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Henry Injured, SNME Bombs, TNA,
Lesnar, Dreamer, Hair Plugs, and MORE~!
July 17, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Do I even need to rant about the "ESPY Awards" that were on last night, or can you just fill in your own RickLib at this point?

Christ, something as simple and manly as the fandom of approximately 3-5 vital sporting endeavors, and ESPN turns it into Yet Another Reason To Want To Punch Borderline-Retarded Man-Bimbo Matthew Mcconaughey in the face, all in the search of some form of "mainstream relevance" that simply will never come as long as SportsCenter 

averages 1.5 ratings and is a "convenience item" for sane sports fans and not "destination viewing."

You know the show is worthless when "Moment of the Year" goes to the autistic kid who scored 20 points in a high school basketball game, instead of to George Mason's run to the Final Four. I know: George Mason isn't technically a "moment," but in a category that had 3 worthless Human Interest Stories nominated, and then the George Mason run that the better part of America was cognizant of, the simple truth is you have one obvious winner, and three other stories that (while pleasant and heartwarming) amount to ESPN patting THEMSELVES on the back for their good citizenship. Human interest stories are -- to showcase my assholitude -- something I've always considered pretty pointless. I am (a) human and (b) have interests, and I've had more than a few sad or feel-good things brush past me in my life, and nobody gave them awards. So it almost strikes me as mean and self-serving for ESPN to try to decide which of these "heart-warming" stories they'll melodramatically over-push. If you're not gonna tell all 15 thousand Happy Stories, then just stick to telling the stories that mattered to more than 1.2 million viewers on one of your bloated, pitiably-asstastic Sunday Night SportsCenters, OK?

Truth be told, though: I did a pretty heroic job of NOT watching the ESPYs. I knew they would suck and just make me angry, but there is still a Man Gene that requires you to flip past ESPN at any available break in your Scheduled TV Action (FOX cartoons, Deadwood, and a good night of my patented Dork-o-Vision on Discovery/National Geographic/Etc.). I think I can say with authority that the best thing I saw on the ESPY's was Mariah Carey. Nice to have you back, honey: I liked you fine a decade ago before the fake boobs, but I like you better now that you've lost the Being Batshit Insane.

Here's today's rasslin', kids:

