old lead pipe, and in the counter-point to the last PPV, Sting should stand there and let it happen. Give Joe 3-4 months or whatever he needs to get that knee cleaned up and 100% (and so he doesn't Van Dam himself into working hurt for 9 months, and then eventually needing 13 months to get everything fixed). And give us an intriguing little tweener vs. tweener storyline for whenever Joe gets back. 
     
    Note to the Dudleys: the in-fighting is good. Intra-family scufflin' is what birthed the Duds back in 1995. But the barely veiled cheapshots at the new ECW? Not so much. It was petulant, and worse: it was false. And there's still this other aspect of it, too, where I think the Duds are being TOO selfless in how far they're willing to go to put TNA over, while simultaneously throwing away their own legacies. Watching the Dudleys try to crap on ECW was sort of like watching a man trying to poop on his own head. I know there might be some hostility and bad blood there, but a little perspective, OK, boyz?
     
  • Kane's movie took in about $4.4 million over the weekend. On one hand, this is about one million more dollars than most movie industry hoo-hahs predicted. On the other hand, it was still only good for sixth place for the weekend and pretty much sucks.
     
    With universally-horrible reviews, and no word of mouth buzz to speak of, "See No Evil" will be lucky to top the $10 million mark before it's yanked out of theatres. That'll leave DVD sales to try to regain all production and marketing costs.
     
    You know what's perversely amusing? Internally, WWE people were all WAY more pleased with how Kane's movie came together than they were with the finished product of Cena's movie (which comes out in 3 or so months). So if Kane's movie was among the worst of all times, how much fun will we have mocking "The Marine" when *it* finally plops onto theater screens?
     
    For whatever it's worth, I'll mention the most positive review I got of the movie. The guy placed "See No Evil" in the "so bad, it's good" category, and also remembered me talking about how I had the first "Resident Evil" movie on my list of guilty pleasures because of a couple cool, grotesque laser-assisted deaths. He said if that's my thing, I might give "See No Evil" a try because apparently the gore is off the charts.
     
    For me: I say throw in Milla Jovavich's tantalizing nipples, and only then will you have a deal. For you: if you like bad horror movies, maybe this is the permission you need to drop $9. I dunno.
     
  • Much is being made of the fact that effective today, Ted Turner is a "free" man. Mostly ostracized by management shortly after he sold out to AOL/TimeWarner, he's been an impotent figurehead for about 5 years, now.
     
    His contractual obligations now fulfilled to that organization, there are a lot of people who think that Turner's juices are flowing and he'll want to put some of his billions to use creating a new media empire that won't shove him out the door. There are a lot of people who think that he might use rasslin' to help accomplish that goal, once again. Or perhaps there are just a lot of people who HOPE that he tries it, since he's got the money to do it right, and SOMEbody needs to goose Vince McMahon into fixing things.
     
    If it happens, all I gots to say is: Ted, call me. I can help. I'll even get an apartment down in Soviet Georgia, provided you agree to let me work from Dayton during the months of December through March (for UD basketball-related reasons).
     
  • I think that's about all the relevant information I have today, folks. I won't bother with a detailed preview of tonight's RAW, given that it's already 5pm as I finish this up, but I have high hopes that it'll be another good one. Michaels vs. Spirit Squad, HHH's latest DX tease, and I'm quite sure the next big step in the ECW Story adds up to a promising line-up if you ask me.
     
    And by the looks of things, it'll be poor l'il me once again on the recap come tomorrow. So come on back for that, and then start making bets on whether or not I have the patience to make it three days in a row with a Wednesday column. 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

BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

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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