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SummerSlam Thoughts/Fall-out, HBK and
Angle Status, ECW, Ratings, TNA, MORE! 
August 21, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Sorry that this'll end up coming to you a little late on Monday afternoon.... alas, I got home, and found out the end of the last Yankees/Red Sox game was on TV, and seeing as how the Yankees were up 1-0 (and won 2-1), I was obligated to watch. I am only partially ashamed to admit that I think I became sexually aroused as the Yankees completed the emasculating five-game sweep of the hated BoSox.

Then, to contribute to both my distractedness AND my arousal, ESPN had to go and put a Martina Hingis tennis match on next. D'oh.

Surely, I can't be the only one who remembers the day when tennis had, indisputably and by an almost laughably wide margin, the hottest babes on average in any sport, can I? That pretty

much changed started 5-6 years ago, with the influx of 6-foot tall beasts who fancy themselves supermodels and who put more thought and effort into their hair, make-up, and (most anachronistically) jewelry than would be appropriate on some chick you'd meet out on a Friday night (these are generally Russians), and the 6-foot tall beasts who could probably beat me in arm wrestling (these are generally Williams Sisters). Neither is particularly appealing.

And yet, after all these years, I can still count on Martina Hingis to hold up the torch for regular-girls-in-outstanding-shape who go out fully confident in their abilities to get all sweaty and disheveled while still retaining copious amount of Every Day Core Cuteness and would scoff at the notion of spending two hours with a Personal Stylist before a match. Good for her. And good for that new top she started wearing at Wimbledon. You know the one. Even if you only saw it once or twice on SportsCenter, you know the one.

But anyway, then Hingis started getting her ass kicked by one of them gigantoid supermodel Russians with a 120mph forehand, and I lost interest, so here I am, ready to quickly churn out the obligatory Monday Afternoon OO for you. Enjoy:

  • Last night's SummerSlam was a reasonable enjoyable affair, if you ask me. I thought Foley/Flair was the highlight, but both DX/McMahons and Edge/Cena were right there.... and since those latter two matches closed the show, my long-standing policy of weighting the finish of a show more heavily meant that SummerSlam did a nice job of turning crapfests like Hogan/Orton into distant memories by the time the PPV was over.
    Probably the biggest thing coming out of the show was the fact that Shawn Michaels appeared to be injured in the DX/McMahons match, but I can tell you that later in the night, he was feeling better and he declined a hospital visit after just a quick check-up by WWE's in-house trainers. So I'm guessing that he's relatively OK. Or at least; the arm/shoulder injury he appeared to suffer is OK (there's still folks out there who insist HBK's knee is living on borrowed time, though).
    With that becoming a non-story, the next issue to touch on becomes how all champions retained their titles. Conventional wisdom certainly had Big Show retaining the "ECW" Title, but the majority of folks were guessing both Batista and John Cena would win the World and WWE Titles, respectively. Well: Batista won his match (but it was via DQ, so the title didn't change hands), and Edge pinned Cena to hold onto the WWE belt.
    I'm not sure what the rationale is in the case of the former, since it'll be about 2 months now before Batista can stage another challenge to Booker (unless it's true that Batista just has not really impressed WWE management with his intensity since returning, or something along those lines).... but in the case of the latter, it's now painfully clear that with the next RAW PPV in Toronto, they will tell the inverse story with Edge and Cena: Edge will get "his" match (probably a TLC match) in his hometown, and the deck will be stacked against Superman Cena. Which, of course, means that he'll win. And just in time for his crap-ass movie to debut, to boot. Yay?
    And to re-iterate something I said in the quick and dirty placeholder results post: the way the fans responded to Hogan proves two things.... (1) Hogan/WWE were right to put Hogan over Orton, and (2) Hogan was probably wiser than his years (OK, *as* wise as his advanced years) to take a few weeks off TV with his Broken Knee, since it meant he didn't over-expose himself and over-stay his welcome. He always walks that line between Beloved Nostalgia Act and Guy We're Just Barely Putting Up With.... with his only sparse appearances leading up to SummerSlam, he stayed firmly the the former category.