  • I think it's pretty safe to say that the biggest story over the weekend was Mark Henry's injury suffered on Saturday Night's Main Event.
    Perhaps not big in terms of what was lost to wrestling fans or to WWE, but it's big just because Henry had just been signed to the semi-main event (or, if you want to be pragmatic about it, the likely Main Event) of this weekend's Great American Bash. Comically-over-pushed or no, Henry was filling a big time slot this weekend, and now it sounds like he'll be out of action.
    Henry injured his right knee (the patella and the patella tendon) when planting his leg on a turnbuckle charge during the SNME six-man tag match. Ironically, Henry was in the ring against Rey Mysterio at the time, and Rey has been booked as weakly and stupidly as any star in recent memory.... yet, if WWE even half-tries to tell the story on TV, Rey will have to be acknowledged as the man who slew the World's Stongest Man. Granted, Rey didn't actually do the damage, but after Henry injured himself on the missed charge, Rey did lay in with a few kicks before Henry was able to collapse to the mat, convey his discomfort, and tag himself out.
    Fans of the show should have caught on pretty quickly to Henry's problems: the ref threw up the Dreaded X, and the cameras were clearly going out of their way to avoid Henry's prone carcass at ringside while the other five guys improvised a finish.... but just to toot my own horn, I'd like to go on record with a guess of my own: there was an awkward moment earlier in the match when Finaly's Leprechaun interfered, and it sounded like they were shooting it to a commercial break, but then an awkward audio segue resulted in them sticking around for what turned out to be the Abbreviated Match. SNME did not air live, so I'm guessing that in addition to ending the match earlier, Henry's injury also necessitated a bit of post-production once the match was shortened.
    In addition to the irony of Rey being the only one who could take credit for the injury (barring some borderline-heroic display of testicles by Henry in which he works this week's TV tapings to let somebody "bigger" do the damage), it's also ironic that Henry had been given the "crippler" gimmick in recent months, and finally got around to crippling himself. Sure it's a fluke, but it's also not worth denying the irony.
    Only an asshole would take pleasure in another's misery, and I (and OO) all wish Henry a speedy recovery and a happy life, I'm sure. Nobody deserves this kind of thing. But this is also where my Utilitarianism kicks in.... and if you went to some namby-pamby college that didn't make you take at least two semesters' worth of respectable philosophy, then just know that I'm talking about the Mr. Spock/Stark Trek 2 notion that "The good of the many outweighs the needs of the one." And dickish as it might be to say, Henry's injury serves the Needs of the Many.
    Fans benefit. WWE benefits. Batista benefits. Henry was just a vortex of suck in his latest push, with TV ratings and house show attendance standing as objective metrics to prove the case, while his god-awful Royal Rumble main event against Angle providing one of the most universally-agreed-upon subjective metrics. Fans won't have to suffer any longer, WWE might plug somebody more capable into that slot and realize increased business, and Batista can have better matches with less risk or re-injuring himself against just about any opponent you'd select at random from the remaining roster.
    Even the loss of Henry from a semi-main event PPV match less than a week away isn't that big a deal. In so far as Batista/Henry was a draw, it was a draw for being Batista's return match to PPV. Not because it was against Henry. Somebody else can be plugged in there, and it should work just fine, and the worst thing that'll happen is that they'll have to put Rey/Booker on as the last match. Which trust me: is NOT a bad thing.
    Who'll go in for Henry? I dunno. If pettiness hadn't resulted in Kennedy being chopblocked by management last week, he and his undefeated streak would have been ideal foes for Batista.... instead, WWE shot itself in the foot, and Kennedy should probably "get his win back" from Matt Hardy before upping his degree of difficulty. Inserting Batista into the Rey/Booker match is the other option that seems at least semi-tolerable.
    Other than that, you get into nightmare scenarios of Batista getting stuck with some SD! curtain jerker, or having to create an excuse for a RAW or ECW cross-over, which is just unnecessarily complicated, if you ask me. But in the end: it's like I said. It doesn't matter who Batista beats, it just matters that he beats them as soundly as he was gonna beat Henry, anyway.
    Only real drama in this situation: Henry's contract is set to expire in September, and despite a hoax/rumor about a month ago, I don't think he actually extended it, yet. If Henry's unable to compete until January (were we to book ahead, a Royal Rumble return is what you'd look for), his contract would expire in the interim, and who knows what would happen as a result. As a decent person, I do think it's WWE's duty to get the guy healthy again; but as a wrestling fan, I also don't think WWE has any duty to ever put the dude on TV again. So make of that what you will, and that's my take on the situation.
  • SNME's early ratings are -- quite surprisingly -- even WORSE than they were in March. A 2.8 prelim rating is what WWE and NBC are looking at. March's show had expectations of a 5.0 or better and scored a 3.1... now this show had expectations more around a 4.0, and does a 2.8.
