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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
PPV Fall-out, More on Trish, Ratings,
Rock, RAW, and.... "Rickipedia"? 
September 18, 2006

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

Ummmm, so I don't know exactly how to approach this but... apparently I have a Wikipedia entry. And I have for a while, but I only found out about it last night.
 

While it's inherently bizarre to read somebody else's idea of your entire public worth condensed down into a few hundred words, Wikipedia makes that experience even more strange and mind- numbing by allowing an infinite number of "somebody elses" to all put forth their ideas without any sort of actual editorial control or fact- checking or anything

like that.

The end result is that there appear to be at least 4-5 different people who all want to be the ones responsible for Cataloging The Rick (and much to my surprise, I think one of the early ones was actually Jeb, but he never told me about it).... and as recently as last week, there were two people having some kind of Wikipedia Editing War over my entry. How flattering?

Anyway, one of the Warring Entries seems to come from somebody who is trying, sincerely, to supply a succinct summary on The Rick. The other Warring Entry seems to be generated by some vestigial ass bone of the "IWC" that still thinks it's possible and fruitful to engage in flamewars.

But this isn't about me trying to encourage anybody out there to vigilantly watch my Wikipedia Entry and make sure it remains as much of an ass-kissy virtual blowjob of The Me as possible... this is about me ripping off Stephen Colbert by asking OO Nation to feel free to use and abuse my Wikipedia Entry, to alter it to include the most absurd claims, and to in general have fun underscoring once again just how silly much of "Wikipedia" is. Call it Project Rickipedia!

I figure any Reference Source where I, Rick Scaia, could write the entry for "Rick Scaia," and 10 minutes later, any anonymous jackass from the IWC could come and change the entry to make sure it once again included his name is a Reference Source that you might as well fuck with. Because you sure as hell aren't gonna use it to help you write a research paper. 

So: have at it, kids. I may be 6 months late coming to the party, but now that I know I've been Wikipediaed, I'll be checking in regularly to find out just who this "Rick Scaia" fellow is. I'll be deeply disappointed if I don't find out he was born of Dutch-Comanche parents in 1856, was the owner of the first monkey to orbit the earth, invented "Play-Doh," and enjoyed a lengthy reign as WWF Champion in the mid-90s before succumbing to a career-ending appendix injury. Among other remarkable life achievements.

Till then, the "Rick Scaia" standing here before you is mostly just a guy who knows his wrestling, and writes about it better than most. So here, enjoy this:

  • Last night's Unforgiven is certainly the main topic of the day... it was, in no uncertain terms, a Thumbs Up show, and probably as top-to-bottom strong an event as there's been in the wrestling world in 2006.
     
    Even the strongest in-ring shows presented by TNA or SD! tend to lack sizzle. Unforgiven had PLENTY of sizzle.
     
    Even the biggest shows like WrestleMania were hampered by stretches of crap and filler. Unforgiven had no crap/filler, and its worst segment bottomed out at "bland."
     
    And even if you get the mix of action and entertainment right, there's always that impossible-to-quantify factor of "momentosity" or historical significance that makes a show worth saving/re-watching in the future. Unforgiven had that intangible factor.
     
    In short, I'd argue that if you couldn't enjoy Unforgiven, then there's probably no show that WWE could put on here in the Year of Our Lord 2006 that you would enjoy. Which isn't to say that I don't still think the company does a lot of completely retarded and indefensible things these days, but when they nail it like this, for me, it's still the most entertaining variation on the Wrestling Product available on the market.
     
    Which isn't to say it's anywhere near as entertaining or well-crafted as it was, say, 5 or 6 years ago. And it certainly isn't to say that Unforgiven's top-shelfishness imbues me with any confidence that there is more of the same coming (on the contrary: Unforgiven's entertainment value is as a stand-alone show, and leave me pretty unenthused about the future). But I figure those still aren't reasons to ignore the fact that, last night, WWE put on the kind of 3-hour show where you could have had non-fans watching, and they'd go "Whoa, this is pretty cool," which is way better than the sometimes-embarrassing and frequently-boring programs we've been trained to endure.
     
    Have I fellated Unforgiven enough? I mean, from a theoretical perspective, at least? Let's run through the card and do some specifics.... 
     
    The Nitro/Hardy opener was a really pleasant surprise.... despite going 20 minutes, and having a couple stretches where it seemed like Hardy was maybe purposely over-riding Nitro on calling the match (or something; they were just transient bits of awkwardness), I can't believe how well this came off. A perfect blend of the wacky bumps and spots, with a rock-solid bit of on-the-mat psychology (based on Nitro picking apart Hardy's knee). The crowd was into it, too, which always helps. If I wanted to be a dick, I'd say the ending was a bit clunky and choreographed (with the way Jeff went out of his way to collapse right where Melina could whap him with a boot), but that'd be about all I could muster.... a perfect high energy opener.
     