    I don't think I have much in the way of any additional thoughts/analysis just now. Last month's Canadian Precappers have filed this SummerSlam PPV Recap, however, for those of you jonsing for more detailed results. Enjoy.
  • This leads, logically, into a discussion of tonight's RAW. I mean, when you have an ostensible "three-brand" PPV, but the only three good matches all come from one brand, it stands to reason that said brand will have the most interesting fall-out. Right?
    I already touched on my guess for the Edge/Cena fall-out above. I think Cena, petulant brat and poser extraordinaire that he is, will pitch a hissy fit and demand a rematch. Then Edge counters by saying, "Oh John-John, the next PPV is in MY hometown, and if you let me pick the match, you're so on, Homey!" It fits together fairly well, as it's a rare case of a champion accepting a challenger's challenge and having it make sense. Edge is just cocky as hell, and will think he'll have the massive advantage, so on his own terms, he accepts.
    Fall-out from DX/McMahons? Not sure, since I'm really starting to think that the DX experiment needs to wrap up. They can't do anything really funny or edgy because Shawn doesn't want to make the baby Jesus cry. So that leaves them to play it more straight-laced. Which are basically the exact same characters they've been playing for years, now. There's nothing keeping them together under the DX banner, now that they've beat the McMahons. If there were a sensible way to do it, I'd almost root for a "Corporate HBK" to split off and turn heel on Triple H over the next month or two, playing off the notion that his morals won't allow him to be a sophomoric jack-ass, anymore. But alas: that flies in the face of 9 months of the McMahons screwing with Shawn, and it also flies in the face of the fact that nobody is a bigger sophomoric jack-ass than Vince McMahon. So I'm kinda flying blind on what to expect there. I guess the Stephanie Angle is still on the table if they want.... but more likely, the only thing I can see coming out of the match last night is an Umaga vs. Kane feud. Whee?
    And fall-out from Foley/Flair? Well, that's a bit easier, since there can't be any way Mick is sticking around. He's done his bit for king and country over the past 4 months, and way I figure it, 3 Match of the Year Candidates is plenty, and he can go rest up till around WrestleMania time. Give him one promo to talk his way out of the loss, so fans remember the match (instead of the outcome), and he might be gone for a while. Hell: given the little pep talk Melina gave to Mick (before he selflessly lost the match in order to save Melina), you could even have Melina turn on Mick to fully solidify him as a babyface before he goes back on hiatus. That'd make a hell of a lot of sense to me, since it's not like Mick's ever TRULY been a heel during these last few months and it's even less likely that he could return 6 months from now and be treated as a heel by fans welcoming him back.
    [Tangent: several readers made me feel stupid by realizing something that I missed. In all interviews the past week, Foley was overtly avoiding the words "I Quit," instead spelling it out as "I-Q-U-I-T." An obvious homage to his only other WWF "I Quit" Match in which the Rock used an audio clip of Foley saying "I Quit" in a pre-match interview to steal the win. Awesome. Mick Foley is such a manwhore for continuity, which is why we love him so.]
    Other stuff on RAW tonight:
    They're making a big deal out of the return of Jeff Hardy. Me? I'm hard-pressed to feign interest. Even at the height of the TLC Days, I recognized Matt as the overall more talented and interesting of the two, and look where he's at today. It was one thing when Jeff Hardy spoke to 13-year-old weirdoes back in the late 90s. But now Jeff's a guy in his early 30s who STILL only speaks to the 13-year-old weirdoes. And maybe to a few teenage fangirls who are, for some reason, only attracted to scrawny, sexually-non-threatening little fruitcakes. Outside of re-teaming with Matt, the only value I'd see in Jeff on RAW is maybe stepping up to be a sacrificial lamb to his old nemesis Edge. Either in the short term, or as Edge's "get-healthy" opponent after he has to drop the title to Cena next month...