    It goes without saying that chances of future Saturday Night's Main Events are looking slim and none. At least, not in prime time.
    For whatever it's worth, I thought the show as a whole was disappointing -- especially after I lightly endorsed the line-up on Thursday's column. Henry's injury obviously hamstrung whatever was planned in the SD! six man; timing issues and blown spots left Cena and Edge with little time to work up to a lazy and uncreative finish; Hogan's appearance was about as underwhelming as possible and both he and his daughter could not possibly have come off any dumber at any point the entire night; the mixed tag was less than 4 minutes long and never got a chance to hit its potential (which is a LOT of potential if you ask me, given the chemistry that is apparent in the ring there; something as simple as Trish and Carlito working together on the Handjob Chops made me chuckle aloud, which is a subtle touch that was absent in pretty much every other segment on SNME).... that pretty much left the DX/Spirt Squad match to be the highlight of the night, despite it's paint-by-numbers nature. Satisfying, yes, but thrilling? Nope.
    I know WWE's mindset on "special" shows like this is to introduce their product to outsiders, but the truth is they are at the point where outsiders aren't checking them out, and they need to focus on entertaining those of us who went to the trouble of setting a DVR recording to keep tabs on our guilty pleasure that is WWE. And they didn't do that. Nothing substantial was advanced outside of the Hogan/Orton thing, and frankly, I thought that was advanced in so retarded a way that I could have done without it.
    Mark my words: if WWE is required to keep showing Brooke Hogan videos, Hogan and Orton will be equally popular by the time SummerSlam rolls around. I've been saying it for 3 weeks, and I'm still very confident in my prophecy. There are ways to save this angle, but I'm not sure WWE's in position to explore any of them. As long as Brooke is presented as a willing bimbo for date-rapist Orton's advances and her videos get shoved down our throats, there is little chance of her dad being able to overcome the backlash. Not when SummerSlam is in Boston, which is deep in the heart of Northeastern Jackoff Country.
    Anyway, that's my abbreviated take. You can certainly get lots more info and details on the entire SNME show in the Cubs' Fan's Saturday Night's Main Event Recap.
  • TNA had a PPV tonight, and glancing over the various reports, I think the best word to describe it would be "business as usual." There were few surprises on the booking end, and the in-ring action was solid, even if it didn't really hit any peaks.
    As widely expected, Sting is moving on to face Jeff Jarrett for the TNA Title next month after winning a four way match; if the PPV had any swerves, they might have come in the form of Christian actually acknowledging a slight turns towards the heelish, and embracing it.
    As always, Jason Longshore has your full report in the TNA Victory Road PPV Recap.
  • Going back to Thursday, TNA's Impact did a 1.0 rating (plus or minus one-tenth, depending on Rounding Issues; but trust me, the one-tenth doesn't matter, statistically-speaking). Right there in the fat part of the scattergram for TNA, yet again.
    Reprising my brief comments about Rhino's anti-ECW/anti-WWE promo, I do still think it came a few weeks too late to make maximum impact outside of TNA's core fanbase (in the middle of June, I think the Overall Awareness of The Sketchiness of ECW Comeback was at its peak; whereas now, most average fans have moved past that and accept, however grudgingly, that the ECW Title is back and belongs to Big Show after a month of WWE's efforts).... but since I did make those comments without yet seeing the angle, I'll grant that Rhino sure as fuck brought the intensity, and that helped out a lot. Due to the tardy nature of the angle/promo, this still feels more like a promotional dick-waving move than Rhino's own personal agenda, but he sold out to the moment and did a nice job with the material.
    Now if only they could have "burned" something other than a felt bag that I promise you didn't contain any ECW title belts (which, if you want a "shoot," Rhino personally values WAY too highly to destroy for some cheap TV gimmick), that might have added to the immediacy, too.... but blame that on Vince's lawyers, I guess?
  • SD! on Friday did a 2.5 prelim rating..... hey! Almost as good as SNME! Luckily for WWE, UPN is more easily impressed than NBC and will take mid-2's on a Friday night. This number is down from the week before (which received a bump thanks to Batista's return), but still a notch or two better than the 10 week moving average for the show.
    For whatever it's worth, I thought the show was riddled with holes (the kind that send people for the remote control so they can flip away), and despite a few highpoints, as well, the lack of non-stop "stickiness" probably hurt overall viewership this week. Same thing that happened with RAW, if you ask me.
    You can get the full report on SD! in a SmackDown! Recap that I, myself, had to painstakingly craft by hand. Much to my chagrin. But much to your reading enjoyment.
  • Brock Lesnar has been stripped of his IWGP (New Japan) Title, which led more than a few to write in wondering if this meant Brock was coming back to the US.
    Me not so sharp on the puroresu, but I'm pretty sure this is related to Brock's desire to segue into UFC/shootfighting, and New Japan was gonna take the title off of him, and Brock probably didn't want to take a loss before going off into the realm of "real" fighting.