    I feared the worst when they followed that up with Umaga/Kane, but was pleasantly surprised again. They eschewed the middle of the ring in favor of a lot of brawling around ringside. The extracurriculars from Estrrrrrrada didn't hurt, either. It was, what?, maybe 8 minutes, and half of that was intense slobberknockery, which made the other half in the ring (which was mostly for Umaga delivering a beatdown) entirely tolerable. Didn't overstay its welcome, and when it spilled outside again, and into the crowd, for the Double Count-Out, I pretty much slapped my head and said, "Dammit, I should have seen that coming." Umaga's still undefeated, but Kane didn't have to do the job. No complaints.
     
    The tag title match was third and.... well, here's probably the nadir of the show. A 10 minute match that I didn't really care about and which the live crowd didn't really care about and which had the outcome that everybody cared the least possible amount about. The Squad winning and retaining the titles in a standard "5 is more than 2" affair just has the stink of "Fuck you" from the creative team, if you ask me. Everybody thought the titles would change, so to "swerve" us, they pull out the least satisfying possible "surprise" in the match people care least about. I'm not exactly how this is supposed to convince us of the unpredictability of WWE, but whatever. The only way this makes sense at all is if the McMahons (following HitC) are so badly destroyed that a temporary Babyface Figurehead is installed, and uses this match as an excuse to break up the Spirit Squad (Kenny going solo, Mikey/Johnny remaining together as tag champs with the Male Cheerleader gimmick, and who cares about the other two?)....
     
    Hell in the Cell? Awesome. Wrestling purists will vomit in horror at that label, but I don't care. That was solidly entertaining for the entire 30 minutes, with very few lulls. Which is remarkable considering who was involved on the heel side. Is it possible that I (and other fans) were just distracted by the amount of gore? Sure. But that's what it was there for. I wish I believed this was really the end of the story/feud, but I'm sure it's not.... but as a standalone chapter in the overall tale? This is my favorite one so far. [One area where I WOULD take issue: it's 100 different kinds of stupid to not book Big Show to look stronger than he did here. But whatever.... that's just me and my silly notion that ECW should be more than RAW Jr., I'm sure.]
     
    Trish's farewell match was.... well, I think it was everything it needed to be. They did plenty of stuff you don't see in women's matches in WWE these days. Including the kind of bumps that I'm sure had all guys in the audience cursing their Trish Sympathy Genes (the same way I always do), and had the girls in the audience gasping and saying "Christ, sweetie, I hope you picked out a wedding dress that accessorizes well with crutches." Add in all the emotion and the fact that the match was given enough time to fully capitalize on said emotion, and you had a winner. The SharpShooter at the end? I don't know whose idea that was, but it was spot-on perfect. [I wouldn't be me if I didn't say something about Trish's outfit, so I'll say this: I was too terrified to register how hot it was. JR had a line about "Trish is expending too much energy staying off her back that I don't think she'll be able to rally" or something, and all I could think was "Trish is expending too much energy keeping her her clothes on." Any sort of serious malfunction would really have put a damper on the match, though, and as a result, I can honestly state that this was the first time in my life I was rooting for a lack of nudity. And it all worked out. Now, I can watch the match again with a more lecherous eye, some day.]
     
    Carlito and Orton just got shoe-horned into a little 8 minute slot. Thanks to Carlito continuing his six-month string of Being Fucking Awesome, this trumped the tag title match, but not really by much. Orton -- thankfully -- didn't seem to be purposely dogging it (as he did in a few final matches before his April suspension), but was also in no mood to be better than his adequate, chinlocking, crowd-heat-killing self. Orton did his thing, but mostly, the match was Carlito flying around trying to make both of them look like a million bucks. The finish was the perfect microcosm of the whole match: Carlito basically RKO'd himself by doing a flippy springboard move towards the general vicinity of Orton (who kind-of-but-not-really "grabbed" Carlito out of mid-air to hit the RKO, in a spot that I'm sure sounded better and more realistic in theory than it looked in practice). Orton just kind stood there and waited, while Carlito busted his ass to try to make the finish into something special. That's the story of this match, folks. Well, that, and the fact that Orton was given the win, so his push remains intact despite the fact that he's got a few more weeks of working for free ahead of him. Yeah, that sends a real great message, WWE.... 
     