    Also, they've announced a Kane vs. Nitro IC Title Match tonight. Me, I'd keep the belt on Nitro, because he meshes better with the available opposition (like Carlito and Shelton, and hey, maybe even Jeff if you want to go all four-way ladder-match-y). But I could see Kane winning and then, as mentioned above, moving onto a feud with Umaga. Umaga vs. Kane for the IC Title? Sort of makes me die a little bit inside, but I suppose after Umaga's effective outings against DX and his increased fan reactions, there are worse ideas than letting him go on some kind of Samoa-Joe-esque winning streak with the belt.
    Women's division is also gonna be stepping up over the next month, since it looks like Trish is gonna get a big send-off with one last run at the title (and against her long-time rival against whom she never got closure, to boot).... wish I could say the same for the tag division, where the Spirit Squad are just find as champs, but the Highlanders have yet to be showcased effectively, and I weep in horror at the thought of Duggan/Eugene as title contenders.... and even though the Diva Search is over, the horror isn't about to end: Girl Carlito will be shoe-horned onto TV at every turn, just to annoy the crap out of me.
    RAW really shouldn't be wasting any time, what with another PPV in 3-4 weeks, but given the dodgy nature of the show over the past 2 months, I won't let myself get naively optimistic. But I will be watching with my usual eagle eye, so as to provide you all with the finest RAW Recap in all the land; so stop on back to OO tomorrow to check that out.
  • Kurt Angle campaigned heavily to get inserted into the Show/Sabu ECW Title match, but was declined, due to lingering concern over his groin injury. Kurt says he can work through it. WWE says he probably shouldn't try.
    In a mild correction from what I wrote on Friday: after Kurt was injured last weekend, he DID continue to work house shows, but he was "demoted" from semi-main event matches against RVD to brief squash matches (I believe against Justin Credible). I think that's about all WWE is prepared to let him do at this point.
    As a selfish fan, I'd love to know I'd have Kurt Angle on my TV every week. But as a decent human being: c'mon, Kurt, the evidence is mounting, and your body might be telling you its time to throttle down before you REALLY hurt yourself (or worse: somebody else).
    With ECW blowing away all expectations, ratings-wise, WWE should play hardball and keep Kurt on the sidelines until they are sure he's healthy and well.
  • Kevin Nash may have made his final obligatory appearance for TNA, and any future appearances would have to come under a new contract that both sides are reportedly negotiating in a rather circumspect fashion. Nash's lack of enthusiasm stems (rightfully, I think) from what he considered unwise creative decisions made in the last few weeks. TNA's lack of enthusiasm stems from the fact that Nash may have fabricated a neck injury to avoid following through on their creative decisions.
    It's not like Nash has any interest in a WWE return at this point (short of a Mick Foley schedule, anyway), so his main leverage is that he doesn't *have* to work if it's not a situation that pleases him or gives him professional satisfaction. TNA doesn't really have any leverage to speak of... if they want him (and given that Nash was the hands-down most entertaining thing on TV for several weeks in the last month, they SHOULD have some interest), they'll kinda have to give Nash what he wants. And just deal, quietly, anytime Nash decides he's within his rights to exercise some Civil Disobedience.
  • Both Ron Killings and Monty Brown want out of TNA. Both approached management last week at TV tapings, but both are resigned to working the durations of their respective contracts before getting cut loose. For Brown, that comes pretty damned quickly, in mid-October. Killings, I believe, is a free agent early next year.
    Monty is under the impression that WWE would sign him in a heartbeat, which makes me very, very sad. Part of me thinks he might be tolerable, if only he had a non-awful finisher. But another part of me thinks a tutorial in rudimentary English would also be required before Monty could be anything other than a drain on my patience.
  • As expected, TNA got a ratings boost last week with the return of UFC. Impact did a 0.9, up two-tenths from the week before, and hopefully just the start of an upward swing.
    It should be noted that the three-hour UFC block leading into TNA averaged a 1.6, which is lower than expectations. However, it should also be noted that this exact same thing happened back during the first week or two of LAST season's Ultimate Fighter. It took a bit for viewers to remember/find UFC on Thursdays, but once they did, UFC's ratings stabilized around or just above 2.0, and TNA got to the point where they were steadily at or above 1.0.
    We'll see if that same phenomenon repeats this season.