    Now: once Brock tanks as badly in MMA as he did in the NFL, I think *that* is when you'll see him realize how good he had it in WWE, and probably come crawling back. Probably for less money than what they would have paid him last summer if he'd just signed that contract.
  • Tommy Dreamer has been "suspended" from WWE.com as a columnist. Although no reason was given, one is led to believe it's because of Tommy's ominous "apology" column from a week ago where he prophesied that "if I said what was really on my mind, I'd get suspended." And lo and behold: Dreamerdamus has struck gold!
    For whatever it's worth: Dreamer still worked ECW shows this weekend, and though some insist he really is in the doghouse, others report that he's just gonna be on vacation and not writing the damned column for the next two weeks, anyway.... so me and my Big Brain, I'm gonna hold out hope this is all part of the ruse that brings Tommy to the top of the "Genuine ECW" roster, and who try to talk some sense into the newly pussified Paul Heyman.
    Let's us wait and see.
  • WWE had planned to tour Israel later this month. Needless to say, recent events in the region mean that tour is postponed indefinitely.
  • After a fall-out with TSN regarding WWE's (suprisingly massively) declining ratings in Canada, and the disposition of Monday Night Football in Canada, RAW will be announcing a move to TSN's rival "The Score" later this week.
    RAW's been on TSN for over a decade (for reference, when the then-WWF signed with TSN, they were still half-a-decade away from moving to "The National Network" here in the US, and were still on USA), but WWE's bottoming out in terms of Canadian viewers combined with TSN's acquiring North Michigan's rights to ESPN's MNF telecasts meant that TSN was more than happy to let WWE walk away.
    From what I've been told by my Canuck Pals, TSN is definitely more highly regarded in Canada on a subjective basis, but in terms of the effect on WWE, this is a net (percentage) loss of household penetration that'll be less than when they moved from USA to Spike here in the US, and shouldn't be *that* big a deal.
  • True or false: the reason Chavo Guerrero "quit" and has been semi-absent from WWE TV for the past few months is so he could get hair plug surgery? I shall not say, but I'm guessing we'll all know the answer before the fall....
    Let's just say that procedure didn't do much for Val Venis in the long run, now did it? At some point, genetics win, so real men should just cope. Just like real women should sport them natural boobies and not sweat it. A solid 98% of dudes still won't be able to keep their hands off them tasty things, same way as 98% of broads can't keep their hands of my shapely shaved skull. 
  • Looking ahead to the next couple night's of wrestling on TV (which will bring the Consecutive Night Total to 6; or possibly to 9 if you get the MSG Network)....
    Tonight's RAW is in desperate need of a "bounceback" show after 3 straight weeks of weakness. Sadly, with an announced main event of John Cena vs. Umaga, I'm not feeling much optimism... either Cena wins with his superman act, and I end up bitching that they wasted all my time over the past 4 months to do *this* with Umaga, or Umaga wins, and I bitch that Umaga's still here and undefeated. Only acceptable compromise: Umaga wins, but it's because of Edge's interference, and Armando Alejandro Estrrrrrrrrada verbally punks out Cena at some point. Anything else? Would be uncivilized.
    Hogan/Orton and DX/McMahons are the other key issues on RAW heading into SummerSlam.... Carlito vs. Nitro for the IC Title is on the second level shelf.... Foley/Flair seems like it'll take weeks off here and there, but after Flair's ECW Foray, this would be a good week for them to do something to move the feud forward.... regardless of an unclear contract situation, Trish will be around long enough to lend some closure to her issues with Melina.... and as the Spirit Squad move further away from being Vince's Tools of Evil, they'll be re-entered into the Tag Title picture, where the Highlanders seem more and more likely to be waiting for them.
    Don't know as that adds up to a stellar show, but it's one I'm stuck recapping and turd-polishing, so come on back to OO on Tuesday for all the better-than-the-actual-show details!
    Then on Tuesday night, ECW airs an hour later (at 11pm), which sadly doesn't do much good for me and my DVR (which increasingly gets a workout on Tuesday nights, due to Rescue Me, "Cosmos" on dork-o-vision, my latent desire to at least peak at "Rock Star," and Reds baseball), since that just means it's head-to-head with Stewart and Colbert.... but ECW will be headlined by Big Show vs. Undertaker, which...
    Well, I guess we should care, but to me, I think they've officially crossed the line where this now feels like "ECW Champ vs. Random WWE Guy" (going back to RVD's defenses), instead of like anything even vaguely compelling. I mean: so what happens if a WWE guy actually wins the ECW Title? Does he stay in ECW, or does he just take the title away with him and ECW dies a slow death? It makes no fucking sense.
    Given how genuinely motivated Show has been in the past two weeks, I actually think the match'll be good.... but the question is: will anybody care? I know my anxiousness is on the wane, but I also know that as long as I have DVR, there's no excuse for me not to be watching. And of course: we'll have ECW's details for you here on OO on Wednesday afternoon.
  • I'll see you all later, kids.... enjoy the end of the OOverdose Week of TV Wrestling, and I'll probably see you again for the RAW Recap on Tuesday.

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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