    There is nothing I can say about the main event other than "See this match." Between the TLC gimmick and the Toronto atmosphere, I think expectations were REALLY high for the match. And Edge and Cena exceeded them. As expected, Cena didn't do a whole lot in terms of creativity and whatnot in the earlier stages of the match, but he brought his Crazy Bumping Shoes, and by the end, when they entered the "Fuck It, Let's Just Jump Off High Places Through Tables" Phase of the match, Cena was game. And then the final spot? Oh dear sweet christ.... I may not like Cena's retarded and lazy Superman act, but if you want to wear an "S" on your chest after standing on the top of a ladder with Edge across your shoulders before FU-ing him through a double-stack of tables? Well, Homey, you get a one week Under-roos pass from me. That was freaking insane. [Do they even still make "Under-roos"? Or have I just dated myself?]
     
    Put it all together? Excellent show, says I. TLC gets Match of the Night by the slimmest of margins over HitC. A few notches behind there, you got Nitro/Hardy (for solid action) and Trish/Lita (for action w/ Extra Emotion) at the Very Good level. The other three matches? Not a one of them bad. Hell, not even a one of them below average. And the other three were the shortest ones of the night, too. If that calculus doesn't work out to Unforgiven being, on average, just about as good a show as WWE's put on this year, I'd be stunned.
     
    You can get the full details and results from the show in the OO Unforgiven PPV Recap.
     
  • Trish's farewell match generated more press than you might have thought.... and not just in and around Toronto. Sports Illustrated's website even picked it up for a brief feature.
     
    For whatever it's worth, I'd like to point out that in the article, Trish is quoted as saying she's "taking a break" and needs some "me time" (and she jokes "next time I retire, remind me to do it when I'm not planning a wedding"), which I'd like to suggest plays into my Conspiracy Theory from the PPV Preview. It seems like everybody *but* Trish is intent on convincing us that she'll never ever never be seen in WWE again.
     
    Then again, in the same SI thingie, Trish says part of the reason why she didn't do Playboy is because she doesn't feel sexy enough. So clearly she doesn't know what the hell she's talking about. But then again, Trish probably wouldn't be Trish if she wasn't so damned confident that she had other qualities worth showing off before sharing her vagina with the world. Some girls? Let's be honest: they gotta do that if they want to attract the male of the species... but Trish has got about a thousand other ways to inspire inappropriate levels and varieties of arousal, and was more than happy to make a career out of those instead.
     
    And I think that's about as close as I'm going to come to a Tribute to Trish. Because I'm sorry: be it pure selfishness, simple naivete, or outright stubbornness, I'm not convinced we've seen the last of her. And I'm no Premature Eulogiator.
     
  • I got an e-mail about this over the weekend, and it's semi-related to Trish.....
     
    Ivory and Molly Holly are setting out on a week-long cross-country road trip next week. They're hitting a few indie gigs along the way (Ivory's still wrestling, though Molly's not competed since WWE and only does guest appearances and referee gigs) and calling the adventure the "Kicking Ass for Gas" Tour. Destination: Trish's wedding on September 30. 
     
    I'm trying to decide just how enticing it is to ponder the convergence of my only three significant post-Elizabeth Wrestling Crushes.... and I dunno. Trish is ending the weekend married, and then the rest of the trip pretty much boils down to "trapped in a car with Ivory." Which, unless you're armed with copious amounts of rhino tranquilizers, might not be as pleasant an experience as you might hope.
     
    Still: it's babes and an open bar, and I *am The Rick, so I figure I'm obligated to note that I'm sure those wedding invitations both came "plus guest," ladies. Don't pretend like you don't want to spend a weekend watching me drink my face off and rant about how awesome you are and how women's wrestling sucks since you left WWE, without ever once remembering to hit on you! 

     
     
  • Last week's Impact did another 0.7 rating, once again with a weaker-than-last-season lead-in from UFC... that's certainly a disappointment to all involved, especially considering that the return of the Ultimate Fighter was supposed to help boost TNA's ratings up for the big push to October's Bound For Glory PPV.
     
    Spike is doing a free Shamrock vs. Ortiz rematch at some point soon, which folks hope re-sparks the interest in the UFC-for-free product. But at this point, the interest in UFC and MMA seems to be more on the marquee fights on PPV, not on the crap-ass reality show on Spike.
     
    It's probably not all that healthy to be pinning the success/failure of TNA on UFC, but there does seem to be a correlation. On its own, TNA's "stand-alone" audience is about 0.6-0.8... with strong UFC lead-ins, TNA did see regular ratings of 1.0 and even as high as 1.1. Even with Nielsen's sketchy reliability, that's a statistically significant variation in ratings. Which has got to, at the end of the day, have a significant impact on PPV buyrates, which are what drive the company's finances at this point.
     
    For whatever it's worth, I thought last week's Impact was a pretty strong effort, at least as compared to the other entries in the new "Main Event Promo" Era of Impact. Probably as good a show as they've had since the one with the tag title change, although that's not necessarily saying much.
     