  • SD! this weekend was also up a bit in prelim ratings, to a 2.6. Once the final number settles in a few ticks lower, though, the news will still ultimately be not-very-good for what is increasingly WWE's C-show.
    Preemptions (both for baseball and for pettiness related to the impending debut of "The CW" and some disgruntled UPN affiliates ditching UPN shows early so as to cause local viewers to lose track of them) will continue until the move to the CW, but in one month's time, we'll see just where SD! really stands, ratings-wise....
  • Funny aside about WWE's house show bidness last weekend (Aug. 11-13): ECW scored the biggest audience of the weekend with a show in upstate NY, with around 2500 paid. Bigger than anything RAW or SD! delivered (albeit all three brands were slumming it in smaller markets for the weekend). In addition to RAW/SD! audiences being down (in the 1500-1800 range), that was an anomalous ECW gate, as their shows have been drawing sub-1000 houses in most markets.
  • Ummm, come to think of it: that seeming non-sequitur about Martina Hingis giving me a happy feeling in my pants? NOT a non sequitur! Instead: it was purely intentional writer-y genius!
    Because I can use that to segue into how the US Open starts a week from today, which means that RAW is ousted from its usual spot on Monday nights. The original plan was for RAW to air on a tape delay basis on both August 28 and September 4, immediately following the end of tennis on USA. That plan is still in effect.
    But in addition to that replay on USA, RAW will now air live BOTH weeks on Sci-Fi (which is under the NBC/Universal umbrella with USA). Nice. On behalf of wrestling fans everywhere, thank you, Everybody Involved!
  • Oddly enough, though, there is STILL no done deal on ECW remaining on Sci-Fi after August 29, though one will get done. As I talked about last week, ECW isn't just delivering ratings more than double expectations, they are also delivering ratings that blow 95% of Sci-Fi's other programming out of the water, so they won't want to lose it. It's just that WWE is playing a bit of hardball, because if they can squeeze more money out of Sci-Fi, they can contemplate taking on the cost of giving ECW its own TV tapings.
    Sort of a third party swooping in (and with guaranteed mid-2 cable ratings, I guess it's possible) to scoop Sci-Fi's heat, a deal will be done to keep ECW on Tuesdays, though....
  • Chris F. Masters has returned to action. In OVW. And for the time being, plans are for him to stay there. JOY!
    By all accounts, Masters returned from his (ahem) Wellness Issue looking about 40 pounds smaller. Without his ill-gotten muscle mass, even though he's still quite fit, everybody said that any attempt to revive his "Masterpiece" gimmick would be bound to fail. It's just too bad that the loss of ill-gotten muscle mass alone won't help one to become magically coordinated overnight so that you can run the ropes without looking like a Downs' Syndrome victim, or become 50 IQ points smarter so that you no longer screw up the psychology of a tag match while you're just standing on the ring apron.
    Also: I'm suddenly 30% less annoyed that I recently lost my weekly access to OVW TV on Dayton's cable access station (when WWE shut down unauthorized replays of the show, since they've officially purchased the OVW tape library).
  • Lastly for today is a bit of in-house pluggery....
    I know not a lot of you visit the OO Forums, and my guess is that part of the reason is because the place can be pretty intimidating. Tons of in-jokes and hierarchy and hazing and whatnot.... well, after almost 5 full years of the Forums' having their own unique identity, Jeb Lund and others have decided to chronicle that history.
    The OO Wankipedia is almost 80,000 words of everything that's made the OO Forums what it is today. And on the grounds that I feel like the OO Forums are one of the best-policed and most-diverse communities of wrestling fans you'll find anywhere on the web, maybe you'll take a chance to peruse the Wankipedia so that you'll feel more comfortable joining up and fitting in? 
    And if not? No hard feelings at my end. Frankly, I'm suspicious of a lot of those people, what with their OOWF and Tiara Games and slowly-turning-against-The-Rick.... but actually: there's still some damned funny anecdotes in the Wankipedia, whether you intend to join up or not. Check it out.
    And on that note: I'm finished for today. RAW Recap tomorrow. Another column later in the week. 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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