    You can get the full details from Jason Longshore in the TNA Impact Recap. [As an added bonus, you'll get a mini-report from a benefit show held last Thursday night where Lita's band, the Luchagores, played.]
     
     
  • Last week's SD! once again doesn't have a rating available at this point, but it'll come in under a 1.0 (if it comes in at all)...
     
    Can't say you missed much if you missed the show. Well, nothing that you won't be able to catch up on with ease, anyway: certainly the crowning of Bobby Lashley as the new #1 Contender to Booker T's World Title was a surprising development, but that title match isn't taking place for another 3 weeks, so there's plenty of time to get caught up as they build it up.
     
    Lashley as #1 Contender certainly underscores the weakness of the SD! roster... but on a show where Finlay and his midget are arguably the #2 heel act, I guess one can't bitch too much about Lashley getting the shot. But man alive: I echo the sentiment that Chris Benoit just cannot get back here soon enough... and he really does need to land on SD!. [And on top of that, for the whole "Teddy Long is scouting at RAW" thing from the past few weeks to make any sense, I say somebody should flip over from RAW to SD!, as well, to help fortify things for the new Network. Depending on where they are going with Kennedy and Finlay -- both of whom have teased face-ishness in recent months -- sending Carlito over to be a breakout main event babyface might be an interesting thing to try.]
     
    But other than that, SD! was largely a spin-the-wheels-and- hopefully-people-will-actually-be-watching-us-next-week kind of show. Right down to hyping Rey vs. Chavo and Booker vs. Vito as big matches for The CW Debut Episode. Though how Vito figures into a "big" match is beyond me.
     
    In any case, full details on last week's SD! are in PyroFalkon's SmackDown! Recap.
     
  • The Rock's movie, "The Gridiron Gang," opened at #1 this weekend, pulling in around $15 million at the box office. This makes the Rock 5-for-5 in terms of opening his movies at #1... discounting "The Scorpion King" (which opened at $40 and made almost $100 million total), all Rock's movies have opened between $15 million and $18 million. So the question for "Gridiron Gang" is: will it flounder and turn into "Doom" (which barely scraped its way to the $25 million mark after the strong opening) or will it remain steady and get up to the $50 million mark (like "The Rundown" and "Walking Tall")?
     
    Another question is: why should we care, really?
     
     
  • Adding to the list of "crafty veterans" we talked about in Friday's OO, who have been signed by WWE to be teachers/coaches both in the developmentals and as cameo talents on RAW/SD!/ECW, I guess Rodney Mack is also on board. Don't know how I got the other three and whiffed on him, but I guess Mack makes some sense if he's gonna be used on the road for ECW (where his wife, Jazz, works).
     
  • I think the last thing for today, then, is a quick look at tonight's RAW.... it's another night in Canada, this time in Montreal.
     
    Which means it's probably just as well that Vince McMahon did the stretcher job last night, and won't be anywhere to be seen. Those tards in Montreal just won't let go of 1997.
     
    And I do think that Vince (and Shane) should be absent, and that somehow the "inmates running the asylum" thing should be the storyline, or the appointment of a new/interim figurehead should be. Unless they just want to go with Coach laming his way through a night in charge, once again.... but I'd vote against that, just because something a little more frenetic might help create some excitement for a show that will, at its core, essentially be a Post-PPV Reset Show.
     
    What can we expect tonight? Well, duh: we can expect everybody to be responding/reacting to what happened last night on the PPV. DX's response probably includes them thinking they "won" the feud over the McMahons, but I'm guessing they'll end up being wrong on that front, because that feud Will. Not. Die. I'm sure Cena's response to winning the title will be the return of his Spinner, and little else of interest. Hopefully Edge's response to losing the title is something that'll help propel him forward, as he's also about to lose Lita, and will have to have an eye towards re-inventing himself before year's end (and will apparently be doing it without the benefit of a main event push).
     
    We also know that the response to last night's double count-out between Umaga and Kane will be a rematch tonight on RAW. Yay?
     
    And I guess I'm curious to see if they immediately address the disposition of the women's division/women's title. I liked the idea I put forth in the PPV Preview in terms of how they could have tied the title picture into Lita's own eventual departure, but now, we're clearly not going that route. One way or another, though, it's gotta be Lita vs. Mickie, title or no title, coming up soon. 
     
    Highlanders and Jeff Hardy also both have solid claims on title rematches, which I guess gets me thinking maybe there's not as much "resetting" here as there is "continuing on with existing stories." Huh. Oh well. It'll still be interesting to see how it all fits together. And whether or not it fits together in the same sort of entertaining way that it did at Unforgiven last night.
     
    No matter what happens, though, your entertainment is guaranteed here at OO, when you return tomorrow for the finest RAW Recap in all the land. I'll see you then, kids.


  
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PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
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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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